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28. Either every error in do&rine, and mistake in worhip muft

be punished by the magistrate, or only that which is more glar-

ing and notorious. If it is only the latter, how are the limits to

be precisely fired !---


29. But, how are beretics,'&c to be got judged in order to pu-

nishment? It must be by persons quite impartial--- nowise at-

tached to the contrary sentiments or practice,


30. If heretics, &c. be punishable, orthodox magiftrates, who

happen to become governors of heretical, blasphemous, and

idolatrous nations, must kill the most of their subjects, 94

31. The Christian law of doing to others that which we would

have them do to us, demands that we should allow every man

to think, profess, and act in religion as he pleaseth, &c 95

32. If infidelity and difference in religion do not make void magi-

ftrates' right to govern nations, much less can heresy, &c. inva-

lidate subjects' right to protection---

33.---In protestant countries, Papists ought not to be tolerated, as

they are subject to the foreign power of the Pope. --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,


34. No carnal infuence of magistrates relative to religion is con-

fiftent with the fpiritual nature of Christ's kingdom,

35. The annexing of temporal encouragements to the profeslion

and practice of the Chriftian religion, or external discourage-

ments to the profession or practice of such opinions and worship

as are contrary to it---tends to render men bypocrites, &c. 104

36. The abolishment of all civil establishments of revealed religion,

would have a remarkable tendency to render men truly pious,



37. All civil laws establishing revealed religion, mus necessarily

land magistrates in persecuting their subjects, &c.


38. Let things be reduced to practice---what could be done just

now in Britain, without an authoritative toleration of the differ-

ent parties in religion,


39. The great Dr. Owen zealously pled for authoritative tolera.
tion, and that magiftrates ought not to interfere with religious


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On the Perfidy of all Authoritative Toleration of grofs Heresy, Blof:

phemy or Idolatry.

The Solemn nature of Vous and Covenant,


The Religious nature of the Scotch Covenants,


Objections against the Religious nature of the Scotch Covenants,


1. Our Covenanters' characterizing themselves Noblemen, Burons,

Burgefjis and Commons, prove their Covenants to be mere civil



2. In 1638, and 1645, they framed their Covenants to admit Epif-

copalians and Independents, whom they would not have admit.

ted to the Sacraments,


3. The imposition of these Covenants under civil penalties, proves

them to have been merely State. Covenants,

4. Our ancestors gave up with their Covenanting work, whenever

they got the Itate of the nation settled by means of it; and hay-

ing got their civil liberties otherwise fecured at the Revolution,

they never Covenanted at all,


The Perpetual Obligation of the Scotch Covenants,


Objections against the perpetual obligation of the Scotch Covenants,


1. Many things were wrong in the imposing and taking of these

Covenants; and their words are ill chosen, &c.


2. Many in England and Ireland never took the Solemn League,

or took it in a sense consistent with Prelacy or Independency, 176

3. The influence of the Highland chiefs, and the ignorance of the

Scotch Islands together with the general dislike of the Covenants

at the Restoration and Revolution, are internal evidences, that

but a part, perhaps a small part, of the Scots took the Cove-



4. Force or fear caused many to covenant,


$. It is impossible our Covenanters could understand their bonds,

particularly in that which relates to Popery in the national Co.

venant, or to Prelacy in the Solemn League,


6. If nothing be engaged to in these Covenants, but what God

hath required in his word, they never could lay any obligation up-

on the Covenanters, much less a perpetual obligation upon

their posterity, &c.


2. What have we to do with our fathers' engagements in religion,

to which we never gave any personal consent, especially after

we have become capable to judge and choose for ourselves,


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of gross Heresy, Blasphemy or Idolatry.

SIR, How

God himself connected religion, and the civil welfare of nations, in his ancient laws, almost the whole of the Old Testament doth bear witness. That religion is the great basis of civil happiness, was the common, the avowed belief of every sensible Heathen: It was, for ought I know, the infamous monster Tiberius, who first pretended, That the gods alone ought to regard or refent the injuries done them. Before the happy Reformation, the Popish clergy had reduced civil rulers into mere tools for executing their pleafure in religious matters; and pretended that they had no power of judging in them. To free these rulers from such Antichrif. tian claims, the Protestant reformers, every where, as their Confessions of Faith and other writings make evident, loudly maintained, That to magiftrates themselves independent of clergymen, belongs a dism tinguished power in the reformation and preservation of Teligion. Not long after, Erastus, a German physician and his followers, to curry favour with their respective princes, pretended, That magistrates are the proper lords of the Christian Church, from whom her ministers and other rulers derive their whole

power, and to whom they must be accountable. This notion, exceedingly flattering their ami bition, was too greedily embraced by most of the


Protestant princes; nor do I know of one Proteftant Church, which hath not suffered by means of it. Meanwhile, the German Anabaptists, having experienced the frowns, and sometimes the improper feverities of magistrates, copied after the ancient Donatifts in the like circumstances, and warmJy contended, That magistrates have no more power about religious matters than any private person, and ought to punish none for different sentiments in doctrine or forms of worship. The Socinians and remonstrant Arminians, except when magiftrates favoured themselves, and promoted their cause, zealously contended for the same notion, at least in the case of ministers and worship, which were not maintained at the public expence. Many, if not most of the English Independents in the last century were much of the same mind; and hence, by their influence, some passages in the Westminster Confession of Faith could never obtain à ratification by the English Parliament, or a place in their own Savoy Confession. Part of these passages, relative to the magiftrate's power, are also dropt from the Confession of Faith agreed to by the Independents of New England in 1082. Most of the English Diflenters of this century seem to be much of the same mind; especially such as might otherwise have been exposed to danger on account of their open maintenance of Arian, Socinian, and Quakerish blafphemies. Locke and bishop Hoadly, and some others of the Episcopalian party, warmly espoused the same, cause.

This notion never received much countenance in Scotland, till Mr. Glass of Tealing commenced a furious new-fashioned Independent. He: mightily contended, That the Jewish nation was an ecclefiaftical one, and their kings ecclefiaftical rulers; that Chriftian magiftrates have no more power in

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religious matters than private Christians, and ought not to employ their power in advancing the true religion, or in making laws with penalties in favour of it; or in restraining or punishing heretics or false teachers, nor ought they to give more encouragement to good Christians, than to other peaceable subjects;—that the example of the reforming kings of Judah in punishing idolatry and false worship, and in promoting the true religion, is not now to be imitated; and that our fathers' national covenanting against Popery and other wickedness, in favour of the true religion was unwarrantable, and is not binding upon us.Dr. Wifeart, Principal of the College of Edinburgh, in his fermons contended, That magiftrates have only a right to punish such crimes as itrike immediately against the persons or property of men; but not to punish any thing which Itrikts immediately against the honour of God, as blasphemy or heresy; that all men ought to have civil liberty to think and speak as they please, providing they make no attack upon the welfare of civil fociety; that none ought to be hampered in their search after truth by any requirement of their subscriptions to Formulas or Confessions of Faith; that children in their education, ought never to be biaffed to a fide by learning catechisms which maintain the peculiar principles of a party. These or the like notions have been adopted by not a few of the pretenders to modern illumination.

In her public Standards, the Church of Scotland hath renounced, and in her solemn covenants hath abjured both these extremes. In her Old Confeffion of Faith, which is expressly sworn to in the national covenant of 1581, &c. as in all points the undoubted truth of God, Art. xxiv, she asserts, that “ the power and authority of magiftrates is God's holy ordinance, ordained for manifestation of his own glory, and for

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