chapter  1
An Answer to Harrison’s Letter, 1584 (Dr. Williams’s Library)
Pages 12

Grace and peace &c. Beloued for so much as I left you the choyce for the first conference, whether you would haue it in writing or by speech of mouth; I attended some dayes for your answere of that matter: which because it was not returned, I esteemed that you held you still to the request of your letters, which was to receaue some thing from me by writing. For answere therefore, so it is that your letters affected me diuersely: For where your first page had raysed me vnto some hope for the reuniting of your selfe, with the rest of your company vnto vs, from whome you haue thought good to sunder your selues. The second page which layeth forth the conditions of our peace, did cast me, and as it were beate me from it againe; howbeit the

mercy of God vpholding me in some good hope of profiting you, or receauing some profite from you. I thought to cut out this time out1 of my weightiest and most necessary business, wherein I might gieue you that contentment which the Lord hath inhabled my hand vnto. Vnto you not vnwilling to come vnto vs, the passage (as it seemeth) is stopped in diuers respectes: The short whereof, is the receauing without publique repentaunce of those which come from the Churches of England, where because in the outwarde profession that the lawes of that lande doe iustifie, there appeares vnto you no lawfull assemblies of the Churche of Christ: your feare is least in vniting your selues, with such you shoulde be vnequally yoked, and made fellowe members of some other body then of that whereof Christ Iesus is the head. First therefore if it bee shewed that the ordinary assemblyes of those which professe the Gospel in Englande be the Churches of Christ, it seemeth that the way will bee paued and plained for mutuall entercourse betweene vs, thus therfore it seemeth it may be perfourmed, those assemblyes which haue Christ for their head and the same also for their foundation are Gods churches, such are the assemblyes of Englande, therefore [87] &c the assumption is euidet in that by beleeuing that christ is our righteousnes we are made members of his body & thereby as liuely stones laide vpon him, as vpon a foundation, we growe into one spiritual house with him, now that they haue the like precious faith with vs, is conuinced not onely by their owne professio, but also by the testimonie of the spirit of God, who by manifold graces powred vpon the, euen vnto an apparant sanctification of nombers of the, do beare them witnes that they be members of the body of christ, who as the head hath partaked vnto them his holy spirite, they that haue perfourmed vnto them the speciail

4> couenant which the Lorde hath made with his churches of x powring his spirit vpo the & putting his words in their mouthes

are the churches of God: but such are the assemblies in England as touching the spirit of God it hath bin said before, whereupon also it followeth that he hath likewise put his word in their mouthes, considering that the spirit of God is not giue but by the word, & seing that the Lord in mercy hath set vp diuers burning lamps in those assemblies whereby light is conueyed more or lesse into all the parts almost of that land, it seemeth that the church of England should receiue iniury if it should not be accounted among the golden candlesticks which seeme to keepe out darknes & might [mc] from the Lords sanctuary, vntill such time as the day starre spring & Lucifer do rise in our hearts.