Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

Chap. IV. 2'le HISTORY of the PURITANSs 97 government and d f ipline : and in Tome refpe 1s better than that of the F..0 apoftles, which (according to them) was only accommodated to the infantfiate EIÏ559th, of the church, while it was under perfecution, whereas theirs wasjuited to grandeur of a national eftablifhment. Therefore they only pared off the later corruptions of the papacy, from the time the pope ufurped the title of univerfal bifhop, and left thofe ftanding which they could trace a little higher, fuch as archbifhops, metropolitans, archdeacons, fufragans, rural deans, &c. which were not known in the apoflolicage, or thofe im- mediately following. Whereas the Puritans were for keeping clofe to the fcriptures in the main principles of church government ; and for admitting no church-of- ficers or ordinances, but fuch as are appointed therein. They apprehend- ed that thé form of government ordained by the apoftles was ariftocra- tical, according to the conftitution of the Jewifh fanhedrim, and was defigned as a pattern for the churches in after-ages, not to be departed from in any of its main principles; and therefore they paid no regard to the cuftoms of the papacy, or the practice of the earlier ages of chriftia- nity, any farther than they correfponded with the fcriptures. 5. Our reformers maintained, That things indferent in their own nature, which are neither commanded norforbidden in the fcriptures, fuch as rites, ceremonies, habits, &c. might befettled, determined, and made necfary, by the command of the civil magOrate ; and that infilch cafes it was the in- dfpenfähle duty of allfubjeas to obferve them. Whereas the Puritans infifted, that thofe things which Chrift had left indifferent, ought not to be made neceffary by any human laws, but that we are to handfaji in the liberty, wherewith Chriji has made usfree : And further, that fuch rites and ceremonies as had been abufed to idolatry, and manifeftly tended to lead men back to popery and fuperftition, were no longer indifferent, but were to be rejected as unlawful. 6. Both parties agreed too well, in afferting the neceffity of uniformity in public worfhip, and of ufing the fword of the magiftrate, for the fup- port and defence of their refpective principles, which they made an ill ufe of in their turns, whenever they could grafp the power into their hands. The , ftandard of uniformity, according to the bps, was the queen's fupremacy and the laws of the land; according to the Puritans, the decrees of provincial and national fynods, allowed and enforced by the civil magiftrate : but neither party were for admitting that liberty of con- fcience, and freedom of profeffion, which is every man's right, as far as is confiftent with the peace of the civil government he lives under. The principle upon which the bifhops juftified their feverities againft the puritans, in this and the following reigns, was, thefubjelis obligation to obey the laws of their country in all things indferent, which are neither Vol.. I, O corn-