And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.—Acts 4.32.

[Of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction, by Robert Baillie.]
 
A
D I S S V A S I V E
FROM THE
E R R O U R S
Of the
T I M E:

Wherein the Tenets of the principall
Sects, especially of the Independents, are drawn to-
gether in one Map, for the most part, in the words of
their own Authours, and their maine principles
are examined by the Touch-stone of
the Holy Scriptures.
 


By ROBERT BAYLIE Minister at Glasgow.

JER. 9.3. They are not valiant for the Truth upon the earth.
JUDE ver. 3. It was needfull for me to write unto you and exhort you, that you should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the Saints; for there are certaine men crept in unawares, &c.

Published by Authority.

L O N D O N,
Printed for SAMUEL GELLIBRAND at the Brasen
Serpent in Pauls Church-yard, 1645.

CHAPTER IX.

Whether the power of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction
belongs to the People or to the Presbytery.


THE next Question concerns the power of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction to whom it may be due: by Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction is understood the admission of Members into a Church, their casting out again by Excommunication, their reconciliation after repentance, the Ordination of Officers, their deposition from their charge, the Determining of Questions, the deciding of Controversies and such other acts of Ecclesiastick authority.

The state of the Question.

Till of late the state of the Question here was very clear and plain: the Reformed Churches do put both the power and the exercise of Jurisdiction into the hand of the Presbytery, that is, the company of Elders, and College of Church Governours. The Brownists, and after them the Independents did ascribe all these acts to the Church, as well without, as with a Presbytery: but of late Master Cotton in his Book of the Keys and his Brethren in their Synodick meetings of New-England have so subtilized, and as to me it seems, involved the Question with a multitude of new distinctions, that it is very hard to apprehend with any certainty and clearness their meaning, and more hard to reconcile any one with himself, much less one with another.

They would seem to differ much from the Brownists, they stand not to put them in the Category of Morellius, the first Patron of Democracy and popular government in the Church: they profess a midway of government, well balanced with a prudent mixture of the Officers’ power with the people’s, giving a part to both, and all to neither: They bring a multitude of distinctions rather to eschew the dint of our former arguments in the darkness of these Thickets, than to give any light to this very great Question. They insist most on two distinctions, whereby they think to answer all we bring against them.

If they put the power of Jurisdiction only in a Church organized and Presbyterated, they fall from much of the Brownists, and their own, both doctrine and practice.

First, they distinguish betwixt a Church Organized or Presbyterated, as they speak, and a Church inorganized and unpresbyterated: the one is a body Heterogeneous, a covenanted people with their Officers framed in a Presbytery; the other a body {182} Homogeneous, a people in a Church Covenant without Officers, at least without a Presbytery. They would seem to plead, or else the distinction is for no purpose, for the power only of an Organized and a Presbyterated Church. If they would stand to this in earnest, and firmly, we should be glad; for so they should openly desert, not only the whole race of the Brownists, but all their own former Writings, practices, and enervate the best of these very arguments they still adhere unto: for if ye will consider what is written by Mr. Cotton either in his Catechism, or way, or answer to the thirty-two Questions, or the Arguments that still he insists upon in the Keys, or their general practice in Holland and New-England to this day, you will see that they maintain the Jurisdiction of a Church, as well unpresbyterated, without a Presbytery, without Officers, as of a Church Presbyterated; for the power of Ordination of Officers, and of their deposition, the power of admitting and casting out of Members, which are the highest acts of Jurisdiction, they ascribe expressly to every Church, whether it have, or want Officers, as its proper and undeniable privilege.

Their last and best beloved invention of the power of Authority, and power of Liberty, is for no purpose but to involve the Authors in new difficulties.

Their other new distinction, wherein openly they applaud so much one another, as it were contending who should have the glory of its invention, is of a double power, one of Authority, and another of Liberty: ascribing unto a Presbyterated Church the whole power of Jurisdiction and every part of it, both to the Officers of their Presbytery, and to the people in their fraternity of brotherhood; but, so that the interest of the Officers in every act, is a power of authority which makes that their action only is valid and binding; but the interest of the people is a power of liberty to concur in these acts of Jurisdiction by an obediential, yet a necessary and authoritative concurrence.

This new distinction will not serve their turn, for first, its not applicable to the chief acts of Jurisdiction in question: their Ordination of Officers, their admission of Members, are done ordinarily by their people alone, without the concurrence of any Officers, who then are not in being. Secondly, their arguments for the people’s interest in Excommunication, Absolution, and other acts of Jurisdiction, infer either nothing at all, or much more than that which they call a power of Liberty, or of an authoritative {183} concurrence. Thirdly, this distinction involves the Authors in new unextricable difficulties, it makes the Keys & Sword of Christ altogether inserviceable in common and ordinary cases, wherein they have most need and occasion to be set on work.

As they wont to make their smallest Congregations Independent & uncensurable for any crime, so now by this distinction they divide all their Congregations in two parts, and make every one of these parts Independent also, and uncensurable for any imaginable sin.

Not only according to their former principles, they make every Congregation uncensurable for any possible crime: But by this new Doctrine they confess, that every Presbytery in a Congregation becomes uncensurable, and that every people of a Congregation becometh uncapable of any censure. Yea farther, if the most part of the Presbytery, suppose two ruling Elders join together in the greatest heresies and crimes, the whole people with the rest of the Presbytery, suppose the Pastor, cannot censure these two Elders; also if the greatest part of the people should join in the greatest wickedness, yet the whole Presbytery, with the rest of the people that remain sincere and gracious, cannot censure the wicked. In all these, and divers such ordinary cases, they have no remedy but Separation, and always Separation upon Separation, till their Church be dissolved into so small portions that it cannot by more Separations be farther divided. But let us consider the Arguments upon both sides.

For the negative, that the people have no power of Jurisdiction, we reason: First, the Officers alone are Governours, and the people are to be governed.

First, we reason thus, The people are not the Governors of the Church, But the acts of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction belong to the Governors of the Church; Ergo, The acts of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction belong not to the people. The Minor is clear from the nature of the very terms; for Jurisdiction is either all one with Government, or a chief part of it: now Government is essentially relative to Governors. The Major is proved by many Scriptures, which make the people so far from being Governors, that they are obliged to be subject and obedient to their Officers, as to them by whom God will have them governed, Heb. 13.17, Obey them that have the rule over you, for they watch for your souls as they who must give an account. 1 Tim. 5.17, Let the Elders who rule well, be counted worthy of double honour. 1 Thess. 5.12, Know them which are over you in the Lord, and esteem them very highly in love for their works’ sake. God hath made them Pastors, and the people their flock; them Builders, the people the stones laid by them in the building; them Fathers, the people children begotten by their Ministry; them Stewards, the people domestics under their conduct. {184}

2. The people have not the Keys of Heaven to bind and loose.

Secondly, whosoever hath the power of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction, to them the Lord hath given the Keys of Heaven for the remitting and retaining of sins. But to none of the people the Lord hath given these Keys. Ergo,————. The Major is not controverted. The Minor is thus proved: To whom Christ hath given the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to retain and remit sins, they are in some Ecclesiastick Office, They are sent out by Christ, as Christ was by his Father, they have some part of the Apostles’ ordinary charge; but these things are not true of the people. Ergo,—————. The Major is proved, John 20.21, As my Father hath sent me, so send I you; and when he had said this, he breathed upon them, and said receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins ye remit they are remitted, and whose sins ye retain they are retained. What was promised to Peter in Matt. 16.19, is here performed to him and the rest of the Apostles, and to their Successors in their ordinary Office of Elders: for this was a power necessary for the Church to the end of the world. The Minor also is clear; for these things were not given to all the Disciples, but to the twelve, and to their Successors. What was promised to Peter, was not promised to every faithful person, and to every Orthodox Confessor; for so, all and every one should be bearers of the Keys, and Ecclesiastick Officers, which is against the Scriptures of the first Argument.

3. The people are not the eyes & ears in Christ’s Body; for so, all the body should be eyes and ears.

Thirdly, to whom these acts of Jurisdiction do belong, they are the eyes, ears, hands, and principal Members of the Body of Christ: for the eminent persons and Officers of a Church, are compared to these Members, because of these actions. But the people are not the eyes, ears, hands; are not the principal Members of the Body of Christ: for if so, there should be none left in the Church to be the feet, or less principal Members: all should become eyes, and hands, and the Church should be made a Body Homogeneous, contrary to the doctrine of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 12.19, If they were all one Member, where were the Body? but now are they many Members, and the eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of thee, nor the head to the feet I have no need of you.

4. The people have not any promise of gifts sufficient for government.

Fourthly, Who have a right from God to the acts of Jurisdiction, they have a promise of gifts needful for the performance of these acts. For a divine right and calling to any work is backed {185} with a promise of God’s presence, gifts and assistance in doing of that work; but, the people have no promise of any such gifts. For besides that daily experience declares numbers among the people to be altogether destitute of such knowledge, wisdom and other gifts which are necessary for the performance of these acts of Jurisdiction: The Apostle himself teaches that such gifts are not given to all, but to some only.

5. The popular government bringeth in confusion making the feet above the head.

Fifthly, That is not to be given to the people that brings confusion into the Church, for the Lord is the God of Order. But the putting of the power of Jurisdiction in the people’s hand, brings confusion into the Church, for it makes the feet above the head, it puts the greatest power into the hand of the meanest, it gives power to the Flock to depose and excommunicate their Pastor. Our Brethren were lately wont to digest with the Brownists these absurdities: but now they begin to dislike them, and rather than to stand to their Prior Tenets, they will limit the Minor, asserting that the power of Jurisdiction belongs to the people not severally, but jointly with their Officers: so that neither they can excommunicate their Officers, nor their Officers can excommunicate them.

But it seems this new Subtilty will not long please the Inventors of it, for as we have said it makes the Keys of Heaven much more inservicable for opening and closing than needs must; when it hath taken the keys out of the hand of all others, and put them in the little weak fist of a particular Congregation; it will not permit them to open or to close the door, neither to the people, nor yet to the Eldership. The Eldership cannot remit, nor retain the sins of the Brotherhood, nor the Brotherhood, of the Eldership: yea none of the Eldership can be censured by all the people, without the consentient vote of the Presbytery, nor any of the people can either be bound or loosed without the consentient vote of the people. In these cases which may be very frequent, The Keys of Christ must be laid aside, and a new key of the Independents’ own invention, their sentence of Non-Communion, or that must beloved and a little elder key of separation, forged by the Brownists, must come in the place thereof, to be used against any or all other Churches, against their own Church or its Eldership, or its Brotherhood, or any Member of either. {186}

6. The people have not the power of Ordination.

Our sixth argument concerns Ordination, a special act of Jurisdiction, which all the Independents to this day put in the hands of the people alone, whenever a new Congregation is to be erected: which to them is no extraordinary nor rare case: or when in a Congregation already erected, there is no Presbytery, which among them is frequent. For a Presbytery must consist of more Governours than one, and usually their Presbyteries exceed not the number of three or four. At the death of their Minister, suppose one of their two ruling Elders be sick, or absent, or the two differ between themselves: in this case they make no difficulty to cause some of the people out of all office to ordain a new chosen Pastor; Against this very ordinary practice we reason.

They have no Commission to send Pastors to themselves, to impose hands, to examine their Pastors, to pray publicly, and exhort.

Unto whom the power of Ordination doth belong, they have a Commission from God authoritatively to send Pastors for preaching and celebration of the Sacraments, also to lay hands upon them for that effect; But people have no such Commission. Ergo,————, The Major, is the nature of Ordination; for the essence and inward form of it is the authoritative sending named: the outward Form and Sign used in Scripture, is imposition of hands. The Minor is proved from three grounds; first, that the people however they elect, yet they do not send; for so they should send to themselves. The Senders and they to whom the Preachers are sent, should be one and the same. Secondly, an authoritative mission imports a Superiority in the Sender above the Sent; But, the Pastors are over the people not under them. Thirdly, the examples of the New Testament make it evident, that the authoritative sending, and imposition of hands, the sign thereof, were never used by any of the people, but by the Elders only. 1 Tim. 4.14, With the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery: 1 Tim 5.22, Lay hands suddenly upon no man. 2 Tim. 1.6, Stir up the gift of God that is in thee by the putting on of my hands. So it was not only at the first sending of men to preach, but in posterior missions to any particular Service of the Ministry, Acts 13.1, There was in the Church certain Prophets and Teachers, and the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul to the work whereunto I have called them; and when they had fasted and prayed, and laid there hands on them, they sent them away. Fourthly, None of the people ordinarily have the gifts requisite for this action, as skill to examine the Minister {187} in all things he must be tried in, a gift of public prayer, a faculty to instruct and exhort the Pastor and people to mutual duties.

7. This power in the people would disable them in their callings.

Seventhly, That power belongeth not to the people which disableth them both in their Christian and Civil duties. But, the power of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction doth so. The Major is grounded on the nature of all power and all gifts which God doth give; for all are for edification, and none for the hurt of these to whom they are given. The Minor may be demonstrated by this, That it lays a necessity upon all the people to attend in the Sabbath day upon the exercise of discipline, which by the very length will make the Sabbath-Service insupportably burdensome: and also will fill the minds of the people with these purposes which naturally occur in the agitation of Ecclesiastick causes, and cannot but cast out of common weak minds much of the fruit of the preceding worship.

Further, the people’s necessary attendance on all Ecclesiastick causes, will make the process in the most causes so prolix, as cannot but rob the people of that time, which they ought to employ in their secular callings for getting of bread. For every one of the people being a Judge, must be so satisfied in every circumstance of every action, as to give their Suffrage upon certain knowledge and with a good conscience: now before this can be done in a few causes of the smallest, and best ordered Congregations much time will be spent: as the Church of Arneim found it in one cause alone, though but a light one; and betwixt two only, even of their chief and best Members.

8. This power of the people would bring in Morellius democracy and anarchy in the Church.

Eighthly, That power is not to be given to the people, which brings in the popular government of Morellius into the Church: but, the power in question doth so. The Major is the common assertion of all the Brethren, that they are far from democracy, and further from Morellius’ anarchy, and that they are ready to forsake their Tenet, if it can be demonstrated to import any such thing. The Minor thus we prove, That which puts the highest acts of Government in the hands of the multitude, brings in the popular government: for in the greatest democracies that are or ever have been, there were divers acts of great power in the hand of sundry Magistrates; but the highest acts of {188} power being in the hands of the people alone: such as the making of Laws, the creation of Magistrates, the censure of the greatest Offenders, these were the sure signs of Supremacy, that gave the denomination to the government. Now we assume that the Tenet in hand puts the highest acts of Ecclesiastick Authority in the hands of the people. For the Ordination and Deposition of Officers, the binding and loosing of Offenders, are incomparably the highest acts of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction: These they put in the hand of the people.

That they do conjoin with the people the Officers to expound the Law, and declare what is right, and to give out the sentence makes nothing against the people’s Supremacy: for in Rome and Athens at their most democratic times, and this day in the States of Holland, in all the Provinces and every City, where the people are undoubted Sovereigns, they have their Magistrates and Officers in all their proceedings to go before them, to declare the case, to take the Suffrages, and to pronounce the Sentence.

As for them who of late have begun to put the whole Authority in the Officers alone, and to give the people only a liberty of consenting to what the Officers do decree of their own Authority, we say they are but few that do so, and these contradictory to themselves. Also these same men give absolute Authority to the people in divers cases: further, that liberty of consent they come to call an authoritative concurrence. Lastly, the most of the arguments even of these men, do conclude not only a liberty to consent, and to concur, but an authoritative agency in the highest acts of Jurisdiction.

9. This power of the people will draw upon them the power of the word and Sacrament.

Ninthly, They who have the power of Jurisdiction, have also the power of preaching the word, and celebrating the Sacraments, unless God in his word have given them a particular and express exemption from that employment. But none of the people have power to preach the word, and celebrate the Sacraments. Ergo,——————. The Major is built on these Scriptures which conjoin the administration of the Word, Sacrament, and Discipline in one and the same terms: and upon these Scriptures which lay a part of these administrations upon some men, with an express exception of another part of them, Matt. 16.19, {189} under the name of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, is comprehended the whole Ecclesiastick power of the Word, Sacraments, and Discipline; what there is promised, John 20, it is performed in these terms, as the Father hath sent me, so I send you. But, 1 Tim. 5.17, where this power is separated and distinguished, the one part of Jurisdiction is ascribed to the ruling Elders, with an express intimation of their freedom from preaching the Word, and by consequence from celebration of the Sacraments. The Minor was that none of the people have power of the word and Sacraments. For the power of the Sacraments, it is confessed not to belong to the people. That the power of preaching the Word, belongeth no more to them, was proved in the former Chapter. None of our Brethren do ascribe the power of preaching to all the People, but only to a few of them who are able to prophesy: so the power of Jurisdiction according to the ground in hand, could be ascribed to none of the people but these few Prophets alone.

Mr. Cotton’s contrary arguments answered.

For the other side, the Separatists and Master Parker, in this point as far wrong as the other, bring many arguments: but I will meddle only with these which Master Cotton doth borrow from them in his way of the Churches, and answer to the 32. Questions.

First, Christ gave to Peter the Keys of Heaven as to a believer: Answer. not so, but as to an Apostle and Elder of the Church.

First, from Matt. 16.19, he reasons thus: The Power of the Keys is given unto Peter upon the confession of his faith. Ergo, every Believer hath the Power of the Keys. Answer. I deny the consequence, for howsoever upon the occasion of his confession the Keys are promised to him: yet they are not promised to him because of his confession, nor under the relation of a believer; for if so, then all and only believers should have the full Power of the Keys; but our Brethren will be loth to avow this direct Assertion of Smith the Sebaptist; for they do not ascribe the Power of the Sacraments to any believer out of Office, nor any power of the Keys to every believer: for some believers are not Members of any Church, and the Keys are only for Domestics. Neither do they put the Keys into the hands of believers alone; for so, Judas and many Pastors for want of true faith could not validly either preach or baptize. The Keys therefore are not promised to Peter under the notion of a believer, but in the quality {190} of an Apostle and Elder of the Church, as is cleared in the paralleled places of Matthew & John, where the gift here promised is actually conferred upon all the Apostles, who all were Elders, and whose Office of opening and closing the doors of Heaven, was to remain in the Church to the world’s end, not in the hand of every believer, but of the Governours of the Church joined in that Presbytery which other Scriptures do mention.

2. Tell the Church implies that the people have power of Excommunication. Answer. The Church here to be told is the Presbytery, and not the people, according to our Brethren’s own grounds.

Secondly, they reason from Matt. 18, who ever is the Church to whom scandals must be told, and which must be heard under the pain of Excommunication, they have the power of Church Censures; But the people are that Church, Ergo,————. Answer, we deny the Minor, with the good leave of our Brethren: for albeit they are wont to make the people alone without their Officers the Church in this place, proving hence the people’s power of Jurisdiction before they have any Officers, also their power to cast out all their Officers when they have gotten them; yet now they have gone from the Separatists thus far, as to say, that the people alone cannot be the Church here mentioned: but the Church must be the people with their Officers, whom now they will be loth as sometimes to make mere accidents and adjuncts of this Church: for now they hold them for integral Members, so necessary, that without them no censure at all can be performed upon any.

They go here a little further, telling us that the Church in this place cannot be the people, though with their Officers; but must be taken for the Officers with the people: because both the Power and the Execution of censures belongs to the Officers alone, though in the presence of the people, and with their consent, and concurrence. They tell us that the Right and Authority of censures is given only to the Presbytery of governours, in such a manner that the Presbytery can be censured by no others, neither can any other be censured not only without their consent, but not without their action.

We add a third step, whether our former arguments must draw them, that the Church here meant, must be the Governors alone without the people’s concurrence: for if Excommunication the great act of government, did belong to the people, either by themselves alone, or jointly by way of concurrence with their Officers, it would follow that the people were either sole {191} governors above their Officers, or joint governors with their Officers: which albeit our Brethren did hold lately with the Separatists, yet now they will not assert, so much the more as they declare it to be their judgment and practice that the Elders alone without the People, do meet apart in their Presbytery to hear all offences and to prepare them for public Judgment, whence I thus argue:

They to whom offences are to be told immediately after the two or three witnesses are not heard, They are the Church to whom in this place the power of excommunication is given; but, the Elders alone without the People, being set apart in their Presbytery, are they to whom offences are to be told, &c. Ergo,————. The Major is clear from the Text, for it speaks but of one Church which must be told, and heard under the pain of censure. The Minor is their own confession, and practice: and if that meeting of the Elders to whom they tell the offence, for preparation of the process to their people’s voice, be not the Church here mentioned, Then their ordinary practice of bringing scandals first to the Presbytery, before they be heard in the Congregation, shall be found not only groundless beside the Scripture, but altogether contrary to the Scripture in hand [Matt. 18.]: for the method here prescribed is that the Church be told when the witnesses are not heard: if therefore that company which is told after the witnesses are contemned, be not the Church: Christ’s order is not kept, and the Church gets wrong.

The people of Corinth did Judge and Excommunicate the incestuous man. Answer, The Text will prove no such thing.

Thirdly, they reason from 1 Cor, chapter 5, verses 4,5,7,12,13. They who are gathered together with the Apostle’s Spirit, and the Power of Christ to deliver the incestuous man to Satan; Who were to purge out the old Leaven, and to judge them that are within, and put away the wicked Person: they have power to excommunicate; but, the People do all these things, Ergo,——————.

Answer, the Minor is denied.

First, that gathering together might well be of the Presbytery alone, which our Brethren grant most meet in divers preparatory acts to censure.

Secondly, if it were of the whole people, which cannot be supposed in Corinth, where the People and Officers were so many, that the Congregations, as in Jerusalem, and elsewhere, were {192} more than one: yet, suppose that all the people did meet to the excommunication of that wicked man, this proves not that every one who did meet unto that censure, had either the power or the execution of it, more than of the Word and Sacraments to which they did more frequently meet.

Thirdly, the purging out of the old Leaven, and the putting away the man, is commended indefinitely to these unto whom the Apostle wrote, which our Brethren grant cannot be expounded without sundry exceptions. First, none doubt of women and children; again in the next chapter, it is written indefinitely, you are sanctified, you are justified, your Bodies are the Temples of the Holy Ghost; this must be restricted to the elect and regenerate, except we will turn Arminians.

Everywhere in Scripture indefinite propositions must be expounded according as other Scriptures declare the nature of the matter in hand; so here, the act of purging and putting away, ascribed indefinitely to the Church, must be expounded not of all the Members, but only of the Officers of the Church. For the Brownists themselves make not every Member to be a ruler: nor do our Brethren give the formal authority and power of censures to any other but Officers, ascribing to the rest of the Members only a Liberty of concurrence, so that the next word of Judging is expounded by them of a Judgment of discretion, not of any judicial and authoritative Judgment, which alone is in question.

4. The people of Colosse might censure Archipus their Minister. Answer, there is no Word in this Text of the people’s censure.

Fourthly, from Col. 4.17, they reason: the people of Colosse had power to admonish their Minister Archippus to fulfill his Ministry. Therefore the People of any Church have power if need be to excommunicate their Minister. Answer. First, That however our Brethren pretend to have come off from the extremity of the Brownists, halfway towards us: yet their arguments drive at the utmost of their old extremities, at no less than a power for the people to excommunicate their Ministers. Thus far the most of their reasons do carry, if they have any force at all. Secondly, the Antecedent may well be denied, all that the Apostle speaks to the Colossians indefinitely, must not be expounded of every one of the people: This precept of speaking to Archippus, could not be better performed than by the Presbytery, whereof Archippus was a Member. Thirdly, the consequence is {193} invalid, They might admonish, therefore excommunicate. Every admonition is not in order to censure; it is a moral duty incumbent to every one to admonish lovingly and zealously his Brother, when there is cause: it is a sin and disobedience to God if we let sin lie upon any whom we by our counsel and admonition can help [Lev. 19.17.]; but to conclude that we have power to Excommunicate every man, whom in duty we ought to admonish, is an absurdity which none of the Separatists will well digest.

5. The whole Church of Pergamus is rebuked for not censuring the Hereticks. Answer, The power of Censure was in the Angels, but the whole Church might be faulty in not encouraging the Angels to do their duty.

Fifthly, From Revelation 2.14,20: The whole Churches of Pergamus and Thyatira are rebuked for suffering wicked Hereticks to live among them uncensored. Ergo, it was the duty of all the Church to censure them. Answer. First, the conclusion is for a power to the people to censure, which our Brethren now deny. Secondly, The Antecedent may be denied; for the fault of that impious Toleration is not laid upon the whole Church, but expressly upon the Angel. Thirdly, the consequence is not good, The whole Church might be reproved for a neglect of their duty, in not inciting and encouraging their Officers to censure these Hereticks; but a reproof for this neglect, inferreth not that it was the people’s duty to execute these censures: Thus much our Brethren will not avow.

6. The twenty-four Elders sit on Thrones with Crowns on their heads. Answer, This will not prove a regal power of judging in every one of the people.

Sixthly, They reason from Revelation 4.4: The four and twenty Elders sat on Thrones in white Robes with Crowns on their heads. Ergo, Every one of the Church hath a power of judging, as Kings with Crowns sitting on their Thrones. Answer, First, the conclusion ever infers the full Tenet of the Separatists. Secondly, the consequence is very weak, except many things be supposed which will not be granted without strong proofs: first, that this Type is argumentative for the matter in hand; secondly, that this place is relative to the Church on earth, rather than to that in heaven; thirdly, that these Elders do typify the people rather than the Officers; fourthly, that the Thrones and Crowns import a Kingly Office in every Christian to be exercised in Church censures upon their brethren, more than the white robes do infer the Priestly Office of every Christian to be exercised in Preaching the Word and celebrating the Sacraments. {194}

7. The Galatians must stand fast to their Liberty.

Seventhly, They reason from Galatians 5.1,13, the Galatians were called unto Liberty, whereto they behoved to stand fast, as to a privilege purchased by Christ his blood; Ergo, Every one of them had a power to cut off their Officers. Answer, This is the Scripture whereupon our Brethren have lately fallen, and make more of it than of any other. I confess, their reasoning from it seems to me the most unreasonable throwing of the holy Scripture that I have readily seen in any Disputant. The whole scope of the place carrying evidently a liberty from the burthen and servitude of the Law. Their fathering upon it a new and unheard of sense, to wit, a privilege of Church censures, without any authority or proper power therein, is very strange: they cannot produce any Scripture where the word Liberty hath any such sense, and though they could, yet to give the word that sense in this place where so clearly it is referred to a quite diverse matter, it seemeth extremely unreasonable.

8. The whole Congregation of Israel had power to punish malefactors. Answer, What the people under the Law did in the State, is not a warrant for the people under the Gospel to do the same in the Church.

Eighthly, Thus they reason, The whole Congregation of Israel had power to punish Malefactors, as in the case of Gibea & in the message of Israel to the two Tribes & half; also the people had power to rescue from the hands of the Magistrates, as in the case of Jonathan from Saul. Answer. The consequence is null; for the practice of the Israelites in their civil state, is no sufficient rule for the proceedings of the Church of the New Testament. Our Brethren would beware of such Arguments, lest by them they entertain the jealousy which some profess they have of their way, fearing it be builded upon such principles as will set up the common people, not only above their Officers in the Church, but also above their Magistrate in the State: That it draw in a popular government and Ochlocracy both in Church and State alike.

9. The people elects their Officers. Ergo, they may depose and Excommunicate them. Answer, Election is no act of power, or of Jurisdiction.

Ninthly, They thus reason: Whoever do elect the Officers, they have power to ordain them, and upon just cause to depose and excommunicate them. But the people do elect their Officers; Ergo,————. Answer. The major is denied; for first, election is no act of power; suppose it to be a privilege, yet there is no Jurisdiction in it at all; but Ordination is an act of Jurisdiction, it is an authoritative mission, and putting of a man into a spiritual Office. The people, though they have the right and possession by Scriptural practice of the one, yet they never had either the right or the {195} possession of the other. Secondly, suppose the Maxim were true, whereof yet I much doubt, unless it be well limited. Ejus est destituere cuius instituere, that they who give authority, have power to take it back again; yet we deny that the people who elect, give any authority or office at all, their election is at most but an Antecedent, Sine quo non; it is the Presbytery only who by their Ordination do confer the Office upon the elect person.

10. The people must be present and consent to every act of Judgment. Answer, It is not so, and if it were, yet it infers not their power of Jurisdiction.

Finally, They argue, No act of Jurisdiction is valid without the people’s consent; Ergo, to every act of Jurisdiction the people’s presence and concurrence is necessary: Answer. The antecedent in many cases is false; a gracious Orthodox Minister may be ordained a Pastor to a Heretical people against their consent: an Heretical Pastor, who hath seduced all his flock, may be removed from them against their passionate desires to keep him: but the Consequent is more vicious; where ever consent is requisite, their presence, much less authoritative concurrence, is not necessary: all the soldiers are not present at the Counsel of War, and yet the decrees of that Counsel of War can not be executed without the consent and action of the Soldiers: every member of the Church of Antioch was not present at the Synod of Jerusalem: divers members of the Independent Congregations are absent from many Church determinations, to the which upon their first knowledge they do agree.