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strates to force their true religion upon their Heathen neighbours, Philisines, Moabites, Ammonites, or Syrians, whom they conquered, or to put them to - death for their idolatry: Nor hath He ever commanded magistrates, who have embraced the true Christian religion to FORCE men by fire or sword; or any like punishments, to embrace and profess it--or to inflict the same punishments upon blafphemers or idolaters in unenlightenend countries, which they may do upon such as obstinately rebel against and apostatize from the truth, amidst plentiful means of conviction and establishment in it.
(13.) Never did God, that I know of, require the Jewish magistrates to punish any of their subjects før leffer faults, however open or manifest, or to punish them for the simple negle&t of duties
strictly religious,---or to annex sentences of outlawry and of death to ecclefiaftical cutting off by excommunication from the Church. Nor can I find, that he hath enjoined any such thing upon the Christian magiitrate.
(14.) Among the Jews, some things partaking of both a civil and religious nature, did, in these different respects, fall under the government of both Church and State. Exen circumcision itself was a national badge as well as a religious seal of God's covenant. -Among Christians, public fafts and thankfgivings, calling of Synods, &c. do, in different respects, fall under the power of both Church and State.Pretend therefore no more, that there is a total difference between the case of our magistrates, and that of the Jewish, recorded in Scrip. ture.
OBJECT. XXI. “ To allow magistrates a power of judging, making and executing laws, about religion, and of punishing men for erroneous opinions, or for disturbing the peace and order of the Church,
as in our Confeffion of Faith and Second Book of Discipline, altogether confounds the kingdoms of Christ with the kingdoms of this world, contrary to John xviii. 36." | Answ. I. Sir, Have you in an honest and orderly manner, renounced these Confessions of Faith, as plainly and publicly as you solemnly avowed, if not also, subscribed a stedfalt adherence to the Westmirfter one, at your ordination? Dare you, one day, call God, angels and men to witness, that you fincerely avow that Confeffion of Faith to be the Confession of your Faith, and that you fincerely believe the WHOLE DOCTRINE contained in it, to be founded on the word of God, and will constantly adhere to and maintain the same all the days of your life; and the next, flight, reproach, revile and attempt to confute an important article of it *? 2. Have
suffered as much for a zealous mainan tenance of the intrinfic power of the Church, and of Christ's sole headship over her as his spiritual kingdom, as the compilers and cordial adherers to that Confeflion have done? If not, modesty, as well as equity, might have restrained your revilings.
3. Suppose that, contrary to ny judgment, P hould allow, that magistrates as such have not thas. power relative to religious matters mentioned in our Confessions, and solemnly avowed in our Covenants, yet, being Christians, they are bound as such to execute their civil offices in that manner which most effectually promotes the honour and kingdom of Christ,- even as parents or masters, who are Christians, are bound to exercise their power in their families, as may best maintain and propagate the.
* See the wickedness of such conduct' excellently exposed in Walker's Vindication of the Discipline and Conftitutions of the Church of Scotland.
knowledge, faith, and obedience of the gospel. Every other character or office, which a Chrijlian hath, must be subordinated to his character as a Christian, 1 Pet. iv. 11. Col. iii. 17. Eph. v. 21--33. vi. i-9. Col. iii. 18-25. iv. I Tim. ii. 1,2,' 3. Tit. ji. I-10. iii. 2. Pet. ii. 11-20. & ill. 1-7. Rom. xiii.
4. If to prevent confounding of the kingdom of Christ with the kingdoms of this world, magistrates who are heads of large political families, mult be excluded from all that care about religion, which is alloted them in our Confession of Faith, Heads of families, muft, for the same reafon, be excluded from establishing the gospel-worship of God in their houses, and from instructing their children or servants in the truths of divine revelation, at least from requiring them to attend such inftructions and worship. You pretend there is a difference; But, Sir, I insist on your stating it precisely, and proving from Scripture and reason, that head fhip over families is a more spiritual relation than headship over multitudes of families; or, that magistrates cannot without fin, do what is fimilar to every thing which parents and matters, as such, are command ed to do.
5: If, to prevent confounding of the Church with the State, magistrates must exercise 110 care about religion,--must punish no publicly obftinate heretic, blafphemer, idolater, profaner of the Sabo bath, or reviler of the oracles and ordinances of Christ, as a criminal against the welfare of the State, Church-courts nult censure, as fcandals againit the welfare of the Church, no theft, murder, robbery, treason, unlawful war, perversion of civil judgment, or the like; as these pertain to the kingdoms of this world.
6. Though the powers of civil and ecclesiastical
government be CO-ORDINATE, each standing on its proper basis, and the right exercise of Church-powe, er contributing mightily to the welfare of the State, -and of civil power to the advancement of the Church,--yet they are not coLLA TERAL, inseparable from, or dependent opon each other, but are altogether diftinct from, and different, in many re. spects *.
1. Civil and ecclesiastical power differ in their FOUNDATION. Magistracy is founded on God's universal dominon over all nations; and hence the law of nature is the immediate supreme rule of its adminiftrations, and the Scriptures becoine the rule of them only as introduced by the law of nature, requiring magiftrates as well as others to believe and obey whatever revelation, duly attested, God is pleased to grant them,-or, by magistrates' subjecting their confciences, as followers of Christ, to the Scriptures as their only rule to direct them how to glorify God and enjoy him for ever. But ecclefia aftical power is founded in the ceconomical or mediatoral headship of Jesus Christ over his Church, as his spiritual kingdom; and hence the immediate standard for regulating the exercise of it, is that Revelation, which God hath given to, and by him, in his word ;--and the laws of nature have a regulating force in the Church by virtue of the general precepts of Scripture, as i Cor. xiv. 26, 40. vi, 12. xvi. 14. Phil. iv. 8. Mat. vii. 12.
2. Civil and ecclefiaftical power-differ in their im. MEDIA TE OBJÈCT. Magistratical power immediate ly relates only to things external, pertaining to the outward man. Even, when exercised about sacred things, it hath that which is external for its immedi
See this point excellently handled in the Hundred and Eleven ; Propositions of the Assembly, 1645. republished by Alfon; Edinburgh.
ate object. It removes external hinderances of spiritual exercises, and provides external opportunities and accommodations for the performance of them. If. magistrates call a Synod, they do not properly call it as a court of Chriji, or as ministers of Christ, but as a meeting of subjects, whose joint deliberations are calculated to promote the honour of God the King of nations, and the happiness of their country, by the right government of the Church. If a magistrate command persons to compear before a Church-court 'to be judged, or to bear witness, he commands them not as spiritual members of Christ's myftical body, but as his own and Jehovah's subjects, to take their trial or attest the truth before
arbitrators of their cause, that God may be honoured, and through keeping of order in the Church, the welfare of the city or nation may be advanced and confirmed. If he punish infolent conteniners of the authority and censures of the Church, he punisheth them not as fcandalous perfons, but as criminals, insulters of that true religion which the civil law hath established, and contemners of those judicatories which it hath authorized, and to which themselves have solemnly engaged all due subjection-and thus, as treacherous. disturbers of the good order and peace of his kingdom, and tramplers on the laws of the Most High Sovereign of the nation. But Church power hath that which is spiritual for its only proper object. It properly deals with men's consciences and heart, and with their outward man, only in order to affect those, in the way of conviction, reformation, comfort, &C It confiders, the perfons, with whom it deals, not as mere men, or as members of a civil society, but as members of the spiritual and myftical body of Christ, in the visible form of it.
3. Civil and ecckfiaftical power differ in their FORM. Though magiftrates be the ministers of God