A LETTER CONCERNING Toleration: Humbly Submitted, &c.

LICENSED, Octob. 3. 1689.

LONDON, Printed for Awnsham Churchill, at the Black Swan at Amen-Corner. 1689.



THe Ensuing Letter concerning Toleration, first Printed in Latin this very Year, in Hol­land, has already been Translated both in­to Dutch and French. So general and speedy an Approbation may therefore be­speak its favourable Reception in Eng­land. I think indeed there is no Nation under Heaven, in which so much has al­ready been said upon that Subject, as Ours. But yet certainly there is no People that stand in more need of having something further both said and done amongst them, in this Point, than We do.

[Page]Our Government has not only been par­tial in Matters of Religion; but those also who have suffered under that Partiality, and have therefore endeavoured by their Writings to vindicate their own Rights and Liberties, have for the most part done it upon narrow Principles, suited only to the Interests of their own Sects.

This narrowness of Spirit on all sides has undoubtedly been the principal Occasion of our Miseries and Confusions. But what­ever have been the Occasion, it is now high time to seek for a thorow Cure. We have need of more generous Remedies than what have yet been made use of in our Distem­per. It is neither Declarations of Indul­gence, nor Acts of Comprehension, such as have yet been practised or projected amongst us, that can do the Work. The first will but palliate, the second encrease our Evil.

[Page]Absolute Liberty, Iust and True Liber­ty, Equal and Impartial Liberty, is the thing that we stand in need of. Now tho this has indeed been much talked of, I doubt it has not been much understood; I am sure not at all practised, either by our Gover­nours towards the People in general, or by any Dissenting Parties of the People to­wards one another.

I cannot therefore but hope that this Discourse, which treats of that Subject, however briefly, yet more exactly than any we have yet seen, demonstrating both the Equitableness and Practicableness of the thing, will be esteemed highly seasonable, by all Men that have Souls large enough to prefer the true Interest of the Publick be­fore that of a Party.

It is for the use of such as are already so spirited, or to inspire that Spirit into those that are not, that I have Translated [Page] it into our Language. But the thing it self is so short, that it will not bear a longer Preface. I leave it therefore to the Con­sideration of my Countrymen, and heartily wish they may make the use of it that it appears to be designed for.


Honoured Sir,

SInce you are pleased to inquire what are my Thoughts about the mutual Toleration of Chri­stians in their different Professions of Religion, I must needs answer you freely, That I esteem that Toleration to be the chief Characteristical Mark of the True Church. For whatsoever some People boast of the Antiquity of Places and Names, or of the Pomp of their Outward Worship; Others, of the Reformation of their Discipline; All, of the Orthodoxy of their Faith; (for every one is Orthodox to himself:) These things, and all others of this nature, are much rather Marks of Men striving for Power and Empire over one another, than of the Church of Christ. Let any one have never so true a Claim to all these things, yet if he be destitute of Charity, Meekness, and Good-will in general towards all Mankind, even to those that are not Christians, he is certainly yet short of being a true Christian himself.Luk. 22.25. The Kings of the Gentiles exercise Lordship over them, said our Saviour to his Disciples, but ye shall not be so. The Business of True Re­ligion [Page 2] is quite another thing. It is not instituted in order to the erecting of an external Pomp, nor to the obtaining of Ecclesiastical Dominion, nor to the exercising of com­pulsive Force; but to the regulating of Mens Lives ac­cording to the Rules of Vertue and Piety. Whosoever will lift himself under the Banner of Christ, must in the first place, and above all things, make War upon his own Lusts and Vices. It is in vain for any Man to usurp the Name of Christian, without Holiness of Life, Purity of Manners,2 Tim. 2.19. and Benignity and Meekness of Spirit. Let every one that nameth the Name of Christ, depart from iniquity. Thou, Luke 22.32. when thou art converted, strengthen thy Brethren, said our Lord to Peter. It would indeed be very hard for one that appears careless about his own Salvation, to persuade me that he were extreamly concern'd for mine. For it is impossible that those should sincerely and heartily apply themselves to make other People Christians, who have not really embraced the Christian Religion in their own Hearts. If the Gospel and the Apostles may be credited, no Man can be a Christian without Charity, and without that Faith which works, not by Force, but by Love. Now I appeal to the Consciences of those that persecute, torment, de­stroy, and kill other Men upon pretence of Religion, whe­ther they do it out of Friendship and Kindness towards them, or no: And I shall then indeed, and not till then, believe they do so, when I shall see those fiery Zealots cor­recting, in the same manner, their Friends and familiar Ac­quaintance, for the manifest Sins they commit against the Precepts of the Gospel; when I shall see them prosecute with Fire and Sword the Members of their own Commu­nion that are tainted with enormous Vices, and without Amendment are in danger of eternal Perdition; and when I shall see them thus express their Love and Desire of the Salvation of their Souls, by the infliction of Torments, and exercise of all manner of Cruelties. For if it be out [Page 3] of a Principle of Charity, as they pretend, and Love to Mens Souls, that they deprive them of their Estates, maim them with corporal Punishments, starve and torment them in noisom Prisons, and in the end even take away their Lives; I say, if all this be done meerly to make Men Christians, and procure their Salvation, Why then do they suffer Whoredom, Rom. 1. Fraud, Malice, and such like enormities, which (according to the Apostle) manifestly rellish of Hea­thenish Corruption, to predominate so much and abound amongst their Flocks and People? These, and such like things, are certainly more contrary to the Glory of God, to the Purity of the Church, and to the Salvation of Souls, than any conscientious Dissent from Ecclesiastical Decisions, or Separation from Publick Worship, whilst accompanied with Innocency of Life. Why then does this burning Zeal for God, for the Church, and for the Salvation of Souls; burning, I say, literally, with Fire and Faggot; pass by those moral Vices and Wickednesses, without any Cha­stisement, which are acknowledged by all Men to be dia­metrically opposite to the Profession of Christianity; and bend all its Nerves either to the introducing of Ceremo­nies, or to the establishment of Opinions, which for the most part are about nice and intricate Matters, that exceed the Capacity of ordinary Understandings? Which of the Parties contending about these things is in the right, which of them is guilty of Schism or Heresie, whether those that domineer or those that suffer, will then at last be manifest, when the Cause of their Separation comes to be judged of. He certainly that follows Christ, embraces his Doctrine, and bears his Yoke, tho' he forsake both Father and Mo­ther, separate from the Publick Assemblies and Ceremonies of his Country, or whomsoever, or whatsoever else he relinquishes, will not then be judged an Heretick.

Now, tho' the Divisions that are amongst Sects should be allowed to be never so obstructive of the Salvation of [Page 4] Souls; Gal. 5. yet nevertheless Adultery, Fornication, Vncleanness, Lasciviousness, Idolatry, and such like things, cannot be de­nied to be Works of the Flesh; concerning which the Apo­stle has expresly declared, that they who do them shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Whosoever therefore is sin­cerely sollicitous about the Kingdom of God, and thinks it his Duty to endeavour the Enlargement of it amongst Men, ought to apply himself with no less care and indu­stry to the rooting out of these Immoralities, than to the Extirpation of Sects. But if any one do otherwise, and whilst he is cruel and implacable towards those that differ from him in Opinion, he be indulgent to such Iniquities and Immoralities as are unbecoming the Name of a Chri­stian, let such a one talk never so much of the Church, he plainly demonstrates by his Actions, that 'tis another King­dom he aims at, and not the Advancement of the Kingdom of God.

That any Man should think fit to cause another Man, whose Salvation he heartily desires, to expire in Torments, and that even in an unconverted estate, would, I confess, seem very strange to me, and, I think, to any other also. But no body, surely, will ever believe that such a Car­riage can proceed from Charity, Love, or Good-will. If any one maintain that Men ought to be compelled by Fire and Sword to profess certain Doctrines, and conform to this or that exteriour Worship, without any regard had unto their Morals; if any one endeavour to convert those that are Erroneous unto the Faith, by forcing them to profess things that they do not believe, and allowing them to practise things that the Gospel does not permit; it can­not be doubted indeed but such a one is desirous to have a numerous Assembly joyned in the same Profession with himself; but that he principally intends by those means to compose a truly Christian Church, is altogether incre­dible. It is not therefore to be wondred at, if those who [Page 5] do not really contend for the Advancement of the true Religion, and of the Church of Christ, make use of Arms that do not belong to the Christian Warfare. If, like the Captain of our Salvation, they sincerely desired the Good of Souls, they would tread in the Steps, and follow the perfect Example of that Prince of Peace, who sent out his Soldiers to the subduing of Nations, and gathering them into his Church, not armed with the Sword, or other In­struments of Force, but prepared with the Gospel of Peace, and with the Exemplary Holiness of their Conver­sation. This was his Method. Tho' if Infidels were to be converted by force, if those that are either blind or ob­stinate were to be drawn off from their Errors by Armed Soldiers, we know very well that it was much more easie for Him to do it with Armies of Heavenly Legions, than for any Son of the Church, how potent soever, with all his Dragoons.

The Toleration of those that differ from others in Mat­ters of Religion, is so agreeable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to the genuine Reason of Mankind, that it seems monstrous for Men to be so blind, as not to perceive the Necessity and Advantage of it, in so clear a Light. I will not here tax the Pride and Ambition of some, the Passion and uncharitable Zeal of others. These are Faults from which Humane Affairs can perhaps scarce ever be perfectly freed; but yet such as no body will bear the plain Imputation of, without covering them with some specious Colour; and so pretend to Commendation, whilst they are carried away by their own irregular Passions. But howe­ver, that some may not colour their Spirit of Persecution and unchristian Cruelty with a Pretence of Care of the Publick Weal, and Observation of the Laws; and that others, under pretence of Religion, may not seek Impu­nity for their Libertinism and Licentiousness; in a word, that none may impose either upon himself or others, by [Page 6] the Pretences of Loyalty and Obedience to the Prince, or of Tenderness and Sincerity in the Worship of God; I esteem it above all things necessary to distinguish exactly the Business of Civil Government from that of Religion, and to settle the just Bounds that lie between the one and the other. If this be not done, there can be no end put to the Controversies that will be always arising, between those that have, or at least pretend to have, on the one side, a Concernment for the Interest of Mens Souls, and on the other side, a Care of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth seems to me to be a Society of Men constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and advancing of their own Civil Interests.

Civil Interests I call Life, Liberty, Health, and Indolency of Body; and the Possession of outward things, such as Money, Lands, Houses, Furniture, and the like.

It is the Duty of the Civil Magistrate, by the impartial Execution of equal Laws, to secure unto all the People in general, and to every one of his Subjects in particular, the just Possession of these things belonging to this Life. If any one presume to violate the Laws of Publick Justice and Equity, established for the Preservation of those things, his Presumption is to be check'd by the fear of Punish­ment, consisting of the Deprivation or Diminution of those Civil Interests, or Goods, which otherwise he might and ought to enjoy. But seeing no Man does willingly suffer himself to be punished by the Deprivation of any part of his Goods, and much less of his Liberty or Life, therefore is the Magistrate armed with the Force and Strength of all his Subjects, in order to the punishment of those that vio­late any other Man's Rights.

Now that the whole Jurisdiction of the Magistrate rea­ches only to these Civil Concernments; and that all Civil Power, Right and Dominion, is bounded and confined to the only care of promoting these things; and that it nei­ther [Page 7] can nor ought in any manner to be extended to the Salvation of Souls, these following Considerations seem un­to me abundantly to demonstrate.

First, Because the Care of Souls is not committed to the Civil Magistrate, any more than to other Men. It is not committed unto him, I say, by God; because it appears not that God has ever given any such Authority to one Man over another, as to compell any one to his Religion. Nor can any such Power be vested in the Magistrate by the consent of the People; because no man can so far abandon the care of his own Salvation, as blindly to leave it to the choice of any other, whether Prince or Subject, to pre­scribe to him what Faith or Worship he shall embrace. For no Man can, if he would, conform his Faith to the Dictates of another. All the Life and Power of true Religion con­sists in the inward and full perswasion of the mind; and Faith is not Faith without believing. Whatever Profes­sion we make, to whatever outward Worship we conform, if we are not fully satisfied in our own mind that the one is true, and the other well pleasing unto God, such Pro­fession and such Practice, far from being any furtherance, are indeed great Obstacles to our Salvation. For in this manner, instead of expiating other Sins by the exercise of Religion, I say in offering thus unto God Almighty such a Worship as we esteem to be displeasing unto him, we add unto the number of our other sins, those also of Hypocrisie, and Contempt of his Divine Majesty.

In the second place. The care of Souls cannot belong to the Civil Magistrate, because his Power consists only in outward force; but true and saving Religion consists in the inward perswasion of the Mind, without which nothing can be acceptable to God. And such is the na­ture of the Understanding, that it cannot be compell'd to the belief of any thing by outward force. Confisca­tion of Estate, Imprisonment, Torments, nothing of that [Page 8] nature can have any such Efficacy as to make Men change the inward Judgment that they have framed of things.

It may indeed be alledged, that the Magistrate may make use of Arguments, and thereby draw the Heterodox into the way of Truth, and procure their Salvation. I grant it; but this is common to him with other Men. In teaching, instructing, and redressing the Erroneous by Rea­son, he may certainly do what becomes any good Man to do. Magistracy does not oblige him to put of either Hu­manity or Christianity. But it is one thing to perswade, another to command; one thing to press with Arguments, another with Penalties. This Civil Power alone has a right to do; to the other Good-will is Authority enough. Every Man has Commission to admonish, exhort, convince another of Error, and by reasoning to draw him into Truth: but to give Laws, receive Obedience, and compel with the Sword, belongs to none but the Magistrate. And upon this ground I affirm, that the Magistrate's Power extends not to the establishing of any Articles of Faith, or Forms of Worship, by the force of his Laws. For Laws are of no force at all without Penalties, and Penalties in this case are absolute­ly impertinent; because they are not proper to convince the mind. Neither the Profession of any Articles of Faith, nor the Conformity to any outward Form of Worship (as has already been said) can be available to the Salvation of Souls, unless the truth of the one, and the acceptableness of the other unto God, be thoroughly believed by those that so profess and practise. But Penalties are no ways capable to produce such Belief. It is only Light and Evi­dence that can work a change in Mens Opinions; which Light can in no manner proceed from corporal Sufferings, or any other outward Penalties.

In the third place. The care of the Salvation of Mens Souls cannot belong to the Magistrate; because, though the ri­gour of Laws and the force of Penalties were capable to con­vince [Page 9] and change Mens minds, yet would not that help at all to the Salvation of their Souls. For there being but one Truth, one way to Heaven; what Hopes is there that more Men would be led into it, if they had no Rule but the Religion of the Court, and were put under a neces­sity to quit the Light of their own Reason, and oppose the Dictates of their own Consciences, and blindly to re­sign up themselves to the Will of their Governors, and to the Religion, which either Ignorance, Ambition, or Super­stition had chanced to establish in the Countries where they were born? In the variety and contradiction of Opinions in Religion, wherein the Princes of the World are as much divided as in their Secular Interests, the narrow way would be much straitned; one Country alone would be in the right, and all the rest of the World put under an obliga­tion of following their Princes in the ways that lead to De­struction; and that which heightens the absurdity, and very ill suits the Notion of a Deity, Men would owe their eternal Happiness or Misery to the places of their Nativity.

These Considerations, to omit many others that might have been urged to the same purpose, seem unto me suffi­cient to conclude that all the Power of Civil Government relates only to Mens Civil Interests, is confined to the care of the things of this World, and hath nothing to do with the World to come.

Let us now consider what a Church is. A Church then I take to be a voluntary Society of Men, joining them­selves together of their own accord, in order to the pub­lick worshipping of God, in such a manner as they judge acceptable to him, and effectual to the Salvation of their Souls.

I say it is a free and voluntary Society. No body is born a Member of any Church; otherwise the Religion of Parents would descend unto Children, by the same [Page 10] right of Inheritance as their Temporal Estates, and every one would hold his Faith by the same Tenure he does his Lands; than which nothing can be imagined more absurd. Thus therefore that matter stands. No Man by nature is bound unto any particular Church or Sect, but every one joins himself voluntarily to that Society in which he believes he has found that Profession and Worship which is truly acceptable to God. The hopes of Salvation, as it was the only cause of his entrance into that Communion, so it can be the only reason of his stay there. For if afterwards he discover any thing either erroneous in the Doctrine, or incongruous in the Worship of that Society to which he has join'd himself, Why should it not be as free for him to go out as it was to enter? No Member of a Religious Society can be tied with any other Bonds but what pro­ceed from the certain expectation of eternal Life. A Church then is a Society of Members voluntarily uniting to this end.

It follows now that we consider what is the Power of this Church, and unto what Laws it is subject.

Forasmuch as no Society, how free soever, or upon whatsoever slight occasion instituted, (whether of Philo­phers for Learning, of Merchants for Commerce, or of men of leisure for mutual Conversation and Discourse,) No Church or Company, I say, can in the least subsist and hold together, but will presently dissolve and break to pieces, unless it be regulated by some Laws, and the Members all consent to observe some Order. Place, and time of meeting must be agreed on; Rules for admitting and ex­cluding Members must be establisht; Distinction of Officers, and putting things into a regular Course, and such like, can­not be omitted. But since the joyning together of seve­ral Members into this Church-Society, as has already been demonstrated, is absolutely free and spontaneous, it ne­cessarily follows, that the Right of making its Laws can be­long [Page 11] to none but the Society it self, or at least (which is the same thing) to those whom the Society by common consent has authorised thereunto.

Some perhaps may object, that no such Society can be said to be a true Church, unless it have in it a Bishop, or Presbyter, with Ruling Authority derived from the very Apostles, and continued down unto the present times by an uninterrupted Succession.

To these I answer. In the first place, Let them shew me the Edict by which Christ has imposed that Law upon his Church. And let not any man think me impertinent if, in a thing of this consequence, I require that the Terms of that Edict be very express and positive. For the Promise he has made us,Matth. 18.20. that wheresoever two or three are gathered to­gether in his Name, he will be in the midst of them, seems to imply the contrary. Whether such an Assembly want a­ny thing necessary to a true Church, pray do you con­sider. Certain I am, that nothing can be there wanting unto the Salvation of Souls; Which is sufficient to our purpose.

Next, Pray observe how great have always been the Divisions amongst even those who lay so much stress upon the Divine Institution, and continued Succession of a cer­tain Order of Rulers in the Church. Now their very Dis­sention unavoidably puts us upon a necessity of delibera­ting, and consequently allows a liberty of choosing that, which upon consideration, we prefer.

And in the last place, I consent that these men have a Ruler of their Church, established by such a long Series of Succession as they judge necessary; provided I may have liberty at the same time to join my self to that Society, in which I am perswaded those things are to be found which are necessary to the Salvation of my Soul. In this manner Ecclesiastical Liberty will be preserved on all sides, and no man will have a Legislator imposed upon him, but whom him­self has chosen.

[Page 12]But since men are so sollicitous about the true Church, I would only ask them, here by the way, if it be not more agreeable to the Church of Christ, to make the Con­ditions of her Communion consist in such things, and such things only, as the Holy Spirit has in the Holy Scriptures declared, in express Words, to be necessary to Salvation; I ask, I say, whether this be not more agreeable to the Church of Christ, than for men to impose their own Inventions and Interpretations upon others, as if they were of Di­vine Authority, and to establish by Ecclesiastical Laws, as absolutely necessary to the Profession of Christianity, such things as the Holy Scriptures do either not mention, or at least not expresly command. Whosoever requires those things in order to Ecclesiastical Communion, which Christ does not require in order to Life Eternal, he may perhaps in­deed constitute a Society accommodated to his own Opini­on and his own Advantage, but how that can be called the Church of Christ, which is established upon Laws that are not his, and which excludes such Persons from its Commu­nion as he will one day receive into the Kingdom of Hea­ven, I understand not. But this being not a proper place to enquire into the marks of the true Church, I will only mind those that contend so earnestly for the Decrees of their own Society, and that cry out continually the Church, the Church, with as much noise, and perhaps upon the same Principle, as the Ephesian Silversmiths did for their Diana; this, I say, I desire to mind them of, That the Gospel fre­quently declares that the true Disciples of Christ must suf­fer Persecution; but that the Church of Christ should per­secute others, and force others by Fire and Sword, to em­brace her Faith and Doctrine, I could never yet find in any of the Books of the New Testament.

The End of a Religious Society (as has already been said) is the Publick Worship of God, and by means there­of the acquisition of Eternal Life. All Discipline ought [Page 13] therefore to tend to that End, and all Ecclesiastical Laws to be thereunto confined. Nothing ought, nor can be transacted in this Society, relating to the Possession of Ci­vil and Worldly Goods. No Force is here to be made use of, upon any occasion whatsoever: For Force belongs wholly to the Civil Magistrate, and the Possession of all outward Goods is subject to his Jurisdiction.

But it may be asked, By what means then shall Ecclesi­astical Laws be established, if they must be thus destitute of all Compulsive Power? I answer, They must be esta­blished by Means suitable to the Nature of such Things, whereof the external Profession and Observation, if not proceeding from a thorow Conviction and Approbation of the Mind, is altogether useless and unprofitable. The Arms by which the Members of this Society are to be kept within their Duty, are Exhortations, Admonitions, and Ad­vices. If by these means the Offenders will not be re­claimed, and the Erroneous convinced, there remains no­thing farther to be done, but that such stubborn and ob­stinate Persons, who give no ground to hope for their Re­formation, should be cast out and separated from the So­ciety. This is the last and utmost Force of Ecclesiastical Authority: No other Punishment can thereby be inflicted, than that, the Relation ceasing between the Body and the Member which is cut off, the Person so condemned ceases to be a Part of that Church.

These things being thus determined, let us inquire in the next place, how far the Duty of Toleration extends, and what is required from every one by it.

And first, I hold, That no Church is bound by the Du­ty of Toleration to retain any such Person in her Bosom, as, after Admonition, continues obstinately to offend against the Laws of the Society. For these being the Con­dition of Communion, and the Bond of the Society, if the Breach of them were permitted without any Animad­version, [Page 14] the Society would immediately be thereby dissol­ved. But nevertheless, in all such Cases care is to be ta­ken that the Sentence of Excommunication, and the Exe­cution thereof, carry with it no rough usage, of Word or Action, whereby the ejected Person may any wise be dam­nified in Body or Estate. For all Force (as has often been said) belongs only to the Magistrate, nor ought any private Persons, at any time, to use Force; unless it be in self-defence against unjust Violence. Excommunication neither does, nor can, deprive the excommunicated Person of any of those Civil Goods that he formerly possessed. All those things belong to the Civil Government, and are under the Magistrate's Protection. The whole Force of Excommuni­cation consists only in this, that, the Resolution of the So­ciety in that respect being declared, the Union that was between the Body and some Member comes thereby to be dissolved; and that Relation ceasing, the participation of some certain things, which the Society communicated to its Members, and unto which no Man has any Civil Right, comes also to cease. For there is no Civil Injury done unto the excommunicated Person, by the Church-Minister's refusing him that Bread and Wine, in the Celebration of the Lord's Supper, which was not bought with his, but other mens Money.

Secondly, No private Person has any Right, in any manner, to prejudice another Person in his Civil Enjoy­ments, because he is of another Church or Religion. All the Rights and Franchises that belong to him as a Man, or as a Denison, are inviolably to be preserved to him. These are not the Business of Religion. No Violence nor Injury is to be offered him, whether he be Christian or Pagan. Nay, we must not content our selves with the narrow Measures of bare Justice: Charity, Bounty, and Liberality must be added to it. This the Gospel enjoyns, this Rea­son directs, and this that natural Fellowship we are born [Page 15] into requires of us. If any man err from the right way, it is his own misfortune, no injury to thee: Nor therefore art thou to punish him in the things of this Life, because thou supposest he will be miserable in that which is to come.

What I say concerning the mutual Toleration of pri­vate Persons differing from one another in Religion, I un­derstand also of particular Churches; which stand as it were in the same Relation to each other as private Per­sons among themselves, nor has any one of them any man­ner of Jurisdiction over any other, no not even when the Civil Magistrate (as it sometimes happens) comes to be of this or the other Communion. For the Civil Government can give no new Right to the Church, nor the Church to the Civil Government. So that whether the Magistrate joyn himself to any Church, or separate from it, the Church remains always as it was before, a free and voluntary So­ciety. It neither acquires the Power of the Sword by the Magistrate's coming to it, nor does it lose the Right of In­struction and Excommunication by his going from it. This is the fundamental and immutable Right of a sponta­neous Society, that it has power to remove any of its Members who transgress the Rules of its Institution: But it cannot, by the accession of any new Members, acquire any Right of Jurisdiction over those that are not joined with it. And therefore Peace, Equity, and Friendship, are always mutually to be observed by particular Churches, in the same manner as by private Persons, without any pretence of Superiority or Jurisdiction over one another.

That the thing may be made yet clearer by an Example; Let us suppose two Churches, the one of Arminians, the other of Calvinists, residing in the City of Constantinople. Will any one say, that either of these Churches has Right to deprive the Members of the other of their Estates and Liberty, (as we see practised elsewhere) because of their [Page 16] differing from it in some Doctrines or Ceremonies; whilst the Turks in the mean while silently stand by, and laugh to see with what inhumane Cruelty Christians thus rage against Christians? But if one of these Churches hath this Power of treating the other ill, I ask which of them it is to whom that Power belongs, and by what Right? It will be an­swered, undoubtedly, That it is the Orthodox Church which has the Right of Authority over the Erroneous or Heretical. This is, in great and specious Words, to say just nothing at all. For every Church is Orthodox to it self; to others, Erroneous or Heretical. For whatsoever any Church believes, it believes to be true; and the con­trary unto those things, it pronounces to be Error. So that the Controversie between these Churches about the Truth of their Doctrines, and the Purity of their Worship, is on both sides equal; nor is there any Judge, either at Con­stantinople, or elsewhere upon Earth, by whose Sentence it can be determined. The Decision of that Question be­longs only to the Supream Judge of all men, to whom also alone belongs the Punishment of the Erroneous. In the mean while, let those men consider how hainously they sin, Who, adding Injustice, if not to their Error yet cer­tainly to their Pride, do rashly and arrogantly take upon them to misuse the Servants of another Master, who are not at all accountable to them.

Nay, further: If it could be manifest which of these two dissenting Churches were in the right, there would not accrue thereby unto the Orthodox any Right of de­stroying the other. For Churches have neither any Juris­diction in Worldly matters, nor are Fire and Sword any proper Instruments wherewith to convince mens minds of Error, and inform them of the Truth. Let us suppose, nevertheless, that the Civil Magistrate inclined to favour one of them, and to put his Sword into their Hands, that (by his Consent) they might chastise the Dissenters as they [Page 17] pleased. Will any man say, that any Right can be deri­ved unto a Christian Church, over its Brethren, from a Tur­kish Emperor? An Infidel, who has himself no Authority to punish Christians for the Articles of their Faith, cannot confer such an Authority upon any Society of Christians, nor give unto them a Right which he has not himself. This would be the Case at Constantinople. And the Reason of the thing is the same in any Christian Kingdom. The Civil Power is the same in every place: nor can that Pow­er, in the Hands of a Christian Prince, confer any greater Authority upon the Church, than in the Hands of a Hea­then; which is to say, just none at all.

Nevertheless, it is worthy to be observed, and lamented, that the most violent of these Defenders of the Truth, the Opposers of Errors, the Exclaimers against Schism, do hardly ever let loose this their Zeal for God, with which they are so warmed and inflamed, unless where they have the Civil Magistrate on their side. But so soon as ever Court-favour has given them the better end of the Staff, and they begin to feel themselves the stronger, then pre­sently Peace and Charity are to be laid aside: Otherwise, they are religiously to be observed. Where they have not the Power to carry on Persecution, and to become Ma­sters, there they desire to live upon fair Terms, and preach up Toleration. When they are not strengthned with the Civil Power, then they can bear most patiently, and un­movedly, the Contagion of Idolatry, Superstition, and Heresie, in their Neighbourhood; of which, in other Oc­casions, the Interest of Religion makes them to be ex­treamly apprehensive. They do not forwardly attack those Errors which are in fashion at Court, or are countenanced by the Government. Here they can be content to spare their Arguments: which yet (with their leave) is the only right Method of propagating Truth, which has no such way of prevailing, as when strong Arguments and good [Page 18] Reason, are joined with the softness of Civility and good Usage.

No body therefore, in fine, neither single Persons, nor Churches, nay, nor even Commonwealths, have any just Title to invade the Civil Rights and Worldly Goods of each other, upon pretence of Religion. Those that are of another Opinion, would do well to consider with them­selves how pernicious a Seed of Discord and War, how powerful a provocation to endless Hatreds, Rapines, and Slaughters, they thereby furnish unto Mankind. No Peace and Security, no not so much as Common Friendship, can ever be established or preserved amongst Men, so long as this Opinion prevails, That Dominion is founded in Grace, and that Religion is to be propagated by force of Arms.

In the third place: Let us see what the Duty of Tole­ration requires from those who are distinguished from the rest of Mankind, (from the Laity, as they please to call us) by some Ecclesiastical Character, and Office; whether they be Bishops, Priests, Presbyters, Ministers, or however else dignified or distinguished. It is not my Business to inquire here into the Original of the Power or Dignity of the Clergy. This only I say, That Whence-soever their Au­thority be sprung, since it is Ecclesiastical, it ought to be confined within the Bounds of the Church, nor can it in any manner be extended to Civil Affairs; because the Church it self is a thing absolutely separate and distinct from the Commonwealth. The Boundaries on both sides are fixed and immovable. He jumbles Heaven and Earth together, the things most remote and opposite, who mixes these two Societies; which are in their Original, End, Business, and in every thing, perfectly distinct, and infinite­ly different from each other. No man therefore, with whatsoever Ecclesiastical Office he be dignified, can deprive another man that is not of his Church and Faith, either of Liberty, or of any part of his Worldly Goods, upon [Page 19] the account of that difference between them in Religion. For whatsoever is not lawful to the whole Church, cannot, by any Ecclesiastical Right, become lawful to any of its Members.

But this is not all. It is not enough that Ecclesiastical men abstain from Violence and Rapine, and all manner of Persecution. He that pretends to be a Successor of the Apostles, and takes upon him the Office of Teaching, is obliged also to admonish his Hearers of the Duties of Peace, and Good-will towards all men; as well towards the Erroneous as the Orthodox; towards those that differ from them in Faith and Worship, as well as towards those that agree with them therein: And he ought industriously to exhort all men, whether private Persons or Magistrates, (if any such there be in his Church) to Charity, Meekness, and Toleration; and diligently endeavour to allay and temper all that Heat, and unreasonable averseness of mind, which either any mans fiery Zeal for his own Sect, or the Craft of others, has kindled against Dissenters. I will not undertake to represent how happy and how great would be the Fruit, both in Church and State, if the Pul­pits every where sounded with this Doctrine of Peace and Toleration; lest I should seem to reflect too severely upon those Men whose Dignity I desire not to detract from, nor would have it diminished either by others or themselves. But this I say, That thus it ought to be. And if any one that professes himself to be a Minister of the Word of God, a Preacher of the Gospel of Peace, teach otherwise, he either understands not, or neglects the Business of his Calling, and shall one day give account thereof unto the Prince of Peace. If Christians are to be admonished that they abstain from all manner of Re­venge, even after repeated Provocations and multiplied Injuries, how much more ought they who suffer nothing, who have had no harm done them, forbear Violence, and [Page 20] abstain from all manner of ill usage towards those from whom they have received none. This Caution and Tem­per they ought certainly to use towards those who mind only their own Business, and are sollicitous for nothing but that (whatever Men think of them) they may wor­ship God in that manner which they are persuaded is ac­ceptable to him, and in which they have the strongest hopes of Eternal Salvation. In private domestick Affairs, in the management of Estates, in the conservation of Bo­dily Health, every man may consider what suits his own conveniency, and follow what course he likes best. No man complains of the ill management of his Neighbour's Affairs. No man is angry with another for an Error com­mitted in sowing his Land, or in marrying his Daughter. No body corrects a Spendthrift for consuming his Substance in Taverns. Let any man pull down, or build, or make whatsoever Expences he pleases, no body murmurs, no bo­dy controuls him; he has his Liberty. But if any man do not frequent the Church, if he do not there conform his Behaviour exactly to the accustomed Ceremonies, or if he brings not his Children to be initiated in the Sacred Myste­ries of this or the other Congregation, this immediately causes an Uproar. The Neighbourhood is filled with Noise and Clamour. Every one is ready to be the Avenger of so great a Crime. And the Zealots hardly have the pati­ence to refrain from Violence and Rapine, so long till the Cause be heard, and the poor man be, according to Form, condemned to the loss of Liberty, Goods, or Life. Oh that our Ecclesiastical Orators, of every Sect, would apply themselves with all the strength of Arguments that they are able, to the confounding of mens Errors! But let them spare their Persons. Let them not supply their want of Reasons with the Instruments of Force, which belong to another Jurisdiction, and do ill become a Church­man's Hands. Let them not call in the Magistrate's Autho­rity [Page 21] to the aid of their Eloquence, or Learning; lest, per­haps, whilst they pretend only Love for the Truth, this their intemperate Zeal, breathing nothing but Fire and Sword, betray their Ambition, and shew that what they desire is Temporal Dominion. For it will be very diffi­cult to persuade men of Sense, that he, who with dry Eyes, and satisfaction of mind, can deliver his Brother un­to the Executioner, to be burnt alive, does sincerely and heartily concern himself to save that Brother from the Flames of Hell in the World to come.

In the last place. Let us now consider what is the Ma­gistrate's Duty in the Business of Toleration: which certain­ly is very considerable.

We have already proved, That the Care of Souls does not belong to the Magistrate: Not a Magisterial Care, I mean, (if I may so call it) which consists in prescribing by Laws, and compelling by Punishments. But a charitable Care, which consists in teaching, admonishing, and per­suading, cannot be denied unto any man. The Care therefore of every man's Soul belongs unto himself, and is to be left unto himself. But what if he neglect the Care of his Soul? I answer, What if he neglect the Care of his Health, or of his Estate, which things are nearlier related to the Government of the Magistrate than the other? Will the Magistrate provide by an express Law, That such an one shall not become poor or sick? Laws provide, as much as is possible, that the Goods and Health of Subjects be not injured by the Fraud or Violence of others; they do not guard them from the Negligence or Ill-husbandry of the Possessors themselves. No man can be forced to be Rich or Healthful, whether he will or no. Nay, God himself will not save men against their wills. Let us sup­pose, however, that some Prince were desirous to force his Subjects to accumulate Riches, or to preserve the Health and Strength of their Bodies. Shall it be provided by [Page 22] Law, that they must consult none but Roman Physicians, and shall every one be bound to live according to their Prescriptions? What, shall no Potion, no Broth, be ta­ken, but what is prepared either in the Vatican, suppose, or in a Geneva Shop? Or, to make these Subjects rich, shall they all be obliged by Law to become Merchants, or Musicians? Or, shall every one turn Victualler, or Smith, because there are some that maintain their Families plenti­fully, and grow rich in those Professions? But it may be said, There are a thousand ways to Wealth, but one only way to Heaven. 'Tis well said indeed, especially by those that plead for compelling men into this or the other Way. For if there were several ways that lead thither, there would not be so much as a pretence left for Compulsion. But now if I be marching on with my utmost Vigour, in that way which, according to the Sacred Geography, leads streight to Ierusalem; Why am I beaten and ill used by others, because, perhaps, I wear not Buskins; because my Hair is not of the right Cut; because perhaps I have not been dip't in the right Fashion; because I eat Flesh upon the Road, or some other Food which agrees with my Sto­mach; because I avoid certain By-ways, which seem unto me to lead into Briars or Precipices; because amongst the several Paths that are in the same Road, I choose that to walk in which seems to be the streightest and cleanest; be­cause I avoid to keep company with some Travellers that are less grave, and others that are more sowre that they ought to be; or in fine, because I follow a Guide that ei­ther is, or is not, clothed in White, and crowned with a Miter? Certainly, if we consider right, we shall find that for the most part they are such frivolous things as these, that (without any prejudice to Religion or the Salvation of Souls, if not accompanied with Superstition or Hypocrisie) might either be observed or omitted; I say they are such like things as as these, which breed implacable Enmities [Page 23] amongst Christian Brethren, who are all agreed in the Sub­stantial and truly Fundamental part of Religion.

But let us grant unto these Zealots, who condemn all things that are not of their Mode, that from these Cir­cumstances arise different Ends. What shall we conclude from thence? There is only one of these which is the true way to Eternal Happiness. But in this great variety of ways that men follow, it is still doubted which is this right one. Now neither the care of the Commonwealth, nor the right of enacting Laws, does discover this way that leads to Heaven more certainly to the Magistrate, than eve­ry private mans Search and Study discovers it unto himself. I have a weak Body, sunk under a languishing Disease, for which (I suppose) there is one only Remedy, but that un­known. Does it therefore belong unto the Magistrate to prescribe me a Remedy, because there is but one, and because it is unknown? Because there is but one way for me to escape Death, will it therefore be safe for me to do whatsoever the Magistrate ordains? Those things that every man ought sincerely to enquire into himself, and by Meditation, Study, Search, and his own Endeavours, at­tain the Knowledge of, cannot be looked upon as the Pe­culiar Possession of any one sort of Men. Princes indeed are born Superior unto other men in Power, but in Na­ture equal. Neither the Right, nor the Art of Ruling, does necessarily carry along with it the certain Knowledge of other things; and least of all of the true Religion. For if it were so, how could it come to pass that the Lords of the Earth should differ so vastly as they do in Re­ligious Matters? But let us grant that it is probable the way to Eternal Life may be better known by a Prince than by his Subjects; or at least, that in this incertitude of things, the safest and most commodious way for private Persons is to follow his Dictates. You will say, what then? If he should bid you follow Merchandise for your Liveli­hood, [Page 24] would you decline that Course for fear it should not succeed? I answer: I would turn Merchant upon the Princes command, because in case I should have ill Success in Trade, he is abundantly able to make up my Loss some other way. If it be true, as he pretends, that he desires I should thrive and grow rich, he can set me up a­gain when unsuccessful Voyages have broke me. But this is not the Case, in the things that regard the Life to come. If there I take a wrong Course, if in that respect I am once undone, it is not in the Magistrates Power to re­pair my Loss, to ease my Suffering, nor to restore me in any measure, much less entirely, to a good Estate. What Security can be given for the Kingdom of Hea­ven?

Perhaps some will say that they do not suppose this in­fallible Judgment, that all men are bound to follow in the Affairs of Religion, to be in the Civil Magistrate, but in the Church. What the Church has determined, that the Civil Magistrate orders to be observed; and he pro­vides by his Authority that no body shall either act or be­lieve, in the business of Religion, otherwise than the Church teaches. So that the Judgment of those things is in the Church. The Magistrate himself yields Obedience thereunto, and requires the like Obedience from others. I answer: Who sees not how frequently the Name of the Church, which was so venerable in the time of the Apo­stles, has been made use of to throw Dust in Peoples Eyes, in following Ages? But however, in the present case it helps us not. The one only narrow way which leads to Heaven is not better known to the Magistrate than to pri­vate Persons, and therefore I cannot safely take him for my Guide, who may probably be as ignorant of the way as my self, and who certainly is less concerned for my Sal­vation than I my self am. Amongst so many Kings of the Iews, how many of them were there whom any Israelite, [Page 25] thus blindly following, had not fall'n into Idolatry, and thereby into Destruction? Yet nevertheless, you bid me be of good Courage, and tell me that all is now safe and se­cure, because the Magistrate does not now enjoin the ob­servance of his own Decrees in matters of Religion, but only the Decrees of the Church. Of what Church I be­seech you? Of that certainly which likes him best. As if he that compells me by Laws and Penalties to enter into this or the other Church, did not interpose his own Judg­ment in the matter. What difference is there whether he lead me himself, or deliver me over to be led by others? I depend both ways upon his Will, and it is he that de­termines both ways of my eternal State. Would an Is­raelite, that had worshipped Baal upon the Command of his King, have been in any better condition, because some body had told him that the King ordered nothing in Re­ligion upon his own Head, nor commanded any thing to be done by his Subjects in Divine Worship, but what was approved by the Counsel of Priests, and declared to be of Divine Right by the Doctors of their Church? If the Re­ligion of any Church become therefore true and saving, because the Head of that Sect, the Prelates and Priests, and those of that Tribe, do all of them, with all their might, extol and praise it; what Religion can ever be accounted erroneous, false and destructive? I am doubtful concern­ing the Doctrine of the Socinians, I am suspicious of the way of Worship practised by the Papists, or Lutherans; will it be ever a jot the safer for me to join either unto the one or the other of those Churches, upon the Magistrates Com­mand, because he commands nothing in Religion but by the Authority and Counsel of the Doctors of that Church?

But to speak the truth, we must acknowledge that the Church (if a Convention of Clergy-men, making Canons, must be called by that Name) is for the most part more apt [Page 26] to be influenced by the Court, than the Court by the Church. How the Church was under the Vicissi­tude of Orthodox and Arrian Emperors is very well known. Or if those things be too remote, our modern English History affords us fresh Examples, in the Reigns of Henry the 8th, Edward the 6th, Mary, and Elizabeth, how easily and smoothly the Clergy changed their Decrees, their Articles of Faith, their Form of Worship, every thing, according to the inclination of those Kings and Queens. Yet were those Kings and Queens of such different minds, in point of Religion, and enjoined thereupon such diffe­rent things, that no man in his Wits (I had almost said none but an Atheist) will presume to say that any sincere and upright Worshipper of God could, with a safe Conscience, obey their several Decrees. To conclude. It is the same thing whether a King that prescribes Laws to another mans Religion pretend to do it by his own Judgment, or by the Ecclesiastical Authority and Advice of others. The De­cisions of Church-men, whose Differences and Disputes are sufficiently known, cannot be any founder, or safer than his: Nor can all their Suffrages joined together add any new strength unto the Civil Power. Tho this also must be taken notice of, that Princes seldom have any regard to the Suffrages of Ecclesiasticks that are not Favourers of their own Faith and way of Worship.

But after all, the principal Consideration, and which ab­solutely determines this Controversie, is this. Although the Magistrates Opinion in Religion be sound, and the way that he appoints be truly Evangelical, yet if I be not thoroughly perswaded thereof in my own mind, there will be no safety for me in following it. No way whatsoever that I shall walk in, against the Dictates of my Conscience, will ever bring me to the Mansions of the Blessed. I may grow rich by an Art that I take not delight in; I may be cured of some Disease by Remedies that I have not Faith [Page 27] in; but I cannot be saved by a Religion that I distrust, and by a Worship that I abhor. It is in vain for an Un­believer to take up the outward shew of another mans Profession. Faith only, and inward Sincerity, are the things that procure acceptance with God. The most likely and most approved Remedy can have no effect upon the Pa­tient, if his Stomach reject it as soon taken. And you will in vain cram a Medicine down a sick mans Throat, which his particular Constitution will be sure to turn into Poison. In a word. Whatsoever may be doubtful in Religion, yet this at least is certain, that no Religion, which I be­lieve not to be true, can be either true, or profitable un­to me. In vain therefore do Princes compel their Subjects to come into their Church-communion, under pretence of saving their Souls. If they believe, they will come of their own accord; if they believe not, their coming will nothing avail them. How great soever, in fine, may be the pretence of Good-will, and Charity, and concern for the Salvation of mens Souls, men cannot be forced to be saved whether they will or no. And therefore, when all is done, they must be left to their own Consciences.

Having thus at length freed men from all Dominion o­ver one another in matters of Religion, let us now consi­der what they are to do. All men know and acknowledge that God ought to be publickly worshipped. Why other­wise do they compel one another unto the publick Assem­blies? Men therefore constituted in this liberty are to en­ter into some Religious Society, that they may meet toge­ther, not only for mutual Edification, but to own to the world that they worship God, and offer unto his divine Majesty such service as they themselves are not ashamed of, and such as they think not unworthy of him, nor unaccep­table to him; and finally that by the purity of Doctrine, Holiness of Life, and Decent form of Worship, they may draw others unto the love of the true Religion, and per­form [Page 28] such other things in Religion as cannot be done by each private man apart.

These Religious Societies I call Churches: and these I say the Magistrate ought to tolerate. For the business of these Assemblies of the People is nothing but what is lawful for every man in particular to take care of; I mean the Sal­vation of their Souls: nor in this case is there any diffe­rence between the National Church, and other separated Congregations.

But as in every Church there are two things especially to be considered; The outward Form and Rites of Wor­ship, And the Doctrines and Articles of Faith; these things must be handled each distinctly; that so the whole matter of Toleration may the more clearly be understood.

Concerning outward Worship, I say (in the first place) that the Magistrate has no Power to enforce by Law, either in his own Church, or much less in another, the use of any Rites or Ceremonies whatsoever in the Worship of God. And this, not only because these Churches are free So­cieties, but because whatsoever is practised in the Wor­ship of God, is only so far justifiable as it is believed by those that practise it to be acceptable unto him. What­soever is not done with that assurance of Faith, is neither well in it self, nor can it be acceptable to God. To im­pose such things therefore upon any People, contrary to their own Judgment, is in effect to command them to of­fend God; which, considering that the end of all Reli­gion is to please him, and that Liberty is essentially neces­sary to that End, appears to be absurd beyond expres­sion.

But perhaps it may be concluded from hence, that I deny unto the Magistrate all manner of Power about in­different things; which if it be not granted, the whole Subject-matter of Law-making is taken away. No, I rea­dily grant that Indifferent Things, and perhaps none but [Page 29] such, are subjected to the Legislative Power. But it does not therefore follow, that the Magistrate may ordain whatsoever he pleases concerning any thing that is indif­ferent. The Publick Good is the Rule and Measure of all Law-making. If a thing be not useful to the Common-wealth, tho it it be never so indifferent, it may not pre­sently be established by Law.

And further: Things never so indifferent in their own nature, when they are brought into the Church and Wor­ship of God, are removed out of the reach of the Magi­strate's Jurisdiction; because in that use they have no con­nection at all with Civil Affairs. The only business of the Church is the Salvation of Souls: and it no ways con­cerns the Common-wealth, or any Member of it, that this, or the other Ceremony be there made use of. Neither the Use, nor the Omission of any Ceremonies, in those Religious Assemblies, does either advantage or prejudice the Life, Liberty, or Estate of any man. For Example: Let it be granted, that the washing of an Infant with wa­ter is in it self an indifferent thing. Let it be granted also, that if the Magistrate understand such washing to be pro­fitable to the curing or preventing of any Disease that Children are subject unto, and esteem the matter weighty enough to be taken care of by a Law, in that case he may order it to be done. But will any one therefore say, that a Magistrate has the same Right to ordain, by Law, that all Children shall be baptized by Priests, in the sacred Font, in order to the purification of their Souls? The extream difference of these two Cases is visible to every one at first sight. Or let us apply the last Case to the Child of a Iew, and the thing speaks it self. For what hinders but a Christian Magistrate may have Subjects that are Iews? Now if we acknowledge that such an Injury may not be done unto a Iew, as to compel him, against his own Opinion, to practice in his Religion a thing that is in its nature indif­ferent; [Page 30] how can we maintain that any thing of this kind may be done to a Christian?

Again: Things in their own nature indifferent cannot, by any human Authority, be made any part of the Wor­ship of God; for this very reason; because they are indifferent. For since indifferent things are not capable, by any Virtue of their own, to propitiate the Deity; no human Power or Authority can confer on them so much Dignity and Excellency as to enable them to do it. In the common Affairs of Life, that use of indifferent things which God has not forbidden, is free and lawful: and therefore in those things human Authority has place. But it is not so in matters of Religion. Things indifferent are not other­wise lawful in the Worship of God than as they are insti­tuted by God himself; and as he, by some positive com­mand, has ordain'd them to be made a part of that Worship which he will vouchsafe to accept of at the hands of poor sinful men. Nor when an incensed Deity shall ask us, Who has required these, or such like things at our hands? will it be enough to answer him, that the Magistrate commanded them. If civil Jurisdiction extended thus far, what might not lawfully be introduced into Religion? What hodge­podge of Ceremonies, what superstitious Inventions, built upon the Magistrate's Authority, might not (against Con­science) be imposed upon the Worshippers of God? For the greatest part of these Ceremonies and Superstions consists in the Religious Use of such things as are in their own nature indifferent: nor are they sinful upon any other account than because God is not the Author of them. The sprinkling of Water, and the use of Bread and Wine, are both in their own nature, and in the ordinary occa­sions of Life, altogether indifferent. Will any man there­fore say that these things could have been introduced in­to Religion, and made a part of Divine Worship, if not by Divine Institution? If any Human Authority or Civil [Page 31] Power could have done this, why might it not also injoyn the eating of Fish, and drinking of Ale, in the holy Ban­quet, as a part of Divine Worship? Why not the sprink­ling of the Blood of Beasts in Churches, and Expiations by Water or Fire, and abundance more of this kind? But these things, how indifferent soever they be in common uses, when they come to be annexed unto Divine Wor­ship, without Divine Authority, they are as abominable to God, as the Sacrifice of a Dog. And why a Dog so a­bominable? What difference is there between a Dog and a Goat, in respect of the Divine Nature, equally and infinite­ly distant from all Affinity with Matter; unless it be that God required the use of the one in his Worship, and not of the other? We see therefore that indifferent things how much soever they be under the Power of the Civil Ma­gistrate, yet cannot upon that pretence be introduced into Religion, and imposed upon Religious Assemblies; because in the Worship of God they wholly cease to be indifferent. He that worships God does it with design to please him and procure his favour. But that cannot be done by him, who, upon the command of another, offers unto God that which he knows will be displeasing to him, because not commanded by himself. This is not to please God, or appease his Wrath, but willingly and knowingly to pro­voke him, by a manifest Contempt; which is a thing ab­solutely repugnant to the nature and end of Worship.

But it will here be asked: If nothing belonging to Di­vine Worship be left to human Discretion, how is it then that Churches themselves have the power of ordering any thing about the Time and Place of Worship, and the like? To this I answer; That in Religious Worship we must di­stinguish between what is part of the Worship it self, and what is but a Circumstance. That is a part of the Wor­ship which is believed to be appointed by God, and to be well-pleasing to him; and therefore that is necessary. [Page 32] Circumstances are such things which, tho' in general they cannot be separated from Worship, yet the particular in­stances or modifications of them are not determined; and therefore they are indifferent. Of this sort are the Time and Place of Worship, the Habit and Posture of him that worships. These are Circumstances, and perfectly indiffe­rent, where God has not given any express Command a­bout them. For example: Amongst the Iews, the Time and Place of their Worship, and the Habits of those that offi­ciated in it, were not meer Circumstances, but a part of the Worship it self; in which if any thing were defective, or different from the Institution, they could not hope that it would be accepted by God. But these, to Christians under the liberty of the Gospel, are meer Circumstances of Worship, which the Prudence of every Church may bring into such use as shall be judged most subservient to the end of Order, Decency, and Edification. But, even under the Gospel, those who believe the First, or the Seventh Day to be set apart by God, and consecrated still to his Worship, to them that portion of Time is not a simple Circumstance, but a Real Part of Divine Worship, which can neither be changed nor neglected.

In the next place: As the Magistrate has no Power to impose by his Laws, the use of any Rites and Ceremo­nies in any Church, so neither has he any Power to forbid the use of such Rites and Ceremonies as are already re­ceived, approved, and practised by any Church: Because if he did so, he would destroy the Church it self; the end of whose Institution is only to worship God with freedom, after its own manner.

You will say, by this Rule, if some Congregations should have a mind to sacrifice Infants, or (as the Primitive Chri­stians were falsely accused) lustfully pollute themselves in promiscuous Uncleanness, or practise any other such hei­nous Enormities, is the Magistrate obliged to tolerate them, [Page 33] because they are committed in a Religious Assembly? I answer, No. These things are not lawful in the ordinary course of life, nor in any private house; and therefore neither are they so in the Worship of God, or in any reli­gious Meeting. But indeed if any People congregated up­on account of Religion, should be desirous to sacrifice a Calf, I deny that That ought to be prohibited by a Law. Melibaeus, whose Calf it is, may lawfully kill his Calf at home, and burn any part of it that he thinks fit. For no Injury is thereby done to any one, no prejudice to an­other mans Goods. And for the same reason he may kill his Calf also in a religious Meeting. Whether the doing so be well-pleasing to God or no, it is their part to con­sider that do it. The part of the Magistrate is only to take care that the Commonwealth receive no prejudice, and that there be no Injury done to any man, either in Life or Estate. And thus what may be spent on a Feast, may be spent on a Sacrifice. But if peradventure such were the state of things, that the Interest of the Commonwealth re­quired all slaughter of Beasts should be forborn for some while, in order to the increasing of the stock of Cattel, that had been destroyed by some extraordinary Murrain; Who sees not that the Magistrate, in such a case, may forbid all his Subjects to kill any Calves for any use whatsoever? Only 'tis to be observed, that in this case the Law is not made about a Religious, but a Political matter: nor is the Sacrifice, but the Slaughter of Calves thereby prohibited.

By this we see what difference there is between the Church and the Commonwealth. Whatsoever is lawful in the Commonwealth, cannot be prohibited by the Ma­gistrate in the Church. Whatsoever is permitted unto any of his Subjects for their ordinary use, neither can nor ought to be forbidden by him to any Sect of People for their re­ligious Uses. If any man may lawfully take Bread or Wine, either sitting or kneeling, in his own house, the Law ought [Page 34] not to abridge him of the same Liberty in his Religious Worship; tho' in the Church the use of Bread and Wine be very different, and be there applied to the Mysteries of Faith, and Rites of Divine Worship. But those things that are prejudicial to the Commonweal of a People in their ordinary use, and are therefore forbidden by Laws, those things ought not to be permitted to Churches in their sacred Rites. Onely the Magistrate ought always to be very careful that he do not misuse his Authority, to the oppres­sion of any Church, under pretence of publick Good.

It may be said; What if a Church be Idolatrous, is that also to be tolerated by the Magistrate? I answer. What Power can be given to the Magistrate for the suppression of an Idolatrous Church, which may not, in time and place, be made use of to the ruine of an Orthodox one? For it must be remembred that the Civil Power is the same every where, and the Religion of every Prince is Orthodox to himself. If therefore such a Power be granted unto the Civil Magistrate in Spirituals, as that at Geneva (for Ex­ample) he may extirpate, by Violence and Blood, the Re­ligion which is there reputed Idolatrous; by the same Rule another Magistrate, in some neighbouring Country, may oppress the Reformed Religion; and, in India, the Christian. The Civil Power can either change every thing in Religi­on, according to the Prince's pleasure, or it can change nothing. If it be once permitted to introduce any thing into Religion, by the means of Laws and Penalties, there can be no bounds put to it; but it will in the same man­ner be lawful to alter every thing, according to that Rule of Truth which the Magistrate has framed unto himself. No man whatsoever ought therefore to be depri­ved of his Terrestrial Enjoyments, upon account of his Religion. Not even Americans, subjected unto a Christian Prince, are to be punished either in Body or Goods, for not imbracing our Faith and Worship. If they are per­swaded [Page 35] that they please God in observing the Rites of their own Country, and that they shall obtain Happiness by that means, they are to be left unto God and them­selves. Let us trace this matter to the bottom. Thus it is. An inconsiderable and weak number of Christians, de­stitute of every thing, arrive in a Pagan Country: These Foreigners beseech the Inhabitants, by the bowels of Hu­manity, that they would succour them with the necessa­ries of life: Those necessaries are given them; Habitations are granted; and they all joyn together, and grow up into one Body of People. The Christian Religion by this means takes root in that Countrey, and spreads it self; but does not suddenly grow the strongest. While things are in this condition, Peace, Friendship, Faith and equal Justice, are preserved amongst them. At length the Ma­gistrate becomes a Christian, and by that means their Party becomes the most powerful. Then immediately all Com­pacts are to be broken, all Civil Rights to be violated, that Idolatry may be extirpated: And unless these inno­cent Pagans, strict Observers of the Rules of Equity and the Law of Nature, and no ways offending against the Laws of the Society, I say unless they will forsake their ancient Religion, and embrace a new and strange one, they are to be turned out of the Lands and Possessions of their Forefathers, and perhaps deprived of Life it self. Then at last it appears what Zeal for the Church, joyned with the desire of Dominion, is capable to produce; and how easily the pretence of Religion, and of the care of Souls, serves for a Cloak to Covetousness, Rapine, and Ambition.

Now whosoever maintains that Idolatry is to be rooted out of any place by Laws, Punishments, Fire, and Sword, may apply this Story to himself. For the reason of the thing is equal, both in America and Europe. And neither Pagans there, nor any Dissenting Christians here, can with [Page 36] any right be deprived of their worldly Goods, by the predominating Faction of a Court-Church: nor are any civil Rights to be either changed or violated upon account of Religion in one place more than another.

But Idolatry (say some) is a sin, and therefore not to be tolerated. If they said it were therefore to be avoid­ed, the Inference were good. But it does not follow, that because it is a sin it ought therefore to be punished by the Magistrate. For it does not belong unto the Magi­strate to make use of his Sword in punishing every thing, indifferently, that he takes to be a sin against God. Co­vetousness, Uncharitableness, Idleness, and many other things are sins, by the consent of all men, which yet no man ever said were to be punished by the Magistrate. The reason is, because they are not prejudicial to other mens Rights, nor do they break the publick Peace of So­cieties. Nay, even the sins of Lying and Perjury, are no where punishable by Laws; unless in certain cases, in which the real Turpitude of the thing, and the offence against God, are not considered, but only the Injury done unto mens Neighbours, and to the Commonwealth. And what if in another Country, to a Mahumetan or a Pagan Prince, the Christian Religion seem false and offensive to God; may not the Christians for the same reason, and after the same manner, be extirpated there?

But it may be urged further, That by the Law of Mo­ses Idolaters were to be rooted out. True indeed, by the Law of Moses. But that is not obligatory to us Chri­stians. No body pretends that every thing, generally, enjoyned by the Law of Moses, ought to be practised by Christians. But there is nothing more frivolous than that common distinction of Moral, Judicial, and Ceremo­nial Law, which men ordinarily make use of. For no positive Law whatsoever can oblige any People but those to whom it is given. Hear O Israel; sufficienly restrains [Page 37] the Obligation of the Law of Moses only to that People. And this Consideration alone is Answer enough unto those that urge the Authority of the Law of Moses; for the in­flicting of Capital Punishments upon Idolaters. But how­ever, I will examine this Argument a little more particu­larly.

The Case of Idolaters, in respect of the Iewish Com­monwealth, falls under a double consideration. The first is of those Who, being initiated in the Mosaical Rites, and made Citizens of that Commonwealth, did after­wards apostatise from the Worship of the God of Israel. These were proceeded against as Traytors and Rebels, guilty of no less than High-treason. For the Common­wealth of the Iews, different in that from all others, was an absolute Theocracy: nor was there, or could there be, any difference between that Commonwealth and the Church. The Laws established there concerning the Worship of One Invisible Deity, were the Civil Laws of that People, and a part of their Political Government; in which God him­self was the Legislator. Now if any one can shew me where there is a Commonwealth, at this time, constituted upon that Foundation, I will acknowledge that the Eccle­siastical Laws do there unavoidably become a part of the Civil; and that the Subjects of that Government both may, and ought to be kept in strict conformity with that Church, by the Civil Power. But there is absolutely no such thing, under the Gospel, as a Christian Common­wealth. There are, indeed, many Cities and Kingdoms that have embraced the Faith of Christ; but they have retained their ancient Form of Government; with which the Law of Christ hath not at all medled. He, indeed, hath taught men how, by Faith and Good Works, they may attain Eternal Life. But he instituted no Common­wealth. He prescribed unto his Followers no new and peculiar Form of Government; Nor put he the Sword [Page 38] into any Magistrate's Hand, with Commission to make use of it in forcing men to forsake their former Religion, and receive his.

Secondly. Foreigners, and such as were Strangers to the Commonwealth of Israel, were not compell'd by force to observe the Rites of the Mosaical Law. But, on the con­trary, in the very same place where it is ordered that an Israelite that was an Idolater should be put to death, Exod. 22.20, 21. there it is provided that Strangers should not be vexed nor oppressed. I confess that the Seven Nations, that possest the Land which was promised to the Israelites, were utterly to be cut off. But this was not singly because they were Idola­ters. For, if that had been the Reason, why were the Moabites and other Nations to be spared? No; the Rea­son is this. God being in a peculiar manner the King of the Iews, he could not suffer the Adoration of any other Deity (which was properly an Act of High-treason against himself) in the Land of Canaan, which was his Kingdom. For such a manifest Revolt could no ways consist with his Dominion, which was perfectly Political, in that Country. All Idolatry was therefore to be rooted out of the Bounds of his Kingdom; because it was an acknow­ledgment of another God, that is to say, another King; against the Laws of Empire. The Inhabitants were also to be driven out, that the intire possession of the Land might be given to the Israelites. And for the like Reason the Emims and the Horims were driven out of their Countries, by the Children of Esau and Lot; and their Lands,Deut. 2. upon the same grounds, given by God to the Inva­ders. But tho all Idolatry was thus rooted out of the Land of Canaan, yet every Idolater was not brought to Execution. The whole Family of Rahab, the whole Na­tion of the Gibeonites, articled with Iosuah, and were al­lowed by Treaty: and there were many Captives amongst the Iews, who were Idolaters. David and Solomon sub­dued [Page 39] many Countries without the Confines of the Land of Promise, and carried their Conquests as far as Euphrates. Amongst so many Captives taken, so many Nations re­duced under their Obedience, we find not one man forced into the Jewish Religion, and the Worship of the True God, and punished for Idolatry, tho all of them were certainly guilty of it. If any one indeed, becoming a Proselyte, desired to be made a Denison of their Com­monwealth, he was obliged to submit unto their Laws; that is, to embrace their Religion. But this he did wil­lingly, on his own accord, not by constraint. He did not unwillingly submit, to shew his Obedience; But he sought and sollicited for it, as a Privilege. And as soon as he was admitted, he became subject to the Laws of the Common­wealth, by which all Idolatry was forbidden within the Borders of the Land of Canaan. But that Law (as I have said) did not reach to any of those Regions, however subjected unto the Iews, that were situated without those Bounds.

Thus far concerning outward Worship. Let us now consider Articles of Faith.

The Articles of Religion are some of them Practical, and some Speculative. Now, tho both sorts consist in the Know­ledge of Truth, yet these terminate simply in the Under­standing, Those influence the Will and Manners. Speculative Opinions, therefore, and Articles of Faith (as they are called) which are required only to be believed, cannot be imposed on any Church by the Law of the Land. For it is absurd that things should be enjoyned by Laws, which are not in mens power to perform. And to believe this or that to be true, does not depend upon our Will. But of this enough has been said already. But (will some say) let men at least profess that they believe. A sweet Religion indeed, that obliges men to dissemble, and tell Lies both to God and Man, for the Salvation of their Souls! If the Magi­strate [Page 40] thinks to save men thus, he seems to understand lit­tle of the way of Salvation. And if he does it not in or­der to save them, why is he so so sollicitous about the Ar­ticies of Faith as to enact them by a Law?

Further, The Magistrate ought not to forbid the Preach­ing or Professing of any Speculative Opinions in any Church, because they have no manner of relation to the Civil Rights of the Subjects. If a Roman Catholick believe that to be really the Body of Christ, which another man calls Bread, he does no injury thereby to his Neighbour. If a Iew do not believe the New Testament to be the Word of God, he does not thereby alter any thing in mens Civil Rights. If a Heathen doubt of both Testa­ments, he is not therefore to be punished as a pernicious Citizen. The Power of the Magistrate, and the Estates of the People, may be equally secure, whether any man be­lieve these things or no. I readily grant, that these Opi­nions are false and absurd. But the business of Laws is not to provide for the Truth of Opinions, but for the Safety and Security of the Commonwealth, and of every particular mans Goods and Person. And so it ought to be. For Truth certainly would do well enough, if she were once left to shift for her self. She seldom has received, and I fear never will receive much Assistance from the Power of Great men, to whom she is but rarely known, and more rarely welcome. She is not taught by Laws, nor has she any need of Force to procure her entrance into the minds of men. Errors indeed prevail by the assistance of for­reign and borrowed Succours. But if Truth makes not her way into the Understanding by her own Light, she will be but the weaker for any borrowed force Violence can add to her. Thus much for Speculative Opinions. Let us now proceed to Practical ones.

A Good Life, in which consists not the least part of Re­ligion and true Piety, concerns also the Civil Govrnment: [Page 41] and in it lies the safety both of Mens Souls, and of the Commonwealth. Moral Actions belong therefore to the Jurisdiction both of the outward and inward Court; both of the Civil and Domestick Governor; I mean, both of the Magistrate and Conscience. Here therefore is great danger, least one of these Jurisdictions intrench upon the other, and Discord arise between the Keeper of the pub­lick Peace and the Overseers of Souls. But if what has been already said concerning the Limits of both these Go­vernments be rightly considered, it will easily remove all difficulty in this matter.

Every man has an Immortal Soul, capable of Eternal Hap­piness or Misery; whose Happiness depending upon his be­lieving and doing those things in this Life, which are ne­cessary to the obtaining of Gods Favour, and are prescri­bed by God to that end; it follows from thence, 1st, That the observance of these things is the highest Obligation that lies upon Mankind, and that our utmost Care, Application, and Diligence, ought to be exercised in the Search and Performance of them; Because there is nothing in this World that is of any consideration in comparison with E­ternity. 2dly, That seeing one Man does not violate the Right of another, by his Erroneous Opinions, and undue manner of Worship, nor is his Perdition any prejudice to another Mans Affairs; therefore the care of each Mans Salva­tion belongs only to himself. But I would not have this un­derstood, as if I meant hereby to condemn all charitable Ad­monitions, and affectionate Endeavours to reduce Men from Errors; which are indeed the greatest Duty of a Christian. Any one may employ as many Exhortations and Argu­ments as he pleases, towards the promoting of another man's Salvation. But all Force and Compulsion are to be forborn. Nothing is to be done imperiously. No body is obliged in that matter to yield Obedience unto the Ad­monitions or Injunctions of another, further than he him­self [Page 42] is perswaded. Every man, in that, has the supreme and absolute Authority of judging for himself. And the Rea­son is, because no body else is concerned in it, nor can receive any prejudice from his Conduct therein.

But besides their Souls, which are Immortal, Men have also their Temporal Lives here upon Earth; the State where­of being frail and fleeting, and the duration uncertain; they have need of several outward Conveniences to the support thereof, which are to be procured or preserved by Pains and industry. For those things that are necessary to the comfortable support of our Lives are not the spontaneous Products of Nature, nor do offer themselves fit and pre­pared for our use. This part therefore draws on another care, and necessarily gives another Imployment. But the pravity of Mankind being such, that they had rather in­juriously prey upon the Fruits of other Mens Labours, than take pains to provide for themselves; the necessity of pre­serving Men in the Possession of what honest industry has already acquired, and also of preserving their Liberty and strength, whereby they may acquire what they further want; obliges Men to enter into Society with one another; that by mutual Assistance, and joint Force, they may secure unto each other their Proprieties, in the things that contribute to the Comfort and Happiness of this Life; leaving in the mean while to every Man the care of his own Eter­nal Happiness, the attainment whereof can neither be fa­cilitated by another Mans Industry, nor can the loss of it turn to another Mans Prejudice, nor the hope of it be forced from him by any external Violence. But forasmuch as Men thus entring into Societies, grounded upon their mutual Compacts of Assistance, for the Defence of their Tem­poral Goods, may nevertheless be deprived of them, ei­ther by the Rapine and Fraud of their Fellow-Citizens, or by the hostile Violence of Forreigners; the Remedy of this Evil consists in Arms, Riches, and Multitude of Citi­zens; [Page 43] the Remedy of the other in Laws; and the Care of all things relating both to the one and the other, is committed by the Society to the Civil Magistrate. This is the Original, this is the Use, and these are the Bounds of the Legislative (which is the Supreme) Power, in every Com­monwealth. I mean, that Provision may be made for the security of each Mans private Possessions; for the Peace, Riches, and publick Commodities of the whole Peo­ple; and, as much as possible, for the Increase of their inward Strength, against Forreign Invasions.

These things being thus explain'd, it is easie to under­stand to what end the Legislative Power ought to be di­rected, and by what Measures regulated; and that is the Temporal Good and outward Prosperity of the Society; which is the sole Reason of Mens entring into Society, and the only thing they seek and aim at in it. And it is also evident what Liberty remains to Men in reference to their eternal Salvation, and that is, that every one should do what he in his Conscience is perswaded to be ac­ceptable to the Almighty, on whose good pleasure and acceptance depends their eternal Happiness. For Obedi­ence is due in the first place to God, and afterwards to the Laws.

But some may ask, What if the Magistrate should en­joyn any thing by his Authority that appears unlawful to the Conscience of a private Person? I answer, That if Government be faithfully administred, and the Counsels of the Magistrate be indeed directed to the publick Good, this will seldom happen. But if perhaps it do so fall out; I say, that such a private Person is to abstain from the Action that he judges unlawful; and he is to undergo the Punish­ment, which it is not unlawful for him to bear. For the pri­vate Judgment of any Person concerning a Law enacted in Political Matters, for the publick Good, does not take away the Obligation of that Law, nor deserve a Dispensation. But [Page 44] if the Law indeed be concerning things that lie not with­in the Verge of the Magistrate's Authority; (as for Exam­ple, that the People, or any Party amongst them, should be compell'd to embrace a strange Religion, and join in the Worship and Ceremonies of another Church,) men are not in these cases obliged by that Law, against their Consci­ences. For the Political Society is instituted for no other end but only to secure every mans Possession of the things of this life. The care of each mans Soul, and of the things of Heaven, which neither does belong to the Common­wealth, nor can be subjected to it, is left entirely to eve­ry mans self. Thus the safeguard of mens lives, and of the things that belong unto this life, is the business of the Commonwealth; and the preserving of those things unto their Owners is the Duty of the Magistrate. And therefore the Magistrate cannot take away these worldly things from this man, or party, and give them to that; nor change Propriety amongst Fellow-Subjects, (no not even by a Law) for a cause that has no relation to the end of Civil Government; I mean, for their Religion; which whether it be true or false, does no prejudice to the worldly concerns of their Fellow-Subjects, which are the things that only belong unto the care of the Com­monwealth.

But what if the Magistrate believe such a Law as this to be for the publick Good? I answer: As the private Judg­ment of any particular Person, if erroneous, does not exempt him from the obligation of Law, so the private Judgment (as I may call it) of the Magistrate does not give him any new Right of imposing Laws upon his jects, which neither was in the Constitution of the Go­vernment granted him, nor ever was in the power of the People to grant: much less, if he make it his business to enrich and advance his Followers and Fellow-sectaries, with the Spoils of others. But what if the Magistrate [Page 45] believe that he has a Right to make such Laws, and that they are for the publick Good; and his Subjects believe the contrary? Who shall be Judge between them? I an­swer, God alone. For there is no Judge upon earth be­tween the Supreme Magistrate and the People. God, I say, is the only Judge in this case, who will retribute unto every one at the last day according to his Deserts; that is, according to his sincerity and uprightness in endeavouring to promote Piety, and the publick Weal and Peace of Mankind. But what shall be done in the mean while? I answer: The principal and chief care of every one ought to be of his own Soul first, and in the next place of the publick Peace: tho' yet there are very few will think 'tis Peace there, where they see all laid waste.

There are two sorts of Contests amongst men; the one managed by Law, the other by Force: and these are of that nature, that where the one ends, the other always begins. But it is not my business to inquire into the Power of the Magistrate in the different Constitutions of Nations. I only know what usually happens where Con­troversies arise, without a Judge to determine them. You will say then the Magistrate being the stronger will have his Will, and carry his point. Without doubt. But the Question is not here concerning the doubtfulness of the Event, but the Rule of Right.

But to come to particulars. I say, First, No Opinions contrary to human Society, or to those moral Rules which are necessary to the preservation of Civil Society, are to be tolerated by the Magistrate. But of these indeed Examples in any Church are rare. For no Sect can easily arrive to such a degree of madness, as that it should think sit to teach, for Doctrines of Religion, such things as ma­nifestly undermine the Foundations of Society, and are therefore condemned by the Judgment of all Mankind: because their own Interest, Peace, Reputation, every Thing, would be thereby endangered.

[Page 46]Another more secret Evil, but more dangerous to the Commonwealth, is, when men arrogate to themselves, and to those of their own Sect, some peculiar Prerogative, co­vered over with a specious shew of deceitful words, but in effect opposite to the Civil Right of the Community. For Example. We cannot find any Sect that teaches ex­presly, and openly, that men are not obliged to keep their Promise; that Princes may be dethroned by those that differ from them in Religion; or that the Dominion of all things belongs only to themselves. For these things, proposed thus nakedly and plainly, would soon draw on them the Eye and Hand of the Magistrate, and awaken all the care of the Commonwealth to a watchfulness against the spreading of so dangerous an Evil. But nevertheless, we find those that say the same things, in other words. What else do they mean, who teach that Faith is not to be kept with Hereticks? Their meaning, forsooth, is that the priviledge of breaking Faith belongs unto themselves: For they declare all that are not of their Communion to be Hereticks, or at least may declare them so whensoever they think fit. What can be the meaning of their asserting that Kings excommunicated forfeit their Crowns and King­doms? It is evident that they thereby arrogate unto them­selves the Power of deposing Kings: because they chal­lenge the Power of Excommunication, as the peculiar Right of their Hierarchy. That Dominion is founded in Grace, is also an Assertion by which those that maintain it do plainly lay claim to the possession of all things. For they are not so wanting to themselves as not to believe, or at least as not to profess, themselves to be the truly pious and faithful. These therefore, and the like, who attribute unto the Faithful, Religious and Orthodox, that is, in plain terms, unto themselves, any peculiar Privi­ledge or Power above other Mortals, in Civil Concern­ments; [Page 47] or who, upon pretence of Religion, do challenge any manner of Authority over such, as are not associated with them in their Ecclesiastical Communion; I say these have no right to be tolerated by the Magistrate; as nei­ther those that will not own and teach the Duty of to­lerating All men in matters of meer Religion. For what do all these and the like Doctrines signifie, but that they may, and are ready upon any occasion to seise the Go­vernment, and possess themselves of the Estates and For­tunes of their Fellow-Subjects; and that they only ask leave to be tolerated by the Magistrate so long until they find themselves strong enough to effect it?

Again: That Church can have no right to be tole­rated by the Magistrate, which is constituted upon such a bottom, that all those who enter into it, do thereby, ipso facto, deliver themselves up to the Protection and Service of another Prince. For by this means the Ma­gistrate would give way to the settling of a forrein Ju­risdiction in his own Country, and suffer his own People to be listed, as it were, for Souldiers against his own Go­vernment. Nor does the frivolous and fallacious distin­ction between the Court and the Church afford any re­medy to this Inconvenience; especially when both the one and the other are equally subject to the absolute Au­thority of the same person; who has not only power to perswade the Members of his Church to whatsoever he lists, either as purely Religious, or in order thereunto, but can also enjoyn it them on pain of Eternal Fire. It is ridiculous for any one to profess himself to be a Ma­humetan only in his Religion, but in every thing else a faithful Subject to a Christian Magistrate, whilst at the same time he acknowledges himself bound to yield blind obedience to the Mufti of Constantinople; who himself is intirely obedient to the Ottoman Emperor, and frames the feigned Oracles of that Religion according to his pleasure. [Page 48] But this Mahumetan living amongst Christians, would yet more apparently renounce their Government, if he ac­knowledged the same Person to be Head of his Church who is the Supreme Magistrate in the State.

Lastly, Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the Being of a God. Promises, Covenants, and Oaths, which are the Bonds of Humane Society, can have no hold upon an Atheist. The taking away of God, tho but even in thought, dissolves all. Besides also, those that by their Atheism un­dermine and destroy all Religion, can have no pretence of Religion whereupon to challenge the Privilege of a Toleration. As for other Practical Opinions, tho not ab­solutely free from all Error, if they do not tend to esta­blish Domination over others, or Civil Impunity to the Church in which they are taught, there can be no Reason why they should not be tolerated.

It remains that I say something concerning those Assem­blies, which being vulgarly called, and perhaps having sometimes been Conventicles, and Nurseries of Factions and Seditions, are thought to afford the strongest matter of Objection against this Doctrine of Toleration. But this has not hapned by any thing peculiar unto the Genius of such Assemblies, but by the unhappy Circumstances of an oppressed or ill-setled Liberty. These Accusations would soon cease, if the Law of Toleration were once so setled, that all Churches were obliged to lay down Tole­ration as the Foundation of their own Liberty; and teach that Liberty of Conscience is every mans natural Right, equally belonging to Dissenters as to themselves; and that no body ought to be compelled in matters of Religion, either by Law or Force. The Establishment of this one thing would take away all ground of Complaints and Tu­mults upon account of Conscience. And these Causes of Discontents and Animosities being once removed, there would remain nothing in these Assemblies that were not [Page 49] more peaceable, and less apt to produce Disturbance of State, than in any other Meetings whatsoever. But let us examine particularly the Heads of these Accusations.

You'll say, That Assemblies and Meetings endanger the Publick Peace, and threaten the Commonwealth. I an­swer: If this be so, Why are there daily such numerous Meetings in Markets, and Courts of Judicature? Why are Crowds upon the Exchange, and a Concourse of People in Cities suffered? You'll reply; Those are Civil Assem­blies; but These we object against, are Ecclesiastical. I an­swer: 'Tis a likely thing indeed, that such Assemblies as are altogether remote from Civil Affairs, should be most apt to embroyl them. O, but Civil Assemblies are com­posed of men that differ from one another in matters of Religion; but these Ecclesiastical Meetings are of Persons that are all of one Opinion. As if an Agreement in mat­ters of Religion, were in effect a Conspiracy against the Commonwealth; or as if men would not be so much the more warmly unanimous in Religion, the less liberty they had of Assembling. But it will be urged still, That Ci­vil Assemblies are open, and free for any one to enter in­to; whereas Religious Conventicles are more private, and thereby give opportunity to Clandestine Machinations. I answer, That this is not strictly true: For many Civil Assemblies are not open to every one. And if some Re­ligious Meetings be private, Who are they (I beseech you) that are to be blamed for it? those that desire, or those that forbid their being publick? Again; You'll say, That Religious Communion does exceedingly unite mens Minds and Affections to one another, and is therefore the more dangerous. But if this be so, Why is not the Magistrate afraid of his own Church; and why does he not forbid their Assemblies, as things dangerous to his Government? You'll say, Because he himself is a Part, and even the [Page 50] Head of them. As if he were not also a Part of the Commonwealth, and the Head of the whole People.

Let us therefore deal plainly. The Magistrate is afraid of other Churches, but not of his own; because he is kind and favourable to the one, but severe and cruel to the other. These he treats like Children, and indulges them even to Wantonness. Those he uses as Slaves; and how blamelesly soever they demean themselves, recom­penses them no otherwise than by Gallies, Prisons, Con­fiscations, and Death. These he cherishes and defends: Those he continually scourges and oppresses. Let him turn the Tables: Or let those Dissenters enjoy but the same Privileges in Civils as his other Subjects, and he will quick­ly find that these Religious Meetings will be no longer dangerous. For if men enter into Seditious Conspiracies, 'tis not Religion inspires them to it in their Meetings; but their Sufferings and Oppressions that make them wil­ling to ease themselves. Just and moderate Govern­ments are every where quiet, every where safe. But Op­pression raises Ferments, and makes men struggle to cast off an uneasie and tyrannical Yoke. I know that Sediti­ons are very frequently raised, upon pretence of Religion. But 'tis as true that, for Religion, Subjects are frequently ill treated, and live miserably. Believe me, the Stirs that are made, proceed not from any peculiar Temper of this or that Church or Religious Society; but from the com­mon Disposition of all Mankind, who when they groan under any heavy Burthen, endeavour naturally to shake off the Yoke that galls their Necks. Suppose this Business of Religion were let alone, and that there were some other Distinction made between men and men, upon account of their different Complexions, Shapes, and Fea­tures, so that those who have black Hair (for example) or gray Eyes, should not enjoy the same Privileges as [Page 51] other Citizens; that they should not be permitted ei­ther to buy or sell, or live by their Callings; that Parents should not have the Government and Education of their own Children; that all should ei­ther be excluded from the Benefit of the Laws, or meet with partial Judges; can it be doubted but these Persons, thus distinguished from others by the Colour of their Hair and Eyes, and united together by one common Persecution, would be as dangerous to the Magistrate, as any others that had associated themselves meerly upon the account of Religion? Some enter into Company for Trade and Profit: Others, for want of Business, have their Clubs for Clarret. Neighbour­hood joyns some, and Religion others. But there is one only thing which gathers People into Seditious Commotions, and that is Oppression.

You'll say; What, will you have People to meet at Di­vine Service against the Magistrates Will? I answer; Why, I pray, against his Will? Is it not both lawful and necessary that they should meet? Against his Will, do you say? That's what I complain of. That is the very Root of all the Mischief. Why are Assemblies less sufferable in a Church than in a Theater or Market? Those that meet there are not either more vicious, or more turbulent, than those that meet elsewhere. The Business in that is, that they are ill used, and therefore they are not to be suffered. Take away the Partiality that is used towards them in matters of Common Right; change the Laws, take away the Penalties unto which they are subjected, and all things will immediately become safe and peaceable; Nay, those that are averse to the Religion of the Magistrate, will think themselves so much the more bound to maintain the Peace of the Commonwealth, as their Condition is better in that [Page 52] place than elsewhere; And all the several separate Con­gregations, like so many Guardians of the Publick Peace, will watch one another, that nothing may be innovated or changed in the Form of the Govern­ment: Because they can hope for nothing better than what they already enjoy; that is, an equal Condition with their Fellow-Subjects, under a just and moderate Government. Now if that Church, which agrees in Religion with the Prince, be esteemed the chief Sup­port of any Civil Government, and that for no other Reason (as has already been shewn) than because the Prince is kind, and the Laws are favourable to it; how much greater will be the Security of a Government, where all good Subjects, of whatsoever Church they be, without any Distinction upon account of Religion, enjoying the same Favour of the Prince, and the same Benefit of the Laws, shall become the common Sup­port and Guard of it; and where none will have any occasion to fear the Severity of the Laws, but those that do Injuries to their Neighbours, and offend against the Civil Peace?

That we may draw towards a Conclusion. The Sum of all we drive at is, That every Man may en­joy the same Rights that are granted to others. Is it permitted to worship God in the Roman manner? Let it be permitted to do it in the Geneva Form also. Is it permitted to speak Latin in the Market-place? Let those that have a mind to it, be permitted to do it also in the Church. Is it lawfull for any man in his own House, to kneel, stand, sit, or use any other Posture; and to cloath himself in White or Black, in short or in long Garments? Let it not be made unlaw­ful to eat Bread, drink Wine, or wash with Water, in the Church. In a Word: Whatsoever things are [Page 53] left free by Law in the common occasions of Life, let them remain free unto every Church in Divine Wor­ship. Let no Mans Life, or Body, or House, or Estate, suffer any manner of Prejudice upon these Accounts. Can you allow of the Presbyterian Discipline? Why should not the Episcopal also have what they like? Ecclesiastical Authority, whether it be administred by the Hands of a single Person, or many, is every where the same; and neither has any Jurisdiction in things Civil, nor any manner of Power of Compulsion, nor any thing at all to do with Riches and Reve­nues.

Ecclesiastical Assemblies, and Sermons, are justified by daily experience, and publick allowance. These are allowed to People of some one Perswasion: Why not to all? If any thing pass in a Religious Meeting seditiously, and contrary to the publick Peace, it is to be punished in the same manner, and no otherwise, than as if it had happened in a Fair or Market. These Meetings ought not to be Sanctuaries for Factious and Flagitious Fellows: Nor ought it to be less law­ful for Men to meet in Churches than in Halls: Nor are one part of the Subjects to be esteemed more blameable, for their meeting together, than others. Eve­ry one is to be accountable for his own Actions; and no Man is to be laid under a Suspition, or Odium, for the Fault of another. Those that are Seditious, Murderers, Thieves, Robbers, Adulterers, Slanderers, &c. of whatsoever Church, whether National or not, ought to be punished and suppressed. But those whose Doctrine is peaceable, and whose Manners are pure and blameless, ought to be upon equal Terms with their Fellow-Subjects. Thus if Solemn Assemblies, Observations of Festivals, publick Worship, be per­mitted [Page 54] to any one sort of Professors; all these things ought to be permitted to the Presbyterians, Indepen­dents, Anabaptists, Arminians, Quakers, and others, with the same Liberty. Nay, if we may openly speak the Truth, and as becomes one Man to another, nei­ther Pagan, nor Mahumetan, nor Iew, ought to be ex­cluded from the Civil Rights of the Commonwealth, because of his Religion. The Gospel commands no such thing.1 Cor. 5.12, 13. The Church, which judges not those that are without, wants it not. And the Commonwealth, which embraces indifferently all Men that are honest, peace­able and industrious, repuires it not. Shall we suf­fer a Pagan to deal and Trade with us, and shall we not suffer him to pray unto and worship God? If we allow the Iews to have private Houses and Dwel­lings amongst us, Why should we not allow them to have Synagogues? Is their Doctrine more false, their Worship more abominable, or is the Civil Peace more endangered, by their meeting in publick than in their private Houses? But if these things may be granted to Iews and Pagans, surely the condition of any Christi­ans ought not to be worse than theirs in a Christian Commonwealth.

You'll say, perhaps, Yes, it ought to be: Because they are more inclinable to Factions, Tumults, and Civil Wars. I answer: Is this the fault of the Chri­stirn Religion? If it be so, truly the Christian Reli­gion is the worst of all Religions, and ought neither to be embraced by any particular Person, nor tolera­ted by any Commonwealth. For if this be the Genius, this the Nature of the Christian Religion, to be tur­bulent, and destructive to the Civil Peace, that Church it self which the Magistrate indulges will not always be innocent. But far be it from us to say any such [Page 55] thing of that Religion, which carries the greatest op­position to Covetousness, Ambition, Discord, Contention, and all manner of inordinate Desires; and is the most modest and peaceable Religion that ever was. We must therefore seek another Cause of those Evils that are charged upon Religion. And if we consider right, we shall find it to consist wholly in the Subject that I am treating of. It is not the diversity of Opini­ons, (which cannot be avoided) but the refusal of Toleration to those that are of different Opinions, (which might have been granted) that has produced all the Bustles and Wars, that have been in the Chri­stian World, upon account of Religion. The Heads and Leaders of the Church, moved by Avarice and insatiable desire of Dominion, making use of the im­moderate Ambition of Magistrates, and the credulous Superstition of the giddy Multitude, have incensed and animated them against those that dissent from themselves; by preaching unto them, contrary to the Laws of the Gospel and to the Precepts of Charity, That Schismaticks and Hereticks are to be outed of their Possessions, and destroyed. And thus have they mixed together and confounded two things that are in themselves most different, the Church and the Com­monwealth. Now as it is very difficult for men pa­tiently to suffer themselves to be stript of the Goods, which they have got by their honest Industry; and contrary to all the Laws of Equity, both Humane and Divine, to be delivered up for a Prey to other mens Violence and Rapine; especially when they are other­wise altogether blameless; and that the Occasion for which they are thus treated does not at all belong to the Jurisdiction of the Magistrate, but intirely to the Conscience of every particular man; for the Conduct [Page 56] of which he is accountable to God only; What else can be expected, but that these men, growing weary of the Evils under which they labour, should in the end think it lawful for them to resist Force with Force, and to defend their natural Rights (which are not forfeitable upon account of Religion) with Arms as well as they can? That this has been hitherto the ordinary Course of things, is abundantly evident in History: And that it will continue to be so hereaf­ter, is but too apparent in Reason. It cannot indeed be otherwise, so long as the Principle of Persecution for Religion shall prevail, as it has done hitherto, with Magistrate and People; and so long as those that ought to be the Preachers of Peace and Con­cord, shall continue, with all their Art and Strength, to excite men to Arms, and sound the Trumpet of War. But that Magistrates should thus suffer these In­cendiaries, and Disturbers of the Publick Peace, might justly be wondred at; if it did not appear that they have been invited by them unto a Participation of the Spoil, and have therefore thought fit to make use of their Covetousness and Pride as means where­by to increase their own Power. For who does not see that these Good Men are indeed more Ministers of the Government, than Ministers of the Gospel; and that by flattering the Ambition, and favouring the Dominion of Princes and men in Authority, they endeavour with all their might to promote that Ty­ranny in the Commonwealth, which otherwise they should not be able to establish in the Church? This is the unhappy Agreement that we see between the Church and State. Whereas if each of them would contain it self within its own Bounds, the one attend­ing to the worldly Welfare of the Commonwealth, [Page 57] the other to the Salvation of Souls, it is impossible that any Discord should ever have hapned between them. Sed, pudet haec opprobria, &c. God Almighty grant, I beseech him, that the Gospel of Peace may at length be preached, and that Civil Magistrates grow­ing more careful to conform their own Consciences to the Law of God, and less sollicitous about the binding of other mens Consciences by Humane Laws, may, like Fathers of their Country, direct all their Counsels and Endeavours to promote universally the Civil Welfare of all their Children; except only of such as are arrogant, ungovernable, and injurious to their Brethren, and that all Ecclesiastical men, who boast themselves to be the Successors of the Apostles, walking peaceably and modesty in the Apostles steps, without intermedling with State-Affairs, may apply themselves wholly to promote the Salvation of Souls.


PErhaps it may not be amiss to add a few things concerning Heresy and Schism. A Turk is not, nor can be, either Heretick or Schismatick, to a Chrishian: and if any man fall off from the Christian Faith to Ma­humetism, he does not thereby become a Heretick or Schismatick, but an Apostate and an Infidel. This no body doubts of. And by this it appears that men of different Religions cannot be Hereticks or Schismaticks to one another.

We are to enquire therefore, what men are of the same Religion. Concerning which, it is manifest that those who have one and the same Rule of Faith and Worship, are of the same Religion: and those who [Page 58] have have not the same Rule of Faith and Worship are of different Religions. For since all things that belong unto that Religion are contained in that Rule, it follows necessarily that those who agree in one Rule are of one and the same Religion: and vice versa. Thus Turks and Christians are of different Religions: because these take the Holy Scriptures to be the Rule of their Religion, and those the Alcoran. And for the same reason, there may be different Religions also even a­mongst Christians. The Papists and the Lutherans, tho' both of them profess Faith in Christ, and are there­fore called Christians, yet are not both of the same Religion: because These acknowledge nothing but the Holy Scriptures to be the Rule and Foundation of their Religion; Those take in also Traditions and the De­crees of Popes, and of these together make the Rule of their Religion. And thus the Christians of St. Iohn (as they are called) and the Christians of Geneva are of different Religions: because These also take only the Scriptures; and Those I know not what Traditions, for the Rule of their Religion.

This being setled, it follows; First, that Heresy is a Separation made in Ecclesiastical Communion between men of the same Religion, for some Opinions no way contained in the Rule it self. And Secondly, that a­mongst those who acknowledge nothing but the Holy Scriptures to be their Rule of Faith, Heresy is a Sepa­ration made in their Christian Communion, for Opi­nions not contained in the express words of Scripture. Now this Separation may be made in a twofold man­ner.

1. When the greater part, or (by the Magistrate's Patronage) the stronger part, of the Church separates it self from others, by excluding them out of her Com­munion, because they will not profess their Belief of [Page 59] certain Opinions which are not the express words of the Scripture. For it is not the paucity of those that are separated, nor the Authority of the Magistrate, that can make any man guilty of Heresy. But he only is an Heretick who divides the Church into parts, intro­duces Names and Marks of Distinction, and voluntari­ly makes a Separation because of such Opinions.

2. When any one separates himself from the Com­munion of a Church, because that Church does not publickly profess some certain Opinions which the Ho­ly Scriptures do not expresly teach.

Both these are Hereticks: because they err in Fun­damentals, and they err obstinately against Knowledge. For when they have determined the Holy Scriptures to be the only Foundation of Faith, they nevertheless lay down certain Propositions as fundamental, which are not in the Scripture; and because others will not ac­knowledge these additional Opinions of theirs, nor build upon them as if they were necessary and funda­mental, they therefore make a Separation in the Church; either by withdrawing themselves from the others, or expelling the others from them. Nor does it signifie any thing for them to say that their Confessions and Symboles are agreeable to Scripture, and to the Analo­gy of Faith. For if they be conceived in the express words of Scripture, there can be no question about them; because those things are acknowledged by all Christians to be of Divine Inspiration, and therefore fundamental. But if they say that the Articles which they require to be profess'd, are Consequences deduced from the Scripture; it is undoubtedly well done of them who believe and profess such things as seem unto them so agreeable to the Rule of Faith. But it would be very ill done to obtrude those things upon others, unto whom they do not seem to be the indubitable Doctrines [Page] of the Scripture. And to make a Separation for such things as these, which neither are nor can be funda­mental, is to become Hereticks. For I do not think there is any man arrived to that degree of madness, as that he dare give out his Consequences and Interpreta­tions of Scripture as Divine Inspirations, and compare the Articles of Faith that he has framed according to his own Fancy with the Authority of the Scripture. I know there are some Propositions so evidently agree­able to Scripture, that no body can deny them to be drawn from thence: but about those therefore there can be no difference. This only I say, that however clearly we may think this or the other Doctrine to be deduced from Scripture, we ought not therefore to impose it upon others, as a necessary Article of Faith, because we believe it to be agreeable to the Rule of Faith; unless we would be content also that other Do­ctrines should be imposed upon us in the same manner; and that we should be compell'd to receive and profess all the different and contradictory Opinions of Luthe­rans, Calvinists, Remonstrants, Anabaptists, and other Sects, which the Contrivers of Symbols, Systems and Confessions, are accustomed to deliver unto their Fol­lowers as genuine and necessary Deductions from the Holy Scripture. I cannot but wonder at the extra­vagant arrogance of those men who think that they themselves can explain things necessary to Salvation more clearly than the Holy Ghost, the Eternal and Infinite Wisdom of God.

Thus much concerning Heresy; which word in com­mon use is applied only to the Doctrinal part of Reli­gion. Let us now consider Schism, which is a Crime near a-kin to it. For both those words seem unto me to signifie an ill-grounded Separation in Ecclesiastical Communion, made about things not necessary. But [Page] since Use, which is the Supream Law in matter of Lan­guage, has determined that Heresy relates to Errors in Faith, and Schism to those in Worship or Discipline, we must consider them under that Distinction.

Schism then, for the same reasons that have already been alledged, is nothing else but a Separation made in the Communion of the Church, upon account of some­thing in Divine Worship, or Ecclesiastical Discipline, that is not any necessary part of it. Now nothing in Wor­ship or Discipline can be necessary to Christian Com­munion, but what Christ our Legislator, or the Apo­stles, by Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, have comman­ded in express words.

In a word: He that denies not any thing that the holy Scriptures teach in express words, nor makes a Separation upon occasion of any thing that is not ma­nifestly contained in the Sacred Text; however he may be nick-named by any Sect of Christians, and declared by some, or all of them to be utterly void of true Chri­stianity, yet indeed and in truth this man cannot be either a Heretick or Schismatick.

These things might have been explained more large­ly, and more advantageously: but it is enough to have hinted at them, thus briefly, to a Person of your parts.


Books lately Printed for Awnsham Churchill at the Black Swan at Amen-Corner.

  • AN Historical Account of Making the Penal Laws by the Papists against the Protestants, and by the Protestants against the Pa­pists. Wherein the true Ground and Reason of Making the Laws is given, the Papists most barbarous Usage of the Protestants here in England, under a Colour of Law, set forth; and the Reformation Vindicated from the Imputation of being Cruel and Bloody, unjustly cast upon it by those of the Romish Communion. By Samuel Blackerby, Barrister of Grays-Inn. Fol.
  • A Modest Enquiry, Whether St. Peter were ever at Rome, and Bi­shop of that Church? Wherein, I. The Arguments of Cardinal Bellarmine and others, for the Affirmative, are considered. II. Some Considerations taken Notice of, that render the Negative highly Probable. Quarto.
  • The Spirit of France, and the Politick Maxims of Lewis XIV. laid open to the World. Quarto.
  • Memorials of the Method and Manner of Proceedings in Parlia­ment in Passing Bills: Together with several Rules and Customs, which by long and constant Practice have obtained the Name of Orders of the House. Gathered by Observation, and out of the Jour­nal-Books, from the time of Edward VI. Octavo.
  • Dr. Burnet's Tracts in Two Volumes. Vol. I. Containing, 1. His Travels into Switzerland, Italy and Germany; with an Ap­pendix. 2. Animadversions on the Reflections upon the Travels. 3. Three Letters of the Quietists, Inquisition, and State of Italy. Vol. II. 4. His Translations of Lactantius of the Death of Per­secutors. 5. His Answers to Mr. Varillas: In Three Parts. Twelves.
  • A Collection of Texts of Scripture, with short Notes upon them And some other Observations against the Principal Popish Errors. Twelves.
  • The Fallibility of the Roman Church, Demonstrated from the Manifest Error of the Second Nicene and Trent Councils, which Assert, That the Veneration and Honorary Worship of Images, is a Tra­dition Primitive and Apostolical. Quarto.
  • [Page]A Demonstration that the Church of Rome, and her Councils, have Erred; by shewing, That the Councils of Constance, Basil, and Trent, have, in all their Decrees touching Communion in one Kind, contradicted the Received Doctrine of the Church of Christ: with an Appendix, in Answer to the XXI. Chapter of the Author of A Papist Misrepresented, and Represented. Quarto.
  • A Treatise of Traditions, Part I. Wherein it is proved, That we have Evidence sufficient from Tradition; 1. That the Scriptures are the Word of God. 2. That the Church of England owns the true Canon of the Books of the Old Testament. 3. That the Copies of the Scripture have not been corrupted. 4. That the Romanists have no such Evidence for their Traditions. 5. That the Testimony of the present Church of Rome can be no sure Evidence of Apostolical Tradition. 6. What Traditions may securely be relied upon, and what not. Quarto.
  • A Treatise of Traditions, Part II. Shewing the Novelty of the pretended Traditions of the Church of Rome; as being, 1. Not mentioned by the Ancients of their Discourses of Traditions Apostoli­cal, truly so called, or so esteemed by them. Nor, 2. In their Avowed Rule, or Symbol of Faith. Nor, 3. In the Instructions gi­ven to the Clergy, concerning all those things they were to teach the People. Nor, 4. In the Examination of a Bishop at his Ordination. Nor, 5. In the Ancient Treatises designed to instruct Christians in all the Articles of their Faith. 6. From the Confessions of Romish Doctors: with an Answer to the Arguments of Mr. Mumford for Traditions; And a Demonstration, That the Heathens made the same Plea from Tradition as the Romanists do; and that the Answer of the Fathers to it doth fully justifie the Protestants. Quarto.
All these four Books Written by the Reverend D. Whitby, D. D.
  • An Exhortation to Charity (and a Word of Comfort) to the Irish Protestants: Being a Sermon Preached at Steeple in Dorsetshire, upon occasion of the Collection for Relief of the Poor Protestants in this Kingdom, lately fled from Ireland: By Samuel Bold, Rector of Steeple. Quarto.
  • [Page] Foxes and Firebrands, or a Specimen of the Danger and Harmony of Popery and Separation, First, Second, and Third Parts.
  • Sir W. Temple's Observation on Holland.
  • — Miscellanea.
  • Mr. Selden's Table-Talk, or Discourses on various Subjects.
  • A List of the present Parliament, Lords and Commons,
  • Present Case stated about Allegiance to King William and Queen Mary.
  • Debates of the late Oxford and Westminster Parliament.
  • Monsieur Ierew's Accomplishment. Octavo.
  • Scripture-Prophesies, Compleat: in 2 Vol. Octavo.
  • A New System of the Revelations. Twelves.
  • Voyages of Syam. Octavo.
  • Obedience due to the present King, notwithstanding our Oaths to the former: By a Divine of the Church of England.
  • The late Lord Russell's Case, with Observations upon it. Writ by the Right Honourable Henry Lord Delamere. Fol.
  • Considerations humbly offered for taking the Oath of Allegiance to King William and Queen Mary. Quarto.
  • Mr. Masters of Submission to Divine Providence.
  • Dr. Worthington of the Resurrection. Octavo.
  • An Answer to Bishop Lake's (late of Chichester) Declaration of his dying in belief of the Doctrine of Passive Obedience, &c.
  • Dr. Carsael's Assize-Sermon at Abingdon, Aug 6. 1689.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.