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general welfare of the society, in subordination to the glory of God, can admit, Pfal. xv. 4.
3. Do you pretend to be wiser than God himfüll? Without any apprehended inconsistency, he commanded the Jews, not authoritatively to tolerate, protect, and encourage, but to punish blafphemers, profaners of the Sabbath, idola curs, and false prophets, Lev. xxiv. 15, 16. Num. xv. 35, 36. Deut. xiv. xvii. Zech. xiii. 2-6. and yet commanded them when they were the small minority in the Chaldean empire, to serve the Heathen king of Babylon, Jer. xxvii. 17. & xxix. 7.
OBJECT. XXXIII. « Unlimited tolerations in the Itate ought not to be granted. In Protestant couns tries, Papifts ought not to be tolerated, as they are subject to the foreign power of the Pope, as their Head, and cannot be supposed faithful subjects to, or to keep faith with such as they pretend to be beretics. Atheists ought not to be tolerated, as they cannot be bound by any oath. Such as are against tolerating others ought not to be tolerated, as they will kindle strife. And in Churches, there ought to be no toleration at all."
ANSW. i. Then it seems, Christ and his Father must be excluded from all share in the toleration
you piead for, on account of their intolerant disposition, unless they be infinitely altered from what they were in antient times.
2. You have already given up all your care for procuring the favour of the Popish powers to your Prorektant brethren abroad, by means of tolerating Papists.
3. Never pretend zeal against atheism. till you be able to maintain your tolerant scheme, upon other than the atheistical principles mentioned near the beginning of this mislive; and to which you have had repeated recourse in your objections, and till you al'ow men's rights or pretences of conscience to warrant them to defame, abuse, rob, and murder yourself, as you allow with respect to God.
4. Your present objection is partly founded in atheism. Papifts are excluded from toleration, not at all as notorious blasphemers and idolaters, but merely as not very like to pouve faithful subjects to Protestant magiftrates. Atheists are excluded, not as daring blafphemers or intentionally malicious murderers of Jehovah, but merely because they cannot give proper fecurity for their good behaviour to magistrates and fellow subjects. Thus no more regard is thewed to God the King of nations, than might be expected among a nation of Atheists, and the interests of men are altogether, I might say, infinitely, preferred to his.
5. How are you to fix the precise limits, Who are to be accounted under foreign heads; who are to be accounted Papifts and Atheists;-or who are to be held to give fufficient security by oath ----Whether profane swearers, Quakers, Socinians, notorious violaters of baptismal engagements, folenin subscribers of, and engagers to Creeds and Confessions of Faith which they believe not, &C.--If, contrary to the Jight of nature and revelation, men zealously propagate the doctrines of devils and do worship them in idols, and follow the pernicious practices abovementioned, as the native consequences of error and idolatry, Are not they plainiy subject to another Head, even the God of this world, who is not much more friendly to magistrates and nations, than the Romish Pope? If men have conscience, villainoufly to wrest the Scripture to prove that Christ was originally a mere man, a mere creature, and is now a made God, What more security can we have by their oath, than if they were profeffed Atheists?
6. None who plead for the authoritative toleration
of heretics, blasphemers and idolaters by the State, can with any self-consistent candor, disallow of all toleration in the Church.God the King of nations, hates these abominations as much as Chrift, the Head of the Church. Church-rulers have no other infallible rule to direct them in their decisions, than magistrates have. They are as unfit to judge of more refined errors, as magistrates are to judge of gross errors, blafphemies, idolatries. They have as little allowance from Christ to lord over men's consciences, or to impose their own opinions for are ticles of faith or rules of duty, as magistrates have from God. It is as difficult to fix precisely, What is censurable, and what not, and the proper degree of tenfure answerable to erery scandal, in every cir. cumstance, as to fix precisely, what and how crimes ought to be punished by the magistrate. Unrighteous censures for an adherence to truth and duty, are as real and more severe persecution than unrighteous punishments. Articles and Confeffions of Faith imposed by ecclesiastical authority, as much cramp Christian liberty, as if they were established by the State. Clergymen have as often abused their power about religion, as ever Statesmen did. Their constitutions and counsels have done as much hurt to it, as these of magiftrates ever did; If it be difficult to get grofs heretics, blafphemers and idolaters judged, restrained or punished by the State, it will be found as hard to get ALL errors and ALL practical mistakes. censured by the Church. Nay, for once that ma-gistrates have erred in punishing heretics, blasphemers and idolaters, I believe clergymen have erred, ten, if not an hundred times, in their cenfures. And, feldom have ever magiftrates persecuted men for righteousness fake, but when they were instigated to it by some clergymen.
OBJECT. XXXIV. “ No carnal influence of ma
giftrates relative to religion is consistent with the fpiritual nature of the kingdom of Christ, which is not of this world, John xviii. 36. The apostles ufed no carnal weapons of warfare in promoting it, 2 Cor. x. 4, 5."
ANSW. 1. Why do you not state precisely, what you mean by the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, and its not being of this world? Is it fo fpiritual, that the members and subordinate rulers in it, are not at the same time members in a civil State, and interested in the welfare or hurt of it? Is it so spie ritual, that it hath uo manner of connexion or fel. lowship with the kingdom of God over the nation, in which it refides, and neither gives nor receives from it, any more helpfulness, than from the kingdom of Belial? Is it fo fpiritual, that the power of it cannot touch any part of men's conduct toward one another, or even the magistratical administrations of its members? Is it fo fpiritual, as to exclude the Most High, King of nations, and his deputed vicegerents, from all regard to the honour of God and his religion, and the welfare of the State as connected therewith, leaving them no more concern therewith, than if nations were herds of swine? The question under consideration is not concerning the nature of Christ's kingdom, of which the civil magistrate is not a ruler of any kind, as hath been already manifefted, but, Whether all care about the Church and her religion, as tending to promote the welfare of nations ought to be excluded from God's kingdom as the Sovereign of nations, and he and his vicegerents obliged to manage that department, as if there were no God in the earth.
2. Had Chrift no fpiritual kingdom in the days of Mofes, and the prophets, when God required magistrates to take care about religion, and to restrain and punish the public atrocious insulters of it? Had
he no fpiritual kingdom, not of this world, when he repeatedly drove the buyers and sellers out of the temple?
3. That the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom tendered it perfectly consistent with the full exercise of the magistratical power in the Roman empire, or any other State, which is what he meant in his answer to Pilate, we readily grant; but the inspired promises, which have been repeatedly quoted, Isa.
& lx. 3, 10, 16. Psal. ii. 8, 10, 11, 12. & Ixxii. 10, II. Rev. xi. 15. & xvii. 16. & xxi. 24. fufficiently prove, that the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom doth not exclude magistrates' helpfulness to the truth, in authorizing the profeflion and practice of it by their civil laws, and in restraining the open and insolent blasphemers of it?
4. Though the weapons of ministers' warfare, in propagating the gospel be not carnal, What is that to the case of magistrates? And as the spiritual weapons of Church-officers reach as much to fins a. gainst the second table of the moral law as to those against the first, they no more exclude the use of the magistrates' carnal weapons against the atrocious fins against the first table, than with respect to those against the second, 2 Cor. x. 6. 1 Cor. v. 2-5.
5. Magistratical influence cannot set up Christ's kingdom in men's heart, or oblige men's conscience to obey his laws in an acceptable manner; but it can remove many external hindrances, and afford many external opportunities, of his own setting up, by means of his word and Spirit. It can restrain burning of Bibles or abusing and murdering of preachers and hearers of the gospel. It can spread the Scriptures, and protect preachers of the truths contained in them; and by command, example, and other. wise, encourage the subjects to search the Scriptures, and to hear, learn, profess, and practise the plain