Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

Part 7 out of 11

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

like conclusion. To men that understand the signification
of these words, Substance, and Incorporeall; as Incorporeall
is taken not for subtile body, but for Not Body, they imply
a contradiction: insomuch as to say, an Angel, or Spirit is
(in that sense) an Incorporeall Substance, is to say in effect,
there is no Angel nor Spirit at all. Considering therefore the
signification of the word Angel in the Old Testament, and the nature
of Dreams and Visions that happen to men by the ordinary way of Nature;
I was enclined to this opinion, that Angels were nothing but
supernaturall apparitions of the Fancy, raised by the speciall
and extraordinary operation of God, thereby to make his presence
and commandements known to mankind, and chiefly to his own people.
But the many places of the New Testament, and our Saviours own words,
and in such texts, wherein is no suspicion of corruption of the Scripture,
have extorted from my feeble Reason, an acknowledgement, and beleef,
that there be also Angels substantiall, and permanent. But to beleeve
they be in no place, that is to say, no where, that is to say, nothing,
as they (though indirectly) say, that will have them Incorporeall,
cannot by Scripture bee evinced.

Inspiration What
On the signification of the word Spirit, dependeth that of
the word INSPIRATION; which must either be taken properly;
and then it is nothing but the blowing into a man some thin
and subtile aire, or wind, in such manner as a man filleth a bladder
with his breath; or if Spirits be not corporeal, but have their
existence only in the fancy, it is nothing but the blowing in
of a Phantasme; which is improper to say, and impossible;
for Phantasmes are not, but only seem to be somewhat. That word
therefore is used in the Scripture metaphorically onely: As (Gen. 2.7.)
where it is said, that God Inspired into man the breath of life,
no more is meant, then that God gave unto him vitall motion.
For we are not to think that God made first a living breath,
and then blew it into Adam after he was made, whether that breath
were reall, or seeming; but only as it is (Acts 17.25.) "that he gave
him life and breath;" that is, made him a living creature.
And where it is said (2 Tim. 3.16.) "all Scripture is given
by Inspiration from God," speaking there of the Scripture of the
Old Testament, it is an easie metaphor, to signifie, that God enclined
the spirit or mind of those Writers, to write that which should
be usefull, in teaching, reproving, correcting, and instructing men
in the way of righteous living. But where St. Peter (2 Pet. 1.21.)
saith, that "Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man,
but the holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,"
by the Holy Spirit, is meant the voice of God in a Dream, or Vision
supernaturall, which is not Inspiration; Nor when our Saviour breathing
on his Disciples, said, "Receive the Holy Spirit," was that Breath
the Spirit, but a sign of the spirituall graces he gave unto them.
And though it be said of many, and of our Saviour himself, that he was
full of the Holy Spirit; yet that Fulnesse is not to be understood
for Infusion of the substance of God, but for accumulation of his gifts,
such as are the gift of sanctity of life, of tongues, and the like,
whether attained supernaturally, or by study and industry; for in all
cases they are the gifts of God. So likewise where God sayes
(Joel 2.28.) "I will powre out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your Sons
and your Daughters shall prophecy, your Old men shall dream Dreams,
and your Young men shall see Visions," wee are not to understand it
in the proper sense, as if his Spirit were like water, subject to
effusion, or infusion; but as if God had promised to give them
Propheticall Dreams, and Visions. For the proper use of the word
Infused, in speaking of the graces of God, is an abuse of it;
for those graces are Vertues, not Bodies to be carryed hither and
thither, and to be powred into men, as into barrels.

In the same manner, to take Inspiration in the proper sense,
or to say that Good Spirits entred into men to make them prophecy,
or Evill Spirits into those that became Phrenetique, Lunatique,
or Epileptique, is not to take the word in the sense of the Scripture;
for the Spirit there is taken for the power of God, working by causes
to us unknown. As also (Acts 2.2.) the wind, that is there said
to fill the house wherein the Apostles were assembled on the
day of Pentecost, is not to be understood for the Holy Spirit,
which is the Deity it self; but for an Externall sign of Gods
speciall working on their hearts, to effect in them the internall
graces, and holy vertues hee thought requisite for the performance
of their Apostleship.



The Kingdom Of God Taken By Divines Metaphorically
But In The Scriptures Properly
The Kingdome of God in the Writings of Divines, and specially in Sermons,
and Treatises of Devotion, is taken most commonly for Eternall Felicity,
after this life, in the Highest Heaven, which they also call the
Kingdome of Glory; and sometimes for (the earnest of that felicity)
Sanctification, which they terme the Kingdome of Grace, but never
for the Monarchy, that is to say, the Soveraign Power of God over
any Subjects acquired by their own consent, which is the proper
signification of Kingdome.

To the contrary, I find the KINGDOME OF GOD, to signifie in most places
of Scripture, a Kingdome Properly So Named, constituted by the Votes
of the People of Israel in peculiar manner; wherein they chose God
for their King by Covenant made with him, upon Gods promising them
the possession of the land of Canaan; and but seldom metaphorically;
and then it is taken for Dominion Over Sinne; (and only in the
New Testament;) because such a Dominion as that, every Subject
shall have in the Kingdome of God, and without prejudice to the Soveraign.

From the very Creation, God not only reigned over all men Naturally
by his might; but also had Peculiar Subjects, whom he commanded by
a Voice, as one man speaketh to another. In which manner he Reigned
over Adam, and gave him commandement to abstaine from the tree of
cognizance of Good and Evill; which when he obeyed not, but tasting
thereof, took upon him to be as God, judging between Good and Evill,
not by his Creators commandement, but by his own sense, his punishment
was a privation of the estate of Eternall life, wherein God had
at first created him: And afterwards God punished his posterity,
for their vices, all but eight persons, with an universall deluge;
And in these eight did consist the then Kingdome Of God.

The Originall Of The Kingdome Of God
After this, it pleased God to speak to Abraham, and (Gen. 17.7,8.)
to make a Covenant with him in these words, "I will establish
my Covenant between me, and thee, and thy seed after thee
in their generations, for an everlasting Covenant, to be a God to thee,
and to thy seed after thee; And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed
after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land
of Canaan for an everlasting possession." And for a memoriall,
and a token of this Covenant, he ordaineth (verse 11.) the Sacrament
of Circumcision. This is it which is called the Old Covenant,
or Testament; and containeth a Contract between God and Abraham;
by which Abraham obligeth himself, and his posterity, in a peculiar
manner to be subject to Gods positive Law; for to the Law Morall
he was obliged before, as by an Oath of Allegiance. And though
the name of King be not yet given to God, nor of Kingdome to Abraham
and his seed; yet the thing is the same; namely, an Institution by pact,
of Gods peculiar Soveraignty over the seed of Abraham; which in
the renewing of the same Covenant by Moses, at Mount Sinai,
is expressely called a peculiar Kingdome of God over the Jews:
and it is of Abraham (not of Moses) St. Paul saith (Rom. 4.11.)
that he is the "Father of the Faithfull," that is, of those that
are loyall, and doe not violate their Allegiance sworn to God,
then by Circumcision, and afterwards in the New Covenant by Baptisme.

That The Kingdome Of God Is Properly
His Civill Soveraignty Over A Peculiar People By Pact
This Covenant, at the Foot of Mount Sinai, was renewed by Moses
(Exod. 19.5.) where the Lord commandeth Moses to speak to the people
in this manner, "If you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my Covenant,
then yee shall be a peculiar people to me, for all the Earth is mine;
and yee shall be unto me a Sacerdotall Kingdome, and an holy Nation."
For a "Peculiar people" the vulgar Latine hath, Peculium De
Cunctis Populis: the English translation made in the beginning of
the Reign of King James, hath, a "Peculiar treasure unto me
above all Nations;" and the Geneva French, "the most precious Jewel
of all Nations." But the truest Translation is the first,
because it is confirmed by St. Paul himself (Tit. 2.14.) where he saith,
alluding to that place, that our blessed Saviour "gave himself for us,
that he might purifie us to himself, a peculiar (that is,
an extraordinary) people:" for the word is in the Greek periousios,
which is opposed commonly to the word epiousios: and as this signifieth
Ordinary, Quotidian, or (as in the Lords Prayer) Of Daily Use;
so the other signifieth that which is Overplus, and Stored Up,
and Enjoyed In A Speciall Manner; which the Latines call Peculium;
and this meaning of the place is confirmed by the reason God
rendereth of it, which followeth immediately, in that he addeth,
"For all the Earth is mine," as if he should say, "All the Nations
of the world are mine;" but it is not so that you are mine,
but in a Speciall Manner: For they are all mine, by reason of my Power;
but you shall be mine, by your own Consent, and Covenant; which is
an addition to his ordinary title, to all nations.

The same is again confirmed in expresse words in the same Text,
"Yee shall be to me a Sacerdotall Kingdome, and an holy Nation."
The Vulgar Latine hath it, Regnum Sacerdotale, to which agreeth
the Translation of that place (1 Pet. 2.9.) Sacerdotium Regale,
A Regal Priesthood; as also the Institution it self, by which no man
might enter into the Sanctum Sanctorum, that is to say, no man
might enquire Gods will immediately of God himselfe, but onely
the High Priest. The English Translation before mentioned,
following that of Geneva, has, "a Kingdome of Priests;" which is
either meant of the succession of one High Priest after another,
or else it accordeth not with St. Peter, nor with the exercise
of the High Priesthood; For there was never any but the High Priest
onely, that was to informe the People of Gods Will; nor any Convocation
of Priests ever allowed to enter into the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Again, the title of a Holy Nation confirmes the same: For Holy
signifies, that which is Gods by speciall, not by generall Right.
All the Earth (as is said in the text) is Gods; but all the Earth
is not called Holy, but that onely which is set apart for his
especiall service, as was the Nation of the Jews. It is therefore
manifest enough by this one place, that by the Kingdome of God,
is properly meant a Common-wealth, instituted (by the consent of those
which were to be subject thereto) for their Civill Government,
and the regulating of their behaviour, not onely towards God their King,
but also towards one another in point of justice, and towards
other Nations both in peace and warre; which properly was a Kingdome,
wherein God was King, and the High priest was to be (after the death
of Moses) his sole Viceroy, or Lieutenant.

But there be many other places that clearly prove the same.
As first (1 Sam. 8.7.) when the Elders of Israel (grieved with
the corruption of the Sons of Samuel) demanded a King, Samuel displeased
therewith, prayed unto the Lord; and the Lord answering said unto him,
"Hearken unto the voice of the People, for they have not rejected thee,
but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."
Out of which it is evident, that God himself was then their King;
and Samuel did not command the people, but only delivered to them
that which God from time to time appointed him.

Again, (1 Sam. 12.12.) where Samuel saith to the People, "When yee
saw that Nahash King of the Children of Ammon came against you,
ye said unto me, Nay, but a King shall reign over us, when the
Lord your God was your King:" It is manifest that God was their King,
and governed the Civill State of their Common-wealth.

And after the Israelites had rejected God, the Prophets did
foretell his restitution; as (Isaiah 24.23.) "Then the Moon shall
be confounded, and the Sun ashamed when the Lord of Hosts shall
reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem;" where he speaketh
expressely of his Reign in Zion, and Jerusalem; that is, on Earth.
And (Micah 4.7.) "And the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion:"
This Mount Zion is in Jerusalem upon the Earth. And (Ezek. 20.33.)
"As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand,
and a stretched out arme, and with fury powred out, I wil rule over you;
and (verse 37.) I will cause you to passe under the rod, and I will
bring you into the bond of the Covenant;" that is, I will reign over you,
and make you to stand to that Covenant which you made with me by Moses,
and brake in your rebellion against me in the days of Samuel,
and in your election of another King.

And in the New testament, the Angel Gabriel saith of our Saviour
(Luke 1.32,33) "He shall be great, and be called the Son of the
Most High, and the Lord shall give him the throne of his Father David;
and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his Kingdome
there shall be no end." This is also a Kingdome upon Earth;
for the claim whereof, as an enemy to Caesar, he was put to death;
the title of his crosse, was, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews;
hee was crowned in scorn with a crown of Thornes; and for the
proclaiming of him, it is said of the Disciples (Acts 17.7.)
"That they did all of them contrary to the decrees of Caesar,
saying there was another King, one Jesus. The Kingdome therefore
of God, is a reall, not a metaphoricall Kingdome; and so taken,
not onely in the Old Testament, but the New; when we say,
"For thine is the Kingdome, the Power, and Glory," it is to be
understood of Gods Kingdome, by force of our Covenant, not by
the Right of Gods Power; for such a Kingdome God alwaies hath;
so that it were superfluous to say in our prayer, "Thy Kingdome come,"
unlesse it be meant of the Restauration of that Kingdome of God
by Christ, which by revolt of the Israelites had been interrupted
in the election of Saul. Nor had it been proper to say,
"The Kingdome of Heaven is at hand," or to pray, "Thy Kingdome come,"
if it had still continued.

There be so many other places that confirm this interpretation,
that it were a wonder there is no greater notice taken of it,
but that it gives too much light to Christian Kings to see their
right of Ecclesiastical Government. This they have observed,
that in stead of a Sacerdotall Kingdome, translate, a Kingdome
of Priests: for they may as well translate a Royall Priesthood,
(as it is in St. Peter) into a Priesthood of Kings. And whereas,
for a Peculiar People, they put a Pretious Jewel, or Treasure,
a man might as well call the speciall Regiment, or Company
of a Generall, the Generalls pretious Jewel, or his Treasure.

In short, the Kingdome of God is a Civill Kingdome; which consisted,
first in the obligation of the people of Israel to those Laws,
which Moses should bring unto them from Mount Sinai; and which
afterwards the High Priest of the time being, should deliver
to them from before the Cherubins in the Sanctum Sanctorum;
and which kingdome having been cast off, in the election of Saul,
the Prophets foretold, should be restored by Christ; and the
Restauration whereof we daily pray for, when we say in the
Lords Prayer, "Thy Kingdome come;" and the Right whereof we
acknowledge, when we adde, "For thine is the Kingdome, the Power,
and Glory, for ever and ever, Amen;" and the Proclaiming whereof,
was the Preaching of the Apostles; and to which men are prepared,
by the Teachers of the Gospel; to embrace which Gospel, (that is to say,
to promise obedience to Gods government) is, to bee in the Kingdome
of Grace, because God hath gratis given to such the power to bee
the subjects (that is, Children) of God hereafter, when Christ
shall come in Majesty to judge the world, and actually to
govern his owne people, which is called the Kingdome of Glory.
If the Kingdome of God (called also the Kingdome of Heaven,
from the gloriousnesse, and admirable height of that throne)
were not a Kingdome which God by his Lieutenant, or Vicars,
who deliver his Commandements to the people, did exercise on Earth;
there would not have been so much contention, and warre, about who
it is, by whom God speaketh to us; neither would many Priests
have troubled themselves with Spirituall Jurisdiction, nor any King
have denied it them.

Out of this literall interpretation of the Kingdome of God, ariseth
also the true interpretation of the word HOLY. For it is a word,
which in Gods Kingdome answereth to that, which men in their Kingdomes
use to call Publique, or the Kings.

The King of any Countrey is the Publique Person, or Representative
of all his own Subjects. And God the King of Israel was the
Holy One of Israel. The Nation which is subject to one earthly
Soveraign, is the Nation of that Soveraign, that is, of the
Publique Person. So the Jews, who were Gods Nation, were called
(Exod. 19.6.) "a Holy Nation." For by Holy, is alwaies understood,
either God himselfe, or that which is Gods in propriety; as by Publique
is alwaies meant, either the Person of the Common-wealth it self,
or something that is so the Common-wealths, as no private person
can claim any propriety therein.

Therefore the Sabbath (Gods day) is a Holy Day; the Temple,
(Gods house) a Holy House; Sacrifices, Tithes, and Offerings
(Gods tribute) Holy Duties; Priests, Prophets, and anointed Kings,
under Christ (Gods ministers) Holy Men; The Coelestiall ministring
Spirits (Gods Messengers) Holy Angels; and the like: and wheresoever
the word Holy is taken properly, there is still something signified
of Propriety, gotten by consent. In saying "Hallowed be thy name,"
we do but pray to God for grace to keep the first Commandement,
of "having no other Gods but Him." Mankind is Gods Nation in
propriety: but the Jews only were a Holy Nation. Why, but because
they became his Propriety by covenant.

Sacred What
And the word Profane, is usually taken in the Scripture for the same
with Common; and consequently their contraries, Holy, and Proper,
in the Kingdome of God must be the same also. But figuratively,
those men also are called Holy, that led such godly lives, as if
they had forsaken all worldly designes, and wholly devoted,
and given themselves to God. In the proper sense, that which
is made Holy by Gods appropriating or separating it to his own use,
is said to be Sanctified by God, as the Seventh day in the fourth
Commandement; and as the Elect in the New Testament were said to
bee Sanctified, when they were endued with the Spirit of godlinesse.
And that which is made Holy by the dedication of men, and given
to God, so as to be used onely in his publique service, is called
also SACRED, and said to be consecrated, as Temples, and other
Houses of Publique Prayer, and their Utensils, Priests, and
Ministers, Victimes, Offerings, and the externall matter of Sacraments.

Degrees of Sanctity
Of Holinesse there be degrees: for of those things that are set apart
for the service of God, there may bee some set apart again,
for a neerer and more especial service. The whole Nation of the
Israelites were a people Holy to God; yet the tribe of Levi
was amongst the Israelites a Holy tribe; and amongst the Levites,
the Priests were yet more Holy; and amongst the Priests, the High Priest
was the most Holy. So the Land of Judea was the Holy Land; but the
Holy City wherein God was to be worshipped, was more Holy; and again,
the Temples more Holy than the City; and the Sanctum Sanctorum
more Holy than the rest of the Temple.

A SACRAMENT, is a separation of some visible thing from common use;
and a consecration of it to Gods service, for a sign, either
of our admission into the Kingdome of God, to be of the number
of his peculiar people, or for a Commemoration of the same.
In the Old Testament, the sign of Admission was Circumcision;
in the New Testament, Baptisme. The Commemoration of it in
the Old Testament, was the Eating (at a certain time, which
was Anniversary) of the Paschall Lamb; by which they were put
in mind of the night wherein they were delivered out of their
bondage in Egypt; and in the New Testament, the celebrating of
the Lords Supper; by which, we are put in mind, of our deliverance
from the bondage of sin, by our Blessed Saviours death upon the crosse.
The Sacraments of Admission, are but once to be used, because there
needs but one Admission; but because we have need of being often
put in mind of our deliverance, and of our Allegeance, The Sacraments
of Commemoration have need to be reiterated. And these are the
principall Sacraments, and as it were the solemne oathes we make
of our Alleageance. There be also other Consecrations, that may
be called Sacraments, as the word implyeth onely Consecration to
Gods service; but as it implies an oath, or promise of Alleageance
to God, there were no other in the Old Testament, but Circumcision,
and the Passover; nor are there any other in the New Testament,
but Baptisme, and the Lords Supper.



Word What
When there is mention of the Word of God, or of Man, it doth not
signifie a part of Speech, such as Grammarians call a Nown, or a Verb,
or any simple voice, without a contexture with other words to make
it significative; but a perfect Speech or Discourse, whereby
the speaker Affirmeth, Denieth, Commandeth, Promiseth, Threateneth,
Wisheth, or Interrogateth. In which sense it is not Vocabulum,
that signifies a Word; but Sermo, (in Greek Logos) that is some Speech,
Discourse, or Saying.

The Words Spoken By God And Concerning God,
Both Are Called Gods Word In Scripture
Again, if we say the Word of God, or of Man, it may bee understood
sometimes of the Speaker, (as the words that God hath spoken,
or that a Man hath spoken): In which sense, when we say, the Gospel
of St. Matthew, we understand St. Matthew to be the Writer of it:
and sometimes of the Subject: In which sense, when we read in the Bible,
"The words of the days of the Kings of Israel, or Judah," 'tis meant,
that the acts that were done in those days, were the Subject of
those Words; And in the Greek, which (in the Scripture) retaineth
many Hebraismes, by the Word of God is oftentimes meant, not that
which is spoken by God, but concerning God, and his government;
that is to say, the Doctrine of Religion: Insomuch, as it is all one,
to say Logos Theou, and Theologia; which is, that Doctrine which wee
usually call Divinity, as is manifest by the places following
(Acts 13.46.) "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said,
It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been
spoken to you, but seeing you put it from you, and judge your
selves unworthy of everlasting life, loe, we turn to the Gentiles."
That which is here called the Word of god, was the Doctrine of
Christian Religion; as it appears evidently by that which goes before.
And (Acts 5.20.) where it is said to the Apostles by an Angel,
"Go stand and speak in the Temple, all the Words of this life;"
by the Words of this life, is meant, the Doctrine of the Gospel;
as is evident by what they did in the Temple, and is expressed
in the last verse of the same Chap. "Daily in the Temple, and in
every house they ceased not to teach and preach Christ Jesus:"
In which place it is manifest, that Jesus Christ was the subject
of this Word of Life; or (which is all one) the subject of the
Words of this Life Eternall, that our saviour offered them.
So (Acts 15.7.) the Word of God, is called the Word of the Gospel,
because it containeth the Doctrine of the Kingdome of Christ;
and the same Word (Rom. 10.8,9.) is called the Word of Faith;
that is, as is there expressed, the Doctrine of Christ come,
and raised from the dead. Also (Mat. 13. 19.) "When any one
heareth the Word of the Kingdome;" that is, the Doctrine of
the Kingdome taught by Christ. Again, the same Word, is said
(Acts 12. 24.) "to grow and to be multiplied;" which to understand
of the Evangelicall Doctrine is easie, but of the Voice, or Speech
of God, hard and strange. In the same sense the Doctrine of Devils,
signifieth not the Words of any Devill, but the Doctrine of
Heathen men concerning Daemons, and those Phantasms which they
worshipped as Gods. (1 Tim. 4.1.)

Considering these two significations of the WORD OF GOD, as it is
taken in Scripture, it is manifest in this later sense (where it is
taken for the Doctrine of the Christian Religion,) that the whole
scripture is the Word of God: but in the former sense not so.
For example, though these words, "I am the Lord thy God, &c."
to the end of the Ten Commandements, were spoken by God to Moses;
yet the Preface, "God spake these words and said," is to be understood
for the Words of him that wrote the holy History. The Word of God,
as it is taken for that which he hath spoken, is understood
sometimes Properly, sometimes Metaphorically. Properly, as the words,
he hath spoken to his Prophets; Metaphorically, for his Wisdome, Power,
and eternall Decree, in making the world; in which sense, those Fiats,
"Let there be light," "Let there be a firmament," "Let us make man," &c.
(Gen. 1.) are the Word of God. And in the same sense it is said
(John 1.3.) "All things were made by it, and without it was nothing
made that was made; And (Heb. 1.3.) "He upholdeth all things by
the word of his Power;" that is, by the Power of his Word; that is,
by his Power; and (Heb. 11.3.) "The worlds were framed by the
Word of God;" and many other places to the same sense: As also
amongst the Latines, the name of Fate, which signifieth properly
The Word Spoken, is taken in the same sense.

Secondly, For The Effect Of His Word
Secondly, for the effect of his Word; that is to say, for the thing
it self, which by his Word is Affirmed, Commanded, Threatned,
or Promised; as (Psalm 105.19.) where Joseph is said to have been
kept in prison, "till his Word was come;" that is, till that was
come to passe which he had (Gen. 40.13.) foretold to Pharaohs Butler,
concerning his being restored to his office: for there by His Word
Was Come, is meant, the thing it self was come to passe.
So also (1 King. 18.36.) Elijah saith to God, "I have done all
these thy Words," in stead of "I have done all these things at
thy Word," or commandement: and (Jer. 17.15.) "Where is the Word
of the Lord," is put for, "Where is the Evill he threatened:"
And (Ezek. 12.28.) "There shall none of my Words be prolonged
any more:" by "Words" are understood those Things, which God
promised to his people. And in the New Testament (Mat. 24.35.)
"heaven and earth shal pass away, but my Words shall not pass away;"
that is, there is nothing that I have promised or foretold,
that shall not come to passe. And in this sense it is, that
St. John the Evangelist, and, I think, St. John onely calleth
our Saviour himself as in the flesh "the Word of God (as Joh. 1.14.)
the Word was made Flesh;" that is to say, the Word, or Promise
that Christ should come into the world, "who in the beginning
was with God;" that is to say, it was in the purpose of God the Father,
to send God the Son into the world, to enlighten men in the way
of Eternall life, but it was not till then put in execution,
and actually incarnate; So that our Saviour is there called
"the Word," not because he was the promise, but the thing promised.
They that taking occasion from this place, doe commonly call
him the Verbe of God, do but render the text more obscure.
They might as well term him the Nown of God: for as by Nown,
so also by Verbe, men understand nothing but a part of speech,
a voice, a sound, that neither affirms, nor denies, nor commands,
nor promiseth, nor is any substance corporeall, or spirituall;
and therefore it cannot be said to bee either God, or Man;
whereas our Saviour is both. And this Word which St. John in
his Gospel saith was with God, is (in his 1 Epistle, verse 1.)
called "the Word of Life;" and (verse 2.) "The eternall life,
which was with the Father:" so that he can be in no other sense
called the Word, then in that, wherein he is called Eternall life;
that is, "he that hath procured us Eternall life," by his comming
in the flesh. So also (Apocalypse 19.13.) the Apostle speaking
of Christ, clothed in a garment dipt in bloud, saith; his name is
"the Word of God;" which is to be understood, as if he had said
his name had been, "He that was come according to the purpose
of God from the beginning, and according to his Word and promises
delivered by the Prophets." So that there is nothing here of the
Incarnation of a Word, but of the Incarnation of God the Son,
therefore called the Word, because his Incarnation was the
Performance of the Promise; In like manner as the Holy Ghost
is called The Promise. (Acts 1.4. Luke 24.49.)

Thirdly, For The Words Of Reason And Equity
There are also places of the Scripture, where, by the Word of God,
is signified such Words as are consonant to reason, and equity,
though spoken sometimes neither by prophet, nor by a holy man.
For Pharaoh Necho was an Idolator; yet his Words to the good
King Josiah, in which he advised him by Messengers, not to oppose
him in his march against Carchemish, are said to have proceeded
from the mouth of God; and that Josiah not hearkning to them,
was slain in the battle; as is to be read 2 Chron. 35. vers. 21,22,23.
It is true, that as the same History is related in the first
book of Esdras, not Pharaoh, but Jeremiah spake these words
to Josiah, from the mouth of the Lord. But wee are to give credit
to the Canonicall Scripture, whatsoever be written in the Apocrypha.

The Word of God, is then also to be taken for the Dictates of reason,
and equity, when the same is said in the Scriptures to bee written
in mans heart; as Psalm 36.31. Jerem. 31.33. Deut.30.11, 14. and many
other like places.

Divers Acceptions Of The Word Prophet
The name of PROPHET, signifieth in Scripture sometimes Prolocutor;
that is, he that speaketh from God to Man, or from man to God:
And sometimes Praedictor, or a foreteller of things to come;
And sometimes one that speaketh incoherently, as men that are distracted.
It is most frequently used in the sense of speaking from God
to the People. So Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah,
and others were Prophets. And in this sense the High Priest
was a Prophet, for he only went into the Sanctum Sanctorum,
to enquire of God; and was to declare his answer to the people.
And therefore when Caiphas said, it was expedient that one man
should die for the people, St. John saith (chap. 11.51.) that
"He spake not this of himselfe, but being High Priest that year,
he prophesied that one man should dye for the nation." Also they that
in Christian Congregations taught the people, (1 Cor. 14.3.)
are said to Prophecy. In the like sense it is, that God saith
to Moses (Exod. 4.16.) concerning "Aaron, He shall be thy Spokes-man
to the People; and he shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be
to him in stead of God;" that which here is Spokes-man, is (chap.7.1.)
interpreted Prophet; "See (saith God) I have made thee a God to Pharaoh,
and Aaron thy Brother shall be thy Prophet." In the sense of speaking
from man to God, Abraham is called a Prophet (Genes. 20.7.) where God
in a Dream speaketh to Abimelech in this manner, "Now therefore restore
the man his wife, for he is a Prophet, and shall pray for thee;"
whereby may be also gathered, that the name of Prophet may be given,
not unproperly to them that in Christian Churches, have a Calling
to say publique prayers for the Congregation. In the same sense,
the Prophets that came down from the High place (or Hill of God)
with a Psaltery, and a Tabret, and a Pipe, and a Harp (1 Sam. 10.5,6.)
and (vers. 10.) Saul amongst them, are said to Prophecy, in that
they praised God, in that manner publiquely. In the like sense,
is Miriam (Exod. 15.20.) called a Prophetesse. So is it also
to be taken (1 Cor. 11.4,5.) where St. Paul saith, "Every man
that prayeth or prophecyeth with his head covered, &c. and every
woman that prayeth or prophecyeth with her head uncovered: For Prophecy
in that place, signifieth no more, but praising God in Psalmes,
and Holy Songs; which women might doe in the Church, though
it were not lawfull for them to speak to the Congregation.
And in this signification it is, that the Poets of the Heathen,
that composed Hymnes and other sorts of Poems in the honor
of their Gods, were called Vates (Prophets) as is well enough
known by all that are versed in the Books of the Gentiles,
and as is evident (Tit. 1.12.) where St. Paul saith of the Cretians,
that a Prophet of their owne said, they were Liars; not that
St. Paul held their Poets for Prophets, but acknowledgeth that
the word Prophet was commonly used to signifie them that celebrated
the honour of God in Verse

Praediction Of Future Contingents, Not Alwaies Prophecy
When by Prophecy is meant Praediction, or foretelling of future
Contingents; not only they were Prophets, who were Gods Spokesmen,
and foretold those things to others, which God had foretold to them;
but also all those Imposters, that pretend by the helpe of
familiar spirits, or by superstitious divination of events past,
from false causes, to foretell the like events in time to come:
of which (as I have declared already in the 12. chapter of
this Discourse) there be many kinds, who gain in the opinion
of the common sort of men, a greater reputation of Prophecy,
by one casuall event that may bee but wrested to their purpose,
than can be lost again by never so many failings. Prophecy is not
an art, nor (when it is taken for Praediction) a constant Vocation;
but an extraordinary, and temporary Employment from God, most often
of Good men, but sometimes also of the Wicked. The woman of Endor,
who is said to have had a familiar spirit, and thereby to have raised
a Phantasme of Samuel, and foretold Saul his death, was not therefore
a Prophetesse; for neither had she any science, whereby she could
raise such a Phantasme; nor does it appear that God commanded
the raising of it; but onely guided that Imposture to be a means
of Sauls terror and discouragement; and by consequent, of the
discomfiture, by which he fell. And for Incoherent Speech,
it was amongst the Gentiles taken for one sort of Prophecy,
because the Prophets of their Oracles, intoxicated with a spirit,
or vapour from the cave of the Pythian Oracle at Delphi, were for
the time really mad, and spake like mad-men; of whose loose words
a sense might be made to fit any event, in such sort, as all bodies
are said to be made of Materia prima. In the Scripture I find it also
so taken (1 Sam. 18. 10.) in these words, "And the Evill spirit came
upon Saul, and he Prophecyed in the midst of the house."

The Manner How God Hath Spoken To The Prophets
And although there be so many significations in Scripture of
the word Prophet; yet is that the most frequent, in which it is
taken for him, to whom God speaketh immediately, that which
the Prophet is to say from him, to some other man, or to the people.
And hereupon a question may be asked, in what manner God speaketh
to such a Prophet. Can it(may some say) be properly said,
that God hath voice and language, when it cannot be properly said,
he hath a tongue, or other organs, as a man? The Prophet David
argueth thus, "Shall he that made the eye, not see? or he that
made the ear, not hear? But this may be spoken, not (as usually)
to signifie Gods nature, but to signifie our intention to honor him.
For to See, and Hear, are Honorable Attributes, and may be
given to God, to declare (as far as our capacity can conceive)
his Almighty power. But if it were to be taken in the strict,
and proper sense, one might argue from his making of all parts
of mans body, that he had also the same use of them which
we have; which would be many of them so uncomely, as it would be
the greatest contumely in the world to ascribe them to him.
Therefore we are to interpret Gods speaking to men immediately,
for that way (whatsoever it be), by which God makes them understand
his will: And the wayes whereby he doth this, are many; and to be
sought onely in the Holy Scripture: where though many times
it be said, that God spake to this, and that person, without
declaring in what manner; yet there be again many places, that
deliver also the signes by which they were to acknowledge
his presence, and commandement; and by these may be understood,
how he spake to many of the rest.

To The Extraordinary Prophets Of The Old Testament
He Spake By Dreams, Or Visions
In what manner God spake to Adam, and Eve, and Cain, and Noah,
is not expressed; nor how he spake to Abraham, till such time as
he came out of his own countrey to Sichem in the land of Canaan;
and then (Gen. 12.7.) God is said to have Appeared to him.
So there is one way, whereby God made his presence manifest;
that is, by an Apparition, or Vision. And again, (Gen. 15.1.)
The Word of the Lord came to Abraham in a Vision; that is to say,
somewhat, as a sign of Gods presence, appeared as Gods Messenger,
to speak to him. Again, the Lord appeared to Abraham (Gen. 18. 1.)
by an apparition of three Angels; and to Abimelech (Gen. 20. 3.)
in a dream: To Lot (Gen. 19. 1.) by an apparition of Two Angels:
And to Hagar (Gen. 21. 17.) by the apparition of one Angel:
And to Abraham again (Gen. 22. 11.) by the apparition of a voice
from heaven: And (Gen. 26. 24.) to Isaac in the night; (that is,
in his sleep, or by dream): And to Jacob (Gen. 18. 12.) in a dream;
that is to say (as are the words of the text) "Jacob dreamed
that he saw a ladder, &c." And (Gen. 32. 1.) in a Vision of Angels:
And to Moses (Exod. 3.2.) in the apparition of a flame of fire
out of the midst of a bush: And after the time of Moses, (where the
manner how God spake immediately to man in the Old Testament,
is expressed) hee spake alwaies by a Vision, or by a Dream;
as to Gideon, Samuel, Eliah, Elisha, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the rest
of the Prophets; and often in the New Testament, as to Joseph,
to St. Peter, to St. Paul, and to St. John the Evangelist
in the Apocalypse.

Onely to Moses hee spake in a more extraordinary manner in Mount Sinai,
and in the Tabernacle; and to the High Priest in the Tabernacle,
and in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple. But Moses, and after him
the High Priests were Prophets of a more eminent place, and degree
in Gods favour; And God himself in express words declareth, that to
other Prophets hee spake in Dreams and Visions, but to his servant Moses,
in such manner as a man speaketh to his friend. The words are these
(Numb. 12. 6,7,8.) "If there be a Prophet among you, I the Lord will make
my self known to him in a Vision, and will speak unto him in a Dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithfull in all my house;
with him I will speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, not in
dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold."
And (Exod. 33. 11.) "The Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man
speaketh to his friend." And yet this speaking of God to Moses,
was by mediation of an Angel, or Angels, as appears expressely,
Acts 7. ver. 35. and 53. and Gal. 3. 19. and was therefore a Vision,
though a more cleer Vision than was given to other Prophets.
And conformable hereunto, where God saith (Deut. 13. 1.) "If there
arise amongst you a Prophet, or Dreamer of Dreams," the later word
is but the interpretation of the former. And (Joel 2. 28.) "Your sons
and your daughters shall Prophecy; your old men shall dream Dreams,
and your young men shall see Visions:" where again, the word Prophecy
is expounded by Dream, and Vision. And in the same manner it was,
that God spake to Solomon, promising him Wisdome, Riches, and Honor;
for the text saith, (1 Kings 3. 15.) "And Solomon awoak, and behold
it was a Dream:" So that generally the Prophets extraordinary in the
old Testament took notice of the Word of God no otherwise, than from
their Dreams, or Visions, that is to say, from the imaginations
which they had in their sleep, or in an Extasie; which imaginations
in every true Prophet were supernaturall; but in false Prophets
were either naturall, or feigned.

The same Prophets were neverthelesse said to speak by the Spirit;
as (Zach. 7. 12.) where the Prophet speaking of the Jewes, saith,
"They made their hearths hard as Adamant, lest they should hear the law,
and the words which the Lord of Hosts hath sent in his Spirit
by the former Prophets." By which it is manifest, that speaking
by the Spirit, or Inspiration, was not a particular manner
of Gods speaking, different from Vision, when they that were said
to speak by the Spirit, were extraordinary Prophets, such as for
every new message, were to have a particular Commission, or
(which is all one) a new Dream, or Vision.

To Prophets Of Perpetuall Calling, And Supreme,
God Spake In The Old Testament From The Mercy Seat,
In A Manner Not Expressed In The Scripture.
Of Prophets, that were so by a perpetuall Calling in the Old Testament,
some were Supreme, and some Subordinate: Supreme were first Moses;
and after him the High Priest, every one for his time, as long as
the Priesthood was Royall; and after the people of the Jews,
had rejected God, that he should no more reign over them,
those Kings which submitted themselves to Gods government,
were also his chief Prophets; and the High Priests office
became Ministeriall. And when God was to be consulted, they put on
the holy vestments, and enquired of the Lord, as the King commanded them,
and were deprived of their office, when the King thought fit.
For King Saul (1 Sam. 13. 9.) commanded the burnt offering to
be brought, and (1 Sam. 14. 18.) he commands the Priest to bring
the Ark neer him; and (ver. 19.) again to let it alone, because he saw
an advantage upon his enemies. And in the same chapter Saul asketh
counsell of God. In like manner King David, after his being anointed,
though before he had possession of the Kingdome, is said to
"enquire of the Lord" (1 Sam. 23. 2.) whether he should fight
against the Philistines at Keilah; and (verse 10.) David commandeth
the Priest to bring him the Ephod, to enquire whether he should stay
in Keilah, or not. And King Solomon (1 Kings 2. 27.) took
the Priesthood from Abiathar, and gave it (verse 35.) to Zadoc.
Therefore Moses, and the High Priests, and the pious Kings,
who enquired of God on all extraordinary occasions, how they
were to carry themselves, or what event they were to have,
were all Soveraign Prophets. But in what manner God spake unto them,
is not manifest. To say that when Moses went up to God in Mount Sinai,
it was a Dream, or Vision, such as other Prophets had, is contrary
to that distinction which God made between Moses, and other Prophets,
Numb. 12. 6,7,8. To say God spake or appeared as he is in his own nature,
is to deny his Infinitenesse, Invisibility, Incomprehensibility.
To say he spake by Inspiration, or Infusion of the Holy Spirit,
as the Holy Spirit signifieth the Deity, is to make Moses equall
with Christ, in whom onely the Godhead (as St. Paul speaketh Col. 2.9.)
dwelleth bodily. And lastly, to say he spake by the Holy Spirit,
as it signifieth the graces, or gifts of the Holy Spirit, is to
attribute nothing to him supernaturall. For God disposeth men to Piety,
Justice, Mercy, Truth, Faith, and all manner of Vertue, both Morall,
and Intellectuall, by doctrine, example, and by severall occasions,
naturall, and ordinary.

And as these ways cannot be applyed to God, in his speaking to Moses,
at Mount Sinai; so also, they cannot be applyed to him, in his
speaking to the High Priests, from the Mercy-Seat. Therefore in what
manner God spake to those Soveraign Prophets of the Old Testament,
whose office it was to enquire of him, is not intelligible.
In the time of the New Testament, there was no Soveraign
Prophet, but our Saviour; who was both God that spake, and
the Prophet to whom he spake.

To Prophets Of Perpetuall Calling, But Subordinate,
God Spake By The Spirit.
To subordinate Prophets of perpetuall Calling, I find not any place
that proveth God spake to them supernaturally; but onely in
such manner, as naturally he inclineth men to Piety, to Beleef,
to Righteousnesse, and to other vertues all other Christian Men.
Which way, though it consist in Constitution, Instruction, Education,
and the occasions and invitements men have to Christian vertues;
yet it is truly attributed to the operation of the Spirit of God,
or Holy Spirit (which we in our language call the Holy Ghost):
For there is no good inclination, that is not of the operation of God.
But these operations are not alwaies supernaturall. When therefore
a Prophet is said to speak in the Spirit, or by the Spirit of God,
we are to understand no more, but that he speaks according to Gods will,
declared by the supreme Prophet. For the most common acceptation
of the word Spirit, is in the signification of a mans intention,
mind, or disposition.

In the time of Moses, there were seventy men besides himself,
that Prophecyed in the Campe of the Israelites. In what manner
God spake to them, is declared in the 11 of Numbers, verse 25.
"The Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto Moses, and took of
the Spirit that was upon him, and gave it to the seventy Elders.
And it came to passe, when the Spirit rested upon them, they Prophecyed,
and did not cease, By which it is manifest, first, that their
Prophecying to the people, was subservient, and subordinate to
the Prophecying of Moses; for that God took of the Spirit of Moses,
to put upon them; so that they Prophecyed as Moses would have them:
otherwise they had not been suffered to Prophecy at all.
For there was (verse 27.) a complaint made against them to Moses;
and Joshua would have Moses to have forbidden them; which he did not,
but said to Joshua, Bee not jealous in my behalf. Secondly, that
the Spirit of God in that place, signifieth nothing but the Mind
and Disposition to obey, and assist Moses in the administration
of the Government. For if it were meant they had the substantial
Spirit of God ; that is, the Divine nature, inspired into them,
then they had it in no lesse manner than Christ himself, in whom
onely the Spirit of God dwelt bodily. It is meant therefore
of the Gift and Grace of God, that guided them to co-operate with Moses;
from whom their Spirit was derived. And it appeareth (verse 16.) that,
they were such as Moses himself should appoint for Elders and Officers
of the People: For the words are, "Gather unto me seventy men,
whom thou knowest to be Elders and Officers of the people:" where,
"thou knowest," is the same with "thou appointest," or "hast appointed
to be such." For we are told before (Exod. 18.) that Moses following
the counsell of Jethro his Father-in-law, did appoint Judges,
and Officers over the people, such as feared God; and of these,
were those Seventy, whom God by putting upon them Moses spirit,
inclined to aid Moses in the Administration of the Kingdome:
and in this sense the Spirit of God is said (1 Sam. 16. 13, 14.)
presently upon the anointing of David, to have come upon
David, and left Saul; God giving his graces to him he chose to
govern his people, and taking them away from him, he rejected.
So that by the Spirit is meant Inclination to Gods service;
and not any supernaturall Revelation.

God Sometimes Also Spake By Lots
God spake also many times by the event of Lots; which were
ordered by such as he had put in Authority over his people.
So wee read that God manifested by the Lots which Saul caused
to be drawn (1 Sam. 14. 43.) the fault that Jonathan had committed,
in eating a honey-comb, contrary to the oath taken by the people.
And (Josh. 18. 10.) God divided the land of Canaan amongst the Israelite,
by the "lots that Joshua did cast before the Lord in Shiloh."
In the same manner it seemeth to be, that God discovered
(Joshua 7.16., &c.) the crime of Achan. And these are the wayes
whereby God declared his Will in the Old Testament.

All which ways he used also in the New Testament. To the Virgin Mary,
by a Vision of an Angel: To Joseph in a Dream: again to Paul in the way
to Damascus in a Vision of our Saviour: and to Peter in the Vision
of a sheet let down from heaven, with divers sorts of flesh, of clean
and unclean, beasts; and in prison, by Vision of an Angel: And to all
the Apostles, and Writers of the New Testament, by the graces of
his Spirit; and to the Apostles again (at the choosing of Matthias
in the place of Judas Iscariot) by lot.

Every Man Ought To Examine The Probability
Of A Pretended Prophets Calling
Seeing then all Prophecy supposeth Vision, or Dream, (which two,
when they be naturall, are the same,) or some especiall gift of God,
so rarely observed in mankind, as to be admired where observed;
and seeing as well such gifts, as the most extraordinary Dreams,
and Visions, may proceed from God, not onely by his supernaturall,
and immediate, but also by his naturall operation, and by mediation
of second causes; there is need of Reason and Judgement to discern
between naturall, and supernaturall Gifts, and between naturall,
and supernaturall Visions, or Dreams. And consequently men had need
to be very circumspect, and wary, in obeying the voice of man,
that pretending himself to be a Prophet, requires us to obey God in
that way, which he in Gods name telleth us to be the way to happinesse.
For he that pretends to teach men the way of so great felicity,
pretends to govern them; that is to say, to rule, and reign over them;
which is a thing, that all men naturally desire, and is therefore
worthy to be suspected of Ambition and Imposture; and consequently,
ought to be examined, and tryed by every man, before hee yeeld
them obedience; unlesse he have yeelded it them already, in the
institution of a Common-wealth; as when the Prophet is the
Civill Soveraign, or by the Civil Soveraign Authorized. And if this
examination of Prophets, and Spirits, were not allowed to every one
of the people, it had been to no purpose, to set out the marks,
by which every man might be able, to distinguish between those,
whom they ought, and those whom they ought not to follow.
Seeing therefore such marks are set out (Deut. 13. 1,&c.) to know
a Prophet by; and (1 John 4.1.&C) to know a Spirit by: and seeing
there is so much Prophecying in the Old Testament; and so much Preaching
in the New Testament against Prophets; and so much greater a number
ordinarily of false Prophets, then of true; every one is to beware
of obeying their directions, at their own perill. And first, that
there were many more false than true Prophets, appears by this,
that when Ahab (1 Kings 12.) consulted four hundred Prophets,
they were all false Imposters, but onely one Michaiah. And a little
before the time of the Captivity, the Prophets were generally lyars.
"The Prophets" (saith the Lord by Jerem. cha. 14. verse 14.) "prophecy
Lies in my name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them,
nor spake unto them, they prophecy to you a false Vision, a thing
of naught; and the deceit of their heart." In so much as God
commanded the People by the mouth of the Prophet Jeremiah
(chap. 23. 16.) not to obey them. "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts,
hearken not unto the words of the Prophets, that prophecy to you.
They make you vain, they speak a Vision of their own heart,
and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

All Prophecy But Of The Soveraign Prophet
Is To Be Examined By Every Subject
Seeing then there was in the time of the Old Testament, such quarrells
amongst the Visionary Prophets, one contesting with another,
and asking When departed the Spirit from me, to go to thee?
as between Michaiah, and the rest of the four hundred; and such
giving of the Lye to one another, (as in Jerem. 14.14.) and such
controversies in the New Testament at this day, amongst the
Spirituall Prophets: Every man then was, and now is bound to make use
of his Naturall Reason, to apply to all Prophecy those Rules which God
hath given us, to discern the true from the false. Of which rules,
in the Old Testament, one was, conformable doctrine to that which Moses
the Soveraign Prophet had taught them; and the other the miraculous
power of foretelling what God would bring to passe, as I have already
shown out of Deut. 13. 1. &c. and in the New Testament there was
but one onely mark; and that was the preaching of this Doctrine,
That Jesus Is The Christ, that is, the King of the Jews, promised
in the Old Testament. Whosoever denyed that Article, he was a
false Prophet, whatsoever miracles he might seem to work; and he
that taught it was a true Prophet. For St. John (1 Epist, 4. 2, &c)
speaking expressely of the means to examine Spirits, whether they
be of God, or not; after he hath told them that there would arise
false Prophets, saith thus, "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God.
Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh,
is of God;" that is, is approved and allowed as a Prophet of God:
not that he is a godly man, or one of the Elect, for this,
that he confesseth, professeth, or preacheth Jesus to be the Christ;
but for that he is a Prophet avowed. For God sometimes speaketh
by Prophets, whose persons he hath not accepted; as he did by Baalam;
and as he foretold Saul of his death, by the Witch of Endor.
Again in the next verse, "Every Spirit that confesseth not that
Jesus Christ is come in the Flesh, is not of Christ. And this is
the Spirit of Antichrist." So that the rule is perfect on both sides;
that he is a true Prophet, which preacheth the Messiah already come,
in the person of Jesus; and he a false one that denyeth him come,
and looketh for him in some future Imposter, that shall take upon him
that honour falsely, whom the Apostle there properly calleth Antichrist.
Every man therefore ought to consider who is the Soveraign Prophet;
that is to say, who it is, that is Gods Viceregent on earth; and hath
next under God, the Authority of Governing Christian men; and to
observe for a Rule, that Doctrine, which in the name of God,
hee commanded to bee taught; and thereby to examine and try out
the truth of those Doctrines, which pretended Prophets with miracles,
or without, shall at any time advance: and if they find it contrary
to that Rule, to doe as they did, that came to Moses, and complained
that there were some that Prophecyed in the Campe, whose Authority
so to doe they doubted of; and leave to the Soveraign, as they did
to Moses to uphold, or to forbid them, as hee should see cause;
and if hee disavow them, then no more to obey their voice; or if he
approve them, then to obey them, as men to whom God hath given a part
of the Spirit of their Soveraigne. For when Christian men, take not
their Christian Soveraign, for Gods Prophet; they must either take
their owne Dreams, for the prophecy they mean to bee governed by,
and the tumour of their own hearts for the Spirit of God; or they must
suffer themselves to bee lead by some strange Prince; or by some of
their fellow subjects, that can bewitch them, by slander of
the government, into rebellion, without other miracle to confirm
their calling, then sometimes an extraordinary successe, and Impunity;
and by this means destroying all laws, both divine, and humane,
reduce all Order, Government, and Society, to the first Chaos
of Violence, and Civill warre.



A Miracle Is A Work That Causeth Admiration
By Miracles are signified the Admirable works of God: & therefore
they are also called Wonders. And because they are for the most part,
done, for a signification of his commandement, in such occasions,
as without them, men are apt to doubt, (following their private
naturall reasoning,) what he hath commanded, and what not,
they are commonly in Holy Scripture, called Signes, in the same sense,
as they are called by the Latines, Ostenta, and Portenta, from shewing,
and fore-signifying that, which the Almighty is about to bring to passe.

And Must Therefore Be Rare, And Whereof
There Is No Naturall Cause Known
To understand therefore what is a Miracle, we must first understand
what works they are, which men wonder at, and call Admirable.
And there be but two things which make men wonder at any event:
The one is, if it be strange, that is to say, such, as the like of it
hath never, or very rarely been produced: The other is, if when it is
produced, we cannot imagine it to have been done by naturall means,
but onely by the immediate hand of God. But when wee see some possible,
naturall cause of it, how rarely soever the like has been done;
or if the like have been often done, how impossible soever it be
to imagine a naturall means thereof, we no more wonder, nor esteem it
for a Miracle.

Therefore, if a Horse, or Cow should speak, it were a Miracle;
because both the thing is strange, & the Naturall cause difficult
to imagin: So also were it, to see a strange deviation of nature,
in the production of some new shape of a living creature.
But when a man, or other Animal, engenders his like, though we know
no more how this is done, than the other; yet because 'tis usuall,
it is no Miracle. In like manner, if a man be metamorphosed
into a stone, or into a pillar, it is a Miracle; because strange:
but if a peece of wood be so changed; because we see it often,
it is no Miracle: and yet we know no more, by what operation of God,
the one is brought to passe, than the other.

The first Rainbow that was seen in the world, was a Miracle,
because the first; and consequently strange; and served for
a sign from God, placed in heaven, to assure his people, there
should be no more an universall destruction of the world by Water.
But at this day, because they are frequent, they are not Miracles,
neither to them that know their naturall causes, nor to them who
know them not. Again, there be many rare works produced by
the Art of man: yet when we know they are done; because thereby
wee know also the means how they are done, we count them not
for Miracles, because not wrought by the immediate hand of God,
but by mediation of humane Industry.

That Which Seemeth A Miracle To One Man,
May Seem Otherwise To Another
Furthermore, seeing Admiration and Wonder, is consequent to
the knowledge and experience, wherewith men are endued, some more,
some lesse; it followeth, that the same thing, may be a Miracle to one,
and not to another. And thence it is, that ignorant, and superstitious
men make great Wonders of those works, which other men, knowing
to proceed from Nature, (which is not the immediate, but the
ordinary work of God,) admire not at all: As when Ecclipses of
the Sun and Moon have been taken for supernaturall works, by the
common people; when neverthelesse, there were others, could from
their naturall causes, have foretold the very hour they should arrive:
Or, as when a man, by confederacy, and secret intelligence, getting
knowledge of the private actions of an ignorant, unwary man,
thereby tells him, what he has done in former time; it seems to him
a Miraculous thing; but amongst wise, and cautelous men, such Miracles
as those, cannot easily be done.

The End Of Miracles
Again, it belongeth to the nature of a Miracle, that it be wrought
for the procuring of credit to Gods Messengers, Ministers, and Prophets,
that thereby men may know, they are called, sent, and employed by God,
and thereby be the better inclined to obey them. And therefore,
though the creation of the world, and after that the destruction
of all living creatures in the universall deluge, were admirable works;
yet because they were not done to procure credit to any Prophet,
or other Minister of God, they use not to be called Miracles.
For how admirable soever any work be, the Admiration consisteth
not in that it could be done, because men naturally beleeve
the Almighty can doe all things, but because he does it at
the Prayer, or Word of a man. But the works of God in Egypt,
by the hand of Moses, were properly Miracles; because they
were done with intention to make the people of Israel beleeve,
that Moses came unto them, not out of any design of his owne interest,
but as sent from God. Therefore after God had commanded him
to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage, when he said
(Exod 4.1. &c.) "They will not beleeve me, but will say, the Lord
hath not appeared unto me," God gave him power, to turn the Rod
he had in his hand into a Serpent, and again to return it into a Rod;
and by putting his hand into his bosome, to make it leprous;
and again by pulling it out to make it whole, to make the Children
of Israel beleeve (as it is verse 5.) that the God of their Fathers
had appeared unto him; And if that were not enough, he gave him power
to turn their waters into bloud. And when hee had done these Miracles
before the people, it is said (verse 41.) that "they beleeved him."
Neverthelesse, for fear of Pharaoh, they durst not yet obey him.
Therefore the other works which were done to plague Pharaoh
and the Egyptians, tended all to make the Israelites beleeve
in Moses, and were properly Miracles. In like manner if we consider
all the Miracles done by the hand of Moses, and all the rest of the
Prophets, till the Captivity; and those of our Saviour, and his
Apostles afterward; we shall find, their end was alwaies to beget,
or confirm beleefe, that they came not of their own motion,
but were sent by God. Wee may further observe in Scripture,
that the end of Miracles, was to beget beleef, not universally
in all men, elect, and reprobate; but in the elect only; that is
to say, is such as God had determined should become his Subjects.
For those miraculous plagues of Egypt, had not for end, the conversion
of Pharaoh; For God had told Moses before, that he would harden
the heart of Pharaoh, that he should not let the people goe: And when
he let them goe at last, not the Miracles perswaded him, but the plagues
forced him to it. So also of our Saviour, it is written, (Mat. 13. 58.)
that he wrought not many Miracles in his own countrey, because of
their unbeleef; and (in Marke 6.5.) in stead of, "he wrought not many,"
it is, "he could work none." It was not because he wanted power;
which to say, were blasphemy against God; nor that the end of Miracles
was not to convert incredulous men to Christ; for the end of all
the Miracles of Moses, of Prophets, of our Saviour, and of his
Apostles was to adde men to the Church; but it was, because the end
of their Miracles, was to adde to the Church (not all men, but)
such as should be saved; that is to say, such as God had elected.
Seeing therefore our Saviour sent from his Father, hee could not
use his power in the conversion of those, whom his Father had rejected.
They that expounding this place of St. Marke, say, that his word,
"Hee could not," is put for, "He would not," do it without example
in the Greek tongue, (where Would Not, is put sometimes for Could Not,
in things inanimate, that have no will; but Could Not, for Would Not,
never,) and thereby lay a stumbling block before weak Christians;
as if Christ could doe no Miracles, but amongst the credulous.

The Definition Of A Miracle
From that which I have here set down, of the nature, and use
of a Miracle, we may define it thus, "A MIRACLE, is a work of God,
(besides his operation by the way of Nature, ordained in the Creation,)
done for the making manifest to his elect, the mission of an
extraordinary Minister for their salvation.

And from this definition, we may inferre; First, that in all Miracles,
the work done, is not the effect of any vertue in the Prophet;
because it is the effect of the immediate hand of God; that is
to say God hath done it, without using the Prophet therein,
as a subordinate cause.

Secondly, that no Devil, Angel, or other created Spirit, can
do a Miracle. For it must either be by vertue of some naturall science,
or by Incantation, that is, vertue of words. For if the Inchanters
do it by their own power independent, there is some power that
proceedeth not from God; which all men deny: and if they doe it
by power given them, then is the work not from the immediate
hand of God, but naturall, and consequently no Miracle.

There be some texts of Scripture, that seem to attribute the power
of working wonders (equall to some of those immediate Miracles,
wrought by God himself,) to certain Arts of Magick, and Incantation.
As for example, when we read that after the Rod of Moses being cast
on the ground became a Serpent, (Exod. 7. 11.) "the Magicians of Egypt
did the like by their Enchantments;" and that after Moses had turned
the waters of the Egyptian Streams, Rivers, Ponds, and Pooles of water
into blood, (Exod. 7. 22.) "the Magicians of Egypt did so likewise,
with their Enchantments;" and that after Moses had by the power
of God brought frogs upon the land, (Exod. 8. 7.) "the Magicians also
did so with their Enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land
of Egypt;" will not a man be apt to attribute Miracles to Enchantments;
that is to say, to the efficacy of the sound of Words; and think
the same very well proved out of this, and other such places? and yet
there is no place of Scripture, that telleth us what on Enchantment is.
If therefore Enchantment be not, as many think it, a working of
strange effects by spells, and words; but Imposture, and delusion,
wrought by ordinary means; and so far from supernaturall, as the
Impostors need not the study so much as of naturall causes,
but the ordinary ignorance, stupidity, and superstition of mankind,
to doe them; those texts that seem to countenance the power of Magick,
Witchcraft, and Enchantment, must needs have another sense,
than at first sight they seem to bear.

That Men Are Apt To Be Deceived By False Miracles
For it is evident enough, that Words have no effect, but on those
that understand them; and then they have no other, but to signifie
the intentions, or passions of them that speak; and thereby produce,
hope, fear, or other passions, or conceptions in the hearer.
Therefore when a Rod seemeth a Serpent, or the Water Bloud,
or any other Miracle seemeth done by Enchantment; if it be not
to the edification of Gods people, not the Rod, nor the Water,
nor any other thing is enchanted; that is to say, wrought upon
by the Words, but the Spectator. So that all the Miracle
consisteth in this, that the Enchanter has deceived a man;
which is no Miracle, but a very easie matter to doe.

For such is the ignorance, and aptitude to error generally
of all men, but especially of them that have not much knowledge
of naturall causes, and of the nature, and interests of men;
as by innumerable and easie tricks to be abused. What opinion
of miraculous power, before it was known there was a Science of
the course of the Stars, might a man have gained, that should have
told the people, This hour, or day the Sun should be darkned?
A juggler by the handling of his goblets, and other trinkets,
if it were not now ordinarily practised, would be thought to do
his wonders by the power at least of the Devil. A man that hath
practised to speak by drawing in of his breath, (which kind of men
in antient time were called Ventriloqui,) and so make the weaknesse
of his voice seem to proceed, not from the weak impulsion of
the organs of Speech, but from distance of place, is able to make
very many men beleeve it is a voice from Heaven, whatsoever he please
to tell them. And for a crafty man, that hath enquired into the secrets,
and familiar confessions that one man ordinarily maketh to another
of his actions and adventures past, to tell them him again is no
hard matter; and yet there be many, that by such means as that,
obtain the reputation of being Conjurers. But it is too long
a businesse, to reckon up the severall sorts of those men, which the
Greeks called Thaumaturgi, that is to say, workers of things wonderfull;
and yet these do all they do, by their own single dexterity.
But if we looke upon the Impostures wrought by Confederacy,
there is nothing how impossible soever to be done, that is impossible
to bee beleeved. For two men conspiring, one to seem lame,
the other to cure him with a charme, will deceive many: but many
conspiring, one to seem lame, another so to cure him, and all
the rest to bear witnesse; will deceive many more.

Cautions Against The Imposture Of Miracles
In this aptitude of mankind, to give too hasty beleefe to pretended
Miracles, there can be no better, nor I think any other caution,
than that which God hath prescribed, first by Moses, (as I have said
before in the precedent chapter,) in the beginning of the 13. and end
of the 18. of Deuteronomy; That wee take not any for Prophets,
that teach any other Religion, then that which Gods Lieutenant,
(which at that time was Moses,) hath established; nor any,
(though he teach the same Religion,) whose Praediction we doe not
see come to passe. Moses therefore in his time, and Aaron,
and his successors in their times, and the Soveraign Governour
of Gods people, next under God himself, that is to say, the Head
of the Church in all times, are to be consulted, what doctrine
he hath established, before wee give credit to a pretended Miracle,
or Prophet. And when that is done, the thing they pretend to be
a Miracle, we must both see it done, and use all means possible
to consider, whether it be really done; and not onely so, but whether
it be such, as no man can do the like by his naturall power,
but that it requires the immediate hand of God. And in this also
we must have recourse to Gods Lieutenant; to whom in all doubtfull cases,
wee have submitted our private judgments. For Example; if a man
pretend, that after certain words spoken over a peece of bread,
that presently God hath made it not bread, but a God, or a man,
or both, and neverthelesse it looketh still as like bread as ever
it did; there is no reason for any man to think it really done;
nor consequently to fear him, till he enquire of God, by his Vicar,
or Lieutenant, whether it be done, or not. If he say not, then
followeth that which Moses saith, (Deut. 18. 22.) "he hath spoken it
presumptuously, thou shalt not fear him." If he say 'tis done,
then he is not to contradict it. So also if wee see not, but onely
hear tell of a Miracle, we are to consult the Lawful Church; that is
to say, the lawful Head thereof, how far we are to give credit
to the relators of it. And this is chiefly the case of men,
that in these days live under Christian Soveraigns. For in these times,
I do not know one man, that ever saw any such wondrous work, done by
the charm, or at the word, or prayer of a man, that a man endued
but with a mediocrity of reason, would think supernaturall:
and the question is no more, whether what wee see done, be a Miracle;
whether the Miracle we hear, or read of, were a reall work,
and not the Act of a tongue, or pen; but in plain terms, whether
the report be true, or a lye. In which question we are not every one,
to make our own private Reason, or Conscience, but the Publique Reason,
that is, the reason of Gods Supreme Lieutenant, Judge; and indeed
we have made him Judge already, if wee have given him a Soveraign
power, to doe all that is necessary for our peace and defence.
A private man has alwaies the liberty, (because thought is free,)
to beleeve, or not beleeve in his heart, those acts that have been
given out for Miracles, according as he shall see, what benefit
can accrew by mens belief, to those that pretend, or countenance
them, and thereby conjecture, whether they be Miracles, or Lies.
But when it comes to confession of that faith, the Private Reason
must submit to the Publique; that is to say, to Gods Lieutenant.
But who is this Lieutenant of God, and Head of the Church,
shall be considered in its proper place thereafter.



The maintenance of Civill Society, depending on Justice; and Justice
on the power of Life and Death, and other lesse Rewards and Punishments,
residing in them that have the Soveraignty of the Common-wealth;
It is impossible a Common-wealth should stand, where any other than
the Soveraign, hath a power of giving greater rewards than Life;
and of inflicting greater punishments than Death. Now seeing
Eternall Life is a greater reward, than the Life Present;
and Eternall Torment a greater punishment than the Death of Nature;
It is a thing worthy to be well considered, of all men that desire
(by obeying Authority) to avoid the calamities of Confusion,
and Civill war, what is meant in Holy Scripture, by Life Eternall,
and Torment Eternall; and for what offences, against whom committed,
men are to be Eternally Tormented; and for what actions, they are
to obtain Eternall Life.

The Place Of Adams Eternity If He Had Not Sinned,
Had Been The Terrestrial Paradise
And first we find, that Adam was created in such a condition of life,
as had he not broken the commandement of God, he had enjoyed it
in the Paradise of Eden Everlastingly. For there was the Tree of Life;
whereof he was so long allowed to eat, as he should forbear to eat
of the tree of Knowledge of Good an Evill; which was not allowed him.
And therefore as soon as he had eaten of it, God thrust him out
of Paradise, "lest he should put forth his hand, and take also
of the tree of life, and live for ever." (Gen. 3. 22.) By which it
seemeth to me, (with submission neverthelesse both in this,
and in all questions, whereof the determination dependeth on
the Scriptures, to the interpretation of the Bible authorized
by the Common-wealth, whose Subject I am,) that Adam if he had
not sinned, had had an Eternall Life on Earth: and that Mortality
entred upon himself, and his posterity, by his first Sin.
Not that actuall Death then entred; for Adam then could never
have had children; whereas he lived long after, and saw a numerous
posterity ere he dyed. But where it is said, "In the day that thou
eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die," it must needs bee meant
of his Mortality, and certitude of death. Seeing then Eternall life
was lost by Adams forfeiture, in committing sin, he that should
cancell that forfeiture was to recover thereby, that Life again.
Now Jesus Christ hath satisfied for the sins of all that beleeve in him;
and therefore recovered to all beleevers, that ETERNALL LIFE,
which was lost by the sin of Adam. And in this sense it is,
that the comparison of St. Paul holdeth (Rom. 5.18, 19.) "As by the
offence of one, Judgment came upon all men to condemnation,
even so by the righteousnesse of one, the free gift came upon
all men to Justification of Life." Which is again (1 Cor. 15.21,22)
more perspicuously delivered in these words, "For since by man
came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

Texts Concerning The Place Of Life Eternall,
For Beleevers
Concerning the place wherein men shall enjoy that Eternall Life,
which Christ hath obtained for them, the texts next before alledged
seem to make it on Earth. For if as in Adam, all die, that is,
have forfeited Paradise, and Eternall Life on Earth; even so
in Christ all shall be made alive; then all men shall be made
to live on Earth; for else the comparison were not proper.
Hereunto seemeth to agree that of the Psalmist, (Psal. 133.3.)
"Upon Zion God commanded the blessing, even Life for evermore;"
for Zion, is in Jerusalem, upon Earth: as also that of S. Joh.
(Rev. 2.7.) "To him that overcommeth I will give to eat of the
tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."
This was the tree of Adams Eternall life; but his life was to
have been on Earth. The same seemeth to be confirmed again by
St. Joh. (Rev. 21.2.) where he saith, "I John saw the Holy City,
New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as
a Bride adorned for her husband:" and again v. 10. to the same effect:
As if he should say, the new Jerusalem, the Paradise of God,
at the coming again of Christ, should come down to Gods people
from Heaven, and not they goe up to it from Earth. And this differs
nothing from that, which the two men in white clothing (that is,
the two Angels) said to the Apostles, that were looking upon Christ
ascending (Acts 1.11.) "This same Jesus, who is taken up from you
into Heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him go up into Heaven."
Which soundeth as if they had said, he should come down to govern
them under his Father, Eternally here; and not take them up
to govern them in Heaven; and is conformable to the Restauration
of the Kingdom of God, instituted under Moses; which was a Political
government of the Jews on Earth. Again, that saying of our Saviour
(Mat. 22.30.) "that in the Resurrection they neither marry, nor are
given in marriage, but are as the Angels of God in heaven," is a
description of an Eternall Life, resembling that which we lost
in Adam in the point of Marriage. For seeing Adam, and Eve,
if they had not sinned, had lived on Earth Eternally, in their
individuall persons; it is manifest, they should not continually
have procreated their kind. For if Immortals should have generated,
as Mankind doth now; the Earth in a small time, would not have been
able to afford them a place to stand on. The Jews that asked
our Saviour the question, whose wife the woman that had married
many brothers, should be, in the resurrection, knew not what were
the consequences of Immortality; that there shal be no Generation,
and consequently no marriage, no more than there is Marriage,
or generation among the Angels. The comparison between that
Eternall life which Adam lost, and our Saviour by his Victory
over death hath recovered; holdeth also in this, that as Adam
lost Eternall Life by his sin, and yet lived after it for a time;
so the faithful Christian hath recovered Eternal Life by Christs passion,
though he die a natural death, and remaine dead for a time; namely,
till the Resurrection. For as Death is reckoned from the Condemnation
of Adam, not from the Execution; so life is reckoned from the Absolution,
not from the Resurrection of them that are elected in Christ.

Ascension Into Heaven
That the place wherein men are to live Eternally, after the
Resurrection, is the Heavens, meaning by Heaven, those parts
of the world, which are the most remote from Earth, as where
the stars are, or above the stars, in another Higher Heaven,
called Caelum Empyreum, (whereof there is no mention in Scripture,
nor ground in Reason) is not easily to be drawn from any text
that I can find. By the Kingdome of Heaven, is meant the Kingdome
of the King that dwelleth in Heaven; and his Kingdome was
the people of Israel, whom he ruled by the Prophets his Lieutenants,
first Moses, and after him Eleazar, and the Soveraign Priests,
till in the days of Samuel they rebelled, and would have a
mortall man for their King, after the manner of other Nations.
And when our Saviour Christ, by the preaching of his Ministers,
shall have perswaded the Jews to return, and called the Gentiles
to his obedience, then shall there be a new Kingdome of Heaven,
because our King shall then be God, whose Throne is Heaven;
without any necessity evident in the Scripture, that man shall
ascend to his happinesse any higher than Gods Footstool the Earth.
On the contrary, we find written (Joh. 3.13.) that "no man hath
ascended into Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven, even the
Son of man, that is in Heaven." Where I observe by the way,
that these words are not, as those which go immediately before,
the words of our Saviour, but of St. John himself; for Christ was
then not in Heaven, but upon the Earth. The like is said of David
(Acts 2.34.) where St. Peter, to prove the Ascension of Christ,
using the words of the Psalmist, (Psal. 16.10.) "Thou wilt not
leave my soule in Hell, nor suffer thine Holy one to see corruption,"
saith, they were spoken (not of David, but) of Christ; and to prove it,
addeth this Reason, "For David is not ascended into Heaven."
But to this a man may easily answer, and say, that though their
bodies were not to ascend till the generall day of Judgment,
yet their souls were in Heaven as soon as they were departed
from their bodies; which also seemeth to be confirmed by the words
of our Saviour (Luke 20.37,38.) who proving the Resurrection
out of the word of Moses, saith thus, "That the dead are raised,
even Moses shewed, at the bush, when he calleth the Lord,
the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
For he is not a God of the Dead, but of the Living; for they all
live to him." But if these words be to be understood only of
the Immortality of the Soul, they prove not at all that which
our Saviour intended to prove, which was the Resurrection of the Body,
that is to say, the Immortality of the Man. Therefore our Saviour
meaneth, that those Patriarchs were Immortall; not by a property
consequent to the essence, and nature of mankind, but by the will of God,
that was pleased of his mere grace, to bestow Eternall Life upon
the faithfull. And though at that time the Patriarchs and many
other faithfull men were Dead, yet as it is in the text,
they Lived To God; that is, they were written in the Book of Life
with them that were absolved of their sinnes, and ordained to
Life eternall at the Resurrection. That the Soul of man is in
its own nature Eternall, and a living Creature independent on the Body;
or that any meer man is Immortall, otherwise than by the Resurrection
in the last day, (except Enos and Elias,) is a doctrine not apparent
in Scripture. The whole 14. Chapter of Job, which is the speech
not of his friends, but of himselfe, is a complaint of this
Mortality of Nature; and yet no contradiction of the Immortality
at the Resurrection. "There is hope of a tree," (saith hee verse 7.)
"if it be cast down, Though the root thereof wax old, and the stock
thereof die in the ground, yet when it scenteth the water it will bud,
and bring forth boughes like a Plant. But man dyeth, and wasteth away,
yea, man giveth up the Ghost, and where is he?" and (verse 12.)
"man lyeth down, and riseth not, till the heavens be no more."
But when is it, that the heavens shall be no more? St. Peter tells us,
that it is at the generall Resurrection. For in his 2. Epistle,
3. Chapter, and 7. verse, he saith, that "the Heavens and the Earth
that are now, are reserved unto fire against the day of Judgment,
and perdition of ungodly men," and (verse 12.) "looking for, and hasting
to the comming of God, wherein the Heavens shall be on fire,
and shall be dissolved, and the Elements shall melt with fervent heat.
Neverthelesse, we according to the promise look for new Heavens,
and a new Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousnesse." Therefore where
Job saith, man riseth not till the Heavens be no more; it is all one,
as if he had said, the Immortall Life (and Soule and Life in
the Scripture, do usually signifie the same thing) beginneth not
in man, till the Resurrection, and day of Judgment; and hath for cause,
not his specificall nature, and generation; but the Promise.
For St. Peter saies not, " Wee look for new heavens, and a new earth,
(from Nature) but from Promise."

Lastly, seeing it hath been already proved out of divers evident
places of Scripture, in the 35. chapter of this book, that the
Kingdom of God is a Civil Common-wealth, where God himself is
Soveraign, by vertue first of the Old, and since of the New Covenant,
wherein he reigneth by his Vicar, or Lieutenant; the same places
do therefore also prove, that after the comming again of our Saviour
in his Majesty, and glory, to reign actually, and Eternally;
the Kingdom of God is to be on Earth. But because this doctrine
(though proved out of places of Scripture not few, nor obscure)
will appear to most men a novelty; I doe but propound it;
maintaining nothing in this, or any other paradox of Religion;
but attending the end of that dispute of the sword, concerning
the Authority, (not yet amongst my Countrey-men decided,) by which
all sorts of doctrine are to bee approved, or rejected; and whose
commands, both in speech, and writing, (whatsoever be the opinions
of private men) must by all men, that mean to be protected by
their Laws, be obeyed. For the points of doctrine concerning
the Kingdome (of) God, have so great influence on the Kingdome
of Man, as not to be determined, but by them, that under God have
the Soveraign Power.

The Place After Judgment, Of Those Who Were
Never In The Kingdome Of God, Or Having Been In,
Are Cast Out
As the Kingdome of God, and Eternall Life, so also Gods Enemies,
and their Torments after Judgment, appear by the Scripture,
to have their place on Earth. The name of the place, where all men
remain till the Resurrection, that were either buryed, or swallowed up
of the Earth, is usually called in Scripture, by words that signifie
Under Ground; which the Latines read generally Infernus, and Inferni,
and the Greeks Hades; that is to say, a place where men cannot see;
and containeth as well the Grave, as any other deeper place.
But for the place of the damned after the Resurrection, it is
not determined, neither in the Old, nor New Testament, by any note
of situation; but onely by the company: as that it shall bee,
where such wicked men were, as God in former times in extraordinary,
and miraculous manner, had destroyed from off the face of the Earth:
As for Example, that they are in Inferno, in Tartarus, or in
the bottomelesse pit; because Corah, Dathan, and Abirom, were
swallowed up alive into the earth. Not that the Writers of the
Scripture would have us beleeve, there could be in the globe
of the Earth, which is not only finite, but also (compared to the
height of the Stars) of no considerable magnitude, a pit without a
bottome; that is, a hole of infinite depth, such as the Greeks in their
Daemonologie (that is to say, in their doctrine concerning Daemons,)
and after them, the Romans called Tartarus; of which Virgill sayes,

Bis patet in praeceps, tantem tenditque sub umbras,
Quantus ad aethereum coeli suspectus Olympum:

for that is a thing the proportion of Earth to Heaven cannot bear:
but that wee should beleeve them there, indefinitely, where those
men are, on whom God inflicted that Exemplary punnishment.

The Congregation Of Giants
Again, because those mighty men of the Earth, that lived in
the time of Noah, before the floud, (which the Greeks called Heroes,
and the Scripture Giants, and both say, were begotten, by copulation
of the children of God, with the children of men,) were for their
wicked life destroyed by the generall deluge; the place of the Damned,
is therefore also sometimes marked out, by the company of those
deceased Giants; as Proverbs 21.16. "The man that wandreth out
of the way of understanding, shall remain in the congregation
of the Giants," and Job 26.5. "Behold the Giants groan under water,
and they that dwell with them." Here the place of the Damned,
is under the water. And Isaiah 14.9. "Hell is troubled how
to meet thee," (that is, the King of Babylon) "and will displace
the Giants for thee:" and here again the place of the Damned,
(if the sense be literall,) is to be under water.

Lake Of Fire
Thirdly, because the Cities of Sodom, and Gomorrah, by the
extraordinary wrath of God, were consumed for their wickednesse
with Fire and Brimstone, and together with them the countrey
about made a stinking bituminous Lake; the place of the Damned
is sometimes expressed by Fire, and a Fiery Lake: as in the
Apocalypse ch.21.8. "But the timorous, incredulous, and abominable,
and Murderers, and Whoremongers, and Sorcerers, and Idolators,
and all Lyars, shall have their part in the Lake that burneth
with Fire, and Brimstone; which is the second Death." So that it
is manifest, that Hell Fire, which is here expressed by Metaphor,
from the reall Fire of Sodome, signifieth not any certain kind,
or place of Torment; but is to be taken indefinitely, for Destruction,
as it is in the 20. Chapter, at the 14. verse; where it is said,
that "Death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire;" that is to say,
were abolished, and destroyed; as if after the day of Judgment,
there shall be no more Dying, nor no more going into Hell; that is,
no more going to Hades (from which word perhaps our word Hell
is derived,) which is the same with no more Dying.

Utter Darknesse
Fourthly, from the Plague of Darknesse inflicted on the Egyptians,
of which it is written (Exod. 10.23.) "They saw not one another,
neither rose any man from his place for three days; but all
the Children of Israel had light in their dwellings;" the place
of the wicked after Judgment, is called Utter Darknesse, or
(as it is in the originall) Darknesse Without. And so it is
expressed (Mat. 22.13.) where the King commandeth his Servants,
"to bind hand and foot the man that had not on his Wedding garment,
and to cast him out, Eis To Skotos To Exoteron, Externall Darknesse,
or Darknesse Without: which though translated Utter Darknesse,
does not signifie How Great, but Where that darknesse is to be;
namely, Without The Habitation of Gods Elect.

Gehenna, And Tophet
Lastly, whereas there was a place neer Jerusalem, called the
Valley of the Children of Hinnon; in a part whereof, called Tophet,
the Jews had committed most grievous Idolatry, sacrificing their
children to the Idol Moloch; and wherein also God had afflicted
his enemies with most grievous punishments; and wherein Josias
had burnt the Priests of Moloch upon their own Altars, as appeareth
at large in the 2 of Kings chap. 23. the place served afterwards,
to receive the filth, and garbage which was carried thither,
out of the City; and there used to be fires made, from time
to time, to purifie the aire, and take away the stench of Carrion.
From this abominable place, the Jews used ever after to call
the place of the Damned, by the name of Gehenna, or Valley of Hinnon.
And this Gehenna, is that word, which is usually now translated HELL;
and from the fires from time to time there burning, we have
the notion of Everlasting, and Unquenchable Fire.

Of The Literall Sense Of The Scripture Concerning Hell
Seeing now there is none, that so interprets the Scripture,
as that after the day of Judgment, the wicked are all Eternally
to be punished in the Valley of Hinnon; or that they shall so
rise again, as to be ever after under ground, or under water;
or that after the Resurrection, they shall no more see one another;
nor stir from one place to another; it followeth, me thinks,
very necessarily, that that which is thus said concerning Hell Fire,
is spoken metaphorically; and that therefore there is a proper sense
to bee enquired after, (for of all Metaphors there is some reall ground,
that may be expressed in proper words) both of the Place of Hell,
and the nature of Hellish Torment, and Tormenters.

Satan, Devill, Not Proper Names, But Appellatives
And first for the Tormenters, wee have their nature, and properties,
exactly and properly delivered by the names of, The Enemy, or Satan;
The Accuser, or Diabolus; The Destroyer, or Abbadon. Which significant
names, Satan, Devill, Abbadon, set not forth to us any Individuall
person, as proper names use to doe; but onely an office, or quality;
and are therefore Appellatives; which ought not to have been
left untranslated, as they are, in the Latine, and Modern Bibles;
because thereby they seem to be the proper names of Daemons;
and men are the more easily seduced to beleeve the doctrine
of Devills; which at that time was the Religion of the Gentiles,
and contrary to that of Moses, and of Christ.

And because by the Enemy, the Accuser, and Destroyer, is meant,
the Enemy of them that shall be in the Kingdome of God; therefore
if the Kingdome of God after the Resurrection, bee upon the Earth,
(as in the former Chapter I have shewn by Scripture it seems to be,)
The Enemy, and his Kingdome must be on Earth also. For so also was it,
in the time before the Jews had deposed God. For Gods Kingdome
was in Palestine; and the Nations round about, were the Kingdomes
of the Enemy; and consequently by Satan, is meant any Earthly
Enemy of the Church.

Torments Of Hell
The Torments of Hell, are expressed sometimes, by "weeping,
and gnashing of teeth," as Mat. 8.12. Sometimes, by "the worm
of Conscience;" as Isa.66.24. and Mark 9.44, 46, 48; sometimes,
by Fire, as in the place now quoted, "where the worm dyeth not,
and the fire is not quenched," and many places beside: sometimes
by "Shame, and contempt," as Dan. 12.2. "And many of them that
sleep in the dust of the Earth, shall awake; some to Everlasting life;
and some to shame, and everlasting contempt." All which places
design metaphorically a grief, and discontent of mind, from the
sight of that Eternall felicity in others, which they themselves
through their own incredulity, and disobedience have lost.
And because such felicity in others, is not sensible but by
comparison with their own actuall miseries; it followeth that
they are to suffer such bodily paines, and calamities, as are
incident to those, who not onely live under evill and cruell
Governours, but have also for Enemy, the Eternall King of the Saints,
God Almighty. And amongst these bodily paines, is to be reckoned
also to every one of the wicked a second Death. For though
the Scripture bee clear for an universall Resurrection; yet wee
do not read, that to any of the Reprobate is promised an Eternall life.
For whereas St. Paul (1 Cor. 15.42, 43.) to the question concerning
what bodies men shall rise with again, saith, that "the body
is sown in corruption, and is raised in incorruption; It is sown
in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weaknesse,
it is raised in power;" Glory and Power cannot be applyed to
the bodies of the wicked: Nor can the name of Second Death,
bee applyed to those that can never die but once: And although
in Metaphoricall speech, a Calamitous life Everlasting, may bee
called an Everlasting Death yet it cannot well be understood
of a Second Death. The fire prepared for the wicked, is an
Everlasting Fire: that is to say, the estate wherein no man
can be without torture, both of body and mind, after the Resurrection,
shall endure for ever; and in that sense the Fire shall be unquenchable,
and the torments Everlasting: but it cannot thence be inferred,
that hee who shall be cast into that fire, or be tormented with
those torments, shall endure, and resist them so, as to be
eternally burnt, and tortured, and yet never be destroyed, nor die.
And though there be many places that affirm Everlasting Fire,
and Torments (into which men may be cast successively one after
another for ever;) yet I find none that affirm there shall bee
an Eternall Life therein of any individuall person; but on
the contrary, an Everlasting Death, which is the Second Death:
(Apoc. 20. 13,14.) "For after Death, and the Grave shall have
delivered up the dead which were in them, and every man be judged
according to his works; Death and the Grave shall also be cast
into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death." Whereby it is
evident, that there is to bee a Second Death of every one that
shall bee condemned at the day of Judgement, after which hee
shall die no more.

The Joyes Of Life Eternall, And Salvation
The Same Thing
Salvation From Sin, And From Misery, All One
The joyes of Life Eternall, are in Scripture comprehended all
under the name of SALVATION, or Being Saved. To be saved,
is to be secured, either respectively, against speciall Evills,
or absolutely against all Evill, comprehending Want, Sicknesse,
and Death it self. And because man was created in a condition
Immortall, not subject to corruption, and consequently to nothing
that tendeth to the dissolution of his nature; and fell from that
happinesse by the sin of Adam; it followeth, that to be Saved From Sin,
is to be saved from all the Evill, and Calamities that Sinne hath
brought upon us. And therefore in the Holy Scripture, Remission
of Sinne, and Salvation from Death and Misery, is the same thing,
as it appears by the words of our Saviour, who having cured a man
sick of the Palsey, by saying, (Mat. 9.2.) "Son be of good cheer,
thy Sins be forgiven thee;" and knowing that the Scribes took for
blasphemy, that a man should pretend to forgive Sins, asked them
(v.5.) "whether it were easier to say, Thy Sinnes be forgiven thee,
or, Arise and walk;" signifying thereby, that it was all one,
as to the saving of the sick, to say, "Thy Sins are forgiven,"
and "Arise and walk;" and that he used that form of speech,
onely to shew he had power to forgive Sins. And it is besides
evident in reason, that since Death and Misery, were the punishments
of Sin, the discharge of Sinne, must also be a discharge of Death
and Misery; that is to say, Salvation absolute, such as the faithfull
are to enjoy after the day of Judgment, by the power, and favour
of Jesus Christ, who for that cause is called our SAVIOUR.

Concerning Particular Salvations, such as are understood, 1 Sam. 14.39.
"as the Lord liveth that saveth Israel," that is, from their
temporary enemies, and 2 Sam. 22.4. "Thou art my Saviour,
thou savest me from violence;" and 2 Kings 13.5. "God gave
the Israelites a Saviour, and so they were delivered from the
hand of the Assyrians," and the like, I need say nothing;
there being neither difficulty, nor interest, to corrupt the
interpretation of texts of that kind.

The Place Of Eternall Salvation
But concerning the Generall Salvation, because it must be in the
Kingdome of Heaven, there is great difficulty concerning the Place.
On one side, by Kingdome (which is an estate ordained by men
for their perpetuall security against enemies, and want) it seemeth
that this Salvation should be on Earth. For by Salvation is set
forth unto us, a glorious Reign of our King, by Conquest; not a
safety by Escape: and therefore there where we look for Salvation,
we must look also for Triumph; and before Triumph, for Victory;
and before Victory, for Battell; which cannot well be supposed,
shall be in Heaven. But how good soever this reason may be,
I will not trust to it, without very evident places of Scripture.
The state of Salvation is described at large, Isaiah, 33.
ver. 20,21,22,23,24.

"Look upon Zion, the City of our solemnities, thine eyes shall
see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not
be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed,
neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.

But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers,
and streams; wherein shall goe no Gally with oares; neither shall
gallant ship passe thereby.

For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord
is our King, he will save us.

Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast;
they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great
spoil divided; the lame take the prey.

And the Inhabitant shall not say, I am sicke; the people that
shall dwell therein shall be forgiven their Iniquity."

In which words wee have the place from whence Salvation is to proceed,
"Jerusalem, a quiet habitation;" the Eternity of it, "a tabernacle
that shall not be taken down," &c. The Saviour of it, "the Lord,
their Judge, their Lawgiver, their King, he will save us;"
the Salvation, "the Lord shall be to them as a broad mote of
swift waters," &c. the condition of their Enemies, "their tacklings
are loose, their masts weake, the lame shal take the spoil of them."
The condition of the Saved, "The Inhabitants shall not say, I am sick:"
And lastly, all this is comprehended in Forgivenesse of sin,
"The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity."
By which it is evident, that Salvation shall be on Earth, then,
when God shall reign, (at the coming again of Christ) in Jerusalem;
and from Jerusalem shall proceed the Salvation of the Gentiles
that shall be received into Gods Kingdome; as is also more expressely
declared by the same Prophet, Chap. 66.20, 21. "And they," (that is,
the Gentiles who had any Jew in bondage) "shall bring all your brethren,
for an offering to the Lord, out of all nations, upon horses,
and in charets, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts,
to my holy mountain, Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the Children of Israel
bring an offering in a clean vessell into the House of the Lord.
And I will also take of them for Priests and for Levites,
saith the Lord:" Whereby it is manifest, that the chief seat
of Gods Kingdome (which is the Place, from whence the Salvation
of us that were Gentiles, shall proceed) shall be Jerusalem;
And the same is also confirmed by our Saviour, in his discourse
with the woman of Samaria, concerning the place of Gods worship;
to whom he saith, John 4.22. that the Samaritans worshipped
they know not what, but the Jews worship what they knew, "For Salvation
is of the Jews (Ex Judais, that is, begins at the Jews): as if he
should say, you worship God, but know not by whom he wil save you,
as we doe, that know it shall be one of the tribe of Judah, a Jew,
not a Samaritan. And therefore also the woman not impertinently
answered him again, "We know the Messias shall come." So that which
our saviour saith, "Salvation is from the Jews," is the same
that Paul sayes (Rom. 1.16,17.) "The Gospel is the power of God
to Salvation to every one that beleeveth; To the Jew first,
and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousnesse of God
revealed from faith to faith;" from the faith of the Jew,
to the faith of the Gentile. In the like sense the Prophet Joel
describing the day of Judgment, (chap. 2.30,31.) that God would
"shew wonders in heaven, and in earth, bloud, and fire, and
pillars of smoak. The Sun should be turned to darknesse,
and the Moon into bloud, before the great and terrible day
of the Lord come," he addeth verse 32. "and it shall come to passe,
that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem shall be Salvation." And Obadiah
verse 17 saith the same, "Upon Mount Zion shall be Deliverance;
and there shall be holinesse, and the house of Jacob shall possesse
their possessions," that is, the possessions of the Heathen,
which possessions he expresseth more particularly in the following
verses, by the Mount of Esau, the Land of the Philistines, the Fields
of Ephraim, of Samaria, Gilead, and the Cities of the South,
and concludes with these words, "the Kingdom shall be the Lords."
All these places are for Salvation, and the Kingdome of God
(after the day of Judgement) upon Earth. On the other side,
I have not found any text that can probably be drawn, to prove
any Ascension of the Saints into Heaven; that is to say, into any
Coelum Empyreum, or other aetheriall Region; saving that it is called
the Kingdome of Heaven; which name it may have, because God,
that was King of the Jews, governed them by his commands, sent to Moses
by Angels from Heaven, to reduce them to their obedience; and shall
send him thence again, to rule both them, and all other faithfull men,
from the day of Judgment, Everlastingly: or from that, that the
Throne of this our Great King is in Heaven; whereas the Earth
is but his Footstoole. But that the Subjects of God should have
any place as high as his throne, or higher than his Footstoole,
it seemeth not sutable to the dignity of a King, nor can I find
any evident text for it in holy Scripture.

From this that hath been said of the Kingdom of God, and of Salvation,
it is not hard to interpret, what is meant by the WORLD TO COME.
There are three worlds mentioned in Scripture, the Old World,
the Present World, and the World to Come. Of the first, St. Peter
speaks, (2 Pet. 2.5.) "If God spared not the Old World, but saved Noah
the eighth person, a Preacher of righteousnesse, bringing the flood
upon the world of the ungodly," &c. So the First World, was from Adam
to the generall Flood. Of the present World, our Saviour speaks
(John 18.36.) "My Kingdome is not of this World." For he came onely
to teach men the way of Salvation, and to renew the Kingdome
of his Father, by his doctrine. Of the World to come, St. Peter
speaks, (2 Pet. 3. 13.) "Neverthelesse we according to his promise
look for new Heavens, and a new Earth." This is that WORLD,
wherein Christ coming down from Heaven, in the clouds, with great power,
and glory, shall send his Angels, and shall gather together his elect,
from the four winds, and from the uttermost parts of the Earth,
and thence forth reign over them, (under his Father) Everlastingly.

Salvation of a sinner, supposeth a precedent REDEMPTION; for he
that is once guilty of Sin, is obnoxious to the Penalty of
the same; and must pay (or some other for him) such Ransome,
as he that is offended, and has him in his power, shall require.
And seeing the person offended, is Almighty God, in whose power
are all things; such Ransome is to be paid before Salvation can
be acquired, as God hath been pleased to require. By this Ransome,
is not intended a satisfaction for Sin, equivalent to the Offence,
which no sinner for himselfe, nor righteous man can ever be able
to make for another; The dammage a man does to another, he may make
amends for by restitution, or recompence, but sin cannot be
taken away by recompence; for that were to make the liberty to sin,
a thing vendible. But sins may bee pardoned to the repentant,
either Gratis, or upon such penalty, as God is pleased to accept.
That which God usually accepted in the Old Testament, was some
Sacrifice, or Oblation. To forgive sin is not an act of Injustice,
though the punishment have been threatned. Even amongst men,
though the promise of Good, bind the promiser; yet threats,
that is to say, promises, of Evill, bind them not; much lesse
shall they bind God, who is infinitely more mercifull then men.
Our Saviour Christ therefore to Redeem us, did not in that sense
satisfie for the Sins of men, as that his Death, of its own vertue,
could make it unjust in God to punish sinners with Eternall death;
but did make that Sacrifice, and Oblation of himself, at his
first coming, which God was pleased to require, for the Salvation
at his second coming, of such as in the mean time should repent,
and beleeve in him. And though this act of our Redemption,
be not alwaies in Scripture called a Sacrifice, and Oblation,
but sometimes a Price, yet by Price we are not to understand
any thing, by the value whereof, he could claim right to a pardon
for us, from his offended Father, but that Price which God the Father
was pleased in mercy to demand.



Church The Lords House
The word Church, (Ecclesia) signifieth in the Books of Holy Scripture
divers things. Sometimes (though not often) it is taken for Gods House,
that is to say, for a Temple, wherein Christians assemble to perform
holy duties publiquely; as, 1 Cor. 14. ver. 34. "Let your women keep
silence in the Churches:" but this is Metaphorically put, for the
Congregation there assembled; and hath been since used for the Edifice
it self, to distinguish between the Temples of Christians, and Idolaters.
The Temple of Jerusalem was Gods House, and the House of Prayer;
and so is any Edifice dedicated by Christians to the worship of Christ,
Christs House: and therefore the Greek Fathers call it Kuriake, The Lords
House; and thence, in our language it came to be called Kyrke, and Church.

Ecclesia Properly What
Church (when not taken for a House) signifieth the same that Ecclesia
signified in the Grecian Common-wealths; that is to say, a Congregation,
or an Assembly of Citizens, called forth, to hear the Magistrate
speak unto them; and which in the Common-wealth of Rome was called
Concio, as he that spake was called Ecclesiastes, and Concionator.
And when they were called forth by lawfull Authority, (Acts 19.39.)
it was Ecclesia Legitima, a Lawfull Church, Ennomos Ecclesia.
But when they were excited by tumultuous, and seditious clamor,
then it was a confused Church, Ecclesia Sugkechumene.

It is taken also sometimes for the men that have right to be
of the Congregation, though not actually assembled; that is to say,
for the whole multitude of Christian men, how far soever they be
dispersed: as (Act. 8.3.) where it is said, that "Saul made havock of
the Church:" And in this sense is Christ said to be Head of the Church.
And sometimes for a certain part of Christians, as (Col. 4.15.)
"Salute the Church that is in his house." Sometimes also for
the Elect onely; as (Ephes. 5.27.) "A Glorious Church, without spot,
or wrinkle, holy, and without blemish;" which is meant of the
Church Triumphant, or, Church To Come. Sometimes, for a Congregation
assembled, of professors of Christianity, whether their profession
be true, or counterfeit, as it is understood, Mat. 18.17. where
it is said, "Tell it to the Church, and if hee neglect to hear
the Church, let him be to thee as a Gentile, or Publican.

In What Sense The Church Is One Person
Church Defined
And in this last sense only it is that the Church can be taken
for one Person; that is to say, that it can be said to have power
to will, to pronounce, to command, to be obeyed, to make laws,
or to doe any other action whatsoever; For without authority
from a lawfull Congregation, whatsoever act be done in a concourse
of people, it is the particular act of every one of those that
were present, and gave their aid to the performance of it; and not
the act of them all in grosse, as of one body; much lesse that act
of them that were absent, or that being present, were not willing
it should be done. According to this sense, I define a CHURCH to be,
"A company of men professing Christian Religion, united in the person
of one Soveraign; at whose command they ought to assemble, and without
whose authority they ought not to assemble." And because in all
Common-wealths, that Assembly, which is without warrant from the
Civil Soveraign, is unlawful; that Church also, which is assembled
in any Common-wealth, that hath forbidden them to assemble,
is an unlawfull Assembly.

A Christian Common-wealth, And A Church All One
It followeth also, that there is on Earth, no such universall Church
as all Christians are bound to obey; because there is no power on Earth,
to which all other Common-wealths are subject: There are Christians,
in the Dominions of severall Princes and States; but every one of them
is subject to that Common-wealth, whereof he is himself a member;
and consequently, cannot be subject to the commands of any other Person.
And therefore a Church, such as one as is capable to Command, to Judge,
Absolve, Condemn, or do any other act, is the same thing with
a Civil Common-wealth, consisting of Christian men; and is called
a Civill State, for that the subjects of it are Men; and a Church,
for that the subjects thereof are Christians. Temporall and Spirituall
Government, are but two words brought into the world, to make men
see double, and mistake their Lawfull Soveraign. It is true,
that the bodies of the faithfull, after the Resurrection shall be
not onely Spirituall, but Eternall; but in this life they are grosse,
and corruptible. There is therefore no other Government in this life,
neither of State, nor Religion, but Temporall; nor teaching of any
doctrine, lawfull to any Subject, which the Governour both of the State,
and of the Religion, forbiddeth to be taught: And that Governor must
be one; or else there must needs follow Faction, and Civil war
in the Common-wealth, between the Church and State; between
Spiritualists, and Temporalists; between the Sword Of Justice,
and the Shield Of Faith; and (which is more) in every Christian mans
own brest, between the Christian, and the Man. The Doctors of
the Church, are called Pastors; so also are Civill Soveraignes:
But if Pastors be not subordinate one to another, so as that there
may bee one chief Pastor, men will be taught contrary Doctrines,
whereof both may be, and one must be false. Who that one chief
Pastor is, according to the law of Nature, hath been already shewn;
namely, that it is the Civill Soveraign; And to whom the Scripture
hath assigned that Office, we shall see in the Chapters following.



The Soveraign Rights Of Abraham
The Father of the Faithfull, and first in the Kingdome of God
by Covenant, was Abraham. For with him was the Covenant first made;
wherein he obliged himself, and his seed after him, to acknowledge
and obey the commands of God; not onely such, as he could take
notice of, (as Morall Laws,) by the light of Nature; but also such,
as God should in speciall manner deliver to him by Dreams and Visions.
For as to the Morall law, they were already obliged, and needed not
have been contracted withall, by promise of the Land of Canaan.
Nor was there any Contract, that could adde to, or strengthen
the Obligation, by which both they, and all men else were bound
naturally to obey God Almighty: And therefore the Covenant which
Abraham made with God, was to take for the Commandement of God,
that which in the name of God was commanded him, in a Dream,
or Vision, and to deliver it to his family, and cause them
to observe the same.

Abraham Had The Sole Power Of Ordering
The Religion Of His Own People
In this Contract of God with Abraham, wee may observe three points
of important consequence in the government of Gods people.
First, that at the making of this Covenant, God spake onely
to Abraham; and therefore contracted not with any of his family,
or seed, otherwise then as their wills (which make the essence of
all Covenants) were before the Contract involved in the will of Abraham;
who was therefore supposed to have had a lawfull power, to make them
perform all that he covenanted for them. According whereunto
(Gen 18.18, 19.) God saith, "All the Nations of the Earth shall
be blessed in him, For I know him that he will command his children
and his houshold after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord."
From whence may be concluded this first point, that they to whom God
hath not spoken immediately, are to receive the positive commandements
of God, from their Soveraign; as the family and seed of Abraham
did from Abraham their Father, and Lord, and Civill Soveraign.
And Consequently in every Common-wealth, they who have no
supernaturall Revelation to the contrary, ought to obey the laws of
their own Soveraign, in the externall acts and profession of Religion.
As for the inward Thought, and beleef of men, which humane Governours
can take no notice of, (for God onely knoweth the heart) they are not
voluntary, nor the effect of the laws, but of the unrevealed will,
and of the power of God; and consequently fall not under obligation.

No Pretence Of Private Spirit Against
The Religion Of Abraham
From whence proceedeth another point, that it was not unlawfull
for Abraham, when any of his Subjects should pretend Private Vision,
or Spirit, or other Revelation from God, for the countenancing
of any doctrine which Abraham should forbid, or when they followed,
or adhered to any such pretender, to punish them; and consequently
that it is lawfull now for the Soveraign to punish any man that
shall oppose his Private Spirit against the Laws: For hee hath
the same place in the Common-wealth, that Abraham had in his own Family.

Abraham Sole Judge, And Interpreter Of What God Spake
There ariseth also from the same, a third point; that as none but
Abraham in his family, so none but the Soveraign in a Christian
Common-wealth, can take notice what is, or what is not the Word of God.
For God spake onely to Abraham; and it was he onely, that was able
to know what God said, and to interpret the same to his family:
And therefore also, they that have the place of Abraham in a
Common-wealth, are the onely Interpreters of what God hath spoken.

The Authority Of Moses Whereon Grounded
The same Covenant was renewed with Isaac; and afterwards with Jacob;
but afterwards no more, till the Israelites were freed from
the Egyptians, and arrived at the Foot of Mount Sinai: and then
it was renewed by Moses (as I have said before, chap. 35.)
in such manner, as they became from that time forward the Peculiar
Kingdome of God; whose Lieutenant was Moses, for his owne time;
and the succession to that office was setled upon Aaron, and his heirs
after him, to bee to God a Sacerdotall Kingdome for ever.

By this constitution, a Kingdome is acquired to God. But seeing Moses
had no authority to govern the Israelites, as a successor to the right
of Abraham, because he could not claim it by inheritance; it appeareth
not as yet, that the people were obliged to take him for Gods Lieutenant,
longer than they beleeved that God spake unto him. And therefore
his authority (notwithstanding the Covenant they made with God)
depended yet merely upon the opinion they had of his Sanctity,
and of the reality of his Conferences with God, and the verity
of his Miracles; which opinion coming to change, they were no more
obliged to take any thing for the law of God, which he propounded
to them in Gods name. We are therefore to consider, what other ground

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest