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you waigh with youv selfe, what evill is there in th[is ?] wherin
nothing is said but only against Ecclesiastical 1 Vn written Tradi-
tions. Specially considering the Evidence wAtch is... against
them, the consent of many Christian Churches & Writers, my
faithfull care to give heerein to Cesar whatsoever is Cesars & to
God that wAtch is Gods, the necessit[y ?] of mine owne defense
& purgation as also this present time of y® Kings first entrance,
& other circu7?istances^ I hope it is not vnlawfuU nor new for
Christian Subjects lowly to desyre reformation of such things at
the Princes hands. Besids it would have ben thought y^ The[re ?]
had ben small feare of God in vs or respect to y® Scriptures
honowr against vnwritten Traditions (for so still [?J I say we do
conceave of this whole matter) if no[ne ?] of vs had now spoken
in this cause. We are condemned by many, & verily we
oug[ht] so to be as Schismatikes & contentious persons if
we should differ from you & yet gi[ve] forth vnto y® world
no Reasons of our difference. While we were silent & sai[d]
nothing we were insulted vpon for a long time togeather. Now
when one of vs doth... some Reasons with all due respect, is it
an offense to do it ? We have consciences desyrous to serve
God by y^.-.of his word w/a'ch move vs to do this thing. Gods
word only stayeth y® conscience : & these Reasons included [?]
are built only... vpon. Let y® Reasons therefore [?] be...
answered [as ?] you sayed vnto me y'^ they shalbe ; & then
let obstinacie & perversnes where it is found be censured.
The Kin[gs ?] first entrance & setling among vs (whom God
long preserve) requireth also of vs that we should shew causes
if we will dissent from others : chiefly sith he hath often
signifyed he will reforme whatsoever can be shewed contrary
to Gods word. Yea he hath specially willed vs to... by patience
& well grounded Reasons to perswade all y*" rest to like of
ouv ju[dg ?]ments. How can we perswade all y^ rest to like
* I give in this place what seetna to have been the original text.

150 Early Enfili^h Dissenters

of o?/r judgme?2ts, but by publishing Reasons to al[l ?] And
now [^] seeing I have don no more I beseech you let not y* seame
so great a fault. Further y® pr[o]vokings of many & their vrging
vs to shew som reasons, yea their plaine affirming y'' we have
nothing to say fur owr selves, w//ich not only in speach they
expresse very often in most frequent & honorable Assemblies,
also in a nomber of printed bookes, togeather wtth y® general 1
expectation of all men at y* season wi[ll ?] excuse (I hope) y" y*^
I have don humbly & dutifully. But more y*" y'* the Answer
from Oxford to y*^ Ministers [? pejtition hath vanely traduced
me as a schismatike in y'* respect. Doth not all equitie &
religion per[mit ?] me correspondently to publish Reasons for
my necessary cleering ? I beseech yowr Lordship waigh with
yoMr self these things indifferently, moreover my booke is
dedicated to y® King to whose godly co[nsi]deration &
clemency I do alltogeather submit my selfe. His Majestie
I hear hath a good while sinc[e] taken knowledge of it.
I doubt not his grace is minded y*^ my Reasons (whatsoever
they be) should by better grounds of Divinity [be ?] reproved
before I should be thus punished. In my Treatise whatsoever
words I have besides Argume?jts, they all tend to y'* y' we should
all dutifully seeke to his Majestie fo[r] reliefe to owr consciences
in this behalfe, who only hath authority vnder God to give
generall redr[esse ?] in these things. Where[fore ?] I beseech
yoi^r L. to remember y* I freely & from my heart do give y*
King his just & full supremacie over all persons causes ecclesi-
asticall whatsoever, reserving no jot of power heer but what is
proper to Christ alone, viz. to be our absolut Prophet & sole
Teacher in all matters of y® Church[.] If Humane discretion
will... alone to warrant vs any thing of y'^ sort, we feare him
who saithe [he ?] will not give any glory to an other. And who
can think that Christs Testament is no perfecter in tea[ching ?]
vs Church matters, then it is in shewing vs Civill ? In a word
therefore, whatsoever I have wri[tten, (?)] or do hold, cometh to
y** one point (w/a'ch is y® old profession of Protestants) to refuse
Vnwritten Ecclesiasticall Traditions or inventions of men. I do
in this treatise no more, neither intend I any more, y® Lord is
witnes, I say of all but as Cyprian said long ago of one Ec-

Papers of Henry Jacob's 1603—1605 151

clesiasticall Tradition : Vnde est ista traditio ? Vtrumn^ de
Dominica et Evangelica authoritate descendens, aut de Aposto-
licis preeeptis et Epistolis veniens ? Implying y* otherwise it is
to be refused whatsoever it be. And touching y® true state of
Christs Visible Church, as Chrysostom (if it be his) in y*
Vnperfect worke saith ; Ecclesia cognoscite tantum od6 per
Scripturas, And as Augustin, Nee ego, nee tu, sed Chris^us
interrogetiir vt indicet Ecclesiam suam. Lege Evangelium, et
respondet tibi &c. wAich I hope is no evill now for me to affirme
likewise. And more y®° y'^ or y*- wAich necessarily cometh from
y'* I do not affirme. Last of all as I came to your Lordship
freely without commandeme?it when only my servant told me
from your messinger y' your L. would speake with me, so I
beseech you deale kindly with me. I beseech you restore me
to my poore wife & 4 small children, who without my inlarge-
ment are in much distresse.

Your Lorships humble suppliant
Henry lacob prisoner in y^

To the right reverend the Lord
Bishop of London.

[Henry Jacob's Copy of his Subscription.]

April. 4. An°. 1605.

Whereas allmost 3. quarters of a yeare since I published a
booke intituled, Reasons taken out of Gods word &c. I do
heere faithfully promise to disperse no more of them, nor to be
a meanes that any other shall, but to hinder the dispersing of
all that shall com into my power.

Also I do promise that I will not speak against y® Church-
government & orders now among vs established by Law, for
the time of my being vpon baile & till I shall see what
Reasons against my opinion will com forth within this halfe
yeare. W/(ich if I shall perceave to be good & well grounded
on Gods word, then I will speake for the said Church-government
& orders now established.

152 Early Euf/lish Dissenters

Howsoever, I will allwayes heereafter behave my selfe quietly,
& as one carefull of the Churches peace, God assisting me.

Henry lacob.

The first promise I may easily keepe, seeing I have none of

those bookes left.

The second limiteth a time viz. within this halfe yeare, wherein

I forbeare to speak against their orders. Yet in y® meane

while my booke speaketh my minde & judgment most plainly

every where.

Thirdly I will allwayes heereafter behave myselfe quietly, wAich

also I have don allwayes heeretofore, I praise God.

Let all men vnderstand that touching y® first promise I may
easily performe it, considering I have never a one of these
bookes in my power nor am like to have: except only one
which I have & will keepe for mine owne vse.

Touching the second I do promise within halfe a yeare not to
speak against y^ publike orders in question. Neither yet in
this while am I altogeather silent in the cause, for my booke
speaketh sufficiently, & sheweth my judgment therein ; which
I still do hold, though for a time I cease to talke against y*
matters in question.

Touching the third I promise to behave my selfe quietly
allwayes heereafter ; which yet also I have don heeretofore, as
my conscience beareth me witnes.

Whosoever do make any other sense of my words they do
me wrong. Henry lacob.

For the time of my baile shall be no longer if it like my selfe.
I can appeare before Authoritie & so withdraw my baile at that
time, if I think good, & if my baile cease not before. Besides
the true construction of y® very words do shew y* halfe a yeare
is the appointed & vttermost terme of this my promise. The
2. clauses are conjoyned & referred togeather to these words in
y^ end of the sentence [" within this halfe yeare"]. Neither can
there be any other perfect & proper sense of this whole speach.
The Archbishop expresly said to me y^ day before [i.e., April 3,

Papers of Henry Jacob's 1603—1605 153

1605.], y' y^ maner of bailes is to be but for a time, & mine
should be but for a time, & for no long time. Vnto y'^ I have
relation heere where I speake of the time of my being vpon

[The earliest completely developed Independent, or Con-
gregational, Puritan (non-separatist) Catechism in existence :
written by Henry Jacob.] ^

Principles & Foundations
of Christian Religion.

1. Concerning God.


What doest thou believe concerning God ? God.

I believe that There is ^- one God ^ Creator & ^- Governor of all
things; who is distinguished into the *• Father, the Sonne, & the
Holy Ghost.

2. Concerning Man.



What doest thou believe concerning Man ? Man.

All men by Nature are '-wholly corrupted with sinne through
^- Adams fall; & so are become ^-bond-slaves to Sathan, & subject
to etemall damnation.

3. The Author & Principall Meanes
of Salvation.

Question. 3.

What meanes is there to escape this damnable estate ? of salvation.


The holy & heavenly meanes of salvation given vs of God are of
2. sorts. Principall, & Instrumental!.

* This Catechism, though undated, was evidently written in 1604 or

Hebr. 12. 2.

I. Tim. 2. 5.

I. Cor. 3. 10.

Act. 4. 12.

L.h. 11. 6.

Isa. 42. 8.

I Tim. 3. 16.


Our Instru.

mentall In.

ward inea.


154 Early English Dissenters

What is the Principall moanes ?


The Principall nieanes is lesus Christ, (yea indeed he is the
'•whole Authour being the etemall Sonne of God & also true
Man . who perfitly alone by hiniselfe accomplisheth all things
that are necdfuU for the .salvation of mankind.

4. The Instrumental! Inward meanes.

What are the Instrumental 1 meanes of Salvation ?

They are of 2. sortes : Inward, & Outward.

By what Inward meanes is a man made partaker of Christ &
his benefits ?


A man of a 'contrite & humble spirit by Faith alone appre-
hending & applying to himselfe ^[sic] Christ in his 3. maine
Offices (that is, as he is ouv Prophet, King, & Priest) with all
his Merits in them, is justifyed before God & sanctifyed ? [sic]

What is Christs Propheticall Office : or what did Christ for vs
as he is out Prophet & Teacher, [sic]

1 j^j^ ^ 25 '■ He himselfe (in his owne word & Testament only) teacheth vs
and IG. 13. all things Religious as properly belonging to the Church, both
Outward & Inward. Wherein standeth his whole true Worship,
& the meanes of our salvation.

What is Christs Kingly Office, [sic]

He himselfe alone '-ruleth & guideth vs Spiritually. And this
is called Christs ^Kingdom of grace,/

Papers of Henry Jacob's 1603—1605 155

How may we further know this his Kingdom of Grace ?

Christs Kingdom of Grace heere in this life is of 2. sorts :
Inward & Outward. And this later is the meanes & ordinaiy
cause of the former.

Wherein standeth Christs Inward spirituall Kingdom ?

In that he ruleth & guideth owr ^-hearts by his Spirit to the
obedience of his Law, wAtch is his word.

Wherein is his Outward Spirituall Kingdom ?

In that by himselfe or by his Spirit in his Apostles w^tch is all
one, (& by none other) he constituteth & injoyneth the forme of
all his Visible Churches with their Ministeries, k, admitteth
(wheresoever) none other. Also in that he ordinarily ruleth,
guideth, & blesseth vs in them only by his owne Ministeries &
ordinances, & by none other.

What is Christs Priestly Office ?

To offer vnto God a Sacrifice allsufficient for all our sinnes,
wAi'ch he did by his infinit Sufferings [?] in this life, & to make
Intercession for vs in Heaven by vertue thereof for ever. And
all this in his owne only person without any other wtth him


Doth not Christ save vs only by his death & sufferings ?

No ; He redeemeth vs in deed only by his death & Sufiferings :
but he is our Saviour & mediator by his Doctrine teaching vs,
by his kingdom ruling vs, & by his death once vpon y^ Gibbet.

156 EarUj hJin/I'mJi Dissenters

That is not by any one, but by all 3. his...& proper Offices
apprehended & applyed to vs by a true faith.

What vse hath our Sanctification in this life ?

A nswer.
Our Sanctification, o«r Obedience to the Word, or our Good
works have 2. vses. / 1. They are the fruits & sure witnesses
of true faith justifying vs. 2. They are the high way necessary
for all men to walke in vnto salvation.

5. The Instrumental! Outward Meanes.


Our Outward What are the ordinary Outward meanes given by Christ for his
outward true worship & for owr obtayning of faith & salvation ?

The ordinary Outward meanes {which. Christ as ouv Prophet
& King gave vs & sanctifyed for vs) are of 2. sortes : Generall,
& Speciall.


What is the ordinary Generall meanes ?

The ordinaiy Generall meanes is, to be joyned a Member in som
true Visible or Ministerial! Church of Christ.

Are there many in the world, or is there only one Vniversall

Visible Church ?


In the time of the Law there was only one Visible Church
vnder one High priest of the lewes. But since the Gospell
went out of Jerusalem into all the world, by y* Divine ordin-
ance there allwayes have ben & are many in nomber, & not
only One Visible or Ministeriall Church of Christ, as the
Catholiks do falsly believe.

How then do we say in the Creed ; I believe the Catholik, y^ is,
the Vniversall Church ?

Papers of Henry Jacob's 1603 — 1605 157

There we signify the Invisible Church Catholik, either Militant,
or els the whole nomber of Gods Elect in Heaven & in Earth.
It can not be contrary to y® Acts & Writings of y^ Apostles,
where a multitude of proper & distinct Ministeriall Churches
are shewed vs : one at Corinth, an other at Antioch, an other at
Ephesus & many in Asia, many in ludea, many in Galatia,
Macedonia, &c. &c.

What is a true Visible or Ministeriall Church of Christ ?

A true Visible or Ministeriall Church of Christ is a particular
Congregation being a spirituall perfect Corporation of Believers,
& having power in it selfe immediatly from Christ to administer
all Religious meanes of faith to the members thereof.

How is a Visible Church constituted & gathered ?

By a free mutuall" consent of Believers joyning & covenanting Math. 18. 19,
to live as Members of a holy Society togeather in all religious
& vertuous duties as Christ & his Apostles did institute &
practise in the Gospell. By such a free mutuall consent also
all Civill perfect Corporations did first beginne.

If every particular Church be an intire Church & independent
of any other, how shall Vnitie be preserved & obedience to
Magistrats ?

Vnitie in conscience standeth not vpon one Church or Pastor
over the rest, but vpon y® one Word & Testament of Christ
taught ordinarily by that Church vnto vs whereof we are ; as
Gods Ordinance is. Also thus -most easily hnay y® meanest
next dwelling Magistrat 'rule any Church in outward peace ;
yea in peace & concord of Religion far more easily & more
readily then otherwise.


158 Early Euc/Jish Dissenters

What are the ordinary speciall meanes of faith ?

In speciall sort faith cometh only by y*' preaching of the word,
& increeiseth dayly by it, as also by the administration of the
Sacraments, Discipline, & Prayer. And heerein consisteth the
whole true outward Worshipping of God.

What is the Word that is preached vnto vs. \sic\

It is the Word of God. That is, his Will & Testament revealed
& confirmed vnto vs in y® holy Scriptures only.

What is the effect & scope of the Scriptures ?

Their scope is to specify & shew most perfectly all the wayes of
worshipping God a right, & so also y*^ whole meanes of our

W//tch are the holy Scriptures, [sic]

The Bookes of y® Prophets & the Apostles, called the Old &
New Testament.

From what authority com they ?

Those holy men of God (the Prophets & Apostles) writ them as
they were inspired by y^ Holy Ghost.

How know we that they have Divine authoritie, & were written
by inspiration of the Holy Ghost ?

Papers of Henry Jacob's 1603—1605 159

First the tradition of all times telleth vs so much. Secondly
& chiefly the Heavenly matter contained in them vnder such
simplicity of words doth now assure vs of it ; with many other
like reasons taken out of the Scriptures themselves.

What short Summe have we of all the holy Scriptures, as
concerning any duty wA.ich we ought to do ?


The 2. Tables divided into 10. Commandements are a short &
perfect Summe of all the Scriptures.

Is there not then any outward thing Indifferent.

Yea, there are many indifferent Civill matters. But of y® parts
of Divine Service & Church vse, there is nothing at all Indif-
ferent. All such things are heere simply commanded or

How many Sacraments are there ; or holy Signes ?

Two; Baptisme, & the Lords Table. One other also may be
reckoned as a holy Signe of lesse dignity & inferior nature ; y*
is, Laying on of hands. But beside these Christs Testament
knoweth none.


Wherein standeth the Churches holy Government [?]

In their Election of Ministers, & Their Spiritual Correction of

1 The portions here omitted are questions and answers concerning the

160 Early English Dissenters

Is it Christs ordinance y* y® whole Church should Elect their
Ministers, & Correct their Offenders ?

They are to do no more of necessity, & in their ordinary
carriage, but freely to consen[t] to their Guides preparing &
directing every matter.

What Ministers ought the Church to chose for her ordinary
guidance & government.

A Pastor or Bishop, with Elders, & Deacons.

What is y* Pastors Office ?

In Gods & in y® Churches Name to administer the Wo[rd, (?)]
the holy Signes, the holy Governme?it, & publik Prayer. Not
any one, or so[me ?] of these, but all.

What are the Elders ?


The Pastors assistants & coadjutors in y^ holy government.

What are the Deacons ?

They are faithfuU men trusted to gather & distribut y®
Church[es ?] publik treasure for Ecclesiasticall vses.

Wherein standcth y"^ Churches spirituall Correction of Offenders
y/hich is properly called the holy Discipline.

In their Admonishing (twise or thrise at least) & Exhorting
to repentance, & y*° in cutting of & Excommunicating y*

of all.

Pa2m^s of Henry Jacob's 1603—1605 161

What is Prayer ?


A Calling vpon God in owr wants & necessities. Whereof y®

Lords Prayer is a perfect rule & direction for vs.

6. The End of all.


What is the estate of all men after death ? rru ^4? j

The End


All men shall rise againe with their owne bodyes to the last

judgment. WAi'ch being ended, the godly shall possesse the

Kingdom of heaven : but the Vnbelievers & wicked shalbe in

Hell tormented wtth the Divell & his Angells for ever.

[A detached Dei5nition by Henry Jacob of a " true Visible
or Ministeriall Church of Christ ".]

A true Visible or Ministeriall Church of Christ is a constant
& comple[te ?] societie of Christians or spirituall Body politike
ordayned by Christ in his word, which, any one member the[re]
of (having neede) may (& must on occasion) go vnto, consult
with, heare & obey intirely & wholly togeather & yet with
keeping due order & distinction of degrees the[y] all of them
being vnited vnder one Ecclesiasticall government with them-
selves & proper vnto y®™.

A third humble Supplication of many faithfuU

Subjects in England, falsly called Puritans directed
to y® Kings Matestie. 1605 \

In most humble wise doe beseeche yowr Maiestie, a great
nomber through out youv realme of your Maie.sties sworne

1 Only the title of this " Supplication " was originally written by
Henry Jacob, bnt he evidently corrected it throughout. The document
as at first drawn up contained six numbered sections, but Jacob does
not seem Bnally to have approved of this arrangement. I give here
therefore the corrected text. The title as originally written was "The
second humble Supplication...."

B. II. 11

1<)'J Early Emjliah DixHentei^s

loyall subicctes and most rlutifuU people. Forasmuch as wee
are in conscience throughly pe/-s\vaded, that Gods most holy
word in the New Testament is absolutely perfect, for delivering
the whole maner of Gods worship, the holy government &
forme of all his Churches, particularly specifying vnto vs all
things whatsoeuer, both inward and outward, great and small
therein as y* Old Testament did vnto the lewes, Except only
meere circumstances of Tyme, Place, Person &c w/a'ch have
ben, are, and must be variable by necessity of nature ; So that
wee cannot perceiue anie humane Ecclesiasticall tradition what-
soever, as being simply without Gods word, to be lawfuU. And
yet we your Majesties said loyall Subjects are forced against
OUT consciences to submit our selves to such vnlawfull Traditions
& Inventions of men in y® Churches govemme?2t, ministery, &
Divine Service, to the high displeasure of Allmightie God
against vs, and the ruine of y® soules of many. Considering
also that this is a point singularly making to the honor of
Christ lesus, and to the magnifying of his loving care for his
Churches, namely to believe that he left vs his word so pe7-fect
(as hath ben said) in all things Ecclesiasticall and touching the
Soule : & contrariwise greatly derogating to Chrisbs personall
most perfect Propheticall Office, & also to his Kingly Office to
say y* he hath not in his word so perfectly provided for vs, but
hath left sundry of these things to y® discretion of men. And
because thus indeed to honor Christ and his word as by this
meanes wee shall and ought to doe, no way harmeth the State
nor the Princes authority, peace, & [Marginal note : " See our
Protestation of y® Kings Supremacie."] security ; but doth truly
advaunce & blesse all estates, when they shew them selves
hclpfull & favorable herein. And Considering that it maketh
singularly to vnity and agreement in Religion, when our whoU
forme of Ecclesiasticall orders & exercise of religion shall be
held by vs to be specifyed exactly in Scripture. WAich happy
fruit appeareth comfortably in all those Christian Churches of
this day y'' do want those Traditions & Humane Hierarchie
wAi'ch are among vs. As namely in the in the [sic] well ordered
and peaceable Churches of the French and Dutch, which by
your Maiestie-s gracious protection and allowaunce doe liue within

Papers of Henry Jacob's 1603—1605 163

yoMT Realme, and also in all the Churches of the Countryes
of Fraunce Scotland, Low Countryes, and your Matesties owne
Hands of Jersey and Garnsey. In these it is much to be re-
garded (to Gods great praise be it spoken) that there are no open
dissentions in matters of religion among them selves but most
rare concord ; w/n"ch wee think cannot be, nor ever wilbe found
elswhere, where humane Tradicions are professedly observed
besides Gods word. As wee see by experience here in England,
where grevious distraction of myndes among ouv selves in
pointer of religion appeareth, only because wee are not re-
solved (as it doth seeme) simplie and absolutely to rest on the

Online LibraryChamplin BurrageThe early English dissenters in the light of recent research (1550-1641) (Volume 2) → online text (page 13 of 30)