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Pardon so homely an example: as soon, and by the same illumination, shall G. Johnson prove to your Consistory the lace of the Pastor's wife's sleeve, or ring, or whalebones; or others' amongst you, as your Pastor confesseth *, knit-stockings, or corkshoes forbidden Aatly by Scriptures ; as these commanded. We see the letter of the Scriptures, with you : you shall fetch blood of them with straining, ere you shall wring out this sense.
No, no, M. R., never make God your stale. Many of your ordinances came from no higher, than your own brain : others of them, though God acknowleges, yet be imposed not. Pretend what you
will, these are but the cords of your own conceit; not bonds of Christian obedience.
The Necessity of their pretended Ordinances. The first of these, then, is easily untwisted. Your second is Ne. cessity.
Than which, what can be stronger ? what law or what remedy is against necessity! What we must have, we cannot want.
Oppose but the public necessity to yours; your necessity of having, to the public necessity of withholding: and let one of these necessities, like two nails, drive out another.
So they have done; and your own necessity, as the stronger, hath prevailed: for that other necessity might be eluded by flight. You have sought and found elsewhere, what the necessity of our laws denied, and the necessity of your conscience required.
Beware lest unjustly. Sin is as strong bond to a good heart, as impossibility t. Christians cannot do, what they ought not. Contrary to the laws of your prince and country, you have fled, not only from us, but from our communion. Either is disobedience no sin, or might you do this evil that good may come of it?
But what necessity is this ? simple and absolute, or conditional ? Is there no remedy, but you must needs have such Elders, Pastors, Doctors, Relievers ; such offices, such executions ? Can there bé no Church I, no Christians, without them? What shall we say, the families of the Patriarchs, of the Jewish Congregations under the Law; yea, of Christ and his Apostles ? Either deny them to have been Visible Churches, or shew us your distinct offices amongst them.
“ But as yet,” you say, “they were not :”—Therefore, God
Troubles and Excommunications at Amsterdam.-Fr. Johns, in a Letter to M. Smith.
+ Nulla necessitas major est charitate. Hier. Apol. ad Ruff.
| Fr. Jun. de Eccl. Sed accidunt persa pc tempora, quibus aut nova Ecclesia generatur, aut altera pars interrunipitur (scilicet poiscépessoa) et tamen Eccle sia esse non desinit, formá nimirum essentiali adhuc permanente.
hath had a True Church, thousands of years, without them : therefore, they are not of the essence of the Church.
You call me to the times since Christ. I demand then, was there not a worthy Church of God in Jerusalem, from the time of Christ's Ascension, till the election of the Seven Deacons ? Those hundred and twenty Disciples ; Acts i. 15. and three thousand Converts; Acts ii. 41. those continual troops, that flocked to the Apos tles, were they no True Church ? Let the Apostles and Evangelists be Pastors and Doctors: where were their Elders, Deacons, Relievers ? Afterwards, when Deacons were ordained *, (Acts vii beg.) yet what news is there of Elders, till Acts xi. 30 ? Yet that of Jerusalem was more forward than the rest.
We will not, as you are wont, argue from Scriptures, negatively. No proof, yet much probability, is in St. Paul's silence. He writes to Rome, Corinth, and other Churches t. Those his Divine Letters, in a sweet Christian civility, salute even ordinary Christians. And would he have utterly passed by all mention of these ChurchOfficers, amongst his so precise acknowledgment of lesser titles in others, if they had been ere this ordained? yet all these, more than True Churches, famous some of them, rich, forward, and exemplary. Only the Philippian Church is styled with Bishops and Deacons I; but no Elders, besides them.
The Churches of Christ since these, if at least you will grant that Christ had any Church till now, have continued, in a recorded succession, through many hundreds of years. Search the monuments of her histories : shew us where ever, in particular Congregations, all these your necessary offices, as you describe them, were either found or required.
It was, therefore, a new-no-necessity, that bound you to this course; or, if you would rather, a necessity of fallibility. If, with these, God may be well served, he may be well served, without them. This is not that unum necessariuin, that Christ commends in Mary : you might have sat still, with less trouble, and more thanks.
The Enormities of the Church, in common. Sep.—“But also in our most sinful subjection to many Antichris
tian Enormities, which we are bound to eschew as hell." But, besides that we ought to have had somewhat, which we want ; we have somewhat, which we should have wanted. Some ? yea, many Antichristian Enormities :
Cyp. I. iii. ep. 9. Meminisse Diaconi deberit quoniam Apostolos (id est) Episcopos et præpositos Domimus elegit. Diaconos autem post ascensum Domini in Cælos Apostoli sibi constituerunt Episcopatus sui et Ecclesiæ ministros.
Rom. i. 7. I Cor. i. 2. 1 Thess. i. 1. Gal. iv. 15. # Phil. i. 1.
we are absolute, and neither want nor abound, were the voice of Laodicea, or Tyrus in the Prophet. Our Church, as she is true, so humble ; and is as far from arrogating perfection, as acknowledging falsehood. If she have enormities, yet not so many : or, if many, not Antichristian.
Your Ham hath espied * ninety-one nakednesses in this his Mother, and glories to shew them. All bis malice cannot shew one fundamental error: and, when the foul mouth of your false Martyr hath said al} ť, they are but some spots and blemishes ; not the old running issues and incurable botches of Egypt. The particu. lars shall plead for themselves.
These you eschew as hell :-While you go on thus uncharitably, both alike! Do you hate these more, than Master Smith, and his faction, hates yours? His character shall be judge. So do we va, lue your detestation, as you his. It were well for you, if you eś. chewed these enormities less, and hell more : your sinful subjection to these unchristian humours will prove more fearful, than to our antichristian enormities.
The Church of England is the Spouse of Christ. Sep.- ." She is our Mother. So may she be, and yet not the
Lord's Wife: every mother of children is not a wife. Ammi and Ruhamah were bidden to plead with their mother, apostate Israel; and plead that she was not the Lord's Wife, nor he her
Husband; Hos. ii. 1, 2." She may be your Mother, you say, and not the Lord's Wife 1:
It is a good mother, that hath children, and no husband ! "Why did
you not call her plain whore? Your old emblem is, “ As is the Mother, so is the daughter." These are the modest circumlocutions of a good son, who cares not to prove himself a bastard, that his mother may be marked for a harlot. Be you a true Lo-ammi; but England shall never, I hope, prove an Apostate Israel. We have no calves, in our Dan and Bethel ; none of Jeroboam's idolatry. We have still called God Ishi, and never burnt incense to Baalim; i Kings xii. 29. Hos. ii. 16, 13: it is your Synagogue, that hath fallen away from us; as Israel from Judah.
But these children were bidden to plead : God's command shields them from the note of ungracious : Abraham must sacrifice his son; and this son must condemn his mother :
Shew ùs either our equal desert, or your equal warrant. Where * Fr. Johns. against M. Jacob. + Bar. Gyff. Refuted, i. Transgress. p. 28.
Cypr. de Simplic. Pralator. Adulterari non potest Sponsa Christi ; incora rupta est et pudica.
hath God proclaimed our Church not his ? By whose hand hath he published her divorce? You have shamed hier womb; not she ber bed; not God her demeanor.
Sep." And, though you forbid us a thousand times, yet must we
plead: not to excuse our fault, but to justify our innocency: and that, not only nor so much in respect of ourselves, as of the truth; which, without sacrilege, we may not suffer to be condemned unheard. And, if you yet hear her not, rather blame yourselves,
as deaf, than us, as dumb." YOUR tongues are your own, who can forbid you !-
We know you will plead, and excuse; and censure, and defend; till all the world be weary: we may pray, with Jerome, to this sense, that of the Psalmist, Increpa, Domine, Bestias Calami* : yet we see your pens, tongues, and presses, busy and violent. I will not apply to you that, which Augustin of his Donatists t : “ though truth compel you to be dumb, yet iniquity will not suffer you to be silent :" but, if you write whole marts and worlds of volumes, you shall never be able either to justify your innocence, or excuse your fault. In the mean time, the noise of your contentions is so great, that your truth cannot be heard. Learned Junius, and our learnedest Divines and neighbour Churches, have oft heard your clamours 1 ; never, your truth. So little have you of this, and so much of the other, that we are ready to wish, as he of old, either ourselves deaf, or you dumb.
How the Church of England hath separated from Babylon. Sep.-"Is not Babylon the Mother of God's People whom he there
fore commandeth to depart out of her, lest, being partakers of
her sins, they also partake of her plagues; Rev. xviii. 4." The spirit of your Proto-Martyr $ would hardly have digested this title of Babylon, “Mother of God's People ;" a murdering Stepmother, rather. She cannot be a Mother of Children to God, and no Church of God: notwithstanding, God's people, would he say, may be in her; not, of her. So Babylon bore them not, but Sion in Babylon.
But I fear not your excess of charity. You fly to your Doctor's challenge ll; and ask what we say against you for us, which Rome will not say for herself against us. Will you justify this plea of
* Hieron. ad Eustoch. Epitaph. Pauk, ex Psalm. Ixvii. † Aug.cont. Epist. Parmen. lib. i. Epist. Junii ad Separ. Ś Gyi. Refut. 2. Transg.
Answ. Fore-speech to Counterpois.
Rome, or not? If you will, why do you revile her? If you will not, why do you object it ? Sep.-"And, to conclude, what say you more against us, for your Mo.
ther the Church of England, than the Papists do for their Mother, and your Mother's Mother, the Church of Rome, against you; whom they condemn, as unnatural bastards and impious pa
tricides, in your Separations from her?” Hear, then, what we say, both to you and them; our enemies both; and yet the enemies of our enemies.
First, we disclaim and defy your pedigree, and theirs. The Church of Rome was never our Mother's Mother. Our Christian Faith came not from the Seven Hills : neither was derived, either from Augustin the Monk, or Pope Gregory: Britany had a worthy Church, before either of them looked into the world *.
It is true, that the ancient Roman Church was Sister to ours, Here was near kindred, no dependance : and not more consanguinity, than, while she continued faithful, Christian love. Now she is gone a whoring, her chaste Sistert justly spitteth at her: yet even still, if you distinguish as your learned antagonist hath taught you I betwixt the Church and Papacy, she acknowledges her Šis. terhood, though she refrains her conversation.
As she hath many slavish and factious abettors of her known and gross errors, to whom we deny this title; affirming them the body, whereof Antichrist is the head, the Great Whore, and Mother of Abominations: so, again, how many thousands hath she, which, retaining the foundation according to their
knowledge, as our learned Whitakers had wont to say of Bernard, follow Absalom with a sim, ple heart ! all which to reject from God's Church, were no better than presumptuous cruelty.
It were well for you, before God and the World, if you could as easily wash your hands of unnatural impiety and treacherousness, as we of bastardy and unjust sequestration.
There can be no Bastardy, where was never any motherhood: we were nephews to that Church; never, sons: unless, as Rome was the mother city of the world, so, by human institution, we suffered ourselves to be ranged under her patriarchal authority, as being the most famous Church of the West: a matter of courtesy, and pretended order; no necessity, no spiritual obligation.
As for our Sequestration, your mouth and theirs may be stopped with this answer :-As all corrupted Churches, so some things the Church of Rome still holds aright: a true God, in Three Persons ; true Scriptures, though with addition ; a true Christ, though mana gled with foul and erroneous consequences; true Baptism, though shamefully deformed with rotten traditions ; and many other unde
* A Simone Zclota: Niceph. Alii à Jos. Arimath. cujus hic sepulchrum cernitur. Angli Pascha Græco more celebrarunt. Jacob. Armin. Disp.
+ Cánt, viï. 8. # F. Jun. L. sing. de Eceles,