Part 9 out of 11
be maintained by their flocks; but not that the Pastors were
to determine, either the quantity, or the kind of their own allowance,
and be (as it were) their own Carvers. Their allowance must needs
therefore be determined, either by the gratitude, and liberality
of every particular man of their flock, or by the whole Congregation.
By the whole Congregation it could not be, because their Acts were then
no Laws: Therefore the maintenance of Pastors, before Emperours and Civill
Soveraigns had made Laws to settle it, was nothing but Benevolence.
They that served at the Altar lived on what was offered.
In what court should they sue for it, who had no Tribunalls?
Or if they had Arbitrators amongst themselves, who should execute
their Judgments, when they had no power to arme their Officers?
It remaineth therefore, that there could be no certaine maintenance
assigned to any Pastors of the Church, but by the whole Congregation;
and then onely, when their Decrees should have the force
(not onely of Canons, but also) of Laws; which Laws could not
be made, but by Emperours, Kings, or other Civill Soveraignes.
The Right of Tythes in Moses Law, could not be applyed to the
then Ministers of the Gospell; because Moses and the High Priests
were the Civill Soveraigns of the people under God, whose Kingdom
amongst the Jews was present; whereas the Kingdome of God by Christ
is yet to come.
Hitherto hath been shewn what the Pastors of the Church are;
what are the points of their Commission (as that they were to Preach,
to Teach, to Baptize, to be Presidents in their severall Congregations;)
what is Ecclesiasticall Censure, viz. Excommunication, that is to say,
in those places where Christianity was forbidden by the Civill Laws,
a putting of themselves out of the company of the Excommunicate,
and where Christianity was by the Civill Law commanded, a putting the
Excommunicate out of the Congregations of Christians; who elected
the Pastors and Ministers of the Church, (that it was, the Congregation);
who consecrated and blessed them, (that it was the Pastor);
what was their due revenue, (that it was none but their own possessions,
and their own labour, and the voluntary contributions of devout
and gratefull Christians). We are to consider now, what Office
those persons have, who being Civill Soveraignes, have embraced also
the Christian Faith.
That The Civill Soveraign Being A Christian
Hath The Right Of Appointing Pastors
And first, we are to remember, that the Right of Judging what Doctrines
are fit for Peace, and to be taught the Subjects, is in all
Common-wealths inseparably annexed (as hath been already proved cha. 18.)
to the Soveraign Power Civill, whether it be in one Man, or in one
Assembly of men. For it is evident to the meanest capacity,
that mens actions are derived from the opinions they have of the Good,
or Evill, which from those actions redound unto themselves;
and consequently, men that are once possessed of an opinion,
that their obedience to the Soveraign Power, will bee more hurtfull
to them, than their disobedience, will disobey the Laws, and thereby
overthrow the Common-wealth, and introduce confusion, and Civill war;
for the avoiding whereof, all Civill Government was ordained.
And therefore in all Common-wealths of the Heathen, the Soveraigns have
had the name of Pastors of the People, because there was no Subject that
could lawfully Teach the people, but by their permission and authority.
This Right of the Heathen Kings, cannot bee thought taken from them
by their conversion to the Faith of Christ; who never ordained,
that Kings for beleeving in him, should be deposed, that is,
subjected to any but himself, or (which is all one) be deprived
of the power necessary for the conservation of Peace amongst
their Subjects, and for their defence against foraign Enemies.
And therefore Christian Kings are still the Supreme Pastors of their
people, and have power to ordain what Pastors they please, to teach
the Church, that is, to teach the People committed to their charge.
Again, let the right of choosing them be (as before the conversion
of Kings) in the Church, for so it was in the time of the Apostles
themselves (as hath been shewn already in this chapter);
even so also the Right will be in the Civill Soveraign, Christian.
For in that he is a Christian, he allowes the Teaching; and in that
he is the Soveraign (which is as much as to say, the Church
by Representation,) the Teachers hee elects, are elected by the Church.
And when an Assembly of Christians choose their Pastor in a
Christian Common-wealth, it is the Soveraign that electeth him,
because tis done by his Authority; In the same manner, as when a Town
choose their Maior, it is the act of him that hath the Soveraign Power:
For every act done, is the act of him, without whose consent it is invalid.
And therefore whatsoever examples may be drawn out of History,
concerning the Election of Pastors, by the People, or by the Clergy,
they are no arguments against the Right of any Civill Soveraign,
because they that elected them did it by his Authority.
Seeing then in every Christian Common-wealth, the Civill Soveraign
is the Supreme Pastor, to whose charge the whole flock of his Subjects
is committed, and consequently that it is by his authority,
that all other Pastors are made, and have power to teach,
and performe all other Pastorall offices; it followeth also,
that it is from the Civill Soveraign, that all other Pastors
derive their right of Teaching, Preaching, and other functions
pertaining to that Office; and that they are but his Ministers;
in the same manner as the Magistrates of Towns, Judges in
Courts of Justice, and Commanders of Armies, are all but Ministers
of him that is the Magistrate of the whole Common-wealth,
Judge of all Causes, and Commander of the whole Militia,
which is alwayes the Civill Soveraign. And the reason hereof,
is not because they that Teach, but because they that are to Learn,
are his Subjects. For let it be supposed, that a Christian King
commit the Authority of Ordaining Pastors in his Dominions
to another King, (as divers Christian Kings allow that power
to the Pope;) he doth not thereby constitute a Pastor over himself,
nor a Soveraign Pastor over his People; for that were to deprive
himself of the Civill Power; which depending on the opinion men have
of their Duty to him, and the fear they have of Punishment in
another world, would depend also on the skill, and loyalty of Doctors,
who are no lesse subject, not only to Ambition, but also to Ignorance,
than any other sort of men. So that where a stranger hath authority
to appoint Teachers, it is given him by the Soveraign in whose
Dominions he teacheth. Christian Doctors are our Schoolmasters
to Christianity; But Kings are Fathers of Families, and may receive
Schoolmasters for their Subjects from the recommendation of a stranger,
but not from the command; especially when the ill teaching them
shall redound to the great and manifest profit of him that
recommends them: nor can they be obliged to retain them,
longer than it is for the Publique good; the care of which they
stand so long charged withall, as they retain any other essentiall
Right of the Soveraignty.
The Pastorall Authority Of Soveraigns Only
Is De Jure Divino, That Of Other Pastors
Is Jure Civili
If a man therefore should ask a Pastor, in the execution of his Office,
as the chief Priests and Elders of the people (Mat. 21.23.)
asked our Saviour, "By what authority dost thou these things,
and who gave thee this authority:" he can make no other just Answer,
but that he doth it by the Authority of the Common-wealth,
given him by the King, or Assembly that representeth it.
All Pastors, except the Supreme, execute their charges in the Right,
that is by the Authority of the Civill Soveraign, that is, Jure Civili.
But the King, and every other Soveraign executeth his Office
of Supreme Pastor, by immediate Authority from God, that is to say,
In Gods Right, or Jure Divino. And therefore none but Kings can put
into their Titles (a mark of their submission to God onely )
Dei Gratia Rex, &c. Bishops ought to say in the beginning
of their Mandates, "By the favour of the Kings Majesty, Bishop of
such a Diocesse;" or as Civill Ministers, "In his Majesties Name."
For in saying, Divina Providentia, which is the same with Dei Gratia,
though disguised, they deny to have received their authority
from the Civill State; and sliely slip off the Collar of their
Civill Subjection, contrary to the unity and defence of the Common-wealth.
Christian Kings Have Power To Execute
All Manner Of Pastoral Function
But if every Christian Soveraign be the Supreme Pastor of his
own Subjects, it seemeth that he hath also the Authority,
not only to Preach (which perhaps no man will deny;) but also
to Baptize, and to Administer the Sacrament of the Lords Supper;
and to Consecrate both Temples, and Pastors to Gods service;
which most men deny; partly because they use not to do it;
and partly because the Administration of Sacraments, and Consecration
of Persons, and Places to holy uses, requireth the Imposition
of such mens hands, as by the like Imposition successively
from the time of the Apostles have been ordained to the like Ministery.
For proof therefore that Christian Kings have power to Baptize,
and to Consecrate, I am to render a reason, both why they use not
to doe it, and how, without the ordinary ceremony of Imposition of hands,
they are made capable of doing it, when they will.
There is no doubt but any King, in case he were skilfull in the Sciences,
might by the same Right of his Office, read Lectures of them himself,
by which he authorizeth others to read them in the Universities.
Neverthelesse, because the care of the summe of the businesse of
the Common-wealth taketh up his whole time, it were not convenient for him
to apply himself in Person to that particular. A King may also if
he please, sit in Judgment, to hear and determine all manner of Causes,
as well as give others authority to doe it in his name; but that
the charge that lyeth upon him of Command and Government,
constrain him to bee continually at the Helm, and to commit
the Ministeriall Offices to others under him. In the like manner
our Saviour (who surely had power to Baptize) Baptized none himselfe,
but sent his Apostles and Disciples to Baptize. (John 4.2.)
So also S. Paul, by the necessity of Preaching in divers and
far distant places, Baptized few: Amongst all the Corinthians
he Baptized only Crispus, Cajus, and Stephanus; (1 Cor.1.14,16.)
and the reason was, because his principall Charge was to Preach.
(1 Cor. 1.17.) Whereby it is manifest, that the greater Charge,
(such as is the Government of the Church,) is a dispensation
for the lesse. The reason therefore why Christian Kings use not
to Baptize, is evident, and the same, for which at this day
there are few Baptized by Bishops, and by the Pope fewer.
And as concerning Imposition of Hands, whether it be needfull,
for the authorizing of a King to Baptize, and Consecrate,
we may consider thus.
Imposition of Hands, was a most ancient publique ceremony amongst
the Jews, by which was designed, and made certain, the person,
or other thing intended in a mans prayer, blessing, sacrifice,
consecration, condemnation, or other speech. So Jacob in blessing
the children of Joseph (Gen. 48.14.) "Laid his right Hand on
Ephraim the younger, and his left Hand on Manasseh the first born;"
and this he did Wittingly (though they were so presented to him
by Joseph, as he was forced in doing it to stretch out his arms acrosse)
to design to whom he intended the greater blessing. So also in the
sacrificing of the Burnt offering, Aaron is commanded (Exod. 29.10.)
"to Lay his Hands on the head of the bullock;" and (ver. 15.)
"to Lay his Hand on the head of the ramme." The same is also
said again, Levit. 1.4. & 8.14. Likewise Moses when he ordained
Joshua to be Captain of the Israelites, that is, consecrated him
to Gods service, (Numb. 27.23.) "Laid his hands upon him,
and gave him his Charge," designing and rendring certain,
who it was they were to obey in war. And in the consecration
of the Levites (Numb. 8.10.) God commanded that "the Children of Israel
should Put their Hands upon the Levites." And in the condemnation
of him that had blasphemed the Lord (Levit. 24.14.) God commanded that
"all that heard him should Lay their Hands on his head, and that all
the Congregation should stone him." And why should they only
that heard him, Lay their Hands upon him, and not rather a Priest,
Levite, or other Minister of Justice, but that none else were able
to design, and demonstrate to the eyes of the Congregation,
who it was that had blasphemed, and ought to die? And to design a man,
or any other thing, by the Hand to the Eye is lesse subject to mistake,
than when it is done to the Eare by a Name.
And so much was this ceremony observed, that in blessing the whole
Congregation at once, which cannot be done by Laying on of Hands,
yet "Aaron (Levit. 9.22.) did lift up his Hand towards the people
when he blessed them." And we read also of the like ceremony
of Consecration of Temples amongst the Heathen, as that the Priest
laid his Hands on some post of the Temple, all the while he was
uttering the words of Consecration. So naturall it is to design
any individuall thing, rather by the Hand, to assure the Eyes,
than by Words to inform the Eare in matters of Gods Publique service.
This ceremony was not therefore new in our Saviours time.
For Jairus (Mark 5.23.) whose daughter was sick, besought our Saviour
(not to heal her, but) "to Lay his Hands upon her, that shee
might bee healed." And (Matth. 19.13.) "they brought unto him
little children, that hee should Put his Hands on them, and Pray."
According to this ancient Rite, the Apostles, and Presbyters,
and the Presbytery it self, Laid Hands on them whom they ordained Pastors,
and withall prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost;
and that not only once, but sometimes oftner, when a new occasion
was presented: but the end was still the same, namely a punctuall,
and religious designation of the person, ordained either to the
Pastorall Charge in general, or to a particular Mission: so (Act. 6.6.)
"The Apostles Prayed, and Laid their Hands" on the seven Deacons;
which was done, not to give them the Holy Ghost, (for they were
full of the Holy Ghost before thy were chosen, as appeareth
immediately before, verse 3.) but to design them to that Office.
And after Philip the Deacon had converted certain persons in Samaria,
Peter and John went down (Act. 8.17.)" and laid their Hands on them,
and they received the Holy Ghost." And not only an Apostle,
but a Presbyter had this power: For S. Paul adviseth Timothy
(1 Tim. 5.22.) "Lay Hands suddenly on no man;" that is, designe no man
rashly to the Office of a Pastor. The whole Presbytery Laid their Hands
on Timothy, as we read 1 Tim. 4.14. but this is to be understood,
as that some did it by the appointment of the Presbytery,
and most likely their Proestos, or Prolocutor, which it may be
was St. Paul himself. For in his 2 Epist. to Tim. ver. 6. he saith
to him, "Stirre up the gift of God which is in thee, by the Laying
on of my Hands:" where note by the way, that by the Holy ghost,
is not meant the third Person in the Trinity, but the Gifts
necessary to the Pastorall Office. We read also, that St. Paul
had Imposition of Hands twice; once from Ananias at Damascus
(Acts 9.17,18.) at the time of his Baptisme; and again (Acts 13.3.)
at Antioch, when he was first sent out to Preach. The use then of this
ceremony considered in the Ordination of Pastors, was to design
the Person to whom they gave such Power. But if there had been
then any Christian, that had had the Power of Teaching before;
the Baptizing of him, that is the making of him a Christian,
had given him no new Power, but had onely caused him to preach
true Doctrine, that is, to use his Power aright; and therefore
the Imposition of Hands had been unnecessary; Baptisme it selfe
had been sufficient. But every Soveraign, before Christianity,
had the power of Teaching, and Ordaining Teachers; and therefore
Christianity gave them no new Right, but only directed them in the way
of teaching truth; and consequently they needed no Imposition of Hands
(besides that which is done in Baptisme) to authorize them
to exercise any part of the Pastorall Function, as namely,
to Baptize, and Consecrate. And in the Old Testament, though
the Priest only had right to Consecrate, during the time that
the Soveraignty was in the High Priest; yet it was not so when
the Soveraignty was in the King: For we read (1 Kings 8.)
That Solomon Blessed the People, Consecrated the Temple,
and pronounced that Publique Prayer, which is the pattern now
for Consecration of all Christian Churches, and Chappels:
whereby it appears, he had not only the right of Ecclesiasticall
Government; but also of exercising Ecclesiasticall Functions.
The Civill Soveraigne If A Christian,
Is Head Of The Church In His Own Dominions
From this consolidation of the Right Politique, and Ecclesiastique
in Christian Soveraigns, it is evident, they have all manner of Power
over their Subjects, that can be given to man, for the government
of mens externall actions, both in Policy, and Religion; and may make
such Laws, as themselves shall judge fittest, for the government
of their own Subjects, both as they are the Common-wealth,
and as they are the Church: for both State, and Church are the same men.
If they please therefore, they may (as many Christian Kings now doe)
commit the government of their Subjects in matters of Religion
to the Pope; but then the Pope is in that point Subordinate to them,
and exerciseth that Charge in anothers Dominion Jure Civili,
in the Right of the Civill Soveraign; not Jure Divino, in Gods Right;
and may therefore be discharged of that Office, when the Soveraign
for the good of his Subjects shall think it necessary. They may also
if they please, commit the care of Religion to one Supreme Pastor,
or to an Assembly of Pastors; and give them what power over the Church,
or one over another, they think most convenient; and what titles of honor,
as of Bishops, Archbishops, Priests, or Presbyters, they will;
and make such Laws for their maintenance, either by Tithes,
or otherwise, as they please, so they doe it out of a sincere conscience,
of which God onely is the Judge. It is the Civill Soveraign,
that is to appoint Judges, and Interpreters of the Canonicall Scriptures;
for it is he that maketh them Laws. It is he also that giveth strength
to Excommunications; which but for such Laws and Punishments,
as may humble obstinate Libertines, and reduce them to union
with the rest of the Church, would bee contemned. In summe,
he hath the Supreme Power in all causes, as well Ecclesiasticall,
as Civill, as far as concerneth actions, and words, for these onely
are known, and may be accused; and of that which cannot be accused,
there is no Judg at all, but God, that knoweth the heart.
And these Rights are incident to all Soveraigns, whether Monarchs,
or Assemblies: for they that are the Representants of a Christian People,
are Representants of the Church: for a Church, and a Common-wealth
of Christian People, are the same thing.
Cardinal Bellarmines Books
De Summo Pontifice Considered
Though this that I have here said, and in other places of this Book,
seem cleer enough for the asserting of the Supreme Ecclesiasticall
Power to Christian Soveraigns; yet because the Pope of Romes challenge
to that Power universally, hath been maintained chiefly, and I think
as strongly as is possible, by Cardinall Bellarmine, in his Controversie
De Summo Pontifice; I have thought it necessary, as briefly as I can,
to examine the grounds, and strength of his Discourse.
The First Book
Of five Books he hath written of this subject, the first containeth
three Questions: One, Which is simply the best government, Monarchy,
Aristocracy, or Democracy; and concludeth for neither, but for
a government mixt of all there: Another, which of these is
the best Government of the Church; and concludeth for the mixt,
but which should most participate of Monarchy: the third,
whether in this mixt Monarchy, St. Peter had the place of Monarch.
Concerning his first Conclusion, I have already sufficiently proved
(chapt. 18.) that all Governments which men are bound to obey,
are Simple, and Absolute. In Monarchy there is but One Man Supreme;
and all other men that have any kind of Power in the State,
have it by his Commission, during his pleasure; and execute it
in his name: And in Aristocracy, and Democracy, but One Supreme
Assembly, with the same Power that in Monarchy belongeth to
the Monarch, which is not a Mixt, but an Absolute Soveraignty.
And of the three sorts, which is the best, is not to be disputed,
where any one of them is already established; but the present
ought alwaies to be preferred, maintained, and accounted best;
because it is against both the Law of Nature, and the Divine
positive Law, to doe any thing tending to the subversion thereof.
Besides, it maketh nothing to the Power of any Pastor, (unlesse he
have the Civill Soveraignty,) what kind of Government is the best;
because their Calling is not to govern men by Commandement,
but to teach them, and perswade them by Arguments, and leave it to them
to consider, whether they shall embrace, or reject the Doctrine taught.
For Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy, do mark out unto us
three sorts of Soveraigns, not of Pastors; or, as we may say,
three sorts of Masters of Families, not three sorts of Schoolmasters
for their children.
And therefore the second Conclusion, concerning the best form
of Government of the Church, is nothing to the question of
the Popes Power without his own Dominions: For in all other
Common-wealths his Power (if hee have any at all) is that of
the Schoolmaster onely, and not of the Master of the Family.
For the third Conclusion, which is, that St. Peter was Monarch
of the Church, he bringeth for his chiefe argument the place
of S. Matth. (chap. 16.18, 19.) "Thou art Peter, And upon this rock
I will build my Church, &c. And I will give thee the keyes of Heaven;
whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven,
and whatsoever thou shalt loose on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven."
Which place well considered, proveth no more, but that the
Church of Christ hath for foundation one onely Article; namely,
that which Peter in the name of all the Apostles professing,
gave occasion to our Saviour to speak the words here cited;
which that wee may cleerly understand, we are to consider,
that our Saviour preached by himself, by John Baptist, and by
his Apostles, nothing but this Article of Faith, "that he was the Christ;"
all other Articles requiring faith no otherwise, than as founded on that.
John began first, (Mat. 3.2.) preaching only this, "The Kingdome of God
is at hand." Then our Saviour himself (Mat. 4.17.) preached the same:
And to his Twelve Apostles, when he gave them their Commission
(Mat. 10.7.) there is no mention of preaching any other Article but that.
This was the fundamentall Article, that is the Foundation of the
Churches Faith. Afterwards the Apostles being returned to him,
he asketh them all, (Mat. 16.13) not Peter onely, "Who men said he was;"
and they answered, that "some said he was John the Baptist, some Elias,
and others Jeremias, or one of the Prophets:" Then (ver. 15.)
he asked them all again, (not Peter onely) "Whom say yee that I am?"
Therefore Peter answered (for them all) "Thou art Christ,
the Son of the Living God;" which I said is the Foundation of the Faith
of the whole Church; from which our Saviour takes the occasion of saying,
"Upon this stone I will build my Church;" By which it is manifest,
that by the Foundation-Stone of the Church, was meant the
Fundamentall Article of the Churches Faith. But why then
(will some object) doth our Saviour interpose these words,
"Thou art Peter"? If the originall of this text had been rigidly
translated, the reason would easily have appeared: We are therefore
to consider, that the Apostle Simon, was surnamed Stone, (which is the
signification of the Syriacke word Cephas, and of the Greek word Petrus).
Our Saviour therefore after the confession of that Fundamentall Article,
alluding to his name, said (as if it were in English) thus,
Thou art "Stone," and upon this Stone I will build my Church:
which is as much as to say, this Article, that "I am the Christ,"
is the Foundation of all the Faith I require in those that are to bee
members of my Church: Neither is this allusion to a name,
an unusuall thing in common speech: But it had been a strange,
and obscure speech, if our Saviour intending to build his Church
on the Person of St. Peter, had said, "thou art a Stone, and upon
this Stone I will build my Church," when it was so obvious without
ambiguity to have said, "I will build my Church on thee; and yet
there had been still the same allusion to his name.
And for the following words, "I will give thee the Keyes of Heaven, &c."
it is no more than what our Saviour gave also to all the rest
of his Disciples (Matth. 18.18.) "Whatsoever yee shall bind on Earth,
shall be bound in Heaven. And whatsoever ye shall loose on Earth,
shall be loosed in Heaven." But howsoever this be interpreted,
there is no doubt but the Power here granted belongs to all
Supreme Pastors; such as are all Christian Civill Soveraignes
in their own Dominions. In so much, as if St. Peter, or our
Saviour himself had converted any of them to beleeve him,
and to acknowledge his Kingdome; yet because his Kingdome
is not of this world, he had left the supreme care of converting
his subjects to none but him; or else hee must have deprived him of
the Soveraignty, to which the Right of Teaching is inseparably annexed.
And thus much in refutation of his first Book, wherein hee would prove
St. Peter to have been the Monarch Universall of the Church,
that is to say, of all the Christians in the world.
The Second Book
The second Book hath two Conclusions: One, that S. Peter was
Bishop of Rome, and there dyed: The other, that the Popes of Rome
are his Successors. Both which have been disputed by others.
But supposing them to be true; yet if by Bishop of Rome bee understood
either the Monarch of the Church, or the Supreme Pastor of it;
not Silvester, but Constantine (who was the first Christian Emperour)
was that Bishop; and as Constantine, so all other Christian Emperors
were of Right supreme Bishops of the Roman Empire; I say of the
Roman Empire, not of all Christendome: For other Christian Soveraigns
had the same Right in their severall Territories, as to an Office
essentially adhaerent to their Soveraignty. Which shall serve
for answer to his second Book.
The Third Book
In the third Book, he handleth the question whether the Pope
be Antichrist. For my part, I see no argument that proves he is so,
in that sense that Scripture useth the name: nor will I take
any argument from the quality of Antichrist, to contradict
the Authority he exerciseth, or hath heretofore exercised
in the Dominions of any other Prince, or State.
It is evident that the Prophets of the Old Testament foretold,
and the Jews expected a Messiah, that is, a Christ, that should
re-establish amongst them the kingdom of God, which had been rejected
by them in the time of Samuel, when they required a King after the manner
of other Nations. This expectation of theirs, made them obnoxious
to the Imposture of all such, as had both the ambition to attempt
the attaining of the Kingdome, and the art to deceive the People
by counterfeit miracles, by hypocriticall life, or by orations
and doctrine plausible. Our Saviour therefore, and his Apostles
forewarned men of False Prophets, and of False Christs.
False Christs, are such as pretend to be the Christ, but are not,
and are called properly Antichrists, in such sense, as when
there happeneth a Schisme in the Church by the election of
two Popes, the one calleth the other Antipapa, or the false Pope.
And therefore Antichrist in the proper signification hath
two essentiall marks; One, that he denyeth Jesus to be Christ;
and another that he professeth himselfe to bee Christ. The first Mark
is set down by S. John in his 1 Epist. 4. ch. 3. ver. "Every Spirit
that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh,
is not of God; And this is the Spirit of Antichrist." The other Mark
is expressed in the words of our Saviour, (Mat. 24.5.) "Many shall come
in my name, saying, I am Christ;" and again, "If any man shall say
unto you, Loe, here is Christ, there is Christ beleeve it not."
And therefore Antichrist must be a False Christ, that is,
some one of them that shall pretend themselves to be Christ.
And out of these two Marks, "to deny Jesus to be the Christ,"
and to "affirm himselfe to be the Christ," it followeth,
that he must also be an "Adversary of the true Christ," which
is another usuall signification of the word Antichrist.
But of these many Antichrists, there is one speciall one,
O Antichristos, The Antichrist, or Antichrist definitely,
as one certaine person; not indefinitely An Antichrist.
Now seeing the Pope of Rome, neither pretendeth himself,
nor denyeth Jesus to be the Christ, I perceive not how he can
be called Antichrist; by which word is not meant, one that falsely
pretendeth to be His Lieutenant, or Vicar Generall, but to be Hee.
There is also some Mark of the time of this speciall Antichrist,
as (Mat. 24.15.) when that abominable Destroyer, spoken of by Daniel,
(Dan. 9. 27.) shall stand in the Holy place, and such tribulation
as was not since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be again,
insomuch as if it were to last long, (ver. 22.) "no flesh could be saved;
but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened" (made fewer).
But that tribulation is not yet come; for it is to be followed
immediately (ver. 29.) by a darkening of the Sun and Moon,
a falling of the Stars, a concussion of the Heavens, and the glorious
coming again of our Saviour, in the cloudes. And therefore
The Antichrist is not yet come; whereas, many Popes are both
come and gone. It is true, the Pope in taking upon him to give Laws
to all Christian Kings, and Nations, usurpeth a Kingdome in this world,
which Christ took not on him: but he doth it not As Christ,
but as For Christ, wherein there is nothing of the Antichrist.
The Fourth Book
In the fourth Book, to prove the Pope to be the supreme Judg in
all questions of Faith and Manners, (which is as much as to be
the absolute Monarch of all Christians in the world,) be bringeth
three Propositions: The first, that his Judgments are Infallible:
The second, that he can make very Laws, and punish those that
observe them not: The third, that our Saviour conferred all
Jurisdiction Ecclesiasticall on the Pope of Rome.
Texts For The Infallibility Of
The Popes Judgement In Points Of Faith
For the Infallibility of his Judgments, he alledgeth the Scriptures:
and first, that of Luke 22.31. "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired you
that hee may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee,
that thy faith faile not; and when thou art converted, strengthen
thy Brethren." This, according to Bellarmines exposition, is,
that Christ gave here to Simon Peter two priviledges: one,
that neither his Faith should fail, neither he, nor any of his
successors should ever define any point concerning Faith,
or Manners erroneously, or contrary to the definition of a former Pope:
Which is a strange, and very much strained interpretation.
But he that with attention readeth that chapter, shall find
there is no place in the whole Scripture, that maketh more against
the Popes Authority, than this very place. The Priests and Scribes
seeking to kill our Saviour at the Passeover, and Judas possessed
with a resolution to betray him, and the day of killing the Passeover
being come, our Saviour celebrated the same with his Apostles,
which he said, till the Kingdome of God was come hee would doe no more;
and withall told them, that one of them was to betray him:
Hereupon they questioned, which of them it should be; and withall
(seeing the next Passeover their Master would celebrate should be
when he was King) entred into a contention, who should then be
the greater man. Our Saviour therefore told them, that the Kings
of the Nations had Dominion over their Subjects, and are called by
a name (in Hebrew) that signifies Bountifull; but I cannot be so to you,
you must endeavour to serve one another; I ordain you a Kingdome,
but it is such as my Father hath ordained mee; a Kingdome that I am
now to purchase with my blood, and not to possesse till my second coming;
then yee shall eat and drink at my Table, and sit on Thrones,
judging the twelve Tribes of Israel: And then addressing himself
to St. Peter, he saith, Simon, Simon, Satan seeks by suggesting
a present domination, to weaken your faith of the future;
but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith shall not fail;
Thou therefore (Note this,) being converted, and understanding
my Kingdome as of another world, confirm the same faith in thy Brethren:
To which S. Peter answered (as one that no more expected any authority
in this world) "Lord I am ready to goe with thee, not onely to Prison,
but to Death." Whereby it is manifest, S. Peter had not onely
no jurisdiction given him in this world, but a charge to teach
all the other Apostles, that they also should have none.
And for the Infallibility of St. Peters sentence definitive
in matter of Faith, there is no more to be attributed to it
out of this Text, than that Peter should continue in the beleef
of this point, namely, that Christ should come again, and possesse
the Kingdome at the day of Judgement; which was not given by the Text
to all his Successors; for wee see they claim it in the World that now is.
The second place is that of Matth. 16. "Thou art Peter, and upon
this rocke I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not
prevail against it." By which (as I have already shewn in this chapter)
is proved no more, than that the gates of Hell shall not prevail
against the confession of Peter, which gave occasion to that speech;
namely this, That Jesus Is Christ The Sonne Of God.
The third text is John 21. ver. 16,17. "Feed my sheep;" which contains
no more but a Commission of Teaching: And if we grant the rest of the
Apostles to be contained in that name of Sheep; then it is the supreme
Power of Teaching: but it was onely for the time that there were
no Christian Soveraigns already possessed of that Supremacy.
But I have already proved, that Christian Soveraignes are in their
owne Dominions the supreme Pastors, and instituted thereto, by vertue
of their being Baptized, though without other Imposition of Hands.
For such imposition being a Ceremony of designing the person,
is needlesse, when hee is already designed to the Power of Teaching
what Doctrine he will, by his institution to an Absolute Power
over his Subjects. For as I have proved before, Soveraigns are
supreme Teachers (in generall) by their Office and therefore oblige
themselves (by their Baptisme) to teach the Doctrine of Christ:
And when they suffer others to teach their people, they doe it
at the perill of their own souls; for it is at the hands of
the Heads of Families that God will require the account of the
instruction of his Children and Servants. It is of Abraham himself,
not of a hireling, that God saith (Gen. 18.19) "I know him that
he will command his Children, and his houshold after him, that they
keep the way of the Lord, and do justice and judgement.
The fourth place is that of Exod. 28.30. "Thou shalt put in the
Breastplate of Judgment, the Urim and the Thummin:" which hee saith
is interpreted by the Septuagint, delosin kai aletheian, that is,
Evidence and Truth: And thence concludeth, God had given Evidence,
and Truth, (which is almost infallibility,) to the High Priest.
But be it Evidence and Truth it selfe that was given; or be it but
Admonition to the Priest to endeavour to inform himself cleerly,
and give judgment uprightly; yet in that it was given to the High Priest,
it was given to the Civill Soveraign: For next under God was the
High Priest in the Common-wealth of Israel; and is an argument for
Evidence and Truth, that is, for the Ecclesiasticall Supremacy
of Civill Soveraigns over their own Subjects, against the pretended
Power of the Pope. These are all the Texts hee bringeth for the
Infallibility of the Judgement of the Pope, in point of Faith.
Texts For The Same In Point Of Manners
For the Infallibility of his Judgment concerning Manners,
hee bringeth one Text, which is that of John 16.13. "When the Spirit
of truth is come, hee will lead you into all truth" where (saith he)
by All Truth, is meant, at least, All Truth Necessary To Salvation.
But with this mitigation, he attributeth no more Infallibility
to the Pope, than to any man that professeth Christianity,
and is not to be damned: For if any man erre in any point,
wherein not to erre is necessary to Salvation, it is impossible
he should be saved; for that onely is necessary to Salvation,
without which to be saved is impossible. What points these are,
I shall declare out of the Scripture in the Chapter following.
In this place I say no more, but that though it were granted,
the Pope could not possibly teach any error at all, yet doth not
this entitle him to any Jurisdiction in the Dominions of another Prince,
unlesse we shall also say, a man is obliged in conscience to set
on work upon all occasions the best workman, even then also when
he hath formerly promised his work to another.
Besides the Text, he argueth from Reason, thus, If the Pope could
erre in necessaries, then Christ hath not sufficiently provided
for the Churches Salvation; because he hath commanded her to follow
the Popes directions. But this Reason is invalid, unlesse he shew when,
and where Christ commanded that, or took at all any notice of a Pope:
Nay granting whatsoever was given to S. Peter was given to the Pope;
yet seeing there is in the Scripture no command to any man to obey
St. Peter, no man can bee just, that obeyeth him, when his commands
are contrary to those of his lawfull Soveraign.
Lastly, it hath not been declared by the Church, nor by the Pope himselfe,
that he is the Civill Soveraign of all the Christians in the world;
and therefore all Christians are not bound to acknowledge his
Jurisdiction in point of Manners. For the Civill Soveraignty,
and supreme Judicature in controversies of Manners, are the same thing:
And the Makers of Civill Laws, are not onely Declarers, but also Makers
of the justice, and injustice of actions; there being nothing in mens
Manners that makes them righteous, or unrighteous, but their conformity
with the Law of the Soveraign. And therefore when the Pope challengeth
Supremacy in controversies of Manners, hee teacheth men to disobey
the Civill Soveraign; which is an erroneous Doctrine, contrary to
the many precepts of our Saviour and his Apostles, delivered to us
in the Scripture.
To prove the Pope has Power to make Laws, he alledgeth many places;
as first, Deut. 17.12. "The man that will doe presumptuously,
and will not hearken unto the Priest, (that standeth to Minister
there before the Lord thy God, or unto the Judge,) even that man
shall die, and thou shalt put away the evill from Israel."
For answer whereunto, we are to remember that the High Priest
(next and immediately under God) was the Civill Soveraign;
and all Judges were to be constituted by him. The words alledged
sound therefore thus. "The man that will presume to disobey
the Civill Soveraign for the time being, or any of his Officers in the
execution of their places, that man shall die, &c." which is cleerly for
the Civill Soveraignty, against the Universall power of the Pope.
Secondly, he alledgeth that of Matth. 16. "Whatsoever yee shall bind, &c."
and interpreteth it for such Binding as is attributed (Matth. 23.4.)
to the Scribes and Pharisees, "They bind heavy burthens, and grievous
to be born, and lay them on mens shoulders;" by which is meant (he sayes)
Making of Laws; and concludes thence, the Pope can make Laws.
But this also maketh onely for the Legislative power of Civill Soveraigns:
For the Scribes, and Pharisees sat in Moses Chaire, but Moses next
under God was Soveraign of the People of Israel: and therefore our
Saviour commanded them to doe all that they should say, but not all
that they should do. That is, to obey their Laws, but not
follow their Example.
The third place, is John 21.16. "Feed my sheep;" which is not a Power
to make Laws, but a command to Teach. Making Laws belongs to
the Lord of the Family; who by his owne discretion chooseth his Chaplain,
as also a Schoolmaster to Teach his children.
The fourth place John 20.21. is against him. The words are,
"As my Father sent me, so send I you." But our Saviour was sent
to Redeem (by his Death) such as should Beleeve; and by his own,
and his Apostles preaching to prepare them for their entrance
into his Kingdome; which he himself saith, is not of this world,
and hath taught us to pray for the coming of it hereafter,
though hee refused (Acts 1.6,7.) to tell his Apostles when
it should come; and in which, when it comes, the twelve Apostles
shall sit on twelve Thrones (every one perhaps as high as that
of St. Peter) to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Seeing then
God the Father sent not our Saviour to make Laws in this present world,
wee may conclude from the Text, that neither did our Saviour send
S. Peter to make Laws here, but to perswade men to expect his
second comming with a stedfast faith; and in the mean time,
if Subjects, to obey their Princes; and if Princes, both to beleeve it
themselves, and to do their best to make their Subjects doe the same;
which is the Office of a Bishop. Therefore this place maketh most
strongly for the joining of the Ecclesiasticall Supremacy to the
Civill Soveraignty, contrary to that which Cardinall Bellarmine
alledgeth it for.
The fift place is Acts 15.28. "It hath seemed good to the Holy Spirit,
and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden, than these necessary things,
that yee abstaine from meats offered to Idols, and from bloud,
and from things strangled, and from fornication." Here hee notes
the word Laying Of Burdens for the Legislative Power. But who is there,
that reading this Text, can say, this stile of the Apostles may not
as properly be used in giving Counsell, as in making Laws?
The stile of a Law is, We Command: But, We Think Good, is the
ordinary stile of them, that but give Advice; and they lay a Burthen
that give Advice, though it bee conditionall, that is, if they to whom
they give it, will attain their ends: And such is the Burthen,
of abstaining from things strangled, and from bloud; not absolute,
but in case they will not erre. I have shewn before (chap. 25.)
that Law, is distinguished from Counsell, in this, that the reason
of a Law, is taken from the designe, and benefit of him that
prescribeth it; but the reason of a Counsell, from the designe,
and benefit of him, to whom the Counsell is given. But here,
the Apostles aime onely at the benefit of the converted Gentiles,
namely their Salvation; not at their own benefit; for having done their
endeavour, they shall have their reward, whether they be obeyed, or not.
And therefore the Acts of this Councell, were not Laws, but Counsells.
The sixt place is that of Rom. 13. "Let every Soul be subject
to the Higher Powers, for there is no Power but of God;" which is meant,
he saith not onely of Secular, but also of Ecclesiasticall Princes.
To which I answer, first, that there are no Ecclesiasticall Princes
but those that are also Civill Soveraignes; and their Principalities
exceed not the compasse of their Civill Soveraignty; without those
bounds though they may be received for Doctors, they cannot be
acknowledged for Princes. For if the Apostle had meant, we should be
subject both to our own Princes, and also to the Pope, he had taught us
a doctrine, which Christ himself hath told us is impossible, namely,
"to serve two Masters." And though the Apostle say in another place,
"I write these things being absent, lest being present I should
use sharpnesse, according to the Power which the Lord hath given me;"
it is not, that he challenged a Power either to put to death, imprison,
banish, whip, or fine any of them, which are Punishments; but onely to Excommunicate, which (without the Civill Power)is no more but a leaving
of their company, and having no more to doe with them, than with
a Heathen man, or a Publican; which in many occasions might be a
greater pain to the Excommunicant, than to the Excommunicate.
The seventh place is 1 Cor. 4.21. "Shall I come unto you with a Rod,
or in love, and the spirit of lenity?" But here again, it is not
the Power of a Magistrate to punish offenders, that is meant by a Rod;
but onely the Power of Excommunication, which is not in its owne
nature a Punishment, but onely a Denouncing of punishment,
that Christ shall inflict, when he shall be in possession of
his Kingdome, at the day of Judgment. Nor then also shall it bee
properly a Punishment, as upon a Subject that hath broken the Law;
but a Revenge, as upon an Enemy, or Revolter, that denyeth the Right
of our Saviour to the Kingdome: And therefore this proveth not
the Legislative Power of any Bishop, that has not also the Civill Power.
The eighth place is, Timothy 3.2. "A Bishop must be the husband
but of one wife, vigilant, sober, &c." which he saith was a Law.
I thought that none could make a Law in the Church, but the Monarch
of the Church, St. Peter. But suppose this Precept made by the
authority of St. Peter; yet I see no reason why to call it a Law,
rather than an Advice, seeing Timothy was not a Subject, but a Disciple
of St. Paul; nor the flock under the charge of Timothy, his Subjects
in the Kingdome, but his Scholars in the Schoole of Christ:
If all the Precepts he giveth Timothy, be Laws, why is not this
also a Law, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for
thy healths sake"? And why are not also the Precepts of good Physitians,
so many Laws? but that it is not the Imperative manner of speaking,
but an absolute Subjection to a Person, that maketh his Precept Laws.
In like manner, the ninth place, 1 Tim. 5. 19. "Against an Elder
receive not an accusation, but before two or three Witnesses,"
is a wise Precept, but not a Law.
The tenth place is, Luke 10.16. "He that heareth you, heareth mee;
and he that despiseth you, despiseth me." And there is no doubt,
but he that despiseth the Counsell of those that are sent by Christ,
despiseth the Counsell of Christ himself. But who are those now that
are sent by Christ, but such as are ordained Pastors by lawfull Authority?
and who are lawfully ordained, that are not ordained by the Soveraign
Pastor? and who is ordained by the Soveraign Pastor in a Christian
Common-wealth, that is not ordained by the authority of the
Soveraign thereof? Out of this place therefore it followeth,
that he which heareth his Soveraign being a Christian, heareth Christ;
and hee that despiseth the Doctrine which his King being a Christian,
authorizeth, despiseth the Doctrine of Christ (which is not that
which Bellarmine intendeth here to prove, but the contrary).
But all this is nothing to a Law. Nay more, a Christian King,
as a Pastor, and Teacher of his Subjects, makes not thereby
his Doctrines Laws. He cannot oblige men to beleeve; though as
a Civill Soveraign he may make Laws suitable to his Doctrine,
which may oblige men to certain actions, and sometimes to such
as they would not otherwise do, and which he ought not to command;
and yet when they are commanded, they are Laws; and the externall
actions done in obedience to them, without the inward approbation,
are the actions of the Soveraign, and not of the Subject,
which is in that case but as an instrument, without any motion
of his owne at all; because God hath commanded to obey them.
The eleventh, is every place, where the Apostle for Counsell,
putteth some word, by which men use to signifie Command; or calleth
the following of his Counsell, by the name of Obedience.
And therefore they are alledged out of 1 Cor. 11.2. "I commend you
for keeping my Precepts as I delivered them to you." The Greek is,
"I commend you for keeping those things I delivered to you,
as I delivered them." Which is far from signifying that they were Laws,
or any thing else, but good Counsell. And that of 1 Thess. 4.2.
"You know what commandements we gave you: where the Greek word is
paraggelias edokamen, equivalent to paredokamen, what wee delivered
to you, as in the place next before alledged, which does not prove
the Traditions of the Apostles, to be any more than Counsells;
though as is said in the 8 verse, "he that despiseth them,
despiseth not man, but God": For our Saviour himself came not
to Judge, that is, to be King in this world; but to Sacrifice
himself for Sinners, and leave Doctors in his Church, to lead,
not to drive men to Christ, who never accepteth forced actions,
(which is all the Law produceth,) but the inward conversion of
the heart; which is not the work of Laws, but of Counsell, and Doctrine.
And that of 2 Thess. 3.14. "If any man Obey not our word by this Epistle,
note that man, and have no company with him, that he may bee ashamed":
where from the word Obey, he would inferre, that this Epistle was a Law
to the Thessalonians. The Epistles of the Emperours were indeed Laws.
If therefore the Epistle of S. Paul were also a Law, they were to obey
two Masters. But the word Obey, as it is in the Greek upakouei,
signifieth Hearkening To, or Putting In Practice, not onely that
which is Commanded by him that has right to punish, but also that
which is delivered in a way of Counsell for our good; and therefore
St. Paul does not bid kill him that disobeys, nor beat, nor imprison,
nor amerce him, which Legislators may all do; but avoid his company,
that he may bee ashamed: whereby it is evident, it was not the Empire
of an Apostle, but his Reputation amongst the Faithfull, which the
Christians stood in awe of.
The last place is that of Heb. 13.17. "Obey your Leaders, and submit
your selves to them, for they watch for your souls, as they that
must give account:" And here also is intended by Obedience,
a following of their Counsell: For the reason of our Obedience,
is not drawn from the will and command of our Pastors, but from
our own benefit, as being the Salvation of our Souls they watch for,
and not for the Exaltation of their own Power, and Authority.
If it were meant here, that all they teach were Laws, then not onely
the Pope, but every Pastor in his Parish should have Legislative Power.
Again, they that are bound to obey, their Pastors, have no power
to examine their commands. What then shall wee say to St. John
who bids us (1 Epist. chap. 4. ver. 1.) "Not to beleeve every Spirit,
but to try the Spirits whether they are of God, because many false
Prophets are gone out into the world"? It is therefore manifest,
that wee may dispute the Doctrine of our Pastors; but no man
can dispute a Law. The Commands of Civill Soveraigns are on all sides
granted to be Laws: if any else can make a Law besides himselfe,
all Common-wealth, and consequently all Peace, and Justice
must cease; which is contrary to all Laws, both Divine and Humane.
Nothing therefore can be drawn from these, or any other places
of Scripture, to prove the Decrees of the Pope, where he has not
also the Civill Soveraignty, to be Laws.
The Question Of Superiority Between The Pope And Other Bishops
The last point hee would prove, is this, "That our Saviour Christ
has committed Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction immediately to none
but the Pope." Wherein he handleth not the Question of Supremacy between
the Pope and Christian Kings, but between the Pope and other Bishops.
And first, he sayes it is agreed, that the Jurisdiction of Bishops,
is at least in the generall De Jure Divino, that is, in the Right of God;
for which he alledges S. Paul, Ephes. 4.11. where hee sayes,
that Christ after his Ascension into heaven, "gave gifts to men,
some Apostles, some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors,
and some Teachers:" And thence inferres, they have indeed their
Jurisdiction in Gods Right; but will not grant they have it
immediately from God, but derived through the Pope. But if a man
may be said to have his Jurisdiction De Jure Divino, and yet not
immediately; what lawfull Jurisdiction, though but Civill,
is there in a Christian Common-wealth, that is not also De Jure Divino?
For Christian Kings have their Civill Power from God immediately;
and the Magistrates under him exercise their severall charges
in vertue of his Commission; wherein that which they doe,
is no lesse De Jure Divino Mediato, than that which the Bishops doe,
in vertue of the Popes Ordination. All lawfull Power is of God,
immediately in the Supreme Governour, and mediately in those
that have Authority under him: So that either hee must grant
every Constable in the State, to hold his Office in the Right of God; or
he must not hold that any Bishop holds his so, besides the Pope himselfe.
But this whole Dispute, whether Christ left the Jurisdiction to
the Pope onely, or to other Bishops also, if considered out of these
places where the Pope has the Civill Soveraignty, is a contention
De Lana Caprina: For none of them (where they are not Soveraigns)
has any Jurisdiction at all. For Jurisdiction is the Power of
hearing and determining Causes between man and man; and can belong
to none, but him that hath the Power to prescribe the Rules of Right
and Wrong; that is, to make Laws; and with the Sword of Justice
to compell men to obey his Decisions, pronounced either by himself,
or by the Judges he ordaineth thereunto; which none can lawfully do,
but the Civill Soveraign.
Therefore when he alledgeth out of the 6 of Luke, that our Saviour
called his Disciples together, and chose twelve of them which he
named Apostles, he proveth that he Elected them (all, except Matthias,
Paul and Barnabas,) and gave them Power and Command to Preach,
but not to Judge of Causes between man and man: for that is
a Power which he refused to take upon himselfe, saying, "Who made
me a Judge, or a Divider, amongst you?" and in another place,
"My Kingdome is not of this world." But hee that hath not
the Power to hear, and determine Causes between man and man,
cannot be said to have any Jurisdiction at all. And yet this
hinders not, but that our Saviour gave them Power to Preach
and Baptize in all parts of the world, supposing they were not
by their own lawfull Soveraign forbidden: For to our own Soveraigns
Christ himself, and his Apostles have in sundry places expressely
commanded us in all things to be obedient.
The arguments by which he would prove, that Bishops receive
their Jurisdiction from the Pope (seeing the Pope in the Dominions
of other Princes hath no Jurisdiction himself,) are all in vain.
Yet because they prove, on the contrary, that all Bishops receive
Jurisdiction when they have it from their Civill Soveraigns,
I will not omit the recitall of them.
The first, is from Numbers 11. where Moses not being able alone
to undergoe the whole burthen of administring the affairs of the
People of Israel, God commanded him to choose Seventy Elders,
and took part of the spirit of Moses, to put it upon those
Seventy Elders: by which it is understood, not that God weakened
the spirit of Moses, for that had not eased him at all; but that
they had all of them their authority from him; wherein he doth truly,
and ingenuously interpret that place. But seeing Moses had the
entire Soveraignty in the Common-wealth of the Jews, it is manifest,
that it is thereby signified, that they had their Authority from
the Civill Soveraign: and therefore that place proveth, that Bishops
in every Christian Common-wealth have their Authority from the Civill
Soveraign; and from the Pope in his own Territories only, and not in
the Territories of any other State.
The second argument, is from the nature of Monarchy; wherein all
Authority is in one Man, and in others by derivation from him:
But the Government of the Church, he says, is Monarchicall.
This also makes for Christian Monarchs. For they are really
Monarchs of their own people; that is, of their own Church
(for the Church is the same thing with a Christian people;)
whereas the Power of the Pope, though hee were S. Peter, is neither
Monarchy, nor hath any thing of Archicall, nor Craticall,
but onely of Didacticall; For God accepteth not a forced,
but a willing obedience.
The third, is, from that the Sea of S. Peter is called by S. Cyprian,
the Head, the Source, the Roote, the Sun, from whence the Authority of
Bishops is derived. But by the Law of Nature (which is a better Principle
of Right and Wrong, than the word of any Doctor that is but a man)
the Civill Soveraign in every Common-wealth, is the Head, the Source,
the Root, and the Sun, from which all Jurisdiction is derived.
And therefore, the Jurisdiction of Bishops, is derived from the
The fourth, is taken from the Inequality of their Jurisdictions:
For if God (saith he) had given it them immediately, he had given
aswell Equality of Jurisdiction, as of Order: But wee see, some are
Bishops but of own Town, some of a hundred Towns, and some of many
whole Provinces; which differences were not determined by the
command of God; their Jurisdiction therefore is not of God, but of Man;
and one has a greater, another a lesse, as it pleaseth the Prince
of the Church. Which argument, if he had proved before, that the Pope
had had an Universall Jurisdiction over all Christians, had been
for his purpose. But seeing that hath not been proved, and that it is
notoriously known, the large Jurisdiction of the Pope was given him
by those that had it, that is, by the Emperours of Rome, (for the
Patriarch of Constantinople, upon the same title, namely, of being
Bishop of the Capitall City of the Empire, and Seat of the Emperour,
claimed to be equal to him,) it followeth, that all other Bishops
have their Jurisdiction from the Soveraigns of the place wherein
they exercise the same: And as for that cause they have not their
Authority De Jure Divino; so neither hath the Pope his De Jure Divino,
except onely where hee is also the Civill Soveraign.
His fift argument is this, "If Bishops have their Jurisdiction
immediately from God, the Pope could not take it from them,
for he can doe nothing contrary to Gods ordination;" And this
consequence is good, and well proved. "But, (saith he) the Pope
can do this, and has done it." This also is granted, so he doe
it in his own Dominions, or in the Dominions of any other Prince
that hath given him that Power; but not universally, in Right of
the Popedome: For that power belongeth to every Christian Soveraign,
within the bounds of his owne Empire, and is inseparable from
the Soveraignty. Before the People of Israel had (by the commandment
of God to Samuel) set over themselves a King, after the manner
of other Nations, the High Priest had the Civill Government;
and none but he could make, nor depose an inferiour Priest:
But that Power was afterwards in the King, as may be proved
by this same argument of Bellarmine; For if the Priest (be he
the High Priest or any other) had his Jurisdiction immediately
from God, then the King could not take it from him; "for he could
do nothing contrary to Gods ordinance:) But it is certain,
that King Solomon (1 Kings 2.26.) deprived Abiathar the High Priest
of his office, and placed Zadok (verse 35.) in his room.
Kings therefore may in the like manner Ordaine, and Deprive Bishops,
as they shall thinke fit, for the well governing of their Subjects.
His sixth argument is this, If Bishops have their Jurisdiction
De Jure Divino (that is, immediately from God,) they that maintaine it,
should bring some Word of God to prove it: But they can bring none.
The argument is good; I have therefore nothing to say against it.
But it is an argument no lesse good, to prove the Pope himself
to have no Jurisdiction in the Dominion of any other Prince.
Lastly, hee bringeth for argument, the testimony of two Popes,
Innocent, and Leo; and I doubt not but hee might have alledged,
with as good reason, the testimonies of all the Popes almost
since S. Peter: For considering the love of Power naturally implanted
in mankind, whosoever were made Pope, he would be tempted to uphold
the same opinion. Neverthelesse, they should therein but doe,
as Innocent, and Leo did, bear witnesse of themselves, and therefore
their witness should not be good.
Of The Popes Temporall Power
In the fift Book he hath four Conclusions. The first is,
"That the Pope in not Lord of all the world:" the second,
"that the Pope is not Lord of all the Christian world:" The third,
"That the Pope (without his owne Territory) has not any Temporall
Jurisdiction DIRECTLY:" These three Conclusions are easily granted.
The fourth is, "That the Pope has (in the Dominions of other Princes)
the Supreme Temporall Power INDIRECTLY:" which is denyed; unlesse he mean
by Indirectly, that he has gotten it by Indirect means; then is that
also granted. But I understand, that when he saith he hath it Indirectly,
he means, that such Temporall Jurisdiction belongeth to him of Right,
but that this Right is but a Consequence of his Pastorall Authority,
the which he could not exercise, unlesse he have the other with it:
And therefore to the Pastorall Power (which he calls Spirituall)
the Supreme Power Civill is necessarily annexed; and that thereby
hee hath a Right to change Kingdomes, giving them to one,
and taking them from another, when he shall think it conduces
to the Salvation of Souls.
Before I come to consider the Arguments by which hee would prove
this doctrine, it will not bee amisse to lay open the Consequences
of it; that Princes, and States, that have the Civill Soveraignty
in their severall Common-wealths, may bethink themselves,
whether it bee convenient for them, and conducing to the good
of their Subjects, of whom they are to give an account at the
day of Judgment, to admit the same.
When it is said, the Pope hath not (in the Territories of other States)
the Supreme Civill Power Directly; we are to understand, he doth not
challenge it, as other Civill Soveraigns doe, from the originall
submission thereto of those that are to be governed. For it is evident,
and has already been sufficiently in this Treatise demonstrated,
that the Right of all Soveraigns, is derived originally from the consent
of every one of those that are to bee governed; whether they
that choose him, doe it for their common defence against an Enemy,
as when they agree amongst themselves to appoint a Man, or an Assembly
of men to protect them; or whether they doe it, to save their lives,
by submission to a conquering Enemy. The Pope therefore, when he
disclaimeth the Supreme Civill Power over other States Directly,
denyeth no more, but that his Right cometh to him by that way;
He ceaseth not for all that, to claime it another way; and that is,
(without the consent of them that are to be governed) by a Right
given him by God, (which hee calleth Indirectly,) in his Assumption
to the Papacy. But by what way soever he pretend, the Power is the same;
and he may (if it bee granted to be his Right) depose Princes and States,
as often as it is for the Salvation of Soules, that is, as often
as he will; for he claimeth also the Sole Power to Judge, whether
it be to the salvation of mens Souls, or not. And this is the
Doctrine, not onely that Bellarmine here, and many other Doctors
teach in their Sermons and Books, but also that some Councells
have decreed, and the Popes have decreed, and the Popes have
accordingly, when the occasion hath served them, put in practise.
For the fourth Councell of Lateran held under Pope Innocent the third,
(in the third Chap. De Haereticis,) hath this Canon. "If a King
at the Popes admonition, doe not purge his Kingdome of Haeretiques,
and being Excommunicate for the same, make not satisfaction
within a year, his subjects are absolved of their Obedience."
And the practise hereof hath been seen on divers occasions;
as in the Deposing of Chilperique, King of France; in the Translation
of the Roman Empire to Charlemaine; in the Oppression of John
King of England; in Transferring the Kingdome of Navarre;
and of late years, in the League against Henry the third of France,
and in many more occurrences. I think there be few Princes that
consider not this as Injust, and Inconvenient; but I wish they would
all resolve to be Kings, or Subjects. Men cannot serve two Masters:
They ought therefore to ease them, either by holding the Reins
of Government wholly in their own hands; or by wholly delivering them
into the hands of the Pope; that such men as are willing to be obedient,
may be protected in their obedience. For this distinction of Temporall,
and Spirituall Power is but words. Power is as really divided,
and as dangerously to all purposes, by sharing with another
Indirect Power, as with a Direct one. But to come now to his Arguments.
The first is this, "The Civill Power is subject to the Spirituall:
Therefore he that hath the Supreme Power Spirituall, hath right
to command Temporall Princes, and dispose of their Temporalls in order
to the Spirituall. As for the distinction of Temporall, and Spirituall,
let us consider in what sense it may be said intelligibly,
that the Temporall, or Civill Power is subject to the Spirituall.
There be but two ways that those words can be made sense.
For when wee say, one Power is subject to another Power, the meaning
either is, that he which hath the one, is subject to him that hath
the other; or that the one Power is to the other, as the means to the end.
For wee cannot understand, that one Power hath Power over another Power;
and that one Power can have Right or Command over another:
For Subjection, Command, Right, and Power are accidents, not of Powers,
but of Persons: One Power may be subordinate to another, as the art
of a Sadler, to the art of a Rider. If then it be granted,
that the Civill Government be ordained as a means to bring us
to a Spirituall felicity; yet it does not follow, that if a King
have the Civill Power, and the Pope the Spirituall, that therefore
the King is bound to obey the Pope, more then every Sadler is bound
to obey every Rider. Therefore as from Subordination of an Art,
cannot be inferred the Subjection of the Professor; so from the
Subordination of a Government, cannot be inferred the Subjection
of the Governor. When therefore he saith, the Civill Power is
Subject to the Spirituall, his meaning is, that the Civill Soveraign,
is Subject to the Spirituall Soveraign. And the Argument stands thus,
"The Civil Soveraign, is subject to the Spirituall; Therefore
the Spirituall Prince may command Temporall Princes." Where the
conclusion is the same, with the Antecedent he should have proved.
But to prove it, he alledgeth first, this reason, "Kings and Popes,
Clergy and Laity make but one Common-wealth; that is to say,
but one Church: And in all Bodies the Members depend one upon another:
But things Spirituall depend not of things Temporall: Therefore,
Temporall depend on Spirituall. And therefore are Subject to them."
In which Argumentation there be two grosse errours: one is,
that all Christian Kings, Popes, Clergy, and all other Christian men,
make but one Common-wealth: For it is evident that France is
one Common-wealth, Spain another, and Venice a third, &c.
And these consist of Christians; and therefore also are severall
Bodies of Christians; that is to say, severall Churches:
And their severall Soveraigns Represent them, whereby they are
capable of commanding and obeying, of doing and suffering,
as a natural man; which no Generall or Universall Church is,
till it have a Representant; which it hath not on Earth: for if it had,
there is no doubt but that all Christendome were one Common-wealth,
whose Soveraign were that Representant, both in things Spirituall
and Temporall: And the Pope, to make himself this Representant,
wanteth three things that our Saviour hath not given him, to Command,
and to Judge, and to Punish, otherwise than (by Excommunication)
to run from those that will not Learn of him: For though the Pope
were Christs onely Vicar, yet he cannot exercise his government,
till our Saviours second coming: And then also it is not the Pope,
but St. Peter himselfe, with the other Apostles, that are to be
Judges of the world.
The other errour in this his first Argument is, that he sayes,
the Members of every Common-wealth, as of a naturall Body,
depend one of another: It is true, they cohaere together;
but they depend onely on the Soveraign, which is the Soul of
the Common-wealth; which failing, the Common-wealth is dissolved
into a Civill war, no one man so much as cohaering to another,
for want of a common Dependance on a known Soveraign; Just as
the Members of the naturall Body dissolve into Earth, for want of a Soul
to hold them together. Therefore there is nothing in this similitude,
from whence to inferre a dependance of the Laity on the Clergy,
or of the Temporall Officers on the Spirituall; but of both
on the Civill Soveraign; which ought indeed to direct his Civill
commands to the Salvation of Souls; but is not therefore subject
to any but God himselfe. And thus you see the laboured fallacy
of the first Argument, to deceive such men as distinguish not
between the Subordination of Actions in the way to the End;
and the Subjection of Persons one to another in the administration
of the Means. For to every End, the Means are determined by Nature,
or by God himselfe supernaturally: but the Power to make men use
the Means, is in every nation resigned (by the Law of Nature,
which forbiddeth men to violate their Faith given) to the Civill Soveraign.
His second Argument is this, "Every Common-wealth, (because it is
supposed to be perfect and sufficient in it self,) may command
any other Common-wealth, not subject to it, and force it to change
the administration of the Government, nay depose the Prince,
and set another in his room, if it cannot otherwise defend
it selfe against the injuries he goes about to doe them: much more
may a Spirituall Common-wealth command a Temporall one to change the
administration of their Government, and may depose Princes, and
institute others, when they cannot otherwise defend the Spirituall Good."
That a Common-wealth, to defend it selfe against injuries, may lawfully
doe all that he hath here said, is very true; and hath already in
that which hath gone before been sufficiently demonstrated.
And if it were also true, that there is now in this world a
Spirituall Common-wealth, distinct from a Civill Common-wealth,
then might the Prince thereof, upon injury done him, or upon want
of caution that injury be not done him in time to come, repaire,
and secure himself by Warre; which is in summe, deposing, killing,
or subduing, or doing any act of Hostility. But by the same reason,
it would be no lesse lawfull for a Civill Soveraign, upon the like
injuries done, or feared, to make warre upon the Spirituall Soveraign;
which I beleeve is more than Cardinall Bellarmine would have inferred
from his own proposition.
But Spirituall Common-wealth there is none in this world: for it is the
same thing with the Kingdome of Christ; which he himselfe saith, is not
of this world; but shall be in the next world, at the Resurrection,
when they that have lived justly, and beleeved that he was the Christ,
shall (though they died Naturall bodies) rise Spirituall bodies;
and then it is, that our Saviour shall judge the world, and conquer
his Adversaries, and make a Spirituall Common-wealth. In the mean time,
seeing there are no men on earth, whose bodies are Spirituall;
there can be no Spirituall Common-wealth amongst men that are yet
in the flesh; unlesse wee call Preachers, that have Commission to Teach,
and prepare men for their reception into the Kingdome of Christ
at the Resurrection, a Common-wealth; which I have proved to bee none.
The third Argument is this; "It is not lawfull for Christians
to tolerate an Infidel, or Haereticall King, in case he endeavour
to draw them to his Haeresie, or Infidelity. But to judge whether
a King draw his subjects to Haeresie, or not, belongeth to the Pope.
Therefore hath the Pope Right, to determine whether the Prince be
to be deposed, or not deposed."
To this I answer, that both these assertions are false. For Christians,
(or men of what Religion soever,) if they tolerate not their King,
whatsoever law hee maketh, though it bee concerning Religion, doe violate
their faith, contrary to the Divine Law, both Naturall and Positive:
Nor is there any Judge of Haeresie amongst Subjects, but their own
Civill Soveraign; for "Haeresie is nothing else, but a private opinion,
obstinately maintained, contrary to the opinion which the Publique
Person (that is to say, the Representant of the Common-wealth)
hath commanded to bee taught." By which it is manifest, that an
opinion publiquely appointed to bee taught, cannot be Haeresie;
nor the Soveraign Princes that authorize them, Haeretiques.
For Haeretiques are none but private men, that stubbornly defend
some Doctrine, prohibited by their lawful Soveraigns.
But to prove that Christians are not to tolerate Infidell,
or Haereticall Kings, he alledgeth a place in Deut. 17. where God
forbiddeth the Jews, when they shall set a King over themselves,
to choose a stranger; And from thence inferreth, that it is unlawfull
for a Christian, to choose a King, that is not a Christian.
And 'tis true, that he that is a Christian, that is, hee that hath
already obliged himself to receive our Saviour when he shall come,
for his King, shal tempt God too much in choosing for King in this world,
one that hee knoweth will endeavour, both by terrour, and perswasion
to make him violate his faith. But, it is (saith hee) the same danger,
to choose one that is not a Christian, for King, and not to depose him,
when hee is chosen. To this I say, the question is not of the danger
of not deposing; but of the Justice of deposing him. To choose him,
may in some cases bee unjust; but to depose him, when he is chosen,
is in no case Just. For it is alwaies violation of faith, and
consequently against the Law of Nature, which is the eternal Law of God.
Nor doe wee read, that any such Doctrine was accounted Christian
in the time of the Apostles; nor in the time of the Romane
Emperours, till the Popes had the Civill Soveraignty of Rome.
But to this he hath replyed, that the Christians of old, deposed not
Nero, nor Diocletian, nor Julian, nor Valens an Arrian, for this
cause onely, that they wanted Temporall forces. Perhaps so.
But did our Saviour, who for calling for, might have had twelve
Legions of immortall, invulnerable Angels to assist him, want forces
to depose Caesar, or at least Pilate, that unjustly, without finding
fault in him, delivered him to the Jews to bee crucified?
Or if the Apostles wanted Temporall forces to depose Nero,
was it therefore necessary for them in their Epistles to the
new made Christians, to teach them, (as they did) to obey the Powers
constituted over them, (whereof Nero in that time was one,) and that
they ought to obey them, not for fear of their wrath, but for
conscience sake? Shall we say they did not onely obey, but also teach
what they meant not, for want of strength? It is not therefore
for want of strength, but for conscience sake, that Christians
are to tolerate their Heathen Princes, or Princes (for I cannot
call any one whose Doctrine is the Publique Doctrine, an Haeretique)
that authorize the teaching of an Errour. And whereas for the
Temporall Power of the Pope, he alledgeth further, that St. Paul
(1 Cor. 6.) appointed Judges under the Heathen Princes of those times,
such as were not ordained by those Princes; it is not true.
For St. Paul does but advise them, to take some of their Brethren
to compound their differences, as Arbitrators, rather than to goe
to law one with another before the Heathen Judges; which is a
wholsome Precept, and full of Charity, fit to bee practised also
in the Best Christian Common-wealths. And for the danger that
may arise to Religion, by the Subjects tolerating of an Heathen,
or an Erring Prince, it is a point, of which a Subject is no
competent Judge; or if hee bee, the Popes Temporall Subjects
may judge also of the Popes Doctrine. For every Christian Prince,
as I have formerly proved, is no lesse Supreme Pastor of his
own Subjects, than the Pope of his.
The fourth Argument, is taken from the Baptisme of Kings; wherein,
that they may be made Christians they submit their Scepters to Christ;
and promise to keep, and defend the Christian Faith. This is true;
for Christian Kings are no more but Christs Subjects: but they may,
for all that, bee the Popes Fellowes; for they are Supreme Pastors
of their own Subjects; and the Pope is no more but King, and Pastor,
even in Rome it selfe.
The fifth Argument, is drawn from the words spoken by our Saviour,
Feed My Sheep; by which was give all Power necessary for a Pastor;
as the Power to chase away Wolves, such as are Haeretiques;
the Power to shut up Rammes, if they be mad, or push at the other
Sheep with their Hornes, such as are Evill (though Christian) Kings;
and Power to give the Flock convenient food: From whence hee inferreth,
that St. Peter had these three Powers given him by Christ.
To which I answer, that the last of these Powers, is no more than
the Power, or rather Command to Teach. For the first, which is
to chase away Wolves, that is, Haeretiques, the place hee quoteth
is (Matth. 7.15.) "Beware of false Prophets which come to you
in Sheeps clothing, but inwardly are ravening Wolves." But neither
are Haeretiques false Prophets, or at all Prophets: nor (admitting
Haeretiques for the Wolves there meant,) were the Apostles commanded
to kill them, or if they were Kings, to depose them; but to beware of,
fly, and avoid them: nor was it to St. Peter, nor to any of the Apostles,
but to the multitude of the Jews that followed him into the mountain,
men for the most part not yet converted, that hee gave this Counsell,
to Beware of false Prophets: which therefore if it conferre a Power
of chasing away Kings, was given, not onely to private men;
but to men that were not at all Christians. And as to the Power
of Separating, and Shutting up of furious Rammes, (by which hee
meaneth Christian Kings that refuse to submit themselves to the
Roman Pastor,) our Saviour refused to take upon him that Power
in this world himself, but advised to let the Corn and Tares
grow up together till the day of Judgment: much lesse did hee
give it to St. Peter, or can S. Peter give it to the Popes.
St. Peter, and all other Pastors, are bidden to esteem those Christians
that disobey the Church, that is, (that disobey the Christian Soveraigne)
as Heathen men, and as Publicans. Seeing then men challenge to
the Pope no authority over Heathen Princes, they ought to challenge
none over those that are to bee esteemed as Heathen.
But from the Power to Teach onely, hee inferreth also a Coercive
Power in the Pope, over Kings. The Pastor (saith he) must give
his flock convenient food: Therefore the Pope may, and ought to
compell Kings to doe their duty. Out of which it followeth,
that the Pope, as Pastor of Christian men, is King of Kings:
which all Christian Kings ought indeed either to Confesse,
or else they ought to take upon themselves the Supreme Pastorall Charge,
every one in his own Dominion.
His sixth, and last Argument, is from Examples. To which I answer,
first, that Examples prove nothing; Secondly, that the Examples
he alledgeth make not so much as a probability of Right.
The fact of Jehoiada, in Killing Athaliah (2 Kings 11.) was either by the
Authority of King Joash, or it was a horrible Crime in the High Priest,
which (ever after the election of King Saul) was a mere Subject.
The fact of St. Ambrose, in Excommunicating Theodosius the Emperour,
(if it were true hee did so,) was a Capitall Crime. And for the Popes,
Gregory 1. Greg. 2. Zachary, and Leo 3. their Judgments are void,
as given in their own Cause; and the Acts done by them conformably
to this Doctrine, are the greatest Crimes (especially that of Zachary)
that are incident to Humane Nature. And thus much of Power
Ecclesiasticall; wherein I had been more briefe, forbearing
to examine these Arguments of Bellarmine, if they had been his,
as a Private man, and not as the Champion of the Papacy, against all
other Christian Princes, and States.
OF WHAT IS NECESSARY FOR A MANS RECEPTION INTO THE KINGDOME OF HEAVEN.
The Difficulty Of Obeying
God And Man Both At Once,
The most frequent praetext of Sedition, and Civill Warre, in Christian
Common-wealths hath a long time proceeded from a difficulty, not yet
sufficiently resolved, of obeying at once, both God, and Man,
then when their Commandements are one contrary to the other.
It is manifest enough, that when a man receiveth two contrary
Commands, and knows that one of them is Gods, he ought to obey that,
and not the other, though it be the command even of his lawfull
Soveraign (whether a Monarch, or a Soveraign Assembly,) or the
command of his Father. The difficulty therefore consisteth in this,
that men when they are commanded in the name of God, know not in
divers Cases, whether the command be from God, or whether he that
commandeth, doe but abuse Gods name for some private ends of his own.
For as there ware in the Church of the Jews, many false Prophets,
that sought reputation with the people, by feigned Dreams, and Visions;
so there have been in all times in the Church of Christ, false Teachers,
that seek reputation with the people, by phantasticall and false
Doctrines; and by such reputation (as is the nature of Ambition,)
to govern them for their private benefit.
Is None To Them That Distinguish Between What Is,
And What Is Not Necessary To Salvation
But this difficulty of obeying both God, and the Civill Soveraign
on earth, to those that can distinguish between what is Necessary,
and what is not Necessary for their Reception into the Kingdome of God,
is of no moment. For if the command of the Civill Soveraign bee such,
as that it may be obeyed, without the forfeiture of life Eternall;
not to obey it is unjust; and the precept of the Apostle takes place;
"Servants obey your Masters in all things;" and, "Children obey your
Parents in all things;" and the precept of our Saviour, "The Scribes
and Pharisees sit in Moses Chaire, All therefore they shall say,
that observe, and doe." But if the command be such, as cannot be obeyed,
without being damned to Eternall Death, then it were madnesse to obey it,
and the Counsell of our Saviour takes place, (Mat. 10. 28.)
"Fear not those that kill the body, but cannot kill the soule.)
All men therefore that would avoid, both the punishments that are
to be in this world inflicted, for disobedience to their earthly
Soveraign, and those that shall be inflicted in the world to come
for disobedience to God, have need be taught to distinguish well
between what is, and what is not Necessary to Eternall Salvation.
All That Is Necessary To Salvation
Is Contained In Faith And Obedience
All that is NECESSARY to Salvation, is contained in two Vertues,
Faith in Christ, and Obedience to Laws. The latter of these,
if it were perfect, were enough to us. But because wee are all
guilty of disobedience to Gods Law, not onely originally in Adam,
but also actually by our own transgressions, there is required
at our hands now, not onely Obedience for the rest of our time,
but also a Remission of sins for the time past; which Remission
is the reward of our Faith in Christ. That nothing else is
Necessarily required to Salvation, is manifest from this,
that the Kingdome of Heaven, is shut to none but to Sinners;
that is to say, to the disobedient, or transgressors of the Law;
nor to them, in case they Repent, and Beleeve all the Articles
of Christian Faith, Necessary to Salvation.
What Obedience Is Necessary;
The Obedience required at our hands by God, that accepteth in all
our actions the Will for the Deed, is a serious Endeavour to Obey him;
and is called also by all such names as signifie that Endeavour.
And therefore Obedience, is sometimes called by the names of Charity,
and Love, because they imply a Will to Obey; and our Saviour himself
maketh our Love to God, and to one another, a Fulfilling of the
whole Law: and sometimes by the name of Righteousnesse; for Righteousnesse
is but the will to give to every one his owne, that is to say,
the will to obey the Laws: and sometimes by the name of Repentance;
because to Repent, implyeth a turning away from sinne, which is the same,
with the return of the will to Obedience. Whosoever therefore
unfeignedly desireth to fulfill the Commandements of God, or repenteth
him truely of his transgressions, or that loveth God with all his heart,
and his neighbor as himself, hath all the Obedience Necessary to his
Reception into the Kingdome of God: For if God should require
perfect Innocence, there could no flesh be saved.
And To What Laws
But what Commandements are those that God hath given us? Are all
those Laws which were given to the Jews by the hand of Moses,
the Commandements of God? If they bee, why are not Christians
taught to obey them? If they be not, what others are so, besides
the Law of Nature? For our Saviour Christ hath not given us new Laws,
but Counsell to observe those wee are subject to; that is to say,
the Laws of Nature, and the Laws of our severall Soveraigns:
Nor did he make any new Law to the Jews in his Sermon on the Mount,
but onely expounded the Laws of Moses, to which they were subject before.
The Laws of God therefore are none but the Laws of Nature,
whereof the principall is, that we should not violate our Faith,
that is, a commandement to obey our Civill Soveraigns, which
wee constituted over us, by mutuall pact one with another.
And this Law of God, that commandeth Obedience to the Law Civill,
commandeth by consequence Obedience to all the Precepts of the Bible,
which (as I have proved in the precedent Chapter) is there onely Law,
where the Civill Soveraign hath made it so; and in other places
but Counsell; which a man at his own perill, may without injustice
refuse to obey.
In The Faith Of A Christian,
Who Is The Person Beleeved
Knowing now what is the Obedience Necessary to Salvation, and to whom
it is due; we are to consider next concerning Faith, whom, and why
we beleeve; and what are the Articles, or Points necessarily to be
beleeved by them that shall be saved. And first, for the Person
whom we beleeve, because it is impossible to beleeve any Person,
before we know what he saith, it is necessary he be one that wee
have heard speak. The Person therefore, whom Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
Moses and the Prophets beleeved, was God himself, that spake unto them
supernaturally: And the Person, whom the Apostles and Disciples
that conversed with Christ beleeved, was our Saviour himself.
But of them, to whom neither God the Father, nor our Saviour ever spake,
it cannot be said, that the Person whom they beleeved, was God.
They beleeved the Apostles, and after them the Pastors and Doctors
of the Church, that recommended to their faith the History of the
Old and New Testament: so that the Faith of Christians ever since
our Saviours time, hath had for foundation, first, the reputation
of their Pastors, and afterward, the authority of those that made
the Old and New Testament to be received for the Rule of Faith;
which none could do but Christian Soveraignes; who are therefore the
Supreme Pastors, and the onely Persons, whom Christians now hear speak
from God; except such as God speaketh to, in these days supernaturally.
But because there be many false Prophets "gone out into the world,"
other men are to examine such Spirits (as St. John advised us,
1 Epistle, Chap. 4. ver.1.) "whether they be of God, or not."
And therefore, seeing the Examination of Doctrines belongeth
to the Supreme Pastor, the Person which all they that have no
speciall revelation are to beleeve, is (in every Common-wealth)
the Supreme Pastor, that is to say, the Civill Soveraigne.
The Causes Of Christian Faith
The causes why men beleeve any Christian Doctrine, are various;
For Faith is the gift of God; and he worketh it in each severall man,
by such wayes, as it seemeth good unto himself. The most ordinary
immediate cause of our beleef, concerning any point of Christian
Faith, is, that wee beleeve the Bible to be the Word of God.
But why wee beleeve the Bible to be the Word of God, is much
disputed, as all questions must needs bee, that are not well stated.
For they make not the question to be, "Why we Beleeve it," but
"How wee Know it;" as if Beleeving and Knowing were all one.
And thence while one side ground their Knowledge upon the Infallibility
of the Church, and the other side, on the Testimony of the Private Spirit,
neither side concludeth what it pretends. For how shall a man know
the Infallibility of the Church, but by knowing first the Infallibility
of the Scripture? Or how shall a man know his own Private spirit
to be other than a beleef, grounded upon the Authority, and Arguments
of his Teachers; or upon a Presumption of his own Gifts? Besides, there
is nothing in the Scripture, from which can be inferred the
Infallibility of the Church; much lesse, of any particular Church;
and least of all, the Infallibility of any particular man.
Faith Comes By Hearing
It is manifest, therefore, that Christian men doe not know,
but onely beleeve the Scripture to be the Word of God; and that
the means of making them beleeve which God is pleased to afford
men ordinarily, is according to the way of Nature, that is to say,
from their Teachers. It is the Doctrine of St. Paul concerning
Christian Faith in generall, (Rom. 10.17.) "Faith cometh by Hearing,"
that is, by Hearing our lawfull Pastors. He saith also (ver. 14,15.
of the same Chapter) "How shall they beleeve in him of whom they
have not heard? and how shall they hear without a Preacher?
and how shall they Preach, except they be sent?" Whereby it is evident,
that the ordinary cause of beleeving that the Scriptures are
the Word of God, is the same with the cause of the beleeving
of all other Articles of our Faith, namely, the Hearing of those
that are by the Law allowed and appointed to Teach us, as our Parents
in their Houses, and our Pastors in the Churches: Which also is made
more manifest by experience. For what other cause can there
bee assigned, why in Christian Common-wealths all men either beleeve,
or at least professe the Scripture to bee the Word of God,
and in other Common-wealths scarce any; but that in Christian
Common-wealths they are taught it from their infancy; and in other
places they are taught otherwise?
But if Teaching be the cause of Faith, why doe not all beleeve?
It is certain therefore that Faith is the gift of God, and hee
giveth it to whom he will. Neverthelesse, because of them
to whom he giveth it, he giveth it by the means of Teachers,
the immediate cause of Faith is Hearing. In a School where
many are taught, and some profit, others profit not, the cause
of learning in them that profit, is the Master; yet it cannot
be thence inferred, that learning is not the gift of God.
All good things proceed from God; yet cannot all that have them,
say they are Inspired; for that implies a gift supernaturall,
and the immediate hand of God; which he that pretends to,
pretends to be a Prophet, and is subject to the examination of the Church.
But whether men Know, or Beleeve, or Grant the Scriptures to be
the Word of God; if out of such places of them, as are without
obscurity, I shall shew what Articles of Faith are necessary,
and onely necessary for Salvation, those men must needs Know,
Beleeve, or Grant the same.
The Onely Necessary Article Of Christian Faith,
The (Unum Necessarium) Onely Article of Faith, which the Scripture
maketh simply Necessary to Salvation, is this, that JESUS IS THE CHRIST.
By the name of Christ, is understood the King, which God had before
promised by the Prophets of the Old Testament, to send into the world,
to reign (over the Jews, and over such of other nations as should
beleeve in him) under himself eternally; and to give them that
eternall life, which was lost by the sin of Adam. Which when I have
proved out of Scripture, I will further shew when, and in what sense
some other Articles may bee also called Necessary.
Proved From The Scope Of The Evangelists:
For Proof that the Beleef of this Article, Jesus Is The Christ,
is all the Faith required to Salvation, my first Argument
shall bee from the Scope of the Evangelists; which was by the
description of the life of our Saviour, to establish that one Article,
Jesus Is The Christ. The summe of St. Matthews Gospell is this,
That Jesus was of the stock of David; Born of a Virgin; which are
the Marks of the true Christ: That the Magi came to worship him
as King of the Jews: That Herod for the same cause sought to kill him:
That John Baptist proclaimed him: That he preached by himselfe,
and his Apostles that he was that King; That he taught the Law,
not as a Scribe, but as a man of Authority: That he cured diseases
by his Word onely, and did many other Miracles, which were foretold
the Christ should doe: That he was saluted King when he entered
into Jerusalem: That he fore-warned them to beware of all others
that should pretend to be Christ: That he was taken, accused,
and put to death, for saying, hee was King: That the cause of
his condemnation written on the Crosse, was JESUS OF NAZARETH,
THE KING OF THE JEWES. All which tend to no other end than this,
that men should beleeve, that Jesus Is The Christ. Such therefore
was the Scope of St. Matthews Gospel. But the Scope of all
the Evangelists (as may appear by reading them) was the same.
Therefore the Scope of the whole Gospell, was the establishing
of that onely Article. And St. John expressely makes it his conclusion,
John 20. 31. "These things are written, that you may know that
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
From The Sermons Of The Apostles:
My second Argument is taken from the Subject of the Sermons
of the Apostles, both whilest our Saviour lived on earth,
and after his Ascension. The Apostles in our Saviours time
were sent, Luke 9.2. to Preach the Kingdome of God: For neither there,
nor Mat. 10.7. giveth he any Commission to them, other than this,
"As ye go, Preach, saying, the Kingdome of Heaven is at hand;" that is,
that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the King which was to come.
That their Preaching also after his ascension was the same, is manifest
out of Acts 17.6. "They drew (saith St. Luke) Jason and certain
Brethren unto the Rulers of the City, crying, These that have turned
the world upside down are come hither also, whom Jason hath received.
And these all do contrary to the Decrees of Caesar, saying, that there
is another King, one Jesus:" And out of the 2.&3. verses of the
same Chapter, where it is said, that St. Paul "as his manner was,
went in unto them; and three Sabbath dayes reasoned with them out
of the Scriptures; opening and alledging, that Christ must needs
have suffered, and risen againe from the dead, and that this Jesus
(whom he preached) is Christ."
From The Easinesse Of The Doctrine:
The third Argument is, from those places of Scripture, by which
all the Faith required to Salvation is declared to be Easie.
For if an inward assent of the mind to all the Doctrines concerning
Christian Faith now taught, (whereof the greatest part are disputed,)
were necessary to Salvation, there would be nothing in the world so hard,
as to be a Christian. The Thief upon the Crosse though repenting,
could not have been saved for saying, "Lord remember me when thou
commest into thy Kingdome;" by which he testified no beleefe of any
other Article, but this, That Jesus Was The King. Nor could it bee
said (as it is Mat. 11. 30.) that "Christs yoke is Easy, and his
burthen Light:" Nor that "Little Children beleeve in him," as it is
Matth. 18.6. Nor could St. Paul have said (1 Cor. 1. 21.) "It pleased
God by the Foolishnesse of preaching, to save them that beleeve:"
Nor could St. Paul himself have been saved, much lesse have been
so great a Doctor of the Church so suddenly, that never perhaps
thought of Transsubstantiation, nor Purgatory, nor many other
Articles now obtruded.
From Formall And Cleer Texts
The fourth Argument is taken from places expresse, and such as
receive no controversie of Interpretation; as first, John 5. 39.
"Search the Scriptures, for in them yee thinke yee have eternall life;
and they are they that testifie of mee." Our Saviour here speaketh
of the Scriptures onely of the Old Testament; for the Jews
at that time could not search the Scriptures of the New Testament,
which were not written. But the Old Testament hath nothing of Christ,
but the Markes by which men might know him when hee came; as that
he should descend from David, be born at Bethlehem, and of a Virgin;
doe great Miracles, and the like. Therefore to beleeve that
this Jesus was He, was sufficient to eternall life: but more
than sufficient is not Necessary; and consequently no other
Article is required. Again, (John 11. 26.) "Whosoever liveth
and beleeveth in mee, shall not die eternally," Therefore to beleeve
in Christ, is faith sufficient to eternall life; and consequently
no more faith than that is Necessary, But to beleeve in Jesus,
and to beleeve that Jesus is the Christ, is all one, as appeareth
in the verses immediately following. For when our Saviour (verse 26.)
had said to Martha, "Beleevest thou this?" she answereth (verse 27.)
"Yea Lord, I beleeve that thou art the Christ, the Son of God,
which should come into the world;" Therefore this Article alone
is faith sufficient to life eternall; and more than sufficient
is not Necessary. Thirdly, John 20. 31. "These things are written
that yee might beleeve, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that beleeving yee might have life through his name."
There, to beleeve that Jesus Is The Christ, is faith sufficient
to the obtaining of life; and therefore no other Article is Necessary.
Fourthly, 1 John 4. 2. "Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ
is come in the flesh, is of God." And 1 Joh. 5. 1. "whosoever
beleeveth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God." And verse 5.
"Who is hee that overcommeth the world, but he that beleeveth
that Jesus is the Son of God?" Fiftly, Act. 8. ver. 36, 37.
"See (saith the Eunuch) here is water, what doth hinder me
to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou beleevest with all
thy heart thou mayst. And hee answered and said, I beleeve that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' Therefore this Article beleeved,
Jesus Is The Christ, is sufficient to Baptisme, that is to say,
to our Reception into the Kingdome of God, and by consequence,
onely Necessary. And generally in all places where our Saviour
saith to any man, "Thy faith hath saved thee," the cause he saith it,
is some Confession, which directly, or by consequence, implyeth a beleef,
that Jesus Is The Christ.
From That It Is The Foundation Of All Other Articles
The last Argument is from the places, where this Article is made the
Foundation of Faith: For he that holdeth the Foundation shall bee saved.
Which places are first, Mat. 24.23. "If any man shall say unto you,
Loe, here is Christ, or there, beleeve it not, for there shall
arise false Christs, and false Prophets, and shall shew great
signes and wonders, &c." Here wee see, this Article Jesus Is
The Christ, must bee held, though hee that shall teach the contrary
should doe great miracles. The second place is Gal. 1. 8.
"Though we, or an Angell from Heaven preach any other Gospell unto you,
than that wee have preached unto you, let him bee accursed."
But the Gospell which Paul, and the other Apostles, preached,
was onely this Article, that Jesus Is The Christ; Therefore for
the Beleef of this Article, we are to reject the Authority of
an Angell from heaven; much more of any mortall man, if he
teach the contrary. This is therefore the Fundamentall Article
of Christian Faith. A third place is, 1 Joh. 4.1. "Beloved,
beleeve not every spirit. Hereby yee shall know the Spirit of God;
every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh,
is of God." By which it is evident, that this Article, is the measure,
and rule, by which to estimate, and examine all other Articles;
and is therefore onely Fundamentall. A fourth is, Matt. 16.18.
where after St. Peter had professed this Article, saying to our Saviour,
"Thou art Christ the Son of the living God," Our Saviour answered,
"Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church:"
from whence I inferre, that this Article is that, on which all other
Doctrines of the Church are built, as on their Foundation.
A fift is (1 Cor. 3. ver. 11, 12, &c.) "Other Foundation can no man lay,
than that which is laid, Jesus is the Christ. Now if any man build
upon this Foundation, Gold, Silver, pretious Stones, Wood, Hay, Stubble;
Every mans work shall be made manifest; For the Day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every
mans work, of what sort it is. If any mans work abide, which he
hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward: If any mans work
shall bee burnt, he shall suffer losse; but he himself shall be saved,
yet so as by fire." Which words, being partly plain and easie
to understand, and partly allegoricall and difficult; out of that
which is plain, may be inferred, that Pastors that teach this Foundation,
that Jesus Is The Christ, though they draw from it false consequences,
(which all men are sometimes subject to,) they may neverthelesse
bee saved; much more that they may bee saved, who being no Pastors,
but Hearers, beleeve that which is by their lawfull Pastors taught them.
Therefore the beleef of this Article is sufficient; and by consequence
there is no other Article of Faith Necessarily required to Salvation.
Now for the part which is Allegoricall, as "That the fire shall try
every mans work," and that "They shall be saved, but so as by fire,"
or "through fire," (for the originall is dia puros,) it maketh nothing
against this conclusion which I have drawn from the other words,
that are plain. Neverthelesse, because upon this place there hath
been an argument taken, to prove the fire of Purgatory, I will also
here offer you my conjecture concerning the meaning of this triall
of Doctrines, and saving of men as by Fire. The Apostle here seemeth
to allude to the words of the Prophet Zachary, Ch. 13. 8,9. who
speaking of the Restauration of the Kingdome of God, saith thus,
"Two parts therein shall be cut off, and die, but the third
shall be left therein; and I will bring the third part through the Fire,
and will refine them as Silver is refined, and will try them as
Gold is tryed; they shall call on the name of the Lord, and I
will hear them." The day of Judgment, is the day of the Restauration
of the Kingdome of God; and at that day it is, that St. Peter tells us
(2 Pet. 3. v.7, 10, 12.) shall be the Conflagration of the world,
wherein the wicked shall perish; but the remnant which God will save,
shall passe through that Fire, unhurt, and be therein (as Silver and
Gold are refined by the fire from their drosse) tryed, and refined
from their Idolatry, and be made to call upon the name of the true God.
Alluding whereto St. Paul here saith, that The Day (that is,
the Day of Judgment, the Great Day of our Saviours comming to restore
the Kingdome of God in Israel) shall try every mans doctrine,
by Judging, which are Gold, Silver, Pretious Stones, Wood, Hay, Stubble;
And then they that have built false Consequences on the true Foundation,
shall see their Doctrines condemned; neverthelesse they themselves
shall be saved, and passe unhurt through this universall Fire,
and live eternally, to call upon the name of the true and onely God.
In which sense there is nothing that accordeth not with the rest
of Holy Scripture, or any glimpse of the fire of Purgatory.
In What Sense Other Articles May Be Called Necessary
But a man may here aske, whether it bee not as necessary to Salvation,
to beleeve, that God is Omnipotent; Creator of the world; that
Jesus Christ is risen; and that all men else shall rise again
from the dead at the last day; as to beleeve, that Jesus Is The Christ.
To which I answer, they are; and so are many more Articles: but they
are such, as are contained in this one, and may be deduced from it,
with more, or lesse difficulty. For who is there that does not see,
that they who beleeve Jesus to be the Son of the God of Israel,
and that the Israelites had for God the Omnipotent Creator of
all things, doe therein also beleeve, that God is the Omnipotent
Creator of all things? Or how can a man beleeve, that Jesus is
the King that shall reign eternally, unlesse hee beleeve him also
risen again from the dead? For a dead man cannot exercise the
Office of a King. In summe, he that holdeth this Foundation,
Jesus Is The Christ, holdeth Expressely all that hee seeth rightly
deduced from it, and Implicitely all that is consequent thereunto,
though he have not skill enough to discern the consequence.
And therefore it holdeth still good, that the beleef of this one
Article is sufficient faith to obtaine remission of sinnes to the
Penitent, and consequently to bring them into the Kingdome of Heaven.
That Faith, And Obedience Are
Both Of Them Necessary To Salvation
Now that I have shewn, that all the Obedience required to Salvation,
consisteth in the will to obey the Law of God, that is to say,
in Repentance; and all the Faith required to the same, is comprehended
in the beleef of this Article, Jesus Is The Christ; I will further
alledge those places of the Gospell, that prove, that all that
is Necessary to Salvation is contained in both these joined together.
The men to whom St. Peter preached on the day of Pentecost,
next after the Ascension of our Saviour, asked him, and the rest
of the Apostles, saying, (Act. 2.37.) "Men and Brethren what
shall we doe?" to whom St. Peter answered (in the next verse)
"Repent, and be Baptized every one of you, for the remission of sins,
and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Therefore Repentance,
and Baptisme, that is, beleeving that Jesus Is The Christ, is all
that is Necessary to Salvation. Again, our Saviour being asked
by a certain Ruler, (Luke 18.18.) "What shall I doe to inherit
eternall life?" Answered (verse 20) "Thou knowest the Commandements,
Doe not commit Adultery, Doe not Kill, Doe not Steal, Doe not bear
false witnesse, Honor thy Father, and thy Mother;" which when
he said he had observed, our Saviour added, "Sell all thou hast,
give it to the Poor, and come and follow me:" which was as much
as to say, Relye on me that am the King: Therefore to fulfill the Law,
and to beleeve that Jesus is the King, is all that is required
to bring a man to eternall life. Thirdly, St. Paul saith (Rom. 1.17.)
"The Just shall live by Faith;" not every one, but the Just;
therefore Faith and Justice (that is, the Will To Be Just,
or Repentance) are all that is Necessary to life eternall.
And (Mark 1.15.) our Saviour preached, saying, "The time
is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand, Repent and Beleeve
the Evangile," that is, the Good news that the Christ was come.
Therefore to Repent, and to Beleeve that Jesus is the Christ,
is all that is required to Salvation.
What Each Of Them Contributes Thereunto
Seeing then it is Necessary that Faith, and Obedience (implyed
in the word Repentance) do both concurre to our Salvation; the question
by which of the two we are Justified, is impertinently disputed.
Neverthelesse, it will not be impertinent, to make manifest
in what manner each of them contributes thereunto; and in what sense
it is said, that we are to be Justified by the one, and by the other.
And first, if by Righteousnesse be understood the Justice of the
Works themselves, there is no man that can be saved; for there is none
that hath not transgressed the Law of God. And therefore when wee
are said to be Justified by Works, it is to be understood of the Will,
which God doth alwaies accept for the Work it selfe, as well in good,
as in evill men. And in this sense onely it is, that a man is
called Just, or Unjust; and that his Justice Justifies him, that is,
gives him the title, in Gods acceptation, of Just; and renders
him capable of Living By His Faith, which before he was not.
So that Justice Justifies in that that sense, in which to Justifie,
is the same that to Denominate A Man Just; and not in the
signification of discharging the Law; whereby the punishment
of his sins should be unjust.
But a man is then also said to be Justified, when his Plea,
though in it selfe unsufficient, is accepted; as when we Plead
our Will, our Endeavour to fulfill the Law, and Repent us of
our failings, and God accepteth it for the Performance it selfe:
And because God accepteth not the Will for the Deed, but onely
in the Faithfull; it is therefore Faith that makes good our Plea;
and in this sense it is, that Faith onely Justifies: So that Faith
and Obedience are both Necessary to Salvation; yet in severall senses
each of them is said to Justifie.
Obedience To God And To The Civill Soveraign
Not Inconsistent, Whether Christian,
Having thus shewn what is Necessary to Salvation; it is not hard
to reconcile our Obedience to the Civill Soveraign; who is either
Christian, or Infidel. If he bee a Christian, he alloweth
the beleefe of this Article, that Jesus Is The Christ; and of all
the Articles that are contained in, or are evident consequence
deduced from it: which is all the Faith Necessary to Salvation.
And because he is a Soveraign, he requireth Obedience to all his owne,
that is, to all the Civill Laws; in which also are contained all the
Laws of Nature, that is, all the Laws of God: for besides the Laws
of Nature, and the Laws of the Church, which are part of the Civill Law,
(for the Church that can make Laws is the Common-wealth,) there bee
no other Laws Divine. Whosoever therefore obeyeth his Christian
Soveraign, is not thereby hindred, neither from beleeving, nor
from obeying God. But suppose that a Christian King should
from this Foundation, Jesus Is The Christ, draw some false consequences,
that is to say, make some superstructions of Hay, or Stubble,
and command the teaching of the same; yet seeing St. Paul says,
he shal be saved; much more shall he be saved, that teacheth them
by his command; and much more yet, he that teaches not, but onely
beleeves his lawfull Teacher. And in case a Subject be forbidden
by the Civill Soveraign to professe some of those his opinions,
upon what grounds can he disobey? Christian Kings may erre
in deducing a Consequence, but who shall Judge? Shall a private
man Judge, when the question is of his own obedience? or shall any
man Judg but he that is appointed thereto by the Church, that is,
by the Civill Soveraign that representeth it? or if the Pope,
or an Apostle Judge, may he not erre in deducing of a consequence?
did not one of the two, St. Peter, or St. Paul erre in a superstructure,
when St. Paul withstood St. Peter to his face? There can therefore
be no contradiction between the Laws of God, and the Laws of a
And when the Civill Soveraign is an Infidel, every one of his own
Subjects that resisteth him, sinneth against the Laws of God
(for such as are the Laws of Nature,) and rejecteth the counsell
of the Apostles, that admonisheth all Christians to obey their Princes,
and all Children and Servants to obey they Parents, and Masters,
in all things. And for their Faith, it is internall, and invisible;
They have the licence that Naaman had, and need not put themselves
into danger for it. But if they do, they ought to expect their
reward in Heaven, and not complain of their Lawfull Soveraign;
much lesse make warre upon him. For he that is not glad of any
just occasion of Martyrdome, has not the faith be professeth,
but pretends it onely, to set some colour upon his own contumacy.
But what Infidel King is so unreasonable, as knowing he has a Subject,
that waiteth for the second comming of Christ, after the present world
shall be burnt, and intendeth then to obey him (which is the intent
of beleeving that Jesus is the Christ,) and in the mean time thinketh
himself bound to obey the Laws of that Infidel King, (which all
Christians are obliged in conscience to doe,) to put to death,
or to persecute such a Subject?
And thus much shall suffice, concerning the Kingdome of God,
and Policy Ecclesiasticall. Wherein I pretend not to advance
any Position of my own, but onely to shew what are the Consequences
that seem to me deducible from the Principles of Christian Politiques,
(which are the holy Scriptures,) in confirmation of the Power
of Civill Soveraigns, and the Duty of their Subjects. And in the
allegation of Scripture, I have endeavoured to avoid such Texts
as are of obscure, or controverted Interpretation; and to alledge
none, but is such sense as is most plain, and agreeable to the harmony
and scope of the whole Bible; which was written for the re-establishment
of the Kingdome of God in Christ. For it is not the bare Words,
but the Scope of the writer that giveth the true light,
by which any writing is to bee interpreted; and they that insist
upon single Texts, without considering the main Designe, can derive
no thing from them cleerly; but rather by casting atomes of Scripture,
as dust before mens eyes, make every thing more obscure than it is;
an ordinary artifice of those that seek not the truth, but
their own advantage.
OF SPIRITUALL DARKNESSE FROM MISINTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE
The Kingdome Of Darknesse What
Besides these Soveraign Powers, Divine, and Humane, of which
I have hitherto discoursed, there is mention in Scripture of
another Power, namely, (Eph. 6. 12.), that of "the Rulers
of the Darknesse of this world, (Mat. 12. 26.), "the Kingdome
of Satan," and, (Mat. 9. 34.), "the Principality of Beelzebub
over Daemons," that is to say, over Phantasmes that appear in the Air:
For which cause Satan is also called (Eph. 2. 2.) "the Prince of
the Power of the Air;" and (because he ruleth in the darknesse
of this world) (Joh. 16. 11.) "The Prince of this world;"
And in consequence hereunto, they who are under his Dominion,
in opposition to the faithfull (who are the Children Of The Light)
are called the Children Of Darknesse. For seeing Beelzebub is
Prince of Phantasmes, Inhabitants of his Dominion of Air and Darknesse,
the Children of Darknesse, and these Daemons, Phantasmes, or Spirits
of Illusion, signifie allegorically the same thing. This considered,
the Kingdome of Darknesse, as it is set forth in these, and other
places of the Scripture, is nothing else but a "Confederacy of Deceivers,
that to obtain dominion over men in this present world, endeavour
by dark, and erroneous Doctrines, to extinguish in them the Light,
both of Nature, and of the Gospell; and so to dis-prepare them
for the Kingdome of God to come."
The Church Not Yet Fully Freed Of Darknesse
As men that are utterly deprived from their Nativity, of the light
of the bodily Eye, have no Idea at all, of any such light;
and no man conceives in his imagination any greater light,
than he hath at some time, or other perceived by his outward Senses:
so also is it of the light of the Gospel, and of the light of
the Understanding, that no man can conceive there is any greater
degree of it, than that which he hath already attained unto.
And from hence it comes to passe, that men have no other means
to acknowledge their owne Darknesse, but onely by reasoning
from the un-forseen mischances, that befall them in their ways;
The Darkest part of the Kingdome of Satan, is that which is without
the Church of God; that is to say, amongst them that beleeve not
in Jesus Christ. But we cannot say, that therefore the Church
enjoyeth (as the land of Goshen) all the light, which to the
performance of the work enjoined us by God, is necessary.
Whence comes it, that in Christendome there has been, almost from
the time of the Apostles, such justling of one another out of
their places, both by forraign, and Civill war? such stumbling at
every little asperity of their own fortune, and every little eminence
of that of other men? and such diversity of ways in running to
the same mark, Felicity, if it be not Night amongst us, or at
least a Mist? wee are therefore yet in the Dark.
Four Causes Of Spirituall Darknesse
The Enemy has been here in the Night of our naturall Ignorance,
and sown the tares of Spirituall Errors; and that, First, by abusing,
and putting out the light of the Scriptures: For we erre, not knowing
the Scriptures. Secondly, by introducing the Daemonology of the
Heathen Poets, that is to say, their fabulous Doctrine concerning
Daemons, which are but Idols, or Phantasms of the braine, without
any reall nature of their own, distinct from humane fancy; such as
are dead mens Ghosts, and Fairies, and other matter of old Wives tales.
Thirdly, by mixing with the Scripture divers reliques of the Religion,
and much of the vain and erroneous Philosophy of the Greeks,
especially of Aristotle. Fourthly, by mingling with both these,
false, or uncertain Traditions, and fained, or uncertain History.
And so we come to erre, by "giving heed to seducing Spirits,"
and the Daemonology of such "as speak lies in Hypocrisie,"
(or as it is in the Originall, 1 Tim. 4.1,2. "of those that play
the part of lyars") "with a seared conscience," that is, contrary to their
own knowledge. Concerning the first of these, which is the Seducing
of men by abuse of Scripture, I intend to speak briefly in this Chapter.
Errors From Misinterpreting The Scriptures,
Concerning The Kingdome Of God
The greatest, and main abuse of Scripture, and to which almost all
the rest are either consequent, or subservient, is the wresting of it,
to prove that the Kingdome of God, mentioned so often in the Scripture,
is the present Church, or multitude of Christian men now living,
or that being dead, are to rise again at the last day: whereas the
Kingdome of God was first instituted by the Ministery of Moses,
over the Jews onely; who were therefore called his Peculiar People;
and ceased afterward, in the election of Saul, when they refused
to be governed by God any more, and demanded a King after the manner
of the nations; which God himself consented unto, as I have more
at large proved before, in the 35. Chapter. After that time,
there was no other Kingdome of God in the world, by any Pact,
or otherwise, than he ever was, is, and shall be King, of all men,
and of all creatures, as governing according to his Will,
by his infinite Power. Neverthelesse, he promised by his Prophets
to restore this his Government to them again, when the time he hath
in his secret counsell appointed for it shall bee fully come,
and when they shall turn unto him by repentance, and amendment of life;
and not onely so, but he invited also the Gentiles to come in,
and enjoy the happinesse of his Reign, on the same conditions
of conversion and repentance; and hee promised also to send his Son
into the world, to expiate the sins of them all by his death,
and to prepare them by his Doctrine, to receive him at his
second coming: Which second coming not yet being, the Kingdome of God
is not yet come, and wee are not now under any other Kings by Pact,
but our Civill Soveraigns; saving onely, that Christian men are
already in the Kingdome of Grace, in as much as they have already
the Promise of being received at his comming againe.
As That The Kingdome Of God Is The Present Church: