Billeder på siden

out of their graves, and burnt? Was it not a council that deposed Ludovicus Pius? How many more such acts have they done?

And are not your most learned doctors allowed to publish the justification of the pope's power to excommunicate and depose kings if they deserve it in his judgment)? Do not your public writers, casuists, and divines ordinarily hold that the people give kings their power, and may take it away when they forfeit it, and that tyranny is such a forfeiture? And that the people should not suffer a heretic to reign? And that subjects may be absolved from their oaths of allegiance, according to the foresaid Lateran and Greg. 7. Roman councils ? But too much is said of this by many, and the case is past a modest denial.

Even those Protestants that were in arms for the parliament, and restored the king, were so far from thinking that their oaths of allegiance may be dispensed with, that if I knew any thing of those men and times, it was principally the conscience of two oaths (the oath of allegiance, and the oath called the covenant) that by them overcame the opposition of the other army, and brought home the king. It was this that engaged the ministers of England against both Cromwell and a commonwealth ; and the ministers were followed by most of the religious people of the land, which broke the adversary's strength. It was this that engaged the excluded members of the (then) long parliament. It was this that engaged the city of London. It seems it was this that engaged General Monk's army, when they say in their address to him (see it in England's Triumph for King Charles II. p. 85.), 'We hope to evince to his majesty and all the world, that we and all those that have been engaged in the parliament's cause, are his majesty's best and most real subjects, and that your excellency and the armies under your command, have complied with the obligations for which they were first raised, for the preservation of the true Protestant religion, the honour and dignity of the king, the privileges of parliament, the liberty and property of the subjects, and the fundamental laws of the land.'

I am not justifying all that I recite. I doubt not but they were much mistaken. But if they had then been told that shortly all the corporation offices and trusts in England shall be constituted by a personal declaration of every one, that There is no obligation on any person from the oath called the Solemn Covenant,' to restore the king oppose schism, or any thing whatever, the effect would have been such, as makes me wonder that the royalists (as then called) should be very eager to make all such declare, that all these soldiers, ministérs, parliament, and citizens that'restored the king as bound to it by that oath, were therein' mistaken, and no such obligation thence was on them.

Quest. 7. I need not name to you the sorry fellows out of the gaols, where they lay for inhuman villanies that have been our zealous, ranting, tearing, prosecutors? And do you think such actions are in honour to your cause? If it be good, use good men in it.

Quest. 8. Why do you play your game under board, and behind the curtain? If you are not ashamed of your cause, openly own it. ' Is falsehood, lying, and dissembling beseeching them that say they are of a church out of which none can be saved? I remember when Terret, alias Johnson, had seduced the eldest daughter of the Countess of Balcarres (whom they stole away and made a nun in France), and she was afterwards asked, why she did so long go to our churches, join in family worship, read Protestant books, and talk against the Papists, and deride them after she was a Papist herself, she answered that they had leave to do all that as long as they did not openly profess their religion, and were not detected. But when once they were discovered and openly professed themselves Roman Catholics, they must then suffer any thing rather than conform to us.

God's cause needeth not such juggling and lying.

Quest. 9. Why do you not ingeniously plead your cause against us, so as may satisfy an understanding conscience, before you seek our destruction? 1. Your arguings are commonly fitted only to cheat the ignorant by ambiguities, and confusion, and equivocal terms ; your queries or methods to the French sufferers, are only a formed cheat, by confounding, 1. Subjection to governors, and communion with neighbour churches. 2. Communion with your church in Christianity and communion with its sins. 3. A Catholic church informed only by the sovereignty of Christ, and a pretended universal church informed by the sovereignty of man (a monarch of a church parliament). 4. The office of keeping, delivering and teaching men God's laws, and an absolute power

[blocks in formation]

you, as

to judge of their sense, and to make more as a supplement to their defects, obliging all the world on pain of excommunication and death, and more such.

2. Any writings which undeniably open your frauds, you take no notice of, nor vouchsafe to answer upon the importunity of Mr. Johnson, and divers others. I have lately written, 1. A reply to Johnson. 2. A small book in answer to one of your papers, to prove that we have a certainty of Christianity without popery.

3. In answer to another, a small book called, "Full and Easy Satisfaction which is the true Religion.” None of them will you answer, nor those before written. But instead of a sober investigation of the truth, some of you raise odious slanders of my life, and threaten and seek my destruction. I never hurt


of I said before, nor ever persuaded any to severity against you. I have long ago publicly proposed terms on which we might live together as neighbours in peace. But destruction and misery are in your way (that I have observed), and the way of peace you have not known.

There are three things which alienate common Christians from you more than all other disputes. 1. That you can go so openly against the plainest words of God, (as in blotting out the second commandment, in notoriously contradicting 1 Cor. xii. Rom. xiv. and xv. about the terms of church union and communion; about Latin prayers and worship to the ignorant, denying the cup to the laity, denying sense in transubstantiation).

2. That you befriend ignorance so much, by the said Latin worship, forbidding most to read the Scripture translated, and accuse God's Spirit of writing obscurely, to cover this.

3. That your religion liveth by cruelty and blood, and cannot stand without it. Which at least in prudence you should hide as long as you can; or at least not design to make the ignorant and vicious Protestants, your proselytes and agents conjunctly to ruin those whom your consciences know to be the most conscientious and seriously religious.

By which already the flock of Christ do (under your sheep's clothing) so judge of you by your fruits, that if any man that is called a Protestant clergyman, do but write and preach for cruelty and ruin towards serious conscionable

[ocr errors][merged small]

Christians, people by this very mark do presently suspect that he is either a Papist or so near them as that he is ready to pass over to them, whom he so assisteth in destructive work.

Quest. What must be the cure of malignity?'

Answ. When the heel of the holy seed is sufficiently bruised, the serpent's head must be broken. 1. The war in heaven which formerly cast down the dragon, must break the supreme serpentine head. 2. Then his heads military on earth will be broken. 1. The usurping universal head called ecclesiastical. 2. The national serpentine heads. 1. Exterior; Mahometan and heathen. 2. Interior ; called falsely Christian. 1. Serpentine monarchs, that war against Christ. 2. Serpentine prelates and their patrons, that fight against Christ as in his own name, and by his pretended commission.

And all this by Christ, and not by sinful means.

Reformation is begun • à minoritis' at the lowest, for personal salvation of the elect. But'a majoritis,' at the heads for public welfare. And God must raise reforming princes and pastors to that end.



[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »