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X. 4, 5. But it would be highly absurd, hence to infer, That magiftrates may not restrain men from robbing nations or Churhes of those divine truths, which God bath graciously entrusted to them, and which are inexpresfibly profitable to them, or re. Arain them from propagating gross heresies, blasphemies, idolatrics, which undermine and exclude the true religion, provoke God to destroy nations, and are the fruitful feeds of contention, confufion, and every evil work. No magistrate can compel me to love my neighbour as myself, or can juftly compel me to divide mine inheritance with him; but he may lawfully punish me for calumniating or robbing him.
It is, therefore, extremely uncandid in the advo cates for magiftratical tolerations of heresy, blasphemy, and idolatry, always to attempt blending or placing on an equal level, true and falfe religion---mere neglect of fome positive duties of religion, and fhocking insults upon, and opposition to the duties of religion --lifer and secret mistakes in religion, and the most dainnable heresies, blafphemies and idolatries, openly and obstinately professed and practised, as if these were equally objects of toleration, restraint, or punishment--or, to confound a mere forbearance to punish, with an authoritative licence, openly to profels and practise what is criminal refpreting religion. The true religion ought never to need a toleration. It ought always to have an establishment. Whereas a false one ought never to be established, magiftrates having no power against the truth but for the truth, There are many mere neglects or leffer misiakes in religion, against which it would not be proper for magistrates to enact civil laws, in this present state of imperfection. And, if there be no civil law against them, they cannot be punishable as crimes. “ Where 33o. law is, there can be no transgression."--Mere
forbearance to punith, what is plainly contrary to law, is, in some cases necessary, and in imitation of God himself; and gives no positive encourage. ment to wickedness. Whereas a positive or authori. tative toleration, proclaims to men, a liberty to fin, and promiseth them proection in so doing. If the provider for an army deliver to them fine Hour mixed with some particles of bran, and a large quantity of arsenic, Is his delivery of the fine flour, or even of the mixture of bran, as criminal and punithable, as that of the mixture of arsenic? Nó man that is not mad will pretend it. For the fine flour he deserves the highest encouragement: for the bran he may be justly forborne, but for the arsenic he defeves to be hanged.
The toleration, which I mean to oppose, if plainly and candidly expressed, would run thus: “We, "the King and Parliament of
-as powers or“ dained of God,-ministers of God for good to men,s'as the ordinance of God for the terror and p:nisis«s ment of evil doers, and the praise of them that do “ well, -as nursing fathers to the Church of Christ, "-in order that all our subjects may come to the knowledge of the truth, and lead a quiet and peaceable
life in all godliness and honesty- -Do hereby, in "the name and authority of The Most High God, « from whom we have derived all that governing "power, which we possess, that we, ruling in his " fear, may exercise it wholly in obedience to his " law, and to promote his declarative glory in the « worldGrant to all and " said subjects, an authoritative toleration or legal li
cence,-openly and obstinately to pervert, contra“ dict, and revile the declarations of God contained “ in his word,-and in the most infolent and abu“ live manner to blaspheme his nature, perfections, "purposes and works, particularly of the redemp.
every one of
" tion of mankind,--and to corrupt his worship, " represent him in it, in the most absurd and abo"minable forms,-or rob him of it, giving it to de “ vils, monsters of wickedness, brutes, ftocks, or « stones, in his stead,--and with all your might to “ exert yourselves, in making your fellow subjects. « do the like. And, we hereby do, In the faire “ name and authority of God, the King of nations, “ promise you every kind and degree of civil pro-, " tection in all such behaviour, as you can profess, “ or pretend, your consciences do dictate or al“ low,----providing always, that you commit your
outrage only against God, your, and our maker “ and fovereign, but do not disturb the external
peace of the nation, in reviling the civil charac
ter, seizing or hurting the civil property, or any “ way abusing the body of any of your fellow fin"ners of mankind.”. - The correspondent warrant of conscience which we mean to impugn, if honestly exprefied, would run thus: “ I Conscience, " as the great deputy of The Most High GOD, “ Lord, and Lawgiver of the world, implanted in " every man's breaft, for his temporal, fpiritual, “ and eternal advantage, Do hereby, In God's name « and authority, and in the exercise of my power “ which is wholly derived from him, and to be ex" ercised for his glory, in trying all things by his “ law, and approving and holding fall that which is “good --Warrant and authorize all and every one “ of you, fons and daughters of men, to devise, be“ lieve, openly and obstinately to profess, and zeal. “oully propagate every damnable heresy, and blaf-, “phemous opinion, and to practise and propagate every
absurd and abominable form of idolatry, " which Satan, who deceiveth the world, and a of heart deceitful above all things and desperately “ wicked, and given up of God to strong delusion,
« belief of lies, vile affections, and a reprobate “ sense, can make you think innocent or proper.--. “ And, I do hereby, In the same name and authori" ty,-Grant you any facred claim of right to all man
ner of liberty and protection from the civil magi“ strate in so doing : --providing always, that you “commit such injury and outrage only against God,
your infinitely excellent, high, and gracious Proa
prietor and Superior, and do no civil injury to “the body, character, or property of your fellow ~ creatures.” Such is indeed the toleration which mány praise or plead for; and this I proceed to im.. pugn, by the following arguments.
I. Men's pleadings for it do, all of them, necesa sarily proceed on their adopting such atheistical prin.., ciples as the following,
1. Men's natural or civil rights to their property, liberty; profits and honours, are not originally derived from God,-and ought to protect them in their most outragious finning against him.
2. Men's consciences have a right and authority underived from, and independent of God, by which it can warrant them to think and speak of, or act towards God, as insolently and blasphemously as they please.
3. That, if the law of "God be any rule to mer; it is not fo, in respect of any 'intrinsic meaning afm fixed to it by him, but merely as it is underilood by every man, particularly in that which relates to their behaviour towards God.
4. All men being ready to mistake, we;ought always to believe that our opponents may have as just a view of the Scriptures as ourselves, and never to condemn them for that which they do not own to be blafphemy; idolatry, or heresy.
5: Magistrates right and authority to govern athers, doth not originate in God as the Creator,
Preserver, and King of nations, but in magistrates themselves, or in their subjects; and so may be exercised as they please, particularly in requiring or allowing their subjects to belie, blafpheme, or rob God.
6. Magistrates may be moral governors deputies or lieutenants, under God, without having any power or authority relating to religion, or his honour.
7. Not the law of God natural or revealed, but the laws of nations ought to be the supreme standard. of all civil government.
8. Not the declarative glory of God, as the Most High over all the earth, but the civil peace and prosperity of nations, ought to be the chief end of magiffrates in all their acts of government.
9. Men's natural rights of conscience, or their civil rights, or the authority of magistrates, may or ought to empower, warrant, or protect them in gross heresy, blafphemy, idolatry, or other outragions abuse and injury of God; but can by no means warrant or protect them in caluinny, theft, murder, or any other injuries against men.
10. There is no real difference between moral good and evil, at least in things pertaining to God; and so true and false religion are equaly calculated to promote the welfare of civil society, and the virtues which render men good, peaceable, useful, and honourable rulers or subjects, -and hence heretics, blafphemers, and idolaters may be good fubjects.
11. The favour or indignation of God is of no importance to civil society; and therefore magistrates ought to use no means to procure
his favour by the encouragement of true religion, or to avert his indignation by the restraint of gross heresy, blasphemy, or idolatry,--but only labour to procure the friendship of men, and prevent their injuring the character, property, or bodies of their subjects.