A Testimony of the Ministers in the Province of Salop, to the Truth of Jesus Christ and to the Solemn League and Covenant,
Against the Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies
of these times, and the Toleration of them.
Sent up to the Ministers within the Province of
London, Subscribers of the First
L O N D O N:
Printed by F. N. for Tho.: Underhill at the Bible in Woodstreet.
THE TESTIMONY OF
Divers Ministers in the Province of Salop, to the Truth, &c.
Having with singular contentment of minde, and sweet refreshment of spirit, perused the Testimony of our Brethren of the PROVINCE OF LONDON to the truths of Jesus Christ; and against the Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies of these times, unto which we, as they, by a solemne Covenant with hands lift up to God have ingaged our selves; Our zeal for the glory of God, and regard of the souls of our brethren in which all have equall interest will not suffer us in this common cause to keep silence. And though it were easie to added to the Catalogue of Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies, under sundrie heads there layd down (our Age being as dishonourably fruitfull as any other in these monstrous births, to the ruine of souls) as also to manifest our attestation, to the opposite truths, according to the clear light of Scripture, and Confession of Reformed Churches; yet we shall at present for the one content ourselves in the avouching of our ready assent, together with our Brethren, to the Confession of Faith presented to both Honourable Houses of Parliament, by the Assembly of Divines, called together, and yet sitting by their Authority, in which the truth of Christ in the necessary concernments of Faith, Worship, and Discipline, we conceive are piously, prudently, solidly, and fully asserted. And for the other, to declare to the world, our utter detestation, as of the particulare errors, heresies, and blasphemies there enumerated, so of all others of like nature, standing in equal opposition, to the orthodox truth before mentioned, yet freely acknowledging, that some stand at a great distance from other in the degree of their danger, few ages bringing forth the parallel to sundrie of those which for everlasting detestation are there witnessed against. And further, we concur with out reverend Brethren, that the happiest expedient for prevention, obstruction, and extirpation as well of errors in Doctrine, as scandals in conversation, is a speedie and happie perfecting of the Government begun, and in many places in some degrees of it now in prosecution; being fully perswaded that it is consonant to the rule of Scriptures and primitive practise in the Apostles times, and are confirmed therein by the happie blessing wherewith, experience testifieth it hath been honoured in severall Reformed Churches, whiles other platforms (how specious soever, with which some piously affected have been taken) have been almost as soon as set up blasted, not alone with wofull divisions and schismes, but abominable heresies, and apostaties. And though we can willingly joyn hands with many brethren, whom we highly reverence, (that are of different judgement from us) yet from our souls we detest, the thought of such licentiousnesse, viz: That opinions eminently destructive to pietie, and publick peace, threatning and working the speedie ruine of Souls, should finde connivance, and TOLERATION amongst us; being well assured, that the Christian Magistrate cannot answer his neglect before Gods tribunall, if he be not a revenger to execute wrath on these evill doers; spirituall as well as temporall adulteries, being an iniquitie to be punished by the Judges, which if our godly Governors in the dayes of our progenitors, had not beleeved, and accordingly acted, they had never served Gods providence in fulfilling the prophesie, that the Ten horns shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked; Babylon had yet been in her pomp, and we their posteritie had been yet in that blindnesse and bondage. And for that Covenant in which we stand with such solemnitie ingaged, we trust we shall in all junctures of time esteeme to be sacred, well knowing the judgements of God upon Nations and persons false in Covenant, fearing that for this our Nation alreadie suffers.
Thomas Cook Pastor of Drayton magna
Tho: Porter Pastor of Whitchurch.
Francis Boughey Pastor of Hodnet.
Aylmer Houghton Pastor of Prees.
Andrew Parson Pastor of Wem.
John Bisby Pastor of Edstaston.
Thomas Wright Pastor of Kinnersley.
Peter Nicolls Pastor of Adderly.
Isaac Martin Rector of Bolas.
Robert Benny Rector of Ightfield.
William Gower Minister of Morton Corbet.
Robert Powford Minister of Vppington.
Humphrey Chambers Minister of Sterchley
Richard Fowler Minister of Longford.
Henry Vaughan Pastor of Moreston-say.
John Malden Pastor of Cheswardine.
Richard Sadler Preacher at Whixall
Edmund Barton Pastor of Brosely.
George Baxter Pastor of Little Wenlock.
Geroge Adeney Pastor of Wenlock mag:
Gilbert Walden Pastor of Bridgnorth.
Thomas Busby Pastor of Kimberton.
Michael Thomas Rector of Stockton.
JonadabBirch Pastor of Shifnall.
Michael Richards Minister of Madely
Thomas Adney Pastor of Easthope.
Edmund Paston Pastor of Halesowen.
Will:Martin Rector of Sidbury and Billingsley.
Reginald Corbet Minister of Tasley.
Richard Knot Minister of Barrow.
Thomas Niccolls Minister of Astley Abbots.
Richard Hayes Minister of Morveild.
Jacob Iephcot mag:art.
John Spilsbury Pastor of Chetton.
Thomas Froysel Pastor of Clun.
Samuel Hildersam Rector of Westfelton
Ia: Wilding Rector of Sillatton.
Francis Browne Rector Shrawardine.
Stephen Lewis Pastor of Baschurch.
Richard Payne Minister of Nestrange
Thomas Watmore Vicar of Riton.
John Soothil Minster of Monford.
William Rock Minister of Aston.
Francis Wright jun. Preacher of Hadnal.
Francis Garbett Pastor of Wroxeter.
James Betton Doctor of Divinitie & Pastor of Worthen.
Francis Wright Pastor of Wellington.
Thomas Blake Minister of Alkmonds Salop.
Samuel Fisher Pastor of Maryes Salop.
Robert Alderson Min: of the first portion of Pontisbury.
Samuel Smith Pastor of Cund.
Timothy Hammonds Minister of the second portion of Pontisbury
John Andrews Minister of Pulverback.
James Smith Pastor of Vptonmag:
George Barkley Rector of Maynston.
Edward Wall Minister of Abberbury.
William Stammer Pastor of Atcham.
The Letter wherein the fore-recited Testimony was inclosed, to some Ministers of London.
Reverend and dearly respected Brethren:
When the Testimony of the Ministers within the Province of London came first to our hands, and we had perused and weighed the Contents of it; as it gave us occasion to magnifie the Name of God (whose truth and glory to the shame of this famous Church and Kingdome, have been so barbarously torn and wounded) for engaging the hearts, and hands of his servants in such a worke, more worthy of their blood, then of their pens for testimony; so it began to awaken the thoughts of diverse to consider, that all the Lords watchmen through the Nation, were equally concerned, as one man to stand up for the defence of the Gospel, to contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints, to joyne hearts, hands, prayers, tears, and all that they are able to contribute in this Common Salvation. Hereupon though we know that the glory of truth, needs no witnesse from men, being in its own native luster and strength (as the Sun in its brightnesse) able to scatter and dispell all the stinking evaporations of the bottomles pit, which the Prince of darknesse and father of lyes sends out to ecclipse it; And though we are assured that adored providence which now suffers them, (as knowing, how to serve his own glorious purpose by the permission) will in due season look upon them, as Hels cursed of spring, Truths enemies, the Churches troublers, and speake them to their own place againe. Yet being of the number of those that are friends of truth, and (as we trust) receive and love it in sincerity, are imployed in the studie of Truth, have seen, and tasted some what of the beauty, and sweetnesse of it and how unworthy soever, have obtained this grace to be trusted with the keeping, and dispensing of it, in which we tremble at the thought of being found unfaithfull, we have with other of our Brethern freely subscribed the inclosed paper, wherein you have a weake yet hearty expressions of our concurrence with the rest of the Ministers of Jesus Christ, in their faithfull Testimonies, given to Gospel Truth; to the solemn League and Covenant, and against the errors, heresies, and blasphemies of the times, and the licentious Toleration of them. We put it upon our account to be lasht by the tongues of some not onely professed and adversaries, but also such whose discretion hath such forwardnesse in distaste; But this we trust shall not move us, making it our humble request to the Father of lights, that we may be as ready to seal this Testimony with our lives, as to subscribe it with our hands, (not knowing what is reserved for you, or us, but seeming grounds of fear, that the jealous God is at hand, (if his wrath be not averted) to take up a Controversie with this land, (as for other abhominations, so ) for its evident unfaithfulnesse to God, and fearfull Apostacy from the purity of Doctrine; we hold it safest to be found in the discharge of our duties, not amongst those that draw back from the Truth, but bear witnesse to it, casting ourselves upon the streame of Providence, and resting on God for an happy issue.
Your Brethren, and fellow-Servant in the Labours of the Gospel.