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Irenicum.

In matters of religion the first & great Commandment hath always been: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart & with all thy soul & with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. On these two hang all the Law & the Prophets. Matth. 22.27. And the Gospel is that Iesus is the Christ. Whoever beleiveth that Iesus is the Christ is born of God, & every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him 1 Iohn 5.1.

When Christ rose from the dead he appeared to his disciples to prove to them his resurrection, & expounded to them out of Moses & all the Prophets & the Psalms the things concerning himself, vizt how that the Christ ought to suffer & to rise from the dead the third day & to enter into his glory, & that he was the Christ in whom all those things were fulfilled, & that repentance & remission of sins should be preached in his name amongst all nations beginning at Ierusalem. (Luke 24.21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 44, 45, 46, 47.) He told them also that all power was given him in heaven & in earth & that he would send the promise of his father upon them (vizt the Holy Ghost) whereby they should be endued with power from on high & that they should then go & teach all nations what he had taught them & baptize them in the name of the father & of the Son and of the Holy Ghost & that he would be with them & their disciples & the disciples of their disciples always unto the end of the world Matt. 28.18, 19, 20. Luke 24.49, 50. And after these things he ascended up into heaven in their sight, & they were told by an Angel that he should come again in the same manner as they saw him ascend. And all this is the Gospel which Christ sent his disciples to teach all nations & which the first Christians were taught in catechising before baptism & communion,

Repentance & remission of sins relate to transgressions against the two first commandments. We are to forsake the Devil, that is, all fals Gods & all manner of idolatry, this being a breach of the first & great commandment. And we are to forsake the flesh & the world, or as the Apostle Iohn expresseth it, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, & the pride of life, that is, unchastity, covetousness pride & ambition; these things being a breach of the second of the two great commandments. And we are to beleive in one God, the father, almighty in dominion, the maker of heaven & earth & of all things therein; & in one Lord Iesus Christ the son of God, who was born of a Virgn, & sacrificed for us on the cross, & the third day rose again from the dead, & ascended into heaven, & sitteth on the right hand of God in a mystical sense, being next unto him in honour & power, & who shall come again to judge the quick & the dead raised again to life, & who sent the Holy Ghost to comfort his disciples & assist them in preaching the Gospel. All this was taught from the beginning of the Gospel in Catechising, that the Catechumen might know before Baptism why & in whose names he was to be washed. vizt in the name of one God the father & of one Lord Iesus Christ &c. And nothing more is now necessary to communion & salvation then what was taught in those days before baptism & admission into communion . ffor every thing necessary to communion must be taught before admission into it.

All this the Apostle Paul calls milk for babes & the foundation & first Principles of the doctrine of Christ. And those things which are to be learnt after admission into communion he calls strong meat for men of riper years. For in writing to the Hebrews he saith: When for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; & are become such as have need of milk & not strong meat. For every one that useth milk, is unexercised in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good & evil. Therefore leaving the principles <3> of the doctrine of Christ let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, & of faith towards God, Of the doctrine of Baptisms & of [admission into communion by] laying on of hands [in the name of the father Son & Holy Ghost ] & of the resurrection of the dead & of eternal judgment. Heb. V.12, 13, 14 & VI.1, 2. Here the Apostle under the name of milk for babes comprehends all that was taught before baptism & admission into communion, & under the name of strong meats he comprehends all that was to be learnt afterwards by men of riper years in studying the scriptures or otherwise. And since strong meats are not fit for babes, but are to be given only to men of riper years they were not to be imposed on all men but only to be learnt by such as after admission into communion were able to learn them. And by consequence men were not to damn or excommunicate one another or treat one another as heretiques, or quarrel or reproach one another, or hate or despise or censure one another for not knowing them. Every man after admission into communion was to study the scriptures & especially the Prophesies, & to learn as much as he could out of them, & might endeavour to instruct his neighbour in a friendly manner, but not fall out with him for differing in opinion about any thing which was not imposed before baptism & admission into communion. For enmity & discord in things not necessary to communion tends to schism & is contrary to the rule of charity imposed upon all men in the second of the two great commandments & more especially upon those of the same communion. And with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged. See Rom XIV & XV, & 1 Cor. III. If any thing s{hould} at any time be made necessary to communion which was not so before, it ought thence forward to be taught before admission into communion.

And as for the Christian worship, we are authorized in scripture to give glory & honour to God the father because he hath created all things, & to the Lamb of God because he hath redeemed us with his blood & is our Lord, & to direct our prayers to God the father in the name of Christ for what we want & give him thanks for what we receive, & to wish for Grace & peace from God & Christ & the Holy Ghost & baptize in their name, & to receive the Eucharist in memory of Christs death. All this was practised by the first Christians in the Apostles days from the time of their admission into Communion, & is included in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, & if any man contend for any other sort of worship which he cannot prove to have been practised in the Apostles days, he {illeg} may use it in his Closet without troubling the Churches with his private sentiments.

< insertion from p 2 >

The first Principles of the Christian religion are founded, not on disputable conclusions or humane sanctions, opinions or conjectures, but on the express words of Christ & his Apostles; & we are to hold fast the form of sound words. It is not enough that a Proposition be true or in the express words of scripture: it must also appear to have been taught from the days of the Apostles in order to baptism & communion. For the Laws of Communion are unchangeable Dan. 7.25.. If an Angel from heaven preach any other Gospel [as necessary to Communion & Salvation] then that which the Apostles preached let him be accursed. Gal. 1.8, 9. And since Christ set on foot the Christian religion by

< text from p 3 resumes >

And since Christ set on foot the Christian religion by explaining to his Apostles the prophesies in Moses the Prophets & the Psalms concerning himself, & sending them to teach his interpretations to all nations: if any question at any time arise concerning his interpretations, we are to to have recourse to the old Testament, & compare the places interpreted with the interpretations thereof in the new. As for instance in explaining why Iesus is called the a[1] Christ or Messiah, the b[2] Son of Man, the c[3] Son of God, the d[4] Lamb of God, the e[5] Word of God, Symbol (dot in a circle) in text < insertion from p 2 > Symbol (dot in a circle) in text the f[6] Lord who sitteth on the right hand of God, < text from p 3 resumes > & the g[7] God who was in the beginning with God & by whom all things were made And by this means the Old Testament will be also better understood.

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Irenicum.

All nations were originally of the Religion comprehended in the Precepts of the sons of Noah, the chief of which were to have one God, & not to alienate his worship, nor prophane his name; to abstein from murder, theft, fornication, & all injuries; not to feed on the flesh or drink the blood of a living animal, but to be mercifull even to bruit beasts; & to set up Courts of justice in all cities & societies for putting these laws in execution. In the ancient cities the Iudges usually sat in the Gates of the city & were called the Elders of the city & judged of causes both sacred & civil & the father of every family was the elder of the family subordinate to the Elders of the city. This religion descended to Melchisedec & Iob & to Abraham Isaac Iacob Moses & the Israelites & to the proselites of the Gate. ffor so the Israelites called the strangers within their Gates who observed the precepts of the sons of Noah. But the Kings of the nations by degrees causing their dead ancestors to be celebrated with sacrifices praises & invocations, the religion of Noah & his sons passed into the worship of dead men & the laws of their courts of Iustice into the moral Philosophy of the heathens. . ffor Pythagoras one of the oldest Philosophers in Europe, after he had travelled among the eastern nations for the sake of knowledge & conversed with their Priests & Iudges & seen their manners, taught his scholars that all men should be friends to all men & even to bruit Beasts & should conciliate the friendship of the Gods by piety, & that a friend was another self, & his disciples were celebrated for loving one another. The religion of Noah & his sons was therefore the moral law of all nations put in execution by their courts of Iustice untill they corrupted themselves.

Then Moses reformed the Israelites from those corruptions & added many new precepts to the Moral law, writing all down in a book & imposed the whole upon the people of Israel by the covenant of circumcision, & allowed strangers of all nations to live within their Gates without entring into that covenant, provided they kept the Precepts of the sons of Noah. And for putting this law in execution he commanded that the people of Israel should make Iudges & Officers in all their Gates. Deut. 16.10. And these courts continued in Iudea till the Babylonian captivity & then were abolished by the Chaldeans (Lament. 5.14) & restored by the Commission of Artaxerxes given to Ezra (Ezra 7.25, 26 & 10.14) & in the reign of the Greeks were called the Sanhedrim & Synagogues of the Iews. And because the Elders (called Presbyters by the Greeks) judged of things both sacred & civil, they had a place of worship adjoyning to the Court where they sat, & before the Babylonian captivity they had sometimes upon the next high hill an altar for sacrificing & a place for eating the sacrifices called the High Place.

When Christ was asked which was the great Commandment of the Law, he answered, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart & with all thy soul & with all thy mind. This is the first & great commandment, & the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the Law & the Prophets. Mat. 22.36. This was the religion of the sons of <7> Noah established by Moses & Christ & is still in force.

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Irenicum.

In matters of religion the first & great Commandment hath always been: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, & with all thy soul & with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. On these two hang all the law & the Prophets. Matth. 22.27. And the Gospel is, that Iesus is the Christ. Whoever beleiveth that Iesus is the Christ is born of God, & every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him. 1 Iohn. 5.1.

When Christ rose from the dead he appeared to his disciples to prove to them his resurrection, & expounded to them out of Moses & all the Prophets & the Psalms, the things concerning himself vizt how that Christ ought to suffer & to rise from the dead the third day, & to enter into his glory, & that he was the Christ in whom all those things were fulfilled, & that repentance & remission of sins should be preached in his name amongst all nations beginning at Ierusalem (Luke 24.21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 44, 45, 46, 47.) He told them also that all power was given him in heaven & in earth & that he would send the promise of his father upon them (vizt the Holy Ghost) whereby they should be endued with power from on high, & that they should then go & teach all nations what he had taught them, & baptize them in the name of the ffather & of the Son & of the Holy Ghost, & that he would be with them & their disciples & the disciples of their disciples always unto the end of the world (Matth. 28.18, 19, 20. Luke 24.49, 50.) And after these things he ascended up into heaven in their sight, & they were told by an Angel that he should come again in the same manner that they saw him ascend. And all this is the Gospel which Christ sent his disciples to teach all nations, & which the first Christians were taught in catechising before baptism & communion.

Repentance & remission of sins relate to transgressions against the two great commandments. We are to forsake the Devil, that is all fals Gods & all manner of idolatry this being a breach of the first & great commandment. And we are to forsake the flesh & the World, or as the Apostle Iohn expresseth it, the lust of the flesh the lust of the eye & the pride of life, that is, unchastity, intemperance, injustice, covetousness, pride, & ambition, these things being a breach of the second of the two great commandments. And we are (with the primitive Greek Church) to beleive in one God, the ffather, almighty in dominion, the maker of heaven & earth & of all things therein: and in one Lord Iesus Christ, the son of God, who was born of a Virgin, & sacrificed for us on the cross, & the third day rose again from the dead, & ascended into heaven, & sitteth on the right hand of God in a mystical sense, being next to him in honour & power; & who shall come again to judge & reign over the quick & the dead raised again to life; & who sent the Holy Ghost to comfort his disciples & assist them in preaching the Gospel. All this was taught from the beginning of the Gospel in catechising, that the <11> Catechumen might know before baptism why & in whose names he was to be washed, vizt in the name of one God the father & of one Lord Iesus Christ &c 1 Cor. 8.6.. And nothing more is now necessary to communion & salvation then what was taught in those days before baptism & communion, & in order thereunto. For every thing necessary to communion must be taught before admission into it.

All this the Apostle Paul calls milk for babes & the foundation & first Principles of the doctrine of Christ. And those things which are to be learnt after admission into communion he calls strong meats for men of riper years. For in writing to the Hebrews he saith: When for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again what be the first principles of the oracles of God & are become such as have need of milk & not strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unexercised in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good & evil. Therefore leaving the Principles of the doctrine of Christ let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works & of faith towards God; Of the doctrine of Baptisms & of [admission into Communion by] laying on of hands, & of the resurrection of the dead & of eternal judgment. Heb. V.12, 13, 14 & VI.1, 2. Here the Apostle under the name of Milk for Babes comprehends all that was taught before Baptism & admission into Communion, vizt repentance from the dead works of the world the flesh & the Devil, & the Creed or system of faith here called ffaith towards God & the doctrine of baptism & confirmation founded upon it, including the resurrection & last judgment. And under the name of strong meats he comprehends all that was to be learnt afterwards by men of riper years in studying the scriptures or otherwise. And since strong meats are not fit for babes but are to be given only to men of riper years, they are not to be imposed upon all men as necessary to communion, but only to be learnt by such as after admission into communion are able to learn them. And by consequence Christians are not to damn or excommunicate one another or treat one another as heretiques, or quarrel or reproach one another or hate or despise or censure one another for not knowing them. Every man after chatechizing & admission into communion, is to study the scriptures & especially the prophesies, & to learn as much as he can out of them, & may endeavour to instruct his neighbour in a friendly manner, but not fall out with him for differing in opinion about any thing which was not required before baptism into the remission of sins, & admission into the communion of Christians. Men may be excommunicated for breaking the conditions upon which they were admitted into communion, but not for any thing else: & men of the same communion are to love one another. Enmity & discord in things not necessary to communion tends to schism & is contrary to the rule of charity imposed upon all men in the second of the two great Commandments, & more especially upon those of the same communion. The strong in the faith must not despise the weak, & the weak must not judge the strong. ffor with what judgement they judge they shall be judged. See Rom. XIV & XV, & 1 Cor. III.

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And as for the Christian worship, we are authorized in scripture to give glory & honour to God the father because he hath created all things, & to the Lamb of God because he hath redeemed us with his blood & is our Lord, & to direct our prayers to God the father in the name of Christ for what we want, & to give him thanks for what we receive, & to wish for grace & peace from God & Christ & the Holy Ghost, & baptize in their name, & to receive the Eucharist in memory of Christ's death. All this was practised by the first Christians in the Apostles days from the time of their admission into communion, & is included in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. And if any man contend for any other sort of worship which he cannot prove to have been practised in the Apostles days, he may use it in his Closet without troubling the Churches with his private sentiments.

The first Principles of the Christian religion are founded, not on disputable conclusions opinions or conjectures or on humane sanctions, but on the express words of Christ & his Apostles; & we are to hold fast the form of sound words. 2 Tim. 1.13 And further, it is not enough that a Proposition be true or in the express words of Scripture: it must also appear to have been taught in the days of the Apostles in order to baptism & communion. ffor baptism into the remission of sins is of divine institution, & the laws of God are unalterable by men. It is the character of his people that they keep his commandments (1 Iohn 2.3, 4 & 5.2, 3 & Apoc. 12.17) & that of their enemies that they change times & laws (Dan. 7.25.) Temporall laws may be made by men about the changeable circumstances of religion, & temporal Iudges may be appointed to put the laws of both God & the King in execution (Ezra 7.25, 26.) But the Gospel which Christ sent his Apostles to preach is not alterable by humane authority. It is as much the law of God as the Law of Moses was, & as unalterable. The High Priest & the Sanhedrim it self had no power to alter the law of Moses, & if an Angel from heaven preach any other Gospel then that which the Apostles preached [imposing it as a law of God necessary to baptism communion & salvation] let him be accursed Gal. 1.8, 9.

And since Christ set on foot the Christian religion by explaining to his Apostles the prophesies in Moses the Prophets & the Psalms concerning himself, & sending them to teach his interpretations to all nations: if any question at any time arise concerning his interpretations, we are to have recourse to the old Testament & compare the places interpreted with the interpretations thereof in the new. As for instance, in explaining why Iesus is called the a[9] Christ or Messiah, the b[10] son of man, the c[11] son of God, the d[12] Lamb of God, the e[13] Word of God, the f[14] Lord who sitteth on the right hand of God, & g[15] the God who was in the beginning with God, & by whom all things were made or who was in glory with the father before the world began. & came down from heaven.. And by this means the Old Testament will be also better understood.

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And as the prophesies of the old Testament remained in obscurity till Christs first coming & then were interpreted by Christ & the interpretations became the religion of the Christians: so the prophesies of both Testaments relating to Christs second coming may remain in obscurity till that coming, & then be interpreted by divine authority, & the interpretations become the religion of God's people till Christ has put all things under his feet in heaven & earth & shall deliver up the kingdom to the father. And therefore it is no objection against the Christian religion that the prophesies which relate to Christs second coming remain still in obscurity.

3. The Apostle Paul opposed the preaching of the law of Moses to the Gentiles, & called it another Gospel whereby the faith in Christ was made void, not because the Law was evil, (for the Apostle tells us that the Law is good;) but because it was not necessary to salvation & therefore not to be imposed as a fundamental Article of communion. And for the same reason the imposing of any Proposition (true or false) as an Article of Communion which was not an Article of Communion from the first preaching of the Gospel, may be preaching another Gospel, & the persecuting of any true Christians for not receiving that Gospel may be persecuting Christ in his mystical members, & the Persecutor in making war upon Christ breaks the second & third great commandments & may deserve the name of an Antichristian in a literal sense. A Church guilty of this crime is in a state of Apostasy from Christ .

2 Idolatry is a breach of the first & greatest commandment. It is giving to Idols the love honour & worship which is due to the true God alone. It is forsaking the true God to commit whoredome with other lovers. It makes a Church guilty of Apostasy from God as an Adulteress forsakes her husband.. It makes her guilty of spiritual whoredome with other lovers. It makes her become the Church of the Idols, fals Gods, or Dæmons whom she worships, such a true Church as in Scripture is called a Synagogue of Satan.

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The first Position.

In the religion of the Iews, the two first & great commandments were Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart & with all thy soul & with all thy mind & thou shalt love thy neighbour as they self. Vpon these two commandments hang all the Law & the Prophets Matt. 22.37.

The second Position

The religion of loving God & our neighbour was the religion of Noah & his sons down to the days of Abraham Melchisedeck Iob & Moses. . For Noah was a just man & very righteous & perfect in his generation & walked with God Gen. 6.19. Ezek XIV.14 Melchisedek had his name from justice & righteousness & was a Priest of the most high God & acknowledged such by Abraham who paid tythes to him & was blessed by him, & Christ himself was a Priest after the order of Melchisedick, not after the order of Aaron but after the order of the Patriarchs, Gen 14. Heb. 7. And Iob feared God & eschewed evil, & tells us that to worship the Sun or Moon was to forsake the God above & to commit an evil punishable in his country by the judge. He condemns also deceipt, adultery, uncharitablenes, covetousnes, pride & rejoycing at the misfortunes of enemies, as crimes in his country. While mankind lived together in Chaldea under the government of Noah, they were all of his religion, & in the days of Peleg when they divided the earth they carried this religion along with them & kept it for a while.

The third Position.

The loving God & our Neighbour are also the principal parts of the religion of Christians. For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments, & the love of our neighbour is that charity without which no man can be saved. . 1 Iohn 5.3. 1 Cor. 13. Rom. XIII.8, 9, 10. Iames 2.8. This commandment have we from him that he who loveth God love his brother also. 1 Iohn. 4.21.

The 4th Position.

In the primitive Church all things necessary to the remission of sins & salvation, were taught in catechising in order to baptism.. For baptism was into the remission of sins & he whose sins are remitted is in a state of salvation. I do not say that sins are remitted by baptism. They are remitted by a sincere repentance from dead works, (such as are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye & the pride of life & the worship of Dæmons or Ghosts,) & by a sincere beleif in what was taught in the primitive Creeds. And Baptism was only a signe or symbol of the remission of sins by the washing away of the filth of the body.

The 5t Position.

In the primitive Church it was not lawfull to impose any other article of religion as necessary to the remission of sins & salvation besides those which were taught from the beginning of the Gospel in catechising. For when some Christians of the circumcision would have imposed circumcision upon the gentiles saying that unless they were circumcised they could not be saved Acts XV.1:: the Apostle Paul in opposition to them tells the Galatians, If we or an Angel from heaven preach any other Gospel then that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal. 1.8. It was lawful for the Christians of the circumcision to circumcis{e} their own children; & the Apostle Paul himself circumcised Timothy because his mother was a Iew. Act. XVI.1, 3. The Gentiles had revolted from the religion of Noah to worship fals Gods.. And now by the preaching of the Gospel returned not to the religion of Moses by circumcision but to that <18> of their ancestors from which they had revolted. And therefore they were to abstein from the blood of Animals. For this religion obliged men to be mercifull even to bruit Beasts.

Posit. 6.

If any men of this religion have been either fals Prophets or otherwise wicked: it doth not follow from thence that the religion it self is either false or wicked.

Posit. 7.

In the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede over Chaldea, the Angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel, & said to him. Seventy weeks are allotted upon thy people & upon thy holy city to finish transgression & to make an end of sins & to make reconciliation for iniquity & to bring in everlasting righteousness & to seal up the vision & prophesy & to annoint the most Holy. Dan. 9.24. And the ancient Iews interpreted these weeks to be such as the week of Laban & Iacob Gen. XXIX.27, that is weeks of years. For they expected the Messiah in the days of Augustus Cæsar or soon after, that is, at the end of seventy such weeks or 490 years. & put all the east into such an expectation And some took Herod for the Messiah & were thence called Herodians, others took Theudas for the Messiah & others Iudas of Galilee. And this expectation continued till the days of Hadrian when Barchochab another fals Messiah was slain.

Posit. 8.

By the Babylonian captivity, the government of the Iews was dissolved & they ceased to be a body politic for a time. And became again a people, & Ierusalem their holy city, from the time that Ezra by the commission of Artaxerxes Longimanus reunited them into a body polytic by setting up Magistrates & Iudges to govern, judge & teach the people in Iudea & punish offenders against the laws of God & the king unto death or banishment or confiscation of goods or imprisonment. And from that time to the death of Iesus Christ were just 70 weeks or 490 years. And because the most holy was to be annointed at the end of the days, thence Iesus was Called the Messiah & the Christ, that is the annointed, & thence his followers were called Christians.

Posit. IX.

In the second Psalm are these words: Thou art my son this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me & I shal give thee the heathen for thine inheritance & the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron & shall dash them in pieces like a potters vessel. And these words the Apostles & primitive Christians applied to Iesus Christ as being the son of God by the resurrection from the dead, & being to come again in the end of ages & rule all nations with a rod of iron. Acts XIII.33. Rom. 1.4.

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Irenicum
or
Ecclesiastical Polyty tending to peace.

Thesis . 2.

The government of the Iewish Church being dissolved by the Babylonian Captivity, was restored by the Commission of Artaxerxes Longimanus king of Persia to Ezra authorizing him to set Magistrates & Iudges to judge the people who knew the Laws of God & to teach those who knew them not, & to execute judgment upon those who would not do the law of God & the law of the king whether it were unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods or to imprisonment.

For the forming of this government being left to the discretion of Ezra it may be presumed that he would pursue the ancient form of Iewish Government so far as it was practicable. . 20.4.] See Ezra 10.14.

Thesis 3

The government then set up by Ezra was by Courts of Iudicature composed of Elders the highest Court being the Sanhedrim composed of 70 Elders originally enstituted by Moses, & the second Court being composed of 23 Elders in the outward Gate of the Temple & the other Courts sitting in the Synagogues of the Cities & being composed of the Elders of the City not more in number then 23 nor fewer then three. [See . Mat. 10.17. & 23.34. Luke 12.11, & 21.12]

Thesis . 4.

The government set up by Ezra continued till the days of Christ & was then extended over all the Roman Empire, & the Iews by the permission or connivance of the Romans erected Synagogues where ever they were sufficiently numerous to do it. & the Elders of Cities were called Rulers of their Synagogues. See Act. 15.21. Mat. 10.17, & 23.34, & Luke 12.11, & 21.12

Thesis 1.

The cities of Israel before the Babylonian captivity were governed by Elders, who sat in the Gate of the city, & put the laws of Moses in execution, & had a place of worship in or neare the Gate, & sometimes a High Place for sacrificing upon a neighbouring Hill. See Deut 19.12 & 21.19, 20, 21 & 22.18, 19 & 25.7, 8. & Ruth 4.2 & Iosh. 20.4. & Psal. 74.8. And in this sense it is said that the Gates of Hell, that is the Magistrates in the Gates of Idolatrous Cities shall not prevail against the true Church of Christ.

Thesis 5.

The same government continued among the converted Iews or Christians of the circumcision in the regions of Phœnicia, Syria &             till the end of the fourth Century or longer. & the chief Ruler of the Synagogue was called by them the Prince of the Synagogue.


Thesis. 6.

The same government was propagated from the Iews to the converted Gentiles, the name of Synagogues being changed to that of Churches, & the name of chief Rulers & Princes of the Synagogues into that of Presidents & Bishops, the Bishop being the President of the Council of Elders called in the Greek Presbyters. & the Presbyters of this Council being at length called Prebendaries from the allowances made to them out of the revenues of the Church for their attendance. But the name of Churches was of a larger extent being given also to single assemblies in private houses & other places not attended with a board of elders, & collectively to all the Churches in a kingdom or nation or in the whole world.

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Thesis 7.

It is therefore the duty of Bishops & Presbyters to govern the People according to the laws of God & the laws of the King , & in their Councils to punish Offenders according to those Laws, & to teach those who do not know the laws of God. but not to make new laws in the name of either God or the King.

Thesis 8.

The laws of God are unchangeable & the power of the King extends only to things which are left indifferent & undetermined by the laws of God. And all laws relating to things indifferent are the Kings. & ought rather to be recconed among the civil laws then among the laws of God or the laws of the Church of Christ

Thesis 9

The Church is constituted & her extent & bounds of communion are defined by the laws of God. And the laws of the King relate only to her government revennues & tranquility, & to decence & order in things indifferent. She has her being from the laws of God & her well being in this world from those of the king.

Thesis 10

The King is supreme head & governour of the Church in all things indifferent, & can nominate new Bishops & Presbyters to succeed in vacant places & deprive or depose them whenever they may deserve it.

Thesis 11

[16] The being of the Church doth not depend upon an uninterrupted succession of Bishops & Presbyters for governing her. ffor this succession was interrupted in the time of the Babylonian captivity untill Ezra by the Comission of Artaxerxes appointed new governours. And therefore if it should be again interrupted, the Christian people by the authority or leave of the King may restore it. The Christian Church was also in being before there was a Christian Synagogue.


Thesis 12

All persons baptized are members of Christs body called the Church even those who are not yet admitted into the communion of the Synagogue of any City. For all persons circumcised were members of the Church of the Iews in the time of the Babylonian captivity before Ezra restored their polyty. And in the days of Ahab when there remained only 7000 in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal, these were the true Church of God tho without an external form of government, & the worshippers of Baal under their external form of government were a Church of Idolaters a Church of the God Baal, the Church of a fals God, such a Church as in Scripture is called the Synagogue of Satan who say they are Iews & are not, a fals Church with regard to the God whom they worshipped. And the three thousand baptized by Peter were a christian Church tho they had not yet a Bishop or Presbyter or Synagogue or form of government.

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Thesis 13

By imposition of hands men are admitted into the communion of the synagogue of a city & by excommunication they are deprived of that communion & return into the state they were in by baptism alone before they were received into communion by imposition of hands except the sin for which they were excommunicated. And by new imposition of hands they may be received into communion again without new baptism, & therefore by excommunication they do not lose the privilege or benefit of baptism.

Thesis . 14

Men are not to be excommunicated without breaking one or more of the Articles upon which they were admitted into communion. For this would be to alter the bounds of communion setled by the laws of God in the beginning of the Gospel.

Thesis 15

To impose any Article of communion not imposed from the beginning is a crime of the same nature with that of those Christians of the circumcision who endeavoured to impose circumcision & the observation of the law upon the converted Gentiles. For the law was good if a man could keep it, but we were to be saved not by the works of the Law but by faith in Iesus Christ & to impose those works as articles of communion was to make them necessary to salvation & thereby to make void the faith in Iesus Christ. And there is the same reason against imposing any other article of communion which was not imposed from the beginning. All such impositions are teaching another Gospel.

Thesis 16.

To refuse communion with any Church or Synagogue merely upon account of the laws of the King in matters indifferent, unless where those laws are imposed not merely as laws of the civil government religion & communion, {illeg} is disobedience to the King & schism in relation to the Church

Thesis 17

To distinguish Churches from one another by any difference in customes or ceremonies or in other laws then the laws of God, is improper & tends to superstitions:, And if the distinction occasion a breach of communion, the person insisting upon it as a matter or religion is guilty of the schism. For the distinction being taken from things which are only of humane authority & external to religion, ought not to be considered as a part of religion nor to enter into the definition of a Church.

Thesis 18.

The fundamentals or first Principles of religion are the Articles of communion taught from the beginning of the gospel in catechising men in order to baptism & admission into communion namely that the Catechumen is to repent & forsake covetousness ambition & all inordinate desires of the things of this world, the unlawfull lusts of the flesh & fals Gods called the Devil, & to be baptized in the name of one God the father Almighty, maker of heaven & earth & of one Lord Iesus Christ the Son of God & of the Holy Ghost. see Heb. 5.12, 13, 14. & 6.1, 2, 3.

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Thesis 19.

After baptism men are to live according to the laws of God & the King & to grow in grace & in the knowledge of our Lord Iesus Christ, by practising what they promised before baptism, & by studying the scriptures & teaching one another in meekness & charity without imposing their private opinions or falling out about them.

Thesis 20.

The commission to teach & baptize was given to the Apostles as the disciples of Christ & to their disciples & the disciples of their disciples to the end of the world, there being no Bishops or Presbyters or Church government yet instituted. among the Christians. But after the institution of governments the governours appointed men to catechise & baptise, except in cases of necessity where the original right returned. For Tertullian had told us that in his days the Rule was: In casu necessitatis quilibet laicus tingit.

Thesis 8.

The Church is constituted & her extent & bounds of communion are defined by the laws of God, & these laws are unchangeable

Thesis 9

The laws of the king extend only to things which are left indifferent & undetermined by the laws of God, & particularly to the revennues, & tranquillity, of the Church & to her Courts of justice, & to decence & order in her worship. And all laws about things left indifferent by the laws of God ought to be referred to the Civil government

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The first Principles of the Christian religion depend, not on disputable conclusions, but on the express words of scripture & we are to hold fast the form of sound words without varying from them. It is not enough that a Proposition be true or deliverd in the express words of Scripture. Every truth every sentence in scripture is not a fundamental Article. It must be delivered in the express words of the first teachers. & appear to have been an article taught from the beginning in order to baptism & communion. And nothing more is to be imposed as a necessary part of religion & of Divine authority. then what was imposed in the beginning If any man or an Angel from heaven preach any other Gospel let him be accursed. And since Christ set on foot.

The first Principles of the Christian religion are founded not on disputable conclusions, but on the express words of Christ & his Apostles & we are to hold fast the form of sound words. It is not enough that a Proposition be true or in the express words of Scripture: it must appear to have been taught from the beginning in order to baptism & communion. And since Christ &c.

And by this means you will understand the prophetic parts of the old testament to which these interpretations relate: as that the Messiah Dan 9.24, 25, the Son of man Dan 7.13, the son of God Psal. 2.7, 8, 9, the Paschal Lamb Exod. 12.21, 22, 23, 27, 46, the rod or word of Gods mouth Isa. 11.4 Heb. et Gr. & the God who walked in Paradise & appeared to Adam & Eve Gen. 2.16, 17 & 3.8, 9, 10, 11 are either names or types of Iesus

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When Christ rose from the dea

All nations were originally of one religion & this religion consisted in the Precepts of the Sons of Noah, the heads of which were, To have one God,& not to alienate his worship nor prophane his name;; to abstein from murder, theft, fornication & all injuries; to be merciful even to bruit Beasts not to feed on the flesh or drink the blood of a living animal, & to set up courts of Iustice in all cities & societies for putting these laws in execution. Symbol (obelus) in text < insertion from higher up p 27 > Symbol (obelus) in text The Iudges usually sat in the Gates of the ancient cities & are in Scripture called the elders of the cities, And having a judicial authority in things both sacred & civil And in every family the father of the family was Elder of the family subordinate to the Elders of the city, as the Elder of the family was to be honoured by his children] < text from p 27 resumes > This religion descended to Melchizedek & Abraham & the Proselytes of the Gate & was propagated down by Isaac Iacob & Moses to the Israelites & at length after various corruptions it passed into the worship of dead Kings & into the moral Philosophy of the heathens. ffor Pythagoras one of the oldest Philosophers in Europe after he had travelled among the eastern nations for the sake of knowledge & seen their manners, taught his scholars that all men should be friends to all men & even to bruit Beasts & should conciliate the friendship of the Gods by piety, & his disciples were celebrated for loving one another. This religion may be therefore called the the Moral Law of all nations

To this religion Moses added many new Precepts writing them down in a Book & imposed the whole upon the people of Israel by the covenant of circumcision; but yet allowed strangers uncircumcised to live within their Gates provided they kept the Precepts of the sons of Noah: & those that were proselyted to these Precepts were called Proselytes of the Gate. [In this religion the two great Commandments were to love the Lord our God with all our heart & soul & mind & our neighbour as our selves. On these two hung all the Law & the Prophets (Matt. 22.27,) & therefore the Law of Moses was founded upon the moral Law of the Sons of Noah] And for putting this Law in execution Moses also commanded that the people of Israel should make Iudges & Officers in all their Gates Iud 4.16, 18 These judges sat in the Gates of the cities & were called the elders of the cities

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At length the Philistines conquering & wasting Israel, & taking the Ark & returning it back without the Book of the Law: Samuel in the reign of Saul recollected the scattered records of his nation & out of the Book of the generations of Adam & the generations of the sons of Noah & the book of the wars of the Lord, & the Book of the Law & perhaps some other writings of Moses copied the Pentateuch in the form & order now extant. ffor the Author of this Book set down the Dukes & kings that reigned in the land of Edom before there reigned any king over Israel & therefore wrote it after there was a king in Israel & before David conquered Edom. This is that Book of the Law which the Princes of Iudah in the third year of Iehosaphat had with them when they went throughout all the cities of Iudah & taught the people (2 Chron. 17.) & which was lost in the Temple in the wicked reign of Manassas & found again in the pious reign of his Son Iosiah, & which Ezra read to the people, & which Antiochus Epiphanes commanded to be burnt wherever it should be found. If I mistake not Samuel composed also the Books of Ioshua Iudges & Ruth out of ancient Records. For the history of the Pentateuch is continued in these books, [] to the days of Samuel & David, & by several passages in the books it appears that the Book of Ioshuah was writ after his death & that the books of the Iudges & Ruth were writ after the days of the Iudges & as soon as there was a king in Israel, & the Iews have a tradition that the Book of Ruth was writ by Samuel in honour of David.

The government by Courts of Elders continued in Iudea till the Babylonian captivty & then was abolished by the Chaldeans (Lament. 5.14) & restored by the Commission of Artaxerxes given to Ezra (Ezra 7.25, 26 & 10.14) & [] at that time Nehemiah founding a Library gathered together the Acts of the Kings & the Prophets & of David & the Epistles of the Kings concerning the holy gifts. [2 Maccab. 2.13 & out of these Records Ezra being a ready Scribe copied the Books of Samuel Kings & Chronicles, in due order of time. ffor the Books of the Kings & Chronicles cite one another & therefore were written at one & the same time & the book of Ezra was originally a part of the book of Chronicles, this now ending abruptly with the words with which the other begins. And the Psalms & Prophets he reduced also into order. And in the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes Iudas gathered together those things that were lost by reason of the war & left them in the order now extant. 2 Macc. 2.14.] & the Book of Chronicles cites also the Book of Samuel the Seer, the Book of Nathan the Prophet, the book of Gad the Seer, the Prophesy of Ahijah the Shilonite, the Book of Shemajah the Prophet, the history of Iddo the Seer, the book of Iehu the son of Hanani, & the Prophesies of Isaiah, & therefore was copied out of these books & perhaps some others.

& out of these records Ezra being a ready scribe copied the Books of Samuel Kings & Chronicles puting the extracts together in due order of time. ffor the Book of Chronicles cites the book of Samuel the Seer & the book of Kings, & the book of Nathan the Prophet & the book of Gad the Seer, & the Prophesy of Ahijah the Shilonite & the book of Shemajah the Prophet & the Book history of Iddo the Seer & the book of Iehu the son of Hanani & the prophesies of Isaiah & therefore was extracted out of all these books. And the Book of Kings mutually cites the books of the Chronicles, & therefore both these books were written at one & the same time. And the history in both these books is <29> continued down to the Babylonian captivity & therefore they were written in that captivity. And the book of Ezra was originally a part of the book of Chronicles & therefore they were written by Ezra. ffor the book of Chronicles now breaks off abruptly, & the book of Ezra begins with the two last verses of the book of Chronicles & carries on the history. And the first book of Ezdras begins with the two last chapters of the book of Chronicles & carries on the history. ffor in the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes the holy books were scattered, & then Iudas Maccabæus gathered together those things that were lost by reason of the war 2 Macc. 2.14 And at that time the book of Ezra being broke of from the end of the book of Chronicles, was recollected by two different hands & reduced into the two forms now extant in the books of Ezra & the first book of Esdras, & the story of the three young men was inserted into the latter out of some other writing. For if that story be omitted the books agree. And at the same time a part of the Prophesies of Isaiah was scattered from the rest & added to the end of the Prophesy of Zechary & the book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel was lost. Now that Ezra did not write the books of the Kings & Chronicles in his own stile but copied them out of former records I gather from hence, that where the books of the kings & Chronicles agree in sence they agree in words & that the words of Isaiah are copied in both those books. And the Pentateuch & books of Ioshua Iudges & Ruth seem to have been copied out of ancient Records by Samuel after the same manner. Samuel not using his own stile but keeping to the words of Moses & the Records, & only connecting what he transcribed out of several books.

When Christ was asked which was the great commandment of the Law he answered, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart & with all thy soul & with all thy mind. This is the first & great Commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law & the prophets. Mat. 22.36. For this was the religion of the sons of Noah, established by Moses & the Prophets & is still in force. And The God here spoken of is the God of Noach & the Patriarchs, Symbol (figure 2 in a circle) in text the creator of heaven & earth who said in the first Commandment Thou shalt have no other Gods but me & in the fourth that he made heaven & earth & the sea & all that in them is. Symbol (figure 1 in a circle) in text The God whom Moses the Israelites & the Prophets called the God of Gods Deut 10.17 Ios 22.22. Psal. 136.2 Dan 4.7 & 11.36 Symbol (figure 4 in a circle) in text The God of whom the Apostle Paul said, There is none other God but one: For though there be that are called Gods whether in heaven or in earth as there are Gods many & Lords many, yet to us there is but one God the father of whom are all things & we in him & one Lord Iesus Christ by whom are all things & we by him 1 Cor. 8.6 Symbol (figure 4 in a circle) in text The God of whom it was said to the Catechumeni in all the Creeds of the primitive Greek Church, I beleive in one God, the father, almighty in dominion the maker of heaven and earth & of all things therein [& in one Lord Iesus Christ.] And [this one God is the foundation of all true religion,] the setting up of other Gods is in scripture called a forsaking & forgetting of the one true God to go a whoring after other Gods Deut. 6.12. & 7.4 & 8.14, {18} Symbol (two-barred cross) in text Symbol (two-barred cross) in text Deut. 29.18 & 31.16 Exod. 34.15, 16., a denying of the true God ( Iosh. 24.20, 27 Iob 21.38. Iude 4 & a denying of the father 1 Iohn 2.22), which language make it a step towards atheism.

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When there arose a question about imposing the Law of Moses upon the Gentiles & a Council of the Apostles & Elders was called at Ierusalem to consider of this matter, Iames the President of the Council or Bishop of the Church of Ierusalem said My sentence is that we trouble not them who from among the GENTILES are turned unto God: but that we write unto them that they [the Gentiles] abstein from pollutions of Idols & from fornication & from things strangled & from blood. For [as for the Iews] Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the Synagogues every sabbath day. Act 15.19, 20, 21. & 21.24, 25. Which is as much as to say, that about the observation of the Law of Moses by the Iews there is no dispute, but as for those who from among the Gentiles are converted unto God , they are to be looked upon as Proselites of the Gate & nothing more is to be imposed upon them out of the Law then the Precepts of the sons of Noah. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become [as one] uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision, let him not become circumcised. Circumcision is nothing & uncircumcision is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling [whether of circumcision or uncircumcision] wherein he was called 1 Cor. 7. Accordingly all the Church of Ierusalem kept the Law Act. 21.20 & so did Paul himself Act 18.18 & 21. 24. And because Timothy was born of a Iewish parent Paul circumcised him (Act 16.1, 3.) but would not suffer Titus to be circumcised because he was a Greek Gal. 2.3. And the Church of Ierusalem had Bishops of the circumcision till the Emperor Adrian, A.C. 135, banished all the Iews out of Iudea upon pain of death. And this distinction between the Churches of the circumcision & uncircumcision remained till the days of Irenæus who tells us

The Christian religion therefore among the Gentiles is the ancient religion of the sons of Noah with this addition that we are to beleive that Iesus is the Christ or Messiah whom the Iews expected.

When Christ rose from the dead, he appeared - - - & communion.

Repentance & remission of sins relate to transgressions against the moral Religion of the sons of Noah, comprehended by Christ in the two great commandments. We are to forsake - - - - - let him be accursed Gal 1.8, 9. The Iudges that are to put the laws of God in execution, may explain them to ignorant people according to the best of their skill, (Ezra 7.25.) but if they impose their explications as a divine law in any other words then those in which the Law was at first delivered by divine authority, they sit in the throne of God & act not only as Iudges according to the law of God but also as legislators in conjunction with God & if they err they repeale the laws of God, become apostates from thise laws & oppose & exalt themselves above every God. We are to keep to the form of sound words 2 Tim. 1.13. Titus 1.9, 14. & 2.8. & 1 Tim 6.3. to contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints Iude. 3. to teach no other doctrine 1 Tim. 1.3.

Now since Christ set on foot the Christian religion by explaining to his Apostles the prophesies in Moses the Prophets & the Psalms concerning himself & sending them to teach his interpretations to all nations:

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In matters of Religion before the coming of Christ, the first & great commandment was, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart & with all thy soul & with all thy mind. And the second was like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the Law & the Prophets. Mat. 22.37.

To become a christian was to receive what was taught in Catechising in the beginning of Christianity in order to Baptism & Communion & to be baptized & admitted into communion thereupon. And nothing more was to be imposed afterwards upon condition of communion. Other things were to be taught after Baptism but not imposed as necessary to communion.

One of the things taught in Catechising was repentance from dead works, that is, from the breaches of the said two great commandments. And this repentance is called forsaking the World & the Devil. To forsake the Devil is to forsake all false Gods, the worship of which is a breach of the first & great commandment. To forsake the World [& the Flesh is to repent of covetousness & ambition & unlawful lusts, so as to forsake them, & these things occasion trangressions against the second commandment & are by the Apostle Iohn called the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye & the pride of life & said to be of the world & not of God .] is to abandon the love of the things of this world called by the Apostle Iohn the lust of the flesh the lust of the eye & the pride of life, that is, the inordinate desire of weomen riches & honour, or effeminacy covetousness & ambition which are the root of all evil against our neighbour, & the fountains of uncharitableness.

Another thing taught in catechising was faith towards God. Proselytes were to be baptized in the name of the father son & Holy Ghost & in order thereunto they were to be taught who were the father son & holy Ghost. And the summary of this doctrine is called the Creed, & by the Apostle Paul, ffaith towards God. And all that was taught in cathechising is by him called Milk for Babes & the first Principles of the Oracles of God & of the doctrine of Christ. When, saith he, for the time [since your conversion] ye ought to be teachers ye have need that one [cathechize you &] teach you again [in Catechizing] which be the first Principles of the Oracles of God, & are become such as have need of Milk & not of strong meat. ffor every one that useth milk is [unexperienced &] unskilful in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe: but strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good & evil. Therefore leaving the Principles of the doctrine of Christ let us go on unto perfection, not laying

And as for the Christian worship, we are authorized in Scripture to give glory & honour to God - - of Christs death. All this was practised by the Christians in the Apostles days from the time of their admission into communion, & is included in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, & is sufficient to salvation. And if any one contend for any other sort of worship which he cannot prove to have been practised in the Apostles days, he may use it in his closet without troubling the Churches with his private sentiments.

Since Christ after his resurrection taught his disciples out of Moses & the Prophets & Psalms what he sent them to teach all nations, & the Apocalyps (a Prophesy given by himself) is full of references to the prophesies of the old Testament for explaining them: We are in studying the scriptures to com < insertion from p 33 > compare the old Testament with the new, & explain each of them by the relation they have to one another, {illeg} And by this means we shall understand that Iesus is called the Christ or Messiah to signify that he - - - - with the breath of his lips shall slay the wicked. And so in the prophesy of Hosea God saith that he hath hewed Ephraim & Iudah by his prophets & slain them by the words of his mouth Hosea 6.5. And <34> And the Gospel is that Iesus the son of Mary is the Christ the son of God & was was sacrificed for us upon the Cross, & the third day rose again from the dead & ascended into heaven & sitteth on the right hand of God being next to him in dignity & dominion, & shall come again to judge & reign over the quick & the dead raised again to life, & that upon his ascention he sent the Holy Ghost to comfort his disciples, & assist them in preaching this Gospel to all nations.

< text from p 31 resumes > <32>

Here the Apostle under the name of milk for babes comprehends all that was to be taught before baptism & admission into communion, & under the name of strong meats he comprehends all that was to be learnt afterwards. by studying the Scriptures or otherwise. And since strong meats are not fit for babes, it is certain that they were not to be imposed on all men, but only to be learnt by such as after admission into communion were able to learn them. And by consequence men were not to damn or excommunicate one another or treat one another as heretiques or quarrel with one another or hate or despise or censure one another for not knowing them. Every man after admission into communion was to study the scriptures, & especially the Prophesies & to learn as much as he could out of them, & might instruct his neighbour in a friendly manner but not to fall out with him for differing in opinion about any thing which was not imposed before baptism & admission into communion. For this sort of enmity is contrary to the rule of Charity imposed upon all men in the second of the two great commandments.

All Christians agree that we may give glory & honour to God the father because he hath created all things & to the Lamb of God because he hath redeemed us with his blood, & that we may pray to God the father in the name of Christ for what we want & give him thanks for what we receive & wish for grace & peace from God & Christ & the Holy Ghost, & baptize in their name, & receive the Eucharist in memory of Christs death. And all this worship & practise is included in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ & is sufficient for salvation And if any man hath a mind to add to this worship, he may do it in his closet without troubling the Churches with his private sentiments.

If you would know the meaning of the several names given to Christ in preaching the Gospel, you are to have recourse not to Metaphysicks & Philosophy but to the scriptures of the old Testament. ffor Christ sent not his disciples to preach Metaphysicks to the common people & to their wives & children, but expounded to them out of Moses & the Prophets & Psalms the things concerning himself & opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures & then sent them to teach all nations what he had taught them. And the Apostle bids us beware of vain philosophy. If you would therefore know why Iesus is called the Christ, the son of God, the son of man, the Lamb of God, the Word of God, &c you must have recourse to the old Testament, & there you will find that he is called the Christ or Messiah to signify that he is the Messiah who was spoken of in Daniels Prophesy of the 70 weeks. The son of man to signify that he is the person of whom Daniel writes in saying, Behold one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven: & there was given him dominion & glory & a kingdom that all people nations & languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion. The son of God to signify that he is the person spoken of in the second Psalm in these words: The Lord hath said unto me Thou art my son this day have I begotten thee Ask of me & I will give the heathen for thine inheritance & the ends of the earth for thy possession: thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, & thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potters vessel. The Lamb of God to signify that he was prefigured in the Paschal Lamb ordeined by Moses The Word of God.

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He is also called Michael in Apoc 12, & this with reference to the same name in Daniel chap 10 & 12, to signify that he is that Michael the great Prince who in the end of the world shall stand up for the children of Daniels people & who in the days of Daniel helped the Angel Gabriel against the Prince of the kingdom of Persia & who alone held with & assisted the Angel Gabriel in matters of prophesy & is there called the Prince of Daniels people, & by consequence is the Prince of the Host & the Prince of Princes spoken of in Daniels prophesy of the Ram & He Goat. And from the last horn of the He Goat which stands up against this Prince of Princes, the name Antichrist hath been taken. But these difficulter points are to be recconed rather among the strong meat then among the first principles of the doctrine of Christ.

And so the name of Antichrist has been taken from the old Testament & has relation to the last horn of the He Goat which magnified it self against the Prince of the Host & stood up against the Prince of Princes. Dan. 8. But these difficulter points are to be recconed among the strong meats for men of riper years rather then among the first Principles of the doctrine of Christ.

On the contrary we are to bear with one anothers infirmities, & to beware of offending our weak brethren in doing things which in themselves are lawfull but through their weakness give them offence & the weak must be also tender in judging their brethren in things of whose lawfulness they themselves are not yet satisfied. ffor we are all the servants of God & Christ & have no authority to judge one another. See Rom. XIV & XV & I. Cor. III.

The strong in faith knowledge must not despise the weak & the weak must not judge the strong We are all the servants of Christ & who art thou that judgest another mans servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. If thou beleivest that flesh & wine & a holy day &c are lawfull yet if thy brother thinks otherwise it is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine nor to impose or do any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended or made weak. Hast thou faith in things not fundamental? have it to thy self. For they that are strong ought to beare the infirmities of the weak & not to please their selves. Rom. XIV & XV, & I Cor. III.

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1 The true religion consists in our duty towards God our duty towards our neighbour & our duty towards Christ. // 2 Our beleif of a God & our duty towards him is the foundation of all religion. We are to beleive that there is one everliving omnipresent omnipotent omniscient invisible God the creator of heaven & earth & of all things therein. 3 That He is what he is by the necessity of nature & that all other things are what they are by the power of his will. 7 We are to consider him as invisibly present to us at all times & in all places & that he knows all that we say or do: for in him we live & move & have our being. & We are not to name him rashly & upon light occasions nor to speak of him but with all respect & veneration nor to ascribe any thing absurd or contradictious to his nature or actions: for this is making {c)}. 4 We are to conceive him void of external shape, or bounds, a being intangible & invisible whom no eye hath seen or can see, & therefore also incorporeal. 5 A being immoveable & the first cause of motion in all other things ffor he is necesarily in all places alike so that no place can subsist without him or be emptier or fuller of him then it is by the necessity of nature. 6 A being whose wisdom & power is manifested in the contrivance & frame of the world & the things therein & particularly in that of the bodies of animals. 10 To this God & to him alone we are bound in gratitude to give prais & honour & glory & thanks morning & evening for creating all things & for giving us our daily bread & such other blessings as we receive & delivering us from the evils which we escape. 11 To this God & to him alone we are to pray for what we want, tho he does not appear to us because he is always present without ever appearing: to other beings which move from place to place & sometimes appear we may safely speak whenever they appear. The worship which is due to this God we are to give to no other nor to ascribe any thing absurd or contradictious to his nature or actions least we be found to blaspheme him or to deny him or to make a step towards atheism or irreligion This God we are to love with all our heart & with all our soul & with all our mind: This is the first & great commandment:

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. Vpon these two hang all the Law & the Prophets. These two commandments always have & always will be the duty of all nations & The coming of Iesus Christ has made no alteration in them. For As often as mankind has swerved from them God has made a reformation. When the sons of Adam erred & the thoughts of their heart became evil continually God selected Noah to people a new world & when the posterity of Noah transgressed & began to invoke dead men God selected Abraham & his posterity & when they transgressed in Egypt God reformed them by Moses & when they relapsed to idolatry & immorality God sent Prophets to reform them & punished them by the Babylonian captivity & when they that returned from captivity mixed human inventions with the law of Moses under the name of traditions & laid the stress of religion not upon the acts of the mind but upon outward acts & ceremonies God sent Christ to reform them & when the nation received him not God called the Gentiles, & now the Gentiles have corrupted themselves we may expect that God in due time will make a new reformation. And in all the reformations of religion hitherto made the religion in respect of God & our neighbour is one & the same religion (barring ceremonies & forms of government which are of a changeable nature) so that this is the oldest religion in the world & All other religions have been set on foot for politique ends, this is of a contrary natur{e.} The heathens out of flattery worshipped the ancestors of their kings & the Mahometans the founder of their Empire such religions men are prone to: but Abraham fled his country for the sake of his religion & Christ & his disciples suffered persecutions even unto death for 300 years together for the sake of theirs.

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Now to this ancient religion there was added upon the death & resurrection of Iesus Christ a new duty which relates to Gods government of the world, namely that we should beleive that God hath raised Iesus Christ from the dead [& exalted him above all men & made him their Iudge & king] & will at length raise all men from the dead to be judged by him & rewarded according to their deeds & that God hath given Iesus Christ a kingdom to be selected out of the best of those men who rise from the dead, whose sins shall be remitted by God almighty at the request of Iesus Christ. For all men except Christ are sinners & might in justice be punished for their sinns. But Christ by his obedience to God & particularly by his submitting to God's will even to dye an ignominious & painful death upon the Cross as an example to teach us absolute obedience in all things to God's will, has so far pleased God as to merit of him a kingdom & that God should forgive the sins of all those whom he shall chuse to be his subjects & therefore he is said to have made an attonement for us & to have satisfied Gods wrath & merited our pardon & to have washed away our sins in his blood & made us kings & Priests. For a man to forgive injuries without satisfaction made to him is no injustice. It's an act of mercy & more commendable then to forgive injuries upon satisfaction made. Its our duty to do so & God has in effect commanded us to do it if we expect to have our sins forgiven. And that which is an act of mercy, a duty commanded a commendable meritorious act in us cannot be injustice in God. If we pray that God would forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us & the meaning of the prayer is that that God would be merciful to us as we are merciful to others & forgive us as we forgive others without insisting upon justice. Certainly it is as lawful for God as for us to forgive injuries without satisfaction of justice. If we may forgive a malefactor tho we do not know but that it may redound to the injury of another by the future misdemeanours of that malefactor, much more may God forgive malefactors whenever he foreknows that it will be of no ill consequence. If a favorite of a king by serving him has gained his favour, & by interceding with him for an offender who has deserved death, obteins a pardon for the offender, this is appeasing the kings wrath, satisfying his justice, meriting the offenders pardon, making an attonement & reconciliation for him: without paying a debt by way of equity: & why may not Christ have done all this without paying a debt for us by way of an equivalent. If Christ by his death has merited a kingdom & without his merit no such kingdom would have been erected tis certain that without his merit no such kingdom would have been erected, & we must have been content with such a state as would have fallen to our lot without the erecting of such a kingdom. And therefore whatever advantage we hope to receive in his kingdom is owing to his merits.

Now upon account of the benefit we are in hopes to receive by Christs deathe we are in gratitude to love & honour him & to behave our selves towards him as our lord & king. For tho there be gods many & Lords many yet to us there is but one God the <37> father of whom are all things & we in him & one Lord Iesus Christ by whom are all things & we by him.

Now our duty to Christ in point of gratitude is to love him as he loved us, to give him glory & honour & thanks as he is the Lamb of God & the great High Priest who hath offered himself a sacrifice for us to God & redeemed us with his blood to beleive that he is the great Prophet to whom alone God reveales himself immediately & whose testimony is the spirit of prophesy & who is therefore called the Word of God, to beleive that he is the great High Priest who offers up our prayers to God & in whose name we are to direct all our prayers to the father, to beleive that he is the great king, the king of kings & lord of lords & on that account to obey all his commands & to give him glory & honour

Now our duty to Christ to love him as he loved us, to

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9 This God is called by several names in several respects, as 2 Iehova, Iah, He that is & was & is to come, in respect of his ever living: 3 Elohim, El, God & Lord & King in respect of his dominion & power over us who in the same respect are called the servants of God: 1 Creator & ffather in respect of his being the first cause & author of all things. 10 To this God &c. 11 To this God & to him alone we are to pray for what we want: And this is his privilege above all other beings that we may pray to him without his appearing to us, & we are to do it by way of acknowledgement that he & he alone is always present without ever appearing & hears & sees & knows all we say or do without ever being heard or seen. To other beings which move from place to place & sometimes appear we may safely speak when ever they appear to us. But the worship which is due to the God of Abraham we are to give to no other {being} least we make a step towards atheism. ffor all idolatry tends to atheism. And for the same reason we are to ascribe nothing impossible contradictious absurd indecent or foolish to his nature or actions. This God we are to love with all our heart & with all our soul & with all our mind. This the first & great commandment

2 And the second is like unto it

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In matters of Religion in all ages the first & great commandment is Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart & with all thy soul & with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. On these two hung all the Law & the Prophets. Mat 22.27.

When Christ rose from the dead he appeared to his disciples to prove to them his resurrection & expounded to them out of Moses & all the Prophets & the Psalms the things concerning himself, vizt how that the Christ ought to suffer & to rise from the dead the 3d day & to enter into his glory, & that he was the Christ in whom all these things were fulfilled & that repentance & remission of Sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Ierusalem. Luke 24.21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 44, 45, 46, 47. And that upon his resurrection from the dead all power was given him in heaven & in earth, & he would send the promise of his father upon them (vizt the Holy Ghost) whereby they should be endued with power from on high, & should then go & teach all nations what he had taught them, & should baptize them in the name of the father & of the son & of the Holy Ghost, & {that} he would be with them & their disciples & the disciples of their disciples always unto the end of the world. And after these things he ascended up into heaven in their sight & they were told by an Angel that he should come again in the same manner as they saw him ascend. And all this is the Gospel. Mat 28.18, 19, 20. Luke 24.49, 50. the Gospel which Christ taught his disciples after his resurrection, & sent them to teach all nations, & which the first Christians were taught in catechising them before baptism.

Repentance & remission of sins relates to the transgressions against the two first commandments. We are to forsake the Devil that is all fals Gods & all manner of Idolatry this being a breach of the first & great commandment. And we are to forsake the flesh & the world , or as St Iohn expresses it, the lust of the flesh the lust of the eye & the pride of life; that is unchastity covetousness & ambition; these things being a breach of the second of the two great Commandments. And we are to beleive in one God the father almighty in dominion, the maker of heaven & earth & in one Lord Iesus Christ the son of God, who was born of a Virgin & sacrificed for us on the Cross & the third day rose again from the dead, & ascended into heaven, & sitteth on the right hand of God, being next to him in honour & power, & shall come again to judge the quick & the dead raised again to life, & who sent the Holy Ghost to comfort his disciples. This repentance & this faith was taught in catechising from the beginning in the eastern churches & was sufficient for baptism communion & salvation. [And to damn or exclude from communion such men as beleive & practise all this would be an act of uncharitableness.

This repentance & this faith & Baptism & admission into communion by imposition of hands, is by the Apostle called milk for Babes & the first Principles of the doctrine of Christ. Those things which are to be learnt after admission into communion he calls strong meats for men of riper years. Heb. 5.12, 13, 14 & 6.1, 2. / And strong meats are not fit for Babes & therefore are not to be imposed on all Christians including Babes. Every man is to be fed with milk untill he be baptized & admitted into <40> And Pausanias tells us that the Belus at Babylon had his name from Belus an Egyptian, the son of Libya. <41> communion. And nothing more is to be imposed as necessary to communion & salvation then what was taught (from the beginning of the Gospel) before baptism & admission into communion. Men are afterwards to study the scriptures to the end of their lives & learn as much as they can out of them & live according to what they learn. And these things the Apostle calls strong meats for men of riper years who have their senses exercised to discern both good & evil. And The feeding on these meats he calls going on unto perfection. But when we have learnt any of these things we are not to impose them upon our neighbours. We may teach them to him in a friendly manner, but if he is weak & unable to receive them we are not to fall out with him about them; much less are we to pronounce him damned or tax him with heresy or break communion with him, or to hurt him in his body or goods on that account. On the contrary the strong must not despise the weak and the weak must not judge & censure the strong: but all men who agree in the fundamental principles of religion by the Apostle called milk for babes must be tender towards one another & continue to love one another notwithstanding any differences in opinions concerning the higher points of religion by him called strong meats for them of riper years. Hast thou faith in these higher matters, have it to thy self & do not give offence to thy weak brother for whom Christ died by imposing more upon him then he can bear or then Christ hath imposed, & thereby prejudicing him against the Christian religion. For this is contrary to the second of the two great commandments, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. And from this sort of uncharitableness almost all the warrs & discords which have been among Christians in relation to religion, have had their rise, &

Now concerning the faith which Christ taught his disciples after his resurrection & sent them to teach all nations before baptism it is to be observed that he taught it out of Moses & the Prophets & Psalms, opening their understandings that they might understand what was written concerning him. And therefore for understanding this faith aright we must have recourse to the prophesies of the old Testament concerning him, & which were fulfilled in him. And the chief of these prophesies are pointed at by the several names given to him with relation to them & explain those names. He is called the Christ or Messiah to signify that he is that Messiah who was annointed by his death at the end of Daniels 70 weeks of years; the son of Man to signify that he is the person whom Daniel saw like the son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven to receive a kingdom that all people nations & languages should serve him: the son of God to signify that he is the person of whom God said, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee; ask of me & I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance & the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron & dash them in pieces like a Potters vessel. Psal. 2. He is called the Lamb of God to signify that he was typified in the Paschal Lamb instituted by Moses, & said to sit on the right hand of God & to be a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedeck to signify that he is the person spoken of the 110th Psalm. He is called the word of God with a two edged sword coming out of his mouth to signify that he is the person spoken of in Isaiah (ch. 11) whom God should make of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord to judge the poor with righteousness, & who shall smite the earth with the rod [or, according to the 70, with the word] of his mouth & with the breath of his lips shall slay the wicked. He is <42> He is called the God who was in the beginning with God to signify that he was that God who walked in Paradise in the cool of the day & sentenced Adam & Eve & the Serpent, & by whom God the father made all things in the beginning & gave the promisses to the Patriarchs. So then for understanding these names of Christ we are to have recourse unto the old Testament & to beware of vain Philosophy. ffor Christ sent his Apostles not to teach Philosophy to the common people & to their wives & children but to teach what he had taught them out of Moses & the Prophets & Psalms concerning himself.

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The fundamentals of the Christian religion are those & only those things which the primitive Christians were taught in catechising & instructing them in order to baptism. And those were to forsake the Devil, the lusts of the flesh the lust of the eye & the pride of life & to beleive in one God, & one Lord & [17] in the Holy Ghost. To forsake the Devil is to forsake the worship of Demons or Ghosts & of all fals Gods whatsoever collectively called the Devil. To forsake the lusts of the flesh is to forsake all unlawful desires of weomen. To forsake the lust of the eye & the pride of life is to forsake covetousness & ambition the roots of all evil. These vices we are to forsake as being contrary to the fundamental Duty of loving our neighbours as our selves To beleive in one God & in one Lord & in the Holy Ghost is to beleive in them aright in order to practise our duty towards them. In one God the God of the Patriarchs, the Iews & the Christians, the father who hath life in himself & hath given the Son to have life in himself, the author of life to all intelligent beings, the Almighty or universal monarch Παντοκράτωρ, the supreme governour of the Vniverse, the maker of heaven & earth & of all things therein visible & invisible. In one Lord, the Son who hath received life from the father, & was slain for us, & rose again from the dead, & ascended into heaven, & who to express his being next to the father in dignity & dominion is said to sit at the right hand of God the father, & who shall come again to judge & reign over the quick who remain alive in the flesh, & the dead whom he shall raise again to life & reward according to their works at his coming & his kingdom. for he must reign till he hath put all things under his feet, the last of which is death, that is till all the dead are raised & judged. And in the Holy Ghost whom Christ promised to send to the elect to assist & comfort them & to shew them things to come. In one God whom we are to worship with prayer because he is able to hear & help us & with praises & thanks-giving because he created all things & for his pleasure they are & were created. In one Lord in whose name we are to invoke God the father, & whom we are to worship by giving him glory & honour & praise & thanks as the Lamb of God who was slain for us & hath redeemed us with his blood. And in the Holy Ghost or Spirit of truth from whom & the father & Son we are to wish for grace & peace & truth & comfort. And because of this dependance of the Church upon all three, we are baptized in all their names & before baptism are taught who they are that we may be baptized in their names. And upon these professions promisses & covenants being baptized & admitted into communion men are not afterwards to be excommunicated without breaking one more of the Articles or Covenants upon which they were admitted. By Catechizing & Baptism men are made disciples of Christ & admitted into the visible body of Christians. By imposition of the hands of the Presbytery of any particular church they are admitted into the society & communion of that Church or corporation ecclesiastick. By communicatory Letters from that Church to other Churches they are admitted into the Communion of other Churches, & by excommunication for any fact which can be repented of they are expelled that Church or corporation of Christians & return into the state of wicked men baptized but not yet admitted into communion & therefore upon repentance they are not rebaptized but ony readmitted into communion. But if they turn unbelievers and are justly excommunicated for infidelity, they return into the state they were in before baptism, & without new baptism, (which is not allowed,) they are not to be readmitted into the Church. Se Heb. VI.4, 5, 6. All this is what the Apostle calls the first Principles of the Oracles of God & the Principles of the doctrine of Christ, & the milk which is to be given to babes who are not yet skilled in the word of righteousness. And the foundation of these Principles being once laid we are to practise what we have been taught & study the scriptures & become teachers of others & go on unto perfection <44> grow in grace & in the knowledge of our Lord Iesus Christ & by reason of use to have our senses exercised to discern both good & evil. not forgetting the first Principles & laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works & of faith towards God [& the Lord & H. Spirit] & the doctrine of baptisms [in their name] & of laying on of hands, & of the resurrection of the dead & eternal judgment [included in that doctrine.] This foundation being once laid we are to leave these first principles of the Doctrine of Christ & to to go forward if god permit. For if after we have been fed with the milk which belongs to babes we do not go on unto perfection using strong meats which belong to them of full age but by disuse & negligence grow weak & faint in our duty & fall away so as to need to be fed with milk anew, our case grows desperate. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightend & have tasted of the heavenly gift & were made partakers of the Holy Ghost if they shall fall away, to renew them [by new catechizing] unto repentance [from dead works in order to a second baptism] seing they [sin against the Holy Ghost &] crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh & put him to an open shame.

It behoves us therefore after we have been once catechized baptized & admitted to communion, to exercise our selves in the practise of those things which we have promised to perform that we may make them habitual & to study the scriptures for improveing our selves in the knowledge of those things which tend to a good life & yet are not necessary to communion, & to instruct & enlighten one another in the knowledge & fear of our Lord. And this we are to do in love & charity without breaking communion or falling out with one another. The strong are not to despise the weak & the weak are not to judge the strong: but where they differ in opinions they are to beare with one another in all meekness humility & love. ffor if the strong impose their opinions as conditions of communion they preach another gospel & become schismaticks, & if the weak set up contrary opinions as conditions of communion, they become guilty of the like offences. To fall out about these matters is to become carnal & to relaps into the state of Babes, & to need to be catechized anow in the fundamental doctrine of loving our neighbour as our selves. ffor upon the like occasion the Apostle tells the Corinthians[18] that he could not speak unto them as unto spiritual [men] but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you, saith he with milk & not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it,] neither yet now are ye able; For ye are carnal. ffor whereas [there is] among you envying & strife & divisions are ye not carnal & walk according to [the ways of carnal] men. For while one saith, I am of Paul, & another, I am of Apollos, are ye not carnal?

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The first Article of the Creed was the faith of Noah & and his posterity till they corrupted themselves. It was the faith which Abraham received by a tradition from Noah & for the sake of which he left his native country when they began to worship other Gods & Idols. It was the faith enjoyned by God in the first of the ten Commandments, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me; that is, Thou shalt have no other Gods in thy worship before me. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God & him only shalt thou serve. Thou shalt not give to Angels or Intelligences or Ghosts or the Sun moon & Stars or to any other Gods or Beings real or feigned that worship which is due to me, but thou shalt give it me alone. We may give the name of Gods to other Beings as is frequently done in scripture. Aaron shall be to thee a mouth [or Prophet or Λογος] & thou shalt be to him a GOD Exod IV.16. See I have made thee a GOD to Pharaoh & Aaron shall be thy Prophet Exod VII.1. I have said, ye are GODS, but ye shall dye like men Psal. LXXXII. 6. Is it not written in your law, I said ye are GODS. If he called them GODS to whom the word of God came & the Scripture cannot be broken &c Iohn X.34, 35. Thou shalt not revile the GODS nor speak evil of the ruler of thy people, Exod. XXII.28. Then Manaoh knew that he was an Angel of the Lord & Manaoh said, We shall dye because we have seen GOD Iud. XIII.22. The Angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush - & said, I am the GOD of thy father &c Exod. III.2, 6. They heard the voyce of God walking in the Garden Gen. III.8. There are Gods many & Lords many 1 Cor VIII.5. The Lord your God is God of GODS & Lord of Lords Deut 10.17. The Lord God of GODS Ios. XXII.22 Psal CXXXVI.2 Dan. XI.36. Angels & Princes who have power & dominion over us we may call Gods but we are to have no other Gods in our worship but him who in the fourth commandment is said to have made the heaven & earth; which is the character of God the father.

The second Article of the Creed was added to the first upon the resurrection of Christ from the dead. At that time all power was given him in heaven & in earth Matt. XXVIII.18. At that time God made Iesus whom the Iews had crucified both Lord & Christ. Act. II.36. By his death he was annointed to be the Prince of Israel, & from that annointing had the name given him of the Messiah or Christ, & ascending up to heaven he sat down at the right hand of God, that is, became next in dignity to the father, or as is exprest in the Apocalyps, he sat down in his fathers throne as the saints are to sit down in his throne. Because he became obedient to death therefore God highly exalted him & gave him a name above every name that at the name of Iesus every knee should bow of things in heaven & things in earth & things under the earth & that every tongue should confess that Iesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father. This το εἰναι ἰσα Θεω, this being worshipped as the Lord, he did not assume tho before his incarnation he was ἐν μορφὴ Θεου, but humbled himself by his incarnation & laying aside the μορφὴ Θεου took upon himself the μορφὴ δουλου & was made in fashion as a man & being found in fashion as a man became obedient unto death even the death of the cross & therefore God highly exalted him & gave him the name above every name that he should be worshipped as the Lord by all the creation. And hence forward it became an article of faith to beleive in one Lord Iesus Christ. And tho we are to worship him, yet we are to do it without breaking the first commandment there is to be (in our worship) no other God but one. For tho there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be Gods many & Lords many) yet to us [in our worship] there is but one God the father of whom are all things & we in him, & one Lord Iesus Christ by whom are all things & we by him. 1 Cor. VIII.5. We are not to <48> not to give the worship of the father to the son nor the worship of the Son to the to the father but to worship each with that worship which is proper & peculiar to him. We are not to invoke the Son in the name of the father but on the contrary to invoke the father in the name of the Son. We are not to give glory to the father because he was slain for us nor to the son because he created all things, but on the contrary we are to conform our worship to the dictates of our Creed. We are to worship the father as God almighty maker of heaven & earth & the son as the Lord Iesus Christ who was slain for us & hath redeemed us with his blood. Symbol (2 vertical lines) in text For this form of worship is plainly prescribed to us in the Apocalyps where the scene of the visions is in the Temple & God the father is represented sitting there upon his throne that is, above the Ark between the Cherubims, & the son is represented in the form of a Lamb receiving the book of prophesy from him that sitteth upon the throne & the Presbytery & People are represented by four & twenty Elders & four Beasts worshipping in the courts of the Temple. And the four Beasts rest not day & night (or morning & evening) saying Holy, holy holy Lord God almighty which was & is & is to come. And when those Beasts give glory & honour & thanks to him that sitteth upon the throne who liveth for ever & ever, the four & twenty Elders fall down before him that sat on the throne & worship him that liveth for ever & ever & cast their crowns before the throne saying, Thou art worthy o Lord to receive glory & honour & power: for thou hast created all things & for thy pleasure they are & were created. This is the worship of God the father & now follows the worship of the Lord Iesus Christ partly alone & partly in conjunction with the father.

And the Lamb took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when the Lamb had taken the book the four beasts & four & twenty Elders having golden vialls full of odours which are the prayers of the saints fell down before the Lamb - saying Thou art worthy to take the book & open the seales thereof [that is, to receive from the father the knowledge of things to come] for thou wast slain & hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred & tonge & people & nation & hast made us unto our God kings & priests & we shall reign on the earth. And the number of them that worshipped was ten thousand times ten thousand & thousands of thousands saying Worthy is the LAMB that was slain to receive power & riches & wisdom & strength & honour & glory & blessing. And every creature which is in heaven & on earth & under the earth & such as are in the sea & all that are in them heard I saying, Blessing & honour & glory & power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne & unto the Lamb for ever & ever. And the four beasts said Amen. And the four & twenty Elders fell down & worshipped him that liveth for ever & ever. This is the worship which is due to the father & the son. It beginns & ends with the father: And it is given to the son by the name of the LAMB to signify that it relates to him as he is the Lamb of God that was slain for us & hath redeemed us with his blood. And this is all the worship which is necessary to be given to the Lord in order to salvation, & all that we are authorized from heaven to give him, & by consequence all that ought to <49> required of us in order to communion. And by reason of this difference of worship it is that we are taught in our Creed to beleive in one God & one Lord.

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Chap. 1.
Of the ancient form of Church Government.

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[19] The Apostle Paul compares the fundamental principles of the Christian religion to milk for babes, & the learning of them he calls laying the foundation of repentance from dead works, & of faith towards god [{illeg}] taught in the primitive Creed [vizt & of the doctrine of baptisms & of laying on of hands & of resurrection from the dead & of eternal judgment [now inserted into the Creed All this is learnt & professed before admission into communion by the laying on of hands. And the attaining all that is to be learnt after admission into communion the Apostle calls going on to perfection & compares it to strong meats for them that are of age & by means of use have their senses exercised to discern both good & evil. And about these things men are not to break communion with one another nor to fall out The strong must not despise the weak & the weak must not judge the strong provided they agree in the fundamentals.

The fundamentals requisite to communion in the Church of England are 1 To renounce the Devil & all his works, the vain pomp & glory of the world with all the covetous desires of the same, & the carnall desires of the flesh so as not to follow nor be led by them. that is, to renounce idolatry, ambition, pride covetousness, & unchastity. And this the Apostle calls repentance from dead works. 2 To profess the faith conteined in the Creed usually called the Apostles Creed. And the profession of faith in the primitive Church the Apostle calls faith towards God & the resurrection of the dead & eternal judgment. 3 To keep Gods commandments; that is the ten commandments, as is explained in the Church Catechism. These & baptism & laying on of hands are all the fundamentalls requisite to communion in the Church of England. And therefore to excommunicate any man for any thing else is contrary to the fundamental constitution of this Church. It is to excommunicate a man who according to the fundamental consti{tu}tion & express declaration of this Church became by baptism & laying on of h{ands} a member of Christ a child of God & an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, & may be still so as much as he was at his admission into communion for any thing objected against him.

The Constantinopolitan Creed usually called the Nicene Creed & the Creed usually called the Creed of Athanasius are not therefore any part of the milk for babes in the Church of England but are to be referred to the strong meats for them that are of age, & therefore to fall out about them proceeds from the want of Charity. They are indeed appointed by the Common prayer book to be read in the Churches upon certain occasions. And so are many parts of the Scriptures which we do not understand. As Daniel 9. & 10 v. 5. Apoc 1. & 4 & 7. v 2 to v 13 & 12 v. 7 to v. 13 & 14. v. 1 to v 6. & 19. v.1 to v. 17. & 22. We dayly dispute: about the meaning of these & many other parts of scripture without falling out about them & are allowed to do so, And so we may about the meaning of the two Creeds notwithstanding their being read in Churches.

The Church of England in her 21th Article hath declared that General Councils ( forasmuch as they be an Assembly of men whereof all be not governed with the spirit & word of God) may err & sometimes have erred even in things pertaining unto God: & therefore things ordeined by them as necessary to salvation, have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they are taken out of the holy scriptures. And in the 8th Articles she declares that the three Creeds are to be received because they may be proved by most certain Warrants of holy scripture. She doth not require us to receive them by authority of general Councils & much less by authority of Convocations, but becaus they are taken out of the scriptures And therefore we are authorized by the Church to compare them with the scriptures & see how & in what sence they can be deduced from thence. And where we cannot see the deduction we are not to rely upon the Authority of Councils or Synods, but may endeavour to learn from others how they may be deduced, & those others are not to fall out with us for doing so.

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The Council of Ephesus which was one of the four general Councils, ordeined that nothing should be added to the Constantinopolitan Creed now commonly called the Nicene. And yet the Latines had added the filioque to this Creed, & the Church of England has ordered this Creed with the addition to be read in Churches, contrary to the Decree of one of the four general Councills. And other things which are not in the Constantinopolitan Creed are added in the Creed usually attributed to Athanasius contrary to said Decree of the Council of Ephesus. The Church of England therefore lays no stress upon General Councils but grounds all her religion upon the scriptures.

The Church of England in her sixt Article declares that the Holy Scripture conteins all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any Man that it should be beleived as an Article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. And in her eighth Article she saith only of the three Creeds that they ought throughly to be received because they may be proved by certain warrants of holy Scripture. Tis not upon the authority of General Councills, not upon authority of Convocations or any Church authority but upon that of the holy Scriptures that she recommends them to be received. And in her 19 20th & 21th Articles that the Churches as those of Ierusalem Alexandria Antioch & Rome &c & even general Councils have erred & may erre even in matters of faith & what they decree as necessary to salvation is of no strength or authority unless they can be shewn to be taken from the holy scriptures.

[1] a Dan. 9.24, 25.

[2] b Dan. 7.13.

[3] c Psal. 2.7, 8, 9.

[4] d Exod. 12.21, 22, 23, 27, 46. & chap. 29.38.

[5] e Isa. 11.4 Hebr & των ο

[6] f Psal. 110.1.

[7] g Gen. 2.16, 17 & 3.8, 9, 10, 11. See also Gen. 4.6, 9 & 18.1, 17, 21, &19.24 & Exod. 19.18. & 23.21, 22. &c

[8] Note:The contents of this note are only visible in the diplomatic transcript because they were deleted on the original manuscript

[9] a Dan. 9.24, 25.

[10] b Dan. 7.13.

[11] c Psal. 2.7, 8, 9.

[12] d Exod. 12.21, 22, 23, 27, 46.

[13] e Isa. 11.4, Hebr & Sept.

[14] f Psal 110.1.

[15] g Gen. 2.16, 17 & 3.8, 9, 10, 11. See also Gen 19.24 &c.

[16] X

[17] X

[18] 1 Cor. 3.1, 2, 3.

[19] Church of England

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Professor Rob Iliffe
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