Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

PROPHESYING,

419

XXVI.

upon such admonition they refuse to learken to the CHAP wholesome counsel of their brethren." And of this matter Mr. Robinson thus writeth in his book, Just. page 200, " The officers of one or many churches may meet together to discuss and consider of matters for the good of the church and churches, and so be called a Church Synod, or the like, so they infringe no order of Christ or liberty of the brethren ; not disfering herein from Mr. Davenport ’ and the principal of our ministers.

YOUNG MEN.

But they seem to disler about the exercise of

prophecy,' that is, that men out of office, having gifts,

"See the title of this book in both the colonies of Plymouth and note on page 40.

Massachuseits. As the church of * John Davenport, born at Coven- Plymouth was long without a regutry in 1597, a graduate of Oxford, Jar pasior, i“ the ruling elder, when and vicar of St. Stephens, in Lon- he wanted assistance, used frequentdon, came to New England in 1637, ly to call upon some of the gifted with Theophilus Eaton and Ed. brethren to pray and give a word of ward IIopkins, and with them laid cxhortation in their public assemthe foundations of the colony of New blics ; tho chief of whom were Gov. Haven, in 1638. In 1668, in his 71st Edward Winslow, Gov. Bradford, ycar, he removed to Boston, to be- his son-in-law, Mr. Thomas Southcome thc pastor of the First Church, worth, and Secretary Nathaniel and there died in 1670. See Morton; men of superior talents and Wood's Athen. Oxon. iii. 889, (ed. parts, and of good school-learning." Bliss); Mather's Magnalia, i. 292 We are told by Gov. Winthrop, in

– 302; Winthrop's N. E. i. 227, his Journal, March 29, 1631, that 104 ; Ilutchinson's Mass. i. 82, 115, "Mr. Coddington and Mr. Wilson 215; Emerson's llistory of the First and divers of ihe congregation met Church in Boston, pp. 110–124. at the Governor's, and there Mr. But the most ample and satisfac- Wilson, praying and exhorting the tory account of Davenport will be congregation to love, &c. commendfound in Prof. Kingsley's Cen- ed to them the exercise of prophecy tennial Discourse at New Haven, in his absence, and designed those and in Dr. Leonard Bacon's llis- whom he thought most fit for it, torical Discourses. These works viz. the governor, Mr. Dudley, and contain also a noble vindication of Mr. Nowell, the elder.” On the the principles and character of the visit of Governor Winthrop and Puritan failers of New England. Mr. Wilson to Plymouth in Octo

This religious exercise, in ber, 1632, it is relaied that “ which Jaymen publicly taught and Lord's day in the afternoon, Mr. exhorteil, was early practised in Roger Williams (according to their

on the

420

PROPHESYING AN ANCIENT PRACTICE.

XXVI.

chap. may upon occasion edisy the church publicly and

openly, and applying the Scriptures ; which seems to be a new practice.

ANCIENT MEN.

It doth but seem so; as many things else do that have by usurpation grown out of use. But that it hath been an ancient practice of the people of God, besides the grounds of Scripture, we will give an instance or two. We find in the ancient Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, lib. vi. cap. 19, how Demetrius, bishop of Alexandria, being pricked with envy against Origen, complaineth in his letters that there was never such a practice heard of, nor no precedent to be found, that laymen in presence of bishops have taught in the church; but is thus answered by the bishop of Jerusalem and the bishop of Cesarea :

66 We know not,” say they, “why he reporteth a manifest untruth, whenas there may be found such as in open assemblies have taught the people ; yea, whenas there were present learned men that could profit the people, and moreover holy bishops, who at that time exhorted them to custom) propounded a question, to may learn, and all be comforted.” which ihe pastor, Mr. Smith, spake It was for encouraging a similar briefly; then Mr. Williams prophe- exercising among his clergy, that sied ; and after the governor of archbishop Grindal incurred the Plymouth spake to the question ; displeasure of Queen Elizabeth, and after him the elder ; then two or was for a time suspended from his three more of the congregation. see. It should be remembered that Then the elder desired the governor this was the scriptural sense of tho of Massachusclis and Mr. Wilson to word prophesying; and that prespeak to it, which they did.” The diction is not its only signification, exercise was grounded on the appears from the title of one of primitive practice of the Church of Jeremy Taylor's Works,

" The Corinth, as described and regulated Liberty of Prophesying.

See by the Apostle Paul, in 1 Cor. xii. Savage's Winthrop, i. 50, 91; and xiv. and especially prescribed Mass. Hist. Coll. iv. 136 ; Prince's in the 31st verse of the last named Annals, p. 407; Fuller's Ch. llist. chapter, where he says, “ Ye may iii. 6—18; Pierce's Vindication, all prophesy one by one, that all part i. pp. 92 — 96.

[ocr errors]

THE LIBERTY OF PROPHESYING.

421

XXVI.

preach. For example, at Laranda Euelpis was re- CHAP. quested of Neon, at Iconium Paulinus was requested by Celsus, at Synada Theodorus was requested by Atticus, who were godly brethren, &c.” 1

The second instance is out of Speed's Cloud of Witnesses, page 71. Saith he, “ Rambam or Maymon records, that in the synagogues, first, only a Levite must offer sacrisico; sccondly, but any in Israel might cxpound the law; thirdly, thic cxpounder must be an eminent man, and must have leave from the master of the synagogue; and so contends that Christ, Luke iv. 16, taught as any of Israel might have done as well as the Levites ; and the liko did Paul and Barnabas, Acts xiii. 15."

If any out of weakness have abused at any time their liberty, it is their personal faulting, as sometimes weak ministers may their office, and yet the ordinance good and lawful.

And the chief of our ministers in New England agree therein. See Mr. Cotton's Answer to Baylie, page the 27th, 2d part. Though neither all,” saith he, “nor most of the brethren of a church have ordinarily received a gift of public prophesying, or preaching, yet in defect of public ministry, it is not an unheard of novelty that God should enlarge private men with public gists, and to dispense them to edification; for we read that when the church at Jerusalem were all scattered abroad, except the Apostles, yet they that Acts were scattered went every where preaching the word.” 21. 22

1 Sce Doctor Fulke also on Ro- in 1585 a learned confutation of the mans the xi. in answer to the Rhe- Rhemish version of the New Testamists. - Bradford's Note.

meut. See Fuller's Church HisDr. Williain Fulke, master of tory, iji. 70. Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, wrote

* Some word is here omitted.

122

THE INDEPENDENTS.

CHAP.
XXVI.

Mr. Robinson also, in his Apology, page 45, clapter 8, to take off the aspersion charged on them, as if all the members of a church were to prophesy publicly, answers, “ It comes within the compass but of a few of the multitude, haply two or three in a church, so to do; and touching prophecy,” saith he, “ we think the very same that the Synod held at Embden, 1571, hath decreed in these words : · First, in all churches, whether but springing up, or grown to some ripeness, let the order of prophecy be observed, according to Paul's institution. Secondly, into the fellowship of this work are to be admitted not only the ministers, but the teachers too, as also of the elders and deacons, yea, even of the multitude, which are willing to confer their gift received of God to the common utility of the church; but so as they first be allowed by the judgment of the ministers, and others.' So we believe and practise with the Belgic churches, &c." See more in the immediate following page.

YOUNG MEN.

We cannot but marvel that in so few years there should be so great a change, that they who were so hotly persecuted by the prelates, and also opposed by the better sort of ministers, not only Mr. Gifford, Mr. Bernard, and other such like, but many of the most eminent both for learning and godliness, and yet now not only these famous men and churches in New England so fully to close with them in practice, but all the godly party in the land to stand for the same way, under the new name of Independents, put upon them.

THE GROWTH OF CONGREGATIONALISM.

423

ANCIENT MEN.

CHAP.
XXVI.

It is the Lord's doing, and it ought to be marvellous in our eyes; and the rather, because Mr. Bernard, in his book, made their small increase in a few years one and the chief argument against the way itself. To which Mr. Robinson answered, that “Religion is not always sown and reaped in one age; and that John Huss and Jerome of Prague finished their testimony a hundred years before Luther, and Wickliff well nigh as long before them, and yet neither the one nor the other with the like success as Luther. And yet," saith he,

many are already gathered into the kingdom of Christ; and the nearness of many more throughout the whole land, (for the regions are white unto the harvest,) doth promise within less than a hundred years, if our sins and theirs make not us and them unworthy of this mercy, a very plenteous harvest ;(Justif. folio 62); as if he had prophesied of these times. Yea, some of us have often heard him say that “even those ministers and other godly persons that did then most sharply oppose them, if they might come to be from under the bishops, and live in a place of rest and peace, where they might comfortably subsist, they would practise the same things which they now did.” And truly, many of us have seen this abundantly verified, not only in these latter times, but formerly.

Doctor Ames ? was estranged from and opposed Mr.

Seo page 15, and notc' on page In 1609 hc Ned from the persccu398, and Prince's Annals, p. 305. tion of archbishop Bancroft, and

. William Ames, one of tho inost becamo minister of the Englislı aciite controversial writers of his church at the Blague, whence ho age, was cducated at Cambridgo was invited by the states of Friesunder the celebratce Perkins, and land to the chair of theological probecame fellow of Christ's College. fessor at Franeker, which he filled

« ElőzőTovább »