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them to the matter than the words, to prevent the broaching of errors in prayers; which, some think, was the erst occasion of set forins."..
“Another evil of this (Burton's; treatise which needed cure, [is that] it hath bred in some and nourished in others an opinion that our churches are not churches, nor our minister's true ministers, nor our sacraments to be participated without sin; whereby some are drawn to, and others confirmed in, a neglect of the servants and service of God: which is no sinall evil, that deserveth cure. Give me leave, therefore, a little to examine his grounds." They who are desirous of seeing how this Vindicator eludes Burton's charges, are referred to the “Vindication" itself: for ourselves, we see nothing but the oft-repeated palliatives, that, of two or more indefensible means or instruments, one is not so bad as another,-that established Presbytery is not so bad as established Prelacy ;-and hence pass on to where Geree remarks that Burton proceeds throw all subordination in the particular churches of a nation, not only to one another,—which was never dreamed of,—but to any general government by officers gathered ont of all and so set over all; and so he lays a ground for Independent Separate Churches, which he desires may be erected’ in this nation. But this task of his,” Geree tells us, “is undertaken and performed with better order and strength, by another author in the · Presbyterial Government Examined.' And yet," — he adds, “ that hath received a solid answer by the assertor of the “Scotch Governinent;'.. and therefore thither I shall remit the reader." He admits that the subject presses home, upon himself, and continues to say, “ Because I perceive many are much unsettled,—and that, even of those to whom I have some relation,—with the things that are scattered in this discourse [of Burton's,) I will endeavour briefly 10 run over the things here that are material ; especially such as have not a full answer in the above-mentioned treatise.” His first endeavour is to define “a National Church,” which “word,” he adınits, “ neither is a Scripture phrase; nor do any give us a certain exposition of it, if by it they understand a church that hath some common national worship by some common pastor at some common place, as all the Jews had the same high priest and temple, etc.;.. in this sense, Christians have no national churches.” But taking the phrase as used ordinarily, he “ would fain know the reason, Why it is necessary that the members in a particular church should be of better metal than the members of a national church?” He disserts on this, till he arrives where he comes to say, “ I would know again, for what reason it should be more dishonourable to Christ to be the Head of a Congregation that are not all visible saints' further than by profession and outward confornity; than to be the Head of a Nation, where all are not visible saints; or, why Christians should be in more danger, for being one by profession in a Congregational body; than Christ and [the] Prophets, for being one with such as were not visible saints in a National body ? These," says Gerce, "I confess are riddles to me!" The riddle had been easily solved, had he but been disposed to consider the difference between a voluntary and a compulsory "profession!" Our Lord made a clear distinction, Matt. xv. 8, 9.
We have next the astounding doctrine attempted to be maintained, that Christ, in the parable of the tares and wheat, Matt. xiii. 24—30, 36—42, shows .."a general separation is not to be attempted till “the end of the world.'' Is it not strange indeed, that this writer should overlook his own current term of qualification, “ general ?" This one word meets the case so exactly that Geree might have spared his pains: “ I have stuck the longer in this,” he writes, “ because this is the cardo controversiæ, the hinge on which the rest is turned !"
We shall not condescend to test the logic of Geree's subsequent paragraph, but are willing to listen to his inforination that “ The Parliament are about a great and good work of removing erroneous and scandalous ministers, and setting up godly and learned lights every where ; and withal, giving, or confirming rather, power to the godly pastors to keep off those that are unfit for the sacrament by gross ignorance or scandalous life : by which means parishes, that are already taught, may be quickly brought into better order; and those that are not, may by teaching be brought to some good measure of understanding and desire of the sacrament, and some-- at least outward-Reformation, before they be required or adınitted to communion in the sacrament.” Seeing he has drawn a picture which represents truly all that has ever been charged against parochial assemblies; we shall not attend upon him while he tries to fence with Burton respecting admitting ordinary profane persons to the sacrainent, “pell-mell;" equivocating thus, “ The place, Eph. v. 5—7,.. 'be not partakers with them,' is clearly meant in regard of their sins, not the sacrament, as appears by the following verse (the 8th.]” O shame! Equivocating still, through his two following paragraphs he continues, "In his next answer, he [Burton) affirms that no communion can be had in our parish asseinblies, possibly, without setting up' new churches... Let there be shown any example or precept in the Scripture, that, in our case, new churches should be erected, and not the old repaired and brought back to the rule froin which they have swerved, and we will yield the cause." The phrase “ in our case,” is emphatic here, and till both sides are agreed upon its meaning the challenge must remain suspended : “ the cause” is the Lord's, and His “Word" shall prosper in the thing whereto He hath sent it! a For Burton's prayer for the Reforming Parliament, that they may be directed in doing all the good for it that a National Church admits of ; Geree says, "I thank him for his affection; but yet if his doctrine of the Independency of churches be sound, this prayer cannot be of faith; for a man cannot pray in faith that men should meddle with that which is not within their sphere or calling: and sure, if Independency be a liberty of Christ, all the Parliament haih to do is to assert this liberty, and what is more is but usurpation.” In this way it sometimes happens that an opponent lets slip what is noble and just in sentiment; regardless of its being to his own injury, provided it cost his adversary somewhat also. It should seem, however, that where a tolerant spirit is manifested, it can meet with little or no sympathy in a Presbyterian : “He discovers, methinks," so writes Geree, “ too much uncharitableness and self-love, where he affirms, let them (parishes] have their liberty ; and do for the rest, “what' they will’; “it is indifferent to them : a little more care of the souls of Christians," he adds, "might better suit with those that so far transcend others in outward Reforination !" Passing his next remarks as captious and futile, we are arrived at his prayer in closing, in which at least we are one with himn.
* Isai lv. 11.
“What remains, but that while we that mind the same thingsChrist's honour, in the salvation of his people, and right performance of his ordinances, and differ only in the way,-labour to keep unity of heart till we have unity of judgment. And let our prayers be united at the Throne of Grace, though our persons be in different societies, That God may persuade the wanderers into the Tents of those to whom He hath vouchsafed the better light: that God may have the more honour, and we the inore strength and comfort by our free and scruple-less consociation. Which mercy, the Lord vouchsafe for Jesus Christ's sake, by the help of the Spirit of Truth leading into all truth : to whoin be glory for ever.”
OF BURTON'S PROTESTATION PROTESTED.-HIS
ox LUKE ix. 23.
The Presbyterian having entered upon the field of combat, and having made his exit with as much grace as he could ; Burton was assailed from the high tower of the Episcopalians, with a formidable Hall-like projectile, bearing the inscription of “A Survey of that Foolish, Seditious, Scandalous, Profane Libel, • The Protestation Protested.' 1641." 4to. pp. 40. [48.]
But first, the “ Reader" is told, of “ This flash, the sudden thoughts of a day,” to “take it as it is; an autoschediastic! The same affection to my Mother, the Church, screwed it from me, that loosed his tongue in defence of his father; she may say to her more concerned sons, as Jacob to his, 'Why stand you gazing one upon another ?'« A fatal Jethargy hath so stiffened their imaginations, that nothing is heard from them but the damps and groans of a dying body; whether sydere tacti, or fallen in a spiritual premunire, I know not... This coinet points also at the State; for the loose-reined popularity the Libeller aims at is no less dangerous to the liberty of the subject, than a too high-tuned prerogative. .. I do ingenuously protest I am no enemy to the agents or petitioners for a Reformation : the last times abound most in lees, and the evening horizon hath the thickest vapours; but a medicine, not a destructive, must purge those ; a beam, not a thunderclap, dispel these. Only the sectaries who swell now beyond the reach of names and nun:bers, I have here glanced at... Let thy charity extend to the errors of the press." Charity had need also to be extended to the viciousness of
a Gen. xli. J.
style! But now for the noise and smoke of this “ moderate "a churchman's b culverin.
“Goodman Cobbler, - It is you that hath stitched together this tub. sermon ;-or whosoever else, of the most holy inspired fraternity! I have taken you, Sir, for my task. And that because of my abilities, Nil sutor ultra crepidam, I dare venture no further than your old shoes : if I can find you there, and that your trade mistake not the reformation of soles, it is well ; but you are become a preacher at the last, and, by that old piece of yours – such stuff you meddle with—taken from Barrowe or Mar-prelate's relics, hath made the scissure worse."
We must really entreat for the reader's “charity" while we proceed with this the most unpropitious of exordiums, promising him that if he can persevere with ourselves he will gather“ interest” in his progress.
Nor shall I trouble your conscience, to thrust order upon you, whose religion it is to contemn all order. I must follow you as you have follo
your enthusia asms; and that in the same manner, for as in preaching and prayer you are extemporary, so am I in answering. I am not two days your debtor, lest you, as your usurious brethren are wont, had expected interest! It was too much cost to bestow paper though not pains upon you. When I traced every step of your lazy and superfluous discourse to have joined (combat) with my adversary; I found you as naked as an Adamite ; ( not one reason, the least piece of armour, with you. It had been a shame therefore, to have drawn upon you ; I have only used the whip, that may, perhaps, teach you sense.
.“ It is true, four times you cite antiquity, but in your own way; that is, with greater respect to heathenism than Christianity if that proceed froin a bishop! for you marshal three ethnic emperors with one Eusebius. And why him, I pray you? Doth not this derogate from your infallibility--if, in a single syllable, you be obliged to a Father? What! are not you and your Bible the only judge of controversies? Can any one find out the true meaning of Scripture except yourself, who hath monopolized-with all piety and reverence be it spoken-the Spirit of Truth? To say otherwise were to prefer Rome 10 Amsterdam! But I do forgive you ; you have dealt very moderately in this point : one only you mention, and him in matter of fact. The rest of the book is your own invention, where you have as faithfully abstained from learning and antiquity as--and they are so to you - from heresy and superstition.
“ If the reader complain of vinegar in the ink, let him remember that the bite of the viper,--and such they are that rend the bowels of their mother, the Church is best helped by the antidote of vipers. A frenzy is hardly cured but by the lance, the scourge, the whipping post. Dark rooms indeed, and a large dose of hellebore, were the fittest attendants for such rovings. But give me leave to convey biın bome to his Bedlam ; there, in the paroxism of his madness, to have his family exercise ; and, by the way,- though I wander after him, that hath lovg since wandered from himself, I hope in charity so sto] belabour the man that he may, henceforth, know that part of Scripture practically,- it it be not against his justification to know any [thing] so.-' a rod is for the back of the fool.id Nor wish I worse success to all his braying associates ; though their lugs be without the Bishops' visitation,
a See back, vol. i. p. 185, note b.
b"Did he (Hall] never see a pamphlet intituled after his own fashion, “A Survey of that Foolish, Seditious, etc. Libel?' The child doth not more expressly refigure the visage of his father, than that hook resembles the style of the Remonstrant in those idioms of speech wherein he seems most :o delight: and in the seventeenth page, three lines together are taken out of the [* Humble) Remonstrance' (1640.] word for word, not as a citation, but as an author borrows froin himself. Whoever it be, he may as justly be said to have libelled, as he against whom he writes." Milton's "Apology for Smectymnuus, 1642," Edis 1833, imp. 8vo. sec. ii. p. 85.
c"A kind of Anabaptists, who think clothes to be cursed, and given to man for a punishment of sin, whereas they think themselves innocent and without sin." E. Pagit's Heresiography, Ed. 1662. 12mo. p. 37, 117.
d Prov. xxvi. 3.
yet I hope their necks are within that of the Parliament! That Ilonourable and Judicious Assembly will, in due time, provide against these monstrously absurd libels; that heap of nonsense, from the which such a vapour of stupidity and ignorance is exhaled, that who are strangers to our better times, if they behold this island through the same, shall verily think it under a universal lunacy. But I have staid you too long before the door.
" You usher in that discourse of yours by a preface used, belike, many times before your Dresser-lectures, and tell us something of conscience' and its scale ,' not unlike the lap-wing, keeping the greatest stir when you are furthest from your nest. “Conscience in the contemplation, in the pretence, is yours, but what have you to do with it in the reality ?—so here, you press it in the practice! Beware this care of yours in agendis make you not suspect of merit, if not of supererogation! The piece of Scripture you make bold with, in my poor judgment comes not home to the point; the words do rather concern a voluntary than imposed vow, if any be such ; and therefore, had been more congruous,-if, as you do by your infallibility, you had justified the matter,—to the holy . Protestation' is (as) made in your Par. lour-meetings, for tearing a liturgy, rending a surplice, burning the rails, and pluming a bishop! But you cheat the world with a froth of words, and amuse the well-meaning, but the ignorant, multitude with an empty noise of conscience,' purity, and reformation. They say it is an evil sign, to stumble at the threshhold ;-and if God take 'no pleasure in fools,' you have prefixed a very slender approbation to your book!
* Your next is, you 'tremble' to see what small account most men do make of so solemn a vow!* How do you,—which is yours, quarto modo,- preach and practise contradictions? Were ever the most superlative votaries of the Church of Rome, Jesuits, and Seminary priests, more obstinately mis-zealous in refusing oaths as civil and ecclesiastical tyranny and antichristianism, than you, when they suit not with your passions and interests? Witness, these of Supremacy and CanonicalObedience; the Gate-house can tell us how much less you have esteemed your bodily than your Christian liberty in such cases. And if the fear to be plundered
*" There is no oatlı, scarcely, but we swear to things we are ignorant of: for example, the oath of Supremacy; how many know how the King is King? what are his right and prerogative ? So, how many know what are the privileges' of the Parliament, and the liberty' of the subject, when they take the Protestation'? But the meaning is, they will defend them when they know them. .. I cannot conceive how an oath is imposed where there is a party (parity]; namely, in the House of Commons they are all pares inter se ; only one brings paper and shows it to the rest, they look upon it, and, in their own sense, take it. Now, they are not pares to me who am none of the House, for I do not acknowledge myself their subject; if I did, then no question I was bound by an oath of their imposing. It is to me, but reading a paper in their own sense. There is a great difference between an assertory oath and a promissory oath. An assertory oath is made to a man before God, and I must swear so as man may know what I mean ; but a promissory oath is made to God only, and I am sure he knows my meaning. So in the new oath, it runs, Whereas I believe in my conscience, &c. I will assist thus and thus ;' that. Whereas' gives me an outloose, for if I do not believe so, for aught I know I swear not at all. In a promissory oath, the mind I am in is good interpretation ; for if there be enough happened to change my mind I do not know why I should not. If I promise to go to Oxford to-morrow, and meant it when I said it, and afterwards it appears to me that it will be my undoing; will you say I have broke my promise, if I stay at home ! Certainly I must not go. The Jews had this way with them concerning a promissory oath or vow: If one of them had vowed a vow which afterwards appeared to him to be very prejudicial, by reason of some thing he either did not foresee or did not think of when he made his vow; if he made it known to three of his countrymen they had power to absolve him, though he could not absolve himself; and that they picked out of some words in the text. Perjury hath only to do with an assertory oath ; and no man was punished for perjury by man's law till queen Elizabeth's time. It was left to God as a sin against hini. The reason was, because it was so hard a thing to prove a man perjured. I might misunderstand him, and he swears as he thought.” The Table-Talk of John Selden, Esq. [Obiit 1654.) Ed. 1789. 12mo. Art., “ Oaths, ii—vi.