Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 9, Number 10, March 4 to March 10, 2007

A Free Disputation

Against pretended
Liberty of Conscience Tending
To Resolve Doubts Moved by Mr. John Goodwin,
John Baptist, Dr. Jer. Taylor, the Belgic Arminians, Socinians, and other Authors
contending for lawless Liberty or licentious Toleration of Sects and Heresies.





By Samuel Rutherford


Professor of Divinity
In the University of St. Andrews


Psalm 119:45
And I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts.

LONDON
Printed by R.I. for Andrew Crook, and are to be sold at his
Shop, at the sign of the Green Dragon in St. Paul's
Church-yard. MDCIL.

TO THE
Godly and impartial Reader.

I offer (Worthy Reader) to your unpartiall and ingenuous censure these my ensuing thoughts against Liberty of conscience, from which way looking to me with a face of Atheism, I call the Adversaries, Libertines, not intending to reach a blow to any godly man, or to wound those who out of weakness are captived with that error, but to breed in the hearts of the godly a detestation of that way, which in truth hath its rise from Libertinism, and savoureth rankly of wide, loose and bold Atheistical thoughts of the majesty of God, as if our conscience had a Prerogative Royal beside a rule; yea (which is prodigious) in its simple apprehensions of God, of the Mediator, of the revealed will of God, above the Law of God: So I think, and all say so, and our faith and hope must be resolved in the first principle of skepticism. So it seems to me, for the young daughters of the mind, the simplest acts of apprehendding, knowing, believing God and divine truths are innocent, harmless ill-less soul-works, being from un- der all dominion of either freewill or a divine Law, and the mind, a free born absolute Princess, can no more incur guiltiness in its operations about an infi- nite Sovereign God, and his revealed will, by this law- less way, then the fire in burning, the Sun in enlightening, the stone in moving downward, be arraigned of any breach of Law, if toleration have place.

2. All certainty of believing, all steadfastness, rooting, and unmovable establishing in the truth, all life of consolations and comforts in the Scriptures, all peace of heavenly confidence, all joy unspeakable and full of glory, all lively hope, all patient and submissive waiting for the fruits of the harvest, all wrestling in prayer, all gloriation in tribulation, and all triumphing in praising, all rejoicing in the Spirit, being bottomed on fallible opinions, on doubtful disputations of skeptics, may be the reelings of windmills, fair fancies, and dreams; for who (say they) is infallible: and who hath known the mind of the Lord? so as the truth must be monopolized to any one Sect, or way? Who in faith or fullness of assurance can convince or rebuke gainsayers, heretics, or such as bring another doctrine, as Those whom you so labor to convince and rebuke?

3. Conscience is hereby made every man's Rule, Umpire, Judge, Bible, and his God, which if he follow, he is but at the worst, a godly, pious, holy Heretic, who feareth his conscience more than his creator, and is to be judged of you a Saint.

4. Hence conscience being deified, all rebuking, exhorting, counter-arguing, yea all the Ministry of the Gospel must be laid aside; no man must judge brother Idolater, or brother Familist, or Saints to be Socinians, or men of corrupt minds, perverse disputers, vain-janglers, wresters, rackers, or torturers of Scripture, whose words eat as a canker, who subvert whole houses, who speak the visions of their own head, and see false burdens, for all these who were of old, but are now quite gone out of the world; for who can make a window in any man's soul, and see there heart-obstinacy which only doth essentially constitute the heretic, the blasphemer, the false prophet?

But is not brotherly forbearance, Christian indulgence a debt we owe to brethren, Saints, and the truly godly in errors, and mind infirmities, which by a natural emanation or resultance get the fore-start of freewill?

To which I shall speak in these few considerations.

1. It is much to be desired with the prayers and suits of the children of God, that where there are two opinions, there may be one heart, that the Father of Spirits would unite the hearts of all the children of one Father, and the heirs of one house.

2. Papists here have exceeded in boundless domination and tyranny over the consciences of men: and what ever is contrary to the lawless decrees of their Councils and Popes, is an unexpiable heresy, and cannot be purged but by fire and fagot. 2. Who ever refuse subjection of conscience to that Enemy of Christ, and to that woman-mistress of witchcrafts, on whose skirts is found the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, is presently an heretic, and his arguments answered with burning-quick, this tyranny over conscience we disclaim; yet for that ought not the other extremity of wild toleration be embraced.

3. We cannot think but all Saints in this side of glory carry to heaven with them errors, mistakes, and prophesying in part, and the fairest Stars and lights in this lower firmament of the Church are clouded, and the benefit of the Moon serves to enlighten the under garden of Lillies, where Christ feedeth, till the day break, and the shadows flee away. And here brotherly indulgence and reciporation of the debt of compassionnate forbearance of the infirmities one of another must have place.

4. Yet so, as there can be no conflict of grace against grace; nor can the taking off the Foxes which destroy the Vines, be contrary to the gentleness and meekness of the Saints in fulfilling the law of love, and bearing one another's burdens, nor can love seated essentially in a new born child of the second birth be contrary to the zeal of God in withstanding to the face a Saint looking awry, and walking not with a straight foot according to the truth of the gospel; which way if heeded in sincerity, should breed more union of hearts, and be a greater testimony of faithfulness to a straying sheep, than our cruel meekness, and bloody gentleness in a pretended bearing with tender consciences under a color of paying the debt of bastard love, while as we suffer millions to perish, through silence and merciless condolency with them in their sinful depraving of the truth.

Farewell.

Yours

In the Lord Jesus,

S. R.

The Contents Chapt. 1. Of Conscience and its Nature.

Chapt. 2. Conscience under Synods, and how; and that the Conscience cannot have absolute liberty in matters of religion.

Chapt. 3. The Church may complain of heretics

Chapt. 4. The state of the question of compulsion of conscience and toleration

Chapt. 5. Of Fundamentals

Chapt. 6. Errors in non-fundamentals obstinately held are punishable

Chapt. 7. What opinions may be tolerated, what not.

Chapt. 8. Whether heresy be a sin or a mere error and innocency, whether a heretic be an evil doer?

Chapt. 9. Of Liberty of Prophesying, of erroneous indictments of conscience, that it is not our rule.

Chapt. 10. Of Indulgence in Fundamental or Non-fundamental Errors.

Chapt. 11. Of Obliging Power of Conscience.

Chapt. 12. Arguments against pretended toleration.

Chapt. 13. Magistracy and perpetual laws in the Old Testament warrant the civil coercing of false prophets.

Chapt. 14. Cavils against coercive judicial laws, for punishing false prophets in the old Testament.

Chapt. 15. Christ's not rebuking toleration, and the law, Deuteronomy 13 vindicated.

Chapt. 16. Prophecies in the Old Testament especially Zechariah 13:1-6 for punishing false prophets vindicated.

Chapt. 17. Places in the New Testament especially Romans 13 for punishing of false teachers vindicated.

Chapt. 18. The place I Timothy 2:1, 2, for coercive power over false prophets cleared.

Chapt. 19. Exemption of false prophets from coercive power, is not Christian liberty.

Chapt. 20. The parable of the wheat and the tares discussed and cleared.

Chapt. 21. Of the Samaritans, and of the non-compelling of heathens, how the Covenant bindeth us.

Chapt. 22. The pretended liberty of conscience against the National League and Covenant, the ordinances of the Parliament of England engaged both oath for a reformation of religion

Chapt. 23. The Place of Acts 5:34 to wit, the counsel of Gamaliel disused, and found nothing for liberty of conscience

Chapt. 24 . Whether punishing of seducing teachers, be inconsistent with the meekness of Christ, place Luke 9:54 disused.

Chapt. 25. Whether the rulers by their office, in order to peace, are to stand to the laws of Moses, for punishing seducing teachers

Chapt. 26. Whether punishing of seducing teachers be persecution for conscience.

Chapt. 27. Whether our darkness and incapacity to believe and profess, together with the darkness and obscurity of scripture be a sufficient ground for toleration.

Chapt. 28. Divers other arguments for pretended toleration answered




1

CHAP. I.
Of Conscience and its nature.

ACTS 24.16.
And herein do I exercise myself to have always a Conscience void of offense toward God, and toward man.

This is a part of Paul's Apology which he brings out before Festus the Governor, he dare bring out his conscience before his accusers; the subject of this part is conscience, In which we have, 1. the subject, Conscience. 2. The quality of it, Free of offense. 2. The entireness and perfection of it, in the first Table, as a religious man toward God; as one of a sound conversation, in the duties of the second Table, toward man. 3. And that not at starts, when a good blood of godliness came on him; but diapantos, Always, at all times. 4. This was not a conscience to lie beside him as the wretches Gold, which for many years seeth neither sun nor wind; but it is a Conscience walking in the streets, and in action. Herein, that is, in this religion and hope of the resurrection, do I labour or exercise my self, this field do I plow. 5. There is considerable Grammar in the object of this exercise. I labour to have, to be a Lord, a Master, and an owner of a good conscience; a conscience is one thing, and to have a conscience, another thing; often the conscience hath the man and Lords it over him, or rather Tyrannizeth over the Judas, and the man hath not the conscience. And these five do comprehend the latitude, the length and breadth of a good conscience.

Therefore of conscience; 2. of the good Conscience. Of conscience, a little of the Name; 2. Of the thing. The Hebrews express the name by the name of heart. bb'le \\\ which I grant does signify the mind, understanding, will, and by a figure it noteth the heart, 2 Sam. 24:10. And David's heart smote him. Solomon saith to Shimei, I King 2:44. Thou knoweth all the evil that thy heart (thy conscience) is privy to.

Conscience is but knowledge with a witness; its observed, that sunei,dhsij, Conscience, a Word used about 32 times in the New Testament, is but once by the Translators in the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 10:20. Hence it noteth that a Man hath a fellow, or (to speak so) a College-observer with him, and that is God who knoweth first, and perfectly the ways and thoughts of a man, and his conscience is an under-witness, and an observer with God, but a dim and blind beholder in comparison of God. 2. It is a knowledge not a large as that of the whole understanding faculty, but restricted, and in order only to the man's actions, words, thoughts, the condition or state he is in, in Christ, or not in Christ. It so signifieth practical knowledge that there is a Verb Nishal that signifieth to have a heart, or to be practically wise, Job 11:12. Vain man bb'le would have a heart, or be hearted and wise; and Cant. 4:9 Thou hast taken away my heart, or, unheartened me, my sister, my spouse. 2. The heart goeth also for a word that signifieth a picture, Job 38:36. Who hath given understanding to the heart, ywIk.f, it ignifieth curious engraving; wittily devised by the understandding, and it noteth an excellent picture, pleasant to see, from a root that signifieth to behold, and to paint; for all the inventions, pictures, engraven works in the soul is in the conscience. Sinners draw on their conscience and, heart many fair fancies, pictures and engraven pieces of devised pleasures, They use the word x;Wr spirit for the Conscience also. Psalms 34:18. The Lord saveth the broken in spirit. Prov. 18:4. A wounded spirit who can bear it? For the word spirit in that language signifieth the whole soul, Ecclesiastes 3:21, chapter 8:8. and the whole strength, marrow, courage, and flower of the soul, Job 6:8. Joshua 5:1. There was no more Spirit in them, because Conscience is all, it is the good or best, or the evil or worst in the man, does he keep conscience, all is safe; does he lose conscience, all is gone: it is the spirits, the rose, the only precious thing of the soul, the body is clay and oar, the conscience is the gold of the man.

Now touching Conscience. I propose these, 1. Its nature. 2. Its object. 3. Its office. 4. The kinds of Conscience; And 5. the adjuncts of it, the liberty of Conscience, and that much controverted prerogative to be free in opinions, and in religions, from bands that men can lay on it.

Conscience is considered by Divines as a principle of our acting in order to what the Lord commandeth us in the Law and the Gospel; and it commeth here to be considered, in a three-fold consideration. 1. As Conscience is in its abstract nature; yet as it is in man only, I speak nothing of the conscience of Angels, and Devils. 2. As the Conscience is good or bad; For the conscience in Adam, before the fall was in a great perfection, and the Glorified spirits carry a good conscience up to heaven with them, as the damned take to hell a piece of hell within them, an evil conscience, yet there was neither in Adam, nor can there be in the Glorified, an evil conscience, nor any such accidental acts of Conscience, as to accuse, smite, torment.

3. Conscience is considered as acting well or ill, it hath influence on the affections, to cause a feast of joy, to stir up to faith, hope, sadness, etc...

Touching the nature of Conscience. It seemeth to me to be a power of the practical understanding according to which the man is obliged and directed to give judgment of himself, that is of his state and condition, and of all his actions, inclinations, thoughts, and words. It is first an understanding power, not an act or an actual judgment. 1. It is not a distinct faculty from the understanding, but the understanding as it giveth judgment, in court, of the man's state and of all his ways, as whether he be in favor with God, or no, and now whether he be in Christ, or not, and of all his motions and actions within or without. But it would appear not to be an act, because to oblige, to direct to accuse, are acts of the Conscience, and therefore do not flow from other acts; it is true, the thoughts, Rom. 2.15. are said to accuse, or excuse, but by thoughts there is meant the Conscience itself, not first thinking, and then accusing, but the Conscience breathing out the bad or good perfume or challenging and accusing, or of excusing and comforting thoughts, and acts. All acts flow from either young powers, which they call potency, or from stronger and more aged and radicated powers, which they call habits: Things produced by motion, and motion itself, are the effects of the mover (saith Amesius de Consc. Lib. I. Cap. I. Nu.4) and therefore the act of accusing, may be from the Conscience which is an act; this consequence cannot stand; the motion, and the thing produced by motion, is from the mover, true, but the act of moving is from the mover, as he actuateth his power, so is directing, and accusing from the power in the practical understanding, not from the act of understanding which is nothing in this case, but the act of accusing, and nothing can come from itself as a cause. 2. When the believer or wicked men go to sleep, and put off their cloths, they do not put off their Conscience, and though the conscience sleeps not with the man, yet doth it not in sleep, necessarily act by accusing, or excusing, and therefore remaineth as a power in man, not ever acting; See Malderus in 12.q.19. Disp. 82. ar 4.5.

2. Its an understanding power, and belongeth to the judgement and understanding. Esa. 5.3. Judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. Its true, some make it the inclination of the will, as Henriquez, Quodlib. I.q.18. And Durandus may seem not far from it, 2.d.39. Some say it belongeth to both. But the will is no knowing faculty, the Conscience is a knowing faculty, Eccles. 7.22. For oftentimes also thine heart knoweth that though also haft cursed others. 2. There is more of reason and sound knowledge in the conscience, then in the whole understanding soul, it is a Crystal globe of reason, the beam, the sun, the candle of the soul; for to know God and the creatures, in our relative obligation to God in Christ, is the role, the blossom, the flower of knowledge, Job 17.3. to see God, and his beauty expressed in Christ, and the comeliness and incomparable glory of his amiable and lovely Essence as holden forth to us in Christ, is the highest reach of the conscience.

If Conscience be so divine a peace, filled bank-full with reason and light, then the more of knowledge, the more of conscience, as the more of fire, the more heat, the more of the sun, the more light. Then when fancy goes for conscience, as in euthystats, and new Spirits grappling beside the word of God, a new Angel commended only from Newness a white Angel without, and a black Angel within, conscience must be turned in a dream. 2. Novelty can go for conscience, our nature is quickly taken with novelty, even as a new friend, a new field, a new house, a new garden, a new garment, so a new Christ, a new faith, prov wjran, delights us. 3. Heresy goeth for Conscience; the Conscience of some fancy that to kill their children to Molech, is a doctrine that entered in the heart of God, to command, Jer. 7.30,31.

A Conscience void of knowledge is void of goodness; silence and dumbness is not peace; An innocent toothless conscience that cannot see, nor hear, nor speak, cannot bark, far less can it bite before it have teeth, such a conscience covenanteth with the sinner, Let me alone, let me sleep till the smoke of the furnace of hell waken me. If there be any sense or life, fire can bring it forth; a worm at the heart can bear witness, if it have any life. This Conscience is like the service Book, or like the Mass, or the Popish Image, you but see these things, they cannot speak, nor act upon the soul.

The nature of Conscience is further cleared by its office, and object; which are the fecund and third particulars proposed.

That we may the more distinctly speak of these, it would be cleared what sort of knowledge is ascribed to the Conscience.

Conscience is not the simple judgment and apprehension of things, as things are knowable; this is the speculative understandding, but it is the power to know things ourselves, and actions, in order to obey God and serve him. 2. But the question is, whether Conscience be a simple practical apprehension of things, or a compounded and discoursive apprehension. To which I answer. 1. That as the speculative understanding, knoweth many things without discourse, as to apprehend the sun, heaven, nature of motion, and many things in its second operation and work, as to apprehend the Sun to be an hundredth, sixty and seven times more than the Earth, yet it referreth both the first and second operations of the mind to know things by discourse, so the Conscience as conscience doth apprehend in its first operation, God, Christ, sin; and in its second operation God to be infinite, Christ to be the alone choicest of Saviours; So it is consummate and perfected in a discourse or syllogism by Conscience, totally and completely in order to our practice and faith.

As He that killeth his brother hath not life eternal.
But I have killed my brother.
Ergo, I have not life eternal. So Cain.
And He that believeth in him who justifieth the ungodly,
is justified and saved.
But I believe in him who justifieth the ungodly.
Ergo, I am justified and saved. So David, Paul.

The knowledge of the major by itself is an act of conscience, as to deny and mis-believe the major Proposition is an act of a blinded and evil conscience; but the completeness of Conscience standeth in the knowledge of the whole syllogism. Hence they say, that the sunthresis, the Magazine and Thesaurehouse of the conscience, the habit or power that judgeth of the Law of nature is the major Proposition, or the principles of right or wrong written in the heart by nature maketh the conscience in regard of the proposition to be called, Lex the Law. In regard of the assumption, or the second proposition, Conscience is a witness, a spy sent from heaven to record all the facts, in which assumption are included both our facts, actions, words, thoughts, inclinations, habits of sin or grace, and the mans state and condition. In regard of the conclusion or third proposition, Conscience is a Judge and the deputy of God; and it is but one and the same conscience acting all the three, the acts of Law, a Witness, a Judge.

The sunthresis, the conserving power of the soul, is that faculty or power, in which are hidden and laid up the moral principles of right and wrong, known by the light of nature, and so is a part of a natural conscience, and in it are treasured up the Scripture and Gospel-truths, which are known by the light of a star of a greater Magnitude, to wit, the candle shining in a divine revelation, and this is part of the enlightened and supernatural Conscience.

Of this intellectual Treasure-house, we are to know these. 1. That in the inner Cabinet, the natural habit of Moral principles lodgeth, the Register of the common notions left in us by nature, the Ancient Records and Chronicles which were in Adam's time, the Law of Nature of two volumes, one of the first Table, that there is a God, that he createth and governeth all things, that there is but one God, infinitely good, more just rewarding the Evil and the good; and of the second Table, as to love our Parents, obey Superiors, to hurt no man, the acts of humanity; All these are written in the soul, in deep letters, yet the Ink is dim and old, and therefore this light is like the Moon swimming through watery clouds, often under a shadow, and yet still in the firmament. Caligula, and others, under a cloud, denied there was any God, yet when the cloud was over, the light broke out of prison, and granted, a God there must be; strong winds do blow out a Torch in the night, and will blow in the same light again; and that there be other seeds, though come from a far land, and not growing out of the ground, as the former, is clear, for Christ scattereth some Gospel-truths in this Chalmer; as John 7.28. Then cried Jesus in the Temple; as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and whence I am. John 15.24. But now they have both seen, and hated both me and my Father.

2. This is a part of the Conscience, because by no faculty in man, but by the conscience are these truths apprehended. 2. And when in any ill blood, deny such truths, as that there is a God, and Parents are not to be loved, we all say such do sin; and offer violence to their conscience. 3. Sins against these fundamentals, cry vengeance with a more hideous shout, and cry, than spiritual sins that are spun with a smaller thread, for such go nearer to put off humanity.

The knowledge of the assumption is Conscience as a Book or Witness, and it is either considered as it is in habit, and keeps a record of the man's facts; or as in act it bringeth them forth, and applyeth the Law to the fact, and is called edictamin, the indictment, and charge given in; This and this hath thou done.

Now that Conscience bringeth good or ill out of the Book that containeth the memorial, or Chronicle of the man's deeds is clear, as 1. The Conscience can look back and laugh, and solace itself at that which is well done, and bring it forth, Psal. 16. 2. O my soul thou hast said unto the Lord, though art my Lord. Psal. 140.6. I said unto the Lord, though art my God. So Hezekiah, like the man that cheereth himself with the sight of the gold in his treasure, Esai. 37.3. Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee, in truth, and with a perfect heart. Or 2. it can look back and purge itself, as David, Psal. 7. O my God, if I have done this. Job 16.17. Job 29. 12, 13, 14. chap. 31.5,6,7,8,9, etc... 3. It can bring out evil deeds, as Joseph's brethren do, when they are in trouble. This distress is come on us, for that when we saw the anguish of our brother, and he besought us, we would not hear, Gen. 42.21.

The knowledge of the conclusion is judgment, and the sentence of a Judge.

2. For the second point of Conscience which is its object; this can be nothing but Gods revealed will expressed to us, either in the Law of Nature, or in the Law written, or the Gospel. Doctor Hamond saith, to abstain from a thing indifferent, as Marriage, ws apo bdeluktou~, as from a thing abominable or unlawful, is by Scripture and Councils condemned as sinful. Why? Because to Marry, or not to Marry, is indifferent. But he may remember, that Papists forbid Church-men to Marry, do they forbid it, because Marriage which to them is a Sacrament, is an abominable and unlawful Sacrament? I think no. Yet all our Divines say, not only the Manicheans, but also the Papists are these, who teach a doctrine of Devils, I Tim. 4.3 while they forbid Marriage, though not under the notion of a thing abominable; So the Popish Doctor acquitteth the Papists, and condemneth Protestants, who so far agree to have the adequate rule of Conscience to be God's will revealed in his word, that to make a religious Law to forbid Marriage and Meats, and other things indifferent to them is a doctrine of Devils, to all our Divines, though they forbid them not as things unlawful, and under the not on things abominable.

Use. If the conscience have an indictment against you fromheaven, and from the word of God, which is the Law-book of the Judge of all flesh; Ergo, We are to stand in awe of Conscience. And look how much goodness and true fear of God is in a Man, as much fear of himself and reverence to his own conscience is within him. For 1. to be holden even with the charges and writs of an erring conscience is obedience to the Law of nature, as we would not be willing that a scout, or a spy sent from a strange Land should see our nakedness, weakness, folly, security. When the Conscience returneth, to the Father of Spirits, it can tell tales of men, and can libel many pollutions of the flesh and spirit acted by the man, while the Conscience lodged with clay and a polluted Spirit. 2. Because Conscience is something of God, a domestic little God, a keeper sent from heaven, a divine piece which is all eye, all sense, and hath the word with it, in so far it is to be reverenced, and he that reverenceth the King, reverenceth the Ambassador, in so far as he carrieth along the King's will, he that honoureth the Lord must honour the servant. 3. Solomon saith, Prov. 15.5 A fool despiseth his fathers reproof, but he that regardeth it is prudent. Vers. 10. He that hateth reproof shall die. To receive Instructions and rebukes from Conscience, in So far as they come from the Word of truth is spiritual prudence, and he that turneth away his ear from his conscience, shall die. 4. As to submit to the Word, is to submit to God, so to offer violence to a divine truth, is to wrestle with God, and by the like proportion to stoop before Conscience carrying a message from God, is to submit to God, and to do violence to the domestic light and truth of God, is all one as to wrestle with God. 5. We count a tender Conscience, such as was in Joshua, who did yield and cede to the Law of God, and its threatenings, a soft heart; then to stand out as a flint-stone or an Adamant, against the warnings of an inward Law must argue hardness of heart. 6. There is nothing so strong and divine as truth, a Conscience that will bargain to buy and sell truth, and will be the Lord and Conquerer, not the captive and taken prisoner of the Gospel, bearing itself on upon the soul in power and majesty, hath his one foot on the borders of the sin against the Holy Ghost. 7. It is like the man walketh not at random, but by rule, who is not made all of stoutness, and ventureth not inconsiderately on actions and ways which undoubtedly are the seeds of eternity, but feareth his Pedagogue and teacher in so far as the law and will of the Judge of the world goeth along with him.

2. Because the Word of God must be the rule of Conscience, and Conscience is a servant, and a under-Judge only, not a Lord, nor an Absolute and independent Sovereign, whose voice is a Law, therefore an Idolatrous and exorbitant rule of Conscience is here also to be condemned. Conscience is ruled by Scripture, but it is not Scripture, nor a Canonic book and rule of faith and conversation, it often speaketh Apocrypha, and is neither God, nor Pope, but can reel, and totter, and dream, to ascribe more to conscience then is Just, and to make new and bold opinions of God, broad and venturous and daring affirmations, the very Oracles of heaven, because they are the brood (as is conceived) of an equal and unbiased Conscience, is presumption, near to Atheism; the grossest Idolatry is to make yourself the Idol: whereas tender consciences suffer most persecution, and are not active in daring, there is extreme pride in such as lead families and are Christians in new heresies. Some are extremely sworn and devoted to Conscience as Conscience: humility is not daringly peremptory. Many weak ones pine away in fevers of sinistrous thoughts of Christ, as if his love were cold to them, Esa. 49. 14,15. and fancy an imaginary and a made-plea with Christ; Oh he loveth any but me, and because they make an Idol of the weak oracle of Conscience, they make also an Idol of meek Jesus Christ, as if they would try, if Christ's love can be cold, and his blood and bowels can act any more mercy to them.

The third is the office of Conscience in one general. It cometh under the name of Obligation. But to come to particulars. There be two sorts of operations of Conscience, some illicite and imbred, other imperate or commanded.

These which be Imbred are of two kinds. 1. Such as conscience simply as conscience acteth as in general to oblige; and in particular. 1. To direct; 2. To discern; 3. To excite, Dirigere, Discernere, Impellere. Others are such as issue from Conscience, as good or ill; as right, or not right; as these in well-doing. 1. It approveth. 2. It excuseth. 3. It absolveth, in ill doing it disalloweth and reproveth. 2. It Accuseth or chargeth. 3. It condemneth. These imperated operations of Conscience, are such as Conscience acteth on theaffections, or commandeth the affections to act, but are not properly acts of Conscience, nor of the practical understanding; but acts of the affections resulting from the Conscience's well or ill doing, as to rejoice, to grieve and check, and the like. But there be other acts that agree to Conscience in order to the assumption; others in order to the Conclusion.

In order to the Assumption it specially doth bear witness and testify of its own acts, both that the man hath done this fact; And 2. of the quality of it, that it is done against God, the Mediator Christ, free grace, the word of reconciliation; as a faithful witness must not only depone the fact, but all the circumstances and qualities, in so far as they come under the senses of seeing and hearing, and may aggravate the fact, and give light to the Judge; and what testimony the Conscience giveth of the actions of man, the like it is to give of the state and condition, whether it be good or ill; hence these acts of recognition. As 1. Conscience doth its duty in reflecting on it self: It tries the mans actions and state; hence these three words, 2 Cor. 13.5. try, or tempt, or pierce, and dig into your selves; peira,zete, many dig holes in windows in the conscience of others who never dug a hole in their own heart, 2. dokima,zete examine what mettle is in your selves and actions, men are un willing to find oar or dross in themselves; and we are bidden, 2 Cor. 11.31, diakri,nein e`autou.j, lead witnesses, sentence and Judge ourselves. To these generals there is a second act, which is called, Psalm 4.5. Speak with your heart. You testify little of the man that you never heard speak. Men are frequently to converse with their heart by heart communing, and soul quarries; so you find out the bias and the weight that sways with the heart, Jer. 5.24. "Neither say they in their heart, let us now feare the Lord our God. Hos. 7.2. They say not in their heart, that I consider all their wickedness.

3. There is laying of the Conscience in its reflect act, and the actions together, Hag. 1.5. Lay your heart upon your ways. It is that which David saith, Psalm 119.59. I considered, Heb. I thoughted my ways.

4. There is wandering and estrangement of a man from his own heart, and when he lays his case to heart, he is said to return to his own heart. I King. 8.47. If they shall bethink themselves, heb. If they shall return to their own heart; or come home to their own heart, in the land of their captivity and repent, then hear thou. Men are abroad in their thoughts, and seldom at home with their own heart, But of this act of witnessing of the Conscience, it is of moment, to know how and by what Medium, or way the conscience doth witness to man of his state, that he is a child of God and in Christ, whether God doth witness our state and condition to us, by inherent qualifications in us, Because we love the brethren, because we have sincere hearts, and aim in all things to obey God.

Asser. I. God speaketh by his own works of sanctification that we are in Christ, I John 2.3. And hereby we know that we know him, because we keep his commandments. I John 3. 14. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the Brethren. Now as God speaketh and revealeth his glory, God-head, power, and eternity, by his visible works of creation, so as we may gather by certainty of faith, that God is glorious, wise, omnipotent, eternal, Rom. 1.19,20,21. Psal. 19.1,2,3,4. Rom. 10.17,18,19,20. Upon them grounds, when we find in our souls the works of that spirit that raised the Lord from the death, as love to the brethren, because brethren, sincere walking with God, and Christs life, Gal. 2.20. we may with the certainty of faith, collect that we are the children of God; and if the knowledge of our state in Christ, from the works of sanctification be but conjectural, and may deceive us, and not a sufficient foundation of sound peace, nor enough to make us inexcusable, that from the sickness of inward heartlove which I feel in my own soul to Christ, I can have no divine assurance that I am in Christ, and cannot be made inexcusable in not believing the spirit dwelleth in me by his acting and working, then we cannot infer Gods infinite wisdom, omnipotency, and eternity, from his works of Creation, and I cannot be inexcusable, if I believe not Gods wisdom and power from the works of creation; is not the pertinacity of unbelief as damnable, when I believe not God acting in his Spirit sanctifying, as when I believe not God acting in this first workmanship of Creation?

2. In all actings, motions, and walkings of the Holy Ghost in my soul, in the stirrings of the New birth, when the spirit of Jesus maketh a noise with his feet walking, acting, moving in love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance, which are apples and blossoms which grow on the tree of life, Gal. 5.22,23. It were no sin to me to sleep and believe these were but imaginary dreams, and fancied notions, if I were not to believe where these are, the soul that findeth them undeniably is in Christ.

3. The Saints comforting themselves in their godly, sincere, and blameless walking before God in love, knew what they spoke, and what spirit was in them, and that they walked not after the flesh, as men speak and fancy in a night dream, not knowing whether they be in Christ, or not; these were speeches of waking men, whose wits were in action. Psalm. 26.8. Lord I have loved thy habitation, and the place where thine honour dwelleth. Psalm 119.63. I am a companion of all them that fear thee; and of them that keep thy precepts. Verse 97. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Verse 103. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea sweeter then honey to my mouth. Verse 111. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my Heart. Verse 162. I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth a great spoil: and the Church, Cant. 2.3. I sat down under his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. Verse 5. Stay me with flagons and comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love Isaiah 26.9. With my soul have I desired thee in the night: yea with my spirit within me, I will seek thee early. And Hezekiah looking to his good Conscience, saith, II Kings 20.3. Remember now, O Lord, that I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart. So Paul, 2 Cor. 1.12. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God we had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-wards. Now if the saints can thus speak with the light and persuasion of Faith, before God and men, to their own solid peace and consolation, then may they be persuaded by these fruits of the Spirit, that they are branches growing in the Vine Christ, else all these speeches are but delusions and fancies; and they must speak no other thing of themselves as vessels of the grace of God, then hypocrites and reprobates may say of themselves? For D. Crispe, and the Libertines of New England, whose doctrine subverts the Faith, say, there can be no marks of saving grace from whence we can draw either comfort or peace, be it universal obedience, since- cerity, love to the Brethren, but it may be in hypocrites, in a Jew following the righteousness of the law, Rom. 10.1. and renouncing Christ,. Surely if works of saving grace speak no other thing than hypocrites and devils may have: then first, holy walking is no ground of comfort, and a good conscience hath no more to yield David, Job, Hezekiah, Paul, the Apostles, and Martyrs, when they suffer for Christ, and his truth, and are in heavy afflictions and chains, then it can yield to the vilest of men. 2. A man, a Christian shall never find any grounds of certainty of his adoption in any thing, save in the hidden decrees of Election, and reprobation, and if some immediate testimony of a Spirit, which may be great doubt to many, who walk as many Antinomians do, according to the flesh. 3. All their rejoicing in simplicity and godly sincerity, 2 Cor. 1.12. is empty fancies and delusions, for they rejoice in that in which hypocrites and reprobates may have as deep a share as they. But that there is also some immediate testimony of the Spirit, though never separated from the fruits of the Spirit, I hope to prove elsewhere.

The last act of Conscience is in relation to the Conclusion, which is the crisis, or judgment of all; from whence flow the acts of approving, or improving; excusing, or accusing; condemning, or absolving: from these as the Conscience doth well or ill, arise, I. Joy, called a feast, in which the soul is refreshed, not the fancy. 2. Upon a solid ground, a bottom that cannot sink, from that which is well done. 2. Consolation, which is a joy in tribulation. 2. Faith, going from what the man doth well, to a general; To these that walk according to this rule, peace. 4. Hope, that the Lord who hath promised will do the soul good in the latter end, these four issue from a good conscience; from approving and excusing: But the affections which flow from improving, and accusing, and condemning, are 1. Shame, whence the man is Displeased with what he hath done, this is good when it looketh only, or most to the sin, or ill, when most to the punishment. 2. Sadness. 3. Distrust, or unbelief. 4. Fear. 5. despair. 6. Anger, vexation, or the worm that dieth not; it is no wonder that a greater number of troublesome affections flow from the one, then from the other; evil is second and broody.

The 4. which I proposed is the second circumstance of the text, which draweth in the rest, and it is a conscience aproskopov, free of stones or blocks, that neither actively causeth myself nor others to stumble, nor passively is under a reatus or guilt before God, called a good conscience, to which is opposite an evil conscience. Now the conscience is good, either in regard of integrity; a clean, a good, a pure conscience: or secondly in regard of calmness and peace; to this latter is opposed a Conscience penally evil or troubled, of which no more the good conscience is either good in judging, or recta, or vera; the contrary of this, an erring Conscience, which I speak of after the other; or good in a moral quality. In this meaning the conscience is good, which is first sprinkled with the blood of Christ from dead works, to serve the living God. Heb.9.14. For by Christ must the guilty be purged, that there may be no more Conscience of sins, Hebrews 10.2. This is the conscience which is called agaqh, good I Tim. 1.5. kepaqarmenh purged, and washed, Hebrews 10.2. in regard the great spot of guiltiness is taken away, and kaqara I Tim. 1.5. clear, pure, terse, like a Crystal glass, and kalh, Hebrews 13. 18. good and honest, or beautiful and fair, a good conscience is a comely, resplendent, lovely thing; and it is a conscience in the text, void of stumbling; there is a conscience that wants feet, and is lame, and halteth; and is always tripping, stumbling, falling; to this is opposed a conscience, ponhros Heb. 10.22 let us draw near with a true heart, with full assurance, r`erantisme,noi ta.j kardi,aj avpo. suneidh,sewj ponhra/j being sprinkled in the heart from an evil conscience; and to this is opposed a polluted memiamme,noij, conscience, Tit. 1.15. The wisdom of God in creating the world is much, and most seen in creating so rare a piece as the soul, and the most curious piece in the soul is that lump of Divinity the Conscience, it is the likest to a chip, and a beam of God though it be not a part of the infinite majesty, yet it smelleth more of God then the heavens, the sun, the stars, or all the glorious things on earth, precious stones, sapphires, rubies, or herbs, roses, lilies, that the Lord hath made, now when the flower and crown of the whole creation, which is the spirit, is corrupted, it is the foulest thing that is: when the Angels, the sons of the morning, fell, and their conscience the spirit of the purest and most glorious spirits was polluted with guilt, though infinite grace could have cured this rare piece, yet infinite wisdom, as it were, giving over the cause, and grace and mercy standing aloof from the misery of angels, a Saviour is denied them, and justice worketh the farther on this noble piece, the conscience of these fallen spirits, to destroy them; God would not stretch out one finger to repair their conscience; but when the conscience of man was polluted, because grace has ever run in this channel to work upon free chose and arbitration, to save men, not angles, and of men, these, and these, not others; therefore the Lord fell upon a rarer work than creation, to redeem the choicest piece of creation, to wash souls, and to restore consciences to a higher luster and beauty than they had at the first. Now what ever God doth no man can do it for him, an infinite agent cannot work by a deputy, and among all his works none required more of God, of the Artifice of Grace, and mercy, wisdom, deepness of love, than to wash a polluted conscience, there was more of God required to mend and solder the Jewel, than to make and preserve it. The blood of bulls and goats cannot be spoken of here; now to make conscience again fundamentally good, there was need that the most curious art of free grace, should be set on work to act a greater miracle on this choicest piece, than ever was before or after; to make the conscience good, an act of attonement and expiation to satisfy infinite justice must pass, and by shedding of, and sprinkling on the conscience the blood of God; the conscience only, and no other way known to men or angels, could be restored.

Use. We profess that the moral washing of the out-side of the cup hath nothing in it of a good conscience; moral honesty alone, can no more inherit the kingdom of heaven, than flesh and blood.

2. A good conscience from justification hath peace and joy. Prov. 15.5. A good conscience ; or Heb. He that is good in heart is in a continual feast. Its an allusion to the Shew-bread that was set before God always; or as Exod. 25. 30. bread of faces, that was to be before the Lord continually; called by them, dymiT' ~x,l perpetual bread; this hath no fountain cause, but sense of reconciliation with God.

3. A good conscience is a complete entire thing, as our text saith, both toward God and man; its not to be a moral man in the duties of the second table, and a skeptic in the duties of the first table, not in some few fundamentals, as patrons for liberty of conscience do plead, but in the whole revealed will of God; and therefore the good conscience consisteth in an indivisible point, as they say, the number of four doth, if you add one, or take one from it, you vary the essence, and make it three or five, not four; so Paul taketh in completeness in it, I have all good conscience, either all or none; and a good conscience toward God and man; not a conscience for the streets and the Church, and not for the house, and not for the days Hosanna, and not for eternity; therefore they require an habit to a good conscience, I have exercised myself to have always a good conscience, there is a difference between one song, and the habit of music, and a step and a way, Psal. 119. 133. order, (not my one single step,) but my steps, ym;['P in the plural number; to fall on a good word by hazard, and to salute Christ in the by, doth not quit from having an evil conscience; as one wrong step, or extemporary slip, doth not render a believer a man of an ill conscience; the wicked world quarrel with the saints before men, because they cannot live as Angels, but the true and latent cause is because they will not live as Devils, and go with them to the same excess of riot.

4. The Formalis ratio of all good conscience, is conscience. Conscience acteth not on by-respects, but for conscience, Rom. 13.5. Wherefore ye must be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. Conscience then doth all by rule, and saileth by compass, and considereth the motion not of the clouds, but of the stares which move regularly; whereas the evil conscience, Lev. 26.15. is said to play the reprobate in Gods testimonies. sa;m' to cast away, to loath, it is called, Jer. 6.30. reprobate metal which no man would choose; There is conscience that walketh contrary to God, Lev. 26. 21. yrIq, in occursu, there is a defect of the letter b the word is from a root that signifieth to meet in the way, or to rafter or plank an house, where board is joined with board, some will join issue with God, as if they had hardened their heart against him, and were nothing afraid to meet him, and join battle with him, as if they were good enough and strong enough for God, as one rafter in a house is apt to join with another, there be some forward ones, who wrestle with God. Psalm. 18.17. With the forward, with the wrestler who boweth his body, thou wilt wrestle. But a good conscience knoweth God better than so, and is a mass of heavenly light, and therefore joined with faith unfeigned. 1 Tim. 1.5. and verse 19. Timothy is exhortted to hold faith and a good conscience, as if they failed both in one vessel: if faith sink, a good conscience cannot swim; much more might be added of a good conscience, but our care would be to keep conscience, as we would do a Jewel of great price, and as we do a watch of Gold, a moat or straw will interrupt the motion of a watch, it cannot be violently moved; when Grace and the blood of atonement oileth the wheels of conscience they move sweetly and equally. Sometimes its secure or dead, or (which is the extremity of sleep, as death is superlative and deepest sleep) seared or burnt with a hot iron; when the man hath sinned God out of the world, first as fools do, Psal. 14.1. and next out of his own conscience; and such a conscience in Pharaoh may awake per intervalla, and go to bed again, and be buried at other times; it can discourse and argue away heretically the ill day and judgment, at other times it will crow furiously, and as unseasonably as the cock, which they say hath much in it of the planet of the sun, and therefore begineth to sing when the sun hath passed his declination, and begineth to ascend, when men are in deepest sleep.

There is a second division of conscience, and it is from the second acts and good disposition of conscience, and that is a gender, or a not tender conscience. The tender conscience is only choicest of consciences, so Dr. Ames maketh it that which is opposed to an hard heart, the worst conscience that is; we have some choice examples of a tender conscience, 2 King. 22.19. Because thy heart was tender, and thou wast cast down before the face of the Lord: the word %kr to grow soft is ascribed to oil, Psalm. 55. 22. His words were softer than oil; it is Prov. 4.3. tender and dear; it is ascribed to young children, or young cattle, its a conscience that easily yeildeth and rendereth to God; so in Job. Chap. 31. who was so tender at the remembrance of God's rising up against him to visit him, that verse 13. he durst not despise the cause of his man-servant, or his maid-servant, when they contended with him, and in David, who when he but cut off the lap of the man's garment, who fought to cut off his life, yet his heart smote him: the word hk'n" is to strike, or kill, or plague, frequent in the book of Exodus, God shook every herb of the field. God struck or plagued the first borne; it is sometimes to whip or scourge, so as the mark of the stroke remaineth; after David's striking of the Lords anointed, there remained an vibex, an impression and a mark in a soft heart.

Whoever would engross the name of a tender conscience to themselves, do challenge the high perfection of David, Josiah, Job, and of that which is the flower and Garland of all godliness, and these that are not tender in conscience in some measure (if any will think they have it in the perfection, they see little in their own heart,) are deemed profane, irreligious, and men of bold and daring consciences; so we shall, and must yield in a question of personal interest, that these are the only perfectionists, and tender consciences who are for toleration of all religions, and are professed Antinomians, Arrians, Arminians, Socinians, and such like. But the day shall reveal every man's work what it is. It cannot be denied but the more tenderness, the more of God, and the more of conscience; but by tenderness is meant fear and awesomeness of sin, so no question, there is some conscience that is made of glass, and is easily broken, and some of iron and brass, lay hell on it, let Christ say to Judas in his face, he shall betray his Master, and he hath a devil, yet his conscience doth not crow before day light, to waken him. But give us leave to contend for our righteousness, we believe we have found a ransom, and yet we hold that toleration of all religions is not far from blasphemy, and therefore to any way to Monopolize the title of tender consciences to themselves, as a Characteristical note to difference them from Presbyterians, and such as dare not, out of the fear of God, and reverence to their own conscience, in this point awing them, but judge liberty of conscience fleshy liberty, in that title, seem to hold forth no tenderness of conscience at all, except they allow us to share with them in the name of tender consciences. Which name I durst no more take than to call myself a Perfectist, or holier than my brethren, whereas its more congruous to think and call ourselves, the chief of sinners. To be bold with the Scriptures, and to dispense with new dreams touching God, Christ and the mysteries of the Gospel, in all heresies and blasphemies that they may be tolerated, is boldness of conscience. 2. Pertinacity after conviction, and then to say, wecannot come up to the rule, when the truth is, we will not come up to the rule, is no tenderness. 3. A tender conscience feareth an oath, and dare not say, every man may swear a covenant with God in his own sense, yes, it's a Jesuit's conscience. 4. To carry on a design under pretence of Religion, with lies, breaking of oaths, treaties, promises, is a far other thing than tenderness.

2. How Antinomians, who deny that the regenerate have any conscience of sin, or that they are to confess, or be grieved in conscience, for Incests, Adulteries, Murders, Rapes, Oppressions, or the like, or can crowd in under the lap of this veil of tender consciences, is more than the truly godly can see.

3. To condemn all the godly in the three Kingdoms, and the churches of New England, as not tender consciences, because they profess that liberty of conscience is Atheistical licentiousness, seemeth to be a harder measure than these godly persons deserve, who out of some tenderness of conscience dare not but condemn liberty of sinning against the duties of this table; and therefore, if toleration of all false ways entitle men to tender consciences, because it is the opinion of some godlymen, why should not these who are also godly, and out of conscience hold the contrary opinion, be also called tender consciences? And if this be, we shall not know who they are, who are to be termed tender consciences, who not.

But I had rather speak a little of a scrupulous conscience; the scripture saith, the heart of Josiah was tender, but that, he wept at the reading of the Law, sure it was not scrupulosity, which is always a fault and disease of the conscience, as when the conscience doubts and fears for trifles, where there is no grave and weighty cause. The place 1 Sam 25.31. in which Abigail so speaketh to David, is not to be expounded of a scrupulous, but of a justly grieved conscience. This shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my Lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that thou hast avenged thyself. Heb. It shall not be staggering, or stumbling to thy heart, for qWP is to offend, stumble, fall, to remove out of the place. Isa. 28.7. Rab. Abraham reads it, they have made others to stumble, and qyPi Nah. 2. 10. knees smite one against another: the one knee, in affrighted men, offendeth the other, and makes the other to stumble or fall. So in a trembling conscience, sin maketh the conscience to go out of the way, and fall; as one knee trembling, maketh another knee in a race to fall. Abigail dissuadeth David from shedding innocent blood, or avenging himself on Nabal, because so to do should be no grief of conscience. It's a litote. It shall be a feast and a rejoicing of conscience, that thou hast not sinned against God. And this is to be considered, that a grieved conscience, travailing with remorse, is even so far tender, that it either abstaineth, if the sin be to be committed, or it grieveth, if it be committed, and in the truly godly soliciteth for reconciliation. A doubting conscience is ignorant of the thing done or to be done, and inclineth to neither sides. But a scrupulous conscience inclineth to the one side, but with doubting and a trouble of mind; as the traveler walketh, but with some pain, as if there were a little stone in his shoe. Azorius par. 1. instit. Moral 1.2.c.20.q.I. Malderus in 12. g. 19. ar. 5.6. disp. 88. Amesius de Conscient. l. I. c. 6.

The causes of a scrupulous conscience are 1. God's wise and just permission. 2. Satan's working and acting on a cold, distracted, sad bodily complexion. 3. Ignorance. Weakness of judgment. 4. Immoderate fear troubling reason. 5. Inconstancy of the mind. 6. And withal some tenderness. Gregorius said, bonarum conscientiarum est ibi culpam agnoscere, ubi culpa non est. It is one of the most godly errors, and a sin that smelleth of grace. Papists, miserable comforters, say, a special way to be delivered, is to submit yourself to a superior's blind command. They say, a Priest was freed of his scruple, when he obeyed Bernard's bare word, and trusted in it; hearing that, Vade et me fide confisus sacrifica, go and upon my faith sacrifice confidently.

It were good to use heavenly violence against scruples fantasy will cast in, I should not pray, because God hath decreed whither I pray, or pray not, the thing I suit, shall never be. 2. its good to turn away the mind from threatenings; he tempteth providence, who having a weak head, will walk upon the house top. In rovings and grinding of a timorous mind, unbelief will break one link of God's chain, and that broken must break another, and that a third, till the faith of eternal election be broken. As in a wall of four squared stones not well cemented, loose and break out one stone, that will break another, and that other loose a third, till the whole wall must fall: weakness can spin out thread after thread, one doubt after another, till the poor soul be taken off the Gospel-foundation of consolation.

CHAP. I I.
Conscience under Synods, and how; and, that the
Conscience cannot have absolute liberty in
matters of Religion.

THE conscience is a tender piece, and either the best friend next to the Physician who can whole broken consciences, or the saddest enemy: if sick, it is like an aching tooth, the more you touch it, the more it pains you. The conscience of its own nature, is a knowing power of the practical understanding, as therefore no illicit acts of the soul can be compelled, neither can conscience act being muzzled and forced; but this hindereth not, but that men and devils in their conscience must know and believe many things in some sense against their will: as the devil out of the natural efficacy of conscience cannot choose, but he must believe that there is a God, yet where there is a trembling, there must be some reluctance in the will and affections. Judas must believe his damnation was approaching, when he hanged himself, but against his heart. The Belgic Arminians, who contend for liberty of conscience in all ways, Apol. 35.p.295. say, By determinations of Synods violence is not offered to conscience, as conscience signifieth a mere internal act of the mind, eminent or abiding within the mind, but as conscience signifieth an act of the mind by which any doth believe he is obliged to teach others which he persuadeth himself to be true and necessary, so the man is compelled by a Synod's prescription, to dissemble what he believeth he ought to profess, and which he believeth to be false.

Answ. Say that the decision of the Synod be agreeable to the word; the Lord layeth on the coaction to all, to believe and accordingly profess the truth, and that by a Synod as Christ saith, he that heareth you heareth me: so the coaction, such as it is, must come principally from God; instrumentally from the Synod; but it floweth from both by accident, and through men's abuse, who receive not the truth in love, but for fear of shame, least they should by the godly go for perverters of souls, Act. 15. that they do hypocritically profess what they ought sincerely to believe and profess; may we not say many men of corrupt minds believed circumcision to be necessary, and yet for fear of the Apostles' censure that they should be judged troublers of souls, liars and false teachers, as they are judged to be Act. 15.24. would dissemble? And they are no other ways by a Synodical truth compelled to lie and dissemble by shame and falling out of the hearts of the Apostles and of all the godly the one way than the other; in that case than in this case. For there be but two ways of working on the mind to drive men to be of another opinion, one by fear either of shame, reproach or censures civil or ecclesiastical, another by mere teaching and instructing.

Now for the liberty of prophesying that Arminians require, and so the liberty of Synods, let us inquire if it be true liberty.

1. They require a full liberty to every man without scruple or fear of danger, to declare his mind in Synods, and to examine what is controverted.

Answ. It is in some respect commendable that heretics be candid and ingenuous to declare, even, what their heretical judgment and indictment of conscience leads them to believe, but a full liberty to question, in the Synod, whether there be a God, or no, or whether Christ died for sinners, ought not to be, for that is license, and heretical license: a point controverted any may question: and these, that Act. 15. held necessity of circumcision, might seek resolution of their arguments and doubts, but under pretext of liberty free of fear and danger, they have not liberty to sin; that is, after they are or may be, (if willfulness stood not in their way) inwardly convinced, they have not liberty obstinately to press sophisms against the truth, for this is an undeniable principle, liberty to sin is fleshly license not liberty.

Armin. In controversies of religion which the scripture doth not evidently decide, what can certainly be determined by the Church, which ever, and in everything which it determines, is believed may err?

Answ. There is nothing that the scripture hath left simple, and in itself controversial. Actu primo the scripture hath determined of all things contained in it, whether fundamentals or not fundamentals; only in regard of our dullness and sinful blindness some things are controverted, and therefore the Church may determine from light of the word some thing that was a controversy to the Fathers ignorant of the original tongues, which is now no controversy. Yea the fallible church may determine infallible points. This is a principle that Libertines proceed upon, that men who are not infallible may err, and therefore can hold forth to others no infallible truth. Which is most false, for prophets and apostles, Nathan, Samuel, David, Peter being deserted of the immediately inspiring Spirit did err as well as the Church and Pastors now deserted of the ordinary Spirit can and do err. For all men, Prophets and Apostles are liars, Rom. 3. yet they may and do carry infallible truth to others; a blind man may hold a candle to others. 3. By this reason Pastors can preach nothing certain in fundamentals, though faith come by hearing, and faith is of a certain and determinate fixed truth of God, more permanent than heaven or earth; why, because by this reason pastors in preaching fundamentals are not infallible . 4. Nor is this a good reason, it is believed the Church may err in Synods, ergo, it doth err and determines nothing that is infallible and certain in Synods; no more than this is a good consequence, David may sin in praying, ergo, he doth sin in praying: a potential ad actum non valet consequential,

Armin. A confession is not a rule of faith it hath not the lowest place in the Church.

Answ. The covenant written and sealed in Nehemiah's time was a secondary rule of faith, and a rule even so far as it agreed with the Law of Moses, for they enter in a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law, not to give their sons and daughters in marriage to the heathen, not to buy victuals from the heathen on the Sabbath, to charge themselves to give money to maintain the service of God, Nehe.9.38. chap.10. 1, 2, 3, 29, 30, 31, 32. Which written Covenant was not Scripture; and Act. 15. the decrees of the Synod was not formally Scripture, yet to be observed as a secondary rule. For so far Arminians.

A Doctor as a Doctor believeth not, a Doctor believeth as a sheep, not as a shepherd, and his judgment of matters of faith is not public but private and common to teachers with every one of the sheep: and there is a like and equal power in shepherd and every one of the flock of believing; and the sheep in matters of faith are no more obliged to stand to the judgment of the shepherd than the teachers to the judgment of the sheep; the teachers have a privilege of order and honor, above the sheep; but no privilege of Law and power. Then the Church though she believe and certainly know, that she erreth not in her decisions, yea though it fall out she err not, yet ought not to take power to herself to command others to believe that to be true which she believes, or to impose silence upon others, who, cannot in conscience acquiesce to what they command.

Answ. There is something true in this; there is a two-fold Judgment, one saving, and Christian common to all by which both shepherd and sheep believe; and its true of this, that the Sheep are not more to stand to the judgment of shepherds, than the shepherds to the judgment of the sheep in point of Christian believing, which (sure) is common to both shepherd and Sheep: for the alone authority of God speaking in his word. And so the Doctor believes not as a Doctor but as a Christian. But secondly, there is another judgment that is ministerial, official, and authoritative, and this is terminated not on Christian believing, but supposeth a ministerial believing; that what the shepherd teaches others God revealed to him first, and is put forth in a ministerial and official judging either in Synods, or in public Pastoral Sermons and authoritative, but ministerial publishing the will and mind of Christ. Mal. 2.7. They shall seek the Law from his mouth. Heb. 13.7.17. That way the people depends upon the Ministerial judgment of Synods and Pastors: but its most false that Pastors depends on their Ministerial judgment who are sheep, and that there is a like and equal power in shepherds and sheep; and it's false, that though the Church believes she errs not, and doth not err, yet the Church may not command and in Synods Ministerially and with all authority rebuke, such as pervert souls. Act. 15.22. And that Doctors may not as the heralds and Ministers of Christ rebuke men sharply, avpoto,mwj that they may be sound in the faith, Tit. 1.13. For Pastors and Synods teach fundamentals of faith ministerially to the people, and by hearing of them is faith begotten in the hearers; and they may command, exhort, rebuke with all long suffering, 2 Tim. 4.1,2. 2 Tim. 2.14. Stop their mouths, Tit. 1.11. and authoritatively enjoin them silence. Act. 15. 22, 23, 24, 25. Act 6.4. Though they cannot by reason of an erroneous conscience or a conscience burnt with an hot iron acquiesce to the determination of a Synod; Yea though they be unruly, vain talkers and deceivers, they must be commanded to be silent. Nor must the Church and Angels of the Church of Thyatira, Ephesus, or Pergamos suffer Jezebel to seduce, nor ravening wolves to devour the flock, nor their word to eat as a Canker; For this judgment authoritative as it is in the head of the Church (Christ) as in the fountain and only Law-giver, so it is Ministerially only and by way of office in the Elders, as the will and mind of the King is in the inferior Judge, the Ambassador or Herald, not in the people, And the people are obliged to obey those that are over them in the Lord, who watch for their souls, as those who must give an account. But there is no ground to say the shepherds are obliged to stand to and obey the ministerial and official judgment of the people: and of this it is said, he that heareth you (Ministers of the Gospel, not the people) heareth me, he that dispiseth you dispiseth me. And this is more than a privilege of order and honor, which one Christian hath above another in regard of eminence of graces, gifts, and of wisdom, experience, and age, it is a privilege of office to speak in the name of the Lord, and yet it is inferior to a privilege of the law, because the Lord only imposeth laws upon the conscience, for it is a middle judgment less than Legislative, Supreme and absolute over the conscience, this is in none save only in the King and head of the Church, and is Royal and Princely; Yet is it more (I say not more excellent, it not being saving of itself as in believers) than a privilege of mere honor and order, for though it lay no more bands on the conscience to obtain faith because it is holden forth by men, it having no influence on the conscience because of men, whose word is not the formal object of faith, yet hath it an official authority from Pastors (which is not merely titulary) so as they may ministerially and officially command obedience to their judgment as far as it agrees with the mind of Christ, no farther: and when it is disobeyed may inflict censures, which private Christians cannot do, and putteth these who disobey under another guiltiness, than if private Christians did speak the same word to wit not only in a case of disobedience to the second Command, but in a state of disobedience to the fifth command formally, as not honoring father and mother whereas to disobey that same word by way of counsel in the mouth of a brother, though it be the breach of the fifth command also, Yet not in such a manner as when we refuse to hear the messenger of the Lord of Hosts; and his judgment as a messenger of God is publique and binds as public to highest obedience to the fifth command, but as it is a judgment of faith common to the Doctor with other Christians, it binds as the mind of God holding faith in the second Commandment what we are to believe.

Arminians. The word of God is sufficient for the deciding of controversies, its clear, what need is there of decision, if men acquiesce to the decision of God as it lies in Scripture--- if the word of God express the sense of God, or if it have need of interpretation, why is there not a free interpretation left to every man? Do we think our words are clearer than the word of God, we do a mighty injury to the word of God, if we believe that. How much better were it, if we would nourish peace and concord leaving interpretations free to every man? It is most sure to contain ourselves within the speaking of holy scripture, and the form of words of the Holy Ghost, and that no man be troubled who shows himself willing to contain himself within these.

Answ. Here is a mere fluctuation and Skepticism even in fundamentals and the faith of them, for all interpretation of Scripture is rejected, there is no distinction in fundamentals or no fundamentals, for in principles of faith, that Christ is God and man, and died for sinners, the Scripture is most plain, and what need then of our interpretation? then let Arians and Socinnians believe him to be God man and to die for sinners in their sense, the Familists in a contrary sense, the Georgians in another contrary sense, the Papists in a third, the Protestants a fourth, and so as many heads, as many faiths, every sect, and man must have some sense, else his faith is non-sense, and if he err from the sense of the Holy Ghost, the scripture is no scripture, if it be believed in a sense contrary to the scripture to him who so believes; and so his faith is no faith, but a vain night-fancy, and seeing the word of God gives us but one faith, and one truth, and one Gospel; if interpretations be left free to every man, these Libertines gives us millions of faiths with millions of senses, and so no faith at all.

Secondly, They give us two decisions, one made by God, and another by the Church contrary to God's, that has no rule but every man's private judgment and free fancy, as if the decision of controversies made by the Church in Synods which we suppose is not divided from that of God's, were some other thing than the decision of the Holy Ghost speaking in the word and declared by the Church in a ministerial way, and if it be any other than this, it is not to be received, nor a lawful decision ministerial of a Synod, but to be rejected.

Thirdly, if there be no need of a decision to expone the word, because the word is clear, and if we wrong the word of God if we think our words are clearer than Gods, it is true, if we had eyes to see and apprehend the mind of God in his word, without an interpretation, then all ministry and preaching of the Gospel is cried down by this, what have any to do to expone the first principles of the Oracles of God to the Hebrews c.5? or what need they teach, exhort, preach in season and out of season? What needeth the Eunuch a teacher, or Cornelius Peter, or Saul Ananias to teach them? had they not the Scriptures? if Timothy, the preachers that speak the word of the Lord to the Hebrews, Philip, Peter, Ananias think their words clearer than the word of God, they do a great injury to the word of God; or if they believed their words were clearer than the words of Isaiah and the Prophets, and they did that which was not necessary, if they opened and expounded the Prophets and decided controversies; for they should have acquiesced to the decision of God as it lieth in the Scripture, and not have preached but read the Prophets, and left if free to the hearers to put on the words of Scripture, what interpretation and sense they thought best.

Fourthly, That no confessions ought to be but in express words of Scripture, shall free all men and consequently all Churches from obedience to that which Peter commands. 1 Pet.3. 15. Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. When Stephen Acts 7. and Paul Acts 26. were accused of heresy and speaking against Moses and the temple, they made a confession of their faith not in words of Scripture, but in deductions and necessary consequences drawn from Scripture and applied to themselves, and those in Nehemiah's time who wrote and sealed or subscribed a Covenant, did not write and seal the express, Decalogue and ten Commandments, nor the words of the Covenant of Grace. I will be thy God and the God of thy seed, but entered into a curse and into an oath to walk in God's Law which was given by Moses the servant of God and to observe, and to do all the Commandments of the Lord our God and his judgments and his statutes and that (say they) we would not give our daughters to the people of the Land, not take their daughters for our sons, and if the people of the Land bring ware or victuals on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them and Nehemiah c. 10. v. 29,30,31,32,33,34. etc... compared with Nehemiah c.9.v.38. Which words are not a confession nor Covenant in express Scripture, save that they are historically inserted in the Cannon of the Scripture by the Holy Ghost. In which sense the law and decree of Nebuchadnezzar Daniel 6. And of other heathen Kings as Daniel 3.29.30 Ezra.1. 2,3. c.7. 11,12,13,14, etc... Are Scriptures; but they are not the express words of the law, for there is nothing in the express law touching the Sabbath, of no buying ware and victual from the heathen of the land that Nehemiah speaks of, which warranteth us to enter in the like Covenant, and make the like confession of faith to defend and stand to the Protestant Religion, and that Christ was God and man, and man in one person, and that we shall not buy ware or victuals from the Anabaptist and Familists of England who trample on the Sabbath day though these be not express words of Scripture. It is true, Libertines say men have made apologies and confessions of faith for their own defense as Steven and Paul but they enjoined not these by authority and command as a rule of faith upon others, and wrote them not as a fixed standard of the faith of others, and that warrants no Church to impose a faith upon others.

Answ. 1. This will prove that as one man accused of heresy may publish a confession of his faith which may clear his innocence and the soundness of his faith to others and remove the scandal according to that of I Pet. 3.15. And by the same reason, Independents, Libertines, Familists, Antinomians, Anabaptists and all the Sects of England, upon the same ground that the Albigenses went upon, should by some confession and Covenant give an account of their faith and hope with meekness and fear. And what particular persons are obliged to do that Churches when they are slandered as unsound in the faith are obliged to do: and so I look at a form or confession of faith as a necessary apology for clearing of the good name of a Church defamed with heresies, and new sects, but for the imposing of this confession upon other, these others are either neighbor Churches, or their own Members.

As concerning neighbor-Churches they have no authority over them. Yet may they declare that Familists who say Christ is not come in the flesh are the Spirit of the Antichrist, and for these, of their own Church, if they go out from them and separate to an Antichristian side, after the example of the Apostles and Elders they may command them to abstain from such and such heretical opinions, and after they have convicted them as perverters of souls, proceed to excommunication against them as refusers to consent to the form of wholesome words: as may be proved from Math. 18.15, 16, 17, etc... Rom. 16. 17, 1 Thes. 2.13, 14, 15. And other Scriptures as Reve. 2. 1, 2, 3. v. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Now that it is not sufficient that they be put to subscribe a confession of faith in only scripture words is clear, 1. because the Jews will swear and seal the Old Testament in their own sense, but their sense makes the old Testament to be the word of man, not the word of God. The Sadducees acknowledged the five books of Moses to be the word of God, yet because they denied the resurrection of the dead; Christ argueth them Math. 22.45. Ignorant both of the power of God asserted in the books of Moses and of the scriptures, especially of that scripture which God spake out of the bush to Moses; I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, etc... Exod. 3.6. Yet would the Sadducees have sworn and subscribed all the book of Exodus as the undoubted word of God, but when they denied the resurrection, sure these words I am the God of Abraham etc... making the Covenant of grace to die when Abraham died, and Abraham to have perished in soul and body as they expounded it, was not the word of God; and Papists will subscribe the old and new Testament and the three creeds, the Nicene Creed, the Creed of Athanasius, and that which commonly is called the Apostles Creed. Yet as they expound the word and these Creeds, we say they transform the word of God into the doctrine of devils and most abominable Idolatry, the greatest heretics that were, Arrius, Nestorius, Appollinaris, Macedonius, the Treithite acknowledge the scripture to be the word of God, and will swear and subscribe the word of God and contain themselves intra sacre scripture lecutiones, within the words of scripture. But their faith is not the faith of the scripture, and this makes ten thousand and millions of faiths whereas the word saith there is but one faith. For Arrius hath one faith, Apollinaris another, Nestorius another, and every heretic a faith according to the sense that he falsely puts on the scripture, and all may swear one confession of faith in scripture words.

Arminians say, no man after he hath received a decree of a Synod is longer obliged to it, nor upon any other condition, but in so far and so long as he judgeth in his conscience that it is true.

Answ. This is mere skepticism, and to make the conscience whether erroneous, or not erroneous to be a bible and a rule of faith. For though the erroneous conscience say, it is service to God to kill the innocent Apostles John 16.1. Yet the sixth commandement lies upon these murderers with equal strength, thou shalt not kill, otherwise they are not guilty of murder. For if a Synod decree to kill Peter and John, because they preach that the Son of Mary is the Messiah, is bloody persecution. Then so soon as Scribes and Pharisees in their erroneous conscience (for Libertines make exceptions of no consciences, an erroneous more than another, not erring in fundamentals more than of another.) shall judge it service to God to kill the Apostles they are loosed from the sixth commandment and no longer obliged to this (thou shalt not murder.) So the author of the tractate called Armini. Where men's scope is any way to remove controveries, there is there no care or little at all of the truth of God, and where the external peace of the common-wealth is heeded precisely, there peace of conscience is of none or of little value, the truth is not there persuaded, but crushed.

Ans. The learned and renowned professors of Leiden answer the end of Synods is not by any means good or bad to remove controversies but to bury them by the power of the word. 2 Only external peace separated from truth should not be intended, but conjoined with truth and peace of conscience. 3. The end of Synods is not effectually and actu secundo to silence heretics and gain-sayers of the truth, not is it Christ's scope in convincing the Sadducees that the dead must rise Math. 22. to persuade the truth, so as there shall never be on earth a Sadducee again who denies the resurrection, for in Paul's and in the Apostles' time the Sadducees still denied the resurrection, after the Synod of Jerusalem Acts 15. There arose many that said we must keep the law of Ceremonies, but the end of Synods is to do what may actu primo, remove controversies and silence heretics by clearing scripture, and truth, but the end is not to remove obstinacy that is not the scope of Synods nor of preaching, nor of the scriptures, but of all these are in the event as God blesseth them and concurreth with them: the end of Synods is not to oppress or deprive ministers, the end of despised and obstinately refused truth is such.

Armini. Synods should not aim at setting up their own authoritity which in matters of faith is none at all, such decisions are the heart of Popery, and makes all religion without Synods to be uncertain.

Ans. Synods should take care that no man despise their authority, as Timothy is exhorted by Paul but their authority in matters of faith is conditional, and so not nul. 2. Synods are necessary ad bene esse, not absolutely, for many are saved, both persecuted churches, and believers who never had help of Synods to clear their faith. 3. But none more contend then Libertines do for a faith as uncertain as the weather which may change with every new moon. The same also may be said of preaching and a ministry which the Lord Jesus ascending on high gave for the edifying his body the Church, that religion is uncertain without it. For Pastors in public should convince gainsayers and so remove heretics. Tit. 1.9, 10, 11. 1 Tim. 6.3, 4 as well as Synods, and Libertines in their conscience know Protestant Synods Lord over the faith of none as if they took to themselves infallibility as Popish Synods do.

Armini. Since Synods may err, how then place they religion in security?

Obj. But Pastors oblige not men to receive what they say, under pain of censures, as Synods do.

Answ. Under pain of divine if not Ecclesiastical punishment, and the one is that way as binding to the conscience as the other, yea more, for it is a greater obligation for Pastors to subject men to divine wrath, if they receive not what they preach, than for Synods to bind them only to Ecclesiastical censures and yet none can say that Pastors exercise tyranny over the conscience: for the former, Ergo neither can Synods justly be deemed Lords over the conscience for the latter.

Armin. Very often fewer; and provincial Synods do determine more soundly then many and Ecumenical Synods.

Answ. That is by accident; one Michaiah saw more than four hundred prophets of Baal. But this objection is against the safety that is in a multitude of counselors and in the excellency of two convened in the name of Christ above one.

Armin. Decision of Synods cannot oblige men while they know that the decision was rightly made, it is not enough to oblige any to consent that that which is decided is true and agreeable to the word of God, of necessity every man's private judgment must go before, otherwise its an implicit faith.

Answ. That many should duly, and as he ought believe, and receive the decision of a Synod, it must be both true, and he must believe and know that it is true, but that it may oblige him and doth oblige him, whether his conscience be erroneous, or no, is as true, for then this Commandment (Thou shalt not kill) (Honour they father and thy mother) should lay no obligation on a man that believes it is service to God to kill the Apostles, as John 16. some do. For no man is exempted from an obligation to obey God's Law, because of his own sinful and culpable ignorance, for we speak not now of invincible ignorance of these things which we are not obliged to know or believe. But if our sinful and erroneous conscience free us from actual obligation to be tied by a law, then our erroneous conscience freeth us from sinning against a law, and so from punishment, for whatever freeth a man from actual obligation freeth him also from actual sinning, for all sin is a doing against a Law-obligation, and if so, then are none to be led by any rule but their own conscience, the written Law and Gospel is not henceforth our rule any more.

Arminians. The last condition of a Synod is, that the subject of a Synodical decision be ever left to a free examination, and to a farther free discussion and revise. The learned professors of Leyden answer that which is once true and fixed in the word of God, is ever true and fixed in the word of God. The Arminians reply, what is true and fixed in the word of God is ever so, and ought to remain so, for the word is beyond all danger erring. But what is believed to be fixed and fixed and ratified in a Synod is not so, because it is obnoxious to error.

Answ. They require that before we come to a Synod where fundamental truths are Synodically determined, we be as a razed table and as clean paper in which no thing is written, and so must we be after a Synod hath determined according to the word of God, that is be still Skeptics and believe nothing fixedly, and be rooted in no faith; nay not in the faith of the fundamentals that are most clear in the word of God; for it is impossible that we can believe the clearest fundamentals, as that God created the world, and Christ God-Man redeemed it, but we must believe them by the intervening and intermediation of our own sense or the Church's sense, or the sense of some Godly Doctor; now because all these senses are fallible, and we see Familists put one sense on fundamentals, Papists another sense, and all private men may do the like, it is not possible that any man can be rooted in any faith at all by this way, for all senses are fallible; and though the scripture giveth clear and evident senses yet such is the heretical dullness of men, that reject these infallible senses as false; and those others that by their own confession are fallible and so can neither be established by the word, nor by the interpretations of men, though senses of Scripture rendered by Synods be fallible in the way they come to us, because men delivering them may err, yet being agreeable to the word, they are in themselves infallible. And so the old and new Testament in the way they come to us may be fallible, because printers are not prophets but may miscarry and dream; but it followeth not they are not the infallible word of life in themselves, when the Spirit witnesseth to us that God, divinitie, transforming glory are in these books: as a spouse knoweth the hand-writ style, loveliness of a letter from her husband to be certainly no counterfeit but true, though the bearer be a rogue and can deceive.

Secondly, this answer still supposeth that Synods do give senses contrary to the word of God, and, so we grant they are not only fallible but false and erroneous, and are to be examined of new again in that case; but we hold, when lawful Synods convened in the name of Christ do determine according to the word of God they are to be heard as Ambassadors who in Christ's stead teach us, and what is once true and ratified in Synods in this manner is ever true and ratified as the reverend professors say and never subject to any further exanimation, and new discussion, so as it must be changed and retracted as false. For this is to subject the very word of God to retraction and change, because a Synod did declare and truly determine it in a Ministerial way to be the word of God. For what Synods determine being the undeniable word of God is intrinsically infallible, and can never become fallible, though fallible and sinful men that are obnoxious to error and mistakes do hold it forth Ministerially to others: and it is false that we are to believe that what Synods determine according to the word of God, we are to believe it is fallible and liable to error, and may an untruth, because they so determine, for then when a Synod determines, there is but one true God, this principle of faith is believed to be subject to Retraction and falsehood, because a Synod hath determined it to be a truth. But the truth is we are to believe truths determined by Synods to be infallible, and never again liable to retraction or discussion, because they are and were in themselves and without any Synodical determination infallible, but not for this formal medium, because, so faith the Synod, but because so faith the Lord. It is true, new heretics pretending new light may arise as Math. 24.24. And call in question all fundamentals that are determined that are cleared in former Synods, but it follows not but these truths are still in themselves fixed and unmovable as the Pole-Star, though evil men bring them under a new Synodical examination as Familists do now raze the foundations of Christianity, yet Daniel and Christ are innocent, though wicked men accuse them judicially as deceivers: nor is it enough that Libertines say it may be the word of God and the infallible word of God which the Synod determineth, but it is not so to us, we are to believe it with a reserve, because we cannot know it so to be.

But I answer this concludes not only against a Synodical determination, but against all scripture, and all prophetical and Apostolic determinations in the scripture, for that there is one God not three as the Treithits dream, is believed by some to be false, by others to be true. Yet undeniably it is in itself, true that there is but one God, nor is it therefore to be believed with a reserve, because the Synod hath so determined according to the word of God: and this were some answer if we should teach that men should believe, because so saith a Synod. But all the mystery is, though a Synod should determine a truth an hundred times according to the word, yet if the conscience say it is no truth, the determination of a Synod doth not oblige at all (say Libertines) because the conscience according to the mind of Libertines is the nearest obliging rule, but any thing obligeth not to obedience and faith as it appears either true or good to our conscience, for to kill the Apostles appears lawful, to commit adultery and murder appeareth good to many, yet are not men obliged to kill the Apostles, or to commit adultery.

Armini. If a thing be determined out of the word of God by a Synod, then was that thing before determined in the word of God, and yet that must be examined in a Synod which is supposed to be decided in the word, what need is there of a Synodical examination of that which is supposed to be liable to no error, for so must the word of God be examined.

Answ. What the Bereans heard the Apostle Paul preach Act. 17. 11, 12. was the very Gospel determined in the Scriptures of the Prophets, what then needed they try the Gospel or examine what is infallible in private among themselves more than in public Synods? This argument is against the Apostles rule, Try all things, and try the Spirits whether they be of God or not, for sure these rules warranted them to examine Paul, Peter and John's doctrine and Spirits and finding them to be truths decided in the word to receive them, therefore after there is a Scriptural decision it doth not follow that there should not be a Declarative or Ministerial decision by Synods and by pastors preaching the Gospel. For this doth close subvert all ministry and preaching, and all trying of the spirits, nor is it hence concluded that, we examine the word of God, as if it could be false, but that we are both in private and in public to examine and try whether that which is proposed to us as the word of God be the word of God or no: But we examine and suspect the credit of men; who may and can lie.

Secondly, but this supposeth that what ever is brought under a Synodical discussion is false or at least fallible, which is a most false principle of Libertines, and that nothing which is the word of God should fall under a Synodical discussion, to be tried which is true: thus far the word of God as it is the word of God is not to be tried, nor determined but in reference to messengers who are but sinful men and can deceive, and to our dullness and sinful ignorance, there is need that a ministry and Synods help us with declarative and ministerial declarations until we be where they shall not need a Temple. And what Libertines say, the same said Anabaptists, so Bullinger saith Anabaptists taught that the Evangelist should be recited without Words casting it (that is without preaching) and that every man was free to interpret the Scripture as he will, and that the interpretation of Scripture is not the word of God. So that the peoples conscience and private sense is their Scripture and rule of faith; we need not then Scripture, every man's sense is his Rule, which yet is not so good divinity as the heathen Melytus accused Socrates of, and thought Socrates was worthy to die, for that such as the people believeth to be gods, he believeth to be nothing such, but thinketh there be some new Deities: and was it a crime that Socrates thought the people's lust was no good rule in divinity?

Armini. All should be admitted to Synods because Religion concerneth the conscience of all, or if it be confusion to admit all to come, yet should no decision be, except first all the church be acquainted with the business.

Answ. God never appointed all and every one to lay burdens and Directories or Laws upon themselves as is clear. Act. 15. God keeps ever that order in his Church of some to teach and some to be taught, of some to obey and some to be over others in the Lord: that before Laws be made that concern the conscience, there should be a reference of all made to the people, and they acquainted with reasons form the word of God before a decision we shall not condemn, but it is nothing against us.

Armini. These that come to Synods ought to be engaged to no Church, or to no confession. But every way free.

Answ. Then such as convened in a Synod in the Church of Pergamus and Thyatira should not be principled in the faith of Christ and his truth against the deeds of the Nicolaitans, with whom fornication went for a thing indifferent, or against such as hold the doctrine of Balaam, or Jezebel, they must all come as indifferent to absolve as to condemn the Nicolaitans and the false Prophetess Jezebel. But Paul and Barnabas came to the Council of Jerusalem as members thereof, being sore engaged to condemn circumcision as not necessary to salvation, and had preached against such a necessity and yet were not biased voters in the assembly, and by this reason if Fundamentals be to be established in a Synod, and the contrary errors to be refuted, when Doctors come to a Synod they must leave faith and soundness of faith at home, and come to the Synod with purpose to buy and bargain there for a new faith. And let all men come thither as Skeptics and Nullifidians, and go so also away believing with a reserve, that that the Synod hath determined, may be a lie. But as Arminians take true liberty of free-will to be an absolute power to do ill or well, stand or fall eternally, so they judge that Liberty of prophesying is a Liberty to teach and believe indifferently either lies or truth, heresies or sound doctrine, whereas liberty to do ill in any sense is licentiousness, not liberty.

Armini. The question is not, whether a man when he judges right can err, for who can assume that? But whither either a man or a church who judgeth rightly according to the word of God, have any law or power to command and enjoin others to receive and believe, what they have rightly judged, and that without controversy, for no man is obliged to receive and believe a truth, which a Synod unanimously or for the most part, hath truly judged, because the Synod hath so judged, or saith so.

Answ. But Libertines make such a question, for they affirm that a Synod doth never judge so rightly, but we must believe what they judge with a reserve, and so that what they determine is false, or may the next day be false.

Secondly, we conceive that God hath given to some one single Pastor, and far more to a Synod of Pastors and Doctors a power to rebuke, teach, exhort with all authority 2.

Tim. 4 1.2. To charge Tit. 2.14 them before the Lord. 1. Tim. 6. 17. to lay on burdens and decrees Act. 15.28.c.16.4. And that all that hear them believe and receive as true what they speak in the Name of the Lord, according to that, he that heareth you heareth me; he that despiseth you, despiseth me. He that will not hear an Ambassador as an Ambassador speaking from his Master and Prince, refuseth to hear the Prince that sent him, yet we say not that they are to be heard without controversy as they object, that is, peremptorily, absolutely as if their word were the very Oracle of God, but they are to be heard, but not but after trying and searching, and not but conditionally in so far as they carry the mind of God along with them, so that there may be an appeal to the Scripture; and place left for examining and trying of their doctrine whether it be so or not.

Another Libertine saith, it is in vain said, Try all things, if a Synod may impose: for either the trial relates to a particular judgment to be made, and that judgment to a practice to be confirmed, or not, if not, as good not try, if I try only for trial's sake, and if when I have tried, I am but where I was, to wit, I must be concluded by others vote and imposition; if yea, then to what purpose is the imposition? For if I approve it, the imposition is needless, if I reject 'tis fruitless.

Answ. 1. There is no doubt, but trying all things 1 Thess. 5. relates to judgment and practice, nor is it more against the Ministerial and conditional imposition of a Synod, to you to try, than it is against the imposition and commanding power of the Prophets, Jeremiah, or others, or the Apostles, Paul Act. 17. or John 1 John 3.1. For prophets and Apostles impose Scriptures as Paul did Act. 17. on the Bereans; but conditionally after they find it agreeable to the Scripture, and the Prophets and Apostles, conclude by their vote and sentence, yet better you try as not try. For this argument is more against the Bereans' trying of Paul who had Apostolic power to impose and place the poor Bereans in the place they were in before they tried, and so as good the Bereans not try Paul's doctrine, as try it; for they are concluded by Paul's vote, if they miscarry in their trying and find, though mistakenly and ignorantly (as this Gamaliel argueth) that Paul's doctrine is contrary to the Scriptures, are they not concluded under unbelief in refusing the Gospel and in stumbling at the stone laid on Zion? Sure they are. 2. If you approve Paul's doctrine, the imposition, or peremptory command of Paul to receive it, else he will shake the dust off his feet against you and leave death at your door, the imposition is not needless, but the commanding power in the Ambassador of Christ, be they one as a single pastor, or many, as a Synod, is not needless but useful and fruitful, and is the power of God and the savour of life in itself. Should an ignorant man say the commanding ministerial power of the Gospel which saith, except ye believe ye shall die in your sins, needless? when it bringeth forth fruit. Suppose Paul say to Elimas (as in effect he did) if thou wilt not believe, and cease to pervert others from believing, I will smite thee with blind nesse. If this imposing had wrought faith in Elimas, as by the grace of God it might, had this imposing been needless? The man might as well say: because this tree brings forth fruit being digged and branched, and pruned, therefore digging was needless. But he supposeth vainly that imposing and commands issuing from Synods under penalties and censures are contrary to trying all things, because imposing concludes men under censures, though they try the decrees of Synods to be unjust, but the imposing of Synods is conditional, not absolute as Libertines suppose, for after Synods impose, if believers after trying and due examining, shall find that truly and really the decrees are beside or contrary to the word of truth, the imposing neither is a just Imposing, nor any imposing at all. For neither Prophet, nor Apostle, nor Angel from heaven, nor Church can lay commands upon men imposing or binding under pain of censures to that which is unsound and false or unjust or wicked, and if people shall find their decrees truly to be so after trial they have power to reject them. And 3. the last part of the argument if I reject the imposing command of a Synod, it is fruitless, is a poor one like the wit of the author. For if I reject these imposing commands, when just and lawful they are fruitless to me, and the savour of death as the despised Gospel is: But not simply fruitless on God's part, as the argument supposeth, except the author with Arminians' dream that God intendeth obedience in all lawful Ordinances, but he cometh short of his end in the Reprobate. But Ordinances are not fruitless to God, for they prosper ever in the errand they are sent for Isaiah 55.11. 2 Cor. 2.16, 17. If they render men inexcusable, they are not fruitless, for they clear the justice of God.

2. They that have right (saith the author) and power of imposing, are Lords of my faith, but so are not any men, the Apostles themselves assumed it not; for by faith ye stand. Take away a Christian's judicious faith, and you take away his legs, his standing under him.

Answ. So do all the ignorant and heady Libertines in England argue, but not one of them had a head ever to prove this consequence. For the apostles had ministerial right to impose and command in the name of the Lord under pain of censures, yet are not either prophets or apostles lords of men's faith, but ministers and mere servants: it is just as if you would say such a Justice of peace imposeth, that is commandeth you obey such laws under penalties, ergo this Justice of peace takes on him to be Sovereign Prince and King over these whom he thus imposingly commandeth.

2. This imposing takes not away judicious believing, all is a beggarly suiting of the question. If imposing were a commanding that we receive absolutely what they say, be it good, or ill, without examining the argument were concludent as God himself requires Abraham to kill his son, Abraham was without examination to give absolute obedience, and this proveth God to be Lord of the conscience, for knowing his word to be his word we are not to examine it by the Scripture or Law of nature, because if we know who speaks, we are not to examine what is spoken. But though we know who speaks among Creatures, be it a Prophet, an Apostle, an Angel, yet must we examine both who speaks and what is spoken.

3. In vain (saith he) did the Bereans try the Apostle's doctrine, and unduly were they commended, if that doctrine were imposed upon them.

Answer. It follows only in vain did the Bereans try Paul's doctrine, if Paul took God's room and commanded the Bereans to receive his Gospel hand over head, whether it was agreeable to the scriptures or no: the ignorance of the nature of Protestant Synods and of Popish Synods begetteth many ignorant and foolish objections in Libertines. It is true Papists say, their Synods but impose ministerially upon men, not as lords of men's faith, but they take away what they give. For 1. they will have none to examine and try the decrees of their Synods, which we leave to all. 2. Though they say they propose nothing in Synods, but what is agreeable to the word of God, yet will they be the sole, and only infallible judges of what is the word of God, what not, what is Scripture, what is the word of God in the breast of the Church, and they must be the only infallible Expositors of the word of God, and what is agreeable to the word of God (or which is all one to men's traditions) what not, and so they by consequence make themselves lords over men's faith. Which the apostle Paul would not do for he said not to the Bereans, when you have tried, whither my doctrine be agreeable to the Scripture, or no, yet I and the Apostles are the only sole infallible judges both of our own doctrine, and of all your tryings, and you have not so much as a private judgment left to you.

C h a p. I I I.

The Church may complain of Hereticks.

The same author argueth against the Church's instigating of the Magistrate against men for matters of conscience 1.Ministers are not armed with force and it is not fit they should sevire per alios stir up the Magistrate against others, the Magistrate is the Minister of God properly for wrath. But it is fit for Ministers to say as Christ, I came not to destroy but to save a live.

Answ. The Author saith the question is not of transmitting of such things to the Magistrate as belong to manners, but to conscience, as if an heretic failed against no manners. Yet all his arguments prove that ministers should not complain to the Magistrate of ill manners and the scandalous conversation of any and this he instanceth from the example of Christ, who John 8, would not accuse a woman of adultery. 2. The Magistrate is as properly the Minister of God for good, for the praise of well-doing, as the Minister of God for wrath, and if the Church should tell the Magistrate his duty, as watchmen should do to all under their care Ezek. 3.16, 17, 18, 19. Magistrate or other, if the Magistrate spare the life of a murderer, the watchmen are unfaithful, if they complain not openly and tell the Magistrate he does not his duty, and upon the same ground, if the Magistrate must coerce with the sword seducing wolves and Jezebels, the Pastors ought to admonish him. And its Atheistic to say the Magistrate is conscious of sins against manners, and of his duty and obligation he needs no instigation. Because no Magistrate be he an Achab or a David, but he needs be quickened to his duty, and will send a murderer away, and a bloody Joab whom God will have not to live, and should the prophets be called instigators, and savientes per alios, such as destroy men's lives when they tell the Magistrate he is a murderer and guilty of innocent blood, if he suffer the bloody man to live? Or should this be calling taletelling, and the Pastor thrusting of himself into a more disaffecting office to be a Tale-teller anApparitor or Summoner of men to the Civil Magistrate's court, he made such a poor man be fined and wife and children be starved because he is not of his opinion. What would this author give an Atheist leave to say? but so slander free preaching or free Synodical complaining to the Magistrate? Such a man of our charge is damned by his own conscience and devours the flock, as Arrius and Manes did, such a one is a bloody murderer, a Sorcerer, the Magistrate bears the sword to execute vengeance on evil doers, and yet suffer known murderers to live and be gray-haired, are ministers, who are to warn Fathers, Teachers, Masters, Judges, Kings Jer. 1.10. Nations, and Kingdoms of their duty, thrusters of themselves into a disaffecting office, and Apparitors and Summoners of men before Civil courts, because they warn the Magistrate of his duty? Is this obtruding into another office to give warning to all to be free of the blood of all men? This is like the speech of a wicked King Amaziah 2 Chro. 25. 16. To the prophet who rebuked him, for seeking after the Gods of the Nations. Art thou made of the King's Counsel? Forbear, why shouldest thou be smitten? I therefore summon this author to compeer before the judge of the world, and give an account of this doctrine, for he speaks it against the faithful servants of God of the Church of Scotland, who complained to the king of Idolatrous seducers and Semminary priests and Jesuits, of bloody murderers, of grinders; of the faces of the poor and incorrigible scandalous offenders; whose wretched example was a shame to the gospel and brought guilt upon the land, that he might use the sword against such evil doers? And should ministers be Apparitors and tale-tellers either against such as deserve capital punishment for sins against the second table as well as against the first table? Woe will be to him that calls good evil and evil good. Is the necessary duty of the calling of a watchman to warn the Magistrate of his bloody omissions, (for so the Lord calls it Isaiah 1.21, 22. Isaiah 3.12, 13, 14, 15. Prov. 29.7. Prov. 31.8. And exhorts to it) an overdoing? And a tale-bearing?

He cites also the example (p. 76. 77.) of Christ who would not accuse the woman taken in adultery. What doth this prove? Ergo Christ would not have faithful pastors to complain both to God, and to preach against rulers who punish not incorrigible adulterers? Christ would not accuse her, he would not judge her. Ergo the Judges under the new Testament who accuse, judge and condemn adulterers, are not followers of Christ? What can an Anabaptist allege more to prove there ought to be no Magistrates under the new Testament? Adulterers must be tolerated: A minister should not preach that the Magistrate sins in not punishing the Adulterer. Christ complained not of Pilate mixing the Galileans blood with their sacrifice to Ceasar, should therefore ministers not complain though the Christain Magistrate suffer such blood-shed?

Of the same kind is that wrangling, prudent fathers encourage not their children to inform of one another's faults, because it doth not nourish love. What then? Ergo Ministers should complain to the Godly Magistrate of no omissions at all? I think by this Divinity, if one brother know his brother to kill his brother, he should neither inform Father nor Magistrate that the murderer may be rebuked by the father or corrected by the Judge, because that may hinder love, but let this wrangler answer, whither it be more real love to the murderers soul to inform against him, and more glory to God, more peace to the family; or to be silent and let his brother run to hell; and wrath lie upon the whole land? It is but a loss of time to refute such weak foolery against natural reason, far more contrary to sound Divinity, for if pastors inform against evil doers our of desire of revenge, malice or hatred, they ought not upon these grounds to rebuke any sins at all, and we condemn the doing of good duties upon evil motives and principles.

C h a p. I I I I.

The state of the question of compulsion of Conscience,
and toleration.

The question touching Liberty of conscience was never by us, nor any man, save Libertines, themselves and ignorant Anabaptists both of old and late moved concerning internal liberty remaining within the soul, as liberty to think, understand, judge, conclude, whither the Magistrate can force men, with the sword to opinions, and cudgel them out of some into other contrary judgments, in the matters of God, for the Magistrate cannot take on him, yea nor the Church under the pain of censures compel any to think well of Christ, or ill of Antichrist. Yet most of the senseless arguments of the times are, drawn from the immediate subjection of the conscience to God, from the nature of conscience, religion, faith, fear, and the elicit acts of the soul which cannot be compelled, yea in this meaning, we think God can neither offer violence, to mind, understanding, will or affections of love, fear, joy, because all these elicit acts cannot flow from any principle, but the internal and vital inclinations of the soul, though the devils be said to believe against their will, yet not against the inclination of the understanding or desiring faculty.

All the question is concerning the imperated acts and these external, that is not touching opinions and acts of the mind, but that which is visible and audible in these opinions, to wit, the speaking, professed holding of them, publishing, teaching, printing, and known external persuading of others to be of our mind. So that the question will come to this, whither the Magistrates sword be to regulate our words that concerns our neighbor, as that we lie not, we forswear not, to thehurt of the life and credit of our neighbour, that we slander not, rail upon no man, far less against the prince and ruler of the people, but whether the words we utter or publish of God though never such blasphemies, and lies, because they come from the conscience (as is truths or words we speak for or against our neighbour did not flow from a conscience either good or ill) be above or beyond all swords or coercive power of men. It is clear the question must be thus stated, for all the laws of the old Testament (which we hold in their moral equity to be perpetual) that are touching blasphemies, heresies, solicitation to worship false Gods and the breach of which the Godly Magistrate was to punish, command or forbid only such things as may be proved by two or three witnesses, and which husband and wife are not to conceal, and from which all Israel must abstain for fear of the like punishment. Deut. 13.8, 9, 10, 11. Deut. 17. 5, 6. Levit. 20. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. But opinions in the Mind, acts of the understanding, can never be proved by witnesses and such as neither Magistrate nor Church can censure.

Then we refer to all the Godly, if Libertines and Anabaptists deal brotherly in affirming that Presbyterians persecute them, because out of tenderness of conscience, they cannot come up to the light and judgment of their brethren in all opinions.

There is a toleration politic and civil and spiritual or Ecclesiastic shame and fear in punishing heresies either by the Judge or the Church, whither in civil or Ecclesiastical censures, rebukes, Excommunication is an evil of punishment in both, as is evident, if we compare Judg. 18.7. Where it is said, There was no Magistrate in the land that might put them to shame in any thing. Deut. 13.11 With these places that speaketh of spiritual censures, in the fear and shame of them as 1 Tim. 5.19. Receive not an accusation against an Elder, but before two or three witnesses, then an Elder that is scandalous may incur shame of being accused, and Mat 18.17. let him be to thee as a heathen and a publican. 1 Tim. 5. 20. them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear. So the avoiding of Idolaters, and Heretics. 1 Cor. 9. 11. Tit. 2. 10. 2. John 10. Gal 1. 8. brings public shame on them 2. Thess. 3. 14. then look what forcing power the shame the Magistrates can put Heretics to, and what compulsory influence it hath on the conscience and so should not be inflicted on men for their conscience and holding of heresies, as Libertines say, the same compulsory power hath concional rebukes of pastors or private Christians, and of admonition, excommunication or the avoiding of the society of false teachers either by the whole church or by private Christians, and the arguments proving the Magistrate cannot punish for conscience in his politic sphere, do also prove that heretics should not be rebuked sharply that they may be sound in the faith, contrary to Tit. 1.13. and that we should neither admonish them nor avoid their company which is absurd; so they be more ingenious Libertines who free false teachers and heretics from both civil ecclesiastical censures, than these who free them from civil and subject them to ecclesiastical censures, for ecclesiastical compulsion hath no more influence on the conscience by way of teaching then politic or civil, and the arguments taken from the nature of conscience is as strong to prove that the church of Pergamus, Ephesus, Thyatira should suffer liars, false Apostles and Seducers, such as hold the doctrine of Balaam and Jezebel the deceiving prophetess, who teach and profess according to their erroneous conscience contrary to Rev. 1. 2, 3, 14, 20. as that the Godly prince should suffer them: nor can it be said that church-censures are spiritual punishments and so work on the spirit, and have instructing, rebuking and exhorting going before, but the sword is a bodily punishment, and hath not instructing going before. For I answer though these two punishments differ, yet they agree that formally both are alike compulsory of the conscience, and neither of them act upon the spirit by teaching and instructing as the word doth, so as excommunication of a heretic should have instructing and convincing going before, so should also the Magistrate presuppose, before he strike with the sword, that the false teacher hath been instructed and convinced, and so he doth formally punish him with the sword, for his pertinacious perverting of souls.

3. Nor can it be replied that men should not be punished for either opinions, or for holding opinions that flow from mere conscience, when they publish preach and print them from no principle, but mere conscience, not for gain or a morsel of bread, or for preferment in the state or Army. To this I answer, lay aside opinions and answer me this, how the Judges that are for liberty of conscience are not to punish some words except they would be guilty of persecution, to wit, such as these, the Trinity is but a fiction, Christ is no more God than another holy man. Yea, Christ was but an Impostor, and yet they punish words and deeds of the same kind that come from mere conscience. The answer must be, the former words are from mere conscience and the publishers thereof will swear they hold them as the mere enforcing light and judgment of their conscience; but these other words and deeds which the Magistrate censures, are not from mere conscience. But I believe these that acted in the late controverted Parliament and by virtue thereof, yea and many Godly men of them that are punished by the Judges and many of the Godly that fled for fear act from mere conscience, and will swear they did so act according to their sworn covenant, and to prevent a new war: and that they did it neither for gain, nor for preferment in State or Army. And if it were referred to the consciences of most of the Army why they disbanded not when the Parliament commanded them, but do by their practices treat a war to themselves and the land (a judgment of God of all others the saddest) when they have none to fight against but shadows and enemies of straw and hay; I judge they would swear that they judged the charge of the Houses against their conscience, and unjust, and that they hold up wars out of mere conscience, and to vindicate the oppressed subjects and for preventing of a new war, and not for gain or preferment. So the question is not yet answered; why some external actions of words and deeds coming from mere conscience without any carnal pretext, as they will swear cannot be punished, but violence must be done to conscience, so the men persecuted, and others that do the like and speak the like from no principle but pure conscience, without any carnal pretext, as they will swear; are punished and yet neither violence is done to conscience nor the men persecuted, for acting according to conscience and a sworn covenant. But they justly punished: if acting from mere conscience be the formal cause why men are not to be punished, it should hold in all such acts.

4. They seem to me sick in the brain, who held that it is an act of love and charity in the Magistrate to restrain Arrianism, Socinianism, etc... and to discountenance such seducers, and yet bring arguments against all external force in matters of religion or compulsion in general: a discountenancing and a keeping of men from places, dignities, offices, is the highest compulsion of penalty you can devise. What arguments fight against any compulsion of the Magistrate positive or negative doth fight against all. If it be lawful for the Magistrate, as for all other men, to do all he can for the truth as some say, and the Magistrates invitations, recommendation, exemplary profession; general tuition, excluding, coercing, are all nothing but words; these agree to all Christains as Christians and are nothing peculiar to the Magistrate, the Magistrate as a Magistrate cannot request, he must command as a Magistrate, and all his commands if disobeyed, are in order to the sword.

5. The question is not whether religion can be enforced upon men by the Magistrate by the dint and violence of the sword, or only persuaded by the power of the word. We hold with Lactantius that religion cannot be compelled, nor can mercy and justice and love to our neighbour commaned in the second table, be more compelled then faith in Christ. Hence give me leave to prove two things. 1. That Religion and faith cannot be forced on men. 2. That this is a vain consequence, Religion cannot be forced but must be persuaded by the word and Spirit, Ergo the Magistrate can use no coercive power in punishing heretics and false teachers.

For the first, we lay hold on all the arguments that prove the word preached to be the only means of converting the soul, begetting of faith and that carnal weapons are not able, yea nor were they ever appointed of God, to ding down strong holds, nor can they make a willing people: and Lactantuis said well, What is left to us, if another's lust extort that by force, which we must do willingly? And that of Tertullian. It is of the law or right of man and of his natural power what every man worships, what he thinks he should worship, nor doth the religion of one either do good or do evil to another man, nor is it religion to compel religion, which ought To be received by will not by force: since sacrifices (of worship) are required of a willing mind. In which I observe. 1. Tertullian speaks not of the true Christian religion which is now in question: but of religion in general as it is comprehensive of both true and false religion. Because he speaks of that religion which by the law of nature a man chooseth, and is humani juris and naturalis potestatis: but it is not of the law of man or natural power, nor in flesh and blood's power to choose the true Christian religion, that election is Supernatural faith Tertullian there and else where often, as also the Scripture. John 6.44. Math. 16.17. Math. 11. 25, 26, 27. 2. Religion is taken two ways 1. for the inward and outward acts of religion as seen both to God and man as Lactantius, Tertullian and others say, so it is most true. Christians ought not with force of sword, compel Jews, nor Jews or pagans compel Christians to be of their religion, because religion is not begotten in any, by persuasion of the mind, nor by forcing of the man. Again religion is taken for the external profession and acting and performances of true religion within the church or by such as profess the truth, that are obvious to the eyes of Magistrates and pastors, and thus the sword is no means of God to force men positively to external worship or performances. But the sword is a means negatively to punish acts of false worship in those that are under the Christian Magistrate and profess Christian society, in so far as these acts come out to the eyes of men and are destructive to the souls of these in a Christian religion, Tis even so (and not otherwise punishable by the Magistrate;) for he may punish omissions of hearing the Doctrine of the Gospel and other external performances of worship, as as these omissions by ill example or otherwise are offensive to the souls of these that are to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty; nor does it follow that the sword is a kindly means to force outward performances, for the Magistrate as the Magistrate does not command these outward performances as service to God, but rather forbids the omissions of them as destructing to man, for example a physician commands fasting, Pastors after the example of James commands fasting when judgments are on us, the physician commands it, in so far as eating troubles the common society of humors, members and temper of the body, and the physician forbids eating so as he will have no more to do with the patient, if he will disobey: and so trouble the temper of the body, which is the only object the physician works on. Pastors command fasting to be in sincerity for afflicting and humbling the soul under the mighty hand of God. So the Magistrate forbids cutting of a vein or shedding of blood as a thing troubling the peace of humane society, yet his command is not a direct means of preventing diseases in the body of a subject and for healthy living. But the physician commands to cut a vein and to shed blood for health and to prevent a disease, and sins neither against the Magistrate nor God in so doing: so doth the Magistrate not directly command going to Church as a worship to God, so as his commands have influence on the conscience as the Pastors commands have, but he commands going to church and hearing so as the omission of hearing hurts the society where of God hath made him a civil and politic head: in this latter sense must Lactantius, Tertullian and others be taken, otherwise these words, the Religion of another does his neighbour neither good nor ill in rigour, are not true, the ill example of others in idolatry brings ill upon all the church. Deut. 13.5. yea and the fierce anger of God. V. 17.

Again Lactantius saith false religion cannot be compelled, but he denies not that Christians may punish blasphemies in true religion. 2. he denies we may propagate the Gospel among pagans with the sword: both which points we teach. There is no need (saith he) of force and injury, because Religion cannot be compelled, the business is to be transacted by words rather than blows, that there may be willingness. Let them (enemies of the truth) draw the sword or sharpness of their wit: if their reason be good, let it be produced: we are ready to hear, if they teach ( nothing more clear than that he speaks of the Pagans that would force Pagan's worship on Christians: we believe nothing of their religion while they are silent, as we cannot yield to them while they rage against us, let them imitate us, and declare the reason of the whole matter; for we (Christians) do not allure, as they (Pagans) frequently object to us, but we teach, we prove, we demonstrate: therefore none by us are kept against their will, for he is unprofitable to God who wants devotion and faith: and yet no man departs from us when the truth detains him.

But faith Celsus fol. 84. if in the time of Lactantius Christians killed men for their religion, no man can doubt but Lactantius in these same general words inveighs against Christians who would compel men to their faith against their will, and that he abhors the violence of ours against heretics.

Answ. These are of a wide difference, to kill blasphemers, and false teachers for spreading heresies and blasphemies; and to compel them by war, and fire and sword to be of our Chritain religion. As I hope to prove, for the former is lawful, the later unlawful. Its true Lactantius speaks of all religion true and false, that we are to compel none with the sword to any religion, but he no where saith that the Magistrates may not kill open and pernicious seducers and false teachers who pervert others, for the Magistrate is not to compel yea not to intend the conversion of a pernicious seducer, but to intend to take his head from him, for his destroying of souls. And Lactantius denies religion after it is begotten, can be defended, that is nourished and conserved in the hearts of people by the sword, but by the word and spirit. Those are far different tormenting and piety (saith he) nor can violence be conjoined with verity, nor justice with cruelty.

And again, but as in religion, so also in defending of religion they are deceived, religion is to be defended not by killing but admonishing, others read, by being killed, not by cruelty, but by patience, not by wickedness, but by faith.

But here he speaks of defending in a hostile way, by killing those that will not be of our religion, be it the pagan religion and most devilish not of defending the Christian professors, from the infection of wolvish seducers, by the sword of the Nurse-father of the church, who is to defend good men and to execute vengeance on evil doers. For in all this Lactantius speaks of such a violence as is without teaching, parati sumus andire si doceant tacentibus certe nihil credimus. But suppose some fathers were in that error (as Augustine was, but ratracted it) though Augustine affirm we may compel men to the faith, yet he speaks of improper compulsion, and of Donatists and such as are within the Church, whose actions the Magistrate ought to punish, which is not a compelling of the seducer to the sound faith, but an act of justice in punishing him for his spreading of heresies to the perverting of the faith of others. Upon these grounds Cyrillus saith, Moses' law is gone and the Kingdom of Christ is wholly heavenly, and spiritual, and therefore hath spiritual sacrifices and spiritual armor: and therefore a spiritual not a carnal sword to punish the enemies of this kingdom, becomes Christian men. But he speaks of enemies without the Church (who as I constantly hold) are not with wars and the sword to be compelled to embrace the Christian religion and therefore addeth on the contrary. Israel did fight against Amorites, Canaanites and Jebusites with weapons of iron: but he speaks not of the laws Deut. 13. c. 17. Lev. 24. and such, in which death was decreed for the false prophet within the visible Church. At sometimes the fathers have complied with unsound Emperors who have tolerated, Nestorians, Arians, and Jews, but that is no law for us. But the other point is that though these that are without are not to be compelled to embrace the true religion it followeth not that the Magistrate should not coerce false prophets, or pernicious teachers, such as Baal's priests who openly seduce the people of God to idolatry.

I. Because the Magistrate cannot, nor ought not to compel evil doers , murderers, adulterers, robbers, liars, to be internally peaceably, chaste, content with their own as well as they must be such externally, no more than he can com- pel them to inward fear, love, faith in God, and to the external performances thereof. But it doth not follow that therefore the Magistrate cannot command external acts of mercy, chastity, self-contentedness, and should not punish murder, adultery, theft, robbery, perjury, for to punish these makes many hypocritically peaceable, chaste, content with their own, true in their word, as well as punishing false teachers and heretics maketh many hypocritically sound in the faith so Augustine contra Petilian.1.3. c. 83.

2. There is no ground in scripture to say that because the Canaanites erred against the duties of the first table only, that therefore Israel was to destroy them in war. For Joshua 11. 26, 27, 28. the contrary is clear, Joshua made war with them, because God having hardened their heart they came out in battle against Israel: and so the cause of the war was not religion and their madness of idolatry (though on the Lord's part it was a provoking cause) but violence in invading an harmless and innocent people, so Joshua and Israel compelled them not to embrace the true religion, then from thence it cannot follow therefore no laws were to be made against the false prophets and blasphemer. And if that consequence was null then, it cannot be strong now. So we say under the new Testament: we cannot bring in to the faith the Heathen and Pagans by violence and the sword, it follows not Ergo, no blasphemer within the visible Church should be forced. 3. violence and the sword is no means to work men to subjection to Christ, it follows not, ergo because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual. 2. Cor. 10. 5. 6. the Apostle should not say shall I come unto you with the rod or in love, or in the spirit of meekness. 1 Cor. 4. 21. and therefore he should not deliver any to Satan. 4. nor is this a good consequence, because the fear of bodily death or punishment by the sword cannot convert, therefore it cannot terrify men from external blasphemy and tempting of others to false worship, for the external man his words, solicitations, do ill by teaching, and his actions, not the inward man or the conscience and the soul is the object the Magistrate is to work on. For neither under Moses more than now, could the sword convert men to the true Religion yet bodily death was to be inflicted on the seducer, then, as now Deut. 13.l1. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you: and afflictions work same way now. Rom. 13. 3. for rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil, wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.

There be five pull-backs that keep men even in heresy and in a false way, as may be collected out of Augustine's writings from which by the terror of just laws, they may be affrighted from seducing of others as 1. fear of offending men especially those of their own way; 2. an hardening custom in a false way. 3. a wicked sluggishness in not searching the truth of God. 4. the wicked tongues of enemies that shall traduce them, if they leave heresies. 5. a vain persuasion that men may be saved in any religion. See Augustine epist. 114. and ad Vincent. epist. 48. epist. 50. ad Bonifacium. contra petili anum. l. 3. c. 83. lib. 3. contra Cresconium cap. 51. contra Guidentum. l. 1. c 19. and lib. contra Parmen. c. 10. contra Gaudent. l. 1. c. 24. de unitate Eccles. c. 20. epist. 166. And so that which the objector Mr. John Goodwine long ago objected is easily answered, that the Magistrate cannot in justice punish that which is unavoidable and above the power of free-will to resist, but such are all heresies and errors of the mind. For this might well have been objected against that most just law Deut. 13. why should God command to stone to death a seducer that tempts any of his people to worship false Gods, because such a man is sick but of an error in the mind, he believes he does service to his God, whom he believes to be the true God, in so doing, and had the heathen and Jews under Moses more strength of free-will and more grace to resist Apostasy, blasphemy, wicked opinions against the true God, than we have now under the gospel. And the Lord hath expressly said Deut. 13. 11. Israel shall fear (bodily death) and do such wickedness no more: now this was not Ceremonial or typical fear, but mere natural fear sufficient to retract and withdraw men from external acts of seducing and blaspheming, which is all that the Magistrate can do. 2. this is the very objection of Donatists and Augustine answers truly. By this answer the Magistrate should not punish murderers and adulterers for they have not grace to resist temptation to murder, certainly the Spirit of Revenge, and of whoredoms must be as strong above free will as the Spirit of error and lies. Ahab then sinned not in believing the lying prophets who deceived him: and it was not in his power to resist the efficacy of lying inflicted on him for his former sins. And what sins the Magistrate punisheth he doth punish as the formal Minister of God. Rom. 13. and so this is the Pelagian, Arminian and Popish objection against God and free Grace, as much as against us. 3. the wickedest seducer is punished for his external acts of false teaching and seducing which may, and must be proved by witness or confessed by the delinquent, before he can justly punish him, but not for any mind-error which is obvious neither to judge nor witness.

Then the true state of the question is not whether the sword be a means of conversion of men to the true faith, nor 2. whether heathen by fire and sword are to be compelled to embrace the truth, nor 3. whether violence without instruction and arguing from light of scriptures, should be used against false teachers, nor 4. whether the Magistrate can punish the opinions of the mind, and strain internal liberty. But whether or no ought the Godly and Christian Prince restrain and punish with the sword false teachers, publishers of heretical and pernicious doctrines, which may be proved by witness, and tends to the injuring of the souls of the people of God, in a Christian society, and are dishonorable to God, and contrary to sound doctrine; and so coerce men for external misdemeanors flowing from a practical conscience sinning against the second table, as well as from a speculative conscience (to borrow these terms here) when they profess and are ready to swear they perform these externals merely from and for conscience. For since false teachers and heretics in regard of the spiritualness of their sin are the worst of evil doers, and such as work abomination in the Israel of God, and there is no particular laws in the New Testament for bodily coercing of Sorcerers, Adulterers, Thieves, Traitors, false witnesses, who but speak lies against the good name of their neighbour, not against the name of God, nor against Sodomites, defilers of their bodies with beasts, perjured persons, Covenant breakers, liars etc... What reason in nature can there be to punish the one, and not the other? for it may with as good color of reason be said, that all the Laws in the old Testament, for drawing of the sword against Sodomites, Adulterers and such like, were typical and temporary, and are done away now in Christ, for Christ will have these converted in as spiritual a way by the only power of the word of God as the other and no where in any express law in the New Testament doth God command to use the bloody sword against them, more than against blasphemers. And to remove these gross sins out of Christian societies by the sword is no less a carnal and a bodily afflictive way of dealing with their consciences, as to deal so with seducers; and its enough to that negative argument, that no where it is expressed a duty of the Magistrate, under the New Testament to use the sword against false teachers, nor does our Savior or the Apostles rebuke the Magistrate for omitting of their duty in this. Yea Paul, 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10, 11. when he shows that some of the Corinthians abused their body with mankind, were thieves, drunkards, extortionists, he no where saith that it was the Magistrates duty to take away their head for Sodomy, which certainly it was, and that by the very law of nature, but he was God's instrument for their conversion by the power of the word, ver. 11. and 1 Cor. 4.15 as he labored to convert the Galatians who sometimes worshipped dumb idols, and the Ephesians who worshipped the vain idol Diana Acts 19. yea, nor is there any New Testament law for taking away the life of a murderer, for that of our Saviors. Math. 26. 52. all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword: except we say it was so a Judicial law among the Jews, as it was a law of nature Gen. 9. before there was a commonwealth erected among the Jews, cannot be called a New Testament law, to Peter and John and the disciples who were obliged at that same very time to keep the Passover and to be subject to all the Jewish laws.

C h a p. V.

Of Fundamentals.

A foundation (saith Pareus Iren. c. 9) is that which is in the lowest place of the building to bear up that which is built upon it, and without which the building cannot stand.

That then must be the foundation of faith and salvation which is precisely necessary to be believed by all that are saved. Alardas Valek gives us four fundamentals facienda and vitanda things to be done and eschewed in the Decalogue 2. credenda, to be believed in the Creed. 3. roganda, to be sought from God in prayer 4. usurpanda things to be practiced, as the sacraments. How the repenting thief knew all these, I see not, yet a taste of some of them ye may see and with the infused life of God he was ready to believe and do the rest. For the first he knew robbery and violence to be damned in the Decalogue, we are justly here, and repented. 2. for the second, he believed in Christ as king, the Son of God and a Savior. Christ was accused that he called himself the Son of God and a king, when the man saith of Christ this man hath done nothing amiss: he believes him to be the Son of God, and the Savior who had the keys of paradise at his girdle, 3. he prays to him. Lord remember me when thou comes to thy kingdom. 4. for external worship or Sacraments, it is like he knew little: yet he confessed Christ a king when his disciples denied him and fled, and the world persecuted him. Cycillus Hyerosolymitian reduceth them to two; the knowledge of points of faith. 2. the doing of good works. Had he added according to the new covenant it were good. Calvin saith epist. 182. I refuse not the Augustine confession. Cui pridem volens and libens subscripsi, sicut eam Author interpretatus est. Yet in the 10th article thereof the substantial body and blood of Christ is said to be really present under the spece of bread and wine. Ambrose in cap 9. Lu. negat Christum, qui non omnia que sunt Christi consitetur. It is only thus far true: he that hath sufficient means of believing what the word saith may confess all truths of Christ and doth not deny Christ, but as some do not all the good they may, yet have a saving disposition to it, though either they through infirmities leave it undone, or through want of opportunity, yet believing are saved: So these that want means of knowing and confessing all truths yet have the habit of faith to believe them, though they never actually confess them, do not deny Christ. Though Ireneus l.1.c.3. Tertullain de Virginibus velandis Augusti. to. 10. de Tempore sar. 2. and Ruffinus in the exposition of the Creed say that which is called the Apostles Creed, came from the Apostles: yet there is no sufficient ground for us to believe the authentic Authority of it. Conrad, worships while he was yet sound. de causis justis and necessariis deserendi paptus. par. 1. dis. 1. the 29th saith of these points that are contained in the Apostles Creed: some things are simply necessary for salvation, without which faith and repentance cannot be 2. some not so necessary, yet profitable and of themselves saving. 3. other things by consequence and by accident are necessary, not of themselves and separate from the fundamentals, the Church of Rome errs in the fundamentals, in the doctrine of our Savior and his offices, in the doctrine of merit, human satisfactions, indulgences, the Scriptures, the Church. In the 2nd they err about baptism, the Lord's supper, confirmation, unction, penance, though of themselves they happily deprive not of life eternal, yet because the subject about which the matter is versed is most necessary, they are pernicious errors. These of the third sort touching creation, providence, mortification, though of themselves they might be called errors, simple ignorance, yet for the dangerous consequences, they are pernicious heresies.

Mr. John Durie in his Theological consultation maketh three sort of necessary points. 1. these, without the knowledge of which Christ cannot be known in the covenant of grace, not by faith retained, which are comprehended in the paction of the covenant. 2. saving points which secretly lurk in these necessary points, yet by just and evident consequence may be deduced there from, though they be not in the express words of the covenant. 3. some things that are profitable, the express knowledge whereof conduceth to the fuller knowledge and faith of these things necessary, yet are not such, but Christ may be believed by simple souls and rested on for salvation, without such a precise form of speaking.

Augusti. de Trinit. l. 14. c. 1. It is one thing to know what we are to believe, another thing how, or with what certainty we are to believe, Nazianz Orat. 5. de Theol. perinde ea que. ex Scriptures colliguntar, atqui ea que scribuntur. What is in Scripture by consequence is scripture: the ignorance of the Resurrection, which was in Scripture to the Sadducees by consequence only was an ignorance of the Scripture Math. 22. 29, 30, 31. and a soul condemning error. It is a question, yea no question, to die denying the resurrection is to die without faith, happily to die ignorant of it, having never heard the Gospel is not so high a sin, but who can say such can be saved? August. serm. 30. de verbis Apost. si negent equalem, negant silium, sinegant filium, negant Christum, si negant Christum, negant in carne venisse.

Origen l. 2 de peccat. c. 34 all Christians' faith stands in these two, that the first Adam destroyed us, the second saves us: errors about justifying faith, and errors touching historecal faith are far different.

The foundation is Christ and none but he 2. the gold builded on the foundation is the doctrine of Christ, and a created thing, yet simply necessary to be believed. 3. the hay and stubble that is built on it must be vanities and fooleries believed, yet of themselves such as extinguish not saving faith and love, no more then sins of infirmity are inconsistent with saving faith, then both the man's hay and stubble and his sins of infirmity against the second table may be burnt and the man saved: but it follows not the Church and Magistrate should therefore not punish or censure the builders of hay and stubble upon the foundation, but should tolerate them, for a Godly man, as David and Peter may fall in adultery, in treacherous murder and denial of Christ, yet it follows not that the Magistrate should tolerate and not punish murder and adultery in a Christian society, and that Paul should not sharply rebuke, and if need be, farther proceed to the censure of the Church: if Peter either deny his Lord, though out of infirmity and fear, or if he Judaize and look awry to the Gospel.

C h a p. VI.

Errors in Non Fundamentals obstinately held are punishable.

Yee must bear one another's infirmities, and restore these that fall with the spirit of meekness. Gal. 6.1. and yet not tolerate their errors, and forbear to admonish and also sharply rebuke them and if need be, the Church and Magistrate may proceed to further censures, to excommunication and the use of the sword, for justice is not contrary to meekness, nor one fruit of the Spirit contrary to another. He that spareth the rod hateth the child: yet should not a father be cruel to his child, nor is his correcting contrary to fatherly compassion, but not correcting is cruelty to and hatred of the child: and the like we are to think of the punishments and censures of the Nurse father of the Church, and of the Church.

There be some things of doubtful disputations that the weak in knowledge cannot conceive, and yet are to be instructed in meekness and received as brethren. Rom. 14. 1. 2. but if these same weak, after sufficient instruction, when the ceremonies of Moses' law became deadly and unlawful (as they were then indifferent) would needs be circumcised, abstain from meats, and keep the whole Ceremonial law, whatever should be said on the contrary, and would compel others to be circumcised and pervert the souls of many even after the date of the indifference of these things is expired, Paul then is so far from giving place for an hour or betraying Christian liberty Gal. 2. or from bearing with them that he withstandeth them to their faces, and wisheth that such as trouble others so were cut off and might bear their judgment. Gal. 5. 10. 11. which clearly holdeth forth, whatever the meaning of these words be, that Paul though these that would teach others they must be circumcised, were worthy to bear their judgment and to be punished for so basta,sei to. kri,ma importeth.

And it shall be a work of difficulty to prove that to be circumcised was necessary to salvation, and these that so taught Act. 15. and Gal. chap. 5. did teach an error of itself fundamental and that subverted the faith: whoever then would be circumcised fell from Christ Gal. 5. as Paul saith, but that was by consequence, sure it was not an error, in terminis fundamental, as this, Christ is not the Savior of mankind, only it was an error that by consequence subverted the foundation, and was a falling from Christ by consequence, and a coming again under the debt of the whole law, and of salvation by the law, which was ever impossible, and so say it was necessary to salvation, necessitate medij, so as all the Galatians who received Christ and the Gospel and would have plucked out their eyes for Paul, who died ignorant of this point (whoever will now be circumcise. is fallen from Christ) were eternally damned, and died out of Christ is a groundless saying: there was a glorious Church in Galatia before Paul wrote that epistle to them, for he wrote it upon occasion of their being seduced, who were made believe the necessity of circumcision, and it is clear Paul would not have written that of circumcision, if that error had not been sown among them by false teachers, if therefore such as were made believe that had not been bewitched to believe the necessity of Ceremonies for justification, they being in Christ; should have been saved by faith, though this controversy in terminis had never come to their ears whether are believers justified by faith only, or must they also be circumcised and keep the law? that they may be justified and saved. And sure many are now in our days (which is more) glorified, who never knew, but only virtually, and implicitly, that to be circumcised, or to keep Jewish days is not necessary to justified persons, yea sure many in Britain are saved who never knew this fundamental truth. 2. Act. 15. it is clear that some taught the brethren, except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved: the contrary truth is no express fundamental truth, because a fundamental truth expressly necessary is so necessary (necessitate medij) as without the knowledge thereof we cannot be saved. Now these teachers knew that the Apostles and Elders and Saints at Jerusalem were not circumcised so, and they knew believing Gentiles were not circumcised at all, and yet they knew the Apostles were not damned, they knew all children dying before the eighth day were not damned, they must then hold that circumcision was only necessary to salvation, by way of precept: and the brethren that believed and so if they had died in that state had undeniably been saved, were ignorant of this; and v. 7. there was much disputing among believers yea among the Apostles who were not ignorant of fundamentals: and undoubtedly had saving faith long before, Math. 16. 17. 18. till James fully determined the question from the word of God. v.13, 14, 15, 16. then it is most clear that these that err in other points that are not fundamentals in which all Christians agree may be perverters of souls and so deserve to be rebuked by the Church and punished. 3. This opinion of forbearing all, save such as err in fundamentals, though they err in non fundamentals is grounded upon this, that the Scripture is evidently plain and clear in fundamentals, but in other points of non-fundamentals, the Scripture is dark, and in regard of the darkness and natural ignorance of our mind which is invincible almost, we must forbear one another and give and take elbow room and latitude of indulgence, because the Magistrate and Church are not infallible, but both Godly and learned may be on each side, so that there should be no peace nor union of hearts in Christian societies, but all Churches on earth must disband and be dissolved, if each should punish and censure one another for holding contrary tenets.

But 1. Mr. John Goodwine who contendeth for a Catholic toleration of all, of any religion whatsoever, whether they err in fundamentals or non-fundamentals, and his words because unanswerable to me against this distinction I set down. I desire it be taken (saith he) to serious consideration, whether, or how far, it is meet to punish or censure poor miserable men, for not holding or not asserting the truth of these things, which they cannot come without much labor and contention of mind; yea not without some good degree of some reason and understanding too, to judge so much as probable, nor at all to come to believe or know them certainly, but only by an immediate and supernatural work of the spirit of God? are men to be punished, because God hath not imparted to them his Spirit of grace and supernatural illumination? This learned and sharp witted Divine (as any I see of that way) confirms me much that toleration in non-fundamentals and non-toleration in errors fundamental, is a distinction cannot subsist, in the way that Libertines in England now go: for to know or believe supernatural non-fundamentals as the histories of the miracles of Christ the Prophets and Apostles requires a work of the Spirit of grace and supernatural illumination, as to know or believe fundamentals; why then should men be punished for holding errors in the one and not in the other? and the conscience cannot be compelled in the one more then in the other: but with favor I desire an answer to these quarries.

Query 1. Whether men deserve to be pitied and spoken ofcompassionately, as poor miserable men, who hold errors in fundamentals which they cannot know, judge probable, or believe without work of the Spirit of grace, and supernatural illumination, more than the false prophet, Deut. 13. and Elimas the perverter of the Gospel deserves to be pitied?

Query 2. Hence whether the sinful blindness of our mind that makes us, because poor and miserable, unpunishable by men, must not black the spotless justice of our Lord, who yet punisheth original mind-blindness in thousands of the sons of Adam?

Query 3. Whether this hinteth not at Arminian universal power of believing, and doing what we can, otherwise God cannot deny further grace, or punish that natural impotency of not knowing or not believing?

Query 4. Whether the same query may not be retorted upon the Justice of God's law, Deut. 13. mutatis mutandis, thus whether is it meet that the just God should command a poor miserable seducing Jew, who saith, Let us go and worship strange Gods, since this miserable impostor, being a son of sin and wrath by nature, cannot come without much labor and contention of mind, yea nor without some good degree of reason to judge so much as it is probable, nor at all to believe or know certainly, that Baal is not the true God, but the God of the Jews, only; excluding all the world from saving means of salvation, is the only true God, only to be served and worshipped, but only by an immediate and supernatural work of the Spirit of God? are men either Jews under the law, or Gentiles under the Gospel, to be punished and stoned to death, because God hath not impparted to them his Spirit of grace, and supernatural illumination?

Query 5. Is it meet to punish David (suppose he were no King) for adultery and treacherous murder, since without a work of the Spirit of Grace, who only effectually saves us from being led into temptation, he cannot eschew the falling into adultery and murder? are men-adulterers, and men-murderers to be punished, because God hath not imparted unto them his spirit of grace, by whose actual assistance only they can decline adultery and murder?

Query 6. Whether did ever Presbyterian, or any man else, teach that the Magistrate should punish with the sword poor miserable men, because they cannot believe points of faith by the supernatural illumination of the Spirit? whether is not the question perverted when a query is made, whether the Magistrate is to punish poor men for not understanding, not knowing, not judging, not believing supernatural truths? we say the Magistrate or his sword hath nothing to do with the elect and internal acts of the mind, of understanding, knowing, judging or believing, but only with external acts of speaking, teaching, publishing dangerous and pernicious doctrines to the hurt and destruction of the souls of others?

Query 7. Whether the Magistrate does therefore force the conscience of a false teacher, because he cannot, he dare not keep up doctrines pernicious to the souls of others, but publish them, because his erroneous and evil conscience judgeth them to be saving and necessary truths, when the Magistrate punisheth him, more then he forceth the conscience of a murderer whom he punisheth, though this murderer judged in his conscience that the man he killed did him so crying and oppressive an injury as in the court of God, deserved bodily death; or when this man murdered his son in a sacrifice to God out of mere conscience?

Query 8. Whether or no this divine, who will have none to be punished for erring in fundamentals, because they believe them not, doth not say, none that teacheth there is no God, that Jesus Christ is a grand impostor, and falls from the truth, and saith Satan is the only God of this world, and only to be served, ought to be so much as rebuked, for without the immediate and supernatural work of the Spirit of God, they cannot know or believe these truths and are men to be rebuked and preached against, because, God hath not imparted to them his Spirit of Grace? whether doth not this arguing evict all the Ministry, rebukes, and exhortation, and moral extirpating of heresies by the power of the word?

Query 9. Whether this be not the old argument of Donatists who argued from liberty of free-will to conclude liberty of conscience? and said forcing of free-will, if the Magistrate hinder men to be a willing people to Christ, is an injury done to conscience and to free-will, and to God the Creator of the soul? and the same might be objected against the decree of Nebuchadnezzar and Artaxtexes.

Query. 10. Whether or no, are men punished, because God doth not bestow the Spirit of Grace on them, by which they would flee all evildoing, when they are punished for evil doing?

Query 11. Whereas this distinct argument presupposeth that the Magistrate should tolerate errors in fundamentals, and in non-fundamentals, because of the difficulty of knowing of fundamentals, must it not follow that men are far rather to be tolerated, who err in fundamentals, than such as err in non-fundamentals, and so the more blasphemous that seducing teachers be, as if they deny there is a God, and that nature, and chance rules all, and that Christ was an impostor, the Gospel a fable, the Scripture a mere dream, the more they are to be pitied, and a higher measure of indulgence and toleration is due to them, than to such as are godly and err but in lesser points, that are more easily known, as concerning usury, accidental killing of our neighbour, or the meaning of some places of Scripture, or err in matters touching Church-government or the like?

Query 12. Since also Libertines lay for a ground, that the Magistrate is not infallible in judging of matters of Religion, especially that are supernatural, such as the mysteries of the Gospel, the incarnation, sufferings and death of Christ, his satisfaction for sinners, etc... and Christians are not infallible in either teaching these to others, or in believing them, for their faith and practice, and therefore the Magistrate ought to tolerate all these; how then can this Divine talk of a certainty of knowing and teaching, and holding of divine truths; for by this principle of toleration, that no man hath infallibility in matters of Religion, since the prophets and Apostles fell asleep, there can be no certainty of faith either in ruler or people, but all our faith in fundamentals or non-fundamentals, must be fallible, dubious, conjectural.

And for such as yield a toleration in non-fundamentals, but deny it in fundamentals: 1. They must quit all arguments used by Libertines for toleration, from the nature of conscience, that it cannot be constrained. 2. That they must be a willing people that follow Christ. 3. That God is Lord of the conscience only. 4. That compulsion makes hypocrites. 5. That to know, maintain, and profess truths of the Gospel, is not in our power, as to kill or not to kill, because acts of the understanding fall not under the dominion of free-will. 6. That the preaching of the word, and persuading by Scripture and reason, not the sword and strong hand, is the way to propagate truth, and extirpate heresies. 7. That the laws of Moses against false teachers, were only typical, and perished with other cermonials, and therefore there is no warrant under the New Testament for punishing heretics; all these and the like do with equal strength conclude against toleration of such as err in non-fundamentals, as well as in fundamentals; for in neither the one nor the other, is the conscience to be strained; nor can Magistrates be Lords of the conscience in fundamentals, more than in non-fundamentals, and we must be a willing people in fundamentals, as in non-fundamentals; nor can the sword, but preaching of the word only, be a means of propagating of non-fundamentals more than of fundamentals, when then Libertines have lost all these arguments, by reason of this distinction, which here hath no place, their cause must be weak and lean.

To determine what is fundamental, what not, and the number of fundamental points, and the least measure of knowledge of fundamentals, in which the essence of saving faith may consist, or the simple want of the knowledge of which fundamentals, is inconsistent with saving faith in minimo quod non, is more than Magistrate or Church can well know. Sure it borders with one of God's secrets, touching the final state of salvation, or damnation of particular men.

And it is as sure, this is a fundamental, to believe that God is, that he is a rewarder of those that seek him, that there is not a name under Heaven by which men may be saved, but by the name of Jesus, that no man can come to the father, but by Christ, that he that believes not, the wrath of God abideth on him, and he is condemned already, then he was condemned and under wrath before, even from the womb.

Nor is this a good argument of Bellius, where Christ is, what he doth, how he sits at the right hand of God, how he is one with the Father, many tings of the Trinity, of God, Predestination, Angels, the state of men after this life, are points not so necessary to be known, for publicans and harlots who enter into heaven, may be ignorant of them, and though they were known, they make not a man better, according to that, if I had all knowledge, if I have not love, it is nothing.

For 1. The exact knowledge of these are not so necessary, and that is all that this argument can conclude: but the scripture saith no more, that publicans and harlots, remaining publicans and harlots, enter into the kingdom of heaven, in sensu composito, nor when it saith, the blind see, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the meaning should be blind, and deaf, remaining blind, and deaf, do see and hear: or the dead remaining dead in their graves, and void of life, do live and have life; but these that were blind now see, when blindness is removed, otherwise some may take harlotry into heaven with them: and because the word of God is a seed, when this is in the heart of a dying harlot, Christ came to save sinners, and to save me: how, or what way the Spirit sits upon this egg and warms it, and what births of saving truths, the Spirit joined with the spirit of a dying man, brings forth, who knows? the repenting thief knew Christ to be the savior of men, and a King, who could dispose of heaven, but what deductions the Spirit made within, who knows? nor is it a truth that the knowledge of any revealed truths of God makes no man the better for it leans on this ground, that,

The spiritual law of God commands not a conformity between the understanding power of the soul and the Law, to require that the mind conceive, apprehend, and know God, and his will, as he reveals himself to us, which yet is included in the command of loving of God with all the heart, with all the soule, with all the strength, and so with all the mind, though that knowledge be directed to no other practice, but belief.

2. It leans upon another false ground, that to believe (I speak of an intellectual assenting to divine truths) it being an act of the understanding, and a necessary result of knowledge doth not make a man better, which yet is most false, for beside that it is commanded, not to believe a revealed truth, is a sin, and renders men morally ill, and worse; now that text that saith, 1 Cor. 13. Though I had all knowledge, saith also, though I had all faith, yea though I gave my goods to the poor, and my body to be burnt, I am nothing; that is, I cannot be saved, or any other than a damned hypocrite that tinkles like gold, and is but brass; now by this reason, to give to the poor, to believe omnipotence in miracles, should not be commanded of God.

Davenentius thinks a general confession of the Catholic Church sufficient, and that between us and Lutherans there is not required a confession in particulars controverted. But it is true Lutherans and we agree in most fundamentals, but a confession in general fundamentals when expounded and believed practically by each side (as it must be) must have contrary senses to each side; now this way the Jews and Samaritans both agreed, there was one God, and that the Messiah should come, and that he should tell them all things, yet one confession common to both, that each might believe and be saved was not possible, for Christ saith, John 4. The Samaritans worshipped they knew not what, but salvation is of the Jews. And should Christians and Jews agree in one general confession drawn out of the Old Testament, that there is one God, that the Messiah is, he that dies for the sins of his people, that the Decalogue it a perfect rule, etc... we could not swear and subscribe that confession, for as expounded by the Jews, it could not be the doctrine of the Old Testament, nor any part of the word of God, but flat contradictory thereunto as any point of heathen Divinity; for fundamentals to some may be, and are untruths to others, even this, that the Messiah Christ is the Saviour of the world, both Jews, and we say, but they mean one thing by Messiah, we another; so we cannot have one faith, nor one confession.

I deny not, but these were pious conferences, that at Dipse an. 1631. in which there were on the one side, Matthias Hocas, Polycarpus Leiserus, Henrieus Haffuerus; on the other side, Joan. Berius, Joan. Crotius, Theophilus Nenbergius, who went through the Augustine confession and agreed in the truth, almost in all.

At the agreement or concord of Marpurge, an 1529. were Dather, Malancthon, Osiander, Brentius, Stephanus Agricota, who brake not the bond of peace with Zwinglius, Bucer, Hedion, there present.

At the conference of Wittenberge, an 1536, where were present Capito, Bucerus, Musculus, and other grave Divines of higher Germany; on the other side, Luther, Melancthon, Pomeranus, Cruciger, in which Luther said, brethren, If ye teach and believe that the true body and true blood of the Lord is exhibited in the supper, & quad hee perceptio vere fiat, and that truly or really there is a receiving thereof, we agree as brethren; but the truth is, there were contrary faiths touching the presence of Christ's body and blood in the Sacrament; and therefore I humbly conceive all such General confessions as must be a coat to cover two contrary faiths, is but a daubing of the matter with untempered mortar; much dealing like this was in the council of Trent, in which neither Papist nor Protestant was condemned; and yet the truth suffered; I speak not this as if each side could exactly know every vein of the controversy, for we prophesy but in part, but to shew I cannot but abominate truth and falsehood, patched up in one confession of faith; for if two men should agree in such a bargain, A covenants with B to give him a ship full of spices; B promises to give an hundred thousand pounds for these spices, A believes they are metaphorrical spices he gives, B believes they are the most real and excellent spices of Egypt, B promises a hundred thousand pounds of field stones, A expects good, real, and true money; this were but mutual juggling of one with another. It were another consideration, if both sides agreeing in this general confession were ignorant, and did neither know nor believe any sense that were destructive to the true and sound sense of the Confession, for then they might be saved by, or in one and the same faith of this General Confession, whereas now the contrary senses of this Confession makes them now not one General, but two particular distinct, and contradictory faiths; for the question is, whether the side believing the General Confession with a sense in the consequence, that destroys the text, have any faith at all of this General Confession. For it is a question to me whether a Turk hath the faith of this point, that there is a God, since he believes positively so many blasphemous fooleries of this God, as the Alcharon suggesteth, and whether a Papist as a Papist, believes Christ to be the only one Savior of sinners, since withal he believes so many thousand Gods and true Christs to be at once in sundry places, and so many blasphemies against the nature, offices, and essential properties of Christ, as the Romish faith teacheth.

But ye will say, it is not charity to say that Papists have not the faith of the one only Savior, seeing he would die for that point, and for the consequences that there be many Saviors, if the monster of transubstantiation stand, yet he neither knows nor believes the logical consequence, nor the consequent, but hates both, to wit, if the bread be truly and really the Savior that died on the cross, ergo, how many hosts and consecrated breads there be, there must be as many a thousand, ten thousand Christs and Gods, yea he would be burnt quick before he deny this truth, there is but one only Savior the Son of Mary; then if ye hang him or burn him for believing transubstantiation, since he is otherwise a devout, pious and just man, ye hang him for the mere ignorance of a poor logical consequence, and for no blasphemy: and the like may be said of Familists, Antinomians, and others, who (as they say) are godly men, and cannot see the logical consequences, and absurd blasphemies that you with your wit, deduce from their doctrine, for their soul hates these blasphemies as much as you.

Ans. I say not for believing transubstantiation only, men are to be hanged; the question now is of bodily punishing, hanging and burning quick are particular kinds of punishing, in which I should be as sparing as another man, but the question may draw to this, whether the Laws of England and Scotland be bloody and unjust, that ordains seminary Priests and Jesuits, whose trade it is to seduce souls to the whole body of Popery, to be hanged. I conceive they are most just laws, and warranted by Deut. 13. and many other Scriptures, and that the King and Parliaments of either Kingdoms serve Christ, and kiss the Son in making and executing these Laws.

2. I see nothing said against bodily punishing of such as teach transubstantiation to others: for the idolaters and seducers in the Old Testament believed the same way, there is one true God Jehovah that brought them out of Egypt, Exod. 32.4, 5. Jeroboam who made two Gods, and Jehu who was zealous for Jehovah, 1 King. 13. 6. c. 13. 1, 2, 3. 2 King. 9. 25, 36, 37.c. 10. 16. 20, 21. and Joram, 2 King 5.7. acknowledged God could kill and make alive, and was just in his promises and threatenings, yet worshipped the golden calves, those who cried the Temple of the Lord, must acknowledge there was but one true God, yet they burnt incense to Baal, and killed their children to Molech, Jer. 7.4, 5 9. 30, 31. They that asked of Jehovah the ordinances of their God, and fasted to Jehovah, Isaiah 58. 1, 2, 3, 4. yet inflamed themselves under every green tree, Isaiah 57.5. and stew their children under the cliffs of the rocks the heathen knew God, and one God, who made the heaven and the earth, and worshipped him, though ignorantly, agnwsws Rom. 1.20, 21. Act. 17.23. yet denied and hated this logical consequence that they had forsaken the Lord, Jer.9. 13, 14 or Deut. 32.18. forgotten the rock that begat them, Ps. 78. 11, 41. Ps. 107. 12, 13. that they forsook him days without number; yea they did more than God required, to keep God in their mind, and not forget him as they said, they changed him into the form of corruptible things to be memorials of God to them; and the Lord said, For all this, they refuse to know me; they have said, It is not the Lord, yea they would have died for it, rather than have said, there is no God that made heaven and earth. And they did err indeed, in a consequence, against the light of nature, yet the ireligious and wicked stopping of eyes and ears at natural consequences in matters of Religion is no innocent error, as is clear, Isaiah 44.18. They have not known, nor understood for he hath shut their eyes that they cannot see and their hearts, that they cannot understand, 19. And none considers in his heart, neither is there knowledge, nor understanding to say, I have burnt part of it in the fire, yea also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof, I have roasted flesh and eaten it, and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination, shall I fall down to the stock of a tree, 20. He feedeth on ashes, etc...

Now as Israel said ever, the Creator of the ends of the earth is our God, the tree is but a likeness and resemblance of God, Isaiah 18.18. Isaiah 46. 5, 6, 7. so they denied this consequence, ergo, a part of your God is burnt in the fire, and with the coals of your burnt God, you bake bread, roast flesh, and warm your bodies when you are cold, and worship a lie, and an abomination, as the Papists say, we adore very Christ in, and under the accidents of the bread, even the same God-man, Mary's Son, who died on the cross; yet they deny this consequence, ergo, a part of your God and Savior is baked in the oven, eaten, and cast out with the draught, and a part thereof, even of the same flour and dough is made a God by the Priest, and ye say, I will bow down and worship the residue of that which the baker did bake, and roast, in the oven, and so ye worship a lie, and an abomination, as the old Idolaters did, Isaiah 44. yet the Papists will deny this consequence, that he multiplies Gods as loaves are multiplied in an oven; because as Isaiah saith, he knoweth not, he understandeth not, God hath shut his eyes; certainly that knowledge he denies to the Idolater, is the natural knowledge of a natural consequence. if ye worship a bit of an ash-tree, or a bit of bread, ergo, the half of your God, or the quarter thereof, is baked in an oven, ergo, there is a lie, and an abomination in your right hand; then the denial of logical consequences in Religion, and the teaching thereof to others, may be, and is an heresy, and punishable by the Magistrate, as Deut. 13. and Exod. 32. so Christ rebukes Matth. 22. Sadducees as ignorant of the Scripture, when they denied but the consequence or a logical connexion, as God is not the God of the dead but of the living, ergo, the dead must rise again, and Abraham must live, and his body be raised from the dead. And 2. the idolaters who were to die by the Law of God, Exod. 32. Deut. 13, denied not the true God more than our false teachers do now. We see no reason why none should be false teachers, but such only as deny fundamentals, and that pertinaciously, though these by Divines be called Heretics.

1. Rom. 16.17. Paul saith, Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them, then as we are not to distinguish where the Law and the Word of God does not distinguish, so we are to count them false teachers, who lead in a faction in the Church, contrary to any doctrine of truth, whether fundamental or not fundamental, and to avoid them as Seducers.

2. Peter's error, since he believed Christ was come, Matth 16.17. was not fundamental, but consistent with faith, yet Paul withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed, and if he had pertinaciously gone on to walk not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, since Paul would not have given place by subjection to such, no not for an hour, Gal. 2.11-15. he should have been worthy of more than rebuke, yea of higher censure, the like we must say of Barnabas and other Jews, who all sinned though in a far inferior degree with these, who came in privily to spy out the Christian liberty of the Gentiles to bring them into bondage, under the Ceremonial law.

Gal. 1.8. Paul saith, If we or an angel from heaven should preach (any other Gospel) than that which we have preached, let him be accursed; which place, with good warrant, our Divines bring against the unwritten traditions of Papists, of what kind soever they be, fundamentals or non-fundamentals, whether they be obtruded as necessary points of salvation or not necessary, but accidentals, or arbitrary points, yet conducing for the better observing of necessary points, for I have proved elsewhere, that Papists esteem their unwritten traditions, not necessary points of faith, yea many of them to be accidentals, serving only ad melius esse, for order and decency, yea and great doctors of them say, neither the Pope nor the Church can devise novum dogma fidei, a new article of Faith, or a new Sacrament: nor can we say that the adding of Romish ceremonials, such as consecrating of Churches, baptizing of bells, sign of the cross, are fundamental errors, and inconsistent with saving faith; the text Gal. 1.8, 9. evinceth that they or some other Gospel or doctrine, beside that the Galatians had learned (for Paul taught the Galatians many points besides fundamentals only) and so that the teachers of them were accursed, and so to be separated from, rebuked, withstood, censured, yea cut off as troublers of the Church, Gal. 5.

4. These to whom the Spirit of God giveth the title due to false teachers are punishable as false teachers and heretics, though in a less degree. But the Holy Ghost giveth the title due to false teachers to such as err not in fundamentals, ergo, the assumption is made good by Tit. 1.13,14. the Apostle willeth them to be rebuked as not sound in the faith, as those that turn others from the truth in giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men, to fables and needless Genealogies, and vain janglings, and strivings about the Law that were unprofitable and vain: now these questions about Genealogies and the law, opinions on either sides being vain and unprofitable, and not edifying in the faith could not be fundamental errors of themselves, and inconsistent with saving grace and salvation, but hay and stubble builded upon the foundation: yet consider what the Holy Ghost saith of them, Tit. 1.10. For those are many unruly and vain talkers, and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision, 11. whose mouth must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things they ought not, 13. Rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith, and to soundness in the faith he opposeth, v.14. giving heed unto Jewish fables and commandments of men that turn from the truth, 1 Tim. 6.3. If any man teach otherwise (then I have taught; now Paul's doctrine of widows, of elders, and not sudden accusing them, his charge to Timothy no to drink water, but a little wine, were not fundamentals, the ignorance whereof excludeth men from salvation,) If any man consent no to the wholesome words, even the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, 4. He is proud knowing nothing as he ought, doting about questions and strife of words, whereof commeth envy, strife, railing, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness, from such turn away; then doting about questions, strife of words, besides, not consenting to the words of Christ and doctrine of godliness, is disputing of men of corrupt minds, from which we are to turn away. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine. 4. Neither give heed to fables and endless Genealogies, which minister questions, rather then edifying, which is in faith, then to preach fables and endless Genealogies which are not fundamental errors, are yet another doctrine than the Apostles taught, and those that so teach are to be charged to teach no such thing, and so under two or three witnesses, if they willfully continue therein, to be accused and censured, yea and we are to avoid them, and not to receive them in our houses, nor bid them God speed, and so non-fundamentals as questions of Genealogies come in under the name of e`terodidaskalei/n of teaching uncouth doctrine. Now sure questions of Genealogies are but the hay and stubble that are builded on the foundation, which shall suffer burning, when the teacher holding the foundation Christ that be saved, yea such as teach circumcision, though with Christ, then must teach another Gospel, though not as necessary to justification, as Peter and Barnabas, compelled the Gentiles to be circumcised though they believed that circumcision was not necessary to salvation. And it should be hard to assert the believing of the day of Christ to be at hand, since the believing of it was an article of faith, the time when, or how soon, in the believing Thessalonians, though they were miss-led by some false teachers, is nothing so fundamental as that an error touching that time must be inconsistent with saving faith, for the Apostles said, These were the last days, and Christ had told, the day and hour was known to no man, no not to the Angels, yet Paul insinuates as much, as they did, shake the faith of the Thessalonians, who made them believe, it was at hand. 2. Thess. 2. 2 We beseech you brethren by the coming of the Lord Jesus--- that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Yea, 5. We believe with certainty of faith, many things which are not fundamentals, as 2. Pet. 3.8. But (beloved) be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. How many (suppose we) are in glory that died ignorant of this, and had not faith, or any certainty of faith of this point, that time hath with God no coexistence of a duration long and short? Yet Peter proposeth it to be believed with certainty of faith, and how many points of sacred history doth the Holy Ghost tell us Heb. 11. of Cain and Abel's sacrificing, of Abraham sojourning in a strange Country, of Sarah's bearing a child in her old age, of Isaac's blessing of Jacob, and Joseph's worshipping leaning on the end of a staff, Moses being hid three months, the falling of the Walls of Jericho, which we believe by certainty of divine faith, that are not fundamentals? Yea, and if we believe not whatever Paul and the rest of the Apostles have written, and what Moses and the Prophets, have said, we must take them to be false witnesses in saying, preaching, and writing what is not true, as Paul saith, I Cor. 15. 15. and the Apostles saith, Act. 5. 32. And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost. Now these things refer not only to Christ's death and resurrection, but to points not fundamental: as namely who were the instruments of his death, even the high-priest, Pharisees and chief-priests, ver.30. Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree, Act. 4.10. Whom ye crucified, Act.3.26. Whom ye have crucified. Now the apostles and the Holy Ghost were witnesses of the truth of both fundamentals and non-fundamentals, of all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day he was taken up to heaven, as is clear, Act. 1. 8. Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth, Luke 24. 48. Ye are my witnesses of these things, that is, ver. 44. Of all things that must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me, then the witnessing of the sacrifices, types, and particular ceremonies that shadowed out Christ, of his being born in Bethlehem, Mic. 2. of his being crucified between two transgressors, Isaiah 53. of his riding to Jerusalem on an ass colt, Zach. 9. Of his casting out buyers and sellers out of the Temple, through his zeal to the house of God, Psalm 69. of the betraying of him by Judas, and many historical things that are not fundamentals, yet all these were a part of the Apostles' and the Holy Ghost's testimony, Act. 5. 32. And to be believed with divine certitude of saving faith, no less then the Articles of fundamentals, that Christ was the son of man, and died for our sins and rose for our righteousness, except we say that the apostles are false witnesses, and make God a liar, in saying that Judas betrayed him not, and that Barrabas a Murderer was not preferred to him, I Cor. 15. 15. John 3. 33. I John 5. 10. For if we give God the lie in non-fundamentals, one or two fixedly and peremptorily, and lead a good life, and so we are saved but not otherwise, but as touching non-fundamentals, we may believe these with a reserve and a demure, and may believe them for a day, or an hour, and deny them tomorrow, and again, be carried about with a new wind of doctrine and believe the third day, and deny them the fourth day, believe them the fifth day, and deny them the sixth day, and so make a whirly-gigge of our faith, and a new faith for a new moon, or for a half, and a quarter moon, as the Independents, in their apology makes this a principle of their faith to believe these things so, as we leave room for a new light to cast a board again at the blowing of the wind of a new fancy (of which we have seen more in the Assembly of Divines, these four years, past than we desire to see in any that profess godliness) and as the Holland- Arminians say (from whom new lights or old darknesses have their rise) a faith of a thousand years may be the worst of all, which (say we) is most false, a false opinion of God, and a thousand year old lie, a gray-haired untruth is the worst of conjectures, but faith it neither is, nor can be called. but the late Independents, and the new Libertines of England do only say such a monthly faith is to be tolerated because of the darkness of our mind in the matters of God, which yet is faith, not but a conjectural opinion. But they say, by a command of God, we must have no other faith except in some few fundamentals, and no man since Adam died (except the man Christ) ever knew or could determine how few, or how many, so our faith in fundamentals in that, totters, for they say, these precepts and commands of the Holy Ghost. Try the spirits whither they be of God or no. Try all things, hold that which is good, and the example of the noble Bereans who examined Paul's doctrine, by the Scriptures, doth lay a divine command on them to believe non-fundamentals with a reserve. Yea they say with the Arminians, &c. that it is against liberty of prophesying, whereas liberty of lying in the name of the Lord is of the devil, who hath taken liberty or rather hellish license to lie from the beginning, and they say, it is against our growing in knowledge, and the prayers of the Saints that God would open their eyes to see the wonders of his Law, and lead them into all truth, and against the prophecies that in the last days the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, the light of the moon shall be at the light of the sun, and the light of the sun, as the light of seven days, and the day star shall arise in the hearts of many, and the Spirit shall be powered on all flesh, young and old, maids and children. To all which I say, either the Spirit of God moves men to the faith of this (there is no Church visible on earth, but such as is constituted of believers, such as those of Corinth, and Rome, and others were, after they were planted and watered by the Apostles) or no. If no they have not faith of it, and so it is. 1 no truth of God, to Independents, etc... for which they can suffer, but a mere opinion, then they cannot suffer for it in faith, and to believe any truth of God because the Lord so saith, is wrought only by the Holy Ghost, if it be wrought by the Holy Ghost, then it is a truth of God, and a divine truth, for the Holy Ghost moves no man to believe a lie, for a truth of God, if it be a divine truth then doth not the Holy Ghost will you so to believe it for a truth, as you must upon a new light believe the contrary tomorrow. For I renew the argument in its full strength, touching the faith of the contraindicant which you believed the last day, either the Holy Ghost must move you to believe that contraindicant as a truth of God, or no: If no, it is not divine faith you have of it: if yea, then the faith of the former was the believing of a lie, so that you must make the Holy Ghost the father of believing a lie. 2. The object of divine faith a lie,

2. This is to teach us to be carried about with every wind of doctrine, whereas faith of fundamentals or non-fundamentals is to believe a truth, because so saith the Lord, that cannot lie, nor speak untruth, but you will men to believe these non-fundamental truths, so as they may be as well lies as divine truths.

3. These precepts, Try the spirits, Try all things, enjoin an examination of fundamentals, as well as non-fundamentals: and what reason have Independents to say these precepts hold in non-fundamentals only. Mr. John Goodwin with better ground saith, they hold in all, for must we hold that which is good only in non-fundamentals? And did not the Bereans try Paul's doctrine by the Scripture, in the most and only necessary fundamental which Paul preached, that Jesus Christ was the Messiah that died, rose again, Act 17.3. and are therefore commended by the Holy Ghost, v. 10. 11 ? above those of Thessalonica, and must we believe every Spirit who preach fundamental truths, or fundamental errors, who say Christ is not yet come in the flesh, upon trust? the contrary of which John expressly enjoineth, I John 4.1-3: yea we are rather to try fundamentals, and to walk upon sure and unmovable principles, since an error here hazardeth our eternal salvation, and is of as great concernment as our souls are, but errors or mistakes in non-fundamentals, though they be sins, yet are consistent with saving faith, and the state of salvation.

4. Try all things, try the spirits, must have this sense, believe what ever God saith, be it fundamental or non-fundamental, not only after you have searched the Scriptures, and found it agreeable thereunto, as the Bereans did, but though you find it consonant to the writings of the Prophets and Apostles, yet because you are not infallible, nor the Spirit that leads you therein infallible, believe it with a reserve (say the Independents) and with leaving place to a new light, so as you must believe it today to be a truth of God, tomorrow to be a lie, the third day a truth, the fourth day a lie, and so a circle till your doomsday come, so as you must ever believe and learn, never come to a settlement and establishing in the truth; but die trying, die doubting, die with a trepidation and a reserve, and die and live a skeptic, like the Philosophers that said they knew nothing, and I think Libertines cannot but be skeptics, and there is more to be said for the skepticism of some, then the Libertinism of others.

5. Would these Masters argue formally, they must say whatever doctrine, we are to try before we receive it, that we may uncompelledly receive and believe it, after trial that ought to be tolerated by the Magistrate in doctrine and practice, or profession suitable thereunto before men.

I would assume, But whether there be a God, and but one God, and all fundamentals or non-fundamentals, be divine truths; yea, and whether fornication be sin, and plurality of wives, and community of goods, and spoiling of wicked men of their wives, and their lands, and possessions, as the Israelites spoiled the Egyptians, are such truths that we must try before we receive, believe, and accordingly believe and practice; ergo, the Magistrate is to tolerate fornication, plurality of wives, spoiling of men of their possessions and goods, and community of goods; but the conclusion is absurd and blasphemous, and against the Law of nature; for if there be no Magistracy, nor violence to be done to ill-doers under the New Testament, neither must we defend our own lives, nor fly, nor resist injuries, but turn up the other cheek to him that smites the one, and if a man take your cloak, give him your coat also, according to the sense that Anabaptists put on the words; yea and cut off your hands and feet, pluck out your eyes, if they cause you to offend and shed your own blood, which is the greatest and most unnatural violence that is.

6. The sense of this (Try all, and hold that which is good) must be, Try and search the true senses of divine truths, and then having tried and believed, hold the truth, and believe it for a day, and yield to the light of the just contrary tomorrow, and having found a contrary light, try that the third morrow, and yield to another new and contrary light the third morrow. Now the Holy Ghost must command doubting by that means, and doubting till we lose faith, and find it again, and lose it again in a circle, and if we must try all things, and try all spirits, the Bereans must try their own trying, and their own doubtings and believing, and so into infinite; and when they find Christ to be in Paul's doctrine, and that of Moses and the Prophets, yet must they try and doubt, and believe the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, and of the Holy Ghost, with the Libertines reserve, waiting when the Holy Ghost shall give himself the lie, and say, I moved you to believe such a truth, and such an article of faith the last year, but now after a more deep consideration, I move you to believe the contrary, yet so as ye leave room to my new light.

7. The sense also of these (Lord enlighten mine eyes) that I may know thee with a fuller evidence not of Moon-light, but of Day-light, or as of seven days into one, be this, Lord open my eyes, and increase my knowledge, grant that thy holy Spirit may bestow upon my dark soul more skeptical, conjectural, and fluctuating knowledge to know and believe things with a reserve, and with a leaving of room to believe the contrary tomorrow of that which I believe today, and the contraindicant of that the third day which I shall believe tomorrow, and so till I die; let me, Lord, have the grace of a circular faith, running like the wheel of the wind-mill, for the growing knowledge we seek of God as in a way of growing ever in this life, till grace be turned into glory, 2 Pet. 3. 18. if our growth of knowledge stand, as Libertines say, in a circular motion from darkness to light, and back again from light to darkness, like the motion of a beast in a horse-mill, so as I know, and learn and believe this topic truth of faith to day, I unknown, I unlearn and deny it tomorrow as an untruth: and again, I take it up the third day as a truth; then we seek in prayer not settled and fixed knowledge, and a well rooted faith of truths to believe them without a reserve, or a demure, to send away the opinion I have of this non-fundamental or fundamental truth as a gross mistake, and to welcome the just contrary opinion as a truth: and again, to send it away upon a new light, etc... now this is but a mocking of God to pray for his Spirit that we may barter and change opinions with every new Moon; for our prayer for new light, is not that the Holy Ghost would teach us faith and opinion of truths and falsehoods in a circle; but that God, 1. Would give the Spirit of revelation to see Gospel truths with a clear revelation of faith. 2. That he would be pleased to cause that light by which we see the same ancient Gospel-truths, shine more fully, with a larger measure of heavenly evidence. 3. That our light may so grow into the perfect day, that we see new deductions, consequences, and heavenly new fresh conclusions from the former truths of God. But by skeptical faith, we pray that God would give us a contrary new light, to get a new faith, of truths, formerly believed contradicent to the word of God, and to that faith which produced joy, yea joy unspeakable and glorious, 1 Pet. 1. 7, 8. and glorying in tribulation, and sweetness of peace, Rom. 5. 1, 2, 3. for this, not the light of the Moon turned in the light of the Sun, or of the Sun, as seven days in one, but light turned in night darkness, the truth in a lie, and the Spirit of truth made the father of lies.

8. The Apostles never bid us know any truth of God with a reserve. Libertines bid us, the Apostles, and the Holy Ghost in them, bids us know assuredly that Jesus is Christ the Lord, they exhort us to be rooted and established in the faith, Col. 2. to be fully persuaded of all, both fundamentals, and the historicals, of the birth, life, miracles, words, facts, death, sufferings, and burial, resurrection, ascension, etc... of Christ, as Luke exhorteth Theophilus, Luke 1. 1, 2, 3. yea the Apostle clearly Heb. 5. exhorteth to the faith of many points concerning Christ, beside the first principles of the Oracles of God; that of Catechetic points fit for babes who have not stomachs to bear stronger food, v. 12, 13. 1. Because he rebuketh them for being dull of hearing, which is opposite to being teachers of the word of truth to others; which must insinuate they were to have faith; and not conjectural and fluctuating opinions of the things they were to teach. 2. He reproves them for that they had not their senses exercised to discern good and ill, and that they were unskillful in the words of righteousness. 3. He exhorteth them, chap.6. 1. to be carried on to perfection, beyond the principles of the doctrine of Christ. Now to be carried to know all, except some fundamentals and principles with a reserve and a doubting of the truth, is not to have the senses exercised to discern good and ill, nor to be skillful in the word of truth, nor to go on to perfection, but to stand still, as in a horse-mill, and be at the same perfection of knowledge in knowing and believing all, even fundamentals, say some, or all non-fundamentals, say other Libertines, with a reserve, and a resolution to judge them all falsehood and lies.

9. It argues the word of God, of obscurity and darkness, as not being able to instruct us in all truths, and renders it as a nose of wax in all non-fundamentals, histories, narrations, etc... in which notwithstanding the Scripture is as evident, plain, simple, obvious to the lowest capacities in most points, except some few Prophecies, as it is in fundamentals, and lays a blasphemies charge on the Holy Ghost, as if he had written the Scriptures, upon an intention that we should have no assured and fixed knowledge, no faith but a mere probable opinion, a conjectural, dubious apprehension of truths, with a reserve to believe the contrary, as if the Lord's purpose had been that we should all be skeptics, and die doubting: and how then can God in justice punish any man, for not believing and doing the will of our Master and Lord? If it be impossible even by the light of the Spirit to know his will in whole (as some say) and in the most part ( as others say) yea it must not be our sinful darkness in that we cannot believe most of the matters of God, but with a reserve, but it is the will and command of God we do so: and how shall we know the second faith contradictory to the former to be the mind of God, and not the first, and the third, and not the second, and the fourth, and not the third, and so the end? since we are to believe all the four with a reserve, and all to our dying day with a reserve for the word is alike dubious now as in Paul's days: and since the Apostles charge us to believe and be comforted in believing the truths which they believed, not as Apostles, but as Christians, and as fellow Citizens with us, we must say that the apostles also believed with a reserve, which is blasphemous.

10. All our practices according to fundamentals or non-fundamentals must be in faith, that is, with a persuasion that what we do is according to the revealed will of God, otherwise we sin, Rom. 14. 23. and are condemned in all we do. But if this faith with a reserve, be the rule of our practice, we can do nothing in faith, but with a resolve upon doubting: so what you do, may as possibly be murder, idolatry, stealing, lying, as obedience to God, yea, you must believe, that what you do to day is lawful, but yet so, as tomorrow you must believe upon a new light, that it is unlawful and sin, yea, and this makes the erroneous conscience the rule of your faith, and practice, for if the Holy Ghost command you to believe such points, with the faith of a reserve, he must command you to practice, according to the present faith that he commands you to have of those truths. But the present you have, may be the belief of a lie and a blasphemous untruth, and so the ten Commandements should be a rule to no man. But his erroneous conscience, if then he believe that it is such acceptable worship as God craved of Abraham, that you sacrifice your son to God, you believe it with a reserve, and you are to practice it with a reserve, and obliged to practice what you are obliged to believe: but you are obliged to believe with a reserve, that it is acceptable service to God to sacrifice your child to him; for it is a non-fundamental not clearly determined in the word, at least it is controverted by many that go for godly people. Now if so, God shall oblige men to sin and not to sin; to do his revealed will, and not to do his revealed will, in the same commandment, which were blasphemous, now that we are to practice according to our faith of reserve. I prove by the doctrine of Libertines, for they teach a man is to suffer death, and any torment, rather than that he say, there be three persons in one God, and two natures and on person in Christ, and that Presbyterian Government is lawful, that the Christian Prince is to punish false teachers if he believe in his conscience, though he is to believe with a reserve and doubtsomely, that these are truths contrary to the word of God, then is his faith with a reserve, which may be the faith of a lie, his only obliging rule of his practice, according to the way of Libertines. I confess he is rather to suffer death than to profess any doctrine contrary to the dictates even of an erroneous conscience, because he should choose afflictions rather than sin. But when we are commanded faith with a reserve, as they say, we are commanded to believe a lie (which is blasphemous) and what we are commanded to believe by the Lord in his word, that must be an obliging rule to our practice, and so must we be obliged to sin; nor can it be said to offer your child to God in a sacrifice, is against the light, and a clear Law of nature, and a fundamental error; for in this dispute Libertines arguments are for a toleration of all, whether they err in fundamentals or non-fundamentals, nor can they determine what is of their own natural, are controversial and disputable to human reason, and what not, for we either speak what are de facto actually controverted, in all the Christian world, or what be those that in regard of their disproportion to human reason, of their own nature, may be controverted. 2. Or we speak of those which are not controversial amongst Christians, who acknowledge the Old and New Testament, to be the word of God, and what are not clearly determined in the word; and touching the former, there is nothing we know not controverted in the Christian world, except that there is a God; and that is also controverted two ways: Atheists so far wink, though nature cannot, no not in devils, and godless men run it self stark blind as they deny there is a God; out of malice. 2. They cavil at all arguments brought to prove that there must be a God, though they be strong enough for the wit of the devil to answer.

Now for these that are of their own nature controversial (though no truths, especially truths revealed and spoken by the God of truth, are in themselves controversial, or such as can be opposed) yet are there two sorts of truths that are in relation to human reason controvertable. 1. The principles of nature that God is, that he is infinite, omnipotent, just, merciful, omniscient, &c. to be loved, served, obeyed, &c. that superiors and parents are to be honored, our neighbor not to be hurt, that we should do to others as we would they should do to us, are not of themselves controversial; but the practical conclusions drawn from thence are controversial in regard of our darkness, as polygamy, community of goods:

all these, whether the saints may rob and spoil wicked men of their possessions, and kill them upon the right and authority of Saintship, are of themselves controversial in relation to our nature who acknowledge scriptures to be the word of God; but for supernatural truths that cannot find lodging in the sphere, or under the shadow of natural reason, such as the doctrine of one God in three persons of the incarnation of two natures in Christ, of the imputed righteousness of Christ, of salvation by believing in a crucified Savior, the resurrection of the dead; and those that are not knowable but by supernatural revelation, though they be the fundamentals of the Christian faith, yet are they more controversial of themselves than the most part of non-fundamentals, as John Goodwin does rightly observe, for nature hath more shadow of reason to cavil and plead against these, than any other truths; if then no coercive power ought to be used against such as teach errors contrary to the word of God, and against fundamentals, because such points are controversial, there is far more warrant to free those from all coercive power who deny all principles of the Christian faith, and turn so from the faith that they deny the word of God, the books of the Old and New testament, to be any thing but fancied fables, because they teach things most controversial; and so upon the grounds of Libertines, one Catholic toleration is due to all; and if any shall turn Jew or Mahometan, or Indian or heathenish in his Religion, having been a glistening star in the firmament of Christianity, and should pervert the right ways of the Lord, with Elimas, the Magistrate hath nothing to do to punish him, though he carry Navies, and millions of souls to hell, yea, nor is he to be rebuked nor declaimed against as a child of the devil, and an enemy to all righteousness, but with all meekness and gentleness to be instructed, for rebuking of him thus, is as unjust, since it is not in his power what he thinks or apprehends for truth, or what not, (say Libertines) as to command the sun to shine at midnight.

C h a p. VII.

What opinions may be tolerated, what not.

But are there no far off truths at all to be tolerated? do not learned men give divers and contrary expositions of one and the same text of Scripture? and hath not the Church suffered errors and erroneous opinions in godly learned men in all ages even in Turtullian, Augustine and others? and have not implored the sword of the Magistrate against them, though all errors printed and preached hurt the souls of others more or less.

Answ. Some errors are about things that God hath left indifferent, for the time, as opinion and practices, about meats and days, Rom. 14.1 Cor. 8. c. 10. in these, God gives an indulgence, and bids us so long as the date of indifference endureth, bear with the weaker, but Rom. 14. 1 Cor.8. you shall not find that Paul beareth with the unlimited practice of days and meats absolutely, and in all cases, as for the case of scandal, Paul sharply rebuketh the practice, to the scandalizing of the weak, and calleth it soul murder, and here it is like the Church may suffer sinful ignorances, for as the Magistrate is not to punish all externals, sins of infirmity against the second table, for then human societies must be dissolved, and could not subsist, except there be a reciprocal yielding to the infirmities of men, as they are weak and frail; as we must not make a man an offender for a word, though it be a hasty and sinful word, even in a family where the Lord of the house hath the power of the rod, and proportionally, in other societies, we would hear Solomon saying, Eccles. 7.21. Also take not heed to all words that are spoken, least thou hear thy servant curse thee. So it would appear, that some lower errors, that are far off, without the compass of the ordinary discerning of man; and lie at a distance from the foundation (as fundamentals, and gospel-promise lie near the heart of Christ) may be dispensed with as a conjecture, what became of the meat that Christ ate after his resurrection, when he was now in the state of immorality, and some probable opinions that neither better the holder, nor much promote or hinder the edification of others, are not much to be heeded, save that curiosity in them is sinful, and happily may be tolerated: or whether the heavens And earth after the day of judgment, shall be annihilated and turned to nothing, and be no more; or if they shall be renewed, and delivered from vanity, and endued with new qualities to stand still as lasting and eternal monuments and witnesses of the glory of God Creator, as the Man-Christ, and the redeemed in heaven in soul and body, live in glory to be eternal lectures and testimonies of the glory of the Lord, Redeemer and Sanctifier of his people, which latter seemeth most probable, and the Scripture may seem to say much for either side.

2. For diverse expositions of one and the same text, as that, we look for new Heavens and new earth, when neither of the expositions so far as is revealed to the godly and learned, who in this life do but know and prophesy in part, do neither hurt the foundation, nor cross any clear truth, that is non-fundamental, we think the opinions of both may be tolerated, even though the one of them be in itself an error, and that upon the ground that Church and Magistrates both are to tolerate, not to punish these infirmities, against both tables, that are the necessary results of sin original, common to all men, as men, bearing about with them a body of sin. And the like I say of other the like opinions about matters of religion, and especially matters of fact, as the virginity of Mary for all her life.

3. Such opinions and practices as make an evident schism in a Church, and set up two distinct Churches, of different forms of government, and pretending to different instituitions of Christ, of which the one must by the nature of their principles labor the destruction of the other, cannot be tolerated, &c for each pretending their fellow Churches to be of man, and so of the devil, though they should both make one true invisible Church, agreeing in all fundamentals, and may other truths, yet sure the whole should be a kingdom divided against itself, and this destroyeth peace and unity… And if Paul could not endure the divisions of one and the same Church of Corinth, though they pretended not to be different churches, for those that said they were of Paul professed they could not be disciples of Peter, but he sharply rebuked them as carnal men, and such as divided Christ, and by consequence must say, Paul was crucified for them, and was their redeemer, and so, if obstinately they had proceeded in that separation, Paul would have gone on to higher censures of the Church: far more could he not endure gathering of true Churches out of true Churches, which is the professed practice of Independents: and yet both sides pretending the Spirit of discerning; could say, the Spirit testifies to my soul, that Paul is the only called preacher, and the other, nay but to my discerning Cephas or Peter is the only man, that I can hear or follow. And a third, nay, not any on earth, nor any ministry will I acknowledge, but Jesus Christ whom the heavens must contain till the last day, is my only, only preacher, now if a Jezebel come in and say no ministry is to be heard but Christ, and turn away all from hearing the word, and not suffer Sergius Paulus or any other to hear Paul or any godly minister, sure Jezebel should be a perverter of the right ways of the Lord, and so not to be suffered.

4. As touching opinions more manifestly erroneous as Justine Martyr his saving of men metalogou, if they used the light of nature well, though they were ignorant of Christ, the Montanism of Turtullian, and his way of damning second marriage (which the very Jesuit Toletus comment. in Joan: said he wrote contra fidem Catholicam, against the Catholic faith.) and Augustine his condemning of all infants dying without Baptism, and Origen his hintings at a sort of purgatory after death, the Greek fathers their prescience of good works, and faith as the causes of predestination, their Pelagianism and semi-pelagianism touching men's free will beginning and meeting God's grace, especially, hard sayings of Chrysostom, Grego Nyssynus, and others, and the incongruous words of Hieronymus, nostrum est incipere and deiisequi. Their immediate extolling of the bishop of Rome, for personal gifts, their orations of and apostrophes to the martyrs dead, with an oi tis aisqhsis with that doubtsome condition, if there be any feeling of our affairs in the dead, which was the ground work of invocation of Saints, it is a question and to be proved, whether the Church and Christian Magistrate (when there were any) should tolerate these, for some opinions or truths are as brass, so as we cannot put a stamp of necessity of edification on them, and some are pieces of gold and foundation stones, so other truths are near of blood to fundamentals, and pinnings in the wall, though not foundations, and because the want of them may hurt the wall, they must go as pieces of current silver.

Only two or three objections must be removed; As 1. Rom. 14. They erred against a Law of God, who kept days, and abstained from meats, conceiving that the conscience of God's Law, did enjoin such a practice, whereas there was no such Law now, the Apostle was persuaded there were no creatures unclean now, but to him, who, through error of conscience, believed they were unclean, v. 14. Yea the earth being the Lords, they might eat swine's flesh or meats, though sacrificed to Idols, without conscience of a law, 1 Cor. c.8. c.10. yet Paul is so far from censuring such weak ones, that he bids receive them as brethren, and not trouble them with thorny disputations.

Answ. Paul bids receive them, ergo, he bids tolerate them all together, it follows not, he will have them informed that there is no such divine law that presseth them, and so a moral toleration of not refuting their error is denied to them.

2. He bids receive them in a practice in itself, for that time, indifferent (for 1 Cor.8.8. Neither if they did eat, were they the better, nor if they did not eat, were they the worse) but only erroneous in the manner, because of the twilight and sparklings of the light of the Gospel not fully promulgated to the Jews. Will it follow that the Jews should be tolerated still, and perpetually to circumcise and keep the ceremonial law, and to teach others so to do? for Libertines contend for a constant and perpetual toleration of all Jewish and sinful practices.

Ob. 2. Paul speaking of Ceremonies, Ph. 3.15. saith, Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded, and if, in any thing, ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16. Nevertheless whereunto we have attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same things.

Answ. This is the only Magna Charta abused for liberty of conscience, which yet crosseth it, but favors it now. Paul giveth two rules, neither of them are for toleration, but against it; the one is for the mind within, the other for the practice without: for the former, he willeth all the perfect to mind this, that is, to endeavor Paul's one thing, and to be followers of him, v. 17. forgetting that which is behind, and pressing toward the mark, and if any be otherwise minded in the matter of circumcision, if he mind the journey toward the garland, God shall clear his doubts to him there is nothing here for Libertines, except we say, let all the godly mind to walk toward the garland, by practicing circumcision, (as if that were the way) and by tolerating of others to practice Jewish Ceremonies, and if they be otherwise minded, God shall reveal their error, but in the mean time we are to suffer them to mind that, for the which Paul saith, their end is destruction, their belly their God, and they are dogs and evil doers, v. 19.2.3. as for the other rule of practice, v. 16. If it plead for Libertines, the sense must be, as far as we have obtained the mind of Christ let us practice, that is, let us be circumcised, and teach and profess and publish to others, all the heresies and blasphemies that seem to us to be true doctrine according to this rule, and let us mind the same thing, let us contend for the garland, and walking according to our conscience our only rule, and practicing unlawful ceremonies, and publishing and professing all the heresies we can, we mind the same crown and garland. Now except walking according to the rule be restricted to careful and diligent practicing of these things in which we all agree, which must exclude a practicing or publishing of doctrines controverted, and that we should abstain from practicing and publishing of opinions in which we agree not, nothing can be extorted hence in favor of toleration. Our brethren say, Let us gather Churches out of true Churches, and separate ourselves from true Churches, and preach Familism, Antinomianism, Arianism, and what not? and then we walk according to the same rule, which must be most contradictory to the mind of the Holy Ghost, and therefore Libertines durst never draw a formal argument for toleration out of these or any other places, but bring us such reasons as by the nineteenth consequence comes not up to the purpose; for by the gloss of Libertines, Let us walk according to the same rule, must be, Let us practice and walk (for it cannot be meant of heart-opinions) according to the known rule conceived by our conscience to be right (though it may be wrong and sinful) and so let us be circumcised, and make a fair show in the flesh at the false Apostles did, for if some believed circumcision, and the law to be necessary for justification, then Paul must bid them walk contrary to their light, and then the perfect had attained light to practice unlawful Jewish ceremonies.

C H A P. VIII.

Whether heresy be a sin, or a mere error and innocency: whether an
heretic be an evil doer?

What is naked and mere simple heresy (say the Belgic Arminians) but a mere device? or is heresy only error (say they) which hath place in the mind of him that erreth: nor is error sufficient to constitute a thing heresy, nor if it were, is it the object or cause of any punishment, a mere error does not go out of him that erreth, he that erreth cannot be punished; the mind of man is not liable to any command, only God commandeth minds, thoughts are free from paying tribute to men, pertinacity is not of the nature of heresy, nor blasphemy; nor if they were, can heretics therefore be punished? nor doth sedition make heresy punishable; so they make heresy nothing but a name, who (say they) can say an heretic is an evil doer? evil doers confess their evil deeds, and know them to be worthy of punishment, by the law of God and man: heretics deny they are heretics, or that they have any bad opinions, or that they blaspheme, they profess the contrary, that they are ready to dye an hundred deaths rather than they should blaspheme, thieves steal, that they may steal, heretics seduce not, that they may seduce, but that they may reduce men is a better mind and save them from eternal destruction. Minus Celjus also de heretics Coercendis, sect. 1. f. 5.6.

Asser. 1. But. 1. Though neither we nor Libertines could define idolatry nor murderer, nor adultery, yet sure the Law of God condemns idolatry, murderer, adultery as sins; this is the custom of jugglers and sophisters, who deny there is such a thing as robbing, or hedge-robbers, why, what is an hedge-robbing? you cannot define it, and not one of twenty, agree with another what hedge-robbers are, therefore there is not such a thing as an hedge-robber. Nor do sorcerers confess they are sorcerers, nor can you tell what sorcery is; and there is not such a thing in the world: so many argue.

Asser. 2. Heresy is not a mere error, nor innocency, but a heinous transgression against God. 1 Because Paul, Gal.5. ver. 19,20,21. reckoneth heresies among the works of the flesh with idolatry, witchcraft, envy, strife, and sedition, then it is a work of the devil, and of sinful flesh. 2. That which God permitteth, that those that are approved may be made manifest in the Church of Christ, that must be a sin, but such is heresy, 1 Cor. 11.19. 3. Grievous wolves not sparing the flock, false prophets, and false Christs, who deceive (if it were possible) the very elect, such as make their Disciples two fold the children of the devil, thieves and robbers, who come to steal and to kill, and to drink the blood of souls, these who subvert whole houses, and whose word eats as a gangrene, are not innocent, and simply erring men, nor is their error, simple error, but a high transgression against God, but such are heretics, Act. 20.29, 30. Mat. 24.24. Mat. 23.15. John 10. 8,9,10. Tit. 1. 11 2 Tim. 2. 17. 4 These who are deceivers and deceived, unruly, and vain talkers, to be rebuked sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, and these, who we are not to receive into our houses, nor bid them God speed, least we be partakers of their evil doings, these of whom we are to be aware, lest they ensnare us, and whom we are, after once or twice admonition, to reject, and from whom we are to turn away, must be such as do more than simply err in mind, and their errors being so pernicious must come out of him that erreth, and subverteth whole houses, and lead silly women captive laden with divers lusts, and must be subject to commands of those that are in place, since they are to be sharply rebuked are not innocent, but do grievously sin and are punishable. But such are heretic, Tit. 1.11,12,13. 2 John 10.11. 2 Tim. 4.15. Tit.3.10. 2 Tim.3.5. 5. Such as do evil and that as false teachers, and resist the truth, as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, and do Paul and the faithful preachers of the Gospel much evil, in perverting souls and in withstanding the gospel, as Alexander the copper-Smith did, who subvert whole houses, lead souls captive, deceive many, who speak words which eat the souls of many as a Canker, and subvert the faith of many, though they deny they do evil, or seduce any, or that they intend to seduce any, are evil doers, not innocent. But such are heretics who privilie bring in damnable heresies, and make merchandise of men, with fair words, and buy and sell souls, 2 Pet. 2.1,2,3,4. 2. Tim. 3.8. 2 Tim. 4.14,15. 2 Tim.3.6. 2 Tim. 2.17,18. 6 These cannot be innocent, nor free of all commands, rebukes, punishment, whom the Holy Ghost stiles proud, perverse disputers, men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth, 1 Tim. 6.4,5. False Christs, Matth. 24.24. Deceivers, Tit. 1.11. Men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith, 2 Tim. 3.8,9. Whose folly shall be made known to many, who are self condemned, as knowing (if they would not wink and shut their eyes at noon-day) that they deceive, and are deceived, Tit. 3.10.7 These and many other things in these seducing teachers do evidence that heresy, and seducing teaching of Heretics are not a simple disease in the mind, since they are willingly ignorant, 2 Pet. 3.7. qelontes as such as believed Baal to be God, and worship him, are such of whom the Lord saith, Jer. 9.6. Through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord. The Holy Ghost saith they do much evil, resist the truth, buy men's souls as if they were Merchants, are perverse disputers, are proud, unruly, talkers, all which showeth that their will hath an influence in their knowledge and mind.

All the Arguments of Libertines against the definition of an heretic, tend to prove that there is not such a thing as an heretic in the world, As if a robber arraigned upon his head before a judge, would say, there is no such thing in the world as Robbery, it is a mere fiction, or their reasons prove pertince, which we say is the formal reason and essence of heresy, is only in the heart, and known to God only, and therefore, since neither the Church, nor the Magistrate know the heart, we must leave it to God, all men's judgements of the heart are uncertain, and deceiving conjectures, no man of set purpose desires to do evil, but when he knows he does evil, no man persuades himself that he erreth, when the matter is about eternal salvation, therefore it is not lawful to charge any heretic that he acts malice against his light, charity persuadeth another thing, and who knowingly (saith Minus Celsus) and willingly sins against the known truth, his crime is not properly heresy, but the sin and blasphemy against the Holy Ghost for whom we are not to pray, and is a sin that shall never be pardoned, and therefore it is in vain to accuse this man of heresy.

Answ. This vain argument of foolish men is against the Holy Ghost, not against us, for charity then must forbid us to judge evil of our brother, or to beware of him, to avoid him, to admonish or rebuke him for heresy, for a sin known to God only, or to reject him, or to refuse him lodging in our house, or to bid him God speed, for you condemn him and flee and avoid him as an heretic, and in so doing ye take God's office on you to judge the heart, now when the Holy Ghost bids us admonish, rebuke, instruct with meekness: Heretics, if they will not be gained, reject and avoid them, doth he not clearly hold forth that heretics may be known; when Solomon saith, go not by the door of the whore, make no friendship with an angry man, be not companions with thieves and robbers, doth he not insinuate, that the whore and the angry man, and the thief may be known? or would he say, the whore is only known to God, and charity forbids you to judge any woman a whore, or any teacher, who saith he would show you the straight way to heaven, and the way that he himself walketh in, and no man persuades himself that he erreth when the matter is concerning his own eternal salvation, and it is only known to God whether he be an heretic or no, yet admonish him as an heretic, and reject him and avoid his company as a Heretic. This is as much as if a physician would say, it is impossible to any man to know, save God only, what houses are infected with the pestilence, yet I counsel you, for your health, go not into any pest-house.

2. It is most false that pertinacity is known to God only, that pertinacity that evidences itself to us, by such marks and outward evidences is known to us, as such a Familist, a Socinian leadeth silly women captive, and subverteth the faith of many, and causeth simple people to believe the God manifested in the flesh and crucified, is nothing but a Saint-Suffering, and having much of God and saving grace evidenced in him, and he is once and twice by word and writing admonished, but he still goes on and seduces many, then he is so far pertinacious, as ye may judge him an heretic, and having tried that he is an heretical spirit, avoid him, and bid him not Godspeed, doth not Paul exhort the elders of Ephesus to take heed of ravening wolves that should arise and speak diestramme,na perverse things to draw away disciples after them, and they should not spare the flock, Act. 20.29,30. Yea, but our abominable Libertines come in and say, Elders of Ephesus, be charitable, judge them not to be grievous wolves, lest ye condemn them for wolves before men, who are the redeemed sheep of Christ in the high court, it is true, they speak perverse things, as ye apprehend, but Elders, are you infallible now? when Paul and the Apostles are departed this life, they judge that you speak perverse things, and ye are the grievous wolves. You hear them speak new doctrines, it is true, but you know not whether they be pertinacious, pertinacity is in the heart only, be charitable, for only God knows the heart, say not is the flock they are ravening wolves, seducers, and that knowingly and willingly they sin against the known truth, no man erreth dedita opera of set purpose, nor persuades himself that he errs, when the matter is concerning eternal salvation, charity forbids you to ascribe maliciousness of erring to men, who err not with their will, and you Church and Angel of the churches of Pergamus and of Thyatira, be charitable and judge not those that teach the doctrine of Balaam, and Jezebel to be false prophets, you hear their words, but God only tryeth the reigns and the heart, you know not whether they teach, what they teach, with pertinacity, all judging of the mind and heart of others are uncertain conjectures, neither they nor any other do err believing, and being persuaded, that they err, when the matter is of such concernment as eternal salvation.

3. Nor is the crime, the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, when any do maliciously resist the truth. 1. When there is not a high measure of illumination and persuasion going before, which is not in every heretic. 2. When pertinacity is bent against a side and party of godly men, not so much for despite and malice against them as they are godly, or out of despite to the Spirit of Grace, as out of a mind puffed up with love-sickness, of their own learning, and great parts, and undervaluing of a contrary faction, as they suppose, for there be divers branches of opposing the known truth, as from fleshly lusts, 2 Pet. 2.17.18. 2 Pet.3.3. from pride, 1 Tim. 6.3,4,5. from avarice and love of the world, v.5. 2 Pet. 2.3,15,16. and yet all maliciously, that are not to be judged the sin against the Holy Ghost, except, it be such an opposing of the known truth as comes from the spiritual malicious opposing of God and his known truth, as the devils did; and it may be also that some heretics sin the sin against the Holy Ghost in teaching lies in hypocrisy, as the Pharisees did, who leave not off for that to be heretics and false teachers.

4. Where men are savingly and soundly persuaded that the business is a matter of salvation , they will not finally and totally err, but that there is such a persuasion in heretics, is utterly denied by us; and where there is a persuasion in great measure, but literal, and historical, and faith thereunto answerable, that the matter is eternal salvation and damnation, that they do not err and lead other captives to their error, is denied, and it is more charity of heretics who are self-condemned by their own heart, Tit. 3.10. and are willingly ignorant, 2 Pet. 3.5. then the Holy Ghost allows.

5. Yea this will make heresy and heretics that are to the Holy Ghost seducers, ravening wolves, subverters of the faith of others, thieves, and robbers, foxes, reprobate concerning the faith, self-condemned; to be godly, zealous, innocent, erring against their will, free of malice, and so the Holy Ghost must do a great deal of injury to men who go for heretics, in this characterizing them to us under titles and characters, which no mortal man can give to them.

But what surer sign can there be (saith Celsus) of no evil conscience than that a man will spend his blood, neglect his life, drink a cup which was so horrible to Christ, that it caused him sweat blood, and fall on the earth, and yet he will joyfully die rather, ere he quit the known truth, this he must do for some end? and is there any man who will willingly choose eternal destruction? nor can his end be pleasure, for he is to leave all these, wife, children, goods; nor honor, for an heretic dies a most infamous man, and full of reproaches.

Answ. This renders the heretic the most innocent and righteous Martyr that ever was; for if his end be only life eternal, and none of the three ends which lead all sinners; neither pleasure, nor profit, nor honor, 1 John 2.16. and if he ought to follow his conscience, all heresy shall be nothing but a most innocent, harmless, godly and zealous error, why then doth this author say, it is such a sin as he is self-condemned; that is, as he expoundeth it, though there were not a God, nor any other to condemn him, yet he is condemned of himself? why doth the Holy Ghost bid us turn away from such a godly innocent man, who loveth the truth of Christ, Christ and heaven, better than father, mother, brother, sister, lands, inheritances, his own glory and name, yea nor his own life, sure he must be the man to whom life eternal, and a hundred fold more is due by the promise of our Savior, Matthew 19.28, 29. yea he doth more than merit life eternal, he is free of self, any aim to pleasure, profit, honor, or any created thing, and minds God only as his end; but can his end, though never so good, justify his heresy, or his dying for a lie? let Celsus, or any Libertine, shew what end the fathers had in killing their sons and daughters to God? the Holy Ghost saith, they sacrifice to devils, not to God, but they would not say they intended to gratify the devil, but to serve God in giving the dearest thing they had for God; and could their end be pleasure, profit, honor? to look on these, except in a spiritual fury, and mad zeal, that Satan inspired them withal is folly, for there was no pleasure in it but sorrow, no gain, but to lose a sweet child, but it purchased to them great glory to be said to love their Lord God, above the fruit of their body, and to give the fruit of their body for the sin of their soul.

Religio tantum potuit suadere malorum.

That they might be delivered from the torment of conscience they were under, and the fury and hellish zeal of not sparing the flesh, and losing the life for an heresy, which the heretic knows through the glimmering of a conscience deluded, to be a heresy, but will revenge, on a contrary sect, of a contrary opinion, desire of glory, and a name of knowledge, of a great wit, singular holiness blind the light, and what was their end who baked bread, and warmed them selves with a part of an Ash tree, and of the residue made a God and worshipped it? It is a vain thing to ask what rational end a man hath in these, for God hath judicially shut his eyes and his heart, as the devil hath run away with his natural wit.

2. It is bad divinity to say there was no other cup offered to Christ, but the cup of temporary death offered to all the Martyrs, as if Christ suffered not the wrath of God, and death, due by justice, to all the Elect, whose sins he bare, he must think basely of Christ, the grace of union and of unction of whom it is said, Isaiah 4.2. He shall not be discouraged, who teacheth that the fear and apprehension of death temporary caused him sweat blood, and complain, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? and what comfort have we in Christ's death, if he suffered not that which is equivalent to eternal wrath? and if he suffered no other death than a godly Martyr did, whereupon Minus Celsus goeth on to extol heathens, who died worthily for the hope of eternity, as Anaxarchus, who bad the enemies beat the Behows, not Anax archus, when they were hammering him alive with iron hammers, and Hannibal who, lest he should come into the hands of the Romans, drank the poison which he carried under a pearl in his ring, hoping for immorality: these and the like serve to equal the death of Hannibal and Jesus Christ, and to make Anazarchus, Hannibal, Empedocles, Seneca, who Judas like murdered themselves, to be freed of servitude, and upon the lean and empty hope they had of eternal life, to have died concientia non mala, with no ill conscience; for neither pleasure, profit, nor honor, but for the hope of life eternal, as the Martyrs of the devil do, especially Servetus who died roaring and crying like a hopeless beast; as if there could be a good conscience in Hannibal, or any heathen, who knew and heard nothing of a conscience sprinkled in the blood of Jesus, and purged from dead works, to serve the living God, as if heathen self-murderers, who against the Law of nature kill themselves, deserved no more to be punished by the Magistrate the Minister of God, than a godly innocent heretic burnt for blaspheming of the Trinity and the Son of God: as a despairing dog Servetus died, and that they had efficax signum conscientia non malae, they had truly a good conscience, were free of hypocrisy, or vain-glory, or any bad end in killing themselves, this serves as much to free the most desperate and hellish murderers, from the sword of the Minister of God as heresy: so Celsus plays the Atheist egregiously in setting self-murderers, Hannibal, Seneca, Empedocles, slaves of vain-glory up at the right hand of God with Christ. But if Celsus would but offer a shadow of an argument, it should be thus, Innocent men that die for no worldly end, and will both willingly be killed, and kill themselves with their own hands, for no end but to obtain life eternal, and because they will not do that which an erroneous conscience, stuffed with arrogance, pride, self-adoration of learning, zeal, and a name, judgeth to be sin, are not to be punished by the sword, but such are heretics willing to be Martyrs for the devil, and heathen that kill themselves to obtain eternal life; ergo, the major is false, the assumption bloody and unjust, the conclusion blasphemous and Atheisticall.

3. Consider how Celsus proveth that the heretics that die for heresies is not taken with vain-glory, and for a name, because a heretic dies infamous and filled with reproach, but make an argument of that, he that dies for that which, in the opinion of the contrary side, is infamous and reproachful, cannot die for a name among men, and vain-glory; but he that dies for heresy, dies so, ergo, The major is most false, for to die for heresy in the estimation of the heretic, and of all of his opinion, and of all, that for all after generations shall be of his opinion is no reproach, but an everlasting name to the heretic so dying, and a name and glory with men is do,xh| an opinion, and is coined, lives and breaths in the conceit and brain of men; we all say, Lucretia, Seneca, Cato, died for vain-glory, for to the Romans it was glorious, yet they died truly and really infamous; for Christians, who know what true honor and true liberty is, say and truly think, they died infamous, and shameless murderers and slaves to the people, and the air and breath of the people's mouth, and their empty plaudit.

4. Nor will any man (far less an heretic) willingly choose the destruction of his own soul.

Answ. An Atheist sticks not to contradict God, Prov. 8. 36. All they that hate me love death; but false teachers and heretics, hate wisdom and Christ, Deut. 13.3. not to follow God is to hate God, he denies the Lord that bought him, he is proud, destitute of the truth, a vain and unruly talker, reprobate as concerning faith, leads captive souls, and such cannot choose the fear of the Lord.

2. He speaketh like an heathen; for the will of heretics and of all godless men is captive, and the will they have is to serve the devil, and though we could not tell determinately what end an heretic hath, in dying for his heresy, it cannot prove his innocence.

Yea the Donatists killed themselves, and cast themselves down head-long from an high place, they did that (saith Mr. Celsus) out of obstinacy and malice to be avenged on Catholics, and bring them under the guilt of persecutors, which was an evil conscience in them, but there can be no evil conscience in an heretic dying for his opinion, an heretic dying for his opinion cannot have an ill conscience, he prays to God, commends his safety to him, acknowledgeth Christ his Son, his Redeemer and Savior, sings hymns and praises in the midst of the flames of fire.

Answ. That is a conjecture that Donatists and Circumcellions killed themselves to be revenged on Catholics, Augustine neither Ep. 6.1. nor Ep. 50 nor elsewhere makes mention of such an end they had, but because they believed it was happiness to die for Christ, yea though so it were, praying and praising, and crying, The temple of the Lord, will he say there can be no malice in thieves, murderers, adulterers, perjured persons, walkers after other Gods, and such as kill their sons to the devil in Tophet, Jer.7.3,4,5, 9.30,31. and in bloody persecutors, who said the Lord be glorified, Isaiah 66.5. and in these that think they do God service, in killing the Apostles of the Lord, John 16. 1. the man speaks not like a divine but an Atheist, and most that are for Libertinism, to me are Atheists.

2. When Servetus and other Martyrs of the Devil died, we heard nothing of their singing of Psalms in the fire. Paul Best a swearer, and a drunkard, who denies the Deity of the Son of God, is not one of these. But Celsus (I conceive) thinks the godly martyrs that the bloody mother of fornications Babylon hath killed, for the testimony of Jesus, were heretics, because they had no certainty of faith for the truths they were burnt for, because the faith of Libertines is Skepticism.

3. Heretics may, before men, pray and acknowledge a Savior, but as the formal of heresy, so of sound faith is in the heart, and unseen to Celsus, and therefore this argument is but a conjecture, and so Paul, 2 Tim. 3. saith, those that depart from the faith, have but a form of godliness, and deny the power thereof.

4. Though heretics acknowledge a Redeemer, which yet may be questioned whether they do all so, even those who deny the Lord that bought them, yet these arguments of Celsus and Libertines plead for liberty of conscience, not only to heretics, that acknowledge a Redeemer, but to all, to open blasphemers, apostates from the Christian faith to Judaism and Mohammedanism, for should any Christian turn Jew (as some have done, and pray to God, and be willing to die for Judaism and acknowledge the Messiah to come, Libertines can no more make a window in this man's conscience to see his end in so doing, and know infallibly that neither pleasure, profit, nor honor led him, but mere and only principles of Religion, in regard places in the New Testament cite passages of the Old so far, seemingly, to reason contrary to the scope of the Prophets, then you can see to the conscience of a heretic, and Religion is to be compelled in no man, one or other, nor the sword or violence used against any; though Celsus and the Belgic Remonstrants think false teachers may rather be banished and imprisoned, lest they pervert the faith of others. But if they yield any corporal restraint or violence may be used against false teachers, they fall from their cause and lose all their arguments for one degree of one violence (though banishment be cousin Germans to death, and to some who cannot live and subsist but in England, as there are many such, far worse) can no more be used against the conscience, then forcing of ten degrees, or tormenting deaths.

But (saith Celsus) Heretics that die for their heresy are stupid and drunken. But how can stupidity and malice be in one, (saith he) malice is not without certain knowledge, stupidity deprives men of knowledge, and render them blocks, can ye find a man who willingly and wittingly makes defection from God and resists the truth against his own conscience, and yet is so stupid that he knows not what he doth, and can endure foolishly to die for maintaining a lie?

Answ. If the Author were not stupid, he would not declare himself so Atheistically ignorant of spiritual stupidity; for highest malice and a hardened and fattened heart, eyes, ears, and a heart that cannot see, hear, or perceive, and so are spiritually stupid, do not lodge sundered one from another, Isaiah 6. 9, 10, 11. hath this man read the word, Isaiah 29. 9. Stay yourselves and wonder, cry ye out, and cry, they are drunken but not with wine, they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10. The Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of a deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes; the Prophets and your Rulers, the Seers hath he covered, and yet these same were deep hypocrites, and malicious opposers of the ways of God, enemies too, and persecutors of the true prophets sent of God. v. 13. and who were these but Scribes and Pharisees, in whom there was as much malice against Christ and his Disciples, as can be in the devil, or such as sin against the Holy Ghost? as may be seen, Matthew 13, 14, 15. Matthew 12. 31, 32. Matthew 15. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9. And God poured the spirit of slumber on the Jews, Rom. 11. 7. 8. and there was superlative malice in them against the known truth, Act. 13. 45. 46. and blasphemy, Act 14. 2, 3, 4, 5. and yet these men in evil, and as touching literal, knowledge know well what they were doing (though they were spiritually blocks.) See Matthew 2. 4, 5, 6. John 7. 28. John 3. 2. They privily bring in (2 Pet. 2.) damnable heresies, they make merchandise of you with fair words, then they wanted not devilish wit enough. And 1 Tim. 4. 1. They speak lies out of hypocrisy and the doctrine of Devils, forbidding meats and marriage, there is wit, for these look like singular mortification, yet they have a conscience so stupid, as it were burnt with a hot iron.

This also is gross ignorance in Libertines, that they think those who sin against knowledge, and conscience and out of malice, as those that sin against the Holy Ghost, do not sin through ignorance also, which is most false, for the most malicious sin against knowledge hath an interpretative ignorance conjoined with it, as the Pharisees who sinned against the Holy Ghost, in crucifying Christ (some of them as is clear, John 8. 28. John 9. 40, 41 and else where) yet they sinned ignorantly also, for had thy known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory, I Cor. 2. 8.

C H A P. IX

Of Liberty of prophesying of erroneous indictment of Conscience that
it is not our Rule.

But we judge that Heretics admonished and convinced of their error do sin on the borders, at least, of the sin against the Holy Ghost, in regard they be auvtokata,kritoj self condemned, as Paul saith, Tit. 3. 10. A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition, reject. 11. Knowing that he, that is such, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. Where the Apostle saith, an admonished and wrought upon heretic, who is convinced of the truth, and yet still resisteth evxe,straptai, He is perverted, or subvertted, desperately perverted, like a building thrown down to the foundation. 2. he sinneth, as condemned of himself, that is, judged and condemned by his own conscience, and so sinneth willfully, and with a high measure of light, but he shutteth his eyes against the light and known truth, and resisteth it.

The Heretic here spoken of, Tit. 3. 10. is not the man who moves such questions (say they) as he knows to be vain and light as Arminians say. For as Vedelius saith, he expressly speaks of an heretic.

It is a question, if any be called an Heretic in the word, because he moves such questions. 1. The Heretic here is subverted, and so turned off the foundation Christ. But he that moveth vain and unprofitable questions can at best, but build his hay and stubble upon the foundation Christ; now such a man may be builded upon the foundation, and saved, though the fire destroy his work, and so he is not turned off the foundation. Yea, if he wittingly and willingly move vain and light questions he cannot be saved, nor doth that follow, for his knowledge of the levity of these questions aggravates his sin, but cannot cause to amount to a sin so high as to subvert the mans faith, because he may keep the foundation, though he hold these vain and light opinions, for they are not in themselves destructive of the foundation.

2. There is no mention, nor any hint here of vain and light questions, but of admonished heretics, therefore Eusebius 1. 4. c. 13. refers it to those that deny Christ's divinity, to Marcion and Cerinthus, and they say John would not stay in the stoves with Cerinthus, and Polycarpus his disciple would not speak with Marcion, but said, I know thee to be the first borne of Satan.

3. It is here to be noted, that these Authors also make the conscience, though erroneous even in fundamentals, the rule of faith, if the person believe that he worships God according to the rule of the word, and there be some moral honesty in him, and so teach there should be a toleration of all heretics, then no man is the heretic, but he who professeth points of truth, which he believeth to be lies and untruth; but so there is not an heretic in the world, but the devil, and such as profess a false Religion, before men, which in their conscience they believe to be false. But the Apostle saith, 1 Tim. 3. 1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times men shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits (Popish Priests and Familists) and doctrine of Devils,

2.Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with an hot iron, 3. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats. Now a seared conscience burnt with an hot iron may and doth teach marriage to be unlawful to some, and do believe it for a truth, that Church-men should not entangle themselves with the affairs of this life, such as marriage and care of children, because Pastors go a warfare for Jesus Christ, yet the text saith, they that so teach are seducers, who with a seared conscience, speak lies in hypocrisy, and so must be heretics and worse.

No rule can be falser, and more crooked than the conscience, for if ye must be obliged to follow conscience, because it is conscience, or because right or wrong; if you must follow conscience because conscience, ye must ever follow your conscience, though never so wrong; for the most erroneous conscience is conscience, though the devil should immediately actuate it, yet doth not leave off to be conscience, and to be the rule, and if so, when the conscience of some saith it's good service to God to kill the Apostles of our Lord, because they preach the Gospel, then do persecutors nothing, but what they are in duty bound to do, when they murder the Apostles, because they preach the Gospel; for to follow the rule, which God hath appointted must be a bounden duty. And the same must follow, if the conscience as evil be the rule, for then should men serve God, in sacrificing their sons to God, in community and plurality of wives, whenever their conscience should dictate any such thing to be lawful, though, in itself, it be most contrary to the word of God. If the conscience as good, or as the Arminians seem to say, as principled with moral honesty be our rule, then the conscience as conscience is not the rule, but as it is ruled by moral honesty, this we cannot say, for moral honesty qualifying the conscience as a rule, is not able to render the conscience a straight and perfect rule in supernatural duties, since it is but a natural principle in us, and that a most corrupt one, by reason of sin, and how then should it regulate us in all the ways of the service and worship of God? should it ever oblige us to believe in him, who justifieth the ungodly?

2. Again, the Lord maketh the Law and his revealed will in the word, the rule of all our actions, Deut. 5. 31,32. Deut. 12. 31, 32. Ps. 119. 9. 2 King 10. 31 If that which is called Liberty of prophesying be examined, it is either a liberty of believing, and teachingwhat is intrinsically true according to the word, now this they will not say, for we deny not liberty to prophesy truth to all that are called to publish it. Or secondly, it is a liberty to prophesy what is false, which is conceived to be false, that is devilish license not liberty; sure God hath allowed no such liberty to men to prophesy falsely, and to destroy souls, in this meaning, God hath no more allowed us liberty of prophesying false things, then liberty of killing, whoreing, robbing, or lying. Or thirdly liberty of prophesying is liberty of prophesying truths or falsehood, which yet are conceived to be truth, not falsehood by those who prophesy; nor hath God given so a liberty of prophesying, for every true liberty of prophesying, God hath given to his Prophets and Apostles, if it be a lawful gift, the use thereof is commanded and enjoined to us, as the Arminians say it is in these words, 1 Thess. 5. 19, 20. Quench not the Spirit, despise not prophesying, for they say, the meaning of these words are, Quench not the spiritual sense of the word which any man saith and persuadeth himself he hath from the Spirit of God, that is, either by inspiration or suggestion of the Spirit, or by the help of the Spirit of God, in which sense the Apostles seem to take the word, 2 Thess. 2.2. 1 John 4. 1. Now all the liberty of prophesying is here set upon a brazen pillar of (so it seems to be) and we say (so it seems not to be) but God certainly will not have Nathan, David, Samuel, Ezekiel, in either Old or New Testament, to extinguish the Spirit, or to despise prophesying, but God gave no liberty, nor entered it ever in his heart to command such liberty of prophesying to his Prophets of old, except we say, that God gave to Nathan liberty to say to David, Do all that is in thine heart, build thou the Temple, and the Lord shall be with thee, which was an untruth, and that God had Samuel say of Eliah, he is the Lords anointed, and gave him liberty to prophesy that which was false, whereas the Lord saith to Ezekiel, ch. 2. Hear the word of my mouth, and Jeremiah c. 1. 17. Arise and speak unto them all that I command thee; and thereby binds them up, and denyeth all liberty of preaching or prophesying their own word, or Their own persuasions, even under the notion of the word of the Lord, and doubtless when Nathan exhorted David to build the Temple, and Samuel said, that Eliah was the Lord'sanointed, they spake not that as their own word, but were persuaded that God revealed himself to them, though both were mistaken grossly; so Christ saith to his Apostles, Matthew 28. 19, 20. Go preach, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; he interdicteth them upon the same reason to bring any of their own Commandments flowing from their own Spirit, under any pretence, though they think them right, though Peter should conceive to Judaize a little, Gal. 2. was the mind of Christ, and he might preach it, and practice it, as the mind of Christ, yet Peter and all the Apostles, Matthew 28. are bound up, they have no liberty of conscience to preach their own (videtur) so it seems; for then should our faith be ultimately resolved into men's fancies, and (so thinketh our Reverend Saltmarsh, or Wil. Del) and not into the word of God. Libertines say their Goddess, their Diana, is strangled and fettered, and the Spirit quenched, if this liberty of prophesying be denied to them; but to restrain liberty of sinning and lieing, is no violence done to the spirit of prophesy, but this exposition calleth the fancies of men the spiritual sense of the word of God, as Familists and Antinomians in England father their dreams upon the Spirit of God. So Pet. Stairie, who ordinarily preacheth the rovings of his own fancy, taught 29. Oct. 1647. before the House of Commons, after the Houses passed a brave Ordinance for Liberty of Conscience and Prophesying, that the House should not oppose, or resist any thing that pretended to Christ. Now if he spake this to the House as a Parliament, he forbad to hinder a Simon Magus, an Hymenetus, a Philetus, a Jezebel, a Jesuit, to preach what he pleased, for Jesuits pretend to Jesus both name and thing, all the Familists, Socinians, Arians, Libertines, and false teachers, who deceive (if it were possible) the very elect, pretend to Jesus Christ, and to the anointing. If he spake to the people, they are not by the word of truth, nor all the Ministers in England to refute the false Teachers that pretend to Christ, for to refute them, were to oppose and resist them, for if they pretend to Christ, you know not since ye are not infallible, but they may be teachers, sent of God, though they be the most errand seducers that ever spake, and so they are no ways to be resisted, who resist the truth.

2. Quench not the Spirit, must have this meaning, Quench not the dreams of Independents, Libertines, Antinomians, for they persuade themselves they have the Spirit of God and mind of Christ, in all they speak.

3. But this Quench not the Spirit, is, cherish, entertain the gracious motions and inspirations of the Spirit in your selves, and despise not, that is, highly reverence the preaching of the Gospel, separate not the Spirit and the Word, for it is a litotes, where less is spoken but more intended, as Isaiah 50. 5. John 6. 37. but this gloss yieldeth this sense. Despise not the Spirit, that is, believe whatever a godly preacher saith, be it his own dreams and rovings to be the word of God, and reverence it, for he persuades himself it is so, and speaketh them as the oracles of God, though they be his own wind-mills, and sparkles of his own vain-glory. For this, (not to quench, not to despise) is undeniably to believe these prophesyings as the word of God, how then are we to try all doctrines and spirits, if we are to take all for fish that comes into the net? But since you are not infallible (say Libertines) it is an extinguishing of the Spirit to account that to be the spirit of Satan which agreeth not with your spirit, if your authority were infallible, as that of the Apostles was, the answer would have some color, though the Apostles used not that authority to crush liberty of prophesying, but they commend the trying of the Spirits, and since our judgment is not infallible, reason requires that we should not desire other spirits pious and good to be oppressed and suffocated.

Answ. We reject no Spirit, because it agrees not with ours; for our Spirit is not the rule, as Libertines contend, but because it swerves from the oracles of God; if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.

2. This answer saith, that no man now in the Christian Church can try all things, doctrines, and spirits, and refuse the evil and deluding spirits, and hold fast that which is good, and believe the spirits, speaking from God, because it is to extinguish the Spirit (say our Libertines,) since we are not infallible Apostles to judge these Spirits for mad fancies that agree not with our Spirit; we say its impossible to try all things, and hold that which is good, but we must judgefalse spirits to be false spirits, not because they agree not with ours (that is the calumny of Libertines) but because they swerve from the word of truth, though we be not infallible as the Apostles were, but this reason supposeth that because of want of Apostolic infallibility we should try all spirits, and all doctrines, but condemn, reject, and refuse none, as spirits of the devil, for that is to extinguish the Spirit, and pitch and settle our faith upon no doctrine, but like Skeptics fail about the coasts of truth all our life, and die in no belief at all.

3. It is false that the Apostles did not crush your liberty of prophesying, for Paul, 2. Thess. 2. 2. extinguish those spirits who would shake the faith of the Thessalonians, to make them believe that the day of Christ was at hand, for he forbids to believe them, and John extinguisheth the Familistical and Antichristian spirits, who denied Christ to be come in the flesh.

O but (say Libertines) these false spirits, knew what they preached to be lies, and yet preached them as from God, and we stand for no such liberty of prophesying nor such spirits as these.

Answ. This is a conjecture, that they believed the day of Christ was not near hand, and yet preached it was near, there is not one shadow in the text, or color hinteth that way: for, Familists and Seducers now, have not so much to say for their dreams as they had, yea, they had much to say, that made them believe that day was near hand, since Christ had said, these were the last days, and the Apostles do writ it, that now were the last times, and that the end of the world was fallen on them, and they preached all they wrote, and so it is rather like they believed the day of Christ was near, and the Antichrist in John's time, had as much as seducers now have, to make them believe that Christ was not come in the flesh, since the blinded Jews alleged all the prophesies of the old Testament as not fulfilled in the son of Mary, and sure they had more to make them believe it, then Gortin, Saltmarsh, and other Familists (whom Libertines (I believe) call a part of the godly party) if they speak according to their conscience, can allege for their new, false, and fleshly visions they preach and print.

4. Though we be not infallible as the Apostles were, yet reason will not say, we should not desire that pious and good spirits, that is, those that call themselves so, but are liars, to be extinguished. For we are to pray that God would cause the unclean spirit, and the false Prophet, Libertines and others, to cease out of the land, and so faith requires, we should try them by the word, and pray and desire they were crushed and extinguished, I mean not in their person, but as touching their false doctrine.

But present yourself (say Arminians) before the tribunal of Papists and they will condemn you of Heresy, and if you allege the Spirit teacheth you, they will answer, is that the spirit which corrupt and mad reason teacheth you? the spirit of the Devil, said the spirit of Christ was the spirit of Beelzebub.

Answ. What inferred Libertines hence against us? this is to place no more power in Synods but directive: Sir, if it please you, this is Gods will. But we hold lawful Synods (which is not in the Synagogue of Rome or Papist) may as well rebuke, exhort, and instruct with all Authority, as Timothy, or any one particular pastor, and this is more than the directive and skeptic teaching of one private Libertine, teaching (with a reserve) convincing and condemning another in a Skeptical way. But all tends to this, Protestant Synods convened in Christ's name, can say no more, but we teach what our judgment is, it may be true, it may be false, yield a Skeptic consent with a reserve to it, that is all, and why? because Protestant Synods convened in the name of Antichrist can peremptorily and tyrannically condemn the truth as heresy, and say they are infallible, and their Synodical decrees are the very word of God, Ergo, Protestant Synods, may not authoritatively command you in the name of Christ to believe and receive their lawful decrees conditionally, after ye find them agreeable to the word of God, there is no consequence here. Prelates condemned the truth as heresy and schism, Pharisees condemned Christ as a Samaritan, ergo, Protestants sound in the faith cannot condemn popery, Familism, and ergo, Paul cannot condemn Elimas as a perverter of the ways of righteousness: this is, as if you would say, a robber cannot by law jure condemn a traveler to render his purse, ergo, a Judge cannot compel this traveler to pay just debt.

We do not instance from the teaching of the spirit, but from the clear word of God.

C H A P. X

Of indulgence in fundamental, or non-fundamental errors.

But say the Arminians, the question is of Heretics, not of those who dare deny the things openly decided in the Scripture, but of those who call in question those things that are, or may be contraverted, There was never an Heretic who called in question whether thieves, drunkards, robbers, railers, Idolaters, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven, or whether God be to be loved above all things, he is not a Christian, he is not an heretic, but worse than a heretic who denies those things that are plain and obvious in scripture. But he that layeth a law upon others, which he must follow under pain of death, imprisonment or banishment in things belonging to liberty of prophesying, which are conjoined with the reverence of God and the scripture, trampleth all prophesies under foot.

Answ. 1. This definition of an Heretic is in question, there be in England who deny all scriptures as no word of God, yet are judged by Libertines, not punishable by man. 2. All things that may be controverted, is wide. Nothing but it is converted, except whether there be a God or not, and many doubt of that: There be even now, who deny Jesus Christ God-man, the necessity of his death, his offices, the immortality of the soul, the resurrection, last judgment, a heaven, a hell, but all to Libertines are uncertain, and the denial of any point, not by the light of reason, but by supernatural revelation, such as these articles, that God is one in three distinct persons, that Christ is God and Man in one person, that he died to satisfy divine justice, that we are saved by his righteousness imputed to us by faith, etc... Is no heresy, but may consist with true godliness, and therefore they give instance in fundamentals which are known by the light of nature, as that thieves, drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, that God is to be loved above all things, now these are principles of natural Theology known to heathens, so that such godly men, to which Libertines would yield an indulgence and liberty, are good moral honest civil men, who believe fundamentals known by the light of nature to Christians and Heathens equally, for civil heathens may have the sound faith of all such fundamentals, and believing moral and natural fundamentals, though they know not Jesus Christ, or possibly never heard of him, may be saved and not be beholden to Christ known as a Savior, so some Libertines tell us, not any man is to suffer death, though he deny and maliciously oppose, all the principles of the Gospel, because these any known no ways, but by supernatural revelation, and the light of faith which commeth from God, but I take the ground of this to be, because supernatural light is above us, and not in our power, but by this reason, Christ should not have rebuked the Pharisees for not believing in him, nor the Sadducees for denying the resurrection, nor should Paul have smitten Elimas with blindness for perverting Sergius Paulus from the faith, for it was not in their power to know or believe otherwise of these Gospel fundamentals that are not believed, but by supernatural revelation, than they did, other Libertines say, they are only Heretics or at least punishable by men, who deny fundamentals of Christian Religion, but are sparing to tell us what fundamentals, whether of law and known by the light of nature, or of Gospel known only by supernatural revelation, so that ere they find the heretic, they must show you the point they deny is fundamental, and its possible that is a difficile business, whether it be fundamental or not, if he go for a Sectary he is a godly man, and his godliness shall prove the point is not fundamental, for this is the logic of our time, such a people are godly, therefore their opinions are against no fundamental point, whereas this is a better consequence; such points are fundamental, ergo, if men twice or thrice admonished do yet willfully go on to maintain opinions manifestly contrary, they are not godly, for the Apostle tells us of doctrine according to godl-ness then must the doctrine soundly believed make the person godly or argue him to be so, but the man let him go for a Saint cannot make or argue the doctrine to be the doctrine according to godliness, if it be not so in itself, and we are inclined, if the man be of our own tribe and sect, to defend his tenets, and not to judge them fundamental errors.

2. We wish much an argument to prove bodily violence, or Ecclesiastical co-action may be used against men erring in points fundamental, but not in non-fundamentals, since God delivers his mind as clearly in non-fundamentals, if not more clearly, as in fundamentals, and the authority of the Lord who commands faith is as great in non-fundamentals, and our obligation to believe no less, than in the most necessary fundamentals; as therefore abstinence from adultery with Bathsheba, and murdering of Uriah in David, is as necessary, necessitate precepti, as the whole course of David's repentance and turning to God, yet it is not so necessary, necessitate medii, for David is a saved Saint, though he abstain not from that adultery and murder, but without conversion from the state of sinful nature to the way of saving grace, it is impossible David can be saved; so to abstain from Idolatry, and to demolish the high places, and to punish those who resort to them is a godly practice, yet though Aaron commit Idolatry with the golden Calf, yea and make the people naked also: and Asa, though he demolish not the high places all his reign, nor punish any for that Idolatry, and did persecute the Seer, yet Aaron was the faithful Priest, and the anointed of God, and Asa and some other Kings heart, were perfect before the Lord, though they fell in these sins, nor were these fundamentals, sins in practice, inconsistent with saving faith, more than errors and teaching of errors in non-fundamentals, to the ruin of many souls doth exclude a possibility of being in the state of saving grace, but it cannot follow, that because teaching and publishing of errors in non-fundamentals is consistent with saving grace, that therefore these non-fundamental sins of murder, adultery, tolerating of Idolatrous high places, persecuting of faithful Prophets, making of a golden Calf, and hallowing of it to be adored as the God that brought Israel out of Egypt, are sins not to be tolerated in the truly godly, such as Aaron, David, and Asa, for then should they be tolerated in the wicked also, for the toleration of such in the godly, because they are not fundamental wickednesses, inconsistent with saving grace, is as destructive and more, because of their extreme scandalousness, to all peace and safety of human societies, and to the duty of the godly Magistrate, as these same sins in the wicked, upon the same grounds publishing of all errors non-fundamental, the toleration of the high places are as inconsistent with peace, destructive and injurious to souls, especially in the godly, as scandalous to other false teachers, as these non-fundamental sins.

But (say they) the reason is not alike in non-fundamental sins, that are expressly condemned by all, Aaron's Idolatry, David's adultery, Asa's persecution, no man ever defended, therefore they cannot be tolerated by the Magistrate without sin, though the acting of these sins may consist with sound faith. But most of non-fundamentals are not clearly determined in the word, in regard of our dullness and natural blindness, and therefore the Magistrate cannot punish the non-fundamental errors, for these which be non-fundamental errors to some godly and learned, are non-fundamental and seasonable truths to others, as godly and learned as they are. But to all the godly and learned, Aaron's Idolatry, David's adultery and murder, Asa's tolerating the high places, and imprisoning the Seer, were sins unjustifiable, and by the light of nature such as no godly Magistrate can tolerate.

But I answer, if this be a good reason, why there is not the like consideration of these sins non-fundamental, and doctrines non-fundamental, because some doctrines non-fundamental are reasonable truths to some godly and learned, and these same are lies and untruths to others, as godly and learned as they; then should also divers fundamental errors be tolerated as well as non-fundamental errors, which Independents, the Masters of this distinction with the Arminians will not say, because to some godly and learned Independents, this is a fundamental truth, that murder, and adultery, and robbery, are not to be tolerated by the Magistrate, that Magistracy is an ordinance of God, but to many Anabaptists as godly and learned as they, it is not only no fundamental truth, but a fundamental error, under our meek Savior's reign, there ought to be neither sword nor spear, but instead of them, plow-shares are pruning hooks, and since Libertines will not have godliness to be valued by soundness in doctrine, but by men's spirits of discerning and charity, Independents are to repute Familists, Socinians, Antinomians as godly and learned as themselves: Now Independents think that Christ God-man came to satisfy the justice of God for our sins, and that Ordinance are necessary for all in this life, yet these, and many the like Familists and Socinians judge fundamental lies, and who have any discerning, and have heard Mr. John Goodwin pray, and seen his writings, which I have done, will repute him as godly and learned as any Independents in England: so I judge with correction; yet he will say the godly and learned Independents in England hold many points to be fundamental truths which he reputes to be fundamental untruths, as namely concerning justification by faith, that the Scriptures we now have by the faith whereof we must be saved, is the word of God. Mr. John Goodwin must say these are fundamental, lies, and many fundamentals in the late Confession of Assembly, I know Mr. John Goodwin in his writings, denyeth to be fundamental all truths.

2. It is not enough to say most of the non-fundamentals are not determined clearly in the word, Libertines we now dispute withal, must say, not any non-fundamentals are determined in the word, but all fundamentals are clearly determined, else they must belie their distinction which Independents in the Apologetic Narration make almost a principle of faith (though I hope it shall never be one to me) that all non-fundamentals are to be believed without a reserve, and all fundamentals with a reserve; for if many non-fundamentals are also to be believed without a reserve, it would have been service to the Church, they had beaten out that Arminian principle a little more, and subdivided non-fundamentals in such as are to be believed with a reserve, and a demure, and such as are to be believed without a reserve, then in some non-fundamentals men are not to be tolerated, and what be these. 2 The distinction should so bear a leg and halt, for then some fundamentals we believe without a reserve, and no toleration is to be yielded in them, but the sword and the club must press faith in these, and we are to believe but some non-fundamentals with a reserve, not all, and indulgence is due to men in some non-fundamentals, not in others; but we know our Brethren's frequent arguing, Independency is not fundamental, ergo, our Brethren should tolerate it, but we deny this consequence; yea Erastianism in its highest sphere is not fundamental, and yet high Erastianism is persecution both of Independency and Presbytery, doth it follow then, it must be tolerated?

3. If the Magistrate cannot punish the error in non-fundamentals, because, in regard of our dullness, they are not clear in the word, so in regard of our dullness many fundamentals in the Gospel are as unclear, and that all acknowledge that Aaron's Idolatry, and David's adultery and murder, are sins unjustifiable, and which the Magistrate by the light of nature is not to tolerate, and that he is not a Christian who denies that thieves and Idolaters who shall not enter into heaven, and that God is to be loved above all, is a great untruth, many Anabaptists there were in Bullinger's time, who taught none but whores and harlots should enter into the Kingdom of God, which is cousin German to this. Again, what is theft, is as disputable, as in the case of usury, and whether the Saints the just and spiritual inheritors of the earth, all things are yours (saith Paul) do rob and steal, if they invade the possessions, houses, monies, and lands of unregenerate and carnal man? whether he be a murderer who sacrificeth his child to God in imitation of Abraham? are as unclear, in regard of our natural blindness, as most of the non-fundamentals: and Anabaptists that are godly and learned, have as much to say from Scripture for denying of fundamentals, as in many in non-fundamentals can plead, why their tenets are true, and though erroneous, yet not punishable; and they should upon the same ground have a toleration for murderers, robbers, thieves, that flow from mere conscience, and religious grounds, and though these practices be destructive to peace, yet with what conscience can the Magistrate punish them as destructive to peace, when it is not clearly determined in the word of God that they are destructive to true human peace? For if they be lawful, and some of them acts of worship, as the actors are in conscience persuaded they are, they cannot be destructive to peace, yea to punish them is tyranny over the conscience, say Libertines. Now I propose these Queries, and desire Libertines to answer them.

1. Should not the Magistrate punish no thefts, no robbery, no murder, but such as are thefts, robberies, and murders, undeniably and uncontroversially to the conscience of all that are members of that society, whether AnaBaptists or others?

2. Should the Magistrate abstain from punishing of that which is false worship, for example sacrificing of a child to God, for fear he domineer over the conscience of a Christian, and so transgress his sphere, and sit down in God's room (which is really murder, and shedding of innocent blood) though it be not so to the man-slayer, but acceptable service to God, and yet punish the same false worship, as murder and destructive to peace, whereas to the actor's conscience, whom he desires to favor, it is not murder and not destructive to peace, does he not really and by his office as great violence, and exerciseth no less a domineering power over the man's conscience, than if he should punish this as false worship?

3. Will, or can notional or mental considerations license the Magistrate to domineer over men's consciences, and exercise soul-tyranny and invade the Throne of God over the conscience, when it is upon the same reasons and arguments of Scripture; as probable that the taking away of a father's head for sacrificing his son to God, is not destructive to peace, nor any breach of the sixth Commandment, as it is probable it is true and acceptable, and worship to God, and though it were false worship, it is as probable that to punish it, is a sacrilegious invading of God's place, as it is an act of justice in the Magistrate?

4. If the Magistrate must believe, as the Libertine doth, doth, and teacheth him, what he will, if it were King and Parliament, and all the Judges in Britain, if they be of the faith of Libertines, what conscience have they to take away the head of a father, who sacrificeth his only child to God, upon mere religious principles, what warrant have they before the tribunal of God to cut off his head, as a peace-breaker, rather than to spare his life as a sacrificer, and a devout, and zealous (whether it be blind zeal or no, the Libertine Magistrate hath nothing to do to judge) worshipper of God? whether or no hath the Magistrate who in that case, killeth an innocent man (according to his own libertine-conscience) greater respect to false peace in a humane society, than to true piety and innocent walking with God, which forbids him to punish any thing that is only to the subject, he punisheth, a mere devout worshipping of God.

5. Upon the same ground, should not the mass, and all the broad worship on earth be tolerated, since it hath far less connection with disturbance of peace, than the Anabaptists children-killing worship of God?

6. If the formal is ratio, the only formal reason and cause why the Magistrate is to use corporal coercion against none now under the New Testament, but is to suffer every man to worship God, as he best pleaseth, because the worship of the New Testament is more spiritual, the Law-giver Christ, a meeker Mediator, than Moses, and there is no warrant now to hinder any man, or lay bands and coactive violence upon Christ's free subjects, with force of sword, to restrain them in one worship, more than another, what reason an Anabaptist's offering his son a sacrifice to God should be restrained in his sacrificing, more than in other acts of worship? is not the man persecuted for his conscience? is not this a carnal, and no New Testament way of restraining him, when he is restrained by the sword? is not the only word of God, and no weapons that are carnal, the way of rescuing men from all false worship, and the only way.

7. Nor can the bloodiness and cruelty of that worship be a sufficient ground, why the Magistrate may restrain the conscience of the devout worshipper, for who ought to sitas Lord Judge above the conscience of this father, and sentence the worship as destructive to peace, or the worshipper as a bloody man? his conscience is under the New Testament, and the Lord his only judge.

But by the light of nature, that the father kill the son to God, is murder, and cruelty.

But I answer, if it be grateful worship to God, it is no more cruelty than to burn a beast to God, and you are to suppose that a godly Anabaptist, hath warrant from God for that worship, as well for burning of beasts, and offering yearly thousands of bullocks and sheep to God, in memory of Christ once already sacrificed for sinners, and that there is in it neither cruelty to beasts, nor hurt to the Commonwealth, that the Magistrate can restrain, for though there be no reason at all for the worship, ex natura rei, if we consider the worship itself, yet there is such reason to tolerate the worship, so as if the Magistrate restrain, he tyrannizeth over the conscience, and a bloody conscience is a conscience incapable of violence, and as immediately in the New Testament, subject to God only, not to the sword, as a good conscience, then if the sword can strain no conscience as conscience; how can it squeeze a conscience wading in bloody son-butchery more than any other conscience?

8. If the Magistrate's punishing of any for his conscience be a violent compelling of him to sin, to worship or to forbear worship against his conscience, how will Libertines clear Magistracy in the Old Testament, from being intrinsically a sinful ordinance, for the Magistrate in the Old Testament in stoning to death the seducing Prophet, and the blasphemer must compel him to sin against his conscience, and to profess Jehovah, not Baal was the true God, whereas the seducer believed in his conscience the contrary, since to compel men to sin is intrinsically sinful, let Libertines answer the query, if God ever in Old or New Testament could command sin, or if there was ever such a thing heard that a Magistrate might by his office command men to sin, or then punish them?

9. Let Libertines answer if Arminians extend not liberty of prophesying as far as men's lusts can carry them, in these words, But to suffer every man (say they) to assert publicly in Religion every thing is perilous. Why its for either that which he asserteth is true, or false, if it be true, why admit we it not? why do we imprison the Author thereof? this injury reflects upon God the Author of truth: if it be false, the truth shall easily overcome it, or, of itself it shall melt like wax before the Sun, if ye offer violence to it, ye strip Religion of its glory, and furnish oil to error. Whether is not reason as strong to refute errors fundamental as non-fundamental? whether if ye offer violence to truth in fundamentals, as well as in non-fundamentals, ye strip Religion and truth of its glory, and furnish oil to error?

They go on and tell us, We need not ever be in learning those that are clearly determined in the word; for they are clear, open, and of undoubted truths in the Scripture, in other points (not fundamental) a Christian is ever a disciple and a searcher, not that he doth ever doubt and hesitate, but because, though for the present he neither doubt, nor hath cause of doubting, yet can he not be sure of these points, with such a certitude, which is free of all danger of error, and therefore he is often to examine these according to the rule that cannot err, and so it is enough before God that he may be said ever to learn, and to come to the knowledge of the truth, as far as frailty in this life can permit.

Answ. 1. There is then no stability of faith, but in two or three points, in which all Papists, Lutherans, Antitrinitarians, Arians, Socinians, Libertines, Familists, Sabellians, Nestorians, Macedonians, Arminians, Antinomians, Seekers, Enthusiasts, AnaBaptists, etc... agree, and make one true Church, believing what is necessary for salvation, and holding the foundation Christ, and we have no divine faith of the miracles that Christ wrought, that the old world perished with waters, which God speaks as clearly in the word, as he doth fundamentals.

But Libertines should distinguish the formal reason of believing truths, which breedeth an obligation, and the necessity of believing, for the one only formal reason of believing, both fundamentals and non-fundamentals, is thus, saith the Lord, For we are as much obliged to believe non-fundamentals that are clear, as that there were eight persons saved in the Ark, and the old world drowned with waters, Sodom burnt with fire, as to believe fundamentals, that there is no name whereby men may be saved, but by the name of Jesus, for the Authority of God speaking in his word and his command doth equally oblige to both, but there is no such necessity so absolute in believing non-fundamentals, as in believing these, without the knowledge whereof, we cannot be saved, but it never followeth that errors in non-fundamentals published and taught to the ruin of the souls of many, they having such a strong connection and influence on the knowledge of fundamentals, are to be tolerated since our sinning here doth as equally and strongly strike against the authority and express command of God (at least in most things of that kind) as in points fundamental, and therefore the Magistrate who is to look to the honor of God as a Christian, and peace of societies in all, is as much obliged to punish, clearly opened, non-fundamental as fundamental false doctrines.

C H A P. XI

Of the obliging power of Conscience.

Libertines bewilder themselves, and the Reader, both touching an erroneous conscience, and the obligation thereof, Mr. Williams saith, Such a person (whatever his doctrine be, true or false) suffereth persecution for conscience; as Daniel was cast into the Lions den, and many thousand Christians, and the Apostles were persecuted, because they durst not cease to preach and practice what they believed was by God commanded.

But this is a foul mistake, Daniel suffered not for conscience simply, because he practiced what he believed to be truth, but because he practiced what he truly congruenter Dei voluntati revelatae, congruously and agreeably to the revealed will of God, he believed, and the like is to be said of the Apostles, not the conveniency, and commensurableness of their practice, and their conscience simply, but their believing, tali modo, such a way made their sufferings to be sufferings for righteousness' sake; for then must we say that Paul persecuted with the tongue, the Corinthians for their conscience, 1 Cor. 15.34. Awake to righteousness and sin not, I speak it to your shame, for some have not the knowledge of God. Those that denied the resurrection, through error of conscience, said the dead shall not rise again, for Paul proves by strong arguments that the dead shall rise, and so takes away the error of their conscience, why then puts he shame and reproach on them, and names them fools, and void of the knowledge of God? and such as believed in vain? it was not in their power to correct the errors of their conscience, and if they maintained, what they believed in conscience, was true (as by Paul's demonstrating the truth to their conscience is evident) they were persecuted for righteousness, if out of mere innocent and faultless ignorance, they denied the resurrection, Paul should deal more gently with them, than upbraid them as fools and Epicures who said, Let us eat, for tomorrow, we shall die, if they did all believe the Resurrection, and yet professed the contrary, there was no need to take pains as he doth to prove it.

Saul killed the Gibeonites out of zeal to the children of Israel: It is like the blind ignorant zeal he had, thinking the Covenant that Joshua made with them, did not oblige the posterity, was the cause of his murdering of them, yet he suffered not in his sons that were hanged for that blind zeal, as righteous, and following the rule of his conscience in that.

But touching an erring conscience, the question is not whether an erroneous conscience doth so tie, that we must do nothing on the contrary, nor is the question whether the nearest actually obliging rule, be conscience; the Arminians tell us, Though the word of God, of itself, and by itself, have power to oblige, yet it actually obligeth no man, except it be understood, and so is believed to be understood, after we use all possible diligence and prudence, for no man is obliged to follow the true sense of the word against his conscience, though it be erroneous but we think the word of God is both the farthest and nearest, and the only obliging rule, and that the ditement of the conscience doth neither bind potentially nor actually, but is a mere reporter, a messenger and an official relater of the will and mind, to God, to us, and all the obliging power is from the word, as the messenger of a King and Judge, is not the obliging rule that ties the subject, or the Heralds' promulgation of the Law, is no obliging rule, for promulgation of Heralds, is common both to just and to unjust laws, and certainly unjust laws from a just Prince lay no band on the conscience or on the man, far less can the promulgation as the promulgation lay any bands on the conscience, the word of a Messenger and Herald is at the best but a condition, or the approximation of the obliging power to us, but all the obliging power is from the King and the Judge. It is most false then, that these Libertines say, that the word doth not actually oblige, except it be understood, for the understanding, information, and indictment of conscience, doth not add any actual obligation to the word that it had not before, it only is a reporter, to carry both the word and the actual obligation to the man; the Herald promulgating the law, adds no obligation actual or potential to the law that it had not before, only it makes an union, in distance, and near application and conjunction between the actually obliging law, and the understanding knowledge of the person, orsubject, who is obliged to keep the law, though it be true the fire cannot actually burn, but as timber is cast to it, yet the fire hath from its own nature both potential and actuall burning, not from the act of casting the timber in the fire; nor is this a concludent reason, no man is obliged to follow the true sense of the word against his conscience, though erroneous, ergo, the erroneous conscience doth oblige, or ergo, actual obligation to obedience is not from the word, but from the conscience; no more than this is a good consequence, no man is obliged to obey the Law in itself, just contrary to the promulgation of an erring and mistaking Herald, ergo, the mistaking Herald's promulgation giveth to the Law actual obligation over the subject, for it only followeth, ergo, we are not to do contrary to the actual indictment of an erroneous conscience, but not obliged to follow the erroneous conscience, nor are we obliged to follow what our conscience saith is true and good, because, or upon this formal reason and ground, that the conscience saith so, more than we are to believe and practice, what the Church or the conscience of others: the Church, the learned and godly say, for we make not the word of the Church the formal object of our faith, but (thus saith the Lord only) because the Church is but a company of men, and so our faith should depend upon men, even though holy and speaking ingenuously what their conscience dictates as true, which is absurd, ergo, by the same reason, what one man's conscience, our own, or others' say, is not the formal object of our faith and practices, for so also our faith should depend on man, not on God. And we say the conscience at its best, is but Regula Regulata not, Regula Regulans, nor ought it to have the throne of God, for God is only Regula Regulans. If it were a rule, it is to be ruled by God, and his word, yea, as we are to try all things and not believe with a blind faith what others say, or their conscience proposeth to themselves and us, as truth, for then we make a Pope of the consciences of men, under the notion of teachers and Church, so we are not to be ruled without trying, and absolutely by our own conscience, but to try its dictates by the word of God, otherwise we make a Pope, and a God of our own conscience.

Some say, as a right informed conscience obligeth to do what it dictates, so an erroneous conscience obligeth to do according to its prescript. Durandus and others saith, ligat non obligat, it bindeth that ye cannot do against it, which some call negative obligation, but non obligat, it obligeth not as a divine rule, which is positive obligation.

Tannerus saith, A conscience that invincibly erreth, both bindeth, that we cannot do against it, and obligeth that we should not follow it. Which hath truth in the matter of fact, a Judge invincibly ignorant of an accused man's innocency, when two or three witnesses do swear he is guilty, doth lawfully condemn the innocent man, having used all possible diligence to find out the truth, and not being able to find it, but this is rather error or ignorance of the fact, than an erroneous conscience, for he proceeds according to the law, with a well-informed conscience, following what the law saith, by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every thing be established. The erroneous conscience so long as it remaineth, by the law of nature, layeth on an obligation on a man, not to do against it, Rom. 14.14. To him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. vers. 23. He that doubteth is damned, if he eat, because he eateth not of faith, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. So Ambrose, our opinion layeth a law upon us. Gammacheus saith it is a vain distinction of binding and obliging, Inter ligationem & obligationem. And that we are obliged to follow an erroneous conscience so long as it continueth erroneous, because here (saith he) we dispute not concerning that which is good, but that which is commanded, But if the conscience dictate that something is to be commanded and to be done under pain of sin, and yet we do it not, we resist conscience, and so we sin, because the obligation is no more to good only, but rather to that which is commanded. The Jesuit Malderus saith the same; Contientiam erroneam & ligare & obligare, because an object materially considered is such, an object by accident, but it is an object perse, kindly when it is proposed by practical reason, for what is not of faith is sin, Gal. 5. 3. I testify to every one that is circumcised, that he is debtor to do the whole law.

Answ. There can be no reason, why conscience, because conscience, or because wicked, more obligeth; than why Will, because wicked will should oblige, since in every wicked conscience actually drawing men to ill, of either heresy or practice, there is something of wicked Will, and though there were nothing of will, or of the affections in an erroneous conscience, yet since conscience as a knowing faculty is under the law of God, an erroneous conscience must be a transgressing conscience, and it is a contradiction, that a faculty sinning should oblige to obedience to the law of God, in the same consideration, because it sinneth. But these School-niceties do not oblige us, we shall be unwilling in any terms to say that God, or, which is all one, the law of nature, layeth on us an obligation to that which is sinful, or to sin, if any think he is obliged to be circumcised, sure he must think himself obliged to eat the Passover also, and to keep the whole Ceremonial law, but that the law of nature obligeth him either so to think, and erroneously believe and practice, the whole Ceremonial Law is another thing. It is true, a doubting conscience, that thinks he is obliged by the law to abstain from eating swine's flesh, is either obliged to eat swine's flesh, or not to eat, for to eat, or not eat, are opposed by way of contradiction, but there is no apparent contradiction but admiteth of some qualification, and modification, set the contradiction in an evangelical sense, as you must, and then it shall be, there be none in the visible Church, but he must either eat in faith, or not eat in faith, he must either be circumcised in faith, etc... For both the Law and Gospel oblige to the action and to all the manner, way, and requisite circumstances of the action, to wit; that it be done in faith, sincerely for God, in a due manner, etc... Now so we say; he is neither to eat simply, nor not to eat simply, but either to eat in faith, or to abstain from eating in faith, and without an erring and doubting conscience: and we are not to do upon a supposition, that the conscience stand erroneous, nor hath the erroneous conscience any warrant at all, nor commission from the Sovereign Lord of conscience, to command you to believe you must be circumcised, or upon the supposal of that faith to oblige you to be circumcised, more than any earthly judge hath a warrant from God to command murder or robbery; nor is it a law of nature, or of God that you must do absolutely and without trying what an erroneous conscience indicts you to do, under pain of sin, nor is it a sin to resist an erroneous conscience by not doing, or suspending the action, more than it is a sin not to obey an earthly judge, when he commandeth beside, and contrary to the law of the supreme Law-Giver. No wonder they make a Pope of conscience, who make the conscience of the Pope the supreme court that obligeth all men on earth. The reason of this error is, Papists (and Libertines join with them in this) dream that as God doth command unerringly, and indeclinably, so he hath communicated to Popes and Heralds, and to every lawful Commander under him, and so to the conscience, that they may unerrantly, and indeclinably also command, but they should remember when power of commanding comes out of God, the fountain of authority, now it looseth its absolute undeclinableness, when it is in conscience, or in any creature, and it is only conditional and limited in the streams, whereas it was absolute and sovereign in the fountain.

2. In the case of an erroneous conscience standing in its vigorous thing, the question is, both, what is commanded, and what is good, for these two are not contrary, but agree well: for the Lord's command to Adam (eat not of this fruit) is to Adam the cause why the not eating is good, and the cause of the obligation to what is commanded also, but only the obligation is (ad modum facii, non ad factum) to the manner of doing, that if we do, or abstain, we do it tali modo, in faith, and persuasion without any jarring between the conscience and the object, but there is no obligation to the fact. On the regular way of doing, I am never obliged to obey God with an erring conscience, or contrary to the indictment of an erring conscience.

3. The material object being sin, and forbidden by the law of God, is an object by accident, even when it is proposed by practical reason, if that reason be erroneous, and misinformed, as it is in this case, the proposing of practical reason, doth not make that to be good or commanded, which of itself was neither good nor commanded, but sinful, it may make it good in the manner of doing, and oblige in the manner of doing, but that is not our question, but whether the practical judgment and conscience remaining erroneous, doth both ligare, bind and oblige to the fact that is sinful, that is denied. And though he that is circumcised upon the supposal of a blind, erring, and Jewish conscience, thinking the law of shadows obligeth when the body Christ is come, he is a debtor to do the whole Law, and to eat the Passover, to sacrifice at Jerusalem, to keep the new-Moons, etc... But how is he debtor? He is this way debtor, what warrant he hath to be circumcised, he hath the same warrant to keep the Passover, tosacrifice, that is, he hath as good reason for to do all, or is as well obliged upon his false principles he goes on, to keep all the law of ceremonies as to be circumcised, or do a part only, but he is erroneously and sinfully made, by himself, a debtor to the whole Law, but God made him a debtor neither to the one, nor to the other, and in God's Court, though if he be circumcised, he must be circumcised this way, that is, his conscience must dictate that God's Law still in force commands him so to do, but this is but a necessity of supposition that falleth upon the manner of the doing, not upon the fact, for no Law of God warranteth him to be circumcised, and no law of God makes him debtor to do all the rest of the law of ceremonies, he is obliged neither to be circumcised erroneously, nor to abstain from circumcision erroneously, but to lay aside his erroneous conscience, and to abstain from circumcision according to the indictment of a well informed conscience.

So we easily answer that ignorant objection of fantastical Sectaries, in needless Pamphlets and Queries, smelling of non-sense and self-conceit, speaking they knownot what: If the sword be used against errors to suppress them, then must the Magistrate command and compel men of tender consciences to sin, and to do against the light of their conscience; for what is not of faith, is sin. And the Spirit himself waits and violates not the liberty of the reasonable soul, by superseding the faculties thereof, but approves every truth to the understanding, and moves the will without violence, with a rational force: Shall man be more zealous for God, then God is for himself? God himself doth not force men, but call them to repentance. --- If the word (calling) be considered, whether will it warrant any further means than arguments, persuasions, and entreaties (make them as forcible as you can) if you hold the fear of punishment over men, it must be the fear of divine punishment, etc...

Answ. For 1. we no where teach that the sword is a means of converting, but the just vengeance that is inflicted by the Minister of God upon false teachers, as upon other evil doers, so it is not destinated by God for spiritual gaining and reducing of heretics that may repent, but for judicial expiation of wrongs done to the flock and Christian society.

2. This poor argument will conclude against all Laws of Magistrates, against murderers, bloody traitors, for the Laws of the Minister of God, the King forbids the English Jesuit to stab his Prince, and compels him to abstain from King-killing, and if this Jesuit abstain from killing his Sovereign Lord, and abstain not in faith, but against the light of his Jesuitical and bloody conscience, which dictates to him, that he is a Protestant Prince and a heretic, and he is obliged in conscience for the advancement of the Catholic cause to stab him, doth the supreme Magistrate compel this Jesuit to sin? and doth he force the Jesuits conscience? for to do in faith hath place in duties of the second Table, as well as in the first, and men out of consciand in faith, and moved by the Holy Ghost's gracious actings are to obey all lawful commands of the Magistrate, as to pay tribute, to abstain from murder, treason, adultery, robbing and stealing, if they be subjects of tender consciences, and why then should the Magistrate compel and force men to these duties which are to be done in faith, and in a spiritual manner? for sure the Spirit forces them not to do these in faith, so the command of the Magistrate moveth every Christian to practice, and act of obedience to men's Laws for conscience sake, and the Spirit moves the whole powers of the soul, both the understanding and the will without violence, with a rational force, and why should the Magistrate then be more zealous for God, then God is for himself? and all this may be said against all Laws in the Old Testament, why should the Magistrate compel men against their faith and conscience not to believe, not to practice any such seducing ways, as to say, Come let us go serve other Gods; Should Moses be more zealous for God, then God is for himself? but the truth is, the Magistrate as the Magistrate doth not meddle with the conscience, not the manner of obedience to Law, whether they be obeyed in faith, or against the light of conscience, that is nothing to him, he commands but the external actions, preach no heresy, no Familism, Socinanism under the pain of corporal punishment; if Pastors obey this charge hypocritically, not in faith, it is their sin, not the Magistrates, he neither commands thus, preach no heresy, in faith and persuasion, nor yet, in no faith, in no persuasion. And Augustine tells us the Donatists objected the same, God compelleth none, but hath given men freewill to obey him, contr. petil. 1. 2. c. 83. Epist, 48. ad vincentum, Contr. Gaudentin. l. 1. c. 25 Contr. Crese. 1. 3. c. 51. which often remind the Reader of, and the Donatists also said this compulsion makes hypocrites, when they are compelled to go to hear the word, Augustine answers, Although some that are compelled to hear remain hypocrites and counterfeit, yet for these, such as are sincere, should not have been left ungathered in.

And for that of God's calling to repentance, he is but an ignorant senseless man who wrote that book. The Spirit waits, (saith he) and violates not liberty. If the meaning be, the Lord is long-suffering and patient, and lets men go on in their sins, and in his own time effectually calleth them, this is a senseless sense, for God waits not on one out of his longanimity and forbearance, lest he should force free will, for the freewill is ever alike impotent, rebellious and refractory, till God subdue it, if the meaning be (as another sense it cannot have) The Spirit waits and violates not liberty, that is, the Spirit waits until freewill be in a good blood and a congruous disposition to obey, and then the Spirit, for fear of forcing of it, if he should come on it undexterously to work it against the hair, catcheth the opportunity when he sees it is not on a strain of rebellion, and in a distemper, and then he draws the freewill without force; the man (I judge) is innocent and incapable of this school heresy of late Jesuits, who devise a Pelagian congruous calling: and this were nothing to the purpose, and should neither have head nor feet to the matter in hand, for the Spirit who can carry freewill, though most rebelliously distempered his way, is not afraid of freewill's contradictorious opposing, but can in every moment subdue freewill without forcing, he never waits on, for such a matter, except there be a time when freewill is to hard a party for the Spirit to yoke withal; or when nature or some preparatory grace makes it easier for the Spirit to conquiesse, consent at one time more than another.

2. God's not forcing of freewill is no rule to the Magistrate not to awe men to abstain from perverting of souls for fear of the sword, for by the same reason, because God's Spirit moves the Saints to be subject to every ordinance of man, Judge, or good Law, for the Lords sake, and for conscience, for he must obey this, Rom. 13. 5. 1 Pet. 2. 13. and the Spirit compels not in these more than in the others; so this argument, God must work faith, give repentance, and make a willing people, ergo, the Christian Magistrate cannot with his authority do it, is all granted. This is but a very rotten rush, a straw, Enthusiasts so argue, God teacheth sufficiently, ergo, the Scriptures and ministry of men are not requisite, the discipline of the godly Magistrate cannot ascend so high as to have influence on the conscience and beget faith no more than the preaching of the word by the Ministers of the Gospel without the Spirit, ergo, the godly Magistrate cannot with the sword keep the external man in outward obedience to Gospel-ordinances, it in no sort can be a good consequence, nor is it good divinity to say with Pelagians and Arminians, that the calling of God extends no further than to arguments, persuasions, entreaties and threatenings, for the calling of God extendeth further than to so much as man can do, in calling of sinners to repentance, but men can act upon the mind, will, and reasonable soul, by arguments, persuasions, entreaties and threatenings, for all that is done by the Ministry of men. But in effectual calling (of which we here speak) it is certain, the Lord infuseth a new heart, a new spirit, draws efficaciously to the Son, which is a further and higher way of omnipotencies, calling and drawing, than all the moral persuasion by argument, entreaties, and threatenings, performable by men or Angels; so this man is either an ignorant or a gross Arminian.

Now from all this, it is easy to expound that character which the Holy Ghost putteth upon the heretic, Tit. 3. 10. he is judged as condemned of himself, that is, the truth is so clearly opened to him, or he may, if he did not wink, and shut his eyes, clearly see and believe the truth, if he did not knowingly, prudently, and willingly resist the truth, and therefore is condemned by his own heart.

But Minus Celsus saith, the words carry a far other sense, to wit, That by sinning he is the author of his own condemnation, because in choosing true Religion, he thinks he hath made a right choice, when he hath chosen a false Religion, being deceived by his own judgment, he falleth into damnation, which, miserable man, he hath created to himself, and in which he chooseth to persist, and therefore is to be eschewed. So it is said, the Jews judged themselves unworthy of eternal life. So I believe the heretic is called self-condemned, because he doth those things that renders himself worthy of damnation. So Castalio. or he is self-condemned, that is, he is damned, though there were none to condemn him but himself. So Erasmus.

Answ. He is self-condemned, who may be condemned by his own conscience, though for the present the conscience be burnt with a hot iron, and the man will not permit it to summon, accuse, condemn, no less than he who is actually condemned of his conscience, for it is a laudable act, and a natural virtue of the conscience to give sentence against a heresy when it ought so to do, as it is a vice of the conscience to be dumb at heresies; but if he love the truth, though he cannot actually condemn the heresy, he is not self-condemned.

The heretic (saith Celsus) is an innocent man, and is not such a man as sins against light, nor maliciously, nor with an ill conscience, nor is his end gain, pleasure, nor an ambitious lusting after a name, he seeth none of these are attainable, yea, it is his desire of life eternal, and his zeal that setteth him on work, and rather or he dishonor God and deny the known truth, and sin against his conscience, he had rather choose torment, and die a martyr, and drink that direful and bitter cup of death, which was so terrible to Jesus Christ, that it caused him to fall to the earth, sweat blood and water. So he, Sol. 14, 15, 16. which if it be true, an heretic is rather an innocent Angel, than a guilty man, condemned of his own conscience. Yet Minus Celsus saith here, he behaveth himself as one worthy of damnation, and damned, though none but himself condemn him, 1 John 3. 20.

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things, It is like then, an innocent man iscondemned, and his company to be eschewed as a pestilent wretched man.

Yet the Arminians say, though discipline is to be exercised on heretics condemned by themselves, yet are they bewitched with a great prejudice--- so as heresy is a vice of nature rather than of free-will. And in another place, only nature, by no fault of heretics void of grace, begetteth these errors, and not freewill despising the help of grace; they are seduced not of their own accord, but by necessity of nature, for they seduce not because they will seduce, but because they cannot seduce.

It needs not an answer, that they say, the Jews judged themselves unworthy of life eternal, not knowingly, for knowingly they did it, Act. 13. v. 45. they spake against the convincing and enlightening Gospel, contradicting and blaspheming. So ch. 14. 1, 2. for which sin against the Holy Ghost, Paul turned from them, and preacheth the Gospel to the Gentiles; yet Minus Celsus will have the Jews to err innocently in that malicious fact.

Answ. To forbid marriage and meats, can hardly be arraigned as fundamental errors, nor the Authors such as must deny the Scriptures to be the word of God, yet they are such as depart from the faith, teach doctrines of devils, speak lies in hypocrisy, and have their conscience burnt with an hot iron; and if heretics be as innocent as their sin, if it be but a fault of nature, as blindness from the womb, or deafness, not of will, but of nature, why are they to be rebuked, accused, condemned of their own conscience? But they little know the heart of man, who find not malice, prejudice, pride, desire of glory, to hold up a faction, often gain and hunger for court to lodge with errors of the mind; and whereas Libertines say we promote truth with blood, we retort it thus, they promote heresy with the sword, and deny thousands of Atheists, bloody men their way, because their purse, the Parliament, the sword, the Army is on their side.

C H A P. XII.

Arguments against pretended toleration.

Hence I proceed to argue thus against this pretended liberty.

Every duty of the Christian Magistrate, hath warrant in the Old or New Testament, which exactly teacheth the duty of Ruler and subject, Father and children, Master and servant, etc...

Argument I.

But toleration of many false ways, and the permitting of men to speak lies in the name of the Lord, and to seduce souls, hath no warrant in the Old or New Testament; ergo, such a toleration is no duty of the Magistrate; the major is clear from the perfection of the word of God; the assumption is proved by a negative argument from the Scripture, it is no where written expressly, or by consequence, to be the duty of the Ruler, therefore it is not his duty to tolerate or permit.

If it be replied, because it is not holden forth in Scripture to be the Ruler's duty to punish men for their conscience, therefore it must be the Ruler's duty to tolerate and permit them.

It is answered, the word of God is as perfect in teaching for what sins the Ruler should not punish, as for what he should punish, the son for the father's transgression, should not be punished by the Magistrate, for that is injustice in men, and he should not punish, except the crime be confessed or proved by the mouth of two witnesses. The Maid that was forced in the field, and had none to help her, is free of punishment also; and so is the man that kills his brother and hated him not before.

Again, if those that seduce souls be most hurtful and pernicious to Christian societies, and those that teach the way of God truly to be useful, the Ruler must not be neutral and indifferent, as touching the use of his power toward either; but as he is for the praise of well-doing by virtue of his office, so must he be an executer of wrath on evildoers, especially such as hurt Christian societies, whose peace and quiet living in all godliness and honesty he is to procure.

Argument II.

That which inferreth necessarily many Religions, many faiths, many sundry Gospels in one Christian society, is not of God. But the toleration of all ways, and many Religions is such; ergo, this toleration is not of God: The proposition is evident, because there is but one old way, Jer. 6. 16. One Lord, on faith, one baptism, Eph. 4. 4. One faith once delivered to the Saints, Jude 3. one truth to be bought, Prov. 23. 23. one Christ, which the Apostles, heard, saw, and handled with their hands, from the beginning, 1 John 1, 1. One name of Jesus, not any other under heaven by which we may be saved, Act. 4. 12. not Jehovah and Malcom, Zeph. 1. 5. not Jehovah and Baal, 1 King. 18. 21. not the true God, and the Gods of the heathen, the Samaritan mixture, 2 King. 17. 33. (2) And this one way we are to keep with one heart, Ezek. 11. 19. with one judgment, one mind, one tongue, one shoulder, Act. 4. 32, 2 Cor. 13. 11, Phil. 4. 2, 1 Cor. 1. 10, Zeph. 3. 9. Zach. 4. 9. Being rooted and established in the faith, Col. 2. 7. Not tossed to and fro, nor carried about with every wind of doctrine, Eph. 4. 14. Without wavering, Heb. 13. 9.

For the assumption: That God hath appointed in his revealed will, that every man should serve God as best pleaseth him, and as it seems good in his own erroneous conscience, and that every man should pervert the soul of his brother, and the Magistrate should put no man to shame for is, is as good as if there were no Magistrate, and that it is against his calling as a Magistrate, is clear, for the Holy Ghost saith, that, Judges 16. 5. Micah had a house of Gods, and made an Ephod, and a Teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his Priest, was from this, v. 6. In those days there was no King in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes; ergo, the Magistrates by his office is to take care that Micah and others serve not God as it seems good to their own erroneous conscience, and so, that another follow not another Religion, and a third, another third Religion, as seems good in every man's own eyes.

If the Magistrate restrain not the high places, for which he is rebuked, as some sacrifice at Jerusalem at God's command; so the people for the most part sacrifice in the high place through the Prince's fault, and then there be two Religions, and upon the same sinful indulgence they may multiply groves, and altars according to the number of their Cities: And as there were false Prophets among the people then, so now, who with fair words make merchandise of men's souls, who by the revealed will of God must be tolerated to do the like, and others the like, till Religions be multiplied: and this we must say, except it be affirmed that under the New Testament: The corruption of our nature is not so great, through neglect of Magistracy to do what seems good in our own eyes under the New Testament, and to run a whoring from God to other high places as they did, and if so, neither should there be a Magistracy under the New Testament to restrain us in ways of conversation touching the second Table, to wit, to hedge men in from robbing and stealing, from incestuous Marriages and Polygamy, upon mere conscience; for if the Saints be the only just owners of the earth, as many now hold, it is no more punishable by the Ruler, as robbery, that a Saint take the Ox, Ass, Monies, Possessions of his neighbor, who is a carnal and wicked man, than that he take of his own goods for his use, when he is naked and starving, which by the Law of nature he ought to use before he famish, and incestuous Marriages are to some consciences as unpunishable now, as when Cain and Abel married their own sisters; and if conscience ought not to be forced in one thing, neither can violence be offered to it in any thing that unfainedly pretends to conscience.

Argument III.

That indulgence and forbearance of all from the Ruler, which lays an undeniable ground for Skepticism, Fluctuation, and doubting in matters of Religion, is not of God. But such is toleration of sundry Religions, ergo,

The major is thus proved: True Religion suggesteth an avsfa,leia( and a perfect understanding, Luke 1. 3. knowledge and persuasion of faith, Rom. 14. 14. 23. faith by many infallible tokens, Act 1. 3. Full persuasion, Rom. 8. 39. II Tim. 1. 12, II Tim. 3. 16, 17. All riches of the full assurance of understanding, Col. 2. 2.

The assumption I thus prove; Because the Libertines say, that special and principal ground of no indulgence to false Prophets under the Old Testament, was because the Prophets were infallible, God himself who only knows the heart, designed the false teacher, and the blasphemer by immediate resolution from his own oracle, and made it out of question whether that was heresy or no, and whether presumptuously against the light of conscience the man held, professed and taught others so to do, and believe as he did: So Arminian Libertines: So Minus Celsus; So Vaticanus: So John Goodwin, and the English Libertines.

But now since the Prophets and Apostles fell asleep, no Magistrate, no Synod is infallible, all men are apt to deceive, and be deceived, for whether in fundamentals or non-fundamentals: none now can challenge Prophetical or Apostolic infallibility, the Synod condemning Socinians, Familists, as heretics are not infallible, but may as rather be the heretics, as those whom they condemn, for they have not monopolized the Holy Spirit to themthemselves, so say they, we have no immediate Oracle to determine heresy: and what we believe in all, except some few fundamentals, we are to believe with a reserve, leaving room to a new contrary light say the Independents, yea but it holdeth in believing fundamentals, as well as non-fundamentals, for in neither have we Prophetical infallibility and immediate Oracles, and Scripture shows we have as great darkness, blindness of mind, natural fluctuation to believe nothing in supernatural fundamentals in the Gospel, as in non-fundamentals, but with trepidation and doubting of mind, we no more having monopolized the Spirit to us than Sectaries, nor Sectaries more than we, in the one than in the other, in fundamentals, than in non-fundamentals: whatever we believe, upon this principle of Reciprocal Toleration, both we and Sectaries are to believe with a special reserve to change that faith with the next new Moon, when contrary new light shall appear, so are we taught to have faith of nothing, but to be tossed to and fro, and to be carried about with every wind of doctrine, with wavering, not rooted, nor established, nor fully persuaded of any thing, contrary to Ephes. 4. 14. Hebrews 3. 19. Coloss. 2. 2. 7. Roman. 14. 23. II Timothy 1. 12. And this destroys faith, and makes it a mere conjecture, and an unsettled opinion, with a fluctuation of mind, to wait the tide of a new contrary light, and send this old faith away, and admit of another, yet so as to lodge that new one with a moveable reserve, and so must we live and die doubting, and mere Nullifidians.

Argument IV.

That which destroyeth all our hope, comfort of the Scriptures, zeal, constancy, and rejoicing in suffering for the truth, for Christ and the Gospel is not to be held, nor is it from God.

But toleration of sundry Religions is such, ergo, The Proposition is clear for the places of Scriptures placing these Christian graces in believers, as Heb. 5. 19, 20. I Pet. 1. 3. I Thess. 5. 8. Rom. 15. 4, 5. Rom. 12. 11. Rom. 5. 1, 2, 3. Eph. 3. 1. Phil. 1. 12, 13. Heb. 10. 33, 34. Matth. 19. 29, 30.

Now toleration lays this ground as a principle, Men are not to be troubled for their conscience, because they believe, hold, publish, and teach what they do right or wrong, according to their conscience, be it erroneous, or not erroneous; and their zeal, hope, persuasion, comfort, carrieth them to undergo the reproaches of Heretics, Seducers, false Prophets, imprisonment, torture, death, burning quick, rather than they would sin against known truth, and offend against a conscience though erroneous, yet because the sufferers are not infallible, and it may be a lie, they believe, publish, and suffer for, their hope may be grounded on a lie, their comfort not bottomed on the Scripture, and so false hope and comfort, their rejoicing in sufferings, and undergoing torture, and violent death, but fleeting and counterfeit joy, their zeal without knowledge, a bastard zeal, having nothing to do with the word, and Gospel-promises; but in the bottom, as contrary to them as light is to darkness: for what any Saint or Professor believes and publishes, he is to believe and publish, and die in it, and for it, with a faith that the contrary may be a truth of God, and so to be tolerated and born with: now the hope of the hypocrite is therefore compared to the spider's web, to a broken tree, to a blasted olive tree, his joy to a night vision, a dream, the cracking of thorns under a pot, because both hope and joy, and all his comfort is grounded on an erroneous conscience, a lie, an imagination, not on the word of God.

Now so is the joy, comfort, and hope of all Religions which Libertines contend must be tolerated, they confess they may be truths, they may belies, yet if they be punished for them, they suffer persecution for righteousness, for Christ, for truth.

Argument V.

That which taketh away all ways of removing Heresies under the New Testament, both by the sword, and refuting of gainsayers by the word, all rebuking, all avoiding of them, is not of God. But such is this pretended Toleration, ergo, It is not of God, the major is evident of itself.

The assumption I thus prove: Therefore the Magistrate should not punish Heretics, because he cannot do it in faith, for he not being infallible, he cannot certainly and undeniably know that he punisheth the man for that which is a Heresy, or for that which is a truth, and so while he is plucking up Tares, he may be plucking up Wheat, and so he cannot in faith punish him, say they.

But this reason strongly evinceth, according to the way of Libertines, the gainsaying heretic is not to be refuted, nor to be sharply rebuked, that he may be sound in the faith: nor to be avoided as self-condemned, contrary to Titus 1. 11, 12, 13. Titus 3. 10. Romans 16. 17. II Timothy. 2. 14, 15. I Timothy 6. 3, 4. Matth. 22. 29, 30, 31, 32. I Cor. 15. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc... because whatever any Christian professor doth, as well as the Christian Magistrate, he must do it in faith, Rom. 14. 23. otherwise he sinneth.

And it is no less sin (I speak not of the degrees) to refute, judge, and condemn, rebuke and avoid a brother as a self-condemned Heretic, when it is not evident to the conscience of Pastors, Synods, or any private Christians, who may refute, admonish, and rebuke Heretics by the word of God, Titus 1. 11, 12, 13, Titus 3. 10. Rom. 16. 17. that he is an heretic, for they may be reproaching and speaking against such as are sound in the Faith, and Wheat; not heretics and Tares, for ought they know, who have not monopolized the Holy Spirit to themselves only, more than these whom they refute, admonish, rebuke and avoid as Heretics, and so they cannot in faith more obey the Holy Ghost's charge, and rebuke Heretics, than the Magistrate can in faith draw the Sword against them.

Argument VI.

The father commands the children now in the state of sin, to learn and hear the judgments and testimonies of God, Gen. 18. 19. Exod. 12. 27. Psalm 78. 3, 5, 6. Joel. 1, 2, 3. and that in order to the rod and bodily punishment, Prov. 13. 24. Prov. 23. 13. Withhold not correction from the child, for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 24. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Damnable heresies bring swift destruction, 2. Pet. 2. 1. The fourth command is given to the father of the house, Exod. 20. in order to son, servant, and stranger, to cause them to keep the Sabbath; which Nehemiah as a father and a ruler practiced by the sword, Nehem. 13. 19, 20, 21, 22. And the like Morally, layeth bands on all Magistrates and Ministers, according to the power of the rod, civil or ecclesiastical committed to them, Eli a father and a judge despised God, 1 Sam. 2. 30. in not correcting his sons, for abusing of their priestly power: his sons might have pretended conscience that they could not live upon the ordinary allowance for the priest, and that the law of nature might bear them out in their practices; yea, every man is to take care that he and his house serve the Lord, nor did Joshua as a Magistrate only, chap. 24. 15. but as a master of a house so speak, then must the Prince, the Parliament, the Magistrates say the like, and take care according to their places as fathers of the common-wealth to do the same.

Hence we thus argue, whatever coercive power to command, threaten, promise, punish, restrain, reward, God hath given to parents, masters of families, teachers, tutors, officers in war, Kings and Princes, is the good gift of God and a talent to be employed for the good of souls, and in order to observe the duty of the first Table, every one in order to their station. Because Kings are to bring their glory and honor to the new Jerusalem: it's either Kingly honor and power, which is essentially coactive, or then, it is nothing but that holy rich men that bring their glory to it, Rev. 21. 24. And kings shall minister to the Church. It is either royal service as Kings, or then no more favor is bestowed on the Church, than if private men ministered to the Church, Isaiah 60. ver. 10. And if it be not for the beautifying of the House of God at Jerusalem, in obeying the Law of God, and inflicting death, or banishment on the refusers of obedience, as the Persian Monarch did, Ezra 7. 28. 26, 27, 28. It is not glory brought to Jerusalem. But such a coercive power hath the Lord given, as a talent and gift to parents, masters, teachers, tutors, officers, Kings and Princes: as these places evince.

And thus, that which the master of a Christian family may do, that the father of the Common-wealth the King, in his place may do. But the master of a family may and ought to deny, an act of humanity, or hospitality to strangers that are false teachers, who bring another Gospel, II John 10. whom he must neither lodge, nor bid God speed: because he brings another Gospel; which he otherwise owes by the law of nature to a Pagan, and a man not known to him, Heb. 13. 1, 2. Job 31. 32. Gen. 18. 1, 2, 3, 4. chap. 19, 1, 2, 3. The proposition is clear upon the ground that David as an head of an house, will cut off all liars, and wicked persons out of his house, as a godly King he will also cut off early from the Church (called the city of God) all wicked doers, Psal. 101. For if every Christian family of New England must refuse lodging to a false teacher, must not the Governor and Judges, who have power to command and regulate acts of hospitality, join their civil authority to forbid any master of an house, to lodge such a pestilent heretic? And what is this but the highest degree of banishment? And if the Christian Magistrate who may in law dispose of Inns and lodging of strangers, for the public good, should command any to receive such a man in his house, should he not offer violence to the conscience of the master of the house? And yet if the man were sound in the faith, and should only seem a false teacher to the master of the house, the adversaries would say, the godly ruler may command an act of the law of nature, to lodge a saint, who only upon mistake, and an erroneous conscience is suspected to be an heretic, for they say the Ruler may use his power in duties of the second Table.

3. It appears that the laws of both Kingdoms ordained English or Scottish seminary priests, or Jesuits that come to either Kingdom to seduce men to the Romish faith, to be hanged, to have better ground in the word of God, II John 10. and which forbids any under pain of death to lodge such than the twelfth proposal for peace, that licenceth Jesuits and Priests and so commandeth Protestants to lodge such, if they disturb not the peace of the Kingdome, though they lead millions of souls to hell. For upon this proposal, suppose all England were truly godly, the King might command the just contrary to what the Apostle John extorts, if he follow the consciences of the new Army.

C H A P. XIII.

Magistracy and perpetual Laws in the old Testament warrant the
civil coercing of false Prophets.

Argument VII.

What the Patriarchs, and Godly Princes of Israel and Judah were obliged to do, as Rulers and Princes, and not as such Rulers who were privileged types of Christ, that all Kings and Rulers under the new testament are obliged to do. For quod convenit h auto convenit kata pantos what agreeth to Kings as such, and to Rulers as such, agreeth to all Kings, and to all Rulers.

But Patriarchs and Godly Princes, as Rulers commanded the putting away of strange Gods, as Jacob, Gen. 35. 2, 3, 4. did, and the worship of the true God: as Abraham, Gen. 18. He being a Prince within himself. So repenting Manasses, II Chron. 33. 15, 16. removed strange Gods, and new Alters. Asa removed Idolatry and Queen-mother for her Idolatry, II Chron. 14. renewed the Covenant, and commanded that whosoever should not seek the Lord God of Israel, should be put to death whether small or great, whether man or woman: Jehosaphat is commended, because he took away the high places, and the groves, as other godly Kings are blemished for not removing of them, 2 Chro. 19. 4. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, saith the Prophet, Jehu. Hezekiah removed the high places, the images, groves, brazen Serpent, restored the Passover, worship, Priests. And Josiah destroyed the high places, groves, carved, and molten Images, Idols, and Altars of Baal, the horses dedicated to the Sun, houses of the Sodomites, Topheth, Baal's Priests, 2 Chro. 34. Now that they did this as Princes, not as priviledged types of Christ, and that God requires this at the hands of King Charles, when God shall establish him in his Throne, to take order with Arians, Socinians, Antitrinitarians, Familists, Antinomians, Anabaptists, Seekers, etc... is evident.

2. That they did this as Princes of common equity by the law of Nature; I prove 1. Darius who was undeniably no type of Christ to his great commendation makes a Law, Ezra. 6. 11. I have made a decree that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon, and let his house be made a dunghill for this; and this is commended by the Holy Ghost, v. 14. They prospered through the prophesying of Haggai, etc... according to the Commandement of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus and Darius, and Artaxerxes King of Persia. And Ezra chap. 7. Artaxerxes saith v. 26. Whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the King (enjoining obedience thereunto) let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or unto banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. And Artaxerxes was no type of Christ, yet Ezra addeth in the next verse, 27. Blessed be the Lord God of our Fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the heart of the King, to beautify the house of the Lord at Jerusalem. If it stand good that patrons of liberty say, he was not to bless God for this, he had cause to mourn, that the heathen King being no type of Christ, should intermeddle with that which belonged not to him, to strain the tender consciences of men, and to force Religion upon them with the sword; for chap. 10. v. 7, 8. this is set down as a blessed decree which brought on an Assembly, for putting away strange wives. The like is clear in the decree of Darius, Daniel 6. for worshipping the God of Daniel, and of the King of Nineveh, for a general fast, Jonah 3. and Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 3. 28, 29.

3. Typicalness sometime may be ground of doing what is extraordinary, as Sampson killed himself and his enemies, which he could not have done in ordinary, but he was in it a type of Christ, who slew more in his death, (and that most voluntary, John 10. 18.) than in his life. And Solomon as a type married the daughter of the King of Egypt, typifying Christ, who joined himself in marriage with the Church of the Gentiles; but it is no good consequence, the Kings of Judah being types did punish Idolaters, therefore their punishing of Idolaters was extraordinary. For David subdued the Ammonites and Philistines, and so did Joshua the Canaanites, as types of Christ, who subdueth all our spiritual enemies, and makes the Gentiles his willing subjects, but it followeth not that therefore Christian Kings may not imitate Joshua and David in making war with Nations that come against them in battle, as these did against the people of Israel, Josh. 11. 26, 27. Ps. 2. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. For sometimes the ground of typical actions is moral, as Joseph's brethren bowed to him by virtue of the fifth Commandment, because Joseph was a Prince second to the King, yet both he and they were types, for these that despised and sold Christ bowed to him; sometimes the ground of typical actions is an extraordinary impulsion, and then they bind not to imitation, as a man may not kill himself, that he may kill his enemies, to follow Sampson, in that extraordinary motion of the Spirit, in which he was a type of Christ. But if there be no more but naked typicalness in the Kings of Israel and Judah in punishing Idolaters, except they did it by extraordinary impulsion, which cannot be proved, it concludes nothing against us.

Argument VIII.

We argue from examples of Seducers, who have been punished with bodily death or otherwise: As at the command of Moses the Prince, three thousand were slain, Exod. 32. 26, 27, 28. for worshipping the golden Calf, that God might that day bestow a blessing on them, 29. and Moses might make atonement for them, vers. 30. Numb. 25. Moses commands all the heads of the people to be hanged before the Sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel, because they were joined to Baal-peor, and the sacrifice of the Gods of Moab, 1, 2, 3, 4. Phineas in his zeal turned away the anger of God in that he thrust through Zimri in the act of uncleanness with Cosby a Medianitish woman. And Elias caused slay the Priests of Baal, with the sword. And Paul struck Elimas the Sorcerer with blindness, because he labored to pervert Sergius Paulus the deputy, from the faith, Act. 13. 8, 9, 10. the son of the Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, while he did strive with a man of Israel and so in passion and malice toward the man, as would appear, cursed God, was stoned to death, and a law was made on it against the blasphemer, Levit. 24. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. which is, ver. 15, 16. Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin, 16. And whosoever blasphemeth the name of the Lord he shall surely be put to death; and all the congregation shall certainly stone him, as well the stranger as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord shall be put to death: there be two things here to me that proveth this was no judicial temporary law binding Israel only.

1. His God, holdeth forth, that nature abhorreth, and the sum of the first command written in the heart is, he that curseth his maker whom he is to bless, love, and serve with all his heart, should die.

2. This law obligeth the stranger, and any heathen to be put to death, if he should blaspheme God, saith it is the law of nature, and obligeth us under the New Testament as being the first and highest sin that nature crieth shame, and woe upon; and we are to conceive it was a lawful war attempted by the ten tribes to go against the tribe of Ruben, God and the half of Manasseh, Josh. 10. 11, 12. etc... to 34. because they set up a new Alter to worship (as their brethren conceived) which if true, certainly was a clear apostasy from the God of Israel. That Joshua destroyed the Canaanites for their Idolatry, Josh. 6. 21, 22. chap. 20, etc... I confess will not warrant us to make war, and destroy with the sword, all the Indians, and Idolaters on earth, and to compel them to worship the true God in the Mediator Christ, without preaching first the gospel to them: Nor can it warrant us to kill every ignorant blinded Papist with the sword, nor can we deny, but what Elias and Paul did against false teachers, was by extraordinary impulsion, because the ordinary Magistrate would not, as Ahab and Jezabel, and could not, through ignorance of the gospel punish perverters of the truth: but sure these examples prove corporal, and sometimes capital, punishment ought by the Magistrate to be inflicted on all blasphemers, on all ringleaders of Idolatry and false worship, as Exod. 32. They forced Aaron to make the calf, and Levit. 25. they were heads, rulers, and chief offenders that were hanged, the manner of the punishment may be exemplary and determined of God, for the example of after ages, whither by death, for simple heresy in one seduced, which was no ring-leader, (which I find hath not been done by God, in the old or new Testament) but seducers and ring-leaders by the law, such as cease not to subvert the faith of others should die, yet these examples clearly hold forth so much of the law of nature as bodily punishment, according to the measure of the offence is due: otherwise if Christ have freed false teachers from all punishment external, or that may be thought to work any otherwise than by mere spiritual instructing in all meekness, than by the liberty purchased by Christ they are freed from shame and reproach, for shame and the publicness of suffering is an external punishment, and is another means, besides meek instructing, as is clear from Judges 8. 7. and from Saul's calling Jonathan the son of a rebellious woman, in which he handled him shamefully, I Sam. 20. 34. Isa. 50. 6. Luk. 14. 9. Yea, by this way of Libertines, false teachers are not to be rebuked, nor avoided, that they may be ashamed, Paul may not upbraid the Cretans, and call them idle bellies, and liars, that they may be sound in the faith: for that must be contrary to the liberty, wherewith Christ hath made them free. And a bodily punishment may be extraordinary in regard of the manner of doing, when done by miracle, and fire brought from heaven, and in regard of the persons that inflict it, as that which Phineas did being Priest, and Elias being a Prophet, and Paul being an Apostle, when the Magistrate will not do his part; and yet the punishment in the nature and substance, may be according to an ordinary law of God that binds us: Paul strikes Elimas with blindness; it is no rule for ministers to do the like to false teachers; but it is the rule for him that bears the sword, to inflict bodily punishment upon perverters of the Gospel, if this were not, Joshua's wars with the Canaanites that were according to a moral and perpetual rule of justice, and binds us, Josh. 11. 26, 27. should not bind us to lawful defensive wars in the like case, contrary to the law of nature, Josh. 11. 26, 27. because Joshua in these wars did many things extraordinarily, and killed all the cattle and women with child, which we are not to do. The answer of many is, These were extraordinary, ergo, they bind not us. Is no answer, they were extraordinary in the manner, not in the substance and nature of the punishment, in which the course of justice warrants us, as a rule flowing from the law of nature, though the manner and extraordinary accidents are before us, as no obliging law, upon the same ground many argue; the Apostles, who were immediately inspired, give out Synodical decrees, Acts 15. therefore Elders that are not infallible, may not give decrees according to the word of truth. Yea (say we) neither should this be a good consequence, the Prophets, and immediately inspired Apostles preached and prophesied the will of God as the Lord taught them. Ergo, Ministers, now, though not immediately inspired may not preach the mind of God according to the proportion of faith, for we think the consequence is most strong, according to the word, we are to follow the Prophets and Apostles in that, in which they followed the law of nature, which is, that every Ambassador relate faithfully his Prince's will, though some have ordinary gifts, some extraordinary and rare gifts in relating the same embassage. So it is no good consequences, some by extraordinary warrant did punish evil doers, ergo, the ordinary Magistrate hath not therefore power to punish such evil doers.

Argument IX.

The express law of God, and of nature written in the heart of all, proveth that the seducer should die, Deut. 13. If a prophet or a Dreamer arise, and say, let us go after other Gods, he shall be put to death.

That is no temporary law obliging the Jews only, the Text saith.

1. He speaks aversion and turning away from God, and that is hell and the extremity of miseries.

2. He thrusts thee out of the way, v. 5. a word of violence. Then

3. he is evil and destructive to the society of men, which the Magistrate by his office should defend, v. 5. So shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.

4. He seeks to thrust thee from the Lord thy God, that brought thee out of the Land of Egypt. The word xd;n" is to remove from God, as from an unclean and cursed thing, and it expresseth excommunication, and then to thrust men away from the Lord in Covenant with us, that can save from the greatest of miseries, must be the highest of injuries, and if the Lord proved a public avenger against the highest wrongs that can be done in a society (as he doth) then certainly against this.

5. It is a wrong that God would have all Israel to fear, a wickedness that strikes at the root of society. 11. And all Israel shall hear and fear, and do no more any such wickedness as this among you. And v. 13. such are children of Belial, they make all things and persons cursed they come among, and bring on the land, the fierce anger of the Lord, v. 17. the intrinsical work and end of the Magistrate is to avenge evil doing, and so to remove the fierce anger of the Lord from a land, that the people may fear and not do any such wickedness, as is clear, Deut. 13. 10. 11. Exod. 32. 29. 30. Deut. 19. 20. Rom. 13. 3, 4, 5. I Pet. 2. 14. Now the false Prophet is such as brings on all these evils, and therefore if Magistrates stand under the new Testament, and if there be such a sin now as thrusting away people from the Lord who hath, in Christ, delivered us from a greater bondage then that of Egypt, this must be a perpetual Law.

Deut. 17. 2. If there be found any among you within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord in transgressing his Covenant, 3. and hath gone and served other Gods and worshipped them, either the Sun or the Moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded. 4. And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and the thing certain that such abomination is wrought in Israel. 5. Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman which hath committed that wicked thing unto thy gates, even that man and that woman, and shall stone them with stones till they die. 6. At the mouth of two witnesses or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death.

Hence not simple Idolaters, nor all the Nations round about, nor all the Papists, that are educated in Idolatry, by this Law shall be put to death, but such as are within the gates of Israel. 2. In covenant with God. 3. It is wrought in Israel, and so Apostates to Judaism, to strange Gods are to be punished; so we reach not that Nations are to be converted by the sword, or that the idolatry of Indians, the blasphemy of Jews, is a sufficient ground to make war against them, and cut them off with the sword.

2. Apostates turning to false Gods, were by a written law judged. There is no consulting of an Oracle by urim and thummim here, as Libertines say, but just as the murderer is to be judged under the New Testament, if it be told thee, the people or the Judge, and thou hast heard of it. v. 6. Under two witnesses, he shall be convinced. It were a vain thing to go and seek witnesses, and follow reports and hear-says, if they had an immediate Oracle to inform the Judge and say, Here the Idolatry, there the Idolater, bind him and lead him away to death, (as some Patrons of Liberty plead) we read not any such conjecture.

3. He is not persecuted for opinions, Because he cannot come up to that measure of light in judgment that other Saints attain unto, but he is put to death for an external act of Idolatry, that is seen, heard, proved by two witnesses. and for external abomination wrought in Israel, v. 5, 6. the Lord never puts a Judge to prove opinions (that remain within the walls of the heart, and are things of the mind) by witnesses, nor is the end of putting to death to force, beat, or cudgel him to the sound faith, with the sword, but to be avenged on his sin, to remove evil, to save the Israel of God from infection.

4. It is not single Idolatry that is his death, but his Idolatry in seducing others by word or example, he works such abomination in Israel, v. 4. in the Church of God, which tendeth to seduce others.

Deut. 18. 18. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, that is, Christ Act 3. 22. so the Holy Ghost in the Apostles expounds it. And he adds ver. 20. But the Prophet that shall presume (he must mean in the time of the Messiah, when the true Prophet shall rise) to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that Prophet shall die. It is a prophecy of a New Testament Law, because many were to come in Christ's name, and say, Lo I am Christ, as many now do, so Zach. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Levit. 20. 2. Whosoever of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed is Molech, he shall surely be put to death. This Law, if it did lie upon the strangers and heathen, then; it was not judicial, but it must lye on us Gentiles, now; Who can free us from it?

Object. But he was put to death not for false worship, but for murdering of his Son.

Answ. No Law of God or men, can judge that murder, which is done without hatred to the party murdered, as is clear Deut. 19. 11, 12, 13. chap. 4. 42. chap. 19. 4. but here, the dearer their sons were to them, they the rather offered them to their God.

2. The Text gives no reason why such should be putto death for murder, but for false worship, against the first Table, Ver. 3. He defiles my Sanctuary, he profanes my holy name, ver. 5. the Magistrate must kill such a seducer, for he commits whoredom with Molech.

C H A P. XIV.

Cavils against coercive judicial Laws, for punishing false prophets in
the Old Testament removed.

The first common Answer made to all these, is: That these were judicial and Old Testament Laws, when God dealt more strictly with the Jews, and hedged them in with severer laws, penalties, and a greater measure of bondage, than now under the meek and gentle reign of the Messiah.

Answ. More severity, and a stricter tutory to be over the Church in non-age, and under Pedagogy, we grant, Gal. 4. 1, 2, 3. But that is in regard of Ceremonial hedges, laws, and days, but it is to beg the question, to say that moral transgressions are destructive, if not more, to Christian societies now as then, such as blasphemy, idolatry, heresy, that were punished with the sword then, must now be more loosed from all bodily punishment in any kind, than murder, sorcery, adultery, perjury. For the comparison of a milder Government under Jesus, than under Moses, cannot stand in fencing some moral transgressions utterly from the sword, and in leaving others less weighty, under as bloody punishments as ever they were. When no reason from the word of truth, can be given, why the murderer should die by the sword, now and then, but blasphemy, and offering the sons to Molech, as the Indians do now, was then by the law of Nature, a dis-worship, or a false worship, punishable in Jews and heathen, but now it is not in any punishable by the sword at all. 2. The sword did not force the conscience of any then, more than now, nor could it cudgel an Idolater, or a blasphemer, into the sound faith then, more than now, and weapons of the Prophets in the Old Testament, as well as the Apostles in the New, were not carnal but spiritual, and mighty through God. Prophets, as Prophets, no more used the sword against men's consciences of old, than Christ, his Apostles, and Ministers do now, Mat. 28. 19, 20. And as Christ saith now, preach the Gospel, but kill none, use neither staff nor sword, nor miraculous power to destroy heretic, or burn Samaria, so he said to his Prophets, speak my word to Israel and Judah and the Nations, to Nineveh and others, but kill none, and use the sword against none of the rebellious who will not hear, that they may be converted. Yet he commanded the magistrate to use the sword against the seducing Prophet, nor can the Libertines shew us of a Ceremonial death inflicted for the transgression of a moral law, which transgression is now made free from all bodily punishment, indeed the man that refused to raise up feed to his brother was put to shame by the law, and we are freed from both the law, and the penalty thereof, and the man that gathered sticks on the Sabbath was put to death by an answer from Gods mouth, but the breach of the holy Sabbath instituted before the fall is no Ceremonial transgression, nor do we think that every violation of the Sabbath was punished by death, but that the Magistrate, Masters and Fathers, are not to punish with bodily coercive power the transgressors of the fourth command, is most false. For what the Magistrate commands the Subject, the Master the servant, the Father the sons, and which they have warrant from the Moral law to command in these relations, that they command in order to the sword and rod, if their commandments find no other welcome but rebellion, for the power of Magistrate, and Master, yea, and of the Father now in the state of sin is essentially coercive; they may compel their inferiors by strong hand, either to do or suffer the will of God, which is sufficient to prove our point. Though it be true, some moral transgressions Moses punished with death, as Sabbath-breaking, it followeth not therefore the godly Prince may now punish it with death, but it follows not therefore, such transgressors are made free, through Christ of all bodily punishment, as Libertines infer, for though the temporariness of the punishment be only in the measure of punishment, yet not in the punishment itself.

2. We desire a reason why the gentleness of the son of God's government should free the blasphemer, and the soul-murderer, from sadder, yea from all bodily punishment, and not free him that destroys the body also. Or how all the Sons of Levi saw by an immediate oracle that all that had worshipped the golden Calf, Exod. 32. had done it with such high presumption, as made that idolatry worthy of death, which otherwise was not worthy of death; and it is clear the charge was without exception, v. 27. slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the like I say of all that joined to Baal-peor. And when Asa compelled so many thousands both of Judah and Israel to swear a Covenant, and that they should be put to death, that would not seek the Lord, 2. Chro. 15. whether Asa and all the under-Judges (for Asa in his own person could not do it) had a deputed dominion over the consciences to force them, and whether he consulted the oracle to know who sought not the Lord, and refused the Covenant out of mere weakness, as not being able to see how Asa, who was no Prophet, and a Prince for eminency of conversing with God far inferior to Moses, was not a little wide, in pretended zeal, to urge the Law with an oath, and no less than death on the refusers to seek God and the breakers of the Covenant.

Nor could Asa see and know infallibly how out of heart obstinacy, or how out of sinless, and faultless innocency refused the Covenant. And Asa could not compel men to take the Covenant, and profess seeking of the Lord against their judgments and consciences, which the thirteenth Proposal of the Army does condemn, And yet Asa was free of compelling men to hypocrisy. When therefore Peter struck Annanias and Saphira with death; and, Paul, Elimas with blindness; and delivered Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan; and when the Apostles sharply rebuked and upbraided the Cretans, those who are called dogs, evil-workers, enemies to the cross of Christ, such as serve their belly, not the Lord Jesus; it is as pertinent and necessary a query whether or no Peter compelled others who saw Annanias punished to death, Paul constrained others who saw the terrible wrath of God on Hymenaeus, to dissemble, and to do, and profess against the judgment of an erroneous conscience and lay all their goods down at the Apostles feet against their conscience, which yet believed, they were against the law of nature defrauding their own children, and to profess the faith, and not in word blaspheme and say, there is no resurrection, no Christ, no heaven after this life, as Familists now say, for fear that Paul deliver them to Satan. And we know professors are much afraid to go for dogs and belly-Gods in the account of such eminent Godly men as the Apostle Paul and others, and therefore will cover themselves and profess the contrary: if therefore censures and rebukes from the eminently Godly, do create varnished hypocrites, and it is not the sin of Godly rebukers, and if punishments may and doth constrain many to say, and do, and unsay, and counterdo in matters of Religion, in judging according to conscience in highest judicatures, and contrary to that same conscience the next day, this which is objected against coercive power, in matters of conscience, that it creates hypocrites and strains men to do against their judgment and so to sin, is all accidental to the nature of coercive and bodily restraining power. And because many keep their hands from blood and violence, and that out of deep hypocrisy since they lodge in their breast, bloody hearts, only for fear of the Prince's sword, yet both the Prince and his sword is innocent of that hypocrisy. Then as coercive power is falsely charged with any kindly begetting of hypocrites in the duties of the second Table, so is it as harmless in matters of Religion, respecting the first Table, nor did the Lord in the Old Testament create hypocrites by straining men's consciences by bloody laws.

A third answer stands thus, those laws were made of old against false teachers, Because the Jews had the opportunity of immediate consultation with the mouth of God himself. --- and except the Judge bad been desperately wicked, and despised the glorious ordinance of the Oracle of God, they could not do injustice, God being always at hand to declare unto them, what kind of blasphemer, and what kind of Idolater it was that he intended by his law should be put to death. Men are now fallible and the learnedest cannot tell what blasphemy or idolatry it was, which was by God sentenced to death under the Law, So John Goodwin.

Answ. If there was such immediate consultation to make short work of blood to the judge, we desire law or instance of the Priest or Prophets consulting with the mouth of God touching the Prophet whether true or false, but none can be produced, sometimes the Prophets by miracles cleared their calling: another way we find not.

1. This is against appeals that are clear, Deut. 17. In all matters of controversy, when in the highest Court where a man's head, whether he be a false Prophet, or any other, was at the stake, the Judges, v. 11. were to judge according to the sentence of the law, and they proceed upon witness, Deut. 17. 6. God should by this declare law, proof and witnesses useless, for the Lord from Heaven condemns the man.

2. Jeremiah, and all the Prophets that were killed and stoned, never sought the benefit of the law, nor said, give us a Jury from heaven, an oracle for to take away our head, the Prophets never accuse Kings or Judges in persecuting the Prophets, that they consulted not the oracle, ere they rejected the Prophet.

3. This had been a well settled law to try all Prophets, who speak from God, and who speak the visions of their own head, all should have passed the grand Jury of an immediate oracle from heaven, and by this there should not have been a false Prophet in all Judea but the Judge might have discovered him, but God never gives this character of an Idolater, Blasphemer, or a false Prophet: The Oracle of Urim hath blacked him as an imposter. But divers other characters the Lord gave. As 1. If he speak not according to the law. 2. If the good he foretell, never comes to pass. 3. If he heal the wound with smooth words. 4. If he strengthen the arms of the wicked. When as yet God had made no standing law, he was consulted, and God gave sentence against the man that had broken the Sabbath, and that blasphemed, but their consulting with God presupposeth by the law of nature, the Magistrate should punish such, therefore the putting him inward was a punishment, only they would have the mind of God touching the manner of his punishment, but sure this was not the ordinary and standing law.

4. There were others as difficile and intricate controversies, of murder, adultery, treason, as Deut. 17. 8. Between blood and blood, plea, and plea, stroke, and stroke, By this reason Anabaptists have a better ground to say there should be no Christian Magistrate under the New Testament, nor any use of the sword nor shedding of blood at all, because the Jews under the Old Testament had the opportunity of immediate consulting with the mouth of God himself, we are fallible men, and the learnedest can no more tell what murder, what incest or adultery was condemned in the law of God (for heart-hatred, which is seen to God only, doth essentially constitute murder punishable by the Judge, Deut. 19, 11, 12, 13. chap. 4. 33. chap. 19. 4.) than they can define what blasphemy or idolatry it was which was by God sentenced to death under the Law, for we are to be as wary to take a man's life and blood now under the New Testament, for murder, and treason, and sorcery as they were under the old in stoning blasphemers: and we are no more infallible in the one, than they were in the other. Yea, it strongly concludes, that wars are as unlawful under the New Testament, as under the old, for under the old, they consulted the mouth of God before they went to battle, we have no immediate oracles to consult, yea, when we are engaged we are neither to pursue the enemy nor to forbear, because we have not the immediately inspired Prophets, Micah, Jeremiah as they had, we may not make a Covenant with neighboring Kingdoms, the Scottish Army have no oracle to shew them whither they shall remove out of England, for that will be the safety of the cause of all the godly Presbyterians who are now persecuted for the Covenant of God, and a carrying on of Reformation and the standing of the Covenant and treaties between the Kingdoms, or shall they not remove till peace and truth be established in both Kingdoms because if they remove, the English Army may say, they undertook the war not for Religion, but to make a conquest in England for the liberty of the Subject, and swear the Covenant in a sense. The Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax may say, that they did fight all this time for liberty of conscience, against both Prelatical and Presbyterial thraldom of the consciences of the free born English, and therefore though the Parliament command them to disband, they must have liberty of conscience up, the Covenant down, and have a perpetual standing Army, etc... For in war, peace, pursuing or forbearing, in marching from one Kingdom to another, in making treaties and Covenants with other Nations, they were to consult with the oracle and immediately inspired Prophets, the opportunity whereof we have not, and so we have no better warrant for all these, for peace and war, than for killing of blasphemers, who are known to God onely by this reason, and that is no warrant at all.

5. This is to say, there was faith, certainty, and infallibility, clearness, light, and more knowledge of God under the Jews twilight, law darkness of ceremonies, than we have, and now since oracles ceased, Skepticisms, conjectures, doubtings, blind, and loose uncertainties is all our faith, contrary to that the Scripture saith, the Jews for all their oracles were in the dark, and now day springs from on high and visits us, and gives light to them that sits in darkness, Luke 1. 77, 78, 79. And now the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the sea is full of waters, Isaiah 11. 9. And we have a more sure word of Prophesy, the Scriptures, yea surer than the Father's voice from heaven, which was an immediate oracle indeed, 2 Pet. 1. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. And the least of the Kingdom of God now, is greater than the Baptist the greatest of Prophets, Matth. 11. 11. If this satisfy not, see Isa. 54. 11, 12. Jer. 31. 31, 32, 33, 34. Isa. 30. 26. Joel 2. 28, 29. Act. 2. 16, 17, 18, 19. Col. 2. 2, 3, 4. II Cor. 3. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

The argument that we cannot punish under the New Testament, because the Magistrates and Ministers, and Synods who condemn heresies, errors, schisms, blasphemy, are not infallible, and they know not but they may pluck up wheat instead of tares, and take away the life of elect men who might live and be converted is of no weight, for then the Judge should not take the life of a murderer, adulterer, the most bloody robber or parricide, (the Libertines teach and practice the contrary) for must the Judge read in the Lamb's book, whether the man be enrolled therein as an elect, before he pass sentence on him in a Council of war, for felony, robbery, polygamy, etc...

2. It is most strong against admonishing, rebuking and warning one another. I may condemn the innocent in these, because I am not infallible, it is against preaching, believing, writing of books of Divinity, making war, peace, borrowing, lending, buying, selling, in all these I am obliged to do upon certain persuasion of faith, that what I do is lawful, else I sin, Rom. 14. 23. and the word of God the most sure oracle to us must be my rule. Now I may no more venture on the least sin, than a Christian Prince may condemn to death an Idolater, and a blasphemer, who is a sound believer, which is a greater sin, if I be not clear as if an immediate oracle were speaking from heaven, as Libertines say, and the argument must be thus, what we cannot do with as great infallibility of not erring, as the Priest that immediately consulted the oracle, or the Prophet immediately inspired, that we cannot do lawfully But the Christian Prince under the New Testament cannot with such infallibility punish Idolaters, Blasphemers, or any otherwise, ergo, The proposition is false, for certain knowledge is sufficient, for the Holy Ghost would never bid us admonish, and after admonition avoid an heretic, as Tit. 3. 10. nor would our Savior bid us beware of men, of false teachers, and false Christs, and avoid them, and believe them not, and try them by their works, and search the Scriptures, and examine their doctrine, nor would the Lord bid us try the Spirits, and try the Antichrist, and eat not with Idolaters as he doth, Matth. 24. 23, 24, 25. John 5. 39. Rom. 16, 17, 18. I John 5. 1. I Cor. 5. 11. If he laid this ground of Libertines, heart-obstinacy, only legible to God, and knowable to none but to infallible Spirits, makes an heretic and a false Christ before men, yet you are to admonish and eschew him, this is as much, as if the Lord should say, If any man have such an opinion and heartthought never manifested to men or Angel, that knew whether the number of the stars were odds or equal, admonish such a man and avoid him, and bid him not God speed, neither receive him into your house. yea, so no Minister of the Gospel should preach to his flock fundamental Gospel truths, because he is not infallible, and he may teach fundamental lies for truths.

Again, the assumption is false, for the certainty a believer hath, is thus far infallible (which is enough) that he is persuaded of the truth of it, and may boldly and in faith seal it with his blood. Nor should Libertines suffer for such truths as they hold for truths, to wit, that the Christian Magistrate hath nothing to do with Religion, nor is he warranted now to use the sword against false teachers; nor Presbytery is the way of Christ, but Socinianism, Familism, Antinominism, are the only true way, because they will not say they themselves are in believing, teaching or suffering for these truths, infallible. But the danger is not so in believing truth or a false opinion for another, or for a true opinion, as in taking a man's life, when ye are not certainly persuaded by the Law of God, he ought to die.

Answ. That is no matter of greater or less great danger. It is sin in the Pharisees in heart and word of mouth to condemn the Lord's Disciples of breach of Sabbath, when they are innocent, as to kill them for Sabbath-breach when they are innocent, Matth. 12. 7. the one is a greater sin, the other less; but if we may not venture on a greater sin of shedding innocent blood because of want of infallibility, neither is it lawful to venture upon the least sin, because of the want of that same infallibility, nor is an infallible and immediate oracle our only rule in judging the blasphemer. Suppose a man should willfully profess there is no God, and rail against such as say there is a God, as our Atheisticall age wanteth not a Caligula, and an Anaxagoras, and the like now, if the Parliament should punish such a limb of hell. The thirteenth Proposal of the Army will say the Parliament forces this man to sin, and to believe and profess a truth against his judgment and conscience; and upon this ground, for we know not infallibly such a man to be a damned Atheist.

The 4th Answer to annul all these Laws in the Old Testament is, this punishment was bodily, afflictive, carnal and so typical and prefigurative of those greater and more spiritual evils under the Gospel, to wit, of eternal damnation. As the land was a type of heaven, so to be cut off, by death, out of that land was typical.

Answer, Had the Jews no spiritual censures then, as debarring from the Passover, the excluding of the uncircumcised, and unclean from the Congregation of the Lord?

2. Was not the cutting off of the murderer out of that good land, as typical as the cutting off of the blasphemer?

3. Is there any bodily punishment, but it is carnal and afflictive? I trow none.

4. Is punishment, and cutting off from the Church by death typical, because bodily? Then the avenging of ill doers under the New Testament must be typical, and as many hangings and headings of evil doers, as many types under the New Testament. If the punishment was typical, because in such a way bodily, as exclusion from a typical land. Then, 1. How is not the killing of the murderer typical? 2. Give us a warrant for this, because we may not, at our pleasure, fancy types where the word gives no ground for them, otherwise we shall with Anabaptists turn all the Old Testament: and whole scripture into types upon our own imagination. 3. How shall violent death typify damnation and hell, that was existent then, and not a thing to come, and that because it was the cutting off of the blasphemer, not of the murderer?

5. But say they were types, as crucifying and hanging on a tree was, Deut. 21. 23. of Christ's crucifying Gal. 3. 10. What? shall it follow, that robbers and murderers, such as Barrabas, may not under the New Testament be hanged? Yea, and by this argument, nor may any bodily punishment be inflicted on robbers, more than false teachers may be killed or incur any bodily punishment, for that were (say Libertines) to rip up the grave of Moses, because undoubtedly crucifying was a typical death, Gal. 3. 10; 13. Deut. 21. 23. But it is known there were two sorts of typical things in the old Testament. 1. Some that were merely typical and had no use but in divine worship, as sacrificing Bullocks and Lambs to God, other things were so typical that they had both a natural and civil use, as eating of manna when ye are hungry, drinking water in the wilderness, living in the holy land; the former typical things are utterly ceased, and it were impious and mere Judaism to recall them or bring in again sacrificing of Bullocks to God, but the latter things may well remain in their Natural and Civil use, though their typical and religious use be abolished, as it were lawful for Jews even now after Christ is come and ascended, and hath put an end to all shadows and types by the coming in the body, to eat manna, if they were in the wilderness, and drink water out of the rocky mountains, if thirsty, and dwell in their own land, if the Lord should restore them to it, yet should they not Judaize nor recall the types of Moses, for these they should do for a natural and physical, and for no Religious use. Now granting that stoning of blasphemers were typical, and as typical as hanging of robbers was, Deut. 21. yet should it never follow that stoning of blasphemers were Judaizing and unlawful, because it hath a necessary civil use, even of common and natural equity, that he that thus perverteth the right ways of the Lord, and seduceth others should die the death. Yea this may well infer that prophesying of lies, blaspheming were typical sins against a ceremonial and temporary law, and so they are not now sins, yea because it is a falling from Christ to observe Jewish shadows, Gal. 5. not to blaspheme, and not to prophesy lies, must be sin; and if that be blasphemy, what more reason to remove the punishment of a sin, as destructive to society, now as then, if the sin cease not to be sin, but remain yet a moral heinous transgression?

The fifth Answer is, that the Laws of Moses cannot reach the heretics now under the Gospel, 1. An heretic denies not God the Creator, nor teacheth he, Let us go after other Gods, which thou hast not known as the Apostate Prophet, Deut. 13. (2.) He denies not the word of God, therefore you may use it as a weapon against him, but ye can use no sword, but that of iron against Apostates. 3. Heretics as Sadducees were tolerated among the Jews, but blasphemers and Apostates were not. 4. Scribes and Pharisees held many dangerous opinions, yet neither they nor Sadducees were expelled from the City or hindered to be Magistrates. 5. Though the zeal of God's house eat up Christ, and he attempted a reformation, yet he never charged Church or state as unfaithful for not proceeding against them to imprisonment and death. 6. These Deut. 13. would persuade they speak by the inspiration of some Deity, and that their sayings were oracles, heretics do not so, so 10. Goodwin, Hagiom.

Answ. 1. The conclusion we hold is not hurt, all this saith an Heretic that is not an apostate is not to be put to death. Let it be so; but we hold by these places, that bodily punishment is to be inflicted on him, and yet the conscience is not strained, nor he persecuted.

2. Heretics II Pet. 2. denies the Lord that bought them, and make shipwreck of faith, and bring in damnable heresies, and bring on themselves swift destruction, they depart from the faith, speak doctrines of devils, lies in hypocrisy, 1 Tim. 4. 1. are condemned of their own conscience, Tit. 3. 10. Lead the simple captive, resist the truth, as Jannes and Jambres did Moses, are men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith, 2 Tim. 3. 6, 7, 8. which is a wilfull denying of the Lord that bought them. Libertines have bowels of charity to Arch-heretics, as if God had made a law of sins, if we are, we are not capable under the Gospel, whereas it is known there are (though we need not call all false teachers Heretics) Seducers that say there is not a God, nor a heaven, nor a hell.

3. How shall they prove that the Seducer Deut. 13. formally denied God the Creator? To deny him as Creator, and say the world was eternal as Aristotle did, is not to deny God, for Aristotle and all his, acknowledged there was a God, but that those dreamers denied the very existence of God, any otherwise than as practical Atheists, and by consequence in their abominable doctrine they cannot prove, for they profess a Religion and a God, when they say, Let us go and serve other Gods, and these words, that thou knowest not, are the words of the Holy Ghost, not that these Seducers so speak in so many syllables, but the God they drew men after, was an unknown God; for there is not a Caligula in the world can be a speculative and heart-Atheist, or if these words (whom thou hast not known) be the Seducers, they are spoken to heighten the new God, and extol Baal above Jehovah, as not known by the blind and ignorant world; yea and those that worshipped the golden Calves at Dan and Bethel worshipped other Gods, and turned away themselves and others from the true God, for Deut. 32. 16. They provoked him to jealousy with strange Gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God, to Gods whom they knew not, to new Gods that newly came up, whom your fathers feared not, 2. Chron. 11. 17. and Jeroboam ordained himself Priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made, Psalm 106. 19. They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped a molten image, yet they denied not God the Creator, except practically, Deut. 32. 18. Of the rock that begat thee thou art unmindfull, and hast forgotten God that formed thee, Psalm 106. 21. They forgot God their Savior, which had done great things in Egypt. Yea, and those that worshipped these Gods, denied no otherwise God the Creator than heretics now do, for both in profession assert Jehovah that made the heaven and the earth, Exod. 32. they said of these calves, as Jeroboam did v. 8. These be thy Gods O Israel, that brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt, 1 King. 12. 28. and Exod. 32. 5. Aaron said tomorrow shall be a feast to Jehovah, then they denied not in profession and in words the Jehovah that made them, nor Christ their Savior, then by signs and wonders brought them out of Egypt; so a Heretic, on a Popish Idolater, denies not God in profession, yet both worship strange Gods, and the work of men's hands, and the devil, not God, Deut. 32. 16. 2 Chro. 11. 15. Nor did Jeroboam deny God in profession, for he acknowledged that the Lord God, the true God could heal his dried up arm, 1 King 13. 6. and sent his wife to enquire of Jehovah concerning his sick child 1 King 14. 1, 2 and Jehu who clave to Jeroboams calves, 2 King 10. 29. And so by this same law of God ought to die, as is clear in that he worshipped and served other Gods, as Deut. 32. 16. Ps. 106. 19. compared with Exod. 32. cleareth, for three thousand were slain by the Magistrate's sword for this sin, Exod. 32. 27, 28. yet these denied Jehovah not in formal and express profession, but by the genius and stain of their doctrine, and the same way the Heretic denies the Lord that bought them, these that worshipped Jehovah and Malcom Zeph. 1. by this law should die, the Priests of Malcom come under the law as well as the Priests of Baal, the Priests of Baal and the false Prophets were slain according to the law, and yet they professed Jehovah as well as Micaiah, 1 King. 22. 24. and Ahab, who worshipped Baal, professed he worshipped Jehovah, and so did these who worshipped the Samaritan strange Gods and Jehovah both together, 2 King. 17.

Nor is it of weight that some say from Deut. 13. only these are to be put to death who denies God as known by the light of Nature, not these that deny the blessed Trinity, or Christ the Mediator, or the principles of the Gospel which are only known by the supernatural light of faith; and only these that deny principles of Divinity that are by nature's teaching in the heart, for these sin against Nature's law, and the Alphabet of natural Theology. This hath no warrant in the word, the Law condemns these to die who blaspheme or draw men away from the true God as revealed in the Scriptures, which is a supernatural Revelation that flesh and blood taught not Moses, but a Prophetical and immediately inspiring Spirit, as the reason which God insinuateth, Exod. 32. 8. They have turned quickly aside out of the way that I commanded them. Now the twilight and rude divinity of Nature, revealed not this way as being supernatural, yet for this turning aside were three thousand killed, v. 27, 28. And it is clear, Deut. 13. the dreamer shall surely be put to death, not because he hath denied the Creator that is known by the light of nature, but v. 5. because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the Land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. Now this is not, I conceived a natural way, nor written in man's heart by nature, as this answer supposeth. But yet it is also a sin against the law of nature, to deny the God who reveals himself in the Mediator Christ. And these that were put to death by this law were such as denied God revealed in Christ, for Christ saith, Moses wrote of me, and to Christ all the Law and the Prophets bare witness.

2. Nor did these that worshipped Idols and the false teachers, and such as offered their children to Molech, who were surely by the law to be put to death, deny the word of God more than the Heretic now: and Jeremiah useth the weapon of the word of God against them, as Moses was to use the sword against them, Deut. 17. 3, 4, 5, 6. Lev. 20. 2. as we read Jer. 7. 13. And they have built the high places of Tophet which is in the valley of the son of Hinnon to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, and he useth an argument from the word of God to convince them, which I commanded them not, neither entered it in my heart, Libertines might say, why should Jeremiah speak of a command of God, for though our Heretics under the Gospel acknowledge the word of God, yet the false teachers and Apostates that were to die by the law, do but mock the word of God, and therefore the Lord should not use this argument, which I command not. But to me is clear, they were so far from denying the word of God, as our Antiscripturists do, that for the offering of their sons to God, they alleged both Abraham's example who was bidden offer Isaac his only son to God, and the Scripture, for if we (say they) are to offer the best of the flock to God, and its little enough to so great a Lord, far more are we to offer the dearest thing we have, to wit our sons and daughters: God answers, What ye offer to me must be commanded in my law, but it never entered into my heart to bid you offer your children to me. Now if these had both denied God their Creator, and his word, there had been no other sword to be drawn against them but that of iron.

3. How will Libertines prove that the second sort of seducers that were to die for seducing, Deut. 13. 6, 7, 8. the brother, son daughter, or wife that lies in the bosom denied God the Creator, there is no warrant from the text to say they dreamed dreams, and wrought wonders to seduce, or that they professed the inspiration of a new Deity, yet they were to die, and why not the Heretics now by the same reason? If they thrust people away from the Lord that hath ransomed them from Hell?

Yea, 4. These acknowledge the Lord, and the law, and the Lord's Priests and Prophets, as some Heretics do now, yet not standing to the sentence of the law that the Priest shall teach, but presumptuously rejecting it, were surely to be put to death, Deut. 17. 10, 11, 12, 13. So he that speaks a word in the name of the Lord (so confesseth, and professeth both the Lord and his word, as heretics now do) which the Lord commanded him not to speak, or shall speak in the name of other Gods, even that Prophet shall die. And did not Jeremiah and Uriah, the son of Shemaiah and the Prophets that were killed and stoned by the Jews, professed God, and that the word of God came to them and that they had seen the visions of God, yet they were condemned as false Prophets, but for prophesying destruction on Israel, Judah and Jerusalem, and if the Lord had not sent them, but they speak the visions of their own head, they had been false prophets, as is clear, Jer. 14. 13, 14. Jer. 23. 15, 16. and so justly condemned.

5. Are there not now under the New Testament who deny the word of God, as many Antiscripturists in England? and doth not Saltmarsh, Del, Beacon, Randal and many Familists and Antinomians father their new lies upon the spirit, and the pretious anointing that teacheth all things? are not they like to those Prophets, Deut. 13? have not some in France, in Holland, in England made defection to Judaism and Turkism, and turned Apostates from Christ? And yet they deny not God the Creator, nor the Scriptures of the old Testament, and by this answer they are free of all bodily punishment? And does not Peter contradict this answer of Libertines, that say our Heretics are not as these Deut. 13. 2 Pet. 2. 1. But there were false Prophets also among the people, as there shall be false teachers among you? and our Saviour, Mat. 24. 24. For there shall arise false Christs and false Prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders: in so much that (if it were possible) they should deceive the very elect. A vive representtation of the state of England this day.

6. The formal and what is essential to a false prophet is now in our seducers they thrust men away from God, and the way of Gospel that the Lord hath commanded us to walk in, and that is enough. 7. From the practice of the Jews, when Heretics and Seducers, and blind guides were in the chair, and they tolerated themselves, we draw rather the contrary argument, ergo, we are not to follow, nor to suffer blind guides now, who deny the resurrection, as Familists and others, to lead souls into the ditch, no more than we are to follow them in corrupting the Law, and extolling the traditions of men.

C H A P. XV.

Christ's not rebuking toleration and the Law, Deut. 13. vindicated.

Christ's no where reproving Church and State for not punishing Sadducees and Heretics denying the resurrection is, 1. A poor argument to prove the lawfulness of tolerating them, 1. The Sadducees were chief Rulers themselves; Act. 23. 6. And he that reproves a Judge for murder, must in that same, reprove him for tolerating murders. He that said the guide leading, and the blind led, should fall in the ditch, he reproved the mis-government and wicked toleration of the Rulers. Nor read we that Elias reproved Ahab for not killing Baal's priests, ergo, Ahab transgressed not the Law, Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3. Deut. 17. 1, 2, 3. in tolerating false teachers? Nor doth God Deut. 32. 6, 7, 8. reprove the Rulers for not punishing the worshiping of the golden calf, or the making of it for worship, because Aaron and the Rulers under Moses were guilty of it; will it follow that the Rulers and the sons of Levi should tolerate it? since the Lord commanded the contrary. Nor does the man of God reprove Jeroboam for tolerating the people to worship the golden calves, or because he suffered the lowest of the people to intrude themselves in the priest's office against the word and law of the Lord, because the less sin was swallowed up in the greater, but it follows not, that Jeroboam did the duty of a Magistrate in suffering the people to go to Dan and Bethel to such abominable Idolatry, or in suffering the basest of the people to take on them the Priest's Office, but the Prophet's reproving Jeroboam's commanding of that Idolatrous worship, and Priests, which is a greater sin, must by consequence condemn his not punishing of it, which is a less sin, so David sinned as a Magistrate in suffering Bathsheba to commit adultery, and to wrong her husband, and to violate God's Law, and should not only as a Magistrate have hindered her, but should have put her to death for adultery, he being the supreme Magistrate, and there being an express Law of God that the adulterer, man or woman, should die the death, Levit. 20. 10. which David knew well; yet the Prophet Nathan does not in express terms condemn David for not putting Bathsheba to death, though he faithfully reproved David, because Nathan reproving David for the adultery itself committed in his own person as the greater sin, must by consequence condemn David's tollerating of Bathsheba an adulteress to live, which was a lesser sin, and it will not follow that David a King should tolerate known adultery in Bathsheba a subject, because Nathan does no where in direct terms (nor any Scripture elsewhere that we read) condemn David for not punishing with the sword the adultery of Bathsheba; so Nathan, Gad and other Prophets no where reprove David sparing the life of Joab a murderer. When Christ reproved the Sadducees, for denying the resurrection, he reproves, by consequence, both Church and State for tolerating the denying of the Resurrection, and supposeth the toleration of it to be against the law of God.

2. It is no argument at all from 1. A negative fact. 2. In such a particular Scripture, to prove the lawfulness of toleration. Let them answer this, Christ that was a faithful Preacher to State and Church, no where reproveth in the Gospel, the toleration of the extortion of Publicans, Sodomy, murder, the absolving of a murderer at the feast, a bloody toleration, denying of God, blasphemy; ergo, it was lawful for the Church and State to suffer all these.

3. This answer inferreth that the Church should tolerate all false doctrines, and the denying of the resurrection, and that there should be no Church censure, contrary to Mat. 18 yea Christ does no where rebuke the Pharisees, Scribes and Priests, because they did not, by preaching, admonish and convince their fellows the Sadducees of that heretical doctrine that the dead shall not rise, and by this there should be not only a Physical toleration, and a non-punishing by the Magistrate of all heresies, but a moral forbearing, and a no-rebuking, no preaching against false ways, and so not only Church-censures are taken away contrary to Matth. 18. 15,16,17. Revel. 2. 1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 20. But it is not lawful for Ministers or teachers to write or teach against Jezabel, and these that hold the doctrine of Balaam, by this reason of the Libertines. Nor does Christ command the Rulers of the people to punish the false witnesses that rose against him. Nor does he rebuke Church or State for tolerating the Publicans to extort the people, nor Caesar and Pilate, for oppressing the people, nor the Scribes and Pharisees for not preaching against Herod's beheading of John Baptist, or Pilate's mixing the Galileans' blood with the sacrifice, Luke 13. ergo, Ministers are to tolerate bloody Magistrates, and not to preach against them.

The sixth answer to elude these Laws is, If these Laws bind us in the New Testament, then must you not add nor diminish from the Law, Deut. 13. and so must the whole City, inhabitants and cattle, be put to the edge of the sword, and devoted to a curse, v. 14, 15, 16, 17. which ye cannot say bears any truth under the New Testament, except we say that Papists and their babies should be put tothe edge of the sword, and their houses and land they dwell in execrable.

Answ. There are three different Laws, Deut. 13. one against the seducing false Prophet, to v. 5. a second against any seducing person, if it were brother or wife, to v. 12. a third, to the end of the Chapter, of a City, State or society, that will defend a false teacher. Now we argue not from the third Law; but there is no warrant to punish the son of a false prophet, Idolater, Heathenish or Popish, or of wife, or brother that tempt us to Apostasy, and to follow false Gods, yea, or to hurt land, house, or cattle that belongs to them, the son shall not bear the sin of the father, except God by a positive Law command it.

But the third Law, upon which we build not our arguments, at least, as touching any ceremonial part of it, belongs not much to us, for to gather the spoil of such a City, and to burn it every whit, for the Lord, as a cursed and devoted thing or place, is clearly ceremonial and typical, because now every creature of God is clean, Rom. 14. 14. and so are all the victuals or meats of Heathens, or Papists now, and good and sanctified, 1 Tim. 4. 3, 4. and what God hath cleansed, we are not to esteem common or profane, Act. 10. 14. and the like must we say of places, 1 Tim. 2. 8. John 4. 21. Zach. 14. 21. and by proportion, of all creatures, the creatures cannot now be typically cursed, and execrable as then, Deut. 13. 16. 18. For the holy Land, and every City was made by the Lord typically and ceremonially holy, and a pledge of a Heaven, when therefore a Seducer fled to any City from the Judge, if that City would partake with him in his sin, and save him from the hand of Justice, that City forfeited its typical holiness, and it, and all things in it, the spoil, cattle and goods, made accursed, and to be burnt with fire, and all the inhabitants young and old, put to the edge of the sword, and that not under the notion of false teachers, but as open Rebels against God, his holy law; and the Judge, the Minister of God, was to avenge that blasphemy, and the moral part is this; If the Army now on foot in England will against the Laws of God and man protect blasphemers and false teachers, and save them from the hand of Justice, and will reward, countenance, and promote Seducers of souls, our humble opinion is, that they render themselves obnoxious to the sword of the Magistrate. But the punishing of infants, and burning of the spoil was a mere temporary typical law that doth not abolish us in the New Testament. Now Libertines bring this as an argument. We cannot put to death false teachers by Deut. 13. for then should we by that Law kill their children and cattle which consequence we deny as false and vain. For our Divines strongly argue from the moral equity, and the Law of nature warranting Joshua to make war with the Canaanites in the Old Testament, to prove the lawfulness of wars under the New Testament upon the moral equity, as Josh. 11. 19, 20. Those that refused to make peace with Israel, and came against Israel in battle, against those Israel might raise war, by the Law of nature in their own defence. But such were all the Canaanites except those of Gibeon, Josh. 11. v. 19, 20. And this argument holds strongly in the New Testament, if any, as some Anabaptists do infer, this is no good argument, because if the major proposition were true, then should we also kill the women and sucking children, as the Lord commanded Saul, touching the Amalekites, 1 Sam. 15. and then should we destroy the cattle and burn the spoil with fire, for Joshua and Israel made such a war with Jericho, etc... and the rest of those Cities, yea Israel destroyed them utterly, and shewed them no favor, Josh. 11. 20. We with good ground deny the consequence, because the war with these seven Nations was warranted by the Law of nature, but the war, tali modo, to destroy utterly young and old, cattle, and all they had, was from a ceremonial and temporal law peculiar to the Jews, because God would have his Church neither enriched by their goods, nor to make Covenants, and marriages with them, or to live in one society with them, nor to see their groves, lest they should be ensnared to follow their Religion and strange Gods.

C H A P. XVI

Prophesies in the Old Testament, especially Zach. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
for punishing false Prophets vindicated.

We argue from the Predictions and Prophesies in the Old Testament, touching the Magistrate's zeal under the New Testament, especially that Zach. 13. 2. Also I will cause the Prophets and the unclean spirit to cease out of the land 3. And it shall come to pass that when any shall yet Prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him, shall say unto him, thou shalt not live for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through, when he prophesieth 4. And it shall come to pass in that day that the Prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied, etc...

That which the Prophets foretell shall commend the zeal of Kings and Rulers under the Messiah's Kingdom, must be the lawful and necessary duty of the Christian Prince under the New Testament. But the punishing of false teachers under the New Testament is such; ergo, the proposition is undeniable; the assumption I prove, 1. The time when this zeal shall be put forth by the godly Prince or Ruler, is, v. 1. In that day when there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David for sin and for uncleanness, that is, when remission in the blood of Christ shall be preached by Apostles, Pastors, and teachers, to David's house, to the Church of Christ, as it clearly relates to that day or time, c. 12. 8. When the Lord shall destroy the enemies of Jerusalem, and make the house of David, as God, and as an Angel of God, v. 9. And when he shall pour the spirit of grace and supplication on the church, and they shall see him whom they have pierced, and crucified, and shall mourn every family apart for their sins. 2. Bodily punishment is discerned, Thou shall not live. 3. The cause is set down, for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord. 4. The execution of the sentence is, his father and his mother, the godly Rulers, and the dearest of his friends shall thrust him through, that is, he shall cause the Law of God, Deut. 13. 6, 7, 8. etc... be executed against him.

The Answer to this argument hath no hue or apparent colorableness of truth. As 1. It respecteth only the Church of the Jews, why? because, it saith, The house of David, and the Inhabitants of Jerusalem, 2. because Matth. 15. 24. he saith I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and this Fountain cannot reasonably be opened to the Gentiles, but to the Jews, 3. It is for the Jews encouragement, Ezr. 5. 1. and the Prophets use not to speak of the Gentiles, to make them equal and superior in holy privileges to them; for it argueth God's displeasure with the Jews: I will move them to Jealousy with those that are no people.

4. (The word land) I will cut off the names of Idols out of the land, indefinitely put in the old Testament, notes the Land of Canaan, it was fulfilled under Antiochus, and ended with the siege and destruction of Jerusalem.

Ans. 1. It's strange that the house of David should more note in prophecies the Jews excluding the Gentiles, than the house of Israel, and the house of Judah should signify the Jews only, which is apparently false; for the house of Israel, Jer. 31, v. 31. v. 33. 36. the seed of Israel, Zion, Jacob, Isaiah 59. 21. 15. expounded to be the Church of the New Testament, with whom the everlasting Covenant of Grace is made, as is expounded Hebr. 8. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. when the former Covenant that is faulty and made with the Jews only, and undeniably, as the Fountain is first opened and preached to the Jews, Mat. 15. 25. c. 10. 5, 6. Act. 13. 46. yet not to them only, except we say this place, and the pouring of the spirit on David's house, Zach. 12. 10. and the writing of the Law in the inward parts, and the teaching by God, and the eternal Covenant of grace is made with only the Jews excluding the Gentiles, that the new heart is not promised to them, and the law not written in the heart of the Gentiles, see Rom. 11. 26. where it is said all Israel shall be saved, and the fulness of the Gentiles comes in, and the Gentiles that believed not have obtained mercy, v. 25. 30. Act. 13. 47. 48. So James, Act. 15. 16. After this I will return, and will build again the Tabernacle of David. 17. That the residue of men might seek, and all the Gentiles, etc... 2. It is a shame to blot paper with such Divinity that when God intends to comfort the Jews, he is not wont to speak of the calling of the Gentiles; for it still argues his displeasure with the Jews, the just contrary is the Divinity of the Prophets and Apostles, Isaiah 54. 1. Sing O Barren. 2. Thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, Isaiah 60. 1. Arise, shine, for thy light is come. 3. for the Gentiles shall come into thy light, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

3. The names of Idols will not help, nor the name of Land, because they are old Testament words; the contrary is, Prov. 31. 23. Prov. 29. 4. the King by judgment establisheth the land, any land, not of Judea only, Prov. 10. 16. 17. Psal. 107. 34. that this zeal ceased with the siege of Jerusalem is said gratis, and is no more true than that the Fountain of Christ's blood was dried up then, and ran no more to David's house, to Jews and Gentiles; this were to say, this Fountain is opened to the Jews only, and runs dry, when it over-flows more abundantly.

2. Answ. Be it that civil Magistrates ought to proceed, with as great zeal, against delinquents under the Gospel, as Eliah against Baal's priests and Phineas against Idolaters, yet it follows not they ought to put out their zeal in killing false prophets with the sword, for this is blind zeal under the Gospel, John 16. 1. Act. 22. 3. 4. Act 26. 9.

Answ. The Holy Ghost commends this zeal under the Gospel, when the fountain shall be opened for David's house, his father that begat him shall thrust him through. This answer saith that this zeal, Zach. 13. is the bloody zeal of persecuting Saul and of others, raising persecution against the Gospel preached by Paul and Barnabas, so the answer contradicts God, who saith this zeal was truly and lawfully set, as touching the object, not being set on against the members of Christ and Paul, for the Gospel, but against false prophets that speak lies in the name of the Lord, ver. 3. Mr. Goodwin brings an example of blind and bloody zeal against the Saints and the Apostles, to prove that the Christian Magistrate should have no zeal at all to punish false teachers under the New Testament, which is just this in logical reduction. Magistrates under the New Testament should not butcher the innocent, nor murder the Saints, ergo, under the New Testament magistrates should not take vengeance on murderers, evil doers, and blasphemers, who preach doctrines of devils. It is as good logic as this, Godly Rulers should not do injustice and oppression, ergo, They should not do justice and right in saving the flock from grievous Wolves.

3. Answ. These who are absolutely for slaying by death, and thrusting through, do not allow, that for every error the father should kill the child.

Answ. This is yet to object against the Holy Ghost, not against us, for the text will bear no such thing, for the Prophet that is to be thrust through, is not every son, nor for every error. But it is 1. A false Prophet not called to be a Prophet, but one that takes on a hairy mantle to deceive, as the 4. v. holds forth; and so he pretends a calling from God, when he hath none. 2. He prophesies not errors only but lies, that he knows, or may know, except he were willfully ignorant, to be lies. 3. He speaks them in the name of the Lord and says, he hath seen the visions of God, and the word of the Lord came to me, when no such thing was, but he utters his own fancies, and he that does these three, deserves bodily punishment, and if they be lies, striking at the root of the Christian faith, he deserves to die the death.

2. The text will not bear that his father and his mother with their own hands shall thrust him through, without addressing themselves to the Judge. But it is an allusion to the Law, Deut. 13. His father and mother shall not pity him, but cause him to be thrust through. So Elias said to Ahab, Hast thou killed and also gotten possession? When Ahab with his own hands had not killed Naboth, but by his command and letter had procured that others should do it, so 2 Sam. 12. 9. Thou hast killed Uriah, but it is exponed David procured that the Ammonites should kill Uriah, David with his own hand did not thrust him through.

The 4. Answer is, because the objector is like to be cumbred with this text he saith, (for I repeat not what I answered before) the best exposition, and fullest is, His father shall pierce him through, that is shall endeavor to take him off, and deter him from such a practice, by laying before him the sentence of the death out of the Law, Exod. 20. 5. 7. threatening, if thou go on thou shalt not live (with God) but shall be condemned --- he shall pierce him through with sharp and piercing words, the word of God is compared to a two edged sword, Psal. 149. 17. etc... and ver. 12. There is that speaketh like the piercing of a sword, so Turnovius And the predictions in Scripture are spoken as performances. Jer. 1. I have set thee over the Nations to root out, etc... That is, to foreshew or threaten rooting out, so Chytraeus. They shall confute their wicked opinions, etc...

Answ. Though Turnovius expound piercing through, by preaching death from the Law, and terrifying, yet since the Objector weakly and groundlessly (as we saw) will restrict this Prophesy to the Church of the Jews, and a poor short time, when this zeal endured. It must, with his leave, be meant (in that day) that is, in the time of the Gospel, as in other places it must be taken, as Jer. 50. 4. v. 20. Jer. 31. 29. Jer. 33. 15. 16. Joel. 2. 29. Zach. 8. 23. for so prophesies of Christ's Kingdom are expounded to have their accomplishment in Christ's Gospel-Kingdom, and then the Law, piercing through, and terrifying, must be in use under the Gospel, which is all we crave, therefore the Objector adds to the words of the threatening; thou shalt not live (to wit before God, and so leaps from the threatening of the sword of the Magistrate, Deut. 13. which he saith is the sense of the place, to the second death, and a dying before God.

2. But let us have an instance where piercing through, dying and wounding, is put for Metaphorical wounding with words to gratify, the Objectors erroneous sense we cannot quit this place so, for all the Text cries for a real piercing and killing.

1. It is I grant an easy way to answer places of Scripture that can but bear a literal sense, to change them into Metaphors, so you may give to the Magistrate with some Anabaptists, Rom. 13. a Metaphorical sword, and pay him metaphorical tribute, and give him metaphorical obedience: what more reason to make this a moral slaying, and piercing with words, than a moral or metaphorical idol or a metaphorical false Prophet, a metaphorical unclean spirit, and passing out of the land? These words, thou shalt not live, are words of the Law, and the piercing through metaphorical, but those words, again (Thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord) are not metaphorical, but contain a proper truth, such a complication is not in all the Scripture.

2. The words in their literal sense are fair and easy, and not to be wrested to a spiritual or borrowed sense without ground; it much lesseneth the zeal foretold to be under the Gospel, and turns a real zeal over into words of threatening; the Text saith the contrary, his father shall thrust him through, and this works so upon him, that others shall really leave their false prophesying, and shall say, I am no Prophet, but a Herdman; now if the words be a Prophecy to be fulfilled only in the Jews excluding the Gentiles, as the Objector saith, then is it no zeal at all, but a most sinful and unjust dispensing with the law, and a zeal far below the Law; for the Law saith, Deut. 13. If the seducing Prophet which were as near to thee, as a Brother, Son, Daughter, or Wife in the bosom, thou must not smooth him, and oil him with sharp words, and mere threatenings; yea, but thou must act against him, v. 8. Thine eye shall not pity him, thou shall not spare him, neither shalt thou conceal him. 9. Thou shalt surely kill him, thine hand shall be first upon him, to put him to death. Now this cannot be a metaphorical putting to death, but the Objector's metaphorical, and minatory piercing of him through with sharp and piercing words, imply necessarily that ye must conceal him, and pity him, and not kill him, nor stretch out any hand against him, first or last to hurt him, but only stretch your tongue against him, and barely threaten him, and terrify him, but let him live: If the Prophecy be extended to Jew and Gentile, under the Gospel, which against the text the Objector denies, then it argues, 1. That there is such a law under the Gospel, else if it be an unjust law, and out of date now under the Gospel, the threatening and piercing through must be with lying words, and father must utter to the lying Prophet lies to terrify him; and say, son if thou desist from prophesying lies, thou shalt be thrust through with the Magistrate's sword, and die according to the Law; that is, I foreshew and threaten according to the Law (but it is an unjust, and an out-dated Law to Libertines that obligeth not under the New Testament) that thou shalt be thrust through and die; that is, I fore-shew and prophesy a lie, that thou ought to be put to death, and persecuted for thy conscience; whereas no such thing ought to be now, when the Law. Deut. 13. is worn out of vigor. 2. It must follow that lying and false words uttered in a threatening manner must be the way to cause the false Prophet to be ashamed of his vision and prophesying falsely no more, but say, I am no Prophet but an herdman. Whereas the Holy Ghost sayeth, fear of thrusting through is the cause.

3. If it be only a piercing merely minatory, by threatening and rebukes, these do not change the Prophet and gain him to the truth, as the Objector would imply, for refutation in a doctrinal, and instructing, and teaching way only doth that: no rebukes no law-threatenings do change the false Prophet, for threatenings and rebukes do suppose the seducer seeth that he seduceth, and that he proprophesieth lies which yet the false Prophet cannot see, till he be convinced of the error of his way, and rebukes will not do that. But I would put to the Objector his own query, is it fit to rebuke a man who can do no other but publish lies, because he lacketh supernatural grace, which would make him a true Prophet? These words v. 6. What are those wounds in thy hands? hold forth a visible and real piercing through of the hands, for some false doctrine he hath preached, according to the merit of his heresy, then it must be some other thing than a verbal threat or a metaphorical piercing through with words which are transient, and not permanent, and visible as wounds and print of strokes, cicatrices, in the hands: so I cannot but think the Objector hath strained his light to find a violent exposition to elude the place.

Its true, that Da. Chytreus and Melancthon acknowledge a confutation of errors by words, but Chytreus in the same place on this text, goeth farther, they shall confute false teachers (saith he) as Asa removed his own mother from worshipping of Idols. But how? 2 Chron. 15. 16. He removed her from being Queen, because she had made an Idol in a grove. This removing was not a moral confutation by words, but a compulsory, by royal authority, which is essentially coactive and in order to the sword. Deodate, and the English Divines, call it a representation of the spirit of knowledge and discretion, but they add, and zeal in Christ's true Church to discern false doctrines and to oppose them, how? By not only refuting them by the word, but by censures of excommunication and rebukes. The Objector might have read forward, ver. 6. One shall say, if it appear that he hath passed through the Church's discipline, because he hath been a seducer, he shall confess it, and give God the glory, approving of the Church's severity, used for his correction The Objector, as we have heard, rejects ecclesiastical coercing of false teachers as well as civil. Which Deodate and those Divines acknowledge: nor do they exclude the Magistrate as he doth: he addeth Grotius a reconciler and an apostate and calleth the number of five very late writers, the best expositors on the place of Zachary. With his leave, Calvin, Gualther, Piscator, Junius, Daneus, five for five, and twenty and twenty, and four as good (many of them esteemed better) have written the contrary. I have not time now to levy Hosts and Armies of writers. But it's the Objector's best to be silent of Divines, and to quit the cause too, for he sayeth nothing to a purpose. But what Socinians and Sectaries joining with Servetus, Castalio, Minus, Celsus, Vaticanus, Acontius, Episcopius, and the Belgic Arminians against Calvin and Beza, hath said (with favor of his learning) twice, better if they were translated into the English tongue. Nor must we with sharp rebukes, and piercing words, like sharp swords pierce through heretics: for our Libertines tell us, Christ spake words of honey and butter to apostate Samaritans, and the servant of the Lord must be gentle. Then must we not speak fire and hell to the Godly Saints, to Paul Best, to Tyndal that denyeth the Scripture to be the Word, and blasphemeth the trinity, and Independents though they persecute Presbyterians, nurse them if they were Samaritans, are so far from piercing the Familists, Antinomians, Enthysiasts through with piercing words, that they advance them to highest places of dignity.

To this prediction I add, The prophecies * touching Kings, Those that are by office to be Nurse-fathers to the Church, to minister to her, and lend their royal breasts to be sucked by her, and as godly Kings are to praise the Lord as godly Kings, are to bring gifts and presents to Christ, and are to be wise and serve the Lord, and kiss the mediator, and to bring their Royal honor to the New Jerusalem, and by whom Kings reign, they and their Royal sword cannot be excluded from commanding the Priests, Prophets and Teachers to befriend the bride, and decor, and deck her for her Lord and husband, to give wholesome milk to the children, as they would be rewarded of Princes as well-doers, or punished as ill doers, and would be protected from grievous wolves, not sparing the flock, nor can they be excluded from all royal and politic guarding of both Tables of the Law, as if they were but fleshly Ordinances. But such are Kings and Princes, ergo etc... Nor is it my mind that Kings are sub-mediators or Vicars of Christ mediator, as Erastians dream, but whatever Kings do in, or about matters of Religion, they do it in a politic way not as commanding the conscience, but in order to civil and temporary rewards and punishments.

It's true Christianity adds no new Magistratical power to a King, it being only a gratious accident without which a man may be a King, yet it spiritualizeth the exercise of Royal power and Christianity is no accident of a Christian King, but a Christian King, kindly, and as a Christian King, is to serve Christ the Lord, and to conserve with his royal dignity all Gospel-ordinances in an external politic way; and so he owes Royal service to Christ, as such a King, sograced of God, and in this consideration he brings his glory to Christ, and tutors the bride the lamb's wife. Justice is an accident of a man, but not of a just man.

C H A P. XVII.

Places in the New Testament, especially Rom. 13. for punishing of
false teachers vindicated.

Argument XI.

Those who are powers ordained of God, and a terror not to good works but to evil; and Ministers of God for good, are revengers, and to execute wrath on evil doers, are Kings and supreme, or governors sent by the King for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well, are to punish all false teachers, and such as ruin the souls of others, and waste the Church. But the King and all lawful Rulers, Parliaments, or others, are such, Rom. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 1 Pet. 2. 13. 14. Tit. 3. 1. Matth. 22. 21. And false teachers are evil workers, evil doers, dogs, Phil. 3. 2. They rub the contagion of their evil deeds upon others, for those that receive them into their houses, and bid them God speed, are partakers of their evil deeds, 2 John ver. 10. 11. then must such teachers be evil doers, they subvert whole houses.

Divers answers to little purpose are given to this argument. As 1. It is against the wisdom of God in governing the World to make Magistrates judges of what is truth, and heresy, since the generality of Magistrates, yea of men are ignorant thereof, and incapable in questions of doubtful disputation. 2. Say that the Synod were equally divided, whether Presbytery or Independency be the way of God, or say the major part (which is ever the worst) determine amiss, what shall the Magistrate do? and the evil doer, Rom. 13. cannot be he that doth evil without limitation, or thinks evil, but pro subjecta materia. But he that doth evil, whereof ordinary Magistrates, heathen or Christian, are competent judges, which is manifestly of political consideration, as that which is contrary to the light and law of nature, as whoredom, adultery, murder, theft, injustice, sedition, treason.

Answ. 1. This argument is against the wisdom of God in appointing Magistracy, as well as against us, for there be a world of questions of doubtful disputation, what is according or what contrary to the light and law of nature, in murder, medicine, usury, polygamy, incest, marriage, contracts, false witness, and these are so controverted, yea and there be matters too hard in judgment for ordinary men, between blood and blood, plea and plea, stroke and stroke, Deut. 17. 12. no less than in matters of Religion, and to err in taking the life of a guiltless man in any subject, is as great misgovernment as can be, though I dare not charge God with it, as the Objector doth. 2. When the Holy Ghost forbiddeth the Master of every Christian family (and there must be a far larger number of heads of families than Christian Magistrates) to own a heretic as a guest, or to salute him, 2 John 10. and commandeth Christians not to eat with an Idolater, 1 Cor. 7. 11. to reject an heretic, Tit. 3. 10. to avoid false teachers that creep into houses, 2 Tim. 3. 5, 6. and such as cause divisions contrary to the doctrine of the Gospel, Rom. 16. 17, 18. sure he supposeth they have knowledge to judge what is error and heresy, what is truth, otherwise he commands us to turn our backs on such, as the blind man casts his club. May not one say, This is against the wisdom of God in the government of Christian families and societies to interpose our judgment in doubtsome disputations, to judge who is the heretic, and to be avoided, who is the sound believer.

3. The incapability, of Magistrates and most men to judge here, is the want of infallibility, such as the immediately inspired Prophets had, then it's against the wisdom of God, that we try the spirits and doctrines, and believe them, for if the generality of men, let alone Christianity Magistrates, be incapable of fundamental truths, they cannot judge them to be truths, nor heresies, except they be infallibly, and immediately inspired by this argument; it is then against the wisdom of God to bid any believe the Gospel, but the Prophets and Apostles.

4. The Magistrate being a Christian, should see with his own eyes, and judge the Presbytery worthy of his politic sanction, and though Synods, divide, or err, the error and uncertainties of men, that are accidental to all Ordinances, are no rule to Magistrates on earth; and by this reason, which hath as much force against preaching the Gospel as against the Christian Magistrate's political judging , when Ministers are divided, and the equal half or the major part preach Arrianism, Socinianism, Familism, etc... and the lesser number sound doctrine, the Objector needs not ask, under which of their shadows shall the Magistrate repose for peace and safety? I enlarge the question, and let the Objector answer, under which of their shadows shall all their hearers repose for faith and establishment in the truth? And I answer, call no man Rabbi, let Magistrates and others receive the truth in love, and let him answer, when four hundred Prophets say to Ahab, go to Ramath Gilead fight and prosper, and one Michajah saith, go not lest thou be killed, under which shall Ahab repose? shall then Ahab hear the voice of the Lord in no Prophet, because four hundred speak lies? or shall not four hundred Michajahs declare the mind of God to the Prince, because so many false Prophets speak the contrary?

5. It's true, Ill-doers here must be such as Magistrates generally may judge, but not all ill-doers, false prophets, or the like, Magistrates as Magistrates, are to judge ill-doers, but it follows not that all Magistrates whether Heathen or Christian, are to judge all ill-doers, whether Gospel-seducing teachers or murderers, for there wanteth a condition in heathen Magistrates, for the want whereof they cannot actually, and in the capacity of heathens, judge false teachers, Arrians, Socinians, and the like, not because they are not essentially Magistrates as well as Christian Magistrates, but because they want the knowledge of the Gospel, even as inferior Judges are as essentially Judges in Israel, as the Priests and the great Sanhedrim at Jerusalem, and may judge of their office between blood and blood, but if it be a controversy too hard for them between blood and blood, and the party be willing to appeal, these inferior judges cannot actually judge that controversy, but it must go to the Sanhedrim, Deut. 17. 12, 13. So a father as a father, whether heathen or Christian, and a Master of a family by his place (the like I say of a husband, a Tutor, a Doctor in their respective places) are by their place and relation to teach their children and servants the principles of the doctrine of the Gospel, by these places, Gen. 18. 18, 19. Exod. 12. 26, 27. Ps. 78. 4, 5, 6, 7. Joel 1. 2. Prov. 4. 3, 4, 5. Eph. 6. 4. 2 Tim. 3. 14, 15. Deut. 6. 6, 7. yet while they are heathen fathers, and heathen masters, they neither can, nor are obliged actually to teach anything of the Gospel, they never hearing of the Gospel, are obliged not to believe in a Christ of whom they never heard, Rom. 10. 14, 15, 16. and those that Christ was never preached to, are not condemned for Gospel-unbelief, John 15. 22.

But for sins against the law of nature, Rom. 2. 12, 13, 14, 15. Rom. 1. 19, 20, 21, 22. and the like must we say of judges whether heathen or Christian, though in the state of heathenish, they never having heard of Christ, freeth them from an obligation of actual punishing Gospel heretics, yet as Judges their office is to punish such, but neither heathen Princes, nor heathen fathers, masters, husbands, tutors, and teachers of Schools, are obliged to an actual exercise of all and every Magistratical, fatherly, masterly, marital, and tutory Gospel-duties, toward their underlings and pupils, if they live in a Country where they are invincibly ignorant of the Gospel, if the Lord by no providence send Preachers of the Gospel to them. And how shall they believe in him of whom they never heard? And how shall they judge heretics sinning against a Gospel of which they never heard? Let no man stumble at this providence, God hath made the supreme Magistrate Judge of all murders, yet may this godly Prince, and the generality of men be ignorant, yea incapable, at least most unfit to judge how a bloody Physician took away the life of such a child by this vegetable, or this herb, or this syrup, to the end his own son might be heir; dare we say with this Objector, therefore this providence in appointing such a godly Prince to be judge of murder, because he is not a skilled Physician, is inconsistent with the wisdom and goodness of God in the government of the world, the like instances I may give in thousands of the like cases, in which the Christian Judge may be ignorant. And I cannot dissemble, but it is a hard question how the Magistrate as a Magistrate, doth punish Gospel-heretics, for so all Magistrates, even heathen Magistrates, who are invincibly ignorant of the Gospel, in regard they never heard of the Gospel, should be obliged to punish false-teachers, and Gospel-heretics, which seems hard; for it is a sin against the Magistratical duty of an Indian Magistrate not to punish Gospel-heretics?

Answ. It follows not; for nothing follows, but, it's a sin in an Indian Prince, and he--- sinneth against his Magistratical office in that he punisheth not an Indian false-teacher, who teacheth against the Law of nature, because an Indian should not worship the Devil; but the Indian Ruler invincibly ignorant of the Gospel, sinneth not against his office as a Magistrate, because he punisheth not a Gospel-heretic, for he is not obliged to every Magistratical act as a Magistrate, not to those of which he is invincibly and faultlessly ignorant, as an Indian husband and Master invincibly ignorant of the Gospel sins not against the duty of a husband and head of a family, though he teach not wife, children, and servants, the principles of the Gospel, which a Christian husband and head of a family is obliged to do, not as a husband and head of a family simply, but as such a husband and head as heareth the Gospel, and so either heareth and knoweth, or may hear these Gospel principles, if he were not thereof ignorant through his own sinful neglect.

Object. But the Magistrate as the Magistrate punisheth Gospel-heretics, ergo, All Magistrates, even heathen Magistrates fail against their Magistratical duty, if they punish not Gospel-heretics, and their ignorance cannot excuse them.

Answ. The Antecedent is not simply true, every Magistrate as a Magistrate sinneth against his office, if he punish not some false teachers, if convened before him and convinced. But every Magistrate, as a Magistrate, punisheth not every heretic against the Gospel: but only such a Magistrate as heareth the Gospel, punisheth such a Gospel Heretic. We say that Magistrates by virtue of their office make laws for no transporting of monies out of England, but you cannot infer that if Magistrates did this by their Magistratical power, then Magistrates, as Magistrates; and so all Magistrates of India, and all Heathen Magistrates ought to make laws that no money be transported out of England; it is no consequent at all, for though English Magistrates make such laws by their Magistratical power, yet they do this as such Magistrates, not as Magistrates; thousands such we may allege.

Object. How then doth the Magistrate, as the Magistrate serve Christ, Mediator in punishing Gospel heretics, and bringing his Kingly honor to the new Jerusalem, and casting his Crown down at the feet of the Lamb?

Answ. The Magistrate, as the Magistrate (should we speak accurately in such an intricate debate) doth not serve Christ as Mediator, for then all Magistrates, Heathen and Indian, were obliged to serve him, as the axiom proveth. Quod convenit, convenit. But the Magistrate, as such a Magistrate, lustered with Christianity punisheth Gospel Heretics, and sinneth against his Magistratical office if he do not so: for Christianity spiritualizeth the exercise of marital, paternal, Magistratical power, and elevates them above their common nature in Christian Husbands, Fathers, Magistrates, which it cannot do in all husbands, as husbands; fathers, as fathers; Magistrates, as Magistrates: even suppose they be heathens, Quod non ni est non operatur.

Object. But why then may not a Christian Magistrate, as a Christian , if not as a Magistrate be a Vicar of Christ?

Answ. 1. Because Christ as Mediator, hath no Vicars, nor sub-mediators, and so the Minister, or the Christian Magistrate as the Christian Magistrate, cannot be the Vicar of Christ.

2. Because the Christian Magistrate, as the Christian Magistrate, and even lustered with Christianity, which is not in every Magistrate, yet operatur in externals and only can as a Christian Magistrate proceed according as the heresy is proved by witness, or confessed, and obstinately maintained by the Heretic, and all this is external, and doth but externally, and in external means promove the Church's spiritual good, and the mediatory Kingdom, and it is such a promoving as Christ may well want, though ordinarily he cannot want pastors and teachers.

Quest. But doth not the Mediator Christ, as Mediator, promove his Mediatory Kingdom in, and through the Christian Prince, as his instrument, subordinate to him as Mediator?

Answ. Not at all, for Christ useth the Christian Magistrate as his servant to beat the wolves from the flock, but not as King, mediator as God-man, head of the Church, for Christ Mediator as Mediator, works not by external violence, or, by the sword, in his mediatory Kingdom, John 16, 36. If my Kingdom were of this World, mine own would fight for me. Ergo, it is but borrowed accidental help and service, that Christ hath in his mediatory Kingdom, from Kings, he works not as Mediator by fighting. Christ who is Mediator qui est Mediator acteth by believing Kings, not qu Mediator as he is Mediator, the sword may procure good and peace to the mystical visible body, and immunity from spiritual errors. But this is a means to Christ as Mediator in the by, and at some times, not such as is the ministry of the word, 2 Cor. 10. 5. which is spiritual not carnal: though ministers be not sub-mediators, yet Christ as Mediator works and conquers in them, and by them. But I return.

6. To say the text speaks of evil doers, which appertains to the cognizance of the ordinary Magistrate (if it were not as ordinary to the Magistrate to be an understanding Christian as another man) is to beg the question, for we say, false teachers, wolves in sheep's skins, worrying the flock, which may be known by their works, as a fig tree is known from a thistle, by its fruit, are such evil doers. The text and law distinguisheth not, and mentioneth no more murderers than false teachers. Therefore the text means all evil doers, that perturb human societies, as spiritual wolves and lions that devour the flock, and those that think ill in their hearts, to all men of sound sense are punishable only by him that knows the heart, not by Judges.

7. To say the light, and law of nature is the Judge's only compass he must sail by, and that he must punish no sins, but such as are against the law of nature. 1. It pulls the book of the law of God, yea, the Bible out of the King's hand, that contains greater depths than the law of nature can reach, contrary to the word of God, Deut. 17. 18, 19, 20. Deut. 17. 10, 11, 12. For the King, as the King, should have the book of the law with him on the throne, to be his rule, Deut. 17. 18. Josh. 1.8. 2. This rule hinders not but the King and Ruler may judge ill doers so far as the light, and law of nature will go along with him. Yet the Objector will be unwilling the Ruler take away the head of a seducer, that should say, and teach men with Caligula, there is no God, Chance made all, and rules all: we want not such blasphemous impostors as these.

But (saith the Objector) by him that doth evil, is not meant the spreading of errors or heresies. 1. They had no reason to fear the Magistrate spoken of here, Rom. 13. for spreading and publishing the most orthodox truths, for they might without any danger at all from the Magistrate, here spoken of, have taught that the Roman Idols were true Gods. They had ten times more cause to be afraid of the power of publishing orthodox truths, as that there is but one God, and the Roman Gods are dumb Idols, or speaking Devils. 2. That doing of evil, against which the Magistrate, here spoken of, is the minister of God to execute wrath, is opposed to that subjection to higher powers. ver. 1. And of the same consideration with resisting of powers so sharply reproved. Vers. 2. Then by it is only meant the doing of evil, which was prohibited by the Roman laws and edicts: and no man resists the power who lives in an orderly subjection and obedience to all their laws, now the Romans in their laws never forbad the publishing of error and heresies in Religion, then doing of evil in spreading of heresies, can be no resisting of the Roman powers and laws. Again that doing evil, ver. 4. is opposed to doing of good, ver. 3. Unto which there is a promise of a reward promised, even praise from the magistrate. Now the doing of good, for which the Apostle undertakes, they shall have praise from the Roman magistrate, was not the preaching and publishing the great and Orthodox truths of Christian Religion, yea, they were enemies to that good thing.

Answ. All these lean upon a castle beyond the moon, to wit, that Paul speaks, Rom. 13. of no powers but the Roman Magistrate, and that he is to be obeyed as the only minister of God, and then having laid this most false and vain ground, he cries out, O England, England make much of thy Scriptures, but take heed of the glosses of thy teachers. Which we may retort, but this is an impious gloss: For though Paul aimed at obedience to Magistrates, even to persecuting Nero in things lawful, because some then, as Anabaptists now, said the Gospel freed Christians from subjection and obedience to lawful Magistracy. But I prove that the Apostle speaks of the Magistrate, such as he is by Gods appointment, and such as he ought to be, whither he be Heathen or Christian, and he speaks of a Magistrate in general. Now the Roman Emperor and Senate were not such powers in all their Government, Laws and Edicts, as every soul should be subject unto. For they made laws in acts of the second Table, and accordingly practiced them, with violence and injustice, to join not only house to house (but not being provoked by any wrong) Kingdom to Kingdom, the Isle of Britain, and all the people of the world, and in that every soul (I conceive) ought to be subject to superior powers. If the Objector render this sense, let every soul on earth be subject to the Roman Emperor Nero, for he is the minister of God, for thy good, that is, for the good and peaceable Government of all and every one that hath souls, because he would raise war and tyrannically subject them all to him. We wish England to beware of such glosses.

2. Whatever people resisted the Roman Empire and their bloody Emperor Nero, and others, in all their bloody Edicts against innocent Christians, (for he is the Magistrate here spoken of, saith the Objector) they receive not damnation, nor do they resist the ordinance of God.

3. The Roman Emperor and Senate in their Laws and Edicts, were a terror to good works, not to evil, they rewarded those that persecuted and killed Christians, and those that shed the blood of innocent people that they might be tyrannous conquerors of them; and made them commanders in war, and hired them so to do: then the Roman Magistrate as he actually governed, and made neither Laws nor Edicts against spreading of errors and heresies cannot be the Magistrate here spoken of.

4. The Objector would be put in mind of the same Answer given to this place, and others of the New Testament by the Anabaptists, who say there is no warrant in the Old Testament, that Christians should be Magistrates, because the use of the sword was then typical and ceremonial, and this, and all places of the New Testament doth command conquered Christians subjection to heathen Magistrates, and not to raise Arms against them, but warrants not Christians to take on them Magistracy, because heathens should not be our pattern, but the word of God.

5. Most false it is, and a begging of the question that evil doing is contracted and hampered in here, to subjection to the higher powers, that is, to the Roman Laws and Edicts only; for it is opposed to the lawful subjection due to the Parliament of England, and to the King of Britain, and to all lawfull powers as well as to Roman Magistrates, as is clear; for there is no power but of God, and the powers that be, are ordained of God; and Paul speaketh of all Magistrates, Christian and heathen, that are lawful Magistrates, and commandeth subjection to every power, Roman and Christian, in the Lord. What? Are there no powers ordained of God, but Roman Magistrates? Then may Anabaptists well say, we owe not subjection to Christian Magistrates by this text, but only to the Roman Magistrate, who made no laws against spreading of heresies, and when the Apostle saith, Let every soul be subject to superior powers, shall every soul, by this text, be subject to none but the Roman Magistrate? I am sure, the Reformed Churches, and all our Writers argue, that as many as have souls, Popes, Prelates, and Roman Clergy ought to be subject, by this text, to the good laws of the Christian Emperors, and that all men, none excepted, neither Clergy (as they call them) nor others, but are obliged by this Scripture, and 1 Pet. 2. and Tit. 3. to give obedience and subjection to all lawful Magistrates, heathen and Christian, and to their Laws, and to pay tribute, and to be judged by them, whereas Papists plead exemption to Churchmen, and sure, if no doing of evil be prohibited here, and deserve the just vengeance of the Minister of God, but only such which was prohibited by the Roman Laws and Edicts, then must the Roman Laws and Edicts be as perfect as the word of God, for then the Romans Laws must command, reward and praise, all good that the Ruler or any power ordained of God doth command, this is most false, they did not command the saving of the lives of the innocent British in this Island, that never injured them, but commanded to kill them, they did not in their Laws command their under-Rulers, Pilate and others, to protect innocent Christians, to justify and absolve Jesus Christ, but to condemn and murder them, though they gave all that was due to Caesar, and their Laws did nor forbid all evil, that the Judges and Ministers of God are to execute wrath against, all murdering of innocent men in thousands, and most unjust and bloody wars against Nations that never wronged them, and they forbad not the spreading of errors and heresies against the Gospel that came to their ears, and made them that they had no cloak for their sin, John 15. 21, 22. for Paul brought the Gospel to them, and it is a begging of the question that the Roman Emperors ought not to have made Laws against spreading of heresy, and they were a terror to those that preached the Gospel, and had their conversation among the Gentiles blamelessly; and so these Emperors did not as the Ministers of God, ought to do, nor would the Apostle undertake or be surety for Nero, (the Objector undertakes for the text that in which the Holy Ghost will not bear him out) that he shall give praise and reward for well-doing, all the well doing that the text saith, the Minister of God, by his office, is to reward, the Roman Magistrate did abhor and persecute, if the Apostle undertake those that do will, shall have praise from the Roman Magistrate, if he do as a lawful Magistrate, then cannot the text be meant of the Roman Magistrate as he actually misgoverned and abused his power, for then he was a terror to those that preached orthodox truths, and worshipped dumb Idols, and by Laws and Edicts, honored and rewarded heathen Priests that were not so good as Baal's Chaplains, and doth Paul undertake, if the Saints at Rome would turn Priests and servers of the Roman Gods, that they should do well, and have praise from the Roman Magistrate? for by the Roman Law, the Roman Rulers were to reward and praise such as did well in this sense.

2. Nor doth Paul undertake they shall have praise from the Roman Magistrate, if they do well according as the Roman Laws speaks of well-doing; for then Paul should undertake they should have praise from the Roman Magistrate for that which is evil-doing, which Paul would never undertake, because killing of innocent men in unjust wars to conquer and enslave free States by the Roman Laws was well-doing, and praised and rewarded by their Laws as welldoing. But this was to Paul, and in itself evil-doing, and robbery, and makes the Holy Ghost to exhort to Romish, and falsely so called, well-doing.

C H A P. XVIII.

The place, 1 Tim. 2. 1. 2. for coercive power over false Prophets,
cleared.

Argument XII.

That which we are to pray, we may have from the Magistrate by his office, that is his office to do, because prayers must be in faith, and grounded on the word of God.

But we are to pray for Kings and all that are in authority, that with the sword they would guard religion, and the Church of God from wolves, false teachers, and those that think they do God service when they kill us, John 16. 1. that we may (saith the Apostle, 1 Tim. 2. 2.) lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Nor can a Magistrate procure a quiet and a peaceable life in all godliness evn pash| euvsebei,a| and honesty as a Magistrate, but by his sword, nor can he with mere words of mouth, only exhort as a Magistrate, the foxes not to destroy the vines, and wolves not to slaughter the sheep, except he coerce false teachers and Idolaters, because upon the occasion that Micah and his mother made a molten image, and an Ephod, and imposed it on their house, the Holy Ghost saith, Judg. 17. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. v. 6. In those days there was no King in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes, hence it is clear that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness, a naked permission from the Magistrate to serve God is not enough, or that he suffer no man to do the Saints violence, but if wolves be permitted to teach what is right in their own erroneous conscience, and there be no Magistrate to put them to shame, Judg. 18. 7. and no King to punish them, then godliness, and all that concerns the first Table of the Law must be marred, and the intrinsic end of the Magistrate, which is a peaceable life in all godliness, is not attainable in an ordinary providence, nor will it help to say, Paul commandeth prayers to be made for the Magistrates that were then heathen, who being ignorant of Christ could confer nothing to godliness, but merely negatively, that they persecute not the godly for their conscience, nor permit others to persecute them; for Paul will have us to pray for their conversion, that they may become Christian Magistrates, and come to the knowledge of the truth, and then they do more then negatively procure peace to the Church; for as Magistrates now converted, they are to praise and reward, and promote to the dignity of Judges, men fearing God, Deut. 1. 17. yea and fearing God, as the Scripture doth describe the fear of God, and so to reward Christian well-doing, Rom. 13. 3. and therefore Christian Kings as Kings are to send such, and to promote them to bear rule over the people, 2 Pet. 2. 14. That so they may be governors sent by the King for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. 2. Nor is it true that Paul will have us in that place, to pray only for heathen Kings, and that as heathen, (as Libertines suppose) that we may have negatively peace under them, they being excluded from all exercise of their Magistratical office in, or about matters of Religion; for Paul commands us to pray for Kings and all that are in Authority; and it is clear, some in authority, and divers in Nero's court were converted to the Christian faith, Phil. 1. 13. Phil. 4. 22. Nor is the prayer for Kings to be restricted to the Kings and Rulers of that present age, when Paul wrote that, but for all Kings to be converted, and who shall believe and be saved (seeing God will have all men to be saved) that they may promote godliness in a politic way by their sword. Hence those that have no more to do to procure a peaceable life in all godliness by their office, than heathens and pagans, or if they were not in such an office, yea those who have far less interest in Christian Religion, than if they did not bear the sword at all, can in no sort be the object of our prayers to God for the procuring of such a life in all godliness. But the latter is contrary to the word of truth.

Argument XIII.

That which is foretold to be a fruit of repentance, and a casting off of the Antichristian yoke, must be lawfull, and praise-worthy, but that the ten Kings who made war with the Lamb, and agreed for a time to give their Kingdom to the beast, should now turn their swords, against Babylon, under the notion of a whore, for the Idolatrous worship and spiritual fornication of Rome, and shall hate the whore as a whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire, is a fruit of the repentance of the ten Kings, Rev. 17. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. therefore their turning of the sword against the Pope, the whore of Rome for their whoredoms, must be lawful and praise-worthy; the proposition is clear: for if to join in war with the whore against the Lamb and his followers was a work of the devil, in giving their power and kingdom to the Beast, when God inclines their hearts to the contrary, and they join their power with the Lamb against the whore, and destroy her, and make her naked, and desolate for her whoredoms, it must be a work of the Spirit of God, and a fruit of the repentance of those Kings; for when they repent and hate Babylon, the Holy Ghost would not set down their repentance in a work of cruelty, and bloody persecution for consciences sake, as Libertines define punishing Idolaters to be.

Argument XIV.

That which the servants of God do in an extraordinary impulsion of the Spirit, in the case of the sinful neglect of the lawful Magistrate, or when there is no Christian Magistrate to do it, that must be the ordinary constant duty of the Magistrate, especially when that turns away wrath from the Land, and is taken as acceptable service to God, as if the ordinary Magistrate had done it. But the extraordinary punishing of those that violate the worship of God, and pervert the ways of God, and the faith of others, is such, ergo, to punish such as violate the worship of God, and pervert faith of others, must be the ordinary constant duty of the Magistrate. The proposition is evident, because extraordinary acts necessary to be done supply the want of ordinary acts, as in moral acts acceptable to God is clear; when the under-Rulers do not their duty, Phineas is praised, that he being a Priest, not a Judge, slew Zimri and Cosbey, and Phineas did acceptable service to God in so doing, Num. 25. 11, 12, 13. and Elias in his zeal killed the Priests of Baal, when Ahab the ordinary Magistrate sinfully neglected his duty, and Samuel now being no Judge, killed Agag, ergo, it was the duty of Saul as the ordinary Magistrate to do it. Now in the New Testament it is clear the ordinary officers and porters should violently have casten out the buyers and sellers, and tables of money changers out of the Temple, our Savior Christ doth it in an extraordinary way, and it was the zeal of the house of God that moved him, Ps. 69. 9. John 2. So Annanias and Saphira lied to the Holy Ghost, and defrauded the Church in a matter of goods, therefore Peter struck them dead, then if there had been a Christian Magistrate, he should have inflicted bodily punishment upon Annanias and Saphira, so Paul strikes Elimas with blindness for attempting to pervert the faith of Sergius Paulus, ergo, the Magistrate, if there had been any to procure a quiet life in all godliness to the Church, should have punished Elimas, and this is evident in acts of justice and sinful omissions of men in ordinary places; nor were these acts extraordinary in the substance of the act (as I have observed) but only in regard of the efficient and manner of doing, though there be required an extraordinary impulsion in the doer, which in others in place, should be ordinary; for acts extraordinary in the manner and exigence of providence, may be in the substance of the act ordinary duties, and to neglect them, is to sin against a set command, if David and his followers, had refused to eat the Shew-bread, because the Law made it lawful to none to eat it but Priests, they had sinned against Commandments of mercy, enjoined in the Law of nature, nor was that an extraordinary rule, I will have mercy and not sacrifice; when the Law of nature, for the good of spiritual societies, requires that the godly Magistrate drive away the Wolves and Lions form the flock, we may see a positive command is not necessary.

C H A P. XIX.

Exemption of false Prophets from coercive power, is not
Christian liberty.

Argument XV.

That doctrine is not to be held which maketh that a part of Christian liberty, which the word of God maketh no part at all thereof: For 1. If there be no bodily punishment to be inflicted on false teachers and blasphemers, then must Christ by his blood repeal all those Laws in the Old Testament; but the Scripture shows us all our parts of Christian liberty in these places of Scripture, Tit. 2. 14. Rom. 14. 14. 1 Thess. 1. 10. Gal. 3. 13. Gal. 1. 4. Col. 1. 13. Act. 26. 18. Rom. 6. 14. Rom. 8. 28. Ps. 119. 71. 1 Cor. 15. 54. 55, 56, 57. Rom. 8. 1. Gal. 5. 1. 1 John 4. 18. Act. 15. 10. 11. Heb. 4. 14. 16. Heb. 10. 19, 20, 21, 22. Col. 2. 15, 16. 2 Cor. 3. 13. 17. 19. Jam. 4. 12. Rom. 14. 4. Act. 4. 9. Act. 5. 29. 1 Cor. 7. 23. Matth. 23. 8, 9, 10. Matth. 15. 9. and elsewhere, in all which places nothing is hinted of the false teachers patent under the seal of the blood of the eternal Covenant, that he is freed from the Magistrate's sword, though he destroy millions of souls.

2. Where the common place of subjection due to Kings and governors sent by them, 1 Pet. 2. 11. 12, 13, 14. is handled, etc... freedom to sin, and consequently freedom to heresies, and teaching and spreading of false doctrines that eat as a gangrene, and is no less a work of the flesh than adultery, murders, witchcrafts, Gal. 5. 19. 10, 11, 12. is judged false, liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, as if Christians were so made free by Christ, as subjects were loosed from subjection to Kings, and servants from being buffeted for ill-doing, 1 Pet. 2. 16. if some ill-doers, and the worst of men, even soul-murderers be freed from punishment due to ill-doers, 1 Pet. 2. 13. and that by a writ under the hand of the Mediator of the new Covenant, thieves, robbers, murderers, adulterers, which be innocent, if compared with false teachers and grievous wolves, may claim the same liberty to the flesh: for why should freedom to one sin, and with immunity from the Magistrate's sword be fathered on a charter sealed with Christ's blood, and not freedom to all sins?

3. The end of Christ's redemption is, that we should use our freedom for no license to the flesh, but as bought from bondage to sin. If the conscience be immediately now under the New Testament subject to God only, and free from all Commandments of Ministers, Church-Magistrates, who are to command according to the word of God, and if not withstanding of that, yet the practical conscience, which should be the principal of all the moral actions of a Christian in the duties of the second Table, as touching the life, chastity, goods, name, and good report of our neighbour, must be forced, if subject to the lawful commands of superiors, all men may do to God and men, and destroy, and kill, and steal, as well as blaspheme and seduce souls, and the Magistrate have nothing to do with them, let Anabaptists deny to pay tithes, or to pay soldiers for wars, kill innocent men upon the ground of immediate raptures, rob, and steal, because the just shall inherit the earth, deny and belie Christ and Religion before men, as Familists now teach, for Libertines must give a reason why Christ hath freed a speculative conscience, as touching all acts of the first Table from the Magistrate, and his Jedbrugh-staves, but hath left as innocent a conscience, to wit, the practical conscience as concerning the second Table, which is as free in the Court of the Almighty, under the compulsion and bondage of the sword, and hath not taken in all consciences in the same charter.

Argument XVI.

Christ hath left the consciences of false teachers and heretics under Ecclesiastical censures of admonitions, rebukes, excommunication, so as those that hold the doctrine of Balaam and Jezabel, and such as call themselves Apostles and are not, and grievous wolves must not be suffered, Rev. 2. 1, 2. v. 13, 14. v. 20. Tit. 1. 13. Matth. 18. 15, 16, 17, 18. Act. 20. 28, 29, 30. and these do no more act upon the consciences of men by way of teaching, but by way of punishment, than the sword of the Magistrate doth, and they are as compulsory as the sword for this threatening (if ye still pervert the right ways of the Lord, and teach false doctrine, then must ye be cast out of the Church, delivered to Satan, branded and shamed as ravening wolves, foxes, wasting the flock and the vineyard) this (I say) doth as much in way of compelling, as the weapon of iron and steel, yea and in the New Testament, heretics are to be no less compelled than under the Old Testament (though Libertines most ignorantly talk of compelling of consciences and forcing of men to opinions) for we are to reject and avoid the company of heretics, and to put them to shame and reproach, not to eat with an Idolater, nor to lodge in our houses, him that brings another Gospel, Tit. 3. 10. Rom. 16. 17. 2. Tim. 3. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. 1 Cor. 5. 11, 12. because of the public scandals, by which the souls of others are infected, and their faith subverted. 2. Whatsoever maketh the name of God to be evil-spoken of, and all damnable heresies, which bring swift damnation, and by which men make merchandise of souls, these we are charged to avoid, and these the whole Church should censure, and should far more avoid.

C H A P. XX.

The parable of the Wheat and the Tares, discussed and cleared.

Now for the parable of the Tares and the Wheat, Matth. 13. The Author of the Apology of the Belgic Arminians saith, I deny not but the parable of the Tares is not meant directly of Heretics.

The scope of the parable hath nothing to do with the office of Magistrates, in punishing or not punishing heretics, but tendeth to moderate the too forward zeal of the Disciples, and of all the godly that are inclined to murmur at providence that suffers wicked men to flourish and live with the godly, and that they are not cut off before the day of judgment, so doth the godly complain and stumble at this dispensation, Job 21. Jer. 12. 1, 2. Psal. 73. 1, 2, 3. etc...

1. Christ forbids not simply to pluck up the tares, but only secundum quid, in a case, when there is danger to pluck up the wheat with the tares, as in punishing a multitude or a whole society.

2. Christ expounding the Parable, passeth that part of it, lest while ye pluck up the tares, ye pluck up the wheat also, and that part of the parable that Christ expoundeth not, when he expoundeth all the rest, must belong nothing to the scope of the parable, and we can conclude solidly no controverted point from every limb, joint, or wing of a parable; nor was it Christ's scope to shew that Magistrates should punish none of the children of the wicked one, because of the danger of cutting off the children of the Kingdom with them, for the words may bear (saith Calvin) then, that all punishments and censures, both Civil and Ecclesiastic rebukes, and excommunication, should cease till the end of the world, and so also saith Bullinger; and the truth is, if the danger of erring in taking wheat for tares, or punishing the good and innocent, in place of the guilty, should hinder Rulers to punish such as are hardly known to be guilty, we should not so much as rebuke one another, till the day of judgment, for there is danger in sinning, if we rebuke an innocent man in lieu of a guilty man or that the Magistrate kill an innocent man in place of a Murderer, for the danger in sinning in the least, is as good a ground of abstaining from a duty, as in sinning in the greatest, and therefore this new point of Divinity, that the Magistrate should punish no false Prophets or Seducers, but let them all grow till the day of judgment, for fear that he punish or put to death a faithful teacher in lieu of a false seducer, as Luther following some of the fathers teacheth, is so far from being in this text, that it is not a truth contained in all the Old or New Testament. Yea, it is openly false, for then should we not avoid and turn away from Idolaters and Heretics contrary to 1 Cor. 5. 11. Tit. 3. 10. Rom. 16. 17. But live and converse with them to the end of the world, because we may take some to be Heretics who are no such thing, but sounder in the faith than ourselves: show me a warrant for such an untruth, that we are to do no duties till the day of judgment, for fear of sinful miscarriages in the manner of doing them.

3. By the tares, Christ understands all the children of the devil, ver. 38. and those are the tares gathered and burnt in the fire, ver. 40. all things that offend, and they which do iniquity, ver. 41. That shall be casten into a furnace of fire, where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 42. and they are such as are opposed to the righteous, who shall shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Now 1. The righteous that shall shine in heaven, are not the sound in the faith, only opposed to heretics, except we say none shall be casten in the furnace but heretics. 2. Heretics are innocent men (say Libertines) and not doers of iniquity, as the tares are called, v. 41. 3. Nor are heretics the only children of the devil, ver. 38. And the ill seed sown by the envious man, and the only seed of Satan, if the field be the Church, if we would believe Libertines, as it is not, but exponed by our Savior to be the world, ver. 38. Yet the false teachers would be but the least part of the visible Church, in comparison of the ignorants, the Atheists, the murderers, adulterers, and so not able to come up to complete the visible Church as a company of good and bad, that is, of heretics and true teachers, for these would not make the quarter of the Church, yet Christ makes all the Church of wheat and tares.

1. Since the tares are all that work iniquity, it shall follow that the Magistrate, by express command of God, is to suffer all the children of the wicked one, and all that work iniquity, all adulterers, sorcerers, parricides, murderers, perjured persons, traitors, robbers, thieves, and all evil doers punishable by the Magistrate (for sure all these as well as heretics, are such as offend and work in iniquity in this Kingdom) to grow and live till the end of the world, then sure the Magistrate may go hunt Goats and hang up his sword.

2. If we sift every grain of the text, we must say that the Magistrate makes a doubt, Lord, shall I draw the sword against bloody men and traitors? And the Pastors and Church, shall we cast out the leaven that leaveneth the whole lump? and how carnal must they imagine the Lord to be, who first went on a way of forcing the consciences of men, and converting men by the bloody sword, and rooted out wheat and tares in the old Testament, and now is become a little more just and meek, and will have the consciences of none to be forced, but all to grow harvest? Whereas the Rulers and Pastors make no such question; but the godly wonder at a providence in God, not in Magistrates, that good and ill should grow together. But God rebukes men's carnal zeal that murmur at his longanimity, that he throws not all the wicked in hell fire, long before the harvest, and burns not chaff ere ever it grow to blade; and makes not harvest, ere summer be well begun.

3. The danger that Libertines fancy to be in killing Heretics, is the taking them away being elect, before they be converted, which is as strong against divine providence, that appoints the Magistrate to kill the Murderer without respect or persons, not considering whether he be converted yet or not, to do justice is the Magistrate's duty, election and reprobation, are secrets that belong to the Lord.

Nor doth Minus Celsus promove their cause by saying, the tares must signify false doctrine, as in the former parable, on which this depends, the seed is the word of God, and Christ was sent to preach the Gospel, Heb. 1. 1. to tell us all things, John. 4. 25. a guide and leader of the people, the counselor, Isaiah 9. 6. in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Col. 2. 3. Christ was no law-giver, and when he speaketh of the conversations of men and their manners, that is not from his chief office, which is to be a Prophet, then ill seed must be bad doctrine.

Answ. Reduce this to an argument and it shall run mad. 1. What the seed signifies in the former parable, that it signifies here. I deny the proposition, the scopes of the parable are different. In the former the ground is the heart of men, but here the Ground is the World. 2. In the former, Christ expones the seed to be the Word: Here he expones it to be the children of the Kingdom, and of the wicked one. 3. In the former there are not two seeds, good and ill, and two births, but rather four, the wayside-men, the thorny-men, the rocky-men, the good and fruitful-hearers, and here there be but two seeds, the seed of wheat and of tares. 4. The scope of the former is to show who hear fruitfully the Gospel, who not, this hath no such scope, but to compose our rashness in quarrelling with God that he suffers the wicked to have the benefit of the soil, hedge, sun, rain, dew ,with the godly, and to live until harvest.

2. He saith, that which was Christ's principal work, the preaching of the word of the Kingdom, that must be meant here by the seed, and wheat. It is a false proposition, and a connexion of hay and sand. 2. Christ came to save the lost, to give his life a ransom for many. Ergo, by this argument the good seed should hold forth the redeemed of God. 2. The assumption is false, to wit, that Christ came to be a King, yea, and as principally to be a Priest, to offer himself for the sins of the world, to give his life for his sheep, and goats must rather be meant by Wheat and Tares, than any other thing.

3. By this argument Christ should propone no Parables, but all must aim at good seed and doctrine, what say we then of the parable of the five Talents? The thief in the night? Of the letting out of the Vineyard to those that killed the servants, and the heir, and brought forth ill fruit? And many other parables respecting our Christian conversation, and sober and vigilant walking, rather than the doctrine of the Gospel, though that be the rule of all Christian walking.

And (saith he) by our sense, if the tares signify all wicked men, then must all robbers and murderers escape the hands of the Magistrate, for the Lord bids, let them grow till the harvest,

Answ. Then must no blasphemer, not a Julian, nor any that should teach there is no God, be rooted out of the Church and State, for we say pulling up is not necessary to be meant precisely of killing, but rather of any punishing.

2. That, Let them grow till the Harvest, (say we) is neither a charge nor a command given to Magistrate or Church, touching censures to be inflicted by men: For Christ expones no where, let them grow, to any such meaning, Libertines yield that sense, and Calvin undeniably inferrs by this all censures of Magistrate or Pastors are cut off and casten over till the day of judgment, both the word in rebuking or excommunicating, and so Ecclesiastical plucking up, and the sword must go and sleep: but the sense of [let them grow] is, Why do ye quarrel at the wisdom and providence of the Lord of the field, that he suffers the children of the devil to flourish? and whereas the servants say, 28. wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? It is a parable, and this part not being exponed can yield no new doctrine, and the most can be, is, Lord give us a providence of our own, and a power not to leave one son of that wicked one in the earth (and we shall make a clean field to our Lord) rather than suffer them thus to suffocate and corrupt the wheat. The Lord's answer is, I have ordained rather than such a providence he committed to you, that the tares should grow till harvest; though the Lord have appointed a way how to purge leaven out of the Church, 1 Cor. 5. 1. Mat. 18. 15, 16. and how evil doers shall be cut off, Rom. 13. though not in so strict and accurate a way as we dream, who would not have one thistle in our Lord's field. Yea, would not suffer one sin to be in the world(as we dream) if we could hinder it, though God seeth a permitting providence to be more glorious.

But (saith Celsus) if the Lord understand by tares, thefts, adulteries, robberies, extortion, he would not have used the metaphor of tares, but of briars, thorns, nettles, or the like, that are easily discerned from wheat whereas tares are like wheat.

Answ. We will not teach our Savior to speak, we answer, The Lord understands whatever wickedness cannot be punished without hurt to the godly, and that heretics and Idolaters may be known by ordinary Christians, as well as robbers and thieves, by Magistrates, the Holy Ghost teacheth when he biddeth us not eat with them, but reject and avoid them, and judge them accursed, Gal. 1. 8. 1 Cor. 5. 11. and Forbiddeth us to receive them into our house, Tit. 3. 10. 2. John 10. Now if they cannot be discerned, he should bid us eat, converse with them, lodge them, bless them, till the harvest come, and also thieves and robbers are as indiscernible under the notion of thieves, so are murderers, adulterers, plotters of treason; for all these have such shifts and coverings, that it is hard for the judge to pluck them up, and as hard in the matter of fact, and more, than to know who are heretics, now heresy is known to be a work of the flesh, no less than witch craft but to find out who is the heretic and what is heresy, the Holy Ghost supposeth it to be feasible, else he could not bid us avoid them, and judge them accused, but by this exposition, because there is danger, that we judge them accursed whom God hath blessed, private Christians should no more judge them cursed then public Magistrates, but both should lodge them in their hearts, in the state, in their houses, bless them till the harvest. Yea and Minus Celsus, and other Libertines speak against the Holy Ghost, so why shall ye judge a false teacher, and heretic to be accursed? should you reject and avoid him, and deny him lodging, for he is not a thief, a robber, or a murderer, nor sins he against the light of nature, nor is he seduced by Satan, but to be pitied, yea he is innocent and godly, and so pious, that ere he sin against the word and his own conscience, he had rather be forsaken, past out of our houses, and so not to be rebuked, contrary to Tit. 1. 13.

Celsus, by plucking up must be meant killing as an herb withers, when plucked up by the roots, but when one is excommunicated, he dies not.

Answ. Plucking up is a metaphor, and when an heretic is pulled out of the gates and courts of the Lord's house, the Church of God, and casten out of the society of the godly, and cursed by them, Gal. 1. 8. and they pray against him, and is faith avoid him, and all fellowship with him, he must Ecclesiastically die and wither (if God's ordinance be not blessed to recover him) and plucking up is as well a removing of him out of that condition and place, as any other thing.

By the field, Christ understands the world. Celsus saith, the whole is put for the part, the world in which that seed of the word of the Gospel is sown, and that is the Church, for the Gospel is but heard in a small part of the world. But when did Christ sow the good seed of the Gospel first? happily when Christ himself first preached the Gospel: or rather when the old impostor Satan first deceived our first parents, but if so, then the Serpent did not immediately after sow tares, for they were long ago sown, and the seed was then grown into rank growing corn, and there was no need of his sowing, but of his further manuring of it, but this seed is sown, with every new act of preaching of the Gospel: so this parable cannot agree to the parable of the draw-net, in which there be both good and ill fish; now good and ill fish had their first breeding in the water, since the beginning: nor agreeth it, for the same cause, with the parable of wheat and chaff, which hath ever been in the world, whereas the tares are sown upon a new occasion of preaching the Gospel.

Answ. There be nothing here but vain and forced conjectures, Christ expounds the wheat of the children of the Kingdom. Celsus of the doctrine of the Gospel. Christ makes the field the world. Celsus makes the field the Church, and when he hath fancied these dreams, contrary to Christ's exposition, he goes to the time, when the Gospel was first preached, which hath nothing to do with the text; for when God made men good, Satan came and sowed tares, and corrupted men, and turned them into Apostates from God. And ever, since the beginning in the world, there hath been a mixture of chaff and corn, fishes good and bad, and of the children of God and children of Satan, and the Saints must let both grow till harvest, that is, they must not stumble nor murmur at God, but submit to his wisdom, who will have this mixture till the last separation of men for heaven, and the barn of the great husbandman, for hell and the furnace, in which all things that offend are casten.

2. For the time of sowing wheat and tares, it hath been from the beginning since there was a field, that is a world, and the parable that speaks of sowing wheat, and the envious man's sowing of tares immediately after, is but borrowed from men, as the sleeping of a husbandman, which may as soon prove, that he that watcheth over Israel doth both slumber and sleep, and that the sowing of tares, and of the sons of Satan in the world, is as much without the foreknowledge, counsel, and providence of God, as the husbandman is ignorant of his enemies sowing of tares in his field, when he is in a deep sleep as it may (if all the joints of the text be thus squeezed to blood) it can prove that heretics are to be tolerated, and that only tares are sown, when the husbandman sleeps, in regard that Satan sows wicked men and corrupteth them, beside and against the decree and irresistible will of God, nor does the text hear that with every new sowing of wheat, there goeth the immediate sowing of heresies and tares, which though it may have a ruth in it, yet it hath no ground form this text, and Celsus shall never prove it, nor any Libertine for him.

Celsus, If long ago the City into which a false Prophet fled was to be burnt with fire, cattle, and all and if Angels killed many thousands at once, why doth not God by Angels now kill many, and destroy them, City and cattle? and if sins under the Gospel he more heinous, and God not a whit meeker to sinners under the Gospel, than under the Law, and if the punishment of the Magistrate must grow, as the sins grow more heinous, why? then as false Prophets were but stoned of old, Papists and others do well to burn them quick with a slow fire, for the more light and grace we have under the Gospel, the more heinous the sin is, and the punishment must be more than death now, else Christ's death hath made God milder, not to men, but more severe, and only meeker toward the walls of the Town, the cattle, the spoil.

Answ. If a Becold fly Munster, and gather a number of robbers in to him, and upon pretext of conscience kill and destroy, and if that City will join with him, and defend such bloody heretics, we think under the New Testament sadder punishment is due to him, because the sin is more heinous, and the false Prophet so flying to a City, is not only a false Prophet, but a public robbing murderer. And the punishment should be greater as the Lord augments punishment for greater sins, as is clear, Heb. 2. 1, 2 so should his deputy the Magistrate do, and no doubt, the Lord slayeth millions of more, with the destroying of Angel, of both pestilence and sword now (as manifestly never such documents of saddest divine vengeance was seen on a City in the Old Testament, as was to be seen in the City of Jerusalem) by the sword of Titus Vespasion, because they had slain the heir Christ, but Papists burning of men quick, because they adhere to the truth of Christ proves nothing, and we think a Julian now deserves a rougher death at the hands of men than any seducer or blasphemer under the Old Testament, and how ever, men with their wit think Servetus got more than heaped justice, because he was burnt for probabilities and niceties. I doubt not but men void of the zeal of God, if they had lived when the son of the Egyptian was stoned, and Baal's Priests, and the Idolaters, Exod. 32. (who both acknowledged Jehovah that brought them out of Egypt, and the Scriptures and ten Commandments) which then were killed, would say the same, and many did say the same very thing of these, that they say now of wicked Servetus, but they but judge of sin, and measure divine justice with their own yard.

2. God was severer then, in some Laws, to things, and to men also, as in commanding the cattle, and women with child to be put to the edge of the sword, because he would both give a document of moral justice for our imitation, and of typicalness of Justice, for our instruction: but in the kind of moral justice (for all typicalness is now ceased) the Lord is severer under the Gospel, than under the Law, as is evident, Mal. 4. 1. 2. Heb. 2. 1, 2. Luk. 23. 28, 29, 30. and no less jealous of his own glory now than at that time, and his wrath rages against walls, and houses, and senseless creatures more now than at that time, see what desolation he hath wrought in Ireland, what eating of horses, of Infants, and of killed soldiers, hath been in that land, and in Germany? And what vengeance shall lie upon the stones, fields, of Romish Babylon and this shall be done by lawful Magistrates, Kings, and others, Rev. 17. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. God did then deal more rigidly with a people whom he purposed to compel to fly to Christ. But that his mercy ebbs or flows, increaseth or decreaseth with the Moon, is new divinity. And it is true, God was more severe under the Old Testament in regard of typical severity, commanded by God to Magistrates, as to Saul, to kill the Amalekites, women and sucking children, but in regard of justice, inflicted by himself, the impression of hell is more to be seen in destroying Towns that have been swallowed up by earthquake, men, women and children, in extremity of famine, pestilence and bloody wars now, than under the Old Testament.

And clear it is, as in this Parable, the Lord will not have us to murmur, that the godly and wicked grow together, so he will have us to know there cannot be an exact purging of the visible Church until the day, of judgment come. Acontius, and Celsus answer But so he forbids to purge the Church universal, but if men shall be so diligent in purging all particular Churches, what else should they do but contravene the command of God, who forbids to pluck up the tares. 3. The Lord forbids the plucking up, in either universal or particular Churches, because this is a general command, let them grow till harvest.

Answ. We constantly deny that (let them grow) is a command at all, but only an inhibition to us that we quarrel not with God who suffers them to grow, and yet if follows not that Magistrates and Pastors sin in doing their duty so far to pluck them out, as the wheat be not also plucked up; for as we are not to fret and impatiently grudge at the permissive will and providence of God, in that he permits tares to grow, so we may, without sin, both pray the contrary of that which the permissive will ordains to be done, and labour to do the contrary, and yet not sin, the Disciples were not to grudge and fret at that decree of God, when they heard Christ say, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered, ye were they to pray the contrary, as Christ commanded them, that they might not be led into temptation, and that they might never fulfill that permissive will of God in being scandalized at his suffering, and in leaving and forsaking their Lord and Master and denying him, when it was their duty not to be scattered, and not to forsake him out of fear, but to confess and give a testimony before men. Upon the same ground Magistrates and Pastors should do their duty, not to suffer all the tares still to grow among the wheat, and not to permit wicked men to blaspheme, murder, betray, and destroy the Saints, and the innocent among which they live, but according to their places they are to punish, and hinder and impede the growing of tares, but withal they are not impatiently to grudge and censure providence, but to let <***>, that is, to let God alone, and suffer him in that admirable disposal of affaires though wicked men be not fully purged out of Church and State till harvest, and here is an argument to me that by the tares, Christ must not mean corrupt doctrines, but wicked men for it is a frigid and vain interpretation to ascribe to our Savior, such a sense that he must suffer heresies, till the harvest, and when the harvest is come, he must send his Angels to gather heresies, and bind them in a bundle and cast them into hell, and so must he gather sound doctrines, upon the same ground, and send them to heaven, whereas the words clearly bear that they be persons that do offend and work iniquity that the Lord thus judgeth at the end of the world; nor is the conceit of Celsus of worth that by a figure he understands by tares heretics that are borne of corrupt doctrine for then Celsus shall first have no ground from the former Parable to expound the seed to be the word, and the tares to be corrupt doctrine, for then these words a certain sower went to sow seed, and as he sowed some fell by the side, must have this sense, if Celsus make this parable to agree with that in the signification of the word seed, that the preacher of the Gospel went forth to sow seed, that is to sow true and false teachers, and some seed, that is some false teachers fell upon the way side, etc... which is non-sense.

2. It is against the justice of God, that Heretics, since they but simply err, and are innocent, holy, and so fear God, that they had rather suffer torment and burning quick, and are commiseratione digni (as say the Belgic Arminians, Celsus, and other Libertines) should be for mere innocence and godliness gathered by the Angels, in the harvest of the world, and casten into the fire and furnace of everlasting vengeance: I grant out of imitation of the fathers, and particularly of Augustine, who retracted his opinion touching heretics, and the coercing of them: Divines use this expression, <****>, tares of heresy, but alluding to, rather then expounding the parable.

Celsus fol. 52. 53. Magistrates correcting faults, do not purge the Church of tares, but punish the heinous crimes of wicked men, and though ill doers repent and confess their error, yet the Magistrates do punish, but if heretics abjure their false doctrine, the Magistrate pardons them.

Answ. Nor do we expound the field to be the Church, with Celsus, but like better to follow our Savior who expoundeth it to be the world, and so the Magistrates punisheth societies.

2. Nor is it inconvenient that the Church's nurse-father purge the Church in a politic way, as his place may bear.

3. It is true, some crimes as murder, the Magistrates punish with death, and is to accept of no satisfaction, Num. 35. 30, 31. because the taking away life, is among things that cannot be repaired, but it is not universally true in all cases, that the Magistrate is not to forgive, if the guilty man repent. And though we could not determine that case of conscience, whether the Magistrate should punish a blasphemer and a false teacher if he repent, yet it follows not that he should not be punished who willfully goes on. And the reason why heretics repenting, are to be pardoned by the Magistrates, is, because obstinate persisting in an heresy, makes a man an heretic punishable by death, but if a blasphemer have perverted many souls, and have presumptuously dishonored the Majesty of God, to me, it is a question if the Magistrate ought to pardon him, andthough he be not put to death, it is sure he ought by the Magistrate to be punished, which is the thing we prove now.

Celsus, Tares may be turned into wheat, and converted, if the man be killed he is gone and past recovery. Heretics doth no ill, but good to the wheat, he lives, saith Augustine, that either he may repent, or that a good man may be exercised by him. Some say, variety of opinions in Religion are expressions of divine wisdom.

Answ. A murderer may be converted, as well as a heretic, and is nearer conversion than a man of corrupt mind, and a heretic that is to be rejected, and no more taught, and admonished, as concerning the faith, he is reprobate, Tit. 3. 10. 1 Tim. 3. 5.

2. Nor doth he good to a believer, but as a gangrene and a pest to a wholesome body.

3. And if he do Good, and be an expression of the wisdom of God by being an heretic, why is he as chaff casten in unquenchable fire? as Libertines expound the Parable.

4. If he should live that he may exercise the faith and patience of the Saints, then should not the Kings of the earth burn the flesh of the whore, nor the Magistrate take vengeance on murderers, for the faith and patience of the Saints is seen in their oppressions, but no thanks to oppressors if heretics must not be killed, why did Muncer, Becold and our Anabaptists now in arms and having no enemy kill all the godly, because they judge them wicked, should they not be let grow till the last harvest also?

C H A P. XXI.

Of the Samaritans, and of no compelling of Heathens. How the Covenant bindeth us.

Libertines allege, Luke 9. 51, 52, 53. etc... When Christ by a village of the Samaritans, was rejected and denied lodging, James and John say, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But Christ rebuked them and said, ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of? for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. Then are we to spare the lives of those that refuse the true and sound doctrine of the Gospel, yea who oppugn it, and to admonish them; Celsus saith, this example is not proposed to compare the Samaritans with heretics, or the Apostles with the Ministers and the magistrate, but that the benign and meek engine of Christ, in matters of Religion, may be clear, and that we should abhor cruelty, in matters of Religion, for if the Apostles had moved the same question touching heretics at that time, Christ would have given the same answer. The Holland Arminians say, if Christ suffered not his Disciples to conceive a desire of revenge from heaven from the only love and zeal of Religion against the Samaritans that denied lodging to him, far less must we believe that he will suffer, that in matters of Religion, for mere conscience any manifest violence should be exercised; for Christ saith, the spirit that leads you is raging, vehement, fiery, the spirit of my Disciples is not so. 2. Your spirit seeks to destroy lives, out of a zeal for Religion, the Spirit of the Son of man is for saving, not for destroying of men's lives. And this general answer of Christ forbids all cruelty in the matters of Religion, saith Celsus.

Answ. First, the Libertines must prove from this, that the Disciples made Religion the quarrel, why they would have the Samaritans burnt, and not an inhumane fact of denying against the Law of nature, an act of hospitality to strangers, and that because of the envy between the Jews and Samaritans, Christ seeming to grace Jerusalem, with his presence, then the Samaritans have had a high esteem of Christ, and were offended that so mighty a Prophet should visit their hateful enemies, this was an act of envy rather than an heterodoxy in the faith, or opposing the doctrine of the Gospel.

2. The Samaritans were yet in their Idolatry and utterly ignorant of the Gospel: now we had never a question with Libertines, whether the first thing to be done to such as will not admit Christ or his messengers within their houses and for the first act of refusing to hear the Gospel, before they be instructed, we are to call for the Magistrate's sword to kill them, or for fire from heaven to destroy them? we think no; we should think this no way of God to convert them (we plainly say) It is not lawful to us to go with fire and sword, to force the Indians, Samaritans, or any heathen to embrace the Christian faith, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, if they be within our power, we may restrain them, 1. From spreading their blasphemies to hurt and seduce the souls of the people of God. 2. We may hinder them from reproaching God or his son Christ in the hearing of the people of God, as David fought against Goliath, who blasphemed the living God. 3. If they do National injuries, and acts of hostility, we may raise arms against them, and in these wars in case of subduing, we may intend the propagating of the Gospel to them, as the Master is to command and teach his servants, Gen. 18. 18. Deut. 6. 6, 7. so the victors having made the subdued people their servants, do now acquire some masterly power over them to see them instructed in the knowledge of the true God. Nor is the intention of overcoming in a lawful war, the more unlawful, but rather more spiritualized by the accession of a spiritual intention to do good to their souls, whether we may by force take their children from them, and train them up in the Christian Religion, is disputable, since their condition of being subdued denudes them not of the natural relation of fathers to sons, or because in so robbing them of their children, we should not spoil them of the actual abuse of that paternal right, which is now conveyed to run in a right channel, to train up young ones in a right way, whereas their parents would employ it to a wrong end, it would seem no violence to the souls of young ones, since nothing is done, but by gracious education and instruction. 4. If they join with us in one Religious Covenant, and we swear with our lives and goods to defend one another, we may cause them stand to the oath of God they were under. As Asa compelled not only Judah but those of Israel that fell in to him, to stand to the oath; for the Covenant, when it is mutual, giveth a reciprocation of Rights to each Kingdom over the other, for if he that makes a promise to another, much more he that swears a Covenant to another, makes over a right to the other, to plead for the fulfilling thereof, omnis qui promittit facit jus alteri, cui est fact a promissio, ad requirendam promissi implectionem. This is clear in the King's covenanting at his coronation with his people, and the people with the King, in the compacts between the master and the hired servant, between two merchants; if this were not, the nerves of all societies, and lawful confederations between man and man, nation and nation should be broken. 2. Omne promissum cadit in debitum, promise becomes debt, and so doth a Covenant.

But before I say more of compulsion of heathen, that are without. A word to the wise of forcing within, and of the Covenant, endeavoring of uniformity, not the Prelatical in Ceremonies and canonical obedience, which Familists impute to the Covenant, but Scriptural uniformity in the same faith and form of wholesome words, and external worship and ordering of it, which is not indifferent, as Libertines and Familists, who in this are brethren against Presbyterians, the Authors of their breathing in England, (but we intended good to men, not to sects) endeavoring of nearest uniformity in the three Kingdoms, which we did swear is contrary to actual tolerating of all sects and Religions, but the Sectaries endeavor the latter, and have compassed it, ergo, the Sectaries are gone contrary to their Oath and Covenant. The Proposition is evident setting up of all sects and Religions by a Law-toleration, is an endeavoring, yea and actual erecting of the widest multiformity that is, Yea but the Ordinance provides against Antitrinitatians, Socinians, Papists.

Answ. There is no provision against them, Papists will say Amen to tolerate them.

2. There is no provision made to try Socinians and Papists whether they be such or no, but the old way of trying them by the Law removed, and no new one established, then are they the same way tolerated, that the Familists, Antinomians, Arminians, Libertines, Enthysiasts, Antiscripturists, Skeptics, Seekers, are tolerated, who all will acquiesce to the Ordinance, as I conceive, and within these few years would have rejoiced at less than the half of it.

A certain Author hath written at Treatise called Ancient bonds, in which there is little antiquity, less verity, no impartiality, much ignorance, for he neither doth, nor can so much as state the question. And he saith 1. We are to endeavor Reformation of Religion in the three Kingdoms not simply, but according to the word of God, the only pattern and regulation of the best Reformed Churches, and of us, we clip the Covenant of these words.

Answ. The word of God (say the Familists in their Petition to King James an. 1604.) as we understand it. So as Libertines understand it, and according to their conscience, so the Jews would swear to endeavor a Reformation according to the word of God in the Old Testament, as they understand it, and Papists according to the word of God, as they understand it, to written and not written, and will the Author dare to look God or men in the face and say the words, according to the word of God, is according as every Covenanter understands the word of God, the Prelatical man, the Socinian, Arrian, Familist, Antinomian, Seeker, Separatist, Antiscripturist, Antitrinitarian, Arminian? for all these did take the Covenant (if we speak de genere singulorum) or did those that took the Covenant speak or mean that tolleration of all these Sects and Reformation, and nearest uniformity can consist, or that he, and all these had this sense under-hand of these words (according to the word of God) that is, as Socinians, Libertines, Familists, Antinomians, etc... expound the word of God? If so, we must justify the Jesuits' equivocation, and their oaths with mental reservation, for the sense of Prelatical men, and of those that go for Heretics and Schismatics now as then, to wit, Socinians, Libertines, Arrians, Familists, and the rest were known Heretics, and Schismatics and their Socinian, Arrian, Familistical, etc... sense of the word of God, was excluded in the second Article of the Covenant in these words, We shall—endeavor the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy—Superstition, Heresy, Schism, etc... by this Jesuitical sense, we all swear we shall endeavor to be perjured, and to reform each man's Religion according to his own sense of the word, and whereas in former times it was believed that Christ was God-man. We Familists swear to reform Religion in the three Kingdoms in that part, and to teach and profess, that every Saint is so Godded, and Christed, that there is as much of the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in every Saint as in Christ, so that there be as many Saints, as many Christs, and as many Gods manifested in the flesh, as there be Saints, for since liberty of conscience was then not professed, and was a point held by no Reformed Church, yea not by the Church of New England, the best Reformed Church (as this man saith) but detested by all, it was presupposed that the true sense of the word of God was against it, and Independents who then did swear the Covenant knew our mind, and did swear the preservation of the Reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland in doctrine, worship and discipline against the common enemy, and they knew Presbyterial Government approves both of the censures of the Church and of the Magistrate's sword against heretics, and therefore Turks and Pagans would never have sworn a Covenant to endeavor uniformity in one Religion according to the word of God, and after petition the Parliament to set up in England the widest multiformity that Satan can devise, and say they have sworn to endeavor the nearest uniformity in Religion, and yet to preach and print, and endeavor by the same Covenant, and the word of God the rule of sworn Reformation, the widest multiformity, and that the Lord should be one, and his name one in both Kingdoms, and yet that the Lord be two, or ten, and his name, that is, the manners and kinds of Religions be two and twenty, that God's name may be divided amongst Socinians, Arrians, Familists, Antinomians, Anabaptists, Seekers, Antiscripturists, Libertines, Skeptics, Enthusiasts, Brownists, Independents: this is worse than a Popish implicit faith, which we disclaim.

The other thing (saith he) left out, which yet refers to all, The Covenant is, that he that swears shall by all lawful ways and means, and according to his place and calling endeavor to perform the Covenant, v. 13. to bring the Churches to uniformity, and to extirpate heresy. As for instance, it is the godly magistrate's duty, their place and calling, to send forth Ministers to the dark places of the land, and to set up lights to guide men's feet into the ways of truth and peace, and reclaim them from errors: and he cannot be urged upon his calling to punish or compel gainsayers. And the Minister is to do it in his place by exhorting, rebuking, instructing, but he is to go no further, he is not to deliver men up to judge, and be an executioner.

Answ. The words by all lawful means and ways, which this man puts in Italian letters, and say are left out by the Author, whom he refutes, may soon be left out, for they were never in the Covenant. The man will defend the Covenant, and apparently hath sworn it, but I think he hath scarce read it, for these words are not in the Covenant, let him read again. Turpe est doctori cum: culpa redarnit ipsum.

2. He swears to bring the Churches to nearest uniformity according to his place, but when this man defends the toleration of all the sects in England, Socinians, Arrians, Familists, for he writing anno 1645 when above twenty sundry Religions in England came to the streets, he excepts not one in all his Treatise, but calls them all the godly party, Saints, Brethren, the Godly, and owns them so, in his preface and whole book. He must grant there is no uniformity in faith, discipline, worship, by the word of God, for if all these be Saints, Godly, and holy Brethren, they have all one faith, and are saved, but let him tell me, by the next, if he can answer, whether there is a nearest, or any uniformity in faith, worship and government, between Presbyterians and Socinians, Familists, Antinomians, and Seekers, yet this man swears to endeavor the nearest conjunction and uniformity among all the Saints who are to be tolerated, but let him say, if he hath, in this case ingenuity or learning, what nearest uniformity he knows amongst all these, whether the Covenant should not oblige a Libertine to endeavor the widest contrariety and deformity of religions amongst these, and to plead for forbearance of them all as he expoundeth it.

3. But we are (saith he) to endeavor by all lawful means and ways, the nearest uniformity among the Churches, and the only lawful way, as he thinks is not by force, but by rebuking, instructing, exhorting, and by no weapons, but only by the word of God. But since this Author and all the Nation of Libertines go upon this principle, Religion is not to be compelled by force, for we are not infallible, and those whom we force as heretics may be no heretics, for ought we know, but as sound in the faith as ourselves. Then we have no faith, nor any well grounded persuasion of the word of God, to refute them by the word and we refute them not of faith, but sinfully and erroneously, for they may be as sound in the faith, as we ourselves, for ought we know, and this is a strong argument against moral ways of gaining heretics by the power of the word, for if they may be sound in the faith, and we the heretics, though we refute them by the word, we may be perverting the right ways of God, and fight against Christ, as Elimas; for Elimas only by moral ways, not by force or violence labored to pervert the faith of Sergius Paulus, and it is not apparent that Elimas was persuaded in his conscience, that the Gospel Paul preached was the truth of God, and so by no means, lawful or unlawful, by force, or by the word of God, are we to endeavor uniformity, for our endeavoring is not of faith, nor from the real grounds of the word, but from mere opinions and conjectures, for it may be (say Libertines) that all those whom we refute as heretics, be sound in the faith, and we, not they the heretics, and those whom we refute, are as much obliged in faith to refute us, as we to refute them. So I see not how Libertines can use so much as moral compelling of Heretics.

For 1. They cannot compel them with the sword to forsake their heresies, because the sword bearer being fallible knoweth them not to be heresies, they may be necessary truths for him. Ergo, because the Pastor is no more infallible than the Magistrate, the Pastor with certainty of faith cannot say, thus saith the Lord. Jezabel is a false Prophetess, Hymeneus and Phyletus depart from the faith, for Jezabel, Hemenetus and Philetus may be sound in the faith, and this Pastor, who refuteth them, the false heretic, for there is no peremptory and imposing decision of any of these, till the last judgment, since now the infallible Prophets and Apostles are dead. 2. Upon this ground, ye cannot eschew any as a heretic after twice admonishing him of his heresy, for ye have no faith, nor divine certainty, it is an heresy that he holdeth, it may be you who admonish him are the heretic: only upon opinion you admonish him. 3, You cannot rebuke any heretic sharply, that he may be sound in the faith, for you are not infallible in the bestowing of the lashings of your tongue on a heretic, more than the Magistrate in beating him with the sword, and your rebuking of him, may be heretical and unjust, and he the man sound in the faith. 4. Upon the same ground you cannot admonish and instruct him in faith. Nor, 5. Call the opinion of the Magistrate's coercing of men with the sword for their conscience, a bloody tenet and persecution of the Saints. Nor, 6. Can you in faith refuse him lodging in your house, and all your 7. Saying in the pulpit, such a way of Familism is a way of heresy, is not resolved in, thus saith the Lord, by such a preacher, but such a preacher so thinketh, possibly fancies, that the Lord saith such a way is heresy. And by the same reason what ever pastors preach, especially except it be two or three fundamentals which all Christians, Papists, Socinians, Lutherans, Protestants, Familists, Arminians, Seekers, etc... is but the dictates of their own conscience, and so they preach, so they believe, and so they profess not, because God so faith, but because their conscience so dictates to them. And here is the Libertines' Creed, Me thinks Christ died for sinners, the dead shall be raised, etc... And so Libertines are very Papists in this, and resolve our faith into the testimony of men, the conjectures of the conscience.

So he goes on, He expounds uniformity and nearest conjunction, to be absolve conjunction and identity. If we be agreed of the same Church Officers with the reformed Churches, and have cast out the old Usurpers, cashiered the Common-prayer book Ceremonies, Alters, Crucifixes (all which we have done by the Covenant) do we not save our Covenant, though we cast not our Churches into such Classical provincial, or national forms.

Answ. Nor do we plead for absolute identity in doctrine, and worship, but endeavor it we ought. But how I pray you doth the Magistrate (for that I had almost forgot) send Ministers to rebuke, exhort and reclaim men from their errors, but not compel: gainsayers? The Magistrate (I am sure) sent not Paul and Barnabas, it was not so from the beginning, in the Apostilic Church there were no Parliament Ministers. But it may be the Author means a political civil sending of Ministers to extirpate heresies. But be it so, all Magistratical sending of Magistrates is a commanding of them by the sword in a compulsive way, that they go preach against Familism, Socinianism, Arrianism. But if so, good Sir remember yourself, the Magistrate, as the Magistrate doth not request, and morally by the power of the word (for he hath not any such spiritual armor, I conceive, for his warfare) entreat, and say, good Pastors, I beseech you go preach against Del, Randal, Saltmarsh and other Familists, and extirpate their heresies; private men so send Pastors, but as a Magistrate he must say, I command you go preach against these heresies, under the pain of bearing the vengeance of my sword, now if the Pastors reply, Good Master Judge, we cannot do that, for we think Familism a new glorious discovery of spirit, and Mr. Saltmarsh hath beaten out of the Scriptures, new sparkles of glory and flowing of free grace, Familism is no heresy. If the Magistrate not withstanding by his place and calling send these, and command them to go and extirpate Familism, doth he not compel the consciences of these pastors he sends? what do ye then talk of no compelling? for whatever the Magistrate by his place doth command which is lawful, if Ministers or any other refuse to obey, he may use the sword against them. Ye cannot say, if it be a matter of conscience he cannot compel them to do it by his place: then (say I) by his place he cannot command them neither. Beside that, this answer is, directly against the words of the Covenant, if every man in like manner. Art. 2. Be to endeavor the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, Heresy and Schism, in his several places and calings, as the Author saith, this refers to the whole obligation of each person respectively. Then is the Magistrate according to his place and calling, which is to bear the sword, to compel with the sword, the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, heresy and Schism, and what hath the Author gained by this gloss, which I conceive is the true gloss? except he mean the Magistrate, as the magistrate should lay aside his sword and fall to prayers, requests, obtestations, that heretics would lay aside their errors and preach sound doctrine, but now he doth so pray and request, not according to his place, as a Magistrate, but according to his vocation as a Saint and a Christian, which yet crosses the Covenant, and makes the Parliament not as the supreme Court of Judges to take the Covenant, but as so many private Christians.

2. If so, the Judges are not in their respective places to take the Covenant, nor endeavor the extirpation of heresy, because that is against the word of God, but then by what authority or calling did the Parliament cast out old Usurpers, the Prelates, cashier the Service book, Ceremonies, Alters and Crucifixes? Either as a Parliament, and so by the sword: is not here yet the Prelates conscience squeezed to the blood? is not here highest violence done to the consciences of high alter, men and adorers of crucifixes? Why to them more than to Familists? But if this was done by request, and words of butter and oil from the Parliament and Committee men, then are Ordinances of Parliament but mere requests to the Subjects. But it is protestatio conraria facto.

He addeth, if these words (we shall endeavor the extirpation of Schism, and whatsoever shall be found contrary to sound doctrine, etc...) be leveled only against the Congregational men, it was not fair to draw them into a Covenant to destroy themselves. Its disservice to the State, to spoil the State of so many Godly and brave men, and seems to be but the birth of that challenge against these men. (to be the Sanballets and Tobia's of this present work) and is the highest breach of love.

Answ. It is apparent the congregational men he meaneth are the Independents, who would have their Churches gathered out of true Churches. Who will not be called Schismatics, as if ensis, and gladitus were not one thing, then this Author levelled these words against Presbyterians, as the Schismatics, for wherever one Church is rent from another true Church, one of the two is the Schismatic Church; sure but the Author will not have Independents the Schismatics, then was it fair to level these words in the Covenant against Presbyterians, and draw them in a Covenant to destroy both their soul and body?

2. The Congregational men were not drawn, but they came to another Kingdom with fair words to draw Presbyterians in a Covenant, and said, and swore to endeavor uniformity, and yet practice this day multiformity of Religions and have put to the sail, the blood of many gallant men in Scotland, that so they may buy with their lives, cursed Liberty of Conscience. But will it not be bitterness in the end?

3. The Author hints at a story that fell out in the Assembly of Divines where I was witness, Mr. Phi. Nye having sworn to endeavor the preservation of Presbyterian government in the Covenant, was pleased in the face of the Assembly in the hearing of that renowned General of England, for the time, the Earle of Essex, and many other honorable and noble persons, to declaim against Presbyterial government, as formidable to States and free Kingdoms, as of old some called Jerusalem the rebellious City, and the Prelates the same way burdened the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, but Mr. Alexander Henderson, a man for piety, learning, prudence and singular moderation, from zeal, not from the spirit of gall and wormwood, as the Author slanderously speaketh, said they were the words of Tobiah and Sanballet, to hinder the work of Reformation; now whether that worthy man spake what hath now come to pass, let the godly Divines of the Assembly be judge.

4. We know no service to the State done by these men, but that they set up with the sword all the blasphemous and heretical Sects and Religions that Th. Muncer or John of Leydon fancied contrary to the oath of God, for they all professed they were for the Covenant, many of them did swear it, with what conscience to person, let Cromwell and others speak, God will not be mocked, which is such disservice to the State of England as cannot but draw down from heaven the vengeance of the Lord, and the vengeance of his Temple upon the land; or was it fair when the Congregational men did hide their conclusion of liberty of conscience, would keep that intended Idol in the bottom of their heart, and join in Covenant with Presbyterians, and swear against multiformity of Religions in words, known to be contrary to the sense of those who drew up the Covenant, contrary to sense and reason, and the same words of the Covenant, and now obtrude on us multiformity for uniformity.

5. The Author insinuates as much, as not to give them liberty of conscience, as a reward of their valorous fighting, is disservice to the State. But ingenuous workmen speak of their wages, before they engage in the work, but to keep up any word of liberty of conscience until the work be ended, and it come to disbanding, is no fair bargaining, but rather in plain English, either sell to us Law, Liberties, Religion, and give them to us beside our arrears, or we must be a perpetual standing Army to govern England, and manage Religion with the sword, and to set up all Religions, and destroy the Covenant and the Protestant faith, and live upon the sweat of other men's brows.

The Covenant with a fair interpretation may be urged against Presbyterians and for the Congregational way, as well as otherwise. The Covenant binds no man, nor number of men to State or Church for their parts respectively, to any pattern or degree of Reformation, conformity or uniformity with other Churches, but what shall satisfactorily to them and each of their consciences, appear to be according to the word of God; and such a Reformation do the Congregational men desire, pray, preach, endeavor for and after, in the pursuance of the Covenant, as if there had been no such outward Covenant obliging them, would ye have men driven in droves to the Sacrament still, and the precious and the vile mixed? and Idol-shepherds suffered? and Bishops' Courts, and Consistories continued? had these been beaten down, had not we under God, as a forlorn hope first given them battle? how can ye say, we hinder Reformation? when we are for a further and purer Reformation (yourselves being judges?) you would sit down on this side Jordan, we would advance? Sit you quiet, if you will not help us, as we helped you.

Answ. When you of the Congregational way, that is, of the Church way (for none are Churches but you, we are excommunicated, and all else but yourselves) did swear to endeavor the preservation of the Reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, which to your consciences, and all the Reformed Churches is Presbyterian, can the Covenant be turned against Presbyterians, as well as against you?

2. You write and preach that the government Presbyterian, is Popish, Antichristian, more tyrannical than that of Babel, of Egypt, so all your way, and particularly Mr. Burton in his Conformities deformity, and your Independents in the Assembly, yet you did swear endeavor its preservation, and all the Independents in both Houses spake against it as tyrannical, and have voted to clog it with Erastianism, I would believe Erastus, if he had sworn to endeavor the preservation of it, better than your oath. I think Pagans would not swear to endeavor the preservation of any religious way which with tongue, pen, laws, and sword, they endeavor to undo and extirpate, see if distinctions will defend it against the common enemy, and whether these words, according to the word of God expounded by you, will save you from the quarrel and wrath of God for a broken Covenant? Pass over the Isles, and go to Turkey, to America, and see if such a thing as this hath been?

2. The Covenant binds no man (saith he) to any degree of Reformation, but what shall satisfactorily appear to each mans conscience to be according to the word of God. 1. Then the Reformed Religion in Scotland, in doctrine, worship, and government according to the word of God, appeared once satisfactorily to your conscience to be according to the word of God, for you took the Covenant, yet ye say it is Antichristian, it drives men in droves to the Sacrament, it is the Bishop's Courts and Consistories continued. But ye did swear to endeavor the preservation of their Reformed Religion according to the word of God the only rule. But if it was sworn to as the Reformed Religion, was it not according to the word of God? is it reformed, and not according to the word of God, A condition, insinuating what is in the doctrine and discipline of the Reformed Religion of that Church? not according to the word of God, to that you did not swear. But so if the Turk should come and wage war against Papists for their Religion, and a heathen people that maintains there be more Gods than one, and that the Old Testament is not the word of God, should raise Arms against the Jews, you might as well swear you should defend the doctrine of the Church of Rome, and the Religion of the Jews against the Turk, and those heathen people according to the word of God, for sure these fundamentals that Jews and Papists hold in doctrine are according to the word of God, and so you did swear no otherwise to defend the Reformed Religion of the Church of Scotland than that of the Church of England, before these troubles arose for that ye swore to defend in so far as it agrees with the word of God, yea so ye did swear to defend any Religion of any Nation you never heard of, according to the word of God, if you say, But we knew the Reformed Religion of the Church of Scotland, therefore ye might swear to it, but ye know not all the Religions of any Nation you never heard of. But if so, then ye knew the Reformed Religion of Scotland to be according to the word of God, then it appeared satisfactorily to your conscience so to be. But did their fundamentals against Familists, Antiscripturists, Socinians, Arrians, so appear to your conscience to be according to the word of God, and their Antichristian and tyrannical Presbyteries, that are but, as you say, Episcopal Courts and Consistories appear to be so, and that satisfactorily to your consciences? if so, why judge ye Familists, Socinians, such as deny the Trinity, and such as make all the Saints to be Christ, and Godded with the indwelling fulness of God, to be Gods manifested in the flesh, to be Saints, brethren, the godly party to be indulged? then you must question the fundamentals of the doctrine of Scotland, and they did not satisfactorily appear to your conscience to be according to the word of God. And why did you simply without any limitation swear to endeavor the preservation of the Reformed Religion? you should have said, truly Reformed Religion of the Church of Scotland and why did you swear simply to the doctrine, worship, discipline and government of the Church according to the word of God? when ye knew then, as now, their government was Antichristian, and not according to the word of God? and their doctrine even in fundamentals not so sure but Socinians, Arrians, and the Saints your brethren the Familists may hold the contrary, and be tolerated as Saints, and their doctrine, though opposite in fundamentals to ours, may be as satisfactory truths to your conscience as ours of Scotland. Confess and glorify God, you sware the Covenant in a Jesuitical reserved sense, kept up in your mind, as you insinuate page 66, 67. and such as the words cannot bear.

3. There is here a new Trick put on the Covenant, it binds to no truth but what shall appear satisfactorily to the conscience of each swearer to be according to the word of God. If a Merchant promise and swear to a simple man to give him for such wares an hundred pounds, he gives him but an hundred pounds Scotch, whereas the wares are to the man as dear as an hundred pounds Starling, is the Merchant absolved of his oath and promise, if he pay him but an hundred pounds Scotch? and say, it appears satisfactorily to my Antinomian conscience the wares are of no more value than a hundred pound Scotch, and my oath and promise obligeth me to no more than satisfactorily appeareth to my conscience the only rule of my obligation, to be according to equity and justice, and so you are fully paid with an hundred pounds Scotch.

So this Author absolves us from all oaths and covenants, though we swear not to kill a captive taken in war, and swear to adhere to the fundamentals that there is one God, Christ is the one only Mediator, God and man, consubstantial with the father, yet if after you have talked with Salt-marsh, or put your faith in the power of the sophisms of a cunning Jesuit, he makes it satisfactorily appear to your conscience that it is according to the word of God that the captive be killed, he is a murderer, and there be as many Mediators, as there be Saints in heaven, and as many Christs Godded with the fulness of the Godhead, as there be Saints of the family of love, and so your oath to your fundamentals obligeth you not; and you are guilty of no perjury though first you sware to the necessary truths of God, and now ye turn apostate from both faith and oath. Libertines infuse such a magic in your erroneous conscience that it is your only rule, and displaceth the law of nature from all obligation, or the word of God the only rule of faith and manners, you are tied no longer by the oath of God, than your weather-cock-conscience, with this new Moon, hath catched a new light, you are as if there had been no such outward Covenant obliging you, take it upon the word of this Gamaliel, dormii secure in utramque aurem. But though it be true, nothing doth oblige, but it must appear to be according to the word of God, that it may oblige in the right and due manner and way, yet it is most false that it obligeth, as it shall appear, or quatenus, because it doth appear to the conscience to be the word of God, for a quatenus ad omne valet consequentia. Then every thing obligeth, as it appears to be the word of God to the conscience most erroneous, then are some obliged to murder the innocent Apostles, for it appears satisfactorily to their conscience to be the Word of God, and service to God so to do, John 16. 1. and some are obliged to sacrifice their sons to God, though they did vow and covenant the contrary in Baptism, for it appears satisfactorily to their conscience, it is according to the example of Abraham, to offer their sons to God, except God from heaven forbid them as he did Abraham.

5. To Libertines no Covenants nor Oaths of the most lawful things lays on any more obligation to performance, than if these Oaths had never been made, if the erroneous conscience gainsay.

6. You did know the discipline of the Church of Scotland debars not all from the Sacrament, except known unregenerate persons; ye knew their Consistories to be hatefull to the common enemies, why then did you swear to defend them against the common enemy, since both to your conscience and the common enemy they are contrary to the word of God.

7. You durst not give the first battle to Bishops, Scotland gave it to them, when your Grandees were as low as shrubs, as feared as Harts.

8. You hinder Reformation, your Independents wrought with all their power, there should be no Assembly, and that no old non-conformists, such as sound and learned. Mr. Ruthband, gracious and zealous Mr. Ash, and others, to be members thereof, and would rather have had Prelatical Conformists in the Assembly than they. You join with all the Sectaries, who are against Covenant, Government, Confession of faith, and Directory of worship, retarded the proceeding of the Assembly, we heard often in Scotland, you wished Prelacy were gone, if ye knew what to put in its place, as if no Government known to you could fit England but Prelacy, and that of the Reformed Churches were not so good. v9. You would go further on than we, and be over Jordan, but we had rather sit down on this side of Jordan, as go over with you, for ye was not well over, when ye set up at the King's house Idolatrous bowing to Altars, and the abjured Mass-book, and Familists, Socinians, Antinomians, Seekers, Arians, preaching Soldiers, who teach as many Saints, as many Christs and Gods manifested in the flesh, and when these perverters of the right ways of God were silenced by a godly Preacher at London, they prayed woe with learning, it opposeth all the ways of God; and is that a Reformation on the other side of Jordan, which sends out Apostles to preach that are as blind as Moles in the principles of the single Catechism, who know not whether there be one God, and one Mediator Christ, or millions of Gods and Christs, yet these are the only anointed ones. It were good that such a Reformation were over Jordan, and millions of miles beyond America.

C H A P. XXII.

The pretended Liberty of Conscience is against the National League
and Covenant, and the Ordinance of the Parliament of Eng-
land Engaged by Oath for a Reformation of Religion.

Amidst our greatest fears, and the enlarged sorrows of our heart, for the calamitous condition of our dear brethren in England, by reason of an unnatural war raised by a Prelatical, popish and malignant party, tending to the destruction of the kingdom, subversion of Religion, Laws, and Liberties, we exceedingly rejoiced, when the Lord mighty in counsel, did lay in Zion the foundation of a hopeful building, and stirred up the spirits of the Honorable Houses of Parliament to declare to the Commissioners of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland their sense of Church government, by Archbishops, Bishops, etc... to be dishonorable to God, by arrogating to themselves a preeminence and power which he had not given, justly offensive to the Kingdom, a great impediment to the growth of Religion, and promising to remove the same, desired for the obtaining of an happy union with the Church of Scotland, and other Reformed Churches abroad, the General Assembly to send to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, some godly and learned Divines of that Church, whereby an uniformity in form of Church government might be obtained, and thereby is more easy passage made to the settling of one confession of faith, one Liturgy or Directory of public worship, and one Catechism, in all the three Kingdoms, and when for our faithfulness to our brethren in sending an Army to England to help them, the enemy had wasted our land, and we were given for lost, and filled with the cup of astonishment, of waters of gall and worm wood, in our greatest midnight darkness, it was to us the morning dawning of the flourishing condition of the Isle of Britain, when we did reap first fruits of that blessed union of both Kingdoms by that National Covenant with the Lord the most high, and of the three Kingdoms amongst themselves, never to be forgotten, and when we received the Directory for the public worship of God throughout the three Kingdoms, passed in Ordinance of Parliament in each Kingdom.

But now we are stricken with amazement exceedingly, when we reap no other fruit of our expense of blood, wastation of our Kingdom, attendance on this Assembly four years, but instead of the nearest uniformity of the Churches of God in the three kingdoms, in Religion, Confession of faith, form of Church government, Directory for worship and catechizing, a far more capacious and wide deformity in all these than there was before our taking of the Covenant, yea or since Christian Religion came first into this Island.

When we see a licentious toleration in one of the three Kingdoms of all forms and ways of serving God established by Law, and no limitation nor bordering provided to hedge in the fleshly and lawless exorbitances of men, whose apprehensions and fancies of the one only true God in three distinct persons, and of his revealed will in his word, are now by nature vain, superstitious, Idolatrous, blasphemous, impure, and devilish, save only a poor, narrow, and dubious circle of some few fundamentals that may be, and are by men of corrupt minds changed in to lies and blasphemies.

We therefore the Commissioners of the Kirk of Scotland according to the trust committed to us, are necessitated in the name of Jesus Christ the only King and head of his Church, and at the commandment, and in the name ofthe Kirk of Scotland to protest, and by these presents do protest and declare against the said pretended toleration as followeth.

1. Such liberty, is inconsistent with, and repugnant to the word of God, Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3. to ver. 12. Rom. 13. 1, 2, 3. compared with Phil. 3. 2. 2. John 10. where false teachers are called evil doers, so Ezra 7. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. Nehem. 13. 15. 17. 21, 22. 25. 30. 2 Chron. 34. ver. 33, 2 Chron. 15. 12, 13. 16, 17. 2 Kings 23. 5, 6. 9. 20, 21. Dan. 3. 29. Dan. 6. 26. 1 Tim. 2. 2. Revel. 17. 12, 16, 17. Zach. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Isaiah 49. 23. Exod. 20. 8, 9, 10, 11. Levit. 20. 2. 6. Deut. 17. 2, 3, etc... Exod. 32. 26, 27, 28, 29. Numb. 25. 1, 2, 3, etc... Deut. 28. 18, 19, to ver. 22. Josh. 22. 10, 11, etc...

God severely avengeth and plagueth breach of Covenant, either with the Lord himself, or men. We therefore appeal to the righteous Judge of the whole earth whose dreadful name is engaged in this Covenant.

Nor can we imagine that this Covenant is temporary, for we swear to continue in this blessed union all the days of our life zealously and constantly. Nor hath the Lord enstamped his divine image of making just Laws upon any nomethetic power of the most free and Independent Kingdom on earth, so as the breach of lawful promises, Covenants, Contracts, which are against the Law of God, of nature, of nations, should, or can be the subject matter of any nomethetic power, for God gives no power to make unjust decrees.

The pretended liberty is against the Articles, matter, and ends of the Covenant, a Parliamentary power interposed for the not punishing of deformity as touching many Religions, must destroy the commanded nearest uniformity of the one only true Religion.

2. Nor can they defend the one only reformed Religion of Scotland commanding the Magistrate, the Minister of God to use the sword against false teachers, who give liberty to all Religions.

3. Nor can the word of God be our rule of Reformation, except this rule be one, and enjoin one only true Religion, and forbid toleration of all others.

4. There can be no way so prevailing to promote, cherish and foment Heresy, and what is contrary to sound doctrine, as for public authority by law to permit it, except we would (praise, and reward such fleshly ways).

5. The Lord cannot be one, nor his name one in both Kingdoms, when by law, multitudes of names, ways and Religions are tolerated.

6. Many Religions suffered, must be contrary to the true religious liberty of Christian States and Churches, when men are licensed to profess slavery and bondage, to the efficacy and power of error to believe, profess, and disseminate lies and blasphemies in the name of the Lord.

7. Many false ways of religions, doth in the Scripture argue a change of Gods, for these that are no Gods, which Heathens do abhor, Jer. 2. 9, 10, 11. and a multiplying of Gods, according to the number of each Sect and Society, Jer. 2. 28. and a manifest countenancing of Skepticism, of many Gods, and of no God, since then the Parliament not only as Christian men, but as a Parliament, and as Magistrates have sworn the Covenant; they must swear each one of them to defend his own Religion, Familism, Arianism, Antinomianism, which he believes to be the true Religion, and that as a Magistrate with the sword of God, and so to oppose his fellow members with his Parliamentary power, how then can the Parliament command others, or engage themselves to the Lord their God to endeavor the preservation of the one reformed Religion in Scotland, that we and our posterity may live in faith and love (for this is many faiths professedly different) and that the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of us, and this is many Gods in the midst of us: and that we shall endeavor the extirpation of heresy, superstition, profaneness—and whatsoever shall be found contrary to sound doctrine? It is not every Parliament man, who by law, may be of any Religion, obliged by the oath of God to endeavor the extirpation of the true Protestant Religion, since to him who is a Familist and Antinomian, it is heresy and contrary to sound doctrine? Are not Papists though known Papists, to be Judges, and Members of Parliament? why should they be debarred for their Religion? and they must by this oath endeavor the extirpatoin of Heresies, and Heretics, that is, of Protestants.

King, now both Kings, Parliaments, and all Rulers have the sword committed to them to defend the Church against Seducers, Wolves, Heretics, false Teachers: and by the sword are to stand against the violation of mercy, righteousness, and the peace of human societies, and so against such, as from mere grounds of conscience serve God in sacrificing their children to God, promiscuous use of wives, a part of the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, community of goods; robbing the just owners of their inheritances and possessions, because the word saith, the meek shall inherit the earth: lying and denying of our Religion before men. For should the Magistrate kill the father whose only conscience, not hatred ( which is the only essential ingredient, to make killing of our neighbor without lawful authority, that murdering of our brother, which by the law of God and Man, is punishable with death, Deut. 19. 11, 12, 13. c. 4. 42. c. 19. 4. and the sword of the Magistrate) not any hatred (I say) or desire of revenge towards his son, whom he loves as tenderly as Abraham did Isaac, presseth out of mere religious obedience to God to offer his son to God in a sacrifice, he should not punish a murderer, but offer a violence to the conscience of his father; since the word of God condemneth this as false worship, not as murder, yea, as superstitious adding to the word, and as will-worship, Deut. 4. 31, 32. Jer. 7. 30, 31.

9. Divers Religions being contrary to Christ, and the one truth of the Gospel, of their own nature raise fire and sword between, brethren, and the mother against the daughter in law, and must be a seminary of factions, and divisions, which is destructive to the unity in our Covenant Micah 7. 5, 6. Matth. 10. 34, 35. Luke 5. Verse 51, 52. Gen. 3. 16.

10. By which it cannot be possible we should defend one another in this common cause of Religion, except a reconciliation be made between the seed of the woman and the serpent.

11. And many being of divers Religions, must need give themselves to a detestable indifference and neutrality, as touching the Common cause of God. Since it cannot be the common cause of God, but of Satan, and of forcing conscience by persecution to them. Many men, yea, its the cause of God to many, to hate and persecute the Gospel by this.

12. By which means every man may resile from this blessed union and conjunction, so far must he be from zealous and constant continuing therein all the days of his life, for Parliamentary authority frees them to embrace any new Religion, contrary to the Protestant Religion.

13. And to what Church, Sect, or Religious society can the Christian Magistrate be a nurse-father by his office? is it not to the one, only true Church of Christ, that professeth the sound faith? certain the Scripture saith, as the sons of strangers shall build the walls of the true Church, so Kings shall minister unto her, Isaiah 60. 10. And she must suck the breasts of Kings, Isaiah 6. 16. which evinceth, that Kings, as Kings are by their Office to do some princely and royal acts of justice and favor for the good of the true Church, and true Religion: then must either the King by office be indifferent and neutral to all other Religions and Sects, which must be inconsistent with his duty, as nurse-father to the Church, Isaiah 49. 23. whose part it is, that according to his place he take care that the children suck not poison for milk; or he must be neutral to all Religions except to the only true Religion, though he himself be an Arian, or Socinian, or of opinion that all Religions are to be tolerated by the Christian Magistrate, in which regard, it would seem, such are not capable to be magistrates in a Christian society.

14. Nor can the Magistrate promote Reformation against all lets and impediments, No not heresy, which is a work of the flesh; if both he may take, and give license to all under him to profess whatever way shall seem good to the dictates of an erroneous conscience.

15. No Church can endeavor, according to our Covenant, for the power and purity of Religion, if any Jezabel, any that shall seduce and tempt the flock or any of them to Idolatry, or abominable Heresies, or make defection to Judaism, to Familism, which denyeth, as the Antichrist doth, that Christ is come into the flesh, if they purge not out such leaven, and withdraw not from them, and deny not to them lodging, as the word of God teacheth us, Revel. 2. 14. 20, 21, 22. Tit. 3. 10. 1 Cor. 5. 5, 6, 11, 12. 2 John 10.

16. Nor can we give a more public scandal and just offence to the best Reformed Churches, with whom we are to endeavor the nearest conjunction and uniformity in Religion, than to cry against both their doctrine and constant practice in that they teach a necessity of both Civil and Ecclesiastical censures against ravenous wolves who spare not the flock, and cease not, with Elimas the Sorcerer, to pervert the right ways of the Lord.

17. And we dare appeal to the consciences of our brethren in England, when we did willingly enter in the Covenant of God, to die and live, sink and swim, give our lives with, and for them in this common cause of God, if they did not conceive our downright and ingenuous sense and meaning of the Covenant to be against all such pretended liberty of Conscience, for which cause sundry of them joining with us as friends, yet did refuse to take the Covenant, or if by the liberties of the Kingdoms, or the true public liberty, or any like word, they did understand liberty of professing Socinianism, Prelacy, Popery, Familism, Heresy, or any thing contrary to sound doctrine; or if they did believe their brethren, who in the simplicity of their hearts did rather choose to suffer affliction with the people of God, than enjoy their own pleasures and peace for a season, or that the honorable Houses had any such sense, when in the return of the Parliament of England, p. 6, 7. in their Letters and Declarations, they invited us to join in Covenant to endeavor an uniformity of Doctrine, Worship, and Discipline with them, which sense, if any had, (for we shall believe the honorable Houses, invited not us to ruin ourselves, and the Reformed Religion with any such argument) shall not the Lord search out such double equivocation, and juggling in the sacred Oath and Covenant of God? nor doth the word of God evidence to the consciences of men, that there be some few fundamentals, in which Arians, Familists, Socinians, Seekers, Arminians, Anabaptists, etc... agree, and that the Magistrate is to punish such as profess and teach false doctrine in these, but in all these other points that border with these fundamentals, both magistrates and Church are to leave men to their own conscience to waste and destroy souls as they think good, without any control, except in such smooth rebukes as a Eli gave to his sons, or exposing of the word of truth to mockery, after admonition an heretic is not to be instructed at all by the word, nor do we, by our doctrine more make the sword of the Magistrate a spiritual means as touching men's consciences, by which they are converted to the sound faith, as concerning the duties of the first table and doctrine of the Gospel, because the Magistrate punisheth false teachers, then Libertines do make it a spiritual way of converting souls from murders, rapes, sodomies, robbery, lying, to a sound conversation, in matters of the second table, who do hold that the Magistrate beareth the sword for punishing of murderers, adulterers, and such as fail against the second table; for in either the sword hath no spiritual influence on the conscience, nor is it any thing an ordinance of God for converting of heretics, but to hinder perverting of the right ways of God, and for our external right walking as touching the outward man in all the duties of both tables, that we hurt not one another in civil societies.

This new liberty destroys all that the Parliament hath done, said, suffered for the Honorable Houses do profess before the everliving God, the safety of Religion, Law, and liberties to be the chief end of all their counsels and resolutions, also that Scotland had lovingly invited them to a nearer and higher degree of union in matters of religion and Church-government, which we (say they) most willingly embrace and intend to pursue.

The Honorable Houses declare, they have for the just and necessary defense of the Protestant Religion, his Majesties person, Crown, etc... taken up Arms, and appointed and authorized Robert Earle of Essex to be Captain General. The same was the end of the kingdom of Scotland. Now can it be dreamed that the end of either Kingdoms, united by covenant and compact in this war, was to spend lives and fortunes, for liberty or license to many religions? or can any say but the intent of the Houses at that time was to oppose, never to countenance, and tolerate (as now professedly they do) Brownists, Anabaptists, Familists, Antinomians, Socinians, Arians, Seekers, and Libertines, who are for all Religions? should not we have had bowels of iron, if in charity, we had not believed our brethrens words, oaths, professions?

The Honorable houses engage the whole kingdom of England to take the Covenant by their Commissioners in a Treaty betwixt the two kingdoms, which Treaty was ratified in the Parliament of England, and both kingdoms agree that no means was thought so expedient to accomplish and strengthen the union, as for both Nations to enter into a Solemn League and Covenant, and a form thereof drawn and presented to the Convention of Estates, and General Assembly of Scotland, and the two Houses of the Parliament of England, and hath accordingly been done, and received their respective approbation, and

I. Proposition, It is agreed and concluded that the Covenant presented to the convention of Estates and General Assembly of Scotland, and sent to both Houses of the Parliament of England to their brethren of Scotland, and allowed by the committee of Estates, and Commissioners of the General Assembly be sworn and subscribed by both Kingdoms, as a most near tie and conjunction betwixt them, for their mutual defense, against the Papist and Prelatical faction, and their adherents in both kingdoms, and for pursuance of the ends expressed in the said Covenant.

II. That an army (of the Kingdom of Scotland) shall be levied forthwith, etc... Which Treaty is approved by each Parliament respectively, and by the Parliament of England, 1643. Novem.1. Now whatever power the Parliament of England hath in relation to England to alter, make and unmake Laws as shall seem most fit to the wisdom of the Houses, yet they neither have nor can have power against the Law of nature and Nations, to alter, retract or break their promise, agreement, faith, and contract made with another kingdom, so that both kingdoms bind their own hands that they cannot but command the Covenant to be taken by each Kingdom, not by the Representative Kingdom or Parliament, only but by the collective or diffusive body of both Kingdoms, in regard that the union is not between the Parliaments only, but between the kingdoms, nor can the Houses think it lawful at that time to offer violence to the consciences of some, (which some now say is to force them to do against the present judgment and light of conscience) and unlawful at this time to press others, for this is a Covenant (as one saith well) that is never to be forgotten by us nor our posterity. – And the parties engaging in this League are three kingdoms, famous for the knowledge and acknowledgement of Christ above all Kingdoms of the world, that this Covenant ties us to defend one another, beside the words thereof, the former Author saith, God hath wisdom to discover, and strength to punish, if our hearts be not upright to our brethren in this matter. So do the Houses say, Our purpose is to consult with godly and learned Divines, that so we may not only remove governments by Archbishops, but likewise settle such a government as may be most agreeable to God's holy word, most apt to procure and preserve the peace of the Church at home, and a happy union with the Church of Scotland, and other Reformed Churches abroad, and establish the same by law, In the Treaty between the Kingdoms, an. 1642. the Scottish army shall grant no toleration for the Popish religion.

The Honorable Houses must intend a quite other thing than pretended liberty, when they according as they are obliged by the Treaty of both Kingdoms pass an Ordinance that the Covenant be taken throughout the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales, and their names to be returned is the Houses, who shall refuse. And an Exhortation is framed by the Assembly for taking the covenant, which was approved by the houses, and printed by a special ordinance, to wit, That no faithful English heart be afraid to join with our brethren of all the three kingdoms in this Solemn league, as sometime the men of Israel (although under another King) did with the men of Judah at the invitation of Hezekiah, 2 Chro. 30. – And as Ezra and Nehemiah, Ezra 10. Neh. 9. drew all the people into a Covenant without any special commission from the Persian Monarchs (then their Sovereigns) so to do, albeit they were not free subjects but Vassals. And the two Kingdoms jointly declare that not only Papists, and Popish recusants, and Irish Rebels that are actually in Arms against the Parliament, shall look for no favor, but be punished as Traitors, but also all Neutralists, all the ignorant and simple that were seduced, or compelled to take Arms, all of the Scottish Nation misled through private respects, all dividers between the King and his parliament, if they would expect pardon and favor, should speedily take the Covenant, and join heartily and really in the defense of this cause. Nor can the examples of Ezra, Nehemiah and Hezekiah be good Divinity then, and bad now, or the plea of not forcing the conscience be then weak, but now strong, except we dream that Parliaments by a Nemothetic power can alter divine truths; which we are unwilling to believe of the Parliament of England.

Such a toleration must thwart and cross the professed sincere intentions of the Honorable Houses for uniformity and the advancement of true Religion, out of which there will also undoubtedly result, a most firm and stable union between the Kingdoms, and contrary to that proposed end of the Covenant, and of all our travels for Reformation, which the Assembly of Divines testified at the special command of the House of Commons assembled in Parliament to be aimed at by both Kingdoms in this defensive war, in letters sent to the reformed Churches abroad in France, Helvetia, Geneva. Wallacria, etc... (what a letter most contradicent to that might they now write?) whereas this toleration must be the sad scandalizing and sorrow of all Reformed Churches in the Christian world, the joy and triumph of Papists, the mocking and despising of the ways of Christ, to heathens within, to Atheists round about, the saddening of all the godly, the condemning of our former ways, as acts of apostasy from God, and rebellion and disloyalty to our Prince.

The Houses also declare, if his Majesty had not denied his consent to a bill for an Assembly of Divines, they had long since maninfested to the world their utter dislike of Brownism and AnabaptismAs also, that it is far from their desire and intentions to let loose the reins of Discipline and Church Government, and to let private persons, and particular Congregations take up what form of worship they please, but do hold it requisite there should be through the whole Realm, a conformity to that order which the law enjoins according to the word of God.

We were invited, to be instruments of a glorious Reformation for a nearer union in Church-government against the common enemy in the cause of God.

The Commissioners of England say, the Parliament desires a nearer conjunction in form of Church-government, Directory, Confession and Catechism, and utter extirpation of Prelacy the most effectual and ready means, whereunto is now conceived to be the stricter union and league between the Nations, and our assistance of England by an Army.

It rejoiced the hearts of the Godly in the three Kingdoms, when the Houses passed an ordinance for the directory of public worship, to be used in all the three kingdoms, and laid aside the book of Common-prayers, and burdensome ceremonies upon a resolution professed to the world, according to the Covenant to reform religion according to the word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches, which was accordingly approved and ratified in the Parliament of Scotland, if we then turn back again from that begun uniformity, what do we also but pull down and destroy what we have builded? Especially since uniformity, which we swear to endeavor in our Covenant, is cried down by Familists, and Antinomians, and all external worship and profession of Christ before men, as indifferent, and all Religion retrenched into only things of the mind and heart, upon a dream that the written word of God is not our rule obliging us, but an inward law in the mind beyond, all ordinances, must regulate us now under the Gospel.

The Honorable Houses in rules and directions for suspending from the Lord's Supper, enumerating most of the fundamentals, do by divers Ordinances evidence they are by law to be punished, who profess or teach contrary to these.

And in rules for trying of Ministers before they be ordained (though thousands now are constant preachers without any ordination at all) the Minister must be one that is able to defend the Orthodox doctrine contained in the Scriptures (as the Scripture saith, 1 Tim. 3. Tit. 1.9,10,11.) against all unsound and erroneous opinions, especially those of the present age, such as these, of Arians, Socinians, Arminians, Anabaptists, Brownists, Familists, Antinomians, Libertines, Seekers, etc... Where the Houses mention the great duty lying on them, to settle matters concerning religion, and the worship of Almighty God, and have continually before their eyes the Covenant, which they have so solemnly taken, and in pursuance of the ends of the covenant ----- have removed the book of Common-prayer with all its unnecessary and burdensome ceremonies, and have established the directory in the room thereof, and have abolished the Prelatical hierarchy by ArchBishops Bishops, and instead thereof have laid the foundation of a Presbyterian Government in every Congregation, with subordination to Classical, Provincial and National Assemblies, and of them all to the Parliament.

Both Houses of Parliament, and the Parliament of Scotland, agree that the King's Majesty take, or at least approve and ratify the Covenant, and that all the subjects of either Kingdoms swear it. What then shall become of the Covenant? shall it not be buried, if a law pass it shall be voluntary to men to take it, or not to take it.

The Honorable Houses ordain, That any preaching or writing, or maintaining such errors as do subvert any Articles of the true Protestant Religion, shall be excluded from the Lord's Supper, and in case of refusal to compear before the Eldership, or obstinate persisting in the error shall be imprisoned by the Justice of peace, till he submit to order.

The Houses give thanks to the Commissioners of the Kingdom of Scotland, that the Lords of privy Council do so far respect the welfare and peace of England that they are pleased to second the desires of the General Assembly of that Church for unity in Religion, and uniformity in Church-government in his Majesty's three Kingdoms. We cannot think the Honorable Houses would pass an Ordinance for an universal fast through all the Kingdom to seek assistance from God to suppress Heresies and Errors, except the whole land be enjoined to take the name of God in vain, if it were not the will and mind of the Houses to detest liberty of conscience, especially since in the ordinance, they mention the wonderful assistance of God since their engagement in the Covenant, in which they are to endeavor sincerely, really, and constantly the Reformation of Religion in doctrine, discipline and worship, and the extirpation of Popery, Superstition, Heresy, Schism, and Profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found contrary to sound Doctrine, -- and that they are resolved to improve the utmost of their power, that nothing be said or done against the truth, but for the truth. Now by the utmost of their power they must mean their Parliamentary power of the sword committed to them as The ministers of God; for that is their utmost and highest power, otherwise all private men are to improve the utmost of their power for the truth.

In the Ordinance for Reforming of the University of Oxford, the Honorable Houses ordain to punish those that take not the Covenant, or oppose the execution of the Ordinances of Parliament concerning the Discipline and Directory.

The Honorable House of Commons say, their true and real intentions are, and endeavors shall be to settle Religion in the purity thereof according to the Covenant. Nor can the Parliament loose men from the oath of God, nor put any exposition on the Covenant, other than the words naturally hold forth, nor can any one Parliament obtrude any Law interpretation of the Covenant on the subjects different from the true sense and genuine meaning conceived by the Parliament of the other Kingdom, since it is not the Covenant of any one single Kingdom, nor can we say without mocking of God, and dallying with the oath of God, that the Covenant was conceived in any such doubtsome, equivocal and two faced sense, so as each Kingdom may swear it according to their own sense, and the one sense for, or not against the pretended liberty of conscience, the other for it.

And both Kingdoms esteem the end of the Wars, as abundant reward of all that we can do or suffer in this cause, to settle Religion, and we have resolved and decreed never to lay down Arms, until truth and peace be settled in this I stand upon a firm foundation for the present and future generations. Then whatever Kingdom shall restyle from the Covenant to a detestable liberty of all pretended truths, as they break with God, so must they break with men, seeing the two Kingdoms are mutually and reciprocally engaged to one another in the means and the end, and they must look that the righteous God shall avenge breach of Covenant, and such apostasy from his truth, with the saddest and heaviest of judgments that we or our fathers have heard of, the rumor whereof shall cause our ears to tingle.

The Honorable Houses profess an union in doctrine, discipline, and worship, to be a more strong bulwark against the bloody practices of Papist, and deceitful errors of other Sectaries, and more profitable use of the Ministry. Other Sectaries can be no other than such as swarm and abound in the Army and Kingdom.

And this diversity of Religions by toleration utterly weakens, yea and dissolveth the blessed union between the Kingdoms: for the Houses say, Religion cannot be altered in the one Kingdom without the other, and the Lord would not have put it in the hearts of both Kingdoms, if he had been minded to destroy us. They acknowledge that Religion is the band and foundation of the safety and happiness of both Kingdoms. When therefore God suffers it to enter into our hearts to break our Covenant with God and our brethren, the Lord hath a mind to disquiet the inhabitants of England, so as the fierce anger of the Lord and his jealousy must smoke against them as fire.

The Reverend Assembly of Divines give their sense of this pretended liberty to be against the will and mind of God in his word. vF I N I S.

C H A P. X X I I I.

The place Acts 5. v. 34. to wit, the counsel of Gamaliel, discussed,
and found nothing for liberty of Conscience.

The most of the strength of Master John Goodwin's Argument, stands thus, Theomachia, ser. 2. 11. This doctrine, or way, is either of men or of God (saith Gamaliel.) If it be of men, you shall not need to repress it, for it will of itself come to naught; which he proves by the instances of Judas and Theudas. If it be of God, it is in vain to strive against it, for it must prevail, and the counsel of Heaven must stand; for then ye run the hazard of fighting against God, and incurring the displeasure of the Romans, by whose courtesy and mere grace you have the liberty of capital punishments.

The grounds that Master Goodwin lays down, are, Gamaliel at this time was a convert, and took on him the patrotiny of the Apostles.

2. His reasoning to abstain from them is Orthodox and sound, and from the Holy Ghost.

3. It holdeth, That when judges are not infallibly persuaded, (as these were, not knowing the way of Christ) to coerce any Religion or way never so false, is persecution, straining of free consciences, and fighting against God:

I judge John Goodwin hath ploughed with the Heifer of Vaticanus, who writes a virulent piece against Calvin, and condemns the burning of that Monster, Michael Servetus, brings the same argument. Vaticanus (some think it was Castalio, adversus Calvinum) Num. 10: and Bellius, arg. 5.

But 1. Though Libertines espouse and own the Argument of Gamaliel, as from the Holy Ghost, to condemn all use of the sword against false teachers; yet it is Gamaliel's rotten Dialemme, not the Holy Ghost's. 2. Abstain from these men, is according to the medium or reason of Gamaliel, speak no boasting words, Deal not morally with the conscience, though ye be office, ought so to do, as sitting in the chair of Moses, far less use the sword against them. The reason is, if the Doctrine be of God, it shall stand, and ye are no more to fight against God, with the tongue, than the hand, and with corrupt reason, than with a steel sword; and if the Doctrine be of men, it shall fall of will; neither then are you to preach, nor with the arm of flesh to act against them, and the word in the Greek is, stand up from them and in the Syriac, Let them alone, v.38. and the intention of Gamaliel, if he speak as a Convert to Christ, (as Goodwin and Vaticanus suppose) must import no less.

2. The argument is as strong in the matter of adultery, treason, bloody rebellion, and murder, against the lawful Magistrate's power, coercing all disorders against the second table, as against Religion or a way of God or of men, by which we worship God, and therefore (as Beza saith) The man was no favorer of the Gospel, but feared the evil that might follow upon the displeasure of the Romans. And Piscator and Gualther says well, It was an evil counsel, Gualther saith, since the scope of Gamaliel was only to save the Apostles from present danger, they abuse this argument, who thereby shake all discipline civil and Ecclesiastical: for the Magistrate bears not the Sword in vain, and ought to extirpate Heresies by his office. And Calvin saith, It was a sentence unworthy of a wise man, because that which is of God shall stand, Gamaliel's consequence is null, that therefore the Magistrate whom God armed with the sword should do nothing against sin. The consequence is as strong, in murders, parricides, sedition, as in heresies whateverVaticanus says in the contrary, applying this argument only to doctrine, and to plants that our heavenly father hath not planted. For,

1. It is not the purpose of Gamaliel to draw his doctrine to so narrow a channel as to doctrines only, as if doctrines of men only came to naught, for Gamaliel alledgeth the examples of Judas and Theudas the Galilean, whose fault was not only false prophesying, but rebellion and sedition, for four hundred armed men gathered to this man and obeyed him, They went after him, as their Captain in the fields.

And the other Judas of Galilee drew away much people; Now they were drawn away, in a course of tumultuous rebellion, as is clear by the two words, they obeyed him, and they were scattered as an army of men, then these men were not only false teachers, but levied men to rise against authority, as Anabaptists do after them: so shall it follow, that when men rise in bloody murders and insurrections, we must leave them to God; for when they rise to cut the throats of innocent people, whether that ignis fatuus the fool fire of blind zeal, or a treasonable design raise them in arms, their way is either of men, and so God will bring it to naught, and we must sit still and suffer ourselves to be murdered, contrary to the law of Nature, because God will not fail to crush these novators and firebrands, or their way and courses of God, and so yet we must sit still, and all the most just defensive wars shall be unlawful, for if we stir one foot against them, we run the hazard of the bold blind Giants to fight against God, it is all one to the dialemme of Gamaliel, whether he speaks of Theudas the Magician or Sorcerer, as Josephus antiq. lib. 20. cap. 2. and Eusebius, who rose in the time that Cuspius Fadus governed Judea, who said he could divide Jordan, and gathered his men to the banks of Jordan in the fourth year of Claudius; or if it be Theudas that rose long before Fadus, before the reign of Agrippa, who did reign seven years under Caligula and Claudius, or who this Judas was, it is sure the argument will prove that Magistrates are not to draw their swords against rebels, and traitors, and this subverts all policy and Government Civil or Ecclesiastical.

3. The argument, of Gamaliel, cannot conclude that God is less watchful, and less severe to take vengeance on Sorcerers, Murderers, Lions and cruel tyrants, bloody and deceitful men, than against new false religions, for if the way of Robbers, Conspirators, Armies that rise in rebellion against their masters, Covenant-breakers, be of men, God will bring it to naught and destroy it, as he overturned the way of Theudas and Judas, as is clear, God turns the way of the wicked upside down, Ps.146.9. And the bloody and deceitful man shall not live half his days, Ps.55.23. And so shall the old Lion perish for want of his prey, Job 4.11. and shall want and suffer hunger, Psalm. 34. 10. ergo, Job or any Magistrate should refrain from plucking the prey out of the jaws of the oppressors, contrary to Job 29. 16, 17. or if the way of Oppressors be of God, and if God have armed them with his power to be a scourge, Rulers should not defend the fatherless, the widow and the stranger, from the paws of the Lions and Murderers, but should refrain; why? If God's power be with them, we resist the power of God, we fight against God. Nor is it enough that the patron of liberty, Screetus and Goodwin tell us in doubtsome things, such as controversies of Religion, we would refrain from drawing the sword against men, for their conscience and religion, because we know not infallibly, but their way may be as well or rather the way of God, than our own, and then we run the hazard of fighting against God Omnipotent; and when it is dubious to us, but it may be the way of men, it is safest to leave it to God, and that we hold back our hand from offering violence to them, for God will save our labour, and burn the hay and stubble of men's drossy inventions, and what need then is there to file the edge of the Magistrate's sword, in a dubious case, when we have not certainty of faith, that the now Sectary's way is of men and Satan.

Answ. 1. Pharaoh's tyranny in detaining the people in bondage, notwithstanding of the wonders that the God of the Hebrews wrought by Moses, was as doubtsome to him to be Tyranny, since his God-idol of Egypt did the like wonders by the Magicians, as controversies of Religion are, and blindness in duties in the second table, when Judicial, and from the power of the prince of darkness, is as strong and may as much make men excusable, and shield them from the sword of God or man, as blindness in the duties of the first table.

2. This answer does oil the head, and flatter the willful and malicious ignorance of Pharisees, who both knew Christ, and whence he was, and were convinced that the Gospel was from God, and that the miracles of Peter and John came nothing short of the Miracles of Moses, in point of glory and power, and by this all the Seducers, even such as sin against the Holy Ghost, as did these Pharisees, shall be tolerated, because we know not infallibly, but their Anti-gospel and blaspheming of God, and his Son, may be the way of God, and therefore we must refrain from lifting a tongue against them, and they know not but our Gospel may be the Gospel, or it may be the divinity of devils, and by this the knowledge of the Elements and first fundamentals of the Gospel, to wit, that Jesus died, rose again, ascended to heaven, and through faith in his name, Jews and Gentiles are saved, the only doctrine for which these Apostles were persecuted, shall be mere skepticism; and an adventuring fluctuation; we must leave to God either to reward and establish, or to annihilate or crush this way of the Apostles: we must not oppose it, because no moral man with certainty of faith can oppose the most false way, though as clear point-blank contrary to the Gospel as noon day to black midnight, but he must run the hazard of either fighting against God, or invading the chair of God, or of bringing to naught, that which God only brings to naught, and of striking, but not in faith, him whom God will have us not to strike.

But 3. This argument of Gamaliel, and Mr. Goodwin must conclude that we must not smite with the tongue, or argue by the Scriptures of God against any false way. 1. It is dubious to us as to the Pharisees, and to all Christian Magistrates who are infallibly in no Gospel principle, and so they cannot in faith draw the sword where the certainty of faith does not lead them, for fear they fall upon Giant fighting against God, in lieu of acts of justice. But so neither should Vaticanus, Mimus, Celsus, Mr. Goodwin, nor any smite with the tongue Presbyterians, Socinians, Antiscripturians, or fight against their way by Scripture arguments, because their way may be the way of truth, as well as yours, and to fight against any truth of God, when ye know not, but it may be truth of God, is a fighting against God, and so all preaching, all writing against heretics shall be a fighting against God, for it is no more lawful to fight morally than physically against God, or his truth, and that without faith and infallibility, for to reproach any precious truth of the Spirit in Saints, and call it a lie, must be to reproach God and his Son Christ, as to deny any truth of God before men, is to deny God and Christ before men, Matth. 10.32. Mark 8. 38. Luk. 9.26. 2 Tim. 2. 12,13.

4.This dilemma of Gamaliel saith, any way or doctrine of men must be refrained from; and nothing can be done by Magistrates or Ministers, nor spoken on the contrary, because God himself will have it reserved to him, that he may bring it to naught. Now by this Argument we are not by teaching and Doctrine so much as in us lies, to hinder grievous wolves to draw disciples after them, and corrupt hearers to gather to themselves an heap of teachers, by preaching the contrary sound Doctrine, contrary to Acts 20. 28,29, 30,31. 2 Tim. 4. 1,2,3,4. Tit. 1.10,11,12,13. For 1. we are no more to convince, refute, and rebuke false teachers, except we could do it in faith and assurance, that their way is of men and false (since all we do, or do not, speak, or speak not, must be in the persuasion of faith, else we sin, Rom. 14.12,14,22,23.) than Christian Magistrates can punish them with the sword. 2. We can no more fight against a way of God (for so the heretic to death under torturing professeth) and you have no faith, on the contrary (say Libertines) with the tongue, nor with the hand. Yea, we can no more labour to suppress what God only, in his sole prerogative of providence, immediately working ought to suppress, and that in a mediate providence of our own making, with preaching, refuting, watching over the flock, stopping the mouths of gainsayers, than we can endeavor the suppressing of it with the sword.

5. Gamaliel intended to have the Apostles, not to be medled with, either because godly men, and Disciples of Christ, as he was; or because their way was dubiously, not notively and manifestly false; if the former, Then 1. Godly men, though in an evil way, though they murder, play the Traitor, Rebel, commit adultery, are not to be any way censured. This is the way of Anabaptism, that sets all believers above and beyond the reach of the Magistrate's sword, and his dilemma cannot have this sense; for if godly men, as godly men are upon this formal reason, because godly men must not be punished by the Magistrate; neither must they ever at all be punished for the acts of oppression, or murdering, or treacherous dealing, or adultery, for it is clear in the person of David, Lot, and others, that they remained godly, and Saints, under those acts.

2. It is said, not proved, that Gamaliel being a secret disciple of Christ, as Nicodemus was, favored the Gospel, and the witnesses of it; for the Text insinuates no such thing, but that God used him as a moral moderate wise man, to save the Apostles from death, for fear of politic inconveniences; 2. Anabaptists can have no better grounds than Papists, for Lorinus, Salmeron, and some Jesuits, think so; they tell us that Gamaliel was the master of Paul, Barnabas, and Stephen, and counted among the Martyrs, and that his body was found with the relics of Stephen and Nicodemus, as Baronius saith, Clemens in his Recog. li. 1. c. 9. Beda saith, he was a companion of the Apostles; but Oecumenus and Chrysostom say the contrary. 3. The best can be made out of his speech, is dissimulation to save the lives of the Apostles; for 1. he will have the Council to carry themselves to the Gospel, the only instrument of their salvation, as Neutrals; and wills them neither to try it, and believe, nor to persecute it. Again, if the Council must not dare to meddle with the Apostles, because their way was dubious; he proves that the Council, as Magistrates, should not interpose their sword, but leave them to God, by a weak argument, because the Roman Magistrates left not Theudas and Judas to God, but took order with them, and killed, and dissipated all their followers; so that the contrary follows from his reason, That the Council should not leave them to God, and his immediate revenging hand; for immediate providence cannot be the rule that the Magistrate or Church must follow in punishing ill doers, and in censuring scandals; the revealed will of God must be their rule; but let them alone, because God shall bring them to naught, by Gamaliel's Logic, shall leave the Rulers of Church and state to immediate providence.

6. The Council had power of Ecclesiastic Censures, and of casting out of the Synagogue, at which the Romans took no exception; but this Dialemme proves they should be left to God, as touching all censures, and that they should have leave to ruin their own souls, and the souls of millions, in a pernicious way, against Moses his Law, and the only true way of God, as they conceived.

CHAP. XXIV.

Whether punishing of seducing Teachers, be inconsistent with the
meekness of Christ, place Luke 9. 54. discussed.

Libertines cry much for the mansuetude and clemency of our Savior Christ to be a screen and shield betwixt false teachers and the sword. So Arminians, Apolog. c. 24. fo. 279. If Christ will not permit to his Disciples a desire of punishing, out of zeal and love to Christ, to whom the Samaritans denied lodging, far less will he permit Christians to punish Heretics for their conscience only. But Christ proves the former to come from a spirit not such as was in Elias; 1. That spirit is sharp and bitter. 2. tending to destroy lives, which I came to save. 3. not acceptable to me, in that you would destroy for Religion, and this is against all cruelty for Religion. So Vaticanus, Num. 116. So Monsortius. So Mimus Cels.

Answ. 1. Theophilactus saith, it is an example of blind anger or zeal, the Samaritans did sooner believe by clemency than by fire. But 1. to consume a whole city, men, mothers, and sucking children, and many innocent people not for idolatry, there was need of an express law of God, and (as Hieronimus saith on the place) the known will of God, though there was a law, Deut. 13. of destroying a City that maintained Idolaters, that tempted to follow strange Gods, and kept out against all Israel, and so defied Israel and their God: Yet we find not the executing of such a temporary judicial Law, without asking at the mouth of God. Here the fiery disciples shape a way of their own to Christ, in revenge, in asking fire from heaven.

2. Neither here, nor in the case of Elias, was idolatry or false worship the quarrel, but denying of an act of humanity to Christ, to wit, not lodging of him; and because Christ would have nothing done or said against Samaria, for this shall Libertines ( I must use this name, because of the dangerous error) infer upon the same grounds of Christ's meekness, that therefore Pastors ought not sharply to rebuke, and Magistrates may not in a well ordered City, reprove and punish such as refuse an open Inn to innocent strangers, against the Law of nature. For this conclusion followes as well as theirs.

3.Elias desired not fire to come down and burn Cities, men, women, and sucking children, but fifty and fifty murderers that came to kill him, or then to bring him to a Tyrant, who against all Law, sought his life, and so the case was not alike.

4,There is no ground in the Text, that Christ condemns Elias as too severe, but the Disciples as too vindictive; and by this blasphemers, and obstinate open despisers of Christ and the Gospel, should not be punished. Vaticanus saith, Nu. 129. sect. seq; If they deny God, and blaspheme the holy Doctrine of Christ, and detest the holy life of the godly, Eos ego relinquo Magistratibus puniendos. I leave them to be punished by the Magistrate, not for their Religion, for they have none, Sed propter irreligionem, for their want of Religion. So were the Samaritans void of Religion, and blasphemers and maligners of the Gospel, and of Christ, and (as Libertines say) by this Text not to be punished; and yet the Text declares them to be irreligious and profane Atheists, and so to be punishable. But it is not our mind (saith Mimus Celsus) pag. 24. to compare and resemble by this text Samaritans to Heretics, and Ministers of the Word to Magistrates, for that were to no purpose, but to condemn all cruelty flowing from desire to revenge, in the matter of religion.

Answ. If so, the Argument is much weaker than it was, for we condemn cruelty and desire of revenge in the matter of justice, as well as of Religion; for Libertines beg the question when they will have no bloodshed for blasphemy; but it must be cruelty and desire of revenge; for there can be no greater cruelty than for a Christian Magistrate to suffer bloody wolves to prey upon the flock, and false teachers to hunt souls, and destroy them. It was justice, not cruelty, yea mercy to the Church of God, to take away the life of Servetus, who used such spiritual and diabolic cruelty to many thousand souls, whom he did pervert, and by his book, does yet lead into perdition.

2. The mature object of the Disciples' furious and blind zeal was not Religion, but refusing of lodging most inhumanely to Christ, because the Samaritans did not receive him, for his face was as thought he would to Jerusalem, Luke 9. 51. and the Samaritans so maliced and envied the Jews, that because he aimed to go to Jerusalem, being so glorious a Prophet, and famous for holiness among them, they refused him lodging. Then surely they had an esteem of Christ as a rare and singular Prophet, and would have monopolized him, as a Samaritan, and worker of miracles as their own, and envied that he should go to their enemies; though I deny not that the Samaritans had too base and irreligious thoughts of Christ, yet that was not all the injury they did to Christ.

3. Samaritans worshipping a false God, they know not what, John 4. 22. and no salvation being in their Religion, cannot be called Heretics; and we confess, to burn Cities, because the indwellers are of a false Religion, is no fit way to convert them to the true Religion; and because the Apostles, to whom God hath not given the sword, but only the spiritual armor of the word, 2. Cor. 10. 5. are not to use the fire and sword, and that out of avindictive spirit against Samaritans, who despise Christ and the Gospel, it is no consequence. Ergo, Christian Magistrates by this place, Luke 9. must not use the sword against false teachers and apostates.

4. I grant, Christ the Mediator, and the Ambassadors of peace, whose office it is to save souls, are not to kill men because they are of another Religion, than they are, or because they seduce souls; nor are we to neglect what Beza saith against Monfortius, p. 160. in opus. de punien. heret. Elias did from God's command, what he did; the Disciples call for fire, from a wild spirit. 2. It was not a proper function for the Apostles, nor had they any extraordinary calling from God, as Elias had. 3. There is one consideration of Elias, who came to restore Religion after great apostasy; another of Christ who came to propagate the Gospel. I see not much inconvenience in the answer of Swarez, They were not to use violence and threatening against the Samaritans, but to shake the dust of their feet against them; for Christ and his Disciples bare not the sword as Magistrates. Whatever arguments Libertines extort from these places, which say Christ is so meek, as he shall not cry, nor strive, nor break the bruised reed; the Ministers must be so gentle, that they must teach with meekness, Isa. 42. 1,2. 2. Tim. 2. 25. Not strike, but be apt to teach, and keep themselves to the foolishness of the Gospel; and only shake the dust of their feet off against rejecters, Acts 18. and not judge before the time, 1 Cor. 4.5. for the sword may make a whole Nation of hypocrites, Isa. 10. but can never recover them out of the hands of Satan. I say whatever arguments they throw by the hair from these places, are but tokens of the prejudices of Libertines.

For 1. Is not Christ as meek to whores, publicans, the thief and robber on the cross, persecutors, and to seducing teachers and heretics? and should not Ministers in all gentleness, teach and instruct, drunkards, adulterers, murderers; yea, and as many as are taken Captives in the snare of the Devil at his will, and are in such a case, as God peradventure may give them repentance? For of such speaketh the place 2 Tim. 2.24,25. and must not Pastors be gentle, patient, apt to teach, and labor the conversion of all drunkards, whores, bloody men, as well as heretics; What warrant have Libertines to straiten the meekness of our Savior, and his Ambassadors in these Scriptures, and confine and limit the sweet qualifications of Christ to only seducing teachers, whereas the word doth extend these to all sinners of whatever rank, that are slaves of Satan, but especially, if they be sin sick for Christ, and bruised reeds (such as seducing teachers, and wolves that worry the Lambs, and lead silly women captives, are seldom) and such sinners as the Physician came to cure; whereas false teachers are all for the most part self-righteous, sons of pride. Now make an argument from these Scriptures, and it concludeth, that it is against the meekness of Christ that murderers, drunkards, adulterers be punished by the sword, for since Christ and his Ministers are no less with all patience, gentleness, forbearance to instruct these, if at any time God shall give them repentance, and this strongly smells of Anabaptists' and Socinians' way, who contend that the meekness of our Savior hath deposed the Magistrate from his place of shedding any man's blood, be he never so notorious an ill-doer, so saith Socinius, Catechesis, Raccoviensis, Ostorodius, Smalcius, Meek Jesus warranteth no Magistrate to take away any men's life for any fault, or to make war, for the Scripture will have the meekness and mercy of Christ (if it stand in not punishing with bodily violence, evil-doers, as these men suppose) to be extended to all sinners of whatsoever kind.

2. The argument hath no foot, except it so run, That which is no means of the converting of souls, Christ will not have to be used, for the conversion of souls. But such is bodily violence, we grant al, for the sword avengeth, hurting of souls, but is not a means ordained of Christ for the converting of souls, or if it does, it is by accident as afflictions do, as Hos. 5. in their affliction, they will seek me early.

3. If Christ be merciful and meek, and will have his Ministers with gentleness and patience to instruct gain-saying sinners, then will he not have the Magistrate to draw his Sword and be severe against seducing teachers, D. Adam Stewart in his learned and solid answer to Mr. Goodwin of Right de jure, denies the proposition, and so do the learned professors of Leyden answer Arminians' objecting the same, and say Christ is meek to repenting sinners, but a severe judge and a revenger of ill-doers Re. 2. 6.9.14.20,21,22,24. his garments are red and died with the blood of his enemies, he is so a Lamb, as he is a lion.

2. Nor is the meekness of Christ inconsistent with his justice, and righteousness, in commanding the nurse-fathers of his house, the Rulers of the earth, that which the Moral and perpetual standing law of God requireth, to wit, that they use the sword against ill-doers, of all sorts and degrees; for they stand together in the person of Christ, who is a meek king, Zach. 9.9. and lowly and just, having salvation, and breaketh not the bruised reed nor quencheth the smoking flax, which is not meant of his forbearing the use of the sword, against grievous wolves that spareth not the flock, and wolves in the skin and clothing of sheep, seducing heretics, for neither Calvin, Musculus, Gualther, Junius, Scultetus, Marlorat, nor any sound interpreter, Protestant, Lutheran or Papist, save Socinians and Anabaptists professed parties, render any such sense, for not to break or to quench by a figure Merosis or Litote, is to cherish, and deal meekly and tenderly with weak believers, that have something of the life of God; and saving light of grace in them, as weak growing reeds, and smoking flaxes, and it saith that Christ doth cherish saving seeds of grace in them Isa. 50. 5. The Lord God hath opened mine ear that I was not rebellious, that is, that I was very flexible and obedient to give my back to the smiters, John 6.37. Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out, that is, I will make the believers dearly welcome, raise him up at the last day, and give him life eternal verse 40. Libertines then must say, Heretics and bloody wolves, are such tender weak believers, as weak reeds and smoking flaxes, and Christ doth not only not use the sword against such tender ones, but he taketh wolves and seducing teachers in his bosom, and nourisheth, and tenderly cherisheth the principles of men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth, but as Christ is meek to weak ones, so is, Isa. 11.25. Righteousness the girdle of his loins, So Psalm. 110. 5. Shall he strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6. And judge among the heathen, and fill the places with the dead bodies, and wound the heads over many Countries, and Rev. 19.11. In righteousness shall be judge and make war.

2. Considering the parties he hath to do with, he is meek toward the meek, but so as he destroys his enemies, and burns their Cities with fire, who will not have him to reign over them, Mat. 22.7. which yet I expound not to be the sword of the Christian Ruler, as if he were an office-bearer in the Church, but only bring it to prove how weak these allegoric places are, either for, or against the point in hand.

3. To correct with the sword, and with the rod of men, as a father, is consistent with Covenant-Mercy and Meekness, Psal. 99. 32,33,34, as not to punish is one of divine wrath, Hos. 4. 14. yea, to deliver scandalous persons to Satan, to excommunicate them, to thunder wrath against them, to pull them out of the fire by the hair, that they may be saved in the day of the Lord, by as good reason, are against the meekness and gentleness of Christ, as the Christian Magistrate's using of the sword against heretics, if we speak of that, which is penal in both these, to wit, to be under infamy, reproach and shame, and cast out of the society of the Godly.

4. To judge before the day, 1 Cor. 4. 5. is not to forbid all judging of heretics, for except we judge them to be heretics, how shall we beware of them, as Christ biddeth us, Mat. 7. 15. and eschew them, Rom. 16.17. And not bid them God speed, nor receive them into our houses, John 2.10. And avoid them, Tit. 3. 10. and far less must a judicial trial of Jezabel be forbidden to the Church of Thyatira, Rev. 2.20. but it is rash judging of hidden things, as Calvin, P. Martir, Bullinger, Murlorat, Pareus, Beza, and the place expounds itself, for the Corinthians crowned false teachers, defamed the sound teachers, which was to anticipate God, for it is the Lord who brings to light the hidden things of darkness and makes manifest the counsels of the heart, and then every man shall have praise of God, he manifestly forbiddeth peremptory judging, proper to God, and judging upon dark grounds known to God only, the words in the letter judge nothing before the time, are brought by Anabaptists to prove that no Christian should be a judge, and so to judge a Murderer, is to usurp the place of God: so the places, Mat. 7.2 and Rom. 14. are brought by Libertines and Anabaptists, to prove that all judging is unlawful, whether of false teachers or malefactors, which is but an abusing of the word.

5. The author of the bloody Tenet saith, the sword maketh a nation of hypocrites, but converteth none, and he citeth, Isa. 10 which speaketh no such thing. But that God sendeth the sword of the Assyrians against an hypocritical nation. That the sword maketh hypocrites, and men to profess the truth against their conscience; not kindly, nor per se, but through the corruption of men's hearts, who make themselves hypocrites, of itself, and per se all Israel fear the sword, and shall no more tempt others to go after other Gods, Deut. 13.11. but that they do this in an hypocritical manner, is not from the innocent sword, but from this, that men fear him that can kill the body, more than they fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell, Mat. 10.28. for upon this ground, the sword should make hypocrites, because for fear of the sword, men abstain from bloodshed Sorcery, Paricide, Sodomy, more than for fear of God, and shall therefore the Magistrate not use the sword against Paricides and Sodomies? so many are made hypocrites by hearing, and external performances, drawing near to God with their lips, when their hearts are far from God, shall therefore the hearing of the word and the prosperity that followeth the Gospel which begetteth believers for a time, who wither when the sun riseth, and shall power in the hands of the people of God, that maketh the enemies lye, and hypocritically submit, Psal. 81. 15. be as unlawful as the drawing of the sword against false teachers? for all these beget hypocrites, but they do it by accident, not kindly; and if we made the sword a means of conversion of sinners, as Libertines falsely suppose, the Argument should have some color: or if drawing of the sword against Seducers, were of itself indifferent, and yet by accident did make hypocrites, they might conclude against, as we argue against human ceremonies, in the supposition of many who suppose their indifference.

Of this sort is the Pamphleteer's objection, Religion should not be enacted by the Laws of the Magistrate, why? It is enacted (saith he) already by an higher Authority than any earthly King or Magistrate; and if it will not sway the conscience to obey, what can the Laws of men do? can these cobwebs catch those that the Laws of God cannot catch.

Answ. There is a fallacy in the word catch, though he be but an innocent Sophist, who propounds it; for Laws of men to fence from outward disorders, cannot catch souls to convert them, as they are Laws of men; nor teach we that Acts and Statutes of Parliament, are the power of God to Salvation, that is the honor of the preached Gospel. But shall good Laws of Artaxerxes, Darius, for fearing the God of Daniel, and obeying the God of Gods, be trampled on, because they cannot come up to the power and excellency of God's Laws? yet they so far catch, that Laws enacted upon pain of the sword, bind up hands and tongue from doing wickedly; and this man argues against Scripture, Deut. 3. 11. And all Israel shall hear and fear (for the pain of stoning, and the sword of King or Prince Moses) and shall do no more any such wickedness as this amongst you. The man argues against the Statutes of Parliament, against Sabbath-breaking, which yet catch some, Neh. 13. 21. If you do so, I will lay hands on you, from that day forth, came they no more on the Sabbath, external obedience is given, that men dare not blaspheme Christ, nor swear, nor murder, nor whore, nor steal, though the authority of God, which is higher than any earthly Kings, hath already forbidden blasphemy, swearing, killing. Ergo, by this reason all Laws of men against evil doers should be cashiered, because they cannot catch souls, when as they are not ordained to catch souls, but to bind the outward man in fetters, that he prey not upon the soul, and body, and goods of his brethren; yea, by this reason, men should not by Ministerial Authority preach the Gospel to catch men, for the Gospel is enacted already by an higher Authority than any on Earth, King or Pastor can preach, and will thy cob-web preaching, poor Minister, catch whom the net of God will not catch? all these men sway to the Familist and Enthusiast's hand, beware of them.

So does the bloody Tenet, The Magistrate should not send the Heretic to the Church, to heal the Heretic; why? like mother, like daughter, perhaps he sends an Heretic to be healed by Heretics.

Answ. Master Williams cannot find a Church on Earth, but a false and heretical Church to heal a Seeker, Familist, or Anabaptist. But say it were so, should not the Magistrate Hezekiah exhort the Priests to teach the People, and deal with the People, who think Baal to be the true God, because the Priests do also think Baal perhaps the true God, which if Hezekiah do, sure he is a miserable Physician, But (saith he) the poor Heretic disputes with the Church that shall deliver him over to the bloody sword, if he will not yield, as the Lamb in the Lions paw, being sure to be torn in pieces in the end.

Answ. This Author makes ever the supposition of himself, as if he were infallible, we may suppose the Heretic is a ravening wolf, and that he obstinately, and as a self condemned man disputes; and that the Magistrate is the Lamb and the Minister of God, who loves not to strike with the sword; and the question is not, whether he should yield reason and conscience up for fear of the sword, but whether he should abstain from prophesying lies in the name of the Lord, and should say, God sent him to contradict Jeremiah, and to assure the Kingdome of Judah, they shall neither see sword nor famine, Jer. 14. Notwithstanding the godly Prince (we suppose such a King then in Judah) should assure him he should be stoned to death, if he shall thus pervert the right ways of the Lord, should not the Magistrate be a terror to all ill doers, and to such a wolf? there can no argument be drawn from Magistrates that are Lions and Tigers, persecuting the Saints of God for the truth, as this author always vainly supposeth.

C H A P. XXV.

Whether the rulers by their Office, in order to peace, are to stand
to the Laws of Moses, for punishing seducing teachers.

Judicial Laws may be judicial and Mosaic, and so not obligatory to us, according to the degree and quality of punishment, such as is Deut. 13. the destroying the City, and devoting all therein to a curse; we may not do the like in the like degree of punishment, to all that receive and defend Idolaters and blasphemers in their City: and yet that some punishment by the sword, be inflicted upon such a City, is of perpetual obligation; because the Magistrate bears the sword to take vengeance on ill doers, and so on these that are partakers of his ill deeds, who brings another Gospel, 2 John v. 10.

2. Though Saul's destroying of the Amalekites in that cause was moral, in regard they lay in wait for Israel, when they came out of Egypt, and so of perpetual obligation, yet the destroying of them, 1 Sam. 15. is temporary, and obligeth not us; 1. because that generation were their Sons, not those same persons that oppressed Israel, when they came out of Egypt, and we may not punish the Sons for the sins of their fathers with death; therefore God's positive command to Saul, and the reason, I remember what Amalek did (in Moses his time) therefore kill them, does not oblige us, except we had the like command. 2. Because the slaying of man, woman, infant, and suckling, ox and sheep, was temporary, and cannot have a perpetually obligatory ground in the Law of nature or natural justice obliging us. 3. Where there is an injury done to God, against the Law of nature, and against our brethren, in drawing them from serving the true God, and a punishment commanded by God to be inflicted once; that punishment, or the like in substance and nature, must ever be such as obligeth us in the like cases, The learned Professors in Leydon say, They can see no reason but they must oblige under the New Testament. I confess when the fault is ceremonial, though the punishment be real, as the cutting off of an infant not circumcised, and some punishments inflicted on the Leper, it is not reason the Law should oblige us in the New Testament, either as touching the punishment or the degree. Because these punishments for typical faults are ordained to teach, rather than to be punishments, and the Magistrate by no light of nature could make Laws against unbaptized Infants.

4. No man but sees the punishment of theft is of common moral equity, and obligeth all Nations, but the manner or degree of punishment is more positive: as to punish Theft by restoring four Oxen for the stealing of one Ox, doth not to oblige all Nations, but some other bodily punishment, as whipping, may be used against Thieves. Mr. Jo. Weemes, vo. 3. ca. 38. of the judicial Law, The determination (saith he) in Moses Law judicial, was divini juris, and they had greater force to bind the Sons, than any Minicipal Laws have to bind subjects now, in regard they were given by God himself; yet these judicial Laws (saith he) commanded the outward man, whereas the moral Law called ignea lex, Deu. 33. This fiery law pierceth the heart.

Gamacheus saith, Judicials and ceremonials are immediately deduced out of the principles of the Law of nature, by way of a more remote and obscure conclusion.

Aquinas saith, by way of divine determination. But the truth is, the proposition might have some ground in the Law of nature, but why 39 stripes, not, 40 not 38 only should be inflicted on such an evil doer, and the assumption in many judicial laws, seem to be an act of the mere positive will of God, therefore Aquinas saith, Ceremonials primo and per se, first and chiefly were ordained to signify things, but Judicials secundario did signify things to come. And Swarez saith, That Judicials accessarily, and by accident, did signify things. It is true, Corinthus, as Epephanius and Jerome saith, and the ebionites, as Ireneus saith, and the Nazarer, as Augustine tells us, hold that Ceremonials and Judicials do yet oblige. Shoolemen deny their obligation as Soto, Aquinas, Medina, Valentia, Gamacheus, because the Priesthood is changed.

Yet let not us go on with Egid-Coninck to say, that if it was lawful to make war with any nation for wrongs done to men, how much more for injuries done to God? for making of war is an act of magistracy, and so suppose some jus, some power and authority, that we have either by the law of nature, to defend our life, peace, liberties, or for avenging of such heinous injuries done to the Nation as cannot in justice be decided, but by the sword. So that sin, as sin, or as greatest sins, are not the just cause of war, but sins as most destructive to human society, for which by the principles of the Law of nature, they may be convinced of fearful breaches; now these that are Idolaters, the nations that worship God in Idolatrous way, and being of a strange Religion, worship a strange God, though they do the greatest injury to God that can be, yet in regard they being other nations as independent on us, as we are on them; and do it not in order to the destruction of our of our peace, liberty, and lives, we have not jus over them, nor authority to make War with them, except God gave us a command to destroy them, nor is this a good consequence, we may by war revenge injuries done to men, ergo, far more, by war, me we revenge injuries done to God: for war is an act of revenging justice: that supposeth some authority given of God, over such a nation as we come out against in war.

2. Every just war is some way defensive, in regard every act of Magistracy, is an act of defending of the peace, life, and liberty of the society, or the members thereof, and a propulsion of violence, by violence; and this is the intrinsic end of Magistracy, to hold off unjust violence, by just and harmless violence; for if the life of a murderer be not taken away by the sword of a Magistrate, he will still take the life of another man, qui semel malus, semper malus presumitur, he that is once wicked, is still presumed to be wicked, except his wickedness be restrained, and to offend a nation or person that hath not offended us, must be unjust violence, and unlawful war: and to make war against a nation that hath worshipped a strange God, and injured God, and not us, supposeth that we must instruct them of a wrong done to God, by teaching them, and instructing them in the true religion: for suppose they worship the works in the men's hands, and worship Satan as some Indians do and so by their own conscience may be convinced, and so are inexcusable in soro Dei, before Gods tribunal, yet are they not so inexcusable, in soro humano, before mans tribunal, as we can make war against them, till we inform and instruct them positively of the true Religion. But they that shed our blood, and invade our peace and liberties, are by the Law of nature convinced, and by demands of reparation made to them, quickly silenced, and need not to be instructed in their hearts. But it may be said, what if that Nation will not be informed of the true Religion, and will go on contumaciously to dishonor God, and reproach the true God? shall we not upon a mere quarrel for Religion, make war against them, and avenge the injuries done to God, and defend his truth, no less than with the sword, we defend our own lives and liberties?

I answer there is not the like reason: for God and nature given to the strongest, a jus and authority over oppressors, to repel unjust violence, with innocent violence but that we should force the true religion on Idolaters, we have not the like ground, except they did attempt to obtrude their false ways upon us, and injure our souls: for there is a vast difference between a people never receiving the true Religion, and a people who have embraced, and submitted to laws, that have enacted the profession of the true Religion: those that never professed the true Religion, cannot be compelled to receive it by the Sword of another Nation, except they first subdue them in a just war, and be matters of them, and they may educate the posterity of the subdued people, and discharge the duty of parents to them, and impose laws on themselves, to cast away the Idols of their fathers house, and to learn the knowledge of the true God: but they cannot make the not receiving of the true Religion the ground of a war: for we read not of any such cause of war in the Scripture. It is true, God did command his people to destroy the Canaanites, but idolatry was not the quarrel, Josh. 11.19. There was not a nation that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hittites the inhabitants of Gibe on all (other) they took in battle, 20. For it was of the Lord to harden their heart, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favor ,but that he might destroy them as the Lord commanded Moses. And those that they subdued in the Wilderness, denied them harmless passage through their land.

It is true, some Popish writers, as Masius, Cornelius a lapide, Abulensis say, if the Canaanites would have sought peace, and embraced the worship of the true God, the Israelites would not have destroyed them, but the Text, Calvin and famous Papists, as Cajetanus, Swarez. Gamacheus, and Augustine before them, say plainly, Israel made war against them, and Israel but defended themselves against the Canaanites. Libertines say the teaching of the Gospel, Mat. 28. and not the sword, is a means to spread the Gospel, so say we, I see no warrant we have to obtrude the Gospel in the purity thereof, upon Papists in France and Ireland: but we may lawfully avenge the blood of the people of God on Irish Murderers, who exercise extreme cruelty and Tyranny over persons and the consciences of the Martyrs, and the oppressed people of God amongst the Papists.

The question seems harder, when these of a false Religion, in regard of their nearness, and vicinity to a Kingdom professing the true religion, when as they may infect them, or if they be in one National Covenant, and under the oath of God, to endeavor, the extirpation of all false religions and what is contrary to sound doctrine. It is certain, the kingdom of Judah might justly have avenged the Apostasy of the ten Tribes from David's house, and from Jerusalem where the Lord had set his name, for the worshipping of the Golden Calves, if the Lord by his Prophet had not expressly forbidden them to fight against their brethren 1 Kings 12. And the children of Israel did justly attempt War against the two Tribes and the half, because they erected a new altar for worship, as they conceived, which was Apostasy from the Covenant of God, and the true Religion which they were to maintain by the Oath of Joshua. 22. 12,13,15,16. and to bring the wrath of God on all the Tribes as Achan did, Ver. 20, No doubt, saith Calvin on the place, They were angry with an holy Zeal, for saith he on Ver. 12. The sword is not given to every man in his hand, but every one according to his calling ought (by this place) manifestly and constantly to defend the true Religion. And if the wrath of God came on all the people (saith Calvin) for the secret sin of one man, much more the people shall not go unpunished, if they dissemble the manifest idolatry of many. Piscator saith, It was piety in the Tribes that they resolve to make war with the two Tribes and the half, for their defection from the true God. Such was their Zeal (say the Divines of England) that they would rather hazard their lives, then suffer God's true Religion to be corrupted; for God had ordained there should be but one place for public service, and sacrifices, and but one Altar Leviticus 17.8, 9. Deut. 12. 5. 7. 13. 27. Exodus 20.24. Deut. 27. 5. For they were all in Covenant with one God, and this was a Schism and an Apostasy from the Church, (saith Diodat.) in which alone is the true service of God and the participation of his grace, and Covenant. So also the Geneva Notes approves the lawfulness of the War, and the Dutch annotations.

To this accord also, Popish Writers on the place, as Vatablus, Cajetanus, Cornelius a lapide, who commend this zeal, and say all the twelve Tribes made but one State and one Church, and Tostatus saith, there was a necessary of making War with the two Tribes, because the Law commanded it. Deut. 13. Therefore they took not counsel whither they should make War, but they consulted touching the manner. So agreeth Hugo Cardinalis, So Masius. So Serrarius. Lyra saith, War should not be undertaken, but upon a certain and just cause, especially against friends, therefore they send Messengers to the two Tribes, to try the cause of the new Altar. Menochius, Out of zeal they sent Messengers to try the crime of Idolatry, and to bring them to repentance, if not, to make destructive War against them. And Ferus, They were ready, if the two Tribes obeyed not, armis dicernere, to decide the matter by war. Would God (saith he) there were such zeal in us, and we see not one Altar erected, but a number of superstitious Altars.

From this place it is clear, when a Kingdom, or two Kingdoms are united together, and confederate by the Oath of God in one Religious Covenant, they become an Ecclesiastic body, so as the whole may challenge any part that maketh defection, and labour to gain them, and if they contumaciously resist, they are with the sword to decide the matter, lest wrath from the Lord break out on the whole confederate body; as for the sin of one Achan, wrath came upon all Israel: nor can I well see what can be answered on the contrary, except that that war for the new Altar, was undertaken upon judicial and temporary warrants, which do not bind us under the New Testament.

But this is said, not proved, that new Altar was not a heap of stones; but if it had been made upon Religious grounds, and for the service of God, it had been no less than an Apostasy from that true Religion once delivered by God. Then if the third part of Scotland and England should turn Apostates from the religion once sworn, after they had bound themselves in Covenant: the question remaineth, what should the State and Parliament do in that case? should they be indifferent beholders, and not use the sword against such Apostates? Swarez and others, not without reason, thinks that Infidels that are not Subjects, and not Apostates, cannot be compelled to embrace the true faith, even though it be sufficiently proposed to them, his reasons are, there is no lawful power given to the Church by Jesus Christ to compel such. 2. It is no tradition of the Church. 3. Those that are without cannot be judged; but the truth is, the sword is not given to the Church, as the Church; and in the spreading of the Gospel, the Lord forbids the use of the sword. It is true, a Christian Prince may deny to infidels liberty to dwell in his bounds. See Weemes, vo. 3. Expos. of the judicial law, cap. 15. And subjects may be compelled not to blaspheme Christ, not to dishonor the true God with manifestly professed impieties; for if Asa made a law, 2 Chron. 15. that they that would not seek the true God, should be put to death: if that be temporary and judicial, then the Christian Magistrate is not as a Christian Magistrate, or as a nurse-father, Isa. 49.23. so much as to command any to serve Christ, nor to rebuke any for blasphemies. Sure this can be no part of the peaceableness of Christ's Kingdom, not to rebuke sinners: but nurse-fathers and civil Tutors must do something for the defense of the truth from errors; for Constantine the great closed the Temples of Heathen Gods, to the end that heathenish Idolatry might be abolished, as Eusebius saith; see also Ruffinus, Jovianus, and Nicepharus, Justinian made many Laws against Idolators. Before Constantine the great would pardon Arius, he exacted an oath of him, that he should stand to the Nicene faith, and he sware, but dissembled. So Socrates; then Arius was punishable by the Emperor. So Timotheus Colon, Bishop of Constantinople, under Anastius first Emperor, was an Eutychen, and cursed such as rejected the Synod of Chalcedon, and before the Emperor cursed such as approved the Synod of Chalcedon; so Theod. Anagnostes, Petrus Mongus, Bishop of Alexandria under Zonon the Emperor, was an Eutichen, then again Orthodox, a little after he rejected the Council of Chalcedon; a little after in an Epistle to Anacius Bishop of Alexandria, he professed the sound faith, and denied that he rejected the council of Chalcedon; again he rejects that council, and the sound faith; therefore Evagrius tells him, A shoe, for every foot, a turn-coat, and a time-server. Ergo, such heretics, beside that they have not been innocent and godly (as Arminians say) they feared the sword of the Magistrate. But as touching the practice of Emperors, and the Imperial Laws for ratifying Church constitutions, there be but too many of them: as also for gathering Councils; which proveth the coactive power of Princes, Kings, and Emperors, over heretics and seducing teachers. Constantius, I grant, made a law, that some godly men should be tolerated, ut parem cum fidelibus ij qui errant (he saith not heretics) pacis est quietis fruitonem gaudentes accipiant. Esuebius in vita Constan. and though the Emperor Grotian decreed, Vi quam quisq; vellet Religionem sequerentur, That all Religions should be free, he had much ado in wars with the Goths, who wasted Thracia, and was therefore careful that Ambrose should draw up a short confession, yet did he except from the Toleration the Manichees, the Phocinians, the Eunomians. But see, codice prima lege. Cunctos popu'os de sum. trinit. Martianus ibid lege. 4. Synod Chalcedo, Leo imperator, cons. 15. C Const. 17. Heracleus Imperator, const. 1. de fide Justinianus Novellus 123. c. 32. Novell 137. c. 6. Honorius, 1.4. c. 55. Eccle. Valentinianus, 1. 9 const. 87. Novell. 131. c. 4. Eusebius Pamphil de vita, Constan. 1.3. c. 13. Surius otm. 2. Concil. c. 20. p. 362. Codic. 1.1. Tit. de heret. lex 2. 1,6. Justinian codex l.1. Tit. 4. de sum. Trint lex 2. Surius concil. tom. 2. p. 469. 421, 494. & tom. 2. p. 668, 669, 670. Socra Scholastic. his. l.a.c 37. Nicepher hist. l.9.c.4. Contur. Magdeburq; 4. col. 558. So for his power to convene Councels, as the Nicen, by Constani, Euseb. 1.3. c.6. Sozom, l.1.c.17. Soorat. l.1.c.6. Russ. l. 10. c. 1. Theodor. 1.1. c. 4. 1. Sozom.l. 1. c. 9. Theodosius elder, made a Law of death against the Anabaptists, and banished Eunomius Socrat. 1. 7. c. 12. It is true, Constantinus and Licinius, as Eusebius tells us, . 10. c. 5. say in a law, now therefore we freely will and command, That every man have a free liberty to observe the Christian Religion, and that without any grief or molestation, he may be suffered to do the same. But the practice of heathen Emperors, is no rule.

2. God opened their hearts to make these Laws in favor of Christians.

3. They had experience of the favor of God by the prayers of Christians.

4. The heathen Law in the letter would prove that none should be rebuked, or argued against, whatever Religion he chose; Maximius proclaimed, That all men should use what Religion they like best, Eus. 1. 9. c. 10. But 1. Maximius, out of natural pity, because he had before persecuted Christians, did this. 2. Dioclesian and Maximianus took Churches from them, he restored them; hence followed peace till an. 130. The counsel of Constantinople, 1. by Theodosius senior, Theodoret, 1. 5 c. 7. Socrates, 1. 5. c.8. The counsel of Ephesus, 1. by Theodos. junior. Evagrius, l.I.c.2. So imperator Justinus. 1. 44. ad Menans Patriarcham de Monachis & Monasteriis separandis & de Epise. & cler. Eusebius de vita cons. 1. 3. c. 25. Epistolam libella ad Synoda constituionem. The Bishops of the second general Counsel (if there was any of them general) wrote to the Emperor Theodosius, We desire your clemency, that you by your Letters would confirm the Decrees of the Counsel (of Chalcedon) and command that it be ratified and established: which he did. See also Constantius his power, prescribing to the Counsels of Ariminum and Selucea the subject matter they should treat upon, and commanded ten of each Counsel to come and give him an account of their proceedings. Sozomen, 1.4. c. 6. Theodosius and Valentine command the Counsel of Ephesus to send them some Bishops to acquaint them with the causes and motives of their deliberations. Relatio Synodi Ephesine, que est tom. 1. concil. The second Counsel of Nice, which some call the seventh General Counsel, relate the like to the Emperor at Constantinople, Theodoret, 1. 5. c. 8. Zonoraus, tom. 3. anat. There be two edicts of the Emperors, Valentinian and Martian, confirming the Counsel of Chalcedon, so act. 3. Chalc. to 1. Conc. all which say, the Emperors, de facto. commanded as Magistrates, Church-men to determine according to the word, and corrected such as contravened. And though Picus Mirandula saith well, No man hath power of opinions so, as if he will, he may have another opinion, which though it may bear, that opinions fall not under free-will, yet the venting of them to others, is to Mirandula, a free act and punishable. We know the Edict of Valentinian and Martian, of capital punishment against Such as shall attempt to teach things unlawful. Let false teachers according to Justinian, have no leave to live and dwell in Roman bounds, saith Pametius. Augustine saith, Heretics kill souls, let them be afflicted in body, they bring on men death eternal, and they complain that they suffer temporal deaths. And why (saithAugustine) should Sorcerers find the rigor of the Law from Emperors, and Heretics and Schismatics go free? Constantius gave out Edicts against Heretics, as Eusebius saith. b. 2. c. 27. And also made laws of pecuniary sins, and mulcts against them.

Honorius made laws against Donatists of sinning and of banishing preachers of Donatism. Martianus did the like. The like saith Nazianz of Theodosius the great. Banishment and other punishment, the Emperors inflicted upon Arrius, Macedonius, Nestorius, Eutiches and their followers. Which the Arch-Bishop of Spalato M. de dominis granteth; though he says Augustine excepteth capital punishment, for such (saith he) he will not have to be inflicted for the conscience, which is a manifest depraving of the mind of Augustine, who will have such punishment according to the quality of the fault inflicted on them, as upon Sorcerers and Murderers. Let Augustine be considered in these and other places, after he retracted his too meek sentence, That they should not be punished at all. Alexander Alexandrinus said, Arrius and his followers ought to be punished with excommunication, and a curse, Theodoret. lib. 1. c. 4. But for the point in hand the Christian Magistrate is tied and obliged to these punishments to be inflicted for moral offences, that the Law of God hath ordained, at least in nature: I prove,

1. That which is moral, and cannot be determined by the wisdom and will of man, must be determined by the revealed will of God in his word; but the punishment of a seducing Prophet, that ruins the soul of our brother, and makes him twofold more the child of Satan than before, is moral and cannot be determined by the wisdom and will of man: Ergo, such a punishing of a seducing Prophet, must be by the revealed will of God in his word. The proposition is proved 1. Because God only, not Moses, nor any other law-giver under him, taketh on him to determine death to be the adulterer's punishment, Levit. 20. 10. And the same he determineth to be the punishment of willful murder, Exod. 21. 12. of smiting of the Father or Mother, v. 15. of Man-stealing, vers. 16. of Sorcery, Exod. 22. 18. of Bestiality. 19. Of sacrificing to a strange God, vers. 10. And upon the same reason, God only, not any mortal man, must determine the punishment due to such as seduce souls to eternal perdition. For what reason can be imagined, why God can be the only determiner of such a punishment of killing, and not for the ruining the soul and making him the child of perdition. Let not any say by this reason, to tempt to any sin, by any evil counsel or provocation to immoderate anger or envy, should deserve death, for every tempting to sin is a ruining of the soul of such as we give bad counsel unto, and tempt to sin.

Answ. If we do so tempt them by a sinful way, as a sinful injuring, and railing on them, or by a wicked course, it is sure it doth deserve punishment by the Magistrate; but the act of so counseling and tempting to sin, though Ex conditione operis, it be soul ruin, yet it is not such as deserves death. Other ways, killing, adultery, sorcery, bestiality, tempt also to sin and soul ruin, besides the other injury in them, against the life and chastity of men.

2. The proposition is proved, because the will of God can be the creator, and first Author of nothing, but which is morally good. For the Scripture is as full in the duties of the second table touching mercy and righteousness, as in the duties of the first, touching piety and religion, and anything pretended to be moral, hath God for its author, in either the first or the second table of the law, nor can the will of man be the author of anything morally good, and will-righteousness, is as unlawful as will-worship, or will-piety, since the word is a perfect rule in matters of doctrine, or faith, or of life, manners and conversation, and teacheth the judge what he should do, Deut. 17. 18, 19, 20. Psalm. 119. 9. Psalm. 19. 8, 9. Prov. 3. 21, 22, 23, etc...

3 Whatever by order of justice, doth concern the life and death of our neighbour, rewarding or punishing him in name, body, goods, so as if it be justly inflicted, it is justice; and if unduly and undeservedly, it is injustice, and murder: as wronging of him in his body by stripes, wounding, death; in his liberty by prison; in his goods, by fines; that must be determined in the word by him that is Lord of life, death, liberty, of our name and goods, other ways the word should not teach us when the Judge sins, when not, when he makes just Laws, when unjust, when he exceeds in punishing, when he is deficient.

I come to the assumption, The punishing of a seducing Prophet is moral. In that it is commanded to father and mother, not to pity him, Deut. 13. 6. held forth as the zeal of God, in father and mother, under the Messiah's Kingdom, Zach. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. and every one is forbidden, To bid him God speed, yea, and commanded to deny him an act of humanity, and hospitality, and not receive him in his house, 2 John 1. If we be commanded to put any shame on him, far more must the Ruler be taught of God, what shame he should put on him. For whatever under the New Testament is capable of a command, is moral. And if moral, what the Magistrate should do to him can no more be determined by the will and wit of man, than it can be determined what punishment the Magistrate must inflict upon the murderer, the adulterer, the Sorcerer, the Sodomite; which all the wisdom of God hath determined: in the word, otherwise God hath left the Magistrate in the dark, that from the word he hath no direction, when he commits murder, or when he doth acts of justice. And that it is a moral act also to seduce souls is clear, in that, 1. We are commanded to beware of such, Matth. 7. 5. and avoid them, Tit. 3. 10. Rom. 16. 17. 2. That the Lord condemns them in his word, as such as make their followers the children of perdition, Yea Matth. 22. 15. They subvert the hearers: their word eats as a Canker, 2 Tim. 2. 15, 17. Lead silly women Captive, 2 Tim. 3. are Deceivers, Tit. 1. 10. Now that God hath appointed a punishment for this of old, and hath spoken against this sin so much in the New Testament, and bidden private Christians, cry shame on Seducers, and fly them, and yet left the Magistrate under a discharge, and inhibition to draw a sword against such: who can believe it? except that inhibition given to the Christian Magistrate were written in the Testament of our Lord. To say the new Testament dispensation is so spiritual that God will have no remedying of seducing, but by the spiritual armor of the word, is said without ground, when the New Testament-dispensation is as spiritual to gain the Sorcerer, the Thief, the Sodomite, the drunkard, the Reviler, as the Idolater by the Spiritual armor of the Word, Act. 19. 19. 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10, 11. and by this reason the Magistrate may draw the sword against none of these, Sodomite, Drunkard, Sorcerer, contrary to Rom. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 1 Pet. 2. 14. Especially since the Magistrate is not indifferent towards ill-doers, and well-doers, since he must punish the one as a Nurse-Father, praise and reward the other, I Peter 2:14. gaining of souls is well doing, Matt. 25:21, 23. And seducing of souls is by the law of Nature and Nations, the worst of injuries done to men.

2. Argument, That which is perpetually moral, and one act of Justice at all times and places, must oblige us Christians, and the Christian Magistrate, as well as the Jewish Rulers: but to punish the seducing Prophet is perpetually moral, and an act of justice at all times, and in all places, as the rewarding of such as teach truth, is a commendable act of justice, Ergo,

The proposition is clear, in regard the Moral Law doth therefore oblige us Christians, because it is morally perpetual, and perpetually moral; and that in all times and places as to serve God, honor our parents, not to murder etc... is perpetually moral now, as among Jews, with us, as among the Indians and Tartarians: but to punish the seducing Prophet is such: 1. because the Heretic is condemned by his own conscience, Tit. 3. 10. in believing lies. Ergo, Far more by his own conscience, by leading others into that same condemnation with himself; and if he apprehend the vengeance of a God-head, there must be a conscience naturally apprehending such: as we see the conscience of murderers, and of Cain, fear some revenging hand. If therefore the Minister of God, the Magistrate, inflict this, it must be nothing else but an act of natural Justice, which the natural conscience doth apprehend. But what acts of Justice the conscience naturally fears, must be acts of Justice perpetually moral, not respecting one man or Nation more than another. 2. All Countries by an instinct, apprehend a God, and conceive their Priests and Prophets are to be entertained and rewarded, as Egypt, Gen. 47. 22. Midian, Exod. 2. 16. Exod. 18. 1. Judg. 17. 5. c. 18. 4. II King. 15. 18. The Philistines, 1 Sam. 5. 5. c. 6. 2. Baal and the Zidonians had their Priests, II King 10. 8, 19, Lycaonia, Act 14. 13. And if their Rulers feed their Priests, the false Prophets and Priests that deceive them, and mislead them, they must punish: So the King of Babylon roasted in a fire two false Prophets, Jer. 29. 21, 22. And it is clear, that Jeremiah argues not from any judicial law, when he saith, The Prophets that speak lies in the name of the Lord, shall die by the sword, c. 14. v. 14. 15. It was by the sword of the Chaldeans, (who had nothing but the Law of nature) that they perished; for no Judicial Law of God taught them, that he ought to die by the sword of the Magistrate, who speaks lies in the name of the Lord; whereas the Chaldeans knowing that Jeremiah had prophesied truth, and was sent of God, they entreated him well, as the Lord had fore-told, Jer. 15. 8. Nor can it be said, that the consequence is null, and that that cannot oblige Christian Magistrates, which hath no better warrant than the corrupt practices of Heathens; for they persecuted the true Prophets and Apostles that spake in the name of the Lord; as Herod beheaded James, Acts 12. and apprehended Peter. Nero persecuted Paul, and Domitian confined John to the Isle Patmos for the Word of God. To which I answer, That the Argument is not drawn simply from the practice of Heathen magistrates, but from the light of nature, that teacheth all Magistrates, Heathen and Christian, to punish public impostors, false Prophets and liars, as most pernicious enemies to the peace of all human Societies. And if the law of nature and Nations dictate to all Societies, that deceivers, and such as raise false reports and lies upon earthly Judges, should be punished; far more is it a principle of the Law of nature, that public liars, and such as speak lies in the name of the Lord, and deceive and seduce the souls of father and mother, King and Ruler, and of all ranks of men in the Society, should not be tolerated in the society. And what though Emperors and Kings have abused the power that God gave them for the truth, to persecute the servants of Christ for the truth, it follows not, but they had just power, as the Ministers of God, to punish seducing Prophets, as well as other ill-doers, by the law of nature and Nations. And this I take is held forth by Job 31. 26, 27, 28. who being under no Judicial Law, obliging the Jews, but a Gentile, and so in this led by the Law of nature and Nations, maketh Idolatry and worshipping of the Sun and Moon, to be an iniquity to be punished by the Judge. That this is not an iniquity to be punished by God (as if heresy be innocency, as Libertines say, it must neither be punished by God nor man) but by the Judge on earth is clear. For 1. the expression, v. 28. varies only in the number from that which is v. 11. Now there Job saith of Adultery ipsum iniquitas Judicum. And ver. 28 etiam hoc iniquitas Judicis. The English Divines do well observe, That adultery is a capital crime to be punished by the Judge, Gen. 38. 24. Levit. 20. 10. Deut. 22. 22. And they expound ver. 28. the same way. Pagnin. est iniquitas Judicanda, Judice digna, vel Judciaria. Mercerus, Exod. 21. 22, He shall give according to the Judges, Isai. 16. 3. do, Judgement. Shimlerus, judges that cognosce of causes. Deut. 31. 31. Our enemies being Judges, Job 31. 11. Iniquitas dignaque Indicetur & punietur. It is true, the LXX, expound it, ; and the Chaldean Paraphrase, , est enim iniquitas maxima. But it is taken for a crime that comes before an earthly Judge. So Hieronimus. And Exod. 21. 22 If a man strike a woman with child, and she live, he shall give according to the sentence of the Judges. Hieronimus quantum arbitri Judicaverint. The Chaldean Paraphrase, & dabit per sententiam Judicum. LXX. . The Syriac, Dabit quantum decernent Judices. The Samaritan, Dabitq ; ex sententia Judicum, Vatablus, Job 31. v. 11. Iniquitas capitali supplicio persequenda, v. 28. Nam & ea iniquitas capitali supplicio digna, Junius, Iniquitas a Judicibus animadvertenda. Piscator, Iniquitas Judiciaria. Complutentes, Iniquitas Judicanda. Pineda in Job 31. 28. Iniquitas digna Judicio, Judicumq; sententia severissima & gravissimo supplicio. All agree to this, that Idolatry, according to Job, from the Law of nature, deserves capital punishment to be inflicted by the Judge. And Pineda saith, this agreeth with the Law of God. Especially, Deut. 4. 25. & 23. Sanctius gathereth from Job 31. 11. That Adulterers in Job's time were, by the sentence of the Judge burnt. Now the same expression is, v. 28. spoken of Idolatry. Hence is Socrates condemned to die for his false Religion, as is supposed by the people. Maximus condemned the Priscillians, as Hieronimus observes for Heresy. Nor is it much to be valued, that Jer. Taylor saith, That Maximus was a Tyrant, and put to death Catholic Heretics. Without choice, it proves punishing of Heretics, as supposed of old to be warranted by law. Ursatus and Stacius procured at Court, Law to death against Priscillianists. And the Nicene Fathers, that Arrius should be banished. Nor doth Spalato cite Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius, Hierome, Severus, Sulpitius, Minutius, Hilary, Damascen, Chrysostome, Theophilact, Bernard, for any other purpose (whatever Taylor say on the contrary) but 1. To prove, that forcing of men to Religion, is not to the way of God, which also I teach; for the preaching of the Word; not the using of the sword, is the means of conversion of sinners. 2. That killing is not to be practiced on all heretics. 3. That the Law and the sword, are not to go without convincing of the conscience by the Word of God. 4. That to deliver up godly men to persecuting Tyrants, because of some errors, hath more scandal to cause men to stumble at truth, than to make truth victorious. 5. That neither Church nor State can judge heart-opinions, nor punish them, but only professed and taught opinions, that are both unnecessary and unsound. 6. That Pastors have not the Sword to compel to Religion. 7. That nations of another Religion are not gained to Christ by the Sword; nor can we make war against them, because they are Idolaters, and follow a false Religion; nor was Idolatry the ground of the war that Israel raised against the Canaanites and other Nations. To all which I add the words of Jer. Taylor, The best and ablest Doctors in Christendom have been deceived actually in matters of Religion, in that all sorts of Christians dissent from the errors of Papias, Ireneus, Lactantius, Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Firmilian, etc... Ergo, by Taylor's sentence, we are not to rest much upon the Fathers, whether they be for or against liberty of conscience.

For course to be taken with Pagans (to speak by the way) all that Lactantius, 1. 5. c. 20. Tertulli ad Scapulam, c. 2. Augustine, ser. 6. de verb. dom. c. 7. cont. lite. Petitian. lib. 2. c. 83. we approve, and what famous Schoolmen, Cajetan, Thomas, Bannes, Durandus, Paludan, Richardus, Tannerus. Gamacheus, Paluda, and that of Augustine, ser. 6. de verb. Dom. c. 7. Glandiendum est Paganis, ut audiant veritatem, in Christianis vero secanda putredo. Pagans must be allured, and not compelled by wars to the faith. Because the just cause of War must either be an open breach of Nations against the Law of nature; for it must be a sin, of which a multitude may easily be, or are convinced of; as is clear in the Amalekites, and all the Nations who invaded Israel, Josh. 11. v. 19, 20. or then in a visible Church, it must be for manifest Apostasy from the Covenant of God, and true Religion, as the new Altar supposed to be erected by the two Tribes and the half against the only one Altar commanded by God. See Cavarruvias in Regnum paccatum part 2. sect. 4. Sotus in 4. distin. 5. 4. 1 art. 10. Molina de Justitia disp. 106, and Bannes 11. g. 10. art. 11. saith, that Paul the third defined well, that the Western Indians being capable of life eternal, were true Lords of their possessions, and could not be justly deprived thereof.

To tolerate Jews openly blaspheming Christ, or to receive them in the Common-Wealth, cannot be allowed, or to suffer them to have Synagogues, in regard they blaspheme the God we are in Covenant with, and do no less deny him, than Goliah and Senacharib did, 2. But simply seduced Jews are to be instructed, for there is a peculiar prophecy touching the Jews, Rom. 11. Jer. 50. 5 ,6. That they shall be brought in to know Christ, and believe in him.

3. Argument, That which was a mere judicial law, and not only in no force now, as touching any obligation to bodily punishment from the Christian Magistrate, is now under the Gospel, either a sin offensive to human society, Or, 2. No sin, but innocency, as some say, or then 3. A thing indifferent. If it be a sin offensive to human society, and the people of God, to drive them away from the Lord their God, and an abomination that Israel should fear to do, in the days of Moses and before Christ came, as is clear, Deut. 13. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. It must be so now: for since it is not a Typical, but a moral sin, it is at all times, and in all places to us, and now, and to them, and then, an abomination. Ergo the Argument of the holy Ghost being perpetual, that it is destructive to human society, the Lord must provide the same, or as effectual means, for the remedying thereof. But if the Christian Magistrate have no place or power to repress such abominations, but Israel may seduce men after false gods, and not fear the stroke of his sword, then hath the Lord left the Church to the lust of ravenous wolves that destroy the flock, and hath left these wolves to the Lord's immediate hand of judgment: for rebukes, Church censures are not to be used against them, upon the same ground that the sword should not be drawn against them, by the ground of Libertines:

for rebukes and Church-censures do. 1. For the conscience no less than the sword. 2. They beget Hypocrites. 3. Are as contrary to the law of meekness and gentleness of Christ and his servants, who used no such way to gain the Samaritans, and other gain-sayers, as the sword is repugnant to Christ's meek administration, who did not use either sword, crying, rebukes, or excommunication, against broken reeds, though both these may be used against Seducers in great gentleness and tenderness toward their souls, by fathers in State or Church. 4. They are no less against liberty of prophesying, believing with a reserve to believe the contrary, than the sword. For how can we in the name of the Lord, rebuke, threaten eternal wrath, deliver to Satan, seducers, more than the Magistrate can use the sword against them, yea, or refute their errors, in the name and authority of Christ, or strike with his rod, since we are not infallibly persuaded more than these we call Seducers, for they may upon the same grounds call us Seducers, threaten us with eternal wrath, and deliver us to Satan, in the same name and authority that the sound Church proceedeth against them; for neither side had the infallibility of divine authority, in a reflex knowledge, more than others, by the Doctrine of Libertines. 5. They are no less contrary to growing up in knowledge and new light; for contrary reasons, and rebukes, and threatenings are as apt to expel new light, and to reduce the Seducer to old darkness, for any certainty of persuasion any of the sides have, for both may see beside their book, and dream the moon is made of wax, by this way, and instructing of teachers that see but on this, and the yonder side of truth with eyes of flesh, as they say, is as ineffectual a remedy against Teachers, as the sword. 6. Since the sword and stoning, when used by the Jews, Deut. 13. presupposeth infallibility. What warrant do our Lord's of license of conscience give us, that all the commons, and Lads, and Girls that lifted a stone against the Seducer, had Prophetic infallibility: or that every wife, to whom her husband might say, Let us go and follow Baal and Dagon, for sure the Zidonians and Philistines are a people taught of God as well as we, was infallible in her knowledge and inerrable, and the husband an erring Seducer according to the principles that masters of license would lead us on: for there must be a response given to all and every one to believe this is the Seducer, from the light of Moses' law, else they had no more right to stone the Seducer, than the Seducer to stone them. For as we may err in persecuting true Prophets, I hope so did the people, kill the prophets, and stone them that were sent, Matth. 23. 27. and 2 Chron. 36. 16. they mocked and misused the Prophets of God, and did as foully err in persecuting, as now we under the Gospel. Yet Mr. Goodwin gives to the Jews an infallibility of an Oracle to tell them who was the man to be stoned, as a Seducer. But let him answer these Queries.

1. Did the Oracle speak immediately to all the actors in the stoning? I think no: then the Oracle spake to the Priest only. To Pashur; then the Officers had but the word of Pashur to put Jeremiah in the stocks, and the people had but the Priest's word for stoning the man.

2. Query, Were the people infallible in discerning the Priest to be a true relater of the mind of God from the Oracle? How believed they then some lying Priests who persecuted the Prophets of God?

3. Query, Was the Priest infallible in discerning the Oracle and relating the mind of God to the people? How then did they say, he is worthy to die? How did Caiaphas say, What need we any more witnesses, We have heard himself blaspheme?

4. Were not the Priests Deut. 17. ver. 11. To Judge according to the sentence of the Law of God delivered to Moses? Was this an immediate Oracle of infallibility, such as Bellarmin, Becanus, Gretserus, Valentia Corn a lapide ascribe to their Appollo at Rome? I think Mr. Goodwin cannot say that. If he does, I know what to answer to the Papists in that. If it was the law and the testimony, as I conceive it was, had not all the people that were to stone the seducing Prophet, their way of judging the false Prophet? If they must not follow him after other Gods, and if they must be actors in stoning him. And was not this fallible as well as ours under the new Testament? and therefore, because we are not infalliblejudging in the heart Heretic; we must not draw the Sword against him; and I say, nor can we draw the Sword of the Spirit against any such; for in the using of the Sword of the Spirit, in teaching, refuting, or arguing against Heretics; we are not infallible. If this way of People's judging, and not listening to the suggestions of a false Prophet was infallible, how erred they, and slew the true Prophets, and stoned them that were sent, Matth. 23. 27. As well as we may? And why may not we, not withstanding of our fallibility and actual erring, judge and drive away by the sword, devourers of the flock, as well as they?

6. If God have left no means under the New Testament, but exhorting, to suppress the seducer, what shall be said of II John 10. who forbids to receive a seducer in our house, or bid him God speed. Sure this is some external forcing of the conscience, if we credit Libertines; for rather than some seducer lie in the fields in America in winter, he will say he abhors Familianism, though he hate all the sound in the faith. Now is not this a greater external power, armed against a Seducer, than if the holy Ghost had said, if a murderer, a Parricide, a Sorcerer, a Drunkard, come to your house, let him not lie in the fields, lodge him, but give him course cheer, and no bed to lie on, no fire to warm him? yet so much is not said in express words, for the forcing of the conscience in the New Testament. Again, for the second member, if to teach what we judge in our conscience to be truth, though most erroneous, be no sin, but innocency, yea if (as Minus Celsus said) it be a token of a good conscience, and innocent fear of God, as Libertines say, we are to judge no man's heart, and that in a matter of salvation, no man will be so Devil-like as to go to hell, and lead millions of souls with him, the way being against his conscience. For Jer. Taylor saith, It is all one here, whether it be a real truth the Seducer holdeth and teacheth, or if he only apprehend it to be a truth, though it be an untruth; and he said well according to his way. Now, if to teach (I say) what we conceive to be truth, though most false, be no sin, but innocency, then the Magistrate ought not only not to punish it, but Seducers, to teach what errors they judge saving truths. And grant me these three, which cannot be denied but by gross Anabaptists, 1. Rom. 13. That the Magistrate is to reward well doing. 2. That the workman is worthy of his wages, 1 Tim. 5. 18. 19. Matth. 10. 10. And 3. That a preaching Ministry is necessary under the New Testament, 1 Cor. 1. 16, 17, 18. 23, 24. Rom. 10. 14, 15, 16. Then must it follow of necessity, that the Christian Magistrate should maintain and pay stipends to all Preachers, whether sound, and Orthodox, or Heterodox, and seducing; for if he withdraw maintenance, as a Magistrate, or any other way, because he judgeth the Preacher to be unsound, and a seducer, he taketh upon himself to punish a man for his conscience, when as he hath no infallibility; and he doth so punish and force the conscience of the innocent Pastor and People both. For he is obliged to judge, that both the sound Pastor and the Seducer follow their conscience; and whatever the Doctrine of either be, Orthodox or Heterodox, he is to judge that both followeth his innocent conscience, and in so doing, both feareth God, and doth well; and by his office he is for the praise and reward of well doers: And suppose he judge in his conscience, that the Doctrine of the Seducer is error and Heresy, yet is he to judge it heresy with a reserve, so as it may be to him the next month sound Doctrine; and therefore not to judge otherwise of the Seducer, than that he followeth the dictates of his conscience. And so as yet he doth not take on him infallibility to judge, that the Seducer teacheth against the light of his conscience, and therefore is not to punish him, but reward him, and pay wages to him, as to a well doer: Yea, and whatever Ministers teach, since neither they are infallible in teaching the very fundamentals, nor the people that hear infallible in judging, and neither are to believe with the persuasion of faith; And all are to be heard as instructors. For suppose you believe that Christ is God consubstantial with the father, yet are you to hear Arrius preach, and to admit a contrary light. If Arrius can make the contrary appear to your mind, and Arrius preacheth according to should not be instructed by the Seducer (for you are to try his doctrine) as well as by the sound teacher, for you have no infallible knowledge who is the seducer, or who is the sound Teacher, by the principles of Libertines.

The third cannot be said, to wit, that it is indifferent to drive away people from the true God; for it must either be good and praise worthy, or evil, and so punishable, against which we have sufficiently argued.

Argument 4. What the Magistrate is fore-prophesied to be under the New Testament, that he must discharge with all the power God hath given him, and that perpetually, and not by the tie of a judicial and temporary law, which binds for a time only. But the Magistrate is fore-prophesied Isai. 49. 23. and 60. 10. Rev. 21. 26. to be a Nurse-father to the Church under the New Testament, to keep and guard both Tables of the Law, and to see that Pastors do their duty, to minister to the Church by his royal power, yea when the fountain shall be opened in David's house, that is under the New Testament, he shall thrust through the false Prophet that speaketh lies in the Name of the Lord, Zach. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Kings as Kings must confer some royal service to the Church, over which they are Nurse-fathers. But all the power that Kings have, is essentially co-active, and in order to rewarding or punishing, Rom. 13. 3, 4. therefore they must confer coactive service. Piscator saith well, That the Prince is called the keeper of both Tables of the Law by our Divines, therefore he is to vindicate God's glory in both. He that hath the keeping of two pits, one more horrible and dark, another more mild and heartsome for two malefactors, a thief, and an adulterer, he must not cast the thief in such a dark dungeon as the adulterer: so if the Magistrate keep both Tables, he must not punish according to his own will, but according to the rule and prescript of God. Nor saith the Author of the Bloody Tenet anything, when he tells us that the Magistrate owes to the true Religion; 1. Approbation and reverend esteem.

2. Personal submission to the spiritual government. Matth. 18. I Cor. 5. 3. Protection to the subjects whether they be apart or met together. To a false Religion he oweth permission, not approbation, and estates.

Answ. All this is very nothing, 1. Approbation and submission to truth is no royal power. Isaiah giveth a paternal and fatherly power to the King in Church matters, when he saith, He shall be a nurse-father. Now all he gives in these two former points, to wit, approbation of, and submission to truth, is no more than any tradesman or son owes to the Church: So Isaiah makes the King a father; this author makes him a son subject to the Church, which subjection I deny not in another consideration, but that as a nurse-father he should approve the truth, and submit thereunto, as all the members of the Church, makes him both a father and a son; a commander, and a humble submissive obeyer in the same consideration, which is most contradictory and incongruous, for he must speak of him as a Ruler, or else he saith nothing. The third thing which is, protection to the true Church is nothing to the purpose; for that he owes to them as subjects, not as they are serving God in the duties of the first Table, for the King by this man can neither command them nor forbid them, by his Magisterial or coactive power to serve God, or not to serve him, in the duties of the First Table, and by the true Church that the King owes protection to, the Author meaneth not the Church that is in itself sound and true, but the Church that seemeth and appeareth so to the conscience of the Magistrate though most erroneous. Now this is the Church of Seekers and Anabaptists, but suppose the Magistrate or Commander in war be a Familist, a gross Anabaptist; the Author will not say, That he ought to protect the Church assembled to worship God, and to excommunicate and deliver to Satan such as subvert the faith of many, and say the Resurrection is already past, or that he ought to protect an Assembly of Divines that are for Presbyterial Government, and the truth that Calvin and our Reformers delivered: These are to him Antichristian Synagogues; or if he owe them protection, he ought to offer violence with his sword, to Anabaptists, such as rose in Germany under John Becold of Leydon, that out of mere principles of Religion, killed all that were not of their way, and to displace, imprison, and confine Presbyterians. So yet in a defensive way the Magistrate must offer violence to the conscience of men, who for mere Religious grounds do labour to scatter and violently to hinder the meetings of the servants of God: for how many of the Sectaries of England who are for liberty of conscience have come into Churches in England, and stepped up to the Pulpit, and hindered the Minister the discharge of his conscience to the flock, and offered violence to the meeting of the true Church? now it is not enough to say the Minister was but an Antichristian service-book-man, and it was no true Church whose service such Sectaries interrupted; but giving and not granting it were so, yet are Libertines not to offer violence to the conscience of any Church true or false, if they be true to their own principles: but this Author being an Anabaptist and a Seeker will say neither wars nor such violence are lawful, but if so, the Magistrate then cannot with the sword protect the true Church against the violence of men, who upon mere conscience disturb their Assemblies.

2. To Libertines all Churches professing true Religion (as all Churches on earth, Indians, and Mohammedans not excepted, do) must be true Churches, for they are not to judge, but that they follow their conscience, and so the magistrate owes protection to them, though their conscience be most erroneous, and even for such as they conceive to be true Churches, they are not infallibly persuaded they are such, and so the Magistrate gives no protection to them as true Churches, but only as Subjects, which the Author tells the Magistrate he owes to false Churches, and so the King by this is a Nurse-father, by his office and by the places Isai. 49. 23. and 60. 10. to bring his glory of protection to the whore of Rome if they be his Subjects as well as to the New Jerusalem: but sure the King by these places owes father-nursing and Magistratical protection to the true Church not to the false, because Isai. 49. 23. 1. The place is clearly of such a Church as the Lord can no more forget, than a woman cannot have compassion on the fruit of her womb, v. 14, 15. 2. Such a Church 4. Which shall be enlarged, by the incoming of the Gentiles, whose place shall be too narrow for multitude of Sons and daughters begotten by the power of the Gospel, though she was a captive removing too and fro, v. 19, 20, 21. 5. A Church that shall lift up a standard to the Gentiles, and Nations to take in their Sons and daughters to fight under Christ's colors, as being baptized to the same faith, vers. 22. 6. A Church whose spiritual Government Kings and Queens shall obey, licking the dust before them, v. 23. 7. A people that wait for the Lord, and so shall not be ashamed, v. 23. Now to say that a false Church shall have all these glorious privileges needeth no refutation, and they must be stupid who teach that Kings are made Nurse-fathers by this Text to Antichrist's Kingdom, as if the Lord had the Beast and his followers written on the palms of his hands, or that Kings being made Nurse-fathers to the true Church, owe nothing to those that wait on the Lord, but the common protection of Subjects which they owe to limbs of Antichrist, Jews, Mohammedans, Indians, who worship the Devil, if these be their Subjects is a very pleasant dream and incredible; for the place Isai. 60. cries to him that runs and will read, that Kings shall minister something to the true Church, which they do in no sort to the false Church, and it is most evident to the judicious Reader, that the sucking of the breasts of Kings, v. 10. 16. and the kissing of the Son, Psal. 2. must be more than common protection to Subjects that are open enemies to Christ and wasters of Zion; yea it must be some protection to the Church as the Church, and to the Laws and Ordinances of God, in rewarding the well-doers, and conserving the Ordinances, and the correcting of wolves, Impostors, lying Prophets; for if we come to Master Williams his way, That the King owes protection from violence to the persons and estates of false Worshippers, to those that serve Devils, and because they are Subjects, then those Texts say no more than Be glad Indians, Popish Idolaters, Mohammedans, for I will make Kings yournurse-fathers, and Queens your nurse-mothers, and Kings shall minister unto you, and you shall suck the breasts of Kings, and Kings shall bring their glory and riches to you. Nor need we prove that the place Isai. 60. speaks of the true Church, read it and its proved, v. 1. Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee, etc... Nor is the matter helped to say, It is a great favor, that the power of the Kings who lent their horns to the Beast, is now lent to the Lamb and his followers for their comfort, for then what power bring the Kings to the New Jerusalem, but Royal power? and what Royal power to protect the true Church in their persons and estates as they do the false? is this the breasts of the milk of Kings, and their royal power as nurse-fathers? and that power which they bring into the New Jerusalem? when it is the same very power they brought into Babel, and the same horn they lent to the beast. 2. The Kings lent no royal and paternal power to the true Church but what they lent to Babel as yet, nor do they yield any royal power to hold up Christ's throne and maintain his ordinances, or convey the sincere milk of the word, by their political and coactive power to the Church, if our Adversaries' Doctrine be received.

Again, permission to the false Church is proved by Matth. 13. 30. Let the tares grow till harvest. Gulielmus Parisiensis part. 1. hact. de legibus p. 27. Ubi ergo impii in consumptionem populi dei, vel diminutionem crescunt, ibi nullatenus crescere sinendi sunt, sed eradicandi; Quod si quis dixerit, quia ipsi sunt zizania, possient esse triticum, quia converti possunt ad viam veritatis--- sed non hoc certum, quod autem per ipsos, illi qui triticum sunt, zizania stant, hoc evidenter certum est. Hoc enim est ac si diceretur, ut paucis lupis in medio gregis existentibus, gregemque incessanter laccerantibus, ac devorantibus, parcatur, quia forte deus, faciet illos, oves & agnos, -- & dimittendas paucas faces ardentes in medio silve lignorum germinanitium, ipsamq; silvan incessanter ardentes,leprosos dimittendos esse in medio sani popeli assiduo contagio ipsum corrumpentes & inficientes, quia for sitan Deus salvalit illos. Calvin advers. Servetum numb. 597. si precise nobiscum agant, ex verboram formula, non tantum prohibeantur magistrates ab usa gladii, sed omnem disciplinam e media tollie oportet. Joan. a Chokier in Paranesi ad hereticos, c. 2. parabolam illam non loqui de judicibus. Beza de haret. puniendas, p. 136. Nemo patrum hareticos ne quidem judicandos ante extremum diemo asserit. 229. zizaniorum appelatione intelligi arbitror non sols hereticos, sed omnes qui vite exemplo Ecclesiam offendunt, Chrysost. hom. 47. in Mat. finite crescere, dissipate hereticorum conciliabula, ora obstruite, audaciam loquendi concidite, sed ne interficite, item ibid. dogmata quidem impia arguite & anathematizate, sed hominibus ipsis parsite. How far is Mr. William's Bloody Tenet against all the power of the Ministry, or so much as rebuking Heretics, for he saith c. 28. p. 53. Thirdly I have proved that the Ministers or Messengers of the Lord Jesus ought to let (the tares or heretics) alone, and to let them live in the world, and neither seek by prayer nor prophecy, to pluck them up before the harvest. Enthymius and Theophylact follow Chrysostome, puniendos, non necandos. Jacobus Acontius stratage. Satan 1. 3. p. 153. constat triticum esse pios, zizania impios--- si sinende sunt crescere, tam impii, quam pii—tolleretur omnis magistratus authoritas omnisque disciplina, & page 157. Inter Pontisicios Jacobus Simanca parisiensis Episcope in Enchyridio violate religionis ti. 1. p. 16. nu. 12. parabolam loqui de punitione impiorum, quando est periculum ne simul eradicetur triticum, zizania sunt omnes filii nequam, nullus igitur facinorosus puniendus, absurdum, non lequitur parabola de judicibus. Phillippus Gamachaeus in 2. q. 10 de infidel. q. 13. finite crescere, si verum ac reale non imaginarium damnum immineat, debet rum Ecclesia, debent tum Christiani principes a coactione abstinere. Sic Suarez tom. de vir theo. dis. 18. sc. 4. nu. 9. (ne forte eradicetis) sic August. 1. 3. contra Parmen. cap. 2. c. 33. Tannerus tom. 1. dis. 1. de sid. q. 9. du. 2. n. 30. (ne forteeradicetis) ratio bee est communis & adequata omnis juste permissionis malorum qunda etiam Deus ob eandem causam mala permittit Azorius inst. par. 1. 1. 8. c. 13. per zizania heretici intelliguntur secundum Chrysostimum, Augustinum, Hieronimum, Enthymium. Theophylacium, sed respondet ex parabolis non semper sumi efficax argumentum, & generaliter per verba, accipi hic pravos mores & falsa dogmata. Nor is it altogether to be condemned that Gregorius 9. Innocen. 4. Paulus 3. Clemens 8. command the Talmudic and Cabalistic books containing Blasphemies against God to be burned in the fire, August. Ep. 48. ad Vincen. retracts ingeniously his opinion, That Heretics ought not to be punished, mea primitus sententia, erat, neminem ad unitattem sidei cogendum. Theodore Stackius in hist. Anabap. c. 8. in notis p. 108. to the compelling of men to religion against their will, that which some object out of Lactantius, that Lactantius doth argue against such as being destitute of the word of God and sound reason, would compel by the sword only men to receive true Religion.

It is a token the man is scant and ebb of proofs in Scriptures, when he can prove liberty of conscience by no Scripture, but one wing and tithe of a Parable, never expounded by Christ, who yet expoundeth all the rest of the parts of the Parables, and yet (as I have said before) the tares are not expounded by Christ to be heretics, but ver. 38. The tares are the children of the wicked one, and ver. 41. all things that offend and do iniquity. Mr. Goodwin denies that Heretics are ill doers, Mr. Williams saith, they do iniquity but if he would expound and apply all the tithes and joints of the Parable, then Mr. Williams must tell us what the sleeping of men, v. 25. and what the springing up of the blade is, and the bringing forth of the fruit is, v. 26. and how men quarrel with God, because of the prosperity of Heretics, when as Scripture extends the prosperity that stumbles men, to the most wicked, who are fat and rich, Psal. 37. 1, 2, 3, 4. Jer. 12. 12. Job. 22. 1, 2, 3. and what the bundles are, vers. 30. since Mr. Williams (as all Libertines and Anabaptists are) is bold with the word to expound tares otherwise then the word of God and our Savior Christ doth, who of purpose expoundeth the tares to be workers of iniquity, and ill doers, now Heretics to Master Williams and Libertines are no ill doers, but innocent men, men that fear God, such as suffer persecution for conscience, the children of light, of the promise, of the free woman, persecuted by the children of this world, and the sons of the bondwoman, as all their Books say; how doth Christ make these Heretics that are named tares, such as grow and flourish till harvest, and then these innocent men that feared God are judged by God offenders in Christ's Kingdome, workers of iniquity, cast into a furnace of fire, where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth? To conclude why doth Mr. Williams say the Magistrate oweth protection, to the true Church apart and met together, and saith not that he owes protection to the false Church, the same way apart and met together? he must secretly insinuate that the Magistrate oweth some singular royal protection to the assemblies of Anabaptists and Seekers and the true Church, which he oweth not to the church of wicked men met and assembled for worship. Yet when the wicked are assembled in the valley of the sons of Hinnon to burn their sons to Devils, when they are met in the high places to offer and Sacrifice, to the Sun and the Queen of Heaven, and to adore the works of men's hands, even then are these men, Subjects under a lawful Prince, and this Prince must either in such abominable and bloody worship, defend their persons and estates from violence, or then 1. Master Williams saith amiss 2. The Prince must by his office serve the Devil, and countenance, and defend a most wicked and bloody service, such as Son-slaughter and idolatry, and that against his conscience, though he judge them a false Church. 3. The Prince, if he withdraw his royal defense, is wanting in his office, and yet it is his conscience to neglect duty to such. 4. And must force the consciences of people, in tempting them to desist from what they in conscience conceive to be the highest worship and expression of love, fear and reverence to God, in that he refuses to protect them in man-slaughter, and such service to God, which they dare not venture on without his protection, lest men rise up against them and destroy them.

Mr. Williams addeth lb. p. 216 To profess the Magistrate must force the Church to do her duty, and yet the Magistrate must not judge what that duty is, must be to play in spiritual things.

Answ. That the Magistrate should compel godly men to keep peace, and a David (suppose he were a Subject) not to kill, not to commit adultery under the pain of civil punishment, I suppose is not Heresy, and yet I see not how the Magistrate is not to judge according to the word of God, what is willful murder, and so deserveth death, by the Law of God, what is accidental killing and deserveth no death, but a Refuge and Maneprize. But the Magistrate (say Libertines) should not judge what is heresy, what sound doctrine, why? because that is to be judged according to the word of God by Pastors. But, that is, non causa pro causa, for the King is to judge what is murder, what not, and all matters belonging to a civil Judge, what is morally good and evil, and what is punishable by the sword, what not, by reading on the book of the Law when he sitteth on the throne, Deut. 17. 18, 19. but this he judgeth in order to civil punishment, and not in order to the gaining of souls, and in so as concerns his practice, and the same way is he to judge what is heresy, what not, if this be not said, then should we play indeed in spiritual matters.

Q. But is not the Christian Ruler then as a Ruler, to judge whether Arrius ought to be banished, and imprisoned, who denieth the Son of God to be consubstantial with the Father? and so all Rulers are to judge of Heresies and Gospel Truths even Indian and Pagan Magistrates, who are essentially Magistrates, as well as Christian Rulers, for quod convenit convenit .

Ans. There is a difference betwixt a Ruler, and such a Ruler, a Christian Ruler, or a Heathen Ruler, a Ruler as a Ruler, should judge of all civil businesses, and of truths and falsehood in Religion, for all Nations have some God, and some Religion; but a Ruler as a Christian Ruler only, not as a Ruler (as the notion of Genus a Ruler doth agree to both the Heathen and the Christian Ruler) ought not to judge what is Gospel truth, or Gospel untruth, for then all Magistrates, Heathen or Pagan, or what not? should judge the Gospel truths though they be not obliged to believe in Christ, or to know the Gospel, which they never heard, Rom. 10. 14, 15, 16. Now this is absurd. But only Rulers as Christian Rulers should judge of Gospel-truths; Magistrates should judge, but all Magistrates as Magistrates, should not judge of all businesses, and of all matters belonging to all Countries; for then an Indian Magistrate should judge of all the matters of France, England, Scotland, which cannot be said, so a Magistrate as a Magistrate should judge of Religion, but not all Magistrates of all Religions, for Heathen Magistrates cannot judge, nor ought not to judge whether Arrianism be Heresy or not, and whether it be punishable by the Sword or not, whether Christ Mediator hath one will, as the Monothelites said, or two as the Catholic Protestants said, because the Heathen Magistrate (as we suppose) never heard of Christ. So we say a judge of France cannot judge, as a judge, of transporting of wool out of England, or of wax out of Scotland: nor can an English Judge as a Judge, judge of transporting of wines out of France, or of crying down, or up the worth of Money within Scotland, only the judges of France can, and ought to judge of the former, and that not as Judges simply, but as such Judges of France, and only the Judges of Scotland as they are such, can judge of crying up or down money in Scotland: and upon the same ground, Judges as Judges are not, nor ought they as Judges to determine what Gospel truths are praiseworthy, in order to civil rewards, and what Gospel heresies are punishable, for of these they are to determine judicially as such judges, as Christian Judges who are hearers of the Gospel. Though Christianity add nothing to the essence of a judge as a judge, yet Christianity addeth something to the being and authoritative power of such a judge, a Christian, a Scottish, an English judge, this remaineth then true of a judge. What a judge doth as a Judge, that all Judges may do, for quod convenit (Greek> convenit but what such a judge doth as such a judge, as Christian, as Scottish, as English, that all judges may not, nor cannot do: So a Christian husband, father, master, as Christian, is to give Christian Counsels and instruction to his wife, children, servants, but it follows not that all husbands, all fathers, all masters, though heathenish and Pagan, though they never heard of Christ, are to give Christian counsels and instructions according to the principles of the Gospel, to their wives, sons, servants; So the Christian Prince, not as a Prince simply, but as a Christian Prince is to confer his royal authority, in a political and co-active way to promote the Mediatory Kingdom of Christ, which all judges on earth are not to do, for these Judges only Psal. 2. are to kiss the Son, who hear the decree published, Thou are my Son, Psal. 2. 6. for a Law never promulgated, neither by heart engraving, neither by ministerial publication can oblige no man, as is clear Rom. 2. 12. Rom. 10. 14, 15. and 5. 13. John 15. 22. Matth. 11. 22, 23, 24. Yet shall it not follow that the Christian Judge is a sub-mediator under Christ, and subordinate as a Vice-gerent to the Mediator, for the Christian Magistrate does not promote Christ's Kingdom, as the Minister of Christ, or as representing Christ's person, for the Christian Magistrate is the Minister of God, and the Vice-gerent of God; now God as the Soveraign Lord hath a co-active power over all, the Magistrate, Heathen, or Christian, is his Vicegerent, and the Christian Ruler may compel with the Sword all to serve the Son, yet the Son as Mediator whose kingdom is not of this world, sends not men out to promote his Kingdom with the sword, Joh. 18. 36, 37.

Mr. Williams civil peace is pax civitatis, the peace of the city, Jer. 29. 7. Pray for the peace of the City, which peace of the city or citizens so compacted in a civil way of union, may be entire, unbroken, safe, etc... not withstanding so many thousands of God's people, the Jews, were there in bondage, and would neither be constrained to the worship of the City of Babel, nor restrained from so much of the worship of the true God, as they could practice, as is plain in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Daniel 3. in Daniel c. 6. who would rather suffer, then desist from true worship, or practice false: So the Americans and wildest Papists keep the peace of their Towns and Cities safe and distinct, where there is no spiritual and heavenly peace.

Answ. All this is to prove that there may be no breach of City peace, or civil peace, where there are multitudes of sundry Religions. But 1. the man should remember, there is a Christian external peace, which in an ordinary providence can not be kept, where there be divers Religions, and sundry ways of worshipping Christ, and we believe our Savior intendeth so much, Mat. 10. 34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I came not to send peace, but the sword. v. 35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother. Luke 21. 16. And ye shall be betrayed both by your parents, brethren, kinfolks, and friends, and some of you they shall cause to be put to death. And what is the quarrel, but divers Religions and ways of worship about Christ? So Paul exhorteth to Christian peace, Ephes. 4. 3. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, not because of contrary Religions, and many Sectaries called the holy party that are to be tolerated in meekness and mutual forbearance: But v. 5. Because there is but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and but one Religion whether Presbyterial or Independent, and since the Apostles and Christ in the New Testament so often recommend peace, and never once insinuate forbearance in diversity of Religion, and all the Apostles and Apostolic Church had but one Religion, toleration of many Religions not being a part of the New Testament liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, as is the liberty from Ceremonies, and righteousness by the law, that the foolish Galatians affected, Gal. 5. 1, 2, We conclude there is a Law against Toleration of many Religions, not any repealing of that Law in the New Testament, but divers Religions expressly forbidden as contrary to peace, and foretold to fall out as sad judgments, Mat. 10. 35. Mat. 24. 24. Luke 21. 14-18, I Timothy 4:1-4, II Timothy 3:5-8, II John 10. Assirmanti incumbis probatio, Our Adversaries are obliged to give us precept, promise, or godly practice, why a moral sin forbidden and severely punished in the old Testament, should yet remain a Moral sin in the New Testament, and yet not be punishable by men or Churches, yea Solomon's toleration of the Idolatrous worship, 1 Kings 11. provoked the Lord to anger, yet his wives consciences should not have been compelled to leave off the worshipping of the Gods of the Moabites, Ammonites, by this way, Rom. 14. 19. Let us follow after the thing that makes for peace (saith Paul) but toleration of many Religions is contrary to peace, if one of them be the only true way, the rest are all false ways, the mixture of the two contrary seeds, the seed of the Serpent, and the seed of the woman must be against peace; and Paul exhorting to union and Christian peace, thinks many Religions, many Sects and opinions tolerated, 1 Cor. 1. 10. to be just contrary to peace. Now I beseech you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment. Hence he seriously dehorts from Schisms and Sects, whereas upon supposition of divers sects, all being godly, we should have some charitable precepts commanding men of divers Religions to bear with one another; but where is that written? and if they dwell together peaceably, why but they may marry together, Ahab then in marrying the King of the Zidonians daughter, failed not, and he married her wicked Religion. Clotildis the daughter of Clodoveus married Almaricus the Arrian, King of the Wisigots, the Maid being educated in the sound faith, but Procopius, l. 1. Bell. Gothorum said, there was never peace between them. As for Mr. Williams Chaldean, and Heathenish or American peace, we leave it to himself; the peace the people of God was to pray for, Jer. 29. was only outward prosperity, freedom from the sword of Egypt, and from other Nations, that the captive Church might also partake of that peace. But I hope Jeremiah had not the people of God in Judea, under the Babylonish captivity, follow an Heathenish peace, with toleration of divers Religions, or yet a Religious peace, or a Church peace, that standeth well with many Religions, yea they are to denounce wrath against the Chaldean Religion, Jer. 10. 11. and would he have Christians all keeping such an Heathenish unity and peace, as Babylonians and Americans have, and in the mean time tolerate all Religions, Christians who have one God, and one faith, and one hope are to follow more than a Civil and Heathenish peace.

It is therefore in vain for Libertines to tell us, that Abraham lived long amongst the Canaanites, who were contrary to him in Religion, Gen. 13. and Isaac with them, Gen. 26. and Jacob twenty years with Laban an Idolater, Gen. 31. Israel in Egypt 430 years, in Babylon 70. Israel under the Romans with Herodians, Pharisees. What of all these? the godly Rulers and Church, sometimes Pilgrims, sometimes servants, sometimes captives, never having the sword nor power of it as Magistrates to take order with false Teachers, did peaceably dwell with them, ergo, godly Magistrates armed with the Sword, must now suffer the Sheep of Christ, to be worried and preyed upon by Wolves? this consequence is nothing, this is a facto ad jus, and to argue from the controverted practice of Heathen.

C H A P. XXVI.

Whether punishing of Seducing Teachers be persecution
for Conscience.

Libertines lay down for a ground, That to punish any for their conscience must be persecution: Arminians call punishing of Heretics persecution: it is proper to carnal men to persecute the Children of the Promise. He that is sick only of an error of the mind, breaks not the Law of God: If the Magistrate punish him for that, he is a Persecutor. So also the Anabaptists in Bullinger's time. Mr. Williams going after these guides saith, I acknowledge that to molest any person, Jew or Gentile, for either professing doctrine, or practicing worship merely Religious, or Spiritual, is to persecute him, and such a person (whatever his doctrine be, true or false) suffereth for his conscience; and beside, a man may be persecuted, because he holdeth or practiceth what he believes in conscience to be truth, as Daniel, and because he dare not yield obedience, to doctrines and worship invented by men, and so the Author of Storming of the Anti. and of the Ancient bounds.

Answ. The very like the Donatists objected; so Cresconius Grammaticeus, Quisquis Christianum persequitur, Christi inimens est, whoever persecutes a Christian is an enemy of Christ, Augus. 1. 3. contra Cresconium c. 51. answereth, Verum dicis, si non in illo persequitur, quod Christi est inimicum, neque enim Dominus in servo, pater in filio, maritus in conjuge cum sint utrique Christiani, non debent persequi vitia Christiane contraria veritati, an vero si non persequuntur, non rei negligentia merito tenebunter?

It is true, saith he, He is an Enemy to Christ, who persecuteth a Christian, if he does not persecute in a Christian, that, which is enmity to Christ, yet are not the master, father, husband, not to persecute in servant, son, and wife (if they be Christians) sins contrary to Christian truth, and if they persecute not these sins, are they not justly guilty of the negligence of their brethrens souls? So also Augustine distinguisheth a two fold persecution, de unit. Eccl. c. 20. & Psal. 100. Had these men given us one letter of Scripture for their bastard definition of persecution, we should not stumble to hear Tongue-persecutors and Railers, and Hand-persecutors say so; but we go from them to our Saviors words, Matth. 5. 12. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you (not for an erroneous and bloody conscience, as Libertines define it) but falsely for my sake. Persecution that the Scripture condemns, is persecution, for righteousness and truth, such as the true Prophets suffered for the truth, Matth. 5. 12. for Christ's name's sake, Luke 21. 17. Matth. 19. 29. for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus, Rev. 1. 9. Rev. 6. 9. for the testimony of the truth, Rev. 11. 7. for righteousness, Matth. 5. 10. for the Gospel, Mark. 4. 17. Acts 12. 25. Acts 13. 50. Gal. 5. 11. Gal. 6. 12. 2 Tim. 3. 12. Mark. 10. 30. 2 Cor. 12 10. 2. Thess. 1. 2. Tim. 3. 11. Matth. 10. 23. Joh. 5. 16. Joh. 15. 20. Rom. 12. 14. Acts 7. 52. 1 Cor. 4. 11. Gal. 1. 13. 1 Thess. 2. 15. Acts 9. 4. Acts 22. 7.c. 26. 14. Phil. 3. 6. And why was Jeremiah persecuted? the three Children, Daniel, Christ, Paul, Peter, John, James, the Martyrs, Heb. 11. not for Familism, Antinomianism, Socinianism, Anabaptism, etc... shew us a word of Old or New Testament warranting you to call it persecution, to molest any for worship or practice, though most false. Mr. Williams saith, to molest any for their conscience is persecution, then must Jeremiah be a Persecutor, for he molested those with rebukes and threatenings, who out of mere conscience, killed their sons and daughters to Molech. Christ molested Pharisees and Sadducees, who out of mere conscience defended the traditions of men, false interpretations of the law, denied the Resurrection; yea the Lord commanded the Judges in his Law, not only to molest, but to stone to death without mercy, those who professed doctrine out of mere conscience, and practice worship upon merely Religious grounds, which tended to drive away people from the true God, and such as blasphemed God, Deut. 13. Exo. 32. 26, 27. Rom. 15. 1. 13. 4. Lev. 24. 10, 11. Deut. 17. 2. Levit. 20. 2. But God never commanded in any Law persecution, but hated it, and no more commanded it, than his holy Laws can be unjust.

2. Asser. There is a persecution with the tongue by words like coals of Juniper, Psal. 120. 2, 3. and like the arrows of the mighty, like a sharp razor, Psal. 52. 23. Job 19. 3. These ten times ye have reproached me, and are not ashamed, v. 21. Why do ye persecute me as God? Job's friends never put hand on him, but by arguing him to be an hypocrite, from the mistaken doctrine of providence, as is clear, chap. 4. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc... yet they persecuted him, Job 19. 28. they that mocked Jeremiah and in arguing opposed his doctrine, and said, Jer. 17. 15. Where is the word of the Lord, persecuted him, v. 18. Let them be confounded that persecute me, Jer. 18. 18. Then said they, come let us devise devices against Jeremiah, for the Law shall not perish from the Priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word of the Lord from the Prophet: and they had much to say from the word, that the Law was with the Priests, and the word of the Lord with their Prophets, as well as with Jeremiah, yet they resolve to persecute Jeremiah, come and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words. And the Scripture tells us of the scourge of the Tongue, Job 5. 21. and the place cited by Libertines, Gal. 4. 28, 29. where it is said that Ishmael the son of the handmaid, persecuted Isaac the son of the Promise, it was not by offering any bodily violence to Isaac, as we teach the Christian Magistrate, is to use the sword against Seducers; but as Pareus, Meyer, Calvin, Piscator, Beza, Luther, Perkins, and all Interpreters do well expound it, Ishmael but mocked Isaac, and said, the promises made to him were but a mock, and he would have, forsooth, the dignity of the birth-right. Calvin saith, the mocking and blaspheming of Christ on the Cross, He trusted in God, let him deliver him, Psal. 22. Matt. 27. 39, 42. was the most cruel persecution that ever befell him, Heb. 11. 36. and others had trial of cruel mocking and scorning. Optatus complained that the blood of Bishops was shed not by the sword, but by the tongue; then must Elias persecute Baal's Priests, for he mocked them: And what warrant have Libertines to say, that all Baal's Priests followed that worship that they were brought up in, against their conscience, for the conscience of heretics being burned with an hot iron, 1 Tim. 3. will make them think the killing of the Lord's Apostles is good service to God, and all the sarcastic mockings and jearings of M. Williams, Goodwin, the Authors I cite, and of other Libertines against Presbyterians, the followers of Calvin, the opposers of wild and Atheistic liberty of conscience (since they are not infallible in maintaining toleration of all ways, Turkism, Judaism, Familism, Socinianism, etc...) must be persecution of all in the contrary opinion for conscience, and so while they write against persecution, they persecute all contrary arguing and refuting of such, as we conceive do err: and all rebuking of them, all syllogistic collections and inferences, of the absurdities and blasphemies of their doctrine, must be smiting with the tongue and persecution. For that spoken against Jeremiah, The Law shall not perish from the Priest, nor the word of the Lord from the Prophet; having so much color of Scripture, as that also, he saved others; Ergo, if he be the Savior, he must save himself, being of the dye and hew of truth, so near of blood to it in outward face, and to the consciences of many; were notwithstanding grievous persecuting of Jeremiah and Jesus Christ, then must M. Williams say true, we must not by prayer or prophesy seek to pluck up the tares till harvest. So all writing, preaching, and refuting of gain-sayers, of that which we conceive to be truth, except we be infallible, and prophetically ascertained we are right, and these we refute, wrong, must be persecution and smiting with the tongue.

3. Nor do Libertines charge us more with persecution, than Anabaptists did Bullinger and our Reformers, and the Donatists did Augustine, and the Catholics upon whom Augustine retorted the challenge, for the true Church (saith he) casts out Agar the handmaid, is this persecution? It is to be observed in this Argument. 1. That none objected of soul tenets, as Anabaptists in Germany, Donatists in Africa, Papists in Queen Elizabeth's time: Calvin, Beza, Protestants never objected this, against the Papists, or Spanish Inquisitors, the old Non-conformists never pleaded against the most tyrannical Prelates for liberty of conscience, find this in all their books. So Cartwright, yea Amesius though biased with Independency, speaketh against lawless liberty.

2. Libertines, Anabaptists, Donatists, when they get the Sword in their hand, of all men most cruelty press the consciences of others, that are not in every punctilio in their minds. See the Authors in the Margin to prove this, none such bloody persecutors for consciences as they.

3. All these Arguments do strongly militate against Jezabel and all Heretics, and seducing Teachers, for Christ hath ordained a spiritual coactive power in the Church against Wolves and such as say, They are Jews and lie, and are the Synagogue of Satan, Rev. 2. as well as God hath ordained a civil coactive power in the State, and the one coactive power doth 1. as much hinder Christ's followers to be a willing people, as the other, and 2. Press the conscience. 3. Create hypocrisy. 4. Oppose the meekness of Christ and his Ministers. 5 Savour of persecution. 6 Estrange affections. 7 Countenance domineering over conscience as the other.

4. Nor do we profess, coercing of sound and faithful teachers, but only seducing Heretics. The Arminians tell us, A Precept is quickly sound, when we would persecute the godly for their conscience, and Mr. Williams cries, Search all Scriptures, Records etc.. no persecutors, not the Devil himself, profess to persecute the Son of God, Jesus as Jesus, Christ as Christ, without a mask or covering; so said they, had we lived in Queen Mary's days, we would not have consented to such persecution.

Answ. This argues a silly engine, for if it hold good against us, Search all Scriptures, Records, etc... no Tyrants, no Nero having the Sword to punish Patricides, Matricides, Sorceries, Adulteries, Sodomy, professed that they punished just men as just men, innocent men as innocent men; what then? Shall it follow Magistracy and the use of the sword is unlawful against any, because Tyrants oppress the innocent, not as innocent, but as seditious, traitorous, cruel, bloody men? Nor would I have Mr. Williams, so charitable to the Devil as to think he will not persecute Jesus as Jesus. I dare not determine much upon the Devil's heart-reduplications, but if he be not involved in the sin against the Holy Ghost, and a burning malice against Jesus, because he is the Son of God, and the Savior of man, I know not much. However Mr. Williams hath reason upon his grounds to think that none should be persecuted for conscience, because we are all Skeptics even in point of Salvation and Fundamentals, and not infallibly assured of either heaven or hell, and so he is worse than a Papist.

2. No men know (all men since the Prophets and Apostles fell asleep, being void of infallibility) assuredly what he believeth unto salvation, if any should deny there is a God or a Providence (as I fear there be too many practical and Judicial Atheists amongst us) he ought not by Prophesying or arguing to be plucked out of that estate, till harvest, but must with the clemency of Christ; here dear brother Atheist, you are a godly pious heretic, and have no God, but your conscience, and dare not for fear of your conscience believe, that there is a God, and I dare not rebuke you, but be going on in your Divinity. I have as little infallible assurance there is a God, as you have, there is no God, and neither you nor I are to be punished for our consciences.

3. Mr. Williams ought for no Religion venture his life to burning quick, for he cannot die or cast away his life but upon a conjecture, it may be there is a God, and it may be there is no God; for how dare he break the sixth Command and hazard his life, for a truth that may be a lie? So neither should any persecute, but in faith, that he is infallibly sure the man is a real heretic, neither should he be persecuted, for he is not infallible in the knowledge that he suffereth for, and so cannot suffer in faith, see for more of this, and the foregoing doctrine. Cainbartus contra Lypsium; Lincaus, de libertate Christiana, Althusius in politicis, and Celsus gives us good stuff, It was commanded Kings in the Old Testament to kill their enemies, but in the New Testament we are to love our enemies, and do good to them that hate us; 2 For edification, not for killing and destruction is Church Discipline ordained.

Ans. What this Socinian Author bringeth for new Precepts of Christ in the New Testament, different from these of the Old, is but wicked Socinianism as you may see in the Catechism of Racovias, Socinus, Osterodius, Smalcius, Volkelius, and the Arminians, Episcopius Arminius, who make the loving of our enemies commanded by Christ, Matth. 5. 44. Luke 6. 35. and by Paul Rom. 12. 20. not to be commanded in the Old Testament, which argueth their ignorance of the Scriptures, Prov. 25. 21. If thine enemy be hungry give him bread, Prov. 24. 17. Rejoice not when thine enemies fall, Exo. 23. 4. If thou meet thine enemies Ox or Ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him; yea David by an Old Testament spirit, when his enemies were sick, Psal. 35. 13, 14. was clothed with sackcloth and fasted, and behaved himself as one mourning at his mother's grave; what David and Jeremiah, did prophesy against God's enemies is fulfilled in the New Testament, and Paul and Luke say Amen to it, Rom. 11. v. 8, 9, 10. Acts 1. 20, 21. and we are to bear the like zeal, yea more against false teachers under the Messiah's Kingdom, than they did, Zach. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 2. John 10. Rom. 16. 17. Rev. 2. 19, 20. 2 The end of Church-discipline is edification, the taking away the life of a Blasphemer is the good of the society, Deut. 13. 12. That all Israel may hear and fear, and do so no more, but that the Christian Magistrate's end is spiritual, and the edification of souls, we read it not.

The Author of Ancient bonds having forgotten Divinity cries, God waited for the Old World 120 years, and when this date of patience is out, I would have gathered you, etc... I sent my Prophet early, but where doth the Lord charge the Prophet, that the Magistrate did not force and compel the people?

Ans. Will this man let us hear Logic? the Lord waited on the old world 120 years, and sent his Prophets early. I dare say, many hundred years; Ergo, The Blasphemer and the false Prophet contrary to Deut. 13. Levit. 24. must be spared 120 years? so Ergo, We must exercise much long-suffering in the old Testament while these Laws were in vigor, (for then it must be that the Prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah were never charged that Magistrates compelled not consciences,) toward seducing Prophets: Why, but God using much longsuffering toward the old world, and Israel not a world (I judge) of innocent and godly Heretics, but of men that corrupted their way, despised the Prophets, hardened their faces and hearts, were murderers, oppressors, grinders of the poor, killed their children to Devils; Ergo, the Magistrate should extend long-suffering for as many years as this man will to these ill-doers, no lets then to seducing teachers, should not Pastors and Rulers extend long-sufferings to all sorts of sinners as well as to Heretics? but where (answers the Prophet) doth the Lord lay is to the change of Prophet or Magistrate, that they did not force or compel the people, to repent, to leave their murdering, their oppressing their grinding of the face of the poor? We teach not that the Prophet ought to compel any, nor that the Sword is an ordinance of God to convert oppressors, and murderers, to turn meek and righteous judges, co-action by fire and sword in Old or New Testament can convert none to Christ, the word and the Spirit must ever do the turn: By accident God can change the nature of the rod and sanctify it to Manasseh, for to bring him to humiliation and repentance. But were these that Christ would have gathered Matth. 23. only false Prophets, to whom he extended patience many hundred years, even from Moses till his own coming in the flesh? Ergo, We should extend to bloody Murderers of the Lord's Prophets, the like patience, and not kill them, for then they are past hope of being gained? Now the Text means no such thing, but that Christ waited long on, and sent his Prophets early in the morning, to those that were thieves, Isai. 1. murderers, adulterers, Jer. 5. that slew their Children to Molech; by this argument the Magistrate should not draw his Sword against adulterers, murderers; and I judge the Rulers were called Lions and Wolves, Ezek. 22. because they extended too much cruel patience to these. But if God's patience be a rule, men must not be cut off, because there is hope of their repentance so long as they live, your own Acontius saith by this reason, Murderers and adulterers should not be punished by the Magistrate, for there often is more hope of Publicans, harlots and Murderers that they may be the elect of God, and gained to repentance, then of self-wise, and judicially blinded Pharisees: Nor find we any, so deserted of God and judicially blinded of God as Libertines, read but the book entitled John the Baptist, sure a wilderness man void of reason wrote it, the man tells chap. 9. disclaiming against going to law and wars; (which yet Anabaptists and this Scholar of that Sect practice, whether the Parliament will or no) saith, are we wronged in person, estate, good name, or for Christs sake, which is our conscience? our Savior and his Saints have drunk the same cup. Hence he citeth to no purpose Scriptures but two and forty in number, of the persecutions to follow the Lord's Disciples for the Gospel, and that it is proper to the world to persecute, and to the Saints to be persecuted, and hated for righteousness, and that such as are persecuted, and totally disallow all persecuting for matters of Religion, as the greatest stumbling block to the propagation of the Gospel, must necessarily be the true Church and body of Christ, none else having a capacity (without Gods infinite mercy and dispensation) of being ever hewned out and squared as members suitable to such a head: contrariorum eadem est ratio, since the true Church must needs be persecuted, that must needs be a false Church which persecutes the true one, for though this false Church be persecuted likewise, yet in regard it cannot be both true and false, that persecuted Church must needs be the only true one, which doth not persecute others, but that the argument may be complete and full (it had much need, for it is weak and unstable as water) as in the mouth of two witnesses unto this evidence of reason, Let me add a Scripture proof, Viz. we brethren (true Christians) as Isaac was, are the children of promise, but as he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now Gal. 4. 28, 29. yet since it is better, if the will of God be so that we suffer for well-doing than for evil doing, 1 Pet. 3. 17 however these Ishmaelites are powerful, prosperous, prevail against us, and have the world at will for the present, yet let us comfort ourselves that God hath chosen the despised and poor, rich in faith, etc... We close this Chapter with their doom and ours, nevertheless, what saith the scripture, Cast out the bondwoman, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman, so then, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free, Gal. 4. 30, 31. So of that sort is the heedless Querist to the Assembly of Divines.

If the Magistrate as a magistrate have a power from Christ to punish such as he is persuaded in his conscience are erroneous and heretical, or because he differs in Religion from the Magistrate, then Queen Mary and her Parliament did well in burning the Martyrs for differing from her established Religion.

Answ. 1. The man as an Anabaptist citeth, Matth. 5. 39. 40. Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other. Volkelius an arrand Socinian cries down Laws and Judges, and all wars under the New Testament, and maketh this a new Commandment not warranted in the Old Testament, as if the hating of our enemy, and revenge, were commanded in the old, and forbidden in the new. Nay (saith he) what heavenly ravished and blessed Spirit will tell me what these Scriptures mean, Mat. 39. 40, 41, 42. as if none were heavenly and blessed Spirits that knew the meaning of the Scriptures but Volkelius, Chellius, Socinus and other Socinians and Anabaptists. I answer, Socinus and Volkelius are these blessed Spirits that can shew the meaning of these words and tender Lettuce for your lips. But see your Socinian dream, and theirs refuted by Poliander and Joan, Peltius, forChrist in the New Testament does no where contradict Moses' Law, nor refute Moses, but he refuteth the false glosses which Scribes and Pharisees put on Moses' Law.

For 1. Christ never saith, It was said by Moses, But I say the contrary. But it was said of old by the unlucky Elders and Fathers of Scribes and Pharisees, which these wretched Doctors and their sons said, Eye for eye, and thou shall not kill, and thou shall not commit adultery. As is clear:

1. Because loving of our Enemy was forbidden by Moses, and in the Old Testament, as in the New, as I proved before, revenge is forbidden, Prov. 20. 22. Deut. 32. 35. Shedding of blood is forbidden, Gen. 9. 6. as well as by our Savior, Matth. 26. 52.

2. Because Christ saith, Matth. 5. 20. I say unto you, except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees (he saith not, except it exceed the righteousness of the law of God commanded by Moses in the Old Testament) Ye shall not enter into the Kingdome of Heaven. And as Christ condemneth unjust anger, so is it condemned as murder, and accursed in the Old Testament, Gen. 49. 7. 2 Chro. 28. 9. Daniel 3. 13. Prov. 14. 16. Gen. 27. 45. Est. 1. 12. Prov. 15. 1. Prov. 19. 11. c. 27. 4. Eccles. 7. 4. Isa. 7. 4. Amos 1. 11. 1 Sam. 17. 28. 1 Sam. 20. 30. Prov. 14. 17. c. 29. 22. c. 21. 19. c. 22. 24. and forbidden in the sixth commandment, before Christ had that Sermon, Matth. 5. And the forbidding of rash and sinful anger, is no new Commandment, but more frequently condemned in the Old Testament, than in the New. And the like may be proved of heart-lusting, Prov. 6. 25. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart, Gen. 6. 1. Job 31. 1. Jer. 5. 8. 2 Sam. 11. 2. Job 24. 15, 16. Job 31. 9. All which places, and many others in the Old Testament condemn lusting after a woman in the heart, no less than Christ condemns it.

3. Christ refuteth Socinians and Anabaptists, Matth. 5. 17. Think not I am come to destroy the Law, etc... 18. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass one jot, or one title shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled. But if Christ oppose his new Precepts to the Law of Moses as Volkelius saith, he must utterly destroy the Law of Moses, and substitute a more perfect Law in the place thereof. But Libertines, as John Baptist here, would have heresy forbidden in the Old Testament, and punishing of false prophesying commanded there. But heresy must be Innocency, and Righteousness in the New Testament, and to be punished for false teaching in the old was to suffer for ill-doing; but now in the New (saith Baptist) to be punished for false prophesying is to suffer for well-doing, and he citeth 1 Pet. 3. 17. as if it were the will of God, that Sectaries suffer for well-doing: that is, for Familism, Socinianism, Antinomianism, Popery, Idolatry, butchering of children to God, as some Anabaptist Parents have done, and for preaching Doctrine that eateth as a Gangrene, 2. Tim. 2. for blaspheming and denying the Resurrection of the dead, as Hymeneus did; for he that suffereth for all these, out of mere conscience, suffereth for well-doing, as Peter saith, if we believe John Baptist.

2. But how shall Mr. Baptist prove Christ foretelling the Apostles should be persecuted for the preaching of the truth of God and the Gospel, that these Apostles, and the Anabaptists that now are, must look in like manner to be persecuted for the Gospel; that is, for Familism, Socinianism, all the new Blasphemies now on foot in England; are all these Blasphemies the Gospel? and whosoever suffer for monstrous heresies, must they suffer as the Apostles did? and must they lay claim to all the comforts that our Savior hath bequeathed in his Testament, to his Disciples who were to suffer for Christ's sake, and for righteousness, then surely an erroneous and a blaspheming conscience must be righteousness; and to suffer for blasphemy and Satan, must be to suffer for righteousness and for Christ's sake, for these Libertines say the Assembly of Divines teach Blasphemies, Popery, murdering of Saints for conscience. So Baptist, so Necessity of Toleration, so Ancient Bounds.

3. If such as are persecuted, and disclaim totally persecution for conscience, be the only true Church, and none but they, then these Papists in England in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth who were only persecuted (in your sense of the word Persecution) and wrote, and petitioned against Persecution, and totally disclaimed it, are the only true Church. The like I may say of the Arrians in the Emperors times, against whom, most severe Laws and Edicts were made, which to M. Baptist was direful persecution, and yet they totally disclaimed persecution for conscience, and pleaded for Toleration. So say I of the Arminians in Holland, who always plead for liberty of Prophesying, and of Anabaptists, and all the Sectaries in Germany, when they first arose, of the Familists and most rigid Anabaptists in New England, and of all the vilest Sects, Anabaptists, Antiscripturists, Socinians, Familists, etc... in Old England. Yea, we may suppose all Papists, Jews, and the most abominable Sects, living where there are strict Laws for the only one true Religion, to hold the opinion of total disclaiming persecution for conscience (for sure they are most capable of this opinion) hence it shall follow that all these wretched Heretics shall be the only true Church and body of Christ.

4. This monopolizes the nature and name of the true Church to only Sectaries that profess they are ready to suffer for their conscience, and do totally disclaim persecution; that is, for liberty of conscience: so this opinion shall be the only essential, not and constituent form of the true Church, and shall exclude the sound faith of all fundamentals, and the doctrine of the Law and Gospel. The vilest Heretics living, holding this one Article of Baptist's faith, shall be the only true Church; and this opinion shall unite men and societies formally to Christ their head, and yet it is no matter of faith; except Libertines say, none are capable of faith and salvation, but such as hold this opinion. Hence it must follow all these named Calvinists, all the Reformed Churches, all the Churches and Saints in New England, all the ancient Brownists, the old Non-conformists, who all disclaimed toleration and license of conscience, must not only not be the true Church, but the malignant Church of such as profess that which they call Persecution; yea and since they detest and abhor liberty of conscience as Atheistic. All these Saints must be incapable of saving faith, and necessarily damned, because being professed persecutors, and totally disclaiming toleration, they are in the judgment of this Baptist, such as have no capacity (without God's infinite mercy and dispensation, converting them to such Libertinism) to be hewn out and squared to such a head as Christ, for contrariorum eadem est ratio.

5. Form an Argument, Mr. Baptist, from your two Scriptures. If to persecute for conscience be essential to such as are born of the flesh, and to be persecuted for conscience be essential to such as are born after the Spirit, then to be thus persecuted, and to disclaim totally persecution for conscience is an essential note of the true Church. This Proposition can never be proved in your sense, for to be persecuted for conscience; that is, for a well informed conscience which is sound in the faith of Articles of saving knowledge is indeed such an essential note, and so we yield all, but it is nothing for toleration, but much against it but to be persecuted for conscience, though erroneous and holding Judaism, Turkism, Arrianism, Papism, Familism, etc... to be the true and saving way (which is the sense of Baptist) is no wise a note of such as are born after the Spirit; nor doth any place of Scripture by the thirteenth consequence prove the same; for Isaac was not persecuted by Ishmael for his erroneous conscience. The Text says no such thing, except Baptist make Isaac an Heretic, and a false Prophet: If Ishmael persecuted Isaac for his conscience (which yet Baptist cannot prove from Scripture) sure it was not for the heretical conscience of Isaac; nor will it help Baptist to say in the mind and conception of Ishmael, Isaac was an Heretic.

Answ. How is that proved? the Text says no such thing. 2. We teach no such thing as that men should be punished by the Magistrate, not because they are, but because they seem only to be Heretics, or because Isaacs and Saints are Heretics in our mind and conception, but because they are so indeed; as the Magistrate punisheth not justly a murderer, because he seems in the mind and conception of the Magistrate to be a murderer, but because he is a murderer, and is proved by faithful witnesses to be a murderer, so is the Heretic proved to be a Heretic by the Magistrate, and so convicted, that he is self-condemned; for we never make the Magistrates thoughts and his conception to be the rule of punishing an Heretic, even as we are not to avoid an Heretic after admonition, because he is an Heretic in our conception only, for our conception must not be the rule or formal ground of casting out any man from our society, and avoiding of him; but we avoid him because he is an Heretic in himself: nor exhorts Peter any man to suffer for well-doing; that is, for his conscience, or for his erroneous and heretical conscience, that is but an abusing of the word of God; for he speaks not of suffering directly for only Religion true or false, though he exclude it not, but saith, 1 Pet. 4. 15. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, as a thief, as an ill-doer; and in so saying, he means that no man should (as Elimas) suffer blindness, for perverting the faith of Sergius Paulus, and I believe, it will be a piece of labour for Libertines to prove that such opposes of the Gospel as Elimas and Hymeneus, who suffered as ill-doers, did yet know in their conscience the Gospel to be the only saving truth and way of God, and that against the warning of an illuminated conscience, Elimas perverted the right ways of God. However to suffer here as a well-doer by Baptist's way, is to suffer for an heretical conscience defending and teaching lies in the name of the Lord. If so, such a well-doer if blasphemously unsound, is to be thrust through, and stabbed, as an Impostor, by the Lord's mouth, Zach. 13.

Lastly, Baptist is so charitable of all Saints that are not for liberty of conscience, as that he makes it their doom to be cast out as Ishmael, and to have no share in Christ, or in the Gospel. But, Baptist, if you judge us, and be not infallible, you take the Lord's throne upon you, and you judge us before our day, which is to you a strong argument against liberty of conscience, c. 3. pag. 14. Know ye we are self-condemned? and saw you God's secret book, and saw our names dashed out of the book of life, and that we are enrolled with Ishmaelites? Take the beam out of your own eye.

C H A P. XXVII.

Whether our darkness and incapacity to believe and profess, together with the darkness and obscurity of Scripture be a sufficient ground for Toleration.

As Mr. John Goodwin (the Lord pardon his perverting of Souls) led the way from Arminian principles, who teach with Socinians, that 1. To know is not in our power, which he and they borrowed from Aristotle, but wickedly understood . And 2. Arminians taught that God by an irresistible power, works illumination in the mind. So opinions not being in our power, the Magistrate can have no power over men to coerce them from spreading of heresy. Hence Baptist, the Bounder, the Stormer, and other Libertines, M. Goodwin speaks for. That which is not in our power to do, or not do, and is wrought in us by supernatural grace, and by God only, we are not punishable by the Magistrate's sword, but to believe, to repent, to be sound in the faith, is wrought in us by supernatural grace, and by God only. Baptist heaps together but eighteen Scriptures, produced against Pelagians, Papists, Arminians, and his brethren Socinians, and old Anabaptists, that no man can come to the Son except the Father draw him; the natural man understands not the things of God, etc... And I am sure he is ignorant of the conclusion; for we profess the sword is to be drawn against no man, because he repenteth not, or believeth not, &c. Hence Baptist's spitting out with other Antinomians his venom against us, though no matter (excepting the sin of it) if he wronged not Christ and his truth. For when a weak Christian (a disciple of Servetus, Socinus an Apostate denying the Lord Jesus to have come in the flesh, and all the Scriptures to be the word of God) tired of longer imprisonment and death, shall say, You say well, but how shall I prevail with myself to believe what you say? Thus reply these miserable comforters. Yield obedience to what is taught you, meditate on it often, desire to believe it, and God in time will bring you to believe it. Then poor Popery, why art thou evil spoken of? and this is a lie; why? It is the Spirit that teacheth us to pray, Abba Father. This is merit and supererogation's ground-stone.

Answ. 1. What if a man void of the Spirit cannot pray; ergo, we should not advise him to pray? is it Popery to advise him so to do; or to pray when he wants the Spirit? sure Peter taught no Popery to Simon Magus, a man as void of the Spirit as any Socinian or Familist, a man in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity, Act. 8. 22. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness. (I conceive this is yield obedience to what is taught you, and meditate on it, and your evil ways, and change your mind) and pray God (though thou hast no Spirit of Adoption more than a Familist, who makes you believe honey words, or the very Spirit given to his Anointed ones, such as they only) if perhaps the thoughts of thine heart, may be forgiven thee; and whom does the Lord command, Ezek. 18. that they would make a new heart? I conceive such as were as unable to do it, as to make one hair white or black, as the Bounder saith, and this is our advice, not because we think they can do it without the Spirit of Christ, more than those that move the question, Act. 2. 37. What shall we do to be saved? Act 9. 6. Act. 16. 30. But if unconverted they may be humbled and convinced, that they are in a lost condition. And, I confess, if Antinomians will advise them to believe, and pray, though they have not the Spirit, and to pray as they can, and believe as they can, and without any preparative work of the Law, or sense or knowledge of sin, or sickness for Christ, immediately and forthwith, believe Christ died for thee obstinate Socinian, and wrote thy name in the book of life, and believe thy election to life, Baptist is a miserable comforter, and how he censureth this; Its God's absolute will and pleasure you should believe, and that you must necessarily believe upon peril of damnation which he saith is our Catechism. I understand not, except he shew us a conditional commandment to believe the Gospel, and a conditional election and reprobation, suspending God's decrees on what we are foreseen to do, and except he deny the threatenings in the Gospel which shall find out an unbeliever, John 3. 18. 36. If the man be a weakChristian or a weak believer, when the advice of yielding obedience, praying, desiring to believe is given him, apparently he would have weak Antinomians and all anointed ones loosed from all precepts, rule of obedience, and have them under no rule but the immediate impulsion of the Spirit, which if it be his mind, he should have set it down, and must prove a miserable Comforter in so teaching.

2. But are we in all these Scriptures that hold forth our impotence to believe, to think a good thought, to do the works of righteousness, mercy, truth, chastity, sobriety, prescribed in the second Table unable only to conceive sound opinions of God and eschew Heretical ways, and false Religions? Are we not also unable to abstain from murder, adultery, & c. without the supernatural grace of God? Yea all these places shall prove that the Ministry of men, Pastors and Teachers of the word, are as unlawful means of converting souls as the Magistrate's Sword to bear down Heresies. O (say they) preaching is an Ordinance of Christ, and a spiritual means ordained to convert souls, the Sword is nothing but a carnal human device!

I answer it is an human device of converting souls to shed the blood of their body, but it is to beg the question and not to prove it, to call it a human device to punish ill doers, and false Teachers who pervert the souls of many.

2. I speak to the Argument, the only preaching of the word, it alone without the Spirit, can no more make an hair white or black, or draw us to the Son, or work repentance in sinners, than the sword of the Magistrate can work repentance in sinners, What can man do (saith the Bounder) Is it not God that must give repentance to the acknowledgement of the truth? So say I, what can preaching of man or angel do without God, is it not God and God only who can open the heart? therefore this is no argument against the use of the sword against false teachers, because it hath no strength against soul obstinacy to work repentance, for neither hath preaching; but the sword hath strength and more strength against the outward man, the tongue, the pen, the profession of seducing preachers to coerce it, and to guard the flock from grievous Wolves, (for these being restrained, the flock is in no more danger fromthe conscience of the Heretic, than peaceable men are in danger of the bloody man's thoughts, hatred, heart-malice, if the Magistrate tie his hands from murder and violence by the sword of God which he beareth, Rom. 13.) it hath (I say) more force in its way, than the preaching of the word hath, in regard Heretics, men of corrupt minds, fear men, and the sword of the Magistrate, more than God, and the threatenings of the word; as murderers and adulterers abstain from disturbing the peace of human society, more for fear of the laws of men, than for God. I grant the excessive fear is from the corruption of nature, for oderant peccare mali formidine paena, yet this argues that the sword is ordained of God to order the outward man in a peaceable way, both in state and Church; for lay down this ground which Libertines do, that God hath appointed no law nor rule to men of corrupt minds, to those that subvert whole Houses, but their own erroneous consciences, grievous Wolves may do in the flock to waste, destroy, and pervert the flock as they please. But they are (say Libertines) no wolves, but the lambs of Christ, the anointed ones, whom Presbyterians so call, and the Presbyterians are the wolves, who so domineer over the consciences.

I answer, this is a manifest perverting of the State of the question, and to leap from the Proposition to the Assumption: for we dispute only upon the Supposition, that there be Wolves and Seducers in a Christian society (but who they be, Presbyterian, or others, is another question) whether or not the Christian Magistrate should for his part leave them to themselves, and suffer them to preach, print what blasphemies they list, and their erroneous conscience dictates to them for truths.

But neither the Christian Magistrate not being infallible, nay nor any Church on earth can judge who is the Heretic, who the Saint, and therefore should take on him to judge none at all to be Heretics, but should suffer tares and wheat to grow till harvest, for fear he pluck up the wheat in lieu of tares, and persecute Saints under color of justice. Hence I argue in the contrary demonstratively, that liberty of Conscience is unlawful, and not of God.

Whatever way layeth down a principle most false andcontrary to the word of God, is not of God, but must be unlawful, but the pretended liberty of conscience is such, Ergo, &c.

The Proposition needs no probation, That must be false that by strong consequence follows from a false principle. I prove the Assumption, The prime and first principle of liberty of Conscience now under the New Testament is, that Heretics and seducing Teachers are therefore unpunishable by the sword, because they are unknowable: The formal and that which constitutes an Heretic an Heretic, is in the heart, to wit, heart-contumacy, legible and obvious only to him that knows all, say the Belgic Arminians, and therefore they can neither be judged nor punished; observe by the way, the Church of Thyatira must be then unjustly rebuked for suffering Jezabel to seduce, and this exempts all false Teachers from Church-censures, yea from rebukes, for who dares rebuke men for sins knowable to the almighty only who knows the heart? 2. We are expressly commanded (say Libertines) to suffer the tares, that is, Heretics to grow till harvest, because we cannot know tares from wheat, and we run the hazard (saith John Goodwin) of fighting against God, and fighting against Saints, and God in them (saith Saltmarsh) when we punish Heretics. 3. We have not that infallible Spirit and those Prophets who cannot err, and can infallibly tell us who is the Heretic, who not. 4. There is a great variety, and such contrariety of judging (say they) what is heresy, what not, that what is heresy to one, is saving truth to another, who is as worthy to be believed as he; Ergo, We are all in the mist, and in a sea of uncertainties in judging who is the Heretic, who the Saint. 5. Heresy is innocency; Ergo, there is no such fault reproveable or punishable in the world, say they. But this principle that the Seducer is not knowable in the New Testament, is most false and contrary to Scripture.

1. He whom the Holy Ghost bids us try, and not believe, till we try, he is knowable, but every teacher true or false, the Holy Ghost bids us try, 1 Thes. 5. 21. 1 John 4. 1. and for this are the Bereans commended, because they tried Paul and his doctrine by the Scriptures, Acts 17. 11. Ergo, if Paul had been an Heretic and a false Teacher, he might have been found out.

2. Such an one as the Lord forewarns us to beware of, and avoid, such an one is knowable. But the Lord bids us beware of false Prophets and Seducers, and bids us avoid them and believe them not, Matth. 7. 15. Beware of false Prophets, Matth. 24. 23. If any man say to you, lo here is Christ or lo there, believe it not: why if he teach me where Christ is, if I hear not him, I refuse to hear Christ, Matth. 10. 40, 41. Ergo the false Christ is knowable, Tit. 2. 10. An heretic avoid, & c. when Solomon saith, Make not friendship with an angry man, is not the formality of anger in the heart? if any should reply to Solomon, God only knows who is the angry man, who is the patient and meek man, therefore we will make friendship with all men, or with no man. Should any say, there is no such man knowable, should he not contradict the Holy Ghost? So must we say, there is not such a man knowable to a mortal man as a false Prophet, or an heretic; and therefore Paul doth but mock the Philippians, who were not infallible, when he writes to them thus, Beware of dogs; and John when he saith, If any man bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house. Might not Libertines say, God commands us to run the hazard of encroaching upon God's chair, for who but he who knows the heart can tell who is the heretic, who not: when the Lord rebukes association with Thieves, Robbers, Slanderers, Prov. 1. 11, 12. Ps. 15. 18. holdeth he not forth that the Thief, the Robber, and the Slanderer are knowable?

3. These whom the Lord rebukes, because they judge not Jezabel and deceiving teachers, may know Jezabel and deceiving teachers; but the Lord rebukes the Church of Thyatira for this, Revel. 2. 20. and all other Churches in them.

4. Those that faithful Elders are to beware of, and to watch against, are knowable; but the faithful Elders of Ephesus are to watch against the incoming of grievous wolves, Act. 20. 29, 30, 31.

5. Those that the Holy Ghost doth forewarn the Saints of, that they may be rooted in the truth, and armed against them, those are knowable. But Christ foretold his people that some would come in his name, and profess so much, who yet come in their own name. Paul foretells of some who shall speak lies in hypocrisy, and teach doctrines of Devils, 1 Tim. 4. and Peter, 2 Pet. 2. 1, 2, 3. tells of some bringing in privily damnable heresies, doth the Lord bid us judge in charity all these tares to be wheat, and their heresies truths, because we are not infallible? and doth he foretell of such coggers and jugglers, and yet presupposeth none on earth shall be able to know them? and if any man say Familists, Socinians, & c. are these men, they run the hazard of reproaching God, notwithstanding the Lord foretold us of them, and set marks upon their brows 1600 years ago? or if any now say there is a false teacher, or an heretic breathing on earth, they must either give themselves out to be infallible, and so must either be grand impostors, or then Apostles and Prophets living again.

And this same argument from our impotency to believe, was as strong in the Old Testament against the equity of such Laws as God made against false Prophets, Deut. 13. Levit. 24. For it was as unjust for God to command to put to death men, the frame and imagination of whose heart, were only evil from their youth, then , as now, because they believed not, and could not repent, and abstain from Prophesying in Baal, and speaking lies in the name of the Lord, since hearts were no more naturally able without the grace of God to repent and believe under the Old Testament, than under the New. And upon the same reason they tell us, God must have a willing people, Psal. 110. and obedience compelled by the Sword, is no obedience at all, and far less is it religious obedience.

To which I answer: And did not the Lord require a willing people then in the Old Testament as now?

2. Did God ever accept of faith and repentance extorted through fear of a direful sword?

3. Does the Lord accept of compelled and forced abstinence from murder, parricide, adultery, as obedience, because undeniably the sword of the Magistrate doth avenge murder, adultery, parricide, Rom. 13. M. Williams a carnal weapon, a sword does produce a carnal repentance, a shew, an outside, an uniformity through a State, what an unregenerateman does is sin, preaching, sin-preaching, breaking of bread, no better than the oblation of Swine's blood; Ergo, the Magistrate must compel men to sin, if he force the conscience by the Sword.

Answ. The Sword produces no repentance at all, for external repentance is no repentance either in name or thing, the Lord commandeth indeed external repentance, but Precepts are not given to the outward man, as to the adequate and proper object of the Commandment of God; the Magistrate indeed forbiddeth speaking of blasphemy, and teaching of lies in the name of the Lord; but he forbiddeth not teaching of lies, or abstinence from blaspheming in a spiritual, but in a carnal co-active by force of the sword, and external way, because he cannot punish the spiritual and internal ways, and manner of external obedience, and therefore he cannot under pain of bodily censure, command and forbid these ways of obedience, so the Magistrate forbiddeth murder, but God, not the Magistrate forbiddeth murder, or commandeth abstinence from killing, out of mercy and love to our neighbour; for the Magistrate cannot punish heart-hatred of our neighbour, or rash anger, but in so far as it comes out to his senses, in striking, maiming, or opprobrious speeches; and these he can forbid, and censure and punish. So we say the Magistrate is but a piece, or a bit of an Ordinance (though both lawful and necessary, Rom. 13. for our good) to reform the outside, and to work outward reformation, and when he commandeth the outward man, and saith, Swear not, blaspheme not, speak not lies in the name of the Lord, kill not, steal not under the pain of feeling the stroke of the Sword: he commands not sinning, for though he forbid only external abstinence from sins that troubles the outward man, without any spiritual and internal right way of abstaining, he commands not sin and hypocrisy, per se, and kindly, and properly.

1. Because the Magistrate, as the Magistrate should, and ought, as the Minister of God, give commandments to the outward man, under pain of corporal punishment, not to the soul, or to the inward man.

2. Because that external obedience, not to kill, not tosteal, not to speak lies, is good, lawful external obedience, to man, and profitable in the State, for the end that God hath appointed it, which is the peaceable conversing one with another, that same abstinence from killing in an unrenewed man, who abstaineth not from killing for fear of God, and love to his brethren, is a sinful abstinence, and carnal repentance, by accident, and in relation to the Law of God; but the Magistrate neither commandeth abstinence from killing, from an inward spiritual principle, nor forbiddeth he the contrary: he commandeth not abstinence from false doctrine out of the love that the messenger owes to him who purchased the flock with his blood; nor forbiddeth he such abstinence, but only he commandeth abstinence from speaking lies to the people of God.

3. If we distinguish obedience, there is first a necessary and good, and lawful obedience. 2. There is an obedience complete and entire, and full, and sincere. Outward obedience, which the Magistrate commandeth, is good and lawful, and necessary obedience, and is, in the kind of external and necessary obedience (I mean) necessary for its end, the safety of the society, not hypocritical, unlawful or sinful. In this notion only, it is commanded by the Magistrate, and the omission of it unlawful, and punishable, by the Sword of the Deputy, and Minister of God; but if we speak of an obedience complete, full, and sincere; which is required from the whole man, in order to the Law of God. Then the outward obedience that the Magistrate demands is not complete, entire, nor sincere, but in relation to the Law of God, which requireth entire obedience from the whole man, soul and body, it is not full, not entire, not sincere obedience, but an outside of obedience, but in this sense the Magistrate doth not demand obedience to the Law of God, for he hath to do with the outward man only, and as a Magistrate hath nothing to do with the soul, and conscience: so then, though the Magistrate command to preach sound doctrine, forbid to preach lies in the name of the Lord, yet he commandeth not hypocrisy and sin; for this argument may as well prove the Magistrate should neither forbid norpunish murder, nor command abstinence from murder to an unrenewed man, for an unrenewed man cannot but abstain from murder in a sinful way, and his abstinence from murder in order to the spiritual Law of God, is no better than the oblation of Swine's blood, and the cutting off of a dog's head to God, Isa. 66. 1, 2. as is all external obedience of either Tables of the Law, first, or second, without faith, and spiritual, inward moral principles, and heart-obedience, and Mr. Williams cannot answer this argument, but by the principles of Anabaptists, Familists, and Enthysiasts, who say all outward Ordinances, Ministry, Preaching, Sacraments, yea Preachers and Magistrates, who command outward obedience to God are unlawful, now under the New Testament.

So Mr. Dell denies all Reformation, but heart-reformation. Other reformation beside this in the heart, I know none, and Gospel-reformation only mindeth the reformation of the heart; then away with Preaching, Laws, the Sword, Synods. Gospel-reformation (saith he) is inward, lays hold upon the heart, soul, and inner man, and changes and renews that, doth not much busy itself about outward forms, or external conformity, but only minds the conformity of the heart; for when the heart is right with God, the outward forms cannot be amiss. Christ saith touching the worship of the New Testament, God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in Spirit and Truth; he speaks not one word of any outward forms, so that, God in the Gospel-reformation aims at nothing but the heart. So the father of the Familists, impure H. Nicholas. If I could give all my goods to the poor, & c. if I have not love, it is not any thing to me; that is, whosoever hath not Christ, he is without God, and without righteousness in this world, I mean the being like Christ, which is conceived through the power of the Holy Ghost, and not any ceremonial Christ, which one man speaketh to another, or promiseth to another, through his ceremonial service; which he, out of his prudence, according to his fleshly mind setteth up: O no, The work or begetting of God commeth not so slenderly to pass as men now at this time teach each other out of their unregenerate Spirit; he meaneth by men now at this time, Protestants who conjoin Paul's planting, and the watering of Apollos, with the working of the Spirit, whereas this Impostor taketh him to the latter, and rails against the former, as a ceremonial and fleshly Christ.

See more of this in Del, Theologia Germanica, Rise and Reign of Antinomians, Bullinger, Calvin, Towne, the Antinomian Saltmarsh. Upon this ground, Samuel Gortyn, right down, denies all Magistracy, learning, books, Libraries, Laws, and he hath reason so to do, for Magistracy, because it is a carnal Ordinance, cannot produce inward and spiritual repentance, therefore Magistrate upon the same ground cannot coerce nor punish heretics, since heresy is a spiritual evil, which cannot be remedied by a sword of steel, for God only can enlighten the mind.

3. If therefore this argument be good, neither can the external preaching of the word be a lawful Ordinance, for God only gives repentance; the preaching of the Word without the Spirit, can but produce a carnal repentance, and the Bounder may cry down all preaching of the word, if he but change the word Magistrate, into the word Preacher, or Ambassador, for this course of Preaching by men, may lay a stumbling (I speak in his words) in every man's way, to profane the things of God, by doing them out of obedience to men, (that are but earthen vessels) not to God. If he say, that is by accident, because men, look to men, as men, and not to God, whose word men carry. So say I, men's abstaining from doing violence and murder, which the Magistrate forbids, may infer God, hath given no power to the Magistrate to forbid murder and adultery; for men may so profane the sixth Command, and abstain from murder because the Magistrate forbids it, not because God forbids it in the sixth Commandment. And the preaching of the word may bear down errors, so long as a man sound in the faith preaches; but when there ariseth a corrupt teacher, a Pharaoh, that knew not Joseph, errors shall walk on every side, and that not by permission, but by commandment. Now this is the reasonless reason of the Bounder, against the coercive power of Magistrates, these men argue ever, from the abused power of a Magistrate, and from persecution, to prove heretics ought not to be punished, as if punishing of false teachers were persecution; which they can never prove.

But to go on, That cannot be the way of God which necessarily inferreth the darkness, inevidence, and inextricable difficulty of understanding the Scriptures. But such is the way of Liberty of Conscience; Ergo. The Proposition is clear, for if God hath not sufficiently cleared the way to heaven, but left a Testament that men may expound to be the pathway to life eternal, and the just contrary a pathway to life eternal, and the Scriptures shall not make men inexcusable, contrary to Hos. 5. 2. and 8. 12. Psal. 19. 7, 8, 9, 10. Ezek. 3. 5, 6. Luke 16. 29, 30, 31. John 20. 31. and 15. 22. 2 Tim. 3. 15, 16. Psal. 119. 9. Prov. 3. 21, 22, 23. Deut. 31. 28, 29. Matth. 11. 21, 22, 23, 24. 2. Papists shall be in better case than we, for though they say that the Scriptures are dark and obscure, and admit of themselves divers and contrary senses, so that we cannot bottom our faith on them, yet the juridicial interpretation of the Church is to men a ground of faith, and that is the ground of faith which the Church giveth, as the only true sense of Scripture.

The Assumption is clear, because Libertines suppose that the sense of Scripture can be undeniably known to none: what is to one saint a ground of faith, the just contradicent to another is a ground of faith, and what sense to one Saint is an Article of saving faith, to another is a damnable Heresy; and both are to be tolerated, neither corrected nor punished, for since neither are infallible, neither can deserve rebukes or rods, nor punishment civil or Ecclesiastical; because knowing of the word of God in Scripture is not in our freewill, but natural, and whatsoever sense the word offers to the understanding true or false, the man cannot be guilty in receiving the false sense, because he is not punishable therefore, as Libertines argue; and what then should hinder but Jews may be saved in their sense of the old Testament, who yet deny Christ to be come in the flesh? nor are they to be rebuked, far less to be punished by God or man therefore, because 2. Cor. 3. in reading of the Old Testament a veil is over their heart, and if it be injustice in the magistrate to punish men for Errors which they cannot eschew; can the righteous judge of the world punish them therefore? Ergo, In such Errors they are innocent and sin not, and if this be said, what should hinder others to be saved by believing the contrary sense of the Old Testament? and the like may be said of the new Testament; and so all Heretics and Sectaries receiving the Scriptures, as Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Papists, Socinians, &c. shall be saved every man in his own Religion, and the sense of this, Eschew an Heretic, to a Saint must be, eschew the company of an heretic; to another Saint it is, Adhere to, and converse with the same saint, for he is no heretic but sound in the faith, and it falsely supposed to be an Heretic, and the Scripture upon this ground hath two contradictory senses, which being believed and practiced, must save, and revealeth two contradictory wills of God, and every man may take Scripture as his mind apprehends it; and whereas the Scripture makes itself the judge and determiner of all questions and controversies in religion: This way leaves all questions to every man's conscience, to the conscience of a Jew, of a Turk, of an American, of a Papist, the old Testament as expounded by a Jew is his Conscience, the old and new Testaments as the popish Church expound it, is their rule of faith, and the Scripture lifting up Christ, and casting down Christ, and speaking with a hundred divers and contrary tongues, is every man's obliging rule; and because there is no man infallible in taking up the right sense of the Scripture, if ye control the Jew, or put him off his sense of the Old Testament, which yields him this faith, Mary's son is a false lying Prophet, the Apostles and all the martyrs are but cousening Impostors, yea domineer over the Conscience and force his faith, because ye are not infallible, ye may not condemn the way of any, for ye know not but they be the wheat, and you the tares, for ought that Scripture saith on either side: Never man in this life is sure of his faith and salvation from Scripture, and since the Jew may be wheat, if ye would go to raze his faith, you go to pluck up the wheat before the harvest, and suppose we and all the Jews were converted to the Christian faith, and if we conceive Paul's prophecy concerning them Rom. 11. to be fulfilled, they shall be converted, yet 1. we are not infallible, but live upon our fancies and conjectures, touching the meaning of Rom. 11. say Libertines. 2. Suppose the fulness of the Gentiles be converted to Christ, and we among them, and all the Jews, and that in our days the earth be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and that all the sons of Zion be taught of God, and that the wilderness blossom as a rose, and the light of the moon be as the light of the Sun, and the light of the Sun be seven-fold, as the light of seven days, and that all the glorious prophecies in Isaiah, Zechariah, and the rest be fulfilled in our days, yet by the doctrine of Libertines, all these are but to us, for any certainty we have, night fancies and dreams of crazy and fever-sick heads: For Master John Goodwin, undeniably the most learned and most godly man of that way, hath said in a marginal note, of men for piety and learning, I cannot admire enough.

The Vindicators call the denying of Scriptures to be the word of God a damnable Heresy, and we have no certainty that the Scriptures of the old and new Testament which we new have, either the English translation, or the Original of Hebrew and Greek copies are the word of God. So then holding the Scriptures to be the Word of God in either of these two senses, or signification of the words (either translations, or original) can with no tolerable pretext or color be called a foundation of Christian Religion, unless their foundations be made of the credit, learning and authority of men.

Because there is need to wonder, by the way, at this, Let the reader observe, that Libertines resolve all our faith, and so the certainty of our salvation on Paper and Ink; and Mr. John Goodwin will allow us no foundation of faith, but such as is made of grammars and Characters, and if the Scripture be wrong pointed, or the Printer drunk, or if the translation slip, then our faith is gone: Whereas the means of conveying the things believed may be fallible, as writing, printing, translating, speaking, are all fallible means of conveying the truth of old and new Testament to us, and yet the Word of GOD in that which is delivered to us is infallible, 1. For let the Printer be fallible. 2. The translation fallible. 3. The Grammar fallible. 4. The man that reads the word of publishes it fallible, yet this hinders not but the truth itself contained in the written word of God is infallible; I suppose four men who shall shew to a wife her husband among ten thousands, all four fallible and may mistake, yet when they have brought the Husband to the wife, it cannot follow that the Wife doth not certainly and as infallibly know her own Husband by his tongue, voice, countenance, proportion of body and stature, as one can know another without any danger of mistake: so it comes to the ears of a man born blind, John 9. there is a Prophet called Jesus the Son of Mary, who will infallibly and indeclinably restore sight to this blind man, yet the same and report by which this is carried to the man's notice and knowledge is fallible, all men standing truly, that which the Lord reporteth of them, liars, and such as can be deceived, yet it is no consequence that Jesus doth restore the man to his sight in a way subject to miscarrying, and declinably, and upon a fallible hazard, so as he may go as blind from Jesus as he came to him: Now in the carrying of the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles to our knowledge, through Printers, translators, grammar, pens, and tongues of men from so many ages, all which are fallible, we are to look to an unerring and undeclinable providence, conveying the Testament of Christ, which in itself is infallible and begs no truth, no authority either from the Church as Papists dream, or from Grammar, Characters, Printer, or translator, all these being adventitious, and yesterday accidents to the nature of the word of God, and when Mr. Goodwin resolves all our faith into a foundation of Christian Religion (if I may call it Religion) made of thecredit, learning and authority of men, he would have men's learning and authority either the word of God, or the essence and nature thereof, which is as good as to include the garments and clothes of man, in the nature and definition of a man, and build our faith upon a paper foundation, but our faith is not bottomed or resolved upon these fallible means.

But what Arguments have Bellarmine, Stapleton, Gretserus, Becanus, Suarez, Valentia, the Councel of Trent, and other Papists to make good that the Church of sound Catholics (who if they could fill their chair) are of more authority than Printers or particular men, translators of the Scripture? for they lead us from the written word as Mr. Goodwin doth, and say the Church giveth authority to the word of God, and resolve our faith upon the Testimony of the Church (saith Tannerus) as the infallible rule of faith, on the authority of the Church (saith Bellarmine) quoad explicationem & quoad nos, in regard of our believing on God, not simply revealing, but so and so revealing (saith Stapleton) by his Church & c. so as we know not that God hath revealed his truth, but by, and for the infallible proposal of the Church (saith Gregorius de Valentia) on the authority of the first verity, God revealing himself as the principle and first cause of faith (saith Joan. de Lugo and Malderus) and on the authority of the Church as they are men eminent for Miracles, as in that which is first believed ut in primo creditum, and the only infallible rule of faith, say Suarez, Aegid, Connick, Lea. Maratius, And. Davallius, Fr. Silviues, Lod. Caspensis? All which speak fairer for the credit of faith in words, than Mr. John Goodwin, who raiseth our faith no higher than the English grammar, the Printer, the learning and authority of men.

2. We believe that Christ is God man, not for the Authority of men, and so of the rest of the Articles of our faith, because Christ saith John 5. 34. Ye sent unto John, and be here witness to the truth. v. 34. But I receive not testimony from men, on which word Chrysostome saith, I need not (saith our Savior) the testimony of men, since I am God, but because ye give more heed unto John, and believe him to be most worthy of all of credit, and ye come to him as a Prophet, I speak this who will then receive Mr. Goodwin's Testimony, who gives us nothing for faith but fluctuation of opinion, and some Topic grounds from men's credit, learning and authority, that the Scripture is the Word of God, and turns all our faith into fancy.

3. The Scripture resolves our faith on, Thus saith the Lord, the only authority that all the Prophets allege, and Paul, 1 Thes. 2. 13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing because when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of man (made of men's credit and learning as Mr. Goodwin saith) but (as it is in truth) the word of God.

4. Weak, dry, and sapless should be our faith, all our patience and consolations of the Scriptures, Rom. 15. 4. all our hope on the word of God, Ps. 119. 49, 50, 52, 54, 55. all our certainty of faith, if it were so as Mr. Goodwin averreth. But we have a more sure word of Prophesy, surer than that which was heard on the Mount for our direction, and the establishing of our faith, 2 Pet. 1. 19. John 5. 39. Search the Scriptures, for they bear witness of me; let them be judge between the Jews and me, whether I be the Son of God or no, for they bear witness of me: now if we have no better warrant, that the books of the Old and New Testament, that we now have, to wit, the original of Hebrew and Greek and translations are the word of God, than that which is made of the credit of the authority and learning of men, then must all our comfort of believing be grounded upon this man's, and this man's Grammar and skill, in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, and he is not infallible in any of these. And must our lively hope be bottomed on men's credit and learning? then for any thing we know on the contrary, we have but dreams, opinions, and at best, man's word, for the word of God, and how is the word of Prophesy a more sure word; for these were written and translated prophecies, of which Peter speaketh; Mr. Goodwin and Libertines, who put heaven and Christ, and the lively hope of our inheritance, to the conjectures of doubting Skeptics could well reply to Peter, the word of prophesy cannot be sure; for we have no certainty that the Scriptures of the Prophets, of the Old and New Testament, which we have either Hebrew or Greek copies of, are the word of God, but undoubtedly Christ appealeth to the Scriptures as to the only Judge of that controversy, between him and the Jews, whether the Son of Mary was the eternal Son of God, and the Savior of the world, he supposed the written Scriptures which came through the hands of fallible Printers and Translators, and were copies at the second, if not at the twentieth hand from the first copy of Moses and the Prophets, and so were written by sinful men, who might have miswritten and corrupted the Scripture, yet to be a judge and a rule of faith, and fit to determine that controversy and all others, and a judge de facto, and actually preserved by a divine hand from errors, mistakes and corruptions, else Christ might, in that, appealed to a lying Judge, and a corrupt and uncertain witness; and though there be errors of number, genealogies, &c. of writing in the Scripture, as written or printed, yet we hold providence watcheth so over it, that in the body of articles of faith, and necessary truths, we are certain with the certainty of faith, it is that same very word of God, having the same special operations of enlightening the eyes, converting the soul, making wise the simple, as being lively, sharper than a two-edged sword, full of divinity, life, Majesty, power, simplicity, wisdom, certainty, &c. which the Prophets of old, and the writings of the Evangelists, and Apostles had.

M. Goodwin's argument makes as much against Christ, and the Apostles, as against us, for they could never in all their Sermons and writings so frequently, bottom and found the faith on as it is written in the Prophets, as David saith, as Isaiah saith, and Hosea, as Daniel saith, as Moses and Samuel, and all the Prophets bear witness, if they had had no other certainty, that the writings of the Prophets, that came to their hands, was the very word of God, but the credit, learning and authority of men, as Mr. Goodwin saith, for sure Christ and the Apostles, and Evangelists, had not the authentic and first copies of Moses and the Prophets, but only copies written by men, who might mistake, Printers and Translators not being then, more than now, immediately inspired Prophets, but fallibly men, and obnoxious to failings, mistakes and ignorance of ancient Hebraisms, and force of words; and if ye remove an unerring providence, who doubts but men might add a or subtract, and so vitiate the fountain sense? and omit points, change consonants, which in the Hebrew and Greek, both might quite alter the sense: nor can any say, Christ and the Apostles being infallible, could well cite the Prophets, without a mistake though the copies might have been vitiate and corrupt. 2. Because the very citing of these Testimonies by Christ and his Apostles, made them Scripture, and so of infallible authority; but our citing of them, (since both, Printers and Translators are not immediately inspired, and we also might err) cannot adopt them into Canonical and authentic Scripture, such as was first written by the immediately inspired Prophets.

I shall answer, that first, this objection presumeth, that Christ and the Apostles might, and did find errors, and mis-printings even in written Scripture, which might reduce the Church in after ages to an invincible ignorance in matters of faith, and yet they gave no notice to the Church thereof; or if there was no error, de facto, then for so many hundred years, yet there are now substantial errors, and so foul, that it may be, we have no word of God, at all, amongst us, and God hath no Church, no believer on earth, but we must all take the word of Printers and Translators, which is merely the word of man: and what is become of all the Martyrs, that suffered by the bloody woman Babel? they died for mere conjectures and opinions, for they had not the first original copies of Moses, and the Prophets, yea Stephen the first Martyr, who according to all our copies Act. 7. addeth five to Moses his 70 souls, that went down to Egypt, in that glorious Sermon that he hath before his death, when he sealed the truth with his blood, and died gloriously, and said, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, died but upon the faith of men's fallible skill in Grammar, Printing and writing; for he citeth the writings of Moses to his enemies that stoned him, according to the copies that they then had; who would quickly have controlled him, if he had cited false copies, and Stephen's own Testimony was controverter, and therefore except we say, that Stephen and Christ, and the Apostles, cited the testimonies of the Prophets as they were then obvious to the eyes and reading of both the people of God, and the enemies, and that not simply, as their own words which they spake as immediately inspired, but as the testimony of the Prophets, according to the then written copies, we must say they spake not ingeniously the truth of God, for it was against truth, candor, ingenuity, to Christ and the Apostles to say, as it is written in your Law, John 8. 17. and so often it is written, if they would not have the hearers to receive, with certainty of faith, and full assurance free from all doubting, and fear of humane fallibility, that what they cited as written, was undoubtedly the same very truth of God, and no other, which Moses and the Prophets spoke and wrote; and if they would not have them to read, search, and believe these same Scriptures, and to conceive that they drew arguments in the New Testament to prove and confirm their doctrine, from that which was written by Moses and the Prophets in the Old Testament, and would not have them to believe them, only because New Testament writers immediately inspired, had so said.

6. If God will have us to try and examine all Spirits, all Doctrines, by the Scriptures written, then are we certainly assured, that the books we now have, of the Old and New Testament, are the very word of God, though we cannot, by any possibility, have the first and original authentic copies of Moses and the Prophets and Apostles. Because 1. God would not bid us try, and then leave us no rule to try withal, but our own natural light, which must lead us into darkness. 2. The visible Church should not be guilty of unbelief, if the written word were not among us, or then Christ and his Apostles speaking to us, as is clear, John 15. 22. Rom. 10. 14, 15. Matth. 11. 21, 22. The assumption is clear by the commended practice of the Bereans, who tried Paul's doctrine, by the Scriptures, Act. 17. See Rivetus, Whitaker, Calvin. 3. By the command of God, 1 Thess. 5. 2. 1 John 4. 1. Try all things, try the Sprits.

7. John would not call those blessed who read and hear, Rev. 1. 5. nor would Paul recommend reading to Timothy, and continuance in the doctrine of the Scriptures, and so extol the necessity and utility of the Scripture, and the indwelling of the word of God in us, as he doth, 1 Tim. 4. 16. 2 Tim. 14, 15, 16. Col. 3. 16. nor could the things written by John c. 21. 31 by Moses and the Prophets, Luke 16. 29, 30, 31. be holden forth as sufficient to bring souls to heaven, and to cause them eschew hell, if it were true, that we have no certainty that the Scripture of the old and New Testament are the very word of God, but such as is made of men's credit and learning.

8. Yea and so, what God spake immediately to Abraham, Moses, and the Prophets, could not be infallibly and by certainty of faith to them the word of God; for if God spake to them in a language intelligible, they had no certainty of faith, that the words that came from God, did signify thus and thus; for sure, God, by immediate inspiration, taught them not Grammar, and significations of words, and those that read the Law written by God's finger on two Tables of stone, those who heard Moses and the Prophets preach in their Mother-tongue even the Jews, who read the original first Hebrew copy of Moses and the Prophets, must have had no warrant, that, that was the word of God, but the authority of Father, Mother, and Nurses, who first taught them their Mother-tongue, for sure the Prophets were not School-masters to teach them Hebrew; so by this learning there was never since the world was, any certainty of faith, but such conjectural human and fallible opinions in all the matters of God, as is resolved ultimately (saith Mr. Goodwin) into men's fallible and topic authority and skill of Grammar, and all divine faith is perished out of the earth, except God by a supernatural power taught men first Grammar, and then to believe, for which we have no warrant, so all our faith must be dreams.

And since Mr. Goodwin acknowledgeth a supernatural power of the Spirit of Grace to believe; what else doth this Spirit cause us believe, but lies? or at best fancies resolved into human credit? which may be false for any certainty of knowledge that Libertines allow us?

Yea confident I am (saith Mr. Goodwin) that the wisest and most learned of them, are not able clearly or demonstratively, to inform the Magistrate and Judge, what blasphemy, and what Idolatry it was, which was, by God, sentenced to death under the Law. But so Mr. Goodwin in accusing our darkness, and in freeing the Magistrate of a duty he owes to God and the Church, layeth obscurity on the Scripture, as Papists do, though for another end : And I am as confident there was some sorcery, some willful murder, some incest, some plea between bloodand blood, stroke and stroke, some adultery sentenced by God to be punished by the sword, that Mr. Jo. Goodwin is not able clearly and demonstratively to inform the Magistrate of. And by this argument, murder, sorcery, incest, and adultery, ought not to be punished by the sword. Can Mr. Jo. Goodwin demonstratively inform us, what be the false Prophets, Matth. 7. the grievous wolves, Act. 20. the Heretic, Tit. 3. 10. that we are not to believe, but to avoid? and by this argument we must not beware of them, nor avoid them, since they are unknowable.

Dr. Jer. Taylor layeth down the same ground for tolerating Papists, Socinians, Familists, and all the dreaming Prophets on earth, because of the difficulty there is of expounding Scripture, and all the means and ways of coming to the true sense thereof, are fallible. There is variety of reading, various interpunction, a parenthesis, a letter, an accent may much alter the sense.

Answ. May not reading, interpunction, a parenthesis, a letter, an accent, alter the sense of all fundamentals in the Decalogue? of the principles of the Gospel? and turn the Scripture in all points (which Mr. Doctour restricts to some few darker places, whose senses are off the way to heaven, and less necessary) in a field of Problems, and turn all believing into digladiations of wits? all our comforts of the Scriptures into the reelings of a Wind-mill, and fancies of seven Moons at once in the firmament? this is to put our faith and the first fruits of the Spirit, and Heaven and Hell to the Press. But though Printers and Pens of men may err, it followeth not that heresies should be tolerated, except we say, 1. that our faith is ultimately resolved upon characters, and the faith of Printers. 2. We must say we have not the clear and infallible word of God, because the Scripture comes to our hand, by fallible means, which is a great inconsequence, for though Scribes, Translators, Grammarians, Printers, may all err, it followeth not that an erring providence of him that hath seven eyes, hath not delivered to the Church, the Scriptures containing the infallible truth of God. Say that Baruch might err in writing the Prophesy of Jeremiah, it followeth not that the Prophesy of Jeremiah, which we have, is not the infallible word of God; if all Translators and Printers did their alone watch over the Church, it were something, and if there were not one with seven eyes to care for the Scripture. But for Tradition, Councils, Popes, Fathers, they are all fallible means, and so far forth to be believed, as they bring Scripture with them.

Dr. Taylor tells us of many inculpable causes of error; 1. The variety of human understanding, what is plain to one, is obscure to another. Gregory's and Ambrose's missal were both laid upon the Altar a whole night, to try which of them God would miraculously approve. By the morrow nialtins, the missal of Gregory was found torn in pieces, and thrown upon the Church, and Ambrose's found open in a posture to be read. The miracle was expounded, that Ambrose's missal was to be received. Dr. Taylor saith, that he would expound it, that Gregory's missal was to be preferred, and to be spread through the world.

Answ. I have read of no faultless causes of error, nor of any invincible error in things that we are to believe and know by virtue of a divine Commandment; for this is a special false principle, that to know God, as he hath revealed himself in his word, is not commanded of God in his word. 1. Because to this David exhorts Solomon, And shall Solomon my son know the Lord, 1 Chron. 28. 9. and when the Apostle bids us be renewed in the spirits of our mind, Ephes. 4. 23. Rom. 12. 2. 2. And growing in knowledge is recommended, 2 Pet. 3. 14. 1 Cor. 1. 5. Prov. 4. 1. 3. And is set down as a blessing, Isa. 11. 9. Exod. 18. 16. Prov. 1. 2. Hos. 13. 4. Its sure to know God, and his revealed will in his word must oblige us. 4. The end of the revealed will is to know God, Deut. 4. 3. 5. Prov. 22. 21.

5. The first Command enjoins all worship internal, and external, as to know God, Hosea 13. 4. Jer. 9. 6. Jer. 24. 7. 2 Kings 19. 19. 2 Chron. 6. 33. and reason, the mind be under the Law of God, as will and affections are.

6. There is a connexion between the mind and other faculties, or affections, a corrupt mind is often conjoined with a guilty conscience, and faith and a pure conscience go together, 1 Tim. 1. 19. 1 Tim. 1. 5. 2 Pet. 3. 4. 5. keep the one, and you shall the more easily keep the other, make shipwreck of faith, and a good conscience cannot swim safe to Land, and the will, and rebellious affections, and lusts have influence upon the actual and habitual blinding of the mind, in that men walking after their lusts are quickly blinded in their mind, and the judgment depraved, 1. 2 Pet. 3. 5. they are willingly ignorant, and so refuse to know God. 2. Turn away their ear from the Law, refuse the means of the knowing of God, and dig not for wisdom, as for silver, hate knowledge, Prov. 1. 24. c. 2. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.3. Blind their own minds and shut their eyes, Isa. 6. 10. Matth. 13. 14, 15. Ezek. 12. 2. Deut. 29. 3, 4.

Object. All these places do well prove that to be unwilling to know God is a sin, but not that the simply mind-ignorance of God is sin.

Answ. And why is it sin to be unwilling to know God, which the word commandeth, if not to know God be not sinful as to be willing not to fear, not to love, not to hope in God, not to obey God, not to love our neighbour is sin, as well as not to fear, not to love God, are sins?

Therefore what is truth in itself, and revealed to be truth in the Scripture, if it appear an untruth to another, the cause of that is not inculpable (as D. Taylor saith) as if the letter of the Scripture tendered itself dark and inexplicable to us without our fault. But the wisdom of God (we believe) in the Scripture, is plain, to those that open their eyes, otherwise heresy should not only be no sin, contrary to the word of God, Tit. 3. 10. 1 Tim. 3. 1. 2. 1 Tim. 6. 4, 5. 2 Tim. 2. 16, 17, 18, 19. but an innocent apprehension of apparent truth, as there is no guiltiness in an eye vitiated with humors misapprehending colors that are white; and seeing them to be red when they are not so. And for that way of trying the two missals, they are but doting fools, that would choose either of them; for the word of God may judge them both to be corrupt and superstitious, and their trying which of the two was best, by a miracle, was a foolish and fantastical tempting of God, much like Chilingsworth's deciding of controversies of Religion, by lottery, because Scripture, Reason, Councils, Fathers, Doctors, Tradition, are all insufficient, which sure is derogatory to the worth and perfection of Scripture, which maketh the simple wise, Ps. 19. and must shew the man that erreth, his error, if he shut not his eyes at light.

Dr. Taylor saith, Covetousness is often a cause of heresy. Thebulis, quia reject tus ab Episcapatic hierosolymitano, turbare capir Ecclesiam, saith Egesippus in Eusebius, Tertullian turned Montanist for missing the Bishopric of Carthage, after Aggrippinus, and so did Montanus, for the same discontent, saith Nicephorus, Novatus would have been Bishop of Rome; Donatus of Carthage, Arrius of Alexandria, Aerius of Sebastia; Socrates said Asterius did frequent the Conventicles of the Arrians, nam Episcopatum aliquem ambiebat.

Let the error be never so great, if it be not against an article of the Creed, if it be simple, and have no confederation with the personal iniquity of the man, the opinion is as innocent as the person; though perhaps as false as he is ignorant, and therefore shall burn, though he himself escape. The man cannot by human judgment be counted an heretic, unless his opinion be an open recession, from plain demonstrative authority (which must needs be notorious, voluntary, vincible, and criminal) or that there be a palpable serving of an end accidental and extrinsical to the opinion, but these ends spiritual are hard to be discerned. The opinion of Purgatory though false, bring neither fundamentally false, nor practically impious, is no heresy.

Ans. 1. I am not so uncharitable of Tertullian, as Dr. Taylor, for Aerius he maintained no heresy, I hope, Episcopacy is no article of faith. 2. I know no error in the matters of God speculative, but the Lord forbids it in his word. If every thing written be written for our instruction, fundamental, or non-fundamental as all the Scriptures are, we are under a commandment of God, we (I say) who live in the visible Church, are to know all, and believe all things written, be they fundamental or no, for God hath written them all for us, Ergo, the ignorance of anything written is a sin, and a breach of a command, and so no innocent error, Happy are those that know and do. Now under doing, I comprehend the faith of the Trinity, and the most of articles, touching Christ, which do practically concern me, because I sin, if I do not both know and believe them, else they are written as Aristotle's Acroamaiic the ignorance of which in an unlettered man (I suppose) is no breach of a divine command, and I conceive the ignorance of the Stories in the old and new Testament, of Paul's leaving his cloak at Troas is a sin, in all within the visible Church, for that the Holy Ghost hath written these not for the instruction of one; but of all who hear or may hear of them, within the visible Church.

2. No error, except of the Articles of the Creed is arraigned as Heresy by the Doctor, but he meaneth by error ignorance and mis-belief both; for I hope the Doctor's charity will not send all to hell, many godly there may be who have much ignorance of God, who know not, or are simply ignorant of some of the twelve Articles of the Creed, and of some of the ten Commandments, if therefore error here doth include not believing, as heresy must necessarily do, the pertinacious mis-believing and denying of many Stories in the Bible, as of the deluge, dividing of the red Sea, preserving of Jonah alive in the whale's belly, raising of Lazarus, (if obstinacy be added) must be no less Heresy and an open belying of the God of truth, than the denying of an Article of the Creed, for the authority of God who commands us to know the one as well as the other, is in both despised, when we are ignorant of either.

3. It is to beg the Question, to say that any error in the matters written to us in our Lord's Testament, which so much concerneth both our knowledge and practice, can be simple Errors and have no confederation with personal iniquity, for it is as much as if not to read our Husband's love-letter from end to end, or to cause to read it, if it comes to the wives hand, were not our sin against our husband Christ, whereas to be ignorant of anything in it, and mis-believe, it is sinful ignorance and natural blindness, so the Doctor makes sin so innocent, as to have no confederation with sin.

4. To say the opinion shall burn though himself escape, is to expound the place 1 Cor. 3. 11. 12, 13, 14. most corruptly in a new gloss of the Doctor's own, as if hay and stubble that is, vain and unprofitable opinions, that are builded upon the foundation Christ, were not sinful opinions in the matters of God, when as they are hay and stubble to be burnt.

1. Because they are against a Commandment, that every man is to take heed, how, or what he is to build on the foundation, v. 10. but he that builds hay and stubble obeys not that Commandment, but let every one take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

2. Building hay and stubble, that is, vain and fruitless opinions upon the foundation, is privatively opposed to building of gold, silver, and precious stones, vers. 12. but that is a work of faith, and such a work as shall abide, and have a reward, v. 14.

3. The work that shall be brought to judgment, and made manifest so, as it shall be burnt with fire, and shall be judged to be a fruitless work, must be sin. But the building of hay and stubble upon the foundation Christ is such a work, v. 13, 14, 15. And that the man himself shall be saved, because that by faith he is builded upon the foundation Christ, but the work burnt with fire, will no more prove that the building of hay is not sin, than that Peter's judaizing, and David's adultery and murder were not sins, because Peter and David are saved, for the Apostle there compares the Apostles to builders, (as before he compared them to husbandmen, v. 6, 7, 8, 9.) and the preaching of doctrine to a building, and he makes Christ the foundation of the building, and two sorts of super-structures; good doctrine, and that is gold and silver, and vain and unedifying Toys added to the doctrine of Christ, he makes hay and stubble; Now he makes the judgment that trieth all doctrine to be fire, (whether it be the last judgment, or fiery afflictions, it is no great matter) but good doctrine will bide the trial of the fire and not be consumed, and the man rewarded for his so building, and bad doctrine will be burnt, and not abide the Lord's fire when it is tried, for false doctrine will vanish in the day of trial, and yield the sower of such doctrine no comfort, yet he himself keeping the foundation Christ shall be saved, but he shall be ceded and sadly afflicted for his fruitless building, so the day seems to be the day of trial and fiery persecution coming on all the Preachers of the Gospel, to try them and their doctrine, as Rev. 3. 10. the place smells nothing of purgatory fire, and the most judicious interpreters, even Estius a Papist, expounds it well of the Lord's trying of the sons of Levi, Mal. 3.

5. I will not say Amen to Dr. Taylor, that to count a man an heretic, his opinion must be a plain open recession from demonstrative authority, which must needs be voluntary vincible, and criminal, for the Sadducees were willful, obstinate heretics in denying the resurrection of the dead, a principal Article of faith; yet it is not clear that their opinion was an open recession from demonstrative authority. The Doctor will not call Christ's arguing: God is the God of dead Abraham. Ergo, the dead must live again, Matth. 22. demonstrative. We may have as much natural blindness, as we can hardly see the truth of Christ's ascension to heaven, and coming again to judge the quick and dead, by demonstrative authority from Scripture, yet those in the visible Church, denying these Articles of faith, are Heretics, though there may be degrees of voluntariness and obstinacy in Heretics.

6. That there must be vincibleness in all heresy is ambiguous, in the Doctor's sense, for by vincibleness, I take, he means, such vincibleness whereby none, by their own industry and strength of freewill may, if they be not wanting to that grace which is denied to none, (as Arminians say) attain to the light of such consequences, as heretics willfully deny. If this be his meaning, he is a friend to Pelagius. 2. If he take vincible, as opposed to invincible ignorance, he Popishly then saith, that the Scripture offereth to us many things whereof we may be invincibly ignorant. Now invincible ignorance, Protestants acknowledge only, in matters of fact, or of gospel-truths never so much as in the letter revealed, as Heathens may be invincibly ignorant of Christ, and their ignorance not be sinful, as John 15. 22. and Jacob was invincibly ignorant, in lying with Leah, instead of Rachel. There can be no such vincibleness, or invincibleness, in an Heretic that hears the Gospel, for whoever hear the Gospel, and yet remain ignorant, their ignorance is not invincible, Nulla est invincibilis ignorantia juris.

7. The opinion of Purgatory, though it were no heresy (as the Doctor saith, and bringeth no argument to prove it) yet is not simply, a sinless error in such as know, or ought to know (since the Scripture is before their eyes) that 1. There is no word of God to warrant it. 2. Since the word, in the Parable of Lazarus, and the rich Glutton, sheweth us, what abideth all men, immediately after they die, that the bodies of all go to the earth, and one way or other are buried, and the souls either to heaven or hell, and this he saith of all mankind. 1. Because all receive either their good things, or their evil, of suffering in this life. 2. All men are such, as if they believe not Moses and the Prophets, will not believe though one rise from the dead. 3. Christ should be imperfect in this place, and in all other places, who should not tell us of a third doom, befalling some after they are dead and buried: where their bodies that were instruments of sin, as the rich gluttons tongue was of gluttony, should be tormented, for their venial sins; yea and Purgatory dwells door-neighbour with covetousness, if the Doctor remembers that Soul-masses to Romish Mass-mongers, as well as Dirges, Requiems, Masses, are not a little gainful.

8. Nor is there any error of things revealed by the wise Lawgiver in Scripture, which is merely speculative, in order to God's end, his glory. It is no less derogatory to the Lawgiver's glory not to believe, A Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and, there is one God in three persons, then to kill our Brother, though the former be more speculative, farther from the experiments of human affairs (as he speaketh) and more difficult and remote from human observation, than the other.

Object.1. Errors are then (saith he) made sins, when they are contrary to charity, or inconsistent with a good life, or the honor of God.

Answ. Not to believe what God saith, is inconsistent with his honor: for nothing intrinsically is inconsistent with the honor of God, not the eating of the tree of knowledge, no simple act of loving, fearing, believing, all are inconsistent with, or agreeable to the honor of God, because he commands, or forbids them.

Object.2. No man's person is to be charged with the odious consequences of his opinion, though the doctrine may be therefore charged, because if he did see the consequences, and then avow them, his person is chargeable with them.

Answ. The very opinion itself may be a blasphemy, by consequence, though the man see it not to be blasphemy: will the Doctor say, Hymeneus, and Alexander, did make shipwreck of faith and blaspheme, because they said the resurrection was past? Yet Paul 1 Tim. 1. 19, 20. chargeth the persons with blasphemy; and can the Doctor deny that Hymeneus, and Philetus, increased unto more ungodliness, and that their word did eat as a canker, in saying, that the resurrection was past? which yet Paul chargeth on them, 2 Tim. 2. 15, 16, 17. and those that taught circumcision are charged as perverters of souls, Act. 15. yet they but perverted souls, by consequences. The like may be said of such, as Paul said fell from Christ, and lost all benefit in Christ, if they were circumcised, Gal. 5. 2. It may be they would retract the heresy, if they saw the blasphemies to follow by strong consequence, and it may be not, since they are self-condemned. But, sure, the Lord chargeth the persons of men as making God A liar, who believe not his truth, and he chargeth Epicureanism, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die, 1 Cor. 15. on the persons that deny the resurrection: and if the doctrine be a lie, I wonder, how these that lie of God (since God commandeth to know, and believe whatever he saith in his word) can be innocent.

Object. If no simple error condemn us before the throne of God, since God is so pitiful to our crimes, that be pardons many de toto, & de integro, he will far less demand an account of our weakness; the strongest understanding cannot pretend immunity from being deceived.

Answ. Then though Christ said, John 8. Except ye believe, that I am be, ye shall die in your sins, and he that believeth not is condemned already: He chargeth no man guilty of unbelief, that heareth the Gospel for simple not believing. But then we are commanded to believe no truth that God speaketh, to know no truth, but only to know it with an inclination of heart, love, and will, toward the Commander, and so the mind, and understanding faculty, the noblest, and most excellent piece in the soul must be left lawless and free in its operations, from all hazard of guilt or sin, 2. If this Argument be good, sins of infirmities, and of weakness, must be no sin. Idle words cannot come in reckoning in the last day, contrary to Matth. 12. 36. for God forgives crimes; Ergo, he will not call us to an account for our venials. If this conclude any thing, the strongest understanding cannot pretend immunity from being deceived; Ergo, simple ignorance of the things of God is no sin. I may argue no man can pretend to be free of sin in the inclination of the heart and original guiltiness, Job 4.4. Ps. 51. 5. Gen. 8.21. Prov. 20. 9. 1 John 1. 8. 10. Eccles. 7. 20. Ergo, sin is no sin, original sin, sins of infirmities are no sins.

Object. No Christian is be put to death for his opinion, which doth not teach impiety or blasphemy. If it plainly and apparently brings in a crime, and himself doth act it, or encourage it, then the matter of fact, is punishable, according to its proportion and malignancy; as if he preach Treason, and Sedition, his opinion cannot excuse, because it brings in a crime, a man is never the less Traitor, because he believes it lawful to commit Treason, and a man is a murderer, if he kill his brother unjustly, although he think to do God good service in it; matters of fact are equally judicable, whether the principle of them be from within or without; and if a man could pretend to innocency in being seditious, blasphemous or perjured, by persuading himself it is lawful, a gate were opened for all iniquity. I deny not but certain and known Idolatry, or any other sort of practical impiety, with its principiant doctrine ought to be punished, because it is no other but matter of fact, but no matter of mere opinion no errors that of themselves are not sins are to be persecuted by death or corporal inflictions.

Answ. 1. The Doctor mocketh when he saith, No mere opinions are to be persecuted. That was never in question, a mere opinion, is a mere act of the mind within the walls of the soul, and can be known to no man; for neither Magistrate, nor Church can judge of invisible and hidden acts of the soul, so he says nothing.

2. The simple apprehension of God to be a four-footed beast, is by the Apostle, Rom. 1. esteemed Idolatry, and a mental changing of the glory of the incorruptible God into the glory of a corruptible creature; and the profession thereof must then be the profession of manifest Idolatry, and so punishable, yet it is a profession of a mere opinion; but I confess of a most Idolatrous opinion, not of a fact, otherwise by this learning of Libertines there can be no sin in simple apprehensions of God, though most prodigious, and monstrous, what is blasphemy, is as controverted and as unjudicable as simple error. Servetus his naming the blessed Trinity a Cerberus, or three-headed dog, blasphemed, say we, I think Doctor Taylor will not say so, then by his way, blasphemy must be as unjudicable as heresy, and to him the formal of it is within, in the heart.

3. If matters of fact be punishable according to their proportion and malignancy, then speaking lies in the name of the Lord, and teaching and professing malignant doctrine contrary to the doctrine of godliness, that Christ thought it no robbery, to be equal and consubstantial to God, that God is one in three persons, and to teach any thing contrary to what God hath said in his word, as that there were not eight persons in the Ark with Noah, must be punishable; the contrary whereof the Doctor saith here: for every breach of a Commandment is malignancy and punishable, when it hurteth human society especially.

4. Can a man be the less heretical, and his society the less detectable then, that he thinks his heresy is sound doctrine? for thoughts cannot change the nature of actions.

5. To kill a man is indifferent of itself, it may be done in justice, it may be done in injustice, but if a man kill his son, and offer him to God, neither hating, nor envying, nor grudging at the safety of his son, only upon this mere opinion that he expresseth an act of love to God, above that he beareth to his son, as Abraham did, then by this way he sinneth not, this son-slaughter is not murder, nor punishable, but a simple error.

For 1. It may be said by Libertines, the act of killing is indifferent of itself.

2. If he hate not his son, and lie not in wait for him, it is no murder, Deut. 4. 42. Deut. 19. 46. He is not worthy of death, for as much as he hated him not in times past. Nor can killing be called a virtual hating, or essentially an hatred of our brother, for then it were impossible for a Judge to kill a man, and not to hate him: As every breach of the Law of God is essentially an hatred of God, and a virtual hatred of God: for simple killing of our neighbor is not murder by God's reasoning, but killing of him in hatred, rage, anger, or desire of revenge. Nor can it be said, that hating, forbidden in murder, by the Law of God, includes a loving of him, and a saving of his life; when it is in our power to save it, as it is in the father's power, who sacrificeth his innocent Son to God, to save his life.

Answer, I deny not but it is murder, for they teach, that a man may publish that which by consequence, destroyeth the faith of fundamentals, and so subvert the faith of others, which to do is a sin, but because the man followeth the indictment of his erroneous conscience it is no sin to the man that so teacheth, yea, he may innocently suffer persecution for his conscience, thus erroneous, yea, and die a martyr for it. Ergo, if the following of an erroneous conscience, shall make a less sin to be no sin but innocency, it shall make a greater sin, to wit, killing of his son to his heavenly father, no sin, and so he may lawfully do it. Nor will it suffice to say, to offer a man to God and kill him, is against the light of nature, and vincibly a sin; what then? if the man believe he is commanded to kill him, his erroneous conscience must bind, as the offering of whole burnt offerings to God, to us is a sin, against the light of nature, in regard the law of nature can no more warrant it, then it can warrant Christ to offer up himself to God. But upon the supposition of Libertines, its no murder, nor is it punishable at all, because the father may, yea, and lawfully ought to worship God according to the indictment of his conscience, whither the conscience be right, or bloody and erroneous, and yet he is not punishable for blood-shed, by their way for merely, and simply, without any malignancy or hatred to the child; he believes, he ought to prefer his maker, to his dearest child's life as well as Abraham, and the conscience doth naturally, and as under no Law, simply believe it is the like service, and worship that Abraham would have gratefully performed unto God, if God in reward of that love, had not forbidden him again to kill his Son. And this answer presupposes also, that it is impossible for a father to have such a conscience, as may stimulate, and command to kill his son, and that in the authority, and name of God, as he erroneously, yea, and as he invincibly holdeth, as Socinians, Familists, Papists, believe purgatory, merits, justification by works, who yet are not to be punished for their conscience, according to Libertines. Again, there is no intrinsic malignancy in the act of naticide, or son-sacrificing, but what it hath from the Lord's Law forbidding to kill, now those that killed their Sons to Molech, yea, to God, as they thought, strongly, yea, invincibly believed God commanded them, to do him such bodily service, as is clear from Jer. 7. 31. Jer. 15. 5. And that this is invincible ignorance, (I take the word invincible in the Libertines' sense) Libertines grant, for in our condemning son-sacrificing, they will say we are not infallible. Yea, the understanding, being spiritual, cannot be restrained, saith Dr. Taylor Sect. 13. n. 6. and no man can change his opinion when he will, saith he, ibid n. 7. and so should not be punished for it, and n. 13. there is nothing under God Almighty, that hath power over the soul of man, so as to command a persuasion. If he be then persuaded, that he ought to kill his Son, he ought unpunishably so to do. Lastly, Doctor Taylor yields the cause, when he saith that certain known Idolaters may be punished with death or corporal inflictions. For there is no Idolatry so gross, that strongly deluded consciences may not be carried invincibly (I speak in the Libertine sense) out of mere conscience, to act. Ergo, some are justly punishable for their mere conscience, and yet are not persecuted for conscience. If a man preach treason (saith he) his opinion doth not excuse. If a man preach murder, and preach that Christ was an impostor, that the Scripture is a fable, how can his opinion excuse in a great sin, and not all sins?

C H A P. XXVIII.

Divers other Arguments for pretended Toleration,
answered.

Doctor Taylor objects from the Arminians, he that persecutes a disagreeing person, doth arm all the world to persecute himself, if he say he is no Heretic, he is as confidently believed to be an Heretic, as he believes his adversary to be an Heretic; if it be said, every side must take their venture, this is to make the Christian world a shambles.

Ans. 1. Because sound and orthodox Magistrates punish Heretics, they do no more arm Heretics against them to punish them, than they arm murderers to punish them, because no law of Conscience teacheth, that a seducer is obliged to publish to others his erroneous opinion, touching man-sacrificing, the unlawfulness of Magistracy under the New Testament, Liberty of Conscience, Familism, and the like; for then the Law of nature must teach, men are obliged in conscience to sin, and pervert others.

2. They are obliged to believe that their Conscience must be a rule to others; which two the Law of nature cannot teach, since it is the just law of God. If ye argue what Heretics do unjustly, they persecute the sound in the faith, and there is reciprocation of persecution amongst false Religions; its true, the Christian world is a shambles, through the corruption of men's nature. But if ye argue what Christian Orthodox Magistrates ought to do, they ought to punish only Heretics and Seducers, but they do not justly arm Heretics, and those of false Religions reciprocally against themselves, for by this argument those that are just Magistrates, and take away the life of Pirates, Robbers, Murderers of other Nations, do they therefore justly arm all Pirates and Robbers to take away their Lives? I think not.

Obj. 2. Where do Christ or his Messengers charge the Magistrate to establish by his arm of flesh, and earthly weapons, theworship of God, the beast indeed gets the power of the earth, Rev. 17. Bloody Tenet.

Answ. Kiss the Son O Rulers Psal. 2. The Kings of the earth shall lick the dust before Christ, Psal. 72. The Kings shall bring their glory to the new Jerusalem; Ergo, They shall guard the Law of God from violence. 2. The Beast gets the power of Kings to bear down truth, but this power of Kings shall burn the whore, Rev. 17. 16. and act for Christ and his ordinances. 3. Where reads Mr. Williams that Christ and his Messengers are to charge the Magistrate to give liberty to Wolves, Boars, Lions, Foxes? Serve your consciences O beasts in wasting the Mountain of the Lord's House, and in not sparing the flock, the Nurse-father grants you liberty to waste the mountain of the Lord.

Obj. 3. Artaxerxes knew not the Law of God, which le confirmed, how then could he judge it? 2. In such fits and pangs of a terrifying consciences, what laws have Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Darius, Artaxerxes, put forth for the Israel of God, yet were they not charged with the spiritual crown of governing the worship of God.

Answ. That was their Error, they knew not the Law of God, but it was their duty, that they ratified it. 2. Those Princes did their duty as Magistrates in those Laws, no matter what Conscience, renewed, or not renewed put them on to act, the duties in the substance of the act were lawful, the corruption of nature (they being unrenewed) might vitiate the work, and put them a working to act lawfully, in the duties. Saul as King did fight the battles of the Lord, and led his people, and that lawfully according to the substance of the work, but God knows his motives and end. 3. This ignorant man never hears of a Magistratical act to promote the worship of God in a civil way, but he dreams of a spiritual tribunal given to the Magistrate, which we abhor as much as he; for the material object of the Magistrate's power though spiritual, rendreth not his power spiritual, as the Magistrate punisheth spiritual confederacy with Satan, in Magicians, and Sorcerers, a Witch should not be suffered to live, and Sodomy flowing from God's judicial delivering men up to a reprobate mind, Rom. 1. 28. and yet the Magistrate's power is not spiritual, nor terminated upon the consciences of men. Nor is this Argument of strength, that men cannot be persuaded to cast off opinions of God for fear: For 1. Some must be saved through fear, and pulled out of the fire, Jude v. 23. 2. Augustine answered this argument of Donatists, fear of Princes Laws, 1. compelleth men to come in and hear truth, and truth persuadeth, Epist. 48. aa Vincent. Alii dicant nos falsis rumoribus terrebamur intrare, quos falsos esse nesciremus, si non intraremius, nec intraremus, nisi cogeremur, gratius domino qui trepidationem nostram flagello abstulit. 2. Fear of Civil laws may draw men out of the society of bewitching Seducers, where they are fettered with chains of lies, Epist. 50. ad Bonifaci. Quid de illis dicamus, qui nobis quotidie confitentur, quod iam olim volebant esse Catholici, sed inter eos habitabant, inter quos id quod volebant esse non poterant per infirmitatem timoris, ubi si unum verbum pro Catholica fide dicerent, & ipsi, & domus eorum funditus everterentur. Quis est tam demens qui neget, istis debuisse per jussa imperialia subvenire, ut de tanto eruerentur malo, &c. 3. Fear of Laws as Augustine saith to the Donatist Vincentius Epist. 48. hath daunted wild Heretics, Qui tamen ad hane sanitatem non perducerentur, nisi legum istarum, qua tibi displicent, vinculis tanquam phrenetici ligarentur.

Obj. 4. Artaxerxes gave the people liberty to return to their own Land, assisted them with other favors, and enabled them to execute Laws according to their National state: But did God put it in the Kings heart to restrain millions from their Idolatry, to constrain them to form the worship, build the Temple, erect an Altar?

Answ. Ezra 6. 3. Cyrus made a decree, Let the house of the Lord be built, &c. Ezra 7. 23. Artaxerxes in his decree saith, Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the God of heaven, &c. he restrained men from idolatry, and all disobedience to the Law of God. v. 26. And whosoever will not do the Law of thy God, and the Law of the King, Let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or unto banishment, or unto confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment: Ergo, This heathen King by the light of nature, by a civil Law established the Law of God against Idolaters and false Prophets, which is all we crave of Christian Magistrates, and for this cause said Ezra, Blessed be the Lord God of our Fathers, who hath put such a thing in the heart of the King to beautify the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem. He interposeth the King's law to the law of God, though the Law of God borrow no obligatory power or dignity from the King, and the Lord need not the sword of flesh, yet that it may get external obedience before men, and with the external man, it is the duty of Artaxerxes and of all kings, to add their law of death, banishment or confiscation, &c. to the law of God, that such as refuse to do the Law of God, and seduce the people of God with lies and false doctrine may be punished, it was the defect of duty in these Kings that they compelled not the people to return.

Obj. 5. For Jews and Nations that blaspheme Christ must be put to the Sword according to the Scriptures, Exod. 22. 20. Levit. 24. 16. Deut. 13.

Answ. It follows no way, two things hinder any to execute these Laws. 1. They are not so under us as we have a Magistratical power over them, as Magistrates have the sword over ill-doers, that are subjected by divine providence to the power. 2. They are not convicted of blasphemy, nor instructed in the doctrine of the Gospel, as they are convicted by the Law of nature, that murder, and adultery deserve punishment.

Obj. 6. In all the New Testament we find not a prison appointed be Jesus Christ for an Heretic Blasphemer.

Answ. Where are the ten Commandments set down in the New Testament in express words of Scripture order? or where speaketh Christ or his Apostles of prison, sword, gallows, faggot to witches, murderers, parricides, yea or of so much as rebuking or excommunicating such by their specified sins in particular, more than of blasphemers? yet doth he Rom. 13. appoint prison and sword for all ill doers, and the same Socinians and Anabaptists object against all Magistracy.

Obj. 7. The State and National Church of the Jews sware a Covenant, 2. Chron. 15. that whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death whether small or great, whether man or woman. But may whole Nations or Kingdoms now, (according to any title expressed by Jesus Christ to that purpose) follow that pattern of Israel; and put to death all both men and women, great, and small, that according to the rules of the Gospel are not born again, penitent, humble, heavenly, patient, &c. What 1. Hypocrisy brings this? 2. What a profanation of the holy name of God bringeth this? 3. What massacring of people by civil wars?

Answ. 1. I confess the swearing of the Covenant in Israel, and in National Churches, may hence be proved to differ. 1. As touching the external worship, for their seeking of God, and ours differed, they sought God in circumcision, Passover, Sacrifices, Feasts, Divine Ceremonies, but we do not so, 2. They sware the Covenant, 2 Chron. 15. with blowing of Trumpets, Corners, &c. We do not so. 3. A whole City that maintained a false Prophet against the sword of justice, Deut. 13. was destroyed, sacked, their very cattle and everything in it accursed. We are not obliged to deaths and punishments, every way thus ceremonial as they: but as for the substance of the service; the swearing of an Oath, and Religious Covenants, being of the law of Nature, and the Punishing of Apostates from the doctrine of the Gospel, to which they have sworn (though the Gospel itself be far above nature's law) must be from the Law of nature lying on us; we must by the same law be tied, as they, not to kill all not born again, I hope the antitype is here of Mr. Williams' foregoing, not of God, no word of Christ, saith that Christ chargeth to inflict bodily punishment on men by the sword of the Magistrate, because not borne again. Nor do we think that by small and great, here are meant sucking children who could not swear a Covenant, for the text restricteth the Covenant-breach to such as swear the Covenant, and where infants are to be put to the sword by the Magistrate in the Old Testament, as it is like, Deut. 13. 13, 14, 15. and 1 Sam. 15. 1, 2, 3, 4. they are morally culpable before God, but not that we should mistake that sort of justice; now to kill infants under the New Testament for the sin of their parents.

2. We think Mr. Williams' Arguments weak and Anabaptistic, we should not swear such a Covenant now, why?

It were hypocrisy, and a profaning of God's name: How doth this follow, but that we must put none to an Oath, but such as are regenerate, and we know will swear sincerely, and not profane the name of God? None then can be witnesses under the New Testament to swear, but such as are regenerate, where is this divinity warranted? Or if it be, because the substance of the Oath is sin, in that we swear to put to death the innocent and unrenewed? we crave a ground for it in the word. But we know no such Covenant of Oath, But here if toleration of all Religions stand, the Parliaments of both Kingdoms, grievously sin, in that they proclaim not an open liberty to the Mass, to Jesuits, Priests, to set up Altars, Temples, the whole body of Popish worship, and they ought to proclaim liberty to all Jews to come and dwell in Britain, erect Synagogues, blaspheme Christ, for this is the Liberty wherewith Christ hath set us free, by Libertines' way.

Obj. Papists would cut our throats, Jews would destroy us and blaspheme Christ.

Answ. No doubt they would, but Libertines do ill that good may come of it, in not acting lawful liberty for Christ, though the firmament should fall, we are not to oppress consciences, force Religion; abandon the Gospel liberty and meekness in gaining all to Christ in finding truth, &c.

Obj. Henry the 7th Leaves England Papists. Henry 8th brings all to half Papists, half Protestants. Edward the 6th stirs about the wheel to absolute Protestantism. Mary turns about all again to Popery. Elizabeth again sounds the Trumpet, all are Protestants, are not we even now making unregenerate men the subject of these national changes, by a national Covenant?

Answ. Does not this man lay upon the National Church of the Jews, a Church framed by the wisdom of God, the like revolutions from Jehovah to Baal, and the golden Calves, from Baal and the golden Calves back again to Jehovah, according as David, Ahab, Jeroboam, Jehu, Asa, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah, Ammon, Godly or ungodly Kings came to the throne? and God must so institute and procreate hypocrisy, profaning of the name of God, domineering over, and compelling consciences then as now, only subject to the Lord of spirits, and his word, by a sword of steel? Whereas now, as then, hypocrites change from Religion true or false, and back again in a circle, as times blow fair or foul, through the corruption of nature, and this is not to be fathered upon that lawful punitive power, that God hath given to the Christian Ruler, to coerce wolves, and seducing teachers, which power, Kings whose breasts the Church should suck, often do abuse, to establish Popery, and tyrannize over the conscience of the Godly, and undo religion, but both now, and then, Sophists may bring a caption, ab accidente, against any lawful power. What if murderers, Sorcerers, Drunkards, abound under unjust and loose Princes, and when a just and watchful Prince comes to the throne, men out of hypocrisy return from these sins? and again, when another unjust King Reigns, they return to their vomit, is this against National righteousness and Magistracy?

2. Under all those Revolutions Christ had a Church professing the Protestant faith, under gracious Kings, and sealing the same faith with their blood under persecuting tyrants, so that change was never in the true invisible Church, but only in the scum and outside of the Church, and the change came never from the punitive lawful power rightly used, but from the hollowness of the hearts of time-servers, or some weak men, that denied their Master in an hour of temptation, and repented again.

3. By this Argument Mr. Williams will give us no visible Church, but the Church of Anabaptists, consisting of sinless, regenerated, and justified men, who are beyond the courtesy of the Law, free grace, and a Redeemer, or pardon of sin.

Obj. An arm of flesh, and sword of steel cannot reach to cut off the darkness of the mind, the hardness and unbelief of the heart, (saith Mr. Williams) A wolf (saith Dr. Taylor) may as well give laws to the understanding, as he whose dictates are only propounded in violence, and written in blood, and a Dog is as capable of a Law as a man, if there be no choice in his obedience, nor discourse in his choice, nor reason to satisfy his discourse. A man cannot (saith the Bounder) believe at his own will, how much less at another's? Who can reveal and infuse supernatural notions and truths but the spirit?

Answ. This strongly concludes that the understanding and will cannot be forced by the sword, but must move a connatural way, by the indictment of reason, and nothing follows but that the internal and elicited acts of the understanding and will, cannot be produced by external violence which we yield, ye say that it involves a contradiction that the elicited acts of the understanding and will, can be produced by external force, but if masters of Logic infer, Ergo the Magistrate cannot punish a Seducer, a false Prophet for teaching, what his erroneous conscience dictates to him: then we say this argument is against the Holy Ghost, not against us: and blaspheming Celsius, Lucianus do &c. object, the like against Moses' Laws as unjust and bloody, and Scripture:

For 1. Whatsoever involves a contradiction in the Old Testament, involves a contradiction in the New, and contra, then God's Laws in Deut. 13. Levit. 24. are contradictions to reason.

2. Then God forced the understanding and will in their elicited acts in the Old Testament as if a Wolf had given Laws, to the conscience of the false Prophet, yea, so a dog was as capable of a law as the false Prophet, being forced by stoning, both under the Old Testament, and under the New, (stones were as hard weapons as steel swords) to the Jews, as to us.

3. Stones were as unable to cut off the darkness of the mind, and unbelief, and hardness of heart, of Jews, as a steel sword can prevail with our hearts.

4. None but the spirit of God could infuse supernatural notions and truths into the mind, and will of a Seducing prophet, among the Jews, more than of an heretic among Christians, except Libertines think the Jews had no need of the spirit of grace, free will was stronger of old than now.

5. They must say a Jew might have believed at his will, or not believed, and could have commanded his conscience, which we cannot do.

6. The Law of God compelling conscience made hypocrites then, or then forced men to believe against their mind, and will, as well as now.

7. Carnal weapons then could have produced spiritual repentance, faith, and obedience, but steel hath lost its spiritual virtue now; but sure though the Jews administration was rough, servile, and harder, and ours under Christ, milder, sweeter, and easier, Gal. 4. 7. yet were these Laws of Moses righteous, but are not made milder, as Socinians say, the will and understanding were not then compelled to obedience, but now led with persuasions, and reasons; but since the creation of the world to this day, the understanding and will, keep ever their natural way of working.

8. And that which our Savior calleth the Law and the Prophets, Mat. 7. 12. All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; was the Law of Nature, and the Moral Law, and the doctrine of the Prophets in the time of Moses, and in the Kingdom of the Messiah, though Libertines put a false gloss on it, for I would not that others should punish me, if I murder, steal, speak lies in the name of the Lord, though if I had authority, I should will to punish others, that are guilty of these crimes, for so they expound it; now if we should not will to punish others, for their conscience under the New Testament; neither should the godly Magistrate in Moses' and David's days will to punish others for their conscience; and if we should not will to rebuke and excommunicate heretics now: neither ought the godly Jews to will to do the same to others, because of old, men did not will to be punished with the Sword, rebuked, or excommunicated for their conscience.

9. It was no less unlawful for a Judge in Israel, to domineer and tyrannize over the conscience of a false Prophet, a Priest of Baal, Dagon, and to answer the arguments subverting the doctrine of Moses' Law so shining with Divinity, Majesty, and the Wisdom of God, with the bloody sword, and throwing of stones, than it is for the Christian Magistrate to labour to convert, the false Prophet now, by a Sword, or an Axe domineering over his conscience, so rendering him a Lamb, disputing and trembling under the paw of the Lion. And whatever arguments Libertines draw, for pretended toleration from the Law of Nature, making punishing for conscience contradictory to the light of Nature, must infer that the Judicial Law of Moses for punishing false Prophets, was not only beside, but contradictory to the Law of Nature, which were a wronging of the wisdom of God, and of the perfection of all his Laws.

Nor shall it help the matter to say, the Law of punishing the false Prophet, Deut. 13. &c. was only to be executed on such a man; as, 1. sinned against his conscience, shewing him that to say other Gods, beside the God that made the heaven and the earth, were to be adored and worshipped, was repugnant to the light of Nature. 2. And on such as the infallible oracle of God fell and blacked as a heart-blasphemer, and to punish such a seducer, was not to compel understanding and will, nor to force the conscience, nor to make stoning, and the sword of steel, the carnal weapons that produce spiritual repentance, because there was foregoing conviction from the light of Nature persuading the man, or which might have persuaded him that his blasphemy was against Nature; whereas ye will have the godly punished merely by the Magistrate, because he cannot command his mind and conscience, to be of the Magistrate's Religion, which he judgeth in his conscience, to be a false, superstitious, and Idolatrous way; for this contains many uncertainties and lies: For death was to be inflicted, not on those only that sinned against the Law of Nature, but 2 Chron. 15. 13. Whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel, was put to death, small or great, man or woman; now the seeking of the Lord God of Israel, was to serve him, according to the rule revealed, in the supernatural, spiritual and holy Law of God contained in Moses his Books. This I judge was some higher, than the Law of Nature. 2. Let us put Libertines to make this good, that those who said, the golden calves, were the gods that brought them out of Egypt, and adored them, and were therefore put to death, Exod. 32. (since our Divines prove from the place, that they made those Calves memorative objects of Jehovah only) did that against the light of their conscience, and the manifest Law of Nature. What if God had made Calves and Bullocks to represent God, as there were Bullocks in the Temple, and the sacrificed Bullocks were all types of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself to God? And what if the Lord should command to adore himself before those Bullocks, as he commanded to pray to him before the Ark, and the face toward the Temple? I conceive Libertines shall have to do with the bottom of their wits, to bring arguments from the Law of Nature, to prove, that every false instituted worship, punished by the Sword of old, was against the Law of Nature, and that the Seducers, were convinced in their conscience it was so. 2. If there was an infallible Oracle to back the false Prophet, why was he judged Deut. 17. by the Law then? why must witnesses two or three, depose against him? why must the people that stone him, or concur to execute the sentence of death, against a City that will welcome and defend false Prophets, know it by report and hear-say? Deut. 13. 12. and enquire and make search, and ask diligently if the thing be truth and certain? v. 14. what need of exposition of the written Law? Deut. 17. 11. what need of witnesses? Deut. 17.6. here is shorter work, and we must be wiser than God, Libertines save all the travel, an immediate Oracle from heaven is both the Judge, witness, party, and all, and infallibly saith, this man hath prophesied falsely in the name of the Lord, good people rise and stone him, Judge, you need no witness, behold a witness from heaven: what needed the Priests and Pharisees, trouble themselves to seek witnesses against Christ? Mr. Goodwin and others are of the mind, Caiaphas, Priest and Prophet, could have given a word from heaven, whether he was a blasphemer or not. But a prophet of God being infallible, might have infallibly informed them, if the man were a false Prophet. Yea but what shall be done when the Priest and Prophet of God himself is called in question? shall he ask the Oracle, whether he himself be the false Prophet or no?

3. This answer lays ground, that the Jews might know the false Prophet, and punish him, but under the New Testament, we may sufficiently know him, so as we may try him, not believe him, not bid him God speed, eschew and avoid him, and rebuke and excommunicate him, as many Libertines grant.

4. As the Jewish Judge did not domineer over the conscience, nor compel understanding, and will, because conviction, by a clear Law of God went before; so say we upon the same ground, we hold none under the New Testament to be punished by the Sword for false doctrine, but he that is admonished, convicted, and self-condemned, Tit. 3.10. But your Arguments for Presbytery, and against Toleration, cannot convert us (say they.)

I answer, nor could Paul's Arguments that convicted Sergius, convict Elymas actu secundo, God must do that, who only hath the key of the heart; nor could Gospel-arguments that convinced many, that the resurrection was not passed, convince Hymeneus, Phyletus, Alexander, actu secundo. Therefore Paul might not deliver them to Satan? nor is excommunication, being a mere punishment, an argument to prove that the resurrection is not passed, any other way than the sword or banishment, both of them are compelling and penal arguments, the one spiritual, the other corporal, but both work co-actively as evils of punishment, and privations of comfort, neither of them give light to this conclusion. The Resurrection is not past; for these two have both alike inconsequences logical. The Church will excommunication you; Ergo, believe not that the Resurrection is past. And the Christian Magistrate will punish you; Ergo, believe not that the Resurrection is not past. There must either be other arguments to sway the conscience to the faith of this, That the Resurrection is not past, than either sword or excommunication; or these cannot work nor settle the conscience. As Christ is risen, in his body, from the dead; Ergo, his members that are sleeping in the dust must rise. God is the God of Abraham, who is dead and buried; Ergo, Abraham and the dead must rise again. This I observe, to prove that those arguments of Libertines, at least, for the most part, that they bring against punishing of false Prophets, with the Sword, do also conclude against all Church-censures, and excommunication; and the truth is, we are not warranted to gain the Jews, the Indians, the Papists over-sea to the truth, either by the sword, or by excommunicating and delivering them to Satan, for we cannot judge those that are without.

But to return to all those kind of Argumentations that Libertines bring against opinions, from the nature of opinion, faith, persuasion, which are all internal acts of the mind, which neither Church nor Magistrate can punish; they are nothing against our conclusion who maintain, that publishing and teaching, and professing of erroneous and false Doctrines are punishable by the Magistrate, for external acts that come from mere Conscience, as the sacrificing of innocent children to God, by all the Arguments we hear are not punishable by the Magistrate, for sure the Magistrates punishing of unlawful practices coming from mere Conscience, do no less force the Conscience and domineer over it, than when he punisheth erroneous opinions, and therefore the Bounder draweth the question to acts, and facts external, as he saith, the Magistrate may punish Polytheism, and Atheists, worshipping of Images, and of the breaden God, blasphemy, for these (saith he) fight against the light of nature, but if you judge only professed opinions against the light of nature, not against the Gospel punishable, because we may be freewill master professed opinions against nature, but we cannot master opinions against the supernatural truths of the Gospel, these require supernatural grace, then, good masters, why do you rebuke errors against the Gospel, more than you can punish them? for what is of its own nature not rebukeable is not punishable; and what is unpunishable, as being above our nature is not rebukable, and falleth not under exhortation, as we cannot exhort, rebuke, or punish a stone because it descendeth, or fire because it ascendeth.

But the Papist saith, nay, but they fight not against the light of nature, for to adore Christ under the accidents of bread is my conscience; and indeed Doctor Taylor saith, you must believe it is his conscience, and realities and pretences are all one here, though he contradict himself and in another place say, that some blasphemies are punishable by the Magistrate: But Libertines are builders of Babel, and almost as many Heads, so many sundry opinions. Mr. Williams goes one way, Mr. Goodwin another, the Bounder a third way. John Baptist a fourth way, Doctor Taylor a fifth way, the Belgic Arminians a sixth way. None of them please Mr. Jeremiah Burroughes, nor Mr. Philip Nye, yea and Mr. Sadr. Simpson is as gross as any of them, so Socinians have a way of their own, Anabaptists another way, Seekers and Familists, as Saltmarsh a far different way. Mr. Oliver Cromwell calls all Religions things of the mind. Vaticanus tells us, fi Deum negent, si blasphemant, fi palam de sanct a Christianorum doctrina maledicunt, (quo crimine reus est ipse Castalio) si sanctam piorum vitam detestantur, cos ego relingquo Magistratibus puniendos, non propter religionem, quam nullam habent, sed propter irreligionem.

But the Bounder and Castalio must be bloody persecutors by this. For 1. What the Magistrate calleth truth, and godly doctrine, that these men, whom the Bounder and Castalio call Atheists, judge in their conscience to be Idolatry and Blasphemy? and if ye kill a man because he speaks as he thinketh, ye kill him for the truth, for it is truth to speak what ye think for the 15th Psalm pronounceth him blessed who speaks truly what is in his heart. But Castalio may read righter if he please, and he is blessed who speaketh truth not falsely from his heart, nor doth the Psalmist speak of the doctrine of truth, so as he should bless Mattan and Pashur or any false Prophet, or the King of Assyria, because he saith, No God can deliver out of the hand of that Tyrant, but the God of the Assyrians, for so I conceive he thinketh, when he relates what false experiences he had of that Bastard God, but he speaks of truth of facts between, man and man, Psal. 15. in speaking whereof there may be invincible and so excusable error, whereas men sin grievously in false apprehensions of God's truth, when as God reveals himself sufficiently to us in his works and word; but thus do Libertines leave the first simple apprehensions of the mind because they are natural, not under the stroke of free-will, free from all Law and guiltiness; so as the Egyptians sin not in apprehending the Godhead to be a Cow, the Persians to be fire, or the Sun, Israel to be a Calf, the Philistines to be a fish; for certain it is all idolaters who worship the God that made the Heavens and the earth, ignorantly, Acts. 17. in the creature, or in the works of men's hands, should have by this way no sinful, nor unlawful apprehensions of God, when shamefully they apprehend the Creator of the world to be a Beast. 2. They must be blessed then and speak truth, from their heart, by the Exposition that Vaticanus putteth upon Psal. 15. who say that God is a cow, a calf, a fish, why: because their erroneous conscience dictateth so to them. But why should they be punished then who blaspheme, commit Idolatry? for it is the conscience, and the mere conscience of Baal's Priests to speak of God, and worship him as they do, they had rather die as not do that which you call Blasphemy; and 1. It is not in their will to think what they will. 2. Will ye compel their consciences with the Sword, &c. Answer your own arguments Libertines.

10. Object. Is not this Babel's confusion to punish corporal or civil offences, with spiritual or Church censures, or spiritual offences, with corporal or temporal weapons? Bloody Tenet.

Answ. To inflict bodily punishment for Sorcery, makes not the Magistrate a Church-officer, as he fondly fancies, all sins against God, who is a Spirit, or spiritual: and by this reason the Church of Thyatira, should not censure the fornication of Jezabel and her followers; nor the Corinthians the Incestuous man with excommunication, which is a corporal offence to speak so, contrary to 1 Cor. 5. whereas all public sins as sins against God, are punished by him, with bodily and spiritual plagues, as it pleaseth him.

2. These same sins as they are scandals, that offend the Church, are punished with Church-censures.

3. These same as they disturb the peace of the State, do also deserve to be punished by the sword; though I take not on me to determine curiously whether the Magistrate punisheth sins formally, under the reduplication, as they trouble the peace of the State, or as they dishonor God the highest Judge, it may be there is something of both in this reduplication.

. These same sins are rebuked by private Professors, as they are stumbling blocks to them, Hos. 2. 1. plead with your mother; neither is it against the nature of persuasion to be drawn to means of sound believing by men's Laws, as I observed before from Augustine, for fear of punishment may cause men to hear the word of truth which otherwise they would never have heard, Epis. ad Vincen. 48. Alii dicant, nesciebamus sit esse veritatem, nee cam discere volebamus, sed nos ad cam cognos cendam metus fecit intentos, quo timuimus ne forte sine ullis rerum aeternarum lucris, damno rerum eternarum feriremur, gratiasdomino qui negligentiam nostram stimulo terroris, excessive ut saltem soliciti quereremus, quod securi nunquam nosse curavimus.

11. Object. What if the Magistrate in punishing heresy, differ from the Church, and strike with the sword, for that which the Church thinks no heresy? what shall the Church do then? and what if the Church judge that to be heresy, and exhort the Magistrate to punish that as heresy, which the Magistrate in his conscience, judgeth to be no heresy? What shall then the Magistrate do?

Answ. Though there be reciprocation of subordinations, that the Magistrate in an Ecclesiastic way be subject to the Church power, yet not to an abused Church power, and the Church in a Civil way be subject to the Magistrate's power, yet not to the Magistrate's power tyrannically used, but to the power that is from God, and as used for God, and common justice in the one Court, and the word of God in the other, is supreme Empire & judge that either must follow.

12. Object. Did not the people of Israel suffer the Gentiles to stay in their land, and enjoy their own Religion without troubling of them?

Answ. It is like they did, but if they did right in tolerating Idolatry, for which the land spewed out the inhabitants, is a question.

2. They might 1. Suffer them till they were first instructed, and then convinced, that Religion might not be forced on them. 2. They could not suffer them in that land to blaspheme the God of Israel, lest a common guilt should fall upon all, Joshua 22. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. 3. Since the people were never to partake of other men's sins, they were to argue against them, and rebuke them, and endeavor the gaining of their souls.

13. Obj. The Elect cannot finally and totally fall away from Grace, and perish, as the Scripture saith, Jon. 6. 37. &c. Why then should we be so fondly jealous, lest the people of God should be carried away with every wind of doctrine, as to suppress each opinion supposed to be erroneous, so as to run the hazard of silencing the most saving truths, of putting to death God's dearest Saints, reducing souls to such a posture, as if we be in ignorance and error, we must be incapable of ever coming out of either.

Answ. A foolish argument without head or foot. 1.We are to be afraid of every sin, our Lord hath bidden us beware of, though the Elect cannot perish, since he that chooseth to the end, chooseth to the means, and to both immutably and irrevocably without shadow or change, else this argument will prove, we need not be afraid to whore, murder, oppress, or the most heinous transgressions, for these sins cannot more prejudge the chosen of their state of grace, and certainty of glory, than being carried about with every wind of doctrine, and unsound opinions continued in and published to pervert others, do argue that we are of the number of those, that are ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the truth, 2. Tim. 3. 7. and are unstable and unlearned, perverting the Scripture to our own destruction, 2 Pet. 3. 16. given over to strong delusions to believe a lie, 2 Thess. 2. and damned for not believing the truth, v. 11, 12. the heart not being stablished by grace, Heb. 13. 9. like children tossed too and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the slight of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, not speaking, and not professing the truth in love, that so we may grow up in Christ, even in him, in all things, which is the head, Eph. 4. 14, 15. All which prove that to be finally seduced, is a certain mark of reprobation, as Matth. 24. 23, 24. 2. Tim. 2. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. and the Spirit that teacheth us that we are not to be afraid of falling from the state of grace and salvation, though we fall in such sins as the spirit of Antichrist, wantonness, who abuse the doctrine of election of grace.

2. He makes God to bring us into an inevitable necessity of either being carried about with every wind of doctrine to believe lies; or then run the hazard of losing most saving truths, and of putting to death God's most dearest Saints. But what warrant hath he, thus to make God the author of sin? or to teach that divine providence doth lead us into an inextricable perplexity and necessity of sinning, so that whether we do this, or not do it, we must sin.

3. What Scripture maketh the believing of lies, a certain hazard of losing most saving truths? Is there no way of coming to the knowledge of the truth, and the sparing of the lives of God's most dear Saints, but by believing truths which may be lies, and corrupt doctrine, a word that eateth like a canker? Is there no way to come to God's harbor, but by sailing in the Devil's boat? sure this is no way of God's devising, but of Satan's forging.

4. Is then cursed Toleration a way to spare the blood of the Saints, and not resisting the blessed Spirit in them, then we cannot punish heretics and men of corrupt minds, but we are in hazard to resist the Saints, and kill the Spirit in them; then when the Holy Ghost forbids us to believe false Christs, Matth. 24. which is a resisting of their spirit, we know not, but he bids us believe the word of truth in God's dearest Saints, since for any knowledge we can have, not to believe these false Christs, it may be they are God's dearest Saints, whose words we refuse to believe, then in one and the same Commandment of Christ, which is believe them not, he bids us believe their word, and resist not the Spirit of truth in God's dearest Saints, and when Tit. 3. 18. he forbids us to keep company with an heretic, but avoid him, and 2 John 10. receive not an impostor into your house, he bids us run the hazard of avoiding a Saint, and of refusing to lodge in your house God's dear child.

5. What if God's dearest Saints believe and publish an heresy, and the doctrine of Familism, then they are to be pardoned, because they are dear Saints. But let Libertines answer the Query, why should Indulgence and Toleration be yielded to a Saint that, speaks lies in the name of the Lord, more than to a wicked man who also doth prophesy lies? if both may fall in the same heresy with the like pertinancy for a time, if we be not respecters of persons, they no less deserve both to be punished, than when both commit adultery and murder. 2. Why lying of God and speaking words that eat like a gangrene, and believing a lie deserveth rather an indulgence in a Saint, than murdering whoring, oppressing. And why, but we may tolerate all the Saints, because they are Saints, as well as some sin no less, yea more dangerous, than these that are not to be tolerated, for to infect the flock with lying doctrine is more hurtful to the Church, than the example of adultery or murder in a Saint, if toleration of all ways, and liberty of professing or publishing whatever tenets or doctrines seem good to a man in his own eyes, though to the perverting of the faith of many, be a means of finding out many precious truths, as Libertines say, then hath God commanded all men to speak all kind of lies, against God, his Son Christ, heaven, hell, the resurrection, the last judgment, the immortality of the soul, though most pernicious to souls; for God commandeth all means of finding out truth, for it cannot be said he commands all lawful means, for Libertines hold that to profess and publish what the most erroneous conscience dictates to be the truth of God, though it be black heresy, is to speak the truth as an Indweller in the Lord's holy hill, Psal. 15. so saith Vaticanus and all the Libertines who make the conscience right or erroneous, the rule of the Christian man's walking, not the word of God, and in so doing the Lord must by the Libertines doctrine command men to speak lies in the Name of the Lord, and must command Heretics and Saints to pervert the souls and the faith of one another, and make one another children of perdition, and not spare the flock, but devour and hunt souls, and so shall the Lord command sin. 6. How doth non-toleration and liberty of believing every spirit seeming to us to be of God bring men in a posture of incapability of being delivered from error and ignorance? the word never maketh a liberty to believe lies, a way to be delivered from error. The way to be delivered from error is to be humble and fear God and he shall teach us his ways, Psal. 25. 9. 14. John 7. 17. 2. Thess. 2. 11, 12.

Baptist ibid. God will have the means used by every man according to his own light and knowledge that he may be fully persuaded in his own conscience, and no man knows God's cabinet counsel, Ergo, We cannot be competent judges of other men's consciences who are Heretics who not.

Answ. God will have the means used by every man according to his own light. I distinguish according to his own light and conscience, as a necessary condition that must be in all right judging, it is most true, for he sins grievously who in judging goeth contrary to the indictment of his own conscience, and so God will have the means used by every man according to his own light and conscience, as his obliging rule which layeth a law and a tie upon him to believe and profess that is most false, for the word of God not every man's conscience is the obliging rule of his actions as is proved. 2. The conclusion is most false, for though we are not to judge who are elect and who reprobate, because we are not upon God's Cabinet counsel, yet do we not intrude upon God's secrets to judge who is an Heretic or a false Teacher, or who sound in the faith by his doctrine examined by the law and the Testimony, for how can God say, Beware of the false Prophet, Matth. 7. 15. if it were arrogance and an intruding upon God's Cabinet counsel to judge a false Prophet by his doctrine to be a false Prophet? how can we avoid an Heretic more than a Saint, if we may not lawfully judge an heretic to be an Heretic?

Obj. 14. The Holy Ghost not only foresaw there would, but determines there must be heresies, and its expedient for the exercise of love, and the discovery of truth, and the Professors thereof; are not Errors as well as afflictions a part of Christ's discipline? then let it have its perfect work till it be cured by its proper remedy the sword of the Spirit; Its not said there must be murderers, as it is said there must be Heresies. Some seem so to be in love with new opinions as they extol them, one, a very worthy Preacher saith, variety of faces is not an affliction, but matter of much admiration to behold. So variety of judgments simply considered is not a grief, but a glory to me to behold, when one spirit of grace and heavenliness is in them all, for I count it a gloss of God's own making wherein to behold his manifold wisdom.

Answ. 1. There is no question but God hath wise and noble ends why he permits Heresies, but we no more can Orthodoxly say, That God determines Heresies, then that God determines that sin must be, for Heresies are sins; now we say not soundly, That God determines or decrees sins shall be sine adjecto, he determines to permit sin. 2. God determines Heresies must be, so he determines that murders, adulteries, oppressions must be: it then shall follow the Christian Magistrate by this Argument does tolerate murders, oppressions, as he tolerates heresies, but the conclusion is gross, because Heresies are the Church's affliction (and so are bloods and oppressions of the Saints) shall then Christian Magistrates tolerate all the bloods and oppressions that the Saints suffer?

3. The Apostle saith, Heresies must be, our Savior saith more of offences and sins in general, Matth. 18. 7. and Luke saith more. chap. 17. 1. Its needful scandals shall come, and its impossible but scandals must fall out, then all the murders, parricides, sorceries, rapines, for the which Christ saith, there is a woe befalling the world, fall out by necessity of a divine working decree, yea the crucifying of the Lord of glory came to pass, Acts. 2. 23. by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, Acts 3. 28. but yet the Magistrate is not to tolerate the shedding of innocent blood, and all the offences that fall out in the Common-wealth though never so bloody and atrocious. 2. Variety of judgments, was no question a grief to Paul, when he so pathetically exhorteth the Philippians to fulfill his joy, and remove his grief, and to be of one accord, and one mind, Phil. 2. 2. 2 Cor.13. 11. Be of one mind, 1 Cor. 1. 10. I beseech you be joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment, Heresies no question and errors in matters of God are not free, nor can there be one spirit of grace and heavenliness in Arrius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutiches, no more than there can be one spirit of grace in sin, nor see we a gloss of God's manifold wisdom in many sundry fantastic opinions teaching God and his son Christ, it is a spotted and broken glass; and he might say variety of sins are the expressions of God's infinite wisdom, for the scripture calls Heresies works of the flesh, doctrines of devils, gangrenes, lies, delusions, corruptions of the mind, perverse disputing, deceits, perverse things, dreams of their own heads, false dreams, vain and foolish things, false burdens which cannot be spoken of opinions in Philosophy, and so these windmills and midnight fancies being the brats and the dunghill conceptions of men's corrupt head and heart, must be contrary to that wisdom expressed in the word, 1 Cor. 2. 6. Deut. 4. 6. Psal. 37. 30. and they may be for the declaration of the wisdom of God as for the final cause, but nothing from the wisdom of God formally, being themselves mere fools.

Object. 15. If the Magistrate be above the Church and Head thereof, and to judge their matters, and if he have his power from the people (to govern the Church) will it not follow that the peopleas the people have originally, as men, a power to govern the Church to see her do her duty, to reform and correct her?

Answ. Though the Magistrate punish false Teachers by the Sword, he is not for that a Church governor, far less the head of the Church, no more than he is the head of the Church, because he defends them against their persecuting enemies, and by his sword procureth civil peace and protection to their assemblies, persons and estates; for doing any thing in favor of the Church doth not make Cyrus, Artaxerxes, Darius, spiritual Officers, and give them a headship over the Church. 2. The Christian Magistrate having power from the peoples free election to employ his sword for the external peace of the Church, hath not therefore power of governing the Church from the people. 1. Because the civil using of the sword for the outward peace of the Church, is not a governing of the Church, but the civil external and corporal shielding of them. 2. It no more followeth that the people as men have the ruling of the Church, because they chose a godly Magistrate to watch over their external peace than the people as Christians can be said to have a power to preach the word and administer the Sacraments or Seals of the covenant, because the people as Christian men choose ministers who have power from Christ to preach and administer the Seals, for to choose a governor to rule over them is no act of government, no more than the wives choosing of the Husband to be her head, and govern the family is an act of the Headship and governing of the Family; nor do the people in choosing a King, exercise an act of royal and kingly power over themselves by such an act of choosing; nor doth an Army in choosing a Captain General over themselves, in so doing exercise any act of a Captain General over themselves. 3. Neither do the people as men, but as Christian men walking by the rule of the Word (which is a catholic directory to all men and all societies in all moral duties, Psalm 119.9, 96, 105, 130. Psalm 19.7, 8, 9) choose such and such Christian Rulers who may procure the good of the Church and keep and guard both Tables of the Law, for the word of God giveth direction to the people, that they should not as men or as Heathens choose any sort of Rulers, but godly men fearing God, and such Kings as read in the Book of the Law when they sit upon the Throne, Deut. 11. c. 17. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Exod. 18. 21. Nor is it true, which Vaticanus replies to Calvin, thefts, rapines, and adulteries are punished by the Magistrate, not to make up the Kingdom of Christ, and to justify men and make them godly as we say, and Calvin saith, the Magistrate punisheth Heretics. For where doth Augustine say that the Magistrate punisheth Seducers to convert them to God, as if the intrinsic end of the Magistrate were to conquer a spiritual Kingdom to Christ? Calvin saith the just contrary in that same place, verum quidem esse fatear neque vi armata erectum ab initio fuisse regnum Christi, neque armorum presidio stare, Evangelii enim predicatione regnare Christum oportet. Itaque Dominus quo illustrior esset vocis sua efficacia, nudos & inermes misis Apostolos, nec modo destitui voluit terrena potentia, sed totum fers mundum habere infestum, ut calcstem esse Evangelii victoriam omnibus constaret.

Obj. 16. But the Apostles sought not Laws from the Emperors, by which Heretics might be compelled to embrace the sound faith?

Answ. Gandentius a Donatist Bishop objected the same to Augustine, and Augustine answers, Because Emperors were enemies to Christian Religion, therefore Christians sought not their help.

Obj. 17. But the particulars of your directory of worship are not in Scripture, how then can the Magistrate punish for not following the Directory?

Answ. That there should be prayers, preaching, reading, praising of God, Sacraments in the public worship, is evident by the Scripture, but for the ordering of these worships secundum prius & posterius the words of prayer (so they be according to the pattern of sound doctrine) the Preface of the Directory is clear, that no man is therein to be compelled, though to transgress the Holy Ghost's express order in the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and to break bread and eat first, and that before any of the words of Institution be mentioned, or any blessing of the Elements, must be a manifest breach of the Directory of Jesus Christ which sure holdeth forth to us a twofold ordering of acts of worship, one divine, which we must peremptorily follow, another prudential and human in circumstances which concern both the worship of God and civil Assemblies, as time, place, persons, & c. and in the latter we are no further to be commanded in point of uniformity than the general rules of the word lead us; and compulsion, where God hath no compelling commandment going before in an exact uniformity, we utterly disclaim, nor can men, or Church, or all the Assemblies on earth make laws in matters of God's worship, where the Supreme Lawgiver hath made none, and the Preface of the Directory is so clear in this, that we trust we shall quickly agree with the godly and sound in judgment in this.

Obj. 18. But whether were it not better that a Patent were granted to Monopolize all the corn and cloth, and to have it measured out to us at men's price and pleasure (which yet were intolerable) as some men, and Synods do appoint and measure out to us what, and how much we shall believe and practice in matters of religion, and whether there be not the same reason that Presbyterians and the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, should be appointed by us (Sectaries) what they shall believe and practice in Religion, as for them to do so to us, seeing we can give as good grounds, for what we believe and practice, as they can do for what they would have, if not better?

Answ. It were indeed better that all the corn and cloth were monopolized to be measured out at the pleasure of men, than that truth should be monopolized and measured out at the pleasure of men, speaking what pleases them without all warrant of the word of God, and allege only men's mere authority or rather lust, and commanding men without trying the Spirits and doctrines by the Scriptures, as the Bereans tried Paul's doctrine, Acts 17. Peremptorily to believe and practice, what they appoint under pain of the Sword, this sort of monopolizing either corn or truth, our witness is in heaven, we detest and refuse; But of monopolizing and appointing what truth men should believe, by an authoritative, ministerial and official holding out of truth in the name of Christ, and from the word of truth, in a way of leading the consciences by persuading from strength of light, by the Law and the Testimony, and exhorting all men in the Lord to try the Spirits; examine by the word, not what men, but the Ambassadors of Christ say and teach, not from themselves, but from the will and commandment of him that sent them, then must they give an account to God, who call this monopolizing of the truth, and measuring it out at the pleasure of men, when as the preaching of the word, being instant in season, & out of season, reproving, rebuking, exhorting with all long-suffering and doctrine, 2 Tim. 4. 2. should to be a monopolizing of the truth, and a measuring of it out at the pleasure of men, in regard that Christ saith Matth. 10. 40. He that receiveth you, receiveth me, Joh. 13. 20. and Luke 10. 16. He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you, despiseth me, and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me. And Matth. 10. 14. Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of the house or City, shake off the dust off your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be easier for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment then for that City: Which words are spoken of all the faithful Ministers of Christ to the end of the world, Matth. 28. 19, 20. so they speak according to the commission given them by the Lord speaking in his word, whether they declare the mind of Christ in a pulpit or Synod. This way Ministers who hear the Word at God's mouth, Ezek. 3. 10. and deliver the whole counsel of God, Acts 20. 27. and keep nothing back as faithful Ambassadors and Stewards ought ministerially to declare and appoint what, and how much, we shall believe and practice in matters of religion, but not as Monopolizers. 3. Suppose Sectaries could teach the Ministers of the Assembly, as well as the Ministers can teach them, yet is there more reason that Ministers should Synodically teach than they; for a teaching Ministry is an ordinance of Christ in the New Testament, as is clear by these places which hold forth that Christ is present with his faithful Ministers to the end of the world, John 20. 21, 22. Matth. 28. 19. Eph. 4. 11, 12, 13. and 2 Tim. 4. 1, 2. compared with Matth. 28. 19, 20. Eph. 4. 11, 12, 13, Matth. 10. 14. v. 40. Luke 10. 14. John 15. 20. 1 Tim. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Rom. 10. 14, 15, 16. Hebr. 5. 4. and 13. 17. Tit. 1. 7, 8, 9. 1 Thes. 4. 12, 13. Rev. 2. 1, 2. &c. and 3. 1, 2, &c. and howbeit the word of God as the word doth equally tie the conscience in regard of that objective obligation that it hath from God, not from men, whoever spake it, whether Ministers or private Christians, yet it layeth two bands on the conscience when Ministers declare the will of God to people, the one is official, for by the fifth commandment, the messengers of the Lord of Hosts are to be heard, reverenced, and received in their calling, otherwise we despise Christ: The other is an objective obligation and a band which it layeth on the conscience, by the second Commandment in regard it is the Word of God not of men, 1 Thes. 2. 13. But when private Christians speak the word of the Lord in their station, the word from them layeth on only the latter obligation, not the former; and it is false, That private men have as good grounds to appoint what Ministers should believe and practice, as ministers have to appoint what they should believe and practice; for private Christians want the Ministerial grounds which Ministers called of God have, to teach and exhort in the Name of the Lord.

4. It may be private men may see more truth than Ministers, when night and darkness, instead of vision, covereth the Prophets, but hence it followeth not, that seeing and called watchmen should not ministerially appoint and hold forth by their office, what private Christians should believe and practice in matters of Religion.

5. Libertines aim at this, The truth is monopolized to no one man, nor certain kind of men, ministers or others. What then? Ergo, it is truth what every man in his conscience believes to be truth, and he that believes & practices what in conscience he believes to be truth, he believes and practices according to the word of God, and is not to be controlled nor contradicted, nor compelled by sword or censures, for let it be most false in itself, yet it is to him Truth, and if you persecute him, he suffereth for the truth, for the Gospel, for righteousness sake, and the Ministers have no more to do to labour to recall and gain him from his opinions to the truth, than he hath to labour to gain Ministers from their opinion.

Hence I argue, whatever opinion maketh every man's dictate of his conscience the true word of God, and as many Bibles, divers and contrary Gospels and words of God, and contrary rules of faith and practices, as there be divers opinions, fancies, dictates, and apprehensions of conscience, is a Godless and Atheistical way. But such is this opinion of Liberty of Conscience and Toleration, Ergo, &c.

The Proposition is undoubtedly true, there being but one Gospel, one Faith, one truth, as there is but one Christ, and one Lord, Ephes. 4, 5. and the Scripture hath but one sense, that is true, and the ground of faith, otherwise this (There is but one God to us) should have one sense to the Treithites, to wit, There be three Gods, because three persons, it should have a contrary sense to another: To us there is but one God in nature and essence, and yet both should be the same truth, to each man, as he apprehends.

The Assumption is manifest to those that will see, by the grounds of Libertines, because to every man, that is the word of God which he fancies to be the Word of God; for otherwise, the truth should be monopolized to one, or some few persons, and this is the sense of the word of God, and so the very Gospel and truth which this man believeth, and if you punish him for it, the man suffers for the Truth and for the word of God, and if his neighbour believe the contrary, that is to him the Word of God, and if you punish him for it, the man suffers for the word of God also, and there be two contrary Gospels, and sundry truths, and if there be two, there may be two and twenty Bibles, and contrary truths, and so we have not the Old, and New Testament, but the letters of it, and as many senses, by this, there be of Scriptures as many Bibles, and as many sundry heads and various opinions of men. Hence liberty of prophesying is lawful, and so liberty of Faiths, of contrary Bibles; and from this it is, that which tends to unity of faith, as one Confession of faith, or uniformity of belief is mocked by these men, and everyone that suffereth for his supposed truth, is persecuted for the Word of God, and so blessed ,because persecuted for the Truth, and if blessed, as our Savior meaneth, Matth. 5. v. 11, 12. They have a great reward in Heaven, for so they expound the place, Matth. 5. 11, 12. All men then, are saved in their own Religion, and to be rooted and grounded in the truth, is common to all Sects and Heretics, and it is to be rooted and grounded in opinions such as every man shall fancy to be truth, and not to be moved from the truth, is not to be moved from opinions, and not to be carried about with every wind of doctrine, is to adhere with pertinacity to opinions, were it Arrianism, Manichism, and if so, all Religions are alike safe, and all Sects, Saints, and all Heretics because they follow their erroneous consciences are innocent, godly, grounded on Truth.

Neither needeth Mr. Williams to prove that the place Rom. 13. is meant of the duties, not of the first, but of the second Table of the Law, which we grant with Calvin and Beza; but it followeth not, That the Magistrate's punishing of ill doers, and so of seducing Teachers, is excluded, for that punishing is a duty of the second Table of the Law, though the Object be spiritual, as sorcery is against the first Commandment, and punished as ill doing, Rom. 13. though sorcery be a sin formally against the first Table of the Law, and why should the Magistrate punish one sin against the first Table, and not all, in so far, as they are against the peace, and safety of human Societies?

F I N I S.







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