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cause_n church_n schism_n separation_n 4,536 5 11.0940 5 true
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ID Title Author Corrected Date of Publication (TCP Date of Publication) STC Words Pages
A34539 The nonconformist's plea for lay-communion with the Church of England together with a modest defence of ministerial nonconformity, and the exercise of their ministry / by Mr. John Corbet ... Corbet, John, 1620-1680. 1683 (1683) Wing C6259; ESTC R2132 20,263 32

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for their Souls and lie neglected by such as claim the Pastoral ch●●ge over them Is it an intrusion or usurpation if in that case one that is dedicated to the work of the Ministry shall endeavour without licence from the said neglecters by preaching and other ministerial service to save souls that are so exposed Furthermore let it be considered how any Clergy-man can be the proper pastor of a people that doth not the work of a pastor towards them which work I have before set forth Lastly I cast in this consideration also how any Clergy-man can be the proper pastor to a people against their wills I doubt not but a people may sin yea greatly sin in not receiving a pastor duly offered to them and so they may as greatly sin by receiving such a pastor as may be imposed on them But how any one can actually bear the pastor al relation to a people that never consented to that relation I would be better informed Thus it hath been examined whether I am culpable by trespassing against the divine right or rights of a Diocesan Bishop in exercising the Ministry where he claims the right of being pastor And it hath been examined in that form which the matter being a tender point is capable of As for his humane rights they are his preeminence and jurisdiction under the King as Supreme and to which he is intituled by the Law of the Land Now I am no usurper against this for I claim no such preeminence I exercise no such jurisdiction As for my obededience to his jurisdiction as an officer subordinate to the King it shall be spoken of in its own place § 4. That I do not violate any true bonds of Church-Unity nor in any respect cause divisions and offences THE Case of Schism now in controversie is not to be hudled up but well stated whereunto many considerations are prerequisite Those that are set down I take to be of moment but the express application of them I forbear and doubt not but the considering and impartial Reader will excuse me therein and judg that he himself can easily do that part with more convenience than I can in this writing Church-Unity is not to be built upon the doctrines and ordinances of men but upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone and none are to be shut out from the Communlon of the Church or the work of the Ministry whom Christ hath not excluded but qualified and called thereunto according to the Scriptures which are the rule of admission and exclusion from the said priviledges 2. The unity of the spirit which we are charged to keep in the bond of peace is not concord in external forms and orders without participation of the same new nature and walking in the same holy way It is said Eph. 4. One body and one spirit and one hope one Lord one faith one Baptism one God and Father of all but not one ceremony one posture of body one garb of Church-ornaments one habit of vestments one ritual and unity of assent to all opinions and formalities An holy fellowship in the spirit of grace and in the life of faith and love is far more excellent than the greatest complyance in ceremonies and unnecessary doctrines of doubtful disputations and consequently is far more regardable in that estimation and reception of persons either for Church-Communion or the holy Ministry Touching Schism let this be noted It is not Secular power and interest that of it self can constitute a true Church or Pastor no● can it excuse those that are born up by it from Schism when they act Schismatically and do all that they can to continue the snares of division neither are all they without more a do to be accounted Schismaticks who are destitute of Secular power and who cannot in all points observe the commandments of men or neglect to give their necessary help in Christs service when they are forbidden of men Schism is the causing of divisions in or from the Church as the Apostle sets it forth Rom. 16. 17. Mark them that cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine that ye have learned And let them be marked indeed whosoever they are The guilt of it lies as much upon those that make unwarrantable separations and they are most culpable that are the chief causes of the division and such are they who impose unlawful terms of Church-Communion and M●nisterial liberty and they also that rigorously impose such terms thereof as Christ and his Apostles never warranted them to impose either expresly or by consequence Let the case of such as are cast and kept out of a Church by wrong sentence or by imposition of unlawful terms of communion or unnecessary terms that are unlawful to them by unremovable doubts of conscience be considered for such a case may be What shall they do Must the unrighteousness of others be a perpetual bar to them against the injoyment of those priviledges to which they have a right before God Why may they not lawfully injoy Gods ordinances in distinct assemblies if they hold them peaceably and charitably Let the case of such Ministers as are cast and kept out of the Ministry by the imposition of unlawful terms or unnecessary terms that are unlawful to them by unremoveable doubts of conscience be considered for this case also may be What shall they do when they are under an obligation to Christ to fulfil their Ministry and when the necessities of fouls make theirs as well as others ministry to be necessary and when all the help that can possibly be given both by them and by those that dissent from them is little enough Every pastor tho he be under the publick judgment of Superiors hath a judgment of discretion also that is to say a right of discerning about his own call a●d obligation to this service Let it be here also considered whether the necessary means of saving souls such as is the due preaching of the Gospel be not incomparably more precious than uniformity in matters of opinion and ceremony and accidental order There is a great difference between inimical segregation like sedition in a Commonwealth and a going severally upon weighty reasons and without breach of charity And among other weighty reasons this may be one That all Christians of sound faith and good life that are dissatisfied about some humane injunctions and orders in a Church may not for lack of tender regard towards them be utterly abandoned and exposed to be led aside into the errôrs of the wicked as to heresie apostacy or a course of irreligion It is in the power of Rulers to grant this Indulgence to such Dissenters when it is not in the power of Dissenters to change their Judgments And this is not to set up Church against Church or according to an ancient manner of speaking Altar against Altar but only either occasional and temporary Assemblies or at the most