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From the confluence of all their errors, mischiefs, and misdemeanors, what in the eyes of men could be expected, but what befell those ancient inhabitants, whom they so much resembled, confusion in the end?

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OF TRUE RELIGION, HERESY, SCHISM,

TOLERATION.

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RUE religion is the true worship and service of God, learned and believed from the word of God only. No man

or angel can know how God would be worshipped and served unless God reveal it: he hath revealed and taught it us in the Holy Scriptures by inspired ministers, and in the Gospel by his own Son and his Apostles, with strictest command, to reject all other traditions or additions whatsoever.

With good and religious reason, therefore, all Protestant churches with one consent, and particularly the Church of England in her thirty-nine articles, article 6th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and elsewhere, maintain these two points, as the main principles of true religion, — that the rule of true religion is the word of God only; and that their faith ought not to be an implicit faith, that is, to believe, though as the Church believes, against or without express authority of Scripture. And if

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all Protestants, as universally as they hold these two principles, so attentively and religiously would observe them, they would avoid and cut off many debates and contentions, schisms and persecutions, which too oft have been among them, and more firmly unite against the common adversary. For hence it directly follows, that no true Protestant can persecute, or not tolerate, his fellow-Protestant, though dissenting from him in some opinions, but he must flatly deny and renounce these two his own main principles, whereon true religion is founded; while he compels his brother from that which he believes as the manifest word of God, to an implicit faith (which he himself condemns) to the endangering of his brother's soul, whether by rash belief, or outward conformity: for “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

Let us now inquire whether Popery be tolerable or no. Popery is a double thing to deal with, and claims a twofold power, ecclesiastical and political, both usurped, and the one supporting the other.

But, ecclesiastical is ever pretended to political. The pope by this mixed faculty pretends right, to kingdoms and states, and especially to this of England, thrones and unthrones kings, and absolves the people from their obedience to them ; sometimes interdicts to whole nations the public worship of God, shutting up their churches : and was wont to drain away greatest part of the wealth of this then miserable land, as part of his patrimony, to

maintain the pride and luxury of his court and prelates; and now, since, through the infinite mercy and favor of God, we have shaken off his Babylonish yoke, hath not ceased by his spies and agents, bulls and emissaries, once to destroy both king and Parliament; perpetually to seduce, corrupt, and pervert as many as they can of the people. Whether therefore it be fit or reasonable to tolerate men thus principled in religion towards the state, I submit it to the consideration of all magistrates, who are best able to provide for their own and the public safety. As for tolerating the exercise of their religion, supposing their stateactivities not to be dangerous, I answer, that toleration is either public or private; and the exercise of their religion, as far as it is idolatrous, can be tolerated neither way: not publicly, without grievous and unsufferable scandal given to all conscientious beholders ; not privately, without great offence to God, declared against all kind of idolatry, though secret. Ezek. viï. 7, 8.

Having shown thus, that Popery, as being idolatrous, is not to be tolerated either in public or private; it must be now thought how to remove it, and hinder the growth thereof, I mean in our natives, and not foreigners, privileged by the law of nations. Are we to punish them by corporal punishment, or fines in their estates, upon account of their religion? I suppose it stands not with the

clemency of the Gospel, more than what appertains to the security of the state: but first we must remove their idolatry, and all the furniture thereof, whether idols or the mass wherein they adore their God under bread and wine : for the commandment forbids to adore, not only “any graven image, but the likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down to them nor worship them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” If they say, that by removing their idols we violate their consciences, we have no warrant to regard conscience which is not grounded on Scripture: and they themselves confess, in their late defences, that they hold not their images necessary to salvation, but only as they are enjoined them by tradition.

St. Paul judged, that not only to tolerate, but to examine and prove all things, was no danger to our holding fast that which is good. How shall we prove all things, which includes all opinions at least founded on Scripture, unless we not only tolerate them, but patiently hear them, and seriously read them? If he who thinks himself in the truth professes to have learnt it, not by implicit faith, but by attentive study of the Scriptures, and full persuasion of heart, with what equity can he refuse to hear or read him who demonstrates to have gained his knowledge by the same way? Is it a fair course to assert truth, by arrogating to

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