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CHAPTER XII.: of heresy and schism. - John Robinson, The Works of John Robinson, vol. 1 
The Works of John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, with a Memoir and Annotations by Robert Ashton, 3 vols (London: John Snow, 1851). Vol. 1.
Part of: The Works of John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, with a Memoir and Annotations by Robert Ashton, 3 vols.
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of heresy and schism.
It is an ancient, and received saying, that heresy ariseth from want of faith, and schism from want of love: which also hath its truth, being rightly understood. Yet if we mark, we shall find the Scriptures to speak something otherwise of both the one, and other, than men commonly understand. We usually call obstinate error in the foundation, heresy, 1 Cor. xi. 19; Gal. v. 20; Titus iii. 10: but the Scriptures many times seem rather to place it in the perverseness of the will and affections, whether the matter be great, or small, than in the error of the judgment: the word also ΑἵρΕσις signifying any election, or choice of will which a man makes; or sect which he followeth, whether good, or bad; whether in matters of greater, or smaller moment. Besides, men are often accounted heretics, with greater sin, through want of charity, in the judges; than in the judged, through defect of faith. Of old, some have been branded for heretics, for holding antipodes; others for holding the original of the soul by traduction; others for thinking that Mary the mother of Christ had other children by her husband Joseph: the first being a certain truth; and the second a philosophical douabt; and the third, though an error, yet neither against foundation nor post of the Scripture's building. As there are certain elements and foundations of the oracles of God, and of Christain faith, which must first be laid, and upon which other truths are to be built, Heb. vi. 1: so must not the foundation be confounded with the walls, or roof; nor errors lightly to be made fundamental, or unavoidably damnable. Yea, who can say with how little, and imperfect faith in Christ, both for degree and parts, God both can, and doth save the sincere in heart ? Whose salvation depends not upon the perfection of the instrument, faith; but of the object, Christ. As, on the contrary, there are some vulgar, and common errors, though less severely censured, which are apparently damnable; as by name, for a man to believe, and expect mercy from God, and salvation by Christ, though going on in affected ignorance of, or profane disobedience to God's commandments,
And for schism; the Scriptures note it as sometimes made from the church, but most commonly in it. From it, by the ten tribes sequestering themselves from Judah and Jerusalem, 1 Kings xii. 16, the only place where the Lord had promised to dwell by his solemn church presence: and after Christ, by certain of the Hebrews forsaking the assemblies of the Christians. Heb. x. 25. The former was from the only true instituted and ministerial church in the world; which was then one individual, and not many, as now, and that by idolatry. The latter, from all Christian churches, and persons by total defection from Christ himself. The other schisms mentioned were made in the church, either through the carnal lusts, bearing too great sway, of envy, strife, and uncharitableness, 1 Cor. iii. 2, 3, 12, 25, whilst the stronger despised the weaker, and the weaker judged the stronger; or by heresy, and profaneness of manners; of which the apostles Peter, Jude, and John speak. Jude xix.; 2 Pet. ii. 1; 1 John ii.1 6.
That, which is commonly called schism, ariseth, if it be affected, from the conceit of faith, and want of love; but may fall out, upon simple error of judgment, or scrupulosity of conscience; by occasion whereof a person may sequester himself, either in, or from, some particular church in some inferior courses of religion, from them, towards whom he yet bears much more true,' and hearty Christian affection, than the most of them do, who unite with them therein.
And if, only an uncharitable heart make an uncharitable person before God, and a proud heart, a proud person; then he, who upon due examination and certain knowledge of his heart, finds and feels the same truly disposed to union with all Christians, so far as possibly he can see it lawful; though, through error or frailty, he may step aside into some by-path, that way: yet, hath that person a supersedeas from the Lord in his bosom, securing him from being attached for a schismatical person and so found in the court of heaven; what blame soever he may bear from men upon earth, or correction from God, for his failing, upon infirmity, therein.
No man can endure to be withdrawn from, nor easily dissented from, by another, in his way of religion; in which, above all other things, he makes account, that he himself draws nearest unto God. Therefore to do this causelessly, for not the separation but the cause makes the schismatic,* though out of error or scrupulosity, is evil; more, to do it out of wantonness of mind or lust to contend, or affectation of singularity: most of all. to do it out of proud contempt or cruel revenge against others.