NINE CASES OF Conscience: Occasionally Determined BY The late Reverend Father in god, ROBERT SANDERSON Lord Bishop of LINCOLN.

HEB. XI. 4.

He Being Dead, yet speaketh.

LONDON Printed for Henry Brome at the Gun in St Paul's Church Yard 1679.

[Page] NINE CASES OF Conscience: Occasionally Determined BY The late Reverend Father in God, ROBERT SANDERSON Lord Bishop of LINCOLN.

HEB. xi. 4.

He being Dead, yet speaketh.

LONDON: Printed for H. Brome, J. Wright, and C. Wilkin­son, and are to be sold at the Gun at the West-end of S. Pauls, the Crown upon Ludgate-hill, and the Black-boy in Fleet-street. 1678.

A LETTER from a Friend concerning the ensuing CASES.


HAving perused the Papers you sent me, I can safely vouch them for Genuine, and not in the least Spurious, by that resem­blance they wear of their Reverend Author; and therefore you need not fear to bring them to the Public Test, and let them look the Sun in the face.

'Tis true, their first Commission was but short, and long since expired, they being designed only to visit and respectively satisfie some private Friends; yet I cannot see what injury you will offer to his sacred ashes, if, by renewing that, you send them on a little farther Embassie for the common good.

Indeed the least remains of so matchless a Cham­pion, so invincible an Advocate in foro Theo­logico, like the filings and fragments of Gold, ought not to be lost; and pity the world was not worthy many more of his learned Labours.

But—Praestat de Carthagine tacere quam [Page] pauca dicere, far be it from me to pinion the wings of his Fame, with any rude Letters of Commendation; or, by way of precarious Pedan­try, to court any man into a belief of his worth, since that were to attempt Iliads after Homer, and spoil a piece done already to the life by his own Pencil, the works whereof do sufficiently praise him in the gates.

All I aim at is, to commend and promote your pi­ous intention, to give the world security, by making these Papers public, that they shall never hereafter stand in need of any other hand to snatch them out of the first, a doom (you say) once written upon them.

I have no farther trouble to give you, but to thank you for these excellent Pieces of the same Hand and Stamp (as every intelligent Reader will easily dis­cern) with which as an accession to this Edition, yourCare and Piety hath obliged the Publick: Only again let me be speak your vigilance over the Press; which by her dayly teeming and expertness, or (at least) negligence of the Midwife, is wont of late to spoil good births with monstrous deformities, and unpardonable Errata; so you will avoid a double guilt contracted by some without fear or wit, of abu­sing your critical Reader on the one hand, and your most judiciously exact Writer on the other; and (if that may contribute any thing more) very much gratifie the most unworthy of his Admirers.

The Eight Cases Determined.

  • I. Of Marrying with a Recusant 1
  • II. Of Unlawful Love 11
  • III. Of a Military Life 40
  • IV. Of Scandal 75
  • V. Of a Bond taken in the King's Name 82
  • VI. Of the Engagement 88
  • VII. Of a Rash Vow 114
  • VIII. Of the Sabbath 137
  • IX. Of the Liturgy 157


John Hall, R. P. D. Episc. Lond. à Sac. Domestic.

The Case of Marrying with a Recusant.


YOurs of July 2. I yesterday July the 6. received. In Answer to the Contents whereof (de­siring that my Services may withal be most humbly presen­ted to my very much Honoured Lord) I re­turn you what my present thoughts are con­cerning the particulars therein proposed. First, for Marrying a Daughter to a professed Papist (considered in Thesi, and as to the point of Lawfulness only) I am so far from think­ing the thing in it self to be simply, and toto genere, unlawful; that I dare not condemn the Marriage of a Christian with a Pagan (much less with any other Christian, of how different Persuasion soever) as simply evil and unlawful, in as much as there be Causes imaginable, wherein it may seem not only lawful, but expedient also, and (as the exi­gence of Circumstances may be supposed) [Page 2] little less then necessary so to inter-marry. But since things lawful in the General, and in Thesi, may become (by reason of their in­expediency) unlawful pro hic & nunc, and in Hypothesi to particular persons; and that the expediency or inexpediency of any acti­on to be done, is to measured by the wor­thiness of the end, the conjuncture of pre­sent Circumstances, and the probability of good or evil consequents and effects, pru­dentially laid together, and weighed one against another. I conceive it altogether unsafe for a Conscientious person (especial­ly in a business of so great concernment, as the Marrying of a Child) to proceed upon the General Lawfulness of the thing, with­out due consideration of circumstances, and other requisites for the warranting of par­ticular Actions. Now, as for the Marriage of a daughter with one of so different Per­suasion (in point of Religion) as that they cannot joyn together in the same way of God's Worship, which is the case of a Pro­testant and a Papist, it is very rare to find such a concurrence of Circumstances, as that a man can thence be clearly satisfied in his Judgment (without just cause of doubt­ing the contrary) that it can be expedient to [Page 3] conclude upon such a Marriage; and how dangerous a thing it is to do any thing with a doubting Conscience, we may learn from Rom. 14. 13. For the evil consequents pro­bably to ensue upon such Marriages, are so many and great, that the conveniences which men may promise to themselves from the same (if they should answer expectati­on, as seldom they do to the full) laid in an equal ballance there-against, would not turn the scale; and in one respect the dan­ger is greater to marry with a Papist, than with one of a worse Religion; for that the main Principle of his Religion, (as a Papist) is more destructive of the comfort of a Con­jugal Society, than are the Principles of most Hereticks; yea, than those of Pagans, or Atheists; for holding that there is no Sal­vability but in the Church; and that none is in the Church, but such as acknowledge Subjection to the See of Rome; it is not possi­ble, but that the Husband must needs con­clude his Wife to be in the state of Damna­tion, so long as she continueth Protestant: whence one of these two great inconveni­ences will unavoidably follow; that either he will use all endeavours, engins, and arti­fices, to draw her to the Church of Rome, [Page 4] (as indeed who can blame him to bring his Wife into a capacity of everlasting Sal­vation?) the restless importunity whereof (together with the ill advantages they of that party can make from the sad Confusi­ons that are amongst us in these times) it will be very hard for one of the weaker sex perpetually to resist; or else in case she stand firm in her Religion against all As­saults and Attempts to the contrary, what­soever he may be towards her in outward carriage, he cannot but in his inmost thoughts, pass judgment upon her, as an obstinate and desperate Heretick, and (so living and dying) an accursed and damned Creature. These are sad things both; and it is not conceivable how a Woman so matched should live with any comfort, or ever hope to see a good day, wherein she shall not either be tempted from her Reli­gion, or censured for it; what assurance can she have of his good affections towards her, who is bound not to permit any better opi­nion of her, than of a Reprobate and Cast­away? Is it possible there may be so much good nature in the Husband, as to take off somewhat from that rigidness, which o­therwise the Principles of his Religion [Page 5] would bind him to, or so much discretion, sweetness, and obligingness in the Wives demeanor towards him, as to preserve a good measure of Conjugal Affection be­tween them, notwithstanding their diffe­rent Persuasions: This I say, is possible; and where it happeneth so to be, it rendreth the condition of the Parties so much the less uncomfortable; and that is the utmost of the happiness that is to be hoped for from such Marriages: and I think there cannot be produced many examples thereof; yet even there, there cannot be that cordial Af­fection, and fulness of Complacency (where­in yet the chiefest happiness of Conjugal Society consisteth) that would be, if the same Parties (supposed to be of the same Qualifications otherwise) were also of the same Religion. I omit other oeconomical differences, that may, and very frequently do (occasionally) arise, betwixt Husband and Wife from this difference in Religion, as concerning the entertainment of Friends, the choice of Servants, the education of Children (very considerable things all) be­sides sundry other perhaps of less moment; yet such as are apt to breed Discontents and Jealousies, and sometimes break out [Page 6] into great Distempers in the Family: Such Marriages thereof I should utterly dis­suade; especially in the Nobility, Gentry, and Commonalty, where there is choice enough otherwise to be had of Persons of equal Degree, Estate, and Education of the same Religion to match withal: Kings and Pri­ces for reasons of State, and because there is little choice of Persons of equal Dig­nity with themselves, are therefore often­times by a kind of necessity, put upon such Marriages; yet even there, where they are certainly the most excusable, it hath been observed, that such Marriages have proved for the most part unfortunate.

The other Particular proposed in your Letter, is concerning the Marriage of a Daughter to one that professeth the Protestant Religion, but having had Popish Parents, may be suspected (though he deny it) to be that way inclined. The resolution whereof (as of most other Cases, and Practical Questions) will depend very much upon the conside­ration of Circumstances, whereunto being altogether a stranger, I am less able to give Judgment in the Case with any certain­ty; only in order to the resolution of the question, these (to my understanding) seem [Page 7] to be the most proper and important En­quiries.

First, whether the Parents of the young Person be living or no, one or both? if both be dead, the Temptations from them (which in such Cases are wont to prevail very much) are by their Death clearly superseded; and then the danger is by so much less: but if either be living, there can be little security of the Sons continuance in the Protestants Be­lief, (notwithstanding his present Professi­on thereof) when he shall be assaulted with the whole Authority of them, to whom he oweth Reverence.

Secondly, with what degree of Confidence, and with what kind of asseverations he pro­fesseth the one, and denieth the other Religion; for although they out of design put on a counterfeit vizor, use all the art they can to dissemble it; yet very seldom can it be done so cunningly, warily, and constantly, but that at some time or other, the dissimulation will unawares bewray it self to the eye of a curious observer.

Thirdly, what measure of understanding the young Person (who is, you say, of great Abilities for his Age) hath in the Fundamen­tal Articles of the Christian Religion; those I [Page 8] mean, wherein the English and Romish Chur­ches are at agreement, for in those the substance of Christianity consisteth; he that rightly un­derstands those Catholick Truths taught in the Catechisms of both Churches, and con­cerning which all Christendom (in a manner) are at perfect accord; and then will but suf­fer himself to consider, that the Church of England doth not impose upon the judgments and consciences of her Members, any thing to be believed, or received, as of necessity to Salvation, than what is truly Catholick, and by her Adversaries confessed so to be; and consequently, that the difference betwixt her and the Romish Party, is wholly about those Additionals or Superstructures, which they of the Roman Faith require to be believed, and received with like necessity as the former; but appear to us of this Church respectively, either evidently false, or of doubtful truth, or not of absolute necessity to be believed: I say, who­soever well considereth this, may rest satis­fied in his judgment and conscience, that the Faith taught and professed in the Church of England, is a plain and safe way to lead a Christian Believer to Eternal Salvation, if he withal lend his life and conversation an­swerable thereunto.

[Page 9] To the last particular in your Letter, all the return I have to make, is no more but an humble acknowledgement and sense of his Lordships noble favors towards me, in entertaining an opinion of me more suita­ble to his own goodness and ingenuity, than to my merit: I know not, nor desire to know of any occasions likely to draw me into those parts so distant from me (being grown into years, and infirmities, that ren­der me very unfit for long Journeys) unless the business of my Sons Marriage, which oc­casion'd my late Journey to London, require a second thither in Michaelmas Term. But I am so sensible both of the trouble and charge of such Journeys (besides some in­conveniences to my affairs at home, whilst I am long absent) that I will avoid it, unless there be no other remedy. I shall not wil­lingly decline any employment (within my low and narrow sphere, both of outward condition and parts) wherein my service may be any ways useful, or but acceptable, to that noble and excellent Person: but truly Sir, I conceive there will be little need of my further endeavours, as to that particular ex­pressed in yours, whether what I have writ­ten now, give satisfaction, or not; there are [Page 10] persons nearer hand, whom I know to be much fitter for an employment of that nature, than my self, who have ever studied Peace more than Controversies; and namely, one at the next door to Hatton-House, whose sufficiecny and readiness in that kind is well known to Mr. Geoffery Palmer. Sir, I wish you Happiness, desire your Prayers, and rest,

Your Faithful and Humble Servant,


TWO Gentlemen who were very good Friends, and both of them Married, used [...]o converse together familiarly; one of these [...]ook a special liking in the company and conver­ [...]ation of the others Wife, and she answerably in is; which afterwards proceeded to some degree [...]f Love, which, though ever restrained, and reserved without any violation of Chastity, [...]rew yet in the end to this issue, that they mu­ [...]ually vowed either to other; that if happily [...]ther of them should at any time be freed from [...]he Bond of Matrimony (either be by the death [...]f his Wife, or she by the death of her Husband) [...]at party so freed should continue afterwards [...]nmarried, and stay for the other, till the other [...]ould be freed also, though it were during life: [...]ow so it is, that the Gentlewomans Husband [...]ed, and her affections and resolution so alter­ [...]d, that gladly she would Marry, if she might released of the Engagement of that Vow; or [...]rsuaded of the unlawfulness or nullity there-

[Page 12] Concerning the present Case, as it is pro­pounded, sundry Points are needful to be resolved, that so we give a right judgment de praeterito, of what is already done for the time past, in respect of the Gentlewoman former promise, and sound direction also d [...] suturo, what is further to be done for the time to come, in respect of her present di­stresses.

Point I.

Sect. 1. First of all, It is considerable whether the Promise made by the Gentle woman and her friend, were properly a Vo [...] or no? so it is called in the proposal of th [...] present Case, and that agreeable to the com­mon use of speech with us here in England who extend the word [Vow] very far; nei­ther shall I make scruple in the ensuing Dis­course, sometimes to call it so; for Loquen­dum ut Vulgus. But to speak properly, a Vo [...] is a word of a narrower extent than a Pr [...] ­mise, every Vow being indeed a Promise, bu [...] not every Promise necessaril [...] a Vow. Votum soli Deo fit, sed Promissio po­test fieri etiam Ho­mini. Aquit, 2. 2. q. 88. 5. ad 3. Promises may b [...] made indifferently, either t [...] God, or Men; but Promise made to Men are no Vow [...] [Page 13] wherefore it is usually inserted into the de­finition of a Vow, as a condi­tion Promissio Deo facta est essentia voti. Ibid. essentially requisite thereunto, that it be made un­to God alone, insomuch as to make a Vow to any Creature, is interpreta­tive to exalt the Creature into the place of God, and so to make it an Idol, which is clear, not only from the Psal. 76. 11. express Precept of God, and the constant Num. 21. 2. Judg. 11. 30. 1 Sam. 11. 25. examples of godly men, and the usual Judg. 11. 36. Psal. 56. 11. phrases of the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures; but also from the universal consent of all learned men, both Divines and others, and even of Sponsio quâ ob­ligamur Deo. Cic. 2. Leg. Heathens also: This Gentlewomans promise then being made to the Gen­tleman her Friend alone, as was his also to her, and neither of both to God, is there­fore to be taken for a meer Promise, but no Vow.

Sect. 2. If for more consirmation thereof, she bound her self also by Oath, as it is not unlike, yet it is no more for all that but a meer Promise still, and not a Vow; for albeit the very using of an Oath be a calling in of [Page 14] God into a business, and the person that ta­keth an Oath doth thereby set himself in the presence of God; yet an Oath calleth him in only to be Jurare nihll est aliud quàm Deum Testem invocare. Aq. 2. 2. qu. 89. 1. ex Aug. de ver. Apost. Serm. R. 28. quod affirmas, si Deo Te­ste promiseris, id te­nendum est, Cic. 3. de offic. a witness, without any intent to make him a party to the business, whereas in a Vow he is made a party, and not on­ly a witness; whereunto a­gree those forms so frequent in holy Scripture, in Oaths both assertory, and stipula­tory; Gen. 31. 50. Judges 11. 10. Mal. 2. 14. The Lord be wit­ness between us: Rom. 1. 9. 1 Thes. 1. 5. God is my witness: 1 Cor. 1. 23. Phil. 1. 28. I take God to Record, and the like: for even as when a promise is made unto God, whereunto for the more solemnity, the pre­sence of some men is required as witnesses, such a Promise is to be held for a Vow, be­cause it is made to God alone, although in the presence of Men: So on the other side, when a Promise is made unto some Man, whereunto for the more assurance, the presence of God is required as a witness, such a Pro­mise is not to be held for a Vow, because it is made unto Man alone, although in the pre­sence of God.

[Page 15] Sect. 3. Nay further, if the Gentlewo­man when she thus engaged her self, did use these very words [I VOW TO GOD] or words to that effect, as we know is often done in solemn Promises between man and man; yet neither is that sufficient to make it properly a Vow; for to judge rightly when question is made concerning any particular promise, whether it be a Vow yea or no; we are not to be guided so much by the forms of speech, (which are subject to change, im­propriety, and many defects) as by the true intention and purpose of the parties, especi­ally the Promiser. Now what was the whole intent and purpose of these Parties, when they mutually bound themselves in such sort, as in the Case propounded is laid down, no rea­sonable man can be ignorant; even this and no other, to give as good assurance as they could devise, either to other, and to receive the like assurance again, that the thing by them agreed on, and promised, should be faithfully performed; and if either Oaths or Protestations were also used by way of Confir­mation, they are all in common intendment to be taken as tending to the self-same purpose, without looking at any further thing; and clearly where the Promiser hath no inten­tention [Page 16] to bind himself to God, but to Man only, the Promise so made is no Vow, what­soever formality of words may be used in the making of it.

Sect. 4. Neither is the examination of this Point a curiosity either in it self fruitless, or impertinent to the Case in hand; for albeit, in that which seemeth to be the very main point of all, viz. the power of binding the Con­science, there be no material difference be­tween a Vow, and an ordinary Promise; a law­ful Promise no less binding unto performance, than a lawful Vow; and an unlawful Vow no more binding than an unlawful Promise: yet there is some difference between them, and that of some importance too, in respect of the relaxation of that Bond; for since it belong­eth to him to whom a bond is made to grant a release thereof: It belongeth therefore to God alone to release the obligation of a Vow; and no man hath power so to do, because the Vower by his Vow, bindeth himself to God, not to Man; whereas the obligation of a meer Promise, wherein the Promiser bind­eth himself but to some Man, may be re­leased by that Man; and a release from him is to the conscience of the Promiser a sufficient discharge from the said obligation: which [Page 17] Consideration of what use it will be in the present Case, will in the due place further appear. In the mean time we have evidently proved, that this Gentlewoman bound her self by Promise only, and not by Vow.

Point II.

Sect. 5. We are next to enquire con­cerning the validity thereof, whether or no the Gentle­woman [...]. Rom. 7. 2. having an Hus­band at that time, were so disabled in that re­spect from making such a promise, that the promise then made by her, without the Hus­bands consent, was utterly void from the very beginning: For the Wife is under Rom. 7. 2. the Law, and 1 Cor. 7. 4. under the power of her Husband, and so is not sui juris, nor can bind her self by Vow, Oath, Promise, or otherwise, without the privity and consent of her Husband; which consent we may presume this Gen­tlewoman never had, the promise being of that nature, that it had been not only immo­desty, but even madness at all to have sought it. And it is certain from the. Num. 30. 3. Law of God, by Moses (to the [Page 18] equity whereof Christians are still bound, be cause it's founded upon right Reason, and the light of Nature) that every Vow and Promise made by a person that of right hath not power to make it, is de jure nullum, altogether void from the first instant, and bindeth the Party no more than if it never had been made.

Sect. 6. If any Scruple shall arise from this Consideration, that albeit the promise made by the Wife in her Husbands life-time, bind her, not without his consent, so long as he liveth, because she is all that while under his power; yet after that she is loosed from the law of her Husband, by his death, it shall thenceforth bind her, because she then becometh sui juris: I say, this maketh no difference at all in the Case; for this is a general Rule, that what Quod initio vitio­sum est, non potest tractu temporis convalescere, L. 29. F. de Reg. ju. Div. act so­ever had a nullity in it at the first, when it was done, can­not by any succeeding tract of time grow to be of force. As if a young Scholar shall be instituted to a Benefice, being not of lawful years; or a young Heir make a sale of his Lands during minority, the insti­tution and the sale, as they were both void at the beginning, so they shall continue void, [Page 19] as well after the Clark is of lawful years, and the Heir at full age, as before; so that to judge of the validity of any Vow, Promise, or Covenant, respect must be had to In stipulationibus id tempus spectatur quo contra­hi [...]us. I., 18. F. eodem. that very time wherein it was made, and to the present condition of the person at that time, and not to any time or condition before or after: If then there were indeed a nullity in this Gen­tlewomans Vom, at the time when she made it, there is a nullity in it still; and if it were indeed of no force to bind her then, neither is it of any force to bind her now.

Sect. 7. But after due pondring of the matter, I rather think, that there was not a nullity in the promise at the first, neither (sup­posing it had been rightly qualified in other respects) was it void upon this ground; be­cause although she were not sui juris absolute, it is sufficient yet, that she was so quantum ad hoc. For a person that is under the power of snother, hath yet power of himself (and so is sui juris) to dispose of all such things, as by the free disposal whereof, the proper right of him, under whose power he is, is no way pre­judiced; but in whatsoever may be prejudi­cial to the other in any of his Rights, he is [Page 20] juris alieni: neither may dispose thereof with­out the others consent; and if such a person shall make a Vow, or other Promise concern­ing any of those things wherein he is sui ju­ris, such vow or promise shall stand good, and is not void (though possibly it may be vitious in other respects) from the inability of the person that maketh it: As for example, if a Servant shall promise to his own Father, to work with him a day or two in Harvest, this promise, unless his Master consent thereunto, shall be void, because the Master hath a right in the Servants work, to which right it would be prejudicial, if the Servant should dispose thereof after his own pleasure; but if such a Servant shall promise unto his needy Father to relieve him from time to time with a third or fourth part of all such wages as he shall re­ceive for his service, this promise shall be good of it self; neither shall the Masters con­sent be requisite to make it so, because the Master hath no right at all in the Servants wages; wherein to be prejudiced by the Ser­vants disposing thereof according to his own mind: Now, forasmuch as the Husbands right and power over the Wife ceaseth to­gether with his life, (as the Apo­stle Rom. 7. 23. expresly teacheth) and [Page 21] so cannot be prejudiced by any act of the Wife done after his Decease; It is manifest that the Wife is sui juris to make a vow or pro­mise during her Husbands life-time, concern­ing something to be done after his decease, in case she over-live him, because his right will be expired before the performance of the said vow or promise be due; as to give instance in a Case not much unlike to this in que­stion: A Wife estated upon her Marriage in a Joynture or Annuity for her life of an 100 l. per Annum, maketh a promise in her Husbands life-time to one of her younger Brothers, that hath but short Means to allow him thence, forward out of the said Estate, 10 l. yearly toward his better Maintenance; this pro­mise is void unless the Husband consent, because the performance thereof would prejudice him in that right which he hath during his own life in the Revenue of all the Lands and Annuities estated upon the Wife in Rever­sion; but if such a Wife shall promise to her said Brother to allow him the said year­ly sum of 10 l. after the decease of her Hus­band in case she survive him, this promise is good, though made by the Wife in her Husbands life-time, and without his con­sent, because the Husbands right, (being [Page 22] to cease before the Promise is to be perfor­med) cannot be prejudiced by the perfor­mance thereof: And this I find agreeable to the best Casuists, whose per­emptory opinion it is, that Vota uxorum vel servorum exe­quenda illo tempore quo fuerint sui juris, mariti vel domini non possunt irritare. Nav. Man. Num. 65. & alios. Husbands and Masters can­not disannul such Vows as their Wives and Servants make con­cerning things to be performed at such times as they shall be from under their power. Which position, if it be true (and I yet see no reason why it should not) then doubtless this Gentlewomans Vow made to her Friend, though in the life­time, and without the consent of her Hus­band, was not originally void from the inabi­lity to make it, upon this respect, that she was not sui juris so to do.

Point III.

Sect. 8. But though I dare not say, nei­ther do I think that there was a nullity in it, in respect of the person, to make it void that way; yet it cannot be denied, but there was much obliquity in it, in respect of the matter, to make it otherwise utterly unlaw­ful: in which Point much need not be said, [Page 23] because the truth thereof will soon appear; for there was in it manifestly a threefold ob­liquity, and thereby also a breach of three se­veral Commandments. The first obliquity was in respect of the unlawful affection from which it proceeded; which being placed upon another than the Husband, and that in such an high degree, as to produce a promise of this kind, must needs be viti­ous, both for the object, and for the measure, and such inordinate affection by the Analogy of our Saviours Mat. 5. 28. expression of the Law, is a viola­lation of the Chastity of the heart, and so a breach of the Seventh Commandment. The second obliquity was, the want of that true Conjugal love which ought to be be­tween Husband and Wife, who ought to have a mutual Prov. 5. 18. Eccles. 9. 9. complacen­cy and delight the one in the other, and to be Prov. 5. 19. satisfied at all times with the Love, Comfort, and society the one of the other; which Love, if it had been so throughly rooted and seated in the Gentlewomans heart, as it ought have been, would have crushed all motions of unlawful affection to­wards a Stranger, in the shell, long before [Page 24] they could grow to such strong Resolutions, as by the making of this Vow it appeareth they did; for it is not to be imagined that such a Vow as this could be made, and real­ly intended to be performed, but we must needs suppose in the parties so vowing, a kind of weariness at the least, if not rather some in ward loathing of the present Yoak; which being contrary to that honour that married persons owe to their yoak-fellows, is so a breach of the Fifth Commandment: A third obliquity there was also as a breach of the Tenth Commandment, against those express words [Thou shalt not covet thy Neigh­bours Wife] every Man and Woman being to content themselves with that lot, which, by Gods Providence hath befallen them, as in all other things, so especially in that which is of the greatest weight, the lot of Marriage, without coveting or lusting af­ter that which it hath pleased the Wisdom of God already to dispose upon another; this Gentlewomans promise then being such, as (if it should be brought to an im­partial Trial before that Tribunal which God hath erected in every ones Conscience, and according to the tenor of that Divine Law, whereof no Christian should be igno­rant) [Page 25] could not be reasonably acquitted from any one of these sinful Obliquities, but not possibly from them all, we may conclude to have been an Act utterly unlawful.

Point IV.

Sect. 9. But because a man may contract an Obligation by an act not free from Obliqui­ty, as the saying in such Cases is [Fieri non debet, factum valet,] and we have a Ruled case for it in the Covenant, which the Prin­ces of Israel made with the Gi­beonites, which though Josh 9. 14, &c. sinfully made at the first, was Ibid. ver. 19. 2 Sam. 21. 1, [...]. necessarily to be kept after­wards: We are therefore to enquire into a Fourth Point, Whether the Gentlewoman having de facto bound her self by such an un­lawful promise, be still by virtue of the said promise, bound in Conscience to the performance thereof, or not? To answer directly to the Point, I take it, she is not bound thereunto; for that saying [Fieri non debet, factum valet] hath place only there, where the obliquity that maketh the act un­lawful, may be severed from the sub­stance of the matter, about which the act [Page 26] is conversant; as when a man voweth to do something, which is not in it self, and for the substance of the matter simp­ly unlawful to be done; but yet voweth it, either rashly, and with due advertise­ment, or for some indirect and unwar­rantable end, or upon slight and insuffici­ent inducements, or the like, any of these Obliquities are enough to make the vow un­lawful, in respect of the act of vowing: yet because these Obliquities do not necessarily pass upon the matter it self, or the thing vowed, but may be severed from it; there­fore, though the act of vowing were sinful, the Vow it self for all that may stand good, and bind the Party to performance; but where the sinful obliquity passeth upon the substance of the matter, or adhereth inse­parably thereunto; there not only the act of vowing is sinful, but the performance al­so becometh unlawful: In which Cases those other sayings ought rather to have place, Juramentum non debet esse vinculum iniquitatis, in malis promissis rescinde fidem, in turpi voto muta decretum, &c.

Sect. 10. If it shall be said, that this difference being admitted, will nothing avail the Gentlewoman in our present Case, [Page 27] to free her from the obligation of her said promise; because here the matter of promise seemeth not to be in it self unlawful, espe­cially on her part; for if the Gentleman her Friend, were presently free from the Bond of Matrimony by the death of his Wife, as the Gentlewoman now is by the death of her Husband, they might perform what they had promised either to other, by joyning themselves in Matrimony, and that without sin, which is an argument that the sinful obliquity was only in the act of promi­sing; which therefore they ought to repent of: but doth not cleave to the matter of the promise, which therefore they ought not to violate. To this I answer, what in my opi­nion is true, That if both the Parties were now actually free from the Marriage bond, they not only lawfully might, but were in Conscience bound (unless some other law­ful impediment should hinder) to joyn themselves together in Matrimony, because none of the fore-mentioned Obliquities, which made the former act of promising unlawful, would fall upon the after act of Marriage to make it unlawful. But that Allegation is not direct to the Point in hand, nor to the Case as it is propounded; for it [Page 28] may be observed from the very form of the proposal, that the matter of the promise, wherein the Parties interchangeably bound themselves, was not to Marry together, when they should be both free; upon which false ground the Objection runneth; that was indeed the thing they aimed at therein; but the end is one thing, and the matter another: but the very matter of the promise was, the continuance of their mutual affection either to other, with a resolution to stay the one for the other, when either Party should happen to be free from the bond of the present Matri­mony, till the other should be also free. The continuance of which affection and re­solution, will upon examination be found subject to all, or some of the three Obliqui­ties aforesaid; and therefore as such an af­fection and resolution, could not be enter­tained at the first without sin; so neither can they be now continued in without sin; for so long as they continue, the first of the said Obliquities remaineth still, both on his part and hers; the second indeed by the death of the Husband is ceased on her part, but remaineth still on his, and the third contrarily being on his part ceased, remain­eth [Page 29] still on hers, as will evidently appear to the understanding of any man that shall take the pains to examine it.

Sect. 11. Yea, and it is further to be con­sidered, that the continuance of such an affection and resolution may be likely to ex­pose as well the one as the other to the as­sault of more strong and dangerous temp­tations, now since the Husbands death, than before. The danger on the Gentlemans part, this, lest by how much he is now by the Husbands death, put into a nearer possibili­ty of enjoying his unlawful hopes, he should grow into so much the deeper loathing of his own bed, and so much the earnester long­ing that, that which is now the only obstacle to the fruition of his desires were removed; of which thoughts, who can tell how fearful the issues might be? The sly Enemy being most ready at all times to practise upon the corruption that is in the naughty heart of Man; but especially having a mighty advantage against him, when he hath got his conscien [...]e as it were in a snare, by the engagement of some vow, promise or settled resolution. And then on the Gentlewomans part, the danger this, lest having by her own voluntary act debarr'd her self of that which is the only [Page 30] allowed remedy, namely Marriage; she should by the just judgment of God, be left to the rage of the Disease of burning Lusts: for upon what sound warrant can she be consident, or with what reason expect, that God should either preserve her from, or assist her against temptations in that kind, though she should seek it of him with Fast­ing, and Prayers, and Tears, so long as she tempteth Him by persisting in a wilful obsti­nacy against that means of Remedy which He hath appointed? Indeed, where the Hand of God himself hath prevented the use of the Remedy, (as if the Husband should be long detained in a forein Land, or held in close Prison, or taken with a dead palsie, or some other bodily impotence, or the like) there the Wise might comforta­bly implore God's assistance to preserve her from being overcome by carnal temptati­ons, and assuredy rest upon it by Faith, if she be not wanting to her self, in putting to her own utmost endeavours, because she hath a Promise to rest upon for that pur­pose; and God who is faithful in all his Promises, is also faithful in this, of not suf­fering his Servants to be tempted beyond their strength: but for the Wise, by some incon­siderate [Page 31] act of her own, wherein she wilfnl­ly and obstinately persisteth to refuse the appointed means, and yet to expect God's assistance nevertheless, for which she hath no Promise, is a fearful tempting of God; and it is but a just thing with God, and she suffereth it worthily for her presamption, if she be left to her self, and so wrestle with the temptation by her own strength, and so be overcome thereby: For God, who hath af­tera sort tied himself by his free and gra­cious Promise, to protect us in Via Regia, so long as we walk in the ordinary known way that he hath appointed for us, hath no where bound himself to vouchsafe us the like powerful protection extra via Regiam, if we refuse that high-way, to walk in by-paths of our own choosing; which present dan­gers on both sides, and the former reasons laid together, do sufficiently prove, the Gentlewoman is not at all bound to per­form her said unlawful Promise.

Point V.

Sect. 12. Hitherto we have proceeded in genere judiciali, by considering of the nature and validity, lawfulness and obligation of the [Page 32] Promise for the time past. Now we are to deal in genere deliberativo, and to consider what in Christian Wisdom is meetest to be far­ther done, for the better both quieting and regulating of the Conscience for the time to come; wherein submitting to Men of better judgments, and experience, I give my advice as followeth, viz.

First, That the Gentlewoman out of the serious consideration of the Premises, be brought to a through feeling of the grie­vousness of those sins which she hath com­mitted against God, and wherein she hath so long continued, that so she may not only be humbled in his sight with true contriti­on of heart, and remorse for the same, pro­portionably to the greatness thereof; but also be provoked to a proportionable mea­sure of thankfulness unto him, for his gra­cious goodness in restraining her unlawful affections from breaking out into actual un­cleanness, and preserving her when she had run out so far in an evil way, from rushing into more desperate Extremities; for Er­ranti nullus terminus: as a stone that tumb­leth down a steep hill, so mans corruption, when it is once set on going, hath no stay of it self till it come to the bottom of Hell, un­less [Page 33] the Lord lay a stop in the way: and it is to be acknowledged a blessed act of God's merciful Providence, when we have let loose the reins to our own lusts in any kind, if they be bridled from running headlong into all excess of wickedness; great sins require more than ordinary Repentance, and great mercies more than ordinary Thankfulness.

Sect. 13. Secondly, That having thus hum­bled her self before God by inward Contri­tion, she also make an outward free Confes­sion of her said sins, to him to whom God hath delegated a Ministerial Power to remit sins, that she may receive Comfort and Ab­solution from his Mouth; I mean the Priest: and this I think meetest to be done to the Bishop of the Diocess, with one or more of his Presbytery, such as he shall think good to take to him to assist him; or else to some other by his appointment; Because the Bishop is the chief Pastor, to whom the care of Souls most immediately belongeth, within his own Diocess: besides that both the quality the of person, (if she be of emi­nent Place, and Rank) and the weightiness of the case, make it so much the more pro­per for his cognisance: But howsoever it [Page 34] should be done to a Man of approved wis­dom, and such an one as will be both com­passionate and secret, wherein the more freely she shall make confession of her said sins, and the more chearfully she shall sub­ject her self to perform such further Acts, whether of Humiliation or Charity, as the Bi­shop or Priest shall advise to be done, in testi­mony of her unfeigned Repentance, the more sound comfort undoubtedly will the sen­tence of Absolution bring unto the soul.

Sect. 14. This done, then thirdly, that she endeavour by all fair means, that the Gen­tleman also her friend and partner, in the aforesaid Promise, may be brought to the like sight and acknowledgment of the great sins that were enwrapped in that act, and to a true persuasion withal, that so long as he continueth in the former unlawful affection and resolution, he is not only still under the guilt of those sins, but also in near danger (without God's great mercy preventing it) of falling into other and greater sins, for which purpose it will be expedient, that he be truly and effectually dealt withal, (yet with as much lenity as the state of his Soul will suffer, and with all possible secresie) and that by some such person especially as he [Page 35] holdeth a reverend Opinion of both for Learning and Piety; and to procure that this be done, the Gentlewoman ought to take it into her own special care; which it will concern her to do, not only in Christian Charity for the good of his Soul, but in Christian Wisdom also for her own future be­nesit and security.

Sect. 15. For when he shall be once throughly convinced in his judgment and conscience of the unlawfulness of the Pro­mise made between them, and of the sinful inconveniences that attend the continued pur­pose of fulfilling it, there is a fair way open for that which is next and fourthly to be done, viz That he be then earnestly moved for his Relaxation of the said Promise to the Gentlewoman, which (being it was but a meer Promise, and no Vow, as in the first Point hath already been shewed) he hath in him­self a full power to make, and this also to be done in the presence of such Persons, as they shall make choice of betwixt themselves to be witnesses of the said Release; for although the Promise being utterly unlawful, hath no power to bind, and so there needeth no Re­lease, as of absolute necessity, in regard of the thing it self; yet such Release may be [Page 36] very behoveful in regard of the Gentlewo­mans person, and for the quieting of her conscience, in case there should remain any fears or scruples behind, lest perhaps her promise should still bind her; for as Satan la­boureth to benum the Conscience with security, to make men bold to commit sins without scruple, till he hath drawn them into the snare; so when he seeth them offer to get out of the snare again by Repentance, he is very cunning to inject needless soruples and fears, if possibly he can, to hold them in by means thereof; wherefore I hold it very expedient, that such a Release, if it may be obtained, be not neglected; for thereby the binding power of the Promise, though we should suppose it lawful, should be quite taken away, so as there need no scruple to remain: Abundans Cautela non nocet, is a safe Aphorism; as wary men when they pay mo­neys, besides seeing the Book crost, will crave to have an Acquittance: So it may be some satisfaction to the Gentlewomans mind, to have a solemn Release before witness, which say it should be more than needeth, yet can do no harm howsoever.

Sect. 16. Fifthly, that the Gentlewoman all the while before, and so ever after (that [Page 37] time only excepted, when the Relaxation should be made, for then it is requisite she should be personally present) carefully avoid the company of that Gentleman, and he like wise hers, so far as conveniently may be; but at leastwise, by no means converse toge­ther with any familiarity, especially in pri­vate; lest the former unlawful affection should rekindle in either Party, and so the disease after some measure of Cure grow to a re­laps, which many times proves more dan­gerous than the first malady; for commonly when the unclean spirit is ejected by Repen­tance, if once he make himself master of the heart again (as he will attempt it, and without a good watch haply effect it) he will be sure at the re-entry, to come with a new strength, and that seven-fold to what he had before, and needs must the end of that man be worse then the beginning: she must therefore resolve to shun all likely occasions of falling again into the same snare, so far as the quality of her person and condition, and the common affairs of life will permit: And she had need also to use her best care and diligence (praying to God daily for Grace to strengthen her thereunto) to with­stand all wicked temptations of the flesh, that [Page 38] she be no more foiled thereby, neither en­tangled again in such sinful inconveniences, as by God's Mercy she shall be now freed from.

Sect. 17. If in these Directions, I be thought to deal with too much rigour and strictness, it would be considered:

First, That it's much better to put the Patient to a little more pain at the first, than by skinning the wound over, to heal it de­ceitfully; and to suffer it to rankle inward; which will breed a great deal more grief at last.

Secondly, That since all men (through cor­rupt self love, and privy Hypocrisie, cleaving to our depraved nature) are partial towards themselves, and apt to deal more favourably with their own sins, than they ought; it is therefore safest for them (in their own Cases especially) to incline to severity rather than indulgence.

Thirdly, That there may be a mitigation used of the present Directions, according as the state of the Patient (in the several va­riations thereof) shall require; but that (for the avoiding of partiality) not to be per­mitted to the sole liberty of the party herself, but rather to be done by the advice of a [Page 39] Ghostly Physician, who, if he be a man of such wisdom and moderation as is meet, will I doubt not allow a greater indulgence in case he see it expedient, than it could be safe for the Party her self to take of her own head.

Fourthly, That in all this Discourse, I take not upon me to write Edicts, but to give my advice, that is to say, not to pre­scribe to the judgment of others, if any shall see cause to dissent, but to deliver my own opinion (being requested thereunto by a Re­verend Friend) with such a faithfulness and freedom as becometh me to do; and truly those Parties whom it most concerneth, ought not to blame me for it how soever; in­asmuch as there can be no cause to suspect that I should be carried with any personal re­spects to be partial either for or against either of them; so God is my witness, whom I desire to serve, I had not any intimation at all given me, neither yet have so much as the least conjecture in the World, who ei­ther of them both might be.



IN referring over your friend to me, you have pitched upon one of the unfittest persons in the World, to be consulted in ca­ses of that nature, who am altogether a stranger to the Publick Affairs of Christen­dom, and understand nothing at all of the mutual Interests, Relations, or Transactions of Forein Princes or States; yea, so little curious have I been to inform my self, so much as where the Stages lay of the chiefest Actions of these latter times abroad, or what persons were engaged therein; that I have something pleased my self (perhaps too much) with my own ignorance in our home Af­fairs, accounting it among the happinesses of my privacy and retiredness, in these unhappy times; that amidst so much fury and blood­shed on every side, it was never my hap to be within the view of any Battle or Skirmish; nor did I ever see so much as a Pistol dis­charged, or a Sword drawn against any single [Page 41] person, since the beginning of the War. I could have wished therefore, since my opi­nion herein is desired, that I had had the op­portunity to have advised with some more knowing Men, & of greater experience and judgment than my self in these matters; or at least, that you had sent me, together with the two inclosed Letters, a transcript of your Answer (whose judgment I do with great reason very much value) unto the former of them; for there I assure my self, I should have met with such Materials as would have served me for a good foundation to work up­on; yet to satisfie your desire, so far as in me lieth, and the rather for the Gentlemans sake your friend, (who though unknown to me by face, or till the receipt of your Letter, so much as by Name; yet by his Letters ap­peareth to be a person of Piety and Inge­nuity, and a great Master both of Reason and Language) I have endeavoured (with reser­vation of place for second thoughts, and submission to other Judgments) to declare what my present apprehensions are concerning the whole business; wherein the resolution of such doubts, as in point of Conscience may arise, or of the most and chiefest of them, will (as I conceive) very much depend upon [Page 42] the consideration and right application of these Four things, viz.

I. The different sorts of Mens imployments in general.

II. The nature of the Souldiers imployments in particular.

III. The end that Men may propose to them­selves in following the War; or what it is that chiefly induceth them thereto.

IV. The condition of the Person so imployed, or to be imployed.

I. Considerations of Mens Imployments in General.

1. MEns imployments are of two sorts. The one of such as any man may (without blame from others, or scruple with­in himself) follow, meerly upon his own score, if he find himself in some measure able for it, and have a mind there unto; he hath a power in himself (and that jure pro­prio, by a primitive and original right, with­out any necessary derivation from others) to dispose of himself, his time and industry in that way; for the exercise of which power, [Page 43] there needeth no special or positive warrant from any other person, but it is presumed he is, (as in relation to others) sufficiently warranted thereunto in this, in that he is not by any Superiour Authority, Divine or Hu­mane, forbidden so to do; and upon this account it is, that men betake themselves, upon their own choice and liking, to Husbandry, Merchandize, Manual Occupations, the study of the Law, &c.

2. But another sort of Imployments there are, whereunto a man hath not a just right pri­mitively, and of himself, neither may he lawfully exercise the same meerly upon his own choice, but it is necessary, that that power should be derived upon him from some such person or persons, as have suffici­ent Authority to warrant him for so doing: Such is the Imployment of a Judge, a Consta­ble, an Arbitrator, &c. which are therefore said to be juris delegati, because the right that any man hath to such Imployments, ac­crueth unto him by virtue of that Authority which he receiveth by Delegation or Depu­tation from some other that hath a right by Command, Election, Nomination, or otherwise to Impower him thereunto, whence are those usual forms, Quo jure, Quo warranto? Who [Page 44] made thee a Judge? By what Authority dost thou those things? Or Who gave thee this Au­thority? A man may be take himself to the Study, and so to the Practice of the Laws, of his own accord, but he may not take upon him to be a Judge, without Commission from his Soveraign; so he may follow Husbandry, and Merchandry, upon his own choice, but he may not do the Office of a Constable, un­less he be chosen by the Neighbours; or of an Arbitrator, unless chosen by the Parties thereunto.

3. Now, although as well the one sort as the other, after a man hath addicted himself to the one, or is deputed to the other, may not unfitly be termed his Par­ticular Calling, and the latter perhaps with better propriety than the former, (for the word Calling properly importeth the Action of some other person) yet according to the common Notion, which by custom of speech among us, we have of these terms [The Ge­neral and the Particular Calling] the Imploy­ments of the former sort, are usually taken to be the Particular Calling of Men, and those of the latter sort, will be found (if well con­sidered) to fall rather under the General Calling, as branches or parts thereof, inas­much [Page 45] as the exercise of such Imployments, is a part of that moral duty, which all men (according to their several respective Rela­tions) ought to perform to others, being by them impowered thereunto, upon the tie of Obedience, Contract, Friendship, &c. but for distinction sake, as the Latines make a differ­ence between vitae institutum and munus, we may call those of the former sort, Mans Pro­fession and those of the latter sort his Office; so a Man is by Profession a Lawyer, by Office a Judge; by Profession an Husbandman, by Office a Constable.

4. To bring this Discourse home to the present business, we are next to enquire, to whether sort of the two, the Imployment of a Souldier doth more properly appertain; that is, whether we are to conceive of it as a Profession which a man may at his own choice fix upon, as his particular vocation; or rather as an office of duty and service, which he is to undergo, when by the command of his Prince, he shall be thereto appointed, and so to come rather under the notion of a Gene­ral Calling? To me it seemeth clearly to be of the latter sort. For, (1.) in the passage of St. Paul, 2 Tim. 2. 4. No man that warreth, entangleth himself in the affairs of this life, that [Page 46] he may please him that hath chosen him to be a Souldier; the word is [...], appli­ed to him that warreth with the note of Uni­versality ( [...]) annexed, seem­eth to imply, as if he supposed that no man might go to war, unless he were chosen for that service by some other person that might command it. Nor do I see (2.) what good construction can be otherwise made of that speech of our Saviour, Matth. 29. 57. All they that take the Sword, shall perish with the Sword; or what should be the crime there intended to be signified, by this Phrase of taking the Sword, if it be not this, for a man to take the Sword into his hand by his own Authority, before it be put into his hand by that Supream Power, whom God hath im­mediately trusted with the bearing and ma­naging of it. Nor, (3.) can that be said to be a Mans Profession, or particular Calling, which men of all Professions are (in obedi­ence to their Governors, and for the service of their Country) bound to perform whenso­ever they shall be by Lawful Authority, called and appointed thereunto.

5. If these premises will be granted, it will soon appear, that the Answer to the Que­stion proposed, in the beginning of the for­mer [Page 47] Letter (as it standeth there in Terminis, and in Thesi, abstracted from the consideration of the person in the said Letter charactered, and those other circumstances which may vary the Case) must be in the Negative; viz. That it is not lawful to be a Souldier, upon the same account that men apply themselves to Trades, and the practice of the Laws, and to other (like) civil Imployments.

II. Consideration of the Souldiers Imploy­ment in particular.

1. THe care that ought to be in every Man that taketh upon him the exer­cise of any Office, to be well assured that he hath a sufficient right and warrant for so do­ing, is no less requisite in a Souldier, than any other Officer; yea rather by so much more requisite in him, than in most of them, by how much the matter he is conversant about, (viz. the Life of Man) is of greater consequence, than are the matters in which most of them are imployed; for the Soul­dier every time he draweth his Sword in the Field, is by the very nature of his Im­ployment [Page 48] supposed to do it either with a re­solution to lose his own, or to take away his Enemies life, else he doth but prevaricate, and is unfaithful in the Service he has under­taken: In which service, if it be his fortune either to kill, or to be killed, he is actually and deeply guilty; but if neither, yet that very resolution maketh him intentionally guilty of the Transgression of the sixth Commandment, Thou shalt not kill; in case he have no good right, so far to dispose either of his own, or the others life. It concern­eth him therefore to look well to that; both, what Power belongeth to him, as a Soul­dier, and by what Authority he claimeth the exercise of such a power.

2. Most certain it is, that properly and originally the power to dispose of Mans Life (Jus vitae & necis) belongeth to God alone, who is, Dominus vitae & necis, as the sole Author of Life, so the sole Lord and Master of Life and Death: some part of which power, since it hath pleased him for the good of humane Society (in the preservation of Peace and Justice, and the punishment of such as are enemies to either) to communicate unto men, (which power so communicated, is that which we use to call Jus Gladii, or the [Page 49] power of the Sword) it may therefore be law­fully exercised by men; but within that lati­tude, and in order, as God hath communi­cated it to them, but not farther nor other­wise.

3. Now God hath not given to any man, either Soveraign or Subject, power over his own life, to destroy it by his own voluntary act in any Case; no, nor yet power to ex­pose it to the certain hazard of being de­stroyed by another in fight, saving in the one only Case of just and necessary defence: under which notion is to be comprehended also the hazarding of the Princes Life, in a just and necessary War; out of which Case, whosoever shall expose his life to hazard, by fight, of his own accord; if he perish in it, cannot be excused from being guilty of his own death, nor from usurping a power over his own life, which God hath not allowed.

4. Add hereunto the injustice, that he thereby doth to his Soveraign and Country. God hath given to his Vicegerents here on Earth, a right in, and a power over the per­sons of all their Subjects, within their seve­ral respective Dominions, even to the spend­ing of their lives in their Countrys service, whensoever they shall be by their Authority [Page 50] required thereunto, which they cannot therefore prodigally spend at their own pleasure, without apparent wrong done to their Gover­nors interest; for as he that shall kill a pri­vate person, is not only an offender against God, and against that person, in depriving him of life; but is also by the Interpreta­tion of the Laws, (according to the impor­tance of the ancient form of Enditing) an offender against the Crown and Dignity of his Soveraign, in depriving him of a Subject, and consequently of the interest he had in his person, and of the use he might have had of his service: so he that is so prodigal of his own life, as to hazard it upon the Sword in fight, without his Soveraigns Authority, if he perish, is not only guilty of his being accessary to his own destruction; but doth also an act injurious and prejudicial to his Soveraign, at whose service and disposal (under God) his life and person ought to be.

5. And as his presumption cannot be ex­cused, if he be slain upon that account; so neither can he justifie the killing of another (though an enemy) in Battle, if we have no other warrant for taking of Arms, than from himself; for War is kind of Judicature, wherein the Prince that wageth the War, [Page 51] is as the Judge that giveth sentence of death against the Enemy, as a disturber of the Peace of his Country, & all that ingage in the War under him, are but as so many executioners of the sentence pronounced by him; and he that executeth the sentence of death upon another, must do it by some lawful Authority, as well as he that pronoun­ceth the sentence; or else he is a Murtherer as well as This. Now the Souldier that by fighting on the one side, doth ipso facto de­clare against those of the other side, as E­nemies; if he so engage of his own mind only, he doth indeed, upon the point, take upon him the Office of a Judge, being none, and so runneth before he be sent: or if it shall be said in his behalf, That he doth it not as a Judge, but as the Executioner of the sentence pronounced by that Prince, into whose service he hath put himself, and who by the accepting of his service hath sufficiently authorized him to such Execu­tion: Your Letter hath suggested to me this ready Answer, That the sentence pronoun­ced by one that is not his Lawful Soveraign, and by consequence, whose judgment he is not warran­ted to follow, is of no more validity (as in relati­on to him) than Sententia lata à non judice, [Page 52] and therefore can be no warrant to him to execute it. True it is, that with licence from his Sove­reign, he may serve under another Prince, and consequently do such execution as we now speak of; because the Sovereign by so licensing him, doth really refer him over from himself to anothers judgment, and con­sequently warrant him to follow the same, and so render him capable (upon the others acceptance) to execute it. All this is true, but nothing to our purpose, because it doth destruere suppositum; for we now suppose the Case of a Souldier putting himself into ser­vice, under a Foreiner of his own mind, and where himself thinketh good, without the know­ledge or licence of his own lawful Sovereign.

III. Consideration of the end to be propo­sed by the Souldier.

1. SIth the goodness or badness of Mens actions and undertakings dependeth ve­ry much upon the end which they propose to themselves therein; he that would de­sire to lead a Souldiers life, must narrowly ex­amine his own heart, what it is, bona fide, [Page 53] and in very deed, that first and chiefly in­duced him to that desire, and what affinity there is between that end, which he propo­seth to himself, as the main scope of his In­tentions, and that which is or ought to be the true end of the thing it self; the true end of the War, which only can warrant it lawful, we all know is the necessary pre­servation of a Common-wealth in Peace, by re­pressing (or preventing) all Seditions, or Ho­stile attempts to the contrary; but as in other things it often happeneth, according to that saying, [Finis non idem est artis & artificis] so here many times the Warrior hath ano­ther end to himself far distant from that of War, and the more distant ever the worse; as on the contrary, the action is ever by so much the better, by how much the intention of the person hath a nearer affinity with, or a directer tendency unto, that for which the thing it self was ordained.

2. Now the ends which men, desirous to follow the Wars, do usually propose to themselves in so doing, are especially one of these Three, Lucre, Honour, or to do their Country service; concerning which, we are to enquire severally, whether or no and how far forth any of these may be a sufficient in­ducement [Page 54] to a Christian, or but moral man, to follow the Wars, as his particular Calling or Profession.

3. For Lucre first: He that hath a war­rant otherwise to imploy himself as a Soul­dier, may doubtless lawfully both receive pay, and require it; John the Baptist allowed the Souldiers [...], Luke 3. 14. And St. Paul thought it not reasonable, that any man should go to warfare at his own charges; 1 Cor. 9. 7. Not so only, but he may also, in put­ting himself upon that imployment, (being called thereunto) have an eye to his profit, and an actual intention (if moderate, and o­therwise rightly qualified) of getting him­self a liveli-hood, yea, and of raising himself a fortune (as we call it) by his service therein; even as men in the choice of other Profes­sions, or undertaking Offices usually do, and may do without sin; but to propose to him­self Lucre, as the main end and scope of fol­lowing the Wars (as it is evident by their actions, that very many of our Common Souldiers do) is one of the most hateful and unrighteous things in the World: so far is it from being a sufficient inducement to any man to make that his Profession. How can it be imagined to be consistent with that Charity, [Page 55] Justice, and Moderation, that should be in every Christian to set up a Trade of killing of Men for Mony? The meer Mercenary Soul­dier therefore, or a Souldier of Fortune (as we call him) I find every where inveigh'd a­gainst as one of the greatest Scourges or Plagues of Mankind; for such Men never look at the Cause they engage for, whether it be right or wrong; but at the pay and prey; and therefore they take their best Markets, and care not whom they undo, kill, and oppress, by Violence, Rapine, Murther, and Plunder, so that they may but enrich themselves there­by, and can do it with safety: Nor will they stick, if there be an advantage to be made of it; and that they can spy a fit op­portunity for it, either to betray their own party, or to revolt to the other side, or to do any other act, though never so base and dis­honest, Nulla fides pietasque viris qui castra sequuntur.

4. Next the intuition of Honour and Glo­ry to be acquired by worthy Actions in the Wars, may be not only lawful, but com­mendable also and useful in a Souldier; and truly this of Glory is a more noble end, of a higher pitch, and more befitting a generous spirit by much than that of Lucre is; both [Page 56] because Men of eminent Birth, and Place, and Parts, are aptest to be affected with it; whereas Gain worketh most upon the lower sort of Men, and also because it putteth Men upon more worthy Enterprizes, and such as may win Honour and Reputation; and restraineth them from those baser acts of Injustice, Cruelty, and Rapine, to which the desire of Gain usually prompteth the Mer­cenary Man; but yet as to the warranting of the Souldier for making that his Profession, (which is the Point now in hand) this of Glory is of no more importance than was that of Gain; for the right end of War, be­ing a safe and honorable Peace, there is some­thing common to both (consequential to the desire of Glory as well as of Gain) so inconsistent with that end, that it setteth them at an equal, or not much unequal di­stance therefrom: For as he that aimeth to gain by the Wars, cannot but desire the continuance of War, that so his hopes of gain may continue; so he that aimeth to get himself Glory by the Wars, cannot but desire the continuance of War, that so the opportunities of increasing his Glory may continue; for there is a D [...]opsie of vain-glory in the Ambitious, as well as of [Page 57] Avarice in the Covetous, as thirsty and un­satiable in the one, as in the other; whence it cometh to pass, that both the one and the other use their utmost wits and endea­vours to find occasions to lengthen the Wars, and to obstruct and retard (so much as lieth in them) the advices of Peace: Nay, let me add moreover, that in this respect at least (viz. as to the effectual hindring of Peace) that of Honour and Glory, is much the more dangerous end of the two; be­cause his humour is aptest to seize upon the greatest Persons, and such as by privilege of their birth, eminency of their places, activeness of their spirits, glory of their former actions, or other like advantages bear a great sway in Councils, and are of some authority in the Armies: whereas the Peasantry, in whom most of the other humour (that of base Lucre) aboundeth, have neither the wit nor the power or­dinarily to do much harm. It hath therefore been a constant observation in all times and places, that the embroy­ling most Common-wealths in Wars, in the mean time, and working their ruine in the end, hath grown from the rest­lesness of some ambitious spirits, and [Page 58] their immoderate thirst after Honour and Glory.

—Patriam tamen obruit olim
Gloria pancorum, & laudis titulique cupido.
Juvenal Sat. 10.

5. So that if there be any possibility of finding a person capable to take upon him the imployment of a Souldier, as his proper Profession, it must be among those that pro­pose to themselves the same end therein, that is, or ought to be the end of War; that is to say, those that after an impartial search of their own hearts, can truly say (and not pretend it only) That their chiefest aim in ap­plying themselves to the Wars, is to do their King and Country service, in procuring or preserving the Peace thereof, which no man can truly say, but he that preferreth the Publick Good, and the Peace of his Country, before all pri­vate Interests. The tryal whereof is, if he take up Arms with this Resolution, and by his after-carriage make it good, not to do a­ny act, or enterprize any thing for his own benefit, glory or safety that may hinder, nor to refuse any service or hazard that may probably promote the obtaining that end; [Page 59] which Qualification supposed, I deny not but that a Man may find warrant to go on in the way of a Souldier as his proper Profes­sion, and that in two Cases.

6. First, that which (in the nature of the Imployment it self) is rather an Office than a Profession (such as we have already shown the Souldiers imployment to be) may yet become to the person so imployed, as his proper Profession, if he shall be appointed thereunto by the lawful Authority; especially if it be done with a declared intention (whe­ther expresly or interpretatively declared) of continuing him for life, or for any long space in the same; and that the said im­ployment during such his continuance there­in, shall require his personal attendance, ei­ther constantly or for the most part: As for example, a Lawyer by Profession and Practice, is by his Sovereign called to be a Judge of ei­ther Bench, or a Baron of the Exchequer, the Office of a Judge is now become his Professi­on, or particular Vocation, because it is suppo­sed that he is to continue in that Office; and the execution of that Office will require his attendance thereupon, in the yearly Terms and Circuits: but if the King shall ap­point a Serjeant or Counsellor at the Law, by [Page 60] his particular Commission to ride this Sum­mers Circuit, into such and such Countries, and there to execute the Office of a Judge, the Party so constituted and appointed, hath by virtue of that Commission, full power to do the Office of Judge in that Circuit, and is to be received and honoured with the title of Lord and all other testimonies of honour and respect, in as much ample man­ner as other Judges in their Circuits are; yet doth he not thereby come to be denominated a Judge, as if that were his proper Profession, or ordinary Calling, as in the former Case; because he is impowered to execute the Office of a Judge, but during the time of that Circuit only: Nor is his attendance upon that Office any longer required, or so much as allowed him. In like manner, if the King of Eng­land shall make choice of some person of Quality to be Governor of Dover Castle, or of Barwick, that Office then is as his Pro­fession, or particular Calling; because it is to be supposed, he is to continue in that im­ployment, and to attend the same until the Kings pleasure be further known therein: but if the King upon some sudden Insurrecti­on and Invasion should raise an Army, and make choice of some person of like Quality [Page 61] to have the Conduct thereof, for the Suppres­sing or Repelling such Insurrection or Invasion, his Imployment in that service being but tem­porary, and to determine as soon as the busi­ness were ended, should not otherwise than in courtesie denominate him a General, or at least not to be esteemed as his permanent profession, but only as a transient Office. This is one Case.

The other Case (which is more perti­nent to the business of these Letters) is of such as desire to imploy themselves in the ex­ercise of Arms in Forein Service, that they may attain to such knowledge or experience in the Art Military, as might the better en­able them to do their King and Countrey Service, whensoever there should be need thereof; for since the Managery of War is long since grown into an Art, and that not to be learned from Books, or from private study; but to be acquired by much practice and experience, and diligent observation: and the rather for that the particular Rules of that Art, do not stand at such a certain stay as those of most other Arts do, but are daily altered and improved by new Inventions: It is very necessary for every State to be well provided of a good number of such per­sons [Page 62] of their own Nation, as should be ex­pert and skilful in that Art; left they should be forced, if an unexpected War should happen, to call in Foreiners for assistance, which is both dishonourable and dangerous: the necessity hereof too well appeareth by the evil consequents of the neglect of it in this Nation in these latter times, especially in the Reigns of the two last Kings, by reason of the long Peace; and (which commonly breed­eth out of it as the rust and canker thereof) tenderness of Education and voluptuous living. The Nobility and Gentry of England, in the generality of them, had so much dege­nerated from the Martial Prowess of their An­cestors renowned in all Histories, than in the be­ginning of these unnatural Wars, there were very few to be found of our own Nobility and Gentry, fit to have Command in an Army, or that knew any thing belonging to the Art of War; in somuch that use was made on both sides of Mercenary Men, and most of them Scots, who being for the most part bred up abroad (in France especially, a place of much action) had learned experience more than-our English had in such matters, by which advantage they had so wound them­selves into the chief places of Command, and had [Page 63] such an influence into the Councils of both sides, that the War was in a manner wholly ordered by their directions, witness the great power that Ruthen, Urrey, King, Meldram, &c. had in the Armies on either side.

8. The weightiness then of Princes Af­fairs, upon all emergent occasions, rendring it necessary for them, not only to have Power to command their Subjects of whatsoever Rank or Profession to serve as Souldiers in their Wars; but also to provide aforehand for a supply of able Men, both for places of Command, and to execute other parts of that service, which cannot be done, unless a con­siderable number of persons be trained up in the exercise of Arms, and bred Souldiers: It is consequently necessary, that some per­sons be, either by their Authority appointed, or at least by their permission allowed to addict themselves to a Military course of life, as their proper Profession and Calling, which Authority or Permission from their Soveraign, will sufficiently warrant to their Conscience the choice of that Profession; supposing (as now we do) that the intention be right, the person meetly qualified, and all other Cau­tions in respect of the matter, manner, circum­stances, and otherwise, duly observed.

[Page 64] 9. The necessity of learning this Art gran­ted, there may sometimes follow a further necessity, viz. of learning it abroad, and after it is learned, of exercising it abroad; and in Forein service, and that in these two Cases: First, when the Souldiers own Country, whereunto his service is principally, and in the first place due, hath either the happi­ness to be in a setled Peace and Freedom, un­der the Government of a lawful Soveraign; or the unhappiness to be in such servitude, through the prevalency of an Usurping Pow­er, that no Resistance can be made there-a­gainst; for in the former Case, there is no ex­ercise at all of the Souldiers faculty in earnest; and of what little a vail to the attaining of any solid knowledge, or experience in the Art Military, such superficial trainings, as were used (and those but very seldom nei­ther) by the Lieutenants of the several Coun­ties here in England, with the Country Cap­tains and Muster-Masters are, (beside that our own reason will tell us) the Rawness and Unserviceableness of our Trained-Bands in the beginning of the late Wars did abun­dantly manifest: and in the latter Case, the Souldier, if he will have Imployment at home, must either engage on the behalf of an unjust [Page 65] Power, or else run upon his own certain de­struction to no purpose.

IV. Consideration of the condition of the Person.

1. THis must be considered too; for the different conditions of persons may make a great difference in the lawfulness or unlawfulness of their actions, according to the old saying, which holdeth true in this sense also, no less than in that other, in which it is commonly used (relating to mens cor­rupt partialities, Duo cum faciunt idem, non est idem. In your Friends second Letter, I find a demand made (as in the way of Reply to some passage of your Answer to his first Let­ter) to this purpose; Suppose two great Prin­ces (as France and Spain, for instance) have had long Wars together, and the justice of the Cause appear neither more nor less, on the one side, than the other; if in case a third Prince, or State, out of a sincere desire to establish the Peace of Christendom, after other offers and mediations for that purpose made in vain, might lawfully joyn in Arms with [Page 66] the one party to force the other to Peace, why a private person might not as lawfully (ha­ving the same intention) enter into Arms for the same purpose; and the reason of de­mand thereof is, because every Prince or State is (in relation to other Princes and States) but as one private man to another; for being called to the Regiment of his own people only, he is but as a private man in Aliena Republica.

2. But that there is a great difference be­tween a Soveraign Prince and a private Per­son in this affair, it cannot be denied; inso­much that I find in the very same passage (put in as it were by way of Objection) three very considerable differences. First, That Princes may, and sometimes are obliged by Articles and Covenants, for the defence of their Allies, to take up Arms, which cannot be the case of private Men. Secondly, That Princes may see cause to set in for their own safety and interest, lest the prevailing Party might grow too Potent, and so themselves might be oppressed by him. Thirdly, there is a greater probability in a Prince of com­passing that Noble and Glorious end, The Peace of Christendom, then can be in a pri­vate Man. All these differences are allowed [Page 67] there as true; but yet excepted against, as not contributing any thing to the justice of the cause, which is here the Question.

3. If these do not, yet a Fourth difference there is, that will (as I conceive) manifestly contribute thereunto, to wit, that Jus Belli, is Penes Principem solum: in the business of War, Princes have judicial, private Men an executive power only; and he that hath no power but to execute the sentence of a Judge, is bound to wait the Judges Sentence before he offer to act; otherwise he shall act beyond his lawful power, which is un­just: Not but that a Prince, if he raise a War where he ought not, is unjust too; even as a Judge is unjust, which pronounceth a wrong sentence: but here in is the difference between them for taking up of Arms. The Prince having jus agendi in that behalf, may do it justly, and he may do it unjustly; yet where he doth it unjustly, he doth but abuti jure suo: but the private person, not having jus agendi, in that respect cannot (without the Authority of the Soveraign) do it other­wise than unjusily; because in so doing, he doth without leave uti jure alieno, which is always unjust. It is one thing for a Man to use (whether well or ill) a power that of [Page 68] right belongeth to him; and another to assume a power that of right, belongeth not to him; the one is not unjust, unless he abuse his Power, the other is, if he use it at all.

4. Neither perhaps will the Reason al­ledged to the contrary (viz. that a Prince in point of Justice and Power, is in Aliena re­publica, but as a private person) bear so much weight as is laid upon it, if one Point be well considered, which I think will prove a truth, though it be very tenderly handled; otherwise it may prove very dangerous, both because it may seem a Paradox to those that have been little conversant in publick Affairs; as also, and especially, be­cause it may, by racking it too high, be ea­sily wrested to a mischievous constructi­on, for the Patronage of any Tyrannical action; the point is this, that Justitia politica, and Justitia privata, have not in all the same adequate measure. Princes are bound to be just, as well as the meanest private men are, and obliged to keep Faith both with Friends and Enemies, every whit as exactly and pun­ctually, without equivocation, reservation, or other eluding devices, as they; of all this no man doubteth: but it is not therefore ne­cessary, that the Rules of Justice, whereby the Counsels and Actions of Princes and States, [Page 69] in their mutual Relations are to be measu­red, should be precisely the same with those which measure the dealings of Private men one with another.

5. And the reason of the difference is evident: private Mens Controversies may be decided, and their Injuries repressed or punished, by the positive Laws of the State, whereof they are Members; and consequently sub­ject to be ordered in all their dealings by those Laws; which positive Laws (together with the Law of Nature, and the Divine Law, which are common to all Men) are the adequate Rule, whereby the Justice of private Persons, and of their actions, is to be measured; but since Princes and States are not subject to any such positive Laws common to them both, as may determine their Dif­ferences and Controversies: The great ne­cessity of Humane Affairs, hath (for the good of Mankind in the preservation of Peace) introduced by the common consent of Na­tions, another Law of larger extent, that which we peculiarly call Jus Gentium, or the Law of Nations (whereof that which we call the Law of Arms, is one special part) by which Law of Nations (together with the Law of Nature, and the Divine Law, as afore­said) [Page 70] the Justice of Princes and States, and of their Actions, is as by the proper ade­quate Rule thereof to be measured. Whence it cometh to pass, that sundry things are by the Rules of Politique Justice allowed as law­ful and just between Princes, which between private men, would by the Rules of meer mo­ral Justice, be condemned (and that deser­vedly too) as unjust and unlawful: There are sundry Arcana Imperii, some arts and si­mulations for maintaining Intelligenceabroad for concealing and disguising Counsels at home, in the Instructions of Embassadors and managing of Embassies, in making Alli­ances and Confederacies, but especially in the pursuance and effects of War, which seem much to swerve from the ordinary Precepts of moral Justice; which yet (fide integrâ & citra dolum malum) are by the consent of Na­tions allowed to be used, and so must be, or else there could be no secure living in the World in any Society, that saying of his At­que ipsa utilitas justi prope mater & aequi, had somewhat of truth and reason in it.

6. The truth and reasonableness of what hath been said will appear (omitting many other) in these few Instances. First, when a Town is taken by the Enemy, by the Law of [Page 71] Nations, the spoil thereof falleth to the Con­queror, which if he give to the Souldiery to plunder (as usually is done) every Souldier thereby acquireth a just Right and Dominion in that which he can lay his hand on first, and take into his Possession. Secondly, It may sometimes concern a Prince or State in point of Honour or Safety to vindicate himself by War, for some wrong offered to his Mer­chants, or for some Rudeness or Incivilities done to his Embassador (for even these, in case Reparation be demanded and denied, have been ever held just canses of War; (as Am­phitruo in Plautus rendreth that as a suffici­ent reason of his War, Nimis ferociter lega­tos nostros increpant) in this case it is by the Law of Nations allowed him, not only to fight against the Prince himself, who yet only did the wrong, but to waste his Country, fire his Towns and Villages, and spoil thousands of his innocent Subjects of their fortunes and lives in pursuance of his just revenge; but if a pri­vate Gentleman wronged by his Neighbour should in like manner, in revenge of that wrong, beat his Servants, vex his Tenants, and seek his or their undoing, the act were pal­pably most unchristian and unjust. Thirdly, Since potent Princes, have for the most part, [Page 72] great Ambitions, (and Ambition is a bound­less lust) it behoveth a Prince for his own safe­ly, to have a watchful eye over the Motions and Designs of a potent Neighbour, almost as much as of a declared Enemy; and therefore wise Princes have ever been careful by all just means to balance their neighbour Princes and States as near as they could; in such a proportion as might hinder the over growth of any one above the rest: In order where­unto it hath been held lawful for a Prince, laying a side the consideration of the cause, to joyn in Arms with the weaker, for his as­sistance against his Potent Adversary, who else were likely in a short time to swallow him up, whereby he should become formidable and dangerous, as well to himself as to the other his neighbour Princes and States; upon which account alone, were there no other reason besides, it would be as just for all Christian Princes to compose their own quarrels, and to aid the Venetian, and Hungarian, Persian, or Tartar, against the Turk, as it is expedient and honourable for them so to do: but what is thus allowed just in the waging of War be­tween Princes; if in a wager of Law a private pers [...]n should attempt the like, viz. to assist with his purse and pains a Poor Man [Page 73] against a Rich, without considering the e­quity of the Cause, the Act were (as in the former instance) palpably unjust and unchri­stian: Instances might be produced many more to the same effect were i [...] needful, but these I think sufficiently evidence the truth of what I undertook to shew in this parti­cular.

7. There are also sundry other circumstan­ces considerable concerning the condition of the person, which may render the same un­dertaking unlawful to one, which yet may be lawful for another, or more or less expedient or inexpedient for one than for another, sup­posing both private persons and Subjects; as namely, whether he be a person of Honour and Estate, or a man of ordinary rank and fortune; whether a single-man, or Married? if Married, whether he have the consent of his Wife or no? and whether such consent were a free and rational consent in the Wife arising from a Judgment convinced of the fitness of the undertaking, or rather wrung from her by the importunity of the Hus­band, and her facility in yielding to the potency of his desires therein? whether the necessi­ty of his domestical Affairs, and Oeconomical Relations will brook his absence for so long a [Page 74] time as must be spent in that Imployment; or will not rather require his presence and care for the managery thereof in the mean time? and an hundred other like doubts and difficulties meet to be taken into deliberation, and unprejudicately weighed against those other probabilities and inducements which at first kindled, and after fomented his de­sires, before he imbarque himself in that Im­ployment: and yet when all is done, it were safer for him (in my opinion) to forbear than to proceed in his intentions, unless he shall be assured, that he hath the free allowance of his Sovereign, thereunto either expressed (which would be the clearest warrant for his conscience) or at leastwise upon very preg­nant grounds of probability presumed.


1. IN judging of Cases of Scandal, we are not so much to look at the event, what that is, or may be; as at the cause whence it cometh; for sometimes there is given just cause of Scandal, and yet no Scandal fol­loweth, because it is not taken: sometimes Scandal is taken, and yet no just cause given; and sometimes there is both cause of Scan­dalgiven, and Scandal thereat taken; but no man is concerned in any Scandal that hap­peneth to another, by occasion of any thing done by him; neither is chargeable with it, farther than he is guilty of having given it, If then we give Scandal to others, and they take it not, we are to bear a share in the blame as well as they, and that a deeper share too, (Vae homini, Wo to the man by whom the Offence cometh, Matth. 8. 7.) but if they take Offence when we give none, it is a thing we cannot help, therefore the whole blame must lie upon them; wherefore if at any time any doubt shall arise in the Case of Scandal, [Page 76] how far forth the danger thereof may, or may not oblige us to the doing or not doing any thing proposed, the Resolution will come on much the easier; if we shall but rightly under­stand, what it is to give Scandal, or how many ways a man may become guilty of scandalizing another by his example. The ways (as I conceive) are but these four.

2. The first is, when a man doth some­thing before another man, which is in it self evil, unlawful, and sinful, in which Case, nei­ther the intention of him that doth it, nor the event, as to him that seeth it done, is of any consideration; for it mattereth not whether the doer had an intention to draw the other into sin thereby, or not: neither doth it matter whether the other were thereby induced to commit sin or not: the matter or substance of the action being evil, and done before others, is sufficient to ren­der the doer guilty of having given Scandal, though he had neither any intention him­self so to do; nor were any person actually scandalized thereby; because wha tsoever is in it self, and in its own nature evil, is also of it self, and in its own nature scandalous, and of evil example. Thus did Hophni and Phi­neas the Sons of Eli, give Scandal by their [Page 77] wretched Prophaness and greediness about the Sacrifices of the Lord, and their vile and shameless abusing the Women, 1 Sam. 2. 17. 22. And so did David also give great Scandal in the matter of Uriah, 2 Sam. 12. 14. Here the Rule is, Do nothing that is evil, for fear of giving Scandal.

3. The second way, when a man doth something before another with a direct in­tention and formal purpose of drawing him thereby to commit sin; in which Case, neither the matter of the action, nor the event is of any consideration, for it maketh no difference (as to the sin of giving Scan­dal) whether any man be effectually enticed thereby to commit sin, or not; neither doth it make any difference, whether the thing done were in it self unlawful or not, so as it had but an appearance of evil; and from thence an aptitude to draw another to do that (by imitation) which should be really & intrinsecally evil, the wicked intention alone, (whatsoever the effect should be, or what means soever should be used to promote it) sufficeth to induce the guilt of giving Scan­dal upon the doer: This was Jeroboam's sin, in setting up the Calves with a formal purpose and intention thereby (for his own secular [Page 78] and ambitious ends) to corrupt the purity of Religion, and to draw the people to an Idola­trous Worship, for which cause he is so often stigmatized with it, as with a note of Infamy, to stick by him whilst the World lasteth, be­ing scarce ever mentioned but with this ad­dition, Jeroboam the son of Nebat that made Israel to sin. Here the Rule is, Do nothing (good or evil) with an intention to give Scan­dal.

4. The third way is, when a Man doth something before another, which in it self is not evil, but indifferent, and so according to the Rule of Christian Liberty, lawful for him to do, or not to do, as he shall see cause (yea, and perhaps otherwise commodious and con­venient for him to do) yet whereat he pro­bably foreseeth the other will take Scandal, and be occasioned thereby to do evil. In such Case, if the thing to be done, be not in some degree (at least prudentially) necessa­ry for him to do; but that he might, with­out great inconvenience and prejudice to him­self, and any third person, leave it undone, he is bound in Charity and Compassion to his Brothers Soul, (for whom Christ died) and for the avoiding of Scandal to abridge himself in the exercise of his Christian Liber­ty [Page 79] for that time so far, as rather to suffer some inconvenience himself by the not doing of it, than by doing of it to cause his Brother to offend; the very Case which is so often, and so largely, and so earnestly insisted up­on by St. Paul, Rom. 14. 13, 21. and 15. 1, 3. 1 Cor. 8. 7, 13. and 9. 12, 22. and 10. 23, 33. Here the Rule is, Do nothing that may be reasonably forborn, whereat it is like Scandal will be taken.

5. The last way is, when a man doth some­thing before another, which is not only law­ful, but (according to the exigencies of pre­sent circumstances pro hic & nunc) very be­hoveful, and in some sort (prudentially) ne­cessary for him to do; but foreseeth in the beholder a propension to make an ill use of it, and to take encouragement thereby to com­mit sin; if there be not withal a great care had to prevent, as much as is possible, the Scandal that might be taken thereat: for, Qui non prohibet peccare cum potest, jubet. In such case the bare neglect of his Brother, and not using his utmost endeavour to prevent the evil that might ensue, making him guilty, upon which Consideration standeth the equity of the Judicial Law given to the Jews, Exod. 21. 33, 34. which ordereth, that in [Page 78] case a man dig a Pit or Well for the use of his Family, and (looking no farther than his own conveniency) put no cover on it, but leave it open, whereby it happeneth his Neighbours Beast do fall therein, and perish, the owner of the Pit is to make it good, in­asmuch as he was the occasioner of that loss unto his neighbour, which he might and ought to have prevented: In this last Case the thing is not (for the danger of the Scan­dal) to be left undone, supposing it (as we now do) otherwise behoveful to be done; but the action is to be ordered, and carried, on by us, for the manner of doing, and in all Respects and Circumstances thereunto be­longing, with so much clearness, tenderness, and moderation, and wisdom, that so many as are willing to take notice of it may be sa­tisfied that there was on our part a reason of just necessity that the thing should be done; and that such persons as would be willing to make use of our example, without the like necessity, may do it upon their own score, and not be able to vouch our practice for their excuse; even as the Jew that stood in need to sink a Pit for the service of his House and Grounds, was not (for fear his Neighbours Beasts should fall into it, and be drowned) [Page 81] bound by the Law, to forbear the making of it, but only to provide a sufficient cover for it, when he had made it. Here the Rule is, Order the doing of that which may not well be left undone, in such sort, that no Scandal may, through your default, be taken thereat.

6. I do not readily remember any doubt that can occur about the reason of Scandal, which may not be brought within the com­pass of these four Rules; and then the right applying some or other of these Rules, will give some furtherance towards the resolution of these doubts.

The CASE of a BOND Taken in the KINGS Name: Proposed July 1658.

R. C. was seized in Fee of certain Houses of small Value, with the Appurtenances; and in the Year 1635. whiles Owner of the said Houses he intreated A. B. to be his Surety for One Hundred Pounds; and continued the same at Interest till 1639. At which time he requested A. B. to discharge that Bond, and in consideration thereof, sel­leth the said Houses to A. B. and his Heirs for ever; the said R. C. also buyeth of a Mer­chant a parcel of Goods; the Merchant being a Receiver of some part of the late Kings Revenue, and under pretence of a priviledge thereby, taketh a Bond of the said R. C. for the payment of Two hundred pounds to himself, but in the Name of the late King, as if indebted to the King; and under that pre­tence, [Page 83] procureth an Extent upon the Houses sold to A. B. and make seizure thereof: was R. C. seized of the same, when he entred into that Bond.

The said King, 1640. published a Procla­mation, wherein he declared, That the taking of such Bonds was contrary to His Intention, and an abuse of his Prerogative, and prohi­bited all such crafty Courses, as tending to the Oppression of his Subjects; and it is to be no­ted, that the said Proclamation was published two years before the Extent was executed upon the Houses, which nevertheless have been held under that Extent about fourteen years, which is beyond the value of the Houses.

The said R. C. died poor, the Merchant is dead also, without any Child, leaving as Estate behind him of Twenty thousand Pounds, as is supposed; a great part visible in Lands, as appeareth by his last Will upon Record.

Advice of Counsel at Law being taken, have the said A. B. may be most readily relieved; he is directed to Petition the present Supreme Power to pardon the Debt, because taken only in the Kings Name, when there is no Debt due to him from R. C.

As to the Case Proposed.

1. IAm clearly of opinion, that the taking of Bonds in the Kings Name, to the meer behoof, and for the advantage of pri­vate persons, when there was such Debt real­ly due to the King, was a fraudulent and un­just act from the beginning; for though it were not actually forbidden, and so might per­haps be valid enough in foro externo, till the issuing out of the Kings Proclamation in that behalf; yet was it in point of Conscience un­lawful before, as being a crafty course: so refused by the King himself, and guilty of a double injustice, the one to the King, as an abuse to his Prerogative; the other to the subject, as tending to their oppression, as by the Proclamation is recited, and that there­fore,

2. Neither might the Merchant, whiles he lived, nor ought his Executors, now he is dead, to make advantage of the Kings Name used in that Bond; nor might he then, nor may they now, by virtue of the Kings Prero­gative, or under the colour thereof, for the recovery of the said Debt, use any way to the prejudice or damage of the Obligee, or [Page 85] of any Purchaser from him, other than such, as he or they might have used, in case the Bond had been taken in the Obligee's own Name, and not in the Kings.

3. If any Proceedings have been made al­ready in pursuit of the Debt, due upon the said Bond, upon no other ground or colour, than the Prerogative aforesaid, whereby the said A. B. cometh to be endamaged or pre­judiced more than otherwise he should have been; that the Executors ought to make him some considerable satisfaction for the same, although perhaps not to the full of what he hath suffered or would demand; yet in such a proportion, as to the judgment of indif­ferent persons (in a case wherein both par­ties, if they must do what is fitting and just, are sure to be losers) shall seem reasonable, in case the Parties cannot accord it between themselve.

4. Whereof, although through the cor­rupt partiality that is in most, I may truly say, all men more or less; I do not appre­hend any great likelihood (for neither part would, and yet both must be losers) yet I should advise that tryal were made thereof in the first place, as the most kindly Christian way of growing to peace, if parties will be [Page 86] persuaded to meet about it, and can be made Masters of their own passions when they are met; and surely matters might be easily brought to a handsome conclusion, if both parties, but especially the Executors, who seem to have the advantage in Law, would not stand too much upon what soever advantage they may seem to have, but (as in Conscience they ought) submit both that, and all other circumstances appertaining to the business, and indeed their whole mutual demands; to the final determination of that transcendent Law, which Christ hath establish­ed as the only Royal Standard, whereby to measure the equity of our actions, in all our dealings towards others, viz. To do as we would be done unto; or which cometh to one, Not to do that to another, which if he should do to us (supposing his Case was ours) we should think our selves scarce justly and fairly dealt withal.

5. But lastly, in case no such accord can be made, either by agreement of Parties, or mediation of Friends, and that through the only default and stiffness of the Executors; A. B. having by all fair ways faithfully sought and endeavoured the same, I see not but the said A. B. may (but not to be done, [Page 87] but as his last refuge) seek to relieve him­self according to the advice of his Counsel, by making his Addresses to such Person or Personage, as for the time being shall be in actual possession of the Supreme Power, and so in a capacity to over-rule the Law in a Case of that nature, by forgiving that Debt whereunto the King was colourably and fraudulently entituled for private advan­tage, to the prejudice of a third person, but was not at all a debt owing to him from the Obligee.



I Have hitherto been very sparing in de­livering my opinion concerning the point now most in agitation, viz. Of the lafwulness or unlawfulness of Subscribing the Engagement: considering the mischiefs that must needs have followed, if it should be once noised abroad, that I had given forth any determi­nation in so tickle a point. I could not but foresee on the one side, if I should condemn it as utterly unlawful, how I should be look­ed upon by those that have all power in their hands, not as a refuser only, but a dis­suader also of what they have thought fit to require: and on the other side, if I should allow it in any case lawful, what ill use would certainly be made thereof by mul­titudes of people, apt to be so far scandali­zed thereby, as either to swallow it whole without chewing, (that is, resting them­selves upon the general determination of the lawfulness to take it hand over head, [Page 89] without due consideration, either of the true meaning of it, or of other requisite cautions and circumstances) or else to con­ceive themselves by so engaging, to be for ever discharged from the bond of their for­mer Allegiance.

Yet since by your Letter, and by sending your servant therewith on purpose so many days journey, through unknown ways, and at this season of the year (especially as the weather hath proved since his coming forth) scarce passable, you have shewn your earnest desire to understand what my opinion is in this point; so great, both for difficulty and concernment; I could not think it fit, nor consistent with that civility which is to be used, especially towards Strangers, to send back your messenger without the return of some kind of answer: Wherein, albeit I shall not come up to the full, of what your Letter declareth to be your desire, viz. In giving a particular Judgment and estimate of the Eight several Arguments therein proposed, and the additional Quaere in the Postscript: yet you shall find something tending towards your satisfaction therein, by touching upon those points (so far as the straits of time would suffer) wherein the difficulty of the [Page 90] whole business seemeth chiefly to consist.

First, then, it is to be considered, that Allegiance is a duty that every Subject, un­der what form of Government soever, by the Law of Nature, oweth to his Country, and consequently to the Sovereign Power thereof. For the very same Law (which we may call the Law of Nature, at least in a large acceptation) which inclineth particu­lar men to grow into one civil body of a Common-wealth, must necessarily withal, imprint a sense, and tacite acknowledgment of such a duty of Allegiance in every infe­rior member of the body, unto the Caput Communitatis, or Sovereign Power, by which that Common-wealth is governed, as is necessary for the preservation of the whole body. So that the bond of Allegiance doth not arise originally from the Oath of Alle­giance; as if those that had not taken the Oath, had a greater liberty to act contrary to the Allegiance specified in the Oath, than those that have taken it, have: or as if, in case the Oath should be quite laid aside, there should be no Allegiance due. But it is so intrinsecal proper, and essential a duty, and (as it were) fundamental, to the relation of a Subject, quâ talis, as that the very name [Page 11] of a Subject doth, after a sort, import it; insomuch, that it hath thereupon gained, in common usage of speech, the stile of Natu­ral Allegiance: Whence all these inferences will follow.

1. That the bond of Allegiance, (whether sworn or not sworn) is in the nature of it it perpetual and indispensable.

2. That it is so inseparable from the re­lation of a Subject, that although the exer­cise of it may be suspended by reason of a prevailing force, whilest the Subject is under such force, (viz. where it cannot be ima­gined, how the endeavour of exercising it can be effectually serviceable to restore the Sovereign Power to the right owner, for the establishment of that Publick Justice and Peace wherein the happiness of Common­wealths consisteth) yet no outward force can so absolutely take it away, or remove it, but that still it remaineth virtually in the sub­ject, and obligeth to an endeavour (so soon as the force that hindred it is over) of actu­ally exercising of it, for the advantage of the party, to whom of right it is due, and the advancement of the common good thereby, upon all fit occasions.

3. That no Subject of England, that [Page 92] either hath, by taking the Oaths of Suprema­cy, or Allegiance, acknowledged; or that not having taken either Oath, yet otherwise knoweth, or believeth, that the Soveraign Power in England, to whom his Natural Al­legiance is due, is the King, his Heirs, and law­ful Successors, can without sinning against his Conscience, enter into any Covenant, Promise, or Engagement, or do any other Act or Acts whatsoever, whereby either to transfer his Allegiance to any other party, to whom it is not of right due, or to put him­self into an incapacity of performing the duties of his bounden Allegiance to his lawful Sovereign, when it may appear to be use­ful and serviceable to him.

4. That therefore the taking of the late Solemn League and Covenant, by any Sub­ject of England (notwithstanding the Pro­testation in the Preface, that therein he had the Honour of the King before his eyes; and that express clause in one of the Articles of it, wherein he swore, The Preservation of the Kings Person and Honour) was an act as clear contrary to the Oath of Allegiance, and the Natural Duty of every Subject of Eng­land; as the Assisting of the King to the ut­most of ones power (which is a branch of the [Page 93] Oaths) and the assisting against any person whatsoever, with his utmost power, those that were actually in Arms against the King (which was the very end for which that Covenant was set on foot) are contrary the one unto the other.

5. And that also for the same reason, no Subject of England, that hath taken the Oaths, and understandeth them, or is per­suaded that the Sovereignty of this Realm doth of right belong to the King, his Heirs, and lawful Successors, can without sinning in like manner against his Conscence, take the Engagement now offered: if he so under­stand the words, wherein it is expressed, as if they did contain in them, and require of the Promiser, an acknowledgment that the Supream Power of this Realm, whereunto the Subjects owe their bounden Allegiance, is rightly vested in those persons that now ex­ercise it; or as if they did import an utter Abjuration, or renouncing of that Allegiance which was formerly held due to the King.

II. This being cleared, the next enquiry must be, Whether or no the words of the En­gagement will reasonably bear such a con­struction, as to the understanding of a ra­tional [Page 94] and conscientious man, may seem consistent with his bounden duty and Allegi­ance to his lawful Soveraign? Whereof (I think) there need be no great question made, if it be well considered,

1. That all expressions by words, are subject to such ambiguities, that scarce any thing can be said or expressed in any words, how cautelously soever chosen, which will not render the whole speech capable of more constructions than one.

2. That very many men, known to be well affected to the King and his Party, and reputed otherways both learned and con­scientious (not to mention the Presbyterians, most of whom, truly for my own part, when we speak of learning and conscience, I hold to be very little considerable) have sub­scribed the Engagement; who in the judg­ment of Charity, we are to prefume, would not so have done, if they had not been persuaded the words might be understood in some such qualified sense, as might stand with the duty of Allegiance to the King.

3. That (as you write) it is strongly re­ported and believed, that the King hath given way to the taking of the Engage­ment, [Page 95] rather than that his good Subjects should lose their Estates for refusing the same. Which, as it is a clear evidence, that the King, and they who are about him, to advise him, do not so conceive of the words of this Engagement, as if they did necessarily import an abandoning of the Allegiance due to him: so 'tis (if true) a matter of great consideration towards the satisfaction of so many, as out of that fear only, have scrupled the taking of it. For the doing of that cannot be reasonably thought to destroy the Subjects Allegiance; which the King, who expecteth Allegiance from all his Subjects, advisedly, and up­on mature deliberation alloweth them to do.

III. But all this being granted, that the words of the Engagement are capable of such construction; yet is not the Conscience thereby sufficiently secured, from justly scrupling at the taking thereof, unless it may yet further appear, that the Subject hath the liberty to make use of such a con­struction; which is in effect the Quaere con­tained in your Postscript, viz. Whether up­on supposition, that the words of the En­gagement [Page 96] will bear more constructions than one, the subscriber may take it in his own sense, or is bound to take it in the impo­sers sense? or, Whether it be necessary or expedient before he subscribe, to ask those that require his subscription, in what sense they require him to subscribe it? Upon the resolution of which Quaere, since (as I conceive) the last resolution of the Judg­ment, wherein the Conscience is to acqui­esce, doth principally depend; I shall en­deavour to give you my thoughts therein, (wherein I acknowledge to have received much light and satisfaction from a Dis­course written by a Learned, Judicious, and Pious friend, whereof I lately had the perusal, but for some reasons, not thought fit to be published) as distinctly, and clearly, as the time I have to do it in, will suffer.

1. First, then, for a man that is required of another to give Faith by some Oath, Pro­mise, or other Engagement, to take it in a sense of his own, manifestly different (e­ven in his own apprehension) from the o­thers meaning, sufficiently expressed by words, according to the common custom of speech, and the nature of the business which it concerneth, is so gross a conceit, [Page 97] that had not the impudence of the Jesuits, in maintaining the lawfulness of their e­quivocations, and the sad experience of these late times, (wherein thousands have cheated themselves into perjury, by think­ing to avoid it) evidenced the contrary, it might well have been thought a thing in­credible, that any man of common under­standing, should suffer his reason to be so infatuated by his affections, as to be de­ceived thereby. For if such latitude of construction should be admitted in Promi­ses, and other Obligations of that nature, intended for the Preservation of Faith amongst mankind, there would not re­main any possible means, whereby for men to have assurance of one anothers mean­ings. Wherefore I take that for a clear truth, That all Promises, and Assurances, wherein Faith is required to be given to another, ought to be understood, ad men­tem imponentis, according to the mind and meaning of him to whom the Faith is to be given; so far forth as the meaning may reasonably appear, by the nature of the matter about which it is conversant, and such signification of the words, where­by it is expressed, as according to the or­dinary [Page 98] use of speech amongst men, a­greeth best thereunto. The reason where­of is, because the Faith so required to be given, is intended to the behoof, and for the interest of him that requireth it; namely, to the end he may have the better assu­rance from him that giveth the faith, that what is promised shall be accordingly per­formed: which assurance he cannot have, if after his meaning, sufficiently declared by the words, it should yet be at the liberty of the Promiser to reserve another secret meaning in his own breast, differing there­from.

2. But Secondly, what if the intention of the Imposer be not so fully declared by the words and the nature of the business; but that the same words may in fair con­struction be still capable of a double mean­ing, so as taken in one sense, they shall bind to More, and in another to Less. I conceive in such case it is not necessary, nor always expedient, (but rather for the most part otherwise) for the Promiser, be­fore he give faith, to demand of the Impo­ser, whether of the two is his meaning. But he may by the rule of Prudence, and that (for ought I see) without the violation [Page 99] of any Law of Conscience, make his just advantage of that ambiguity, and take it in the same sense which shall bind to the Less. And this I ground upon the very same reason as before; For sith the Faith to be given, is intended to the behoof of him, to whom it is given, it concerneth him to take care that his meaning be expressed in such words as will sufficiently manifest the same to the understanding of a reasona­ble man. Which if he neglect to do, no Law of Equity or Prudence bindeth the Promiser by an over-scrupulous diligence to make it out, whereby to lay a greater obligation upon himself than he need to do.

3. But then Thirdly, if it shall happen (as often it cometh to pass, when we have to deal with cunning men, and may possi­bly be the Case now, and undoubtedly was so in the business of the Protestation, when the time was) That he that requireth the faith to be given, do of purpose so con­trive words, that there may be left an ambiguity and latitude of sense therein; yea, and that it be very probable, and in a manner apparent, (upon the consideration of the point of interest, or other strong [Page 100] presumptions arising from circumstances or otherwise) even to the apprehension of the Promiser himself, that he hath some farther reach in requiring that pro­mise from him, some more remote and se­cret intention than he is willing to disco­ver. In that case what is to be done? I answer, That the Promiser in such case is no ways obliged in giving his Faith, to take notice of any such secret intention, but is at liberty to make use of that Lati­tude of sense, which the other did rather chuse to leave undetermined, than to re­strain, and so to turn the others cunning dealing to his own best advantage, by ta­king it in the more favourable constructi­on; and that which bindeth to less. For it is the declared intention only, (viz. That which the words, according to the com­mon use of speech, do in relation to the nature of the subject, most naturally and properly represent to the understand­ing of reasonable men, when they hear them) and not to the remote, secret, and reserved intent, which the Promiser is ob­liged unto. The reason whereof is mani­fest; because he that requireth Faith to be given from another, by words of his [Page 101] own contriving, is ever presumed so to have determined the sense thereof, in the contrivance of the words, as may suffici­ently declare what he intendeth the Pro­miser should assure him to perform. If therefore he have not so determined the words, as to signifie the More; it is in all reason to be presumed, that he intended to oblige him but to the Less. For being at liberty to make his own choice of words, whereby to express his own meaning; who can think otherwise, but that he would make the choice with respect to his own Interest? And therefore, though he might have a secret desire, which he is loth to discover, that the Promiser should be bound to the More, and would be mar­vellously well pleased, that he should so understand the words, as if they intend­ded to bind him to the More: Yet since it had been so easie a matter for him, by ad­ding or altering a few words, to have de­clared that intent, if he had thought it conducible to his own ends; it will be presumed also, that it was out of respect of self-interest, that he forbare so to do, and chose rather to leave his meaning, in such general words, as will not exclude [Page 102] the sense, which bindeth but to the Less; and consequently that his declared in­tent obligeth to no more but to the Less only.

IV. To bring the matter yet closer, and to put it up to the present Cases, there are yet two things more to be done.

First, To shew what different constru­ctions (the highest, I mean, and the lowest) the words of the Engagement are fairly capable of.

And Secondly, to find as well as we can, whether of two is more probably the meaning intended by the Imposers, to be declared by the words.

The words are these:

I do promise to be true and faithful to the Com­mon-wealth of England, as it is now establi­shed without King or Lords.

Wherein there are sundry ambiguities.

1. First, In the words true and faithful; by which may be intended, either the pro­mise of that Fidelity and Allegiance (which was formerly acknowledged to be due to [Page 103] the King, &c.) to be now performed to those that are presently possessed of the Su­pream Power, as their right and due. Or else that promise of such a kind of fidelity, as Captives taken in the War, promise to their Enemies, when they fall under their power; viz. to remain true Prisoners of War, and so long as they are in their pow­er, not to attempt any thing to their de­struction.

2. Secondly, In the word Common-wealth, by which may either be meant, those per­sons who are the prevalent party in this Kingdom, and now are possessed of, and do exercise the Supreme Power therein, as if the right of Soveraignity were vest­ed in them: Or else, the whole entire Body of the English Nation, as it is a Civil Society or State within it self, distinguish­ed from all other Foreign Estates. Taken in the former sense, the fidelity promised to the Common-wealth, relateth directly to the upholding of that party who are the present Governors de facto, and imports subjection to them as de jure: But taken in the latter, it relateth the safety of the Nation, and importeth no more as to the [Page 104] present Governours, but to live peaceably under them de facto, and to yield obedi­ence to them in things absolutely necessa­ry for the upholding Civil Society with­in the Realm; such as are the defence of the Nation against Forainers, the fur­therance of Publick Justice, and the main­tenance of Trade.

3. In the words as it is now established, &c. which may be understood either by way of approbation of what hath been done by way of abolishing Kingly Government, and the House of Peers, and placing all Authority and Power within this Realm, in the House of Commons. Or else [...] only, as a clause simply and barely reciting what manner of Govern­ment it is that this Nation de facto, is now under; viz. a Government by the Commons only, without either King or House of Lords.

‘Which Ambiguities considered, The highest construction that can be reasonably made of the words, is to this effect. I acknowledge the Soveraign Power of this Nation, whereunto I owe Allegi­ance and Subjection to be rightly stated in the House of Commons, wherein [Page 105] neither King nor Lords (as such) have, or henceforth ought to have any share; And I promise that I will perform all Allegiance and Subjection thereun­to, and maintain the same with my fortunes and life to the utmost of my power.’

And the lowest construction that can be rea­sonably made of the same words, is to this effect: ‘Whereas for the present, the Su­preme Power in England, under which Power I now am, is actually possessed and exercised by the House of Commons, without either King or Lords; I promise that so long as I live under that power and protection, I will not contrive or at­tempt any act of hostility against them: but living quietly and peaceably under them, will endeavor my self faithfully in my place and calling, to do what e­very good member of a Common-wealth ought to do for the safety of my Coun­try, and preservation of Civil Society therein.’

V. Now cometh in to be considered in the last place the great Question, whether of the two constructions it is, (That which bindeth to the Most, or This which obligeth [Page 106] to the Least, the words can well bear) that the formers of the Engagement did rather intend to declare by these words. They that think the former, want not probabi­lity of reason to ground their persuasions upon. For they consider, that those who are presently possessed of the Supreme Power, are not minded to part with it if they can hold it. And that the likeliest way to hold it is, if they can possibly bring the whole people of England, or at least the far greatest part thereof, to acknow­ledge that they are rightly possessed of it, and to promise Subjection and Allegi­ance to them as such. And that there­fore the Engagement, being purposely de­vised and set on foot, as the fittest engine to expedite that work, must in all reason intend to oblige so far. Which being so contrary to their Judgement and persua­sion, concerning the duty and Oath of Al­legiance, I cannot blame those that so un­derstand the words of the Engagement, if they abominate the very thought of ta­king it.

But there wanteth not great probability of Reason on the other side, to induce us to believe that the latter and lower sense [Page 107] is rather to be deemed the immediate, and declared intent of the Imposers, whatsoe­ver cause of suspition there may be, that the former meaning may be more agreea­ble to their secret, reserved, and ultimate intent; between which two, if there be any difference (as it is not impossible but there may be) the Engager is not concerned in it, or not yet: the Equivocation, if there be any in that, must be put upon the Im­posers, not on the Promisers score. For thus believing there are amongst others these Probabilities.

1. That many prudent and conscienci­ous men of the Royal Party, as well Di­vines and Lawyers, as others, have thus understood it, who we presume would not for any outward respect in the world have taken it, if they conceived any more to have been intended in it.

2. That it hath often been affirmed, both publickly and privately in several parts of the Kingdom (if we may believe either common fame, or the reports of sundry credible particular persons) by those that have persuaded or pressed others to subscribe; that the same is the very true intent and meaning of it, and no other.

[Page 108] 3. That if the Imposers had been minded to have declared an intent of binding to more they might easily have framed the words so as not to be capable of a constru­ction binding to Less.

4. That (as is also credibly reported) whilst the form of the words was under debate, the opinion of those that would have had it set higher, was not followed, as held unseasonable; and the vote carried, for the more moderate expression wherein it now standeth.

5. That the Imposers, intending by the Engagement to secure themselves, especially against the designs and attempts of those men, who they knew (well e­nough) held them for no other than Usur­pers, must be in reason supposed to re­quire no more assurance of them by the Engagement, than such as may and is usually given to Usurpers; which is, not an acknowledgment of their title, and a promise of Allegiance, but meerly a promise of living quietly, so long as they are under their power, and enjoy their protection.

6. That it is a received Maxim of Poli­tical prudence, for all new Governours, [Page 109] (especially those that either introduce a new form of Government, or come in upon a questionable title) to abstain from all harsh proceedings, even against those whom they know to be evil affected to their power, and not so much as to ex­asperate them (though it be in the power of their hands to destry them) especially in the beginning of their Government; but rather to sweeten them into a better opinion of their persons, and to win up­on them by Acts of Grace and Oblivion (for Remissiùs imperanti meliús paretur.) So as they may have Senec. 1. D [...] Clem. 24. but any tolerable kind of assu­rance from them in the mean time, of living quietly and peaceably under them. We have no reason therefore to believe that the Imposers of this Engagement, who have acted the parts of the greatest Politicians, so perfectly and successfully hitherto, as to possess themseves so fully of the Supreme Power of so great and flourishing a Kingdom, in so few years, would be so impolitick as not to proceed by the same rules, that all wise and success­ful persons have ever practised in the mana­ging, and for the establishing of an acquired power.

[Page 110] VI. Out of all these premises together (weighing my Positive conclusion, either Affirmative or Negative, touching the Lawfulness or Unlawfulness of subscri­bing in universali) I shall declare my opi­nion only in these few following particu­lars.

1. That it is not lawful for any man to take the Engagement with a resolution to break it.

2. That therefore, whosoever thinketh the words of the Engagement do contain a promise of any thing which is not lawful for him to perform, cannot take it with a good conscience.

3. That whosoever so understandeth the words of the Engagement, as if they did oblige him to any thing contrary to his Allegiance, or render him unable to act according thereunto, upon any seasonable emerging occasion, cannot with a good conscience take it.

4. That if any man for any temporal benefit, or avoiding any temporal da­mage, shall take the Engagement with a doubting conscience (that is, before he be persuaded in his Judgement, upon some probable ground of reason, that it [Page 111] is lawful for him so to do) he sinneth therein.

5. That if any man after a serious de­sire of informing himself as rightly as he can, what are the duties of his Allegiance on the one side, and what is most probably the meaning intended by the words of the Engagement on the other side, shall find himself well satisfied in this persuasion, that the performance in the mean time of what is required by the Engagement so understood, is no way contrary (for any thing he can discern for the present) to his bounden Allegiance, so long as he is un­der such a force, as that he cannot exercise it; and likewise, that whensoever that force is so removed from him, or he from under it, as that he hath power to act according to his Allegiance, the Obliga­tion of the Engagement of it self deter­mineth and expireth: and out of these considerations, rather than suffer extreme prejudice in his Person, Estate, or necessary Relations, shall subscribe the Engagement, since his own heart condemneth him not, neither will I.

Sir, I have now two requests to you, which I doubt not but you will think rea­sonable. [Page 112] The one, that whatsoever use you shall please to make of these papers, or any thing therein contained, for your own, or any friends satisfaction; yet you would not deliver any Copies abroad, lest they should come to be printed, as some other papers of mine, written in this manner, have been without my know­ledg. This I desire, both in respect of the danger I might incur from the displeasure of the Potent Party, if any such thing should come abroad; as also lest upon the consideration of some things here hinted, they might think the words of the En­gagement too light, and might thence take occasion to lay some heavier Obli­gation upon us, in words that should ob­lige to More. The other request is, that since I have not any other perfect Copy of what now I send you, you would pro­cure it to be transcribed for me; and ei­ther the Copy so transcribed, or these very papers rather, when you have transcribed them, transmit inclosed in a Letter, or by some Friend that will be sure to deliver them safe, with his own hands, to my Son—in London, to whom I shall write shortly, that he may expect them.

[Page 113] Sir, I desire that my best respects may be presented, &c.—God endue us all with Grace and Wisdom fit for these evil times; to whose Mercy and Blessing commend us all, I rest,

Your Loving Friend and Servant.

The CASE of a RASH VOW Deliberately Iterated.

The Case.

A Gentleman of good Estate, hath Issue one only Daughter, who placing her affections upon a person much below her rank, intendeth Marriage with him: the Father hearing of it in great displeasure Voweth, and confirms it with an Oath, that if she Marry him, he will never give her a farthing of Estate. The Daughter notwith­standing Marryeth him: After which the Father sundry times iterateth and reneweth his said for­mer Vow, and that in a serious and deliberate manner; adding further, That he would never give her or any of hers any part of his Estate.


Whether the Fathers Vow so made, and so con­firmed and iterated as abovesaid, be Obligatory or not?

The Resolution.

My opinion is, That the Vow was Rash and is not at all Obligatory.

[Page 115] 1. The Question here proposed is con­cerning the obligation only; yet I deem it expedient to declare my opinion concer­ning the Rashness also: and that for two reasons. First, Because there seemeth in the proposal of the Case, to be some weight laid upon the after-iterations, which were more deliberate, as if they added to the Obligation. And Secondly, Because I think it needful that the Vower should as well be convinced of the greatness of his sin in making such a Vow, for the time past, as satisfied concerning the present and future invalidity of it.

2. It is easie to believe, that the Gentle­man, when he first made the Vow, was pos­sessed with a very great indignation against his Daughter for her high and inexcusable disobedience to him in so very weighty a business. And truly it must be confessed, he had need to be a man of a very rare com­mand over his own Spirit, and such as are scarce to be found one of a thousand, that could contain himself within the bounds of reason, upon so just a provocation from an only Child, (possibly some other aggra­vating circumstances concurring) as not to be transported with the violence of that [Page 116] passion, into some thoughts and resoluti­ons, not exactly agreeable with the dictates of right reason. It can therefore be little doubted, but the Vow made whilst the Reason was held under the force of so strange a perturbation, was a rash and irra­tional Vow.

3. Nor will these after-acts in confirma­tion of the first Vow, though having more of deliberation in them, be sufficient to redeem either it or themselves from the imputation of Rashness: understanding rashness in that latitude as the Casuists do, when they treat de Voto temerario, under the notion whereof they comprehend all such Vows as happen per defectum plenae & discussae deliberationis, as they express it; For it is to be considered, that when an injury, dis­obedience, or other affront is strongly re­sented, it many times maketh a very deep impression in the Soul, which though after the first impetus have a little spent it self, it begin somewhat to abate, yet it doth so by such slow and insensible degrees, that the same perturbation, which first discom­posed the mind, may have a strong influ­ence into all succeeding deliberations for a long time after. Even as after an acute [Page 117] Fever, when the sharpest paroxysms are over, and the malignity of the disease well spent, although the party begin to recover some degrees of strength; yet there may remain for a good while after such a debility in the parts, as that they cannot exercise their proper functions, but with some weakness more or less, till the party be perfectly recovered. Sith there­fore the after-iterations on the first Vow in the present case, did proceed apparently from the rancor and malignity remaining in the mind, as the dregs and reliques of the same perturbation, from which the first Vow also proceeded: they must upon the same account (to wit, per defectum plenae deliberationis) undergo the same censure of Rashness with the first. The same I say for the kind; some difference I grant there is for the degree: but Majus & Minus non variant speciem, we know. And the consi­deration of that difference is only thus far useful in the present Case, that the more de­liberate those after-acts were, the more cul­pable they are, and the less capable either of Excuse or Extenuation; and consequent­ly do oblige the party to so much the more serious, solemn, and lasting Rpentance.

[Page 118] 4. But concerning rash Vows (in as much as the knot of the Question lyeth not there) it shall suffice to note these few points. First, That every Rash Vow is a sin; and that upon its own score, and precisely as it is Rash, although it should not be any other way peccant. All acts of Religious worship (by the importance of the third Commandment) are to be performed with all due sobriety, and attention, and advi­sedness: how much more then a Vow? which is one of the highest acts of wor­ship, as being a sacred contract, where un­to God himself is a party. See Eccl. 5. 1. &c. Secondly, That Rash Vows are for the most part, (besides the Rashness) peccant in their matter also; For they are commonly made in passion, and all passions are evil Counsellors, and Anger as bad as the first. The wrath of Man seldom worketh the righte­ousness of God. Thirdly, That a Rash Vow, (though to be repented of for the Rash­ness) may yet in some cases bind. As for example, A man finding himself ill used by a Shop-keeper, of whom he had formerly been accustomed to buy, voweth in a Rage that he will never buy of him again: This is a Rash Vow, yet it bindeth, because if [Page 119] the party had never made any such Vow at all, it had never been unjust or unchari­table, (nor so much as imprudent) in him for to have done the same thing, which by his Vow he hath now bound himself to do. So if a man impatient of his ill luck at Cards, should Vow in a heat never to Play at Cards any more; he were in this case also bound to keep his Vow: because there neither is any sin in keeping it, nor can be any great necessity why he should break it. That therefore Fourthly, if at any time a Rash Vow bind not; the invalidity thereof proceedeth not meerly (nor indeed at all) from the Rashness (which yet is a very common error amongst men) but from the faultiness of it otherwise, in respect of the matter, or thing vowed to be done; when that which is so Vowed, is either so evil in it self, or by reason of circumstances, becometh so evil, that it cannot be per­formed without sin.

5. That therefore concerning the Vow in the present case, I declared my Opinion that it is not at all obligatory; it is done upon this ground (which is a most certain truth, and consented to by all) that Rei illicilae nulla obligatio. If a man shall Vow [Page 120] any thing that is contrary to Piety; as if having taken offence at some indiscreet passage in a Sermon of his own Minister, he should vow that he would never come to Church, or hear him Preach again: Or that is contrary to Justice, as to take away the life of an innocent person, as those forty persons that had vowed they would neither eat nor drink till they had slain Paul: Or never to make restitution to own whom he knew he had wronged: Or contrary to Charity; as to be revenged of, or never to be friends with one that had done him wrong: Or that is contrary to Mercy; as if having lost some mony by lending to his friend, or having smarted by suretiship, he should vow never to lend any man mony, or become surety for any man again. Let such a Vow, I say, as any of these, or any of the like nature, be made either rashly, or deliberately, and strengthened with Oaths and Imprecations, in the most direful and solemn manner that can be de­vised to tie it on the faster; yet it is al­together null and invalid as to the effect of Obligation. Whence those common say­ings, In malè promissis rescinde fidem; ne sit juramentum vinculum iniquitatis, &c. And [Page 121] we have a good president for it in David, after he had in a rage vowed the destru­ction of Nabal, and all that belonged to him; which vow, upon better considera­tion, he not only did not perform, but he blessed God also, for so providentially preventing the performance of it, by the discreet demeanor and intervention of Abigal.

6. Now the reason why such vows are not binding, is very cogent and clear; E­ven because the party at such time as he is supposed to have made such Vow as a­foresaid, lay under another (a former, and therefore a stronger) obligation to the con­trary. And it is agreeable to all the reason in the World, that he who either by his own voluntary act, hath bound himself (where lawfully he might so do) or by the command of his lawful Superior (that hath a right to his service, and may exact obe­dience from him) is already bound to do, or not to do this or that; should not have power to disoblige himself therefrom, at his own pleasure, or to superinduce upon himself a new Obligation contrary there­unto: Obligatio prior praejudicat posteriori. As in the case of Marriage, a precontract [Page 122] with one party, voideth all after-contracts with any other: And if a man convey Lands to several persons, by Deeds of se­veral date, the first conveyance standeth good, and all the rest are void; and so in all cases of like nature. The obligatory power thereof that is in Vows, Oaths, Promises, &c. is rightly said by some, to be a constructive, not a destructive power. The meaning is, that such acts may cre­ate a new Obligation where was none be­fore, or confirm an old one; but it can­not destroy an old one, or substitute a­nother contrary thereunto, in the place thereof.

7. And the reason of this reason also is yet farther evident; for that Quisquis obliga­tur, alteri obligatur. When a man is obliged by any act, it is also supposed that the obli­gation is made to some other party; to whom also it is supposed some right to ac­crue, by vertue of the said act obligatory; and that that other party is by the said act sufficiently vested in that said right, of which right he cannot be again devested and deprived by the meer act of him who instated him therein, and is obliged to per­form it to him (unless himself give con­sent [Page 123] thereunto) without the greatest inju­stice in the World. Now God having a perfect right to our obedience, by his own obliging Precept, both for the not doing hurt to any man, and for the doing good to every man upon all fit opportunities: and this right also confirmed, and ratified by our own obligatory act in a solemn man­ner, before many witnesses at our Baptism, when we vowed to keep all God's Com­mandments: it were unreasonable to think that it should be in our power, by any af­ter-act of ours to disoblige our selves from both, or either of those obligations. For then we might by the same reason free our selves from the obligation of that latter Act also (suppose an Oath, or Vow) by another subsequent Oath, or Vow; and from that again by another: and so play fast and loose, make Vows, and break them in infinitum. Evident it is there­fore, that every vow requiring any thing to be done, which is repugnant to any office of Piety, Justice, Charty, or Mercy, which we owe either to God or man, is void, and bindeth not, because it findeth us under the power of a former contrary obligation, and hath not it self power [Page 124] sufficient to free or discharge us from the same.

8. The general Rule thus cleared, it re­maineth to examine concerning the parti­cular Vow now in question, whether it be void upon this account or no? It will be found hard I believe to free this Vow from being repugnant to the rules of Justice, but impossible, I am sure, to reconcile it with the perfect Evangelical Law of Charity and Mercy. First, Civil and Political Justice, re­quireth that every man should obey the wholsome Laws of his Countrey, and sub­mit himself to be ordered thereby. Now, put the case (which is possible enough) that the Daughters Husband should for lack of support from his Father-in-law, or otherwise, live and die in great want, leaving his Wife and many small Children behind him, destitute of all means for their necessary sustenance. The Law would (as I suppose) in that case, upon complaint of the Parish, and for their ease, send the Daughter and her Children to the Fa­ther, and compel him to maintain them out of his Estate. Which order he ought to obey, nor can refuse so to do, without the high contempt of publick Authority, [Page 125] and manifest violation of the Civil Justice, notwithstanding his Vow to the contra­ry: The Law must be obeyed whatso­ever becometh of the Vow; in that case therefore it is evident the Vow bindeth not.

9. But say that should not happen to be the case (which yet is more than any man can positively say before-hand) the Parent is nevertheless in Moral Justice bound to pro­vide due maintenance for his Children and Grand-Children if he be able. Saint Paul saith that Fathers ought to lay up for the Children. True it is, he speaketh it but upon the by, and by way of Illustration, in the handling of another argument, very di­stant from this business: but that doth not at all lessen the importance of it, such illu­strations being ever taken à notiori, and from such common notions as are granted, and consented unto by all reasonable men. The same Apostle having amongst other sins of the Gentiles, mentioned disobedience to Parents in one verse, in the very next verse, mentioneth also want of natural affection in Parents. And the disobedience in the Child can no more discharge the Parent from the obligation of that duty he oweth [Page 126] to the Child, and of affection and mainte­nance, then the unnaturalness of the Parent, can the Child from the duty he oweth to the Parent, of Honour and Obedience. For the several duties, that by Gods ordinance, are to be performed by persons that stand in mutual relation either to other, are not pactional and conditional; as are the Leagues and Agreements made between Princes (where the breach in one part dissolveth the obligation on the other) but are absolute and independent; wherein each person is to look to himself, and the performance of the duty that lyeth upon him, though the other party should fail in the performance of his.

10. Something I foresee may be objected in this point, concerning the lawfulness of the Parents withdrawing maintenance from the Child (either in whole, or at least in part) in the case of disobedience. Which how far forth it may, or may not be done; as it would be too long to examine, so it would be of little avail to the present busi­ness. For it is one thing to with hold main­tenance from a disobedient Child for the present, and to resolve so to continue till he shall see cause to the contrary. And ano­ther thing to bind himself by Vow or Oath, [Page 127] never to allow him any for the future, what­soever should happen. Let be granted what­soever can be supposed pleadable on the Fa­thers behalf in the present case; yet there will still remain two particulars in this Vow, not easily to be cleared from being unjust. First, let the Daughters disobedi­ence deserve all this uttermost of punish­ment from the offended Fathers; yet how can it be just, that for the Mothers fault, the poor innocent (perhaps yet unborn) Children, should be utterly, and irreco­verably excluded from all possibility of relief from their Grand-father? Secondly, It is (if not unjust, yet what differeth very little there-from) the extremity of rigid Justice; that any offender (much less a Son or Daughter) should for any offence, not deserving Death, be by a kind of fatal peremptory decree, put into an incapacity of receiving relief from such persons, as otherwise ought to have relieved the said offender, without any reservation either of the case of extreme necessity, or of the case of serious repentance.

11. However it be for the point of Justice: yet so apparent is the repugnancy of the matter of this Vow, with the Precepts of [Page 128] Christian Charity and Mercy; that if all I have hitherto said were of no force, this repugnancy alone were enough (without other evidence) to prove the unlawfulness, and consequently the invalidity, or inobli­gality thereof. It is (not an Evangelical Counsel, but) the express peremptory pre­cept of Christ, that we should be merciful, even as our heavenly Father is merciful. And inasmuch as, not in that passage only, but for the most part wheresoever else the duty of mercy is pressed upon us in the Gos­pel from the example of God: God is re­presented to us by the Name, and under the notion of a Father, although I may not lay much weight upon it, as a demonstra­tive proof; yet I conceive I may commend it as a rational Topick, for all that are Fathers to consider of, whether it do not import, that mercy is to be expected from a father as much as (if not rather much more than) from any other man; and that the want of mercy in a Father, is more un­kindly, more unseemly, more unnatural than in another man: But this by the way, from the Precept of Christ, we learn, that as there is in God a two-fold mercy, (a gi­ving mercy, in doing us good, though we [Page 129] deserve it not, and a forgiving mercy, in pardoning us when we have done amiss:) so there ought to be in every good Christian man a readiness (after the example of God) to shew forth the fruits of mercy to others, in both kinds, upon all proper and meet occasions. So that if any person, of what quality or condition soever, shall upon any provocation whatsoever Vow that he will never do any thing for such or such a man; or that he will never for­give such or such a man: every such Vow, being contra bonos mores, and contra officium hominis Christiani, is unlawful, and bindeth not.

12. The offices of mercy in the former of those two branches, viz. of doing good, and affording relief to those that are in ne­cessity, are themselves of so great necessity (as the case may be) that common huma­nity would exact the performance of them from the hand, not of a strangeronly, but even of an enemy. If a stranger or an ene­mies Beast lie weltring in a Ditch, a help­ing hand must be lent to draw it out. The Samaritans compassion to the wounded Tra­veller in the Parable, Luke 10. (There be­ing a feud, and that grounded upon Reli­gion, [Page 130] which commonly of all others, is the most deadly feud between the two Na­tions) is commended to our example, to the great reproach of the Priest and Levite, for their want of Bowels to their poor Brother of the same Nation and Religion with them­selves: For the nearer the Relation is be­tween the Parties, the stronger is the obli­gation of shewing mercy either to other. And there is scarce any relation nearer, and more obliging, than that of Parents and Children.

Our Saviour, who in Matth. 15. sharply reproved such Vows, (though made with an intention to advance the Service of God, by inriching his Treasury) as hin­dred Children from relieving their Pa­rents, will not certainly approve of such vows (made without any other intenion then to gratifie rage, and impatience) as hinder Parents from relieving their Chil­dren.

13. If to avoid the force of this argu­ment, it shall be alledged, that the Daugh­ters disobedience, in a business of so high concernment, might justly deserve to be thus severely punished, and that it were but equal that she, who had so little re­gard [Page 131] to her Father, when the time was, should be as little regarded by him after­wards. All this granted, cometh not yet up to the point of shewing Mercy according to the example of God. No Childs diso­bedience can be so great to an earthly Pa­rent, as ours is to our heavenly Father: Yet doth he notwithstanding all our ill de­servings continually do us good, communi­cating to our necessities, and causing his Sun to shine, and his Rain to fall, and infinite benefits in all kinds to descend upon man­kind, not excluding the most thankless, and disobedient, and rebellious, from having a share therein.

14. And as for that other branch of mercy in pardoning Offences, God giveth a rich ex­ample to all men, of their duty in that kind, (and to Fathers particularly) by his great readiness to pardon the greatest of­fenders, if they sincerely seek to him for it. If the Father in the Parable, Luke 15. had proceeded with such severity against his riotousSon, as to have vowed never to have received him again; he had been a very improper exemplar, whereby to shadow out the mercy of God to repentant sinners. Concerning the grreat importance of this [Page 132] duty, which is so frequently inculcated by Christ and his Apostles, and so perempto­rily enjoyned, as not any other duty more. See Matt. 6. 4, 15. Matt. 18. 21.—35. Eph. 4. 32. Col. 3. 13. James 2. 13. See also Sirac. 28, 1, &c.] I shall not need to say much; only as to the present Case, it would be considered, how perverse a course it is, and contradictory to it self, for a man to think himself obliged by one inconsiderate act, never to forgive his Daughter; when as yet he cannot beg pardon of his own sins, at the hands of God, (as he ought in his daily Prayer to do) without an express con­dition of forgiving every body, and an implicit imprecation upon himself, if he do not.

15. But shall the Daughter that hath thus grieved the spirit of her Father, thus escape unpunished, and be in as good a condition as if she had never offended? And will not others be incouraged by her impunity, to despise their Parents after her example? There is much reason in this ob­jection; and therefore what I have hither­to written, ought not to be understood, as if thereby were intended such a plenary in­dulgence for the daughter as should restore [Page 133] her in integrum, but only that she should be made capable of receiving such relief from her Father, from time to time, as in relation to her necessities, and after-car­riage, from time to time should seem reaso­nable; and that his Vow ought not to hin­der him from affording her such relief. But by what degrees, and in what proportion, the Father should thus receive his daugh­ter into his fatherly affection, and relieve her, must be left to discretion, and the exigence of circumstances. Only I should advise (in order to the objection, viz. for examples sake, and that the Daughter might be made, even to her dying day, and kept, sensible of her great and sinful diso­bedience to her Father) that the Father should cut off from his Daughter, and her Posterity, some meet portion of his Estate, (as perhaps a fifth part at the least; or if a fourth, or a whole third part, I should like it the better;) and by a solemn delibe­rate vow, dedicate the same to be yearly imployed in some pious and charitable uses. These times will afford him choice of objects, if God shall move his heart so to do; and by so doing, he may, First▪ in some sort redeem, and make a kind of [Page 134] satisfaction for his former Rashness, (not Popishly understood, and in regard of the Justice of God, but) in a moral sense, and in regard of the world, and his own Con­science. Secondly, it may be a good means to keep the Daughter in a continual fresh remembrance of her fault, that she may not, after a short and slight repentance (as in such cases too often it happeneth) forget the same; whereof she ought to have some remorse all the days of her life. Thirdly, he shall thereby after a sort, per­form his first Vow; I mean according to the general intention thereof, and the rational part, (which was to make his Daughter repent her folly, and to smart for it:) the over-plus more than this, be­ing but the fruit of rancor and perturba­tion. Lastly, he shall in so doing, doubly, imitate God our heavenly Father. First, when a rash or sinful act is made an occasi­on of a pious or charitable work, it beareth some resemblance of, or rather is indeed it self a gracious effect of that goodness and wisedom in God, whereby he bringeth light out of darkness, and good out of evil. Secondly, God Himself when he graciously pardoneth an high presumptuous sin, as he [Page 135] did Davids great sin, in the matter of Uriah, commonly layeth some lasting affliction upon the offender, as he did upon David, who after the sealing his pardon for that sin by Nathan, scarce ever had a quiet day all his life long. The reason whereof seem­eth to be double, partly for admonition to others, that none presume to provoke God in like manner, l [...]st they smart for it also in like manner; and partly for the good of the offender, that he may by the smart be brought to the deeper sense of his error, and be eft-soons reminded of it, lest he should too soon forget it.

Thus have I with very much ado, (in that weak condition I have been in, ever since the que­stion came to my hands and wherein I yet conti­tinue) declared my opinion fully concerning the whole business as far as I understand it. More largely I confess than I intended, or perhaps was needful; and with greater severity than (it may be) the parties will well like of. But truly I desired to do the part of a faithful Confessor, and the sores on both parts seemed to be such as were not to be touched with too gentle a hand: In the Daughter an act of high disobedience, transported by the passion of inordinate love; and [Page 136] in the Father an act of great Rashness, transport­ed by the passion of inordinate anger: both beyond the bounds of right Reason, and Religion; and both to be deeply repented of. Howsoever, I can­not be suspected to have written any thing, either out of favour for, or prejudice against either par­ty; not having the least conjecture who the per­sons are that are concerned in the business; nor so much as in what part of the Nation they live. I shall pray that God would direct them both, to do that which may best serve to his glory, and bring the soundest comfort to their own souls.


The Case of the Sabbath.
To my very Loving Friend Mr. Tho. Sa, at S. B. Nottingh. March 28. 1634.


WHen by your former Letter, you desired my present Resolution in two Questions therein proposed concerning the Sabbath, although I might not then sa­tisfie your whole desire (being loth to give in my opinion before I had well weighed it) yet that I might not seem altogether to decline the task imposed on me by you, I engaged my self by promise, within short time, to send you what upon further con­sideration, I should conceive thereof. Which promise, so far as my many distra­ctions and occasions would permit, I endea­voured to perform by perusing the Books you sent me, (in the one whereof, I found written on the spare paper with your hand, a Note moving a third Question, about, the Name of the Sabbath also;) and by looking up and reviewing such scattered [Page 138] Notes as I had touching that Subject. But then I met with difficulties so many and great (whereof the more I considered, the more still I found them to increase) that I saw it would be a long work, and take up far more time than I could spare, to digest and enlarge what seemed needful to be said in the three Questions in such sort as was requisite, to give any tolerable satisfacti­on either to my self or others. Wherefore I was estsoons minded to have excused my self by Letter to you, and farther medling with these Questions, and to have remit­ted you over for better satisfaction to those men, that have both better leisure to go about such a business, and better abilities to go through with i [...] than I have; for to questions of importance, better nothing be said, than not enough: And the rather was I mided so to do, when I perceived there were rumors spread in these parts, (occasioned, as I verily suppose, by some speeches of your good friend Mr. Tho. A.) as if I were writing a Treatise of the mora­lity of the Sabbath. Which besides that, it might raise an expectation of some great matters which I could in no wise answer; it might also expose that little I should [Page 139] have done to the mis-censures of men wed­ded to their own opinions, if after I had laid mine open, it should have happened in any thing (as in some things like enough it would) to have disagreed from theirs. Yet because by your late kind Letters, (where­in, whilst I was slack in making it, you have prevented mine excuse,) I perceive the continuance of your former desire; I have therefore since resolved to do some­what, though not so much as I first intend­ed, hoping that you will in friendly manner interpret my purpose therein. I have there­fore now sent you but a naked summary of my thoughts concerning the three Questi­ons, abstracted from all those Explanati­ons, Reasons, Testimonies of Authors, removals of objections, and other such Enlargements as have might have given further both lustre and strength there­unto.

Howsoever, by what I presently send, you may sufficiently see what my opinion is; which I shall be ready to clear, so far as my understanding will serve, in any par­ticular wherein you shall remain doubtful; and as ready to alter when any man shall instruct me better, if he bring good evidence [Page 140] either of Reason or of Scripture-Text for what he affirmeth: The Questions are,

1. Which is the fittest Name where­by to call the day of our Christian weekly-rest? whether the Sabbath, the Lord's-day, or Sunday?

2. What is the meaning of that Prayer appointed to be used in our Church; [Lord have Mercy upon us, and intline, &c] as it is repeated after, and applied to the words of the fourth Commandment?

3. Whether it be lawful to use any bodily recreation upon the Lord's-day? and if so, then what kind of Recreations may be used?

I. Concerning the Name Sabbatum, or Sabbath, I thus conceive;

1. That in Scripture, Antiquity, and all Ecclesiastical Writers, it is constantly ap­propriated to the day of the Jews Sabbath, or Saturday; and not at all (till of late years) used to signifie our Lord's-day, or Sunday.

2. That to call Sunday, by the name of the Sabboth-day, (rebus sic slantibus) may for sundry respects be allowed in the Chri­stian [Page 141] Church without any great inconve­niency: and that therefore men (other­wise sober and moderate) ought not to be censured with too much severity, neither charged with Judaism, if sometimes they so speak.

3. That yet for sundry other respects it were perhaps much more expedient, if the word Sabbath (in that motion) were either not at all, or else more sparing­ly used.

II. Concerning the name Dominica, or the Lord's-day:

1. That it was taken up in memory of our Lord Christ's Resurrection, and the great work of our Redemption accompli­shed therein.

2. That it hath warrant from the Scrip­ture, (Apoc. 1. 10) and hath been of long continued use in the Christian Church, to signifie the first day of the week, or Sun­day.

III. Concerning the name Dies Solis, or Sunday.

1. That it is taken from the courses of the Planets, as the names of the other days are: the reason whereof is to be learned from Astronomers.

[Page 142] 2. That it hath been used generally, and of long time, in most parts of the World.

3. That it is not justly chargeable with Heathenism; and that it proceedeth from much weakness at the least, (if not rather superstition) that some men condemn the use of it, as prophane, heathenish or un­lawful,

IV. Of the fitness of the aforesaid three names compared one with another.

1. That according to the several matter or occasions of speech, each of the three may be fitter in some respect, and more proper to be used than either of the other two; As, viz.

1. The Name Sabbath: when we speak of a time of rest indeterminate, and in ge­neral, without reference to any parti­cular day: and the other two, when we speak determinately of that day which is observed in the Christian Church. Of which two again.

2. That of the Lord's-day is fitter, in in the Theological and Ecclesiastical; and,

3. That of Sunday, in the civil, popu­lar, and common use.

[Page 143] 2. Yet so as that none of the three be condemned as utterly unlawful, whatso­ever the matter or occasion be, but that every man be left to his Christian liberty herein, so long as superior Authority doth not restrain it. Provided ever, that what he doth herein, he do it with­out vanity or affectation in himself, or without uncharitable judging or despising his Brother that doth otherwise than him­self doth.

To the second Question.

V. The words of that Prayer, [Lord have mercy, &c.] repeated after the fourth Commandment, do evidently import, as they do in each of the other ten.

1. An acknowledgment of three things, viz.

1. That the words of that particular Commandment contain in them a Law, whereunto we are subject.

2. That it is our bounden duty to en­deavour with our utmost power to keep the said Law.

3. That our naughty hearts have (of themselves) no inclination to keep it, [Page 144] until God, by the work of his Grace, shall incline them thereunto.

2. A double supplication, viz.

1. For Mercy, in respect of the time past, because we have failed of boun­den duty heretofore.

2. For Grace, in respect of the time to come, that we may perform our duties better hereafter.

VI. But how far forth the words of the fourth Commandment are to be taken as a Law binding Christians, and by what au­thority they have that binding power, is the main difficulty.

For the resolution whereof, it may suf­fice every sober minded Christian, to un­derstand the Prayer appointed by the Church, in that meaning which the words do immediately import; and without o­ver-curious inquiry into those things that are more disputable, to believe these few points following, which ought to be ta­ken as certain and granted amongst Chri­stians; viz.

1. That no part of the Law delivered by Moses to the Jews, doth bind Chri­stians under the Gospel, as by virtue of that delivery; no, not the ten Com­mandments [Page 145] themselves, but least of all the fourth, which all confess to be (at least) in some part Ceremonial.

2. That the particular determination of the time to the seventh day of the week, was Ceremonial: And so the ob­ligation of the fourth Commandment in that respect, (although it were Juris divini positivi to the Jew, yet) is cea­sed together with other legal Ceremo­nies since the publishing of the Go­spel, and bindeth not Christian Con­sciences.

3. That the substance of the fourth Commandment in the general, (viz. that some certain time should be set apart from secular imployments, and to be sanctified to an holy rest, for the better attending upon Gods's pub­lick and solemn worship) is moral and perpetual, and of Divine right, as a branch of the Law of Nature, whereunto Christians under the Gospel are still bound.

4. That de facto, The Lord's-day, or Sunday, is the time appointed to us for that purpose by such sufficient Authori­ty, as we stand bound in Conscience [Page 146] to obey: abs (que) hoc, whether that Autho­rity be immediately Divine, or but mediately through the power of the Church.

This is sufficient to regulate the Judg­ment and Conscience of every ordinary Christian; yet is it not unlawful for Scho­lars (soberly and fairly) to argue and de­bate a little farther matters which are questionable, for the better finding out of the Truth.

And the points in this Argument that are most in controversie, are these two, viz.

1. Concerning the observation of a weekly Sabbath; whether it be of ne­cessity to keep one day of every seven? And by what right we ate tied so to do?

2. Concerning the change of the Jewish Sabbath into the Lord's day; and by what Authority it was done.

VII. As touching the observation of a weekly Sabbath, there are these three dif­ferent opinions, viz.

1. That it is de jure naturali, as a branch properly of the Law of Nature.

2. That it is properly and directly de jure [Page 147] divino positivo, established by God's express positive Ordinance in his Word.

3. That it is merely de jure humano & Ec­clesiastico; introduced by Authority, and established by the custom and consent of the Catholick Church.

Touching which three opinions, I leave it to the judicious to consider.

1. Whether the last of them might not hap to be of evil consequence, by leaving it in the power of the Church, at her plea­sure to change the old proportion of one in seven, (which hath continued ever since the days of Moses) into any other greater or lesser proportion of time?

2. Whether the two former opinions (though they do indeed avoid that incon­venience) do not yet stand upon such weak grounds, otherwise that they are by many degrees more improbable than the third.

3. Whether a fourth opinion going in a middle way, might not be proposed with greater probability, and entertained with better safety than any of the former three? viz. That the keeping holy of one day in seven, is of Divine positive right, taking jus divinum in a large signification: not for [Page 148] that only which is primarily, properly, and directly such, according to the tenor of the second opinion; but including withal that which is Secondarily, Consequently, and Analogically such.

VIII. For the better understanding whereof, we are to consider;

1. That those things are de jure divi­no in the first and strict sense: which ei­ther,

1. Are enjoyned by the express Ordi­nance and Commandment of God in his holy Word; or else,

2. May be deduced there-from by ne­cessary, evident, and demonstrative illa­tion.

In which sense, there are not many things de jure divino under the New Testa­ment.

2. That for a thing to be de jure divino in the latter and larger sense, it sufficeth that it may be by humane Discourse upon rea­sons of Congruity probably deduced from the Word of God, as a thing most conve­nient to be observed by all such as desire unfeignedly to order their ways according to God's holy Will.

3. That this kind of Jus divinum may be [Page 149] reasonably discerned by the concurrence of all, or the chiefest of these four things following, viz.

1. A foundation of Equity for the thing in general, either in the Law of Nature, or by vertue of Divine Institu­tion.

2. An Analogie held for the parti­cular determination, with such Laws and directions as were given to the Jewish people in the Old Testament, so far as the reason of Equity holdeth alike.

3. Some probable insinuations there­of in the Scriptures of the New Testa­ment.

4. The continued practice of the Chri­stian Church, so far as the condition of the times in the several Ages thereof would permit. For, Lex currit cum praxi.

4. That all these do in some measure concur for the observation of a weekly Sabbath; as upon the examination of the several particulars will easily appear.

IX. This distinction of Jus divinum is to be observed the rather. because it may be of very good use, (if rightly understood and applied.)

1. For cutting off the most material in­stances, [Page 150] which are usually brought by the Romish Party for the maintenance of their unwritten Traditions.

2. For the clearing of some, and the silencing of other some Controversies in the Church, which are disputaed pro and con with much heat; as, viz. concerning,

1. The Government of the Church by Bishops.

2. The Distinction of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.

3. The Exercise of Ecclesiastical Cen­sures, as Suspension, Excommunication, &c.

4. The Building and Consecrating of Churches for the service of God.

5. The assembling of Synods upon need­ful occasions, for the maintenance of the Truth, and for the settling of Church Affairs.

6. The forbidding of Marriages to be made within certain degrees of Consan­guinity and Affinity.

7. The Baptizing of Infants born of Christian Parents.

8. The maintenance of the Clergy by the Tithes of the people, and sundry o­ther things: none of all which (to my [Page 151] understanding) seem to be de jure divino in that first and proper sense; but yet all (or most) of them to be de jure divino in this latter end larger signification.

3. For the right bounding of the Churches power, that she be neither denied her law­ful liberty in some things, nor yet assume to her self a greater power than of right be­longeth unto her in other some. For,

1. In things that are meerly de jure humano; every particular Church hath power in her self from time to time, to order, and alter them at her pleasure, and may exercise that power when she think­eth fit.

2. Things that are de jure divino in that first sense, the Universal Church may not (and much less then may any parti­cular) at all take upon her to alter, but must observe them inviolably, whatsoe­ever necessities or distresses she be put unto.

3. Things that are de jure divino in this latter sense; every particular Church (but much more the Universal) hath a power to alter in a case of necessity: But the exercise of that power is so li­mited to extraordinary cases, that it may [Page 152] not be safe for her at all to exercise it; unless it be for the avoiding of mighty inconveniences, not otherwise to be a­voided.

X. As for the other controversed Point, touching the change the day, from the last day of the week, or Saturday, (which was the Jews Sabbath) to the first day of the week, or Sunday, which is our Lord's-day: My opinion is, that the observation of the Lord's-day among Christians instead of the Jewish Sabbath,

1. Is not grounded upon any comamnd­ment given by Christ to his Apostles.

2. Nor yet upon any Apostolical Consti­tution given by the Apostles unto the Churches in that behalf. But.

3. That it was taken up by the succeed­ing Church; partly in imitation of some of the Apostles, who used (especially in the Churches of the Gentiles; for in the Churches of Judea the old Sabbath was still observed) to Celebrate their Holy Assemblies upon the first day of the week, in the honour of Christ and his Resurrection; and partly for the avoid­ing of Judaism, wherewith falser Teachers in those first times were eve and a­non [Page 153] attempting to enthral the Christian Church.

4. That the observation of the Lord's-day, having been confirmed by so many Constitutions both Eccleasiastical and Im­perial, and having withall continued with such uniform consent throughout the Chri­stian World, for so many Ages ever since the Apostles times; the Church (not to dispute what she may or may not do in ple­nitudine potestatis, yet) ought not to attempt the altering of it to any other day of the week.

To the third Question.

XI. In this matter touching Recreations to be used on the Lord's-day, much need not be said, there being little difficulty in it, and his Majesties last Declaration in that behalf having put it past Disputation. I say then,

1. For the Thing. That no man can reason­ably condemn the moderate use of lawful Recreations upon the Lord's-day, as sim­ply, and de toto genere unlawful.

2. For the Kind. Albeit there can be no certain rules given herein, (as in most in­different [Page 154] things it cometh to pass) by rea­son of the infinite variety of circumstances, to fit with all particular cases, but that still much must be left to private discretion: yet for some directions in this matter, re­spect would be had in the choice of our Recreations,

1. To the Publick Laws of the State. Such games or sports as are by Law pro­hibited, (though in themselves other­wise lawful) being unlawful to them that are under the obedience of the Law.

2. To the condition of the Person. Walking and discoursing with men of liberal Education, is a pleasant recrea­tion; it is no way delightsom to the ru­der sort of people, who scarce account any thing a sport which is not loud and boysterous.

3. To the effects of the Recreations themselves. Those being the meetest to be used, which give the best refreshing to the body. and leave the least impression in the mind. In which respect, Shooting, Leaping, Pitching the Bar, Stool-ball, &c. are rather to be chosen than Dicing, Carding, &c.

3. For the Use. That men would be ex­horted [Page 155] to use their Recreation, and Pastimes upon the Lord's-day in godly and commen­dable sort. For which purpose, amongst others these cautions following would be remembred.

1. That they be used with great mo­deration (as at all other times, so especi­ally, and much more) upon the Lord's-day.

2. That they be used at seasonable times, not in time of Divine Service, nor at such hours as are appointed by the Master of the house whereunto they be­long, for Private Devotions within his own house. His Majesties Declaration limiteth mens liberty this way, till after Even-song be ended.

3. That they be so used, as that they may rather make men the fitter for God's Service the rest of the day, and for the works of their Vocations the rest of the week, than any way hinder or disable them thereunto, by over-wearying the body, or immoderately affecting the mind.

4. That they use them not doubting­ly, for whatsoever is not of Faith, is sin. He therefore that is not satisfied in [Page 156] his own judgement, that he may lawful­ly, and without sin, use bodily recrea­tions on the Lord's-day, ought by all means to forbear the use thereof, lest he should sin against his own Conscience.

5. That they be severer towards themselves than towards other men in the use of their Christian liberty herein, not making their own opinion or practice a rule to their brethren. In this, as in all indifferent things, a wise and charitable man will in godly wisdom deny himself many times the use of that liberty, which in a godly charity he dare not deny to his Brother.

The CASE of the Use of the LITURGY, stated in the late times.


WHereas you are desirous to know what my Judgment and Practice is concerning the using or forbearing of the established Liturgy, (either in whole or in part) in the public Service of God, and Offices of the Church, if that may be any satisfaction to your self or Friend: I shall fully acquaint you with my practice, is (whereunto if my Judgment be not con­form'd I am without all escape mine own Condemner) and upon what consideration, I have according to the variation of times, varied my self therein.

So long as my Congregation continued unmixt with Souldiers, (as well after as be­fore the promulgation of the Ordinance of the two Houses, for the abolishing of Com­mon Prayer) I continued the use of it, as I had ever formerly done in the most peaceable and orderly times, not omitting those very [Page 158] Prayers, the silencing whereof I could not but know to have been chiefly aimed in the Ordinance, viz. Those for the King, the Queen, and the Bishops. And so I did also, though some Souldiers were casually present, till such time as a Troop coming to quar­ter in the Town (who on purpose to continue a kind of Garrison among us or Head quar­ter) were so enraged at my reading of it the first Sunday after they came, that immedi­ately after Morning Service, they seized on the Book and tore it all to pieces.

Thence forward, during their continu­ance here for full six Months and upwards, (viz. from the beginning of November, till they were called away to Naseby-fight in May following,) besides that for want of a Book, of necessity I must; I saw it also be­hoved me, for the preventing farther out­rage, to wave the use of the Book for the time, at least in the ordinary Service; on­ly I read the Confession, the Lords Prayer, with the Versicles and the Psalms for the day; then after the first Lesson in the Forenoon, Benedictus or Iubilate, and in the Afternoon Cantate. After the second Les­son also in the Forenoon, sometimes the Creed, and sometimes the ten Command­ments, [Page 159] and sometimes neither, but only sang a Psalm, and so to Sermon: But all that while in the Administration of the Sacraments, the Solemnization of Matri­mony, Burial of the Dead, and Church­ing of Women, I constantly used the anci­ent forms and rites to every of them re­spectively belonging, according to the ap­pointment in the Book. Only I was care­ful in all the rest to make choice of such times and opportunities, as I might do them with most secresie and without disturbance of the Souldiers; But at the celebration of the Eucharist I was the more secure to do it publickly, because I was assured none of the Souldiers would be present.

After their departure I took the liberty to use the whole Liturgy, or but some part of it, omitting sometimes more, some­times less upon occasion, as I judged it most expedient, in reference to the Auditory, especially if any Souldiers or other un­known persons happened to be present. But all the while the substance of what I omitted I contrived into my Prayer before Sermon, the phrase and order only varied; which, yet I endeavoured to temper in such sort, as that any person of ordinary [Page 160] capacity might easily perceive what my meaning was, and yet the words left as lit­tle liable to exception or cavil as might be.

About nigh two years ago, I was adver­tised (but in a very friendly manner) by a Parliament-man of note in these parts, that at a public meeting in Grantham, great complaint was made by some Ministers (of the Presbyterian-gang, as I afterwards found) of my refractoriness to obey the Parlia­ments Order in that behalf: The Gentle­man told me withal, that although they knew long before what my judgment and practice was, yet they were not forward to take notice of it before complaint made, which being now done in so public manner, if they should not take knowledge of it, the blame would lie upon them; he also advised me to consider well what I had to do; for I must resolve either to adven­ture the loss of my living, or to lay aside Common-Prayer, which if I should con­tinue, (after complaint and admonition) it would not be in his power, nor in the power of any friend I had to preserve me. The effect of my then answer was, that if the case was so, the deliberation was not [Page 161] hard: I having long ago considered the Case, and resolved what I might with a good conscience do, and what were fittest for me in prudence to do, if I should ever be put to it, viz. to forbear the use of the Common Prayer-book, so far as might sa­tisfie the Letter of the Ordinance rather than forsake my station.

My next business then was, to bethink my self of such a course to be thencefor­ward held in the public worship in my own Parish, as might be likeliest neither to bring danger to my self by the use, nor to bring scandal to my Brethren by the disuse of the established Liturgy. And the course was this, to which I have held me ever since.

I begin the Service with a Preface of Scripture, and an exhortation inferred thence to make Confession of sins; which Exhortation I have framed out of the Ex­hortation, and Absolution in the Book con­tracted and put together, and expressed for the most part in the very same words and phrases, but purposely here and there transplaced, that it might appear not to be, and yet be the same.

Then followeth the Confession it self in the same Order it was inlarged, only with [Page 162] the addition of some words, whereby it is rather explained than altered; the whole Form whereof both for your fuller satis­faction in that particular, and that you may partly conjecture what manner of ad­dition or change I have made proportiona­bly hereunto, (yet none so large) in other parts of the holy Office, I have here under­written.

O Almighty God and merciful Father, we thy unworthy servants do with shame and sorrow confess, that we have all our life long gone astray out of thy ways like lost Sheep, and that by fol­lowing too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have grievously offended against thy holy Laws, both in thought, word, and deed. We have many times left undone those good things which we might and ought to have done; and we have many times done those evils when we might have avoided them, which we ought not to have done: we confess, O Lord, that there is no health at all in us, nor help in any Creature to relieve us; But all our hope is in thy mercy, whose justice we have by our sins so far provoked. Have mercy upon us therefore, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders: Spare us, Good Lord, which confess our faults that we perish not: But according to thy gracious promises declared unto [Page 163] mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord; Restore us, upon our true Repentance, to thy grace and favour. And grant, O most merciful Father for his sake, that we may henceforth study to serve and please thee, by leading a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy Name and the eternal comfort of our own souls, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

After this Confession, the Lords Prayer, with the Versicles, and Gloria Patri, and then the Psalms for the day and the first Lesson; after which in the Afternoon sometimes Te Deum (but then only when I think the Auditory will bear it) and some­times an Hymn of my own composing, gathered out of the Psalms and the Church Collects, as a general Form of thanks-giving (which I did the rather, because some have noted the want of such a Form as the only thing wherein our Li­turgy seemed to be defective) and in the Afternoon, after the first Lesson, the 98 or the 67 Psalm; Then the second Lesson with Benedictus or Jubilate, after it in the Forenoon, and in the Afternoon a singing Psalm; then followeth the Creed with Do­minus Vobiscum, and sometimes the Ver­sicles in the end of the Litany, (From [Page 164] our Enemies defend us, &c.) If I like my Au­ditory, otherwise I omit these Versicles.

After the Creed, &c. instead of the Leta­ny and the other Prayers appointed in the Book, I have taken the substance of the Prayer I was wont to use before Sermon, and disposed it into several Collects or Prayers, some longer, and some shorter, but new modelled into the Language of the Common-Prayer-Book, much more than it was before: And in the Pulpit be­fore Sermon, I use only a short Prayer in reference to the hearing of the Word and no more, so that upon the matter in these Prayers, I do but the same thing I did before, save that what before I spake without Book, and in a continued Form and in the Pulpit, I now read out of a written Book broken into parcels, and in the reading Desk or Pew.

Between which Prayers and the singing Psalm before the Sermon, I do also daily use one other Collect, of which sort I have for the purpose composed sundry made up as the former for the most part out of the Church Collects, with some little inlarge­ment or variation, as namely Collects, Adventual, Quadragesimal, Paschal, and [Page 165] Pentecostal for their proper seasons, and at other times Collects of a more general na­ture, as for Pardon, Repentance, Grace, &c. And after one or more of them in the forenoon I usually repeat the ten Com­mandments with a short Collect after for Grace to enable us to keep them.

This hath been my practice, and is like still to be, unless some happy change of affairs restore us the liberty of using the old way again; or it be made appear to my understanding by some able charitable Friend, that I have therein done otherwise than I ought to have done; for I may say truly, I have not yet met with any thing in discourse either with my own reason or with others of sufficient strength to con­vince me, that I have herein done any thing but what may stand with the Principles as well of Christian Simplicity as Prudence.

There are but three things that I know of, that are of consideration opposed, viz.

1. The Obligation of the Laws.

2. The Scandal of the Example.

3. An unseemly symbolizing (at least) with Schismaticks, if not partaking with them in the Schism.

1. Law. Object. I.

The first and strongest Objection, which I shall therefore propose to the most advan­tage of the Objector, is, that which is grounded upon the Laws and the obliga­tion; for it may be objected,

That every humane Law rightly esta­blished, so long as it continueth a Law, obligeth the Subject, (and that for Con­science sake) to the observation thereof, in such manner and form as in the said Law is prescribed, and according to the true inten­tion and meaning of the Law-giver therein.

That a Law is then understood to be rightly established, when it containeth no­thing but what is honest, and lawful, and is enacted by such person or persons as have full and sufficient authority to make Laws.

That a Law so established continueth a Law and is in force, till it be either repeal­ed by as good and full authority as that by which it was made, or else antiquated, by a long continued (uninforced) disuse, with the tacite or presumed consent of the Law-giver.

That the Act printed before the Com­mon Prayer-Book and entituled, An Act for the Uniformity, &c. was such a Law, being it was established in a full and free [Page 167] Parliament, and in peaceable times, and ratified by the Royal Assent.

That it still continueth in force, being not yet repealed, but by such persons as (at least in the Opinion of those who maintain the Dispute) for want of the Royal Assent have not a sufficient right or authority to do such an Act; nor disused but of late times, and that by inforcement, and (as is presumed) much against the mind and will of the Law-giver.

That therefore it still retaineth the power of obliging in point of Conscience; that power being so essential and intrinsecal to every Law, quatenus a Law, that it can in no wise be severed from it.

And that no Minister publicly officiating in the Church can with a good Conscience either omit any part of that which is com­manded by the aforesaid Law, or use any other Form than what is contained in the aforesaid Book; but must either use the Form prescribed in the Book, or else to for­bear to officiate.

The Answer to this Objection, (granting all the premises besides) dependeth upon the right understanding of that which is affir­med concerning the obligation of Laws, [Page 168] according to the intention of the Law-gi­ver; which, if it should be understood pre­cisely of that particular, actual, and im­mediate intention of the Law-giver had in the making of any particular Law; and it is sufficiently declared by the words of the Law (in which sense only the Objection proceedeth) will not hold true in all Cases. But there is supposed besides that in the Law-giver a more general, habituate, and ultimate intention, of a more excellent and transcendent nature than the former, which is to have an influence into and an over­ruling power over all Laws, viz. an intenti­on by the Laws to procure and promote the public good: The former intention bind­eth where it is subservient to the latter, or consistent with it, and consequently bind­eth in ordinary cases and in orderly times, or else the Law is not an wholsom Law. But where the observation of the Law, by reason of the Conjuncture of circumstances or the iniquity of the times (contingencies which no Law-giver could either certain­ly foresee, or if foreseen could sufficient­ly provide against) would rather be pre­judicial than advantageous to the public, or is manifestly attended with more in­conveniences, [Page 169] and sad consequents to the observers, as all the imaginable good that can redound to the public thereby can­not in any reasonable measure counter­vail. In such case the Law obligeth not, but according to the latter and more general intention only. Even as in the Operations of nature, particular Agents do move ordinarily according to the pro­per and particular inclinations, yet upon some occasions, and to serve the ends and intentions of universal Nature (for the avoiding of some thing which nature abhorreth) they are sometimes carried with motions quite contrary to their particu­lar natures, as the Air to descend, and the Water to ascend, for the avoiding of Vacuity, &c. The Common received Maxim, which hath been sufficiently mis­applied and that sometimes to very evil purposes (since the beginning of these unhappy Divisions) in the true meaning of it looketh this way, Salus populi suprema lex; the equity of which Maxim, as it leaveth in the Law-giver a power of dis­pensing the Law (which is a suspending of the obligation thereof for a time, in re­spect of the proper and particular inten­tion) [Page 170] as he shall see it expedient in order to the public good, so it leaveth in the Subject a liberty upon just occasions, as in Cases of great Exigencies, and for the preventing of such hazards and inconveni­encies as might prove of noisom conse­quence to the public, to do otherwise than the Law requireth: And neither is the exercise of that power in the Law-giver to be thought an unreasonable Prerogative; nor the use of this liberty in the Sub­ject an unreasonable presumption, inas­much as the power of dispensing with particular Laws is such a prerogative, as without which no Common-wealth can be well governed, but Justice would be turn­ed into Gall and Wormwood: Nor can the Supreme Governor with forfeiture of that faithfulness, which he oweth to the public Weal divest himself thereof; And he that presumeth of the Law-givers con­sent to dispense with him for the observing of the Law in such needful Cases, where he hath not the opportunity to consult his pleasure therein, presumeth no more than he hath reason to do; for it may well be presumed, that the Law-giver who is bound in all his Laws, to intend the safety [Page 171] of the public, and of every member there­of in his due proportion, hath no intention by the observation of any particular Law to oblige any person, who is a member of the public to his destruction or ruine, when the common good is not answerably pro­moted thereby; Upon which ground it is generally resolved by Casuists, that no consultation (meerly humane) can lay such Obligation upon the Conscience of the Subject, but that he may, according to exigency of circumstances, do otherwise than the constitution requireth: Provi­ded it be done Extra casum scandali & con­temptus, that is to say, without either bewraying in himself any contempt of the authority of the Law-giver by his carriage, or giving any just occasion of scandal to others by his example in so doing.

I have been somewhat the larger in ex­plaining this point, not only for the better clearing of the said doubt, but also in re­spect of the usefulness of this considera­tion, for the preventing and removing of many scruples that may happen to conscientious men in such times as these, wherein so many things are (and are like [Page 172] to be) commanded and forbidden, contra­ry to the established Laws, and those (as they are persuaded) yet standing in force. The best rule that I know to guide men in their deliberations and actions in such e­mergent Cases, is advisedly and unpartially to weigh the benefits and inconveniencies, as well on the one side as the other, and then compare them one with the other, as they stand in relation to the public good. And if after such examination and compa­rison made, it shall then evidently (or but in the judgment of probability) appear, that the observation of the Law, accord­ing to the proper intention of the Law­giver therein, though with hazard of Estate, Liberty, or even Life it self with a great tendency to the public good, and in the preservation of Church or Common-weath in safety, peace, and order, then the pre­venting of the aforesaid hazards, or other evil consequents, by doing otherwise then the Law requireth, can have, or (which cometh to one) if the violating of the Law shall then appear to be more pre­judicial to the public good then preserva­tion of the Subjects estates, liberty, or life, can be beneficial thereunto; in such Case [Page 173] the Subject is bound to hazard all he hath, and to undergo whatsoever inconvenien­cies or calamities can ensue thereupon, rather than violate the Law with contempt of that authority, to which he oweth sub­jection. But if it shall after such compari­son be made, evidently (or, but more pro­bably then the contrary) appear, that the preservation of such a persons life, liberty, or estate, would more benefit the Church or Common-wealth, than the punctual observation of the Law at that time, and with those circumstances, would do, it were an unreasonable and pernicious scrupulosity for such a person to think him­self in that Case obliged for the observing of the Law, perhaps but once or twice, with little or no benefit to the public, to ruine himself, thereby to render himself unuseful and unserviceable to the public for ever after.

To bring this discourse home, and to ap­ply it to the business under dispute, suppose, ten, twenty, or an hundred godly Ministers well affected to the established Liturgy, and actually possessed of Benefices, with the charge of Souls thereto belonging, should think themselves in Conscience ob­liged [Page 174] to use the whole form of the Book, as it is by the Act appointed, with­out any addition, omission, or alteration whatsoever, (and should notwithstanding the present conjuncture of affairs) resolve to use the same accordingly. It would be well considered, what the effects and con­sequents thereof would be. Besides other evils, these three are visible, which must all unavoidably follow one another; if any body shall be found (as doubtless within short time there will be found one or other) to inform and prosecute against them: 1. The undoing of so many worthy persons fit to do God and the Church ser­vice, together with all the other persons that depend upon them for livelihood, by putting the fruits of their Benefices, wherewith they should buy themselves Bread, under Sequestration. 2. The de­priving those persons of the opportunities of discharging the duties that belong unto them in their ministerial Callings, in not per­mitting them after Sequestration to teach or instruct the people belonging to their charge, or to exercise any thing of their function publickly in the Church. 3. The delivering over the Sheep of Christ, that [Page 175] lately were under the hands of faithful Shephards, into the custody of ravening Wolves, when such Guides shall be set over their several Congregations, as will be sure to mis-teach them one way or other, viz. ei­ther by instilling into them Puritanical and Superstitious Principles, that they may the more securely exercise their Presbyterian tyranny over their Judgments, Consciences, Persons and Estates; or else by setting up new Lights before them, to lead them into a maze of Anabaptistical confusion and frenzy.

These Consequences are so heavy to the sufferers, so certain to insue upon the use of Common Prayer, and so much without the Power of the Law-giver (in this state of affairs) either to remedy or prevent, that it is beyond the wit of man to ima­gine, what benefit to the public can accrue by the strict observation of the Act, can in any proportion countervail these mis­chiefs. In which case that man must needs suppose a strange austerity in the Law­giver, that dare not presume of his con­sent to disoblige him for the time from ob­serving the same.

It would be also well considered, whe­ther [Page 176] he that by his over nice scrupulosity runsall these hazards be notin some measure guilty of his own undoing, of deserting his station and betraying his slock, and do not thereby lose much of his comfort which a Christian Confessor may take in his suf­ferings, when they are laid upon him by the hand of God, not pulled upon himself by his own hands. And more I shall not need to say as to the first Objection.

Scandal. Object. II.

The next thing objected is the danger of the Scandal, that others might be ready to take at the Example, who seeing the Law so little regarded by such men, (men that have care of Souls, and perhaps also of some eminency and esteem in the Church, and whose example will be much looked upon,) will be easily encouraged by their Example to set light by all authority, and to take liberty to obey and disobey the Laws of their Sovereign at their pleasure.

But this Objection after we are satisfied well concerning the former, need not much trouble us: For,

1. It seemeth a very reasonable thing in Cases of great exigency (such as we now [Page 177] suppose that the fear of scandalizing our weak Brethren (which is but debitum Cha­ritatis only) would lay upon us a perempto­ry necessity of serving the Law punctually, whatsoever inconveniencies or mischiefs may ensue thereupon; whereas the duty of obedience to our known Governors (which is debitum justitiae also, and there­fore more obligatory than the other) doth not impose upon us that necessity, as hath been already shewn.

2. Besides Arguments drawn from Scan­dal in things neither unlawful, nor (setting the reason of Scandal aside) inexpedient, as they are subject to sundry frailties other­wise, so are they manifestly of no weight at all when they are counterpoised with the apparent danger of evil Consequents on the other side: For in such Cases there is commonly equal danger (if not rather sometimes more) of Scandal to be taken from the Example the quite contrary way. We may see it in the debating the point now in hand: It is alledged on the one side, that by laying aside the use of Com­mon Prayer, men, who are not over scru­pulous will be incourag'd to take a greater liberty in dispensing with the Laws (to [Page 178] the despising both of Laws and Gover­nors) than they ought. And why may it not be by the same reason alledged on the other side, that by holding up a necessity of using Common Prayer, men, who have tender Consciences, may be induced to en­tertain scruples (to their own undoing and the destruction of their people) when they need not?

3. But then in the third place, which cometh up home to the business in hand, and taketh off the objection clearly, is this, that in judging Cases of Scandal we are not to look so much after the event, what it is, or may be, as at the cause whence it cometh; for sometimes there is given just cause of Scandal, and yet no Scandal fol­loweth, because it is not taken; some­times Scandal is taken, and yet no just cause given; and sometimes there is both cause of Scandal given, and Scandal thereat taken. But no man is concerned in any Scandal that happeneth to another by oc­casion of any thing done by him, neither is chargeable with it farther, then he is guilty of having given it. If then we give Scandal to others and they take it not, the whole guilt is ours, and they are faultless; [Page 179] If we give it, and they take it, we are to bear a share in the blame as well as they, and that a deeper share too (Va homini, Wo to the man by whom the offence cometh, Matth. 18. 7.) But if they take offence, when we give none, it is a thing we cannot help, and therefore the whole blame must lie upon them. Wherefore if at any time the doubt shall arise in the Case of Scandal, how far forth the danger may, or may not oblige us to the doing or not doing of any thing proposed, the Resolution will come on much the easier, if we shall but rightly understand what it is to give Scandal, or how many ways a man may become guilty of scandalizing another by his Example. The ways, as I conceive, are but these four.

1. The first is when a man doth some­thing before another man, which is in it self evil, unlawful and sinful. In which Case neither the intention of him that doth it, nor the event as to him that seeth it done, is of any consideration, for it mat­tereth not, whether the doer hath an in­tention to draw the other unto sin thereby or not; neither doth it matter, whether the other were thereby induced to commit [Page 180] sin or not: The very matter and substance of the Action, being evil and done before others is sufficient to render the doer guil­ty of having given Scandal, though nei­ther he had any intention himself so to do, nor was any other person actually scandali­zed thereby: Because whatsoever is in it self and in its own nature evil, is also of it self and in its own nature scandalous, and of ill example. Thus did Hophni and Phineas the Sons of Eli give Scandal by their wick­ed prophaness, and greediness about the Sacrifices of the Lord, and their vile and shameless abusing the Women, 1 Sam. 2. 17, 22. And so did David also give great Scan­dal in the matter of Uriah, 2 Sam. 12. 14. Here the rule is, Do nothing that is evil for fear of giving Scandal.

2. The second way is, when a man doth something before another with a direct in­tention and formal purpose of drawing him thereby to commit sin; in which Case nei­ther the matter of the Action, nor the event is of any consideration; for it ma­keth no difference (as to the sin of giving Scandal) whether any man be effectually enticed thereby to commit sin or not; nei­ther doth it make any difference whether [Page 181] the thing done were in it self unlawful or not, so as it had but an appearance of evil and from thence an aptitude to draw ano­ther to the doing of that (by imitation) which should be really and intrinsecally e­vil: The wicked intention alone, whatso­ever the effect should be, or what means so­ever should be used to promote it, sufficeth to induce the guilt of giving Scandal upon the Doer; this was Jeroboam's sin in set­ting up the Calves with a formal purpose and intention thereby (for his own secular and ambitious ends) to corrupt the purity of Religion, and to draw the people to an Idolatrous worship; for which cause he is so often stigmatized with it as with a note of infamy, to stick by him whilst the world lasteth, being scarce ever mentioned in the Scripture, but with this addition, Jeroboam the Son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin. Here the rule is, Do nothing, good or evil, with an intention to give Scandal.

3. The third way is, when a man doth something before another, which in it self is not evil, but indifferent, and so accord­ing to the rule of Christian liberty lawful for him to do or not do, as he shall see cause (yea, and perhaps otherwise commo­dious [Page 182] and convenient for him to do) yet whereat he probably foreseeth the other will take Scandal, and be occasioned there­by to do evil. In such Case if the thing to be done be not in some degree (prudenti­ally) necessary for him to do; but that he might without very great inconvenience or prejudice to himself, or any third person leave it undone, he is bound in Charity and Compassion to his Brother's Soul (for whom Christ died) and for the avoiding of Scandal to abridge himself in the Exer­cise of his Christian liberty for that time, so far, as rather to suffer some inconveni­ence himself by the not doing of it, than by the doing of it to cause his Brother to offend. The very Case which is so often, so largely, and so earnestly insisted upon by St. Paul, see Rom. 14. 13, 21. Rom. 15. 1. 3. 1 Cor. 8. 17, 13. 1 Cor. 9. 12, 15, 19, 22. 1 Cor. 10. 23, 33. Here the rule is, Do nothing that may easily be forborn, whereat Scandal will be taken.

4. The last way is, when a man doth something before another, which is not on­ly lawful, but (according to the exigencies of present circumstances, Pro hic & nunc) very behoveful and even (prudentially) ne­cessary [Page 183] for him to do; but foreseeth, that the other will be very like to make ill use of it, and take incouragement thereby to commit sin, if he be not withal exceeding careful, as much as possibly in him lieth, to prevent that Scandal that might be taken thereat. For, qui non prohibet peccare cum potest, jubet. In such case the bare neglect of his Brother, and not using his uttermost indeavour to prevent the evil that might ensue maketh him guilty. Upon which consideration standeth the equity of that Judicial Law given to the Jews, Exod. 21▪ 33, 34. which ordereth; That in case a man dig a Pit or Well for the use of his Family, and looking no further than his own conveniency, puts no cover upon it, but leaves it open, whereby it happeneth his neighbours Beast to fall thereinto and perish, the Owner of the Pit is to make it good, inasmuch as he was the Occasioner of that loss to his Neighbour, which he might and ought to have prevented. Here the rule is, Order the doing of that which may not well be left undone, in such sort, that no Scandal (so far as you can help it) may be taken thereat.

To apply this. The thing now under de­bate [Page 184] (viz. the Action proposed to present enquiry) is the laying aside the Common-Prayer Book enjoyned by Law, and using instead thereof some other form of Church-Service of our own devising; And the en­quiry concerning it is, Whether it may be done with a good Conscience in regard of the Scandal, that was given, or (at least) may be taken thereat. Yea, or no? Now for­asmuch as in this enquiry we take it for granted, that the thing to be done is not in its own nature and simply evil, but ra­ther (in this state of affairs) prudentially necessary, and that they who make scruple at it upon the point of Scandal have not the least intention of drawing either the Laws into contempt, or the Brethren into sin by their example. It is manifest that three of the now mentioned Cases, with the several rules to each of them appending, are not pertinent to the present enquiry. But since the last of the four only proveth to be our Case, we have no more to do, for the setling our Judgments, the quieting our Consciences▪ and the regulating our Practice in this affair, than to consider well, what the rule in that Case given obligeth us unto: Which is, not to leave the Action [Page 185] undone for the danger of Scandal, which, besides the inconveniences formerly men­tioned, would but start new questions, and those beget more to the multiplying of un­necessary scruples in infinitum: But to order the doing of it so, that (if it were possible) no Scandal might at all ensue thereupon, or at least not by our default, through our careless or indiscreet managery thereof; Even as the Jew that stood in need to sink a Pit for the service of his House or Grounds, was not (for fear his Neighbours Beast should fall into it and be drowned) bound by the Law to forbear the making of it, but only to provide a sufficient Co­ver for it when he had made it. The thing then in this Case is not to be left undone, when it so much behoveth us to do it, but the action to be carried on (for the manner of doing, and in all respects and circum­stances threunto belonging) with so much clearness, tenderness, moderation, and wisdom (to our best understanding) that the necessity of so doing, with the true cause thereof, may appear to the world, to the satisfaction of those who are willing to take notice of it, and that such persons as would be willing to make use of our Ex­ample [Page 186] to do the same thing, where there is not the like cause of necessity, may do it upon their own score, and not be able to vouch our practice for their excuse: which how it may best be done for particular di­rections, every Charitable and Conscien­tious man must ask his own discretion; some general hints, tending thereunto, I shall lay down in answering the next Objection (where they will fall in again not impro­perly) and so stop two gaps with one Bush.

Schism. Object. III.

The last Objection is that of Schism. The Objectors hold all such persons, as have opposed either against Liturgy or Church Government, as they were by Law established, within the Realm for no better than Schismaticks: and truely I shall not much gainsay it. But then they argue, that for them to do the same thing in the public worship of God, that Schismaticks do, and for the doing whereof especially it is that they justly account them Schisma­ticks, would (as they conceive) involve them in the Schism also, as partakers there­of in some degree with the other: And their Consciences also would from Rom. 14. 22. condemn them, either of Hypocrisie in [Page 187] allowing that in themselves and in their own practice which they condemn in o­thers, or of uncharitableness in judging others for Schismaticks for doing but the same thing which they can allow them­selves to practise; for all that such persons, as they call Schismaticks, do in this matter of the Church Service, is but to leave out the Churches prayers, and to put in their own: Or, say this should not make them really guilty of the Schism they detest, yet would such their symbolizing with them seem (at least) a kind of an unworthy compliance with them more than could well become the simplicity of a Christian, much less of a Minister of the Gospel, whose duty it is to shun even the least appearance of evil, I Thes. 5. Besides, that by so doing they should but confirm these men in their Schis­matical principles and practice.

This Objection hath three branches; To the first whereof I oppose the old say­ing, Duo cùm faciunt idem non est idem: which although spoken quite to another purpose, yet is capable of such a sense as will very well fit our present purpose also. I answer therefore in short; That to do the same thing that Schismaticks do (especial­ly [Page 188] in times of confusion, and until things can be reduced into better Order, and when we are necessitated thereunto to prevent greater mischiefs) doth not necessarily in­fer a partaking with them in Schism; no, nor so much as probably, unless it may ap­pear upon probable presumptions other­wise, that it is done out of the same schis­matical spirit, and upon such schismatical principles as theirs are.

The other two branches, viz. that of seeming compliance with Schismaticks, and that of the ill use they make of it to confirm them in their Schism, do upon the matter fall in upon the aforesaid point of Scandal, and are in effect but the same ob­jection only put into a new dress, and so have received their answer already. And the only remedy against these fears (as well that of Scandal, as this of Schism) is the same which is there prescribed, even to give assurance to all men by our carriage and behaviour therein, that we do not lay aside Common-Prayer of our own accord, or out of any dislike thereof, neither in contempt of lawful Governors, or of the Laws, nor out of any base compliance with the times, or other unworthy secular [Page 189] self ends, nor out of any schismatical prin­ciple, seditious design, or innovating hu­mour; but meerly inforced thereunto, by such necessity as we cannot otherwise avoid, in order to the glory of God and the public good, for the preservation of our Families, our Flocks, and our Functions, and that with the good leave and allowance (as we have great reason to believe) of such as have power to dispense with us and the Laws in that behalf. This if we shall do, bona fide, and with our utmost indeavours, in singleness of heart, and with godly in­tention, perhaps it will not be enough to prevent either the censures of inconside­rate and inconsiderable persons, or the ill use may be made of our example through ignorance of some, Scandalum pusill rum; or through the perversness and malice of o­ther some, Scandalum Pharisaeorum, as the Schools term them. But assuredly it will be sufficient in the sight of God, and in the witness of our own hearts, and to the Consciences of considering and Charitable men, to acquit us clearly of all guilt, ei­ther of Scandal or Schism in the least de­gree. Which we may probably do by ob­serving these ensuing, and such other like, [Page 190] general directions, (the liberty of using such meet accommodations, as the circum­stances and in particular Cases shall require evermore allowed and reserved) viz.

1. If we shall decline the Company and society of known Schismaticks, not con­versing frequently and familiarly with them, or more than the necessary Affairs of life, and the rules of Neighbourhood and common Civility will require; espe­cially not to give countenance to the Church-assemblies, by our presence among them, if we can avoid it.

2. If we shall retain as well in our com­mon discourse, as in our Sermons, and the holy Offices of the Church, the old Theo­logical and Ecclesiastical terms and forms of Speech, which have been generally recei­ved, and used in the Churches of Christ, which our people are well acquainted with, and are wholsom and significant: And not follow our new Masters in that uncouth affected garb of Speech or canting Lan­guage rather (if I may so call it) which they have of late time taken up, as the sig­nal, distinctive, and characteristical note of that which in their own language they call the Godly Party or Communion of Saints.

[Page 191] 3. If in officiating we repeat not only the Lords Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and such other passages in the Common-Prayer-Book, as (being the very words of Scripture) no man can except against, but so much also of the old Liturgy besides, in the very words and syl­lables in the Book, as we think, the Mini­sters of State in those parts where we live will suffer, and the Auditory before whom we officiate will bear; sith the Officers in all parts of the Land are not alike strict▪ nor the people in all Parishes not alike dis­affected in this respect.

4. If where we must of necessity vary from the words, we yet follow the Order of the Book in the main parts of the holy Offices, retaining the substance of the Pray­ers, and imbellishing those of our own making, which we substitute into the place of those we leave out, with Phrases and Pas­sages taken out of the Book in other places.

5. If where we cannot safely mention the particulars expressed in the Book, as namely, in Praying for the King, the Queen, the Royal Progeny, and the Bi­shops, we shall yet use in our Prayers some such general terms, and other intimations [Page 192] devised for the purpose, as may sufficiently convey to the understandings of the peo­ple, what our intentions are therein, and yet not be sufficient to fetch us within the compass of the Ordinance.

6. If we shall in our Sermons take occasi­on now and then, where it may be perti­nent, either to discover the weakness of the Puritan principles and tenents, to the People; or to shew out of some passages and expressions in the Common-Prayer-Book, the consonancy of those Observations we have raised from the Text, with the judg­ment of the Church of England, or to justi­fie such particular passages, in the Letany, Collects and other parts of our Liturgy, as have been unjustly quarrelled at, by Pres­byterians, Independents, Anabaptists, or other (by what name or title soever they be called) Puritan Sectaries.

Thus have I freely acquainted you both with my practice and judgment in the point proposed in your Friends Letter; How I shall be able to satisfie his or your judgment in what I have written, I know not: How­ever, I have satisfied both your desire and his in writing and shall rest,

Your Brother and Servant in the Lord,

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