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where trust is to be committed, because I know where to have a man that hath principles. I believe if any man of you should chuse a servant, you would do so; and I would all our magistrates were so chosen, that may be some effects of this. It is our duty to chuse men that fear the Lord, to praise the Lord, yea, such as the Lord forms for himself, and he expects not praises from others. This, being so, puts mein mind of another scripture, Psal. lxviii. which indeed is a glorious prophecy, and I am persuaded of the gospel, or it may be of the Jews; also there it is prophesied, 'He will bring his people again out of the depths of the sea, as once he led Israel through the Red Sea;' and it may be, some do think God is bringing the Jews home to their station from the isles of the sea. Surely, when God sets up the glory of the gospel-church, it shall be gathering people out of deep waters, out of of the multitude of waters; such are his people, drawn out of the multitudes of the nations, and people of the world. And that Psalm will be very glorious in many other parts of it, 'When he gave the word, great was the company of them that published it; Kings of the armies did fly apace, and she that tarried at home divided the spoil; and, although ye have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.' And, indeed, the triumph of that Psalm is exceeding high and great, and God is accomplishing it; and the close ot it, that closeth with my heart, and I am persuaded will with yours also. That' God shakes hills and mountains, and they reel; and God hath a hill too, and his hill is as the hill of Bashan, and the chariots of God are twenty-thousand of angels, and God will dwell upon this hill forever.' Truly, J am sorry that I have troubled you, in such a place of heat as this is, so long; all that I have to say in mine own name, and in the names of my fellowofficers, who have joined with me in this work, is, that we shall commend you to the grace of God, and to the guidance of his spirit; having thus far served you, or rather our Lord Jesus Christ in it, we are, as we hope, and shall be, ready in our stations, according as the providence of God shall lead us, to be subservient to the work of God, and the authority, which we reckon, God hath set over us. And although we have no formal thing to present you with, to which the hands and outward visible expressions of the hearts of the officers of the three nations are set; yet we may say for them, and we may say also with confidence for our brethren at sea, with whom neither in Scotland, nor Ireland, nor at sea, hath any artifice been used, to persuade their approbations to this work; yet we can say, that their consent and affections hath flowed in to us from all parts beyond our expectations; and we are confident we may say with all confidence, that we have had their approbations, and full consent, unsought indeed to the other work, so that you have their hearts and affections in this; and not only they, but we have very many papers from the churches of God, throughout the nation, wonderfully both approving what hath been done in removing obstacles, and approving what we have done in this very thing. And, having said this, I shall trouble you no more; but if you will be pleased that this instrument may be read, which I have signed by the advice of the couucil of officers, we shall then leave you to your own thoughts, and to the guidance of God, to order and dispose of yourselves for further meetings as you shall see cause.
THE OLD PHARISEE,
THE NEW PHYLACTERIES OF PRESBYTERY. Quarto, containing twenty-six pages.
To his excellency the Lord General Cromwell, chancellor of the famous university of Oxford, &c.
I have adventured upon a stormy ocean, in the discovery of a strange people, who have a storm in their countenance, and a tempest in their tongue, with boiling billows in their breast, against all that will not sail by their compass, and take that dog-star, the directory, for the pole-star of their direction; whereas, indeed, whosoever follows them, can scarce escape conscience-shipwreck. We may as well believe, with Andradius, that Ethica virtus was enough to save the ancient philosophers, as that their discipline is the way of our salvation. In this, the foul face of vice puts on the fair vizard of virtue; and whilst the presbyterian useth the cloke of a counsellor, he is not without the poison of a killer; as I have fully declared in this little tract, which comes in all humility to kiss your lordship's hand. And as the black statue of Memnon is said to deliver an audible voice, whensoever the mouth thereof was touched with the beams of the sun; so this monument, erected to dead presbytery, will speak freely in the ears of the people, if the beams of your gracious favour do but reflect upon it. Your excellency's favour, like the vertical sun, will abate all shadows, both of envy, and detraction. Be pleased, therefore, to let this weak testimony of my service, in the church of Christ, take life from your noble acceptation, and receive this tribute from his hand, who is ambitious of nothing, but leave to wear your cognisance, and to write your renowned name in the front of his labours. Which afforded goodness will the more strongly prompt my devotion, to send up continual supplications to the throne of grace, for all blessings internal, external, eternal, upon you and yours; that you may rejoice, likeZebulun, in
your going out; and like Issachar, in your tents; and that the Lord may be the shield of your help, and the sword of your excellency. So shall the city of our God be made glad, and therein shall my heart rejoice; who esteem it no less than a triumph, to deserve the title of,
Your excellency's most humbly devoted servant,
To the impartial reader.
As the poets feign, that the fair nymphs brought forth ill-favoured satyrs; and as Lodovicus Caelius writes of an ewe that conceived, and brought forth a lion; so the fair nymph of truth, in this little tract, will, lam confident, bring forth the foul satyrs of envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness against me; the ewe of my innocence will bring forth lions, roaring with the loudest reproaches. So that I may say, as Leah, at the birth of Gad, venil turma, a troop commeth, which will shoot out their arrows, even bitter words, at this white and spotless mark. But, for my part, nil moror, the lion of the tribe of Judah is my defence; and altho'the kirk-crocodiles would devour me alive, yet will I fear no evil, for the Lord I trust is with me, and the blast of their fury shall be as a storm against the wall. For God is my witness, 1 honour pure religion, and undefiled, wheresoever I find it; and as for well meaning, though somewhat seduced, Christians, I rather pity and pray for them with tears, than in the least degree vilify them with taunts; hoping, that they will one day know Christ by experience, and not by tradition; own him as sitting on the throne of glorious mysteries, and not lying in the manger of human inventions. When once their eyes are anointed, with the eye-salve of the spirit, they will cast away those spectacles with contempt, which they so much adore with reverence. They will cast anchor on the rock, Jesus Christ, and not upon the quick-sands of giddy brains. They will then go boldly to Christ, that door opened in heaven, without so much seeking for false keys on earth, whether they be popes, or presbyters. Against the errors of both, auspice Christo, will I fight, but, for their conversion, I will ever pray; and herein, though their malice should at any time fail me, yet I should be more than conqueror. Altho' I may be like Abraham's ram, in a thicket of thorns, pricked on every side, and at length sacrificed; yet I will forget myself, and, as it were, forget my soul, in a fiery zeal, with Moses and Paul, for my brethren's sake. For whose better information, I have written these few lines; where, if any be oblique, I desire they should be made right, by a candid interpretation. I know, as a man, I may err; but, if once convinced, I am so much a scholar in Christ's school, as to acknowledge and amend. If I should seem planetary in this revolution, as I hope I shall not, to the best judgments, yet I am fixed in this resolution, even to be led by any star that points the way to Christ; in whom I rest
Thy friend, to serve thee,
WHEN I consider the glorious star-spangled canopy of Heaven, the uniform motion and harmony of the spheres, with the influences of those heathenish gods, the stars; I cannot but at once behold and lament the irregular motions, or, rather, commotions, of some below, who only pretend to be heavenly, how planetary they are in judgment, who judge themselves alone to be fixed in truth; as the frautick Montanists vainly held, that the Holy Ghost was not given to the Apostles, but only to them. So the spurious brood of presbytery in England account none holy, but such as are of their spirit, expelling all, by their bulls of excommunication, out of God's court, who are not of their wicked council; as if their convocation-house were the King of King's presence-chamber, and every classis his closet. These fire-spitting malecontents would fain persuade us, that now God speaks unto us only out of the flameing Scottish bush; and, as the pillar of the cloud was a cloud of darkness to the Egyptians, but gave light to the camp of Israel: so they declare, that God will be a sun and a shield to the Scots, but a black cloud of destruction to the English. Thus resembling the serpents in Caria, which kill home-bred people, but hurt not any strangers; and as we read of the dragons of Armenia, that they have cold stomachs, yet spit fire out of their mouths: so we may well conceive, that these dragons havecold stomachs to our nation's prosperity, whilst they spit out of their mouths such a fire of zeal for Scotland's glory. But no marvel, for these Hot-spurs ever opposed that present government, which might any way retard their present advancement; promoting no cause, but as it may be the cause of their own promotion; not caring for the publick treasury, so they may fill their own coffers: cuncta venafia Roma, is'now come home to their doors. And, indeed, the Romanists and presbyterians, like Sampson's foxes, may look several ways, but tied by the tails with fire-brands of sedition, able to set the whole land in combustion, both spurning at our commonwealth, as at a common football. And, oh miserable England, if either win the goal!
They both play the game, yet intend, at last, to part stakes; the effecting of the one being the effecting of the other. So that we may well behold their harmony, tending to our discord; and, to shew their mutual vote for England's ruin, I shall only declare these instances:
First, As the papists are great zealots of their law, yet the bow of their mind is only bent at their gain and domination, desiring to setup their trophies on the ruins of flourishing states: So the presbyterians, pretending a zeal of God's glory, seek only their own profit and supremacy; Res ipsa clamat, non tarn pro arts ipsos, quam pro foris pugnare: Maintaining presbytery, as the pope doth purgatory, only to keep their kitchin warm. They nosooner find that to cool, but they are hot with indignation against such as withdraw the fuel. Whilst the lightning of their rage lasts, they thunder forth ireful execrations against that state, that shall eclipse their glory, or any way mince their upstart majesty, which they intitle to God's throne, under a specious pretence of Jus divinum, which they buz in the people's ears, and keep such a noise, as if they were the geese that kept our capitol.
Secondly, As the pope curseth all by bell, book, and candle for
hereticks, who abhor his conclave, so the presbyterian, all for sectaries, who contemn his classis; calling them enemies of the truth, atheists, haters of good men, soul-murderers, &c.
Thirdly, As the people must believe as the church, the church as the pope, and the pope as he list; so here, the people must believe as the church, the church as the presbyterian, and this popeling as he list; saying, as Constantius, that Arian emperor. Quod ego volo pro canone sit, making his will the measure of their actions, and his idle fancy, the rule of the people's faith; thus making the commandment of God of no effect by their tradition. So that, had this malignant planet heen in the ascendent, Nimio traditionum onere gravata esset ecclesia, as Augustine once complained. Their mouths, therefore, must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre's sake.
Lastly, As the pope declares it piety to establish his religion by fire and sword, setting up his idolatrous images, by destroying God's image in man: So the presbyterians, both by preaching and practice, strive to write their religion on the tables of men's hearts, in the bloody characters of their brethren's ruin: as if faith were not rather to be persuaded palmd expansd, than compelled pvgno contracto: Or, as if a crown of glory were set on the head of the prince of peace, by setting a crown of thorns upon his people. Indeed, the blood of holy martyrs, shed by the hand of infidels, was the seed of the church; but, I am sure, it was ever an antichristian tenet, to sow the seed of the gospel, by making deep furrows on our brethren's backs, or by beating our plough-shares into swords. Esay, prophesying of Christ's kingdom, saith, 'Heshall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.' The sword of the spirit must be the spiritual man's weapon, else he can be no true commissioner of God's militia, in the advancement of Christ's kingdom, by a blessed reformation. God is not in the strong winds, that rend the mountains, and break in pieces the rocks; not in the earthquake, that shakes the foundations of a settled faith; not in the fire of cruel persecution for tender conscience sake, butin the still small voice of an holy and humble admonition. Therefore, saith the great doctor of the gentiles, (who was Oceanus Theologiw, as Theodoret of Moses:) ' Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.' We ought to have an especial care of tender consciences, for to wound such is to sin against Christ. Wherefore, saith St. Paul, 'If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother Ui offend.' And the wise-man seems to give the reason, saying, A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and their contentions like the bars of a castle. Yet, horresco referent, these presbyterians, like the scribes and pharisees, bind heavy burthens, and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Witness the presbytery in Scotland, where they make a man an offender, and lay a snare for