Being an ACCOVNT of their Principles about Civil and Ecclesiastical Authority and obedience, (as far as the Author know­eth it), and about Things Indifferent, and evil by Accident or Scandal: and what their Nonconformity is not: and whether the Ministers encourage Sects and Schism: With their judgements and earnest desires of the Churches Peace and Concord, and the true and necessary means.

Mostly written many years past, and now published to save our Lives and the Kingdoms Peace, from the false and bloody Plotters, who would first perswade the King and people that the Protestants and particularly the Nonconformists are Presbyte­rians and Fanaticks; and next that it was such Presbyterians that killed his Father; and next that our Principles are rebellious; and next that we are plotting a rebellion and his death; and lastly that this is the genius of the Parliament; and therefore that they and we must be used as enemies to the King.


LONDON, Printed for John Hancock at the three Bibles near the Royal Exchange in Cornhil. 1680.


THese Papers were written some of them in 1668. and some since, when the Nonconformists Judgement of the Interest of Reason in Religion was printed, with but 15 subscribed names: Those about Grace and Morality, and Things indifferent, and what our Non­conformity is not, were also perused by many and consented to (of whom Doctor Manton, Mr. Sanger and Mr. Bedford are since dead) and with that of Scandal were printed many years ago. But my prudent friends perswaded me to lay them by, (though the printing cost dear) partly as not sufficient­ly elaborate and accurate, and partly lest any defence should but exasperate our (then) afflicters, and occasion more wrath and unpeaceable writings. This Counsel I have till now obey­ed: But seeing such as the Counterminer, the Popish Dialogue and many others, continuing loudly to accuse us, and make men believe that we are plotting a new war, and that our Prin­ciples are rebellious, and remembring what a suspicion of us is left on record in the Oxford Act of Confinement, and hearing by the Published Narratives of Oates, Bedlow, Prance, Jenison, Smith, Dugdale, and specially Dangerfield, that it was part of [Page] the Plot for the destruction of the King, and change of Government and Religion, to make King and People be­lieve that the Presbyterians had such a Plot, and finding so little said to vindicate the Innocent, and lastly finding great reason to think that my change is so near, that I must do it now or never, I durst not die in the guilt of silence. 1. Lest I should betray the King into a belief of this pernicious plotted slan­der. 2. Lest I should betray the Nation into a self-destroy­ing belief of seditious Liars. 3. Lest I should betray both the Reputation and Lives of many thousand Innocents. What dismal effects must needs follow, if the King should believe that so many of his People and Parliament as are thus accused, are his enemies and seek his hurt? Whilst the odious and horrid usage of his Father is in his memory, who can wonder if he destroy those who he believeth would destroy him?

Therefore though this Book be truly guilty of much defe­ctiveness, disorder, repetitions, being but many Papers written on several occasions, long ago, now set some how hastily toge­ther, necessity constraineth me to think that it is better thus than not at all.

I have already published the first part of our Plea, written ma­ny years after almost all this: which you must especially observe when you read, What our Nonconformity is not: For then I thought to go no further. That about scandal and evil by accident was written purposely to answer the gross mistaking charge of B. Morley, and the new Eccles. Politician, just when that Book came out; and somewhat occasioned by Mr. Durels Book: Therefore that I am there so distinct as will be troublesome to common readers who love but few words, was long of the quality and charge of the learned accusers whom I answer.

I thought it time to speak the Truth in how broken a manner soever, when I read that even some that seem to condemn the [Page] Papists Plotters, do yet publickly joyn us with them, as more dangerous than they, and make our designed Rebellion to be a Necessitating Reason, for doing that against us, against Parliaments, and the Peoples choice of them, which I dread to mention; as if it were necessary to all Loyal Subjects to en­ter into a League, or subscribed Covenant to save the King from us.

It is now about twenty years since Dr. Gauden, Mr. Cala­my, and my self preached at a Fast to the Parliament for Loy­alty, and the King the next morning was voted home to his Crown and Government: and since the Duke of Lauderdale caused the Printing of Mr. Gaches Letter to me for the King. What is it that we have Preached, Printed or done ever since to this day that should bring us under this horrid accusation? Have we been proved guilty before any Judge? Besides Preach­ing the Gospel (to which we were devoted, and dare not for fear of sacriledge and persidiousness cast off) what have we done these twenty years against the King or State? Vnless it be our crime to live under reproach and scorn and poverty, and sometimes imprisonments, and never once so much as Petition a Parliament either to pity us, or to hear us once speak for our selves, and give us leave to tell them or the Nation the true case and reasons of our Not-Conforming. What is it that we have said or done? and how came our accusers to be so mer­ciful to us as never to call us before the Judicatures, for any thing but Preaching and coming within five miles of Corpo­rations, or some for not communicating with them, which yet other of us never refused? If any odde persons, or whosoever have said or done any thing against the King or Kingdom, or their neighbours right or peace, or have been guilty of any fraud, drunkenness, perjury or immorality, besides their un­avoidable Nonconformity, let them be punished as the Law re­quireth, but let not the Innocent, yea thousands be slandered and designed to destruction for them▪ But I never yet was by [Page] any abused, or hurt, but I was accused by them as deser­ving it.

Our accusations are, 1. That we are Presbyterians and Fanaticks. 2. That we began the War in 1641, and 1642. 3. That we destroyed the King. 4. That our Principles are disloyal. 5. That we are plotting a rebellion. To all these.

I. What a Presbyterian is with these men is to us un­searchable; what he is with those that have written for and against them is easily known; we take Dr. Heylins Description in his History against them: They are such as hold not only Church Government without Bishops (for so do the Indepen­dents also) but also by Presbyteries, consisting of two sorts of Elders, Preaching and Ruling (called by some Lay) and over th [...]se Classes, and over these a National Assembly, consisting of the same two sorts. Be it known that whiles I disown any thing of this, it is not that I think my self wiser or better than such as I have been acquainted with of that opi­nion. My own opinion I have oft enough declared, viz. 1. That Jure Divino, one Church hath no Governing Power over ano­ther. 2. That every particular Political Church should be a soci­ety capable of personal presential communion, and have their own Elders to govern them all of one Order and Office, and if each one have a Bishop that shall have a Presidency and Ru­ling or Negative voice, I shall like it the better, for Antiquity sake, and Vnity. 3. That these Churches should keep ne­cessary correspondency for Love, Concord, and mutual helps, by Messengers and Synods of their Bishops or Pastors; but not as Law-makers to their brethren. 4. That it will not be unmeet for the Magistrate, or if he permit it, for the Bishops or Pastors by consent to appoint some of the wisest and gravest and best, to visit and oversee the rest of the Pastors and Churches in several Precincts, so far as to teach the young and ignorant, and exhort them to holy, prudent diligence, and reprove them that are blame-worthy, but not to have the for­cing power of the Sword.

[Page] But it is not my judgment only that is in question, Reader, judge by the proof that I shall offer thee what truth or modesty there is in our accusers.

1. I have elswhere told you, when the King called us to signi­fie our desires in 1660. the Ministers of London were commonly invited to come to Sion Colledge that their common consent might be known: And there we agreed to desire or offer nothing for Church Government, but A. B. Ushers model of the Pri­mitive Episcopal Government as it was then Printed (which to me the A. Bishop owned) And was Usher a Presbyterian? What new names have our adversaries made, as Presbyterian A. Bishops and Primates? Are not all the Dioceses, Lordship, Wealth and Power of Bishops secured in that Model, and is that Presbytery?

2. Bishop Reignolds, B. Worth, and Dr. Wallis and other Conformists agreed and joyned with us in this Offer. And were these also Presbyterians?

3. When his Majesty would not grant us that model, nor the Bishops once treat about it, he was pleased in his gracious Decla­ration about Ecclesiastical Affairs to offer and prescribe the Episcopacy of England as it stood, with little alteration, save that the Parish Ministers consent was allowed to the Confirma­tion of any in his Parish, and the Rural Dean with the Mi­nisters of his Deanery to meet oft for meer Parish perswasive work, to the scandalous. And this Declaration we joyfully and thankfully accepted, as a hopeful means of common Conformity and Concord. And was this Presbytery too?

4. That this might might not pass as the private Act of a few, a meeting of the London Ministers was desired to give the King thanks for this Declaration in signification of their consent, which was done, and at that meeting there were but two dissenting Votes, and those two (both dead) professed their thankful acceptance, though they subscribed not.

[Page] 5. Vncontradicted fame told us that the House of Com­mons gave the King their publick thanks for that his care so to unite his people. And if that House of Commons also were Presbyterians, I know not who is not.

6. And I never heard that any of all these consenting and subscribing Ministers recanted his consent to this day.

7. Nor did Iever hear that any absent Ministers in City or Countrey, sent us any notice that they dissented. Only ho­nest Dr. Conant who no [...] Conformeth, at one meeting said, Our attempts for reconciliation with that party were vain, as to reconcile fire and water.

8. Abundance of Countrey Ministers, (and all that ever I heard from) joyfully expressed their approbation of what we did.

9. In all the County of Worcester where I lived there was but one Minister (Mr. Tho. Hall of Kings Norton) taken for a Presbyterian from the year 1647. till the King came in, 1660. Nor did I hear of many out of London and Lanca­shire, that ever set up that Government.

10. I know not of one Congregation now in London of English men (the French and Dutch are not accused as plot­ters) that exerciseth the Presbyterian Government, nor ever did since the King came home: what they may be in secret judgement I know not, nor how far the experience of our late Prelacy may have changed any; But, 1. Certainly they have no National assembly: 2. They have no Classes: 3. They have no coalition of many Churches to make a Pres­bytery. 4. And I hear of none (unless perhaps the Inde­pendents, which I know not) that have so much as Ruling Lay Elders.

Set all this together and tell me whether it be likely that those men believe a life to come and a judgement of God, who would make King and people believe that Parliaments, Non-conforming Ministers, and their hearers are Presbyterians, [Page] and so many and so bad as that King and Kingdom are in danger of them.

II. As to the second point of the late War, it's unseason­able here to say any more but this, 1. The King hath said so much for the Act of Oblivion that it's no sign of Loyal­ty and peace to violate it. 2. Though false reporters say, that the Papists were the Kings party, and the Presbyte­rians the Parliaments at the beginning of the English war, (not medling with Scotland and Ireland) the contrary is so well known to men yet living, that the Reporters can hope to seduce none but young men and strangers. I again desire him that would know the truth, but to read Rushworths Collections and Heylins life of Laud, and the names of the Parliament and Lord Lieutenants and Commanders, and ask those what they were that knew them: Heylin will con­vince you that the quarrel was long growing up between two parties of the Episcopal Church: of which he maketh in Ire­land Arch-Bishop Usher the Head, and the Convocation there to follow him; and in England, Arch-Bishop Abbot to be the Head, and Bishop Laud to be the Head of the other party, and a very few Bishops at first to follow him; so that the Church of England and Ireland (if the Convocation be the Church) were on the side that Laud dissented from; And the Parliaments went the way of the Church as then they called it, and one after another continued accusing the other side, 1. as promoting popery, 2. and Arminianism, 3. and arbitrary absoluteness; against Law, priviledges, Liberty and property: And where former Parliaments left, that of 1640. began, and between these two parties of the Church of England it was that the war began, and not between Papists and Presbyterians, (though the Presbyterians in Scotland, and the Papists in Ireland began there). The Papists were but Auxi­liaries to the King, and most of the Presbyterians Auxi­liaries to the Parliament, long after the beginning of the war. By God great mercy there are yet living the truly [Page] worthy and Right Honourable Lords, the Earl of Bedford first General of the Horse, and the Earl of Radnor, Lord President of his Majesties Council, a Colonel then in the Earl of Essex's Army, and the Lord Wharton (and the Lord Hollis is but lately dead) Ask these faithful Lords yet living whether the Earl of Essex, or any four or five of all his Colonels were Nonconformists, or any two of them Presbyterians; But of this elsewhere.

III. As to the death of the King, I have in the times of usurpation, proved that the Presbyterians detested it. That it was a proud conquering Army, by the Contrivance of Ol. Cromwel, and the applause of a few fanaticks that did it by the consent of a small part of the old Parliament called The Rump, that durst not trust the King in power: That they could never do it till, 1. They had new modelled the Army, and got out the Earl of Essex's Souldiers, and all the Parliament men save Cromwel; 2. Till they had first driven away the Eleven accused members; (Hollis, Stapleton, Maynard, &c.) 3. Till they had got all the Bri­gades and Garison Souldiers besides disbanded, lest they should resist them. 4. Till they had forcibly imprisoned a great part of the worthiest members of the Parliament, and kept and cast out the most of the House, and left only the foresaid smaller remnant. 5. Till they had conquered the City by sudden surprize; when Massy, Hollis, Brown and others tryed to have armed the City against them. 6. Till they had conquered Scotland, and their Armies. 7. The London Mi­nisters went to the General to charge him to resist it. 8. They printed their abhorrence of it to the world. And Mr. Love was beheaded and others imprisoned and fled beyond Sea. 9. I have reason to believe that Monks Army that restored the King had twenty if not forty times as many Presbyterians in it, as the Earl of Essex's Army had when the war began. 10. The London Presbyterians and Sir Thomas Allen Lord Mayor [Page] were they that turned the Scales for the King by inviting Monk and declaring their conjunction with him. 11. What the Pres­byterians did with Sir George Booth, and what Ministers were imprisoned for it, and other such things I need not report. 12. As soon as ever the members of the old Parliament were restored, they took effectual care for the Kings restitution: especially the Council which they settled and left. The Right Honourable the Earls of Anglesea, and Shaftesbury, and many others yet living can tell you enough of this: And if you believe not me, besides the forementioned worthy Lords, ask the worthy Master of the Rolls Sir Harbottle Grimstone, and Sir John Maynard his Majesties Serjeant at Law, who were eminent members of the foresaid Parliament, from the be­ginning, or any other of them yet living, whether the Parlia­ment was Presbyterians and Nonconformists when the war be­gan, or Conformable members of the Church of England; and they can resolve you.

IV. But if all this had been otherwise, must this age an­swer for their fathers deeds? What's all this to the present Nonconformists, of whom I do not believe there is one of 40. now alive that had any hand in any wars against the King? Are the Hollanders or French guilty of it because they are Presbyterians? If not, why are the English? will Names make men Traytors? If so, do not they make us Traytors who falsly gave us those names? Either they must prove that we hold re­bellious principles, or they shew that they do but in Plot accuse us. Therefore I have thought it my duty to give this account of our Principles as far as they are known to me.

In 1649. I wrote a Book called Political Aphorismes, in which, 1. I asserted the Universal Monarchy of God, 2. The Preheminence of Monarchy before Democracy against Mr. Harington's Oceana, 3. The way to secure a pious Mo­narchy; 4. And I added the reasons why I then had adhe­red to the Parliament, out of a desire of conviction if I had [Page] erred: But for great Reasons I have since desired that the book be taken as non scriptus. But what I judge undenyable I here declare.

Were sin and madness any wonder in the world, it were a wonder that England is not as happy and concordant a Nation as any under heaven. God hath kept us from tasting of those miserable wars, which have distressed many other Nations: God loudly calleth us to peace: old and sad experience of the mischiefs of war, do call unto all that are in their wits if possible to avoid it. The militant Nations round about us, have left us to sweet peace. But sin, folly and pride, will not consent: How many years have we begg'd for peace, of those that should have been the preachers and wisest promoters of peace, and cannot yet obtain it, nor quiet them that call for fire and sword, not knowing what spirit they are of? A miserable Nation's a­fraid of confusions, prayeth for the King and all in autho­ty, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all God­liness and honesty: and the Declaration about Ecclesi­astical affairs telleth us that the King would have given the people Peace: but with unpeaceable Clergymen, no plea, no petition could prevail. The things that have been, are; and the confusions of our age have come from the same causes and sorts of men, as the confusions in former ages did; which in an Abridgement of Church History▪ I have lately opened: we rejoyce with Paul that Christ is preached: but alas, that so many preach him not sincerely, of good will and love, but in envy, strife and contention, to add affliction to the afflicted, Phil. 1. 15, 16, 17, 18. We are all bound; if it be possible, and as much as in us lyeth, to live peaceably, yea to follow peace with all men: Rom. 12. 18. Heb. 12. 14. But none are more obliged to it than Princes that must preserve the peoples peace, and Christian Pastors that should preach it.

Mans soul hath three faculties, understanding, will, and executive vital power: The Image of God on these three is 1. holy knowledge, faith or Light, 2. Holy Love, 3. and holy Life. [Page] The Devils Image is the contrary to these three, 1. In dark ignorance, error and unbelief, 2. In malignant enmity to good things and persons; 3. In deadness to good, and hurt­fulness or evil works. Therefore the Devil is described by Christ, 1. As the Prince of darkness and deceit, 2. As the enemy of God and Goodness and good men, and, 3. As a de­stroyer. And so he is called A Lyar, A malignant enemy and A Murderer: And by these properties his children may be known, whatever they profess.

I unfeignedly declare that I wish no cruelty against Papists, nor any hurt but what the necessary safety of those whom they would hurt requireth: But I must say that their Canons and their writings and practices have had so much of these three properties, Lying, malignity against good men, and hurt­fulness and bloody cruelty, that the nature which God hath planted in me, is no more reconcileable to it, than to the life of high-way robbers. And let who will make a prudent trial, and I am confident he will find as I have done, that on whomsoe­ver you find these three Diabolical Symbols or properties, Ly­ing; Malice and Bloody-hurtfulness against men that are most serious and practical Christians, they will prove either open or secret Papists, or by nearness much prepared for them.

Could they be content to forbear DOMINION and BLOODINESS, we might live quietly with them as with other erroneous men. But how can that be hoped for while their Religion essentially is, 1. That all Christian Princes and People on earth, must be the obedient subjects of their Pope, or else be no members of the Church of Christ? 2. That approved General Councils must be believed and obeyed, of which (besides others) that at the Lateran sub Innoc. 3. obligeth all temporal Lords on pain of EXCOMMVNICATION, DEPOSITION and DAM­NATION to exterminate all their Protestant subjects [Page] if they are able, (and other Canons and Decrees are for burning them) And he that understandingly professeth him­self a Papist, professeth both these.

As I have here described the judgment of such Nonconfor­mists as I have conversed with (not undertaking for every odd person whom I know not) I do desire those that seek our blood and ruine by the false accusation of Rebellious principles, to tell me if they can [what body or party of men on earth have more sound and Loyal principles of Government and obedience.]

I. If they say the Papists, Let them read H. Fowlis history of them, and Bishop Barlows recitations of multitudes of their Doctors, and my Abridgement of Church History, and then believe it if they can: The world knoweth that the Papists set two superiors over Kings, 1. The Pope and his Councils, who have decreed it to be the Henrician Heresie and Simony to hold so much as Princes Power of Investing Bishops, and that the Pope hath not power pro meritis to depose them. 2. The People are commonly made by their Divines and Politicks the Givers of the Princes power, who should not so much as tolerate him if he be an Infidel or Heretick.

II. Is it the Church of England only whose Principles they prefer? 1. Wherein do we differ from them? Do we not subscribe their Articles, Canons and Homilies as to civil Go­vernment? And if we subscribe not the New Covenant or Profession, for the Phrases [Any Commissioned] and [on any pretence whatsoever] that proveth no Doctrinal difference from them, that subscribe them only in a sense which we never were against, and who would not do it, if they understood them properly. 2. Were B. Jewel, Bilson, and Mr. Hooker, none of the Church of England? were not the Bishops and Convocation in A. B. Abbots days, the Re­presentative Church of England? Were not the Parliaments [Page] that followed them of the Church of England? Was it only Dr. Sibthorp and Dr. Mainwaring and a few such cried down by Parliaments and Prelates that were the Church of England? Doth not B. Bramhall own Grotius as designed for preferment in this Church? 3. And are not the worthy Conform­able Clergy, and Parliament, who are yet against the Principles of Sibthorp and Mainwaring part of the Church of England?

It may be you will say [All the Nonconformists be not of your principles, and what then is this to excuse the rest?] And many talk of one Goodman and Buchanan in Scotland, and of Vindiciae contra Tyrannos (falsly charged on Beza, and written by Hubert Languet.)

Answ. And indeed, are all the Church of England of one mind? Are they all of Sibthorps mind on one side? Or are they all of Jewel, Hooker and Bilsons mind on the other side? Did they not differ when most followed Abbot (the refuser of Sibthorps book,) and the rest followed Bishop Laud? and when the two parties began the war, were they all of the mind of Wil­liams Arch-Bishop of York who was a Commander in armes for the Parliament? Shew us the doctrine of the Church for Loyalty which we receive not, and wherein in this we come behind you. Do all the Church of England agree with Mr. Thorndike, Mr. Dodwel, or Dr. Heylin? Read this mans History of the Reformation, and see how he exposeth it to scorn? Read his history of Presbytery, and his life of Arch-Bishop Laud, and tell as whether you are all of that mind. There is a Papist that hath written an Historical Collection of the horrid con­fusions of the English Reformation almost all verbatim out of Dr. Heylins History, half as reproachful as Philanax Anglicus; or the Image of both Churches, or any that a Pateson or a Par­sons could have written. Yet this was a Dr. of the Church? I do not think that all the Church will joyn with Bishop Bram­hal & Dr. Pierce in the Vindication of Grotius as a Protestant, who writeth for Romes common Mistriship, and for belief [Page] of the Doctrine of all the General Councils, even that of Trent. I do not think you all hold that our Reformers followed the measure of Erasmus, though some say so? Nor that you all blame the casting of Images out of the Churches as much as Dr. Richard Cox did in his epistle to Cassander? Was the sharp Arch-Bishop Whitgift and the rest that were for the Lambeth Articles, and our great Divines that went to Dort, and the Parliaments that decryed Arminianism, of the same mind as Arch-Bishop Laud, Neal, Buckeridge, Corbet and Mountague? Why then do you tell us of an odd dissenter, or of sects that we own not, or expect that a­mong us there should be no differences? Are we not men?

III. Is it the Principles of the Old Greeks and Romans which you prefer before ours? If you never read them, be­lieve not me, but believe Hobbes and multitudes of other sorts that say, They mostly hated Kings; and even Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Plutarch, &c. took it for a meritorious act to kill tyrants: (and whom did they mean?) Of all men set not them before us.

IV. Is it the new Philosophers; such Cartesians as Spinosa, and such as Hobbes that you prefer? I shall tell you after, what are their politicks.

V. Is it the famous Lawyers and Politick writers of Europe, Papists or Protestants? I have told you after what they hold. What heaps of Testimonies doth the Great Lawyer Hottoman in his Franco-Gallia bring, to prove the Power of Nobles and Parliaments limiting the Monarch formerly in France? And Bodin is against him as to the Constitution of France, and by the information of Dale the English Em­bassador, taketh England also to be an Absolute Monarchy, and that the Parliament hath no Authoritative part in making Laws, but only a requesting and advising part, and the King the only Legislative. Yet see what are even Bodins Principles. 1. Pag. 98. He saith [Soveraign [Page] Majesty and absolute power, consisteth principally in gi­ving Laws to the Subjects in general without their consent.

2. Chap. 5. He taketh slavery to be unlawful.

3. Page 88. c. 8. He maketh Monarchy to be the gift of the people, voluntarily disseising and despoiling themselves of the Sovereign power to seize and invest another in it. (As if a man should by pure gift deliver to another man the propriety and possession that to him belongeth): And so he maketh the Ruler to have just so much power as the people give him. And at this rate Lawyers ordinarily speak both Pro­testants and Papists.

4. He ever excepteth from the absolute Sovereigns pow­er, all that is commanded or forbidden by the Law of God and Nature, which no man can abrogate, pag. 89, &c.

5. Pag. 85. He tells us how of old the Chief Justice thus invested the King of Arragon. ‘We which are to thee in virtue nothing inferior, and in power greater than thy self, create thee our King, Yet with this condition, that one among us shall have more power and command than thy self]’ But he believeth not that the people of Arragon chose the King.

6. He saith that a Prince is not subject to his Laws, but he is to his own just and reasonable Conventions: and that many are deceived that confound Laws and a Princes con­tracts which they call also Laws (Constitutions or Fundamen­tal Laws they are called) The Law depends on the will of him that hath the Soveraignty. But the contract between the Prince and his Subjects is mutual, which reciprocally bindeth both parties, so that the one party may not start therefrom, to the prejudice, or without the consent of the other. (As Constitutions are made by contract, so some coun­treys make Governing laws by contract).

[Page] 7. Pag. 95. He saith the Prince cannot derogate from the Laws that concern the state of the Realm, and the esta­blishing thereof.

8. Pag. 97. He saith [It is not in the power of any Prince in the world (no more than the King of Englund) at his pleasure to raise taxes on the people, no more than to take another mans goods from him, as Philip Commines wisely shewed in the Parliament at Towres.]

9. Pag. 97. He objects [that the Estates of England have power to condemn; as K. Henry the 6. was condemned by the Estates to be kept Prisoner in the Tower of London.] And answereth [That was done by the ordinary Judges of England, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the Upper House, at the request of them of the Nether House] I thought it was done by traiterous usurpation.

10. Pag. 200. L. 2. c. 2. He distinguisheth of Lawful or Royal Monarchy, Lordly Monarchy and Tyrannical Mo­narchy: The Lawful or Royal Monarch is that where the Subjects enjoyning their natural liberty and propriety of their goods, obey the Laws of a Monarch, and the Mo­narch the Laws of Nature. The Lordly Monarchy is that where the Prince is become Lord of the goods and persons of his Subjects, by Law of Arms and lawful War, govern­ing them as the Master of a Family doth his slaves. The Tyrannical Monarchy is where the Prince contemning the Laws of Nature and Nations, imperiously abuseth the per­sons of his free-born Subjects, and their goods as his own.

11. Though he justly blame Aristot. (p. 206.) for defining a King to be him, who chosen by the people, reigneth as they desire] from whose will if he never so little depart he becometh a tyrant; And though Althusius blame Bodin for being for abso­lute Monarchy, yet Bodin l. 2. c. 4. describeth a Tyrant just as Althusius (after cited) doth, if not more copiously and odiously: The learned Reader may peruse pag. 212. his dif­ference [Page] between a King and a Tyrant, too large to be recited, and scarce safe for the vulgar to read, lest they should think most Princes by those Characters to be Tyrants: I am sure it goeth far beyond our Language.

12. And it's the more dangerous in that c. 5. p. 220, 221. he teacheth [that it is a fair and magnifical thing, for a Prince (of another land) to take up Arms to relieve a whole Nation and People unjustly oppressed by the cruel­ry of a Tyrant. [And that [it is lawful for any stranger to kill a Tyrant,] that is to say, a man of all men infamed and notorious for the oppression, Murder and slaughter of his Subjects. But as for Subjects to do the same, it must be known whether the Prince be an Absolute Sovereign, or not: For if he be no absolute Sovereign, then must the So­vereignty of necessity be either in the people or the nobili­ty, in which case there is no doubt but that it is lawful to proceed against a Tyrant by way of Justice, if so men may prevail against him: Or else by way of fact, and open force, if they may not otherwise have reason. As the Se­nate did against Nero and Maximinus.—p. 222. It shall be lawful not only for strangers but for the Subjects them­selves also to take them out of the way].

Albericus Gentilis was made Professor of the Civil Law in Oxford (where he unsuccessfully wrote for Stage-Plays against D. Jo. Reignolds): And therefore he was one of the Church of England: And in his book De jure Belli he holdeth,

1. That unavoidable ignorance may make a war to both sides lawful, l. 1. c. 6.

2. He joyneth with Bodin against war or foreing men to Re­ligion, c. 9, &c. with notable testimonies of Tertullian, La­ctantius, Arnobius, &c. Bernard, Cassiodorus, Erasmus, Hospitalius, Victoria, Govarruvia, Baldus, P. Aemilius and others.

Approving Cujacius that saith [Religio non est quae ca­let [Page] in caedes civium & perniciem patriae.]

3. C. 11. He saith distinguishing [Ita censeo; ut qui subditus privatusque non est, is se defendere contra Prin­cipem in ista causa religionis, etiam per bellum possit: Qui subditus simul & privatus non est, is ultimo loco & pro remedio ultimo potest se & in aliis causis bello tueri, ut quem non juvat ratio propter potentiam dominii, arma eum defendant—ut Baldus, Defensio ista contra omnes est, nec debet ullum Patrono honorem: Privatus qui ho­mo est, nihil horum potest.

4. C. 13. Defensio etiam brutis jus est naturae; non opinione nobis, sed innata quadam vi persuasum & consti­tutum. Et necessarium jus est: Nam quid est quod con­tra vim (ait Cicero) fieri sine vi possit. Hoc super omnia ju­ra est probatissimum: vim vi repellere, omnes Leges, & omnia jura permittunt. Lex una & perpetua, salutem omni ratione defendere.

5. And to prove that men must defend each other, contrary to Hobs and Spinosa, he notably sheweth that Christians and Heathens agreed that all the world is one Body, house, city, of which all are members, made under one law, c. 15. and citeth Bartolus, Baldus, Alciatus, Albericus and many more Lawyers to prove that the omission of defending others is a sin: especi­ally when they are our near friends: citing Ulpian and Tully for it as the Law of Nature.

6. C. 16. He writeth for Princes defending the Subjects of other Princes, if unjustly oppressed, yea sometime though the Subjects were unjust, to keep them from immoderate penalty: Much more I pass by. And are these Lawyers Doctrines more loyal than our here professed?

In a word, Libraries and Booksellers shops abound with such Books, as teach such Doctrines, Philosophers, Historians, Pa­pists and Protestants; and yet no such outcry of Treason and Rebellion hath been raised against them, but the Books commonly [Page] tolerated and read: And we that never owned such things are by Plotters represented as if we were ready by our disloyal Do­ctrine to destroy the King and Kingdom.

And the foresaid Greg. Sayrus saith Clav. Reg. l. 3. c. 6. p. 134. ‘That mens Laws bind not, unless the people re­ceive them. For it is not meet that men should be so govern­ed by humane power, as that they should against their will be driven by a Law, to do any thing, which neither by the Law of Nature nor of God they are bound to do:—And this must not seem hard or absurd to any one, seeing that the power of the Prince who is the maker of the Law, seemeth in a sort to depend on the will of the people, be­cause the authority of Secular Power is delegated to the Prince himself or Magistrate by the people, for the making of Laws which shall seem profitable to the good moderating of the Common-wealth; so that the Laws which are made by Princes or Magistrates, are therefore to be called valid, be­cause they are judged to have come from the consent of the people themselves.’

Hence Alph. à Castro gathereth, ‘That if a Prince or Magistrate having such power from the people, would by a Law of his making compel the gainsaying people to any thing which is not necessary by the Law of God or Na­ture, he is to be judged a Tyrant; because he exerciseth greater power toward the people committed to him than he truly hath. But à Castro sheweth, that this is to be understood only of the Lay power; because only this re­ceiveth its strength from the people.’

And p. 120. he sheweth, ‘that a Law binds not, if it ex­tend to those things, which exceed the Law-makers power: and that therefore the Civil Magistrates cannot make Law of matters Ecclesiastical.—Also if they are not for the common good—’

I name Sayrus, because you are not to look for better from [Page] a Papist, his Book being the best of Cases of Conscience, not on­ly in mine, but the common judgement. And see here how near he and Mr. Hooker agree.

It seems heretofore some Canonists thought otherwise: But the great Politick Writer Ad. Contzen li. 5. c. 5. tells you, ‘That now the common vote is against them: And he con­cludeth as the true and common judgement, that the power of making Laws, is by nature in the multitude or whole Common-wealth; and that no one Prince hath more than the people give him. And that the people when they choose a Royal Person or Family, may reserve this right, that he shall abrogate or make no Law without them: that all Civil power flows from the people; and that none without Tyranny can take this power from them: And that such a Tyrant is worse than he that beateth the innocent, because he wrongeth and oppresseth more.’

And of all forms of Government, he concludeth [Monar­chiam temperatam, in qua Optimatum, sive Senat sva­leat authoritas, in qua Civitatum, atque aliorum Ordi­num sit nonnulla potestas, praeferendam esse, li. 1. c. 21. p. 43. And he defineth Tyranny to be [Imperium quod ad imperantium, aut alicujus partis in Republicâ utilitatem spectat—] c. 16. p. 31. Et p. 32. ait [Prima & vetu­stissima tyrannidis origo est Regum in pejus mutatio. Am­bito, avaritia, libido, potestatls comites sunt & pestis.—p. 33. Utinam, utimam, quàm seriò Tyrannidem & Ty­rannum omnes detestantur, ita sedulo fugiant! Si ulla res est orbi perniciosa, sibi gravis, illa est Tyrannis.—p. 34. Accedit & illud ad miseriam Tyrannorum quod quocunque modo caedantur etlam per fraudem & injuriam, magna tamen in laude apud improbos sunt illi, qui hoc ausi sunt, etiamsi per scelus—Etsi injusta sit credes, multis tamen grata: Causam reddit princeps philoso­phorum, l. 2. pol. c. 7. [Maximas injurias propter immode­ratas [Page] homines inferunt, & non propter res necessarias—ut li­bidines impune expleant. Idcirco magna praemia propo­sita sunt, non ei qui furem; sed qui Tyrannum occi­derit—]

But enough of this comparing of our Doctrine with other mens, whose Books are commonly sold and read. An impar­tial hearing when accused, is that which we have in vain long desired of our hurtfullest enemies. But well saith the fore­said Contzen. l. 9. c. 44. p. 732. Absolvit Judex quem audire formidat.

I have oft wondred that when Christ was accused as an ene­my to Caesar, the Jews nor Romans did not charge him for gathering the multitude as his guards, to the awe of the Rulers, who durst not lay hands on him lest the people should stone them or rise for him against them: For they feared the people, Luk. 22. 2. and 20. 19. Mark 12. 12. Mat. 21. 46. when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the mul­titude, because they took him for a prophet, Yea, K. He­rod durst not put John to death for fear of the multitude that took him for a prophet, Mat. 14. 5. And when the Pharisees bid Christ rebuke the multitude that cried Hosanna, he would not. Yet he declared that his Kingdom was not of this world, and he was not made a divider of inheritances, and paid tribute to Caesar to avoid offence. I wonder that the Rulers did not prosecute the people rather then fear them. But I will not believe that Christ sinned in this, though Infidels think so.

VI. But stay: Perhaps it is the ancient Bishops and Canons which they say agreed in more Loyal Doctrine than I here profess? But 1. I have newly in my Abridgement of Church History said so much to answer this that I fear not the censures of any impartial reader. 2. How greatly doth the great Antiquary Albaspineus reverence the Apostolical Con­stitutions, as the Greek Churches ancient rule: But I disown [Page] their Doctrine, l. 8. c. 2. Neque vero Rex impius Rex est amplius, sed Tyrannus: Neque Episcopus ignorantiâ aut malo animo oppletus, Episcopus est, sed falsus Episcopus, non à Deo, sed ab hominibus promotus. If I should cite a­bundance such I should but anger some. Read Nazianzenes description of Bishops and Councils, and Socrates and others of the cases of Theoph. Alexand. and Chrysost. and the horrid insurrections at Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, &c. and judge impartially between them and us.

Among a multitude I will add one instance of my own usage, that you may see more of my reason for this writing. The Transproser rehearsed p. 48. saith M. Baxter in his holy Common-wealth maintaineth that he (the King) may be called to account by any single Peer.] Must we say no­thing to such bloody slanders? Never such a thought was in my mind, nor word spoke or written by me, but all is a meer false fiction: Nay, in all the times of usurpation, and since, I said, and wrote that the Kings person is inviolable, and to be judged by none, either Peer or Parliament; and that it is none but Subjects that they may call to account and judge and punish; and that neither the King may destroy or hurt the Kingdom, nor the Kingdom the King (much less a Peer) but their Vni­on is the Kingdoms life. And the very Book accused goeth on such Principles, and hath not a word meet to tempt a man in his wits to this accusation. Judge now by this one instance, and by the cry of the Plotters now against us, seeking our destructi­on and the Parliaments as supposed to favour us (which for ought I know never did any thing for our relief or ease) whe­ther it be meet that I should die in silence under such horrid accusations: against which I appeal to the great and righteous Judge, before whom I am shortly to appear, begging his pardon, and reforming-conviction, where ever Ierre.

R. e.

The Contents of this Extorted and Distorted Treatise.

  • THe judgement of the Author and the Nonconformists▪ of his [...] as far he knowe [...]h it, Of the Fun­damental [...] of Government; specially against Bened Spinosa's falle foundations, whose shameful words are recited, and other Bruitists confuted who subvert all religion, morality, government and humanity: And a touch of Popish principles. p. 1
  • Chap. II. More of Gods Government, his Laws and their perfection, and mens additions. p. 22
  • Chap. III. Of the Power of Soveraigns and the Obedience of Sub­jects p. 35
  • Chap. IV. Arcdundant added profession of the Author, with his Renunciation of a multitude of disloyal Principles: written to silence malicious accusers, but unmeet to be expected from all others. p. 50
  • Chap. V. The Conformity of our Principles of Loyalty, 1. To the Constitution of the Kingdom, described by King Charles I. in many of his Declarations: 2. To the Articles of Religion, Canons and Homilies, about the Power of Magistrates, the obe­dience of Subjects, and the sin of Rebellion: 3. To the judge­ment of the most esteemed Prelates: Bishop Jer. Taylors words in his Ductor Dubitantium, of Civil and Church power, recited at large. p. 81
  • Chap. VI. A Scheme of Political Principles compared, or the Political Alphabet, 1. Of the sincere Christian Loyallist, 2. Of the treacherous flattering selfish Royallist: 3. Of the under­standing real Papist; 4. Of the unruly seditious Rebel; and, 5. The summ of Spinosa's Posthumous works, with a Confutation of the Principles of Hobbes de Cive, and the doctrine of some Lawyers and Politick writers about Power and Tyranny com­pared with ours. p. 107
  • Chap. VII. Of the true Nature of Church-Government, Com­munion and worship. p. 133
  • Chap. VIII. Of the true and only way of Church Concord and [Page] peace in generals, and of the Causes of Schism, and of To­leration, &c. p. 149
  • Chap. IX. The true and easie terms of Concord particularly and briefly stated (of which I have written much more since in a Treatise only on that Subject.) p. 184.
  • Chap. X. Of the quality and faults of those called Our followers and Puritans, and whether we are guilty of any of their mistakes; In answer to the Politician, the Debater and many others, who from the unmeet words of some odd persons, would render us and them contemptibly or intolerably erroneous in doctrine.

    Our judgement of the Interest of Reason in Religion, was before published by it self: And our judgement of Schism, in our former Plea for Peace. p. 187

  • Chap. XI. Our judgement of the difference of Grace and Morality, against some that accuse us as destroying morality; Hobbs, that saith it is a seditious principle to hold that faith must be inspired or infused. p. 3
  • Chap. XII. Our judgement of the Lawfulness of Things Indifferent commanded by authority. p. 21
  • Chap. XIII. The Authors account of his judgement of Scandal, and things evil by accident, if commanded: in answer to Bishop Morly and the young Eccles. Politician; (written 1668. somewhat tedious through much distinction, which accusati­on made necessary). p. 45
  • Chap. XIV. What the Nonconformity of my self and the Mini­sters of my familiarity is not; in many particulars in which we are mistaken (written long before the first part of our Plea, in which I shew what it is.) p. 83

The Judgement of the Non-Conformists about the diffe­rence between Grace and Morality was Printed, 1676. and cast by, and hath many Errata, viz.

PAge 3. line 17. for Moralities: r.Immoralities: p. 13. l. 26. r. Treasury: p. 84. l 5. after why put?: p. 96. l. 4, r. were: p. 112. l. 15. blot out at Sion Colledge: p. 113. l. 5. for shall r. may: and l. 20. for suspensions r. suspicions: p. 116. l. 9. for Lordships r. preferments: p. 112. l. 17. r. consent to.

[Page] Omissions are p. 79. at the end, And if any (not accusing others) should think, truly or mistakingly, that all these or any one of them are imposed on him by man, his obedience thereto cannot be expected, till his judgement be changed: and if he [...]rreth not, he sinneth not: p. 100. l. 12. add, we apply this bu [...] to the general question, and not to any par [...]icular case or persons: p. 115. marg. add, at Qu. 4, 5, 6. None of these Questions are put to our Superiours, who have recei­ved many Ministers into the Church upon their Conformity, who some preacht, some wrote, some fought against the Kings cause; But they are only to those that would have the Act of Oblivion forgotten, and st [...]ll talk of th [...] war in a malicious plot, to silence and ruine multi­tudes that had no hand in it.

Note that nothing in this book is written to dishonour our Rulers, nor the Conforming Clergy, nor to deprave the Liturgie: But as I greatly rejoice that England hath yet so many Learned and able and laborious publick Preachers, (especially London) and write this much to abate their unjust censures of us that we may come to our necessary Concord; so having read all the Old Liturgi [...]s in the Biblioth. Patrum, I do with old John Ball that excellent Non-Con­formist (in his Treat▪ of Liturgies against Separation) thank God that England hath a better Liturgy than any of them all, and one of the best in all the World (that is so particular and long.)

Glory to God in the Highest, on earth Peace, to men Good-will. Amen.

THe sence of the House of Commons in Queen Elizabeths days, (who sure were no Presbyterians) is thus related by D. Hey­lin, Hist. of Presbyt. pag. 288. [A smart Petition is presented to the Lords in the name of the Commons, for rectifying of many things which they conceived to be amiss in the state of the Church: The whole Petition did consist of 16. particulars; of which the first six did relate to a Preaching Ministry, the want of which was much complained of in a supplication—In the other ten it was desired‘That no Oath or subscription might be tendered to any at their entrance into the Ministry, but such as was prescribed by the statutes of the Realm, and the Oath against Cor­rupt entering: 2. That they may not be troubled for Omission of some Rites or Offices prescribed in the book of Common prayer: 3. That such as had been suspended or deprived for no other offence, [Page] but only for not subscribing, might be restored. 4. That they may not be called and urged to answer before the Officials and Com­missaries, but before the Bishops themselves. 5. That they might not be called into the High Commission, or M [...]ot out) of the Diocess where they lived, except for some notable offence. 6. That it might be per­mitted to them, in every Arch-Deaconry to have some common exer­cises, and conferences among themselves, to be limited and prescribed by the Ordinaries. 7. That the high censure of excommunication may not be denounced or executed for small matters. 8. Nor by Chancel­lours Commissioners (Commissaries) or Officials, but by the Bishops themselves with the assistance of grave persons. 9. That non-re­sidency may be quite removed out of the Church. 10. That at least, according to the Queens Injunctions Art. 44. No-nonresident having already a Licence or Faculty may enjoy it, unless he depute an able Curate that may weekly preach and Cutechize, as was required by her Majesty in the said injunctions]’ Against (saith Heylin) the violence of this Torrent the Arch-Bishop interposed both his power and Reason—But finding that the Lord Grey and other of that house (of Lords) had been made of the party, he drew the rest of the Bishops to joyn with him in an humble Petition to her sacred Majesty, and the Queen put an end to that dispute, not only for the present but all Parliaments fol­lowing.

Here you see, 1. What was the sence of the Lords and Com­mons: 2. What was the heinous evil desired that seemed in­tolerable to the Bishops: 3 By whom and how it was defeated] The Lord have mercy on his Church; and the souls that men have little mercy for, and save them especially from themselves, and next from their Reverend Overseers. Dr. Stoughton citeth Luther saying, Nunquam periclitatur religio nisi inter reverendissimos.

As this was coming out of the Press, a Sermon of Dr. Stilling­fleet's oft calls me to account, about Separation. When I see a satisfactory answer to what I have lately said hereof in my Book of Concord and the first part of the Plea for peace, if I have life and liberty I shall return my thanks to the Consuter: But I am not now at leisure to open other mens confounding or mistaking touches, who have not leisure to say that which requireth an answer, for them that impartially have read the books, which he excepteth against.

[Page 1]A Pacificatory account of my judgement and such Nonconformists as I converse with, of Government and obedience, and some other Doctrinals about which the Nonconformists are accused or suspected as dangerously erring.

CHAP. 1.
The principles of Spinosa and such Bruitists against Govern­ment and Morality recited, and confuted, and the funda­mental reasons of Government asserted.

§. 1. WE have no reason to blame our Rulers, for being offended with all principles of Anarchy and Rebellion, and being jealously watchful against all real appearances of them: for that such are among us, and that the tendency of them is to per­nicious effects, is past denyal: and all lovers of God, their Country and their King, will hate and oppose them, when they do discern them.

§. 2. What the Papists principles are, is so largly prov­ed by Henry Fowlis, and by Doctor Barlow, the present [Page 2] worthy Bishop of Lincoln, after many others, that no addition is necessary; but that such as the Coun­terminer and many others in Press and Pulpit should lay somewhat like it to the charge either of the present Nonconformists, or to Nonconformists as such, and cry out to Rulers and people, as they love their power, Estates and lives not to tolerate us (that is, to destroy or banish us) and specially that the Parliament in the beginning of the Oxford Act which banisheth us from Corporations, should leave on record such suspicions of us as the reason of their Act, are things that have long seemed to me to make such a Defence our duty, as tendeth to the satisfaction of the sus­pecters and accusers; Lest we seem 1. To own the charge, 2. and thereby tempt the people to think that we take not rebellion for a sin; 3. or to despise both the Law-makers, their Laws, and the said Preachers that thus accuse us.

§. 3. I have not yet heard of any such severe prose­cutions of the Bruitists that are for Hobbes, Spinosa, Pom­ponatius, Vaninus, &c. as have been used against truly Loyal Nonconformists. But their principles are so perni­cious, subverting humanity, morality and Government, that I will begin with the recital of them as Spinosa lay­eth them down, and then add the true fundamentals of Government and morality which confute them.

§. 4. Bened. Spinosa in Tractat. Theolog. polit. cap. 16. pag. 175, 176, &c. saith [Jus naturae nihil aliud est quam, &c. The Right of Nature is nothing but the Rule by which every thing is determined to his manner of being and operation, as fishes are to swim, and the great ones to eat the little ones. That natural Right extendeth as far as pow­er. That every Individual hath the Highest Right, to all things that he is able to do: That it is the chief Law of Nature, that every thing do its utmost to continue in its own state, having no respect to any other, but only to it self; [Page 3] that here there is no difference between men and other things, nor between rational men, and Fools or mad men: that while men live under the Empire of nature only, they live by the only Laws of Appetite, and that by the highest Right: that the natural right of every man is not determined by sound reason, but by Lust and power: All being born ignorant, it be­ing long before they know the true reason of living, and get the Habit of Vertue, though they have good education, they are no more bound this while to live by the Laws of a sound mind (or reason) than a Cat by the Laws of Lions. Whatsoever any such shall judge profitable to himself, either by guidance of sound reason, or by the force of affection, it is lawful for him by the highest right of nature to desire it and to take it, and that by force or fraud, or request, or by what other way he easiliest can; and to take him for his enemy that would hinder the fulfilling of his desire: so that the Right and Law of nature un­der which all are born, and for the most part live, forbid­deth nothing, but that which no man desireth and which no man can do, not contentions, not hatred, not wrath, not frauds. Whatsoever in Nature seems to us absurd, ridiculous or evil, is because we know things but in part. It is the uni­versal Law of humane Nature, that no man neglect that which he judgeth good (for him) but in hope of a greater good, or the fear of greater damage; nor endure any evil but to avoid a greater, or in hope of greater good: that every man of two goods choose that which he thinks best (for him) and of two evils, that which he thinks least, be it so or not: and this is so firmly written in mans nature, that it is to be numbred with the eternal veri­ties, which no man can be ignorant of. Therefore no man is to promise without fraud, nor to stand to his promise made, to give up this right (in civil sociation) unless for fear of greater evil or hope of greater good. As if a robber force us to promise him our goods, we may frandulently promise and not per­form it; yea if I mistakingly think I have promised a thing to [Page 4] my hurt, I may break it: whence we conclude that Covenants can have no force but for our profit sake, which being taken away, the Covenant is taken away and remaineth void. There­fore in constituting Republicks, it's foolish to require fidelity, further than you make sure, that Covenant-breaking shall prove the breakers hurt: For every man by natural right, may deal deceitfully, and is not bound to stand to his Covenants. He hath the supreme Right over all men, who hath the greatest pow­er, by which he can retain them by force or fear of the greatest punishment: which Right he shall have no longer, than he keep­eth the power of executing what he list: Otherwise he shall rule precariously, and no one that is stronger than he shall be bound to obey him, unless he will. And thus societies may be formed with­out any wrong to the right of nature: and he that hath most power is bound by no Law. And thus we are bound to execute all his com­mands that hath most power, be they most absurd: because reason bids us chuse the less evil: But then this Right of commanding what they will, no longer belongeth to chief Powers, than they have chief power: which if they lose, they lose their Right of com­manding, and it falls to him or them that get it and can keep it.

Then having extolled Democracy he proceedeth to shew that, There is no injury but in a Civil life (the cros­sing of his will that hath most power) and that all things are lawful to them that are strongest, and they can do no wrong, and Justice is a constancy of mind to give every man that which by (this) civil Right belongs to him, (that is, which he can­not get from him without his own hurt) And that if two States Covenant, none but a sool that knoweth not the right of su­preme Powers, will expect they should stand to it, longer than is for their own ends or good; and so in matters of piety and Religion. Also, that all are to be taken for enemies save sub­jects and confederates, though they never did us wrong: and we may compel them to subjection or confederation, if we are able, with much more to this purpose, taking off all ob­ligations [Page 5] of charity, justice and common honesty, except what mens private interest, or the will of him that is strongest doth infer. Otherwise making it as lawful, yea as much duty to murder any man, or as many as we can, as to save mens lives, to steal and rob as to forbear, to lye and be perjured as to speak truly, to be adulterous as to be chast, to be a Traitor as a Loyal subject: openly dissolving and deriding all divine obligations, save mans, and releasing all mens consciences from them: As if he proclaimed to the world, that if once they can but think it to be for their own good, they may kill any man, they may murder Kings and turn their Guns, their swords, their poysons against them, notwithstanding any oaths to the contrary, without any scruple of Conscience or fear of punishment in the world to come. And if once all mens consciences were thus turned loose, no guards, no Army could secure the lives of Kings, as the cases of Henry the 3. and Henry the fourth of France have proved. Yea he thus telleth, Every General of Armies, or any other subject that can but kill the King, and take possession of his king­dom that he hath as much right as the King had as long as he is strongest, and that all the subjects have the same ob­ligation to defend him that hath deposed the King, as they had before to defend the King. In a word, that no man is to be trusted by another any further than he thinketh it good for himself, nor oweth any duty to any, but himself, not excepting Parents to children or children to their Parents.

It is the will & mercy of God to Princes and to mankind thus to permit those that will be Atheists and Rebels against him to shew the consequents of it, by their inhumane and rebellious opinions against Government: That if Princes will ever set up Epicurisme, Atheisme and Infidelity, they shall set up Rebellion with it, and expose their Lives to eve­ry man that hath but list to venture upon a secret or an o­pen assault.

[Page 6] And the root of all this mans inhumanity is his Epicu­rean principles of Philosophy about God and [...], sup­posing God to be but the Eternal necessary necess [...]ing first cause of all things and motions, as the Sun is o [...] [...]ght and heat, who can do no more, nor less than he doth, moving the world as a Clock or Watch by meer invariable necessi­ty, that never did or can do a miracle, or alter the necessi­tating course of nature: And that man hath no self de­termining free-will at all, but is moved as necessarily as an Engine; And that God is no governour, nor hath no Laws (but mens) nor no Justice, nor Mercy, these being not to be attributed to him, but only natural mo­tion or necessitation; And that he that lyeth, murder­eth, stealeth, rebelleth is equally moved to it by God, as he that speaketh truth, and doth all that is just and good: and therefore it is but our narrow minds and ig­norance, that taketh one thing to be better or worse than another, or to be sin or duty, save in respect to our com­modity and the will of the strongest.

And is it not a wonder that a man should think all this to be the undoubted Light of Nature and the product of free enquiries, and of the true Universal Idea of God, when as nature taught the contrary to almost all the old Philosophers, save the Epicureans (who as Cicero sheweth were in common contempt with sober men): yea to all the most Barbarous Nations of the world, even to our American Sa­vages at this day, for the most part: And is not that liker to be the Light of Nature, which is found in almost all man­kind, than that which an odd Philosophical Hypothesis or dotage leads a few such Atheists to, who could not with­out hard study, have extirpated the belief of a God (a morally Governing Deity) from their own minds: and so un [...]litur [...] have blotted out all Morality, Religion, Hu­manity, true Policy and Honesty at once. And because [Page 7] they believe no rewards or Punishments in another life, they make man but an Ingenious Beast, and his Reason to be given him but to serve his Appetite, and sensitive Life; so that by their open principles, if any one Bedlam or Ideot could set all the City on fire for his own com­modity, he did as well as he that would save it: and if a Traitor could but save himself by the destruction of a whole Kingdom, or the world, it were well done,

And thus, that yet Kings may not think him unkind to them, he sets them above God as to all civil obligations: for cap. 19. he over and over tells you that God hath no other Kingdom or Reign over men, but by those that rule us (that is the strongest) and therefore all Religious worship and exercise of godliness is but the determination of Rulers for the publick peace, and is wholly in their power and at their will: yea that Justice and Charity are not matters of Right and commanded, but by Rulers, and all Religion hath the force of Law or Right only by their Decree: for in the state of nature, Reason hath no more Right than Appetite; but those that live after the Law of Appetite, as well as those that live after the Law of Reason, have Right to all they can do or have: and are uncapable of sin, and not punished by God, but carried about with the Ʋniverse by natural motion: That the Jews gave God his Kingdom over them, and he had none but by their resignation of their power to him; and then it was no other than Moses his Reign; and when they had given their power to the King of Babylon, Gods Kingdom and his Right did presently cease: That God having no Kingdom but mens, cannot be conceived, as a Prince or Lawgiver, giv­ing any Laws to men, but as involving all in necessity: That all divine documents revealed by the light of nature or pro­phetically, have no force of a command from God immediate­ly but from Rulers; that as to God, all things come alike to all, and Salus Populi (that is every mans commodity and [Page 8] lust) is the highest Law to which all both humane and divine must be accommodated: and no man knoweth by Nature that he oweth any obedience to God, or can know it by Reason, but onl [...] by Revelation (which his Book is written to de­ride) pag. 184.

We suppose the Reader will think we have tediously digressed against this Apostate Jew: but the reason is, because the pernicious book having most subtilly assault­ed the Text of the old Testament, is greedily sought and cryed up (with Hobbes his equal) in this unhappy time, even among those whose place should make them more regardful of the interest of Magistrates at least; even by those Atheists whom God calls Fools, Psal. 14. 1. but by themselves are called Wits, and our business is more to defend the truth than our selves.

The summ of our Judgments against these pernicious principles is this, 1. That there is a God, and were there not a God, there could be nothing.

2. That God is not known to us immediately here, but in a glass, or by the means of some effects.

3. Therefore we have no Notion or Name of God which is not in some sort Borrowed, or which is formal and adequate to his Essence.

4. Yet nothing invisible is so clearly and certainly intelligible and certain to mans mind, as God, as to the [...] sit, that he is, and to much of the Quid sit, what he is; though imperfectly apprehended; and though no­thing be so incomprehensible; even as no visible thing is more visible than the Sun, and its being and part of its [...] furthest from uncertainty; and yet hath in it most unknown.

[Page 9] 5. The Notions we have of God, though Borrowed and Analogical, are not useless nor fallacious, but imperfect and such as lead to perfect knowledge: And he that will not use these, must use none.

6. We have no immediate knowledge of any higher nobler essence than our own souls, from which to bor­row our Notions of God: still separating all that signi­fieth imperfection and acknowledging their defectiveness.

7. He that laying by these, will from any other lower baser Nature, form Notions of God, shall have lower, baser Notions of him.

8. Mans Soul is a Spirit, having essentially the Virtue, force, or inclined power, of Vital-Activity, Intellection and Volition (Three in one): all which are certainly no­tified by their Acts.

9. As Vital-self-moving is more noble than the moti­on of meer passives or inanimates, so Vitality with Vn­derstanding and Free-will, is more noble than bruitish motion without Intellection or Free-will: else worms and Beasts were nobler natures than men, and should be our Covernours.

10. Therefore to feign God to be a meer principle of Vniversal motion as the Spring in a Watch, or the poise of a Clock, is to debase him below the Vitality of Beasts: and to feign him to be a meer sensitive principle of motion, is to debase him below humane nature. And to feign him to be a meer Vital-Intellectual mover without Will, Love and Voluntary Goodness, is to think of him in a maimed defective notion, as baser than man's, whose Will is one of his noblest faculties, without which he hath no Love to or complacency in himself or any other. Even as we think of a man of meer speculative knowledge, who nevertheless may be stark naught: (And so men think of the Devil himself).

[Page 10] 11. Gods will is the cause and Conserver and end of all things, and therefore to deny his will is to deny all things.

12. Gods will hath all that Liberty which belongeth to Perfection, but no liberty or indifferency which imply­eth imperfection.

13. The True Idea of Gods Nature then is, That he is a SPIRIT of LIFE, INTELLECTION and WILL, MOST PERFECT.

14. All the Being, with all the Vitality, Intellect and will, the Power, wisdom and goodness, which is in man or any Creature, being from God, he must needs have more than All himself, either formally or eminently, for he can give nothing more noble than what he hath and is.

15. Man having Vitality, Intellection and Free-will, and being a Sociable creature, each one having need of others and disposed to converse, and placed among others, is a Creature made to be Governed according to his Reason, by Verities, and according to his Free-will by proposed Good; and not meerly moved as a Stone, or Engine, nor meer­ly moved as Bruits by sense: that is, he is to be ruled by Laws. This one of us hath so fully proved in a treatise called the Reasons of the Christian Religion, part 1. cap. 8. that it must not here be done over again.

16. If the Nature of man were not to be morally governed by proposed Truth and Good, his Reason and Will were vain; he should not be ruled as a man but as a stone or beast: sense must do all: all humane govern­ment were impossible or evil, for want of capable sub­jects: no Villany must be controlled: folly must bear equal sway with wisdom: children must not obey their Parents, any more than Parents their children. Yea by the Principles of this Maledictus Spinosa and his tribe, the [Page 11] children that can but conquer natural instinct, and es­cape humane punishment, may as lawfully kill their Parents to get the inheritance, as Love and Honour them: and the Parents may as lawfuly murder all their children, to avoid the trouble of keeping them, as to nourish them.

17. Man being naturally made to be Governed, God must needs be his supreme governour, as having the chief Right and sole capacity and aptitude. For 1. there is no other can rule Universally, but partially. Kings rule their Kingdoms, but God ruleth the world. 2. Else there were no Governour over Soveraigns, and so no Blasphemies, no Murders (even of Millions) no Perjuries &c. were unlawful to them, nor were it possible for them to sin. 3. Then no plagues, slames, wars or death were divine punishments, nor any to be feared here or hereafter, but men might as safely defie and blaspheme God, as Love and Honour him. 4. Else there were no Law of Nations obliging many to mutual justice, but only interest and contract. 5. Else no heart actions were morally good or evil, (because not under the Govern­ment of men) He that hated God and Goodness and all good men, for his lusts sake, and studied to do all the mischief he could; he that longs for the murder of his own children, Parents or friends, or of his King, were as good as he that Loved them all: for where there is no Law there is no transgression: and so all morality is nullified. 6. If God were not the supreme Governour, no King or person could have true Right to govern, for there could be no effect for want of a cause. The Peo­ple cannot give the Ruling Power which they never had (their personal Rule being of another kind) and God hav­ing prevented them by his establishment of Government in the world, who giveth Parents their Governing Power, which is the first.

[Page 12] 18. Gods actual Laws do prove him to be a Lawgiver: even those of Nature, which all such Atheists shall ne­ver be able commonly to obliterate. And the consent of all mankind still do and will condemn such principles as deny them.

19. A law is the signification of the Rulers will, con­stituting what shall be due from and to the subject, as an in­strument of Government.

20. Gods Laws are first natural, and next by special Reve­lation.

21. Gods Law of Nature is all That in the stated natura rerum in all the world, by which his will is signified to us as aforesaid about our duty.

22. So that Gods Law univocally and properly is in genere objectivo, and in genere signi.

23. Mans own nature as in order it standeth related and disposed towards God and all things and persons circumstant, is the chief part of this objective Law of Nature; from whence his duty resulteth, and Gods will is notified.

24. When the Law is said to be written in our Hearts, it is called the Law univocally, antecedently to the Heart reception, and the reception it self is not another Law.

25. This reception is by the Intellect, will, or executive power: And 1. to know a Law, is not a Law; 2. To will or Love a Law is not a Law; 3. To be ready or disposed to pra­ctise a Law is not a Law, unless equivocally.

26. They that confound these things by the name of a Light or Law within us, and then talk of the sufficiency of it, do but deceive when they are deceived.

27. What can they (with sense) mean by [The Light or Law within us] but, 1. either the Reception of the objective light or Law which containeth, 1. the [Page 13] Act, 2. with its object (as it is become an Ens Intenti­onale Essential to the Act, as in it self it is Ens Reale) or else an innate disposition hereunto: 2. Or else some influx of God (natural or supernatural) by which as the chief efficient he exciteth the faculties to receive the Objective Light or Law? And if they meant this second (that all men have sufficient help from Gods influx) they should say so, that men might understand them. If they mean that all have sufficient knowledge, faith, Love and Goodness; even Infants and wilful despisers of know­ledge, and those that think it service to God, to kill his servants, and all the blinded sinners in the world, why do these men pretend to teach them more or blame their errours; and do not forbid all teaching in the world even of Parents or any other? Why did Christ and his Prophets and Apostles teach men that were born wise enough? If they mean that all mens Nature it self is a sufficient intellectual objective Light and Law, with­out any external light or objective Law, that is without seeing or hearing or thinking of any creature of God but ourselves, then they that are born blind and deaf, have all the same Light and Law as others. If they mean only that mens faculties are sufficiently ca­pable and receptive of the effects of Gods objective Law of Nature, what doth the confounding Metaphor of a Light within us do to the notifying of their minds? But men that neither understand the matter nor themselves, will trouble the world with teaching them that they need no teaching.

28. We call those Revelations natural, which the or­dinary nature of things in themselves, and effects, exhi­biteth to us: and we call those Revelations special and supernatural, which God exhibiteth to us, by means ex­traordinary, quite out of the way of his common opera­tions, [Page 14] and such as no natural cause useth to produce, (as to raise the dead, to cause the fire not to burn one, to send an Apparition, an Angel or a voice from heaven, &c.) Though we pretend not to know how much of any natural cause unknown to us may be used by God in any of these.

29. It is impudency in them that pretend to Carte­sian clarity and certainty in all that they will receive, yet to take on them to be so well acquainted with God and his operations, and the frame of nature as to tell the world, that Liberty of will is inconsistent with Gods nature, that he never doth a miracle, nor altereth the course of the smallest particle in nature, nor doth nothing in the world which is not the necessary effect of natural second causes, as well as of his own will, as he put them in a set course of motion from eternity, or from the creation, with abun­dance of such dreams, which whatever they are in them­selves are certainly unknown to them to be so, and there­fore an unfit medium whence to infer the nullity of all divine Government, Laws and morality.

30. Both natural and supernatural Laws or Re­velations are to make man wise and good: and so are said to be written and put into his heart, when they have these effects. But if the effects themselves were all Gods Law, then, 1. God had as many Laws as persons in the world; 2. And his Law in the same person chang­ed, as his knowledge and goodness changed; 3. And those that can but keep themselves ignorant and bad enough, shall therefore not be bad or have no sin because they have no Law.

31. There is no actual knowledge born in man (unless pos­sibly an unexpressible consciousness of our own being); but only a Disposition in the Intellective faculty to know some things presently, and easily, and some things hardly and by slow degrees.

[Page 15] 32. What ever the understanding can know at last with the most diligent search, it had naturally some power to know from its Original. For nothing doth that which it cannot do (mediately or immediately): therefore the noble nature of the soul is better gathered from the attain­ments of some, than the baseness of it from the Ignorance of others, that excite not their natural faculties.

33. Gods Law of Nature bindeth mankind (ordina­rily) to live in Governed societies, and hath not left it free to them to do otherwise. Parental Authority is con­junct with our first being, and natural necessity obligeth to the rest.

34. Civil Ecclesiastical and Economical Governours, being instituted by God, are his Officers, and receive their power from his Institution and Universal Laws, and not from the people, who do but choose, or consent to the person that shall receive it.

35. God only is the Universal Ruler, and no Pope or mortal man is capable of it: and God only maketh Univer­sal Laws (what ever General Councils may pretend to.)

36. Gods Laws bind Kings as well as subjects, and give force to their Laws, and nothing of man's is obligatory to us, which is against them; for none can dispense with them.

37. All Government that is lawful is for Gods Glory and the Common Good. And Laws that are certainly and notoriously against God and the common Good, have no true obliging power to formal obedience on the soul.

38. Yet such particular Laws disoblige not the sub­ject from subjection, nor from keeping up the honour of Governours, while they Govern for God and the com­mon Good in the main.

39. Though the common description of Tyrants in Po­liticians and Lawyers is (quoad exercitium) that they are [Page 16] such as Govern not for the common good, but for their own, yet men must take heed, that hence they in­fer nor either, 1. that we are made judges of the secret intentions of our Rulers hearts, or 2. that one or a few Laws or actions may denominate them such, 3. yea though we knew that they preferred themselves in their in­tents, it is enough to us, if they preserve the common good in their practice. Else almost all ungodly Rulers would be Tyrants, for it is their common vice to be most for themselves.

40. This Atheistical Politician, who alloweth every man to prefer himself before all the world, doth make that in Princes, which all men have called Tyranny, to be the very Law of Nature.

41. One man is less worth than multitudes caeteris paribus; and every man is a part of the Universe, and is not born for himself alone: therefore howsoever sense may reach but to the Individual fleshly interest; common reason tells us that he liveth not like a man, who preferreth himself before his Country, and had rather Millions or Kingdoms perished than he alone.

42. Our common Nature telleth us, that mans will was made to Love Good as Good, and not to Love our personal commodity alone: and that an excellent per­son or thing in another part of the world, is amiable, though never like to be a commodity to us: therefore the greatest Good should be greatliest loved, even in our Neighbours as well as in our selves, and our Country above our selves.

43. Though a Prince have not Authority to make Laws to the hurt of the Common-wealth as such, or sub hac ratione, yet he hath Authority to judge what is for the good of the Common-wealth as a Ruler, and sub­jects must acquiesce in his judgement, when cogent evi­dence [Page 17] of the contrary doth not forbid them. And when they know that a Law is against the common good, and obligeth not to formal obedience, yet because the ge­neral Law of Honouring our Rulers still continues, and sometimes disobeying may tend more to the common hurt, than the obedience of that hurtful Law may do, where God himself forbids it not, material obedience in such cases is a duty.

44. No private personal injury may be revenged up­on the King, nor upon the Common-wealth: no not by words.

45. The Soveraign or the Body of the Common-wealth may neither of them seek the hurt, much less the de­struction of each other; nor do any thing that tendeth thereunto: for their union is the Existent Constitution, which dissolution destroyeth.

46. Those that dispute for a Power in the Body of the Common-wealth to destroy the Head, or a Power in the Soveraign to destroy the Body, if he please, do (either as ignorant or cunningly treacherous enemies of both) sow the seeds of suspicion and enmity betwen them, and seek to make them afraid of each other as of Tygers or enemies, and by the terrible word of [A power to destroy] make them apprehend Destruction as at the door, and a civil war almost begun: and such are the most perni­cious and unsufferable Counsellors.

47. And so various and cross are personal interests, and so weak mens judgements, and so many their errours; lusts and passions, their temptations and ill Counsellors, that if it be maintained lawful for the Head or Body to destroy each other, and all the safety of each lie meerly in the others will, it will scarce be possible long to keep up a mutual confidence, without which societies are sick or lifeless.

[Page 18] 48. Those that perswade Rulers to Govern only by a frighting force, do treacherously tempt them to seem to the people as their enemies.

49. God hath not made any one form of Government universally necessary, Monarchy, Aristocracy or Demo­cracy; and who hath the highest power, and in what degree, and under what limits, is not to be decided by Divines from the word of God alone, but by Law­yers from the Constitutions of the respective Common-wealths. And it is usually of ill consequence, when Di­vines are too forward to go out of their calling, and to be determiners herein; Especially when few of them use to be well studied in the Laws of the Land; at least not comparably to Lawyers, who have made it the bu­siness of their lives.

50. Those who dissolve the obligation of Oaths and Vows are most perfidious enemies to Kings and Com­mon-wealths: much more those Infidels, who make every mans personal sensuality and lust to be the High­est Law of Nature, besides which nothing obligeth him to keep his Covenants or vows, nor to spare the lives of Kings, Parents or any neighbours. And though it is true that every man loveth himself and feareth him that can hurt him, yet so cross are mens sensual interests, so blind and various are their opinions, so violent their lusts, so desperate their passions, so cunning their contrivances, so many their opportunities and temptations, that the lives of Kings are never safe, if all mens consciences are once disobliged from the bond of Oaths and divine commands: which if the Atheists themselves did not perceive, they would not make Religion a necessary humane project for keeping Vulgar Wits in obedience: but they will shortly find that it was necessary from a nobler foundati­on and to a nobler end.

[Page 19] In summ, They that, 1. make man but a subtile beast, and make his Reason but a projecting Servant to his sense, 2. and deny all the Law of Nature save sen­suality, 3. and make all the vitiosity of man to be his natural Law, 4. and then take up an answerable Idea of God, as being no moral Governour to whom no man oweth obedience, not just, not merciful, but only the equal spring of an unalterable engine called the universe, 5. and make all things that man can do to be lawful, and all that ever is done to be equally good, as being all but the effect of necessitating premotion, 6. and that no man oweth Love, justice or duty to Parents, King or Country, but what his personal sensuality perceiveth to be a fit means for it self, 7. and that it is no sin to kill King or Parents or Children or Neighbours; if he can scape revenge and hurt, and serve his lust thereby, 8. and that no Oaths bind him to his King or Country, longer than he finds it for his sensual good, 9. and that he that can kill or depose the King, and get possession, hath as good a Title, as he had, 10. and that all men are to be held by us as enemies except Subjects and confederates, 11. and that no man is to fear any punishment, nor hope for any reward from God in this life or in the life to come, 12. and so that Epicurean Physicks are the sole Phloso­phy, and morality is nothing but a vulgar deceit: I say they that hold and publish this, are such as we hold more worthy to be banished five miles from all Cities and Corporations, than our selves: And we leave their Prin­ciples and ours to the judgement of posterity, wishing (in vain) that those Conformists who are thought suf­ficient for the sacred work without us, and have access to those whom we may not coverse with, had proved more sufficient to have preserved Cities and Corporations and the Land from Infidelity, Popery and raging sensuality.

[Page 20] II. WE should next have compared our princi­ples of subjection with those of the Pa­pists, that it might be seen whether we are more wor­thy to be driven from our Superiours, from Cities and Corporations, than they: But their Doctrine and Practice is so copiously cited out of the express words of multi­tudes of their chiefest Writers, lately by Henry Fowlis, after abundance more that have done it heretofore, that we will not now desire of the unsatisfied any more than to read the words of the seventh Council at Rome under Gregory 7. in Bin. Tom. 3. par. 2. pag. 1288. [Agite nunc Patres & Principes Sanctissimi, ut omnis mundus in­telligat & cognoscat, quia si potestis in coelo ligare & solvere, potestis in terrâ Imperia, Regna, Principatus, Ducatus, Marchias, Comitatus & omnium hominum possessiones, pro meritis tollere unicuique & concedere. Si enim spiritualia judicatis, quid de saecularibus vos posse credendum est? & si Angelos dominantes omnibus superbis Principibus judicabitis, quid de illorum servis facere potestis? Addiscant nunc Re­ges & omnes saeculi Principes quanti vos estis, quid potestis: & timeant parvipendere jussionem Ecclesie vestrae.] Go to now most Holy Fathers and Princes, that all the world may understand and know, that if you can bind and loose in Hea­ven, you have power on earth to take away from every man or give Empires, Kingdoms, Principalities, Dukedomes, Markquisates, Earldoms and all mens possessions according to their merits. For if you judge things spiritual, what is to be believed that you can do about Temporals? and if you shall judge Angels who Lord it over all proud Princes, what can you do with those that are their servants? Let Kings and all the Princes of the world now learn, how great you are and what you can do, and let them fear to slight the command of your Church].

[Page 21] And Concil. Rom. 3. ibid. p. 1282. where Gregory the 7. depriveth the Emperour of all his Dominions, and absolveth all Christians from their Oaths to him, and forbiddeth them to serve him.

And that he will but read Can. 1. and 3. Concil. ge­neral. Later. sub Innocent. 3. where it is Decreed that [the Metropolitane shall excommunicate all Temporal Lords that exterminate not Hereticks (who deny Transubstantiation) from their Dominions, and if they amend not, the Pope shall give their dominions to others, and absolve their Vassals from their fidelity].

Where note, 1. That one Heresy here is Believing the senses of all sound men, that Bread is Bread and Wine is Wine, when they see, feel, smell and tast it: and whereas Spinosa alloweth sense to be the Law of Nature, these men make it Death and Damnation to believe our senses: and so we must not only renounce Reason and Humanity, but all our senses; and Temporal Lords must lose their Dominions that will suffer men, that renounce not manhood and sense too, to be their subjects. A hard lesson to Princes and people! 2. Note that this is an appro­ved General Council; and though charitably questioned by Bishop Tayler, Bishop Gunning and Bishop Peirson and some others, yet fully owned by the Papists, and defend­ed by the Answerers of Dr. Gunning and Dr. Peirson: so that whether the Canons be Authentick in themselves or no, is nothing to the point in hand, while they are taken to be such by them: Surius saith [no man in his wits can doubt but it was an Oecumenical famous Council in which &c.] Binius (To. 3. par. 2. p. 1449.) calls it Con­cil. Later. Oecum. 12. Approb. in Crab. To. 2. p. 945. they are called decreta concil. General. In Caranza, Acta Con­cil. Lateran. &c. 3. Note that General Councils are the Religion it self of the Papists and not refusable by any [Page 22] as private Doctors opinions are. We desire the Reader to compare our Doctrine with theirs. We take nothing for our Faith or Religion but the Scripture, and therefore can have no seditious Religion, unless the Scripture be such; which if any man misinterpret, it is his Private opinion: which being proved against him, he only is ac­countable for, and therefore to be banished five miles from Cities and Corporations if he deserve it, and not his Neigh­bours for his sake.

Of Gods Government and the perfection of his Laws, and of mens Additions.

1. THere is one only GOD, who is the Absolute Universal Rector of all mankind.

2. He and He only hath the power of universal Legis­lation and judgement, that is, of making Laws obligato­ry to all mankind, and judging all thereby.

3. This work of Universal Legislation he hath perfor­med, and his Laws are extant.

4. The Law of Nature and the Canon of sacred Scrip­ture are this Law.

5. The Law of God and only it, is obligatory by Pri­mitive, (underived) authority.

6. Divine Revelation or testimony or assertion, and it only is absolutely infallible by the absolute Infallibility and Veracity of the revealer.

7. Gods Laws are not only sufficient but Perfect, as made by him that hath no imperfection.

[Page 23] 8. Their sufficiency and perfection is not to be measured by humane presumptions, or by Carnal wit, that would teach God what to speak, and how: and then accuse his Law of material or modal imperfections, because it is not such as they think it should be; or else affirm that to be there which is not there, because they judge that it ought to be there: But it consisteth in their perfect Aptitude to their proper ends.

9. It is wise and valid reasoning to prove first that it is Gods Law, and thence to infer that it is sufficient and perfect: But it is a foolish Reasoning to being with the more uncertain assumptions, and to argue that It is not perfect, Ergo it is not Gods Laws; or to dream, that to be Gods Law, and to be imperfect are consistent.

10. When we say it is Perfect, we mean only as is said, formaliter and respectively as to the proper end, but not, 1. Materialiter, 2. modaliter, 3. vel finaliter absolute & simpliciter; As if the Angels in Heaven had not, 1. more perfect work prescribed them, 2. and by a more perfect mode of Revelation, 3. or to more perfect immediate ends: But as the sinless Saints in Heaven may be less perfect in positive Holiness than some Angels, and yet as perfectly Innocent and free from all sin; even so Gods Law for the Government of imperfect man on earth, is posi­tively in the foresaid respects less perfect than the Hea­venly Laws; and yet as blameless and perfect in its kind as to its proper use and ends.

11. Therefore the Historical method and the repetitions, and the vulgar phrases, and the absence of Philosophical ni­ceties, is part of the perfection, and not of any imperfecti­on of the Laws.

12. The work of Gods Laws is by Authoritative In­stitution to determine what shall be due from man by way of obedience, and what shall be due to man by way of Reward and [Page 24] Punishment, and so to be the Rule, first of Duty, and then of judgement.

13. Only Gods Laws can make due everlasting Re­wards or Punishments.

14. No man is to make himself a publick judge or Exe­cutioner of Gods Laws, without Gods Commission.

15. Gods Laws are not only Perfect as to Essentials, but as to Integral parts also, yea and to all Accidents and appurtenances of them.

16. It belongeth not to Gods Vniversal Laws to com­mand in particular all that ever shall become a Duty to particular persons, to the end of the world.

17. As the particular case of Countries, persons and things do vary, so many things may be one mans duty that are not anothers, and a duty at one time, and in one place, which are not so in another: which therefore were not to be particularly determined in an Vniversal Law; but only General Laws given for their future deter­mination.

18. Gods Laws are as perfect for duties of Love and Justice to man, as for duty of Love and worship to God.

19. But because the materials of humane justice and Be­neficences are more mutable than those of holy love and worship, therefore there is incomparably more left to humane determination in that, than in this.

20. It belongeth to the sufficiency and perfection of Gods Laws, to determine of all things in specie (or parti­cularly) which as moral means are Vniversally necessary to the good of all mankind (whether greater or lesser good) in all times or places of the world. And to make all that Duty for men, which shall be Universally duty to all the world; and to forbid all that evil which shall be sin Universally to all. For there is no Universal Gover­nour but God and our Redeemer, therefore there is no [Page 25] universal Law but his. It is usurpation against the Right and Laws of God and of Jesus Christ, for any either Person or Collective body, Prince, Pope or Council, to claim an Universal Soveraignty over all the persons, Kingdoms or Churches in the world. For as none of them are naturally capable of such a trust, as to the ex­ercise, so de facto God hath not committed such a So­veraignty and trust to any personal or collective Vicege­rent under Christ. Therefore they accuse Gods Laws of Imperfection, who say that he hath left out any thing (both in Nature and Scripture) which is of universal necessity, or which man may make to become a duty by any one Universal Law.

21. Every particular Kingdom and Church, being part of Christs Universal Kingdom and Church, no man may Usurp any of Christs power, or office, over a part, no more then over the whole (Though the universal usur­pation be far the greatest sin against him).

22. Therefore no man may do that which either im­porteth that they have the same Power in that Church or Kingdom as Christ hath, (but only subordinate pow­er) or that his Laws are defective and imperfect, as to that particular Church or Kingdom.

23. What Christ hath appropriated to himself, as the work or matter of his own Law, must appear from the perusal of that Law it self, and by seeing what he hath there determined of, and so not left for man to do, (un­less as the executioners of his Laws, repeating them by commanding that they be practised.)

24. It is certain that as Christ as Mediator is King of the Church, and hath Legislative power, and did ex­ercise it partly by himself on earth, so he commissioned his Apostles in general to teach all Nations to observe all things whatever he had commanded them, and pro­mised [Page 26] them the Holy Ghost, as his Agent or Advocate to bring all that he had taught them to their remem­brance, and to inspire them infallibly and lead them into all truth, so that the work of Legislation was perform­ed by Christ, by the Holy Ghost as his Advocate or A­gent in the Apostles, Matth, 28. 19, 20. Eph. 1. 21, 22, 23. Eph. 4. 8, 10, 11. Joh. 14. 26. Joh. 16. 7, 8, 13. Mic. 4. 2. Isa. 2. 3. & 8. 16; 20. & 42. 4. Heb. 7. 12. James 1. 25. & 2. 12.

25. It is visible and certain that Christ by himself and his spirit in his Apostles hath particularly ordained, what Articles of faith shall be believed, by Revealing to us so compleatly the will of God, that there shall no other supernatural Revolation be needful of things to be believed as necessary to Salvation, or to the right worshipping of God. Gal. 1. 7, 8, 9. Eph. 4. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. 2 Tim. 3. 16, 17. Heb. 11. 40. Jam. 1. 25. Col. 4. 12. &c.

26. The Law of Nature and of Christ also have or­dained that God shall be worshipped publickly in solemn Assemblies, in a reverent and holy manner, at certain stated times.

27. Christ hath ordained, what persons they shall be, and how qualified, who shall be admitted into his Church, as the members of it; and who shall be kept out.

28. Christ hath ordained that Baptism shall be the door into his Church, and described that Baptism, and required that all that will enter do thus Sacramental­ly Covenant with God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and dedicate themselves to him. Matth. 28. 19.

29. Christ hath ordained that certain persons qualified for that office, shall be separated as his Ministers to preach his Gospel, and baptize those that are converted, and gather Churches, and to be Pastors of the Churches ga­thered, and this to continue to the end. Matth. 28. 20. [Page 27] Act. 14. 22, 23. Tit. 1. 3, 4, 5. 1 Thess. 5. 12, 13. Eph. 4. 8, 9, 10, 13, 14.

30. He hath appointed to these Officers, a threefold work in subordination to his own Prophetical, Priestly and Kingly office, that is, to Teach the Churches, to guide them in publick worship as their mouth to God, and to Rule them by sacred Discipline. Matth. 28. 19, 20. 2 Tim. 2. 2, 24. 1 Cor. 14. 15, 16. &c. Act. 20. 7, 11. Act. 2. 41, 42. Heb. 13. 7, 17, 24.

31. He hath given them in Scripture a compleat body of the doctrine which they must preach, as the word of God; and hath ordained that publick prayers, and praises of God, and administration of the Sacrament of the Lords supper, shall be the publick worship which they shall offer to God; and hath left them instructions how to exercise Church dis­cipline, as to admonitions, excommunications and absolu­tions. 2. Tim. 3. 16, 17. Act. 2. 41, 42. 1 Cor. 11. 20, 22, 23. 1 Cor. 14. Math. 18. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. 1. Cor. 5. 2 John 10, 11. Tit. 3. 10. 2 Thes. 3. 6, 14.

32. Christ by his spirit in his Apostles hath separated the Lords day, the first day of the week, to be the weekly stated day for the sacred Assemblies for the publick worshipping of God: As Scripture and Church history fully prove.

33. These things ordained by Christ himself are cal­led Gods Worship, in a double respect, both as they are Actions done to his immediate honour; and as they are means by himself appointed to that use, and so are his Worship-Ordinances or Institutions: And so they are called Gods worship, in the Primary and eminent sense.

34. There are abundance of Actions subordinate to these, being but the right modifying and circumstantia­ting of them, which may be called Worship and secundary diminutive sense (as being uncovered, [...]bowing, [...]stand­ing, kneeling, the words of prayer and praise, &c. anon­enumerated); [Page 28] which as to these Worship-ordinances are but Adjuncts or modes; which God hath not command­ed in particulars; but given general Laws for the performance of them, requiring men themselves to choose and use them prudently, not as they will themselves but according to these General Laws: And such an act of man is no sinful addition to the Laws of Christ.

35. Christ hath taken down the Judaical Law of Moses.

36. No man hath any authority to make Laws about Gods worship, but what Christ hath given him; he being now made the Universal King.

37. When a controversie ariseth between Christs prerogative and mans, we take it for a case to be tender­ly handled. We would go as far in acknowledging the Authority of Princes, as will stand with our Loyalty and fidelity to Christ; But as we must be tender of their Rights and honours, so we must be more tender of his. And nothing can be due to the servant which deroga­teth from the honour of the Master.

38. Therefore Princes and Pastors should not unne­cessarily bring their subjects into so great a strait, by needless Laws for additions in Religion, where the con­sciences of men fearing God, must unavoidably be trou­bled and tormented by the difficulty, viz. between a fear of Treason and disobedience against Christ, and of disobe­dience to their Prince or Pastors.

39. And it is the more unexcusable to rack and torment and divide the Church by unnecessary Additions in Re­ligion, because Christ hath commanded us so much him­self already, as the carnal heart of man repineth at, and therefore will not be brought to practise it; but most men flie it as a precise and too tedious and strict a course. And when we grudge at Christs Laws [Page 29] as too great a burden, and too much ado, we should not condemn our selves by adding more.

40. Christ hath declared it to be against his mind and Law, that unnecessary Laws and burdens in Religion should be made for and laid upon the Churches, Act. 15. 28.

41. It is against the will and Law of Christ, that we should use things otherwise indifferent, scandalously or temptingly, to the ensnaring and endangering of mens souls and the dishonour of Religion. Rom. 14. & 15. 1 Cor. 8. No man therefore ought to make Laws about Reli­gion, which shall enjoyn such an evil use of such things.

42. To invent and command new publick worship-ordinances (either as in Gods name or their own) which are not the meer commanded modifying and ordering of Gods own worship-ordinances, but as to the Nature, use and Reasons of them, are coordinate or of the same kind, and which have no peculiar usefulness to our age or people more than to another; nor any new reason for them but what was extant at the making of Gods Laws; so that though the Imposition be not universal, yet there is none but an universal reason for that imposition; this seemeth to us to be an accusation of Christs Laws of omission and defectiveness, and an Usurpation of his Le­gislative power.

43. To add more doctrines or articles of faith, which God hath not revealed in nature or Scripture, and to require belief or profession of belief of them, as to the pleasing of God, or any religious ends, doth seem to us an Usurpation, and an unjust accusation of Gods word as insufficient.

44. To forbid Religious Assemblies, or alter their ends and principal use, is to usurp, and to contradict the Laws of Christ.

[Page 30] 45. To alter the qualifications of Church members, and forbid those that Christ requireth us to receive, or receive such as Christ forbiddeth us to receive, is to con­tradict his laws, by usurpation, whether Magistrates or Pastors do it.

46. To forbid Baptism, or to alter it, or make a new Sacrament of admission, or a new consecrating, or de­dicating Symbol for the solemnization of our Covenant with God, as signifying his grace or the conveiance there­of, and a new Symbol of the Christian Church, or vi­sible badge of Christianity (as if the Knights of the Gar­ter should make a Symbol or badge of their order, be­sides that which the King hath made) this doth seem to us an usurpation, and an accusation of Gods Law as insufficient. Upon which account (not presuming Prag­matically to judge of other men) we fear for our selves, lest we should sin if we used the Cross in Baptism in the English manner. Because it is called a Dedicating sign, and signifieth the Passion of Christ and the grace procu­red by it on his part, and also our solemn dedication to Christ, as Baptism doth, and so seemeth to us a kind of Sacrament, and a badge or Symbol of our Religion. And hath no reason for its Institution which concerneth not all Christians as well as us, and which was not ex­tant in the Apostles time; so that if it had been fit to be made a Law, it was as fit then as now, and as fit to be an universal Law as a particular: and therefore we dare not so accuse Christ of omission. And it is not a meer decent ordering of Baptism, but a new ordi­nance of men, to most of the same uses. Yet we deny not but it is left to us, by what sign we will profess our own consent to the Covenant of Grace (by word, writing, or gesture,) which nature or Custome maketh a sign of Consent; But not on that pretence to institute a Sym­bol [Page 31] of our Religion for self-dedication signifying the causes and Graces of the Covenant.

47. To forbid preaching, or Prayer or Praise, or the Lords Supper, or alter them, and to ordain homogeneal means of our own, seems to us usurpation and unlaw­ful.

48. To alter the qualifications of Christs Ministers, or the nature of their Office, and to invent new Co-or­dinate Officers, or Church polities, seemeth to us to be usurpation. Though as actions circasacra, so Officers for those actions, may be appointed.

49. How many Pastors one Church shall have, and how oft and where they shall assemble, and how far the Ju­niors or weaker shall be guided by the Abler and Elder, is undetermined particularly.

50. Though on new occasions anniversary days may be appointed for holy worship, and may meet for it any day of the week, yet to set apart another weekly day for holy worship, wholly and statedly, seemeth to us usurpation and an accusation of Gods Laws.

51. To overthrow, or prohibite Christs Church Dis­cipline, or to set up another (that is not meerly sub­ordinate to it, modally to promote it,) seemeth to us an usurpation.

52. So is it for Lay-men to usurp the Power of the Keys given to the Pastors, or for a New kind of humane Bishops or Pastors to usurp them. Much more to make an Universal Pastor of Pastors, personal or Collective, Pope or General Council.

53. Gods Universal absolute Laws may not be nulled, abrogated, derogate, relaxed or dispensed with by any Creature whatsoever.

54. It is a great Law of God, about the modes of holy Assemblies and worship, that all be done, 1. to his Glory, [Page 32] 2. and to Edification: For they are the very natural Law, which determineth of the End of Instituted mediàte Laws.

55. The Grand Law of LOVE is the first and last, the Summary and the final Law of God; that is, to LOVE GOD first, in and for Himself, and then to love his Image appearing in his works, especially on the Rati­onal creature, according to the measures of that Image on them; which is, to Love God as God with all our heart and soul and might, and our neighbour as our selves.

56. This Love was mans great duty in Innocency; and in perfection shall be our work in Glory.

57. This was that state of Holiness that man fell from, and which Christ came to reconcile and to restore him to: And which is peculiarly called GODLINESS or SANCTIFICATION in the New Testament, as distinct from Faith, in its narrower, mediate, official notion.

58. As the work of Christ our Redeemer and Media­tor is to bring man back to God the Creator; so Faith in Christ, and all Evangelical positive Institutions, are the Bellows and fewel of this Love; and means to it as the end.

59. The expressions of this Love are not of equal ne­cessity with the Love it self; but some of them more mu­table.

60. Caeteris paribus the expressions of our Love of God, are to be preferred before the expressions of our Love to men. But God hath made some Great Acts of Charity to men, to be Greater expressions of our Love to Him­self, than some smaller Immediate expressions of it to Him.

[Page 33] 61. Our Love to the whole world is a greater duty than our Love to our Countrey, and our Love to our Countrey is a greater duty than our Love to our Parents, Magistrates, or our selves; As the Goodness of the Objects is diver­sifyed.

62. In some cases God hath laid some special charge on us by his own Law, which way first to exercise our Love: But where he hath not so done, the Greatest Good in the exercises of Love is to be preferred to a lesser, and the lesser is no duty but a sin, when it would exclude the greater, (Comparatively).

63. If a King or Parent command me to forbear a necessary Act of Love (or expression of it) (as to save a mans life, or soul as far as I am able when there is great hope of the success) unless finis gratiâ, a Greater Good oblige me to forbear it, the Authority of the commander doth not oblige me; as not dissolving Gods obligations.

64. The command of Order and Decency in the cele­bration of publick worship in the Assemblies, is a gene­ral precept of Natural right: But it is only the media, which (in some cases propter finem) do cease; that is, when necessity imposeth some disorder and undecency, as without which the end or thing ordered must be for­saken; and so they cease to be a means. But out of such cases of Necessity, they are of perpetual obligation.

65. Though Order and Decency be necessary, and some particular circumstances by which it is expressed indefi­nitely; yet not always the very same Circumstance and expression: But one may serve as well as another.

66. If one man will call these mutable Circumstances, (as genuflexion, putting off the hat, &c.) by the name of Worship, and so say that man may command new-external worship; And another will call them only Circumstances of worship, and not worship, and then say that man may [Page 34] not command new acts of worship] this is but lis de nomine: and they must agree first of the sense of the word wor­ship before they trouble the Church with strife.

67. I will instance in twenty particulars in which we called Puritans and Non-conformists do grant that it be­longeth not to the Perfection of Gods word particularly to determine, but only to give General Laws for deter­mination.

1. What day and hour (besides the Lords day) the Church shall meet. 2. Of what length Readings, Ser­mons, prayers and meetings shall be. 3. When and how of­ten publick fasts and thanksgiving are to be celebrated. 4. In what place the Church shall meet. 5. Of the convenient shape of the Temples, Ornaments, seats, bells, Clocks, &c. 6. Of the place and shape of the Pulpit, reading place, font, table, &c. 7. Of the subject of the present Sermon. 8. Of the Method of the Sermon. 9. Of the words of Sermon and prayers and praises. 10. Of the using or not using Sermon notes, or other helps for memory. 11. What translation of the Scripture shall be used. 12. And what Version or Meter of the singing Psalms. 13. And what tune they shall be sung in, and with what melody. 14. What form or words of Catechism shall be used. 15. What comeliness shall be observed in vesture or habit, in publick worship. 16. By what signs we shall profess our consent to the Common faith and Covenant; whether by standing up, or speaking, or writing, or holding up the hand, &c. 17. By what Gestures in pub­lick worship, decency and order shall be shewed and kept. 18. Of abundance of Church Utensils in Baptism, and the Lords Supper, fonts, vessels, Cups, cloaths, tables, &c. 19. Of circumstantial Officers and their offices, circa Sacra; as Clarks, Church-wardens, door-keepers, &c. 20. When any of the people shall speak [Page 35] in the Assembly▪ and who: and when they shall be silent.

But because the Concession of all these, and all of the same nature, will not serve turn, how odious is our doctrine of Scripture perfection made? and we our selves are judged unmeet (notwithstanding the necessities of many hundred thousand souls) to preach the common doctrine of the Gospel.

Of the Power of Kings, and the peoples obedience.

1. KIngs and all other supream Powers are the Officers of God the Creator, and of Christ the Redeemer, to whom all power is given by the Father.

2. All their Power is derived from God, and subordi­nate to him.

3. Therefore they can have no more than he giveth them.

4. He is the End as well as the Original of their power; and they have none but for him and his ends, which is His Pleasure and Glory and the publick good.

5. Their own Honour is included in both these; both as part of the splendor or Glory of God in the Image of his soveraingty, and as part of the common good, they them­selves being a Constitutive part of the society.

6. Therefore it is lawful for Kings and all Magistrates to go much further than private men in pres [...]rving their [Page 36] Honour; (Though even they are in very great danger of excess, and pride.)

7. Therefore no Creature hath an Absolute or unlimited power; because they are all limited by God the universal Soveraign. They that with fiery indignation have num­bered this doctrine with our errors, should have conside­red, that how small a matter soever it is, to say that all the lives and estates of the subject, are unlimitedly at eve­ry Soveraigns will, yet it is not a small thing for a Divine to hold, that a King may make Laws to command men to curse God or deny him, or renounce Christ and the hope of salvation, or to kill father, or mother without cause &c. which must follow if he be unlimited by God. Dr. Sib­thorpe never said so.

8. It is one of the tricks of the Enemies of Soveraignty, cunningly to maintain that Kings have a Power to do all the mischief in the world, and want nothing but a will; that so they may put the subjects in a fright when they hear the description of one that is impowred to do so much evil, and may make them still distrustful, as thinking that one mans will is insufficient security for all their estates and lives and souls; and so may turn their Love and trust, in­to hatred and distrust. Therefore such flatterers are hated by wise Princes.

9. The people have not (as many Politicians ill affirm) the Majestas realis, the supream power, either to give or to exercise; no nor any Governing power at all, qu [...] populus; but only where the Government being in part or in whole Democratical, the constitution giveth it them as Rulers.

10. It is not every mans natural power over himself conjoyned by the voluntary consent of many, that is the Original of Political power (or Soveraignty) they being specifically distinct: nor is it left to the will of men whe­ther there shall be Government or not.

[Page 37] 11. Nor doth the Power of Kings arise naturally from Paternal Power; nor do they need to prove them­selves of the eldest house, to prove their right to Govern­ment.

12. But God as the Vniversal Ruler hath signified his will in the nature of man and of things, than he will have the world live in Political order, and have Government and obedience; so that it is Commanded by him in the Law of Nature, antecedently to mens voluntary conjuncti­on (though it may possibly fall out that some uncapa­ble Individuals, (as those cast upon a foreign continent or solitude) may be under no such obligation.)

13. The people therefore give not the King or any other Soveraigns their Power.

14. Their power resulteth from Gods Law which in­stituteth Government, under him, and that Immediately, as to any mediate Donor, though not Immediately as without any mediate condition sine qua non. For though Originally the peoples consent was necessary to deter­mine of the person, or in hereditary Government, of the family, that should receive the power from God; yet that is no Donation of the Power it self. Even as the Kings Charter immediately giveth the power of a Mayor or Bailiff to a Corporation, though by the same Charter the people choose that person that shall receive it. Or as a woman chooseth the man that shall be her Husband, but giveth him not the Government of her, for that is given by Gods institution, to that person whom she contracteth with▪ and if she should agree with him that he should not be her Governour, it were a nullity.

15. The chief use of Kings and Magistrates is, to rule according to Gods Universal Laws, and to see them put in execution as far as the Ends of Government require in this world.

[Page 38] 16. To which end they are to make Laws of their own.

17. Their own Laws argue not the imperfection of Gods Laws, nor stand in co-ordination with them as a supplement, but are meerly like the by-Laws, or Local Laws of Corporations, subordinate to the Universal Laws of the King, and made only by a power given by him: Kings themselves being much more under God, than Justices are under them.

18. The Soveraign Power is unlimited and absolute, to as any limitation of any superiour humane Power (else it were not Soveraign).

19. But besides that it is ever limited by God, it may be also limited by Contract with the people, called by some Fundamental or Constitutive Laws, when a people that have a right to their lives, limbs, liberties and estates, do in the constitution of the Common-wealth, secure these from the absolute will of the Soveraign▪ and reserve cases of innocency in which they shall not be taken away: which are called the peoples Liberties.

20. Absolute slaves have no Liberties or security for their Lives, limbs or estates.

21. A Domination over slaves is not finally for their good, but for the will or benefit or ends of the Lord or pro­prietary.

22. A Common-wealth is not a society of slaves, but of free subjects and of such a Soveraign as is to Rule for the publick Good of the society.

24. He is the wisest and happiest King, that by his Govern­ment most promoteth the publick Good; which also is his chiefest Honour.

23. They are the wisest Counsellours of Kings that most inseparably twist their interest with the peoples, and so promote them: And they are their most pernicious e­nemies, [Page 39] that would untwist and separate their interests, and set them in jealousies of one another, and in a stri­ving how to get all from one another to themselves.

25. Humane Lawgivers may subordinately determine of those things in particular, which God hath only com­manded in general; when the ends of Government re­quire a Legal determination of them.

26. As Gods Laws bind us by Primitive power to a conscientious obedience, so the Kings Laws bind us by a Derived power to conscientious obedience, which some in­eptly call binding Conscience]: The meaning is, mens Laws bind the man, and therefore primarily the soul (which they call the Conscience); And there is no ob­ligation at all of Laws, which is not primarily on the soul. And this obligation we must be conscious of: Irons and Cords to bind the body immediately. To deny therefore that mens Laws thus bind the Conscience is to deny them to be Laws.

27. But as Conscience is taken Theologically, for the judgement of a man of himself, as he is subject to the judgement of God, so it is all one to say, [men rule our Consciences] and [men are God]. It is contradiction, and can be no con­troversie. Therefore we verily believe that there is no difference among us in this point, which confounded heads pretend so wide a difference in: For it is scarce possible.

28. Though men may as aforesaid bind Consciences, that is, bind the soul to conscionable obedience under God, yet can they not bind us against Conscience, that is, against the Conscience of our duty to God, when we do not err; for that is to bind us to sin against God when we know it to be sin.

29. Whoever disobyeth Gods known Law, because man commandeth him; preferreth man to God, and in­curreth Gods displeasure and judgements.

[Page 40] 30. Conscience is not a Law-giver, Governour, or maker of duty, but a discerner of duty made by Laws.

31. It is therefore their error that say Conscience maketh it a mans duty to sin, or maketh it no sin to do what God forbiddeth: An erring Conscience ligat non obligat; ensnareth in a necessity of sinning till it be rectified, but doth not make sin to be none.

32. It is therefore the practice of the muddy-headed troublers of the world, to pretend that the Controversie betwixt us is, whether the King or Conscience be the su­pream Governour; whenas we hold that Conscience is no Governour at all unless as your eyes that read the Law, or your understanding which knoweth it and your duty, may be equivocally called Governours. But the question (if they will make any difference from us) must be this, [whether the Conscience or apprehension of our duty to God, and of his Commands, or of the Kings Commands, should be most prevalent with us for obedience?] Either dispute this, or go on to rave against us in your dreams.

33. God doth not change his Laws, because or when men err in their understanding of them: But whatever antece­dently is commanded, he still commandeth though men think he forbiddeth it. And whatever he forbids he still forbiddeth, when men think that he forbiddeth it not or commandeth it.

34. The esse vel non esse is antecedent to the scire esse vel non esse: And when ever men ask, [How shall we know? or, who shall judge?] every man of brains will consi­der, that [either the thing really is, or it is not; which is to be known and judged of.]

35. The common cheat of the ignorant in all these kind of disputes is, by suppressing or overlooking the question do ess [...], and beginning with the question de scire vel judicare: and asking first, [who shall be the judge?]

[Page 41] 36. So some ask [what is our duty when one saith this is the truth, and another saith nay but that is the the truth?] Answ. It is antecedently true, that either this, or that, or neither is the truth] And (supposing it revealed to you) God bindeth you to believe that which really is the truth, whatever men say against it.

37. So some say, that if the King command one thing, and Conscience tell me, that God doth command ano­ther thing, which must I obey?] Answ. It is antecedent­ly true, that either God doth command the contrary, or he doth not: If he doth, you are bound to obey him, and not the King. If he do not, you are bound to obey the King. For your knowledge or ignorance changeth not Gods Laws.

38. So it is asked, what shall a man do whose (Con­science telleth him that this or that (commanded perhaps by man) is duty or sin, commanded or forbidden by God, but yet is not absolutely certain?] Answ. Either (antece­dently) it is a duty, or sin, or it is not: If it be, he is bound to do it, or forbear it accordingly; whatever he think of it himself: His doubts change not Gods Laws.

39. So the question is, what a man should do that hath an erring Conscience? Answ. 1. An erring Conscience is im­properly called Conscience; because error is not properly science: But let that pass. 2. He is under a double obligation: The first is to obey Gods Laws, about which he erreth: The second is, to lay by his error.

40. Quest. But must he in the mean time go against his Conscience? Answ. No; nor against Gods Law: what God hath conjoyned, none of your questions must tempt us to put asunder: He is still under the double obligation of rectifying Conscience, and obeying God. And both must be done and not one alone.

41. Quest. But it is supposed that he cannot change his judgement. What then must he do? Answ. Were it through [Page 42] a natural inculpable impotency and impossibility, the Law would not oblige him, and so there would be no Law and no transgression: But that which we speak of is a moral Impotenc [...], through the vicious blindness of the mind, and corruption of the will; and God will not change his Laws, because men are sinfully indisposed to obey them: When you have questioned to the utmost, the double obligation still remaineth: And so you must be an­swered.

42. But what order here must we observe; must we not change our judgement before we can obey? Answ. The obli­gations to both are both at once; But because an undi­scerned command cannot be obeyed, the order of natural ne­cessity, is, that you first rectifie your judgement, and then o­bey the other commands.

43. But how shall a man rectifie his erring judgement? Answ. Gods means are commonly known, though not commonly used. Hear, read, meditate, pray, forbear the sin which grieveth your Guide; cast out corrupt af­fections, passions and lusts, and lay by carnal interests that would pervert the judgement.

44. Quest. But what must we do till all this can be done? Answ. You must hasten your cure with all diligence. For till it be done you will certainly live in sin.

45. So also if the Magistrates commands be lawful (the esse still being antecedent to the scire) and yet the sub­ject think them unlawful, his error will not justifie his disobedience: but he is bound to judge better and to obey.

46. And if the Magistrates commands be against our duty to God, and the subject think them to be lawful, his errors will not make them or his obedience to them to be lawful.

47. Those persons who make it the principle of their obedience, that [we must obey the Magistrate when we are [Page 43] uncertain, whether it be sin which he commandeth or not; because we are certain that obedience is a duty, and the certain part must be preferred before the uncertain] I hope do not err with the flagitious aggravations (villanie, pious-wick­edness, impudency &c.) which the Non-conformists errors are charged with; But rather only the dust of worldly business and contention may have confounded and sullied Natures tables, or the heat of passion may have melted down its tender Characters.

48. Were this universally and formally true, it would follow, that a mans blindness, error, ignorance, and so his doubtfulness, and uncertainty would justifie him in any villany against God and nature, that man can com­mand: For instance, An Indian may be certain that it is his duty to obey his King, and yet uncertain whether it be a sin to murder his parents, to eat his enemies, to be adulterous, perjured, &c. A Turk may know that it is his duty to obey his Prince, but be uncertain whether it be a sin to curse Jesus Christ and renounce him, and to believe in Mahomet &c. A Papist may know that it is his duty to obey his King, and yet not know whether it be a sin to wor­ship the bread as God, and to torment those that are called Hereticks, or to worship Images, or suppress the Scriptures, &c. And all this should be done according to this rule, if Rulers be but bad enough to command it. Nay if the Popes own subjects at Rome do but doubt whether it be a sin when he commandeth them, to go and murder a forreign Prince; must they do this think you, because of their uncertainty of the matter?

49. If the matter were unrevealed, and so men were uncertain, because God had not made known his mind, then their Rule of precedency were to be regarded; But if God have sufficiently revealed his will, no vicious uncertain­ty of it will make it a duty or lawful, to obey the contrary command of man.

[Page 44] 50. It is one thing to be sure that I must obey my Rulers in all things lawful, another thing to be sure that I must obey them hic & nunc: The Rule obtruded on us con­foundeth these; And so is meerly fallacious. For the former is nothing at all to our business: And of the se­cond, I can be no more certain, than I am whether it be a lawful thing which is commanded by them: for as I am sure in general that I must obey them in things lawful, I am as sure that I must not obey them in things forbidden by God. Therefore so far as I am uncertain whether the thing be sinful or not, I must be as uncertain whether I must or may obey my Rulers in that thing.

51. And we called Puritans (being the more out of love with Confusion for the effects of it in this age among Divines) do use also farther to distinguish, of a greater evil and a lesser, (when neither of them is to be chosen be­cause neither is good.) And we say it is an aggravated Crime to choose a Greater sin before a less, when a man hath brought himself into a present moral impotency of avoiding both: we distinguish also between the Matter, or Nature and weight of the things doubted of.

And so we resolve, that if I be certain that I who am a poor low subject, am bound to obey a Justice of Peace, in all things lawful (by Gods Laws and the Kings); And a Justice commandeth me to do some little act, which I know not whether the Law forbid or not, I will obey him: But if he bid me do that, which I am in doubt whe­ther it be Treason, and would endanger the life of the King, or the safety of his Kingdoms, though I be uncer­tain, yet I will forbear.

And if a Ruler bid me read a Chapter in the old Testament to day, and I be uncertain whether God would not have me read one in the New Testament, as fitter to the [Page 45] Auditors, I will obey my Rulers in this case, not because I am certain at all that hic & nunc it is my duty formally to obey them; but because I take the disobeying them, in case it should now prove a sin, to be a Greater sin than the mischoosing of the Chapter would be if that should prove the sin; and to choose the greater sin, is a greater aggravati­on of that great sin.

But on the other side, if man command me the do­ings, or the omissions, which if they should prove unlaw­ful would prove to be Perjury, yea the stigmatizing of Cities and Corporations, Church and Kingdoms in the front with PER, or would prove a murdering of mens souls; and if on the contrary, it should prove lawful to do these things, yet the not doing them will have no other evil, than not obeying the Law; (in such uncertainty) or my own personal suffering; here I would rather not obey, be­ing uncertain of the matter commanded. Not because I am sure which is my duty at all in it self; but that I am sure that to prefer the greater evil, when I know not the good, is an aggravation of that evil: And so to sin, is a double and more dangerous sin.

52. Every Rational creature under Heaven hath a judg­ment of Discerning, called a Private judgment, by which all must try, know and guide their duties to God and man: And to deny them this is to make them Bruits, and Kings to be but Governours of Cattel; and to tell men, that they must not know when to obey or whom: And it is to go against the judgment of all the sober world.

53. But no subject as such, or private man, hath any Publick decisive judgment; nor must in cases Religious or Civil claim the least degree thereof.

54. Inferior Magistrates have all their Power from the King as supream.

55. There is no external coactive or forcing power, no [Page 46] not about matters Religious or Ecclesiastical, but in the King and Magistracie; and therefore none in Church­men or in any subjects, unless as Magistrates under the King. That is, no other hath the power of the sword, or to touch the Bodies or Estates of men.

56. Power may be called [EXTERNAL] or In­ternal in several respects; 1. In regard of the Agent: And so the Spirit of God hath the Internal Power, and Magistrates, Parents and Pastors have External.

2. In regard of the Actions commanded, Internal or ex­ternal: And so the Power of Magistrates is both Inter­nal and External, that is, They may command inward fidelitie, honour, &c. to God to Parents and to themselves (though they cannot see when it is performed alone;) And they may command outward actions; But the later is their most common work. And Pastors have both Internal and External power; And may in Gods name as his Ministers, command inward Love and Repentance, and outward worshipping of God, Prayers, Sacraments, Assemblies, Confessions, learning Catechisms, obeying the King and Parents, &c.

3. In regard of the Act or instrument of Government. And so God hath the Internal Power, because he only can by In­ternal spiritual agency rule the mind: And Kings and Pastors have the external Power, that is, do Govern by Voice and Writings, which are external signs and means.

4. In regard to the part of the subject Governed: And so the Power of Magistrates is both Internal and external; for they Govern both mind and body: For there is no Ruling of mens Bodies by Laws, unless they first rule the mind: for Laws force not the Locomotive power immediately. And so Pastors have both External and Internal Power, because by Gods word they Rule first the mind, and by that the Body; as to forbear sin, to worship God, &c.

[Page 47] 5. In regard of the Nearest Ruling Act. And so the King and Magistrate hath the Internal and External Pow­er: Internal; because he may speak in his Precepts to the Mind even in Gods name, as well as Ministers may: External, because he may punish the body immediately. But Pastors so have none of the External Power, because they touch not the outward man, that is, Body or Purse immediately, nor Rule it but only mediately by perswa­ding the Mind: so that if you will ambiguously apply the name of External Power, only to Coercive or Coactive Power by Outward force, no subject, no Pastors have any such, but only the King and Magistrates.

57. O that Kings would once all agree to make the Church and world so happy, as to keep all this Exter­nal forcing power to themselves: and not to trust it in the hands of Clergymen, nor lend their swords to angry Priests to revenge their quarrels on one another; nor yet be themselves the meer Executioners of the sentences of the Presbyters or Prelats; but if they will needs quar­rel, leave them to do it with their proper weapons, while the Magistrate himself doth repress their insolen­cies, and keep the peace. The worst Magistrates almost were like to use the sword more harmlesly, than the Secular Clergy hath hitherto done, through most of all the Christian world.

58. Though Kings have no Authority against God, they have a Power which it is too possible to abuse to sin, against many of Gods Laws, and yet not forfeit their office or true Authority thereby.

59. In case of some abuse of Power, the subject may be bound to obey him that abuseth it in that very act or thing. That is, when it is a thing that God forbiddeth the Magi­strate to command, but doth not forbid the subject to do, it may become a duty on several accounts to do that thing.

[Page 48] 60. The reason is, because it is Gods Law to subjects, and not Gods Law to Kings, which subjects must be ruled by, and their actions judged by.

61. And modest subjects must rather study what Laws God hath made for themselves, than what Laws he hath made for Kings: and what is their own duty than what is the Kings: (Though of this they are not bound to be ignorant.)

62. When subjects may not obey, yet may they not by arms resist authority.

63. To pretend Religion for Rebellion or sedition (which is the greatest enemy to it in the world) is to aggravate the sin, by intimated blasphemy against the Author of Religion.

64. When subjects suffer from Kings for obeying God, they must not take occasion by it to dishonour Kings by aggravating the injury: Because the Kings honour is more necessary to the publick peace and welfare, than the righting of a subjects injured reputation is.

65. Therefore we must nor make too great a noise in complaining of such sufferings, nor make them seem greater than they are; but rather (secretly rejoycing in Gods justification of the innocent) openly take as much of the blame to our selves as we can in truth, and men­tion the benefits which we have by suffering, and the Commonwealth by Magistracie.

66. It is not lawful for any Pastors to publish excom­munications against Kings, (no nor against Parents, or any Magistrates, on whose Honour the publick good dependeth.) The reason is, because that the Natural Law [...] honouring Rulers taketh place of the positive instituti­ [...] of excommunication: the later being but a means to [...] ends which are collateral with the former; are [...] when contrary to such ends or greater duties: [Page 49] which made Christ send the Pharisees to learn [what that meaeth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice] And affirmatives bind not ad semper.

67. But if a Pope or Prelate or Presbytery, to whom Kings never committed the care of their souls, shall by usurpation pretend to a power over Kings, which they have not, and so excommunicate them to their publick dishonour, this is a more hainous crime; being treasonable in subjects, and hostility in fo­reigners.

68. Yet those Pastors whom Princes have chosen to that special trust, must be very faithful in acquainting them with their sins and duty to God, and not for fear or flattery betray their souls and the publick good.

69. And so great is the sin of Tyranny and oppression and persecution, and so grand an impediment to the Gos­pel and mens salvation among Turks, Tartarians, Indi­ans, Persians, and the far greatest part of all the world, that all wise and good Princes will take those for their most pernicious enemies, that would by flattery tempt them to so great a sin, (though on pretence of honouring them)

The Judgement of the Author concerning the Power of Princes and the obedience of subjects, more fully; with his Profession of Loyalty, and Renunciation of Trea­sonable, Seditious and Rebellious Principles and Practices.

THat mistake, design or malice may not make a charge of disloyalty, or seditious principles and minds, to pass for a pretence of our restraint from the preach­ing of the Gospel, which we were devoted to in our Ordination, three things seem needful for us to make known. I. What are the principles of policie, which we hold. II. Our profession, resolution and promise as to our practice. III. what disloyal, Traiterous and seditious opinions and practices we renounce.

I. About the first our straight is great: If we make not known our principles, we shall be suspected for conceal­ing them; And any mistake which any one of us was guilty of, even in our unexperienced youth, though cor­rected and rejected, will be charged still on him, and on others that never owned it; And shameless false ac­cusers will defame us, as holding that which never came into our thoughts. And if we publish our judgements, how easily and certainly will ignorance and ill-will take occasion to calumniate, and draw blood from the truest soundest words? But we will do what we judge to be our duty, and leave it to God to stop the mouth of all [Page 51] iniquity, and will stay till malice and falsehood be silenced by the Father of lights.

1. We hold that though it be very useful to the Mini­sters of the Gospel to study Politicks, yet is to not neces­sary that they be able to decide political controversies; much less that they equall Lawyers in the knowledge of the Laws; and therefore that they should not with­out necessity, be forward to meddle in such matters, much less to take on them to condemn the most of the Lawyers of the world, as if we were wiser in the mat­ters of their profession than they: And least of all should we swear against their common sentiments, or that they are all deceived, and that we are wiser than all they. Though yet we should know so much, as is requisite to our due understanding of the matter of our duty and our doctrine, which we must teach.

2. By [Authority] here we mean [A Right and Obli­gation to Govern particular societies by Legislation (or precept) and Judgement, for the Common good, in subordi­nation to God, the only supream universal Governour, and his universal Laws and final judgement.]

3. GOD is the fountain or first efficient chief Ruler, and ultimate end, of all true Authority (or Right of Govern­ment): For of him, and through him, and to him are all things.

4. God hath made no Universal Vicarious meer humane Governour under himself, Civil or Ecclesiastical, Personal or Collective, (Pope or Council): nor ordained any Uni­versal Teacher or Apostle; Though he sent forth many into all the world Indefinitely to Teach as many as they could. For no mortal man, or Collective body is natu­rally capable of it.

5. Therefore he that claimeth such an Apostolick and Ecclesiastical Power as Vicarious with Obligation to ex­ercise [Page 52] it, condemneth himself for betraying the most of mankind, for he doth not exercise it at the Antipodes, or to the fifth part of the world.

Obj. No more doth Christ who yet is the Vniversal Tea­cher. Answ. Christ is the Light of the world, and all things are committed into his hand: And though he send not preachers of the Gospel eventually to all, he sendeth them all that commoner Light, means and mercies which call them to Repentance, and to seek to a pardoning graci­ous God; so that his Teaching and Rule is universal, though not equally.

6. The Pope claimeth an Universal Power of Govern­ment, over all Christian Princes and States, yea over all the world: And the Papist Doctors assert it in their wri­ting; some in things spiritual; some in things spiritual and temporal, and some in things spiritual and in tempo­rals in order to spirituals. Accordingly in their Councils they make Decrees which shall be obligatory to Kings and Kingdoms, and have declared themselves empower­ed to set up Princes and pull them down, to excommu­nicate and depose them, and force them to Oaths and obedience, or else to give their Dominions to others that will obey: yea if they will not burn or exterminate all as Hereticks who hold the Christian Doctrine which we call Protestant, yea that will not in the matter of Transubstantiation, deny belief to all mens senses. By which claim of Government over all Kings, and Laws for such execution, we suppose that the Roman Pope de­clareth himself to be Hostis publicus to all Christian Princes and States who do not voluntarily make them­selves his subjects, and alloweth them to judge and use him accordingly.

7. God hath given Power to none against himself, or his Laws.

[Page 53] 8. God hath given power to none to destroy the Com­mon good; except such Kingdoms as the Canaanites, &c. that by revelation were judged to destruction, or such par­ticular Countries as by unjust enmity to their neighbours may by the Law of Nature and Nations be destroyed for the necessary preservation of the rest.

9. Therefore all Laws and Mandates that are notori­ously against God or his Laws, or the common safety (that is, destructive to the Common-wealth and welfare) are ipso facto null, or not obligatory, no more than a Justices precepts against the King.

10. Submission yet may be a duty, and resistance a sin, where obedience is not due; of which more anon in due place.

11. The people are not the fountain of power, nor the donors of it; nor, as such, have they any right to Go­verning, either to use themselves or to give to others; Though they or part of them may have some in Demo­cracies by the species of the Government, or in mixt Governments; but otherwise they have none by Nature. The Government of Republicks is not by an arbitrary Collation of each mans personal power to some one: But God hath prevented them, and made it necessary by the Law of Nature and Scripture, that there be Govern­ours as his Officers under him, to whom the people shall submit, in all cases where such can be had; and hath given them universal Laws according to which they must Rule.

12. But because Nature hath given no one person or family a Right more than others, to Rule Kingdoms antecedently to the peoples consent, therefore the people had at the forming of such societies the choice of those per­sons or families that should govern, and without their consent none were capable recipients of that power: so [Page 54] that as the Kings Charter immediately giveth the pow­er of a Mayor, or Bailiff to the person whom the Ci­tizens shall choose, which choice giveth him no power but only maketh him capable to receive it from the Kings Charter; even so Gods Law and Charter obligeth the people to choose or consent to that family or person that shall Rule them, and giveth Authority (with obligati­on to use it) to those whom the said consent hath made the capable due recipients.

13. Therefore Mr. Hookers maxime is false as to Go­verning Power, that [the King is singulis major, but uni­versis minor:] and so is his assertion that all power of Legislation is naturally in the whole body (what it may be by the Constitution or species of the Government, is no­thing to that question), and his talk of the Soveraigns dependence on, yea and subjection to the body, and his asser­tion that when the line is extinct [the power cometh by escheate to the people] and many such like; In all which he mistaketh Power of choosing Governours, who shall receive power from God only, for the power it self of Go­verning, which the people as such have not at all. The King is not Vniversis melior indeed, but the Bonum publi­cum is the end of his Government, and the good of all the Kingdom is better than his own, and more his end; but yet even there his own Honour and welfare, is part of the Pub­lick Good and End. But whoever hath the whole supream power in any Kingdom or other Republick, is universis major.

14. Propriety is naturally antecedent to Government, which doth not Give it, but regulate it to the Common good: Every man is born with a propriety in his own mem­bers, and nature giveth him a propriety in his Children, and his food and other just acquisitions of his industry. Therefore no Ruler can justly deprive men of their pro­priety, [Page 55] unless it be by some Law of God (as in executi­on of Justice on such as forfeit it) or by their own con­sent, by themselves or their Delegates or Progenitors; And mens lives and Liberties are the chief parts of their pro­priety. That is the peoples just reserved Property, and Liberty, which neither God taketh from them, by the pow­er which his own Laws give the Rulers, nor is given away by their [...] foresaid consent.

15. Usurpers have no true Power (or Jus regendi); nor do their commands (whether they be Civil or Eccle­siastical Usurpers) bind any one in Conscience to formal obedience; nor may they be set up and defended against the Lawful Governour. But materially many good and lawful things may be done which they command when the Common good and personal safety require it, without owning their authority as true, which is none, and without formal obedience.

16. Those are Usurpers, Civil or Ecclesiastical, who have not authority given them by God, immediately nor mediately: Inferior Magistrates have authority from God, in that they have it from the King, or other supreme Rulers, whom God empowereth to make inferior Magi­strates, as their officers.

17. A Person utterly uncapable receiveth no Autho­rity from God.

18. Those are Usurpers (Civil or Ecclesiastical) who by force or fraud depose the Lawful Governour and take his place: And those that sede vacante seize on the place without any consent of the people; either on pretence of meer conquest, or (as Mahomet) on false pretence of Divine revelation or Commission, or on pretence of their greater worthiness: saving that the supream Power may impose on the people his inferior officers, and they are bound to obey them.

[Page 56] 19. They that are made Rulers only of one kind or from of a Republick, and shall without authority from God or the peoples consent change that kind or form of Government into another, and assme that other, are Usurpers as to that new usurped form, though not as to the former.

20. Government is the conjunct exercise of Power, wisdom and Love, for the right ordering of the Com­monwealth for the present and future happiness of the people and the Governours.

21. God is Love and ruleth us as our Father; and his works of Love are his most Lovely representation; And that is the best Governour who is likest unto God: when Love is the predominant principle in Government, and Prince and people dearly love each other; that Kingdom is likest unto heaven! Yet must Rulers be a terrour to the wicked.

22. Subjects are bound to take their Rulers, not as their own creatures, to set up and take down as the Ro­man Souldiers did: (For then to obey a Ruler would be but radically to obey themselves, or to obey their ser­vants): But as the Officers of God, who communica­teth authority to them, and so to honour and obey God in them, as we do the King in his inferiour Magistrates: And so to obey for Conscience sake.

23. Subjects are bound not only to fear their Rulers, but to Love them: and to shun that fear which tendeth to hatred.

24. God must be first obeyed, and no man against him, by breaking any of his Laws, particular or general.

25. But if Governours command us to sin against God, though Subjects must not obey them, yet must they pa­tiently suffer wrong and not resist them by rebellion: Much less may they use arms without their consent, to [Page 57] reform others, or to bring in any novelty, yea or the true Religion by such unauthorized violence.

26. The inferior Magistrates are the subjects of the King, as well as the meanest men, and therefore have no power to depose him, or to take up arms against him any more than other subjects.

27. Subjects must not only forbear all Treason, se­dition or rebellion by arms, but must preferr the Kings life before each of their own, and must hazard their lives when called to it, to preserve him; and must re­sist all conspiracies against him.

28. If we are wronged by unjust defamations or op­pression or persecution, as long as Rulers destroy not the Common-wealth, particular Subjects must not vindicate their own right so much as by dishonouring their Soveraign; because his honour is more necessary than our Rights to the common good.

29. The Union of the King and people is the life of the Kingdom; and dividing is destroying: Therefore an Vniting of their Interests is a chief point in policie; and setting their Interests as divided in opposition or supici­on of each other is pernicious.

30. Therefore it is against the Constitution of the Common-wealth, for the King to raise war against his Kingdom as their enemy, or for the Kingdom to raise war against the King: King James asserts the first, and the Reason of Government proveth both.

31. The command of a Prince, (whether sober or in drink, or passion) to any subject, to destroy the Prince himself (as Saul did command one) or to destroy the Common-wealth, or to break the Laws of God, or the fixed Laws of the Land, will not justifie the subject that obeyeth that command, nor doth give him right to impu­nity [Page 58] before God, or in the Courts of Justice, except in such cases as the Law it self excepth.

32. The Time, Place and other circumstances of duty are not always to be the same; And the Rulers command to alter such unfixed circumstances, when it destroyeth not the substance, is to be obeyed; though the prohibi­tion of the duty it self (Praying, preaching, hearing, Sa­craments, alms) is not to be obeyed, because Gods au­thority is the highest.

33. Though no mans command can warrant us to sin against God, yet some things which are antecedently sinful but by a smaller Accident (as that it offendeth one of my neighbours) may become a duty by the Law of the King, that Law and the consequents of the action, being more preponderating circumstances to oblige us to do it, than the other is against it.

34. Though Princes are under the obligation of Gods Laws and their own contracts, as well as others; yet as Laws are the Instruments of Government, no one is un­der a Law as such that is not under Government. And therefore no Soveraign is under his own Laws as Go­verning Laws; though he may by the bonds of fide­lity and justice and for the Common good be obliged to Govern the subjects by them, and to be exemplary in what concerneth himself, and be under those contracts which are called Fundamental or Constitutive Laws, made by common consent to secure the subjects rights: which I suppose is R. Hookers meaning when he saith that Lex facit Regem, and that the King hath so much power as the Law giveth him.

35. Though Politicks and Lawyers tell us that Legis­lative power is the first part of the supreme power, and who ever hath part in the Legislative power hath part in the supream power, yet that is not meant of such a [Page 59] derived power as Corporations may have by Charter, to make only Local by-Laws for themselves, which bind not the Common-wealth.

36. As to the cases which Politicks, Lawyers, and Divines, Papists and Protestants, instance in (such as Barclay, Grotius, Bilson, &c.) in which subjects may resist Kings by arms, we leave them to those that are sitter Judges; concluding only that, 1. No humane power can abrogate the Law of Nature; 2. that God hath li­mited all humane power; 3. that their own contracts limit them; 4. That subjects should not be tempted to odious thoughts of Kings, by the savage description of them, as being authorized to burn, rob, kill the inno­cent at their pleasure, if they will not renounce God, Christ or humanity, and to destroy all the people. Such de­scriptions are made by the enemies of Government. 5. That commissioned subjects or Souldiers are not Kings, but subjects still, and under Law. 6. That if we should see a Commission under the broad Seal, to seize on the Kings guards, forts, treasure, navy, or hurt the King, or destroy Monarchy, or deliver the Kingdom to foreigners, or to destroy the Kingdom, Laws, Property, Parlia­ment, City causelesly, we are bound to judge that the treachery of the keeper of the Seal or some other and not the King was the author of such a Commission. 7. All men should love their Country and the common good better than their lives.

THat it may appear that we refuse not the Corpo­ration Oath and Declaration, the Oxford Oath, or the subscription required by the Act of Uniformity, out of any disloyalty or ill design, we offer to declare, subscribe, profess and promise as followeth.

[Page 60] I. I do unfeignedly Assent and Consent to every word of God in the sacred Scripture, which describeth the Power of Kings, or other Governours, and which describeth or commandeth the Subjects duty to their governours, and which forbiddeth rebellion, or any other sin against them.

II. Though I take not General Coun­cils for the Rule of my faith or obedience,This profession I drew up even by Dr. Stamans advice who was taken to be no more compliant with the present Govern­ment than other Nonconformists. yet having with some diligence perused the Decrees of those that are so called, I find not in any of them any more Power ascribed to Kings or other civil Governours, than I do willingly sub­scribe to and acknowledge; excepting the powers which the Papal King of Rome doth arrogate to himself, or pre­tend to give to others, or place in them as his executi­ners.

III. I find not in the publick Confessions of faith of any of the Protestant Churches, or any of the Greek Churches, or of the Roman, any more power ascribed to Kings or other Civil Governours, than I subscribe to and acknowledge; except as before excepted of the Ro­man Papacie.

IV. I find not any commonly named Parties of Di­vines in their writings (Greeks, Papists, Protestants, whether Lutherans, Reformed, Episcopal, or Presbyterian,) who wrote before the year 1640. who do generally (as to the stream or commonest doctrine) ascribe any more to Kings or other civil Governor, than I willingly subscribe to and acknowledge, except as before excepted of the Pope and Papists.

[Page 61] V. Of all the Greek, Roman and Arabian Philoso­phers, and Orators, of all the Historians, the Authors of Politicks, and Civil Lawyers that I have read, I find many that are against Monarchy, but no party or sort of them that commonly give more Power to Princes than I willingly subscribe to and acknowledge, excepting as before excepted, the Papal Usurpation and the flatterers thereof.

VI. I do and shall acknowledge in the Kings Majesty all that Power whatsoever is ascribed to him in the Laws of the land, or that shall hereafter by any Law be as­cribed to him, so be it, it be not contrary to the certain Law of God in Nature or Scripture, nor against the essen­tial Constitution of the Kingdom.

VII. I do willingly take the Oath of Allegiance, and take it to be the duty of his Majesties Subjects to take the same, and faithfully to keep it.

VIII. I do willingly take the Oath of supremacy, and think that it is their error and sin who do refuse it; see­ing there are so many publick declarations of the sense of it made, that his Majesty doth not hereby claim any of the Priestly Office, but only to have the power of the sword, so far as it is to be exercised about Causes and persons called Ecclesiastical and Civil.

IX. I do hold that it is not Lawful for any of his own Subjects to raise war or take arms against the King, either his Person, Authority, Dignity or Rights: Nor against any Lawfully Commissioned by him in his exe­cution of that Commission; nor against any unlawfully [Page 62] Commissioned by him, except the King himself by his Laws or by a cross Commission do allow such resistance, or the notorious Law of Nature doth require it.

X. Though I like not swearing obedience to any in a Kingdom but the King, yet if the King will command me to swear due obedience to any Judge, Magistrate, Bishop or Chancellor, in their exercise of any true power which they receive from him, (which puts me upon no sinning against God) I will obey him in taking such an Oath.

XI. Though I like not swearing obedience to Ecclesi­astical persons, yet if the King command me to swear just obedience to Lawful Pastors that are over me, and that I will never endeavour the alteration of any Office or or­dinance instituted by Christ, or by the Holy Ghost in his Apostles, I will obey him in so doing.

And though my judgement after 40 years diligent stu­dy be against many things in the present Diocesane Go­vernment, especially Lay Chancellors use of the Keys of Excommunication and Absolution, and the impossibility of the true and ancient discipline by the largness of the Diocess and paucity of Bishops, and the unchurching of all the Parishes of England, and the oppida or great Towns except one in a Diocess, making them all (though many hundreds or above a thousand) to be but particles of one Diocesane Church; (when Ignatius saith, that [To every Church there is one Altar, and one Bishop with his fellow Presbyters and Deacons] as the common note of Indi­viduation: And Cyprian saith, Vbi Episcopus ibi Ecclesia: And therefore one only Bishop in a Diocess sheweth that they hold that there is but one Church in a Diocese) Yet not­withstanding my dissent, I take it to be my duty to live [Page 63] submissively and peaceably; and if the King command me I will promise or swear never to endeavour [...]ny al­teration or reformation by sedition, rebellion, or any other unlawful means.

XI. I do renounce all Doctrines and practices contrary to any of these aforesaid professions: And I do hold that nei­ther the Oath nor Vow called [the solemn League and Covenant], nor any other Vow or Covenant, can dis­oblige me or any other subject from any of the afore­said, or any other duty to God, the King, or my neigh­bour, or can oblige me to any sin against God or man; nor justifie my disobedience to the King in things which antecedent to his command were indifferent. O­therwise a Subject might by Vowing prevent all obli­gations in such cases to obey his Governours. And though I know not with what sense or intention other men make Vows, I do declare that that Vow or Covenant bindeth me to nothing, which I had not been bound to had I never taken it; because I never intended it to make me a new religion or duty, but only to be a secondary obligation to what God had obliged me to before.

III. The distoyal, Trayterous, seditious or▪ rebellious opinions and practices which we reject.

WE mention not these opinions by way of accusation of others, but to vindicate our own calumniated innocency.

I. We reject the inhumane opinion of Spinosa in Tract▪ [Page 64] Theol. Polit. and such other Infidels, who hold that sensu­ality is mans chief interest, and that every man hath right to any thing that he desireth if he can but get it, and that he is bound to keep his Oaths and Covenants no longer than it is for his own interest, and that he hath as good title as the Governour or possessor had, if he can but get his place or possessions, and may destroy any if he can, that hinder his desires.

II. I do (with due reverence to the persons) reject the opinion of many Authors of Politicks, and great Law­yers, who say that the Majestas realis is in the people, and the Majestas Personalis in the King, and that Governing Power is but the Collation of each mans singular power over his own person and estate, and the committing it to one for the Com­mon safety. And that the people give the power, and may question the Prince, and resume it when there is cause. And so we reject the doctrine of Mr. Richard Hooker in his Eccl. Polit. lib. 1. and 8. (with due respect to his judiciousness) and all other Episcopal Divines of his mind, who saith that [‘By the natural Law whereto God hath made all subject, the lawful power of mak­ing Laws to command whole societies of men, belong­eth so properly to the same entire societies, that for ANY Prince or Potentate, of WHAT KINDSOE­VER upon earth, to exercise the same of himself, and not either by express Commission immediately and personally received from God, or else by Authority derived at first from their consent upon whose persons they impose Laws, it is no better than meer Tyranny: Laws they are not which publick approbation hath not made so.’] He maketh the peoples [giving Authority] necessary, where their Consent to the family or person that shall receive it from God is enough: And [...] mak­eth [Page 65] a part in Legislation (the chief slower of Soveraign­ty) which only some of the people in some Countreys have meerly by the Constitution, to be a Common effect of the Law of Nature: Lib. 1. §. 10. pag. 21. so Lib. 8. 192, 193, 194, 220, 221, 218, 223, 224, 225. I re­ject what he saith [Ʋnto me it seemeth almost out of doubt and controversie that every Independent multitude before any certain form of regiment established hath under God, supream authority, full dominion over it self—In Kingdomes of this quality as this we live in, the highest Governour hath indeed Universal do­minion; but with Dependencie on that whole entire body, over the several parts whereof he hath domini­on: so that it standeth for an axiom in this case, The King is singulis major, but universis minor—Nei­ther can any man with Reason think but that the first institution of Kings (a sufficient consideration wherefore their power should always depend on that, from which it did always flow) by original influence of power from the Body into the King, is the cause of Kings depen­dency in power upon the body. By Dependency we mean subordination and subjection: A manifest token of which dependency may be this; As there is no more certain argument that lands are held under any as Lords, than if we see that such lands in defect of heirs fall unto them by escheat; In like manner it doth follow rightly, that seeing Dominion when there is none to inherite it, returneth to the body, therefore they which before were inheritors of it did hold it in dependence on the body; so by comparing the body with the head, as touch­ing power it seemeth always to reside in both, Funda­mentally and Radically in one; in the other deriva­tively: In one the Habit, in the other the Act of Power (vid. caet. passim)—When all which the wis­dom [Page 66] of all sorts can do, is done for devising of Laws in the Church, it is the general consent of all that giveth them the form and vigor of Laws; without which they would be no more to us than the Counsels of Physi­cians to the sick: well might they seem as wholsome admonitions and instructions; but Laws could they never be without consent of the WHOLE CHURCH to be guided by them, whereunto both nature and the practice of the Church of God set down in Scripture, is found every way so fully consonant, that God him­self would not impose his own Laws upon his people by the hand of Moses, without their free and open consent. May a body Politick then at all times withdraw in whole or in part, the influence of domini­on which passeth from it, if Inconveniences do grow thereby?—It must be presumed that supream Go­vernours will not in such cases oppose themselves, and be stiff in detaining that, the use whereof is with publick detriment.’—And pag. 205. [If Magistrates be Heads of the Church, they are of necessity Chri­stians.’]

I presume not to set my weak judgement in matter of policie in contest with those very many Learned Law­yers or Divines who think all this, and much more like it to be sound; But I must say that my judg­ment doth reject it;Christ. Directory. The reasons whereof I have given in a particular Confutation of each of these passages and more.

And against this doctrine of the Peoples giving the power by conjoyning all their own in one, see D. Cawdry a Nonconformist's Review of Mr. Tho. Hookers survey pag. 154. &c. And see Groti [...]s de Imperio, &c. pag. 270. both concurring with me.

[Page 67] III. We reject their opinion who hold that the Law of Nature alloweth an Innocent subject to save his own Life by taking away the Kings, or by raising war against him.

IV. We reject (as is aforesaid) their opinion who hold that it is Lawful to take up Arms against the King, his person, authority, dignity or right whether it may be done against his will, see before., and to pretend his own authority, or Laws for so do­ing: Or that it is lawful to take Arms against any lawfully commissioned by him; yea or unlawfully, unless he himself by his Laws or cross Commission, or the sure Law of Nature do authorize it.

V. We reject the Papal Usurpation of a Government over Princes, by claim of an Universal Vicarship under Christ: And because the Decrees of their General Coun­cils approved by the Pope, are their very Religion, and e. g. the Lateran Council sub Innoc. 3. decreeth that those that hold not Transubstantiation be exterminated as He­reticks, and that the secular powers shall swear to ex­terminate them; and if any Temporal Lords do it not, the Pope may excommunicate them, and absolve their Sub­jects from their Allegiance, and give their dominions to others that will do it; we therefore are constrained to reject such parts of the very Religion of the Papists as a Rebellious Religion, and the Pope as a declared enemy to Christian Kings and Kingdoms, which are not his Voluntary Subjects.

VI. Seeing that by the said Papal Religion or Laws, all Protestants and others that are not Papists, are Dead men in Law where those Laws are received, and must be burnt as Hereticks or exterminated, and the Princes [Page 68] or other secular Powers that will not swear it and exe­cute it, are themselves to be excommunicate and deposed; we do therefore detest as treacherous to Princes, the pra­ctice of all such as would perswade any Prince or Ruler of a Protestant, Greek or other Countrey not yet Papists, to become a Papist: and thereby to expose himself to the Popes deposing of him, or to destroy his own kingdom, & to cast before his sub­jects a temptation to dispute such questions, as [whether any Prince have Power from God to burn or exterminate his King­dom? & how far they should own him which by his very Re­ligion is obliged so to do on pains of excommunication, de­position and damnation. But where the Kingdom are alrea­dy Papists, it is only the sin against God in the destruction of some innocents or the Princes deposition, and not the Kingdoms destruction that is in the way.

VII. We reject the opinion whether of the Papists or of any Protestants (if there be such) who hold that Kings or other Rulers on whom the Government and welfare of the Kingdom or other Republick lyeth, may be excommunicated to their publick dishonour: Because Gods moral Law▪ which bids Honour our Father and Mother and our King, doth bind before Laws of meer Rites and order, And the most publick good is to be pre­ferred: And the Honour of the King is necessary to his successful Government, and so the publick good and safe­ty: Christ taught us even in cases of such nature to re­member, that God will have mercy and not Sacrifice; And order is for the preservation and not for the destruction of the society ordered: Therefore though Baptism and the Lords Supper and Absolution may be denyed to a King that is utterly uncapable of them, yet is he not to be dishonoured by an open excommunication (which is purposely to shame offenders) much less by any of his [Page 69] Subjects that never were called by him to be his Guides; And least of all by a foreign Usurper.

VIII. We reject their doctrine who subject Christi­an Princes and States to the Power of foreigners under the name of General Councils: As if Christ had given a power of Universal Legislation and Judgement, though not to a Personal yet to a Collective body; whose Laws all the Christian world is bound to obey: when indeed there never was, will be, or can be any true General Coun­cil of all the Churches in the world, nor did ever Christ institute such a thing. The first controversie between us and the Papists is not, Who it is that is the Universal Governour of the Christian world (or Church) under Christ, See the second part of Baxters Key for Catholicks where it is fully proved that Ge­neral Councils never were or can be or ought to be. whether Pope or Council: But whether there be any such Universal Governour at all? which we utterly deny; were there any at all, we would sooner yield that it is the Pope (who is in being) than that it is a true Gene­ral Council which never was in being: And if any cal­led Protestants would betray King and Kingdom into Subjection to a foreign Power under the false name of a General Council, we wash our hands from such disloyalty; as knowing well by the Map of the Roman Empire, and the Notitiae Episcopatuum, and by the names of the subscribing Bishops, and by the power of the Emperours that called them, and other notices of history, that even the four first great approved Councils were but some part of the Bishops of the Empire, (unless some borderer accidental­ly stept in) and not at all of the rest of the Christian world: And if England were sometime subject to that Empire, yet is it not so now. The Clergy of one Prince have no power of Government over all other Princes and their Clergy.

[Page 70] IX. We reject their doctrine who teach that the King or other Rulers are bound to punish men by the sword, meerly because being excommunicate they repent not and reconcile not themselves to the Clergy; As if Prin­ces were the Lictors or executioners of the Clergy, or were bound to burn, banish, imprison or fine their Sub­jects, because the Clergy (Pope, Prelates or Presbyte­ries) do excommunicate them, and require it of them; be the sentence right or wrong: And we much desire that Princes would not so nearly annex their pu­nishments to the Clergies censures, as may seem to countenance such injurious and dishonourable expe­ctations of the Clergy, or as may countenance them that scorn Church discipline as a leaden sword or un­effectual, unless the sword of the Magistrates enforce it.

X. We like not the dangerous Conclusion of [No Bishop No King], though we judge not such a word when by a sound exposition the danger is avoided.

XI. We reject their doctrine who hold that the Clergy is exempt from the Go­vernment of the King,The Papists. as if they were not his Subjects, and he might not punish them for common enemies, yea and for gross male-administration and unfaith­fulness in the Ministry, as he may punish Physicians, or Lawyers for the like in their professions.

XII. We detest their doctrine who debase Kings and magistrates,Papists. by saying that they are Governors only of the body, and not of the soul (when it is only souls that are commanded by Laws, and immediately obey), or that it is only the civil peace [Page 71] and bodily prosperity which is the end of the Government of Kings, and not mens spiritual good and salvation: And so that the King and Magistrates are to be valued as much less than the Clergy, as the concerns of the body are less valuable than the concerns of the soul: As Pope Innocent 3. saidVide Cosins Hist. Transub. pag. 147, 148. [God made two great Lights in the sirmament of heaven and of the universal Church, that is, he instituted two dignities, which are the Pontifical authority and the Regal power; But that which ruleth the Day, that is, things spiritual, is the greatest, and that which ruleth Carnal things is the less; that it may be known that the difference between Popes and Kings, is such as is the dif­ference between the Sun and the Moon.] No wonder there­fore if in his Serm. 2. he say [To me it is said I have set thee over Nations and Kingdoms, to pluck up and destroy and scatter. I am set up as a middle person between God and man; On this side God, but beyond man, yea greater than man, who judge all, and can be judged of none: I am the Bridegroom, &c.]’ And if Pope Gregory 7. in his Roman Council declare, that he hath power to set up and take down Emperors, &c. Whenas in truth things spiritual and eternal are the end of the Kings Govern­ment also; though by punishing sin and ruling Ministers and others by the sword, and not by becoming a Priest himself, he seek that end.

XIII. We detest their doctrine who say that not Kings, but only the Clergy are Judges in matters of faith, or Religion, or of Heresie: whenas every man is to judge where he is to Govern and execute. And as every Sub­ject hath a Discerning judgement to know what is his own Duty and what is sin; and the Pastors of the Church have that publick Eccesiastical Judgement, which is cal­led, [Page 72] The use of the Keys, to judge who is fit or unfit for the communion of the Church within their charge, and so who is to be Baptized, excommunicated or absol­ved; so also the King and Magistrates are Judges, who is by them to be punished by the sword, as abusers of sa­cred doctrine or worship, as Heretical seducers, or unfaith­ful Pastors.

XIV. Though there be some reverend persons that hold that Ministers only hold their power from Christ as Redeemer, and Magistrates not so, but only from God the Creator as ruling by common providence, and not by Christ, we greatly dissent from this conceit, and be­lieve that God who after the fall set up a Law or Covenant of Grace to all mankind, in Adam and Noah, doth govern none on earth, either by such providence as he govern­eth bruits without Law; nor yet by the first Law of In­nocency or perfection alone (making Innocency the con­dition of Life, to them that are already guilty) but all are under a Law of grace: And all persons and things are delivered to Christ, and put into his hands and power, and he is made Head over all things to the Church, even the Lord of dead and living, and the general administra­tor, even among them that hear not of his name: All judgement is committed to him, (Joh. 5. 22. Eph. 1. 22, 23. Rom. 14. 9, 10, &c.) He is the Alpha and Omega; the Giver and the end of Power. And they that say that the world hath so good a thing as Magistracy without Christs procurement, may next feign many more mer­cies to be given to the miserable without Christ, and so that God could pardon sin without him, and next that we be saved and come to heaven without him, and his grace.

[Page 73] XV. We renounce the opinion of them that hold, that circa sacra, the King hath no power to command▪ us circumstances of worship. And that if the King by his Law or Mandate impose on the several Churches, One Translation of the Scripture, one Version of the Psalms, one Lecture day or hour, &c. and the Bishop another, that we must obey our Diocesane rather than the King.

XVI. We renounce their opinion who hold that the Act of Uniformity, and such other Laws as are made about Church matters, especially such as impose the 39 Articles of Religion, the Subscriptions, Declarations, Oaths and Practices, are to be esteemed by our Consci­ences, but as Laws of the Church, or Clergy confirmed by King and Parliament, and that the Church men are the proper expositors of them; And that out of the sit­ting of the Convocation, it is the Bishops that must give us the sence which our Consciences must follow: For we believe that the Law-makers are the only expositors of their own Law, by an exposition commonly obligatory to the Subject, and the several Judges are the expositors for the decision of such particular causes as belong to their Courts; and that if Bishops, or Convocation should put a wrong sence on such Oaths and subscriptions,Else Bishop might set up what Religion they would by an expository power, and indeed be the only Law-makers, the King and Parliament mak­ing but the words, and the Bishops the sence. we may not take them in their sence, and that if they should expound our 39 Articles as Franc [...]a Sancta Clara did, we may not take them in that sence, nor may they so change the Protestant Religion, by changing the sence and keeping the words.

[Page 74] XVII. We approve not of their judgement, who (when the bonds of mutual Oaths between King and Subjects, according to the fundamental Constitution of the Kingdom, declareth the unchangeableness of our Monarchical Government) would have also certain In­ferior powers made as unchangeable by publick Oaths; which powers antecedently to those Oaths the King may change, as being not (at least in their various Circumstances) settled by Christ; Thereby depriving the King of his Power, and swearing the Subjects never to endeavour any alteration of such inferior Government, not except­ing [though the King and Parliament command it;] And so making mutable Ministers as necessary and unchang­able as the King.

XVIII. We detest the treachery of such as would divide the Interest of the King and his Kingdom further than they are unavoidably differenced by Nature; and that would perswade Kings that the Common Good is not the end of Government, but that it is their Interest to take down the welfare of the people, and get them as low as to liberties and wealth as they can: For the Uniting of the Inte­rests and Affections of King and Kingdom, is the summ of the true Art of Governing, next to the pleasing of God.

XIX. Much more do we abhorr their treachery a­gainst Kings, who would both expose them to Gods Justice, and the peoples hard thoughts, by setting them either above God or in competition with him, or build­ing their Kingdoms in the air and not on God; we mean specially such as deny all Monarchs to be Limited by God, [Page 75] and to be subject to his Laws: And were they Absolute and not limited by God, they might command all the Subjects to curse God, to renounce Christ and their Salvation, to wor­ship the Devil, and to violate all the Laws of Nature; which would subvert their own foundation.

XX. Accordingly we reject their treachery, that would make it the peoples duty to be of the Kings Religion, be it what it will be, and so among Turks, and Papists and Pagans, to be Mahometans, Papists or Heathens; and to obey the King against God; Nothing more dis­honouring Kings than when they are set up as in Gods place or as against him.

XXI. We also renounce their treachery, who would deny the subjects, a judicium discretionis, a judgment dis­cerning duty from no duty and from sin: For so they de­prive the King of his Subjects and make them no men, nor capable of obeying him: And they deprive him of their aid, in case any Usurper claim the Crown, if they must not judge, who hath the true right.

XXII. We renounce the treachery of such as repre­sent Monarchs odious to the very nature of their Subjects, (who are ruled by interest), by terrible descriptions of their Power, as absolute; and as such as may when they please seize on all mens estates, destroy the Innocent, Commission their servants to kill Parliaments, burn Cities, sell all as slaves to others, and the instruments may not be resisted: when it is known that terrible descripti­ons breed such fears as tend to hatred; And hatred is virtual rebellion: And when all people see that their lives, liberties and estates have no security but the will of one mutable man, it maketh them like men among [Page 76] enemies, in continual suspicion; when Love and Trust are the chief affections of true Subjects to which fear must be but subservient: How can treacherous men more undermine a Prince, than by such terrible descriptions, and by perswading him to rule by Fear rather than Love, to render him hated by his Subjects that should love him and defend him?

XXIII. We take it for a traiterous opinion that, It is not lawful to take Arms against any that have a Commission with the Kings Name under his Great or Little Seal, with­out exception: For then the keepers of his Majesties Seals may depose the King, by Sealing Commissions as in his name, to traytours, to seize on his guards, forts, navies, Magazines, treasures, servants, &c. and no loyal subjects might resist them, no not they who by Law or former Commission were obliged to it.

XXIV. We renounce their treachery who would weaken the Kings Interest by dividing his Subjects, and building up unnecessary walls of partition between them▪ to keep them in such divisions, and would thereby che­rish hatred, contention and mutinies among them, see­ing, a Kingdom divided against it self cannot stand: And it is unsafe and uncomfortable to a Prince to rule a divided mutinous people, and sweet and safe to rule them that are united in mutual Love: Therefore we detest their way that would lay the peoples Concord upon uncapable terms, and bring the Kings interest in his peoples Love and willing obedience and ready defence of him, into too [...]rrow a bottom, making him the King of some cause­lesly divided and espoused party which must be set up to the oppression of all the rest, who are as wise and just and loyal as they.

[Page 77] XXV. It is treachery against Princes to tell them that they are not bound by their Oaths, Vows, and Promises; that thereby their Subjects may be brought into utter di­strustfulness of them. And how can there be due obedi­ence and adhering to Rulers where there is no Trust?

XXVI. They are great enemies to Princes who tempt them to notorious viciousness of life, against God's Laws: seeing all that believe a God will honour him, and his Laws and interest, and will judge of men as they keep or break them; and will think worse of the evil than the good: And God hath said, Those that honour me I will ho­nour, &c. And even Princes must contemn a vile person, and honour those that fear the Lord, Psal. 15. Even among Heathens, how great was the peoples Love and Honour to an Antonine (even to deisie him) to a Titus, a Trajan, an Alexander Severus; &c. and what excellent names have they left behind them! And how contrary was it with a Nero, a Caligula, a Commodus, a Helioga­balus, &c. He is the great enemy of Princes that would render them bad, most unlike to God, and the examples of iniquity, and enemies of the good.

XXVII. We detest their opinion who think that a strong and prosperous Usurper may be desended against the King, or that the King is not to be defended against him, to the hazard of our estates and lives.

XXVIII. We renounce their opinion who think that it is Lawful for the Kings Subjects meerly to propagate Religion or Reformation in the Kingdom, by entring in­to Leagues, Covenants and Arms against him (of which before) and without his consent and Laws.

[Page 78] XXIX. We disown their opinion that think that though the inferior Subjects may not do this, yet the In­ferior Magistrates may; and have power to question and judge the King; (of which also before.)

XXX. We reject them that say, that The Person of the King is not inviolable, which no Subjects may as­sault or invade, much less take away his life.

XXXI. We detest the doctrine of those Popish Do­ctors (at large cited in terms by Henry Fowlis and the Bishop of Lincoln) who teach that when the Pope hath excommunicated and deposed a King, he is no King, and may be killed, at least by the Popes command, and that to kill him is not to kill a King: And we detest such Trea­sons as were executed on Henry 3. and H. 4. of France, and on our late King.

XXXII. We detest that opinion, that none are bound to the King, nor bound to forbear treason or to disco­ver it, unless they have taken some Oath of fidelity to him or made some promise; As if a Papist or any other that cometh from beyond Sea and hath avoided such Oaths and promises might lawfully do that which else were treason: As if our Ancestors Covenants, and our living under the Laws and protection of a Soveraign did not oblige us.

XXXIII. We disclaim the treacherous opinion of such as would have Kings build their titles on no better ground than an Usurper may plead, that so it may fall by the sandiness of that foundation; that is, either on meer Conquest, (and then a stronger may conquer them) [Page 79] or on pretence of their special fitness, by wisdom and Good­ness (and so if any were wiser or better, he would have more right), or as Mahomet on pretended revelation from heaven (as aforesaid.)

XXXIV. We renounce their opinion who hold that they may break their Oaths of Allegiance; or that the Pope or any other can dispense with such Oaths, ac­cording to the aforesaid Laterane General Council.

XXXV. We disown their disloyalty, who would have such Oaths put upon Subjects, whose matter is contrary to the common judgement of Philosophers Hea­then and Christian, and Politicians, and Lawyers, and Historians, and Divines of all sides, of the Christian Re­ligion; that so they may ingage the Common judgment of mankind against their Princes, under pretence of ex­alting them to more power than all or any of these par­ties do allow of.

XXXVI. We are the more unwilling our selves to make Vows and Oaths rashly, or to renounce any law­ful part of such as were (though unlawfully) made: and that Ministers of Christ should really or seemingly be branded with the mark of PERJURY, or that any Cities or Corporations or Kingdoms in the world should be so branded, lest it should weaken and loosen the pub­lick bonds of Oaths with the Subjects, by which the lives of Princes are secured from Treasons and Conspira­cies; And we think that when Oaths are despised and made as a sport, it is an act of treachery against Princes lives: Besides that the Guilty may expect Gods judge­ments; And if Perjury be revenged with Plagues, and flames and poverty, and a famin of the word, especial­ly [Page 80] restrained from the guiltiest places, it is no wonder; at least, till they as openly REPENT, as they have sinned.

XXXVII. In General (because all particulars can­not be remembred) we renounce all Principles and Pra­ctices of disloyalty, sedition, faction, Schism, treasons, Conspiracies and rebellion, against Kings or any rightful Governours.

WE have thus faithfuly given the world an account of our judgements, of the Power of Kings, the obedience of Subjects, and the mischiefs of disloyalty and rebellion: If we live in such a time and place where all this is not enough to excuse us from being suspe­cted of poysoning men with seditious and rebellious doctrines; Yea if this very profession, extorted from us by many published accusations and reproaches, after so many years sufferings and silence, shall be made the matter of our farther accusation, reproach or suffering, we appeal to the final judgement of the most righteous God which we are near; and leave this for the information of posteri­ty and forreigners when we are dead. We know no man that can write so as that no word might not be wiselier or better said, or with which malice cannot pick a quarrel. If this be yet our lot, we must bear it.

We add this caution, That though ex super abundanti we that concur in the foregoing Profession, do to stop the mouth of calumnie, mention our consent to all that General Councils, the Confessions of the Churches, the writings of Philosophers, Politicians, Lawyers and Divines do say for the Power of Kings and the obedience of sub­jects, we do think it unreasonable and dangerous, that such redundancies should be commonly imposed on others, as a test of their fidelity.

The Conformity of our Doctrine of obedience to the Constitu­tion of this Kingdom, the Doctrine and Canons of the Church, and the judgement of the most Learned and Loyal Prelates.

§. 1. IF I own that political doctrine which is justi­fied by these three: I. The constitution of this Monarchy, II. The Articles of Religion and Canons of the Church, III. And the judgment of those Prelates who have been accounted the most Loyal and Learned of their order, and the most hot and strong defenders of it, I suppose such doctrine will be vindicated from the charge of Noncon­formity.

§. 2. But I find that the first is a point not agreed on by all, viz. what the constitution of the Kingdom is; while Parliaments have claimed that as their Power and priviledge which the King hath denyed to be theirs; and the King hath claimed that as his power and preroga­tive which Parliaments have denyed to be such. Therefore I (that am very unfit to judge between them) must take up with that which is on both hands agreed on. And that I will take only as in the Kings own words, in his answers to the Parliament 1641 in several of his De­clarations.

§. 3. In his Majesties answer to the 19. Propositions he thus describeth the Constitution.

‘There being three kinds of Government amongst men, Absolute Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy, and [Page 82] all these having their particular conveniencies, and in­conveniencies; the experience and wisdom of your an­cestors hath so molded this out of a Mixture of these, as to give to this Kingdom (as far as humane prudence can provide) the conveniencies of all three without the in­conveniencies of any one, as long as the ballance hangs even between the three Estates, and they run joyntly on in their proper Channel (begetting Verdure and fertility in the meadows on both sides) and the over [...]lowing of either on either side raise no deluge or inundation. The ill of Absolute Monarchy is Tyranny: The ill of Aristo­cracy is faction and division: The ills of Democracy are tumults, violence and licentiousness. The good of Monarchy is the Uniting of a Nation under one head to resist invasion from abroad, and insurrection at home: The good of Aristocracy is the conjunction of Council of the ablest persons of a State for the publick benefit. The good of Democracy is Liberty, and the Courage and Industry which Liberty begets.’

‘In this Kingdom the Laws are joyntly made by a King, by a house of Peers, and by a house of Commons chosen by the people, all having free Votes and parti­cular priviledges: The Government according to these Laws is trusted to the King; power of Treaties of war and peace; of making Peers, of choosing Officers and Counsellors for State, Judges for Law, Commanders for Forts and Castles, giving Commissions for raising men to make war abroad, or to prevent or provide against invasions or insurrections at home, benefit of confiscati­ons, power of pardoning, and some more of the like kind, are placed in the King: And this kind of regulated Mo­narchy, having this power to preserve that authority, without which it would be disabled to preserve the Laws in their force, and the Subjects in their Liberties and [Page 83] proprieties, is intended to draw to him such a respect and relation from the great ones, as may hinder the ills of division and faction, and such a fear and reverence from the people as may hinder tumults, violence and licentiousness.’

‘Again, that the Prince may not make use of this high and perpetual Power to the hurt of those for WHOSE GOOD HE HATH IT, and make use of the name of Publick necessity for the gain of his Private favo­rites and followers to the detriment of his people, the house of Commons (an excellent conserver of Liberty, but never intended for any share in Government, or the choosing of them that should govern) is solely intrust­ed with the first Propositions concerning the Levies of moneys (which is the sinews as well of peace as war) and the impeaching of those who for their own ends though countenanced by any SURREPTITIOUS­LY GOTTEN COMMAND of the KING, have violated the Law which HE IS BOUND (when he knows it) to protect, and to the protection of which they were bound to advise him; at least not to serve him in the contrary.’

‘And the Lords being trusted with a Judicatory pow­er are an excellent Skreen and bank between the Prince and people, to assist each against any incroachments of the other, and by just judgments to preserve that Law, which ought to be the Rule of every one of the three.’

‘For the better enabling them in this, beyond the examples of any of our ancestors, we were willingly contented to oblige our self, both to call a Parliament every three years, and not to dissolve it in fifty daies.]’

‘We told you in our first Declaration printed by the advice of our Privy Council, that for differences among [Page 84] our selves for matters indifferent in their own nature concerning religion, we should in tenderness to any number of our loving Subjects, very willingly com­ply with the advice of our Parliament, that some Law might be made for the exemption of tender Consciences from punishment or prosecution for such ceremonies, and in such cases which by the judgment of most men are held to be matters indifferent, and of some to be abso­lutely unlawfull. Provided that this case shall be attempted and pursued with that modesty, temper and submission, that in the mean time, the peace and quiet of the Kingdom be not disturbed, the decency and come­liness of Gods service discountenanced, nor the pious, sober, devout actions of those reverend persons who were the first Labourers in the blessed reformation of that time, be scandalized and defamed]. And because his Maje­sty observeth great and different troubles to arise in the hearts of his people concerning the Government and Liturgy of the Church, His Majesty is willing to declare that he will refer the whole consideration to the wisdom of his Parliament.]’ See the rest in the Decla­ration.

§. 4. In his Declaration of Jun. 3. 1642. ‘[For the Law, it being the Common inheritance of our peo­ple, we shall never enforce any prerogative of ours be­yond it; but submit our selves to it; and give you and all our Subjects the fullest latitude of it, both for the liberty of your persons, and the propriety of your estates. And for an inviolable confidence and assurance hereof, as we take God the searcher of all hearts to witness our real inten­tion herein, so we shall no longer, desire you to stand for the defence of our person, honour, and just prerogatives, than we s [...]all maintain the Laws of the land, the liber­ty of your persons, and the propriety of your goods.’

[Page 85] §. 5. In his Declaration of Jun. 13. 1642. to the Lords ‘[We do declare that we will not require nor expect any obedience from you, but what shall be warranted by the known Laws of the land: as we do expect that you shall not yield to any commands, NOT LEGALLY GROUNDED, or imposed by any other. We will defend the true Protestant Religion e­stablished by the Law of the Land; the lawful liberties of the Subjects of England, and just priviledges of all the three Estates of Parliament; and shall require no further obedience from you than as accordingly we shall perform the same.’

§. 6. Aug. 12. 1642. Declaration ‘[The High Com­mission Court had proceeded with too much strictness in many cases; where the tender Consciences of ma­ny of our weak Subjects were concerned; and had so far outgrown the power of the Law, that it would not be limited and guided by it, but censured, fined and impri­soned our people, for matters not punishable by the Law.’

§. 7. In this great and full Declaration Aug. 12. 1642. ‘[What our opinion and resolution is concerning Parlia­ments, we have fully expressed in our Declarations: We have said and will still say, They are so ESSEN­TIAL A PART OF THE CONSTITUTI­ON of this Kingdom, that we can attain to no happiness without them, nor will we ever make the least attempt (in our own thought) against them. We well know that OUR SELF and our two Houses make up the Par­liament, and that we are like Hippocrates Twins, we must laugh and cry, live and die together; That no man can be a friend to one and an enemy to the other].’

§. 8. The Kings Protestation Sept. 19. 1642. be­tween Stafford and Wellington. ‘[I do promise in the pre­sence of Almighty God, and as I hope for his blessing and [Page 86] protection, that I will to the utmost of my power de­fend and maintain the true Reformed Protestant Religion established in the Church of England, and by the grace of God in the same will live and die.’

‘I desire to Govern by the known Laws of the land, and that the Liberty and Property of the Subject may be by them preserved, with the same care as my own just rights: And if it please God by his blessing upon this Army raised for my necessary defence, to preserve me from this rebellion, I do solemnly and faithfully promise in the sight of God to maintain the just priviledges and freedom of Parliament, and to govern by the known Laws of the land to my utmost power; and particular­ly to observe inviolably the Laws consented to by me this Parliament.]’

§. 9. How far our present King hath declared himself for the same principles, it is needless to recite, while his frequent Professions of them, and his Declarations for just Liberty of Conscience, and his Gracious Declara­tion about Ecclesiastical Affairs, and his professed resolu­tion to draw the Bishops to meet us and make necessa­ry abatements for concord, &c. are in our remembrance or before our eyes.

And we disclaim their censures, who say All this was done but for a time to draw us into what hath followed: And when others say, It was by a—Parliament that it was frustrated, and that all was long of the Bishops and Clergy whose Reverence prevailed with them to do all against us which they did, though we cannot confute them, we leave all to the approaching judgment of the all-knowing God.

§. 10. II. The Article of Religion for the power of Kings and obedience of Subjects we need not transcribe, [Page 87] but do consent to it: so do we to the Canons which re­quire the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacie, and answerable obedience, and to all the Homilies against Rebellion and for obedience, and all that ever we found to be for this the publick doctrine of the Church.

§. 11. III. The judgment of Bishop Jewel, Bishop Bilson, Mr. Richard Hooker I have elsewhere cited, and confuted some of Mr. Hookers mistakes, who putteth the peoples power to give Authority, instead of their power to choose the family or person that shall receive it im­mediately from the Law of God.

The words of Barclay and Grotius the two most eminent defenders of Monarchy (as I said before) I will not recite in their words (how far and when Kings may be resisted, specially by those that have part in the Legislative pow­er which is part in the supremacy) lest I be mistaken as approving all that they say: It may be seen at large in Grot. de Jure Belli & Pacis li. 1. c. 4. pag. 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91. And de Imperio sum. Potest. cap. 1. pag. 7, 8. much less will I cite the common writers of Politicks, who are more for popular power a great deal than I am (of which after).

§. 12. At this time I will take up with the words of Bishop Jer. Taylor, in his notable Ductor Dubitantium about both Civil and Church Power, because he is a very ingenious writer, and of great authority even with those of the Clergy who follow Archbishop Laud, whom Ab­bots followers accused.

§. 13. Lib. 3. c. 3. p. 130. Rul. 1. ‘That in every Commonwealth there is a supream power, is without all question—It matters not whether this supream pow­er be subjected in one or many, that's as to the Good­ness or badness—not the absoluteness of it.—He that hath the supream power is only under God—sup­pose a King that hath Power of the Militi, and his [Page 88] Senate of making Laws, and his people by their Com­mittees of raising money, This power of making war, and Laws and Levies is the supream Power, and is that which can do all things: And though one be accoun­table for monies, and the other subject to Laws, and two of them under the power of the Sword, yet this is but the Majesty or supremacy parted, and whether well or ill I dispute not, but when it is parted and when it is united, it is all.—’

P. 133. But then it must be considered that the abso­lute power of the Prince, is but an absolute power of Government, not of Possession. It is a power of do­ing right; but not a power of doing wrong; And at the worst, it is but the power of doing private violences for the security of the publick. He is Princeps Regni, but not Dominus; a Prince, not a Lord; and the di­stinction is very material. For to be Lord signifieth more than the supream power of Government; It means an Ab­solute power to dispose of all lives and all possessions; which is beyond the power of the King or Prince: He that is a King, rules over a free people, but a Lord rules over Slaves, Tacitus, according to the popular humour of the Romans, supposed the power of a King to be too great a Violation of Liberty: but Domination was in­tolerable —The supream power of Government is at no hand a supream power or an arbitrary disposer of life and fortunes; but according to Law, or according to extream necessity which is the greatest Law of all. In the sense of Honour and moderate power the King is a Lord: but not in this sense of law: By a Lord is meant He that hath power to dispose of the goods of the Vassals, but that a King or Prince hath not. This is not the supream power of Government: A King is not the Lord of his Kingdom; of the Territories of his Subjects.—’

[Page 89] P. 134. The supreme Power must defend every mans right, but must usurp no mans—A King is to Go­vern all things; but to possess nothing but what is his own. Only of the necessity, if the question be Who shall be judge; it is certain that it ought to be so noto­rious that every man might judge—if ever there be a dispute who shall be judge of the necessity, it is certain the necessity is not extreme.—p. 137. The plenitude of power of all things ought the least to be feared, because it never is to be used but for the great­est good—p. 142. All that he hath been pleased to pro­mise, the forms and Laws of Government, and to what­soever himself hath consented, by all those Laws he is bound—when he hath bound himself, there is the same necessity upon him as on his Subjects.—’

P. 144. The custome of supreme Princes swearing to govern by Laws was very ancient—And indeed abstract­ing from the Oath and promise, Kings are bound by natural justice and equity to do so: For they are not Kings unless they govern; and they cannot expect obe­dience unless they tell the mesaures by which they will be obeyed; and these measures cannot be any thing but Laws;—Now this is the natural way of all good government. There is no other: And to govern other­wise is as unnatural as to give children meat at their ears, and hold looking-glasses at their elbows that they may see their faces. If Kings be not bound to govern their people by their Laws, why are they made? by what else can they be governed? By the will of the Prince?—The Laws are so: Only he hath declared his will and made it regular and certain, and such as wise men can walk by, that the Prince may not Govern as fools Govern.]’

[Page 90] Of Church Government and Ceremonies and Subscriptions, the same Author, ibid.

‘§. 14. Lib. 3. c. 4. p. 217. [The use of the Keys dif­fereth from proper jurisdiction in this great thing, that if the Keys be rightly used, they do bind or loose respectively; but if they err they do nothing on the subject; they neither bind nor loose. In proper juris­diction it is otherwise: for right or wrong if a man be condemned he shall die for it; and if he be hanged he is hanged: But the Church gives nothing but the sen­tence of God, and tells upon what terms God will or will not pardon. If the Priest minister rightly, and judge according to the will and Laws of God, the sub­ject shall find that sentence made good in heaven by the real events of the other world:—But if the priest be deceived, he is deceived for himself and no body else—He alters nothing of the state of the Soul by his quick absolution or unreasonable bind­ing. The power of remitting sins given to the Church is nothing but an authority to minister that pardon which God gives by Jesus Christ—Ecclesiastical authority is a power of Jurisdiction, just as Excommuni­cation is a Sword. But so is the word of God sharper than a two-edged sword, and so is a severe reproof— But how little there is of proper jurisdiction in excom­munication we can demonstrate but by too good an argument (citing many instances of its uneffectualness) —Only the obstinate and incorrigible are to be proceeded against by that extreme remedy: And to them who need that extreme it is no remedy: for they that need it care not for it, and what compulsion then [Page 91] can this be?—It must work only by opinion, and can af­fright them only who are taught to be afraid of it. It can only do effort on them who are willing to be good in the way of the Church; for it is a spiritual punishment, and operates only on the spirit, that is, on the will and under­standing which can have no coercion—] That which Ecclesiasticks can do, is a suspension of their own act; not any power over the actions of other men: and therefore is but an use of their own liberty, not an exercise of jurisdiction. He doth the same thing in Sa­craments which he doth in preaching: In both he de­clares the guilty person to be out of the way to hea­ven, to be obnoxious to the Divine anger, to be a debtor of repentance; and refusing to baptize an ill Catechumen, or to Communicate an ill living Christi­an, does but say the same thing. He speaks in one by signs, and in the other he signifies by words.— The other effects are the caution and duty of the Church to abstain from the society of the Criminal.’

‘§. 15. Rule 2. p. 220. &c. The Church hath power to make Laws &c. By the Church I must first mean the Church Catholick, or all the Governours of the Christi­an assemblies in the world—But because all did never meet since the Apostles days, who being few and united and absolute and supreme could then do what ne­ver could be done since, it is necessary that the Legislation be subjected in some more particular subject, and there­fore I shall instance in the least. By the Church I mean eve­ry particular Church joyned to the Head of Union; and by the particular Church I mean the Angel of that Church the Bp.—A Diocess is the least circuit of Go­vernment, but it is an intire body subject to distinct com­mands— whether the Diocess be little or great, allowed or disallowed, in City or Countrey, divided into Parishes or not divided, under Metropolitans or not under, of ma­ny [Page 92] Churches or but of one, it matters not: where there is a Bishop and a Congregation, there is a Diocess —As for Parishes in the late sense of the word, that is, the charge of a single Presbyter, it is no bo­dy politick of Apostolical or Divine appointment. For the Presbyters were called in part in solicitudinis into the help of the Ministry, but they had NO CURE OF SOULS save only by delegation and special temporary appointment for some whole ages in the Church. And therefore the Govern­ing and Commanding authority cannot be extended to Parishes and their Curats, which are of late date1. Note that elsewhere he saith, A man cannot be answerable for the souls that he cannot know. 2. Note that he maketh a Bishop essential to a Church (in the proper political sense) And so our Parishes are all unchurch­ed by the Bishops way. 3. One Congregation with a Bishop is a Diocesane Church. 4. Parish Curats have no Government. 5. All this fully proveth that Diocesses in those ages that he speaks of were no bigger than one man could govern, that is, than our Parishes. 6. Quer. By what right were the changes in specie made.] p. 222. If we go higher (than a Bishop) we can never come to a society of Apostolical or Di­vine institution in the Church, be­cause between the whole Catho­lick Church either in diffusion or representation, and a single Dio­cess, all the intermedial unions, as of Metropolitans, Primates, Pa­triarchs, Councils Provincial or OECUMENICAL are by consent and positive and humane institution, but they directly esta­blish no Divine Government: This only is properly such—A Bishop and his charge more or less is an intire society or Common-wealth, that is, an intire Government, and Pre­late and people make the parts of the integral constitutionThis with Dr. Hammonds denying that there were any subject Presbyters in Scripture times, make up pure Independency..’ (What Laws he meaneth see him after.)

‘§. 16. But this (Commanding power) is not to be ex­tended [Page 93] to such Decencies as are only Ornament, but is to be limited to such as only rescue from Confusion: The reason is, because the Prelates and spiritual Guides cannot do their duty, unless things be so orderly that there be no confusion, much less can they do it with joy: and so far their power does extend.—But if it can go beyond this limit, then it can have no natural limit; but may extend to sump­tuousness,☜ to Ornaments of Churches, to rich utensils to splendour, to Majesty—But because this is too subject to abuse, and gives a secular power into the hands of Bishops, and an authority over mens for­tunes and estates, and is not necessary for souls, and no part of the spiritual government, it is more than Christ gave to his Ministers.’

‘§. 17. This is to be added, that because this power is—such—it is only left to the people to do it or not, under the pain of sin, but they are not to incur spiritual censures upon the stock of non complyance in things not simply necessary or of essential duty.Nonconformity.

‘§. 18. P. 233. Beyond this, the Bishops can direct­ly give no Laws that properly and immediately bind the transgressours under sin: my Reasons are, 1. Be­cause we never find the Apostles using their Coercion on any man but the express breakers of a Divine com­mandment, or the publick disturbers of the peace of the Church, and the established necessary order. 2. Be­cause even in those things which were so convenient that they had a power to make injunctions, yet the Apo­stles were very backward to use their authority of commanding, much less severity, but intreating. 3. In things where God had interposed no command, though the rule they gave contained in it that which [Page 94] was fit and decent, yet if men would resist, they gently admonisht or reproved them, and let them alone. 4. If the Bishops power were extended further, it might extend to Tyranny, and there could be no limits beyond this pre­scribed to keep him within the measures of sweetness of the Government Evangelical—yet the power of spiritual Rulers may extend further by fame, consent, reputati­on, opinion of his wisdom, voluntary submission, avoiding scandal.’

‘§. 19. P. 258. [It is certainly unlawful to excom­municate any man for not paying the fees of Courts: For contumacy there is an offence against the Civil power, and he hath a sword of his own to avenge that. But excommunication is a sword to avenge the contumacy of them who stubbornly offend against the discipline of the Church in that wherein Christ hath given her authority; and that is in the matters of Sal­vation and damnation immediate; in such things where there is no secular interest; where there can be no dis­pute; where the offender doth not sin by consequence and interpretation, but directly and without excuse.’

‘§. 20. I add one thing of great use and consi­deration, and that is, That when a Law is made that whoever shall commit such a fact shall be ipso facto excommunicate, it must never be understood of the Greater and proper excommunication: for if it be, it is unlawful, and it is ridiculous: for the abscission from the Church is not to be used but after all other remedies; when the Crime is delated and notorious, and when he hath been admonished and reproved and cal­led to repentance, if after all he refuseth and rebels, then he is to be cut off, else not: And therefore no man is cut off ipso facto—If it be enquired whether all such sentences in Law which declare a man in certain [Page 95] cases ipso facto excommunicate, be unlawful, the Arch-Bishop of Spalato (Lib. 5. de Rep. Eccles. c. 9. n. 23, 24.) who is fierce against them,Honest Dr. you made not our Canons which ipso facto excommunicate the professed Nonconfor­mists: Yet I will venture to give one exception: viz. He that openly and deliberately renounceth God or Christ or any essential part of his Bap­tismal Covenant, or Chri­stianity, thereby ipso facto cuts off himself; And therefore the Law may justly say that he is ipso facto excommunicate, and declare him so. Doubt­less our Canon meaneth the proper excommuni­cation, when it addeth, let him not be restored but by the Archbishop, and till he publickly repent & renounce his wicked er­ror. answers affirmatively and confidently, and disputes well against them.’

‘§. 20. Pag. 262. The Church intends not to forbid any such entercourse or Communion to which we stand preobliged by the Law of Nature or any Law of God—Even the King cannot command a wife not to pay her duty to her husband, nor a child to his mother: To these they are bound by God though they die for it.So a Minister to his office. When (an action of) piety is necessary, and not under choice and Counsel, but under a commandment, the King and the Bishop singly or conjunctly have no power to for­bid it. p. 264. In this there is no other Rule of Conscience, but that we first attend to the Laws of God concerning our other duties, and then to the Laws of the King in this.’

‘§. 21. p. 275. The Lent fast is not a Tradition or Canon Apostolical, proved at large and unanswerably, to pag. 285. and again after.’

‘§. 22. P. 285. The Authority of a General Council in matters of Government and Discipline, is no greater, no more obligatory, than the authority of a provin­cial Council to those that are under it.—It is [Page 96] an Union of Government; a consent of Princes and Bishops—the consent of opinions adds moment to the Laws; Those Princes which are there, and Bi­shops which consent are bound by their own act,— till reason alters—but the Prince can as much alter that Law when the case alters—as he can abrogate any other. But those Princes who were not there, whatever the cause of their absence be, are not obliged by that General Council; and that Coun­cil can have no authority but what is given them by consent; And therefore they who have not consented are free as ever.’

‘I mention this that those religious and well meaning persons who are concluded by the Canon of an ancient Council, and think that whatever was there command­ed it layeth some obligation on the Consciences of us at this day, and by this means enter into infinite scru­ples, and a restless unsatisfied condition, may consi­der that the ancient Doctors of the Church had no juris­diction over us who were born so many ages after them—Interests and manners are infinitely al­tered since that time—Their authority could not be longer than their lives; It's certainly not grea­ter than that of Kings, which must die with their per­sons, that their successors may be Kings as well as they and not subjects of the dead—If the thing be good we may use it—and we may choose —That the fathers met at Liodicei, Antioch, Nice, &c. 1000, 1100 or 1300 years ago, should have authority over us in England so many ages after, is so infinitely unreasonable, that none but the fearful and unbelievers, the scrupulous and those which are [...] of a slavish nature, and are in bondage by their fear, and know not how to stand in that liberty [Page 97] by which Christ hath made them free, will account themselves in subjection to them. The Canon for being in the old Codes of the Church, binds us no more than the Laws of Constantine.

‘§. 23. P. 290. [An Ecclesiastical custome must be reasonable or useful, or it cannot oblige the Consci­ence, except to avoid scandal (for that is in all things carefully to be observed, right or wrong, so it be not sin) for no man is bound to be a fool, or to do a fool­ish action. Now a Custome in the Canon Law is con­cluded to be reasonable, if it tend to the good of the soul.’

‘§. 24. P. 301. &c. [Ecclesiastical Laws must be imposed so as to leave our liberty unharmed; that is, that the Law be not Universal; not with an intent to oblige all Christendom; except they will be obliged, that is, consent.—The Catholick Church ne­ver met since the Apostles days in any Assembly to make a Law that shall bind all Christians whether they consent or no: And because one Church hath not by any word of Christ's, authority over another Church, and one King is not superior to another King— therefore no Ecclesiastical Law can be made with a power of passing necessary obligation on all Christians: —When Christ had made us free from the Law of ceremonies which God appointed—it would be in­tolerable that the Churches should submit themselves to a Yoke of ordinances, which men should make.—’

‘§. 25. P. 303. [Ecclesiastical Laws are made relative to time and place, to persons and occasions, subject to all changes, fitted for use and the advantage of the Churches, ministring to edification, and complying with Charity: Whatsoever Ecclesiastical Law hath not [Page 98] these conditions, the Churches ought not to receive, because they are impediments, not advantages to the service of God: If they be thus qualified, no good man will refuse them: If they be not, they are the Laws of Tyrants, not of spiritual Fathers.—1. Whatever had its foundation in the opinion of men, and not somewhat certainly derived from God, if brought into Religion, &c. 2. If what is deduced only by probable interpre­tation be obtruded as matter of faith, 3. If what is piously counselled be turned into a perpetual and abso­lute Law, 4. If that which was left to the choice and conduct of the Governors, be handled not as matter of Liberty, but of necessity; in all these cases the command­ments of men are taught for doctrines. P. 305. Under this they are involved who persecute for opinions and doubtful disputations. And They are guilty of the 4th. kind who persecute the breakers of an Ecclesiastical Law with a severity greater than the Violators of a Divine Commandment.—For they that do such things must needs at least say that such humane injun­ctions are as necessary as the Divine commandments: for else why are they more severely punished? Not only they that expressly teach that what they have invented is a commandment of God—but all they that—press indifferent things up to the height and necessity of Religion and a Divine commandment, are guilty of this Phariseisme,—and bind themselves but not the Consciences of their subjects—An Ec­clesiastical Law which doth in any degree break this Law of our Saviour (Teaching for doctrines the commands of men) is therefore void and become intolerable— As the Roman Law of keeping LentBellarmine prevaricateth one of the most glorious propositions of [Page 99] Christianity, placing the Kingdom of God in meat and drink, not in righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.—’

‘If a Law were made that every man at a certain time of the year use a certain discipline to mortifie his lust, it were a foolish Law.’

‘§. 26. p. 310. Laws of burden are always against Charity.—’

P. 312. If there be a just cause to omit the observa­tion, the omission is not disobedience.—’

‘Rule 18. p. 313. Ecclesiastical Laws of Ceremonies and Circumstances do not bind the Conscience beyond the case of contempt and scandal—P. 314. Nothing can be religion but that service which God hath chosen of himself, &c. Ceremonies oblige no longer than they minister to the end of their designa­tion. P. 315. The Canons of the Church oblige on­ly for their Reason and Religion, for Edification and for Charity, when the thing is useful to others, or good in it self: But the Authority it self being wholly a Ministry for these purposes, is a Ministry of Religion, but hath in it nothing of Empire, and therefore doth not oblige for it self or by it self, but for the doing good and avoiding evil.’

‘§. 27. Ecclesiastical Laws must be charitable and easie, and when they are not, they oblige not. P. 316. When the Ecclesiastical Law is indicted by the spiritual power, the Civil power only consenting and establishing the Canon, that Corroboration adds no other band to the Ca­non, than that it be obeyed according to the intention of the spiritual power; only so it becomes a Law in­deed; but it is a Law only as the Church can intend a Law, or desire it to be imposed; that is, what the Church might reasonably perswade, and fitly enjoyn, so much [Page 100] and no more, in that manner and no other, the Civil power doth corroborate it—It must be such as is fit to be perswaded: such which men can be WIL­LING to, and easie under, and of which they shall have no cause to complain: For the Church in these things hath no Power but to exhort and perswade, and therefore can enjoyn nothing, but what can be reason­ably perswaded; she must not by the aid of the tempo­ral power enjoyn those things which are cruel and vexa­tious, and such to which no argument but FEAR can make the subject willingThe summ is, The Church govern­eth only Volunteers by consent procured by Reason and Love.— When she makes judgments, she med­dles not with blood—and when she is admitted to a Legislative, she en­joyns an easie and gentle yoke, And when she does not, the Subject is con­cerned to avoid the temporal evil threatened by the Civil power, but not to give obedience to the intolerable Law of the Church as in that capacity. For unless the Law of the Church be such that good men may willing­ly obey it, it cannot be injoyned by the Church; and the Church ought not to desire the Civil power to do it for her. For since she hath no power to command in such things where the Divine authority doth not intervene, all the rest is but PERSWASION; and he that hath power ONLY TO PERSWADE cannot be supposed to perswade against our wills: and therefore matters of intolerable burden are not the matter of Ecclesiastical Laws, because they are certain­ly against the will of all men, who can serve God and go to heaven without them.’

‘§. 28. Rule 20. p. 323. Ecclesiastical Laws must ever promote the service of God and the good of souls, but must never put a Snare or Stumbling-block to Consci­ences [Page 101] —The authority which the Lord hath given is for edification and not for destruction, 2 Cor. 10. 8. and 13. 10. And this is not only so to be under­stood, that if the Church makes Laws which are not for edification, she does amiss; but that she OBLI­GETH NOT, HER LAWS ARE NULL, and do not bind in Conscience—When the Church does any thing beyond her Commission, she does no way oblige in Conscience, neither actively nor passively— All this is greatly to be observed in all cases of Consci­ence about Ecclesiastical Laws. If we can understand where the spiritual power can command, and where she can exhort and ought to prevail, we have found out all the measures of our obedience: But if she goes beyond her Commission, she hurts none but her self: for she hath nothing to do with our bodies, and our souls are in safe hands. And the case is much alike if the spiri­tual Law be bound by the Civil power: For the King when he makes Laws of Religion, is tyed up to the E­vangelical measures; and if he prevaritates, he does indeed tye us to a passive obedience, but the Conscience is no otherwise bound: and he is to govern Christs Church by the same measures with which the Apostles did, and the Bishops their successors did and ought to do before the Civil power was Christian: For he hath no more power over Consciences than they had, and ought not by the afflictions of the body to invade the soul. But if he does, [...], he hath only power over bodies, but no authority over the Conscience.]’

‘§. 29. P. 325. I instance in the institution of signi­ficant Ceremonies, that is, such which are not matters of order and decency, but meerly for signification and the representment of some truth or mystery— [Page 102] (as pictures in the Greek and Lutheran Churches)— Because these can and do often degenerate into abuse and invade religion, to make a Law of these is not safe; and when that Law does prevail to any evil that is not easily by other means cured, it does not pre­vail upon the Conscience: And indeed to make a Law for the use of them, is not directly within the Commission of the Ecclesiastical power.]

‘But there is more in it than thus. For though signi­ficant Ceremonies can be for edification to the Church in some degree, and in some persons, yet it's to be consi­dered whether the introducing of such things doth not DESTROY THE CHURCH, not only in her Christian Liberty, but in the simplicity and puri­ty and spirituality of her religion, by insensible chang­ing it into a Ceremonial and external service. To the Ceremonial Law of the Jews, nothing was to be ad­ded. —And in Christianity we have less reason to add any thing of Ceremony, except the circumstances and advantages of the very Ministry, as time and place, and Vessels and Ornaments and necessary appendages. When we speak of Rituals or Ceremonies, that is, exterior actions or things besides the institutions and commands of Christ, either we intend them as part of the Divine service, and then they are unlawful and intolerable; or if only for signification, that is so little a thing, and of so inconsiderable use in the fulness and clarity of the revelation Evangelical, that besides that it keeps Christians still in the state of infancies and minority, —it ought not to stand against any danger or offence that can by them be brought to ANY WISE and GOOD CHRISTIANS.’

‘In some ages—and Churchs they gave persons to be baptized, milk and hony, to signifie, &c. As this [Page 103] was not usual to give Hieroglyphicks where they had plain precepts—it was of so very little use, that all Churches that I know of have laid it aside—And indeed if the Church might add things or rituals of signification, then the walls might be covered with the figures of Doves, Lambs, Serpents, Birds, and the Communion Table with Bread, Wine, Herbs, Tapers, Pigeons, Hony, milk or whatever the wit of man—might invent.’

‘To prepare the figure of the Crucifix and to buy an Image to describe the Sacrifice of the Cross— are things to no purpose, not only for the levity and theatrical gaieties and representments unbefitting the gravity and purity and spirituality of the Christian reli­gion, but also the manner of teaching these truths by symbolical things and actions, is too low, too suspicious, too dangerous to be mingled with the Divine Liturgies —A Symbolical rite of humane invention to sig­nifie what it does not effect, and then introduced into the solemn worship of God, is so like those vains imaginations and representments forbidden in the second Commandment, that the very suspicion is more against edification, than their use can pretend to.—’

‘§. 30. p. 353. Nothing can oblige to a Divine faith but Divine authority, to which Councils can no more pretend for being General, than for being Provincial, and to which great Assemblies have no other title or pre­tence of promise than the private Congregations of the faithful, who though but two or three, shall be assisted by the Divine presence. But General Councils are so whol­ly of humane institution, that though by the dictate of right reason and natural wisdom they are to be convened, [Page 104] That is, such as are called General, as many as can well meet. yet to make them a formal Judicatory, and to give them a Legislative power or a dominion and Magistracy in faith, there are so many conditions required both to their indiction and convention, to their constitution and integity, to their conduct and proceeding, to their conclusion and determination, that men are not to this day agreed about any one of them; and therefore they cannot be a legal Judicatory oblig­ing any but them that do consent, and so oblige them­selves.’

‘§. 31. P. 356. &c. Rule 23. Subscription to Articles and forms of Confession in any particular Church, is wholly of Political consideration.—Subscription ought to be so intended, that he who hath subscribed may not perceive himself taken in a snare: but yet he that subscribes must do it to those purposes, and in that sence and signification of things, which the supreme power intends in commanding it; that is, at least, that he that subscribes do actually approve the Articles over­written: that he does at that time believe them to be such as it's said they are; i. e. true, if they only say they are true; useful, if they pretend to usefulness; necessary, if it be af­firmed that they are necessary. For if the subscriber be­lieves not this, he by hypocrisie serves the ends of pub­lick peace and his own preferment.’

‘When Articles are established without necessity, subscription must be required without Tyranny and imperiousness. That is, it must be left to the liberty of the subject to profess or not profess that doctrine— To bring evil on men that do not believe the Article and dare not profess to believe what they do not, is injustice and oppression; it is a law of iniquity, and therefore it is not obligatory to Conscience, and no humane au­thority [Page 105] is sufficient for the Sanction and imposi­tion.—’

Quest. Can it be lawful for any man to subscribe what he does not believe to be true, giving his hand to pub­lick peace, and keeping his Conscience for God?’

Answ. No, if subscription signifie approbation; for in that case it is hypocrisie, &c. But if subscription were no more than the office of a Clerk of the Sig [...]e or Coun­cil, who in form of Law is to sign all the Acts of the Council, it were different, For it is not as an account of his own opinion, but as a formality of the Court: all the world looks on it as none of his personal Act—▪ But in subscription to Articles of Confession every Eccle­siastick that subscribes, does it for himself— [...]u­bens & ex animo subscripsi, is our form in the Church of England—If the intention of our Superior be to require our Assent—he that subscribes does pro­fess his assent; and whatever he thinks himself, it is the intention of the Imposer that qualifieth the sub­scription. —No particular Church ought with rigour to require subscriptions to Articles not evidently true, and necessary to be professed: because in the di­vision of hearts that is in the world, it is certain that some good men may dissent, and then either they shall be afflicted or tempted to hypocrisie: of either of which if Ecclesiastick Laws be guilty, they are not for edification, they are neither just nor pious; and therefore oblige not.]’

‘§. 32. P. 358, 359. At least let the Articles be made with as great latitude of sence as they can, and so that subscriptions be made to the form of words, let the subscribers understand them in what sence they please, which the truth of God will suffer and the words can be capable of. This is the last remedy; but it is the worst: It hath in it something of Craft, but [Page 106] very little of ingenuity; and if it can serve the ends of peace, or of external Charity, or of Phantastick concord, yet it cannot serve the ends of truth and holiness, and Christian simplicity.’

LEt it be noted that yet this Doctor largely pleadeth for the Lawfulness of Lying, when it is not injurious but profitable: And if such a man condemn the hypo­crisie of such subscriptions, who can justifie them? when that medium of Lawful profitable Lying seemeth the like­liest to do it in the world.

Note also that I profess not Assent to every word in the foregoing Citations; But how far they justifie me and such others, I leave the Reader to judge, desiring him to read all fullyer in the book, lest he think I wrong the sence by my omitting any thing, which lest I be te­dious I am forced to pass by.


The Political Alphabet of The sicenre Chri­stian Loyallist.
  • 1. GOD is the most pow­erful, wise and loving Universal Ruler of the world, by Laws and judgment.
  • 2. He hath authori­zed no Universal hu­mane Governour under him on earth, for Laws or Judgment.
  • 3. By his Law of Na­ture and Scripture he obligeth man to live in humane policies, or Governed order.
  • 4. All true Govern­ing Right and obligati­on, is from him as uni­versal absolute Su­preme; resulting im­mediately from his Commission in Nature or Scripture; and Ru­lers are his officers.
  • 5. They have no Power or right against him or any of his Laws.
  • 6. The common Good being the essen­tial end of Govern­ment, [Page 108] no Ruler hath power to destroy it.
  • 7. All humane pow­er is limited by Gods Laws, and by their own fundamental con­tracts; and by the peoples natural interest and propriety.
  • 8. Monarchy, Ari­stocracy, Democracy and mixt government are all lawful species.
  • 9. What shall be the species or who the per­son (or family) that shall rule is not of Na­tural or Scripture de­termination, but by Providence preparato­rily, and consent or contract obligingly.
  • 10. Meer conquest without consent is no just title.
  • 11. The chief work of Rulers is to promote the keeping of Gods Laws, and the ever­lasting good of men, and the temporal good in order thereunto.
  • 12. Sub-Legislation, judgment and exe­cution by force, are their governing acts.
  • 13. The supreme Power in these, is the giver of power to in­ferior Rulers; and hath no superior Ruler but God.
  • 14. No power can disoblige us from any act of piety and Chari­ty, for our souls, bo­dies, or neighbours, specially for the com­mon good, which the Law of God in Nature bindeth us to do.
  • 15. All Subjects must [Page 109] submit their private interest to the publick good.
  • 16. We must suffer any private personal wrong rather than do any thing by resistance or dishonouring, which may disable Rulers to preserve the common good.
  • 17. We must obey for conscience sake; knowing that rebellion, yea & disobeying law­ful commands, is sin a­gainst God.
  • 18. It is the best Government, 1. which most preferreth Gods Law, 2. and the spiri­tual good, 3. and the common good of all, 4. and best discerneth good men from bad, 5. when Love is the predominant and fear subservient.
  • 19. Division of Prince and people is Ruine; Union is ver­tue, strength, pleasure and glory.
  • 20. Love and twisted interest are the uni­ting bonds. And a mi­staken interest, of car­nal self, contrary to God and the common good, producing suspi­cious distrust, fear, hared and mutual opposition, are the dis­solving maladies.
  • 21. It is not enough not to rebell or disho­nour Kings, but we must Love, honour, maintain and defend them to our power.
  • As to the question, in what cases is it law­ful [Page 110] for the people to defend themselves. 1. I had rather be employ­ed in telling them when it is unlawful: 2. We are not the Interpre­tres of the Law of the Land: 3. And mankind will be the interpreters of the Law of Nature, whether we will or no [...] and the world is agreed that salus p [...]p [...]li suprema [...] ex est, next to the de­clared will of God: Pre [...]s & [...]cryme are our allowed arms, and we pray for Kings and all in, authority that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and ho­nesty, and shame be to him that desireth more.
The Political Alphabet of The selfish Trea­cherous Royallist.
  • [Page 107]1. GOds authority is to be pre­tended to warrant Ru­lers to rebell against him; and rule as a­bove or without his Laws.
  • 2. Gods Laws are for private souls to study, but not for Prin­ces to regulate their Laws and lives by.
  • 3. Serious Religion is an enemy to Monar­chy, because it sets up Gods Laws above the Kings, and maketh all Subjects the discern­ers of their duty to God and the King, and so every scruple of duty or sin towards God, suspendeth their obedience to the King.
  • 4. Monarchs are ab­solute and unlimited by any Laws of God.
  • 5. None of their own contracts called fundamental Laws bind them.
  • 6. The lives and pos­sessions [Page 108] of all the Sub­jects are absolutely at their will.
  • 7. Monarchy is so of Gods institution that no other form of Go­vernment is lawful.
  • 8. It is the interest of Kings to have all things and persons at their wills: and to take all for enemies that are against their wills.
  • 9. All sorts of sen­sual pleasure, riches and absolute command of all, being the things which nature loveth, these are the interest and ends of Princes.
  • 10. It is the interest and wisdom of a Subject to subserve these ends, that he may have as great a share in them as he can at­tain by pleasing his Prince therein.
  • 11. Every man is born for himself, and his self is more to him than all the world. And he may serve his own interest though it be against the common good or right.
  • 12. The interest and wills of the people are contrary to the interest and will of Ki [...]gs: It is therefore the wisdom of Kings to suppose them his adversaries, and to weaken▪ them and disable them from crossing his will.
  • 13. He that will be next the King in great­ness, must be next him in enmity to the peo­ples wealth, & strength and in disabling them.
  • [Page 109] 14. Re [...]oboams young Counsellors mist it only in advising him openly to declare his purpose, which he should have dissembled and hid.
  • 15. A wise Prince ruleth in the dark, and must not scruple neces­sary lying or perfidious­ness.
  • 16. It is nobler to be Great, than to be Good; wherein the poor may be equal to the Prince: For he that is Great is Good to him­self, which is the only or chief goodness.
  • 17. Fear though it breed enmity, is a better part of Government than Love. Fear is to be caused by deeds, and Love by words.
  • 18. Though it breed fear and hatred to hear a King described, as one that may destroy them all when he will, yet this is necessary, that fear may procure full subjection.
  • 19. Kings should rule the people as slaves, and yet expect that they obey them filially as their fathers.
  • 20. To preach the absolute power of Kings and the absolute obedi­ence of subjects to them, and to such Bishops as he will choose for them, is all the Religion that is safe for a Kingdom.
  • 21. It is the chief point of policy, to hate and suppress all other serious religious persons, that are for an [Page 110] explicite faith, and free religion, and pre­fer God and Heaven and the common Good, before the Kings command and will. For these are ungovernable and his enemies, that set up all these so far above him.
  • 22. Those that be­lieve not another world, and look for no better than Kings can give them, and fear not sin, or God displeasure, but yet for the awing of the people, keep up the easie formalities of re­ligion, are the fittest persons to be the favo­rites, Counsellors and instruments of a Prince, and will be most fully obedient to his will.
The Political Alphabet of The understand­ing real Papist.
  • [Page 107]1. GOd hath made the Pope the Monarch or Governor of all the earth, or at least of all Christians: And all Kings are bound to be his obedient Sub­jects.
  • 2. He hath Tempo­ral Dominion over all, say some; or▪ Tempo­ral in ordine ad spiri­tualia say others, or spi­ritual at least say all.
  • 3. Saith Card. [...] in Bibl. Patr. Our Lord had not been dis­creet if he had not lest one Vicar to be Lord of every humane crea­ture, to pass sentence on them of deposition, damnation or any o­ther.
  • 4. The civil power is but for the body or outward good, and the Church power is for the soul and the life to come.
  • 5. The Church pow­er excelleth the Civil [Page 108] as the soul doth the bo­dy & the Sun the Stars.
  • 6. The true fifth Mo­narchy is Christs Reign over all the earth by his Vicar General the Pope: vid. Campanel. de Reg. Dei.
  • 7. Baptism implicit­ly obligeth us to the Pope.
  • 8. He is no true Christian or member of Christs Church who is not a Subject of the Pope's, though he have other vertues.
  • 9. The Catholick Church and the Roman are all one.
  • 10. Temporal Lords are all bound on pain of excommunication, Deposition and Dam­nation, to extermi­nate all their protestant Subjects, if they can. [...]. 4. yea all that will not renounce their senses in the belief of Transubstantiation.
  • 11. All Princes and Christians are bound to obey the Laws of Gene­ral Councils, at least such as the Pope ap­proveth, though Sub­jects of other Princes.
  • 12. The Pope hath the right of calling those Councils, and presiding in them, and appr [...]ving or reproba­ting them.
  • 13. The Disciple is not above his Master; and all Christian Kings are Disciples of the Pope and Bishops.
  • 14. The great Do­ctors of the Church may be allowed to [Page 109] teach, that an excom­municate King is no King, and may be kil­led, though others say, not till the Pope con­demn him.
  • 15. Kings are Hen­rician simoniacal Here­ticks that claim a pow­er of Investing Bishops, though the people choose them, and they be lawfully ordained.
  • 16. The Pope and his Bishops may depose Kings pro meritis.
  • 17. Hereticks are to be burnt or at least banished.
  • 18. All Christians must be forbidden com­munion with excommu­nicate Kings.
  • 19. Living Bishops may be deposed, and Dead Bishops dig'd up and burnt, who were for the Princes power of Investitures and that the Pope may not de­pose them.
  • 20. The Pope may forbid Christian Com­munion and Gods pub­lick worship to whole Kingdoms, and com­mand all Bishops and Priests to shut up the Churches, and this if only the King provoke him.
  • 21. A Papists King must be deprived of all those Subjects, whom the Pope adjudgeth to extermination.
  • 22. The Pope may disoblige all subjects from their Oaths of fi­delity to excommu­nicated Princes.
  • 23. And he may [Page 110] give their Kingdoms to others, and authorize them to invade them,
  • 24. Though the peo­ple take a Papist King of a Protestant King­dom to be their declared publick enemy, by consent­ing to destroy or exter­minate them if he can, un­der the foresaid penal­ty of excommunication, damnation and depositi­on, Yet he is bound to declare himself a Pa­pist (or as they call it, a Roman Catholick), and is under such obli­gations.
  • Since King John gave up his Kingdom to the Pope, Popes laid claim to it. And Inno [...]. 4. said, The King of England is our slave and Vassal, who with a nod can imprison him and enslave him to reproach. Mat. Paris *.
The Political Alphabet of The unruly sedi­tious Rebel.
  • [Page 107]1. THe common pravity of cor­rupted nature maketh every man predomi­nantly selfish, and wise in his own conceit; so that his selfish interest is his end, and his un­humbled understand­ing and fleshly desires are his guide.
  • 2. He only seemeth a good Ruler who ser­veth all these interests and desires.
  • 3. They are so vari­ous and contrary, that no man can serve them all; Though God and the true Common good may be served.
  • 4. The Love of s [...]n and sensuality maketh the Law and justice seem grievous, which to would suppress them.
  • 5. Just and [...] [Page 108] and examples, are grievous to bad men: and so are such Ru­lers as maintain true piety and justice.
  • 6. Pride the first born of the Devil, mak­eth men desire to be all as Kings▪ yea as Gods, to have all fulfil their wills.
  • 7. Pride maketh men think themselves the worthiest persons for all preferments, offices or honours, and envy such as are preferred before them.
  • 8. It maketh them think all too little that is done for them; and all too much that is laid upon them; and that they are wronged when their wills are crost.
  • 9. It maketh them think that they are al­wayes in the right▪ and are fittest to Teach and Rule, and others to hear and to obey them.
  • 10. The Love of the world makes them im­patient of all taxes and burdens that pinch the flesh.
  • 11. Landlords and other great men that are [...]ear them, have more power over such than the King, because they think that their welfare more depend­eth on them.
  • [Page 109] 12. When ambitious Great men that miss Court preferments are cast into discontents, they easily lead the vul­gar into seditious cour­ses.
  • 13. Where the true fear of God is absent, such temptations have small restraint.
  • 14. The flatteries of an aspiring Clergy that themselves live scandalously, applaud­ing Tyranny as just go­vernment, tempteth many in dislike, to the contrary exterme.
  • 15. Because Tyran­ny is the grand enemy of Christ and mankind, which keepth out the Gospel and persecuteth piety, and oppresseth the just in most of the world, the hatred of it turneth many into the contrary extream, and maketh them for­get the excellency of order and Government.
  • 16. Where the Prin­ciples of Atheisme and Brutisme prevail, Kings are regarded but as a dog regards his master for feeding him.
  • 17. When proud self-conceitedness cor­rupteth mens Reli­gion, and maketh every erring person confi­dent that his way is right, especially if [Page 110] Popery or other false doctrine corrupt him against the true princi­ples of government, his zeal will become sedi­tious.
  • 18. Such false [...]each­ers are the trumpets of rebellion.
  • 19. Oppression mak­eth the people mad.
  • 20. God oft in justice against wicked Rulers lets loose the popular fury, as the sea that breaks the banks in an inundation.

The marrow of Spinosa's Opera posthuma which I read not till after the writing of what is before. To which Hobbes much agreeth.

1. One substance cannot be produced by another sub­stance. p. 4. Therefore substance cannot be produced by any.

2. All substance is necessarily Infinite. p. 5.

3. This infinite substance is indivisible. p. 11.

4. Besides God there is no substance, nor can any be conceived, so that God is but one; for he is All substance, and its affections or mode: He is res extensa & res cogi­tans. p. 12.

5. The University of being is God, and there is no­thing but God; who hath no divisible part (for non datur vacuum) but all things are imaginable parts of God; substances part of his substance, and souls which are Ideas of his infinite Idea as he is res cogitans.

6. As God is of necessity of nature, so all that is substance or mode (or action) is of necessity of Divine nature, es­sence and perfection.

7. God is the Immanent (that is, essential con­stitutive) cause of all things; but not a Transient cause.

8. Every thing and act is necessarily determined of God, and nothing can suspend that determination, nor is any thing Contingent; every Volition of man is neces­sitated by the Divine nature, as all other things are; and no will is free.

9. It is not, nor ever was possible that any thing should be otherwise than it comes to pass.

10. No Intellect should know any thing but God and his Affections; for there is nothing else.

[Page 112] 11. God, Nature, substance, are all one; and Power and b [...]ing is perfection: and ends and finall causes are false imaginations, and so are the Notions of good and evil, merit and sin, praise and blame, order and confu­sion, fairness and deformity, thence arising: Reality is perfection.

12. The soul of man is nothing else but the act of conceiving of some singular existent thing, called an Idea.

13. This soul (or mind) is part of the Infinite Intel­lect, which is God: And to say [man knoweth] is all one as to say, God, not as Infinite, but as he constitu­teth the essence of mans mind, hath this Idea.

14. The object of this Idea constituting mans mind, is nothing but Body (that is, substance thought of limi­tedly.)

15. The Idea which is the Mind is compounded of a multitude of Idea's.

16. Mans mind hath necessarily an adequate knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God.

17. Good is that only which I know is profitable to me; and evil that only which hindreth it.

18. He is most vertuous that most seeketh his own profit or conservation, (and contrarily he worst that most neglecteth it).

19. To do any thing vertuously is nothing else but to seek ones own profit rationally.

20. No man seeks his own preservation for the sake of any thing else.

21. To understand is mans profit, and to know God (that is, Infinite substance or All Entity) is the chief Vertue.

22. What ever agreeth to my nature is necessarily Good.

23. Mirth can have no excess, nor sorrow ever be good.

[Page 113] 24. Humility is no Vertue, nor cometh from rea­son.

25. Repentance is no Vertue, nor of reason, but a double misery.

26. He that is in fear, and doth good to escape evil, is not led by reason.

27. A free mind thinks not of death, nor of good or evil.

28. No ill can come to a man but from external causes.

29. Whatever we account hurtful to us, we may remove any way that we can safely: And whatever we account profitable we may take and use if we can, by any means: And it's absolutely lawful to every man by the law of nature to do any thing which he judgeth is for his profit.

30. All things are good which make us merry: and the merryer any man is, the more of the Divine nature and perfection he hath.

31. No man can hate God, nor choose but Love him.

32. To desire that God Love us, is to desire that he should not be God.

33. Mans mind remembreth not out of the body; but is not absolutely destroyed with the body (because it is part of God).

34. God loveth man by Loving himself, and so Gods Love to man, and mans Love to God is one and the same thing; and mans felicity.

35. There is nothing in nature which is contrary to this Intellectual Love, or that can destroy it.

36. Because Gods right is only his Power, therefore the right of man is only his power to exist and act; For the natural power of every thing, by which it existeth [Page 114] and operateth, is nothing but Gods own power (which is God.)

37. By the Law of nature then I mean the very Laws of nature, or Rules according to which all things are done, that is, Natures power. Right extendeth as far as Power: and whatever any man doth by his nature, he doth by the highest Right of Nature.

38. And because man is not only rational, but men are more led by blind lust than by reason; therefore their na­tural right is to be defined, not by reason, but by any appe­tite which determineth them to act. p. 271. No difference is to be made though some appetites be unreasonable; For both are the effects of nature. Whatever a man is, he is a part of nature; (or God) and natures power de­termineth him to all that he doth.

39. A sound mind is no more in our power than a sound body: And Divines remove not this difficulty by taking of the corruption of nature and original sin; or the de­ception of the Devil.

40. The Right and Law of Nature is against nothing but that which no man desireth, and no man can do; it forbids not contentions, hatred, wrath, deceits, nor absolutely any thing which the appetite desireth. p. 273.

41. For whatever we call Ridiculous, absurd, evil, is because we see but part, and would have all ordered af­ter our Reason; But it is not evil as to the order and Law of universal nature.

42. One is under anothers Law, while he is under his Power: and is free or sui juris so far as he hath power to resist force, and lives as he list. p. 274.

43. We are no longer under anothers Law, than fear or hope perswade us to it.

[Page 115] 44. Fidelity promised to another, is so long only in force (rata) till the promiser change his will: when he seeth that keeping his word will hurt him, the Law of nature disobligeth him. p. 274.

45. Men are by nature enemies, in danger of each o­ther: and each one being not sufficient to defend him­self, hence comes Polities.

46. There is no sin in a state of nature (unless against our selves.) He that followeth ignorance and lust doth keep natures order, and do what nature binds him to, as well as he that followeth reason. p. 276.

47. There is no sin therefore but against common con­sent in Empire, where every one hath given up his pri­vate right to the publick: So Justice and injustice are only as they respect humane Empire.

48. Every Citizen must obey all the Cities commands, and hath no right to discern what is just or unjust, pi­ous or impious; but because the will of the City is to be every ones will, whatever the City judgeth just and good, the Citizen that judgeth it evil, must nevertheless do.

49. Our knowledge and Love of God and man, are out of Rulers power: And outward acts of worship do nothing help or hinder our knowledge and Love of God; and therefore are not to be so far regarded, as to break for them the publick peace and concord: every man may any where worship God inwardly. p. 282. &c.

50. Two Cities are naturally enemies, as are two men: And it is lawful for one to try by war to subdue the other. It is enough to make a war lawful, to have a will to it: But to peace, both must accord. p. 284.

51. Covenants bind as long as the cause continueth, fear of dammage or hope of gain, and no longer: nor ought the breach to be called deceit or perfidiousness, p. 284.

[Page 116] 52. The contracts or Laws by which the Multitude give up their Right to one Council, or one man, un­doubtedly may be violated as soon as it is the interest of common safety to violate them. p. 288.

53. They that think it possible for one only to have the [...] Civitatis j [...]s, do much err: For Right is determined only by Power; But one mans power is very unable for such a burden p. 202. When the people choose a King, he must choose Commanders, Councellors, friends, to whom he committeth both his own and the common safety, so that the Government which is taken to be Ab­solute Monarchy, is really in practice Aristocracy; not indeed manifest, but latent, and therefore the worst.

Besides that a King, that's a child, sick, heavy with age, is a precarious King: But they have indeed the chief power, who do the chief bu­ness of the Government, or are next the King: to pass by, that a King lyable to last, doth oft mannage all by the lust of one, or another Whore or Pandor. p. 293.

54. Hence it followeth that a King is so much the less sui juris, and the Subjects condition is so much the more miserable, by how much the more absolutely the Civitatis jus, (the publick power) is transferred on him.— A Monarch is most sui juris, when he most consults the safety (or good) of the multitude. p. 293.

55. As to religion, no Temples should be built at the publick charge; nor laws be made about opinions, un­less they be seditious, and overthrow the foundations of the City: But let them that are allowed publick exer­cise of religion, build their own Temples, and the King have his Chapel. p. 301.

His discourse for Aristocacy I pretermit; so much of Spinosa.

[Page 117] THe truth is (as Mr. Peter Ster [...] unhappily sound) it is hard avoiding this frame of Doctrine, for the Predeterminants who hold that the Volitions and actions of all men are predetermined by Gods necessi­tating unresistible promotion as the first cause of nature and motion, and that in all their modes and circum­stances; and that the will can have no power to do any thing, more or less, than it is thus predetermined to do, and that moral good and evil are caused as necessarily by God as Light and Darkness are: Were these mens Physical con­ceits as certain, as all the principles of Religion, natu­ral and revealed, which they totally overthrow, they might stagger many: But not when sick and proud mens dreams are set against mans common Light, right and interest.

IN all this the Reader must still remember, 1. that I recite other mens Political-principles, only that the accusers of my own and such others may compare them together, and see which they judge more rational and loyal; and what parties they can find in all the world, whose principles of Government they will rest in, when ours are condemned.

2. And yet I make not my self an arrogant censor of all that differ from me; but confess that singularity, es­pecially in matters of other mens profession, excuseth sus­picion in the Reader; and where he findeth me differ from the most of Protestants and Papists, he oweth no more regard to my judgement, than cogent evidence should command.

[Page 118] I confess though they word it variously, and also differ about the case of some particular Kingdoms, most of the forementioned sorts of Lawyers, Politick writers, Di­vines, &c. seem to differ from some of my principles; But many differ more in notion than in meaning. Most of them all make the multitude the prime subject and cause of soveraign power, from whom all sorts of chief Rulers do receive it: and that they do this for their ne­cessary peace, safety and prosperity, which they may de­fend against perfidious betrayers of it, &c. But if you mark it, withal you shall find that, 1. they say that the Law of nature bindeth them to gather into Cities, and to choose go­vernours; 2. and that they call the peoples Soveraignty or power, but as Mr. Hooker the Habit, and say the Act belongeth to the Ruler so chosen: and as others say, It is Majestas realis which yet may not actually Rule, but convey the Majestatem personalem to him or them that on­ly must rule. By all which they plainly confess, 1. That God hath not left it to their choice whether they be a Governed society (Civitas) or not; For the Law of na­ture which is Gods Law, obligeth them to it. 2. That it is not actual Governing that he thus obligeth the mul­titude to, but to choose the species and persons that shall be Recipients. 3. And when they can name no more pow­er but choosing the Recipients (one or more) and Limit­ing his power in matters of Propriety and other things to which God hath not by his Law extended it without their consent, it's plain that this is not to be the Givers of the Ruling power. Most changes in the world Physical and Moral are made by Diversification of the Dispositio Recep­tiva (most or many think Generation doth no more as to the soul.) This is not nothing. God saith [To men so qualified, and so chosen or lawfully receptive I will give such and such power as my Officers;] And He qualifieth [Page 119] them, and the People choose or consent to the Persons in some places, and the successive families in others: so that Receptivity is of man, with some exceptions or Limitati­ons; but the authority is immediately from God.

Gregory Sayrus is justly accounted one of the best and moderatest Popish Casuists that ever wrote, and in his excellent Clav. Regia he saith, Lib. 3. c. 1. p. 109, 110, &c. not only de fine (which most agree to) ‘[Hanc par­ticulam quod Lex ordinari debet ad bonum commune, Barth. Medina 1. 2. q. 90. a. 2. veram & intelligendam esse docet non solum de jure, sed etiam de facto, ut Lex illa quae in privatum commodum instituitur, ita ut nullo modo in uti­litatem publicam referatur, lex non sit, sed iniquitas. Deinde ita intelligitur, ut si cesset ratio boni communis & ejus uti­litas, statim lex cessat, & vim obligandi non habet: so Alph. à Castrol. 1. de potest. legis poenal.’ c. 5. doc. 3. And he addeth p. 111. himself ‘[Where a Law ceaseth to be profitable to the Common-wealth, then it altogether ceaseth to be a Law, and is not obligatory’ (But this I have elsewhere fullier opened) And as to the question in hand ‘[Haec cura populi & potestas super illum licet omnis à Deo sit, illam tamen homines diversimode à Deo habent, non semper à Deo immediate, sed saepe per populi consensum, à quo primum Deo annuente aut permittente illam accepit; nec majorem quam illi populus ob initio concessit: tam aperta & manifesta est haec populi potestas, &c.] And so he goeth on to prove out of Zenophon, Julian, Jurisc. the Canon Law, &c. that the community is quoddam totum liberum habens jus naturaliter regendi seipsum; ita hoc jus potest transferre in alium, & vices suas alteri delegare; and that Kings have been made by the people from the beginning, and from their consent the Governing power still cometh. And that [a Law not necessary by Gods making, made by a Lay Prince, the whole people contradicting, is of no [Page 120] sore, [...] the people have given their whole power to the [...], which is to be known by th [...] ancient Cu­stom of [...] among them.]’

Yet more that the same Author addeth, p. 112. ‘that as to [...] power, though he that hath it be [...] the Power immediately from God]. And how will he ever prove that Church Power is any more from God than the necessary part of Civil [...]? Is not the ratio derivand [...] the same so far, that in both, the people do but choose the Receivers (and limit in the unnecessary parts) and God immediately give the power? The case is the same in both.

As to the rest of the Papists doctrine, he knoweth no­thing of them that knoweth not that commonly they make the King, not only dependant on the Pope, but more also on the Efficient Power and will of the people than most Protestants do; where there is in this any dif­ference, the Papists are the more popular.

And for Protestants I will not meddle with Divines but Lawyers, School Doctors and Politick writers; who commonly go further for the peoples power than ever I or any Nonconfor [...]s of my familiarity did approve (Pardon our singularity) I would desire no more of such as the [...] and other accusers of our principles, but to read over [...], and such others, yea the most powerful defenders of Monarchy, [...], And then read the Protestant Law­yers and Doctors of Philosophy, and compare our prin­ciples here with the [...].

I will pass by such as Learned [...], and now instance only in [...] a Lawyer. In his Politicks (I will not English it) he saith in [...] (most like Mr. H [...]oker) ‘[A [...]sero [Page 121] haec jura Majestatis, quae dicuntur, regno adeo esse propria, ut soli haec competant, ejusque spiritus vitalis, anima, cor & vita sint, quibus salvis Resp. vivit; & quibus sub­latis interit & perit illa, nomineque hoc indigna judicanda. Concedo horum jurium Principem seu summum Magistra­tum esse dispensatorem, administratorem vel procuratorem: Proprietatem vero illorum & usumfructum adeo jure ad reg­num seu populum universum pertinere contendo, ut hunc etiamsi velit se abdicare, eaque in alium transferre & ali­enare, nequaquam possit, non minus quam vitam quam quis­que habet, alii communicare potest. Jura haec à populo seu membris Regni & Reip. constituta sunt; ab illis in­ceperunt, atque non nisi in illis consistere possunt, & ab illis conservari. Horum quoque administratio quae princi­pi est precario seu expacto concessa, illo mortuo ad populum, qui ob perpetuam successionem immortalis dicitur, revertitur, & alii ab eodem demandatur, cujus unus vel plures capa­ces esse possint.’

‘Et Cap. 14. de Ephoris he copiously asserteth that these Ephori or Patriciu, seniores, principes, status, primo­res regni, are the peoples trustees, above the chief Magi­strate, as All conjunct representing the people, but singly his inferiours (p. 142.) and what they do, the people doth, p. 139. Chosen to make the chief Magistrate, and to keep him within his limits, p. 141. To be his Councel in great­est matters, yea to judge whether the chief Magistrate per­form his office, and to resist and hinder his Tyranny. p. 146, 147. He layeth down eight reasons as to prove the right of these Optimates to resist Tyrants (I will not recite them) and by Scriptures and examples to con­firm it; And then proceedeth to answer, 1. Who may and ought to resist the Magistrate, 2. What Magistrate may be resisted, 3. When, 4. How, 5. How far and how long. He applyeth it, 1. To Tyrants absque ti­tulo, [Page 122] 2. To Tyrants exercitio, (not all that are faulty but) by these notes described by him, Revera ille Tyran­nus dicendus est qui malitiose & hostiliter & consulto data opera Remp. & Ecclesiam vastat, pervertit, turbat, cultum dei abolet vel profanat, vel quae dei sunt affectans sibi vendicat & usurpat.’

‘Qui res regni in privatum usum convertit, quique in perniciem publicam bona regni profundit, dissipat, alienat, minuit, & dilapidat.

‘Qui Leges regni fundamentales violat, mutat, tollit, praesertim illas quae religionem veram concernunt, Deut. 13. 14. 15.

‘Qui opes subditorum exhaurit, omina in fiscum con­vertens, & sanguinem populi usque ad deliquium eli­ciens, opera, labore, sudore, bonis & sanguine subditorum abutitur.

‘Qui divisiones seu schismata inter subditos sovet, ut altera pars factionis alteram metuat, & neutra in illum rebellet aut insurgat.’

‘Qui in paupertate vult vivere subditos, ut interim intenti labori ad vitam sustentandam, in eum non in­surgant.’

‘Qui nititur bella nutrire, ut illis enervet vires sub­ditorum.’

‘Qui factione existente inter subditos, uni parti plus quam alteri favet, cum posset suo imperio utrique parti jubere convenire.’

‘Qui hostis est suorum subditorum.

‘Qui primores regni dolo, fraude vel vi opprimit, aliosque viros graves, justos, innocentes affligit, odio prosequitur.’

‘Qui ad populi mores corrumpendos, ganeas, popinas, lupanaria, ludosve alios inhonestos instituit.’

‘Qui factiones & dissidia inter subditos serit, alit, fo­vet.’

[Page 123] ‘Qui seminaria virtutum & officinas pietatis, gymnasia, ludos literarios abolet, negligit.’

‘Qui abutitur Majestatis juribus & potestate sua à populo accepta.’

‘Qui prohibet Congregationes honestas & licitas metu conjurationis, aut rebellionis, sine alia tamen praecedente suspicione.’

‘Qui submittit ubique auscultatores clancularios & delatores, seu speculatores ad colligendum quae de se dicuntur.’

‘Et in summa, qui totis viribus ad statum Reip. & Leges regni sundamentales mutandas vel evertendas, quantum in ipso est, enititur.’

Pag. 160. ‘[5. Tamdiu resistendum est, quamdiu durat tyrannus, quousque verbis, facto, dolo, vel arte oppugnat Remp. & pacto inito contraria facit, loqui­tur, vel agit: adeo ut ejusmodi tyrannum ab officio removere, administratione demandata privare, immo etiam si aliter contra vim se defendere non possunt, inter­ficere, & alium in ejus locum substituere possint. See also Balt. Willius Politicks pag. 591, 592. more plain­ly to that purpose.’ If such as this and Grotius his do­ctrine of resistance de jure belli, and Mr. George Lawsons a Conformist in his Ecclesiastical Polit. be compared with the Principles which only are asserted in this Account, and held by us Nonconformists, me thinks the accusers of our principles should repent.

I wonder that Hobbs de cive should be magnified by such Frenchmen as Gassendus, Sorberius and Mersennus: But it seems some French Philosophers (and Prelates too) are looser in their principles of policie and Loyalty than we are.

His principles are, 1. ‘That Nature giveth a man Right to all things: that is, Before men bind themselves [Page 124] by Covenants to one another, it it lawful for every one to do whatever they list and to whomsoever, and to possess, use and enjoy whatever they will and can. pag. 12.

‘2. For it is the first foundation of natural right that every man may defend his life and members as much as he is able: And having right to that as the end, it were in vain unless he had right to the means, that is, to use all means, and do any action without which he can­not preserve himself. p. 11.

‘3. The natural state of men before mutual Cove­nants, is a state of War, because what every man hath right to, another hath right to, and may resist his de­sires, whence arise perpetual suspicions, enmities, &c. so that all men are at war with all men. p. 14, 15.

‘4. Nature teacheth us to desire peace for our inte­rest, and when we cannot have it, to get the greatest helps for war. p. 15. 22.

‘5. Therefore the Law of nature teacheth us to give up our right by contracts for this peace and security from one another. p. 24.

‘6. No man is bound by any Covenants whatsoever not to resist him that would kill him, wound him, or do him any other bodily hurt: every mans natural fear resist­eth hurt; by slight or fighting: And no man is bound to impossibility: Only fidelity bindeth Covenanters; Therefore we bind malefactors that go to punishment with Cords, because they may resist if they can: To Covenant [If I do this, kill me] is one thing: But to say [If you kill me I will not resist] is another. Laws bind not the punished from resisting, but others from defending them. p. 31, 32, 33.

‘7. No Covenant or Law bindeth one to accuse him­self, or to accuse any other whose suffering will be the bitterness of his life. p. 33.

[Page 125] ‘8. The concord of many is the only security for our peace. p. 79, 80.

‘9. This must be by a Civil Union, which is by put­ting all our Rights into the hand of one Civil person, that is, Monarch or Councils absolutely (except as before excepted) p. 84.

‘10. This Union maketh a City, or Civil society, all mens wills being now one, that is, the Cities.’

‘11. The man or the Council to whose will all have given up their wills, have the supreme Power, and all are their subjects, that is, All have given up their right of resisting them. p. 87.

‘12. But no man is supposed to have bound himself to any thing further than he is secured from fear of danger while he wrongs not others; nor to have parted with his right of arbitrary self defence, when the City de­fends him not. p. 93.

‘13. Subjection ceaseth, 1. when the Soveraign de­serteth or abdicateth his government, 2. when the City falls into the hands of enemies, 3. if no successor ap­pear. p. 136, 137.

‘14. It is seditious to say that any Subject may discern and judge what is good or evil: For the rule of Good and evil, just and unjust, honest and dishonest, is only the Cities Laws, and whatever the Lawmaker com­mandeth is good, and whatever he forbids is evil. It's seditious to say that we must not obey Kings when they command things evil and unjust; for antecedent to mans Empire nothing is just or unjust, but all acti­ons are indifferent: This was Gods oldest Law, Thou shalt not eat of the tree of Knowledge of good and evil, that is, not make thy self a discerning judge of it: and the oldest temptation was, you shall be as Gods knowing good and evil. pag. 191.

[Page 126] ‘15. It is seditious to say that it is lawful to kill a Ty­rant (that is not an Usurper,) for then every murderer were master of a Monarchs life: And yet All the old Sophists, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Plutarch, and the rest of the fautors of the Greek and Roman Anarchy thought it not only Lawful, but worthy of the great­est praise. p. 193.

‘16. It is seditious to say that the highest Power may be divided. What more pernicions to the City than that men should be affrighted with the fear of everlasting torment from obeying Princes, that is, Laws, that is, from being just? p. 197.

‘17. It is seditious to say, that faith and Holiness are not acquired by study and natural reason, but are always supernaturally infused or inspired. p. 197.

‘He thought that Christs Kingdom was to begin on­ly at the Resurrection’ (which I suppose not believing any, he speaketh in contempt): He was a ware that the Bi­shop of Rom had his power only in one Empire; and that Atheists are not of the Kingdom of God. But I pass by the rest, it being mostly the same with Spinosa's. And briefly, contrary to his mass of Brutism, Atheism, Infidelity and self-contradiction, I oppose, besides what is aforesaid:

1. Mans natural state is a state of due subjection to God as universal King:

2. Our thoughts, words and actions are not indiffe­rent, but are duty or sin as they are conform or discon­form to his Law.

3. Mans Laws could make no duty or sin but as em­powered by Gods Law.

4. The world being Gods Kingdom, all are his Subjects as to obligation, hypocrites by meer profession, and the faithful by true consent.

5. God binding all men to Love him above all and our [Page 127] neighbours as our selves, we are so far from being born to a Common war, that nature uncorrupt and repaired is a state of Love, and nature corrupt reprived and under Common grace, is sociable, and hath some natural Love to others, yea to mankind; and as beasts love the company of their like, so do men; and all good men love the good. And all are obliged by the Laws of Love, to love others, and do all the good they can.

6. It's true that corruption making bad men like brutes by sensuality and selfishness, sets them in a state of war; which common and special grace heal in their several measures.

7. God bindeth all as his Subjects to obey, first their parents, and then to choose officers whom he shall em­power under him to rule according to his universal Laws, and officiate as his Ministers; and all that can must live in such order.

8. The ends of this order are first the fulfilling of the will of God as universal King, and next the common good, and next our own of soul and body, and not only our own corporal peace and pleasure.

9. No man hath naturally a right to another mans, nor to any more than God giveth him by nature or just acquisition; and to rob, kill, slander, fornicate, &c. is a sin, whether we are under contracts or mens Laws or not.

10. Societies are for Common good, more than for my own.

11. They are not made by arbitrary giving up our power; for God first instituted them, and described the parts universally necessary, and our power to govern or dispose of our own lives was none, but as under him; and publick power is quite of another species. We have power to obey God and such as he shall by due consent of man set over us and authorize.

[Page 128] 12. Life must not be defended when justice sentenceth us to death.

13. It's Gods will and power in Rulers that we must obey, and not only the peoples united in them.

14. All must discern Good and evil, as it's Duty and sin; not in their own conceits and wills first, but as in Gods Laws determined.

15. It is wickedness to obey man against Gods Law, more than to obey a Justice against the King.

16. If Kings only make duty and sin, Kings only must protect, reward and punish men.

17. To make the power of Kings independent on Gods Laws, is to subvert their foundation.

18. It's not seditious but necessary to tell men of Gods future judgement, against those that obey men against God.

But the rest is before confuted, which perhaps I have al­ready too oft repeated.

I once thought to have added several other Columns, that other mens judgements, and the Nonconformists might be compared by such as would judge in the light, and not in darkness, viz. I. The judgement of Aristole, Plato, Zenophon, Isocrates, Cicero, Livy, Tacitus, and o­thers of the famousest of the old Philosophers and Histo­rians and Orators.

II. The judgement of the most applauded writers of Politicks: both Papists, such as Bes [...]dus, Armseus, Lip­sius, Contzen, Tholosanus, Sayrus, Fragoso, Azorius, and such moderate ones as Bodin, Commin [...]us, Thuanus, &c. and Protestants, such as Danaeus, Willim, Burgers­dicius, Alstedius, and many such.

III. And the judgement of the most famous Lawyers; especially such as were the most strenuous defenders of Monarchy; of whom Goldastus notifieth divers that de­fended [Page 129] the German Emperors: But Barclay and Grotius are of all the most eminent.

IV. And in another Column the judgement of ma­ny English Bishops, Doctors and Historians.

But the plain truth is, that I fear should I recite their words they would be misinterpreted and do hurt: He that would see what the first sort of old Greek and Latine Au­thors say, may find much in their sentences collected by Alstedius in his Encyclop. Horileg. Polit. where you have enough to make a Volume out of Herodotus, Thu­cydides, Zenophon, Polybius, Sallustius, Livy, Tacitus, Comminaeus, &c. of Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Isocrates, Agapetus, Cicero, Pliny: And indeed so many of the [...]a­mousest Greek and Latine Philosophers, Historians and Orators, were so much for Liberty and spake so dangerous­ly of Tyrants, and praised the Killing of them, and had so mean or bad thoughts of Kings that were not eminently good, that it is enough that their books are in the hands of Scholars.

II. And the Authors of Politicks and Laws, (espe­cially Suarez de Legibus and Azorius) I find are common­ly read by Lawyers: And indeed I cannot see how any man can understand his Countreys Laws, who doth not understand the doctrine of Government and Laws in genere, which is the doctrine of Politicks. III. And Hi­storians usually write as their interest and the state of their proper Countrey leads them, some flattering Princes, some wisely describing them, and some speaking hardly of them, (as Math. Paris yet accounted credible, did of Henry 3. and Gild [...]s of the Brittish Princes,) And some (as Hol­lingsh [...]ad that speaks of the power of Parliaments to de­pose or take down mighty Kings, being a Clergy-man and out of his callings way) do not well understand the Governments which they describe.

[Page 130] IV. And the Lawyers I leave to Lawyers that are best acquainted with them.

But I must add, 1. That if in any point I differ from men in the matters of their own Profession, modesty re­quireth me not to be too peremptory, but to suspect my own understanding. 2. And that I blame not Historians for describing Tyrants and bad Rulers as they were, when they are dead: For our duty of obeying them, and much of ho­nouring them, is then at an end. God will have the name of the wicked to rot: And truth is the daughter of time: True History is necessary to the living, both Princes and people. If Doctor H [...]ylin give so ill a note of good King Edward 6th. no wonder if he take more liberty in describing King Henry 8th. And if he take liberty to characterize so dis­gracefully Arch-Bishop Grindal, Abbot, Vsher, &c. no wonder if others speak worse of worse Arch-Bishops and Bishops.

I will add here honest Erasmus his Image of a Good and of a Bad King, as recited by Alstedius, Encyclop. de Polit.

‘I. If you will paint a good Prince, you shall deline some celestial wight, liker to a God than to a man; absolute in all the numbers of vertues; given for the good of all, yea given from them above to support the affairs of mortals; who being most discerning observeth all, and looketh to all; to whom nothing is more regarded, nothing sweeter than the Commonweal; who hath more than a Fatherly mind to all; to whom every ones life is dearer than his own; who day and night doth and endeavoureth nothing else but that it may be very well with all; who hath rewards ready for all good men; and pardon to the bad, sobeit they will amend; who de­sireth so freely to deserve well of his subjects, that if it be needful, he will not stick to look to their safety by his own danger; who taketh the profit of his [Page 131] countrey for his gain; who always waketh that others may sleep; who leaveth himself no quiet (otium) that his country may live in quietness; who disquieteth him­self with successive cares, that his Citizens may enjoy tranquillity; lastly, on whose virtue dependeth the pub­lick felicity.’

II. His Image of a bad Prince.

‘If you would represent to the eye a bad Prince, paint some wild and cruel beast, made up of a Dragon, a Wolf, a Lyon, a Viper, a Bear, and such strange things, armed every way with six hundred eyes; on every side toothed; on every side to be feared, with crooked fangs, an insatiable belly; fatted with mans bowels; drunk with mans blood; which sleepeth not, that he may prey upon the fortunes and lives of all; hurtful to all, but especially to the good; a certain fatal mischief of the whole world; whom all men curse and hate, who wish well to the Common-wealth; who for his cruelty can­not be endured, and yet cannot be taken away without great ruin of the world, because his malice is armed with guards and wealth].’

Or as Tacitus (de Tiberio) describeth him (cited by Alsted. p. 253.)

‘The signs of one that will be a Tyrant and cruel Prince are; If when he hath got the Empire, he accuse mens countenances as criminal; and require unmea­surable flatteries; and catch at the words of his publick Councellors; and open his ears to accusing dela­tors; and take mens judgement of him whatever, and their free speeches of the Common-wealth for a crime; and lastly, if good men are suspected by him.’

Et de Germanico formidoloso Tiberio: To Tyrants, good men, and such as are acceptable to the people, and love the peoples liberty, are always formidable.’

[Page 132] And ‘Tyrannidis obscurae & pedetentim serpentis haec sunt initia, cum qui Princeps electus est majorum negotiorum cognitionem sibi unireservans, & ex suo unius arbitratuea statuens, leviorum & quae Reipublicae incolumita­tem non attingunt, disceptationem ad Ordines remittit’: (But it must be remembred that this was spoken in the Roman Empire).

And his ‘Tiberii vera sententia was [Quanto plus gliscit imperantis potestas, tanto jura minuuntur: itaque non permittendum ut is ut atur imperio, ubi Legibus agipotest.]’

And his saying of Germanicus hath its use: ‘[A Prince may better know what is the judgement of his army and people of him, by mens private discourse and table­talk, than by Sermons and publick conventions, especially such as are appointed by himself.]’

And of Courtiers (de S [...]jano) he saith ‘[A [...]lici, in quorum potestate est Rex, & ex quorum voluntate gerit om­nia, quamdiu tyranni non sunt, aut tyrannidem non asse­ctant, vel ultores metuunt, bonis consiliis & saluta­ribus reipublicae fere innot [...]scere volunt.’

I conclude with this warning, that [Corrupted na­ture is so backward to just obedience, and yet Tyranny is so great a plague to mankind, by hindering the preach­ing of the Gospel to Heathens and infidels through the world, that all Christians should detest both Tyranny and Rebellion, and take heed of encouraging the princi­ples of either, and specially that on pretence of obeying right reason and the Law of nature in self defence, they do not with Hobbs and Spin [...]s [...], take the Corruption of nature and reason for nature and Reason it self, and think that sensuality or fancie should rule the man and be the Rule of his obedience, and that all is Lawful that we think is necessary to the preservation of our personal in­terest, And therefore that we take not all for current [Page 133] which is agreed on by the most of all mankind, even in the politicks of the old Greeks and Romans, of Infidels, of Papists and of Protestants, however we must be modest in our dissent.

Our Doctrine about the Church, Church Government, wor­ship and Communion.

WE know nothing else that suspicions do call us more to give the world an account of our Doctrine of, than the nature, Government and Communion of the Church and the manner of Gods worship in it: which yet having some of us already published more largely, and also in 1660. when allowed by his Majesty, given in our desires thereabout (in offering Arch-Bishop Vsh­ers from of Primitive Government and a specimen of a Reformed Liturgy) we suppose no more than these fol­lowing Propositions will be needful to be here added.

1. The CHURCH is a word of many significations, of which the principal is The UNIVERSALITY OF CHRISTIANS HEADED BY CHRIST.

2. In a narrower sense it signifyeth these Christians as Christs Body or Kingdom contradistinct from Christ the Head; As the word [Kingdom] sometimes includeth the King, and sometimes signifieth the people as contra­distinct from him.

3. The bond of Union between Christ the Head and his Subjects or members is, 1. Faith and the Holy Spirit internally, 2. The Covenant of Baptism external­ly; or Heart Covenanting and Outward Covenanting.

[Page 134] 4. Accordingly those that Covenant sincerely with the Heart and are true Believers, are Justified and Adopted heirs of Heaven: and as they Covenant with the mouth or the Outward reception of Baptism, they are outwardly or by Sacramental Profession, members or Christians. With respect to each, the Church is usually called in­visible, and visible, or the sincere Regenerate Church, and the Professing Church. But Heart consent and Outward Profession conjoyned make one Church, as Soul and Body make one man: And the Hypocrites that Covenant with the Lips alone are but members secundum quid, and on­ly of the Outward Society. 5. It is by the Outward Covenanting and Profession, that we must judge of the Heart covenanting and Sincerity: and all are to be taken for visible Chri­stians or members of the Vniversal Church, who are Bap­tized professors of Christianity, and have not by contrary Profession or practice Apostatized.

6. The Vniversal Church as Believing or as Professing (mystical or visible) hath no universal Head but Christ: who is an Invisible Head as he is unseen to us in Heaven, but Visible as he is there now seen (as the King by his Cour­tiers) and as he was seen on earth, and will be shortly seen of all the world. But as for the Pope or any other pre­tended head, 1. No man giveth us any proof that ever Christ appointed and authorized any such Head: and it's Treason against him to usurp such a power.

2. No mortal man hath Natural capacity of such an office. An Vniversal Head must relate to the Church in all parts of the world, not only as it is now extended, but as it shall be at any time: and no man is able to do the work of a real Go­vernour and Guide at the Antipodes, and in all Nations of the earth, even in the Kingdoms where Princes by wars or Infidelity deny access to foreigners, and subjects of their enemies: and where cases that require a speedy decision [Page 135] may wait half an age till the parties are dead, before it can be dispatcht at Rome, and witnesses cannot go so far: And when Church Government extends no farther, than to judge who shall be in the Ministry and in Church Communion, and to decide particular cases of faith and Life in order to this end, Princes and People are un­happy men, if they must be without Teachers or Sacra­ments, or without a certain Faith in Abassia, Armenia, at the Antipodes and in all the world, till they receive a just determination from Rome.

And if his universal Government be but to commit the Government of several Kingdoms of the world to several Generals under him, Princes and People that are at hand do better know how to choose meet men to Teach them­selves, of those that are of their own language, and ac­quainted with the place, than a stranger at Rome can do, to whom at the death of every General some Countries may be many years in sending and receiving back a General, who it's two to one will not come alive to them, or it's three to one, will be one unfit for them: and in some Kingdoms cannot come at all, because of the interjacent countries of enemies: no nor messages pass, about the business. What work the Prelates of England (which is near) have formerly made by running to Rome, and waiting for decisi­ons, is known by current history. None on earth will pretend to a sufficiency to govern all the world in things spiritu­al, any more than in Temporals, except it be a Proud Fool or a Proud deceiver, both which are the most unfit to be rulers of all the world.

3. Rome never pretended to a Government of all the world, but only to a Primacy in one Empire, for many hun­dred years after Christ, Proved, 1. Because only the Prince of one Empire did frequently choose and ever rule them, who had no power over any other Kingdom.

[Page 136] 2. Because the four other Patriarchs, whom he pre­tended to have a Primacy among, had no power out of the Empire, at least not over all the world: and the Pope never then pretended to a Primacy of any fur­ther extent than the four Patriarchats.

3. Because the General Councils where he presided, or pretended to preside were General at the utmost but as to one Empire: as the Church History, and the names of the subscribers shew to every impartial searcher. None out of the Empire came thither, unless now and then an odd person of some neighbour countrey that was glad to be strengthened by the Roman Vicinity, or some that had been before of the Empire, and were conquer­ed by Infidels or Hereticks and kept their former Custome. And those Councils that were most General were sum­moned by Emperors, who had nothing to do in the rest of the world.

4. No History mentioneth that the Pope then pretend­ed to or exercised any government in the Empire of Abassia (of which see Godignus) nor in Persia, India, or Britain till Austines times: but when the Romans per­swaded any poor neighbours Countrey to the saith of Christ, those Countries were willing after to be direct­ed by the Romans, especially being ambitious of the honour and protection of the Imperial savour. Reinrius saith [Armeniorum Ecclesiae & Aethiopian & Indorum & caeterae quas Apostoli converterunt, non subsunt Ecclesiae Ro­manae] Biblioth. Patr. To. 4. p. 773. [The Armenian Churches and the Aethiopian and [...], and the rest which the Apostles did covert, are not under the Church of Rom.]

4. Rome's pretended Primacy in that one Empire was not of Divine authority but of Human [...]. For, 1. No Di­vine Authority is proved.

[Page 137] 2. The Popes Authority and the Patriarchs of Alexan­dria and Antioch had the same foundation, as is evident to any knowing man in Councils and Church History: but the Authority of the Patriarchs is confessedly of humane Institution, and therefore Jerusalem and Constantinople were after added by men. The Council of Nice, of Chalcedon, &c. testifie this. See Comment. in Epist. Synodal. Basil. p. 31. & 40. Impress. Colen. 1613.

3. The whole Greek Church from the first comp [...]ition of Constantinople to this day hath taken the Roman Prima [...]y to be of humane institution; which is infallibly proved be­cause they set up that seat against it, which they all confess to have its dignity by humane institution. And no Christian can set up humane institution against that which he ac­knowledgeth Divine: Therefore by their competition they shew, that they never took Rome to have any other foundation, than Constantinople, which was humane: and so their Councils profess, and consequently all the Greek Church even in its Glory did believe that there was no such head over all the world; (for the Emperor had no such power) nor any of Divine institution over the Empire: nor did John of Constantinople when he claimed that universality which Gregory condemned, extend his claim any further than the Empire, or at least not to all the world. It is therefore most evident that Rome was in one Empire, but as Canterbury in this one Kingdom, the prime Patriarch in a National or Imperial Church, of mans appointment.

4. The Papists (even those that have Ruled in Eng­land) confess that [it is no point of faith, that it is of Divine Right, and not only of Humane, that the Bishop of Rome is St. Peter successor] So saith their Bishop of Calced. Rich. Smith Surv [...]y cap. 5. And their Davenport or [...] à S. Clara first. sid. cap. 48. pag. 531. telleth us of Erar­dus Billius a Jesuite who 1644. Publickly and confident­ly [Page 138] taught that Rome may have two Popes at once divid­ing the Popedom (as Peter and Paul are by Irenaeus, Epi­pha [...]i [...]s and many Ancients there placed at once) and this in order to prove that the Papacy was ex jure humano of humane Right. And he himself saith, ibid. c. 47. p. 507. of the Question An Papatus, &c. whether the Papacy which and as it resteth in the Roman Pope be of Divine Right, [Inter Doctores solennis ed de re controversia est, alii huc, al i illuc, illibatà fide ferunter] that is [Among the Do­ctors this is solemnly controverted; some go one way and some the other, without any blemish of faith: mentioning as against the Divine Right, Sotus 4. d. 24. q. 2. a. 5. q. 2. Corduba Quaestionario li. 4. q. 1. prop. 8. dub. 1. and many other grave Doctors, &c. (of whom Cardin. Cu­sanus de concord. is one).

5. Indeed had they not first falsly described the Priest­ly or Pastoral power, they could never have perswaded men to receive an Universal Priest or Pastor: For the truth is, the office of the Ministry is like a Schoolmasters or like a Physicians, a work of personal attendency and skill, and it is essentially constituted of a threefold sub­ordination to Christ the Head, viz. to his Prophetical of­fice as Teachers, to his Priestly as worshippers, and to his Kingly as Church Guides or Governors: And to set up one to teach all the world, and to worship with all the world, and to call each sinner in the world by name to Repen­tance, and try his case and absolve or excommunicate him, would be no wiser, than to set up an universal Schoolmaster, Physician or Judge to all the world. But d [...]mentation followeth judicial desertion, and precedeth the Perdi [...]ion of the deserted. So much of the Papacy.

6. As for General Councils I have elsewhere proved at large, 1. That there never was such a thing in the world (unless the Apostles may be called such): but that those [Page 139] called General Councils, were but General Councils of one Empire, and now and then two or three neighbours, or such as were lately cut off from the Empire as aforesaid. 2. That a true General Council is morally impossible, 3. And so unlawful, as to be a pernicious form of Head­ship to the Church: because some Bishops must be ma­ny years coming, and will likely die before they come and return, and have not a language which the rest un­derstand; nor can there be any equality of members, while those of Mexico, Abassia, Armenia and the Antipodes send but few, and the nearer parts a multitude; and so (as at Trent) it will be but an Italian Council: And it will be sinful to rob the Churches of them, and to cast away the lives of old weak worthy men in such Voyages and Travels of many years. And interposing enemies will not let them pass through their countries, with many such reasons. So that a General Council is a non Ens, and a name made for a Papal cheat. 3. And should it be the constitutive head of the whole Church, how little a while hath there been any Church on earth since Christ? For when a constitutive essential part ceaseth, the essence ceaseth; and so Christ hath had no Church on earth since the mockery of Trent; where in the beginning there were 42 Bishops with counterfeits and all, and 4 Arch-Bishops, if you will take the counterfeits Wancop of Armagh and Olaus Magnus for two; but indeed by the seventh Session there were 52 Bishops counterfeits and all, and in Ses­sion 8. 29 besides 6 Arch-Bishops, such as they were, whenas the Provincial Synods in Africk were wont to have many hundred Bishops; but how many thousand must a Synod of the whole world have in proportion to the Italian number at Trent?

7. God hath provided much better means than a Pope for the concord of Christians in the world (which is [Page 140] the only considerable pretence for the Papacy) that is, 1. On [...] sacred word to Rule them (which Papists them­selves confess to be Divine) 2. One Spirit within to guide and actuate them, 3. One Sacred Ministry of the same species and Divine description in each assembly to instruct and guide them (even to Guide a single Congregation, which is a work more suitable to humane frailty than to Rule Provinces and the world). 4. One prescribed sort of pub­lick worship (in word, Prayer and Sacraments). 5. The same [...]d, even God and Heaven for all to seek. 6. Synods and Consultations for advice and concord. 7. M [...]gistrates to Rule them all by the sword (as they do Physicians, Schoolmasters, Philosophers) and to keep peace among them, and restrain intolerable abuses. And they that will have [...], will have none; but by overdoing will undo all, and be the greatest dividers and plagues to the Church on pretence of its Union and preservation.

8. Every Church must have its proper Pastor (one or more) who must know the people of their flock and be known by them.

9. But whether a Church shall have One only or ma­ny, is left to be determined according to the number and necessities of the people, and the store of worthy men.

10. The Essence of the Holy Ministerial office con­sisteth in [...] and Authority to call the unbelievers and imp [...]it [...]nt to Faith and Repentance, and to Baptize persons into the Church, and to guide the Church [...]s by Teaching, worship and Discipline, as under Christ its chief Prophet, Priest and King. And though the exercise of each be not essential to the Office, the Power and general obliga­tion is.

11. A particular Church (part of the Vniversal) is [...] by the same Pastors and the same [...] [Page 141] for Personal holy Communion (as distinct from distant Communion by Letters or Delegates).

12. Where one Church hath many Pastors, their Pa­storal Office is the same: but how far any one either for his age, grace or gifts, or for order sake shall be submitted to by the rest, we think God hath left to be determined prudently, as the Churches edification shall require: but if any think otherwise, it shall not turn us from Love and Communion with them.

13. About Ruling Elders we are not all of a mind among our selves: some of us think that the Eldership or mini­stry is but one and the same Office, and that all of them should be ordained and have power of word, Sacraments and Discipline; but that one in a Church (or two) be­ing usually the ablest speakers, the rest quoad exercitium may be usually imployed in private Vigilance and Dis­cipline, and some assistance in other parts of worship, except when necessity calls them to Preach. Others think that Elders without power of word and Sacraments, is an Office of Divine Institution: but this maketh no division between us, because we force not each other to subscribe to the same opinions, but can unite in one practice upon different principles.

14. It is the Pastors office to hold Church Assemblies for the aforesaid worship: Especially on the Lords Days, which the spirit of God hath separated to such holy exercises.

15. Gods worship must be performed rationally, holily, according to Gods word in all things there determined, and decently, orderly, and to edification in all the undetermined cir­cumstances.

16. Whether Sermons and Prayers shall be by pre­pared Forms of words, or from the Habits of understand­ing and affection presently uttered; whether read out of Notes or Books, or spoken without, is left to the prudent [Page 142] determination of the Pastor, whose Office it is to word his own conceptions, according to mens various qualifica­tions: in which none should contemn or judge another, nor avoid the Communion of those that do not as they do.

17. We must not give Divine worship or Honour to any Creature.

18. When Pastors do usurp Power over one another to command all about them to speak to men from God or to God for men, in no other words but what the usurpers shall write them down, and so make Ministers but Cryers to read their prescripts or Proclamations, and also do prescribe to others the necessary use of unnecessary things, according to the Vsurpers will, this is and hath been the Grand Engine of Church Divisions, by which the Church­es have been torn in pieces for above a thousand years. And because every age doth bring forth men Proud enough to usurp, and few wise enough to learn by the Churches many hundred years experience, thereby the mischief proceedeth unremedied.

19. But if any find it best to use the same words, or many Churches, to avoid inconveniences, shall see cause to agree to use the same words in Confessions, in Psalms, in Prayers or Sacraments without usurpation over others, we are no opposers of such agreements. And if our lawful Governours do prescribe, e. g. One translation of the Scripture to be read, One Version of the Psalms to be Sung, we do obey: and if mistakingly they should take any part of the Pastors work out of his hands by their im­positions, though we may not neglect our necessary du­ty, we shall behave our selves as true peaceable­ness ☞and the honour of our Rulers with the Church­es edification doth require.

[Page 143] 20. The Office of the Sacred Ministry being Instituted by Christ, 1. from Gods gifts (of nature and grace) we have our Dispositive Aptitude, without which the Per­son is not receptive of the Power. 2. From the said word of institution, sloweth our power and obligation it self. 3. From the peoples and ordainers election or consent is the de­signation of the Individual person that shall receive it, 4. to which also his own consent is a cause sine quâ non. 5. And the Ministerial investiture is by Ordination; 6. And Liber­ty and defence and incouragement are from the Magistrate; 7. And Opportunity is from Gods Providence, the peoples present willingness, and usually from the Magistrates leave. Thus do these severals severally concur to the Ministeral Office, and to its exercise respectively.

21. Two causes fill the Churches with bad Pastors: The one is when the Honours and Riches of the Office are so great as to be a strong bait to Pride and Covetous­ness (under the name of encouragements to Learning) for then most certainly the most Proud and Covetous (that is the worst) will be the eagerest seekers, and most probably they that seek shall find. The other is when bad Rulers, Patrons or people are the choosers.

22. Wicked, Covetous, carnal, proud men admitted into Bishopricks and Ministry have been the woful plague of the Church, especially for thirteen hundred years: For bad men will so teach and so live, that the Best of the flock will most dislike them, and then they will turn enemies to the Best for disliking them, and will Preach against them and make them as odious as they can: and this will re­joyce the prophane part of the flock which naturally hate holiness: and so the wicked Pastor, and wicked People will become a Party against the Best, and keep them un­der reproach and persecution: Whereupon the sufferers will be tempted not only to greater dislike, but to undue [Page 144] passions and separations; and if the Magistrates take part with the wicked party, they also will partake of the dis­like; and so wicked Pastors are the floodgates of con­fusion, and happy are those Rulers that curb them, and help the Churches to faithful men.

It grieveth some of us to read so much undenyable truth in the foresaid Infidel's Tractatus Theologico-Politi­cus, as the reason of the wicked lives of Christians, Praesat. p. 4. [‘Hujus mali causam quaerens, &c. Seeking the cause of this mischief, I doubted not but hence it sprang, that Vulgarly it was a piece of Religion to esteem the Ministeries of the Church as Dignities, and its Offices as Benefices, and to gave the Pastors the highest honour: and as soon as this abuse cr [...]pt in, presently all the worst men were invaded with a greater desire of sacred administrations, and the Love of propagating divine Religion, degenerated into sordid Avarice; and so the Temple it self into a Theatre, where were heard, not Church Teachers, but Orators; of whom none thirsted to teach the people, but to draw them into admiration of them­selves, and publickly to carp at dissenters, and to teach things [...] and unusual, and such as the vulgar most admire: whence great contentions, envy and hatred, which no antiquity could appease, must needs arise. No wonder therefore that of the old Religion nothing doth remain but the outward wor­ship (by which God is rather flattered than adored) and that faith is become nothing but credulity and prejudice, &c.’] As to the greatest part of the Churches, ‘pu [...]et haec opprobria nobis, &c.’

23. We fear this evil will never be cured, till Church Dignities and Riches be so far taken down that they may be no strong temptation to the Proud and Covetous, and so may not entail the Ministry for ever on the worst of men: but only by a competent s [...]pend prevent the temptations of Poverty and worldly cares to those that seek the holy of­fice [Page 145] for holy ends: Lest one part of the Ministry being Great and worldly, and the other through Poverty left base and unlearned, both should subserve the enemy of souls.

24. No Bishops or Pastors have any secular coactive Power (unless the King make them his Officers): and therefore of themselves can Rule none but Volunteers.

25. Whether the Apostles or Evangelists have any successors in the ordinary work of taking care of many Churches, without being fixed to any one, and whether Magistrates may appoint any Pastors to be General Visitors of the Churches in their Dominions, are questions which we would not be too bold in determining, nor will we about them be troublers of the Church. But we believe that God hath not made such an inequality of Churches whether Rome, Alexandria, or any as Metropoles, as to make one Church a Governor of other neighbour Church­es. And we wonder at them that know that Civil Rulers did set up the Patriarchs and Metropolitans in the Roman Empire, in conformity to their Civil Policy, and know that this Empire is now dissolved, and the reason of the thing (had it been lawful) ceased; and yet talk of forming General Councils by the five Imperial Patriarchs, and of subjecting themselves to the Pope as to one of the five.

26. Councils or Synods and that stated as to time and place are very useful among good Pastors, for concord, Counsel and correspondence: but the major part are not the Governors of the minor, nor of their absent brethren: nor are stated Synods absolutely necessary; nor conveni­ent when, 1. they are degenerating into the Church Tyranny of a major Vote, 2. or are displeasing to Rulers and inconsistent with liberty or peace.

[Page 146] 27. Therefore we take not a National Church to be a Body Politick of Divine Institution, either headed by one Bishop, or by a National Assembly, as a proper con­stitutive Governing part. But we hold that the King is the Governor of all the Churches in his Kingdoms, as far as they must be governed by the Sword: and that National Synods and others inferior to them are fit means for the said Council and concord among the seve­ral Pastors.

28. Whether one in each Synod shall be Moderator, and that pro tempore or durante vitâ as oft as there are Synods? and whether one shall be trusted to summon such Synods, and how he shall preside to preserve peace and order, are matters prudently to be determined, as the edification of the Church requireth, so that Church Tyranny be not introduced.

29. As Pastors of several Churches have not a Govern­ing power over other Bishops and Pastors, but only by Synods are to give counsel and keep concord; so none of them in the world can excommunicate other Bishops or Pastors, as Governours of them: but only dis­claim Communion with such publick Hereticks and Incendiaries as deserve it, and counsel others to do the li [...]e: but when they have done, they have done their part. But if moreover they will do as the Pope doth, and ex­communicate people and Pastors of other Churches and countreys, and Kings themselves as if they were their Governors, and also stir up others to draw the Sword against them, and seek to force Kings to kill or banish or punish those that they have excommunicated, meer­ly as such, we take such to be professed Incendiaries in the world.

30. No proper part of the Pastoral Office, whether it be by Teaching, Administring Sacraments, or the pow­er [Page 147] and use of the Ecclesiastical keys, belong to any Lay­men, whether Chancellors or others.

31. All coactive Church Government belongeth to the King and Magistrates who are the Keepers of the Churches peace, and need not a Church-Office of Pre­lates to do their work, and take the honour of it to them­selves.

32. The foresaid Usurpations of Proud Pastors over the Consciences of others, out of their own Churches, with their turning the ancient practical Christianity into contentions for speculations and notions of their own, proceeding at last to a Tyranny over Kings and Magi­strates themselves, yea even to impose Oaths on men to obey them, and never to reform them, or endeavour any alteration of these evils, hath been the corruption, con­fusion and calamity of the Christian world, which too many Princes of the world have endured, and some in blind devotion and some for selfish ends promo­ted.

33. The weakness of the people, even the zealous sort, sometimes taking up some little unjustifiable conceits and singularities, and sometimes too passionately renouncing bad Pastors, and sometimes falling into scandalous actions or shameful divisions among themselves, hath been the in­crease of the Papal Kingdom, and the great and prevailings pretence for Church Tyranny: And some otherwise sober men have been tempted to think that the peoples giddiness and unruliness is such, that there is no other way to peace.

34. And the very fountain and foundation of almost all this calamity hath been the forsaking of the Primitive, necessary, sure and simple Test and Symbol of the Christian Profession and Terms of Church Vnion and Communion; [Page 148] and substituting a multitude of unnecessary, uncertain, late Inventions, which Proud men that think themselves the most Orthodox have introduced and imposed: And when we return to the Primitive simplicity and to Vinc. Lerinensis his [Quae semper, ubique & ab omnibus] as con­scious of the darkness of mans understanding, and lov­ing Holiness more than speculations and domination, and Loving our Brethren as our selves, we shall then have blessed Peace and concord: And while we drive it a­way and will rather be at the greatest cost and dan­ger to expel it by our Inventions, than entertain it on Gods cheap, sweet, easie terms, no wonder if we be without it; and if the harmless neighbours suffer, when a mad man sets his own house on fire. But Blessed are the Peace-makers, for they shall be called the Children of God, though now men call them, what Pride, malignity, or carnal worldly interest list.

Of the true and only termes of Church Concord in Gene­ral; and of the Causes of Schisme: and of Tolera­tion.

1. EVery mans own welfare and peace is his own in­terest.

2. Therefore every man is for his own peace.

3. The Common peace of the State and of the univer­sal Church, is the interest of all that intend not as Rebels and Hereticks to set up themselves against them both, or either of them.

4. Peace therefore hath the good word of almost all, be­cause few dare own their Rebellious or Heretical inclina­tions.

5. Unity and peace are betrayed as Christ, with the Judas kiss of Covetous hirelings: And none do more to kill it, than some that have most cried it up.

6. As every Hypocrite will be very Religious, but on­ly by subjecting the true Common Religion to his own interest and lusts; so every enemy of Peace would have nothing else but Peace; But it is only by making his Own Peace the rule of the Common Peace, and bringing all men to Center in his interests, and to take their Peace upon his terms, from him.

7. The greatest pretenders to unity and Peace in the world, have been the Roman Clergy; and next them those of Constantinople: And none in the world have been [Page 150] greater Church dividers, by making impossible Terms of unity and peace.

8. The chiefest impediments to unity and Peace in the world are, 1. A wicked selfish heart, and 2. Impos­sible Terms; and under both the Church still bleed­eth.

9. As the Terms of Gods first sentence did put an everlasting enmity between the Womans and the Serpents seed, so it was shewed in the two first Brothers that ever were born into the world; who had the same Parents and education, and were of the same Religion, and yet the elder slew the younger for offering to God a more faithful and acceptable Sacrifice, and for a better manner of serving God in the same religion: Even because his own works were bad, and his brothers good. Gen. 4. 4, 8. Heb. 11. 4. 1 Joh. 3. 12. Jud. 11.

10. And it is not inconsiderable that Christ himself calleth the Devil the father of malignant enemies of the truth and of liars, and saith, they do their fathers work, Joh. 8. 44. And that, 1 Joh. 3. 8, 10. it is said that he that commits sin is of the Devil; And that there the difference between the faithful and the wicked, is cal­led, The difference between the Children of God and of the Devil: And that the Devil is said to lead Captive the ad­versaries of the truth, 2 Tim. 2. 26. and to steal the word out of mens hearts, Luk. 8. 12. And that envious wisdom is called Devilish, Jam. 3. 15. And that the Devil is said to enter into Judas, Joh. 13. 2. Yea Christ saith, that he was a Devil, Joh. 6. 70. And final­ly the wicked must go into the everlasting fire which is prepared for the Devil and his Angels, Mat. 25. 41. All which sheweth that it is no wonder if such are partly meant by the Serpents seed.

[Page 151] 11. And the Holy Ghost telleth us also from the in­stance of Ishmael and Isaak, that as he that was born of the flesh, did persecute him that was born after the spirit, even so it is now, Gal. 4. 29.

12. And the universal history and experience of all the world, from Cain till now, doth so fully confirm this truth, as tends much to confirm our belief of the pre­diction.

13. This enmity proceedeth from the Carnal vicious inclination and interest of wicked men, and the unchange­able enmity of the word and way of God to such in­clinations and interest, and the devoted resolution of all true Christians, to stick to Christ and take his part, and to fight against the flesh, the world and the Devil to the death.

14. The Godly must not, dare not, will not forsake their master and rule, and come over for peace to the way of the ungodly; because it will be too dear a peace, that is bought with the loss of God and heaven.

15. The wicked may change and come over to the Godly (and must, or be undone for ever) The enmity therefore is long of them.

16. It is not meer Learning, or civility, or a pastoral office, or knowledge and utterance for the Ministerial work, which will remove this enmity, from a Cainites heart; but it must be done by the true sanctification of the spirit, Joh: 3. 5, 6. Rom. 8, 6, 7, 8, 9.

17. Abundance of particular occasions and differences may lye in sight, but underground this is the radical difference, which causeth most of the calamities of the Churches.

18. Especially if Cainites get into the Pastoral Chair, they have great advantage to fight against Christ in his own name, and scatter his flocks, and make Merchan­dize [Page 152] of souls as by his own authority, and lay the blame of all on others; Till Christ shall come and gather his scattered ones and plead his own cause (which Rome is like to see with sorrow.)

19. Yet even among the best the Principles and causes of divisions are proportionable to the remnant of their sins, and the family of Christ hath ever been troubled with the peevish quarrellings of his children.

20. The best way then for universal peace, is to make all men Holy, and the best more holy: And then they will have all, one Center, one end, one Rule, one interest, one Nature, and one spirit and fervent Love to one another, as to themselves; with all the peaceable graces, humility, lowliness, meekness, patience, &c. But this is a way rather to be desired and hoped for in heaven, than hoped for among such a world of sinners here.

21. The next way therefore, that must do our work, if ever it be done, is while we are endeavouring to make men better, to find out and use the fittest terms of their peace and concord as they are. It is JUST TERMS that must heal the Church on earth; and which all the sons of peace must seek after.

22. These terms must be such as oppose not Holiness, but subserve it and promote it. The wisedom from a­bove is first pure, then peaceable, &c. Jam. 3. 11. And peace and holiness must not be separated, Heb. 12. 14. Though if possible, as much as in us lieth, we must live peaceably with all men, Rom. 12. 18.

23. These terms must be such as take in all that Christ taketh in, and would have us take in: that is, All that are fit for Church Communion.

24. They should be such terms as all true Christians fit for such Church Communion if imposed would have [Page 153] united in, in all ages and places of the Church since the days of Christ till now. For those terms that would have divided the Church, are not the fit means to unite it.

25. And they should be such terms as the Church hath been at least in some age, if not in all, united actu­ally in. For why should we think that the Church should now unite upon such terms, as it never united in be­fore?

26. Christ himself who is the Center of the Churches Union, and the great Lawgiver, and Master of our faith, hath certainly in his Laws, prescribed to his Church, the necessary and best terms of Vniversal concord in parti­culars; and of the Concord of particular Churches, at least in general Laws. If he have left out the necessary terms of Union, what are his Laws for? how is he our Head? How shall his Church be one, and what shall cement and unite the members? sure this is none of the things in­different.

27. The terms that Christ hath appointed for Church Union is the Baptismal Covenant, Matth. 28. 19, 20. [Whoever believeth in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as his reconciled God and father, his saviour and sanctifier, and giveth up himself faithfully to him in Covenant ac­cordingly, shall be saved and taken into heaven, if he so continues:] And whosoever doth this Sacramentally, by the open Vow and profession of baptism, was by Christs appointment to be taken into the Church. Therefore he then wanted nothing necessary to admittance and Church Communion.

28. Since the proud Diotrephes's on one side, as Lords of Gods heritage (1 Pet. 5. 3.) have violated this fun­damental sacred rule; and self-conceited strictness and superstitious rigor hath violated it on the other hand (by calling for other kind of Titles, and discoveries of mens [Page 154] sincerity, and by imposing new Laws (as various as mens strictnesses and opinions) on the Church, the Christian world hath had little concord, or quiet peace.

29. Because men must do what they do understand­ingly, in matters of such moment, the Churches in the Apostles times and by their consent, did explain these three Articles of the Baptismal Covenant to the baptized, and required an understanding profession of their Belief and Consent to it, as thus expained: which explication is now called the Apostles Creed; Because though the Churches might not tye themselves to every one of the same words as now they stand (as the Formula's in Ire­naeus, Tertullian and others shew, and those collected by Vsher and Vossius) yet as it cannot be imagined that they took the three words of the Covenant without any explication, so neither can it seem credible that they allowed any such variation of terms, as might hazard a variation or corruption of the sence: Besides what Church History telleth us of the antiquity of the Creed.

30. As the Apostles in their times used no stricter or larg­er tests or terms of Church admittance, so neither did the Churches after them for a long time: But the Catechists expounded the Creed to the Catechumens, and used it as a sufficient test. Nay Synesius was made a Bishop be­fore he well believed the article of the Resurrection.

31. Christ who made the Covenant of Baptism the test and standing terms of entrance, did yet set up Pa­stors over his Churches, to be the Guides of the flock, and preservers of its unity: not to make new and stricter terms and Laws; but to preserve concord on the terms that he had founded it; and to see that men lived in Uni­ty and piety according to the terms of the Covenant which they had entered. This therefore is the Pastors work.

[Page 155] 32. Though the Keys be put into the Pastors hands yet so is not the Legislation to make new terms of Chri­stian Unity; but to make such particular determinati­ons of the circumstances of order and decency as are agree able to Christs general Laws; And when they have as Ministers not Lords, received men on Christs own terms, they are not to excommunicate and turn them out again, for want of more, but for violating these; nor arbitrarily to rule the Churches, but to teach them all things that Christ commanded, Matth. 28. 20. And to cast out only the impenitent violators of his Covenant.

33. If therefore the Pastors shall contrary to the decree of the Holy Ghost by the Apostles, Act. 15. impose unne­cessary things on the Church, not only under the obli­gation of duty, but as a necessary condition of Church communion; they will tyrannize over Gods heritage, and usurp a power never given them, and contradict one end of Christs own Sacraments, and the ancient Creed.

34. The long and sad, experience of all the Christian Churches, which have been divided by necessary humane impositions, and the voice of all wise peace-makers in all times (who have still called for [Vnity in things necessa­ry, Liberty in things unnecessary, and Charity in both] do leave those that yet will not be perswaded to these terms, as unexcuseable persons, as almost any in all the world; worse than Physicians that would use all those things as the only remedies, which have killed all that ever used them for 1500 years.

35. A Pastor should love his own flock as well as the people of a forreign land: Therefore they that confess that for the communion of all the Churches, there are no terms like these which we now mention, should not be more cruel to their own at home, nor turn them out of their [Page 156] fathers house for every ceremonial difference, nor make them any work which should prove their snare.

36. Yet we know that every Pastor is to guide his own Church in needful circumstances, as the time and place of worship, the method, the versions, the tunes, the utensils and other things formentioned: And no Chri­stian should be peevishly froward, and disobedient against such determinations. But as none that are needless should be imposed (for the determination one way or other must be necessary, though this or that way be not comparatively necessary), so they are not to be made more necessary by mens wills than they are in their use; At least not made the matter of excommunication. But if the Pastor necessarily appoint one time, one place, one tune, one translation, &c. and any of the people there­fore fly away and causlesly a void the Church, it is they then that cast out themselves by departing: But if he needlesly say, You shall say this, or subscribe, or con­form to many needless burdens, or else have no communion here, the act of exclusion then is his.

37. True Love would end our greatest difference: Let men Love their neighbours without dissembling as themselves, and do but as they would be done by, and we will not fear them.

38. Yea if many of the children of the Church were injudiciously scrupulous, when fear of sin and hell was the cause, a tender Pastor would abate them a Ceremo­ny in such a case, when his abating it hath no such danger.

39. Unmerciful Pastors cause the people to question whether they be sent of God, because they are made the fathers of the flock to rule them only by Light and Love; and have no power of the sword: And their rod it self and excommunication, is only by application of Christs law. And what they cannot do by Reason, Scripture [Page 157] and Love, they cannot do at all as Pastors: Hurt they may do otherwise, but no good. And the people judge of Pastors as Solomon of the true mother of the child; that the merciful and Loving is the true Pastor, and the hurtful is the usurper.

40. And the main Controversie that troubleth the Christian Churches is but, when the nurses offer such morsels to the children which they cannot swallow, whether the bits shall be cut less (which will hurt no body) or the childrens throats shall be cut wider.

41. We are so far from thinking that Pastors should not guide the people by Love and by their own consent, and from thinking with Doctor Heylin, (speaking of Arch-Bishop Abbot in the Life of Arch-Bishop Laud) that it's doubtful whether the Church have a greater plague than a popular Prelate], that on the contrary we think that all Pastoral power and Govern­ment is only instructive, Perswasive and Directive, or such precept as worketh only upon the Conscientious and Consenters, and can work on no man any further than he consenteth, or as it operateth on his judgement, will or affection. For they have no instrument but Gods word to govern by. Yet are they (as a father) Perswaders Au­thorized and in Office, and not only such as perswade men meerly out of Charity and occasionally as private men.

42. The Universal Church hath long had Vnity upon the terms of Baptism and the Creed and Scriptures, with­out any other subscriptions, Oaths or other Professions made necessary to communion. But it never had Union upon such additional terms, of new professions, subscriptions and Oaths, as most Churches now impose and require. When they departed from the ancient simplicity, and the primitive terms, they departed from Unity and concord, and so continue divided to this day.

[Page 158] 43. As for the indifferent modes and circumstances of worship, some most of the Churches voluntarily agreed in; some they differed in; some the particular Bishops made to be the Order of their own particuar Churches, (which were for 200 or 300 years no more populous than our Parishes), and this not against the peoples will; But none of them were imposed by any Bishops upon other Churches, nor made necessary to Communion a­gainst the wills and consciences of the Presbyters and people, nor Ministers silenced nor people excommunica­ted for refusing them; But they were used as things In­different with mutual charity, till the decay of Charity and the entrance of Pride and Church Tyranny turned things indifferent into those engines of divisions, which have wracked, and dismembred and torn in pieces the Churches through the world unto this day.

44. A diversity of such circumstances and indifferent modes in divers Churches or Parishes, and sometimes in the same Church, is no such dreadful mischief as some frightful Pastors would make themselves or others believe: much less to be compared with the consequents of un­necessary impositions. What harm is it if one Parish or Pastor use one Liturgick form or ceremony, and another use another, (so that neither of them be evil) any more than that now one Minister in the Pulpit useth one prayer, one Sermon, one method, and another useth another: Our Cathedrals and our Parish Churches have great difference of such modes, without any such mischiefs: And now one Parish Minister prayeth in the Pulpit, and another only biddeth Prayer (and pleadeth for it as the principal way): And one that prayeth in the Pulpit useth his own words, and another doth it in the words of the Liturgy: One useth a form (the same ordinarily) and another varieth according to the matter of his Sermon [Page 159] and the occasion: One Minister preacheth Arminianism, (in the points of free-will, effectual grace prede­stination, Redemption, and perseverance); And another preacheth zealously against it, as a dangerous sort of error: One is for the morality of the fourth commandement, and another against it. One thinketh that the Lords day is of Ecclesiastical institution (and perhaps mutable) and another that it is of Divine institution. Bishop Tailor writeth against Original sin, and Bishop Warner, for it. Doctor Gunning writeth for the Religious observation of Lent, and Doctor More for the Civil only. One sitteth at the singing of a Psalm, and another standeth and ano­ther kneeleth (and so at Sermon): One boweth only at the name of Jesus; another boweth also at the name [Christ] and [God] &c. One standeth up at the Reading of the Psalms, and not at the singing of the same Psalms; another sitteth at both, and a third standeth up at both: One thinketh Episcopacy to be of Divine institution; and another thinketh that it is but of humane, and God hath instituted no form of Church Government (as Doctor Stillingfleet, Bishop Reignolds and others think). The Canons of 1640. which set up Altars and Rails, and bowing towards the Altar, leave it indifferent, ad­vising dissenters not to despise or censure one another: One receiveth the Lord supper (the elements) kneeling, and then standeth or sitteth to eat or drink it (supposing that the obligation to receive it kneeling, extendeth not to the eating or drinking of it kneeling): Another doth both receive and eat and drink it kneeling. One useth the names of Altar, Sacrifice, Priest, &c. and another is afraid lest they will introduce the Mass. One that De­clareth his assent and consent to all things contained in and prescribed by three books, doth tell us, that he meaneth only that it is lawful to use so much of them as concerneth [Page 160] himself to use, and indeed no further to assent or consent to the things or words: Another meaneth plainly as he speaketh. One that taketh the Oxford Oath or that sub­scribeth not to resist any Commissioned by the King, &c. meaneth it only of a Lawful Commission, and saith, No o­ther is a Commission: Another meaneth it of any Com­mission. One that sweareth or subscribeth never to endea­vour any alteration of Church Government meaneth, by Alteration properly qualitative Alteration; Another meaneth only a change of Episcopacy in genere into an­other kind: One by Government meaneth the external Government of the Church as it is in the King, accord­ing to the Oath of supremacy (which none of us scruple) Another meaneth the spiritual Internal Government by the Keys, that is, the Authoritative management of Gods words. One by [endeavour] meaneth only [un­lawful endeavour] Another meaneth as universally as he speaketh Any kind of endeavour, in his place and calling, or out of it. And as to practice we come not into two Churches of ten, where just all the same prayers and parts of the Liturgy are daily read; but one readeth more, and another less; one this part and another that: Nay I have my self communicated in a conformable Parish Church in London, where one half kneel at the receiving of the Sacrament, and the other sit; And all this with­out any violation of Love or concord; without any grudg­ing or mischievous effects: so that experience shameth the dreaming fears of imposing men.

And in Doctrines Doctor Heylin tells you in the end of his Preface to the Life of A. B. Laud, what liber­ty of judgement the Church hath left, for how good reasons.

45. One of the greatest dividers and troubles of the Church through the world is the Lordly, proud, impatient [Page 161] spirit of the Pastors; who when they should be as Nurses to the children of God, and should bear with their cryings and frowardness and foulness while they are breeding them up to a more mature and solid and peace­able temper, do treat with infants as with equals, and snuffe at all the quarrels and complaints which they under­go, and look that before and without their education, they all be as wise and staied as themselves, and are ready to bring their actionat Law against every child that cryeth or complaineth, and to turn them out of the family of God: And are so quite contrary to that tender and gracious spirit and example of Christ, that when they themselves should be as little children, and the servants of all, they are so proud and Lordly, that they cannot bear any contradiction, dissent or disobedience to their Laws and dictates; But set up a cry, as if the Church were all on a fire, and the enemy were at the gates, and all were undone, as soon as their imperious and imposing wills are neg­lected in a ceremony or an indifferent thing. God give his children tender Nurses.

46. I my self have found by experience, that Christians may be kept in Unity and peace, without any heresies, factions or divisions, by means of Scripture, Rea­son and Love, by their own consent, without compulsion.

47. many of us have found, that in case of the peevish self-conceitedness of any of our people, that fall into heretical dispositions, noise and violence are the bellows of their zeal, and the chief increasers of their folly and fury: And neglect extinguisheth it: so be it that they be but solidly confuted to the more judicious, and the rest kept in Unity and peace; The very neighbour­hood of the Orthodox that are unanimous and concordant, doth quickly drain the heretical conventicles, and make the erroneous ashamed of themselves, and a weary of their impetuousness.

[Page 162] 48. They that can bear with such in their constant congregations and Communion, who understand not the essentials of Christianity, or whose understanding they are utterly unacquainted with; and also with drunkards, tiplers, swearers, cursers, railers, prayerless families, forni­cators, gluttons, sensual riotous persons, &c. and yet will rather cast Kingdoms into confusion than they will bear with an honest godly Christian, that differeth from their way of worship in no greater matter than a Cere­mony, have something more amiss within than a Ce­remony.

49. We suppose that errors and faults of subjects must be distinguished of by Magistrates and Pastors; some are Tolerable, and those must be Tolerated: some are in­tolerable, and must not be tolerated: we are not therefore for an universal unlimited toleration. And we think that those, who cry out [One and All, why not one as well as another] have much themselves of design or necessity to be tolerated, or else very little of understanding: And they may as well say, [If an idle talker may be endured in the Commonwealth, why not a Traytor? If there be no Law against Lying, why should there be any against murder or Rebellion? If a foot must be cut off for a Gan­gren, why not for a Corn?] Wo to the world when it is ruled by such wits.

50. Nay we suppose that no fault even in publick mat­ters of Religion is therefore to be left incorrigible, be­cause the Magistrate wanteth power to meddle with it (though Heart-sins and unproved sins are out of his cogni­sance): we doubt not but the Magistrate may punish evil doers where God or nature make no exception, or disable him not, Rom. 13. 4, 5, 6. He must take more care of Gods interest than his own; and of our souls than of our bodies, and of Religion than of Commerce: But the [Page 163] question is only what he can do effectually and what not: and what means prudence requireth him to use.

51. We would not have the Magistrate forbear to cure the smallest fault or error, of what kind soever which he can really cure: But what he cannot cure must be tolera­ted: He cannot make his Subjects perfect. And we would not have him kill under pretence of curing, nor set the house on fire to kill the rats and mice, nor cure a low­sie headed child by cutting off his head, nor cure his cry­ing by cutting his throat; Nor to divide and destroy the Church by ordering it, nor for a needless subscription or a ceremony, to forbid the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, when it is necessary to the saving of souls.

52. He that knoweth not himself to be a man and a sinner, is not sit to be a Pastor: And he that doth, and is penitently conscious, what abundance of greater sins he hath than the Conscientious forbearance of a Ceremo­ny or needless Oath or subscription, will be very tender in his usage of others.

53. A fear of sinning is necessary in all that will be obedient to God, and will be saved: It is that fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom: It is therefore to be loved and cherished, even when scrupulousness mistak­eth the matter; And not to be reproached, discouraged, or persecuted out of the world.

54. By a tender Conscience we mean the same that God in his promise doth by a heart of flesh in opposition to a stony heart: We suppose Holiness to consist in the sanctity of the three natural faculties, Active power, understanding and will; and [...]o consist in Life, Light and Love; As a state of unholiness consisteth, in Deadness, Dark­ness and Disaffection. It is therefore a Conscience that hath Spiritual life and feeling that we mean, and that percei­veth more the evil of the least sin, than a fornicator or [Page 164] a drunkard, or a proud oppressor doth perceive the greatest. Therefore as for them that take a tender Conscience to be but a tender (that is, a soft or foolish) head, we envy them not the honour of a s [...]ared Conscience, or a hardned heart, that is p [...]st feeling, Eph. 4. 19.

55. The imposing of unnecessary subscriptions, professions or Oaths, is the way to fill the Church with men that are not troubled with tender Consciences, and that have no fear of God or sin: For if there be a thousand Atheists, Infidels or impious debauched persons, that either believe not, or regard not the life to come, and make no Con­science of any sin at all, what should hinder all or any of these, from saying, subscribing or swearing any thing, that their profit or honour or ease or safety doth require? And seeing undoubtedly it is so, Quaere, whether he that believeth that ever he shall be judged by the great Pa­stor of the flock, should not be as much at least afraid, of letting in such Presbyters as these into the Churches of his Diocess, as of enduring holy faithful men, that fear a lie or Oath or superstition.

56. All are for Toleration (usually) that need it: And so would they be that now deny it.

57. He that knoweth the frailties of all mankind and the weakness of most Christians yea and Ministers, doth know that all mankind, all Christians, and all Prelates and Pastors have great need of some (yea of much) tolerati­on, not to cherish their sin, but to endure the smell and trouble of their Ulcers, till they can be cured. And as Seneca thinketh that he speaketh against mankind, that reproacheth a man with faults that are common to mankind; so we do more soundly judge, that he that maketh a Ca­non to silence or excommuniate or cast out men, for a fault common to all preachers, Christians and men, doth make a Canon to silence or cast out all Preachers, Pastors or men.

[Page 165] 58. If we deserve to be cast out of Church and King­dom, in this case of nonconformity to the present Im­positions, it is because we are either weak or Ignorant or wicked (for nature hath no other fault.) And on conditi­on that the Diocesans will effectually provide, that none more weak, more ignorant, or more wicked shall be tolerated in Church and Kingdom when we are gone, and no detri­ment befall his Majesties dominions by the diminution of his Subjects, we here profess to the world, our joyful consent to be silenced and banished. And I am so far from speaking this in overvaluing of my self, that I profess that it is my brethren that I now intend: (Though he is a fool that taketh himself to be no wiser than a stark fool; And it's like they that deride our self-abasing conses­sions, will not expect that we should belie ourselves, or equal the up right with the hypocrite). And I tell posterity, if this age will not hear, that though I am ac­counted one of the greatest bewailers and reprovers of the sins of the Nonconformists, Ministers and people, and no flatterer of either of them, that I do verily believe [that under all the Heavens of God, there is no one party, of Mini­sters and people, more able, holy, wise and faithful, than those that are now silenced and reproached as Puritans in his Majesties Dominions; And that they are the glory of the Churches, and of the King and his Kingdoms; and such as no o­ther Prince in all the world is equally blest with.] Let malice and ignorance and interest say its worst, I have nothing that I know of to make me partial to them, but have born as many contradictions from them as most men living; yet this is my unfeigned testimony upon my long acquaintance with them, which I leave to posterity as a dying man.

59. Yea moreover, If the Diocesans will but (not talk, but really) fill up the vacancies in the Kings Dominions with persons who for Quality, diligence and numbers, may suf­ficiently [Page 166] supply the peoples wants, so that in the eye of any knowing experienced person, that careth for souls, and believeth the Gospel, our Ministry shall not be palpabl [...] and notoriously needful, to the instructing, edifying and saving of many thousand (or hundred thousand) souls, we do solemnly as before God and man profess, that we will not only cease our Ministration, but quietly live in pri­vate communion with the Churches, and take it for the joyfullest day, that ever did shine upon us since we were born. But alas, what frivolous talk is this!

60. Though we ought not to be void of compassion to those faithful and pious Ministers, and private Christi­ans, who have suffered long imprisonments; nor of their case who want their daily bread, for themselves and fa­milies, who might have lived as plentifully as their neigh­bours, if they had not been consecrated to the sacred Ministry, but betaken themselves to a secular life; yet so small a matter is the hunger, or imprisonment of Ministers, in comparison of the miseries of the souls of men, that for my part I would never mention it, nor meddle in an apology or such displeasing writings for them, if their own greatest corporal sufferings were the worst; and the punishing the souls of the ignorant and ungodly, called not louder for pity and relief.

61. And those of us that (through Gods mercy) want not necessaries, find small temptation from the world and flesh, to desire ever to exercise our Ministry more. For my own part, if I had not other ways had more than ever I received any way for my ministerial work & office, I must have lived in it (to others, though not to my self) at far lower rates than I did: And we are few of us such dullards I think, but by Law, Physick, trading or other secular means, we might live in more plenty and less obloquy than we do. When I gave men Medicines for their bodies, [Page 167] they thankt me for it, and none rose up against me for it with displeasure, as many have done for ministerial sidelity: we have flesh and blood as well as others, and know what belongeth to our ease and fleshly interest: How glad would our fleshly part be to be eased of this unthankful work, which brings the revilings and threats of men (and more) about our ears? He that hath such list to talk, that he is contented to suffer all this, that he may but hear himself speak, or be heard and applauded by such as do applaud us, verily he hath a poor reward, and I account him worthy of all his sufferings.

62. They that by thrusting out the Orthodox and sober Ministers and private Christians equally with the hereti­cal and intolerable, will tell them when they desire to be restored, that it's they that would bring in an Vniversal Toleration of all the intolerable, do play so naked a game, that it's easily understood, though it must be silently and patiently endured: And if the Diocesans cannot tolerate our Preaching, we will quietly tolerate their Per

63. We thought that Bishop Taylor went too far in his Book for Liberty of Prophesying, but tempor a mutantur, and Conformists can change: we think it fit that the Magistrate go further in Restraining than in Constraining: And that he should hinder hereticks and blasphemers from reproaching the truth, and seducing souls; Yea hinder any sin in the world; as far as he can do it with­out greater hurt than the good will compensate. And as the Church must not suffer the doctrine of the Nicola­itans which Christ hateth, nor the woman Jesabel to teach and seduce the people to filthiness, Idolatry, &c. and as Pa­stors must stop such mouths with sacred argument, and shame them by the convincing light of truth; so Ma­gistrates in their places must hinder them so far, as that by pulling up the Tares, they be sure that they pull not up the wheat also.

[Page 168] 64. Leaving the Civil peace to the care of Magistrates, we must say of Church Vnity and peace, that it will hardly long be kept up by bad Pastors; (till they can make the people bad enough to be willing of them, Isa 5. last) And then it is a conspiracy against Christ, and not true peace.

65. For Good people will never be well contented with bad Ministers, nor bad Ministers ever well like or comply with the desires and ways of pious people.

66. Great Temptations cause bad interests, and bad in­terests make bad Ministers worse.

67. Great Preferments, power, wealth and fulness are Great Temptations.

68. They that Love these best, are the worst men, and unfittest for the Ministry, as having least the Love of God and holiness and heaven and souls. 1 John 2. 15, 16. Phil. 3. 18.

69. They that Love these best, are likeliest to get them because they will use all their wit and industry to get them: And he that seeketh is likest to find.

70. Therefore whilest the Ministry is in a state of great worldly wealth and honour and power and fulness, and so of Temptation, the worst men are likest to be the Pa­stors of the Church, except where Princes of rare piety do prevent it.

71. Such Carnal minds are enmity to God, and neither are nor can be subject to his Law, because they savour not the things of the spirit, but of the flesh: Rom. 8. 6, 7, 8. And how Christs enemies are like to guide his flock, and preserve the parity or Vnity of them, I leave to all to judge.

72. They wrong us that say, we would reduce the Church to the primitive persec [...]tion and povertie, when we call them to the Primitive terms of Vnity (Though we should be glad that our worse corrupting prosperity were [Page 169] changed into their holy suffering and poverty, rather than go on to be the Churches ruin) we bless God that we live under a Christian Protestant King, and we commend our Rulers pious zeal, for the saving of the Clergy from po­verty and contempt; And we are of their mind that think that excellent Godly painful Pastors or Bishops may do much good with a great deal of wealth and power: But we doubt that they talk but by the book, or of some rare won­ders, and never think how such excellent persons are ever like to have those advantages, nor what hurt others will do with them. He that said, If the Pope were a good man, what a deal of good might he do, to all the Christian world; did never live to see that good done.

73. The Apostles and first Churches were as wise as our Diocesans or any now, to know the fittest terms of Church concord, toleration and Communion.

74. If Act 15. it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and such a Council of Apostles, to lay nothing but a few Ne­cessary things on the Churches, lest they should bur­den them: we supose that determination of the Holy Ghost and the Apostles is obligatory to all Rulers and Churches upon earth, even to this day: And all that think not themselves wiser, should confess that at least it is safe to follow it.

75. The Apostle having so clearly and fully decided the case before us, in Rom. 14. & 15. against ei­ther censuring or despising one another for things indiffe­rent, we cannot wonder that they, who will neither un­derstand nor stand to this decision, will neither understand nor be satisfied with our most cogent arguments.

76. They that say that the Apostle doth not speak there of things indifferent after they are imposed by authority, say very true; Because he there taketh away that very subject, and preventeth all such cases, while he deter­mineth [Page 170] that such things should not be so imposed, but so far left free, that none may be rejected out of Church Com­munion for them, nor any censured or despised for them.

77. They that say the Apostle doth not forbid such Im­positions there, cannot see day for light.

1. If he forbid censuring, despising and not receiving one another, and command dissenters to receive one another, then he forbiddeth such imposition as is inconsistent herewith. But the antecedent is plain in the text, Ergo.

2. If he direct this command to all the Church of Rome, even the Authorized Pastors as well as the people, then he extendeth it to the Authorized Rulers of the Church. But the Antecedent is evident in the first and last Chapters of the Epistle—Ergo.

3. If he himself being a Pastor or Ruler of that Church, as fully authorized as any that should succeed, do declare his resolution even on moral reasons, to use that Church with the described toleration himself, then he thereby declareth that he would have other Rulers to do the like. But the antecedent is undeniable. Ergo so is the consequent.

4. If this Scripture (as others) be written for a standing Rule, for future ages as well as for that in which Paul lived, then it is obligatory to future Rulers— But—Ergo—.

78. They that say it speaketh not of rejecting from and receiving to Church Communion, neither directly nor con­sequentially, do deny to understand or believe plain words, and are contradicted not only by their own Annotator Dr. Hammond, but by so many more Expositors as should make them more modest in their conceits.

79. Yet we our selves confess (which many late Ex­positors note) that this doth not decide the case of the peoples Church Communion when Authority shall impose in­different [Page 171] things, nor doth it allow any private Christian to take liberty to use or not to use them, when Authority taketh away that liberty: For though the Apostle doth both forbid such impositions to the Rulers, as shall take a­way the liberty there expressed, and doth also forbid all pri­vate Christians, to censure, despise, or to deny to receive each other on any such accounts; yet if the Rulers shall break this Law of the spirit of God, and shall make such im­position of things indifferent as are here forbidden them, 1. Subjects must obey them, and take them as no longer indifferent to them, but a necessary duty, because their governours have taken away their liberty; 2. And if the Pastors unjustly cast out men on such small accounts, from the publick Communion of the Church, it is not in the power of the people to restore them, as being not intrusted with the Keys of Government.

Object. But how can any man take away the liberty that God hath given us?

Answ. Though he cannot do it without sin, he may do it so far as that you shall be obliged to obedience: A judge cannot against right adjudge any part of your possessions to another, without sin: But if he do it, though sinfully, you must not break order, nor reassume your own.

And it is to be noted that your Gift of Liberty is the consequent of the Rulers duty, who is here required to use you with this tenderness: And if he performeth not that duty, there wanteth the hand that should reach out this gift unto you, so that you had a distant jus ad rem, but no jus in re.

Obj. But is not a Rulers act null, which is done against the command of God: and consequently without authority?

Answ. He hath a General Authority in his Office it self to Rule you; though this text forbid him this parti­cular act: And his sinning against this one command of [Page 172] God, doth not nullifie the authority of his office: And as a subject you are bound to obey him in all lawful things, belonging to his general office: So that if it be lawful for you antecedently, it is your duty consequently to obey, though he sin in commanding: And every mistake of a Ruler will not disoblige the Subject from obeying.

But remember that all this is spoken only of things indifferent, and not of things forbidden by God.

80. The present full conformity now required will never be the terms of the full desirable unity and concord of the Christian Protestants in his Majesties dominion: They are Impossible means of such an end, and therefore will make such a Unity and concord to be impossible, Proved.

If it be both impossible to bring all good Christians judge­ments to hold all this conformity to be lawful, and impossible to bring them all to conform to that which they judge un­lawful; Then is it impossible to agree or unite them on these terms—But the antecedent is true—Ergo so is the consequent.

Remember that by Impossible, we mean not that which God cannot do, to whose omnipotency all things are pos­sible; But that which is Morally impossible, and never to be done, or expected by man.

1. That it is Morally impossible so far to alter their judgements, is evident, 1. In the numbers that must be changed, 2. In the natural operation of the intellect, which is not free, nor subject to the Laws or the will of man, nor fully or directly to the will of the person him­self; but receiveth things as they are represented by evi­dence, necessarily & per modum naturae, further than as the will in part overruleth the Cogitations. 3. In the great variety of natural temperatures, and degrees of do­cibility and apprehensiveness and ingenuity. 4. In the great [Page 173] diversity of Parents minds and their education of their children. 5. In the different converse of persons, with men that have several judgements, and all of them advantage to instill their principles into others. 6. In the marvel­lous variety of circumstances that men stand in, and con­sequently the diversity of light, representations and ap­pearances of things, as men and their affairs and interests stand in different postures. 7. In the difficulty of the controversies which must be so generally decided: were they not difficult, so many, so wise, so learned, so god­ly and impartial men would not have disagreed so long about them. 8. In the reverence which they have re­ceived and will retain, of the worth and judgements of such persons as Amesius, Hildersham, &c. Calvin, Be­za and multitudes more that have gone before them, whose honour no power on earth is able to destroy. 9. In the paucity, and distance of those conformable Ministers from most of the people, who must change their judge­ments; And the unaptness of most of them for such a work; especially when they come to plead against such as Blondel, Salmasius, Chamier, &c. 10. In the marvellous suspicion and scrupulousness that most tender conscienced Christians have against seeming additions, detractions and corruptions of Gods instit [...]d worship: And their fear of sinning in what they do, especially deliberately. 11. From the frightfulness and horridness of the evil which they fear in conformity; which is no less than deliberate ly­ing and perjury, yea the justifying of perjury in thou­sands, and the publick renouncing their duty of en­deavouring reformation, and many other grievous sins. I am not saying, that all these or any of them are such as they fear them to be (that is to be spoken to by it self) but only that they fear them to be such. And men will never be all bold among such dangers as these [Page 174] seem. 12. From the nature of mans understanding, and of God Grace, and of his promise, which will never suffer all his children to agree in such things as we think some of these in controversie to be. 13. And expereince of the continuance of these differences sheweth, what may be ex­pected for the time to come. One that hath not commen­ced Doctor of Divinity, nor is eminent for Reason, may easily know, 1. that All the Kings Subjects in three King­doms and America, are not like to attain to more Learn­ing, wisdom or honesty for the just decision of such con­troversies, than Doctor Ames, Doctor Reignolds, Do­ctor Humphrey, &c. or than at present Doctor Tuckney, Doctor Seaman, and many other such men have. 2. And (unless they prove much wiser and more learned than they have done of late) it is almost as easie to prognosticate, that conformity will not be better justified by them that must change the judgements of so many, than it hath been already by Downame, Morton, Burges, Covel, Bridge, Bilson, Hooker, and the most judicious Doctor Field: Much less that our Diocesans are like to exceed them so exceed­ing far in ability and success, as the maintaining of the pre­sent conformity exceedeth in difficulty the maintaining of the old. (For I do verily think that if Doctor Burges, Doctor Field, Bishop Downame, &c. were now alive, they would all be Nonconformists; And their own wri­tings put us past doubt, that Hooker and Bilson would be Nonconformists, unless they would forsake their publi­shed judgement: yea and more than Nonconformists.)

2. And now I come to the second branch of my Ante­cedent; As it is not morally possible, for to change the judgements of so many in this point, and to keep them in that mind from age to age; so it is as impossible to bring them all to conform against their judgements by any force that can be offered. I need not prove this to any that believ­eth [Page 175] that there is a God and a life to come, and believeth that any others do believe it: And those that believe nei­ther of these, should be no Bishops if I could help it. 1. From the Nature of faith and holiness: Every one that unfeignedly believeth that there is a God and a life to come (with a true practical belief) will rather die than deliberately and continuedly do that which he be­lieveth doth displease God, and forfeit everlasting hap­piness. 2. Gods promise is to strengthen his servants against such wilful impenitent sinning, and to keep them by his power through faith unto salvation: If Christ should suffer all his members to be deliberately and impenitently guilty of that, which they verily think is aggravated Per­jury, Ministerial Lying, renouncing reformation, justi­fying the sins of thousands, &c. then should the gates of hell prevail, and his Church be no Church (because not holy), and consequently Christ be no Head of a true Church, that is, no Christ. He that hath commanded, Fear not them that can kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do; but fear him, &c. Luke 12. 4. will give grace to his servants to obey his commands; for he hath promised to write his Laws in their hearts, &c. 3. And the Martyrdom undergone in so many ages doth assure us, that men will rather die, than deliberate­ly do that which they judge to be so great a sin. 4. And the sufferings of these times do tell you what men will further undergo, if you follow it on to the utmost: Some have died in prison already; And some have died of the diseases there taken; And many families live in very great necessities, that in the days of Usurpation had food and raiment. Lately I saw a credible letter craving relief for a godly Minister in Kent, who (when his infirmities lately contracted will permit him) doth spin at the wheel to get some bread for his family: And many others have suf­fered [Page 176] more. It is therefore evident that Violence will never make them forsake that which they judge of so great truth and necessity to their own and others mens Salvation.

81. He that thinketh that all other men will do that which they think is sin against God, and will damn their souls, to escape any penalties of humane Laws, doth thereby tell the world, either that he thinketh him­self more honest than all such others, or else that he would do thesame himself, which he expecteth from them, if it were his own case; And so, that he would sell his soul to save his flesh. A Bishop therefore should especi­ally be against such violence lest he disgrace himself, and tell the world what he is, and what he would do, by tell­ing them what he thinks others will do.

82. My own acquaintance in England perswadeth me confidently to believe, that (however very many would venture their souls to save their bodies, yet) if the Bi­shops could get Laws to hang all Nonconformists, or burn them as the Protestants in Queen Marys days, there would many hundred Ministers, and many thousand of private Christians, rather be burnt than do the things now questioned against their Consciences.

83. He that trusteth to punishments to procure Church concord, must in reason look to the end of such punish­ments, and not delude himself and his superiors, by think­ing that they will do what he would have them do. When lesser punishments are tryed, either he will proceed to greater, or not. If not, he hath but confirmed those whom he thought to change, and made the matter worse than before: If yea; then he must resolve how far to go. If he come short of banishment or death, the persons are still left alive, uncured and more stiffned. If he would have our Rulers proceed to banishment or death, either it must be of some, or of all Nonconformists. If but [Page 177] some, the rest will survive to be a differing party, and will increase their company by the advantage of their brethrens sufferings. Would any man have thought that when Queen Marys flames had consumed so many, the remnant should change Religion so soon? Or when the French Massacre had murdered forty thousand (as D'a­vila computeth, or thirty thousand as credible Th [...]anus) that the remnant (even when the Leaders were cut off) should be thereby so increased, exasperated and streng­thened, as to do that which was shortly after done, till their Head was King? Or when the Irish had so quick­ly murdered two hundred thousand, that the survivers should so quickly use them more severely than ever they had been used before?

But if you would have All cut o [...] or banished, 1. It will be a greater loss to the King and to the Conformists left behind, than ten more Oaths or Ceremonies will countervail. 2. It will but send many beyond Sea to defame you by their sufferings. 3. All foreign nations that favour their cause, will the more abhorr you. 4. As Tertullian faith, dum solitudinem faciunt, pacem vocant; you will but make desolation and solitude, though you may call it Vnity and peace: you cannot indeed do what you think to do: For thousands that will stretch their Consciences to conform, will hate you and your ways the more, and will be but such as were formerly called Conformable Puritans; and will have the more ad­vantage to supplant you, by standing so much nearer to you. You know what a Conformable Episcopal Parliament did; and you know what an Assembly of Conformable Divines did, not long ago. 5. And if you could cut them all off, you cannot prevent the resurrection of them in their posterity. If ever blood would have extirpated dissenters, the Waldenses and Albigenses had been rooted [Page 178] out; when Historians tell us of so many hundred thou­sand killed, as is almost incredible. 6. The histories of cruelties are one of the greatest encreasers of the party for the time to come, in other lands and Generations. 7. And lastly, it is such kind of fame that it leaveth upon the agents, that few men that care for their surviving names, if they know it, can be willing of. It is no ho­nour to Pilate to have his name in the Creed; nor to Herod to have his name in the Gospel; nor to Nero to have killed Peter and Paul, &c. No nor to those great Princes who killed such persons of their own Religion as Seneca, Lucan, Cicero, Demosthenes, Cato, &c. or that banished Juvenal, and many such more: Nor to the state or people that killed Socrates, &c. nor to the Athenian Tyrant from whom Solon and such others fled; no nor to the Roman Clergy that killed Sovonarola, and tortu­ced Campanella, and imprisoned Galilaeus and many the like: seeing, as Sir Walter Raleigh noteth (though not to his own escape) that Learning it self (and if joyned with great piety, much more) doth leave so great vene­ration on the minds of men, that though the owners of them prove to be faulty, yet posterity use to have dishonouring thoughts of those by whom they suffer.

It remaineth therefore that we must either despair of ever having Unity and Church concord, or else we must have it on other terms, than the masters of Prelacy contrive and endeavour it. One of the two must needs be chosen.

84. To have no Church concord, will bring as many evils as they themselves foretel when they write against Tole­ration. The more to be blamed is that man whoever he be that will cut out mens tongues, and then write for the great necessity of speech, or that will put Colloquin­tida into the pottage, and then write of the danger of purging and loosness! If offence, and division must needs [Page 179] come; yet wo to the Church because of offences, and wo to the Pastors by whom they come.

85. The greatest plague of our continued Divisions, will be (and is) the destruction of Christian Love, which is the essential mark of Christs disciples, and of absolute necessity to Salvation. If it were possible for such fiery and bloody books to be written against brethen as by some now are, or such scornful books as Martyn Marprelate and Martyn Marpriest wrote, without any abatement of Love in themselves, can they believe that they will do nothing to destroy it in others: can all of their own side read words that are written to make men odious, and not hate them: Or all of the other side, hear themselves re­viled without the least temptation to uncharitableness? Is it more natural to water to quench fire, than for such books, and other effects of discord, to quench brotherly love? (Allowing the difference between a natural agent and a Voluntary). Nay the authors themselves do plainly profess that they do it to draw men to hate those that they write and speak against: and will scarce call them Brethren themselves, unless in a fit of special hu­mility.

And if really they can possibly believe themselves, that they have lost none of their charity (if they ever had it) I suppose they scarce look that any one else should believe them; whilst, as Persius faith,

Scintillant oculi, dicisque sacisque quod ipse
Non sani esse hominis, non sanus juret Orestes.

86. And it is no small mischief, that the King (and his Magistrates) should be so greatly wronged in his Sub­jects; to be put to Govern a divided people, when they might easily have an united people to govern. Besides the comfort, ease and honour of Ruling an Vnited people, and the sadness, difficulty and reflections on the contrary, [Page 180] Who can be sure, or imagine that we shall never have a foreign enemy, or that the King will never have any use for the Union and concord of his Subjects, for their rea­dier and surer defence of him and of themselves? And who knoweth not how usually divided Cities and Kingdoms have been a prey to common enemies?

87. And if Bishops above all men, who think that Vnity is the very reason of their order and Office, should have less wit for, or care of the Kingdom of Christ, than the Devil himself hath of his own, who knoweth that if it be divided it cannot stand, Mat. 12. what friends to Unity can such men be?

88. All the arguments for Vnity and Peace which are made use of against Toleration by the Prelatists, and all the mischiefs of Division which they aggravate, if it prove that they are the greatest causes of Division, and hinderers of Church concord, do principally fall upon themselves. It is an easie song for any man to sing [O the ma­nifold mischiefs of Division]; And a ready staff to strike any dissenter with, for him that can but get the handle. The Romanists use it with as much vehemency and Spleen against the Protestants. But all the question is, who is the true cause? and what is the true cure?

89. Either these writers and talkers think something or nothing to be sin▪ themselves: and either the imposition of what they think unlawful would make them Noncon­formists, or it would not: If it would not, they are fitter Ministers for Machiavel, or Vaninus (nay Vaninus dy­ed for his Atheism) than for Christ. But if it would (as I will believe) were it not as easie then when they conformed not themselves, to write Volumes of the mis­chiefs of division and Schism, and disobedience to Laws, and of judging when we should obey, and of sects and to­leration, as it is for them to do it against us?

[Page 181] 90. Seeing then all wise men and good men are for Vnity, and I have proved even to the purblind, that it is Impossi­ble on the present terms (though I justifice not all that maketh it impossible), It must needs be a plain resolved case that other possible terms must be found out; which is not difficult to do. O that it were as easie to make men willing of them.

91. Vnity may be had either with Vniformity or with­out it.

92. Vnity with Vniformity is never to be had (univer­sally, really and durably) save only by placing Vnifor­mity in the Scripture or primitive simplicity, even in a few things so needful, or so lawful, that no sober, judici­ous Christians can question them; yea such as the weak may be generally and easily satisfied in.

93. Vnity without Vniformity (of several Churches) must be by Toleration in the points of Vniformity a­bout things indifferent, leaving each Church to its pro­per liberty; but making those things necessary to all, which are necessary indeed to the Vnity of all; which is the Essentials, or plain great points of Christianity, in which we are all one in Christ, the center of our Unity.

94. The best way is, 1. to Vnite in things necessary to all, by necessary imposition (on such as are capable,) and 2 in things of unquestionable conveniency, by a prudent reduction of them to the primitive simplicity, and this not by necessitating Laws, which urge by great severity, but by such gentle corrections, as conveniencies, order and decency should be urged with: And, 3. if any will go further (as to Organs, Ornaments, Crossing &c.) to let them do it as a matter of liberty, (as the Cathedrals and Parish Churches now differ, and many Parish Churches each from other) without repining or breach of Charity; thus joyning all together according to the nature of the things.

[Page 182] 95. He that will Vnite all mankind must Unite them in somewhat that all men are really agreed in: And he that would Unite all Christians, must do it in something that all Christians are agreed in. And he that will Unite all Protestants (or English Protestants) must do it in some­what which all Protestants (or English Protestants) are agreed in. For that which they agree not in, cannot be the [...]erms of their agreement, unless you could undertake to change their judgements.

96. All men are agreed in Reason, and in the Love of Nature (for so far as men have put off Nature, they have put off humanity): Therefore the Laws of Nature and Rules of equity which Reason dictates, are the true Jus gentium, which is the ground of Commerce in the world, without which men live as strangers or as foes.

97. That which all Christians are agreed in, is Christi­anity and Godliness; that is, in their one Baptismal Cove­nant, and in that one faith or Creed which is there pro­fessed, and in the Lords Prayer and Decalogue as the sum­maries of things to be Willed and to be Done; In these I say, explicitely or particularly, and in the holy Scriptures generally, as far as they can understand them. Greeks, Papists and Protestants are agreed in all this; that is, 1. In the Sacramental Covenant, 2. In the three sum­maries of the Credenda, Appetenda, Agenda, 3. And in the Ca­non of the holy Scriptures in General, that is, in so many books as they are convinced are the true Canon, and in so much of the sence as they can understand. And who can Unite them upon other and narrower terms than these?

98. All (English) Protestants are agreed, 1. In all the three forementioned formula's of Christianity (the Sacramental Covenant, the three summaries and the Scrip­ture) 2. And in the sufficiency of this Scripture, as con­taining [Page 183] all things necessary to salvation (though some may question some particular books) 3. And that Magistrates and Pastors are appointed to Govern the Church, one by the sword and the other by the word and Keys, according to this holy Scripture.

99. He that will make a Law that all mankind shall Vnite in Vniformity of language, habit, temperament, dyet, &c. would set them more together by the ears. And he that would make a Law (as the Council of Trent hath done) that all Christian Churches shall Unite in an Oath of obedience to the Church of Rome, or in any of their superadded doctrines or Traditions, would but set the Churches in a greater slame: Before such divid­ing Councils as the Lateran, Roman, Florentine, Triden­tine, &c. there was some hope of a restored concord; But now till the renunciation of their pretended Infallibility shall make way for their Repentance, it will be impossible to the end of the world; any otherwise than to confess that they grant the truth (though not the sufficiency) of our Religion, and that we approve of so much of theirs; and therefore resolve to live together without the exer­cises of uncharitableness and cruelties. And this much, no question should be done.

100. Accordingly those Pastors who will make Canons, that all English Protestants shall agree in subscriptions, professions, Oaths, forms, and Ceremonies which they are not agreed in, nor ever will be, do but say, we will break them more into pieces, and set them farther from each other than before.

101. If Socinians, Fanaticks or any Hereticks or Schis­maticks, will subscribe the said summaries of Religion and the Scriptures, equivocally, while they falsely interpret them, the way is not presently to devise a new form of Articles for them to subscribe to; but maintaining the [Page 184] Scriptures sufficiency, for the Rulers Civil and spiritual, to call them to account whenever they prove that they utter or teach a doctrine contrary to the Scriptures which they subscribe, and to punish them according to the offence, or judge them to be o [...]fenders, when it's proved against them that they have offended. For, 1. Else (as Hilary complain­eth of Creeds) there will be no end of new Articles and forms of subscription, if we must have new ones as oft as deceivers will juggle and equivocate with the Old. 2. And it will do no good, for they will equivocate still. If Scripture be not large and plain enough, neither will your Articles be so. 3. Offences require not new Laws, but new judgement and punishment.

The true and easie terms of Vnity and concord slated more particularly.

1. I Et every one subscribe his Assent and consent to the sacramental Covenant, and to the Creed, Lords prayer and Decalogue, verbatim; and that he be­lieveth all the Canonical Scriptures which the Christian Churches concordantly receive to be the word of God, of infallible truth, and that he will faithfully endeavour to understand and practise them. (Read Chilling [...]orths Reasons at large for this cause).

2. Let every Church have its proper faithful Pastors; related to them and set over the [...] by the joynt consent of the Ordainers and of the flock; (and all this under the Ma­gistrates oversight and rule.)

[Page 185] 3. Let the Magistrate be the only Governor by the sword, and Bishops and flock be subject to him: and let him be the keeper of the Peace in all the Churches, And take all prudent care that both Pastors and people do their duties; As he ruleth Physicians, Philosophers, and all other professions in his dominions.

4. Let there be Articles, or a Catalogue written of such great and clear and considerable points in Religion, which are not sit to be contradicted; and because Pastors must know more, necessarily, than the people, and must not corrupt the sacred doctrine under pretence of preach­ing it, Let every Pastor before his Ordination be examined of his understanding of those articles; and let there be a Law that no one shall preach against any of them. But be sure that they contain no uncertain or unnecessary things. We can conscionably forbear preaching against many points, which we cannot conscionably subscribe Assent or consent to in themselves.

5. Let men be punished according to the quality of their offence, who preach against the Government Civil or spi­ritual, and against the Laws and established order of the Churches; or that rail and revile their brethern, and turn the preaching of the Gospel into the preaching down of mutual Love. After the first and second admonition, let the heretical and turbulent be avoided by the Church; and let the Magistrate restrain them at his discretion as is meet.

6. Let Homilies or forms of preaching and Liturgies or forms of Prayer, &c. be imposed (at least ordinarily) on none but the less sufficient that need them; and let able Pastors have liberty, sometime to use more, and sometime less according to the time, occasion and auditory. And let such forms have nothing in them doubtful or needless; But for matter, method and phrase, be as much fitted to the peoples case and to the Scripture as may be done.

[Page 186] 7. Let all other circumstances, which are variable ac­cording to variety of occasions, and belong to the office of the Pastor, be left to his discretion (as what Chapter, Psalm, tune, subject of preaching, method, &c.) so he be responsible for gross abuses and mal administration.

8. Let it be the work of every Pastor, to baptize, to preach and pray and administer the Lords supper; refu­sing the grosly ignorant, Infidel, Heretick, and proved scandalous by gross sin, till such time as they Repent; so be it that for his abuse of his power he be responsible to the Magistrate, or Ecclesiasticks after mentioned: Also let him Catechise, visit the sick, and personally instruct the ignorant, exhort the obstinate, and comfort the weak.

9. Let neighbour Churches keep such correspondence, as is necessary to their concord, that he that is cast out of one Church, or that communicateth with it, may not be causelesly used contrarily by others. And those Pa­stors and Churches that shall prove heretical or impious, are to be admonished by the rest, and disowned if they continue impenitent.

10. If it be thought meet by Christian Rulers that these neighbour Pastors have often meetings or Sy­nods, they are to be improved only for concord and uni­ty and corroboration of all, and for the edification of the younger and weaker sort of Ministers.

11. If it seem good to the Magistrate, that any one Pastor in every Church have the chief oversight of that Church, or any one be the constant moderator in the Synods, or any one in a Diocese or Province have a General inspection over all the Ministers and Churches; Let none be forced to swear him obedience, nor to profess or subscribe to the Lawfulness of his place; but only Actually to obey him, upon such moderate penalties that hinder not the Gospel. And if this Prelate claim only the Spiritual power, let him not [Page 187] exercise it as a Prince without the Counsel of the Pastors; and let him go no further than the spiritual power goeth, which reacheth but to Conscience and consenters; And let not the Magistrate be his executioner with the sword; nor put any forcing power of the sword into the Cler­gies hands. But if the King will needs make Clergymen Magistrates, let it be declared so, that they and their Courts do use Civil power in Ecclesiastical matters, only as the Kings officers, and then we shall readily obey them. And let no lay Chancellors or others exercise any of the spiritu­al power of the Keys.

12. Let all Ministers and people swear or promise Al­legiance, Loyalty and fidelity to the King, and take the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy to that end; and be punished according to Law if they offend, either against the person or honour of the King, or against any inferior Magistrates, or fellow subjects, or against the quiet, peace or safety of the Kingdom.

Of Puritans as vulgarly called, or of scorning them, or the quality and faults of those called our followers, men­tioned by the Politician and the Debate-maker and others, and of the Ministers themselves.

1. OUr judgement is, that the ba [...]e name of a Christian, and outward forms and words and ceremonies, without true faith, and Love and Obedience, a spiritual and heaven­ly Heart and life, will save no man, (that hath the use of reason): But that wicked nominal Christians are in that more miserable than the Infidel Indians, that they [Page 188] are greater abusers of mercy, and greater Hypocrites.

2. Spiritual knowledge is not born with the children of Christians, but it must cost as much labour in us to teach, and in them to learn, the doctrine of the Gospel, and the nature and work and hopes of Christianity, per­haps as if they were the children of some heathens. Their birth priviledge without our labour will not make them wise and faithful and obedient Christians.

3. The most among us are so dull of understanding, and so averse to spiritual and heavenly things, and so drowned in sin, and taken up with the flesh and the world, that the cure of their souls is a very great and difficult work, and must by us and them be carried on at leisure, by great diligence and usually by slow degrees.

4. True Grace and virtue will not (usually) supply the want of learning or Urbanity, and of an Academick or ingenuous education; nor will make men of Rustick wits and breeding, to have compt, polite and elegant speech: Though yet it may suffice to save their souls.

5. Those that have such Academical education, and polite wits, and expression, and can congruously discourse of Civil and Religious things, and have not the foresaid lively faith, Love and obedience to God, nor a heavenly mind and lise are miserable persons, and cannot be saved in that condition, however they be esteemed in the world.

6. Where both inward holiness and learning and ut­terance concur, it maketh men most serviceable to God and the Church, and an honour to their Religion.

7. For want of clear parts and good expression, many Christians excellent in Grace, (that is, in faith, Love and o­bedience) do dishonour the holy things which they discourse of, and to captious proud Wits do make themselves oft ridiculous and contemptible.

[Page 189] 8. He that hath spent ten or twenty or thirty years in studies, and among books and learned men, and is pufft up because he can speak more congruously than an honest plowman, that never learnt more than to write and read, nor perhaps so much, or because he can talk more pertinently and composedly, than ordinary good wo­men, that could never speak or write true English, may next be proud that he is not an infant. And he that on such accounts despiseth the honest vulgar Christians, that perhaps have much more faith, Love and obedience than himself, is more foolish than the East-Indians that made a laughing-stock of the most learned Jesuits, that had but be­gun to learn their language, because they spake it bro­kenly in their preaching to them.

9. We encourage none in the least of their weaknesses; but do our best to encrease their understanding and expres­sive faculty: But we labour first and much more about the greatest needfullest things; to make them holy, and save their souls.

10. He that ever made conscience of labouring faithful­ly for souls, cannot choose but know, how very hard a work it is to bring the vulgar to a true understanding of their Baptism, the Creed, the Lords Prayer and the Deca­logue, (yea the very servants of our own families). And as Arch-Bishop Vsher told King James in his Sermon on Eph. 4. 3. Let the best and learnedst of them try it when they will, they shall find what skill (and in­dustry) is necessary to teach the people these principles that we all agree in: And to reproach them and us, for incongruities of speech, long before these necessary things can be learned, is to reproach the boys of the lowest form, and the Master with them, because they are not accurate Graecians.

[Page 190] 11. It is in most places but the far smaller part of the people, that we can ever bring to so much as aforesaid; And the greater part in most places are still ignorant and unwilling to learn, or meer worldlings and servants to the flesh, and great neglecters of all that is higher than their belly and their eye-sight.

12. If the Great and Rich be bred up to better utter­ance, they are very happy persons among them, that are not more worldly, sensual and prophane; yea and more ignorant too of the matters of salvation, how knowing so­ever as to words.

13. That Pastor who preferreth this ungodly sort be­fore the faithful now described, and that gathereth together all the weak expressions of the later, to make them ridicu­lous to the former; or (if with no such intent) doth pro­claim them persons of a foolish Religion, because they cannot talk so wisely as they ought about religion, and this at a time and in a manner, as is likest to harden the sensual in the opinion that their case is the better, and that learning and labouring to be seriously religious, is but a foolish fanciful thing; I say, that Pastor is— Let his conscience hereafter tell him what.

14. When there is no known way, (but by the Schools, or by a Miracle) for the world of the vulgar to come to the higher form of wisdom but by the lover; nor to come to Heaven but by such weak beginnings; And when Grace as well as Nature beginneth with infant un­utterable desires and groans, Rom. 8. 26. and with an Abba father, Gal. 4. 6. (which our heart-searching fa­ther understandeth, Rom. 8. 27.) And when all Christs Disciples must enter first as little children into the low­est form (Matth. 18. 3. & 28. 19, 20.) And when the Apostles own followers were dull of hearing, and after long teaching (which should have made them fit to be Teach­ers) [Page 191] had need still to learn the principles, and to be fed with childrens milk, Heb. 5. 11, 12, &c. And few ever get above the lower rank, which all first enter; I say whenas all this is so, and certainly so, to make these lower Chri­stians a scorn, as being of a foolish religion, and to discourage them, and disgrace their rank unnecessarily, is to endeavour to drive all serious Religion out of the world, and to keep men from salvation, and to brandish their flaming swords at the entrance of Paradise, to keep men from the tree of life—But for the Schoolmaster himself to deride the lower form which with patience and condescension he is obliged by office and salary to teach; This is beyond a strangers crime.

15. We tell them of their weaknesses and faults as tru­ly and plainly as Reproachers do, though we do it in way of Love and not of wrath and discouraging words; which even fathers are forbidden to use to their children, Eph. 6. 4. See Baxters Directions to weak Christians, and his Character of a sound Christian: and his Life of Faith.

16. If any of them grow Proud with their Ignorance, we deal more sharply and severely with them, as know­ing the odious nature and tendency of that sin.

17. We take not men to be good because they are not conformable; nor do we disown any of the people for their conformity to your worship, Ceremonies and discipline, as if they were not the members of Christ; or were to be despised or censured by others. But instead of speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after us (as seducers do, Act. 20. 30.) we labour to speak the words of truth and soberness, and keep to the form of sound and ancient doctrine, (even that which sem­per, ubique & ab omnibus recepta est, as Lirinensis Characte­rizeth Catholick verity) and to avoid novelties and vain janglings and inflaming the hearers against Bishops, [Page 192] Liturgy or Ceremonies, or against each other; But re­buke those that for such differences censure or despise each other, Rom. 14. 1, 2, 3. And exhort them to reverence and obedience to Governors, especially Loyalty to the King, to Love to all men, and to Unity with the whole Catholick Church, and to peace among themselves.

18. Our Doctrine is published to the world so fully that no sober man can question us as a Party for it; but if any individual err, he must be named, and proved faulty. For our very Religion is nothing but the Law of Nature and the holy scriptures (which we pro­fess to the Papists that would have more, and to all the world:) And we subscribe the Doctrine of the Church of England in the Articles, as our Explication of the sence of Scripture in those points: Though Gods word only be our Religion in the Rule, and we profess to disclam all addi­tions or diminutions, yet not all explications of our un­derstanding the meaning of it; And therefore are still ready to give such explicatory Professions to any that suspect or accuse us of error. And so the West­minster Assembly did in their Confession, as all the Resor­med Churches have done. But our Religion in the Di­vine Rule we take for infallible; but our explications we take for the corrigible words of fallible men; and as we will take no other mens for infallible, so we are ready to retract and correct whatever shall be proved faulty in our own.

19. Much less can we boast that no Minister among us doth ever speak or write incongruously, or hath any imperfection or misapprehension of any point or me­thod in Theology: we rather wish than hope for such perfection here. But besides the foresaid Confessions, our Professed Doctrine is known by many printed Cate­chisms and Treatises, such as Mr. Balls Cat. and Mr. [Page 193] Gouges, &c. Amesii Medulla & Conscientiae Cas. Dudl. Fen­ [...]ri Theolog. Sohmius, Baxters Reasons of the Christian Re­ligion: And our notions of Godliness and Christianity, in his Character of a sound Christian, and his life of faith, which shew whom we take for the best Christians. And our Popular way of preaching which we like, you may see in old Mr. H [...]ld [...]rshams Lectures, and in Mr. R. Allens Victory of faith, and other writings, and in Mr. Antho­ny Burgess's Lectures, and many other such; And our exposition of the Scriptures, in Mr. Gatakers Annotat. on Isaiah and Jeremiah, and some other parts of those Annot. and in Dr. Ma [...]on on Ja [...]s, and in Calvin and B [...]za, and other such Nonconformists: And our manage­ment of Controversies, in Amesii Belharm. enervat. Cart­wright against the Rhemis [...]s, Chamier, S [...]de [...], Rivet, Dr. John Reignolds, &c. Of such as these we are not ashamed, though none of them were (as we suppose) Prelatical.

20. We are so far from believing our selves, that the soundness of a mans judgement or excellency of his parts in other matters, hath any necessary connexion to his Conformity or Nonconformity, that we can hardly believe that any of the most fiery of our Reproachers that is so­ber, doth himself believe it, when the world hath so large a proof in the effects, of very great Learning, judiciousness and worth in many of both parts.

21. And so far are we from thinking that no Ministers that conform not are defective, weak or imprudent in ex­pressions, or injudicious in some Controversies of Reli­gion, that we are past all doubt, that the far greatest part of the Clergy in the world are so; and alas, much worse than so! And that it is the great numbers of ig­norant, weak, injudicious, or proud, self-seeking, Car­nal, Covetous Pastors, that is the great plague and ca­lamity of the Christian Church through all the earth: [Page 194] The great cause of the ignorance and ungodliness and unprofitableness of the people, and the dominion of sensuality, and the increase of Atheism, Infidelity and Heresie, and of the great divisions and confusions among Christians in East and West, is a Clergy that is either so ignorant as to be unable, or so ungodly as to be unwilling, or sloathful about their masters work; or so proud and world­ly and malignant, as to set up their own Domination, wealth and will, as the Rule of order and unity, and to account their sleshly interest to be the interest of Christ, and to hate and persecute all those as schismaticks and disobe­dient, that will not serve such sinful ends.

22. Therefore in the midst of such a Clergy that is the worlds Calamity, as we bless God for the worth both of the Conformable and Nonconformable in these three Kingdoms, and in many other of the Reformed Churches; so we think it to be the wisdom, duty and interest of the worthy of each opinion (in these points) to unite and strengthen one another, and on both sides to disown the insufficient and ungodly ones, rather than to seek to strengthen themselves by numbers of the vile and into­lerable (that will be their shame and weakening at last), or to weaken their brethren as Adversaries, either by censuring, reproaching, silencing or suppressing them.

23. And in such a world, we take it for a great ho­nour that is done to the Nonconformists in this land, when we read such accusations, as of an incongruous expression, and an invalid argument about a Ceremony, or such like; And that such as by their writings tell the world, that they want not will to open the worst, do charge them with no worse crimes than they do; And also that they are not silenced at this time, for Treason, or rebellion, or drunkenness, or swearing, or incontinency, or railing, or for insufficiency or idleness, or for seldom preaching, or for [Page 195] plurality of benefices, or nonresidency, or any such immo­ralities as these; but because they dare not deliberately give it under their hands, that no person in three King­doms is obliged to endeavour the alteration of the present Prelatical Diocesan Government, that vowed to God, in his place and calling to endeavour it, by a certain Oath illegally imposed on the people, And because they dare not Ministerially in the Congregation declare that they Assent and Consent to all things contained in and prescribed by three books; and because some dare not be reordained in words, that make them first Deacons that were ordained Presbyters, and such like.

24. The most credible way to shew which party is the foolisher and the ungodlier, is to make strict Laws against an Ignorant, insufficient, vicious, sensual, scandalous and negligent Ministry; and whoever is proved guilty, of which side soever, let them be cast out: This we re­fuse not; this we would earnestly beg upon our knees.

25. We are so far from desiring the disgrace even of vicious or worldly Pastors, that have laudable parts, that we thank God that the learning even of such hypo­crites, is made any way serviceable to the Church; And we would promote and not cloud their due reputation. But we had far rather have experienced, truly Godly Pa­stors, to watch over the peoples souls, as in many and great respects to be preferred.

26. And he that writeth this professeth for himself, that when the people cry out [We cannot in Conscience hear an ignorant man, a silly empty sayer of a Sermon, nor a Ministry that openly justifieth Perjury, or renounceth a ne­cessary reformation, &c.] if he had not a far larger cha­rity to stop such persons mouths with, and to hide or excuse greater faults, than such as some now aggravate, [Page 196] he must be oftener silent, and a greater Separatist, than now he is. I confess I would have them to use some lit­tle Charity, who have need of much; And til they have better washt off the accusation of a leprosie, I would not have them too loud in the defamation of him that hath a boile. I justifie not the Accusers clamour, but still rebuke them: but I as little justifie the ingenuity of such, as have skill to aggravate a weakness, and not to avoid a crime.

27. And he further sincerely professeth, that (being almost a constant hearer of their Ministers,)This was written when I li­ved out of London. if of many and many that he hath heard and been under in certain years or months past, he could have had the happiness to have lived under one that were but near as judicious, and able to manage holy things, for matter, method and expres­sion, as many of those plowmen and poor shop­keepers be, that are now called, Our Nonconformable followers, he should have greatly rejoyced in the peoples felicity and his own. And for the homely stile so much complained of I never heard one Presbyterian use such homely words and similies as good Bishop Latimer in his Sermons useth.

28. Yet we are so far still from thinking that the bet­ter sort of Christians have not many faults, that it is one of the greatest and most continual sorrows of our hearts, to think how too little they excel the better part of un­believers, and how great and common failings are a­mongst them, and how much their faults do dishonour their blessed Master and holy profession: and what a hin­derance this is to the conversion of the Infidel and Hea­then world: and what a malignant influence it hath upon the Church by corrupting, troubling and dividing it; and upon the peace of Kingdoms many times, and always on their own peace and true felicity: Especial­ly through the common sin of being overconfident of their own opinions.

[Page 197] 29. But we perceive that their faults are but the re­licts of that which is common to the world, and pre­dominant in the unsanctified: If any of them err about Church Communion or discipline or infant baptism, we would gladly heal their error; but we account it not so mortal, as the common practical error of the ungodly, who think a sensual worldly life to be better for them than a holy life, and value earth above heaven, and the body above the soul, and the creature above the Crea­tour, and the pleasures of time, before those of eternity. And the very sin of self-conceitedness we find so natural and common to mankind, that in all Civil or worldly mat­ters, it is hard to meet with those that in their mistakes are not still confident of the rightness of their own ap­prehensions: And in matters of Religion even old igno­rant sinner, that know not the Creed, do usually think themselves too wise to be taught, and are as stiffe and ob­stinate in their most erroneous conceits as the grossest sectaries.

30. Therefore as the very Papists difference mortal sin from Venial, and we approve of the distinction as it sig­nifieth the sin which is inconsistent with spiritual life and Love, and so an evidence of a state of death, and that which is consistent, and therefore pardoned] And as God himself who more hateth sin than any of us, doth yet love and pardon and save those who have no other sin, but what consisteth with a predominance of faith, Love and obe­dience, and doth not equal such with the fleshly worldly and ungodly; even so must we his Ministers in imitation of our heavenly father.

31. And we the less wonder that there are more dif­ferences among the zealouser sort in matters of Reli­gion, than among the ungodly who really have no Re­ligion, but are indifferent to all, which letteth them [Page 198] quietly enjoy their sin: For men that highliest value any thing, are likest to be tempted to strive about it. If you cast gold and jewels in the street, men are liker to fight and quarrel for them, than dogs or swine. We are glad they seriously value truth, though we are sorry that they cannot more clearly and concordantly understand it.

32. If we thought that meer Civil good neighbourhood, and the common state and life of men in their unrenewed naturals, were better, or as good as the state and life of imperfect believers, with all their troublesome mistakes and [...], we would next become humble Petitioners to Authority, that they would put down both Prelates and Presbyters, and take their lands and Tythes into their own lands, and employ them to some better use; and that they would shut up the Church doors, and banish the Clergy as the plague and troublers of the land, that do but vex the world with fables, and will not let men live in peace. For experience assureth us that Perfection is not the state of Christans in this life.

33. Nor can we think that it is any real disgrace to Christianity, Religiousness or the Scriptures, that men are so faulty and of so many minds, any more than it is a disgrace to Health that men are sick, or to food that some are weak, or to wisdom that most have little of it; or to a Schoolmaster, that his Scholars have defects, and va­rious degrees of knowledge and apprehension. And if we would concur with them that hence argue against the common use of Scripture and Religion, because men abuse them, or imperfectly receive them, we must much more condemn humane Reason it self, and wish that all the world were beasts; because there is nothing so troubleth the peace of Church and State, nothing so much causeth rebellions, treasons, contentions, injustice, and all the villany of the world, as imperfect and abused Reason. [Page 199] But we know that nothing in all the world is so con­trary to Rebellion, Pride, Contention, and all sin, as Christ and Religion and the holy Scriptures: and that if men be bad, it is not because they have too much Religion or holiness, but because they have name, or else too little; And that it is more and not less that must cure them, if ever they be cured.

34. We take it therefore to be the duty of all Chri­stians, freely to confess their sins, and to take their faults to themselves; and for Ministers to lay them plainly on the persons that are guilty, lest they should be thought to be the product of the Christian Religion: And that the partiality of those that justifie all or any of the crimes or faults of Christians, doth intimate blasphemy against Christ, as if he taught, or justified such things. And therefore the holy Scriptures do so plainly open the sins even of good men, to teach us to take our shame unto our selves, and not to cast it on Christ and Religion, which most condemn all sorts of sin.

35. And sin is so far from being ever the better, for being found in a Noah, a David, or a Peter, that it hath manifold aggravations in such, which it hath not in other sorts of men. And it is no less abhorred of God, who is not reconcileable to the sins of any: However we still know that the failings of a froward and careless child or friend, are not so mortal as the contempt of a despiser, or the malignity of an enemy.

36. We do also with lamentation confess, that besides the multitude of common hypocrites which are in all the Christian Churches, who by open sensuality and pro­phaness do shew that they dissemble in professing Christia­nity, there are also many Hypocrites who profess a greater zeal and forwardness in Religion, who at the heart are Lovers of this present world, and slaves to the flesh, and use Religious shews and forms, but to quiet their Con­sciences [Page 200] with a deceitful hope, that they may have hea­ven for a reserve, when they can keep the world no lon­ger. And these are the men that most dishonour religion by pride and Rebellions and scandals and heresies, who indeed are numbred by the searcher of hearts amongst the enemies of religion.

37. Accordingly we do believe there are many among the Conformists and Nonconformists, of both the fore-de­scribed sorts, (faulty true Christians and hypocrites): And that many of the real faults and [...]ollies, mentioned by the Books which are too imprudently and unjustly written as to the [...], are to be found among such persons: And that it is the duty of such faulty persons, to learn and take reproof, even from the faultiest reprover; and to take heed of that snare of Satan, who by the reprovers faultiness would tempt them to excuse or justifie themselves, and to reflect on others as the greater sinners.

38. As Christ was crucified between two thieves, so hath the Church from the beginning suffered between Malignant worldly proud [...], and Factious Fanatick self-conceited dividing Zealous: We shall not wonder there­fore, if it be so still: Neither of them is a new thing in the world.

39. These two sorts of enemies have still used by their extreams, to increase their several sins by their fierce oppo­sition to each other: The Sectary justifieth all his divisi­ons and [...] by saying [light hath no communion with darkness; nor sincere believers with proud, profane, ignorant and malignant persecuting usurpers, that ob­trude themselves on the stock of Christ against their wills]: And the other extream hath been used to justi­fie their idleness, ungodliness and cruelties, by saying [These rebellious, factious, disobedient people, are enemies to peace and order, and commit all insolent villanies [Page 201] against their Pastors, while they account themselves the only Saints.] And so while neither side observeth that which is good in the other, but both sides aggravate the evil (with which they are both too much corrupted) they keep up wars and contentions in the Church, and make one another mad and miserable, the one sort censu­ring, and the other despising, as they in Rom. 14. 1, 2, 3. And in their rage the sober standers by are reviled and falsly accused by both, as the interest of each party dictates to their spleen; And must patiently suffer the reproaches of their fury.

40. It is needful that the King be the Peace-keeper impartially between them both, and that he restrain the insolencies and furies of both; For both are troublers of the common peace. And though neither side be so bad as the other maketh them, yet neither of them are fit for unlimited liberty; Much less to be armed with the sword, to exercise their fury on dissenters.

41. And when discontents grow among the Secular subjects, and Civil distempers in the State, each of these parties are fit for the Great ones that head the several Factions to make use of: And by their railing at one ano­ther, they become Bellows of the common flames.

42. And it is one of the Devils policies to urge States­men to draw the Clergy into their Factions, that which side soever gets the better, one part of the Ministry may not only be silenced and useless, but be made a reproach to their Profession, as the Incendariies and seditious troublers of the State.

43. It is a great injury to Christanity and the souls of men, when disagreeing States men will not suffer the Clergy to live quietly by them, but will constrain or tempt them to interess themselves in any of their Factions, [Page 202] (except in the necessary discharge of their Allegiance and Fidelity to their King and Countrey) And will force them that are unstudied in humane Laws, to decide those State controversies, even by assertive Oaths, which Law­yers and Parliaments cannot agree about: And it is a [...] heinous cruelty and injustice, when after all this, they will pretend that their political differences are con­troversies in Religion, when it is not so, and will thence denominate parties in the Church.

44. The difference between the aforesaid Extreams (the formal and malignant persecutors, and the censo­rious Fanatick Sectaries) is more in the manner and way of Exercise, than in their Principles themselves. For they are both agreed in the main, against the true nature and principles of Christian Love and Concord. They both think others more odious and less amiable than they are: And they both are possessed with an envious zeal (which S. James saith is earthly, sensual, and Devilish, James 3. 15. introducing confusion and every evil work); a zeal, I say, to make each other seem odious also to all others: And though they understood not the sense or transcript of their own dungeon hearts, yet the children of light can easily understand that the Epitome or Contents of the Doctrine of their learned writings and discourse is but this [My adversaries are not amiable, but odious] And the sum of the application is [Therefore we exhort you not to love them, but to hate them]. But here now they part, and the side that is uppermost useth, as the more particular application [Ergo, we pray you, silence, imprison, banish, hang or burn them, and curse and excommunicate, and de­pose those temporal Lords that will not do it, as Concil. Later. sub Innoc. 3. Can. 2, 3.] The other side say [Avoid all Church Communion with them as wicked persecutors; and hold no communion with any of their side or way]. So that [Page 203] the difference between these Love-killers and peace-ha­ters is but in the top branches [Hate and destroy them] saith the one side, [Hate and avoid them] saith the other side.

45. The true servants of Christ do differ from them both, not in approving either of their furies, nor in falling in as parties with either of the factions; but in living in Love as the servants of the God of Love, and making Love their end and work, and addicting themselves to promote it in the world; by observing all that is good in all others, and not searching needlesly after their faults, nor censori­ously enviously or malignantly aggravating them, but ho­ping the best till the worst be proved, and bearing with the infirmities of the weak, remembring that we also may be tempted, Gal. 6. 1, 2. And if possible as much as in them lieth, living peaceably with all men, Rom. 12. 18.

46. If one side (that are all for the dead image of Chri­stianity, and are not able to endure the serious practice of their own profession) would cease their Hypocrisie, and either be what they profess, or profess to be what they are, and would value the soul as well as the adorned Corps; And if the other side would lay by their pride and ignorance, and know how little indeed they know, and remember that in this Corporeal world, Religion must have a Body as well as a soul, the Church would the better escape them both.

47. Serious heartiness in prayer is more acceptable to God, than formall babling in the most decent words; And God will bear with the rude expressions of his children, that have sincere desires. But yet before others our words also must be well ordered, that we be not a hin­drance to them, and a shame to the work which we have in hand.

48. And in preaching, as affected jangling, and starched [Page 204] words, that savour not of reverent seriousness, are loath­some, and usually lost labour; so careless, ignorant, slo­venly, and over familiar and rustick expressions, must be avoided, which shew that we are too bold with holy things.

49. The frothy empty wits are aptest to nauseate and scorn an incongruous expression, in the most serious use­ful Sermon which they hear; And their temptation must not be cherished by our negligence of speech. But yet God usually blesseth the labours of plain and hearty serious preachers, though they speak not every word in Print. And godly serious humble Auditors have not such quea­sie stomachs as to make a great matter of a word or sylla­ble or sound and tone, when they perceive that the mat­ter is sound and wholesome, and the manner plain and close.

50. That pride and emptiness of solid matter, which maketh men loath such wholesome teaching, for want of a neatness in phrase and stile, doth often lead them at last to quarrel with the stile and phrase of Scripture, and to be Infidels in heart, while for profit and honour they seem to keep up a trade of Clergy-Christianity.

51. When great secular and personal interests stand up in any Nation against serious Christianity, or against the most devoted serious preachers of it, Arguments and In­nocency then signifie nothing: Interest hath neither eyes nor ears; The faithful must patiently wait in suffering, till the righteous God shall plead their cause, Psal. 12.


THe true and only Terms of the Concord of all Christian Churches fully pro­ved, and the false Term which have caused Long Persecutions and Schism plainly confuted, with a Con [...]utation of Mr. D [...]s book which denyeth the Being Ministry, Sacrament and Covenant [...] of Salvation, to all the Church­es in the world which have not a succession of Episcopal Ordination, uninter­rupted from the Apostles, with an Epistle to Bishop M [...]ly and Bishop [...]. A book therefore valued as suited to the true Interest of all Parties and the Healing of the Christian world. By Richard Baxtor.

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