A VINDICATION OF THE LETTER out of the North, Concerning Bishop LAKE's Declara­tion of his dying in the Belief of the Doctrine of Passive Obedience, &c. In Answer to a late PAMPHLET, called, The Defence of the Profession, &c. of the said Bishop. As far as it concerns the Person of Quality.

LICENS'D, Jan. 27. 1689/90.

LONDON; Printed for Awnsham Churchill, at the Sign of the Black Swan, near Amen-Corner. 1690.

A VINDICATION OF THE LETTER out of the North, &c.


I Deferred my Thanks for your Last, till I could tell you I had received the little Pamphlet, wherein you thought I had some concern, therefore if this appear a slow Re­turn to yours, you are to blame the Carrier's pace, which was not like to mend in so bad Weather and Ways. But this is to own that I yesterday received it; and being at present from my own House, and wanting the convenience of my Books and Papers here, I thought it better to give you an account of those things which a first and second Reading suggested, than to take a longer time to consider of it, and thereby raise your Expectations beyond what I can come up to. But besides, the Letter you sent me being both without Date and Licence, I know not how long I may have been in this worthy Author's Debt, and therefore make all the haste I can to get out of it. For altho I did not intend to have troubled either him or the World with any more of my Pamphlets, yet the Respect that he is pleased to shew to my Quality, is so particular and obliging, that I was afraid I should have disperaged my Breeding, if I had not made my Acknowledgments for it. I might indeed have returned his Complement, and begg'd your Pardon for giving you a trouble for which there is so little occasion; for I believe there are some that think his Letter does as little need an [Page 4] Answer as mine did. But I'le assure you I am very sensible of his Favour in taking notice of such a Trifle, when so ma­ny learned and weighty Treatises lie by him unanswered; therefore shall not suppose he pick'd mine out because it was the weakest, but because there was something in it that de­served an Answer. But yet I must not be so vain as to assume all the good Language in the Book to my self; for, to speak the Truth, he has pretty equally dispenced his Favours be­tween three of us; but mine being the largest Part, I shall leave the other two to answer for themselves, while I ad­mire the Author's dexterity in knocking down three at one blow; I have indeed heard of killing two Birds with one stone before, but three at a time, besides routing a whole Party, is so extraordinary, that I begin to fear Bombs will come in fashion in this kind of War also, for one single Bul­let could never have made such Destruction: But if there be such Execution by the by, alas, what will become of me, against whom the murderous Engine was directly levelled? But you will suppose that I have a little too much business on my hands to make a long Preamble, therefore shall pro­ceed to the Letter, and take it as it rises.

And in the first place, he presents us with a short, and so very short an Account of the good Bishop's Life, from his Cradle to his last Sickness, that I have nothing to except a­gainst it, but that it is no longer; and to beg leave to in­form the Author a little better in one Passage of it,Page 4. which I must confess I did a little wonder to see insisted on, because that of his exposing himself to the Rabble was not by his Friends look'd on as the most prudent Act of his Life. But the Truth as well as the Short of the Story, is this: They have for a long time at York had a Custom (which now chal­lenges the Priviledg of a Prescription) that all the Appren­tices, Journy-men, and other Servants of the Town, had the liberty to go into the Cathedral, and ring the Pancake-Bell (as we call it in the Country) on Shrove-Tuesday; and that being a time that a great many came out of the Country to see the City, (if not their Friends) and Church; to oblige the ordinary People, the Minster used to be left open that day, to let them go up to see the Lanthorn and Bells, which were sure to be pretty well exercised, and was thought a [Page 5] more innocent Divertisement than being at the Alehouse. But Dr. Lake, when he came first to reside there, was very much scandaliz'd at this Custom, and was resolved he would break it at first dash, altho all his Brethren of the Clergy did disswade him from it. For altho they had as much Zeal both for the Honour of God and the Church as he could have, yet being better acquainted with the Temper of the People than he was, they knew it would be a vain, as well as ha­zardous thing to attempt it: but all their Arguments could not prevail, for he was resolved to make the Experiment, for which he had like to have paid very dear, for I'le assure you 'twas very near costing him his Life, and others too, that in kindness came at first to disswade him, but had much ado to secure themselves. But however he did make such a Combustion and Mutiny, that I dare say York never remem­bred nor saw the like, as many yet living can testify. But how well soever the good Man designed in the thing, (as I verily believe he did) yet his Zeal was so indiscreetly managed, that it had like to have produced the worst of Mischiefs; and therefore in some Peoples Opinion, that were better Judges of the Fact than I was, he did not deserve any Enco­mium for it. But however at this time it would not be very reasonable to follow such an Example, which was all I took notice of it for.

The other memorable Thing he relates,Page 2. of his entring in­to Episcopal Orders in the time of the late Distractions, is truly praise-worthy, altho he is not the only Man that did it; for I know one that now fills as eminent a Place in the Church as Bp Lake ever did, that did the same thing, and that under more discouraging Circumstances, for he had not only the Danger of the Times to contend with, but was to reject the Importunity of his Friends also, nay more than that, to overcome himself, and root out all those Prejudices that a contrary Education (for he was brought up a strict Presbyterian) and Prepossession had implanted in him, which were indeed such Difficulties as might have discouraged any body but himself, but by God's Grace he overcame them all, and is now as useful, as eminent in that Church, to which he dedicated himself six years before K. Charles the 2d's Re­storation. But I do not say this to derogate from Bp Lake, [Page 6] for the more Instances the better, of such heroick Vertue; therefore could have wish'd that our Author had given us a larger Account of that excellent Bishop, whose Life I dare say might have furnished him with a great many more remar­kable Passages; however I think there is nothing more that I need insist upon in the first Part, for I do not know that I e­ver questioned either the Bishop's making of the Profession, or the Solemnity of the Circumstances with which it was done, therefore must crave leave to tell my Author, that he has a little mistaken the Point, for 'twas not the making, but the publishing of it that I excepted against: for to another body it would be pretty evident that it was only the publish­ing of it that seemed so unaccountable to me, although in­deed it's a Parenthesis, and only in that, is said, ‘That there seemed no greater occasion for the making of it, than there was for my Lord Archbishop to put out Manifesto's to tell the People he is suspended on the same account.’ (for these are the very Words of the Letter:) and where the great of­fence of them lies, or the angry Objection against the ma­king of the Protestation, I must confess I do not yet see. For I hope the putting him in the same form with his Grace of Canterbury, could be no Affront or Disparagement; how­ever I dare say the good Bishop would not have thought it so. But the Person of Quality is upon all occasions so ex­treamly obliged to this worthy Author, that 'tis all one what I say, for even my own Encomiums meet with this Return; for these are his Words, ‘His Civility and due Re­spect for the Memory of the late Reverend Bishop,Page 13. I should with all Thankfulness most readily acknowledg, if I could think it not designed, with the better Grace and more Ce­remony, to cast a blemish upon one of the last and most so­lemn Acts of his Life.’ But I wonder how long he and the Person of Quality have been so intimately acquainted; for although I am sure he does not know my Face, yet he pre­tends to know my Heart a great deal better than I do my self, (if the Inferences he is pleased to make in this and some other Places are true) for I can assure you he tells me of De­signs I never thought on. But since he makes such Objecti­ons▪ I hope he will take care to answer them, for I thank God I am not at all concerned to do it. But in the mean [Page 7] time he did very well to slip his own Neck out of the Collar; and though he pretends to answer my Letter, yet waves the main Point, which was the Design of publishing the Protesta­tion; which he tells us does not at all concern his Friends, who had no hand in it. But truly that would hardly be credi­ble, if he did not affirm it; for not many lines before, the Person of Quality is accused for designing to cast a Blemish on the last and most solemn Act of his Life. Upon which, if this be true, it seems his Friends set no very great Value; for methinks 'tis pretty odd that what was signed and assert­ed so solemnly, should be immediately so exposed, that the Witnesses and Friends, should neither know how, nor why it was made publick; but that was a Query that I believe it was not convenient to answer, and so did very well to start a new Question; and although he will not tell you why the Profession was publish'd (though he knows it as well as most Men in England) yet he will tell you as good a thing, and that is, the reason why the Bishop made it. But before he can do that, he must have t'other fling at the Per­son of Quality, in whom he has made such Discoveries, as I dare say, you in so many Years Acquaintance have never made. But Quality indeed, were a very desirable thing, if it would make one more sagacious than other People; but poor I, am like to lose my Gentility, because I am not so quick-sighted, as to see what is so obvious to Persons of less Rank and Quality, than I would be thought of; for still he will be divining my Thoughts, but has hitherto been so much out, that I would not advise him to set up for a For­tune-Teller, of all things, unless he can make better Guesses at other Peoples Hands, than he has from my Wri­ting: for although I do extreamly value the Esteem of good Men, yet I never desired either to be, or to be thought a great Man. So that without any Offence, he may believe me a Chimney-Sweeper, or a Cobler, if he pleases.

But now he tells us,Page 14. That all Men of Reason, knew that the Reasons for the Doctrine of Passive Obedience could not be contained in so small a Compass, and are not well consistent with the Design of a Profession. But if the Design of it was to give the World Satisfaction, and that in a Controverted Point, which was no Fundamental of the Faith, nor any [Page 8] way essential either to the Being or Well-being of the Church; then I cannot think it would have been superflu­ous to have subjoined the Reasons that made him of that Opinion, rather than of the other. For there being as ma­ny great and good Men too, of the other Side, Bishop Lake's bare Name and Opinion is not of Weight enough to turn the Scales, and so we of the Laity must still remain in Sus­pence: For we must dissent from some of our Reverend Fa­thers in God, let us take which side we please; and being willing to hear both, should have been very glad to have seen the Bishop's Reasons for his adhering so stifly to that Doctrine. For, with Submission to the Reverend Author, what Satisfaction soever it might give the good Bishop in the making, the publishing has not given the World very much, for it only tells us, That he lived and died in that Opi­nion: For really, I cannot yet see any great Weight in that Argument of his having been bred and born in it; Nay, indeed, I think it is no Argument at all; for it being common to all Religions, cannot be a Proof of the Truth of any. And those which do lay any great Weight upon that, I should suspect had but very little to say for that Religion, or Opinion, that must be adhered to only on that account. But to prove the Properness of the Ar­gument, the Author is pleased to cite the saying of St. Po­lycarp, ‘Who when,Page 24. at his Martyrdom, he was offered his Life if he would revile our Saviour, answered, That he had now served him 86 Years, and he never did me, says he, any Injury, and how can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour? This was (adds my Author) thought so conside­rable, as to be recorded in Ecclesiastical History, and de­livered down to Posterity. Though I suppose it can be no more imagined that Christians only lived then to 86 Years of Age, than that only Men of the Church of England now are bred and born in their Religion.’ But what then? for really he would have obliged such a dull Creature as the Person of Quality is mightily, if he would have told him the Inference that he is to make from this extraordinary Comparison: For all that I can make of it is this, In Poly­carp's Days, other People besides himself lived to be 86 Years old. Ergo, Bishop Lake's being bred and born in the [Page 9] Doctrine of Passive Obedience, is an undeniable Proof of the Truth of it. And in his next Paragraph he brings another Evidence for the Antiquity of it, that I think is not much short of this, as to the end it was designed for; for he tells us,Page 25. The Bishop had lived to hear it affirmed, that Passive Obe­dience was a Doctrine of but 40 or 50 Years standing. But his Testimony alone being sufficient to confute that Error, it was most proper and requisite for him to aver, that he was educated in that Doctrine, and that it was not only as old as he could remember, who was now 65 Years of Age, but that it was taught him as an ancient Doctrine. And this, Sir (says he) was the way of maintaining the Truth of old, by plead­ing against Hereticks. What? by bringing a Youth of 15 Years old (for Bishop Lake was no more 50 Years ago) to depose for the Antiquity of a Doctrine, and by the single Instance of his being brought up in it, prove the Universa­lity of it. And if this be such convincing Evidence of his side, and if he would please to give us leave to bring in our Witnesses, 'tis possible we might produce as ancient and au­thentick Persons, who would tell us another Story. Al­though truly for my own part, I can easily believe the Doctrine to be of a much ancienter date than fifty Years, and 'tis possible might be taught by some from the Reformation. For there was some reason to cajole Henry the Eighth, and so to make him more favourable to them, they might tell him what good Passive Subjects they were like to make; which was a thing he liked very well, and therefore it might be a prevalent Argument with him to encourage them as much as he could; but for all that, I am very far from be­lieving it was the Faith of the whole Clergy, either then, or at any time since; but yet believe it gained more ground since King Charles's Restauration, and was more generally received than ever it was before; but yet for all that, Sir, I am sure that both you and I know some of the eminent Fathers of our Church, who never owned it in that Lati­tude that Bishop Lake and some others preach'd it up at. But after all, the Truth is, no Doctrine ought to be valued for the Antiquity, but the Truth of it. For at that rate Heathenism might claim the Preference to Christianity, be­cause 'tis certain it had the Precedence of it; but Truth is [Page 10] Truth, though reveal'd but yesterday, and Error not the less Error (but the more to be avoided) for being of some hundred of Years standing. But for all those weighty Reasons for the Bishop's making this Profession, I cannot say that I yet see any Reason to change my Opinion. For I do still believe that his submitting to a Suspension, was a more convincing Proof of his Opinion, than a thousand Volumns; nay, I will say, than a thousand such Protesta­tions: For I dare appeal to the Author himself, whether if Bishop Lake had not submitted to Suspension, he would have believed this or any other Protestation of that Nature that he could have made; so that it still seems very evi­dent to me, that though he made it to please himself, yet there was no Necessity on the Bishop's Account to make it publick; the World being as much satisfied of his Opini­on as they could be. But although the Author does not think fit to tell us what were the Designs of publishing it, yet he is pleased to quarrel with the Inferences I make from it, but how justly, you shall see presently: For I thank him, instead of confuting, he has confirm'd my first Infe­rence, so that truly I have no Reason to be offended, al­though he says he has now found out the Cause why I am so. But at this time the Person of Quality is not a Commu­nity, but speaks only for himself in his private Capacity; so that I dare not undertake for others, to whom perhaps he has given Provocation enough: but they being to be Judges in that Matter, I have nothing more to say to that, only to observe, that instead of denying what I charged the Profession with, the cutting off the Clergy in Queen Elizabeth's Days, he does now absolutely cut off the great­est part of our Clergy now, that is, I am sure the major part of the Bishops of this Kingdom, from being true Sons of the Church of England; for which, if you please, you may read his own Words;Page 25. where repeating my first Infe­rence, which was to suppose that the Protestation did in­sinuate that from the beginning of the Reformation, ever since the Church of England was restored to its Purity, Passive Obedience was the Corner-stone of it, for 'tis call'd (though he omits that Clause, which perhaps is the Reason he does not understand the Epithite) the distinguishing [Page 11] Character of the Church of England. To which he replies, ‘That whatever my meaning may be in calling it the Corner-Stone, he must tell me plainly, That Passive Obedi­ence has been ever the Doctrine of the Church of Eng­land. And when I say afterwards, So that it seems none were accounted her true Sons, that did not hold it; if he means, that none besides were accounted to hold her Doctrines whole and entire, or to hold all the Truth which she teaches, the Design of the Paper is to assert it too.’

But here I must admire the Author's Cunning extreamly, though I cannot much commend either his Ingenuity or good Nature; for although he does very peremptorily in his own Name tell the Person of Quality plainly, That Passive Obe­dience has been ever the Doctrine of the Church of Eng­land, yet he is so kind to Bishop Lake as to allow him the Honour of condemning all that did not receive it: For he owns it was the Design of the Paper to assert they were not true Sons that did not. But, first, I would know by what par­ticular Priviledg it is, that Bishop does take upon him to censure so many of his Brethren; and in the next Place I would be willing to be informed what Authority the Au­thor had to pronounce such a Sentence against so many of his Superiours. But whether he will think fit to answer these two Queries or no, we have got a good Experiment by the by; for although at first he pretended Ignorance as to the Design of publishing the Paper, he now owns it with a Witness, by which it seems the Person of Quality was not so very much out in his Guess; but however, he did very wisely to lay all the Blame on the poor Bishop.

But by the Treatment the Living Clergy receive from him, you may suppose the Dead had not fared much bet­ter; for they had all certainly been cut off at one slap, but that, by good Fortune for them, he can bring them over to his Party. But that is the thing now to be exa­mined; though having not at present the command of my Books, (as I told you at the beginning) I shall take the Gentleman's Quotations, hoping he has dealt a little more faithfully with his Authors, than he has with the Per­son of Quality in some places, as I shall shew hereafter.

[Page 12] And since for Expedition-sake I allow all his Citations; all that remains for me to consider, is, Whether his Inferen­ces from them will hold or no. And in answer to what I ur­ged of the Clergies giving Queen Elizabeth three such con­siderable Subsidies on the account of her assisting and pro­tecting the Scotish and French Protestants, &c. he is plea­sed to undertake to prove two things: First, That Queen Elizabeth did not assist the Scots or French in any Rebellion, but always declared the contrary. But before he comes to that, he is to premise two things, which I shall very willingly yield him; The First is, that for Soveraign Princes in War to serve themselves of the Treachery and Revolt of another Prin­ce's Subjects, is no more than what is always done, and is by the Law of Nations held lawful, and the necessity of Af­fairs seems to require it. Secondly, That it is lawful for Princes to make the best Terms they can, for Subjects that have been serviceable to their Interest in a just War, tho by Rebel­lion against their own Prince.

And now it may not be amiss to collect the Observations these two Positions will afford us: for the Premisses being granted on both sides, I hope the Conclusions will not be denied by either. And from the first we may infer that 'tis not only lawful, but sometimes necessary, to encourage Re­bellion in a neighbouring Prince's Kingdom; or else I cannot very easily imagine what he means by saying, The necessity of Affairs seems to require it. For it seems the Good and Preservation of a Nation is a thing of such vast Concern, that Princes are dispensed with, and not obliged by the Rules of common Justice (as he himself tells us in the same page.) And since he is pleased to grant this, I know not why he should stick at the further Consequence, which he is sensible does naturally enough flow from the former, and therefore would prevent the Objection: And says, 'tis no good Consequence that Subjects may rebel, because fo­reign Princes may take advantage by their Rebellion to reco­ver their own Rights, or to secure their Dominions. But if it be lawful for a King, for the Security of his own People, to raise or foment a Rebellion in his Neighbour's Country, I cannot see but it may be as lawful for Subjects to assert their own Rights against their own Prince, as it is to secure them­selves [Page 13] by setting others Subjects against their King, unless he will please to say that Subjects have no Interest nor Con­cern in the common Safety, but are obliged to stand still to have their Throats cut, which would be a pretty odd Su­perstructure upon the Foundation he just now laid. For surely the Dispensation that he says is given to Princes, by which they are exempt from following the Rules of Com­mon Justice, was not given on their own but the Peoples ac­count. And if a petty Prince may lawfully engage all the great Kingdoms of Europe in War and Confusion for the Se­curity of his own Subjects, shall the Rights of those Sub­jects be so inconsiderable to them, that they must lose them tamely, if their Prince should mistake his Office, or misem­ploy his Power, and subvert those Rights he is obliged to maintain? For although, by our Author's own Position, Kings may lawfully do unjust things for the Preservation of the Rights and Liberties of their Subjects; yet neither this Author, nor any I have yet met with, will say that it is law­ful for a King to destroy his Subjects, or subvert the Go­vernment, although indeed some have said that we ought to submit and be passive if they will do it. But truly our Au­thor has given us too high a value of our Priviledges (which it seems are to be preferr'd before our King's Virtue and Ju­stice) to make us part with them so easily. But perhaps we may be a little mistaken in the Nature of Rebellion, and it may not be so great a Sin in some Countries as others; and so we may lawfully excite them to that which we are not to commit our selves: But besides that, this is a little too much encroaching upon the Devil's Office, who was first known by the name of Tempter among Men, (and truly much upon the same score that he allows Princes to do it for the Preservation and Enlargement of their own Domini­ons) but besides this, I say, if it be but a small Sin in compa­rison in other Countries to what it would be here; yet since our Saviour hath told us, Mat. 5. 19. That he that teacheth Men to break one of the least Commandments, shall be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; I thought this had been as standing a Rule of the Church of England as Passive Obedience it self. For to make another body sin, I always thought not a lesser, but a higher Guilt, than to commit it my self, having [Page 14] his Fact, as well as my own Contrivance, to answer for. For I think I may as lawfully be drunk my self, as designedly make another so. And in another Vice, the Procurer is thought more inexcusable and odious too, than the Party that employed them, who may perhaps be under a greater Temptation. But however, this is evident, that 'tis not the doing of the thing, but the taking pleasure in them that do it, that is by the Apostle, Rom. 1. 32. set down for the highest pitch of Sin and Wickedness. Therefore if, as our Auther has observed, the necessity of Affairs should require us to become Tempters, let us not assume the other part of the Devil's Title, and turn Accusers of our Brethren also, and condemn them for that to which we have betrayed them, but find some gentler Name for that which our Author grants may not be only useful, but sometimes neces­sary, for the Preservation of a Nation. But although I have been longer on this than I designed, yet I must not wholly balk the second Position, for that will afford us some very useful Observations, for he tells us, ‘'Tis law­ful for Princes to make the best Terms they can for Sub­jects that have been serviceable to their Interests in a just War, though by Rebellion against their own Prince.’ From which we may gather, that our Author thinks it possible for Subjects to be engaged in a just War against their own Prince: And if they may with Justice fight against their King for another Prince's Right, I cannot at all under­stand why they may not for their own. For surely the Safe­ty of my own Country ought to be dearer to me than all the World besides; and I have more Reason to defend the Rights and Priviledges of that, than all the Princes Titles in the World. But if our Author should not allow all the Inferences I have made from his Concessions, yet I have a great deal of Reason to thank him for them, because they will not only be of use to me hereafter, but do at present in great measure supercede what I should else have said to his History. For 'tis perfectly indifferent to me, whether Queen Elizabeth did assist the French and Scotish Protestants or no, since by his first Position he grants, She might have serv'd her self of the Treachery and Revolt of other Princes Sub­jects. For 'twas the lawfulness of the Action, and not the [Page 15] Fact it self, that was the great point in question: and since he allows she might have assisted them, though they had been Rebels, we will never quarrel about it, whether they were so or no. For truly, the Person of Quality is very well plea­sed that he has so learned an Author of his side, that proves all he desires should be asserted in the point: For since he will allow the French Protestants were not Rebels, be­cause they had the Law of their side: Nor were the Ne­therlands guilty of Rebellion against the King of Spain, because he first acted contrary to the Laetus Introitus, Page 33. and disengaged them from their Obedience, when he had broke the Condition of it. If he will but please to be as gracious to his own Country-men, and allow them the benefit of their own Laws, and suffer the Oaths of Princes to be as binding in England, as it seems they then were in Spain, I know no bo­dy that will desire any more of him. Nay, I will go farther than this; for if he can name any one Person that was a Re­bel to King James after the Allowances above are granted him; rather than he should go unpunish'd, I think I should be his Executioner; for I hate those that rebel against, and break the Laws, as much as the Author can do: And since Rebellion is so horrid a Sin, I would not have England to have the Enclosure of it; but only desire that we may be allowed to fight for our Laws and Liberties, as other Nations do, without being thought Rebels for so doing. But if our Author will not allow us the same Priviledges he gives to all the World beside, there would be some reason to suspect that he designs us the Monopoly of that he so exclaims a­gainst; and is so particularly kind to his own Country, as sometimes to lay them under the unhappy necessity of be­ing either Rebels or Slaves. And I have something the more Reason to fear this, because I find he is not so sollicitous to clear the Scots from the imputation of Rebels, as he is the French and Dutch. But let them be what they will, you see 'tis evident Queen Elizabeth did not assist them; she only furnish'd them with Men, Money, and Ammunition. And when the Queen of Scots came and flung her self into her Protection, and implored her Aid for restoring her to her Crown, she then asserted her Cause with a witness. For had that unhappy Princess trusted to the Mercy of her Sub­jects, [Page 16] as great Rebels as they were, I am sure they could not have treated her worse than she was used by that Queen, who our Author tells us, always declared against any Protecti­on of Subjects in their Resistance, which she always called Rebel­lion. But I suppose Princes are no more obliged to speak Truth, than they are tied to do Justice; for which our Au­thor gave them a Dispensation before.

But I think it now time to proceed to the 2d thing he un­dertook to prove, which is, ‘That it was the Doctrine of the Church of England at that time, that it is unlawful for Subjects to resist, and that therefore our Divines justi­fied the French and Dutch no otherwise than upon Prin­ciples which are consistent with this Doctrine.’ And truly if our Author hold in the same mind he was when he promised the two Positions (before enlarged on) and acquitted the French from Rebellion, because they had the Law of their Side; and the Dutch, because their King had forfeited his Right to their Obedience by breaking his part of the Pact and Stipulation between them; I do not see but he and I shall agree in this, as well as the Divines of this Age do with those in Queen Elizabeth's Days. For I suppose the Convocation at that time did approve of Bishop Bilson his Sentiments as to that matter; for the Author tells us the Book was perused and allowed by pub­lick Authority, and also dedicated to the Queen; so that it seems to be that which they were all willing to stand by. And I heartily wish that all our Bishops would do so too, and make that very Passage he cites out of Bishop Bilson the Judg of the Controversy; for then I think it would be pretty soon decided; and therefore I shall transcribe the Place in the very same words he has done, page 33.

‘In France, the King of Navar and the Prince of Conde might lawfully defend themselves from Injustice and Vio­lence, and be aided by other Princes their Neighbours. If the King, as too mighty for them, sought to oppress them, to whom they owe not simple Subjection, but respective Homage, as Scotland did to England, and Normandy to France, when the Kings notwithstanding had bitter Wars each with other. The rest of the No­bles [Page 17] that did assist them, if it were the King's Act that did oppress them and not the Guises, except the Laws do permit them means to save the State from open Ty­ranny, I will not excuse; and yet the Circumstances must be fully known before the Fact can be rightly dis­cerned, with which I confess I am not so exactly ac­quainted.’ Now in this Passage here are three several things observable.

First, He absolutely acquits the King of Navar and Prince of Conde, but their Associates only upon Supposi­tion, that the Law permitted them to oppose the King's Tyranny; but the Guises Oppression they might without Law. But although the Bishop says, he will not excuse those that resist the King without Law, yet it is pretty re­markable that he seems to suppose that even in such a Case, there may be Circumstances which may render them ex­cusable, and which ought to be fully known before the Fact can be discerned, and therefore he does forbear passing his Judgment on them, because he is not thorow­ly acquainted with the Circumstances. And now were all our Divines of this good Bishop's Faith in this Point, or at least had they but his Charity, and would not con­demn their Brethren before they understood the Cause, they would certainly understand one another a little bet­ter than they do, or however there would be no Divisions nor Schismes about it, which God grant they do not now make in the Church. But whatever others do, we are I hope sure of our Reverend Author, for he has proved that the Clergy in Q. Elizabeth were of his Faith as to this Question, therefore should have thought it unnecessary to have said any thing more, but that for the Authors In­formation, I must answer an Objection or two about Da­vid, whose Example though so much recommended, might perhaps carry us farther, and give greater Liberties than the Person of Quality ever desired; for I'le assure you, defensive Arms will at any time content him.Page 39. But our Author is pleased to ask how it appears, David took up defensive Arms, for the Homily tells us of no such thing. But I can tell him of as Authentick a Book that does; nay that tells us a little more of David: for if he will please to [Page 18] read 1 Sam. 28. 2. and 29. 8. he will find it was not Da­vid's Fault that he did not use offensive Weapons against Saul, if fighting against him be to be called so; for if we may believe his own Words, he certainly intended that as you may see, 1 Sam. 28. And it came to pass in those Days, that the Philistines gathered their Armies together for Warfare, to fight with Israel: and Achish said anto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battel, thou and thy Men. And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy Servant can do. And Achish said to Da­vid, therefore will I make thee Keeper of mine Head for ever. And in Pursuance of this we find David and his Men at­tending Achish (the very Day before the Battel) as his parti­cular Guard, which perhaps might be one thing that dis­gusted the Lords of the Philistins so, that they would not let him go to fight with them; and Achish against his Will is forced to dismiss David, whose Expostulation, Chap. 29. 8. is very remarkable, for I think 'tis one of the most passionate things of the kind I have met with; And David said unto Achish; But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy Servant so long as I have been with thee unto this Day? that I may not go fight against the Enemies of my Lord the King. And Achish was forced to command him a se­cond time, for you see he disputed the first; which satisfies me that he was in earnest, and was unwilling to return. And now what can be said against so plain a Text? For my own part I can foresee but two things: the First, That David did dissemble with Achish, and did not intend to fight: but that I think is a very unworthy Thought, for David had been a very base and ungrateful Man to have either deceived or betrayed Achish, who had given him Protection, and was so truly kind to him. The second thing is, That a Subject may list himself under a Forreign Prince, and in his quarrel lawfully fight against their own King; and if so, then all that listed themselves under the Prince of Orange, might still be as good Subjects to King James as David at that time was to Saul: And as to the proof of his taking up defensive Arms, he may find that 1 Sam. 22. 2. And every one that was in Distress, and every one that was in Debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves [Page 19] unto him, and he became Captain over them. And here is as formal levying of War, as I think can be desired, and if it was not to defend himself, I know not to what purpose it was; for if he desired only Flight, he might have done that safer as well as privater by himself than with an Army. Nor was that Army of any use as to the gaining of the Crown after Saul's Death; for God commanded him to go and live at Hebron; where the Men of Judah of their own Accord went down and made him King, as he will find 2 Sam. 2. So that so many hundred Men from the begin­ning to the ending were of no use unless it were to defend him against Saul; and that he did design to have garison'd Keilah, but that God told him the Men of the Place would betray him: I think nothing can be more evident from any Text, in Spight of all the Author's Comments. But now he refers me to the last Homily against Rebellion, as I did him to the second;Page 42. and asks me, whether King John's Subjects took up only defensive Arms? But by Bishop Bilson's excellent Rule above cited, neither he nor I ought to judg them because we do not, nor cannot know all their Circumstances: For Historians are seldom so impartial as to give us all things in their true Colours. But the Design of that Homily was only to shew the Intolerableness of the Romish Yoke, and how impossible it was for them that depended on and obeyed the Pope to be good Subjects. But as for King John himself, he had been as great a Traitor, and used him that should have been his Soveraign, as ill as his Subjects could do him; for all the World knows that he first usurp'd the Crown, and then killed Prince Arthur that was the true Heir. And truly if their present Ma­jesties would have pursued King John's Method, they might before this have had as indisputable a Title, and had as much Right to have been called Natural Soveraign Lord, as King John had. But shall they have the less Respect, and be the worse thought on, because they spared the Life of our late unfortunate King, and suffered him to escape when he was in their Power, nay would not abridg him of his Liberty, although they knew he would use it against their Interest? If this be the Quarrel that the Clergy have against King William, I shall admire their Politicks a great [Page 20] deal more than their Divinity. But to return to King John: What Cause our Ancestors might have to repent them of their Wars against him I know not, but I be­lieve their Posterity think they have not much, for it produced those great Priviledges wherein the English Sub­jects glory. The Charter obtained from him being the first part, or first Draught if you please, of the famous Magna Charta, confirmed afterwards by Henry the 3d. whom the Homily might have cited as well as King John, if it had been the Subjects Rebellion, and not the Pope's U­surpation that they designed to declaim against. But al­though I am very far from justifying all that was done in those two King's Reigns, yet I think verily the Au­thor would have a harder Task to perswade the People of England to give up the Advantages they hold from it. And I think I may undertake to call back both King James and Popery (for they deceive themselves that think they are to be separated, for could they have been divided he need never to have forsaken his Crown and Kingdom) when he shall prevail with the People of this Nation to give up their Magna Charta: For if the former never return (as I pray God they may not) till we are willing to part with the latter; both the Author and I may have Reason to say as Hezekiah does, Isaiah 39. Good is the Word of the Lord, for Peace and Truth shall be in my Days. But although 'tis a very true Rule that we must not do Evil, that Good may come of it, yet when Evil is done (especially if without our Consent) it is certainly very lawful both to enjoy and rejoice in that Good which God Almighty by his infinite Wisdom shall bring out of it; and if our Author is so ten­der conscienced, that he is of another Mind, and will not receive Advantage from any thing which springs from other Peoples Sins, he must not only deny the Priviledges of his Birth-Right as an English-Man, but even his Christianity also: For was there ever so horrid a Sin as crucifying the Son of God? And yet what a lost undone World has this been, if that had not happened? And although for ten thousand Worlds I would not be the Traytor Judas, nor any of the impenitent Jews, yet with what Hallelujahs ought we to celebrate that Divine Goodness, that from Man's [Page 21] greatest Sin, and the Devil's highest Malice could thus work out Mans Salvation. And indeed Events of this Na­ture seem to be the great Abyss of God's Wisdom, as well as Goodness, which Man's shallow Reason must never pretend to sound: but however we may adore what we cannot comprehend, and with the Apostle cry out, O Al­titudo, Rom. 11. 33. Oh the Height and the Depth of the Riches, both of the Wisdom and Knowledg of God! How un­searchable are his Judgments, and his Ways past finding out! And perhaps this might be a better Employment for all our Thoughts than to censure and quarrel with our Bre­thren, because they are not of our Sentiments in all Points, and if they think themselves so much in the Right, yet pray let them remember the Apostle's Rules, That they which are strong ought to bear with the Infirmities of the weak, and not to please themselves, Rom. 15. 1. And he also commands the Galatians, that they bear one anothers Burdens, and so to ful­fil the Law of Christ. But alas, instead of following this Method, we rather chuse to imitate the Scribes and Phari­sees, who by laying heavy Burdens on other Mens Shoul­ders, thought to discharge their own Duty. But for all they sat in Moses's Seat, yet all their Comments on the Law were not true, nor were all Conjectures false that contra­dicted their received Opinions and Infallibility; which be­ing no more intailed on the Chair now, than it was then, it would be very happy if all sides would remember and observe Gamaliel's Advice to the Jews, who said very well when he told them, Acts 5. 38. If this Counsel and Work be of Men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest happily ye be found to fight against God. Therefore it would be Piety as well as Discretion for both sides to attend a little, and not divide from, much less fall foul upon one another, till they are sure that by so doing they shall not oppose God also. Although I must confess I have some Temptation to believe from what has already happened, that it is the Lords Doing; and that upon this Consideration, that all the ways of returning to King James, are guarded by the blackest and foulest Sins that a Nation can possibly be guilty of; and you must break thorow, that is commit all of them before you can open [Page 22] any one Door for his Return. For 1st. There would be the greatest Falseness, and highest Ingratitude in the World, against a Prince that put his Life in his Hand, and exposed his own Person to the greatest Hazard to rescue a perish­ing Church and sinking Nation. 2dly. No Person can so much as treat of such a thing without incurring the Guilt of Treason, for by the ancient Laws of the Land 'tis Trea­son to conspire against the King de facto. Then 3dly. There would be the same Guilt of Perjury in breaking an Oath to him as to King James. 4thly. They must betray God's Church, and the true Religion, and give up their Coun­try to Ruin and Devastation; and consequently have all the Blood to answer for, that should be shed in such an un­happy Revolution: So that were King James's Return a good Worth projecting for on other Accounts, yet that standing Rule of St. Paul's, That you must not do Evil that Good may come of it, ought to deter any body from at­tempting it; but when the thing it self, if compass'd, would be the greatest Mischief, it would then be the greatest Height of Madness as well as Sin to go about it. For can any body think that the destroying a Church and Nation, nay extirpating the true Faith out of the World (that is, as far as we can go towards it) is so meritorious a thing, that it will legitimate the use of those means, which it was not lawful to use, no not for the planting of the Gospel; and if any Man can think this but a Jesuit (for a good ho­nest moral Papist I believe will not) I should indeed think it a great Infatuation; but however that would not alter the Nature of things, but my Rule would still remain un­shaken; for the way to Duty always lies plain and open, so that he that runs may read. And although sometimes it may be attended with Sufferings, yet I am confident never any Person had the fatal Necessity of sining laid on him, to en­able him to discharge any Part of his Duty to God or Man. But I beg Pardon for this Digression which proved longer than I at first designed it, but yet I shall not think it imperti­nent if it proves useful to the undeceiving of any that have been carried out of the way by the specious Pretence of Loy­alty. But to return to my Author.

[Page 23] And the next thing we are to consider, is the Epithet of the distinguishing Character of the Church of England; and you may remember that I ask'd you whether you thought it necessary for particular Churches to have particular di­stinguishing Doctrines; for that to me it appear'd so far from necessary, that I thought it very inconvenient. But he tells us as to that, ‘Whether distinguishing Doctrines be convenient or inconvenient, it is according as the Doctrines are good or bad. No doubt it is inconvenient to have bad distinguishing Doctrines, but it is as certain that it is very convenient for a Church to have distin­guishing Doctrines, provided they be good ones, unless a Church can be obliged to err for Company, and to a­void Distinction.’ But I would be very glad to know up­on what Thesis it is he grounds this dogmatical Conclusion, That a Church must needs err that holds only the Catho­lick Faith, and has not some particular Doctrine of its own to distinguish it from other Churches by. This did not seem to be the Rule of the Apostles, who when they were to preach to all the World, were so afraid of Distinction and Divisions in their Churches, that before they parted, it is generally supposed they agreed of a common form of Words; which they all delivered to their Converts, and was not to be the distinguishing Doctrine of any particular Church, but the common Badg of their Christianity, and is I suppose that to which St. Paul refers, when he charges his Son Timothy, to hold fast the form of sound Words, which thou hast heard of me, 2 Tim. 1. 13. and he also tells us, that the Design of his leaving him at Ephesus was, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other Doctrine, 1 Tim. 1. 3. And the first Request that St. Paul makes to his Corin­thians, is, That you all speak the same things, and there be no Divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joyn'd together in the same Mind, and in the same Judgment, 1 Cor. 1. 10. And this being a thing of such extraordinary Concern, he does not only make use of his own Authority, but as it was the Custom of the Jews to adjure by the Name of God when they would oblige any Person to answer truly, as the High Priest did to our Saviour, Mat. 22. 63. So how the Apostle ushers in his Request with the same Solemnity, [Page 24] Now I beseech you, Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ: thereby to oblige them the more carefully to ob­serve what he says, from which you may guess how far he was from thinking distinguishing Doctrines necessary, that he would not tolerate them. And if Unity were so ne­cessary among Christians then, is it less so now? Or what Necessity is there of being so uncharitable as to suppose all the Churches erroneous in their Creeds but our selves? That 'tis now convenient for particular Churches to make new Ar­ticles of Faith, and have their distinguishing Doctrines, unless they will be obliged to err for Company. I thought it had been all along one of the great Charges against the Church of Rome their making such large Addenda's to our Creed, and making the Belief of some Points necessary to Salvation, which neither our Saviour nor his Apostles taught: and that Churches abounding so with distinguishing Doctrines, and imposing them upon others for Catholick Truths, has formerly been look'd upon as one of their great Errors; but I perceive, Sir, that was a great Mistake, for this Learned Author tells me, ‘That although the avoiding Distincti­on does not very well agree with the Practice of the Primitive Christians; yet it agrees admirably with the Principles of Popery thus to avoid Distinction, which has its Numbers to boast on, when nothing else can be said.’ But if their Unity and Number is the only thing that the Author has to object against the Papists, I could as soon be reconciled to their Uncharitableness as his; for Heaven I perceive is to be the Enclosure of his distinguishing Doctrines, or at least no body is to be thought a Member of the true Church, unless they hold that, and this strange Unchari­tableness is that which does convince me of the great Incon­venience of distinguishing Doctrines; for generally speaking all sides are so apt to value themselves upon them, that they are ready with the Men in the Prophet Isaiah 65. 5. to cry, Stand by thy self, come not near me, for I am holier than thou. And did we press our selves only for doing our Duty, and adhering to our Common Creed, it might be the more par­donable: But alas, 'Tis not the Faith that was once delivered to the Saints, Jude 3. that we thus earnestly contend for; for a Man may hold all that, and yet be pronounced a Heretick, [Page 25] unless he chance to agree with them in all their Opini­ons, which are now to be the Standard of our Faith. But whether the breach of Charity and Unity among our selves, is the readiest way to build us up in our most holy Faith, our sad Experience will I doubt too soon shew. But however, sure I am it does not agree very well with Saint Jude's Method, ver. 21. who bids us keep our selves in the Love of God, and then we may look for the Mercy of Christ unto Eternal Life. But because it is so possible to deceive our selves, Saint John has gi­ven us an infallible Criterion, whereby we may know whether we love God or no, for he tells us, 1 Epist. 4. 20. If a Man say he loveth God, and hateth his Brother, he is a Liar: for he that loveth not his Brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? There­fore this Commandment have we from him, that he that lo­veth God, loveth his Brother also. Therefore since God has made our Brother, as it were, his Proxy to receive the Proofs of our Love to him; and our Saviour has made it the Badg of our Discipleship, By this shall all Men know that you are my Disciples, if ye love one ano­ther: It is very unhappy that those that pretend to be so, should set up another Touch-stone for the Trial of their Sincerity, and think to approve their Love to God by their Zeal against their Brethren, if they chance to dissent from them in a bare Opinion. Although our Saviour did not say, by their Faith and distinguishing Doctrines, but by their Love to one another, Men shall know whether you are my Disciples or no. Therefore I think it is not strange if no Church be fond of those Opinions that will engage them to deposit their Charity; and if they are, 'tis certainly their Failing, not their Ex­cellence.

But now it seems I am to beg the Author's Pardon, for thinking that the distinguishing Doctrine of such a Church had been that which was peculiar to it; for it seems a distinguishing Doctrine is that which they held in com­mon with other Churches, which truly I did not under­stand before. And if this Doctrine be so, yet the appro­priating [Page 26] of it to one, looks as if they had a mind to have the Enclosure of it.

But I skipped one short Paragraph, wherein our Author, according to his fair way of treating the Person of Quali­ty, has jumbled two Texts together, which were cited on different Accounts, as will be apparent to any body that consults the Paper. For when from our having but one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, I was willing to infer the reasonableness of being (or at least endeavouring to be) all of one Mind. I did not think that had been such an Error as stood in need of a Confutation. But now he asks, And must not then those, that held one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, necessarily distinguish themselves from all that held more than one? But I think there is distinction enough made to our Hands, for those Hereticks that first set up those Errors, and separated from the Church on their ac­count, I hope were distinguishable enough from the true Church; and if others hold two Gods, or first Principles, with the Manichees, must I therefore have a particular Do­ctrine to distinguish me from that Church that holds but one? And because some are to blame in making Factions, and cry­ing up Apollos, or Cephas, must I for fear of mixing with them, distinguish my self from those that are of Christ? For, God be thanked, there never yet was a time that Truth was left so without witness, but that there was a true Church, to which if we adhered, we need not set up distinguishing Doctrines for our selves, the Inconvenience of which I am now more than ever satisfied of.

And now he should come to my second Inference, but he passes it over very gently, only denies the Consequence, for he saith,Page 45. ‘This doth not imply that all who have taken the Oath, have thereby renounced the Church of Eng­land. And in this I must own the Author's Candor, for I believe, Sir, you know some that are of another Mind, and that have urged this very Profession of Bishop Lake's to prove it. Although I never said it was Bishop Lake's Opini­on, as he very unjustly accuses me, and although the Charge is some pages off, yet belonging to this Point, I think I may under it, take the opportunity of clearing my self. His [Page 27] Words are these,Page 50. ‘But when this Gentleman must needs know that his Lordship at the same time received the Ho­ly Sacrament at the Hand of a Reverend Divine who has taken the Oath, to insinuate that he would hardly allow those who have taken the new Oath, to be so much as out-Liers of the Church of England, is a thing I confess I can scarce reconcile to any degree of Charity.’ But yet I do not question but that all I there said is full as consistent with the great Doctrine of Charity, as first the making a Falsi­ty, and then charging the malicious Inferences of it on their Brother. But I must confess this is a sort of dealing that I did not at all expect from so ingenious an Adversary; for I know there were weak Places enow in my Paper, that he needed not have been reduced to those pitiful shifts: but the confuting of the Paper would not satisfy, unless he also laid an Odium on the Person, whom I am sure he does not know, but has the good Fortune to have a beter Character from them that do. But the Passage to which he refers, and does so falsly render, is this: After the Story of the dy­ing Papist, I say, ‘That I am confident the Bishop would not have approved of the Argument, had I turned Papist on that dying Man's Declaration. But it seems some think it no great matter what we turn now; for I hear some are so exceeding fierce, that they will hardly allow those which have taken the new Oaths, to be so much as Out-Liers of the Church of England:And then I add immediately after, ‘But although the indiscreet Zeal of some have made them so uncharitable, I am far from supposing it the Temper of all the worthy Men of that Party.’ Now I'le be judg'd by all the World, what there is in this Clause that refers to Bishop Lake, or does so much as insinuate that he was one of those fierce ones: nay, any one may see that I take particular care to free the worthy Men of it; and if our Author will take Bishop Lake out of that List, and number him with the indiscreetly zealous, (who are the only People I charge) I cannot help that; but be it known to the World, that is his doing, and not mine. But although he accuses me for want of Chari­ty, I think I shall shew that I have a great deal, since I [Page 28] can forgive this. For as I thank God I am (whatever my Quality is) above such mean Tricks, so I am above revenging of them too, for such Crimes are commonly their own Lictors. For I am confident he will suffer more by it than I shall, therefore 'tis generally my Pity and not my Anger that it excites on such occasions. But now to re­turn, if this be a Digression, I am glad to find our Author think that there are so many accounts on which the Oaths may lawfully be taken, but it is not my Task to examine any Man on which of those different Hypotheses they took it; for having satisfied the Law, and I am so charitable as to believe their own Consciences also, I have nothing to ob­ject against it. For I am so far from disapproving a tender Conscience, that I would have all the liberty in the World allowed to those who are truly so; so that his Question was a little superfluous as to me, And must those of the Church of England only not be allowed to have tender Consciences? But I am really sorry to find that any of the Church of England should think they are abridged of the liberty of theirs, if they may not declaim against all those that dissent from them; for as I think the Author is very free, so I think 'tis very fit every body should enjoy their own Sentiments, and I hope I shall not be denied the Liberty I grant, but that is only in private; for I know no necessity of imposing them on others, nor condemning all that do not approve of them. And that is the main, and indeed the only Ex­ception I have to Bishop Lake's Profession; for I did suspect, and the Author himself is so ingenuous as to own, that the design of the Paper was to assert that none were true Sons of the Church of England, (that is, as he himself explains it, did not hold her Doctrine whole and entire) that did not hold the Doctrine of Passive Obedience in the same sense Bishop Lake did. And now I cannot but say this looks assuming enough, but however our Author assures us, that ‘the making this Profession, was the most proper, and the most seasonable and charitable thing a dying Bishop could do, to declare that nothing but Conscience was the Cause of his Refusal.’ And although I do verily be­lieve it might be so in the good Man's Intentions, yet I can­not [Page 29] not say it was so, or was likely to be so in the Effects, although we are told it was an Action that did naturally tend to our Peace. For a Surgeon may wish very well to his Pa­tient, and yet mistake in his Applications; for if he use Corrosives, where Oil and Balsam were needful, he will be more like to fester than heal the Sore. And truly I must needs say, that a dying Man's entring a Protestation against a whole Party, looks as it were designed to perpetuate, not compose a Dispute: However I am sure it is much properer for the former than the latter. For the shortning of this, (which much exceeds the Bulk I designed) I have been for­ced to skip whole Pages, to lay those things together that belonged to one Head, but having all along cited the Au­thor's own Words, I hope I have done neither him nor the Reader much injury. But now we will go a little back, and pick up what may be of use in the way. And in the first place, I am very well pleased to find him so much con­cerned for any thing that reflects on their present Majesties, but I am half afraid lest some that should have more Wit, teach us of the Laity the ill-breeding he talks on; for I could tell him of one, that in the Convocation said, the King had sent them a bantring Message, and they had sent him a bantring Address: But I suppose the Gentleman does not value himself so much on his Jest, but that he is wil­ling enough to have his Name conceal'd. But however, it would be well if the Clergy would set us better Example, although I cannot justify any body for following their ill.

I do not at all question what he says of the Dissenting Bishops, for did they but once own themselves to be their Majesties Subjects, I do verily believe they would be as good, if not better Subjects than any they have; and I am confident one might take their Words in the point, and not exact an Oath from them, if that be all they scruple at, with which they might long ago, I believe, have been dispensed, had they offered any other Security. For I be­lieve their Majesties have as great Respect and Inclinati­on too for the Bishops, as the Bishops can have for them, [Page 30] and particularly to him that he mentions, to whom the whole Nation must ever own a great Obligation, for his Care and Diligence in so well principling the two Royal Sisters; and 'tis a great deal of pity he should deny them the Satisfaction they would take in repaying his great Ser­vice.

There now follow some Pages, with which I think I have little to do, he that is concerned in them being so able to answer for himself; but yet rather than have no­thing to say to the Person of Quality, he will quarrel with him on his Friend Julian's account. But had the Author observed the Rule he imposes, and not made use of any Arguments that had been urged before, I believe the Person of Quality's part would have been much shorter in his last Pamphlet than it is. But however of all things I thought the Laws and Statutes of a Nation had been in common, and not like a Terra Incognita, only to be appropriated to the use of the first Discoverer, that is in this case the first Citer. But that he may not fear that I should hereafter make any Encroachments on the Pre­rogatives of so good a Friend, I shall (and I am sure with Truth) declare that I am not only a Stranger to his Person, but also so much to his Writings, that I never heard of the conceit of grinning Honour before, but from Sir John Falstaff in the Play; but however I do believe 'tis a very good Jest, because so ingenuous an Author repeats it so often. But for any thing more, I shall say as the Pa­rents of the blind Man did, Ask him, he is of Age, let him speak for himself.

But it is well if I can do so for my self, for my har­dest Task is yet to come, for alas, I am to answer for a whole Community; for at last our sagacious Author has discovered that the Person of Quality is so: though to tell you truly, I never knew before that I had Pigs in my Belly, much less that I was with Child of a whole Corporation. But although 'tis against the Canon, I doubt I must answer for them all my self, for I fear the Author will not be so kind as to be Godfather to any of my Productions, so I must provide for them as well [Page 31] as I can. But since Charity begins at home, I must first consider my self in my private Capacity, and in that am resolved (as he sees) to be as passive as he himself can desire: And altho 'tis possible I may have more than one Title to be distinguished by, yet truly I will not vie with the Author in that point, to which purpose I will tell him a Story: An unlucky Fellow met with Doctor Harding on the Road, and knowing that he had divers Preferments, he rides before to the Inn, and told the Host there was a great deal of Company to come to his House that Night, and therefore bid him get all the good things he could provide for Supper; for, says he, there is the Parson of St. Martins, the Dean of such a Place, the Prebendary of another, and so reckoned up all his Places. And at this rate 'tis possible the Author may much better deserve to be thought a Community than poor Me; but however I shall answer his jocund Discourse a little more seriously. And I am sure I need not tell him that a new Relation does also lay a new Obligation and Duty, and that sometimes so contrary to the former, that what was a Vertue and commendable in one State, may be really a Fault in another. As for Instance, for a single Man to give all his Goods and Possessions to charitable Uses, is counted a great and he­roick piece of Charity; but should the same Person mar­ry and have a great many Children, should he by his Charity disenable himself from providing for his Fami­ly, if he will take St. Paul's Word, That Man has deni­ed the Faith, and is worse than an Infidel, for those are the Words of the Censure that he passes, 1 Tim. 5. 8. on him that provides not for his own, especially those of his own House. So that we may see what a vast difference an additional Relation makes in the self-same Action. And me-thinks I should not need to apply this to the Point in hand; but because he is so apt to mistake the Person of Quality's meaning, I shall tell him that when there is nothing but my own Right in question, I will quietly sacrifice that to my King's Pleasure, and for my Coun­tries Peace. But if I am in a Publick Office, and made [Page 32] it were a Trustee for my Country, to look after and maintain its Rights and Priviledges, neither Fear nor Favour should ever prevail with me to part with one Tittle of it. Therefore I think the House of Commons have proposed very well to lay a Brand on them who did voluntarily deliver up their Charters, and thereby betray those Liberties they were sworn to maintain: for, for my part I cannot understand why I am not as much obliged by the Oath that I take for the Defence of my Country, and the maintaining of the Rights and Fran­chises of such a Town, as I am by the Oaths of Alle­giance to the King; for if the King break his Oath, and infringe those Liberties he has sworn to protect, yet I do not see how he can absolve or dispence with mine, un­less we make him Pope as well as King. But howe­ver, if that Doctrine of Passive, or if you please we will call it Implicit Obedience to the King is binding, I cannot see how 'tis possible for the Subjects to avoid Perjury under such a Reign as our late King James; for was it not as downright Perjury for a Mayor of a Town to deliver up the Charter he was so solemnly sworn to maintain, as it would have been to have resisted the King in the Defence of it? But this of being perjured, take which side you will, is such an unhappy Necessity, as I believe God never laid on any one; therefore sup­pose that in such Exigencies there is yet a way to ex­tricate ones self without committing the Sin. And truly to do the Author right, I have not met with a better Resolution of the Law, than what he himself thinks fit to urge in the behalf of the Netherlands, when they flung off their Subjection to the King of Spain; and if he will please to apply that to his own Scruples, I think he need not go any further for a Solution, therefore suppose it superfluous for me to say any more on that Point, for if he will not be his own Convert, I cannot hope he should ever be mine.

And now, at last, SIR, we are come to the conclu­ding, and, as he calls it, stabbing Question of London-Der­ry. [Page 33] But really, Sir, the Person of Quality had no such murderous Intention, but since the Weapon was so in its own Nature, it was very happy it fell into such unskilful Hands, for else no body knows what Execution it might have done. But how ill soever I managed my Dagger, I perceive he is a little afraid of it, and will not come near the Question; but that he may be sure to be out of my reach, he is sending me as far as Troy. But methinks I need not go so far for the Answer of one poor Question. But here our Author is forced to his old shifts of shuffling and packing the Cards; for he has really the best Faculty of singling out one Line out of a Sentence; and lest it should not appear ridiculous enough by it self, joins it to another I know not how far off, to which it had no Coherence, as he has done in several others as well as this place: for my Query is in these very words; ‘Whether they did not both wish and pray, that London-Derry should be delivered out of the Hands of those merciless Butchers? And this the Excellency of their Temper, as well as their Christianity, obliging to, I cannot at all question but they did; nay, I verily believe they would have gone farther, and assisted them with their Purses, if they had known how to have conveyed them Relief.’ And how faithfully he renders it, and how fully he answers it, you shall guess from his own Words, which I'le assure you are transcribed a little exacter than he does mine: ‘It is, says he, the Duty of Christians to pray for Righteousness, and Truth, and Peace to all Mankind: How strange a Question is it therefore to ask, Whether the suspended Clergy did no [...] both wish and pray that London-Derry should be delivered out of the Hands of merciless Butchers?’ (for those is to be left out in that place for some Reasons best known to himself.) ‘He believes they did, because there were many thousand innocent Persons whom they never saw, and who never did them any wrong.’ And now I will appeal to my Rea­der if here is not a Passage as faithfully cited, and as well ap­plied as ever he saw. For let the Question be what it will, it would be pretty much if it be stranger than the Answer: So that I think the suspended Clergy are not much more obliged to him, for bringing them in so needlesly, and using [Page 34] such weighty Arguments in their behalf, than the Derry-Men, as he says, are to me. There is only this Difference, that by his own Confession mine may be urged for any Place, but truly I know not for what Place or Subject his was calcula­ted. But if what I said of Derry may be applied to any o­ther City in their Circumstances, I see not where the Injury would be to them by it; nor do I very well discern how the Bigness or Distance of the City should add weight to the Argument, tho to tell him truly, I am very glad I had no oc­casion to instance nearer home, tho I care not how soon I may in all the Cities in Ireland, provided they conclude as happily. But now was it not very kindly done of our Au­thor, who had so little to say for his own Tribe, to furnish the Inhabitants of Derry with an Apology in Law, when they did not know what to say for themselves? for his Instance in the Netherlands is as pat to their purpose as if it had been made for them. Altho I think their having so many thousand innocent Persons among them that must certainly have perished, if they had not taken up Arms for their Preservation, was no ill Argument, nor can I believe disapproved by the Dissenting Clergy, if they would be once so ingenuous and kind as to own their Thoughts in the Point: but I suppose they might be committed to the Author under the Seal of Confession, and so are not to be made publick. For else methinks he should not so industriously have avoided the Question, if he had had any thing to have said to it: for I know he has so great Kindness for the Person of Quality that he would shew him all his Errors and weak Places; therefore I look upon my two Inferences as irrefragable, since he dare not under­take their Confutation. For either they did pray for the Deliverance of London-Derry, and would have contributed to their Relief; or they would not: If they would, then they are in the same Predicament with them, for 'tis with Rebellion as in Murder, there are no Accessaries, but all are Principals: A Maxim of our Law, for which some poor Peo­ple in the West paid pretty dear after Monmouth's Defeat, as I think the Lady Lisle's Execution will sufficiently convince any body, who did no more than I believe all our dissenting Bishops would have done for them in London-Derry, that is, have kept them from starving if they could: but if they [Page 35] would not, (I must then repeat what I said before) It would give me a greater Prejudice against the Doctrine than ever yet I had, since it not only made them put off those Bowels of Mercies which Christians ought to have for one another, but even divested them of Common Humanity. And whether it would not be a greater Crime to sin against Nature, than to break some nice Bands of our own (not the Laws) imposing in an Oath of Allegiance? I should at another time trust our Author to judg.

And thus, SIR, I have in haste run over that part of the Pamphlet, wherein I thought I had any Concern, for I do not pretend to answer for, or justify other People. But if I have not acquitted my self so well as you expected, yet con­sidering my disadvantage of having nothing but my Bible, and a very bad Memory to consult, I hope you will wink at small Faults. I shall not enlarge your Trouble by a needless Apology for the length of this, but conclude with the Com­plement of the Season, this, and many happy New Years be­ing heartily wish'd You, by

Your most affectionate Friend, and humble Servant.


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