A Catechisme FOR Souldiers; to save Soules and prevent Blood.

Shewing the termes upon which the pro­fession of a Souldier may be underta­ken, and the rules and directions where­by it is to be managed: and the great guilt of sinne and danger of Judgment that hangs over those that undertake it in an unrighteous way.

LONDON, Printed by T. M. for Edward Thomas, at the Adam and Eve in Little Britaine, 1659.

A CATECHISM for Souldiers; To save Souls, and prevent Blood

Quest. WHat are you by Profession?

Ans. A Souldier.

Q. Is that a Lawfull profession?

A. Yea, if it be un­dertaken upon Just and Righteous termes, and managed according to Gods directions.

Q. How prove you that it is a lawfull profession?

A. First, Because God appointed his people thereunto in several pla­ces of the holy Scripture.

Secondly. The holy Saints of God were exercised therein, as, Abraham, Joshua, David, Cornelius, and others.

Thirdly, because God gave dire­ctions for the managing of Warre, whereas he gives no directions for the exercise of sin.

Fourthly, Because John the Baptist, when the Question was proposed to him by Souldiers, what they should doe, Luke 3.14. did not discharge them from their Office, but required them to manage it righteously, viz. That they should doe Violence to no man, and be content with their wages.

Q. What are the termes and directi­ons that are to be observed, that the work of a Souldier may be lawfully perform­ed?

A. They are of divers sorts.

Q. What is the first?

A. The first is that the Warr be Just and undertaken upon a Righte­ous cause, and not for the carrying on of Violence and Oppression.

Q. What is the second?

A. The second is, that the Warre be necessary upon a matter of weight and publique concernment, after the attempt of all fair and just means for the composure of the difference, and for the preventing of blood.

Q. What is the third?

A. That the Commission for the action of War be derived from God, who is the Lord of Hosts; by the power and Authority of those who are his Substitutes for that purpose, unto whom he hath committed the power of the Sword; as are the Su­preme, and the Lawful Magistrates.

Q. What is the fourth?

A. The fourth is, that the just cause of the Warre be manifested and published, for the conviction of the opposite party; and for the satis­faction of those that are to be engaged in it, and for the directions of the consciences of all the people, where they are to give their assistance in it.

Q. What is the fifth?

A. That the Warr be undertaken against such a person as is liable to such a violent opposition, which can­not be the Supreme Magistrate law­fully established, in regard of those that are his Subjects, and under his Government, Rom. 13.1, 2, 3. 1 Pet. 2.13, 14, 15.

Q. What is the sixth?

A. That the Warre be undertaken and managed to a righteous end, and such as is proportionable to the [Page 7] business of a Warre, viz. That it be undertaken for the glory of God and the Publique good, and such a pub­lique good, as may be answerable for the hazards, and the mischiefs of a War: For private inconveniences are to be suffered rather than the publi­que peace disturbed, and small incon­veniences, though publique, are ra­ther to be born, than the great mis­chiefs of a War should be hazarded.

Q. What is the seventh?

A. That the Warre be carried on with righteous and moderate affe­ctions, not delighting in the work of destruction, and ruine of any, but seeking the reduction of Offendors, the preservation of the Innocent, and the righteous establishment of all [...]hings; by no means aiming to ad­vance our selves, by the ruines and [...]ammages of others, nor at private [...]evenge, nor yet to force the consci­ [...]nces of any in matters of Religion, [Page 8] contrary to the setled state of things of that nature, without satisfacti­on offered.

Q. What is the eighth.

A. That they that are engaged in the War make use of none but law­full and righteous means, for the ob­taining of their just and righteous ends, not plundering the Innocent, nor doing hurt unto any, more than is necessary or apparently requisite for the procurement of a just Con­clusion of the War; for God hath no need of the Devil, nor hath he made Vertue an imperfect thing, that it should stand in need of Vice to be its fellow. Souldier, or to joyn with it for the procurement of its righte­ous purposes.

Q. What is the Nineth?

A. That all faithfulnesse be used in Treaties and Agreements.

Q. What is the Tenth?

A. That nothing be done against Oathes and Covenants, 9 of Joshua compared with 1 Samuel [...].

Q. What is the Eleventh?

A. The Eleventh is, that other things being rectified, as aforesaid, the action be managed with re­ligious courage, waiting upon God with patience and submission in all Defeats, wherewith the enterprizes shall be encountered; receiving them either as chastisements for sin, or as tryals of our Faith and Con­stancy in Gods Work, not as dis­charges from the pursuance of that Duty, which God hath called and enabled unto, Judg. 20. v. 18, 19, 20, 21, and v. 24, 25, 28. and looking con­stantly to God, and depending upon him for all successe and Victory.

Q. What is the Twelfth?

A. That a strict obedience be per­formed unto the Command of Su­periours, though never so hazardous, where they appear not contradicto­ry to the rules of God, or of any au­thority that is Superiour unto them.

Q. What is the last?

A. That God be acknowledged with thankfulnesse in all successes and Victories; and mercy used to subdued enemies, where it may be done without publike mischief, 2 Chron. 20.26. 2 Kings 6.21, 22. 2 Chrou. 28. from the 11. to the 16.

Q. What is the danger of the under­taking of an unjust War?

A. The danger is very great upon several accompts; First, because you should fight against God, who is the Protector of all righte­ousnesse, and of the Authority of [Page 11] the lawfull Magistrate, and of all the just Rights of his People.

Secondly, Because he that fights in an unjust War, is a Murtherer of every man that he destroyes, and a Thief in every thing that he plun­ders; especially, when he knows it to be unjust, or is not enabled by a right Commission.

3. Because, though God may suf­fer a man to prosper in such a War, for the correction of others; or for those ends that are best known unto him: yet no man can have any as­surance that God will be with him in such an Action; but that he may be left unto destruction and damna­tion in every attempt that he shall adventure upon.

Fourthly, because he that acts in such a War, is not onely guilty of all the mischiefs by himself commit­ted, but of all the Murthers, Rapines, and Violences, that are committed by any other in the whole Warre; [Page 12] which are encouraged by his con­sent and assistance; and is answer­able to God for all the blood that is spilt; and bound to restitution for all injuries that are done; a load suffi­cient to sink him to the depth of hell.

Q. Is it necessary that every soul­dier should be satisfied of the Justnesse of the Cause of a War?

A. All Volunteers are answer­able for the Justnesse of the Cause; and therefore ought to be satisfied of it in their Consciences; but they that serve upon Command, under their lawfull Prince, are not bound alwayes perfectly to know it; but it concerns them to see that there be nothing manifest to the contrary.

Q. May the Sword then be used in no case without the Commission of the Supream Magistrate.

A. Yes, In case of Necessity for private defence against private vio­lence, where there is not opportu­nity of appeale to the Magistrate for his Protection; and also in case where the power of the supream Magistrate is obstructed by violence, or rendered useless by absence, in such cases sometimes the Law may give a Commission, and sometimes Commissions may proceed from a delegated Authority.

Psalm 50.22.

Now consider this ye that forget God, least he tear you in pie­ces, and there be none to deliver you.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.