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Remonft. It will fland long enough against the battery of their paper-pellets.

Anfw. That must be tried without a fquare cap in the council; and if pellets will not do, your own canons fhall be turned against you.

Remonft. They cannot name any man in this nation, that ever contradicted epifcopacy, till this prefent age.

Anfw. What an overworn and bedriden argument is this? the last refuge ever of old falfehood, and therefore a good fign, I trust, that your caftle cannot hold out long. This was the plea of judaism and idolatry against Christ and his apoftles, of papacy against reformation; and perhaps to the frailty of flesh and blood in a man deftitute of better enlightening may for fome while be pardonable: for what has fleshly apprehenfion other to fubfift by than fucceffion, custom, and visibility; which only hold, if in his weakness and blindness he be loth to lose, who can blame? But in a proteftant nation, that should have thrown off these tattered rudiments long ago, after the many ftrivings of God's fpirit, and our fourfcore years vexation of him in this our wilderness fince reformation began, to urge these rotten principles, and twit us with the prefent age, which is to us an age of ages wherein God is manifeftly come down among us, to do some remarkable good to our church or ftate; is, as if a man fhould tax the renovating and reingendering fpirit of God with innovation, and that new creature for an upftart novelty; yea, the new Jerufalem, which, without your admired link of fucceffion, defcends from Heaven, could not escape fome fuch like cenfure. If you require a further anfwer, it will not mifbecome a christian to be either more magnanimous or more devout than Scipio was; who, inftead of other anfwer to the frivolous accufations of Petilius the tribune, "This day, Romans, (faith he) I fought with Hannibal profperoufly; let us all go and thank the gods, that gave us fo great a victory:" in like manner will we now fay, not caring otherwise to answer this unproteftantlike objection; In this age, Britons, God hath reformed his church after many hundred years of popifh corruption; in this age, he hath freed us from the intolerable yoke of prelates and papal difN 3 cipline;

cipline; in this age he hath renewed our proteftation against all those yet remaining dregs of fuperftition. Let us all go, every true protested Briton, throughout the three kingdoms, and render thanks to God the father of light, and fountain of heavenly grace, and to his fon Chrift our Lord; leaving this Remonftrant and his adherents to their own defigns, and let us recount even here without delay, the patience and long-suffering that God hath ufed towards our blindness and hardness time after time. For he being equally near to his whole creation of mankind, and of free power to turn his beneficent and fatherly regard to what region or kingdom he pleases, hath yet ever had this island under the special indulgent eye of his providence; and pitying us the first of all other nations, after he had decreed to purify and renew his church that lay wallowing in idolatrous pollutions, fent first to us a healing meffenger to touch foftly our fores, and carry a gentle hand over our wounds: he knocked once and twice, and came again, opening our drowsy eyelids leifurely by that glimmering light, which Wickliff and his followers difperfed; and ftill taking off by degrees the inveterate scales from our nigh perished fight, purged alfo our deaf ears, and prepared them to attend his fecond warning trumpet in our grandfires' days. How elfe could they have been able to have received the fudden affault of his reforming fpirit, warring against human principles, and carnal sense, the pride of Aefh, that ftill cried up antiquity, cuftom, canons, councils and laws; and cried down the truth for novelty, fchifm, profaneness, and facrilege? whenas we that have lived fo long in abundant light, befides the funny reflection of all the neighbouring churches, have yet our hearts rivetted with thofe old opinions, and so obstructed and benummed with the fame fleshly reafonings, which in our forefathers foon melted and gave way, against the morning beam of reformation. If God had left undone this whole work, fo contrary to flesh and blood, till these times; how fhould we have yielded to his heavenly call, had we been taken, as they were, in the starkness of our ignorance; that yet, after all these spiritual preparatives and purgations,

purgations, have our earthly apprehenfions fo clammed and furred with the old leaven? O if we freeze at noon after their early thaw, let us fear left the fun for ever hide himself, and turn his orient fteps from our ingrateful horizon, juftly condemned to be eternally benighted. Which dreadful judgment, O'thou the ever-begotten Light and perfect image of the Father! intercede, may never come upon us, as we truft thou haft; for thou haft opened our difficult and fad times, and given us an unexpected breathing after our long oppreffions: thou haft done justice upon thofe that tyrannized over us, while fome men wavered and admired a vain fhadow of wisdom in a tongue nothing flow to utter guile, though thou haft taught us to admire only that which is good, and to count that only praife-worthy, which is grounded upon thy divine precepts. Thou haft discovered the plots, and frustrated the hopes, of all the wicked in the land, and put to fhame the perfecutors of thy church: thou haft made our falfe prophets to be found a lie in the fight of all the people, and chafed them with fudden confufion and amazement before the redoubled brightness of thy defcending cloud, that now covers thy tabernacle. Who is there that cannot trace thee now in thy beamy walk through the midft of thy fanctuary, amidst those golden candlesticks, which have long suffered a dimness amongst us through the violence of those that had seized them, and were more taken with the mention of their gold than of their starry light; teaching the doctrine of Balaam, to caft a ftumbling block before thy fervants, commanding them to eat things facrificed to idols, and forcing them to fornication? Come, therefore, O thou that haft the seven stars in thy right hand, appoint thy chosen priests according to their orders and courses of old, to minister before thee, and duly to press and pour out the confecrated oil into thy holy and everburning lamps. Thou haft fent out the fpirit of prayer upon thy fervants over all the land to this effect, and ftirred up their vows as the sound of many waters about thy throne. Every one can fay, that now certainly thou haft vifited this land,and haft not forgotten the utmost corners of the earth, in a time when men had thought that thou waft gone up from us

to the fartheft end of the heavens, and hadft left to do marvellously among the fons of these last ages. O perfect and accomplish thy glorious acts! for men may leave their works unfinished, but thou art a God, thy nature is perfection: fhouldft thou bring us thus far onward from Egypt to deftroy us in this wilderness, though we deferve; yet thy great name would fuffer in the rejoicing of thine enemies, and the deluded hope of all thy fervants. When thou haft fettled peace in the church, and righteous judgment in the kingdom, then shall all thy faints address their voices of joy and triumph to thee, ftanding on the fhore of that red fea into which our enemies had almoft driven us. And he that now for hafte fnatches up a plain ungarnished present as a thank-offering to thee, which could not be deferred in regard of thy fo many late deliverances wrought for us one upon another, may then perhaps take up a harp, and fing thee an elaborate fong to generations. In that day it fhall no more be faid as in fcorn, this or that was never held fo till this prefent age, when men have better learnt that the times and feasons pass along under thy feet to go and come at thy bidding: and as thou didst dignify our fathers' days with many revelations above all the foregoing ages, fince thou tookeft the flesh; fo thou canft vouchfafe to us (though unworthy) as large a portion of thy spirit as thou pleafeft: for who fhall prejudice thy allgoverning will? feeing the power of thy grace is not paffed away with the primitive times, as fond and faithless men imagine, but thy kingdom is now at hand, and thou ftanding at the door. Come forth out of thy royal chambers, O Prince of all the kings of the earth! put on the visible robes of thy imperial majefty, take up that unlimited fceptre which thy almighty Father hath bequeathed thee for now the voice of thy bride calls thee, and all creatures figh to be renewed.

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SECT. V.

Remonft. Neglect not the gift which was given thee by prophecy, and by laying on the hands of prefbytery. Anfw. The English translation expreffes the article

(the),

(the), and renders it the prefbytery, which you to omit.

do injury

Remonft. Which I wonder ye can so press, when Calvin himself takes it of the office, and not of the men.

Anfw. You think then you are fairly quit of this proof, because Calvin interprets it for you, as if we could be put off with Calvin's name, unlefs we be convinced with Calvin's reafon; the word wpro BUTégio is a collective noun, fignifying a certain number of men in one order, as the word privy-council with us; and fo Beza interprets, that knew Calvin's mind doubtlefs, with whom he lived. If any amongst us fhould fay the privy-council ordained it, and thereby constrain us to understand one man's authority, should we not laugh at him? And therefore when you have used all your cramping irons to the text, and done your utmost to cram a prefbytery into the skin of one perfon, it will be but a piece of frugal nonfenfe. But if your meaning be with a violent hyperbaton to transpose the text, as if the words lay thus in order, " neglect not the gift of prefbytery:" this were a conftruction like a harquebufs Thot over a file of words twelve deep, without authority to bid them ftoop; or to make the word gift, like the river Mole in Surry, to run under the bottom of a long line, and so start up to govern the word prefbytery, as in immediate fyntaxis; a device ridiculous enough to make good that old wife's tale of a certain queen of England that funk at Charing crofs, and rofe up at Queenhithe. No marvel though the prelates be a troublesome generation, and, which way foever they turn them, put all things into a foul difcomposure, when to maintain their domineering they feek thus to rout and difarray the wife and wellcouched order of Saint Paul's own words, ufing either a certain textual riot to chop off the hands of the word prefbytery, or elfe a like kind of fimony to clap the word gift between them. Befides, if the verse must be read according to this tranfpofition, μὴ ἀμέλει τῷ ἐν σοὶ χαρίσματος τῇ πρεσβυτερία, it would be improper to call ordination χάρισμα, whenas it is rather only χείριασμα, an outward teftimony of approbation; unless they will make it a facrament, as the papifts do: but fsurely the prelates would have Saint Paul's words ramp one over

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another,

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