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&c. More modern writers; Damascen, Rabanus, Paschasius, Theophylact, Bernard, &c. And of the last age; Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, Beza, Zuinglius, Marlorat, Vossius, Grotius, Dalleus, Amaral dus, &c. And of our own country ; Gildas, Beda, Alcuinus, Horn, Bracton, Grofteed, Littleton, Cranmer, Ridley, Jewel, Whitaker, Selden, &c. And, yet, I presume, this will not be thought uncivil or rude. Why then is our fimplicity (and so honestly grounded too, as conscience against pride in man, that so eagerly and perniciously loves and feeks worship and greatness) so much despised and abused, and that by professed Christians too, who take themselves to be the followers of him, that has forbid these foolish cuftoms, as plainly as any other impiety condemned in his doctrine? I earnestly beg the lovers, users, and expecters of these ceremonies, to let this I have writ have some consideration and weight with them.
§. XXXVI. However, Christians are not so ill-bred as the world thinks: for they shew respect too: Buc the difference between them lies in the nature of the respect they perform, and the reasons of it. The world's respect is an empty ceremony, no soul or substance in it: the Christian's is a solid thing, whether by obedience to superiors, love to equals, or help and countenance to inferiors. Next, their reasons and motives to honour and respect, are as wide one from the other : for fine apparel, empty titles, or large revenues, are the world's motives, being things her children worship: but the Christian's motive is, the sense of his duty in God's sight; first, to parents and magistrates; and then to inferior relations; and lastly, to all people, according to their virtue, wisdom, and piety : which is far from respect to the meer persons of men, or having their persons in admiration for reward; much less on such mean and base motives as wealth and sumptuous raiment.
§. XXXVII. We shall easily grant, our honour, as our religion, is more hidden; and that neither is so discernible by worldly men, nor grateful to them.
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Our plainness is odd, uncouth, and goes mightily against the grain; but so does Christianity too, and that for the same reasons. But had not the heathen fpirit prevailed too long under a Christian profession, it would not be so hard to discern the right from the wrong. O that Christians would look upon themselves, with the glass of righteousness, that which tells true, and gives them an exact knowledge of themselves ! and then let them examine, what in them, and about them, agrees with Christ's doctrine and life; and they may soon resolve, whether they are real Christians, or but Heathens christened with the naine of Christians.
Some testimonies from ancient and modern writers, in favour
of our behaviour. $. XXXVIII. Marlorat out of Luther, and Calvin, upon that remarkable passage, I just now urged from the apostle James, gives us the sense those primitive reformers had of respect to persons, in these words, viz. “ To respect persons (here) is to have regard to the habit and garb: the apostle signifies, that such re. specting persons are so contrary to true faith, that they are altogether inconsistent: but if the pomp, and other worldly regards, prevail, and weaken what is of Christ, it is a sign of a decaying faith; yea, so great is the glory and fplendor of Christ, in a pious soul, that all the glories of the world have no charms, no beauty, in comparison of that, unto one so righteously inclined: the apostle maketh fuch respecting of persons, to be repugnant to the light (within them) insomuch, as they, who follow those practices, are condemned from within themselves. So that sanctity ought to be the reason, or motive, of all outward respects; and that none is to be honoured, upon any account, but holiness ;” thus much Marlorat. But if this be true doctrine, we are much in the right in refusing conformity to the vain respects of worldly men.
§. XXXIX. But I shall add to these the admonition of a learned ancient writ who lived about 1200 years
since, of great esteem, namely, Jerom, who, writing to a noble matron, Celantia, directing her how to live in the midst of her prosperity and honours, amongst many other religious instructions, speaks thus: “ Heed not thy nobility, nor let that be a reason for thee to take. place of any; esteem not those of a meaner extraction to be thy inferiors; for our religion admits of no respect of persons, nor doth it induce us to repute men from any external condition, but from their inward frame and disposition of mind : it is hereby that we pronounce men noble or base. With God, not to serve sin, is to be free; and to excel in virtue, is to be noble: God has chosen the mean and contemptible of this world, whereby to humble the great ones. Besides, it is a folly for any to boast his gentility, since all are equally esteemed by God. The ransom of the poor and rich cost Christ an equal expence of blood. Nor is it material in what state a man is born; the new creature hath no distinction. But if we will forget, how we all descended from one Father, we ought at least perpetually to remember, that we have but one Saviour.” .
$. XL. But since I am engaged against these fond and fruitless customs, (the proper effects and delights of vain and proud minds) let me yet add one memorable passage more, as it is related by the famous Causabon, in his Discourse of Use and Custom; where he briefly reports what passed between Sulpitius Severus, and Paulinus, bishop of Nola, (but such an one as gave all to redeem captives, whilst others of that function, that they may show who is their master, are making many both beggars and captives, by countenancing the plunder and imprisonment of Christians, for pure conscience to God) he brings it in thus : " He is not counted a civil man now, of late years amongst us, who thinks it much, or refusech, to subscribe himself servant, though it be to his equal or inferior. Yet Sulpitius Severus was once sharply chid by Paulinus, for subscribing himself his servant, in a letter of his; saying, Take heed hereafter, how Thou, being from a servant
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called into liberty, doft subscribe thyself servant unto one who is thy brother and fellow-servant; for it is a sinful flattery, not a testimony of humility, to pay those honours to a man, and a sinner, which are due to the one Lord, and one master, and one God.” This bishop was.(as it seems) of Christ's mind, "Why callest thou (me good ? there is none good but one. By this we may see the sense of some of the more apostolical bishops about the civilities and fashions, so much reputed with people that call themselves Christians and Bishops, and who would be thought their successors. It was then a fin, it is now an accomplishment; it was then a flattery, it is now respect; it was then fit to be severely reproved; and now, alas! it is to deserve severe reproof not to use it. O monstrous vanity! how much, how deeply, have those who are called Christians revolted from the plainness of the primitive days, and practice of holy men and women in former ages! How are they become degenerated into the loose, proud, and wanton customs of the world, which knows not God; to whom use hath made these things, condemned by scripture, reason and example, a!most natural ! And so insensible are they of both their cause and bad effects, that they not only continue to practise them, but plead for them, and unchristianly make a very mock of those who cannot imitate them. But I shall proceed to what remains yet farther to be said in our defence for declining another custom, which helps to make us so much the stumbling-block of this light, vain, and inconsiderate age,
CH A P. X.
$. 1. Another piece of non-conformity to the world,
which is our simple and plain speech, Thou for You. $. Justified from the use of words and numbers, singular and plural. §. 3. It was, and is, the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin speech, in schools and universities, §. 4. It is the language of all nations, §. 5. The
original of the present custom defends our disuse of it. §. 6. If custom should prevail, in a sense it would be on our side. $. 7. It cannot be uncivil, or improper; for God himself, the fathers, prophets, Christ and his apoftles used it. §. 8. An instance given in the case of Peter, in the palace of the high priest. §. 9. It is the practice of men to God in their prayers: the pride of man to expect better to himself. §. 10. Testimonies of several writers in vindication of us. $. 11. The author's convictions ; and his exhortation to his reader. .
§. I. THERE is another piece of our non-confor
1 mity to the world, that renders us very clownish to the breeding of it, and that is, Thou for You, and that without difference or respect to persons : a thing that to some looks so rude, it cannot well go down without derision or wrath. But as we have the same original reason for declining this, as the foregoing customs, so I shall add what to me looks reasonable in our defence; though, it is very probable, height of mind, in some of those that blame us, will very hardly allow them to believe that the word reasonable is reconcileable with so silly a practice as this is esteemed.
$. II. Words, of themselves, are but as so many marks set and employed for necessary and intelligible mediums, or means, whereby men may understandingly express their minds and conceptions to each other; from whence comes conversation. Now, though the world be divided into many nations, each of which, for the most part, has a peculiar language, speech, or dialect, yet have they ever concurred in the same numbers and persons, as much of the ground of right speech. For instance; I love, Thou lovest, He loveth, are of the singular number, importing but One, whether in the first, second, or third person: also We love, Ye love, They love, are of the plural number, because in each is implied More than One. Which undeniable grammatical rule might be enough to satisfy any, that have pot forgot their Accidence, that we are not beside