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A second true defence of the meer nonconformists against the untrue accusations, reasonings, and history of Dr. Edward Stillingfleet ... clearly proving that it is (not sin but) duty 1. not wilfully to commit the many sins of conformity, 2. not sacrilegiously to forsake the preaching of the Gospel, 3. not to cease publick worshipping of God, 4. to use needful pastoral helps for salvation ... / written by Richard Baxter ... ; with some notes on Mr. Joseph Glanviles Zealous and impartial Protestant, and Dr. L. Moulins character.
Baxter, Richard, 1615-1691.
Wing B1405; ESTC R5124
than the Pope of Rome had done before as I think in five hundred you see how that Spirit then did work and whether our Arch-Bishop Bancroft thought better of the Presbyterian Churches or the Pope and the Effects In the Second book he taketh up what rash words he could from any indiscreet men to make them odious In the third he sheweth what the English Nonconformists did for their Church-way and Discipline Chap. 1. p. 42. He saith that the ãâã Ten or Eleven years of the Queens Reign they so clamoured c. that they divided themselves from their ordinary Congregations and meeting in houses woods and fields kept there unlawful and disorderly Conventicles and Mr. Cartwright defendeth them saying that the name of Conventicles was too light and contemptuous for them Then they framed their two admonitions In one of which p. 60 61. They tell the Parliament that their Discipline was Gods order and they must in Conscience speak for it and use it And Anno 1572. They erected a Presbytery at Wandsworth The Elders are named The persons named that set up meetings are Mr. Field Wilcox Standen Jackson Bentham Sancler Crane Edmonds and after Clark Travers Barber Gardiner Cheston Crook Egerton Anno 1582. There was a meeting of threescore Ministers out of Essex Cambridg-shire and Norfolk at Cock-field Mr. Knewstubs Town And another that year at a Commencement at Cambridge Chap. 3. That they drew up a book of their Discipline where choice of Ministers Elders Deacons c. are named and regulated and for Classical Provincial Comitial Synods and Government Chap. 4. He tells you how they prosecuted it Anno 1583. Out of Cholmley Field Fen Wilcox Axton Gellebrand Wright Gifford Chap. 5. How they proceeded 1587. And 1590. Northampton-shire was divided into three Classes First the Northampton Classis had Mr. Snape Penrie Sibthorp Edwards Littleton Bradshaw Lark Fleshward Spicer c. The Daventrie Classis had Mr. Barebon Rogers King Smart Sharp Prowdloe Elliston c. The Kettering Classis had Mr. Stone Williamson Falksbrââk Patinson Massey c. And Johnson saith it was received in Warwick-shire Suffolk Norfolk Essex and most parts of England so Smith Hââgar Holme witness Mr Snape said About Braintree the Classis had Mr. Culâââwel Mr. Rogers Mr. Gifford one of our Doctor 's wittnesses c. That at Colchester had Doctor Chapman Doctor Chrick Mr. Dowe Mr. âârrar Mr. Newman Mr. Tey c. Page 85. Mr. Snape said It was agreed on in the Classical and general assemblies that the dumb Ministers were no Ministers and that all the Ministers should Preach for the aforesaid Government Chap. 6. Anno 1588. A Synod at Coventry agreed against private Baptism reading Homilies the Cross in Baptism and that the faithful ought not to communicate with unlearned they mean uncapable Ministers though they may be present at their Service if they come of purpose to hear a Sermon For Laymen may read publick Service That the calling of Bishops c. is unlawful That it is not lawful to be ordained by them or denounce their Suspentions or Excommunications That it s not lawful to rest in the Bishops deprivation of any from the Ministry except on consultation with neighbour Ministers and their flock it seems so good to them but that he continue in the same till he be compelled to the contrary by Civil force c. And the Discipline subscribed by Cartwright Fen Wright Oxenbridge Gellybrand Clevely Nutter Fetherstone Holm Lord c. To repeat all is too tedious But its worth the noteing that whereas the Prelatists usually say that when they were put to draw up a Liturgy themselves they could not agree of any Bishop Bancroft saith Page 96. They offered the Parliament a book of their own containing the form of Common prayers c. and hoped to have had it established Page 164. Chap. 12. He tells you of their order for Parents to offer their own Children to Baptism and be Godfathers c. He proceedeth to shew that they resolved to practice their Discipline against the Magistrates will and did accordingly And Chap. 15. p. 120. That they joyned themselves into an Association or brother-hood and appropriated to their meetings the name of the Church thereby shewing themselves to be most notorious Schismaticks citeing their words our Churches And p. 121. That the Parish where they preach assembled is not the Church properly in their sence but as many thereof only as are joyned to them with that inviolable bond viz. The desire of the godly Discipline and those furthermore who leaving their own Parish Churches come to them e. g. The Church of God forsooth in Black fryars consists besides that Parish of a number of men and Merchants wives dispersed here and there throughout the whole City Mr. Snape's testimony is cited Â§ 6. By these words of Bancroft and the case compared it is certain that on these suppositions many of the Canons were made against them as against Conventicles and calling themselves another Church and a brother-hood and about God fathers and many more supposing them to be of this mind Â§ 7. On supposition that these things were true the Nonconformists have to this day been accused by those that write against them and the testimony of this book alledged as proof And Doctor Heylin hath in folio accordingly described them in his History of Presbytery as many others have done Â§ 8. And now cometh Doctor Stillingfleet and tells you that he is certain that all the old Nonconformists were quite of another mind and other men and to prove it citeth four or five mens words against Brownists When yet he citeth more of my own against Separation and if my words prove me not to be against it how will theirs prove them to be against it Â§ 9. Either Bancrofts Heylins and such others words of them are true or false If true how untrue are Doctor Stillingfleet's If false O what a sort of men were these Prelates that so stigmatized and accused and so used so many hundred such men on so false a charge And what a Church was it that made the Canons against them on that supposition And how shall we know which of them to believe Doth not Doctor Stillingfleet heavily reproach his own Church for such usuage of them Â§ 10. The case is commonly known First that a long time they had almost all of them Parish Churches as other men had and they sought to set up Discipline in those Churches And it had been folly then to gather others in other places 2. When Bancroft and others had got many cast out and silenced a great part of them kept in by connivence of some peaceable Bishops and by the mediation of some Lords and Gentlemen such as the Earl of Leicester Bedford Warwicke the Lord Burghley Sir Francis Walsingham Sir Amias Pawlet Sir Nicholas Bacon Mr. Beal and Sir Francis Knowles had been to them before Yea the greater part of them by such favour got into
priviledged peculiar places or little Chapells at least Few Counties had not some Gentlemen that sheltred them The Earl of Huntington kept in Mr. Hildersham at Ashby Mr. Slater and Mr. Ash even in the big Town of Bremicham Mr. Mainwaring kept in Mr. Ball at Whitmore Mr. Knightley kept in Mr. Dod Judge Bromley and his humble holy Lady kept Mr. Brumskill at Sheriff Hales and entertained many more Mr. Nicols c. Sir Richard Graves at Moseley had Mr. Pateman and divers others seldom without a Nonconformist One would think Doctor Stillingfleet should know that his own Patron under whose wing he lived Sir Roger Burgonie was seldom without a Nonconformist at Roxhall in Warwickshire Mr. Hering had long liberty at St. Maries in Shrewsbery Mr. Ford who wrote on the Psalms had the School Lecture there Mr. Atkins at ãâã kept in to the last even the Lord Dudley favouring him Abundance such I might name Mr. Barnet at Uppington whom I oft heard Catechize Dr. Allestree Mr. Tandy at Bewdley Mr. Langley Mr. Paget Mr. Hind Mr. Lancaster Mr. Rowle Mr. Nicols Mr. Mather Mr. Rathband Mr. Barâân Mr. Gee Mr. Wright Mr. Smart c. had their liberties for some time And when one Bishop silenced them the next oft gave them liberty as Bishop Bridgman did after Bishop Mortons silencing some and when they were silenced they went oft into another Diocese where they rubd out a year or more and then to another And so were still in some hope of publick liberty And when silenced they used to keepe private fasts And where they lodged to preach on pretense of expounding to as many as they could They obeyed the Bishops as Magistrates but not as Pastors They knowingly broke the Law in their private and publick Ministry They obeyed not the Canons used not much of the Liturgy And many of them did as some do now get into publick Pulpits for a day and away where they were not known Â§ 12. But yet there are more undeniable evidences of the falseness of what he saith he is certain of as the judgment of All the Old Nonconformists One is the known judgement of the Scotch Reformers and the common accusation of the English as being of their mind He that will affirm that the Scotch Presbyterians thought it unlawful to preach or hold Assemblies when forbidden by Magistrates or Prelates will incur a very sharp censure from their own Leaders who have written so many Books which charge them with the contrary and make them Rebels and Seditious for it Such as Bancroft Heylin Beziers and multitudes both old and new especially these last twenty years And though the Nonconformists in England did not justifie all that the Scots did and they that took Knox Buchanan Melvin and such other for very pious men yet thought some words and deeds too rash especially Knox's publick opening the Queens faults in the Pulpit and refusing her offer to come at any time and tell her of them privately yet it s known that in the Rules of Discipline they were mostly of the same judgment And they often joyned in defending the same Cause See their several demonstrations of Discipline and the several Defences of them how little they differed when Bancroft preacht against them at Pauls Cross Feb. 8. 1588. An English man wrote a Brief Discovery of his untruths c. And a Scoth man J. D. Bancrofts rashness in railing against the Church of Scotland printed 1590. And how little differ they if at all and Dr. Reignolds wrote a Letter against it to Sir Francis Knowles printed with Sir Francis Knowles his account to the Lord Burleigh of his Speech in Parliament against the Bishops keeping Courts in their own names as condemned by Law And in many of their writings the English own the Scotch Discipline and Church And yet even these Scots have rejected Brown as a Schismatick and the English Confuter of Bancrofts Sermon tells him Pag. 43 44. Brown a known Schismatick is a Fit man to be one of your Witnesses a-against the Eldership His entertainment in Scotland was such as a proud ungodly man deserved to have God give him and you repentance And Giffords Pagets Bradshaws Brightmans Rathbands Balls c. words against the Brownists proved not them to be against their own doctrine and practice no more than the Scots rejecting Brown proved them against theirs Â§ 13. And another proof is the common doctrine of the Nonconformists of the difference of the Magistrates and the Churches Offices The said confutation of Bancroft hath it pag. 45 and forward and abundance of their publick writings viz. That the Magistrate only hath the power of the Sword and of Civil Government and to restrain and punish Ministers that offend by Heresie or otherwise But that as Preaching Sacraments and the disciplinary use of the Keys are proper to the Ministry so the deciding of Circumstantial controversies about them and about the due ordering of them doth primarily belong to Ecclesiastical Synods Therefore if these Synods were for their Preaching they were not for ceasing it meerly in obedience to the Magistrate that silenced them Â§ 14. And it is proved by the many Volumes which they wrote against the Power of our Diocesans that it was not any Ecclesiastical Authority of theirs which they thought it a sin to disobey Â§ 15. And Mr. Fox a Nonconformist and many more of them own the Doctrine of Wicliff and John Husse and the Bohemians for which the Synods of Constance and Basil condemned them who affirm that it is a heynous sin to give over Preaching because men excommunicate us and that such are excommunicated by Christ Â§ 16. And it is not nothing that the most Learned Conformists agree with them as I have oft cited Bishop Bilsons words that the Magistrate doth not give us our power nor may hinder our use of it but is appointed by God to protect and encourage us and if he forbid or hinder us we are to go on with our work and patiently suffer And even now I believe most of the Leading Clergy think that if a Synod bid us preach and hold assemblies and the King forbid it we are to obey the Synod rather than the King Mr. Thorndike and many others that write for the Church thought so And Mr. Dodvel thinks so even of a particular Bishop The difference then is but this One party giveth this power to a Synod of Bishops and Presbyters perhaps conjoyned and the other to a Synod of Parochial Pastors Doctors and Elders But both agreed that the Magistrates prohibition in that case is not to be obeyed And the Conformists will not take it well if I should say that the Nonconformist are more for obedience to Magistrates than they I still except the Erastians and such as own Dr. Stillingfleets Irenicon Â§ 17. There is a most considerable book called A Petition directed to her most Excellent Majesty shewing a meane how to compound the Civil Dissentions in the Church