Church of England,
Upon that Account


{Soberly}1 Debated, in a Dialogue between a
Conformist , and a Nonconformist (Baptist.)
By H. C.

Acts 17.28. As certain also of your own Poets have said.

Phil. 3.16. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk.


Printed for John How, at the Seven Stars in Sweetings Rents at the East end of the Royal Exchange in Cornhill. 1682.

Church of England, &c,
Discourse, Dialogue-wise between two Neighbours;
a Conformist, and a Nonconformist (Baptist;) about some
Points of Religion, and Matters of Conscience.

Neighbour Why do you not come to Church?

Non. I hope Neighbour I shall make Conscience of that Duty as long as I live - but pray Resolve me what a Church is, and where the true Church of Christ is, for there I would go.

{Con.} I will do the best I can to help you in this weighty Question; the Greek {word} for Church is sometimes taken for any Convention of Men, as well Profane as Ecclesiastical, so the Profane Assembly is translated in Acts the 19.32 {from} έκκλησία Church, or Ecclesia; but to resolve your self about a true Church Read the 139 Canon in our Book of Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical it says thus, Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, that the Sacred Synod of this {Nation} in the Name of Christ, and by the Kings Authority Assembled, is not the {true} Church of England by Representation, let him be Excommunicated, &c.

Non. Who Neighbour denyeth them to be by Representation the {true} Church of England, but you know my Query was for a Church of Christ, there I am designed.

Con. If this be your Query, you are answered to satisfaction I hope, by {the} Definition you have in our Book of Articles about a true Church of Christ. In Article the 19th it is thus defined: The Visible Church of Christ is a Congregation of Faithful Men, in the which the pure Word of God is Preached, and Sacraments duly Administered according to Christs Ordinance in all those {things} that of necessity are requisite to the same.

Non. I can find but little fault with this Definition, but pray Neighbour read Dr. Owens Definition of a Church of Christ in his brief Instruction in {the} Worship of God and Discipline of the Church. Page 77. Question the {..} Some Sober Christians do think that is a more full Definition; you {have} thus.

Quest. What is an instituted Church of the Gospel?

Answ. A society of Persons called out of the World, or their natural {fallen} State, by the Administration of the Word and Spirit, into the Obedience {of} Faith or the Knowledge of the Worship of God in Christ, joyned together in a {Holy} Bond, or by Special Agreement for the Exercise of the Communion of Saints {in due} Observation of all the Ordinances of the Gospel.

Con. I think all the difference between us is, that the Doctors Definition {be} a little of Independency and Churches Congregational, but we are for a {National} one.

Non. I coniceve Neighbour if you would but stand to your own {Definition} of a true Church, you must deny a Church National; for you say a true {Church} is a Company of Faithful Men, &c. and you do not suppose the whole Nation to be such, I humbly Conceive. Do you suppose Neighbour the Church of England to be in all Points according to their own Definition of a true {Church} of Christ?

Con. I do verily believe they are such.

Non. How shall one be satisfied, that your Church doth Administer {the} Sacraments according to Christs Institution, or as you say, duely Administer them.

Con. By comparing our Principles and Practice with the Sacred Word.

Non. Then your Church doth profess the Holy Scriptures to be the Rule of {Faith} and Manners.

Con. You may see that to be the Determination of the Synod in Article the {6 th}, of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation. Holy Scripture {containeth} all things necessary unto Salvation, so that what soever is not read therein {nor} may be proved thereby, is not to be Required of any Man that it should be believed as an Article of the Faith, or be thought requisite, or necessary to Salvation. Read Article the 20th. The Church hath Power to Decree Rites Ceremonies and Authority in Controversies of Faith, and yet it is not lawful for the Church to Ordain any thing that is contrary to Gods Word Written, neither may it Expound one place of Scripture, that it be Repugnant to another; wherefore, {though} the Church be a Witness and a Keeper of Holt Writ, yet as it ought not to {Decree} any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any {thing} to be believed for necessary of Salvation. Read also Article 21, which is to {the} same effect.

Non. I like all this very well Neighbour, that your Church doth profess Gods Word to be the only Rule of a Christian, in Faith and Practice; if it now {} be made appear, that your Church doth practice as she determines, I shall {quickly} be a Member of the same Church with you.

Con. I do make this appear, fully by our due Administration of the Sacraments, according to Christ's Ordinance.

Non. Pray Neighbour what are the Sacraments, and how many are there {think} you?

Con. There are but two, Baptism and the Lords Supper, so we assert in out {Book} of Articles. See Artic. 25 in this we oppose the Church of Rome, which {maintains} seven, (five more than we) viz. Confirmation, Pennance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extream Unction, these have not the like Nature of Baptism and the Lords Supper, for that they have not any Visible Sign or {Ceremony} Ordained of God.

Non. I like this answer well, but are those two Sacraments duly Administered in your Church according to Christs Ordinance?

Con. Yea Neighbour, that I affirm, if we pitch upon Baptism, that blessed {Ordinance}, you will see our Articles do Correspond with the Sacred Word, {that} Faith and Repentance is required by Holy Writ of the person Baptised. Mark 16.16. 3 Matt.7.8. Acts 36,37,38,,39,40. chap. 2.37,38. And we do say {the} same in our publick Catechism, Ch.Cat. Where it 'tis asserted, that Repentance, whereby we forsake Sin, and Faith, whereby we stedfasty believe {the} Promises, are Required in every one that is to be Baptised. It also {further} appeareth from our 27 Article, which 'tis thus said, Baptism is not {a} Sign of Profession and Mark of difference whereby Christian Men are {discerned} from others that be not Christened, but it is also a SIGN OF REGENERATION or New Birth, whereby as by an Instrument, they that receive {Baptism} RIGHTLY, are grafted into the Church, the Promises of the Forgiveness of Sin, and of our Adoption to be the Sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are {Visibly} Signed and Sealed, Faith is Confirmed, and Grace Increased by Vertue of {Prayer} unto God. Read Artic. 25, to the same purpose.

Non. I am well satisfied now, that your Principles in this Respect is {Consonant} to God's Word: But the next Question I would ask is this, {Whether} your Practice and Principles doth Correspond and Agree?

Con. Do you think we speak words in Hypocrisy, I am sorry Neighbour {to} hear you ask a Question hath so little Charity in it.

Non. I desire Neighbour to put on Charity, the Bond of Perfection; but {the} Reason I ask this Question, is, because I am informed by them that know {your} practice well, that your Church doth Baptize little Infants which by your own acknowledment in your publick Catechism, (Ch. Cat. Children,) can neither believe nor Repent, and Dr. Taylor Bishop of Down in his Lib. of {Pro..} p. 239. doth confess, that an Infant is not capable of believing.

Con. You are mighty exact Neighbour.

Non. So we ought to be in the things of God, as you say in your 20th Article, 'tis not lawful for the Church to Ordain any thing contrary to Gods Word, &c. You know Moses was to make the Tabernacle according to all {he} saw in the Mount; and all that add to or diminish from Gods Word, {are} threatned with the blotting of their Name out of the Book of Life, and the Plagues Written in Gods Book, to be added unto them, Revelat. {22.} 18,19.

Con. Though the Children by Reason of their tender Age cannot {Repent} nor Believe, yet this is supplyed by their Sureties.

Non. Can you prove this practice of Sureties out of Holy Writ; for {your} 20th Article doth say, though the Church hath power to Decree Rights {and} Ceremonies, and hath Authority in Controversies of Faith, yet it 'tis {not} lawful for the Church to Ordain anything contrary to Gods Word.

Con. I confess I cannot prove it from Holy Scripture, but it hath been {an} Ancient and Laudable Practice of the Church, for we find it in the 6 Cen. {Paulus} diaconus. Lib. Justiniano. That Gossips were appointed to all {those that} were Baptized; and that 'twas the custom when the Children of {Princes} and Potentates were Baptized, that Bishop should be the Sureties or Gossip. Magb. Cent.6.p.333. so in the 7 Cen. and downward.

Non. You have much forgot yourself Neighbour, for in your 19th Articles of the Definition of a true Church, you assert in it, the Sacraments {are} duly Administered according to Gods Ordinance, but you cannot prove {of} Sureties at Baptism from Gods Word, as Gods Ordinance. Pray {Neighbour} what is the Consequence.

Con. You will say we are not a true Church.

Non. You do not yet hear me say so, be not so quick; will you be pleased {..} what Dr. Taylor saith of Gossips in his Lib. of Proph. p. 237. one of {your} own Church, I know (saith he) God might if he would, have Appointed others to give answer in behalf of Children, and to be Fidejussors for them, we cannot find and Authority or ground that he hath; and if he had, than {...} be supposed he would have given them Commission to have transacted {..} with better Circumstances, and given Answers with more truth; the Question is asked of believing in the present, and if the Godfathers {answer} in the name of the Child, I do believe it is notorious, they speak {..} ridiculous, for the Infant is not capable of believing, and if he {did} he were also capable of Dissenting; and how then do they know his {mind}? and therefore saith he, Tertullian and Gregory Nazienzen gave advice, the Baptism of Infants should be deferred, till they could give an account of {their} faith.

Con. Then you would have none baptized till they could give an account {of} their faith.

Non. Not one, for your publick Catechism saith, Repentance and Faith {are required} in every one that is baptized.

Con. Baptizing of Children is a very Ancient and Laudable Practice of the Church, therefore to be continued, Are we wiser than our Forefathers?

Non. If it be never so Ancient, if it have not the stamp of Holy Writ, {the}20th Article Condemneth you; for it saith, 'Tis not lawful for the Church to Ordain any thing contrary to Gods Word: And for its Antiquity, you {cannot} reach to Christ, nor his Apostles, for it was not practiced, or hardly {heard} of, 'till about three or four hundred years after Christ, and in the fifth {century,} it received its Sanction by the Decrees of Popes and Councils. And Doctor Taylor in his Book of Prophecies, pag. 237. The truth of the {baptisms}, as there was no Command of Scripture to oblige Children to the susception (meaning Baptism) so the necessity of Paedobaptism was not determined in {the Church,} 'till the Canon that was made in the Mileviton Council a Province {of} Africa. I grant (saith he) it was practiced in Africa before that time, {many} or some of them thought well of it (though that is no Argument for us to do so) yet none of them did ever pretend it to be necessary, or to have been a {tenet} of the Gospel. St. Austin was the first that ever Preached it to be {necessary,} and it was in his heat and anger against Pelagius, who had so {warmly} chased him, that made him innovate herein. This Council of {Africa} or Miliveton, was Celebrated by 92 Bishops, Anselm the Popes Legates and Austin, presiding in the fifth year of Arcadius, and the first of Pope {Innocentius,} in the year from our Saviour 402. as Magdeburge, Century the {fifth} pag. 835. The occasion of this Council is expressed to be about the differences that had happened about Pelagius, Celestius and Austin, and others, {respecting} Original sin, Baptizing Children. The Canon of this Milevitan {Council} is, That it is our will, that all that affirm young Children receive everlasting {life} albeit; {they} be not by the Sacrament of Grace and Baptism renewed, and that {..} not that young Children that are newly born from their Mothers Womb, {shall be} baptised to the taking away of Original Sin, that they be Anathematized: {Which} Decree, with the rest, was transmitted to Rome to Pope Innocentius for Apostolick Confirmation in their large Letter, pag. 841. which with a {ready} mind he performs accordingly, by his Decretal Epistles expressed at {large.} pag. 845. Afterwards the fifth General Council at Carthage, in the year {418}. after the Milevitan Council fourteen years, they did Decree to the same {purpose}: We will, that whosoever denieth that little Children by Baptism are {free} from Perdition, and eternally saved, that they be Accursed: which Decree {was} by Austin, and 70 Bishops, in their Letters transmitted to the same Pope Innocentius for his further Ratification, and that Pope Innocentius, in these {African} Councils, was the first that ever injoyned the necessity of this {practice} further confirmed to us by Wilfrid Strabo, who tells us, that Children {were} baptized according to the Decrees of the Council of Carthage, for the {taking} away of Original Sin, which was not before practiced. Luther saith, it {was} not determined 'til Pope Innocentius. And Grotius on his Annotations {on} Matt. 19. saith it was not enjoined 'til after that Council at Carthage, {which} Canons of Pope Innocentius, was afterwards confirmed by Pope Zosimus, and afterwards by Pope Boniface that suceeded Zosimus, as appears in Cod. {..} cap.110. Ass. cap.77, &c de consecrat. distinct. Thus you see, Neighbour the Antiquity of Infant-Baptism not so old in a way of Confirmation of {..} as Believers Baptism, by above four hundred years; commanded by Christ and Ratified and Confirmed when the Holy Ghost came on our Saviour at {his} Baptism, in the River Jordan, by John Baptist, when he was about {thirty} years of Age.

Con. 'Tis much more likely that you who are illiterate men should {err} than our Learned Synod, therefore, for my part, for all your long {Haranging} about Popes and Councils. I must be for Infant-Baptism.

Non. Neighbour, you begun well, but you conclude not so: you told {me} at first, out of Article 19. That the true Church was a company of faithful {men} wherein the Word of God was truly Preached, and Sacraments duly Administered according to Gods Ordinance; and from Article 20. It is not lawful (you {tell} me) for any Church to Ordain any thing contrary to Gods Word. We have {fixed} upon one Sacrament [Baptism] which you rightly profess; but when {you} come to compare your Principle and Practice together, they are Diametrically opposite, for you have neither a right Subject, nor a right Manner of Administration, according to Gods Word, which your Article saith, none {hath} power to Ordain any thing contrary unto. Now you finding you cannot {reconcile} your Principle and Practice, you labour to evade the Argument, by {..} me, your Synod are and were Learned men, and not so likely to err {as them} that are illiterate. Pray consider whether this kind of arguing will lead {..} pray Neighbour, Why do not you own a Purgatory? for there are {learned} men assert it. Why deny you Transubstantiation? Or that the {Pope} is Christs Vicar upon Earth? Learned in the Church of Rome maintain it, {why} deny you seven Sacraments, Invocation of Saints, and Worshipping images, seeing so many great Scholars defend the same?

Con. We cannot own these things with them, though never so Learned {because} they are Repugnant to the Word of God.

Non. And some say the same of your Baptism and Gossips, though your {Synod} be never so Learned, being Repugnant to Gods Word, they cannot {have} it.

Con. I remember one thing, Neighbour, you said even now, as we had no {right} Subject in Baptism, so we did not rightly Administer it: Pray what do {you} call the right manner of the Administration of Baptism.

Non. Not a little Water sprinkled upon the face, that is Rantism, not {Baptism}, but Baptism is a Dipping the Person in the Water, so as it may {be} covered.

Con. How prove you that Neighbour?

Non. I will prove it from the nature of the Greek word [Baptiso] which all Lexicons and Learned Criticks, with one consent, do tell us, doth signify {to} Dip. Grotius tells us it signifieth to Dip over Head and Ears. Vossius, {sayeth} it implieth a Washing the whole Body. Leigh, in his Critica Sacra, its {proper} and native signification is to Dip into Water, or Plunge under {water}; for which he cites those Scriptures where is is so used Mat. 3.6. 18.38. Salmatius in his Book de Prim Papa, pag. 139. saith, It is not {Baptism} they give unto Children, but Rantism.

Con. Suppose it should be as you say, it is but a circumstance, and 'tis not {essential} to Salvation.

Non. You need not say suppose, nor in the least question the truth of it, your own Church doth say the same in the Book of Divine Service, ye {are to} dip the Child; sprinkling is added, in case of weakness, and for an Accommodation to this Practice, the Synod by an Ecclesiastical Can. 81. hath {instituted} that Fonts should be in every Church; and thy Synode doth further Confirm this, in Can. 30. you have these words, When the Minister dipping the Infant into the Water, &c. and Doctor Fer. Taylor in his Rule of Conscience 1.3. Ca. 4. if you would attend to the proper signification of the Word [Baptism] signifies Plunging in Water, or dipping with washing. So Bishop Jewel in his Apology, p. 308. brings the Councel of Worms, determining the manner of Baptism, viz. That the dipping into the Water is the going {down} into Hell, (or the Grave) and that coming out of the Water, is Resurrection. So Diodate Annot.on Rom. 6.4. Grotius on the same, Davenant on Col.2.12. {doth} own dipping to have been the rite in Christs time. And the Church of {Rome} doth confess by a Learned Pen, the Marquess of Worcester in his Certam. {Religion}. That she changed dipping the Party Baptized over Head and Ears into sprinkling upon the Face; nor until the third Century, we find not any that upon any consideration did admit of sprinkling. The first we meet with is Cyprian in his {Epistle} to Titus. 1.4.Ep.7. where he pleads for Baptizing the Sick, by sprinkling and {not} by dipping or pouring, called the Clinical Baptism. Magd. Hist. Cent. 3. {..} p.126. As also for the sprinkling of new Converted Prisoners in the Prison House, and which by Degrees afterwards they brought in use for sick {Children} also; and then afterwards all Children. And whereas, you say it is {by} a Circumstance: Remember God is so wise in his Institutions about his Worship, that there is no adding thereto nor taking therefrom, or changing {the} manner without great Reflection upon the Law Maker. Pray consider Neighbour seriously, what Indignation the Lord hath towards them which Transgressed in outward Ordinances. Nadab and Abihu offering strange Fire which the Lord commanded not; a Fire went out from the Lord which destroyed them Levit. 10.1,2. the Men of Bethshemesh looking into the outward {Ark} which God had forbidden, the Lord slew fifty thousand threescore and ten {of} them. 1 Sam.6.19. Uzza of a good intent leaning his Shoulder to the {stumbling} Ark, the Lord slew him, 1Chron.13.7.10. because not according to the {due} Order. 15 ch.2. Uzziah the King offered up outward Incense which God {commanded} to be done only by the Priests, the Lord smote him with a Leprosy unto his Death. 2Chron. We ought to be very exact in all {things} relating to the Worship of God. See Doctor Owen's brief Instruction into {the} Worship of God. p.12,13.

Con. Pray what plain Scripture can you show me for this, that dipping {is} the propper way of Administering Baptism, and not sprinkling.

Non. Neighbour I am willing to inform you if you are willing to be informed, and forasmuch as your sixth Article affirmeth, whatsoever is not read {in} Holy Scripture, or may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any Man, I think your Request is very Pertinent, pray read those few Scriptures {seriously,} and the Opinion of the Learned upon them.

First, in the story of Christs Baptism, we read, Mat.3.5. that Jesus {came} from Gallilee to Jordan unto John, to be Baptized of him, and v. 16. When he was Baptized he went up straightway out of the Water. The {learned} Cajetan upon the place, saith, Christ ascended out of the Water, {therefore} Christ was Baptized by John, not by sprinkling or pouring Water {upon} him, but by immersion; that is, by dipping or plunging into the Water, {..} on Mat.2. calls Baptism dipping, and saith the Partys Baptized were {dipped} and not sprinkled.

A Second Scripture Considerable, is that of John 3.23. and John was baptizing in Aenon near Salem, and the Reason why he pitched upon that {place} was, because much Water was there. Saith Piscator upon the place, {as} is mentioned to signifie the Ceremony of Baptism which John used in dipping or plunging the whole Body of Man standing in the River, whence {he} saith, Christ being Baptized of John in Jordan, is said to ascend out of {the} Water.

A third Scripture is in Acts 8.36.38. And they went on their way and came {to} a certain Water, and the Eunuch said, see here is Water, and they both went {down} into the Water both Philip and the Eunuch, and he Baptized him, and when {they} were come up out of the Water, &c. Upon which place Calvin saith, we see {that} fashion the Ancients had to Administer Baptism: For they plunged the {whole} Body into Water: The use is now (saith he) that the Minister casts a {few} drops of Water only upon the Body or the Head.

A fourth Scripture we shall mention is, Rom.6.4. Buried with him in Baptism, {here} the Apostle Elegantly alludes to the Ceremony of Baptizing in our {Death} and Resurrection. Cajetan upon the place saith thus, we are Buried {with} him by Baptism unto Death. By our Burying he declares our Death {in} the Ceremony of Baptism, because he who is Baptized is put under the {water}, and by this carrys a Similitude of him that is Buried, who is put {under} the Earth: now because non are Buried but Dead Men, from this very {thing} that we are Buryed in Baptism we are assimulated to Christ Buried: Or {that} he was Buryed.

{Con}. Say you what you will or can, our Church doth own Baptism as an {Ordinance} of Christ, and in it we use the very form of Words given in {Commission}, Matt.28.18,19.

{Non}. Is it Christs Baptism because you retain the same form of Words in {Christs} Commission. The Conjurers used the same words the Apostles did {in Acts} 19.13 And we adure you by the Name of Jesus, &c. Yet abominable was {the} action, though Water be used, a form of Words; yet if all are not used {according} as Christ hath appointed, 'tis not Christs Ordinance, but to be {put away} as Execrable: And whereas you say you own Baptism, I you own the Word Baptism, as in your 25th Article; but yet you practice {Rantism}, sprinkling, instead of dipping; and I am sure this is quite contrary {to} His Majesties Command in His Declaration before the 39 Article: ({where} he saith) no Man hereafter shall Print or Preach to draw the Article aside {..} may, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof, and shall not {put} his own Sence or Comment to be the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in {the} Litteral and Grammatical Sence; now mark the Synode speaketh of Baptism in Article 27, and also explains the Word in the Book of Canon Can.30. where they say when they dip, &c. The Question is, whether {this} is not the Plain, Litteral, and Grammatical Sence of words, and {whether} sprinkling instead of dipping is not a going a one side, or drawing the Article from its Grammatical Sence, contrary to the Command of His Majestie.

So likewise when the Synode in their Publick Catechism (saith) The Repentance whereby we forsake Sin, and Faith whereby we steadfastly believe the Promises are required in every one that is to be Baptized, Confessing also {that} Children cannot Repent nor Believe. Whether now to Baptise one that makes a Profession of Faith and Repentance, be not the Plain, Full, and Grammatical Sence of these words; a whether in the sight of any rational or Conscientious Man to Baptize a Child that can neither Believe nor Repent, {be} not Diametrically opposite to the Plain, Litteral, and Grammatical Sence of the words, especially considering that 'tis confessed that Children {cannot} Repent nor Believe.

Con. I think Neighbour you are more Nice than Wise.

Non. If you call me Nice for searching the Scriptures as the noble Bereans did, and which I am commanded to do, and not to take things upon trust without Tryal, (as too many I fear do) I think a little of this Nicety will do you no hurt; or if you call me Nice for Discovering the inconsistency of your Principles and practices, I shall bear it patiently, hopeing you will be of a better mind when you consider the matter better.

Con. Pray Neighbour is there any other material difference between {me} and you.

Non. I conceive there is, for I find in Canon 3. Excommunication threatned ipso facto, upon all that will not own the Church of England as by Law Established, the true and Apostolick Church, teaching and maintaining {the} Doctrine of the Apostles. Now Neighbour I cannot understand any can {be} called the Apostolick Church, but such as are in the Apostolick Practice in {all} things practicable, not only following them in matters of Faith respecting Salvation, but in those Ordinances of the Gospel which respect Church Constitution, but when we come to examin you in that great Ordinance of Baptism which you own an ingrafting and initiating Ordinance, Article 27 We see you are greatly deficient and do not only derogate in your Practice from {the} Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, but your practice is inconsistent with {your} own Principles, Articles, and Confession, and follow Christ, nor the Apostolick Practice in that Sacrament, no more than in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper; which Administration was by breaking the Bread, Matt.26.26 compare I Cor. 11.24. most agreeable to the breaking of his Body, but {ye} say you do cut the Bread. Again, Christ did Administer that Ordinance in the Evening, Mat.26.20. agreeing with that Type, the Pascal Lamb being Slain and Eaten, 12 Ex.6.8. but I am informed you do it at Noon. Again Christ never impowered any to Administer Sacraments but such as were {able} to Preach. Matt.28.18.19. Acts 20.28. Feed the Flock, &c. but you threaten Excommunication on all such as shall go out of their own Parishes to receive {the} Sacrament at his hands that is a Preacher, and not Communicate with {he} that cannot Preach; if this be persisted in, which is called Obstinacy, then {comes} Excommunication; where did Christ ever teach this kind of Doctrin. Can5.7 So likewise we find Christ and his Apostles sate at Supper, but you impose kneeling. In Can.23. this is that St. Paul calleth 2 Col. 18. A {voluntary} Humility. Again, this Sacrament is not to be participated of by a Church National but Congregational, for this was the Apostolick Practice, not{whole} Citys Communicated, but some gathered by the Preaching of the Gospel out of Nations, Citys, Towns, &c. All that come to this Holy Ordinance ought to examin their Hearts, but 'tis very improbable that the whole Parishes or Citys should do so. 2 Acts 41,42. 1 Cor.11.28. So Doctor Owens brief {instruction} in Gods Worship. p.7. now Neighbour if your Church be the {Apostolick} Church, how comes it to pass that you derogate so much from {the} Apostolic Practice, you sprinkle, the Apostles dipt, you Baptise as you {do} it Little Infants, the Apostles Baptized professed Believers; you use the {..} in Baptism, the Apostles used none, you make Infants Members of the Church, Article 27. and yet deny them the Eucharist, the Apostles gave the Eucharist to all that were Members, therefore would not admit Infants to be members, because the same Qualifications which are prerequisite to the Lords Supper, the same is required to Baptism. Christ and his Apostles sate at Supper, you kneel (and impose it) they did it most probably often, yet {seldom} they did Communicate in the Evening, you at Noon; they break the Bread, {you} cut it, you Licence Men to Administer Sacraments, that have no Gift to {Preach,} instead whereof, read only a Homily, we have no Command nor {precedent} for such a Practice; yea, you threaten Excommunication upon all {that} deny to Communicate from such a one if in their own Parish, a Doctrine {that} Christ never taught I am sure, nor his Apostles; and that which is the greatest wonder of all, is, that albeit you do derogate so much from the Apostolick Practice, you threaten Excommunication upon all that deny you {the} Title of an Apostolick Church. Another thing I wander at, is this; {that} your Synod should give such a Definition of a true Church, in Ar.19. viz. {that} it is a Company of Faithful Men, where the Word of God is truly Preached and the Sacraments duly Administered according to Christs Ordinance, {and} yet so prodigiously degenerate from the due Administration of them, I {can} not but wonder once more that your Synod should say in Article 20. that it is not lawful for the Church to Ordain any thing contrary to Gods Word, {and} yet should act so Diametrically contrary to it. See Article 34.

Con. Neighbour you are mighty full of Talk,

Non. I hope no hurt Neighbour, so long as it may be to Edification.

Con. What else do we differ in? As for what is past, if fair means may {not} make use of one Mind, foul means may.

Non. You are mistaken, the Sword will never inlighten the Judgment that is Gods Work alone; a thing may be clear to one Man, is not unto {another,} how unreasonable it is to impose that upon another, which is {very} doubtful to him upon whom its imposed; Mens Understandings are as {various} as their Speech or Faces, and is it just for one Man to quarrel with another because different, or to put him upon a Rack in order to stretch him to be {your} own Dimentions, if not so Tall as he, certainly that Man is defective in {Charity,} that thinks all Dissenters are maliciously or wilfully blind, no Man {can} be forced to believe, he may be forced to say this or that, but not to believe, a Man may as easily make a Man stark blind to read Greek or {distinguish} Colours, as an Unbeliever to Believe, for that is Gods gift; Arguments {are} good Inducements, but force hath no Countenance in the Gospel, much less {a} Command, John 20.31. 5.39. 2 Tim.3.15. Deut.12.32. Force may make one blind, but never to see clear; It may make a Hypocrite but no true Convert; {But} if you will know wherein we yet further differ, I shall discover my mind {in} propounding a few Queries.

The first Query.

Whether a Bishop, Elder or Presbyter, hath Power to make a Deacon or Minister, as is suggested he hath in Canon 32. or whether the Power of making a Deacon or Elder fitly qualified by the Spirit, do not lie in that particular Church that calls them to that Office according to Acts 6.2,3.5 though the Apostles presided here with a fulness of Church Power, yet would not then {deprive} the Churches of their Priviledge and Liberty. See Doctor Owen's brief Instruction in the Worship of God. p115. 106, 107. 116. See Acts. 14.23 where Paul and Barnabas are said to Ordain Elders in the Church by the Churches Election and Suffrages, for the Word there will admit no other sence, however it be ambiguously expressed in our Translation: And what may be pleaded from the example of Timothy and Titus, when any person can prove themselves to be Evangelists, which was something extraordinary, I Tim.4.5. To be called unto their Office by antecedent Prophecy, I {Tim. 4.14}. And to be sent of the Apostles, and in a special manner to be directed by them in some Imployment for a season, which they are not ordinarily {to} attend unto Tit.1,5 Chap.3,12. It will then be granted they have other Duty and Office Committed unto them, then those who are only Bishops or Elders in the Scripture.

The second Query

Whether God hath appointed any certain time in the year, for the ordination of Ministers or Deacons, because I find your Synod in Can. 31. Hath appointed it to be done in Sundays following, Ember-Weeks, or rather is it not to be done, when the necessity of any Church requireth it, as you see in Acts.6.2,3,5.

The third Query

Whether the Scriptures will Authorize any Minister, Pastor, Elder or Bishop to take the care and charge of any more than one Church or Congregation at a time, and whether all the seven Churches in Asia , had not a particular Angel and Pastor, an whether we read not in Acts the 20. That there was Elders in the Church of Ephesus. So James 5. Send for the Elders {of the} Church, and whether these Scriptures Canons be not against your 41, Which doth allow of more places then one for a Minister, provided {he be} a publick and sufficient Preacher, and taken the degree of Master of {Arts} pray see D. Owen's brief instruction in the Worship of God Pag. {120}.121, 122.

The fifth2 Query

Whether it be not Reasonable for every Congregation or Church to choose its own Minister whom it may be they must maintain, and whether the Consequences may not follow contrary, viz. snppose a people like a Minister never so well, if he by favour from the Bishop, can get a fatter {Benefice}, he shall be Translated from them to another place, and the people cannot well help themselves.

{And} if a Minister be never so bad, if he can but get into the favour of the Bishop of the Diocess, there he shall abide, the people have not Power over (it) they cannot help themselves in the removing of him, see Doctor Owen in his brief instruction in the Worship of God. Pag.117.

The sixth3 Query

Whether that man deserveth a Benefice that is not capable to Preach, or be such a man is capable to cure Souls, or take care of them which is not able in some measure, to divide Gods Word aright, and whether those Diocesan Bishops have not a great account to give that shall set such men to {watch} over Souls that are not capable to Preach the Gospel. Can.46.

The sixth Query

Whether the Apostles did not use to lay hands on Men and Women, that first Believed and were Baptized, Acts 8. Acts 19. not upon Little Children of 6 or 8 or 10 Years of Age, or whether the Apostles in the Primitive times did limit Confirmation or Imposition of hands to be practiced but {once in} three Years, as in Can.60. or where it was not done only on Men, and Women as there was occasion. See Acts 19.c.8. and if this Practice of yours can {not} be found in Scripture, it ought not to be done, for you say in Article 20. The Church hath no Power to Decree any thing contrary to Gods Word.

Con. I have heard that a Fool may ask more Questions in an hour, than a Wise Man may ever be able to Resolve.

Non. These Questions are needful, and able to be Resolved, the most I {wish} is a will to Resolve them according to truth: I can bear your Reflecting words {more} better than Blows.

Con. You had better wave those Circumstances and Interragatories and come to Church Neighbour, or else you may repent it.

Non. I have read in Mat.5. Blessed are you that are Persecuted for Righteousness sake, and truly Neighbour tis no wonder you threaten me with Persecution, for serving God according to the Light of my Conscience, when {you} threaten your own Ministers with Suspension: For the first fault Excommunication, for the Second and Deposition from the Ministry, for {the} third as in Can.72. in case any of your own Ministers created by the Bishop shall appoint or keep any Solemn Fast, either publick or in any private {House} other then such as by Law are, or by Publick Authority shall be appointed without the Licence of the Diocesan Bishop, and had under His Hand or {Sight}. Neither shall any Minister not Licensed as is aforesaid, presume to appoint {or} hold any Meetings for Sermons, commonly termed by some Prophecys or {Mercies} in Market Towns or other places under any pretence whatsoever either of Prossession or Obsession, by fasting or Prayer to cast out any Demons or Devils, when not only the former Penalty, but under pain of the Imposition of imposture and Cosenage, without having a Licence from the Bishop of the Diocess. Pray Neighbour do you think that the Churches in the Primitive times, when they with their Ministers had a Mind to keep a Fast, {and} humble themselves before God, or if any Ministers were desired to {assist} casting out a Devil by Fasting or Prayer, that those Churches or Ministers {be} obliged to have a Licence from the great Apostles.

First, Who had a greater Power than any Lord Bishop, Arch-Bishop now, and whether the Apostles in all likelihood would not have greatly commended those Ministers that were able and willing to teach in season and out of season, and took all opportunities for the {Condition} of Souls, and have not threatened such with suspension from their Ministry, Excommunication, and for the third Act I cannot call it a fault; {total} Deposition is not this, to Lord it over mens persons, and a means to quench the spirit in those that have it, also to Lord it over mens Gifts and Abilities, given of God for the benefit of the Church and the world.

Con. You can see a Mote in another mans Eye, but pull not out the beam in your own Eye.

Non. I am glad you will own this for a Mote, but pray what is the beam in mine own; I would fain know it, that I might pull it out.

Con. I will tell you neighbour, if you will not be angry, ‘tis conceitedness and obstinacy, in not coming to the place appointed for Worship. Did {you} never read II Can. which saith, Whosoever shall affirm or maintain there are within this Realm other Meetings, Assemblies, or Congregations {of} the Kings born Subjects, then such as by the Law of this Land, are held and {attended}, which may rightly challenge to themselves the name of true and Lawful Churches, Let him be Excommunicated, and not restored but by the Archbishop, after his Repentance, and publick Revocation of such his wicked Error.

Non. Neighbour, I have read this Canon, and do say, There is no {Lawful} Meetings, Assemblies, Churches or Congregations, by the Law of {the} Land, then such, which is by them by Law allowed; yet I do think also, there are many other Meetings, Churches Assemblies, Congregations, {which} may rightly challenge to themselves the name of true and lawful Churches by the Law of Christ, though not by the Law of England; and if {this} be conceit and obstinacy, I am apt to conceive, I shall so remain, until you convince me of the contrary from God’s Word.

Con. Be not so stubborn, Neighbour, to ruine your self and Family.

Non. Christ hath given full power to his Church, as such to Preach the {Gospel} publickly, administer Ordinances, and to officiate in other Matters, {belonging} to their Meeting in God’s Worship; which, if we should decline {at the} Command of Men, this would be to regard men more than Christ, {which} we dare not do. Is it better to obey God or man, judge ye? were the {teachings} of two Worthies of old, Act.5.

Con. Come show yourself a good subject, and a good Christian, and obey {our} most gracious King.

Non. I am willing to obey his Majesty, in all Lawful Civil things, relating {to} safety and peace; for as his Majesty hath sworn to seek the good of {the} Nation, to and preserve it in its Rights and Properties, so mine with the rest, so I think it my Duty to seek his Peace and welfare, and hope {that I} ever do it ; What can a man say more? But if under pretence of Religion any disturb the Common Peace, or wrong any other, or be Seditious {or} Unquiet; such ought to be punished by the Magistrate, because the {pure} Religion teacheth no such thing, but the contrary; but if mens Principles are consistant with human society, and behave themselves quietly according to the Established Laws of the Land, what good Reason can {any} assign for persecuting such for their Religion?

Con. You have not read the first and second Canon, Neighbour, {which} tells you the King is the highest Power under God in Can.1 and that {in} Causes Ecclesiastical, Can.2.

Non. Neighbour, Pray take an answer to this from Learned Brentios {on} I Cor.3. No man hath power to make or give Laws to Christians, {where} to bind their Consciences; for willingly, freely, and uncompelled with ready desire, and cheerful mind, must those that come, run unto Christ.

Con. I perceive either you have not read our second Canon, or forgot {that} which is, Whosoever shall affirm that the King’s Majesty hath not the {full} Power and Authority in Causes Ecclesiastical that the godly Kings had {among} the Jews, and the Christian Emperors in the Primitive Church, &c. Let {him} be Excommunicated, ipsofacto.

Non. You must know that the Kings of Israel had never {power} from God to set up any thing in and for the service of God, but {that only} which was commanded by God, Deut.4.2. no not so much as {the} manner of any Law, Numb.15.16 & 9.14. and his Majesty King James* acknowledgeth in his speech at Parliam. Anno 1609. that {Christs} Church, after the Establishing of it by Miracles in the Primitive time was ever after to be governed within the limits of his revealed Will, and further saith in his Apology to the Oath of Allegiance, pag. 46,{47}. There is no earthly Monarch over his Church, whose word must be a Law; {and} saith further, Christ is his Churches Monarch, and the Holy Ghost his (Deputy) alledging, Luk. 22.25. The Kings of the earth bear Rule one over {another} but it shall not be so among you. And further, Christ, when he ascended, not St. Peter with them, to direct them in all truth, but Christ promised to send the holy Spirit to them for that end, whereby it evidently appeareth, his Majesty challengeth no Authority over the Church, but laboured to overthrow that abominable Exaltation of the man of sin in the {Romish} Profession.

Con. We have the Word of Christ for it. That 'tis lawful to compel persons to come to worship, Luke 14.23.

Non. ‘Tis true Christ saith to Ministers, Compel them to come, &c. But wherewith doth he compel them {by} no temporal Sword; he compelleth them by sound Argument, and the two edged Sword of the Word, Heb.4.12. or as Luther saith, By Preaching the Law unto them, or showing them the necessity of Christ for {..}. Christ taught his Disciples, where-ever they went to Preach, Luk.10. {And if} they would not receive them, all they should do was, To shake off the dust on their feet for a testimony against them, Mat.10.14. which accordingly {they} practiced, Act. &c. He never taught them to pull the contrary minded out of their Houses, to put them in Prison, to confiscate {their} Goods, nor banish them to the ruine of themselves, Wives, and Children. This was Saul’s cause before Converted, to persecute the {Saints,} Act.9.1. Christ taught his Disciples, Luke 9.53.56 That he came not to destroy mens lives, but to save them; when the two Disciples would have {called} fire from Heaven to have destroyed the Samaritans for not receiving him. Christ taught by his Apostles, and so all his Ministers, To wate {for} the contrary minded patiently, if at any time God would give them Repentance to the acknowledging of the Truth, 2 Tim.2.24,25. and not to {pressure} their Repentance by seeking their Ruine. This is like the Council {..} in Pope Innocent’s time, 1215, in which Council was present two Monarch, 70 Archbishops Metripolitans, 400 Bishops, 12 Abbots, 80 venrual Priors, the Legates of Greek and Roman Empires, besides Embassadors and Orators of the Kings of Jerusalem, France, Spain, {England}, Cyprus. In this Council it was Decreed, That all Hereticks, and as do in any Point, resist the Catholick Faith, should be Condemned, &c. Bacon in his Reliques of Rome printed, 1563, ‘Tis a good saying of the Ancients, It agreeth, both with humane Equity, and natural Reason, {that} every man worship God uncompelled, and believe what he wills, for matter of Religion or Belief, neither hurteth nor profiteth any man, neither {becomes it} any Religion to compel another to be of their Religion, which willingly and freely should be imbraced, and not by Constraint, for asmuch as the Offer were required of those that freely and with a good will offered, and not be contrary.

Non. Pray neighbour consider, what Hilllary against Auventlans saith, {The} Christian Church doth not Persecute, but is persecuted; and lamentable it is to see the great folly of those times, and to sigh at the foolish {opposition} of this world, in that men think by human aid to help God, and {by} worldly pomp and power to undertake to defend the Christian Church, I ask of you Bishops, what help used the Apostles in the publishing of the Gospel, with the aid of what power did they preach Christ, converted the Heathen from their Idolitry to God, when they were imprisoned and lay in Chains, did they give any thanks to God for any Dignities and Favours received from the Court, or do you think that Paul went about with Regal Mandates, or Kingly Authority, I mean Earthly ones to gather and Establish the Church of Christ, sought he protection from Nero, Vespatian, &c. But now alas, humane help must assist and protect the Faith, as if Christ by his power were unable to do it.

Con. Come to Church, and you shall not be molested or troubled.

Non. If you do persecute us for our Conscience, I hope God will give {us} that Grace which may inable us patiently to suffer for Christ's sake, for {he} that seeks to defend or preserve Himself from Persecution, by taking up {the} temporal Sword; He is either one that believes there is no such Reward {as} is mentioned in Matth. 5. to those that patiently suffer, or unwise to Reject the opportunity of getting it. But herein all men may see you seek your own glory, and not God's, for my Salvation.

Con. How doth that Appear neighbour?

Non. Thus, If you sought God's Glory and my Salvation, then you would not threaten me with punishment, and make that a motive to {force} me up to come to Church, But with meekness and patience endeavour to satisfie my conscience from the word of truth; for this is the duty of a minister of Christ, 2 Tim.2.24. That so I may come with a willing mind, so shall {I} be accepted, 2 Cor.8.12. But if by threatening me with Punishment, as Imprisonment, Banishment, Confiscation of Goods, &c. you cause me to bring my Body, and not my Spirit and Soul; so shall I come near to the Lord with my lips, when my heart is far from him; which God accounteth {no} Worship and Hypocrisie. Hence it doth appear plainly, you seek {not} God's Glory, nor my good, but your own glory.

Con. I perceive what you aim at, you would have none brought {to} Church but such as come freely, and so should every man worship God {as} himself pleaseth.

Non. Your Conclusion I deny, that is, That every man should worship God as himself pleaseth; For I ackowledg, as there is but one God, there is but one way of worshipping him, the Rule of his Word: Yet {this} I affirm, That none should be compelled to worship by a temporal Sword, but such as come willingly, aud none can worship God to {acceptance} but such.

Con. Pray neighbour let me hear you prove that if you can.

Non. I prove it thus, John 4.24. saith, God is a spirit, and those that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. Here we see what worship God requireth, viz. That we worship him with our soul, and according to the truth of his Word. Secondly, Heb. 11.6. saith, Without faith it is impossible to please God. And Rom. 14.23. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. These Scriptures prove most evidently, That {..} in, worshipping God, although it were undoubtedly true, I {..} it unto God, for it is displeasing unto him, and a sin against him.

Con. Then all the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church if they cannot be {proved} from the Holy Writ, signifie nothing to you, it seems, be they {never} so decent, and stir up never so much to Devotion, and also preserve order.

Non. I would have a wiser man than myself answer this Question; Pray neighbour read Dr Owen his brief Instruction into the Worship of God, pag. 217, to 500. All acceptable Devotion in them that worship God, is the Effect {of} Faith, which respecteth the Precepts and Promises of God alone.

Non, Pray what do those Rites and Ceremonies signifie in the Church?

Con. They tend mightily to the furtherance of the Devotion of the Worshippers.

Non. What carnal or natural Affections may be excited by them, as {men} may inflame themselves with Idols, Isa. 57. or what outward outside {Devotion} they may direct unto, or excite, is uncertain; but that they are {a} means of stirring up the Grace of God in the hearts of Believers, or of increase or strengthening their Faith appears, because they are not {things} of God's own appointment, no Devotion is acceptable to him but it proceedeth from him, and is an Effect of Faith, for without Faith it {is} impossible to please God. Thes things therefore being destitute of Divine Authority, can in no way further the Devotion of the Worshiper, and to {suppose} such things to further our zeal, and yet God not to ordain them, is to reflect upon the Wisdom and Care of God towards his Church, and on {the} other hand to extol man's wisdom above what is meet to be ascribed to {them}.

Non. What other Reason have you for those Rights and ceremonies in the Church?

Con. They render the Worship of God more comely and beautiful.

Non. 'Tis most evident that the Worship of the Old Testament for the {glory} and ornament of outward Ceremonies, and the splendor of their observation, far exceeds and excels that Worship which God Commands {now}, as suitable to the simplicity of the Gospel, and yet the Apostle, when {he} compares the one with the other, prefers this of the Gospel for the glory, {and} excellency, comelinss of it, unspeakably above the Ministration of the {law}. See 2 Cor. 3.7, to 11. which manifesteth that these things have no {respect} to outward Rites and Ceremonies, but in the Churches Relation {to} God in Christ; the liberty and boldness of Worshipers to enter {into} the holy place, unto the Throne of Grace, under the Ministry of their merciful and faithful High-priest.

{Non.} What {justification do} you assign for the observation of those Ceremonies {and Rites in the Church?}

Con. They are great preservers of Order in the Celebration thereof.

Non. Neighbour, you are to know all Order consisteth in the due {observation} of Rule: The Rules of Action are either Natural, or of God's {special} Appointment; both these take place in Religious Worship; the {institutions} or Commands of Christ containing the substance of that {Worship,} and in their observation principally consisteth the order of it, but whatever is of Circumstance in the performing of them, not capable {of} special determination, is left unto the Rule of {moral} Prudence, but {the} super-added Ceremonies doth not belong to the Institution of Worship nor unto those Circumstances whose disposal falls under the Rule of moral Prudence; therefore they are altogether needless and useless in the Worship of God; it doth not nor cannot add any thing to the due order of Gospel Worship; and albeit there are not particularly and expressly {forbidden,} for it was simply impossible that all instances wherein the {witt of} man might exercise his invention in such things should be reckoned {with} and condemned; yet they fall directly under those severe Prohibitions which God hath reckoned to secure his Worship against all such addition unto it, Deut. 4.2. Jer.7.31. Chap. 10.5. The Papists say indeed, {that} Additions corrupting the Worship of God, are forbidden, but such {as} farther adorn and preserve it, are not so: Which implies a Contradiction for whereas every Addition is principally a Corruption, because it is {an} Addition under which notion it is forbidden; neither will that help them to say the Additions which they make belong not to the substance of the Worship of God, but the circumstance of it, whereas every circumstance observed Religiously, or to be observed in the Worship of God, is of {the} substance of it, as all the Ceremonial Observations of the Law, which {were} under the prohibitions of adding, as much as the most weighty {thing} whatsoever.

Con. All your Arguments, Neighbour, will not secure you, if ye come not to Church.

Non. Is this to observe the Golden Rule, to do as you would be done by {your} Neighbour, would you take it well at any mans hands to be persecuted {for} Conscience sake.

Con. I hold the Truth, there is no fear of Persecution on me.

Non. King James saith in his Exposition on Rev. 20. printed in 1588, {Note the} compassing of the Saints and besieging of the beloved City, declareth was a certain note of a false Church, to be Persecution, for they come to seek the Faithful. The Faithful are those that are sought; the Wicked are the Besiegers {and the} Faithful the besieged. But what think you, Neighbour, {the Holy} Apostles hold the Truth, yet who more persecuted than they.

Non. But Neighbour, I would ask you one question, What {think ye of} the Doctrine of the Church of Rome, who teach that it is lawful to Excommunicate Heretick Kings, and that all Kings deposed of by the Pope {their} Subjects owe them no Allegiance; and that 'tis lawful for the Subjects to Murther their Princes so Excommunicated.

Con. I abhor this Doctrine, and all our Synod and whole Clergy.

Non. I hope you do, and so shall I, I hope, as long as I live; But pray consider whether you do not cry out against others for that you are guilty {of} yourself. You cry out against the Pope and his Associates, for Excommunicating Princes, for their difference in Religion, yet you do the same {to} others for being contrary minded in Religion. So you cry out against {that} accursed Doctrine of the Pope, which teacheth Subjects not to be obedient to their Prince that is Excommunicated, and that it is Lawful to {Murther} such a one; Yet do not some of you teach Princes the same thing {and} is not that Doctrine to be abhorred) not to protect their Subjects, {that} are Excommunicated by them, and all upon the account of Conscience {or} affording them either Law or Justice, nor to bear Testimony in any {part}. Is this to do as we would be done by? What think you Neighbour, would not a zealous Papist, or one zealous of your Church, think it {against} the Golden Rule, to be compelled to worship God in that way they {have} no Faith in? Pray hear what Stephen King of Poland saith, I am {King} of Men, not of Consciences; A Commander of Bodies, not of Souls, Pray {see} His Majesty James's Speech at Parliament, 1609, he saith, It is the Rule in Divinity, that God never loves to plant his Church by violence and {bloodshed,} &c., and in his Highnesses Apol. pag.4. speaking of such Papists {that took} the Oath, thus; I have a good Proof that I intend no Persecution against them for Conscience Cause, but only desired to be secured for Civil Obedience, which for conscience Cause they are bound to perform. And pag.60. {speaking} of Blackwell the Arch-Priest, It was never my intention to lay any {thing} to the Arch-Priests Charge, as I never have done for any Cause of Conscience, &c.

Con. If freedom of Religion should be granted, there would be such {division} as would breed Sedition and Innovation in the State.

Non. When you know not what to say, then you run to Conceits and Imaginations of Sedition and Innovation, &c. but for Answer, let it be considered, Christ our Saviour, who is Prince of Peace, Isa.9.6. and not of Sedition hath taught Luke 12. That he came not to send peace on the Earth, {..}; to divide five on one house, two against three, and three against two; {father shall be divided} against the Son, &c. And a Mans Enemies are them of his own Household. {..} is that the fire of such division should be kindled, where we see the Prince of {Peace…} difference in Religion, by preaching the Gospel, which some receive as the {faith..} unto life, others refuse it, and so become enemies unto the truth.

{Non.} Behold the Nations where freedom of Religion is, as in Holland, &c. Are there any {more flourishing} Nations under the Heavens, many sorts of Perswasions are there, yet no trouble {...}, no treason, no kind of hinderance at all of any good, but much prosperity doth abide {there...}. This is no new thing to grant those of a contrary mind, and to live peaceably among {them} as Abraham abode among the Cananites a long time, yet contrary to them in Religion, Gen. {13.2} and 16.3. Again, He sojourned in Gerar, and King Abimelech gave him leave to abide {in the} Land, Gen.20.20.21,31.34. Isaac also dwelt in the same Land, yet contrary in Religion, Gen. {25.11}. Jacob lived almost twenty years in his Uncle Labans House, yet differed in Religion, Gen {31.41}. The people of Israel was 430 years in the Land of Egypt, and after 70 years in Babylon, yet {they} differed in Religion from the state.

Pray weigh well what the King of Bohemia hath written; one may clearly discern which his {..} and as it were touch with his Fingers, that according to the verity of Holy Scripture, {..} a Maxime heretofore held by the Doctors of the Church, That Mens Consciences ought {..} to be violated, urged or constrained; and whensoever men have attempted any thing {in} this violent course, whether openly or by secret means, the issue hath been pernicious, {and} the cause of wonderful innovations, in the principallest and mightest Kingdoms and Countrys {in} all Christendom, &c. And further, he saith so, that once more we do protest before {Christ} and the whole World, that from this time forward, we are firmly resolved not to to {persecute} or molest: or suffer to be persecuted or mollested, any person whosoever, for matters of Religion, no not them that profess themselves to be of the Roman Church, neither to {trouble} or disturb them in the exercise of their Religion, so they live comformable to the Laws {and}Statutes, &c.

Con. I pray Neighbour what evil could you commit if you should come to our Church, there is no question but you might do much good thereby,

Non. If I go I must go as being verily perswaded I do well, which that I cannot do, {particularly} because you do not duly administer the Sacrament according to Christs Ordinance, which {you} say Article the 19. belongeth to a true Church.

Secondly, If I go doubting, whether I do well or no, then I sin, because God saith, {Whatsoever} is not of Faith is sin, Rom.14.23. If you should say to do it doubtingly is no sin, {then} you make God a liar, who saith it is.

Con. Certainly Neighbour to force a man to worship God, can be no evil but good, not vice but virtue.

Non. The way God Almighty appointed his Officers for the conversion of Kingdoms and Poeples, was Humility, Patience, Charity, &c. saying I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, Mar. 10.{16}). He did not say, I send you forth as Wolves in the midst of Sheep, to kill, devour, imprision all unto whom they were sent. Again verse 17, They to whom I shall send you will deliver {you} up unto Councils, and in their Synagogues; they will scourge you, and to Presidents and Kings {you} will be led for my sake. He doth not say, you whom I send shall deliver the People, whom {you} ought to convert into Councils, and put them into Prisions, and lead them to Presidents {and} Tribunal Seats, and make their Religion Fellony and Treason. Again, ver. 12. When ye come into a House salute it, saying Peace be to this House. He doth not say you shall send {Persecutors} to ransack and spoil the House. Again John the 10. The good Shepherd he giveth his Life for the Sheep, the Thief cometh not but for to steal, kill and destroy. He doth not say {the} Thief giveth his Life for the Sheep, and the good Pastor he cometh not but for to steal and destroy.

Thus neighbour I have answered your Queries as well as I can, and given you the best {Counsel} I am able, hoping I have had some assistance from God, as I confess I have had from {Men} in those several Collections which I have made out of several Authors, which if it do {contribute} any thing to your satisfaction and advantage, let God have the Glory, &c.

Farewell Neighbour.


ERRATA. Page 12. (l. ult) Read ingrafted and initiating

This text was transcribed from scanned TIF files downloaded from Early English Books Online (EEBO - http://eebo.chadwyck.com and accessed through the University of Sydney Library. The original book is held in the Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) Library. Reel position: Wing / 1547:30.

Transcription was by Mr Mark Smith, A Reformed Baptist's Disk (

1 {} these words are difficult or impossible to determine from the scanned text due to its poor quality at this point. In some cases the words provided are inferred from the context.

2 Typographical error in the original text. Should read “fourth”.

3 Typographical error in the original text. Should read “fifth”.

* See a Book published in his Majesties King James his time, Entituled Persecution for Religion, Judged & Condemned. (Marginal reference)