« EelmineJätka »
to the nourishing of his soul unto eternal life : That the bread and wine are present, and are received in a bodily, local, natural, sensible manner; but that the body and blood of Christ are present, and partaked of in a divine and spiritual manner. And, in all these, both parts do fully accord. All ibis being admitted, that contention, which is raised concerning the oral perception and manducation of the body of Christ, can be no other than either a strife of words or a nice school-point.
In the matter of Ubiquity, which makes so ill a sound in the world, as if it meant to destroy the truth of the Humanity of Christ, let but the distinction of learned Zanchius * be admitted, not new devised by him, but cited out of former Authorities; and that quarrel is reconciled. For, it is one thing, what we affirm concerning the Humanity of Christ, of the natural being of it; another, what we affirm of the personal being. To say, that the human nature of Christ is natura ly omnipresent, were to confound the natures and to destroy the person : but, to say that the human nature of Christ is personally omnipresent, that is, that the Godhead and Manhood, being so united as that they make up one indivisible person, the person of Christ being omnipresent, the human nature may be in that relation said to be so, in that it is personally united to that Deity which is omnipresent t: 'If the prædication seem to any man somewhat hard, yet it is worthy to be welcome, if it may bring peace.
As for those differences concerning Predestination, which Arminius and his followers have borrowed from the Lutheran Divines, the Divines of both parts, in that amicable conference at Leipsic I,professed their agreement in all the main and important points; leaving those parcels unaccorded, which are meet to be sent and confined to the Schools.
Shortly then, however matters may be aggravated by ill-willers to peace, would our brethren of the Confession of Auspurge entertain but the like thoughts of Christian charity towards us, which we do willingly harbour towards them, these woeful jars, wherewith the Church of Christ is lamentably torn asunder, would soon see a happy end, and shut up in a blessed reconcilement; Heb. xiji. 20. 1 Thess. v. 23. which the God of Peace vouchsafe to grant, for the sake of him, who is the Prince of Peace; Isa. ix. 6. Amen.
* Zanch. de Dissidio Cænæ.field, Of the Church. Append.-Pic. Miran... Cajetan.-Bellarm. de Incarnat. l. iii. c. 16. fatetur gloriam Dei, et omnem po. testatem, tribui humanæ naturce Christi ; non in ipsâ, sed in supposilo, i. per gratiam unionis. Sic et Lutherani, &c.
Fatemur totum Christum prce. sentem quatemus in verbo hypostaticè subsistit caro, quæ præsentia est universalis. Theod. Bez, advers. J. Andream.
Colloq. Lipsiacum inter D. Mat. Horm., D. Polic. Liserum., D. Henr. Hofnetum ; &'D.), Berzium, D. J. Crocium, D. Theoph. Mubargerum : anno 1631.
The Differences, betwixt the other Reformed Churches, and our own.
But not to dwell upon the quarrels abroad; lest I should be checked with that ill husband, who, when his own house was on fire, runs to quench his neighbour's : I must confess, with sorrow enough, that our intestine broils, both of Church and State, are such as no tears can be sufficient to bewail; and that we are so much more miserable than all the nations round about us, by how much we have been hitherto more happy than they
The civil distempers are fit for another cure; to the success of any remedy whereof, my prayers shall contribute their utmost: and, would to God, my blood could ought avail ! O my God, when wilt thou put an end to these unexpressible niseries? Oh, when wilt thou bind up the wounds of this bleeding and gasping nation ? Lord, sare us, we perish. Woe is me! if the sword go thus on, where is the Church? or, what do we talk of physic, after death? But, if it might please the justice of the Almighty, to take up with this deluge of blood that is already shed, and in his mercy to spare yet the remainder of his people, there might yet be place for those spiritual remedies of Church-discord, which we are now about to prescribe.
The divisions of the Church are, either general, betwixt our Church and the other Reformed; or special, those within the bosom of our own Church : both which require several considerations.
For the former: blessed be God, there is no difference in any essential * matter, betwixt the Church of England and her Sisters of the Reformation. We accord in every point of Christian Doctrine, without the least variation : their public Confessions and ours, are sufficient convictions to the world, of our full and absolute agreement. The only difference is, in the form of outward administration : wherein also we are so far agreed, as that we all profess this form not to be essential to the being of a Church, though much importing the well or better being of it, according to our several apprehensions thereof; and that we do all retain a reverent and loving opinion of each other, in our own several ways; not seeing any reason, why so poor a diversity should work any alienation of affection in us, one towards another: but, withal, nothing hinders, but that we may come yet closer to one another, if both may resolve to meet in that primitive government, whereby it is meet we should both be regulated, universally agreed upon by all antiquity ; wherein all things were ordered and transacted by the consent of the Presbytery, moderated by one constant President
* Laus Deo, nullum inter nos de Religionis substantiá certamen. Thcol, Gallus de Discipl. Ecclesiæ, c. i. An. 1622.
thereof *. The primary and perpetual practice whereof, no man can doubt of, that hath but seen the writings of Clemens and Ignatius; and hath gone along with the history of those primitive times. It shall be needless, though it were most easy, to bring together a cloud of witnesses, both ancient and modern, to so c.ear a truth; we may well rest in the judgment of Mr. John Camero, the learnedest Divine, be it spoke without envy, that the Church of Scotland hath afforded in this last age t: Nullus est dubitandi locus, &c. “ There is no doubt at all,” saith he, “ but that Timothy was chosen by the College of the Presbyters to be the President of them; and that, not without some authority over the rest : but yet, such as have the due bounds and limits. And that this was a leading case, and common to other Churches, was never denied by any author." Words may not break square, where the things are agreed. If the name of a Bishop displease, let them call this man a Moderator, a President, a Superintendent, an Overseer; only, for the fixedness or change of this person, let the ancient and universal practice of God's Church be thought worthy tv oversway, And if, in this one point, wherein the distance is so narrow, ne could condescend to each other; all other circumstances and ap-' pendances of varying practices or opinions might, without any dif. ficulty, be accorded. But, if there must be a difference of judg. ment in these matters of outward policy, why should not our hearts be still one I? Why should such a diversity be of power, to endanger the dissolving of the bond of brotherhood ? May we have the grace, but to follow the truth in love, we shall, in these several tracks, overtake her happily in the end; and find her enbracing of peace, and crowning us with blessedness,
SECT. 7. The Differences within our own Churches, at home. As union is necessary to the making up of peace, so also, in some cases, is Dissipation. While we are so charitable, as not to exciuile
* Distituti dipini est, u in omni cvetu Præsbyterorum unus sit, qui ordinie prxeat et præsit reliquis. Bez. de Grad. Minist, Evang. Hanc formum cum. mendarunt Patres, observivit antiquissima Ecclesia ; imò, quod est totius rei capu', instituisse videlur ipse Christus per Apostolus. 'Theolog. Gallus de D.scipl. Ecclesiæ, An. 1622. cap. de Episcop. f J. Camer, Myronhec. in 1 Tim. iv. 14.-Ita Calvin. Habebant singulie civitates Presbyterorum collegium, qui pustores erant et doclores, &c. Ili ex suo numero in singulis civitatibus in una cligebant, cui specialiter dabant t.tulum Episcopi, ne ex aquulilale, nu fiuri svies, dissidia nascerentur. Cais. Insuli. l. iv. c. 4.-Non populum aggrediinr Joannes, sed principem Cleri, utique Episcopum. Marlorat in Apoc. ij. Poiy. Car,.us Sinyriensis Episcopus, ab ipsu Joanne ordinatus, supra 70 unos piata fuit illi Ecclesia. Theol. Gal. ubi supra.-Hanc gubernationem ab Apostolorum ciale constitutum esse ostendit perpetua Episcopurum successio, quorum serien dedurit Euseb. in 4. summis totius orbis Eclesiis. Id. ib.
Adhærebo vobis clsi nolitis; adhurcbo, ctsi nolim ipse, Bern, ad Prizmonstr. Ep. 252.
any Church which holdeth the foundation from the benefit of Christian Communion, we are yet far from giving way to every combination * of Christians, to run aside; and to raise up a new Church of their own; and to challenge all the privileges incident to a lawful Church of Christ, as equally due to their segregation : this were to build up Babel, instead of Jerusalem. Faciunt favos et vespe t; as that Father said well: Even wasps meet together, in some holes of the earth, or hollow trees; and make combs, as well as the profitable bees: but no man ever bestowed upon them the cost of a hive.
If men be allowed a latitude of opinions, in some unnecessary verities, it may not be endured, that, in matter of religion, every man should think what he lists, and utter what he thinks, and defend what he utters, and publish what he defends, and gather disciples to what he publisheth I. This liberty, or licentiousness rather, would be the bane of any Church.
There cannot be a more pregnant instance, than that of New England, yet fresh, not in our memory, but in our eye; where the late Jezebel ll, which called herself a Propbetess, had well-near corrupted and overthrown that Thyatira, by her private, but pernicious conceits; broached, first, amongst her gossips; then, diijused to wiser beads; and, at last, under an opinion of sanctity, entertained and abetted by some of the elders and teachers of that Church, which promised to itself, and professed more strictness of discipline, than that wbich it left. And what success the dangerous fancies of one Eaton, the father of Antinomianism in this Diocese, hath bad, I would rather bewail, than express. The truth is, that if way may be given to this wild freedom, it cannot be, but monsters of opinion must needs pester the world; a real emblem whereof, it pleased God to shew, in that remote colony of our retired brethren .
It was a conceit of old, reported, I perceive, by many historians 1, that the Huns, a people wherewith, amongst the rest, the civiler parts of the world were much infected, were a breed of men, begotten by certain familiar ** devils that haunted those deserts, of certain witches which they called Alyrumnas : the truth whereof, as they say, was evidenced in the ghastly and ugly visages of those savage persons. Surely, such a generation we must expect of misshapen opinions, begot betwixt evil spirits and mad phantasies, if every fanatical brain may be suffered to vent and propagate its own whimsies and prodigious imaginations. And, I would to God, our sad experience did not already afford us too lamentable examples in this kind. I prosess, some paradoxes, that
* Ecclesiæ nomen consensus concordiaque est. Chrys. in Epis. ad Galat. c. i. + Fuciunt favos et vespa, faciunt Ecclesias et Marcionile. Tertul. advers. Marcion. I. iv. c. 5. Libertas Prophetandi, challenged by Simon Episcopius, &c. Mrs. Hutchison. See the Discovery of the Anabaptists and Antinomians of New England. Ubi supra: Discovery of Anabaprisis, &c. I For. de Gall. Imperio ex Jernande.-Paulus Aquileg. Hist. I. xii. ** A Faunis Phycuriis, &c.
have looked forth into the public light, have been so horrible, that I dare not so much as to repeat them : and what shafts one archer hath shot, is known and censured; though I fear they will yet stick fast in many souls.
The issue is, that, as we must labour to unite all those, which should be conjoined ; so we must take care, if ever we would enjoy peace, to dissipate those, which will not, or should not, or cannot be united *.
Those, therefore, who do pertinaciously and unreclaimably maintain doctrines destructive to the foundation of Christian Religion, must necessarily be avoided and suppressed. It is the charge of the Disciple of Love, If any man bring not, i. e. oppose this doctrine, receive him not in'o your house, neither bid him God-speed ; 2 John 10: and, more plainly of the Doctor of the Gentiles, man, that is a heretic, afier i he first and second admonition, reject; Tit. iii. 10. Those, that fly out from a true established Church, and run ways of their own, raising and fomenting sects and schisms amongst God's people, let them receive their doom; not from me, but from the blessed Apostle : Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them, which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine, which ye have learned, and avoid them : for they, that are such, serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly ; and, by good words and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple ; Rom. xvi. 17, 18.
OF THE WAYS OF PEACE WHICH CONCERN PRIVATE PERSONS. Now, then, for the better prevention or remedy of these mischiefs, which attend spiritual discord, let us address ourselves to the chalking out of those Ways of Peace, which the God of Peace hath called us to walk in; and which shall undoubtedly lead us to our desired end.
And those ways are either private or public: Private, such as every Christian must frame himself to tread in; Public, such as are fit for every Church and State.
SECT. 1. The First Private Way of Peace : To labour against the inward
grounds of Contention; viz. (1.)Pride :-(2.) Self-Love :-(3.) Envy,
and Malice :-(4.) Covelousness. First, then, for each PRIVATE PERSON; the most ready way to peace, is, TO LABOUR WITHIN IIMSELF AGAINST THE INWARD
* Hujusmodi hominum pruvitati, non tam disputationum studio, quàm autho. ritatum privilegio est resistendum. Prosper contra Collatorem.