A NEW TEST OF THE Church of ENGLAND's Loyalty: OR, Whiggish Loyalty AND Church Loyalty COMPAR'D.

A NEW TEST OF THE Church of ENGLAND's Loyalty.

IN all the unhappy Contentions among Parties and Factions in this brangling Nation, the Champions of the Church of England, as they would have them­selves call'd, have laid it down as the distinguishing Mark of their Hiearchy, that it is her Practice, and has been deriv'd from her very Constitution, as well as Doctrine, to six in all her Members Prin­ciples of unshaken Loyalty to her Prince, entire and undis­puted Obedience to all her Commands, and an Abhorrence of the very Thoughts of those Hellish Principles, That it can be lawful on any Account whatsoever to resist the Establish'd Power of their Kings▪

'T wou'd be endless to quote the Reverend Dr. B—ge, who from the Text in the [...] Resist not the Powers, &c. for whatsoever Powers are, be ordain'd of God; whosoever there­fore resisteth the Power, resisteth the Ordinance of God; tells us,

'That if the King shou'd by his Royal Command execute the greatest Violence upon either our Penson or Estate, our Du­ty was to submit by Prayers and Tears first to God Almigh­ty, to turn the Wrath of His Vicegerent from His Servant, [Page 2] and by humble Entreaty to beg his Majesties Grace and Par­don; but to lift up the Hand against the Lord's Anointed, or resist the Evil of Punishment he thought sit to inflict, this were a Crime unpardonable, either before God or Man, and a Crime, (says the Reverend Doctor) which we bless God the very Principles of our Ever Loyal Mother, the Church of England, abhors and detests.

'Let Incendiaries, Phanaticks, and Bloody Peace-break­ing Whigs (says another Learned Divine) nourish the Vi­p'rous Principles of Treason and Rebellion, and let them meet the due Reward of their Factious Doings in the Re­sentments of a Righteous, but Provok'd Nation: But God be praised, our Mother the Church of England has always brought up her Sons in an unspotted Loyalty and Obedi­ence; none have been found lifting up their Hands against their Sovereign, or possessing the Rights of the Anointed of God, &c.

'The very Being and Life, the Original and Principles of the Church of England, (says another 30th of January Ser­mon) is Loyalty and Fidelity to God as the immediate Su­pream, and to the King as the lively Image of Divine Au­thority, whose Power is immediately deriv'd from, holds of, and is accountable to none but to God himself.

To avoid Prolixity of Quotation, the Reader is desir'd to accept of these as sufficient Proofs of what I lay down upon this Condition; nevertheless, that besides the general Appeal which I might make to the Memory of most Men, I oblige my self upon Demand to produce Ten Thousand fair Quo­tations out of the Writings of our late modern Authors since the Restauration; wherein the Doctrines of Non-resistance of Princes, Passive Obedience, and the Divine Authority of the Kingly power, is own'd and declar'd to be an Essential part of the Profession and Practice of the Church of England; and upon this Foot, which I hold to be sufficient, I think I cannot be censured if I take it for granted.

Now, as this too much divided Nation has always been compos'd of two contending Parties, those Parties have been [Page 3] distinguish'd, as in like Cases, by Names of Contempt; and tho' they have often chang'd them on either side, as Cava­lier and Roundhead, Royalists and Rebels, Malignants and Phanaticks, Tories and Whigs, yet the Division has always been barely the Church and the Dissenter, and there it continues to this Day.

As the Church of England Party have boasted of their own Loyalty, so they have branded the Dissenter with Rebellion and Faction, not only in their Nature, but in their very Principles; they have laid it down in their Writings and Sermons, and multitudes of their ignorant Hearers believe it, that the very Doctrine of the Dissenter is made up of Principles in their own Nature, tending to Confusion and Rebellion; they wont be content that we should own there may be Men among all Parties of bad Designs, and who wou'd on all Occasions em­broil their Native Country, but it must be woven with the very Articles of Faith, and that 'tis the Religion of a Dissenter to disturb Government, kill Kings, and oppose Laws.

‘'The Phanatical Enemies of our King and Church (says the Learned Dr. P—n) drink in Rebellion as Water; 'tis the very Substance of their Schismatical Doctrine to over­whelm and destroy; and Common-wealths and Confusions are the Doctrines they preach.’

He that lays out one Groat with a Dissenter (says the wor­thy Sir Roger in one of his famous Observators) contributes just so much as the Profits of that Groat amounts to in Trade towards the Subversion of the Monarchy, and erecting a Common-wealth; for the very Nature and Tendency of their Profession is destructive of Kingly power, and the Govern­ment of the Nation.

This has been the Opinion of the Church of England, both of themselves on one Hand, and of the Dissenters on the o­ther Hand. I should be glad if I cou'd only say, It has been, for we find 'tis still too much their Opinion.

Let no Man say that the Author of these Sheets is either widening or keeping unheal'd the Breaches of this Nation; for if I can make it appear that there is really no occasion of such [Page 4] unnatural Divisions; and that neither the extraordinary O­pinion of themselves, nor the Contempt of their Neighbours, as to the matter of Loyalty, is a becoming Principle; no, nor a rational one neither: For that as to Loyalty, Passive O­bedience, Non-resistance, &c. there is really no great Diffe­rence between one side or other. I go as far towards healing the Breach as any Man; for there can be no better way to end the Strife on both sides, than to prove that neither side has any just cause to contend.

To examine the Matter on both sides, seems very useful at this time, in order to reconcile Parties, and to settle the Universal Character of the Nation.

The Government of England is a limited Monarchy, com­posed of King, Lords and Commons. Each have their se­veral, their separate, and conjunctive Powers; which act­ing in concert, make the Harmony of the Constitution. I shall not invade the Province of those Learned Gentlemen, who have undertaken to set forth the Branches of the Con­stitution in all their Powers, Limitations and Prerogatives: 'Tis enough to say the Constitution is known, the Govern­ment is confin'd by Laws, the Crown limited by Statutes, and the People's Right confirm'd by concession of Ages.

To this Government, all Distinction of Names set apart, I am of the Opinion, all Parties have in their Turns been e­qually Loyal: I was going to say, equally Disloyal: And if I were to use the Language of late Times, it wou'd be a very proper way of speaking.

Affirming without demonstrating is an absurd way of Ar­guing, and therefore it will be needful to come to particulars, and to examine the several Acts and Deeds of both Parties when the Kingly Prerogative has shock'd or clash'd with the People.

In order to this 'tis needful to examine the Date of the Difference, and so to enter a little into History.

Our first Reformation from Popery was in the Days of King Edward the VI. I call it the first, because 'twas under him that the whole Nation and the Government embrac'd the Protestant Reform'd Religion▪ this Protestant Religi­on [Page 5] was establish'd by that Zealous KING, and by his Parlia­ment, back'd with the force of Laws, and confirm'd by all the Sanction of Authority it was capable of, and here it be­gan to be call'd the Church of England.

Some enquiring Christians were for making farther Steps, and carrying on the Reformation to a higher Degree; and if that good reforming King had liv'd, his Zeal and Integrity was such, that there was no doubt he would have gone on to perfect every Thing he had begun, as new Light or more Knowledge had encreased; but the return of Popery under Queen Mary put a Stop to the Work in general, and went very far towards overturning the whole Structure of the Reformation.

Queen Elizabeth restor'd it again; but as she was a zealous Protestant Queen, yet she was not for subjecting the Refor­mation to any amendment. Not that she believ'd it perfect; but she was a Politick Princess, surrounded with Enemies that were not to be dally'd with, and she was loth to sup­pose such Defects in the Reformation as were alledg'd, be­cause 'twas to lessen the Reputation of it, and consequently her Interest in the World.

Those who insisted upon the further Reformation were then call'd Puritans, because they set up for greater Purity of Worship, and they separated themselves from the esta­blish'd Church, because, as they said, their Consciences in­form'd them that they could serve God more agreeable to his Will.

I shall not meddle with the Arguments made use of on both Sides, either to defend or expose this Principle; 'tis suffici­ent to acquaint my Reader that this is the true Original of the Dissenters: We are now to examine a little further back. Before this Reformation there was no such thing as Church of England; it was then the Church of Rome that was the e­stablish'd National Church.

The Protestants under the Titles of Lollards, Wickliffians, Hussites, &c. what did they do? Did they, as our Modern People say every Body shou'd, confirm to what the Government [Page 6] Commanded? No, the present Church of England Party were the Dissenters, the Schismaticks and Phanaticks, in the Days of King Henry VIII. were persecuted for not coming to Church; many of them put to Death, and always treated with Scorn and Contempt, as Enemies to the Government, Broachers of new Opinions, and Contemners of Authority; as in the case of that famous Proto-Martyr of Christ's Church, John Lambert, and others.

In the next Ages these come to have the Power in their Hands, and forgetting that they had found it righteous in the Sight of God to obey God rather than Man, they treat those whose Consciences oblige them to dissent from them, with the same Contempt which themselves had receiv'd from the Roman Government.

Thus far they are upon even Terms, as to Obedience to their Superiors.

The Dissenters have the first Occasion after this to show their Submission under extraordinary Pressures. Queen Eli­zabeth discountenanc'd them continually; and as good a Queen as she was, put some of them to Death. King James I. hun­ted them quite out of the Kingdom, made Thousands of them fly into Holland and Germany, and at last to New-England.

During the long Reign of these two Princes, we find no Charge of Treason or Rebellion upon them; they bore the Displeasure of their Princes with Patience and Passive Obe­dience; if I may be allow'd that Ridiculous Phrase; being per­secuted in one City, they fled to another; they bore illegal Prosecutions, and things contrary to their Right, as English Men, but never took up Arms against their Prince.

Under the Reign of King Charles I. the Case alter'd, the King and Parliament fell out about Matters of Civil Right, and Invasion of the Liberty and Properties of the People, the Puritans or Dissenters, call them what we please, fell in unanimously with the Parliament.

And here 'tis worthy Remark, that the first Difference be­tween the King and the English Parliament did not respect Religion, but Civil Property; nor were the Majority of the [Page 7] House of Puritans, but true Church Protestants, and English Men; who stood upon the Rights of the People, as English Men; and none were more Zealous in the first Disputes than the Lord Digby, Sir Thomas Wentworth, and such as were after­wards deep Sufferers for the King.

But the Parliament finding the Puritan Party stuck close to their Cause, they also came over to them when things came to a Rupture, and so the War begun on the Score of Right, Invasion of Liberty, Breach of [...]he Laws, Private Leagues, and Male Administration; a Game we have seen play'd over again by the very same Church of England that have exclaim'd so much against it, so damn'd it, and so damn'd themselves, by Oaths, Declarations, Tests, and God knows what, against it.

'Tis allow'd here the Puritan broke thro' his Loyalty, and his former Obedience, and fought his Way to the Liberty he demanded. Well, the War ended to his Advantage, he subdued his Sovereign, and brought him to the Block, to the Astonishment of the whole World.

I wont dispute here which or which Party did or did not do it, but to give the Enemy all just Advantage, I am wil­ling to grant it in the largest Sense that the Dissenters, or Phanaticks, or Whigs, call them as you please, did embrue their Hands in the Blood of the Lord's Anointed, put to Death that blessed Martyr, King Charles the I. whom a learned Divine, in a Sermon on the 30th of January, before the Parliament, compares both in the manner of his Suffe­rings, and the People by whom, to our Saviour and the Jews, and boldly runs on in the Blasphemous Parallel, to shew that the Indignities and Sufferings of King Charles exceed those of Jesus Christ.

I think I have granted as largely as a fair Adversary can desire; for I have yielded for Peace-sake to several things which I cou'd fairly disprove.

Nor shall I return to a Repitition of the ill Usage the Dis­senters have receiv'd from the contrary Party on this Ac­count for above 30 Years; the constant Reproaches they and [Page 8] their Children after them have met with from those Gentle­men, who on all Occasions have (as I hinted before) parti­cularly taken care to extol their own unshaken Fidelity to their Prince, till at last an Occasion presents to touch them in the same most sensible Part, their Right and Property; and alas! their Loyalty, what became of it? Truly the Faith­ful, Passively Obedient, Ʋnshakenly Loyal Church, return'd to the Original Nature of their Neighbours, and did the same thing exactly which the Whigs, the Factious Rebellious Whigs, had done before.

‘'No, that's false, (says a Disciple of Dr. Sherlock's) we did not kill our King, we did not dip our Hands in Roy­al Blood, nor hurt the Lord's Anointed.’

No, that's true, but the Lord's Anointed may thank him­self for that; for my part I think the Difference only lyes here; the Whigs in 41, to 48. took up Arms against their King; and having conquer'd him, and taken him Prisoner, cut off his Head, because they had him: The Church of England took Arms against their King in 88. and did not cut off his Head, because they had him not. King Charles lost his Life, because he did not run away; and his Son, King James, sav'd his Life, because he did run away.

'Tis such a Jest, such a Banter, to say, We did take up Arms, but we did not kill him: Bless us, kill our King, we wou'd not have hurt a Hair of his Head! Why, every Bullet shot at the Battle of the Boyne, was a killing the King; for if you did not, 'twas because you cou'd not hit him.

If a Highway-man fires at you upon the Road, when he is taken, and brought upon his Trial, our learned Recor­der, before he pronounces Sentence of Death, barangues him in this manner: And besides all this, Sir; you are plainly guilty of Murther; for you not only assaulted this honest Man, in order to take away his Money but you endeavour'd to murther him; for you shot at him, in order to kill him; and the Intention of Murther is Equally Criminal in the Eyes of God with the Act it self.

Now who did we shoot at, at the Boyne? 'Tis true, King James generally stood out of the way; But who did we shoot at? What! was our Orders to sight against both small and great, [Page 9] and not against the King of Israel? Had your Bullets Commis­sion to show their Loyalty, and not to touch the Lord's Anointed? If he had Charg'd in the first Squadrons of his Horse, had you not kill'd him if you cou'd? I think this need no further Proof.

Nay, if Arguments may be allow'd to have equal Weight on both Sides, the Whigs have been the honester of the two; for they never profest any such blind, absolute and undispu­ted Obedience to Princes as the others have done.

It has always been their Opinion. That Government was originally contrived by the Consent, and for the mutual Be­nefit of the Parties Govern'd, that the People have an Ori­ginal Native Right to their Property, the Liberty of their Persons and Possessions, unless forefaulted to the Laws, that they cannot be divested of this Right but by their own Con­sent, and that all Invasion of this Right is destructive of the Constitution, and dissolves the Compact of Government and Obedience.

They have always declar'd, That they understand their Allegiance to their Governors to be, supposing they Govern them according to the Laws of the Land; and that if Princes break this Bond of Government, the Nature of it is inverted, and the Constitution ceases of course.

Buchanan in Scotland, Algernoon Sidney in England, have set their Names, and the latter his Blood, to this Doctrine, and the Author of the True-born Englishman is worth quoting in the Case;

The Government's ungirt when Justice dies,
And Constitutions are Non-Entities:
The Nation's all a Mob, there's no such thing,
As Lords or Commons, Parliament or King:
A great promiscuous Crowd the Hydra lyes,
Till Laws revive, and mutual Contract ties:
A Chaos free to chuse for their own Share,
What case of Government they please to wear.
If to a King they do the Reigns commit,
All Men are bound in Conscience to submit;
[Page 10] But then that King must by his Oath assent
To Postulata's of the Government.
Which if he breaks he cuts off the Entail,
And Power Retreats to its Original.
True-born Englishman, P. 74.

This has been the avow'd Doctrine of the Dissenters, and is indeed the true Sense of the Constitution it self; pursuant to this Doctrine they thought they had a Right to oppose Violence with Force; believing that when Kings break Co­ronation Oaths, the Solemn Compact with their People, and encroach upon their Civil Rights, contrary to the Laws of the Land, by which they are sworn to Rule, they cease to be the Lord's Anointed any longer, the Sanction of their Office is vanish'd, and they become Tyrants and Enemies of Man­kind, and may be treated accordingly.

Now 'tis no wonder to find People of these Principles vi­gorously withstanding their Governors, when they tread upon the tender fore places of the Constitution; 'tis nothing but what they all along pretended to, and declar'd to be their Opinion.

But to find the Church of England-Men, whose Loyalty has been the Subject of a Thousand Learned Authors, and numberless Sermons, whose Character and Mark of Distin­ction has been chosen more for her steddy Adherence and Fidelity to her Prince than to God Almighty; whose Obe­dience to her Monarchs has been declar'd to be Inviolate and Immoveable; and who pretends to be Famous thro' the whole World for their Faithfulness to Kings; for her, as soon as ever the King did but, as it were, seem to aim at crushing her Authority, as soon as he did but begin to call her Clergy to an Account, and clap up her Golden Candlesticks for Disobedience; for her to winch and kick, fly to foreign Princes for Pro­tection, and rise in Arms against her Prince, O Pelin! O Bra­dy! O Sherlock! O Hominem! O Mores!

[Page 11] Where's the worthy Dr. B—ge's Loyalty now? His Immoveable Loyalty, that after all his Absolute Submission is so far from being a Martyr to his own Doctrine, that he cou'd not lose a small Benefice for it?

VVhere is the Famous Dr. S—k? VVho having stood out long in his old antiquated Doctrine of Passive Obedience, and confirm'd the Faith of his Suff'ring Brethren, by strong and wonderful Arguments, at last, at the powerful Instiga­tion of a VVife, and a good Sallary, has Sold all his Loyalty for a Mess of Pottage, solving his Honesty with the wretched Distinction of a Power De Facto, and a Power De Jure, as if the Church of England's Credit cou'd be sav'd by such an impotent Shift, or as if he cou'd make amends to the Pre­bendary for his helping him to Sacrifice his Brethren, to Fa­ther his Conversion upon reading honest Dr. Overall, whose Doctrine, 'tis well known the Doctor knew before; but that he was loath Dr. South shou'd have the Honour of bringing him over to such Old Phanatick Principles?

Behold the Loyalty of the Church of England; now let's examine their Conscience, as to taking Oaths; and if I do not bring them to be all VVhigs, and Forty-One-Men, or else prove them all Perjur'd, then I do nothing.

The Clergy, all the Magistrates and Officers of the Hou­shold, of the Civil or Military Government, were Mem­bers of the Church of England, otherwise they cou'd not be employ'd; the Sacramental Test has done the Dissenters this Kindness, that 'tis plain all the Managing Hands in the King­dom were Disciples of the Church; and as an additional Circumstance, the Oath of Allegiance which they took, and which was (God be praised) of their own making, bound them to that same Absolute Blind Obedience which they profest, and confin'd it to the King, his Heirs and Succes­sors.

If this Oath be consider'd literally, I am content to be si­lenc'd, when one fair Argument can be brought to evade it; the Declaration follow'd it, wherein they detest and abhor that devilish Doctrine, that 'tis lawful on any pretence what­soever, [Page 12] (Mark the Emphasis) to take up Arms against the King▪ this (equal to an Oath) is declar'd in the presence of God; and the Particulars being material to our purpose, are as follows:

I A. B. do Declare and Believe that it is not Lawful upon any Pre­tence whatsoever, to take up Arms against the King; and that I do abhor that Traiterous Position of taking Arms by his Authority against those that are Commissioned by him.

So help me God

Notwithstanding this, you have taken up Arms against, deposed, and as far as you were able, put to Death your law­ful King, the very King you swore Allegiance to.

Now, pray Gentlemen, give Commission to some worthy Cham­pion of your Church's Loyalty, to bring you fairly off of your Oath and Declaration if you can; and till you do, be not angry with us for making one of these Conclusions from the Premises, and you shall chuse for your selves.

First, That this Doctrine of Absolute, Passive and Non­resistant Obedience, is an Absurdity in it self, contradictory to the Nature of Government and Allegiance, and political­ly introduc'd by State Engines into the Church of England, to abuse her, and betray her Members into unforeseen Mis­chiefs and Inconveniences.

Or, Secondly, That the Members of the Church of England are all Apostates from the very Fundamental Doctrine of their Church, Perjur'd in the Sight of God and Man, Noto­rious Hypocrites, and Deceivers; who having sworn Obe­dience without Reserve to their Prince, are become Traitors, Rebels, and Murtherers of the Lord's Anointed, and their Lawful Sovereign; and not having the Fear of God before their Eyes, have depos'd and traiterously dethron'd their Rightful King, God Almighty's Vicegerent, accountable to no Earthly Power, Supream under God, Absolute, and from Divine Institution, Undoubted Sole Lord of them and their Country.

[Page 13] Or, Lastly, That they only are the true Church of En­gland, who according to their avow'd Profession, have firm­ly adher'd to their King in all his Sufferings and Solitude, have never blacken'd their Consciences, nor gone back from their Obedience, forgotten their Oaths, nor fullied their Re­putation with the horrid Crimes of Treason and Rebellion, as they think it to be.

Now, as a fair Disputant, I am willing the Respondent shall chuse which of these Three Consequences he will stand by in behalf of the Church of England's Loyalty; but if they wou'd take the Advice of a Friend to the honest Part of them, I wou'd recommend the first Conclusion to be fittest for them for the following Reason.

1. Because since humane Infallibility is (and with good Rea­son) disown'd by the Church of England, both for her Self and every Body else, it can be no Diminution to her Repu­tation, when she has found her self mistaken, and impos'd upon, to acknowledge her Error; a wise Man will always own, rather than defend a mistake.

2. Because 'tis my Opinion that their Way is hedg'd up a­gainst any other pretence, Evasion, or Reservation, and therefore 'tis with me the only thing that Charity can say for them, and must remain so, till I find something else said that is more to the Purpose.

But the Mischief of all is, that if this be honestly acknow­ledg'd (as is doubtless most true) that the Church of England was mistaken, and impos'd upon, to espouse a Sensless Ab­surd Principle, contrary to the Nature of Government and Allegiance, &c. why then they come over to this Conse­quence.

That Government and Allegiance are both Conditional, and Oaths of Subjects are always to be consider'd in a Con­structive Sence, with Conditions of Protection, and the like; a thing which is without question the real Meaning of all Oaths of Allegiance; otherwise Subjects may be put under an ab­solute Necessity of Perjury, or State Martyrdom, by often swearing what may be impossible for them to perform.

[Page 14] The Town of Aeth in Flanders has been about 6 times, and the Town of Rhinebergh in Gueldre about 12 times, ta­ken and retaken; and as often as new Masters had Possession of the Place, so often the poor Inhabitants have sworn to their new Lords: What can the meaning of such an Oath be, but that they will be faithful to them so long as they keep Possession of the Place? 'Twou'd be ridiculous to ima­gine the Imposers of the Oath requir'd any more.

If our Zealous Churchmen worded an Oath contrary to the very Nature of Swearing Allegiance, let them answer for it who first made it, then took it, then broke it. But the Nature of the thing can leave Room for no other Sug­gestion that I know of.

Till then some further Argument is produc'd, it must rest here, that the Church of England was Mistaken, Imposed upon, &c. that she finds when the Laws are Broken, the Right of the People Invaded, the Root of the Government Struck at, Church and State Undermin'd, and Dispotick Ty­ranny at the Door, the Native Right of the People is Supe­rior, and they may assume a Power to Right themselves.

And so we are brought back to Whiggism, and 41; and, Gen­tlemen, there is no remedy for it, help it if you can.

Where now is the Difference between Church Loyalty, and Whiggish Loyalty, Roundhead or Cavalier, Church­man or Dissenter, Whig or Tory? All are alike; they are pleas'd, when legally Govern'd; Quarrelsome and Unruly, if Opprest; and will Defend themselves, if Assaulted; tho' it be by their Kings, or any Body else.

Why then is the Difference kept up? Methinks they might all be friends together, for they are all alike; the Dissenters have been in their times as Loyal, and the Church of En­gland in their time as Disloyal as one another. Vice versa the Dissenters have been as Disloyal, and the Churchmen as Loy­al as one another upon the same Occasion; they have been both Sufferers, and have submited to the Government; ay, and to the Oppressions and Persecutions of their Superiors and Sovereigns; and again, upon the like Occasions, they [Page 17] have both of them been Rebels, if their own Language may so far be us'd; they have both of them, in their Turn, taken Arms against, and depos'd their Rightful and Lawful Kings.

So that in my Opinion, with a Latitude to all that think other­wise to think as they please; the Church of England and their Neighbours the Dissenters, have nothing to quarrel with one another about, as to Loyalty; as to other Matters I have nothing to say to them, nor shall not mingle it with this Discourse.

Nor do I think I am writing a Satyr against the Church of En­gland, nor is it at all intended to be so; and to stop all Pre­tences that way, I take the Freedom to say here has been no Crime, the Church of England has been in the right of it; not in taking Arms, but the Error was in Espousing, Cry­ing up, and Pretending to a Blind Absolute Obedience to Princes, be their Commands never so Absolute, Tyrannical or Illegal; this neither the Doctrine nor Practice of the Church of England, nor of any Church or People in the Christian World, ever pretended to; and therefore the Fault lay in those people, who being themselves Members of the Church of England, suffer'd themselves to be deluded by State-Ministers, to foster a Tenent upon the Church which her Original Constitution never pretended to, and then call it the Doctrine of the Church of England.

The first beginning of their pretended Doctrine was found in Manwaring's and Sibthorp's Libels, in the Days of King Charles I. cajoling the King; and then to please him, endea­vouring to wheedle the People into a Belief of the Divine Right of Kingly Government; and affirming, that the King was not oblig'd by the Laws in the Administration of the Government.

Upon this preposterous Foundation, they built the Illegi­timate Structure of Absolute Undisputed Obedience; for if Kingly power were once prov'd to be immediately deriv'd from Divine Authority, Absolute Obedience wou'd be a Con­sequence no body could dispute, since the same Obedience without reserve wou'd be due to the Delegated power, as to the Power delegating.

[Page 8] And though this is a point easily enough confuted, yet be­ing willing to keep the present Dispute within as small a compass as we can, I think our Argument has nothing at all to do with it.

Whether Government be of Divine Original or not, seems not the Question here; for if it be not so, then, as before, the Church of England have been mistaken, and imposed up­on; and if it be so, then the Church of England has tram­pled under-foot their own Doctrine, turn'd Rebels to God, and Apostates from the Faith they have profest, have Sacri­legiously and Traiterously taken up Arms against their Prince, assaulted the Lord's Anointed, Resisted the Powers which are the Ordinance of God, deposed their lawful Sovereign, broken their Allegiance, and consequently are a Parcel of Perjur'd Re­bels; every jot as bad as the worst Roundhead Regicide, and Rebel of the Year Forty One.

What more or less can be said, I profess I know not, and am in great Expectation of something new in the Matter; for I cannot find in all the Writings I have met with, any thing to contradict it.

The bringing Government and Obedience to the proper Circumstances of mutual Compact between King and People, seems to me to be the only Method to unravel this Skein of entangl'd Principles; the Nature of Government has made it the necessary Consequence of all Argument relating to Po­wer; and I could give Instances in all the Nations in the World, that some time or other, even the Right of Succes­sion to Government, which must be as sacred as the Power, has been interrupted and limited by the People, in case of Ty­ranny and Illegal Governing; and every Nation; and this a­mong the rest, have often times depos'd their Princes for the preservation of the State, when either Incapacity for Govern­ment, Tyrannical Usurpation, or other Male-Administration, has been the Case.

But this I think also needless here; every one that is vers'd in History can read the numerous Examples in the Roman, Grecian and Persian Histories, even Sacred Histories, where [Page 9] Kings were more particularly of Divine Right than any where, are full of them; the Histories of Spain, Portugal, France, Lom­bardy, the Empires of Germany and Muscovy, even the Papal Chair, have suffer'd Convulsions and Revolutions, the De­posing and Displacing their Sovereigns, when the People's Good, which is, and ever was, the Soul, the Center, the End, and the Cause of all Government, came to be in the Dispute.

But to return to the Principles of the Two Parties we are now discoursing of; the Whigs, as before, have always as­serted this to be their Notion of Government and Governors, and the Church of England, however some among them have topt an empty Notion upon them, have all along, and now at last once for all, own'd it by their Practice.

That Kings when they descend to Tyranny,
Dissolve the Bond, and leave the Subject free,
True Born Eng. Man, pag. 47.

The Act for the further Limitation of the Crown past in the last Parliament, and the Right of the People therein de­clar'd and recogniz'd, I would ask my Opponent whose Act and Deed it was? Will they say it was a Whiggish Act, made by a Phanatical House of Commons? I dare say there was not Ten Dissenters in the House; let them descend with us into Par­ticulars, let them draw out a Black List of Members, who in that Loyal Honest English Parliament gave their Hands to the last Settlement and Declaration of Right, and let us tell No [...]s, and put a Brand upon the Phanaticks among them.

Will they tell us it was a Phanatical Parliament that set the Crown upon the Queen's Head? I hope they will own Her Majesty and their Lordships the Bishops are part of the Church of England; for if the Head and the principle Members are not, we know not who are.

Will they tell us that Sir E. S. Sir B. S. Sir J. B. Mr. H—y, Sir C—r M— [...], and a hundred more of that Side, were Whigs and Common-wealth men?

[Page 20] How comes it to pass in England that no Papist can inherit? Divine Right ought to supercede all Precautions, and the young Prince of Savoy, not the House of Hannover, ought to Reign with a Non Obstante to all Humane Limitation, if all was from Heaven: Where are our Right-Line-Men now! Why, truly the Reason is plain, the Church of England, People of England, a Church of England Parliament of England, have thought fit to declare, that for the Good of the People, to which all Right of Succession to Power must give way, because from them all power it self does derive, and by the Voice of that People (in which Autho­rity sufficient is legally grounded) it is Unanimously agreed, that we will not have a Papist to Reign over us.

All this is too plain to admit of a Dispute; and now to me it seems preposterous why any Men shou'd keep up the Di­stinction between Parties as to Loyalty, when indeed there is no manner of Difference in the Case.

I have talk'd several times of bearing, suffering, being per­secuted and oppress'd, as the Dissenters in their time have been more than enough, and again in their Turn, the Church of England have been persecuted too; for as I noted before, they were once the Schismaticks, the Whigs, and the Dissenters. Now I think 'tis not very foreign to my Argument to exa­mine whether of the Two behav'd themselves under their Sufferings with the greatest Submission, who show'd most absolute Obedience to their Superiors, and who first, or oft­nest Rebell'd against their lawful Sovereign.

The Protestants under Henry VIII. were the first Dissen­ters; they were kept under, persecuted, and put to death as Rebels and Schismaticks. Now upon due search, it will be sound, that under the protection of two Protestant Queens, Wives of King Henry VIII. they had more than once form'd such Interest at Court, and in the Kingdom, as to begin to be formidable to the Popish powers then reigning; and the Fall of the Lord Cromwell was thought a necessary Policy in King Henry, to prevent the Plots of the Phanatical Church of England Hereticks; a long Account of which may be read in the Life of that Prince.

[Page 21] King Edward the VI. a zealous and pious Prince, made no scruple for the propagation of the Protestant Church of England, of which he was the Glorious founder, to set Aside the Lawful and Undisputed Succession of his own Sisters, to Establish the Crown in the Lady Jane Grey, who he knew wou'd carry on the Work of Reformation.

There's an Instance of the Zeal for Succession in the Right Line, in the First Protestant Head that ever the Church of England had.

After this, the Gospellers, that is, the Church of England Protestants of Suffolk, having some sense of Injury done to the Princess Mary, and willing to have the Succession go on in the Right Line, provided they cou'd both preserve their Re­ligion and Loyalty too, capitulate with her, and promise to stand by her, provided she wou'd promise to preserve, and make no Alteration in their Establish'd Church of England.

Here the Church of England Men own'd the Liberty of their Religion to be superior to their Loyalty to her; and that they had a Right to Submit, or not to Submit, as their Liberty was, or was not, secure; and accordingly Conditio­ned with her, before they wou'd Acknowledge her to be their Queen.

And we see how Heaven punish'd them for venturing on the Word of a Prince, when their Religion and Liberty was at Stake.

In this Queen's Time the Church having been again Sup­pressed, and Popery Erected, Sir Thomas Wyatt, an Honest Church of England Protestant, with a very good Body of Men, took up Arms against their Lawful Prince, for brea­king her Word in Defence of their Dear Religion, Establish'd by Blessed King Edward, which were the very Words of the Manifesto they Publish'd: The Londoners, with 800 Men, sent by the Queen against them, thought it no Treachery to Desert their Lawful Popish Queen, and go over to their Protestant Church of England Brethren.

We have nothing to do with the justification of this Fact; 'tis sufficient that so it was▪ and that these were Protestants [Page 12] of the Church of England, in the first and purest Part of their Principles, and let them justifie the Fact, if they please.

Queen Elizabeth Succeeds, and then the Church of England shone in its Meridian Glory, and then grew up some, who aiming, as I said before, at a further Reformation; and the Church refusing to hearken to it, form'd a new party of Dis­senters, and those were call'd Puritans, and since that, Phana­ticks.

Now I Challenge the Defender of this Cause to tell me one Dissoyal Act, one Plot against the Government, one Disturbance of the Civil Peace, among these Dissenters, from the begining of this Queen, which was their own begining, to the Reign of King Charles I. which was a continu'd Term of 80 Years, and yet, during this time, they suffer'd all man­ner of Indignities, Reproaches, Finings, Imprisonings, Ba­nishment, Confiscations, and Corporal Punishments.

So that hitherto the Passive Obedience of the Dissenters hath far exceeded that of the Church of England. These had but Five Years Oppression under Queen Mary, and in that Five Years they once Capitulated with their Sovereign to make her Queen upon Conditions, and once took Arms against her after she was Queen; and by that I must always understand, that if they did not Depose and Destroy her, it was because they cou'd not; and if they had done it, no doubt they had cause sufficient to justifie them before God and Man. The Puritans af­ter this suffered all that their too cruel Breth'en of the Church of England laid upon them during Three tedious Reigns, be­fore they so much as made the least offer at doing themselves Justice; and for 80 Years together exercis'd that Passive Obe­dience which they never pretended to.

A last they took Arms; and when they did, they did it to Purpose, carried all before them, subdued Monarchy, cut off their King's Head, and all that.

After the Restoration things began to return to their old Cha [...]e [...], and 30 Years more the Dissenters endur'd a [...]other Egyptian Servitude; were Persecuted, Plunder'd, Indicted, Imprison'd, plagu'd with Impositions, Stigmatiz'd with a [Page 13] Thousand Reproaches; their Meeting-houses Demolish'd, their Estates Confiscated, their Persons Excommunicated, and Anathamatis'd, Sworn into Plots they never heard of, and into Crimes they never Commited, Dragg'd to Goals, Gibbets and Scaffolds; Pand the like. All this while Passive Obedience, if there were any such thing, was found among them more than any where else; for here was no Rebellions, no Insurrection, nor breaking of the Peace by the Dissenters, notwithstanding all these Oppositions.

After this comes King James the Second to the Crown, and he turn'd the Scale, and, together with Invasion of Li­berty, falls upon the Church, begins to Rifle her of her Tro­phies, for no Essentials had been touch'd, and how long did She bear it? Not 80 Years, not [...]0 Years, no, not so many Months.

What did she do? Truly nothing but what she ought to have done; Defend her Liberty and Religion by Force, a­gainst unjust Invasion and Tyranny; nothing but what all the Nations in the World have done, and wou'd do again, if they cou'd.

The only Error we Charge upon the Church of England, was setting up pretences of what they really wou'd not Pra­ctice; crying up themselves for Fools, when we knew they were Wiser Men; calling themselves humble Slaves, but when the Tryal came, proving Stubborn, Refractory, Liberty-Mongers, even as bad as the worst Whig or Phanatick of them all.

For the Future, then if a Humble Moderator might be permited to give Advice to the Gentlemen of the Church of England, it shou'd be in these short and friendly Terms.

Pray Gentlemen never be Imposed upon, to pretend to more Loyalty and more slavish Principles than you intend to Practice.

Never pretend to more Obedience than your Sovereign Requires. Our Late King, who I am not asham'd to show as a Patern for future Ages, requir'd; and Her present Ma­jesty, without Affront to Her Majesty's Authority, it may be said, requires no further Obedience from the People of England, than the Laws of England requires.

[Page 24] To Govern according to Law, is a full Satisfaction to the People, and to obey according to Law, is a full Satisfaction to the Sovereign. The Laws are the Test both of the Roy­al Authority, and of the Subjects Obedience, and to pretend to more Obedience than the Law requires, is abusing your Prince, and abusing your Selves.

Never be asham'd to own with your Brethren, the Whigs, that you are willing to Submit to Authority, but that you ex­pect to be Govern'd according to the Laws and Statutes of this Realm.

Let the Scotch Motto be set upon your Liberties, and ac­cording to your constant Practice, as well as ours: Let all Men know you design to make it Good. Nemo me Impune Lacessit.

And as it really never was the Principle of the Church of England, nor were a hundreth Part of the Members of the Church tainted with it; so for the future 'tis hoped you will not suffer such to Mingle themselves among you, or to Act in the Name of the Church of England, who pretend to a Blind Absolute Obedience to Princes.

And Lastly, Gentlemen, a little more Modesty to your Humble Servants you Protestant Brethren, the Dissenters, or Whigs; I mean as to Matter of Loyalty: For in Truth, Gentlemen, we do not see any Reason you have to Reproach us in that Matter, you being in every Particular as faulty that way as your Neighbours.

FINIS.

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