- A Just and Necessary Apology.
- Chapter I.: Of the Largeness of Churches.
- Chapter II.: Of the Administration of Baptism.
- Chapter III.: Of Written Liturgies.
- Chapter IV.: Of the Ecclesiastical Presbytery.
- Chapter V.: Of Holy Days.
- Chapter VI.: Of the Celebration of Marriage By the Pastors of the Church.
- Chapter VII.: Of the Sanctification of the Lord's Day.
- Chapter VIII.: Of the Exercise of Prophecy.
- Chapter IX.: Of Temples.
- Chapter X.: Of Things Indifferent.
- Chapter XI.: Of Civil Magistrates.
- Chapter XII.: Of the Church of England,
- Notice Respecting the Two Letters.
- On Religious Communion
- The Preface.
- Chapter I.: Of Private Communion.
- Chapter II.: Of Public Communion.
- Chapter III.: Of Flight In Persecution.
- Chapter IV.: The Outward Baptism Received In England Is Lawfully Retained.
- Chapter V.: Of the Baptism of Infants.
- Chapter VI.: A Survey of the Confession of Faith Published In Certain Conclusions By the Remainders of Mr. Smyth's Company After His Death. *
- The People’s Plea For the Exercise of Prophecy
- An Answer to the Arguments Laid Down By Mr. John Yates, Preacher In Norwich , to Prove Ordinary Prophecy In Public, Out of Office, Unlawful; Answered By John Robinson.
- A Treatise On the Lawfulness of Hearing Ministers In the Church of England
- On the Lawfulness of Hearing the Ministers of the Church of England. By John Robinson.
- A Letter to the Congregational Church In London
- An Appeal On Truth's Behalf.
- To Our Beloved, the Elders and Church At Amsterdam , Grace and Peace From God the Giver Thereof, and In Him Our Salutations .
- An Answer to a Censorius People
- Letter By Rev. Joseph Hall, B.d., Rector of Halstead, Called By Mr. Robinson “a Censorious Epistle.”
- An Answer to “a Censorious Epistle.”
- A Catechism
- An Appendix to Mr. Perkins’ Six Principles of Christian Religion.
- No I.: The Church In Southwark.
- No. II.: The Exiles and Their Churches In Holland.
- Chronological Index of Mr. Robinson's Works.
- Index of Subjects.
- Index of Authors Referred to Or Quoted, With Occasional Brief Notices of Their Works and Lives.
- Index of Important Texts of Scripture Illustrated Or Quoted.
MR. PERKINS’ SIX PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
Q. 1. What is the church?
A. A company of faithful and holy people, with their seed, called by the Word of God into public covenant with Christ and amongst themselves, for mutual fellowship in the use of all the means of God's glory and their salvation.
Q. 2. Of what sort or number of people must this company consist?
A. It is all one whether they be high or low, few or many; so as they exceed not such a number as may ordinarily meet together in one place for the worshipping of God and sanctification of the Lord's-day. Gal. iii. 28; Matt. xxviii. 17, 19; 1 Cor. xi. 17, 18, 20, xiv. 23; Acts xx. 7.
Q. 3. What are the reasons why the church must consist of faithful and holy people?
A. 1. The Scriptures everywhere so teach. Levit. xx. 26; Rom. i. 7, 8; 1 Cor. i. 2; Phil. i. 1—9.
2. The church is the body of Christ, all whose members, therefore, should be conformable in some measure to Him their Head. Eph. i. 22; Col. i. 18.
3. Only such worshippers please God, are accepted of him, and have right to the covenant of grace and seals thereof. John iv. 23; Heb. viii. 8—10, &c.; Jude, ver. 1; Ezek. xliv. 7.
Q. 4. But are not hypocrites mingled with the faithful in the church?
A. None ought to be by the Word of God, and where such are, they are not truly added by the Lord to the church, but do creep in through their own hypocrisy, and not without the church's sin also, if they may be discerned to be such.
Q. 5. By what means is the church gathered?
A. By the Word preached, and by faith received by them that hear it. Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; Acts ii. 14, &c., xi. 19, xx. 21; Rom. i. 5; 1 Cor. xv. 1, 2.
Q. 6. Is every believer a member of the visible church?
A. No; but he must also, by his personal and public profession, adjoin himself to some particular fellowship and society of saints. Acts ii. 41, 47, viii. 37, ix. 18.
Q. 7. How prove you the seed of the faithful to be of the church with them?
A. By the covenant which God made with Abraham and his seed, which was the covenant of the gospel, and confirmed in Christ; the seal thereof, circumcision, being the seal of the righteousness of faith. Gen. xvii. 7, &c.
Q. 8. What are the essential marks of the church?
A. Faith and order, as the church in them may be seen, and be held to walk in Christ Jesus, whom she hath received. Faith professed in word and deed, showing the matter to be true; and order in the holy things of God, showing the forms to be true; which are the two essential parts of the church. Gal. iii. 8, 16,17; Rom. iv. 11; Col. ii. 5, 6.
Q. 9. Are not the preaching of the Word and administering of the sacraments certain marks of the true church?
A. No, for the Word may, and that rightly, be preached to assemblies of unbelievers for their conversion, as may the sacraments also (though unjustly) be administered unto them, and so be made lying signs. Besides, the true church may for a time want the use of divers ordinances of God, but hath always right unto them; as may also the false church usurp and abuse them, but without right. Matt. xxviii. 19; Acts xiv. 7, 14, xvii. 22, &c.; Gen. xxxiv. 24, Shechemites; 2 Kings xvii. 25, &c.; Hos. i. 9.
Q. 10. What are the means in and by which Christ and the church have fellowship together?
- 1.In the gifts of the Spirit of Christ.
- 2.In the offices of ministry given to the church.
- 3.In the works done in and by those gifts and offices. 2 Cor. xii. 3—6.
Q. 11. Wherein standeth this communion of the Spirit?
A. In the in-dwelling and operation of the gifts and graces thereof conveyed from Christ, as the head, unto the church as his body, and members one of another. Whence ariseth that most strait and divine conjunction, by which, as by the civil bond of marriage the man and wife are one flesh, so they who are thus joined to Christ are one spirit. Eph. ii. 22, iv. 15, 19; 1 Cor. vi. 17.
Q. 12. How many are the offices of ministry in the church?
A. Five, besides the extraordinary offices of apostles, prophets, and evangelists, for the first planting of the churches, which are ceased, with their extraordinary gifts.
Q. 13. How is that proved?
A. Partly, by the Scriptures, which both mention them expressly, and describe them by their principal gifts and works; and partly, by reason agreeable to the Scriptures.
Q. 14. Show me which those offces be, with their answerable gifts and works?
A. 1. The pastor (exhorter), to whom is given the gift of wisdom for exhortation. 2. The teacher, to whom is given the gift of knowledge for doctrine. 3. The governing elder, who is to rule with diligence. Eph. iv. 11; 1 Cor. xii. 8; Rom. xii. 8; I Tim. v. 17. 4. The deacon, who is to administer the holy treasure with simplicity. 5. The widow or deaconess, who is to attend the sick and impotent with compassion and cheerfulness. Acts vi. 2—7; 1 Tim. iii. 8, 10, &c., v. 9, 10; Rom. xvi. 1.
Q. 15. What is the reason for the proving of these ministries?
A. Because these are necessary and these alone sufficient for the church, as being the most perfect society and body of Christ, which neither faileth in that which is necessary, nor exceedeth in anything superfluous. 1 Cor. xii. 27; Eph. ii. 12, πολίτεια; ver. 19, συμπολîται; rom xii. 7, 8.
Q. 16. Whence ariseth the necessity and sufficiency of these ministries in the church?
A. From the condition, partly of the souls, and partly of the bodies of the members.
Q. 17. How doth that appear?
A. 1. In the soul is the faculty of understanding, about which the teacher is to be exercised for information by doctrine. 2. The will and affections upon which the pastor (exhorter) is especially to work by exhortation and comfort. 3. For that doctrine and exhortation without obedience are unprofitable, the diligence of the ruling elder is requisite for that purpose.
Q. 18. How are the other two ministries to be exercised?
A. As the church consisteth of men, and they of souls and bodies, so are the deacons, out of the church's treasure and contribution, to provide for the common uses of the church, relief of the poor, and maintenance of the officers, Acts vi. 1–3, iv. 35; Gal. vi. 6, κοιvωvείτω; 1 Tim. v. 18; as are the widows to afford unto the sick and impotent in body, not able otherwise to help themselves, their cheerful and comfortable service. 1 Tim. v. 3, 9.
Q. 19. Wherefore call you those offices by the name of ministries or service?
A. For two causes;—1. For that they are no lordship, but mere services of Christ and of the church. Matt. xx. 25—27. 2. Because they consist in administering only of those things which are Christ's, and the church's under him. 1 Cor iii. 21—23, iv. 1; 2 Cor. iv. 5.
Q. 20. By whom are these officers to have their outward calling?
A. By the church, whereof they are members for the present, and to which they are to administer.
Q. 21. How doth that appear?
A. 1. The apostles, who taught only Christ's commandments, so directed the churches. Acts i. 15—23, vi. 1, 2, 3, 5.
2. The people, amongst whom they have been conversant, can best judge of their fitness, both in respect of their, persons and families. Acts vi. 1—5; 1 Tim. iii. 2—5.
A. 3. It furthereth much the diligence and faithfulness of the minister, that they whose minister he is have freely chosen him, as unto whom under Christ they commit the most precious treasure of their souls; as also it binds the people to greater love and conscience of obedience of him and his ministry, whom themselves have made choice of. 1 Tim. v. 8.
4. The church being a most free corporation spiritual under Christ, the Lord, is in all reason and equity to choose her ministers and servants under him, unto whom, also, she is to give wages for their service and labour. Acts xiv. 23; 1 Tim. v. 17, 18.
Q. 22. Is this outward calling, of simple necessity, for a true church officer?
A. Yea, as for the magistrate in the city and commonwealth, or steward in the family, without which they usurp their places, how excellent soever, whether in their gifts or works. Heb. v. 4, 5.
Q. 23. What if the officer be found unfaithful in his place?
A. He is by the church to be warned to take heed to his ministry he hath received, to fulfil it; which, if he neglect to do, by the same power which set him up, he is to be put down and deposed, being dealt with as a brother. Col. iv. 17.
Q. 24. What are the outward works of the church's communion with Christ?
A. These six:—1. Prayer. 2. The reading and opening of the Word. 3. The sacraments. 4. Singing of Psalms. 5. Censures. 6. Contribution to the necessities of the saints.
Q. 25. Wherefore put you prayer in the first place?
A. Because by it all the rest are sanctified to the faithful. 1 Tim. ii. l, iv. 5; Jule, ver. 20; Zech. xii. 10; Rom. viii. 15, 16. For prayer, see the end of the fifth principle, with the exposition; only add this, that in the act of our speaking unto God by prayer, we are not to use the help of any book, beads, crucifixes, or the like, to teach or provoke us, but only the help of the Spirit of adoption and prayer, working in our hearts effectually, and teaching us both what and how to pray as we ought.
Q. 26. What believe you, touching the Word?
A. Besides the things observed in the fifth principle and exposition, that the whole written Word, and it alone, is to be read and opened in the church.
Q. 27. Wherefore are the whole Scriptures to be read and opened?
A. Because the whole Word of God is pure, written for our learning and comfort, given by Divine inspiration, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction, and from which nothing may be diminished. Prov. xxx. 5, 6; Rom. xv. 4; Deut. iv. 2; 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.
Q. 28. How prove you that the Scriptures only are to be read, and opened in the church?
A. Because they alone are sufficient for faith, and the obedience which is of faith, and able to make the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works; and unto which nothing may be added. John xx. 31; Heb. xi. 6; Rom. xvi. 17; Rev. xxi. 19.
Q. 29. Who are to open and apply the Scriptures in the church?
A. 1. Principally the bishops or elders, who, by the Word of Life, are to feed the flock, both by teaching and government. Acts xx. 28. 2. Such as are out of office, in the exercise of prophecy.
Q. 30. How is that exercise proved in the Scriptures?
Q. What things must a Christian man's heart desire?
A. Six things especially.
Q. What are they?
A. 1. That he may glorify God. 2. That God may reign in his heart, and not sin. That he may do God's will, and not the lusts of the flesh. 4. That he may rely himself on God's providence for all the means of his temporal life, 5. That he may be justified, and be at peace with God. 6. That, by the power of God, he may be strengthened against all temptations.
Q. What is faith?
A. A persuasion (Amen) that those things which we truly desire, God will grant them for Christ's sake.—“The fifth principle expounded,” in Rev, W. Perkins’ “Foundation of Christian Religion.”
A. 1, By the examples in the Jewish Church, where men, though in no office, either in temple or synagogue, had liberty publicly to use their gifts. Luke ii. 42, 46, 47; iv. 16—18; Acts viii. 4, xi. 19—21, xiii. 14—16, xviii. 24 —26.
2. By the commandments of Christ and his apostles. Luke ix. 1, x. 1; Rom. xii. 6—8; 1 Pet. iv. 10,11; 1 Cor. xiv. 1.
3. By the prohibiting of women, not extraordinarily inspired, to teach in the church: herein liberty being given unto men (their husbands or others). 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12; 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35.
4. By the excellent ends which, by this means, are to be obtained: as 1. The glory of God in the manifestation of his manifold graces, 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11. 2. That the gifts of the Spirit in men be not quenched, 1 Thess. v. 19. 3. For the fitting and trial of men for the ministry, 1 Tim. iii. 2, 4. For the preserving pure of the doctrine of the church, which is more endangered if some one or two alone may only be heard and speak,1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. 5. For debating and satisfying of doubts, if any do arise. 6. For the edifying of the church, and conversion of others, Acts ii. 42; Luke iv. 22, 23.
Q. 31. Who is a prophet in this sense?
A. He that hath a gift of the Spirit to speak unto edification, exhortation, and comfort. 1 Cor. xiv. 4, 24, 25.
Q. 32. What is the order of this exercise?
A. That it be performed after the public ministry by the teachers, and under their direction and moderation, whose duty it is, if anything be obscure, to open it; if doubtful, to clear it; if unsound, to refuse it; if unprofitable to supply what is wanting as they are able. 1 Cor. xiv. 3, 37; Acts xiii. 15.
Q. 33. What believe you touching the sacraments, further than is observed in the former principles?
A. That they are to be dispensed according to the tenure of the covenant of grace, whereof they are seals, in respect both of the persons to whom, and of the ends for which they are to be administered.
Q- 34. Which are those persons?
A. The faithful and their seed. Gen. xvii. 7; 1 Cor. vii. 14.
Q. 35. May all the faithful partake in the sacraments?
A. No, except they be added also to some particular congregation, unto which the public ordinances and ministry doth appertain. Acts ii. 41, 42, 47.
Q. 36. Which are the ends and uses of the sacraments?
A. The first, is from God to the church, opened in the exposition of the fifth principle, where it is shown what a sacrament is. The second, is from the church to God, in which it testifieth the acceptance of the covenant, and bindeth itself to the performance of the conditions. The third, is in respect of the members themselves, mutually, as being badges of their association. The fourth, in respect of all other assemblies, between whom and the churches they are notes of distinction. 1 Cor. xii. 13.
Q. 37. What is required touching singing of psalms in the church?
A. That they be such as are parts of the Word of God, formed by the Holy Ghost into psalms or songs, which many may conveniently sing together, exhorting and admonishing themselves mutually, with grace in their hearts. Matt. xxvi. 30; Eph. v. 19; Col. iii. 16.
Q. 38. What believe you touching the censure of excommunication?
A. That it is to be used by every particular church, according to the rules of Christ.
Q. 39. How prove you this power to be in every particular congregation?
A. 1. By donation and gift of Christ the Lord. Matt. xviii. 17—19. 2. The particular church of Corinth had this power, for the neglect whereof it is reproved by the apostle. 1 Cor. v. 13. 3. Every particular church hath right to the Word, sacraments, and prayer, within itself, which are greater, and therefore to this, which is lesser than they.
Q. 40. What are the rules of Christ for excommunication?
A. 1. The sin thus to be censured must be scandalous, and the person obstinate, after due conviction and patience used. 2. The church excommunicating must be that particular congregation gathered together in the name of Christ, whereof the sinner is a member. Matt xviii 15—17, 19; 1 Cor. v. 4, 5, 11.
Q. 41. How prove you that by the church, Matt. xviii. 17, is not meant the bishop or presbytery representing the body?
A. 1. One man cannot be a church, which, as Christ teacheth Matt. xviii. 19, 20, must be a company, how small soever, gathered together in his name.
2. The word there used never signifieth in the Scriptures an officer or officers, excluding the people.
3. The apostle, 1 Cor. v. 4, expounds Christ's meaning to be of the whole body come together.
4. The elders, being public officers, are to exercise the solemn works of their office; and particularly the work of rebuking them that sin openly and before the church, both that others may fear, and the church, of faith, consent to the excommunication; and, therefore, cannot represent the church, it being actually present. 1 Tim. v. 20.
5. A representative church, in a case of faith and conscience, without the consent of the represented in the particular decree, established the popish doctrine of implicit faith.
Q. 42. What is the order of proceeding in this censure?
A. That the brother offending be admonished privately and after (without his repentance) with a witness or two who may give testimony both of the offence and admonition; and lastly, that by the brother admonishing with his witnesses (the sinner remaining obstinate), complaint be made to the church, which last complaint alone is sufficient in public offences.
Q. 43. What order is to be observed after complaint thus made?
A. The officers and the governors of the church are by the Scriptures clearly to convince and seriously to admonish and exhort the offender, and upon his impenitence, with due conviction and patience, to decree against him the sentence of excommunication; and lastly, with the people's free consent, to pronounce and execute the same.
Q. 44. How appeareth the necessity of this ordinance?
A. Many ways: 1. By the commandment of Christ, and practice of the apostolical churches. Matt. xviii. 15; 1 Cor. v. 4.
2. For the glory of Christ, which is much impeached by the profaneness of those who profess his service. Rom. ii. 24.
3. For the humbling of the sinner, and the salvation of his soul. 1. Cor. v. 4—8.
4. To prevent the infection of others. Heb. xii. 15.
5. That by the zeal and holiness of the church, they without may be gained by the gospel.
Q. 45. How is the church to walk towards a person excommunicated?
A. So as they may make him ashamed, by withdrawing from him all spiritual communion, and civil familiarity also, so far as may be without the violation of any natural or civil bond. 2 Thess. iii. 6—11; 1 Cor. v. 11.
Q. 46. What is to be observed for the church's contribution?
A. That in their public meeting [every first day of the week] they contribute as God hath prospered them to the public treasury, 1 Cor. xvi. 1, by the deacons to be received and distributed as there is need, to the relief of the poor maintenance of the ministry, and other necessary uses of the church first, and after, of others also, as need requireth. Acts vi. 1—4; Gal. vi. 10; Rom. xv. 26. And whosoever will walk according to this rule, peace be upon them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. Gal. vi. 16.