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and carnal, and an epicure, and plead for fasting as holy mortification, who eat as many meals and as much meat on a Lent day or fasting day, as Calvin did in three feasting days; and drink as much wine in a Lent, as he in twenty years! Sure I am I know many such on both sides; some that eat but a small meal a day, and never drink wine at all, and others that drink wine daily, and eat of many dishes at a meal, and that to the full, and of the sweetest, as fish, fruits, &c., yet rail at the former for not fasting as they do. So delusory are the outward appearances, and so false the pretensions of the carnal sort!4. The ancient Lent consisted first of one day (Good Friday) alone; and after that of three days, and then of six, and at last it, came up to forty. (Of which read Dallaeus • ubi supra' at large). 5. None can question the lawfulness of an obedient keeping of such a civil Lent fast as our statutes command, for the vending of fish, and for the breed of cattle; so be it no bodily necessity or greater duty be against it. 6. It is not unlawful for those that cannot totally fast, yet to use more abstinence and a more mortifying sort of diet than ordinary, for the exercises of repentance and mortification, in due time. 7. If authority shall appoint such a mortifying, abstemious course upon lawful or tolerable grounds and ends, I will obey them, if they peremptorily require it, when my health or some greater duty forbiddeth it not. 8. As for the commanding such an abstinence, as in Lent, not in imitation, but bare commemoration of Christ's forty day's fast, I would not command it if it were in my power; but being peremptorily commanded, I cannot prove it unlawful to obey; with the afore-mentioned exceptions. 9. It was anciently held a crime to fast on the Lord's day, even in Lent; and I take that day to be separated by Christ and the Holy Ghost for a church-festival or day of thanksgiving; therefore I will not keep it as a fast, though I were commanded, unless in such an extraordinary necessity, as aforesaid. Of pilgrimages, saints, relics and shrines, temples, of their miracles, of praying to angels, to saints, for the dead, of purgatory, of the pope's pardons, indulgences, dispensations; of the power of true pastors to forgive sins, with a multitude of such cases, which are commonly handled in our controversial writers against the Papists, I must thither refer the reader for a solution, because the handling of all such particular cases would swell my book to a magnitude beyond my intention, and make this part unsuitable to the rest.
Quest, eii. May we continue in a church, where some one ordinance of Christ is wanting, as discipline, prayer, preaching, or sacraments, though we have all the rest?Answ. Distinguish, 1. Of ordinances. 2. Of a stated want, and a temporary want. 3. Of one that may have better; and one that cannot. 1. Teaching, prayer and praise, are ordinances of such necessity that church-assemblies have not their proper use without them. 2. The Lord's supper is of a secondary need, and must be used when it may, but a church-assembly may attain its ends sometimes without it, in a good degree. 3. Discipline is implicitly exercised when none but the baptized are communicants, and when professed Christians voluntarily assemble, and the preaching of the Word doth distinguish the precious from the vile; much more when notorious, scandalous sinners are by the laws kept from the sacrament (as our rubric and canons do require). 4. But for the more full, explicit, and exact exercise of discipline, it is very desirable for the wellbeing of the churches; but it is but a stronger fence or hedge, and preservative of sacred order; and both the being of a church, and the profitable use of holy assemblies, may subsist without it; as in Helvetia and other countries it is found. I conclude then, 1. That he that' consideratis considerandis' is a free man should choose that place where he hath the fullest opportunities of worshipping God, and edifying his soul. 2. He is not to be accounted a free man that cannot remove, without a greater hurt, than the good, either to the church or country, or to his family, his neighbours, or himself. 3. Without teaching, prayer and Divine praises we are not to reckon that we have proper church-assemblies and communion.4. We must do all that is in our power to procure the right use of sacraments and discipline. 5. When we cannot procure it, it is lawful and a duty to join in those assemblies that are without it, and rather to enjoy the rest than none. Few churches have the Lord's supper above once a month, which in the primitive church was used every Lord's day and ofter; and yet they meet on other days *.
6. It is possible that preaching, prayer and praise may be so excellently performed in some churches that want both discipline and the Lord's supper, and all so coldly and ignorantly managed in another church that hath all the ordinances, that men's souls may much more flourish and prosper under the former than the latter. 7. If forbearing and wanting some ordinances for a time,be but in order to a probable procurement of them, we may the better forbeark. 8. The time is not to be judged of only by length, but by the probability of success. For sometimes God's providence, and the disturbances of the times, or the craft of men in power may keep men so long in the dark, that a long expectation or waiting may become our duty.
Quest, cm. Must the pastors remove from one church to another whenever the magistrate commandeth us, though the bishop contradict it, and the church consent not to dismiss us; and so of other cases of disagreement?
Armv. 1. As in man's soul, the intellectual guidance, the will, and the executive power do concur, so in church cases of this nature, the potestative government of the magistrate, the directive guidance of the senior pastors, and the attrac1 Acts xxviii. ult. xi. 26. xx. 7. 20, &c 1 Cor. xiv. Acts it 4,i. 1 Tim. iv. 13,14. 2Tim.iv. 1,2. 2 Tim. iii. 16. Heb. x. 25, 26. Col. ir. 16. Acts xiii. 27. Xv. 21. 1 Thess. V. 27. 1 Cor. V. 34, &c
k Matt. xxvi. 31. Acts viii. 1.
tire love of the people (who are the chief inferior, final cause) should all concur; and when they do not it is confusion: and when God's order is broken which commandeth their concurrence, it is hard to know what to do, in such a division which God alloweth not; as it is to know whether I should take part with the heart against the head, or with the head against the stomach and liver, on supposition of cross inclinations or interests; when as nature supposetheither a concord of inclination and interest, or else the ruin, sickness and death of the person: and the cure must be by reconciling them, rather than by knowing which to side with against the rest. But seeing we must suppose such diseases frequently to happen, they that cannot cure them must know how to behave themselves, and to do their own duty. For my own part in such cases I would do thus. 1. I would look at my ultimate end, God's glory, and at the next end, the good of souls and welfare of the church; and so at the people's interest as it is the end of the order of magistracy and ministry: and I would take myself to be so obliged to that end, as that no point of mere order could disoblige me, the end being better than the means as such; therefore I would do all things to edification, supposing that all power of man is as Paul's was for edification and not for destruction'.
2. But in judging of what is best for the church, I must take in every accident and circumstance, and look to many, more than to a few, and to distant parts as well as to those near me, and to the time and ages to come, as well as to the present, and not go upon mistaken suppositions of the church's good; he that doth not see all things that are to be weighed in such a case, may err by leaving out some one. 3. I would obey the magistrate formally for conscience sake in all things which belong to his office; and particularly in this case, if it were but a removal from place to place, in respect to the temple, or tithes, or for the civil peace, or for the preservation of church order in cases where it is not grossly injurious to the church and Gospel. 4. In cases which by God's appointment belong to the 1 Eph. iv. 12. 14. 2 Cor. x. 8. xiii. 10. Rom. xiv. 19, xv. 2. 1 Cor.x. S3, xiv. 5. 12. 26. 2 Cor. xii. 19. conduct of bishops, or pastors, or the concord of consociate churches, I would 'formaliter'follow them. And in particular, if they satisfy me that the removal of me is an apparent injury to the church, (as in the Arian's times when the emperors removed the orthodox from all the great churches to put in the Arians) I would not obedientially and voluntarily remove.
6. If magistrates and bishops should concur in commanding my remove in a case notoriously injurious and pernicious to the church (as in the aforesaid case, to bring in an Arian) I would not obey formally for conscience sake; supposing that God never gave them such a power against men's souls and the Gospel of Christ; and there is no power but of God. 6. But I would prefer both the command of the magistrate, and the direction of the pastors, before the mere will and humour of the people, when their safety and welfare were not concerned in the case. 7. And when the magistrate is peremptory, usually I must obey him materially, when I do it not formally (in conscience to his mere command). Because though in some cases he may do that which belongeth not to his office, but to the pastor's, yet his violence may make it become the church's interest, that I yield and give place to his wrath; for as I must not resist him by force, so if,I depart not at his command, it may bring a greater suffering on the churches: and so for preventing a greater evil he is to be submitted to in many cases, where he goeth against God and without authority; though not to be formally obeyed. 8. Particular churches have no such interest in their ministers or pastors, as to keep them against their wills and the magistrate's, and against the interest of the universal church, as shall be next asserted. I have spoken to this instance as it taketh in all other cases of difference between the power of the magistrate, the pastor's and the people's interest, when they disagree, and not as to this case alone.
Quest, civ. Is a pastor obliged to his Jlock for life? Or is it lawful so to oblige himself? And may he remove without