Nihil Respondes: OR, A DISCOVERY OF The extream unsatisfactorinesse of Master Colemans Peece, published last weeke under the Title of A Brotherly Examination re-examined.
Wherein, his self-contradictions: his yeelding of some things, and not answering to other things Objected against him: His abusing of Scripture: His errors in Divinity: His abusing of the Parliament, and indangering their Authority: His abusing of the Assembly: His Calumnies, and namely against the Church of Scotland, and against my selfe: The repugnancy of his Doctrin to the solemne League and Covenant, are plainly demonstrated.
By George Gillespie Minister at Edenburgh.
1 Tim. 1. 7.
Ʋnderstanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirme.
Published by Authority.
Printed at London for Robert Bostock dwelling in Pauls Church-yard, at the signe of the Kings head. 1645.
A Discovery of the extreame unsatisfactorinesse of Master Colemans Peece, published last week under the Title of, A Brotherly Examination re-examined.
AFter that Master Coleman had Preached and Printed such Doctrine as I was in my conscience fully perswaded was contrary to the Covenant of the three Kingdomes, and destructive (if it were put in practice) to the Reformation of Religion: he having also flatly and publikely imputed to the Commissioners from the Church of Scotland, a great part of the fault of hindering union in the Assembly here. I thought my selfe obliged in duty and in the trust which I bear, to give a publike testimony against his Doctrin, (which others did also) upon occasion not sought, but by Divine Providence, and a publike Calling then offered, first for Preaching, and after for Printing; in either of which I thinke there did not appeare the least dis-respect or bitternesse towards the Reverend Brother. The Lord knowes my intention was to speake to the matter, to vindicate the truth, and to remove that impediment of Reformation by him cast in: And if he, or any man else had in meeknesse of spirit, gravely and rationally, for clearing of truth, endeavoured to confute me, I ought not, I should not have taken it ill; but now when this peece of his against me, called A Brotherly Examination re-examined (I thinke he would or should have said examined, for this is the first examination of it) I finde it more full of railing than of reasoning, of gibing than of gravity; and when polemicks doe so degenerate, the world is abused, not edified. He tells me if I have not worke enough I shall have more; I confesse the answering of this Peece is no great worke, and the truth is, I am ashamed I have so little to make answer unto, yet I shall doe my best to improve even this worke to edification. When other worke comes I wish it be worke indeed, and not words. Res cum re, ratio cum ratione concertet, as the father said; Arguments Sir, Arguments, Arguments, if there be any: you have affirmed great things, and new things which you have not proved. The Assertions of such as are for a Church Government in genere, and for the Presbyteriall Government in specie, are knowne; their Arguments are knowne, but your Solutions are not yet knowne. If Mr. Prynnes Booke against the suspension of scandalous persons from the Sacrament be the worke for the present, which he meanes, I hope it shall be in due time most satisfactorily spoken unto both by others and by my selfe; I desire rather solid then subitane lucubrations: in the meane while, Let not him that putteth on his armour, boast as he that putteth it off. And let the Brother that puts me in minde of other worke, remember that himselfe hath other worke to doe which he hath not yet done.
I have for better method and clearnesse divided this following Discourse into certaine Heads, taking in under every Head such particulars in his Reply as I conceive to be most proper to that point.
That Master Coleman doth not onely prevaricate but contradict himselfe, concerning the state of the Question.
HE tels us often that he doth not deny to Church-officers all power of Church-Government, but onely the corrective part of Government: that the doctrinall and declarative power is in the Ministery, see Pag. 11. & 14 He denyeth that he did advise the Parliament to take Church Government wholly into their owne hands, I never had it in my thoughts saith he, that the Parliament had power of dispensing the Word and Sacraments. I must confesse it is to me new language which I never heard before, that the dispensing of the Word and Sacraments is a part of Church Government; sure the word Government is not, nor was never so understood in the Controversies concerning Church Government: But if it be, why did the Brother in his Sermon oppose Doctrine and Government, Give us Doctrine, said he, take you the Government.
But behold now how he doth most palpaply contradict himselfe, in one and the same Page; it is the 11th. I know no such distinction of Government, saith he, Ecclesiasticall and Civill, in the sence I take Government for the corrective part thereof; all Ecclesiasticall (improperly called) Government, being meerely Doctrinall; the corrective or primitive part being civill or temporall. Againe within a few lines; I doe acknowledge a Presbyterian Government, I said so expresly in my Epistle, and doe heartily subscribe to the Votes of the House. If he heartily subscribe to the Votes and Ordinances of Parliament, then be heartily subscribeth that Elderships suspend men from the Sacrament for any of the scandalls enumerate, it being proved by Witnesses upon oath; This power is corrective, not meerly doctrinall. He must also subscribe to the subordination of Congrigationall, Classicall, and Synodicall assemblies in the Government of the Church, and to appeales from the lesser to the greater, as likewise to Ordination by Presbyteries; and I pray, is all this meerly Doctrinall? And will he now subscribe heartily to all this; how will that stand with the other passages before cited? or with Page 17. where it being objected to him, that he takes away from Elderships all power of spirituall Censures; his Reply neither yeeldeth Excommunication nor Suspention, but Admonition alone, and that by the Ministers who are a part of the Elderships, not by the whole Eldership Consistorially. Againe, page 14. he confesseth; I advised the Parliament to lay no burthen of Government upon them, whom he, this Commissioner thinkes Church Officers, Pastors and Ruling-Elders. Now I argue thus; he that adviseth the Parliament to lay no burthen of Government upon Ministers and ruling Elders, he adviseth the Parliament to doe contrary to their owne Votes and Ordinances, and so is farre from subscribing heartily thereunto. But Mr. Coleman by his owne confession adviseth the Parliament to lay no burthen of Government upon Ministers and ruling Elders; Ergo, &c. how he will reconcile himselfe with himselfe, let him looke to it.
Page 11. He takes it ill that one while I make him an enemy to all Church Government, then onely to the Presbyteriall; Onely is his owne addition. But I had reason to make him an enemy to both, for so he hath made himselfe; yea, in opposing all Church Government he cannot chuse but oppose Presbyteriall Government: for the consequence is necessary, A genere ad speciem, negatively though not affirmatively. If no Church Government, then no Presbyteriall Government.
The particulars in my brief Examination, which Mr. Coleman either granteth expresly, or else doth not reply unto.
MY Argument Page 32. proving, that as many things ought to be established Jure divino as can well be, because he cannot answer it, therefore he granteth it. Pag. 5.
He had in his Sermon call’d for plaine and cleare institutions, and let Scripture speake expresly. Now pag. 7. he yeeldeth, that it is not onely a Divine Truth (as I call’d it) but cleare Scripture, which is drawne by necessary consequence from Scripture.
He hath not yet (though put in minde) produced the least exception against the known Arguments for Excommunication and Church Government, drawn from Mat. 18. and 1 Cor. 5. he tells the affirmer is to prove; But the affirmers have proved: and their Arguments are known, (yea he himselfe pag. 1. saith; I have had the opportunity to heare almost what man can say in either side, speaking of the controversie of Church Government) therefore he should have made a better answer, then to say that those places did not take hold of his Conscience, yet if he have not heard enough of those places he shall I trust ere long heare more.
He had said, I could never yet see how two Coordinate Governments exempt from superiority and inferiority, can be in one State, Page 35. I gave him three Instances, a Generall and an Admirall, a Father and a Master, a Captaine and a Master of a Ship; This pag. 8. he doth not deny, nor saith one word against it; onely he endeavoureth to make those Similes to run upon foure feete, and to resemble the generall Assembly, and the Parliament in every circumstance; but I did not at all apply them to the generall Assembly, and the Parliament. Onely I brought them to overthrow that generall Thesis of his concerning the inconsistency of two Co-ordinate Governments, which if he could defend; why hath not he done it?
His keeping up of the names of Clergy and Laiety being challenged by me, pag. 36. he hath not said one word in his Re-examination to justifie it.
I having pag. 37, 38. confuted his Argument drawn from the measuring of others by himselfe, whereby he did endeavour to prove that he had cause to feare an ambitious ensnarement in others as well as in himself, God having fashioned all mens hearts alike; now he quitteth his ground and saith nothing for vindicating that Argument, from my exceptions.
I shewed pag. 40. his misapplying of the King of Sodonus speech, but neither in this doth he vindicate himselfe.
That which I had at length excepted against his fourth Rule concerning the Magistrate, and his confirmation thereof, he hath not answered, nor so much as touched any thing which I had said against him from the end of page 42. to the end of page 48. except onely a part of page 43. and of page 44. concerning 1 Cor. 12. 28. some contrarious argumentations he hath page 21. (of which after) but no answer to mine.
Page 10. He digresseth to other Objections of his own framing, instead of taking off what I had said.
His abusing of the Scriptures.
Master Coleman did ground an Argument upon Psal. 33. 15, Prov. 27. 29. which cannot stand with the intent of the Holy Ghost, because contrary to other Scriptures, and to the Truth, as I proved pag. 38. He answereth in his Reexamination that my sence may stand, and his may stand too; but if my sence may stand, which is contrary to his, then his Argument had no sure ground for it; yea, that which I said was to prove that his consequence drawne from those Scriptures did contradict both the Apostle Pauls Doctrine and his owne profession, which still lyeth upon him since it is not answered.
Page 14. He citeth 1 Cor. 10. 33. Give none offence neither to the Jewes nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Churches of Christ; to prove that all Government is either a Jewish Government, or a Church Government, or a Heathenish Government, and that there is no third; yes Sir, your selfe hath given a third, (for you have told three) but Transeat cum caeteris errorihus. To the matter. This is a perverting of Scripture to prove an untruth; for the Government of Generalls, Admiralls, Majors, Sheriffes, is neither a Jewish Government, nor a Church Government, nor a Heathenish Government. Neither doth the Apostle speake any thing of Government in that place; he maketh a distribution of all men who are in danger to be scandalized, not of Governments. And if he had applyed the place rightly to the Parliament of England, he had said, They are either of the Jewes, or of the Gentiles, or of the Church of God, and this needeth not an answer. But when he saith; The English Parliament is either a Jewish Government, or a Church Government, or a Heathenish Government, I answer it is none of these, but it is a Civill Government.
Pag. 15. Declaring his Opinion of Church Government, he citeth Rom. 13. 4. For the punishment of him that doth evill; to prove that the punitive part belongs to the Christian Magistrate. But what is this to the punitive part which is in Controversie, spirituall Censures, suspention from the Sacrament, deposition from the Ministery, Excommunication. The punitive part spoken of Rom. 13. belongeth to all civill Magistrates whether Christian or Infidell.
Pag. 18. He maketh this reply to 1 Thess. 5. 12. 1 Tim. 17. Heb. 13. 7. 17. Why man! I have found these an hundred and an hundred times twice told, and yet am I as I was. Why Sir, was the Argument so ridiculous, I had brought those places to prove another Government (and if you will the institution of another Government) beside Magistracy, which he said he did not finde in Scripture. Here are some who are no civill Magistrates set over the Thessalonians in the Lord, 1 Thess. 5. 12. Paul writeth to Timothy of Elders that rule well, 1 Tim. 5. 17. the Churches of the Hebrewes had some Rulers who had spoken to them the Word of God, Heb. 13. 7. Rulers that watched for their soules as they that must give an account, verse 17. Now let the reverend Brother speake out, what can he answer? Were these Rulers civill Magistrates? Did the civill Magistrate speake to them the Word of God? If these Rulers were not Magistrates but Ministers, I aske next, Is it a matter of indifferency and no institution to have a Ministery in a Church or not? I hope though he doe not acknowledge ruling Elders Jure divino, yet he will acknowledge that the Ministers of the Word are Jure divino; yet these were some of the Rulers mentioned in the Scriptures quoted. Let him loose the knot, and laugh when he hath done.
Page 19. 20. He labourerh to prove from 1 Cor. 12. 28. that Christ hath placed civill Government in his Church, and whereas it is said, that though it were granted that civill Governments are meant in that place, yet it proves not that Christ hath placed them in the Church: He replyeth; I am sure the Commissioner will not stand to this: he that placed Governours was the same that placed Teachers. But his assurance deceiveth him, for upon supposition that civill Governments are there meant, (which is his sence) I deny it, and he doth but petere principium. God placed civill Governments, Christ placed Teachers; God placed all whom Christ placed, but Christ did not place all whom God placed. Next, whereas it was said, that Governments in that place cannot be meant of Christian Magistrates, because at that time the Church had no Christian Magistrates; He replyeth, that Paul speaks of Governments that the Church had not, because in the enumeration, ver. 29, 30. he omits none but helpes and Governments. I answer, the reason of that omission is not because these two were not then in being (for God had set them as well as the rest in the Church, ver. 28.) but to make ruling Elders and Deacons contented with their station, though they be not Prophets, Teachers, &c. Thirdly, I asked how comes civill Government into the Catalogue of Ecclesiasticall and Spiritaall administrations. His reply is nothing but an affirmation, that Christian Megistracy is an Ecclesiasticall admiration, and a Quere whether working of Miracles and gifts of Healing be Ecclesiasticall. Answ. Hence followeth, 1. That if the Magistrate cease to be Christian, he loseth his administration. 2. That though a worker of Miracles cease to be Christian, yet it is a question whether he may not still worke Miracles. Lastly, where I objected that he puts Magistracy behind Ministery, he makes no answer, but onely that he may doe this as well as my rule puts the Nobility of Scotland behind the Ministery. No Sir, we put but ruling Elders behind Ministers in the order of their administrations, because the Apostle doth so. It is accidentall to the ruling Elder to be of the Nobility, or to Nobles to be ruling Elders: there are but some so, and many otherwise. That of placing Deacons before Elders, 1 Cor. 12. 28 is no great matter, sure the Apostle, Rom. 12. placeth Elders before Deacons.
His Errors in Divinity.
1. Pag. 21. He admitteth no Church-government distinct from Civill, except that which is meerly doctrinall. And pa. 14. He adviseth the Parliament to take the corrective power wholly into their own hands, and exempteth nothing of Ecclesiasticall power from their hands but the dispencing of the Word and Sacraments. Hence it followeth that there ought to be neither suspension from the Sacrament, nor excommunication, nor ordination, nor deposition of Ministers, nor receiving of Appeals, except all these things be done by the Civill Magistrate. If he say the Magistrate gives leave to do these things. I answer. 1. So doth he give leave to preach the Word, and minister the Sacraments in his Dominions. 2. Why doth he then in his Sermon, and doth still in his Re-examination, pag. 14. advise the Parlament to lay no burthen of corrective Government upon Ministers, but keep it wholly in their own hands: It must needs be far contrary to his mind, that the Magistrate gives leave to do the things above mentioned, they being most of them corrective, and all of them more than doctrinall. 3. He gives no more power to Ministers in Church-government then in Civill government: for pag. 11. he ascribeth to them a ministeriall, doctrinall, and declarative power, both in Civill and Ecclesiasticall Government.
2. Pag. 11. and 14. he holds, that the corrective or punitive part of Church-government is Civill or Temporall, and is wholly to be kept in the Magistrates own hands. And in his Sermon, pag. 25. he told us he sees not in the whole Bible any one act of that Church-government in controversie, performed. All which how erroneous it is, appeareth easily from 1 Cor. 5. 12. Put away that wicked Person from among you: which Mr. Prynne himself in his Ʋindication, pag. 2. acknowledgeth to be a warrant for Excommunication, 2 Cor. 2. 6. there is a punishment or censure inflicted by many, 1 Tim. 5. 19. Against an Elder receive not an accusation but before two or three witnesses. Where acts of Church-government or censures were neglected, it is extremly blamed. Rev: 2. 14, 15. 20. was not all this corrective, yet not civill or temporall?
3. Pag. 9. Whereas I had said that without Church-government, Ministers shall not keep themselves nor the ordinances from pollution. He replyeth pag. 9. That he understands neither this keeping of themselves from pollution, no […] what this pollution of the ordinances is. I am sorry for it, that any Minister of the Gospel is found unclear in such a point. I will not give my own, but Scripturall answers to both. The former is answered, 1 Tim. 5. 22. Be not partaker of other mens sins, keep thy self pure. It is sin to dispense ordinances to the unworthy whether Ordination, or Communion in the Sacrament. For the other the pollution of Ordinances is the Scripture language. I hope he means not to quarrell at the holy Ghosts language, Ezek. 22. 26. Her Priests have violated my Law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane. Mal. 1. 7. Ye offer polluted bread, upon mine altar: vers. 12. Ye have prophaned it. Mat. 21. 13. Ye have made it a den of theeves. Matth: 7. 6. Cast not pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet.
4. Pag. 11. Whereas I had objected to him, that he excludeth ruling Elders, as well as Ministers from government: He answers, that Ruling Elders are either the same for office and Ordination with the Minister (which as he thinks the Independents own, but not I) or they are the Christian Magistrate, and so he saith he doth not exclude them. Mark here he excludeth all ruling Elders from a share in Church-government, who are not either the same for office and Ordination with the Minister, or else the Christian Magistrate; and so upon the matter he holdeth that ruling Elders are to have no hand in Church-government. Those ruling Elders which are in the votes of the Assembly, and in the Reformed Churches, have neither the power of Civill Magistracy (qua Elders and many of them not at all being no Magistrates) nor yet are they the same for office and ordination with the Minister, for their office, and consequently their ordination to that office, is distinct from that of the Minister, among all that I know. And so excluding all ruling Elders from Government who are neither Magistrates nor the same with Ministers, he must needs take upon him that which I charged him with.
5. Pag. 21. Where he makes reply to what he had said against his Argument from Ephes. 1. three last verses. He saith he will blow away all my discourse with this clear demonstration. That which is given to Christ, he hath it not as God, and Christ as God cannot be given. But this place (Ephes. 1. three last verses) speaketh both of dignity given to Christ, and of Christ as a gift given. Therefore Christ cannot be here understood as God. This is in opposition to what I said pag. 45. concerning the headship and dignity of Christ, as the naturall Son of God, the Image of the invisible God. Colos. 1. 15. And pag. 43. of the dominion of Christ as he is the eternall Son of God. This being premised, the Brothers demonstration is so strong as to blow himself into a blasphemous heresie. I will take the Proposition from himself, and the assumption from Scripture, thus. That which is given to Christ, he hath it not as God. But all power in heaven and in earth is given to Christ, Matth. 28. 18. Life is given to Christ, Joh. 5. 26. Authority to execute judgement is given to Christ, Ibid. ver. 27. All things are given into Christs hands, Joh. 3. 35. The Father hath given him power over all flesh, Joh: 17. 2. he hath given him glory, Joh: 17. 22. Ergo, by Mr. Colemans principles, Christ hath neither life, nor glory, nor authority to execute judgement, nor power over all flesh, as he is the eternall Son of God consubstantiall with the Father, but onely as he is Mediator God and Man. As for the giving of Christ as God, what if I argue thus. If Christ as he is the eternall Son of God, or second Person of the ever blessed Trinity, could not be given, then the incarnation it self, or the sending of the Son of God to take on our flesh, cannot be called a giving of a gift to us. But this were impious to say. Ergo. Again, if Christ as he is the second Person of the blessed Trinity could not be given, then the holy Ghost as he is the third Person cannot be given (for they are coessentiall, and that which were a dishonour to God the Son, were a dishonour to God the holy Ghost) But to say that the holy Ghost cannot be given as the third Person, were to say that he cannot be given as the holy Ghost. And what will he then say to all these Scriptures that speak of the giving of the holy Ghost? Act. 15. 8. Rom. 5. 5. 1 Joh: 4. 13. &c.
Finally, as Mr. Colemans demonstration hath blown away it self, so it could not hurt me, were it solid and good (as it is not) for he should have taken notice that in my examination I did not restrict the dignity given to Christ, Ephes. 1. 21. Nor the giving of Christ, vers. 22. to the Divine nature onely. Nay I told pag. 44, 45. that those words of the Apostle hold true even of the humane nature of Christ.
6. Pag. 21. he concludeth with a Syllogisme which he calleth the scope of my Discourse (I know not by what Logick the Proposition being forged by himself, and contrary to my Discourse) thus it is.
Whosoever do not manage their office and authority under Christ and for Christ, they manage it under the devill, and for the devill, for there is no middle, either Christ or Belial. He that is not with me is against me.
But according to the opinion of the Commissioner, Christian Magistracy doth not manage the Office and Authority thereof under Christ, and for Christ.
He beleeves I shall be hard put to it, to give the Kingdom a clear and satisfactory answer. Its wel that this is the hardest task he could set me.
The truth is, his Syllogisme hath quatuor terminos, and is therefore worthy to be exploded by all that know the Laws of disputation. Those words in the Proposition under Christ, and for Christ, can have no other sence, but to be serviceable to Christ, to take part with him, and to be for the glory of Christ, as is clear by the confirmation added, He that is not with me is against me. But the same words in the assumption must needs have another sence, under Christ and for Christ, that is, Vice Christi, in Christs stead. For that which I denyed was, that Magistracy is derived from Christ as Mediator, or that Christ as Mediator hath given a commission of Vicegerentship and Deputy-ship to the Christian Magistrate to manage his office and authority under & for him, and in his Name. As is clear in my Examination, pag. 42. Nay Mr. Coleman himself a little before his Syllogisme, pa. 19. takes notice of so much. His words are these. The Commissioner saith, Magistracy i […] not derived from Christ: I say Magistracy is given to Christ to be serviceable in his kingdom: So that though the Commissioners assertion be sound (which in due place will be discussed) yet it infringeth nothing that I said. Now then quâ fide could he in his Argument against me confound these two things which he himself had but just now carefully distinguished. If he will make any thing of his Syllogisme, he must hold at one of these two sences. In the first sence, it is true that all are either for Christ or against Christ. And it is as true that his assumption must be distinguished. For de facto the Christian Magistrate is for Christ when he doth his duty faithfully, and is against Christ if he be unfaithfull. But de jure, it holds true universally that the Christian Magistrate manageth his office under and for Christ, that is, so as to be serviceable for the kingdom and glory of Christ.
In the second sence (which onely concerneth me) taking under and for Christ, to be in Christs stead as his Deputies or Vicegerents: so his Assumption, is lame and imperfect, because it doth not hold forth my opinion clearly. That which I did and still do hold is this. That the Civill Magistrate, whether Christian or Pagan, is Gods Vicegerent, who by vertue of that vicegerent-ship is to manage his office and Authority under God, and for God, that is in Gods stead, and as God upon earth. But he is not the Vicegerent of Christ as Mediator, neither is he by vertue of any such Vicegerentship to manage his office and Authority under Christ, and for Christ, that is, in Christs stead, and as Christ Mediator upon earth. This was and is my plain opinion (nor mine alone, but of others more learned) and Mr. Coleman hath not said so much as […] to confute it. So much for the Assumption. But in the same sence I utterly deny his Proposition as being a great untruth in Divinity, for the sence of it can be no other then this, Whosoever do not manage their office and authority in Christs stead, or as Deputies and Vicegerents of Christ as he is Mediator, they manage it in the Devils stead, as the devils deputies and Vicegerents. Now I assume. Pagan Magistrates do not manage their office as the Deputies and Vicegerents of Jesus Christ, as he is Mediator: Ergo as the devils deputies. Which way was the Authority derived to them from Christ as Mediator. Mr. Coleman pag. 19. saith in answer to this particular (formerly objected) that Christ is rightfull King of the whole earth, and all Nations ought to receive Christ, though as yet they do not. But this helpeth him not. That which he had to shew, was that the Pagan Magistrate, even while continuing Pagan, and not Christian, doth manage his office as Christs Deputy and Vicegerent. If not, then I conclude by his principles, a Pagan Magistrate is the devils deputy and vicegerent, which is contrary to Pauls doctrine, who will have us to be subject for conscience sake, even to Heathen Magistrates as the Ministers of God for good. Rom. 13. first 7 verses. By the same Argument Mr. Coleman must grant that Generals, Admirals, Majors, Sheriffes, Constables, Captains, Masters, yea every man that hath an office, is either Christs Vicegerent, or the devils vicegerent: then which what can be more absurd? I might beside all these shew some other flawes in his Divinity, as namely, pa. 9. and 13. He doth not agree to this Proposition, that the admitting of the scandalous and prophane to the Lords Table, makes Ministers to partake of their sins. And he supposeth that Ministers may do their duty, though they admit the scandalous. But of this elsewhere.
His abusing of the Honorable Houses of Parlament.
MOst Honorable Senators, I humbly beseech you to look about you, and take notice how far you are abused by Mr. Coleman.
1. While he pretendeth to give you more then his Brethren, he taketh a great deal more from you, and (so far as in him lieth) even shaketh the foundation of your Authority. The known tenure of Magistracy is from God, he is the Minister of God for good, and the powers that are, are ordained of God, saith the Apostle; The Magistrate is Gods Vicegerent. But now this Brother seeketh a new Tenure and derivation of Magistracy, which takes away the old. He told in his Sermon, pa. 27. Christ hath placed Governments in his Church, 1 Cor. 12. 28. Of other Governments beside Magistracy I find no institution, of them I do. Rom. 13. 1, 2. I find all government given to Christ, and to Christ as Mediator, (I desire all to consider it) Ephes. 1. three last vers. and Christ as head of these given to the Church. Here you have these three in subordination. God, Christ, and the Christian Magistrate. God gives once all government even civill to Christ, and to him as Mediator. Well but how comes it then to the Magistrate? Not straight by a deputation from God. Mr. Colemans doctrine makes an interception of the power. He holds that God hath put it in Christs hands as Mediator. How then? The Brother holdeth that Christ as Mediator hath instituted and placed the Christian Magistrate, yea and no other Government in his Church. This was the ground of my Answer, pag. 42. that he must either prove from Scripture that Christ as Mediator hath given such a Commission of Vicegerent-ship and Deputy-ship to the Christian Magistrate: or otherwise acknowledge that he hath given a most dangerous wound to Magistracie, and made it an emptie title claiming that power which it hath no warrant to assume. I added: As the Mediator hath not any where given such a Commission and power to the Magistrate, so as Mediator he had it not to give: for he was not made a Judge in civill affairs, Luk. 12. 14. and his kingdom is not of this world. Joh. 18. 36. Now but what reply hath he made to all this? pa. 19. he saith granting it all to be true and sound, yet it infringeth not what he said. The Commissioner (saith he) saith Magistracy is not derived from Christ: I say Magistracie is given to Christ to be serviceable in his kingdom. But by his good leave and favour he said a great deal more then this, for he spake of Christ his being head of all civill Governments, and his placing these in his Church, as he is Mediator. Yea that fourth rule delivered by him in his Sermon, did hold forth these assertions. 1. That God gave all government even civill to Christ, and to him as Mediator. 2. That Christ as Mediator hath power and authority to place and substitute under and for him the Christian Magistrate. 3. That Christ hath placed and instituted civill Governments in his Church, to be under and for him as he is Mediator. 4. That the Christian Magistrate doth, and all Magistrates should manage their office under and for Christ, (that is, as his Vicegerents) he being as Mediator head of all civil Government. Now in stead of defending his Doctrine from my just exceptions made against it, he revileth, and having brought the Magistrate in a snare, leaves him there. He endeavours to vindicate no more but this, that Magistracy is given to Christ to be serviceable in his kingdom. But if he had said so at first, I had said with him, and not against him in that point. And if he will yet hold at that, why doth he pag. 19. refer my Assertion to further discussion?
Secondly, he hath abused the Parliament in holding forth that rule to them in his Sermon, Establish as few things Jure divino as can well be. And yet now he is made by strength of argument to acknowledge pag. 5. that this is a good rule. Establish as many things. Jure divino as can well be.
Thirdly, I having stated the question to be not whether this or that form of Church-Government be Jure divino, but whether a Church Government be Jure divino? whether Christ hath thus far revealed his will in his Word, that there are to be Church censures, and those to be dispenced by Churchofficers. I said the Brother is for the negative of this question, pa. 32. This he flatly denieth, pag. 5, 6. Whereby he acknowledgeth the affirmative, that there is a Church Government Jure divino, and that Jesus Christ hath so far revealed his will in his Word, that there are to be Church Censures, and those to be dispensed by Church-officers. But how doth this agree with his Sermon? Christ hath placed Governments in his Church. Of other Governments (said he) beside Magistracie I find no institution, of them I do. Is Magistracie Church-Government? Are Magistrates Church-officers? are the civill punishments Church Censures? Is this the mystery? Yes, that it is: He will tell us anon that the Houses of Parliament are Church-Officers; but if that bolt doe any hurt I am much mistaken.
Fourthly, He professeth to subscribe to the Votes of Parliament concerning Church-Government, page 11. and yet he still pleadeth that all Ecclesiasticall Government is meerely Doctrinall, ibid. the Parliament having Voted that power to Church-Officers which is not Doctrinall (as I shewed before) And he adviseth the Parliament to keep wholy in their own hands the corrective part of Church-Government, page 14. though the Parliament hath put into the hands of Elderships a power of suspention from the Sacrament, which is corrective.
Fifthly, he did deliver in that Sermon before the Honourable House of Commons, divers particulars, which being justly excepted against, and he undertaking a Vindication, yet he hath receded from them, or not being able to defend them, as that concerning two co-ordinate Governments in one Kingdome, and his Argument concerning the feare of an ambitious ensnarement in Ministers; these being by me enfringed he hath not so much as offered to make them good.
Sixtly, having acknowledged under his owne hand that he was sorry he had given offence to the Reverend Assembly, and to the Commissioners from Scotland, he now appealeth to the Parliament, and tells us they are able to judge of a scandalous Sermon, and they thought not so of it, page 3. I know they are able to judge of a scandalous Sermon, that they thought not so of it, its more then I know or beleeve; however I know they have a tender respect to the offence of others even when themselves are not offended, and so they and all men ought to doe according to the rule of Christ: for his part after he had acknowledged he had given offence, it is a dis-service to the Parliament to lay over the thing upon them; for my part, I thinke I doe better service to the Parliament in interpreting otherwise that second Order of the House, not onely desiring but injoyning Mr. Coleman to Print that Sermon; as near as he could as he Preached it. This was not (as he takes it) one portion of approbation above all its Brethren (for I shall not beleeve that so wise an Auditory was not at all scandalized at the hearing of that which was contrary both to the Covenant, and to their own Votes concerning Church-Government; nor at that which he told them out of the Jewish Records, that Hezekiah was the first man that ever was sick in the world, and did recover) but as I humbly conceive it was a reall censure put upon him: his Sermon being so much excepted against and stumbled at, the Honourable House of Commons did wisely injoyne him to Print his Sermon, that it might abide triall in the light of the world, and lye open to any just exceptions which could be made against it abroad, and that he might stand or fall to himself.
Seventhly, he abuseth the Parliament by arrogating so much to himselfe as that his Sermon will in the end take away all difference, and settle union, page 3. and that his Modell will be when he is dead the Modell of Englands Church-Government, as he saith in his Postscript, whether this be Prophecying or presuming, I hope we are free to judge And what if the Wisedome and Authority of the Honourable Houses upon advice from the Reverend and learned Assembly chuse another way than this? Must all the Synodicall debates, and all the grave Parliamentary Consultations resolve themselves into Master Colemans way, like Jordan into Mare Mortuum.
Eightly, He doth extreamly wound the Authority of Parliament in making their Office to be a Church Office, and of the same kind with the Ministers Office, page 14. Doe not I hold Ministers Church-Officers? And a little after. I desire the Parliament to consider another Presbyterian principle, that excludes your Honourable Assembly from being Church-Officers. If so, then the Offices of the Magistrate and of the Minister must stand and fall together; that is, if the Nation were not christian, the Office of Magistracy should cease as well as that of the Ministery; and if he make the Magistrate a Church-Officer, he must also give him Ordination, except with the Socinians he deny the necessity of Ordination.
His abusing the Reverend Assembly of Divines.
WHereas I had objected that his Sermon had given no small scandall and offence, he replyeth page 3. But hath it given offence? to whom? I appeale to the Honourable Audience. Is this candide or faire dealing when he himselfe knew both that he had given offence, and to whom. I shall give him no other answer but his owne Declaration which he gave under his hand, after he had Preached that Sermon.
For much of what is reported of my Sermon I utterly deny, and referre my selfe to the Sermon it selfe; for what I have acknowledged to be delivered by me, although it is my judgement, yet because I see it hath given a great deale of offence to this Assembly, and the Reverend Commissioners of Scotland; I am sorry I have given offence in the delivery thereof. And for the Printing, although I have an Order, I will forbeare, except I be further commanded. Tho. Coleman.
Page 33. I had this passage: And where he asketh where the Independents and we should meet? I answer; In holding a Church Government Jure divino, that is, that the Pastours and Elders ought to suspend, or Excommunicate (according to the degree of the offence) scandalous sinners. Who can tell but the purging of the Church from scandalls, and the keeping of the Ordinances pure (when it shall be actually seene to be the great Worke endeavoured on both sides) may make union between us and the Independents more easie then many imagine. What reply hath he made to this? pag. 6. Sure I dreame (Awake then) But I will tell you newes: The Presbiterians and Independents are (he should have said may be) united; nay more, the Lutherans and Calvinists: nay more yet, the Papist and Protestant: nay more then so, the Turk and Christian. But wherein? In holding that there is a Religion wherein men ought to walke. No Sir; they must be united upon the like termes: that is, you must first have Turkes to be Christians, and Papists to be Protestants, and then you must have them as willing to purge the Church of scandalls, and to keepe the Ordinances pure. We will never dispaire of an union with such as are sound in the Faith, holy in life, and willing to a Church-refining and sin-censuring Government in the hands of Church Officers. In the meane while it is no light imputation upon the Assembly to hint this much, that the harmony and concord among the Members thereof for such a Government as I have now named (though in some other particulars dissenting) can no more unite them, than Turkes and Christians, Papists and Protestants can be united; and now I will tell you my newes; the Presbiterians and Independents are both equally interested against the Erastian Principles.
He reflecteth also upon the Assembly in the point of Jus divinum, page 6. But what his part hath been in reference to the proceedings in the Assembly is more fully, and in divers particulars expressed in the Briefe view of Mr. Coleman his new Modell, unto which he hath offered no answer.
PAge 3. He desireth me with wisdome and humility to minde what Church-refining, and sin-censuring worke this Church-Government with all his activity hath made in Scotland, in the point of promiscuous communicating; I shall desire him with wisdome and humility to mind what charity or conscience there is in such an aspersion; I dare say divers thousands have keen kept off from the Sacrament in Scotland, as unworthy to be admitted, where I my selfe have exercised my Ministery, there have been some hundreds kept off; partly for ignorance, and partly for scandall. The order of the Church of Scotland, and the Acts of generall Assemblies are for keeping off all scandalous Persons, which every godly and faithfull Minister doth conscientiously and effectually endeavour; and if here or there it be too much neglected by some Archippus who takes not heed to fulfill the Ministery which he hath received of the Lord, let him and his Eldership beare the blame, and answer for it.
Page 4. I having professed my unwillingnesse to fall upon such a Controversie in a Fast Sermon. He replyeth; How can you say, you were unwilling? But how can you in brotherly charity doubt of it, after I had seriously professed it? My doing it at two severall Fasts (the onely opportunities I then had to give a testimony to that presently controverted truth is no Argument of the contrary. May not a man doe a thing twenty times over and yet doe it unwillingly?
Page 5. He slandereth those that did in their Sermons give a publike testimony against his Doctrine, the occasion (as he gives out) not being offered, but taken. But had they not a publike calling and employment to Preach as well as himselfe? And if a Fast was not occasion offered to them, how was a Fast an occasion offered to him to fall upon the same controversie first, and when none had done the like before him?
A fourth Calumny is this. He had first blamed two Parties that they came byassed to the Assembly; I answered, How then shall he make himselfe blamelesse who came byassed a third way, which was the Erastian way; and that for our part we came no more byassed to this Assembly then the forraine Divines came to the Synod of Dort, Alexander to the Councell of Nice, and Cyrell to that of Ephesus, and Paul to the Synod at Jerusalem; but now page 6. 7, instead of doing us right he doth us greater injury, for now he makes us byassed not onely by our owne judgements, but by something adventitious from without, which he denyeth himself to be, (but how truely I take not on me to judge: beholders doe often perceive the byassing better then the Bowlers) yea he saith, that I have acknowledged the byas, and justifie it. Where Sir, where? I deny it; Its no byas for a man to be setled, resolved, and ingaged in his judgement for the truth, especially when willing to receive more light, and to learne what needeth to be further reformed. Hath he forgotten his owne definition of the byas which he had but just now given? But he will needs make it more then probable by the instances which I brought, that the Commissioners from Scotland came not to this Assembly, as Divines by dispute and disquisition to finde out truth, but as Judges to censure all different opinions as errours; for so came forraigne Divines to Dort, Alexander to the Councell of Nice, Cyrill to Ephesus. Is it not enough to slander us, though he doe not for our sakes slander those worthy Divines that came to the Synod of Dort, Alexander also and Cyrill, prime Witnesses for the truth in their daies? could no lesse content him then to approve the Objections of the Arminians against the Synod of Dort, which I had mentioned page 33? but he gets not away so; the strongest instance which I had given he hath not once touched: it was concerning Paul and Barnabas who were ingaged (not in the behalfe of one Nation, but of all the Churches of the Gentiles) against the imposition of the Mosaicall Rites, and had so declared themselves at Antioch before they came to Jerusalem. Finally, whereas he doubts, though not of our willingnesse to learne more, yet of our permission to receive more: That very paper first given in by us (which I had cited, and unto which he makes this reply) did speake not onely of our learning, but of the Church of Scotlands receiving; and which is more, there is an actuall experiment of it, the last generall Assembly having ordered the laying aside of some particular customes in that Church, and that for the nearer uniformity with this Church of England, as was expressed in their owne Letter to the reverend Assembly of Divines.
A fifth calumny there is, page 9. 6. The Commissioner is content that Jus divinum should be a Noli me tangere to the Parliament, yet blames what himselfe grants. I was never content it should be a Noli me tangere to the Parliament, but at most a Non necesse est tangere, for so I explained my selfe, page 32, 33. If the Parliament establish that thing which is agreeable to the Word of God, though they doe not establish it as Jure divino, I acquiesce; in the meane time both they and all Christians, but especially Ministers ought to search the Scriptures, that what they doe in matters of Church-Government they may doe it in faith and assurance that it is acceptable to God. It was not of Parliamentary Sanction, but of Divines doctrinall asserting of the will of God that I said, Why should Ius Divinum be such a Nolime tangere?
6 It seemes strange to him that I did at all give instance of the usefulnesse of Church-Government in the preservation of purity in the Ordinances and in Church-members. He saith for an Independent to have given this instance, had been something; but it seemes strange to him that I should have given an instance of the power and efficacy of Government, as it is Presbyteriall, and contradistinct to Congregationall. This is a calumny against Presbyteriall Government, which is neither privative nor contradistinct, but cumulative to Congregationall Government; and the Congregationall is a part of that Government which is comprehended under the name of Presbyteriall. But in cases of common concernment, difficulty, appeals, and the like, the preserving of the Ordinances and Church-members from pollution, doth belong to Presbyteries and Synods.
7 He sayth of me, page 9. He ascribeth this power of purif […]ing men, and means of advancing the power of godlinesse afterward, to Government. A calumny. It was only a sine quo non which I ascribed to Government, thus farre, that without it Ministers shall not keep themselves nor the Ordinances from pollution, pag. 23. But that Church-Government hath power to purify men, I never thought it, nor said it. That which I sayd of the power (which he pointeth at) was, that his way can neither preserve the purity, nor advance the power of Religion; page 40. and the reason is, because his way provideth no ecclesiasticall effectuall remedy for removing and purging away the most grosse scandalous sinnes, which are destructive to the power of godlinesse. God must by his Word and Spirit purify men, and work in them the power of godlinesse. The Church-Government which I plead for against him, is a meanes subservient and helpfull, so farre as removere prohibens, to remove that which apparently is impeditive and destructive to that purity and power.
8 Having told us of the proud swelling waves of Presbyteriall Goverment, I asked upon what coast had those waves done any hurt, France, or Scotland, or Holland, or Terra incognita? He replieth page 12. I confesse, I have had no great experience of the Presbyteriall Government. Why make you bold then to slander it, when you can give no sure ground for that you say? He tels us, his feares arise from Scotland, and from London. The Reverend and worthy Ministers of London can speak for themselves aetatem habent. For my part (though I know not the particulars) I am bound in charity not to beleeve those aspersions put upon them by a discontented Brother. But what from Scotland? I my selfe (sayth he) did heare the Presbytery of Edingburgh censure a woman to be banished out of the gates of the City; was not this an encroachment? It had bin an encroachment indeed, if it had bin so. But he will excuse me if I answer him in his own language (which I use not) page 3 and 5. It is at the best a most uncharitable slander. And, there was either ignorance or mindlesnesse in him that sets it down.
There is no Banishment in Scotland but by the Civill Magistrate, who so farre aideth and assisteth Church Discipline, that prophane and scandalous persons when they are found unruly and incorrigible, are punished with Banshment or otherwise. A stranger comming at a time into one of our Presbyteries, and hearing of somewhat which was represented to or reported from the Magistrate, ought to have had so much both circumspection and charity, as not to make such a rash and untrue report. He might have at least enquired when he was in Scotland and informed himselfe better, whether Presbyteries or the Civill Magistrate doe banish. If he made no such enquiry, he was rash injudging. If he did, his offence is greater, when after information he will not understand.
9 He makes this to be a position of mine, pag. 13. That a learned Ministery puts no black marke upon prophanenesse more then upon others. A calumny. For first he makes me to speake Nonsence. Secondly I did not speake it of a learned Ministery, but of his way page 40. How long agoe since a learned Ministery was knowne by the name of Master Colemans way? His way is a Ministery without power of Government, or Church Censures. Of this his way I said, that it putteth no black marke upon prophanenesse and scandall in Church Members more than in any others. And the reason is, because the corrective or punitive part of Government he will have to be only Civill or Temporall which striketh against those that are without, as well as those within. Put the Apostle tells us of such a corrective Governement, as is a judging of those that are within, and of those only 1 Cor. 5. 12. And this way (which is not only ours, but the Apostolicall way) puts a black marke upon prophanenesse & scandalous sins, in Church members more then in any others.
10. He saith of me page 17. The Commissioner is the only man that we shall meet with, that forsaking the words, judgeth of the Intentions. A Calumny. I judged nothing but ex ore tuo. But in this thing he himselfe hath trespassed. I will instance but in two particulars. In that very place he saith Admonition is a spirituall censure in the Commissioners opinion. Whence knowes he that to be my opinion? Consistoriall or Presbyteriall Admonition given to the unruly, may be called a censure. And if this were his meaning, then ascribing to Elderships power of Admonition, he gives them some power of spirituall Censures, and so something of the corrective part of Government; which were contrary to his owne Principles. But he speaketh it of the Ministers admonishing, who are but a part of the Elderships, as himselfe there granteth. Now where did I ever say or write, that Admonition by a Minister is a spirituall censure? Againe page 4. He so judgeth me, that he not only forsaketh but contradicteth my words, How can you say you were unwilling?
11. He saith page 16. Now the Commissioner speaks out, &c. What! not the Parliament of England meddle with Religion? A horrid calumny. Where have I said it. Dic sodes. I never preached before […] but I exhorted them to meddle with Religion, and that in the first place and above all other things. I shall sooner prove, that Master Coleman will not have the Parliament of England to meddle with Civill affaires, because he makes them Church Officers. Its a non-sequitur. Their power is Civill, Ergo they are not to meddle with Religion? It will be a better consequence. They are Church Officers. So he makes them, page 14. and Christian Magistracy is an Ecclesiasticall Administration. So he saith, page 20. Ergo, they are not to meddle with Civill Government.
The Repugnancy of his Doctrine to the solemn League and Covenant.
Mr Coleman, pag. 13. acknowledgeth that to assert any thing contrary to the solemn League and Covenant, is a great fault in any, in himselfe more then in divers others, if made out: He having for his own part taken it with the first, and not only so, but having adminstred it to divers others: Yes, and take this one circumstance more. In his Sermon upon, Jer. 30. 21. at the taking of the Covenant, Septemb. 29. 1643. He answereth this objection against the extirpation of Prelacy. But what if the exorbitancies be purged away, may not I notwithstanding my Oath, admit of a regulated Prelacy? for satisfaction to this objection; He answereth thus, First, we swear not against a Government, that is not. Secondly, we swear against the evils of every Government, and doubtlesse many materials of Prelacy must of necessity be retained, as absolutely necessary. Thirdly, taking away the exorbitancies, the remaining will be a new Government, and no Prelacy. Let the Brother now deale ingenuously; What did he understand by those materials of Prelacy absolutely necessary to be retained? did he understand the dispensing of the Word and Sacraments, which is common to all Pastors? Or, did he understand the Priviledges of Parliament? Were either of those two materials of Prelacy? And if he had meant either of these, Was this the way to satisfie that scruple concerning the extirpation of Prelacy? Again, what was that new Government which he promised them, after the taking away of the exorbitancies of the old? Was it the Ministers doctrinall part? that is no new thing in England. Was it the Parliaments assuming of the corrective part of Church-Government (as hee improperly distinguisheth) wholy and soly into their own hands, excluding the Ministery from having any hand therein? This were a new Government I confesse. But sure he could not in any reason intend this as a satisfaction to the scruples of such as desired a regulated Prelacy, whose scruples he then spoke to; for this had been the way to disswade them from, not to perswade them to the Covenant.
But I goe along with his Re-examination, pag. 14. He explaineth himselfe and me thus, He should have said that I advised the Parliament to lay no burthen of Government upon them whom he this Commissioner thinks Church-Officers, then had hee spoken true; I thank him for his explanation. And I pray who were the Church officers, whom I said hee excluded from Church Government? Were they not Pastors and ruling Elders? And doth not himselfe think these to be Church-officers? Yes, of the Ministers he thinks so, but of ruling Elders he seemes to doubt, except they be Magistrates. Well but excluding these Church-officers from Church-Government he takes with the Charge. Why seeks he a knot in the rush? But now, how doth he explaine himselfe? He will have the Parliament to bee Church-officers (of which before) and such Church-officers as shall take the corrective part of Curch-Government wholy into their own hands; yet not to dispence the Word and Sacraments, but to leave the Doctrinall part to the Ministry, and their power to be meerely Doctrinall as he saith, pag. 11. Thus you have his explanation. But doth this salve the violating of the Covenant? Nay, it makes it more apparent; for the Government of the Church, which the first Article of the Covenant speaks of, is distinguished from the Doctrinall part, That we shall endeavour the Reformation of Religion in the Kingdomes of England and Ireland in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government. So that excluding Pastors and ruling Elders from the corrective part of Government, and from all power which is not meerely Doctrinall, he thereby excludeth them from that Discipline and Government which the Covenant speaks of, as one speciall part of the Reformation of Religion. Come on to the Reasons.
I had given foure Reasons: He takes notice but of three. This is the second time he hath told three for foure, yet even these three will doe the businesse.
1. The extirpation of Church-Government is not the reformation of it; Here the Brother addeth these words following as mine, which are not mine, therefore he that finds no Church-government, breaks his Covenant. His reply is, we must reforme it according to the word of God: if that hold out none, here is no failing. He addeth a simile of a Iury sworn to enquire into the felony of an accused person, but findes nor guilty: and of three men taking an oath to deliver in their opinions of Church-government (where by the way he lets fall, that I hold the Nationall Synod to be above all Courts in the Kingdom; which if he meane of Ecclesiasticall Courts, why did he speak so generally? if he meane above all or any Civill Courts, it is a grosse calumny.) But now if this be the sense (which he gives) of that first article in the Covenant, then 1. all that is in the second article might have been put into the first article; for instance, wee might in Mr Colemans sense, have sworn to endeavour the reformation of Prelacy, and even of Popery it selfe, according to the word of God and the example of the best Reformed Churches: that is, taking an oath to deliver in our opinions of these things, according to the word of God, and to enquire into the evills of Church-government by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans &c. whether guilty or not guilty. I strengthned my argument by the different nature of the first and second article; I said, the second article is of things to be extirpated, but this of things to be preserved and reformed. Why did hee not take the strength of my argument and make a reply? 2. By the same principle of his we are not tied by the first article of our Covenant to have any either doctrine or worship, but only to search the Scriptures, whether the Word hold out any; for Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government goe hand in hand in the Covenant. 3. His owne simile hath this much in it against him. If a Iury sworn to enquire into the felony of an accused person, should after such an oath, not only finde the person not guilty, but further take upon them to maintain that there is no such thing as felony; surely this were inconsistent with their oath. So he that sweares to endeavour the Reformation of Religion in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government, and yet will not only dislike this or that forme of Government, but also hold that there is no such thing as Church-Government, he holds that which cannot agree with his oath. 4. This answer of Mr Colemans, leaving it free to debate whether there be such a thing as Church-Government, being his only answer to my first argument from the Covenant, must needs suppose, that the Government mentioned in the Covenant (the reformation whereof we have sworne to endeavour) is understood even by himselfe, of Church-officers, their power of corrective Government; it being the corrective part only, and not the doctrinall part, which he casts upon an uncertainty whether the Word hold out any such thing.
2. Church-Government is mentioned in the Covenant as a spirituall, not a civill thing. The matters of Religion are put together, Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government. The Priviledges of Parliament come after in the third article. The Reverend Brother replies, What if it be? therefore the Parliament is not to meddle with it, and why? And here he runs out against me, as if I held that the Parliament is not to meddle with Religion; an assertion which I abominate. Princes and Magistrates their putting off themselves all care of the matters of Religion, was one of the great causes of the Churches mischiefe, and of Popish and Prelaticall tyranny. But is this just and faire, Sir, to give out for my opinion, that for which you are not able to shew the least colour or shadow of consequence from any thing that ever I said? That which was to be replied unto, was, whether doe not the materials of the first article of the Covenant differ from the materials of the third article of the Covenant? or whether are they the same? Whether doth the Priviledge of Parliament belong to the first article of the Covenant? Whether is that Government mentioned in the first article, a civill thing or a spirituall? If civill, why is Discipline and Government ranked with Doctrine and Worship, and all these mentioned as parts of the reformation of Religion? If spirituall, then why doth the Brother make it civill or temporall pag. 11. To all this nothing is answered: but, what if it bee? Then is my argument granted.
And to put it yet further out of question, I adde other two arguments from that same first article of the Covenant. One is this; In the first part of that first article we sweare all of us to endeavour the preservation of the reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government: where all know that the words Discipline and Government (especially being mentioned as two of the principall things in which the Reformed Religion in that Church doth consist) signifie Church-Government, and Church-Discipline, distinct both from Doctrine and Worship, and from civill Government (which, by the way, how Mr Coleman endeavoureth to preserve, I will not now say, but leave it to others to judge:) Therefore in that which immediately followeth, our endeavouring the Reformation of Religion in the Kingdoms of England and Ireland in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government; the words Discipline and Government must needs be understood in the same sense thus farre, that it is a Church-Discipline, and a Church-Government distinct from the civill power of the Magistrate, and distinct also from Doctrine and Worship in the Church; for we cannot make these words Discipline and Government in one and the same article of a solemn oath and Covenant, to suffer two senses differing toto genere, (especially considering that the civill Government is put by it selfe in another article which is the third) unlesse we make it to speak so as none may understand it.
The other argument which I now adde, is this; In the third part of that first article we sweare that we shall endeavour to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in Religion, confession of faith, forme of Church Government, Directory for worship and catechising; where 1. Church Government doth agree generically with a confession of faith, Directory of worship, and catechising: I mean all these are matters of Religion, none of them civill matters. 2. It is supposed there is such a thing as Church Government distinct from civill Government; and therefore it is put out of all question, that so farre there shall be an uniformity between the Churches of God in the three Kingdoms (and otherwise it were an unswearing of what was sworn in the first part of that article) but it tieth us to endeavour the nearest conjunction and uniformity in a form of Church government; which were a vaine and rash oath, if we were not tied to a Church government in generall, and that as a matter of Religion. 3 The uniformity in a form of Church-Government which we sweare to endeavour, must needs be meant of corrective Government, it being clearly distinguished from the Confession of Faith, and Directory of Worship. So that Mr Colemans distinction of the Doctrinall part, and of the dispensing of the Word and Sacraments cannot here help him.
From these two Arguments (beside all was said before) I conclude, that the Covenant doth undeniably suppose and plainely hold forth this thing as most necessary and uncontrover […]able, that there ought to bee a Church-Government which is both distinct from the Civill-Government, and yet not meerely doctrinall. And if so, what Apollo can reconcile Mr Colemans Doctrine with the Covenant? And now I go on.
My last reason formerly brought was this: Will the brother say that the example of the best reformed Churches leadeth his way. For the Covenant tieth us to a reformation of the government of the Church both according to the Word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches: that, as regula regulans: this, as regula regulata,
The Reverend brother replieth: 1. The best reformed Church, that ever was, went this way, I meane the Church of Israel.
Answ. 1. Is the Church of Israel one of the Reformed Churches which the Covenant speakes of? 2. Was the Church of Israel better reformed than the Apostolicall Churches? why then cals he it the best reformed Church that ever was? 3. That in the Jewish Church, there was a Church-government distinct from civill government, and Church censures distinct from civill punishments, is the opinion of many who have taken great paines in the searching of the Jewish antiquities; and it may be he shall heare it ere long further proved both from Scripture, and from the very Talmudicall writers.
2. I desire (saith he) the Commissioner to give an instance in the new Testament of such a distinction (Civill and Church government) where the state was Christian.
Answ. I desire him to give an instance in the new Testament of these three things, and then he will answer himselfe. 1. Where was the State Christian? 2. Where had the Ministery a doctrinall power in a Christian State? 3. Where doth the new Testament hold out, that a Church government distinct from civill government may be where the State is not Christian, and yet may not be where the State is Christian? Shall the Churches liberties be diminished, or rather increased where the State is Christian?
In the third and fourth place, the brother tels us of the opinions of Gualther, Bullinger, Erastus, Aretius. The question is of the examples of Churches, not of the opinions of men. But what of the men? As for that pestilence that walketh in darknesse through London and Westminster, Erastus his booke against Beza, let him make of it what he can, it shall have an Antidote by and by. In the meane while he may take notice that in the close of the sixth Book Erastus casts down that which he hath built, […]ust as Bellarmine did in the close of his five books of justification. But as for the other three named by the brother, they are ours, not his in this present controversie. Gualther expounds the fifth chapter of 1 Cor. all along of excommunication, and of the necessity of Church discipline, in so much that he expounds the very delivering to satan (the phrase most controverted by Erastus and his followers) of excommunication; and the not eating with the scandalous, v. 9, 10, 11. hee takes also to import excommunication. Hee thinks also that Ministers shall labour to little pupose, except they have a power of government. Bullinger is most plaine for excommunication, as a spirituall censure ordained by Christ: and so he understands, Matth. 18. 17.
Aretius holds, that God was the authour of excommunication in the old Testament, and Christ in the New. And now, are these three Master Colemans way? or doth not his doctrine flatly contradict theirs? Peradventure he will say, yet there is no excommunication in the Church of Zurik (where those Divines lived) nor any suspension of scandalous sinners from the Sacrament. I answer, this cannot infringe what I hold, that the example of the best reformed Churches maketh for us, and against him. For first, the booke written by Lavater, (another of the Zurike Divines) De ritibus & institutis Ecclesiae Tigurinae, tels us of divers things in that Church, which will make the brother easily to acknowledge that it is not the best reformed Church: such as Feastivall daies, cap. 8. that upon the Lords daies before the third Bell, it is published and made knowen to the people, if there be any houses, fields or lands to be sold, cap. 9. They have no Fasts indicted, ibid. nor Psalmes sung in the Church, cap. 10. Responsories in their Letany at the Sacrament, the Deacon upon the right hand saith one thing, the Deacon upon the left hand saith another thing, the Pastor a third thing, cap. 13.
2. Yet the Church of Zurike hath some corrective Church Government, besides that which is civill or temporall, for that same Booke, cap. 23. tells us that in their Synods, any Minister who is found scandalous or prophane in his life, is censured with deposition from his office, ib Officio deponitur. Then followes, Finita censura, singuli Decani, &c. Here is a Synodicall censure, which I finde also in Wolphius a Professor of Zurike. And the Book before cited, cap. 24. tells us of some corrective power committed to Pastors and Elders. Which Elders are distinguished from the Magisteates.
3. The zurike Divines themselves looked upon Excommunication as that which was wanting through the injury of the times, the thing having beene so horribly abused in Popery, and the present licentiousnesse abounding among people, did hinder the erecting of that part of the Church Discipline at that time. But they still pleaded the thing to be held forth in Scripture, and were but expecting better times for restoring and setting of Excommunication, which they did approve in Genevah and in other reformed Churches, who had received it. I give you their owne words for the warrant of what I say.
I have beene the longer upon this point, as being the chiefe objection which can bee made by Master Coleman concerning that clause in the Covenant, the example of the best reformed Churches.
Hee hath onely one thing more, which may well passe for a Paradox. Hee will take an instance foresooth, from Genevah it selfe, though Presbiterian in practice. And why? because in the Genevah Annotations upon, Mat. 9. 16. It is said that, the externall Discipline is to be fitted to the capacity of the Church. This is no Scotland Presbytery, saith the Brother. Nay Sir, nor yet Genevah Presbytery, for it doth not at all concerne Presbytery. It is spoken in referrence to the chooseing of fit and convenient times for Fasting and Humiliation; that as Christ did not at that time tie his Disciples to Fasting, it being unsutable to that present time, so other like circumstances of Gods Worship which are not at all determined in the Word, are to bee accommodated to emergent occasions, and to the Churches condition for the time: which both Scotland and Genevah, and other reformed Churches doe.
If I have now more fully and convincingly spoken to that point of the Covenant, let the Brother blame himselfe that put me to it.
The Lord guide his people in a right way, and rebuke the Spirit of error and division, and give us all more of his Spirit to lead us into all truth, and into all selfe-deniall: and grant that none of his servants be found unwilling to have the Lord Jesus Christ to reigne over them in all his Ordinances.