Advice to Freeholders and other Electors of Members to serve in PARLIAMENT▪ In Relation to the PENAL LAWS and the TESTS.
In a Letter to a Friend in the Country.
With Allowance.


IT having pleased the King, to emit a gracious Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, and it being more than probable, that the matter thereof, may be the Subject of the next Parliament; I do here present you (my old Friend) with some of the Mo­tives, inclining me to exert my self to my Ability, when cal­led to it (whatsoever Opposition or Censure, may therein attend me) for the Election of such Members as may concur with his Majesty, in giving Sanction to this Indulgence (it being what we have long wanted, and wished for) and in securing it to after Ages, which is as undoubted­ly the King's Royal Purpose, as it is our common Interest; my Rea­sons are.

1. That herein I shall be found to act in consistency with my constant Principle, for I always esteemed it, to be a glorious Work, to set Con­science free from Church-Tyranny, and to extricate the Nation from the intolerable Burden of destructive Penal Laws.

[Page 2] 2. That in the present Undertaking; I see my Security, we have in this happy Juncture, the Advantage of promoting what we highly prize, and that with his Majestie's Royal Recommendation; so we are safe (whosoever snarles) in conforming, to so great, so good, and so wise a Resolution, as the King has propitiously taken. And moreover,

3. Gratitude to his Majesty for this Declaration, and for his gracious Proclamation of Pardon of the 10th, of March 1685, engages and spurs me (as I hope it will do Multitudes) to promote with my utmost Might, this present Work, as it is a thing acceptable to the King.

To add no more, these Reasons are prevalent with me, and if they may dispose you to contribute to the making proper Elections, so that his Majestie's gracious Purpose, for the Relief and Tranquility of his People, may not be frustrated, by unreasonable Malecontents, it will be most grateful to me; for I know you to be very capable, of contri­buting significantly to this publick Good.

I perceive that some of your Neighbours are beating their Brains for Arguments, to justify the upholding the persecuting Laws, and the dis­criminating, and most unreasonable Tests: With me it is out of Question, that those Men, are very narrow soul'd, and their Maxims ill grounded; pray therefore bear with me, that I present you with my Thoughts, of the great Point now agitated, Liberty of Conscience, or Toleration.

I am well satisfied, of the Truth, and Stability of the following Po­sitions, and he that is so, must cease to Love Persecution.

1. Liberty of Conscience is consonant to the Gospel which no where countenances Force and Compulsion.

2. To grant this Liberty, is the true Interest both of Prince and Peo­ple, to evince the Truth of these, let it be considered as to the first:

That Liberty of Conscience is consonant to the Gospel. It is a Gospel of Peace, and not of Force and Fury: If so, it is most unbeseeming this Gospel, to do things rashly and violently, for its Advancement, it is not to be so propagated: Its Language is, he that believes shall be saved. And our blessed Lord, and his Apostles (who had the command of all Power) to bring Men to this Faith, used Instruction, Perswasion, and Reasoning, but never went about to deal with Mens Consciences, by Violence; they used no Sword but that of the Spirit, and left every Man to his own Light.

Error, as well as Truth, is seated in the Mind of Man, and we are without one Instance since the Creation, where Compulsion ever wrought a Change in any ones Principles, tho it hath wrought on many, to de­ny or conceal their Opinions. The Soul of Man is out of the reach of the Magistrates Sword, and therefore 'tis as vain to pretend to direct [Page 3] what I shall believe, and to force in me a Faith of any thing, as 'tis to attempt to bring the Angels under an outward secular Power. Com­pulsion undoubtedly will dispose a Man to hate whatsoever is so propo­sed, and not better evinced. To proceed,

2. That Liberty of Conscience is the Interest both of the King and his People, this is well proved, by the invincible Reasons in his Majesties gratious Declaration, which are these.

1. The Glory of the King. 2. The Peoples Peace. 3. Union be­tween the King and his People. 4. The Unreasonableness of constrain­ing Conscience, and forceing People in matters of meer Religion. 5. The Mischiefs of Compulsion by spoiling Trade, depopulating Coun­tries, and discouraging Strangers. And lastly, the ill Success which Force has had in Religious Matters, which shews the invincible Diffi­culties which attend those Methods.

1. The Glory of the King. Will any Member of the Church of Eng­land (so fam'd for Loyalty) repine at his Majesties being truly Glori­ous? surely no; and hath not this his Act of Tenderness, added high­ly to his Glory? It undoubtedly hath: It secures not only common Homage of Obedience, and Subjection to his Majesty; but with it, that more noble, of the Hearts and Affections, of a very great multitude of his People, who are sober, serious, industrious, and also wealthy; these by Persecution have been made heartless in themselves, and useless in a very great Measure, to the King, and Kingdom: I say this Indulgence hath secured to the King the Hearts of his dissenting Subjects, who are brought to depend upon him, and they will love him, who favours and protects them, and hath put them into a Posture, than which they can never hope for a better; and seeing the Church of England cannot but love him, and be Loyal, he is without Controversy become the most Glorious, because the greatest, and most beloved Prince, that ever yet swayed the English Scepter.

2. The Peoples Peace. Do not we know by sad Experience, how greatly Coercion in things relating to God and Conscience, has distur­bed the Peace of Mankind, and created terrible Concussions in these Kingdoms? What lamentable Divisions and Animosities, have we be­held to spring from the Execution of the Penal Laws, and how dismal­ly sad have been their Effects? It is not reasonable to imagine that Persecution should not disgust those who suffer; and By-slanders (tho otherwise perswaded as to Religion) are dissatisfied, to behold their peaceable honest dealing Neighbours, torn to pieces for Conscience sake, such are disposed to pity the Sufferers, and to dislike the Severi­ties wherewith they are exercised.

[Page 4] 3. Union between the King and his People. It is most evident that the Disaffection, which not long since had overspread our Horizon, did spring from the Severities of the Laws, and of their Execution. The happy Union between Prince and People has been (if not broken) to a very great degree weakened, by a mistaken Maxim, that but one part of his Majesties Subjects (and that a much lesser part, than some are wil­ling they should be thought) deserved to live, and to be protected: This too predominant Opinion, did manifestly narrow the Interest of the King, by confining it to one Party; but blessed be God, and the King, that we have out lived that fond Conceit, and that we see, that Liberty of Conscience hath united the Dissenters to his Majesty, and that he becomes the common Father of all his People.

4. The Unreasonableness of constraining Conscience, and forcing People in matters of meer Religion. Conscience is God's peculiar, and so out of Man's Jurisdiction: Is it not then most unreasonable, to have it floating about at the Will of humane Powers, and to oblige Christians to suffer or to fall in with all Changes of Religion? It is unreasonable, be­cause impossible, to compel a Man to the Belief of any thing, out of the compass of his Knowledg; our Lord left neither Precept nor President for such a Practice: Men under the Gospel are first to be enlightned, and then to practice in Conformity thereto: The way of dealing with Men by Violence, was in all Ages unsuccessful, therefore 'tis more than time to explode it; & ad hominem, to give one irrefragible Argument to our Church of England (which at this day, is, or would be the Persecutor of her Brethren;) Is it not unreasonable, nay absur'd, that that Church which in its Doctrin allows Judicium discretionis, a liberty of judging for our selves, and pretends not to Infallibility; should require me to change my Opinion, and to be of hers, when I conceive my self to be in the right, and she hath no infallible Assurance that she is not in the wrong?

5. The Mischiefs of Compulsion, in spoiling Trade, depopulating the Country, and discouraging Strangers, amongst the many mischievous Events which we have seen, from the denyal of Liberty of Conscience, that upon Trade is not the least, nor to be last mentioned: Imposition in Religion damps mens Undertakings, and hath drove Multitudes into forreign Parts, and not a few to a Retirement from their Trades, and Vocations, who would otherwise have been very useful to the Common-wealth▪ Conscientious Men have a very sow Esteem of all things, compared with their religious Liberty; who will lay out his Estate and Trade freely, where the bare exercising his Religion, gives vile Infor­mers a Power to dispoil him of his Substance? Toleration in the united Netherlands, hath brought them from all parts of Europe, a Confluence of [Page 5] People, and by consequence of Treasure, and Trade; wherefore their Policy, has heretofore, as much approved our pressing a Uniformity here, as they now seem disturbed at our Liberty of Conscience, it being that, which with so great Advantage they have long monopolized. And Lastly, The ill Success which Force in Religious Matters has always been attended with: Compulsion never attained the intended End, it may, and hath too often made Hypocrites, never sincere Converts. The earnest desire of Liberty when refused, creates Discontents, which boile in the Breasts of Men, and have too often broken out, to the en­dangering Governments; for Persons of differing Sentiments in Reli­gion will unite in an Opposition to the Force about Religious Things, which renders every dissenting Party uneasy, so that the Danger seems to lye in Persecution for Conscience sake, and not in the having under one Government several Perswasions and Parties in Religion.

I shall now proceed to the Objections made against this Liberty of Conscience, and the Repeal of the Penal Laws, by some very warm Clergy Men (for the Church is not a little divided in this Point, and the best, possibly the greatest part thereof, will be found not to ap­prove Persecution.)

1. They say, their Opposition arises from a Dread of Popery. To answer these Gentlemen, and dissipate their Fears.

1. Can the Church of England (Circumstances considered) possibly invent a better Security than she hath by his Majesties Declaration? That first of all Declares, that the King will protect and maintain Her, in the free Exercise of her Religion, as, by Law established, and in the quiet and full Enjoyment of all her Possessions without any Molestation or Disturbance whatsoever. What would she further have? Will she call into question the Sincerity of his Majesties Promise? The King intends the Concurrence of a Parliament for the establishing the Indulgence, and the abolishing the Tests and Penal Laws: It will be then seasonable, for the Church of England to ask her further Security, if she will pretend to stand in need thereof.

2. Let the Church consider that the King only takes from her the Pow­er of doing Mischief. She will not pretend to deny his Majesty Liberty of Conscience; If she doth not, can she expect by his Permission and Au­thority to cudgel her fellow Subjects into a Communion which he doth not approve, and that after he hath so solemnly declared his Royal Judg­ment to be against all Persecution for Conscience sake? He intends not to deprive the Church of England of such Laws as are defensive of her Re­ligion and Possessions, but only to abrogate such Statutes, as the Iniqui­ty or short-sightedness of past Ages hath armed her with to annoy and [Page 6] offend her Neighbours; Laws wicked in themselves, and which she hath too long, very wickedly executed, and therefore very fit to be yielded up.

The Objectors fear of Popery, by the Repeal of the Penal Statutes, is not easily to be comprehended; let the Papists, with all other the Kings Subjects, be restored to what ought to be theirs, by the Laws of God, and let them have their Birth-rights, and we have them in the com­mon Interest of the Nation. Such who are in love with Persecution, may not think to make the Romanists uneasy, in the Reign of the present King; let us then weigh it, whether it be not the best Discretion, to secure them of Ease in the next Reign.

Another Objection brought for keeping up the Penal Laws is, That they for whom Liberty is desired, are Factious, and that it will strengthen those who have always been for a Common-Wealth. Of what force this Objection is, will be seen, if it be considered.

That Persecution foments Faction, but Liberty wins over the Male­content, if not, it lays him open, and will make every Body ready to be his Executioner. Violence may have forced many to factious Practises, who were not, nor would not chuse be Factious, Oppression making the wise Man mad: Give Men Security in their worshipping God, and you may soon distinguish between Conscience and Faction. It hath been well obser­ved, that no Government is endangered by the People it seeks to preserve: Did not the Church, by Rigour and Severity in time past, drive many Dis­senters from their Native Country, and force those who remained, to shelter themselves under the Enemies of the Crown? I justify not the Practice, nor can the Fact be denyed: The King is at this Day, by his trans­cendent Grace & Tenderness to Consciences become Master of the Hearts, and by consequence of the Lives and Estates of his dissenting Subjects.

I shall in the next place take the liberty of offering some things to the Consideration of all our Country-men, both of such as are Members of the Church of England, and of Dissenters.

1. The Gentlemen of the established Church may please to remember, that their Church, when brought under, pleaded for Liberty, and thank­fully accepted it from the late Usurpers; surely then, they will, or ought to deport themselves decently in this Juncture, to their lawful Soveraign (differing from them in Religion) and not censure, or repine at his Re­solution to make all his People easy, when that same Clemency of the Kings, secures them in their Religion, with the comfortable Addition of their large Possessions.

Let them consider their antient Loyalty (interwoven with their Reli­gion) and approve themselves (against those, who begin to accuse them of turning upon the Government) what they have always boasted, unal­terably Loyal.

[Page 7] Shall the Fanaticks with alacrity come into the King's Interest, and will the Church of England appear sullen, soure and averse thereto? I am confident she will not: To clear up my meaning herein, let me tell you, I take not the Clergy to constitute the Church of England: No, not in conjunction with some cloudy, morose & ambitious great Men, who seem at this Day to abet their Discontents, but the People who joyn in her Commu­nion, will be found to be the best, & by far the greatest part of that Church.

The Ecclesiasticks and some of their designing Adherents, are indeed angry, and why? Because his Majesty resolves they shall not confound their Neighbours: But did you ever observe a violent persecuting Mi­nister, to enjoy the Hearts of the People who lent him their Ears? You may remember, that in our late highly contested Elections of Parliament Men, we saw in many parts of the Kingdom the rigid, siery Parson abandoned his by Flock, and galloping to give his single Voice, which was all that he and his Horse could bring in; the Parish certainly falling in with the Side which he opposed, and why? Because detesting his Spi­rit and Principles, they could not be disposed to esteem him a good Man for whom their Minister voted. May this go for some sort of measure of the Churches Interest? I think we cannot readily have a better, than that of the Freedom of voting in Elections, how miserably then will that Interest be found to dwindle, when the Clergy shall come stript of the Advantage of compelling Men into it, by making use of the Kings Name (to that they were formerly owing their Success where they found it, and not to the Esteem they had with their own Members.) I have heard some compute, that not above one 5th or 6th. part of the known World is Christian: It will be found that his Majesties Interest in his People, vastly excels that of the Clergies, and that the Church of England in the Point now discussed, Liberty of Conscience, will not be found to compre­hend such a part of the Nation, as the Christians make of the World.

Would our Militant Church-men but put on Temper, and sequester so much Time, as to weigh with calmness and deliberation, the Opinions of the most eminent Divines of their Church, in the Point of Imposition, they would be found no Friends to Persecution. Reverend Dr. Taylor, late Bishop of Downe, thus expressed himself for Liberty of Conscience, viz, I do earnestly contend, that another Mans Opinion shall be no Rule to mine, and that my Opinion shall be no Snare or Prejudice to my self. In another place that learned Man proceeds thus; It is a part of Christian Religion, that the Li­berty of Mens Consciences should be preserved in all things, where God hath not set a Limit. And further—The same Meekess and Charity should be preser­ved in propagating Christianity, which was in its first Publication.

The Reverend and Learned Dr. Stillingfleet did once apprehend the [Page 8] Mischief of Imposition, when he declared his Opinion to be, That Non-con­formity to any suspected Practise, required by any Church Governor, as the Condition of her Communion, was lawful, if the thing so required, was judg­ed unwarrantable by a Mans own Conscience.

I have been told and doubt not the Truth thereof, that a late Reverend Prelate, Dr. Brownrig (who lived to see the Restoration of his late Majesty, and of the Church of England secured, tho' not actually accom­plished) did upon his Death-Bed lament the imposing presecuting Spi­rit, which he foresaw would return with the Church: And I think I have good ground to say, that at a late Conference between a Bishop (whose Health is drank throughout the Kingdom) and some of his Clergy of great note, a dignified Doctor of eminent Learning, and can­dor of Spirit, did very freely declare, That he thought the Church was under Gods Displeasure for her Severity to Dissenters, and that thereupon the Bishop lamented that he ever had his Hand in that Work, and de­clared, that should he be restored to Power, he would use it better than he had done: I wish all the Clergymen then present and throughout the Kingdom, were so resolved, and would shew themselves for Peace, by throwing away their Weapons of War.

2. I propose to the Consideration of Dissenters, and that of every Denomination, that as when a Town is on Fire every Man (without any great Regard to what Intimacy or Distance hath been amongst Neighbours) doth his best to extinguish the devouring Flames, so that they would with unanimity joyn in this common Cause, of removing, and that for ever, the undistinguishing Instruments of Mischief, the Pe­nal Statutes: They do equally extend to all, and may by turns reach e­very Dissenter. Hath not the Church of England persisted to exercise her Severities upon all Dissenters within her reach, even in the present Reign? Are the Roman Catholicks (tho sheltered by the Kings Religi­on) willing to deliver other Dissenters with themselves from those destroying Laws, and to secure them, from what hath been of so terri­fying an Aspect in Popery, Persecution? And will they refuse to be unshakled? I cannot imagine they should, especially when I observe amongst them such a universal Serenity since his Majesties Declaration. They owe their Ease to the Kings Princely Clemency, he invites them out of Slavery; if they will, their Liberty may be established; his Ma­jesty is resolved to do that which the Church never would when she had Power, nor can we think she would now, if it be true that she accosts the King with heat against it: Let then all Dissenters see their com­mon Interest, to approach the King with Duty and Affection, and to evidence their Affection, by closing with the happy Opportunity which [Page 9] now offers, of setting themselves free by Law, seeing his Majesty calls them to it: But,

The Fanaticks are told by Church-Men, That it is not now either seasonable or safe (I doubt in their Opinion it never will) and they promise that they will do the Work. Affliction is the best School, and I do hope the Fanaticks have learn'd therein better, than to be tampe­red withal, and decoy'd into an Opposition to his Majesties so graci­ous Disposition: They know the King never broke his Word, that the Church hath, and that with them in this very Point of Indulgence.

I appeal herein to the Memories of some Men of Note now living, who were of so clear Credit, and so great Reputation in the House of Com­mons (tho Dissenters) that without their Concurrence, an Address had not been obtained for the recalling the late King's Declaration of Indulgence, which for the time made the Kingdom happy; it must be acknowledged by these honest well meaning Gentlemen, that they were wheedled and cheated of that Indulgence, by the fair Promises and Cae­resses of some, who are now also living, and attempting to play that Game over again: I conclude therefore, with difference to their Quali­ties, that they are not to be again trusted.

To provoke Dissenters to avoid the Rock, and gain a safe Harbour, I shall remind them (tho' I would not have it remembered for Vengeance, but for Prevention sake) what and how they have suffered by the Penal Laws, which some so highly struggle to keep up. How many Families have we seen ruined, by the vexation of Citations, and what quickly followed, Excommunications, in the Courts Ecclesiastick: The Lawyers say that Excommunication is a Disability to sue for Debts, and many honest Men have found that wicked Advantage made thereof; I know the Name of a Clergy-Man, who to supply his Occasions, borrowed Money of a Neighbour, a Dissenter, and to defraud him of the Money (instead of Payment) pleaded that his Creditor stood excommunicate: A more severe Step of those Courts was, the burying the Dissenter a­live in a Goal by a Writ de Excommunicato Capiendo, from which there was no Redemption, but at the Price of his Conscience. Indeed where Men had money, and would farm their Liberty (not of Conscience but) from Prison, I have seen the tender hearted Gentlemen of Doctors Com­mons (since the Death of his late Majesty) for Fifteen or Twenty Pound paid, half yearly, to respit the claping up of an industrious man, and they have permitted him, till the next Rent Day, to work for his Family.

That the Dissenters have been Tenants to under Sheriffs, Clerks of the Peace, Town Clerks, Apparitors, Bailiffs, &c. Is too well known throughout the Kingdom, the first came but twice a year, the others [Page 10] quarterly or monthly. If these Devourers left any thing, the Infor­mer followed, and very often swept all, and sometimes stock'd a Justices House or Farm with Beds, Horses, Cowes, or what else the Gentle­man wanted, and that at very reasonable Rates.

Are there not also, to make the Dissenter compleatly miserable, Im­prisoning, Banishing, murdering Laws? To them, what can the Inven­tion of Cruelty it self add? Have we not, with regret beheld the Ex­ecution of these Laws? It may possibly be said that none have been hanged for Nonconformity, if so, we may say, thanks to the Kings Mercy, for restraining the Churches foolish Rage, but 'tis not a small number both of Ministers and others, whose Lives have been destroyed by lingering pining Deaths in noisom Goals and Dungeons.

Nay the rigorous Execution of these too rigid Laws, did not suffice, we have known many Informers swear by guess, and very fasly, and the Perjured protected and rewarded, of which take an Instance: An Informer (by Trade a Tinker) having manifestly perjured himself in swearing against an honest Gentleman upon the Conventicle Act, and being indicted for the Perjury, the Prosecutor was hurried by the pro­curement of the Informers Patron, into no less Prison than the Tower of London, and there closely detain'd: The Villain was rewarded with a place worth Twenty Pound per Annum, and still enjoys it. But why should I argue with Dissenters from particular Instances, to make them out of Love with their Shackles, when 'tis evident the whole Kingdom groans under, and would gladly throw off the Burthen of these oppres­sive bloody Laws.

I shall therefore take my Leave of the Dissenters with the Story of the Jews in good Nehemiah's time. He being informed of the very deplo­rable Case, of those who were left of the Captivity, made an Address to the King, representing the sad State of Jerusalem, and petitioned for Leave to rebuild it: The King (who was the great Artaxerxes) gave a gracious Answer, and not only permitted it, but contributed to the Work; and Nehemiah (to the Grief of Courtiers) went cheerfully about it. Sanballat and Tobiah, (men of great Power under the King) appeared grieved that there was come a man to seek the Welfare of Israel; however Nehemiah invited the Jews to build the Wall, and they came unanimously and cheerfully into the Work.

Sanballat and Tobiah having drawn into their Faction, Geshem an Arabian, laughed the Jews to Scorn, and termed the Work Rebellion against the King. Nehemiah, knowing that God would prosper him, (man­gre Opposition) proceeded to build, and all the People assisted, but the Nobles contributed not to the Worke of the Lord, but held Correspondance with the Enemy Tobiah, and betrayed to him Nehemiah's Counsels.

[Page 11] Sanballat and Tobiah, that they might obstruct the Work, resolved to fight the Jews: In this great Distress God fought for them, and brought the Enemies Counsel to nought, and the Jews made up the Breaches in the Wall: Then Sanballat and his Confederates, betook themselves to Flattery and Dissimulation, and invited Nehemiah again and again to a Conference, but he declines the Invitation, answering, that he was doing a great Work, and would not leave it. Thereupon Sanballat (still pretending Friendship) informed Nehemiah by Letter, That the Heathen reported, and Geshem said it, that he and the Jews thought to rebel, and to make Nehemiah King, and that this would be told the King, and therefore Sanballat offered to Counsel him how to obviate this heinous Charge. But Nehemiah (seeing the Snake in the Grass) re­fused to take Counsel of him, and answered Sanballat, that no such things were doing, and that he feigned the Accusation out of his own Heart: Then these Men of Mischief, hire false Prophets to Prophesy Nehemi­ah's Death, in case he did not withdraw: This Plot also failed; Nehe­miah saying, should such a Man as I flee: So persisting, the Wall was finished, to the Enemies Confusion, who perceived at length, that the Work was of God.

I have made the History too long, the Application shall be shorter. Has God put it into the King's Heart to pitty them, who are left of the Captivity, such whom Penal Laws have not destroyed? Let us re­turn due Thanks to God and the King.

Are there Sanballats, Tobiah's, and Geshem's, who vex themselves that there is come a Man to seek the Welfare of all his Israel? Do they in Con­federacy with the Arabians, and false Prophets, and with Tobiah's Cor­respondents undermine and discourage the great Work of delivering Conscience from the pernicious Penal Laws? Let us with Heart and Hand unite therein, and not be seduced by Flattery or Threats, to leave this glorious Work half done: Do the Heathen report, and Gesham say, or doth false Sanballat so pretend, that we are overturning the Government, and introducing a Common-Wealth? Let us deport our selves with such Duty and Affection to the King, that his Majesty, and his Succes­sors also, may tell Sanballat, That no such things, as he suggested, were doing by the Kings peaceable dissenting Subjects, but that the Accusa­tion was a Fiction of his own wicked Brain; and when this blessed Work shall be finished, may the Enemies thereof be cast down in their own Eyes, perceiving that this Work was wrought of our God; I am, what I always was, and therefore most certainly,


[Page 12]POSTS [...]IPT.

I would beseech the Church of E [...]land to yield to Christ, his own Throne in the Kingdom of God, and to Magistrates their Thrones in the Kingdoms of the World; the whole inward Man is under Christ's Power, and the whole outward Man is under the Magistrates; if so, the inward and outward Man being disposed of before, what room is there left for Ecclesiastical Power? The Clergy indeed have long pretended to lift up the Magistrate to the Throne of Christ over Conscience, not that they would have him sit there, but place them upon it, and we have seen the Power Ecclesiastick, interweaving it self with the Power of Princes, that their Power which was not of God; might be supported by the Power which was of God: But it may be worth Consideration whether they do not exalt themselves in Christ's stead in the Church, and set under their Feet the Magistrates Power in the World; and whether they are Friends to Magistracy, fur­ther than it is serviceable to their Ends, who is it that discerns them not at this Day, venting their Discontents against the King in Pamph­lets and Discourses, and in spreading very false News (in which, with too great Boldness they take their full swing) and why? Because he will not do all that they would have him do, and restrains their Power in Religious Things. And when they mind his Majesty of the Services they have done him, do they not do it, in such a manner, as hints what they can do against him, as well as for him, if he will not serve their Designs? But these Gentlemen demand, Would you have no Laws: Yes, but no other in God's Kingdom, but his own Laws, those only being proper, and adequate, and therefore a Thousand times better than all the Laws of Men, which never acquired any other sort of Proselytes, than such as the young Man in the Story in Frithe's Answer to the Bishop of Rochester; which is this; A young Man having beheld his Fathers Mar­tyrdom; the Officers (laying hold of him, and of that Opportunity to work his Conversion) examined him of his Faith; the Youth dismay'd, and fearing his Father's Fate, answered, Gentlemen, I believe even as it pleaseth you. Our Church hath of late Years (by breathing out Threatnings, Punishments, Imprisonments, &c.) made too many such Converts.

Once more adieu.

London, Printed, and sold, by Andrew Sowle, at the Crooked-Billet in Holloway-Lane in Shoreditch, and at the Three Keys, in Nags Head Court, in Grace-Church-Street, overagainst the Conduit, 1687.

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