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they were not utterly to be cast away. But if they be of those whom God hath fitted for the speciall use of these times with eminent and ample gifts, and those perhaps neither among the priests, nor among the Pharisees, and we in the haft of a precipitant zeal shall make no distinction, but resolve to stop their mouths, because we fear they come with new and dangerous opinions, as we commonly forejudge them ere we understand them, no leffe than woe to us, while thinking thus to defend the Gofpel, we are found the persecutors.
There have bin not a few since the beginning of this Parlament, both of the Presbytery and others who by their unlicen't books to the contempt of an
Imprimatur first broke that triple ice clung about our hearts, and taught the people to see day : I hope that none of those were the perswaders to renew upon us this bondage which they themselves have wrought so much good by contemning. But if neither the check that Moses gave to young Joshua, nor the countermand which our Saviour gave to young John, who was so ready to prohibit those whom he thought unlicenc't, be not anough to admonish our Elders how unacceptable to God their testy mood of prohibiting is, if neither their own remembrance what evill hath abounded in the Church by this lett of licencing, and what good they themselves have begun by transgreffing it, be
not anough, but that they will perswade, and execute the most Dominican part of the Inquisition over us, and are already with one foot in the stirrup so active at fuppressing, it would be no unequall distribution in the first place to fupprefse the suppreffors themselves;. whom the change of their condition hath puft up, more then their late experience of harder times hath made wise.
And as for regulating the Presse, let no man think to have the honour of advising ye better then your selves have done in that Order publisht next before this, that no book be Printed, unlesse the Printers and the Authors name, or at least the Printers be register'd. Those
which otherwise come forth, if they be found mischievous and libellous, the fire and the executioner will be the timeliest and the most effectuall remedy, that mans prevention can use. For this authentic Spanish policy of licencing books, if I have said ought, will prove the most unlicenc't book it felf within a fhort while ; and was the immediat image of a Star-chamber decree to that purpose made in those very times when that court did the rest of those her pious works, for which fhe is now falln from the. Starres with Lucifer. Whereby ye may guesse what kinde of State, prudence, what love of the people, what care of Religion, or good manners there was at the contriving, although with
fingular hypocrisie it pretended to bind books to their good behaviour. And how it got the upper hand of your precedent Order so well constituted before,. if we may beleeve those men whose profession gives them cause to enquire most, it may be doubted there was in it the fraud of some old patentees and monopolizers in the trade of book-selling; who under pretence of the poor in their Company not to be defrauded, and the just retaining of each man his severall copy, which God forbid should be gainsaid, brought divers glofing colours. to the House, which were indeed but. colours, and serving to no end except it be to exercise a superiority over their