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or some heathen philosopher: whereas the wisdom of the Scriptures teacheth us otherwise; namely, to judge and denominate men religious according to their works of the second table ; because they of the first are often counterfeit, and practised in hypocrisy. So St. John saith, that a man doth vainly boast of loving God whom he never saw, if he love not his brother whom he hath seen. And St. James saith, This is true religion, to visit the fatherless and the widow. So as that which is with them but philosophical and moral, is, in the apostle's phrase, true religion and Christianity. · As in affection they challenge the said virtues of zeal and the rest; so in knowledge they attribute unto themselves light and perfection. They say, the Church of England in King Edward's time, and in the beginning of her majesty's reign, was but in the cradle; and the bishops in those times did somewhat grope for day-break, but that maturity and fulness of light proceedeth from themselves. So Sabinius, bishop of Heraclea, a Macedonian heretic, said, that the fathers in the council of Nice were but infants and ignorant men: that the Church was not so perfect in their decrees as to refuse that farther ripeness of knowledge which time had revealed.

And as they censure virtuous men by the names of civil and moral, so do they censure men truly and godly wise, who see into the vanity of their affections, by the name of politics; saying, that their wisdom is but carnal and savouring of man's brain. So likewise if a preacher preach with care and meditation, I speak not of the vain scholastical manner of preaching, but soundly indeed, ordering the matter he handleth distinctly for memory, deducting and drawing it down for direction, and authorising it with strong proofs and warrants, they censure it as a form of speaking not becoming the simplicity of the gospel, and refer it to the reprehension of St. Paul, speaking of the enticing speech of man's wisdom.

Now for their own manner of preaching, what is it? Surely they exhort well, and work compunction of mind, and bring men well to the question, Viri,

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fratres, quid faciemus? But that is not enough, except they resolve the question. They handle matters of controversy weakly, and obiter, and as before a people that will accept of any thing. In doctrine of manners there is little but generality and repetition. The word, the bread of life, they toss up and down, they break it not: they draw not their directions down ad casus conscientiæ; that a man may be warranted in his particular actions whether they be lawful or not; neither indeed are many of them able to do it, what through want of grounded knowledge, what through want of study and time. It is a compendious and easy thing to call for the observation of the sabbath-day, or to speak against unlawful gain; but what actions and works may be done upon the sabbath, and what not; and what courses of gain are lawful, and in what cases : to set this down, and to clear the whole matter with good distinctions and decisions, is a matter of great knowledge and labour, and asketh much meditation and conversing in the Scriptures, and other helps which God hath provided and preserved for instruction.

Again, they carry not an equal hand in teaching the people their lawful liberty, as well as their restraints and prohibitions : but they think a man cannot go too far in that that hath a shew of a commandment.

They forget that there are sins on the right hand, as well as on the left; and that the word is doubleedged, and cutteth on both sides, as well the profane transgressions as the superstitious observances. Who doubteth but that it is as unlawful to shut where God hath opened, as to open where God hath shut; to bind where God hath loosed, as to loose where God hath bound ? Amongst men it is commonly as ill taken to turn back favours, as to disobey commandments. In this kind of zeal, for example, they have pronounced generally, and without difference, all untruths unlawful; notwithstanding, that the midwives are directly reported to have been blessed for their excuse; and Rahab is said by faith to have concealed the spies; and Solomon's selected judgment proceeded upon a simulation; and our Saviour, the more to touch the hearts of the two disciples with an holy dalliance, made as if he would have passed Emmaus, Farther, I have heard some sermons of mortification, which, I think, with very good meaning, they have preached out of their own experience and exercise, and things in private counsels not unmeet; but surely no sound conceits, much like to Parsons' Resolution, or not so good; apt to breed in men rather weak opinions and perplexed despairs, than filial and true repentance which is sought.

Another point of great inconvenience and peril, is to entitle the people to hear controversies, and all kinds of doctrine. They say no part of the counsel of God is to be suppressed, nor the people defrauded: so as the difference which the Apostle maketh between milk and strong meat is confounded : and his precept, that the weak be not admitted unto questions and controversies, taketh no place.

But most of all is to be suspected, as a seed of farther inconvenience, their manner of handling the Scriptures; for whilst they seek express Scripture for every thing; and that they have, in a manner, deprived themselves and the Church of a special help and support, by embasing the authority of the fathers, they resort to naked examples, conceited inferences, and forced allusions, such as do mine into all certainty of religion.

Another extremity is the excessive magnifying of that, which though it be a principal and most holy institution, yet hath its limits, as all things else have. We see wheresoever, in a manner, they find in the Scriptures the word spoken of, they expound it of preaching; they have made it, in a manner, of the essence of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, to have a sermon precedent; they have, in a sort, annihilated the use of liturgies, and forms of divine service, although the house of God be denominated of the principal, domus orationis, a house of prayer, and not a house of preaching. As for the life of the good monks and hermits in the primitive Church, I know, they will condemn a man as half a papist, if he should maintain them as other than profane, because they heard no sermons. In the mean time, what preaching is, and who may be said to preach, they move no question ; but, as far as I see, every man that presumeth to speak in chair, is accounted a preacher. But I am assured, that not a few that call hotly for a preaching ministry, deserve to be the first themselves that should be expelled. All which errors and misproceedings they do fortify and intrench by an addicted respect to their own opinions, and an impatience to hear contradiction or argument; yea, I know some of them that would think it a tempting of God, to hear or read what may be said against them ; as if there could be a quod bonum est, tenete ; without an omnia probate, going before.

This may suffice to offer unto themselves a thought and consideration, whether in these things they do well or no ? and to correct and assuage the partiality of their followers. For as for any man that shall hereby enter into a contempt of their ministry, it is but his own hardness of heart. I know the work of exhortation doth chiefly rest upon these men, and they have zeal and hate of sin: But again, let them take heed that it be not true which one of their adversaries said, that they have but two small wants, knowledge, and love. And so I conclude this point.

The last point, touching the due publishing and debating of these controversies, needeth no long speech. This strange abuse of antiques and pasquils hath been touched before: so likewise I repeat that which I said, that a character of love is more proper for debates of this nature, than that of zeal. As for all direct or indirect glances, or levels at mens persons, they were ever in these causes disallowed.

Lastly, whatsoever be pretended, the people is no meet arbitrator, but rather the quiet, modest, and private assemblies, and conferences of the learned. Qui apud incapacem loquitur, non disceptat, sed calumniatur. The press and pulpit would be freed and

discharged of these contentions; neither promotion on the one side, nor glory and heat on the other side, ought to continue those challenges and cartels at the cross and other places; but rather all preachers, especially such as be of good temper, and have wisdom with conscience, ought to inculcate and beat upon a peace, silence, and surseance. Neither let them fear Solon's law, which compelled in factions every particular person to range himself on the one side ; nor yet the fond calumny of neutrality ; but let them know that is true which is said by a wise man, That neuters in contentions are either better or worse than either side.

These things have I in all sincerity and simplicity set down, touching the controversies which now trouble the Church of England; and that without all art and insinuation, and therefore not like to be grateful to either part: Notwithstanding, I trust what hath been said shall find a correspondence in their minds which are not embarked in partiality, and which love the whole better than a part; wherefore I am not out of hope that it may do good; at the least I shall not repent myself of the meditation.

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