Of the Civil Magistrates powr in Matters Ecclesiastical.

       IT is lawfull, profitable. & necessary for christians to gather themselves into Church estates, and therein to exercise all the ordinaces of christ according unto the word, although the consent of Magistrate could not be had therunto, because the Apostles & christians in their time did frequently thus practise, when the Magistrates being all of them Jewish or pagan, & mostly persecuting enemies, would give no coutenance or consent to such matters. (1)
      2 Church-government stands in no opposition (2)to civil government of common-welths, nor any intrencheth upon the authoity of Civil Magistrates in their jurisdictions; nor any whit weakneth their hands in governing; (3)but rather strengthneth them, & furthereth the people in yeilding more hearty & conscionable obedience uto them, whatsoever some ill affected persons to the wayes of Christ have suggested, to alienate the affections of Kings & Princes from the ordinances of Christ; as if the kingdome of Christ in his church could not rise & stand, without falling & weakning of their government, which is also of Christ: (4)wheras the contrary is most true, that they may both stand togther & flourish the one being helpfull unto the other, in their distinct & due administrations.
       The powr & authority of Magistrates is not for the restraiing of churches, or any other good workes, but for helping in & furthering thereof; & therfore the consent & countenance of Magistrates when it may be had, (5)is not to be sleighted, or lightly esteemed; but on the contrary; it is part of that honour due christian Magistrates ti desire & crave their consent & approbation therein: which being obtayned, the churches may then proceed in their way with much more encouragement, & comfort.
       4 It is not in the powr of Magistrates to compell their subjects to become church-members, & partake at the Lords table: for the priests are reproved, that brought uworthy ones into the sactuarie: then, as it was unlawfull for the preists, so it is unlawfull to be done by civil Magistrates. (6) Those whom the church is to cast out if they were in, the Magistrate ought not to thrust into the church, nor hold to them therein. (7)
       5 As it is unlawfull for church-officers to meddle with the sword of the Magistrate, so it is ulawfull for the Magistrate to meddle with the work proper to church-officers. the Acts of Moses & David, (8)who were not only Princes but Prophets, were extraordinary; therefore not imitable. Against such usurpation the Lord witnessed, by smiting Uzzuah with leprosie, for presuming to offer incense (9)
       6 It is the duty of the Magistrate, to take care of matters of religion, & to improve his civil authority for the observing of the duties commanded in the first, (10) as well as for observing of the duties commanded in the second table. They are called Gods. The end of the Magistrates office,(11) is not only the quiet & peaceable life of the subject, in manners of righteousness & honestly, but also in matters of golinesses, yea all of godliness. Moses, Joshua, David, Soloma, [29] Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, are much commended by the Holy Ghost, for the putting forth their authority in matters of religion: on the contrary, such Kings as have the fayling this way, are frequently taxed & reproved by the Lord. & not only the Kings of Judah, but also Job, Nehemiah, the king of Niniveh, Darius, Artaxerxes, Nebucadnezar, whom none looked at as types of Christ, (thouh were it soe, there were no place for any just objection,) are comeded in the book of God, for exercising their authority this way. (12)
       7 The object of the powr of the Magistrate, are not things meerly inward, & so not subject to his cognisance & view, as unbeleif hardness of heart, erronious opinions not vented; but only such things as are acted by the outward man; (13) neither is their powr to be exercised, in commanding such acts of the outward man, & punishig the neglect thereof, as are of meer invetions, & devices of men; but about such acts, as are commanded & forbidden in the word; yea such as the word doth clearly determine, though not alwayes clearly to the judgment of the Magistrate or others, yet in it selfe. In these he of right out to putt forth his authority, though oft-times actually he doth it not.
       8 Idolatry, Blasphemy, Heresy, venting corrupt & pernicious opinions, that destroy the foundation, open contempt of the word preached, prophanation of the Lords day, disturing the peacable administration & exercise of the worship & holy things of God, & the like, are to be restrayned, & pubished by civil authority. (14)
       9 If any church one or more shall grow schismaticall, rending it self from the communion of other churches, or shall walke incorrigbly or obstinately in any corrupt way of their own, contrary to the rule of the word; in such cases, the Magistrate is to put forth his coercive powr, (15) as the matter shall require. The tribes on this side

Jordan intended to make warr against the other tribes,
for building the altar of witness, whom they
suspected to have turned away
therein from following
of the Lord.

       [30 Blank]
       [31] A TABLE OF CONTENTS [A simple list of the titles of the chapters, here omitted.]


1. Act 2. 41. 47 cap. 4. 1, 2, 3
2. John 18, 36
3. John 18. 36 Acts 25. 8.
4. Isay 49. 23.
5. Rom 13. 4. I Tim 2. 2.
6. Ezek 44. 7. 9.
7. I Cor 5. 11.
8. Matth 20. 25, 26.
9. 2 Chron 26 16. 17.
10. Psal 82. 2
11. I Tim 2. 1, 2
12. I Kings 15. 14. c. 22. 43 2 Kings 12. 3 c 14. 4. c. 15. 35 I Kings 20. 42. Job 29, 25 c. 3 1 26 28. Neh 13 Jonah 3. 7. Exra 7. Dan 3. 29.
13. I Kings 20 28. vers 42.
14. Deut 13. I Kings 20. 28, vers 42. Dan 3. 29. Zach 13. 3. Neh 13. 21. I Tim 2. 2. Rom 13. 4.
15. Joshua 22

To chapter sixteen | To the MACCC Main Page