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The Copy of a Narrative prepared for his Majeſty about the Year 1674. to diſtinguiſh Proteſtants from Papiſts.

THat as the buſineſs of the Chriſtian Religion is now a thing not capa­ble to be ſeparated from an Affair of State; ſo conſidered, as ſuch, it is far more difficult for a Prince to manage and regulate, than any other Affair of State whatever; and more difficult for a Proteſtant Prince to govern it, than for any other Prince, and the Reaſons are as fol­loweth.

Firſt, A Prince having the Character or Repute only of a Secular Autho­rity, hath not that immediate influence either upon Religion it ſelf, or upon Re­ligious People, which the Clergy hath; for as it is not to be expected that a Prince ſhould have that knowledge, ſo neither is it poſſible that he ſhould be any way ſo converſant in, or ſo attendant upon the Affairs, Controverſies, and Diſputes which do relate to Religion, as the Clergy themſelves may, and are: And by reaſon of this, though the Prince hath in other things never ſo great an ability of judgment, and be never ſo Abſolute or Supreme, yet he is denied the Right of this Judgment, as to the matters of Religion, in regard that this is appropriated (if it be not uſurped) ſolely to the Clergy.

Further, That the Clergy taking upon them the ſole right of Judgment in all Religious and Eccleſiaſtical Affairs, do by this means preſume their Judg­ment alone is to be received by the Prince, whenſoever they ſee it reaſonable to deſire his Authority to confirm and aſſent to ſuch things in Religion as they would have confirmed and aſſented unto, and whenſoever they on the contrary ſhall deſire his nulling and repreſſing ſuch things as they properly diſlike, and would have nulled and repreſſed by him; ſeeing all ſuch repreſentations, when at any time made by the Clergy, are not only the eaſier, but the ſooner gained by them, becauſe of the entire truſt that in the whole Affair of Reli­gion is generally committed to them by the Prince, as to perſons not only of ſuppoſed ſufficiency, but of ſuppoſed Conſcience and Integrity, and becauſe there can be no third party therefore that hath at any time a power to exa­mine the things propounded by them, or to ſift into the grounds or reaſons of them, they are the more eaſie to be gain'd alſo; becauſe of the power and in­fluence which all pretences and arguments about Religion do commonly and rationally carry with them, with reference to the Publick Peace, and to the eſtabliſhment of Piety, and to the procuring both of proſperity and of bleſ­ſing upon a Nation it ſelf; which things being generally apprehended, and be­lieved by all to be the real conſequences of Religion, as nothing therefore can render a Prince more obnoxious than the rumour of his be ng wholly ir­religious, ſo nothing doth or can render a Prince more plauſible, or to ſpeak2more properly, nothing renders a Prince more naturally grateful to the hearts, or more inwardly awful and reverend to the mind and affections of his people, than the ſuppoſition of his being Religious or Pious doth; (this being eaſie to be obſerved, not only in the Proteſtant Countries, but even in the Catho­lick Countries themſelves, and indeed in all where Religion is ſeriouſly or zea­louſly profeſſed) and therefore all Propoſitions about Religion having this advantage above all others of any kind whatſoever, no marvel if they gain a more eaſie Reception with any Government, than any other Propoſitions can, and eſpecially if offer'd by ſuch who claim the main care and charge of all things which concern Religion, and concern the welfare of it, as well as they challenge the chiefeſt knowledge and judgment about it. For theſe ſeveral reaſons therefore, and for the purchaſing and conſerving ſuch a name among his people as may become a Prince that would juſtly be accompted Pious, and for the avoiding the blemiſh and imputation of the contrary, a Prince is oft-times induced, through the inſtant requeſt and importunity of the Clergy, both to diſpence with, and yield to ſuch things, which otherwiſe if duly exa­min'd, would neither be judged ſuitable, nor perhaps conſiſtant with his Dig­nity either to do, or to grant.

So that though it be a thing for all theſe reaſons very plain, that a Prince cannot in the Affairs of Religion eaſily decline the judgment and repreſenta­tion of the Clergy; yet nothing is more certain, than that their Counſel proves frequently not only impoſing, but very dangerous, both to his Go­vernment, to his Safety, to his Honour, and to his Intereſt, and the more, be­cauſe as the riſe of their advice doth often proceed (if not for the moſt part) from thoſe conſiderations, and no other, wherein their own Intereſt as a Cler­gy is particularly, and ſometimes privately concerned; ſo the end of their ad­vice terminates generally in nothing elſe beyond this, that due care and juſt conſideration, which is but fit to be had to the Princes Intereſt, being (as it is evident by experience) either not ſo faithfully and uprightly, or at leaſt not ſo circumſpectly minded by them as they ought: For the proof of which, we may appeal even to matter of Fact, there being not one or two, but rather too to many Preſidents, wherein the advice which the Clergy hath given to Princes hath been ſo precipitate and raſh, that Princes to avoid thoſe miſ­chiefs that have followed from their Counſels (and doubting leſt other and further inconveniences might enſue upon them that might be worſe) have been forced oft-times to reſcind their own Orders, though to the leſſening of the Credit and Authority of their Government: Yea, not only ſo, but through the importunity of the Clergy, and through the raſhneſs and unſea­ſonableneſs of their Counſels, it is not one Prince, but ſeveral Princes that have been frequently intangled, either with Diviſions and Diſſentions at home among their own Subjects, or with Quarrels abroad among their Neighbours, not only to the diſquiet of their Government, to the ruine of many Ancient Families, to the ſhedding of much Innocent Blood, and to the waſte and conſumption of an extream maſs of Treaſure; but which is yet worſe, to the doing of all this without any fruit, and to the giving over at length the very Quarrel it ſelf, even for theſe reaſons, viz. becauſe they ſaw they were miſled in it, and were able to effect none of thoſe ends which others propounded to them by it, and which they propounded to themſelves, than which nothing can render a Prince more unfortunate to the eye of himſelf, or3of others; which unfortunateneſs by their ingaging in Quarrels relating to Religion, hath nevertheleſs happened not to Princes of ordinary, but to Princes of extraordinary Wiſdom, Courage and Conduct; witneſs the ill ſucceſs of Charles the Fifth in his War upon the Princes of Germany, and of his Son Philip the Second of Spain, in his attempts upon the Netherlands, and of three Kings of France one after another; and witneſs, what is not fit to be particularized, even thoſe things that happened at home in our own Country, which have drawn a Mourning Veil upon the Record of our own Times.

And yet ſo untractable is the power, authrity, and reſolution of the Cler­gy, that if a Prince ſhall refuſe their advice, though out of judgment, or ſhall oppoſe, though never ſo juſtly, the unreaſonableneſs of their Counſels, they do hereupon not only meet and herd among themſelves, but partly by preaching, partly by writing, and partly by other ways of negotiating, they do endea­vour to gain to themſelves both the greateſt perſons, and greateſt part of the Nation, even to prevent the effects of his judgment, prudence and moderation.

And theſe are the reaſons, in the firſt place, that though Religion cannot be conſider'd at preſent otherwiſe than as affair of State, yet ſo conſidered, it is the moſt difficult affair of any for a Prince rightly to govern; which reaſons if they have any thing of weight or truth at all in them, they will evidence theſe deductions following to be as true, and as certain, viz.

1. That the affair of Religion is of too active a nature to lye wholly neg­lected and unregarded by any Government.

2. That none can have a principal hand in the Government of it, but they muſt have the principal power and opportunity through it to affect the people more than any other, either in the point of Obligation, or in the point of neglect and diſreſpect.

3. That this muſt be much more true and certain in ſuch a Nation, where the peoples zeal and affections do run moſt ſtrongly of any to Religion (as in this Nation) then it is or can be true in any other Nation whatever.

4. That whoever will weigh it, will find the Clergy therefore ſingly for this reaſon (even becauſe of their meer calling and relation to Religion) to be conſiderable in every Nation, both for power and intere•….

5. That though they dare not, meerly becauſe of their calling, any way challenge an order or ſuperiority above the Prince, nor can, yet they are by conſequence always made independent upon the Prince, and ſometimes abſo­lute over the Prince, when the Prince himſelf ſhall entirely, and without any check, commit the affairs of the whole Church and Religion to them, becauſe if they govern Religion well and entirely, according to the peoples ſatisfacti­on, they moſt unavoidably draw and ingage the very ſouls, hearts, and con­ſciences of the people to them, and that by the firmeſt, ſtrongeſt, and moſt laſting tye of any, which is that of their minds and affections, and of the duty that they owe unto God; if on the contrary, they rule the affairs of Reli­gion wholly and perfectly to the diſguſt, oppreſſion, or bondage of the peo­ple, they muſt of neceſſity as much diſguſt the Government, though not for it ſelf, yet becauſe of that abſolute Authority which it maintains and upholds in the Clergy.

6. That the committing the affairs of Religion and of the Church entirelyo the Clergy, without any check at all upon them, is yet the more againſt thentereſt of the Prince, becauſe it layeth an expreſs temptation upon them to4govern both the Church and Religion abſolutely, and at their own will, and conſequently to govern Religion with much leſs care, heed, circumſpection and moderation, than otherwiſe they would have done.

7. While the C ergy govern the affairs of the Church, and of Religion ab­ſolutely, and by their own will, without any check whatever upon them, the Prince himſelf neither hath, nor can have any the leaſt ſecurity, that they will not govern all things directly agreeable to their own Intereſt, and to their private and particular concern, let that intereſt, with the means beſt to effect it, be never ſo diſtinct to the intereſt of the Prince, or to the intereſt of the people, or never ſo deſtructive or contrary to either.

8. That it is leſs adviſeable for a Proteſtant Prince to commit the affairs of the Church and of Religion abſolutely and entirely to the Clergy, than it is for any other Prince, becauſe the Clergy are by this without any Head at all over them, and without any counſel whatever that is ſuperiour to them (which they are not under the Papiſt themſelves) and becauſe the Prince muſt by this means inevitably ſubject himſelf to their advice, and to the effect of it, let the iſſue of it prove never ſo inconvenient or raſh to him, as is ma­nifeſt from the examples before mentioned.

9. The leſs adviſeable alſo for a Proteſtant Prince than for any other Prince, becauſe it is not only againſt the examples of Holland, but againſt the examples of all the Proteſtant Princes that were inſtrumental in the firſt Re­formation, and of moſt of their Succeſſors.

10. That as it muſt be utterly againſt the Intereſt of the Prince to take part with the Clergy, when ruling of Religion wholly and perfectly to the diſguſt of the people, ſo it muſt recommend him not only to the judgments, but to the minds, hearts, and affections of the people (even beyond what any thing elſe hath a power to do) if he ſhall pleaſe more eſpecially at ſuch a time as that is to gratifie them with the ſenſe of his own care of them; and conſe­quently, that there cannot well be a greater ſeaſon or opportunity put into the h nd of any Prince, either to honour himſelf, or to oblige a people, and to oblige them to him in ſtrictneſs, by all tyes that are poſſible to be laid in gratitude or conſcience upon them, than for a Prince to take the affairs of Religion or of the Church into his own hand, at ſuch a time as they have moſt miſcarried in the Government and management of the Clergy.

And how much they have miſcarried, and are very probable to miſcarry under the Government of the Clergy, may yet further appear, if it be conſi­dered, that it is impoſſible there ſhould be any ſuch thing as good Go­vernment even about any affair, where there is not a Wiſdom proportiona­ble, (viz.) where there is not a ſufficient knowledge or skill in the particular nature of the thing that is to be governed, and in the difficulties that are in­cident to it, and in thoſe ſeveral ways, methods or means, that may beſt and moſt prudently obviate the ſaid difficulties; for if there wants a ſight fully of any of theſe things, how is it poſſible that confuſion, and all manner of miſ­carriage and diſtraction, ſhould any way rightfully or effectually be a­voided.

But whether the Ruling Clergy of this Nation (for I mean no other in all my Diſcourſe when I ſpeak of the Clergy) have exerciſed ſuch a Wiſdom, or manifeſted ſuch a Knowledge in the affairs of the Proteſtant Religion, as is indeed but requiſite to the very nature of the ſaid affairs, and to the ſeveral5difficulties that do attend them, may be diſcerned when I have laid down the reaſons for what I aſſerted in the ſecond place, viz. that the affairs of Re­ligion, as things ſtand at preſent, are far more difficult to be governed by a Proteſtant Prince than by any other; and conſequently it may be further ſeen, whether it be any way adviſeable for his Majeſty, or any way advanta­gious to his affairs, ſtill to commit the whole truſt of the Church, and of Re­ligion it ſelf, entirely into the hands or Government of the Clergy.

To the end therefore that I may with all clearneſs repreſent the difficulties that do attend the Proteſtant Religion, with the Government of it (as things now ſtand) I ſhall humbly crave leave to lay down this as the Foundation of my whole Argument, which I humbly conceive will hardly be denied me by any: Viz

That in the Proteſtant Church, the Prince profeſſing himſelf to be of the Reformed Religion, cannot any way remove or take away the uſe of the Scriptures from the common people, the uſe or reſtoration of them in the Vulgar Tongue being accounted one main part, if not the chiefeſt priviledge of any that came by the Reformation it ſelf.

Which being granted me, another difficulty is created by it inevitably; for ſeeing the Prince is no way able to remove the uſe of the Scriptures from the common people, he can never poſſibly be able to remove the influence and ef­fects which the Divine Authority of the Scriptures muſt have (and cannot but have) upon the minds and conſciences of the ſaid people, as the Scrip­tures are acknowledged to be the only Word, the alone Rule of the mind of God unto his people; this Character or apprehenſion of the Dignity and Au­thority of the Scriptures being ſo eſſential to our Reformation it ſelf, that there is no Proteſtant can ſo much as doubt of it, it being that which is not only commonly taught in our Pulpits, but frequently inculcated to us while we are Children by our Parents, and by thoſe Maſters which take the care of us while we are at School.

And therefore this Principle of the Divine Authority of the Scriptures be­ing from our very Education thus firmly rooted in us, it muſt unavoidably make the influence and effects to be equally as ſtrong, and equally as powerful upon the Conſciences of us, even as they themſelves are that is equal with the very Authority of God himſelf (and eſpecially upon all ſuch as re religi­ouſly educated and bred;) ſo that there is no obligation or tye wha ever, which is capable to be laid on men upon any civil, outward, or temporal account, that is able to have any part of that ſtrength or influence upon them, as the Scriptures muſt neceſſarily have upon, and over the generality of all perſons in the Proteſtant Church, which is another conſequence that cannot be re­moved by the Civil Government.

The ſtrength and prevalency of which tye, as made upon the Conſciences of all perſons, as Proteſtants, by or from the Scriptures, is yet the more conſi­derable, becauſe whatever Worſhip, Service, or Religion, we as Proteſtants do profeſs to give unto God, we profeſs it only from the Authority of the Scriptures themſelves, and from the Authority of them as they are thus own­ed and accounted by the Proteſtant Church to be our Supreme, and conſe­quently our immediate tye in all that we believe, and in all that we act as Proteſtants towards God, hath not its termination or its dependance ſo much upon men, or upon the Church, as upon the Scripture or Word of God itſelf;6 we judging it lawful enough to forſake the Church, when we once judge the Church in what it believes, or in what it acts or practiſeth toward God, to have forſaken the Word; and our Proſeſſion or Religion being thus founded, I mean out of conſcience purely to Gods Word, every man then properly as a Proteſtant (if he be ſincere) doth as much believe that the worſhip (what­ever it be which he profeſſeth) is as truly agreeable to the Mind and Will of God, as is the very Scripture it ſelf; and conſequently, that he is as much to contend for the ſaid Worſhip, as he is bound to contend for the Authority of the Scripture it ſelf; for theſe two being taken by him but for one thing (viz. the Authority of the Scripture, and the truth and authority of what he pro­feſſeth) conſequently the ſame tye that binds him to the Scripture, muſt of neceſſity bind him to that Religion, whatever it be, which he as a Proteſtant profeſſeth unto God; and conſequently, if there be no tye ſo firm or ſo ſtrong upon the Conſcience, as that of the Divine and abſolute Authority of the Scripture is (as we have proved there is not) there can be no tye ſtronger than what Proteſtants as ſuch (and as ſincere) muſt neceſſarily have for that Religion, whatever it be, that they do reſpectively profeſs unto God.

And this now being made clear and undoubted, viz. that the tye and obli­gation that every man hath to the worſhip which he profeſſeth unto God (pro­perly as a Proteſtant) lieth in, and riſeth immediately from the Scriptures; and it being likewiſe cleared, that the higheſt tye which can poſſibly be laid upon the Conſcience of any man, is that proceeding from the Scriptures, as they are the only Rule of Gods mind and will to us; it muſt neceſſarily fol­low, that if a Prince can neither remove the uſe of the Scriptures them­ſelves, nor remove the obligation which they have above all things upon the Conſciences of men (even from their very Education) as they are the only Word of God, he can never poſſibly remove the obedience which men will always conceive themſelves obliged to give to the ſaid Word, in whatſoever it be they apprehend it doth clearly command, ſeeing this obedience is looked upon to be the ſame, and no other with an obedience given to God himſelf; and if an obedience given unto God be in conſcience alſo infinitely preferrable to any obedience to man, then muſt an obligation to the Law and Will of God be always preferrable to, and ſtronger than any obligation whatever to the Law or command of men, which is a third thing that can no way poſſibly be avoided.

And conſequently, if the Law of the Church cannot in the matter of Wor­ſhip any way compel or bind men to obedience further or otherwiſe than as they apprehend it to be agreeable to the Law of God, or to the Law of his Word, then neither can the Law of the Prince, or the Law of the Civil Government, bind mens Conſciences in the matter of worſhip, further or o­therwiſe than the Law of the Church, viz. no otherwiſe than as the ſaid Law appears to them to be agreeable to Gods Law (which is the Law of his Scriptures or Word) and conſequently it can never be avoided by any Prince as a Proteſtant, but his Authority, as relating purely to things civil, with the efficacy of it, muſt ſtand upon one Rule; his Authority, as relating to things of Divine Worſhip, with the efficacy of it, muſt neceſſarily and unavoidably ſtand upon another Rule; and therefore that his Authority over his Subjects in the one and in the other of theſe muſt of neceſſity be diſtinguiſhed, which is the fourth thing that we ſay cannot in any Proteſtant Government poſſibly be prevented.

7For if no Law can poſſibly eradicate the notion that there is a God, no en­deavour of man whatever can hinder then his being worſhipped, by ſuch at leaſt as have a ſenſe of his being, and do verily believe that he is.

Wherefore if we are trained up from our Childhood, and train'd up not only as men, but as Proteſtants, firmly to believe that God will accept of no worſhip at all from us, but what is agreeable to his Word; and if it be a thing continually inculcated to us, even from our very Infancy, that it is in a conformity to this Word alone that all Religion whatever doth conſiſt then it is not reaſon only, but experience it ſelf which atteſts it, that a man may as ſoon quit his notion that there is a God, or to be afraid to own it; and may as ſoon quit that notion that God is to be worſhipped, or be afraid to own it, as he may quit or be afraid to own as a Proteſtant this notion, (viz.) that God is ſo only to be worſhipped, and no otherwiſe, then as he hath ſet down in his Word.

And if this notion then about his Word as the only rule of the worſhip of God be as firmly planted in us by our Education, as any notion can be planted in us that belongs to our nature as men, it muſt needs follow, that a Govern­ment may as well, and with as good ſucceſs, hope or propound to it ſelf by a Law to extinguiſh common notions, as hope or propound to it ſelf by a Law to extinguiſh among Proteſtants the notion of the neceſſity of worſhipping God according to his Word.

And therefore if it be rightly conſidered, it will likewiſe appear, that it muſt be to him that is truly educated as a Proteſtant, every way as grievous, to be commanded by a Law to forſake Chriſtianity it ſelf, as to be command­ed by a Law to forſake that worſhip, which he as a Proteſtant, cannot but be­lieve in his heart is alone agreeable to the Mind and Law of God, which is that worſhip that is given to God directly conformable to his Scripture or Word; and of the truth of this, the Martyrs in Queen Mary's time are a competent witneſs.

And conſequently, they that pretend to take another meaſure of Prote­ſtantiſm than according to what is thus firmly rooted in the hearts of men, both by their Education, and by the very Principles and Doctrine of the Re­formation, do ſeem but to prevaricate only with the Reformed Religion, and with the ſixth Article of the Church of England, and do, if not in wo ds, yet in actions ſeem manifeſtly to declare, that they neither really believe the Scriptures, or the Chriſtian Religion, or the Reformation to be of God; for if the whole of the Chriſtian Religion be contained in the Scripture, and in the Scripture alone, as the ſixth Article of the Church of England doth both plainly and expreſly confeſs it is, then to make the Rule of the Word to be our Rule wholly as Chriſtians in the worſhip of God, is ſo far from an obſti­nacy in us, and ſo far from any thing of humour, or ſuperſtition, or conceited­neſs, that the contrary can be no way diſpenſible, and much leſs maintainable before God; and therefore there is neither any part of Popery it ſelf, nor a­ny thing of Idolatry, though never ſo groſs, but it may be as eaſily impoſed upon, and as eaſily entertained by a Proteſtant, as any worſhip may; which he evidently ſeeth (or is ſufficiently perſwaded of in his Conſcience) to be againſt the mind of God, or againſt the rule of his Word, ſeeing it is this rule that is the only Index of his mind as to us, and it is this rule alone to which all promiſes of God are entirely made; and all the promiſes of God be­ing8made to this rule only, this rule, and no other, muſt then, as we are Chri­ſtians, be the alone Foundation both of all our hope, and of all our truſt to­ward God, and muſt conſequently be the only ground upon which we can as Chriſtians have any expectation of ſalvation and life, and conſequently the whole intereſt and concern of our Souls (at leaſt as we are Proteſtants) doth and muſt ſtand entirely upon the ſaid Word.

Which deductions, if they cannot any way poſſibly be denied, the diſobey­ing then f all ſuch Laws in the matter of worſhip, as are not agreeable to the Word of God (or which at leaſt appear not to be ſo) is a thing wholly inevitable, and is impoſſible to be avoided in a Proteſtant Govern­ment, even as we are rational perſons, becauſe there is a threefold reaſon that neceſſarily impells it: Firſt, as it hath its riſe from that moſt forcible and indelible Character wh ch is writ in the minds of all men, viz. that ſeeing God is, he ought to be worſhipped in ſome manner or another of neceſſity. Secondly, as it hath its riſe from that Character which hath equal force with the other in the minds of us as we are bred Proteſtants, viz. that God is no other way to be worſhipped, nor will accept of any worſhip from us (as Chriſtians) but what is agreeable to his Word; which two Principles, ſeeing (by reaſon of our Education) they make but one indeed in our hearts, as we are Proteſtants, they do and muſt conſtrain us as ſoon to abandon all worſhip it ſelf unto God, as to abandon that worſhip which is properly agreeable to his Word, becauſe ſo far as we abandon this, we do abandon all worſhip that is (according to our Principles as Proteſtants) either acceptable with God, or agreeable to the Mind of God: wherefore if to theſe two we ſhall add the third ground of its riſe (which is as certain alſo as either of the other) viz. that we neither have hope in God, nor any promiſe made us by God, further than as we obey him in his Word, or further than as we worſhip him ac­cording to the rule of it; I ſay, theſe three things being now joyntly conſi­dered, and ſeriouſly weighed by us, what man is there (or what man can there be) who firmly believes there is any ſuch thing as Salvation and Life, who will not run any hazard rather than forbear what he judgeth to be the worſhip of God, or rather than he will obſerve ſuch a worſhip unto God as he cannot but know, or cannot (at leaſt) but verily believe to be contrary to his mind, and contrary to the rule of his Word.

If it be evil then for any man to believe that God is indiſpenſibly to be worſhipped after ſome manner or another, or evil for a man to believe that there is no other rule of his will or mind to us, as we are Chriſtians, but his word, and therefore no other rule wherein his worſhip is contained, beſides his ſaid word; or if it be evil to expect that God will moſt truly, faithfully, and fully perform his promiſes to us, if we ſhall ſerve him according to his word, and not otherwiſe; I ſay, if any of theſe three things be evil, then it muſt be evil to diſobey any Law relating to the worſhip of God, though it be not agreeable to his word; but if no one of theſe things be evil in them­ſelves, they can never make any man evil who ſimply conforms to them; I ſay, not ſimply for his conformity, how ſtrictly or entirely ſoever it be.

And therefore if theſe thr e Principles are of ſuch a nature as create a ne­ceſſity of our compliance with them, even as we are rational perſons, we muſt either then remove the Principles themſelves, and the lawfulneſs of them, or we muſt unavoidably ſuffer and permit their efficacy, as lawful9over men; for to allow the Principles themſelves as good, and lawful, and as neceſſary and indiſpenſible in themſelves, and to diſallow nevertheleſs the practice of them, or to diſallow ſuch perſons as follow them, and imbrace them; and to account ſuch perſons to be only diſturbers, or to be men ſo evil and bad, as that they are not fit to be tollerated in a Nation, even though no Crime beſides this be objected againſt them, is either grolly to prevaricate with the ſaid Principles themſelves, and to make but a mock of them, or it is to do that which is abſolutely repugnant, abſurd, and contradictory in it ſelf, which is wholly againſt the reaſon and nature of a man as a man.

For though it cannot be maintained, that all the Laws of men muſt or ought neceſſarily to ariſe out of the Laws of God, viz. either that of his word, or that Law written in the heart of man; yet it is maintained among all Chriſtian Governments whatever, that no Law of the Civil Magiſtrate hath any power to ſuperſede any Law of God, whether it be that writ in the heart of man, or that writ in his word; and therefore it is univerſally agreed by all Governments, that all humane Laws, if they be inconſiſtant either with any of theſe common Principles that are writ in our Nature (which are called the common Principles of Reaſon) or with any that is expreſly writ in the word of God, they are null and void in themſelves, becauſe they are a­gainſt a prior or preceding obligation, which all men as men have by nature unto God, as unto their Supreme Lord and Creator.

Wherefore in as much as it is clear, that all Laws which command men to forbear that worſhip, which they as Proteſtants do in their hearts judge and believe to be agreeable to the mind, will, and word of God, or which com­mand them to conform to ſuch a worſhip as they judge, according to their un­derſtanding, and cannot but believe to be diſagreeable to the ſaid mind, will, and word of God, are of this nature, and are ſuch Laws as have a manifeſt inconſiſtency, either with the Law writ in the heart it ſelf, viz. which is, that God is indiſpenſibly to be worſhipped in ſome manner or another, or have an inconſiſtency with the Law writ in the word of God, viz. that he will reward all ſuch as ſhall obey him, according to the rule which he hath given them in the ſaid word, and will puniſh ſuch as ſhall do the contrary; or that they have an inconſiſtency with the rule of the Reformation it ſelf, which is, that all worſhip which is Chriſtian, and inſtituted Federal, is to be given to God according to the Scripture; and that whatever is not read in the Scripture, nor may be proved by the Scripture, is not to be required of any man, that it ſhould be believed as an Article of Faith, which are the very words of the ſixth Article of the Church of England, (and which Article, if wounded, the reſt of the 39 Articles muſt be wounded with it, ſeeing they are founded mainly upon it) I with all humbleneſs ſay, that ſeeing all Laws (in any Pro­teſtant Government whatever) which reſtrain ſuch a worſhip as is agreeable to the word of God (or is really believed to be ſuch by them that practiſe it) have a manifeſt repugnancy or inconſiſtency in them, either to the Law writ in the heart of man as man, or to the expreſs Law of Gods word, or to the Principles of our Reformation, and to the ſixth Article of the Church of England (upon which alone the reſt of our Confeſſion is built) all the ſaid Laws therefore as ſuch, are entirely againſt that prior Law, or preceding o­bligation which men as men have by nature indiſpenſibly unto God as their immediate Creator and Lord, above any which they have or can have unto10man, how lawfully ſoever he may be the ſuperiour of them; and conſequent­ly, that all non-obedience or non-conformity to any of the ſaid Laws, though it be in a ſenſe voluntary, yet it is neither elective, nor indeed truly and pro­perly free; and therefore is not the leaſt breach of affection, nor any real forfeiture of a mans duty to his Prince, or to the Government, becauſe it is a non-conformity or diſobedience that is abſolutely conſtrained, compelled, and of an inevitable and indiſpenſible nature in it ſelf, by reaſon of the prior Law, or of the preceding and indiſpenſible obligation which we have both as men, and as Chriſtians unto God, and have above and beyond any obligation that we have or can have poſſibly to any perſon, as the Prince or Superiour of us; and all men that maintain the contrary, and that either out of a luxury of wit, or out of a ſuper•…tation of vanity, inſlency, or pride, do ſeek to bo•…e this argument, or to evade the force of it, under the pretence of the capr­ciouſneſs, humourſomneſs, and a ſectation of ſingularity that may be in ſome perſons, may with as good reaſon, and with as ſolid a judgment, make a meer mock or ridicule of all the Martyrs that have been ſince the World ſtood; and may as well call Daniel, and the three Children, and all the Primitive Chriſtians and Apoſtles who ſuffered for God, and for the Teſtimony of his Word, and of Chriſt (Revel. 6.9. Revel. 1.9. ) men that were only capri­cious, humorous, and perſons that did affect a ſingularity, as call all men ſo at this day, who ever they are that do not conform to the Laws Nationally made about Worſhip and Religion; for if their bare Alleg tion, that all men who do not conform, are men only of humorous and capricious tem ters, and men who meerly a fect a ſingularity and diſturbance, ſhall be taken for ſuffi­cient Evidence againſt them: By as juſt a Law the Teſtimony of any Atheiſt may as well be taken againſt all the Martyrs that ever were, and the teſtimo­ny of any common perſon may as well be taken againſt them themſelves that alledge this, that they are Atheiſts: for if this laſt be not reaſonable, neither is the firſt; for if anothers bare Allegation is not to be taken againſt them, nor ought to be allowed as an Evidence, ſo neither is their bare ſaying to be taken againſt others.

By all that I have ſaid then, if allowed, it will appear, that there is a clear difference between the Authority of a Prince in things Civil, and in things relating to Worſhip and Religion; for as his Authority about things Civil is unqueſtionable, and enterſares with no Law of God whatever, and can have no pretence therefore to intrench upon the Conſcience, or upon any prior obligation or duty that a man oweth unto God; and as it muſt for all theſe reaſons be neceſſarily and indiſpenſibly obeyed and ſubmitted unto by all his Subjects, ſo on the contrary, a Prince, eſpecially as a Proteſtant, can put out no Law about Divine Worſhip, but his Subjects, ſo far as they are Pro­teſtants, are bound in Conſcience, and by the very Principles of that Reli­gion which they profeſs, not only to conſider it, but to examine it, whether it be agreeable to the Word of God, or not; and if it appear not to be ſuch (at leaſt according to the beſt of their underſtandings) as they will have a Plea always not to ſubmit to it, by reaſon it intrencheth upon a prior obliga­tion that they have, both in Conſcience, and according to the Principles of their Reformation unto God (and according alſo to the ſixth Article of the Church of England it ſelf) ſo this Plea cannot well with Juſtice be denied them, if no Crime whatever in their Converſation can be proved againſt11 them: nor can men in this caſe be actually puniſhed and proceeded againſt, without the ſenſe and grief of that wrong or oppreſſion that is manifeſtly done to them, and ſuffered by them, eſpecially ſeeing their non-conformity to the ſaid Laws proceeds not, as we ſaid, either from their Election or Li­berty, nor yet from any breach of duty or affection to their Prince, but only from what appears to them to be an inevitable or indiſpenſible neceſſity that ariſeth, and is occaſioned from their meer Profeſſion, as they are of the Pro­teſtant Religion: To which end, let me humbly beg leave to offer one argu­ment more alſo, which is,

That the thing which doth Eſſentially diſtinguiſh a Proteſtant from a Papiſt, more than any note, mark, or character whatſoever beſides, is, that a Papiſt by his Principles, as a Papiſt, may not, and indeed cannot diſpute any Law whatever, relating to the Worſhip or Service of God, provided it be de­clared and eſtabliſhed by what he acknowledgeth to be the Church, becauſe he takes the Authority of the Church for the whole Argument, or for the only Foundation of all his Obidence unto God, rather than the Divine Authority of the Scripture, or Word; and becauſe he preſumeth the Church alſo to be a thing altogether holy, and ſuch as neither hath erred, nor can err for ſhould he queſtion this, he muſt queſtion the whole of his Religion it ſelf: whereas the Proteſtant Church, on the other hand, having ſeparated from the Church of Rome, not only upon the ſuppoſition that ſhe hath actually erred, but that ſhe hath been groſly corrupted, as well in Manners, as in Faith; and having for the better juſtification of her own Practice, both in matter of Worſhip, and in all things relating to Doctrine and Faith, ſet up the Scriptures, as the ſole and Soveraign Rule of Gods mind and will to his Church; as ſhe cannot challenge the exerciſe of any Authority therefore that is beyond that of the Scriptures, or of any that is not ſubordinate to the Scriptures it ſelf, ſo it is expected, that all the duties conſequently which ſhe requires, and all thoſe Articles or Points of Faith which ſhe at any time recommends to ſuch as are the Members of her, ſhould always be enforced from thoſe Arguments pro­perly and only which are drawn from the Scriptures, becauſe it is this which ſhe her ſelf hath appealed unto, and this only which ſhe challengeth to ju­ſtifie her.

A Proteſtant then that underſtands the grounds of Religion, or that hath been at all inſtructed in the riſe or Principles of Reformation, taking this for the very firſt Article of his Faith, that a Church may err, and may have cor­ruption in it, and may in its Worſhip poſſibly ſwerve and depart from the pure Mind, Word, and Wiſdom of God; and laying this no leſs firmly as the foundation of his belief on the other hand (viz.) that the Scriptures cannot err, nor can be other than unalterable and incorruptible Rule of Gods Law, and of his will and mind to his people, he cannot poſſibly hold the Authority of the Church to be Divine, any further, or otherwiſe, than as it appears to be clearly grounded upon the Scripture as the word of God, and conſequent­ly the tye or obligation which he hath to obey the Church, ſo far as it relates to the Conſcience, and binds the Conſcience, ariſeth out of no other ground than from the conformity which he ſeeth, or is perſwaded that the Church hath in her Laws, Orders, and Doctrines to the ſaid Word; and conſequent­ly, if this conformity doth or ſhall once ceaſe in the ſaid Church, a Prote­ſtant, as a Proteſtant, cannot but judge his tye or obligation to her as a Church ought to ceaſe alſo with it.

12And this being the true ſtate of that Radical or Eſſential difference that is between the Principles of a Proteſtant, and the Principles of a Papiſt, as a Papiſt, if a Church then that profeſſeth her ſelf to be a Proteſtant (or the Clergy rather who are the Rulers properly of it) ſhall not much conſider or regard the juſtifying of what Laws and Orders ſhe makes, by the conſonancy they expreſly have to the Law or Mind of God in his Word (which is his Rule to the Church) nor ſhall much concern it ſelf, to clear and inforce the Faith and Doctrine which ſhe holds, by the evidence of its truth, or by the authority of it, as ſufficiently grounded upon that word that is abſolutely divine, but ſhall, on the contrary, in whatſoever ſhe commands, or in the things ſhe teacheth, conſtrain and exact an obedience from her Members to her ſelf, and to her own Authority as abſolute, and as unſubordinate to the Word of God; and therefore to her own Authority, as it is a diſtinct thing from the ſaid word, that Church (or the Clergy rather which are the Rulers of it) ſo far as ſhe doth this in any Doctrine, or in any Law that ſhe makes indi­ſpenſible, doth ſo far ceaſe in her Principles and practice to be Proteſtant, and doth ſo far diſclaim, not only a main and chief ground of her ſeparation from the Church of Rome, but the very Principle it ſelf upon which ſhe pretends to guide her ſelf, and juſtifie her ſelf in her Reformation.

For if it cannot be denied, that this was one main and great cauſe of our ſeparation from the Church of Rome, (viz.) becauſe ſhe had made her ſelf and her Commands abſolute, and had ſet up an Authority in the matters of worſhip and faith above that of the Scripture, as the word of God; and ſe­condly, becauſe ſhe did not barely excommunicate men, but did alſo perſecute them, and did deprive them both of their Eſtates, Liberties, and Lives, upon a Principle as contrary to Humane Reaſon, as it was contrary to Humane Society and quiet (viz.) not for any evil in their Converſations, in their Mo­rals, or in their Lives, but meerly for obeying what they ſincerely judged to be the Law, Will, and Mind of God; and meerly for believing that his whole Law, Will, and Mind to his Church, as a Church eſpecially relating to the worſhip of himſelf, was contained in his word; and thirdly, becauſe by this perſecution, as it was extended to the extreme puniſhment of perſons both in their Liberties and Goods, and ſometimes in their Lives, by ſtinking Pri­ſons, and want of Neceſſaries, ſhe did neceſſarily draw upon her the guilt of mens Apoſtacy, and Hypocriſie, and Diſſimulation, who durſt not but obey and comply with her Commands, meerly out of fear; and did as neceſſarily draw upon her the guilt of all that ſuffering, cruelty, and blood, whatever it were ſhe ſpilt, or did inflict upon thoſe perſons who withſtood her Com­mands, and who were otherwiſe in all things blameleſs, both as to their Mo­rals, Lives, and Converlations.

I ſay, if it be matter of Fact, and that which cannot be denied, that theſe three things were ſome of the main and principal cauſes for which we ſepa­rated from the Church of Rome, and for which our firſt Reformers themſelves called her Antichriſtian, and ſometimes Bloody, and ſometimes Scarlet Whore; and if theſe three things, when at any time mentioned, with refe­rence to the Church of Rome, are ſtill acknowledged to be evil, and ſo ſtiled to this day, ſo far as it concerns her; yea, if theſe three things are at this ve­ry preſent in controverſie with that Church, not only charged upon her, but caſt in her teeth (among many other things) by way of reproach, and to ſet13forth the juſt ground that we, even as the Church of England have (as well as other Churches) both of exception and hatred againſt her, muſt not theſe three things be much more evil in a Proteſtant Church, who after ſhe con­demned all theſe things, not only as evil, but as Antichriſtian in the Church of Rome, and after ſhe hath pretended to ſeparate from the ſaid Church for them, doth nevertheleſs give her ſelf leave to practiſe them, without con­demning her ſelf at all in them; and muſt not this practiſe caſt a manifeſt ble­miſh and reproach upon her own Reformation, and evidence to the World that ſhe doth not either believe the Principles of it, or doth not at leaſt dare to truſt to it.

Wherefore if the ſaid Church (viz. the Ruling Clergy) meerly upon thoſe grounds, and only to thoſe ends, which are both thus evil in themſelves, and thus contrary to the grounds and ends of our Reformation, ſhall endeavour to ingage the power of the Civil Magiſtrate to her aſſiſtance, I humbly offer it to conſideration, whether in moving this to a Prince, eſpecially as he is a Proteſtant, ſhe doth or can move him to any other purpoſe, than that his Au­thority may promote the defection ſhe hath made from her own Principles, and may countenance her in that which ſhe knoweth, that the rules of Refor­mation and of Proteſtantiſm cannot, which is not only her cruelty and ſeve­rity, but her exorbitancy, and whether ſhe hath or can have any argument to the ſaid Prince; therefore for his countenancing of her greater than this (viz.) than as ſhe knoweth that all the evil which would otherwiſe be char­ged upon her wholly, and only as a Church, may now through his counte­nancing of her, be in part as well charged upon his Royal Authority and plea­ſure, as upon her; which argument being really of no better a nature than this, whether it be therefore reaſonable in it ſelf, or whether it be ſo much as fit or modeſt for the ſaid Church to make, or whether it be agreeable to that duty, honour and ſincerity, which ſhe as a Church profeſſeth, and ought at all times uprightly to pay to her Prince, I leave to conſideration; and e­ſpecially, when with reference to the effect of this motion, it is matter of fact, that 26 private perſons are only gratified (many of which are men of no Birth, Intereſt, or Temporal Eſtate in the Nation) and more than twice ſo many thouſands are greatly grieved, injured, and wronged in their perſons and eſtates, which are equally his Majeſties Subjects as well as they, and ſome of which, at leaſt, are every way Peers to them for Birth, for Vertue, for Temperance, for Morality, for Mercy, for Charity, and Temporal Eſtate, and even for Loyalty it ſelf.

Beſides either, guilt is a thing of weight before God, or it is not, and the guilt which not only our firſt Reformers, but which our Church doth at this day charge upon the Church of Rome, by reaſon of her perſecution, is juſtly charged upon her, or it is not; if the guilt be real, and that it be juſtly char­ged upon the ſaid Church, it is apparently criminal two ways; viz. both as ſhe through her perſecution is the cauſe of all that Hypocriſie, Diſſimulation, and Apoſtacy which men commit for meer fear of her, and by which, though out of weakneſs they do greatly wrong their own Conſciences, and greatly in­jure their former Profeſſion before God, and know they do ſo, and lie oft­times under trouble all their lives afterwards for it; and as ſhe is equally the cauſe of all thoſe ſolemn complaints, cryes, and appeals unto God, and who are conſcious to themſelves of their ſincerity and integrity towards God, and who14are deſtitute of all other help or remedy in the Earth, do in their grief and ſtreights oft-times make and pour out unto God, as the Righteous Judge of all perſons; and which righteous Prayers, Complaints, and Appeals to God, we not only as Chriſtians, but as Proteſtants, when we write againſt the Church of Rome, do expreſly affirm ſhall be heard and that ſhe ſhall anſwer as well for the crimes, as the oppreſſions and wrongs that ſhe hath unjuſtly brought upon us.

Wherefore when the Proteſtant Church (or the Clergy who are the Rulers of it) ſhall be guilty of the ſame manner of perſecution, and upon the very ſame grounds or principles that the Popiſh Clergy are, even becauſe men in their worſhip or ſervice of God do deſire to obey the Law, Mind, and Will of God, ſo far as it appears clear to them from his word, and becauſe they believe that his word alone is his rule to his Church, and for no other cauſe whatever, relating to any blemiſh, or evil which can be charged upon them in their lives or Converſations; and when by the means of this perſecution, the ſaid Proteſtant Church (or the ruling Clergy of it) are the occaſion of ſome mens hypocriſie, diſſimulation, and deſertion of their principles (through weakneſs) to the extreme injury and wrong of their own Conſciences, and are not only the occaſion, but the main and expreſs cauſe of the ſighs, ſuf­ferings, groans, and complaints of divers others that are poured out in the very bitterneſs of their ſouls unto God, and when the ſaid Proteſtant Church (or the ſaid ruling Clergy) ſhall nevertheleſs have no ſenſe at all of theſe things, nor ſeem to be in the leaſt•…oved, or concern'd for them.

And theſe things, if they be conſidered, I humbly offer it, whether any man as rational can draw any other concluſion from them, but that the ſaid Proteſtant Church, &c. do not believe themſelves at all when they write againſt the Pa­piſt for theſe things, and notwithſtanding they do ſeem in their Books to threaten the Church of Rome with the dreadful Judgments of God, becauſe of their cruelty, and of their perſecution of men for Conſcience ſake, yet they do indeed but laugh in their Sleeves at it, and do intend to frighten them only with Scare-crows, Bug-bears, and Pot-guns, ſeeing they credit none of theſe things themſelves, as likely to befal any ſuch actions, or ſuch as are the Au­thors of it; for would it not be a great uncharitableneſs for any man to ima­gine, or rather would it not be a thing very abſurd to apprehend, that the Proteſtant Clergy ſhould do the very ſame things which the Church of Rome doth, if they did really believe themſelves in what they uſually write againſt the Church of Rome, when they threaten them with the Judgments of God upon them for the ſaid things.

If to avoid this then, which they may look upon perhaps as ſome imputa­tion or reflection upon the ſaid Proteſtant Church (or the ruling Clergy of it) ſhall deny the caſe to be the ſame, and ſhall ſay, that the grounds or princi­ples upon which they perſecute men, are much different from thoſe of the Papiſt, or Church of Rome, let themſelves lay down the ſtate of it, and ſhew us wherein the greatneſs of the ſaid difference doth conſiſt; and wherein it is plainly ſuch, and ſo great, as that though we are to believe, and ought to be­lieve that the Judgments of God will unqueſtionaby reach the Church of Rome for this their cruelty and perſecution, and for the unrighteouſneſs of it, yet we are not to believe, or ſo much as to imagine they will ever befal the Proteſtant Church (or the ruling Clergy of it) notwithſtanding any perſecu­tion that they are guilty of.

15For if the fact for which men are puniſhed by the ſaid Proteſtant Clergy be the very ſame (or of the ſame nature) with that for which the Popiſh Clergy do puniſh men (viz.) for their worſhipping of God, and for their worſhipping of him not contrary to the Scripture, or contrary to any thing that ſeems clearly and plainly their duty in the word of God, but contrary only to ſome Order or other in the Church; and if the quality of the perſons that do ſuffer, and that are puniſhed by the Proteſtant Clergy, are the ſame alſo with the quality of thoſe that are puniſhed by the Popiſh Clergy, viz. ſuch men as are neither blameable in, nor ſo much as accuſed or charged by them with or for any crime, or any immorality in their lives or converſa­tions, but ſuch as otherwiſe demean themſelves in all duty, and with all ſub­jection to their Superiours.

I ſay, if both theſe are the very ſame one with another, where can, or doth the Eſſential Differencee between the perſecution of the Popiſh Cler­gy, and the perſecution of the Proteſtant Clergy, or between the nature of the one, and the nature of the other, unleſs it be ſtrictly in this, viz. that the Proteſtant Clergy do pretend to believe the Scriptures to be the Supreme Rule and Mind of God to his Church, and if ask'd, do freely grant, that men are not bound in Conſcience to any Rule ſuperiour to this, nor can be in the things of Faith, or in things relating to the worſhip of God; and yet with the ſame breath that they ſay this, and at the very ſame time that they own it, they perſecute their Brethren, not only in their Liberties, but in the r Goods, Fortunes, and Eſtates, and ſometimes in their Lives alſo (through naſty Pri­ſons, and want of conveniences) for acknowledging the ſaid Scriptures to be ſuch as they themſelves own to be, and for that they conform themſelves to it accordingly, not in word or pretence, but in deed and truth; whereas the Popiſh Clergy, though they perſecute men for the ſame Crime, yet they do not give ſo much honour to the Scriptures, nor do ſo much as pretend to it; but which of theſe two are for this very cauſe the greater Crimes before God, I muſt leave to rational men to conſider.

In the mean time, I am moſt ſure of this, viz. that whether our firſt Re­formers did well, or not well, in calling the Church of Rome Antichriſt, and in charging her with Innocent Blood, and in putting the name of the Scarlet Whore (for this reaſon) upon her, and whether the guilt of that Blood will ever be wiped off from her, or not, in the ſight of God; yet notwithſtanding 'tis moſt certain, that the peculiar ſtain and diſcredit of it is now mani­feſtly leſſened, if it be not wholly blotted out; for it is impoſſible, that the Church of Rome ſhould ever hereafter grant theſe things to be ſtains or crimes proper only to her, which ſhe doth not only ſee, but can daily obſerve the Proteſtant Church to follow her in, and to follow her in upon ſuch grounds as are far leſs juſtifiable in the ſaid Proteſtant Church (according to the Prin­ciples they profeſs) than they are in her ſelf; and that this is not a thing ever to be hoped or expected from her hereafter, is the more clear, in regard the ſaid Church of Rome hath already in ſo many words ſharply and cloſely retorted it upon our very Church, that in the very thing which we blame the ſaid Church of Rome for, and accuſe her criminally of, and pretend to be one main ground why we could no longer have any communion with her (which was her ſetting aſide the ſole authority of the Scripture, and perſecuted ſuch as deſired to walk according to the rule of it) we our ſelves have not only16imitated her, but have out-gone her, and done ſo much worſe than ſhe ever did, by how much we have contradicted the Principles we profeſs, which ſhe hath not; and that ſhe hath not only caſt this reproach upon us in words, but alledged ſeveral arguments to confirm, and ſuch as have not to this very day been anſwered by us, is matter of Fact.

And therefore if in all Courts of Judicature matter of Fact be good Evi­dence, and if the higheſt Evidence that can be given in matter of Fact is when the Fact is able to ſpeak and atteſt it ſelf, or when it is capable to be at­teſted to by thouſands, then is the Evidence which I here bring every way as good, and every way as valid to prove what I affirm, which for the greater notice I again here repeat: Viz.

That the Church of Rome hath expreſly juſtified her ſelf from the Crime of unjuſt perſecution and blood, by inſtancing our practiſe of the ſame thing one toward another as Proteſtants, or as a Reformed Church.

And therefore that ſhe hath by this inſtance juſtly exonerated her ſelf from the ſole guilt of this evil, and conſequently from the ſole guilt of her being that Babylon mentioned Rev. 17. which we have formerly fixed ſingly upon her, and attributed to none beſide her.

And that beſide the diſcharging her ſelf from the ſole and only guilt of this Crime, ſhe hath produced ſeveral arguments alſo (and thoſe of weight) to make it appear, that we in our perſecution one of another as Proteſtants and Reformed Churches, are far more unjuſt upon the Principles we profeſs than ſhe is upon her own Principles, how much ſoever we have pleaſed to in­veigh againſt her, and revile her.

That theſe arguments ſhe hath no way ſcrupled publickly and openly to divulge in Engliſh, to the end that every man that is rational may the〈◊〉examine them, conſider them, and judge of them.

And that we have not pleaded as yet to the ſaid arguments (or to the Re­torſion ſhe hath thus made upon us) either by denying the fact it ſelf abſo­lutely, or by diſtinguiſhing the reſpective circumſtances and grounds of it, which may give her the more juſt occaſion to think we are conſcious to our ſelves of our own guilt.

And ſeeing all this is pure matter of fact, one of theſe 2 concluſions therefore do ſeem to me to be utterly impoſſible to be avoided, viz. either that we ha•…done very evil in charging the Church of Rome as Antichriſtian, and very e•…in ſeparating from her, as guilty of that blood of the Saints which is me­tioned Rev. 17.6. (and which muſt nevertheleſs inevitably be charged ſome­where) and very evil to impoſe the name of the Scarlet Whore, and of•…bylon upon her.

Or if we as a Proteſtant and as a Reformed Church have ſaid all this r•…in judgment, and really in truth againſt her, then have we done much w•…our ſelves in being actually guilty of the ſame things which we have ſo•…minally charged upon her, and condemned her for, and in our giving her〈◊〉this means, not only an occaſion to juſtifie her ſelf againſt us, but to upbr•…us for doing herein much more irregularly, and much more inexcuſeably〈◊〉her ſelf: So that it ſtill remains, that the Church of Rome is guilty of I•…cent Blood, or not; if guilty of Innocent Blood, none that is ſober then〈◊〉doubt, but ſhe muſt be liable to the extreme Judgments of God at length〈◊〉it; and therefore it remains likewiſe, that we our ſelves (as a Proteſt•…〈1… pages missing〉

About this transcription

TextThe copy of a narrative prepared for his Majesty about the year 1674. to distinguish Protestants from Papists
Extent Approx. 60 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 9 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A80510)

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Bibliographic informationThe copy of a narrative prepared for his Majesty about the year 1674. to distinguish Protestants from Papists 16 p. s.n.,[S.l. :1674]. (Date of publication from Wing (CD-ROM edition).) (Reproduction of original in the Lincoln's Inn Library, London.)
  • Protestants -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Catholics -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Church and state -- England -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A80510
  • STC Wing C6179
  • STC ESTC R230957
  • EEBO-CITATION 99896612
  • PROQUEST 99896612
  • VID 132547

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