INDULGENCE not JUSTIFIED: Being a Continuation of the DISCOURSE OF TOLERATION: In Answer to the ARGUMENTS Of a late Book, Entituled A Peace-Offering, or Plea for Indulgence: And to the CAVILS Of another, call'd The Second Discourse of the Religion in England.

August. Epist. Quinquages. ad Bonisacium.

Quomodo Reges Domino serviunt in timore, nisi ea quae contra jussa Domini fiunt, Religiosâ severitate prohibendo atque plectendo?

LONDON: Printed for R. Royston and James Collins, MDCLXVIII.


SECT. 1. Our Laws for Ʋniformity justifiable.

REligion being acknowledged by the Experience of all ages to have an effectual Influence upon the civil Con­versation of men, the measures of a Peoples mutual Con­fidence, and so consequently of their Quiet among themselves, will be according to the Degrees of Purity, and Unity, which are observed in that Religion, professed by the State. Christia­nity though it be the only true and pure Religion, and there­fore where it is observed in its Simplicity, is most beneficial to mankind; for all its precepts oblige Beleevers to the ex­actest Justice, the most compassionate acts of Mercy, and the strictest Peace, by which Societies are preserved and advanced: Yet being to be professed by men encompassed with Infirmi­ties, and not secured from Corruptions, it is obnoxious to He­resies, and Divisions; because there will be alwaies ignorant and unstable men who will wrest the Scriptures to their own damnation, and there will be men of corrupt minds, who ha­ving put away a good Conscience, concerning the Faith will make shipwrack. And when Contentions arise in this, they are more bitter and fierce then upon any other account, be­cause the Honour of God seems concerned in the Quarrel, and the glory of Heaven is conceived the Prize for the high­est [Page 2]Zeale. Therefore all Christian Princes, have seen a necessi­ty to preserve as much as they could the Unity of Religion as one of the Foundations of their Subjects Peace: And when Divisions have happened within their Territories, by consul­ting such Persons who might be presumed the fittest Judges in the Case, they have searched for the Truth; which being once found, they have maintained it by a restraint upon all Contradictions to it.

This hath been the known practice of our English Princes since the Reformation, by which they kept the Dissentions a­bout the Latitude and Extent of Reformation in so low a Con­dition, that though they required the publick Cares; yet they did never effect any common Trouble, till this our last Age: in which men grew weary of their Peace, and glutted with too great a Prosperity (the chief cause of all Civil Wars) they grew impatient of Laws; and not satisfied with that just Liberty, wherein they enjoyed their private Rights with as great, if not greater security, as any Nation under the Sun, they invaded those of the Throne.

Their method to such an Enterprize was to cause a Confu­sion, in which they hoped by base Arts to form their For­tunes agreeable to their Lusts. To introduce Disorder they first attempted upon Religion, and by ruining and dissolving the Government of the Church they opened a breach for all Heresies, and incouraged all Schisms: Thus they got a party ingaged to them for their Licence, and by their force and fraud a Power, which through the just Judgment of the Righ­teous God, attained their Cursed ends.

But when it pleased the Almighty Goodness by breaking them to pieces with his own arme to restore our Rightful Prince, and our ancient Laws; to ascertain our Peace, those just rules of Government to effect Unity in Religion, were a­gain practised; His Majesty and the Parliament enacting such Laws as did enjoin Uniformity in Religion. In making of which as they did cut off all those Jealousies (which are dangerous to Magistrates) of being unconcerned for the Worship of God; So in the Laws themselves they have prevented all Ca­lumnies of Cruelty and Persecution.

[Page 3] For by them No man is forced to professe any thing contrary to his Perswasion, which he calls his Faith. No man is denied the Liberty of his own Worship in his own Family, with so li­mited a Company as may not enjealous the State of contri­ving a Publick Disturbance.

Besides there is no Condition imposed upon our Communion but Conformity with the Church as to the Outward part of Worship, without any express or formal Declaration of their Opinions con­cerning it. And by this Moderation all the clamours of Force upon Conscience, and Compulsion to the Faith, are rendred false and unreasonable.

All that these Laws extend unto, is to secure the Truth and Peace; 1. By forbidding any to be admitted to the Office of Tea­chers and Ministers, but such who secure the Church and State by their Subscriptions or Oaths, that they will not hold or teach any thing contrary to the Publick profession: and that they will consent to the Use of the prescribed Forms of Worship. 2. By hin­dering of Conventicles and meetings, wherein such Errors might be published, and the publick Tranquillity designed against.

Which Laws as they are justifiable by the continued pra­ctise of the Church in all Ages, by the Examples of the most Religious Princes: so also are they far beneath that rigour which the men who now complain of them, did use when and where, they had or have power. Who has forgot the Ty­rannies of the Covenant? We have heard of the Terrors whereby the Decrees of the Kirk of Scotland exacted Obedi­ence. And New England shews us what we were to have ex­pected from the Independents here, had they attained to the issue of their Designs (which they speedily hasted unto) and gotten a fixed power amongst us. But how just soever the Laws are in themselves, yet because they are against the In­terest of men of unlawful Hopes, and they obstruct the re­covery of that Grandeur which others had in our miseries, they have been written against in several books; more particular­ly in one intituled a Discourse of Religion, as not having set­tled Reformed Christianity in its due Latitude, nor provided for the Stability and Advancement of this Kingdome. To justifie the Counsels of our Law-givers in these Acts, there [Page 4]was published a Discourse of Toleration in answer to that Dis­course of Religion, which was to shew, That the Causes of Dissentions in Religion, which are the Subject of Tolera­ration, being infamous and sinful, and their Effects full of Destruction to Piety, and the Common-Wealth; That there­fore every one was bound in their Place, and Order, to in­deavour their Removal and Extirpation; And that this was not to be effected by Toleration, was proved by several Ar­guments, and by shewing the weakness of all those reasons which were urged in the Discourse of Religion. Since that, there is come forth another Book entituled a Peace Offering, or Apo­logy and Plea for Indulgence, which proceeds upon other grounds to shew that all External Force by Civil Laws upon the account of Religion is not to be justified. To adjust therefore that Discourse of Toleration against all the Argu­ments that are brought in the Apology for Indulgenee, and to vindicate it from the Exceptions made to it in a second Dis­course of Religion is the businesse of this present Treatise.

SECT. 2. An Answer to the Book called the Peace-Offering, That Indulgence is not justified by the Law of Nature.

THe Book called the Peace-Offering bears the name of se­veral Protestants; but what sort or party of Protestants it leaves us to conjecture. Some passages in it perswade us that they are Independents, but they being so comprehensive a Sect of those strictly so called, and of the other who crowd under that name, as Anabaptists, Socinians, Antinomians, &c. We are still in the dark what sort of men they are; therefore we can take no notice of that great kindness they show to themselves, in being free in their own commendations. Nor will we of their Principles, they being various, according to the seve­ral Sects, and still changeable by the Increase or wane of the light they pretend unto. To gratify them also we shall wave the objecting to them, how great a part of the late Troubles of this Nation flowed from their Counsels and Designes, and wish [Page 5]that they were buried in an eternal Oblivion, never to rise up to the reproach of Christianity and Protestantism, and not be re­membred, but to a Caution of being abused by the same Arts, and of falling again into the like Miseries.

The only thing therefore we shall take notice of, in this Plea for Indulgence, shall be to examine the reasons and arguments they bring to prove, that All outward violence, and severity upon the account of Dissensions. (For the differences of these men from the present establishment are not bare Dissents in Religion,) is de­stitute of any firme Foundation in Scripture and Reason.

Their first Argument they will have to be from the Law of Na­ture, which to raise a dust, and amuse the less wary Reader, is drawn out to a needless length, and cloathed with an affected obscurity; for to what purpose was it to have been tedious in pro­ving what all grant, that Every single person to prevent mi­schiefs destructive to a Community, is to forego his particular conve­niences, if they be in things in his own power. Nor was a long discourse necessary to shew, that a Community is not to require of its members, things not in their power, since no sober man ever dreamt that any thing impossible could be the subject of a Law.

But when they assume, That mens Apprehensions of things Spiritual and supernatural, such they mean as have no alliance to the ingrafted light of nature, are not absolutely in their own power, & from thence conclude, that those Apprehensions and the exercises of Conscience towards God upon them, cannot be the subjects of the Laws of civil Societies, they endeavor to impose upon us several fallacies, particularly these two. 1 Their argument supposes, "that the Laws are made against mens Apprehensions, Whereas the Apprehensions of men are not the subject of the Laws, but their Practises answerable or not answerable to the Apprehensions.

2. Their Conclusion contains more then was in the Premises, for their arguments had only aimed to prove, that mens Appre­hensions of things Spiritual were not in their power: So that their Diversity was unavoidable; but when they conclude, they joyn with these apprehensions the "Exercise of their Conscience, of which there was not one word in the premises. And as their way of arguing is fallacious, so are the propositions themselves not true; for

[Page 6] 1. This proposition that "Mens Apprehensions of things Spi­ritual and supernatural do not depend on the Liberty of their wills, nor, are in their own power, As thus crudely proposed is false. For all those to whom the Gospel is preached, if they do not appre­hend the truth, their not apprehension is (1) imputed unto them as their sin, and wilfull transgression; For it is said of them, that their Hearts were waxed fat, and their Ears are dull of hearing, and their Eyes have they closed. They are said to resist the Holy Ghost. That they received not the love of the truth, &c. But this could not be charged upon them, had it not been in their power to apprehend those Spiritual things when preached unto them. (2) They are punished for it; for it is said that God for this cause sent them strong delusions that they might believe a lye, and the sentence of Damnation is passed upon them, That they all might be damned who believed not the truth. But it is injurious to the Divine Goodness to say that he damns men for that which was notin their Power to avoid. And that he should send them strong delusions to believe a Lye, when it was not in their power to apprehend the Truth. And if it be in the power of men to apprehend the truth, having the Doctrine of Christ preached to them, then it is not impossible to have the same apprehensions: because the Truth is One and the Same, and varies not in it self, and so the Apprehen­sions must be all the same in their nature, i. e. in a conformity to the thing apprehended: although there may be difference, as to the degrees. It may be indeed more clear in one then ano­ther, one may apprehend all the parts, see further into the conse­quences of things then others: yet still the apprehension may be the same in essence, if men will lay down their prejudices, part with their lusts, repudiate their carnal interests, and cast off the tyranny of custome.

That which they offer for a proof is full of ambiguity, as if they were afraid to be understood; For when they say that "the Will of God in things Supernatural and Spiritual "cannot be known, but by Revelation from himself; We do not know whether they eanm that General Revelation which is made unto us from him the Scriptures, or a Particular Revelation to every single per­son: if they mean this latter, they should have proved it. And when they say "that Divine Revelation can not be apprehended or [Page 7]assented unto, but according to the nature and measure of that Light which God is pleased to communicate unto them, to whom such Revelation is made, We are again at a loss, for they do not prove that there is a Light different from the Revelation of God; for the truth which God reveals, is the light it self, which like the light of the Sun, makes it self as well as other things to be seen. When they say this light doth not equally effect the minds of men. We grant it, but yet we cannot, as they do, deny that it is pos­sible it should do so: for although there be divers wayes and means of Communicating the Truth. Yet however, God may give to all them to whom the Word is Preached, sufficient means to Apprehend and acknowledge his Truths. And although there be different Dispositions of them, to whom the Word is proposed. Yet those dispositions whereby men resist, and will not appre­hend the Truth, are from themselves, and to their own Con­demnation, which they may, and ought to lay aside. So that they have not proved what they intended. And if they had done so, yet they would gain nothing by it.

Because the 2 d. proposition (which they included in their inference) The exercise of mens consciences, or the Practices of men upon their apprehensions of things Spiritual, are not in their power. Is also false. For the practices of Men (which are the Subject of Laws) whether conformable or not to their apprehensions, are within their pow­er, either to act or not act, as shall seem most for the benefit of the Society, the Church. This is plain by that principle of Order which the Apostle layes down, 1 Cor. 14.32. The Spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets, where by the Spirits of the Prophets, the Context shews, were signified some Inspirations, and gifts of the Holy Ghost as to Prophesie, or to sing a Psalm, or to speak in an unknown Tongue; and these certainly were more vigorous, had a stronger impulse, and more efficacious impressions upon the minde of the Prophet, then a bare apprehension of a thing could effect: and yet the Apostle saith, these Spirits were subject to the Prophets, whether it were the Prophets that received it, so that they might forbear, or speak as it seemed most for Order, and edifying; or else to the other Prophets that were to judge, so that they might give Rules, and Laws for the use of those gifts. Of which sort soever you take these Prophets to be, to whom the [Page 8]Spirits were to le subject, it argues that it was in their power; and therefore the Apostle commands that they should use it to the benefit of others.

The same is in the Apostles counsel, when he directs him that had a particular perswasion of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of some things, to restrain that to his own breast. Rom. 14.22. Hast thou faith? have it to thy self; and therefore he was Master of his own pra­ctice, notwithstanding his perswasion. This the Apostle sup­poses in all these admonitions which are given to men of dif­ferent perswasions, to preserve the peace of the Church. For if they were by their perswasions to be acted violently, like the Enthusiasts among the Idolaters, that were not able to contain themselves in their extasies, it had been in vain to have given counsels to them who were not able to observe them. Besides if God should have concluded us under an Impossibility of ha­ving all the same apprehensions of Spiritual and supernatural things, and bad also condemned us all to such a slavery to those apprehensions, as that it should not be in our power to manage our selves under them, to the peace and tranquillity of the Church, it had been in effect to have created us to mutual De­structions, concluded us under a worse condition then Brutes, and given us Apprehensive Faculties only to destroy our selves and o­thers; all which are contrary to the Divine goodness, amd the gentle, meek, and charitable commands of Christ.

But say they To teach men that their consciences towards God, are not concerned in their not acting according to their Light in his Worship, or in acting against it, is to teach them to be Atheists. We answer, That to teach men not to be over confident in their own apprehensions, but to be so moderate as may be for the Peace of the Church, is not to act contrary to their Consciences, but most agreeably to a well ordered Conscience; this being a plain, clear, and confessed duty by all Christians: the particular apprehensions of one person or party being subject to many suspicions, whether they be the right measures of a duty or no. And in doing this they are so far from being Atheists, that they become the better Christians, following the Rules of Christ and his Apostles.

SECT. 3. Indulgence not justified from the Example of Christ.

THeir second Argument is drawn from the Example of our Saviour, in which we confess we are not only to adore and admire, but also to imitate all that Meekness, & Lowlyness, which rendred his life glorious in holiness; yet these men dare not say that the number of our duties is bounded by his example, and that we are to forbear every thing, whereof we have no pattern in his holy Conversation. For then they should not keep holy the first day of the Week, nor Baptize Children, nor gather particular Congregations, nor impose Congregational Covenants, all which these men do, and we no where read, that Christ did. Besides, these men are not so ignorant, as to believe a ne­gative argument to be of any force, though they make use of it to commend this doctrine of their interest, to the Vulgar; and therefore when they say Coerce, Fine, Imprison, Banish those that apprehend not aright all and every thing that I would have you instructed in, are words that never proceeded out of his mouth, &c.’ We reply, (1) That this does not inforce, that no Church and State by good Laws, and well proportioned Penalties, should reduce erroneous and disagreeing Christians to Peace and Or­der. 2. This makes nothing against Our Laws, who do not say Coerce, Fine, &c. those that apprehend not aright all and every thing which Jesus would have us instructed in; for there be many different opinions in the Church of England which the Laws of the State and Church take no notice of. And it is not their intent to make men of one minde in all and every thing, (Which yet is to be wished:) But coerce those who do things contrary to the Peace of Christians, and will not submit to their Lawful Supe­riors, when they command things just, and in their power. And this we are sure may be collected from the words that procee­ded out of our Saviours mouth.

Nor is it any more to the purpose when they say That it is a marveilous difficulty for any to think seriously, That he who was so full of compassion towards all the sons of men, should ever give the least consent unto the Punishment, and gradual Destruction of those [Page 10]who in sincerity desire to Love and Obey them, and do yet unavoidably mistake in their apprehensions of some few things pleaded to be accor­ding to his minde. For 1. It is our duty, and also the duty of all who do pretend to be true Christians, seriously to think of those many and very pressing commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, that his Disciples should preserve unity among themselves; and it is our great marvel, that these men who pretend so high to the name of Christ, should yet take no notice of those Precepts.

Secondly, when we seriously think of them, we cannot but con­clude, That these Commands of Ʋnity preceeded from the fulness of his compassion towards the Sons of Men. 1. Towards those men who should desire to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; that these should not be distracted in their choice, what party to ap­ply themselves unto, with whom they might joyn them­selves to seek the Lord, and where they might most assuredly receive the Word of Life. Which distractions it was not possi­ble for them to avoid, if the Christians were divided into se­veral parties. 2. Towards those of the World, who though they would not believe, and so should not be concerned in the truth of Christians; yet they must be in the Quiet and Peace of them. For experience shews, that when Divisions and Contenti­ons turmoild the Church, the State and even the mixt company of unbelievers soon found themselves under many miseries, while the contending parties mutually armed to a destruction of their Opposites.

Thirdly, These commands of Christ, and this compassion to man­kinde, do oblige every man to endeavour to preserve that unity by all wayes proper for them in their several Callings. And therefore Christian Kings may and ought to do it in their way which is by just Laws, and the Church by wise and pious Injunctions; and all are to avoid, and mark them that cause Divisions among them, to restrain their furious and carnal heats in prosecuting their own private apprehensions, to the reproach of Religion, and Disturbance of Mankind.

Fourthly, Such wayes to preserve Peace, can never be to the de­struction of those who in sincerity desire to Love and obey Christ, al­though they should mistake in their apprehensions of some few things, &c. For (1.) It is not true (which these writers say) [Page 11]that such persons are concluded under "an unavoidable mistake; and being not so, they will in sincerity indeavour after a full and clear information in those things that are pleaded to be ac­cording to the mind of Christ. (2.) All such persons will in that Christian humility which the Spirit of Christ works, not oppose their private apprehensions to the judgment and practise of that Church of God, from which they have received the Doctrine of Salvation, and therefore will not think of themselves above what they ought to think, but think soberly according as God hath dealt to them the measure of faith. And being thus lowly in their own eyes knowing themselves lyable to mistakes and errors; they will not be so fond of their own apprehensions, as for their sakes to bring a scandal upon the Church of God, and set the World in Flames. Besides, (3.) having a desire to Obey God, they will be careful to testify their obedience in a manifest and undeniable Duty, as is the Peace and Unity of Christians, and obedience to Gover­nours: and not think to justify the breach of that, with the observance of what their singular and private apprehensions re­present; especially being secur'd, that the Church from whom they differ, do retain all things necessary to salvation: as these men do profess they agree with the Church of England in all things of that degree. Therefore such persons are secur'd enough from those severities which are necessary to preserve the Peace of a Church and Nation. And such sincere, humble enquirers after Truth, and those that walk up to what they have already attained, are the only persons dear to Christ. Not every one that cries Lord, Lord; that pretend to preach and prophe­sie in his name; for he himself hath told us, that he shall re­ject the pleas of many such to his indulgence. And indeed should every one that is so kinde to himself, as to publish to the World, that he in sincerity desires to obey and love Christ, be believed upon his own word, and have an indulgence for his differing practises, the greatest Impostors that ever appear'd among Christians, must be permitted to practise their Cheats and Impieties. For the Gnosticks, the Manichees, Montanists, Circumcelliones of old, and those among us who are yet Red, and polluted with the blood of their Lawful Soveraign, that viola­ted the known Laws of the Land of their nativity, rob'd the [Page 12]Churches, and invaded the just rights of every one, within the compass of their lust, and their power. These I say would have perswaded the World, and, it may be, were so mad as to believe themselves, that they were the men that loved Christ, when in their works they did deny him. And yet (4.) It cannot be said that the gradual destruction, even of these men, is intended by such Laws, as do command nothing but what may be for the Security, Peace, and welfare of Christian Com­munities: and it is an high slander of any Law-givers, to say that they intended Punishment and not Obedience.

That instance of Christs reproof to his Disciples, for being so forward to call Fire down from Heaven upon the neglectful Sama­ritans,’ is altogether impertinent; especially as they inter­pret those words. You know not of what Spirits you are, To be an unacquaintedness with their own Spirits, imagining that for Zeal, which was indeed self-Revenge. So that in their Sense Christ reprov'd their revengeful Spirits. Now it cannot be said of Laws made to restrain violations of Peace, that they are the Dictates of Revenge, since Revenge looks at acts past, but Laws indeavour to prevent those to come.

SECT. 4. No ground for Indulgences in the Practice of the Apostles.

THe third Argument is drawn from the practice of the A­postles, whom we may well wonder, that they should be suspected as Patrons for indulgence of Dissentions and Schisms in Religion; Since we finde them describing the Authors of them, as Monsters and Prodigies, that dishonour the Generation they live in, and fill the place wherein they appear with con­fusion and danger, and threaten a Tempest at their first rising. Therefore the Apostles dealt with them as such in their dayes. For although they did not exercise on them Coertions, Re­staints, and Corporal punishments, as these Writers wisely observe; because indeed they had no Temporal power: yet they used their Ecclesiastical power and delivered them over to Satan, which in those times was a giving them up to that Tormenter to [Page 13]be afflicted in their flesh, a severer punishment then the Sword of the Magistrate can inflict. Rom. 16.18. 1 Tim. 6.4. They commanded the sound Chri­stians to avoid them as contagious Pests, and to cut them off as cankerd and infested members, that would bring destruction to the whole body of the Church, if a just severity prevented them not; nay they call'd for Gods assistance to cut off these troublers of the Israel of God: Gal. 5.12. I would they were even cut off that trouble you. They also commended nothing more to the conversation of Christians then Peace and Unity, to minde the same things, to walk in one minde, to follow after those things that made for Peace, and Edification, which are impossible to be attained in Dis­sentions. It would be very strange therefore, to imagine, that they who do all this to Dissentions, should yet give any ground for an Indulgence of them.

But yet these men have found out, ‘that St. Paul is for this for­bearance Phil. 3.15, 16.’ Which Text, if they had faithfully set down, would have discovered their Sophistry. For the Apostle saith, Let us therefore as many as be perfect, be thus minded; and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, the Lord shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule; let us mind the same things. Here it is plain that those to whom the Apostle commends Forbearance one to the other, were those whom he calls perfect; and such cer­tainly could not be persons that had separated from a mutual Communion, for all such Divisions he brands as carnal. 1 Cor. 3. And the Dividers as men not perfect, and at best but babes; nay he calls them in the beginning of that very Chapter, Dogs, Evil workers, and in scorn, the Concision, and therefore bids them have a care, and beware of them; and in the following verses weeps over them as Enemies of the Cross of Christ, whose end is destruction. These are not words of forbearance and In­dulgence, and therefore that place gives no countenance to it.

But then they urge, That the whole Society of the Apo­stles observing the difference between the Jewish and Gentile Be­lievers to prevent any Evil Consequent in their Assembly at Je­rusalem, assigned to the several parties, their particular bounds how far they should accommodate themselves unto one another by a mutu­al [Page 14]Condescension that they might walk in peace. What is all this to an indulgence of those who have forsaken the Commu­nion of the Church, and who write, preach, and do all they can against it. The Case is far unlike. The differences between the Jewish and Gentile Beleevers had brought, as yet, no evil Con­sequent, for they themselves say, the Apostles consulted to pre­vent any evil Consequent. Let the world judge whether the Differences among us have not brought upon us a large se­ries of such Consequents. The Apostles determined, and set bounds and measures of forbearance to prevent a Schism, then which nothing was more dreadful to the Church; and these men would have forbearance and Indulgence to a most dan­gerous schisme already made, that so it might with impunity be continued.

SECT. 5. The Primitive Christians did not allow Indulgence.

WIth far lesse success, but with more art doe they indea­vour to make the first Christians to speak for them, from whom they bring some passages: yet do not tell us where we also may find those Testimonies, nor give us the words of the Authors, for fear they should be deprehended. Socrates the Historian (say they) gives us a long Catalogue of differences in External Rites of Worship, which they looked upon as no breach of Union at all. l. 5. c. 22. [...], &c. [...], &c. To which we say, that That Historian doth tell us indeed that the Churches of several Provinces, had different observations of the feast of Easter, of the measure of Fasts before that Feast, and of the different meats they did abstain from, but so that one observation was in the whole Roman Church, another was kept by those in Illyrium, all Greece and Alexandria, &c. Which we easily ad­mit, for we grant to every Church their particular Rites. Our Rites in the Church of England, are not press'd upon those in Scotland, nor those in Ireland; and we do not think our Union with the Protestant Churches abroad, is broken by their diffe­rent Ceremonies. Therefore the Practice of the first Chur­ches, [Page 18]is maintain'd by us and not violated. But they can nei­ther out of Socrates nor any other Historian of those times give us an instance of any one National or Provincial Church, that did indulge those within their jurisdiction who profes­sing Christianity, did yet contemn her Orders, and separate from her Communion, and did declare her Rites in Wor­ship, Idolatrous, Superstitious, and Antichristian, which is now our Case.

Then they bring in Victor Bishop of Rome is branded for disturbing the peace of the Churches by dividing their Communion. They tell us not for what he was censured, either because they knew it not, or because they know it would do them no good; The Case was this. All the Churches of the lesser Asia by an ancient Tradition did on the fourteenth day of the Moon observe the Feast of our Saviours Passeover, and upon what­soever day of the week that happened to fall, they ended their Fasts. This custom was observed in no other Church through­out the whole World; for in all the rest, that custom which was delivered by the Apostles, was continued, as Eusebius saith, to his time. Notwithstanding this difference, the several Chur­ches had preserv'd Peace and Communion; among themselves, as Irenaeus saith of Anicetus, Pius, Hyginus, Telesphorus, Sixtus, Bishops of Rome, who had received Polycarp and others of the Asiaticks that came to Rome, to Communion not contending a­bout that Rite. But afterwards when a controversie was mo­ved about it, and both sides in different Councils decreed for their own practice, and sent their Letters to justifie themselves to the other Churches. Eus. l. 5. c. 25. [...]. Victor heated with the letter of the Asiaticks, without consulting the other Bishops of his own Per­swasion, excommunicates all the Churches of Asia as Hetoro­dox: This displeased all the other Bishops, who commanded him to consult the peace and union of the Brethren. Now what in all this concerns us. Victor was to be blamed for breaking a long continued Peace, for invading the Liberty of other Chur­ches; but none would have condemned him, had he requi­red obedience from the members of his own Church, to the Orders and Canons made by Councils of those who were over them in the Lord.

[Page 16] For Irenaeus in his Epistle to Victor to disswade him from breaking Communion with the Churches of another observa­tion, tells him that his Predecessors Anicetus, Pius, &c. kept the Communion entire, Jul. l. 5 c. 26. [...]. although they did not observe those Chur­ches Rites, nor suffered those among them to observe them. And if the infamy of Victor is to be a terror to any, it must be to those who break the Communion; and it is plain who they are that have done that among us.

Origen is the next whom they would make the world be­lieve, is for their cause; but they are forced to make a testimony for him which he himself never writ, viz. That there ever were differences amongst Professors of Christianity from the beginning; and that it was impossible but that there should so be, which yet he shews, hindred not their Faith, Love, and Obedience. For when Celsus did upbraid and re­proach the Christians, because of their many Sects, (as Atheists and Papists do now to us) Origen gives some reasons of them, and then confesses indeed that There were Differences among Christians from their beginning, but then he doth not say what these writers say for him, That it was impossible but that there should so be; for this would have been to have giuen the lye to the Holy Ghost, who in the Acts c. 4. v. 32. saith That the multitude of them who believed, were of one heart and one soul; and therefore what was then, might be again, and so could not be impossible. Neither doth Origen say, much less shew, that these differences, hindered not their Faith, Love, and Obedience. For the Heresies which he thought Celsus had respect unto, and grounded his reproach upon, were the Ophi­tae and Cainitae to whom Origen denies the very name of Christians.

They pretend also a kindness from Justin Martyr, who, (they say) in his second Apologie, declares his forbearance and the Chur­ches of those dayes, towards those who believing in Christ, yet thought themselves obliged to the observation of Mosaical Rights and Cere­monies. But this is an open abuse both of Justin and the Rea­der, for there are no words in that Apology tending to that pur­pose, and such indeed would have been impertinent, and besides his subject in that Apology; and lastly had he said, what he doth not, it would not have been of advantage to Indulgence.

[Page 17] Ignatius also is used no better by them, whom they would have to say, that to persecute men on the account of God and Religion, is to make our selves conformable to the Heathen that know not God. Whereas Ignatius saith no word like it, but that which makes against them. Ignat. Ep. ad Phila delphinos [...]. If any one (saith he) follows him that hath made a Schism, he shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. If any one walks in a different opinion, he is not complyant with the sufferings of Christ. These are the words of Ignatius, who in that place by many ar­guments urges them to continue in the Unity of the Church, and therefore could not at the same time speak for indulgence of those who did break that Unity. But those words which they refer to, are the words of the Interpolator of Ignatius. For they are not in Vossius's Edition of Ignatius, nor in that Latin Copy which Bishop Usher thought to be Authentick: but they are in that corrupt Copy, set forth by him; yet so set forth and noted in Red Characters, that no man could take them for Igna­tius's, but he that had a mind to prevaricate. Which in civil con­verse is an infamous crime, but in Religion we want a name to express its buseness.

Then they huddle up many witnesses together, Tertullian, Origen, Arnobius, and Lactantius Who (say they) pleaded for a Liberty in Religion, as founded in the Law of Nature, and the inconsistencie of Faith with Compulsion. But where these Au­thors say such things, they do not tell us; and the former disco­veries show how little reason we have to take their bare Words. But whatsoever those Authors may say to justify Christian Re­ligion, even by the Law of Nature; and that the light of Rea­son could finde nothing in it that deserved persecution: Yet I shall not believe, that they ever said, Ter [...]de Praescrip. Haeret. c. 37. Si Haeretici sunt, Christiani non sunt. Ib. c. 32. Ita om­nes Haereses, nec recipiuntur in pacem & com­munionem, ab Ecclesiis quo quo modo Aposto­licis. the Law of Nature did give to any persons ground for Liberty of different Opi­nions, and practises, contrary to the Rules and Orders of that Christian Church, wherein they lived, until I see their own words for it. And of these certainly Tertullian can have no great favour for them, who is so severe against Hereticks in his Book de Praescriptione, that he will not allow them the name of Christians; and saith, that they were not received to peace and Communion in the Churches that were any way Apostolical. If therefore we may judge of the rest by one, we have no reason to think they are for the the Indulgence, till we see it under their hands.

[Page 18] After these they bring the Synod of Alexandria in the Case of Athanasius, who did (as they say), Condemn all External force in Re­ligion, and Reproached the Arians as the first Inventers, and Promo­ters of it. The shamefulness of this Allegation will appear to the Reader; If he take notice, that this Synod, made no Acts nor Canons, for the Histories of it mention none, nor are any Extant; and therefore their Judgment in this Case was not de­finitive. Their main business was to inquire into the Sclanders which the Arians had raised against Athanasius, and to bear witness against them, they being competent to this, as being Members of the same Church, and conversant with him in his offices. This their Testimony they published in a Circulatory Letter to all the Bishops of the Catholick Church, and to their beloved Brethren in Christ. In this Epistle they speak not at all concerning Exter­nal force in Religion, nor do they say the Arians were the first inventers of it. For they only complain of the Arians for offering to the Emperour, Letters that did accuse Siquidem jam denuo Accusatrices Li­teras contra Athanasium Imperatoribus por­rexere, iteratis calumniis homicidia ei objicientes quae aunquam facta sunt; ac denuo illum conjurationibus suis opprime­re student. Athanasius of Murders which were never done, that by that means they might take away his life by the Sword of Justice. And as to this, not to any force of the Emperour about Religion, they say, Tota enim eorum accusatrix Epistola nihil aliud nisi necem spectat, aut necem moliuntur si ipsis liceat, aut saltem exules facere, &c. Ista opera Ethnicorum sunt, & non vel tenuiter Christianorum, & minime omnium Episcoporum, quos aliis justitiam commonstrare oportuit. Their whole Libel designes nothing else but slaughter, as much as in them lies, or else banishment, &c. Those are works of Heathens, and not of the meanest Christians, much less of Bishops, whom it becomes to be patterns of Justice to others. Now what is all this which is spo­ken of bloody Slanders, to the force which restrains different Apprehensions from disturbing Practi­ces. Let the Reader see if he can, for I cannot, finde any thing to their purpose in that Synodical Epistle; and if these Writers had intended sincerity, they would have given us the very words which made for them, and I conceive they did not, because they could not. Thus of these Testimonies out of that ancient Christians, some are meer Fictions, the alledged Authors having no such words as these are cited to have. Thus Justin Martyr, Origen, Ignatius, and the Synod of Alexandria are abused. Tertul­lian, [Page 19]Arnobius, Lactantius, brought in as Witnesses without any Testimony. Socrates the Historian, and the Instance of Victor im­pertinently mention'd. Truth stands not in need of such low shifts.

SECT. 6. The first Christian Emperours were against Indulgence.

HAving done with Churchmen, They come to Emperours. And first they lay hold of that Edict of Constantine, who having a mind to deliver the oppressed Christians from the per­secutions of the Gentiles, and not finding it safe, Euseb. Hist. l. 10. c. 5. as yet to appear particularly in their favour, having then Licinius and Maxi­minus Collegues in the Empire, both still enclined to Gentilism, He prevails upon Licinius to joyn with him in this Publick E­dict, That Liberty of Worship was not to be denied to any; and that it should be permitted to every mans will to embrace what Rites and Institutes of Religion they pleased; and that the Christians as well as all others might observe the Faith of their own Religion. But when he found that this did not fully secure the Christians, and it be­ing general, as also ambiguous, so that for all this, many of them for fear did deny the faith. When they came to Milan, they did make another Explanatorie Edict, more fully in the favour of the Christians, That the Liberty of Embracing the Re­ligion of Christians should be denied to no man. Now let any reaso­nable men judge what they can gain for their Cause, from this Edict, which only gives a liberty to Christians in General, as well as to Idolaters, and speaks nothing of any Sects and Dis­senters among the Christians. But they say, until the latter end of his Reign, there were no thoughts of exercising Severity, with refe­rence unto any Divisions among Christians about the Worship of God. Where they will fix the Epocha of the end of his Reign, they do not tell us; but this we are certain of, from the best Authors, that having not made his Edict for the Liberty of Christians in gene. ral, till the 8th. year of his Reign; Aug. Cont. E­pist. Parm. l. c. 7. and so publickly owned their Profession: He did in his 11th. year, and not long after the first Councel of Arles, make severe Edicts. For Parmenianus the Dona­tist complained that Constantine commanded those of that Sect, to be led forth to Punishment. They were also banished by him, about the same time. For in the Conference at Carthage, they urged the Letters of Constantine to Verinus, otherwise Valerius the Prefect [Page 20]of Africa, Aug. Brevic. Collat. 31. Diei c. 5. that he should free them from Banishment, and leave their fury to the Judgment of God; Which Letters St. Augustine saith, were dated four years and six moneths, after the decree of Banishment: 30. Non. Maj. Crispus and Constantine, being the second time Consuls. And therefore Constantine had dealt severely in such cases, in the eleventh year of his Reign, which was long before the end of it; Aug. Cent. Li­teras Petil. l. 2. c. 92. for it lasted about 32 years. Besides, Constantine took from them about this time, those Chur­ches, which by their flattery of Julian, they afterwards reco­vered; by all which it appears, these Gentlemen are fouly mistaken in the forbearance of Constantine.

They erre as grossely when they say, that After the rise of the Arian Heresie, when the Interposition of Civil censures upon the account of Difference about things Spiritual, had made an entrance, by the Sollicitations of some for the Banishment of Arius, and some of his Copartners, it is not easie to relate what miseries and Confusions were brought upon the Churches thereby, &c. For this is contradictory to their own testimony which they brought from the Syned of Alexand; whom they will have to reproach the Arians as the first Inventers of external force: and now they will have the Orthodox make an entrance for it, (which in common sense is to begin it) for they were the zealous Solli­citors for the Banishment of Arius. But as that was a false Testimony; so this is a false remark on the Histories of those times. For if by External Force they mean the Use of the Civil Power, to remove men of different apprehensions from their Offices and the Emoluments of the Church, this was used by Christians long before the Arian Heresie arose, or the Emperours be­came Christians. For when Paulus Samosatenus was condem­ned for an Heretick by a second Synod at Antioch, and depo­sed from his Bishoprick, yet refusing to deliver up the Bishops House that belonged to that Church, they craved aid from the Emperour Aurelianns an Heathen. Who commanded that pos­session should be given to him, to whom the Bishops of Italy and Rome should determine, and so saith Eusebius, Paulus Samosate­nus was with great disgrace turned out by the secular Power. Euseb. l. 7. c. 30. To no other end was the Civil Power sollicited in the Case of Arius. For after all means used to reclaim the Hereticks, by [Page 21]private Admonition, by Provincial Councils, by Exhortatory Letters from the Emperour to peace and Unity; yet Ambition, Vanity, and Opiniastrete still propagated the Error, to the shame of Religion, the disquiet of the World, the grief of that Christian Prince, and his Obstruction to noble designs. The Emperour is sollicited to call that Famous Council of Nice, wherein Arius his Heresie was condemned, and a Creed composed to which all subscribed at first, except five. Who not­withstanding afterwards did in a Petition present their recanta­tion, and subscribed to the Creed, so that the Catholick Faith was agreed to by all: and all subscribed to the Condemnation of the Heresie, as also to the Anathema of the Heretick, except Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nice, who thereupon were by the Council condemn'd and deprived of their Sees, and others substituted in their places. Constantine interposing nothing herein, but putting the Decree of the Council in Execution, and expelling these men from those places where they might disturbe the peace of the Church. Yet afterwards these persons upon their submission were restored again to their Churches. This was all the External force which the Orthodox Christians made use of, in which no Sect can find any thing blameable, since they all have, and will still, use the same in their seasons.

But if by External Force they mean the violencies of Fire and Sword, and all those tortures and rigors, which enemies mutually use one against another: this the orthodox gave no entrance to, but the Arians did first practice it, and did go beyond all pattern and provocation from the Catholicks. For these only secured the pub­lick peace, against such who were in some lawful Synod con­demn'd as corrupters of that Faith once delivered to the Saints: by depriving them of their Offices in the Church, removing them from those places of their Conversation, where they might either corrupt others, or make a publick di­sturbance, and restraining their Conventicles and meetings. Now this could not justifie the Arians, who beyond all this, having prevailed with Constantius to embrace their Heresie, did put a force upon Councils to determine what they pleased, as the Council of Arles, the Council of Milan, and Byterris: in [Page 22]which having refused to admit an enquiry into the Faith and Doctrine of Athanasius, and denying to subscribe to the Ni­cene Creed: they would notwithstanding force the Orthodox to subscribe to his condemnation against common reason. And upon this account they banished Liberius Bishop of Rome, Osius, and Paulinus, the most eminent Bishops of the World. Besides the cruelties they committed at Alexandria, and branding Church­men with the marks of those condemned to the Mines: they sent out their Notaries to force both Bishops and people to sub­scribe, upon the pain of Plundering, Imprisonment, and pub­lick shames. So that Hilarie saith, the Emperours war against Persia was shorter then that against Alexandria, where the Cru­elties of the Heathen Persecutors were acted over again. This was the External force of the Ar [...]ns, for which the Catho­licks gave them no precedent. And this was that force for which Hilarius writ both to, and against Constantius. For he wrote after the Council of Milan, and was banished in that of Byterris. And therefore his words to Constantius concern not our Ma­gistrates who use not his Cruelties, but condemn his practices. These doing no more then what Orthodox Princes have done ever since there were such in the Church. Besides, I must mind the Reader that the words of S. Hilarie cited by these Wri­ters, are not a continued part of Hilaries discourse, but a Rhap­sodie out of several places, which if considered with the con­text, will appear not to serve the ends they were brought for.

Valens his cruelty was no more justifiable by any practices of the Catholicks, then that of Constantius could be. Arianism found his nature cruel, and did, as all Heresies, inflame him higher to a more importunate thirst for blood, and direct all his savage­ness against the Orthodox. But these Gentlemen are misera­bly out, when they say Themistius the Philosopher upon the principles of Common Reason and Honesty plainly told Valens, That by the way he used, he might force some to venerate his Imperial Robes, but never any to worship God aright. For this was not spoken to Valens, but in a Consular speech to Jovian, to whom Valens succeeded. And that not to restrain his Cruelty, but to extol that Prince, as being aboue all the arts of Flatterers; in [Page 23]that he told the several parties of Christians (whom Themistius meant by flatterers) making their first addresses to him when he was Emp rour. That he would trouble none of what Faith soever, but he would have the greatest kindness for those who should endeavour most for the Unity of the Church; Soc. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 25. And the observation of Themistius there­upon was not grounded on the Principles of Common Reason and Honesty: but was a meer Scoff and Jeer, (so much contempt doth Dissentions expose Christianity unto) for his Words are, They worshipped not God, but the Emperial Robe; and they were like an Eddie or Whirlpoole, that was hurried one while this way, another that. It is true indeed, Themistius laboured to restrain the cruelty of Valens towards all, as well as towards Christians, even in the beginning of his Reign; and he made the same attempt towards the latter end of it, advising him, Socr. Hest. l. 4. c. 32. Sozom. l. c. 36. That he should not perse­cute the Orthodox Christians, because they differed from him. And that by this Argument, That he ought not to wonder at the Dissentions in Church-mens Opinions; because it was much less then that which was among the Gentiles, with whom there were above 300 different Opi­nions, and from such a multitude there must necessarily arise very many Contentions; and perchance it seemed fit to God, that it should be so; for when he would not easily be known, every one would the more reverence him, because they could not exactly comprehend him. But I think this argument would not do well in the mouth of a Christian; Howsoever, this prevailed not upon him, wholly to forbear his Cruelty, though it somewhat allayed it; for he still was Barbarous to the Orthodox Clergie, and it was the trou­bles of his Empire, that hindred the further Executions of his Wrath on them.

There is no more truth in what they say next But the best Emperours in the mean time bewailed those fierce Animosities, whereby every Sect and Party laboured to oppress their Adversa­ries, and kept themselves from putting forth their Authority against any Dissenters in Christian Religion, who retained the Foundation of the Faith in any Competent measure. Cod. Theodosian 16. Tit. 5. Edit. Lugd. 1664. For let the Reader but look in the Code of Theodosius. and he shall finde that there are no less then sixty two Laws made against Hereticks and Schismaticks; and that of all the Emperours from Constantine the Great to Valentinian the Third, except, Julian the Apostate, (who [Page 24]sought by a Toleration to ruin Christianity) Constantius and Valens, who were reputed Hereticks, and made Laws against the Catholick Christians. And these Laws were not only a­gainst such Hereticks as destroyed the Foundation of the Faith: but those also who, in a competent measure did retain it, as the Aeriani, Audiani, Novatiani, Euchitae, and several of the same Nature; And besides these 62 Laws against Hereticks in general, There are Severall Laws against those that did Rebaptize. How secure­ly therefore, (not to say unfaithfully) do these men say, that "the best Emperours did not put forth their Authority against Dis­senters in Religion.

But they say, Valentinianus by publick Decree, granted Liberty of Religion unto all Christians. For which they cite Sozomen, and Ammianus Marcellinus. But this is said by neither. For Sozo­men, l. 6. c. 6. (And the Adversaries tell us not any other place, there we should finde this Testimony) Saith only this, He was of the same Opinion with those of the Council of Nice, and these he did benefit, and to those that were otherwise per­swaded, he gave no trouble. Here is no mention of a Publick decree. Neither doth Ammianus speak of any such thing, Amm. Marc. l. 30. Inter Religi­onum diversita­tes medius ste­tit, nec quem­quam inquieta­vit. but among the other Characters he gives that Prince at his Death, he describes his Moderation. That he unconcerned himself in the differences of Religion, nor did he disquiet any, &c. This of Ammianus, a Gentile, is to be understood of Valentinian's Toleration of Gentilism, which having been so much revived and caressed by Julian, was not presently to be depressed, lest it might burden the beginnings of his Empire, with too great difficulties. Besides, by such a gene­ral permission for a time he should more safely deliver Christia­nity from the Injuries the Apostate had done unto it. But I cannot see what reason these Protestants have to boast in a Toleration, that gives equal Priviledges to Idolaters, or Atheists, as them­selves. As to that which Sozomen saith, that he gave no trouble to those that were otherwise perswaded it was in the beginning of his Empire also: for that he did not persevere in that Humor, appears by the several Laws, he made against Hereticks and Schismaticks. C [...]d. Th. l. 16. Tit. 5. l. 13. That against the Manichees, for he commanded that wheresoever the meetings and company of Manichees should be, their Teachers being censured, the House and dwelling, where they were taught, should be confiscated in the ninth year of his Reign, [Page 25]and in the tenth he made another against Rebaptizing; (2) Ib. Ti [...]. 6. Lex prima. Besides his Rescript to Olybrius, that he should forbid the Dissenters at Rome, to meet within twenty miles of Rome, And that to Praetextatus, whereby he commanded to banish Ursicinus: So that this, one of the Best Emperours did put forth his Authority against Dissenters in Religion.

The next they name is Gratianus, who they say made a Law, that Religion should be free to all sorts and Sects of Christians, ex­cept the Manichees, Photinians, and Eunomian. This instance makes against themselves; for their reasons which they use for sorbearance, will make as well for Indulgence to the Ma­nichees, Photinians, and Eunomians; because their apprehensi­ons are not in their own power. Christ did not bid Coerce, nor banish those Sects; and the Apostles spoke nothing of them, nor against them: and yet they produce Gratian for one of the best Emperours that did except them from all Indul­gency. And indeed, he did not only except these, Cod. 16. Tit. 5. l. 4, 5. Olim (pro Reli­gione Catholicae Sanctitatis, ut Coetus hareilcae usurpationis quiescerent) jussimus, sive in oppidis sive in agris extra Ec­clesias quas no­stra Pax obtinet conventus age­rentur, publica­ri loca omnia in quibus falso Religionis ob­tentu altaria locarentur, Quod sive dis­simulatione Ju­dicum, seu Pro­fanorum Impro­bitate, eadem erit ex utroque pernicies. Cod. 16. Tit. 5. l. 5. but he made three Laws against the Conventicles of all other Hereticks. Two of these Laws are in Codex Theodosianus; The first there ex­prest doth imply a Law made before against them; For these are the Words We have heretofore commanded for the good of the Holy Catholick Religion, that the Assemblies of the Heretical Usur­pation should cease. Whether these meetings were held either in Towns, or in the Countries, without those Churches which are of our Communion; all those places to be returned into our Exchequer, in which by a false pretence of Religion, Altars were placed, which if it should happen (to be neglected) either by the Connivence of the Judges, or by perverseness of the profane (Hereticks) there shall be the same punishment for either cause. Here is a Law implied, which is confirmed by this, and that Law is proved to be made by Gratian, about the end of 375 year of our Lord, in which his Father being dead, he was Supreme in the Western Empire; and the Law here set forth, was about the year 378. While Va­lens was yet alive. But after the death of Valens, he going in­to the Eastern Empire, and finding the Corruptions there very high, he was necessitated to Temporize, and there at Sirmium he made that Constitution which Socrates and Sozomen speak of, of granting Liberty to all but the Manichees, Photinians, and Eu­nomians. [Page 26]But he was not long in that minde, for he revers'd that, and made another Law against all Hereticks; which is the fift Law against Hereticks, in Cod. Theod. Thus it appears that this other best Emperour Gratianus did put forth his Authority against Dissenters in Religion; and they have not found any one among those ancient Christian Emperours, that hath been for their Indulgence, but against it.

SECT. 7. Indulgence not to be grounded upon the practice of the Modern Emperours and Princes.

BUt the Apologists having been abused themselves, or de­siring to abuse us with an Opinion, that the Best Ancient Emperours were for Indulgence, with strange ill luck, or a Monstrous inadvertencie say, They (i. e. Ancient Emperours) have not been without their followers in those Ages, wherein the Dif­ferences about Religion have risen to as great an height, as they are capable of, &c. And the following Princes whom they name are Popish Emperours, some of whom, they themselves brand with Perfidiousness and cruelty, as Sigismund and Charles the Fifth, and of the others Ferdinand, Maximilian, Rodolphus; they bring no clear Testimonies, that they did grant Liberty to all, and every Religion: or that they did abate the Cruelty and Rigour of the Laws that were made by their Predecessors, and were ur­ged by the Popes, against Dissenters in Religion. So that they urge these great names only to amuse the unacquainted Rea­der: which judicious men will plainly see, are Witnesses, either that signify nothing, or else against them.

As for the blot upon Sigismund's Honour, in breaking his Word of Safety and Liberty to John Huss, and Jerome of Prague, it can no whit stain those Princes, who by publick Laws do openly forewarn their Subjects of falling into danger, and do not sur­prise them by any false, and base Practices.

Nor are we more concerned in the Events of Charles, the Fifth's filling the World with Blood and Uprores, for the Extirpati­on of Protestantism. Since our Laws are not writ in Blood as [Page 27]his was. Is there no difference betwixt an Emperours In­vasions upon Free Princes, and Cities, and a Kings and Parlia­ments giving Laws to their own People? Suppose he were un­happy in the use of Power beyond the limits of Justice, is it not therefore Lawful to use a Power within its due bounds? But how can these Writers apply his Losses and Disappoint­ments towards his latter end, as the issue of his designes against Protestantism? How do they know, (as they used to say) the minde of God in that Providence; Since as great persecutors of the truth, as he was, went to their Graves in outward Peace and glory. They cannot gather it from the Instruments of his Los­ses and Disappointments. For Maurice of Saxony had been one, though a Protestant, who had assisted him in his War upon the other Protestants, and had received as a reward of his ingra­titude, the Dominions and Electorship of John Frederick Duke of Saxony, his kinsman; and this man did rather surprize him, then deal as a Generous Enemy. Charles's greatest Losses, was from Henry the second of France, a man more greedy of Protestants blood, then Charles had appeared to be. Lastly, His loss were ap­plied, by some Jesuites to his Injuries to Pope Clement the eighth, whom by his Armies he besieged in St. Angelo. So little ground have men to fix the Providences of God upon what they dislike. That they are casually aplyed to contra [...] with equal probability.

Ferdinand (they say) his Brother and Successor, kept the Peace of the Empire, by a constant Peace, granted to the Consciences of Men. They should have proved this by some Authentick Hi­story, for Sleidan tells us he was not very Indulgent to the Poor Bohemians: But they neither shew us how, and when he changed his minde; and when he gave an Indulgence, and re­versed his Brothers decrees. Maximilian's saying (which they do not tell us from whom they learned it) i. e. That the Empire of Conscience belonged to God alone, wherein he would never interpose, Signifies nothing, unless his practice were agreeable to it, which they do not assert. His Counsel to Henry the Third of France returning out of Poland, was, Thuani Hist. l. 58. (as Thuanus saith) That in the beginnings of his Reign, and first entrance to France, he should establish Peace; for so said he, the dreadfull memory of the past actions, would be abolished, and the Blame of them would be im­puted [Page 28]rather to others then him. This amounts to no more then an Act of Oblivion, which yet we see among us, doth not settle our Peace. Or if it be to be understood of a Peace, as to Religion, it may be understood of a Forbearance, as to those Acts of Blood, which Henry had been guilty of; for he was one of the prime Actors in the great French Massacre of Protestants. For there we finde no Words of Maxmilian, that signify granting an Indulgence to all Religions.

Neither do we finde what they say of the same Henry the third, that he left it as his last Advice to his Counsellors; that they should no more with Force interpose in the matters of Religion. For Thuanus an Historian of unquestionable Credit, Thuan. Hist. l. 96. gives us his last Speech to his Counsellors, after he had been stab'd by Clement the Friar; in which there is not one word to that purpose. All that he saith is this, that the Cause of Religion should not terrify them from accepting Henry of Navarre to be their King, who had a right to be so; Ib. Protestantes irreconciliabili odio usque ad Ultimum Spiri­tum prosecutus est. and in the Characters of this Prince, Thuanus saith, that he Prosecuted the Protestants with an irreconciliable ha­tred to his last End. How miserably are these Apologists put to it, to finde Friends for their Cause, when they are forced to pretend to a Kindness, that never was, from such an Enemy of Protestants as this was.

They do not tell us from what good Author they received the saying of Rodolphus the Emperour upon the defeat of his Forces. That he looked for no other Issue, since he invaded the Throne of God, by imposing on the Consciences of Men. But suppose it true, he might justly expect it, if he broke his Faith given to the Prote­stants before, or unjustly took from them the Peace his Prede­cessors had granted; And yet this is nothing at all to prove a ne­cessity of Indulgence to those various Dissenters, to whom the Laws alwaies have denied it, and no Prince of ours ever gran­ted to them, and who only had forced impunity to themselves, by an unjust Arms.

We condemn, as well as they, the Butcheries of the Duke of Alva: But we think the Toleration granted by Henry the fourth, can be no precedent for Indulgence to them; The Pro­testants in France had their Toleration granted long before, and were unjustly used in the breaking of their Peace. Henry the [Page 29] Fourth therefore restores them what was their own: and it had been strange if he should not, for he was obliged to it, by all the ties of Gratitude. He had been bred up in the same Reli­gion, they had been his Support in all his Dangers, and were a Considerable part of his Strength against the Holy League. Let but the merits of our Dissenters to the Crown, be weighed with those; and if they can possibly appear equal, let them have what they deserve.

These are the Wise and Mighty Monarchs, whose practices they appeal unto, these are those that were followers of the Best Ancient Emperours; And yet none of these make any thing for them. It is a wonder that they could finde no Protestant Prin­ces to be their Patrons, but they must be only for the Popish. It might have been expected, that among the Best, Mighty, and Wise Monarchs we should have found Edward the sixt, Queen Elizabeth, and King James; who by the confession of all sound Protestants, deserved well of their Profession: But these are left out of their Catalogue of best Princes, because these were not for their Indulgence. They conclude with an empty boast; "The World is full of Instances of the like kinde, which we cannot believe; for sure in such a multitude they might have found ma­ny more less impertinent then those they bring, or else they have no good judgment in their Choice: but such a confident boast was necessary to hide their real want.

Thus having examined their reasons, and Instances for In­dulgence, I think it unnecessary to reflect upon their Corolla­ries Harangues, and their other observations; for their grounds being founde false, and naught, all their superstuctures will fall of themselves. Neither do I envy them the prayses they make for themselves, (the greatest arguments they use to the People;) and therefore shall not contradict them: my designe being only to search for the truth, which I desire they may imbrace, and no longer seek to perpetuate their Schisms, to the unspeakable Dishonour of Christianity.

SECT. 8. A Vindication of the Discourse of Toleration, from the Exceptions in the Second Discourse of Religion.

HAving confirmed the Discourse of Toleration against those Arguments that are for Indulgence, It is requisite to ju­stify it also against the Exceptions that are made against it in the second Discourse of Religion, whose Title boasts an Answer to it, but the following Treatise shews how frontless the Title Page is. For he hath not considered at all, those grounds upon which Toleration is unjustifiable, nor those reasons which show it a­gainst the Interest of this Nation; but rather indeavouring to delude his Reader then answer his Adversary, he hath selected only some few passages for the Subjects of his Contradiction, with out considering that order and method, in which they stood, (and from which they received strength,) or the reasons which were added to their support. And against these Passages he seldom offers any reasons, but they are the matter of his Declamation, and occasions to suggest an Odium against his Opponent. He hath not been able to shew any Testimony that was cited, to be false; or any Instance alledged, to be Im­pertinent. Therefore the Discourser of Toleration did not think himself obliged in point of Reputation to reply to such weak exceptions, because he cannot distrust so far his Readers judgment; and for that he thinks that neither his own, nor the Adversaries credit is of that moment, as to spend his time, and concern the World in his writing for it: But he conceives his Obligations and Duties to the Truth, require that he should not desert it in so great an affront, nor suffer the People to be im­posed upon by importunate Writers, to think that Comprchension and Toleration are proper methods for the Ʋnion, and fit means for the Establishment of this Church and State. For these are con­ceived to be Originally the Projects of such, who guilty of our late Troubles, have not yet laid down their Enmity to the E­stablishment: Although they may by some in the simplicity of their hearts, be imbraced for such as they are pretended to be. By these last sort of men I would not be misunderstood, as if [Page 31]I intended to obstruct the way to any who desires to enter into the Peace and Communion of the Church. For I shall e­steem it a great mercy, if God should be pleased to incline the hearts of those that are Dissenters, to the true and proper wayes of Peace: and to joyn with us in promoting Truth and Righteousness in the Land, so that together with us they may enjoy the Comforts of Gods service, and the Emoluments of the Church. Although I cannot agree with them to think that these ways proposed by them will lead us to so happy a state. So that having no animosity against such Persons, nor even with this mine Adversary, all other Considerations, but those of the Cause in Controversie, being laid aside, the task will be but short. For avoiding all repetitions as much as may be, be­cause tedious and nauseous to the Reader; I shall not meddle with what is a fresh printed on the Subject; Because therein the Author seems to judicious men Cantilenam Canere, repeat other words to the same Tune: but shall only answer to the ex­ceptions he hath made.

SECT. 9. The Dissenters are guilty of Dissentions.

FIrst he would put of so much in the consideration of To­leration, as shews the Subject of it to be Dissentions in Reli­gion which are remonstrated to be infamous in their Causes, and dreadfull in their Effects, and did therefore require the Magi­strates care to obstruct the ruine they threatned, which could not be done by a Toleration, as appears by Instances new and old. All that he would wave with a most pitifull Shift of di­stinguishing between Dissentions, and Dissents, and saies, That those whose Liberty is in question, are not touched with that which is Written of the Nature of Dissentions, with their Causes and Con­sequences, and the Magistrates duty concerning them. Dissent indeed and Dissentions differ as the principle, and the actions flowing from that principle, as the Cause and the Effects, and may be separated one from the other. But with what faith, and what hope of being believed could this Author say, that the Dis­senters [Page 32]among us are not chargeable with Dissention; Since in the greatest Schisms, and most confessed Dissentions, there have not been worse Effects, then the Differences among us have produced. Has not Religion by reason of them, been the scorne of Atheists? What a multitude of Sclanders do the di­vided parties raise upon those from whom they dissent? What Ruins did they bring upon the State, and what Persecutions of those who adhered to the Church? Besides the present pra­ctices, shew how little the Non-Conformists rest in a bare Dissent from the Publick Rule, when they have and do use their ut­most endeavours to abrogate that Rule, to repeal the Laws, which establish it, When all those Ministers have relinquish'd the places of your Ministry, and most of them have set up private Congregations, by which they forsake the Communion of the Church. What truth or justice hath he, that dares deny these to be Dissentions, and that those men are not touched, by what is said of them?

It appears more fully that these men rested not in a bare Dissent, since their practices upon their Dissent, proceeded unto Faction, in State, and the several Kinds and measures of Dissentions were so many Factions: which was one of the four reasons that were given, why a Toleration of them was not for the Interest of this Nation. All the rest the Courteous Reply­er passeth over in silence, and to this only he saies that They are not so Originally and Radically, but by Accident. Some may take advantage to raise, and keep up Factions by them. If they come to be such any way, the manner how they become so, is no allevi­ation to the misery they bring upon us. But besides the other reasons which were before given, it is plain, that there is in Dissentions of Religion, a natural aptitude to form a Faction; because we see Ambitious and Enterprizing men do alwaies make use of them, and that with success to such an end. For let but the Designer pretend the benefit of any one, or more Sects, and then he hath all those that are combined in their Conven­ticles, ready for his correspondence, and united to administer to his Ambition. Therefore those Factious men which lately overthrew our Laws and Government, did but pretend for the Liberty of Godly, and Tender Consciences, and break down that [Page 33]Government which was set in the Church to restrain them, and then all those were presently devoted to them. And this was done before they did dare to make that breach between the late King, and Parliament, and this was the opening of an Avenue to all our miseries, though it was some time after, that they did enact a Toleration for all perswasions except Popery and Pre­lacie.

This Gentlemen answers not the reasons, which proved that Dissentions among us were become Factions, nor did he take notice that all those who have no good will to the State, are scat­tered among them that are Enemies to the Church. But he only proposes a different Consideration of the Non-Conformists, from the Papists, These last he saith, acknowledge a Foreign Juris­diction, and have the refuges of Foreign Princes or States; But the Non-Conformist have not. Suppose this were true, yet Dissen­ters in Religion as we have seen, can form a Faction without the help of Foreigners, which by fraud and Force ruined the An­cient and Legal Government. And when these Factious Per­sons have been disappointed; they have found Refuge in Fo­reign States, which have reserved them as fit Instruments to re­new our Troubles, while they assaulted us. The late rising in Scotland doth evidence this; for all those that escaped the Pub­lick Justice found entertainment in the Low Countreys.

SECT. 10. That there is no Stability in the Principles of the Dissenters.

AFter this he is angry that it was affirmed, That the Prin­ciples of the Presbyterian Perswasion, do not admit of any Sta­bility, but may be drawn out to Patronize the wildest Sects. He rejects for this the Testimonies of Archbishop Whitgift, and Mr. Hooker, as being their eminent Adversaries; but he saith no­thing of the argument brought from our own Experience. They were the first party among us that broke the Peace, and we know how their principles were flung in their Faces by the o­ther [Page 34]Sects, who proceeded further and further upon their po­sitions. The ground of those Wise Mens Observation, to whom may be added Dr. Sanderson, was this principle of the Non-Conformists, That the Scripture is, adaequata agendorum Regula; so as nothing might lawfully be done without express Warrant, ei­ther from some command, or Example contained therein. And let judicious men consider how far this may be drawn.

But then against this he instances in the French, Dutch, and Helvetian Church, which though Presbyterian keep themselves in Orthodox Unity.

To this we answer, that the Integrity and Unity of the Pro­testant Presbyterian Churches beyond the Sea, do not con­clude to the soundness of the principles of that Party among us, no more then their miscarriages can disparage those Churches who disclaim them. For some do undertake to prove, that that Party among us, is a particular distinct Sect from all of that name beyond the Seas. Pub. Disp. Salm. Part. 3. de Li­turg Nuperri­rime exorti sunt in Anglia Morosi, scru­pulosi, &c. And they produce this Testimony of a Foreign Learned Man Ludovious Capellus who saith, There are of late arisen in England certain Morose, Scrupulous, and too tender (not to say Superstitious) Men, to whom that Liturgie which their Church hath hitherto used, seems not only reprovable, but they have wholly abolished it, together with the whole Hierarchical Go­vernment of Bishops: and in its place have substituted that which they call their Directory. And however they may agree with those abroad in some things: Yet they do not in this prin­ciple, which was observed to be the reason of their Instability. For 1. The French Churche's sense, is exprest by Mr. Calvin. We confess all and every Church hath just Authority to make Laws and Injunctions, Confes. Fidei oblata Caesari, &c. Inter opu­scula Calvini. Fatemur tum omnes tum eti­am singulas Ecclesias hoc jus habere, ut Leges & statu ta sibi cond [...]nt Spanhem de La­bert Christiana. Thes. Constitute a Common Polity among themselves. 2. The Dutch Church doth not countenance such a principle. For Span­hemius a Professor among them saith, Every Church hath a Power that is not abrogated to make Laws,; nor are all humane Traditions to be utterly prescribed, for Traditions of Doctrine are to be distin­guished from those of Rites: the Church indeed hath no Legislative power about those things; yet it hath about these. 3. As for the Helvetian Churches, this Discourser hath been told by the Learned Durel, in his Treatise p. 6. That they are not Presby­terian. For they have a Subordination of Ministers, as An­tistites, [Page 35]Deans, Canons, Pastors who have the Care of Souls, and Deacons, as here amongst us in England; they have set forms of Prayer, Holy dayes, Organs and other instrumental Musick; and sure the principles of these men as well as their Practices are not Presbyterian, and those Churches that are, have not the princi­ples of giddiness, which are maintained here. If the Scotch Church were so pure as the Author saith, we may assign their Purity to their Severities, which frighted all Dissenters of drawing their principles farther than they would endure.

In the next place, this Maxim, That an Indifferent thing be­comes unlawfull by being commanded; which was said to be com­mon among the Dissenters, gives us little hopes of Stability. For since some things Indifferent, (i. e. neither commanded nor forbidden by God) will necessarily fall into practice in the Worship of God, and through the weakness of men there may, and will arise contradictory Opinions, and so consequent­ly through Interest, Humour, and Corruptions, Dissentions a­bout them: if there be no power left to the Church to deter­mine those things, and whatsoever she determines doth there­fore become sinful, as these men imagine, what way is left to us to come to an Establishment, and what hopes of Peace and rest between the contending Parties, when none can determine and enjoyn? That this Maxime is common among them this Author doth not deny, but only gives us the Speech of some of them, out of Papers they have printed, Which does not dis­own what was imputed to them, but by several ambages seek to hide their sense in that point. But I conceive their judgment in this point is clear under their own hands; when in the Confe­rence at the Savoy, Where this Proposition, That command which commandeth an Act in it self Lawfull, and no other Act where­by any unjust penalty is injoyned, nor any Circumstance whence directly or per accidens any Sin is consequent which the commander ought to provide against, hath in it all things requisite to the lawfulness of a Command, and particularly cannot be guilty of Commanding an Act per accidens unlawful, nor of Commanding an Act under an unjust Penalty, was denied by the joynt Consent of those who disputed for the Non-Conformists. Let this be considered whether this be sound speech that cannot be proved?

[Page 36] Another ground of discouragement from having any hopes of Stability, by admitting their Comprehension, is their shyness to give us the particulars wherein they will rest, and what will satisfy them to an acquiescence. For though the Discourser saith that the propounded Latitude, leaves out nothing neces­sary to secure the Churches Peace: Yet he refuses to give us the boundaries of his Latitude; and putting us off as he did be­fore with these General things, necessary to Faith and Life, and godly Order, he quarrels the Answerer for saying this Establishment is not enough for settlement, because it doth not secure the Churches Peace. Yet he doth not answer any thing to that which proved it, as the Instance of the present Dissentions: Wherein though the Church of England and the Presbyterians agree in things necessary to Life, Faith, and Order: Yet we finde no peace betwixt them. To which we may add, that the Presbyterians, and Independents have a further agreement, yet there was no peace among them, but they mutually writ and preached one against the othrr, the first declaring and petitioning, that the last should not have a Tole­ration, and the last by Subtlety, and force weakening and expo­sing the first to Contempt and Ruin. And therefore sure there is something else necessary to Peace.

It was also instanced that in Government and Worship in both which some particulars are not absolutely necessary, there might arise Differences. This he doth not disprove, but re­plies with gravity, Verily it may much amuse one to think what that thing should be in the Ecclesiastical Polity which is not neces­sary to the Christian Faith, and Life, or Godly Order in the Church; and yet necessary to secure the Churches Peace. To take of this amusement, let it be considered how the Great things of Christianity, differ from the peace of the Church. The Principles of Faith, Good Life and Order are the Foundation of that Christi­an Society which is the Church. But Peace being as the agree­ment and mutual fitness of all the parts of the edifice must ne­cessary be of larger extent. There may be breaches in an House, where the Foundation remains firm and entire; and there have been often fierce contentions among Christians that yet have agreed in things necessary to Salvation, and essential to Chri­stian [Page 37]Worship. These truths of Faith, and principles of Life have a continual existence; and though the World should not receive them, and wicked men Contradict them: yet they have still their being in Nature, and are commensurate with Eternity. But peace may be, and (as experience tells us) is but Temporary. In civil Societies the meanest and vilest Persons have been a­ble to make Seditions and Mutinies, even to the overthrow of an Established Government; and we may finde Schisms and Di­visions have been made in the Societies of Christians by per­sons, who through Ignorance have wrested the Scriptures, and men of perverse minds whose glory was their shame, and that also upon things of the least moment. Look upon those Cata­logues of Hereticks and Schismaticks that are given us by Epipha­nius, Augustine and Philaster, and you will finde many of them have been not only Infamous in their Authors: but also Con­temptible in their Occasions and grounds of their Separation. Nay, if you will look upon those recorded in Scripture, you may soon perceive, from how small occasions the Contentions, and divisions did arise in the Church of Corinth, about Paul, and Apollos, and Cephas, and Christ, about the vayling of Women, at Religious Assemblies, and those contentions in the celebration of the Sacrament. He that is a considering person, will not be amused to think that there is something necessary for the Churches Peace, that is not necessary for Faith and good Life and Order.

We are yet further discouraged as to any hopes of Stability by the Position published by some of the Dissenters, and parti­cularly by this Discourser, That the Church doth not claim an Infallibility; and therefore she cannot settle the Conscience, by her sole Warrant, but still leaves room for doubting; and this he ur­ges as a reason why she should not prescribe forms and Rites of Religion, and if she doth, the Conscience that doth its office will in­terpose and concern it self; and it being unsatisfied, Jarrs, and Rents will follow. This Argument is borrowed from the Popish Wri­ters, who to reduce the Protestants that deny the Infallibility of their Church to an absurdity, argue that If the Church be not Infallible, she can propose nothing whereof any man may be assured it is True or False, but is left to his own Witt and Discourse. Thus [Page 38]those who profess so great an hatred of the Papists, do yet take up their Argements for Doctrins and Positions, when they will serve [...] against the Church of England; But to prove [...] that Whosoever is not infallible, cannot settle the [...] that by to Settle, this Author understood [...] was shew'd how many absurdities must needs fol­low; for all Government in State, and Families, and the grounds of mutual Commerce, would be overthrown by it. To all which he answers by a pitiful Distinction, betwixt Obliging or Binding the Conscience, and settling it or leaving no room for doubting; For Conscience (saith he) may be obliged, when it is not settled. By this reply I am now satisfied, that his Ignorance is greater then his Malice which I doubted before. For 1. Here he supposes, that to settle, so as to leave no room for doubting, is the effect of a Law commanded by a just and Lawfull Authority, which is false. Because many of the Laws of God, and of our Saviour, who are Infallible, did not nor do attain this effect; For there have been, and may be doubts concerning them in the consci­ences of holy and good men; And of this we have an In­stance in the Apostles. Christ had given them a Command Togo and Preach to all Nations, and Baptize them, &c. This Command did oblige them to teach the Gentiles: yet St. Peter doubted whether he should go to Cornelius a Gentile: to show him the things of Christ: and was therefore taught by a Vision not to scruple it. The same doubt did also perplex the other A­postles and Brethren, who therefore call'd St. Peter to an ac­count, as having done that which he ought not to do, and were not settled, that is left not of their doubtings, till St. Peter had acquainted them with the Vision, and miracle of giving the Holy Ghost to the Gentiles. So that it is evident that to settle the Conscience, is not the effect of Law even from an Infal­lible Authority; this rather is to be the work of a Teacher, then of a Lawgiver. For the proper and immediate effect of a Law is to Oblige and binde, that is, to impose a Necessity of Obedi­ence upon Men, who if they do not obey, do sin, athough they doubt. 2. He has now rendred his opinion far more odious, and of more dangerous, and absurd consequence, then it was be­fore. For if whosoever cannot settle the Conscience, so as there [Page 39]is left no place for doubt, ought not to prescribe, or give Laws: and if they do give Laws, although the Conscience is obliged by them, yet it may interpose and concern it self, so as to cause Rents or Jarrs; Then neither an Infallible, nor Fallible Autho­rity can prescribe Rites, and forms of Religion; because it may so be, that the Conscience may still doubt, and so not be settled. Now what hopes of stability from men of such a perswasion? Since the Stability of every Society is founded upon the just Commands of Superiors, of things within their Power, and the Peoples Obligation to obey such Commands: which is overthrown by this position: and a doubting Conscience can strip the Magistrate of his Authority, and quit the People from Obedience.

SECT. 11. There was a necessity of Enjoyning, and there is also of Continuing the Ceremonies.

WHen these men have call'd the Churches Authority into Question, then they do her prudence, for making In­junctions that are not at all necessary. To this was shewed, that at the beginning of the Reformation there was a necessity of such In­junctions; because there being Controversies about them, the Church was to consult her Peace, and did it, by cutting off some Ceremonies, and retaining some which were enjoyned to the Common observance of all. That the number of those for Cere­monies was the greatest, as comprehending all those who staid at home, and did not fly in the time of Queen Maryes persecution. That they were the greatest Number the Adversary did not dare to deny, but without any Testimony he saith, that such as Dissen­ted from the Ceremonies at that time had their Assemblies for the Worship of God in this Land. If he had proved this by some good Record, it had been more for his credit: but when he only saith it, we do him no wrong, if we believe him not, when he asserts that which he could not know without a Witness.

It was said also, That the Party against Ceremonies was but small, Ecclesia Rest. An. Reg. Mar. 3. p. being but few of those that fled beyond Sea. For the number of [Page 40]those that fled are computed to be but 800. These were di­spers'd in the several Cities of Germany as Embden, Stratzburg and Frankfort and among the Switzers at Arrow, Zurick, and Geneva. At Frankfort it is said, they first begun the Alteration of the English Liturgy; those at Geneva complyed, it is like, with the Authority of Mr. Calvin; yet not satisfied with what was done at Frank fort. But those of Stratzburg, Zurick and Embden plainly sgnifyed to those of Frankfort, that they resolved to maintain the Order of the Church of England; So that by this account they could be but few. But the Discourser saith it is not true, Because the same Historian saith that many who were disaf­fected to Episcepacy, were raised to great Preferments. But the many there spoken of, were only of the Number that had spent their time of Exile in such forreign Churches as had followed the Platform of Geneva; and those he reckons to be but five, the Queens Professor in Oxford, the Lady Margarets in Cambridge, Whittingham, Sampson, and Hardiman. Of which the two last were soon turn'd out again as incorrigible Non-Conformists: the rest it seems did conform, notwithstanding their Different Perswasions; which was an evidence that they did not think the Ceremonies to be so contrary to a good Conscience, that they were bound either to desert their Station in the Church, and Ministry to Gods Glory; or to disturb the Peace of Christs flock, rather then observe those enjoyned Rites. So also did those mentioned in the Letter to Mr. Hooker, and there­fore can be no Instances of Non-Conformity, and of disturbing the Peace in the Church.

It is also true, Calv. Ep. Angl. Francofurt. Valde absurdum est, inter fratres ob eandem fidem a patriâ Exu­les ac prosugos dissidium oriri. and therefore no wrong done, That the Par­ty against Ceremonies, caus'd the Troubles at Frankfort, and brought a dishonour to the Reformation, and Infamy on the Nation; for Mr. Calvins Letter to them at Frankford, charges these things upon them, and this was Written, Feb. 1.31. and Dr. Cox with his party, who brought in the Liturgy, came not thither till March 13. following; therefore if Mr. Calvin wrote truth, there were troubles among them, before the Conformists came thither.

It is a strange Confidence this Author takes, to deny, That in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, things were so settled in [Page 41]the Church of England, to please each party in the abolishing some, and the retaining other Ceremonies. For the Compilers them­selves, (who certainly deserve in Charity to be credited in what they say concerning their own motives and Sentiments,) do af­ter they had declared the different opinions of men about Ce­remonies, say, It was thought expedient not so much to have respect how to please and satisfy either of these parties (that is, singly,) or gratify their humours, as how to please God, and to profit them both. Therefore they intended to Profit each party (which in the Apo­stles sense is, to please our Neighbour to Edification;) And that none might be offended, whom Good reason might satisfy; They rendred Causes why some Ceremonies were put away, and some retai­ned. Against so evident a Testimony, he replies, that "the Ceremonies then abolished, were offensive to all Protestants. Whereas the compilers themselves say, that there were some a­mong those whom they would profit, that did think it a great matter of Conscience to depart from a piece of the least of their ac­customed Ceremonies. Thus this Author hath failed in his attempt to take off the reasons of necessity for the first enjoyning of the Ceremonies.

He is no more successfull against the Necessity of the Con­tinuance. For when it had been said, that They who are for the Church, are unwilling to have the Ceremonies taken away. He replies, such as delight in them may enjoy and use their Liberty, but let them not lay stumbling blocks before others, or in­tangle the Conscience, or hinder those of a contrary Perswasion from the Ministry, and from teaching, &c. This is easily said, but he should have also proved it practicable. For Instance, If in one and the same Parish the Minister be against Ceremonies, and the people for them; how shall each of these enjoy and use their Liberties? What contentions and variances, must needs a­rise? If you say, the People may make use of a Minister of the same Judgment with themselves. (1) They cannot do it for all Offices. (2) This must lay a constant ground of aliena­tion, and so of Quarrelling betwixt People and Minister, and betwixt the Ministers themselves. How can this Writer for­get that this was a frequent Case in the late troubles, almost in all Parishes? This therefore is to multiply divisions; that [Page 34]at last must overthrow all. And there is no considering Person but sees a necessity that all Ministers should be bound to the same Rule.

Another reason for continuing the Ceremonies was, because it would be in vain to comply with them, who will never be sa­tisfied. To this he answers, With what soberness can this be said, when hitherto the Dissenters were never tryed with any Relaxation, &c. But with what truth can he say they were never tryed? When they had a Relaxation at the Kings first coming home; and it was left to them, to conform in what they could have no scruple of Conscience, yet this did not satisfy them. But he had said before, That some of them did comply with the Kings desire. Yet he doth not tell us who, or how many; and in deed when this was objected to their Friends that laboured for an Indulgence for them, they could not give an account of any considerable number that did so. Others (he saith) did not per­haps for the prevention of Scandal. And we say perhaps, The same Perhaps to prevent a Scandal among their own Party, whose Spirits they have imbittered with an hatred of the Church of England, may still prevail upon them to be-unsatisfied. So that the Honour of the Church and State must be prostituted, by re­pealing their Laws and Injunctions, to the Fortuitous pleasure of them that do not conform. Besides, this Author will not give us the bounds of his desired Latitude, nor assure us where that Party will stand; How far we must go to satisfy all the se­veral Sects, and how many will be gained; all these things are requisite to assure us, that they intend to be satis­fyed.

It was also said that the Imputations of Idolatry, Superstition and Antichristianism to the things enjoyned, perswade us not easily to part with them, as being so guilty. These Calumnies have been engraven with Swords, and written in blood; and to renounce what we believe to be innocent, as criminal, is plainly to declare that we have no love to the Truth, that we tacitly condemn what we approve, and we should likewise Calumni­ate all those whose Communion we pretend to, the former Church, who did observe them as indifferent.

The Discourser does not deny, that these Calumnies have [Page 35]been raised, nor doth he condemn the slanderers, but he sayes, Shall their value be so exhanced, as to be thought of more worth then the Unity of the Church. To which we answer, That though we account the Church's Unity to be of an infinite Value above them, yet we cannot promise our selves to procure her Unity by a thing that is not just in it self; that is by justifying false imputations in taking away, what we, and other Christians have thought clear and praise-worthy. The expedient which he hath proposed, for salving the Churches honour, by her decla­ring, ‘that she remits her injunctions in compliance with weak con­sciences, Will be an envidence of her very great weakness: un­less those Weak Consciences declare also, that she hath not been Idolatrous, Superstitious, or Antichristian in her former enjoy­ning of them, and that the things contended about, were but in­different, (for so St. Paul's declaration concerning abstaining from meats, did conclude both sides to such apprehensions of them) As also that they confess, and bewail the Schism which they have already made; and take shame to themselves, for all those practices which they have done against the Church. Such a Declaration as this may serve to repair the Churches Ho­nour, and move her to remit her Injunctions, to men that give such evidence of having tender Consciences. But the Non-Conformists are so far from such a declaration, that this Author sayes in the next Section, that They account these things not in­different but unlawful. So that this expedient will only cast shame on the Church, and leave them to the boastings of their own Godliness.

It was also urged for the Continuance of those Injunctions, that a War was undertook to remove them; and that if now they were yielded up to the pleasure of those that fought a­gainst them, they would in the next place charge all the blood of that War upon the Church, and her Party. To this he re­plies, that it is easier said then proved, that the late War was un­dertaken to remove the Ceremonies. To which we say, that if there was any Faith in the Declarations of those that managed the late War, or in the Sermons of those who were to encourage the People to it, and did therefore beg for money and men, &c. For Jesus Christ, and those that did denounce Cur­ses [Page 44]from the Lord, on such as not come forth to his assistance against the mighty, If those Articles about Religion which were proposed in every Treaty of Peace had any truth; then it is as easily proved as said, that That War was undertaken, (though not solely) to remove the things in difference betwixt the Church and the Dissenters; and it is an Impudence, equal to their other practices, to deny it. And as this is clear, so it is as clear, that they charged upon his Late Murther'd Majesty, all the blood of that War; because he had made concessions in the like nature, and we have nor eason to expect otherwise now. I'll leave this Author to please himself in the Malice and Envy of the argument he hath made from these my premises.

Although the controverted Ceremonies are no Foundation of the Church of England, yet far less changes, in the last edi­tion of the Liturgy have been taken by Popish Priests, (to my own knowledge,) as advantages to brand her of Inconstancy, to disswade some ignorant persons, to forsake her, as still various: and to come over to their Church, which was founded upon a Rock. And this was urged as a reason not to take them away. In stead of a satisfying answer, this odious inference is made. It seems that greater care must be taken, that the Papists be not offen­ded, then that many thousands of honestly minded Protestants should be relieved. Is there no difference betwixt taking care, that no advantage be given to Popish Priests to seduce Protestants, and a taking care that the Papists be not offended? The Author knows there is a difference, but he was to gratify his Hatred, and he hath done it. The like design of exposing his Adversary to the Odium of a kindness to the Papists, he had practiced, Sect. 8. For when the grounds which he had laid of denying a Toleration to the Pa­pists, were applied to the other Dissenters. He neglects to show the Disparity; or that the application was injurious: but makes this Demand. What greater advantage can be given to the Papists, then that a Protestant Writer should declare, That so great a part of Protestants, are equally envolved with them in those heinous Crimes, &c?’ The answer is obvious, For they that did those things, have given the Popish Party a far greater advantage. He that declares it, doth tell them no more then what they have been told before, even by Forreign Protestants; who [Page 45]detested such Acts of those men, who among us falsly pretend to the honour of that name. Besides, he that declares it, doth tell them no more then what they know before. Do you think the Papists had lost their Sences and Reason? Did they not see a Rightfull Prince, first driven by Arms from his Throne; and afterwards hurried to the Slaughter? Nor do I think that the Crimes of those men, or the declaring of them, to be more a re­proach to the Protestant Profession; then they are to Christi­anity, to which they and other Criminals do equally pretend. Those that were true and knowing Christians, did then ab­hor those practices; and do not take the mentioning of them for a reproach to themselves.

There is no reason that the Discourser should be astonished at the last Reason, That Dissentions about things indifferent, have necessitated the Church to make those injunctions. For it was appa­rent before, in the reasons that the Compilers of the Liturgy gave; That because there were different perswasions of the Ceremonies; therefore some were enjoyned. And in this our Church did no otherwise then the Catholick Church hath done in like Cases. I shall give him one Instance, I might give more. The Dissensions in the primitive times, about the Feast of Ea­ster, moved the Council of Nice to determine and enjoyn one time for it to all Christians; for no other reason, but that there might be an [...] i.e. an agreement among Christians. Let lear­ned and good men judge, on which side lyes the Animosities: who hath the best Pretentions to Equity, Charity, and good Ad­vice.

SECT. 12. Non-Conformists are less capable of Comprehension than other men of Different Opinions, who are tolerated in the Church of England.

THe Contenders for Comprehension, and Toleration, do urge, that the Indulgence of the Church of England, to men differently perswaded in the points of Predestination, Free-will, &c. may be extended to them. In answer to which it was said, [Page 38]The Moderation of the Church as to those, was grounded upon the Difference betwixt those Diverse Opinions in the point of Predestination: and the Dissensions about her Orders and Ceremonies, That those were Difficulties in all Ages and all Religions. These required but one single Resolution, whether an indifferent Ceremony might be enjoyned? To this he an­swers, That the matters of Inconformity are not things only indiffe­rent, but accounted by them unlawfull. This is to beg the Que­stion; for if they be indifferent, they cannot be unlawful; and it is not enough to account them unlawful: but they must prove them to be so, which the Author wisely declines.

But then he questions the truth of that Assertion; That the Dissenters cannot name one Church besides ours, in which there was a Schism made for a Ceremony. Yet he makes the assertion good, for he hath not, nor can he name one particular Church as ours, in which, for a Ceremony, there was made a Schism, and a division of the members, from one another, and of one part from their Pastors and Bishops. He said indeed, That a great Rent was made in the Christian Church throughout the World, about a Ceremony the time of Celebrating the Feast of Easter. Which if true, is not pertinent; for that Dissention was not betwixt Members of a particular Church: but betwixt the Afiatick and all other Churches. Secondly, there was no Schism made; For frenaeus shew'd plainly that the former Bishops of Rome did preserve their communion with the Asiaticks. And although Victor had been so hot as to publish an excommunication; yet the Dissent of the other Bishops from such a course, soon hindred the effects of it, as to a Schism.

There are also differences Tolerated in the Church of En­gland, but not of those Effects, and Principles, as are the Divi­sions about the Disciplinarian Way. The Arminians and Anti­arminians never broke Communion among themselves, nor that of the Church; they loaded indeed one another with horrid Consequences of Pelagianism on one side, and Manicheism and Stoicism on the other; but still kept a common Reverence to the Church, and appealed to her Articles. The differences of Bowing or not Bowing, of useing Conceived, or Bidding Pray­ers, never so far prevailed as to harsh censures, Therefore [Page 36]the Church was never put to a necessity to consult her peace by determining, and enjoyning. But it hath been far otherwise in the Differences of the Conformists and Non-Conformists, these last have all wayes attempted the destroying of the Govern­ment, altering the Worship, and Discipline of it; have gather'd, and do gather, separate Congregations. They re­fused the Publick Communion as a continuing in Babylon; ex­alted their own way as the Kingdom of Christ, and by these courses did bring an Universal Confusion. Which brought a necessity upon the Church to determine, and to secure her self, by hindring such persons from the Opportunities of divulging these their Opinions in a Constant Ministery. As for those that have only different Apprehensions from her in these things, and yet do secure her by subscriptions from troubling her, they alwaies did, and may still be admitted to the Offices and Emolu­ments in her.

There is yet another reason which makes us afraid of a Com­prehension, and that by it we cannot attain the pretended ends of Unity and Peace, Because it will permit men of such Contra­dictory Perswasions, to different Practices, in almost all the daily Offices of Religion; (Which cannot be said of the other Differences which are tolerated in our Church.) And to think that such men on both sides will content themselves in their own Opinions, and rest satisfyed in the Liberty they enjoy, without attempts upon their Opposites, is vainly to suppose that Men will be wise on both sides. To which it is replied, that We need suppose no more but that the State and chief Guides of the Church be wise; that the Eminent Persons of both sides be Mode­rate and Prudent, and the Publick constitution so well Stated and settled, as to be able to Curb the Imprudent, and to encourage the well advised. If this Author did consider how tender, and nice a thing Peace is; how hardly it is kept, while men have different Lusts, divided Interests, and bad Hopes; how easily it is broken, even by the lowest and vilest parts of a Society; and that in despight of the wisest Princes, and greatest Coun­sellors, he would also grant that it is as necessary that the Foun­dations of it should be laid in the minds of the Community, [Page 48]as well as in the breasts of Great men, and the Rules of Govern­ment.

The first Massacre of the Protestants in France began from the Rabble. For as the Duke of Guise was passing by Vassey in Champaigne (where the protestants by the Edict of January, 1562. had the Liberty of their Religion,) and heard their Bell which called the Profestants to the place of their Worship; He went into the Town, intending by his Presence only, without any Violence to dissolve their meeting, But staying in the Streets, to talk with the Officers of the Town, his Lackques and the in­feriour part of his Train (which then used to be very great with the French Nobility,) went before to the Place where the Pro­testants were assembled, and there first beginning with revi­lings, and answered in the same manner by the Protestants, they proceeded to fling stones, and after that alighting from their Horses with their Swords and Pistols they assaulted that unarmed company; and although the shreeks and cryes of Women and Children for help, had brought the Duke to the place, yet neither his intreaties, nor threatnings could prevail till all the Protestants were either slain, or fled. Where the Historian saith, there were 60. kill'd, and 200 wounded, the Duke himself having been hurt in his Face, while he sought to appease the Tumult. The wisdom of States and Guides can­not possibly prevent popular commotions which are suddain and violent. Besides the Dissenters from our Church render the State and Guides of the Church uncapable of hindring the sad effects of differences in Religion. One party denies that the Guides of the Church can command an indifferent thing. The other Party which are these of the Congregational Way, deny that the State hath any power in things of Religion, What then shall become of the wisdome of the State, and Guides of the Church, and well Stated constitution to form or keep Peace? Moreover, there was another reason given, which this Author mentions but doth not answer. That Dissenters upon Conscience will be prevailed with by the same Conscience, to endeavour the propagation of their own way in these differences, to the Depression of others; Especially when their apprehensions of their own way, put such a value upon them as to render them the Kingdom of Christ, [Page 49]the Worshipping of God in the Spirit. And on the other side they think their Opposites to be guilty of those crimes against which God hath declared his jealousie. This is a thing daily seen in all the divided Parties, and then what hopes can we have of Peace? The Replyer gives no other answer but this. If some offer to disturb the Peace, can no Rule of Government restrain them? The Magistrate in this case can do nothing but by Force; and that is declaimed against, as Compulsion of Faith, Tyranny, and Perse­cution. Besides, the Supreme Magistrate may be often diver­ted from his cares of these things, by the more pressing Exigen­ces of State; and so not be able to take notice of the first assaults on the Peace, till the wounds of it becomes dangerous, and al­most incurable.

SECT. 13. Necessity only can justify a Toleration, and a standing Army must make it safe.

THis Position had been asserted, that Only Necessity can give colour to Toleration; For that it is by the Confession of all, one of those things that are not good in their own nature. Which the Discourser saith, "he cannot yield unto, but he would not have been so Pertinacious, if he had considered that Unity in Religi­on is commanded us, that we are enjoyn'd to practice all the methods of it, as that which is most for the Glory of Christ, and the honour of Religion; that at best it is but our infirmity, if we are not all of one heart and one Soul: and who dare de­ny, but that it were best that all Christians were so? But when after all Essayes we cannot root them out, then we must bear with them, yet so as to set bounds to the Dissenters, and cir­cumscribe Dissentions, which I conceive is a Toleration; So that this is the last resort, and therefore is like War and Oaths which nothing but Necessity can justify. But this Author thinks it a branch of Brotherly Love. We say Brotherly Love may be used indeed, in the first arising of Dissentions, as means to allay them, and to prevent a Toleration, or may be exercised in it: but there is no reason to think it is a Toleration.

[Page 50] In the next place be quarrels, that it was said, that we want an Instance of the safety of Toleration, in any Nation, where the Su­preme Governour had not an Army to Circumscribe, and confine the heats of Dissenters in Religion to their own breasts, and keep off the destructive effects of Schism. In stead of answering this, by shew­ing an Instance; for I appealed to the Practice of the Ancient Emperours and Modern Princes and States. He replies, ‘that such a Maxim, makes little for the safety and Liberty of True Religion, and then rants against it as an injury done to Protestants that live under Popish Princes, and as the dictate of Prejudice and Partiality. This is a very uncouth way of answering arguments, 'and it is a brutish way of considering things as to our present advantage, or as they possibly may be used, without any reslections on the former practices of Mankind. But I shall take off the Odium he usually flings when he hath no reason to return, by assuring him, that a Standing Army is necessary to suppress those Tumults which often on a suddain like Earth­quakes do arise among the dissenting Parties, which if not immediately crush'd, may gather strength, while a force is to be formed against them. And that such Tumults may arise from that party which is Established by Law as well as the Tolera­ted, who may be insolent in their own power and advantages, and seek to violate the Faith of the Prince which is given to the Tolerated. And therefore the Sword of a Standing Army is to be a terrour not only to the Tolerated, but also to the Establi­shed Parties, and secures the safety and Liberty of the true Religion, if either be true. And although the French King hath more assurance of the Loyalty of his Protestant Subjects (while they retain the true doctrine of Protestantism which is not to acknowledge any power above Soveraign Princes, either of the Pope as the Papists, or of the People, as our Dissenters,) then of the Popish party; yet there is a Necessity upon him to maintain constant Forces to keep both Parties in peace, and to secure the Protestants who are weak and less Numerous, from the daily attempts of the Romish Priests to stir up the People to a Massacre. Therefore Henry the fourth of France thought it ne­cessary for the security of his Protestant Subjects (who had shewed themselves loyal to his Interest) to allow them several [Page 51]strong fortified Towns for their Security in all France, which were called Les Villes de suretè; whereof Rochel was chief. And eve­ry Prince hath need of an Army to make good his promise, if he once hath passed his word for a Toleration. And although To­leration is not the reason of a standing Army among the Dutch; yet a Standing Army secures it.

The other passages out of the Discourse of Toleration, which he afterwards mentions, are matters of his remarks and ad­vice, rather than of his objections; and therefore I shall no more concern the Reader with them. He concludes with a Complaint of the Answerer, that he hath used Many hard speeches against him, and charged him with Malice. Do but consi­der the Passages, and judg betwixt him and me, and if the charge be not true, I shall not be ashamed to crave his pardon. I wonder how he can say, that he hath written these things, as knowing that the Judge standeth before the Door; for surely such a Consideration would have perswaded him to another frame of Spirit. But howsoever, I do in sincerity commend him to the Grace and Mercy of him, who is the Great Shepherd of the Flock, who hath commanded us Peace and Unity; And who shall One day judg the World in Righteousness.



PAge 6. line 35. for eanm r. mean. p. 17. l. 19. r. baseness p. 18. l. 34. f. that r. the, p. 23. l. 4. r. Kindness, p. 27. l. 23. r. contraries, p. 32. l. 13. f. your r. their, p. 35. f. of r. from, l. 38. r. reproved, p. 40. l. 36. f. either r. thither p. 44. l. 1. r. did not.

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