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BOOK ņever saw neither Mr. Bolinger, nor yet Mr. Musculus, how
can I know which is the one and which is the other; and yet peradventure both do wear the like attyre. Go you at this day unto the Jews, and except it be told you, you shal not know the people from the Priests, when yet the Priests have a difference in their attyre, and seem distinct from the people. What have you more? Among others even this; Peter was known by his speech, and therefore we may not be known by our attyre : as though that there were but one way to know a man: and is it so ? May I not know some by going ; some by speaking, some by apparel, some by their hands, some by their faces, and some not by a few means beside ?
Thus have yee a view of your general reasons. And such a view, though brief, as no reason can defend them. You have also a tast of your particular reasons; and can any reason approve them ? But you have brought them into a shew of form. What then? Be they notwithstanding faultes ? And shal no day come, think you, wherin you shał render an account of this rashness ? Wil you refuse to confer with your brethren ? Wil you be singular? Wil you not weigh the amazed state of the simple ? Shal the flock of Christ thus stray ? Shal dissensions through you be stirred up? And shal they by you be thus obstinatly maintained ? Wil you be the cause of this offence? The fal of your brethren, and the overthrow of Christian concord and evangelical amity ?
Wherfore, that neither you be such, nor that the people may have cause any further to murmur, (of a few people I speak;) let us consider now with indifferency these reasons following, and let us se whether they be reasonable or not. Shew me out of the word of God, that any form of apparell (except it be pompous, &c.) is manifestly forbidden. If you cannot, account it not wicked to wear this form or that form, especially if your Soveraign for good causes command you. Prove that uniformity in attyre among spiritual men is not meet. If you cannot, be then conformable. And let us, like brethren, apply our travail to the common edifying of
the Church of God. Declare by unwrested places of Scrip- BOOK ture, that a king or a queen in their realms may not enjoynthe Clergy a certain form to be appointed in their apparel. III. If this cannot be done, amaze not the people, beguile not your selves, offend not God. Again, if this form or that be IV. once abused, shew me where it is forbidden that the like form should never thenceforth be used. If hereof ye have no proofs but protestations, no good surety but naked sayings, if no warrant but wilfulnes, if no reason but rashnes, if no Scriptures but scrambling excuses and delays; then reform your selves, inform your brethren, deform not the Church of Christ. Now further, what if these apparells had V. been offered unto devils, were I then absolutely forbidden 82 to wear them ? You cannot say so. For so I persuade the weak, I need not to refuse them. Why then do you that would seem perfect altogether condemn them? Why consider you not the circumstances ? Why weigh you not in every thing the time, the person, and the place ? But let us procede touching the informing of my brother. What if he be obstinate? What if no time of conference wil serve him ? What if nothing can persuade him ? Shal I then utterly lose 'my liberty? And so by a continual restraint, shal I cause the thing to seem to be evil, which of it self is indifferent and good ? '
Good Christian reader, consider these reasons ; ponder their grounds; examine therof the force; suffer not Satan to endarken your consciences; let brawlings cease, and let unity be seen ; let singularity pas, and let simplicity procede: be not afraid of the people ; be not ashamed to repent. We are commanded to travail into Nineveh, and there to declare of their destruction; and now like Jonas we lurk in the bottome of the ship. It is true, and thence it is that al this storm ariseth ; wherby the ship of the Christians is so miserably tost, that except Jonas repent him, she is like to perish. Have you churches, and yet wil you flock into the fields ? Have you places appointed for prayers, and yet wil you appoint you private assemblies? You have the Gospel of Christ sincerely preached unto you: why are yoú
BOOK then offended ? Have you the sacred Scriptures read unto
you, and at your wil to be perused; why are you displeased ? Idolatry is reproved; why are you not contented ? Papistry is overthrown; why are you moved? Concerning such as do wear the apparel, were they not banished for the profession of the Gospel ? Lost they not therfore their goods, and that willingly ? If for preaching, who hath done it more painfully? If for writing, who did it more effectually ? And that the Gospel may have his course, who do watch more dutifully than they? You talke of reformation; they do it indeed. But some thing, say you, is amiss. And I say, some things ever wil be amiss. But yet the Church by this discord is shaken. Let us cease; our friends do mourn. Be at unity; our enemies do inwardly rejoice. Away with these contentions. Wherfore, dear brethren, join hands; help forward the Lord's building: let us be faithful labourers; for we have of proud loiterers too many. To work, to work, the harvest is great, and the workmen are few. Love you Christ? Feed his sheep. Love your selves ? Brawl not in his vineyard. Love your brethren ? Disturb not their quietnes. Let every one of us help the others burthens. Let us bewail our lives ; let us fal to earnest prayers : and let us procede in al good works. And so shal our enemies quail, Satan shal be resisted, and sects prevented. So shal our friends be glad, the whole Church shal joy, and true godliness shal encrease. So shal we and you, so shal al good men, receive an incorruptible crown, not of gold but of glory; and that when the chief Shepherd shal appear. Whose coming, as to al good Protestants, shal be comfortable, so shal it unto al hypocrites and Papists be miserable.
concerning the present controversies in the Church. MSS. Foxii. WESTUS noster quam causam apud vos habeat, ignoro.
Non optimam habere vel hinc conjicio, quod in carcerem
conjectus sit. Nam quid minus dubitandum, quam a curia BOOK
nogiri III. hac vestra tam sancta et integra, quicquam posse proficisci, quod non cum summa ratione atque æquitate sit conjunctissimum ? Quæ res majorem mihi suspicionem injicit atque metum, ne quid admissum ab illo sit, quod nollem. Siquidem ita huc perlatum est, concionanti dicta quædam illi excidisse in superiores potestates acerbiora, quam convenire quibusdam videbantur. Quod si verum sit, ut factum ipsum 83 non laudo, nec tueor, ita hominis tamen causâ doleo, ob mutuam inter nos ejusdem et Academiæ, et scholæ, et collegii Magdalenensis, in quo educti atque educati sumus, conjunctionem. Quanquam neque illius adeo vicem doleo, quin multo magis publicæ Ecclesiæ causâ commoveor. Cujus paci atque tranquillitati quo faveam impensius, hoc magis animum discruciant intestina hæc diffluentium opinionum et controversiarum inter nos dissidia, nescio unde primum conflata atque invecta. Quæ tamen ipsa si ex necessariis causis susciperentur, minus me perturbarent. Nunc dum de rebus non gravissimis, gravissimas inter nos contentiones tanquam funem discordiæ trahimus, et quæstiones exagitamus non necessarias, perit non modo fructus inter nos fraternæ communionis, sed invalescunt etiam adversariorum contra nos phalanges, quibus ipsi lætissimum hac nostra concertatione spectaculum exhibemus.
At quanto præstiterat nos, junctis simul umbonibus, Christi negotium agere, illius fidemque latissimè in animis piorum dilatare, contraque juratos salutis nostræ hostes, potius quam fidei amicos, conflictari.
Scio ac fateor, multa adhuc, si perfectam quærimus Ecclesiam, apud nos desiderari. Sed prudentes hic tamen me dici imitandi erant, quorum prima esse cura solet, ut vivat corpus, deinde ut floreat quam optimè. Nos præpostera nescio qua solicitudine rem adgredientes, dum ad perfectissimam illam reformationis amussim Ecclesiam revocare contendimus tam acriter, id fere contendendo efficimus, ut vix ullam modo, aut certè deformissimam, videamus. Quæ enim illic Ecclesia videri potest, ubi pacem nec cum amicis habemus, nec cum inimicis ? Quam autem cum Deo pacem
BOOK habemus, quid dicam non habeo, quum res ipsa plus satis III.
loquatur. Regnat passim atheismus, impunè volitat libido, grassatur avaritia, emuntur, venduntur sacerdotia, sacerdotes ipsi frigent: atque utinam frigerent. Nunc neque frigent, neque calent multi. Mutescunt pulpita. Christi deglubuntur, non pascuntur ovilia, messis contemnitur. Quod vel hinc constare possit, ex operariis, quos aut paucos videmus, aut ejusmodi certè plerosque, qui quæ sua sunt captant sedulò, quæ Christi vix quisquam cogitat seriò. Superbia, axonaola, dowria, luxus, adulteria, divortia, ingluvies; denique, ut dicam semel, omne in præcipiti vitium stetit. Spectat hæc omnia Papismus, et in sinu ridet suaviter, pulchram sibi ex nostris malis victoriam pollicens. Hæc si non ita sint quæ dico, nihil est quod malim, quàm vanissimum hic me reperiri. Sin vera sint, quod nobis igitur consultius agendum quam ut in his, quæ interna sunt, xai tà Bapútepa tñs Xplotiavixñs Tondelas primum procurandis, strenuos nos præstemus theologos. Quibus sic constitutis, tum demum ut cætera illa superstruamus, quæ externæ sunt reformationis, si licet. Si non licebit, schisma tamen nullum moveamus.
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Number LI. The Ministers and Elders of the churches within the realm of Scotland, to their brethren the Bishops and Pastors of England; who have renounced the Roman Antichrist, and do profess with them the Lord Jesus in sincerity, desire the perpetual increase of his Holy Spirit.
BY word and writ it is come to our knowledg, (reverend Pastors,) that divers of our dearest brethren, amongst whom are some of the best learned within that realm, are deprived from ecclesiastical function, and forbidden to preach, and say, that by you they are stayed to promote the kingdom of Jesus Christ ; because their conscience will not suffer them to take upon them at the commandment of the authority such garments as idolaters, in time of blindness, have used in