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the people it is not the manner of ambassadors to ask maintenance of them to whom they are sent. But he who is Lord of all things, hath so ordained. Trust him then; he doubtless will command the people to make good his promises of maintenance more honourably unasked, unraked for. This they know, this they preach, yet believe not: but think it as impossible, without a statute-law, to live of the gospel, as if by those words they were bid go eat their Bibles, as Ezekiel and John did their books; and such doctrines as these are as bitter to their bellies; but will serve so much the better to discover hirelings, who can have nothing, though but in appearance, just and solid to answer for themselves against what hath been here spoken, unless perhaps this one remaining pretence, which we shall quickly see to be either false or uningenuous.
They pretend that their education, either at school or university, hath been very chargeable, and therefore ought to be repaired in future by a plentiful maintenance: whenas it is well known, that the better half of them, (and ofttimes poor and pitiful boys, of no merit or promising hopes that might entitle them to the public provision, but their poverty and the unjust favour of friends,) have had the most of their breeding, both at school and university, by scholarships, exhibitions, and fellowships, at the public cost, which might engage them the rather to give freely, as they have freely received. Or if they have missed of these helps at the latter place, they have after two or three years left the course of their studies there, if they ever well began them, and undertaken, though furnished with little else but ignorance, boldness, and ambition, if with no worse vices, a chaplainship in some gentleman's house, to the frequent embasing of his sons with illiterate and narrow principles. Or if they have lived there upon their own, who knows not that seven years' charge of living there, to them who fly not from the government of their parents to the licence of a university, but come seriously to study, is no more than may be well defrayed and reimbursed by one year's revenue of an ordinary good benefice? If they had then means of breeding from their parents, it is likely they have more now; and if they have, it needs must be mechanic and uningenuous in them to bring a bill of charges for the learning of those liberal arts and sci
ences, which they have learned (if they have indeed learned them, as they seldom have) to their own benefit and accom plishment. But they will say, we had betaken us to some other trade or profession, had we not expected to find better livelihood by the ministry. This is that which 1 looked for, to discover them openly neither true lovers of learning, and so very seldom guilty of it, nor true ministers of the gospel. So long ago out of date is that old true say ing, 1 Tim. iii. 1, “If a man desire a bishopric, he desires a good work:" for now commonly he who desires to be a minister, looks not at the work, but at the wages; and by that lure or lowbell, may be tolled from parish to parish al the town over. But what can be plainer simony, than thus to be at charges beforehand, to no other end than to make their ministry doubly or trebly beneficial? To whom it might be said, as justly as to that Simon, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money: thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter." Next it is a fond error, though too much believed among us to think that the university makes a minister of the gospel; what it may conduce to other arts and sciences, I dispute not now: but that which makes fit a minister, the scripture can best inform us to be only from above, whence also we are bid to seek them: Matt. ix. 38,
Pray ye therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Acts xx. 28, "The flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers. Rom. x. 15, "How shall they preach, unless they be sent?" By whom sent? by the university, or the magistrate, o their belly? No, surely; but sent from God only, and tha God who is not their belly. And, whether he be sent from God, or from Simon Magus, the inward sense of his calling and spiritual ability will sufficiently tell him; and that stron obligation felt within him, which was felt by the apostle, wil often express from him the same words: 1 Cor. ix. 16 "Necessity is laid upon me, yea, woe is me if I preach no the gospel." Not a beggarly necessity, and the woe feare otherwise of perpetual want, but such a necessity as mad him willing to preach the gospel gratis, and to embrac poverty, rather than as a woe to fear it. 1 Cor. xii. 28 "God hath set some in the church, first apostles," &
Ephes. iv. 11, &c. "He gave some apostles, &c perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith." Whereby we may know, that as he made them at the first, so he makes them still, and to the world's end. 2 Cor. iii. 6, “Who hath also made us fit or able ministers of the New Testament." 1 Tim. iv. 14, "The gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, and the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. These are all the means, which we read of, required in scripture to the making of a minister. All this is granted, you will say; but yet that it is also requisite he should be trained in other learning: which can be nowhere better had than at universities. I answer, that what learning, either human or divine, can be necessary to a minister, may as easily and less chargeably be had in any private house. How deficient else, and to how little purpose, are all those piles of sermons, notes and comments on all parts of the Bible, bodies and marrows of divinity, besides all other sciences, in our English tongue; many of the same books which in Latin they read at the university? And the small necessity of going thither to learn divinity I prove first from the most part of themselves, who seldom continue there till they have well got through logic, their first rudiments; though, to say truth, logic also may much better be wanting in disputes of divinity, than in the subtile debates of lawyers, and statesmen, who yet seldom or never deal with syllogisms. And those theological disputations there held by professors and graduates are such, as tend least of all to the edification or capacity of the people, but rather perplex and leaven pure doctrine with scholastical trash, than enable any minister to the better preaching of the gospel. Whence we may also compute, since they come to reckonings, the charges of his needful library; which, though some shame not to value at £600, may be competently furnished for £60. If any man for his own curiosity or delight be in books further expensive, that is not to be reckoned as necessary to his ministerial, either breeding or function. But papists and other adversaries cannot be confuted without fathers and councils, immense volumes, and of vast charges. I will shew them therefore a shorter and a better way of confutation: Tit. i. 9,
"Holding fast the faithful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convince gainsayers:" who are confuted as soon as heard, bringing that which is either not in scripture, or against it. To pursue them further through the obscure and entangled wood of antiquity, fathers and councils fighting one against another, is needless, endless, not requisite in a minister, and refused by the first reformers of our religion. And yet we may be confident, if these things be thought needful, let the state but erect in public good store of libraries, and there will not want men in the church, who of their own inclinations will become able in this kind against papist or any other adversary. I have thus at large examined the usual pretences of hirelings, coloured over most commonly with the cause of learning and universities; as with divines learning stood and fell, wherein for the most part their pittance is so small; and, to speak freely, it were much better there were not one divine in the universities, no school-divinity known, the idle sophistry of monks, the canker of religión; and that they who intended to be ministers, were trained up in the church only by the scripture, and in the original languages thereof at school; without fetching the compass of other arts and sciences, more than what they can well learn at secondary leisure, and at home. Neither speak I this in contempt of learning, or the ministry, but hating the common cheats of both; hating that they, who have preached out bishops, prelates, and canonists, should, in what serves their own ends, retain their false opinions, their pharisaical leaven, their avarice, and closely their ambition, their pluralities, their nonresidences, their odious fees, and use their legal and popish arguments for tithes that independents should take that name, as they may justly from the true freedom of Christian doctrine and church discipline, subject to no superior judge but God only, and seek to be dependents on the magistrate for their maintenance; which two things, independence and state-hire in religion, can never consist long or certainly together. For magistrates at one time or other, not like these at present our patrons of Christian liberty, will pay none but such whom by their committees of examination they find conformable to their interests and opinions and hirelings will soon frame themselves to that interest, and those opinions
which they see best pleasing to their paymasters; and to seem right themselves, will force others as to the truth. But most of all they are to be reviled and shamed, who cry out with the distinct voice of notorious hirelings, that if ye settle n tour maintenance by law, farewell the gospel; than which nothing can be uttered more false, more ignominious, and I may say, more blasphemous against our Saviour; who hatn promised without this condition, both his Holy Spirit, and his own presence with his church to the world's end: nothing more false, (unless with their own mouths they con demn themselves for the unworthiest and most mercenary of all other ministers,) by the experience of 300 years after Christ, and the churches at this day in France, Austria, Polonia, and other places, witnessing the contrary under an adverse magistrate, not a favourable: nothing more ignominious, levelling, or rather undervaluing Christ beneath Mahomet. For if it must be thus, how can any Christian object it to a Turk, that his religion stands by force only. and not justly fear from him this reply, Yours both by force and money, in the judgment of your own preachers? This is that which makes atheists in the land, whom they so much complain of: not the want of maintenance, or preachers, as they allege, but the many hirelings and cheaters that have the gospel in their hands; hands that still crave, and are never satisfied. Likely ministers indeed, to proclaim the faith, or to exhort our trust in God, when they themselves will not trust him to provide for them in the message whereon, they say, he sent them; but threaten, for want of temporal means, to desert it; calling that want of means, which is nothing else but the want of their own faith; and would force us to pay the hire of building our faith to their covetous incredulity! Doubtless, if God only be he who gives ministers to his church till the world's end; and through the whole gospel never sent us for ministers to the schools of philosophy, but rather bids us beware of such "vain deceit," Col. ii. 8, (which the primitive church, after two or three ages not remembering, brought herself quickly to confusion,) if all the faithful be now "a holy and a royal priesthood," 1 Pet. ii. 5, 9, not excluded from the dispensation of things holiest, after free election of the church, and imposition of hands, there will not want ministers elected out of all sorts