AN ANSWER OF A MINISTER OF THE Church of England, TO A Seasonable and Important QUESTION, Proposed to him by a Loyal and Religious Member of the present House of COMMONS:

VIZ. What Respect ought the True Sons of the Church of England, in point of Conscience and Chri­stian Prudence, to bear to the Religion of that Church, whereof the King is a Member?

If it be possible, and as much as in you lies, live peaceably with all Men. Rom. xii. 18.

LONDON, Printed for J. L. and are to be Sold by most Book­sellers in London and Westminster. 1687.

To a Seasonable and Important Question, pro­pos'd to him by a Loyal and Religious Member of the present House of COMMONS.


THE Support and Security of the Govern­ment, as now by Law establish'd, both in Church and State, is so publick a good, that all good Christians and Subjects, within these Kingdoms, are oblig'd to open their Veins and Purses for it; and, à fortiori, to open their Mouths, and put their Pens to Paper for it, in a time of Trial. And since you are pleas'd to con­descend so far, as to ask my poor private Judgment, as if you meant to rely upon it, in a Case of such publick Impor­tance, I will save you and my self the trouble of any Apology, and trust to your Candor, and my own good Intentions, in set­ting [Page 4] down what I judge to be your's, and my duty in all sin­cerity, (which God knows I have done;) and leave to him and you the pardoning of my Errors; which I hope you will at least cover from being any common Nuisance to others, or any private Damage to my self. You are alwaies pleas'd to allow me as much freedom in Writing as in Thinking; and therefore I do the more freely pour my indigested Thoughts into your Bosom, as well to ease my own Mind, as to un­derstand what your's will be of the whole matter; for I am sensible, That the Commands you have laid upon me, are ra­ther directed to try my Obedience, than to supply want of In­formation in any Point, which concerns your Duty to God or the King: And therefore I must rather expose my own real Desects, than not endeavour to supply your imaginary ones; who will be alwaies, as much as I can, though not so much as I ought to be, your Servant.

They, who least consider hazzard in the doing of their duty fare best still: Mens Tongues are their own; nor is it in your power or mine, to prescribe what shall be spoken for or a­gainst us, by them who make all Men Papists, who are not Schismaticks; nor will they ever believe us far enough from Rome, unless we will bear them Company to Geneva. But we have not so learned Christ: We have been taught how to govern our selves, both towards Papal and Popular Supremacy, and to give unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's,1 Cor. 1.15.and to God the things that are Gods. What I now speak, in this Paper, is, I am sure, to a wise Man; Judge you what I say.

Now, first, Sir, give me leave to premise, That a Case of Conscience, and a Case of Prudence, are not alwaies the same Case; and therefore would require more than one Re­solution; they seem to differ just as much, as what is Lawful and what is Expedient. Terms that often meet together, may eidem competere, but are not convertible, and very often cannot de eodem affirmari. Some things that are lawful may not be ex­pedient; and some things have of late years (as you well re­member) been thought expedient (as the Black-Bill of Exclu­sion) which you, and I knew to be unlawful; and tho the calling it Christian Prudence do distinguish it from that, and such-like Ʋnchristian Projects of some State-Politicians, and sup­pose it only conversant about things lawful; yet still there [Page 5] is a difference between what I ought, and must, as bound in Conscience to do, that I may approve my self an honest Man, and a good Subject; and what I may or should do at this juncture, to prove my self a discreet and prudent Man: If I do not the former, I Sin both against God and the King; if not the latter, I do not Sin mortally, though I act foolishly; which will prove the Case of very many, whom it will be hard for you or me to make so Wise as they should be, because they conceit them­selves to be Wise enough already.

Prudence is not only a Moral but a Christian Vertue, and such as is necessary to the constituting of all others,La [...]ant. [...] 10. Nec Religio ulla sine sapientia suscipienda est, nec ulla sine Religione probanda sapientia: Without Prudence our very Zeal for the Church of England, would prove but a kind of pious Phrenesy: For though our Intentions to preserve it, were never so justifiable, or commendable; yet if we did not prudently choose appropriate means for the attainment of that Good End, we should under­mine the thing, which we would have established, and defeat our own Aims; for a good Intention will never alter the Nature of an ill Action: We must therefore have our Eyes in our Heads, that we be not practis'd upon, to our own, or the Churches Ruine; and be sure to judge of the things in question, according to Truth and Charity: Non ex eo quod est fallimur, sed ex eo quod non est; we are not cheated with Realities, but with Disguises and Appearances of things; with those coun­terfeit Shapes which our selves or others have given them: Sa­piens est, cui res sapiunt, ut sunt, He is a Prudent Man to whom things savour, and relish as they are. Who can abstract the Ill that may be, from the Good that appears to be, and sever the Colour from the Thing. Wise Men cannot be content to be abus'd with Ʋmbrages; they will consider first, what is just and honest, and then what is sit, decent and advantageous; they will first argue the matter, in point of Conscience, what is law­ful; both for the Church's Interest and their own; and then in point of Prudence, what is Advisable; that so in the Conclusion they may please both God and the King.

And accordingly, I suppose the meaning of your inquiry to be, What Respect the True Sons of the Church of England may, salvâ Conscientiâ, (and therefore, as things now stand, must, and ought) in Prudence to bear to the Religion, of that Church, whereof the King is a Member?

[Page 6]Towards the stating and resolving of which Question, 'twill, perhaps, not be impertinent to mention what is meant by the King's Religion, and who, by the True Sons of the Church of England, and what sort of Respect or Honour it may justly challenge from them, at this time especially. For when there is any, though but little Difficulty or Ambiguity in the Terms, it is sit they should be explained; nor may one presume, that they are generally understood aright, because they are, by some.

The Roman Catholick Religion is capable of magis and minus; has Degrees of Better and Worse: There is a Court, as well as Churh of Rome; and 'twill not be impertinent to ask, Of which it is we speak in this Case? because the determining that, will very much influence the respect here inquir'd of; and we see that the Most, the Best, and the Truest Sons of the Church of England, have more kindness and respect for one sort than another.

'Tis fit, likewise, That the meaning of the True Sons of the Church of England should be adjusted; and that the rather, because the World was very lately so shamefully impos'd on by the equivocal Signification of True Protestants; and we know not, but there may be still some of that illegitimate and spuri­ous Off-spring maintain'd under the disguise of the True Sons of the Church of England; of whom both the Father of our Coun­try, and our Mother-Church have reason to be ashamed. By a True Son of the Church of England, I mean one, who gives his Assent and Consent unfeignedly to the Doctrines of the Church, contained in the Thirty nine Articles and Homilies, as they were received and expounded in the time of King Charles the Martyr, and in the Book of Common-Prayer; and who is truly conformable to the Worship and Discipline of the same, (as far as he is or may be concern'd,) contained in her In­junctions, Canons and Rubricks; one who as strictly observes the Fasts and Festivals of the Church, as they are solemnly bid, and the lawful Commands of the Ordinary.

Which Sons of the Church, may be also consider'd as Clergy or Lay-men; and these again as Private-men, or Magistrates, and Members of Parliament, (as you your self are;) whom though I am not sit to advise or instruct when you sit on that Bench; yet whilst you are yet at your Country House, you have [Page 7] given me no Reason to question, but that my Counsel, as mean as it is, will challenge its Welcome.Tertul. ad Ment. Non tantus Ego sum ut vos alloquar; veruntamen & gladiatores persectissimos, non tantum magistri, sed etiam idiotae adhortantur de longinquo, ut saepe de ipso populo dictata suggesto profuerint;) For accord­ing to these differences of Orders and Degrees, a different Re­spect will be expected from them, in the present case of our debate.

Lastly, We must consider what it is, to Respect and Honour the King and his Religion, and in what this Honour consists. And this is either internal or external; the former consists in a due esteem of the Person and Thing so Honoured and Respect­ed; and the latter in a suitable external Behaviour towards them; and both the one and the other are to be paid to the King; both the internal, by maintaining an high esteem of him in our Hearts; and the external, by behaving our selves so, as may best express that i [...]ward esteem we have of him, and propagate it in others, with whom we converse: For our Most Gracious Prince may justly require of us, as Saul did of Samuel, 1 Sam. 15 30. That we should Honour him before the People; for as Kings are Gods by deputation, so are they in some sense to be honoured as God; and accordingly, as we are to Honour God, 1 Cor. 10.31 Whether we Eat or Drink or whatsoever we do, by doing all to his Glory; that is, so as to beget in others the highest esteem of him, and such as becomes his transcendent Glory; so must we Ho­nour his Vicegerent, by doing all things, which we lawfully may, without intrenching upon God's Honour, for the King's Glory, whereby we may beget and propagate in others, such an high esteem of him, both as a Christian and Prince; such a due Veneration of his Royalty and Religion, as becomes his supreme Dignity and his Christian Vertues.

The Terms of the Question being thus distinguish'd and ex­plain'd, I proceed to give a distinct Answer to the same, in these following Conclusions. 1 st. Every Man,1. of what Rank or Order soever, is bound in Conscience to keep close to the Re­ligion which he verily believes to be True, which the Question it self supposes. There always have been, there are, and there ever will be differences in our Judgments, till there be none in the Faces of Men; only let them be Sincere, Innocent and In­offensive; which they will then be, when our Conversations are [Page 8] all of a piece, and we delight to serve the Will of God entirely and sincerely, and to attend upon his Providence without any Reluctancy or Disturbance, so as to bring our Wills and all our Actions, Ends and Designs into a compliance with it, duly considering that we came into this World by God's appointment, not to do our own Wills, but the Will of him that sent us. When we devote our selves to the Will of God, as far as he has reveal'd it to us, to serve it faithfully and entirely, and ‘rest well satisfied with the Wisdom of his Proceedings, Smith's Select disc. 437. who determines all things by an eternal Rule of Goodness, we enroll our selves in Eternity: For as Gods Kingdom is set up, Ibid. 473. so may the Devil's Kingdom be pull'd down, without the noise of Axe and Hammers. We may then attain to the greatest Atchievements against the Gates of Death and Hell, when we most of all possess our own Souls in Patience, and collect our Minds into the most peaceable compos'd and united Tem­per. The motions of true practical Religion are like that of the Heavens, as silent as they are swift: Though the motions of Grace are perpetual, yet are they soft and gentle, and it acts most powerfully in them, in whom it acts most peaceably. Eve­ry Person who owns any, pretends it to be the true Religion, like Brutus and Cassius, Ʋbicunque ipsi essent, praetexebant esse Rempublicam; they will allow none to be the True Church, but that of which they are Members; and they will have the Gates of Heaven to be open'd to none but themselves; and allow no Wedding Garment, but such as is of their own Spinning: Ma­ [...]unt nullam habere quam non suam, They had rather there should be no Religion professed in the World, than that their own should not take place; and therefore a Man had need count Doctrines and Opinions as well as Money after his Father; and if he do so, he will find many of these (though never so fair without) to be counterfeit within: And that whilst one is of Paul, and another of Apollo, and a third of Cephas, there are but few of Christ: That these Distractions in Religion are the De­struction of it, and that the conscionable part, which is the Life of all True Religion, is lost in the Controversies of it. When there is no mind of yielding on either side, there will be no end of Disputes, but galling one another, of which the Apostle justly complains, Ephes.4.2. and perswades us rather to forbear, and forgive one another, as becomes the Disciples of the Prince [Page 9] of Peace. Why should we shew so much Violence in these Points, of which we can have no certain Evidence? They are not Christians of a sound Constitution, who labour under such Fits of unnatural Zeal; nor have they their Conversation in Hea­ven: For this is not to Follow Peace with all Men, Heb. 12.14. and Holi­ness; without which none shall see God; who searches the Se­crets of the Hearts, and loves weak Sincerity better than strong Hypocrisy; which is the Original of all such Ʋnchristian Heats.

Every Man, as well the Prince as the Subject, is bound to stand up in his own way, for the defence of that Religion, which he verily believes to be True. And when the Foundations of Faith are shaken, either by Superstition or Prosaneness, he who puts not out his Hand, as firmly as he can (with Justice and Charity) to support it, is too wary, and may come to be con­demn'd at the last Day, for his Neutrality, and for having more care of himself than of the Cause of Christ; and it may prove a wariness, which, in the end, will bring more danger than it shuns. We think our selves therefore oblig'd to lay aside the Rule of a late Philosopher of our own Country; That every Prince is God's Interpreter, (and so consequently, That His Religion ought to be Ours:) For except Contradi­ctions could at the same time be true, it would make God the Author of all the Religions in the World, of which there are many so called, which are neither Pure nor Ʋndesiled: But the En­quiry is, saving our own Integrity, and walking Humbly and Ʋprightly with God, who hates Juggling, and playing Fast and Loose, concerning a sort of Brotherly Forbearance and good Manners; (to which Christ was never thought to be an E­nemy.) Let us seriously consider, what shall be done to that Religion, which the King desires to honour, and which He embraces, as the best in his Judgment. To which I an­swer,

2dly. That the True Sons of the Church of England, of what Quality or Degree soever, ought not to have a less Respect for the King, for being of another Church or Religion; because, as Dominion is not founded in Grace, so neither is our Duty grounded upon having a Religion common, both to the King and his Subjects. Neither will it suffice to say, That though we cannot pay him the same high Respect that we would, if he [Page 10] were of our Church and Faith; yet we will still be Loyal: For this High Respect is a main part of the Thing; and as fast as this lessens and cools, the remainder of Loyalty will proporti­onably grow fainter, as to its outward Exercise. And if Re­ligion be once set up against Loyalty, they will both be spoil'd.

Though the Prince be of one Religion, and the People of ano­ther, yet he will be Gracious if they are Loyal; and they may live very quietly together, if they do their Duty to God and Him. The Elector of Brandenburgh is himself a strict Cal­vinist, and most of his Subjects Lutherans; and a late Duke of Zell was a Papist, and his Subjects of the Reform'd Reli­gion; and yet liv'd in all Love and Concord, as we may do, I am sure, in this Kingdom, better than any People in the World, if we are not wanting to our selves. And therefore he is neither a Good Christian nor Subject; who does not do all things that are Lawful and Honest, which his Sovereign expects or requires, with all Alacrity and Respect, without Murmuring, Disputing or Repining: Or who would limit his Prince's Pleasure where God hath not done it? 'Tis no good Religion, whose Principles destroy any Duty of Religion, or give any Disturbance to the Government, or alienate the Hearts of his Subjects from the Supreme Governor. Ours, I am sure, will not suffer it; nor matters it, what Religion any Man is of, that is a Rebel. The Opinion of his Sect will neither sa­tisfie the State, nor save his Soul. Whatsoever is Peevish, Dis­respectful, Ʋnthankful, or Dispising of Dignities, is against the Form of Sound Doctrine, which Christ and his Apostles have taught us.Sedulius Hymn Lex Christiana neminem suo jure aut dominio pri­vat, non eripit mortalia, qui regna dat coelestia. And our Law is as clear as God's in this Point;Bract. de Leg & Cons. l. [...].8. n. 5. Nemo de factis suis praesu­mat disquirere, multò minus contra sactum suum venire, saith the Learned Bracton, who was Lord-Chief-Justice Twenty Years under Henry III. And therefore 'tis no new Law of new Judges, of a Popish Prince's putting in, but the old Law of England. Nullus est qui ab eo factorum aut rationes exigere possit,Ibid.aut poe­nas. 'Tis not Tyranny, Infidelity, Heresy, or Apostacy, that can discharge the Subject's Duty to his Prince; as we are truly instructed in that Excellent Book, which was formerly, and ought still to be read in our publick Schools, p. [...]. v. 49, 50. & 65. ad 78. called Deus & Rex. Neither Priest nor People must lessen their Respects to the king, [Page 11] upon these, or any other Pretences whatsoever. The deport­ment of the Saints of God towards the persons of Princes, was always Humble, and their Behaviour Respectful.1 Kings 1.23.Nathan the Prophet bow'd his Face to the Ground before David; the Mitre always stoop'd to the Crown: And when the Prince sits on his Throne, the Prophet himself must lie at his Footstool: Nay when Princes were themselves Ʋnholy, the Saints of God shew'd them all Respects imaginable; not as Sinners, but as Sovereigns. Saul was none of the best of Prin­ces to any, especially to David, (to whom he could never af­ford a good Word) and yet David calls him My Lord the King: and that not out of Flattery and Courtship, 1 Sam. 24.8. but of Loy­alty and Duty: Nor had he behav'd himself like a Saint, nor a Man after God's own Heart, if not like a Subject, and been afraid to speak evil of Dignities; the worst of which, even Pha­raoh himself, was of God's raising up, and ought to be to his Subjects as an Angel of God, in Mephibosheth's Judgment: Nay the Immortal King calls them Mortal Gods. 2 Sam. 19.27 I have said ye are Gods (tho Devils in Practice;) they are Fountains and Objects of Honour;Ps. 82.6. Nero as well as Augustus, Julian as well as Con­stantine; not as Holy (for Dominion is not founded in Grace) but as Supreme; not for their Goodness, but for their Greatness; for they are at worst more worth than Ten thousand of us: They are the Lord-Treasurers of Heaven, 2 Sam. 18.3. put in Places of more Trust and Honour than other Men; they arc intrusted with our Estates, liberties and Lives, with our Religion and Souls; they are the Churches Nursing-Fathers, and God's Vicegerents, his Prime Ministers: And who may say to them,Eccl. 8.4.What do'st thou? 'Tis not who dares say, but who may lawfully or ought to do it, with Impunity? For so Elihu Interprets it.Job 34.18. Is it sit to say to a King, Thou art Wicked, and to Princes, Ye are Ʋngodly? It is not only unsafe, in respect of the danger, but it is an unsanctified and sinful Saying; it is damnable and next to Blasphemy; 'tis a Wickedness against God, and a Wound to our own Souls. Let the Powers set over us be what they will, we must suffer them, and not attempt to right our selves. And therefore Tertullian boasts with Confidence, that when Pescenius Niger in Syria, and Clodius Albinus in France and Brittany, rebell'd against Septimius Severus (a Bloody and Cruel Emperor,) and pretended Piety and Publick Good, yet [Page 12] none of the Christians joyn'd with either. The Thebaean Legion, in the Eighteenth Year of Dioclesian, suffered themselves to be cut in Pieces every Man, 6666. in number, by Maximianus the Emperor: No Man in that great advantage of Number, Or­der and provocation, listing up their Hands except it were in Prayers: And the Christians under Julian (tho an Apostate from his Religion) had Arms for him, but none against him; though he brought the Commonwealth it self, as Well as the Church in dan­ger. The only diversion they gave to his damnable Counsels, and Deligns, was their Prayers and Tears; which as it was St. Paul's, Faith, is still an Article of the Christian Religion, to which great Truth and Duty none hath born, or ever will bear, g [...] [...]st [...]mony than the Church of England. No Man of any Learning or Religion, in her Communion, will ever say or do any thing against the Honour or Interest of his Prince; for it is God's Power in the Supreme Magistrate, be it good or bad: And therefore whosoever rebels against him, rebels against the Power and Dispensation of God; if he use the Power for Destructi­on, which was given him for Edification, I have nothing to do, but something to suffer; let God take care, if he please: We had better suffer Inconveniencies from one, than from every one. Re­ligion without mixaures of Ambition and Interest, works no violent effects on the State; and therefore, when the Jewish Em­pire was destroyed, and they were carried captive into Baby­lon, God commanded them to seek the Peace of the City, whither he had caused them to be carried Captives, and to pray unto the Lord forit,J [...]r. 29.7. for in the Peace thereof shall ye have Peace; i. e. they Were to minister to the publick, peace as Subjects and Servants, by paying a chearful Obedience to the Commands of the king of Babylon, and observing his Laws, though Contrary to their own. There was no Law of the Romans by which Christ could have been put to Death, and yet He suffered patiently and threatned not,1 Pet. 2.19, 20, 21.leaving us an Example that we should follow his steps: And accordingly the Primitive Christians took their Lives in their Hands, to Fight the battles of Pagan and Tyrannical Empe­rors, and patiently laid them down at last, rather than make or countenance any Resistance against them; and if ever we learn Purity of Doctrine or Innocency of Life, it must be from them, and from the Councils of the Church, who for Twelve hundred Years, taught no other Doctrine.

[Page 13] Tertullian prayed for Domitian, as great a Tyrant as he was, ‘That God would give him a long Life, secure Empire, stout Armies, faithful Senators, and all that his Heart could wish.’ They were subject to their Temporal Lords, and honoured them for his sake, who was their Eternal. And he who hath read Cardamus's Encomium Neronis will find, that the worst of Princes do much more good than harm; and that none of them ever endeavoured the Destruction of their own Subjects; and yet if they did, and the People should be vex'd into the Sin of Re­bellion, by such a temptation bigger than their strength, it may be, God would cut him off, and yet punish the People for their Rebellion too. As the Prince does not get his Authority over us by his vertue, so neither can he lose it by his Vice; he does not Rule precariously over us, but by the Gift und Grace of God. God alone is the Supreme Lord and Governor of our Consciences, in all cases; Sherlock of Relig. asserts p. 144 and to pretend his Authority for dis­obeying our Governors, when we have it not, is like counter­feiting the King's broad Seal to justifie a Rebellion: Nor is it any sign of a good Conscience to censure others, especially our Superiors, for a bad one. But alas we have too much reason to complain, that Christian Religion is fallen from this its Primitive Purity, and made to favour that, which it for­merly look'd upon as Capital, and to deserve no better Wages, than Death; its Sacred Name is now applyed to every Humour, is not to every Sin, which will be a Crime more unpardonable in us, than in any People under the Sun; for God hath given our King an Imperial Crown, and a Head sit to wear it; a Sword and Scepter, and an Hand sit to manage them; and which is the greatest Blessing of all, a gracious Heart, inclinable to do his Subjects all the Good they will suffer him to do; his Piety and Pity are equal to his Power, and his Throne is established in Righteonsuess: He hath been long Afflicted himself, Prov. 25.13. and is not now to learn how to pity his Afflicted Subjects; he know what it was to bear the Cross before ever he came to wear the Crown; he hath selt the smart of the Rod upon his own back, and the more he hath been injured and oppressed himself, the readier is he to pardon others, and the more unwilling to punish them with Severities, whom he judges to be of truly tender Consci­ences; and why should we like his Throne the worse, for be­ing the Seat of Mercy? God, to his own Glory, and our Com­fort [Page 14] hath miraculously preserv'd him from his and our Enemies; let him not complain, that he is wounded in his Honour, even in the House of his Friends. It will not legitimate an ill Word or Action, though it should happen to be spoken or committed in defence of the Truth, Christ would not suffer St. Peter to violate the Magistrate's Authority, in wounding one of his Offi­cers, no not to guard him, who was Truth it self; he applauds not his Zeal, but reprehends his Rashness. God needs not our Sins to serve his Concerns. I wish those who profess them­selves the Churches greatest Votaries, would frequent her Pray­ers daily, and study her Articles and Doctrines, as much as some of your Fellow Members do the Journals of their House, and then they would soon be satisfied, That though the King should invade our Rights (of which he hath given us no Jea­lousie) yet would it be no ground for us to invade his, in whom the Publick Happiness of these his Kingdoms does consist; let us therefore never dispense with our Loyalty to serve our worldly Ends; for if Honesty and Integrity be the best Policy, (as all good Men believe it) our best and most Christian Course will be, to prefer our Duty and Conscience before any Earthly advan­tage what soever, in Prospect or Possession.

Let the Roman Catholick Religion be represented to you un­der any frightful Circumstances whatsoever; let me request you to consider nevertheless, that it is not impossible for a good, conscienious and well-meaning Man to turn Papist. Men of good Understanding and of great Integrity, may as well be deceived as Mr. Chilling worth was, who once thought that our Religion, of the Church of England, was not a safe way to Salvation, though he died of another and better Judgment: And why may not others, as Prudent, Pious and Consciencious Men as he, be deceived and misled into Popery, by Men better skill'd and instructed in the Controversies than they are? They are Christians still, though crring ones, and Members of the Catholick Church as well as we; and can their errors in Judgment, which are inju­rious to none but themselves, forfeit their Civil Rights? Or those in Practice, except they be such as are destructive of humane Society? Would not the Primitive Christians, do you think, have been well contented that their Emperors (if they had been of the same Communion of Rome) should, with all of the same Communion, have injoyed an uncensur'd use of their Religion, [Page 15] and been ready to make Addresses of Thanks for the peace­able Enjoyment of their own? Let the same mind be in you as was in them, and that will adorn your Christian Profession. We cannot but bewail it as our great Calamity, and a just Pu­nishment of the last Age's Disloyalty, which most horridly Mur­der'd the best of Kings, at Noon-day, before the Gates of his own Royal Palace, and banish'd his Royal Progeny, and drove them into Foreign Parts, to seek for that safety from others, which their own Unnatural and Blood-thirsty Subjects would not afford them. That our Gracious King was then tempted above measure, and hath since joyn'd himself to the Roman Church, and lives in the Practice of a different Worship from us. But since God, in his infinite Wisdom, hath permitted it to be so, it is our Duty to acquiesce therein, and behave our selves towards him so, as may be most consistent with his Ho­nour and our Duty, in the present Circumstances; and that the rather, because we may be well assured, that our Graci­ous Sovereign had no Design nor Interest to serve in the changing of his Religion, but an eternal one in the saving of his Soul. To embrace a Religion, when it was decry'd, and kept down by Penal Laws, is, in the Judgment of Charity, a great Argu­ment of Sincerity and Christian Resolution; when it was s [...]culi reatus, the greatest National Crime of which he could have been guilty: To embrace a Religion when it was every where spoken against, out of Fashion, and decry'd: When a Man fol­lows Christ to Hierusalem in Triumph, he may be an Hypocrite; but certainly if he follow him to Golgotha, as he is going to the Cross, you have reason to believe him a Sincere Disciple. Our Gracious Sovereign's joyning himself at such a time to the Church of Rome, when it brought his very Tule to the Crown in question, and made his Life insecure and uneasie, was an instance of his, Gallant and Great Soul, and much resembled on the part of the Person, the courage of the First Christians, who were well aware, that in the very Prosession thereof, they bid adieu to worldly interest and Tranquillity. This be [...] ­ing apparently done out of no lower Principle, than the Glory of God, and the Salvation of his own Soul; though not the Deed, yet inslead of it, the Sincere Will is favourably accepted with God, and should be so with all good Men. Seeing it is an Ob­servation of Lactantius and St. Augustin concerning a Religion [Page 16] Infinitely worse, that Almighty God was pleased to take kind notice of the honest Meanings of those grosly mistaken Wor­shippers; for though an Erroneous Conscience could not bind to the Act, yet if after all possible due Enquiry, it act Erroneously, it doth not certainly bind to Punishment, God winked at the days of Ignorance, especially when accompanied with that In­tegrity of Heart, of which God gives such an acquitting Cha­racter in the Case of King Abimelech; and if this were not so, it would go ill with the Men of the highest Intellectual and Moral Vertues, who confess themselves to be as truly short of being perfectly free from all Sins of Ignorance, as they are from those of Frailty. When thus much hath been said, con­cerning his Majesty's Religion, it may be added, That his Change proceeded, not meerly from an easie Well-meaning, but from Arguments, however they be less weighty to us, which had prevail'd with many Wise and Good Men, and had an ad­vantage, perhaps, in his Case, from some Early Doubts, hardly to be avoided in that Conversation, into which the Re­bels (who had impudence enough to call themselves Eng­lish Protestants) had driven him, as I before told you, against whom, and not against our Gracious Sovereign, should the dis­respects of all the True Sons of the Church of England be turn'd. The King thinks us in the wrong and so pities and prays for us, That God would bring us into the right Way; and 'tis a groundless and uncharitable Jealousie, that he will ever hurt us, because it would neither be for his Honour nor Happi­ness, to make them miserable who have always been his best Fric [...]ds; such mischiefs may be fear'd by some, but will never be felt by any. Let us rather depend upon God's wise and gra­cious Providence, in the use of Lawful Means, and put our Trust and Confidence in his Power and Goodness, not doubting but: he [...]areth for us, rather than be jealous of our King with­out Cause; and so far as God sees it conduce to his Glory and our Good, he will deliver us from all our Fears: Let us commit the care of our Religion, Lives and Estates to him. And, indeed, Where is our Faith, if we will not trust him, with the defence of it, but seek to prop it up, and support it by base and unwarrantable Arts, as if every thing were law­ful that tends to keep out Popery? This will cast such a Reproach and Insamy upon our Religion, as can never be wip'd off; it [Page 17] will open the Mouths and sharpen the Pens of our Enemies, shall we take more Liberty to our selves than we will allow the King? What safety can our Sovereign expect, if he cannot be allow'd the free Exercise of his own Religion without his Sub­jects repining? What Reputation can he have abroad, or what Reverence at home? Is this to provide things honest in the sight of all Men? Will this put to Silence the Ignorance of Fool­ish Men, to turn our Religion into a Cloak of Maliciousness, to prove our selves Wolves in Sheeps Clothing? Cannot we abhor Idols, without flying into his Face, who is the Image of God upon Earth? Is this to keep Innocence, and to take heed to the thing that that is Right? Is not this rather the ready course to create in him, and all the World besides, an ill Opinion of us and our Re­ligion? We may be just and dutiful to the King, without being unfaithful to God; and if we be so, our Religion will not only keep its Ground, but make new Conquest, and spread it self further in the World; nor shall any Policy of Men or Devils be able to root it out; Num. 23.23. there will then be no Tnchant­ment against Jacob, nor Divination against Israel. The King thinks his own to be the True Religion, and that God requires him indispensibly to believe and profess it, and to indeavour the Propagation of it too, by all Lawful means among his Subjects, but not to make Sacrifices of them that refuse it; because the using of such cruel and unlawful Means to that purpose, were apparently destructive of that Salvation, which he hopes to obtain by embracing the Roman Catholick Religion; to which, if he can win Men by Arguments and Perswasions, or any other Allurements of his own Promotions, he does that Religion all the Right and Service he can, without wronging ours, (to which his Priests may modestly tempt him) without any the least vio­lation of his own Sacred Ingagements to us, which his innate Clemency and Goodness abhors in so high a degree, that he is found to be Temptation Proof against it: To conclude this Point therefore, I say,

The Common Lay-man, whose Education, Assection and Pra­ctice may denominate him a True Son of the Church of England, as he hath learn'd in his Catechism, to Honour and Obey the King, and all that are put in Authority under him; so he has been taught by the Ministers of this Church, that this is his Duty, what soever Religion the King be of: And though he hears his [Page 18] present Majesty be of another Communion, he thanks God and the King, for the liberty he hath to Communicate with the Church of England. He takes care of himself and his Family, that they may serve God after this way, which some call Heresie: But he is, it seems, well assured and satisfied of the Truth and Safety of it: He pities and prays for them that are in Error, but will not revile, affront or abuse them; nor will he assist in Riots or Tumults, to disturb even the Publick Exercise of any Religion, where-ever his Majesty things sit to appoint it. Where the King's Religion is publickly exercis'd, he has neither Wit nor Religion, who does not abstain from all rude and ind [...]cent Di­sturbance or Assronts. I am no Apologist for the Roman Wor­ship. But since the King is pleas'd, in some places, to pro­tect those of his Communion, in the Publick Excercise of it (as he justly may) for any Private Persons to disturb them, is a piece of Rudeness to him, inconsistent with that Honour, which upon so many accompts we are to pay him. Besides that, it is a piece of Prophaneness, for any, without Authority, to inter­rupt Men, whilst they are Worshiping God, after that manner which they think the best: Nor can his Zeal against a false Worship, justifie him in any such unwarrantable Attempts, whilst he hath no Authority to reform or correct them; that being the work of Publick Power and not of Private Spi­rits. Whilst therefore the King is so Gracious as to protect us in our Churches and Offices of Worship, let us not be so rude and ungrateful, as to assault or disturb those of his Commu­nion, in their Private Oratories, least we provoke him to de­prive us of our greater Privileges, for envying him and those of his Communion. Alass, no True Son of the Church of Eng­land will be guilty of this; he will neither be so unthankful nor so unholy; nor will he go about with Lyes and frightful Stories, and false News, to disquiet his Neighbours or di­sturb the Government, nor make Scandalous Reflections upon those that are in Authority. He will leave the Government of the World to God and the King, and be careful to do his Duty to both, in that State of Life to which he is call'd.

And if more Respect than this be requir'd of them, that: have more and better Breeding, and are of an higher Quality. I do not think that the Roman Catholicks themselves, will complain for want of it; but will rather gratefully acknowledge [Page 19] the Respect and Kindness shew'd them in worse Times than these, by the Gentlemen of the Church of England, even in the late Bloody days of Trial; which has been so visible and obser­vable, that another sort of Men (if it be not a Scandal of Humanity to give them the Name of Men) have objected it to them as a Crime; and, for that Reason, reckon'd them Papists (at least) in Masquerade (as they were then wont to speak.) This Respect, indeed, has been, and is shew'd, ra­ther to their Persons and Conditions, &c. than to their Religi­on; and It is a Respect much becoming those, who would shew themselves True Sons of the Church of England: For their Religion, as well as their Breeding, teaches them, To main­tain a civil and amicable Conversation with those of the King's Religion. I know no Reason to be angry with any Man, be­cause he sees not with my Eyes, or determines not with my Judgment, and so consequently cannot be altogether of my Opinion; especially, since as they differ from us, so we differ as much from them. Sure I am, our Religion obliges us to a Catholick Charity as well as Faith, and an Ʋniversal Civility to distinguish between the Person and his Errors or Vices; so as to love and behave our selves Civilly towards him, where we can­not affectionately embrace his Opinion. Christianity is, doubt­less, the best natur'd Institution in the World. At its first appea­rance it taught the most barbarous Nations to depose their Fe [...]ity, and become tractable and courteous; and where it was once heartily entertain'd, the World admir'd to see how civil and obliging those Men were become, who before their Con­version were morose and inhospitable Pagans or Jews. It was a great fault of tho Jews, for which they are severely brand­ed by Juvenal and Tacitus, That they were peevish and inhospi­table to all that were not of their own Religion, so as to refuse them the most common Courtesies of telling them their Way, or directing them to the Refreshment of a common Spring. Nec monstare vias, [...]adem nisi sacra colenti: We ought then to make it appear to the World, Juvenal. that ours is a better Religion, by being better natur'd our selves; and that we are the best Catho­licks, by expressing and practising a Catholick Charity, Joh. 13.35. which of all other is the surest Note of a True Church. We ought to shew our selves quiet and obliging Neighbours to those Romanists, who dwell among us; especially since both the Honour of our Religion [Page 20] and of our King requires it from us: Incivility, upon the account of their differing from us in Religion, being inconsistent with the Obligations of Christianity or Gentility, and a Rudeness to the King's Majesty, of whose Communion they are, and whom we are so far to Honour, as to pay all the Respects him, and to all such as he esteems, that our Religion will indeed permit; much more all that it so strictly injoyns.

To speak next of the Cergy-men, as concerned in this Case, to whom indeed it is so much a Case of Conscience, that it leaves them less Room than other Men, for the Exercise even of their Christian Prudence: For, they, who are Priests, promis'd at their Ordination, ‘all faithful Diligence to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange Doctrines, con­trary to God's Word;’ and the Bishops at their Consecration in like manner: And farther, ‘that they will call upon and encourage others to do the same;’ among which our Ar­ticles have reckon'd many Doctrines, now taught in the Roman Church, and every Clergy-man licens'd to Preach, has (as the 36th. Canon requires) acknowledged, by Subscription, under his own Hand, that every thing contained in the 39. Articles is agreeable to the Word of God; and consequently, he must ac­knowledge, that many Romish Doctrines are erroneous and strange Doctrines, repugnant to the Word of God, as being so declar'd in those Articles; those therefore are evidently such Doctrines, as he promised at his Ordination, to be ready with all faithful Diligence, to banish and drive away: And is he not then bound in Conscience to do this, in his Publick Sermons and Private Dis­courses, as he has a good Occasion and Opportunity? Is he not bound in Conscience, at convenient Seasons, to shew the Error and Danger of such Doctrines, without so much as naming those who think more favourably of them, saving all Respect due to the King, when he has not only Liberty granted him, but is required and directed by his Majesty himself so to do? For in his Majesty's Directions for Preachers (which was sent us by his Command,) and we accept with all Thankfulness, Dir. 3. ‘He bids us assert the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, from the Cavils and Objections of such as are Adversaries to either.’ This resolves the Case of Conscience; and as to Christian Prudence, his Majesty hath been graciously pleased to give excellent Directions as to that [Page 21] Case too, ‘bidding Preachers thus to vindicate the Church of England, when they arc occasion'd by Invitation from the Text they Preach upon; or that in regard of the Au­ditory they Preach to, it may seem requisite and expedi­ent so to do.’ Thus to Preach, That the Pope or Church of Rome is not infallible, and that the Pope has no Authority or Juris­diction within these Realms, is expresly determined by the Church of England, Art. 19.—37. And our Parliaments have in all Ages, as well before the Reformation as since, expressed their just detestation of the Pope's Pretensions to it, as appears by the Stat. of Carlisle, and by that of Provisoes made 25. Edv. III. and by many more in King Henry VIII's Reign, who was both Parliamentarily and Synodically invested with the Supremacy, in all Canses, Spiritual as well as Temporal, (not that he had Power of Mission or Ordination, but of Permission and Order­ing Men, so sent by the Church, to Preach the Gospel in his Dominions,) which was legally and essentially Inherent in the Crown before, the Kings of England being Supreme Ordinaries, by the ancient common Law of this Land, of which those Statutes were not Introductory but Declarative. And the very First Canon of our Church does require, ‘That all Ecclesiastical Persons, Preachers, &c. shall several times every Year, to the utmost of their Wit, Knowledge and Learning, sincere­ly, without any Colour or Dissimulation, teach in their Ser­mons, &c. that no manner of Obedience and Subjection, within his Majesty's Realms and Dominions, is due to any Ʋsurp'd or Foreign Power; but that the King's Power, within his Realms, is the highest under God, to whom all his Subjects do, by God's Laws, owe most Loyalty and Obedience, before and above all other Powers and Potentates on Earth. Now, if a Preacher, whilst he is doing the duty of this Canon, shall call the Pope Ʋsurper, for claiming or exer­cising that Jurisdiction here, which belongs not to him; and should be thought for that Reason, not to bear Respect enough to the King's Religion, he would indeed but shew so much the more Respect to his Royal Person, and Regal just Power (as he is obliged to do by the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy,) and could be censur'd only for his Fidelity and Loyalty to the King, such as becomes a True Son of the Church of England.

[Page 22]But in Points wherein we are not determined by Authority, or other Obligations, but at perfect liberty to declare, or not to declare our Opinions; in these we have the sairest, if not the only Opportunities for the Exercise of our Christian Pru­dence: And therefore, for a Preacher of the Church of Eng­land to affirm positively, or go about to prove in a Publick Auditory or Assembly, That St. Peter was never at Rome; or that the Pope is Antichrist; or that no Man, in his Right Wit, can turn Papist; must necessarily, under our Circumstances, be reckon'd Imprudent, if not Impudent.

These and such like Matters of Private Opinion, which when Published, are like to give Offence to our Superiors, and if for­born could give no Scandal to any; Christian Prudence will un­questionably direct, such should now be forborn out of Respect to the King, and the Roman Catholick Religion, because 'tis His: The daily decay of solid and substantial Piety, is the most unhappy effect of Christians foolishly Fighting in a Mist, and Scuf­fling in the Dark among themselves, against the Interest of Peace and Charity; and scrambling so eagerly and so childish­ly as they do, for Nuts and Cherry Stones; or things fit to be put into the same Bag with them, as being of no value with Men of Judgment: And therefore a Prudent Man will always take care to avoid, as much as is possible, unnecessary Controversies; and in handling such as he thinks necessary, I know not how he can give better proof of his Prudence, as well as Obedience, than by observing his Majesty's Directions to Preachers, which give a full Resolution to the Case in hand; viz. ‘by doing it with all Modesty, Gravity and Candor, without Bitterness, Railing, J [...]ering, or other unnecessary and unseemly Provocation; and he who shall transgress these his Royal and Religious Directions, will those of the New Testament too. He that shsll use the Li­berty granted him by his Majesty, for a Cloak of Maliciousness, and upon such Occasions, or indeed any other, act the Merry Andrew in the Pulpit, deserves not only the Fools Coat, but the Rod too upon his Back: From whence I inser in the next place;

3ly. That those of our Communion, especially the Clergy, ought neither to rail nor rally upon the Religion which the King owns. Religion with a Man of Sense and Affections, is a ten­der Point, and the Affronts done it, do as doily touch him, [Page 23] and wound him more feelingly, than any offer'd to his dearest Re­lations, or to his own Honour, as a Gentleman; and howsoever the one part resents, and the other takes it, 'tis a diseas'd heat of the Mind, and not Christian Zeal, to make any fort of Reli­gion the sport of our Wits, and the triumph of our Drollery: They who are guilty of it, may have espous'd the Fortune, but have not the Faith of the Church of England. In a good Cause, the fairest Language is most advantageous; a modest and friendly Stile suits best with the Truth; which like its Au­thor usually resides, not in the blustering Wind, the shaking Earthquake, or the rangeing Fire, but in a soft and still Voice. 1 Kings 19.11, 12. III Language is doubtless a very preposterous Method of Perswa­sion, being likely to raise such Clouds of Passion, as will ob­s [...]ure the clearest Arguments, and render their force unpercep­tible to the provoked Reader or Hearer; on which account I cannot but appland that saying of the Jews, Josephus Aniq. 1.4. That we ought not to blaspheme any thing, which others venerate for a God. Rail­ing therefore against Popery cannot produce any good Effect, and at this time it may easily produce many bad ones; among which none can be worse, than the Contempt which it will throw upon the King himself, on whom all III Language a­gainst his Religion, does ultimately redound to the debasing of him in the esteem of his Subjects. When the Powers of the World were Heathen, the Christians in their Apologies, do not presume to cxpose the Religion of their Emperors to Contempt; but only with great Modesty and Deference, to vindicate their own from the unjust Criminations of their Ad­versaries, as may be seen in both the Apologies of Justin Mar­tyr, and of Tertullian. And, as I think, it would be a Comand­ly deserting of a very good Cause, if the Learned Men of our Church should suffer the busie Romanists to charge her with Schism, Heresie, or other Misrepresentation, without appearing in her just and necessary Vindication, and cannot but applaud some of the late modest and strenuous Apologies, which their Provocations have extorted from the Press: So I must confess, that I cannot see any present Necessity of troubling our Pulpits with these Controversies, the Mysteries of our Faith would be best held in a pure Conseience, which is peaceable; 1 T [...]n 3. [...] and by Pra­ctical Discourses we may best preserve our People from those Vices, which only can provoke God to give them up to strong [Page 24] Delusions. And if we perceive any of them warping towards Popery, there will be more hopes of reducing and confirming than by personal Conferences, applyed to their particular Scruples, than by shooting at random at so great a distance in general Harangues, which tends not so much to arm the Hearers against Popery, as to possess them with an hatred of their Sovereign for professing it. Since then we are bound in Duty to ab [...]ain from every thing (which without a Sin may be omitted) that tends to the Dishonour and Contempt of him, whom God and our Religion oblige us to honour, I doubt not to conclude, That as Railing against Popery was never lawful; so Preaching against it farther than by the Canons, and his Ma­jesty's own Gracious Directions, we are obliged to do, is at this time unseasonable; and so far as it is prejudical to the Government, utterly unlawful too: We least of all fear the Seduction of those Members of our Church, who practise strict­ly that excellent Religion, which they and we profess: The best Service then we can do to prevent the Growth of Popery, will be to perswade Men all we. can to become better Livers and better Subjects; upon which account, Practical Preachers will do the Church more Service than Polemical, and the Go­vernment no Disservice, nor the King no Dishonour. 'Tis be­low them, who think themselves in the highest form of Chri­stians, to sit down in the seat of the scornful; they are of their Father the Devil, wheresoever such Changelings are found. 'Pray' tell me, and tell me no more nor no less, than your own Con­sciences will tell you; Is this Fooling the effect of that Faith which was once deliver'd to the Saints? Or is it not rather a wounding of Christianity it self to the very Heart? Who of this Rank, if he were at Constantinople, would make it his Business to tell the Great Turk, that his Prophet Mahomet were an Im­postor; or, as some Oppressed Greeks think him, Antichrist; or to ridicule the Alcoran? And why will they make more bold with a Christian Prince, and their Lawful Sovereign, than with an Insided? This certainly is a foul Offence, and as much against a good Conscience, as Christian Prudence. Why are Men more inrag'd against those who agree with them in most things, than with them who different from them in all? Christ will not give his Spouse a Bill of Divorce upon every Error and Mistake, much less should we deny her to be our Mother, because she [Page 25] is not of our Mind, this will justly bring our Christianity as well as our Prudence in Question. These are not the Sons of the Church of England, but the Standard-Bearers of Se­dition, who take no care to govern their Tongues nor Pens, who have no regard to the King or his Ministers, to Truth or Charity, Justice or Honesty; which whether they intend it or not, hath a derect tendency to the defaming of our yet untainted Religion. They who will not offer up a Peace-Offering to the Magistrate, are none of our Communion; and 'tis to be hoped, That the Fathers of our Church will correct those Ill nurtur'd Children, who are of such surly, peevish and insolent Tempers, that others may not grow immodest by their uncontrol'd Extravagancies. Authority must at any rate be redeemed from Contempt, since the very Life of Go­vernment is Reputation; and if you teach the Rabble to scorn the Religion of the Supreme Magistrate, they will not conti­nue long to reverence his Person or Authority. If you will prove him to be an Idolater, they will soon reply, that St. John reckons such with Murderers, Dogs, Sorcerers and Whoremongers, which love and make Lyes, Rev. 22.15. And St. Paul ranks them with Sodomites and Thieves, 1 Cor. 6, 9, 10. That they hate God, Exod. 20.5. Desile the Sanctua­ry, Ezekiel 5.11. Commit Adultery with Stocks and Stones, Jer. 3.9. Isa. 16.17. Worship Devils, Rev. 9.20. and that as they shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, 1 Cor 6.10. so we are not to come among them, Josh. 23.7. but they are to be utterly destroy'd by Commission from God, Exod. 22, 20. that they are Sons of Belial whom we are to smite with the Edge of the Sword till they be utterly destroy'd, Deut. 13.13, 14, 15. What is all this, but Sedition under disguise of Zeal? Let the Men look never so honestly, they drive on an Interest against Peace and Charity, and though Truth may be justified of her Children; so it be done with Moderation and Judgment, when Necessity compels us, or Authority calls us to it; yet they who can find no better treatment for their Auditors, than to prove all Papists to be Idolaters, (as if they had no saving Truths to Preach them, but such as are full of disgraceful, sawcy and insolent Reflections upon their Prince (which hath already cost this Nation so many Mil­lions [Page 26] of Money, and such Rivers of Blood, to the shame of Christianity it self) would be as ready (if they durst) to joyn with some of their own Spirit in the Prayers, which were justly made Treason, 1.& 2. Q. Mar. cap 9.Anno 1. & 2. Q. Mar. cap. 9. ‘That God would turn her Heart from Idolatry to the True Faith, or else shorten her days, and take her quickly out of the way.’ And the Act says, ‘That never such a Pray­er was heard, or read to have been used by any good Chri­stian, against any Prince, though he were a Pagan:’ And therefore in abhorrence of the Crime, it condemns the Au­thors of such libellous and malicious Prayers, together with the Procurators and Abetters of them, to be guilty of High-Treason: And so they are before God, who takes every In­jury done to his Vicegerents as done to himself; Satyrs are bad every where, but worst in the Pulpit, be it in Prayers or Sermons; where Men are to speak the words of Truth and Soberness, as becomes the Embassadors of Christ, and not to use any petulant Girding or Reflections upon any, much less upon the Father of their Country; nor to dress up any of his per­swasion in such indecent Forms, or to make them appear far worse than they are; for this is as great a Sin as to make Wi­dows more desolate: We are in Conscience and Prudence ob­lig'd calmly and modestly to inlighten the Minds of our Hea­rers, though they count us heavy Men for our pains, rather than by expressing more heat than light, to thunder in their Ears such dreadful Apprehensions of the Religion of our Prince, as may claw their itching Ears, and raise their Humours and Passions into such a violent Ferment, as to transport them into the pangs of some furious Zeal against him, and all of the same Perswasion with him. Our Religion obliges us to be jealous of every Thing or Motion which tends to the Disunion, either of Subjects from their Sovereign, or of the People among themselves; which that it may be perma­nent. and cordial, which is the only thing that can disap­point the Designs and Counsels of our Enemies, nothing can conduce more to our present or future Safety, than the deposing of all Animosities, Rancor, and Ill Will against one another; upon the account of Differences in Religion, and the going on chearfully in the narrow Path that leads to [Page 27] eternal Life, without fighting with every one that does not keep the same way, though he be also travelling to the same place; which has such a spirit of Opposition, Contra­diction, and Pertinacy in it, as speaks Men to be of distem­per'd Brains, turbulent Passions, and corrupt Hearts, rather than of Tender Conseiences. That there should be so many pretended Admirers and profest lovers of Peace, and so few Followers of it in this Kingdom; so much noise of Reli­gion, and so little Charity; and especially that Christianity which is [...], a quiet and gentle In­stitution, intended to soften Mens natural Asperities, should spend it self in those Quarrels, which are the greatest di­minution to its interest imaginable: That the Holy Spi­rit should bring the Gospel down from Heaven in the shape of a Dove; and that yet there should be no more sting­ing Serpents than the Professors of it one to another; and that after more than Sixteen hundred Years Preaching the glad Tidings of Peace, there should still be such distractions and wranglings in the Church, such seditions and convulsions in the body Politick, such sidings and divisions in every Town, and such jarring and dissention as we see and la­ment in private Families; and that the warmest Zealots should, by Enormities of this kind, run farther on the score of divine Vengeance, than Turks and Infidels do, upon the bare single Security of being Christians, are such prodigies in Manners as may justly startle the wisest of Men, and force them to conclude, That the best Religion has the worst Pro­fessors of it, and Pretenders to it in the World. Might not the Pagan, Turk and Atheist, upon the sight of our manifold Heats, Violences and Intemperances, which are too visible in Christendom, reasonably cry out, Where is now their God? and where is their Religion? Are these the Men that pray for Peace, or do they ever mean to purchase it? Are not their Practices the great shame and confutation of their Professions? and is not the Name of God blasphem'd through their Miscarriages? Is Christianity become an Ene­my to Humanity, and turn'd Incendiary? Is Zeal grown such a Cormorant as to eat up Charity? And are the Elect of God, who should put on Bowels of Kindness, Humbleness of [Page 28] Mind,Col 3.12, 14.and above all, Charity, which is the Bond of Perfect­ness, grown so fierce, as to fly upon every thing which Cu­stom and Education hath not rendred familiar to them? Are they impatient with all who do not see with their Eyes? and will they set themselves in battle array against all who are not Wise enough to be of their Judgments, and damn all who are not of their Opinions? Could there be such needless and endless Contentions among them, if they were not carnal? Is this to sight under Christ's Banner, who was the Prince of Peace? Does not this incontinency of Di­sputing make Rents in the seamless Garment, rather than Re­formation? If they were as sollicitous to save their own and their Peoples Souls, as they are to propagate their Opinions; they would not trifle away and lavish that time and pains in needless Controversies, in which they might make their Peace with God and Men; nor take more pains to prove the Pope to be Antichrist, than they do to prove themselves to be Christians, or make others so; nor tread true Piety under Foot in scrambling for that which hath nothing of it, nor like it, but the Name. Would not their Con­gregations be more edified by the Church-Catechism than a Controversie? Or how many have you seen heal'd by be­ing lead into these troubled Waters, though mov'd by the best Angels of the Church? No doubt but it is a Truth which the Mufti told his Grand Seignior, That where the publick Exercise of Religion is allow'd, 'tis judg'd that a li­berty is granted to defend all the distinguishing Points of it, without reflecting on that of the Prince, (which would be more unpardonable in us than in any Men in the World, because he is graciously pleased to act with us upon the Square, and forbids his own Preachers to make any tart reflections on ours.) Now the fault too common is the intemperance of most warm Disputers for Religion; who if once they begin to declaim or write against any thing, think they can never make it odious enough; and that they may defame it the more effectually, they will hale and force Consequences as on a Rack, to confess what the Prin­ciple never meant, and to catch greedily at some violent Mans over-shooting both the Cause and the Communion, and [Page 29] to lay this to the Charge of the whole Church, though it professes never so solemnly against that private Doctor's Opi­nion; whereas as great Champions as they would be thought to be for the Church of England, they ought not, in Point of Honour, to take every advantage against her Enemies, nor to put every thrust so home as they do, but restore them in the Spirit of Meekness, nor to throw dirt in their Faces to disgrace them; (which as the Purity of our Church ab­hors) so the more they handle, the more it will defile them. This is not to walk in Wisdom to them that are without, nor to keep the Ʋnity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.

There is yet another thing worse than barely calum­niating the King's Religion, and that is disturbing of the so­lemn Exercise of it, by Routs and Riots; which would be so high an indecency, and so opposite to the gentleness of Chri­stian Religion, that about the time of the first general Council of Nice, under Constantine the Great, it was made a Canon in the Council of Illiberis, Can. 60 ‘That if any one should, out of any immoderate transports of Zeal, de­face, demolish or break down Idols or Images, and be thereupon slain (because it is not commanded in the Gospel nor practis'd by the Apostles) that they should not be reckon'd in the number of Martyrs:’ Nor need I remind you, that the Idols were of the Heathens, and that Christian Religion was not only the private Religion of the Emperor, but publickly established by him throughout the Empire; and yet while the other had but a bare To­leration from the Emperor, and Christianity had the Law of the Land on its side, yet the Holy Church discouraged her Sons from injuring it by violence. The prevention of railing against the Emperor's Religion by the Lutherans, was the wise care of the Diet of Ratisbone, Anno Dom. 1532. which was in part made up of Protestants, Electors, Free-Princes and Hans-Towns; 'twas their final Accord, ‘That the Ausburg Confession should be allow'd, so that nothing was taught or written but what was contain­ed in that Confession.’ As to raillery upon the Religion professed by our Prince; as it is bad Manners and worse Re­ligion, [Page 30] so it can never be good Wit; which though it be al­lowed its Seasons, yet this is none of them, 'tis as much as a Man can well bear, to see it practis'd upon Virgil the Prince of Poets.

4ly. The Church of England Men ought not to grudge the Privileges allowed by the King to those of his own Communion; he does not desire that they should stand upon equal Terms of publick Privileges and Advantages of the tasting of the Sweet of the Church Revenues, but only that they should lift up their Heads above the danger of the Laws, and he be able to make life of their Services in the State. He neither takes away our Rights, nor with-holds his Favours from any Men of our Perswasion, who cannot pretend to deserve them without blushing. None ever found discouragement from our Gracious Sovereign upon the score of their Religion, but have been advanc'd and esteem'd according to their several Capacities and Qualifications, so long as he found Charity and Ʋnity maintain'd amongst them; and why then should our Eye be evil, because he is also good to some of his own? A Christian Magistrate owes something more than Protection to the Religion which he sincerely professes, and to them that profess it with him; they may reasonably expect his Countenance and fair quarter, if not hope to enjoy some Provision un­der him; for certainly he may and ought to do all that he is able and hath opportunity to do, on this side of force and injustice to help them; a Nursing-Father he is to them as well as us, and oblig'd to the Protection and Tuition of all his Children, and not to suffer them to fare the worse for their Zeal, either toward God or himself: And me­thinks we should have more Wit, Honesty and Charity, more Modesty, Equity, Honour and Justice, more good Breeding and ingenuous Education, if not more Religion than to repine at it; for this implies such a want of them all, as any ingenuous Man must needs be ashamed of. Is it not as fit the King should choose his Ministers, as we our Servants? Whatsoever a Prince does, he is to be presum'd to do it with great Reason; his Actions are manifest, but his Thoughts secret; and 'tis our Duty to tolerate the [Page 31] one, and not murmur against the other. The Results of his Councils are like the current of a great River, we see their Streams but not the Fountain from whence they flow; Reason of State is Reason of Law, though we see but the plain side of that great Watch, within which all the Springs and Wheels are inclos'd and hid, yet we find their Motions regular. The King is our Law-giver, and his Conscience is his; and if it dictate these things to be ne­cessary, though he be deceiv'd, they are become so to him, and by no means to be declin'd by him, but he must follow his own Conscience; and if he mean it for good, he has no reason to doubt but God will take it so, and all good Subjects will pay him an Obedience of Acqutescence, if not of Conformity; we have reason to believe he will do nothing beneath his own Honour, and the just Interest of his People. And therefore St. Augustine in his Book a­gainst Faustus the Manichee says, That a Christian Souldier, C.75. fighting under an Heathen Prince, may lawfully pursue the War, or execute the Commands of his immediate or superior Officers, in the course of his Service, though he be not ab­solutely [...]assured of the Justice of the one, or the the Expe­diency of the other. And in the case in question 'tis no less evident, for Sovereign Princes have Power to change the external Regiment of the Church. A Christian Magistrate as such, is a Governor in the Church. Bramhall Repl. 229. The Prerogatives and Preheminencies of Power and Greatness, which are invol­v'd in the fundamental conception of Sovereignty, are the essential Rights, and inseparably annexed to the Sovereign, Jer. 20.1 for which he is accountable to God alone; and all Bishops are subject to the Imperial Power, Ductor dub. 190, 250;. who is to determine what Doctrines are to be Preached and what not, least any should be licens'd to barangue to the People in Seditious Libels. His Power is by the Law of God, and so can have no Inferior Power to limit it. The Father of the Family governs, not by the Law and Will of his Sons or Servants, but by God's and his own; nor were the best Kings of Judah or Israel tyed to any Laws; nor is it the municipal Law of the Land, but the natural Law of a Fa­ther, which binds him to preserve the Lives and Fortunes [Page 32] of his Sons or Subjects. The Church is always a Minor and Ʋnder-age, and the King its Guardian; how then can she expect to be back'd or countenanc'd any longer (as she has hitherto been, thanks be to God and the King) by his civil Authority, or enjoy the Revenues and Privileges she has any longer, if the King's Courtesie be so soon for­gotten, to deny him or his the free Exercise of their own Re­ligion, whilst we are so warm in ours, under his Graci­ous Protection and Royal Bounty and Provisions, is beyond all Shame and Reason? Princes have an happy time of it, to serve such Humours, as if he reign'd over us by Courte­sie, and had no more but the Name of a King. Does this express our Duty or Gratitude to God or Him? We need not debauch the present Generation, who are too bad alrea­dy, by teaching them to make spightful and peevish Reflecti­ons on our Prince's Actions. Shall the Privileges which he and his Royal Predecessors have granted us, be us'd as Wea­pons to fight and rebel against him? Shall we deprive him of his Prerogative, which the Law of God, as well as of the Land, has given him? Is not the Church of Rome a true Church, both in it self and in our Judgment too? And why should you deny your own Prince, who is a Member of it, the same Liberty which you daily see, with­out murmuring, granted to the Embassadors of Foreign Princes and their Followers? Is it not by his Piety and Juftice that we have the free Exercise of our own Religion, as by Law establish'd, and the advantages of publick As­semblies, and the encouragement of such liberal Maintenance? And have not the Ministers of Religion always obey'd the Imperial Laws, even when they liked them not, not upon prudential Considerations and Necessity, but by divine Ap­pointment, declaring with the Sixth Council of Toledo, ‘That it was impiety to call in question his Power,Can. 14 to whom the Government of all things was certainly deputed by the divine Judgment, and that, as well Bishops as Curates, and Ecclesiasticks as Laicks, must be subject to them; and that the supreme Power may determine whatsoever is left undetermined by God:’ Nay,Bp. Tay­lor's Case of Conf. 1.3.192. that he can derogate by his Power from an ordinary Right, by changing his Will, [Page 33] and making, the contrary Law, that he has the judgment of Discretion and knows best, when 'tis fittest for him, to govern himself by Zeal, and when by gentler Counsels. Is he not Head of the Church? and must his Members teach him how to govern it? It is by the Tyes of Religion, and not of Power, that he is bound to keep the Churches Laws,; and the very Con [...]ssions and Privileges made to them by him and his Royal Predecessors, are as revocable as their Du­ty is alterable; for Princes are so far from being oblig'd to perpetuate such Rights that themselves have indulg'd, that 'tis a rul'd Case among the Greek Fathers, That a King may recal his Gift, Ductor dub. 1.3. p. 238in case the Beneficiary prove ungrateful. I wish our Brethren, who are now so stubbornly resolv'd not to join with their respective Bishops, in an Address of Thanks to his Majesty, for his Morgaging of his Honour under the Broad-Seal of England, in his late Royal De­claration, in the first place, ‘To protect and maintain them, in the free Exercise of their Religion, as by Law established; and in the quiet and full enjoyment of all their Possessions, without any molestation or disturbance whatsoever,’ would study this Case a little better, than they seem to have done; and then they would highly approve it, as some of our Fathers have done, as pru­dently penn'd; and such an acknowledgment of his Ma­jesty's signal Favours to the Church of England, and all her Members, as our Gratitude and Duty indispensibly oblige us to pay. Can you have any better Precedents than those of the Kings of Judah? Look throughout the sacred Hi­story of the Old Testament, and you will every where find, that the King's Religion, though often Heathenish, had the privilege to be publickly us'd; and though the High-Priest and Sanhedrim had a Power, which Moses called The Judg­ment of God; yet these did not think it either their Duty or Right to suppress the Exercise of Idolatry, whilst the King was contented with it, though it was so manifest­ly contrary to God's own Law given them by Moses; and when a King, who Worshipped according to Moses's Pre­scriptions, succeeded, neither the Great Council nor People desired the false Worship to be suppressed, till the King him­self [Page 34] self commanded it; which is an Argument, that it proceeded from his High Prerogative, which the Kings of Judah laid equal claim to with the Eastern Monarchs, as the Isra­elues desired a King, according to the Nations round about them; upon which Samuel recites a large rightful Power, which would belong to their Sovereign. Did not Solomon put Ab [...]a [...]her from the Priesthood and put Zadock in his room; and though the High-Priesthood came to be put out of its due Channel of Primogeniture, establish'd by Moses, and was sold in our Saviour's time; (so that sometimes the High-Priest was but annual) yet Christ acknowledged Caiphas to be High-Priest; Joh. 11.51. 1 Cron. 28.3. and for the inferior Priests, David divided them into Twenty four Orders; so that the applying of the priestly Power to such a time, was wholly the Act of the civil Government. Jehosophat named a President for the San­hedrim, as well for matters of the Lord as for those of the King; and both Ezra, though not the High-Priest, 2 Cron. 19.11. Ezra 7 25. Neh. 13.8. and Nehe­miah, though not at all a Priest, acted by a Commission from Artaxerxes, to execute the Laws' of God and the King; by which Authority Nehemiah turned out one of the Priests: so that though the priestly Office was a divine Institution, yet the applying and suspending that Authority was a part of the civil Power. Christian Emperors made also penal Laws with relation to Church-men, the pains of which were Su­spension or Deprivation, of which there are so many in­stances, both in the Old Roman Laws and in the Capitulars, that it is needless to insist on the proof of it, to justifie his Majesty's late Proceedings by his High Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Affairs, against an eminent Prelate of our Church, which proves them Lawful without committing Sacrilege, or incroaching on the spiritual Power of the Church. I need not tell you that it was declared in the Convoca­tion of the Prelates and Clergy of this Kingdom (which make the representative Body of the Church of England) Art. 37. Anno Dom. 1562. ‘That whereas they have at­tributed to the Queen's Majesty, the chief Government of all the Estates of this Realm, whether Ecclesiastical or Civil; in all Cases, they did not give unto their Prin­ces the ministring of either God's Word or Sacraments, [Page 35] but that only Prerogative, which was known to have been given always to all Godly Princes, in Holy Scri­pture, by God himself; that is to say, That they should rule all Estates and Degrees committed to their Charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil Sword the Stubborn and Evil­doers.’ Less Power than this as good Subjects could not give unto their Kings, so more than this there has not been exercis'd; nor, I believe, ever will be by our Gracious So­vereign. Such Power as was vouchsafed by God to the Godly Kings and Princes in Holy Scripture, may serve abun­dantly to satisfie the unlimited Desires of the greatest Mo­narch in Christendom; and therefore how unpardonable are we to deny our King that Power which is inseparably annext to his Royal Diadem, and without which he would be no King, but a Royal Slave in Golden Chains; for the King's, the Church's, and our own, if not for the Cause's sake, let us not grudge Men of his own Perswasion in Re­ligion, the free enjoyment of any Favours which he is gra­ciously pleased to afford them; and that especially con­sidering that the occasion upon which such Privileges were formerly denied them, viz. the Jealousie the Government had of their Sincerity and Obedience, now ceases; and this brings me to say something more particularly,

5ly. To your self and your fellow Members of this Loy­al Parliament (whom I find to be concern'd in this Case also.) 'Twould be presumption in me to offer to direct your Votes, otherwise than as a Divine, by reciting the advice of our Blessed Saviour, Whatsoever ye would that Men should do to you, do ye even so to them, and be ye wise as Serpents, but harmless as Doves; and such like general Sentences, the par­ticular application of which, I must in good Manners leave to your own Christian Discretion; nor can they fail of ma­king a good application of them, who consider that our Blessed Saviour by these Hicroglyphicks taught his Disciples Innocence as well as Prudence, in times of greatest danger, that they may be able to say with St. Paul, That they are pure from the Blood of all Men; and that the Church of Eng­land, by appointing the former Sentence to be read at the [Page 36] Offertory, on the 5th. of November and 30th. of January, does thereby teach us, whether we have escaped a Danger or suffered Affliction, not to be revengeful, but be rather ready to return Good for Evil. That some severe Laws, which might have Reason when they were made, should by common consent of all any ways interested, cease, when the Reason does universally cease, was, I think, never de­nied by good Casuists or good Statesmen. Now the chief Reason alledged, and the only justifiable one for these severe Laws against Romanists, was the Jealousie the Government conceived of their Affections, and the Apprehensions that their private Zeal for their Catholick Religion would make them cool in their services to the Publick, which their imploy­ments would oft require should be against their Principles; and that they, relying on an external Power, were inca­pable of Duty and true Allegiance to their natural Sove­reign, and rightful Monarchs: Kings Proclamation 12th. of Fevruary, 1686/7 . But who now can plausibly suspect their Faithfulness to the present King, or that they will be back­ward in his Service? And whilst the Case stands thus, what need will there be of sanguinary Laws for Imprisonment du­ring Life, or Consiscation of Goods? Or for those Tests which exclude the Peers of the Romish Religion from sitting in the House of Lords according to their Birth-right? Espe­cially seeing these Latter were made upon a mistake of Mat­ur of Fact, whereas it has since appeared to all discreet Men of the most unquestionable Loyalty, That the Popish Plot was of that perjur'd Villain Oates and other subtiler Heads making, to serve their Faction and Revenge against the Go­vernment: And as it is the noblest Ingenuity to own any sort of mistake, so methinks it touches a Man's Reputation but softly, to retract what he had formerly believed and acted, upon a charitable Perswasion that Men would not be Perjur'd, who after were legally convicted for being no­toriously such; and besides this, 'tis no safe matter to al­ter the Foundations of Government, and deface the Original of a Right, which in the case of all Privileges of Peerage hath been taken to be either Writt or Patent; for if these must give place in any one instance, no man knows where [Page 37] it will end, or whose course to turn, or be turned out of that Highest Court of National Justice, may next come. In the Parliament of 41. when the old Loyal Assurances were laid aside, and instead of the former, the Presbyterians Tested Men, with their Covenant, they were not aware, that they made a President against themselves for an In­gagement; and the Ingag [...]rs did not longè prospicere neither; they little thought that they furnished their Masters of the Army with a countenancing Example to break them all in pieces, and to vote them all Ʋseless. And therefore 'tis a rule of Wisdom as well as of Justice, a point of Prudence as well as Consience, not to remove the ancient Land-marks; and 'tis, as useful to the State as to the Church, what the first general Council decreed, Let the old Ʋsages prevail; suitable to which was the establishing Saying of the Peers long ago, Nolumnus matare Leges Angliae, We will not that the Laws of England be changed: and certainly, pursuant to this Resolution, if by any cross chance or accident a change have surpriz'd the Government, a Restitution to the former fettle­ment should soon be made, and that the rather, because we may say of those sanguinary Laws, as his Majesty in his Royal Proclamation in Scotland does 12th. February 1686/7 of the like made in the Minority of his Royal Grandfather, ‘That they have been continued of course without any de­sign of executing them or any of them, ad terrorem only;’ and sure we are, that our severest Laws did not proceed from Ill-nature, any otherwise than the best do ex malis moribus: And 'tis obvious to remark, that the True Sons of the Church of England, have always been better natur'd, than to press or countenance the execution of them in cases of meer Religion; and they have accordingly (blessed be God) been very sparingly executed, unless when the byt-blows of a powerful Faction, and no True Sons of the Church of England, or some violent attempt of the Enemies thereof, have forc'd it; so sparingly have they been executed, that 'tis an old Proverb of Reproach upon the Legislators, that their Laws were only made in Terrorem, for Mormoes and Scare­crows: And if they will serve for that purpose, and to pre­serve the good Seed, or hinder the Enemies of our Church [Page 38] and State from sowing rebellious and treasonable Tares among us whilst we are asleep, we desire no more. The Holy Church, which so passionately desires the saving of Mens Souls, never thirsts after the destruction of their Bodies. Some Laws indeed there are, made since our Reforma­tion from Popery, which threaten death to the Romish Clergy, who are Natives of it, if they be found in this Kingdom. But though the Wisdom of the Nation thought fit to enact them at that time, for the security of those Pro­testant Princes, to whom the Romish deposing Doctrine is not Propitious, yet was it Treason and not Heresie which those Laws made Capital. And since there is no question but that a Prince of their Communion, dare trust himself in their Hands, and neither desires nor needs such Security from them; there seems now no need at all of their continu­ance. And as it would shew a great Respect to the King to repeal them, so it would be a seasonable Vindication of us from that cruelty, which the Romanists have charg'd us with upon the account of them. It hath been, I am per­swaded, a real Grief to all tender hearted Protestants, when­ever the exigency of State Affairs hath occasioned the exe­cution of those sanguinary Laws; and it would be the best Evidence we could bring to convince the World, that it was not the Religion but Treason of Romish Priests that we detested, if we take speedy care that their Religion be no longer Capital, now that it may so easily be separated from Treason. Perhaps some Inciters to Rebellion, do buz in your Ears, That the King has no more business for Parliaments, and intends to govern by a standing Army of his own Per­swasion; but you and I know the King loves and honours Par­liaments, as the best means for the Kingdoms safety, and his own satisfaction: And I know this, of which you are a Member, hath so many active and loyal Subjects in it, as will oblige him by all that can be desired, for acknowledg­ing and the establishing of his just Prerogative, and for his own Ease and Satisfaction, and the quiet of his Friends, of his Religion; and that his Majesty will be as ready to se­cure our national Religion, Liberties and Properties. The pre­sent Parliament Men, who are most of them True Sons of [Page 39] the Church of England, are so far from envying the RomanCatholicks, the advantages they now receive as rewards of their Loyalty, that they would with a most respectful, hum­ble and dutiful Emulation, even strive with his Majesty who should reward them most: He having published it to the World in his late Scotch Proclamation, ‘That of his own certain Knowledge and long Experience, he knows the Catholicks, that as it is their Principle to be good Chri­stians, so it is to be dutiful Subjects, hazzarding, and many of them actually losing their Lives in the defence of a Prince, though of another Religion, (ours he means) and maintenance of the King's Authority, against all Vio­lences and Treasons. It were the highest Impudence to de­ny but that there were a great many noble, brave, loyal Spirits of the Romish Perswasion, who did with the greatest In­tegrity, and without any other design than satisfying their Consciences, adventure their Lives in the War, and leave their Bodies in the Field for the King's Service. There were a great many generous Souls among them, whom the great­est Temptations in the World could not have perverted, or made to desert their King in the height of all his and their Miseries. Among the rest, Sr. Arthur Ashion, a Roma­nist, being turned out of the King's Army, with most, if not all, of that Communion, to please the Rebellious Par­liament, who charged him for having so many Papists a­bout him. This noble Royalist as well as Romanist, was sollicited by the Parliament to take a Commission for a Co­lonel of Horse, and to put in what Officers he pleas'd of his own Perswasion; he accepted their Commission: But to mapi­fest their villainous Hypocrisie, as well as his own intire Loyal­ty, he immediately went upon his Knees, and delivered it up to the King; upon which he and the rest of that Re­ligion were readmitted into the Royal Army. Whence it is e­vident, that they wanted not an Opportunity of joining with the Rebels, to their own Advantage, had not their innate principle of Loyalty kept them steady in their Allegiance; so that they can have nothing laid to their Charge worthy of Death or Bonds. Why then should they not have room in his Kingdoms? Security for their Persons and Estates, and Re­wards [Page 40] wards for their Services? Why should we grudge his Majesty's Mercy to others, which we reckon so great a Bles­sing to our selves? Were they not our fellow Souldiers and Sufferers too? And what have they done since to incense the King or the Government, or their fellow Subjects against them? You wish they were of our Religion, and so do I too; but Men cannot easily wear off the prejudices of their E­ducation, and most of them have suck'd in their Religion with their Milk. It were very unjust and unnatural to at­tempt by force to reduce them to our way of serving God, who are in a co-ordination to us; this being to assume the Prerogative of the civil Power; and against Justice, which must be an Ingredient even into the best Religion, because it would be a contradiction to build Religion upon the ruins of that which founds all Religion, Samar. re­vis'd 54, 55. as Tertullian Argues. It were unjust for us, who are co-ordinate, to impose upon others their Faith or Worship. Our Prince is not to be reduced to the Rule of our Consciences. Into what shame­less Straits will this immodesty of ours reduce us? Can we have so little Wit and Loyalty who pretend to so much of both? It is worse than Barbarous, to attack any People meerly upon the account of Religion, not repugnant to the light of Nature; for otherwise, Religion, whose chief end is to preserve Mankind in Peace and Justice, would turn the World upside down, and fill it with incessant Combu­stions and Massacres; for it will be as reasonable that the Insidels and Indians should invade the Christians upon that score as the Christians them,P. 58. and then where will Depreda­tions end? To enforce and drag others to the True Reli­gion, who are absolutely at their own difposal, neither is, nor can seem decent nor expedient: You will find, Lactant. 1.5. C.19. St. Ambrose in Luc. 1.7. and St. Hillary and all the ancient Fathers of that Judgment, against Compul­sion in point of Religion; 1 Cor. 5.12. and what have we to do to judge them that are without, says St. Paul? Julian would not suf­fer Christians to be forc'd to his gentile Altars, Epist. 52. What if they are displeased for not enjoying as much of the benefit of the King's Restauration as we do? The liberty of Repining, is a charitable allowance to be indulged them [Page 41] of course, whom Providence hath denied what we enjoy. 'Tis an unmerciful thing not to give Lofers leave to speak, and the World will talk of them and us too at their own rate. What if some few of them shew more heat than becomes them, and grasp at things not sit for their Enjoyment? Is it not the same case with us too? Why should the indis­cretion of a few incense us against the rest? If they do not all of them, at all times, carry th [...] selves prudently, let not their Allegiance be buried in Oblivion. If we ei­ther love the King or the Peace of the Kingdom, we must behave our selves as becomes Men of Conscience and Pru­dence in this tender Point. Bishop Bramhall in his Replica­tion to the Bishop of Chalcedon, says, That in Eight Tearstime, in which he had the Government of Ireland, committed to him by the Earl of Strafford, there was not one Roman Ca­tholick who suffered Death or Imprisonment, or so much as a pecuniary Mulct of Twelve Pence, for his Religion, up­on any penal Statute; and yet he was as True a Son of the Church of England and as Wise; and the Lord Lieutenant as great a Martyr for his Religion and Loyalty; and both of them as sit to be our Guides, in this Point, as the best Men now living. Stay till they have offended and done things worthy of Punishment, and then spare them not. Men as wise and as good as we, thought we might be safe without their king in danger; and it seems highly rea­sonable that their having done amiss, and not our Fears and Jealousus of it, that they will do so, should make them punishable. The Laws made against Roman Catho­licks, are either as Rebels or Papists: If as Rebels, what need of particular Laws for them more than others? Why not the same Law to punish them and others guilty of the same Treason? If any Papist be found guilty, let that Law act against him which is thought sufficient, not only to Punish but to prevent Treason in all Men of Antimonar­chical Principles; and therefore they cannot be made a­gainst them in that sence, viz. as Rebels: Nor as Papists; for then it will follow, That he is liable to most severer Pu­nishments, who acts according to his Conscience, which is the Rule and internal Law which God obliges us to follow [Page 42] and observe, under pain of Sin, right or wrong; if our Con­science, after a serious Examination, dictates so; therefore all hu [...] ane Laws, which punish a sincere Obedience to this inter­nal Law, viz. Conference, are hard, in case (that is) of an Invincible Error. Besides, we must acknowledge them to be a True Church, though Infected with some Errors, and to have things necessary to Salvation; why then such a severe Animadversion upon them? Do not Turks and Jews and some Sectaries, who are worse than either, live quietly among us; and why then must our Brethren of Rome be molested? And why may not either Church or State alter many things concerning their own Constitutions, upon prudent conside­ration, as the Reason and Circumstance of thing [...] very, upon new and better Reasons? No Law, purely Humane, can be made perpetual; and when it is made, it must be in­terpreted according to the mind of the Lawgiver; and when he interprets his own Law he does not take off but suspends the Obligation;Ductor dub. p 143. [...].3.4 [...]8. and he may intervene between the Equity and Strictness; for the Intention more than the Letter of the Law,R. 400. is to be ragarded: And certainly, Mens stiff­ness in keeping what they have got (though not upon such Grounds as themselves now approve of) is rather a Point of mistaken Honour than of Conscience; a Contention of Spi­rit rather than a Debate of Truth and Equity. And if this be the Case, I am sure all wise and good Men will cen­sure your Obstinacy and Frowardness if you persist; though the Mobile, perhaps, may reproach you with Levity and Cowardice, if you retreat. To change our Minds upon mature Deliberation and better Experience, and the evidence of new and better Reason, is a great piece of Christian Ge­nerosity and such as will speak you honest, though not crafty Men. And if the honour of your Religion be of equal value to you with that of your personal Reputation, 'twere well you studied, how much that were concern'd, in the peaceable and obedient Temper of such as pretend to have espous'd it, as becomes the True Sons of the Church of England. No­thing can stain the Reputation of the glorious Religion we profess, more than your turbulent, stiff and ungovernable Tempers, who are the chief Patriots and Professors of it. [Page 43] Shall we, who have hitherto endeavoured to strengthen the hands of the Magistrate, now strive to weaken them? Shall we, who pretend to inact his Laws in the very Consciences of his Subjects, now endeavour to put other Limitations and Conditions upon them than God has done; or pretend the Revocation of the Broad-Seal of the King's civil Authority, by the Privy-Signet of Religion? Where-ever this is done, that Prince or Magistrate had need be a very devout Man indeed, who casts a benign aspect upon the profession of that Religion, which has so malignant an influence upon his Go­vernment: And all considering Men will with great Reason doubt, whether that Religion be of God which gives such disturbance and trouble to his Vicegerent; and whether that will carry Men to Heaven hereafter, which makes such Tu­mults and Confusions as will be an Hell upon Earth. I hope 'tis no 13th. Article of your Creed or mine, That what­soever a Parliament does is rightly done for that were to bring Rome home to our own doors, by giving them that Infallibility which they give the Pope: Men are not bound to build their Consciences upon Acts of Parliament. I have heard, That to dissolve a Parliament in discontent, is to pick a quarrel with the whole Nation; and I am of Opinion, That for them to fly in the Face of the King's Religion, would be the ready way to pick a quarrel with him; and whe­ther it be a conscientious or prudent thing so to do; or that a design to prevent a remote and contingent Inconvenience can atone for a Disobedience at present, which may possibly dissolve the frame of Government, I leave to you to j [...]dge of There may arise a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph, and then you may come to be whip'd with your own Rods. These violent Opposers of the regal Prerogative, know not what Spirit they are of: Do they meet the same Measure they would have meeted to themselves again? Is this their brotherly Kind­ness, Meekness, or good Manners? Does not the Prince of Peace oblige his Disciples, If it be possible, and as much as in them lies, Jam. live peaceably with all Men? The Wisdom which is from above, is pure and peaceable; it consults the publick good; and 'tis a true Testimony of a religious and generous Mind, in his most retired thoughts, to look out of him­self, [Page 44] and be mindful of the Publick Welfare of the whole in all his private Meditations; 'twas this made the Fabii and Fabricii and other Roman Worthies, so renown'd in those times, that they were content to expose themselves to the greatest dangers, and to venture the losing of the good O­pinion of the Mobile, for the Prosperity and Safety of the Commonwealth. Lord, how rare a thing is it, in out age, to find a private Man, who cordially devotes himself to the good of the Community, which is of so much the nearer concernment than the privete, as it is of larger Extension? Consider before it be too late, that the Religion you are so justly inamoured with, will rather be prejudic'd than pro­moted by this peevishness of her Professors: Hast thou the Faith of the Chruch of England, have it to thy self, and take the Kingdome of Heaven by an Holy violence, but do not at­tempt by any wicked violence to impose it upon other? will you neither be obedient for Wrath nor yet for con­science sake? Did ever Christ and his Apostles, who were arm'd and instructed with a greater Power, for the vinidi­cating of the Truth, than ever any Persons since, either Civil or Ecclesiastical, were, behave themselves so unseem­ly? Did not St. Paul become all thing to all Men, that he might by all means gain some? And shall not we interchangably use the duties of common Humanity to them of the Roman Religion? Not shew them the way (but out of the Land of the Living) who are going towards the Land of Pro­mise, as well as we, and yet think we do God and the King good Service Does not St. Paul command every Soul to be subject to the higher Powers, upon pain of Damnation? If they are in Errors, you may warn them of their danger, as he did, Acts 20.31.Night and Day with Tears; but you must by no means draw Blood of them, not tempt other to dispise them: Luke 9.26. Let your moderation be known unto all Men; Christ came not to destroy but save alive; we had better be persecuted our selves than become Persecutors of other; nothing that in violent or injurious can have any thing Religion in it; and why should we tempt the Romanists to combine to­gather (as they will do, if they have not more Religion than we shew in this Stubborness) to revenge the Injuries that [Page 45] have been offer'd them, the Wounds that have been given them in the House of their Friends? Of which we are as guilty, by being the unconcern'd and silent Spectators, as if we were the principal Assassins; and whosoever is afraid of being re­proach'd for a Papist by Pleading their Cause as far as Ju­stice and Charity favours it; or consults his Ease and Reputa­tion more than his Religion at this juncture; when such as­saults are made upon the Principles of the Church of Eng­land, even by them who pretend most kindness to it, deserves the Punishment either of a Coward in his Religion, or a Traytor to it. No Man, who loves his king or Country, can wish for more Liberty or Encouragement than the Church of England Men enjoy; and for any of them to grudge the King immunity for them of his own Religion, is such a com­position of Indiscretion, Popularity, Ingratitude and Insolence, as is little deserv'd by so Good and Gracious a Prince. Peace is not the thing we pursue, but Popularity, which may be the Fool's Paradise, but it is the Wise Man's Scorn: He ne­ver attempts to keep up a Party against Authority with a Spirit of Contradiction; not to make differences more or wider than they are to please the People, who love to hear Well of themselves and Ill of their Princes, as you cannot but have heard some degraded Courtiers do, who being outed of their Employments, or disappointed and defeated of their secular Aims, never cease to Harangue against what they have lost or miss'd, to satisfie, not their Reason, but their Revenge. These are the great Champions for the church, whom the Populacy admires. Popularity makes these Hectors bold as Lyons now, who would fly as fast from danger as any hunted Stag, if a Blood-bound were at their Heels, according to Tertullian's Observation, Novi & Pastores eorum in pace leones, in praelio cervos: He was a Wise Man that told us, That to sawn on the People, is the lowest degree of Flattery, and I think he might have added, and the highest degree of Folly; for nothing can be more foolish than to esteem their Good Opinion, whose Judg­ments we approve not; for a Man to stand in the king's Light, on purpose to draw the rowling Eyes of the Crowd upon himself; to be look'd at, and to be talk'd of, as a [Page 46] Man that would sain be thought considerable by being trouble [...]ome; this is indeed the Poison of Hypocrisie, which destroys many Souls as well as disturbs many States; and therefore when you hear Men, so zealous in standing up for Goa's Glory; take heed that they prove not Chapmen for their own. Popularis aurae, vilia mancipia; That they may be Town talk for opposing the King, and attempting to eat them without Salt whom the King honours; to which I am sure it is not the Spirit of christi [...]ity that provokes them, but a much worse Principle. I hope there are but a few of these amongst your fellow Members, and that most of you are sincerely resolv'd to go on in the peaceable way which you know to be right, as counting it your Glory to have the Testimony of your own Consciences, bearing witness with you of your Ingegrity. If the rest of your Brethren will bear you company, in gratifying his Maj [...]sty in his just and reasonable Expectation, I know you will be the better Pleas'd; if not I doubt not, but you have courage enough to act Vertuously by your self, rather than to do Ill for Company; and that you will rather be singular in a Loyal Vote, than So [...]iable in the contrary. I am better acquainted with your Courage and Consience, than to be jealous of this; not is it to hearten you, but other Men up­on this occasion, that I say so much on this Subject, as becomes every Man in my Station, who am one of them that watch for your Souls, and therefore dare not betray them by my silence, and coolness in God's or the King's Cause: My Crime would be as deep as my silence; and my not proclaiming, next to my procuring, the danger you run your selves into, for want of a timely foresight; the not dis­covering any Net in which you may be unhappily ensna­red, and not breaking it too, if we can, would be next to the spreding of it if we could. And I know full well, That cowardice in a Minister is worse than in a Souldier, by how much our warsare is more hono [...]able than theirs; and I reckon them the most prostigate con [...]ards in the World, who are asraid of opening their Mo [...]ths for the King, for fear the People sould open their Mouths against them. The fear of offending a private Brother is a thing not con­siderable [Page 47] in comparison of the Duty we owe to the publick Magistrate; for this would cut the Sin [...]ws of all Authority, and bring the King and his Laws into Contempt, by gra­tifying some Mens causeless Scruples, and others groundless. Jealousies: Do not therefore so consider Roman Catholicks, as to forget they are Englishmen and good Christians; let Anabaptists or Prosbyterians act. this part, rather than any True Son of the Church of England: Her's in which you are embarqued is not a Fire-ship designed for Destruction, but for Edification; she is for winning Men over to her self, with Mildness and the Spirit of Me [...]knes [...], and not for in­raging them with Violen [...]e and Bitternej [...]; and therefore ne­ver seck for a loop-hole to creep out of, but stand to her Principles; trouble not your self to enquire whether the thing, which the King expcts, be expedi [...]nt or not, being well satisfied of its Legality; let the King answer for that [...]; God will never lay it to your Charge. God guides all Prin­ces Actions to his own just and wise Ends, who can cause the Wrath of Man to turn to his Praise; his Providence and Protection, and our Prince's Conscience and Honour, are as good Security to our Church, as any we can desire; and she has taught us to reft satisfied with it; and told us, That Religion never prosper'd by any undue Practices to advance it. Meekness, Patience anti Humility are those Graces of the Spirit which convince and convert. I hope Time, and a right Ʋnderstanding of our Princes exemplary Justice, the s­credness of his Royal Word, and the most obliging Temper of his Person, will allay those dangerous Democratical Furies, which wheresoever they prevail or enter, possess Men with Principles of Ʋsurpation, upon the fundamental Prerogatives of their Sovereign, and design to dives him of the loyal and sincere Affections of his Peoples Hearts: He has done all that any Prince can possibly do, to convince the World of his merciful Inclinations, to make his Moderation known unto all Men, whom he can safely trust, as well as to his Ro­man Catholick Subjects; and how far he is from incroach­ing upon any Man's Conscience himself, or suffering others to do it; he has made it his Business Night and Day, ever since he sate upon the Throne, to allay all Heats and Ani­mosities, [Page 48] arising from different Perswasions in Religion, and to unite the Hearts and Affections of all his Subjects to God in Religion, to his Vicegerent in Loyalty, and to their Neighbours in Charity; he longs to see us [...]t Peace with our selves and all the World; besides he hates to see us forward to do such Bloody Offices one to another, as Turks and Jews would be ashamed of; nothing is so displeasing to him, as to see fellow Christians and fellow Subjects reviling and libeiling one another, as once Constantine did, in the Council of Nice, killing and treading one another under Foot, as in the Council of Ephesus, and as in the Schism of Da­masus and Ʋrsicinus; as if Christ, the Prince of P [...]ce, were not yet come into the World, or at least not reveal'd in this part of it. if there be any Incendiaries amongst us, Re­ligion does not inflame them; if there be any such Feuds Religion does not kindle them; she cannot do that upon Earth which she damns to the Pit of Hell: That which makes grievous to our selves or others cannot be Religion; she teaches us to love our Brethren as our selves, and to dwell together in Ʋnity; and if our Practices be accordingly, our Principles will easily defend themselves. Now is the time for us of the Church of England, to remember our Doctrine of sincere Obedience to the supreme Power, a Doctrine plea­sing to Almighty God, and of good report among all Prin­ces; and let us not shew now, when we think our selves touch'd that we were only Political and Mercenary in our Loyalty; and that as the Devil said of Job's serving God, It was not for nought; it may be said of our serving the King too, becausc we had all along the chief Countenance and Protection of the Laws which he made; and as the Phrase there is, had a Hedge, made about us, and about all that we had on every side; but in the case under debate, if any of our Communion provoke the King to Anger (who is not, nor will not be angry with us for cleaving to our Religion) let him be his own Casuist, whether he pays an intire Christian Obedience, seeing he would conclude in lessr Instances, that the first Provocation begins a Quarrel; 'twould now be but bantring, to endeavour to commend the King out of resentment of a repulse; when as indeed, set­ting [Page 49] aside home Reasons, he would appear less considerable in Foreign Negotiations for the publick Good; when Fo­reign Princes shall hear by their Ministers, how small In­fluence he can have upon his own Subjects at Home. 'Tis too well known, that in the Reign of our late Gracious So­vereign, the like exceptions have been made abroad, upon some [...]dutiful Carriages of his People to him at Home, to the Dishonour and Damage of these Three Kingdoms. I wis [...] w [...] did all well consider that all penal Laws imply a Power of Relaxation in the Legislator, and that the King's Government con [...]sts in Imperial as well as Political Laws; and therefore is not to be restrain'd upon any Pretence whatsoever. Constantius setled the Arrian, and after him, Julian the Pagan Religion, by their own Imperial Power and Edicts, yet the Christians did not controll them ; nor have we any more Power to rise up against our King, or to dis­obey him because he is a Catholick, than the Romanists had to rebel against Queen Elizabeth (besides the Question of her Right of Succession:) For it is not the Law that makes the King, but the King that makes the Law; and though both for his own and the publick Interest, which are inseparable, he ought to act according to those Laws, which do the more powerfully oblige him, by being his voluntary Establish­ment and the Effects of his Royal Will; yet Justice is not against Charity; and both the Interpretation and Execution of those Laws are in him. In him is acknowledg'd the sole Power of raising Forces, of granting Commissions both by Land and Sea; of calling, adjourning, proroguing ana dissolving Par­liaments, when and where he judges it most expedient; and in his Power it is to remit the Severities of penal Laws, where­by he may manifest his Goodness and Clemency, as well as his Greatness and Justice; by graciously Pardoning both the smaller Breaches of his Laws, and the more capital Offences which he might most justly punish. From him all Places of highest Trust derive their Authority. It is his Commission they act by, when they put his Commands and Laws in Execution; and without, or against his Will and Consent nothing can be legally acted or done. His Parliaments Concurrence with his desires is always kind and convenient, [Page 50] though not always absolutely necessary. And I do, with [...]h­mission offer to those of your Illustrious and Loyal Assemby, Whether in this Affair, of which I am seaking, it be not consistent with your Wisdoms, to follow a course used in ma­ny cases, by a Court as politick as any in the World, that of R [...]me, who when they are advertis'd of some­thing passing by a Prince, which formerly came from them, do immediately dispatch away the Grant to the same effect, to save their pretensions of Right to do it. Before King James the First's time, you will hardly find, that the Sovereign's Proposa [...] were ever rejected by Parliaments, and yet their Petitions have oft, with good Reason, been denied in Queen Elizabeth's time the publick Bills were drawn by the Privy-Council, and underwent afterwards very calm, gentle and short Debates in Parliament. But that which may stick still with some of you, in the present case, is, Your answering the King's expectation, will look like a giving away your Religion: It may look so to some Pur-blind People, Who see but little before them, and then the Reason is no better than Popularity, which is now adays grown amongst Persons of Quality as common and great a fault as Oppression was for­merly. But how is our Religion given away by your con­sent to that, which your dissent cannot hinder? It is our Interest as well as Our Duty, not to be wanting to them whom the King esteems and honours in any acts of Friend­ship which are consistent with a good Conscience; and to susser our City Gates to stand wide open for them, that they may go in and out at pleasure, and partake of all the Be­nefits and Privileges which we enjoy. No Man ever did a good turn of Friendship to another, but at one time or other he himself eat the Fruits of it. Let it be remembred, in what good condition the Protestant Religion is in many Go­vernment within the German Empire, by allowing Privi­leges to those of the Church of Rome: How well assured the Governments are of their containing entirely Faithful, when these People have equal assurances with other Sub­jects of their remaining safe. Waving, many Instances which that Empire affords, let us look into that of Bran­denburg the Religion of which Country is Lutheranism, and [Page 51] is so preserv'd by the Elector, though he many years ago became a Calvinist; nor will this Change seem small to those who are acquainted with the mutual slender Amities of those two Perswasions the Men of Ink and Gall, on both sides, blackning one another, and interchangably represent­ing the opposite Opinions to be sowler than Popery it self in their Eyes: But yet in this Electorate, such was the Wis­dom of his Highness, that he freely gave in assurance to keep the publick Rel [...]gion as he found it; and such has been his Faith and Honour, that he has been sacred to his Ingage­ments. On the other part, these Graces have been suitably received by his Subjects, that as he makes them happy, so they, and his own Prince-like Vertues, have rendred him the most glorious Prince that ever Brandenburgh enjoyed; and, if we do our part like them, ve have no occsion to question his Majesty's doing His. Though he keeps many Calvinist Ministers about him, and make use of the Laity who Worship in his way; yet the others do not repine at it; much less ought we to grudge them he Fruits of the King's Fa­vour, who were as Loyal Actors, in the late Times of Re­bellion, and g [...]eater Sufferes than we; they who suffer'd with and for him, might modestly have expected to have been restored to their Privilegs of True English Subjects be­fore now, and to have been rais'd above Contempt and Danger. I speak not this to teach our Senators Wisdom but shall pray to God ‘who stands in the congregation of Princes, and observes, not only all their Ways, Act­ing and Proceedings, but even the most secret Designs and Intentions of the Hearts of every one of them from whom alone cometh all Council, Wisdom and Ʋnderstanding; that when by the Authority of our Sovereign Lord the King, you shall be lawfully gather'd in his Name, to Consder, De­bate and Determine this, and other weighty Matters, both of Church and State, he would send down his Heavenly Wisdom from above, to direct and guide you in all your Consultations: That having his Fear always be­fore your Eyes, and endeavouring to lay aside, so far as humane Frailty will permit, all private Interests, Prejudi­ces and partial Affections, the result of your councils, may [Page 52] tend to the glory of his blessed name, the maintenance of True Religion and Justice, the Sa [...]ety, Honour and Happi­ness of the King, the publick Wealth, Peace and Tran [...]uil­lity of this Realm, and the uniting and knitting toge­ther of the Hearts of all Estates and Persons, within the same, in true Christian Love and Charity one towards ano­ther: which will be your greatest Honour here, and the way to eternal Glory hereafter.’

But if any in your high Station should say, such I mean who sit upon the same Bench with you, we are so far from grudg­ing Papists the Power into which his Majesty has been pleas'd to put them, that we will leave all to them, and we will be ever Loyal, but we will not act in the same Commission with them, either Civil or Military. These Men, who are such Ne [...]er-passive Loyalists, may do well to consider, That this their peevish Resolution is disagreeable to their Allegi­ance at large, to their Duty by Law, and to the Interest they espouse. Their Principle is wholly destructive of Loyalty; for to be Loyal and not to serve the King when requir'd, is a plain Contradiction; since Loyalty is not like a civil Ce­remony, but, an Obligation laid upon us by the highest Law, to obey those placed over us; against whom he does passively rebel, who is unactive in their Service. And there­fore the Primitive Christians obey'd their Emperors, though Heathens, with the hazard of their Lives and Fortunes; and shall We, that are the Sons of the Charch of England, resuse the lawful Services of a most Christian and Gracious King? whom we are obliged to serve without Ifs and Ands, as well when he Frowns upon us as when he Favours us, for this is the only way to be God's Favourites as well as his, and to prove our selves Members of Christ as well as of the Commonwealth. 'Tis a known Maxim in the civil Law, That Subjects ought not only to obey the Government, but to be Instruments of it too; without which the Government could not be carried on, and the greatest Princes would have less effectual Authority than a Centuriom has, who says to one Go and he goes, to another, come and he comes, and to a third, Souldier do this, and he does it: And our common Law has therefore establish'd this Sudalternacy of obeying and bearing [Page 53] part in the Government, of which Sr. Thoma [...] Overbury's Case and Imprisonment is a pregnant Instance [...]n it be justly said, That it was an over-stretching of [...] Prerogative, for the like was after practi [...]'d upon Sr Peter H [...]n, who for behaving himself [...]ke some other muti [...] [...] [...]ons, in one of the last Parliaments of King Cha [...] [...], was sent, against his [...]iking, on [...]r E [...] tinate; and though the w [...]ce in the Parliament of F [...]ay [...] at that or any other t [...] him an illegal. No Prince could [...] a K [...] ou [...] this Right of compel [...]ing his Subjects to m [...] respective Offices under him And as to acting in the Commission of Peace, the Great Chancellor, in the late King's time, in the Case of an Irish Noble Man seated in England, and refusing to take the Oath of a Justice of Peace, declared, That he ought to do it, and every Man else nam'd in the King's Commission: and therefore they are unpardon­able to dispute it now, who have already taken their Oaths and acted many years accordingly.

Nor is it less against your Interest than your Duty, to withdraw your Services; for if you quick-sighted Men, who sit higher than your Neighbours, spy more Damages and Mis­chiefs coming on the Country, than we can see, from those who are newly put into Commission, you have the more Reason not to desert your Station.

There were many Gentlemen in the Rebellious Age be­fore the King's Restauration, who, acting under the Usurper's Commission, told their confiding Friends, they indur'd it only in order to the serving the King and the Loyal Party; how much rather should Men now serve the King, and sub­alternately those that serve him, when they are called to do it by a lawful Authority? Let them also consult their Honour as Gentlemen, and shew a Courage besitting their Quality, like that brave Roman, who did not, like other mean Spirits, sneak out and quit his Post, but generously profest he did not despair of the Commonwealth, nor would he desert its Service: If they to whom this is urg'd, say, No more do we; we acquiesce in the Kin'gs Pleasure, but [Page 54] we care not for Acting; their laying down thus, is an Im­peachment of their loyalty; for hereby do they raise or in­crease the groundless Fears and Jealousies of the People, who will be over-apt to conclude, That if those leading Men in the Country, upon whose Conduct they safely re­lyed, Withdraw themselves, all is lost; Religion and Proper­ty are vanish'd; whereas you are the only Men who can and should take them off these mistakes, by giving them to understand, That the current of the Law is as clear as ever, and that the King does no more for his own Religion, than every Prince in the World does for his; nor less for ours, than will suffice to make us Happy, if we had but Wit enough, to know when we were so. That, as to the mixture of Po­pish and Protestant Justices, Ireland has been long so Go­vern'd and with good Success; and as the greatest number of our present Statute Laws were made by their Ancestors Council and Consent, then of the same Religion they now are of; so we have no reason to question but they will be as forward to execute, as the others were to get them inacted. And if, after all, they confess, as all Ingenuous and Conside­ring Men must, That they could consent to the repealing and taking off the capital, penal, and disabling Laws against the Roman Catholicks, but they could not answer it to their Counties for which they serve; they need not be told (who were such apt Scholars in the tender Point of Privileges. of Parliament) that their Power is more than that of the States General of the United Provinces, for they may not only consult but consent without those who sent them; and if they dare deny it, send a Serjeant at Arms for them (as you know they lately did, how legally I Dispute not.) And since those States, in the late King's Time, concluded with him a Point of mutual Benefit, without ever sending to their Principals, and were afterward thanked by them for it; with more Right and with as good Success, may they concur with the King's Motion, if it be consider'd, That they were not chosen by Men of that Antimonarchical Spi­rit, who generally prevail'd in the Three Elections be­fore this. And as to those of the opposite Party, who can think their Thoughts are likely to be like Lycurgus his de­fence [Page 55] of his Laws, That though they were not the best, they were as good as then could be made; and seeing they surmize that some Men endeavour to bring Parliaments into Disesteem, as stulborn and intractable, and therefore useless; in prospect of this and what may probably ensue, it will undoubtedly be Prudent, to give up many Points formerly contended for, with too much Eagerness and too little Ju­stice; by which Compli [...]ces with the Royal Power and Goodness, they may have fresh and larger Assurances of saving the main Sta [...] Thus have I honestly esiay'd to give you the best Resol [...]uic [...] I can of the Case in Q [...]j [...]ion, whether the Thoughts which were to my satisfaction, will prove so to your's or others more fearful and jealous in the Commun [...], of our Church, I know not; but I hope they will, and wish they [...] not only for the King's Service and Satisfaction, but for their own and Peace sake. He was a sound Politicia [...], who told us, That for the maintenance of a Religion long in be­ing, it is necessary oft times to reduce it to its first Grounds; Ma [...]hia. vel p 33 [...] nor do I think it would argue want of Policy or Piety in the Sons of the Church of England, to study the Primitive Constitutions of the same, and to re [...]ect upon the peaceable Temper of the first Reformers, and to con [...]der what one of our best Casuists, our Church ever bred, tests us, in the Case of One of our Church Marrying with a Recusant, That in Points, wherein the Substance of Christianity consists, Bp. San­derson's 5. Cas. p 18.the fundamental Articles of the Christian Religion, we both agree. And that he who rightly understands those Catholick Truths, taught in the Catechisms of both Churches; and concerning which all Christendom, in a manner, are at a present accord; and will also suffer himself farther to consider, That the Church of England does not impose upon the Judgments and Consciences of her Members, any thing to be believ'd or receiv'd as of necessity to Salvation, but what is truly Ca­tholick, and confessed by her Adversaries so to be; and con­sequently, that the Differences between her and the Ro­mish Party, is wholly about those Additionals or Super­structures, may easily rest; satisfied in his Judgment and Conscience, That the thing desir'd is not simply evil, and [...]o [...]o­genere, unlawful, but expedient; and as the exigencies and [Page 56] the conjunction of our present Circumstances, and the pro­bability of the good and evil Consequences of it, prudently laid together and weigh'd one against another require, are little less than necessary.

And in Truth, did we live up to the Rules and Canons of the Church, the Differences between them and us would not appear so many and so great, but that we might hope under so Gracious a Prince, who has a kindness for both, to become at last, if not Men of one Judgment, yet at least of one Heart. Fergus. Inter. of Reas. 593. I will allow such a Casuist as Ferguson to repute the Terms of Union with Rome, impossible and absurd, for so they must needs be, to such an Arch-schismatick and Traytor as he is: But if we consider, that there are a great many Truths of so little value, that a wise and good Man would part with them all for a Grain of Charity; and how dangerous it is and damnable, to rend the Peace of the Catholick C [...]h, we shall not be so stiff and inflexible, so tenacious and unyielding, even in Matters of so small mo­ment, as we too familiarly are to so shameful a degree of Obstinacy, that we will not stir an hairs breadth to win a Brother, no not to gratifie a Prince: Intreat, perswade or convince them (Non persuadebis, etiamsi persuaseris) still they hold their Principle, which is none of the best; ob­tain all, yield nothing; so far are they from being arm'd with Epaminondas his brave heroick Resolution, Totius or­bis [...]itias despicere prae patriae charitate; to despise private Interests for Love of the publick Peace of Church and State. This were such a Self-dental, as would adorn a Christian, and speak him truly Catholick; and if Distempers in the Body Na­tural and Political are reduc'd by Physicians and Politicians, not to what they should be, but what they can be; then let us not strive to advance our Christian Liberty, above the Laws of Sobriety, Charity and Government, nor endeavour to serue any Peg so high in the Church as to make a discord in the State, but endeavour calmly to perswade and convince Men by the Scriptures and Reason; for though the Ministry and Service be ours, yet the Dominion is his who bears the Sword, and whose Friends must be ours, or else we are not Chrict's nor our own. We may keep our Consciences Tender, [Page 57] but not so raw as to kick and wince at all which touches us, or which we understand not. Remember that of La­ctantius,P. 487.Quae, ubi, aut qualis est Pietas? n [...]mirum apud eos qui bella nesciunt, qui concordiam cum omnibus servant, qui om­nes homines pro sratribus diligunt, qui [...]ohibere iram sciunt, om­nemque animi furorem tranquillâ moderatione lenire: Such an Evangelium armatum as some warm Disputants would make our Religion favour, would better become John Goodwin to publish, who was better skill'd in the methods of embroiling Three Kingdoms, than any True Sons of the Church of Eng­land, whose Laws are not like Draco's the Athenian, writ­ten in Blood: Her Heart is not so petresied as to rejoyce in Evil; she abhors all living Bonefires; she prays for the Conversion of her's and God's Enemies, and delights in their Reformation, but not in their Ruine; her Commands are like her Saviour's with the Sceptre and not with the Sword, unless it be of the Spirit, which she never suffers to make way to Mens Consciences by cutting through their Flesh. Let my Soul never come into such Bloody Councils at these. Ifa. 29.4. The Greek Church approves not to this day, the putting He­reticks to Death; and we have great Reason to Bless God and the King, that our Writt, de Haeretico comburendo, is taken away by Act of Parliament; and may all other San­guinary Laws perish and be abolish'd as well as that, made in this or any Christian State, against Men upon the score of Christian Religion, if the most notorious Offen­ders against it be punished with a civil Death here, and an eternal hereafter, 'tis sufficient: Defendenda est Religio non occidendo sed moriendo. Aut hoc non est Evangelium, aut nos non sumus evangelici; fraterna necessitudine cohaeremus, quam qui non agnoscit injustus est: Christianity binds us to pur­chase Peace at Interest, rather than keep up a Party a­gainst it; for there is such variety of Education, Interest, and Custom in the World, that he who resolves to yield to no Body can agree with no Body. Christ comply'd with the Rites and Customs he found in the World, and condeseended to the very Humours of Stubborn People, to ingratiate himself and his Doctrine: And Erasmus hated discord so much, that he lov'd not any Truth that might [Page 58] occasion it, Mihi sane adeo invisa est discordia, ut veritas e [...]iam displiceat seditiosa: Nor can any desire to keep the Wounds of the Church or Kingdom open, but such as would he better pleas'd to suck the blood of both; and peaceable Princes have a happy time of it, to serve the Humours of such Men, and receive such Encouragements as they daily give them. There was to be no destructive Beast in all God's Holy Mountain; the Beasts of prey came down from Mount Seir, [...] 11 9. and not from Mount Sion. If the Counsels of any of the Enemies of our Church be of Men or Devils, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, we cannot overthrow if, least happily we be sound Fighters against God; and if ever we hope upon good Grounds to ride on and prosper, it must be because of our Truth, and Right [...]ousness, and Meekness, not of Humour and Petulancy; for this is a time of healing, and not of troubling the Waters. There is nothing wanting to make us live qui­etly one by another, though of several Judgments, whilst we agree in the Fundamentals of Religion and loyalty, but the subduing of our own inordinate Affections. Did we take up the Cross to lay it upon other Mens Shoulders? or do we fellow Christ:, as the Jews did, to Crucisie him? This is to love Christ and the King as Men do one another, till they be brought to the Tryal: Goodness is the best Note of the True Church, and I hope will prove the in­separable Character of Ours; for, I am sure, none are so affable to their Brethren on Earth, as they that have their Conversation in Heaven. If we will suffer it, our Religion is ready to tye the Gordian-knot of Kindness between us, and all who deserve the Name of Christians; it will breed an harmony in the Affections of all the King's Subjects who receive it; it will sublimate and spiritualize their Humanity, and draw it off from all the Dreggs of Ma­lice and Uncharitableness, and teaches us to love the King for his Goodness, as well as others to fear him for his Resolution. The Samaritans held it an Abomination to come near a Man of a different Religion or Perswasion from them, but we have not so learned Christ; may there never any s [...]i [...]e be heard amongst us, but who shall strive first [Page 59] and most to serve God and the King; Unless you loath your present Manna, and long for your old AEgyptian Leeks and Garlicks, you will not make others look like Devils, that you may look the more like Saints, but you will join with the Church and the meanest of her Children, and say a hearty Amen to this Prayer, Domine da pacem in die­bus nostris; and spend your time in Prayers to the God of Peace, that you may prevail to stisle and put out those Dissentions which the Divel has kindled among us; and in Tears if you cannot, so shall ye be sound in Peace by the Prince of Peace at his coming, without spot and blameless, and our Hierusalem be built up as a City at Unity in it self.

Sir, I have not martial'd my Thoughts into such a me­thod as I should and would have done, if my time and other Accomplishments had born any proportion to your Expectations, and the duty of such an undertaking; but I hope I have said enough to make it plain to all the True and Well-meaning Sons of the Church of England; that what I have press'd you and them to do, and resolve, by God's Assistance, to practise my self, Is

1st. A Duty we owe to Almighty God, P [...] 8.15. by whom all Kings Reign (who are not the Peoples Creatures but his Vicegerents) not intrusted with theirs, but invested with his Authority.

The Powers that be are ordain'd of God, and as he that resists them, resists the Ordinance of God; so he that dis­honours them, dishonours God's Ordinance, and by con­sequence God himself. And as respect for the King's sake, is to be paid to all such Persons as he deputes to sustain his Authority and represent his Person; so much more for God's sake, is honour to be paid to the King, whom God hath commission'd to be his Deputy on Earth, and invest­ed with the largest share of his Authority. Besides, God hath expresly commanded us to honour the King, Prov. 24 21. and twice joyn'd it with a Precept to Fear Him, to denote that none can deny the King Honour,1 Pet. [...].13. but such as have no fear of God before their Eyes; and that without Disobe­dience to God we cannot refuse to honour the King, both as a Christian and a King: And here, once for all, let it be observ'd, That when St. Peter wrote his first Epistle, [Page 60] and therein gave Christians that Precept of Honouring the King; he, who then govern'd them, was none of the best, but perhaps one of the worst in the World who ever wore an Imperial Grown; a profest Enemy, not to Christiani­ty alone, but to Morality too. Nero was at that time the Roman Emperor, who was not only an Heathen, and of a different Religion from them; but also as Tertullian stiles him, Dictator Damnationis [...]nostrae, the first Persecutor of the Christian Religion, which shews him to be of none at all. And yet such a King they are commanded to honour, which may assure us, That 'tis the King's Authority, ab­stracted from his personal Qualifications, which we are to honour; be his Religion what it will, be it any or none at all; if he be our King, God requires us to consult his Ho­nour in all things; and without Disobedience to God, I hope I have sufficiently prov'd that we cannot do other­wise. Every True Son, therefore, of the Church of Eng­land, who acknowledges his Majesty's Title to the Impe­rial Crown of these Kingdoms to be unquestionable, must conclude it to be an indispensible Duty, which he owes to Almighty God, to say and do all that he lawfully may for the King's Honour.

2dly. 'Tis a Duty which we owe to the King, and that not only because God hath by the divine Law given him a Right thereunto, but also because the Benefits which we enjoy under his Government deserve if. Do we not en­joy publick Peace and Preferments, and the free and pub­lick Exercise of our Religion, which is a blessing infinitely more valuable than any of which we can be ambitious, on this side Heaven? He hath not only indulg'd that to us, but by many most gracious, solemn and reiterated Promi­ses, engaged his Honour and Fidelity to protect us in it; which we must honour for the Church's Magnâ Chartâ, the more transcendent act of Grace, because not extorted by Rebellion, and a security more firm than any Law, which cannot tye a King (who is declared the supreme Judge of the Law and above it) so fast as the Obligations of his own Royal Word and Honour do it. And is there nothing due for so high a Favour? Are not we to be extreamly [Page 61] [...]ender of his Honour, who is so under of our Happiness, as that he may justly be stiled the Defender of our Faith, as well by Desert as by Inheritance; as not only to protect it from real Dangers, but also to protect the Professors of it from their own fears? If a Nero be to be honoured, much more a Titus or Vespasian: If a Tyrant (who was a disgrace to Humanity,) much more an indulgent Father of our Church and Country; one whose Clemency makes him the delight of Mankind, and one whole Royal Word gives his Subjects the belt Security of which they are capable.

3dly. 'Tis a Duty we owe to our Country: The King is the Light of our Israel, as David is stil'd;2 Sam. 21.7. and the more bright and resplendant this Light, the more bright, power­ful and benign Rays and Influences will it diffuse among us. He is the breath of our Nostrils; and if our undutiful and indecent Behaviour towards him do eclipse his Honour, Jer. 32.3 by interposing any thick Body between him and his Peoples Hearts, or taint the Nations Breath with an ill Savour, it would be a sad Symptom of the decay of its Vitals. Who knows not, that the usual Methods of Treason and Rebellion have been first to blacken the Prince, and make him seem vile to the People, and then to tempt them to op­pose and resist him? First to represent him in some soul shape (as the Heathen Persecutors did the Primitive Chri­stians, when they cloathed them in Beasts Skins) and then expose them first to be derided, and at last to be devoure'd? And what did any Nation ever get by Rebellion, but expence of Treasure and Blood, Rapine, Misery and Ruine? In which Point, if we are yet unsatisfied, let us lit down and cast up the Accounts of ours from Forty to Sixty, the summa totalis of which will be found to be nothing on the Balance, but the loss of our Liberties, Properties and Religion, with the additional Interest of Slavery, intailed upon us and ours for so many Years. Can we then better consult the Kingdoms good at this time, than by maintaining the Kings Honour, or take a better course to keep it in Peace and Plenty, than by keeping up a good Opinion of our most Gracious Prince among his Subjects; or shew our selves greater Patriots, or better Friends of our Country, [Page 62] than by being zealous for our Prince's Honour, and jealo [...] of all those Words or Actions, which may secretly under­mine it?

4thly. Lastly, This is a Duty we owe to our Dear Mo­ther the Church of England, from whose Breasts we have suck'd an untainted Loyalty, and by whom we have been trained up to a most tender Zeal for the Honour and Ser­vice of our King, without any relation had to his Religi­on. It is well known, That no Church under Heaven ever taught her Children more Loyal Principles, or more constant­ly than she has done; and therefore no Children on this side Hell, would be more unpardonable for acting Distoyally than hers. She never allow'd any pretence whatsoever to dising age us from our Loyalty; nor did she ever absolve us when we appear'd to want it, but upon sound and sincere Repentance. The more inexcusable then were we, if we should disgrace our Breeding and Education under her most excellent Instructions with any contrary Practices: And the more indispensibly are we oblig'd to lay hold of those Opportunities, which the Providence of God does now offer us, to give the World such a convincing Testimo­ny of our Loyalty, as unless the True genuine Sons of the Church of England shew, I question whether it will ever see. Catholick Loyalty I mean, not only bearing patiently, but dearly loving, and devoutly honouring our Prince, though of a different Religion, and not speaking ill of any thing, of which he hath himself entertain'd a sacred, or would have us have a good Opinion.

And thus far have I, in Obedience to your commands, expressed as plainly as I could, the judgment of my own Mind, about this important and seasonable Duty. I am so sensible of my own unfitness for an undertaking of this Nature, that nothing but Your's or a greater command, could have drawn me to make such an essay; least so good a Cause should suffer more by my Weakness than gain by my Zeal: However, such as it is, I humbly submit it to your better Judgment; not doubting but that whatever you judge to be said amiss, will be, by your Charity, as if it had never been said by me, and corrected by your Christian Prudence: And [Page 63] if any thing be said that may be capable of doing his Ma­jesty any Service, you will conceal the Author, least his obscurity prove an Obstacle to the efficacy of his Argu­ments. Who will live and die a True Son of the Church of England, a Loyal Subject to his Majesty, and

Your Humble Servant, A. B.

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