Rutherfurd Against Separatism
Part Three (( On Separation from Corrupt Churches. Samuel Rutherfurd. Of the following questions, Q. 2 through Q. 4 are from A Peaceable and Temperate Plea for Paul’s Presbytery in Scotland (1642), chapters 9-11. Q. 1 is from The Due Right of Presbytery; Or, A Peaceable Plea for the Government of the Church of Scotland (1644), pp. 221-255. These extracts were originally published together in Anthology of Presbyterian & Reformed Literature, volume 2, number 2. ))
Copyright © 1997 Naphtali Press
Q. 3. Whither or not it is lawful to separate from a true visible church for the corruption of teachers, and the wickedness of pastors and professors, where faith is begotten by the preaching of professed truth?
That we may the more orderly proceed, these distinctions are to be considered, as making way to clear the question.
1. There is a separation in the visible church, and a separation out of and from the visible church.
2. There is a separation total and whole, from any visible communion with the church; or partial and in part, from a point of doctrine or practice of the church in a particular only.
3. There is a separation negative, when we deny the practice of an error with silence, or refuse public communion with the church, but do not erect a new church within the church. There is a separation positive, when one not only refuses practice of errors, and protests and pleads against them, but also erects a new visible church.
4. As there is a threefold communion, (1.) in baptism, (2.) in hearing of the Word, (3.) in communion with the church at the Lord’s Supper, so here is a threefold separation answerable thereunto.
5. The influence of a corrupt worship may either be thought to come from the persons with whom we worship, or from the matter of the worship, if corrupt; and that either, (1.) by practice, or (2.) by not practising something that an affirmative commandment of God imposes on us.
6. A communion in worship either implies a consent and approbation of the worship, or no consent at all.
7. A communion of worship when the worship in the matter is lawful, yet for the profession may be most unlawful, as to hear a Jesuite preach sound doctrine.
8. There is a separation from a friendly familiarity, and from a communion in worship.
CONCLUSION ONE. We are to separate in the true visible church, from all communion wherein need-force we cannot choose but sin, suppose we separate not from the church
(Eph. 5:11). Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (2 Cor. 21) Touch not, taste not, handle not. (2 John) Bid him not God speed, that bringeth another doctrine.
CONCLUSION TWO. From the first conclusion it will follow, that a separation in part, I mean in some acts of public worship, when we cannot choose but fall in sin, from a true church is lawful, as we must separate from an idolatrous communion, where the bread is adored. For then the Lord’s table is made an idol’s table, and yet we are not totally and wholly to separate from the church and hearing of the Word, and prayers and praises of that church, as we shall hear.
CONCLUSION THREE. About Separation from Rome, and spiritual Babel, we have two parties to satisfy, if they would in reason be informed. 1. Papists. 2. Separatists, opposers of Presbyterian government, who think we have all as good reason to separate from ourselves and Presbyterian churches, as from Babel. But I shall speak a little of the first in some few theses considerable for our purpose.
CONSIDERATION ONE. It is most false what Bellarmine (( Bell. de not. eccles., l. 4. c. 10. )) says, churches all withered as branches separated from trees, when they separated from Rome. Joseph grew as a fruitful branch, and blessings were on the top of his head, when he was separated from his brethren (Deut. 33:16). For 1., the contrary is seen in the reformed churches who never flourished, as since our separation from Rome. 2. The churches in Asia and Africa, and especially the Greek church fourished ever since, and they separated from Rome, and had famous learned men in them after the separation, as Theophylact, Damascen, Oecumenius, Zonaras, Cedrenus, Elias Cretensis, Basil, Nilus, and many others; and especially the Ethiopian and Armenian churches had both their bishops and assemblies, howbeit general [assemblies] they could not have, seeing they were apart, not the whole church.
CONSIDERATION TWO. The faithful before Luther, the Albigenses, Waldenses and others, yea the Roman Doctors themselves holding fundamental points with some hay and stubble built upon the foundation, made a negative separation from Babylon, and did neither hold, nor profess their gross idolatries, and other fundamental errors; howbeit they did not hold them positively, by erecting a new church, because the separation was then in the blade, and not ripe for the harvest.
CONSIDERATION THREE. We hold that Rome made the separation from the Reformed Churches, and not we from them, as the rotten wall makes the schism in the house, when the house stands still and the rotten wall falls.
1. Because we left not Christianity in Rome, but the leprosy of Popery growing upon Christianity, seeing we kept the Apostolic faith, and did positively separate from the pooks, blybes, and ulcers of Christian Rome.
2. We did not separate from the Western Churches, either collective or representively gathered in a general council.
3. We departed not from a national, provincial or parishonal church, or pastors that we had before, nor from the material temples and churches, except that some not very considerable hirelings and idol-pastors would not go before us.
4. And because the succession of fundamental truths from generations to generations, is as necessary as the perpetual existence of the true catholic Church, while the covenant with night and day and the ordinances of heaven shall continue (Jer. 31:37); therefore there were a succession of professors and members of the Catholic Church that did ever hold these fundamentals, which we to this day hold against Rome; supposing histories cannot clear the particular persons by name.
5. We have not separated from Rome’s baptism and ordination of pastors according to the substance of the act, nor from the letter of the twelve articles of the Creed and contents of the Old and New Testament, as they stand with relation to the mind and intent of the Holy Ghost; howbeit we have left the false interpretations of the lords of poor people’s faith and consciences.
CONSIDERATION FOUR. We separate not from acts of love to have the relics of Babel saved; howbeit we have separated from communion in faith and worship.
CONSIDERATION FIVE. The essential ingredients and reasons of a lawful divorce are here: 1. We could not lie in one bed with that sometime sister Church of Rome, but our skin behoved to rub upon her botch-boil, and therefore we did separate from nothing but corruption. 2. There was there persecutions, and in that we are patients and ejected rather than departers on foot and horse. 3. A professed dominion over our consciences. 4. Necessity of receiving the mark of the beast, and so the plagues of the beast, to worship images, and the work of men’s hands, a necessity of professing fundamental errors, that subvert the foundation of faith, did all necessitate our separation.
CONSIDERATION SIX. The church of believers might lawfully use Justa tutela eternæ salutis, a necessary defence for salvation, and forsake her corrupt guides and choose others, and so we had the consent of the church to the separation, and a voice from heaven, Come out of her my people.
CONSIDERATION SEVEN. A collateral and sister church, such as Rome ever was, is not said to separate from another; the lesser separates always from the greater, the member from the body. Where there is a schism, sister Protestant churches then cannot be said to separate one from another, nor can the crime of schism here be more objected to us than to Rome, but rather to Rome separating from orthodox and right believing Rome.
CONSIDERATION EIGHT. We separate not from men but errors. 2. We separate from Papism kindly, properly and totally; from Christian articles in no sort. 3. From points of truth sewn and engraven with Popery only by accident, breaking the thread and needle that sowed them together.
But concerning the other point, we see not how we are to separate from other reformed churches, as Ainsworth (( Ainsworth, Counterpoyson, p. 8. )) says, and how Mr. Jacob says, Our reformed divines cannot satisfy the objection that Calvin and Luther, and Zwinglius, who had their ordination and calling to be pastors from the Church of Rome, and so from Antichrist, and so our ministers having ordination and calling from ministers, who had their calling from Antichrist cannot be lawful ministers, nor our church a true church, seeing it wants a true ministry, except we say with them, they had their calling essentially from the suffrages and consent of the church of believers, who have power to ordain ministers, and power to depose and excommunicate them if need be.
But I answer, this power is in the back of the Bible, and amongst unwritten traditions, not in the holy oracles of the Old and New Testament. Hence I will speak a word of the calling of our reformers, and of the Church of Rome, if they could give a calling to our reformers, seeing we hold them to be an Antichristian church.
Some answer, and Walleus (( Anton Walleus, loc. com. 8. Eccles. pa. 910. )) approves them, that Luther, Zwingli, Farel were pastors ordinary of churches, and so had power to convince the gainsayers. But the question yet remains from whence had these before them their calling? Our divines, Tylen, (( Tylon, syntag theol. dis. 23 thes. 41, 42, 43. )) Bucan, (( Bucan. loc. com. 42, quest. 47. )) Professors at Leyden, (( Profess. Leydens. dis. 42, thes. 41, 42, 43. )) Walleus, distinguish here three things. 1. Something in the calling of our reformers was from God; so authoritatively they were called of God, the ministry being of God. 2. The Christian church lying under Popery, called, designed, and ordained the men to be pastors; so their calling according to the substance of the act was from God, and the Roman Church as a Christian church. 3. There was corruption in the way and manner of their vocation, as the Antichristian ceremonies, and an oath to maintain the doctrine of the Church of Rome, not only as a Christian church, but also as Romish. If any of them did swear to defend the corruptions of the Church, this latter was taken away by God’s illumination of their minds. A called minister swears to defend truth, and this truth of this church; but aye under the notion of truth; and if he sees it to be error he still holds the substance of his oath, in as far as it is obligatory and ties him in conscience.
OBJECTION. It is objected, An Antichristian church cannot ordain Christian ministers; Rome was then an Antichristian church, Ergo.
ANSWER. 1. That which is wholly, as touching its whole essence Antichristian, cannot ordain Christian ministers. True, a dead man cannot beget a living [child]; the Roman Church was not wholly Antichristian, but kept some of Christ’s truth. That which is Antichristian in part only, may ordain ministers, who have the essence of a ministerial calling; for Israel was no wife, but a whore (Hos. 2:2) a whore and no wife, merite & iure, in ill deserving; yet a mother and a wife, de facto, and keeping something of a covenanted bride, is called God’s people (Hos. 4:6), and (Ezk. 16:21) Thou hast slain my children, then her [children] were God’s [children] in covenant, and not bastards. God was still Samaria’s God (Hos. 13:16), a remnant according to election remained (Rom. 11:5). The orthodox fathers acknowledged the Africans as a true church, who defended heresy, that [children] baptized by heretics were to be baptized again. 2. A calling is extraordinary, either in habit or in exercise; in habit as to be an apostle, and have the gift of miracles. Thus our reformers’ calling was not extraordinary. They were not immediately called by God from heaven; for they would not have concealed such a calling, if they had had any such. Or a calling is extraordinary in the exercise, and that two ways. (1.) Either in the principle moving them to teach, or (2.) in the manner of teaching and efficacy; a calling extraordinary in the principle moving, is twofold. [1.] Either a mere prophetical impulsion of revelation, stirring them up to such an act, as the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, and he prophesied. This our reformers had not; because we never find that they alleged it. [2.] A more than ordinary motion with illumination by God’s Spirit, speaking in the Scriptures, in which motions they were not subordinate in the exercise of their ministry to the church of pastors; but immediately in that subordination to God, and in this I prove that our reformers were extraordinary doctors.
1. Because (Ezk. 34) in an universal apostasy of the prophets and shepherds, the Lord extraordinarily works (v. 11), For thus saith the Lord God, hehold I, even I will both search my sheep, and seek them out. Now this is by pastors, when the ordinary pastors are all failed. So (Rev. 11) in that universal apostasy under Antichrist, when the Gentiles tread upon the outer court of the Temple, and the holy city, God stirreth up two witnesses to prophecy in sackcloth, that is, some few pastors (for two is the smallest number) and they prophecy, and are slain, and yet they rise again. We need not apply this to men in particular, as to John Hus, and Jerome of Prague; but certainly some few spoke against Babylon, and they were borne down, and oppressed, and killed, and men of that same spirit rose and spoke that same truth, as if the very two men who were slain, had risen within three days again.
2. Because when the church is overgrown with heresy and apostasy, our reformers in the exercise of their ministry, were not to keep a certain flock as in a constituted church, and supposing they had no calling but eminent gifts, they were to spread the gospel to nations, as Luther did. And supposing the people should resist them, as in many places they did; yet God called them, and they were not to expect election from people. So Cyprus and Cyrenus preached (Acts 11; 18), and we read of no vocation that they had from either people or apostle. So Origen (( Origen. Homil. 11. in Num. 18. )) preached to a people in a certain town, where there was not one Christian, and afterwards he was chosen their pastor.
As for the Church of Rome, supposing our reformers had their calling thence, yet have we a true ministry and there was a church in Rome before the Lateran Council, which could constitute a true ministry, as I clear in these distinctions, for the Church of Rome, it has these parts.
DISTINCTION ONE. 1. The court of Rome and clergy. 2. The seduced people.
DISTINCTION TWO. 1. There is a teaching court professing and teaching popery, and obtruding it upon the consciences of others. 2. There is a people professing and believing this with heat of zeal. 3. A people misled, ignorant, not doubting but following. 4. There is a people of God, Come out of her my people, Ergo there is a covenanted people of God there (2 Thes. ) Antichrist shall sit in the Temple of God, Ergo God has a Temple in Rome.
DISTINCTION THREE. A third distinction is necessary; a true church is one thing veritate Metaphysica, with the verity of essence, as a sick man, or a man wanting a leg is a true man, and has a reasonable soul in him, and a true church vertate Ethica, a church morally true, that is, a sound, whole, a pure church professing the sound faith, that is another thing. Rome is a sick church and a maimed and lamed church, wanting legs and arms, and so is not morally a true church; for vile corruption of doctrine is there, as we say a thief is not a true man, but a false and a taking man, yet he has a man’s nature and a reasonable soul in him. The question is if Rome has the soul, life and being of a church.
DISTINCTION FOUR. A fourth distinction is, that the question is either of a teaching and a ministerial church, professing Christ, the Word and Baptism, or of a believing church and spouse of Christ.
DISTINCTION FIVE. If Rome relatively is a wife in comparison of other churches, of if Rome absolutely in herself is a church?
DISTINCTION SIX. If Rome is jure and merito, a spouse, or a harlot, or de facto, a wife, not having received a bill of divorcement, as the church of the Jews.
DISTINCTION SEVEN. If Rome according to some parts is a spouse, and keeps any list of marriage kindness to her husband, or if she is according to other parts a cast off whore.
DISTINCTION EIGHT. If Rome is materially a church, having in it the doctrine of faith, or if formally it is no church, having no professed faith that has the nature of faith.
Hence shortly, I say, the Court of Rome as Popish, is the falling-sickness of the church, not the church. But the same court teaching something of Christ (baptism, good works, etc.) has something of the life and being of a church; howbeit she is not a whole church, her skin being leprous, pocky and polluted.
1. Because in a church that is no church, there cannot be a true seal of God’s covenant; but in the Court of Rome there is true baptism, for we baptize not again children once baptized there. Some of the Separation called it idol-baptism, and no baptism, which is Anabaptism. For then all converted Papists must be baptized again, no less than converted Turks or Jews. But (1.), the covenant is there, Come out of her my people; then their baptism confirms this covenant. (2.) Circumcision even in apostate Israel is true circumcision; her [children] the Lord’s [children] (Ezk. 16:21). He is Israel’s God, the holy one of Israel in the midst thereof. In Hezekiah’s reformation the people ate the Passover, and yet all had corrupted their ways, and had been a long time worshipping Idols, and they are not (2 Chron. 30) circumcised again; and yet (Ex. 12) none but the circumcised might eat the Passover.
2. Because the Word God, and so the contract of marriage, is professed amongst them, and so there is an external active calling there, and the word of the covenant sounding amongst them, and a passive calling also, because many secretly believe and obey.
3. Many fundamental truths are taught that may beget faith, and so there are true and valid pastoral acts in that church. (2.) I say there is a hid and invisible church and temple in Rome, and these God warns to come out of Babel, and these we by writings cry unto, that they would forsake their harlot mother, and worship the Lord in truth, and they obey, howbeit they dare not profess the truth. But the teaching church teaching Popery and fundamental truths, and obtruding them upon the consciences of others, is not the believing church, and so not the spouse and body of Christ. (3.) Rome now compared with Paul’s Rome which he did write unto, is no church, no spouse, as a whorish wife compared with herself in her first month to her husband, while she was chaste, is now, when she embraces the bosom of a stranger, no wife, and yet Rome compared with Indians who worship Satan, with Persians who worship the Sun, with the Egyptians who worshipped gods growing in their gardens, and onions and garlic; for so Juvenal, O sanctas gentes quibus hec naseuntur in hortis Numma.
I say being compared with these, they are the Lord’s Temple (2 Thes. 2:4), and his wife, as (one (( Francis John, ans. to ob. of separat., p. 62, 63. )) says well) apostate Israel compared with Syrians [and] Philistines, is counted God’s people, having the true God for their God (2 Kings 5:8, 15, 17). But being compared with Judah which ruled with God, and was faithful with the saints, is called no wife, but a harlot, (Hos. 2:2, 5; 4:15; 5:3, 4).
(4.) Rome jure and merito, in her bad deserving to her Lord, is no wife, no church, no spouse, no people in covenant with God, and yet de facto and formally in possession, in profession, and for matrimonial tables which she keeps, is a church, and differs from the Jews, as a church and no church. Because, abeit the Jews have the Old Testament, which implicitly and by interpretation is the covenant, yet they [lack] two things which destroys the essence of a true church.
[1.] The Jews give not so much as a virtual consent to the marriage and the very external active calling and invitation to come to Christ, and all ministerial publishing of the news of salvation is removed from them (Acts 13:46). But there is a virtual consent to the marriage with Christ in Rome, and salvation there in word, and some ministerial and pastoral publication thereof as in the seed.
[2.] Jews directly oppugne the cardinal foundation of salvation (1 Cor. 3:11; Acts 4:12; 1 Thes. 2:15, 16). Christ Jesus, Papists profess him, and have his seals amongst them, especially baptism.
(5.) Rome in concreto, according to her best part, to wit, secret believers, groaning and sighing in Egypt’s bondage, is a true church; but Rome in abstracto, the faction of Papists, as Papists, are no spouse of Christ, but the whore of Babel, and mother of fornications.
(6.) However Rome is materially a true church, having the material object of faith, the doctrine of the Old and New Testament common with us, yet formally they are not one church with us, but there is a real and essential separation between us and them, as between a true church and an Antichristian church, a spouse of Christ and no spouse. For faith relatively taken, faith of many united in one society essentially constitutes a church, and the formal object of their faith is the word of the church, and of men, or God’s Word as expounded by men, and our faith’s formal object is the Word of God, as the Word of God, and so do formally differ.
(7.) Howbeit I say Rome is a church teaching and professing, and has something of the life and being of a true church, yet I hold not that Rome is Christ’s body, nor his wife. Neither mean I with our late novators, Prelates and their faction sometimes in this land, and now in England, that Rome is a true church, as they taught, that is, so a true church as, [1.] we erred in separating from that leper whore; [2.] that her errors are not fundamental, and that we and this mother can be reconciled and bed together. But what I say, is held by our divines Calvin, (( Calv. Inst. in lib. 4 cap. 2 sec. 11. )) Junius, (( Junius, lib. singu. de eccl. cap. 17 )) Whittaker, (( Whittaker, contro 2 quest. 3 cap. 2. )) that famous divine Rivet, (( Revit in Catho. orthodox 101 q 7. tract 2. 11. )) that most learned professor Gilbertus Voetius, (( Gilb. Voetius, desper. causa papatus, lib. 3. cap. 7. sect. 2. )) and our divines.
Voetius makes nine ranks of these that were not dyed and engrained Papists in the Popish church. (1.) Some deceived. (2.) Some compelled. (3.) Some ignorant. (4) Some careless, who took not heed to that faith. (5.) Some doubting. (6.) Some loathing it. (7.) Some sighing. (8.) Some opposing and contradicting it. (9.) Some separating from it.
Now seeing that our church has nothing to do with Rome, and our ministry lawful, Separatists may hence be satisfied. Neither yet do I think with Spalatin (de repub. Eccles. in oftensione error. & Suarez cap. 1 pag. 887, 888), that the Roman Church is erroneous only in excess, seeing in substantial points there is such defect also as averts faith.
CONCLUSION FOUR. There are three sorts that have communion rightly with our church. 1. Infants baptized, for baptism is a seal of their fellowship with Christ, and therefore of communion with the church; because separatists will have none members of the church, while they can give no proofs thereof by signs of regeneration, infants must be [outside] the church to them, but the royal generation, partakers of the holy faith, taught of God, called and separated from the world, the rest are [outside]. Hence baptism shall either seal no entering infants in the church, contrary to God’s word, or the baptizing of infants is not lawful, as Anabaptists teach.
2. The hearers of the Word have a communion with the church as is clear, seeing these that eat of one bread are one body, these that profess in the hearing of the Word, that same faith, are also that same body in profession. Yet excommunicate persons are admitted as hearers of the Word, hence the extreme and great excommunication (1 Cor. 16:22) cuts of men from being simply no members of the church, that excommunication that makes the party as a heathen and Publican, supposes him still to be a brother and hearer of the Word (2 Thes. 3:14, 15). And all these are members of the church, and yet not necessarily converted.
3. The regenerate and believers that communicate of one bread and one cup at the Lord’s table, are most nearly and properly members of one visible body, and none of these are to separate from Christ’s body.
CONCLUSION FIVE. It is not lawful to separate from any worship of the church for the sins of the fellow worshippers, whether they are officers or private Christians.
ARGUMENT ONE. Because Scribes and Pharisees, and the church in Christ’s days were a most perverse church. The rulers perverted the Law (Matt. 5:21); denied that hatred and rash anger was a sin (v. 22), or heart adultery a sin; made the commandment of God of no effect by their traditions (Matt. 15:6), polluted the worship with superstition and will worship (v. 7, 8; Mark 7:6-8), said it was nothing to swear by the Temple, devoured widow’s houses, made their proselytes children of damnation (Matt. 23: 14-16),
were blind guides, filled the measure of their fathers wrath, slew the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8, 9), killed and crucified the prophets, were blind guides, and the blind people followed them, and slew the Lord of glory also. The priesthood was kept by Moyen, Caiphas was high priest that year. But Christ by practice and precept forbad to separate from this church, Ergo, etc. The assumption is clear (Matt. 23:2), They sit in Moses’ chair, hear them. Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and preach (Mark 10:6, 7). And Christ and his disciples observed their feasts, preached in their Temple and Synagogues
(John 1:7, 37; 8:2; Luke 4:16; 1:9). Christ reasoned with them about religion (John 10:24-26).
Ainsworth (( Ainsworth, Counterpoyson, page 8. )) replies to this, Christ and his disciples separated from the corruptions of the Jewish church: and from false churches, as from the Samaritans. We acknowledge separation from corruption, but not from the worship of corrupters, when they keep the foundation. The Samaratin church had not the foundation, but worshipped they knew not what; neither was their salvation in their church (John 4:2). But there was the true God worshipped among the Jews, and salvation amongst them.
Ainsworth replies, The Jewish church consisted still, as Moses had ordained (Lev. 20:24) of a people separated from the heathen, and were the children of the prophets and covenant (John 4:9; Acts 3:25) but your church consists of an unseparated people. 1. The priesthood was changed (John 11:51). Caiphas was high priest that year, against the law (as Tolet (( Toletus, in John 11. )) observes) for the high priest (Ex. 28:29) by the Law was high priest till his dying day. But all was corrupted (Calvin (( Calvin in loco. )) says) and all bought and sold (says Josephus (( Josephus, Antiq. Jud. 18. cap. 3 )) ). This was as anti-Mosaical as our reformers ministry is anti-Christian, if they had their calling only from Rome.
2. The Jewish Church consisted of men separated from heathen, who said ‘stand back, I am holier than thou’ (Isa. 65), but they were corrupters of the Law, murderers of the prophets, and the heir Christ (Matt. 21), hypocrites, will worshippers, blind guides, blind people.
ARGUMENT TWO. If God’s prophets and people were never commanded to separate from the public worship, but commanded to come up to Jerusalem and worship, pray, sacrifice with God’s people (Deut. 12:11-13; 15:19, 20; 16:7, 8, 16, 17) and yet that people was a crooked and perverse generation (Deut. 32:5), not his children, provokers of God to jealousy with strange gods, sacrificers to devils (v. 16, 17), their works for bitterness like the clusters and grapes of Sodom (v. 32), a people that had neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart to understand God (Deut. 29:3, 4), stiff necked, foolish, proud, murmurers, idolaters, etc. Then the sinfulness of the worshippers defiles not the worship, and we are not to separate from the worship for the wickedness of the worshippers. But the former is Scripture, Ergo, separate we cannot upon this pretense. The proposition is sure, for God cannot both command his people to come and worship publicly with his people, and then also forbid them, because for the wickedness of the worshippers, they were to abstain.
Also 2., it will follow that the people should not have gone to Shiloh when God commanded them to sacrifice with Eli’s sons, because they committed filthiness with the women at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, because Eli’s sons’ wickedness made men to abhor the Lord’s sacrifice.
Also 3., because to prophecy to a people, and for the people to hear the word of prophecy, are both acts of worshipping God, it will follow, if we must abstain from the worship for the known sins of fellow worshippers, then Isaiah sinned in prophesying to a people laden with iniquity, corrupt children, the seed of evil doers, hypocrites, rebels, Sodom and Gomorrah, murderers, oppressors, etc. (Is. 1) for Isaiah and that wicked people worshipping together, the worship was defiled to Isaiah, by these wicked hearers, and he should have abstained from prophesying, and separated from that polluted and unlawful worship. Hence Jeremiah sinned in prophesying to Israel and Judah, Hosea sinned, Amos sinned in prophesying to wicked people, Jonah sinned in prophesying to Niniveh, Paul sinned in preaching Christ to the obstinate Jews, to the scoffing Athenians. And seeing they were commanded to prophecy obedience to God’s commandments, shall it be sin and disobedience, for certainly the preacher and the hearers of the preaching join in one and the same worship.
Also 4., Baruch should not have gone to the house of the Lord at the commandment of Jeremiah, and so at God’s commandment (Jer. 36:6, 7) to read the book of the prophecy of Jeremiah in the ears of the princes and people at the entry of the new gate of the Lord’s house (v. 10); because the princes, priests, prophets and people followed Baal, slew their children to Molech, forsook the Lord their God, said to a stock, thou art my father, came to God’s house and cried, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, and yet did steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods (Jer. 9:2, 3, 13, 14; 5:31; 7:8-10; 2:13, 14, 27; 14:15, 16; 23:1-3, 9-12; 7:30-32; 15:1). No people could be more desperately wicked; yet Jeremiah worshipped God with them, commanded Baruch to worship God with them, and commanded the King, his servants, and the people publicly to worship and hear and believe the word (Jer. 22:2, 3, 5; 19:3, 4; 26:2). And besides he should have commanded the faithful to separate from such an idolatrous church, and not commanded them to hear in the Lord’s house, and believe and obey. So Ezekiel commands a most wicked and idolatrous people to join in the public worship (Ezk. 6:2,3; 20:3-5; 21:3, 4); so all the rest of the prophets.
(1.) This idolatrous people in the judgment of charity could not be judged visible saints, seeing they were visible idolaters, liars, murderers, adulterers, and an assembly of treacherous persons.
(2.) It cannot be said, that to prophecy to them in public is not to keep religious communion with them. For to hear on Messiah preached, these same promises, threatenings, covenant, and that ordinarily, is an evident sign of a church fellowship, and joint worshipping of God together.
Their only reason that they give to this is, The commonwealth of Israel was a policy established by God, by covenant without exception, and so long as the covenant stood unbroken on God’s part, though broken on their part, it was not lawful to separate from that church. So Robinson. (( John Robinson (c.1575-1625) A Justification of the Separation from the Church of England Against R. Bernard, his invective, The Separatists’ Schism (1610), page 100. ))
Others say, Christ behooved to be born of the true church, therefore they never left off to be the true church till Christ came. (( Ainsworth, Counterpoyson, p. 8 ))
ANSWER. 1. We have Robinson contrary to Ainsworth, the Israelites then sacrificed to devils, not to God (Deut. 32:17; 2 Chron. 11:15) and will you say the prophets separated not from them, says Ainsworth. We say in the act of sacrificing to devils, the prophets that were holy separated from them, but not from their church and lawful worship. Robinson says, They were to hold communion with that church of Israel without exception.
(2.) We have a fair confession, that contrary to the 31st Article, (( Separatists Confession, art. 31. )) The faithful may become and stand members, and have a spiritual communion with a people, as an orderly gathered and constituted church of Christ, that are idolaters, thieves, murderers, worshippers of Baal, so being they worship the true God publicly as he commands, and are in external covenant with him.
(3.) Suppose the church of Israel should have had a typical privilege in this beyond all the churches of the New Testament, which Ainsworth will not grant, neither can we see it; yet all the Separatists goodly arguments hence fall to the ground, if the faithful might lawfully keep church fellowship with the church of Israel so corrupted. Then in the Old Testament Christ and Belial, light and darkness might be in one church worship. Then in the Old Testament, the seed of the woman, and the serpent’s seed could agree together, then it was lawful to remain in Babel, lawful to become members of a harlot church, and be defiled with their unlawful worship, and to consent thereunto. Then it was not required in the Old Testament, that the church of God, and his people in covenant should be a royal priesthood, a holy people. In the Old Testament, the church might be a whore, worship Baal, sacrifice to devils, and yet remain the Spouse and wife of Jehovah. All their passages cited in the Old Testament for separation from a church fall. The church of Israel had not Christ for their King, Priest, and Prophet, and therefore was not separated from all false churches, as they prove from Hos. 2:2, Cant. 1:7, 8, Ps. 8:4, 10, which place the author of the Guide to Zion, alleges, (( Guide to Zion, pos. 32, page 16. )) to prove that idolaters and wicked persons are not members of the true visible church. Then it is false that separatists said, The Lord in all ages appointed, and made a separation of his people from the world, before the Law, under the Law, and now in the time of the gospel gospel. (( Separatists 3. petit. to K. James, 3. pos. )) For Mr. Robinson teaches us in the Old Testament none were to separate from the church of Israel though never so abominable in wickedness.
(4.) Lastly, the church of Israel had no such privilege as that persons who were idolaters, thieves, worshippers of Baal, and forsakers of the true God, and going a whoring after strange gods, should remain members of Christ’s true body, and a redeemed church. For then they should have had a privilege to go to heaven, holding the broad way to hell, for Christ’s true body shall be glorified.
Also 5., Elijah should have grievously sinned against God in gathering together all Israel on Mount Carmel, amongst the which there were seven thousand that bowed not their knee to Baal, and was the Lord’s elected and sanctified people, and also with them the idolatrous people that halted between God and Baal (1 Kings 18) for so he brought light and darkness, Christ and Belial to one and the same public worship, for there was praying and preaching and a miraculous sacrifice, and (v. 39) All the people fell on their faces and worshipped. And Elijah knew them to be an idolatrous people, and that the faithful in that worship behoved to have been defiled and consenters to the unlawful worship of these halters between God and Baal.
Master Canne, (( Canne, Necessity of Separation, page 107. )) poor soul, doubtsome [of] what to say, says, These that preach to people have not spiritual communion with all which are present and hear the same, for the devil is often a hearer. But this is a poor shift, for neither Saviour, Word of God, covenant, promise, or seal belongs to Satan. He is a hearer to carry away the seed that falleth by the wayside (Matt. 13). And so because the Word is not Satan’s in offer, and he comes uncalled, he has no church communion with the church. But the Word preached to men, and especially in an ordinary way is a professed communion with all professors, for so the Word of God says (Ezk. 33:31) They come unto thee as the people commeth, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words. And (Isa. 58:2) They ask of me the ordinances of Justice, they take delight in approaching to God. And (Isa. 2:2) the peoples’ communion with one another in going to the Lord’s mountain to be taught his Word, is set down as a mark of the called church of the Gentiles.
(2.) To hear or profess hearing of the Word is a worshipping of God; therefore joint hearers are joint worshippers, and have communion together.
(3.) To eat at one table of the Lord is a profession that the eaters are one body (1 Cor. 10:17) with that same Lord, and promises are offered in the Word that are sealed in the Sacrament.
(4.) All our divines prove the Church of the Jews. and Church under the New Testament to be one Church, because that same word of the covenant, and that same faith in substance that was preached and sealed to us, was preached to them (1 Cor. 10:1-4; Heb. 11, 13:8; 3:7-13). None deny this but Arminians, Socinians, Papists, and some other perverters of the Scriptures.
(5.) If a joint hearing of the Word is denied to be a church-communion in external worship, upon this ground, because all that hear do not believe, but many scoff at the Word, many hate it, many reject it in their hearts, as Separatists reason; this is most weak and proves that all have not an external communion by faith and love, but it is nothing against a church-communion, in the matter of separation. Also hence it might be concluded, none have a church-communion that eat at one table, and eat one bread and drink one cup, except only believers, and so all hypocrites in the visible church, hearing together, praying and praising and receiving the seals of the covenant together in one politic and visible body with believers, should be separatists from believers, having no church communion with believers, the contrary whereof reason and sense teach, and Scripture (Ps. 42:4; 55:13, 14; 1 Cor. 10:17; Matt. 13:47; Matt. 12:13) confirms.
Master Canne seeing this says, We affirm not that there can be no religious communion, but with members of a visible church, our profession and practise is daily otherwise; yet so that they are such persons, howbeit not in church-state, yet to be judged in the Faith by their gracious and holy walking, and are persons in the judgment of men gracious and holy in their walking; but members of a visible church are visible saints, and so if there is no religious communion to be kept, but with persons judged gracious, then is there no religious communion to be kept, but with members of the visible church, who are gracious and holy, which is plain contradiction.
Morever 6., the zeal of Josiah commended so highly by God, should have been sinful and wicked zeal, in commanding all the people to keep the most solemn Passover that ever had been since the days of the Judges (2 Kings 23:21, 22); and yet Judah was universally corrupted with high places, idolatry and false Priesthood, images, groves, etc. It is true Josiah reformed all these. It is as true he sought no more of the people for their external right worship, but profession, and could get no more. Yet he commanded not separation from the church of Judah, for these corruptions; howbeit much heart wickedness was amongst them, as is clear (v. 26). Notwithstanding God turned not from the fierceness of his great anger against Judah.
Morever 7., Asa’s zeal should have been as sinful in commanding all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, to convene in an assembly (which was far from separation) to a solemn service of swearing a covenant, to seek the Lord, under the pain of death, to both men and women, and presently after such abominable idols as had been in Judah and Benjamin (2 Chron. 15:8).
Were they all turned visible saints, a holy people, a chosen generation, all taught of God, all partakers of the faith and promises, so suddenly at one proclamation?
Also 8., Joshua (Joshua 24) convened all the tribes and exhorted them to serve the Lord. He charged them all to convene, and they did enter in a covenant with the Lord, and he set up a stone under an oak that was by the Sanctuary (v. 26). Now this convening of them all, even these who (v. 14, 23) had strange gods amongst them beside the Lord, as Joshua knew well, and gave warning thereof, must have been a sinful fact in Joshua, in commanding a mixture of God’s people, and these that had strange gods, to assemble in the Sanctuary, and enter in covenant with God, and hear the servant of God exhort them so heavenly in that sermon (chap. 23, 24) of Joshua, this was light and darkness, Christ and Belial, to come to one sanctuary to defile the worship of God, pollute the people with leaven, take the name of God in vain, if Separatists teach true doctrine.
And 9., Moses sinned grievously (Deut. 29) in assembling all the men of Israel, their little ones, wives, strangers, hewers of wood, drawers of water, to enter in an oath and covenant to serve God, which was a solemn public worship. For there was amongst that company, who ought to have been separated (v. 4) those to whom the Lord had not given a heart to perceive, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear to this day. So Moses in this profaned the name of God, polluted the word of the covenant. Many other instances might be given for this purpose.
ARGUMENT THREE. If Paul does not only not command separation in the Church of Corinth, but also commands and approves their meeting together in church communion (1 Cor. 5:4; 11:18-22; 14:23; 16:2) where there were schisms and contentions (1:12, 14) envying and strife (3:3), incest, and incest tolerated, such as is not named amongst the Gentiles (5:1), going to law with their brethren for gain before infidels (chap. 6), harlotry
(v. 15, 16), eating at the table of idols (chap. 8), keeping fellowship with devils (10:20-22),
coming to the Lord’s table drunk (11:21), eating and drinking damnation (v. 29, 30), a denying of a fundamental point of faith, the resurrection of the dead, and that with scoffing at it (15:35), Murdering weak souls, whom Christ had died for (8:12-13), Paul’s name despitefully traduced (2 Cor. 10:8, 9), etc. Then it is unlawful to separate from the pure worship of God, because a church is not constituted of visible saints, and a people all taught of God.
To this Master Barrow (( Barrow, of a false church, page 24. )) answers, 1. These were faults of frailty and ignorance.
ANSWER. Such sins of the flesh against the law of nature, as envy, strife, extortion, drunkenness at the Lord’s table, are not sins of frailty; malicious hating and reproaching the known and approved servant of God (1 Cor. 10:11, 12; 4:18, 19), are not frailties, but must contaminate the worship, no less than sins to which obstinacy is added, howbeit possibly not in a like measure and degree. 2. We then are to think them members of a visible church, and not to separate from them, howbeit in the judgment of charity we cannot say, they are a royal Priesthood, the holy seed, the sheep of Christ, the spouse and body of Christ, and all taught of God, as you say, for so the constitution of the visible church is marred, and a company that is not such, is no the matter of a visible church, as you teach.
Barrow says, 2. We should not separate, till their sins are reproved and censured, and they declared incorrigible, and such as will not hear admonition; such were not the Corinthians.
ANSWER. Then we are to esteem deniers of the resurrection, schismatics, extortioners, drunkards, incestuous persons, fornicators known so to us, to be a royal Priesthood, the sheep, body and spouse of Christ, regenerate, plants of righteousness, precious stones of Zion, all taught of God, aye and while the church and professors rebuke them and censure them.
2. If these were not despisers of Paul’s admonitions, why should Paul say (1 Cor. 4:21) shall I come to you with the rod? How were some of them puffed up as though Paul would not come (v. 18)? And why does Paul never once command that they separate from the church, if the church will not use the rod against them? If the servant of God must wait on gainsayers and obstinate persons, if at any time God shall give them repentance (2 Tim. 2:14-15), should not one wait on a whole church, or many in a church and keep communion with them, till God give them repentance. It’s true, Separatists (( Separatists confession, art. 36, page 26. )) say there should be no separation from a church till all means are used of rebuking; but why did not then Elijah, Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah, command separation? And why did they command church fellowship after all means are used, and Israel declared stiff necked
(Deut. 9:6), Sodom and Gomorrah (Isa. 1:10), impudent and hard hearted (Ezk. 3:7), stiff hearted (Ezk. 2:4), refusing to hearken, pulling away the shoulder, stopping their ear, making their heart as an adament (Zach. 7:11, 12), after all which church communion with them in the Word, covenant and oath of God, Sacraments, Passover, circumcision, prayer, hearing of the Word, is commanded.
ARGUMENT FOUR. If the Apostle terms the Galatians the church of Christ, brethren
(Gal. 1:2), receivers of the Spirit by the hearing of faith (3:2), the children of God by faith in Christ (v. 26), spiritual (6:1), and so esteems them a right constituted church not to be separated from, howbeit they were in part removed from Christ to another gospel (1:8), bewitched, foolish, joining circumcision and the works of the Law with faith, and so fallen from Christ, Christ profiting them nothing, fallen from grace, running in vain, under the Law again, and not under Christ (5:4-6, 18), beginning in the Spirit, ending in the flesh (3:3); if so (I say) then is it not lawful to separate from a church, for the sins of the worshippers. But the former is true, Ergo, so is the latter. The proposition is clear, because Paul’s styles which he gives them, makes them the body and spouse of Christ, and so it is not lawful to separate from them. Also Paul writes to them as to the church of Christ, which is an acknowledged church communion.
ARGUMENT FIVE. If the church of Ephesus is a true church, holding the candlestick of Christ and Christ’s presence walking in it, that suffered for Christ’s name, and fainted not
(Rev. 2), and yet had fallen from her first love; if Pergamos held the doctrine of Balaam, and the Nicolaitans, and murdered the saints, had Satan’s throne amongst them (v. 13, 14);
if Thyatira suffered the woman Jezabel to seduce the servants of Christ; if Sardis had a name to live, and was dead, and her works were not perfect before God; if Laodicea turned cold, indifferent and lukewarm in the matters of God, and was ready to be spewed out as Christ’s mouth; then may a church remain a true church with a lawful ministry, having power of the Word, seals and church discipline, as all these had, and cannot be separated from, except we would leave the candlestick, and Christ walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks.
ARGUMENT SIX. If we are to bear long in patience, and brotherly kindness, with the most refractory, and stiff necked gainsayers, and to preach to them, and so keep external communion with them, as Paul says the servant of God must do (2 Tim. 2:24, 25), much more owe we this to a whole church which contumaciously suffers, or defends a sin, and a sinner. But the former is true, Ergo the latter. The proposition is proved, if we owe patience and longanimity to one, then far more to a hundred, five hundred, ten hundred. So John (3 John 10, 11), did bear with the church wherein wickedness was tolerated. This argument is confirmed, that which the prophets of God at God’s command did, preaching, and waiting on upon an obstinate church all the day long, that same onwaiting patience owe we to the church, whereof we are members. But the prophets at God’s command, kept church fellowship of prophesying to a disobedient and obstinate people, aye till God cast them off, as Isaiah does (65:2, 3), all the day long. The prophets went and preached to Jerusalem after they had stoned, and killed the former prophets (Matt. 23:37), and after they had killed the heir Christ Jesus, they preached to them also (Acts 2:22; 3:13, 14; 4:1-3; 5:4, etc.). So Jeremiah (3:12) after he had been put in the stocks, and the word of the Lord became a reproach, yet still prophesied (20:9; 26:12). Now a preacher in a constituted church is a member and part of that church where he preaches, and is to believe and be saved by that same word which he commands others to hear, as a means of their salvation (1 Tim. 4:16).
ARGUMENT SEVEN. If the wickedness of a church has such a influence as to pollute the public worship, and to defile these that communicate in the worship, so as they must separate therefrom, and if the unconverted preacher is not to be heard, as a lawful pastor, then also we can communicate in no church, where there are lurking hypocrites. But both these are against the Word of God, Ergo, separation from the church in that kind must be against the Word of God also. The proposition is clear: if the sins of these that hear, and communicate with me, defile the worship to me, they defile it whether I know their sins or not. If a pest[ilence infected] man eating with me, defiles my meat, the meat is infected to me, whether I know it or not. And if I be obliged to know it, and know it not, my ignorance is sinful, and does not excuse me. Now certainly no believer is obliged to know the latent hypocrite. It was no sin in the eleven apostles that they knew not Judas to be the traitor [until] God discovered him. The assumption I prove, an unconverted man may be a called pastor, whom we may lawfully hear, as Judas was a chosen apostle (Matt. 7:22, 23; Phil. 1:16-18). Also it were lawful to be a member of no visible church, if the sins of unknown hypocrites should defile the worship; because in the net and barn floor there are always bad fish and chaff.
Judge then if Mr. Barrow (( Barrow, A Brief Discovery of the false Church (1590), page 30. )) teaches judiciously. If the open sins (he says) of ministers or people defile not Word and Sacraments administrated by them, why has God said the sacrifice of the wicked is abomination to the Lord (Prov. 15)? and what the wicked may as well kill a man, as a bullock, and what the defiled priest touches is defiled; their prayers and sacraments are not the ordinances of God.
ANSWER. Except by Anabaptists, I never read the Scripture so perverted; the praying, preaching, sacraments of a defiled priest, and an unconverted man, to himself; but not to others, are abominable, and sin before God; whether they are censured by the church or not, whether they are known to be defiled and polluted sinners in the state of nature, or not known; because their persons are not reconciled in Christ to God, as all our divines prove, as Augustine (( August. cont. Julian, lib. 4. cap. 13. & cont. Pelag. & Coelest. lib. 1. cap. 26. )) and Prosper (( Prosper. cont. Collat. cap. 18. )) prove against Pelagians, and our divines against Arminians. See for this what Arminius, (( Armin. antiberk. pag. 244 ad art. 31 pag. 257. Collat. Hag. pag. 250, 251. )) Corvinus, (( Corv. cont. Molin. cap. 38. )) and the Jesuite Bellarmine, (( Bellarm. de grat & lib. arbit. lib. 5. cap. 10. )) Suarez (( Suarez de grat. lib. 1. cap. 21. )) and Vasques (( Vasquez in 12 tom. 2 disp. )) say on the contrary. The notoriety of ministers and professors’ sins, or their secrecy, is all one. The sin defiles the man, and the man’s worship, preaching and prayers, to himself; but their sins do not annul, and make of no effect the ordinances of God, that are public. The prayer of the unconverted minister is the prayer of the church, and heard for Christ’s sake, howbeit the man himself is a taker of God’s name in vain, else infants baptized by an unconverted pastor, where infidels, and yet unbaptized, if his sacraments administered by him in the state of sin are no ordinances of Christ, but abominations that defile others as well as himself. Thus the preaching of Scribes and Pharisees, the abominable slaves of hell, as concerning their conversation, were not to be heard, even while they sat in Moses’ chair, the contrary whereof Christ commands (Matt. 23:2-4).
ARGUMENT EIGHT. If the church worship must be forsaken, for the wickedness of the fellow worshippers, then the public ordinances of Word and Sacraments, should have their worth and dignity from the persons worshipping; as preaching should be more the Word of God, the holier the preacher is, and less the Word of God, the less holy that he is, and not the Word of God at all, if the preacher is an unwashen and unhallowed priest (whereof there are to many, alas, in our age). But this were absurd. The Word has all the essential dignity and holiness from God, and preaching and baptizing are true pastoral acts and means of salvation; so the men are called by God and the church having their power from Jesus Christ, whose ordinances they are, whatever are the men’s moral carriage. I grant it is more unsavory, and works the less, if the man is an ungracious slave of sin; but that is by accident and from our corruption, who cannot look to God’s Word, and receive it as his Word; but we must look who he is, good, or a bad man, who carries the letters; and what vessel it is that bears God’s treasures, if of gold, or of earth. This argument Augustine presses against the Donatists.34
ARGUMENT NINE. If church worship, where wicked people worship with us, is defiled to us believers, then Peter’s preaching was defiled to the converts (Acts 2) because Ananias and Saphira, Simon Magnus, did worship with them. Moses, Elijah, Joshua, could not but be defiled by the presence of stiff necked people, whose hearts were going after Baalam, and they sinned in taking part and consenting to a polluted covenant, Passover, feast of the Lord, sermon, or the like. It is not enough to say, if they knew the worshippers to be such, they were not to communicate with them. I answer, then the public worship where wicked persons do communicate, does not of itself contaminate and pollute the worship to others who are true believers, but only upon condition that believers know the wickedness. For 1., we desire a warrant of this from the Word of God, or the nature of the worship. 2. And if so be baptism administered by a private person, whom we take to be a faithful pastor, should be lawful, I never thought our knowledge had power to change worship from a pure and clean case, to make it impure and unclean; by this means light and darkness, Christ and Belial, the woman’s seed and the serpent’s seed may remain together; we may stay with the infectious botch of unclean worship, while we know it, and the church rebukes and censures it; but it is too long to lie in the fire, and be burnt to ashes, till we take notice of the secrets that are known to God, that is, whether the whole thousand professors that worship with us, are believers or unbelievers. 3. This answer helps not against our argument; for Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and the apostles, knew most part that these [with] whom they did publicly communicate in public worship were stiff necked, rebellious, idolatrous, superstitious, and yet they did not separate from the public worship, for their wickedness.
ARGUMENT TEN. That which is so heinous a sin, as to profane God’s name, and ordinances, to marry Christ and Belial, to mix God and idols, that are devils, should have been forbidden in the Old and New Testament; but separation from the true worship of God for the sins of the worshippers is never forbidden, and communion is ever commanded in the Old, or New Testament; therefore separation cannot be lawful, and communion cannot be such a sin.
CONCLUSION SIX. A worship may be false in the matter two ways, either when we are to practice it, or give our assent to it, as to receive the Sacraments after an unlawful manner, to assent to corrupt doctrine, that is never lawful, and here we may separate from the worship, when we separate not from the church. Or then the worship is false in the matter, but our presence does not make it unlawful to us; as professors may hear a preacher who preaches the body of divinity soundly, howbeit he mixes errors with it, because what everyone hears, they are to try ere they believe, as the Spirit of God teaches (1 Thes. 5:21). Try all things, hold fast what is good. (1 John 4:1) Try the spirits. In so doing we separate from the sermon, while we hear the good and refuse the evil; because we separate from the error of the worship, therefore to hear unsound doctrine is not to partake of false worship, because we are to hear the Pharisees, but to beware of their leaven, and finding it to be sour and unsound doctrine, we are to reject it.
CONCLUSION SEVEN. A communion in worship, true in the matter, where the person called, for example, the preacher is a minister of Antichrist, is unlawful, because we are not to acknowledge any of Babel, or Baal’s priests, professing their calling to be of the Pope, the man of sin.
CONCLUSION EIGHT. When we separate from a church overturning the foundation of religion, as from Rome, we are to keep a desire of gaining them, howbeit not a brotherly fellowship with them. Augustine says with us, we are in mercy to rebuke what we cannot amend, and to bear it patiently, and elsewhere: So Cyprian and Augustine (Epistle 162 & 50) show the Africans were esteemed a church of Christ, howbeit they strictly held baptism by heretics to be no baptism.