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repugnant to the word of God, enforce those colleges, the seniors whereof are all, or any part of them, ministers under the government of a master in the same vocation, to choose as oft as they meet together a new president. For if so ye judge it necessary to do in synods, for the avoiding of permanent inequality amongst ministers, the same cause must needs, even in these collegiate assemblies, enforce the like: except peradventure ye mean to avoid all such absurdities, by dissolving those corporations, and by bringing the universities unto the form of the school of Geneva. Which thing men the rather are inclined to look for, inasmuch as the ministry, whereinto their founders, with singular providence, have by the same statutes appointed them necessarily to enter at a certain

time, your laws bind them much more necessarily to forbear, till Humb. some parish abroad call for them. Your opinion concerning the Motion to law civil is, that the knowledge thereof might be spared, as a

thing which this land doth not need. Professors in that kind being few, ye are the bolder to spurn at them, and not to dissemble your minds, as concerning their removal : in whose studies although myself have not been much conversant, nevertheless, exceeding great cause I see there is to wish, that thereunto more encouragement were given, as well for the singular treasures of wisdom therein contained, as also for the great use we have thereof, both in decision of certain kinds of causes arising daily within ourselves, and especially for commerce with nations abroad, whereunto that knowledge is most requisite. The reasons wherewith ye would persuade, that Scripture is the only rule to frame all our actions by, are in every respect as effectual for proof, that the same is the only law whereby to deterioine all our civil controversies. And then what doth let, but that as those men may have their desire, who frankly broach it already, that the work of reformation will never be perfect, till the law of Jesus Christ be received alone; so pleaders and counsellors may bring their books of the common

law, and bestow them as the students of curious and needless arts Acts xix, did theirs in the apostles' time? I leave them to scan, how far

those words of yours may reach, wherein ye declare, that whereas Hamb. now many houses lie waste through inordinate suits of law, “ this Motion,

one thing will shew the excellency of discipline for the wealth of the realm, and quiet of subjects; that the church is to censure such a party, who is apparently troublesome and contentious, and without reasonable cause, upon a mere will and stomach, doth vex and molest his brother and trouble the country." For mine own part, I do not see but that it might very well agree with your principles, if your discipline were fully planted, even to send out your writs of surcease unto all courts of England besides, for the most things handled in them. A great deal farther I might proceed, and

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descend lower; but forasmuch as against all these and the like dif- Counterp. ficulties, your answer is, that we ought to search what things are p. 108. consonant to God's will, not which be most for our own ease; and therefore that your discipline being (for such is your error) the absolute commandment of Almighty God, it must be received, although the world by receiving it should be clean turned upside down: herein lieth the greatest danger of all. For whereas the name of Divine authority is used to countenance these things, which are not the commandments of God, but your own erroneous collections ; on him ye must father whatsoever ye shall afterwards be led, either to do in withstanding the adversaries of your cause, or to think in maintenance of your doings. And what this may be, God doth know. In such kinds of error, the mind once imagining itself to seek the execution of God's will, laboureth forthwith to remove both things and persons, which any way hinder it from taking place; and in such cases, if any strange or new thing seem requisite to be done, a strange and new opinion, concerning the lawfulness thereof, is withal received and broached under countenance of Divine authority. One example herein may serve for many, to shew, that false opinions touching the will of God to have things done, are wont to bring forth mighty and violent practices against the hinderances of them; and those practices new opinions more pernicious than the first, yea, most extremely sometimes opposite to that which the first did seem to intend, where the people took upon them the reformation of the church, by casting out popish superstition; they having received from their pastors a general instruction, that whatsoever the heavenly Father hath not Matt. planted, must be rooted out; proceeded in some foreign places so *v. 13. far, that down went oratories, and the very temples of God themselves. For as they chanced to take the compass of their commission stricter or larger, so their dealings were accordingly more or less moderate. Amongst others, there sprang up presently one kind of men, with whose zeal and forwardness the rest being compared, were thought to be marvellous cold and dull. These grounding themselves on rules more general; that whatsoever the law of Christ commandeth not, thereof antichrist is the author ; and that whatsoever antichrist, or his adherents, did in the world, the true professors of Christ are to undo; found out many things more than others had done, the extirpation whereof was in their conceit as necessary as of any thing before removed. Hereupon Gay de they secretly made their doleful complaints every where as they l'Errear des went, that albeit the world did begin to profess that dislike of that Anabapwhich was evil in the kingdom of darkness, yet fruits worthy of a tistes, p. 4. true repentance were not seen; and that if men did repent as they ought, they must endeavour to purge the truth of all manner of

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evil, to the end there might follow a new world afterwards, where-
in righteousness only should dwell. Private repentance, they said,
must appear by every man's fashioning his own life, contrary unto
the custom and orders of this present world, both in greater things
and in less. To this purpose, they had always in their mouths
those greater things, charity, faith, the true fear of God, the cross,
the mortification of the flesh. All their exhortations were to set
light of the things in this world, to account riches and honours
vanity, and in token thereof, not only to seek neither, but if
men were possessors of both, even to cast away the one

and sign the other, that all men might see their unfeigned conversion P. 5. unto Christ. They were solicitors of men to fasts, to often meP. 16. ditations of heavenly things, and as it were conferences in secret P: 118, with God by prayers, not framed according to the frozen man

ner of the world, but expressing such fervent desire as might even
force God to hearken unto them. Where they found men in diet,
attire, furniture of house, or any other way, observers of civility
and decent order, such they reproved as being carnally and earthly-

minded. Every word otherwise than severely and sadly uttered, P. 116. seemed to pierce like a sword through them. If any man were plea

sant, their manner was presently with sighs to repeat those words Luke of our Saviour Christ, Woe be to you which now laugh, for ye shall vi. 25.

lament. So great was their delight to be always in trouble, that

such as did quietly lead their lives, they judged of all other men to P. 117. be in most dangerous case. They so much affected to cross the or

dinary custom in every thing, that when other men's use was to put
on better attire, they would be sure to shew themselves openly
abroad in worse. The ordinary names of the days in the week,
they thought it a kind of profaneness to use, and therefore accus.
tomed themselves to make no other distinction, than by numbers,

the first, second, third day. From this they proceeded unto public P. 40. reformation, first ecclesiastical, and then civil. Touching the former,

they boldly avouched that themselves only had the truth, which
thing upon peril of their lives they would at all times defend; and
that since the apostles lived, the same was never before in all points
sincerely taught. Wherefore, that things might again be brought
to that ancient integrity which Jesus Christ by his word requireth,
they began to control the ministers of the gospel, for attributing so
much force and virtue unto the Scriptures of God read; whereas
the truth was, that when the word is said to engender faith in the
heart, and to convert the soul of man, or to work any such spiritual
Divine effect, these speeches are not thereunto applicable as it is
read or preached, but as it is ingrafted in us by the power of the
Holy Ghost, opening the eyes of our understanding, and so reveal-
ing the mysteries of God; according to that which Jeremy promised

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before should be, saying, “ I will put my law in their inward Jer. xxxi. parts; and I will write it in their hearts." The book of God they notwithstanding for the most part so admired, that other disputa. tion against their opinions than only by allegation of Scripture they P. 29. would not hear; besides it, they thought no other writings in the P. 27.' world should be studied ; insomuch, as one of their great prophets exhorting them to cast away all respects unto human writings, so far to his motion they condescended, that as many as had any books, save the Holy Bible, in their custody, they brought and set them publicly on fire. When they and their Bibles were alone together, what strange fantastical opinion soever at any time entered into their heads, their use was to think the Spirit taught it them. Their phrensies concerning our Saviour's incarnation, the state of souls departed, and such.like, are things needless to be rehearsed. And forasmuch as they were of the same suit with those of whom the apostle speaketh, saying, They are still learning, but never attain 2 Tim.

iii. 7. to the knowledge of truth, it was no marvel to see them every day broach some new thing not heard of before. Which restless levity they did interpret to be their growing to spiritual perfection, and a proceeding from faith to faith. The differences amongst them grew P. 65. by this mean in a manner infinite; so that scarcely was there found any one of them, the forge of whose brain was not possessed with some special mystery. Whereupon although their mutual contentions were P. 66. most fiercely prosecuted amongst themselves, yet when they came to P. 135. defend the cause common to them all against the adversaries of their faction, they had ways to lick one another whole, the sounder in his own persuasion excusing the dear brethren which were not so P. 25. far enlightened, and professing a charitable hope of the mercy of God towards them, notwithstanding their swerving from him in some things. Their own ministers they highly magnified, as men whose P.71. vocation was from God; the rest their manner was to term disdainfully scribes and pharisees, to account their calling a human crea- P. 124. ture, and to detain the people, as much as might be, from hearing them.

As touching sacraments, baptism admiuistered in the P.764. church of Rome they judged to be but an execrable mockery, and no baptism; both because the ministers thereof in the papacy are wicked idolaters, lewd persons, thieves, and murderers, cursed creatures, ignorant beasts; and also for that to baptize, is a proper action belonging unto none but the church of Christ, whereas Rome is antichrist's synagogue. The custom of using godfathers and god - P. 748. mothers at christenings, they scorned. Baptism of infants, although P. 512. confessed by themselves to have been continued even sithence the very apostles' own times, yet they altogether condemned; partly, be- P. 518. cause.sundry errors are of no less antiquity; and partly, for that there

VOL. I.

I

P.729. is no commandment in the gospel of Christ which saith, “Baptize in

fants ; but he contrariwise in saying, “Go preach and baptize," doth

appoint, that the minister of baptism shall in that action first adminisP.726. ter doctrine, and then baptism; as also in saying, “Whosoever doth P.688. believe and is baptized,” he appointeth, that the party to whom bap

tism is administered, shall first believe, and then be baptized ; to the end, that believing may go before this sacrament in the receiver, no otherwise than preaching in the giver; sith equally in both, the law

of Christ declareth, not only what things are required, but also in P.38. what order they are required. The eucharist they received (pre

tending our Lord and Saviour's example) after supper. And for

avoiding all those impieties which have been grounded upon the P. 122. mystical words of Christ, “This is my body, this is my blood,” they

thought it not safe to mention either body or blood in that sacrament, but rather to abrogate both, and to use no words but these, “ Take, eat, declare the death of our Lord ; Drink, shew forth our Lord's death." In rites and ceremonies their profession was hatred of all conformity with the church of Rome: for which cause they would rather endure any torment than observe the solemn festivals which others did, inasmuch as antichrist (they said) was the first inventor of them. The pretended end of their civil reformation was, that Christ might have dominion over all; that all crowns and sceptres might be thrown down at his feet; that no other might reign over Christian

men, but he ; no regiment keep them in awe, but his discipline ; amongst them no sword at all be carried besides his, the sword of spiritual excommunication. For this cause they

laboured with all their might, in overturning the seats of magisP.841. tracy, because Christ hath said, “ kings of nations;" in abolishing P. 833, the execution of justice, because Christ hath said, “Resist not evil;"

in forbidding oaths, the necessary means of judicial trial, because P. 849. Christ bath said, “Swear not at all :" finally, in bringing in commu

nity of goods, because Christ by his apostles hath given the world

such example, to the end that men might excel one another, not in P. 40. wealth, the pillar of secular authority, but in virtue. These men at

the first were only pitied in their error, and not much withstood by any; the great humility, zeal, and devotion, which appeared to be in them, was in all men's opinion a pledge of their harmless meaning.

The hardest that men of sound understanding conceived of them was Lactant. but this, “O quam honesta voluntate miseri erant? With how good de Justit.

a meaning these poor souls do evil ?" Luther made request unto cap. 19. Frederick duke of Saxony, that within his dominion they might be

favourably dealt with and spared, for that (their error exempted) they seemed otherwise right good men. By means of which merciful toleration they gathered strength, much more than was safe for

lib.v.

P. 6.

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