A True Protestant Bridle: OR SOME Cursory Remarks UPON A SERMON Preached before the LORD MAYOR, AT St. Mary-Le-Bow, Jan. 30th 1693/4.

In a Letter to Sir P. D. Bar.

Odi prophanum Vulgus

LONDON, Printed and are to be Sold by most of the Book­sellers of London and Westminster, MDCXCIV. Price Six Pence.

A True Protestant Bridle: OR SOME Cursory Remarks UPON A SERMON Preached before the Lord Mayor.

SIR,

I Hope these short Officious Remarks will gain your Pardon, if not Approbation, since they are wholly levell'd against the Licentious Princi­ples which are so much in Vogue; and which Naturally tend to shake our Fundamental Esta­blishment, and (under the Pompous Appearance of Christian Liberty) to Shrivel Their present [Page 4]Majesties by Degrees into a meer Fairy Queen, and an Emperour of the Moon.

Among all the Vitious and Impertinent Hu­mours of the Age we live in, there is none more equally Lamentable and Ridiculous, than that of Aspersing things Venerable and Sacred, and speaking Evil of Persons Illustrious in their Ge­neration: This is commonly the Refuge of Mean Varlets, who have no other way to make any Tolerable Figure in the World, but by fin­ding Fault with the Conduct, Performances, and Inadvertencies of Great Personages: 'Tis an ea­sie Province that any half-witted Pedant may aspire to, without the Art of Thinking, or Gift of Ratiocination; and he that is neither Honou­rable nor Beautiful, nor Learned, nay the Sport and Triumph of Ingenious Conversation, can, without any Talent, play at Criticizing, and readily Commence Godly and Censorious; and when he is once arriv'd to this height of Confi­dence; with what Pride and Scorn will he trample upon his Superiours, and look down upon the bravest, and most Accomplisht Men in the World? Hence it comes to pass, that eve­ry Notion-struck Tradesman, and Purse-proud Mechanick (whose Learning and Education ne­ver carried him higher than the Gazette or Coun­ting-Book) [Page 5]can run down the whole Ecclesiastick Order with an Infallible Wink or Nod; and will take a kind of Malignant Delight in making Re­marks upon the little Spots of Bright and Ele­vated Souls: Hence it is, That they who are most Incapable of receiving Instruction, are most forward to give Advice; and he that is Purblind in the most Obvious Matters of Religion and Polity, thinks himself Qualified to Expound Mysteries, and Spell out the Fates of Kingdoms: They, who by their Studied and Enormous Vil­lanies, are fit to be Objects of Publick Justice, are most forward to Reproach the Names and Memories of Kings; and some have been see­mingly serious in Publishing Pleas for Peace, af­ter they have been Nurst, Train'd up, and Harden'd in the Black Art of Scisme and Rebellion: Nay, what's most deplorable of all, every little half-Conforming Theologue, that is Illuminated into Distraction, can justle Omnipotence out of his way, give encouragement to a Multitude to do Evil, and represent the Mild, the Peaceable, and Salutary Doctrine of Non-Resistance (which has been the Glory and Palladium of the Christian Church in all Ages) as an Antichristian Mormo, and Bugbear to a Kingdom.

Among such Doughty Champions for Truth, a late Prevaricator at Bow, hath descended to List himself: He tells us, The pretence of a High Court of Justice to judge of their King, was an upstart Opinion hatcht by the Heat of War; That 'twas an In­sect of a Days duration; and is now disown'd by all sorts of People amongst us. Serm. p. 16. That Flattery is one of those Sins, which by their own particular Energy occasion the loss of a good Prince, and thereby bring Af­fliction to a People, p. 17. That this Detestable Sin of Flattery has drawn Princes to Aspire at Arbitrary Power; and God knows, how great a Share it had in the Calamity which we Lament this Day: That the Notion of Passive Obedience has proved Fatal to those that have hearken'd to it, That Liberty gives the True Relish to all the Com­forts of Life: pag. 18.

To all which I Answer, That Our Reverend Teacher, like some Blind and Bewildred Tra­veller, seems to have lost his Way; and while he affects to Dictate so Magisterially out of the Common Road (as if he had got a Dutch Synod within him) he falls into a Complication of Ab­surdities; each of which is a most Intolerable Blunder. For First, The pretence of a High Court of Justice cannot properly be called a Novel Up­start Opinion, since Buchanan and Knox, and some [Page 7] English Apers of Swarez and Mariana, had, by their Dangerous Tenets, and Pulpit Suggestions, given ample and sufficient Encouragement to such Proceedings. However, That we may not insist upon Ceremony, the main substantial part of the Tragedy, was the Black Result of Delibe­rate Malice, both Roman and Fanatick; and was so far from being the Random Product of the Heat of War, that the Design was carried on by Dark Conclave, Clandestine Cabal, Painful Preaching, Long Prayers, Frequent Fastings, Godly Sorrow for the Sins of the Nation, much Mortification, Seeking of the Lord, and all the Coolest Methods that can be thought on.

Secondly, It was so far from being an Insect of a Days duration, That, as it was the most Prodigious Monster on this side Hell (and never Equall'd by any Poet's Invention, Enthusiastical Draughts of Antichrist, or Melancholy Vision of a Pining and Despairing Lover) so was it also Nurst with all Imaginable Tenderness and Care, Christen'd by Milton and other Famous Apologists, and borne about with great Ostentation and Tri­umph. And whosoever shall peruse the Secret History (propagated throughout the Nation) the Works of Milton (of ever Blessed Memory) [Page 8]the Letters of Ludlow (that pretious Orator in Christ Jesus) I say, whosoever shall peruse the Writings of these Legendary Scriblers, and ob­serve withal what kind Entertainment they have met with in the World, amongst the well-affected, the harmless, and the hidden ones; will readily con­clude, That there are Thousands among us who are so far from disowning, that they secretly Ap­plaud, the Glorious and Triumphant Villany.

Thirdly, I do readily grant, That the detestable Sin of Flattery had a Finger in the Delusion, which led to this Fatal Catastrophe, and the Kingdom's Funeral; Nothing can be more plain, if we do but open our Eyes, and the Histories of those times together. Indeed 'twas such Nauseous, Masking, and Dawbing Flattery, as was never Practic'd before: 'Twas an Incurvation of Mind, a Degeneracy and Baseness of Soul, beneath the wretchedness of those Creeping Spirits of Old, that have Magnified the Spittle, Spots and Freakles, and Ador'd the Deformities of Persons in Authority and Power. The Rabble were Deified out of their Wits by the Officious Faw­ning Demagogues of the Times, and Carest into all the Absurdities of Speech and Action: They were made the Divine Fountain of all Authority, [Page 9]by a Godly Legerdemain; and abus'd into such Vain and Glorious Idea's and Notions of them­selves, that they ran stark Mad at last with Zeal and Reformation: By the help of Grace, a Company of Weavers grew as Infallible and Defi­nitive, as a Synod or General Council; and a Zea­lous Brother, by Vertue of his Saintship, scorn'd to give the Wall to his Prince that was Unre­generate. Now when such Fundamental Fol­lies as these are entertain'd as Oracles, I appeal to the Sense of Universal Mankind, how is it possible for the most obliging Monarch to sit se­cure in his Throne, or withstand the Shock of an Imperious Rabble?

Whatever Charms the Vitious Arts of Flattery may have, to draw some Princes into an Affe­ctation of Arbitrary Dominion, 'tis plain, That the Soul of our Royal Martyr was as much above Flattery in the days of Prosperity, as it was above Fear, Malice, and all other Temptations in times of his Solitude and Tryal. Whatever Peccadillo's in Government lookt that way, were no matter of Choice, but Fatality; and cannot be Construed his Crimes, but his Misfortunes. And surely to Rake into the Wounds of Afflicted Majesty, is a Base and Cowardly Assault, and somewhat more than Barbarous and Inhumane: [Page 10]The Benign Temper of the Witch of Endor (under more provoking Circumstances) abhorr'd such Cruelty as this, which is fit only for the Con­science of a Devil.

Fourthly, That the Notion of Passive Obedience may sometimes prove Fatal in respect of Tem­poral Advantages, is as Plain and True, as any of Mr. Dod's Sayings: And so Humility, Pa­tience, Modesty, and other Christian Vertues may prove a Bar to Preferment in Bad Times; and the Evil Consequences do no more Con­clude against the one than the other. The Un­kind Insult of a Tyrannical Prince doe's no more give Allowance to Subjects to shake off the Yoke, than the Immusical Conversation of a Supercili­ous or Complaining Wife do's Licentiate a Bill of Divorce. There is no State here so Propi­tious and Serene, but it may sometimes be Over­cast, or Sullied with a Cloud: There is no Con­dition on this side Heaven so Guarded and Se­cure, but may be attended with Calamitous and Fatal Appendages: And whensoever this hap­pens by a just Nemesis, or severer Providence, an Absolute Resignation to the Divine Will be­comes our Indispensible Duty, and may prove our Glory and Consolation too, if we are not antecedently wanting to our selves.

The Common Popular Orators of the Age, that can harangue so fluently about the Tremen­dous Consequences of Passive Obedience, do seldom seriously weigh, or else studiously Con­ceal the Consequences of Rebellion, which will be ever found to be more Durable and Mischie­vous. This St. Paul well knew, and therefore founded this Important and Inviolable Duty up­on Reasons that are perpetual and unalterable: For, as he instructs us, the Supream Magistrate is the Ordinance of God; His Power is Ordain'd of God; he is the Minister of the Great Immu­table God, and not of the Giddy and Capritious Multitude: Now these Reasons hold good equally at all times, subsist under all the Alte­rations of the World, are the same now in Eng­land, that they were at Rome heretofore; and consequently the Duty must be so too: 'Tis the same yesterday, to day, and for ever.

I know the Patrons of Resistance tell us, that this Obligation indeed does take Place and Sway; where sic volo, sic jubeo is a Law; and the Magistrates Will the Sole Political Stan­dard; and that, Because Religion alone does not Authorize Resistance. But when 'tis once stamp't a Civil Right, and is interwoven and mixt with the Polity of a Nation; we may stand up in De­fence [Page 12]of our Legal Rights, and, by Vertue of this, we may Resist for our Religion. This is the Ultimate Refuge of our State-Libertines: All their various plausible Sophistry dwindles to this at last; and this, I think, is soon reducible to nothing:

For 'tis purely precarious; nay, includes a lamentable Mistake: And that, because this Evangelical Duty was directed to Persons that were vested with Civil Rights, and suffer'd the most horrid Rapes and Usurpations. The Imperial Prerogative was bounded by Law; and became a Civil Establishment in the days of Augustus, (as Strabo and Dio report) by the Concurrent Suf­frage of the People and Senate; and the Roman Government was Civilis non Tyrannica dominatio in the Days and Language of Tertullian. The Ro­man Subjects were as great Asserters of their Li­berties, and look't as big, upon the account of their Priviledges, as the Free-born People of England: How great their Immunities, and yet what Illegal Invasions were made upon 'em: How Unjust their Tortures, and yet how Re­sign'd and Passive they were in their Persons (even when the Valerian Law was in force to de­fend their Rights) may be seen and read in the Complaining Apologists and Historians of those [Page 13]Ages; but the particular Instances would swell this Discourse into too large and troublesome a Volume.

But alas! Such Examples as these do rather Upbraid, than instruct the Zealots of our Daies; who Act, and Demean themselves after such a rate, as if the Christian's Portion were only in this Life, and Religion were to be Modell'd ac­cording to Conveniencies of State. There is nothing Heroical and Gallant left among us: All that is Puissant and Brave has fled the World. That Spirit of Christianity, which Enlighten'd and Adorn'd the Primitive Ages, is now dege­nerated into Empty Cant, or loaded with In­vectives: Would you know, what's become of Christian Resignation? Why, with some 'tis Heart-fixedness, Nothingness and Broken-heartedness. By others 'tis called the Venom of the Dragon, the Tare of the Wicked one, Court-Flattery, and the Fawning of the Serpent: Or, (to speak in the Old Stile of Brain-less Mr. Vicars, and Earless Mr. Prynn) 'tis Kixey Conformity, Popish Pedlary, Babilonish Trumpery, and Devilish Malignancy against Christ.

In the last place, Enter Liberty (with all its Train of Artillery:) This has been a Famous Actor indeed upon the Stage of Humane Affairs: It has been a Protection of all Sorts and Degrees [Page 14]of Criminals rand Debauchees; It can Swear and Fight, Plunder and Kill through all the Points of the Compass: Backbiting, Perjury, and Libelling of Princes; Sodomy, Incest, and all Unnatural Lusts have defended themselves with the Pompous Name of Liberty. Liberty! That can Transform a Jesuitical Band of Regi­cides and Conspirators, into a Bright Constella­tion of Saints and Martyrs: Liberty! That can change the very best of Kings into the worst of Tyrants; and give the blackest Villains an Apothesis. Liberty! That can Convert a King­dom's Wealth into the Possession of the Saints, and make a Creeping Mendicant Cloak-Man, an Heir or Executor at his Will and Pleasure.

In short, There is no greater Slavery or Op­pression in the World, than a Lawless and Un­bounded Liberty: 'Twas an affectation of this that made our First Parents Rebel against God, and hath prompted others to Rebel against his Vicegerents: 'Twas a Sin of this Complexion that occasion'd the Unparallel'd Murder of our God-like Martyr, for which our Land Mourns at this very Day; and which seems to continue (like the First Transgression) a lasting Curse and Debt upon Posterity.

And thus, Sir, have I (as briefly as I could) animadverted upon some of those Pious Frauds, that Adorn and Recommend this plausible Two-handed Sermon. There is a Vein of Crafty and Ambiguous Sense and Expression running through a great part of the Contexture; and this, I believe, he takes to be a Choice and Won­drous Perfection; though 'tis really his Blind side: It may suit well enough with a Dark and Snbtle Disciple of Old Noll; but Ill becomes an Ingenious Servant, much less a Minister, of Christ. He has indeed a peculiar Knack at wounding with a Slie, Oblique, and Paltry Sug­gestion; at Stabbing and yet looking another way, as if he were wholly Innocent and Un­concern'd: Ex. Gr. But had they lived under a King, who by an Open Example and Eneour agement of Debau­chery, should have drawn the People from their Covenant with the Lord, and by Secret Favours, &c. p. 4. These, and the rest that follow, are very perillous shrewd sayings in good sooth. He'll make (no question) an hopeful Old Man in time, if he have already such a Reaching and Penetrating Noddle. I dare engage (in this fit of Conscience, or Spruntness) he would not have spar'd the Wisest of Princes upon Record, had he chanc't to have stood in his way. Blessed Jesu! To [Page 16]what a wretched Height can Ingratitude, and Spiritual Pride exalt it self? Do's not such Pu­rulent Spittle argue a Man's Soul to be Tainted and Ulcerated with Malice? Must a Solomon's Frailties be thus Aggravated and Exposed, and all his Vertues and Wisdom be forgotten? Was it not enough, That a Just, Kind, and good Na­tur'd Prince should be Revil'd and Conspir'd against while alive; but must he be persecuted again, even beyond the Grave? Tell not this to the Unconverted World: Publish it not in the Streets of Rome or Jerusalem; lest Turks and Infi­dels shake the Head at us; lest the Greeks and Romans again laugh us to Scorn. I must further add, That our Author seems to take as much pains to Lessen, if not Encourage, the Crying Diabolical Sin of Rebellion, as some have lately took to Mollifie Damnation it self: People may not pretend to a Legal Jurisdiction, yet have a Right of Self-Preservation: i.e. They may Rebel for Conscience sake, or by Virtue of an Inward Call; but they must have an Especial Care lest they hurt their Prince, while they Fire and Shoot at him; They must only fight to make him a Glo­rious King. He would surely make a most Pro­found and Notable Expounder of Ezekiel, and I believe his Nurse was little less than a Sibyl; or [Page 17]at least a Mighty Woman at Riddles: But I shall content my self with more plain and fa­miliar things.

Now that Man is a perfect Minor in Under­standing, and under Years of Discretion; that do's not know, that Rebellion is a Dangerous, and Infinitely Encroaching Thing: And, if it be not stifled in its Seed or Principle, it will, when 'tis kindled, bid defyance to all Controul, and run along like an irresistible Burning: And (however some may Mince and Palliate the matter) 'twill be found a Maxim of Eternal Ve­rity, That whosoever gives Power to any to rise up against their Prince, and take the Crown from His Head, gives Licence to others to take his Head from his Shoulders.

I have look't upon this last Assertion of our Author, with more Scorn and Severity than other­wise I should have done, because it carries with it an Ungrateful and Rude Intimation to His present Majesty, and proclaims aloud, what he is to expect upon Non-performance of Articles. 'Tis an Ungenerous, Dastardly, and Creeping In­nuendo to a Valiant and Brave Prince, who is undoubtedly the Greatest Heroe of his Age, and has a Soul large enough to Animate more than Three Kingdoms: And pray God defend both Him and [Page 18]us, from the Raging of ohe Sea, and the Madness of the People; or from the French and Bloody Roman on the one hand, and a Domineering Kirk, and Oliverian Inquisition on the other.

And now, Sir, after all this, I hope you will not think that I am so vain an Animal, as to be enamoured of the Gallows, to court Racks and Wheels, or to be fond of being stuck round with pointed Daggers, and looking like the Man in the Almanack: For I do ingeniously own, that I do naturally shrink at the appre­hension of such a Fate, like other Ordinary Mor­tals: But though I am neither Valiant, nor yet weary of the World; and (having hitherto had but a small Taste of the Pleasures of Sense, in comparison to what an Innocent Man might enjoy) am willing enough to have my Portion and Share in those Limited Pleasures, to which the more Delicate and best Complexion'd Youth are enclin'd; Though I could freely and cheer­fully Aspire here below to enlarge my Know­ledge, satisfie my Inquisitive Fancy, and enter­tain my Curiosity with a new Scene of things; yet am I much more ravisht by Reading, and Reflecting upon the Passive Virtues, and Moral Gallantry of Brave Men in former Ages, that have despis'd the World, and enlighten'd Mankind [Page 19]with their Incomparable Sufferings for the Truth. How do I Adore the Memory of Socrates, of Seneca, and Epictetus, Men who were in the World, but not of it; and who could part with Lives to preserve their Innocence and Vertue? How am I Transported beyond the bounds of Humane Joy, at the History of Ignatius, and the rest of the Inspir'd Martyrs, who by Divine Aid vanquish't Impossibilities; dreaded no Scourges but those of a bad Conscience, and feared no Fire but that which is Everlasting? But, above all the rest, I am Surpriz'd and Amaz'd at the Victorious Perseverance of our Royal Martyr, who at so great a distance from the Times of Primitive Tryal, (and under the greatest Temptations) carried the same Zeal in his Bosom, and Sealed the same Faith with his Blood and Dying Confession.

Such was the Fate, and such the Perseverance of that good Prince; whose Love to all Man­kind, and Ardent Zeal for the Church, made him Experiment the Scorn and Envy of Men here below, and render'd his own Glories more large and diffusive in another World; and I do solemnly profess, I had rather choose to undergo all his Sufferings and Disgraces, joyn'd with his [Page 20]Love and Constancy, than to be rap't up imme­diately amidst a Quire of Angels.

If any poor-spirited Pedant should Object, that while I Attack the Blind side of our Tea­cher, I seem to reflect unhandsomly upon his Lordship; I shall only Answer in short, That I own his Lordship's Knowledge, in many Things, to be much Superiour to my own; but know at the same time, that his Lorship is so Wise, as never to pretend to fill an Infallible Chair, and therefore I shall not fear to declare my Dis­sent from him in Opinion. I do further own, That I have ever been passionately Warm against the Pharisaical Zealots of the Age (our Saviour himself was so) yet never insulted over the meer Infirmities, much less the Misfortunes of any; but have ever lov'd a Sweet-Temper'd and Inge­nuous Dissenter. This Principle in me (Sir) I am sure you must approve of, because it is your own; and because it is so (as well as for other Reasons) I have paid a particular Honour to your Person, ever since my first happy admission to your Friendship; and in you, I am sure, I do at once honour a Resignation becoming a Primitive Hero, and a Learning that adorns the Stile and Character you bear.

I am, &c.

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE Preceding Letter.

HAving hitherto endeavour'd to perswade our Wan­dring Pilgrim, that he is got into By-paths, and out of his way to Jerusalem; I think 'tis my Duty (as I am a Christian and Englishman) to Direct and Conduct him into the Right Road, before I take my leave of him: This I shall Attempt, by informing him how he might have spent some part of his Canonical Hour of Preaching with more Justice and Decorum: Therefore, considering the Villanous occasion of the Solemnity, I humbly conceive he might justly have Entertain'd his Audience after this manner;

Christian Friends and Brethren,

We have seen a Perverse Generation of Men risen up among us, that by the strength of Faith, without Under­standing, will be Holier than Apostles, Wiser than Philoso­phers, and by the meer Pow'r of Imagination will pretend to dictate to the Holy Ghost: They talk much of Christ, yet despise his Ordinances; Nothing but Meekness and Hu­mility [Page 22]is in their Mouths, and yet they will not suffer even God himself, to govern the Church and the World in his own way; and they Esteem it a more Infallible Sign of Grace to rail against Non-Resistance, and other Gospel In­junctions; than to love the Brotherhood, or to Honour the King. Whatsoever is Essentially good, or Praise-worthy, they run down into Heathen Notion and Chimera; and whatsoever is Ridiculous and Bruitish in our Natures, they Conseorate into Zeal. They will be Testy and Malitious, Malapert and Censorious for the Glory of the Lord; they will Backbite, and whine for Jesus Christ's sake; and warp their Counte­nances into Artificial Deformity for the Edification of the Brethren: They will justifie Contradictions, and Self-evi­dent Nonsense by the Assistance of the Spirit; they will be passionately fond and enamour'd of the Lord Christ, while they violate his Laws; and maintain an intimate and close Communion with God, while they Rob Churches, Defile Al­tars, and Assassinate Kings.

Such pretious and Dapper Saints were those, that Re­form'd our Church and Nation heretofore into Prophanation and Ruine; that distinguish't the best of Kings out of his Titles, thrust him out of his Throne, Expos'd his Royal Children to Dangers and Temptations, nay, Religiously sent them a begging into the World: They deceiv'd the Simple with abundance of Holy Phrase, with Chapter, Tone and Verse; with Bibles in their hands, with Hymns and Spiri­tual Songs in their Mouths, and by saying a Long Grace be­fore their Canibal Riots: Nay, so Zealous and Demure, so Sanctified were they amidst their Heathen Barbarities, that, in their own Conceits, they were little less than Gods: They saw the Wickedness of Man was very great, and that every Thought and Imagination of his Heart was evil: And though they could not, in that Age of Miracles, command the Ele­ments, or cause the Waters to overflow; yet they were re­solv'd to punish Mankind another way, and overwhelm [Page 23]Three Kidgdoms with an Inundation of Blood. Hereupon Saint Cromwell, like the Destroying Angel, was Commission'd to punish the Inhabitants of the Land, and obtain'd that High Seat from whence Lucifer fell, by imitating his Apostacy and his Pride: Lying and Murder were Refin'd into the Nicer Arts of Equivocation, and Cutting of Throats in the Spirit of Meekness: Blind Zeal was dubb'd with the Name of Vision and Inspiration; and whole Armies appear'd in Mahomet's Colours for the Defence of Christ. Bind their Kings in Chains, and their Nobles in Fetters of Iron was the Text. A Solemn League and Covenant was the Comment: Re­bellion and Bloodshed, Plunder and Sacriledge, Prophanation, and Atheisme were the Application and Uses.

And what could be the Import and Tendency of these things, but to repeat the Scorn and Crusifixion of our Sa­viour, and to play with that Sacred and Awful Name, at which the Devils tremble? If such Practices as these be the Christian way to Heaven; if a Blind Zeal be the best Light to our Feet, and a Lanthorn to our Paths; if, by being Chri­stians, we must cease to be Men; if Sedition, Slaughter, and causing Divisions be the way to that Peace which passeth all Understanding in the Kingdom of Heaven; may it be my good Fate to pass an Eternity among the Heathen Philoso­phers: 'Twill certainly be more tolerable for Plato, and Cicero, and the rest of the Gallant Morallists, at the last day; than for any such Fal'n and Degenerate Christians: And if that be true, which is said of Aristotle, that he breath'd out his Soul in this Pious Invocation, O Being of Beings, have Mercy upon me! I had rather have my Portion with that Heathen Publican, than with such Christian Pharisees.

When I consider the Infinite Pow'r of Almighty God, and how Terrible he is in his Judgments, together with that Infi­nite distance betwixt God and Man; and observe again with how much Hypocrisie Men can creep into his Presence, or else run away from the Temple where he dwells: I cannot but [Page 24]conclude in the Words of Job, When I consider I am afraid of him. Every Prevaricator is a Conspirator against a Church, and every Scismatical Affectation of Singularity is a Plot against the Constitution of a Government: 'Tis in vain to pretend to stile our selves Sons of the Best Church, while our Principles are the same with those of other Men; or to boast of being Members of a Church Reform'd, without an equal Reformation of our Lives.

Would you know, my Brethren, why I am so severely Zea­lous in a good Cause? I will give you this Reason for it: When Persons and Things Sacred are again Despis'd, Heav'n it self is concern'd; and can any Faithful Minister of Gods Word hover and fluctuate in a Blind Neutrality, when Om­nipotence bears a part of the Calumny? No, silence at such a time becomes an unjustifiable Stupidity, and a Lazy Acqui­escence is little less than a Rebellion against Heav'n. And though Self-preservation should Chide me for it, and Danger seem to beccon me to a forbearance; Though Jesuites and Kirk-men, Anabaptists and Quakers, Sweet-Singers, and Muggletonians; nay, though the Prince of Darkness himself, and the King of Terrors should oppose and stand in my way; yet Honesty shall ever be my Security, and Orthodoxy my Pro­tection.

As for my part, I can no more Digest the Fulsom and Crude Tenets of Milton and Ludloe, together with the Black and Dirty Divinity of our New Mechanick Apostles, than I can the Dreams of a Bridget or Juliana, or the whole Council of Trent: Whatsoever our Churches Fate may prove, I am absolutely bound to it, and if Suffering must be her Lot and Portion, I had rather choose to bear a part in the black Solemnity, than to be Dignified by her Fall: Which the God of Infinite Mercy prevent, &c.

FINIS.

ERRATA,

PAge 14, line 12, for Apothesis, read Apotheosis. page 19, line 5, for with Lives, read with their Lives.

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