R E A S O N S
Agreed upon by the
REFORMERS of the CHURCH
For which the
BOOK of COMMON-PRAYER, urged
ASSEMBLY of DIVINES at Westminster, for
laying aside the English Book of Common-
Mr. GEORGE GRAHAM's Renunciation and
Abjuration of Episcopacy.
your God hath commanded you: You shall not turn
aside to the Right-Hand, or to the Left.
1 Cor. xi. 2. Now, I praise you, Brethren, that you keep
the Ordinances as I delivered them to you.
Mark vii. 7. In vain do they worship me, teaching for
Doctrines the Commandments of Men.
by him, and other Booksellers in Town and
Perhaps some may be prejudiced against the following Paper, because its Arguments are leveled against the Service-Book imposed on Scotland 1637, and not against the Service-Book of England, now generally used by our Scots Episcopalians: But whoever has read both these Books, knows them to be materially, if not almost formally, one and the same: For Proof of which I only cite a few Lines of an Episcopal Minister, Mr. William Smart, in a Paper of his, entitled, A short Discourse (after Sermon) recommending the Service and Prayers of the Church, Pag. 8. "Some are displeased that we make Use of the English Liturgy, and not of our own, seeing we have one of our own, and which some Divines of the Church of England prefer to their own. But our own Book of Common-Prayer is almost out of Print, at least we have not a sufficient Number of them, as (by the pious and generous Disposition of good Christians in England) we are supplied with English Books at this Time. And there is no material Difference between the Scottish and English Books of Common-Prayer; they differ as little as the Scottish and English Tongues, and are, upon the Matter, one and the same: So that this Objection serves for nothing."
From all which it appears, that the same arguments strike equally against the English as the Scottish Service-Book.
The REASONS agreed upon by the REFORMERS
of the Church of Scotland, for which the
Book of Common-Prayer, urged upon
SCOTLAND, Anno 1637. was refused.
IT containeth divers Points and Directions which would breed a Change in some Articles of that Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of the said Kingdom, which are both warranted in Scripture, and approved by Parliament: And it seemeth to be as well against State-Wisdom, as against Religion, to change any Thing either in the Matter or Form of the said Doctrine and Discipline, without first shewing both some Evil or Defect in the Things to be changed, and what Good and Benefit it is, that the said Service-Book will afford more to the Edification of the Church, or true Worship of Almighty God, than the Points of Doctrine and Discipline which the said Service-Book would breed a Change of.
IN the pretended Communion, it hath all the Substance and essential Parts of the Mass, and so brings in the most abominable Idolatry that ever was in the World, in worshipping of a breaden God, and makes Way to the Antichrist of Rome to bring this Land under his Bondage again; as may be seen at large by the Particulars of that Communion, wherein some Things that were put out of the Service-Book of England, for smelling so strong of the Mass, are restored; and many other things, that were never in it, are brought out of the Mass-Book, though they labour to cover the Matter. It hath the Commemoration of the Dead; the Table set Altar-ways: The Oblation of the Bread and Wine to God before Consecration: It hath the Popish Consecration, that the Lord would sanctify, by his Word, and by his holy Spirit, those Gifts and Creatures of Bread and Wine, that they may be unto us the Body and Blood of his Son; and then repeat the Words of Institution to God, for that Purpose. It hath an Oblation of it again, after it is consecrate; the Consummation by the Priest, kneeling before the consecrate Bread and Wine: It takes away the eating and drinking by Faith, mentioned in the English Liturgy. It hath the Patin Chalice, two Pater-nosters in English, before the Mass, and several other Particulars, that would take a long Time to rehearse and confute.
THOUGH they would take away the idolatrous Mass out of it, yet it hath a Number of Popish superstitious and idolatrous Ceremonies; as Twenty nine Holy-Days, whereof Twenty two are dedicated to Saints; two of them to the Virgin Mary, the one whereof is called The Annunciation of our Lady: So she is made a Lady to Christians; not being on Earth she must be a Lady in Heaven. Is not this to make her a Goddess? It hath fourteen Fasting-Days, and some Weeks. It hath also the human Sacraments of the Cross in Baptism, laying on of the Bishop's Hand in Confirmation; a Ring for the outward Seal in Marriage; a sanctified Font, Holy-Water, Holiness of Churches and Chancels; private Baptism, private Communions, Ceremonies for Burial of the Dead, and Purification of Women after Child-Birth; the Priest standing, kneeling, turning to the People, and consequently from them, speaking with a loud Voice, and consequently some Times with a low Voice. People standing at Gospels, at Gloria Patri, and Creeds; their answering the Minister, and many such like, in Number above Fifty; besides any religious Ornament, that the King, or his Successors shall prescribe, and Ceremonies that Bishops shall determine, or shall be contained in Books of Homilies to be set forth hereafter.
AND though they would take out of the Book, both the Mass, and all those superstitious Ceremonies, yet it hath a Number of other material Errors: As, leaving unread about a Hundred and twenty Chapters of God's Word, and putting this Reproach upon them, that they are least edifying, and might be best spared, and reading sundry Chapters out of Apocrypha, under the Stile of holy Scripture of the Old Testament. It hath a Litany more like Conjuring than like Prayers. It hath some Places out of which Papists may prove, that Sacraments are absolutely necessary to Salvation, in appointing Baptism in private, with such Haste, that, if Necessity require, he that baptizes needs not so much as to say the Lord's Prayer: And out of which they may prove, that Sacraments give Grace by their Work wrought, in saying, Children baptized have all Things necessary to Salvation, and be undoubtedly saved. It hath other Places out of which they may prove more Sacraments than Two, which, they say, every Parishioner, who is already baptized, shall communicate, and shall also receive the Sacraments; and that Sacraments, two, are generally necessary to Salvation, as if there were others, either not so general, or not so necessary. It hath other Places, out of which they may prove universal Grace, saying, God the Father made me and all the World, and God the Son redeemed me and all Mankind. One Collect pretends to beg from God, that which they dare not presume to name, and a Number others of this Sort.
THOUGH likewise they amend all those Errors, and that they were no material Error in it at all; so they read nothing at all but Scripture, yea, and that all their Prayers and Exhortations were nothing but Words of Scripture, yet such a Liturgy were not lawful to be made the only Form of God's Worship in public: For, though a formed Liturgy may be to serve for Rule to other Churches, and Monuments to Posterity, what Forms are used, or that it may lead the Way, or be a Direction to those that are beginning in the Ministry, yet it is not by reading of Prayers and Exhortations, that the Lord appoints his Servants of the Ministry to worship him, or edify his People; but he has given Gifts to them, to exhort, pray, and preach, which they ought to stir up and use; and though they may, in their private Studies, take Help of other Men's Gifts, yet it is not lawful for a Man to tie himself, or be tied by others, to a prescript Form of Words in Prayer and Exhortation, for these Reasons:
First, Such a prescript Form is against the Glory of God, in stinting to him such a daily Measure of Service, and in hindering the many spiritual Petitions and Praises that otherwise would be, if God's Gifts were used.
Secondly, It is against the Dignity of Christ, in making his Gifts needless; for, though he send down no Gifts at all, they can serve themselves with the Book without them.
Thirdly, It quenches the holy Spirit, because he gets no Employment.
Fourthly, It hinders the Edification of God's People; they may as well stay at Home, and be edified by reading the Book themselves.
Fifthly, It is against the Conversion of those that know not God. Will ever a Rat-rime of Words said over, without Feeling or Blessing, work upon an unrenewed Heart?
Sixthly, It will never serve to convince an Heretick, to check a profane Person, or to waken a secure Soul; they may long go on, ere such a Service bite upon them; yea, it fosters People in a Presumptuous Conceit, that they are well enough if they be present, and say their Part of Service.
Seventhly, It fosters a lazy Ministry, and makes Way for putting down Preaching; they need take no Pains, and therefore need no Stipend: Yea, they may come from the Ale-house, or a worse Place, and step to and read their Service, without either Check or Preparation.
Eightly, It may all be done by a Boy of seven Years old; and so every private Man, that can read, yea, a Turk, if he can read, may be such a Minister.
Ninthly, It cannot express the several Needs of all People to God, or deal with them according to their several Estates, that will alter otherways than any prescript Form can be applied to.
Tenthly, If any one stinted Liturgy had been good, or needful, no doubt but CHRIST would have set one down for us.
THOUGH a prescript Form of Liturgy were lawful, yet there is no Warrant for imposing one: For, might not able Ministers (at least) make a prescript Form to themselves, which would fit them and their People best? But if it were lawful to impose one, then there is one in this Country already.1 Ought not that rather be imposed, than any other, seeing it is already established by Parliament, now of a long Time? But now, if a new one ought to be imposed, then it ought to come in by a lawful Manner, by a General Assembly, and Men chosen to make it, that are known to have the Gift of Prayer themselves, and not the Mass-Book translated into English, urged by Antichristian Prelates upon God's People, without Consent of any General Assembly or Parliament, against the Will of all Men, and with no small Offence and Scandal to the Minds and Consciences of such as think all Liturgy unlawful, that is either in the Mass-Way, or inconsistent with the Practice and Peace of the Reformed Churches of Scotland hitherto; and against the Hearts of such as know many Things in the English Liturgy and Canons, which the Practice of neither hath Warrant in God's Word, nor can bring any such Addition to the Profit, Honour or Power of the King, that is able to compense the Loss he may make of his good Subjects Affections, by commanding such a Change as the urged Liturgy would bring to the Peace of our Church, and the Respect due to the Acts of Parliament, and long Custom, whereby our Church-Discipline, Order and Government hath been established.
Act of the General Assembly of the Church
of Scotland condemning the Service-Book,
Book of Canons, Book of Ordination, and
Glasgow, December 6. 1638.
THE Assembly having diligently considered the Book of Common-Prayer, lately obtruded upon the Reformed Kirk within this Realm, both in respect of the Manner of the Introducing thereof, and in respect of the Matter which it containeth, Findeth, that it hath been devised and brought in by the pretended Prelates, without Direction from the Kirk, and pressed upon Ministers without Warrant from the Kirk, to be universally received, as the only Form of Divine-Service, under all highest Pains, both Civil and Ecclesiastical: And the Book itself, beside the Popish Frame and Forms in Divine Worship, to contain many Popish Errors and Ceremonies, and the Seeds of manifold and gross Superstition and Idolatry. The Assembly therefore, all in one Voice, hath rejected and condemned, and, by these Presents, doth reject and condemn the said Book; not only as illegally introduced, but also as repugnant to the Doctrine, Discipline and Order of this reformed Kirk, to the Confession of Faith, Constitutions of General Assemblies, and Acts of Parliament establishing the true Religion; and doth prohibit the Use and Practice thereof; and ordain Presbyteries to proceed with Censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgress.
The Assembly also, taking to their Consideration the Book of Canons, and the Manner how it hath been introduced, findeth, That it hath been devised by the pretended Prelates, without Warrant or Direction from the General Assembly; and to establish a tyrannical Power in the Persons of the pretended Bishops, over the Worship of God, Men's Consciences, Liberties and Goods, and to overthrow the whole Discipline and Government of the General and Synodal Assemblies, Presbyteries and Sessions, formerly established in our Kirk.
Therefore the Assembly, all in one Voice, hath rejected and condemned, and, by these Presents, doth reject and condemn the said Book, as contrary to the Confession of our Faith, and repugnant to the established Government, the Book of Discipline, and the Acts and Constitutions of our Kirk; prohibits the Use and Practice of the same; and ordains Presbyteries to proceed with the Censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgress.
The Assembly having considered the Book of Consecration and Ordination, findeth it to have been framed by the Prelates, to have been introduced and practised without Warrant of Authority, either Civil or Ecclesiastical; and that it establisheth Offices in God's House, which are not warranted by the Word of God, and are repugnant to the Discipline and Constitution of our Kirk; That it is an Impediment to the Entry of fit and worthy Men to the Ministry, and to the Discharge of their Duty after their Entry, conform to the Discipline of our Kirk: Therefore the Assembly, all in one Voice, hath rejected and condemned, and, by these Presents, do reject and condemn the said Book; and prohibits the Use and Practice of the same; and ordains Presbyteries to proceed with the Censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgress.
The General Assembly, after due Trial, having found, That the Court of High-Commission hath been erected without the Consent or Procurement of the Kirk, or Consent of the Estates of Parliament; That it subverteth the Jurisdiction and ordinary Judicatories and Assemblies of the Kirk-Sessions, Presbyteries, provincial and national Assemblies; That it is not regulate by Laws, Civil or Ecclesiastical, but at the Discretion and Arbitriment of Commissioners; That it giveth to Ecclesiastical Persons the Power of both the Swords, and to Persons merely Civil the Power of the Keys and Kirk-Censures: Therefore the Assembly, all in one Voice, hath disallowed and condemned, and, by these Presents, doth disallow and condemn the said Court, as unlawful in itself, and prejudicial to the Liberties of Christ's Kirk and Kingdom, the King's Honour, in maintaining the established Laws and Judicatories of the Kirk; and prohibits the Use and Practice of the same; and ordains Presbyteries to proceed with the Censures of the Kirk against all such as shall transgress.
Act of the General Assembly of the Church of
Scotland concerning the Confession of Faith,
renewed in February, 1638.
Glasgow, December 20. 1638.
THE Assembly considering, That, for the Purging and Preservation of Religion, for the King's Majesty's Honour, and for the public Peace of the Kirk and Kingdom, the Renewing of that national Covenant and Oath of this Kirk and Kingdom, in February 1638. was most necessary; likeas the Lord hath blessed the same from Heaven, with a wonderful Success for the Good of Religion. That the said Covenant suspendeth the Practice of Novations already introduced, and the Approbation of the Corruptions of the present Government of the Kirk, with the civil Places and Power of Kirk-Men, till they be tried in a free General Assembly: And that now, after long and serious Examination, it is found, That, by the Confession of Faith, the five Articles of Perth, and Episcopal Government, are abjured, and to be removed out of this Kirk, and the civil Places and Power of Kirk-Men are declared to be unlawful; the Assembly alloweth and approveth the same, in all the Heads and Articles thereof, and ordaineth, that all Ministers, Masters of Universities, Colleges and Schools, and all others who have not already subscribed the said Confession and Covenant, shall subscribe the same, with these Words prefixed to the Subscription, viz. The Article of this Covenant, which was, at the first Subscription, referred to the Determination of the General Assembly, being now determined at Glasgow, in December 1638, and thereby the five Articles of Perth, and the Government of the Kirk by Bishops, being declared to be abjured and removed, the civil Places and Power of Kirk-Men declared to be unlawful, We subscribe according to the Determination of the said free and lawful General Assembly holden at Glasgow; and ordain, ad perpetuam rei memoriam, the said Covenant, with this Declaration, to be insert in the Registers of the Assemblies of this Kirk, General, Provincial and Presbyterial.
Mr. George Graham his renouncing and ab-
juring of Episcopacy, given in to the Gene-
ral Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Edinburgh, August 17. 1639.The which Day there was given into the Assembly, direct from Mr. George Graham, sometime pretended Bishop of Orkney, an Abjuration of Episcopacy, subscribed with his Hand, which was publicly read in Audience of the Assembly, and thereafter they ordained the same to be registrate in the Assembly-Books, ad perpetuam rei memoriam, whereof the Tenor follows.TO all and sundry whom it effeirs [concerns], to whose Knowledge these Presents shall come, especially to the Reverend and Honourable Members of the future Assembly, to be holden at Edinburgh the 12th Day of August 1639 Years, me Master George Graham, sometime pretended Bishop of Orkney, being sorry and grieved at my Heart, that I should ever, for any worldly Respect, have embraced the Order of Episcopacy, the same having no Warrant from the Word of God; and being such an Order as hath had sensibly many fearful and evil Consequences in many Parts of Christendom, and particularly within the Kirk of Scotland, as by doleful and deplorable Experience this Day is manifest, to have disclaimed, likeas I, by the Tenor hereof, do altogether disclaim and abjure all Episcopal Power and Jurisdiction, with the whole Corruptions thereof, condemned by lawful Assemblies within the said Kirk of Scotland; in regard the same is such an Order, as is also abjured within the said Kirk, by virtue of that national Oath which was made in the Years 1580 and 1581, promising, and swearing by the great Name of the Lord our God, that I shall never, while I live, directly or indirectly, exerce [exercise] any such Power within the Kirk; neither yet shall I ever approve or allow the same, not so much as in my private or public Discourse: But, on the contrary, shall stand and adhere to all the Acts and Constitutions of the late Assembly holden at Glasgow the 21st of November 1638 last bypast; and shall concur, to the uttermost of my Power, sincerely and faithfully, as Occasion shall offer, in Execution of the said Acts, and advancing the Work of Reformation within this Land, to the Glory of God, the Peace of the Country, and the Comfort and Contentment of all good Christians, as God shall be my Help. In Testimony of which Premisses, I have subscribed thir [these] Presents with my Hand, at Breekness in Strones, the Eleventh Day of February, the Year of God 1639 Years, before thir [these] Witnesses, Mr. Walter Stuart Minister at Southronaldsay, Mr. James Hynd Minister at Kirkwall, Mr. Robert Peirson Minister at Firth, and Mr. Patrick Graham Minister at Holme, my Son.
See also the Renunciation of Mr. Alexander Lindsay, pretended Bishop of Dunkell, of Episcopacy, also given in to the same Assembly. See the unprinted Acts of the said Assembly; and likewise see Mr. Patrick Adamson, pretended Bishop of St. Andrews, his Renunciation of Episcopacy, in Calderwood's History, Pag. 260, in the Year 1591. All which plainly declares and clearly proves, that Prelacy, or the Government of the Church by Bishops, has no Warrant nor Foundation in the Word of God.
The Reasons agreed upon by the Assembly of
Divines at Westminster, for laying aside
the English-Book of Common-Prayer.
IN the Beginning of the blessed Reformation, our wise and pious Ancestors took care to set forth an Order for Redress of many Things, which they then, by the Word, discovered to be vain, erroneous, superstitious and idolatrous, in the public Worship of God. This occasioned many godly and learned Men to rejoice much in the Book of Common-Prayer at that Time set forth; because the Mass, and the rest of the Latin Service, being removed, the public Worship was celebrated in our own Tongue; many of the common People also received Benefit by hearing the Scriptures read in their own Language, which formerly were unto them as a Book that is sealed.
HOWBEIT, long and sad Experience hath made it manifest, that the Liturgy used in the Church of England (notwithstanding all the Pains and religious Intentions of the Compilers of it) hath proved an Offence, not only to many of the Godly at Home, but also to the reformed Churches Abroad. For, not to speak of urging the reading of all the Prayers, which very greatly increased the Burden of it; the many unprofitable and burdensome Ceremonies contained in it, have occasioned much Mischief, as well by disquieting the Consciences of many godly Ministers and People, who could not yield unto them, as by depriving them of the Ordinances of God, which they might not enjoy without conforming or subscribing to those Ceremonies. Sundry good Christians have been, by Means thereof, kept from the Lord's Table, and divers able and faithful Ministers debarred from the Exercise of their Ministry (to the endangering many Thousand Souls, in a Time of such Scarcity of faithful Pastors) and spoiled of their Livelihood, to the Undoing of them and their Families. Prelates and their Faction have laboured to raise the Estimation of it to such a Height, as if there were no other Worship, or Way of Worship of God amongst us, but only the Service-Book, to the great Hindrance of the Preaching of the Word, and (in some Places, especially of late) to the Justling of it out as unnecessary; or (at best) as far inferior to the reading of Common-Prayer, which was made no better than an Idol, by many ignorant and superstitious People, who, pleasing themselves in their Presence at that Service, and their Lip-labour in bearing a Part in it, have thereby hardened themselves in their Ignorance and Carelessness of saving Knowledge and true Piety.
IN the mean Time, Papists boasted that the Book was a Compliance with them in a great Part of their Service; and so were not a little confirmed in their Superstition and Idolatry, expecting rather our Return to them, than endeavouring the Reformation of themselves: In which Expectation they were of late very much encouraged, when, upon the pretended Warrantableness of imposing of the former Ceremonies, new ones were daily obtruded upon the Church.
Add hereunto (which was not foreseen, but since hath come to pass) that the Liturgy hath been a great Means, as, one the one Hand, to make and increase an idle and unedifying Ministry, which contented itself with set Forms made to their Hands by others, without putting forth themselves to exercise the Gift of Prayer, with which our Lord Jesus Christ pleaseth to furnish all his Servants whom he calls to that Office: So, on the other Side, it hath been (and ever would be, if continued) a Matter of endless Strife and Contention in the Church, and a Snare both to many godly and faithful Ministers, who have been persecuted and silenced upon that Occasion, and to others of hopeful Parts, many of which have been, and more still would be diverted from all Thoughts of the Ministry, to other Studies; especially in these latter Times, wherein God vouchsafeth to his People more and better Means for the Discovery of Error and Superstition, and for attaining of Knowledge in the Mysteries of Godliness, and Gifts in Preaching and Prayer.
UPON these and many like weighty Considerations, in reference to the whole Book in general, and because of divers Particulars contained in it, not from any Love to Novelty, or Intention to disparage our first Reformers, of whom we are persuaded, that, were they now alive, they would join with us in this Work, and whom we acknowledge as excellent Instruments, raised by God, to begin the Purging and Building of his House, and desire they may be had of us and Posterity in everlasting Remembrance, with Thankfulness and Honour; but that we may, in some Measure, answer the gracious Providence of God, which at this Time calleth upon us for further Reformation, and may satisfy our own Consciences, and answer the Expectation of other reformed Churches, and the Desires of many of the Godly among ourselves, and withal give some public Testimony of our Endeavours for Uniformity in divine Worship, which we have promised in our solemn League and Covenant: We have, after earnest and frequent calling upon the Name of God, and after much Consultation, not with Flesh and Blood, but with his holy Word, resolved to lay aside the former Liturgy, with the many Rites and Ceremonies formerly used in the Worship of God.
Royal Witnesses with respect to the English-
Service. King Edward VI. his Answer
to the People assembled in Devonshire,
AS for the Service in the English Tongue, it hath manifest Reasons for it: And yet perchance it seemeth to you a new Service, and indeed it is no other than the old, the self-same Words in English which were in Latin, saving a few Things taken out, which were so fond [foolish], that it had been a Shame to have heard them in English, as all they can judge which list [desire] to report the Truth. The Difference is, we meant godly, that you our Subjects should understand in English, being our natural Country Tongue, that which was heretofore spoken in Latin, then serving only for them which understood Latin, and now for all you which be born English. How can this with Reason offend any reasonable Man, that he shall understand what another saith, and so consent with the Speaker? If the Service in the Church was good in Latin, it remaineth good in English; for nothing is altered, but to speak with Knowledge, that which was spoken with Ignorance, and to let you understand what is said for you, to the Intent you may further it with your own Devotion: An Alteration to the better, except Knowledge be worse than Ignorance. So that, whosoever hath moved you to dislike this Order, can give you no Reason, nor answer yours, if ye understood it.Fox's Acts and Monuments, Vol. II P. 667.
In the eighth Session of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, held in August 1590, King James VI. was present, where he praised God, that he was born in such a time, as in the Time of the Light of the Gospel; to such a Place, as to be King of such a Kirk, the sincerest Kirk in the World. The Kirk of Geneva, said he, keepeth Pasch and Yule: What have they for them? They have no Institution. As for our Neighbour Kirk, in England, their Service is an evil-said Mass in English; they want nothing of the Mass but the Listings. I charge you, my good People, Ministers, Doctors, Elders, Noblemen, Gentlemen, and Barons, to stand to your Purity, and to exhort the People to do the same; and I forsooth, so long as I bruik [enjoy] my Life and Crown, shall maintain the same against all deadly, &c. There was nothing heard for a Quarter of an Hour, but praising God, and praying for the King.Calderwood's Hist. P. 286, 287.
As to Prelacy, and the Identity of Bishop and Presbyter, the great Erasmus, upon 1 Tim. 4.4; Bishop Cranmer, in his Conferences, P. 310,331; Bishop Jewel, in Defence of his Apology, Part II. Chap. 9. Divis. 1; Bishop Morton in his Catholick Apology, Part 1. Chapi. 33; Bishop Bilson in his Book against Seminaries, Lib. I. P. 318; and Archbishop Whitegift against Carthright, and many others; as Bishop Fulk, Bishop Pilkington, Bishop Fox, &c. Dr. Dunham, Dr. Hooker, Dr. Whitaker, Dr. Holland, and Dr. Stillingfleet, in their Writings, overthrow the pretended divine Right of Prelacy, and plead for it only as an human Institution. And not only so, but these very Bishops and prelatical Divines, give their clear and full Consent, That Arch-episcopacy, as it differs from Presbytery, was only of human Right, and not of divine Institution: And these Bishops and Doctors further affirm, and prove out of the Fathers, That the Church, at first, was governed by common Council of Presbyters. And therefore, Bishops, (says one of them out of Hierom) must understand, that they be greater than Ministers, rather by Custom, than the Lord's Appointment; and the Bishops came in after the Apostles Times.Jus divinum Ministeri Evangel. Part 2d. Chap. 4.
Also, Daniel Tilen, in his Disputations in the College of Seden, Geneva, printed 1618. P. 544, declares, That the Difference between Bishop and Presbyter hath no Foundation in the sacred Scriptures, but is only founded upon human Institution. For Confirmation of which, he cites Hierom, Lombard, Gratian, Card, Cusan. All which fairly yield the Cause of the pretended divine Right of Prelacy.
S C R I P T U R E S, &c.
What Thing soever I command you, observe to do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it, Deut. 12.32.
To the Law and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no Light in them, Isa. 8.20.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this People draw near me with their Mouth,and their Fear towards me is taught by the Precept of Men; therefore, behold, I will proceed to do marvelous Work amongst these People, even a marvelous Work, and a Wonder; for the Wisdom of their wise Men shall perish, and the Understanding of their prudent Men shall be hid, Isa. 29.13,14.
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you, Hypocrites, as it is written, This People honoureth me with their Lips, but their Heart is far from me. Howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching for Doctrines the Traditions of Men: For, laying aside the Commandment of God, ye hold the Tradition of Men, as the washing of Pots and Cups, and many other Things ye do. Howbeit, full well ye reject the Commandment of God, that ye may keep your Tradition, Mark 7.6-9.
Thus, saith the Lord, Stand ye in the Way, and see, and ask for the old Path, where is the good Way, and walk therein, and ye shall find Rest for your Souls,Jer. 6.16.
And he said unto them, The Kings of the Gentiles exercise Lordship over them; and they that exercise Authority upon them are called Benefactors: But ye shall not be so, but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he that is chief, as he that doth serve, Luke 22.25,26; Matth. 22.25-27; Mark 10.42-44.
Feed the Flock of God which is among you, taking the Oversight thereof, not by Constraint, but willingly; not for filthy Lucre, but of a ready Mind; neither as being Lord's over God's Heritage, but being Ensamples to the Flock, 1 Pet. 5.2,3; 2 Cor. 1.24.
And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the Elders of the Church: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to the Flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you Overseers, or Bishops, to feed the Church of God, Acts 20.17,28; Philip. 1.1; Acts 6.3,4.
Ye observe Days and Months, and Times and Years, Gal. 4.10.
Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ from the Rudiments of the World, why, as though living in the World, are ye subject to Ordinances, (touch not, taste not, handle not, which are all to perish with the using) after the Commandments and Doctrines of Men; which Things have indeed a Shew of Wisdom, in Worship and Humility, &c.Col. 2.20-23.
Meddle not with them that are given to Change, Prov. 24.21.
Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean Thing, and I will receive you, 2 Cor. 6.17.
The Greek Postscripts of the Epistles to Timo-
thy and Titus, cleared in the Parliament
THE Authority of the most ancient Parchment Manuscript of the Bible, remaining in his Majesty's Library at St. Jame's, being all written in great Capital Greek Letters, was vouched and asserted by Sir Simonds D'Ewes, in a Speech delivered by him, on Friday, June 11, 1641, in the Morning, upon the Debate of the Bill touching Bishops, &c. by which it infallibly appeareth, that the Styling of Timothy the first Bishop of Ephesus, and Titus the first Bishop of Crete, are but the bold and spurious Additions of some Eastern Bishop or Monk, to the Postscripts of those Epistles of St. Paul, at least 500 Years after Christ. The Postscripts of the said Epistles, in that ancient Manuscript, agreeing in the main with the Syriac Testament, are only thus: The first to Timothy, written from Laodicea; the second to Timothy, written from Laodicea; to Titus, written from Nicopolis. This rare Manuscript was sent to his Majesty, that now is, by Cyrillius then Patriarch of Alexandria. And the Word Bishop is not in all the Dutch Translation of the New Testament, and where the Word Bishop is in our Translation, the same is always rendered Overseer in theirs, according to the Original.
For Treatises, which farther discover and con-
fute Prelacy, and the Scots and English
Common-Prayer Books, the Reader, that
has more Leisure, may consult,
1. Zion's Plea against Prelacy, Quarto. 2. Altare Damascenum Edwardi Didoclavii,
1623 3. Gillespy's English Popish Ceremonies,
1637 4. Hugh's Popish Errors and Ungodliness in the
5. Baily's Parallel of the Liturgy and Mass-
6. Firmin against Dr. Vandon on the Liturgy,
1661 7. Pinn's Examination of the Common-Prayer,
1661 8. Forester against Episcopacy, Quarto. 1706 9. Smectimnus Redivivus, Quarto. 1708 10. Queries to the Scots Innovators, &c. Quarto 1712 11. Anderson against Rhind, Quarto. 1714 12. Anderson's Dialogues, Quarto. 13. A modest Apology, occasioned by the Bishop
14. DeLaune's Plea for Non-Conformists,
1712 15. A modest Apology for the Church of Scot-
1712 16. Jameson's Sum of Episcopal Controversy,
1713 17. King's Enquiry into the Constitution, Unity
and Worship of the primitive Church, Octavo.
1713 18. Dr. John Owen's Answers to the two Que-
stions concerning the Common Prayer-Book,
with twelve Arguments against any Conform-
ity to worship not of divine Institution, print-
ed at the End of 2d Volume of his Sermons,
F I N I S.
1. This was the Form and Order of the English Church at Geneva, which was brought over here, and made Use of as a Directory in the Beginning of our Reformation in Knox's Time.