2. Because the Spirit of God and of Christ in the New Testament is pleased often to argue from the light of nature in condemning of sin, in commending and urging of duty, as in the case of the incestuous Corinthian; “It is reported commonly, that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles,” (who had only the light of nature to guide them,) 1 Cor. v. 1. In case of the habits of men and women in their public church assemblies, that women’s heads should be covered, men’s uncovered in praying or prophesying. “Judge in yourselves, is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man hath long hair, it is a shame to him? but if a woman have long hair it is a glory to her,” &c., 1 Cor. xi. 13-15. Here the apostle appeals plainly to the very light of nature for the regulating and directing of their habits in church assemblies; and thus, in case of praying or prophesying in the congregation in an unknown tongue, (unless some do interpret,) he strongly argues against it from the light of nature, 1 Cor. xiv. 7-11, and afterwards urges that women be silent in their churches, from the natural uncomeliness of their speaking there, for it is a shame for women to speak in the church, 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35.
Now, if the Spirit of God condemn things as vicious, and commend things as virtuous from the light of nature, is there not divine right in the light of nature? May we not say, that which is repugnant to the light of nature in matters of religion, is condemned by divine right; and what is correspondent to the light of nature, is prescribed by divine right? And if not, where is the strength or force of this kind of arguing from the light of nature?
Consequently, in the present case of church government, that which is agreeable to the true light of nature, must needs be confessed to be of divine right. Though the light of nature be but dim, yet it will lend some help in this particular: e.g. the light of nature teaches, 1. That as every society in the world hath a distinct government of its own within itself, without which it could not subsist, so must the Church, which is a society, have its own distinct government within itself, without which it cannot subsist more than any other society. 2. That in all matters of difference the lesser number in every society should give way to, and the matters controverted be determined and concluded by the major part; else there would never be an end: and why not so in the Church? 3. That in every ill administration in inferior societies the parties aggrieved should have liberty to appeal from them to superior societies, that equity may take place; and why not from inferior to superior church assemblies?
II. Of a Divine Right by obligatory Scripture Examples.