The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Works of Mr. George Gillespie (Vol. 1 of 2) by George Gillespie

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Title: The Works of Mr. George Gillespie (Vol. 1 of 2)

Author: George Gillespie

Release Date: October 8, 2008 [Ebook #26849]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


















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(Transcriber's Note: This book is an 1846 reprint of George Gillespie's books, which were originally published separately. Each is reprinted here with its original title page and other front matter. The paper book had no page numbers; each book is transcribed here with its own page numbering, which may have no correspondence with the publisher's idea of the page numbers.)

In presenting to the public, for the first time, a Complete Edition of the Works of Mr George Gillespie, there are two or three points to which the Publisher begs to direct special attention.

Although the great value of Gillespie's various works was well known to many, yet there had been no recent reprints of them, and they had become so very scarce that it was with great difficulty any of them could be obtained. Recent controversies had brought forward the very subjects which had been so ably treated by Gillespie; and it was felt, that justice to the Church of which he was so great an ornament, and to the cause which he so strenuously supported, demanded the republication of his whole works, in a form, and at a price, which should render them generally accessible.

In prosecuting this task the idea was suggested, that it would be desirable to publish what remained of those Notes on the Proceedings of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, which Gillespie was known to have written, if the permission of the Advocates, in whose Library they were, could be obtained. That permission was most readily granted. The manuscript volumes, of what purported to be Gillespie's Notes, form part of the large collection entitled, the Wodrow MSS. They appear, however, not to be Gillespie's own Notes, but copies separately taken from [pg viii] the original. The fact that they are manifestly separate and independent transcriptions, furnishes good evidence of the genuineness and authenticity of the original manuscripts, though it is not now known where they are, if still in existence. In making a new copy for the press every facility was granted by the Librarians of the Advocates' Library, with their well-known courtesy and liberality; and much aid was rendered by David Laing, Esq., a gentleman thoroughly conversant with Scottish ecclesiastical literature, and generously ready to communicate to others the benefit of his own extensive and accurate knowledge.

Being desirous to render this Edition of Gillespie's works as full and complete as possible, several small and comparatively unimportant papers have been copied from the Wodrow Manuscript, some account of which will be found at the close of the Memoir. An appendix to the Memoir contains all that could be gleaned from Wodrow's Analecta, as printed by the Maitland Club.

The Memoir itself has been drawn up with considerable care, and is as extensive as the paucity of materials for its composition would admit. It might, indeed, have been enlarged by a more full account of the great events which occurred during the period in which Gillespie lived; but this would have been an unfair changing of biography into history, and would not have been suited to the object in view.

As the parts of the Collected Edition of Gillespie's Works were issued successively, they have been paged separately; and may be arranged in volumes according to the taste of their purchasers. It will, however, be found most expedient to adopt a chronological arrangement, such as is indicated in the closing pages of the Memoir.

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George Gillespie was one of the most remarkable men of the period in which he lived, singularly fertile as that period was in men of great abilities. He seems to have been almost unknown, till the publication of his first work, which dazzled and astonished his countrymen by the rare combination it displayed of learning and genius of the highest order. From that time forward, he held an undisputed position among the foremost of the distinguished men by whose talents and energy the Church of Scotland was delivered from prelatic despotism. Yet, although greatly admired by all his compeers during his brilliant career, so very little has been recorded respecting him, that we can but glean a scanty supply of materials, from a variety of sources, out of which to construct a brief memoir of his life

We have not met with any particular reference to the family from which George Gillespie was descended, except a very brief notice of his father, the Rev. John Gillespie, in Livingston's “Memorable Characteristics.” From this we learn that he was minister at Kirkcaldy, and that he was, to use Livingston's language, “a thundering preacher.” In that town George Gillespie was born; but, as the earlier volumes of the Session Register of Births and Baptisms have been lost, the precise year of his birth cannot be ascertained from that source. It could not, however, have been earlier than 1612, in which year his father was chosen to the second charge in Kirkcaldy, as appears from the town records, nor later than 1613, as the existing Register commences January, 1614, and, in the end of that year, the birth of a daughter of Mr John Gillespie is registered, and again in 1610, of a son, baptised Patrick. It may be assumed, therefore, with tolerable certainty, that George Gillespie was born early in the year 1613, a date which agrees with that engraven on his tombstone. Wodrow, indeed, states, on the authority of Mr Simpson, that Gillespie was born on the 21st of January, 1613.

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Nothing has been recorded respecting the youthful period of Gillespie's life. The earliest notice of him which appears, is merely sufficient to intimate that his mind must have been carefully cultivated from his boyhood, as it relates to the time of his being sent to the University of St Andrews, to prosecute his studies, in 1629, when he was, of course, in his 16th year. It appears to have been the custom of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy, as of many others at that time, to support young men of merit at the University, as Presbytery Bursars, by means of the contributions of the parishes within its bounds. In the Session Record of Kirkcaldy the following statement occurs, dated November, 1629:—“The Session are content that Mr George Gillespie shall have as much money of our Session, for his interteynment, as Dysart gives, viz. 20 merks, being our Presbytery Bursar.” In some of the brief biographical notices of him which have been given, we are informed that during the course of his attendance at the University, he gave ample evidence of both genius and industry, by the rapid growth and development of mental power, and the equally rapid acquirement of extensive learning, in both of which respects he surpassed his fellow-students. That this must have been the case, his future eminence, so early achieved, sufficiently proves; but nothing of a very definite nature, relating to that period, has been preserved.

When he had completed his academic career, and was ready to enter into the office of the ministry, his progress was obstructed by a difficulty which, for a time, proved insurmountable. Being conscientiously convinced that the prelatic system of church government is of human invention, and not of Divine institution, and having seen the bitter fruits it bore in Scotland, he would not submit to receive ordination from a bishop, and could not, at that juncture, obtain admission into the ministerial office without it. Though thus excluded from the object of his pursuit, he found congenial employment for his pious and active mind in the household of Lord Kenmure, where he resided as domestic chaplain, till the death of that nobleman in September, 1634. Soon afterwards we find him discharging a similar duty in the family of the Earl of Cassilis, and, at the same time, acting as tutor to Lord Kennedy, the Earl's eldest son. This latter employment furnished him with both leisure and inducement to prosecute his studies, and that, too, in the very direction to which his mind had been already predisposed. But, in order to obtain an intelligible view of the state of matters in Scotland at that period, we must take a brief survey of the events which had been moulding the aspect of both church and kingdom for some time before.

It may be assumed as a point which no person of competent knowledge and candid mind will deny or dispute, that the Reformed Church of Scotland was, from its very origin, Presbyterian; equally opposed to the prelatic superiority of one minister over others, and to the authority of the civil power in spiritual matters. This point, therefore, we need not occupy space in proving; but we [pg xi] may suggest, that there is a much closer and more important connexion between the two elements here specified, than is generally remarked. For, as a little reflection will show, without the pre-eminence of some small number of ministers over the rest, the civil power cannot obtain the means of directly exercising an authoritative control in spiritual matters. Even the indirect methods of corruption which may be employed can be but partially successful, and may at any time be defeated, whenever the general body shall be restored to purity and put forth its inherent power. A truly presbyterian church, therefore, never can be thoroughly depended on by civil rulers who wish to use it as a mere engine of state for political purposes; consequently, a truly presbyterian church has never found much favour in the estimation of the civil power,—and, it may be added, never will, till the civil power itself become truly Christian. Thus viewed, it was not strange that the civil power in Scotland, whether wielded by a regent such as Morton, or a king like James VI., should strenuously and perseveringly seek the subversion of the Presbyterian Church. In the earlier stage of the struggle, first Morton, and then James, attempted force, but found the attempt to be in vain. At length the King seemed inclined to leave off the hopeless and pernicious contest; and, in the year 1592, an Act of Parliament was passed, ratifying all the essential elements of the Presbyterian Church, in doctrine, government, discipline, and worship. But this proved to be merely a cessation of hostilities on the part of the King, preparatory to their resumption in a more insidious and dangerous manner, and by the dark instrumentality of his boasted “king-craft.”

The first indication of the crafty monarch's designs was in the year 1597, when he, “of his great zeal and singular affection which he always has to the advancement of the true religion, presently professed within this realm,” to use his own words, enacted that all who should be appointed to the prelatic dignity, should enjoy the privilege of sitting and voting in Parliament. The pretence was, that these persons would attend better to the interests of the Church than could be done by laymen; the intention was, to introduce the prelatic order and subvert the Presbyterian Church. And, that this might be done quietly and imperceptibly, the question respecting the influence which these parliamentary representatives of the Church should have in the government of the Church itself, was left to be determined by the King and the General Assembly. Many of the most judicious and clear-sighted of the ministers perceived the dangerous tendency of this measure, and gave it their decided and strenuous opposition; but others, wearied out by their conflict with the avaricious and tyrannical conduct of the nobility, which they hoped thus more effectually to resist, or gained over by the persuasions of the King and the court party, supported the proposal. The result was, that the measure was carried in the Assembly of 1598, by a majority of ten, and that majority formed chiefly by the votes of the elders, whom the King had induced [pg xii] to support his views. Scarcely had even this step been taken, when the Church became alarmed at the possible consequences; and, in order to avoid increasing that alarm, all further consideration of the measure, with reference to its subordinate details, was postponed till the meeting of the next Assembly. Nor was this enough. As the time for the next Assembly drew near, the King felt so uncertain of success, that he prorogued the appointed meeting, and betook himself to those private artifices by which his previous conquest had been gained.

When the Assembly of 1600 met, the most intense interest was felt by the whole kingdom in its proceedings, all men perceiving that upon its decision would depend the continuation or the overthrow of the presbyterian form of church government in Scotland. The King's first step was the arbitrary exclusion from the Assembly of the celebrated Andrew Melville. The discussion commenced respecting the propriety of ministers voting in Parliament. But when those who favoured the measure could not meet the argument of its opponents, the King again interposed, and authoritatively declared that the preceding General Assembly had already decided the general question in the affirmative; and that they had now only to determine subordinate arrangements. The measure was thus saved from defeat. The next question, whether the parliamentary ministers should hold their place for life, or be annually elected, was decided in favour of annual election. Yet James prevailed upon the cleric to frame an ambiguous statement in the minute of proceedings, virtually granting what the Assembly had rejected. Even then, though thus both overborne and tricked by the King, the Church framed a number of carefully expressed “caveats,” or cautions, for protecting her liberties, and guarding against the introduction of Prelacy. It was not, however, the intention of the King to pay any regard to these “caveats,” so soon as he might think it convenient to set them aside; and, accordingly, within a few months he appointed three bishops to the vacant sees of Ross, Aberdeen, and Caithness, directly in violation of all the “caveats” by which he had agreed that the appointment of ecclesiastical commissioners to Parliament should be regulated.

That mysterious event, the Gowry conspiracy, and the views taken of it by some of the best and most influential of the ministers, tended to alter the aspect of the struggle between the King and the Church; and though the King twice interposed to change the Assembly's time and place of meeting by his own authority, contrary to the provisions of the act, 1592, yet the church succeeded in maintaining a large measure of its primitive freedom and purity, against the encroachments of the crafty and perfidious monarch and his “creatures,” to use their own phrase, the bishops.

The Assembly of 1602, however, was the last that retained anything like presbyterian liberty, and ventured to act on its own convictions of duty. [pg xiii] But, the death of Queen Elizabeth, and the accession of James to the English throne, directed his main attention for a time to other matters, and gave occasion to a temporary pause in his violations of all the laws which he had repeatedly sworn to maintain. The pause was brief. The flattering servility of the English bishops inflated his vanity to an extravagant degree, and rendered him the more determined to subvert wholly the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and to erect Prelacy on its ruins. He had already presumed more than once to postpone meetings of the General Assembly, by his own arbitrary authority; he resumed this course, postponed the Assembly for one year, naming another,—then prorogued it again, without naming another day of meeting, which was nearly equivalent to an intimation, that it should entirely depend upon his pleasure whether it should ever meet again,—directly contrary to the act, 1592, in which it was expressly stipulated that the Assembly should meet at least once a year. The most zealous and faithful of the ministers were now fully aware of the imminent peril to which spiritual liberty was exposed. On the 2d of July, 1605, the day on which the General Assembly had been appointed to meet at Aberdeen, nineteen ministers met, constituted the Assembly in the usual form, and while engaged in reading a letter presented by the King's Commissioner, a messenger-at-arms entered, and in the King's name, charged them to dismiss, on pain of being held guilty of rebellion. The moderator appointed another day of meeting, and dissolved the Assembly in the usual manner. This bold and independent, though perfectly legal and constitutional conduct, roused the wrath of the King to fury. Six of the most eminent of the ministers, one of whom was John Welsh of Ayr, son-in-law of Knox, were confined in a miserable dungeon in the castle of Blackness, for a period of fourteen months, and then banished to France. Eight others were imprisoned for a time, and banished to the remotest parts of Scotland. The severity of Robert Bruce's treatment was increased; and six other ministers, who had not been directly involved in the resistance to the King's authority, by the suppressed Assembly of Aberdeen, were called to London, and engaged in captious disputations by the crafty monarch, and his sycophantic prelates, in order to find occasion against them also. The result was, the confinement in the Tower of Andrew Melville, and his subsequent banishment to France; and the prohibition of his nephew, James Melville, to return to Scotland.

Having thus succeeded, by fraud and force, in cutting off the leading ministers, James next summoned an Assembly to meet at Linlithgow, in December 1606, naming the persons who were to be sent by the presbyteries. In this packed Assembly he succeeded in his design of introducing more generally the prelatic element, by the appointment of constant moderators in each presbytery. Advancing now with greater rapidity, he instituted, in 1610, the Court of High Commission, which may be well termed the [pg xiv] Scottish Inquisition; and in the same year, in an Assembly held at Glasgow, both nominated by the King, and corrupted by lavish bribery, the whole prelatic system of church government was introduced; the right of calling and dismissing Assemblies was declared to belong to the royal prerogative, the bishops were declared moderators of diocesan synods; and the power of excommunicating and absolving offenders was conferred on them.

The government of the Church was thus completely subverted in its external aspect. Its forms indeed remained. There were still presbyteries and synods, and there might be a General Assembly, if the King pleased; but the power of presbyteries or synods was vested in the Prelates, and the King could prevent any Assembly from being held, as long as he thought proper. But the Presbyterian Church, though overborne, was not destroyed, nor was its free spirit wholly subdued. When, in 1617, the King attempted to arrogate to himself and his prelatic council the power of enacting ecclesiastical laws, he was immediately met by a protestation against a measure so despotic. By an arbitrary stretch of power, he banished the historian Calderwood, the person who presented to him the protestation; but he felt it necessary to have recourse once more to his previously employed scheme, of a packed and bribed Assembly, in which to enact his innovations. This was accordingly done in the Assembly of 1618, held in Perth, in which, by the joint influence of bribery and intimidation, he succeeded in obtaining a majority of votes in favour of the five articles of Perth, as they are usually called. These five articles were,—kneeling at the communion,—the observance of holidays,—episcopal confirmation,—private baptism,—and the private dispensation of the Lord's Supper. It will at once be seen that these innovations were directly contrary to the presbyterian principle, which holds that human inventions ought not to be added to divine institutions.

This was the last attempt made by King James for the overthrow of the Presbyterian Church. It was but partially successful. Not less than forty-five, even of the ministers summoned to Perth by the King, voted against the five articles; and in defiance of the authority of the King, and the Prelates, and the terrors of the Court of High Commission, a large proportion of the ministers, and a much larger proportion of the people throughout the kingdom, never conformed to these articles. Various attempts were made by the prelatic faction to suppress the resistance of the faithful ministers and people. At one time a minister who would not yield was suspended from his ministry; at another, he was banished from his flock, and confined to some remote district of the country. But all was ineffectual, although much suffering and distress of mind was caused by these harrassing persecutions. Very gladly would the ministers and people have abandoned the prelatised church, and maintained the government and ritual of the Church of their fathers by their own unaided exertions, had they been permitted. But no such permission [pg xv] could be obtained. They were compelled either to abstain from preaching altogether, or to remain in connection with the Church. And even this alternative was not always left to their choice. They were frequently kept in a species of imprisonment in their own houses, not permitted to leave the Church, and yet forbidden to preach, or even to expound the word of God to the members of their own households. Such was the monstrous and intolerable tyranny exercised by Prelacy in Scotland, in its desperate attempts to destroy the Presbyterian Church.

But the Presbyterian Church has always proved to be not easily destroyed. At the very time when Prelacy and king-craft were uniting for its destruction, its Divine Head was graciously supporting it under its trials, giving it life to endure them, and preparing for its deliverance. The sufferings endured by the faithful ministers in many parts of the country, tended to make them objects of admiration, love, and respect to the people, who could not but draw a very striking contrast between their conduct, and that of the haughty and irreligious prelates. But mighty as was this influence in the hearts of the people, one infinitely more mighty began to be felt in many districts of the kingdom. God was pleased to grant a time of religious revival. The power of vital godliness aroused the land, shining in its strength, like living fire. At Stewarton, at Shotts, and in many others quarters, great numbers were converted, and the faith of still greater numbers was increased. A time of refreshing from the presence of God had evidently come; and it soon became equally evident, that the enemies of spiritual freedom were under the blinding influence of infatuation.

The younger bishops, inflated with vanity, acted towards the Scottish nobility in a manner so insolent, as to rouse the pride of these stern and haughty barons. But the prelates had learned from Laud, what measures would be agreeable to Charles I., who, to all his father's despotic ideas of royal prerogative, and love of Prelacy, and to at least equal dissimulation, added the formidable elements of a temper dark and relentless, and a proud and inflexible will. The consequences soon appeared. Charles resolved, that the Church of Scotland should not only be episcopalian in its form of government, but also in all its discipline, and in its form of worship. In order to accomplish this long wished for purpose, it was resolved that a Book of Canons, and a Liturgy, should be prepared by the Scottish bishops, and transmitted to those of England, for their revision and approval. The book of Canons appeared in 1635, and was regarded by the nation with the utmost abhorrence, both on its own account, and as intended to introduce innovations still more detested. What was dreaded soon took place. The Liturgy was prepared, sent to England, and revised, several of the corrections being written by Laud himself, all tending to give it a decidedly popish character. Some copies of this production appeared early in the year 1637, and were immediately subjected [pg xvi] to the examination of acute and powerful minds, well able to detect and expose their errors, and to resist this tyrannical attempt to do violence to the conscience of a free and religious people.

The crisis came. A letter from his Majesty was procured, requiring the Liturgy to be used in all the churches of Edinburgh, and an act of the Privy Council was passed, to enforce obedience to the royal mandate. Archbishop Spotswood summoned the ministers together, announced to them the King's pleasure, and commanded them to give intimation from their pulpits, that on the following Sabbath the public use of the Liturgy was to be commenced. The 23d day of July, 1637, was that on which the perilous attempt was to be made. In the cathedral church of St. Giles, the Dean of Edinburgh, attired in his surplice, began to read the service of the day. At that moment, an old woman, named Jenny Geddes, unable longer to restrain her indignation, exclaimed, “Villain, dost thou say mass at my lug!” and seizing the stool on which she had been sitting, threw it at the Dean's head. Instantly all was uproar and confusion. Threatened or assailed on all sides, the Dean, terrified by this sudden outburst of popular fury, tore himself out of their hands and fled, glad to escape, though with the loss of his priestly vestments. In vain did the magistracy interfere. It was impossible to restore sufficient quiet to allow the service to be resumed; and the defeated prelatic party were compelled to abandon the Liturgy, thus dashed out of their trembling grasp by a woman's hand.

Such was the state of affairs in both church and kingdom, when George Gillespie first appeared in public life. He had already refused to receive ordination at the hands of a bishop; he had marked well the pernicious effects of their conduct on the most sacred interests of the community; and his strong and active intellect was directed to the prosecution of such studies as might the better enable him to assail the wrong and defend the right. His residence in the household of the Earl of Cassilis, while it furnished the means of continuing his learned researches, was not likely to change their direction; for the Earl was one of those high-hearted and independent noblemen, who could not brook prelatic insolence, even when supported by the Sovereign's favour. The first production from the pen of Gillespie, the fruit, doubtless, of his previous studies, was a work entitled “A Dispute against the English Popish Ceremonies obtruded upon the Church of Scotland.” Its publication was remarkably well timed, being in the summer of 1637, at the very time when the whole kingdom was in a state of intense excitement, in the immediate expectation that the Liturgy would be forced upon the Church. Nothing could have been more suited to the emergency. It encountered every kind of argument employed by the prelatic party; and, as the defenders of the ceremonies argued that they were either necessary, or expedient, or lawful, or indifferent, so Gillespie divided his work into four parts, arguing against their [pg xvii] necessity, their expediency, their lawfulness, and their indifferency, with such extensiveness of learning and acuteness and power of reasoning, as completely to demolish all the arguments of all his prelatical antagonists. The effect produced by this singularly able work may be conjectured from the fact, that within a few months after its publication, a proclamation was issued by the Privy Council, at the instigation of the bishops, commanding all the copies of it that could be found to be called in and burned. Such was the only answer that all the learned Scottish prelates could give to a treatise, written by a youth who was only in his twenty-fifth year when it appeared. The language of Baillie shows the estimation in which that learned, but timid and cautious man, held Gillespie's youthful work. “This same youth is now given out also, by those that should know, for the author of the ‘English Popish Ceremonies,’ whereof we all do marvel; for, though he had gotten the papers, and help of the chief of that side, yet the very composition would seem to be far above such an age. But, if that book be truly of his making, I admire the man, though I mislike much of his matter; yea, I think he may prove amongst the best wits of this isle.”

So far as argument was concerned, the controversy was ended by Gillespie's work, as no answer was ever attempted by the prelates. But the contest, which began as one of power against principle, ere long became one of power against power. In vain did the King attempt to overawe the firm minds of the Presbyterians. In vain did the bishops issue their commands to the ministers to use the Liturgy. These commands were universally disobeyed; for the spirit of Scotland was now fairly roused—a spirit which has often learned to conquer, but never to yield. It was to be expected that Gillespie would not be allowed to remain much longer in comparative obscurity, after his remarkable abilities had become known. The church and parish of Wemyss being at that time vacant, the congregation, to whom he had been known from his infancy, “made supplication” that he might be their minister. This request was granted, “maugre St Andrew's beard,” as Baillie says; that is, in spite of the opposition made by Spotswood, Archbishop of St Andrews, who knew enough of the young man to regard him with equal fear and hatred. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy on the 26th of April, 1638, the celebrated Robert Douglas, at that time minister of Kirkcaldy, presiding at the ordination; and was the first who was admitted by a presbytery, at that period, without regard to the authority of the bishops. This, indeed, soon ceased to be a singularity; but, it must be remembered, that though the attempt to impose the Liturgy upon the Church had been successfully resisted, the ostensible government of the Church was still held by the prelates, and continued to be held by them, till they were all deposed by the famous General Assembly which met in Glasgow on the 21st day of November, 1638. But their power had received a fatal blow, and it could not fail to be highly [pg xviii] gratifying to George Gillespie, that the first free act of the Presbyterian Church, to the recovery of whose liberty he had so signally contributed, should be his own ordination to the ministerial office.

From that time forward, the life of George Gillespie was devoted to the public service of the Church; and he was incessantly engaged in all the great measures of that momentous period. He, however, was not the man of the age. That man was Alexander Henderson, the acknowledged leader of the Church of Scotland's Second Reformation. And, as it is not our purpose to write a history of that period, we must confine ourselves chiefly to those events in which Gillespie acted a prominent part.

The next intimation that we receive of Gillespie is in Baillie's account of the Glasgow Assembly. “After a sermon of Mr Gillespie,” says Baillie, “wherein the youth very learnedly and judiciously, as they say, handled the words, ‘The King's heart is in the hand of the Lord,’ yet did too much encroach on the King's actions: he (Argyle) gave us a grave admonition, to let authority alone, which the Moderator seconded, and we all religiously observed, so long as the Assembly lasted.” This proves, at least, that Gillespie was highly esteemed by his brethren, who had selected him as one to preach before that important Assembly, notwithstanding his youth. It should be added, that on consulting the records of that Assembly's proceedings, we do indeed find Argyle's grave admonition not to interfere with the authority due to the King in his own province, and the Moderator's answer; but nothing to lead us to think that it had any reference to Gillespie's sermon. Baillie had not, at that time, learned to know and appreciate Gillespie, as he did afterwards and, as he had been somewhat startled by the point and power of the “English Popish Ceremonies,” he might not unnaturally conclude, that Argyle's caution against what might be, had been caused by what had already been beginning to appear in the language of the youthful preacher.

The course of public affairs swept rapidly onward, though certainly not in such a channel as to gratify the lovers of arbitrary power and superstition. The King, enraged to find his beloved Prelacy overthrown at once and entirely, prepared to force it upon the Scottish Covenanted Church and people by force of arms. The Covenanters stood on the defensive, and met the invading host on the Border, prepared to die rather than submit to the loss of religious liberty. But the English army was little inclined to fight in such a cause. They had felt the king's tyranny and the oppression of their own prelates, and were not disposed to destroy that liberty, so nobly won by Scotland, for which they were themselves most earnestly longing. A peace ensued. The King granted that spiritual liberty which he was unable to withhold; and the ministers who had accompanied the Scottish army, returned to the discharge of their more peaceful duties. But this peace proved of short duration. The King levied a new and more powerful army, and again declared war against [pg xix] his Scottish subjects. Again the Covenanters resumed their weapons of defence, and marched towards the Border, a number of the most eminent ministers, among whom was Gillespie, being required to accompany the army, and empowered to act as a presbytery. It was, however, judged necessary to anticipate the approach of the English by entering England. This bold movement changed the nature of the contest for the time, because the English parliament felt the utmost jealousy of the King's despotic designs, and would not grant him the necessary support. Negotiations for peace were begun at Ripon, and transferred to London. This rendered it necessary for the Scottish Commissioners for the peace to reside at London. Henderson, Blair, Baillie and Gillespie accompanied the Commissioners to London, resided with them there in the capacity of chaplains, and availed themselves of the opportunity thus afforded, for proving to the people of England that presbyterian ministers were not such rude and ignorant men as their prelatic calumniators had asserted. The effect of their preaching was astonishing, as even Clarendon, their prejudiced and bitter reviler, admits. Wherever they preached, the people flocked in crowds to hear them, and even clustered round the doors and windows of the churches in which they were proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ. It soon became apparent that both the cause, and the men by whom it was defended, were too mighty to be despised. Courtly parasites might scoff, but the heart of England was compelled to know that living faith and true eloquence are equally powerful to move and guide the minds of men, whether on the bleak waste of a Scottish moor, or in the midst of a mighty city.

Soon after the return of the Scottish Commissioners and ministers, in the Assembly of 1641, the town of Aberdeen gave a call to George Gillespie to be one of their pastors. This call, however, he strenuously and successfully resisted, and was permitted to remain at Wemyss. But next year, the town of Edinburgh applied to the General Assembly, to have him translated to one of the charges there, and this application was successful, so that he became one of the ministers of Edinburgh in the year 1642, and continued so during the remainder of his life.

But although Edinburgh had succeeded in obtaining Gillespie, the citizens were not long permitted to enjoy the benefit of his ministry. Another class of duties awaited him, in a still more public and important sphere of action. It is impossible here to do more than refer to the great events which at that time agitated not only Scotland, but also England. The superstition, bigotry and intolerance of Archbishop Laud and his followers, combining with and urging on the despotism of the King, had at length completely exhausted the patience of the English people and parliament. Every pacific effort had proved fruitless; and it had become undeniably evident, to every English patriot, that Prelacy must be abolished and the royal prerogative [pg xx] limited, unless they were prepared to yield up every vestige of civil and religious liberty. They made the nobler choice, passed an act abolishing Prelacy, and summoned an Assembly of Divines to deliberate respecting the formation of such a Confession of Faith, Catechism, and Directory, as might lead to uniformity between the Churches of the two kingdoms, and thereby tend to secure the religious liberty of both. The Assembly of Divines met at Westminster, on the 1st day of July, 1643. Soon afterwards Commissioners from the English Parliament, and from the Westminster Assembly, were appointed to proceed to Edinburgh, to be present at the meeting of the General Assembly in August, and to seek a conference, respecting the best method of forming the basis of a religious and civil confederacy between the two kingdoms, in their time of mutual danger. These Commissioners, accordingly, attended the meeting of the Assembly in Edinburgh, and the result of their conferences was the framing of that well-known bond of union between the two countries, the Solemn League And Covenant“a document which we may be pardoned for terming the noblest, in its essential nature and principles, of all that are recorded among the international transactions of the world.”

As the main object for which the Solemn League and Covenant was framed, was to secure the utmost practicable degree of uniformity in the religious worship of both countries; and, as the English Divines had already met at Westminster to take the whole subject into consideration, and had requested the assistance of Commissioners from the Church of Scotland, the General Assembly named some of the most eminent of their ministers and elders as Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly. These were, Alexander Henderson, Robert Douglas, Robert Baillie, Samuel Rutherford, and George Gillespie, ministers; and the Earl of Cassilis, Lord Maitland, and Sir Archibald Johnston of Warriston, elders; but neither the Earl of Cassilis nor Robert Douglas went. Three of these, Lord Maitland, Henderson, and Gillespie, set off for London, along with the English Commissioners, immediately after the rising of the General Assembly; the other three, Warriston, Rutherford, and Baillie, followed about a month afterwards. On the 15th of September the Scottish Commissioners were received into the Westminster Assembly with great kindness and courtesy; and, on the 25th of the same month, the Solemn League and Covenant was publicly sworn and subscribed by both Parliament and Assembly, after addresses by Nyo and Henderson. It was not, however, till the 12th of October, that the Westminster Assembly commenced its serious deliberations concerning Church Government, Discipline, and a Directory of Worship, in the hope of arriving at such conclusions as might produce religious uniformity in the Churches of England, Scotland, and Ireland, if not also with the Reformed Churches of the Continent.

Scarcely had the Westminster Assembly begun its deliberations, when it [pg xxi] became abundantly apparent, that, however sincere its members might all be in the desire to promote the religious welfare of the community, they were, nevertheless, divided in their views as to how that could be best accomplished. There were three parties in the Assembly, the Presbyterians, the Independents, and the Erastians. Of these the Presbyterians1 formed by far the most numerous, comprising at least nine-tenths of the entire body. There were at first only five Independent divines, commonly termed “the Five Dissenting Brethren;” but their number finally amounted to ten or eleven. Only two ministers were decided Erastians, but a considerable number of the parliamentary members, chiefly those who were professionally lawyers, advocated that secular policy. The Scottish Commissioners refused to exercise the right of voting, but were continually present in the Assembly, and took a very prominent part in all its deliberations and debates, supporting, as might be expected, the views of the Presbyterians. The chief strength of the Independents consisted in the tenacity with which they adhered to their own opinions, disputing every proposition brought forward by others, but cautiously abstaining from giving any definite statement of their own; and in the close intercourse which they contrived to keep with Cromwell and the military Independents. And the Erastian party, though few in numbers within the Assembly itself, possessed, nevertheless, considerable influence, arising out of their reputation for learning, having as their ornament and support, that distinguished man, emphatically called “the learned Selden.” But the true source of their power was the Parliament, which, having deprived the King of that ecclesiastical supremacy which he had so grievously abused, wished to retain it in its own possession, and therefore, supported the Erastian party in the Assembly.

Numerous and protracted were the debates which arose in the Westminster Assembly, during the discussion of the various topics on which these three parties differed in opinion; and in all those debates no person took a more active part, or gained more distinction than George Gillespie. His previous course of studies had rendered him perfectly familiar with all that had been written on the subjects under discussion; his originally acute and powerful intellect had been thoroughly trained and exercised to its highest degree of clearness and vigour; and to a natural, perspicuous, and flowing readiness of language, the warmth and earnestness of his heart added the energy and elevation which form the very essence of true eloquence. We have already referred to the high expectations which Baillie entertained of his future career. But high as these had been, they were far surpassed by the reality, as he himself declares. “None in all the company did reason more, and more pertinently than Mr Gillespie. That is an excellent youth; my heart blesses God in his behalf!”“Very [pg xxii] learned and acute Mr Gillespie, a singular ornament of our church, than whom not one in the whole Assembly speaks to better purpose, and with better acceptance by all the hearers.”“Mr George Gillespie, however I had a good opinion of his gifts, yet I profess he has much deceived me: Of a truth there is no man whose parts in a public dispute I do so admire. He has studied so accurately all the points that ever yet came to our Assembly, he has got so ready, so assured, so solid a way of public debating, that however there be in the Assembly divers very excellent men, yet, in my poor judgment, there is not one who speaks more rationally, and to the point, than that brave youth has done ever.”

We cannot here follow the course of the prolonged deliberations in which Gillespie so greatly distinguished himself; but there is one instance of his eminence which has so often been related, and not always very accurately, that it would be unpardonable not to give it here,—especially as some pains have been taken to obtain as full and correct a version of it as is now practicable. After the Westminster Divines had agreed respecting the office-bearers whose permanent continuation in the church can be proved from scriptural authority; they proceeded to inquire concerning the subject of Church Discipline. In this the Presbyterians were constrained to encounter both the Independents and the Erastians; for the Independents, on the one hand, denied any authoritative excommunication or suspension, and the Erastians, on the other, admitted such a power, but placed it in the hands of the civil magistracy. For a considerable time the discussion was between the Presbyterians and the Independents; but when the arguments of the latter party had been conclusively met and answered by their antagonists, the Erastians hastened to the rescue, and their champion, “the learned Selden,” came to the Assembly, when the discussion drew near its close, prepared to pour forth all his learning for the discomfiture of the hitherto triumphant Presbyterians. His intention had been made known extensively, and even before the debate began, the house was crowded by all who could claim or obtain admission. Gillespie, who had been probably engaged in some Committee business as usual, was rather late in coming, and upon his arrival, not being recognised as a member by those who were standing about the door and in the passages, was told that it was impossible for him to get in, the throng was so dense. “Can ye not admit a pinning?” said he, using a word employed by masons, to indicate the thin slips of stone with which they pin, or fill up the chinks and inequalities that occur in the building of a plain wall. He did, however, work his way to the seat allotted to the Scottish Commissioners, and took his place beside his brethren. The subject under discussion was the text, Matt. xviii. 15-17, as bearing upon the question respecting excommunication. Selden arose, and in a long and elaborate speech, and with a great display of minute rabbinical lore, strove to demonstrate that the passage contained no warrant for ecclesiastical [pg xxiii] jurisdiction, but that it related to the ordinary practice of the Jews in their common civil courts, by whom, as he asserted, one sentence was excommunication, pronounced by their own authority. Somewhat confused, if not appalled, by the vast erudition displayed, even the most learned and able of the divines seemed in no haste to encounter their formidable opponent. At length both Herle and Marshall, two very distinguished men, attempted answers, but failed to counteract the effect of Selden's speech. Gillespie had been observed by his Scottish brethren writing occasionally in his note-book, as if marking the heads of Selden's argument; and one of them, some accounts say Rutherford, turning to him in this emergency, said, “Rise, George, rise up, man, and defend the right of the Lord Jesus Christ to govern, by his own laws, the church which he hath purchased with his blood.” Thus urged, Gillespie arose, gave first a summary of Selden's argument, divesting it of all the confusion of that cumbrous learning in which it had been wrapped, and reducing it to its simple elements; then in a speech of singular acuteness and power, completely refuted it, proving that the passage could not be interpreted or explained away to mean a mere reference to a civil court. By seven distinct arguments he proved, that the whole subject was of a spiritual nature, not within the cognisance of civil courts; and he proved also, that the church of the Jews both possessed and exercised the power of spiritual censures. The effect of Gillespie's speech was so great, as not only to convince the Assembly, but also to astonish and confound Seldon himself, who is reported to have exclaimed in a tone of bitter mortification, “That young man, by this single speech, has swept away the learning and labour of ten years of my life!” Those who were clustered together in the passage near the door, remembering Gillespie's expression when he was attempting to enter, said one to another, “It was well that we admitted the pinning, otherwise the building would have fallen.” Even his Scottish brethren, although well acquainted with his great abilities, were surprised with his masterly analysis of Selden's argument, and looked into his note-book, expecting there to find the outline of the summary which he had given. Their surprise was certainly not diminished when they found that he had written nothing but, Da lucem, Domine, Lord give light,—and similar brief petitions for the direction of that divine Head and King of the church, whose crown-rights he was about to defend.

Various other anecdotes have been recorded respecting Gillespie's singular skill and ability in debate; but the preceding is at once the most striking and the best authenticated, and may suffice to prove his eminence, both in learning and in power of argument, among the Westminster Divines.2

[pg xxiv]

The first part of the task in which the Westminster Assembly was engaged, was the framing of a Directory for Public Worship. This having been completed about the close of the year 1644, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland met on the 23d of January, 1645, to take this Directory into consideration, and to give it their sanction, should it be found satisfactory. Baillie and Gillespie were sent to Scotland, to be present at the Assembly, that they might introduce the subject, and give any explanation that might appear necessary, and to do everything in their power to procure for it the desired approbation. In this they were completely successful, and the Assembly passed an act sanctioning the Directory,—that act having been written, as Baillie informs us, by Gillespie. Having accomplished the object of their mission, they returned to London, where Gillespie was speedily engaged in the Erastian Controversy, during which he produced his greatest work.

We have already referred to the distinguished ability with which Gillespie encountered and defeated Selden, in the discussion which arose within the Westminster Assembly itself. But the principles of Erastianism were entertained by many who were not members of that Assembly, and were advocated in other quarters, so as to lead to a literary controversy. The Rev. Thomas Coleman, one of the Erastians divines, the other being Lightfoot, preached a sermon before the House of Commons, on the 30th of July, 1645, in which there was a peculiar display of Erastianism of the very strongest kind. This sermon was printed, as were all sermons preached before either House, and excited at once the disapprobation of all the friends of religious liberty. It did not remain long unanswered. On the 27th of August, the same year, Gillespie preached before the House of Lords; and when his sermon was also published, he added to it an appendix entitled, “A Brotherly Examination of some passages of Mr Coleman's late printed sermon.” In this appendix Gillespie not only answered and refuted Coleman, but turned his arguments completely against himself. Coleman soon afterwards published a pamphlet entitled, “A Brotherly Examination Re-examined.” To this Gillespie replied in another bearing the title, “Nihil Respondes,” in which he somewhat sharply exposed the weak and inconclusive character of his opponent's argument. Irritated by the castigation he had received, Coleman published a bitter reply, to which he gave the somewhat unintelligible title of “Male Dicis Maledicis,”—intending, probably, to insinuate that Gillespie's answer was of a railing character. This roused Gillespie, and induced him to put forth his controversial power in a singularly vigorous pamphlet, entitled, “Male Audis,” [pg xxv] in which he took a rapid survey of the whole Erastian controversy, so far as Coleman and some of his friends had brought it forward, convicted him and them of numerous self-contradictions, of unsoundness in theology, of violating the covenant which they had sworn, and of inculcating opinions fatal to both civil and religious liberty. To this powerful production Coleman attempted no reply; nor have its arguments ever been answered by any subsequent advocate of Erastianism.

But however able and well-timed these controversial pamphlets were, they were not enough to occupy even the few spare hours that Gillespie was able to snatch from his attendance on the business of the Assembly. He had planned, and was all the while prosecuting, a much larger work. That work appeared about the close of the year 1646, under the title of “Aaron's Rod Blossoming: or, the Divine Ordinance of Church Government Vindicated.” In this remarkably able and elaborate production, Gillespie took up the Erastian controversy as stated and defended by its ablest advocates, fairly encountering their strongest arguments, and assailing their most formidable positions, in the frank and fearless manner of a man thoroughly sincere, and thoroughly convinced of the truth and goodness of his cause. As it may be presumed that the readers of this memoir are also in possession of “Aaron's Rod,” we need not occupy space in giving even a brief outline of that admirable work; but as we are convinced that the Erastian conflict, which has been recently resumed, must still be fought, and will be ultimately won, we strenuously recommend the studious perusal of Gillespie's masterly production to all who wish fully to comprehend the subject.3 One or two points of general information, however, it may be expedient to give. In the “Aaron's Rod,” while Gillespie intentionally traversed the whole ground of the Erastian controversy, he directed also special attention to the productions of the day. This he could not avoid; but this has tended unfortunately, to give to his work the appearance of being to some extent an ephemeral production, suited to the period when it appeared, but not so well suited to the present times. It addresses itself to answer the arguments of Selden, and Coleman, and Hussey, and Prynne; and as the writings of these men have sunk into oblivion, we are liable to regard the work which answered them as one which has done its deed, and may also be allowed to disappear. Let it be observed, that Erastianism never had abler advocates than the above-named men. Selden was so pre-eminent for learning that his distinguishing designation was “the learned Selden.” Coleman was so thoroughly conversant with Hebrew literature, that he was commonly termed “Rabbi Coleman.” Hussey, minister at Chessilhurst in Kent, was a man of great eloquence, both as a speaker and a writer, and possessed no small influence among the strong-minded men of that period. And Prynne had a double claim on public attention [pg xxvi] both then and still; for he had been so formidable an antagonist of the Laudean Prelacy, as to have been marked out by Laud as a special victim,—had been condemned to the pillory, and suffered the loss of both his ears by the sentence of that cruel prelate,—and had been rescued from his sufferings, and restored to political life and influence, by the Long Parliament. He was, moreover, both a learned man, an acute lawyer, and an able and subtle controversialist, and his writings exercised at the time no mean influence. When such men undertook the advocacy of the Erastian argument, encouraged as they were by the English Parliament, it may well be conceived that they would present it both in its ablest, and in its most plausible form. And it is doing no discredit to Erastians of the present day, to say that they are not likely to produce anything either more profound in learning, or more able and acute in reasoning than was done by their predecessors of the Long Parliament, and the Westminster Assembly. If, therefore, Gillespie's Aaron's Rod completely defeated the acute and able men of that day, we may well recommend it to the perusal of those whose duty it may be to engage in a similar controversy in the present age.

But while such were Gillespie's labours in the field of controversy, the value of which could not be easily over-estimated, his memory would be grievously wronged were we to regard him only as a controversialist. For although the topics which first engaged the attention of the Westminster Assembly were those on which the greatest difference of opinion existed, and to which, almost of necessity, the public mind, both then and ever since, has been most strongly directed, there was a very large portion of their duty, and that, too, of the highest importance, and demanding the utmost care, in which a much greater degree of unanimity prevailed. For a considerable time after the Assembly commenced its deliberations, its attention was almost exclusively occupied with the framing of Directories for public worship and ordination, and with discussions respecting the form of Church government, including the power of Church censure. These topics involved both the Independent and the Erastian controversies; and till some satisfactory conclusions had been reached on these points, the Assembly abstained from entering upon the less agitating, but not less important work of framing a Confession of Faith. But having completed their task, so far as depended upon themselves, they then turned their attention to their doctrinal labours.

The manner in which the Assembly entered upon this solemn duty deserves the utmost attention, as intimating the earnest and prudent spirit by which their whole deliberations were pervaded. They appointed a committee to prepare and arrange the main propositions which were to be examined and digested into a system by the Assembly. The members of this committee were, Dr Hoyle, Dr Gouge, Messrs Herle, Gataker, Tuckney, Reynolds, and Vines, with the Scottish Commissioners Henderson, Baillie, Rutherford, and [pg xxvii] Gillespie. Those learned and able divines began their labours by arranging, in the most systematic order, the various great and sacred truths which God has revealed to man; and then reduced these to thirty-two distinct heads or chapters, each having a title expressive of its subject. These were again subdivided into sections; and the committee formed themselves into several subcommittees, each of which took a specific topic for the sake of exact and concentrated deliberation. When these sub-committees had completed their respective tasks, the whole results were laid before the entire committee, and any alterations suggested and debated till all were of one mind. And when any title, or chapter, had been thus fully prepared by the committee, it was reported to the Assembly, and again subjected to the most minute and careful investigation, in every paragraph, sentence, and even word. All that learning the most profound, intellect the most searching, and piety the most sincere could accomplish, was thus concentrated in the Westminster Assembly's Confession of Faith, which may be safely termed the most perfect statement of systematic Theology ever framed by the Christian Church.

In the preliminary deliberations of the Committee the Scottish divines took a leading part, and none more than Gillespie. But no report of these deliberations either was or could be made public. The results alone appeared when the Committee, from time to time, laid its matured propositions before the Assembly. And it is gratifying to be able to add, that throughout the deliberations of the Assembly itself, when composing, or rather, formally sanctioning the Confession of Faith, there prevailed almost an entire and perfect harmony. There appears, indeed, to have been only two subjects on which any difference of opinion existed among them. The one of these was the doctrine of Election, concerning which Baillie informs us they had “long and tough debates;” the other was concerning that which heads the chapter entitled “Of Church Censures,” as its fundamental proposition, viz. “The Lord Jesus Christ, as King and Head of his Church, has therein appointed a government in the hand of church-officers distinct from the civil magistrate.” This proposition the Assembly manifestly intended and understood to contain a principle directly and necessarily opposed to the very essence of Erastianism, and it was regarded in the same light by the Erastians themselves, hence it had to encounter their most strenuous opposition. It was, however, somewhat beyond the grasp of the lay-members of the Assembly, especially since their champion Selden had in a great measure withdrawn from the debates after his signal discomfiture by Gillespie, and consequently it was triumphantly carried, the single dissentient voice being that of Lightfoot, the other Erastian divine, Coleman, having died before the conclusion of the debate. The framing of the Confession occupied the Assembly nearly a year. After having been carefully transcribed, it was presented to the parliament on the 3d of December, 1646.

A plan similar to that already described was also employed in preparing [pg xxviii] that admirable digest of Christian doctrine, the Shorter Catechism, and so far as can be ascertained, by the same Committee. For a time, indeed, they attempted to prosecute the framing of both Confession and Catechism at once; but after some progress had been made with both, the Assembly resolved to finish the Confession first, and then to construct the Catechism upon its model, so far at least as to have no proposition in the one which was not in the other. By this arrangement they wisely avoided the danger of subsequent debate and delay. Various obstacles, however, interposed, and so greatly impeded the progress of the Assembly, that the Catechism was not so speedily completed as had been expected. It was, however, presented to the House of Commons on the 5th of November 1647, and the Larger, in the spring of the following year.

There is one anecdote connected with the formation of the Shorter Catechism both full of interest and so very beautiful, that it must not be omitted. In one of the earliest meetings of the Committee, the subject of deliberation was to frame an answer to the question What is God?” Each man felt the unapproachable sublimity of the divine idea suggested by these words; but who could venture to give it expression in human language! All shrunk from the too sacred task in awe-struck reverential fear. At length it was resolved, as an expression of the Committee's deep humility, that the youngest member should first make the attempt. He consented; but begged that the brethren would first unite with him in prayer for divine enlightenment. Then in slow and solemn accents he thus began his prayer:—“O God, Thou art a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in Thy being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.”—When he ceased, the first sentence of his prayer was immediately written down and adopted, as the most perfect answer that could be conceived, as, indeed, in a very sacred sense, God's own answer, descriptive of Himself.4 Who, then, was the youngest member of the Committee? When we compare the birth-dates of the respective members of the Committee, we find that George Gillespie was the youngest by more than a dozen years. We may, therefore, safely conclude, that George Gillespie was the man who was thus guided to frame this marvellous answer.

Without further enlarging on these points, we may, without hazard, affirm, that however eminent Gillespie was in the department of controversy, he was scarcely, if at all, less so in that of systematic theology, while his personal piety was of the most elevated and spiritual character. Rarely, indeed, have such qualities met in any one man, as were united in him; but when God requires such a man, he creates, endows and trains him, so as to meet the necessity.

[pg xxix]

When the public labours of the Westminster Assembly drew near a close, the Scottish commissioners returned to their native country. Henderson had previously found the repose of the grave, Rutherford remained a short time behind. Baillie and Gillespie appeared at the General Assembly which met in August, 1647, and laid before that supreme ecclesiastical court the result of their protracted labours. The Confession of Faith was ratified by that Assembly. The same Assembly caused to be printed a series of propositions, or “Theses against Erastianism,” as Baillie terms them, amounting to one hundred and eleven, drawn up by George Gillespie, embodying eight of them in the act which authorised their publication. The perusal of these propositions would enable any person of unprejudiced and intelligent mind to master and refute the whole Erastian theory; and could not fail, at the same time, to draw forth sentiments of admiration towards the clear and strong mind by which they were framed.

But the incessant toils in which Gillespie's life had been spent had shattered his constitution beyond the power of recovery; and the state in which he found Scotland on his return was such as to permit no relaxation of these toils. The danger in which the obstinacy and duplicity of Charles I. had placed that unhappy monarch's life, drew forth towards him the strong compassion of all who cherished sentiments of loyalty to the sovereign and pity for the man. But in many instances these generous feelings were allowed to bias the dictates of religious principle and sound judgment; and a party began to be formed for the purpose of attempting to save the King even at the hazard of entering into a war with England. This was, of course, eagerly encouraged by all who had previously adhered to the King's party in the contest between him and the Covenanters; and a series of intrigues began and were carried on, breaking the harmony which had previously existed, and preparing for the disastrous consequences which soon afterwards ensued. Gillespie exerted himself to the utmost of his power to avert the coming calamities which he anticipated, by striving to prevent the commission of crimes which provoke judgment. His influence was sufficient to restrain the Church from consenting to countenance the weak and wicked movements of politicians. But his health continued to sink under these incessant toils and anxieties. He was chosen moderator of the General Assembly of 1648, though, as Baillie states, “he did much deprecate the burden, as he had great reason, both for his health's sake, and other great causes.”

This Assembly met on the 12th of July, 1648, and so arduous and difficult were the duties which it had to discharge, that it did not end its labours till the 12th of August. Although Gillespie was then rapidly sinking under the disease of which he died, which, from its symptoms, must have been consumption, he continued to take an active part in all its deliberations, and drew up the last public paper which it directed to be framed, in answer to a document, [pg xxx] issued by the State, respecting the engagement that had been formed for the support of the King. The arduous labours of the Assembly being thus ended, Gillespie left Edinburgh and retired to Kirkcaldy, with the view of seeking, by change of scene and air, some renovation to his health. But the disease had taken too firm a hold of his enfeebled constitution, and he continued to suffer from increasing weakness. Still the cares of the distracted Church and country pressed heavily on his mind. He was now unable to attend the public meetings of Church courts; but on the 8th of September he addressed a letter to the Commission of Assembly, in which he stated clearly and strongly his opinion concerning the duties and the dangers of the time. Continuing to sink, and feeling death at hand, he partly wrote and partly dictated what may be termed his dying “Testimony against association with malignant enemies of the truth and godliness.”5 At length, on the 17th day of December, 1648, his toils and sorrows ceased, and he fell asleep in Jesus.

So passed away from this world one of those bright and powerful spirits which are sent in troublous times to carry forward God's work among mankind. Incessant toil is the destiny of such highly-gifted men while here below; and not unfrequently is their memory assailed by those mean and little minds who shrunk with instinctive fear and hatred before the energetic movements which they could neither comprehend nor encounter. But their recompense is in heaven, when their work is done; and future generations delight to rescue their reputation from the feeble obloquy with which malevolence and folly had endeavoured to hide or defame it. Thus has it been with George Gillespie to a considerable extent already; and we entertain not the slightest shadow of doubt that his transcendent merit is but beginning to be known and appreciated as it deserves, and that ere very long his well-earned fame will shine too clearly and too strong to be approached by detractors.

* * * * *

We have but little more to relate respecting George Gillespie. His death was deeply lamented by all who loved their church and country at the time; and such was the feeling generally entertained of his great merit, that the Committee of Estates, or government of the kingdom, by an Act dated 20th December, 1648, did, “as an acknowledgment for his faithfulness in all the public employments entrusted to him by this Church, both at home and abroad, his faithful labours, and indefatigable diligence in all the exercises of his ministerial calling, for his Master's service, and his learned writings, published to the world, in which rare and profitable employments, both for Church and State, he truly spent himself and closed his days, ordain, That the sum of one thousand pounds sterling be given to his widow and children.” And though the Parliament did, by their Act, dated June 8th, 1650, unanimously [pg xxxi] ratify the preceding Act, and recommended to their Committee to make the same effectual, yet in consequence of Cromwell's invasion, and the confusion into which the whole kingdom was thereby thrown, this benevolent design was frustrated, as his grandson, the Rev. George Gillespie, minister at Strathmiglo, afterwards declared.6 So much for the trust to be placed in national gratitude and the promises of statesmen.

George Gillespie was buried at Kirkcaldy, his birth-place, and the place also where he died. A tomb-stone, erected to his memory by his relatives and friends, bore an inscription in Latin, recording the chief actions of his life, and stating the leading elements of his character. But when Prelacy was re-imposed on Scotland, after the restoration of Charles II., the mean malice of the Prelatists gratified itself by breaking the tomb-stone. This petty and spiteful act is thus recorded in the “Mercurius Caledonius,” one of the small quarto newspapers or periodicals of the time, of date January 16th to 25th, 1661. “The late Committee of Estates ordered the tomb-stone of Mr George Gillespie, whereon was engraven a scandalous inscription, should be fetched from the burial place, and upon a market-day, at the cross of Kirkcaldy, where he had formerly been minister, and there solemnly broken by the hands of the hangman; which was accordingly done,—a just indignity upon the memory of so dangerous a person.”

The Committee of Estates by which this paltry deed was done was that of Middleton's parliament, frequently called the “drunken parliament,” from the excesses of its leading men, and which on the following year signalised itself by the Glasgow act,—that act which emptied nearly four hundred pulpits in one day. The inaccuracy of the statement made by the prelatic newspaper, asserting that he had formerly been minister at Kirkcaldy, will not surprise any person who is acquainted with the writings of the Prelatists of that period, who seem not to have been able to write the truth when relating the most common and well-known facts. But one is somewhat surprised to find statements equally inaccurate made respecting George Gillespie, by reverend and learned historians. In Dr Cook's History of the Church of Scotland, we find in one passage George Gillespie's character and conduct completely misunderstood and misrepresented, (vol. iii. pages 160-162), and in a subsequent passage an assertion that the proceedings of that party in the church called the Protestors were, in the year 1650, “directed by Gillespie, a factious minister, whose name has been frequently mentioned,” (page 196). George Gillespie was the only person of whom mention was made, or could be made, in the previous portion of the history, as his brother had not then began to take any active part in public affairs; but he was dead nearly two years before the date to which the latter passage refers. It is plain that Dr Cook confounded George Gillespie with [pg xxxii] his brother Patrick, and ascribed to the former the actions of the latter, regarding them both as but one and the same person. He further asserts, that Gillespie was “suspected of corresponding with the Sectaries.” That Patrick Gillespie corresponded with the Sectaries, and was much trusted and countenanced by Cromwell, is perfectly true; but before that time George Gillespie had joined the One Church and family in heaven. In every period of his life, and in every transaction in which he was engaged, George Gillespie was far above all private or discreditable intriguing, which is the vice of weak, cunning, and selfish minds. And while we do not think it necessary further to prosecute this vindication of his memory, we yet think it our duty, when writing a memoir of him, thus briefly to set aside the groundless accusation, whether it be adduced by prelatic or Erastian writers,—his baffled antagonists when living, his impotent calumniators when dead.

The tomb-stone, as has been related, was broken in 1661, but the inscription was preserved. A plain tablet was erected in 1745, by his grandson, the Rev. George Gillespie, minister of Strathmiglo, on which the inscription was re-produced, with a slight addition, mentioning both events. It is still to be seen in the south-east porch of the present church. The inscription is as follows:—


It may be expedient to give a translation:—

Master George Gillespie, minister at Edinburgh, in his youthful years overthrew a host of English popish ceremonies; as he approached full manhood, having been sent as commissioner to the Westminster Assembly, his attention was directed to the task of extirpating Prelacy from England, and [pg xxxiii] promoting purity and uniformity in the worship of God. He chastised Erastianism in his Aaron's Rod Blossoming. Having returned to his native country he weakened the violators of the covenant, who were bent on provoking a war with England.7 Having been chosen moderator of the General Assembly which met at Edinburgh in the year 1648, he devoted his last exertions to the service of his country so as to draw forth public approbation: and having, as an eye-witness, seen that ruin of the malignants which he had foretold, departing in peace on the same day on which the League of the three kingdoms was solemnly renewed, in the 36th year of his age, he entered into the joy of the Lord. He was a man profound in genius, mild in disposition, acute in argument, flowing in eloquence, unconquered in mind. He drew to himself the love of the good, the envy of the bad, and the admiration of all. He was an ornament of his country,—a son worthy of such a father.

Such was the “scandalous inscription” which the peevish spleen, yet bitter malice of Scottish Prelacy, found gratification in attempting to destroy. But there is a righteous retribution even in this world. Men rear their own monuments, and write inscriptions on them which time cannot obliterate. Gillespie's enduring monument is in his actions and his writings, which latest ages will admire. The monuments of Scottish Prelacy are equally imperishable, whether in the wantonly defaced tomb-stones of piety and patriotism, or in the moss-grown martyr-stones that stud the moors and glens of our native land; and the inscriptions thereupon are fearfully legible with records of indelible infamy.

It remains but to offer a few remarks respecting Gillespie's various works. The first production of his pen was his remarkable “Dispute against the English Popish Ceremonies.” It was published in 1637, when its author was only in the 25th year of his age; and it must have been completed some time previous to its publication, as it appears to have been printed abroad, most probably in Holland. This gives countenance to one statement which affirms it to have been written when Gillespie had scarcely passed his 22d year.

His next work was published in London, in the year 1641, where he was during the progress of the treaty with the King. It is referred to by Baillie in the following terms:—“Think not we live any of us here to be idle; Mr Henderson has ready now a short treatise, much called for, of our church discipline; Mr Gillespie has the grounds of Presbyterial Government well Asserted; Mr Blair, a pertinent answer to Hall's Remonstrance: all these are ready for the press.” The valuable treatise here referred to has not been so much noticed as several other of Gillespie's writings, but is included in this collective edition.

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His Sermons and Controversial Pamphlets were produced in the years 1641-5-6, during the sittings of the Westminster Assembly.

Aaron's Rod Blossoming was published at London also, about the close of the year 1646. This is his greatest work.

The celebrated Hundred and Eleven Propositions were prepared before he left London, and laid before the General Assembly on his return to Scotland in the summer of 1647. Perhaps it is not possible to obtain a clear conception of Erastianism better than by the study of these propositions. They have been reprinted several times, yet were rarely to be obtained.

The short, yet very able and high-principled papers which he prepared for the Assembly and its Commission in 1648, were his latest writings.

A short time after his death, and during the year 1649, his brother Patrick published in one volume, entitled a “Treatise of Miscellany Questions,” a series of papers, twenty-two in number, on a variety of important topics, which appeared to be in a condition fit for the press. Though this is a posthumous production, and consequently without its author's finishing corrections, it displays the same clearness, precision, and logical power, which characterise his other works. We are inclined to conjecture that these Essays, as we would now term them, were written at different times during the course of several years, and while he was studying the various topics to which they relate. Several of them are on subjects which were debated in the Westminster Assembly; and it is very probable that Gillespie wrote them while maturing his views on these points preparatory for those discussions in which he so greatly distinguished himself. This conjecture is strengthened by the curious and interesting fact, that a paper, which will be found beginning at page 109 of the part now printed for the first time from the MS., is almost identical, both in argument and language, though somewhat different in arrangement, with chapter viii. pages 115 to 120, of Aaron's Rod. The arrangement in the Aaron's Rod is more succinct than in the paper referred to, but its principles, and very much of the language, are altogether the same. May not this indicate Gillespie's mode of study and composition? May he not have been in the habit of concentrating his mind on the leading topics of the subjects which he was studying, writing out pretty fully and carefully his thoughts on these topics, and afterwards connecting and arranging them so as to form one complete work? If so, then we may conclude that the Miscellany Questions contain such of these masses of separate thinking as Gillespie found no opportunity of using in any other manner, and, therefore, consented to their publication in their present form.

In Wodrow's Analecta it is stated that Gillespie had a manuscript volume of sermons prepared for the press, which were bought from the printer by the Sectaries, and probably destroyed. It is also stated, that there were six octavo volumes of notes written by Gillespie at the Westminster Assembly [pg xxxv] then extant, containing an abstract of its deliberations. Of these manuscript volumes there are two copies in the Wodrow MSS., Advocates' Library, but neither of them appears to be Gillespie's own hand-writing; the quarto certainly is not, and the octavo seems to be an accurate copy of two of the original volumes. These have been collated and transcribed by Mr Meek, with his well-known care and fidelity, and the result is now, for the first time, given to the public. What has become of the missing volumes is not known, and it is to be feared the loss is irrecoverable. There is one consideration, however, which mitigates our regret for the loss of these volumes. The one which has been preserved begins February 2d, 1644, and ends January 3d, 1645.8 Lightfoot's Journal continues till the end of 1644, and then terminates abruptly, as if he had not felt it necessary any longer to continue noting down the outline of the debates. Yet Lightfoot continued to attend the Assembly throughout the whole of its protracted deliberations. From other sources also, we learn that the whole of the points on which there existed any considerable difference of opinion in the Assembly, had been largely debated during the year 1644, so that little remained to be said on either side. The differences, indeed, continued; but they assumed the form of written controversy, the essence of which we have in the volume entitled, “The Grand Debate.” It is probable, therefore, that the lost volumes of Gillespie's manuscript contained chiefly his own remarks on the writings of the Independents, and, not unlikely, the outlines of the answers returned by the Assembly. Supposing this to be the case, it would doubtless have been very interesting to have had Gillespie's remarks and arguments, but they could not have given much information which we do not at present possess.

A few brief notices respecting the papers now first published may both be interesting, and may conduce to rendering them intelligible to the general reader.

There is first, an extract attested by the scribes, or clerks, of the Westminster Assembly, copied from the original, by Wodrow, and giving a statement of the Votes on Discipline and Government, from session 76, to session 186.

Second, Notes of Proceedings from February 2, to May 14, 1644, to p. 64.

Third, Notes of Proceedings from September 4, 1644, to January 3, 1645, to p. 100. (By consulting Lightfoot, we learn that the time between May and September was occupied chiefly in debates respecting Ordination, the mode of dispensing the Lord's Supper, Excommunication, and Baptism, with some minor points.)

Fourth, Debates in the Sub-committee respecting the Directory, 4th March, to 10th June, p. 101-2.

Fifth, Notes of Proceedings in the Grand Committee, from September 20, to [pg xxxvi] October 25, 1644, p. 103-7. This part of the manuscript, though short, is of very considerable importance, as giving us a specimen of the manner in which the Grand Committee acted. The Grand Committee was composed of some of the most influential persons of the Lords, of the Commons, and of the Assembly, together with the Scottish Commissioners. The duty of that Committee was to consult together respecting the subjects to be brought before the Assembly, and to prepare a formal statement of those subjects for the purpose of regular deliberation. By this process a large amount of debate was precluded, and the leading men were enabled to understand each other's sentiments before the more public discussions began. And as the Scottish Commissioners were necessarily constituent members of this Committee, their influence in directing the whole proceedings was both very great, and in constant operation. Lightfoot's journal gives no account of the proceedings of this Committee.

Sixth, A paper on excommunication, &c. It has already been mentioned that this paper is nearly identical with part of a chapter in the Aaron's Rod.

Seventh, A short note on some discussions which took place in the Committee of the General Assembly at Edinburgh, on the 7th and 8th of February, 1645, at the time when Baillie and Gillespie laid before the Assembly the Directory which had been recently completed.

Eighth, The Ordinance of the two Houses of the English Parliament, 12th June, 1643, summoning the Assembly of Divines. This is added chiefly for the purpose of shewing the intention of the Parliament in calling the Assembly.

It has been already stated that there are two MS. volumes, purporting to be copies of Gillespie's Notes. The one of these is in octavo, and seems to have been carefully taken; the other is in quarto, and appears to be partly a copy, partly an abstract. In it Gillespie is always spoken of in the third person, which has caused many variations. The transcriber has also made many omissions, not only of one, but of several paragraphs at a time, frequently passing over the remarks of the several speakers. It appears to have been his object to copy chiefly the argumentative part of the manuscript. This defective transcription had belonged to Mr William Veitch, as appears from his name written on the cover and first page, with the addition “minister at Peebles, 1691.” In the copy transcribed for the press, the octavo manuscript has been followed. The quarto, however, along with Lightfoot, has been found useful in correcting the Scripture references, which had all to be carefully examined and verified; but sometimes all three failed to give satisfaction, and a conjectural substitute has been given, enclosed in brackets, and with a point of interrogation. In concluding these remarks, we cannot help expressing great gratification to see for the first time a complete edition of the works of George Gillespie; and in order also to complete the memoir, we add, as an appendix, some very interesting extracts from the Maitland Club edition of Wodrow's Analecta, chiefly relative to his last illness and death.

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“Mr George Gillespie, first minister of Kirkcaldy, and afterward minister of Edinburgh; when he was a child, he seemed to be somewhat dull and soft like, so that his mother would have stricken and abused him, and she would have made much of Patrick, his younger brother. His father, Mr John Gillespie, minister of Kirkcaldy, was angry to see his wife carry so to his son George; and he would have said, ‘My heart, let alone; though Patrick may have some respect given him in the Church, yet my son George will be the great man in the Church of Scotland.’ And he said of him when he was a-dying, ‘George, George, I have gotten many a brave promise for thee.’ And indeed he was very soon a great man; for it's reported, that before he was a preacher, he wrote the ‘English Popish Ceremonies.’ He was, of all ministers in his time, one of the greatest men for disputing and arguing; so that he was, being but a young man, much admired at the Assembly at Westminster, by all that heard him; he being one of the youngest members that was there. I heard old Mr Patrick Simson say, that he heard his cousin, Mr George Gillespie say, ‘Let no man who is called of God to any work, be it never so great and difficult, distrust God for assistance, as I clearly found at that great Assembly at Westminster. If I were to live a long time in the world, I would not desire a more noble life, than the life of pure and single dependence on God; for, said he, though I may have a claim to some gifts of learning and parts, yet I ever found more advantage by single looking to God for assistance than by all the parts and gifts that ever I could pretend to, at that time.’

“When he was at London, he would be often on his knees; at another time, reading and writing. And when he was sitting in that great Assembly at Westminster, he was often observed to have a little book, and to be marking down something with his pen in that book, even when some of the most learned men, as Coleman and Selden, were delivering their long and learned orations, and all he was writing was for the most part his pithy ejaculations to God, writing these words; Da lucem, Domine; Da lucem! When these learned men had ended their oration, the Moderator proposed who should give an answer to their discourse; they all generally voted Mr Gillespie to be the person. He being a young man, seemed to blush, and desired to be excused, when so many old and learned divines were present, yet all the brethren, with one voice, determined he should be the person that should give an answer to that learned oration. Though he seemed to take little heed, yet being thus pressed, he rose up, and resumed all the particulars of that learned oration very distinctly, and answered every part of it so fully, that all that heard him were amazed and astonished; for he died in 1648, and was then but about thirty-six years of age. Mr Calamy, if I be not forgotten, said, we were ready to think more of Mr Gillespie than was truly meet; if he had not been stained by being against our way and judgment for the Engagement.

“He was one of the great men that had a chief hand in penning our most excellent Confession of Faith and Catechisms. He was a most grave and bold man, and had a most wonderful gift given him for disputing and arguing. My father told me, he observed that when there was a considerable number of ministers met, there were several of our great nobles were strongly reasoning with our ministers about the engagement 1648. When Mr Gillespie was busy studying his sermon that he was to preach before the Parliament to-morrow, the ministers sent privately for Mr Gillespie, whom he [pg xxxviii] observed to come in very quietly, and when Lauderdale, Glencairn, and some others, rose up and debated very strongly for the engagement, Mr Gillespie rose up and answered them so fully and distinctly, firstly, secondly, and thirdly, that he fully silenced them all; and Glencairn said, ‘There is no standing before this great and mighty man!’ I heard worthy Mr Rowat say, that Mr Gillespie said, ‘The more truly great a man is, he was really the more humble and low in his own eyes,’ as he instanced in the great man Daniel; and, said he, ‘God did not make choice of some of us as his instruments in the glorious work of Reformation, because we were more fit than others, but rather because we were more unfit than others.’ He was called Malleus Mallignantium, and Mr Baillie, writing to some in this church anent Mr George Gillespie, said, ‘He was truly an ornament to our church and nation.’ And Mr James Brown, late minister of Glasgow, told me that there was an English gentleman said to him, that he heard Mr Gillespie preach, and he said, he believed he was one of the greatest Presbyterians in the world. He was taken from the Greyfriars' Church to the New Church. He has written several pieces, as ‘Aaron's Rod Blossoming,’ and ‘Some Miscellany Questions,’ and his ‘Assertion of the Government of the Church of Scotland, about Ruling Elders.’ He had several little books wherein he set down his remarks upon the proceedings of the Assembly at Westminster.”—WODROW'S ANALECTA, vol. iii. pp. 109-18.

“What follows here I have in conversation with Mr Patrick Simpson, whose memory was most exact. What concerns Mr Gillespie, and the Marquis of Montrose, I read over to him, and he corrected. The rest are hints I set down after conversation, when two or three days with him in his house at Renfrew, in the year 1707.


“Mr George Gillespie being moderator of the Assembly held at Edinburgh, July 12th, 1648, was all the time thereof, as also half a year before, in a greater weakness of body than ordinary; that being now come to a height, which long before had been gathering. He had a great hoasting and sweating, which in the time of the General Assembly began to grow worse; but being extraordinarily (so I may say) upheld, was not so sensible as when the Assembly dissolved it appeared to be. On occasion whereof, the next Wednesday after the rising of the Assembly, he went with his wife over to Kirkcaldy, there intending to tarry for a space, till it should please the Lord, by the use of means, to restore him to some more health to come over again. But when he was come there, his weakness and disease grew daily more and more, so that no application of any strength durst be used towards him. It came to that, he kept his chamber still to his death, wearing and wasting hoasting, and sweating. Ten days before his death his sweating went away, and his hoasting lessened, yet his weakness still encreased, and his flux still continued. On Wednesday morning, which day he began to keep his bed, his pain began to be very violent, his breath more obstructed, his heart oppressed; and that growing all the next night to a very great height, in the midst of the night there were letters written to his brother, and Mr Rutherford, and Mr John Row, his death approaching fast. On Friday all day, and Thursday all night, he was at some ease. Friday at night, till Saturday in the afternoon, in great violence, the greatness of pain causing want of sleep. Mr Rutherford and Lord Craigihall came to visit him. Thus much for his body. Now I'll speak a little of what concerns his soul, and the exercise of his mind all the while.

Monday, December 11, 1648, came my Lords Argyle, Cassils, Elcho, and Warriston to visit him. He did faithfully declare his mind to them, as public men, in that point whereof he hath left a testimony to the view of the world, as afterwards; and the speaking was very burdensome, yet he spared not very freely to fasten their duty upon them. The exercise of his mind all the time of his sickness was vary sad and constant, without comfortable manifestations, and sensible presence for the time, yet he continued in a constant faith of adherence, which ended in an adhering assurance, his grips growing still the stronger.

“One day, a fortnight before his death, he had leaned down on a little bed, and taking a fit of faintness, and his mind being heavily exercised, and lifting up his eyes, this expression fell with great [pg xxxix] weight from his mouth, ‘O my dear Lord, forsake me not forever!’ His weariness of this life was very great, and his longing to be relieved, and to be where the veil would be taken away.

“Tuesday, December 14, (1648) he was in heavy sickness, and three pastors came in the afternoon to visit him, of whom one said to him, ‘The Lord hath made you faithful in all he hath employed you in, and it's likely we be put to the trial; therefore what encouragement give you us thereanent!’ Whereto he answered in few words, ‘I have gotten more by the Lord's immediate assistance than ever I had by study, in the disputes I had in the Assembly of Divines in England; therefore let never man distrust God for assistance that cast themselves on him, and follow his calling. For my own part, the time that I have had in the exercise of the ministry is but a moment.’ To which sentence another pastor answered, ‘But your moment hath exceeded the gray heads of others! This I may speak without flattery.’ To which he answered disclaiming it with a ‘no;’ for he desired still to have Christ exalted, as he said at the same time, and another. And at other times, when any such things were spoken to him, ‘What are all my righteousnesses but rotten rags? All that I have done cannot abide the touchstone of his justice. They are all but abominations, and as an unclean thing, when they are reckoned between my God and me. Christ is all things, and I am nothing!’ The other pastor when the rest were out, asked, ‘Whether he was enjoying the comforts of God's presence, or if they were for a time suspended! He answered, Indeed they were suspended.’ Then within a little while he said, ‘Comforts! aye comforts!’ meaning, that they were not easily attained. His wife said, ‘What reck'd the comfort if believing is not suspended!’ He said, ‘No.’ Speaking farther to that his condition, he said, ‘Although that I should never see any more light of comfort than I do see, yet I shall adhere, and do believe that He is mine, and I am his!’

“The next morrow being Friday, he not being able to write, did dictate out the rest of a paper, which he had been before writing himself, and did subscribe it before two witnesses, who also did subscribe; wherein he gave faithful and clear testimony to the work and cause of God, and against the enemies thereof, to stop the mouths of calumniators and to confirm his children.

“In all his discourses this was mixed as one thing, that he longed for the time of relief, and rejoiced because it was so near. His breath being very short, he said, ‘Where the hallelujahs are sung to the Lamb, there is no shortness of breath!’ And being in very great pain all the Friday night, his mother said in the morning, ‘In all appearance you will not have another night.’ To which he said, ‘Think you that your word will hold good?’ She said, ‘I fear it will hold over good.’ He said, ‘Not over good.’ That day he blessed his children and some others, (Mr Patrick Simson, the writer of this) and said, ‘God bless you: and as you carry the name of your grandfather, so God grant you his graces.’ That afternoon, being Saturday, came Mr Samuel Rutherford, who, among other things, said, ‘The day, I hope, is dawning, and breaking in your soul, that shall never, have an end.’ He said, ‘It is not broken yet; but though I walk in darkness and see no light, yet I will trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon my God!’ Mr Samuel said, ‘Would not Christ be a welcome guest to you?’ He answered, ‘Welcome! the welcomest guest that ever I saw.’ He said further, ‘Doth not your soul love Christ above all things?’ He answered, ‘I love him heartily: who ever knew any thing of him but would love him!’

“Mr James Wilson going to pray, asked ‘What petitions he would have him to put up for him?’ He said, ‘For more of himself, and strength to carry me through the dark valley.’

“Saturday night he became weaker, and inclined to drowsiness and sleeping, and was discerned in his drowsiness a little to rave; yet being till the last half hour in his full and perfect senses, and having taken a little jelly and drink, about half an hour before his death he spake as sensibly betwixt as ever, and blessed some persons that morning with very spiritual and heavenly expressions. About seven or eight of the clock his drowsiness encreased, and he was overheard in it speaking (after he had spoken more imperfectly some words before) those words, ‘Glory! Glory! a seeing of God! a seeing of God! I hope it shall be for his glory!’ After he had taken a little refreshment of jelly, and a little drink through a reed, he said that the giving him these things made him drowsy; and a little afterwards, ‘There is a great drowsiness on me, I know not how it comes.’

“His wife seeing the time draw near, spake to him and said, ‘The time of your relief is now [pg xl] near, and hard at hand.’ He answered, ‘I long for that time. O! happy they that are there.’ This was the last word he was heard sensibly to speak. Mr Frederick Carmichael being there, they went to prayer, expecting death so suddenly. In the midst of prayer he left his rattling9 and the pangs and fetches of death begin thence, his senses went away. Whereupon they rose from prayer, and beheld till, in a very gentle manner, the pins of his tabernacle were loosed.

“He said (supra) ‘Say not over good,’ because he thought she wronged him so far in wishing the contrary of what he longed for.

“Mr Carmichael said, ‘You have been very faithful, and the Lord has honoured you to do him very much service, and now you are to get your reward.’ He answered ‘I think it reward enough, that ever I got leave to do him any service in truth and sincerity.’ ”

This account was dictated to me by Mr Patrick Simson, Mr Gillespie's cousin, who was with him to his last sickness, and at his death, and took minutes at the time of these his expressions. I read it over, after I had written it, to him. He corrected some words, and said to me, “This is all I mind about his expressions toward his close. They made some impression on me at the time, and I then set them down. I have not read the paper that I mind these forty years, but I am pretty positive these were his very words.” A day or two after, I went in with him to his closet to look for another paper, for now he had almost lost his sight, and in a bundle, I fell on the paper he wrote at the time, and told him of it. When we compared it with what I wrote, there was not the least variation betwixt the original and what I wrote, save an inconsiderable word or two, here altered; which is an instance of a strong memory, the greatest ever I knew.

(Subscribed) R WODROW

Sept. 8, 1707 WODROW's ANALECTA, vol. I, pp. 154-159

* * * * *

What follows about Mr Gillespie I wrote also from Mr Simson's mouth.

“George Gillespie was born January 21st, 1613. He was first minister at Weemyse, the first admitted under Presbytery 1638. He was minister at Weemyse about two years. He was very young when laureate, before he was seventeen. He was chaplain first to my lord Kenmure, then to the Lord of Cassilis. When he was with Cassilis, he wrote his ‘English Popish Ceremonies,’ which when printed, he was about twenty-two. He wrote a ‘Dialogue between a Civilian and Divine,’ a piece against Toleration, entitled ‘Wholesome Severity reconciled with Christian Liberty.’ He died in strong faith of adherence, though in darkness as to assurance, which faith of adherence he preached much. He died December seventeen, 1648. If he had lived to January 21, 1649, he had been thirty six years.

“The last paper he wrote, was ‘The Commission of the Kirk's Answer to the State's Observations on the Declaration of the General Assembly anent the Unlawfulness of the Engagement.’ The Observations were penned, (as my relator supposes) by Mr William Colville, who wrote all these kind of papers for the Committee of Estates, and printed during the Assembly whereof he was moderator. They could not overtake it, but remitted it to the Commission to sit on Monday, and Mr Gillespie wrote the answer on Saturday and the Sabbath, when he (the thing requiring haste) staid from sermon, and my informer, Mr Patrick Simson, transcribed it against Monday at ten, when it passed without any alteration. And just the week after, he went over to Fife, where he died. He was not full ten years in the ministry. He had all his sermons in England, part polemical, part practical prepared for the press, and but one copy of them, which he told the printer's wife he used to deal with, and bade her have a care of them. And she was prevailed on by some money from the Sectaries, who were mauled by him, to suppress them. He was very clear in all his notions, and the manner of expressing them. There are six volumes in 8vo manuscript which he wrote at the Assembly of Divines remaining.”—WODROW'S ANALECTA, vol. i. p. 159-160.

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Jer. ix. 12-14.

“Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth?” “And the Lord saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein, but here walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim.”







Reprinted from Edition of 1660.


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As Satan's malice, and man's wickedness, cease not to molest the thrice happy estate of the church of Christ, so hath the eternal council of the only wise God predetermined the coming of offences, persecutions, heresies, schisms and divisions, that professors may be proved before they be as approved and made manifest, 1 Cor. xi. 19. And hence “It must needs be that offences come,” Matt. xviii. 17; neither hath the church ever enjoyed both purity and peace any long time together. But whiles the church of God, thus disquieted, at well with dangerous alterations, as with doleful altercations, is presented in the theatre of this world, and crieth out to beholders, “Have ye no regard, all ye that pass by!” Lam. i. 12. A pity it is to see the crooked and sinistrous courses of the greatest part, every man moving his period within the enormous confines of his own exorbitant desires; the atheistical nullisidian, nothing regardeth the assoiling of ecclesiastical controversies,—he is of Gallio's humour, Acts xviii. 17, and cares for none of those things; the sensual Epicurean and riotous ruffian (go church matters as they will) eats and drinks, and takes his pleasure; the cynical critic spueth out bitter aspersions, gibeth and justleth at everything that can be said or done in the cause of religion; the acenical jester playeth fast and loose, and can utter anything in sport, but nothing in earnest; the avaricious worldling hath no tune but Give, give, and no anthem pleaseth him but Have, have; the aspiring Diotrephes puffeth down every course which cannot puff up; the lofty favourite taketh the pattern of his religion from the court iconography, and if the court swim, he cares not though the church sink; the subdulous Machiavillian accounteth the show of religion profitable, but the substance of it troublesome: he studieth not the oracles of God but the principles of Satanical guile, which be learneth so well that he may go to the devil to be bishopped; the turn-coat temporiser wags with every wind, and (like Diogenes turning about the mouth of his voluble hogshead, after the course of the sun) wheresoever the bright beams of coruscant authority do shine and cherish, thither followeth and sitteth he; the gnathonic parasite sweareth to all that his benefactor holdeth; the mercenary pensioner will bow before he break; he [pg 1-iv] who only studieth to have the praise of some witty invention, cannot strike upon another anvil; the silly idiot (with Absolom's two hundred, 2 Sam. xv. 11,) goeth, in the simplicity of his heart, after his perverse leaders; the lapped Nicodemite holds it enough to yield some secret assent to the truth, though neither his profession nor his practice testify so much; he whose mind is possessed with prejudicate opinions against the truth, when convincing light is holden forth to him, looketh asquint, and therefore goeth awry; the pragmatical adiaphorist, with his span-broad faith and ell-broad conscience, doth no small harm—the poor pandect of his plagiary profession in matters of faith reckoneth little for all, and in matters of practice all for little. Shortly, if an expurgatory index were compiled of those, and all other sorts of men, who either through their careless and neutral on looking, make no help to the troubled and disquieted church of Christ, or through their nocent accession and overthwart intermeddling, work out her greater harm, alas! how few feeling members were there to be found behind who truly lay to heart her estate and condition? Nevertheless, in the worst times, either of raging persecution or prevailing defection, as God Almighty hath ever hitherto, so both now, and to the end, he will reserve to himself a remnant according to the election of grace, who cleave to his blessed truth and to the purity of his holy worship, and are grieved for the affliction of Joseph, as being themselves also in the body, in confidence whereof I take boldness to stir you up at this time, by putting you in remembrance. If you would be rightly informed of the present estate of the reformed churches, you must not acquiesce in the pargetting verdict of those who are wealthy and well at ease, and mounted aloft upon the uncogged wheels of prosperous fortune (as they call it). Those whom the love of the world hath not enhanced to the serving of the time can give you the soundest judgment. It is noted of Dionysius Hallicarnasseus10 (who was never advanced to magistracy in the Roman republic) that he hath written far more truly of the Romans than Fabius, Salustius, or Cato, who flourished among them with riches and honours.

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After that it pleased God, by the light of his glorious gospel, to dispel the more than cimmerian darkness of antichristianism, and, by the antidote of reformation, to avoid the poison of Popery; forasmuch as in England and Ireland, every noisome weed which God's hand had never planted was not pulled up, therefore we now see the faces of those churches overgrown with the repullulating twigs and sprigs of popish superstition. Mr Sprint acknowledgeth the Reformation of England to have been defective, and saith, “It is easy to imagine of what difficulty it was to reform all things at the first, where the most part of the privy council, of the nobility, bishops, judges, gentry, and people, were open or close Papists, where few or none of any countenance stood for religion at the first, but the Protector and Cranmer.”11 The church of Scotland was blessed with a more glorious and perfect reformation than any of our neighbour churches. The doctrine, discipline, regiment, and policy established here by ecclesiastical and civil laws, and sworn and subscribed unto by the king's majesty and several presbyteries and parish churches of the land, as it had the applause of foreign divines; so was it in all points agreeable unto the word, neither could the most rigid Aristarchus of these times challenge any irregularity of the same. But now, alas! even this church, which was once so great a praise in the earth is deeply corrupted, and hath “turned aside quickly out of the way,” Exod. xxxii. 8. So that this is the Lord's controversy against Scotland. “I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed? How then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?” Jer. ii. 21.

It is not this day feared, but felt, that the rotten dregs of Popery, which were never purged away from England and Ireland and having once been spued out with detestation, are licked up again in Scotland, prove to be the unhappy occasions of a woeful recidivation. Neither is there need of Lyncean eyes, for if we be not poreblind, it cannot be hid from us. What doleful and disastrous mutation (to be bewailed with tears of blood) hath happened to the church and spouse of Christ in these dominions? Her comely countenance is miscoloured with the fading lustre of the mother of harlots, her shamefaced forehead hath received the mark of the beast, her lovely locks are frizled with the crisping pins of antichristian fashions, her chaste ears are made to listen to the friends of the great whore, who bring the bewitching doctrine of enchanting traditions, her dove eyes look pleasantly upon the well attired harlot, her sweet voice is mumming and muttering some missal and magical liturgies, her fair neck beareth the halter like to kens of her former captivity, even a burdensome chain of superfluous and superstitious ceremonies, her undefiled garments are stained with the meritricious bravery of Babylonish ornaments, and with the symbolising badges of conformity with Rome, her harmless hands reach brick and mortar to the building of Babel, her beautiful feet with shoes are all besmeared, whilst they return apace in the way of Egypt, and wade the ingruent brooks of Popery. Oh! transformed virgin, whether is thy beauty gone from thee? Oh! forlorn prince's daughter, how art thou not ashamed to look thy Lord in the face? Oh! thou best beloved among women, what hast thou to do with the inveigling appurtenances and habilement of Babylon the whore?—But among such things as have been the accursed means of the church's desolation, which peradventure might [pg 1-vi] seem to some of you to have least harm or evil in them, are the ceremonies of kneeling in the act of receiving the Lord's supper, cross in baptism, bishopping, holidays, &c., which are pressed under the name of things indifferent; yet if you survey the sundry inconveniences and grievous consequences of the same, you will think far otherwise. The vain shows and shadows of these ceremonies have hid and obscured the substance of religion; the true life of godliness is smothered down and suppressed by the burden of these human inventions, for their sakes, many, who are both faithful servants to Christ and loyal subjects to the king, are evil spoken of, mocked, reproached, menanced, molested; for their sakes Christian brethren are offended, and the weak are greatly scandalised; for their sakes the most powerful and painful ministers in the land are either thrust out, or threatened to be thrust out from their callings; for their sakes the best qualified and most hopeful expectants are debarred from entering into the ministry; for their sakes the seminaries of learning are so corrupted, that few or no good plants can come forth from thence, for their sakes many are admitted into the sacred ministry, who are either popish and Arminianised, who minister to the flock poison instead of food; or silly ignorants, who can dispense no wholesome food to the hungry; or else vicious in their lives, who draw many with them into the dangerous precipice of soul perdition; or, lastly, so earthly minded, that they favour only the things of this earth, not the things of the Spirit of God, who feed themselves, but not the flock, and to whom the Great Shepherd of the sheep wilt say, “The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost,” Ezek. xxxiv. 4. Simple ones, who have some taste and relish of popish superstition (for many such there be in the land), do suck from the intoxicated drugs of conformity, the softer milk which makes them grow in error. And who can be ignorant what a large spread Popery, Arminianism and reconciliation with Rome, have taken among the arch urgers of the ceremonies? What marvel that Papists clap their hands! for they see the day coming which they wish for. Woe to thee, O land, which bears professed Papists and avouched Atheists, but cannot bear them who desire to “abstain from all appearance of evil,” 1 Thes. v. 22, for truth and equity are fallen in thee, and “he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey,” Isa. lix. 14, 15.

These are the best wares which the big hulk of conformity, favoured with the prosperous gale of mighty authority, hath imported amongst us, and whilst our opposites so quiverly go about to spread the bad wares of these encumbering inconveniences, is it time for as luskishly to sit still and to be silent? “Woe unto us, for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out,” Jer. vi. 4.

Moreover, besides the prevailing inconveniency of the controverted ceremonies, the unlawfulness of them is also plainly evinced in this ensuing dispute by such convincing arguments, as, being duly pondered in the equal balance of an attentive mind, shall, by God's grace, afford satisfaction to so many as purpose to buy the truth, and not to sell it. Wherefore, referring to the dispute the points themselves which are questioned, I am in this place to beseech you all by the mercies of God, that, remembering the words of the Lord, “Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shalt be lightly esteemed,” 1 Sam. ii. 30, remembering, [pg 1-vii] also, the curse and condemnation of Meroz, which came not to help the Lord against the mighty, Judg. v. 23, of the nobles of Tekoa, who put not their necks to the work of the Lord, Neh. iii. 5 and, shortly, of all such as have no courage for the truth, Jer. ix. 3, but seek their own things, not the things which are Jesus Christ's, Phil. ii. 21, and, finally, taking to heart how the Lord Jesus, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with his holy angels, Mark viii. 38, will be ashamed of every one who hath been ashamed of him and his words in the midst of a sinful and crooked generation, you would, with a holy zeal and invincible courage, against all contrary error, superstition, and abuse whatsoever, set yourselves both to speak and do, and likewise (having a calling) to suffer for the truth of Christ and for the purity of his worship, being in nothing terrified by your adversaries, Phil. i. 28, 1 Pet. iii. 14, which, that ye may the better perform, I commend to your thoughts these wholesome admonitions which follow—

I. When you see so much diversity both of opinion and practice in things pertaining to religion, the rather ye ought to give all diligence for trying the things which are different, Phil. i. 10. If you judge us before you hear us, then do you contrary to the very law of nature and nations, John vii. 51, Acts v. 16. Neither will it help you at your reckoning to say, We believed our spiritual guides, our prelates and preachers, whom God had set over us. Nay, what if your guides be blind? then they not only fall in the ditch themselves, but you with them, Matth. iv. 14. Our Master would not have the Jews to rest upon the testimony of John Baptist himself, but would have them to search the Scriptures, John v. 33, 34, 39, by which touch stone the Bereans tried the Apostle's own doctrine, and are commended for so doing, Acts xvii. 11. But as we wish you not to condemn our cause without examining the same by the Word, so neither do we desire you blindly to follow us in adhering unto it, for what if your seeing guides be taken from you? How, then, shall you see to keep out of the ditch? We would neither have you to fight for us nor against us, like the blind sword players, Andabatæ, a people who were said to fight with their eyes closed. Consider, therefore, what we say, and the Lord give you understanding in all things, 2 Tim. ii. 7.

II. Since the God of heaven is the greatest king, who is to rule and reign over you by his Word, which he hath published to the world, and, tunc vere, &c., then is God truly said to reign in us when no worldly thing is harboured and haunted in our souls, saith Theophylact,12 since also the wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God, Rom. viii. 7, who hath made foolish the wisdom of this world, 1 Cor. i. 20, therefore never shall you rightly deprehend the truth of God, nor submit yourselves to be guided by the same, unless, laying aside all the high soaring fancies and presumptuous conceits of natural and worldly wisdom, you come in an unfeigned humility and babe-like simplicity to be edified by the word of righteousness. And far less shall you ever take up the cross and follow Christ (as you are required), except, first of all, you labour and learn to deny yourselves, Matth. xvi. 24, that is, to make no reckoning what come of yourselves, and of all that you have in the world, so that God have glory and yourselves a good conscience, in your doings or sufferings.

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III. If you would not be drawn away after the error of the wicked, neither fall from your own stedfastness, the apostle Peter teacheth you, that ye must grow both in grace and knowledge, 2 Pet. iii. 18, for, if either your minds be darkened through want of knowledge, or your affections frozen through want of the love of God, then are you naked, and not guarded against the tentations of the time. Wherefore, as the perverters of the truth and simplicity of religion do daily multiply errors, so must you (shunning those shelves and quicksands of deceiving errors which witty make-bates design for you), labour daily for increase of knowledge, and as they to their errors in opinion do add the overplus of a licentious practice and lewd conversation, so must you (having so much the more ado to flee from their impiety), labour still for a greature measure of the lively work of sanctifying grace; in which respects Augustine saith well, that the adversaries of the truth do this good to the true members of the church, that the fall of those makes these to take better hold upon God.13

IV. Be not deceived, to think that they who so eagerly press this course of conformity have any such end as God's glory, or the good of his church and profit of religion. When a violent urger of the ceremonies pretendeth religious respects for his proceedings, it may be well answered in Hillary's14 words. Subrepis nomine blandienti, occidis specie religionis—Thou privily creepest in with an enticing title, thou killest with the pretence of religion, for, 1. It is most evidently true of these ceremonies, which our divines15 say of the gestures and rites used in the mass, “They are all frivolous and hypocritical, stealing away true devotion from the heart, and making men to rest in the outward gestures of the body.” There is more sound religion among them who refuse, than among them who receive the same, even our enemies themselves being judges, the reason whereof let me give in the words of one of our opposites16 Supervacua hoec occupatio circa traditiones humanas, gignit semper ignorantiam et contemptum proeceptorum divinorum—This needless business about human traditions doth ever beget the ignorance and contempt of divine commandments. 2. Where read we that the servants of God have at any time sought to advance religion by such hideous courses of stern violence, as are intended and assayed against us by those who press the ceremonies upon us? The jirking and nibbling of their unformal huggermugger cometh nearer to sycophancy than to sincerity, and is sibber to appeaching hostility than fraternal charity, for just so they deal with us as the Arians did with the catholics of old. Sinceros, &c.17 “The sincere teachers of the churches they delated and accused before magistrates, as if they alone did continually perturb the church's peace and tranquillity, and did only labour that the divided churches might never again piously grow together, and by this calumny they persuaded politic and civil men (who did not well enough understand this business), that the godly teachers of the churches should be cast forth into exile, and the Arian wolves should be sent into the sheepfolds of Christ.” Now, forasmuch as God hath said, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,” Isa. ix. 11, and will not have his flock to be ruled with force and with cruelty, [pg 1-ix] Ezek. xxxiv. 4. Nec potest (saith Lactantius18) aut veritas cum vi, aut justitia cum crudelitate conjungi—Neither can either truth be conjoined with violence, or righteousness with cruelty therefore, if our opposites would make it evident that they are in very deed led by religious aims let them resile from their violent proceedings, and deal with us in the spirit of meekness showing us from God's word and good reason the equity of their cause, and iniquity of ours, wherein we require no other thing of them, than that which Lactantius required of the adversaries of his profession, even that they would debate the matter verbis pontius quam verberibus—by words rather than by whips Distringant aciem ingeniorem suorum: siratio eorum vera est, asseratur: parati sumus audire, si doceant—Let them draw out the sharpness of their engines; if their reason be true let it be averred, we are ready to hear, if they teach us. 3. If their aims were truly for the advancement of religion, how comes it to pass, that whilst they make so much ado and move every stone against us for our modest refusing of obedience to certain ordinances of men, which in our consciences we are persuaded to be unlawful, they manumiss and set free the simony, lying, swearing, profanation of the Sabbath, drunkenness, whoredom, with other gross and scandalous vices of some of their own side, by which God's own commandments are most fearfully violated? This just recrimination we may well use for our own most lawful defence. Neither do we hereby intend any man's shame (God knows), but his reformation rather. We wish from our hearts we had no reason to challenge our opposites of that superstition taxed in the Pharisees, Quod argubant &c.—that they accused the disciples of little things, and themselves were guilty in great things, saith Nicolaus Goranus.19

V. Do not account ceremonies to be matters of so small importance that we need not stand much upon them, for, as Hooker20 observeth, a ceremony, through custom, worketh very much with people. Dr Burges allegeth21 for his writing about ceremonies, that the matter is important for the consequence of it. Camero22 thinketh so much of ceremonies, that he holdeth our simplicity to notify that we have the true religion, and that the religion of Papists is superstitious because of their ceremonies. To say the truth, a church is in so far true or hypocritical as it mixeth or not mixeth human inventions with God's holy worship, and hence the Magdeburgians profess,23 that they write of the ceremonies for making a difference betwixt a true and a hypocritical church. Vere enim ecclesia, &c.—for a true church, as it retains pure doctrine, so also it keeps simplicity of ceremonies, &c., but a hypocritical church, as it departs from pure doctrine, so for the most part it changeth and augmenteth the ceremonies instituted of God, and multiplieth its own traditions, &c. And as touching our controverted ceremonies in particular, if you consider what we have written against them, you shall easily perceive that they are matters of no small, but very great consequence. Howbeit these be but the beginnings of evils, and there is a worse gallimaufry gobber-wise prepared. It hath been observed of the warring Turks24 that often they used this notable deceit—to send a lying rumour and a vain tumult [pg 1-x] of war to one place, but, in the meanwhile, to address their true forces to another place, that so they might surprise those who have been unwarily led by pernicious credulity. So have we manifest (alas too, too manifest) reasons to make us conceive, that whilst the chief urgers of the course of conformity are skirmishing with us about the trifling ceremonies (as some men count them), they are but labouring to hold our thoughts so bent and intent upon those smaller quarrels, that we may forget to distinguish betwixt evils immanent and evils imminent, and that we be not too much awake to espy their secret sleight in compassing further aims.

VI. Neither let the pretence of peace and unity cool your fervour, or make you spare to oppose yourselves unto those idle and idolised ceremonies against which we dispute, for whilst our opposites make a vain show and pretence of peace, they do like the Romans,25 who built the Temple of Concord just in the place where the seditious outrages of the two Gracchi, Tiberius and Caius, had been acted, which temple,26 in the subsequent times, did not restrain, but, by the contrary, gave further scope unto more bloody seditions, so that they should have built discord a temple in that place rather than concord, as Augustine pleasantly tickleth them. Do our opposites think that the bane of peace is never in yielding to the course of the time, but ever in refusing to yield? Or will they not rather acknowledge, that as a man is said to be made drunk by drinking the water of Lyncestus, a river of Macedonia,27 no less than if he had filled himself with the strongest wine, so one may be inebriate with a contentious humour in standing stiffly for yielding, as well as in standing stedfastly for refusing? Peace is violated by the oppugners of the truth, but established by the possessors of the same, for (as was rightly said by Georgius Scolarius in the Council of Florence28) the church's peace “can neither stay among men, the truth being unknown, neither can it but needs return, the truth being known.” Nec veritate ignorata manere inter homines potest, nec illa agnita necessario non redire. We must therefore be mortised together, not by the subscudines of error, but by the bands of truth and unity of faith. And we go the true way to regain peace whilst we sue for the removal of those popish ceremonies which have both occasioned and nourished the discord, we only refuse that peace (falsely so called) which will not permit us to brook purity, and that because (as Joseph Hall29 noteth) St James' (chap. iii. 17,) describeth the wisdom which is from above to be “first pure, then peaceable,” whence it cometh that there can be no concord betwixt Christ and antichrist, nor any communion betwixt the temple of God and idols, 2 Cor. vii. 15, 16. Atque ut coelum, &c.: “And though heaven and earth should happen to be mingled together, yet the sincere worship of God and his sacred truth, wherein eternal salvation is laid up for us, should worthily be unto us of more estimation than a hundred worlds,” saith Calvin.30 John Fox31 judgeth it better to contend against those who prefer their own traditions to the commandments of God, than to be at peace with them. True it is,—Pax optima rerum, quas homini novisse datum est.—Yet I trust we may use the words of that great adiaphorist, Georgius Cassander—Ea [pg 1-xi] demion vera, &c. “That alone (saith he) is true and solid Christian peace which is conjoined with the glory of God and the obedience of his will, and is rejoined from all depravation of the heavenly doctrine and divine worship.”

VII. Beware, also, you be not deceived with the pretence of the church's consent, and of uniformity as well with the ancient church as with the now reformed churches, in the forms and customs of both, for, 1. Our opposites cannot show that the sign of the cross was received and used in the church before Tertullian, except they allege either the Montanists or the Valentian heretics for it. Neither yet can they show, that apparel proper for divine service, and distinguished from the common, is more ancient than the days of Pope Cœlestinus, nor lastly, that kneeling in the act of receiving the communion was ever used before the time of Pope Honorious III. They cannot prove any one of the controverted ceremonies to have been in the church the first two hundred years after Christ, except the feast of Easter (which yet can neither be proved to have been observed in the apostles' own age, nor yet to have been established in the after age by any law, but only to have crept in by a certain private custom), and for some of them they cannot find any clear testimony for a long time thereafter. Now, in the third century,32 historiographers observe, that Paulatum ceremoniæ auctæ sunt, hominum superstitionorum opinionibus: unde in baptismo unctionem olei, cruces signaculum, et osculum addiderunt—Ceremonies were by little and little augmented by the opinions of superstitious men, whence it was that they added the unction of oil, the sign of the cross, and a kiss in baptism. And in the fourth century they say, Subinde magis magisque, traditiones humanæ cumulatæ sunt—Forthwith human traditions were more and more augmented. And so from that time forward vain and idle ceremonies were still added to the worship of God, till the same was, under Popery, wholly corrupted with superstitious rites, yes, and Mr Sprint hath told us, even of the first two hundred years after Christ, that the “devil, in those days, began to sow his tares (as the watchmen began to sleep), both of false doctrine and corrupt ceremonies.” And now, though some of the controverted ceremonies have been kept and reserved in many (not all), the reformed churches, yet they are not therefore to be the better liked of. For the reason of the reservation was, because some reverend divines who dealt and laboured in the reformation of those churches, perceiving the occurring lets and oppositions which were caused by most dangerous schisms and seditions, and by the raging of bloody wars, scarcely expected to effectuate so much as the purging of the church from fundamental errors and gross idolatry, which wrought them to be content, that lesser abuses in discipline and church policy should be then tolerated, because they saw not how to overtake them all at that time. In the meanwhile, they were so far from desiring any of the churches to retain these popish ceremonies, which might have convenient occasion of ejecting them (far less to recal them, being once ejected), that they testified plainly their dislike of the same, and wished that those churches wherein they lived, might have some blessed opportunity to be rid of all such rotten relics, riven rags and rotten remainders of Popery. All which, since [pg 1-xii] they were once purged away from the church of Scotland and cast forth as things accursed into the jakes of eternal detestation, how vile and abominable may we now call the resuming of them? Or what a piacular prevarication is it to borrow from any other church which was less reformed, a pattern of policy for this church which was more reformed. But, 2. Though there could be more alleged for the ceremonies than truly there can be, either from the customs of the ancient or reformed churches, yet do our opposites themselves profess, that they will not justify all the ceremonies either of the ancient or reformed churches. And, indeed, who dare take this for a sure rule, that we ought to follow every ancient and universally received custom? For as Casaubon showeth, though the church's consent ought not to be contemned, yet we are not always to hold it for a law or a right rule. And do not our divines teach, that nihil faciendum est ad ahorum exemplum, sed juxta verbum—Nothing is to be done according to the example of others, but according to the word Ut autem, &c. “As the multitude of them who err (saith Osiander), so long prescription of time purchaseth no patrociny to error.”

VIII. Moreover, because the foredeck and hind deck of all our opposites' probations do resolve and rest finally into the authority of a law, and authority they use as a sharp knife to cut every Gordian knot which they cannot unloose, and as a dreadful peal to sound so loud in all ears that reason cannot be heard, therefore we certiorate you with Calvin, that a acquievistis imperio, pessimo laqueo vos in duistis—If you have acquiesced in authority, you have wrapped yourselves in a very evil snare. As touching any ordinance of the church we say with Whittaker, Obediendum ecclesioe est sed jubents ac docenti recta—We are to obey the church but commanding and teaching right things. Surely, if we have not proved the controverted ceremonies to be such things as are not right to be done we shall straight obey all the ceremonial laws made thereanent, and as for the civil magistrate's part, is it not holden that he may not enjoin us “to do that whereof we have not good ground to do it of faith?” and that, “although all thy external condition is in the power of the magistrate, yet internal things, as the keeping of faith, and obedience, and a good conscience, are not in his power.” For every one of us “shall give account of himself to God,” Rom. xiv. 12, but until you hear more in the dispute of the power which either the church or the magistrate hath to enact laws anent things belonging to the worship of God, and of the binding power of the same, let me add here touching human laws in general, that where we have no other reason to warrant unto us the doing of that which a human law prescribeth, beside the bare will and authority of the law maker, in this case a human law cannot bind us to obedience. Aquinas holdeth with Isidore, that a human law (among other conditions of it) must both be necessary for removing of some evil, and likewise profitable for guiding us to some good. Gregorius Sayrus following them herein, saith, Debet lex homines a malo retrahere, et idio dicatur necessaria debet [pg 1-xiii] etiam promovere in bonum, et ideo dicitur utilis—A law ought to draw back men from evil, and therefore is called necessary, it ought also to promove them unto good, and therefore is called profitable. Human laws, in Mr Hooker's judgment,33 must teach what is good, and be made for the benefit of men. Demosthenes34 describeth a law to be such a thing cui convenit omnibus parere which it is convenient for every one to obey. Camero35 not only alloweth us to seek a reason of the church's laws (Non enim saith he, verae ecclesiae libet leges ferre quarum non reddat rationem—It pleaseth not the true church to make and publish laws, whereof she giveth not a reason), but he36 will likewise have us, in such things as concern the glory and honour of God, not to obey the laws of any magistrate blindly and without a reason. “There was one (saith the Bishop of Winchester37), that would not have his will stand for reason, and was there none such among the people of God? Yes, we find, 1 Sam. ii, one of whom it is said, Thus it must be, for Hophni will not have it so, but thus his reason is, For he will not. And God grant none such may be found among Christians.” From Scripture we learn, that neither hath the magistrate any power, but for our good only, Rom. xiii. 4, nor yet hath the church any power, but for our edification only, Ephes. iv. 12. Law makers, therefore, may not enjoin quod libet, that which liketh them, nay, nor always quod licet, that which is in itself lawful, but only quod expedit, that which is expedient and good to the use of edifying. And to them we may well say with Tertullian,38 Iniquam exercetis dominationem si ideo negatis licere quia vultis, non quia debuit non licere—You exercise an unjust dominion, if, therefore, you deny anything to be free, because you will so, not because it ought not to be free. Besides all this, there is nothing which any way pertaineth to the worship of God left to the determination of human laws, beside the mere circumstances, which neither have any holiness in them, forasmuch as they have no other use and praise in sacred than they have in civil things, nor yet were particularly determinable in Scripture, because they are infinite, but sacred, significant ceremonies, such as cross, kneeling, surplice, holidays, bishopping, &c., which have no use and praise except in religion only, and which, also, were most easily determinate (yet not determined) within those bounds which the wisdom of God did set to his written word, are such things as God never left to the determination of any human law. Neither have men any power to burden us with those or such like ordinances, “For (saith not our Lord himself to the churches), I will put upon you none other burden, but that which ye have already, hold fast till I come,” Rev. ii. 24, 25. Wherefore, pro hac, &c., for this liberty we ought stoutly to fight against false teachers.39 Finally, it is to be noted, that though in some things we may and do commendably refuse obedience to the laws of them whom God hath set over us, yet are we ever obliged (and accordingly intend) still to subject ourselves onto them, for to be subject doth signify (as Zanchius showeth40), to be placed under, to be subordinate, and so to give honour and reverence to him who is above, which may well stand without obedience to every one of [pg 1-xiv] his laws. Yea, and Dr Field41 also tells us, that “subjection is generally and absolutely required where obedience is not.”

IX. Forasmuch as some ignorant ones are of opinion, that when they practise the ceremonies, neither perceiving any unlawfulness in them (but, by the contrary, being persuaded in their consciences of the lawfulness of the same), nor yet having any evil meaning (but intending God's glory and the peace of the church), therefore they practise them with a good conscience. Be not ye also deceived, but rather advert unto this, that a peaceable conscience, allowing that which a man doth, is not ever a good conscience, but oftentimes an erring, bold, presuming, secure, yea, perhaps, a seared conscience. A good conscience, the testimony whereof giveth a man true peace in his doings, is, and is only, such a one as is rightly informed out of the word of God. Neither doth a good meaning excuse any evil action, or else they who killed the apostles were to be excused, because in so doing they thought they did God good service, John xiv. 2. It is the observation even of Papists, that men may commit many a soul-ruining scandal, though they intend no such thing as the ruin of souls.42

X. If once you yield to these English ceremonies, think not that thereafter you can keep yourselves back from any greater evils, or grosser corruptions which they draw after them; for as it is just with God to give such men over to strong delusions as have not received the love of the truth, nor taken pleasure in the sincerity of his worship, 2 Thess. ii. 10, 11; so there is not a more deceitful and dangerous temptation than in yielding to the beginnings of evil. “He that is unjust in the least, is also unjust in much” saith he who could not lie, Luke xvi. 20. When Uriah the priest had once pleased king Ahaz, in making an altar like unto that at Damascus, he was afterwards led on to please him in a greater matter, even in forsaking the altar of the Lord, and in offering all the sacrifices upon the altar of Damascus, 2 Kings xvi. 10-16. All your winning or losing of a good conscience, is in your first buying; for such is the deceitfulness of sin, and the cunning conveyance of that old serpent, that if his head be once entering in, his whole body will easily follow after; and if he make you handsomely to swallow gnats at first, he will make you swallow camels ere all be done. Oh, happy they who dash the little ones of Babylon against the stones! Psal. cxxxvii. 9.

XI. Do not reckon it enough to bear within the inclosure of your secret thoughts a certain dislike of the ceremonies and other abuses now set afoot, except both by profession and action you evidence the same, and so show your faith by your fact. We are constrained to say to some among you, with Elijah, “How long halt ye between two opinions?” 1 Kings xviii. 21; and to call unto you, with Moses, “Who is on the Lord's side?” Exod. xxxii. 26. Who? “Be not deceived; God is not mocked;” Gal. vi. 7; and, “No man can serve two masters,” Mat. vi. 24. However, he that is not against us, pro tanto, is with us, Mark ix. 40, that is, in so far he so obligeth himself unto us as that he cannot speak lightly evil of our cause, and we therein rejoice, and will rejoice, Phil. i. 18; yet, simpliciter, he that is not with us is against us, Matt. xii. 30; [pg 1-xv] that is, he who by profession and practice showeth not himself to be on our side, is accounted before God to be our enemy.

XII. Think not the wounds which the church hath received by means of these nocent ceremonies to be so deadly and desperate, as if there were no balm in Gilead; neither suffer your minds so far to miscarry as to think that ye wish well to the church, and are heartily sorry that matters frame with her as they do, whilst, in the meantime, you essay no means, you take no pains and travail for her help. When king Ahasuerus had given forth a decree for the utter extirpation of the Jews, Mordecai feared not to tell Esther, that if she should then hold her peace enlargement and deliverance should arise unto the Jews from another place, but she and her father's house should be destroyed; whereupon she, after three days' humiliation and prayer to God, put her very life in hazard by going in to supplicate the king, which was not according to the law, Esth. iv. But now, alas! there are too many professors who detract themselves from undergoing lesser hazards for the church's liberty, yea, from using those very defences which are according to the laws of the kingdom. Yet most certain it is, that without giving diligence in the use of the means, you shall neither convince your adversaries, nor yet exonerate your own consciences, nor, lastly, have such comfort in the day of your suffering as otherwise you should. I know that principally, and, above all, we are to offer up to God prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, which are the weapons of our spiritual warfare, Heb. v. 7; but as this ought to be done, so the achieving of other secondary means ought not to be left undone.

If you disregard these things whereof, in the name of God, I have admonished you, and draw back your helping hands from the reproached and afflicted cause of Christ, for which we plead, then do not put evil far from you, for wrath is determined against you. And as for you, my dear brethren and countrymen of Scotland, as it is long since first Christianity was preached and professed in this land, as also it was blessed with a most glorious [pg 1-xvi] and much-renowned Reformation:43 and, further, as the gospel hath been longer continued in purity and peace with us than with any church in Europe: moreover, as the Church of Scotland hath treacherously broken her bonds of oath and subscription wherewith other churches about us were not so tied; and, finally, as Almighty God, though he hath almost consumed other churches by his dreadful judgments, yet hath showed far greater long-suffering kindness towards us, to reclaim us to repentance, though, notwithstanding all this, we go on in a most doleful security, induration, blindness, and backsliding: so now, in the most ordinary course of God's justice, we are certainly to expect, that after so many mercies, so great long-suffering, and such a long day of grace, all despised, he is to send upon us such judgments as should not be believed though they were told. O Scotland! understand and turn again, or else, as God lives, most terrible judgments are abiding thee.

But if you lay these things to heart,—if you be humbled before God for the provocation of your defection, and turn back from the same,—if with all your hearts and according to all your power, you bestow your best endeavours for making help to the wounded church of Christ, and for vindicating the cause of pure religion, yea, though it were with the loss of all that you have in the world, (augetur enim religio Dei, quo magis premitur44—God's true religion is enlarged the more it is pressed down), then shall you not only escape the evils which shall come upon this generation, but likewise be recompensed a hundred fold with the sweet consolations of God's Spirit here, and with the immortal crown of never fading glory hence. Now, our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, stablish you and keep you from evil, that ye may be presented before his throne. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.

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How good reason those wise men had for them who did not allow of the English popish ceremonies at the first introducing of these novations into the Church of Scotland, foreseeing the bad effects and dangerous evils which might ensue thereupon, and how greatly the other sort were mistaken who did then yield to the same, apprehending no danger in them, it is this day too too apparent to us whose thoughts concerning the event of this course cannot be holden in suspense betwixt the apprehensions of fear and expectations of hope, because doleful experience hath made us feel that which the wiser sort before did fear. Since, then, this church, which was once a praise in the earth, is now brought to a most deplorable and daily increasing desolation by the means of these ceremonies, which have been both the sparkles to kindle, and the bellows to blow up, the consuming fire of intestine dissensions among us, it concerneth all her children, not only to cry out Ah! and Alas! and to “bewail with the weeping of Jazer,” Isa. xvi. 9, but also to bethink themselves most seriously how to succour their dear, though distressed mother, in such a calamitous case. Our best endeavours which we are to employ for this end, next unto praying earnestly “for the peace of Jerusalem,” Psal. cxxii. 6, are these: 1. So far as we have attained “to walk by the same rule, to mind the same thing,” Phil. iii. 19, and to labour as much as is possible that the course of the gospel, the doctrine of godliness, the practice of piety lie not behind, because of our differing one from another about the ceremonies, lest otherwise τὸ ἔργον grow to be πάρεργον. 2. In such things whereabout we agree not, to make diligent search and inquiry for the truth. For to have our judgments in our heels, and so blindly to follow every opinion which is broached, and squarely to conform unto every custom which is set afoot, becometh not men who are endued with reason for discerning of things beseeming from things not beseeming, far less Christians, who should have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Heb. v. 14, and who have received a commandment “to prove all things,” 1 Thess. v. 21, before they hold fast anything; and least of all doth it become us who live in these most dangerous days, wherein error and defection so much abound. 3. When we have attained to the acknowledging of the truth, then to give a testimony unto the same, according to our vocation, contending for the truth of God against the errors of men, for the purity of Christ against the corruptions of Antichrist: For to understand the truth, and yet not contend for it, argueth cowardliness, not courage; fainting, not fervour; lukewarmness, not love; weakness, not valour. Wherefore, since we cannot impetrate from the troublers of our Israel that true peace which derogateth not from the truth, we may not, we dare not, leave off to debate with them. Among the laws of Solon, there was one which pronounced him defamed and unhonest who, in a civil uproar among the citizens, sitteth still a looker-on and a neuter (Plut. in Vita. Solon); much more deserve they to be so accounted of who shun to meddle with any controversy which disquieted the church, whereas they should labour to win the adversaries of the truth, and, if they prove obstinate, to defend and propugn the truth against them. In things of this life (as Calvin noteth in Epist. ad Protect. Angl.) we may remit so much of the right as the love of peace requireth, but as for the regiment of the church which is spiritual, and wherein everything ought to be ordered according to the word of God, it is not in the power of any mortal man quidquam hic aliis dare, aut in illorum gratiam deflectere. These considerations have induced me to bestow some time, and to take some pains in the study of the controversies which are agitated in this church about the ceremonies, and (after due examination and discussion of the writings of such as have played the proctors for them) to compile this ensuing dispute against them, both for exonering myself, and for provoking of others to contend yet more for the truth, and for Zion's sake not to hold their peace, nor be at rest, until the amiable light of long-wished-for peace break forth out of all these confusions, Isa. lxii. 1; which, O Prince of Peace! hasten, who “wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us,” Isa. xxvi. 12.

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Because polemic and eristic discourses must follow the adversaries at the heels whithersoever they go, finding them out in all the lurking-places of their elaborate subterfuges, and conflicting with them wheresoever they pitch, until not only all their blows be awarded, but themselves also all derouted, therefore, perceiving the informality of the Formalists to be such that sometimes they plead for the controverted ceremonies as necessary, sometimes as expedient, sometimes as lawful, and sometimes as indifferent, I resolve to follow the trace, and to evince, by force of reason, that there is none of all those respects to justify either the urging or the using of them. And albeit the Archbishop of Spalato (Pref. Libror. de Rep. Eccl.) cometh forth like an Olympic champion, stoutly brandishing and bravading, and making his account that no antagonist can match him except a prelate, albeit likewise the Bishop of Edinburgh (Proc. in Perth, Assembly, part iii. p. 55) would have us to think that we are not well advised to enter into combat with such Achillean strength as they have on their side, yet must our opposites know, that we have more daring minds than to be dashed with the vain flourish of their great words. Wherefore, in all these four ways wherein I am to draw the line of my dispute, I will not shun to encounter and handle strokes with the most valiant champions of that faction, knowing that—Trophoeum ferre me à forti viro, pulchrum est: sin autem et vincar, vinci à tali nullum est probrum—But what? Shall I speak doubtfully of the victory, or fear the foil? Nay, I consider that there is none of them so strong as he was who said, “We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth,” 2 Cor. xxiii. 8. I will therefore boldly adventure to combat with them even where they seem to be strongest, and to discuss their best arguments, allegations, answers, assertions, and distinctions. And my dispute shall consist of four parts, according to those four pretences which are given out for the ceremonies, which, being so different one from another, must be severally examined. The lawfulness of a thing is in that it may be done; the indifferency of it in that it may either be done or left undone, the expediency of it in that it is done profitably; and the necessity of it in that it may not be left undone. I will begin with the last respect first, as that which is the weightiest.

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Sect. 1. This I prove, 1. From their practice; 2. From their pleading. In their practice, who seeth not that they would tie the people of God to a necessity of submitting their necks to this heavy yoke of human ceremonies? which are with more vehemency, forwardness, and strictness urged, than the weighty matters of the law of God, and the refusing whereof is far more inhibited, menaced, espied, delated, aggravated, censured, and punished, than idolatry, Popery, blasphemy, swearing, profanation of the Sabbath, murder, adultery, &c. Both preachers and people have been, and are, fined, confined, imprisoned, banished, censured, and punished so severely, that he may well say of them that which our divines say of the Papists, Hoec sua inventa Decalago anteponunt, et gravius eos-multarent qui ea violarent, quam qui divina praecepta transgrederentur.45 Wherefore, seeing they make not only as much, but more ado, about the controverted ceremonies than about the most necessary things in religion, their practice herein makes it too, too apparent what necessity they annex to them.

Sect. 2. And if we will hearken to their pleading it tells no less; for howbeit they plead for their ceremonies, as things indifferent in their own nature, yet, when the [pg 1-002] ceremonies are considered as the ordinances of the church, they plead for them as things necessary. M. G. Powel, in the Consideration of the Arguments directed to the High Court of Parliament in behalf of the Ministers suspended and deprived (ans. 3 to arg. 16), hath these words, yea, these particulars: “Subscription, ceremonies, &c., being imposed by the church, and commanded by the magistrate, are necessary to be observed under the pain of sin.” The Bishop of Edinburgh resolves us concerning the necessity of giving obedience to the laws of the church, enacted anent the ceremonies, thus: “Where a man hath not a law, his judgment is the rule of his conscience, but where there is a law, the law must be the rule. As, for example, before that apostolical canon that forbade to eat blood or strangled things, every man might have done that which in his conscience he thought most expedient, &c., but after the making and the publication of the canon that enjoined abstinence, the same was to rule their consciences. And, therefore, after that time, albeit a man had thought in his own private judgment that to abstain from these things was not expedient, &c. yet, in that case, he ought not to have eaten, because now the will of the law, and not the judgment of his own mind, was the rule of his conscience.”46 The Archbishop of St Andrews, to the same purpose saith, “In things indifferent we must always esteem that to be best and [pg 1-003] most seemly which seemeth so in the eye of public authority, neither is it for private men to control public judgment, as they cannot make public constitutions, so they may not control nor disobey them, being once made, indeed authority ought to look well to this, that it prescribe nothing but rightly, appoint no rights nor orders in the church but such as may set forward godliness and piety, yet, put the case, that some be otherwise established, they must be obeyed by such as are members of that church, as long as they have the force of a constitution, &c. But thou wilt say, My conscience suffers me not to obey, for I am persuaded that such things are not right, nor appointed. I answer thee, In matters of this nature and quality the sentence of thy superiors ought to direct thee, and that is a sufficient ground to thy conscience for obeying.”47 Thus we see that they urge the ceremonies, not only with a necessity of practice upon the outward man, but also with a necessity of opinion upon the conscience, and that merely because of the church's determination and appointment; yea, Dr Mortoune maketh kneeling in the act of receiving the communion to be in some sort necessary in itself, for he maintaineth,48 that though it be not essentially necessary as food, yet it is accidentally necessary as physic. Nay, some of them are yet more absurd, who plainly call the ceremonies necessary in themselves,49 beside the constitution of the church. Others of them, who confess the ceremonies to be not only unnecessary,50 but also inconvenient, do, notwithstanding, plead for them as things necessary. Dr Burges tells us,51 that some of his side think that ceremonies are inconvenient, but withal he discovers to us a strange mystery brought out of the unsearchable deepness of his piercing conception, holding that such things as not only are not at all necessary in themselves,52 but are inconvenient too, may yet be urged as necessary.

Sect. 3. The urging of these ceremonies as necessary, if there were no more, is a sufficient reason for our refusing them. “To the precepts of God (saith Balduine) nothing is to be added,53 Deut. xii. Now God [pg 1-004] hath commanded these things which are necessary. The rites of the church are not necessary, wherefore, if the abrogation or usurpation of any rite be urged as necessary, then is an addition made to the commandment of God, which is forbidden in the word, and, by consequence, it cannot oblige me, neither should anything herein be yielded unto.” Who can purge these ceremonies in controversy among us of gross superstition, since they are urged as things necessary? But of this superstition we shall hear afterward in its proper place.



The Bishop of Edinburgh, to prove that of necessity our consciences must be ruled by the will of the law, and that it is necessary that we give obedience to the same, albeit our consciences gainsay, allegeth that apostolical canon,54 Acts xv., for an example, just as Bellarmine maintaineth, Festorum observationem ex se indifferentem esse sed posita lege fieri necessariam55. Hospinian, answering him, will acknowledge no necessity of the observation of feasts, except divine law could be showed for it.56 So say we, that the ceremonies which are acknowledged by formalists to be indifferent in themselves, cannot be made necessary by the law of the church, neither doth that example of the apostolical canon make anything against us, for, according to Mr Sprint's confession,57 it was not the force or authority of the canon, but the reason and ground whereupon the canon was made, which caused the necessity of abstaining, and to abstain was necessary for eschewing of scandal, whether the apostles and elders had enjoined abstinence or not.58 The reason, then, why the things prescribed in that canon are called necessary, ver. 28, is not because, being indifferent before the making and publication of the canon, they became necessary by virtue of the canon after it was made, as the Bishop teacheth, but quia tunc [pg 1-005] charitas exigebat, ut illa sua libertate qui ex gentibus conversi erant, propter proximi edificationem inter judeos non uterentur, sed ab ea abstinerent, saith Chemnitius.59 This law, saith Tilen,60 was propter charitatem et vitandi offendiculi necessitatem ad tempus sancita. So that these things were necessary before the canon was made. Necessaria fuerunt, saith Ames,61 antequam Apostoli quidquam de iis statuerant, non absolute, sed quatenus in iis charitas jubebat morem gerere infirmis, ut cajetanus notat. Quamobrem, saith Tilen,62 cum charitas semper sit colenda, semper vitanda sandala. “Charity is necessary (saith Beza), even in things which are in themselves indifferent.”63 What they can allege for the necessity of the ceremonies, from the authority and obligatory power of ecclesiastical laws, shall be answered by and by.



Sect. 1. Who can blame us for standing to the defence of our Christian liberty, which we ought to defend and pretend in rebus quibusvis? saith Bucer.64 Shall we bear the name of Christians, and yet make no great account of the liberty which hath been bought to us by the dearest drops of the precious blood of the Son of God? Sumus empti, saith Parcus:65 non igitur nostri juris ut nos mancipemus hominum servitio: id enim manifesta cum injuria redemptoris Christi fieret: sumus liberti Christi. Magistratui autem, saith Tilen,66 et ecclesioe proepositis, non nisi usque ad aras obtemperandum, neque ullum certamen aut periculum pro libertatis per Christum nobis partæ defensione defugiendum, siquidem mortem ipsius irritam fieri, Paulus asserit, si spiritualis servitutis jugo, nos implicari patiamur. Gal. v. 1, “Let us stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ [pg 1-006] hath made us free, and not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” But that the urging of the ceremonies as necessary doth take away our Christian liberty, I will make it evident in four points.

Sect. 2. First, They are imposed with a necessity of practice. Spotswood tells us,67 that public constitutions must be obeyed, and that private men may not disobey them, and thus is our practice adstricted in the use of things which are not at all necessary, and acknowledged gratis by the urgers to be indifferent, adstricted (I say) to one part without liberty to the other, and that by the mere authority of a human constitution, whereas Christian liberty gives us freedom both for the omission and for the observation of a thing indifferent, except some other reason do adstrict and restrain it than a bare human constitution. Chrysostome, speaking of such as are subject to bishops,68 saith, In potestate positum est obedire vel non. Liberty in things indifferent,69 saith Amandus Polanus, est per quam Christiani sunt liberi in usu vel abstinentia rerum adiaphorarom. Calvin, speaking of our liberty in things indifferent,70 saith, We may eas nunc usurpare nunc omittere indifferenter, and places this liberty,71 tam in abstinendo quam in utendo. It is marked of the rites of the ancient church,72 that liberae fuerunt horum rituum observationes in ecclesia. And what meaneth the Apostle while he saith, “If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using,) after the commandments and doctrines of men?” Col. ii. 20-22. Surely he condemneth not only humana decreta de ritibus, but also subjection and obedience to such ordinances of men as take from us liberty of practice in the use of things indifferent,73 obedience (I say) for conscience of their ordinances merely. What meaneth also that place, 1 Cor. vii. 23, “Be not ye the servants of men?” “It forbids us, (saith Paybody) to be the servants of men, that is, in wicked or superstitious actions, according to their perverse commandments [pg 1-007] or desires.”74 If he mean of actions that are wicked or superstitious in themselves, then it followeth, that to be subject unto those ordinances, “Touch not, taste not, handle not,” is not to be the servants of men, because these actions are not wicked and superstitious in themselves. Not touching, not tasting, not handling, are in themselves indifferent. But if he mean of actions which are wicked and superstitious, in respect of circumstances, then is his restrictive gloss senseless; for we can never be the servants of men, but in such wicked and superstitious actions, if there were no more but giving obedience to such ordinances as are imposed with a necessity upon us, and that merely for conscience of the ordinance, it is enough to infect the actions with superstition, Sunt hominum servi, saith Bullinqer,75 qui aliquid in gratiam hominum faciunt. This is nearer the truth; for to tie ourselves to the doing of anything for the will or pleasure of men, when our conscience can find no other reason for the doing of it, were indeed to make ourselves the servants of men. Far be it then from us to submit our necks to such a heavy yoke of human precepts, as would overload and undo us. Nay, we will stedfastly resist such unchristian tyranny as goeth about to spoil us of Christian liberty, taking that for certain which we find in Cyprian,76 periculosum est in divinis rebus ut quis cedat jure suo.

Sect. 3. Two things are here replied, 1. That there is reason for adstricting of our practice in these things, because we are commanded to obey them that have the rule over us, and to submit ourselves, Heb. xiii. 17,77 and to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, 1 Pet. ii. 16, and that except public constitutions must needs be obeyed, there can be no order,78 but all shall be filled with strife and contention. Ans. 1. As touching obedience to those that are set over us, if they mean not to tyrannise over the Lord's inheritance, 1 Pet. v. 3; and to make the commandments of God of no effect by their traditions, Mark vii. 9, they must give us leave to try their precepts by the sure will of God's word; and when we find that they require of us anything in the worship of God which is [pg 1-008] either against or beside his written word, then modestly to refuse obedience, which is the only way for order, and shunning of strife and contention. It will be said again, that except we prove the things commanded by those who are set over us to be unlawful in themselves, we cannot be allowed to refuse obedience to their ordinances. Ans. This unlawfulness of the ceremonies in themselves hath been proved by us already, and shall yet again be proved in this dispute. But put the case, they were lawful in themselves, yet have we good reason for refusing them: “David thought the feeding of his body was cause sufficient to break the law of the shew-bread; Christ thought the satisfying of the disciples' hunger to be cause sufficient to break the ceremony of the Sabbath. He thought, also, that the healing of the lepers' bodies was a just excuse to break the law that forbade the touching of them; much more, then, may we think now in our estimation, that the feeding of other men's souls, the satisfying of our own consciences, together with the consciences of other men, and the healing of men's superstition and spiritual leprosy, are causes sufficient to break the law of the ceremonies and of the cross, which are not God's but men's,” saith Parker.79 2. As touching submission or subjection, we say with Dr Field,80 that subjection is generally and absolutely required where obedience is not, and even when our consciences suffer us not to obey, yet still we submit and subject ourselves, and neither do nor shall (I trust) show any the least contempt of authority.

Sect. 4. Secondly, It is replied, that our Christian liberty is not taken away when practice is restrained, because conscience is still left free. “The Christian liberty (saith Paybody81), is not taken away by the necessity of doing a thing indifferent, or not doing, but only by that necessity which takes away the opinion or persuasion of its indifferency,” So saith Dr Burges,82 “That the ceremonies in question are ordained to be used necessarily, though the judgment concerning them, and immediate conscience to God, be left free.” Ans. 1. Who doubts of this, that liberty of practice may be restrained in the use of things which are in [pg 1-009] themselves indifferent? But, yet, if the bare authority of an ecclesiastical law, without any other reason than the will and pleasure of men, be made to restrain practice, then is Christian liberty taken away. Junius saith,83 that externum opus ligatur from the use of things indifferent, when the conscience is not bound; but in that same place he showeth, that the outward action is bound and restrained only quo usque circumstantiae ob quas necessitas imperata est, se extendunt. So that it is not the authority of an ecclesiastical law, but the occasion and ground of it, which adstricts the practice when the conscience is left free. 2. When the authority of the church's constitution is obtruded to bind and restrain the practice of Christians in the use of things indifferent, they are bereaved of their liberty, as well as if an opinion of necessity were borne in upon their consciences. Therefore we see when the Apostle, 1 Cor. vii., gives liberty of marriage, he doth not only leave the conscience free in its judgment of the lawfulness of marriage, but also give liberty of practice to marry or not to marry. And Col. ii. 21, when he giveth instances of such human ordinances as take away Christian liberty, he saith not, you must think that you may not touch, &c., but “touch not,” &c., telling us, that when the practice is restrained from touching, tasting, handling, by the ordinances of men, then is Christian liberty spoiled, though the conscience be left free. Camero, speaking of the servitude which is opposed to Christian liberty, saith,84 that it is either animi servitus, or corporis servitus. Then if the outward man be brought in bondage, this makes up spiritual thraldom, though there be no more. But, 3. The ceremonies are imposed with an opinion of necessity upon the conscience itself, for proof whereof I proceed to the next point.



Sect. 1. Bishop Lindsey hath told us,85 that the will of the law must be the rule of our [pg 1-010] conscience, so that conscience may not judge other ways than the law determines. Bishop Spotswood will have the sentence of superiors to direct the conscience,86 and will have us to esteem that to be best and most seemly which seemeth so to them. Bishop Andrews, speaking of ceremonies,87 not only will have every person inviolably to observe the rites and customs of his own church, but also will have the ordinances about those rites to be urged under pain of the anathema. I know not what the binding of the conscience is, if this be not it: Apostolus gemendi partes relinquit, non cogendi auctoritatem tribuit ministris quibus plebs non auscultat.88 And shall they who call themselves the apostles' successors, compel, constrain and enthral, the consciences of the people of God? Charles V., as popish as he was, did promise to the Protestants,89 Nullam vim ipsorum conscientiis illatum iri. And shall a popish prince speak more reasonable than protestant prelates? But to make it yet more and plentifully to appear how miserably our opposites would enthral our consciences, I will here show, 1. What the binding of the conscience is. 2. How the laws of the church may be said to bind. 3. What is the judgment of formalists touching the binding-power of ecclesiastical laws.

Sect. 2. Concerning the first of these we will hear what Dr Field saith:90 “To bind the conscience (saith he) is to bind the soul and spirit of man, with the fear of such punishments (to be inflicted by him that so bindeth) as the conscience feareth; that is, as men fear, though none but God and themselves be privy to their doings; now these are only such as God only inflicteth,” &c. This description is too imperfect, and deserves to be corrected. To bind the conscience is illam auctoritatem habere, ut conscientia illi subjicere sese debeat, ita ut peccatum sit, si contra illam quidquam fiat, saith Ames.91 “The binder (saith Perkins92) is that thing whatsoever which hath power and authority over conscience to order it. To bind is to urge, cause, and constrain it in every action, either to accuse for sin, or to excuse for well-doing; or to say, this [pg 1-011] may be done, or it may not be done.” “To bind the conscience (saith Alsted93) est illam urgere et adigere, ut vel excuset et accuset, vel indicet quid fieri aut non fieri possit.” Upon these descriptions, which have more truth and reason in them, I infer that whatsoever urges, or forces conscience to assent to a thing as lawful, or a thing that ought to be done, or dissent from a thing as unlawful, or a thing which ought not to be done, that is a binder of conscience, though it did not bind the spirit of a man with the fear of such punishments as God alone inflicteth. For secluding all respect of punishment, and not considering what will follow, the very obliging of the conscience for the time, ad assensum, is a binding of it.94

Sect. 3. Touching the second, it is certain that human laws, as they come from men, and in respect of any force or authority which men can give them, have no power to bind the conscience. Neque enim cum hominibus, sed cum uno Deo negotium est conscientis nostris, saith Calvin.95 Over our souls and consciences, nemini quicquam juris nisi Deo, saith Tilen.96 From Jerome's distinction, that a king praeest nolentibus but a bishop volentibus, Marcus Antonius de Dominis well concludeth: Volentibus gregi praeesso, excludit omnem jurisdictionem et potestatem imperativam ac coactivam et solam significat directivam, ubi, viz., in libertate subditi est et parere et non parere, ita ut qui praeest nihil habeat quo nolentem parere adigat ad parendum.97 This point he proveth in that chapter at length, where he disputeth both against temporal and spiritual coactive jurisdiction in the church. If it be demanded to what purpose serveth then the enacting of ecclesiastical laws, since they have not in them any power to bind the conscience, I answer, The use and end for which ecclesiastical laws do serve is, 1. For the plain discovery of such things as the law of God or nature do require of us, so that law which of itself hath power to bind, cometh from the priests and ministers of the Lord neither ἀντοκρατορικῶς nor νομοθετικῶς, but declarativè, Mal. ii. 7. 2. For declaring to us what is fittest in such things as are, in their own nature, indifferent, and neither enforced by [pg 1-012] the law of God nor nature, and which part should be followed in these things as most convenient. The laws of the church, then, are appointed to let us see the necessity of the first kind of things, and what is expedient in the other kind of things, and therefore they are more properly called directions, instructions, admonitions, than laws. For I speak of ecclesiastical laws qua tales, that is, as they are the constitutions of men who are set over us; thus considered, they have only vim dirigendi et monendi.98 It is said of the apostles, that they were constituted doctrinae Christi testes, non novae doctrinae legist tores.99 And the same may be said of all the ministers of the gospel, when discipline is taken in with doctrine. He is no nonconformist who holdeth ecclesiam in terris agere partes oratoris, seu legati obsecrantis et suadentis.100 And we may hitherto apply that which Gerson, the chancellor of Paris, saith:101 “The wisest and best among the guides of God's church had not so ill a meaning as to have all their constitutions and ordinances taken for laws properly so named, much less strictly binding the conscience, but for threatenings, admonitions, counsels, and directions only, and when there groweth a general neglect, they seem to consent to the abolishing of them again;” for seeing, lex instituitur, cum promulgatur, vigorem habet, cum moribus utentium approbatur.

Sect. 4. But as we have seen in what respect the laws of the church do not bind, let us now see how they may be said to bind. That which bindeth is not the authority of the church, nor any force which the church can give to her laws. It must be then somewhat else which maketh them able to bind, when they bind at all, and that is ratio legis, “the reason of the law,” without which the law itself cannot bind, and which hath the chiefest and most principal power of binding. An ecclesiastical law, saith Junius,102 διαταξις sive depositio, non vere lex est, sed διατυπωσις aut canon, ac proindedirigit quidem ut canon agentem voluntarie: non autem necessitate cogit, ut lex etiam involuntarium quod si forte ante accedit coactio, ea non est de natura canonis sed altunde pervenit. An ecclesiastical canon, [pg 1-013] saith Tilen,103 ducit volentem, non trahit nolentem: quod si accedat coactio, ea ecclesiastici canonis natura est prorsus aliena, Calvin's judgment is,104 that an ecclesiastical canon binds, when manifestam utilitatem prae se fert, and when either tu prepon or charitatis ratio doth require, that we impose a necessity on our liberty. It binds not, then, by its own authority in his mind. And what saith the canon law itself?105 Sed sciendum est quod ecclesiasticae prohibitiones proprias habent causas quibus cessantibus, cessant et ipsae. Hence Junius saith,106 that the law binds not per se, but only propter ordinem charitatem, et cautionem scandali. Hence Ames,107 quamvis ad justas leges humanas, justo modo observandas, obligentur homines in conscientiis suis a Deo; ipsae tamen leges humanae, qua sunt leges hominum, non obligant conscientiam. Hence Alsted:108 “Laws made by men of things indifferent, whether they be civil or ecclesiastical, do bind the conscience, in so far as they agree with God's word, serve for the public good, maintain order, and finally, take not away liberty of conscience.” Hence the professors of Leyden say,109 that laws bind not primo et per se, sed secundario, et per accidens; that is,110 quatenus in illis lex aliqua Dei violator. Hence I may compare the constitutions of the church with responsa juris consultorum among the Romans, which obliged no man, nisi ex aequo et bono, saith Daneus.111 Hence it may be said, that the laws of the church do not only bind scandali et contemptus ratione, as Hospinian,112 and in case libertas fiat cum scandalo, as Parcus;113 for it were scandal not to give obedience to the laws of the church, when they prescribe things necessary or expedient for the eschewing of scandal, and it were contempt to refuse obedience to them, when we are not certainly persuaded of the unlawfulness or inexpediency of the things prescribed.

Sect. 5. But out of the case of scandal or contempt, divines teach that conscience is not bound by the canon of the church made [pg 1-014] about order and policy. Extra casum scandali et destinatae rebellionis, propter commune bonum, non peccat qui contra constitutiones istas fecerit, saith Junius.114 “If a law (saith Perkins)115 concerning some external right or thing indifferent, be at some time or upon some occasion omitted, no offence given, nor contempt showed to ecclesiastical authority, there is no breach made in the conscience.” Alsted's rule is,116 Leges humanae non obligant quando omitti possunt sine impedimento finis ob quem feruntur sine scandalo aliorum, et sine contemptu legislatoris. And Tilen teacheth us,117 that when the church hath determined the mutable circumstances, in the worship of God, for public edification, privatorum conscientiis liberum est quandoque ista omittere, modo offendicula vitentur, nihil que ex contemptu ecclesiae ac ministerii publici petulanti καινοτομια vel κειοδοξια facere videantur.

Sect. 6. We deny not, then, that the church's canons about rites, which serve for public order and edification, do bind. We say only, that it is not the authority of the church framing the canon that binds, but the matter of the canon chiefly warranted by God's word.118 Scimus enim quaecunque ad decorum et ordinem pertinent, non habenda esse pro humanis placitas, quia divinitus approbantur. Therefore we think concerning such canons, “that they are necessary to be observed so far forth only, as the keeping of them maintaineth decent order, and preventeth open offence.”119

Sect. 7. If any say that I derogate much from the authority of the church when I do nothing which she prescribeth, except I see it lawful and expedient, because I should do this much for the exhortation and admonition of a brother. Ans. 1. I give far more reverence to the direction of the church than to the admonition of a brother, because that is ministerial, this fraternal, that comes from authority, this only from charity, that is public, this private, that is given by many, this by one. And, finally, the church hath a calling to direct me in some things wherein a brother hath not. 2. If it be still instanced that, in the point of obedience, I do [pg 1-015] no more for the church than for any brother, because I am bound to do that which is made evident to be lawful and expedient, though a private Christian do but exhort me to it, or whether I be exhorted to it or not. For answer to this I say, that I will obey the directions of the church in many things rather than the directions of a brother; for in two things which are in themselves indifferent, and none of them inexpedient, I will do that which the church requireth, though my brother should exhort me to the contrary. But always I hold me at this sure ground, that I am never bound in conscience to obey the ordinances of the church, except they be evidently lawful and expedient. This is that, sine quo non obligant, and also that which doth chiefly bind, though it be not the only thing which bindeth. Now, for making the matter more plain, we must consider that the constitutions of the church are either lawful or unlawful. If unlawful, they bind not at all; if lawful, they are either concerning things necessary, as Acts xv. 28, and then the necessity of the things doth bind, whether the church ordain them or not; or else concerning things indifferent, as when the church ordaineth, that in great towns there shall be sermon on such a day of the week, and public prayers every day at such an hour. Here it is not the bare authority of the church that bindeth, without respect to the lawfulness or expediency of the thing itself which is ordained (else we were bound to do every thing which the church ordains, were it never so unlawful, for quod competit alicui qua tali, competit omni tali: we behold the authority of the church making laws, as well in unlawful ordinances as in lawful), nor yet is it the lawfulness or expediency of the thing itself, without respect to the ordinance of the church (for possibly other times and diets were as lawful, and expedient too, for such exercises, as those ordained by the church); but it is the authority of the church prescribing a thing lawful or expedient. In such a case, then neither doth the authority of the church bind, except the thing be lawful and expedient, nor doth the lawfulness and expediency of the thing bind, except the church ordain it; but both these jointly do bind.

Sect. 8. I come now to examine what is the judgment of formalists touching the binding of the conscience by ecclesiastical laws. Dr Field saith, that the question [pg 1-016] should not be proposed, whether human laws do bind the conscience, but “whether binding the outward man to the performance of outward things by force and fear of outward punishment to be inflicted by men, the non-performance of such things, or the non-performance of them with such affections as were fit, be not a sin against God, of which the conscience will accuse us,”120 &c. Unto this question thus proposed and understood of human laws, and where no more is considered as giving them power to bind, but only the authority of those who make them; some formalists do give (as I will show), and all of them (being well advised) must give an affirmative answer. And, I pray, what did Bellarmine say more,121 when, expressing how conscience is subject to human authority, he taught that conscience belongeth ad humanum forum, quatenus homo ex praecepto ita obligator ad opus externum faciendum, ut si non faciat, judicat ipse in conscientia sua se male facere, et hoc sufficit ad conscientiam obligandam? But to proceed particularly.

Sect. 9. I begin with Field himself, whose resolution of the question proposed is,122 that we are bound only to give obedience to such human laws as prescribe things profitable, not for that human laws have power to bind the conscience, but because the things they command are of that nature, that not to perform them is contrary to justice or charity. Whereupon he concludeth out of Stapleton, that we are bound to the performance of things prescribed by human laws, in such sort, that the non-performance of them is sin, not ex sola legislatoris voluntate, sed ex ipsa legum utilitate. Let all such as be of this man's mind not blame us for denying of obedience to the constitutions about the ceremonies, since we find (for certain) no utility, but, by the contrary, much inconveniency in them. If they say that we must think those laws to be profitable or convenient, which they, who are set over us, think to be so, then they know not what they say. For, exempting conscience from being bound by human laws in one thing, they would have it bound by them in another thing. If conscience must needs judge that to be profitable, which seemeth so to those that are set over us, then, sure, is power given to them for binding the conscience so [pg 1-017] straitly, that it may not judge otherwise than they judge, and force is placed in their bare authority for necessitating and constraining the assenting judgment of conscience.

Sect. 10. Some man perhaps will say that we are bound to obey the laws made about the ceremonies, though not for the sole will of the law-makers, nor yet for any utility of the laws themselves, yet for this reason, that scandal and contempt would follow in case we do otherwise. Ans. We know that human laws do bind in the case of scandal or contempt. But that nonconformity is neither scandal nor contempt, Parker hath made it most evident.123 For, as touching contempt, he showeth out of fathers, councils, canon law, schoolmen, and modern divines, that non obedire is not contempt, but nolle obedire, or superbiendo repugnare. Yea, out of Formalists themselves, he showeth the difference betwixt subjection and obedience. Thereafter he pleadeth thus, and we with him: “What signs see men in us of pride and contempt? What be our cetera opera that bewray such an humour? Let it be named wherein we go not two miles, when we are commanded to go but one, yea, wherein we go not as many miles as any shoe of the preparation of the gospel will bear us. What payment, what pain, what labour, what taxation made us ever to murmur? Survey our charges where we have laboured, if they be not found to be of the faithfulest subjects that be in the Lord, we deserve no favour. Nay, there is wherein we stretch our consciences to the utmost to conform and to obey in divers matters. Are we refractory in other things, as Balaam's ass said to his master? Have I used to serve thee so at other times?” And as touching scandal, he showeth first, that by our not conforming, we do not scandalise superiors, but edify them, although it may be we displease them, of which we are sorry, even as Joab displeased David when he contested against the numbering of the people, yet did he not scandalise David, but edify him. And, secondly, whereas it might be alleged, that nonconformity doth scandalise the people, before whom it soundeth as it were an alarm of disobedience, we reply with him, “Daniel will not omit the ceremony of looking out at the window towards Jerusalem. Mordecai omitteth the ceremony of bowing the knee to Haman; Christ will not [pg 1-018] use the ceremony of washing hands, though a tradition of the elders and governors of the church then being. The authority of the magistrate was violated by these, and an incitement to disobedience was in their ceremonial breach, as much as there is now in ours.”

Sect. 11. But some of our opposites go about to derive the obligatory power of the church's laws, not so much from the utility of the laws themselves, or from any scandal which should follow upon the not obeying of them, as from the church's own authority which maketh them. Camero speaketh of two sorts of ecclesiastical laws:124 1. Such as prescribe things frivolous or unjust, meaning such things as (though they neither detract anything from the glory of God, nor cause any damage to our neighbour, yet) bring some detriment to ourselves. 2. Such as prescribe things belonging to order and shunning of scandal. Touching the former, he teacheth rightly, that conscience is never bound to the obedience of such laws, except only in the case of scandal and contempt, and that if at any time such laws may be neglected and not observed, without scandal given, or contempt shown, no man's conscience is holden with them. But touching the other sort of the church's laws, he saith, that they bind the conscience indirectly, not only respectu materiæ præcepti (which doth not at all oblige, except in respect of the end whereunto it is referred, namely, the conserving of order, and the not giving of scandal), but also respectu præcipientis, because God will not have those who are set over us in the church to be contemned. He foresaw (belike), that whereas it is pretended in behalf of those ecclesiastical laws which enjoin the controverted ceremonies, that the things which they prescribe pertain to order and to the shunning of scandal, and so bind the conscience indirectly in respect of the end, one might answer, I am persuaded upon evident grounds that those prescribed ceremonies pertain not to order, and to the shunning of scandal, but to misorder, and to the giving of scandal; therefore he laboured to bind such an one's conscience with another tie, which is the authority of the law-makers. And this authority he would have one to take as ground enough to believe, that that which the church prescribeth doth belong to order and the shunning of scandal, and in that persuasion to do it. But, 1. [pg 1-019] How doth this doctrine differ from that which himself setteth down as the opinion of Papists,125 Posse los qui præsunt ecclesiæ, cogere fideles ut id credant vel faciant, quod ipsi judicaverint? 2. It is well observed by our writers,126 that the apostles never made things indifferent to be necessary, except only in respect of scandal, and that out of the case of scandal they still left the consciences of men free, which observation they gather from Acts XV. and 1 Cor. x. Camero himself noteth,127 that though the church prescribed abstinence from things sacrificed to idols, yet the Apostle would not have the faithful to abstain for conscience' sake: why then holdeth he, that beside the end of shunning scandal and keeping order, conscience is bound even by the church's own authority? 3. As for the reason whereby he would prove that the church's laws do bind, even respectu præcipientis, his form of speaking is very bad. Deus (saith he) non vult contemni præpositos ecclesiæ, nisi justa et necessaria de causa. Where falsely he supposeth, not only that there may occur a just and necessary cause of contemning those whom God hath set over us in the church, but, also, that the not obeying of them inferreth the contemning of them. Now, the not obeying of their laws inferreth not the contemning of themselves (which were not allowable), but only the contemning of their laws. And as Jerome,128 speaketh of Daniel, Et nunc Daniel regis jussa contemnens, &c.; so we say of all superiors in general, that we may sometimes have just reasons for contemning their commandments, yet are we not to contemn, but to honour themselves. But, 4. Let us take Camero's meaning to be, that God will not have us to refuse obedience unto those who are set over us in the church: none of our opposites dare say, that God will have us to obey those who are set over us in the church in any other things than such as may be done both lawfully and conveniently for the shunning of scandal; and if so, then the church's precept cannot bind, except as it is grounded upon such or such reasons.

Sect. 12. Bishop Spotswood and Bishop Lindsey, in those words which I have heretofore alleged out of them, are likewise of opinion, that the sole will and authority of the church doth bind the conscience to obedience. [pg 1-020] Spotswood will have us, without more ado, to esteem that to be best and most seemly, which seemeth so in the eye of public authority. Is not this to bind the conscience by the church's bare will and authority, when I must needs constrain the judgment of my conscience to be conformed to the church's judgment, having no other reason to move me hereunto but the sole will and authority of the church? Further, he will have us to obey even such things as authority prescribeth not rightly (that is, such rites as do not set forward godliness), and that because they have the force of a constitution. He saith that we should be directed by the sentence of superiors, and take it as a sufficient ground to our consciences for obeying. Bellarmine speaketh more reasonably:129 Legesæ human non obligant sub pœna mortis æternæ, nisi quatenus violatione legis humanæ offenditur Deus. Lindsey thinketh that the will of the law must be the rule of our consciences; he saith not the reason of the law, but the will of the law. And when we talk with the chief of our opposites, they would bind us by sole authority, because they cannot do it by any reason. But we answer out of Pareus,130 that the particular laws of the church bind not per se, or propter ipsum speciale mandatum ecclesiæ. Ratio: quia ecclesia res adiaphoras non jubet facere vel omittere propter suum mandatum, sed tantum propter justas mandandi causas, ut sunt conservatio ordinis, vitatio scandali: quæ quamdiu non violantur, conscientias liberas relinquit.

Sect. 13. Thus we have found what power they give to their canons about the ceremonies for binding of our consciences, and that a necessity not of practice only upon the outward man, but of opinion also upon the conscience is imposed by the sole will of the law-makers. Wherefore, we pray God to open their eyes, that they may see their ceremonial laws to be substantial tyrannies over the consciences of God's people. And for ourselves, we stand to the judgment of sounder divines, and we hold with Luther,131 that unum Dominum habemus qui animas nostras gubernat. With Hemmingius,132 that we are free ab omnibus humanis ritibus, quantum quidem ad conscientiam attinet. [pg 1-021] With the Professors of Leyden,133 that this is a part of the liberty of all the faithful, that in things pertaining to God's worship, ab omni traditionum humanarum jugo liberas habeant conscientias, cum solius Dei sit, res ad religionem pertinentes praescribere.



Sect. 1. If Christian liberty be taken away, by adstricting conscience in any, much more by adstricting it in them who are fully persuaded of the unlawfulness of the thing enjoined; yet thus are we dealt with. Bishop Lindsay gives us to understand, that after the making and publication of an ecclesiastical canon, about things of this nature, albeit a man in his own private judgment think another thing more expedient than that which the canon prescribeth, yet in that case his conscience must be ruled by the will of the law, and not by his own judgment. And Bishop Spotswood, to such as object, that their conscience will not suffer them to obey, because they are persuaded that such things are not right, answereth; that the sentence of their superiors ought to direct them, and make their conscience yield to obedience. Their words I have before transcribed. By which it doth manifestly appear, that they would bear dominion over our consciences, not as lords only, by requiring the willing and ready assent of our consciences to those things which are urged upon us by their sole will and authority, but even as tyrants, not caring if they get so much as constrained obedience, and if by their authority they can compel conscience to that which is contrary to the πληροφορια and full persuasion which it hath conceived.

Sect. 2. It will be said, that our consciences are in an error, and therefore ought to be corrected by the sentence of superiors, whose authority and will doth bind us to receive and embrace the ceremonies, though our consciences do condemn them. Ans. [pg 1-022] Giving, and not granting, that our consciences do err in condemning the ceremonies, yet, so long as they cannot be otherwise persuaded, the ceremonies ought not to be urged upon us; for if we be made to do that which our consciences do condemn, we are made to sin, Rom. xiv. 23. It is an audacious contempt, in Calvin's judgment,134 to do anything repugnante conscientia. The learned Casuists teach us, that an erring conscience, though non obligat, yet ligat; though we be not obliged to do that which it prescribeth, yet are we bound not to do that which it condemneth. Quicquid fit repugnante et reclamante conscientia, peccatum est, etiamsi repugnantia ista gravem errorem includat, saith Alsted.135 Conscientia erronca obligat, sic intelligendo, quod faciens contra peccet, saith Hemmingius.136 This holds ever true of an erring conscience about matters of fact, and especially about things indifferent. If any say, that hereby a necessity of sinning is laid on them whose consciences are in an error, I answer, that so long as a man keeps an erroneous conscience, a necessity of sinning lies on him, and that through his own fault. This necessity ariseth from this supposition, that he retain his erring conscience, and so is not absolute, because he should inform his conscience rightly, so that he may both do that which he ought to do, and do it so from the approbation of his conscience. If it be said again, What should be done to them who have not laid down the error of conscience, but do still retain the same? I answer, eligatur id quod tutius et melius est.137 If therefore the error of conscience be about weighty and necessary matters, then it is better to urge men to the doing of a necessary duty in the service of God, than to permit them to neglect the same, because their erring conscience disapproveth it; for example, it is better to urge a profane man to come and hear God's word than to suffer him to neglect the hearing of the same, because his conscience alloweth him not to hear. But if the error of conscience be about unnecessary things, or such as are in themselves indifferent, then it is pars tutior, the surest and safest part not to urge men to do that which in their consciences they condemn. Wherefore, since the ceremonies [pg 1-023] are not among the number of such necessary things as may not be omitted without the peril of salvation, the invincible disallowance of our consciences should make our opposites not press them upon us, because by practising them we could not but sin, in that our consciences judge them unlawful. If any of our weak brethren think that he must and should abstain from the eating of flesh upon some certain day, though this thing be in itself indifferent, and not necessary, yet, saith Baldwin,138 “he who is thus persuaded in his conscience, if he should do the contrary, sinneth.”

Sect. 3. Conscience, then, though erring, doth ever bind in such sort, that he who doth against his conscience sinneth against God. Which is also the doctrine of Thomas.139 But, without any more ado, it is sufficiently confirmed from Scripture. For, was not their conscience in an error who thought they might not lawfully eat all sorts of meat? Yet the Apostle showeth that their conscience, as erring as it was, did so bind, that they were damned if they should eat such meat as they judged to be unclean, Rom. xiv. 14, 23. The reason wherefore an erring conscience bindeth in this kind is, quoniam agens, &c.140 “Because he who doth any thing against his conscience doth it against the will of God, though not materially and truly, yet formally and by way of interpretation, forsomuch as that which conscience counselleth or prescribeth, it counselleth it under the respect and account of the will of God. He who reproacheth some private man, taking him to be the king, is thought to have hurt not the private man, but the king himself. So he that contemneth his conscience contemneth God himself, because that which conscience counselleth or adviseth is taken to be God's will.” If I go with certain men upon such a course as I judge and esteem to be a treasonable conspiracy against the king (though it be not so indeed), would not his Majesty (if he knew so much), and might he not, justly condemn me as a wicked traitor? But how much more will the King of kings condemn me if I practice the ceremonies which I judge in my conscience to be contrary to the will of God, and to rob him of his royal prerogative?

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Sect. 1. When the Apostle forbiddeth us to be the servants of men, 1 Cor. vii. 23, is it not his meaning that we should do nothing upon the mere will and pleasure of men, or propter hominem et non propter Deum, as Becane the Jesuit expoundeth it,141 illustrating what he saith by another place, Eph. vi. 6, 7. Christian servants thought it an unworthy thing to serve wicked men,142 neither yet took they well with the serving of godly men, for that they were all brethren in Christ. The Apostle answereth them, that they did not the will of man, because it was the will of man, but because it was the will of God, and so they served God rather than man, importing that it were indeed a grievous yoke for any Christian to do the will of man, if he were not sure that it is according to the will of God. Should any synod of the church take more upon them than the synod of the apostles did, who enjoined nothing at their own pleasure, but only what they show to be necessary, because of the law of charity? Acts xv. 28. Or should Christians, who ought not to be children, carried about with every wind, Eph. iv. 14; who should be able to discern both good and evil, Heb. v. 14; in whom the word of God ought to dwell plentifully, Col. iii. 16; who are commanded to beware of men, Matt. x. 17; not to believe every spirit, to prove all things, 1 John iv. 1; and to judge of all that is said to them, 1 Thes. v. 21; should they, I say, be used as stocks and stones, not capable of reason, and therefore to be borne down by naked will and authority? 1 Cor. x. 15. Yet thus it fareth with us. Bishop Lindsey will have the will of the law to rule our consciences,143 which is by interpretation, Sic volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas. He gives us not the reason or equity of the law, but only the will of it, to be our role. Bishop Spotswood144 will have us to be so directed by the sentence of our superiors, that we take their sentence as [pg 1-025] a sufficient ground to our consciences for obeying. Which is so much as to say, you should not examine the reason and utility of the law, the sentence of it is enough for you: try no more when you hear the sentence of superiors, rest your consciences upon this as a sufficient ground: seek no other, for their sentence must be obeyed. And who among us knoweth not how, in the Assembly of Perth, free reasoning was shut to the door, and all ears were filled with the dreadful pale of authority? There is this much chronicled145 in two relations of the proceedings of the same, howbeit otherwise very different. They who did sue for a reformation of church discipline in England, complained that they received no other answer but this:146 “There is a law, it must be obeyed;” and after the same manner are we used. Yet is this too hard dealing, in the judgment of a Formalist, who saith,147 that the church doth not so deal with them whom Christ hath redeemed: Ac si non possint capere quid sit religiosum, quid minus, itaque quae ab ecclesia proficiscuntur, admonitiones potius et hortationes dici debent, quam leges. And after, he says of ecclesiastical authority, tenetur reddere paerscripti rationem. “I grant (saith Paybody148) it is unlawful to do, in God's worship, anything upon the mere pleasure of man.” Chemnitius149 taketh the Tridentine fathers for not expounding rationes decreti. Junius observeth,150 that in the council of the apostles, mention was made of the reason of their decree. And a learned historian observeth151 of the ancient councils, that there were in them, reasonings, colloquies, discussions, disputes, yea, that whatsoever was done or spoken, was called the acts of the council, and all was given unto all. Caeterum (saith Danaeus152) quoniam ut ait Tertullianus in Apologetico, iniqua lex est quae se examinari non patitur; non tam vi cogere homines ad obsequium quam ratione persuadere debent cae leges, quae scribuntur à pio nomotheta. Ergo fere sunt duae cujusvis legis partes, quemadmodum etiam Plato, lib. 4, de legibus scribit, nimirum praefacio [pg 1-026] et lex ipsa, i.e. jussio lege comprehensa. Praefatio causam affert, cur hominum negotiis sic prospiciatur. Ecclesiastical authority should prescribe what it thinks fit, Magis docendo, quam jubendo; magis monendo, quam minando, as Augustine speaketh.153 Non oportet vi vel necessitate constringere, sed ratione et vitae exemplis suadere, saith Gregory Nazianzen,154 speaking of ecclesiastical regiment. They, therefore, who give their will for a law, and their authority for a reason, and answer all the arguments of opponents, by bearing them down with the force of a public constitution and the judgment of superiors, to which theirs must be conformed, do rule the Lord's flock “with force and with cruelty,” Ezek. xxxiv. 4; “as lords over God's heritage,” 1 Pet. v. 3.

Sect. 2. Always, since men give us no leave to try their decrees and constitutions, that we may hold fast no more than is good, God be thanked that we have a warrant to do it (without their leave) from his own word, 1 Thess. v. 25. Non numeranda suffragia, sed appendenda, saith Augustine in Psal. xxxix. Our divines hold,155 that all things which are proposed by the ministers of the church, yea, by aecumenical councils,156 should be proved and examined; and that, when the guides of the church do institute any ceremonies as necessary for edification, yet ecclesia liberum habet judicium approbandi aut reprobandi eas.157 Nay, the canon law,158 prohibiting to depart or swerve from the rules and discipline of the Roman church, yet excepteth discretionem justitiae and so permitteth to do otherwise than the church prescribeth, if it be done cum discretione justitiae. The schoolmen also give liberty to a private man, of proving the statutes of the church, and neglecting the same, if he see cause for doing so, Si causa fit evidens, per se ipsum licite potest homo statuti observantiam praeterire.159 If any be not able to examine and try all such things, debebant omnes posse, Dei jussu: Deficiunt ergo sua culpa, saith Parcus.160 Si recte probandi facultate destitui nos sentimus, ab eodem spiritu qui per prophetas suos [pg 1-027] loquitur portenda est, saith Calvin.161 We will not then call any man rabbi, nor jurare in verba magistri, nor yet be Pythagorean disciples to the church herself, but we will believe her and obey her in so far only as she is the pillar and ground of truth.



Sect. 1. That which hath been said against all the controverted ceremonies in general, I will now instance of festival days in particular, and prove, both out of the law and gospel, that they take away our liberty which God hath given us, and which no human power can take from us. Out of the law we frame this argument: If the law of God permit us to work all the six days of the week, the law of man cannot inhibit us. But the law of God doth permit us to work all the six days of the week, therefore our opposites deny not the assumption, which is plain from the fourth commandment, “Six days shalt thou labour,” &c. But they would have somewhat to say against the proposition, which we will hear. Hooker tells us,162 that those things that the law of God leaves arbitrary and at liberty, are subject to the positive ordinances of men. This, I must say, is strange divinity, for if this were true, then might the laws of men prohibit marriage, because it is left arbitrary, 1 Cor. vii. 36. Then might they also have discharged the apostle Paul to take wages, because herein he was at liberty, 1 Cor. ix. 11-13.

Sect. 2. Talen lendeth the cause another lift, and answereth,163 that no sober man will say, permissionen Dei, principibus suum circa res medias jus imminuere, num enim ob permissum hominibus dominium in volucres cœli, in pisces maris, et bestias agrii, impiæ fuerint leges principum, quibus aucupii, piscationes, et venationis libertatem, sebditis aliis indulgent, aliis adimunt. Ans. That case and this are very different. For every particular man hath not dominion and power over all fowls, fishes, and [pg 1-028] beasts (else, beside that princes should have no privilege of inhibiting the use of those things, there should be no propriety of heritage and possession among subjects); but power over all these is given to mankind. Pareus observeth,164 hominem collective intelligi in that place, Gen. i. 26; and Junius observeth,165 nomen Adam de specie esse intelligendum. But each particular man, and not mankind alone, is permitted to labour six days. Wherefore it is plain, that man's liberty is not abridged in the other case as in this, because mankind hath dominion over these creatures, when some men only do exercise the same, as well as if all men did exercise it.

Sect. 3. Bishop Lindsey's answer is no better,166 viz., that this liberty which God hath given unto men for labour is not absolute, but subject unto order. For, 1. What tyranny is there so great, spoiling men wholly of their liberty, but this pretence agreeth to it? For, by order, he understandeth the constitutions of our governors, as is clear from his preceding words, so that this may be alleged for a just excuse of any tyranny of governors (that men must be subject unto order), no less than for taking away from us the liberty of labouring six days. 2. This answer is nothing else but a begging of that which is in question, for the present question is, whether or not the constitutions of our governors may inhibit us to labour all the six days of the week, and yet he saith no more, but that this liberty of labour must be subject to order, i.e., to the constitutions of governors. 3. Albeit we should most humbly subject ourselves to our governors, yet we may not submit our liberty to them, which God hath graciously given us, because we are forbidden to be the servants of men, 1 Cor. vii. 23; or to be entangled with the yoke of bondage, Gal. v. 1.

Sect. 4. Yet we must hear what the Bishop can say against our proposition:167 “If under the law (saith he) God did not spoil his people of liberty, when he appointed them to rest two days at Pasche, one at Whitsunday, &c., how can the king's majesty and the church be esteemed to spoil us of our liberty, that command a cessation from labour on three days?” &c. O horrible blasphemy! O double deceitfulness! Blasphemy, [pg 1-029] because so much power is ascribed to the king and the church over us, as God had over his people of old. God did justly command his people, under the law, to rest from labour on other days beside the Sabbath, without wronging them; therefore the king and the church may as justly, and with doing as little wrong, command us to rest likewise, because God, by a ceremonial law, did hinder his people from the use of so much liberty, as the moral law did give them; therefore the king and the church may do so also. Deceitfulness, in that he saith, God did not spoil his people of liberty, &c. We know that, by appointing them to rest on those days, God did not take away liberty from his people, simply and absolutely, because they had no more liberty than he did allow to them by his laws, which he gave by the hand of Moses, yet he did take away that liberty which one part of his laws did permit to them, viz., the fourth commandment of the moral law, which permitted them to labour six days. The Bishop knew that this question in hand hath not to do with liberty, in the general notion of it, but with liberty which the moral law doth permit. We say, then, that God took away from his people Israel, some of the liberty which his moral law permitted to them, because he was the Lawgiver and Lord of the law; and that the king and the church cannot do the like with us, because they are no more lords over God's law than the people who are set under them.

Sect. 5. But he hath yet more to say against us: “If the king (saith he) may command a cessation from economical and private works, for works civil and public, such as the defence of the crown, the liberty of the country, &c., what reason have ye why he may not enjoin a day of cessation from all kind of bodily labour, for the honour of God and exercise of religion?” &c. Ans. This kind of reasoning is most vicious, for three respects: 1. It supposeth that he who may command a cessation from one kind of labour, upon one of the six days, may also command a cessation from all kind of labour, but there is a difference; for the law of God hath allowed us to labour six days of every week, which liberty no human power can take from us. But we cannot say that the law of God alloweth us six days of every week to economical and private works (for then we should never be bound to put our hands to a public work), whence it cometh [pg 1-030] that the magistrate hath power left him to command a cessation from some labour, but not from all. 2. The Bishop reasoneth from a cessation from ordinary labour for extraordinary labour, to a cessation from ordinary labour for no labour, for they who use their weapons for the defence of the crown, or liberty of the country, do not cease from labour, but only change ordinary labour into extraordinary, and private labour into public, whereas our opposites plead for a cessation from all labour upon their holidays. 3. He skippeth de genere in genus, because the king may command a cessation for civil works, therefore he may command a holy rest for the exercise of religion, as if he had so great power in sacred as in civil things.

Sect. 6. The Bishop hath yet a third dart to throw at us: “If the church (saith he)168 hath power, upon occasional motives, to appoint occasional fasts or festivities, may not she, for constant and eternal blessings, which do infinitely excel all occasional benefits, appoint ordinary times of commemoration or thanksgiving?” Ans. There are two reasons for which the church may and should appoint fasts or festivities upon occasional motives, and neither of them agreeth with ordinary festivities. 1. Extraordinary fasts, either for obtaining some great blessing, or averting some great judgment, are necessary means to be used in such cases, likewise, extraordinary festivities are necessary testifications of our thankfulness for the benefits which we have impetrate by our extraordinary fasts, but ordinary festivities, for constant and eternal blessings, have no necessary use. The celebration of set anniversary days is no necessary mean for conserving the commemoration of the benefits of redemption, because we have occasion, not only every Sabbath day, but every other day, to call to mind these benefits, either in hearing, or reading, or meditating upon God's word. Dies Christo dicatos tollendos existimo judicoque, saith Danaeus169 quotidie nobis in evangelii proedicatione nascitur, circumciditur, moritur, resurgit Christus. God hath given his church a general precept for extraordinary fasts, Joel i. 14, ii. 15, as likewise for extraordinary festivities to praise God, and to give him thanks in the public assembly of his people, upon the occasional motive of some great [pg 1-031] benefit which, by the means of our fasting and praying, we have obtained, Zech. viii. 19 with vii. 3. If it be said that there is a general command for set festivities, because there is a command for preaching and hearing the word, and for praising God for his benefits; and that there is no precept for particular fasts more than for particular festivities, I answer: Albeit there is a command for preaching and hearing the word, and for praising God for his benefits, yet is there no command (no, not in the most general generality) for annexing these exercises of religion to set anniversary days more than to other days; whereas it is plain, that there is a general command for fasting and humiliation at some times more than at other times. And as for particularities, all the particular causes, occasions, and times of fasting, could not be determined in Scripture, because they are infinite, as Camero saith.170 But all the particular causes of set festivities, and the number of the same, might have been easily determined in Scripture, since they are not, nor may not be infinite; for the Bishop himself acknowledgeth,171 that to appoint a festival day for every week, cannot stand with charity, the inseparable companion of piety. And albeit so many were allowable, yet who seeth not how easily the Scripture might have comprehended them, because they are set, constant, and anniversary times, observed for permanent and continuing causes, and not moveable or mutable, as fasts which are appointed for occurring causes, and therefore may be infinite. I conclude that, since God's word hath given us a general command for occasional fasts, and likewise particularly determined sundry things anent the causes, occasions, nature, and manner of fastings, we may well say with Cartwright,172 that days of fasting are appointed at “such times, and upon such occasions, as the Scripture doth set forth; wherein because the church commandeth nothing, but that which God commandeth, the religious observation of them, falleth unto the obedience of the fourth commandment, as well as of the seventh day itself.”

Sect. 7. The Bishop presseth us with a fourth argument,173 taken from the calling of people in great towns from their ordinary [pg 1-032] labours to divine service, which argument Tilen also beateth upon.174 Ans. There is huge difference betwixt the rest which is enjoined upon anniversary festivities, and the rest which is required during the time of the weekly meetings for divine worship. For, 1. Upon festival days, rest from labour is required all the day over, whereas, upon the days of ordinary and weekly meetings, rest is required only during the time of public worship. 2. Cessation from labour, for prayers or preaching on those appointed days of the week, at some occasions may be omitted; but the rest and commemoration appointed by the church, to be precisely observed upon the anniversary festival days, must not be omitted, in the Bishop's judgment.175 3. Men are straitly commanded and compelled to rest from labour upon holidays; but to leave work to come to the ordinary weekly meetings, they are only exhorted. And here I mark how the Bishop contradicteth himself; for in one place where his antagonist maintaineth truly, that the craftsman cannot be lawfully commanded nor compelled to leave his work and to go to public divine service, except on the day that the Lord hath sanctified, he replieth,176 “If he may be lawfully commanded to cease from his labour during the time of divine service, he may be as lawfully compelled to obey the command.” Who can give these words any sense, or see anything in them said against his antagonist's position, except he be taken to say, that the craftsman may be both commanded and compelled to leave his work and go to divine service on the week-days appointed for the same? Nay, he laboureth to prove thus much out of the ninth head of the First Book of Discipline, which saith, “In great towns we think expedient, that every day there be either sermon or common prayers,” &c., where there is nothing of compulsion, or a forcing command, only there is an exhortation. But ere the Bishop have said much, he forgetteth himself, and tells us,177 that it were against equity and charity to adstrict the husbandman to leave his plough so oft as the days of weekly preaching do return, but that, on the festival days, reason would, that if he did not leave his plough willingly, by authority he should be forced. Which place confirmeth this difference which we give betwixt rest on [pg 1-033] the holidays, and rest at the times of weekly meeting.



Sect. 1. My second argument whereby I prove that the imposing of the observation of holidays doth bereave us of our liberty, I take out of two places of the Apostle, the one, Gal. iv. 10, where he finds fault with the Galatians for observing of days, and giveth them two reasons against them; the one, ver. 3, They were a yoke of bondage which neither they nor their fathers were able to bear; another, ver, 8, They were weak and beggarly rudiments, not beseeming the Christian church, which is liberate from the pedagogical instruction of the ceremonial law. The other place is Col. ii. 16, where the Apostle will have the Colossians not to suffer themselves to be judged by any man in respect of an holiday, i.e. to be condemned for not observing a holiday, for judicare hic significat culpae reum facere,178 and the meaning is, suffer not yourselves to be condemned by those false apostles, or by any mortal man in the cause of meat, that is, for meat or drink taken, or for any holiday, or any part of an holiday neglected.179 Two other reasons the Apostle giveth in this place against festival days; one, ver. 17, What should we do with the shadow, when we have the body? another, ver. 20, Why should we be subject to human ordinances, since through Christ we are dead to them, and have nothing ado with them? Now, by the same reasons are all holidays to be condemned, as taking away Christian liberty; and so, that which the Apostle saith doth militate as well against them as against any other holidays; for whereas it might be thought, that the Apostle doth not condemn all holidays, because both he permitteth others to observe days, Rom. xiv. 5, and he himself also did observe one of the Jewish feasts, Acts xviii. 21: it is easily answered, that our holidays have no warrant from these places, except our opposites will say, that they esteem their festival days holier [pg 1-034] than other days, and that they observe the Jewish festivities, neither of which they do acknowledge, and if they did, yet they must consider, that that which the Apostle either said or did hereanent, is to be expounded and understood of bearing with the weak Jews, whom he permitted to esteem one day above another, and for whose cause he did, in his own practice, thus far apply himself to their infirmity at that time when they could not possibly be as yet fully and thoroughly instructed concerning Christian liberty, and the abrogation of the ceremonial law, because the gospel was as yet not fully propagated; and when the Mosaical rites were like a dead man not yet buried, as Augustine's simile runs. So that all this can make nothing for holidays after the full promulgation of the gospel, and after that the Jewish ceremonies are not only dead, but also buried, and so deadly to be used by us. Hence it is, that the Apostle will not bear with the observation of days in Christian churches, who have known God, as he speaks.

Sect. 2. The defenders of holidays answer to these places which we allege against them, that the Apostle condemneth the observation of Judaical days, not of ecclesiastical days, which the church instituteth for order and policy; which evasion Bishop Lindsey180 followeth so hard, that he sticketh not to hold, that “all the days whereof the Apostle condemneth the observation were Judaical days prescribed in the ceremonial law,” &c. And this he is not contented to maintain himself, but he will needs father it upon his antagonist by such logic, forsooth, as can infer quidlibet ex quodlibet. The Apostle comports with the observation of days in the weak Jews, who understood not the fulness of the Christian liberty, especially since those days, having had the honour to be once appointed by God himself, were to be honourably buried; but the same Apostle reproves the Galatians who had attained to this liberty, and had once left off the observation of days. What ground of consequence can warrant such an illation from these premises as this which the Bishop formeth, namely, that “all the days whereof the Apostle condemned the observation were Judaical days,” &c.

Sect. 3. Now, for confutation of this forged exposition of those places of the [pg 1-035] Apostle, we say, 1. If all the days whereof the Apostle condemned the observation were Judaical days prescribed in the ceremonial law, then do our divines falsely interpret the Apostle's words against popish holidays, and the Papists do truly allege that their holidays are not condemned by the Apostle. The Rhemists affirm, that the Apostle condemneth only Jewish days,181 but not Christian days, and that we do falsely interpret his words against their holidays.182 Cartwright answereth them,183 that if Paul condemned the observing of feasts which God himself instituted, then much more doth he condemn the observation of feasts of man's devising. So Bellarmine allegeth,184 loqui ibi Apostolum de judaeorum tantum festis. Hospinian, answering him, will have the Apostle's words to condemn the Christian feasts more than the Judaical.185 Conradus Vorstius rejecteth this position, Apostolus non nisi judaicum discremen dierum in N.T. sublatum esse docet, as a popish error.186 2. If the Apostle mean only of Judaical days, either he condemneth the observing of their days materialiter, or formaliter, i.e. either he condemneth the observation of the same feasts which the Jews observed, or the observing of them with such a meaning, after such a manner, and for such an end as the Jews did. The former our opposites dare not hold, for then they should grant that he condemneth their own Easter and Pentecost, because these two feasts were observed by the Jews. Nor yet can they hold them at the latter, for he condemneth that observation of days which had crept into the church of Galatia, which was not Jewish nor typical, seeing the Galatians, believing that Christ was already come, could not keep them as figures of his coming as the Jews did, but rather as memorials that he was already come, saith Cartwright.187 1. If the Apostle's reasons wherewith he impugns the observation of days, hold good against our holidays so well as against the Jewish or popish days, then doth he condemn those, no less these. But the Apostle's reasons agree to our holidays for, 1. According to that reason, Gal. iv. [pg 1-036] 3, they bring us under a yoke of bondage. Augustine,188 complaining of some ceremonies wherewith the church in his time was burdened, thought it altogether best that they should be cut off, Etiamsi fidei non videantur adversari, quia religionem quam Christus liberam esse voluit, servilibus oneribus premunt. Yea, he thought this yoke of servitude greater bondage, and less tolerable than the servility of the Jews, because they were subject to the burdens of the law of God, and not to the presumptions of men. The yoke of bondage of Christians, in respect of feasts, is heavier than the yoke of the Jews, not only for the multitude of them, but because Christianorum festa, ab hominibus tantum, judaeorum vero a Deo fuerint instituta, saith Hospinian.189 Have not we then reason to exclaim against our holidays, as a yoke of bondage, heavier than that of the Jews, for that our holidays are men's inventions, and so were not theirs? The other reason, Gal. iv. 9, holdeth as good against our holidays. They are rudimental and pedagogical elements, which beseem not the Christian church, for as touching that which Tilen objecteth,190 that many in the church of the New Testament are still babes to be fed with milk, it maketh as much against the Apostle as against us; for by this reason, he may as well throw back the Apostle's ground of condemning holidays among the Galatians, and say, because many of the Galatians were babes, therefore they had the more need of those elements and rudiments. The Apostle, Gal. iv. 3, compareth the church of the Old Testament to an infant, and insinuateth, that in the days of the New Testament the infancy of the church hath taken an end. And whereas it might be objected, that in the church of the New Testament there are many babes, and that the Apostle himself speaketh of the Corinthians and Hebrews as babes: it is answered by Pareus,191 Non de paucis personis, sed de statu totius ecclesiae intelligendum est quod hic dicitur. There were also some in the church of the Old Testament, adulti fide heroes; but in respect of the state of the whole church, he who is least in the kingdom of God, is greater than John Baptist, Luke vii. 28. Lex, saith Beza, vocatur elementa, quia illis velut [pg 1-037] rudimentis, Deus ecclesiam suam erudivit, postea pleno cornu effudit Spiritum Sanctum tempore evangelii.192 3. That reason also taken from the opposition of the shadow and the body, Col. ii. 17, doth militate against our holidays; for the Apostle there speaketh in the present time, ἐστι σκια: whereas the Judaical rites were abolished, whereupon Zanchius noteth,193 that the Apostle doth not so much speak of things by-past, as of the very nature of all rites, Definiens ergo ipsos ritus in sese, dixit eos nil aliud esse quam umbram. If all rites, then our holidays among the rest, serve only to adumbrate and shadow forth something, and by consequence are unprofitable and idle, when the substance itself is clearly set before us. 4. That reason, Col. ii. 20, doth no less irresistibly infringe the ordinances about our holidays than about the Jewish; for if men's ordinances, about things once appointed by God himself, ought not to be obeyed, how much less should the precepts of men be received about such things in religion as never had this honour to be God's ordinances, when their mere authority doth limit or adstrict us in things which God hath made lawful or free to us.

Sect. 4. Thus we see how the Apostle's reasons hold good against our holidays; let us see next what respects of difference the Bishop can imagine to evidence wherefore the Judaical days may be thought condemned by the Apostle, and not ours. He deviseth a double respect; and first he tells us,194 that the Jewish observation of days was to a typical use. And whereas it is objected by us, that the converted Jews did not observe them as shadows of things to come, because then they had denied Christ, he answereth thus: “Howbeit the converted Jews did not observe the Jewish days as shadows of things to come, yet they might have observed them as memorials of by-past temporal and typical benefits, and for present temporal blessings, as the benefit of their delivery out of Egypt, and of the fruits of the earth, which use was also typical.” Ans. 1. This is his own conjecture only, therefore he himself propoundeth it doubtfully, for he dare not say, they did observe them as memorials, &c., but, they might have observed, to which guessing, if I reply, they might also not have observed them as memorials [pg 1-038] of those by-past or present benefits, we say as much against him, and as truly, as he hath said against us. 2. His form of reasoning is very uncouth, for, to prove that the observation of days by the converted Jews was to a typical use, he allegeth, that they might have observed, &c. Thus proving a position by a supposition. O brave! 3. There is no sense in his conjecture, for he yields that they did not observe those days as shadows of things to come, and yet he saith, they might have observed them as memorials of by-past typical benefits; now they could not observe those days as memorials of types, except they observed them also as shadowing forth the antitypes. Pentecost, saith Davenant,195 et illa legis datae celebratio. Spiritus Sancti missionem, et legis in tabulis cordium per eundem Spiritum inscriptionem, adumbravit. Scenopegiae festum peregrinationem hominis pii per hoc mundi desertum ad caelestem patriam delineabat, &c. So that the feast of Pentecost, if it had been observed as a memorial of the promulgation of the law, could not but shadow forth the sending of the Holy Spirit into our hearts, to write the law in them. And the feast of tabernacles, if it had been observed as a memorial of the benefits which God bestowed on his people in the wilderness, could not but shadow out God's conducting of his children, through the course of their pilgrimage in this world, to the heavenly Canaan. 4. If feasts which were memorials of temporal benefits, were for this reason mystical, then he must grant against himself, that much more are our feasts mystical, which are memorials of spiritual benefits, and consecrated to be holy signs and symbols, for making us call to mind the mysteries of our redemption. 5. Before this dispute take an end, we shall see out of the best learned among our opposites, that they observe the holidays as mystical,196 and more mystical than the Bishop here describeth the Jewish days to have been, and so we shall see the falsehood of that pretence, that they are observed only for order and policy, and not for mystery. 6. If we would know the true reason which made the converted Jews to observe those days, it was not any mystical use, but that which made them think themselves obliged to other Mosaical rites; even propter auctoritatem legis, [pg 1-039] saith Junius;197 for albeit they could not be ignorant, that these rites were shadows of things to come, and that the body was of Christ, in whom, and in the virtue of whose death they did stablish their faith, yet they did not at first understand how such things as were once appointed by God himself, and given to his people as ordinances to be kept by him throughout their generations, could be altogether abolished, and for this cause, though they did condescend to a change of the use and signification of those ceremonies, as being no more typical of the kingdom of Christ, which they believed to be already come, yet still they held themselves bound to the use of the things themselves as things commanded by God.

Thus much may be collected from Acts xv. 21, where James gives a reason wherefore it was expedient that the Gentiles should observe some of the Jewish rites for a time, as Calvin,198 Beza,199 and Junius,200 expound the place. His reason is, because the Jews, being so long accustomed with the hearing of the law of Moses, and such as did preach the same, could not be made at first to understand how the ordinances which God gave to his people by the hand of Moses, might be cast off and not regarded, which importeth as much as I say, namely, that the reason wherefore the converted Jews were so apt to be scandalised by such as cared not for the ceremonial law, and held themselves obliged to observe the same, was because they saw not how they could be exempted from the ordinances and statutes of the law of Moses, with which they had been educated and accustomed.

Sect. 5. Rests the second respect of difference given by the Bishop: “Further (saith he), they did observe them with opinion of necessity, as things instituted by God for his worship and their salvation, which sort of observation was legal.”201 Ans. 1. Be it so; he cannot hereupon infer, that the Apostle doth only condemn the observation of Judaical days, for he seeth nothing of observing days with opinion of necessity, but simply and absolutely he condemneth the observing of days, and his reasons reflex on our holidays, as well as the Jewish. 2. Their opinion of necessity he either refers to [pg 1-040] the institution which these days once had from God, or else to the use which, at that time, they had for God's worship and their salvation. That they observed them with opinion of necessity, as things which had been instituted by God, it is most likely, but that they observed them with opinion of necessity, as things necessary for God's worship and their salvation, is more than can be made good, it is more probable that they observed them merely and simply for that they had the honour to be instituted by God in his law. For to say that they observed them to the same use and end for which God did institute them, is false, because then they had observed them as types and shadows of the coming of Christ, and so had denied Christ. 3. If the Apostle condemn the observing of days instituted by God, with opinion of necessity, much more doth he condemn the observing of days instituted by men with such an opinion. And such is the observation of days urged upon us. Though the Bishop pretend that the observing of our holidays is not imposed with opinion of necessity, shall we therefore think it is so? Nay, Papists do also pretend that the observation of their ceremonies is not necessary,202 nor the neglecting of them a mortal sin. I have proved heretofore, out of their opposites' own words, that the ceremonies in question (and, by consequence, holidays among the rest) are urged upon us with opinion of necessity, and as their words, so their works bewray them, for they urge the ceremonies with so exorbitant vehemency, and punish refusers with so excessive severity, as if they were the weightiest matters of the law of God. Yet they would have us believe, that they have but sober and mean thoughts of these matters, as of circumstances determined for order and policy only. Just like a man who casts firebrands and arrows, and yet saith, Am not I in sport? Prov. xvi. 18, 19. They will tell us that they urge not the ceremonies as necessary in themselves, but only as necessary in respect of the church's determination, and because of the necessity of obeying those who are set over us. But, I pray, is not this as much as the Rhemists say,203 who place the necessity of their rites and observances, not in the nature of the things themselves, but in the church's precept?

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Sect. 1. Since it hath been evinced by unanswerable reasons that holidays, as now urged upon us, take away our Christian liberty, I will now pull off them the coat of some fig leaves wherewith they are trimmed up. And first, I hope it will appear to how small purpose Dr Davenant would conciliate his reader's mind204 to allow of the church's ordinances about holidays (peradventure because he saw all that he had said of that purpose to be too invalid proof), by six cautions, whereby all superstition and abuse which may ensue upon them may be shunned. For whatsoever doth manifestly endanger men's souls, being a thing not necessary in itself, at which they take occasion of superstitious abuse, should rather be removed altogether out of the way, than be set about with a weak and easily-penetrable hedge of some equivocative cautions, which the ruder sort do always, and the learned do too oft, either not understand or not remember. Now, Bishop Lindsey confesseth,205 and puts it out of all doubt, that when the set times of these solemnities return, superstitious conceits are most pregnant in the heads of people; therefore it must be the safest course to banish those days out of the church, since there is so great hazard, and no necessity, of retaining them.

What they can allege for holidays, from our duty to remember the inestimable benefits of our redemption, and to praise God for the same, hath been already answered.206 And as touching any expediency which they imagine in holidays, we shall see to that afterward.207

Sect. 2. The Act of Perth Assembly allegeth the practice of the ancient church for warrant of holidays, and Tilen allegeth the judgment of antiquity to the same purpose.208 Ans. The festivities of the ancient church cannot warrant ours; for, 1. In the purest times of the church there was no law to tie men to the observation of holidays. Observandum est, say the divines of Magdeburg,209 [pg 1-042] apostolos et apostolicos viros, neque de paschate, neque de aliis quibuscunque, festivitatibus legem aliquam constituisse. Socrates reporteth,210 that men did celebrate the feast of Easter, and other festival days, sicuti voluerunt, ex consuetudine quadam. Nicephorus saith,211 that men did celebrate festivities, sicuti cuique visum erat, in regionibus passim ex consuitudine quadam per traditionem accepta adducti. In which place, as the reader will plainly perceive, he opposeth tradition to an evangelical or apostolical ordinance. Sozomen tells us,212 that men were left to their own judgment about the keeping of Easter, Jerome saith of the feasts213 which the church in his time observed, that they were pro varietate regionum diversa. The first who established a law about any festival day,214 is thought to have been Pius I, bishop of Rome, yet it is marked that the Asiatican doctors did not care much for this constitution of Pius. I conclude with Cartwright,215 that those feasts of the primitive church “came by custom, and not by commandment, by the free choice of men, and not by constraint.” So that from these, no commendation ariseth to our feasts, which are not only established by laws, but also imposed with such necessity and constraint, as spoileth us of our liberty.

2. The festival days observed by the ancient church, were not accounted more excellent than other days, for, saith Jerome,216 non quod celebrior sit dies illa qua conveniumus, &c. But our festival days are made aliis diebus celebriores, yea, are taken to be holier than other days, as I will afterwards prove.217

Sect. 3. Moreover, the proctors for holidays among us think to make advantage of the practice of other reformed churches, and the judgment of modern divines. But we are to consider, 1. As they have the example of some churches for them, so we have the example of other churches for us, for the church of Geneva in Savoy, and the church of Strasburg in Germany, did abolish festival days, as Calvin writeth.218 Yea, in hac tota provincia aboliti fuerunt dies festi, saith he. The church of Zurich in Helvetia did also banish them all away, as Bullinger writeth to Calvin.219 2. The practice [pg 1-043] of the greatest part of the reformed churches in observing holidays, cannot commend them in the church of Scotland, 1. Because she did spue them out with so great detestation, that she is more bound to abhor them than other churches which did not the like, and I may well apply to them that which Calvin saith220 of the ceremonies of the Interim, to Valentinus Pacaeus, Ut concedam faetidas illas sordes quibus purgatae fuerunt vestrae ecclesiae, inrebus medus posse censeri: earum tamen restitutio eritne res media? 2. The church of Scotland is tied yet with another bond to hate holidays, of which other churches are free; for, by a solemn oath sworn to the God of heaven, she hath abjured all antichristian and popish rites, and dedicating of days particularly. When Tilen would make answer to this argument, he saith,221 that men's consciences should not be snared with rash oaths and superstitious vows, and if that such bonds be laid on, they should be broken and shaken off. What! Calls he this a superstitious vow, which abjured all superstition and superstitious rites? Or calls he this a rash oath, which, upon so sage and due deliberation, so serious advisement, so pious intention, so decent preparation, so great humiliation, was religiously, publicly, solemnly sworn throughout this land, and that at the straight command of authority? Who is ignorant of these things, except he be a stranger in our Israel? But say the oath had been rash and temeratious, shall it not therefore oblige? His judgment is, it doth not; and so thinks the Bishop of Winchester,222 who teacheth us, that if the oath be made rashly, paenitenda promissio non perficienda praesumptio, he had said better thus, paenitenda praesumptio, perficienda promissio; for was not that a very rash oath which the princes of Israel did swear to the Gibeonites, not asking counsel at the mouth of the Lord? Josh. ix. 14-16, yet it bound both them, Josh ix. 19, and their posterity, some hundred years after, 2 Sam. xxi. 1. If the matter then be lawful, the oath binds, were it sworn ever so rashly.

Sect. 4. As touching the judgment of divines, we say, 1. Many divines disallow of festival days, and with the church, were free of them. For the Belgic churches, in their synod, anno 1578, wished that the six days [pg 1-044] might be wrought upon, and that the Lord's day alone might be celebrated. And Luther in his book, de Bonis Operibus, wished that there were no feast-days among Christians but the Lord's day. This wish of theirs declareth plainly, that they allowed of no holiday except the Lord's day; yet Bishop Lindsey must make a fashion of saying something for an answer. “This wish (saith he223) Luther and the Belgic churches conceived, out of their miscontent at the number, corruptions, and superstitions of the festival days, beside the Lord's day, as ye do.” Ans. 1. Their wish importeth a simple and absolute mistaking of all festival days besides the Lord's day, and not of their number and corruptions only. 2. It is well that he acknowledgeth both them and us to have reason of miscontentment at holidays, from their corruptions and superstitions. The old Waldenses also,224 whose doctrine was restored and propagated by John Huss, and Jerome of Prague, after Wiclif, and that with the congratulation of the church of Constantinople, held,225 that they were to rest from labour upon no day but upon the Lord's day, whereby it appeareth, that holidays have had adversaries before us. I find that they pervert some places which they allege against us out of Calvin. Tilen allegeth,226 Calvin. Inst., lib. 2, cap. 8, sec. 32, acknowledging alios quoque dies festos praeter dominicum, &c. I marvel how a judicious reader could imagine such a thing to be in that place, for both in that and the subsequent section, he is speaking of the Lord's day against the Anabaptists, and if any man will think that in sec. 32 he is speaking of holy assemblies of Christians in the general, yet he can see nothing there of any festival days, beside the Lord's day, dedicated to holy meetings. There is another place of Calvin abused by Bishop Spotswood227 and Bishop Lindsey,228 taken out of one of his Epistles to Hallerus, which I find in the volume before quoted, p. 136, 137, that which they grip to in this epistle is, that Calvin, speaking of the abrogation of festival days in Geneva, saith, hoc tamen testatum esse volo, si mihi delata optio fuisset, quod nunc constitutum est, non fuisse pro [pg 1-045] sententia dicturum. Ans. That which made Calvin say so, was not any liking which he had to festival days, for he calls the abolishing of them ordo bene compositus;229 but as himself showeth in the following epistle, which beareth this title, Cal. Ministro Burensi, S.D., the reason why he durst scarcely have so determined, if his judgment had been required, was, because, he saw neither end nor remedy for the prevailing tumult of contention raised about festival days, and likely to impede the course of reformation; therefore fovendae pacis studio, he professeth that he durst not make mention of the abrogation of those holidays. Because he would have tolerated holidays, because he durst not at that time, and as the case then stood, have spoken of the abolishing them, can it be hereupon concluded that he allowed of them? No, sure. But it is observable how both those prelates pervert Calvin's words. Bishop Spotswood allegeth his words anent the abolishing of these festival days, thus: Ego neque suasor neque impulsor fui, atque hoc testatum volo, si mihi delata optio, &c. Whereas the words in that epistle lie thus: Ego tametsi neque suasor, neque impulsor fui, sic tamen accidisse non moleste fero. Quod si statum nostrae ecclesiae aeque compertum haberes, non dubitares meo judicio subscribere. Hoc tamen testatum esse volo, si mihi delata optio, &c. The Bishop would have made his hearers believe that Calvin was not content with the abolishing of the festival days, whereas his words testify the very contrary. Bishop Lindsey is as gross in perverting the end of that epistle. Nec tamen est cur homines adeo exasperentur, si libertate nostra ut ecclesiae edificatio postulat utimur, &c., from which words he concludes, that in Calvin's judgment, the observation and abrogation of those days is in the power and liberty of the church. But the reader will perceive, that Calvin there speaketh only of the church's liberty to abrogate holidays, and nothing of her power to observe them, for he is showing, that howbeit he durst not have given advice to abolish them, if the decision had been referred to him, yet they had no reason for them who were offended at the abolishing of them in Geneva, because that church had done no more than she had power and liberty to do for edification. 3. Other testimonies [pg 1-046] they produce, which cannot help them much. That which Bishop Lindsey230 allegeth out of Zanchius's confession, maketh him but small advantage; for though Zanchius there alloweth of the sanctification of some festival days, yet, writing on the fourth commandment, he acknowledgeth that it is more agreeable to the first institution, and to the writings of the apostles, that one day of the week only be sanctified. What meant the Bishop to say?231 that this place is falsified and mutilated by his antagonist, who quotes it not to prove that Zanchius disalloweth of festival days, but to prove that, in Zanchius's judgment, the sanctification of the Sabbath only, and no other day in the week, agreeth best with divine and apostolical institution? Was there any need to allege more of Zanchius's words than concerned the point which he had to prove? The Bishop allegeth also a testimony out of Perkins on Gal. iv. 10,232 which makes him but very little help; for albeit Perkins thought good, in some sort, to excuse the observing of days in his own mother church of England, yet I find in that place, 1. He complaineth that the greatest part respects those holidays more than they should. 2. He alloweth only the observing of days for order's sake, that men may come to the church to hear God's word, which respect will not be enough to the Bishop, if there be not a solemnising and celebrating of the memory of some of God's inestimable benefits, and a dedicating of the day to this end and purpose. 3. He saith, that it is the privilege of God to appoint an extraordinary day of rest, so that he permitteth not power to the church for appointing a set, constant, and anniversary day of rest, for such a day becometh an ordinary day of rest. 4. He preferreth the practice of those churches of the Protestants who do not observe holidays, because, saith he, the church, in the apostles' days, had no holiday besides the Lord's day, and the fourth commandment enjoins the labour of six days.

Sect. 5. The Bishop meeteth with another answer in his antagonist which crosseth his testimonies, namely, that howsoever foreign divines, in their epistles and councils, spake sometimes sparingly against holidays, when their advice was sought of churches newly risen out of Popery and greatly distressed, yet they never advised a church to resume [pg 1-047] them where they were removed. The Bishop objecteth against this answer,233 that Calvin, epist. 51, “adviseth the Monbelgardens not to contend against the prince for not resuming (he should have said, for not receiving, if he had translated Calvin's words faithfully) of all festival days, but only such as served not to edification, and were seen to be superstitious.” Ans. 1. Albeit he spake sparingly against holidays, when he gave advice to that distressed and lately reformed church, lest the work of reformation should have been letted, yet he did not allow holidays among them. For in another epistle written to them he saith,234 De pulsu campanarum et diebus festis ita sentimus, ferendas potius esse vobis has ineptias, quam stationem in qua estis a domino collocati deferendum, modo ne approbetis; modo etiam liberum vobis sit reprehendere, quae inde sequentur superstitiones. And this he setteth down for one of these superstitions, quod dies a die discernitur, where also he condemneth both the observing of days to the honour of man as superstitious, and the observing of them for the honour of God as [pg 1-048] Judaical. If holidays, in Calvin's judgment, be fooleries—if he gave advice not to approve them—if he thought them occasions of superstition—if he held it superstition to distinguish one day from another, or to esteem one above another—if he call them Judaical, though kept to the honour of God, judge then what allowance they had from him. 2. If the Bishop stand to Calvin's judgment in that place which he quoteth, he must allow as to refuse some festival days, though enjoined by the prince. In festis non recipiendis cuperem vos esse constantiores, sic tamen ut non litigetis de quibuslibet. Then he allowed them to contend against some holidays, though the prince imposed them. 3. The church of Scotland did remove festival days in another manner, and bound herself never to receive them by another bond than ever the Monbelgardens did; so that having other bonds lying upon us than other churches have, we are so much the more straightly obliged neither to receive holidays, nor any other antichristian and popish ceremony.

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Sect. 1. The Archbishop of St Andrews, now Lord Chancellor forsooth, speaking of the five articles concluded at the pretended Assembly of Perth, saith,235 “The conveniency of them for our church is doubted of by many, but not without cause, &c.; novations in a church, even in the smallest things, are dangerous, &c.; had it been in our power to have dissuaded or declined them, most certainly we would, &c.; but now being brought to a necessity, either of yielding, or disobeying him, whom, for myself, I hold it religion to offend,” &c. Dr Burgess confesseth,236 that some of his side think and believe, that the ceremonies are inconvenient, and yet to be observed for peace and the gospel's sake; and how many Formalists let us hear their hearty wishes, that the ceremonies had never been brought into our church, because they have troubled our peace, and occasioned great strife? When they are demanded why do they yield to them, since they acknowledge great inconveniency in them? they answer, lest by their refusal they [pg 1-050] should cast their coal to the fire, to entertain and increase discord, and lest, shunning one inconveniency, they should draw on a great. Mr Sprint saith,237 “It may be granted, that offence and hinderance to edification do arise from those our ceremonies.”238 He confesseth also, that the best divines wished them to be abolished, as being many ways inconvenient; notwithstanding, he hath written a whole treatise, of the necessity of conformity in case of deprivation.

Sect. 2. But let us understand how he proveth239 that sometimes it is expedient and necessary to conform unto such burdensome and beggarly ceremonies, as are many ways inconvenient, and occasions of sundry evil effects. His principal reason is,240 That the apostles, by direction of the Holy Ghost, and upon reasons of common and perpetual equity, did practise themselves, and caused others to practise, yea, advised and enjoined (as matters good and necessary to be done) ceremonies so inconvenient and evil in many main and material respects, as the ceremonies enjoined and prescribed in the church of England are supposed to be; whence he would have it to follow, that to suffer deprivation for refusing to conform to the ceremonies of the church of England, is contrary to the doctrine and practice of the apostles. Ans. These Jewish ceremonies in the use and practice of the apostles, were no way evil and inconvenient, as himself everywhere confesseth, whereas, therefore, he tells us,241 that those ceremonies were abused to superstition, were of mystical signification, imposed and observed as parts of God's worship, swerving from the general rules of God's word, not profitable for order, decency, and edification, offensive many ways, and infringing Christian liberty, he runs at random all the while; for these things agree not to the Jewish ceremonies, as they were rightly used by the apostles themselves, and by others at their advice, but only as they were superstitiously used with opinion of necessity by the obstinate Jews, and by the false teachers, who impugned Christian liberty. So that all that can follow upon Mr Sprint's argument is this: That notwithstanding of the evils and inconveniences which follow upon certain ceremonies in the superstitious abuse of them by others, yet if, in our practice, they have a necessary or expedient [pg 1-051] use, then (after the example of the apostles) we may well conform unto them. Now, all this cometh not near the point which Mr Sprint undertaketh to prove, namely, that granting the controverted ceremonies to be, in our use and practice of the same, many ways evil and inconvenient, yet to suffer deprivation for refusing to conform to the same is contrary to the doctrine and practice of the apostles. And as touching the comparison instituted betwixt our controverted ceremonies, and these antiquated ceremonies of the Jews, practised and prescribed by the apostles after the ascension of Christ, and before the full promulgation of the gospel, many evils there be in ours, which could not be found in theirs. For, 1. Ours have no necessary use, and might well be spared; theirs had a necessary use for avoiding of scandal, Acts xv. 28. 2. Ours produce manifold inconveniences (whereof we are to speak hereafter) in over use and practice of the same, which is prescribed, theirs in the use and practice of the same, which was enjoined by the apostles, were most expedient for winning of the obstinate Jews, 1 Cor. ix. 20; and for keeping of the weak, 1 Cor. ix. 22; and for teaching the right use of Christian liberty to such as were strong in the faith, both among the believing Jews and converted Gentiles, Rom. iv. &c.; 1 Cor. viii.; x. 3. Ours are proved to be, in their nature unlawful; theirs were (during the foresaid space) in their nature indifferent, Rom. xiv. 6; Gal. vi. 15. 4. Ours are imposed and observed as parts of God's worship (which we will prove afterward);242 theirs not so, for where read we, that (during the foresaid space) any holiness was placed in them by the apostles? 5. Ours have certain mystical significations; theirs not so: for it is no where to be read, that the apostles either practised or prescribed them as significative resemblances of any mystery of the kingdom of God. 6. Ours make us (though unnecessarily) like unto idolaters, in their idolatrous actions; theirs not so. 7. Ours are imposed with a necessity both of practice and opinion, even out of the case of scandal; theirs not so. 8. Ours are pressed by naked will and authority; theirs, by such special grounds of momentaneous reason, as made the practice of the same necessary for a certain time, whether the apostles [pg 1-052] had enjoined it or not. 9. Ours are urged even upon such as, in their consciences, judge them to be unlawful; theirs not so. 10. Ours have no better original than human and antichristian invention; theirs had their original from God's own institution. 11. Ours are the accursed monuments of popish idolatry, to be ejected with detestation; theirs were the memorials of Mosaical policy, to be buried with honour. 12. Ours are pressed by such pretended reasons, as make them ever and everywhere necessary; theirs, by such reasons as did only conclude a necessity of using them at some times, and in some places. 13. Ours are urged after the full promulgation of the gospel and acknowledgment of Christian liberty; theirs, before the same. 14. Ours are urged with the careless neglect of pressing more necessary duties; theirs not so. These and other differences betwixt the controverted and Jewish ceremonies, do so break the back of Mr Sprint's argument, that there is no healing of it again.

Sect. 3. His second reason whereby he goeth about to prove the necessity of conforming to inconvenient ceremonies, in the case of deprivation, he taketh from this ground:243 That when two duties commanded of God, do meet in one practice, so as we cannot do them both, in this case we must perform the greater duty, and neglect the lesser. Now, whereas he saith, when two duties do meet, &c., he means not, that both may be duties at once, for then a man shall be so straitened that he must needs commit a sin, in that he must needs omit one of the duties. But (as he explaineth himself) he calleth them duties, being considered apart: as, to hear a sermon at the church on the Sabbath, and to tend a sick person ready to die at home, at the same time, both are duties, being considered apart, but meeting together in our practice at one time, there is but one duty, because the lesser work binds not for that present. Now, he assumes that the doctrine and practice of suffering deprivation for refusing to conform to inconvenient ceremonies, doth cause men to neglect greater duties to perform the lesser, for proof whereof he enlargeth a needless discourse, tending to prove that preaching is a greater duty and of higher bond than the duty of labouring unto fit ceremonies, or of refusing inconvenient [pg 1-053] ceremonies, which cannot help his cause. That which he had to prove was, that not to suffer deprivation for refusing of inconvenient ceremonies, is a greater duty than the refusing of inconvenient ceremonies. But it will be said, that to suffer deprivation for the refusing of inconvenient ceremonies, doth cause men to neglect the preaching of the word, and that is a greater duty than the refusing of inconvenient ceremonies. Ans 1. Mr Sprint himself layeth down one ground, which proveth the refusing of inconvenient ceremonies to be a greater duty than the preaching of the word, for he holdeth244 that the substantials of the second table do overrule the ceremonials of the first table, according to that which God saith, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice,” Matt. xii. 7. And elsewhere he teacheth,245 that to tend a sick person ready to die is a greater duty than the hearing of the word. Now, to practice inconvenient and scandalous ceremonies, is to commit soul-murder, and so to break one of the most substantial duties of the second table. Therefore, according to Mr Sprint's own ground, the refusing of inconvenient and scandalous ceremonies is a greater duty than the preaching of the word, which is but a ceremonial of the first table, and if the neglect of tending a sick person's body be a greater sin than to omit the hearing of many sermons, much more to murder the souls of men, by practising inconvenient and scandalous ceremonies, is a greater sin than to omit the preaching of many sermons, which is all the omission (if there be any) of those who suffer deprivation for refusing to conform unto inconvenient ceremonies. But, 2. We deny that the suffering of deprivation for refusing to conform unto inconvenient ceremonies, causeth men to neglect or omit the duty of preaching. Neither hath Mr Sprint alleged anything for proof hereof, except that this duty of preaching cannot be done with us ordinarily, as things do stand, if ministers do not conform, for, by order, they are to be deprived of their ministry. Now, what of all this? For though, by the oppressing power of proud prelates, many are hindered from continuing in preaching, because of their refusing inconvenient ceremonies, yet they themselves who suffered deprivation for this cause cannot be said to neglect or omit the duty of preaching: most [pg 1-054] gladly would they preach, but are not permitted. And how can a man be said to omit or neglect that which he would fain do but it lieth not in his power to get it done? All the strength of Mr Sprint's argument lieth in this: That forasmuch as ministers are hindered from preaching, if they do not conform, therefore, their suffering of deprivation for refusing conformity, doth cause them neglect the duty of preaching. Which argument, that I may destroy it with his own weapons, let us note,246 that he alloweth a man (though not to suffer deprivation, yet) to suffer any civil penalty or external loss, for refusing of inconvenient ceremonies commanded and enjoined by the magistrate. Now, put the case, that for refusing inconvenient ceremonies, I be so fined, spoiled, and oppressed, that I cannot have sufficient worldly means for myself and them of my household, hence I argue thus (if Mr Sprint's argument hold good): That forasmuch as I am, by strong violence, hindered from providing for myself and them of my household, if I do not conform, therefore, my suffering of those losses for refusing of conformity, doth cause me to neglect the duty of providing for myself and for them of my family, which neglect should make me worse than an infidel.

Sect. 4. Mr Sprint now addeth a third, proving, that to suffer deprivation for refusing to conform to the prescribed ceremonies247 (howbeit many ways inconvenient,) is contrary to the royal law of love, which he labours to evidence three ways. First, he saith, that to suffer deprivation for refusing to conform, doth, by abstaining from a thing in nature indifferent (such as our ceremonies, saith he, are proved to be), needlessly deprive men of the ordinary means of their salvation, which is the preaching ministry of the word, &c. Ans. 1. That the controverted ceremonies are in nature indifferent, neither he, nor any of his side, hath yet proven; they suppose that they are indifferent, but they prove it not. 2. We deny that the suffering of deprivation for refusing to conform to the prescribed ceremonies, doth deprive men of the preaching of the word. Neither saith Mr Sprint aught for proof hereof but that which we have already confuted, viz., that as things do stand, all such as do not conform are to be deprived, whence it followeth only, that the injury and violence of prelates [pg 1-055] (not the suffering of deprivation for refusing to conform) depriveth men of the preaching of the word. Secondly, he saith,248 that the doctrine and practice of suffering deprivation for inconvenient ceremonies, condemneth both the apostolical churches, and all churches since their times, because there hath been no church which hath not practised inconvenient ceremonies. Ans. It is most false which he saith of the apostolical churches; for those Jewish ceremonies practised by them were most convenient, as we have said before. And as for other churches in after ages, so many of them as have practised inconvenient ceremonies, are not herein to be followed by us. Better go right with a few than err with a multitude. Thirdly, he saith,249 that the suffering of deprivation for refusing to conform, breedeth and produceth sundry scandals. First, saith he, it is the occasion of fraternal discord. O egregious impudency! who seeth not that the ceremonies are the incendiary sparkles, from which the fire of contention hath its being and burning; so that conforming (not refusing) is the furnishing of fuel and casting of faggots to the fire. Secondly, He allegeth that the suffering of deprivation for refusing to conform, twofold more scandaliseth the Papist than conformity; for he doth far more insult to see a godly minister thrust out, and with him all the truth of God pressed, than to see him wear a surplice, &c. Thirdly, he saith, It twofold more scandaliseth the Atheist, libertine, and Epicure, who, by the painful minister's deprival, will triumph to see a door opened for him without resistance, to live in drunkenness, whoredom, swearing, &c. Now, for answer to his second and third pretences, we say, 1. Mr Sprint implieth indirectly, that when non-conforming ministers are thrust out, Papists, Atheists, libertines, and Epicures, expect but small opposition from those conforming ministers who come in their rooms. Our opposites have a skilful proctor (forsooth) of Mr Sprint. And, indeed, if Papists and Atheists were so afraid of Conformists as of Nonconformists, they would not thus insult. 2. We must distinguish betwixt deprivation and the suffering of deprivation. Papists insult indeed, that their assured friends, the prelates, are so powerful, as to thrust out from the public ministry the greatest enemies of Popery. [pg 1-056] But as for the ministers' suffering of themselves to be thrust out, and deprived for refusing of conformity, it is so far from giving to Papists any matter of insulting, that it will rather grieve them and gall them to the heart, to understand that sundry powerful, painful, and learned ministers are so averse from Popery, that before they conform to any ceremony of the same, they will suffer for refusal; and that their constancy and courage, in suffering for such a cause, will confirm many professors in the persuasion of the truth of their doctrine, which they taught against conforming unto popish ceremonies. But to go on. Fourthly, saith he, It twofold more scandaliseth such an one as doth truly fear the name of God, who could be more contented to enjoy the means of his faith and salvation, with a small inconveniency of some ceremonies which he grieveth at, than to lose his pastor, the gospel, and the ordinary means of his faith and salvation. Ans. 1. Mr Sprint supposeth that such an one, as for no respect whatsoever would be contented with the practice of some inconvenient ceremonies, doth not truly fear the name of God. And who is the Puritan now? Is not Mr Sprint, who standeth in such a huge distance from all who are of our mind, and so far preferreth himself and his followers to us as if we did not truly fear the name of God? Secondly, He supposeth that, when non-conforming ministers are thrust out, the ordinary means of faith and salvation are not dispensed (to the comfort and contentment of such as truly fear the name of God) by those conforming ministers, who are surrogate in their stead which, how his fellows will take with, let them look to it. 3. Forasmuch as the fear of God is to depart from evil, therefore such an one as doth truly fear the name of God, in so far as he doth fear the name of God, and quatenus, he is such an one, will never take well with the practice of inconvenient ceremonies, which is not a parting from, but a cleaving unto evil. 4. They who truly fear the name of God, are indeed scandalised by the prelates' depriving of ministers for refusing to conform; but by the ministers' suffering of deprivation for this cause, they are not scandalised but edified. But, Fifthly, saith Mr Sprint, it offendeth the magistrate, by provoking him (persuaded and resolved as he is) to disgrace these otherwise well-deserving ministers, and to strike them with the sword of authority. [pg 1-057] Ans. Our refusal to conform to inconvenient ceremonies being a necessary duty, if the magistrate be provoked therewith, we are blameless; neither can it any otherwise provoke him to disgrace those well-deserving ministers, than Moses' seeking of liberty for Israel to go and serve God according to his will, provoked Pharaoh the more to oppress them; or than Christ's preaching of the truth, and his abstaining from the superstitious ceremonies of the Pharisees, provoked them to disgrace him, and plot his hurt. Howbeit we are not ignorant that the magistrate is not provoked by our refusing to conform, except as it is misreported, misdeemed, and misconstructed to him by the false calumnies of our adversaries, which being so, he is not incited by our deed, but by theirs.

Sect. 5. Now, Sixthly, saith Mr Sprint, it unjustly condemneth the harmony of all true churches that ever were primitive and reformed, and all sound teachers of all times and places, whose universal doctrine it hath been, that conformity to inconvenient ceremonies is necessary, in case of deprivation. Ans. That the ceremonies practised by the apostles and apostolic churches were not inconvenient, it hath been already showed; that since their times, sundry churches, both ancient and reformed, have practised inconvenient ceremonies, we deny not: yet Mr Sprint himself250 will not defend all the practices of those churches, whose practice he allegeth against us. But that all sound teachers, of all times and places, have taught the necessity of conformity to inconvenient ceremonies, in case of deprivation, he neither doth, neither can make good; it is but a bare and a bold affirmation to deceive the minds of the simple. Did not the good old Waldenses,251 notwithstanding of all the hot persecutions raised against them, constantly refuse to conform unto any of those ceremonies of the church of Rome, which they perceived to have no necessary use in religion, and to occasion superstition rather than to serve for edification? And we verily rejoice to be ranked with those Waldenses, of whom a popish historiographer speaketh thus:252 Alius in libris cathari dicuntur, quibus respondent qui hodie in Anglia puriorum doctrinam [pg 1-058] præ se ferunt. Moreover, it cannot be unknown to such as are acquainted with the history of the Reformation, how that not Flacius Illiricus only, but many others,253 among whom was Calvin,254 and the Magdeburgian doctors,255 and all the churches of Nether Saxony subject to Maurice,256 opposed themselves to those inconvenient and hurtful ceremonies of the Interim, urged by the Adiaphorists. And howsoever they perceived many great and grievous dangers ensuing upon their refusing to conform to the same, yet they constantly refused, and many ministers suffered deprivation for their refusal.257 Besides, do not our divines require, that the church's canons, even in matters of rite, be “profitable to the edification of the church,”258 and that the observation of the same must carry before it a manifest utility,259 that in rites and ceremonies the church hath no power to destruction, but only to edification?260 Do they not put this clause in the very definition of ecclesiastical rites,261 that they be profitably ordained; considering, that otherwise they are but intolerable misorders and abuses? Do they not teach,262 that no idle ceremony which serveth not unto edifying is to be suffered in the church; and that godly brethren are not holden to subject themselves unto such things as they perceive neither to be right nor profitable?263 That whatsoever either would scandalise our brother,264 or not be profitable to him for his edification, Christians for no respect must dare to meddle with it? Do they not stand so much upon expediency, that this tenet is received with them: That the negative precepts of the law, do bind, not only at all times, but likewise to all times (whereupon it followeth, that we may never do that which is inconvenient or scandalous), and that the affirmative precepts though they bind at all times, yet not to all times, but only quando expedit, whereupon it followeth, that we are never bound to the practice of any duty commanded in the law of God, [pg 1-059] except only when it is expedient to be done; but Mr Sprint excepteth against this rule,265 that it is not generally true; for evidence whereof he allegeth many things, partly false, partly impertinent, upon which I hold it not needful here to insist. As for such examples, objected by him, as carry some show of making against this rule, which he dare not admit, I will make some answer thereto. He saith, that sometimes even negative precepts have been lawfully violated; for these precepts were negative,—none but priests must eat shew-bread, yet David did lawfully violate it; thou shalt do no work upon the Sabbath, yet the priests brake this, and are blameless; let nothing of God's good creatures be lost, yet Paul and his company did lawfully cast away their goods in the ship, to save their lives, &c. Ans. Mr Sprint might easily have understood, that when divines say, the affirmative precepts bind at all times, but not to all times,—the negative precepts both at all times and to all times, they ever mean, specie actionis manente cadem; so long as an action forbidden in a negative precept ceaseth not to be evil, as long the negative precept bindeth to all times: whereas even whilst an action commanded in an affirmative precept, ceaseth not to be good, yet the affirmative precept bindeth not to all times. So that the rule is not crossed by the alleged examples; for David's eating of the shew-bread; the priests' labour upon the Sabbath; and Paul's casting of the goods into the sea, were not evil, but good actions (the kind of the action being changed by the circumstances). In the meantime, the foresaid rule still crosseth Mr Sprint's tenet; for he holdeth that even whilst certain ceremonies remain evil in their use, and cease not to be scandalous and inconvenient, yet we are not ever bound to abstain from them, but may in the case of deprivation practice them, which directly contradicteth the rule.

Sect. 6. The position therefore which we maintain against Mr Sprint, and from which we will not depart the breadth of one nail, is this, that we can never lawfully conform (no not in the case of deprivation) unto any ceremony which is scandalous and inconvenient in the use of it. For further confirmation whereof, we say, 1. Every negative precept of the law of God bindeth to all times, in such sort, that the action which it [pg 1-060] forbiddeth (so long as it remaineth evil, and the kind of it is not changed) can never lawfully be done. Therefore, forasmuch as to abstain from things scandalous and inconvenient, is one of the negative precepts of the law of God, and the ceremonies whereunto Mr Sprint would have us to conform in the case of deprivation, are, and remain scandalous and inconvenient in our practice and use of them according to his own presupposal; it followeth, that the use and practice of the same is altogether unlawful unto us. 2. That which is lawful in the nature of it is never lawful in the use of it, except only when it is expedient for edification, as teacheth the Apostle, 1 Cor. vi. 12; x. 23. The Corinthians objected that all indifferent things were lawful. The Apostle addeth a limitation,266 esse licita quatenus conducunt, they are lawful to be used in so far as they are expedient. 3. It is the Apostle's commandment, let all things be done unto edifying, 1 Cor. xiv. 26. Therefore whatsoever is not done unto edifying ought not to be done. 4. The Apostle saith, 1 Cor. viii. 13, “If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth.” Now, put the case, the Apostle had been hindered from preaching the gospel for his precise abstaining from those meats whereat his brother would be offended, would he in that case have eaten? Nay, he saith peremptorily, that whilst the world standeth he would not eat. 5. Say not our writers,267 that we must flee and abstain from every thing which is not expedient for the edification of our brother? And doth not the Bishop of Winchester teach,268 that in our going out, and coming in, and in all our actions, we must look to the rule of expediency? And saith not Bishop Spotswood,269 “It is not to be denied, but they are ceremonies, which for the inconveniency they bring, ought to be resisted?” 6. Dare Mr Sprint deny that which Ames saith he heard once defended in Cambridge,270 viz., that quicquid non expedit, quatenus non expedit, non licet: Whatsoever is not expedient, in so far as it is not expedient, it is not lawful. Doth not Pareus likewise show out of Augustine,271 that such things as are not expedient [pg 1-061] but scandalous, and do not edify but hurt our brother, Fiunt ex accidenti illicita et peccata, proinde vitanda? 7. To conform unto inconvenient and scandalous ceremonies, in the case of deprivation, is at the best, to do evil that good may come of it; which was the pretence of those councillors of Pope Pius V. who advised him to suffer stews at Rome, for preventing a greater evil of abusing chaste women and honest matrons. So the pseudo-Nicodemites allege for their abstaining from flesh upon the days forbidden by the church, that this they do for shunning a greater evil, which is the scandal of Papists. Our divines answer them,272 that evil ought not to be done that good may come of it. But, saith Mr Sprint,273 this rule of the Apostle (Rom. iii. 8) must be limited,274 and in some cases holdeth not; for a man may, for doing of good, do that which is evil in use, circumstance, and by accident, so it be not simply and in nature evil. Ans. 1. He begs the thing in question, for that rule is alleged against him to prove that nothing which is evil in the use of it may be done for any good whatsoever. 2. The difference betwixt that which is simply evil, and that which is evil in use and by accident, is in that the one may never be done, the other is unlawful only pro tempore; but in this they agree, that both are unlawful; for that which is evil by accident,275 whilst it is such, is unlawful to be done, no less than that which is in nature evil. 3. Divines hold absolutely,276 that Inter duo vel plura mala culpæ (such as things scandalous and inconvenient) nullum est eligendum; that though in evils of punishment we may choose a lesser to shun a greater, yet in evils of fault, election hath no place, neither may we do a lesser fault to shun a greater,277 nec ullum admittendum malum, ut eveniat aliquod bonum, sive per se sive per accidens. But let us hear what Mr Sprint can say to the contrary. He allegeth, the priests' breaking of the Sabbath, David's eating of the shewbread, and the apostles' practising of very hurtful ceremonies; all which things being unlawful were done lawfully, to further greater duties.

We have answered already, that the [pg 1-062] priests' killing of the sacrifices on the Sabbath, and David's eating of the shew-bread, were not unlawful, because the circumstances changed the kind of the actions. Also, that the Jewish ceremonies used by the apostles were in their practice no way hurtful, but very profitable. Mr Sprint allegeth another example out of 2 Chron. xxx. 18-21: To perform God's worship not as it was written, was a sin, saith he, yet to further God's substantial worships, which was a good thing, was not regarded of God. Ans. One cannot guess from his words how he thought here to frame an argument, which might conclude the lawfulness of doing some evil, that some good may come of it. Howsoever, that we may have some light in this matter, let us distinguish betwixt these two things: 1. The people's legal uncleanness, when they came to eat the passover. 2. Their adventuring to eat it, notwithstanding their uncleanness. That they were at that time unclean, it was a sin. But whilst they prepared their hearts truly to seek God, and repented of their uncleanness; that in this case they adventured to eat the passover, was no sin, because it is the will of God, that such as prepare their hearts unfeignedly to seek him, lament their wants, and repent for that they are not so prepared and sanctified for his worship as they ought (there being no other thing to hold them back beside some defect of sanctity in themselves), notwithstanding of any defect which is in them, draw near to him in the use of his holy ordinances. As touching the former, no man will say, that they chose to be unclean, that they might further God's worship. But as for the latter, repenting of their uncleanness, they chose to keep the passover, this did they to further God's worship, and this was no sin, especially if we observe with Tremellius, that it is said, ver. 20, the Lord healed the people, that is, by the virtue of his Spirit purified and cleansed them, so that, that which was lame was not turned out of the way, but rather made straight and healed.

Sect. 7. And now we leave Mr Sprint, who hath not only conformed to the controverted ceremonies, even upon presupposal of their inconveniency, but hath also made it very questionable,278 whether in the case of deprivation he ought to conform to sundry other popish ceremonies, such as shaven [pg 1-063] crown, holy water, cream, spittle, salt, and I know not how many more which he comprehendeth under &c., all his pretences of greater inconveniences following upon not conforming than do upon conforming, we have hitherto examined. Yet what saith Bishop Spotswood279 to the cause? He also allegeth there is a great inconveniency in the refusing of the ceremonies, namely, the offending of the king. But for answer unto this, look what the largest extent of the prince's power and privilege in matters belonging unto God's worship, which either God's word or the judgment of sound divines doth allow to him, none shall be found more willingly obsequious to his commandments than we. But as touching these ceremonies in question, we are upon evident grounds persuaded in our consciences, that they are both unlawful, and inexpedient for our church, and though they were lawful in themselves, yet we may answer as the oppugners of the Interim replied to those who urged yielding to the ceremonies of the same,280 surplice, holidays, tapers, &c., because of the emperor's commandment. That the question is not about things indifferent, but about a main article of faith, namely, Christian liberty, which admitteth not any yoke to be imposed upon the conscience, no not in things indifferent. Our gracious prince who now, by the blessing of God, happily reigns over us, will not (we assure ourselves) be offended at us, for having regard to our consciences, God's own deputies placed in our souls, so far, that for all the world we dare not hazard their peace and quiet, by doing anything with their repugnance and aversation. Wherefore, we are more than confident that his Majesty will graciously accept from us such a reasonable apology, as they of Strasburg used to Charles V.281 Quantum omnino fieri potest, parati sumus tibi giatificari, non solum civilibus verum etiam in rebus sacris. Veruntamen oramus invicem, ut cogites, quoniam sui facti rationem oportet unumquemque Deo reddere, merito nos de salute nostra solicitos esse, et providere nequid contra conscientiam a nobis fiat. And as the Estates of Germany to Ferdinand,282 when they besought him only not to grieve nor burden their consciences. [pg 1-064] Te quidem summum, et à Deo nobis datum magistrum agnoscimus, et libentissime quidem, ac nihil est omnium rerum, quod non possis aut debeas à nobis expectare, sed in hac unare propitium te nobis esse flagitamus. If these hoped that popish princes would accept such answers from them, shall not we? O, shall we not be persuaded that the Defender of the Faith will not refuse to take them from us! especially seeing his Majesty shall ever find, that he hath none more loyal and true subjects, who will more gladly employ and bestow their lives, lands, houses, holds, goods, gear, rents, revenues, places, privileges, means, moities, and all in his Highness' service, and maintenance of his royal crown, and moreover, have so deeply conceived a strong and full persuasion of his Majesty's princely virtues, and much renowned propension to piety and equity, that they will urge their consciences by all good and lawful means, to assent unto every thing which he enjoins as right and convenient, and when the just aversation of conscience upon evident reasons is invincible, will notwithstanding be more willing to all other duties of subjection, and more averse from the least show of contempt.



Sect. 1. As for those who allege some conveniency in the ceremonies, they say more than can abide the proof of reason, which the induction of some particulars shall demonstrate. Dr Mortoune283 allegeth for the surplice, that the difference of outward garments cannot but be held convenient for the distinguishing of ministers from laics in the discharge of their function. Ans. This conveniency is as well seen to without the surplice. If a man having a black gown upon him be seen exercising the function of a minister, it is very strange if any man think it not sufficiently distinguished from laics. The Act of Perth, anent confirmation and bishoping of children, would make it appear, that this ceremony is most profitable to cause young children in their tender years [pg 1-065] drink in the knowledge of God and his religion. Ans. 1. If this rite be so profitable for the instruction of children, then why do prelates appropriate it to themselves, who use to be employed in higher affairs, that permit them not to have leisure for exact catechising of children? Or, 2. Though they might attend the discharging of this duty; why should it be made their peculiar? Is not the parish minister able to catechise them? Or, 3. If it must depend upon prelates, and wait upon their leisure; what hath imposition of hands ado with catechising? 4. How comes it, that children who are not bishopped are as well catechised as they who are bishopped.

Sect. 2. Tilen284 setteth out the expediency of holidays, for imprinting in the minds of people the sense and knowledge of the benefits of redemption. Ans. 1. There is no mean so good for this purpose as catechising and preaching, out of season and in season. 2. What could he say unto them who have attained his end without his mean? I find people better instructed, and made more sensible of those benefits, where the feasts are not kept than where they are. 3. Think they their people sufficiently instructed in the grounds of religion, when they hear of the nativity, passion, &c.—what course will they take for instructing them in other principles of faith? Why do they not keep one way, and institute an holiday for every particular head of catechise?

But Bishop Lindsey thinks yet to let us see a greater expediency for observing holidays. “Certainly (saith he)285 nothing is so powerful to abolish profaneness, and to root out superstition out of men's hearts, as the exercise of divine worship, in preaching, praying and thanksgiving, chiefly then when the superstitious conceits of merit and necessity are most pregnant in the heads of people,—as doubtless they are when the set times of solemnities return,—for then it is meet to lance the aposteme when it is ripe.” Ans. This is a very bad cure; and is not only to heal the wound of the people slightly, but to make it the more inveterate and festered. I might object, that little or nothing is preached or spoken by him and his companions at the revolution of those festivities against the superstitious keeping of them; but though they should speak as much as can [pg 1-066] be against this superstition, their lancing being in word only, and not in deed, the recidivation will prove worse than the disease. The best lancing of the aposteme were not to observe them at all, or to preach against them, which are tried to work this effect more powerfully than the Bishop's cure hath done; for all know that there is none so free of this superstition as those who observe not the holidays.

Sect. 3. The same prelate pleadeth286 for the expediency of giving the communion to the sick in private houses, because he thinks they should not want this mean of comfort, as if the wanting of the sacramental signs, not procured by a man's own negligence or contempt, could stop or stay the comforts of the Holy Spirit. Nay, it is not so. We have seen some who received not the communion in time of their sickness, end more gloriously and comfortably than ever we heard of any who received the sacrament for their viaticum when they were a-dying. Paybody287 thinks kneeling, in the act of receiving the communion, to be expedient for the reverend using and handling of that holy sacrament, and that much reverence ariseth to the sacrament from it. Ans. I verily believe that more reverence ariseth to the sacrament from kneeling than is due to it; but I am sure there is no less true reverence of that holy sacrament among such as kneel not in the receiving of it, than among such as do kneel. I hope it is not unknown how humbly and reverently many sincere Christians, with fear and trembling, do address themselves to that most holy sacrament, who yet for all the world would not kneel in receiving it. Thus we see that these expediences, pretended for the ceremonies, are attained unto as well and better without them than by them. But I will go forward to show some particular inconveniences found in them.



First, then, the ceremonies are inexpedient, because our most holy faith, for which [pg 1-067] we should earnestly contend, received no small harm and prejudice, and is like to receive still more and more, by their means. Our case is not much different from the estate of the churches in Germany, when Charles V. caused the book called Interim to be published:288 expediency then was pretended of settling the peace of Germany by this as the best way; but it produced a very great inconveniency, and instead of effectuating peace, it brought forth a hotter contention, as well between the Protestants themselves, as between them and Papists. Expediency is now no less pretended for the ceremonies, yet no more truly. But before the bad effects of the Interim were seen, the wiser sort of Protestants289 wrote against it, and warned men, ut ab eo tanquam a praesentissima peste sibi caverent. Notwithstanding that the emperor did straitly inhibit all impugning of it. And Sleidane tells us,290 the reason which made them so mistake it was, because they thought such as were upon that course, were opening a way to the popish religion, per adiaphora seu res medias, and because291 they wished to retain the saving doctrine puram et salvam a technis illorum, qui nunc dum ceremonias restaurare videri volunt, colluviem totam doctrinae pontificiae rursus introducunt. The like reason have we to mistake conformity with antichrist in these ceremonies which are obtruded upon our church, for may we not justly fear that hereby we shall be drawn on to conform with him also in dogmatical and fundamental points of faith. Nay, what talk I of fear? We have already seen this bad consequence in a great part, for it is well enough known how many heterodox doctrines are maintained by Formalists, who are most zealous for the ceremonies anent universal grace, free-will, perseverance, justification, images, antichrist, the church of Rome, penance, Christ's passion and descending into hell, necessity of the sacraments, apocrypha books, Christ's presence in the eucharist, assurance of salvation, &c. Their errors about those heads we will demonstrate, if need be, to such as doubt of their mind. In the meantime it hath been preached from pulpits among ourselves, that Christ died for all alike, that the faithful may fall away from grace, [pg 1-068] that justification is a successive action, that none can be assured of salvation in this life, that images in churches are not to be condemned, that Christ descended locally unto the place of the damned, that the Pope is not antichrist, that Rome is not Babylon the whore, that the government and discipline of the church must alter like the French fashion, at the will of superiors, that we should not run so far away from Papists, but come as near to them as we can, that abstinence and alms are satisfactions or compensations for sin. These, and sundry such like tenets, have not been spoken in a corner.

Sect. 2. How far conformity to the ceremonies of the church of Rome hath drawn Conformists, of greatest note, to conform to her faith also, I may give instance in the Archbishop of Spalato.292 He holds, that many rites of the Roman church are ancient and approvable, that others, though neither ancient nor universal, yet, because of custom, should be tolerated, and that few only are either to be abolished, or, by some prudent and easy way, purged and refined. Now, will we know how far this unity in ceremonies drew him to unity in substance, then let us hear what is his verdict of Protestants as well as of Papists, who suffer for their religion.293 Certe potius martyres mundi, quam Dei sunt, qui ex utraque parte sub titulo conscientiae sanguinem frustra fundunt: quasi vero fides et religio Romana, et fides ac religio protestantium sunt duae fides et duae religiones, &c. He tells us,294 moreover, that if the Protestants will not have peace with those whom they call Papists, and communicate with them, then are they schismatics, and are not in the true church. And in the declaration of the motives whereupon he undertook his departure out of the territory of Venice, he expresseth his judgment of such books as are framed against the doctrine of the church of Rome, that he held them above measure detestable. Neither doth he stand alone in this pitch, for among the sect of Formalists, is swarming a sect of Reconcilers, who preach and profess unity with the church of Rome in matters of faith. For example, they say, that that which the [pg 1-069] learned Papists hold concerning justification, is orthodox, and therefore they will not contend against them, except it be for their contending with us, who do agree with them.295

Sect. 3. These Reconcilers are too far on in the way to Popery already; but if they will be fully reconciled with Papists, they must transport themselves altogether into their tents, because Papists will not come forth to meet them midway. The Interim of Germany tended to reconciliation, yet the Papists wrote against it.296 Cassander sought this reconciliation, but Bellarmine confuteth his opinion.297 The Archbishop of Spalato was upon the same course of reconciliation, but his books were condemned as heretical, in the decree given at Rome, anno 1616, by the congregation of cardinals deputed by Pope Paul V., for the making and renewing of the index of prohibited books. The Rhemists tell us,298 that they will avoid not only our opinions, but our very words which we use. Our adversaries profess that they reject some expositions of certain places of Scripture, against which they have no other reason but because they are our expositions. Are their minds so aliened from us? And must we be altogether drawn overstays to them? Are they so unwilling to be reconciled to the prejudice of their errors? And shall we be so willing to be reconciled with them to the prejudice of the truth? O strange and monstrous invention! that would reconcile Christ with antichrist,—agree the temple of God and idols,—mix light and darkness together. He had good reason for him who objected to the Archbishop of Spalato,299 that qui ubique est, nusquam est; for instead of reconciling Protestants and Papists, they make themselves a third party, and raise more controversy. O bellua multorum capitum!

Sect. 4. Thus we perceive what prejudice hath arisen, and yet ariseth to the true and saving doctrine, by the means of symbolising with the church of Rome in these ceremonies. But because some Formalists approve not of this course of reconciliation, they (I know) would purge the ceremonies of the blame of it. I will therefore show, that Reconcilers are set forward in their [pg 1-070] course of reconciliation, by means of the Roman rites remaining in reformed churches.

G. Cassander, in his book de Officio pii Viri, relates unto us how he was entered into this course, and conceived this purpose of reconciliation, and tells, that from his youthhood, he was most observant of ecclesiastical ceremonies, yet so, that he abhorred all superstition. And when he had read the writers of that age, who promised some reformation and repurgation of superstitious worships and absurd opinions, he saith, Mire illorum institutum placuit: qui tamen ita superstitiones et abusiones, quae nonnullis ceremoniis ecclesiasticis admixtae erant, exosas haberem ut ipsum ecclesiasticam politiam, quae his ceremoniis fere constant, non sublatum et eversam, sed repurgatam et emendatam esse vellum. We see the first thing which induced him to a reconciliation, was his liking which he had to popish ceremonies, and their remaining in protestant churches, and as this course hath been attempted, so is it also advanced by the ceremonies, for thereby people are induced to say, as they said once, when popish ceremonies did re-enter in Germany.300 “We perceive now, that the Pope is not so black as Luther made him.” And as for the Reconcilers themselves, may they not conceive strong hopes to compass their end? May they not confidently embark in this business? May they not with great expectation of prosperous success achieve their project? When once they have footing upon our union with Rome in ceremonies and church policy, they cannot but hereupon conceive no small animosity to work out their intended purpose.

Do I talk of a chimera, and imagine now that which is not? Nay, I will really exemplify that which I say, in that Proteus and Versipelles, the Archbishop of Spalato, for, in the narration of the passages which were betwixt his Majesty and him, collected by the Bishop of Durham, we find,301 that he thought the procuring of concord betwixt the church of England and the church of Rome to be easy. And his reasons were,302 because he was verily persuaded, that the Pope would approve the English liturgy and the public use of it, as he professed in his colloquy with the Bishops of London and Durham, and the Dean of Winchester. And further,303 [pg 1-071] he told he was of opinion, that the churches of Rome and of England, excluding Puritans, were radically one church. This made him say,304 “I do find here why to commend this church, as a church abhorring from Puritanism, reformed with moderation, and worthy to be received into the communion of the Catholic church.” In the following words, he tells, that he could carry something out of the church of England which should comfort all them who hate puritan strictness, and desire the peace of the church (meaning them who desired the same reconciliation with himself). What is more clear, than that the English ceremonies were that which made him prosecute, and gave him hope to effectuate a reconciliation betwixt the church of England and that of Rome.

Sect. 5. But put the case, that as yet we had seen no greater evils following upon the ceremonies, yet must they be acknowledged to be inconvenient, because they are dangerous preparatives for many worse things than we are aware of, and may draw after them sundry evil consequences which are not feared. We have heard before from Spotswood, that novations in a church, even in the smallest things, are dangerous. Who can then blame us to shun a danger, and, fearing the worst, to resist evil beginnings,—to give no place to the devil,—to crush the viper while it is in the shell,—to abstain from all appearance of evil, 1 Thes. v. 22,—and to take the little ones of Babylon whilst they are young, and dash their heads against the stones?

It matters not that many will judge us too precise for doing so. What? Do they think this preciseness any other than that which the law of God requireth, even observing of the commandment of God, without adding to it, or diminishing from it, Deut. xii. 32; and keeping the straight path, without declining to the right hand or the left? Deut. xxviii. 14; or, do they think us more precise than Mordecai, who would do no reverence to Haman, because he was an Amalekite, Esth. iii. 2, and so not to be countenanced nor honoured by an Israelite? Deut. xxv. 19. Are we more precise than Daniel, who would not close his window when he was praying, no, not for the king's edict, knowing, that because he had used to do so aforetime, his doing otherwise had been both a denying of his former profession, and [pg 1-072] an ensnaring of himself by yielding in small things, to yield in greater, and after an inch to take an ell? Dan. vi. 10. Are we more precise than the Apostle Paul who gave no place to the adversaries of Christian liberty, no, not for an hour? Gal. ii. 5. Are we more precise than David, who would not do so much as take up the names of idols into his lips, least from speaking of them he should be led to a liking of them? Psal. xvi. 4; or, may not the sad and doleful examples of so many and so great abuses and corruptions which have crept into the church from so small and scarcely observable originals, make us loath at our hearts to admit a change in the policy and discipline of a well constitute church, and rightly ordered before the change, and especially in such things as are not at all necessary?

O! from how small beginnings did the mystery of iniquity advance its progression? How little motes have accressed to mountains! Wherefore305 simplicitatem Christi nos opportet colere, à qua ubi primum extulit pedem vanitas, vanitatem sequitur superstitio, superstitionem error, errorem presumptio presumptionem impietas, idololatrica. We have cause to fear, that if with Israel we come to the sacrifices of idols, and eat of idolothites, and bow down or use any of superstitious and idolatrous rites, thereafter we be made to join ourselves to these idols, and so the fierce anger of the Lord be kindled against us, as it was against them, Num. xxv. 2, 3.



Sect. 1. That the ceremonies are a great hinderance to edification, appeareth, First, In that they obscure the substance of religion, and weaken the life of godliness by outward glory and splendour, which draws away the minds of people so far after it, that they forget the substance of the service which they are about. The heathenish priests laboured,306 per varietatem ceremoniarum, rem in precio retinere. The use for which Papists appoint their ceremonies,307 is, [pg 1-073] ut externam quandam majestatem sensibus objiciant; and so are the ceremonies urged upon us,308 though to conciliate reverence and due regard to divine worship, and to stir up devotion. In the meanwhile it is not considered,309 that mentes humanae mirificae capiuntur et facinantur, ceremoniarum splendore et pompa. Videmus siquidem, saith Bucer,310 vulgus delectari actionibus scaenicis, et multis uti signis. Chemnitius marks of the cumulating of ceremonies in the ancient church,311 that it drew to this, ut tandem in theatricum ferme apparatum ceremoniae illae abierint. Musculus reprehends bishops for departing from the apostolical and most ancient simplicity,312 and for adding ceremonies unto ceremonies in a worldly splendour and respectability, whereas the worship of God ought to be pure and simple.

The policy, then, which in most simple and single, and least lustred with the pomp and bravery of ceremonies, cannot but be most expedient for edification. The king's daughter is most like herself when she is all glorious within, not without, Psal. xlv. 13, and the kingdom of God appeareth best what it is, when it cometh not with observation, Luke xvii. 20, 21. But “superstition (saith Camero),313 the mother of ceremonies, is lavish and prodigal; spiritual whoredom, as it is, it hath this common with the bodily; both of them must have their paintings, their trinkets, their inveiglements.”

Sect. 2. Secondly, The ceremonies are impediments to the inward and spiritual worship, because they are fleshly and external. In the second commandment are forbidden omnes ritus, qui à spirituali Dei cultu discrepant.314 “The kingdom of God is within you,” saith Christ, Luke xvii. 21. Now, if the Apostle, 1 Tim. iv. 8, say, that bodily exercise, such as fasting, watching, &c., which are requisite as helps and furtherances to the humiliation of the soul, do but profit a little, then may we say of our unnecessary and unprofitable ceremonies, that they are exceedingly nocent and harmful to true and spiritual worship. The [pg 1-074] Apostle is not speaking of plays and pastimes, as Bellarmine would have us to think. Who can believe that Timothy was so much addicted to play, that the Apostle had need to admonish him, that such exercise profiteth little? He is speaking, then, of such bodily exercises as in those primitive times were used religiously, as fasting, watching, lying on the ground, and such like; and he would have Timothy rather to exercise himself to the life and power of godliness, and to substantial worship, than to any of these outward things. Neither doth the Apostle condemn only the superstitious use of these exercises, as Calvin well observeth,315 alioqui in totum damnaret: whereas he doth only extenuate and derogate from them, saying, that they profit little. Therefore (saith he), ut maxime integer sit animus, et rectus finis, tamen in externis actionibus nihil reperit Paulus quod magnifaciat. Valde necessaria admonitio, nam semper propendet mundus in illam partem, uti Deum externis obsequiis velit colere. But what will some say? Do we allow of no external rites and ceremonies in divine worship?

Saravia tells us,316 that dum vitia vitant stulti, in contraria ruunt, and that he is no less in the fault, qui nullas in externo Dei cultu ceremonias admittit, quae tantum decori serviunt, hominesque sui admoneant officii, quam qui quasvis citra, delectum recipiunt, &c. Wherefore, because a transition from idolatry and superstition is more easy to Atheism and the profanation of holy things, than to the golden mediocrity, he saith, he could have wished that Beza had not generally condemned all ceremonies without making any difference.

Ans. Neither Beza, nor any other, who dislike the English ceremonies, condemneth such rites and circumstances in the external worship of God as serve only for decency, but those sacred and significant ceremonies which admonish men of their duty are not of this sort. What shall we say then of such a conjunction as this, quae tantum decori serviunt, hominesque sui admoneant officii? Why would not Saravin write a chronology; I say not magnarum (as others), but mirandarum conjunctionum, and record that at such a time he found out the conjunction and compatibility of two things which were ever thought incompatible in former ages, [pg 1-075] namely, rites serving only for decency, and holy significant ceremonies admonishing men of their duty in God's worship? Had there been no moralist (trow we) then to note, that decency and things serving only for decency, have place in civility and all moral actions, in which notwithstanding there is no significant nor admonitory sacred signs of men's duty in God's worship? And thus should these two things be severed, which he hath conjoined and confounded.

To conclude, we condemn the English controverted ceremonies which are regarded as holy and significant, as most inexpedient, because they derogate from the true inward and spiritual worship; for man's nature, saith Camero,317 “is delighted in that which is fleshly and outward, neglecting that which is spiritual and inward.” And this is the reason why least spiritual, lively, and holy disposition hath followed upon the addition of unnecessary ceremonies; and why there was never so much zeal, life, and power of religion inwardly, in the church of Christ, as then, when she was freest of ceremonies. This much318 a Formalist of great note is forced to acknowledge. Let us consider, saith he, “the primitive church, flourishing more in times of the apostles than ever it did afterwards. Who will not admire her great simplicity in all points, and especially in ceremonies? for excepting the celebration of baptism by washing of water, and of the holy supper, according to the Lord's institution, in taking the bread and wine, and distributing them after thanksgiving; excepting also the imposition of hands upon those who extraordinarily received the Holy Ghost, whether it were in a general calling or a particular, to a charge in the church, and availing for a miraculous effect of healing the sick; I say, these excepted, there will not be found any other ceremony in those primitive times, so admirable was their simplicity.”

Sect. 3. Thirdly, the ceremonies are a great hinderance to edification, because they make much time and pains to be spent about them, which might be, and (if they were removed) should be spent more profitably for godly edifying. That which is said of the ceremonies which crept into the ancient church, agreeth well to them.319 Ista ceremoniarum accumulatio, tum ipsos doctores, [pg 1-076] tum etiam ipsos auditores, a studio docendi atque discendi verbum Dei abstraxit, atque impedivit necessarias et utiles divini eloquii institutiones.

Pulpits sound oftentimes with declamations for the ceremonies, when there is need of pressing the power of godliness upon the consciences of people, and when there are many more necessary things to be urged. The press also sends forth idle discourses and defences of the ceremonies which might be employed more profitably.

And, moreover, faithful men whose labours might be very profitable to the church in the holy ministry, have neither a door of entrance nor a door of utterance licentiated to them, and that because they will not consent nor yield themselves to be the unhappy instruments of imposing this yoke of ceremonial bondage upon the necks of God's people. Others who have entered, and have been both faithful and painful labourers in the Lord's vineyard, are thrust from their changes for no other quarrel, but that of non-conformity. O unhappy ceremonies! woe unto you, you mischievous lets and prejudices to the edification of the church.



Sect. 1. The ceremonies serve to be instruments of cruelty against the sincere servants of Christ, they are used as Absalom's sacrifice, to be cloaks of wicked malice, they occasion the fining, confining, depriving, imprisoning, and banishing of very worthy and good men.

Such instruments of cruelty brought into the habitation, not of the sons of Jacob, Gen. xlix. 5, but of the God of Jacob, are to be accursed by all who love the peace of Jerusalem, or bear the bowels of Christian compassion within them, because they are not of Christ the meek Lamb of God, who did not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street, who did not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, Isa. xlii. 2, 3; but they are of antichrist, to [pg 1-077] whom it is given to make war with the saints.320

Surely those bowels of mercies, kindness, and forbearance, which the Apostle requireth, as they should be in every Christian, Col. iii. 12, 13, so chiefly in iis qui praesunt, as Melancthon noteth,321 in them towards all, but chiefly towards these who are both good Christians and good subjects; towards these in all things, but chiefly in matters of ceremony and indifferency. In such matters always, but chiefly when there is no contempt nor refractory disposition, but only a modest and Christian desire to conserve the peace of a pure conscience, by forbearing to do that which it is persuaded is not right. Let magistrates remember well,

“Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.”

Sect. 2. If there were no more but such a doleful and woeful effect as the cruel dealing with the faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, occasioned by the ceremonies, this is too much for evincing the inconveniency of them.

Dr Burges, in a sermon preached before King James, related a speech of the emperor Augustus, who commanded that all the glasses should be broken, that no man might incur such a fright as one Pollio was put into, for breaking one of his master's glasses. Whereby (as he expounds himself)322 he meant to intimate unto that wise king, that it were better to take away the ceremonies than to throw out the ministers for them. Yet it is the verdict of some,323 that the blame lieth not upon the ceremonies, but upon ministers themselves, who leave their places and draw all this evil upon themselves. This is even as Nabal blamed David for breaking away from his master, when he was chased away against his will, 1 Sam. xxv. 10, and as Julian,324 when he had impoverished the Christians, laughed them to scorn, as if they had impoverished themselves to get that blessing which Christ had promised to the poor.

The canon law speaketh for the Lord's bishops, which are persecuted from city to city:325 Nec ipsi in hoc peccant, quoniam non sponte sed coacte hoc agunt: sed illi [pg 1-078] qui eos persequuntur, nec ipsis episcopis hoc imputari potest, sed illis qui eos hoc agere cogunt. How is it that they are not ashamed, who say, that ministers have their own places and callings, when they would fain abide in them, and with heavy hearts are thrust from them.

Sect. 3. Neither is this all the injury which is occasioned by the ceremonies, they make godly and zealous Christians to be mocked and nick-named Puritans, except they can swallow the camel of conformity. Our consciences bear us witness, how without all reason we are branded with the name of those ancient heretics, from whose opinions and manners, O, how far are we!326 And as for ourselves, notwithstanding all this, we shrink not to be reproached for the cause of Christ. We know the old Waldenses before us,327 were also named by their adversaries, Cathares or Puritans, and that, without cause, hath this name been given both to them and us. But we are most sorry that such as are walking humbly with their God, seeking eagerly after the means of grace and salvation, and making good conscience of all their ways, should be made odious, and that piety, humility, repentance, zeal, conscience, &c., should be mocked, and all by occasion of the ceremonies.



The Papists make advantage of the ceremonies, and thereby confirm themselves in Popery. First, in that they use them as the bellows to blow up the fire of contention among us, remembering the old rule, divide et impera. They set us by the ears among ourselves, that they may be in peace, and that intestine discord may make us forget the common adversary.328 Calvin wrote to the Earl of Somerset, Fieri non posse qum Papistæ superbius insolescerent, nisi mature compositum esset dissidium de ceremonus. Dr White saith,329 that our strife about ceremonies is kindled and nourished by [pg 1-079] Papists. If we were liberate from the ceremonies, then might we do more against the Papists, and they should not insult as they do.

Sect. 2. But they have yet more advantage from our Formalists, for they like very well the course of conformity, as the way of returning to Popery, and some of them tell us in broad terms, that they hope we are coming fast home to them. They perceive us receiving and retaining their Roman rites and popish policy, which makes them resolve to stay where they are, promising, that themselves are in the surest hold, and looking for our returning back to them. This was ere now both foreseen and foretold by the wiser sort.

Zanchius told,330 that he seemed to himself to hear the monks and Jesuits saying among themselves, Ipsa quoque Regina Angliæ doctissima et prudentissima, paulatim incipit ad Sanctæ Romanæ ecclesiæ redire religionem, resumptis jam sanctissimus et sacratissimis clericorum vestibus, sperandum est fore ut reliqua etiam omnia, &c. Papists count all to be Calvino Papistæ, i.e., half Papists, who are not Puritans, and daily invite them to an association with them against the Puritans, as Parker331 showeth out of a treatise entitled, Concertatio Ecclesiæ Catholicæ in Anglia contra Calvino Papistos et Puritanos. And we may perceive out of Franciscus a Sancta Clara,332 that they despair of any agreement with Puritans, yet hoping that Formalists will agree with them. In these hopes they are still more and more confirmed whilst they observe this conformity in ceremonies to be yet prevailing and proceeding, and not like to take a stand. Whereupon they (poor souls) delight to stay still in Babylon, finding us so fast turning back thither, as if we repented we come out from thence.

Sect. 3. Some would here defend the ceremonies, as being most expedient to gain the Papists, who otherwise should be the more aliened from us. O what a fiction! As if, forsooth, hardening of them in Popery were to win them, and fostering of them in the same were to wean them from it. Woeful proof hath taught us, that they are but more and more hardened, and resolutely continued in Popery by these Roman remainders among [pg 1-080] us, neither will they, whilst they expect that we are turning back to them, do so much as meet us midway; but they flee from us,333 quam longissime; their over-passing and over-reaching Pharisaical zeal, makes them hold fast the least point of their religion, and adhere to the whole entire fabric of the Roman both doctrine and discipline.

Of the gaining of the adversaries, Augustine speaketh better,334 for if you demand, Unde vincantur pagani, unde illuminentur, unde ad salutem vocentur? He maketh this answer, Deserite omnes solennitates ipsorum, deserite nugas eorum: et si non consentiunt veritati nostra, saltem pudeat paucitatis suæ. Nulla est concedenda gratia adversariis (say the divines of Germany335), in mutatione ceremoniarum, nisi prius nobiscum consentiant in fundamento hoc est, in vera doctrina et usu sacramentorum. They that yield to the adversaries in matters of rite, cos hoc ipso in impietate sua confirmant; and the adversaries cessione ista non parum adjuvantur, saith Balduin. Bellarmine,336 rejecteth Cassander's reconciliation,337 for this reason among others, because, according to the judgment of the fathers, we should not change nor innovate the smallest matters for gratifying of heretics.

The best way, then, which we can use for winning of the Papists, is to shine as lights in the world, Phil. ii. 15, 16, holding forth the word of life by a pure and plain profession, to be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, that so the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed, 1 Tim. vi. 1. If thus we hold fast the profession of the truth, and walk in all honest conversation according to the truth, so many as are ordained to eternal life shall be converted, and made to glorify God in the day of visitation, 1 Pet. ii. 12.

Sect. 4. If it be said, that the Apostle observed some Jewish ceremonies for winning of the Jews, as we read, Acts xviii. 21; xx. 16; xxi. 26; and that it appeareth, we may by the same reason yield to some popish ceremonies for winning of the Papists. Ans. 1. There is not a like reason of the weak [pg 1-081] Jews, who then could not have been fully instructed concerning Christian liberty, and obstinate Papists who might have been, and yet may be instructed, but will not. Nor, 2. Is the same to be done in the bright shining meridian light of the gospel, which was done before the full promulgation of the same? Nor, 3. Is so much honour to be given,338 and so great respect to be had to popish and antichristian rites, as to the ceremonies which were ordained by God himself. These were to be suffered awhile, that they might be honourably buried; to those we are to say with detestation, “Get you hence.” Nor, 4. Can the same things be done at Antioch which are done at Jerusalem. At Antioch Peter sinned by using Jewish rites, because there the greatest part were Gentiles, who had both heard his preaching and seen his practice against the ceremonies of the Jews. But at Jerusalem Paul had to do with the weak Jews, who had heard little or no preaching against those ceremonies, and had seen as little practice contrary unto them. Now Scotland must not be likened to Jerusalem, no not to Antioch; for Scotland hath been filled both with preaching and practice contrary to the ceremonies of the Papists, yea, hath moreover spewed them out openly and solemnly, with a religious and strict oath never to lick them up again.



Sect. 1. The great evils which have befallen to many famous churches, through the means of intestine dissensions, should teach us not to admit the occasions of the like inconveniences among ourselves; for as by concord minima crescunt, so by discord maxima dilabuntur.

Now, the ceremonies are the bane of our church's peace, and the unhappy instruments of lamentable discord among brethren who should dwell together in unity. I know that the refusers of the ceremonies are blamed, as if they were the troublers of the peace of the church, and the tumultuating contentious spirits who make so much ado about matters [pg 1-082] of rite and ceremony. But I know also that none have been more ordinarily and commonly blamed for troubling the peace of the church than they who least deserved to be blamed for it. So was Elijah himself339 thought to be he that troubled Israel, when he contended against the corruptions of the church in his time, 1 Kings xviii. 17. I will therefore observe four marks whereby it may be known when contentions are in a church, which side is reprehensible, and also who are to be blamed as the troublers of our Israel.

Sect. 2. In contentions raised in the church, we are to consider the motive, the measure, the matter, the manner. And, 1st. Touching the motive: They who contend in a church reprehensibly, are moved and induced to the course which they follow, by some worldly respect, Acts xix. 26; 1 Tim. vi. 5. Now, as for those in our church who contend for the ceremonies, many of them are led by such argumenta inartificialia, as wealth, preferment, &c., and if conscience be at all looked to by them, yet they only throw and extort an assent and allowance from it, when worldly respects have made them to propend and incline to an anterior liking of the ceremonies. We do not judge them when we say so, but by their fruits we know them. As Pope Innocent VII., while he was yet a cardinal, used to reprehend the negligence and timidity of the former popes, who had not removed the schism and trouble of the church of Rome, yet when himself was advanced to the popedom, he followed the footsteps of his predecessors, governing all things tumultuously, and making the schism worse; so among our opposites, not a few have been overcome with ease, pleasure, riches, favour, pre-eminence, &c., to like well of the ceremonies which never had their first love, when they had both spoken and disputed against them. What drew them overstays to contend for them, except (I say not the seeking of, lest I be thought uncharitable, but) their being sought by some worldly benefit? And how could such an one excuse himself but by Paris's apology, Ingentibus ardent, judicium domis solicitare meum. And what marvel that Balak's promotion, Num. xxii. 17; and Saul's fields and vineyards, 1 Sam. xxii. prevail with such as love this present world, 2 Tim. iv. 10.

The popish oil and chrism were defended by Islebius and Sidonius, ut ipsi nimirum [pg 1-083] discederent unctiores.340 How like to them have we known many Formalists! The best respect which Bishop Lindsey nameth for kneeling at the communion is,341 the eschewing the prince's offence; but, as for us, let it be told, who hath ever of a Conformist become a Non-Conformist, for any worldly benefit which he might expect by his non-conformity? What worldly respect have we to move us to refuse the ceremonies? What wealth? What preferment? What ease? What pleasure? What favour? Do we not expose ourselves to the hazard of all these things? Only our consciences suffer us not to consent to such things as we see to be unlawful and hurtful for the church.

Sect. 3. 2d. Let it be considered which side exceeds in contending they are in the fault, 1 Tim. vi. 4. Now, our opposites do far overmatch us and overstride us in contention; for, 1. They harbour an inveterate dislike of every course and custom which we like well of, and they carp at many deeds, words, writings, opinions, fashions, &c. in us, which they let pass in others of their own mind. Whereas we (God knows) are glad to allow in them anything which we allow in others, and are so far from nitimur in vetitum, semper cupimusque negata, that most heartily we condescend to apply ourselves, by all possible means, to observe them, please them, and entertain peace with them, who impose and urge upon us an unconscionable observation of certain ceremonies, and to do as much for them as any ground of conscience or reason can warrant. So far as we have attained, we walk by the same rule with them, Phil. iii. 16, and so exceed not in the measure. 2. It may be seen that they exceed in contending with us, if we be compared with the Papists; against them they contend more remissly, against us more intensively. Saravia professeth342 that he thinketh worse of us than of Papists. He hath reason who complaineth of Formalists' desire not to stir and contend against the Papists, and their fierceness against their own brethren.343 “This (saith he) is ill provided for, and can have no excuse, that some, not to contend with Papists, should contend with their brethren, and displease the sons of their own mother, to please the enemies of their father, [pg 1-084] and beat not the dog before the lion, but the lion for favour of the dog, and make the natural child to weep, while the son of the bondwoman doth triumph.” 3. That they exceed, appeareth from the effects of their contending; hurt and damage is a main effect of contention. Calvin, Perkins, and Pareus, observe upon Gal. v. 15, that contentions breed hurtful and pernicious effects, which tend to consumption and destruction. Now, wherein do we injure or harm our opposites in their persons, callings, places, &c.? Yet in all these, and many other things, do they wrong us, by defamation, deprivation, spoliation, incarceration, &c.? How much better were it to remove the Babylonian baggage of antichristian ceremonies, which are the mischievous means, both of the strife and of all the evil which ariseth out of it! Put away the ceremonies, cast out this Jonas, and, behold, the storm will cease. A wise pilot will, in an urgent storm, cast out even some precious wares, that the rest may be safe. “And shall we then (saith Parker344) cast out the pilots of the ship themselves, and all to spare the wares of Rome, which are no lawful traffic?”

Sect. 4. 3d. Let the matter be looked to for which each side contendeth. “Brethren (saith the Archbishop of St Andrews),345 to contend is not be contentious in a light business, this is faulty.” Now, I wish it may please him to understand that when we contend about the removal of the ceremonies, we content for a very weighty matter; for we prove the removal of them to be necessary, in respect of their inconvenience and unlawfulness. They who urge the ceremonies, contend for things which are not necessary; and we who refuse them, contend for things which are most necessary, even for the doctrine and discipline warranted by God's word, against all corruptions of idolatry and superstition. That the ceremonies can neither be purged of superstition nor idolatry I have proved in the third part of this dispute.

Sect. 5. 4th. If the manner of contending be observed, our opposites will be found reprovable, not we. We contend by the grounds of truth and reason; but they use to answer all objections, and resolve all questions, by the sentence of superiors and the will of the [pg 1-085] law; we contend from God's word and good reason, they from man's will and no reason. This was clearly seen at the first conclusion of the five Articles at Perth Assembly.

Bishop Lindsey himself, relating the proceedings of the same, tells us,346 that Mr John Carmichell and Mr William Scot alleged, that if any would press to abolish the order which had been long kept in this church, and draw in things not received yet, they should be holden to prove either that the things urged were necessary and expedient for our church, or the order hitherto kept not meet to be retained. This was denied, upon this ground, that it was the prince (who by himself had power to reform such things as were amiss in the outward policy of the church) that required to have the change made. Well, since they must needs take the opponent's part, they desired this question to be reasoned, “Whether kneeling or sitting at the communion were the fitter gesture?” This also was refused, and the question was propounded thus: “His Majesty desires our gesture of sitting at the communion to be changed into kneeling, why ought not the same to be done?” At length, when Mr John Carmichell brought an argument from the custom and practice of the church of Scotland, it was answered,347 That albeit the argument held good against the motions of private men, yet his Majesty requiring the practice to be changed, matters behoved to admit a new consideration, and that because it was the prince's privilege, &c.

I must say, the Bishop was not well advised to insert this passage, which (if there were no more) lets the world see that free reasoning was denied; for his Majesty's authority did both exeem the affirmers from the pains of probation (contrary to the laws of disputation), and state the question, and also answer arguments.

And, moreover, when the Articles were put in voting, the Archbishop, in calling on the names, did inculcate these and the like words: “Have the king in your mind—remember on the king—look to the king.” This Bishop Lindsey passeth over in deep silence, though it be challenged by his antagonist. Plinius proveth,348 that animalia insecta do sometimes sleep, because sometimes when light is holden near them, yet they stir [pg 1-086] not. And may not we conclude that the Bishop was sleeping, when, though both in this and divers other places, such convincing light was holden out before them, yet hath he said nothing, nor stirred himself at all for the matter? Yet, farther, we find that Bishop Spotswood, in his sermon at that pretended Assembly, answereth all such as cannot yield to the ceremonies with the peace of their consciences, that without any more ado, they may not control public judgment, but must always esteem that to be best and most seemly which seemeth so in the eye of public authority,—that even such rites and orders as are not rightly established must be obeyed so long as they have the force of a constitution,—that the sentence of superiors ought to direct us, and be a sufficient ground to our conscience for obeying. This is the best of their reasoning, and before all fail. The Bishop of Winchester reasoneth from bare custom.349 Have we not cause to renew the complaint which John Lascus made in behalf of the Protestants in Germany,350 nulla cognitione causae per colloquium aut amicam suffragiorum collationem habita, sed praejudicio tantum ipsorum sententiam damnari.



Sect. 1. There remaineth yet another inconveniency found in the ceremonies, which is scandal. They hinder our spiritual edification and growth in faith and plerophory, and make us stumble instead of going forward. The best members of the body should be cut off when they offend, much more the superfluous humours, such as the popish ceremonies must be reckoned to be, Matt. v. 29, 30. And what if some wide consciences think the ceremonies no stumbling-blocks? Nay, what if some pretend that they edify? Ferulae asinis gratissimae sunt in pabulo, caeteris vero jumentis praesentaneo veneno.351 It is enough to evince the [pg 1-087] inconveniency of the ceremonies, that some are scandalised, yea, many tender consciences are made to stumble by their means. We learn from our Master, that the scandal of one is to be cared for, much more the scandal of many, especially if those many be of the number of the little ones which believe in him, Matt. xviii. 6. But for our clearer proceeding in this argument I will premit these propositions, of which we are to make use.

Sect 2. 1st. Σκάνδαλον ὀν προσκομρια, Scandal or offence is not the grieving or displeasing of my brother, for peradventure when I grieve him or displease him, I do edify him. Now edification and scandal are not compatible, but scandal is a word or deed proceeding from me, which is, or may be, the occasion of another man's halting, or falling, or swerving from the straight way of righteousness. Scandalum (saith Jerome352) nos offendiculum, vel j uinam et impactionem pedis possumus dcac quando ergo legimus, quieunque de minimus istis scandalizavenit quempiam hoc intelligimus quieunque dicto factove occasionem j uinoe cuiquam dederit Scandalum (saith Almandus Polanus353) est dictum vel factum, quo alius detenor redditum.

2d. This occasion of halting, stumbling, or swerving, which we call scandal, is some times only given on the part of the offender, sometimes only taken on the part of the offended, sometimes both given on the one part, and taken on the other. The first sort is scandal given and not taken, the second is scandal taken and not given, the third is scandal both taken and given.

3d. All these three kinds of scandal are sinful. The first is the sin of the offender, for it is a fault to give my brother occasion of stumbling, though he stumble not. The second is the sin of the offended, who should not take offence where he hath no cause. The third is a sin on both sides, for as it is a fault to lay an occasion of falling before another, so it is a fault in him to fall, though he have occasion.

Sect. 3. 4th. A scandal given, or active, is not only such a word or deed whereby we intend the fall of our brother, but also such a word or deed354, quod de sui ratione habet, quod sit inductivum ad peccandum, puta [pg 1-088] cum aliquis publice facit peccatum, vel quod habet similitudinem peccati, John xvi. 2. Put the case: A man staying away from the Christian assemblies and public worship of God, intending to employ his studies all this time for the good of the church by writing, such a man doth not only not intend the fall of others, but, by the contrary, he intendeth edification; yet doth he scandalise them, because ratio et conditio operis is scandalous and inductive to sin.

5th. An active scandal is given (and so is faulty) many ways. If it be in a thing lawful, then it makes our brother condemn our lawful deed, yea, animates him by our example to that which in his conscience he condemneth, both which are sin. If it be in a thing unlawful, then is the scandal given and peccant, it, 1. Either our brother be made to fall into the outward act of sin; or, 2. If he be made to stumble in his conscience, and to call in question the way of truth; or, 3. If it do so much as to make him halt, or weaken his plerophory or full assurance; or, 4. If it hinder his growth and going forward, and make him, though neither to fall, nor to stumble, nor to halt, yet to have a smaller progress; or, 5. If none of these evils be produced in our brother, yet when, either through our intention and the condition of the deed together, or through the condition of the deed alone, occasion is given him of sinning any one of these ways. Opus nostrum (saith a great proctor for popish ceremonies355) quoties sive natura sua, sive superaddito accidente alicujus circumstantiae, est inductivum proximi ad peccatum, sive causativum magni mali, sive turbativum boni spiritualis; sive impeditivum fidei, &c., quamvis etiam effectus non sequeretur, malum est et peccatum.

Sect. 4. 6th. A passive scandal, which is taken and not given, is not only faulty when it proceedeth of malice, but also when it proceedeth of ignorance and infirmity; and scandalum pusillorum may be scandalum acceptum, on the part of the offended faulty, as well as scandalum Pharisaeorum. When weak ones are offended at me for the use of a lawful thing, before I know of their weakness, and their taking of offence, the scandal is only passive; and so we see that weak ones may take offence where none is given, as well as the malicious. [pg 1-089] Now, their taking of offence, though it proceed of weakness, yet is sinful; for their weakness and ignorance is a fault, and doth not excuse them.

7th. A scandal may be at first only passive, and yet afterward become active. For example, Gideon's ephod and the brazen serpent were monuments of God's mercies, and were neither evil nor appearances of evil; so that when people were first scandalised by them the scandal was merely passive, but the keeping and retaining of them, after that scandal rose out of them, made the scandal to become active also, because the reserving of them after that time was not without appearance of evil.

Sect. 5. 8th. The occasion of a scandal which is only passive should be removed, if it be not some necessary thing, and we are not only to shun that which giveth scandal, but also that whereupon followeth a scandal taken, whatsoever it be, if it be not necessary. This is so evident, that Papists themselves subscribe to it; for both Cardinal Cajetan356 and Dominicus Bannes say, that we should abstain even a spiritualibus non necessariis when scandal riseth out of them.

9th. Neither can the indifferency or lawfulness of the thing done, nor the ordinance of authority commanding the use of it, make the scandal following upon it to be only passive, which otherwise, i.e., in case the thing were neither lawful nor ordained by authority, should be active. Not the former; for our divines teach,357 that scandalum datum riseth sometimes, ex facto in se adiaphoro, when it is done intempestive, contra charitatis regulam. Not the latter; for no human authority can take away the condition of scandal from that which otherwise should be scandal, because nullus homo potest vel charitati, vel conscientiis nostris imperare, vel periculum scandali dati prestare, saith a learned Casuist.358

10th. A scandal is passive and taken by the scandalised without the fault of the doer, only in this case,359 cum factum unius est alteri occasio peccandi praeter intentionem facientis, et conditionem facti, so that to the making of the doer blameless, is not only required that he intend not his brother's fall, but also that the deed be neither evil [pg 1-090] in itself, nor yet done inordinately, and with appearance of evil.

Sect. 6. 11th. The scandal not to be cared for is only in necessary things, such as the hearing of the word, prayer, &c., from which we may not abstain, though all the world should be offended at us. In these, I say, and these only, scandalum quod oritur ex rebus per se bonis et necessariis, non licet evitare, &c., at rerum legitimarum sed non necessariarum dispar est ratio, &c., saith a great Formalist.360

12th. We ought, for the scandal of the malicious, to abstain from all things from which we ought to abstain for the scandal of the weak; for we ought not to abstain from necessary things for the scandal of the weak, no more than for the scandal of the malicious, and from things that are not necessary, we ought to abstain for the scandal of the malicious as well as for the scandal of the weak. So that weakness and malice in the offended non variant speciem scandali, but only gradum ejusdem speciei. Both his fault who is offended through malice, is greater than his fault who is offended through weakness, and likewise his fault who offends the weak in the faith, is greater than his fault who offends those who are malicious against the faith, because as we ought to do good to all men, so chiefly to those of the household of faith. Nevertheless, the kind of scandal remains the same, whether we have to do with the malicious or the weak.

They are, therefore, greatly mistaken, who conclude from Paul's not circumcising of Titus, Gal. ii. 4, 5, that he cared not for the scandal of the malicious. The argument were good if those false brethren had been scandalised by his not circumcising of Titus; but they were only displeased hereby, not scandalised. The Apostle saw that they were to be scandalised by his circumcising of Titus; therefore, of very purpose, he circumcised him not, because he foresaw statim fore ut illi traherent in calumniam, saith Calvin.361 Ne eo circumciso gloriarentur evangelicam libertatem quam Paulus praedicabat sublatam, saith Bullinger.362 If they had compelled him to circumcise Titus, falsis fratribus parata erat calumniandi ansa adversus Paulum, saith Pareus,363 who also inferreth well from this place, that we are taught to beware of two extremes, to wit, [pg 1-091] the scandal of the weak on the one part, and the pervicacy of false brethren on the other part: Si enim, saith he, usu rerum mediarum videmus, vel illos offendi, hoc est, in fide labefactari vel istos in falsa opinione obfirmari omittendae potius sunt, quia tunc per accidens fiunt illicitae. Whereupon I throw back the argument, and prove from this place, that Paul cared to shun the scandal of the malicious, which should have followed upon his circumcising of Titus, as well as he cared to shun the offence of the weak, which should have followed upon his not circumcising of Timothy; and that Paul cared for the scandal of the malicious is further confirmed by his not taking wages at Corinth. They who would have been offended at his taking wages there were malicious, and did but seek occasion against him, 2 Cor. xi. 12, yet his taking wages there not being necessary (as appeareth from 2 Cor. xi. 9), he abstained.

Christ's not caring for the scandal of the Pharisees is also objected, to prove that if the thing be lawful or indifferent, we are not to care for the offence of the malicious. But Parker answereth well:364 “The scandal there not cared for is, when the Pharisees are offended at his abstaining from their washings and his preaching of true doctrine,—both of which were necessary duties for him to do. And when he defendeth his healing on Sabbaths, Luke xiii. 15, and his disciples' plucking ears, Matt. xii. 7, upon this reason they are duties of necessity and charity, he plainly insinuateth, there is no defence for deeds unnecessary when the malicious are scandalised. When the thing was indifferent, doth he not forego his liberty for to please them, as when he paid tribute, lest he should offend them, although he knew they were malicious?” Matt. xvii. 27.

Thus have I evinced a main point, namely, that when scandal is known to follow upon anything, if it be not necessary, there is no respect whatsoever which can justify it.



Sect. 1. From that which hath been said it followeth inevitably, that since scandal [pg 1-092] riseth out of the controverted ceremonies, and since they are not things necessary, they are to be condemned and removed as most inconvenient. But that the inconveniency of them, in respect of the scandal which they cause, may be particularly and plainly evinced, I come to discuss all the defences which our opposites use against our argument of scandal. These Formalists, who acknowledge the inconveniency of the ceremonies in respect of scandal, and yet conform themselves to the same, are brought in by Hooker365 making their apology on this wise: “Touching the offence of the weak, we must adventure it; if they perish, they perish, &c. Our pastoral charge is God's absolute commandment, rather than that shall be taken from us,” &c. The opinion of such, beside that it will be hateful and accursed to every one who considereth it, I have said enough against it heretofore.366

Sect. 2. Wherefore I will here meddle only with such as go about to purge the ceremonies from the inconveniency of scandal. And first, they commonly answer us, that the scandal which followeth upon the ceremonies is passive and taken only, not active and given, which answer I find both impertinent and false. It is impertinent, because, put the case: the scandal were only passive and taken, yet the occasion of it should be removed out of the way when it is not a thing necessary, according to my 8th, 11th, and 12th propositions; and if any of our opposites will deny this, let them blush for shame. A Jesuit shall correct them,367 and teach them from Matt. xvii. 27, that Christ shunned a scandal which would have been merely passive, and therefore that this is not to be taken for a sure and perpetual rule, scandalum datum, not acceptum esse vitandum. One of our own writers upon this same place noteth,368 that this scandal which Christ eschewed, had been a scandal taken only, because the exactors of the tribute-money ought not to have been ignorant of Christ's immunity and dignity; yet because they were ignorant of the same, lest he should seem to give a scandal, cedere potius sua libertate voluit. Ideo non tantum dicit: ne scandalizentur: sed ne scandalizemus eos, hoc est, ne scandali materiam eis demus.

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Sect. 3. Their answer is also false: 1. There is no scandal taken but (if it be known to be taken, and the thing at which it is taken be not necessary) it is also given. The scandal of the weak, in the apostles' times, who were offended with the liberty of eating all sorts of meats, was passive and taken, as Zanchius observeth,369 yet was that scandal given and peccant upon their part, who used their liberty of eating all sorts of meats, and so cared not for the offence of the weak. Think they then that our taking of offence can excuse their giving of offence? Nay, since the things whereby they offend us are no necessary things, they are greatly to be blamed.

That the ceremonies are not necessary in themselves our opposites acknowledge, and that they are not necessary in respect of the church's determination, I have proved in the first part of my dispute. Wherefore, having no necessity in them, they ought to be abolished, when scandal is known to arise out of them.

2. Giving and not granting that the scandal of them who were first offended at the ceremonies was only passive, yet the using of them after scandal is known to rise out of them, must be an active scandal, because the keeping of a thing which is not necessary, after scandal riseth out of it, is an active scandal, though the scandal which at first rose out of it had been only passive, as I show in my seventh proposition.

3. The truth is, that both first and last the scandal of the ceremonies is active and given; for an active scandal is dictum vel factum vere malum, aut mali speciem habens, quo auctor aliis peccandi occasionem praebet, say our divines.370 An active scandal is ever a sin in him who offendeth, quia vel ipsum opus quod facit est peccatum, vel etiam si habeat speciem peccati, &c., say the schoolmen.371 A scandal given and faulty, id opus aut ex se malum, aut apparentur, say Formalists themselves.372

Sect. 4. Now to say the least that can be said, the ceremonies have a very great appearance of evil, and so the scandal which followeth them shall be proved to be active. The divines of Magdeburg373 infer from 1 [pg 1-094] Thess. v. 22, speciem mali etiam scandala conficere. Junius teacheth,374 that scandal is given, sive exemplo malo, sive speciem habente mali. M. Ant. de Dominis maketh375 the scandal sin, Ubi quis opere suo aliquo, vel de se malo vel indifferenti, aut bono, sed cum specie apparentis mali, proximum inducit ad peccandum, etiamsi intentio ipsius ad hoc non feratur.

But to discover the appearance of evil which is in the ceremonies, let us consider with Zanchius,376 that the appearance of evil from which the Apostle exhorteth to abstain may be expounded two ways. First, It may be referred to the preceding words, and so meant of prophecy and trying the doctrine of prophets or preachers, for we should beware in this matter of all which hath any appearance of evil, that is, from all things, quae ab haereticis in suam sententiam, malamque consequentiam trahi possunt. For example, saith Zanchius, Nestorius said, that we are saved by the blood, not of the Son of God, but of the Son of man. Now if any, suppressing that negative, should say, we are saved by the blood of the Son of man, though this might receive a right explication, yet it hath an appearance of evil, because from it Nestorius might confirm his heresy. Appearance of evil thus expounded will be found in the ceremonies in question. If a phrase or form of speaking from which heretics may draw bad consequences, and confirm their errors, though not truly, yet in show, be an appearance of evil, then much more are visible ceremonies and received customs, from which heretics get occasion to confirm their heretical errors, and damnable superstitions, very plain and undeniable appearances of much evil.

Now Papists confirm many of their superstitions by the English ceremonies. Parker377 giveth too many clear instances, namely, that by the English cross Martial justifieth the popish cross, and Saunders the popish images. That the English service-book is drawn by Parsons and Bristowe, to a countenancing of their mass-book; that Rainold draweth private baptism to a proof of the necessity which they put in that sacrament; that the Rhemists draw the absolution of the sick, prescribed in the communion-book, to an approbation of their absolution, auricular [pg 1-095] confession, and sacrament of penance. To these instances I add, that the Rhemists378 confirm the least of their assumption of Mary for the other feasts which the church of England observeth. And so doth J. Hart.379

Sect. 5. It will be said, that Papists have no ground nor reason to confirm any of their superstitions by the English ceremonies. But I answer: 1. If it were so, yet forasmuch as Papists draw them to a confirmation of their superstitions, we should abstain from them as appearances of evil. Eating (at a private banquet) of that which was sacrificed to idols, did confirm an idolator and infidel in his religion, as Pareus380 noteth; yet from this the idolator had no reason to confirm himself in his idolatry; but because the idolator, seeing it, might draw it to a confirmation, the Apostle will have it for that respect forborne. When the Arians abused trin-immersion in baptism, to signify three natures of the three persons, Pope Gregory,381 and the fourth council of Toledo ordained,382 that in Spain, thrice washing should no longer be used in baptism, but once only. The Arians had no just reason to draw such a signification from the ceremony of trin-immersion, yet was it abolished when those heretics did so abuse it. If any say, that we are saved by the blood of the Son of man, the phrase is orthodox, because of the communication, or rather communion of properties, and the Nestorians cannot with good reason by it confirm their heresy, yet are we to abstain from this form of speech, in Zanchius's judgment, when it is drawn to the confirmation of that error.

I conclude with that which Parker383 allegeth out of the Harmony of Confessions: Cum adiaphora rapiuntur ad confessionem, libera esse desinunt. Mark rapiuntur. 2. The ceremonies do indeed greatly countenance those superstitions of Papists, because communio rituum est quasi symbolum communionis in religione;384 so that Papists get occasion from the ceremonies, of confirming, not only those popish rites which we have not yet received, but also the whole popish religion, especially since they see Conformists so siding with them against Non-Conformists, and making both their opinions [pg 1-096] and practices to be better than we reckon them to be.

Saravia,385 perceiving how much the popish sacrament of confirmation is countenanced and confirmed by our bishoping, thinks it best to put the fairest face he can upon the Papists' judgment of that bastard sacrament. He would have us believe, that the Papists do not extol the dignity of the sacrament of confirmation above baptism. But he should have considered that which Cartwright386 marketh out of the first tome of the councils, that in the epistle which is ascribed to Eusebius and Melciades, bishops of Rome, it is plainly affirmed, that the sacrament of confirmation “is more to be reverenced than the sacrament of baptism.”

Sect. 6. Zanchius hath another exposition of the appearance of evil, which doth also agree to the ceremonies. The appearance of evil which maketh scandal, and from which the Apostle would have us to abstain, may be taken generally of all sorts of sin, and all evil things whatsoever; for so we should abstain from all that which hath any appearance of evil; nullam proebentes occasionem proximo nostro aliquid mali de nobis suspicandi. He instanceth for example, the eating of idolothites in Paul's time, 1 Cor. x. Now if the eating of idolothite meats was an appearance of evil, and so scandalous, because it gave the weak occasion to suspect some evil of such as did eat them, much more idolothite rites which have not only been dedicated and consecrated to the honour of idols, but also publicly and commonly used and employed in idolatrous worship; surely whosoever useth such idolothites, gives great occasion to his brother to suspect some evil of him, because of such evil-favoured appearances. And thus we see how great appearance of evil is more than manifest in the ceremonies, which maketh the scandal active, if there were no more; but afterwards we shall see the ceremonies to be evil and unlawful in themselves, and so to be in the worst kind of active scandal.

Sect. 7. Two things are objected here by our adversaries, to make it appear that the scandal of conformity is not active nor faulty upon their part. 1. They say they are blameless, because they render a reason of that which they do, so that we may know the lawfulness of it. To this sufficient answer hath been made already by one whose [pg 1-097] answers I may well produce to provoke Conformists therewith, because no reply hath ever been made to them. “This (saith he387), if it be true, then see we an end of all the duty of bearing with the weak; of forbearing our own liberty, power, and authority in things indifferent, for their supportance; yea, an end of all the care to prevent their offence, by giving them occasion aut condemnandi factum nostrum, aut illud imitandi contra conscientiam,388 which we have so often,389 so seriously, with so many reasons, obtestations, yea, woes and threatenings, commanded to us throughout the word. What needed Paul to write so much against the scandal of meats, and against the scandal of idolothious meats? This one precept might have sufficed, let the strong give a reason for his eating, &c. Though he hath given many reasons to them of Corinth for the lawfulness of taking wages; though he hath given divers reasons for the lawfulness of all sorts of meats to them of Rome, yet neither will take wages himself, nor suffer others to eat all sorts of meats, when others are offended. And what is that which he writeth Rom. x.? Take and receive the weak for their supportance, and not for controversy and disputation,” &c.

It will be said that they are to be thought obstinate, who, after a reason given, are still scandalised. But the answer is in readiness: Fieri potest ut quidam nondum sint capaces rationis redditæ, qui idcirco quamvis ratio sit illis reddita, habendi sunt adhuc propusillis.390 They are rather to be thought obstinate in scandalising, who, perceiving the scandal to remain, notwithstanding of their reason given, yet for all that take not away the occasion of the scandal. But say some,391 whoever ought to be esteemed weak, or not capable of reason, ministers must not be so thought of. Whereunto I answer with Didoclavius:392 Infirmitatem in doctiores cadere posse, neminem negaturum puto, et superiorum temporum historia de dimicatione inter doctores ecclesiæ, ob ceremonias, idipsum probat. Parati etiam sunt coram Deo testari se non posse acquiescere [pg 1-098] in Formalistarum foliis ficulneis. The reason which they give us commonly is will and authority; or if at any time they give another reason, it is such an one as cannot clear nor resolve our consciences. But let their reasons be so good as any can be, shall we be thought obstinate for being offended, notwithstanding of their reason? Dare they say that those who contended so much of old about the celebration of Easter, and about the feast of the Sabbath, were not weak, but obstinate and malicious, after a reason was given? Why consider they not, that “men may, for their science,393 be profitable ministers, and yet fail of that measure of prudence whereby to judge of a particular use of indifferent things?”

Sect. 8. 2d. They say they give no scandal by the ceremonies, because they have no such intent as to draw any into sin by them. Ans. A scandalous and inordinate quality or condition of an action, any way inductive to sin, maketh an active scandal, though the doer have no intention to draw into sin. This I made good in my fourth proposition; and it is further confirmed by that great scandal whereby Peter compelled the Gentiles to Judaise, Gal. ii. 14. “He constrained them (saith Perkins394) by the authority of his example, whereby he caused them to think that the observation of the ceremonial law was necessary.” It was then the quality of his action which made the scandal active, because that which he did was inductive to sin, but we are not to think that Peter had an intention to draw the Gentiles to sin. Cardinal Baronius395 laboureth to make Peter blameless, and his fact free of all fault; quia præter ipsius spem id acciderat, and it fell forth only ex accidenti et inopinato, ac præter intentionem ipsius. M. Ant. de Dominis396 confuteth him well: Est scandalum et cum peccato, quando quis licet non intendat peccatum alterius, facit autem opus aut ex se malum aut apparenter, ex quo scit, aut scire debet, consequuturum alterius peccatum, aut quodeunque malum: nam etiam dicitur illud voluntarium interpretative.

Sect. 9. I will yet descend more particularly to confute our opposites' several answers and defences, which they have used against our argument of scandal. And I [pg 1-099] begin with our Lord Chancellor: “As for the godly amongst us (saith he397), we are sorry they should be grieved; but it is their own fault, for if the things be in themselves lawful, what is it that should offend them?”

Ans. 1. He does not well express scandal (whereof he is there speaking) by grief; for I may be grieved, yet not scandalised, and scandalised, yet not grieved, according to my first proposition touching scandal.

2. To what purpose tells he it is their own fault? Thinks he that there are any offended without their own fault? To be offended is ever a fault,398 as I show in my third and sixth propositions; so that if a scandal be not removed where it is men's own fault that they are offended, then no scandal shall ever be removed, because all who are scandalised commit a fault in being scandalised. Nihil potest esse homini causa sufficiens peccati, quod est spiritualis ruina, nisi propria voluntas; et ideo dicta vel facta alterius hominis possunt esse solum causa imperfecta aliqualiter inducens ad ruinam, saith Aquinas,399 giving a reason why, in the definition of scandals, he saith not that it giveth cause, but that it giveth occasion of ruin.

3. Why thinks he that if the things be in themselves lawful, they are purged of scandal? What if they edify not? 1 Cor. xx. 23. What if they be not expedient? Are they not therefore scandalous, because in themselves lawful? This shift is destroyed by my ninth proposition. And, I pray, were not all meats lawful for the Gentiles in the apostles' times? Yet this could not excuse their eating all sorts of meats, when the Jews were thereby offended.

4. Whereas he demandeth, if the things be in themselves lawful, what is it that should offend them? I demand again, though adultery, murder, &c., be in themselves unlawful, what is it that should offend us? Should we offend or be scandalised for anything? Nay, then, we should sin; for to be offended is a sin.

5. He had said to better purpose, What is it that may offend them, or doth offend them, that it may be voided? Whereunto I answer, that there is a twofold scandal which may be and hath been given by things [pg 1-100] lawful in themselves (as I touched in my fifth proposition), viz, the giving of occasion to the weak to condemn our lawful deeds, and the animating of them to follow our example against their own consciences—both ways we may make them to sin. The Apostle, 1 Cor. x. 29, where he is speaking of a certain kind of idolothites which are in themselves lawful, and only evil in the case of scandal, showeth, that if the weak, in a private banquet, see the strong eating such meats as have been offered to idols, notwithstanding of warning given, then is the weak one scandalised, because, would the Apostle say, Vel ipse etiam edet tuo exemplo, vacillante conseientia, vel tacite factum tuum damnabit.400 Behold what scandal may arise even out of things which are in themselves lawful, which also ariseth out of the ceremonies (let them be as lawful as can be). 1. We art provoked to disallow of lawful things, and to condemn the doers as superstitious and popishly affected. 2. We are animated by the example of Formalists to practise conformity, which in our consciences we condemn, and by consequence do sin, because he that doubteth is damned, and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Sect. 10. Let us see next how the Bishop of Edinburgh can help the cause. He will have us not to respect scandal, because it is removed by the law. “For (saith he401) by obedience to a lawful ordinance, no man gives scandal, and if any take offence, both the cause and occasion thereof is the perverseness only of the person offended.” Tertullian saith well, Res bona neminem offendit nisi malam mentem.

Ans. 1. I show in my ninth proposition, that the ordinance of superiors cannot make that to be no scandal which otherwise should be scandal. If this be not taken well from us, let one of our opposites speak for us, who acknowledgeth that human power cannot make us do that which we cannot do without giving of scandal, and that, in this case, the pretext of obedience to superiors shall not excuse us at the hands of the Supreme Judge.

2. I would learn of him what makes a lawful ordinance about matters of fact or things to be done? Not the will of superiors, else there shall be no unlawful ordinances (for every ordinance hath the will of [pg 1-101] the ordainer), not the lawfulness of the thing in itself which is ordained neither, for then every ordinance which prescribeth a thing lawful in itself, were it never so inexpedient in respect of supervenient circumstances, should be lawful. To a lawful ordinance then is required, not only that the thing ordained be lawful in itself, but also that it be not inexpedient, so that a thing may be lawful in itself, yet not lawfully ordained, because the ordinance commandeth the doing of it, whereas there are many things lawful which ought not to be done, because they are not expedient, 1 Cor. vi. 12.

3. Since it cannot be a lawful ordinance which ordaineth a thing inexpedient, it cannot be a lawful obedience which is yielded to such an ordinance.

4. If by a lawful ordinance he mean (as it seems he doth) an ordinance prescribing that which is lawful in itself, then his answer is false. What if an ordinance of superiors had ordained the Corinthians to eat freely of all meats which were in themselves clean? Durst the Bishop say that this ordinance of superiors had been of greater weight and superior reason than the law of charity, which is God's law? Had no man given scandal by obedience to this ordinance? And would not the Apostle for all that have forbidden, as he did, the using of this liberty with the offence of others?

5. When any man is offended at a thing lawful, prescribed by an ordinance, the cause thereof is indeed in himself (yet it is not always his perverseness, but oftimes weakness), but the occasion of it is the thing at which he offendeth, which occasion should ever be removed when it is not a thing necessary, as I showed already.

6. As for that sentence of Tertullian, it must admit the exception of a reverend divine. He signifieth, saith Pareus,402 scandal not to be properly committed, save in things evil in themselves, or else indifferent quanquam interdum cuma bonas intempestive factas, etiam committi possit.

Sect. 11. In the third place, we will look what weapons of war Dr Forbesse produceth in his Irenicum,403 falsely so called. And first, he will not hear us touching scandal, except we first acknowledge the ceremonies not to be evil in themselves otherwise he thinks we debate in vain about scandal, since [pg 1-102] we have a more convenient way to exterminate the ceremonies, by proving them to be evil in themselves, and also because, when we are pressed with the weight of arguments, we will still run back to this point, that nothing which in itself is unlawful can be done without scandal.

Ans. 1. The argument of scandal is not vainly or idly debated, for though we prove the ceremonies to be evil in themselves, yet fitly we argument also from the scandal of them, because this maketh yet more. 1. Ad rem, for the scandal of a thing is more than the unlawfulness of it; every unlawful thing is not scandalous, but that only which is done to the knowledge of another. 2. Ad hominem, for that we may either content or convince our opposites, we argument ex ipsorum concessis, to this purpose,—that since they yield the ceremonies to be in themselves indifferent, therefore they must acknowledge that they are to be forborne, because scandal followeth upon them, and they should abstain from things indifferent, in the case of scandal.

2. Whereas he thinks we will still turn back to the unlawfulness of the ceremonies in themselves, albeit we may justly make use of this answer, when they go about to purge the ceremonies from scandal by the lawfulness of them in themselves, (because the argument of scandal doth not presuppose our concession of the lawfulness of the ceremonies, but theirs,) yet he deceives himself in thinking that we cannot handle this argument without it, for were they never so lawful in themselves, we evince the scandal of them from the appearance of evil which is in them,404 so that, without respecting the unlawfulness of the ceremonies in themselves, we can and do make good our argument of scandal, so far as concerneth the ceremonies considered by themselves.

But when our opposites object, that many are scandalised by us who refuse the ceremonies, we here compare the scandal of non-conformity, if there be any such (for though some be displeased at it, I see not how they are scandalised by it), with the scandal of conformity, and show them that the scandal of non-conformity is not to be cared for, because it is necessary, and that by reason of the unlawfulness of the ceremonies. I will make all this plain by a simile.

A pastor dealing with a fornicator, layeth [pg 1-103] before him both his sin and the scandal of it too. Now, as touching the scandal, the fornicator careth not for it, because he is in the opinion that fornication is indifferent. Whereupon the pastor thus proceedeth, If it were indifferent, as you say, yet because scandal riseth out of it, you should abstain. And so, amongst many arguments against fornication, the pastor useth this argument taken from the scandal of it, both for aggravating the sin in itself, and for convincing the sinner, and this argument of scandal the pastor can make good against the fornicator out of his own ultroneous and unrequired concession of the indifferency of fornication (because things indifferent, and in the case of scandal, and when they are done with the appearance of evil, should be forborne), without ever mentioning the unlawfulness of it. But if in a froward tergiversation, the fornicator begin to reply, that he also is scandalised and provoked to go on in his fornication obstinately, by the pastor rebuking him for so light a matter, and that the pastor's reproof to him hath appearance of evil, as much as his fornication hath to the pastor, albeit here it may be answered, that the pastor's reproof is not done inordinate, neither hath any appearance of evil, except in the fornicator's perverse interpretation, yet for stopping the fornicator's mouth, as well more forceably as more quickly, the pastor rejoineth, that if any scandal follow upon his reproof, it is not to be regarded, because the thing is necessary, and that because fornication being a great sin, he may not but reprove it.

So, albeit our argument of scandal holdeth out against the ceremonies considered by themselves, without making mention of the unlawfulness of them in themselves albeit also when the scandal of non-conformity (if there be any such) is compared with the scandal of conformity, we say truly that this hath appearance of evil in its own condition, and that hath none, except in the false interpretation of those who glory in gainsaying.

Yet for further convincing of our opposites, and darting through their most subtile subterfuges with a mortal stroke, we send them away with this final answer,—You should abstain from the ceremonies when scandal riseth out of them, because you confess them to be in themselves indifferent. But we do avouch and prove them to be unlawful, wherefore it is necessary for us to [pg 1-104] abstain, though all the world should be offended.

Sect. 12. The Doctor405 proceedeth to throw back the argument of scandal upon our own heads, and to charge us with scandalising both the church and commonwealth by our refusing the ceremonies. But what? should a doctor be a dictator? or a proctor a prater? Why, then, doth he ventilate words for reason? That some are displeased at our non-conformity, we understand to our great grief; but that thereby any are scandalised, we understand not; and if we did, yet that which is necessary, such as non-conformity is, can be taken away by no scandal.

But the Doctor406 goeth forward, denying that there is in the ceremonies so much as any appearance of evil, to make them scandalous. Where I observe, that he dare not adventure to describe how a thing is said to have appearance of evil, and consequently a scandalous condition. The man is cautelous, and perceiveth, peradventure, that the appearance of evil can be made to appear no other thing than that which doth more than appear in the ceremonies. And this I have heretofore evinced out of Zanchius.

The Doctor407 holdeth him upon kneeling in receiving the sacramental elements, and denieth that it is scandalous, or any way inductive to spiritual ruin. But (if he will) he may consider that the ruder sort, who cannot distinguish betwixt worshipping the bread, and worshipping before the bread, nor discern how to make Christ the passive object of that worship and the bread the active, and how to worship Christ in the bread, and make the worship relative from the bread to Christ, are, by his example, induced to bread-worship, when they perceive bowing down before the consecrated bread in the very same form and fashion wherein Papists are seen to worship it, but cannot conceive the nice distinctions which he and his companions use to purge their kneeling in that act from idolatry. As for others who have more knowledge, they are also induced to ruin, being animated by his example to do that which their consciences do condemn.

There occurreth next an objection, taken from Paul's not taking wages at Corinth (though he might lawfully), for shunning the offence both of the malicious and the weak; [pg 1-105] in the solution whereof the Doctor408 spendeth some words. The substance of his answer is this, that Paul taught it was lawful to take wages, and that they should not be offended at it; and if we do as he did, we must teach that the ceremonies are lawful in themselves, yet not using our power for the time, lest the weak be offended, or lest the malicious glory: but for all that, not denying our right and liberty, nor suffering a yoke of bondage to be imposed upon us by contumacious men. And, besides, that the Apostle was commanded by no ecclesiastical decree to take wages from the Corinthians, as we are commanded by the decree of Perth to receive the five Articles; so that Paul might, without contempt of ecclesiastical authority, abstain from taking of wages, but we cannot, without contempt of the church, reject the Articles.

Ans. 1. This importeth, that if the question were not de jure, and if we disliked the ceremonies, and were offended at them, for some other reason than their unlawfulness, for this offence they would abstain. It may be his reverend fathers return him small thanks for this device. For let some men be brought forth, acknowledging the ceremonies to be in themselves indifferent, yet offended at them for their inexpediency, whether they be weak or malicious, the Doctor thinks he should abstain for their cause.

2. How knows he that they who were offended at Paul's taking of wages at Corinth, thought not his taking of wages there unlawful, even as we think the ceremonies unlawful?

3. Why judgeth he that we are not scandalised through weakness, but through malice and contumacy? So he giveth it forth both in this place and elsewhere.409 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?

But, 4. If we were malicious in offending at the ceremonies as things unlawful, and in urging of non-conformity as necessary, should they therefore contemn our being scandalised? Those that would have Titus circumcised, were they not malicious? Did they not urge circumcision as necessary? Held they it not unlawful not to circumcise Titus? Yet did the Apostle abstain because they were to be scandalised, that is, made worse and more wicked calumniators by the circumcising of Titus, as I have showed;410 so [pg 1-106] that albeit we know not to take care for the displeasing of men that maliciously (as necessary) abstaining from that which is lawful to be done, yet must we take care for scandalising them and making them worse; rather, ere that be, we ought to abstain from the use of our liberty.

5. If an ecclesiastical decree had commanded Paul at that time to take wages at Corinth, the Doctor thinks he had contemned ecclesiastical authority in not taking wages, though some should be offended at his taking wages. What! could an ecclesiastical decree command Paul to take wages in the case of scandal? or could he have obeyed such a decree in the case of scandal? We have seen before that no human authority can make that no scandal which otherwise were scandal, so that Paul had not contemned ecclesiastical authority by not obeying their command in this case of scandal which had followed by his obeying, for he had not been bound to obey, nay, he had been bound not to obey in such a case, yea, further, albeit scandal had not been to follow by his taking wages, yet he had no more contemned the church by not obeying a command to take wages than he had done by living unmarried, if the church had commanded him to marry. The bare authority of the church could neither restrain his liberty nor ours in things indifferent, when there is no more to bind but the authority of an ordinance.

6. Why holds he us contemners of the church for not receiving the five Articles of Perth? We cannot be called contemners for not obeying, but for not subjecting ourselves, wherewith we cannot be charged. Could he not distinguish betwixt subjection and obedience? Art thou a Doctor in Israel, and knowest not these things? Nil, art thou a Conformist, and knowest not what thy fellow Conformists do hold?

Sect. 13. One point more resteth, at which the Doctor411 holdeth him in this argument, namely, that for the offence of the weak necessary things are not to be omitted, such as is obedience to superiors, but their minds are to be better informed.

Ans. 1. Obedience to superiors cannot purge that from scandal which otherwise were scandal, as we have seen before.412

[pg 1-107]

2. That information and giving of a reason cannot excuse the doing of that out of which scandal riseth, we have also proved already.413

3. That the ordinance of superiors cannot make the ceremonies necessary, I have proved in the first part of this dispute. This is given for one of the chief marks of the man of sin,414 “That which is indifferent, he by his laws and prohibitions maketh to be sin;” and shall they who profess to take part with Christ against antichrist, do no less than this? It will be replied, that the ceremonies are not thought necessary in themselves, nor non-conformity unlawful in itself, but only in respect of the church's ordinance. Just so the Papists profess,415 that the omission of their rites and observances is not a sin in itself, but only in respect of contemning the church's customs and commandments. How comes it, then, that they are not ashamed to pretend such a necessity for the stumbling-blocks of those offending ceremonies among us, as Papists pretend for the like among them?

Sect. 14. But the English Formalists have here somewhat to say, which we will hear. Mr Hooker tells us,416 that ceremonies are scandalous, either in their very nature, or else through the agreement of men to use them unto evil; and that ceremonies of this kind are either devised at first unto evil, or else having had a profitable use, they are afterwards interpreted and wrested to the contrary. As for the English ceremonies, he saith, that they are neither scandalous in their own nature, nor because they were devised unto evil, nor yet because they of the church of England abuse them unto evil.

Ans. 1. Though all this were true, yet forasmuch as they have been abused by the Papists unto idolatry and superstition, and are monuments of Popery, the trophies of Antichrist, and the relics of Rome's whorish bravery,—they must be granted, at least for this respect, to be more than manifest appearances of evil, and so scandalous.

But secondly, It is false which he saith; for kneeling in receiving the communion is, in its own nature, evil and idolatrous, because [pg 1-108] religious adoration before a mere creature, which purposely we set before us in the act of adoring, to have state in the worship, especially if it be an actual image in that act representing Christ to us (such as the bread in the act of receiving) draweth us within the compass of co-adoration or relative worship, as shall be copiously proved afterwards.

Other of the ceremonies that are not evil in their own nature, yet were devised to evil; for example, the surplice. The replier417 to Dr Mortoune's particular defence, observeth, that this superstition about apparel in divine worship, began first among the French bishops, unto whom Cælestinus writeth thus:—Discernendi, &c. “We are to be distinguished from the common people and others by doctrine, not by garment,—by conversation, not by habit,—by the purity of mind, not by attire; for if we study to innovation, we tread under foot the order which hath been delivered unto us by our fathers, to make place to idle superstitions; wherefore we ought not to lead the minds of the faithful into such things, for they are rather to be instructed than played withal; neither are we to blind and beguile their eyes, but to infuse instructions into their minds.” In which words Cælestinus reprehends this apparel, as a novelty which tended to superstition, and made way to the mocking and deceiving of the faithful.

Lastly, Whereas he saith the ceremonies are not abused by them in England, I instance the contrary in holidays. Perkins saith,418 that the feast of Christ's nativity, so commonly called, is not spent in praising the name of God, but in rifling, dicing, carding, masking, mumming, and in all licentious liberty, for the most part, as though it were some heathen feast of Ceres or Bacchus. And elsewhere419 he complaineth of the great abuses of holidays among them.

Sect. 15. As touching the rule which is alleged against the ceremonies out of Paul's doctrine, namely, that in those things from which we may lawfully abstain, we should frame the usage of our liberty with regard to the weakness of our brethren. Hooker answereth to it, 1. That the weak brethren among them were not as the Jews, who were known to be generally weak, whereas, saith he, the imbecility of ours is not common to [pg 1-109] so many, but only here and there some such an one is found. 2. He tells us that these scandalous meats, from which the Gentiles were exhorted to abstain for fear of offending the Jews, cannot represent the ceremonies, for their using of meats was a matter of private action in common life, where every man was free to order that which himself did, but the ceremonies are public constitutions for ordering the church, and we are not to look that the church is to change her public laws and ordinances, made according to that which is judged ordinarily and commonly fittest for the whole, although it chance that, for some particular men, the same be found inconvenient, especially when there may be other remedies also against the sores of particular inconveniences. Let them be better instructed.

Ans. 1. This is bad divinity that would make us not regard the scandalising of a few particular men. Christ's woe striketh not only upon them who offend many, but even upon them who offend so much as one of his little ones, Matt. xviii 6.

2. That which he saith of the few in England, and not many, who are scandalised by the ceremonies, hath been answered by a countryman of his own.420 And as for us, we find most certainly that not a few, but many, even the greatest part of Scotland, one way or other, are scandalised by the ceremonies. Some are led by them to drink in superstition, and to fall into sundry gross abuses in religion, others are made to use them doubtingly, and so damnably. And how many who refuse them are animated to use them against their consciences, and so to be damned? Who is not made to stumble? And what way do they not impede the edificatlon of the church?

3. What if there had been a public constitution, commanding the Gentiles to eat all meats freely, and that this hath been judged ordinarily and commonly fittest for the whole, even to signify the liberty of the church of the New Testament? Should not the Gentiles, notwithstanding of this constitution, have abstained because of the scandal of the Jews? How comes it then, that that which the Apostle writeth against the scandal of meats, and the reasons which he giveth, are found to hold over good, whether there be a constitution or not?

4. As for his remedy against the scandal [pg 1-110] of particular men, which is to instruct them better, it hath been answered before.421

Sect. 16. Now, if I reckon Paybody to be no body, perhaps some body will not take it well. I will therefore examine how he handleth this argument. Four things are answered by him422 to those places, Rom. xiv. 16; 1 Cor. viii. 10; Matt. xviii. 6, which are alleged against the use of things indifferent, when we cannot use them without scandal.

First, he saith, that all those Scriptures which are quoted as condemning the scandalising of others in things indifferent, speak only of scandalising them who are weak.

Ans. 1. Be it so, thought he, that they are all malicious, and none weak, who are offended by the ceremonies. He himself describeth the weak whom we are forbidden to scandalise, to be such as are weak in knowledge and certainty of the truth. Now there are many who are in this respect weak, scandalised by the ceremonies. But I say, moreover, that his description is imperfect; for there are some who know the truth, and that certainly, who are, notwithstanding, to be accounted weak, in regard of the defect of that prudence which should guide, and that stability which should accompany all their actions, in the particular usage of such things as they know certainly, in their general kind, to be agreeable to truth and righteousness. Such Christians are impeded by the ceremonies from going on in their Christian course so fast as otherwise they would, if not also made to waver or stumble. And thus are they properly scandalised according to my fifth proposition. Si quis nostra culpa vel impingit, vel abducitur a recto cursu, vel tardatur, cum dicimur offendere, saith Calvin.423 Porro scandalum est dictum vel factum quo impeditur evangelii cursus, cujus ampliationem et propagationem, totius vitae nostrae scopum esse oportet, saith Martyr.424

2. It is a fault to give offence even to the strong, or else Peter was not to be blamed for giving offence to Christ, Matt. xvi. 23. Yea, it is a fault to offend the very malicious by things that are not necessary, as I have proved in my twelfth proposition.

Sect. 17. Secondly, saith he, all those [pg 1-111] Scriptures condemn only the scandal of the weak which is made at that time when we know they will be scandalised.

Ans. 1. If he speak of certain and infallible knowledge, none but God knoweth whether a man shall be scandalised or not, by that which we are to do. He must mean, therefore, of such knowledge as we can have of the event of our actions, and so his answer bringeth great damage to his own cause. Formalists know that then weak brethren have been of a long time scandalised by the ceremonies, and they hear them professing that they are yet scandalised, and how then can they but know that scandal will still follow upon that which they do?

2. Albeit they know not that their brethren will be scandalised by the ceremonies, yea, albeit then brethren should not be scandalised thereby, yet because the ceremonies are appearances of evil, inductive to sin, and occasions of ruin, scandal is given by them, whether it be taken by their brethren or not, according to my fourth and fifth propositions.

Sect. 18. Thirdly, saith Paybody, all those Scriptures condemn only that offence of another in things indifferent, which is made by him who is at liberty and not bound, they speak not of using or refusing those things, as men are tied by the commandment of authority. Where he laboureth to prove that obedience to the magistrate in a thing indifferent is a better duty than the pleasing of a private person in such a thing.

Ans. 1. I have proved heretofore, that the commandment of authority cannot make the use of a thing indifferent to be no scandal, which otherwise were scandal.

2. I have also proved in the first part of this dispute, that an ecclesiastical constitution cannot bind us, nor take away our liberty in the using or not using of a thing indifferent in itself, except some other reason be showed us than the bare authority of the church. As touching the civil magistrate's place and power to judge and determine in things pertaining to the worship of God, we shall see it afterwards, and so shall we know how far his decisions and ordinances in this kind of things have force to bind us to obedience.

3. He should have proved that obedience to the magistrate in a thing indifferent, is a better duty than abstaining from that which scandaliseth many Christians. He should [pg 1-112] not have opposed pleasing and scandalising (for perhaps a man is most scandalised when he is most pleased), but edifying and scandalising, according to my first proposition. Now, will anybody except Paybody say, that obedience to the magistrate in a thing indifferent, out of which scandal riseth, is a better duty than forbearing for the edification of many Christian souls, and for shunning to scandalise them. This we must take to be his meaning, or else he saith nothing to the purpose.

Sect. 19. His fourth answer is, that all those scriptures condemning scandal, must needs especially condemn that which is greatest. Peter and his companions coming to Antioch, were in danger of a double scandal; either of the Jews by eating with the Gentiles, which was the less, or of the Gentiles in refusing their company, as if they had not been brethren, which was far the greater. Now Paul blamed Peter very much, that for the avoiding the lesser scandal, he and his companions fell into the greater.

Ans. 1. He is greatly mistaken whilst he thinks that a man can be so straitened betwixt two scandals, that he cannot choose but give the one of them. For, nulla datur talis perplexitas, ut necessarium sit pro homini sive hoc sive illud faciat, scandalum alicui dare.425

2. That sentence of choosing the least of two evils, must be understood of evils of punishment, not of evils of sin, as I showed before,426 so that he is in a foul error whilst he would have us to choose the least of two scandals.

3. As for the example which he allegeth, he deceiveth himself to think that Peter had given scandal to the Jews by his eating with the Gentiles. Cum Gentibus cibum capiens, recte utebatur libertate Christiana, say the Magdeburgians;427 but when certain Jews came from James, he withdrew himself, fearing the Jews, and so quod ante de libertate Christiana aedificarat, rursus destruebat, by eating, then, with the Gentiles, he gave no scandal, but by the contrary he did edify. And farther, I say, that his eating with the Gentiles was a thing necessary, and that for shunning of two great scandals; the one of the Gentiles, by compelling them to Judaise; the other [pg 1-113] of the Jews, by confirming them in Judaism, both which followed upon his withdrawing from the Gentiles; so that by his eating with the Gentiles no scandal could be given, and if any had been taken, it was not to be cared for. Wherefore there was but one scandal which Peter and his companions were in danger of, which also they did give, and for which Paul apprehended them, namely, their withdrawing of themselves from the Gentiles, and keeping company only with the Jews, whereby both the Jews and the Gentiles were scandalised, because both were made to think (at least occasion was given to both for thinking) the observation of the ceremonial law necessary. That which deceiveth Paybody, is the confounding of scandalising and displeasing. Peter, by eating with the Gentiles, perhaps had displeased the Jews, but he had thereby edified them, though the scandal which he gave them was by Judaising; Judaizabat olim Petrus per dissimulationem, saith Gerson:428 by this Judaising through such dissimulation and double-dealing, as was his eating with the Gentiles first, and then withdrawing of himself, when certain Jews came; for keeping company with them only, he scandalised the Jews and confirmed them in Judaism, as Pareus noteth.429 How then can it be said, that he that scandalised them by his eating with the Gentiles? For hereupon it should follow that there was a necessity of doing evil laid upon Peter, so that he behoved to offend the Jews either by his eating with the Gentiles, or by his not eating with the Gentiles; for he could not both eat with them and not eat with them. This is therefore plain, that if he scandalised the Jews by his not eating with the Gentiles, as I have showed, then had he not scandalised them, but edified them by his eating with the Gentiles.

I perceive he would say, that the scandal of non-conformity is a greater scandal than the scandal of conformity; and so he would make us gain little by our argument of scandal. He is bold to object,430 “Where one is offended with our practice of kneeling, twenty, I may say ten thousand, are offended with your refusal.” O adventurous arithmetic! O huge hyperbole! O desultorious declamation! O roving rethoric! O prodigal paradox!

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Yet, I reply, 1. Though sundry (yet not ten thousand for one) are displeased by our refusal, who can show us that any are thereby scandalised; that is, made worse and induced to ruin? This man is bold to say well to it; but we have solidly proved that scandal riseth out of kneeling and the rest of the ceremonies: let it be measured to us with the same measure wherewith we mete.

2. Put the case, that ten thousand were scandalised by our refusal, will it thereupon follow that our refusal is a greater scandal than their practising? Nay, then, let it be said that the cross of Christ is a greater scandal than a private man's fornication, because both Jews and Greeks were offended at that, 1 Cor. i. 23; whereas, perhaps, a small congregation only is offended at this.

3. Our refusal is necessary, because of the unlawfulness of the ceremonies which we refuse, so that we may not receive them, but must refuse them, notwithstanding of any scandal which can follow upon our refusal. If he had aught to say against this answer, why is he silent? He might have found it at home. “Our forbearance of conformity (saith Parker431) is a necessary duty, there is therein no fault of any scandal in us.”

4. Our opposites should do well to assail our argument of scandal before they propound any other argument against us; for so long as they make it not evident that the scandal of the ceremonies, which we object, is an active or faulty scandal, so long they cannot object the scandal of non-conformity to us; because if the scandal (which is to be avoided) be in their practising of the ceremonies, it cannot be in our refusing of them.

5. We know many are grieved and displeased with our non-conformity, yet that every one who is grieved is not by and by scandalised, the Bishop of Winchester teacheth as well as we. “Many times (saith he432) men are grieved with that which is for their good, and earnestly set on that which is not expedient for them.” But, in good earnest, what do they mean who say they are scandalised, or made worse by our non-conformity? for neither do we make them condemn our lawful deed as unlawful, nor yet do we animate them by our example to do that which, in their consciences, they judge unlawful. They themselves acknowledge that sitting is as lawful as kneeling; that the [pg 1-115] not-observing of the five holidays is as lawful as the observing of them; that the not-bishoping of children is as lawful as the bishoping of them. Do they not acknowledge the indifferency of the things themselves? Do they not permit many of their people either to kneel or to sit at the communion? Have not many of themselves taken the communion sitting in some places? Have not our Conformists in Scotland hitherto commonly omitted bishoping of children, and the ministration of the sacraments in private places? As for ourselves we make our meaning plain when we object the scandal of conformity; for many ignorant and superstitious persons are, by the ceremonies, confirmed (expertus loquor) in their error and superstition; so that now they even settle themselves upon the old dregs of popish superstition and formality, from which they were not well purged. Others are made to practise the ceremonies with a doubting and disallowing conscience, and to say with Naaman, “In this the Lord be merciful unto us if we err:” with my own ears have I heard some say so. And even those who have not practised the ceremonies, for that they cannot see the lawfulness of them, yet are animated by the example of practising Conformists to do these things which, in their consciences, they condemn as unlawful (which were to sin damnably), and if they do them not, then is there no small doubting and disquietness, trouble, and trepidation, harboured in their consciences. And thus, one way or other, some weakening or deterioration cometh to us by the means of the ceremonies; and if any of our opposites dare think that none of us can be so weak as to stumble or take any harm in this kind, because of the ceremonies, we take God himself to witness, who shall make manifest the counsels of the heart, that we speak the truth, and lie not.

Finally, Let that be considered which divines observe to be the perpetual condition of the church,433 namely, that as in any other family there are found some great, some small, some strong, some weak, some wholesome, some sickly, so still is there found such an inequality in the house of God, which is the church,—and that because some are sooner, some are later called, some endued with more gifts of God, and some with fewer.434

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Sect. 1. The strongest tower of refuge to which our opposites make their main recourse, is the pretended lawfulness of the ceremonies, which now we are to batter down and demolish, and so make it appear how weak they are even where they think themselves strongest.

My first argument against the lawfulness of the ceremonies I draw from the superstition of them. I cannot marvel enough how Dr Mortoune and Dr Burges could think to rub the superstition upon Non-conformists, whom they set forth as fancying their abstinence from the ceremonies to be a singular piece of service done to God, placing religion in the not using of them, and teaching men to abstain from them for conscience' sake. Dr Ames435 hath given a sufficient answer, namely, that abstaining from sin is one act of common obedience, belonging as well to things forbidden in the second table, as to those forbidden in the first; and that we do not abstain from those ceremonies but as from other unlawful corruptions, even out of the compass of worship. We abstain from the ceremonies even as from lying, cursing, stealing, &c. Shall we be holden superstitious for abstaining from things unlawful? The superstition therefore is not on our side, but on theirs:—

Sect. 2. For, 1st, Superstition is the opposite vice to religion, in the excess, as our divines describe it; for it exhibits more in the worship of God than he requires in his worship. Porro saith,436 [pg 1-118] Zanchius in cultum ipsum excessu ut, peccatur; si quid illi quem Christus instituit, jam addas, aut ab aliis additum sequar is; ut si sacramentis a Christo institutis, alia addas sacramenta; si sacrificiis, alia sacrificia; si ceremoniis cujusvis sacramenti, alios addas ritus, qui merito omnes superstitionis nomine appellantur. We see he accounteth superstition to be in the addition of ceremonies not instituted by Christ, as well as in the addition of more substantial matters. Superstitio (as some derive the word) is that which is done supra statutum; and thus are the controverted ceremonies superstitious, as being used in God's worship upon no other ground than the appointment of men.

Sect. 3. 2d. Superstition is that which exhibits divine worship, vel cui non debet, vel eo non modo quo debet, say the schoolmen.437 Now our ceremonies, though they exhibit worship to God, yet this is done inordinately, and they make the worship to be otherwise performed than it should be; for example, though God be worshipped by the administration of the sacraments in private places, yet not so as he should be worshipped. The Professors of Leyden438 condemn private baptism as inordinate, because baptismus publici ministerii, non privatæ exhortationis est appendix. It is marked in the fourth century,439 both out of councils and fathers, that it was not then permitted to communicate in private places; but this custom was thought inordinate and unbeseeming. If it be said, that the communion was given to the sick privately in the ancient church, I answer: Sometimes this was permitted, but for such special reasons as do not concern us; for, as we may see plainly by the fourteenth canon of the first Council of Nice (as those canons are collected by [pg 1-119] Ruffinus), the sixty-ninth canon of the Council of Eleberis, and the sixth canon of the Council of Ancyra, the communion was only permitted to be given in private houses to the paenitentes, who were abstenti and debarred from the sacrament, some for three years, some for five, some for seven, some for ten, some for thirteen, some longer, and who should happily be overtaken with some dangerous and deadly sickness before the set time of abstention was expired. As for the judgment of our own divines, Calviniani, saith Balduine,440 morem illum quo eucharastia ad aegrotos tanquam viaticum defertur improbant, eamque non nisi in coetibus publicis usurpendam censent. For this he allegeth Beza, Aretius, and Musculus. It was a better ordinance than that of Perth, which said, non oportet in domibus oblationes ab episcopis sive presbyteris fieri.441 But to return.

Sect. 4. 3d. The ceremonies are proved to be superstitious, by this reason, if there were no more, they have no necessary nor profitable use in the church (as hath been proved), which kind of things cannot be used without superstition. It was according to this rule that the Waldenses442 and Albigenses taught that the exorcisms, breathings, crossings, salt, spittle, unction, chrism, &c. used by the church of Rome in baptism, being neither necessary nor requisite in the administration of the same, did occasion error and superstition, rather than edification to salvation,

4th. They are yet more superstitious, for that they are not only used in God's worship unnecessary and unprofitably, but likewise they hinder other necessary duties. They who, though they serve the true God, “yet with needless offices, and defraud him of duties necessary,” are superstitious in Hooker's judgment.443 I wish he had said as well to him as from him. What offices more unnecessary than those Roman rituals? yet what more necessary duties than to worship God in a spiritual and lively manner,—to press the power of godliness upon the consciences of professors,—to maintain and keep faithful and well qualified ministers in the church,—to bear the bowels of mercy and meekness,—not to offend the weak, nor to confirm Papists in Popery,—to have all [pg 1-120] things in God's worship disposed according to the word, and not according to the will of man,—not to exercise lordship over the consciences of those whom Christ hath made free,—to abolish the monuments of by-past and badges of present idolatry; yet are those and other necessary duties shut quite out of doors by our needless ceremonial service.

Sect. 5. 5th. The ceremonies are not free of superstition, inasmuch as they give to God an external service, and grace-defacing worship, which he careth not for, and make fleshly observations to step into the room of God's most spiritual worship. Augustine444 allegeth that which is said,—“The kingdom of God is within you,” Luke xvii. against superstitious persons, who exterioribus principalem curam impendunt. The Christian worship ought to be “in spirit, without the carnal ceremonies and rites,” saith one of our divines;445 yea, the kingdom of God cometh not cum apparatu aut pompa mundana, ita ut observari possit tempus vel locus, saith a Papist.446 Carnal worship, therefore, and ceremonial observations, are (to say the least) superfluous in religion, and by consequence superstitious.

Sect. 6. 6th. Worship is placed in the ceremonies, therefore they are most superstitious. To make good what I say, holiness and necessity are placed in the ceremonies, ergo, worship. And, 1st, Holiness is placed in them. Hooker447 thinks festival days clothed with outward robes of holiness; nay, he saith plainly,448“No doubt, as God's extraordinary presence hath hallowed and sanctified certain places, so they are his extraordinary works that have truly and worthily advanced certain times, for which cause they ought to be, with all men that honour God, more holy than other days.” He calleth also the cross an holy sign.449 Dr Burges450 defendeth that the ceremonies are and may be called worship of God, not only ratione modi, as belonging to the reverend usage of God's prescribed worship, but also ratione medii, though not medii per se, of and by itself, yet per aliud, by virtue of somewhat else. Now, do not Papists place worship in their cross and crucifix? yet do [pg 1-121] they place no holiness in it per se, but only per aliud, in respect of Christ crucified thereby represented, and they tell us,451 that creaturae insensibili non debetur honor vel reverentia, nisi ratione rationalis naturae; and that they give no religious respect unto the tree whereon Christ was crucified, the nails, garments, spear, manger, &c., but only quantum ad rationem contactus membrorum Christi. Saith Dr Burges any less of the ceremonies? Nay, he placeth every way as much holiness and worship in them in the forequoted place. And elsewhere he teacheth,452 that after a sort the ceremonies are worship in themselves, even such a worship as was that of the free-will offerings under the law, and such a worship as was the building and use of altars here and there453 (before God had chosen out the standing place for his altar), though to the same end for which the Lord's instituted altar served. Thus we see that they offer the ceremonies as worship to God: yet put the case they did not, the school saith,454 that a thing belongeth to the worship of God, vel quo ad offerendum, vel quo ad assumendum. Whereupon it followeth, that superstition is not only to be laid to their charge who offer to God for worship that which he hath not commanded, but theirs also who assume in God's worship the help of anything as sacred or holy which himself hath not ordained. 2. They place as great a necessity in the ceremonies as Papists place in theirs, whereby it shall also appear now superstitiously they place worship in them; for quaecunque observatio quasi necessaria commendatur, continuo censetur ad cultum Dei pertinere, saith Calvin.455 The Rhemists think,456 that meats of themselves, or of their own nature, do not defile, “but so far as by accident they make a man to sin; as the disobedience of God's commandment, or of our superiors, who forbid some meats for certain times and causes, is a sin.” And they add, “that neither flesh nor fish of itself doth defile, but the breach of the church's precept defileth.” Aquinas457 defendeth that trin-immersion is not de necessitate baptismi, only he thinks it a sin to [pg 1-122] baptise otherwise, because this rite is instituted and used by the church. Do not Formalists place the same necessity in the ceremonies, while, as they say, they urge them not as necessary in themselves, but only as necessary in respect of the determination of the church, and the ordinance of those who are set over us? Nay, Papists place not so great necessity in many ordinances of their church as Formalists place in the ceremonies. If the cause be doubtful, Aquinas458 sends a man to seek a dispensation from the superior. But si causa sit evidens, per seipsum licite potest homo statuti observantiam praeterire. What Formalist dare yield us such liberty, as by ourselves, and without seeking a dispensation from superiors, to neglect the observation of their statutes, when we see evident cause for so doing? They think that we have no power at our own hand to judge that we have an evident cause of not obeying those who are set over us; yet this much is allowed by this Papist, who also elsewhere acknowledged459 that there is nothing necessary in baptism but the form, the minister, and the washing of water, and that all the other ceremonies which the church of Rome useth in baptism are only for solemnity. Bellarmine saith,460 that the neglecting and not observing the ceremonies of the church, with them is not a mortal sin, except it proceed ex contemptu. And that he who, entering into a church, doth not asperge himself with holy water, sinneth not,461 if so be he do it circa contemptum. Now, to be free of contempt will not satisfy our Formalists, except we obey and do that very same thing which we are commanded to do. Cornelius Jansenius,462 commenting upon these words, “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” saith, that the commandments of men there forbidden and condemned, are those which command nothing divine, but things merely human; and therefore he pleadeth for the constitutions of the church about feasts, choice of meats, festivities, &c., and for obedience to the same upon no other ground than this, because pius quisque facile videt quam habeant ex scripturis originem et quomodo eis consonant, eo quod faciant ad [pg 1-123] carnis castigationem et temperantiam, aut ad fidelium unionem et edificationem. I know it to be false which this Papist affirmeth; yet in that he thus pleadeth for those constitutions of the church from Scripture and reason, forsaking the ground of human authority, he is a great deal more modest and less superstitious than those our opposites, who avouch the ceremonies as necessary, and will have us bound to the practice of them upon no other ground than the bare will and authority of superiors, who have enjoined them, as hath been shown in the first part of this dispute. Yea, some of them place a certain and constant necessity in the ceremonies themselves, even beside and without the church's constitution (which is more than Papists have said of their ceremonies). Dr Forbesse463 calleth the Articles of Perth, pauca necessaria, &c., a few things necessary for God's glory, and the promoting of piety in our church, for order, peace, unity, and charity; and particularly he teacheth, that a minister may not lawfully omit to administer the sacraments in private places, and without the presence of the congregation, to such as through sickness cannot come to the public assemblies; which he calleth, eis necessaria ministrare. To say the truth, the ministration of the sacraments in private places importeth a necessity in the matter itself, for which cause the divines of Geneva resolved464 that in Ecclesiis publice institutis, baptism might not be administered in private places, but only publicly in the congregation of the faithful, partim ne sacramenta, &c., “partly (say they) lest the sacraments, being separate from the preaching of the word, should be again transformed in certain magical ceremonies, as in Popery it was; partly that the gross superstition of the absolute necessity of external baptism may be rooted out of the minds of men.” Sure, the defenders of private baptism place too great necessity in that sacrament. Hooker plainly insinuates465 the absolute necessity of outward baptism, at least in wish or desire, which is the distinction of the schoolmen, and followed by the modern Papists to cloak their superstition. But whatsoever show it hath, it was rightly impugned in the Council of Trent466 by Marianarus, who alleged against it that the angel [pg 1-124] said to Cornelius his prayers were acceptable to God, before ever he knew of the sacrament of baptism; so that, having no knowledge of it, he could not be said to have received it, no not in vow or wish; and that many holy martyrs were converted in the heat of persecution, by seeing the constancy of others, and presently taken and put to death, of whom one cannot say, but by divination, that they knew the sacraments, and made a vow.

Sect. 7. 7th. I will now apply this argument, taken from superstition, particularly to holidays. Superstitiosum esse docemus, saith Beza,467 arbitrari unum aliquem diem altero sanctiorem. Now I will show that Formalists observe holidays, as mystical and holier than other days, howbeit Bishop Lindsey thinks good to dissemble and deny it.468 “Times (saith he) are appointed by our church for morning and evening prayers in great towns; hours for preaching on Tuesday, Thursday, &c.; hours for weekly exercises of prophecying, which are holy in respect of the use whereunto they are appointed; and such are the five days which we esteem not to be holy, for any mystic signification which they have, either by divine or ecclesiastical institution, or for any worship which is appropriated unto them, that may not be performed at another time, but for the sacred use whereunto they are appointed to be employed as circumstances only, and not as mysteries.” Ans. This is but falsely pretended, for as Didoclavius observeth,469 aliud est deputare, aliud dedicare, aliud sanctificare. Designation or deputation is when a man appoints a thing for such an use, still reserving power and right to put it to another use if he please; so the church appointeth times and hours for preaching upon the week-days, yet reserving power to employ those times otherwise, when she shall think fit. Dedication is when a man so devotes a thing to some pious or civil use, that he denudes himself to all right and title which thereafter he might claim unto it, as when a man dedicates a sum of money for the building of an exchange, a judgment-hall, &c., or a parcel of ground for a church, a churchyard, a glebe, a school, an hospital, he can claim no longer right to the dedicated thing. Sanctification is the setting apart of [pg 1-125] a thing for a holy and religious use, in such sort that hereafter it may be put to no other use, Prov. xx. 25. Now whereas times set apart for ordinary and weekly preaching, are only designed by the church for this end and purpose, so that they are not holy, but only for the present they are applied to an holy use; neither is the worship appointed as convenient or beseeming for those times, but the times are appointed as convenient for the worship. Festival days are holy both by dedication and consecration of them; and thus much the Bishop himself forbeareth not to say,470 only he laboureth to plaster over his superstition with the untempered mortar of this quidditative distinction, that some things are holy by consecration of them to holy and mystical uses,471 as water in baptism, &c., but other things are made holy by consecration of them to holy political uses. This way, saith he, the church hath power to make a thing holy, as to build and consecrate places to be temples, houses to be hospitals; to give rent, lands, money and goods, to the ministry and to the poor; to appoint vessels, and vestures, and instruments for the public worship, as table, table-cloths, &c. Ans. 1. The Bishop, I see, taketh upon him to coin new distinctions at his own pleasure; yet they will not, I trust, pass current among the judicious. To make things holy by consecration of them to holy uses for policy, is an uncouth speculation, and, I dare say, the Bishop himself comprehendeth it not. God's designation of a thing to any use, which serves for his own glory, is called the sanctification of that thing, or the making of it holy, and so the word is taken, Isa. xiii. 3; Jer. i. 5, as G. Sanctius noteth in his commentaries upon these places; and Calvin, commenting upon the same places, expoundeth them so likewise; but the church's appointing or designing of a thing to an holy use, cannot be called the making of it holy. It must be consecrated at the command of God, and by virtue of the word and prayer: thus are bread and wine consecrated in the holy supper, Res sacrae, saith Fennerus,472 sunt quae Dei verbo in praedictum usum sanctificatae et dedicatae sunt. Polanus, speaking of the sacramental elements, saith,473 Sanctificatio rei terrenae est actio ministri, qua destinat [pg 1-126] rem terrenam ad sanctum usum, ex mandato Dei, &c. The Professors of Leyden474 call only such things, persons, times and places holy, as are consecrated and dedicated to God and his worship, and that divina praescriptione. If our ordinary meat and drink cannot be sanctified to us, so that we may lawfully, and with a good conscience, use those common things, but by the word of God and prayer, how then shall anything be made holy for God's worship but by the same means? 1 Tim. iv. 5. And, I pray, which is the word, and which be the prayers, that make holy those things which the Bishop avoucheth for things consecrated and made holy by the church, namely, the ground whereupon the church is built, the stones and timber of an hospital; the rents, lands, money, or goods given to the ministry and the poor; the vessels, vestures, tables, napkins, basons, &c., appointed for the public worship.

Sect. 8. 2d. Times, places and things, which the church designeth for the worship of God, if they be made holy by consecration of them to holy political uses, then either they may be made holy by the holy uses to which they are to be applied, or else by the church's dedicating of them to those uses. They cannot be called holy by virtue of their application to holy uses; for then (as Ames argueth475) the air is sacred, because it is applied to the minister's speech whilst he is preaching, then is the light sacred which is applied to his eye in reading, then are his spectacles sacred which are used by him reading his text, &c. But neither yet are they holy, by virtue of the church's dedicating of them to those uses for which she appointed them; for the church hath no such power as by her dedication to make them holy. P. Martyr476 condemneth the dedication or consecration (for those words he useth promiscuously) whereby the Papists hallow churches, and he declareth against it the judgment of our divines to be this, Licere, imo jure pietatis requiri, ut in prima cujusque rei usurpatione gratias Deo agamus, ejusque bonitatem celebremus, &c. Collati boni religiosum ac sanctum usum poscamus. This he opposeth to the popish dedication of temples and bells, as appeareth by these words: Quanto sanius rectusque decernimus. He implieth, therefore, that these things are [pg 1-127] only consecrated as every other thing is consecrated to us. Of this kind of consecration he hath given examples. In libro Nehemiae dedicatio maeniam civitatis commemoratur, quae nil aliud fuit nisi quod muris urbis instauratis, populus una cum Levitis et sacerdotibus, nec non principibus, eo se contulit, ibique gratias Deo egerunt de maenibus reaedificatis, et justam civitatis usuram postularunt, qua item ratione prius quam sumamus cibum, nos etiam illum consecramus. As the walls of Jerusalem then, and as our ordinary meat are consecrated, so are churches consecrated, and no otherwise can they be said to be dedicated, except one would use the word dedication, in that sense wherein it is taken, Deut. xx. 5; where Calvin turns the word dedicavit; Arias Montanus, initiavit; Tremelius, caepit uti. Of this sort of dedication, Gaspar Sanctius writeth thus: Alia dedicatio est, non solum inter prophanos, sed etiam inter Haebreos usitata, quae nihil habet sacrum sed tantum est auspicatio aut initium operis, ad quod destinatur locus aut res cujus tunc primum libatur usus. Sic Nero Claudius dedicasse dicitur domum suam cum primum illam habitare caepit. Ita Suetonius in Nerone. Sic Pompeius dedicavit theatrum suum, cum primum illud publicis ludis et communibus usibus aperuit; de quo Cicero, lib. 2, epist. 1. Any other sort of dedicating churches we hold to be superstitious. Peter Waldus, of whom the Waldenses were named, is reported to have taught that the dedication of temples was but an invention of the devil.477 And though churches be dedicated by preaching and praying, and by no superstition of sprinkling them with holy water, or using such magical rites, yet even these dedications, saith the Magdeburgians,478 ex Judaismo natae videntur sine nullo Dei praecepto. There is, indeed, no warrant for such dedication of churches as is thought to make them holy. Bellarmine would warrant it by Moses' consecrating of the tabernacle, the altar, and the vessels of the same; but Hospinian answereth him:479 Mosis factum expressum habuit Dei mandatum: de consecrandis autem templis Christianorum, nullum uspiam in verbo Dei praeceptum extat, ipso quoque Bellarmino teste. Whereupon [pg 1-128] he concludeth that this ceremony of consecrating or dedicating the churches of Christians, is not to be used after the example of Moses, who, in building and dedicating of the tabernacle, did follow nothing without God's express commandment. What I have said against the dedication of churches, holds good also against the dedication of altars; the table whereupon the elements of the body and blood of Christ are set, is not to be called holy; neither can they be commended who devised altars in the church, to be the seat of the Lord's body and blood, as if any table, though not so consecrated, could not as well serve the turn. And what though altars were used in the ancient church? Yet this custom à Judaica, in ecclesiam Christi permanavit ac postea superstitioni materiam præbuit, say the Magdeburgians.480 Altars savour of nothing but Judaism, and the borrowing of altars from the Jews, hath made Christians both to follow their priesthood and their sacrifices. Hæc enim trio, scilicet sacerdos, altare, et sacrificium, sunt correlativa, ut ubi unum est, coetera duo adesse necesse sit, saith Cornelius à Lapide.481

Sect. 9. 3d. If some times, places and things, be made holy by the church's dedication or consecration of them to holy uses, then it followeth that other times, places and things, which are not so dedicated and consecrated by the church, howbeit they be applied to the same holy uses, yet are more profane, and less apt to divine worship, than those which are dedicated by the church. I need not insist to strengthen the inference of this conclusion from the principles of our opposites; for the most learned among them will not refuse to subscribe to it. Hooker teacheth us,482 that the service of God, in places not sanctified as churches are, hath not in itself (mark in itself) such perfection of grace and comeliness, as when the dignity of the place which it wisheth for, doth concur; and that the very majesty and holiness of the place where God is worshipped, bettereth even our holiest and best actions. How much more soundly do we hold with J. Rainolds,483 that unto us Christians, “no land is strange, no ground unholy,—every coast is Jewry, every town Jerusalem, and every house Sion,—and every faithful company, yea, every faithful body, a temple to serve God in.” The contrary [pg 1-129] opinion Hospinian rejecteth as favouring Judaism,484 alligat enim religionem ad certa loca. Whereas the presence of Christ among two or three gathered together in his name, maketh any place a church, even as the presence of a king with his attendants maketh any place a court. As of places, so of times, our opposites think most superstitiously. For of holidays Hooker saith thus,485 “No doubt as God's extraordinary presence hath hallowed and sanctified certain places, so they are his extraordinary works that have truly and worthily advanced certain times, for which cause they ought to be with all men that honour God more holy than other days.” What is this but popish superstition? For just so the Rhemists think that the times and places of Christ's nativity,486 passion, burial, resurrection, and ascension, were made holy; and just so Bellarmine holdeth,487 that Christ did consecrate the days of his nativity, passion, and resurrection, eo quod nascens consecrarit præsepe, moriens crucem, resurgens sepulchrum. Hooker hath been of opinion, that the holidays were so advanced above other days, by God's great and extraordinary works done upon them, that they should have been holier than other days, even albeit the church had not appointed them to be kept holy. Yet Bishop Lindsey would have us believe that they think them holy, only because of the church's consecration of them to holy political uses. But that now, at last, I may make it appear to all that have common sense, how falsely (though frequently) it is given forth by the Bishop, that holidays are kept by them only for order and policy, and that they are not so superstitious as to appropriate the worship to those days, or to observe them for mystery and as holier than other days:—

Sect. 10. First, I require the Bishop to show us a difference betwixt the keeping of holidays by Formalists, and their keeping of the Lord's day; for upon holidays they enjoin a cessation from work, and a dedicating of the day to divine worship, even as upon the Lord's day. The Bishop allegeth five respects of difference,488 but they are not true. First, he saith, that the Lord's day is commanded to be observed of necessity, for conscience [pg 1-130] of the divine ordinance as a day sanctified and blessed by God himself. Ans. 1. So have we heard from Hooker, that holidays are sanctified by God's extraordinary works; but because the Bishop dare not say so much, therefore I say, 2. This difference cannot show us that they observe holidays only for order and policy, and that they place no worship in the observing of them, as in the observing of the Lord's day (which is the point that we require), for worship is placed in the observing of human as well as of divine ordinances, otherwise worship hath never been placed in the keeping of Pharisaical and popish traditions. This way is worship placed in the keeping of holidays, when for conscience of an human ordinance, they are both kept as holy and thought necessary to be so kept. 3. The Bishop contradicteth himself; for elsewhere he defendeth,489 that the church hath power to change the Lord's day. Secondly, He giveth us this difference, that the Lord's day is observed as the Sabbath of Jehovah, and as a day whereon God himself did rest after the creation. Ans. 1. This is false of the Lord's day; for after the creation, God rested upon the seventh day, not upon the first. 2. Dr Downame saith,490 that festival days also are to be consecrated as Sabbaths to the Lord. Thirdly, The Bishop tells us, that the Lord's day is observed in memory of the Lord's resurrection. Ans. He shall never make this good; for, we observe the Lord's day in memory of the whole work of redemption. 2. If it were so, this could make no difference; for just so Christmas is observed in memory of the Lord's nativity, Good Friday in memory of his passion, &c. His fourth and fifth respects of differences are certain mysteries in the Lord's day. But we shall see by and by how his fellow Formalists who are more ingenuous than himself, show us mysteries in the festival days also. Lastly, Albeit the Bishop hath told us that there is no worship appropriated unto the festival days, which may not be performed at any other time, yet this cannot with him make a difference betwixt them and the Lord's day; for in his epistle, which I have quoted, he declareth his judgment to be the same of the Lord's day, and teacheth us, that the worship performed on it is not, so appropriated to that time, but lawfully the same may be performed [pg 1-131] at any other convenient time, as the church shall think fit. Now, as the worship performed on the Lord's day is appropriated (in his judgment) to that time, so long as the church altereth it not, and no longer, just as much thinks he of the appropriating to festival days the worship performed on the same.

Sect. 11. 2d. If the holidays be observed by Formalists only for order and policy, then they must say the church hath power to change them. But this power they take from the church, by saying that they are dedicated and consecrated to those holy uses to which they are applied. Simul Deo dicatum non est ad usus humanos ulterius transferendum, saith one of the popes.491 And, by the dedication of churches, the founders surrender that right which otherwise they might have in them, saith one of the Formalists themselves.492 If, then, the church hath dedicated holidays to the worship of God, then hath she denuded herself of all power to change them, or put them to another use: which were otherwise if holidays were appointed to be kept only for order and policy. Yea, farther, times and places which are applied to the worship of God, as circumstances only for outward order and policy, may be by a private Christian applied to civil use, for in so doing he breaketh not the ordinance of the church. For example, material churches are appointed to be the receptacles of Christian assemblies, and that only for such common commodity and decency which hath place as well in civil as in holy meetings, and not for any holiness conceived to be in them more than in other houses. Now, if I be standing in a churchyard when it raineth, may I not go into the church that I may be defended from the injury of the weather? If I must meet with certain men for putting order to some of my worldly affairs, and it fall out that we cannot conveniently meet in any part but in the church, may we not there keep our trust? A material church, then, may serve for a civil use the same way that it serveth to an holy use. And so, for times appointed for ordinary preaching upon week-days in great towns, may not I apply those times to a civil use when I cannot conveniently apply them to the use for which the church appointeth [pg 1-132] them? I trust our prelates shall say, I may, because they use to be otherwise employed than in divine worship during the times of weekly preaching. Now if holidays were commanded to be kept only for order and policy, they might be applied to another use as well as those ordinary times of weekly meetings in great towns, whereas we are required of necessity to keep them holy.

Sect. 12. 3d. If the holidays be kept only for order and policy, why do they esteem some of them above others? Doth not Bishop Andrews call the feast of Easter the highest and greatest of our religion?493 and doth not Bishop Lindsey himself, with Chrysostom, call the festival of Christ's nativity, metropolim omnium festorum?494 By this reason doth Bellarmine prove495 that the feasts of Christians are celebrated non solum ratione ordinis et politiæ, sed etiam mysterii, because otherwise they should be all equal in celebrity, whereas Leo calls Easter festum festorum, and Nazianzen, celebritatem celebritatum.

Sect. 13. 4. If the holidays be kept only for order and policy, then the sanctification of them should be placed in ipso actuali externi cultus exercitio.496 But Hooker hath told us before, that they are made holy and worthily advanced above other days by God's extraordinary works wrought upon them. Whereupon it followeth, that as Deus septimum sanctificavit vacatione sancta, et ordinatione ad usum sanctum497 so hath he made festival days no less holy in themselves, and that as the Sabbath was holy from the beginning, because of God's resting upon it, and his ordaining of it for an holy use, howbeit it had never been applied by men to the exercises of God's worship, even so festival days are holy, being advanced truly and worthily by the extraordinary works of God, and for this cause commended to all men that honour God to be holier with them than other days, albeit it should happen that by us they were never applied to an holy use. If Bishop Lindsey thinketh that all this toucheth not him, he may be pleased to remember that he himself hath confessed,498 that the very presence of the [pg 1-133] festivity puts a man in mind of the mystery, howbeit he have not occasion to be present in the holy assembly. What order or policy is here, when a man being quiet in his parlour or cabinet, is made to remember of such a mystery on such a day? What hath external order and policy to do with the internal thoughts of a man's heart, to put in order the same?

Sect. 14. 5th. By their fruits shall we know them. Look whether they give so much liberty to others, and take so much to themselves upon their holidays, for staying from the public worship and attending worldly business, as they do at the diets of weekly and ordinary preaching, yet they would make the simple believe that their holidays are only appointed to be kept as those ordinary times set apart for divine service on the week-days, nay, moreover, let it be observed whether or not they keep the festival days more carefully, and urge the keeping of them more earnestly than the Lord's own day. Those prelates that will not abase themselves to preach upon ordinary Sabbaths, think the high holidays worthy of their sermons. They have been also often seen to travel upon the Lord's day, whereas they hold it irreligion to travel upon an holiday. And whereas they can digest the common profanation of the Lord's day, and not challenge it, they cannot away with the not observing of their festivities.

Sect. 15. 6th. By their words shall we judge them. Saith not Bishop Lindsey499 that the five anniversary days are consecrate to the commemoration of our Saviour, his benefits being separate from all other ordinary works, and so made sacred and holidays? Will he say this much of ordinary times appointed for weekly preaching? I trow not. Dr Downame500 holdeth that we are commanded, in the fourth commandment, to keep the feasts of Christ's nativity, passion, resurrection, ascension, and Pentecost, and that these feasts are to be consecrated as sabbaths to the Lord. Bishop Andrews, a man of the greatest note amongst our opposites, affordeth us here plenty of testimonies of the proof of the point in hand, namely, that the anniversary festival days are kept for mystery, and as holier than other days. Simon on Psal. lxxxv. 10, 11, he saith of Christmas, That mercy and truth, righteousness and peace, “of all the days of [pg 1-134] the year meet most kindly on this day.” Sermon on Psal. ii. 7, he saith of the same day, That of all other hodies, we should not let slip the hodie of this day, whereon the law is most kindly preached, so it will be most kindly practised of all others.” Sermon on Heb. xii. 2, he saith of Good Friday, “Let us now turn to him, and beseech him by the sight of this day.” Sermon on 1 Cor. v. 7, 8, he saith of the keeping of the Christian passover upon Easter, That then “it is best for us to do it, it is most kindly to do it, most like to please Christ, and to prosper with us. And, indeed, if at any time we will do it, quando pascha nisi in pascha, &c., so that without any more ado, the season pleadeth for this effectually,” &c. Sermon on Col. iii. 1, he saith, That “there is no day in the year so fit for a Christian to rise with Christ, and seek the things above, as Easter day.” Sermon on Job. ii. 19, he saith, That “the act of receiving Christ's body is at no time so proper, so in season, as this very day.” Sermon on 1 Cor. xi. 16, he tells us out of Leo, “This is a peculiar that Easter day hath, that on it all the whole church obtaineth remission of their sins.” Sermon on Acts ii. 1-3, he saith of the feast of Pentecost, That “of all days we shall not go away from the Holy Ghost empty on this day, it is dies donorum his giving day.” Sermon on Eph. iv. 30, he saith, “This is the Holy Ghost's day, and not for that originally so it was, but for that it is to be intended, ever he will do his own chief work upon his own chief feast, and opus diei, the day's work upon the day itself.” Sermon on Psal. lxviii. 18, he saith, That “love will be best and soonest wrought by the sacrament of love upon Pentecost, the feast of love.” Sermon on Acts x. 34, 35, he saith, That the receiving of the Holy Ghost in a more ample measure is opus diei, “the proper work of this day.” Sermon on James i. 16, 17, he calls the gift of the Holy Ghost the gift of the day of Pentecost, and tells us that “the Holy Ghost, the most perfect gift of all, this day was, and any day may be, but chiefly this day, will be given to any that will desire.” Sermon on Luke iv. 18, he saith of the same feast, That “because of the benefit that fell on this time, the time itself it fell on, is, and cannot be but acceptable, even eo nomine, that at such a time such a benefit happened to us.” Much more of this stuff I might produce out of this prelate's holiday sermons,501 [pg 1-135] which I supersede as more tedious than necessary; neither yet will I stay here to confute the errors of those and such like sentences of his; for my purpose is only to prove against Bishop Lindsey, that the festival days, whereabout we dispute, are not observed as circumstances of worship, for order and policy, but that, as the chief parts of God's worship are placed in the celebration and keeping of the same, so are they kept and celebrated most superstitiously, as having certain sacred and mystical significations, and as holier in themselves than other days, because they were sanctified above other days by the extraordinary works and great benefits of God which happened upon them; so that the worship performed on them is even appropriated to them; all which is more than evident from those testimonies which I have in this place collected.

And, finally, the author of The Nullity of Perth Assembly502 proveth this point forcibly: Doth not Hooker say “That the days of public memorials should be clothed with the outward robes of holiness? They allege for the warrant of anniversary festivities, the ancients, who call them sacred and mystical days. If they were instituted only for order and policy, that the people might assemble to religious exercises, wherefore is there but one day appointed betwixt the passion and the resurrection; forty days betwixt the resurrection and ascension; ten betwixt the ascension and Pentecost? Wherefore follow we the course of the moon, as the Jews did, in our moveable feasts? &c. Wherefore is there not a certain day of the month kept for Easter as well as for the nativity?” &c. That which is here alleged out of Hooker and the ancients, Bishop Lindsey passeth quite over it, and neither inserts nor answers it. As touching those demands which tie him as so many Gordian knots, because he cannot unloose them, he goeth about to break them, telling us,503 that they order these things so for unity with the catholic church. This is even as some natural philosophers, who take upon them to give a reason and cause for all things in nature, when they can find no other, they flee to sympathia physica. When it is asked, [pg 1-136] wherefore the loadstone doth attract iron rather than other metal? they answer, that the cause thereof is sympathia physica inter magnetem et ferrum. With such kind of etymology doth the Bishop here serve us; yet peradventure he might have given us another cause. If so, my retractation is, that if he be excused one way, he must be accused another way; and if he be blameless of ignorance, he is blameworthy for dissimulation. The true causes why those things are so ordered, we may find in Bishop Andrew's sermons, which I have made use of in handling this argument. For example,504 the reason why there is but one day betwixt the passion and the resurrection, is, because that Jonas was but one day in the whale's belly, and Christ but one day in the bosom of the earth; for in their going thither he sets out Good Friday; in their being there, Easter eve; in their coming thence, Easter day. As for the fifty days betwixt Easter and Pentecost, he saith,505 “Fifty is the number of the jubilee; which number agreeth well with this feast, the feast of Pentecost;—what the one in years, the other in days;—so that this is the jubilee as it were of the year, or the yearly memory of the year of jubilee: that, the pentecost of years; this, the jubilee of days.” In the end of the same sermon, he tells us the reason why there are ten days appointed betwixt the ascension and Pentecost. “The feast of jubilee (saith he) began ever after the high priest had offered his sacrifice, and had been in the sancta sanctorum, as this jubilee of Christ also took place from his entering into the holy places, made without hands, after his propitiatory sacrifice, offered up for the quick and the dead, and for all yet unborn, at Easter. And it was the tenth day; and this now is the tenth day since.” He hath told us also why there is not a certain day of the month appointed for Easter,506 as there is for the nativity, namely, because the fast of Lent must end with that high feast, according to the prophecy of Zechariah. Wherefore I conclude, aliquid mysterii alunt, and so aliquid monstri too.

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Sect. 1. I have here proved the ceremonies to be superstitious; now I will prove them to be idolatrous. These are different arguments; for every idolatry is superstition, but every superstition is not idolatry, as is rightly by some distinguished.507 As for the idolatry of the controverted ceremonies, I will prove that they are thrice idolatrous: 1. Reductive, because they are monuments of by-past idolatry; 2.Participative, because they are badges of present idolatry; 3.Formaliter, because they are idols themselves.

First, then, they are idolatrous, because having been notoriously abused to idolatry heretofore, they are the detestable and accursed monuments, which give no small honour to the memory of that by-past idolatry which should lie buried in hell. Dr Burges508 reckons for idolatrous all ceremonies devised and used in and to the honouring of an idol, whether properly or by interpretation such. “Of which sort (saith he) were all the ceremonies of the pagans, and not a few of the Papists.” If an opposite, writing against us, be forced to acknowledge this much, one may easily conjecture what enforcing reason we have to double out our point. The argument in hand I frame thus:—

All things and rites which have been notoriously abused to idolatry, if they be not such as either God or nature hath made to be of a necessary use, should be utterly abolished and purged away from divine worship, in such sort that they may not be accounted nor used by us as sacred things or rites pertaining to the same.

But the cross, surplice, kneeling in the act of receiving the communion, &c., are things and rites, &c., and are not such as either God or nature, &c.

Therefore they should be utterly abolished, &c.

[pg 1-138]

Sect. 2. As for the proposition I shall first explain it and then prove it. I say, “all things and rites,” for they are alike forbidden, as I shall show. I say, “which have been notoriously abused to idolatry,” because if the abuse be not known, we are blameless for retaining the things and rites which have been abused. I say, “if they be not such as either God or nature hath made to be of a necessary use,” because if they be of a necessary use, either through God's institution, as the sacraments, or through nature's law, as the opening of our mouths to speak (for when I am to preach or pray publicly, nature makes it necessary that I open my mouth to speak audibly and articularly), then the abuse cannot take away the use. I say, “they may not be used by us as sacred things, rites pertaining to divine worship,” because without the compass of worship they may be used to a natural or civil purpose. If I could get no other meat to eat than the consecrated host, which Papists idolatrise in the circumgestation of it, I might lawfully eat it; and if I could get no other clothes to put on than the holy garments wherein a priest hath said mass, I might lawfully wear them. Things abused to idolatry are only then unlawful when they are used no otherwise than religiously, and as things sacred.

Sect. 3. The proposition thus explained is confirmed by these five proofs: 1. God's own precept,—“Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornaments of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth, thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence,” Isa. xxx. 22. The covering of the idol here spoken of, Gaspar Sanctus509 rightly understandeth to be that, quo aut induebantur simulacra Gentilico ritu, aut bracteas quibus ligneae imagines integantur, aut quo homines idolis sacrificaturi amiciebantur; so that the least appurtenances of idols are to be avoided. When the apostle Jude510 would have us to hate garments spotted with the flesh, his meaning is, detestandam essevel superficiem ipsam mali sive peccati, quam tunicae appellatione subinnuere videtur, as our own. Rolloke hath observed,511 If the very covering of an idol be forbidden, what shall be thought of other things which are not only spotted, but irrecoverably polluted [pg 1-139] with idols? Many such precepts were given to Israel, as “Ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves,” Exod. xxxiv. 13. “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver nor gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein; for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God,” Deut. vii. 25, 26. Read to the same purpose, Num. xxxiii. 52; Deut. vii. 5; xii. 2, 3.

Secondly, God hath not only by his precepts commanded us to abolish all the relics of idolatry, but by his promises also manifested unto us how acceptable service this should be to him. There is a command “That the Israelites should destroy the Canaanites,” Num. xxxiii. 52, evertantque res omnes idololatricas ipsorum cui mandato, saith Junius,512 subjicitur sua promissio, namely, that the Lord would give them the promised land, and they should dispossess the inhabitants thereof, ver. 53; yea, there is a promise of remission and reconciliation to this work: “By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalk-stones that are beaten asunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.” Isa. xxvii. 9.

Sect. 4. Thirdly, The churches of Pergamos and Thyatira are reproved for suffering the use of idolothites, Rev. ii. 14-20, where the eating of things sacrificed to idols is condemned as idolatry and spiritual adultery, as Perkins513 noteth. Paybody, therefore, is greatly mistaken when he thinks that meats sacrificed to idols, being the good creatures of God, were allowed by the Lord, out of the case of scandal, notwithstanding of idolatrous pollution; for the eating of things sacrificed to idols is reproved as idolatry, Rev. ii.; and the eating of such things is condemned as a fellowship with devils, 1 Cor. x. 20. Now idolatry and fellowship with devils, I suppose, are unlawful, though no scandal should follow upon them. And whereas he thinks meats sacrificed to idols to be lawful enough out of the case of scandal, for this reason, because they are the good creatures of God, he should have considered better the Apostle's mind concerning such idolothites; which Zanchius514 setteth down thus: Verum est, per se haec nihil [pg 1-140] sunt, sed respectu eorum quibut immolantur aliquid sunt; quia per hoec illis quibus immolantur, nos consociamur. Qui isti? Daemones. For our better understanding of this matter, we must distinguish two sorts of idolothites, both which we find, 1 Cor. x. Of the one, the Apostle speaks from the 14th verse of that chapter to the 23d; of the other, from the 23d verse to the end. This is Beza's distinction in his Annotations on that chapter. Of the first sort, he delivers the Apostle's mind thus: That as Christians have their holy banquets, which are badges of their communion both with Christ and among themselves; and as the Israelites, by their sacrifices, did seal their copulation in the same religion, so also idolaters, cum suis idolis aut potius daemonibus, solemnibusillis epulis copulantur. So that this sort of idolothites were eaten in temples, and public solemn banquets, which were dedicated to the honour of idols, 1 Cor. viii. 10. Cartwright showeth515 that the Apostle is comparing the table of the Lord with the table of idolaters; whereupon it followeth, that as we use the Lord's table religiously, so that table of idolaters of which the Apostle speaketh, had state in the idolatrous worship like that feast, Num. xxv. 3; quod in honorem falsorum Deorum celebrabatur, saith Calvin.516 This first sort of idolothites Pareus517 calls the sacrifices of idols; and from such, he saith, the Apostle dissuadeth by this argument, Participare epulis idolorum, est idololatria. Of the second sort of idolothites, the Apostle begins to speak in ver. 23. The Corinthians moved a question, Whether they might lawfully eat things sacrificed to idols? In privatis conviviis, saith Pareus.518 The Apostle resolves them that domi in privato convictu, they might eat them, except it were in the case of scandal; thus Beza.519 The first sort of idolothites are meant of Rev. ii., as Beza there noteth; and of this sort must we understand Augustine520 to mean whilst he saith, that it were better mori fame, quam idolothites vesci. These sorts are simply and in themselves unlawful. And if meats sacrificed to idols be so unlawful, then much more such things and rites as have not only been sacrificed and destinated [pg 1-141] to the honour of idols (for this is but one kind of idolatrous abuse), but also of a long time publicly and solemnly employed in the worshipping of idols, and deeply defiled with idolatry, much more, I say, are they unlawful to be applied to God's most pure and holy worship, and therein used by us publicly and solemnly, so that the world may see us conforming and joining ourselves unto idolaters.

Sect. 5. Fourthly, I fortify my proposition by approved examples; and, first, we find that Jacob, Gen. xxxv. 4, did not only abolish out of his house the idols, but their ear-rings also, because they were superstitionis insignia, as Calvin; res ad idololatriam pertinentes, as Junius; monilia idolis consecrata, as Pareus calleth them; all writing upon that place. We have also the example of Elijah, 1 Kings xviii. 30: he would by no means offer upon Baal's altar, but would needs repair the Lord's altar, though this should hold the people the longer in expectation. This he did, in P. Martyr's judgment, because he thought it a great indignity to offer sacrifice to the Lord upon the altar of Baal; whereupon Martyr521 reprehendeth those who, in administering the true supper of the Lord, uti velint Papisticis vestibus et instrumentis. Further, we have the example of Jehu, who is commended for the destroying of Baal out of Israel, with his image, his house, and his very vestments, 2 Kings x. 22-28. And what example more considerable than that of Hezekiah, who not only abolished such monuments of idolatry as at their first institution were but men's invention, but brake down also the brazen serpent (though originally set up at God's own command), when once he saw it abused to idolatry? 2 Kings xviii. 4. This deed of Hezekiah Pope Steven522 doth greatly praise, and professeth that it is set before us for our imitation, that when our predecessors have wrought some things which might have been without fault in their time, and afterward they are converted into error and superstition, they may be quickly destroyed by us who come after them. Farellus saith,523 that princes and magistrates should learn by this example of Hezekiah what they should do with those significant rites of men's devising which have turned to superstition. Yea, [pg 1-142] the Bishop of Winchester acknowledgeth,524 that whatsoever is taken up at the injunction of men, when it is drawn to superstition, cometh under the compass of the brazen serpent, and is to be abolished; and he excepteth nothing from this example but only things of God's own prescribing. Moreover, we have the example of good Josiah, 2 Kings xxiii., for he did not only destroy the houses, and the high places of Baal, but his vessels also, and his grove, and his altars; yea, the horses and chariots which had been given to the sun. The example also of penitent Manasseh, who not only overthrew the strange gods, but their altars too, 2 Chron. xxxiii. 15. And of Moses, the man of God, who was not content to execute vengeance on the idolatrous Israelites, except he should also utterly destroy the monument of their idolatry, Exod. xxxii. 17-20. Lastly, we have the example of Daniel, who would not defile himself with a portion of the king's meat, Dan. i. 8; because, saith Junius,525 it was converted in usum idololatricum; for at the banquets of the Babylonians and other Gentiles, erant praemessa sive praemissa, quoe diis proemittebantur, they used to consecrate their meat and drink to idols, and to invocate the names of their idols upon the same, so that their meat and drink fell under the prohibition of idolothites. This is the reason which is given by the most part of the interpreters for Daniel's fearing to pollute himself with the king's meat and wine; and it hath also the approbation of a Papist.526

Sect. 6. Fifthly, Our proposition is backed with a twofold reason, for things which have been notoriously abused to idolatry should be abolished: 1. Quia monent. Quia movent. First, then, they are monitory, and preserve the memory of idols; monumentum in good things is both monimentum and munimentum; but monumentum in evil things (such as idolatry) is only monimentum, which monet mentem, to remember upon such things as ought not to be once named among saints, but should lie buried in the eternal darkness of silent oblivion. Those relics therefore of idolatry, quibus quasi monumentis posteritas admoneatur (as Wolphius rightly saith527), are to be quite defaced and destroyed, because they serve to honour the memory of [pg 1-143] cursed idols. God would not have so much as the name of an idol to be remembered among his people, but commanded to destroy their names as well as themselves, Exod. xxiii. 13; Deut. xii. 3; Josh. xxiii. 7; whereby we are admonished, as Calvin saith,528 how detestable idolatry is before God, cujus memoriam vult penitus deleri, ne posthac ullum ejus vestigium appareat: yea, he requireth,529 eorum omnium memoriam deleri, quoe semeldicata sunt idolis. If Mordecai would not give his countenance, Esth. iii. 2, nor do any reverence to a living monument of that nation whose name God had ordained to be blotted out from under heaven, much less should we give connivance, and far less countenance, but least of all reverence, Deut. xxv. 19, to the dead and dumb monuments of those idols which God hath devoted to utter destruction, with all their naughty appurtenances, so that he will not have their names to be once mentioned or remembered again. But, secondly, movent too; such idolothous remainders move us to turn back to idolatry. For usu compertum habemus, superstitiones etiam postquam explosoe essent, si qua relicta fuissent earum monumenta, cum memoriam sui ipsarum apud homines, tum id tandem ut revocerantur obtinuisse, saith Wolphius,530 who hereupon thinks it behoveful to destroy funditus such vestiges of superstition, for this cause, if there were no more: ut et aspirantibus ad revocandam idololatriam spes frangatur, et res novas molientibus ansa pariter ac materia proeripiatur. God would have Israel to overthrow all idolatrous monuments, lest thereby they should be snared, Deut. vii. 25; xii. 30. And if the law command to cover a pit, lest an ox or an ass should fall therein, Exod. xxi. 23, shall we suffer a pit to be open wherein the precious souls of men and women, which all the world cannot ransom, are likely to fall? Did God command to make a battlement for the roof of a house, and that for the safety of men's bodies, Deut. xxii. 8, and shall we not only not put up a battlement, or object some bar for the safety of men's souls, but also leave the way slippery and full of snares? Read we not that the Lord, who knew what was in man, and saw how propense he was to idolatry, did not only remove out of his people's way all such things as might any [pg 1-144] way allure or induce them to idolatry (even to the cutting off the names of the idols out of the land, Zech. xiii. 2), but also hedge up their way with thorns that they might not find their paths, nor overtake their idol gods, when they should seek after them? Hos. ii. 6, 7. And shall we by the very contrary course not only not hedge up the way of idolatry with thorns, which may stop and stay such as have an inclination aiming forward, but also lay before them the inciting and enticing occasions which add to their own propension, such delectation as spurreth forward with a swift facility?

Sect. 7. Thus, having both explained and confirmed the proposition of our present argument, I will make my next for the confutation of the answers which our opposites devise to elude it. And, First, They tell us, that it is needless to abolish utterly things and rites which the Papists have abused to idolatry and superstition, and that it is enough to purge them from the abuse, and to restore them again to their right use. Hence Saravia531 will not have pium crucis usum to be abolished cum abusu, but holds it enough that the abuse and superstition be taken away. Dr Forbesse's answer is,532 that not only things instituted by God are not to be taken away for the abuse of them, but farther, neque res medioe ab hominibus prudenter introductoe, propter sequentem abusum semper tollendoe sunt. Abusi sunt Papistoe templis, et oratoriis, et cathedris, et sacris vasis, et campanis, et benedictione matrimoniali; nec tamen res istas censuerunt prudentes reformatores abjiciendas. Ans. 1. Calvin,533 answering that which Cassander allegeth out of an Italian writer, abusu non tolli bonum usum, he admits it only to be true in things which are instituted by God himself, not so in things ordained by men, for the very use of such things or rites as have no necessary use in God's worship, and which men have devised only at their own pleasure, is taken away by idolatrous abuse. Pars tutior here, is to put them wholly away, and there is by a great deal more danger in retaining than in removing them. 2. The proofs which I have produced (or the proposition about which now we debate,) do not only infer that things and rites which have been notoriously abused to idolatry should be abolished, in case they be [pg 1-145] not restored to a right use, but simply and absolutely that in any wise they are to be abolished. God commanded to say to the covering, and the ornaments of idols, “Get you hence,” Isa. xxx. 22. It is not enough they be purged from the abuse, but simpliciter they themselves must pack them and be gone. How did Jacob with the ear-rings of the idols; Elijah with Baal's altar; Jehu with his vestments; Josiah with his houses; Manasseh with his altars; Moses with the golden calf; Joshua with the temples of Canaan; Hezekiah with the brazen serpent? Did they retain the things themselves, and only purge them from the abuse? Belike, if these our opposites had been their councillors, they had advised them to be contented with such a moderation; yet we see they were better counselled when they destroyed utterly the things themselves, whereby we know that they were of the same mind with us, and thought that things abused to idolatry, if they have no necessary use, are far better away than a-place. Did Daniel refuse Bel's meat because it was not restored to the right use? Nay, if that had been all, it might have been quickly helped, and the meat sanctified by the word of God and prayer. Finally, Were the churches of Pergamos and Thyatira reproved because they did not restore things sacrificed to idols to their right use? Or, were they not rather reproved for having anything at all to do with the things themselves?

Sect. 8. As for that which Dr Forbesse objecteth to us, we answer, that temples, places of prayer, chairs, vessels, and bells, are of a necessary use, by the light and guidance of nature itself; and matrimonial benediction is necessary by God's institution, Gen. i. 28; so that all those examples do except themselves from the argument in hand. But the Doctor534 intendeth to bring those things within the category of things indifferent; and to this purpose he allegeth, that it is indifferent to use this or that place for a temple, or a place of prayer; also to use these vessels, and bells, or others. And of matrimonial benediction to be performed by a pastor, he saith there is nothing commanded in Scripture. Ans. Though it be indifferent to choose this place, &c., also to use these vessels or other vessels, &c.; yet the Doctor, I trust, will not deny that temples, houses of prayer, vessels and bells, are [pg 1-146] of a necessary use (which exempteth them from the touch of our present argument); whereas, beside that it is not necessary to kneel in the communion in this place more than in that place, neither to keep the feast of Christ's nativity, passion, &c. upon these days more than upon other days, &c., the things themselves are not necessary in their kind; and it is not necessary to keep any festival day, nor to kneel at all in the act of receiving the communion. There is also another respect which hindereth temples, vessels, &c. from coming within the compass of this our argument, but neither doth it agree to the controverted ceremonies. Temples, houses of prayer, vessels for the ministration of the sacraments, and bells, are not used by us in divine worship as things sacred, or as holier than other houses, vessels, and bells; but we use them only for natural necessity,—partly for that common decency which hath no less place in the actions of civil than of sacred assemblies; yea, in some cases they may be applied to civil uses, as hath been said;535 whereas the controverted ceremonies are respected and used as sacred rites, and as holier than any circumstance which is alike common to civil and sacred actions, neither are they used at all out of the case of worship. We see now a double respect wherefore our argument inferreth not the necessity of abolishing and destroying such temples, vessels, and bells, as have been abused to idolatry, viz. because it can neither be said that they are not things necessary, nor yet that they are things sacred.

Sect. 9. Nevertheless (to add this by the way), howbeit for those reasons the retaining and using of temples which have been polluted with idols be not in itself unlawful, yet the retaining of every such temple is not ever necessary, but sometimes it is expedient, for farther extirpation of superstition, to demolish and destroy some such temples as have been horribly abused to idolatry, Calvin also536 and Zanchius537 do plainly insinuate. Whereby I mean to defend (though not as in itself necessary, yet as expedient pro tunc,) that which the reformers of the church of Scotland did in casting down some of those churches which had been consecrate to popish idols, and of a long time polluted with idolatrous worship. As [pg 1-147] on the one part the reformers (not without great probability) feared, that so long as these churches were not made even with the ground, the memory of that superstition, whereunto they had been employed and accustomed, should have been in them preserved, and, with some sort of respect, recognised; so, on the other part, they saw it expedient to demolish them, for strengthening the hands of such as adhered to the reformation, for putting Papists out of all hope of the re-entry of Popery, and for hedging up the way with thorns, that the idolatrously-minded might not find their paths. And since the pulling down of those churches wanted neither this happy intent not happy event, I must say that the bitter invectives given forth against it, by some who carry a favourable eye to the pompous bravery of the Romish whore, and have deformed too much of that which was by them reformed, are to be detested by all such as wish the eternal exile of idolatrous monuments out of the Lord's land, yet let these Momus-like spirits understand that their censorious verdicts do also reflect upon those ancient Christians of whom we read,538 that with their own hands they destroyed the temples of idols, and upon Chrysostom, who stirred up some monks, and sent them into Phœnicia, together with workmen, and sustained them on the expences and charges of certain godly women, that they might destroy the temples of idols, as the Magdeburgians539 have marked out of Theodoret, likewise upon them of the religion in France, of whom Thuanus recordeth, that templa confractis ac disjectis statuis et altaribus, expilaverant, lastly, upon foreign divines,540 who teach, that not only idola, but idolia also, and omnia idololatria instrumenta should be abolished. Moreover, what was it else but reason's light which made Cambyses to fear that the superstition of Egypt could not be well rooted out if the temples wherein it was seated were not taken away; so that offensus superstitionibus AEgyptiorum, Apis cœterorumque Deorum œdes dirui jubet: ad Ammonis quoque nobilissimum templum expugnandum, exercitum mittit, saith Justinus.541 And is not the danger of retaining idolatrous churches thus [pg 1-148] pointed at by P. Martyr: Curavit, &c. “Jehu (saith he542) took care to have the temples of Baal overthrown, lest they should return any more to their wonted use. Wherefore, it appears, that many do not rightly, who, having embraced the gospel of the Son of God, yet, notwithstanding, keep still the instruments of Popery. And they have far better looked to piety who have taken care to have popish images, statues and ornaments, utterly cut off; for, as we read in the ecclesiastical histories, Constantine the Great, after he had given his name to Christ, by an edict provided and took order that the temples of the idols might be closed and shut up; but, because they did still remain, Julian the Apostate did easily open and unlock them, and thereafter did prostitute the idols of old superstition to be worshipped in them,—which Theodosius, the best and commended prince, animadverting, commanded to pull them down, lest they should again any more be restored.” But because I suppose no sober spirit will deny that sometimes, and in some cases, it may be expedient to rase and pull down some temples polluted with idols, where other temples may be had to serve sufficiently the assemblies of Christian congregations (which is all I plead for), therefore I leave this purpose and return to Dr Forbesse.

Sect. 10. As touching matrimonial benediction, it is also exempted out of the compass of our present argument, because through divine institution it hath a necessary use, as we have said. And though the Doctor, to make it appear that a pastor's performing of the same is a thing indifferent, allegeth, that in Scripture there is nothing commanded thereanent; yet plain it is from Scripture itself, that matrimonial benediction ought to be given by a pastor; for God hath commanded his ministers to bless his people, Num. vi., which by just analogy belongeth to the ministers of the gospel; neither is there any ground for making herein a difference betwixt them and the minister of the law, but we must conceive the commandment to tie both alike to the blessing of God's people. Unto which ministerial duty of blessing, because no such limits can be set as may exclude matrimonial blessing, therefore they are bound to the performance of it also. And if [pg 1-149] farther we consider, that the duty of blessing was performed by the minister of the Lord, Heb. vi. 7, even before the law of Moses, we are yet more confirmed to think, that the blessing of the people was not commanded in the law as a thing peculiar and proper to the Levitical priesthood, but as a moral and perpetual duty belonging to the Lord's ministers for ever. Wherefore, notwithstanding of any abuse of matrimonial benediction among Papists, yet, forasmuch as it hath a necessary use in the church, and may not (as the controverted ceremonies may) be well spared, it is manifest that it cometh not under the respect and account of those things whereof our argument speaketh.

Sect. 11. Lastly, Whereas the Doctor would bear his reader in hand, that in the judgment of wise reformators, even such things as have been brought in use by men only, without God's institution, are not to be ever taken away, for the abuse which followeth upon them; let reformators speak for themselves: Nos quoque priscos ritus, quibus indifferenter uti licet, quia verbo Dei consentanei sunt, non rejicimus; modo ne superstitio et pravus abusus eos abolere cogat.543 This was the judgment of the wisest reformators,—that rights which were both ancient and lawful, and agreeable to God's word, were notwithstanding of necessity to be abolished, because of their superstition and wicked abuse.

Sect. 12. Secondly, Our opposites answer us, that beside the purging of things and rites abused by idolaters from the idolatrous pollution, and the restoring of them to a right use, preaching and teaching against the superstition and abuse which hath followed upon them, is another means to avoid that harm which we fear to ensue upon the retaining of them. Ans. 1. This is upon as good ground pretended for the keeping of images in churches: At inquiunt statim, docemus has imagines non esse adorandas. Quasi vero, saith Zanchius,544 non idem olim fecerit diligentius Deus, per Mosen et prophetas, quam nos faciamus. Cur igitur etiam volebat tolli imagines omnes? quia non satis est verbo docere non esse faciendum malum; sed tollenda etiam sunt malorum offendicula, irritamenta, causœ, occasiones. It is not enough, with the scribes and Pharisees, to teach out of Moses' chair what [pg 1-150] the people should do, but all occasions, yea, appearances of evil, are to be taken out of their sight. Efficacious enim et plus movent, quae in oculos quam quae in aures incidunt. Potuerat et Hezekias populum monere, ne serpentem adorarent, sed muluit confringere et penitus e conspectu auferre; et rectius fecit, saith one well to this purpose.545 2. Experience hath taught to how little purpose such admonitions do serve. Calvin,546 writing to the Lord Protector of England of some popish ceremonies which did still remain in that church after the reformation of the same, desireth that they may be abolished, because of their former abuse, in time of Popery. Quid enim, saith he, illae ceremoniae aliud fuerunt, quam totidem lenocinia quae miseras animas ad malum perducerent? &c. But because he saw that some might answer that which our Formalists answer now to us, and say, it were enough to warn and teach men that they abuse not these ceremonies, and that the abolishing of these ceremonies themselves were not necessary; therefore immediately he subjoineth these words: Jam si de cautione agitur, monebuntur homines scilicet, ne ad illas nunc impingant, &c. Quis tamen non videt obdurari ipsos nihilominus, nihil ut infelici illa cautione obtineri possit. Whereupon he concludes, that if such ceremonies were suffered to remain, this should be a means to nourish a greater hardness and confirmation in evil, and a veil drawn, so that the sincere doctrine which is propounded should not be admitted as it ought to be. In another epistle to Cranmer,547 archbishop of Canterbury, he complaineth that external superstitions were so corrected in the church of England, ut residui maneant innumeri surculi, qui assidue pullulent. And what good, then, was done by their admonitions, whereby they did, in some sort, send the reviving twigs of old superstition, since forasmuch as they were not wholly eradicate, they did still shoot forth again? If a man should dig a pit by the way-side, for some commodity of his own, and thou admonish the travellers to take heed to themselves, if they go that way in the darkness of the night, who would hold him excusable? How then shall they be excused who dig a most dangerous pit, which is like to ruin many souls, and yet will have [pg 1-151] us to think that they are blameless, for that they warn men to beware of it?

Sect. 13. Thirdly, we are told that if these answers which our opposites give get no place, then shall we use nothing at all which hath been used by idolaters, and by consequence, neither baptism nor the Lord's supper. But let Zanchius answer for us,548 that these things are by themselves necessary, so that it is enough they be purged from the abuse. And elsewhere549 he resolveth, that things which are by themselves both good and necessary, may not for any abuse be put away. Si vero res sint adiaphorae sua natura et per legem Dei, eoque tales quae citra jacturam salutis omitti possunt, etiam si ad bonos usus initio fuerunt institutae; si tamen postea videamus illas in abusus pernitiosos esse conversas; pietas in Deum, et charitas erga proximum, postulant ut tollantur, &c. He adds, for proof of that which he saith, the example of Hezekiah in breaking down that brazen serpent; which example doth indeed most pregnantly enforce the abolishing of all things or rites notoriously abused to idolatry when they are not of any necessary use, but it warranteth not the abolishing of anything which has a necessary use, because the brazen serpent is not contained in the number of those things, quibus carere non possumus, saith Wolphius,550 answering to the same objection which presently I have in hand. Now, that the ceremonies have not in themselves, nor by the law of God, any necessary use, and that without hazard of salvation they may be omitted, is acknowledged by Formalists themselves; wherefore I need not stay to prove it.

Sect. 14. Besides these answers which are common in our adversaries' mouths, some of them have other particular subterfuges, which now I am to search. “We must consider (saith Bishop Lindsey551) the ceremony itself (dedicated to, and polluted with idolatry,) whether it be of human or divine institution. If it be of human institution it may be removed, &c.; but if the ceremony be of divine institution, such as kneeling is,—for the same is commended by God unto us in his word,—then we ought to consider whether the abuse of that ceremony hath proceeded from the nature of the action [pg 1-152] wherein it was used; for if it be so, it ought to be abolished, &c.; but if the abuse proceed not from the nature of the action, but from the opinion of the agent, then, the opinion being removed, the religious ceremony may be used without any profanation of idolatry. For example, the abuse of kneeling in elevation, &c., proceedeth not only from the opinion of the agent, but from the nature of the action, which is idolatrous and superstitious, &c., and, therefore, both the action and gesture ought to be abolished. But the sacrament of the supper, being an action instituted by God, and kneeling being of its own nature an holy and religious ceremony, it can never receive contagion of idolatry from it, but only from the opinion of the agent: then remove the opinion, both the action itself may be rightly used, and kneeling therein,” &c. Ans. 1. Since he granteth that a ceremony dedicated to and polluted with idolatry, may (he answereth not the argument which there he propounded, except he say must) be abolished, if it be of human institution, he must grant from this ground, if there were no more, that the cross, surplice, kneeling at the communion, &c., having been so notoriously abused to idolatry, must be abolished, because they have no institution except from men only. But, 2, Why saith he that kneeling is a ceremony of divine institution? which he pronounceth not of kneeling, as it is actuated by some individual case, or clothed with certain particular circumstances, (for he maketh this kneeling whereof he speaketh to be found in two most different actions, the one idolatrous, the other holy,) but kneeling in the general, per se, and praecise ab omnibus circumstantiis. Let him now tell where kneeling thus considered is commended unto us in God's word. He would possibly allege that place, Psal. xcv. 6, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,” which is cited in the Canon of Perth about kneeling; but I answer, whether one expounded that place with Calvin,552 in this sense, ut scilicet ante arcam faederis populus se prosternat, quia sermo de legali cultu habetur: whereupon it should follow that it commendeth only kneeling to the Jews in that particular case, or whether it be taken more generally, to commend kneeling (though not as necessary, yet as laudable and beseeming) [pg 1-153] in the solemn acts of God's immediate worship, such as that praise and thanksgiving whereof the beginning of the psalm speaketh,—whether, I say, it be taken in this or that sense, yet it condemneth not kneeling, except in a certain kind of worship only. And as for kneeling in the general nature of it, it is not of divine institution, but in itself indifferent, even as sitting, standing, &c., all which gestures are then only made good or evil when in actu exercito, they are actuated and individualised by particular circumstances. 3. If so be the ceremony be abused to idolatry, it skills not how, for, as I have showed before, the reasons and proofs which I have produced for the proposition of our present argument, hold good against the retaining of anything which hath been known to be abused to idolatry, and only such things as have a necessary use are to be excepted. 4. The nature of an action, wherein a ceremony is used, cannot be the cause of the abuse of that ceremony; neither can the abuse of a ceremony proceed from the nature of the action wherein it is used, as one effect from the cause, for nihil potest esse homini causa sufficiens peccati, except only propria voluntas553. 5. The abuse of kneeling in the idolatrous action of elevation, proceedeth not from the nature of the action, but from the opinion of the agent, or rather from his will, for (principium actionum humanarum, is not opinion, but will, choosing that which opinion conceiteth to be chosen, or voluntas praeunte luce intellectus,) it is the will of the agent only which both maketh the action of elevation to be idolatrous, and likewise kneeling in this action to receive the contagion of idolatry. For the elevation of the bread materialiter is not idolatrous (more than the lifting up of the bread among us by elders or deacons, when in taking it off the table, or setting it on, they lift it above the heads of the communicants), but formaliter only, as it is elevated with a will and intention to place it in state of worship. So likewise kneeling to the bread materialiter is not idolatry (else a man were an idolater who should be against his will thrust down and holden by violence kneeling on his knees when the bread is elevated), but formaliter, as it proceedeth from a will and intention in men to give to the bread elevated a state in that worship, [pg 1-154] and out of that respect to kneel before it. 6. What can he gain by this device, that the abuse of kneeling in the Lord's supper proceeded not from the nature of the action, but from the will of the agent? Can he hereupon infer, that kneeling in that action is to be retained notwithstanding of any contagion of idolatry which it hath received? Nay, then, let him say that Hezekiah did not rightly in breaking down the brazen serpent, which was set up at God's command, and the abuse whereof proceeded not from the thing itself, which had a most lawful, profitable, and holy use, but only from the perverse opinion and will of them who abused it to idolatry.

Sect. 15. But the comparing of kneeling to the brazen serpent is very unsavoury to the Bishop; and wherefore? “The brazen serpent (saith he), in the time it was abolished, had no use: that ceased with the virtue of the cure that the Israelites received by looking upon it; the act of kneeling continueth always in a necessary use, for the better expressing of our thankfulness to God.” Ans. 1. Both kneeling, and all the rest of the popish ceremonies, may well be compared to the brazen serpent. And divines do commonly allege this example, as most pregnant to prove that things or rites polluted with idols, and abused to idolatry, may not be retained, if they have no necessary use; and I have cited before the Bishop of Winchester, acknowledging that this argument holdeth good against all things which are taken up, not at God's prescription, but at men's injunction. J. Rainold554 argumenteth from Hezekiah's breaking down of the brazen serpent, to the plucking down of the sign of the cross. 2. Why saith he that the brazen serpent, in the time it was abolished, had no use? The use of it ceased not with the cure, but it was still kept for a most pious and profitable use, even to be a monument of that mercy which the Israelites received in the wilderness, and it served for the better expressing of their thankfulness to God, which the Bishop here calleth a necessary use. 3. When he saith that kneeling continueth always in a necessary use, we must understand him to speak of kneeling in the act of receiving the communion; else he runs at random; for it is not kneeling in the general, but kneeling in this particular case, which is compared to [pg 1-155] the brazen serpent. Now, to say that this gesture in this action is necessary for our better expressing of our thankfulness to God, importeth that the church of Scotland, and many famous churches in Europe, for so many years have omitted that which was necessary for the better expressing of their thankfulness to God, and that they have not well enough expressed it. And, moreover, if kneeling be necessary in the Lord's supper for our better expressing of our thankfulness to God, then it is also necessary at our own common tables. Though we be bound to be more thankful at the Lord's table, and that because we receive a benefit of infinite more worth, yet we are bound to be tam grati, as well thankful at our own tables, albeit not tanta gratitudine. If, then, the same kind of thankfulness be required of us at our own tables (for intentio et remissio graduum secundum magis et minus, non variant speciem rei,) that which is necessary for expressing of our thankfulness at the Lord's table must be necessary also for the expressing of it at our own. When I see the Bishop sitting at his table, I shall tell him that he omitteth the gesture which is necessary for the expressing of his thankfulness to God. 4. Did not the apostles' receiving this sacrament from Christ himself well enough express their thankfulness to God? yet they kneeled not, but sat, as is evident, and shall be afterwards proved against them who contradict everything which crosseth them. 5. God will never take a ceremony of men's devising for a better expressing of our thankfulness than a gesture which is commended to us by the example of his own Son, and his apostles, together with the celebration of this sacrament in all points according to his institution. 6. How shall we know where we have the Bishop and his fellows? It seems they know not where they have themselves; for sometimes they tell us that it is indifferent to take the communion sitting, or standing, or passing, or kneeling, yet here the Bishop tells us that kneeling is necessary. 7. I see the Bishop perceiveth that no answer can take kneeling at the communion out of the compass of the brazen serpent, except to say it hath a necessary use; this is the dead lift, which yet helpeth not, as I have showed. All things, then, which are not necessary (whereof kneeling is one), being notoriously abused to idolatry, fall under the brazen serpent.

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Sect. 16. Paybody also will here talk with us, therefore we will talk with him too. He saith,555 that God did not absolutely condemn things abused to idolatry, and tells us of three conditions on which it was lawful to spare idolatrous appurtenances. 1. If there were a needful use of them in God's worship. 2. In case they were so altered and disposed, as that they tended not to the honour of the idol, and his damnable worship. 3. If they were without certain danger of ensnaring people into idolatry. Ans. 1. Either he requires all these conditions in every idolothite and idolatrous appurtenance which may be retained, or else he thinks that any one of them sufficeth. If he require all these, the last two are superfluous; for that which hath a needful use in God's worship, can neither tend to the honour of the idol, nor yet can have in it any danger of ensnaring people into idolatry. If he think any one of those conditions enough, then let us go through them: The first I admit, but it will not help his cause, for while the world standeth they shall never prove that kneeling in the act of receiving the communion, and the other controverted ceremonies, have either a needful, or a profitable, or a lawful use in God's worship. As for his second condition, it is all one with that which I have already confuted,556 namely, that things abused to idolatry may be kept, if they be purged from their abuse, and restored to the right use. But he allegeth for it a passage of Parker, of the Cross, cap. 1, sect. 7, p. 10, where he showeth out of Augustine, that an idolothite may not be kept for private use, except, 1. Omnis honor idoli, cum appertessima destructione subvertatur. 2. That not only his honour be not despoiled, but also all show thereof. How doth this place (now would I know) make anything for Paybody? Do they keep kneeling for private use? Do they destroy most openly all honour of the idol to which kneeling was dedicated? Hath their kneeling not so much as any show of the breaden god's honour? Who will say so? And if any will say it, who will believe it? Who knoweth not that kneeling is kept for a public, and not for a private use, and that the breaden idol receiveth very great show of honour from it? He was scarce of warrants when he had no better than Parker could afford him. His third condition rests, [pg 1-157] and touching it I ask, what if those idolatrous appurtenances be not without apparent danger of ensnaring people into idolatry? Are we not commanded to abstain from all appearance of evil? Will he correct the Apostle, and teach us, that we need not care for apparent, but for certain dangers? What more apparent danger of ensnaring people into idolatry than unnecessary ceremonies, which have been dedicated to and polluted with idols, and which, being retained, do both admonish us to remember upon old idolatry, and move us to return to the same, as I have before made evident?557

Sect. 17. Now, as for the assumption of our present argument, it cannot be but evident to any who will not harden their minds against the light of the truth, that the ceremonies in question have been most notoriously abused to idolatry and superstition, and withal, that they have no necessary use to make us retain them. I say, they have been notoriously abused to idolatry. 1. Because they have been dedicated and consecrated to the service of idols. 2. Because they have been deeply polluted, and commonly employed in idolatrous worship. For both these reasons does Zanchius condemn the surplice,558 and such like popish ceremonies left in England, because the whore of Rome has abused, and does yet abuse them, ad alliciendos homines ad scortandum. Sunt enim pompae istae omnes, et ceremoniae Papistisae, nihil aliud quam fuci meretricii, ad hoc excogitati, ut homines ad spiritualem scortationem alliciantur. O golden sentence, and worthy to be engraven with a pen of iron, and the point of a diamond! for most needful it is to consider, that those ceremonies are the very meretricious bravery and veigling trinkets wherewith the Romish whore doth faird and paint herself, whilst she propineth to the world the cup of her fornications. This makes Zanchius559 to call those ceremonies the relics and symbols of popish idolatry and superstition. When Queen Mary set up Popery in England, and restored all of it which King Henry had overthrown, she considered that Popery could not stand well-favoredly without the ceremonies; whereupon she ordained,560 ut dies omnes festicelebrentur, superioris aetatis ceremoniae restituantur, pueri adultiores [pg 1-158] ante baptisati, ab episcopis confirmentur. So that not in remote regions, but in his Majesty's dominions,—not in a time past memory, but about fourscore years ago,—not by people's practice only, but by the laws and edicts of the supreme magistrate, the ceremonies have been abused to the reinducing and upholding of Popery and idolatry. Both far and near, then, both long since and lately, it is more than notorious how grossly and grievously the ceremonies have been polluted with idolatry and superstition.

I cannot choose but marvel much how Paybody was not ashamed to deny that kneeling has been abused by the Papists.561 Blush, O paper, which art blotted with such a notable lie! What will not desperate impudency dare to aver? But Bishop Lindsey seemeth also to hold that kneeling hath been abused by the Papists562 only in the elevation and circumgestation of the host, but not in the participation, and that Honorius did not command kneeling in the participation, but only in the elevation and circumgestation. Ans. 1. Saltem mendacem oportet essememorem. Saith not the Bishop himself elsewhere of the Papists,563 “In the sacrament they kneel to the sign,” whereby he would prove a disconformity between their kneeling and ours; for we kneel, saith he, “by the sacrament to the thing signified.” Now if the Papists in the sacrament kneel to the sign, then they have idolatrously abused kneeling, even in the participation; for the Bishop dare not say that, in the elevation or circumgestation, there is either sacrament or sign. 2. Why do our divines controvert with the Papists, de adoratione euchuristiae, if Papists adore it not in the participation? for the host, carried about in a box, is not the sacrament of the eucharist. 3. In the participation, Papists think that the bread is already transubstantiate into the body of Christ, by virtue of the words of consecration. Now, if in the participation they kneel to that which they falsely conceive to be the body of Christ (but is indeed corruptible bread), with an intention to give it latria or divine worship, then in the participation they abuse it to idolatry. But that is true; therefore, &c. 4. Durand showeth,564 that [pg 1-159] though in the holidays of Easter and Pentecost, and the festivities of the blessed Virgin, and in the Lord's day, they kneel not in the church, but only stand (because of the joy of the festivity), and at the most do but bow or incline their heads at prayer, yet in praesentia corporis et sanguinis Christi, in presence of the bread and wine, which they think to be the body and blood of Christ, they cease not to kneel. And how will the Bishop make their participation free of this idolatrous kneeling? The Rhemists show us,565 that when they are eating and drinking the body and blood of our Lord, they adore the sacrament, and, humbling themselves, they say to it, Domine non sum dignus, Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori. 5. As for that which Honorius III. decreed, Dr White calleth it the adoration of the sacrament,566 which, if it is so, then we must say, that he decreed adoration in the participation itself, because extra usum sacramenti, the bread cannot be called a sacrament. Honorius commanded that the priest should frequently teach his people to bow down devoutly when the host is elevated in the celebration of the mass, and that they should do the same when it is carried to the sick. All this was ordained in reference to the participation. Ad usum illa instituta sunt, says Chemnitius,567 speaking of this decree, quando scilicet panis consecratur, et quando ad infirmos defertur, ut exhibeatur et sumatur. So that that which was specially respected in the decree, was adoring in the participation.

Lastly, Here we have to do with Dr Burges, who will have us to think, that adoration in receiving the sacrament568 hath not been idolatrously intended to the sacrament in the church of Rome, neither by decree nor custom. Not by decree, because albeit Honorius appointed adoration to be used in the elevation and circumgestation, yet not in the act of receiving. And albeit the Roman ritual do appoint, that clergymen coming to receive the sacrament do it kneeling, yet this was done in veneration of the altar,569 or of that which standeth thereupon, and not for adoration of the host put into their mouths. Not by custom; for he will not [pg 1-160] have it said that kneeling in the time of receiving was ever in the church of Rome any rite of or for adoration of the sacrament, because albeit the people kneel in the act of receiving, yet I “deny (saith he) that they ever intended adoration of the species, at that moment of time when they took it in their mouths, but then turned themselves to God,” &c. Ans. 1. As for the decree of Honorius, I have already answered with Chemnitius, that it had reference specially to the receiving. 2. When clergymen are appointed in the Roman ritual to receive the sacrament at the altar kneeling, this was not for veneration of the altar, to which they did reverence at all times when they approached to it, but this was required particularly in their receiving of the sacrament, for adoration of it. Neither is there mention made of the altar as conferring anything to their kneeling in receiving the sacrament; for the sacrament was not used the more reverently because it stood upon the altar, but by the contrary, for the sacrament's sake reverence was done to the altar, which was esteemed the seat of the body of Christ. It appeareth, therefore, that the altar is mentioned, not as concerning the kneeling of the clergymen in their communicating, but simply as concerning their communicating, because none but they were wont to communicate at the altar, according to that received canon, Solis autem ministris altaris liceat ingredi ad altare et ibidem communicare.570 The one of the Doctor's own conjectures is, that they kneeled for reverence of that which stood upon the altar; but I would know what that was which, standing upon the altar, made them to kneel in the participation, if it was not the host itself? Now, whereas he denies, as touching custom, that people did ever intend the adoration of the species, I answer: 1. How knows he what people in the Roman church did intend in their minds? 2. What warrant hath he for this, that they did not in the participation adore the host, which was then put into their mouth? 3. Though this which he saith were true, he gaineth nothing by it; for put the case, they did not intend the adoration of the species, dare he say, that they intended not the adoration of that which was under the species? I trow not. Now, that which [pg 1-161] was under the species, though in their conceit it was Christ's body, yet it was indeed bread; so that, in the very participation, they were worshipping the bread. But, 4, What needeth any more? He maketh himself a liar, and saith plainly,571 that after transubstantiation was embraced, and when all the substance of the visible creature was held to be gone, they did intend the adoration of the invisible things, as if there had been now no substance of any creature left therein, whereby he destroyeth all which he hath said of their not intending the adoration of the species.

Sect. 20. Last of all, for the other part of my assumption, that the ceremonies have no necessary use in God's worship, I need no other proof than the common by-word of Formalists, which saith they are things indifferent. Yet the Bishop of Edinburgh572 and Paybody573 have turned their tongues bravely, and chosen rather to say anything against us than nothing. They spare not to answer, that kneeling hath a necessary use. They are most certainly speaking of kneeling in the act of receiving the communion, for they and their opposites, in those places, are disputing of no other kneeling but this only. Now we may easily perceive they are in an evil taking, when they are driven to such an unadvised and desperate answer. For, 1. If kneeling in the act of receiving the Lord's supper be necessary, why have themselves too written so much for the indifferency of it? O desultorious levity that knows not where to hold itself! 2. If it be necessary, what makes it to be so? What law? What example? What reason? 3. If it be necessary, not only many reformed churches, and many ancient too, but Christ himself and his apostles have, in this sacrament, omitted something that was necessary. 4. If it be necessary, why do many of their own disciples take the communion sitting, in places where sitting is used? What need I to say more? In the first part of this dispute I have proved that the ceremonies are not necessary, in respect of the church's ordinance, howbeit if it were answered in this place, that they are in this respect necessary, it helpeth not, since the argument proceedeth against all things notoriously abused to idolatry, which neither God nor nature hath made necessary. And for any [pg 1-162] necessity of the ceremonies in themselves, either our opposites must repudiate what hath unadvisedly fallen from their pens hereanent, or else forsake their beaten ground of indifferency, and say plainly, that the ceremonies are urged by them, to be observed with an opinion of necessity, as worship of God, and as things in themselves necessary. Look to yourselves, O Formalists, for you stand here upon such slippery places, that you cannot hold both your feet.



Sect. 1. It followeth according to the order which I have proposed, to show next, that the ceremonies are idolatrous, participativè. By communicating with idolaters in their rites and ceremonies, we ourselves become guilty of idolatry; even as Ahaz, 2 Kings xvi. 10, was an idolater, eo ipso, that he took the pattern of an altar from idolators. Forasmuch, then, as kneeling before the consecrated bread, the sign of the cross, surplice, festival days, bishopping, bowing down to the altar, administration of the sacraments in private places, &c., are the wares of Rome, the baggage of Babylon, the trinkets of the whore, the badges of Popery, the ensigns of Christ's enemies, and the very trophies of antichrist,—we cannot conform, communicate and symbolise with the idolatrous Papists in the use of the same, without making ourselves idolaters by participation. Shall the chaste spouse of Christ take upon her the ornaments of the whore? Shall the Israel of God symbolise with her who is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt? Shall the Lord's redeemed people wear the ensigns of their captivity? Shall the saints be seen with the mark of the beast? Shall the Christian church be like the antichristian, the holy like the profane, religion like superstition, the temple of God like the synagogue of Satan? Our opposites are so far from being moved with these things, that both in pulpits and private places they used to plead for the ceremonies by this very argument, that we should not run so far away from Papists, but come as [pg 1-163] near them as we can. But for proof of that which we say, namely, that it is not lawful to symbolise with idolaters (and by consequence with Papists), or to be like them in their rites or ceremonies, we have more to allege than they can answer.

Sect. 2. For, 1st, We have Scripture for us. “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein you dwelt, shall ye not do and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring ye, shall ye not do, neither shall ye walk in their ordinances,” Lev. xviii. 3. “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, &c., saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God,” Deut. xii. 30. “Thou shalt not do after their works,” Exod. xxiii. 24. Yea, they were straitly forbidden to round the corners of their heads, or to make any cuttings in the flesh for the dead, or to print any mark upon them, or to make baldness upon their heads, or between their eyes, forasmuch as God had chosen them to be a holy and a peculiar people, and it behoved them not to be framed nor fashioned like the nations, Lev. xix. 27, 28, and xxi. 5, and Deut. xiv. 1. And what else was meant by those laws which forbade them to suffer their cattle to gender with a diverse kind, to sow their field with diverse seed, to wear a garment of diverse sorts, as of woollen and linen, to plough with an ox and an ass together? Levit. xix. 19, Deut. xxii. 6-11. This was the hold that people in simplicity and purity, ne hinc inde accersat ritus alienos, saith Calvin, upon these places. Besides, find we not that they were sharply reproved when they made themselves like other nations? “Ye have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands,” 2 Chron. xxii. 9. “They followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them,” 2 Kings xvii. 15. The gospel commendeth the same to us which the law did to them: “Be not ye unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols,” &c. “Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and [pg 1-164] touch not the unclean thing,” 2 Cor. vi. 14-17. “If any man worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,” Rev. xiv. 9. And the apostle Jude ver. 12, will have us to hate the very garment spotted with the flesh, importing, that as under the law men were made unclean not only by leprosy, but by the garments, vessels and houses of leprous men, so do we contract the contagion of idolatry, by communicating with the unclean things of idolaters.

Sect. 3. Before we go further, we will see what our opposites have said to those Scriptures which we allege. Hooker saith,574 that the reason why God forbade his people Israel the use of such rites and customs as were among the Egyptians and the Canaanites, was not because it behoved his people to be framed of set purpose to an utter dissimilitude with those nations, but his meaning was to bar Israel from similitude with those nations in such things as were repugnant to his ordinances and laws. Ans. 1. Let it be so, he has said enough against himself. For we have the same reason to make us abstain from all the rites and customs of idolaters, that we may be barred from similitude with them in such things as are flatly repugnant to God's word, because dissimilitude in ceremonies is a bar to stop similitude in substance, and, on the contrary, similitude in ceremonies openeth a way to similitude in greater substance. 2. His answer is but a begging of that which is in question, forasmuch as we allege those laws and prohibitions to prove that all the rites and customs of those nations were repugnant to the ordinances and laws of God, and that Israel was simply forbidden to use them. 3. Yet this was not a framing of Israel of set purpose to an utter dissimilitude with those nations, for Israel used food and raiment, sowing and reaping, sitting, standing, lying, walking, talking, trading, laws, government, &c., notwithstanding that the Egyptians and Canaanites used so. They were only forbidden to be like those nations in such unnecessary rites and customs as had neither institution from God nor nature, but were the inventions and devices of men only. In things and rites of this kind alone it is that we plead for dissimilitude with the idolatrous [pg 1-165] Papists; for the ceremonies in controversy are not only proved to be under the compass of such, but are, besides, made by the Papists badges and marks of their religion, as we shall see afterwards.

Sect. 4. To that place, 2 Cor. vi., Paybody answereth,575 that nothing else is there meant, than that we must beware and separate ourselves from the communion of their sins and idolatries. Ans. 1. When the Apostle there forbiddeth the Corinthians to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, or to have any communion or fellowship with idolaters, and requireth them so to come out from among them, that they touch none of their unclean things, why may we not understand his meaning to be, that not only they should not partake with pagans in their idolatries, but that they should not marry with them, nor frequent their feasts, nor go to the theatre to behold their plays, nor go to law before their judges, nor use any of their rites? For with such idolaters we ought not to have any fellowship, as Zanchius resolves,576 but only in so far as necessity compelleth, and charity requireth. 2. All the rites and customs of idolaters, which have neither institution from God nor nature, are to be reckoned among those sins wherein we may not partake with them, for they are the unprofitable works of darkness, all which Calvin judgeth to be in that place generally forbidden,577 before the Apostle descend particularly to forbid partaking with them in their idolatry. As for the prohibition of diverse mixtures, Paybody saith,578 the Jews were taught thereby to make no mixture of true and false worship. Ans. 1. According to his tenets, it followeth upon this answer, that no mixture is to be made betwixt holy and idolatrous ceremonies, for he calleth kneeling a bodily worship, and a worship gesture, more than once or twice. And we have seen before, how Dr Burges calleth the ceremonies worship of God. 2. If mixture of true and false worship be not lawful, then forasmuch as the ceremonies of God's ordinance, namely, the sacraments of the New Testament are true worship; and the ceremonies of Popery, namely, cross, kneeling, holidays, &c., are false worship; therefore, there ought to be no mixture of them together. [pg 1-166] 3. If the Jews were taught to make no mixture of true and false worship, then by the self-same instruction, if there had been no more, they were taught also to shun all such occasions as might any ways produce such a mixture, and by consequence all symbolising with idolaters in their rites and ceremonies.

Sect. 5. As touching those laws which forbade the Israelites to make round the corners of their heads, or to mar the corners of their beards, or to make any cuttings in their flesh, or to make any baldness between their eyes, Hooker answereth,579 that the cutting round of the corners of the head, and the tearing off the tufts of the beard, howbeit they were in themselves indifferent, yet they are not indifferent being used as signs of immoderate and hopeless lamentation for the dead; in which sense it is, that the law forbiddeth them. To the same purpose saith Paybody,580 that the Lord did not forbid his people to mar and abuse their heads and beards for the dead, because the heathen did so, but because the practice doth not agree to the faith and hope of a Christian, if the heathen had never used it. Ans. 1. How much surer and sounder is Calvin's judgment,581 non aliud fuisse Dei consilium, quam ut interposito obstaculo populum suum a prophanis Gentibus dirimiret? For albeit the cutting the hair be a thing in itself indifferent, yet because the Gentiles did use it superstitiously, therefore, saith Calvin, albeit it was per se medium, Deus tamen noluit populo suo liberum esse, ut tanquam pueri discerent ex parvis rudimentis, se non aliter Deo fore gratos, nisi exteris et proeputiatis essent prorsus dissimiles, ac longissime abessent ab eorum exemplis, praesertim vero ritus omnes fugerent, quibus testata fuerit religio. So that from this law it doth most manifestly appear, that we may not be like idolaters, no not in things which are in themselves indifferent, when we know they do use them superstitiously. 2. What warrant is there for this gloss, that the law forbiddeth the cutting round of the corners of the head, and the matting of the corners of the beard, to be used as signs of immoderate and hopeless lamentation for the dead, and that in no other sense they are forbidden? Albeit the cutting of the flesh may be expounded to [pg 1-167] proceed from immoderate grief, and to be a sign of hopeless lamentation; yet this cannot be said of rounding the hair, marring the beard, and making of baldness, which might have been used in moderate and hopeful lamentation, as well as our putting on of mourning apparel for the dead. The law saith nothing of the immoderate use of these things, but simply forbiddeth to round the head, or mar the beard for the dead; and that because this was one of the rites which the idolatrous and superstitious Gentiles did use, concerning whom the Lord commanded his people, that they should not do like them, because he had chosen them to be a holy and peculiar people, above all people upon the earth. So that the thing which was forbidden, if the Gentiles had not used it, should have been otherwise lawful enough to God's people, as we have seen out of Calvin's commentary.

Sect. 6. Secondly, We have reason for that which we say; for by partaking with idolaters in their rites and ceremonies, we are made to partake with them in their religion too. For, ceremonioe omnes sun quoedam protestationes fidei, saith Aquinas.582 Therefore communio rituum est quasi symbolum communionis in religione, saith Balduine.583 They who did eat of the Jewish sacrifices were partakers of the altar, 1 Cor. x. 18, that is, saith Pareus,584 socios Judaicae religionis et cultus se profitebantur. For the Jews by their sacrifices mutuam in una eademque religione copulationem sanciunt, saith Beza.585 Whereupon Dr Fulk noteth,586 that the Apostle in that place doth compare our sacraments with the altars, hosts, sacrifices or immolations of the Jews and Gentiles, “in that point which is common to all ceremonies, to declare them that use them to be partakers of that religion whereof they be ceremonies.” If then Isidore thought it unlawful for Christians to take pleasure in the fables of heathen poets,587 because non solum thura offerendo daemonibus immolatur, sed etiam eorum dicta libentius capiendo; much more have we reason to think that, by taking part in the ceremonies of idolaters, we do but offer to devils, and join ourselves to the service of idols.

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Sect. 7. Thirdly, As by Scripture and reason, so by antiquity, we strengthen our argument. Of old, Christians did so shun to be like the pagans, that in the days of Tertullian it was thought they might not wear garlands, because thereby they had been made conform to the pagans. Hence Tertullian justifieth the soldier who refused to wear a garland as the pagans did.588 Dr Mortoune himself allegeth another case out of Tertullian,589 which maketh to this purpose, namely, that Christian proselytes did distinguish themselves from Roman pagans, by casting away their gowns and wearing of cloaks. But these things we are not to urge, because we plead not for dissimilitude with the Papists in civil fashions, but in sacred and religious ceremonies. For this point then at which we hold us, we allege that which is marked in the third century out of Origen,590 namely, that it was held unlawful for Christians to observe the feasts and solemnities, either of the Jews or of the Gentiles. Now we find a whole council determining thus,591 Non oportet a Judoeis vel hoereticis, feriatica quoe mittuntur accipere, nec cum cis dies agere feriatos. The council of Nice also condemned those who kept Easter upon the fourteenth day of the month. That which made them pronounce so (as is clear from Constantine's epistle to the churches592) was, because they held it unbeseeming for Christians to have anything common with the Jews in their rites and observances. Augustine condemneth fasting upon the Sabbath day as scandalous, because the Manichees used so, and fasting upon that day had been a conformity with them;593 and wherefore did Gregory advise Leander to abolish the ceremony of trim-immersion? His words are plain:594 Quia nunc huc usque ab hoereticis infans in baptismate tertio mergebatur, fiendum apud vos esse non censeo. Why doth Epiphanius,595 in the end of his books contra haereses, rehearse all the ceremonies of the church, as marks whereby the church is discerned from all other sects? If the church did symbolise in ceremonies with other sects, he could not have done so. And, moreover, find we not in the canons of [pg 1-169] the ancient councils,596 that Christians were forbidden to deck their houses with green boughs and bay leaves, to observe the calends of January, to keep the first day of every month, &c., because the pagans used to do so? Last of all, read we not in the fourth century of the ecclesiastical history,597 that the frame of Christians in that age was such, that nec cum haereticis commune quicquam habere voluerunt?

Sect. 8. One would think that nothing could be answered to any of these things, by such as pretend no less than that they have devoted themselves to bend all their wishes and labours for procuring the imitation of venerable antiquity. Yet Hooker can coin a conjecture to frustrate all which we allege.598 “In things (saith he) of their own nature indifferent, if either councils or particular men have at any time with sound judgment misliked conformity between the church of God and infidels, the cause thereof hath not been affectation of dissimilitude, but some special accident which the church, not being always subject unto, hath not still cause to do the like. For example (saith he), in the dangerous days of trial, wherein there was no way for the truth of Jesus Christ to triumph over infidelity but through the constancy of his saints, whom yet a natural desire to save themselves from the flame might, peradventure, cause to join with the pagans in external customs, too far using the same as a cloak to conceal themselves in, and a mist to darken the eyes of infidels withal; for remedy hereof, it might be, those laws were provided.” Ans. 1. This answer is altogether doubtful and conjectural, made up of if, and peradventure, and it might be. Neither is anything found which can make such a conjecture probable. 2. The true reason why Christians were forbidden to use the rites and customs of pagans, was neither a bare affectation of dissimilitude, nor yet any special accident which the church is not always subject unto, but because it was held unlawful to symbolise with idolaters in the use of such rites as they placed any religion in. For in the fathers and councils which we have cited to this purpose, there is no other reason mentioned why it behoved Christians to abstain from those forbidden [pg 1-170] customs, but only because the pagans and infidels used so. 3. And what if Hooker's divination shall have place? Doth it not agree to us, so as it should make us mislike the Papists? Yes, sure, and more properly. For put the case, that those ancient Christians had not avoided conformity with pagans in those rites and customs which we read to have been forbidden them, yet for all that, there had been remaining betwixt them and the pagans a great deal more difference than will remain betwixt us and the Papists, if we avoid not conformity with them in the controverted ceremonies; for the pagans had not the word, sacraments, &c., which the Papists do retain, so that we may far more easily use the ceremonies as a mist to darken the eyes of the Papists, than they could have used those forbidden rites as a mist to darken the eyes of pagans. Much more, then, Protestants should not be permitted to conform themselves unto Papists in rites and ceremonies, lest, in the dangerous days of trial (which some reformed churches in Europe do presently feel, and which seem to be faster approaching to ourselves than the most part are aware of), they join themselves to Papists in these external things, too far using the same as a cloak to conceal themselves in, &c. 4. We find that the reason why the fourth council of Toledo forbade the ceremony of thrice dipping in water to be used in baptism, was,599 lest Christians should seem to assent to heretics who divide the Trinity. And the reason why the same council forbade the clergymen to conform themselves unto the custom of heretics,600 in the shaving off the hair of their head, is mentioned to have been the removing of conformity with the custom of heretics from the churches of Spain, as being a great dishonour unto the same. And we have heard before, that Augustine condemneth conformity with the Manichees, in fasting upon the Lord's day, as scandalous. And whereas afterwards the council of Cæsar-Augusta forbade fasting upon the Lord's day, a grave writer layeth out the reason of this prohibition thus:601 “It would appear that this council had a desire to abolish the rites and customs of the Manichean heretics, who were accustomed to fast upon the Lord's day.” Lastly, we have seen from Constantine's epistle to the churches, that dissimilitude [pg 1-171] with the Jews was one (though not the only one) reason why it was not thought beseeming to keep Easter upon the fourteenth day of the month. Who then can think that any special accident, as Hooker imagineth, was the reason why the rites and customs of pagans were forbidden to Christians? Were not the customs of the pagans to be held unbeseeming for Christians, as well as the customs of the Jews? Nay, if conformity with heretics (whom Hooker acknowledgeth to be a part of the visible church602), in their customs and ceremonies, was condemned as a scandal, a dishonour to the church, and an assenting unto their heresies, might he not have much more thought that conformity with the customs of pagans was forbidden as a greater scandal and dishonour to the church, and as an assenting to the paganism and idolatry of those that were without?

Sect. 9. But to proceed. In the fourth place, the canon law itself speaketh for the argument which we have in hand: Non licet iniquas observationes agere calendarum, et otiis vacare Gentilibus, neque lauro, aut viriditate arborum, cingere domos: omnis enim haec observatio paganismi est.603 And again: Anathema sit qui ritum paganorum et calendarum observat.604 And after: Dies Aegyptiaci et Januarii calendae non sunt observandae.605

Fifthly, Our assertion will find place in the school too, which holdeth that Jews are forbidden to wear a garment of diverse sorts,606 as of linen and woollen together, and that their women were forbidden to wear men's clothes, or their men women's clothes, because the Gentiles used so in the worshipping of their gods. In like manner, that the priests were forbidden to round their heads,607 or mar their beards, or make incision in their flesh, because the idolatrous priests did so.608 And that the prohibition which forbade the commixtion of beasts of diverse kinds among the Jews hath a figurative sense,609 in that we are forbidden to make people of one kind of religion, to have any conjunction with those of another kind.

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Sixthly, Papists themselves teach,610 that it is generally forbidden to communicate with infidels and heretics, but especially in any act of religion. Yea, they think,611 that Christian men are bound to abhor the very phrases and words of heretics, which they use. Yea, they condemn the very heathenish names of the days of the week imposed after the names of the planets,612 Sunday, Monday, &c. They hold it altogether a great and damnable sin to deal with heretics in matter of religion,613 or any way to communicate with them in spiritual things. Bellarmine is plain,614 who will have catholics to be discerned from heretics, and other sects of all sorts, even by ceremonies, because as heretics have hated the ceremonies of the church, so the church hath ever abstained from the observances of heretics.

Sect. 10. Seventhly, Our own writers do sufficiently confirm us in this argument. The bringing of heathenish or Jewish rites into the church is altogether condemned by them,615 yea, though the customs and rites of the heathen616 be received into the church for gaining them, and drawing them to the true religion, yet is it condemned as proceeding ex κακαζηλίᾳ seu prava Ethnicorum imitatione. J. Rainolds617 rejecteth the popish ceremonies, partly because they are Jewish, and partly because they are heathenish. The same argument Beza618 useth against them. In the second command, as Zanchius619 expoundeth it, we are forbidden to borrow anything, ex ritibus idololatrarum Gentium. Fidelibus (saith Calvin620) fas non est ullo symbolo ostendere, sibi cum superstitiosis esse consensum. To conclude, then, since not only idolatry is forbidden, but also, as Pareus noteth,621 every sort of communicating with the occasion, appearances, or instruments of the same; and since, as our divines have declared,622 the Papists are in many respects gross idolaters, let us choose to have the commendation which was given to the ancient Britons for being [pg 1-173] enemies to the Roman customs,623 rather than, as Pope Pius V. was forced to say of Rome,624 that it did more Gentilizare, quam Christianizare; so they who would gladly wish they could give a better commendation to our church, be forced to say, that it doth not only more Anglizare, quam Scotizare, but also more Romanizare, quam Evangelizare.

Sect. 11. But our argument is made by a great deal more strong, if yet further we consider, that by the controverted ceremonies, we are not only made like the idolatrous Papists, in such rites of man's devising as they place some religion in, but we are made likewise to take upon us those signs and symbols which Papists account to be special badges of Popery, and which also, in the account of many of our own reverend divines, are to be so thought of. In the oath ordained by Pius IV., to be taken of bishops at their creation (as Onuphrius writeth625), they are appointed to swear, Apostolicas et ecclesiasticas traditiones, reliquasque ejusdem ecclesiæ observationes et constitutiones firmissime admitto et amplector; and after, Receptos quoque ac approbatos ecclesiæ Catholicæ ritus, in supra dictorum sacramentorum solemni administratione, recipio, et admitto. We see bishops are not created by this ordinance, except they not only believe with the church of Rome, but also receive her ceremonies, by which, as by the badges of her faith and religion, cognizance may be had that they are indeed her children. And farther, Papists give it forth plainly,626 that as the church hath ever abstained from the observances of heretics, so now also catholics (they mean Romanists) are very well distinguished from heretics (they mean those of the reformed religion) by the sign of the cross, abstinence from flesh on Friday, &c. And how do our divines understand the mark of the beast, spoken of Rev. xiii. 16, 17? Junius627 comprehendeth confirmation under this mark. Cartwright628 also referreth the sign of the cross to the mark of the beast. Pareus629 approveth the Bishop of Salisbury's exposition, and placeth the common [pg 1-174] mark of the beast the observation of antichrist's festival days, and the rest of his ceremonies, which are not commanded by God. It seems this much has been plain to Joseph Hall, so that he could not deny it; for whereas the Brownists allege, that not only after their separation, but before they separated also, they were, and are verily persuaded that the ceremonies are but the badges and liveries of that man of sin whereof the Pope is the head and the prelates the shoulders,—he, in this Apology630 against them, saith nothing to this point.

Sect. 12. As for any other of our opposites, who have made such answers as they could to the argument in hand, I hope the strength and force of the same hath been demonstrated to be such that their poor shifts are too weak for gain-standing it. Some of them (as I touched before) are not ashamed to profess that we should come as near to the Papists as we can, and therefore should conform ourselves to them in their ceremonies (only purging away the superstition), because if we do otherwise, we exasperate the Papists, and alienate them the more from our religion and reformation. Ans. 1. Bastwick,631 propounding the same objection, Si quis objiciat nos ipsos pertinaci ceremoniarum papalium contemptu, Papistis offendiculum posuisse, quo minus se nostris ecclesiis associent, he answereth out of the Apostle, Rom. xv. 2, that we are to please every one his neighbour only in good things to edification, and that we may not wink at absurd or wicked things, nor at anything in God's worship which is not found in Scripture. 2. I have showed632 that Papists are but more and more hardened in evil by this our conformity with them in ceremonies. 3. I have showed also,633 the superstition of the ceremonies, even as they are retained by us, and that it is as impossible to purge the ceremonies from superstition, as to purge superstition from itself.

There are others, who go about to sew a cloak of fig leaves, to hide their conformity with Papists, and to find out some difference betwixt the English ceremonies and those of the Papists; so say some, that by the sign of the cross they are not ranked with Papists, because they use not the material [pg 1-175] cross, which is the popish one, but the aerial only. But it is known well enough that Papists do idolatrise the very aerial cross; for Bellarmine holds,634 venerabile esse signum crucis, quod effingitur in fronte, aere, &c. And though they did not make an idol of it, yet forasmuch as Papists put it to a religious use, and make it one of the marks of Roman Catholics (as we have seen before), we may not be conformed to them in the use of the same. The fathers of such a difference between the popish cross and the English have not succeeded in this their way, yet their posterity approve their sayings, and follow their footsteps. Bishop Lindsey635 by name will trade in the same way, and will have us to think that kneeling in the act of receiving the communion, and keeping of holidays, do not sort us with Papists; for that, as touching the former, there is a disconformity in the object, because they kneel to the sign, we to the thing signified. And as for the latter, the difference is in the employing of the time, and in the exercise and worship for which the cessation is commanded. What is his verdict, then, wherewith he sends us away? Verily, that people should be taught that the disconformity between the Papists and us is not so much in any external use of ceremonies, as in the substance of the service and object whereunto they are applied. But, good man, he seeks a knot in the bulrush; for, 1, There is no such difference betwixt our ceremonies and those of the Papists, in respect of the object and worship whereunto the same is applied, as he pretendeth; for, as touching the exercise and worship whereunto holidays are applied, Papists tell us,636 that they keep Pasche and Pentecost yearly for memory of Christ's resurrection, and the sending down of the Holy Ghost; and, I pray, to what other employment do Formalists profess that they apply these feasts, but to the commemoration of the same benefits? And as touching kneeling in the sacrament, it shall be proved in the next chapter, that they do kneel to the sign, even as the Papists do. In the meanwhile, it may be questioned whether the Bishop meant some such matter, even here where professedly he maketh a difference betwixt the Papists' kneeling and ours. His words, wherein I apprehend this much, are these: [pg 1-176] “The Papists in prayer kneel to an idol, and in the sacrament they kneel to the sign: we kneel in our prayer to God, and by the sacrament to the thing signified.” The analogy of the antithesis required him to say, that we kneel “in the sacrament” to the thing signified; but changing his phrase, he saith, that we kneel “by the sacrament” to the thing signified. Now, if we kneel “by the sacrament to Christ,” then we adore the sacrament as objectum materiale, and Christ as objectum formale. Just so the Papists adore their images; because per imaginem, they adore prototypon. 2. What if we should yield to the Bishop that kneeling and holidays are with us applied to another service, and used with another meaning than they are with the Papists? Doth that excuse our conformity with Papists in the external use of these ceremonies? If so, J. Hart637 did rightly argument out of Pope Innocentius, that the church doth not Judaise by the sacrament of unction or anointing, because it doth figure and work another thing in the New Testament than it did in the Old. Rainold answereth, that though it were so, yet is the ceremony Jewish; and mark his reason (which carrieth a fit proportion to our present purpose), “I trust (saith he) you will not maintain but it were Judaism for your church to sacrifice a lamb in burnt-offering, though you did it to signify, not Christ that was to come, as the Jews did, but that Christ is come,” &c. “St. Peter did constrain the Gentiles to Judaise, when they were induced by his example and authority to follow the Jewish rite in choice of meats; yet neither he nor they allowed it in that meaning which it was given to the Jews in; for it was given them to betoken that holiness, and train them up into it, which Christ by his grace should bring to the faithful. And Peter knew that Christ had done this in truth, and taken away that figure, yea the whole yoke of the law of Moses; which point he taught the Gentiles also. Wherefore, although your church do keep the Jewish rites with another meaning than God ordained them for the Jews, &c., yet this of Peter showeth that the thing is Jewish, and you to Judaise who keep them.” By the very same reasons prove we that Formalists do Romanise by keeping the popish [pg 1-177] ceremonies, though with another meaning, and to another use, than the Romanists do. The very external use, therefore, of any sacred ceremony of human institution, is not to be suffered in the matter of worship, when in respect of this external use we are sorted with idolaters. 3. If conformity with idolaters in the external use of their ceremonies be lawful, if so be there be a difference in the substance of the worship and object whereunto they are applied, then why were Christians forbidden of old (as we have heard before) to keep the calends of January, and the first day of every month, forasmuch as the pagans used so? Why was trin-immersion in baptism, and fasting upon the Lord's day forbidden, for that the heretics did so? Why did the Nicene fathers inhibit the keeping of Easter upon the fourteenth day of the month,638 so much the rather because the Jews kept it on that day? The Bishop must say there was no need of shunning conformity with pagans, Jews, heretics, in the external use of their rites and customs, and that a difference ought to have been made only in the object and use whereunto the same was applied. Nay, why did God forbid Israel to cut their hair as the Gentiles did? Had it not been enough not to apply this rite to a superstitious use, as Aquinas showeth639 the Gentiles did? Why was the very external use of it forbidden?

Sect. 14. There is yet another piece brought against us, but we will abide the proof of it, as of the rest. Nobis saith,640 Saravia, satis est, modestis et piis Christianis satisfacere, qui ita recesserunt a superstitionibus et idololatriae Romanae ecclesiae, ut probatos ab orthodoxis patribus mores, non rejiciant. So have some thought to escape by this postern, that they use the ceremonies, not for conformity with Papists, but for conformity with the ancient fathers. Ans. 1. When Rainold speaketh of the abolishing of popish ceremonies,641 he answereth this subtlety: “But if you say, therefore, that we be against the ancient fathers in religion, because we pluck down that which they did set up, take heed lest your speech do touch the Holy Ghost, who saith that Hezekiah (in breaking down the brazen serpent) did keep God's commandments which he commanded [pg 1-178] Moses,” 2 Kings xviii. 6; and yet withal saith, “That he brake in pieces the serpent of brass which Moses had made,” 2 Kings xviii. 4. 2. There are some of the ceremonies which the fathers used not, as the surplice (which we have seen before642) and kneeling in the act of receiving the eucharist (as we shall see afterwards643). 3. Yielding by concession, not by confession, that all the ceremonies about which there is controversy now among us, were of old used by the fathers; yet that which these Formalists say, is (as Parker showeth644) even as if a servant should be covered before his master, not as covering is a late sign of pre-eminence, but as it was of old, a sign of subjection; or as if one should preach that the prelates are tyranni to their brethren, fures to the church, sophistae to the truth, and excuse himself thus: I use these words, as of old they signified a ruler, a servant, a student of wisdom. All men know that words and actions must be interpreted, used and received, according to their modern use, and not as they have been of old.



Sect. 1. My fourth argument against the lawfulness of the ceremonies followeth, by which I am to evince that they are not only idolatrous reductive, because monuments of by-past, and participative, because badges of present idolatry, but that likewise they make Formalists themselves to be formally, and in respect of their own using of them, idolaters, consideration not had of the by-past or present abusing of them by others. This I will make good: first, of all the ceremonies in general; then, of kneeling in particular. And I wish our opposites here look to themselves, for this argument proveth to them the box of Pandora, and containeth that which undoeth them, though this much be not seen before the opening.

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First, then, the ceremonies are idols to Formalists. It had been good to have remembered that which Ainsworth noteth,645 that idolothites and monuments of idolatry should be destroyed, lest themselves at length become idols. The idolothious ceremonies, we see now, are become idols to those who have retained them. The ground which the Bishop of Winchester taketh for his sermon of the worshipping of imaginations,—to wit, that the devil, seeing that idolatrous images would be put down, bent his whole device, in place of them, to erect and set up divers imaginations, to be adored and magnified instead of the former,—is, in some things, abused and misapplied by him. But well may I apply it to the point in hand; for that the ceremonies are the imaginations which are magnified, adored, and idolised, instead of the idolatrous images which were put down, thus we instruct and qualify:

Sect. 2. First, They are so erected and extolled, that they are more looked to than the weighty matters of the law of God: all good discipline must be neglected before they be not holden up. A covetous man is an idolater, for this respect among others, as Davenant noteth,646 because he neglects the service which he oweth to God, and is wholly taken up with the gathering of money. And I suppose every one will think that those traditions, Mark vii. 8, 9, which the Pharisees kept and held, with the laying aside of the commandments of God, might well be called idols. Shall we not then call the ceremonies idols, which are observed with the neglecting of God's commandments, and which are advanced above many substantial points of religion? Idolatry, blasphemy, profanation of the Sabbath, perjury, adultery, &c., are overlooked, and not corrected nor reproved, nay, not so much as discountenanced in those who favour and follow the ceremonies; and if in the fellows and favourites, much more in the fathers. What if order be taken with some of those abominations in certain abject poor bodies? Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas. What will not an episcopal conformist pass away with, if there be no more had against him than the breaking of God's commandments by open and gross wickedness? But O what narrow notice is taken of non-conformity! How mercilessly is it menaced! [pg 1-180] How cruelly corrected! Well, the ceremonies are more made of than the substance. And this is so evident, that Dr Burges himself lamenteth the pressure of conformity,647 and denieth not that which is objected to him, namely, that more grievous penalties are inflicted upon the refusal of the ceremonies than upon adultery and drunkenness.

Sect. 3. Secondly, Did not Eli make idols of his sons, 1 Sam. ii. 29, when he spared them and bare with them, though with the prejudice of God's worship? And may not we call the ceremonies idols, which are not only spared and borne with, to the prejudice of God's worship, but are likewise so erected, that the most faithful labourers in God's house, for their sake, are depressed, the teachers and maintainers of God's true worship cast out? For their sake, many learned and godly men are envied, contemned, hated, and nothing set by, because they pass under the name (I should say the nickname) of puritans. For their sake many dear Christians have been imprisoned, fined, banished, &c. For their sake many qualified and well-gifted men are holden out of the ministry, and a door of entrance denied to those to whom God hath granted a door of utterance. For their sake, those whose faithful and painful labours in the Lord's harvest have greatly benefited the church, have been thrust from their charges, so that they could not fulfil the ministry which they have received of the Lord, to testify of the gospel of the grace of God. The best builders, the wise master-builders, have been over-turned by them. This is objected to Joseph Hall by the Brownists; and what can he say to it? Forsooth, “that not so much the ceremonies are stood upon as obedience. If God please to try Adam but with an apple, it is enough. What do we quarrel at the value of the fruit when we have a prohibition? Shemei is slain. What! merely for going out of the city? The act was little, the bond was great. What is commanded matters not so much as by whom. Ans. 1. If obedience be the chief thing stood upon, why are not other laws and statutes urged as strictly as those which concern the ceremonies? 2. But what means he? What would he say of those Scottish Protestants imprisoned in the castle of Scherisburgh in France,648 who, being commanded by the captain [pg 1-181] to come to the mass, answered, “That to do anything that was against their conscience, they would not, neither for him nor yet for the king?” If he approve this answer of theirs, he must allow us to say, that we will do nothing which is against our consciences. We submit ourselves and all which we have to the king, and to inferior governors we render all due subjection which we owe to them, but no mortal man hath domination over our consciences, which are subject to one only Lawgiver, and ruled by his law. I have shown in the first part of this dispute how conscience is sought to be bound by the law of the ceremonies, and here, by the way, no less may be drawn from Hall's words, which now I examine; for he implieth in them that we are bound to obey the statutes about the ceremonies merely for their authority's sake who command us, though there be no other thing in the ceremonies themselves which can commend them to us. But I have also proved before that human laws do not bind to obedience, but only in this case, when the things which they prescribe do agree and serve to those things which God's law prescribeth; so that, as human laws, they bind not, neither have they any force to bind, but only by participation with God's law. This ground hath seemed to P. Bayne649 so necessary to be known, that he hath inserted it in his brief Exposition of the Fundamental Points of Religion. And besides all that which I have said for it before, I may not here pass over in silence this one thing, that Hall himself calleth it superstition to make any more sins than the ten commandments.650 Either, then, let it be shown out of God's word that non-conformity, and the refusing of the English popish ceremonies, is a fault, or else let us not be thought bound by men's laws where God's law hath left us free. Yet we deal more liberally with our opposites, for if we prove not the unlawfulness of the ceremonies, both by God's word and sound reason, let us then be bound to use them for ordinance' sake.

3. His comparisons are far wide. They are so far from running upon four feet, that they have indeed no feet at all, whether we consider the commandments, or the breach of them, he is altogether extravagant. God might have commanded Adam to eat the [pg 1-182] apple which he forbade him to eat, and so the eating of it had been good, the not eating of it evil; whereas the will and commandment of men is not regula regulans, but regula regulata. Neither can they make good or evil, beseeming or not beseeming, what they list, but their commandments are to be examined by a higher rule. When Solomon commanded Shemei to dwell at Jerusalem, and not to go over the brook Kidron, he had good reason for that which he required; for as P. Martyr noteth,651 he was a man of the family of the house of Saul, 2 Sam. xv. 5, and hated the kingdom and throne of David, so that relictus liber multa fuisset molitus, vel cum Israelitis, vel cum Palestinis. But what reason is there for charging us with the law of the ceremonies, except the sole will of the lawmakers? Yet, say that Solomon had no reason for this his commandment, except his own will and pleasure for trying the obedience of Shemei, who will say that princes have as great liberty and power of commanding at their pleasure in matters of religion as in civil matters? If we consider the breach of the commandments, he is still at random. Though God tried Adam but with an apple, yet divines mark in his eating of that forbidden fruit many gross and horrible sins,652 as infidelity, idolatry, pride, ambition, self-love, theft, covetousness, contempt of God, profanation of God's name, ingratitude, impostacy, murdering of his posterity, &c. But, I pray, what exorbitant evils are found in our modest and Christian-like denial of obedience to the law of the ceremonies? When Shemei transgressed king Solomon's commandment, besides the violation of this,653 and the disobeying of the charge wherewith Solomon (by the special direction and inspiration of God) had charged him, that his former wickedness, and that which he hath done to David, might be returned upon his head, the Divine Providence so fitly furnishing another occasion and cause of his punishment. There was also a great contempt and misregard showed to the king, in that Shemei, knowing his own evil-deservings, acknowledged (as the truth was) he had received no small favour, and therefore consented to the king's [pg 1-183] word as good, and promised obedience. Yet for all that, upon such a petty and small occasion as the seeking of two runagate servants, he reckoned not to despise the king's mercy and lenity, and to set at nought his most just commandment. What! Is nonconformity no less piacular? If any will dare to say so, he is bound to show that it is so. And thus have we pulled down the untempered mortar wherewith Hall would hide the idolising of the ceremonies.

Sect. 4. But Thirdly, Did not Rachel make Jacob an idol, when she ascribed to him a power of giving children? “Am I in God's stead?” saith Jacob, Gen. xxx. 1, 3. How much more reason have we to say that the ceremonies are idols, are set up in God's stead, since an operative virtue is placed in them, for giving stay and strength against sin and tentation, and for working of other spiritual and supernatural effects? Thus is the sign of the cross an idol to those who conform to Papists in the use of it. M. Ant. de Dominis holdeth,654 Crucis signum contra daemones esse praesidium; and that even655 ex opere operato, effectus mirabiles signi crucis, etiam apud infideles, aliquando enituerint. “Shall I say (saith Mr Hooker),656 that the sign of the cross (as we use it) is a mean in some sort to work our preservation from reproach? Surely the mind which as yet hath not hardened itself in sin, is seldom provoked thereunto in any gross and grievous manner, but nature's secret suggestion objecteth against it ignominy as a bar, which conceit being entered into that place of man's fancy (the forehead), the gates whereof have imprinted in them that holy sign (the cross), which bringeth forthwith to mind whatsoever Christ hath wrought and we vowed against sin; it cometh hereby to pass, that Christian men never want a most effectual, though a silent teacher, to avoid whatsoever may deservedly procure shame.” What more do Papists ascribe to the sign of the cross, when they say, that by it Christ keeps his own faithful ones657 contra omnes tentationes et hostes. Now if the covetous man be called an idolater, Eph. v. 5, because, though he think not his money to be God, yet he trusteth to live and prosper by it (which confidence and hope we should repose in God only, Jer. xvii. 7), as [pg 1-184] Rainold marketh,658 then do they make the sign of the cross an idol who trust by it to be preserved from sin, shame, and reproach, and to have their minds stayed in the instant of tentation. For who hath given such a virtue to that dumb and idle sign as to work that which God only can work? And how have these good fellows imagined, that not by knocking at their brains, as Jupiter, but by only signing their foreheads, they can procreate some menacing Minerva, or armed Pallas, to put to flight the devil himself.

Sect. 5. The same kind of operative virtue is ascribed to the ceremony of confirmation or bishopping; for the English service book teacheth, that by it children receive strength against sin, and against tentation. And Hooker hath told us,659 that albeit the successors of the apostles had but only for a time such power as by prayer and imposition of hands to bestow the Holy Ghost, yet confirmation hath continued hitherto for very special benefits; and that the fathers impute everywhere unto it “that gift or grace of the Holy Ghost, not which maketh us first Christian men, but when we are made such, assisteth us in all virtue, armeth us against tentation and sin.” Moreover, whilst he is a-showing why this ceremony of confirmation was separated from baptism, having been long joined with it, one of his reasons which he giveth for the separation is, that sometimes the parties who received baptism were infants, at which age they might well be admitted to live in the family, but to fight in the army of God, to bring forth the fruits, and to do the works of the Holy Ghost, their time of hability was not yet come; which implieth, that by the confirmation men receive this hability, else there is no sense in that which he saith. What is idolatry, if this be not, to ascribe to rites of man's devising, the power and virtue of doing that which none but He to whom all power in heaven and earth belongs can do; and howbeit Hooker would strike us dead at once, with the high-sounding name of the fathers, yet it is not unknown, that the first fathers from whom this idolatry hath descended were those ancient heretics, the Montanists. For as Chemnitius marketh out of Tertullian and Cyprian,660 the Montanists were the first who began to ascribe any spiritual [pg 1-185] efficacy or operation to rites and ceremonies devised by men.

Sect. 6. Fourthly, That whereunto more respect and account is given than God alloweth to be given to it, and wherein more excellency is placed than God hath put into it, or will at all communicate to it, is an idol exalted against God; which maketh Zanchius to say,661 Si Luthero vel Calvino tribuas, quod non potuerant errare, idola tibi fingis. Now, when Hooker662 accounteth festival days, for God's extraordinary works wrought upon them, to be holier than other days, what man of sound judgment will not perceive that these days are idolised, since such an eminence and excellency is put in them, whereas God hath made no difference betwixt them and any other days? We have seen also that the ceremonies are urged as necessary,663 but did ever God allow that things indifferent should be so highly advanced at the pleasure of men? And, moreover, I have shown664 that worship is placed in them; in which respect they must needs be idols, being thus exalted against God's word, at which we are commanded to hold us in the matter of worship. Last of all, they are idolatrously advanced and dignified, in so much as holy mystical significations are given them, which are a great deal more than God's word alloweth in any rites of human institution, as shall be shown665 afterwards; and so it appeareth how the ceremonies, as now urged and used, are idols.

Now to kneeling in the act of receiving the Lord's supper, which I will prove to be direct and formal idolatry; and from idolatry shall it never be purged while the world standeth, though our opposites strive for it, tanquam pro aris et focis.

Sect. 7. The question about the idolatry of kneeling betwixt them and us standeth in this: Whether kneeling, at the instant of receiving the sacrament, before the consecrated bread and wine,—purposely placed in our sight in the act of kneeling as signs standing in Christ's stead, before which we, the receivers, are to exhibit outwardly religious adoration,—be formally idolatry or not? No man can pick a quarrel at the stating of the question thus; for, 1. We dispute only about kneeling at the instant [pg 1-186] of receiving the sacramental elements, as all know. 2. No man denies inward adoration in the act of receiving, for in our minds we then adore by the inward graces of faith, love, thankfulness, &c., by the holy and heavenly exercise whereof we glorify God; so that the controversy is about outward adoration. 3. No man will deny that the consecrated elements are purposely placed in our sight when we kneel, except he say, that they are in that action only accidentally present before us no otherwise than the table-cloth or the walls of the church are. 4. That the sacramental elements are in our sight (when we kneel) as signs standing in Christ's stead, it is most undeniable; for if these signs stand not in Christ's stead to us, the bread bearing vicem corporis Christi, and the wine vicem sanguinis, it followeth, that when we eat the bread and drink the wine, we are no more eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, spiritually and sacramentally, than if we were receiving any other bread and wine not consecrated. I stay not now upon this head, because our opposites acknowledge it; for Dr Burges666 calls the sacraments the Lord's images and deputies; and the Archbishop of Spalato saith,667 that when we take the sacrament of Christ's body, we adore Christum sub hac figura figuratum. 5. That kneelers, at the instant of receiving, have the consecrated bread and wine in the eyes both of their bodies and minds, as things so stated in that action, that before them they are to exhibit outward religious adoration as well as inward, it is also most plain; for otherwise they should fall down and kneel only out of incogitancy, having no such purpose in their minds, or choice in their wills, as to kneel before these sacramental signs.

Sect. 8. The question thus stated, Formalists deny, we affirm. Their negative is destroyed, and our affirmative confirmed by these reasons:—

First, The kneelers worship Christ in or by the elements, as their own confessions declare. “When we take the eucharist, we adore the body of Christ, per suum signum,” saith the Archbishop of Spalato.668 “We kneel by the sacrament to the thing specified,” saith the Bishop of Edinburgh.669 The [pg 1-187] Archbishop of St Andrews670 and Dr Burges671 profess the adoring of Christ in the sacrament. Dr Mortoune maintaineth such an adoration in the sacrament as he calleth relative from the sign to Christ; and Paybody672 defendeth him herein. But the replier673 to Dr Mortoune's Particular Defence inferreth well, that if the adoration be relative from the sign, it must first be carried to the sign as a means of conveyance unto Christ. Dr Burges674 alloweth adoration, or divine worship (as he calleth it), to be given to the sacrament respectively; and he allegeth a place of Theodoret,675 to prove that such an adoration as he there taketh for divine worship is done to the sacrament in relation to Christ, and that this adoration performed to the mysteries as types, is to be passed over to the archetype, which is the body and blood of Christ. Since, then, that kneeling about which our question is, by the confession of kneelers themselves, is divine worship given by the sign to the thing signified, and done to the sacrament respectively or in relation to Christ, he that will say that it is not idolatry must acquit the Papists of idolatry also in worshipping before their images; for they do in like manner profess that they adore prototypon per imaginem, ad imaginem or in imagine, and that they give no more to the image but relative or respective worship. The Rhemists676 tell us that they do no more but kneel before the creatures, at, or by them, adoring God. It availeth not here to excogitate some differences betwixt the sacramental elements and the popish images, for what difference soever be betwixt them when they are considered in their own natural being, yet as objects of adoration they differ not, because when they are considered in esse adorabili, we see the same kind of adoration is exhibited by Formalists before the elements which is by Papists before their images. To come nearer the point, Papists profess that they give to the outward signs in the sacrament no other adoration than the same which Formalists give to them. Franciscus à Sancta Clara saith,677 that divine worship doth not agree to the signs per se, but only [pg 1-188] per accidens, and he allegeth for himself that the Council of Trent, can 6. de euch, saith not that the sacrament, but that Christ in the sacrament, is to be adored with latria. To the same purpose I observe that Bellarmine678 will not take upon him to maintain any adoration of the sacrament with latria, holding only that Christ in the eucharist is to be thus adored, and that symbola externa per se et proprie non sunt adoranda. Whereupon he determineth, status questionis non est, nisi an Christus in eucharistia sit adorandus, cultu latriae. Now, albeit Papists understand by the outward sign of Christ's body in the eucharist nothing else but the species or accidents of the bread, yet since they attribute to the same quod sub illis accidentibus ut vocant sit substantialiter corpus Christi vivum, cum sua Deitate conjunctum,679 and since they give adoration or latria680 to the species, though not per se, yet as quid unum with the Body of Christ which they contain,—hereby it is evident that they worship idolatrously those very accidents. And I would understand, if any of our opposites dare say that Papists commit no such idolatry as here I impute to them? Or, if they acknowledge this idolatry of Papists, how make they themselves clean? for we see that the worship which Papists give to the species of the bread is only relative to Christ, and of the same kind with that which Formalists give to the bread and wine.

Sect. 9. Secondly, Religious kneeling before the bread which is set before us for a sign to stand in Christ's stead, and before which we adore whilst it is to us actually an image representing Christ,681 is the very bowing down and worshipping forbidden in the second commandment. The eucharist is called by the fathers imago, signum, figura, similitudo, as Hospinian682 instanceth out of Origen, Nazianzen, Augustine, Hilary, Tertullian, Ambrose. The Archbishop of Armagh hath also observed,683 that the fathers expressly call the sacrament an image of Christ's body, and well might they call it so, since the sacramental elements do not only represent Christ to us, but also stand [pg 1-189] in Christ's stead, in such sort that by the worthy receiving of them we are assured that we receive Christ himself; and in eating of this bread, and drinking of this wine, we eat the flesh, and drink the blood of Christ spiritually, and by faith. Neither could the consecrated elements make a sacrament if they were not such images standing in Christ's stead. But what needeth any more? Dr Burges684 himself calleth the sacraments the Lord's images. Now, that a man who adoreth before the painted or graven image of Christ, though he profess that he intendeth his whole adoration to Christ, and that he placeth the image before him only to represent Christ, and to stir up his mind to worship Christ, doth nevertheless commit idolatry, I trust none of our opposites will deny. Nay, Bishop Lindsey teacheth plainly,685 that it is idolatry to set before the eyes of our minds or bodies any image as a mean or motive of adoration, even though the worship should be abstracted from the image, and not given unto it. Well, then, will it please him to let us see that kneeling before the actual images of Christ's body and blood in the sacrament, even though these images should be no otherwise considered in the act of adoration, but as active objects, motives and occasions which stir up the mind of the kneeler to worship Christ (for this is the best face which himself puts upon kneeling, though falsely, as we shall see afterward), is not so great idolatry as the other. All the difference which he maketh is,686 “that no true worship can be properly occasioned by an image, which is a doctor of lies, teaching nothing of God, but falsehood and vanities; but the blessed sacrament being instituted by Christ, to call to our remembrance his death, &c., gives us, so oft as we receive it, a most powerful and pregnant occasion of thanksgiving and praise.” Dr Burges,687 intermeddling with the same difference-making, will not have the sacraments, which are images of God's making and institution, to be compared with images made by the lust of men. Two differences, then, are given us. 1. That the sacramental elements have their institution from God; images not so. 2. That the sacrament is an occasion of worship; an image not so. The first difference [pg 1-190] makes them no help; for though the ordinance and institution of God makes the use of sacramental images to be no will-worship, yet doth it not any whit avail to show that adoration before them is no idolatry. May I not commit idolatry with images of God's institution no less than with those invented by men, when (coeteris paribus) there is no other difference betwixt them, considered as objects of adoration, but that of the ordinance and institution which they have? What if I fall down at the hearing of a sermon, and religiously adore before the pastor, as the vicarious sign of Christ himself, who stands there, in Christ's stead, 2 Cor. v. 20, referring my adoration to Christ only, yet in or by that ambassador who stands in Christ's stead? If this my adoration should be called so great idolatry as if I should fall down before a graven image, to worship God in or by it (for it is, indeed, as great every way), our kneelers, I perceive, would permit me to answer for myself, that my worshipping of God by the minister cannot be called idolatrous, by this reason, (because the worshipping of God by a graven image is such, therefore also the worshipping of him by a living image is no other,) since images of God's institution must not be paralleled with those of men's invention. As to the second difference, I answer, 1. Though the Bishop muttereth here that no true worship can be occasioned by an image, yet belike he and his fellows will not stand to it, for many of them allow the historical use of images; and the Bishop hath not denied, though his antagonist objecteth it. Dr Mortoune688 plainly alloweth of images for historical commemoration; and herein he is followed by Dr Burges.689 2. Whereas he saith that the blessed sacrament is instituted by Christ to call to our remembrance his death, this inferreth not that it is an occasion of thanksgiving and praise in the very act of receiving, as we shall see afterward. Our question is only about kneeling in the act of receiving. 3. We confess that the sacrament is an occasion of inward worship in the receiving of it; for in eucharistia exercetur summa fides, spes, charitas, religio, caeteraeque virtutes, quibus Deum colimus et glorificamus.690 But the outward adoration of kneeling down upon our knees can be no [pg 1-191] more occasioned by the blessed sacrament, in the act of receiving it, than by a graven image in the act of beholding it. The point which the Bishop had to prove is, that whereas an image cannot be the occasion of outward adoration and kneeling to God before it in the act of looking upon it, the sacrament may be, and is, an occasion of kneeling, when it is set before us in the act of receiving. This neither he, nor any for him, shall ever make good.

Sect. 10. Thirdly, Kneeling in the act of receiving the sacrament before the vicarious signs which stand in Christ's stead, and are purposely set before us in the act of adoration, that before them we may adore, wanteth nothing to make up idolatrous co-adoration or relative worship. Our opposites here tell us of two things necessary to the making up of idolatry, neither of which is found in their kneeling. First, they say, except there be an intention in the worshipper to adore the creature which is before his eyes, his kneeling before it is no idolatry. “What shall I say? saith Paybody.691 What need I say in this place, but to profess, and likewise avouch, that we intend only to worship the Lord our God, when we kneel in the act of receiving? We worship not the bread and wine; we intend not our adoring and kneeling unto them. Give us leave to avouch our sincerity in this matter, and it will take away the respect of idolatry in God's worship.” Ans. I showed before, that Paybody defendeth Dr Mortoune's adoration, which he calleth relative from the sign to Chris; yet let it be so, as here he pretendeth, that no adoration is intended to the sign; will this save their kneeling from idolatry? Nay, then, the three children should not have been idolaters, if they had kneeled before Nebuchadnezzar's image, intending their worship to God only, and not to the image. Our opposites here take the Nicodemites by the hand. But what saith Calvin?692 Si isti boni sapientesque sophistae ibi tum fuissent, simplicitatem illorum trium servorum Dei irrisissent. Nam hujusmodi credo eos verbis objurgassent: miseri homines, istud quidem693 non est adorare, quum vos in rebus nullam fidem adhibetis: nulla est idololatria nisi ubi est [pg 1-192] devotio, hoc est quaedam animi ad idola colenda venerandaque adjunctio atque applicatio, &c. If Paybody had been in Calvin's place, he could not have called the Nicodemites idolaters, forasmuch as they have no intention to worship the popish images when they kneel and worship before them. Nay, the grossest idolaters that ever were, shall by this doctrine be no idolaters, and Paul shall be censured for teaching that the Gentiles did worship devils, 1 Cor. x. 10, since they did not intend to worship devils. Idolatrae nec olim in paganismo intendebant, nec hodie in papatu intendant, daemonibus offere quid tum? Apostolus contrarium pronuntiat, quicquid illi intendant, saith Pareus.694

Sect. 11. The other thing which our kneelers require to the making up of idolatry is, that the creature before which we adore be a passive object of the adoration; whereas, say they,695 the sacramental elements are “no manner of way the passive object of our adoration, but the active only of that adoration which, at the sacrament, is given to Christ; that is, such an object and sign as moves us upon the sight, or by the signification thereof, to lift up our hearts and adore the only object of our faith, the Lord Jesus; such as the holy word of God, his works, and benefits are, by meditation and consideration whereof we are moved and stirred up to adore him.” Ans. 1. That which he affirmeth is false, and out of one page of his own book I draw an argument which destroyeth it, thus: If the sacramental elements were only the active object of their adoration who kneel before them in the receiving, then their real presence should be but accidental to the kneelers. But the real presence of the elements, in the act of receiving, is not accidental to the kneelers; therefore, the proposition I draw from his own words: “We can neither (saith he696) pray to God, nor thank him, nor praise him, but ever there must be, before the eyes of our minds, at least something of his works, word, or sacraments, if not before our external senses.” He confesseth it will be enough, that these active objects of worship be before the eyes of our minds, and that their real presence, before our external senses, is not necessary but accidental to us, whose minds are by their means stirred up to worship. And so [pg 1-193] it is indeed. For esse scibile, or rememoratiuum of an active object of adoration, is that which stirreth up the mind to worship, so that the real presence of such an object is but accidental to the worshipper. The assumption I likewise draw out of the Bishop's own words. For he saith697 that we kneel before the elements, “having them in our sight, or object to our senses, as ordinary signs, means, and memorials, to stir us up to worship,” &c. Now if we have them in our sight and before our senses for this purpose, that they may be means, signs, and memorials to stir us up to worship, then, sure, their being really before our senses, is not accidental to us when we kneel. Since Dr Burges698 hath been so dull and sottish as to write that “signs are but accidentally before the communicants when they receive,” he is to be ignominiously exsibilat for making the sacred sacramental signs to be no otherwise present than the walls of the church, the nails and timber of the material table whereupon the elements are set, or anything else accidentally before the communicants. But, 2. Put the case, they did make the elements only active objects of worship when they kneel in the act of receiving them. What! Do some Papists make more of their images when they worship before them? They hold, as the Archbishop of Spalato noteth,699 that Imago est medium duntaxat seu instrumentum quo exemplar occurrit suo honoratori, cultori, adoratori: imago excitat tantummodo memoriam, ut in exemplar feratur. Will we have them to speak for themselves? Suarez will have Imagines esse occasiones vel signa excitantia hominem ad adorandum prototype.700 Friar Pedro de Cabrera,701 a Spaniard, taketh the opinion of Durand and his followers to be this: That images are adored only improperly, because they put men in mind of the persons represented by them; and he reasoneth against them thus: “If images were only to be worshipped by way of rememoration and recordation, because they make us remember the samplers which we do so worship as if they had been then present, it would follow that all creatures should be adored with the same adoration [pg 1-194] wherewith we worship God, seeing all of them do lead us unto the knowledge and remembrance of God.” Whereby it is evident, that in the opinion of Durand,702 and those who are of his mind, images are but active objects of adoration. Lastly, what saith Becane the Jesuit?703 Imago autem Christi non est occasio idololatriæ apud nos catholicos, quia non alium ob finem eam retinemus, quam ut nobis Christum salvatorem, et beneficia ejus representet. More particularly he will have the image of Christ honoured for two reasons. 1. Quia honor qui exhibetur imagini, redundat in eum cujus est imago. 2. Quia illud in pretio haberi potest, quod per se revocat nobis in memoriam beneficia Dei, et est occasio ut pro eis acceptis grati existamus. At imago Christi per se revocat nobis in memoriam beneficium nostræ redemptionis, &c. That for this respect the image of Christ is honoured, he confirmed by this simile: Quia ob eandem causam apud nos in pretio ac honore sunt sacra Biblia, itemque festa paschatis, pentecostes, nativitatis, et passionis Christi. What higher account is here made of images than to be active objects of worship? For even whilst it is said that the honour done to the image resulteth to him whose image it is, there is no honour ascribed to the image as a passive object; but they who honour an image for this respect, and with this meaning, have it only for an active object which represents and calls to their mind the first sampler, as the Archbishop of Spalato also observeth.704 Neither the Papists only, but some also of the very heathen idolaters, norunt in imaginibus nihil deitatis inesse, meras autem esse rerum absentium repræsentationes,705 &c. And what if neither heathens nor Papists had been of this opinion, that images are but active objects of worship? Yet I have before observed, that the Bishop himself acknowledgeth it were idolatry to set before us an image as the active object of our adoration, though the worship should be abstracted from the image.

Sect. 12. Finally, To shut up this point, it is to be noted that the using of the sacramental [pg 1-195] elements, as active objects of worship only, cannot make kneeling before them in the receiving to be idolatry; for then might we lawfully, and without idolatry, kneel before every active object which stirreth up our minds to worship God. All the works of God are such active objects, as the Bishop also resolveth in the words before cited. Yet may we not, at the sight of every one of God's works, kneel down and adore, whilst the eyes, both of body and mind, are fixed upon it, as the means and occasion which stirreth us up to worship God. The Bishop, indeed, holdeth, we may, only he saith this is not necessary,706 because when, by the sight of the creatures of God we are moved privately to worship, our external gesture of adoration is arbitrary, and sometimes no gesture at all is required. But in the ordinary ministry, when the works of God or his benefits are propounded, or applied publicly, to stir us up to worship in the assemblies of the church, then our gesture ceaseth to be arbitrary; for it must be such as is prescribed and received in the church where we worship. Ans. 1. He shuffleth the point decently, for when he speaks of being moved to worship at the sight of any creature, he means of inward worship, as is evident by these words, “Sometime no gesture at all is required;” but when he speaks of being moved to worship in the assemblies of the church, by the benefits of God propounded publicly (for example, by the blessed sacrament), then he means of outward worship, as is evident by his requiring necessarily a gesture. He should have spoken of one kind of worship in both cases, namely, of that which is outward; for of no other do we dispute. When we are moved by the sacrament to adore God in the act of receiving, thus can be no other but that which is inward, and thus we adore God by faith, hope, and love, though neither the heart be praying, nor the body kneeling. That which we deny (whereof himself could not be ignorant) is, that the sacramental elements may be to us, in the receiving, active objects of outward adoration; or because they move us to worship inwardly, that therefore we should adore outwardly. 2. Whereas he teacheth that kneeling before any creature, when thereby we are moved to worship privately, is lawful; but kneeling before the sacramental [pg 1-196] elements, when thereby we are moved to worship in the assemblies of the church, is necessary; that we may kneel there, but we must kneel here, he knew, or else he made himself ignorant that both these should be denied by us. Why, then, did he not make them good? Kneeling before those active objects which stir up our hearts to worship, if it be necessary in the church, it must first be proved lawful both in the church and out of it. Now, if a man meeting his lord riding up the street upon his black horse, have his heart stirred up to worship God, by something which he seeth either in himself or his horse, should fall down and kneel before him or his horse, as the active object of his worship, I marvel whether the Bishop would give the man leave to kneel, and stand still as the active object before the man's senses? As for us, we hold that we may not kneel before every creature which stirreth up our hearts to worship God; kneel, I say, whilst the eyes both of body and mind are fastened upon it as the active object of our adoration.

Sect. 13. The fourth reason whereby I prove the kneeling in question to be idolatry, proceedeth thus. Kneeling in the act of receiving, for reverence to the sacrament, is idolatry. But the kneeling in question is such, therefore, &c. The proposition is necessary. For if they exhibit divine adoration (such as then kneeling is confessed to be) for reverence of the sacrament, they do not only give, but also intend to give, divine adoration to the same. This is so undeniable that it dasheth Bishop Lindsey,707 and makes him give a broad confession, that it is idolatry to kneel at the sacrament for reverence to the elements. The assumption I prove from the confession of Formalists. King Edward's book of Common Prayer teacheth, that kneeling at the communion is enjoined for this purpose, that the sacrament might not be profaned, but held in a reverent and holy estimation. So doth Dr Mortoune tell us,708 that the reason wherefore the church of England hath institute kneeling in the act of receiving the sacrament, is, that thereby we might testify our due estimation of such holy rites. Paybody709 makes one of the respects of kneeling to be the reverent handling and using of the sacrament. The Bishop of Winchester [pg 1-197] exclaimeth against such as do not kneel, for not regarding the table of the Lord, which hath ever been thought of all holies the most holy, and for denying reverence to the holy symbols and precious memorials of our greatest delivery, even the reverence which is given to prayer. Where, by the way, I observe, that when we kneel at prayer it is not to give reverence to prayer, but to God, whom then most immediately we adore, so that kneeling for reverence of the sacrament receiveth no commendation from kneeling at prayer. The Act of Perth about kneeling, when Bishop Lindsey had polished and refined it as well as he could, ordained us to kneel at the sacrament in due regard of so divine a mystery. And what think we is understood by this mystery, for reverence whereof we are commanded to kneel? The Bishop710 expoundeth this mystery to be the receiving of the body and blood of Christ. But here he either means the spiritual receiving of the body and blood of Christ, or the sacramental. If the spiritual, why did not the Synod ordain us to kneel in hearing the gospel? for therein we receive spiritually the body and blood of Christ, and that as truly and really as in the sacrament. Whereupon the Archbishop of Armagh showeth,711 that the spiritual and inward feeding upon the body and blood of Christ is to be found out of the sacrament, and that divers of the fathers do apply the sixth of John to the hearing of the word also, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Eusebius, as Cæsiriensis, and others. Basilius Magnus likewise teacheth plainly, that we eat the flesh of Christ in his word and doctrine. This, I am sure, no man dare deny. The Bishop, then, must mean by this mystery the sacramental receiving of the body and blood of Christ. Now, the sacramental receiving of the body and blood of Christ, is the receiving of the sacramental signs of his body and blood. And as the Archbishop of Armagh also observeth,712 the substance which is outwardly delivered in the sacrament, is not really the body and blood of Christ. Again he saith,713 that the bread and wine are not really the body and blood of Christ, but figuratively and sacramentally. Thus he opposeth the sacramental [pg 1-198] presence of the body and blood of Christ not only to bodily, but also to real presence; and by just analogy, sacramental receiving of the body and blood of Christ is not only to be opposed to a receiving of his body and blood into the hands and mouths of our bodies, but likewise to the real receiving of the same spiritually into our souls. It remaineth, therefore, that kneeling in due regard of the sacramental receiving of the body and blood of Christ, must be expounded to be kneeling in reverence of the sacramental signs of Christ's body and blood; and so Perth's canon, and the Bishop's commentary upon it, fall in with the rest of those Formalists cited before, avouching and defending kneeling for reverence to the sacrament.

Sect. 14. Those who speak out more plainly than Bishop Lindsey, do here object to us, that reverence is due to the sacrament, and that we ourselves do reverence it when we sit uncovered at the receiving of it. But Didoclavius714 doth well distinguish betwixt veneration and adoration, because in civility we use to be uncovered, even to inferiors and equals, for the regard which we bear to them, yet do we not worship them as we worship the king, on our knees.715 As, then, in civility, there is a respect and reverence different from adoration, so it is in religion also. Yea, Bellarmine716 himself distinguisheth the reverence which is due to holy things from adoration. Paybody717 and Dr Burges718 will by no means admit this distinction betwixt veneration and adoration. But since neither of them hath alleged any reason against it, I hope they will be weighed down by the authority of the Archbishop of Spalato,719 and the Bishop of Edinburgh,720 both of whom agree to this distinction. So, then, we give no adoration at all to the sacrament, because neither by any outward or inward action do we perform any worship for the honour of the same. Burges himself hath noted to us,721 that the first Nicene council exhorteth that men should not be humiliter intenti to the things before them. We neither submit our minds nor humble [pg 1-199] our bodies to the sacrament, yet do we render to it veneration,722 forasmuch as we esteem highly of it, as a most holy thing, and meddle reverently with it, without all contempt or unworthy usage. Res profecto inanimatae, saith the Archbishop of Spalato,723 sint sacrae quantum placet, alium honorem à nobis non merentur, nisi in sensu negativo, as that they be not contemned, nor unworthily handled. If it be said that we ought not to contemn the word, yet hath it not that respect given to it which the sacrament hath, at which we are uncovered, so that this veneration given to the sacrament must be somewhat more than profanatio,—I answer, as honour both in the positive and negative sense, has various degrees, and according to the more or less immediate manifestation of divine ordinances to us, so ought the degrees of our veneration to be intended or remitted; which is not so to be understood as if one part of God's sacred worship were to be less contemned than another (for none of God's most holy ordinances may be in any sort contemned), but that for the greater regard of those things which are more immediately divine, we are not in the usage of them, to take to ourselves so much scope and liberty as otherwise we may lawfully allow to ourselves in meddling with such things as are not merely but mixedly divine, and which are not from God so immediately as the other, but more by the intervention of means; and thus a higher degree of veneration is due to the sacrament than to the word preached, not by taking aught from the word, but by adding more respect to the sacrament than the word hath. The reason hereof is given to be this,724 because when we come to the sacrament, nihil hic humanum, sed divina omnia; for Christ's own words are, or at least should be spoken to us when we receive the sacrament, and the elements also are, by Christ's own institution, holy symbols of his blessed body and blood; whereas the word preached to us is but fixedly and mediately divine; and because of this intervention of the ministry of men, and mixture of their conceptions with the holy Scriptures of God, we are bidden try the spirits, and are required, after the example of the Bereans, to search the Scriptures daily, whether these things which we hear preached be so or not. [pg 1-200] Now we are not in the like sort to try the elements, and the words of the institution, whether they be of God or not, because this is sure to all who know out of Scripture the first principles of the oracles of God. The consideration hereof warneth us, that the sacrament given, according to Christ's institution, is more merely and immediately divine than is the word preached; but others (I hear) object, that if a man should uncover his head at the sight of a graven image, we would account this to be an adoring of the image; and why then shall not we call our uncovering at the sacrament adoration also? Ans. Though veneration and adoration be distinguished in holy things to show that adoration given to them is idolatry, but veneration given to them is not idolatry, yet in profane things, such as images are, veneration given to them is idolatry, as well as adoration; and we are idolaters for doing so much as to respect and reverence them as things sacred or holy; for, as I touched before, and as Zanchius evidenceth by sundry instances,725 idolatry is committed when more estimation is had of anything, more dignity and excellency placed in it, and more regard had to it than God alloweth, or than can stand with God's revealed will; for a thing thus regarded, though it be not exalted ut Deus simpliciter, yet it is set up tanquam Deus ex parte.

Sect. 15. Now Fifthly, If the kneeling in question be not idolatrously referred to the sacrament, I demand whereunto is it specially intended? We have heard the confession of some of our opposites (and those not of the smallest note) avouching kneeling for reverence of the sacrament. Neither can the mystery spoken of in the Act of Perth (in due regard whereof we are ordained to kneel), be any other than the sacrament. Yet because Bishop Lindsey, and some of his kind who desire to hide the foul shape of their idolatry with the trimmest fairding they can, will not take with the kneeling in reverence of the sacrament, let them show us which is the object which they do specially adore, when they kneel in receiving of the same; for this their kneeling at this time ariseth from another respect than that which they consider in other parts of God's worship, let two of our prelates tell it out: Archbishop of St. Andrews would teach out of Mouline that we ought to adore the flesh [pg 1-201] of Jesus Christ in the eucharist;726 the Bishop of Edinburgh also will have us to worship the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament,727 because the humanity of Christ is there present, being ever and everywhere joined with the divinity. But a twofold idolatry may be here deprehended. 1. In that they worship the flesh and blood of Christ. 2. In that they worship the same in the sacrament. As touching the first, albeit we may and should adore the man Christ with divine worship, yet we may not adore his manhood, or his flesh and blood. 1. Because though the man Christ be God, yet his manhood is not God, and by consequence cannot be honoured with divine worship. 2. If adorability agree to the humanity of Christ, then may his humanity help and save us: idolaters are mocked by the Spirit of God for worshipping things which cannot help nor save them. But the humanity of Christ cannot save us nor help us, because omnis actio est suppositi, whereas the human nature of Christ is not suppositum. 3. None of those who defend the adoring of the humanity of Christ with divine worship, do well and warrantably express their opinion. First, some of the schoolmen have found no other respect wherefore the manhood of Christ can be said to be adored,728 except this, that the flesh of Christ is adored by him who adores the word incarnate, even as the king's clothes are adored by him who adores the king. And thus they make the flesh of Christ to be adored only per accidens. Ego vero, saith the Archbishop of Spalato,729 non puta a quoquam regis vestimenta quibus est indutus, adorari. And, I pray, why doth he that worships the king worship his clothes more than any other thing which is about him, or beside him, perhaps a hawk upon his hand, or a little dog upon his knee? There is no more but the king's own person set by the worshipper to have any state in the worship, and therefore no more worshipped by him. Others devise another respect wherefore the manhood of Christ may be said to be worshipped,730 namely, that as divine worship agrees only to the Godhead, and not personis divinis praecise sumptis, i.e., sub ratione formali constitutiva personarum quae est [pg 1-202] relatio: but only as these relations identificantur with the essence of the Godhead; so the manhood of Christ is to be adored non per se proecise, sed prout suppositatur à Deo. I answer, if by suppositatur they mean (as they must mean) that the manhood is assumed into the unity of the person of the Son of God (for otherwise if they mean that the manhood is made a person, they are Nestorians), that which they say cannot warrant the worshipping of the manhood with divine worship, because the manhood, even after this assumption and hypostatical union, and being considered by us as now assumed into this personal union, is still for all that a creature, and a distinct nature from the Godhead (except we will be Eutychians), so that it cannot yet be said to be worshipped with divine worship. Dr Field layeth out a third way;731 for whilst he admitteth the phrase of the Lutherans, who say not only concretively that the man Christ is omnipresent, but the humanity also, he forgeth a strange distinction. “When we speak (saith he) of the humanity of Christ, sometimes we understand only that human created essence of a man that was in him, sometimes all that is implied in the being of a man, as well subsistence as essence.” By the same distinction would Field defend the attributing of the other divine properties (and adorability among the rest) to the human nature. But this distinction is no better than if a man should say, by blackness sometimes we understand blackness, and sometimes whiteness. Who ever confounded abstractum and concretum, before that in Field's field they were made to stand for one? It is the tenet of the school, that though in God concretum and abstractum differ not, because Deus and Deitas are the same, yet in creatures (whereof the manhood of Christ is one) they are really differenced. For concretum signifieth aliquid completum subsistens, and abstractum (such as humanity) signifieth732 something, non ut subsistens, sed in quo aliquid est, as whiteness doth not signify that thing which is white, but that whereby it is white. How comes it then that Field makes humanity, in the abstract, to have a subsistence? Antonius Sadeel censures Turrianus733 for saying that albedo cum pariete, idem est atque paries albus: his reason is, because albedo dicitur [pg 1-203] esse, non cum pariete sed in pariete. An abstract is no more an abstract if it have a subsistence.

There is yet a fourth sense remaining, which is Augustine's, and theirs who speak with him. His sentence which our opposites cite for them is, that it is sin not to adore the flesh of Christ, howbeit very erroneously he groundeth that which he saith upon those words of the psalm, “Worship at his footstool,” taking this footstool to be the flesh of Christ. Yet that his meaning was better than his expression, and that he meant not that adoration should be given to the flesh of Christ, but to the Godhead, whose footstool the flesh is, it is plain from those words which Burges himself citeth out of him:734 “To whatsoever earth, i.e., flesh of Christ, thou bowest and prostrate thyself, look not on it as earth, i.e., as flesh; but look at that Holy One whose footstool is that thou dost adore, i.e., look to the Godhead of Christ, whose flesh thou dost adore in the mysteries.” Wherefore if we would give any sound sense to their words who say that the flesh of Christ is to be adored, we must note with A. Polanus,735 that cum dicitur carnem Christi adorari, non est propria sed figurata enunciatio; quia non adoratur proprie caro secundum se, quia creatura est, sed Deus in carne manifestatis, seu Deus carne vestitus. But two things I will here advertise my reader of.

1. That though this form of speaking, which saith that the flesh of Christ is to be adored, being thus expounded, receiveth a sound sense, yet the expression is very bad, and violence is done to the phrase when such a meaning is drawn out of it. For how can we, by the flesh of Christ, understand his Godhead? The communion of properties admitteth us to put the man Christ for God, but not his manhood. And Hooker teacheth rightly,736 “that by force of union, the properties of both natures (and by consequence, adorability, which is a property of the divine nature) are imputed to the person only in whom they are, and not what belongeth to the one nature really conveyed or translated into the other.”

2. Yet our kneelers who say they adore the flesh of Christ in the sacrament, have no such orthodox (though forced) meaning whereby to expound themselves. For Bishop [pg 1-204] Lindsey will have us,737 in receiving the sacrament, to bow our knees and adore the humanity of Christ, by reason of the personal union that it hath with the Godhead; therefore he means that we should, and may adore with divine worship, that which is personally united with the Godhead. And what is that? Not the Godhead sure, but the created nature of the manhood (which not being God but a creature only, cannot without idolatry be worshipped with divine worship). I conclude, therefore, that by the flesh of Christ, which he will have to be adored in the sacrament, he understands not the Godhead, as Augustine doth, but that created nature which is united with the Godhead.

Sect. 16. But, Secondly, As we have seen what is to be thought of worshipping the flesh of Christ, so let us next consider what may be thought of worshipping his flesh in the sacrament; for this was the other head which I proposed. Now, they who worship the flesh of Christ in the sacrament, must either consider it as present in the sacrament, and in that respect to be adored, because of the personal union of it with the word, or else because of the sacramental union of it with the outward sign, which is a respect supervenient to that of the ubiquity of it in the person of the word. First, then, touching the former of those respects, the personal union of the flesh with the word can neither infer the presence of the flesh in the sacrament to those who worthily receive, nor yet can it make anything for the adoration of the flesh. Not the former; for in respect of the ubiquity of the flesh in the person of the word, it is ever and alike present with the communicants, whether they receive worthily or not, and with the bread and wine, whether they be consecrated to be the signs of his body and blood or not. Therefore divines rightly hold praesentiam corporis Christi in caena, non ab ubiquitate, sed à verbis Christi pendere.738 Not the latter neither; for (as I have showed already) notwithstanding of the personal union, yet the flesh of Christ remaineth a creature, and is not God, and so cannot at all be worshipped with divine worship. And if his flesh, could be at all so worshipped,739 [pg 1-205] yet were there no reason for worshipping it in the sacrament (in respect of its personal union with the word) more than in all other actions, and at all other times, for ever and always is the flesh of Christ personally united with the word, and in that respect present to us. There remaineth therefore nothing but that other respect of the sacramental union of the flesh of Christ with the sacramental sign, which they can have for worshipping his flesh in the sacrament. Whereas Bishop Lindsey saith,740 “that it is no error to believe the spiritual, powerful, and personal presence of Christ's body at the sacrament, and in that respect to worship his flesh and blood there,”—he means, sure, some special respect, for which it may be said that Christ's body is present at the sacrament (so as it is not present out of the sacrament), and in that respect to be there adored. Now Christ's body is spiritually and powerfully present to us in the word (as I showed before), yea, as often as looking by faith upon his body broken and blood shed for us, we receive the sense and assurance of the remission of our sins through his merits, and as for this personal presence of Christ's body which he speaketh of, I have showed also that the adoring of the flesh of Christ in the sacrament cannot be inferred upon it, wherefore he can tell us nothing which may be thought to infer the presence of Christ's flesh in the sacrament, and the adoration of it in that respect, save only the sacramental union of it with the outward sign. Now adoration in this respect, and for this reason, must suppose the bodily presence of Christ's flesh in the sacrament. Whereupon the Archbishop of Spalato saith, “that the Papists adore the body of Christ in the sacrament, only because of the supposition of the bodily presence of it, and if they knew that the true body of Christ is not under the species of the bread and wine, they would exhibit no adoration.” And elsewhere he showeth,741 that the mystery of the eucharist cannot make the manhood of Christ to be adored, quia in pane corporalis Christi praesentia non est implying, that if the flesh of Christ be adored in respect of the mystery of the eucharist, then must it be bodily present in the sign, which is false, and hereupon he [pg 1-206] gathereth truly, that it cannot be adored in respect of the mystery of the eucharist.

Further, It is to be remembered (which I have also before noted out of Dr Usher742) that the sacramental presence of the body of Christ, or that presence of it which is inferred upon that sacramental union which is betwixt it and the outward sign, is not the real or spiritual presence of it (for in this manner it is present to us out of the sacrament, even as oft as by faith we apprehend it and the virtue thereof); but it is figuratively only so called, the sense being this, that the body of Christ is present and given to us in the sacrament, meaning by his body, the sign of his body. These things being so, whosoever worshippeth Christ's body in the eucharist, and that in respect of the sacramental presence of it in the same, cannot choose but hold that Christ's body is bodily and really under the species of the bread, and so fall into the idolatry of bread-worship; or else our divines743 have not rightly convinced the Papists, as idolatrous worshippers of the bread in the eucharist, forasmuch as they attribute to it that which it is not, nor hath not, to wit, that under the accidents thereof is contained substantially the true and living body of Christ, joined and united to his Godhead. What can Bishop Lindsey now answer for himself, except he say with one of his brethren,744 that we should adore the flesh of Christ in the sacrament, because corporalis praesentia Christi, sed non modo corporalis, comitatur sacramentum eucharistiae. And Christ is there present corporaliter, modo spirituali? But this man contradicts himself miserably; for we had him a little before acknowledging that in pane corporalis Christi praesentia non est. How shall we then reconcile him with himself? He would say that Christ is not bodily present in the sacrament after a bodily manner, but he is bodily present after a spiritual manner. Why should I blot paper with such a vanity, which implieth a contradiction, bodily and not bodily, spiritually and not spiritually.

Sect. 17. The sixth and last argument whereby I prove the kneeling in question to be idolatry, is taken from the nature and kind of the worship wherein it is used. For [pg 1-207] the receiving of the sacrament being a mediate worship of God, wherein the elements come between God and us, in such sort that they belong to the substance of the worship (for without the elements, the sacrament is not a sacrament), and withal are susceptive of co-adoration, forasmuch as in the act of receiving, both our minds and our external senses are, and should be, fastened upon them, hereby we evince the idolatry of kneeling in the receiving. For in every mediate worship, wherein some creature is purposely set between God and us to have state in the same, it is idolatry to kneel before such a creature, whilst both our minds and senses are fastened upon it. Our opposites have talked many things together to infringe this argument. First, They allege the bowing of God's people before the ark,745 the temple, the holy mountain, the altar, the bush, the cloud, the fire which came from heaven. Ans. 1. Where they have read that the people bowed before the altar of God, I know not. Bishop Lindsey indeed would prove746 from 2 Chron vi. 12, 13, and Mich. vi. 6, that the people bowed before the altar and the offering. But the first of those places speaks nothing of kneeling before the altar, but only of kneeling before the congregation, that is, in the sight of the congregation. And if Solomon had then kneeled before the altar, yet the altar had been but occasionally and accidentally before him in his adoration, for to what end and use could he have purposely set the altar before him, whilst he was kneeling and praying? The place of Micah cannot prove that God's people did kneel before the offerings at all (for it speaks only of bowing before God), far less, that they kneeled before them in the very act of offering, and that with their minds and senses fixed upon them, as we kneel in the very act of receiving the sacrament, and that at that instant when our minds and senses are fastened upon the signs, that we may discern the things signified by them, for the exercising of our hearts in a thankful meditation upon the Lord's death. 2. As for the other examples here alleged, God was immediately present, in and with the ark, the temple, the holy mountain, the bush, the cloud, and the fire which came from heaven, speaking and manifesting himself to his people by his [pg 1-208] own immediate voice, and miraculous extraordinary presence, so that worshipping before these things had the same reason which makes the twenty-four elders in heaven worship before the throne, Rev. iv. 10; for in these things God did immediately manifest his presence as well as in heaven. Though there be a difference in the degrees of the immediate manifestation of his presence in earth and in heaven, yet magis et minus non variant speciem. Now God is present in the sacrament, not extraordinarily, but in the way of an ordinary dispensation, not immediately, but mediately. They must therefore allege some commendable examples of such a kneeling as we dispute about, in a mediate and ordinary worship, else they say nothing to the point.

Sect. 18. Yet to no better purpose they tell us,747 that when God spoke, Abraham fell on his face, and when the fire came down at Elijah's prayer, the people fell on their faces. What is this to the purpose? And how shall kneeling in a mediate and ordinary worship be warranted by kneeling in the hearing of God's own immediate voice, or in seeing the miraculous signs of his extraordinary presence? Howbeit it cannot be proved, neither, that the people fell on their faces in the very act of seeing the fire fall (when their eyes and their minds were fastened upon it), but that after they had seen the miracle wrought, they so considered of it as to fall down and worship God.

But further, it is objected,748 “that a penitentiary kneels to God purposely before the congregation, and with a respect to the congregation, &c. When we come to our common tables before we eat, either sitting with our heads discovered, or standing, or kneeling, we give thanks and bless, with a respect to the meat, which is purposely set on table, &c. The pastor, when he begins the holy action, hath the bread and the cup set before him purposely upon the table, and with respect to them he gives thanks,” &c.

Ans. Though a penitentiary kneel to God purposely in the presence and sight of the congregation, that he may make known to them his repentance for the sin whereby he hath scandalised them, yet is the confessing of his sin to God, kneeling there upon his knees, an immediate worship, neither doth [pg 1-209] the congregation come betwixt him and God, as belonging to the substance of this worship, for he kneeleth to God as well, and maketh confession of his sin, when the congregation is not before him. But I suppose our kneelers themselves will confess, that the elements come so betwixt God and them when they kneel, that they belong to the essence of the worship in hand, and that they would not, nor could not, worship the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament, if the elements were not before them.

To be short, the case of a penitentiary standeth thus, that not in his kneeling simpliciter, but in his kneeling publicly and in sight of the congregation, he setteth them before him purposely, and with a respect to them, whereas our kneelers do kneel in such sort that their kneeling simpliciter, and without an adjection or adjunct, hath a respect to the elements purposely set before them, neither would they at all kneel for that end and purpose for which they do kneel, namely, for worshipping the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament,749 except the elements were before the eyes both of their minds and bodies, as the penitentiary doth kneel for making confession of his sin to God, when the congregation is not before him.

And if one would say, that in kneeling at the sacrament he worshippeth not the flesh and blood of Christ, but the Lord his God only, yet is the same difference to be put betwixt his kneeling before the elements, and the kneeling of a penitentiary before the congregation, for the very kneeling itself (simply considered) before the elements, respecteth them as then purposely set in our sight that we may kneel before them, whereas, in the case of the penitentiary, it is not his kneeling to confess his sin to God which hath a respect to the congregation as set in his sight for that purpose, but some circumstances of his kneeling only, to wit, when? At that time when the congregation is assembled. And where? Publicly in sight of the congregation! In regard of these circumstances, he hath the congregation purposely in his sight, and so respecteth them, but in regard of the kneeling itself simply, the presence of the congregation is but accidental to him who kneeleth and confesseth his sin before God. As touching giving thanks before the meat set on our common [pg 1-210] tables, though a man should do it kneeling, yet this speaketh not home to the point now in controversy, except a man so kneel before his meat, that he have a religious respect to it as a thing separated from a common use and made holy, and likewise have both his mind, and his external senses of seeing, touching, and tasting, fastened upon it in the act of his kneeling. And if a man should thus kneel before his meat, he were an idolater.

Lastly, Giving thanks before the elements of bread and wine, in the beginning of the holy action, is as far from the purpose; for this giving of thanks is an immediate worship of God, wherein we have our minds and senses, not upon the bread and wine as upon things which have a state in that worship of the Lord's supper, and belong to the substance of the same (for the very consecration of them to this use is but then in fieri), but we worship God immediately by prayer and giving of thanks, which is all otherwise in the act of receiving.

Sect. 19. Moreover it is objected750 out of Lev. ix. 24; 2 Chron. vii. 3; Mich. vi. 6; 2 Chron. xxix. 28-30, that all the people fell on their faces before the legal sacrifices, when the fire consumed the burnt-offering.

Whereunto it may be answered, that the fire which came from God and consumed the burnt-offerings, was one of the miraculous signs of God's extraordinary and immediate presence (as I have said before), and therefore kneeling before the same hath nothing to do with the present purpose.

But if we will particularly consider all these places, we find in the first two, that beside the fire, the glory of the Lord did also appear in a more miraculous and extraordinary manner, Lev. ix. 23, “The glory of the Lord appeared to all the people;” 2 Chron. vii. 1, 12, “The glory of the Lord filled the house.” They are therefore running at random who take hold of those places to draw out of them the lawfulness of kneeling in a mediate and ordinary worship.

The place of Micah I have answered before; and here I add, that though it could be proved from that place (as it cannot), that the people have bowed before the offerings, and that in the very act of offering, yet how shall it be proved, that in the act of their kneeling they had the offerings [pg 1-211] purposely before them, and their minds and senses fixed upon them in the very instant of their worshipping.

This I make clear by the last place, 2 Chron. xxix., out of which no more can be drawn but that the people worshipped whilst the priests were yet offering the burnt-offering. Now the burnt-offering was but accidentally before the people in their worshipping, and only because it was offered at the same time when the song of the Lord was sung, ver. 27. Such was the forwardness of zeal in restoring religion and purging the temple, that it admitted no stay, but eagerly prosecuted the work till it was perfected; therefore the thing was done suddenly, ver. 36. Since, then, the song and the sacrifice were performed at the same time, we must note that the people worshipped at that time, not because of the sacrifice, which was a mediate worship, but because of the song of the Lord, which was an immediate worship. Now we all commend kneeling in an immediate worship. But this cannot content our opposites; they will needs have it lawful to kneel, in the hearing of the word, purposely, and with a respect to the word preached (though this be a mediate worship only). Their warrants751 are taken out, Exod. iv. 30, 31; Exod. xii. 27; 2 Chron. xx. 18; Matt. xvii. 6. From the first three places no more can be inferred but that these hearers bowed their heads and worshipped, after that they heard the word of the Lord; neither shall they ever warrant bowing and worshipping in the act of hearing.

In the fourth place, we read that the disciples fell on their faces when they heard God's own immediate voice out of the cloud. What maketh this for falling down to worship at the hearing of the word preached by men? How long shall our opposites not distinguish betwixt mediate and immediate worship?

Lastly, It is alleged752 that God, in his word, allows not only kneeling at prayer, out also at circumcision, passover, and baptism. The reason of this assertion is given to be this, that a bodily gesture being necessary, God not determining man upon any one, leaves him at plain liberty. Ans. Whether we be left at plain liberty in all things which being in the general necessary, [pg 1-212] are not particularly determined in God's word, it shall be treated of elsewhere in this dispute. In the meantime, whatsoever liberty God leaves man in bodily gestures, he leaves him no liberty of an unlawful and idolatrous gesture, such as kneeling in the instant of receiving a sacrament, when not only we have the outward sign purposely before us, and our minds and senses fastened upon it, for discerning the signification thereof, and the analogy betwixt it and the thing signified, but also to look upon it as an image of Christ, or as a vicarious sign standing there in Christ's stead. The indifferency of such a gesture in such a mediate worship should have been proved before such a rule (as this here given us for a reason) had been applied to it.

Sect. 20. But the kneelers would yet make more ado to us, and be still stirring if they can do no more. Wherefore one of our doctors objecteth,753 that we lift up our eyes and our hands to heaven, and worship God, yet we do not worship the heaven; that a man going to bed, prayeth before his bed; that David offered the sacrifices of thanksgiving, in the presence of all the people, Psal. cxvi; that Paul, having taken bread, gave thanks before all them who were in the ship, Acts xxvii. 36; that the Israelites worshipped before Moses and Aaron, Exod. iv. 31. Hereupon another doctor, harping upon the same string, tells us,754 that when we kneel in the act of receiving the sacrament, “we kneel no more to bread than to the pulpit when we join our prayers with the minister's.” Oh, unworthy instances, and reproachful to doctors! All these things were and are accidentally present to the worshippers, and not purposely before them, nor respected as having a religious state in the worship. What? Do we worship before the bread in the sacrament, even as before a pulpit, a bed, &c.? Nay, graduate men should understand better what they speak of.

Another objection is,755 that a man who is admitted to the office of a pastor, and receiveth imposition of hands, kneeleth still on his knees till the ordination be ended, the rest about him being standing or sitting.

Ans. Kneeling in receiving imposition of hands, which is joined with prayer and invocation, hath nothing ado with kneeling in [pg 1-213] a mediate worship; for in this case a man kneels because of the immediate worship of invocation; but when there is no prayer, I suppose no man will kneel religiously, and with a religious respect to those persons or things which are before him, as there purposely in his sight, that before them he may adore (which is the kind of kneeling now in question), or if any did so, there were more need to give him instruction than ordination.

It is further told us, that he who is baptized,756 or he who offers him that is to be baptized, humbleth himself, and prayeth that the baptism may be saving unto life eternal, yet worshippeth not the bason nor the water. But how long shall simple ones love simplicity, or rather, scorners hate knowledge? Why is kneeling in the immediate worship of prayer, wherein our minds do purposely respect no earthly thing (but the soul, Psal. xxv. 1, the heart, the hands, Lam. iii. 41, the eyes, Psal. cxxiii. 1, the voice, Psal. v. 3, all directed immediately to heaven) paralleled with kneeling in the mediate worship of receiving the sacrament, wherein we respect purposely the outward sign, which is then in our sight, that both our minds and our external senses may be fastened upon it? Our minds, by meditation, and attentive consideration of that which is signified, and of the representation thereof by the sign. Our senses, by seeing, handling, breaking, tasting, eating, drinking.

Sect. 21. Thus we see that in all these examples alleged by our opposites, there is nothing to prove the lawfulness of kneeling in such a mediate worship, wherein something belonging to the substance of the worship comes between God and us, and is not accidentally, but purposely before us, upon which also our minds and senses in the action of worship are fast fixed. Howbeit there is another respect, wherefore none of these examples can make ought for kneeling in the act of receiving the sacrament (which I have showed before), namely, that in the instant of receiving the sacrament, the elements are actually images and vicarious signs standing in Christ's stead. But belike our kneelers have not satisfied themselves with the roving rabble of these impertinent allegations which they have produced to prove the lawfulness of kneeling in [pg 1-214] a mediate worship, they have prepared another refuge for themselves, which had been needless, if they had not feared that the former ground should fail them.

What then will they say next to us? Forsooth, that when they kneel in the act of receiving, they are praying and praising, and so worshipping God immediately. And if we would know what a man doth then pray for, it is told us, that he is praying and earnestly crying to God,757 ut eum faciat dignum convivam. To us it seems very strange how a man, when he is actually a banqueter, and at the instant of his communicating can be made in any other sort a banqueter than he is; for quicquid est, dum est, non potest non esse. Wherefore if a man in the instant of his receiving be an unworthy banqueter, he cannot at that instant be made any other than he is.

Sect. 22. The truth is, we cannot lawfully be either praying or praising in the very act of receiving, because our hearts and minds should then be exercised in meditating upon Christ's death, and the inestimable benefits which comes to us thereby. 1 Cor. xi. 23, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

This remembrance is described, ver. 26, “Ye do show the Lord's death.” Now one of the special ways whereby we remember Christ, and so do show forth his death, is by private meditation upon his death, as Pareus resolveth.758

This meditation is a speech of the soul to itself; and though it may stand with short ejaculations, which may and should have place in all our actions, yet can it not stand with an ordinary and continued prayer purposely conceived, as Bishop Lindsey would maintain.759 For how can we orderly both speak to God by prayer, and to ourselves by meditation, at one instant of time? If therefore prayer be purposely and orderly conceived, it banisheth away meditation, which should be the soul's exercise in the receiving of the sacrament. And by the contrary, if meditation be entertained as it should be, it admitteth not prayer to have place at that time. For it is well said,760 that Dum auribus, oculis, manibus, dentibus exterius, auribus, oculis, manibus, dentibus fidei interius occupamur, orationem continuam et durabilem, absque mentis divagatione [pg 1-215] ab opere praecepto et imperato, instruere non possumus.

Sect. 23. But let us hear how the Bishop proveth that we should be praying and praising in the act of receiving the sacrament. “Whatsoever spiritual benefit (saith he)761 we should receive with a spiritual hunger and thirst, and with a spiritual appetite and desire after the grace and virtue that is therein to salvation, the same we should receive with prayer, which is nothing else but such an appetite and desire; but the body and blood of Christ is such a benefit,” &c.

Ans. 1. Why did not he prove his proposition? Thought he his bare assertion should suffice? God's word is a spiritual benefit, which we should receive with spiritual hunger and thirst; yet the Bishop will not say that we should be praying all the while we are hearing and receiving it, for then could not our minds be attentive. His proposition therefore is false; for though prayer should go before the receiving of such a spiritual benefit as the word or the sacrament, yet we should not pray in the act of receiving. For how can the heart attend, by serious consideration, to what we hear in the word, or what is signified and given to us in the sacrament, if in the actions of hearing the word and receiving the sacrament, it should be elevated out of the world by prayer?

2. Why saith he that prayer is nothing else but a spiritual appetite or desire? He thought hereby to strengthen his proposition, but we deny all. He said before,762 that every prayer is a meditation, and here he saith, that prayer is nothing else but a spiritual desire. These are uncouth descriptions of prayer. Prayer is not meditation, because meditation is a communing with our own souls, prayer a communing with God. Nor yet can it be said that prayer is nothing else but a spiritual desire; for prayer is the sending up of our desires to God, being put in order.

Sect. 24. He speeds no better in proving that we should receive the sacrament with thanksgiving. “Whatsoever benefit (saith he) we should receive by extolling, and preaching, and magnifying, and praising the inestimable worth and excellency thereof, the same we ought to receive with thanksgiving. [pg 1-216] But in the sacrament we should receive the blood of Christ with extolling and preaching,” &c. The assumption he confirms by the words of our Saviour, “Do this in remembrance of me,” and by the words of St. Paul, “So oft as ye shall eat this bread and drink this cup, ye shall declare, that is, extol, magnify, and praise the Lord's death, till he come again.”

Ans. His assumption is false, neither can his proofs make it true.

1. We remember Christ in the act of receiving by meditation, and not by praise.

2. We show forth the Lord's death in the act of receiving, by using the signs and symbols of his body broken, and his blood shed for us, and by meditating upon his death thereby represented.

3. We deny not that by praise we show forth the Lord's death also, but this is not in the act of receiving. It is to be marked with Pareus,763 that the showing forth of the Lord's death, must not be restricted to the act of receiving the sacrament, because we do also show forth his death by the preaching of the gospel, and by private and public celebration of it, yea, by a perpetual study of sanctification and thankfulness. So that the showing forth of the Lord's death, by extolling, preaching, magnifying, and praising the same, according to the twenty-third section of the Confession of Faith, to which his argument hath reference, may not be expounded of the very act of receiving the sacrament. Neither do the words of the institution refuse, but easily admit, another showing forth of the Lord's death than that which is in the very act of receiving, for the word is not quando, but quoties. It is only said, “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show,” &c. Which words cannot be taken only of the instant of eating and drinking.

Sect. 25. Now having so strongly proved the unlawfulness and idolatry of kneeling in the act of receiving the holy communion, let me add, corolarii loco, that the reader needs not to be moved with that which Bishop Lindsey, in the tail of his dispute about the head of kneeling, offers at a dead lift, namely, the testimonies of some modern doctors.

For, 1, What can human testimony avail against such a clear truth? 2. We have more testimonies of divines against kneeling [pg 1-217] than he hath for it. And here I perceive Dr Mortoune, fearing we should come to good speed this way,764 would hold in our travel: “We are not ignorant (saith he) that many Protestant authors are most frequent in condemning the gesture of kneeling at the receiving of the holy communion.”

3. Testimonies against kneeling are gathered out of those very same divines whom the Bishop allegeth for it; for Didoclavius765 hath clear testimonies against it out of Calvin, Beza, and Martyr, whom yet the Bishop taketh to be for it.

Sect. 26. Neither yet need we here to be moved with Dr Burges's766 adventurous untaking to prove that, in the most ancient times, before corruption of the sacrament began, the sacrament was received with an adoring gesture.

He shoots short of his proofs, and hits not the mark. One place in Tertullian, de Oratione, he hammers upon: Similiter de stationum diebus non putant plerique sacrificiorum orationibus interveniendum, quod statio solvenda sit accepto corpore Domini. Ergo devotum Deo obsequium eucharistiae resoluit, an magis Deo obligat? Nonne solennior, erit statio tua, si et ad aram dei steteris? Accepto corpore Domini et reservato, utrumque salvum est, et participatio sacrificii, et executio officii.

To these words the Doctor giveth this sense: That many withdrew themselves when they came to the celebration of the supper, because the body of our Lord, that is, the sacramental bread, being taken of the minister's hand, the station, i.e., standing, must be dissolved and left; and because standing on those days might not be left (as they thought), therefore they rather left the sacrament on those days than they would break the rule of standing on those days; therefore they forbore:

Which can have no reason but this, that taking the holy things at the table standing, yet they used not to partake them, i.e., eat the bread or drink the wine, in any other gesture than what was on the station days then forbidden, kneeling; and that Tertullian wishes them to come, though they might not then kneel, and to take the bread in public, standing at the table, and reserve it, and carry it away with them, and receive [pg 1-218] it at their own houses as they desired, kneeling.

Ans. The Doctor by this puts a weapon in our hands against himself; for if, when they had taken the bread of the minister's hand, their standing was to be left and dissolved, and Tertullian, by commending to them another gesture in the eating of the bread, not standing, then whether urgeth he that other gesture to be used in the public eating of the bread or the private? Not in the private; for his advice of reserving and eating it in private, cometh after, and is only put for a remedy or next best, in case they would not condescend to this course in public, quod statio solvenda sit accepto corpore domini. Needs, then, it must be understood of the public. Now, if in the public eating of the bread standing was to be left, which gesture was to come in place of it? Not kneeling.

For, 1. Tertullian saith767 elsewhere: Diebus dominicis jejunare nefas ducimus, vel de geniculis adorare; cadem immunitate a die Paschae ad Pentcostem usque gaudemus.

2. The doctor himself saith, that upon these station days kneeling was restrained, not only in prayer, but in all divine service.

Wherefore, if, according to the Doctor's gloss, the gesture of standing was left or dissolved, that gesture which had come in place of it to be used in the partaking of the sacrament, can hardly be imagined to have been any other nor sitting.

Well, the doctor hath unhappily raised this spirit to disquiet himself: let him bethink how to lay him again. If he cannot, I will assay to make some help, and to lay him in this fashion. The station days were not the Lord's days, together with those fifty betwixt Easter and Pentecost (on which both fasting and kneeling were forbidden), as the Doctor thinketh, but they were certain set days of fasting; for they appointed the fourth and sixth day of the week (that is, Wednesday and Friday) for their stations, as Tertullian saith;768 whose words we may understand by another place of Epiphanus,769 who writeth that the fast of the fourth and the sixth day was kept throughout all churches, and held to be an apostolical constitution. Howbeit herein they did err; for to appoint a certain time [pg 1-219] of fasting to be kept by the whole church agreeth not with Christian liberty, and wanteth the example of Christ and his apostles, as Osiander noteth.770 Always we see what was meant by station days, to wit, their set days of fifty, fasting, which were called station days, by a speech borrowed from a military custom, as Tertullian teacheth. For as soldiers kept those times and places which were appointed for their watches, and fasted all the while they continued in them, so did Christians upon their station days resort and meet in the place appointed, and there remained fasting till their station dissolved. The Doctor taketh upon him to confute those who understand by the station days set days of fasting; but all which he allegeth to the contrary is, that he findeth somewhere in Tertullian statio and jejunia put for different things. Now this helpeth him not, except he could find that statio and stata jejunia are put for different things; for no man taketh the stations to have been occasional, but only set fasts. Touching the meaning, then, of the words alleged by the Doctor (to give him his own reading of them, howbeit some read otherwise), thus we take it. There were many who came not to the sacrament upon the station days, because (in their opinion) the receiving thereof should break the station, i.e., the service of the day, and that because it should break their fast, a principal duty of the same. Tertullian showeth they were in error, because their partaking of the sacrament should not break their station, but make it the more solemn and remarkable. But if they could not be drawn from that false persuasion of theirs, that the sacrament should break their fast, yet he wisheth them at least to come and stand at the table, and receive the sacrament into their hands, and take it away to eat after (for permitting whereof he had no warrant), so should they both partake the sacrament and also (according to their mind, and to their full contentment) keep their stations, which were often prorogated till even,771 but ever and at least till the ninth hour.772 Finally, from this place, which the Doctor perverteth for kneeling, it appeareth that the gesture or posture in receiving the sacrament used in that place where Tertullian lived, was standing; because, speaking of the receiving [pg 1-220] of the sacrament, he saith, Si et ad aram Dei steteris.

Sect. 27. As for the rest of the testimonies Dr Burges produceth out of the fathers for kneeling,773 I need not insist upon them, for either they speak of the inward adoration of the heart, which we ought to direct unto Christ when we receive the sacrament (and this none of us denieth), or else they speak of adoring the sacrament, where, by the word adoration, we may not understand any divine worship, inward or outward, but a reverence of another nature called veneration. That this (which we deny not neither), and no more, is meant by the fathers when they speak of the adoration of the sacrament, Antonius de Dominis showeth more copiously.774 And thus we have suffered the impetuous current of the Doctor's audacious promises, backed with a verbal discourse to go softly by us. Quid dignum tanto tulit hic promissor hiatu?

Sect. 28. Finally, If any be curious to know what gesture the ancient church did use in the receiving of the eucharist, to such I say, first of all, that Didoclavius maintaineth that which none of our opposites are able to infringe, namely, that no testimony can be produced which may evince that ever kneeling was used before the time of Honorius III., neither is it less truly observed by the author of the History of the Waldenses,775 that bowing of the knees before the host was then only enjoined when the opinion of transubstantiation got place.

Next I say, the ancient gesture, whereof we read most frequently, was standing. Chrysostom, complaining of few communicants, saith,776 Frustra habetur quotidiana oblatio, frustra stamus ad altare, nemo est qui simul participet. The century writers777 make out of Dionysius Alexandrinus's epistle to Xistus, bishop of Rome, that the custom of the church of Alexandria in receiving the sacrament, was, ut mensae assisterent. It is also noted by Hospiman,778 that in the days of Tertullian the Christians stantes sacramenta percipiebant.

Thirdly, I say, since we all know that the primitive Christians did take the holy communion mixedly, and together with their [pg 1-221] love-feasts, in imitation of Christ,779 who, whilst he did eat his other supper, did also institute the eucharist; and since (as it is observed from 1 Cor. xi. 21, 33780) there was a twofold abuse in the church of Corinth “one in their love-feasts, whilst that which should have served for the knitting of the knot of love was used to cut the cords thereof, in that every one (as he best liked) made choice of such as he would have to sit at table with him (the other either not tarried for, or shut out when they came, especially the poor). The other abuse (pulled in by the former) was, for that those which were companions at one table in the common feast communicated also in the sacred with the same separation, and severally from the rest of the church (and the poor especially) which was in their former banquets.”

Since also we read that the same custom of joining the Lord's supper together with common feasts continued long after; for Socrates reporteth,781 that the Egyptians adjoining unto Alexandria, together with the inhabitants of Thebes, used to celebrate the communion upon the Sunday,782 after this manner, “when they have banqueted, filled themselves with sundry delicate dishes, in the evening, after service, they use to communicate.” How, then, can any man think that the gesture then used in the Lord's supper was any other, than the same which was used in the love-feast or common supper? And what was that but the ordinary fashion of sitting at table? Since the Laodicean canon,783 which did discharge the love-feasts about the year 368, importeth no less than that the gesture used in them was sitting Non oportet in Basilicis seu ecclesiis. Agapen facere et intus manducare, vel accubitus sternere. Now, if not only divines of our side, but Papists also, put it out of doubt that Christ gave the eucharist to his apostles sitting, because being set down to the preceding supper, it is said, while as they did eat, he took bread,” &c. (of which things I am to speak afterward), [pg 1-222] what doth hinder us to gather, in like manner, that forasmuch as those primitive Christians did take the Lord's supper whilst they did eat their own love-feasts, therefore they sat at the one as well as the other? And so I close with this collection. Whatsoever gesture in process of time crept into the Lord's supper otherwise than sitting, of it we may truly say, “from the beginning it was not so.”



Sect. 1. That mystical significations are placed in the controverted ceremonies, and that they are ordained to be sacred signs of spiritual mysteries, to teach Christians their duties, and to express such holy and heavenly affections, dispositions, motions and desires, as are and should be in them,—it is confessed and avouched by our opposites. Saravia holdeth,784 that by the sign of the cross we profess ourselves to be Christians; Bishop Mortoune calleth785 the cross a sign of constant profession of Christianity; Hooker calleth786 it “Christ's mark applied unto that part where bashfulness appeareth, in token that they which are Christians should be at no time ashamed of his ignominy;” Dr Burges787 maintaineth the using of the surplice to signify the pureness that ought to be in the minister of God; Paybody788 will have kneeling at the Lord's supper to be a signification of the humble and grateful acknowledging of the benefits of Christ. The prayer which the English service book appointeth bishops to use after the confirming of children by the imposition of hands, avoucheth that ceremony of confirmation for a sign whereby those children are certified of God's favour and good-will towards them. In the general, our opposites defend789 [pg 1-223] that the church hath power to ordain such ceremonies, as by admonishing men of their duty, and by expressing such spiritual and heavenly affections, dispositions, motions, or desires, as should be in men, do thereby stir them up to greater fervour and devotion.

Sect. 2. But against the lawfulness of such mystical and significant ceremonies, thus we dispute: First, A chief part of the nature of sacraments is given unto those ceremonies when they are in this manner appointed to teach by their signification. This reason being alleged by the Abridgement of the Lincoln ministers, Paybody answereth,790 that it is not a bare signification that makes a thing participate of the sacrament's nature, but such a signification as is sacramental, both in what is signified and how. Ans. 1. This is but to beg the question; for what other thing is alleged by us, but that a sacramental signification is placed in those ceremonies we speak of? 2. What calls he a sacramental signification, if a mystical resemblance and representation of some spiritual grace which God hath promised in his word be not it? and that such a signification as this is placed in the ceremonies, I have already made it plain, from the testimonies of our opposites. This, sure, makes those ceremonies so to encroach upon the confines and precincts of the nature and quality of sacraments, that they usurp something more than any rites which are not appointed by God himself can rightly do. And if they be not sacraments, yet, saith Hooker,791 they are as sacraments. But in Augustine's dialect, they are not only as sacraments, but they themselves are sacraments. Signa (saith the father) cum ad res divinas pertinent, sacramenta appellantur; which testimony doth so master Dr Burges, that he breaketh out into this witless answer,792 That the meaning of Augustine was to show that the name of sacraments belongeth properly to divine things, and not to all signs of holy things. I take he would have said, “belongeth properly to the signs of divine things.”

And here, beside that which Ames hath said against him, I add these two things: 1. That this distinction cannot be conceived which the Doctor maketh betwixt the signs of divine things and the signs of holy things. 2. That his other distinction [pg 1-224] can as little be conceived, which importeth that the name of sacraments belongeth to divine things properly, and to all signs of holy things improperly.

Lastly, If we call to mind that which hath been evinced before, namely, that the ceremonies are not only thought to be mystically significant for setting forth and expressing certain spiritual graces, but also operative and available to the begetting of those graces in us, if not by the work wrought, at least by the work of the worker; for example, that the sign of the cross is not only thought by our opposites to signify that at no time we should be ashamed of the ignominy of Christ, but is also esteemed793 to be a means to work our preservation from shame, and a most effectual teacher to avoid that which may deservedly procure shame; and that bishopping is not only thought to be a sign for certifying young children of God's favour and good-will towards them, but also an exhibitive sign,794 whereby they receive strength against sin and tentation, and are assisted in all virtue.

If these things, I say, we call to mind, it will be more manifest that the ceremonies are given out for sacred signs of the very same nature that sacraments are of. For the sacraments are called by divines commemorative, representative and exhibitive signs; and such signs are also the ceremonies we have spoken of, in the opinion of Formalists.

Sect. 3. Mystical and significant ceremonies (to proceed to a second reason), ordained by men, can be no other than mere delusions, and serve only to feed men's minds with vain conceits. For to what other purpose do signa instituta serve, if it be not in the power of him who gives them institution to give or to work that which is signified by them?

Now, it is not in the power of prelates, nor of any man living, to give us these graces, or to work them in us, which they will have to be signified by their mystical and symbolical ceremonies. Wherefore Beza saith795 well of such human rites as are thought to be significant: Quum nulla res signis illis subsit, propterea quod unius Dei est promittere, et suis promissionibus sigillum suum opponere; consequitur omnia illa commenta, inanes esse larvas, [pg 1-225] et vana opinione miseros homines illis propositis signis deludi. Dr Fulk thinks796 he hath alleged enough against the significative and commemorative use of the sign of the cross, when he hath said that it is not ordained of Christ, nor taught by his apostles; from which sort of reasoning it followeth, that all significant signs which are not ordained of Christ, nor taught by his apostles, must be vain, false, and superstitious.

Sect. 4. Thirdly, To introduce significant sacred ceremonies into the New Testament other than the holy sacraments of God's own institution, were to reduce Judaism, and to impose upon us again the yoke of a ceremonial law, which Christ hath taken off.

Upon this ground doth Amandus Polanus reprehend the popish clergy,797 for that they would be distinguished from laics by their priestly apparel in their holy actions, especially in the mass: Illa vestium sacerdotalium distinctio et varietas, erat in veteri Testamento typica; veritate autem exhibita, quid amplius typos requirunt?

Upon this ground also doth Perkins798 condemn all human significant ceremonies. “Ceremonies (saith he) are either of figure and signification, or of order. The first are abrogated at the coming of Christ,” &c.

Upon the same ground doth Chemnitius condemn them,799 Quod vero praetenditur, &c. “But, whereas (saith he) it is pretended that by those rites of men's addition, many things are probably signified, admonished and taught,—hereto it may be answered, that figures do properly belong to the Old Testament, but those things which Christ would have to be taught in the New Testament, he would have them delivered and propounded, not by shadows, but by the light of the word; and we have a promise of the efficacy of the word, but not of figures invented by men.”

Upon the same ground Junius800 findeth fault with ceremonies used for signification: Istis elementis mundi (ut vocantur Col. ii.) Dominus et servator noluit nec docuit, ecclesiam suam informari.

Lastly, We will consider the purpose of Christ whilst he said to the Pharisees,801 “The law and the prophets were until [pg 1-226] John: from that time the kingdom of God is preached.” He had in the parable of the unjust steward, and in the application of the same, spoken somewhat contemptibly of riches, which, when the Pharisees heard, they derided him, and that for this pretended reason (as is evident from the answer which is returned unto them), because the law promises the world's goods as rewards and blessings to the people of God, that by the temporal things which are set forth for types and shadows of eternal things, they might be instructed, helped, and led, as it were by the hand, to the contemplation, desire and expectation, of those heavenly and eternal things which are not seen. Now Christ did not only rip up the hypocrisy of their hearts, ver. 15, but also gave a formal answer to their pretended reason, by showing how the law is by him perfected, ver. 16, yet not destroyed, ver. 17. Then will we observe how he teacheth that the law and the prophets are perfected, and so our point shall be plain. “The law and the prophets were until John,” i.e., they did typify and prophesy concerning the things of the kingdom until John; for before that time the faithful only saw those things afar off, and by types, shadows, and figures, and the rudiments of the world, were taught to know them. “But from that time the kingdom of God is preached,” i.e., the people of God are no longer to be instructed concerning the things of the kingdom of God by outward signs, or visible shadows and figures, but only by the plain word of the gospel; for now the kingdom of God ἐυαγγελιζεται is not typified as before, but plainly preached, as a thing exhibited to us, and present with us. Thus we see that to us, in the days of the gospel, the word only is appointed to teach the things belonging to the kingdom of God.

Sect. 5. If any man reply, that though after the coming of Christ we are liberate from the Jewish and typical significant ceremonies, yet ought we to embrace those ceremonies wherein the church of the New Testament placeth some spiritual signification:

I answer, 1. That which hath been said in this argument holdeth good against significant ceremonies in general. Otherwise, when we read of the abrogation of the ceremonial law, we should only understand the abrogation of those particular ordinances which Moses delivered to the Jews concerning [pg 1-227] the ceremonies that were to endure to the coming of Christ, and so, notwithstanding all this, the church should still have power to set up new ceremonial laws instead of the old, even which and how many she listeth.

2. What can be answered to that which the Abridgement propoundeth802 touching this matter? “It is much less lawful (say those ministers) for man to bring significant ceremonies into God's worship now than it was under the law. For God hath abrogated his own (not only such as prefigured Christ, but such also as served by their signification to teach moral duties), so as now (without great sin) none of them can be continued in the church, no, not for signification.” Whereupon they infer: “If those ceremonies which God himself ordained to teach his church by their signification may not now be used, much less may those which man hath devised.”

Sect. 6. Fourthly, Sacred significant ceremonies devised by man are to be reckoned among those images forbidden in the second commandment. Polanus saith,803 that omnis figura illicita is forbidden in the second commandment. The Professors804 of Leyden call it imaginem quamlibet, sive mente conceptam, sive manu effictam.

I have showed elsewhere,805 that both in the writings of the fathers, and of Formalists themselves, sacraments get the name of images; and why, then, are not all significant and holy ceremonies to be accounted images? Now, the second commandment forbiddeth images made by the lust of man (that I may use Dr Burges's phrase806), therefore it forbiddeth also all religious similitudes, which are homogeneal unto them. This is the inference of the Abridgement, whereat Paybody starteth,807 and replieth, that the gestures which the people of God used in circumcision and baptism, the rending of the garment used in humiliation and prayer, Ezra ix. 5; 2 Kings xxii. 19, Jer. xxxvi. 24, lifting up the hands, kneeling with the knees, uncovering the head in the sacrament, standing and sitting at the sacrament, were, and are, significant in worshipping, [pg 1-228] yet are not forbidden by the second commandment.

Ans. There are three sorts of signs here to be distinguished. 1. Natural signs: so smoke is a sign of fire, and the dawning of the day a sign of the rising of the sun. 2. Customable signs; and so the uncovering of the head, which of old was a sign of preeminence, hath, through custom, become a sign of subjection. 3. Voluntary signs, which are called signa instituta; these are either sacred or civil. To appoint sacred signs of heavenly mysteries or spiritual graces is God's own peculiar, and of this kind are the holy sacraments. Civil signs for civil and moral uses may be, and are, commendably appointed by men, both in church and commonwealth; and thus the tolling of a bell is a sign given for assembling, and hath the same signification both in ecclesiastical and secular assemblings. Now, besides the sacred signs of God's own institution, we know that natural signs have also place in divine worship; thus kneeling in time of prayer signifieth the submission of our hearts and minds, the lifting up of our eyes and hands signifieth the elevation of our affections; the rending of the garments signified the rending of the heart by sorrow; standing with a religious suspect to that which is before us signifieth veneration or reverence; sitting at table signifieth familiarity and fellowship. “For which of you (saith our Master), Luke xvii. 7, having a servant ploughing, or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?” All these signs have their significations from nature. And if it be said that howbeit sitting at our common tables be a sign natural to signify familiarity amongst us, yet nature hath not given such a signification to sitting at the Lord's table,—I answer, that sitting is a natural sign of familiarity, at what table soever it be used. At the heavenly table in the kingdom of glory, familiarity is expressed and signified by sitting: “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham,” &c., Matt. xviii. 11. Much more, then, at the spiritual table in the kingdom of grace.

The difference betwixt other common tables and the Lord's table can infer no more, but that with great humility we ought to address ourselves unto it; yet still we are to make use of our familiarity with Christ ut tanquam in eodem toro accumbentes, [pg 1-229] as saith Chrysostom.808 Wherefore we do not there so look to Christ in his princely throne and glorious majesty, exalted far above all principalities and powers, as to forget that he is our loving and kind banqueter, who hath admitted us to that familiar fellowship with him which is signified by our sitting at his table.

Secondly, Customable signs have likewise place in divine service; for so a man coming into one of our churches in time of public worship, if he see the hearers covered, he knows by this customable sign that sermon is begun.

Thirdly, Civil or moral signs instituted by men for that common order and decency which is respect both in civil and sacred actions, have also place in the acts of God's worship. Thus a bason and a laver set before a pulpit are signs of baptism to be ministered; but common decency teacheth us to make the same use of a bason and a laver in civility which a minister maketh of them in the action of baptising. All our question is about sacred mystical signs. Every sign of this kind which is not ordained of God we refer to the imagery forbidden in the second commandment; so that in the tossing of this argument Paybody is twice naught, neither hath he said aught for evincing the lawfulness of sacred significant ceremonies ordained of men, which we impugn.

Sect. 7. Fifthly, The significancy and teaching office of mystical ceremonies invented by men, must be drawn under those doctrines of men condemned in the gospel. Wherefore was it that the divers washings of the Pharisees were rejected by Christ as a vain worship? Was it not because they were appointed for doctrines? “In vain (saith he) do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” Mark vii. 7.

The divers washings commanded in the law were fore-signifying to the people, and for teaching them what true and inward holiness God required of them. Now, the Pharisees, when they multiplied their washings of hands, of cups and pots, brazen vessels and tables, had the same respect of significancy before their eyes. Neque enim alio spectabant (that I may use the words of a Formalist809) quam ut se sanctitatis [pg 1-230] studiosos hoc externu ritu probarent. Neither have we any warrant to think that they had another respect than this. But the error was in their addition to the law, and in that they made their own ceremonial washings, which were only the commandments of men, to serve for doctrines, instructions and significations. For those washings, as they were significant, and taught what holiness or cleanness should be among the people of God, they are called by the name of worship; and as they were such significant ceremonies as were only commanded by men, they are reckoned for vain worship.

And further, I demand why are the Colossians, Col. ii. 20-22, rebuked for subjecting themselves to those ordinances,—“Touch not, taste not, handle not?” We see that those ordinances were not bare commandments, but commandments under the colour of doctrines, to wit, as law commanded a difference of meats, for signifying that holiness which God would have his people formed unto; so these false teachers would have the same to be signified and taught by that difference of meats and abstinence which they of themselves, and without the commandment of God, had ordained.

Moreover, if we consider how that the word of God is given unto us “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,” 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17, it cannot but be evident how superfluously, how superstitiously, the office of sacred teaching and mystical signification is given to dumb and lifeless ceremonies ordained of men, and, consequently, how justly they are taxed as vain worship. We hold, therefore, with the worthiest of our divines,810 nullam doctrinam, nullum sacram signum debere inter pios admitti, nisi a Deo profecta esse constet.

Sect. 8. To these reasons which I have put in order against men's significant ceremonies, I will add a pretty history before I go further.

When the Superior of the Abbey of St. Andrews811 was disputing with John Knox about the lawfulness of the ceremonies devised by the church, to decore the sacraments [pg 1-231] and other service of God, Knox answered: “The church ought to do nothing but in faith, and ought not to go before, but is bound to follow the voice of the true Pastor.” The Superior replied, that “every one of the ceremonies hath a godly signification, and therefore they both proceed from faith, and are done in faith.” Knox replieth: “It is not enough that man invent a ceremony, and then give it a signification according to his pleasure; for so might the ceremonies of the Gentiles, and this day the ceremonies of Mahomet be maintained. But if that anything proceed from faith it must have the word of God for the assurance,” &c. The Superior answereth: “Will ye bind us so strait that we may do nothing without the express word of God? What, and I ask drink? think ye that I sin? and yet I have not God's word for me.”

Knox here telleth him, first, that if he should either eat or drink without the assurance of God's word, he sinned; “for saith not the Apostle, speaking even of meat and drink, that the creatures are sanctified unto men by the word and prayer? The word is this: all things are clean to the clean: Now let me hear thus much of your ceremonies, and I shall give you the argument?”

But secondly, He tells him that he compared indiscreetly together profane things with holy; and that the question was not of meat and drink, wherein the kingdom of God consisteth not, but of matters of religion, and that we may not take the same freedom in the using of Christ's sacraments that we may do in eating and drinking, because Moses commanded, “All that the Lord thy God commanded thee to do, that do thou to the Lord thy God; add nothing to it, diminish nothing from it.” The Superior now saith that he was dry, and thereupon desireth the grey friar Arbugkill to follow the argument; but he was so pressed with the same that he was confounded in himself, and the Superior ashamed of him:—

Dicite Io Pæan, et Io bis dicite Pæan.

Sect. 9. As for the examples alleged by our opposites out of Scripture for justifying their significant ceremonies, they have been our propugners of evangelical simplicity so often and so fully answered, that here I need do no more but point at them. Of [pg 1-232] the days of Purim and feast of dedication I am to speak afterward. In the meanwhile, our opposites cannot, by these examples, strengthen themselves in this present argument, except they could prove that the feast of dedication was lawfully instituted, and that the days of Purim were appointed for a religious festivity, and that upon no such extraordinary warrant as the church hath not ever and always. The rite which Abraham commanded his servant to use when he sware to him, namely, the putting of his hand under his thigh, Gen. xxiv. 2, maketh them as little help; for it was but a moral sign of that civil subjection, reverence and fidelity which inferiors owe unto superiors, according to the judgment of Calvin, Junius, Pareus, and Tremellius, all upon that place. That altar which was built by the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh, Josh. xxii., had (as some think) not a religious, but a moral use, and was not a sacred, but a civil sign, to witness that those two tribes and the half were of the stock and lineage of Israel; which, if it were once called in question, then their fear (deducing the connection of causes and consequents) led them in the end to forecast this issue: “In time to come your children might speak unto our children, saying, What have you to do with the Lord God of Israel? for the Lord hath made Jordan a border betwixt us and you,” &c. Therefore, to prevent all apparent occasions of such doleful events, they erected the pattern of the Lord's altar, ut vinculum sit fraternæ conjunctionis.812

And besides all this, there is nothing which can urge us to say that the two tribes and the half did commendably in the erecting of this altar.813 Calvin finds two faults in their proceeding. 1. In that they attempted such a notable and important innovation without advising with their brethren of the other tribes, and especially without inquiring the will of God by the high priest. 2. Whereas the law of God commanded only to make one altar, forasmuch as God would be worshipped only in one place, they did inordinately, scandalously, and with appearance of evil, erect another altar; for every one who should look upon it could not but presently think that they had forsaken the law, and were setting up a strange [pg 1-233] and degenerate rite. Whether also that altar which they set up for a pattern of the Lord's altar, was one of the images forbidden in the second commandment, I leave it to the judicious reader to ruminate upon. But if one would gather from ver. 33, that the priest, and the princes, and the children of Israel, did allow of that which the two tribes and the half had done, because it is said, “The thing pleased the children of Israel, and the children of Israel blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle:”

I answer, the Hebrew text hath it thus: “And the word was good in the eyes of the children of Israel,” &c.; that is, the children of Israel blessed God for the word which Phinehas and the ten princes brought to them, because thereby they understood that the two tribes and the half had not turned away from following the Lord, nor made them an altar for burnt-offerings or sacrifice; which was enough to make them (the nine tribes and a half) desist from their purpose of going up to war against their brethren, to shed their blood. Again, when Phinehas and the ten princes say to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, This day we perceive that the Lord is among us, “because ye have not committed this trespass against the Lord,” they do not exempt them from all prevarication; only they say signanter, “this trespass,” to wit, of turning away from the Lord, and building an altar for sacrifice, whereof they were accused. Thus we see that no approbation of that which the two tribes and the half did, in erecting the altar, can be drawn from the text.

Sect. 10. But to proceed, our opposites allege for another example against us, a new altar built by Solomon, 1 Kings viii. 64. In which place there is no such thing to be found as a new altar built by Solomon; but only that he sanctified the pavement of the inner court, that the whole court might be as an altar, necessity so requiring, because the brazen altar of the Lord was not able to contain so many sacrifices as then were offered. The building of synagogues can make as little against us.

For, 1. After the tribes were settled in the land of promise, synagogues were built, in the case of an urgent necessity, because all Israel could not come every Sabbath day to the reading and expounding of the law in the place which God had chosen that his [pg 1-234] name might dwell there. What hath that case to do with the addition of our unnecessary ceremonies?

2. If Formalists will make any advantage of the building of synagogues, they must prove that they were founded, not upon the extraordinary warrant of prophets, but upon that ordinary power which the church retaineth still. As for the love-feasts used in the primitive church, 1. They had no religious state in divine worship, but were used only as moral signs of mutual charity. The Rhemists814 will have them to be called caenas dominicas. But what saith Cartwright against them? “We grant that there were such feasts used in times past, but they were called by the name of ἀγάπαι or love-feasts, not by the name of the Lord's supper; neither could one without sacrilege give so holy a name to a common feast, which never had ground out of the word, and which after, for just cause, was thrust out by the word of God.” 2. If it be thought that they were used as sacred signs of Christian charity because they were eaten in the church, I answer, the eating of them in the church is forbidden by the Apostle. “What! (saith he) have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God?” Aperte vetat (saith Pareus),815 commessationes in ecclesia, quocunque fuco pingantur. Vocabant ἀγάπας charitates; sod nihil winus erant. Erant schismatum fomenta. Singulae enim sectae suas instituebant. And a little after: Aliquae ecclesiae obtemperasse videntur. Nam Justini temporibus Romana ecclesia ἀγάπας non habuit. Concerning the kiss of charity used in those times, 2 Cor. xiii. 22, we say in like manner that it was but a moral sign of that reconciliation, friendship and amity, which showed itself as well at holy assemblies as other meetings in that kind and courtesy, but with all chaste salutation, which was then in use.

Sect. 11. As for the veils wherewith the Apostle would have women covered whilst they were praying (that is, in their hearts following the public and common prayer), or prophesying (that is, singing, 1 Sam. x. 10; 1 Chron. xxv. 1), they are worthy to be covered with shame as with a garment who allege this example for sacred significant ceremonies of human institution. This [pg 1-235] covering was a moral sign for that comely and orderly distinction of men and women which civil decency required in all their meetings; wherefore that distinction of habits which they used for decency and comeliness in their common behaviour and conversation, the Apostle will have them, for the same decency and comeliness, still to retain in their holy assemblies. And further, the Apostle showeth that it is also a natural sign, and that nature itself teacheth it; therefore he urgeth it both by the inferiority or subjection of the woman, ver. 3, 8, 9 (for covering was then a sign of subjection), and by the long hair which nature gives to a woman, ver. 25; where he would have the artificial covering to be fashioned in imitation of the natural. What need we any more? Let us see nature's institution, or the Apostle's recommendation, for the controverted ceremonies (as we have seen them for women's veils), and we yield the argument.

Last of all, the sign of imposition of hands helpeth not the cause of our opposites, because it has the example of Christ and the apostles, and their disciples, which our ceremonies have not; yet we think not imposition of hands to be any sacred or mystical sign, but only a moral, for designation of a person: let them who think more highly or honourably of it look to their warrants.

Thus have I thought it enough to take a passing view of these objected instances, without marking narrowly all the impertinencies and falsehoods which here we find in the reasoning of our opposites. One word more, and so an end. Dr Burges would comprehend the significancy of sacred ecclesiastical ceremonies, for stirring men up to the remembrance of some mystery of piety or duty to God, under that edification which is required in things that concern order and decency by all divines.

Alas! what a sorry conceit is this? Divines, indeed, do rightly require that those alterable circumstances of divine worship which are left to the determination of the church be so ordered and disposed as they may be profitable to this edification. But this edification they speak of is no other than that which is common to all our actions and speeches. Are we not required to do all things unto edifying, yea, to speak as that our speech may be profitable unto edifying? Now, such significations as we have [pg 1-236] showed to be given to the ceremonies in question, as, namely, to certify a child of God's favour and goodwill towards him,—to betoken that at no time Christians should be ashamed of the ignominy of Christ,—to signify the pureness that ought to be in the minister of God,—to express the humble and grateful acknowledgments of the benefits of Christ, &c.,—belong not to that edification which divines require in things prescribed by the church concerning order and decency, except of every private and ordinary action, in the whole course of our conversation, we either deny that it should be done unto edifying, or else affirm that it is a sacred significant ceremony.



Sect. 1. It remaineth now to examine the warrants which our opposites pretend for the lawfulness of the ceremonies. But I perceive they know not well what ground to take hold on. For instance whereof, Hooker defendeth the lawfulness of festival days by the law of nature.816 Dr Downame groundeth the lawfulness of them on the law of God,817 making the observation of the sabbaths of rest appointed by the church, such as the feasts of Christ's nativity, passion, &c., to be a duty commanded in the law of God, and the not observing of them to be a thing forbidden by the same law. But Bishop Lindsey proveth the lawfulness of those holidays818 from the power of the church to make laws in such matters. “As for the Lord's day (saith he) which has succeeded to the Jewish Sabbath, albeit God hath commanded to sanctify it, yet neither is the whole public worship, nor any part of it appropriated to that time; but lawfully the same may be performed upon any other convenient day of the week, of the month, [pg 1-237] or of the year, as the church shall think expedient. Upon this ground Zanchius affirmed, Ecclesiæ Christi liberum esse quos velit præter dominicos dies sibi sanctificandos deligere. And by this warrant did the primitive church sanctify those five anniversary days of Christ's nativity,” &c.

Nay, let us observe how one of them wavereth from himself in seeking here some ground to rest upon. Paybody groundeth the lawfulness of kneeling at the sacrament on nature, part 2, cap. 4, sect. 1, on the act of Parliament, part 3, cap. 1, sect. 31; on an ecclesiastical canon, part 3, cap. 1, sect. 33, on the king's sovereign authority, part 3, cap. 1, sect. 36. Yet again he saith, that this kneeling is grounded upon the commandment of God, part 3, cap. 3, sect. 11.

Well, I see our opposites sometimes warrant the lawfulness of the ceremonies from the law of God, sometimes from the law of man, and sometimes from the law of nature, but I will prove that the lawfulness of those ceremonies we speak of can neither be grounded upon the law of God, nor the law of man, nor the law of nature, and by consequence that they are not lawful at all, so that, besides the answering of what our opposites allege for the lawfulness of them, we shall have a new argument to prove them unlawful.

Sect. 2. I begin with the law of God. And, first, let us see what is alleged from Scripture for the ceremonies in general; then, after, let us look over particulars. There is one place which they will have in mythology to stand for the head of Medusa, and if they still object to us for all their ceremonies even that of the Apostle, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” 1 Cor. xiv. 40. What they have drawn out of this place, Dr Burges819 hath refined in this manner. He distinguished betwixt præceptum and probatum, and will have the controverted ceremonies to be allowed of God, though not commanded. And if we would learn how these ceremonies are allowed of God, he gives us to understand,820 that it is by commanding the general kind to which these particulars do belong. If we ask what is this general kind commanded of God, to which these ceremonies do belong? he resolves us,821 that it is order and decency: [pg 1-238] And if further we demand, how such ceremonies as are instituted and used to stir up men, in respect of their signification, unto the devout remembrance of their duties to God, are in such an institution and use, matters of mere order? as a magisterial dictator of quodlibets, he tells us822 that they are matters of mere order, sensu largo, in a large sense. But lastly, if we doubt where he readeth of any worship commanded in the general, and not commanded, but only allowed in the particular, he informeth us,823 that in the free-will offerings, when a man was left at liberty to offer a bullock, goat, or sheep at his pleasure, if he chose a bullock to offer, that sacrifice, in that particular, was not commanded, but only allowed. What should I do, but be surdus contra absurdum? Nevertheless, least this jolly fellow think himself more jolly than he this, I answer, 1st, How absurd a tenet is this, which holdeth that there is some particular worship of God allowed, and not commanded? What new light is this which maketh all our divines to have been in the mist, who have acknowledged no worship of God, but that which God hath commanded? Who ever heard of commanded and allowed worship? As for the instances of the free-will offerings, Ames hath answered sufficiently,824 “that though the particulars were not, nor could not be, determined by a distinct rule in general, yet they were determined by the circumstances, as our divines are wont to answer the Papists about their vows, councils, supererogations not by a general law, but by concurrence of circumstances. So Deut. xvi. 10, Moses showeth that the freest offerings were to be according as God had blessed them, from whence it followeth, it had been sin for any Israelite whom God had plentifully blessed, to offer a pair of pigeons, instead of a bullock or two, upon his own mere pleasure. Where that proportion was observed, the choice of a goat before a sheep, or a sheep before a goat, was no formal worship.”

Sect. 3. How will Dr Burges make it appear that the English ceremonies do belong to that order and decency which is commanded? Bellarmine825 would have all the ceremonies of the church of Rome [pg 1-239] comprehended under order and decency, and therefore warranteth them by that precept of the Apostle, “let all things be done decently and in order.” The one shall as soon prove his point as the other, and that shall be never.

For, 1. The Apostle only commanded that each action and ceremony of God's worship be decently and orderly performed, but gives us no leave to excogitate or devise new ceremonies, which have not been instituted before. He hath spoken in that chapter of assembling in the church, prophesying and preaching, praying and praising there.

Now let all these things, and every other action of God's worship, ceremonies and all, be done decently and in order. Licit ergo Paulus, &c. “Albeit, therefore (saith John Bastwick),826 Paul hath committed to the church the judging both of decency and order, yet hath he not granted any liberty of such mystical ceremonies as by their more inward signification do teach the duty of piety; for since the whole liberty of the church, in the matter of divine worship, is exercised only in order and decency, it followeth that they do impudently scorn both God and the Scriptures, who do extend this liberty to greater things, and such as are placed above us. Most certain it is, that Christ, the doctor of the church, hath, by his own written and sealed word, abundantly expounded unto us the will of God. Neither is there further need of any ceremonies, which by a secret virtue may instruct us: neither is it less evident that order consisteth not in the institution or use of new things, but only in the right placing of things which have been instituted before.” “Decency (saith Balduine)827 is opposed to levity, and order to confusion.” Spectat autem hic ordo potissimum ad ritus ecclesiae in officiis sacris in quibus nullum debet esse scandalum, nulla confusio.

Then, in his judgment, order is not to the rites of the church a general kind, but only a concomitant circumstance; neither are the rites of the church comprehended under order as particulars under the general kind to which they belong; but order belongeth to the rites of the church as an adjunct to the subject. And, I pray, must not the rights of the church be managed [pg 1-240] with decency and order? If so, then must our opposites either say that order is managed with order, which is to speak nonsense, or else, that the rights of the church are not comprehended under order. But if not, then it followeth that the rites of the church are to be managed with levity, confusion, and scandal; for every action that is not done in decency and in order must needs be done scandalously and confusedly. 2. Order and decency, whether taken largo or stricto sensu, always signify such a thing as ought to be in all human actions, as well civil as sacred; for will any man say, that the civil actions of men are not to be done decently and in order? The directions of order and decency828 are not (we see) propria religionis, but as Balduine showeth829 out of Gregory Nazianzen, order is in all other things as well as in the church. Wherefore sacred significant ceremonies shall never be warranted by the precept of order and decency, which have no less in civility than in religion.

Sect. 4. Now to the particulars. And first, that which Christ did, Matt. xix. 13, 15, cannot commend unto us the bishopping or confirmation of children by prayer and imposition of hands; for as Maldonat saith rightly,830 Hebreorum consuetudinem fuisse, ut qui majores erant et aliqua polle bant divina gratia, manuum impositione inferioribus benedicerent, constat ex Gen. xlviii. 14, 15, hac ergo ratione adducti parentes, infantes ad Christum afferebant, ut impositis manibus illis benediceret. And as touching this blessing of children and imposition of hands upon them (saith Cartwright),831 it is peculiar unto our Saviour Christ, used neither by his disciples nor his apostles, either before or after his ascension, whereunto maketh that the children being brought, that he should pray over them, he did not pray for them, but blessed them, that is to say, commended them to be blessed, thereby to show his divine power. These being also yet infants, and in their swaddling clouts, as by the word which the evangelist useth, and as by our Saviour Christ's taking them into his arms, doth appear, being also, in all likelihood, unbaptised. Last of all, their confirmation is a notable derogation unto the holy sacrament [pg 1-241] of baptism, not alone in that it presumeth the sealing of that which was sealed sufficiently by it; but also in that, both by asseveration of words, and by speciality of the minister that giveth it, it is even preferred unto it.

Sect. 5. The act of Perth about kneeling would draw some commendation to this ceremony from those words of the psalm, “O come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,” Psal. xcv. 6. Which is as if one should argue thus: We may worship before the Lord, therefore before a creature; we may kneel in an immediate worship of God, therefore in a mediate; for who seeth not that the kneeling there spoken of is a kneeling in the action of solemn praise and joyful noise of singing unto the Lord? I wish you, my masters, more sober spirits, that ye may fear to take God's name in vain, even his word which he hath magnified above all his name. Dr Forbesse goeth about to warrant private baptism,832 by Philip's baptising the eunuch, there being no greater company present, so far as we can gather from the narration of Luke, Acts viii.; as likewise by Paul and Silas's baptising the jailer and all his in his own private house, Acts xvi. Touching the first of those places, we answer, 1. How thinks he that a man of so great authority and charge was alone in his journey? We suppose a great man travelling in a chariot must have some number of attendants, especially having come to a solemn worship at Jerusalem. 2. What Philip then did, the extraordinary direction of the Spirit guided him unto it, ver. 29, 39. As to the other place, there was, in that time of persecution, no liberty for Christians to meet together in temples and public places, as now there is. Wherefore the example of Paul and Silas doth prove the lawfulness of the like deed in the like case.

Sect. 6. Hooker muttereth some such matter as a commendation of the sign of the cross from these two places, Ezek. ix. 4; Rev. vii. 3; alleging, that because in the forehead nothing is more plain to be seen than the fear of contumely and disgrace, therefore the Scripture describeth them marked of God in the forehead, whom his mercy hath undertaken to keep from final confusion and shame.833 Bellarmine allegeth [pg 1-242] for the cross the same two places.834 But for answer to the first, we say, that neither the sign whereof we read in that place, nor yet the use of it can make aught for them. As for the sign itself; albeit the ancients did interpret the sign of the letter Tau, to have been the sign of the cross, yet saith Junius, Bona illorum venia; Tquidem Graecorum, Latinorumque majusculum, crucis quodam modo signum videtur effingere, verum hoc ad literam Haebreorum Tau non potest pertinere. Deinde ne ipsum quidem Grcaecorum Latinorumque T, formam crucis quae apud veteres in usu erat quum sumebantur supplicia, representat.835

Whereupon dissenting from the ancients, he delivers his own judgment, that tau in this place is taken technicos, for that sign or mark of the letter wherewith the Lord commanded to mark the elect for their safety and preservation. And so there was no mystery to be sought in that letter more than in any other. As for the use of that mark wherewith the elect in Jerusalem were at that time sealed, it was only for distinction and separation. It had the same use which that sprinkling of the posts of the doors had, Exod. xii. 7, only the foreheads of men and women, and not the posts of doors were here marked, because only the remnant according to election, and not whole families promiscuously, were at this time to be spared, as Junius noteth.

But the use of the sign of the cross pretended by Formalists, is not to separate us in the time of judgment, but to teach that at no time we ought to be ashamed of the ignominy of Christ.

Shortly, the sign wherewith they in Jerusalem were marked, was for preservation from judgment; but the sign of the cross is used for preservation from sin. Thus we see, that neither the sign nor the use of it, had any affinity with the cross. Now, the surest interpretation of that place, Ezek. ix. 4, is to take Tau for an appellative noun, signifying generally and indefinitely a mark or sign, so that there is no mark determined by this word; only there was a commandment given to set a certain mark, some sign or other, upon the foreheads of the elect. So have our English translators taken the place.

This exposition is confessed by Gasper [pg 1-243] Sanctius,836 to be followed almost by all the Hebrew masters, and by the most ancient interpreters, to wit, the Septuagint, Aquilla and Symmachus. The word beareth this gloss, even according to the confession of those who expound it otherwise in this place, to wit, for an image or representation of the cross. Tau (saith Sanctius) commune nomen est, quod signum indefinite significat.837 Tau is expounded by Bellarmine838 to signify signum or terminus. Well then: our adversaries themselves can say nothing against our interpretation of the word tau. We have also Buxtorff for us, who in his Hebrew Lexicon turneth tau to signum, and for this signification he citeth both this place, Ezek. ix. 4, and Job. xxxi. 35. Taui signum meum.

Lastly, If tau be not put for a common appellative noun, signifying a mark or sign, but for the figure or character of the letter tau as an image of the cross, by all likelihood this character only should have been put in the Hebrew text, and not the noun fully written; vehithvith a tau, and mark a mark. As to the other place,839 Rev. vii. 3, Pareus observeth, that there is no figure or form of any sign there expressed, and he thinks that seal was not outward and visible, but the same whereof we read, 2 Tim. ii. 19, and Rev. xiv. 1, which cannot be interpreted de signo transeunte; nam Christianum semper nomen filii, et patris in fronte oportet gerere, saith Junius.840

Dr Fulk, on Rev. vii. 3, saith, that the sign here spoken of is proper to God's elect, therefore not the sign of the cross, which many reprobates have received.

Sect. 7. Bishop Andrews will have the feast of Easter drawn from that place,841 1 Cor. v. 8, where he saith, there is not only a warrant, but an order for the keeping of it; and he will have it out of doubt that this feast is of apostolical institution, because after the times of the apostles, when there was a contention about the manner of keeping Easter, it was agreed upon by all, that it should be kept; and when the one side alleged for them St. John, and the other St. Peter, it was acknowledged by both that the feast was apostolical.

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I answer, The testimony of Socrates deserveth more credit than the Bishop's naked conclusion.

“I am of opinion (saith Socrates842), that as many other things crept in of custom in sundry places, so the feast of Easter to have prevailed among all people, of a certain private custom and observation.”

But whereas Bishop Lindsey, in defence of Bishop Andrews, replieth, that Socrates propoundeth this for his own opinion only:

I answer, that Socrates, in that chapter, proveth his opinion from the very same ground which Bishop Andrews wresteth to prove that this feast is apostolical. For while as in that hot controversy about the keeping of Easter, they of the East alleged John the apostle for their author, and they of the West alleged Peter and Paul for themselves, “Yet (saith Socrates), there is none that can shew in writing any testimony of theirs for confirmation and proof of their custom. And hereby I do gather, that the celebration of the feast of Easter came up more of custom than by any law or canon.”

Sect. 7. Downame (as I touched before) allegeth the fourth commandment for holidays of the church's institution. But Dr Bastwick allegeth more truly the fourth commandment against them:843 “Six days shalt thou labour.” This argument I have made good elsewhere; so that now I need not insist upon it. There are further two examples alleged against us for holidays, out of Esth. ix. 17, 18, 27, 28, and John x. 22.

Whereunto we answer, 1. That both those feasts were appointed to be kept with the consent of the whole congregation of Israel and body of the people, as is plain from Esth. ix. 32, and 1 Maccab. iv. 59. Therefore, they have no show of making aught of such feasts as ours, which are tyrannically urged upon such as in their consciences do condemn them.

2. It appears, that the days of Purim were only appointed to be days of civil mirth and gladness, such as are in use with us, when we set out bonfires, and other tokens of civil joy, for some memorable benefit which the kingdom or commonwealth hath received. For they are not called the holidays of Purim, but simply the days of Purim,—“A day of feasting and of sending portions one to another,” Esth. ix. 19, 22. No [pg 1-245] word of any worship of God in those days. And whereas it seemeth to Bishop Lindsey,844 that those days were holy, because of that rest which was observed upon them; he must know that the text interpreteth itself, and it is evident from ver. 16 and 22, that this rest was not a rest from labour, for waiting upon the worshipping of God, but only a rest from their enemies.

Sect. 9. But Bishop Andrews goeth about to prove by six reasons, that the days of Purim were holidays, and not days of civil joy and solemnity only.845

First, saith he, it is plain by verse 31, they took it in animas, upon their souls,—a soul matter they made of it: there needs no soul for feria or festum, play or feasting. They bound themselves super animas suas, which is more than upon themselves, and would not have been put in the margin, but stood in the text: thus he reprehendeth the English translators, as you may perceive.

Ans. The Bishop could not be ignorant that nephesch signifieth corpus animatum, as well as anima, and that the Hebrews do not always put this word for our souls, but very often for ourselves. So Psal. vii. 2. and Psal. lix. 3, we read naphschi,—my soul for me; and Psal. xliv. 25,—naphschenu, our soul for we; and Gen. xlvi. 26, col-nepheschomnis animae, for omnes homines.

What have we any further need of testimonies? Six hundred such are in the holy text. And in this place, Esth. ix. 31, what can be more plain, than that nighal-naphscham, upon their soul, is put for nghalehem, upon themselves, especially since nghalehem is found to the same purpose, both in ver. 27 and 31.

If we will make the text agree well with itself, how can we but take both these for one? But proceed we with the Bishop. Secondly, saith he, the bond of it reacheth to all that religioni eorum voluerunt copulari, ver. 27, then, a matter of religion it was, had reference to that: what need any joining in religion for a matter of good fellowship?

Ans. There is no word in the text of religion. Our English translation reads it, “all such as joined themselves unto them.” Montanus, omnes adjunctos; Tremellius, omnes qui essent se adjuncturi eis. The [pg 1-246] old Latin version reads it indeed as the Bishop doth.

But no such thing can be drawn out of the word hannilvim, which is taken from the radix lava, signifying simply, and without any adjection, adhaesit, or adjunxit se. But let it be so, that the text meaneth only such as were to adjoin themselves to the religion of the Jews, yet why might not the Jews have taken upon them a matter of civility, not only for themselves, but for such also as were to be joined with them in religion. Could there be nothing promised for proselytes, but only a matter of religion?

Alas! Is this our antagonist's great Achilles, who is thus falling down and succumbing to me, a silly stripling? Yet let us see if there be any more force in the remnant of his reasons.

For a third, he tells us that it is expressly termed a rite and a ceremony, at verses 23 and 28, as the fathers read them.

In the 23rd verse we have no more but susceperunt, as Pagnini, or receperunt, as Tremellius reads it: but to read, susceperunt in solemnem ritum, is to make an addition to the text.

The 28th verse calls not this feast a rite, but only dies memorati, or celebres. And what if we grant that this feast was a rite? might it not, for all that, be merely civil? No, saith the Bishop, “rites, I trust, and ceremonies, pertain to the church, and to the service of God.”

Ans. The version which the Bishop followed, hath a rite, not a ceremony. Now, of rites, it is certain that they belong to the commonwealth as well as to the church. For in jure politico, sui sunt imperati et solemnes ritus, saith Junius.846

Fourthly, saith the Bishop, they fast and pray here in this verse (meaning the 31st), fast the eve, the fourteenth, and so then the day following to be holiday of course.

Ans. The Latin version, which the Bishop followeth, and whereupon he buildeth this reason, readeth the 31st verse very corruptly, and no ways according to the original, as will easily appear to any who can compare them together. Wherefore the best interpreters take the fasting and prayer spoken of verse 31, to be meant of the time before their delivery. Now, after they were delivered, they decreed that the matters [pg 1-247] of their fasting and crying should be remembered upon the days of Purim, which were to solemnise that preservation, quam jejunio et precibus fuerant a Deo consequenti, as saith Tremellius.

But Fifthly, saith he, with fasting and prayer (here), alms also is enjoined (at ver. 22), these three will make it past a day of revels or mirth.

I have answered already, that their fasting and praying are not to be referred to the days of Purim, which were memorials of their delivery, but to the time past, when, by the means of fasting and prayer, they did impetrate their delivery, before ever the days of Purim were heard of, and as touching alms, it can make no holiday, because much alms may be, and hath been given upon days of civil joy and solemnity.

If the Bishop help not himself with his sixth reason, he is like to come off with no great credit. May we then know what that is?

Lastly, saith he, as a holiday the Jews ever kept it,—have a peculiar set service for it in their Seders, set psalms to sing, set lessons to read, set prayers to say, good and godly all,—none but as they have used from all antiquity.

Ans. 1. The Bishop could not have made this word good, that the Jews did ever and from all antiquity keep the days of Purim in this fashion.

2. This manner of holding that feast, whensoever it began, had no warrant from the first institution, but was (as many other things) taken up by the Jews in after ages, and so the Bishop proveth not the point which he taketh in hand, namely, that the days spoken of in this text were enacted or appointed to be kept as holidays.

3. The service which the Jews in latter times use upon the days of Purim is not much to be regarded. For as Godwin noteth out of Hospinian,847 they read the history of Esther in their synagogues, and so often as they hear mention of Haman, they do with their fists and hammers beat upon the benches and boards, as if they did knock upon Haman's head. When thus they have behaved themselves, in the very time of their liturgy, like furious and drunken people, the rest of the day they pass over in outrageous revelling. And here I take leave of the Bishop.

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Sect. 10. Thirdly, We say, whether the days of Purim were instituted to be holidays or not, yet there was some more than ordinary warrant for them, because Mordecai, by whose advice and direction they were appointed to be kept, was a prophet by the instinct and revelation of the Spirit, Esth. iv. 13. Non multum fortasse aberraverimus, saith Hospinian,848 si dicamus hoc à Mordochcæo et Hesthera, ex peculiari Spiritus Sancti instinctu factum.

Bishop Lindsey believeth849 that they had only a general warrant, such as the church hath still, to put order to the circumstances belonging to God's worship, and all his reason is, because if the Jews had received any other particular warrant, the sacred story should not have passed it over in silence.

Ans. Thus much we understand from the sacred story, that the Jews had the direction of a prophet for the days of Purim; and that was a warrant more than ordinary, because prophets were the extraordinary ministers of God.

Sect. 11. Fourthly, As touching the feast of the dedication of the altar by Judas Maccabeus, 1. Let us hear what Cartwright very gravely and judiciously propoundeth:850 “That this feast was unduly instituted and ungroundly, it may appear by conference of the dedication of the first temple under Solomon, and of the second after the captivity returned from Babylon. In which dedication, seeing there was no yearly remembrance by solemnity of feasts, not so much as one day, it is evident that the yearly celebration of this feast for eight days, was not compassed by that Spirit that Solomon and the captivity were directed by; which Spirit, when it dwelt more plentifully in Solomon, and in the prophets that stood at the stern of the captivity's dedication, than it did in Judas, it was in him so much the more presumptuous, as having a shorter leg than they, he durst in that matter overstride them, and his rashness is so much the more aggravated, as each of them, for the building of the whole temple, with all the implements and furniture thereof, made no feast to renew the annual memory, where Judas only for renewment of the altar, and of certain other decayed places of the temple, instituted this great solemnity.”

2. The feast of the dedication was not [pg 1-249] free of Pharisaical invention. For as Tremellius observeth out of the Talmud,851 statuerunt sapientes illius seculi, ut recurrentibus annis, octo illi dies, &c. Yet albeit the Pharisees were called sapientes Israelis, Bishop Lindsey will not grant that they were the wise men of whom the Talmud speaketh; for, saith he, it behoved those who appointed festivities, not only to be wise men, but men of authority also.852

But what do we hear? Were not the Pharisees men of authority? Why, saith not Christ they sat in Moses' chair? Matt. xxiii. 2. Saith not Calvin,853 In ecclesiæ regimene et scriptura interpretatione, hæc secta primatum tenebat? Saith not Camero,854 cum Pharisæorum præcipua esset authoritas (ut ubique docet Josephus)? &c.

Doth not Josephus speak so much of their authority, that in one place he saith,855 Nomen igitur regni, erat penes reginam (Alexandram) penes Pharisæos vero administratio? And in another place,856 Erat enim quædam Judæorum secta exactiorem patriæ legis cognitionem sibi vendicans? &c. Hi Pharisæi vocantur, genus hominuum astutum, arrogans, et interdum regibus quoque infestum, ut eos etiam aperte impugnare non vereatur?

There is nothing alleged which can prove the lawfulness of this feast of the dedication.

It is but barely and boldly affirmed by Bishop Lindsey,857 that the Pharisees were not rebuked by Christ for this feast, because we read not so much in Scripture; for there were many things which Jesus did and said that are not written in Scripture, John xxi. 25; and whereas it seemeth to some, that Christ did countenance and approve this feast, because he gave his presence unto the same, John x. 22, 23, we must remember, that the circumstances only of time and place are noted by the evangelist, for evidence to the story, and not for any mystery, Christ had come up to the feast of tabernacles, John vii., and tarried still all that while, because then there was a great confluence of people in Jerusalem. Whereupon he took occasion to spread the net of the gospel for catching of many souls. And [pg 1-250] whilst John saith, “It was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication,” he gives a reason only of the confluence of many people at Jerusalem, and showeth how it came to pass that Christ had occasion to preach to such a great multitude; and whilst he addeth “And it was winter,” he giveth a reason of Christ's walking in Solomon's porch, whither the Jews' resort was. It was not thought beseeming to walk in the temple itself, but in the porch men used to convene either for talking or walking, because in the summer the porch shadowed them from the heat of the sun, and in winter it lay open to the sunshine and to heat. Others think, that whilst he saith, it was winter, importeth that therefore Christ was the more frequently in the temple, knowing that his time was short which he had then for his preaching; for in the entry of the next spring he was to suffer. Howsoever, it is not certain of what feast of dedication John speaketh. Bullinger leaves it doubtful;858 and Maldonat saith859 that this opinion which taketh the dedication of the altar by Judas Maccabeus to be meant by John, hath fewest authors. But to let this pass, whereas the Rhemists allege,860 that Christ approved this feast, because he was present at it. Cartwright and Fulk answer them, that Christ's being present at it proveth not his approving of it. Non festum proprie honoravit Christus, saith Junius,861 sed cætum piorum convenientem festo; nam omnes ejusmodi occasiones seminandi evangelii sui observabat et capiebat Christus.

Quasi vero (saith Hospinian862) Christus Encænoirum casua Hierosloymam abierit. Nay, but he saw he had a convenient occasion, ad instituendam hominum multitudenem, ad illud festum confluentiam.

Even as Paul chose to be present at certain Jewish feasts,863 not for any respect to the feasts themselves, nor for any honour which he meant to give them, but for the multitudes' cause who resorted to the same, among whom he had a more plentiful occasion to spread the gospel at those festivities than at other times in the year.

I had thought here to close this chapter; but finding that, as the parrot, which other [pg 1-251] while useth the form of a man's voice, yet being beaten and chaffed, returneth to his own natural voice, so some of our opposites, who have been but erst prating somewhat of the language of Canaan against us, finding themselves pressed and perplexed in such a way of reasoning, have quickly changed their tune, and begin to talk to us of warrants of another nature nor of the word of God. I am therefore to digress with them. And I perceive, ere we know well where they are, they are passed from Scripture to custom. For if we will listen, thus saith one of the greatest note among them, Bishop Andrews864 I trow they call him: “We do but make ourselves to be pitied other while (well said) when we stand wringing the Scriptures (well said) to strain that out of them which is not in them (well said), and so can never come liquid from them (well said), when yet we have for the same point the church's custom clear enough. And that is enough by virtue of this text” (meaning 1 Cor. xi. 16). And after he saith, that we are taught by the Apostle's example in “points of this nature, of ceremony or circumstance, ever to pitch upon habemus, or non habemus talem consuetudinem.”

Ans. 1. The text gives him no ground for this doctrine, that in matters of ceremony we are to pitch upon habemus or non habemus talem consuetudinem, so that he is wide away, whilst he spendeth the greatest part of his sermon in the pressing of this point, that the custom of the church should be enough to us in matters of ceremony, and particularly in the keeping of Easter; for the custom of the church there spoken of, is not concerning a point of circumstance, but concerning a very substantial and necessary point, namely, not to be contentious: neither doth the Apostle urge those orders of the men's praying uncovered, and the women's praying veiled, from this ground, because so was the church's custom (as the Bishop would have it), but only he is warning the Corinthians not to be contentious about those matters, because the churches have no such custom as to be contentious. So is the place expounded by Chrysostom, Ambrose, Calvin, Martyr, Bullinger, Marlorat, Beza, Fulk, Cartwright, Pareus, and our own Archbishop of St. Andrews, in his sermon upon that text. And for this exposition, [pg 1-252] it maketh that the Apostle, in the preceding part of the chapter, hath given sufficient reasons for that order of covering or veiling the women; wherefore, if any would contend about the matter, he tells them they must contend with themselves; for they nor the churches of God would not contend with them,—they had no such custom. But if we admit Bishop Andrews' gloss, then why doth the Apostle, after he hath given good “reason for the veiling of women, subjoin, if any man seem to be contentious,” &c. The Bishop resolveth us, that the apostles saw that a wrangling wit would elude these reasons which he had given, and he had no other reasons to give, therefore he resolves all into the church's practice,—enough of itself to suffice any that will be wise to sobriety. Ans. If any seem to be blasphemous, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. What! shall a wrangling wit elude the reasons given by the Spirit of God, in such sort, that he must give some other more sufficient proof for that which he teacheth? Then the whole Scriptures of God must yet be better proved, because the unstable do wrest them, as Peter speaks, 2 Pet. iii. 16.

(Transcriber's Note: There is no section 12 in the original book.)

Sect. 13. 2. The custom of the church is not enough to pitch on, and it is found oftentimes expedient to change a custom of the church.

Basilius Magnus865 doth flatly refuse to admit the authority of custom: Consuetudo sine veritate (saith Cyprian),866 vetustas erroris est. Frustra enim qui ratione vincuntur (saith Augustine),867 consuetudinem nobis objiciunt, quasi consuetudo major sit veritate, &c. Nullus pudor est ad meliora transire, saith Ambrose868 to the Emperor Valentinian. Quaelibet consuetudo (saith Gratian),869 veritati est postponenda.

And again,870 Corrigendum est quod illicite admittitur, aut a praedecessoribus admissum invenitur. A politic writer admonisheth871 retinere antiqua, only with this caution, Si proba.

Calvin872 (speaking against human ceremonies) [pg 1-253] saith, Si objiciatur, &c. “If (saith he) antiquity be objected (albeit they who are too much addicted to custom and to received fashions, do boldly use this buckler to defend all their corruptions), the refutation is easy; for the ancients also themselves, with heavy complaints, have abundantly testified that they did not approve of anything which was devised by the will of men.” In the end of the epistle he allegeth this testimony of Cyprian: “If Christ alone be to be heard, then we ought not to give heed what any man before us hath thought fit to be done, but what Christ (who is before all) hath done; for we must not follow the customs of man, but the truth of God.”

What can be more plain than that antiquity cannot be a confirmation to error, nor custom a prejudice to truth?

Wherefore Dr Forbesse873 also despiseth such arguments as are taken from the custom of the church.

Sect. 14. 3. There was a custom in the churches of God to give the holy communion to infants; and another custom to minister baptism only about Easter and Pentecost. Sundry such abuses got place in the church.

If, then, it be enough to pitch upon custom, why ought not those customs to have been commended and continued? But if they were commendably changed, then ought we not to follow blindly the bare custom of the church, but examine the equity of the same, and demand grounds of reason for it.

St. Paul (saith Dr Fulk874) doth give reason for that order of covering women's heads: “By whose example the preachers are likewise to endeavour to satisfy, by reason, both men and women, that humbly desire their resolution for quiet of their conscience, and not to beat them down with the club of custom only.”

4. Whereas the custom of some churches is alleged for the ceremonies, we have objected the custom of other churches against them; neither shall ever our opposites prove them to be the customs of the church universal.

5. A great part of that ecclesiastical custom which is alleged for the ceremonies, resolveth into that idolatrous and superstitious [pg 1-254] use of them which hath long continued in the kingdom of antichrist; but that such a custom maketh against them, it hath been proved before.875

6. If it were so that we ought to pitch upon the church's custom, yet (that I may speak with Mr Hooker) the law of common indulgence permitteth us to think of our own customs as half a thought better than the customs of others.

But why was there such a change made in the discipline, policy, and orders of the church of Scotland, which were agreeable to the word of God, confirmed and ratified by general assemblies and parliaments, used and enjoyed with so great peace and purity? Our custom should have holden the ceremonies out of Scotland, hold them in elsewhere as it may.



Sect. 1. We have proved that the ceremonies cannot be warranted by the law of God. It followeth to examine whether any law of man, or power upon earth, can make them lawful or warrantable unto us.

We will begin with laws ecclesiastical, where, first of all, it must be considered well what power the church hath to make laws about things pertaining to religion and the worship of God, and how far the same doth extend itself. Dr Field's resolution touching this question is as followeth: “Thus (saith he876) we see our adversaries cannot prove that the church hath power to annex unto such ceremonies and observations as she deviseth, the remission of sins, and the working of other spiritual and supernatural effects, which is the only thing questioned between them and us about the power of the church. So that all the power the church hath, more than by her power to publish the commandments of Christ the Son of God, and by her censures to punish the offenders against the same, is only in [pg 1-255] prescribing things that pertain to comelines