Jonah Bennett

Journalist / Graduate Student

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 2)

The Prerequisites

[Editor’s note: The original a) was transcribed (this one not by me) to create a readable and OCR error-free copy of this unfinished 1938 work by George F. Kennan. Please contact me if you notice any errors.]

Original source:

a): The Prerequisites, Notes on the Problems of the United States in 1938; 1938; George F. Kennan Papers, Box 240, Folder 4; Public Policy Papers, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.


I. The Prerequisites [1938]

The problems which confront the United States of America in the in the year 1938 are not ones which require lengthy elucidation. Ours is an introspective country and the [ pitiless ? ] beam of publicity has been focused on the [jointure?] from sufficient angles and for a sufficient length of time to make the outline amply clear to everyone.

For three hundred years a stream of immigrants has poured into a vast territory and developed it into the greatest of modern industrial states. The political covenant which was to have permitted these people to live together in peace and decency was drawn up one hundred and fifty years ago. It was designed to meet a given set of conditions which were foreseeable at that time. Enormous changes have occurred since then and the just regulation of the relationships between man and man has become infinitely more complex. That we have clung, despite these changing conditions, to the old pattern of political life, is not surprising. For most of this period it has worked tolerably well. And we have had no other tradition to which might turn. But the difficulties of working out our rational life within this
framework have become increasingly great. Our economic machine refuses to continue to run itself in the old smooth manner. Its creaks and groans were detectable long before Government began to tamper with it to the present degree, and the busy monkey wrenches of government power have been able to restore the even workings of its parts. Nasty and uncontrolled industrialization has introduced ugly social and political problems which refuse to be ignored. Our agricultural population is largely indebted or disposed. Our great cities and industrial communities are not pleasant to contemplate. Our population as a whole no longer has its old fiber or its old ideals. Few of us are untouched by the problems of crime, corruption and class and race antagonizers.

Popular opinion on the best way of meeting these problems divides – despite its myriads of sub-currents and cross-currents – into two main lines. One section believes that the problems can be solved only through the paternalistic efforts of central government. The other [suliu?] believes that the interference of government actually created some of the problems and aggravated others, and is incapable of solving most of them. These people see the solution in a revival of what amounts to a domestic policy of laissez-faire.

Both of these groups accept our present Constitution and, in general, the system of government that has grown up under it, as the basis of political life. Both of these profess abhorrence of they call “fascism” or “dictatorships.” Both stand for “democratic government.” One believes that centralized government can effectively regulate the economic and social life of our country. The other believes that this economic and social life can be effectively regulated by free competition and local government.

It is the opinion of those who are [returning?] on this discussion (and who will be refereed to hereafter with the editorial “we”) that both of these groups are wrong, and that the only solution to the problem lies along a road which very few Americans are willing to contemplate: along the which leads through constitutional change to authoritarian state.

***

The horrid word has now been spoken, and from those who have not already laid down the book we have such a chorus of indignant exclamation that we must pause for a moment and allow the din to subside, before we attempt to answer any of them. On the meanwhile, let us reflect a bit in the world at large.
Let us recall, first of all, that there is no such thing as absolute democracy or absolute dictatorship. The very word “democracy” has no precise commonly accepted meaning. As a generalization bandied about daily on a thousand tongues, it probably signifies to most of us a vague mixture of personal liberty and majority rule. But personal liberty, in a society which has taxes, police and unemployment, is a relative term itself. And majority rule is a dangerous measuring stick to apply in a country where a good percentage of local and state governments are in the hands of political machines and where the main-springs of federal legislation are lobbies, patronage and local interests.

The term “dictatorships” is equally elusive. The idea that modern states can by a run by a single individual is simply childish. The countries of the world have varying degrees of centralization of powers. Those in which political power is most highly centralized and absolute we call – when we don’t like their regime – dictatorships. Yet these states are at best oligarchies in which the dominant figure has acquired a certain symbolic value in the popular eye. Their “dictators”, great as their power may be, are dependent on many advisors and assistants and find themselves compelled to compromise at eveyr turn with influential groups of citizens. Is it not significant that no rulers have had to go to greater lengths to influence public opinion through propaganda than those very “dictators” who if their power were absolute as we suppose, should be able to scoff at it? The feel is that in every modern state government exists by the tolerance of the people, and it is precisely the “dictators” who, having deprived themselves of all legal means of retreat, have the bear by the tail.

The majority of the countries of the world, furthermore, are governed by the regimes which fit into neither of the popular conceptions of “dictatorships” or “democracy.” China, which was had in Chiang Kai Shek a conspicuous and powerful leader, is not ranked as a “dictatorship.” Japan is, although few have any clear idea who the dictator is supposed to be. In Europe, which is commonly portrayed as divided into democratic and dictatorial camps a good percentage of the governments now defy classification. Baltic states, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey fit into opposing camps? This question would be equally embarrassing if applied to a number of the countries of Latin America. All in all, it is obvious that neither of these terms is more than a vague cliché, loosely applied for emotional reasons wherever people find it convenient to apply it. Neither will serve us as a precise conception of political life. For this reason, we propose to drop them completely – both the angel of democracy and bogey-man of dictatorship – in our consideration of American problems.

If we do this, we will be able to approach these problems with a greater freedom and a greater equanimity.

***

We take it that there is little disagreement among thinking people with respect to the aims of government. It is clear that a good proportion of our population should be better fed, better housed, better clothed and should enjoy better opportunities for play and relaxation and athletic enjoyment. They must be thought to be more humane and more decent in their relations to one another. Finally, they are to be happy, they should be given the feeling that they are participating individually in a common program towards the end described above, that their efforts are not purely individualistic and selfish, that they are contributing toward the general improvement of the society in which they live.

This is a sketchy program, but we do not feel that it needs to be more complete. We leave the communists to detailed description of distant millenniums. Perfection does not exist in nature. The goals we seek will never be entirely attained. There is plenty to occupy us and our children and our children’s children. The road is a long one. We will be satisfied with motion in the indicated direction. To achieve such motion in the task of government.

***

The problem before us is this: what type of government is best calculated to assure such progress? In seeking the answer to this question, we consider that the content is more important than the form. The first thing to consider is the people who are to bear responsibility for government and who are to participate directly in the exercise of authority. The constitutional form through which this authority is to be exercised is a secondary consideration. Generally speaking the world has always been governed by minorities. At one time, the land-owning nobility or the clergy, or both contributed the basis of power in many western-European states. Later they were replaced by the bourgeoisie. In England, the source of authority is that peculiar strata of society called the “upper class.” In Germany, Russia and Italy it is a combination of the chauvinistic youth, party bureaucracy and the leaders of the armed forces. Only in the sense of “neutral” countries of Europe which enjoy in varying degrees the advantages of compactness, homogeneity of population and exceptional popular political ability, has it possible to widen the basis of power into what may be called a majority of the population.

It was the aim of our present political system to base governmental power on the entire adult population. This aim has obviously been realized. The responsibility of government is largely exercised by a conglomerate minority composed of professional politicians and powerfully-organized special interests. We take issue with this system not because it constitutes rule by minority. We take issue with it because it is rule by the wrong minority, by a minority which does not have national interest at heart and which – would in large part – be incapable of recognizing such interests even if it cared to do so. We hold no brief [sic] for the rule of the majority in the United States. We do not consider the mass of our population sufficiently enlightened, sufficiently homogeneous in its political thought to be capable of taking responsibility for government. What element should then constitute the basis of political power in this country? The old line Republicans say in effect – “business.” The democrats [sic] have no clear idea. The Marxists would have us believe that the only elements morally capable of bearing on their shoulders the burden of political authority are the industrial workers and the most unsuccessful farmers. John L. Lewis says “organized labor.” Some of our most bewildered theorists suggest “the old Anglo-Saxon element.”

We reject all these proposals. We feel that no single, identifiable element or class now exists which is capable of filling this bill. We feel that this country can be effectively and properly government only by a minority selected from all sections and classes of the population, and selected on the basis of individual fitness for the exercise of authority. This fitness must be determined by character, education and inclination. It must be supplemented, once the original selection is made, by training and experience.

In other words, an element capable of bearing political responsibility in this country does not yet exist as an entity. It must be created. Its members must be selected, organized and trained. The necessity of training them means that they can be selected, organized and trained. The necessity of training them means that they can be selected, in the main only, from the youth. And this election can be carried out only by a political organization, unconnected with any existing political party or any vested interest, an organization professional indifferent to the size of tis population backing and unhampered b[y] the necessity of seeking votes, an organization capable of commanding the undivided loyalty and confidence its followers. It is the creation of such an organization which we propose as the first step in the realization of the program outline in this book.

***

Before leaving this point, let us paint this organization in a little greater detail.
As stated above, it would have to be composed largely of young people. Its members would have to dedicate themselves to its purpose. They would have to make it their profession. They would have to abandon the attractions of private life, the prospect of making money and of keeping up with the Joneses. They would have to subject themselves to discipline as they would if they entered a religious order. Many of them would doubtless have to face – at first – the opposition of parents and pedagogues and the scorn of loss less idealistic fellows.

For all this their rewards would come – if they were successful – in the possession of authority and in the sense of real service to society. If they were unsuccessful, they would have only recollection of a comradeship relieved of the social life of young America[:] falseness and the philistinism which pervades in its colleges and its suburban communities, and the feeling that they had done all that they could to prevent the disintegration of the body politic which [sic] into which they had been born.

***

The question will now be asked; supposing that you are successful in creating a competent, disciplined and devoted organization of untrammeled young people, dedicated to the service of the state, how are they going to come into power unless they have behind them an effective vote-getting machine, which in turn means selling-out to one of the other of the countries existing political factions?
We propose to leave this question unanswered. It does not bother us. We know of no instance in history where a highly-disciplined, energetic and determined minority has failed eventually to find means of coming into power in a state where political power was corrupt, chaotic and diffused. Nor does this imply the necessity of the use of violence. If the presen[t] degeneration of Americas political life continues, it is more probable that power will eventually drop like a ripe apple into the hands of any organized minority which knows what it wants and has the courage to accept responsibility. This danger already exists. We did not create it. We are only trying to anticipate it. There will be ruthless elements a-plenty waiting to inherit the instruments of power which the old system has been unable to wield. It is our concern that there should be at least one competitor with a sense of decency and responsibility.

***

Now we have come an amazing distance in this short space of time. We have shaken off the fetish of democracy and the spectre of dictatorship. We have searched our country in vain for a promising foundation of political power and have ended up by creating one and bringing it into power. We have kept it free from the compromises and restrictions of vote-seeking and demagoguery. We are now at liberty to turn to the main theme of the discussion: the program which could be followed by an organization of this sort and – let us add – by no other type of political entity.

II. The Organization of Government

Whenever this, or any authoritative regime comes into power in this country (and we depend on it that if this one does not come into power some other one will) the circumstances will scarcely be such that one will be able to turn immediately to the normal processes of government. There will be plenty of problems of an emergency nature faced at the outset, -problems which will have to be dealt with on an emergency basis through the apparatus of the existing executive and judicial branches of the Government. There is no necessity, consequently, for having on hand a complete plan of constitutional reform, ready for the application on the spur of the moment, like the Soviet formula for the government of puppet states in Asia or the standard Nazi framework into which Austria was so suddenly gleichgestaltet.
Nor do we feel that it is the business of any individual or of any single particular political group to plot out changes of this nature. We have sufficient confidence in ourselves to take responsibility for the immediate exercise of power, if the opportunity presents itself. We do not feel that we could – or should – take responsibility for determining the permanent form which government power should take. This is a matter which can be worked out only by a body of representing all the elements fit to share political responsibility in the country, assembled in a new constitutional convention.

We have, we repeat, no detailed plan for a reorganization of government and we do not feel that it is our business to have any. But there are certain principles which we feel should be observed in such a reorganization.

The first of these is that there must be a very extensive restriction of the suffrage in national affairs. It is obvious that there are millions of people in this country who haven’t the faintest conception of the rights of wrongs of the complicated questions with which the federal government is faced. One may reply that they are not supposed to have, that they are merely supposed to elect representatives in whom they have confidence and who are qualified to consider these matters.

Unfortunately, the system does not work this way. Corruption, machine politics, demagoguery and ignorance all stand in the way. When bewildered ignorant popular masses, untrained in any particular political tradition or even national feeling, are given the unlimited privilege of political responsibility, the invariable and unavoidable result is that they turn it over to the most determined unscrupulous self-seekers. The broader and more remote the governmental unit in which they are supposed to represent, the less understanding they have for its operation and for their own real interests. Thus unrestricted suffrage, debatable enough in local an state affairs, becomes even less justified and more dangerous in national affairs.

How can suffrage be rrestricted [sic]? There are three answers to this. The first is the disfranchisement of aliens and naturalized citizens. This proposal will be greeted with particular horror and indignation by a great many people. These groups of persons – the aliens and the naturalized citizens – have proportionately more power in American politics than any other elements of the population.

Anyone who has held a position of any responsibility in the federal government can confirm the fact that a newly arrived alien who happens to belong to one of the well-organized nationality groups can get much more in the way of favorable action out of Washington than the average Tom, Dick or Harry whose ancestors have so fare merged themselves into the American picture that their foreign origin, if determinable at all, can no longer be recognized. The real American, modest and decent should that is, contents himself with the meagre privileges of his status as a resident of the country and his individual political allegiance is not even known to the local ward-heelers. The member of one of the nationality groups is registered and catalogued and the group has its particular congressmen and senators to do its bidding in the national capitol.

We do not deny that a restriction of the suffrage on this basis would mean that a certain number of highly intelligent and right-minded people would not be allowed to vote. This is a sacrifice which we cannot avoid. But by way of compensation, the ground would be taken from under the feet of a large number of useless and harmful politicians, foreign governments would lose their principle channels of influence in American internal affairs, and several millions of bewildered semi-digested new arrivals would become for the first time the objects of benevolent good government rather than fodder for the rent-sharks, ward-heelers and confidence mend of the big cities. These people will be happier as passive citizens of a government they can respect than as misguided participants in the sorry farce of what they are told is “American democracy”.

The second element which should be deprived of the franchise is the woman, insofar as she does not have an independent status in the productive life of the country as a job-holder or as one who pursues a profession. This suggestion is probably the only one that could arose more indignation of than that of the disenfranchising the aliens and naturalized citizens. But the purpose of this book is to look and naturalized citizens. But the purpose of this book is to look realistically at the American scene and not to give pleasure.

The fact is that this country is already a matriarchy. In no other great nation have women been given remotely the power in social, economic and political affairs that they have in this country. They control in large part the family. They control in still greater part the nation’s purse. They dominate cultural life, as the greatest market for magazines, books, films, etc. The[y] have their lobbies in Washington and the politicians tremble at their approach.

As a whole, the American women has conspicuously failed to live up to the reasonability which the exercise of this power entails. Her club-life has become a symbol of futility and inanity. In national politics she has placed her enormous power in the hands of lobbyists, charlatans and racketeers. Finally, shea has not even done well by herself. She has ruined in large part some of the greatest assets of her own sex. She has become, in comparison with the women of other countries, delicate, high-strung, unsatisfied, flat-chested and flat-voiced. The higher she is in the social and economic scale and the more true these things are – and the greater the part she takes in politics. A reversion of woman’s social activity to family picnics, children’s parties and the church social (without the lecturer from New York) would take an enormous strain off the country – and the women as well.
Let this not be take as disrespect for something that all Americans have been taught to revere. It is rather an attempt to take the first step toward clearing away of the underbrush of ridiculous, wearing activity for activity’s sake which has grown up around woman’s leisure time and a restoring to American womanhood of something of the strength and dignity which it is rapidly losing.

The third element which has no benefit from the suffrage in this country is made up of the negroes. Seventy years of nominal enjoyment of this privilege has proved this beyond and necessity of further demonstration. The condition of the colored race is probably the outstanding disgrace of American public life. The negro has become in reality – whether we like it or not – the ward of the American government. Urgent measures are required to stop the economic decline and the physical and nervous disintegration which are overtaking the colored populations of our cities. These measures will never be taken by the type of person to whom the negroes, when permitted to vote, entrust their political fortunes. On the contrary, these people merely clutter up the process of government and impede any sort of constructive progress. The lack of the franchise could make the negro little more defenseless than he is. It should serve, on the contrary, to develop some sense of responsibility for his welfare which is so woefully lacking in the white population. It is a national characteristic that we are kinder to those who, like our children, are openly dependent on our kindness than those who are nominally able to look after themselves.

If these three restrictions were made in suffrage, then the basis of political power would be cut down to something roughly coinciding with the body of persons, who by virtue of background as well as their function in society, might be supposes to have some qualification for exercising it intelligently and usefully.

The question would then remain: through what channels should this power be exercised?

We hold it to be self-evident that the present legislative branch of our government is utterly inadequate to meet the demands of a modern state for intelligent ligeslation [sic]. For this we do not blame the individuals who comprise the body. They are the products rather than the creations of the system, and it is the system which is wrong. They are of necessity, by virtue of the method of their selection, mediocre men with little courage. They are compelled to legislate on national questions but they are not allowed to think along national lines. Their masters are those elements which control their constituencies. Even freed of their bosses and constituents, they would have a hard time finding reasonable answers to the problems placed before them, due to their limitations of intelligence and character. Saddled as they are with demands of sectional and special interests, they do not even try to keep national interests in their legislative work. The measures which they adopt are consequently a series of hodgepodge compromises between various selfish interests, compromises which often bear very little [recognizable] relation to the problems they are supposed to meet.

We regard it as self-evident that the present constitutional system is inadequate and to a certain extent directly harmful. For this, we do not blame the fathers of the constitution. We blame the subsequent generations, including our own, for distorting the pattern which the framers of the Constitution laid down, for perverting what was supposed to be a representational government into a boss-ridden democracy, for admitting to this country millions of new elements incapable of understanding our conceptions of government and destined inevitably to constitute the means for the abuse of these conceptions by unscrupulous demagogues, and – finally – for a general cowardliness and reluctance to take responsibility in questions of political theory. We feel that if the men who framed the Constitution could re-appear on this earth today they would be the first to demand immediate far-going revision of that very document and would have some biting words for a generation too lazy and too timid to continue a work which they themselves had begun with such energy and courage.

For the formulation of a system of government can not be – and was not meant by our forefathers to be – a single, isolated act, valid for all time. Human nature is fallible; human life is subject to change. The form for political life must necessarily be subject to constant, gradual change, if more violent changes are to be avoided.

The British have recognized this, with conspicuous success. It is time this country did likewise.

Some Considerations on Mr. Locke’s Scheme of deriving Government from an Original Compact

[Editor’s note: The original a) from Google Books was modified to create a readable and OCR error-free copy of this circa 1792 work by George Horne. Please contact me if you notice any errors.]

Original source:

a): https://books.google.com/books?id=-x1WAAAAMAAJ


Some Considerations on Mr. Locke’s Scheme of deriving Government from an Original Compact.

Hooker allows, that “to fathers within their private families, nature hath given a supreme power; for which cause,” saith he, “we see throughout the world, even from the foundation thereof, all men have been taken as lords and lawful kings in their own houses.”[1] He also thinks it probable, with Aristotle, that “as the chiefest person in every household was always as it were a king; so when numbers of households joined together in civil societies, kings were the first kind of governors amongst them.” The question is, how these civil governors came by their power over a number of families dispersed, as mankind increased, and independent of one another? Here is supposed to be a necessity for compact to take place, in the appointment of one common head; and the chiefs of the several families are the peers between whom it is imagined to have been made, for their mutual interest and welfare.

As mankind multiplied, they were obliged to separate and disperse; which they did under their natural rulers the heads of families, clans, or tribes. This would fill the earth with little governments; and as there was land enough for them, who needed only to till the ground, and feed their flocks, thus they would continue, till quarrels arose, and one clan subdued others by force, and the larger governments arose by conquest, swallowed up the lesser into themselves, and then contended with and overthrew each other. In the Xth chapter of Genesis, we have an account of the families, clans, or lesser governments with which the earth was overspread, by the descendants of the sons of Noah; and ver. 8, 9, 10, we find the kingdom or larger government of Babel arising by means of Nimrod, a mighty one, i.e. a subdue, a conqueror, a hunter, or persecutor and oppressor. Soon after arose Ashur, the founder of the Assyrian monarchy, which afterwards fell into that of Babylon, and because universal: thence it passed to the Persians, Grecians, and Romans; and so down to the present state of things in this world. And all this without any necessity of supposing an original compact, and without any sign of such compact appearing in history.

Mr. Locke asserts the free consent of every individual necessary to be had in founding governments; but soon after tells us, such consent is “next to impossible to be had.” So that, according to his own account, his hypothesis stands on a supposition “next to impossible” to be realized; indeed, we may venture to say, altogether impossible, for the reasons he himself assigns. B. II. ch. 8.

The original compact being supposed to be made, each individual consents from thenceforth to be determined by the majority of the society. But as the majority may exceed the minority only by a single vote, consequently half the society may be enslaved by the other half, (that is, in fact, by the will of a single person, the casting voter) which seems to be an infringement on liberty, to which men born free and equal might scruple to submit.

Mr. Locke says, “no man can submit himself to the arbitrary power of another.” B. II. ch. II. Then can he not submit himself to any government whatsoever: for in every government the legislature is arbitrary, and is not bound by its own laws, which it can repeal, alter, dispense with, deny the benefit of habeas corpus, keep a man in Newgate, take his life by act of attainder, &c.

His farther reason (why no man can submit himself to the arbitrary power of another) is, that no man can give what he hath not, viz. a power over his own life. How then came any government possessed of a power of life and death? Divine right surely must come in here: what else can give to another that power over my life, which I have not in myself?[2]

He farther asserteth, that absolute subjection to any form of government is worse than anarchy, or a state of nature, “as he is in a much worse condition who is exposed to the arbitrary will of one man, who has the command of 10,000, than he who is exposed to the arbitrary power of 100,000 single men.” But which is best for the whole 100,000, that their general or king should now and then command or do an hard thing by one of them, or that they should all be turned loose to devour each other, a fortiori, with regard to a nation, or the whole world, which, in such a case, would be an aceldama.

He tells us, (B. II. ch. 19) that if a government become arbitrary, it is dissolved; the people are again in a state of nature, and may again proceed to election. 1. Government may pass from one contending party to another, but its dissolution is a whim and a dream. 2. Dissolve it in England and Scotland, and see when the individuals would agree on another form?[3]

It is observable, that among the instances of mal-administration which dissolve government, Mr. Locke reckons that of corrupting the representatives, or their electors. “This,” he says, “is to cut up government by the roots, and poison the very foundation of public security: it is a great breach of trust, and as perfect a declaration of a design to subvert the government as is possibly to be met with. To which if one shall add rewards and punishments visibly employed to the same end, and all the arts of perverted law made use of to take off and destroy all that stand in the way of such a design, and will not comply and consent to destroy the liberties of their country, it will be past doubt what is doing—and cannot but see, that he who has once attempted any such thing, cannot any longer be trusted.” B. II. ch. 19. p. 338. Now had Mr. Locke’s principles been universally received, and had the good people of England acted up to them, in the days of Sir Robert Walpole, the nation had been a scene of confusion from that time to this.[4]

Mr. Locke says farther, that “till mischiefs are grown general, &c. the people who are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance, are not apt to stir.” Ibid. p. 345. “There is a slowness and aversion in people to quit their old constitution—and whatever provocations have made the crown to be taken from some of our princes’ heads, they never carried the people so far as to place it in another line.” p. 340. Here it is curious to see how great men differ. Mr. Hume thinks passive obedience should be preached, without mentioning any case wherein it is to give way to resistance; because the people are far more likely to rebel in the world place, than to omit doing it in the right; the bias of human nature being, in the judgment of that acute observer of it, towards rebellion. See his reflections on the reign of Charles I. at the close of his history of that reign. The same inference, by the way, follows from what Mr. Locke says, p. 340, that when people are oppressed, preach jure divine, and passive obedience, as much as you please, they will rebel. If this be so, we may very safely preach it; it can do no hurt to civil liberty. But surely conscience is some restraint; and if people will rebel as soon as rebellion is proper, though you preach obedience, they are in great danger of doing it before it is proper, if you preach resistance.

In the next page, Mr. Locke is again of opinion, that the people are not disposed to rebellion. “Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenient laws, and all the slips of human frailty will be borne by the people without mutiny or murmur.” p. 341. Not if they were thoroughly persuaded, that all power was originally in them, and they might change the legislative as often as they pleased, but what wrong and inconvenient laws had Moses made, or of what slips of human frailty had had been guilty, when Datham and Abiram asserted a design to subvert the constitution, and to make himself arbitrary, was so plain, that the people must see it, unless he “put out their eyes!” Numb. Xvi. 13, 14.

To those who object the confusion, civil wars, &c. that must follow from Mr. Locke’s principle, he answers, by comparing a ruler, who violates the constitution, to a robber, a pirate, a wolf, a polyphemus (p. 343); and is very witty on a supposition that Ulysses, as a prudent man, for the sake of peace, preached passive obedience to his companions in the den, &c. But the cases are not parallel, as none of his worthies are invested with any authority of any kind, to which obedience is due. And, by the comparisons, one would really think nothing was more common than for kings to cut or tear the throats of their subjects, and suck the blood, as it ran warm from the jugulars.

He who places all power in the people, says Mr. Locke, makes the best fence against rebellion. P. 341. How so? Why, because the ruler who breaks his trust, is properly the rebel; he does rebellaire, bring back that war, force, or violence, which it was the design of the original compact to drive and to keep away: for rebellion is not against persons, but against the authority lodged in the constitution and the laws. But can authority exist without a person to exist in? or can the laws execute themselves? We have an equal right to take away from the other side the persons of rebels; then may we leave rebellion and authority, in the abstract, to settle the matter by themselves: there will be no bloodshed between them. Prerogative and privilege, considered in the same way, without a crown and a parliament, that is, without any subject to inhere in, may be the two seconds; and that the combatants may have room enough, let them fight in infinite space. If the right of government be not inherent in the persons of governors, there can be no such thing as government upon earth.[5]

To Mr. Locke’s scheme of founding government upon compact among peers in a state of nature, it had been objected, that men never were in such a state. Mr. Locke is so obliging as to favour us with some instances of men in that state. As first, the Floridans, Brasilians, and Cheroquees in America, who it seems have no kings, but chuse leaders as they want them in time of war. (p. 242.) It is probably that they may. But men at the beginning were not placed by their maker in so miserable a state. It is a state, to which, by the loss of revelation, and other knowledge, through the divine judgments upon them, some generations of men have been reduced to run wild, like brutes, in the words. This is not a state of nature, but the most unnatural state in the world, for creatures made in the image of God. And does a polite philosopher, in these enlightened days, send us to study politics under Cherokee tutors!

A second instance is the company that left Sparta, under the conduct of Palantus, whom by a free and equal vote they chose for their leader. The persons here alluded to were an extraordinary breed of bastards, begotten on the women of Sparta by certain young men sent home to cohabit with them promiscuously, from the Spartan army, detained at the siege of Messena, under a vow not to return till the city was taken. When the issue of this promiscuous concubinage came to years of maturity, partly having grace enough to be ashamed of their mothers, and partly afraid of being starved for want of an inheritance from their fathers, they chose Palantus, the pious author of the advice, for their general, seized upon Tarentum, drove out the original inhabitants, settled, grew seditious, and at last banished for ever that same Palantus, the cause of their birth, and the guide of their peregrinations. How many happy circumstances must concur to bring our posterity into this same Spartan state of nature, in order to erect a free and equal government? I say, our posterity; because we ourselves, having the misfortune to be already born of honest parents, must despair of so great a blessing.[6] Two other instances produced by Mr. Locke are the founders of Rome and Venice. The former were a gang of robbers; the latter were the inhabitants of Padua, Aquileia, and other cities on the continent of Italy, driven thence by the Goths in the fifth century; consequently obliged to shift as they could, and chuse governors in their distress, when they were deprived of their natural ones, in the places where they lived before. There is no question but some men have been, and some may again, either bring themselves, or be brought by others, into this state of anarchy; in which case, they must get out of it as well as they can. But all Mr. Locke’s instances are of men in an unnatural state; to which they were reduced by breaking or being forced away from civil government, which was in the world long before any of these instances happened. “From the beginning it was not so.”

Mr. Locke says only (p. 250) it is probable men were naturally free, and by their own consent submitted to the government their father, and of his eldest son after him, finding the easiness and equality of it. Here the fact is allowed, and the compact, it seems, made by the tacit consent of the children. So saith Bishop Hoadley: “If Adam’s monarchy were founded upon, and supported by the tacit consent of his descendants, this amounts to such a compact as I am defending.” See Finishing Stroke, p. 19. Confounding consent of duty with consent of authority. This did for the golden age: but afterwards when governors grew naughty, “men found it necessary to examine more carefully the original and rights of government, (p. 252) and find out ways to restrain, &c.” So that this was only a secondary affair, and the original compact between peers in an independent state of nature is given up; only we must not say the patria potestas was by divine right, but by the tacit consent of the children; which was certainly given, unless crying could be interpreted into a dissent.[7]

Mr. Locke’s great argument against the patriarchal scheme proceeds on a supposition, that its patrons held an universal monarchy in a right line from Adam, and desires to be shewn who that monarchy now is. But this God never intended. Adam was ruler in his own family; but if a colony went off to a distance under one of his sons, he was the ruler there, and so on: which his sufficient to shew there could be no independent state of nature from the beginning. Afterwards, when conquest and usurpation made confusion, the general rule for the preservation of peace and order in the world could only be this, that the possessor had the right, if nobody could shew a better. And people at this day must be guided by the constitution and laws of their own country, obeying the supreme power, where it is placed, for conscience sake.

But after all, there can be no such thing as any permanent authority in any kind of government; if it be true, as Mr. Locke asserts (p. 255) that a man born under government, is as free as one dropped in the woods; because though his father, by compact, had passed over his liberty, he could do it only for himself, not for his children[8], who, it seems, are free, and consequently under no obligation to obey God, when he commands them to be subject to the powers that be, till they have given their own consent, by compact with those powers. The man, who, when he comes of age, should act upon this principle, and plead an authority to transgress the laws because he had never consented to them, would either receive punishment, or be put into confinement as a person out of his wits.

A Note By The Editor

[If a father have promised for his son, that he shall obey the law of God, we are sure that son can never be released from the obligation by any authority of his own. For the moral government of God is as wide as the world; and where the laws of God are known, every man is born subject to them: and he will be judged by those laws at last. Every civil government is erected in aid to this moral government of God; and thus the peace and security of the world is preserved, though the value of government to mankind be sometimes not known till it is lost; as men do not know the blessing of health till they have been sick. Authors argue about government, without remembering that they are under revelation. This has been the occasion of all our disputes: and we have seen from an event universally known, that when the principles which human philosophy has invented are realized, and brought to effect, they are found to have so little religion in them, that it is doubted whether they will consist with the being of a God.

It seems to have been the design of all Mr. Locke’s arguments, not to obtain from history and reason the true original of government, nor to teach us how and why it is to be maintained in the world; but, in a supposed state of nature, the power of the populace, and the obligation of an imaginary compact, to lay a plausible foundation for insurrections and dissolutions. For this purpose, his principles were taken up and circulated. Price and Priestley wrote for them; and all their followers defend them. In the beginning of the present revolution in France, one of their friends, who visited them from England, reported of them in a news-paper, that they were wonderfully enlightened, and talked like men who had read Locke. It is probable they might; though Locke was transmitted to their reading through the writings of Voltaire. If what they have acted, hath been in consequence of what they had read, then is the merit of Mr. Locke’s principles brought to an issue, which is very short, and level to every capacity: “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

If the reader wishes to see natural right, natural liberty, and natural equality, farther exposed, we refer him to an excellent disquisition of Soame Jenyns, Esq; one of the best pieces which the present times have produced.]

 

[1] The same sentiment is expressed by Mr. Addison with his usual accuracy and elegance. “The obedience of children to their parents is the basis of all government and is set forth as the measure of that obedience which we owe to those whom Providence hath placed over us.” Spect. No. 189.

[2] The author of an Essay on Crimes and Punishments, (one of the first pieces in which the politics now prevailing in France were published to the world) seeing that no government can exist without a power of life and death, supposes, that though one man has no power over his life, the aggregate of society may have it; which is the same as to say, that though one cypher does not make a sum, a multitude of cyphers may.

 

According to the plain state of this case, Gen. ix. 6. the taking away of man’s life without law, is an act of rebellion against God, who is the giver of life, and made man in his own image. By himself, therefore, power is given to every government to take away the life of man by an act of justice, in virtue of a divine law: for the same authority which ordains the law, doth in so doing ordain power to execute the law, without which the law is nothing; and this we call the power of the sword. This power being original in God, the Apostle, Rom. Xiii. 6. considers the civil magistrate as the minister of God for the execution of the divine law; and that to resist him is to resist the ordinance of God: therefore government is the ordinance of God. The argument is plain, and can never be answered. In the work above mentioned, suicide is considered as a voluntary migration; as when a man by choice leaves his parish, and goes to seek his fortune in another!

[3] Late events have taught us, that when the regular establishment of government is destroyed, factions arise in its stead, who murder and plunder one another.

[4] When the order of the constitution is violated, and bad principles are introduced, the government does not fall to pieces, but the different parts of it maintain themselves as well as they can by mutual encroachments: the commons, by taking something from the crown, and the crown, by substituting pecuniary influence, to supply what it loses of its lawful power. “We may give (says Mr. Hume) to this influence what name we please; we may call it by the invidious name of corruption and dependence: but some degree, and some kind of it, are inseparable from the very nature of the Constitution, and necessary to the preservation of our own mixed government.” I. 67. This seems to be the true account of the matter: and it hath appeared in fact, that when the crown hath thought proper to exert itself, it has carried every question in the house of commons. Mr. Hume was of opinion, that if ever the power should devolve to the commons, and a popular government be erected, we shall be overwhelmed with faction or tyranny, and “such a violent government cannot long subsist, but we shall at last, after infinite convulsions and civil wars, find repose in absolute monarchy, which it would have been happier for us to have established more peaceably from the beginning. Absolute monarchy is therefore the easiest death, the true euthanasia of the British constitution.” I. 78.

[5] This distinction between persons and authority is plainly calculated to produce changes of government by insurrections and rebellions. For if authority be not resident in persons, then may any person seize upon it without offence against any other person. It was actually so applied in the last century. It is the old distinction that raised the rebellion against Charles I. and has been expressed condemned by the laws, which have obliged both clergy, corporations, and militia to “abhor that traitorous position of taking arms by the king’s authority against his person, or against those that are commissioned by him.”

[6] The narrative here referred to is very singular, and worth a farther inquiry. The hero of the tale is also called Phalantbus, and the spurious race are called Partbenui, because they were born of unmarried women. They were engaged in a plot with the Helots for cutting off the inhabitants of Sparta, and taking possession for themselves; but the Helots betrayed them, and the miscarrying of this design occasioned their emigration. It is curious to observe how fornication and sedition here go hand in hand, and how both together furnish Mr. Locke with an example which suits with his opinions on the origin of government.

[7] It was argued, that if government were the ordinance of God, and there could be no authority of government but from the consent of the governed, it would then follow, that the authority of God himself must be founded upon the consent of the people. And the advocates for compact did still persist, and went so far as to assert, that God became the God of the Hebrews in virtue of a contract which the people made with him at Horeb; that is, because the people chose him. Thus a consent of duty is turned into a consent of authority.

[8] This is a contradiction to what Mr. Locke had before asserted, concerning a tacit consent of the children.

The Duty of Submission to Civil Government Explained

[Editor’s note: The original a) from Google Books was modified to create a readable and OCR error-free copy of this 1785 work by William Paley. Please contact me if you notice any errors.]

Original source:

a): https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Principles_of_Moral_and_Political_Ph.html?id=r5wvrEfYxYEC


The Duty of Submission to Civil Government Explained

The subject of this chapter is sufficiently distinguished from the subject of the last, as the motives which actually produce civil obedience may be, and often are, very different from the reasons which make that obedience a duty.

In order to prove civil obedience to be a moral duty, and an obligation upon the conscience, it hath been usual with many political writers, at the head of whom we find the venerable name of Locke, to state a compact between the citizen and the state, as the ground and cause of the relation between them; which compact, binding the parties for the same general reason that private contracts do, resolves the duty of submission to civil government into the universal obligation of fidelity in the performance of promises. This compact is two-fold:

First, An express compact by the primitive founders of the state, who are supposed to have convened for the declared purpose of settling the terms of their political union, and a future constitution of government. The whole body is supposed, in the first place, to have unanimously consented to be bound by the resolutions of the majority; that majority, in the next place, to have fixed certain fundamental regulations; and then to have constituted, either in one person, or in an assembly, (the rule of succession or appointment being at the same time determined,) a standing legislature, to whom, under these pre-established restrictions, the government of the state was thenceforward committed, and whose laws the several members of the convention were, by their first undertaking, thus personally engaged to obey.—This transaction is sometimes called the social compact, and these supposed original regulations compose what are meant by the constitution, the fundamental laws of the constitution; and form, on one side, the inherent, indefeasible prerogative of the crown; and, on the other, the unalienable, imprescriptible birth-right of the subject.

Secondly, A tacit of implied compact, by all succeeding members of the state, who, by accepting its protection, consent to be bound by its laws; in like manner, as whoever voluntarily enters into a private society is understood, without any other or more explicit stipulation, to promise a conformity with the rules and obedience to the government of that society, as the known conditions upon which he is admitted to a participation of its privileges.

This account of the subject, although specious, and patronized by names the most respectable, appears to labour under the following objections; that it is founded upon a supposition false in fact, and leading to dangerous conclusions.

No social compact, similar to what is here described, was ever made or entered into in reality; no such original convention of the people was ever actually holden, or in any country could be holden, antecedent to the existence of civil government in that country. It is to suppose it possible to call savages out of caves and deserts, to deliberate and vote upon topicks, which the experience, and studies, and refinements of civil life alone suggest. Therefore no government in the universe began from this original. Some imitation of a social compact may have taken place at a revolution. The present age has been witness to a transaction, which bears the nearest resemblance to this political ideal, of any of which history has preserved the account or memory. I refer to the establishment of the United States of North-America. We saw the people assembled to elect deputies, for the avowed purpose of framing the constitution of a new empire. We saw this deputation of the people deliberating and resolving upon a form of government, erecting a permanent legislature, distributing the functions of sovereignty, establishing and promulgating a code of fundamental ordinances, which were to be considered by succeeding generations, not merely as laws and acts of the state, but as the very terms and conditions of the confederation; as binding not only upon the subjects and magistrates of the state, but as limitations of power, which were to control and regulate the future legislature. Yet even here much was presupposed. In settling the constitution, many important parts were presumed to be already settled. The qualifications of the constituents who were admitted to vote in the election of members of congress, as well as the mode of electing the representatives, were taken from the old forms of government. That was wanting, from which every social union should set off, and which alone makes the resolutions of the society the act of the individual,–the unconstrained consent of all to be bound by the decision of the majority; and yet, without this previous consent, the revolt, and the regulations which followed it, were compulsory upon dissentients.

But the original compact, we are told, is not proposed as a fact, but as a fiction, which furnishes a commodious explication of the natural rights and duties of sovereigns and subjects. In answer to this representation of the matter, we observe, that the original compact, if it be not a fact, is nothing; can confer no actual authority upon laws or magistrates; nor afford any foundation to rights, which are supposed to be real and existing. But the truth is, that in the books, and in the apprehension, of those who deduce our civil rights and obligations a pactis, the original convention is appealed to and treated of as a reality.

Whenever the disciplines of this system speak of the constitution; of the fundamental articles of the constitution; of laws being constitutional or unconstitutional; of inherent, unalienable, inextinguishable rights, either in the prince, or in the people; or indeed of any laws, usages, or civil rights, as transcending the authority of the subsisting legislature, or possessing a force and sanction superiour to what belong to the modern acts and edicts of the legislature, they secretly refer us to what passed at the original convention. They would teach us to believe, that certain rules and ordinances were established by the people, at the same time that they settled the charter of government, and the powers as well as the form of the future legislature; that this legislature consequently, deriving its commission and existence from the consent and act of the primitive assembly (of which indeed it is only the standing deputation), continues subject, in the exercise of its offices, and as to the extent of its power, to the rules, reservations, and limitations which the same assembly then made and prescribed to it.

“As the first members of the state were bound by express stipulation to obey the government which they had erected, so the succeeding inhabitants of the same country are understood to promise allegiance to the constitution and government they find established, by accepting its protection, claiming its privileges, and acquiescing in its laws; more especially, by the purchase or inheritance of lands, to the possession of which, allegiance to the state is annexed, as the service and condition of the tenure.” Smoothly as this [unreadable] of argument proceeds, little of it will endure examination. The native subjects of modern states are not conscious of any stipulation with their sovereigns, of ever exercising an election whether they will be bound or not by the acts of the legislature, of any alternative being proposed to their choice, of a promise either required or give; nor do they apprehend that the validity or authority of the laws depends at all upon their recognition or consent. In all stipulations, whether they be expressed or implied, private or publick, formal or constructive, the parties stipulating must both possess the liberty of assent and refusal, and also be conscious of this liberty; which cannot with truth be affirmed of the subjects of civil government, as government is now, or ever was, actually administered. This is a defect, which no arguments can excuse or supply: all presumptions of consent, without this consciousness, or in opposition to it, are vain and erroneous. Still less is it possible to reconcile with any idea of stipulation the practice, in which all European nations agree of founding allegiance upon the circumstance of nativity, that is, of claiming and treating as subjects all those are born within the confines of their dominions, although removed to another country in their youth or infancy. In this instance certainly the state does not presume a compact. Also if the subject be bound only by his own consent, and if the voluntary abiding in the country be the proof and intimation of that consent, by what arguments should we defend the right, which sovereigns universally assume, of prohibiting, when they please, the departure of their subjects out of the realm?

Again, when it is contended that the taking and holding possession of land amounts to an acknowledgement of the sovereign, and a virtual promise of allegiance to his laws, it is necessary to the validity of the argument to prove, that the inhabitants, who first composed and constituted the state, collectively possessed a right to the soil of the country;–a right to parcel it out to whom they pleased, and to annex to the donation what conditions they thought fit. How came they by this right? An agreement amongst themselves would not confer it: that could only adjust what already belonged to them. A society of men vote themselves to be the owners of a region of the world;–does that vote, unaccompanied especially with any culture, inclosure, or proper act of occupation, make it theirs? does it entitle them to exclude others from it, or to dictate the conditions upon which it shall be enjoyed? Yet this original collective right and ownership is the foundation of all the reasoning, by which the duty of allegiance is inferred from the possession of land.

The theory of government which affirms the existence and the obligation of a social compact, would, after all merit little discussion, and, however groundless and unnecessary, should receive no opposition from us, did it not appear to lead to conclusions unfavourable to the improvement, and to the peace, of human society.

1st. Upon the supposition that government was first erected by, and that it derives all its just authority from, resolutions entered into by a convention of the people, it is capable of being presumed, that many points were settled by that convention, anteriour to the establishment of the subsisting legislature, and which the legislature, consequently, has no right to alter, or interfere with. These points are called the fundamentals of the constitution; and as it is impossible to determine how many, or what they are, the suggesting of any such serves extremely to embarrass the deliberations of the legislature, and affors a dangerous pretense for disputing the authority of the laws. It was this sort of reasoning (so far as reasoning of any kind was employed in the question) that produced in this nation the doubt, which so much agitated the minds of men in the reign of the second Charles, whether an Act of Parliament could of right alter or limited the succession of the crown.

2dly. If it be by virtue of a compact, that the subject owes obedience to civil government, it will follow that he ought to abide by the form of government which he finds established, be it ever so absurd or inconvenient. He is bound by his bargain. It is not permitted to any man to retreat from his engagement, merely because he finds the performance disadvantageous, or because he has an opportunity of entering into a better. This law of contracts is universal: and to call the relation between the sovereign and the subjects a contract, yet not to apply to it the rules, or allow of the effects of a contract, is an arbitrary use of names, and an unsteadiness in reasoning, which can teach nothing. Resistance to the encroachments of the supreme magistrate may be justified upon this principle; recourse to arms, for the purpose of bringing about an amendment of the constitution, never can. No form of government contains a provision for its own dissolution; and few governours will consent to the extinction, or even to any abridgment, of their own power. It does not therefore appear, how despotick governments can ever, in consistency with the obligation of the subject, be changed or mitigated. Despotism is the constitution of many states: and whilst a despotick prince exacts from his subjects the most rigorous servitude, according to this account, he is only holding them to their agreement. A people may vindicate, by force, the rights which the constitution has left them; but every attempt to narrow the prerogative of the crown, by new limitations, and in opposition to the will of the reigning prince, whatever opportunities may invite, or success follow it, must be condemned as an infraction of the compact between the sovereign and the subject.

3dly. Every violation of the compact on the part of the governour releases the subject from his allegiance, and dissolves the government. I did not perceive how we can avoid this consequence, if we found the duty of allegiance upon compact, and confess any analogy between the social compact and other contracts. In private contracts, the violation and non-performance of the conditions, by one of the parties, vacates the obligation of the other. Now the terms and articles of the social compact being no where extant or expressed; the rights and offices of the administrator of an empire being so many and various; the imaginary and controverted line of his prerogative being so liable to be overstepped in one part or other of it: the position, that every such transgression amounts to a forfeiture of the government, and consequently authorizes the people to withdraw their obedience, and provide for themselves by a new settlement, would endanger the stability of every political fabric in the world, and has in fact always supplied the disaffected with a topick of seditious declamation. If occasions have arisen, in which this plea has been resorted to with justice and success, they have been occasions in which a revolution was defensible upon other and plainer principles. The plea itself is at all times captious and unsafe.

Wherefore, rejecting the intervention of a compact, as unfounded in its principle, and dangerous in the application, we assign for the only ground of the subject’s obligation, The Will of God, As Collected From Expediency.

The steps by which the argument proceeds are few and direct. “It is the will of God that the happiness of human life be promoted:”—this is the first step, and the foundation not only of this, but of every moral conclusion. “Civil society conduces to that end;”—this is the second proposition. “Civil societies cannot be upholden, unless in each, the interest of the whole society be binding upon every part and member of it:” this is the third step, and conducts us to the conclusion, namely, “that so long as the interest of the whole society requires it, that is, so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without publick inconveniency, it is the will of God (which will universally determines our duty) that the established government be obeyed,”—and no longer.

This principle being admitted, the justice of every particular case of resistance is reduced to a computation of the quantity of the danger and grievance on the one side, and of the probability and expense of redressing it on the other.

But who shall judge of this? We answer, “Every man for himself.” In contentions between the sovereign and the subject, the parties acknowledge no common arbitrator; and it would be absurd to refer the decision to those whose conduct has provoked the question, and whose own interest, authority, and fate, are immediately concerned in it. The danger of errour and abuse is no objection to the rule of expediency, because every other rule is liable to the same or greater; and every rule that can be propounded upon the subject (like all rules indeed which appeal to, or bind, the conscience) must in the application depend upon private judgment. It may be observed, however, that it ought equally to be accounted the exercise of a man’s own private judgment, whether he be determined by reasonings and conclusions of his own, or submit to be directed by the advice of others, provided he be free to choose his guide.

We proceed to point out some easy but important inferences, which result from the substitution of publick expediency into the place of all implied compacts, promises, or conventions whatsoever.

I. It may be as much a duty, at one time, to resist government, as it is, at another, to obey it; to wit, whenever more advantage will, in our opinion, accrue to the community, from resistance, than mischief.

II. The lawfulness of resistance, or the lawfulness of a revolt, does not depend alone upon the grievance which is sustained or feared, but also upon the probably expense and event of the content. They who concerned the revolution in England were justifiable in their counsels, because, from the apparent disposition of the nation, and the strength and character of the parties engaged, the measure was likely to be brought about with little mischief or bloodshed; whereas it might have been a question with many friends of their country, whether the injuries then endured and threatened would have authorized the renewal of a doubtful civil war.

III. Irregularity in the first foundation of a state, or subsequent violence, fraud, or injustice in getting possession of the supreme power, are not sufficient reasons for resistance, after the government is one peaceably settled. No subject of the British empire conceives himself engaged to vindicate the justice of the Norman claim or conquest, or apprehends that his duty in any manner depends upon that controversy. So, likewise, if the House of Lancaster, or even the posterity of Cromwell, had been at this day seated upon the throne of England, we should have been as little concerned to inquire how the founder of the family came there. No civil contests are so futile, although none have been so furious and sanguinary, as those which are excited by a disputed succession.

IV. Not every invasion of the subject’s rights, or liberty, or of the constitution; not every breach of promise, or of oath; not every stretch of prerogative, abuse of power, or neglect of duty by the chief magistrate, or by the whole or any branch of the legislative body, justifies resistance, unless these crimes draw after them publick consequences of sufficient magnitude to outweigh the evils of civil disturbance. Nevertheless, every violation of the constitution ought to be watched with jealousy, and resented as such, beyond what the quantity of estimable damage would require or warrant; because a known and settled usage of governing affords the only security against the enormities of uncontrolled dominion, and because this security is weakened by every encroachment which is made without opposition, or opposed without effect.

V. No usage, law, or authority whatever, is so binding, that it need or ought to be continued, when it may be changed with advantage to the community. The family of the prince, the order of succession, the prerogative of the crown, the form and parts of the legislature, together with the respective powers, office, duration, and mutual dependency of the several parts, are all only so many laws, mutable like other laws, whenever expediency requires, either by the ordinary act of the legislature, or, if the occasion deserve it, by the interposition of the people. These points are wont to be approached with a kind of awe; they are represented to the mind as principles of the constitution settled by our ancestors, and, being settled, to be no more committed to innovation or debate; as foundations never to be stirred; as the terms and conditions of the social compact, to which every citizen of the state has engaged his fidelity, by virtue of a promise which he cannot now recall. Such reasons have no place in our system: to us, if there be any good reason for treating these with more deference and respect than other laws, it is, either the advantage of the present constitution of government (which reason must be of different force in different countries), or because in all countries it is of importance, that the form and usage of governing be acknowledged and understood, as well by the governours as by the governed, and because the seldomer it is changed, the more perfectly it will be known by both sides.

VI. As all civil obligation is resolved into expediency, what it may be asked, is the difference between the obligation of an Englishman and a Frenchman? or why, since the obligation of both appears to be founded in the same reason, is a Frenchman bound in conscience to bear any thing from his king, which an Englishman would not be bound to bear? Their conditions may differ, but their rights, according to this account, should seem to be equal; and yet we are accustomed to speak of the rights as well as of the happiness of a free people, compared with what belong to the subjects of absolute monarchies: how, you will say, can this comparison be explained, unless we refer to a difference in the compacts by which they are respectively bound?—This is a fair question, and the answer to it will afford a further illustration of our principles. We admit then that there are many things which a Frenchman is bound in conscience, as well as by coercion, to endure at the hands of his prince, to which an Englishman would not be obliged to submit; but we assert, that it is for these two reasons alone: first, because the same act of the prince is not the same grievance, where it is agreeable to the constitution, and where it infringes it; secondly, because redress in the two cases is not equally attainable. Resistance cannot be attempted with equal hopes of success, or with the same prospect of receiving support from others, where the people are reconciled to their sufferings, as where they are alarmed by innovation. In this way, and no otherwise, the subjects of different states possess different civil rights; the duty of obedience is defined by different boundaries; and the point of justifiable resistance placed at different parts of the scale of suffering; all which is sufficiently intelligible without a social compact.

VII. “The interest of the whole society is binding upon every part of it.” No rule, short of this, will provide for the stability of civil government, or for the peace and safety of social life. Wherefore, as individual members of the state are not permitted to pursue their private emolument to the prejudice of the community, so is it equally a consequence of this rule, that no particular colony, province, town, or district, can justly concert measures for their separate interest, which shall appear at the same time to diminish the sum of publick prosperity. I do not mean, that it is necessary to the justice of a measure, that it profit each and every part of the community; (for, as the happiness of the whole may be increased, whilst that of some parts is diminished, it is possible that the conduct of one part of an empire may be detrimental to some other part, and yet, just, provided one part gain more in happiness than the other part loses, so that the common weal be augmented by the change:) but what I affirm is, that those counsels can never be reconciled with the obligations resulting from civil union, which cause the whole happiness of the society to be impaired for the conveniency of a part. This conclusion is applicable to the question of right between Great Britain and her revolted colonies. Had I been an American, I should not have thought it enough to have had it even demonstrated, that a separation from the parent state would produce effects beneficial to America; my relation to that state imposed upon me a further inquiry, namely, whether the whole happiness of the empire was likely to be promoted by such a measure: not indeed the happiness of every part; that was not necessary, nor to be expected;–but whether what Great Britain would lose by the separation was likely to be compensated to the joint stock of happiness, by the advantages which America would receive from it. The contested claims of sovereign states, and their remote dependencies, may be submitted to the adjudication of this rule with mutual safety. A publick advantage is measured by the advantage which each individual receives, and by the number of those who receive it. A publick evil is compounded of the same proportions. Whilst, therefore, a colony is small, or a province thinly inhabited, if a competition of interests arise between the original country and their acquired dominions, the former ought to be preferred, because it is fit that if one must necessarily be sacrificed, the less give place to the greater; but when, by an increase of population, the interest of the provinces begins to bear a considerable proportion to the entire interest of the community, it is possible that they may suffer so much by their subjection, that not only theirs, but the whole happiness of the empire may be obstructed by their union. The rule and principle of the calculation being still the same, the result is different; and this difference begets a new situation, which entitles the subordinate parts of the state to more equal terms of confederation, and, if these be refused, to independency.

The Principles Of Government, In A Dialogue Between A Scholar And A Peasant

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The Principles of Government; In A Dialogue Between A Scholar And A Peasant.

Written by Sir William Jones,

A Member of the Society for Constitutional Information

 

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A short defence hath been thought necessary against a violent and groundless attack upon the Flintshire Committee, for having testified their approbation of the following Dialogue, which hath been publicly branded with the most injurious epithets; and it is conceived, that the sure way to vindicate this little tract from so unjust a character, will be as publicly to produce it.—The friends of the Revolution will instantly see, that it contains no principle which has not the support of the highest authority, as well as the clearest reason.

If the doctrines, which it slightly touches in a manner suited to the nature of the Dialogue, be “seditious, treasonable, and diabolical,” Lord Somers was an incendiary, Locke a traitor, and the Convention Parliament a Pandaemonium; but if those names are the glory and boast of England; and if that Convention secured our liberty and happiness, then the doctrines in question are not only just and rational, but constitutional and salutary; and the reproachful epithets belong wholly to the system of those, who so grossly misapplied them.

P. Why should humble men, like me, sign or set marks to petitions of this nature? It is better for us peasants to mind our husbandry, and leave what we cannot comprehend to the King and Parliament.

S. You can comprehend more than you imagine; and, as free member of a free state, have higher things to mind than you may conceive.

P. If by free you mean out of prison, I hope to continue so, as long as I can pay my rent to the squire’s bailiff; but what is meaned by a free state?

S. Tell me first what is meaned by a club in a village, of which I know you to be a member.

P. It is an assembly of men, who meet after work every Saturday to be merry and happy for a few hours in the week.

S. Have you no other object but mirth?

P. Yes; we have a box, into which we contribute equally from our monthly or weekly savings, and out of which any members of the club are to be relived in sickness or poverty; for the parish officers are so cruel and insolent, that it were better to starve than apply to them for relief.

S. Did they, or the squire, or the parson, or all together, compel you to form this society?

P. Oh! No—we could not be compelled; we formed it by our own choice.

S. You did right—But have you not some head or president of your club?

P. The master for each night is chosen by all the company present the week before.

S. Does he make laws to bind you in case of ill temper or misbehavior?

P. He make laws! He bind us! No; we have all agreed to a set of equal rules, which are signed by every new comer, and were written in a strange hand by young Spelman, the lawyer’s clerk, whose uncle is a member.

S. What should you do, if any one member were to insist on becoming perpetual master, and on altering your rules at his arbitrary will and pleasure?

P. We should expel him.

S. What if he were to bring a serjeant’s guard, when the militia are quartered in your neighbourhood, and insist upon your obeying him?

P. We should resist, if we could; if not, the Society would be broken up.

S. Suppose that, with his serjeant’s guard, he were to take the money out of the box or out of your pockets?

P. Would not that be a robbery?

S. I am seeking information from you. How should you act on such an occasion?

P. We should submit, perhaps, at the time; but should afterwards try to apprehend the robber

S. What if you could not apprehend them?

P. We might kill them, I should think; and, if the King would not pardon us, God would.

S. How could you either apprehend them, or, if they resisted, kill them, without a sufficient force in your own hands?

P. Oh! we are all good players at single stick, and each of us has a stout cudgel or quarter-staff in the corner of his room.

S. Suppose, that a few of the club were to domineer over the rest, and insist upon making laws for them—

P. We must take the same course; except that it would be easier to restrain one man, than a number: but we should be the majority with justice on our side.

S. A word or two on another head. Some of you, I presume, are no great accountants.

P. Few of us understand accounts; but we trust old Lilly the school-master, whom we believe to be an honest man; and he keeps the key of our box.

S. If your money should in time amount to a large sum, it might not perhaps be safe, to keep it at his house, or in any private house.

P. Where else should we keep it?

S. You might chuse to put it into the funds, or to lend it the squire, who has lost so much lately at Newmarket, taking his bond or some of his fields as your security for the payment with interest.

P. We must in that case confide in young Spelman, who will soon set up for himself; and, if a lawyer can be honest, will be an honest lawyer.

S. What power do you give to Lilly, or should you give to Spelman, in the case supposed?

P. No power. We should give them both a due allowance for their trouble, and should expect a faithful account of all they had done for us.

S. Honest men may change their nature. What if both or either of them were to deceive you?

P. We should remove them, put our trust in better men, and try to repair our loss.

S. Did it never occur to you, that every state or nation was only a great club?

P. Nothing ever occurred to me on the subject; for I never thought about it.

S. Though you never thought before on the subject, yet you may be able to tell me, why you suppose men to have assembled, and to have formed nations, communities, or states, which all mean the same thing?

P. In order, I should imagine, to be as happy as they can, while they live.

S. By happy do you mean merry only?

P. To be as merry as they can without hurting themselves or their neighbours, but chiefly to secure themselves from danger, and to relieve their wants.

S. Do you believe, that any King or Emperor compelled them so to associate?

P. How could one man compel a multitude? A King or an Emperor, I presume is not born with an hundred hands.

S. When a prince of the blood shall in any country be so distinguished by nature, I shall then, and the only, conceive him to be a greater man than you. But might not an army, with a King or General at their head, have compelled them to assemble?

P. Yes; but the army must have been formed by their own choice. One man or a few can never govern many without their consent.

S. Suppose, however, that a multitude of men, assembled in a town or city, were to chuse a King or Governor, might they not give him power or authority?

P. To be sure; but they would never be so mad, I hope, as to give him a power of making their laws.

S. Who else should make them?

P. The whole nation or people.

S. What if they disagreed?

P. The opinion of the greater number, as in our village-clubs, must be taken and prevail.

S. What could be done, if the society were so large, that all could not meet in the same place?

P. A greater number must chuse a less.

S. Who should be the chusers?

P. All, who are not upon the parish. In our club, if a man asks relief of the overseer, he ceases to be one of us; because he must depend on the overseer.

S. Could not a few men, one in seven for instance, chuse the assembly of law-makers as well as a large number?

P. As conveniently, perhaps; but I would not suffer any man to chuse another, who was to make laws, by which my money or my life might be taken from me.

S. Have you a freehold in any country of forty shillings a year?

P. I have nothing in the world but my cattle, implements of husbandry, and household goods, together with my farm, four which I pay a fixed rent to the squire.

S. Have you a vote then in any city or borough?

P. I have no vote at all; but am able by my honest labour to support my wife and four children; and, whilst I act honestly, I may defy the laws.

S. Can you be ignorant, that the Parliament, to which members are sent by this county, and by the next market-town, have power to make new laws, by which you and your family may be stripped of your goods, thrown into prison, and even deprived of life?

P. A dreadful power! I never made inquiries, having business of my own, concerning the business of Parliament; but imagined, that the laws had been fixed for many hundred years.

S. The common laws, to which you refer, are equal, just, and humane; but the King and Parliament may alter them when they please.

P. The King ought therefore to be a good man, and the Parliament to consist of men equally good.

S. The King alone can do no harm; but who must judge the goodness of Parliament-men?

P. All those whose property, freedom, and lives may be affected by their laws.

S. Yet six men in seven, who inhabit this kingdom, have, like you, no votes; and the petition, which I desired you to sign, has nothing for its object, but the restoration of you all to the right of chusing those law makers, by whom your money or your lives may be taken from you. Attend, while I read it distinctly.

P. Give me your pen—I never wrote my name, ill as it may be written, with greater eagerness.

S. I applaud you, and trust, that your example will be followed by millions. Another word before we part. Recollect your opinion about your club in the village, and tell what ought to be consequence, if the King alone were to insist on making laws, or in altering them at his will and pleasure.

P. He too must be expelled.

S. So. Oh! but think of his standing army, and of the militia, which now are his in substance, though ours in form.

P. If he were to employ that force against the nation, they would and ought to resist him, or the state would cease to be a state.

S. What, if the great accountants and great lawyers, the Lillys and Spelmans, of the nation were to abuse their trust, and cruelly injure, instead of faithfully serving, the public?

P. We must request the King to remove them, and make trial of others; but none should implicitly be trusted.

S. But what if a few great lords, or wealthy men, were to keep the King himself in subjection, yet exert his force, lavish his treasure, and misuse his name, so as to domineer over the people and menace the Parliament?

P. We must fight for the King and for ourselves.

S. You talk of fighting, as if you were speaking of some rustick engagement at a wake; but your quarter-staffs would avail you little against bayonets.

P. We might easily provide ourselves with better arms.

S. Not so easily: when the moment of resistance came, you would be deprived of all arms; and those who should furnish you with them, or exhort you to take them up, would be called traitors, and probably put to death.

P. We ought always, therefore, to be ready; and keep each of us a strong firelock in the corner of his bed-room.

S. That would be legal as well as rational. Are you; my honest friend, provided with a musket?

P. I will contribute no more to the club, and purchase a firelock with my savings.

S. It is not necessary—I have two, and will make you a present of one with complete accoutrements.

P. I accept it thankfully [unreadable] your leisure on other subjects of this kind.

S. In the mean while, spend an hour every morning for the next fortnight in learning to prime and load expeditiously, and to fire and charge with bayonet firmly and regularly. I say every morning; because, if you exercise too late in the evening, you may fall into some of the legal snares, which have been spread for you by those gentlemen, who would rather secure game for their table, than liberty for the nation.

P. Some of my neighbours, who have served in the militia, will readily teach me; and perhaps, the whole village may be persuaded to procure arms, and to learn their exercise.

S. It cannot be expected, that villagers should purchase arms, but they might easily be supplied, if the gentry of the nation would spare a little from their vices and luxury.

P. May they return to some sense of honor and virtue!

S. Farewell, at present; and remember, “that a free state is only a numerous and more powerful club, and that he only is a free man, who is a member of such a state.”

P. Good morning, Sir! You have made me wiser and better than I was yesterday; and yet, methinks, I had some knowledge in my own mind of this great subject, and have been a politician all my life without perceiving it.

The Evil Consequences Arising from the Propagation of Mr Locke’s Democratical Principles

[Editor’s note: The original a) from Google Books was modified to create a readable and OCR error-free copy of this 1783 work by Josiah Tucker. I substituted Tucker’s use of the asterisk for footnotes to make references clearer. Everything else is left untouched. Please contact me if you notice any errors.]

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Letter IV.

The evil consequences arising from the Propagation of Mr. Locke’s democratical Principles.

My Lord,

The destructive Civil Wars of 1641 to 1648, which ended in the Tyranny of a single Despote, set many Persons on considering the Nature, and Ends of Government. But they could agree in nothing, except in one Point; namely, that Aristotle’s political Animal, the People, was such a capricious, restless, thoughtless, and unreasonable Animal, that it must be governed and controuled by some superior Power, for the Sake of preventing it from doing Mischief to itself, and to other Beings. Mr. Hobbs, in consequence of this Position, maintained with some Degree of Plausibility, that any Man, or Set of Men, who could get into the Saddle, and seize the Bridle, had a Right to ride this fiery, high-spirited, skittish Horse, and to break and manage him as they could.—Sir Robert Filmer opposed this Doctrine with all his Might, boldly asserting, that there was an hereditary, indefeasible Right, divinely appointed to fit in this political Seat; and that none but a right-lined Rider had, or could have, a Right Divine to hold the Reins. Mr. Sidney fiercely opposed such a slavish Tenet, calling the Author of it impudent Liar an hundred Times. His Position was, that Noblemen, and those of noble Families, such as himself, were the only fit Persons to be the State-Riders; and he bewailed the Degeneracy of the Times, which had abolished the honourable Distinction of Baron and Vassal, when each illustrious Chief led to Battle a brave and chosen Band of his own Tenants and Dependants.—Such was his Scheme for propagating Liberty and Equality, and for vindicating the Rights of human Nature. Mr. Harrington, who was himself a Gentleman of a very antient Family, maintained it as his Opinion, that Gentlemen by Birth [such as the Rulers of the State of Venice, which Government was his favourite Model] were the fittest of all others to be Riders. And therefore, in order to appear consistent with himself, he discovered, that his darling Megaletor, Oliver Cromwell, was descended from an antient Gentleman’s Family. Thus had his Highness, the Lord Protector, a clearer Title, founded on Antiquity, to the vacant Throne;—than I believe had himself had thought of, when he sportingly and jeeringly signed the King’s Death-Warrant. [Here my Lord, will you pardon me in making one short Digression? This very Man, Mr. Harrington, whose Authority jointly with that of the great Sidney and Locke, has been urged both in Prose and Verse against the poor Dean of Glocester, modestly wished, that your own Country Panopea, (Ireland) had been leased out to the Jews in Perpetuity.—What to the Jews? Yes, my Lord, to them; who were to employ the miserable Natives in any Service, or Drudgery they pleased, for the Benefit of their Lords and Masters of Oceana, or Old England: And the Reason which he assigns is equally curious; ‘It is because Panopea (Ireland) is the soft Mother of a slothful and pusillanimous People, antiently subjected by the Arms of Oceana, since almost depopulated for shaking the Yoke, and at length replanted with a new Race. But (thro’ what Virtues of the Soil, or Vice of the Air soever it be) they come still to degenerate. Wherefore, seeing it is neither likely to yield Men fit for Arms, nor necessary it should; it had been the Interest of Oceana—to have leased it to the Jews.’ And now, my Lord, after such Authorities as these, (all Champions for the Rights and Liberties of Mankind) what can this paultry Scribler of Glocester say? How dares he to hold up Head?—But to return.]

The celebrated Mr. Richard Baxter (whom I most sincerely believe to be a very honest, and well intentioned Man, tho’ sometimes greatly mistaken) answered both Hobbs and Harrington in a set Treatise; wherein he discovered a much sounder Judgment than either, and laid down such Maxims of Government, as would have made a very good System;–had he not marred it all by endeavouring to introduce a Theocracy into an English Government and Constitution. This capital Error led him of Course to maintain intolerant Principles in Religion; Principles, which could not be justified any where, except in Judea: which little[1] Territory was possessed by one peculiar People, holding the same by such a peculiar Tenure, as never did extend to any other People, or Country; and which could not have been obligatory even up the Jews [I mean the Law for the Exterpation of Idolaters] any longer than during the Continuance of the Mosaic Theocracy.

As yet, my Lord, we have heard nothing of Mr. Locke. He first distinguished himself as a political Writer, by his famous Laws of Carolina. In this System he was so far from supposing, that the People was the only Fountain of Power, that he goes into an opposite Extreme;–not indeed of absolute Monarchy, but of that which is rather worse, a tyrannical Aristocracy; such as Mr. Sidney had been recommending. I do not pretend to know what Connections were subsisting between these two great Men: But a completer System of Baronage and Vassage never yet appeared in the World, than is comprised in this little Code of fundamental Laws. Nay, Mr. Locke carries the Matter of Slavery so far, and grants such Powers to Masters to put their Slaves to Death, whenever they please, as exceeds even the Tyranny of Poland. And Poland was the Country to which Mr. Sidney was often turning his Eyes with Sorrow and Regret, that the like Power over Tenants and Vassals, did not still remain in England. Respecting this Treatise, or these Laws of Carolina, I will mention an Anecdote or two, which may serve to confirm the Notion, that Mr. Locke and Mr. Sidney had one, and the same Point once in View; how widely soever they might differ afterwards. A Tradition has been handed down among the Descendants of Mr. Locke’s Friends and intimate Acquaintance; that they always considered these Laws of Carolina, as a Plan for new modelling the Government and Constitution of England; and that they used frequently to tell him so in Conversation. To which he evaded giving a direct Answer; but left them to guess what they pleased from his Silence.

The other Anecdote is, [according to an Information I received some Time ago, but out of Tenderness to his Character, did not publish ‘till compelled by the Virulence of my Adversaries to do it in my own Defence] that Mr. Locke was deeply engaged in Monmouth’s Rebellion; and that there are Proofs thereof still extant.[2] Supposing this to be the Case, [which perhaps cannot be positively proved at this Distance of Time; but which nevertheless is very probably] his Conduct and Behaviour can be no otherwise accounted for, than on one, or other of the following Hypotheses:–Either, that he thought with Mr. Hobbs, that as the People was an unruly Beast, which must have a Rider, it did not signify who got into the Saddle, Monmouth, or any other; the Rights of all Men being equal, provided their Attempts were crowned with Success:–Or he must have embraced Mr. Sidney’s Opinion, who supposed, that Barons or Noblemen were the only Persons fit to manage this fiery Courser. The Tenor of the Laws of Carolina seem to favour the latter Conjecture. For they gave as little Power to the Crown, as to the People, making all to centre in the Men of landed Property. Moreover, if he really assisted Monmouth, it is impossible that he could have done it with any other View than to have used him as a Tool during the Struggle, and to have set him aside after the Enterprize had succeeded;–or at most, to have compelled him to have accepted of the mere Shadow and Name of Royalty, without any Power, like a Polish King, or a Doge of Venice. For as to any legal Right or Title, Monmouth could have no Pretentions of any Sort. And respecting the private Character of the Man, moral or religious, or even his Zeal for Civil Liberty, and for granting a religious Toleration, there are no Traces of these Virtues to be found in the Life and Character of the Duke of Monmouth. Therefore, if Mr. Locke espoused his Cause, it must have been not upon the best of Motives.

But after the Revolution, Mr. Locke veered about, and ran into an Extreme quite opposite to his Laws of Carolina;–yet without publicly renouncing his former Opinions. The People then, and not the Barons, or the Men of landed Property because his sole Fountain of Power. In his Tract on Government, (the 2d Part of which is nothing more than the Resolves of the Cromwellian Levellers, worked up into a System) he maintains such Principles, as must necessarily destroy every Government upon Earth, without erecting, or establishing any. His Error, and Sir Robert Filmer’s, though seemingly arising from opposite Schemes, tend to the same Centre, and rest on the same Foundation; namely, A false Idea of the present (supposed) Perfections and Excellences of Human Nature. Sir Robert’s System must suppose (whether intended it, or not) that a mortal Man, by being exalted into the highest Station of all, and invested with arbitrary Sway over his Fellow-Mortals, becomes so much the better, and wiser, and fitter to govern, than he was before: Whereas the very Reverse to this is nearer to the Truth. Mr. Locke’s System is much alike; for it supposes, that Mankind, taken in their aggregate or collective Capacity, are so much the less positive and dogmatical in their Opinions, the less liable to perverted in their Judgments, the more humane and candid in their Decisions, and the more discreet and dispassionate in their Resolves, than otherwise they would have been. Whereas every Title of this is false. In short, if Experience shall be allowed to decide this Question, it will almost universally tell us, that when a Multitude are invested with the Power of governing, they prove the very worst of Governors. They are rash and precipitate, giddy and inconstant, and ever the Dupes of designing Men, who lead them to commit the most atrocious Crimes, in order to make them subservient to their own Purposes. Besides, a democratic Government is despotic in its very Nature; because it supposes itself to be the only Fountain of Power, from which there can be no Appeal. Hence, therefore, it comes to pass, that this many headed Monster, an absolute Democracy, has all the Vices and Imperfections of its Brother-Tyrant, an absolute Monarchy, without any of the shining Qualities of the latter to hide its Deformity. And what is still worse, it feels no Remorse of Conscience; and it never blushes.

If therefore both these Species of Government are generally so bad, that they ought to be avoided as much as possible;–perhaps your Lordship might here be apt to ask, ‘Is there any that is good according to your present Description? For Government of some Sort or other there must be, notwithstanding its manifold Imperfections.’ To this I answer, that that Government may be denominated good, in this relative or comparative Sense, which grants sufficient Liberty both civil and[3] religious, to the Governed to do what is right, agreeably to the Dictates of sound Reason; and yet retains Power and Authority enough to restrain the ill-intentioned, and to punish the wrong Doers.—Doubtless many Checks may be introduced into every Government, for preventing an Abuse of Power to a great Degree;–and many Expedients may be devised for giving Energy to a weak and impotent Constitution:–Yet, after all, I think it must be allowed, that the very best Form of Government for answering those good Purposes, seems to be the Mixt—so mixt, as to partake of the Firmness of a regal Form, and Credit or Reputation of a popular one. For by such an happy Temperament, many of the Advantages of both may be obtained, and their chief Inconveniences be avoided. But in order to ensure this good End, and to make it permanent, by keeping a due Medium between both Extremes, the Regal and the Popular, a Third Power should intervene:–A Power, whose peculiar Interest it is, to maintain the Balance even between the opposite and contending Parties, and to prevent either of them getting such an Ascendency, as would render the other useless or unnecessary. And such a Power can be no other than an hereditary Nobility invested with Privileges of a peculiar Nature, for erecting a Counter-poise. This Institution here in England is honourably distinguished by the Title of an House of Lords; and is so constituted, as to partake of the Qualities both of the regal and of the popular State; because it would inevitably lose by the Loss or Destruction of either of the other two, and yet be no Gainer by its Exaltation. Therefore such a balancing Power will of Course,–I might say, it will through Necessity, throw its Weight into the opposite Scale, if either of the other Powers should be found to preponderate too much.

And, my Lord, it was this very Circumstance, and no other, which produced the glorious Revolution of 1688. King James attempted to be arbitrary: His Designs of engrossing all Power to himself, were too apparent to be denied; and no Remonstrances, however full of Duty and Respect, could stop his Proceedings. Then he was opposed, most justly opposed,–not by the People only, but by the Nobility also. Nay, I might add with the strictest Truth, that the Nobility were the foremost, because they led the Way in this Affair. For it cannot be denied, but that they had originally a much greater Share in bringing about this Event, than most Commoners, though afterwards they seemed rather tardy.—Many Proofs and Evidences might be adduced; but they are needless.

Let us now see what Use has Mr. Locke made of this Matter; and how far, or how well, doth his System comport with this plain Narration of interesting Facts. In the 2d Part of his Treatise on Government, instead of mentioning the three balancing Powers of the Constitution, and of the good Consequences resulting from the Junction of two of them against the third, if it should attempt to predominate; which he ought to have done;–he ascribes all Authority, Power, and Pre-eminence to the People only, as Cromwell’s Levellers had done before him. And he sinks the Nobility into a total Insignificance,–never ascribing to them any Right or Privilege, or even so much as an Existence in the State, any otherwise than as they make a Part, and a very small one too, of the Mass of the People. Nay, in his 19th Chapter, of the Dissolution of Government, he lays down such a Position, as annihilates the House of Lords at once, absolutely forbiding us to acknowledge them, as a Branch of the Legislature, distinctfrom the People. His Words are these: “When any one, or more, shall take upon them to make Laws [whether conjunctively with the other Branches, or solely by themselves, he doth not say, but shall take upon them to make Laws] whom the people have not appointed [or elected] so to do, they make Laws without Authority, which the People are not therefore bound to obey,–and may constitute a new Legislative, as they think best.” The necessary Consequence of which is, That an House of Lords, unless they will acknowledge, that they are appointed by, and the Creatures of the People, are a Pack of Usurpers, who ought at least to be set aside, if not to be punished for daring thus to infringe the Prerogatives of their Superiors. A fine Lesson this for your Lordship, and the whole Body of the Peerage!

But what is still more extraordinary is, That this same Power of the People, though Lord Paramount over all, is nevertheless the most fleeting and unsettled Thing upon Earth. For the Son is not bound by the Act of the Father, though it should be ever so necessary for the Safety and Preservation of the State. The young Man, it seems, is no Subject of that Government under which he was born, and which continued to protect him: No, he is still as free and independent a Being, as Robinson Crusoe in his desert Island,–and will ever so remain, till he himself shall honour some Government or other with his Choice, by a personal and express Agreement with it. [Compare §. 116, and §. 122, of the 2d. Part of Mr. Locke together. See also my Confutation thereof, Pages 43 and 48.] An implied Contract in this Case, or what the Civilians term a Quasi-Contract, is, it seems, no Contract at all. And a virtual Representation is to be hooted and scouted at.—But why? And for what Reason are a Quasi-Contract, and a virtual Representation to be treated with Derision and Disdain? For a very plain and obvious one, which Mr. Locke has suggested, namely, That were these Things to be allowed, it would then follow, that Men might be bound in Conscience to obey such Laws, to the framing of which they had no actually or personally consented, and to submit to those Law Givers and Magistrates, whom they had not elected. And then farewell to the grand Principle of all, The Unalienable Rights Of Human Nature!—Babylon is fallen! is fallen!

But however strange these Positions are, I can assure your Lordship, that there are stranger yet to come. For these same Rights, unalienable and untransferable as they are, and the very Pillars of the Lockian Cause, will vanish in a Moment, and disappear at once, [like the baseless Fabric of a Vision] as soon as ever the Majority of a single Vote shall appear against them. For we are told by the same Author, and by all his Disciples, that the Majority is to decide against the Sense of the Minority in all Cases of Civil Concerns, and to compel an Obedience. Now this I called a palpable Contradiction: And I do not scruple to give it still the same Apellation. But what say his Advocates and Defenders? Do they assert that these Points are not Contradictions? No;–at least not as yet. Or do they so much as attempt to prove, that they are reconcileable with each other? No: In no wise: Instead thereof, they have [at least hitherto] only said, “That Mr. Locke did allow, that the Majority have a Right to command the Minority to obey its Decisions in Civil Causes.” And they blame the Dean of Glocester for having suppressed these Passages, which were explanatory of Mr. Locke’s Meaning.

Now, my Lord, I was so far from suppressing these Passages, that I quoted them at full Length in the 6th and 10th Pages of my Answer:–And I insisted on them, I appealed to them, I laid all possible Stress upon them in many places of my Treatise [See particularly Pages 31,–36] And I now do make them the capital Article of my Charge against his Doctrine, as what overturns itself, and destroys his whole System of unalienable Rights. Either, therefore, these boasted Rights are alienable, or unalienable.—Let Mr. Locke’s Defenders chuse, which Side of this Question they will please to maintain; and I am content;–provided they will adhere to it, and not shift about, and be guilty of those Tergiversations which have hitherto appeared in all their Writings. A Searcher after Truth, and a Practitioner of Legerdemain, are very different Characters. I envy not the latter his Success.

As to Mr. Locke, considered as a Man, it is impossible for me to have any personal Ill-will against him. And considered as a Writer, I freely own, that when I was young and unexperienced, about 20 Years of Age, I esteemed him as a kind of Oracle both in Metaphysics, and Politics, paying him all Kinds of Deference short of implicit Faith. But when I arrived at thirty, I began to find, that he was not that original Author, enriching the World with new Discoveries, which my unexperienced Youth had imagined, and which very many still supposed to be the Case. Afterwards, at the Age of 40, 50, 60, and upwards, I was more and more convinced from the Labours of many learned Men, whose Writings had served to open mine Eyes—and also from mine own Reflection on the natural Tendency of his distinguished Tenets, that his Works had done more Harm, than Good in the World;–and that there is a Mixture of Error in the very best of them, which disguises the Truth, and prevents it from having its proper Effect. Mr. Locke is now the Idol of the Freethinkers, or les Philosophes de France; because he suggested the Hint, that Matter is capable of thinking:–On which very Foundation they build all their Superstructure of atheistical Materialism. Hence, as I was informed by a Person who ought to know, they consider him as the Head and Founder of their Sect. This is undoubtedly doing him no Honour, but great Injustice: For he never intended, that any such Inference should be drawn from the Premises. Nevertheless though the Man ought to be absolved from any Guilt on that Account; this cannot amount to a Vindication of his Doctrine. Therefore, while Charity leads us to acquit the one, Justice as necessarily obliges us to condemn the other.

Mr. Locke is also now the Idol of the Levellers of England.—And if your Lordship should ask, Why? Or for what Reason?—I will frankly tell you:–In the 2d. Part of his Treatise on Government, he supplies them with such Materials, as put it in their Power (were his Scheme to take Effect) to call for thousands and thousands of Alterations in the Forms and Modes, Management and Administration of every Government upon Earth, and to unsettle every Thing. In short, his Principles or Positions [whatever were his Intentions] give them a perpetual Right to shift and change, to vary and alter, without End; That is, without coming to any solid Establishment, Permanence, or Duration. Add to all this, that as the rising Generation are not bound, (according to Mr. Locke’s System) to acknowledge the Validity of the Acts of their Fathers, Grandfathers, &c. they must of course have a new Set of unalienable Rights of their own; for they are perfectly their own Masters, absolutely free, and independent of that very Government, under which they were born. In Consequence of this, they also have a Right to demand as many new Arrangements and Alterations, as they please, agreably to their own Taste and Humour: And if they are not gratified therein, have a Right to stir up new Commotions, and to bring about another and another Revolution, &c. What could the most enthusiastic Republican wish for more?

For these Reasons, my Lord, I cannot subscribe to the modern Notion, that Mr. Locke’s System of Politics has any Tendency to promote either genuine Liberty, real Safety, or social Happiness. On the contrary, it is my firm Opinion, that it can produce nothing better than Anarchy and Confusion in every Country, where it is suffered to operate to its full Extent. And Experience alas! but too truly justifies this Observation, wherever his System has had any considerable Influence. The poor Inhabitants of North America, of Geneva, &c. will have Cause to wish, that the Lockian System had never been known among them.—But though I am an Infidel in regard to the Merit of Mr. Locke’s Notion or Maxim of unalienable Rights, for making perpetual Changes;–yet there is another Author, formerly of some Reputation in the World, whose Maxim I most cordially adopt; and if an old Plebeian in his 70th Year, dared to advise a young Nobleman and Prime Minister, not much more than Half as old, I would earnestly beg Leave to recommend it to your Lordship to do the same;–namely, to fear God,–and honour the King,–and not meddle with those who are given to (unnecessary) Changes.

With these Sentiments I take Leave of your Lordship at present;

And have the Honour to subscribe myself;

Your Lordship’s

Most faithful humble Servant,

  1. Tucker.

[1] Many Places in the Writings of Moses refer to this very singular Institution; particularly Levit. Xxv. 24. The Land [of Canaan] is mine; for ye are Strangers and Sojourners with me [your King Jehovah, who gave you this Land.] And then it follows of Course, that this Circumstance created, as it were, a distinct Right to bind the Children of Israel to such Terms of Loyalty and Obedience, as were not laid on other Nations, who were not under a like form of temporal Government, nor had a Country given them to hold on the same Conditions.

[2] The Information given me was in the following Words. In the Harleyan Library, No. 6845, there is a Manuscript, which, from Page 251, contains a Collection of Papers, relative to Monmouth’s Invasion, and other Intrigues. Inter alia it appears, that Mr. Locke paid Money at two different Times, towards the Equipment of that Expedition.

[3] It is remarkable, that the famous Republics of Antiquity, both of Greece and Rome, never allowed Liberty of Conscience, or the Rights of private Judgment in Matters of religious Worship.—All were obliged either to conform to the nonsensical Superstitions, the gross Immoralities, cruel and shocking Idolatries of the Religion of the State, or to undergo the most grievous Persecutions, in Case of Non-compliance. This I insist on as a Fact: And let our modern Republicans disprove it, if they can.

Of The Original Contract

Of The Original Contract

David Hume

1748

Edited and rendered into HTML by Jon Roland

As no party, in the present age, can well support itself without a philosophical or speculative system of principles annexed to its political or practical one, we accordingly find, that each of the factions into which this nation is divided has reared up a fabric of the former kind, in order to protect and cover that scheme of actions which it pursues. The people being commonly very rude builders, especially in this speculative way, and more especially still when actuated by party-zeal, it is natural to imagine that their workmanship must be a little unshapely, and discover evident marks of that violence and hurry in which it was raised. The one party, by tracing up government to the Deity, endeavoured to render it so sacred and inviolate, that it must be little less than sacrilege, however, tyrannical it may become, to touch or invade it in the smallest article. The other party, by founding government altogether on the consent of the people, suppose that there is a kind of original contract, by which the subjects have tacitly reserved the power of resisting their sovereign, whenever they find themselves aggrieved by that authority, with which they have, for certain purposes, voluntarily intrusted him. These are the speculative principles of the two parties, and these, too, are the practical consequences deduced from them.

I shall venture to affirm, That both these systems of speculative principles are just; though not in the sense intended by the parties: and, That both the schemes of practical consequences are prudent; though not in the extremes to which each party, in opposition to the other, has commonly endeavoured to carry them.

That the Deity is the ultimate author of all government, will never be denied by any, who admit a general providence, and allow, that all events in the universe are conducted by an uniform plan, and directed to wise purposes. As it is impossible for the human race to subsist, at least in any comfortable or secure state, without the protection of government, this institution must certainly have been intended by that beneficent Being, who means the good of all his creatures: and as it has universally, in fact, taken place, in all countries, and all ages, we may conclude, with still greater certainty, that it was intended by that omniscient Being who can never be deceived by any event or operation. But since he gave rise to it, not by any particular or miraculous interposition, but by his concealed and universal efficacy, a sovereign cannot, properly speaking, be called his vicegerent in any other sense than every power or force, being derived from him, may be said to act by his commission. Whatever actually happens is comprehended in the general plan or intention of Providence; nor has the greatest and most lawful prince any more reason, upon that account, to plead a peculiar sacredness or inviolable authority, than an inferior magistrate, or even an usurper, or even a robber and a pirate. The same Divine Superintendent, who, for wise purposes, invested a Titus or a Trajan with authority, did also, for purposes no doubt equally wise, though unknown, bestow power on a Borgia or an Angria. The same causes, which gave rise to the sovereign power in every state, established likewise every petty jurisdiction in it, and every limited authority. A constable, therefore, no less than a king, acts by a divine commission, and possesses an indefeasible right.

When we consider how nearly equal all men are in their bodily force, and even in their mental powers and faculties, till cultivated by education, we must necessarily allow, that nothing but their own consent could, at first, associate them together, and subject them to any authority. The people, if we trace government to its first origin in the woods and deserts, are the source of all power and jurisdiction, and voluntarily, for the sake of peace and order, abandoned their native liberty, and received laws from their equal and companion. The conditions upon which they were willing to submit, were either expressed, or were so clear and obvious, that it might well be esteemed superfluous to express them. If this, then, be meant by the original contract, it cannot be denied, that all government is, at first, founded on a contract, and that the most ancient rude combinations of mankind were formed chiefly by that principle. In vain are we asked in what records this charter of our liberties is registered. It was not written on parchment, nor yet on leaves or barks of trees. It preceded the use of writing, and all the other civilized arts of life. But we trace it plainly in the nature of man, and in the equality, or something approaching equality, which we find in all the individuals of that species. The force, which now prevails, and which is founded on fleets and armies, is plainly political, and derived from authority, the effect of established government. A man’s natural force consists only in the vigour of his limbs, and the firmness of his courage; which could never subject multitudes to the command of one. Nothing but their own consent, and their sense of the advantages resulting from peace and order, could have had that influence.

Yet even this consent was long very imperfect, and could not be the basis of a regular administration. The chieftain, who had probably acquired his influence during the continuance of war, ruled more by persuasion than command; and till he could employ force to reduce the refractory and disobedient, the society could scarcely be said to have attained a state of civil government. No compact or agreement, it is evident, was expressly formed for general submission; an idea far beyond the comprehension of savages: each exertion of authority in the chieftain must have been particular, and called forth by the present exigencies of the case: the sensible utility, resulting from his interposition, made these exertions become daily more frequent; and their frequency gradually produced an habitual, and, if you please to call it so, a voluntary, and therefore precarious, acquiescence in the people.

But philosophers, who have embraced a party (if that be not a contradiction in terms), are not contented with these concessions. They assert, not only that government in its earliest infancy arose from consent, or rather the voluntary acquiescence of the people; but also that, even at present, when it has attained its full maturity, it rests on no other foundation. They affirm, that all men are still born equal, and owe allegiance to no prince or government, unless bound by the obligation and sanction of a promise. And as no man, without some equivalent, would forego the advantages of his native liberty, and subject himself to the will of another, this promise is always understood to be conditional, and imposes on him no obligation, unless he meet with justice and protection from his sovereign. These advantages the sovereign promises him in return; and if he fail in the execution, he has broken, on his part, the articles of engagement, and has thereby freed his subject from all obligations to allegiance. Such, according to these philosophers, is the foundation of authority in every government, and such the right of resistance possessed by every subject.

But would these reasoners look abroad into the world, they would meet with nothing that, in the least, corresponds to their ideas, or can warrant so refined and philosophical a system. On the contrary, we find every where princes who claim their subjects as their property, and assert their independent right of sovereignty, from conquest or succession. We find also every where subjects who acknowledge this right in their prince, and suppose themselves born under obligations of obedience to a certain sovereign, as much as under the ties of reverence and duty to certain parents. These connexions are always conceived to be equally independent of our consent, in Persia and China; in France and Spain; and even in Holland and England, wherever the doctrines above-mentioned have not been carefully inculcated. Obedience or subjection becomes so familiar, that most men never make any inquiry about its origin or cause, more than about the principle of gravity, resistance, or the most universal laws of nature. Or if curiosity ever move them; as soon as they learn that they themselves and their ancestors have, for several ages, or from time immemorial, been subject to such a form of government or such a family, they immediately acquiesce, and acknowledge their obligation to allegiance. Were you to preach, in most parts of the world, that political connexions are founded altogether on voluntary consent or a mutual promise, the magistrate would soon imprison you as seditious for loosening the ties of obedience; if your friends did not before shut you up as delirious, for advancing such absurdities. It is strange that an act of the mind, which every individual is supposed to have formed, and after he came to the use of reason too, otherwise it could have no authority; that this act, I say, should be so much unknown to all of them, that over the face of the whole earth, there scarcely remain any traces or memory of it.

But the contract, on which government is founded, is said to be the original contract; and consequently may be supposed too old to fall under the knowledge of the present generation. If the agreement, by which savage men first associated and conjoined their force, be here meant, this is acknowledged to be real; but being so ancient, and being obliterated by a thousand changes of government and princes, it cannot now be supposed to retain any authority. If we would say any thing to the purpose, we must assert that every particular government which is lawful, and which imposes any duty of allegiance on the subject, was, at first, founded on consent and a voluntary compact. But, besides that this supposes the consent of the fathers to bind the children, even to the most remote generations (which republican writers will never allow), besides this, I say, it is not justified by history or experience in any age or country of the world.

Almost all the governments which exist at present, or of which there remains any record in story, have been founded originally, either on usurpation or conquest, or both, without any presence of a fair consent or voluntary subjection of the people. When an artful and bold man is placed at the head of an army or faction, it is often easy for him, by employing, sometimes violence, sometimes false presences, to establish his dominion over a people a hundred times more numerous than his partisans. He allows no such open communication, that his enemies can know, with certainty, their number or force. He gives them no leisure to assemble together in a body to oppose him. Even all those who are the instruments of his usurpation may wish his fall; but their ignorance of each other’s intention keeps them in awe, and is the sole cause of his security. By such arts as these many governments have been established; and this is all the original contract which they have to boast of.

The face of the earth is continually changing, by the increase of small kingdoms into great empires, by the dissolution of great empires into smaller kingdoms, by the planting of colonies, by the migration of tribes. Is there any thing discoverable in all these events but force and violence? Where is the mutual agreement or voluntary association so much talked of?

Even the smoothest way by which a nation may receive a foreign master, by marriage or a will, is not extremely honourable for the people; but supposes them to be disposed of, like a dowry or a legacy, according to the pleasure or interest of their rulers.

But where no force interposes, and election takes place; what is this election so highly vaunted? It is either the combination of a few great men, who decide for the whole, and will allow of no opposition; or it is the fury of a multitude, that follow a seditious ringleader, who is not known, perhaps, to a dozen among them, and who owes his advancement merely to his own impudence, or to the momentary caprice of his fellows.

Are these disorderly elections, which are rare too, of such mighty authority as to be the only lawful foundation of all government and allegiance?

In reality, there is not a more terrible event than a total dissolution of government, which gives liberty to the multitude, and makes the determination or choice of a new establishment depend upon a number, which nearly approaches to that of the body of the people: for it never comes entirely to the whole body of them. Every wise man then wishes to see, at the head of a powerful and obedient army, a general who may speedily seize the prize, and give to the people a master which they are so unfit to choose for themselves. So little correspondent is fact and reality to those philosophical notions.

Let not the establishment at the Revolution deceive us, or make us so much in love with a philosophical origin to government, as to imagine all others monstrous and irregular. Even that event was far from corresponding to these refined ideas. It was only the succession, and that only in the regal part of the government, which was then changed: and it was only the majority of seven hundred, who determined that change for near ten millions. I doubt not, indeed, but the bulk of those ten millions acquiesced willingly in the determination: but was the matter left, in the least, to their choice? Was it not justly supposed to be, from that moment, decided, and every man punished, who refused to submit to the new sovereign? How otherwise could the matter have ever been brought to any issue or conclusion?

The republic of Athens was, I believe, the most extensive democracy that we read of in history: yet if we make the requisite allowances for the women, the slaves, and the strangers, we shall find, that that establishment was not at first made, nor any law ever voted, by a tenth part of those who were bound to pay obedience to it; not to mention the islands and foreign dominions, which the Athenians claimed as theirs by right of conquest. And as it is well known that popular assemblies in that city were always full of license and disorder, not withstanding the institutions and laws by which they were checked; how much more disorderly must they prove, where they form not the established constitution, but meet tumultuously on the dissolution of the ancient government, in order to give rise to a new one? How chimerical must it be to talk of a choice in such circumstances?

The Achæans enjoyed the freest and most perfect democracy of all antiquity; yet they employed force to oblige some cities to enter into their league, as we learn from Polybius.

Harry the IVth and Harry the VIIth of England, had really no title to the throne but a parliamentary election; yet they never would acknowledge it, lest they should thereby weaken their authority. Strange, if the only real foundation of all authority be consent and promise?

It is in vain to say, that all governments are, or should be, at first, founded on popular consent, as much as the necessity of human affairs will admit. This favours entirely my pretension. I maintain, that human affairs will never admit of this consent, seldom of the appearance of it; but that conquest or usurpation, that is, in plain terms, force, by dissolving the ancient governments, is the origin of almost all the new ones which were ever established in the world. And that in the few cases where consent may seem to have taken place, it was commonly so irregular, so confined, or so much intermixed either with fraud or violence, that it cannot have any great authority.

My intention here is not to exclude the consent of the people from being one just foundation of government where it has place. It is surely the best and most sacred of any. I only pretend, that it has very seldom had place in any degree, and never almost in its full extent; and that, therefore, some other foundation of government must also be admitted.

Were all men possessed of so inflexible a regard to justice, that, of themselves, they would totally abstain from the properties of others; they had for ever remained in a state of absolute liberty, without subjection to any magistrate or political society: but this is a state of perfection, of which human nature is justly deemed incapable. Again, were all men possessed of so perfect an understanding as always to know their own interests, no form of government had ever been submitted to but what was established on consent, and was fully canvassed by every member of the society: but this state of perfection is likewise much superior to human nature. Reason, history, and experience shew us, that all political societies have had an origin much less accurate and regular; and were one to choose a period of time when the people’s consent was the least regarded in public transactions, it would be precisely on the establishment of a new government. In a settled constitution their inclinations are often consulted; but during the fury of revolutions, conquests, and public convulsions, military force or political craft usually decides the controversy.

When a new government is established, by whatever means, the people are commonly dissatisfied with it, and pay obedience more from fear and necessity, than from any idea of allegiance or of moral obligation. The prince is watchful and jealous, and must carefully guard against every beginning or appearance of insurrection. Time, by degrees, removes all these difficulties, and accustoms the nation to regard, as their lawful or native princes, that family which at first they considered as usurpers or foreign conquerors. In order to found this opinion, they have no recourse to any notion of voluntary consent or promise, which, they know, never was, in this case, either expected or demanded. The original establishment was formed by violence, and submitted to from necessity. The subsequent administration is also supported by power, and acquiesced in by the people, not as a matter of choice, but of obligation. They imagine not that their consent gives their prince a title: but they willingly consent, because they think, that, from long possession, he has acquired a title, independent of their choice or inclination.

Should it be said, that, by living under the dominion of a prince which one might leave, every individual has given a tacit consent to his authority, and promised him obedience; it may be answered, that such an implied consent can only have place where a man imagines that the matter depends on his choice. But where he thinks (as all mankind do who are born under established governments) that, by his birth, he owes allegiance to a certain prince or certain form of government; it would be absurd to infer a consent or choice, which he expressly, in this case, renounces and disclaims.

Can we seriously say, that a poor peasant or artisan has a free choice to leave his country, when he knows no foreign language or manners, and lives, from day to day, by the small wages which he acquires? We may as well assert that a man, by remaining in a vessel, freely consents to the dominion of the master; though he was carried on board while asleep, and must leap into the ocean and perish, the moment he leaves her.

What if the prince forbid his subjects to quit his dominions; as in Tiberius’s time, it was regarded as a crime in a Roman knight that he had attempted to fly to the Parthians, in order to escape the tyranny of that emperor?[1] Or as the ancient Muscovites prohibited all travelling under pain of death? And did a prince observe, that many of his subjects were seized with the frenzy of migrating to foreign countries, he would, doubtless, with great reason and justice, restrain them, in order to prevent the depopulation of his own kingdom. Would he forfeit the allegiance of all his subjects by so wise and reasonable a law? Yet the freedom of their choice is surely, in that case, ravished from them.

A company of men, who should leave their native country, in order to people some uninhabited region, might dream of recovering their native freedom; but they would soon find, that their prince still laid claim to them, and called them his subjects, even in their new settlement. And in this he would but act conformably to the common ideas of mankind.

The truest tacit consent of this kind that is ever observed, is when a foreigner settles in any country, and is beforehand acquainted with the prince, and government, and laws, to which he must submit: yet is his allegiance, though more voluntary, much less expected or depended on, than that of a natural born subject. On the contrary, his native prince still asserts a claim to him. And if he punish not the renegade, where he seizes him in war with his new prince’s commission; this clemency is not founded on the municipal law, which in all countries condemns the prisoner; but on the consent of princes, who have agreed to this indulgence, in order to prevent reprisals.

Did one generation of men go off the stage at once, and another succeed, as is the case with silkworms and butterflies, the new race, if they had sense enough to choose their government, which surely is never the case with men, might voluntarily, and by general consent, establish their own form of civil polity, without any regard to the laws or precedents which prevailed among their ancestors. But as human society is in perpetual flux, one man every hour going out of the world, another coming into it, it is necessary, in order to preserve stability in government, that the new brood should conform themselves to the established constitution, and nearly follow the path which their fathers, treading in the footsteps of theirs, had marked out to them. Some innovations must necessarily have place in every human institution; and it is happy where the enlightened genius of the age give these a direction to the side of reason, liberty, and justice: but violent innovations no individual is entitled to make: they are even dangerous to be attempted by the legislature: more ill than good is ever to be expected from them: and if history affords examples to the contrary, they are not to be drawn into precedent, and are only to be regarded as proofs, that the science of politics affords few rules, which will not admit of some exception, and which may not sometimes be controlled by fortune and accident. The violent innovations in the reign of Henry VIII. proceeded from an imperious monarch, seconded by the appearance of legislative authority: those in the reign of Charles I. were derived from faction and fanaticism; and both of them have proved happy in the issue. But even the former were long the source of many disorders, and still more dangers; and if the measures of allegiance were to be taken from the latter, a total anarchy must have place in human society, and a final period at once be put to every government.

Suppose that an usurper, after having banished his lawful prince and royal family, should establish his dominion for ten or a dozen years in any country, and should preserve so exact a discipline in his troops, and so regular a disposition in his garrisons that no insurrection had ever been raised, or even murmur heard against his administration: can it be asserted that the people, who in their hearts abhor his treason, have tacitly consented to his authority, and promised him allegiance, merely because, from necessity, they live under his dominion? Suppose again their native prince restored, by means of an army, which he levies in foreign countries: they receive him with joy and exultation, and shew plainly with what reluctance they had submitted to any other yoke. I may now ask, upon what foundation the prince’s title stands? Not on popular consent surely: for though the people willingly acquiesce in his authority, they never imagine that their consent made him sovereign. They consent; because they apprehend him to be already by birth, their lawful sovereign. And as to that tacit consent, which may now be inferred from their living under his dominion, this is no more than what they formerly gave to the tyrant and usurper.

When we assert, that all lawful government arises from the consent of the people, we certainly do them a great deal more honour than they deserve, or even expect and desire from us. After the Roman dominions became too unwieldy for the republic to govern them, the people over the whole known world were extremely grateful to Augustus for that authority which, by violence, he had established over them; and they shewed an equal disposition to submit to the successor whom he left them by his last will and testament. It was afterwards their misfortune, that there never was, in one family, any long regular succession; but that their line of princes was continually broken, either by private assassinations or public rebellions. The prætorian bands, on the failure of every family, set up one emperor; the legions in the East a second; those in Germany, perhaps a third; and the sword alone could decide the controversy. The condition of the people in that mighty monarchy was to be lamented, not because the choice of the emperor was never left to them, for that was impracticable, but because they never fell under any succession of masters who might regularly follow each other. As to the violence, and wars, and bloodshed, occasioned by every new settlement, these were not blameable because they were inevitable.

The house of Lancaster ruled in this island about sixty years; yet the partisans of the white rose seemed daily to multiply in England. The present establishment has taken place during a still longer period. Have all views of right in another family been utterly extinguished, even though scarce any man now alive had arrived at the years of discretion when it was expelled, or could have consented to its dominion, or have promised it allegiance? — a sufficient indication, surely, of the general sentiment of mankind on this head. For we blame not the partisans of the abdicated family merely on account of the long time during which they have preserved their imaginary loyalty. We blame them for adhering to a family which we affirm has been justly expelled, and which, from the moment the new settlement took place, had forfeited all title to authority.

But would we have a more regular, at least a more philosophical, refutation of this principle of an original contract, or popular consent, perhaps the following observations may suffice.

All moral duties may be divided into two kinds. The first are those to which men are impelled by a natural instinct or immediate propensity which operates on them, independent of all ideas of obligation, and of all views either to public or private utility. Of this nature are love of children, gratitude to benefactors, pity to the unfortunate. When we reflect on the advantage which results to society from such humane instincts, we pay them the just tribute of moral approbation and esteem: but the person actuated by them feels their power and influence antecedent to any such reflection.

The second kind of moral duties are such as are not supported by any original instinct of nature, but are performed entirely from a sense of obligation, when we consider the necessities of human society, and the impossibility of supporting it, if these duties were neglected. It is thus justice, or a regard to the property of others, fidelity, or the observance of promises, become obligatory, and acquire an authority over mankind. For as it is evident that every man loves himself better than any other person, he is naturally impelled to extend his acquisitions as much as possible; and nothing can restrain him in this propensity but reflection and experience, by which he learns the pernicious effects of that license, and the total dissolution of society which must ensue from it. His original inclination, therefore, or instinct, is here checked and restrained by a subsequent judgment or observation.

The case is precisely the same with the political or civil duty of allegiance as with the natural duties of justice and fidelity. Our primary instincts lead us either to indulge ourselves in unlimited freedom, or to seek dominion over others; and it is reflection only which engages us to sacrifice such strong passions to the interests of peace and public order. A small degree of experience and observation suffices to teach us, that society cannot possibly be maintained without the authority of magistrates, and that this authority must soon fall into contempt where exact obedience is not paid to it. The observation of these general and obvious interests is the source of all allegiance, and of that moral obligation which we attribute to it.

What necessity, therefore, is there to found the duty of allegiance or obedience to magistrates on that of fidelity or a regard to promises, and to suppose, that it is the consent of each individual which subjects him to government, when it appears that both allegiance and fidelity stand precisely on the same foundation, and are both submitted to by mankind, on account of the apparent interests and necessities of human society? We are bound to obey our sovereign, it is said, because we have given a tacit promise to that purpose. But why are we bound to observe our promise? It must here be asserted, that the commerce and intercourse of mankind, which are of such mighty advantage, can have no security where men pay no regard to their engagements. In like manner, may it be said that men could not live at all in society, at least in a civilized society, without laws, and magistrates, and judges, to prevent the encroachments of the strong upon the weak, of the violent upon the just and equitable. The obligation to allegiance being of like force and authority with the obligation to fidelity, we gain nothing by resolving the one into the other. The general interests or necessities of society are sufficient to establish both.

If the reason be asked of that obedience, which we are bound to pay to government, I readily answer, Because society could not otherwise subsist; and this answer is clear and intelligible to all mankind. Your answer is, Because we should keep our word. But besides, that no body, till trained in a philosophical system, can either comprehend or relish this answer; besides this, I say, you find yourself embarrassed when it is asked, Why we are bound to keep our word? Nor can you give any answer but what would, immediately, without any circuit, have accounted for our obligation to allegiance.

But to whom is allegiance due? And who is our lawful sovereign? This question is often the most difficult of any, and liable to infinite discussions. When people are so happy that they can answer, Our present sovereign, who inherits, in a direct line, from ancestors that have governed us for many ages, this answer admits of no reply, even though historians, in tracing up to the remotest antiquity the origin of that royal family, may find, as commonly happens, that its first authority was derived from usurpation and violence. It is confessed that private justice, or the abstinence from the properties of others, is a most cardinal virtue. Yet reason tells us that there is no property in durable objects, such as lands or houses, when carefully examined in passing from hand to hand, but must, in some period, have been founded on fraud and injustice. The necessities of human society, neither in private nor public life, will allow of such an accurate inquiry; and there is no virtue or moral duty but what may, with facility, be refined away, if we indulge a false philosophy in sifting and scrutinizing it, by every captious rule of logic, in every light or position in which it may be placed.

The questions with regard to private property have filled infinite volumes of law and philosophy, if in both we add the commentators to the original text; and in the end, we may safely pronounce, that many of the rules there established are uncertain, ambiguous, and arbitrary. The like opinion may be formed with regard to the succession and rights of princes, and forms of government. Several cases no doubt occur, especially in the infancy of any constitution, which admit of no determination from the laws of justice and equity; and our historian Rapin pretends, that the controversy between Edward the Third and Philip de Valois was of this nature, and could be decided only by an appeal to heaven, that is, by war and violence.

Who shall tell me, whether Germanicus or Drusus ought to have succeeded to Tiberius, had he died while they were both alive, without naming any of them for his successor? Ought the right of adoption to be received as equivalent to that of blood, in a nation where it had the same effect in private families, and had already, in two instances, taken place in the public? Ought Germanicus to be esteemed the elder son, because he was born before Drusus; or the younger, because he was adopted after the birth of his brother? Ought the right of the elder to be regarded in a nation, where he had no advantage in the succession of private families? Ought the Roman empire at that time to be deemed hereditary, because of two examples; or ought it, even so early, to be regarded as belonging to the stronger, or to the present possessor, as being founded on so recent an usurpation?

Commodus mounted the throne after a pretty long succession of excellent emperors, who had acquired their title, not by birth, or public election, but by the fictitious rite of adoption. That bloody debauchee being murdered by a conspiracy, suddenly formed between his wench and her gallant, who happened at that time to be Prætorian Præfect; these immediately deliberated about choosing a master to human kind, to speak in the style of those ages; and they cast their eyes on Pertinax. Before the tyrant’s death was known, the Præfect went secretly to that senator, who, on the appearance of the soldiers, imagined that his execution had been ordered by Commodus. He was immediately saluted emperor by the officer and his attendants, cheerfully proclaimed by the populace, unwillingly submitted to by the guards, formally recognized by the senate, and passively received by the provinces and armies of the empire.

The discontent of the Prætorian bands broke out in a sudden sedition, which occasioned the murder of that excellent prince; and the world being now without a master, and without government, the guards thought proper to set the empire formally to sale. Julian, the purchaser, was proclaimed by the soldiers, recognized by the senate, and submitted to by the people; and must also have been submitted to by the provinces, had not the envy of the legions begotten opposition and resistance. Pescennius Niger in Syria elected himself emperor, gained the tumultuary consent of his army, and was attended with the secret good-will of the senate and people of Rome. Albinus in Britain found an equal right to set up his claim; but Severus, who governed Pannonia, prevailed in the end above both of them. That able politician and warrior, finding his own birth and dignity too much inferior to the imperial crown, professed, at first, an intention only of revenging the death of Pertinax. He marched as general into Italy, defeated Julian, and, without our being able to fix any precise commencement even of the soldiers’ consent, he was from necessity acknowledged emperor by the senate and people, and fully established in his violent authority, by subduing Niger and Albinus.

Inter hæc Gordianus Cæsar (says Capitolinus, speaking of another period) sublatus a militibus. Imperator est appellatus, quia non erat alius in præsenti. It is to be remarked, that Gordian was a boy of fourteen years of age.

Frequent instances of a like nature occur in the history of the emperors; in that of Alexander’s successors; and of many other countries: nor can any thing be more unhappy than a despotic government of this kind; where the succession is disjointed and irregular, and must be determined, on every vacancy, by force or election. In a free government, the matter is often unavoidable, and is also much less dangerous. The interests of liberty may there frequently lead the people, in their own defence, to alter the succession of the crown. And the constitution, being compounded of parts, may still maintain a sufficient stability, by resting on the aristocratical or democratical members, though the monarchical be altered, from time to time, in order to accommodate it to the former.

In an absolute government, when there is no legal prince who has a title to the throne, it may safely be determined to belong to the first occupant. Instances of this kind are but too frequent, especially in the eastern monarchies. When any race of princes expires, the will or destination of the last sovereign will be regarded as a title. Thus the edict of Louis the XIVth, who called the bastard princes to the succession in case of the failure of all the legitimate princes, would, in such an event, have some authority.[2] Thus the will of Charles the Second disposed of the whole Spanish monarchy. The cession of the ancient proprietor, especially when joined to conquest, is likewise deemed a good title. The general obligation, which binds us to government, is the interest and necessities of society; and this obligation is very strong. The determination of it to this or that particular prince, or form of government, is frequently more uncertain and dubious. Present possession has considerable authority in these cases, and greater than in private property; because of the disorders which attend all revolutions and changes of government.

We shall only observe, before we conclude, that though an appeal to general opinion may justly, in the speculative sciences of metaphysics, natural philosophy, or astronomy, be deemed unfair and inconclusive, yet in all questions with regard to morals, as well as criticism, there is really no other standard, by which any controversy can ever be decided. And nothing is a clearer proof, that a theory of this kind is erroneous, than to find, that it leads to paradoxes repugnant to the common sentiments of mankind, and to the practice and opinion of all nations and all ages. The doctrine, which founds all lawful government on an original contract, or consent of the people, is plainly of this kind; nor has the most noted of its partisans, in prosecution of it, scrupled to affirm, that absolute monarchy is inconsistent with civil society, and so can be no form of civil government at all;[3] and that the supreme power in a state cannot take from any man, by taxes and impositions, any part of his property, without his own consent or that of his representatives.[4] What authority any moral reasoning can have, which leads into opinions so wide of the general practice of mankind, in every place but this single kingdom, it is easy to determine.

The only passage I meet with in antiquity, where the obligation of obedience to government is ascribed to a promise, is in Plato’s Crito; where Socrates refuses to escape from prison, because he had tacitly promised to obey the laws. Thus he builds a Tory consequence of passive obedience on a Whig foundation of the original contract.

New discoveries are not to be expected in these matters. If scarce any man, till very lately, ever imagined that government was founded on compact, it is certain that it cannot, in general, have any such foundation.

The crime of rebellion among the ancients was commonly expressed by the terms νεοτεριζειν, νουας ρες μολιρι.


1. Tacit. Ann. vi. cap. 14.

2. It is remarkable, that in the remonstrance of the Duke of Bourbon and the legitimate princes, against this destination of Louis the XIVth, the doctrine of the original contract is insisted on even in that absolute government. The French nation, say they, choosing Hugh Capet and his posterity to rule over them and their posterity, where the former line fails, there is a tacit right reserved to choose a new royal family; and this right is invaded by calling the bastard princes to the throne, without the consent of the nation. But the Comte de Boulainvilliers, who wrote in defence of the bastard princes, ridicules this notion of an original contract, especially when applied to Hugh Capet; who mounted the throne, says he, by the same arts which have ever been employed by all conquerors and usurpers. He got his title, indeed, recognized by the states after he had put himself in possession: but is this a choice or contract? The Comte de Boulainvilliers, we may observe, was a noted republican; but being a man of learning, and very conversant in history, he knew that the people were almost never consulted in these revolutions and new establishments, and that time alone bestowed right and authority on what was commonly at first founded on force and violence. See Etat de la France, vol. iii.

3. See Locke on Government, chap. vii. 5 90.

4. Ibid., chap. xi. 55 138, 139, 140.

An Essay Upon Government Wherein The Republican Schemes Reviv’d by Mr. Lock, Dr. Blackal, &c. Are Fairly Consider’d and Refuted

[Editor’s note: Original made available by a) Google Books was used to create a readable and largely OCR error-free copy of this 1705 work by Anonymous. ‘[non-Latin alphabet]’ denotes Greek words. Please contact me if you notice any errors.]

Original sources:

a): https://books.google.com/books?id=QN7WqyXERC4C


An Essay Upon Government Wherein The Republican Schemes Reviv’d by Mr. Lock, Dr. Blackal, &c. Are Fairly Consider’d and Refuted.

An Essay Upon Government

It has of late been wonderful to observe the Atheists, the Deists, Fanaticks, and the Spawn of Jesuits, under the prolifick influence of an abus’d Toleration, crawling forth like Locusts, first to darken, and then to devour the Land. Their continual attempts have been made with a double entendrè, to subvert the State through the ruin of the Church; or, convertibly, the Hierarchy of the Church through the Monarchy of the State. And, to make Root and Branchwork with both, they have now again boldly denied to either any Establishment by the Word of God; and, like Men of Moderation! asserted, that as long as the Essentials of Faith, Worship, and Government are preserv’d, it matters not for any particular Form; but I fear the Form and the Essence are so inseparably united, that he who denies the Authority of the one, does at the same time invalidate the Reasonableness of the other. The Apostle tells the Colossians, c. 2. 5. That he joyed to behold their Order, and the Stedfastness of their Faith in Christ. 1st. their Order, then the Stedfastness of their Faith in Christ; implying, that where right Order is not maintain’d, Stedfastness of Faith cannot long continue; but how there can be right Order without set Form, I want the Logick of those Gentlemen to understand; and if every Form be mutable at the pleasure of an indefinite Supreme Power for the time being, then there can be no such thing as an Establish’d Government either in Church or State, but we are left to an occasional Obedience in both; whereas the Apostle says, that the Church is only compleat in Christ, who is the head of all Principality, and Power, Col. 2. 10. but how can he be the head of Principality in the State, or Episcopal Power in the Church, if both are mutable at the Pleasure of their respective Communities; and if he be, then the Government in both is founded upon his unalterable Authority, which is the design of the following Treatise to prove.

I have indeed named but one, because they stand or fall together; tho’ I hope the Author of the Subjects Duty, (fairly so call’d) who denies a Scriptural foundation for the one, will not deny it for the other: But since he gives up the former, I doubt not but the Faction he defends will hereafter plant the Argument (cui bono) against him as to the latter: So that however precious the Balm may be thought at present, I fear it will be found in the end such as will break his own Head. What Charitable design he had in the Application, God and himself best know, but the absurdity of the means will soon be evident to all; that a Book may be sweet in the Mouth, and very bitter in the Stomach: For (says the Excellent Casuist B. Sanderson) We know not any greater good than the glory of God, we scarce know a better sin; (if any Sin may be accounted little) than an harmless officious lye, yet may not this be done no not for that! Will you speak wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him, Job 13. 7. if not for the glory of God, then certainly not for the Justification of any or all the Men in the World; this is attainable another way, by Confession, Deprecation, And Amendment.

If a Priest now a days make a Calf, must he needs, like Aaron, give it out to be Deify’d by the People? But since this is done, how fond soever these may be of so silly an Animal; yet the Tribe of Levi ought to shew their just resentment, and stop the infection of others as well as prevent any Malignity in themselves: They watch for Mens Souls as they that must give account, and tho’ their Zeal cannot warrantably proceed to the slaying of a Brother, yet they who are most Eminently to Adorn, must likewise by all Lawful methods be sure to Defend the Doctrine of God our Saviour in all things; and let him be a Pr—-t, B—– or an Angel of God that shall Preach any other, we are to abhor and confute the Thesis, and at least admonish the Person that by special Repentance he may retract his Crime, take shame to himself, and give Glory to Go who must be true, tho’ every Man be a Liar. The Man that maintain’d the sufficiency of Scripture, I lov’d and admir’d, but since the same now destroys what once he establish’d, I neither Reverence nor Fear him. But considering the pernicious consequence of pleading Errors so Authoritatively recommended, and having first waited abler Pens, I thought my self oblig’d to vindicate Scriptural sufficiency in point of present Order and Government, as well as future Salvation; to assert and defend the Divine Right of my Natural Soveraign Q. A. to shew those mistake or designing Subjects, that found her Authority upon human Commission, the Error of their Ways, and the Evil of their Doings, that they may Repent and humbly beg Pardon both of God and Her for infringing their just Prerogatives; to do Right to the Church of England by protesting in its Name against this and all other Republican Schemes, through inadvertency or design so publickly advanced; to caution all that love the Establish’d Religion against the poisonous influence this System covertly conveys, and to let them see, how void it is of the Healing Quality they so much admit it for.

Upon these Reasons I undertook this Subject, and if the performance were but as good as the intention, I am sure to give no offense to any honest Man; them that are otherwise I would not please, and the Dirt which they fling will, like that at Blenheim, the more illustrate him they design to obscure: But however I may be reviled by any of them, who use that for Argument, I am sure to be satisfied from my self with the answer of a good Conscience, rejoycing in the Truth, which I hope will not appear more weakly defended by me, than oppos’d by others; and if it does, may it provoke a nobler Genius to do it Justice. The method here pitch’d on is entirely new, takes in the whole Body of Republicanism, clears the Texts of Scripture from all Misprision, purposely brings Mr. Pool’s Annotations for Vouchers, gives the full force to the most material Republican Arguments, and how clearly it confutes them, read, consider and speak your Minds.

I shall endeavour to prove three Propositions.

1st. That Monarchy is the particular Form of Government, by God Establish’d in Scripture.

2dly. That the Right of Inheritance is plainly determin’d by the same Authority.

3dly. That the English Constitution is founded upon that Law of God, and therefore Hereditary Monarchy is the unalterable Power here Establish’d. My Son, fear thou the Lord and the King, &c.

I begin with the first of these, and here I shall do two things, viz.

1st. Make good the Position, that Monarchy, &c.

2dly. Confute the most material Objections rais’d against it. And

1st. To make good the Position, that Monarchy is the particular Form of Government, by God Establish’d in Scripture.

1st. If God fix’d private Dominion in any one Man, then Monarchy is the particular Form of Government by him appointed. Adam had Sovereign Dominion, which I prove by the following Arguments.

1st. Because he was made himself alone, Gen 2. 18. Whereas God made other Creatures Male and Female at once; but to constitute the right of Government entirely in the Man, He was form’d single. God in his Wisdom did not think it fit to make two Independents, and liked best of all Governments of Mankind, the Sovereignty of one, and that with that extent, that both Wife and Posterity should submit and subject themselves to him, which priority of Creation St. Paul makes a reason for the Woman’s Subjection, I Tim. 2. 13. Adam was first formed, and then Eve.

2dly. The Woman was made for his occasions, an Help meet for him, which the Apostle gives as another reason for her Subjection, 1. Cor. 11. 9, 10. Neither was the Man created for the Woman, but the Woman for the Man; i.e. to serve and help him: For it is a Rule in Reason, that who, or whatsoever is made for another, is less excellent than that other. And ver. 10. For this cause ought the Woman to have power on her head, i.e. a covering in sign that she is under the power of her Husband. M. Pool in loc.

3dly. God expressly gave Adam Dominion over the works of his Hands, Gen. I. 26. Let us make Man in our Image, after our likeness, and let them have Dominion, &c. But in the Dominion of Man and Woman there is inequality for the Reasons foregoing, I Cor. II. 7, 8, 9, 19. I Tim. 2. 12, 13. Again, Gen. I. 28. God says to Adam and Eve, Be fruitful and multiple, replenish the Earth and subdue it; i.e. say the Greeks, exercise Dominion over it when replenish’d; subduing means such a prevailing and possessing as a Master has over Servants, compare with Jer. 34. 16. 2 Chron. 28. 10. Nehem. 5. 5. by which is to be understood a Right of Dominion over their Children: for it is said, Replenish the Earth, and Subdue it, [non-Latin alphabet], exercise Lordship over your Offspring; and then it follows of another part of Adam’s Dominion, [non-Latin alphabet], Have Dominion; and Ps. 8. 56, &c. this is explained by, Thou gavest him, &c. i.e. Adam.

4thly. In Evidence of Adam’s Dominion God brought every Beast, &c. to Adam to see what he would call them, and whatsoever Adam called every thing that was the Name thereof: And when he had made Woman he brought her to the Man, and Adam said she shall be called Woman. Gen. 2. 19, 22, 23. Therefore he had a Dominion over her, as well as the other inferior Creatures. And this (says Mr. Pool) was done for the Manifestation both of Man’s Dominion over the Creatures, and of the Largeness of his Understanding, it being an Act of Authority to give Names, &c. in loc.

5thly. Eve’s Desires were to be subject to her Husband, Gen. 3. 16. Thy Desire &c, and he shall rule over thee [non-Latin alphabet.] Not but it was her Duty so to submit before the Fall. (So says the Apostle, I Cor 14. 34.) They are commanded to be under Obedience, as also says the Law, (alluding to this very Place.) I Tim. 2. 11, 12. and I Pet. 3. 6. Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him Lord (and she said well, for so he was.) But the Reason of its being a Curse is this, that she should be subjected to the Will of her Husband which she was the only means of corrupting, and so the Cause of its becoming now her Punishment, which was before her Delight.

6thly, Adam, was, must be, and could not but be, a Monarch; because he could not otherwise be a Type of Christ, who is a King both by Birth and Fact. As Christ was born King of the Jews by a miraculous Operation of the Holy Ghost upon the Substance of the Virgin, so was Adam created Lord of the World by the immediate Hand of God, Ps. 8. 5, &c. to be understood of Adam as he was made in God’s Image, and Lord of the World, and is applied to Christ by the Apostle, We see Jesus crowned with Glory and Honour, who was made a little lower than the Angels thro’ the Suffering of Death, that by the Grace of God he might taste Death for all. Heb. 2. 6. Adam was the Figure of him that was to come, Rom. 5. 14. But to Christ all power was given, Matt. 28. 18. Jon. 13. 3. and therefore to Adam, and him in particular, because the whole species of Mankind was never thought to typifie Christ. And I have very good reason to believe that the passage quoted by Mr. Lock, Psal. 115. 16, The Earth has he given to the Children of Men, does not denote the whole Species of Mankind: For in the Original it is the Sons of Adam, which may signifie, [non-Latin alphabet], i.e. the Ruler of every People, and that it must so signifie, is evident from Deut. 32. 8. Act. 17. 26. comp. with Eccles. 17. 17.

It may indeed signifie in a subordinate Sense, as that the Ruler of every People holds his Lands by Right immediate from God, and the People by Right derived from him; for it does no where appear that God determin’d every private Man’s Right, tho’ he did that of every Ruler of Nations, as has been prov’d and therefore Mr. Lock has falsified both the Text and the Interpretation.

2ndly. The Divine Right of Monarchy appears from what God says to Cain, Gen. 4. 7. Unto thee shall be his [Abel’s] desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Here it is express’d in the future tense, [non-Latin alphabet], Thou shalt Rule; which could not be during Adam’s Life, because predicated by a word which signifies supreme Power, and therefore denotes the futurity of his Dominion upon the Death of Adam, their common Lord and Father; or else it would have been set down in the present Tense, or in a word signifying subordinately, [non-Latin alphabet], and the sense of the whole verse is this, if thou dost well, shalt thou not be accepted, that is, in due time have the excellency, and if thou dost not well, sin lies at thy door; i.e. if thou go on in thy murderous intention, and execute thy sinful purpose, be sure thy sin, i.e., the punishment of thy sin will find thee out, as it is said Numb. 32. 23. to which agrees that of ver. 14. Every one that finds me shall slay me, which they could not have done, had he been the Superiour Power who is accountable to God alone; as David says upon the Murder of Uriah, Against thee, [O God] thee only, have I finished, Psal. 51. The meaning therefore of, Every one that finds me, &c. is this, viz. he fear’d being brought before Adam’s Tribunal, to which he was accountable for the Death of his Brother (See B. Overall Convoc. Book) and therefore to take off this Fear, God transmuted his Capital Punishment into Banishment, ver. 12.

3dly. Noah had private dominion invested him, as Adam had, for the Covenant is renew’d with him, Gen. 9. I, 2. His Sons are indeed mention’d there; and thus was it in other Covenants, tho’ the Right was not thereby made equal at the present conveyance, but to be successive, as in the Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the seed is constantly mentioned, but yet the Right was successive and unequal. And Josephus here understands the Covenant made with Noah originally and singly, his words are, I command you (says God) to keep your hands innocent from Murders and all Manslaughter, and to punish those that commit wickedness, in as much as I have made you Lord over all, Jos. Antiq. Lib. I. c. 4. K. or the words of the Covenant may refer to Noah’s Sons, as those, that should by Grant from their Father, in due time [non-Latin alphabet], exercise dominion independent upon each other, tho’ subordinate to their Father, who subdivided the World among his three Sons, for we read ver. 19. Of them was the whole earth over spread, (See B. Overall’s Conv. Book) which was also a constant Tradition among the Heathen, tho’ they changed the names: For they tell us, that [unreadable] i.e. Noah and his three Sons divided the World among themselves; each had a Supremacy over his Lands, by private property granted from his Father, and Authority over his own Family by Paternal Right, which I ground upon Gen. 9. 5. 6. At the hands of every Man’s Brother will I require the life of Man; Who so sheds Man’s Blood, by Man shall his Blood be shed; i.e. by the Magistrate, for no Man had the Power of the Sword but he, Rom. 13. 4. This Precept was directed to Noah as the Supreme Magistrate, to whom one Brother was accountable for the life of the other; or else here had been a Law without an Executive Power or a Subject; Supremacy is hereby intended, or no such penalty can be inflicted, and where ought this Supremacy to be placed but in the Father? (and accordingly Honour thy Father was made the Rule of Obedience to the Civil Magistrate) One brother could not be accountable to the other, because the Question will be, who made him a Ruler and a Judge? consequently no Man ought to shed the Murderers Blood, because the Law of Nature being a lex Talionis, a Law of rendring like for like, the Aggressor is properly accountable to none but the injur’d Person; unless there be a Power commisson’d by God to execute Vengeance, Rom. 13. 4. The Law of Nature as lex Talionis teaches no father than Self is concerned, and nothing can justifie my Murdering a Murderer, but his attempting me also, and therefore Noah was and must be the Person to whom they were so accountable.

4thly. Concerning the division of Nations mention’d Gen. 10. It is said Deut. 39. 8. That it was the most high who (then) divided to the Nations their Inheritance, and separated the Sons of Adam. And Acts. 17. 26. Hath determin’d the bounds of their habitation. And Eccles. 17. 17. That in the division of the Nations of the whole Earth, be set a Ruler over every people, and according the Names of the 70 Rulers [those Sons of Adam] are set down Gen. 10. ver. 32. These are the Families of the Sons of Noah after their Generations, in their Nations, and by these were the Nations divided in the Earth. And it would be easie to shew the particular Founder of each Nation. (as Jos. Has in great measure done, L. I. c. 7.) By this Genealogy, compar’d with the Names of Nations in humane Writers, it appears; how God has made of one Blood, all Nations of men to dwell upon all the face of the Earth, and has determin’d the bounds of their Habitation. And the first account we have of Government is that of Kings, Principio imperium penes Reges fuit, says Justin the Historian: Egyptians, Chaldeans, &c. began their account with Kings, and reckon’d up to this time, and this with what the Scripture here says of the Heads of Families, is as good a demonstration as a thing at this distance is capable of; since God is said to have divided to the Nations their Inheritance, &c. and to have set a Ruler over every People, and the Names of those very Rulers are expressly set down in Scripture: Since it has been proved, and may be irrefragably confirm’d, that all Nations of the World were denominated according to those Rulers, and that the Nations themselves in their Records do acknowledge all this, it is plain that Monarchy was the Government by God himself peculiarly, every where, originally establish’d.

5thly. If God began his Peculium in Monarchy, then Monarchy is by special appointment, and not bare permission; but this appears from Gen. 12. I, 2. Get thee from thy Country, says God, to Abram, and I will make of thee a great Nation, &c. Therefore Abraham was the Head of that Nation which was to proceed from him; and because he was the Type of Christ the Head of his Church. And ver. 5. Abram took Sarah his Wife, and Lot his Brother’s Son, and the Souls that they had gotten in Haran, i.e. either 1st begotten; for tho’ Abram had yet no Children, Lot had, and both their Servants had Children by their fellow Servants born in their House, which might well be numbred among Abram’s and Lot’s Persons, because they had an absolute Dominion over them, or 2dly, instructed in the true Religion, M. Pool ib. Again, Abraham had a Sovereign Power over his Family, or else he could not have put Isaac to Death; for if Isaac submitted to the Sentence upon Moral suasion, Isaac’s Faith was the greater of the two, because he was the Personal Sufferer, and had no positive Command from God himself, and believed without Evidence that Abraham had: But the Text gives the preeminence to Abraham’s Faith, and imputes it to him only for Righteousness; and consequently Abraham must intentionally Sacrifice him by that Despotick Right he had over his Child and Subject. Besides, Abraham must have been accountable to the Magistrate for the Murder of his Son according to the Law; who so sheds Man’s Blood, by Man shall his Blood be shed, and consequently God had commanded a double Sacrifice, which contradicts the Text and the Reason of the thing, viz. The Analogy between the Sign and Thing signify’d, to wit, God the Father freely Offering up his Son for us all, Rom. 8. 32.

Again, Abraham’s Sovereign Power over his Family is evident from Gen. 16. 6. Where he gives Sarah power over Hagar, who being his Wife, was consequently free by the Law, Deut. 21. 14. And therefore Sarah could have no Penal Authority over her, but as delegated by Abraham, not as an Husband; because his Power over his Wife, is not delegable to another; but as a Prince he could do so because her own Person and the Fruit of her Body were not her own, but Abraham’s Right in possession; and from hence arises the fitness of the Angels admonition, v. 9. Return to thy Mistress and submit thy self under her Hand, which is according to God’s express Command, Eccles. 10. 4. If the Spirit of a Ruler rise up against thee leave not thy place. For yielding pacifies great Offences.

Again, the Children of Heth acknowledge Abraham a mighty Prince of God, Gr. Trans. a King of God. And Josephus makes Agar’s fault consist in aspiring to Principality over Sarah, and supposing that her Son should succeed in the Kingdom. Jos. L. I. c. 11. m. by which he acknowledges Abraham to have bin a King.

6th. Ishmael and Isaac were both Sovereign Princes. Gen. 17. 20, &c. When Abraham pray’d for Ishmael, God says, as for Ishmael I have heard thee, behold I have Blessed him, and will make him Fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly, twelve Princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great Nation: But my Covenant will I establish with Isaac: By which it is plain that both were Princes, tho’ Isaac was the Prince of the Peculium.

7thly. That Monarchy was of God’s appointment, we have an Instance out of the Peculium, Melchisedeck was King of Salem, and Priest of the most High God, Gen. 14. 18. Which he would not have been, had not Monarchy been by God’s own appointment, which is signify’d by his name Melchisedeck, i.e. my King of Righteousness: And that it was so, is farther evidence by his being made a Type of Christ for that very reason, because he was both Priest and King, from whence our Law defines Rex, to be Persona mixta cum sacerdote.

8thly. Ishmaels Sons were twelve Princes according to their Nations, Gen. 25. 15. as God had promis’d, Gen. 17. 20. Now God cannot be suppos’d to promise that as a blessing which himself did not approve and appoint.

9thly. Esau and Jacob were both Kings, Gen. 25. 23. Of the twins, the first came out red, and they called his name Esau, ver. 25. From him the red Sea received its name, being so called as Heathen Writers tell us, from one who Reigned in those parts, and was call’d Erthras or Erythrus which signifies Red, the same with Edom or Esau. And Jacob was Prince over his Brethren by Gods special Election and Isaac’s Donation. And to shew that it was Gods special Election, we need but consult, Gen.27. where Isaac says he has not power to reverse the blessing, (I have Blessed him yea and he shall Blessed, &c.) which he might have done as other Kings may and do reassume any exorbitant Grants, into which they have bin deceive’d, and it is plain from the Context, Isaac would have done so, had he not perceiv’d the matter was by Gods Order and Appointment, and therefore he could not but confirm it, lest he should be found a fighter against God.

10thly. That Jacobs Sons were all Princes over their Families is evident from Ps. 105, 15. Where God calls them and their Fathers such, saying, touch not mine Anointed, i.e. My Kings, and do my Prophets no Harm; and we find Judah particularly exercising his Sovereign Power in passing Sentence of Death upon Thamar, and revoking it afterwards.  

The Children of Israel had their Princes in Egypt, and Moses their Sovereign brought them out of it; and so Moses tells Korah, Datham and Abiram, that their Rebellion was against God, because they said Moses made himself a King, Num. 16. and God himself Expressly and Emphatically calls him my Servant Moses who was to be in the place of God, Exod.4. 16. And he had the Power of Life and Death as we read many thousands Slain at his Command, Num. 25. 5. and Exod. 22, 27, 28.

Again, when Aaron and Miriam equal themselves with Moses, God tells them, my Servant Moses is not so, i.e. as you are, be is faithful in all my House, i.e. I have set him over all my People and you too, wherefore then were you not afraid to speak against my Servant Moses. Num. 12. 7, 8. Who was to be to you instead of God, Exod. 4. 16. to blaspheme God and the King was death by the Law, and accordingly Miriam had instantly died, and Aaron too had not Moses Prayed for them ver. II.

Again, Moses upon his departure prays to God to set a Man over the Congregation, &c. that they be not as Sheep which have no Shepherd, the usual term for King in the Holy Scripture, i.e. suffer all the Miseries and Inconveniences of Anarchy, Num. 27. 16, 27. And yet at the same time there were seventy Rulers over them: And God said to Moses take Joshua, &c. and thou shalt put some of thine Honour, Glory, and Majesty upon him, that all the Congregation, &c. may be Obedient, v. 18. 20. If this be not Monarchy of God’s own appointment, I know not what is, and accordingly we find Joshua exercising his Royal Authority, Jos. I. 10. and the People recognize him as their Sovereign as they had done Moses, and own themselves oblig’d to Obedience upon Penalty of death, v. 16. ad finem.

Again, the Lord rais’d up Judges, i.e. Supream Magistrates, whose Office it was under God, and by his special direction to Govern Israel by God’s Laws, to protect them from their Enemies to preserve and purge Religion, Mat. Pool in Judg. 2. 16. And this Office of Judge was for life, v. 18. Gideon’s authority is described in the name of his Son Abimelech, i.e. My Father the King. Judg. 8. 31. His refusing the Kingdom no objection, because they had no Commission of leave from God to set up such a Kingdom, and consequently they had rejected God’s authority by doing it.

The Judges are all said to have reigned in Israel. M. Pool, in Judges 10. 8. and Cap. 11. 12. We find Jephthah in a Royal manner, sending his Ambassadors to the King of Ammon, saying, what hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my Land, i.e. that Land which my God has given me, signifying himself by God appointed Head over Israel; and accordingly upon Samuel’s deposition God expressly says, They have no rejected Thee, but have rejected Me, that I should not Reign over them, I Sam. 8. 7. i.e. Me the Principal by rejecting Thee my Vicegerent, and so Samuel himself understandeth, when he says, Cap. 10. 10. Ye have rejected your God, &c. and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a King over us, which words they spake only to Samuel. And it is plain from Deut. 17. 14. Their Sin consisted not simply in desiring a King, but in desiring one amiss, in an impetuous manner, at an unreasonable time, without asking leave from God, out of dislike of God’s present Choice, and an usual itch after change, Pool in I Sam. 8. 7.

It consisted indeed in dislike of God’s Government, which he exercised over them in a peculiar Manner, as appears from Deut. 32. 8, 9. When the most High divided to the Nations their Inheritance, when he Separated the Sons of Adam, he set the Bounds of the People, according to the number of the Children of Israel. For the Lords portion is his People: Jacob is the lot of his Inheritance. God himself was pleased to be their King in a peculiar manner, but they took distaste at Theocracy, and desired their Government like that of other Kingdoms might be Hereditary, thereby putting greater confidence in the arm of Flesh, than in God their Saviour who, had done so great things for them; and God says to Samuel, They have not rejected Thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not Reign over them, as I hither to have done in a more eminent manner than I do over others.

Saul was a King of God’s own appointment, according to Deut. 17. 14, 15. When thou shalt say, I will set a King over me, like as all the Nations that are round about me: Thou shalt in any wise set him King over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall chuse. And when Saul was chose, Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord has chosen; and all the people shouted, and said, God Save the King. Then Samuel told the people the manner of the Kingdom, and wrote it in a Book and laid it up before the Lord, I Sam. 10. 24, 25. compare with Deut. 17. 18, 19. Which Book the King was to read, thereby to know his own Power, and how to use it. And I Sam 8. 11. is shewn, not only what a King might do, but what the People ought to suffer, which is plain from ver. 18. David was of God’s special Providing, I Sam. 16. I. one of that Tribe to which the Kingdom was by him before allotted, and from which the Scepter was not to depart. Gen. 49. 10. and yet David’s Kingdom did not commence till the Death of Saul and Jonathan, according to Psal. 82. 6, 7. I have said, ye are Gods; and all of you are the Children of the most high: But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the Princes, by which it is evident that nothing but Death could alienate the Crown; which David confessed, when advised to slay Saul, who persecuted him so unjustly. I Sam. 26. 9, 10. Thus was Monarchy the constant Government among God’s peculiar People; and it may be proved that there was no other sort of Government in the World but this, and that this was appointed by God himself. All along in Scripture we find the Supreme Power lodg’d in a single Person, as well without as within the Pale of the Church, God tells Pharaoh that he had raised him up to his Sovereign Authority, Exod. 9. 16. and a former Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, Gen. 41. 44. i.e. I have the supreme Power, and therefore can and will oblige all my people to observe and obey thee, only in the Throne will I be greater than thou. ver. 40. God sent and anointed Hazael King over Syria, I Kings 19. 15. compare with 2 Kings 8. 12. God gave Power and Dominion to Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 3. 37. and he is called God’s Servant, and was to be obey’d by God’s special Command, Jer. 27. per tot. Holy David in his general Admonition to all Kings or single Rulers both of Israel and all other Nations of the World, Psal. 82. 6. calls them all Indefinitely Gods, and Children of the most High; i.e. as they ruled in his stead, his Name, his Authority, by his appointment representing his Person, bearing his Image, Majesty, and Power, as Children bear the Name and Image of their Parents. And so Solomon speaking in the Name of God, or Christ, who is the Wisdom of God, says Prov. 8. 15. By me Kings Reign: By me, the Donor, Author, Efficient, constituent of Kings and Sovereignty. N. B. The Original is [non-Latin alphabet] in Me, so that the meaning is, Kings are first in God and Christ, and so come forth from him, as that they are in him. B. Andrews Parallels it with that in the Gospel, My Father in me, and I in him: Christ in them as his Deputies, they in Christ as their Principal and Authorizer; he by their Persons, they by his Authority. Thus by God’s Appointment was Moses in the place of God, Exod. 4. 16. and here it is said that Kings Reign, Kings indefinitely, all Kings: From the first Account of Government to the last in Scripture, we find a single Person invested with the Supream Power, and God Recognizing that Power as Personating Himself, and therefore Monarchy, and that only, was by God’s Appointment, either by impress or express notices universally establish’d: ‘Tis affirm’d that God divided the Nations according to the number of their Heads, and as the Government was upon that division, so we find both in Scripture and other Histories it continu’d afterwards, and therefore we must conclude That, and That only, the Form of Government by God constituted in the World. I will not swell this Treatise with numerous instances, which might be added out of Scripture, but shall confirm all that I have said upon this Head, with those decisive Texts of St. Paul and St. Peter, which make Regal Supremacy the positive Ordinance of God alone, in spight of all the misprisions of those that would wyre draw ‘em to their own evil purposes. The Apostle St. Paul says, Rom. 13. I. Let every Soul be Subject to the higher Powers, i.e. to the Prince and his Subordinate Magistrates, which must certainly be here meant, because what follows places the Right of the Sword (which is really the Sovereign Power) in a single Person, for he beareth not the Sword in vain, for he is the Minister of God, &c. He bears it by the Ordinance of God, not by the Donation of the People; he bears it as the Minister of God, from whom he receiv’d it; and not as Minister of the People, who had no right to give it, because they never had it themselves; for no Man has right over his own Life; and therefore he cannot give it to another: But he (i.e. the Prince) is the Minister of God, a revenger [in his Name and by his Authority] to execute his wrath upon him that does evil; wherefore (because of that Divine Commission) ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath but also for Conscience Sake.

And to put this matter beyond all dispute, St. Peter 1. Ep. 2. 13. bids us be Subject to every Ordinance of Man for the Lord’s Sake, whether it be to the King as Supreme. Gr. [non-Latin alphabet], i.e. to ever Ordinance of God among Men, because [non-Latin alphabet], creare, to create incommunicably belongs to God (as [non-Latin alphabet], Gal. 6. 16. The new Creature, Regeneration, which is a being born not of the Will of Man but of God, John I. 13. for tho’ Man may, must, and does consent to Regeneration, yet it is wrought through the single efficiency of the Divine Operation: And because there is not Power but of God, Rom. 13. 4. and the King is the Supreme Ordinance of God, therefore all Power among Men, as St. Peter tells us, is Subordinate to, and delegated by him.

This being a general Epistle extending to all Christians, it follows that by the Authority of this, Obedience is every where due to the King, as the Supreme Ordinance of God: It is plain then that Monarchy, or the Supreme Power in a single Person, (by whatsoever Name call’d) whether Judge, Ruler, or King, is that Form of Government by God Establish’d in the World: And I challenge any Man to prove the Supreme Power Originally placed among any People, either within or without the Pale of the Church, otherwise than in a single Person, whatsoever Concessions that Person for his own ease or other Motives may have been pleas’d to make. And therefore Solomon speaks in the name of Wisdom, .e. Christ and his Religion, and commands Obedience to the King, not only for Wrath, but also for Conscience Sake; as to the special, indubitable, stated appointment of God himself, My Son, fear thou the Lord and the King; i.e. the King as God’s particular Constitution, and meddle not with them that are given to change, viz. the Lord and his Establishment, Jer. 2. II. Isa. 24. 5. Ezek. 5. 6. I proceed now

2ndly. To answer the objections by some Men thought very demonstrative of the contrary, to what has been here laid down. And

1st. Against Adam’s Divine Right to Dominion by priority of Creation, Mr. Lock objects, That he could not be a Governour before there was Subject. A. An Objection which brings its own confutation along with it. ‘Tis false in Arithmetick to say, that two necessarily go to the Constitution of one; ‘tis false in Logick and Philosophy to say, there cannot be a Power without the proper act of that Power; ‘tis false in Divinity to say, Adam did not Sin as a common Father, because he sinned before he had an Offspring Rom. 5. 12, &c. Socini Haram olet. He might as well have question’d the Moon’s dominion over the Night, because she was made in the Day: Does he not in effect call his Father Adam Blockhead for naming his Wife Evah, because she was the Mother of all living, when there was no one but them two as yet alive. Undutiful Son!

2ndly. Mr. Lock Objects against the Divine Grant, Gen. I. 28. because no Grant conveys right to what the words of it do not express; but there is no express mention of Adam’s posterity, and therefore he had no Dominion granted him over them. A. It is contain’d in the words of the Grant, Be fruitful, and multiple, and replenish, and (then) subdue; i.e. exercise Dominion. Again that Learned Gentleman Objects against the particularity of Adam’s Right contain’d in the Grant, because it is expressed plurally. A. Both Adam and Eve had a right to Dominion, but not an equal right; Adam’s was Principal, Eve’s Subordinate: This plural Number cannot be meant of the Species of Mankind, because that would be one of Mr. Lock’s pretended absurdities; it would be to give, when there was no receiver, nor do the express words mention any such levelling: But what if after all this be Enallage numeri, a Figure very frequent in H. Writ: I wonder so great a Rabbi knew nothing of the matter, for so David explains it, Psal. 8. Thou gavest him, i.e. Adam, and Antitypically Christ Jesus, and so Mr. Ainsworth has it. Besides, our Dominion could not have been forfeited by Adam’s Transgression, had he not a Sovereignty over his Posterity.

3dly. He Objects God’s saying to Adam fallen, in the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eat thy Bread, &c. Gen.3. 19. as inconsistent with his Monarchy. A. It is not ways inconsistent with his Dominion, for it signifies no more than this; the Earth shall not now sustain thee without thy Labour, it shall not as formerly produce of its own accord: Or in respect of his Dominion, it may set forth the great Fatigue of Government, that the Life of Princes by reason of the Corrupt Humours of their Subjects, is no more exempt from Care and business than that of the meanest Subject, or Mr. Lock’s day Labourer.

4thly, Obj. That the words, Thy desire shall be to thine Husband, &c. Gen. 3. 16. were not spoken to Adam, therefore no grant of Dominion. Ans. They were not the Original grant of Dominion to Adam that was Gen. I. 28. but being spoken to the Woman in presence of the Man, they were a greater Enforcement and Confirmation of Adam’s Dominion over Her in particular, as well as all the rest, and tho’ Mr. Lock says it was not a time for God to be granting Privileges, yet by the leave of that Gentleman, as free with his Maker as he is with his Vicegerent, we suppose God reinforcing Adam’s Authority over her, for the Punishment of her growing Pride and Corruption, and a better Scripturist than Mr. Lock, tho’ as little for Monarchy so understands it, a Man too. Ingenuous to disown the Truth, Pool in loc.

5thly. Lock Objects, ex supposito, from a Supposition, (let him look to the Logick of that sort of Argumentation against a positive Truth) that if either of our Queens, Mary or Elizabeth, had married any of their Subjects, she had not been by the Text, Gen. 3. 16. put into a political Subjection to him, or that he thereby should have had a Monarchical Rule over her, A. Very Right, and for this Reason, because the Political is above the Conjugal Rule, and he being born a Subject to the Political Rule, which is the Ordinance of God, can never be made a King by and Compact of Man: She receiv’d that Right from God, and She cannot alienate what he has appropriated, yet the Children begat by him, who had no Right, of her, who had a Natural Right, are Naturally Heirs to the Crown.

2ndly. Mr. Lock Objects against the Paternal Right from begetting. 1st. That every one who gives another any thing has not always thereby a Right to take it away again. A. He gives up the cause, for he owns he has sometimes a Right to take away again, what he has given: And when he cannot do it, it is when that Father himself is under a Political Father, to whom under God he must be accountable for the Death of a Subject. 2ndly. Obj. That the Father does not give Life to the Son, but God in whom we Live, Move, and have our Being, and then runs a fulsome Scene of Antiphilosophical Unscriptural Stuff, to prove contrary to his former Concession. A. He confounds Conservation with Creation, this was Immediate, that is Mediate, the Creation of the kind was the work of God, without the meditation of any other Cause, Conservation of the Species is the Work of God, through the Mediation of the Instrumental Cause, for God created every thing with a Power of producing after its kind; and the same God who Made, Upholds all things by the word of his Power, enabling the Instrument to produce the proper Effect: And accordingly to distinguish God’s making, from Adam’s begetting, it is said, God created Man (Adam) in his own Image; in the Image of God created he him, Gen. I. 27. And Adam begat a Son in his own likeness after his Image, Chap. 5. 3 i.e. not like one of God’s making but a Weak, Sinful, Mortal Man, like what he had made himself by his fall; but, according to Mr. Lock, Adam poor old Man of 130 Years, could not see what he had begot before it was Born, nor could mend the crazy piece of Work after, and yet Adam had a strong desire to continue his Race implanted in him by God, but not one Father of a 1000 designs any such thing: Does he speak of his own Knowledge, how many Onans was he acquainted with? Or is there any Text of the Bible to Ground it on? Impertinent and Vain!

3dly, Obj. That the Woman has at least equal shares in Generating, and therefore should have joint Dominion over the Child. Ans. The Woman was for the Man, and consequently her Off-spring, according to the known Rule Omne majus continet in Se minus.

4thly, Objected by Lock against Abraham’s Dominion, because Lot was not Subject to it. Ans. Lot was of another Line, and therefore Independent of Abraham, whom God chose to begin the Peculium in, and Abraham brought him out with him, that he might not in his Youth be corrupted with the Idolatries of his Country, and for that reason amongst others, God called Abraham from his Fathers House, where he would have been naturally a Subject.

5thly, Lock Objects the Patriarchs wandring up and down, and therefore they had neither Dominion nor Property, Ans. God calls them Kings at that very time they wandred from one Nation to another, and by his special Providence took care that they should not be molested: Touch not mine Anointed, and do my Prophets no harm. And it is plain from Scripture and other Authors, that the Hebrews had their own Laws and Polity, distinct from those of any Nation where they Sojourned, and it appears abundantly from Scripture, that the People among whom they came perceived by many infallible tokens, that God was with them; and therefore they freely permitted them to live among them.

6thly, It is Objected against the divine Right of Judges, that they were by Compact, and the Instance is made in Jephthah, whom (and upon Articles intervening) the People made Head and Captain over them, Judges II. II. Therefore as one was so, every Judge might be by Compact, Ans. This Covenant did not contribute any thing to make him Judge: And God himself to shew it did not, vindicates the Authorizing him, as Judge, no less to himself than when extraordinarily he Authorized Gideon and Samuel, I Sam. 12. 11. And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephtha, and Samuel, &c. an argument Unanswerable, which justifies two Conclusions; One, that single Authority and Power is from God; the other, that whatsoever Act intervenes, if it were a Covenant, it contributes nothing to Authority, cannot weaken it, cannot repeal it, because the Judges were for Life, as appears; and any Act of the People is no more than a Recognition of the Power being from God.

8thly, Obj. By Mr. Lock against the Sovereign Power of Judges or Kings, because nothing is mentioned of Judges, but what they did as Generals, and the current Office of King, (says he) was to go in and out before the People, I Sam. 8. 20. The Children of Israel desired a King like all the Nations to judge them, and to go out before them, and to fight their Battles. And God granting their desire, says to Samuel, I will send there a Man, and thou shalt Anoint him Captain over, &c. Chap. 9. 16. Ans. This Argumentation is ridiculous, for it proceeds thus, because the Judge or King only, had the Power to make War or Peace, therefore had had no farther Power; this is to argue from one Branch of Sovereignty against all the rest. Besides the Scripture affirms the Right, the sole Right, of inflicting capital Punishments to belong to the Judges and Kings, as we find specified in Moses, Joshua, &c. and readily submitted to by all the People, who also acknowledged it a Crime worthy of Death, not to do whatsoever they laid unto them. And it was Death by the Law to blaspheme God and the King, and it was extraordinarily Punish’d by God himself, witness Korah, Datham, and Abram.

9thly, Obj. Against Kingly Power by Divine Right, because all Men are Born free. A. No Man is born free from Government, but with his Natural being, comes into the World subject to some, every one is Born subject to his Father, of whom he has his Existence in Nature, and if his Father be subject to another, he is born Subject to his Father’s Superiour, (as is abundantly evident from God’s positive Law concerning the Children of Servants Manumitted) which does not at all intrench upon his Natural Freedom, which is plain from Gen.41. 44. I am Pharaoh, i.e. I have the Sovereign Power over all, and therefore have Authority to make thee Viceroy; and yet we find that same People who were born Pharaoh’s Subjects, enjoying their private Properties, till they bartered them away for Bread, Gen. 47. 19. Buy us and our Land for Bread, and we and our Land will be Servants to Pharoah. i.e. Pharoah shall be the sole Proprietor, and we are content to have it in Tenure from him. And ver. 25. We will be the Pharoah’s Servants. So that the private Property of Mankind, is very consistent with Monarchical Government.

This Comprehends and fully Answers that other Republican Maxim, Privatus libertatem suam abdicare potest, ergo et multitudo, Every private Person may make away his own Natural Freedom, therefore a Multitude may do so, and from this Compact arises all Monarchical Power; but we have prov’d Men born under Government, tho’ they may alienate their private Property, and to put this out of all doubt, I will affirm and prove, that none ever was Born exempt from Subjection to lawful Government. Christ as Man was, not exempted from this, Luke II. 51. [non-Latin alphabet], He was subject unto them, i.e. To Joseph his putative Father, and Marry his true Mother, the word in the Original is the same which the Apostle uses, Rom. 13. I. Commanding Obedience and Subjection to Higher Powers. And our Lord according to his own Rule paid Tribute to Caesar to whom it was due, and afterwards tells Pilate, He could have no Power over him unless it were given him of God, therefore he that delivered Christ up had the greater Sin, by which Christ acknowledges Pilate (i.e. Caesar’s) Supream Temporal Authority, that he had no appeal from thence but to God, who would severely account with him, that betray’d his Innocent Master, to the Sovereign Power vested in one, that might exert it contrary to the Patent by which he held it, and Christ proves his Kingdom not to be of this World, from his Servants not Fighting for him, that he might not be delivered up – Arguing from their Natural Duty, to the Natural Lord and King, had he been Temporally so. To shut up all in few Words, give me leave to tell these Objects, what they are willingly Ignorant of, the three Specifick Notions of Servitus Service or Subjection, which are not meer Entia Rationis, Ideal, or Chimerical, but real differences founded on the Nature of things, and the express Word of God. The first is, when a Man contrary to Native or Natural Liberty is made a Slave to a Lord or Master, this is called Servitus [non-Latin alphabet], service in possession, when one Man has power to Command, Use, Dispose another Man’s person, as his other proper Goods at pleasure, for this cause the Scripture calls a Servant his Masters Money, Ex. 21. 21.

The 2d. is when a Man’s person is confin’d or committed, that he depriv’d of living at liberty as he lists, as Criminals or Debtors; this kind of servitude is call’d [non-Latin alphabet], when the liberty of going where we will, or doing what is lawful at pleasure is taken away. Thus our Saviour tells Peter, John 21. 18. When thou wast young, thou girdest thy self, and walkedst whether thou wouldst; but when thou shalt be old, another shall gird thee and carry thee wither thou wouldest not.

The third is a Servitude [non-Latin alphabet], consisting in Subordination. In the first Sense every Man is born free: in the second, some only by misdemeanor, either real or suppos’d are depriv’d of the Liberties of free Subjects. In the third sense no Man is born free, but Subject to his Father, and his Father’s Father, his Father’s Sovereign, as M. Pool calls Pharaoh the Egyptians King and common Father, in Gen. 41. 55. So that all are born tied to their Duty of Allegiance; and seeing Christ fulfill’d all Righteousness, so that he subjected and submitted himself to his Parents and to Caesar too; we must deny our selves to be Christians, if we deny that we are born under the tye of Allegiance: But if the Power be in the People, we are not Born under the tye of Allegiance, because that Power was not conferr’d upon them by God (which no Republican has ever prov’d) and till they do what they never can, no Man is subject to any jurisdiction (according to Lock) till by his own personal act and deed, he has devolv’d his Natural Right upon the Community, and then the greatest part of every Nation are Independents to that Government; and because Mankind is a flux Body no National Law can be a day, an hour in force, over the thousandth part of the People, and consequently there is, there can be no such a thing as Government in the World, without recourse to single Power, delegated from God to act by and for him, by his Authority and for his Glory, and that is both King and People’s welfare, both here and hereafter.

And unless this be so, unless Monarchy be the particular form of Government by God Establish’d with what face can any Man pretend to advise every one that hears him, as Solomon does every Son of his whether Natural or Political, My Son fear thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with them that are given to change, i.e. from fearing either God or the King. Having thus fully and as clearly (as I possibly could) discussed the first Head, as the main Basis and Foundation of what follows, I shall be more brief in the illustration of the next Proposition, which was to prove

2ndly. That the Right of inheritance is plainly determin’d by the same [Divine] Authority. And here

1st. The Right of Primogeniture was by God Establish’d, in the Original Grant to Adam, Gen. I. 26. God said, Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness. Now God the Father, being Fons deitatis, the Fountain of the Deity, has all Power originally in and of himself; the Son as the first begotten of him, is Heir of all things, and has his Essence and Power communicated from his Father, and that both by Birth and Fact: And so our Saviour prays, Father glorifie thy Son; glorifie me with the same glory that I had with thee before the World; i.e. give to my humane Nature the Mediatory Kingdom due to my Obedience, as I had the Eternal Kingdom from thy Eternal Generation of me, John 17. 5. There is a difference between Christ’s Eternal and Mediatory Kingdom; they are distinguish’d by David, Psal. 110. The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy foot-stool. He was Lord before placed at God’s Right Hand, by Right of Primogeniture: He was placed at God’s Right Hand by special appointment of the Father, whom the Father has appointed Heir of all things, Heb. I. 2. As God his Throne is for ever and ever, Heb. I. 8. As mediator he is to reign till he has put all enemies under his feet, then is be to give up the Kingdom to God even the Father, that God may be all in all, I Cor. 15. 25. &c. And the Apostle says, The Heir, till the time appointed of his Father, differs nothing from a Servant, tho’ he be Lord of all, Gal. 4. I, 2. And accordingly Christ tell his Disciples, that first it behoved Christ to suffer, and then to enter into his glory. From all which the Argument is plain, that if Man was made in God’s Image, one lineament whereof is Dominion, then Dominion, is originally in the Father, and Derivatively in the first Born, so is it in the Exemplar, therefore in the Copy by the same Right. So David introduces God speaking of Christ, I will make him my first born higher than the Kings of the Earth, Psal. 89. 27. For (says Mr. Ainsworth in loc) the first Born had three Prerogatives, a double portion of goods, Deut. 21. 17. The Government or Chiefty 2 Chron. 21. 3. and the Priest-hood, Num. 8. 14. And the Apostle says, Christ was the first Born of every Creature, and the first Born of the Dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence, Col. 2. 15. 18. And therefore he is Prince of the Kings of the Earth, Rev. I. 5. The Chaldee adds, the first Born of the Kings of the House of Judah; and if one has it by God’s appointment, so has the other.

2ndly. God expressly promises Cain the Dominion over his Brother, Gen. 4. 7. If thou dost well, shalt thou not be accepted, (Heb. Have the excellency) and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt Rule over him, [non-Latin alphabet], i.e. as a Prince over his Subject. The sense of the whole is this: As for Abel, to whose Faith and Piety I have given this publick and honourable Testimony [of my acceptance] which thy naughty Heart makes an occasion of Envy and Malice, and intention of Murder; that thou mayest not by mistake be led to the perpretation of so horrid a Crime: know, that this favour of mine concerns only His spiritual Privilege: But it makes no change in civil Rights, nor does it transfer the Dominion from thee, whose it is by Birth, unto him; nor doth he so understand it: For notwithstanding this, unto thee shall be desire, subject, i.e. he shall and will nevertheless yield to thee as his Superiour, and thou according to thy own Hearts desire shalt Rule over him. Pool in loc. if this needs farther confirmation, look above.

3dly. Chedorlaomer was King of Elam by right of Inheritance, from Elam Son of Sem. Pool in Gen. 14. 4.

4thly. God invests Abraham and his first Born after him with the Right to the Kingdom of Canaan. All the Land which thou seest will I give to thee and to thy Seed for ever, i.e. to the coming of the Messiah, the first Born of the Kings of the House of Judah, Gen.13. 15. He says not Seeds as of many, but Seed as of one, i.e. Isaac the first Born by the Free-woman, who was by promise, and in whom his Seed was to be called: and tho’ God was pleas’d to transfer the Birth-right from Ishmael, yet he gave him a Kingdom, and a long Race of Hereditary Princes in compensation, so was it in the Translation of the Birth-right, from Esau to Jacob, they were both Rulers: Such care did God take of Hereditary Right, that where the Elder was not personally qualified for the Government of the Peculium, God exchanged it for another Civil Power, and therefore Lock’s Objections falls to the Ground.

5thly. When Jacob comes to make his Will, he gives a reason why the first Born has a Right to succeed in the Paternal Power, viz. by way of natural Excellence, being the first of his Father’s strength; Reuben, thou art my first born, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power, Gen. 49. 3. i.e. As first Born thou hadst the right of Precedency before all thy Brethren in point of Dignity, Power, and Privilege, the double Portion, the Priesthood, the Dominion over thy Brethren were thine, but thou hast forfeited it by thy Sin. So was it with Simeon and Levi, therefore it devolv’d upon Judah as next in Blood: Judah thou art he whom thy Brethren shall praise: Thy Father’s Children (i.e. all thy Brethren and my Posterity, he says not Mother’s Children, for his Sons had divers Mothers) shall bow down before thee, ver. 18. i.e. shall own thee as their Superior and Lord, upon whom, by God’s Direction, I have devolved this part of the Right of the first Born: By these and the following words we plainly see, that these Blessings and Predictions were not distributed according to Jacob’s Affections and Inclinations, (for then Judah should never have been advanced above his worthily beloved Joseph) but by the immediate direction of God’s Spirit. Pool in loc. And now what becomes of Mr. Lock’s Objection concerning the brith-right’s being Joseph’s mentioned I Chron. 5. 12. An excellent Specimen of a Commentator truly! He has shewn here how fit he was clear Christ’s Hereditary right to the Government, who plainly denies that the Birth-right was Judah’s, for he asserts p. 113. that the Birthright was nothing else but a double Portion, but it is above prov’d that, that was but one Prerogative of the Birth-right, that the Priesthood and Supremacy were the two other; and we have the postle asserting that our Lord sprang out of Judah, Heb. 7. 4. and that both his Priesthood and Principality were his Birth-right. Heb. I. per tot. compare with, Is. I. and 110. What genuine Annotations we are like to have upon the New Testament, we may plainly see by his Exposition of the Old, both which ought to Correspond, Explain and Confirm one another. What a Blessing the World had to be deliver’d from Ignorance and Superstition, by the Learning of Socinus; and this Gentleman! One so well vers’d in Genealogy that he says, Sem was Noah’s eldest Son; contrary to the Scripture account of his Age and Relation, to Japheth, Pool on Gen. 10. 21.

6thly. Hereditary Right to Government always took place among the Jews, where God did not expressly alienate it: This was a positive Law, Deut. 21. 15. by which the first born was not to be put by, out of Affection to a younger Son of a more beloved Wife, and accordingly we read, 2 Chron. 21. 3. That the good King Jehosaphat, gave great Gifts to all his Sons, but the Kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the first Born. Tho’ otherwise he would not have done it, having very probably discover’d the perverse and wicked Inclinations of this Prince, and how much he was sway’d by his Idolatrous Wife, and what the Church might suffer by his Reign; and yet he durst not draw up a Bill of Exclusion against him; no, Divine Right was of his side, and to Divine Providence must the event be left.

7thly. Adonijah in his Discourse to Bathsheba, lays his claim to the Crown by right of Primogeniture, as a plain case, where God himself does not expressly Alienate that Right. Thou knowest, said he, that the Kingdom was mine (viz. by Birthright as well as Fact,) how-beit the Kingdom is turned about and is become my Brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. I King. 2. 15. And that it was no plot of Nathan, Zadock and Bathsheba; tho’ some Men are pleas’d to name it Priest-craft, it was by God given to Solomon before he was Born, He being by God’s special Appointment named Jedidiah. 2. Sam. 12. 15. 1 Chron. 22. 9. &c. 28. 5.

8thly, Solomon who advises his Son to fear God and the King, and not to meddle with them that are given to Change, owns the Natural Right of the first Born, in the case of Adonijah, for whom Bathsheba ask’d Abishag the Shunamiteto Wife, I King. 2. 22. And King Solomon said, &c. Why dost thou ask Abishag for Adonijah? Ask for him the Kingdom also, for her is mine Elder Brother. i.e. the Kingdom was his by Nature, Birthright, the Law of Nations, and the municipal Law of this Kingdom; but that God was pleased to make an exception to that general Rule.

I will mention but one Material Objection, that I can find against this Right of Inheritance, and it is the Revolt of the 10 Tribes from the House of Judah, and among them the frequent preterition of the first Born, and this in several places of Scripture, confessedly from God himself, I need not make the Quotations because I allow the Objection. But to this I answer. That the Revolt of the 10 Tribes was only a permissive Act of God’s Providence in Judgment upon Solomon, and Rehoboam’s Wickedness, which was not only agreeable to God’s Covenant with David, Ps. 89. 30. If his Children forsake my laws, &c. ver. 32. Then well I visit their Offences with the Rod, and their Iniquity with stripes, nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him: And this was Solomon threatned with, I King. II. II. Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my Covenant, &c. I will surely rend the Kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy Servant. And so God tells Jeroboam, ver. 35. I will take the Kingdom out of his Sons hand, and will give it to thee, even 10 Tribes, ver. 36. And to his Son will I give one Tribe, that David my Servant may always have a light before me. (So that the Hereditary Line of David was not to be cut off utterly,) and ver. 37. God says, Thou shalt Reign according to all that thy Soul desires. By which God secretly Taxes him for his Ambitious and Rebellious Mind, and God tells him Moreover, that if he would Hearken to all that he commanded him he would be with him, and build him a sure House as he built for David, and would give Israel to him, and that he would for this [rebellion against their God] afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. ver. 38. 39. By which his evidence, that tho’ God serv’d his Providential ends upon Jeroboam’s revolt, yet he look’d upon it, as a great Sin in him, and the 10 Tribes, and punish’d both him and them with utter excision, sometime after, as David prophetically speaks, Ps. 109. 13. He fought against me without a cause, let their Posterity be cut off, and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. And so his Family all were destroyed by Ahijah a Rebel like himself, and the kingdom of Israel incessantly plagued with Civil dissentions, till Salmanazar came and carried the 10 Tribes away Captive (as the Jews give the reason) because their Fathers had said, what Portion have we in David? Neither have we any Inheritance in the Son of Jesse, I King. 12. 16. Thus they broke out into actual Rebellion against him whom God had made their lawful Sovereign (and Jeroboam owns him so calling him their Lord I King.12. 27.) wherein tho’ they fulfilled Gods counsel yet they violated his Authority and Command, M. Pool in loc. And therefore this is so far from being an Objection against the divine Right of Inheritance, that whosoever reads the whole Story of the Kingdom of Israel, will find it an irrefragable Argument for it, by reason of the Vengeance inflicted upon the Violaters of it, and tho’ Kingdoms are at God’s absolute Disposal, that that was by him accounted Usurpation, is evident from Abijah’s claiming the Kingdom of Israel by right of Inheritance from David, and Appealing to God by War, obtain’d a signal Victory over Jeroboam, and it is said expressly that God smote Jeroboam, and all Israel before Abijab and Judah. 2 Chron. 13. 15. and it is called Jeroboam’s Rebellion, ver. 6. Hath Rebelled against his Lord. And there are gathered to him vain Men, the Children of Belial. i.e. such as have cast off the Yoke of Obedience, which they ow’d both to God and their King. M. Pool in loc. In the words of Solomon, Men that fear neither God nor the King, Men given to Change. And by this time I suppose the Objection is fully answered, and there lies no other against the Hereditary Succession, that I know of, which may not be Resolved by what has here been said. And I hope we have very good Reason to affirm, that the Right of Inheritance, or Hereditary Monarchy was Establish’d by God himself, what ever exceptions God, for reasons of his own, might sometimes please to make to his own Rules; nor can his doing so any ways justifie Mens pretences for doing the like, when they prove not a Special Commission from God for it. To the Law and to the Testimony, says Isaiah, and if they speak not according to this Rule, (which evidently confirms the divine Right of Single and Hereditary Dominion) it is because they have no Light in them, what ever Illuminations they may pretend; and I am sure Heat without Light was the proper place of Him that Betray’d the Heir, [his Lord] by whom he might have been saved, but that he fought Destruction in the errour of his ways, ran greedily in the way of Balaam for Reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah. My son fear thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with them that are given Change, (i.e. their God, his Judgments and Ordinances) for their Calamity rises suddainly, and who knows the Ruin of them both? i.e. of them that fear not God, of them that fear not the King. But to return and conclude this Head, in a word or two.

And here I suppose, if I can prove that this was the General Rule of Government by God Establish’d, out of the Church, then it will irrefragably follow, that this a standing Law at all times, and in all places Obligatory; and to this purpose I gave an instance of one in Abraham’s time, who possessed his Kingdom by right of Inheritance descending to him from Elam, who was the Eldest Son of Sem: ‘Twould be endless to cite all the Exemplifications of this, contain’d in Holy Writ, and to compare them with the best Account we have from the Heathen Records: I shall therefore name but two, the one undeniably to prove the Fact, and the other positively to assert the Right, and I chuse them both near David’s time. They are of two different Kingdoms, Ammon and Moab; the First was Nabash David’s Friend and Ally, of whom it is said Nabash Died and and Hanun his Son reigned in his stead, and the Children of Ammon said until Hanun their Lord, 2. Sam. 10. 13. The other was the King of Moab, who when he saw that the Battel was too sore for him—-then took he his eldest Son, that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a Burnt-offering upon the Wall. 2 King. 3. 26, 27. Which is agreeable to the Sacred and Prophane account which we have of those Nations, that they frequently Sacrificed their Children to their Gods, the Scripture calls them Devils, Ps. 106. 37. And the intent of this particular instance of Barbarity was partly to obtain Favour of their God Saturn, according to the manner of the Phoenicians and others, in grievous publick Calamities: As Porphyrius, Plutarch, &c. and partly to oblige the Israelites to raise the Siege out of Horror and Compassion; or as despairing to Conquer [at least without great loss of Men] him, who seem’d resolv’d to defend himself and the City to the utmost extremity, and it succeeded accordingly, says the Text. And there was great indignation against Israel. Hebr. great Repentance upon Israel, and they departed from him, and have returned to their own Land. I might have mentioned Hadad and Benhadad, &c. But I suppose I have fairly made good my Second Prop. (that Hereditary Monarchy was by divine Appoitnment) by exemplifying its Right and Fact, among the Jews and other People of the World, the Foundation of which could be no other than the impress Law of Nature, and express Revelations, both which are but divers Manners of the same Supream Lawgiver, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, that Created and Upholds all things by the Word of his Power, ordinating that which ought not to be broken. Hence I proceed to shew, 3dly and

Lastly, That the English Government is found upon the same Divine Authority, and therefore Monarchy, Hereditary Monarchy is unalterably here establish’d.

The English Constitution is founded upon the Divine Law, or else our Municipal cannot oblige the Conscience, and then all Government must be precarious, I was going to say Occasional, viz. The Vicegerent may be treated like the Principal; when ever Men can again separate the Person from the Power, and be as void of the fear of Wrath, as they were of Conscience; and if the Author of the Subject’s Duty can give no better account of the obligation, I doubt his Passive Obedience wont stand many encounters: Whatever Power he and his Community may have to make Indentures and Leases, I am sure it is less than his, who is the only Conveyancer able to give and grant Crowns; and his Act, whenever it may be prov’d, is both Deed and Right too, and needs neither Counsellor nor Attorney to make it a good Title. But some are of Opinion, His were not the most Learned in the Law that either advis’d or petition’d him: But to the Law, because he challenges; and by the little reading I have had of it, it destroys his whole Hypothesis. For if we inquire into the Titles of all Estates, we shall find a Monarch the Head of our Constitution, for all Lands are held by Original Grant from the Crown, and where there is no Heir apparent, revolve thither. Magna Charta, the grand Establishment of our English Liberty, (by which it appears a Man may be subordinate and yet free) concludes, that no Concession therein made shall infringe the King’s Prerogative, by which I understand a just and equal Extent of Power in some special Cases not provided for by particular Laws. King of England, our Records tell us, is as Melchizedeck was, who therein typified Christ Jesus, Persona nixta cum Sacerdote, though not Officially, yet Judicially King and Priest; i.e. Head of Church and State, over all Persons and in all Causes as well Ecclesiastical as Civil, Supreme: And that this is so not only in Fact but of Right, our first Christian King, Lucius, was by the Pope recogniz’d, Dei Vicarius, God’s Vicar. And for that very Reason, there lies no Appeal from the House of Lords, which is the King’s chief Council by himself conven’d, wherein he always used to be, and is always supposed to be, not only virtually, but actually present, and has a casting, at least a negative Voice upon all their Determinations; and there are Causes which that House has no Cognizance of, because the Crown has otherwise appropriated them, as the Tryals of Elections and Privileges of the House of Commons, which are not determinable by any Body but their own; and both Houses are conven’d and dissolv’d by the sole Power of the Crown. And what are the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, which I think every Peer as well as Commoner is oblig’d to take at their Entrance into their respective Houses, but a solemn Recognition of the King’s Divine Right, that next under God he is Supreme Governor, and in his Name and by his Authority requires all due Fealty and Obedience according to that of Solomon, Eccles. 8. 2. I counsel thee to keep the King’s Commandment, and that in regard of the Oath of God. And what is it that an English Monarch at the Head of a Free Parliament cannot do? And if there be any thing he cannot do by single Authority, we owe it to the Wisdom of our Laws, and the Grace of our Prince, that the Power is so well circumstantiated. Nor is it any Solaecism to assert a Limited Supreme Power, since that Limitation is only from his own Authoritative Consent, which he having given to a Government by such and such Laws, he cannot in Wisdom, Justice or Equity rescind his own Act and Deed; though if he should, he would be accountable only to God himself, in whose Place he is to the People, Ps. 51. 4. Bibl. Transl. compare with Ex. 4. 16. Moses, upon Jethro’s Advice, took Seventy Elders into the Administration, yet he was nevertheless as much Sovereign after, as he was before that prudential Admission: So English Kings admit a certain Number into the Legislature, but reserve the Fiat entirely to themselves. The Median and Persian Kings were obliged to govern according to the standing Laws of the Empire, and yet were as absolute Monarchs in Extrajudicials, i.e. where the Law did not positively determine, as is possible to imagine. God himself has bounded himself by his own Laws, for he deals with us by Covenant, whereby we know our Duty, are enabled to perform it, and may expect our Reward: He has engaged that he will never oppress us by his Sovereign Power; but, like the King of Kings and only Ruler of Princes, the Prerogative he most delights in is uncontrollable Mercy: and one of the natural Excellencies of temporal Monarchy is, the Equity of its Administration; in which, among other Particulars, it most resembles Theocracy, and so approves it self of all others the most Perfect, that it mitigates the literal Rigour of the Law, allows room for Repentance, and so gives Mercy a triumphant rejoicing over strict Justice. And this the English Constitution makes good in every Branch of it, it secure the Monarch’s Sovereignty, and ascertains the Subjects Liberty.

The King is the Head of the Three Estates, Lord Spiritual, Lords Temporal and Commons assembled in Parliament; he is independent over them, they all dependent on him, as is evident from all the Parliamentary Writs and Acts, and is fully declared to be the unalterable Constitution of England, by a Statute as yet unrepeal’d, 12 Car. 2. the Words are to this Effect: “That according to the Fundamental Laws of this Kingdom, neither Lords, nor Commons, nor both together, nor the People either Collectively or Representatively, have Power coercive, &c.” And this is agreeable to Holy Scripture, which says, that as the Natural, so the Political and Spiritual Body consists in the joint-subordination of every Member to the Head, and thereby the whole increases to the edifying of it self in Love, Eph. 4. 16. So that the Safety of the People cannot possibly be maintained but by all due Obedience to their King. That there is a mutual Duty between Prince and Subject can be deny’d by no one that will stand to St. Paul’s Precepts, Children obey your Parents—them that have rule over you in the Lord, —-for they are Ministers watching over you for good, on the one side: And, Parents provoke not your Children lest they be discourag’d, on the other. But Mr. Lock’s Position, That the Paternal Right to Filial Duty depends upon the Discharge of Paternal Duty, is no way inferrible: This is to make the Superior accountable to the Inferior Relative; whereas St. Peter bids Children obey their Parents be they good and gentle, or froward; who (as we find it elsewhere) themselves have a Father in Heaven, to whom alone they are to answer. And our Liturgy, which is an Act of Parliament, stiles God the only Ruler of Princes, the Queen his Minister, having his Authority. &c. and the Collect made out of the Epistle for the Third Sunday after Easter, declares it an Error from the Light of Christian Truth, and the way of Righteousness, not to acknowledge and submit to the King as the Supreme Ordinance of God: And that this Collect is an Extract of that Epistle is denied by none who is at all acquainted with the Doctrinal Method which the Church of England us’d in compiling her Liturgy. Monarchy by Divine Right then is certainly the Doctrine She teaches (witness Bishop Overal’s Convocation-Book, and that Treatise by the Bishop of Armagh, and the famous Decree of Oxford, which always stood up both for the Orthodox Faith and Government in Church and State) and as her Liturgy is establish’d by several Acts of Parliament, it is past all Contradiction thereby asserted agreeable to the Fundamental Laws of this Kingdom and consequently Monarchy by Divine Right is the English Constitution. As to the Hereditary Succession in that Government, beside the many express Laws that declare that Right, in all Disputes that ever yet arose about the Crown of England, Hereditary Right alone was always insisted on; as is evident from the Declarations, Manifesto’s and Remonstrances publish’d by both Parties, York and Lancaster, till the Union. And whatever Interruptions may have happen’d from the corrupt Humours and exorbitant Passions of Mankind, Fact can never be Argument Against Right, till common Vogue can justify Conscience, and multitude of Voices carry it against God, make him repeal his Laws, reverse his Threatnings, and leave it to his giddy Creatures to chuse how and by whom they will be govern’d. Queen Elizabeth, of Blessed Memory, declared the Right of Succession to be in King James the First, as next in Blood. Upon the Happy Restoration of King Charles the Second was it declared and confirmed by King and Parliament, as the Fundamental Laws of this Kingdom, “That neither Lords nor Commons, nor both together, nor the People Collectively, or Representatively had any Power coercive, &c. Stat.12 Car. 2. And by the Act of Uniformity, 14 Car. 2. Subseribers were upon Oath to declare, “That it is not Lawful upon any Pretence whatsoever to take up Arms against the King, and that they did abhor that Traiterous Position of taking Arms by his Authority against his Person:” And (to March 25. 1682.)  ‘That the Solemn League and Covenant was in it self an unlawful Oath, imposed upon the Subjects of his Realm against the known Laws and Liberties of this Kingdom. But to deny (as a late Author has done) any particular Form of Government establish’d in Scripture, is to tax it with Deficiency as to the Order and good Government of Mankind; because it leaves it fluctuating and uncertain as the different Humours, Factions and Interests alternately prevail over and suppress each other: And should there be Two Competitors, or Corrival Parties, how shall the Subject know which has the Right, unless the longest Sword be the decisive Argument? And to introduce the Notion of an Indefinite Supreme Power for the Time being, is to justify the Solemn League and Covenant, and the Reign of Oliver, whose benecking Ministers pleaded Obedience to the Supreme Power for the Time being for what they did, which his certainly was, if no particular Form of Government be by Divine Right; but this their Plea was justlfy over-rul’d in Westminster-Hall, as contrary to the Laws of God and this Kingdom.

And here it may be question’d Whether Dr. Blackal’s late fort of Pulpiteering tends not to heighten the Differences amongst us? For as it is better to let the Humours of the Body Natural lie Dormant, which if stirr’d by too course and improper Physick may endanger the Constitution: So is it more adviceable to let the Civil Differences wear off in Silence, than Seek to eradicate them by Popular Arguments, which can never be framed satisfactory to all parties. Nature in time will do the Work in both; whereas Quacking is alike destructive to each Temperament.

Finis.

 

The Nature of the Kingdom, or Church, of Christ

[Editor’s note: Originals made available by a) the University of Michigan’s Early English Books project and b) Google Books were used to create a readable and OCR error-free copy of this 1717 work by Benjamin Hoady. Please contact me if you notice any errors.]

Original sources:

a): https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/ecco/004809919.0001.000?rgn=main;view=fulltext
b): https://books.google.com/books?id=MYpbAAAAQAAJ


The NATURE of the KINGDOM, or CHURCH, of CHRIST.

A SERMON PREACH’D before the KING, AT THE Royal Chapel at St. James’s, On SUNDAY March 31, 1717.

By the Right Reverend FATHER in GOD BENJAMIN Lord Bishop of BANGOR.

Publish’d by His MAJESTY’S Special Command.

LONDON, Printed for JAMES KNAPTON, at the Crown, and TIMOTHY CHILDE, at the White Hart, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard. MDCCXVII.

St. John, xviii. 36.

Jesus answered, My Kingdom is not of this World.

ONE of those great Effects, which length of Time is seen to bring along with it, is the Alteration of the Meaning annexed to certain Sounds. The Signification of a Word, well known and understood by Those who first made use of it, is very insensibly varied, by passing thrô many Mouths, and by being taken and given by Multitudes, in common Discourse; till it often comes to stand for a Complication of Notions, as distant from the original Intention of it, nay, as contradictory to it, as Darkness is to Light. The Ignorance and Weakness of Some, and the Passions and Bad Designs of Others, are the great Instruments of this Evil: which, even when it seems to affect only indifferent Matters, ought in reason to be opposed, as it tends in it’s nature to confound Men’s Notions in weightier Points; but, when it hath once invaded the most Sacred and Important Subjects, ought, in Duty, to be resisted with a more open and undisguised Zeal, as what toucheth the very Vitals of all that is good, and is just going to take from Men’s Eyes the Boundaries of Right and Wrong.

The only Cure for this Evil, in Cases of so great Concern, is to have recourse to the Originals of Things: to the Law of Reason, in those Points which can be traced back thither; and to the Declarations of Jesus Christ, and his immediate Followers, in such Matters, as took their Rise solely from those Declarations. For the Case is plainly this, that Words and Sounds have had such an Effect, (not upon the Nature of Things, which is unmoveable, but) upon the Minds of Men in thinking of them; that the very same Word remaining, (which at first truly represented One certain Thing,) by having Multitudes of new inconsistent Ideas, in every Age, and every Year, added to it, becomes it self the greatest Hindrance to the true understanding of the Nature of the Thing first intended by it.

For Instance, Religion, in St. James’s Days, was Virtue and Integrity, as to our selves, and Charity and Beneficence to others; before God, even the Father. Ja. i. 27. By Degrees, it is come to signify, in most of the Countries throughout the whole World, the Performance of every thing almost, except Virtue and Charity; and particularly, a punctual Exactness in a Regard to particular Times, Places, Forms, and Modes, diversified according to the various Humours of Men; recommended and practised under the avowed Name of External Religion: Two Words, which, in the Sense fix’d upon them by many Christians, God hath put asunder; and which therefore, no Man should join together. And accordingly, the Notion of a Religious Man differs in every Country, just as much as Times, Places, Ceremonies, Imaginary Austerities, and all other Outward Circumstances, are different and various: Whereas in truth, thô a Man, truly Religious in other Respects, may make use of such Things; yet, they cannot be the least part of his Religion, properly so call’d, any more than his Food, or his Raiment, or any other Circumstance of his Life.

Thus likewise, the Worship of God, to be paid by Christians, was, in our Saviour’s time, and in his own plain Words, the Worship of the Father in Spirit and Truth; and this declared to be one great End proposed in the Christian Dispensation: The Hour cometh, and now is, when the true Worshippers shall Worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John iv. 23. But the Notion of it is become quite another thing: and in many Christian Countries, that which still retains the Name of the Worship of God, is indeed the Neglect, and the Diminution of the Father; and the Worship of other Beings besides, and more than, the Father. And this, performed in such a manner, as that any indifferent Spectator would conclude, that neither the Consciences nor Understandings of Men, neither Spirit nor Truth were at all concerned in the Matter; or rather, that they had been banish’d from it by an express Command. In the mean time the Word, or Sound, still remains the same in Discourse. The whole Lump of indigested, and inconsistent Notions and Practices; Every thing that is solemnly said, or done, when the Worship of God is profess’d, is equally cover’d under that general Name; and, by the help of using the same Original Word, passeth easily for the Thing it self. Again,

Prayer, in all our Lord’s Directions about it, and particularly in that Form, which He himself taught his Followers, was a calm, undisturbed, Address to God, under the Notion of a Father, expressing those Sentiments and Wishes before Him, which every sincere Mind ought to have. But the same Word, by the help of Men, and voluminous Rules of Art, is come to signify Heat and Flame, in such a manner, and to such a degree, that a Man may be in the best Disposition in the World, and yet not be devout enough to Pray: and many an honest Person hat been perplex’d, by this Means, with Doubts and Fears of being uncapable of Praying, for want of an intenseness of Heat, which hath no more relation to the Duty, than a Man’s being in a Fever hath, to the Sincerity of his Professions, or Addresses to any Earthly Prince.

Once more, the Love of God, and of our Saviour, was at first, in his own Words, and those of St. John, many times repeated, the keeping his Commandments, or doing his Will. Joh. 14. 15, 21, 23. ch. 15. 10. I Joh. 2. 5. ch. 5. 3. II Joh. 6. But the Notion of it was, it seems, left very jejune; and so hath been improved by his later Followers, till the same Name, still kept up in the Language of Christians, is far removed from the Thing principally and first intended; and is come by degrees to signify a violent Passion, Commotion, and Ecstasy, venting it self in such sort of Expressions and Disorders, as other Passions do: and this regulated and defined, by such a Variety of Imaginations, that an ordinary Christian, with the utmost Sincerity in his Heart, is filled with nothing but eternal Suspicions, Doubts, and Perplexities, whether he hath any thing of the true Love of God, or not.

I have mentioned these Particulars, not only to shew the Evil it self; and to how great a Degree the Nature of Things hath suffered in the Opinions of Men, by the Alteration of the Sense of the same Words and Sounds: but to give you Occasion to observe, that there can be no Cure for it, in Christians, but to go back to the New Testament it self; because there alone we shall find the Original Intention of such Words; or the Nature of the Things design’d to be signified by them, declared and fixed by our Lord, or his Apostles from him, by some such Marks, as may, if we will attend to them, guide and guard us in our Notions of those Matters, in which we are most of all concern’d.

It is with this View, that I have chosen those Words, in which our Lord himself declared the Nature of his own Kingdom. This Kingdom of Christ, is the same with the Church of Christ. And the Notion of the Church of Christ, which, at first, was only the Number, small or great, of Those who believed Him to be the Messiah; or of Those who subjected themselves to Him, as their King, in the Affair of Religion; having since that Time been so diversified by the various Alterations it hath undergone, that it is almost impossible so much as to number up the many inconsistent Images that have come, by daily Additions, to be united together in it: nothing, I think, can be more useful, than to consider the same thing, under some other Image, which hath not been so much used; nor consequently so much defaced. And since the Image of His Kingdom, is That under which our Lord himself chose to represent it: We may be sure that, if we sincerely examine our Notion of his Church, by what He saith of his Kingdom, that it is not of this World, we shall exclude out of it, every thing that he would have excluded; and then, what remains will be true, pure, and uncorrupted. And what I have to say, in order to this, will be comprehended under Two General Heads.

  1. As the Church of Christ is the Kingdom of Christ, He himself is King: and in this; it is implied, that He is himself the sole Law-giver to his Subjects, and himself the sole Judge of their Behaviour, in the Affairs of Conscience and Eternal Salvation. And in this Sense therefore, His Kingdom is not of this World; that He hath, in those Points, left behind Him, no visible, humane Authority; no Vicegerents, who can be said properly to supply his Place; no Interpreters, upon whom his Subjects are absolutely to depend; no Judges over the Consciences or Religion of his People. For if this were so, that any such absolute Vicegerent Authority, either for the making new Laws, or interpreting Old Ones, or judging his Subjects, in Religious Matters, were lodged in any Men upon Earth; the Consequence would be, that what still retains the Name of the Church of Christ, would not be the Kingdom of Christ, but the Kingdom of those Men, vested with such Authority. For, whoever hath such an Authority of making Laws, is so far a King: and whoever can add new Laws to those of Christ, equally obligatory, is as truly a King, as Christ himself is: Nay, whoever hath an absolute Authority to interpret any written, or spoken Laws; it is He, who is truly the Law-giver, to all Intents and Purposes; and not the Person who first wrote, or spoke them.

In humane Society, the Interpretation of Laws may, of necessity, be lodged, in some Cases, in the Hands of Those who were not originally the Legislators. But this is not absolute; (nor of bad Consequence to Society: because the Legislators can resume the Interpretation into their own Hands, as they are Witnesses to what passes in the World; and as They can, and will, sensibly interpose in all those Cases, in which their Interposition becomes necessary. And therefore, They are still properly the Legislators. But it is otherwise in Religion, or the Kingdom of Christ. He himself never interposeth, since his first Promulgation of his Law, either to convey Infallibility to Such as pretend to handle it over again; or to assert the true Interpretation of it, amidst the various and contradictory Opinions of Men about it. If He did certainly thus interpose, He himself would still be the Legislator. But, as He doth not; if such an absolute Authority be once lodged with Men, under the Notion of Interpreters, They then become the Legislators, and not Christ; and They rule in their own Kingdom, and not in His.

It is the same thing, as to Rewards and Punishments, to carry forward the great End of his Kingdom. If any Men upon Earth have a Right to add to the Sanctions of his Laws; that is, to increase the Number, or alter the Nature, of the Rewards and Punishments of his Subjects, in Matters of Conscience, or Salvation: They are so far Kings in his stead; and Reign in their own Kingdom, and not in His. So it is, whenever They erect Tribunals, and exercise a Judgment over the Consciences of Men; and assume to Themselves the Determination of such Points, as cannot be determined, but by One who knows the Hearts; or, when They make any of their own Declarations, or Decisions, to concern and affect the State of Christ’s Subjects, with regard to the Favour of God: this is so far, the taking Christ’s Kingdom out of His Hands, and placing it in their own.

Nor is this matter at all made better by their declaring Themselves to be Vice-gerents, or Law-makers, or Judges, under Christ, in order to carry on the Ends of his Kingdom. For it comes to this at last, since it doth not seem fit to Christ himself to interpose so as to prevent or remedy all their mistakes and contradictions, that, if They have this power of interpreting, or adding, Laws, and judging Men, in such a sense, that Christians shall be indispensably and absolutely obliged to obey those Laws, and to submit to those Decisions; I say, if They have this power lodged with them, then the Kingdom, in which They rule, is not the Kingdom of Christ, but of Themselves; He doth not rule in it, but They: And, whether They happen to agree with Him, or to differ from Him, as long as They are the Law-givers, and Judges, without any Interposition from Christ, either to guide or correct their Decisions, They are Kings of this Kingdom; and not Christ Jesus.

If therefore, the Church of Christ be the Kingdom of Christ, it is essential to it, That Christ himself be the Sole Law-giver, and Sole Judge of his Subjects, in all points relating to the favour or displeasure of Almighty God; and that All His Subjects, in what Station soever They may be, are equally Subjects to Him; and that No One of them, any more than Another, hath Authority, either to make New Laws for Christ’s Subjects; or to impose a sense upon the Old Ones, which is the same thing; or to Judge, Censure, or Punish, the Servants of Another Master, in matters relating purely to Conscience, or Salvation. If any Person hath any other Notion, either thro’ a long Use of Words with Inconsistent Meanings, or thro’ a negligence of Thought; let Him but ask Himself, whether the Church of Christ be the Kingdom of Christ, or not: And, if it be, whether this Notion of it doth not absolutely exclude All other Legislators and Judges, in matters relating to Conscience, or the favour of God; or, whether it can be His Kingdom, if any Mortal Men have such a Power of Legislation and Judgment, in it. This Enquiry will bring Us back to the first, which is the only True, Account of the Church of Christ, or the Kingdom of Christ, in the mouth of a Christain: That it is the Number of Men, whether Small or Great, whether Dispersed or united, who truly and sincerely are Subjects to Jesus Christ alone, as their Law-giver and Judge, in matters relating to the Favour of God, and their Eternal Salvation.

  1. The next principal point is, that, if the Church be the Kingdom of Christ; and this Kingdom be not of this World: this must appear from the Nature and End of the Laws of Christ; and of those Rewards and Punishments, which are the Sanctions of his Laws. Now his Laws are Declarations, relating to the Favour of God in another State after this. They are Declarations of those Conditions to be perform’d, in this World, on our part, without which God will not make us Happy in that to come. And they are almost All general Appeals to the Will of that God; to his Nature, known by the Common Reason of Mankind; and to the imitation of that Nature, which must be our Perfection. The Keeping his Commandments is declared the Way to Life; and the doing his Will, the Entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. The being Subjects to Christ, is to this very End, that We may the better and more effectually perform the Will of God. The Laws of this Kingdom, therefore, as Christ left them, have nothing of this World in their view; no Tendency, either to the Exaltation of Some, in worldly pomp and dignity; or to their absolute Dominion, over the Faith and Religious conduct of Others of his Subjects; or to the erecting of any sort of Temporal Kingdom, under the Covert and Name of a Spiritual one.

The Sanctions of Christ’s Law are Rewards and Punishments. But of what sort? Not the Rewards of this World; not the Offices, or Glories, of this State; not the pains of Prisons, Banishments, Fines, or any lesser and more Moderate Penalties; nay, not the much lesser Negative Discouragements that belong to Humane Society. He was far from thinking that These could be the Instruments of such a Perswasion, as He thought acceptable to God. But, as the Great End of his Kingdom, was to guide Men to Happiness, after the short Images of it were over here below; so, He took his Motives from that place, where His Kingdom first began, and where it was at last to end; from those Rewards and Punishments in a future State, which had no relation to this World: And, to shew that his Kingdom was not of this World, all the Sanctions which He thought fit to give to His Laws, were not of this World at all.

St. Paul understood this so well, that He gives an Account of His own Conduct, and that of Others in the same Station, in these words, Knowing the terrors of the Lord, we perswade men: whereas, in too many Christian Countries, since his days, if Some, who profess to succeed Him, were to give an Account of their own Conduct, it must be in a quite contrary strain; Knowing the terrors of this World, and having them in our power, We do, not perswade men, but force their outward Profession against their inward Perswasion.

Now, wherever this is practis’d, whether in a great degree, or a small, in that place there is so far a Change, from a Kingdom which is not of this world, to a Kingdom which is of this world. As soon as ever you hear of any of the Engines of this world, whether of the greater, or the lesser sort, you must immediately think that then, and so far, the Kingdom of this world takes place. For, if the very Essence of God’s worship be Spirit and Truth; If Religion be Virtue and Charity, under the Belief of a Supreme Governour and Judge; if True Real Faith cannot be the effect of Force; and, if there can be no Reward where there is no Willing Choice: then, in all, or any of these Cases, to apply Force or Flattery, Worldly pleasure or pain; is to act contrary to the Interests of True Religion, as it is plainly opposite to the Maxims upon which Christ founded his Kingdom; who chose the Motives which are not of this world, to support a Kingdom which is not of this world. And indeed, it is too visible to be hid, that wherever the Rewards and Punishments are changed, from future to present, from the World to come, to the World now in possession; there, the Kingdom founded by our Saviour is, in the Nature of it, so far changed, that it is become in such a degree, what He professed, His Kingdom was not: that is, of this world; of the same sort, with other Common Earthly Kingdoms, in which the Rewards are, Worldly Honours, Posts, Offices, Pomp, Attendance, Dominion; and the Punishments are, Prisons, Fines, Banishments, Gallies and Racks; or something Less, of the same sort.

If these can be the true supports of a Kingdom which is not of this World; then Sincerity, and Hypocrisy; Religion, and No Religion; Force, and Perswasion; A Willing Choice, and a Terrified Heart; are become the same things: Truth and Falshood stand in need of the same methods, to propagate and support them; and our Saviour himself was little acquainted with the Right way of increasing the Number of such Subjects, as He wished for. If He had but at first enlighten’d the Powers of this World, as He did St. Paul; and employed the Sword which They bore, and the Favours They had in their hands, to bring Subjects into his Kingdom; this had been an Expeditious and an effectual way, according to the Conduct of some of his professed Followers, to have had a Glorious and Extensive Kingdom, or Church. But this was not his Design; unless it could be compassed in quite a different way.

And therefore, when You see Our Lord, in his methods, so far removed from Those of Many of his Disciples; when You read Nothing, in his Doctrine about his own Kingdom, of taking in the Concerns of this World, and mixing them with those of Eternity; no Commands that the Frowns and Discouragements of this present State should in any Case attend upon Conscience and Religion; No Rules against the Enquiry of All His Subjects into his Original Message from Heaven; no Orders for the kind and charitable force of Penalties, or Capital Punishments, to make Men think and chuse aright; no Calling upon the secular Arm, whenever the Magistrate should become Christian, to inforce his Doctrines, or to back his Spiritual Authority; but, on the contrary, as plain a Declaration as a few Words can make, that His Kingdom is not of this World: I say, when You see this, from the whole Tenor of the Gospel, so vastly opposite to Many who take his Name into their Mouths, the Question with you ought to be, Whether He did not know the Nature of his own Kingdom, or Church, better than Any since his Time? whether you can suppose, He left any such matters to be decided against Himself, and his own Express professions; and, whether if an Angel from Heaven should give you any Account of his Kingdom, contrary to what He himself hath done, it can be of any Weight, or Authority, with Christians.

I have now made some such observations, drawn from the Church being the Kingdom of Christ, and not of any Men in that Kingdom; from the Nature of his Laws, and from those Rewards and Punishments, which are the Sanctions of those Laws; as lead us naturally into the true Notion of the Church, or Kingdom, of Christ, by excluding out of it every thing inconsistent with His being King, Law-giver and Judge; as well as with the Nature of His Laws, and of His promises and Threatnings. I will only make Two or Three Observations, grounded upon this: And so conclude. And

  1. From what hath been said it is very plain, in general, that the Grossest Mistakes in Judgment, about the Nature of Christ s Kingdom, or Church, have arisen from hence, that Men have argued from Other visible Societies, and Other Visible Kingdoms of this World, to what ought to be Visible, and Sensible, in His Kingdom: Constantly leaving out of their Notion, the most Essential Part of it, that Christ is King in his own Kingdom; forgetting this King himself, because He is not now seen by mortal Eyes; and Substituting Others in his Place, as Law-givers and Judges, in the same Points, in which He must either Alone, or not at all, be Law-giver and Judge; not contented with such a Kingdom as He established, and desires to reign in; but urging and contending, that His Kingdom must be like Other Kingdoms. Whereas He hath positively warn’d them against any such Arguings, by assuring Them that this Kingdom is His Kingdom, and that it is not of this World; and therefore that No one of His Subjects is Law-giver and Judge over Others of them, in matters relating to Salvation, but He alone; and that We must not Frame our Ideas from the Kingdoms of this World, of what ought to be, in a visible and sensible manner, in His Kingdom.
  2. From what hath been said it appears that the Kingdom of Christ, which is the Church of Christ, is the Number of Persons who are Sincerely, and Willingly, Subjects to Him, as Law-giver and Judge in all matters truly relating to Conscience, or Eternal Salvation. And the more close and immediate this Regard to Him is, the more certainly and the more evidently true it is, that They are of his Kingdom. This may appear fully to their own Satisfaction, if They have recourse to Him himself, in the Gospel; if They think it a sufficient Authority that He hath declared the Conditions of their Salvation, and that No Man upon Earth hath any Authority to declare any other, or to add one tittle to them; if They resolve to perform what They see, He laith a stress upon; and if They trust no mortal, with the absolute direction of their Consciences, the pardon of their Sins, or the determining of their Interest in God’s favour; but wait for their Judge, who alone can bring to light the hidden things of darkness.

If They feel themselves disposed and resolved to receive the Words of Eternal Life from Himself; to take their Faith from what He himself once delivered, who knew better than All the rest of the World what He required of his own Subjects; to direct their Worship by his Rule, and their whole practice by the General Law which He laid down: If They feel themselves in this disposition, They may be very certain that They are truly his Subjects, and Members of his Kingdom. Nor need They envy the Happiness of Others, who may think it a much more evident Mark of their belonging to the Kingdom of Christ, that They have other Law-givers, and Judges, in Christ’s Religion, besides Jesus Christ; that They have recourse not to his own Words, but the Words of Others who profess to interpret them; that They are ready to Submit to this Interpretation, let it, be what it will, that They have set up to Themselves the Idol of an unintelligible Authority, both in Belief, and Worship, and Practice; in Words, under Jesus Christ, but in deed and in truth over Him; as it removes the minds of his Subjects from Himself, to Weak, and passionate Men; and as it claims the same Rule and Power in his Kingdom, which He himself alone can have. But,

  1. This will be Another observation, that it evidently destroys the Rule and Authority of Jesus Christ, as King, to set up any Other Authority in His Kingdom, to which His Subjects are indispensably and absolutely obliged to Submit their Consciences, or their Conduct, in what is properly called Religion. There are some Professed Christians, who contend openly for such an Authority, as indispensably obliges All around Them to Unity of Profession; that is, to Profess even what They do not, what They cannot, believe to be true. This sounds so grossly, that Others, who think They act a glorious part in opposing such an Enormity, are very willing, for their own sakes, to retain such an Authority as shall oblige Men, whatever They themselves think, though not to profess what They do not believe, yet, to forbear the profession and publication of what They do believe, let them believe it of never so great Importance.

Both these Pretensions are founded upon the mistaken Notion of the Peace, as well as Authority of the Kingdom, that is the Church, of Christ. Which of them is the most insupportable to an honest and a Christian mind, I am not able to say: because They both equally found the Authority of the Church of Christ, upon the ruines of Sincerity and Common Honesty; and mistake Stupidity and Sleep, for Peace; because They would both equally have prevented All Reformation where it hath been, and will for ever prevent it where it is not already; and, in a word, because both equally devest Jesus Christ of his Empire in his own Kingdom; set the obedience of his Subjects loose from Himself; and teach them to prostitute their Consciences at the feet of Others, who have no right in such a manner to trample upon them.

The Peace of Christ’s Kingdom is a manly and Reasonable Peace; built upon Charity, and Love, and mutual forbearance, and receiving one another, as God receives us. As for any other Peace; founded upon a Submission of our Honesty, as well as our Understandings; it is falsely so called. It is not the Peace of the Kingdom of Christ; but the Lethargy of it: and a Sleep unto Death, when his Subjects shall throw off their relation to Him; fix their subjection to Others; and even in Cases, where They have a right to see, and where They think They see, his Will otherwise, shall shut their Eyes and go blindfold at the Command of Others; because those Others are not pleas’d with their Enquiries into the Will of their great Lord and Judge.

To conclude, The Church of Christ is the Kingdom of Christ. He is King in his own Kingdom. He is Sole Law-giver to his Subjects, and Sole Judge, in matters relating to Salvation. His Laws and Sanctions are plainly fixed: and relate to the Favour of God; and not at all to the Rewards, or Penalties, of this World. All his Subjects are equally his Subjects; and, as such, equally without Authority to alter, to add to, or to interpret, his Laws so, as to claim the absolute Submission of Others to such Interpretation. And All are His Subjects, and in his Kingdom, who are ruled and governed by Him. Their Faith was once delivered by Him. The Conditions of their Happiness were once laid down by Him. The Nature of God’s Worship was once declared by Him. And it is easy to judge, whether of the Two is most becoming a Subject of the Kingdom of Christ, that is, a Member of his Church; to seek all these particulars in those plain and short Declarations of their King and Law-giver himself: or to hunt after Them thro’ the infinite contradictions, the numberless perplexities, the endless disputes, of Weak Men, in several Ages, till the Enquirer himself is lost in the Labyrinth, and perhaps sits down in Despair, or Infidelity. If Christ be our King; let us shew our selves Subjects to Him alone, in the great affair of Conscience and Eternal Salvation: and, without fear of Man’s judgment, live and act as becomes Those who wait for the appearance of an All-knowing and Impartial Judge; even that King, whose Kingdom is not of this World.

FINIS.

The Argument Of The Letter Concerning Toleration, Briefly Consider’d And Answer’d.

[Editor’s note: The original a) from the Oxford Text Archive was modified to create a readable and OCR error-free copy of this 1690 work by Jonas Proast. I substituted Proast’s use of the asterisk for footnotes to make references clearer. Everything else is left untouched. Please contact me if you notice any errors.]

Original source:

a): http://downloads.it.ox.ac.uk/ota-public/tcp/Texts-HTML/free/A55/A55925.html


THE ARGUMENT OF THE LETTER CONCERNING TOLERATION, Briefly Consider’d and Answer’d.

Oxford, Printed at the THEATRE, for George West, and Henry Clements, Booksellers in Oxford. A. D. 1690.

Imprimatur,

IONATHAN EDWARDS Vice-Can. Oxon.

April, 9, 1690.

To my very Worthy Friend Mr.—

Sir,

Seeing you would not be deny’d; I have in compliance with your Request, consi­der’d the Letter concerning Toleration: but so, as to confine my self to what respects the proper Subject and Design of it: not meddling with any incidental matters, though some of that kind are liable enough to Animadversion. You know I love no long work. And as short as this is, it had been shorter, if I could well have made it so. I should beg your pardon for the backwardness I shew’d to comply with your Request, but that I fear the mean­ness of the performance will too much justifie it.

Sir,

I am Your much obliged, and most faithful Servant.

March 27. 1690.

ADVERTISEMENT.

The Edition of the Letter concerning Toleration, here cited, is that in Quarto.

THE ARGUMENT OF THE LETTER CONCERNING TOLERATION, Briefly consider’d and Answer’d.

In the beginning of this Letter,[1] the Author speaks of the Mutu­al Toleration of Christians in their different Professions of Re­ligion. But toward the end of it he saith,[2] If we may openly speak the Truth, and as becomes one man to another, neither Pagan, nor Mahumetan, nor Jew ought to be excluded from the Civil Rights of the Commonwealth, because of his Religion. And all that he requires of any, to qualify them for the benefit of the Toleration he endeavours to promote,[3] is onely, That they be not Atheists; That they hold no Opinions contrary to Civil[4]Society; and, That they own and teach the Duty of tolerating all men in matters of meer Religion.[5]

So that the Design of the Author is evi­dently, to shew, That all the Religions and Sects in the World, that are but consistent with Civil Society, and ready to tolerate each other, ought every where to be equally tolerated and protected, or to enjoy an Equal and Impartial Liberty, as the Preface calls it.

I do not believe this Author intends any prejudice, either to Religion in general, or to the Christian Religion. But yet it seems hard to conceive how he should think to do any Ser­vice to either, by recommending and perswa­ding such a Toleration as he here proposeth. For how much soever it may tend to the Ad­vancement of Trade and Commerce (which some seem to place above all other Considerations;) I see no reason, from any Experi­ment that has been made, to expect that True Religion would be any way a gainer by it; that it would be either the better preserved, or the more widely propagated, or rendered any whit the more fruitful in the Lives of its Professours by it. I am sure the Fruits of a Toleration not quite so large as our Author’s, (some of which still remain with us,) give no encouragement to hope for any such Advantage from it.

But I do not design to argue against this Toleration, but only to enquire, What our Authour offers for the Proof of his Assertion, and to examine, Whether there be Strength enough in it, to bear the Weight he laies upon it. And this I hope may be done in a very little compass. For, if I understand this Letter, the whole Strength of what it urgeth for the Purpose of it, lies in this Argument:

There is but one Way of Salvation,[6] or but one True Religion.

No man can be saved by this Religion,[7] who does not believe it to be the True Religion.

This Belief is to be wrought in men by Reason and Argument,[8] not by outward Force and Compulsion.

Therefore all such Force is utterly of no use for the promoting True Religion,[9] and the Salvation of Souls.

And therefore no body can have any Right to use any Force or Compulsion,[10][11] for the bringing men to the True Religion:[12] neither any Private Person;[13] nor any Ecclesiastical Officer (Bishop, Priest, or other;) nor any Church,[14] or Religious Society; nor the Civil Magistrate.

This, upon a careful perusal of this Letter, I take to be the single Argument by which the Author endeavours in it to establish his Position. And if every Point of this were sufficiently proved, I must confess I think he would need no more for the accomplishing his Design. But whether he has sufficiently made out this Argument in all the Parts of it, is that which I am now to examine.

As to the two first Propositions, I have no Difference with our Authour, but do fully agree with him in them.

And for the Third, I readily grant that Reason and Arguments are the only proper Means, whereby to induce the Mind to assent to any Truth, which is not evident by its own Light: and that Force is very improper to be used to that end instead of Reason and Arguments. For who knows not, That the nature of the Understanding is such, Letter that it cannot be Com­pelled to the Belief of any thing by outward Force?

But notwithstanding this, if Force be used, not in stead of Reason and Arguments, i. e. not to convince by its own proper Efficacy (which it cannot do,) but onely to bring men to consider those Reasons and Arguments which are proper and sufficient to convince them, but which, without being forced, they would not consider: who can deny, but that indirectly and at a distance, it does some service toward the bringing men to embrace that Truth, which otherwise, either through Carelesness and Negligence they would never ac­quaint themselves with, or through Prejudice they would reject and condemn unheard, under the notion of Errour?

And by this we see how little of Truth there is in the Fourth Proposition, which is this, That all outward Force is utterly useless for the promoting True Religion and the Salvation of Souls. For if Force so applied as is above mentioned, may, in such sort as has been said, be serviceable to the bringing men to receive and embrace Truth; there can be no reason assigned, why this should not hold with respect to the Truths of Religion, as well as with respect to any other Truths whatso­ver. For as the True Religion, embrac’d upon such Consideration as Force drives a man to, is not the less True, for being so embraced; so neither does it upon that account lose its Acceptableness with God, any more then that Obedience does, which God himself drives men to by chastening and afflicting them.

All therefore that is here requisite to be considered for the clearing this matter, is, Whether there be any need of outward Force, for the bringing men to the True Religion, and so to Salvation. For as I acknowledge such Force to be no fit means to be used for this end, (nor indeed for any other) where it is not needful or necessary; so if it shall appear to be ordinarily needful for this end, I suppose what has been already said, may be thought sufficient to shew the usefulness of it in order to the same.

Now here I grant, that if all men were but so faithful to their own Souls, as to seek the way of Saving them, with such Care and Di­ligence as the Importance of the matter de­serves, and with Minds free from Prejudice and Passion; there could be no need of Force to compell any man to do, what in that case every man would be sure to do voluntarily, and of his own accord.

But then it must be granted withal, That if this were the case; as there is indeed but one true Religion, so there could be no other Religion but that in the world.[15] Because (if we believe the Scriptures) no Man can fail of finding the way of Salvation,[16] who seeks it as he ought;[17] and in this case all Men are supposed so to seek it. And yet there is nothing more notorious, than that Men have sought out many Inventions, and contrived a great variety of of Religions to themselves: so that there is nothing about which the World is more divided, then it is about the way that leads to Eternal Blessedness. Which is an evident de­monstration, that all Men have not sought the Truth in this matter, with that application of mind, and that freedom of Judgment, which was requisite to assure their finding it.

And as all the false Religions now on foot in the World, may reasonably be thought to have taken their rise from the slight and par­tial Consideration, which the Inventers of them contented themselves with in searching after the True; whilest they suffer’d their Lusts and Passions to sit in Judgement, and to manage the Enquiry: So it is obvious to observe, that notwithstanding that there are so many Religions in the World, and that only one of them can be true; yet there is nothing in which Men are more generally wanting to themselves, than they are in the Consideration which they ought to use in making their choice among them. ‘Tis strange indeed: but yet whoever looks abroad into the world must see, that in this affair, the Impressions of Edu­cation, the Reverence and Admiration of Persons, Worldly respects, and the like incompetent Motives determine far greater numbers, than Reason, or such Considerations as are apt and proper to manifest the Truth of things.

Nor is it less easie to observe, that whatever Religion men take up without Reason, they usually adhere to it likewise without Reason. That which hinders a due Consideration of things at first, and prevails with men to choose without Reason, has commonly the same pow­er afterwards to keep them from considering, and to hold them to what they so choose, without Reason. Besides, men have generally an overweening conceit of their own Judgements, and are prone to value what themselves have chosen, even because they thought fit to choose it: And this prejudices their minds against all that can be said to the disparagement of their Choice, and possesses them with an opinion that nothing of that nature can deserve their consideration. To which I may add, that when once Men have espoused a Religion, it is then become their own: and that alone (such is the power of Self-love) is enough to endear it to them, and to make them grow fond of it: as Men are apt to dote upon their Children, because they are theirs, even when they have little or nothing besides to recommend them. And this also renders them averse to the consideration of any thing that may be offered against their Religion, or in behalf of any o­ther.

But though it be so ordinary a thing for Men both to choose and to persist in their Religion without Reason; yet it must be confess’d that those who do so, are not willing to think they do so, nor that others should think so of them. But then this onely puts them upon enquiring how their Leaders and the Champions of their Cause are wont to defend it, and to attack their Adversaries: And so, studying onely their own side of the Controversy, they come to be the more confirm’d in the way they have chosen, and to think they can shew that they have Reason on their side. And when it is come to this; when such an ap­pearance of Reason strikes in with their Af­fections and Prejudices, they are so much the further from thinking it possible that they may be in the wrong: And then they have no patience any longer to hear of descending to a severe and impartial examination of both sides of the Questions in debate, but reject the motion with scorn, and grow angry with him that troubles them with it.

Now if this be the case, (as I think it cannot be denied to be; being matter of common observation;) If Men are generally so averse to a due consideration of things, where they are most concern’d to use it: If they usually take up their Religion without examining it as they ought, and then grow so opinionative, and so stiff in their Prejudices, that neither the gentlest Admonitions, nor the most earnest Intreaties shall ever prevail with them afterwards to do it: What means is there left (besides the Grace of God) to reduce those of them that are got into a wrong Way, but to lay Thorns and Briars in it? that since they are deaf to all Perswasions, the uneasiness they meet with may at least put them to a stand, and encline them to lend an ear to those who tell them they have mistaken their way, and offer to shew them the right. When Men fly from the means of a right Information, and will not so much as consider how reasonable it is, throughly and impartially to examine a Re­ligion, which they embraced upon such In­ducements as ought to have no sway at all in the matter, and therefore with little or no ex­amination of the proper Grounds of it: what humane method can be used, to bring them to act like Men, in an affair of such consequence, and to make a wiser and more rational Choice, but that of laying such Penalties upon them, as may balance the weight of those Prejudices which enclined them to prefer a false Way before the True, and recover them to so much Sobriety and Reflexion, as seriously to put the question to themselves, Whether it be really worth the while to undergo such Inconveni­ences, for adhering to a Religion, which, for any thing they know, may be false, or for re­jecting another (if that be the case) which, for any thing they know, may be true, till they have brought it to the Bar of Reason, and given it a fair Tryal there. Where Instruction is stifly refused, and all Admonitions and Perswasions prove vain and ineffectual, there is no room for any other Method but this: And then I am sure there is need enough of it: and it is well if that will produce the desired effect. But there is no reason to question the success of this Method (if it be rightly used) upon such as are not altogether incurable: and those that are so, must be left to God.

I say, if it be rightly used; i. e. if the Force applied, be duly proportioned to the Design of it. For, though upon the Considerations here offer’d, I take it to be clear in the general, that outward Force is neither useless nor needless for the bringing Men to do, what the saving of their Souls may require of them: yet I do not say, that all manner of Force, or all Degrees of it are fit to be used for this purpose. But then to determine precisely the just Measures of it, and to say upon good grounds, Thus much may fitly and reasonably be applied for the purpose we speak of, and no more; This may perhaps require some consideration. And to me, I con­fess, this seems to be the onely Point concerning which there is any ground for Controversy, in this whole matter.

Now here I must profess my self perfectly agreed with this Author,[18] That to prosecute men with Fire and Sword, or to deprive them of their Estates, to maim them with corporal Punishments, to sterve and torment them in noisom Prisons, and in the end even to take away their lives, to make them Christians, is but an ill way of expressing men’s Desire of the Salvation of those whom they treat in this manner:[19] And that it will be very difficult to to perswade men of Sense, that he, who with dry Eyes, and satisfaction of mind, can deliver his Brother to the Executioner, to be burnt a­live, does sincerely and heartily concern himself to save that Brother from the Flames of Hell in the World to come.

And (besides the manifest Absurdity of take­ing away men’s lives to make them Christians, &c.) I cannot but remark, that these Methods are so very improper in respect to the Design of them, that they usually produce the quite contrary effect. For whereas all the use which Force can have for the advancing true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls, is (as has already been shewed) by disposing men to submit to Instruction, and to give a fair Hearing to the Reasons which are offer’d, for the enlightning their minds and discovering the Truth to them: These Cruelties have the misfortune to be commonly look’t upon as so just a Prejudice against any Religion that uses them, as makes it needless to look any further into it; and to tempt Men to reject it, as both false and detestable, without ever vouchsafing to consider the Rational Grounds and Motives of it. This effect they seldom fail to work upon the Sufferers of them. And as to the Spectatours, if they be not before­hand well instructed in those Grounds and Mo­tives; they will be much tempted likewise, not onely to entertain the same opinion of such a Religion, but withall to judge much more fa­vourably of that of the Sufferers; who, they will be apt to think, would not expose them­selves to such Extremities, which they might avoid by compliance, if they were not throughly satisfied of the Justice of their Cause.

These Severities therefore I take to be utterly unapt and improper for the bringing men to embrace that Truth which must save them. But how far, within these bounds, that Force ex­tends it self, which is really serviceable to this end, I shall not take upon me to determine. It may suffice to say, That so much Force, or such Penalties as are ordinarily sufficient to prevail with men of common discretion, and not desperately perverse and obstinate, to weigh matters of Religion carefully and impartially; and without which ordinarily they will not do this; so much Force, or such Penalties may fitly and reasonably be used for the promoting true Religion in the World, and the Salvation of Souls.

If then this Fourth Proposition be not true, (as perhaps by this time it appears it is not;) then the Last Proposition, which is built upon it, must fall with it. Which Last Proposition is this, That no body can have any Right to use any outward Force or Compulsion, to bring men to the true Religion, and so to Salvation: neither any private Person; nor any Ecclesiastical Officer; nor any Church, or Religious Society; nor the civil Magistrate.

And certainly, if there be so great Use and Necessity of outward Force (duly temper’d and applied) for the promoting True Religion and the Salvation of Souls, as I have endeavoured to shew there is; this is as good an Argument, to prove that there is somewhere a Right to use such Force for that purpose, as the utter Use­lessness of Force (if that could be made out) would be, to prove that no body has any such Right. For this is indeed the Point upon which this Controversy turnes: If all Force and Compulsion be utterly useless and unserviceble to the promoting these Ends; then to use it for that purpose, will be only to abuse it; which no man can have a Right to do: But if, on the contrary, such a degree of outward Force as has been mentioned, be really of great and even ne­cessary Use for the advancing these Ends, (as, ta­king the World as we find it, I think it appears to be;) then it must be acknowledged, that there is a Right somewhere to use it for the advancing those Ends; unless we will say (what without Impiety cannot be said) that the Wise and Benign Disposer and Governour of all things has not furnish’d Mankind with competent Means for the promoting his own Honour in the World, and the Good of Souls.

And if there be such a Right somewhere; Where should it be, but where the Power of Compelling resides? That is, principally, and in reference to the publick, in the Civil Sovereign (whom this Author calls the Civil Magistrate,) and in those who derive Authority from him: But also, in a lower degree, in Parents, Masters of Families, Tutors, &c. For I agree with this Authour,[20] 1. That no private Person (if by private Persons he means such as have no Coactive Power over others) has any Right, in any manner, to prejudice another Person in his Ci­vil Employments, because he is of another Church or Religion. For how should he that has no Coactive Power, have any Right to use such Power, either upon that, or upon any other account whatsoever? 2. That no Ecclesiastical Officer, as such, nor yet, 3. Any Church or Re­ligious Society, as such, has any externally Co­active Power: and that therefore neither the one, nor the other, can, as such, have any Right to use or exercise any such Power, upon any pretence whatsoever. (Though I confess I do not yet understand why Ecclesiasticks, or Clergy-men, are not as capable of such Power, as other men.)

But in reference to the Civil Magistrate, our Author tells us,[21] That the Commonwealth seems to him be a Society of men constituted onely for the procuring, preserving, and advancing of their own Civil Interests. By which Interests he tells us he means Life,[22] Liberty, Health and Indo­lency of Body; aud the Possession of outward things, such as Money, Lands, Houses, Furniture, and the like. And agreeably to this Hypo­thesis, he would perswade us, That the whole Iurisdiction of the Magistrate reaches onely to these Civil Concernments:[23] and that all Civil Power, Right, and Dominion, is bounded and confined to the onely care of promoting these things: and that it neither can nor ought in any manner to be extended to the Salvation of Souls.

But in answer to this, 1. I acknowledge (as this Authour here seems to do) that the extent of the Magistrat’s Jurisdiction is to be measured by the End for which the Commonwealth is in­stituted. For in vain are men conbined in such Societies as we call Commonwealths, if the Go­vernours of them are not invested with sufficient Power to procure the End for which such Societies are intended. But then, 2. I must say, that our Authour does but beg the Question, when he affirms that the Commonwealth is constituted onely for the procuring, preserving, and advancing of the Civil Interests of the Members of it. That Commonwealths are in­stituted for these Ends, no man will deny. But if there be any other Ends besides these, attainable by Civil Society and Government; there is no reason to affirm that these are the onely Ends for which they are designed. Doubtless Com­monwealths are instituted for the attaining of all the Benefits which Political Government can yield. And therefore if the Spiritual and Eternal Interests of men may any way be procured or advanced by Political Government; the pro­curing and advancing those Interests must in all reason be reckon’d among the Ends of Civil So­cieties, and so, consequently, fall within the compass of the Magistrate’s Jurisdiction.

But our Author offers three Considerations,[24] which seem to him abundantly to demonstrate that the Civil Power neither can nor ought in any manner to be extended to the Salvation of Souls.[25] And the First of them is, Because the Care of Souls is not committed to the Civil Magistrate any more then to other men. But this seems to be no Consideration at all; but onely the proving the thing by it self, in other words. For to extend the Civil Power to the Salvation of Souls, is nothing else but to say, That the Care of Souls is committed to the Magistrate, more than to other men. And therefore to say, That the Civil Power neither can nor ought to be extended to the Salvation of Souls, because the Care of Souls is not committed to the Magi­strate, any more then to other men; is in effect no more than to say, That the Civil Power nei­ther can nor ought to be extended to the Salvation of Souls, because it neither can nor ought to be extended to the Salvation of Souls.

But (to let this pass) if what I said but now, be true; it appears from thence, That besides that Care which Charity obliges all men, especially Christians, to take of each others souls; and be­sides that Care of Souls also which is committed to the proper Ministers of Religion, who by special designation are appointed, not onely to exhort, admonish, reprove, and correct by Spiritual Censures those, who having embraced the Truth, do find themselves obliged by it to submit to their Spiritual Authority; but like­wise to seek that which was lost, and to endea­vour by wholsom Instruction and due Information, to bring to the right Way those who never knew it, and to reduce such as have gone astray from it: I say, besides that Fraternal Care of Souls, which is common to all, and this Pastoral Care, which is purely Spiritual, and ope­rates immediately upon the Consciences of men; there is an External and more remote Care of Souls, which is exercised, not only by obliging under temporal Sanctions both the Spiritual Pa­stours to perform their Duties, and those who own their Authority, to pay them Reverence and due Submission; but also by laying such Penalties upon those who refuse to embrace their Doctrine, and to submit to their Spiritual Go­vernment, as may make them bethink them­selves, and put it out of the power of any foolish Humour, or unreasonable Prejudice, to alienate them from the Truth and their own Happiness. Which Care of Souls, as it can only belong to the Civil Magistrate, so I think it appears from what has been said, that it is indeed committed to him.

But our Author attempts to prove the contrary. It is not,[26] saith he, committed to him by God; because it appears not that God has ever given any such Authority to one man over another, as to compel any one to his Religion. But this is quite beside the business. For the Authority of the Magistrate is not an Authority to compel any one to his Religion, but onely an Authority to pro­cure all his Subjects the means of Discovering the Way of Salvation; and to procure withal, as much as in him lies, that none remain ignorant of it, or refuse to embrace it, either for want of using those means, or by reason of any such Prejudices as may render them ineffectual. And certainly this Authority may be committed to the Magistrate by God, though he has given no man Authority to compel another to his Religion.

Our Authour adds,[27] Nor can any such Power be vested in the Magistrate by the consent of the People; because no man can so far abandon his own Salvation, as     blindly to leave it to the choice of any other, whether Prince or Subject, to prescribe to him what Faith or Worship he shall embrace. To which I answer: As the Power of the Magistrate in reference to Religion, is ordained for the bringing men to take such care as they ought of their Salvation, that they may not blindly leave it to the choice, neither of any other Person, nor yet of their own Lusts and Passions, to prescribe to them what Faith or Worship they shall embrace: so if we suppose this power to be vested in the Magistrate by the consent of the People; this will not im­port their abandoning the care of their Salvati­on, but rather the contrary. For if men, in choosing their Religion; are so generally subject, as has been shewed, when left wholly to themselves, to be so much swayed by Prejudice and Passion, as either not at all, or not sufficiently to regard the Reasons and Motives which ought alone to determine their Choice: then it is every man’s true Interest, not to be left wholly to himself in this matter, but that care should be taken, that in an affair of so vast Concern­ment to him, he may be brought even against his own inclination, if it cannot be done other­wise (which is ordinarily the case) to act accor­ding to Reason and sound Judgment. And then what better course can men take to provide for this, then by vesting the Power I have describ­ed, in him who bears the Sword? Not that I think the Sword is to be used in this business, (as I have sufficiently declared already;) but be­cause all coactive Power resolves at last into the Sword; since all (I do not say, that will not be reformed in this matter by lesser Penalties, but) that refuse to submit to lesser Penalties, must at last fall under the stroke of it.

In the Second place,[28] saith our Authour, The Care of souls cannot belong to the Civil Magi­strate, because his Power consists onely in out­ward force; but true and saving Religion con­sists in the inward Perswasion of the Mind, without which nothing can be acceptable to God. And such is the nature of the Understanding, that it cannot be compelled to the Belief of any thing by outward Force. But that Care of Souls which I affirm to belong to the Magi­strate, does therefore belong to him, because his Power consists in outward Force. For it consists altogether in applying outward Force, in such manner as has been said, for the procu­ring the Salvation of Souls. And that outward Force may be so applyed as to procure the Sal­vation of Souls, notwithstanding that true and saving Religion consists in the inward Perswasion of the Mind, and that the Understanding cannot be compelled to the Belief of any thing by outward Force, appears, I hope, sufficiently from the foregoing discourse.

[29]The Third Consideration is this: the care of the Salvation of Souls cannot belong to the Magistrate; because, though the rigour of Laws and the force of Penalties, were capable to con­vince and change Men’s minds, yet would not that help at all to the Salvation of their Souls. I believe no more then this Author does, that the rigour of Laws, and the force of Penalties, are capable to convince and change Men’s minds. (Though I hope I have shewed that moderate Penalties may do good service toward the procuring the Conviction and change of Men’s minds.) But if they were capable to work these effects; I confess I do not see why it should be be said, that that would not help at all to the Salvation of their Souls. But our Author’s meaning appears by what followes: For there being but one Truth, one way to Heaven; what hope is there that more men would be led into it,[30] if they had no Rule but the Religion of the Court, and were put under a necessity to quit the Light of their own Reason, and oppose the Dictates of their own Consciences, and blindly to resign up themselves to the Will of their Governours, and to the Religion, which either Ignorance, Ambition, or Superstition has chan­ced to establish in the Countries where they were born? In the variety and contradiction of opinions in Religion, wherein the Princes of the World are as much divided as in their Secular Interests, the narrow way would be much straitned; one Countrey alone would be in the right, and all the rest of the World put under an obligation of following their Princes in the ways that lead to Destruction, and that which heightens the absurdity, and very ill suits the Notion of a Deity, Men would owe their Eter­nal Happiness or Misery the places of their Nativity.

Now all this I acknowledge to be very true. But to what purpose it is here alledged, I do not understand. For who requires that Men should have no Rule but the Religion of the Court? or that they should be put under a necessity to quit the Light of their own Reason, and oppose the Dictates of their own Consciences, and blindly resign up themselves to the Will of their Governers, &c.? No man certainly, who thinks Religion worthy of his serious Thoughts. The Power I asscribe to the Magistrate, is given him, to bring men, not to his own, but to the true Religion: And though (as our Author puts us in mind) the Religion of every Prince is Orthodox to himself;[31] yet if this Power keep within its bounds, it can serve the Interest of no other Religion but the true, among such as have any concern for their Eternal Salvation; (and those that have none, deserve not to be consi­der’d:) Because the Penalties it enables him that has it to inflict, are not such as may tempt such Persons either to renounce a Religion which they believe to be true, or to profess one which they do not believe to be so; but only such as are apt to put them upon a serious and impartial examination of the Controversy between the Magistrate and them: which is the way for them to come to the knowledge of the Truth. And if, upon such examination of the matter, they chance to find that the Truth does not lie on the Magistrate’s side; they have gained thus much however, even by the Magistrate’s misap­plying his Power, that they know better than they did before, where the Truth does lie: And all the hurt that comes to them by it, is onely the suffering some tolerable Inconveniences for their following, the Light of their own Reason, and the Dictates of their own Consciences: which certainly is no such Mischief to Mankind, as to make it more eligible that there should be no such Power vested in the Magistrate, but the Care of every man’s Soul should be left to himself alone,[32] (as this Authour demands it should be:) That is, that every man should be suffered, quietly, and without the least molestation, either to take no care at all of his Soul, if he be so pleased; or in doing it, to follow his own groundless Prejudices, or unaccountable Humour, or any crafty Seducer whom he may think fit to take for his Guid.

By what has been said to these Considerations, I hope it sufficiently appears, that as they af­ford us no new Argument, so they are far enough from demonstrating what they are brought to prove.

Thus I have, as briefly as I could, examined the Argument which this Author makes use of, to prove what he so much desires to make the World believe: not omitting any thing of his Letter, wherein he seems to place any part of his Strength. And I hope by this time an ordinary Reader may discern, that whereas his Design obliged him to shew, That all manner of outward Force is utterly useless to the purpose of bring­ing men to seek the Truth with that Care and Diligence, and that freedom of Judgement which they ought to use, that so they may find and embrace it, and attain Salvation by it: which would have been a good Foundation for his Conclusion: instead of attempting that, he has contented him­self with making a good Declamation upon the Impossibility of doing that by outward Force, which can onely be done by Reason and Argument, of using Fire and Sword and Capi­tal Punishments, to convince mens minds of Errour, and inform them of the Truth.[33] Which was much more easie to be done, and might serve as well among weak and unwary people, though it was not really to his purpose.

FINIS.

[1] Pag. 1.

[2] Pag. 54.

[3] Pag. 48.

[4] Pag. 45.

[5] Pag. 47.

[6] Pag. 9, 23, 24.

[7] Pag. 7, 8, 13, 26, 27.

[8] Pag. 7, 8, 16, 17.

[9] Pag. 8, 27.

[10] Pag. 18.

[11] Pag. 14, 18.

[12] Pag. 18.

[13] Pag. 13, 18.

[14] Pag. 8, 18, 28.

[15] Iohn 7.17.

[16] Psal. 25.9, 12, 14.

[17] Prov. 2.1,—5.

[18] Let. p. 2.3.

[19] Pag. 21.

[20] Pag. 14.

[21] Pag. 6.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Pag. 7.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Pag. 8.

[30] Pag. 9.

[31] Pag. 34.

[32] Pag. 21, 41.

[33] Pag. 16.

A Third Letter Concerning Toleration: In Defense of The Argument of the Letter concerning Toleration, briefly Consider’d and Answer’d

[Editor’s note: Originals made available by a) the University of Michigan’s Early English Books project and b) Google Books were used to create a readable and largely OCR error-free copy of this 1691 work by Jonas Proast. ‘[…]’ denotes Greek words that are too faint to be picked up by scans. I substituted Proast’s use of the asterisk for footnotes to make references clearer. Everything else is left untouched. Please contact me if you notice any errors.]

Original sources:

a): https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A55926.0001.001?rgn=main;view=fulltext
b): https://books.google.com/books?id=eOxiAAAAcAAJ


A THIRD LETTER CONCERNING TOLERATION.

A THIRD LETTER CONCERNING TOLERATION: In DEFENSE of The ARGUMENT of the Letter concerning TOLERATION, briefly Consider’d and Answer’d.

Imprimatur.

Jonath. Edwards, Vice-Can. Univ. Oxon.

Apr. 20. 1691.

OXFORD, Printed by L. Lichfield, for GEORGE WEST, AND HENRY CLEMENTS, 1691.

ADVERTISEMENT.

In the Marginal References L.p. denotes the Page of the Letter concerning Toleration; A.p. the Page of The Argument of the Letter concerning Toleration, briefly consider’d and answer’d; and P. the Page of the Second Letter concerning Toleration.

TO THE AUTHOR OF THE Second Letter CONCERNING TOLERATION.

Sir,

YOU would have needed no pardon for taking the same Liberty, with me,[1] that I took with the Author of the Letter concerning Toleration. But I fear it will be found, that instead of considering my Arguments, and endeavouring to shew me the Mistakes of them, you have taken another sort of Liberty which does need pardon.

You are pleas’d to tell me here in the beginning, that I have plainly yielded up the Question to that Author,[2] by owning that the Severities he would disswade Christians from, are utterly unapt and improper to bring Men to embrace that Truth which must save them: As if those Severities which I condemn, viz. Prosecuting Men with Fire and Sword, depriving them of their Estates, maiming them with corporal Punishments, starving and tormenting them in noisome Prisons, taking away their Lives to make them Christians, &c. were all that our Author would disswade Christians from: Whereas you your self own,[3] that the purpose of his Letter is plainly to depend Toleration exempt from all Force, from all sorts and degrees of Penalties whatsoever, even the lowest and most moderate that can be assigned. But it is well if this prove to be the greatest instance of the Liberty you have taken with me.

[4]Whether you, or I have more carefully and impartially weigh’d the whole matter in controversy between us: Whether I do yet favour some Remains of Persecution, or not: and, Whether what appears to you so very clear and evident, be the Truth, or not: Of these things, Sir, we must leave others to judge. But whether it would be reasonable and just for you, or me, were either of us in Authority, to use any Force upon the other, upon any pretence of want of Examination of our present Controversy, is no part of the Question. For no Man, I suppose, will pretend that every private Person is bound to examine this Controversy. And therefore how unreasonable and unjust soever it might be, for either of us to use Force upon the other, to make him examine this Controversy, it may still be true nevertheless, that Authority may reasonably and justly use some degrees of Force, where it is needful, to bring Men to consider and examine those, Controversies which they are bound to consider and examine; i. e. those, wherein they cannot err, without dishonouring God, and endangering their own and other Men’s eternal Salvation.

[5]The first thing, you say, that I seem startled at in the Author’s Letter, is the largeness of the Toleration he proposes. For he claims it,[6] as I observ’d, not onely for Christians, in their different Professions of Religion, but likewise for Iews, Mahumetans, and Pagans; who, he saith, ought not to be excluded from the Civil Rights of the Commonwealth, because of their Religion. Now to let me see that I ought not to think this strange, you put me in mind that we pray every day for their Conversion; and you say you think it our Duty so to do. And so far I agree with you. But you say further, that you fear it will hardly be believed that we pray in earnest, if we exclude them from the other ordinary and probable means of Conversion either by driving them from, or persecuting them when they are amongst us. So that excluding them from the Civil Rights of the Commonwealth, is, in your opinion, driving them from, or persecuting them when they are amongst us. Now I confess I thought Men might live quietly enough among us, and enjoy the protection of the Government against all violence and injuries, without being endenizon’d, or made Members of the Commonwealth; which alone can entitle them to the Civil Rights and Privileges of it. But as to Iews, Mahumetans, and Pagans, if any of them do not care to live among us, unless they may be admitted to the Rights and Privileges of the Commonwealth; the refusing them that favour, is not, I suppose, to be look’d upon as driving them from us, or excluding them from the ordinary and probable means of Conversion; but as a just and necessary Caution in a Christian Commonwealth, in respect to the Members of it: Who, if such as prosess Iudaism, or Mahumetanism, or Paganism, were permitted to enjoy the same Rights with them, would be much the more in danger to be seduced by them; seeing they would lose no worldly advantage by such a change of their Religion: Whereas if they could not turn to any of those Religions, without forfeiting the Civil Rights of the Commonwealth by doing it; ’tis likely they would consider well, before they did it, what ground there was to expect that they should get any thing by the exchange, which would countervail the loss they should sustain by it. And whether this be not a reasonable and necessary Caution, any Man may judge, who does but consider, within how few Ages after the Floud Superstition and Idolatry prevail’d over the World; and how apt even God’s own peculiar People were to receive that mortal Infection, notwithstanding all that he did to keep them from it.

If therefore a just care of the Flock of Christ, requires us to exclude Iews, Mahumetans, and Pagans from the Civil Rights of the Commonwealth, because of their Religion; ’tis plain, we may pray in earnest for their Conversion, though we so exclude them: Because though we are bound to desire their Conversion, and so to pray for it; yet we are bound to seek it, no further than we can do it, without endangering the Subjects of Christ’s Kingdom, to whom he has a special regard.[7]

But as to Pagans particularly, I confess I am so far from thinking with our Author, that they ought not to be excluded from the Civil Rights of the Commonwealth, because of their Religion, that I cannot see how their Religion can be suffer’d by any Commonwealth that knows and worships the onely true God, if it would be thought to retain any jealousy for his honour, or even for that of Humane Nature. For how early or generally soever their Idolatries obtain’d in the World, through that blindness which Vice brings upon the Minds of men; and how deep rooting soever they have taken in it: yet as they are the greatest Dishonour conceivable to God Almighty, and to Humane Nature it self; so they are utterly incapable of any manner of excuse or extenuation;[8] being contrary to the natural Sense and Apprehensions of Mankind,[9] as God himself, in the Prophet, plainly intimates. For which reason at least, I think I might well be startled at the largeness of our Author’s Toleration. For whereas you say, you do not see why Pagans should not be tolerated as well as others, if we wish their Conversion; whatever may be said for the tolerating of others, I think it is plain enough as to them, that we ought not to purchase the opportunity of conventing them, by suffering them to commit those Indignities and Abominations among us, which they call Religion, till they are converted.

But as to the converting Iews, Mahumetans, and Pagans to Christianity, I fear there will be no great progress made in it, till Christians come to a better agreement and union among themselves.[10] I am sure our Saviour pray’d that all that should believe in him, might be one in the Father and in him (i. e. I suppose, in that holy Religion which he taught them from the Father) that the World might believe that the Father had sent him. And therefore when he comes to make inquisition, why no more Iews, Mahumetans, and Pagans have been converted to his Religion, I very much fear that a great part of the blame will be found to lie upon the Authors and Promoters of Sects and Divisions among the professors of it: Which therefore I think all that are guilty, and all that would not be guilty, ought well to consider.

In what sense I allow, that Force is improper to convert Men to any Religion,[11] has already been sufficiently declared in my Answer; and I shall have occasion to speak more of it afterwards.

[12]Where I say that some seem to place the advancement of Trade and Commerce above all other Considerations,[13] you tell me that if I do not know that the Author places the advancement of Trade above Religion, my Insinuation is very uncharitable. But I thought I had sufficiently prevented such an interpretation of my words, by acquitting the Author but just before, of any ill design towards Religion. That there are some Men in the World, who are justly suspected of the Crime I mention, I believe you will not deny. And I assure you I did not intend, by those words, to bring any Man under the suspicion of it, who has not given just cause for it.

[14]I say (speaking of the Toleration which our Author proposes) I see no reason, from any experiment which has been made, to expect that true, Religion would be any way a gainer by it. And you tell me I have an experiment of this in the Christian Religion,[15] in its first appearance in the World, and several hundred of years after. But how does that appear? Why, you say the Christian Religion was then better preserv’d, more widely propagated (in proportion) and render’d more fruitful in the lives of its Professors, than ever since; though then Iews and Pagans were tolerated, and more than tolerated, by the Governments of those places where it grew up. And is this your Experiment of the true Religion’s being a gainer by Toleration? The Christian Religion prosper’d more, you say, in those times than ever since, though then Iews and Pagans were tolerated, &c. and therefore it was a gainer by the Toleration of Iews and Pagans. Is there any manner of Consequence in this? That the Christian Religion prosper’d more in those times, than ever since, though then Iews and Pagans were tolerated, I readily grant you. But whoever does but understand what though means, must needs see that this is so far from proving what you inferr from it, that it strongly proves the contrary, viz. that the Toleration of Jews and Pagans was rather an hindrance than an advantage to the Christian Religion.

But let us see the utmost you can make of this Experiment of yours.* You say you hope I do not imagine the Christian Religion has lost any of its first Beauty, Force, or Reasonableness, by having been almost 2000 Years in the World; that I should fear it should be less able now to shift for it self, without the help of Force. And you doubt not but I look upon it still to be the Power and Wisdom of God for our Salvation; and therefore cannot suspect it less capable to prevail now, by its own Truth and Light, than it was in the first Ages of the Church, when poor contemptible Men, without Authority, or the countenance of Authority, had alone the care of it. In which words I understand you to say these three things; 1. That the Christian Religion prevail’d at first meerly by its own Beauty, Force, or Reasonableness, without the help of Authority, or Force. 2. That that Religion has still the same Beauty, Force, or Reasonableness which it had at first. 3. Lastly, that therefore it is now as well able to shift for it self, and to prevail, without any assistance of Authority, as it was then. Now to clear this matter, I must observe, that in the Beauty, Force, or Reasonableness, by which you say the Christian Religion prevail’d at first, without the Assistance of Authority, either you include the Miracles done by the poor contemptible men you speak of, to make their Religion prevail, or you do not. If you do not; then the meaning of your first Assertion is, that the Christian Religion prevail’d at first without the Assistance of Authority, meerly by the Beauty, Force, or Reasonableness which it had, separate from those Miracles: Which I believe you will not undertake to defend. But if you do include the Miracles; then your second Assertion is manifestly false: For I am sure you cannot say that the Christian Religion is still accompanied with Miracles, as it was at its first planting: And so the Conclusion you draw from thence, That therefore the Christian Religion is now as well able to shift for it self, and to prevail, without any Assistance of Authority, as it was at first, falls to the ground.

[16]You add, This, as I take it, has been made use of by Christians generally, and by some of our Church in particular, as an Argument for the Truth of the Christian Religion, that it grew and spread, and prevail’d, without any Aid from Force, or the Assistance of the Powers in being. Wherein I hope you are mistaken: for I am sure this is a very bad Argument. That the Christian Religion, so contrary in the nature of it as well to Flesh and Bloud, as to the Powers of Darkness, should prevail as it did; and that not onely without any Assistance from Authority, but even in spight of all the opposition which Authority and a wicked World, join’d with those infernal Powers, could make against it; This, I acknowledge, has deservedly been insisted upon by Christians, as a very good Proof of the Truth of their Religion. But to argue the Truth of the Christian Religion, from its meer prevailing in the World, without any Aid from Force, or the Assistance of the Powers in being; as if whatever Religion should so prevail, must needs be the true Religion; (whatever may be intended) is really, not to defend the Christian Religion, but to betray it. For neither does the true Religion always prevail, without the Assistance of the Powers in being; nor is that always the true Religion, which does so spread and prevail: As I doubt not but you will acknowledge with me, when you have but consider’d, within how few Generations after the Floud, the Worship of False Gods prevail’d against the Religion which Noah profess’d, and taught his Children (which was undoubtedly the true Religion) almost to the utter exclusion of it (though that at first was the onely Religion in the World) without any Aid from Force, or the Assistance of the Powers in being, for any thing we find in the History of those Times, and as we may reasonably believe, considering that it found an entrance into the World, and entertainment in it, when it could have no such Aid, or Assistance. Of which (besides the Corruption of Humane Nature) I suppose there can no other Cause be assigned, or none more probable than this, that the Powers then in being, did not do what they might and ought to have done, towards the preventing, or checking that horrible Apostasy.

You go on:[17] And if it be a mark of the true Religion, that it will prevail by its own Light and Strength; (but that false Religions will not, but have need of Force and foreign Helps to support them) nothing certainly can be more for the advantage of true Religion, than to take away Compulsion every where. But if this be not a mark of the true Religion (as you have not proved it to be;) then what you conclude here, may not be true. That the true Religion has always Light and Strength of its own, sufficient to prevail with all that consider it seriously, and without Prejudice, I readily grant. But if, when you make it a mark of the true Religion, that it will prevail by its own Light and Strength, you mean (as it is plain you must) that it will always prevail in the World against other Religions, meerly by its own Light and Strength, without the Assistance either of Miracles, or of Authority; then I must tell you, that prevailing by its own Light and Strength, is so far from being a mark of the true Religion, that it is not true, that the true Religion will so prevail by its own Light and Strength. The Instance but now given, is too great a proof of this. For if you admit that Noah‘s Religion was the true Religion, you must admit like wise that it had Light and Strength enough to prevail with all that should but fairly consider it. And yet, however, we find that it was so far from prevailing against false Religions, without foreign Help, that though at first it had quiet possession of the World, without any false Religion to contest its Title; yet it did not long maintain its advantage, but notwithstanding all its Light and Strength, was within a few Generations, almost extinguish’d and lost out of the World: Idolatry prevailing against it, not by its own Light and Strength, you may be sure, (for it could have nothing of either;) nor yet by the help of Force, as has already been shew’d; but meerly by the advantage which it had in the Corruption and Pravity of Humane Nature, left (as it is most reasonable to suppose) to it self, unbridled by Authority. For to the corrupt Nature of Man, false Religions are ever more agreeable than the true. For whatever Hardships some false Religions may impose; it will however always be easier to carnal and wordly-minded men, to give even their first-born for their Transgressions, than to mortify the Lusts from which they spring: which no Religion but the true, requires of them. And upon this account, though there is nothing more certain than that false Religions will never prevail by their own Light and Strength; yet it seems contrary to Reason (as well as to Experience) to say that they always have need of Force and foreign Helps to support them. On the contrary, I see no reason to doubt, but the meer Agreeableness of false Religions to Flesh and Bloud, may very well support them, without foreign Helps; whilest the true Religion may stand in need of them, not for any defects of its own, but by reason of the Folly, Perversness, and Wickedness of Men. If therefore it be no mark of the true Religion, that it will prevail by its own Light and Strength, but that false Religions will not, but have need of Force and foreign Helps to support them (as you have not proved it is, and I think I have proved it is far from being so;) then it does not yet appear, that nothing can be more for the advantage of the true Religion, than to take away Compulsion every where.

[18]You say, A Religion that is of God wants not the Assistance of Humane Authority to make it prevail. Which is not simply, or always true. Indeed when God takes the matter wholly into his own hands; as he does at his first revealing and planting a Religion; there can then be no need of the Assistance of Humane Authority: because then, to make such a Religion appear to be his, God himself does all that is requisite to make it prevail. But when once God has sufficiently settled his Religion in the World, so that if Men will but thenceforth do what they may and ought, in their several Capacities, to preserve and propagate it, it may subsist and prevail without that extraordinary Assistance from him which was necessary for its first establishment: then he leaves it to their care, under his ordinary Providence, to try whether they will do their Duties, or not: leaving them answerable for all that may follow from their neglect. And then, if that Religion will not prevail without the Assistance of Humane Authority, it cannot be said not to need that Assistance to make it prevail.

[19]I guess, say you, when this dropp’d from you, you had narrow’d your Thoughts to your own Age and Country: But if you will enlarge them a little beyond the Confines of England, I do not doubt but you will easily imagine that if in Italy, Spain, Portugal, &c. the Inquisition; and in France their Dragooning; and in other parts those Severities that are used to keep or force men to the National Religion, were taken away; and instead thereof the Toleration proposed by the Author were set up, the true Religion would be a gainer by it. How easily soever I can imagine that, in this case, the true Religion would, for some time, be a gainer by our Author’s Toleration; because then it would be tolerated in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, &c. where now it is not: Yet I think it is manifest enough that it does not follow from thence, that in England, or wherever else the true Religion is Nationally received, it would reap any advantage by having its present Establishment taken away, and our Author‘s, i. e. an universal Toleration of Religions set up instead of it.

But I suppose your meaning is, that if all the World would agree to such a Toleration; though then the true Religion would lose by it in those few places where it is now establish’d as the National Religion; yet upon the whole matter, it would be a gainer by the bargain; because then it would stand upon even terms with all other Religions, in so many more places, where now it is either not at all suffer’d, or at least under great disadvantages.

If this be the thing you aim at: then, 1. I suppose you do not hope you shall perswade the whole World to consent in your Toleration, or that you shall prevail with Pagans, Mahumetans, and Papists every where to allow true and sound Religion the same terms with their own, (supposing you could prevail with those of that Religion, to do this to them.) And if that Religion alone should tolerate all other Religions, whilest it self is tolerated by none; I think it is not easy to conceive how it would be a gainer by so doing. But, 2. Supposing your Toleration were set up all the World over: Even in that case, it is so far from being probable that the true Religion would be any way advantaged by it, that on the contrary I think there is great reason to fear, that, without God’s extraordinary Providence, it would in a much shorter time than any one that does not well consider the matter would imagine, be most effectually extirpated by it throughout the World: Considering (what has already been observ’d) that even when the true Religion was the onely Religion in the World, it did not long continue so, but the depraved Nature of Man soon found out other Religions, more agreeable to it self, which quickly prevail’d, and overspread the World.

As to the Inquisition, Dragooning, or any other such Severities, which are any where used, to keep or force men to the National Religion, I suppose I need not put you in mind that I condemn them as much as you do.

You tell me the Author of the Letter says,[20] Truth will do well enough, if she were once left to shift for her self. (The contrary whereof has been sufficiently shewn.) She seldom has receiv’d, and he fears never will receive much Assistance from the Power of great men, to whom she is but rarely known, and more rarely welcome. (And yet God himself foretold and promised that Kings should be nursing Fathers, and Queens nursing Mothers to his Church: As I doubt they cannot be, if Truth does not receive Assistance from their Power.) Errors indeed prevail by the Assistance of foreign and borrow’d Succours. (And without it too.) Truth makes way into our Understanding by her own Light, and is but the weaker for any borrow’d Force that Violence can add to her. (Yet moderate Penalties may make way for Truth to men’s Understanding, that so she may make way into it by her own Light.) And then you add, These words of his (how hard soever they may seem to you) may help you to conceive how he should think to do service to true Religion, by recommending and perswading such a Toleration as he proposed. And now, you go on, pray tell me your self, whether you do not think true Religion would be a gainer by it, if such a Toleration establish’d there, would permit the Doctrine of the Church of England to be freely preach’d, and its Worship set up in any Popish, Mahumetan, or Pagan Country? Sir, I have told you already, that I think it would, for a time; though I think withall, that an universal Toleration would ruine it both there and every where else in the end. And I have told you why I think so.

[21]You add, If you do not, you have a very ill Opinion of the Religion of the Church of England, and must own that it can onely be propagated and supported by Force. But why may not I have as good an Opinion of the Religion of the Church of England, as I have of Noah‘s Religion, notwithstanding that I think it cannot now be propagated and supported, without using some kinds or degrees of Force?

[22]If, say you, you think it would gain in those Countries, by such a Toleration, you are then of the Author’s mind. Not so, Sir: For as I fear it would lose all at last by such a Toleration; so I doubt not but at present it would lose vastly more by it, where it is now Nationally received, than it would gain, where false or unsound Religions are so received.

[23]But, say you, if you allow such a Toleration useful to Truth in other Countries, you must find something very peculiar in the Air, that must make it less useful to Truth in England. And ’twill savour of much partiality, and be too absurd, I fear, for you to own, that Toleration will be advantageous to true Religion all the World over, except onely in this Island; Though I much suspect, this, as absurd as it is, lies at the bottom; And you build all you say upon this lurking Supposition, that the National Religion now in England, back’d by the Publick Authority of the Law, is the onely true Religion, and therefore no other is to be tolerated. How useful to Truth, or advantangeous to true Religion I think Toleration would be in other Countries, or all the World over, I suppose I have by this time sufficiently declared. But why you should suspect that I look upon this Island as the onely part of the World that would receive no advantage by it, I cannot imagine. If you will take my word for it, I assure you I think there are many other Countries in the World, where (whatever their Air be) your Toleration would be as little useful to Truth, as in England. For notwithstanding the lurking Supposition you speak of, I am far enough from thinking that the true Religion is confined to this Kingdom, or this Island.

But as to my supposing that the National Religion now in England, back’d by the Publick Authority of the Law, is the onely true Religion;[24] if you own, with our Author, that there is but one true Religion, I cannot see how you your self can avoid supposing the same.[25] For you own your self of the Church of England; and consequently you own the National Religion now in England, to be the true Religion; for that is her Religion. And therefore if you believe there is but one true Religion; there is no help for it, but you must suppose, with me, that the National Religion now in England, back’d with the Publick Authority of the Law, is the onely true Religion.

But this is not all the lurking Supposition you speak of. For you suspect me likewise to suppose, that no other Religion is to be tolerated. By which if you mean, that as this onely true Religion ought to be received wherever it is preach’d; so, where-ever it is receiv’d, I suppose all other Religions ought to be discouraged in some measure, by the Civil Powers; I own that I do suppose it: And I think I have shewn good reason why.

But you go on, and (speaking of this lurking Supposition, That the National Religion now in England, is the onely true Religion, and therefore no other is to be tolerated) you say,[26] Which being a Supposition equally unavoidable, and equally just in other Countries (unless we can imagine that every where but inEngland men believe what at the same time they think to be a Lie) will in other places exclude Toleration, and thereby hinder Truth from the means of propagating it self. How, Sir? Is this Supposition equally unavoidable; and equally just in other Countries, where false Religions are the National Religion? (For that you must mean, or nothing to the purpose.) If so, then I fear it will be equally true too, and equally rational. For otherwise I see not how it can be either equally unavoidable, or equally just: For if it be not equally true, it cannot be equally just; and if it be not equally rational, it cannot be equally unavoidable. But if it be equally true, and equally rational; then either all Religions are true, or none is true: For if they be all equally true, and any one of them be not true; then none of them can be true. And then the least that will follow is, that we must unsuppose again, what we supposed but now, viz. that the Religion now establish’d in England is the onely true Religion. For whether we admit that all Religions are true, or that none is true; we must unavoidably admit that there is no onely true Religion: And if there be no onely true Religion; then neither the Religion now establish’d in England, nor any other can be the onely true Religion. There is therefore no remedy, but you must either recall this Assection of yours, or own these Consequences which flow from it.

But I hope, when you have thought a little more of the matter, you will be so far from asserting that the Supposition, that the National Religion is the onely true Religion, is in all Countries equally unavoidable, and equally just, that you will acknowledge that it cannot be at all unavoidable, or just, where any false Religion is the National Religion. Otherwise, you will be forced to own that men may be bound to embrace false Religions. For whatever Religion any man does unavoidably, and justly suppose, or judge, to be the onely true Religion, that Religion he must needs be bound to embrace: because he has all the reason to embrace it, which any man can have for embracing any Religion whatsoever; and he can no more reasonably reject it, than any other man may reject the onely true Religion.

Now if this Supposition, that the National is the onely true Religion, be indeed neither equally unavoidable, nor equally just in other Countries, as it is where the True is the National Religion; then neither will the Supposition, that therefore no other Religion is to be tolerated, be either equally unavoidable, or equally just in other Countries, as it is where the True is the National Religion. And therefore if this Supposition shall any where exclude the Toleration of the Truth, and thereby hinder it from the means of propagating it self; the blame will lie upon those who admit that Supposition, where there is no just ground for it: who therefore must answer for the Consequences of it.

The Toleration the Fruits whereof I say give no encouragement to hope for any advantage from our Author’s Toleration,[27] to true Religion,[28] is that (as I thought you would easily have guess’d) which almost all, but those of the Church of England, enjoyed in the times of the Blessed Reformation, as it was call’d. And for the Fruits of it, viz. the Sects and Heresies which it produced (some of which I say still remain with us) how numerous, and of what quality they were,[29] some yet living remember, and the Writers of those times do sufficiently discover.

But here, whatever the Fruits of that Toleration were, you boldly say,[30] that if the Magistrates will severely and impartially set themselves against Vice, in whomsoever it is found; and leave men to their own Consciences, in their Articles of Faith, and Ways of Worship; true Religion will be spread wider, and be more fruitful in the Lives of its Professors, than ever hitherto it has been, by the imposition of Creeds and Ceremonies. It seems then, with you, the rejecting the true Faith, and the refusing to worship God in decent Ways, prescribed by those to whom God has left the ordering of such matters, are not comprehended in the name of Vice. Otherwise you must allow the Magistrates to set themselves against these things likewise, if they must severely and impartially set themselves against Vice: which would not consist with leaving men to their own Consciences in them. But if you except these things, and will not allow them to be call’d by the name of Vice; perhaps other men may think it as reasonable to except some other things, which they have a kindness for. For instance: Some perhaps may except arbitrary Divorcing, others Polygamy, others Concubinacy, others simple Fornication, other Marrying within Degrees which have hitherto been thought forbidden. And all these, it may be, will boldly say too, that if the Magistrates will severely and impartially set themselves against Vice, and leave men to their own Consciences in these things; Vertue and good Manners would be spread wider, and shine more gloriously in the Lives of men, than ever hitherto it has done, by the help of any Laws that have been made about these matters.

But, Sir, whether the Magistrates setting themselves severely and impartially against what I suppose you call Vice; or the imposition of found Creeds and decent Ceremonies, does more conduce to the spreading true Religion, and rendering it fruitful in the Lives of its Professours, we need not examine. I confess I think both together do best. And this I think is as much as needs to be said to your next Paragraph also.

As to what our Author offers in behalf of the Toleration he contends for,[31] I thought the whole Strength of it comprized in this Argument:

There is but one Way of Salvation, or but one true Religion.

No man can be saved by this Religion, who does not believe it to be the true Religion.

This Belief is to be wrought in men by Reason and Argument, not by outward Force and Compulsion.

Therefore all such Force is utterly of no use for the promoting true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls.

And therefore no body can have any Right to use any Force or Compulsion, for the bringing men to the true Religion: neither any Private Person; nor any Ecclesiastical Officer (Bishop, Priest, or other;) nor any Church, or Religious Society; nor the Civil Magistrate.

[32]But to this you say, If it be a true Consequence, that men must be tolerated, if Magistrates have no Commission or Authority to punish them for Matters of Religion; then the onely Strength of that Letter lies not in the unfitness of Force to convince Men’s Understanding. Vid. Lett. p. 7. But if all the Reason for which the Author denies that Magistrates have any Commission or Authority to punish for Matters of Religion, ends in the unfitness of Force to convince Men’s Understanding (as, upon examination, it will appear it does;) then the onely strength of that Letter may lie in that, not withstanding that true Consequence. ‘Tis true indeed, the Author does say, in the Page you quote, that it does not appear that God has given any such Authority to one man over another, as to compell any one to his Religion: Wherein, I believe, no sober man will contradict him. But (supposing that by compelling any one to his Religion, he means using any degree of Force, in any manner whatsoever, to bring any one to his Religion;) What Reason, I beseech you, does he any where offer for his saying this, but that which he gives us in the next Page;[33] where he expresly affirms that the Magistrate’s Power extends not to the establishing any Articles of Faith, or Forms of Worship, by the Force of his Lawes, for this reason, viz. because Laws are of no force at all without Penalties, and Penalties in this case are absolutely impertinent, because they are not proper to convince the Mind, because they are no way capable to produce the Belief of the Truth of any Articles of Faith, or of the acceptableness to God of any outward Forms of Worship; and because that Light and Evidence which onely can work a change in Men’s Opinions, can in no manner proceed from them: Which I suppose you will acknowledge to be onely so many several Expressions of the unfitness of Force to convince men’s Understanding.

Again,[34] say you; If it be true that Magistrates being as liable to Error as the rest of Mankind, their using of Force in matters of Religion, would not at all advance the Salvation of Mankind, (allowing that even Force could work upon them, and Magistrates had Authority to use it in Religion) then the Argument you mention, is not the onely one in that Letter, of strength to prove the necessity of Toleration. Vid. Let. p. 8. But you might have consider’d, that this Argument, from the Magistrate’s being as liable to Error as the rest of Mankind, concerns none but those, who assert that every Magistrate has a Right to use Force to promote his own Religion, whatever it be: Which I think no man that has any Religion will assert: And that for this reason, I could not be obliged to consider it as a distinct Argument.[35] However, where it came in my way, I took as much notice of it as I thought it deserved.

As to the Argument as I have represented it,[36] you deny that the Fourth Proposition is any Proposition of the Author’s, to be found in the Pages I quote, or any where else in the whole Letter, either in those terms, or in the sense I take it in. And yet you immediately add, that in the eighth Page, which I quote, the Author is shewing that the Magistrate has no Right to make use of Force in Matters of Religion, for the Salvation of men’s Souls; And that the Reason he there gives for it is, because Force hath no efficacy to convince men’s Minds; and that without a full perswasion of the Mind, the Profession of the true Religion it self is not acceptable to God. And then you set down the words of the Author to which I referr, viz. Upon this ground I affirm that the Magistrate’s Power extends not to the establishing any Articles of Faith, or Forms of Worship, by the force of his Laws. For Laws are of no force without Penalties; and Penalties in this case are absolutely impertinent, because they are not proper to convince the Mind. Now in what respect, I beseech you, are Penalties here affirm’d to be absolutely impertinent? Is it not plain that the Author means they are so, as used to bring men to believe any Articles of Faith, or to approve any Forms of Worship? And is not this exactly the Sense of the Fourth Proposition? The other place of the Letter, p. 27. to which I referr, and which you here set down, does clearly enough contain the same Sense; and therefore I need not add any more words concerning it.

You add,[37] But in neither of those Passages, nor any where else that I remember, does the Author say that it is impossible that Force should any way, at any time, upon any Person, by any Accident, be useful towards the promoting of true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls; for that is it which you mean by utterly of no use. By utterly of no use, I mean the same thing which the Author does by absolutely impertinent. And whether he does, or does not say that it is impossible, &c. I am sure the least he can mean by saying that Penalties are absolutely impertinent, is, that they are so little serviceable towards the purpose we speak of, that, generally speaking, they do at least as much harm as good: For nothing less than that can make them absolutely impertinent: And that is all that I mean by utterly useless.

[38]You say further; He does not deny that there is any thing which God in his Goodness does not, or may not sometimes gratiously make use of towards the Salvation of men’s Souls (as our Saviour did of Clay and Spittle to cure Blindness:) and that so, Force also may be sometimes useful. But that which he denies, and you grant, is that Force has any proper Efficacy to enlighten the Understanding, or produce Belief. And from thence he inferrs, that therefore the Magistrate cannot lawfully compell men in Matters of Religion. ‘Tis true indeed, I do grant that Force has no proper Efficacy to enlighten or convince the Understanding, or to do the work of Reason and Arguments. But must it needs be utterly useless, or no otherwise useful for the promoting true Religion, than Clay and Spittle are for curing Blindness, unless it have the Efficacy of Reason and Arguments? I confess I thought the usefulness of Force for the promoting the true Religion, would sufficiently appear, if it could but be shewn to be capable of doing any considerable service that way, by procuring the Conviction of the Understanding, though it be not it self capable to convince. For certainly it is one thing to convince the Understanding, and another to procure its Conviction. The one indeed is peculiarly the work of Reason and Arguments: but the other is done by whatever prevails with a man to consider and weigh those Reasons and Arguments which do convince his Understanding; whether it be his own Inclination, or the Advice of a Friend, or the Command or Law of a Superior. Now though I grant that Force has no proper Efficacy to enlighten the Understanding, or produce Belief: yet I assert withall, that it has a proper Efficacy (i.e. not a bare obediential Efficacy, such as Clay and Spittle have in the hand of Omnipotence; but a natural Efficacy, as a Moral Cause) to procure the enlightening of the Understanding, and the production of Belief. And if it be in this sort useful for the promoting true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls, (as I see no reason hitherto to doubt but it is;) then it may still be lawful for the Magistrate to make use of it in matters of Religion, though it has no proper Efficacy to enlighten the Understanding, or produce Belief.

Where I say that Force may indirectly and at a distance do some service &c.[39] you say you do not understand what I mean by doing service at a distance towards the bringing men to Salvation,[40] or to embrace Truth; unless perhaps it be what others, in propriety of Speech, call by Accident. But I make little doubt but all other men that read the place, do well enough understand what I mean by those words; even such as do not understand what it is to do service by Accident. And if by doing service by Accident, you mean doing it but seldom, and beside the intention of the Agent; I assure you that is not the thing that I mean, when I say Force may indirectly and at a distance do some service. For in that use of Force which I defend, the Effect is both intended by him that uses it, and withall, I doubt not, so often attain’d, as abundantly to manifest the Usefulness of it.

But be it what it will,[41] say you, it is such a service as cannot be asscribed to the direct and proper Efficacy of Force. And so, say you, Force indirectly and at a distance, may do some service. I grant it: Make your best of it. What do you conclude from thence? That therefore the Magistrate may make use of it? That I deny. That such an indirect and at a distance Usefulness will authorize the Civil Power in the use of it, that will never be proved. It seems then you grant at last, that Force may, indirectly, and at a distance, do some service, in the matter we are speaking of. But where, I beseech you, do I affirm, that therefore the Magistrate may make use of it? Methinks you might remember,[42] that I assert Force to be generally necessary, as well as useful, to bring erring Persons to the way of Truth: and that accordingly I ground the Magistrate’s Authority to use Force for that purpose, upon the Necessity, as well as Usefulness of it. Now whether such an indirect and at a distance Usefulness (as you are pleas’d to call it) together with a general Necessity of Force, will not authorize the Civil Power in the use of it, you will perhaps be better able to judge, when you have answer’d a plain Question or two.

That Force does some service toward the making of Scholars and Artists, I suppose you will easily grant. Give me leave therefore to ask, How it does it? I suppose you will say, Not by its direct and proper Efficacy, (for Force is no more capable to work Learning, or Arts, than the Belief of the true Religion, in men, by its direct and proper Efficacy;) but by prevailing upon those who are designed for Scholars, or Artists, to receive Instruction, and to apply themselves to the use of those Means and Helps, which are proper to make them what they are designed to be: That is, it does it indirectly, and at a distance. Well then; If all the Usefulness of Force towards the bringing Scholars, or Apprentices, to the Learning, or Skill they are designed to attain, be onely an indirect and at a distance Usefulness: I pray, what is it that warrants and authorizes Schoolmasters, Tutours, or Masters, to use Force upon their Scholars, or Apprentices, to bring them to Learning, or to the Skill of their Arts and Trades, if such an indirect and at a distance Usefulness of Force, together with that Necessity of it which Experience discovers, will not do it? I believe you will acknowledge, that even such an Usefulness, together with that Necessity, will serve the turn in these cases. But then I would fain know, why the same kind of Usefulness, join’d with the like Necessity, will not as well do it in the case before us. I confess I see no reason why it should not: nor do I believe you can assign any.

That the Magistrate may make use of whatsoever God has at any time made the occasions of good to men;[43] or of whatsoever may indirectly and at a distance,[44] or (as you speak before) may any way, at any time, upon any Person, by any Accident, be useful towards the promoting of true Religion; This I do no where assert. And therefore you might have spared the Instances by which you prove the contrary. There is no doubt but God, who can do what he pleases, by what means he pleases, and even without any means, can make many things occasions of good to men, which are not apt in their own natures to be so. Nor do I doubt but sometimes, what in his infinite Wisdom he sees would be hurtful and pernicious to all other men, he sees will be good and salutary to some particular persons, and accordingly in his Goodness orders it for them. But if men should thence take occasion to apply such things generally; Who sees not, that however they might chance to hit right in some few cases; yet upon the whole matter, they would certainly do a great deal more harm than good?[45] And in all Pleas, as you tell us, for any thing because of its Usefulness, it is not enough to say that it may be serviceable; But it must be consider’d, not onely what it may, but what it is likely to produce: And the greater Good or Harm like to come from it, ought to determine the use of it. And therefore I can easily grant you, that as Running a man through, though once upon a time it chanced to save a man’s life by opening a lurking Impostume, is nevertheless no lawful or justifiable Chirurgery; because it is always much more likely to let out men’s lives, than to open lurking Impostumes: So though Loss of Estate, &c. the Gallies, and the Torments suffer’d in the late Persecution, might possibly, as directed and managed by divine Providence, bring some Persons to Repentance, Sobriety of Thought, and a true sense of Religion, &c. and so indirectly and at a distance serve to the Salvation of their Souls: Yet since consider’d in themselves, and with respect to the generality of men,[46] these Methods, for the reasons alleged in my Answer, are justly to be look’d upon us more apt to hinder, than to promote that end; the Success which God was pleas’d perhaps, but not bound to give them, will by no means justify them, or prove that the French King had Right and Authority to make use of them. This, I say, I can easily grant you. But how will this serve your purpose? Will it follow from hence, that the Magistrate has no Right to use any Force at all, for the bringing men to the true Religion? Or will any man say, that because the Magistrate may not use those Severities which are more apt to hinder, than to promote true Religion, therefore he can use no lower Penalties, though they be never so fit and serviceable to promote it? If you say you think no Penalties at all are fit to promote Religion: to make me of your opinion, you must prove it some other way, than by alleging the unfitness of those Severities. This, I suppose, may serve to shew with how little reason you say here, that if my indirect and at a distance Serviceableness may authorize the Magistrate to use Force in Religion, all the Cruelties used by the Heathens against Christians, by Papists against Protestants, and all the persecuting of Christians one amongst another, are all justifiable. (Not to take notice at present, how odly it sounds, that that which authorizes the Magistrate to use moderate Penalties, to promote the true Religion, should justify all the Cruelties that ever were used, to promote Heathenisin, or Popery.)

With what Ingenuity you draw me in,[47] to condemn Force in general, onely because I acknowledge the ill Effects of prosecuting men with Fire and Sword, &c. to make them Christians, I think I may now leave every man to judge.

But you say I shelter my self under the name of Severities.[48] For, say you, moderate Punishments, as you call them in another place, (Penalties, Sir, is my word: But since you say ’tis Punishments, let it be so: These) you think may be serviceable, indirectly, and at a distance serviceable, to bring men to the Truth. And I say, any sort of Punishments disproportion’d to the Offense, or where there is no fault at all, will always be Severity, unjustifiable Severity, and will be thought so by the Sufferers, and By-standers, &c. Well, Sir: And what then? Why, not to profess the National Faith, whilest one believes it not to be true; not to enter into Church-Communion with the Magistrate, as long as one judges the Doctrine there profess’d to be erroneous, or the Worship not such as God hath prescribed, or will accept; this you allow, and all the World with you must allow, not to be a fault. But yet you would have men punish’d for not being of the National Religion; that is, as you your self confess, for no fault at all. In which words you take a liberty to put upon me what you please. For I neither allow, nor confess, nor would have, what you are pleas’d to impute to me. But how far that is to be allow’d, which you say I do allow, and all the World with me must allow, will quickly appear.

For (to come to the Point;) the National Religion is either true, or not true. If it be not true, no man is bound to believe it: And it is no fault in him that is not bound to believe it, not to profess it. If it be true; then either there is sufficient provision made for instructing men in the truth of it, or there is not. If there be not; then all men are not bound to believe it; And (as was said before) in those who are not bound to believe it, it will be no fault not to profess it. But if there be sufficient means of Instruction provided for all; then it must be a fault in all not to profess it; because, in that case, it is a fault in all not to believe it. And the like is to be said concerning Communion with the Magistrate in Divine Worship.

This I take to be very plain. And from hence these two things will unavoidably follow. 1. That no man ought to be punish’d for not being of any false Religion, though it be the National Religion: Because it is no fault not to be of any false Religion. 2. That all who have sufficient means of Instruction provided for them, may justly be punish’d for not being of the National Religion, where the true, is the National Religion: Because it is a fault in all such, not to be of that Religion. And so all Punishment for the sake of Religion, will not be unjustifiable Severity. For though,[49] where there is no Fault, there can be no moderate Punishment; yet all Punishment is not immoderate, where there is a Fault to be punish’d. Now that which I would have, is, that this Fault should be punish’d; but so far onely, as may best, and most generally serve to correct it, i.e. in my opinion, with Penalties below the rate of the Punishments before mention’d. Which I think you have not yet proved to be unjustifiable Severity.

The taking away men’s lives to make them Christians,[50] I note as a manifest Absurdity.[51] And you grant that there is great Absurdity somewhere in the case. And I assure you I am very well content that the Imputation should lie where it ought to lie: And I know of no occasion I have given you to think otherwise.

But here,[52] having mention’d an Example of this extreme Absurdity (as you justly call it) which we have in a neighbouring Country, where the Prince declares he will have all his Dissenting Subjects saved, and pursuant thereunto has taken away the lives of many of them: You are pleas’d to add the following words: For thither at last Persecution (so, it seems, you call all use of Punishments for Religion) must come: As, I fear, notwithstanding your talk of moderate Punishments,[53] you your self intimate in these words;

Not that I think the Sword is to be used in this business, (as I have sufficiently declared already;) but because all Coactive Power resolves at last into the Sword; since all (I do not say, that will not be reform’d in this matter by lesser Penalties, but) that refuse to submit to lesser Penalties, must at last fall under the stroke of it.

In which words if you mean any thing to the business in hand, you seem to have a reserve for greater Punishments, when lesser are not sufficient to bring men to be convinced. And will you ever pretend to either Conscience, or Modesty, after this? For, I beseech you, Sir, What words could I have used more express or effectual, to signify, that in my opinion, no Dissenters from the true Religion ought to be punish’d with the Sword, but such as choose rather to rebel against the Magistrate, than to submit to lesser Penalties? (For how any should refuse to submit to those Penalties, but by rebelling against the Magistrate, I suppose you will not undertake to tell me.) ‘Twas for this very purpose that I used those words, to prevent Cavils (as I was then so simple as to think I might:) And I dare appeal to any man of Common Sense and Common Honesty, whether they are capable of any other meaning. And yet the very thing which I so plainly disclaim in them, you pretend (without so much as offering to shew how) to collect from them. Thither, you say, at last (viz. to the taking away men’s lives for the saving their Souls) Persecution must come: As you fear, nothwithstanding my talk of moderate Punishments, I my self intimate in those words: And if I mean any thing in them to the business in hand, I seem to have a reserve for greater Punishments when lesser are not sufficient to bring men to be convinced Sir, I should expect fairer dealing from one of your Pagans or Mahumetans. But I shall only add, that I would never wish that any man who has undertaken a bad Cause, should more plainly confess it, than by serving it as here (and not here onely) you serve yours.

[54]Where I say,

If Force be used, not instead of Reason and Arguments, that is, not to convince by its own proper Efficacy (which it cannot do) &c.

 

[55]you say you think those who make Laws and use Force, to bring men to Church-Conformity in Religion, seek onely the Compliance, but concern themselves not for the Conviction of those they punish; and so never use Force to convince. For, you add, pray tell me; When any Dissenter conforms, and enters into the Church-Communion, is he ever examin’d to see whether he does it upon Reason, and Conviction, and such Grounds as would become a Christian concern’d for Religion? If Persecution (as is pretended) were for the Salvation of men’s Souls, this would be done; and men not driven to take the Sacrament to keep their Places, or to obtain Licences to sell Ale, (for so low have these holy Things been prostituted,) &c. Who they be that pretend that Persecution is for the Salvation of men’s Souls, I know not. But as to those Magistrates, who having provided sufficiently for the Instruction of all under their care, in the true Religion, do make Laws, and use moderate Penalties to bring men to the Communion of the Church of God, and to Conformity to the Rules and Orders of it; I think their Behaviour does plainly enough speak them to seek and concern themselves for the Conviction of those whom they punish, and for their Compliance, onely as the fruit of their Conviction. Nor does the contrary appear from the not examining Dissenters when they conform, to see whether they do it upon Reason and Conviction, &c. For where the course I speak of is held, it is ordinarily presumeable, that when Dissenters conform, they do it upon Reason, and Conviction. And as to irreligious Persons, who onely seek their secular Advantage; how easy is it for them to pretend Conviction, and to offer such Grounds (if that were required) as would become a Christian concern’d for Religion? This is what no care of man can certainly prevent. And therefore if such Persons profane the Sacrament, to keep their Places, or to obtain Licences to sell Ale; this is an horrible Wickedness indeed; but it is their own, and they alone must answer for it. But it is very unjust to impute it to those who make such Laws, and use such Force; or to say that they prostitute holy Things, and drive men to profane them. They design by their Laws, to contribute what lies in them, to make men good Christians: But if after all that they can do, wicked and Godless men will still resolve to be so; they will be so, and I know not who, but God Almighty, can help it.

That some men would through carelessness never acquaint themselves with the Truth which must save them,[56] without being forced to do it, (which I suppose,) may be very true, notwithstanding that (as you say) some are call’d at the third, some at the nineth, and some at the eleventh hour; and whenever they are call’d, they embrace all the Truth necessary to Salvation. At least you do not shew why it may not: And therefore this may be no slip, for any thing you have said to prove it to be one.

Where the gross and palpable Mistakes lie,[57] appears, I suppose, in part already.[58] But you instance in my saying that Force used to bring men to consider, does indirectly, and at a distance, some service. For here, you tell me, I walk in the dark, and endeavour to cover my self with Obscurity, by omitting two necessary parts. As, first, who must use this Force. And yet your very next words are, Which though you tell us not here (where it would have been impertinent to tell you; because, as any man may see, I was there onely to consider, whether Force was useful, or not; not who was to use it:) yet by other parts of your Treatise ’tis plain you mean the Magistrate. Secondly, you tell me, I omit to say upon whom it must be used: Whereas ’tis plain enough too, as I suppose, by other parts of my Treatise, that the Force I speak of, is, according to my opinion, to be used upon such, and such onely, as having sufficient means of Instruction in the true Religion provided for them, do yet refuse to embrace it. But this you would not see; because, it seems, you thought it more for your purpose to tell me, that those upon whom, in my opinion, Force is to be used, if I say any thing to my purpose, must be Dissenters from the National Religion, those who come not into Church-Communion with the Magistrate. And then, you say, my Proposition in fair plain terms will stand thus:

If the Magistrate punish Dissenters, onely to bring them to consider those Reasons and Arguments which are proper to convince them; who can deny but that, indirectly, and at a distance, it may do service, &c. towards the bringing men to embrace that Truth which otherwise they would never be acquainted with? &c.

In which Proposition, you say, 1. There is something impracticable. 2. Something unjust. And 3. Whatever Efficacy there is in Force (my way applied) to bring men to consider and be convinced, it makes against me.

1. You say, It is impracticable to punish Dissenters, as Dissenters, onely to make them consider. And why so? The Reason follows: For if you punish them as Dissenters, you punish them for not being of the National Religion. And to punish a man for not being of the National Religion, is not to punish him onely to make him consider; unless not to be of the National Religion, and not to consider, be the same thing. But cannot Dissenters be punish’d for not being of the National Religion, as the Fault, and yet onely to make them consider, as the End for which they are punish’d? Cannot this be the onely End, unless it be the onely Cause also of their Punishment? But after all, whoever will but consider my words, will easily see that there was no manner of occasion for this Subtlety. For my words are,

If Force be used not instead of Reason and Arguments, i.e. not to convince by its own proper Efficacy (which it cannot do) but onely to bring men to consider those Reasons and Arguments which are proper and sufficient to convince them, &c.

Where ’tis plain that by onely, I exclude no other End of the use of Force, but onely that of convincing men’s Minds by its own proper Efficacy.

[59]If you suppose (as you seem here to do) that I am for punishing Dissenters, whether they consider or no; you are in a great mistake. For the Dissenters (which is your word, and not mine) whom I am for punishing, are onely such as reject the true Religion, proposed to them with Reasons and Arguments sufficient to convince them of the truth of it: Who therefore can never be supposed to consider those Reasons and Arguments as they ought, whilest they persist in rejecting that Religion, or (in your language) whilest they continue Dissenters: For if they did so consider them, they would not continue Dissenters.

[60]2. You say, To punish men out of the Communion of the National Church, to make them consider, is unjust. They are punish’d, because out of the National Church: And they are out of the National Church, because they are not yet convinced. Their standing out therefore in this State, whilest they are not convinced, not satisfied in their Minds, is no Fault; and therefore cannot justly be punish’d. To which I answer: Where the National Church is the true Church of God, to which all men ought to join themselves; and sufficient Evidence is offer’d, to convince men that it is so: there it is a Fault to be out of the National Church, because it is a Fault not to be convinced that the National Church is that true Church of God. And therefore since there men’s not being so convinced, can onely be imputed to their not considering as they ought, the Evidence which is offer’d to convince them; it cannot be unjust to punish them to make them so to consider it.

What Iustice it would be for the Magistrate to punish me for not being a Cartesian,[61] it will be time enough to consider, when you have proved it to be as necessary for men to be Cartesians, as it is to be Christians, or members of God’s Church.

3. You say,[62] Whatever indirect Efficacy there be in Force, applied your way, it makes against you. Force used by the Magistrate to bring men to consider those Reasons and Arguments, which are proper and sufficient to convince them, but which without being forced, they would not consider; may, say you, be serviceable indirectly, and at a distance, to make men embrace the Truth which must save them. And thus, say I, it may be serviceable to bring men to receive and embrace Falshood, which will destroy them. How, Sir? May Force used by the Magistrate to bring men to consider those Reasons and Arguments which are proper and sufficient to convince them, be serviceable to bring men to embrace Falshood? such Falshood as will destroy them? It seems then, there are Reasons and Arguments, which are proper and sufficient to convince men of the truth of Falshood which will destroy them. Which is certainly a very extraordinary Discovery; though such as no man can have any reason to thank you for. That God, in his just Judgement, will send such as receive not the love of the Truth, that they may be saved, but reject it for the pleasure they have in unrighteousness, […], strong delusion, i. e. such Reasons and Arguments as will prevail with men so disposed, to believe a Lie, that they may be damn’d; This, I confess, the Scripture plainly teaches us.[63] But that there are any such Reasons or Arguments, as are proper and sufficient to convince or satisfy any, but such resolute and obdurate Sinners, of the truth of such Falshood as will destroy them, is a Position which I am sure the Scripture does not teach us, and which, when you have better consider’d it, I hope you will not undertake to maintain. And yet if it be not maintainable, what you say here is to no purpose: For if there be no such Reasons and Arguments as here we speak of, ’tis in vain to talk of the Magistrates using Force to make men consider them.

But however, let it be supposed, if you please, that there are such Reasons and Arguments as are proper and sufficient to convince men of the truth of Falshood which will destroy them; And, that Force applied by the Magistrate to make men consider them, might be serviceable to bring men to receive and embrace such Falshood: What will you conclude from thence? May it not be true nevertheless, that Force used by the Magistrate to bring men to consider those Reasons and Arguments which are proper and sufficient to convince them, but which without being forced they would not consider, may be serviceable indirectly, and at a distance, to bring men to embrace the Truth which must save them? Which is all that I am here concern’d to make good.

But not content to say, that Force my way applied (i.e. to bring men to embrace the Truth which must save them) may be serviceable to bring men to embrace Falshood which will destroy them; and so is proper to do as much harm as good; (which seems strange enough;) you add (to encreate the wonder) that in my indirect way,[64] it is much more proper, and likely, to make men receive and embrace Error, than the Truth: And that,

1. Because Men out of the right Way are as apt, and you think you may say apter, to use Force, than others. Which is, doubtless, an irrefragable Demonstration, that Force used by the Magistrate to bring men to receive and embrace the Truth which must save them, is much more proper and likely to make men receive Error, than the Truth. But, Sir, I beseech you, how come we to talk here of what men out of the right Way, are apt to do, to bring others into their, i. e. a wrong Way; where we are onely enquiring, What may be done to bring men to the right Way? For that, I must put you in mind, is our Question, viz. Whether the Magistrate has any Right to use Force, to bring men to the true Religion? Now whereas our Author says that Penalties,[65] or Force is absolutely impertinent in this case, because it is not proper to convince the Mind; To which I answer,[66] that though Force be not proper to convince the Mind, yet it is not absolutely impertinent in this case, because it may, however, do some service towards the bringing men to embrace the Truth which must save them, by bringing them to consider those Reasons and Arguments which are proper to convince the Mind, and which without being forced, they would not consider: Here you tell me, No, but it is much more proper, and likely, to make men receive and embrace Error than Truth; because men out of the right Way are as apt, and perhaps apter, to use Force, than others. Which is as good a proof, I believe, as the thing would admit: For otherwise, I suppose, you would have given us a better.

As to what you say here,[67] on the by, of the Mildness and Gentleness of the Gospel, which is apter to use Prayers and Intreaties, then Force, to gain a hearing: I shall onely demand of you, Whether the Mildness and Gentleness of the Gospel destroys the Coactive Power of the Magistrate, or not? If you say it does not; (and I suppose you will not say it does;) then it seems the Magistrate may use his Coactive Power, without offending against the Mildness and Gentleness of the Gospel. And so, though they that have not that Power, can onely use Prayers and Intreaties to gain a hearing: yet it will consist well enough with the Mildness and Gentleness of the Gospel, for the Magistrate to use his Coactive Power to procure them a hearing, where their Prayers and Intreaties will not do it.

But you say Force in my indirect Way, is much more proper, and likely, to make men receive and embrace Error than Truth,

2. Because the Magistrates of the World being few of them in the right Way; (not one of ten, let me take which side I will) perhaps not one of an hundred being of the true Religion; ’tis likely my indirect way of using Force would do an hundred, or at least ten times as much harm as good: &c. Which would have been to the purpose, if I had asserted that every Magistrate may use Force, my indirect way (or any way) to bring men to his own Religion, whatever that be. But if I assert no such thing; (as no man, I think, but an Atheist, will assert it:) then this is quite beside the business.

But to shew me that,[68] under another pretense, I put into the Magistrate’s hands as much Power to force men to his Religion, as any the openest Persecutors can pretend to, you ask, What difference is there between punishing men to bring them to Mass; and punishing them to bring them to consider those Reasons and Arguments, which are proper and sufficient to convince them that they ought to go to Mass? A Question which I shall then think my self obliged to answer, when you have produced those Reasons and Arguments which are proper and sufficient to convince men that they ought to go to Mass.

If you reply, say you, (to this pleasant Question,) you meant Reasons and Arguments proper and sufficient to convince them of the Truth: I answer, if you meant so, why did not you say so? As if it were possible for any man that reads my Answer, to think I meant otherwise. But, say you, if you had said so, it would in this case do you little service. For the Mass, in France, is as much supposed the Truth, as the Liturgy here. So that it seems, in your opinion, whatsoever is supposed the Truth, is the Truth: (For otherwise this Reason of yours is none at all.) Which evidently makes all Religions alike, to those who suppose them true. Which is the thing you must own, if you will maintain that my way of applying Force will as much promote Popery in France, as Protestantism in England.

[69]Whether this Usefulness of Force amounts to no more but this, That it is not impossible but that it may be useful, I leave to be judged by what has been said.

[70]But you proceed, and say, Force your way applied, as it may be useful, so also it may be useless. For, 1. Where the Law punishes Dissenters, without telling them it is to make them consider, they may through ignorance and oversight neglect to do it, and so your Force proves useless. But where the Law provides sufficient means of Instruction for all, as well as Punishment for Dissenters, it is so plain to all concern’d, that the Punishment is intended to make them consider,that I see no danger of men’s neglecting to do it, through ignorance or oversight. 2. You say, Some Dissenters may have consider’d already, and then Force employ’d upon them must needs be useless; unless you can think it useful to punish a man to make him do that which he hath done already. And I say, No man who rejects Truth necessary to his Salvation, has consider’d already, as he ought to consider: Which is enough to shew the vanity of this Argument. 3. You say, God has not directed it: and therefore we have no reason to expect he should make it successful. The contrary of which shall be shewn in a more proper place.

[71]You add further, that Force may be hurtful: nay, you say, it is likely to prove more hurtful than useful. 1. Because to punish men for that, which ’tis visible cannot be known whether they have perform’d or no, is so palpable an injustice, &c. (Which has already been spoken to.) 2. Because the greatest part of Mankind being not able to discern betwixt Truth and Falshood, that depend upon long and many Proofs, and remote Consequences; nor having ability enough to discover the false Grounds, and resist the captious and fallacious Arguments of Learned Men vers’d in Controversies; are so much more exposed, by the Force which is used to make them hearken to the Information and Instruction of men appointed to it by the Magistrate, or those of his Religion, to be led into Falshood and Error than they are likely this way to be brought to embrace the Truth which must save them; by how much the National Religions of the World are, beyond comparison, more of them False or Erroneous, than such as have God for their Author, and Truth for their Standard.

If the first part of this be true; then an Infallible Guide, and Implicit Faith are more necessary than ever I thought them. For if the greatest part of Mankind be not able to discern betwixt Truth and Falshood, in matters concerning their Salvation, (as you must mean, if you speak to the purpose;) their condition must needs be very hazardous, if they have not some Guide or Iudge, to whose determination and direction they may securely resign themselves. But for my part, as I know of no such Guide of God’s appointing, so I think there is no need of any such; because notwithstanding the long and many Proofs, and remote Consequences, the false Grounds, and the captious and fallacious Arguments of Learned Men vers’d in Controversies, with which you (as well as those of the Roman Communion) endeavour to amuse us, through the Goodness of God, the Truth which is necessary to Salvation, lies so obvious and exposed to all that sincerely and diligently seek it, that no such person shall ever fail of attaining the knowledge of it. Nor is the famous instance you give us, of the two Rainoldses, of any moment to prove the contrary; unless you can undertake that he that err’d, was as sincere in his enquiry after that Truth, as you suppose him able to examine and judge.

But (whatever you think of this matter) ’tis plain the Force you here speak of, is not Force my way applied; i.e. applied to the promoting the true Religion onely, but to the promoting of all the National Religions in the World. And therefore I can easily grant you all that you would have, without any the least prejudice to my Cause. For how much soever the National Religions are more of them False or Erroneous, than such as have God for their Author, and Truth for their Standard; and how much soever the greatest part of Mankind may be exposed, by the Force which is used to make them hearken to the Information and Instruction of Men appointed to it by the Magistrate, or those of his Religion, to be led into Falshood and Error, than they are likely this way to be brought to embrace the Truth which must save them: Yet every one sees that it may be true nevertheless, that convenient Force used to bring men to the true Religion,(which is all that I contend for, and all that I allow,) may be very serviceable for that purpose, by bringing men to that Consideration, which nothing else (besides the extraordinary Grace of God) would bring them to: Which is that which I mean by doing service indirectly, and at a distance, toward the bringing men to the true Religion, and so to Salvation.

You might therefore, for any thing I see, have spared the Pains you have here taken,[72] to give me a view of the Usefulness of Force my way applied.[73] For how confidently soever you tell me that it amounts but to the shadow and Possibility of Usefulness, but with an overbalancing weight of Mischief and Harm annex’d to it; I hope I have sufficiently made it appear, that instead of proving this, you have onely trifled hitherto, and said nothing at all against my Assertion.

Having thus, as you imagine, or (to speak more properly perhaps) as you would have it thought, destroy’d the Usefulness of Force which I had asserted, you go on to new matter of triumph. But suppose,[74] say you, Force applied your way, were as useful for the promoting true Religion, as I suppose I have shew’d it to be the contrary; it does not from thence follow that it is lawful and may be used. By your savour, Sir, I think it does follow from thence, that Force is not therefore unlawful to be used, because it is utterly useless, or absolutely impertinent: which is all that I was to shew against our Author: That being all in effect, that he says, to prove the unlawfulness of using Force in matters of Religion; as has already been made appear, against all that you say to the contrary.

But as to the Lawfulness of such Force as I take to be useful for the promoting the true Religion; I must again put you in mind, that I do not ground it upon the bare Usefulness of such Force, but upon the Necessity, as well as Usefulness of it: as any man must acknowledge that reads my Answer: Where as I shew at large, that Force is generally necessary to bring those that wander, to the right Way;[75] so I expresly declare that I look upon outward Force to be no fit means to be used either for that purpose, or for any other, where it is not necessary, as well as useful.

And therefore how useful soever you may suppose it in a Parish that has no Teacher,[76] or as bad as none, that a Layman that wanted not abilities for it, should sometimes preach to them the Doctrine of the Gospel, &c. yet unless you suppose it necessary withall, it will not serve your purpose. And that you cannot suppose it necessary, is evident; because any such Parish may quickly have redress, if they will but seek it.

(Whether I have rightly framed the Author’s Argument, or not, has already been consider’d.)

[77]You say further, As Force applied your way is apt to make the Inconsiderate consider, so Force applied another way, is as apt to make the Lascivious chaste, &c. Thus you see Castration may indirectly, and at a distance, be serviceable towards the Salvation of men’s Souls. But will you say, from such an usefulness as this, that therefore the Magistrate has a right to do it, and may by Force make his Subjects Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven? Where again I must tell you, that unless you will say Castration is necessary, as well as apt, to make the lascivious chaste; this will afford you no advantage. Now I suppose you will not say Castration is necessary, because I hope you acknowledge that Marriage, and that Grace which God denies to none who seriously ask it, are sufficient for that purpose.

But, however, this is not a like Case. For if Castration makes any lascivious person chaste; it does it by taking away the Part upon which the Power of offending depends: Whereas the Force which I think may be used in order to the c  uring men of destructive Errors concerning the Way of Salvation, does not destroy the Possibility of erring, by taking away, or any way disabling the offending Part, but leaves men’s Brains safe in their Skulls. Indeed if I had said, that to cure men of damnable or dangerous Errors, it is useful to knock out their Brains; the Case had been exactly parallel (as far as Usefulness goes.) But since I say no such thing, I hope no man that has any Brains, will say it is.

You add,[78] It is not for the Magistrate, or any body else, upon an imagination of its Usefulness, to make use of any other means, for the Salvation of men’s Souls, than what the Author and Finisher of our Faith has directed. Which, how true soever, is not, I think, very much to the purpose. For if the Magistrate does only assist that Ministery which our Lord has appointed, by using so much of his Coactive Power for the furthering their Service, as common Experience discovers to be useful and necessary for that End; there is no manner of ground to say, that upon an imagination of its Usefulness, he makes use of any other means for the Salvation of Men’s Souls, than what the Author and Finisher of our Faith has directed.

‘Tis true indeed, the Author and Finisher of our Faith has given the Magistrate no new Power, or Commission: nor was there any need that he should, (if himself had had any Temporal Power to give:) For he found him already, even by the Law of Nature, the Minister of God to the People for good, and bearing the Sword not in vain, i.e. invested with Coactive Power, and obliged to use it for all the good purposes which it might serve, and for which it should be found needful; even for the restraining of false and corrupt Religion; as Iob long before (perhaps before any part of the Scriptures were written) acknowledged, when he said that the worshiping the Sun or the Moon,[79] was an iniquity to be punish’d by the Iudge. But though our Saviour has given the Magistrates no new Power; yet being King of Kings, he expects and requires, that they should submit themselves to his Sceptre, and use the Power which always belong’d to them, for his service, and for the advancing his Spiritual Kingdom in the World. And even that Charity which our great Master so earnestly recommends, and so strictly requires of all his Disciples, as it obliges all men to seek and promote the good of others, as well as their own, especially their spiritual and eternal good, by such means as their several Places and Relations enable them to use; so does it especially oblige the Magistrate to do it as a Magistrate, i.e. by that Power which enables him to do it above the rate of other men.

So far therefore is the Christian Magistrate, when he gives his helping hand to the furtherance of the Gospel, by laying convenient Penalties upon such as reject it, or any part of it, from using any other means for the Salvation of men’s Souls, than what the Author and Finisher of our Faith has directed, that he does no more than his Duty to God, to his Redeemer, and to his Subjects, requires of him.

[80]You add, You may be mistaken in what you think useful. No doubt of that, Sir: But you have not shewn that I am mistaken. Dives thought, say you, and so perhaps should you and I too, if not better inform’d by the Scriptures, that it would be useful to rouze and awaken men, if one should come to them from the dead. But he was mistaken. And we are told, that if men will not hearken to Moses and the Prophets, the means, appointed, neither will the Strangeness nor Terror of one coming from the dead perswade them. Very good, Sir: And what then? Dives thought, it seems, that though Moses and the Prophets had not prevail’d with his Brethren to repent; yet if Lazarus were sent to them from the dead, to testify what he had seen and heard in the other World; such an Evidence as this, so much greater than Moses and the Prophets had given, of the Necessity of Repentance, would not fail of taking effect upon them. But herein Abraham assures him he was mistaken; and that the true ground of his Brethren’s not being perswaded by Moses and the Prophets, was not any want of Evidence in them (as he thought it was,) but onely their own Hardness and Insensibility, contracted by the custom of sinning, which render’d them incapable of any impressions from the greatest Evidence that could be given. This I take to be the meaning of those words, If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, (i.e. if they hear them not effectually, so as to be perswaded by them; as appears by the next Clause, where the same thing is express’d by that word;) neither will they be perswaded, though one rose from the dead. But how does this concern the matter before us? Is there any thing in my Assertion like this Mistake of Dives? Do I any where say that the means appointed for the satisfying men’s Minds concerning the true Religion, are not sufficient to do it, without the Assistance of outward Force? Or, that the Magistrate is more likely to convince men’s Understanding, by inflicting Penalties, than Christ’s Ministers are, by preaching the Gospel? If I had said any such thing, you might reasonably enough have put me in mind how Dives was mistaken in what he thought useful. But if I do expresly deny that Force has any proper Efficacy to convince men’s Minds, and do place all its Usefulness in its Subserviency to the means appointed for that purpose, as it is apt to take off that unreasonable Aversness and Prejudice, which usually keeps those who reject the Truth, from applying themselves to those means: then though Dives was mistaken in thinking that Lazarus might be able to convert his Brethren, though Moses and the Prophets had not done it; it may, however, be no Mistake, to think Force useful for the purpose for which I affirm it to be so.

You go on:[81] If what we are apt to think useful were thence to be concluded so, we should (I fear) be obliged to believe the Miracles pretended to by the Church of Rome. Never fear it, Sir; for I assure you there is no danger of it. But it seems you think there is. For, say you, Miracles, we know, were once useful for the promoting true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls; which is more than you can say for your Political Punishments. But yet we must conclude that God thinks them not useful now, unless we will say (that which without Impiety cannot be said) that the Wise and Benign Disposer and Governer of all things does not now use all useful means for promoting his own Honour in the World, and the good of Souls. And then you add, I think this Consequence will hold, as well as what you draw in near the same words. But I think it is easy to shew it will not. For in the place you intend,[82] I speak not of useful, but of competent, i. e. sufficient means. Now competent, or sufficient means are necessary: but I think no man will say that all useful means are so. And therefore though, as I affirm, it cannot be said without Impiety, that the Wise and Benign Disposer and Governer of all things has not furnish’d Mankind with competent means for the promoting his own Honour in the World, and the good of Souls; yet it is very agreeable with Piety and with Truth too, to say that he does not now use all useful means: Because as none of his Attributes obliges him to use more than sufficient means; so he may use sufficient means, without using all useful means. For where there are many useful means, and some of them are sufficient without the rest, there is no necessity of using them all. So that from God’s not using Miracles now, to promote the true Religion, you cannot conclude that he does not think them useful now, but onely that he does not think them necessary. And therefore though what we are apt to think useful, were thence to be concluded so; yet if whatever is useful, be not likewise to be concluded necessary; there is no reason to fear that we should be obliged to believe the Miracles pretended to by the Church of Rome. For if Miracles be not now necessary, there is no inconvenience in thinking the Miracles pretended to by the Church of Rome, to be but pretended Miracles.

But after all, how comes this Supposition in, That what we are apt to think useful, is thence to be concluded so? For, whatever you would insinuate, I speak not of what we are apt to think or phansy, with little or no reason, to be useful: but of what we judge so upon just and sufficient grounds: Upon a strong Probability of Success (which you your self seem to think sufficient,[83] not onely to ground an opinion of its Usefulness, but even to warrant the Use of it,) grounded upon the consideration of Humane Nature, and the general temper of Mankind, apt to be wrought upon by the Method I speak of: And upon the indisputable attestation of Experience. For how confidently soever you tell me here, that it is more than I can say for my Political Punishments, that they were ever useful for the promoting true Religion; I appeal to all observing persons, Whether where-ever true Religion, or sound Christianity has been nationally received, and establish’d by moderate Penal Laws, it has not always visibly lost ground by the relaxation of those Laws: Whether Sects and Heresies (even the wildest and most absurd,) and even Epicurism and Atheism have not continually thereupon spread themselves: and Whether the very Spirit and Life of Christianity has not sensibly decayed, as well as the number of sound Professors of it been dayly lessen’d upon it. (Not to speak of what at this time our eyes cannot but see, for fear of giving offense: Though I hope it will be none to any that have a just concern for Truth and Piety, to take notice of the Books and Pamphlets which now fly so thick about this Kingdom, manifestly tending to the multiplying of Sects and Divisions, and even to the promoting of Scepticism in Religion among us. In which number I shall not much need your pardon, if I reckon the First, and Second Letter concerning Toleration) And if these have always been the Fruits of the relaxation of moderate Penal Laws, made for the preserving and advancing true Religion; I think this consideration alone is abundantly sufficient to shew the Usefulness and Benefit of such Laws. For if these Evils have constantly sprung from the relaxation of those Laws, ’tis evident they were prevented before by those Laws.

Though the Work of our Salvation be,[84] as you justly call it, stupendous and supernatural; yet I suppose no sober man doubts but it both admits, and ordinarily requires the use of natural and humane means, in subordination to that Grace which works it. And therefore till you have shewn (as you have not yet) that no Penal Laws that can be made, can do any service toward the salvation of men’s Souls, in subordination to God’s Grace; or that God has forbidden the Magistrate to serve him in that great Work, with the Authority which he has given him; there will be no occasion for the Caution you give us, not to be wiser than our Maker in that stupendous and supernatural work.

You add, When you can shew any Commission in Scripture, for the use of Force, to compell men to hear, any more than to embrace the Doctrine of others that differ from them, we shall have reason to submit to it, and the Magistrate have some ground to set up this new way of Persecution. To which I answer: Though no Force can compell men to embrace (if by that you mean, to believe) the Doctrine of others that differ from them; yet some Force may induce those who would not otherwise, to hear what may and ought to move them to embrace the Truth. And if the Magistrate has Commission to use convenient Force, or Penalties, for that purpose; his doing it will not be the setting up a new way of Persecution, but the discharging an old Duty. I call it so, because it is as old as the Law of Nature, in which the Magistrate’s Commission lies, as has been shewn already. For the Scripture does not properly give it him, but presupposes it (and speaks of him as antecedently entrusted with it,) as it does also the Law of Nature, which is God’s Law as well as the Scripture.

But till then, you say, (i. e. till I can shew a Commission in Scripture, &c.) ’twill be fit for us to obey that Precept of the Gospel, which bids us take heed what we hear. So that hearing is not always so useful as you suppose. If it had, we should never have had so direct a Caution against it. This, I suppose, is onely intended for the vulgar Reader. For all the Force of it lies in our English Version of the Text you mention:[85] Which may, and ought (the Context requiring it) to be render’d Attend, or give heed to what you hear. And if this be the true sense of the Place, (as any one that considers it well, will find it to be;) then our Saviour’s Precept is so far from being a direct Caution against hearing, that on the contrary, it requires hearing with great Attention and Consideration.

[86]Go and teach all Nations, you say, was a Commission of our saviour’s: But there was not added to it, Punish those that will not hear and consider what you say. No, but if they will not receive you, shake off the dust of your feet; leave them, and apply your selves to some others. Which is all very true indeed, but nothing at all to your purpose.[87] For as our Saviour was no Magistrate, and therefore could not inflict Political Punishments upon any man; so much less could he empower his Apostles to do it. But as he could not punish men to make them hear him; so neither was there any need that he should. He came as a Prophet sent from God, to reveal a new Doctrine to the World. And therefore to prove his Mission, he was to do such things as could onely be done by a divine Power. And the Works which he did, were abundantly sufficient both to gain him a hearing, and to oblige the World to receive his Doctrine. And accordingly, when he sent his Apostles to preach his Gospel, though as he could not, so he did not add, Punish those that will not hear and consider what you say; yet he communicated to them the Power of Miracles, and bad them heal the sick, cleanse the Lepers, raise the dead,[88] and cast out Devils: Which might serve altogether as well to procure them a hearing, and a great deal better, to manifest the divine Authority of their Doctrine, so as to leave them that should not embrace it, more inexcusable than Sodom and Gomorrha. And what extraordinary Gifts and Powers our Lord bestow’d after his Asscension,[89] for the propagation of his Gospel, which were continued in his Church,[90] in such measures as he thought fit, for some Ages after, I need not mention. But what can be concluded from hence? That when Christian Religion was sufficiently rooted and establish’d in the World, and those extraordinary Graces were withdrawn, as no longer necessary, Penal Laws could do no service toward the preserving and promoting it? or, That the Christian Magistrate had no Authority to make any such Laws for the preserving and promoting it? No such matter. On the contrary, considering that those extraordinary Means were not withdrawn, till by their help Christianity had prevail’d to be receiv’d for the Religion of the Empire, and to be supported and encouraged by the Laws of it, I cannot but think it highly probable, (if we may he allow’d to guess at the Counsils of infinite Wisdom,) that God was pleas’d to continue them till then, not so much for any necessity there was of them all that while for the evincing the Truth of the Christian Religion, as to supply the want of the Magistrate’s Assistance.

You add further:[91] St. Paul knew no other means to make men hear, but the Preaching of the Gospel, as will appear to any one who will read Rom. 10.14, &c. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. But whoever will consider as well as read the Place, will find no such matter in it. St. Paul demands here, How shall men hear without a Preacher? But will any man say Because a Preacher, or Preaching is always necessary, therefore nothing else can ever be so? If not; then it will not follow from this Demand, that the Apostle knew no other means to make men hear, but the preaching of the Gospel.

As to those words, vers. 17. Suppose the word […] there, to be rightly render’d hearing, and that the word of God signifies the word preach’d Yet even so every one sees they will serve your turn but just as well as the other. But if […] be there render’d report (and I do not see why it may not) as it is in the foregoing verse, […]; Who has believed our report?) then the sense will be, Faith cometh by report, or preaching; and preaching by the word of God, i. e. by the word of God instructing and sending the Preacher, according to vers. 15. Which sets that Text at a greater distance yet from your purpose.

Where to shew the Necessity of Penalties to bring men to hearken to Instruction, and to consider and examine matters of Religion as they ought to do,[92] I allege that such as are out of the right Way, are usually so prejudiced against it, that no intreaties or Perswasions will prevail with them so much as to give an ear to those who call them to it; so that there seems to be no other means left (besides the Grace of God) but Penalties onely, to bring them to hear and consider, and so to embrace the Truth; You demand, What if God, for Reasons best known to himself,[93] would not have men compell’d to hear (i. e. as far as moderate Penalties will compell them: otherwise I am not concern’d in this Demand:) but thought the good Tidings of Salvation, and the Proposals of Life and Death, Means and Inductments enough to make them hear and consider, […] as well as […]? Where, first, you must give me leave to demand, How it appears that God thought the good Tidings of Salvation, &c. enough heretofore; when he endued the Preachers of the Gospel with the Gift of Tongues, and with the Power of healing all manner of Diseases, &c. as well to bring men to hear and consider, as to believe? Secondly I say, that if God, for Reasons best known to himself, would not have moderate Penalties used, now that Miracles are ceased to induce men to hear and consider, he would have told us so; and you ought to have shewn us where he has done it.

You go on, demanding, What if God would have men left to their freedom in this Point, if they will hear, or if they will forbear, will you constrain them? Thus we are siere he did with his own People, &c. But those words, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, which we find thrice used in the Prophet Ezekiel, are nothing at all to your purpose. For by hearing there, no man understands the bare giving an ear to what was to be preach’d, nor yet the consideringit onely; but the complying with it, and obeying it: according to the Paraphrase which Grotius gives of the words, Ezek. 2.5. Sise corrigmus, recte: si non (quod hactenus magis de illis credibile est, ob summam pertinaciam) erunt inexcusati. However, the Penalties I defend, are not such as can any way be pretended to take away men’s freedom in this Point.

[94]You add, This also is the Method of the Gospel. We are Ambassadours for Christ, as if God did beseech you by us, we pray in Christ’s stead, saith St. Paul, 2. Cor 5.20. If God had thought it necessary to have men punish’d to make them give ear, he could have call’d Magistrates to be Spreaders and Ministers of the Gospel, as well as poor Fishermen, or Paul a Persecutor, who yet wanted not Power to punish where Punishment was necessary, as is evident in Ananias and Sapphira, and the Incestuous Corinthian. But though it be the Method of the Gospel, for the Ministers of it to pray and beseech men; yet it appears from your own words here, both that Punishment may be sometimes necessary, and that punishing, and that even by those who are to pray and beseech, is consistent with that Method.

Why Penalties were not necessary at first, to make men give ear to the Gospel, has already been shewn. And, from the same ground, it seems not hard to conjecture, why God was pleas’d to call poor Fishermen, rather than Magistrates, to be Spreaders and Ministers of the Gospel. For as the great and wonderful things which were to be done for the evidencing the truth of the Gospel, were abundantly sufficient to procure Attention to it, without any help from the Magistrate;[95] so they were much more admirable and convincing, as done by the hands of such mean persons, than they would have been, if they had been done by Princes or Magistrates. To which I may add, that the Conversion of the World to Christianity, without the help, and notwithstanding the utmost resistance of the Civil Powers, was to be the great Evidence, to all succeeding Ages, of a divine Power accompanying the Gospel, and furthering the progress of it: Which Evidence would have been wanting, if God had from the beginning used the service of the Magistrate in propagating his Gospel.

You demand further, What if God, foreseeing this Force would be in the hands of men as passionate,[96] as humoursome, as liable to Prejudice and Error as the rest of their Brethren, did not think it a proper Means to bring men into the Right Way? But if there be any thing of an Argument in this, it proves that there ought to be no Civil Government in the World; and so proving too much, proves nothing at all.[97] The Scripture tells us, that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. And yet God has put the Sword into the Magistrate’s hand, though he may be as passionate, as humoursome, &c. as the rest of his Brethren. So that, unless you would have no Government, or Discipline in the World, you must acknowledge, that how passionate or humoursome soever, or how liable soever to Prejudice and Error God foresaw Magistrates would be, there is not the least colour to inferr from thence, that he did not think moderate Penalties, used to bring men into the Right Way, a proper Means to bring them into it.

Lastly you demand, What if there be other Means? And then you add, Then yours ceases to be necessary, upon the account that there is no means left. For you your self allow that the Grace of God is another Means. And I suppose you will not deny it to be both a proper and sufficient Means; and which is more, the onely Means; such Means as can work by itself, and without which all the Force in the World can do nothing. To which I answer: Though the Grace of God be another Means, and I thought fit to mention it, to prevent Cavils; yet it is none of the Means of which I was speaking in the place you referr to;[98] which any one who reads that Paragraph, will find to be onely Humane Means. And therefore though the Grace of God be both a proper and sufficient Means, and such as can work by it self, and without which neither Penalties, nor any other Means can do any thing; yet it may be true however, that when Admonitions and Intreaties fail, there is no Humane Means left, but Penalties, to bring prejudiced Persons to hear and consider what may convince them of their Errors, and discover the Truth to them. And then Penalties will be necessary in respect to that end, as an Humane Means.

What you intend by saying that the Grace of God is the onely Means, I do not well understand. If you mean onely that it is the principal and most necessary Means, and that without which all other Means are vain and ineffectual; I grant it is so. Or if you mean that it is the onely necessary Means, as being able to do its work without any help of other Means; This I have already granted. But if by calling it the onely Means, you intend to say that it does either always, or ordinarily exclude all other Means; I see no ground you have to say it.

Yes, say you: God alone can open the Ear that it may hear, and open the Heart that it may understand. But, by your favour, this does not prove that he makes use of no Means in doing it. For whatever Means we may suppose him to make use of, it is he alone still that does it, though he does it by the Means he makes use of.

You add, And this he does (i.e. he opens the Ear that it may hear, and the Heart that it may understand) in his own good time, and to whom he is gratiously pleas’d, but not according to the Will and Phansy of Man, when he thinks fit, by Punishments, to compell his Brethren. By which I suppose you mean, that the Magistrate has no ground to hope that God will bless any Penalties that he may use, to bring men to hear and consider the Doctrine of Salvation: or (which is the same thing) that God does not (at least not ordinarily) afford his Grace and Assistance to them who are brought by such Penalties to hear and consider that Doctrine, to enable them to hear and consider it as they ought, i. e. so as to be moved heartily to embrace it. If this be your meaning; then to let you see that it is not true, I shall onely desire you to tell me, whether they that are so brought to hear and consider, are bound to believe the Gospel, or not? If you say they are; (and I suppose you dare not say otherwise;) then it evidently follows that God does afford them that Grace which is requisite to enable them to believe the Gospel: Because without that Grace, it is impossible for them to believe it; and they cannot be bound to believe what it is impossible for them to believe.

You go on: If God has pronounced against any Person or People, what he did against the Iews (Isai. 6.10.) Make the heart of this People fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and convert, and be heal’d; Will all the Force you can use, be a means to make them hear and understand and be converted? No, Sir; it will not. But what then? What if God declares that he will not heal those, who have long resisted all his ordinary Methods, and made themselves, morally speaking, incurable by them?[99] (Which is the utmost you can make of the words you quote.) Will it follow from thence, that no good can be done by Penalties upon others, who are not so far gone in Wickedness and Obstinacy? If it will not; as it is evident it will not; to what purpose is this said?

In the next place you attempt to return my Argument.[100] And that you may do it the more successfully, you represent it (as you commonly do) in such a manner, as if I allow’d any Magistrate, of what Religion soever, to lay Penalties upon all that dissent from him:[101] Whereas in my own words it stands thus:

When men fly from the means of a right Information, and will not so much as consider how reasonable it is, throughly and impartially to examine a Religion which they embraced upon such Inducements as ought to have no sway at all in the matter, and therefore with little or no examination of the proper Grounds of it: What humane Method can be used, to bring them to act like Men, in an affair of such consequence, and to make a wiser and more rational choice, but that of laying such Penalties upon them, as may balance the weight of those Prejudices which enclined them to preferr a False Way before the True, &c?

 

Now this Argument you pretend to retort in this manner: And I say, I see no other means left (taking the World as we now find it, wherein the Magistrate never lays Penalties, for Matters of Religion, upon those of his own Church, nor is it to be expected they ever should) to make men of the National Church, any where, throughly and impartially examine a Religion which they embraced upon such Inducements as ought to have no sway at all in the matter, and therefore with little or no examination of the proper Grounds of it. And therefore I conclude the use of Force by Dissenters upon Conformists necessary. And then you add, I appeal to all the World, whether this be not as just and natural a Conclusion as yours. And I am well content the World should judge. And when it determines, that there is the same reason to say, That to bring those who conform to the National Church, to examine their Religion, it is necessary for Dissenters (who cannot possibly have the Coactive Power, because the National Church has that on its side, and cannot be National without it) to use Force upon Conformists; As there is to say, That where the National Church is the true Church, there to bring Dissenters (as you call them) to examine their Religion, it is necessary for the Magistrate (who has the Coactive Power) to lay moderate Penalties upon them for dissenting: I say, when the World determines thus, I will never pretend any more to judge what is reasonable, in any case whatsoever. For I doubt not but I may safely presume that the World will easily admit these two things. 1. That though it be very fit and desireable, that all that are of the true Religion, should understand the true Grounds of it; that so they may be the better able both to defend themselves against the assaults of Seducers, and to reduce such as are out of the Way: yet this is not strictly necessary to their Salvation: because Experience shews (as far as men are capable to judge of such matters) that many do heartily believe and profess the true Religion, and conscientiously practice the Duties of it, who yet do not understand the true Grounds upon which it challenges their belief: And no man doubts but whoever does so believe, profess, and practice the true Religion, if he perseveres to the end, shall certainly attain Salvation by it. 2. That how much soever it concerns those who reject the true Religion (whom you may call Dissenters, if you please) to examine and consider why they do so; and how needful soever Penalties may be to bring them to this: it is, however, utterly unreasonable that such as have not the Coactive Power, should take upon them to inflict Penalties for that purpose: Because, as that is not consistent with Order and Government; which cannot stand, where private persons are permitted to usurp the Coactive Power: So there is nothing more manifest, than that the prejudice which is done to Religion, and to the interest of men’s Souls, by destroying Government, does infinitely outweigh any good that can possibly be done by that which destroys it. And whoever admits and considers these things, I am very secure he will be far enough from admitting, that there is any Parity of Reason in the Cases we here speak of, or that yours is as just and natural a Conclusion as mine.

What follows here, has been sufficiently consider’d already. You say,[102] Faith is the Gift of God. And I say, This Gift comes, ordinarily at least, by hearing. And if the Magistrate be both warranted and obliged to use convenient Penalties to bring his Subjects to hear the Gospel; as I think I have shewn that he is; then, in doing so, he cannot be said to use any other means to procure this Gift to any one, than what God himself has prescribed.

If, say you, all the means God has appointed, to make men hear and consider, be Exhortation in season and out of season, &c. together with Prayer for them, and the Example of Meekness and a good Life; this is all ought to be done, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. But if these be not all the Means God has appointed; then these things are not all that ought to be done. As to the first Spreaders of the Gospel, it has already been shewn that God appointed other Means, besides these, for them to use, to induce men to hear and consider. And though when those extraordinary Means ceased, these Means which you mention, were the onely Means left to the Ministers of the Gospel; yet that is no proof that the Magistrate, when he became Christian, could not lawfully use such Means as his Station enabled him to use, when they became needful.

By what Means the Gospel at first made it self to be heard,[103] &c. without the Assistance of any such Force of the Magistrate, as I now think needful, we have seen already. But whatever Neglect or Aversion there is in any, impartially and throughly to instruct the People, I wish it amended, and that the most effectual course may be taken for the amending it, as much as you can do. But I do not see how pertinent your Discourse about this matter is, to the present Question. For when you have made the best provision you can for the Instruction of the People, I fear a great part of them will still need some moderate Penalties, to bring them to hear and receive Instruction.

But this new Method of mine,[104]  viz. the useing Force, not instead of Reason and Arguments, but onely to bring men to consider those Reasons and Arguments which are proper and sufficient to convince them, but which, without being forced, they would not consider; Which I say,[105] no body can deny but that indirectly and at a distance, it does some service towards the bringing men to embrace the Truth: This new Method of mine, ( as you will needs call it, though it be at least as old as St. Austin) you tell me,[106] was never yet thought on by the most refined Persecutors. Which may be very true, for any thing I know: Though I think it hath been both thought on, and made use of too, by all those Magistrates, who having made all requisite provision for the instructing their People in the Truth, have likewise required them, under convenient Penalties, to embrace it.

But you say however, It is not altogether unlike the Plea made use of to excuse the late barbarous Usage of the Protestants in France (designed to extirpate the Reform’d Religion there) from being a Persecution for Religion. For it seems, the French King requires all his Subjects to come to Mass. Which they cannot lawfully do, nor he lawfully require them to do. But you go on: Those who do not come to Mass, are punish’d with a witness. For what? Not for their Religion, say the Pleaders for that Discipline, but for disobeying the King’s Laws. Whether those Pleaders plead in this manner, or not, I know not. But if they do, I am sure their Plea is ridiculous, and carries nothing at all of an Excuse in it. For if true Religion, which is God’s Law, forbids men to go to Mass; then those Laws can be no Laws, which require men to go to Mass: unless Man can make Laws against God’s Laws. And if those Laws be no Laws, then ’tis grosly improper to talk of disobeying them. For where there is no Law, there can be no. Transgression, or Disobedience. Nor can any Act of Obedience to God (as all Acts which true Religion requires, are) be an Act of Disobedience to any body. Now if those Laws by which the French King requires his Subjects to come to Mass, be no Laws: and consequently their refusing to come, be not a disobeying his Laws:: ’tis evident there is nothing left for which the Refusers can be said to be punish’d, but onely their Religion, which requires them to refuse.

But let us see the likeness of my new Method to this Plea. So, say you, by your Rule, the Dissenters (from the true Religion, for I speak of no other) must be punish’d (or, if you please, subjected to moderate Penalties, such as shall make them uneasy, but neither destroy, nor undo them.) For what? Not for their Religion, say you, (So you tell me, Sir. But where, I beseech you, do I say that Dissenters from the true Religion, are not to be punish’d for their Religion?) not for following the Light of their own Reason, not for obeying the Dictates of their own Consciences. No, Sir: but rather for the contrary. For the Light of their own Reason, and the Dictates of their own Consciences (if their Reason and Consciences were not perverted and abused) would undoubtedly lead them to the same thing, to which the Method we speak of, is designed to bring them. You proceed: For what then are they to be punish’d? To make them, say you, examine the Religion they have embraced, and the Religion they have rejected. Right, Sir: That is indeed the next End for which they are to be punish’d. But what is that to your Question? which, if it be pertinent, demands for what Fault, not for what End, they are to be punish’d: As appears even by your next words; So that they are punish’d, not for having offended against a Law; (i. e. not for any Fault:) For there is no Law of the Land that requires them to examine.

It seems then the Likeness of the two Pleas lies in this: The Pleaders for the French Discipline say that those who refuse to go to Mass, are not punish’d for their Religion, but for disobeying the King’s Laws. And you make me say, that Dissenters are to be punish’d not for having offended against a Law. And were there ever any Twinns more like than these two Pleas are?

But as if you had forgotten the Likeness you talk’d of, you conclude with these words; And which now is the fairer Plea, pray judge. So that the thing I am to judge of at last, is not, how like these Pleas are to each other; but which is the fairer Plea of them.

Now I confess, as you have made my Plea for me, I think there is no considerable difference as to the Fairness of them, excepting what arises from the different Degrees of Punishment in the French Discipline, and my Method. But if the French Plea be not true; and that which you make to be mine, be not mine: To what purpose is it to enquire, which is the fairer of them? The truth of the matter is this: The French Discipline Dragoons men, and many (as you say) out of their lives,[107] for not coming to Mass (which is no Fault,) to make them come to Mass (which they cannot do without sin.) And my Method punishes men with Punishments which do not deserve to be call’d so, when compared with those of the French Discipline, for rejecting the true Religion, proposed to them with sufficient Evidence (which certainly is a Fault,) to bring them to consider and examine the Evidence with which it is proposed, that so they may embrace it, (which is both lawful for them, and their duty to do.) And which of these Methods or Pleas is the fairer, let all the World judge.

Whereas you say here, that there is no Law of the Land that requires men to examine, I think the contrary is plain enough. For where the Laws provide sufficient means of Instruction in the true Religion, and then require all men to embrace that Religion; I think the most natural Construction of those Laws is, that they require men to embrace it upon Instruction and Conviction; as it cannot be expected they should do, without examining the Grounds upon which it stands.

How pertinent the Declamation is, which makes up the rest of this Paragraph, appears sufficiently by what has been said, and will appear yet further, before I take leave of you.

[108]But that this new sort of Discipline may, as you pretend, have all fair play, you come now to enquire at large into several Particulars relating to it: As namely, Who it is I would have to be punish’d: For what I would have them punish’d: With what sort of Penalties, what degree of Punishment they should be forced: And how long they are to be punish’d. And here, upon all these Heads, you discover, as you imagine, such Difficulties and Inconsistencies, as are enough to spoil any Discipline in the World, and render it just good for nothing. But I hope I have not follow’d you thus close hitherto to no purpose, but am apt to think that I have already abundantly laid open the Mistakes and Cavils upon which those Imaginations are grounded. And therefore having, as I suppose, sufficiently prepared my way, I shall, without more adoe, address my self to manifest the Consistency and Practicableness of my new Method (as you will have it) in the way you your self prescibe me, viz.[109] by telling the World plainly and directly,

  • 1. Who are to be punish’d.
  • 2. For what.
  • 3. With what Punishments.
  • 4. How long.
  • 5. What Advantage to true Religion it would be, if Magistrates every where did so punish.
  • 6. And lastly, Whence the Magistrate had Commission to do so.

Which when I have done, and by settling these Points have framed the parts of my new Engine, set it together, and shew’d that it will work, without doing more harm than good in the World, you tell me you think then men may be content to submit to it. Onely before I do this, I crave leave to take some notice of one of the Conditions you are pleas’d to lay upon me. For you require me to do it, not onely plainly and intelligibly, without keeping in the uncertainty of general expressions (which is reasonable enough,[110]) but likewise without supposing all along my Church in the right, and my Religion the true.

Now, as to this latter Condition, I confess I do not see how you can oblige me to it. For if my Church be in the right; and my Religion be the true; why may I not all along suppose it to be so?

You say this can no more be allow’d to me in this case, whatever my Church or Religion be, than it can be to a Papist or a Lutheran, a Presbyterian or an Anabaptist; nay no more to me, than it can be allow’d to a Iew or a Mahometan. No, Sir? Not whatever my Church, or Religion be? That seems somewhat hard. And methinks you might have given us some Reason for what you say: For certainly it is not so self-evident as to need no proof. But I think it is no hard matter to guess at your Reason, though you did not think fit expressly to own it. For ’tis obvious enough that there can be no other Reason for this Assertion of yours, but either the equal Truth, or at least the equal Certainty (or Uncertainty) of all Religions. For whoever considers your Assertion, must see, that to make it good, you will be obliged to maintain one of these two things: Either 1. That no Religion is the true Religion, in opposition to other Religions: Which makes all Religions true, or all false, and so either way indifferent. Or, 2. That though some one Religion be the true Religion; yet no man can have any more reason, than another man of another Religion may have, to believe his to be the true Religion. Which makes all Religions equally certain (or uncertain; whether you please) and so renders it vain and idle to enquire after the true Religion, and onely a piece of good luck if any man be of it, and such good luck as he can never know that he has, till he come into the other World. Whether of these two Principles you will own, I know not. But certainly one or the other of them lies at the bottom with you, and is the lurking Supposition upon which you build all that you say.

But as unreasonable as this Condition is, I see no need I have to decline it, nor any occasion you had to impose it upon me. For certainly the making what you call my new Method, consistent and practicable, does no way oblige me to suppose all along my Religion is the true, as you imagine. No, Sir; ’tis enough for that purpose, to suppose that there is one true Religion, and but one; and that that Religion may be known by those who profess it, to be the onely true Religion; and may also be manifested to be such, by them to others, so far at least as to oblige them to receive it, and to leave them without excuse if they do not. Indeed if either of the two Principles but now mention’d, be true, i. e. if all Religions be equally true, and so indifferent; or all be equally certain (or uncertain:) then without more adoe, the Cause is yours. For then, ’tis plain, there can be no reason why any man, in respect to his Salvation, should change his Religion: and so there can be no room for using any manner of Force, to bring men to consider what may reasonably move them to change. But if, on the contrary, there be one true Religion, and no more; and that may be known to be the onely true Religion by those who are of it; and may by them be manifested to others, in such sort as has been said: then ’tis altogether as plain, that it may be very reasonable and necessary for some men to change their Religion; and that it may be made appear to them to be so. And then if such men will not consider what is offer’d, to convince them of the Reasonableness and Necessity of doing it; it may be very fit and reasonable, for any thing you have said to the contrary, in order to the bringing them to Consideration, to require them under convenient Penalties, to forsake their false Religions, and to embrace the true. Now as these things are all that I need to suppose; so I shall take leave to suppose them, till you shew good reason why I should not.

And now I come to give an account of the Particulars mention’d. Which I think may be done in a very few words so plainly and intelligibly, upon these Supposals as to enable any Reader to see, without any more help, to how little purpose you multiply words about these matters. Here therefore I am to tell the World,

  1. Who are to be punish’d. And those, according to the whole tenor of my Answer, are no other but such, as having sufficient Evidence tender’d them of the true Religion, do yet reject it; whether utterly refusing to consider that Evidence, or no• considering it as they ought, viz. with such care and diligence as the matter deserves and requires, and with honest and unbiass’d minds. And what difficulty there is in this, I cannot imagine. For there is nothing more evident, than that those who do so reject the true Religion, are culpable, and deserve to be punish’d. And it is easy enough to know when men do so reject the true Religion. For that requires no more than that we know that that Religion was tender’d to them with sufficient Evidence of the truth of it. And that it may be tender’d to men with such Evidence; and that it may be known when it is so tender’d; these things, you know, I take leave here to suppose. Now if the persons I describe, do really deserve to be punish’d; and may be known to be such as I describe them; then as they deserve to be punish’d; so they may be punish’d. Which is all that needs be said upon this Head, to shew the Consistency and Practicableness of this Method. And what do you any where say against this?
  2. For what. By which I perceive you mean two things. For sometimes you speak of the Fault, and sometimes of the End for which men are to be punish’d. (And sometimes you plainly confound them.) Now if it be enquired, For what Fault men are to be punish’d: I answer, For rejecting the true Religion, after sufficient Evidence tender’d them of the truth of it: Which certainly is a Fault, and deserves Punishment. But if you enquire for what End such as do so reject the true Religion, are to be punish’d: I say, To bring them to embrace the true Religion; and in order to that, to bring them to consider, and that carefully and impartially, the Evidence which is offer’d, to convince them of the truth of it: Which are undeniably just and excellent Ends; and which, through God’s blessing, have often been procured, and may yet be procured by convenient Penalties, inflicted for that purpose. Nor do I know of any thing you say against any part of this, which is not already answer’d.
  3. With what Punishments. Now here having in my Answer declared,[111] that I take the Severities so often mention’d, (which either destroy men, or make them miserable) to be utterly unapt and improper (for Reasons there given) to bring men to embrace the Truth which must save them; I do not presume to determine (nor have you shewn any cause why I should) just how far, within those bounds, that Force extends it self, which is really serviceable to that end; but content my self to say,

That so much Force, or such Penalties as are ordinarily sufficient to prevail with men of common Discretion, and not desperately perverse and obstinate to weigh matters of Religion carefully and impartially; and without which ordinarily they will not do this; so much Force, or such Penalties may fitly and reasonably be used for the promoting true Religion in the World, and the Salvation of Souls. And what just exception this is liable to, I do not understand.

For when I speak of men of common Discretion, and not desperately perverse and obstinate, I think ’tis plain enough, that by common Discretion I exclude not Idiotes onely,[112] and such as we usually call Mad-men, but likewise the desperately perverse and obstinate, who perhaps may well enough deserve that name, though they be not wont to be sent to Bedlam.

And if the Penalties I speak of, be intended for the curing men’s unreasonable Prejudices and Refractariness against the true Religion; then the reason why the desperately perverse and obstinate are not to be regarded in measuring these Penalties,[113] is very apparent. For as Remedies are not provided for the incurable, so in the preparing and tempering them, regard is to be had onely to those for whom they are designed.

Perhaps it may be needful here (to prevent a little Cavil) to note, that there are degrees of Perversness and Obstinacy and that men may be perverse and obstinate, without being desperately so: And that therefore some perverse and obstinate persons may be thought curable, though such as are desperately so cannot. (As there are likewise degrees of Carelessness in men of their Salvation, as well as of Concern for it: So that such as have some Concern for their Salvation, may yet be careless of it to a great degree. And therefore if those who have any Concern for their Salvation, deserve regard and pity; then so may some carless persons, though those who have no Concern for their Salvation, deserve not to be consider’d. Which spoils a little Harangue you give us,[114] Pag.43.)

And as those Medicines are thought safe and advisable, which do ordinarily cure, though not always (as none do:) So those Penalties, or Punishments, which are ordinarily found sufficient (as well as necessary) for the ends for which they are designed, may fitly and reasonably be used for the compassing those ends.

Now I do not see what more can be required to justify the Rule here given.[115] For if you demand that it should express what Penalties, particularly, are such as it says may fitly and reasonably be used: this, you must give me leave to tell you, is a very unreasonable Demand. For what Rule is there that expresses the Particulars which agree with it? A Rule is intended for a common Measure, by which Particulars are to be examined; and therefore must necessarily be general. And those to whom it is given, are supposed to be able to apply it, and to judge of Particulars by it. Nay it is often seen, that they are better able to do this, than those who give it. And so it is in the present case: The Rule here laid down, is that by which I suppose Governers and Lawgivers ought to examine the Penalties they use, for the promoting the true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls. But certainly no man doubts but their Prudence and Experience enables them to use and apply it better than other men; and to judge more exactly what Penalties do agree with it, and what do not. And therefore I think you must excuse me, if I do not take upon me to teach them, what it becomes me rather to learn from them.

[116]4. How long they are to be punish’d. And of this the account is very easy. For certainly nothing is more reasonable, than that men should be subject to punishment as long as they continue to offend. And as long as men reject the true Religion, tender’d them with sufficient Evidence of the Truth of it, so long, ’tis certain, they offend: Because it is impossible for any man, innocently to reject the true Religion, so tender’d to him. For whoever rejects that Religion so tender’d, does either apprehend and perceive the Truth of it, or he does not. If he does; I know not what greater Crime any man can be guilty of. If he does not perceive the Truth of it; there is no account to be given of that, but either that 〈◊〉 shuts his eyes against the Evidence which is offer’d him, and will not at all consider it; or that he does not consider it as he ought, viz. with such care as is requisite, and with a sincere desire to learn the Truth: Either of which does manifestly involve him in guilt.

To say here that a man who has the true Religion proposed to him with sufficient Evidence of its Truth, may consider it as he ought, or do his utmost in considering, and yet not perceive the Truth of it; is neither more nor less, than to say, that sufficient Evidence is not sufficient Evidence. For what does any man mean by sufficient Evidence, but such as will certainly win assent, whereever it is duly consider’d?

‘Tis plain enough therefore, that as long as men reject the true Religion duly proposed to them, so long they offend, and deserve Punishment: And therefore it is but just, that so long they should be left liable to it.

But because my Designe does rather oblige me to consider how long men may need Punishment, than how long it may be just to punish them; therefore I shall add, That as long as men refuse to embrace the true Religion, so long Penalties are necessary for them, to dispose them to consider and embrace it: And that therefore, as Justice allows, so Charity requires that they be kept subject to Penalties, till they embrace the true Religion.

Thus far you proceed in your Enquiry. But you demand that I should also tell the World,

  1. What Advantage to true Religion it would be, if Magistrates every where did so punish. Where by the Magistrates so punishing, if you speak to the purpose, you must mean their punishing men for rejecting the true Religion (so tender’d to them as has been said) in order to the bringing them to consider, and embrace it. Now before we can suppose Magistrates every where so to punish, we must suppose the true Religion to be every where the National Religion. And if this were the case; I think it is evident enough, what Advantage to true Religion it would be, if Magistrates every where did so punish. For then we might reasonably hope that all false Religions would soon vanish, and the True become once more the onely Religion in the World: Whereas if Magistrates should not so punish; it were much to be fear’d (especially considering what has already happen’d) that on the contrary, false Religions, and Atheism, as more agreeable to the Soil, would dayly take deeper root, and propagate themselves, till there were no room left for the true Religion (which is but a foreign Plant) in any corner of the World.
  2. And lastly, Whence the Magistrate had Commission to do so. But of this I have spoken already, and need not here repeat what has been said, to shew, that the Magistrate receives his Commission so to punish as has been express’d, from God, whose Minister he is.

Thus in answer to your demand, I have given a plain account of the Particulars you mention. And I shall now leave the World to judge, whether what you call a new sort of Discipline, and my new Method,[117] be an impracticable Chimaera, as you are pleas’d to say it is.

[118]And now, having seen and examined, as you say, the main of my Treatise, you tell me you think you might here end without going any farther. And so, Sir, I think you might, for any thing you have said against the rest of it. But that I may not think my self, or any of my Arguments neglected, you promise to go over the remainder. And so there is no help for it, but I must wait upon you.

[119]But you must excuse me, if I do not here prove over again, that what I make to be the Author’s Fourth Proposition, is really his Proposition, and that his last Proposition is wholly built upon that.

[120]You say the business of my next Paragraph is to prove, That if Force be useful, then somebody must certainly have a right to use it: And that the first Argument I go about to prove it by, is this, That Usefulness is as good an Argument to prove there is somewhere a right to use it, as Uselessness is to prove no body has such a right: Whereas neither is that my Proposition, nor this my Argument. For my words are these:[121]

If there be so great Use and Necessity of outward Force (duly temper’d and applied) for the promoting true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls, as I have endeavour’d to shew there is: this is as good an Argument to prove that there is somewhere a right to use such Force for that purpose, as the utter Uselessness of Force (if that could be made out) would be, to prove that no body has any such right.

 

Where every one sees that I do not inferr a right to use Force from the Usefulness of it barely (as you make me,) but from the Necessity, as well as Usefulness of it. For though the utter Uselessness of Force (if it could be made out) would, as I here acknowledge, be a good Argument to prove that no body has any right to use it; yet I never thought that the bare Usefulness of it was sufficient to prove that there is a right somewhere to use it. But if Force be both useful and necessary; that, I think, is a good proof of it: And that is the thing I insist upon.

You might therefore have spared the pains you have taken to prove that Usefulness of Punishment cannot give a Commission to punish;[122] or that useful Punishment from every hand is not lawful: For I never asserted the contrary. But because some perhaps may think that there is more in the Instance you here make use of, than what you intend to prove by it; it may not be amiss briefly to shew there is not.

That Instance is this: You say a man may have the Stone, and it may be useful (more than indirectly and at a distance useful) to him to be cut; but yet this usefulness will not justify the most skilful Chirurgeon in the world, by Force to make him endure the pain and hazard of Cutting; because he has no commission, no right, without the Patient’s own consent to do so. Nor is it a good Argument, Cutting will be useful to him; therefore there is a right somewhere to cut him, whether he will or no. Now that this Instance does not come up to the Point in question between us, is very evident. For 1. It is to be consider’d, That the Stone does not always kill, though it be not cured; but men do often live to a great age with it, and die at last of other Distempers. But Aversion to the true Religion is certainly and inevitably mortal to the Soul, if not cured; and so of absolute necessity to be cured. And yet if we should suppose the Stone as certainly destructive of this temporal life, as that Aversion is of men’s eternal Salvation: even so, the necessity of curing it would be as much less, than the necessity of curing that Aversion, as this temporal Life falls short in value of that which is eternal. And 2. It may be consider’d, That Cutting for the Stone is not always necessary, in order to the Cure: And that even where it is most so, it is withall hazardous by your own confession, and may kill, as well as cure, and that without any fault of the Patient. But the Penalties I speak of, as they are altogether necessary (without extraordinary Grace) to cure that pernicious, and otherwise untractable Aversion; so they can no way endanger or hurt the Soul, but by the fault of him that undergoes them. And if these things be true; if there be no such Necessity that persons troubled with the Stone should be cured of it, as there is, that such as are possess’d with an Aversion to the true Religion should be cured of that Aversion; And if Cutting for the Stone, be neither so necessary, nor yet so safe a Means of curing, as moderate Penalties are in the other case: Then how reasonable soever you may suppose it, that it should be left to the Patient’s choice, whether he shall be cut or not; and how true soever it may be, that the most skilful Chirurgeon in the world has no Commission, no right, without the Patient’s own consent, by Force to make him endure the pain and hazard of Cutting; The Magistrate may nevertheless have a right to use Penalties to cure men of their Aversion to the true Religion: For ’tis plain enough, these things may very well stand together.

This may suffice to shew, how short this Instance falls of the Case before us. However I shall add, That though, as things now stand, no Chirurgeon has any right to cut his Calculous Patient, without his consent; yet if the Magistrate should by a Publick Law appoint and authorize a competent number of the most skilful in that Art, to visit such as labour under that Disease, and to cut those (whether they consent or not) whose Lives they unanimously judge it impossible to save otherwise: I am apt to think you would find it hard to prove, that in so doing he exceeded the bounds of his Power: And I am sure it would be as hard to prove, that those Artists would have no right, in that case, to cut such Persons.

Whereas you say in this Paragraph, that to justify Punishment, it is requisite that it be directly useful for the procuring some greater good, than that which it takes away; I wish you had told us why it must needs be directly useful for that purpose: or why Penalties are not as directly useful for the bringing men to the true Religion, as the rod of correction is to drive foolishness from a Child,[123] or to work wisdom in him.

[124]Why Force was not necessary for the first 300 years after Christ, has already been shewn. And whoever considers the account which has been given of that matter, will easily see, that unless that which made Force needless then; does still continue; it may be necessary now, though it was not then.

But here you think you put me a very confounding Question. If,[125] say you, your supposed Usefulness (and Necessity, you should have added) places a right somewhere to use it, pray tell me in whose hands it places it in Turky, Persia, or China, or any Country where Christians of different Churches live under a Heathen or Mahometan Sovereign? But, Sir, I answer roundly and plainly, In the hands of the Sovereign. What? (will you say) a right in Mahometan or Pagan Princes hands to use Force upon Christians, for fear (as you speak) lest mankind, in those Countries, should be unfurnish’d with means for the promoting God’s honour and the good of Souls? No, Sir: but a right to use convenient Penalties for the promoting the true Religion; which I think is the promoting God’s honour and the good of Souls.

If this startle you; then I must tell you further, that I look upon the Supreme Power to be the same all the World over, in what hands soever it is placed: And I take this Right to be contain’d in it. And if those that have it, do not use it as they ought, but instead of promoting true Religion by proper Penalties, set themselves to enforce Mahometanism, or Paganism, or any other false Religion: all that can, or that needs be said to that matter is, that God will one day call them to an account for their neglect of their Duty, for the Dishonour they do to him, and for the Souls that perish by their fault.

You say,[126] The Author having endeavour’d to shew that no body at all, of any rank or condition, had a power to punish, torment, or use any man ill, for matters of Religion; you tell us you do not yet understand why Clergy-men are not as capable of such Power as other men. Which is said with the same Ingenuity which you have used in other places.[127] For whoever will but consult the place, must see that the Power I speak of, is externally coactive Power, in general, and not a Power to punish, torment, or use men ill, for matters of Religion, as you make it to be. And whether the Author did, or did not give me any occasion, in a short Parenthesis to declare my dissent from those who think Clergy-men incapable of externally coactive Power, I think the fortune of Europe does not depend upon it. But it seems you wanted an occasion to shew your good will towards the Clergy, and so you made your self one.

Your next Paragraph is so gross and palpable a Mistake at least,[128] that I can hardly think fit to spend any words about it. In short thus it is . Page 18. of my Answer I have these words:

That Commonwealths are instituted for these ends (viz. for the procuring, preserving and advancing men’s Civil Interests) no man will deny. But if there be any other ends besides these, attainable by Civil Society and Government; there is no reason to affirm that these are the onely Ends for which they are designed. Doubtless Commonwealths are instituted for the attaining of all the Benefits which Political Government can yield. And therefore if the Spiritual and Eternal Interests of men may any way be procured or advanced by Political Government; the procuring and advancing those Interests must in all reason be reckon’d among the Ends of Civil Societies, and so, consequently, fall within the compass of the Magistrate’s Jurisdiction.

Where I think it is plain enough to any Reader, that by those words, Doubtless Commonwealths are instituted for the attaining of all the Benefits which Political Government can yield, I design to prove, not that there be other Ends attainable &c. but that if there be, there is then no reason to affirm that the procuring, preserving and advancing men’s Civil Interests are the onely Ends for which Commonwealths are designed. And yet you say here, How do you prove there be other Ends? Why thus. Doubtless Commonwealths are instituted for the attaining all the Benefits which Political Government can yield. And least the Reader should not take sufficient notice of it, you repeat it again: The Question is, say you, Whether Civil Society be instituted onely for Civil Ends? You say, No; and your proof is, Because, Doubtless it is instituted for other Ends. Now, Sir, I will not say, Doubtless, when you wrote this, you were conscious that you misrepresented my Argument; (though it be very hard to think you were not:) But all the World will allow me to say, Doubtless, if you were conscious, you did what no Fair-dealer would have done.

[129]Though it be very true, that the Author offers three Considerations to prove that the Civil Power neither can nor ought in any manner to be extended to the Salvation of Souls; yet it may be true also, that he does but beg the Question, when he affirms that the Commonwealth is constituted only for the procuring, preserving and advancing the Civil Interests of the Members of it. For certainly this Affirmation, and that which he goes about to prove by those Considerations, are not the same thing.

[130]But you say the Author does not beg the Question. For that being, Whether Civil Interest be the onely End of Civil Society, he gives this reason for the Negative; That Civil Power has nothing to do with the Salvation of Souls. But, in my opinion, you would have come nearer the truth, if you had said (just the reverse) that the Question being, Whether Civil Power has any thing to do with the Salvation of Souls, the Author gives this Reason for the Negative, That Civil Interest is the onely End of Civil Society. For the very truth of the matter is this. The Question being, Whether the Magistrate has any right to use any kind of Force or Penalties, to bring men to the true Religion, the Author holds the Negative, and in order to the proving it,[131] advances this Principle, That the Commonwealth is constituted onely for the procuring, preserving, and advancing men’s Civil Interests; or, as you express it, That Civil Interest is the onely End of Civil Society.[132] Consequently to which he affirms, That Civil Power has nothing to do with the Salvation of Souls; and thence inferrs the Point he undertook to prove, viz. That the Magistrate has no right to use any kind of Force or Penalties, to bring men to the true Religion, in order to the Salvation of their Souls. Now this I acknowledge to be a very good way of proving the Conclusion, if that Principle be true: But that I think no man is bound to grant: and I suppose I have shewn sufficient reason why I think so. And therefore because our Author assumes that Principle, without proving it, I said, and do now again say, that he does but beg the Question. ‘Tis true, he offers three Considerations afterwards, to prove the same thing which he designed to support by that Principle. But what is that to the business? Will it follow from thence, that he does not beg the Question, when he takes that for a Principle, which his Adversaries are as far from granting, as they are from granting the Conclusion he intends to establish by it? This you will never be able to shew.

And now,[133] say you, let us examine the truth of your main Position, viz. That Civil Society is instituted for the attaining all the Benefits that it may any way yield. But what if this which you call my main Position, be no Position at all of mine? That which I say, is,

That Commonwealths,[134] or Civil Societies are instituted for the attaining of all the Benefits which Political Government can yield, or for all the Ends which are attainable by Civil Society and Government:[135] (not, by the Civil Society, as you make it, where you pretend to set down my words.)

 

Now I suppose there is some difference between Civil Society, and a Civil Society or Commonwealth. A Civil Society all men understand to be a Collection or Multitude of Men living together under the same Political Laws and Government. But Civil Society is nothing else but men’s living so together: That is, it is not a Civil Society, but that which makes a Collection of men a Civil Society.

Neither do I say, That Commonwealths, or Civil Societies are instituted for the attaining of all the Benefits they can yield, (as you insinuate;) which is very improper: For Civil Societies do onely attain and enjoy the Benefits, which Civil Society or Government yields. And accordingly I say they are instituted for the attaining of all the Benefits which Civil Society, or Political Government can yield.

And this I took to be so plain a Truth, that I thought it no great boldness to usher it in with a Doubtless. And I confess I am still so much of the same mind, that I can hardly believe that any man, who has not a very urgent occasion, will make any question of it. For if what has hitherto been universally acknowledged, be true, viz. That no Power is given in vain, but to be used upon occasion; I think a very little Logick may serve a man to draw this Conclusion from it, That all Societies are instituted for the attaining all the good, or all the benefits they are enabled to attain: Because if you except any of those benefits, you will be obliged to admit, that the Power of attaining them was given in vain. Nor will it follow from hence, that all Societies are instituted for one and the same End (as you imagine it will,) unless you suppose all Societies enabled, by the Powers they are endued with, to attain the same End: which I believe no man hitherto did ever affirm. And therefore, notwithstanding this Position, there may be still as great a difference as you please, between Church and State; a Commonwealth and an Army; or between a Family and the East-India Company. Which several Societies, as they are instituted for different Ends, so are they likewise furnish’d with different Powers, proportionate to their respective Ends.

[136]To your next Paragraph, after what has already been said, I think it may suffice to say as follows. Though perhaps the Peripatetick Philosophy may not be true; (and perhaps it is no great matter, if it be not:) yet the true Religion is undoubtedly true. And though perhaps a great many have not time, nor Parts to study that Philosophy; (and perhaps it may be no great matter neither, if they have not:) yet all that have the true Religion duly tender’d them, have time, and all, but Idiotes and Mad-men, have Parts likewise to study it, as much as it is necessary for them to study it. And though perhaps a great many who have studied that Philosophy, cannot be convinced of the truth of it; (which perhaps is no great wonder:) yet no man ever studied the true Religion with such care and diligence as he might and ought to use, and with an honest mind, but he was convinced of the truth of it. And that those who cannot otherwise be brought to do this, should be a little disturb’d and diseas’d to bring them to it, I take to be the Interest, not onely of those particular persons who by this means may be brought into the way of Salvation, but of the Commonwealth likewise, upon these two accounts. 1. Because the true Religion, which this Method propagates, makes good Men; and good Men are always the best Subjects, or Members of a Commonwealth; not onely as they do more sincerely and zealously promote the Publick Good, than other men; but likewise in regard of the favour of God, which they often procure to the Societies of which they are Members. And 2. Because this Care in any Commonwealth, of God’s Honour and Men’s Salvation, entitles it to his special protection and blessing. So that where this Method is used, it proves both a Spiritual and a Civil Benefit to the Commonwealth.

You say I speak very improperly,[137] or rather very mistakenly, if I call such Benefits as may any way (i. e. indirectly, and at a distance, or by Accident) be attain’d by Civil, or any other Society, the Ends for which it is instituted: Whereas indeed the Mistake lies on your side, (which I must now again put you in mind of) in thinking that by indirectly and at a distance, I mean by Accident, in your sense; which I no where gave you any occasion to think. And therefore I can easily admit, that nothing can in reason be reckon’d among the Ends of any Society, but what may in reason be supposed to be designed by those who enter into it. (Though I see no reason, why the Author or Institutor of any Society, especially of Civil Society, may not be supposed to design more than those usually do, who enter into it.) But what follows from this? Why, you say, No body can in reason suppose that any one enter’d into Civil Society for the procuring, securing, or advancing the Salvation of his Soul; when he, for that end, needed not the Force of Civil Society. So that it seems, the reason why the procuring, securing, or advancing the Salvation of Souls, must not be reckon’d among the Ends of Civil Societies, is, because there is no need of the Force of Civil Society for that End: The contrary whereof has, I suppose, already been sufficiently made good.

But whereas I say,[138] Doubtless Commonwealths are instituted for the attaining of all the Benefits which Political Government can yield;[139] and therefore &c.

Upon the same Grounds, say you, thus I reason. Doubtless Churches are instituted for the attaining of all the Benefits which Ecclesiastical Government can yield: And therefore if the Temporal and Secular Interests of Men may any way be procured, or advanced by Ecclesiastical Politie; the procuring and advancing those Interests must in all reason be reckon’d among the Ends of Religious Societies, and so consequently fall within the compass of Churchmen’s Iurisdiction. Well, Sir; I admit the Consequence, and do freely own the procuring and advancing the Temporal and Secular Interests of Men, to be one of the Ends (an inferiour, or secundary End) of Religious Societies, &c. And what do you conclude from thence? Why, The Church of Rome, you say, has openly made its advantage of Secular Interests to be procured or advanced, indirectly, and at a distance, and in ordine ad spiritualia; all which ways (if I mistake not English) are comprehended under your any way. But I do not remember that any of the Reformed Churches have hitherto directly profess’d it. But there is a time for all things. So that it seems, what the Church of Rome has openly made its advantage of, I am endeavouring to bring it in at a back-door, to the Reformed Churches: For that I take to be the thing you would insinuate by these words. But what is it, I beseech you, that the Church of Rome has openly made its advantage of? For I confess I do not understand what you mean by Secular Interests to be procured or advanced indirectly, and at a distance, and in ordine ad spiritualia. That some of the Bishops of Rome have made their advantage of a Power they claim’d, to dispose of all Secular matters as they thought fit, even to the deposing of Kings and Emperours, and the bestowing their Dominions on whomsoever they pleas’d; And that they claim’d this Power as belonging to them (at least as Bellarmine minces the matter) not directly and immediately (i. e. not for the procuring or advancing men’s Secular Interests) but onely indirectly and at a distance, viz. in ordine ad spiritualia; This is very notorious, and cannot be denied. But is there no difference between Temporal Power and Politie, and Ecclesiastical Politie or Government, consisting in the exercise of Spiritual Power onely? between Temporal Power, paramount to all the Power of the Kings of the Earth, and Ecclesiastical Politie, subject to be many ways limited and regulated by the Civil Power? between procuring or advancing Spiritual Interests by such an infinite Temporal Power and Secular Politie, and procuring and advancing men’s Temporal and Secular Interests by Ecclesiastical Politie or Government, onely as the Civil Power shall require, or allow? Had you told us truly and plainly, what it is that the Church of Rome has openly made its advantage of; these differences would have been visible to every eye: But then your designe had been spoil’d. But you tell us, there is a time for all things; and so I perceive there is: For otherwise we had never been troubled with such a spightful piece of Impertinence (not to say, Nonsense) as you have here given us.

What you urge from Eph. 4.[140] amounts to no more than a Negative Argument, and so deserves not to be consider’d. And to the rest of that Paragraph, I think enough has been said already.

You say:[141] Commonwealths, or Civil Societies and Governments, if you will believe the judicious Mr. Hooker, are as St. Peter calls them (1. Pet. 2.13.) […],  the contrivance and institution of man, &c. (‘Tis well for St. Peter, that he has the judicious Mr. Hooker on his side: For it seems, we should not otherwise have so much reason to believe him.) And in all Societies instituted by man, the Ends of them can be no other than what the Institutors appointed.But here you may consider, that as St. Peter calls (not Commonwealths, or Civil Societies, as you say, but those who administer the Government of them, viz.) the King, or Emperour, and Governours sent by him, […], which you render the Contrivance and Institution of man: So St. Paul teaches us that the Supreme Powers are […],[142] order’d, disposed, or set in their places by God: That they are accordingly […],[143] the Disposition, or Ordinance of God: And that they bear the Sword, and punish them that do evil,[144] as the Ministers of God, i.e. as appointed and commission’d by him so to do: For how they can be his Ministers, for that, or any other purpose, without his appointment and Commission, is not to be understood. So that, if you will believe the Scriptures, the Civil Powers, or, if you please, Civil Society and Government are so the Contrivance and Institution of Man, as to be withall the Ordinance and Institution of God.

And as to the judicious Mr. Hooker (as you justly call him,) if you would have it thought, that he so referrs Civil Society and Publick Government to the Contrivance and Institution of Man, as either to exclude God Almighty from having any hand in it, or to leave men to their choice, whether they will live in such Society or not, or for what Ends they will enter into it: The least that can be said is, that you do very much mistake him. For though he asserts,[145] that all Publick Regiment arose from deliberate Advice, Consultation,[146] and Composition between men, judging it convenient and behoveful; there being no impossibility in Nature consider’d by it self, but that men might have lived without any Publick Regiment: And that, as to the kinds of Regiment, Nature ties not to any one, but leaves the choice as a thing arbitrary: Yet he asserts withall expresly, that we are naturally induced to seek Communion and Fellowship with others; and that this was the cause of men’s uniting themselves at first in Politick Societies; and that, the corruption of our nature being presupposed, we may not deny, but that the Law of Nature does now require of necessity some kind of Regiment. By which it appears, that how much soever he allows, in respect of the particular Forms of Commonwealths, or Kinds of Government, to the Choice and Contrivance of Man; he derives Civil Society and Government in general, from Nature, and the Law of Nature, and so from God, the Author of that Law.

Now if according to the Scriptures, and even to the judicious Mr. Hooker, God is the Author and Institutor of Civil Society in general; then the Ends of it, as your self must grant, can be no other than what He has appointed: and all that is left to the Choice and Contrivance of Man, is onely the framing and modelling Commonwealths, and the Government of them, as Prudence shall direct, for the better attaining the Ends which He has fix’d and prescribed.

You say St. Peter shews, in the place you referr to, for what End Commonwealths are instituted, viz. for the punishment of evil-doers, and the praise of them that do well. But you say you do not find any where, that it is for the punishment of those who are not in Church-Communion with the Magistrate. Nor do I any where say it is. But if rejecting the true Religion, or declining the Communion of the Church of God, be doing evil; then they that do so, are Evil-doers: and then you see what you get by St. Peter‘s words.

But you say you are sure the Ends of Commonwealths, appointed by the Institutors of them, could not be their Spiritual and Eternal Interests. But why not, if their Spiritual and Eternal Interests may be promoted by Political Government, as I think I have shewn they may? Why, you say, they cannot stipulate about these one with another, (which I suppose you explain by the following words) nor submit this Interests to the Power of the Society, or any Sovereign they should set over it. Very true, Sir: But they can submit to be punish’d in their Temporal Interests, if they despise or neglect those greater Interests. Which is all they need to do.

The News you tell us here from the West-Indies, of Commonwealths there, wherein, in time of Peace, no body has any Authority over any of the Members of them, is indeed very wonderful and surprizing. For I confess I thought before, that there could be no Commonwealth, without Government; nor Government, without Authority in some body, over those who are to be govern’d.

[147]To conclude, my Argument, you tell me, has that defect in it, which turns it upon my self: Because the procuring, and advancing the Spiritual and Eternal Interests of Souls, my way, is not a Benefit to the Society, but proper to do more harm than good, as you say you have proved already. Of which I shall leave the Reader to judge, by what has been said to that matter.

My saying,[148] that to argue, as the Author does, that the Civil Power neither can nor ought in any manner to be extended to the Salvation of Souls,[149] because the Care of Souls is not committed to the Civil Magistrate, more than to other men, is onely to prove the thing by its self, is undoubtedly true in the sense of the word extended which I there take it in. However, you see I did not insist upon the matter, but was content to let it pass. And if I did not rightly apprehend what the Author means by that word in that place, I think I may be excused,[150] since you were forced to go eleven Pages further to discover it.

As to your next Paragraph,[151] I think I might now wholly pass it over. I shall onely tell you, that as I have often heard, so I hope I shall always hear of Religion establish’d by Law. For though the Magistrate’s Authority can add no force or sanction to any Religion, whether true or false, nor any thing to the Truth or Validity of his own, or any Religion whatsoever; yet I think it may do much toward the upholding and preserving the true Religion, within his Jurisdiction; and in that respect may properly enough be said to establish it.

It remains now,[152] you say, to examine, whether the Author’s Argument will not hold good, even against Punishments in my way. And to shew that it will, thus you discourse: If the Magistrate’s Authority be,[153] as you here say,

Onely to procure all his Subjects the means of discovering the way of Salvation, and to procure withall, as much as in him lies, that none remain ignorant of it, or refuse to embrace it, either for want of using those means, or by reason of any such Prejudices as may render them ineffectual.

 

If this be the Magistrates business, in reference to all his Subjects; I desire you, or any man else, to tell me how this can be done, by the application of Force onely to a part of them; Unless you will still vainly suppose ignorance, negligence, or prejudice, onely amongst that part which any where differs from the Magistrate. But how little to the purpose this Request of yours is will quickly appear. For if the Magistrate provides sufficiently for the instruction of all his Subjects in the true Religion; and then requires them all, under convenient Penalties, to hearken to the Teachers and Ministers of it, and to profess and exercise it with one accord, under their direction, in Publick Assemblies: Is there any pretense to say, that in so doing he applies Force onely to a part of his Subjects; when the Law is general, and excepts none? ‘Tis true, the Magistrate inflicts the Penalties in that case, onely upon them that break the Law. But is that the thing you mean by his applying Force onely to a part of his Subjects? Would you have him punish all, indifferently? them that obey the Law, as well as them that do not?

As to Ignorance, Negligence and Prejudice, I desire you, or any man else, to tell me what better course can be taken to cure them, than that which I have mention’d. For if after all that God’s Ministers, and the Magistrate can do, some will still remain ignorant, negligent, or prejudiced; I do not take that to be any disparagement to it: For certainly that is a very extraordinary Remedy, which infallibly cures all diseas’d persons to whom it is applied.

[154]But say you, if you say, as you do, That the Magistrate has Authority to lay such Penalties upon those who refuse to embrace the Doctrine of the proper Ministers of Religion, and to submit to their Spiritual Government, as to make them bethink themselves so as not to be alienated from the Truth: Against that also the Author’s Argument holds, That the Magistrate has no such Authority. 1. Because God never gave the Magistrate an Authority to be Iudge of Truth for another man in matters of Religion: and so he cannot be Iudge whether any man be alienated from the Truth or no. 2. Because the Magistrate had never authority given him to lay any Penalties on those who refuse to embrace the Doctrine of the proper Ministers of his Religion (or of any other) or to submit to their Spiritual Government, more than any other men. Which latter Reason, as far as it respects the true Religion (and I am no farther concern’d in it) is the very thing in question between us, and therefore ought not to be offer’d as a Reason. But as to the other, I grant that God never gave the Magistrate any Authority to be Iudge of Truth for another man, or to prescribe to him what he shall believe (for that I take to be your meaning) in any matter whatsoever. But how does it follow from thence, that he cannot be Judge whether any man be alienated from the Truth, or no? Can no man be Judge of that, unless he have Authority to be Judge of Truth for other men, or to prescribe to them what they shall believe? Rectum est index sui, & obliqui. And certainly whoever does but know the Truth, may easily judge whether other men be alienated from it, or no. And therefore if the Magistrate knows the Truth; though he has no authority to judge of Truth for other men; yet he may be Judge whether other men be alienated from the Truth, or no; and so may have Authority to lay some Penalties upon those whom he sees to be so, to bring them to judge more sincerely for themselves.

To shew that the Care of Souls is not committed to the Civil Magistrate, any more than to other men,[155] the Author endeavours to prove that it is neither committed to him by God, nor by the People. Now in my Answer,[156] I think I shew that he fails as to both these Points; so that whether we say the Care of Souls is committed to the Magistrate by God, or that it is vested in him by the consent of the People, either of these Assertions may be true, for any thing he has said to prove the contrary. Particularly, whereas he says, that no such Power (as the Care of Souls committed to the Magistrate implies) can be vested in the Magistrate by the consent of the People, because no man can so far abandon the care of his own Salvation, as blindly to leave it to the choice of any other, whether Prince or Subject, to prescribe to him what Faith or Worship he shall embrace: To this I answer,

That as the Power of the Magistrate in reference to Religion (or the Salvation of Souls) is ordain’d for the bringing men to take such care as they ought of their Salvation, that they may not blindly leave it to the choice, neither of any other Person, nor yet of their own Lusts and Passions, to prescribe to them what Faith or Worship they shall embrace: So if we suppose this Power to be vested in the Magistrate by the consent of the People; this will not import their abandoning the care of their Salvation, but rather the contrary.

 

And so I proceed to shew that it is every man’s interest, in respect of his Salvation, that the Magistrate should have such a Power committed to him. Now what exception do you make to this? Why, you say this is a pleasant Answer; and you desire me to consider, 1. Whether it be not pleasant that I say the Power of the Magistrate is ordain’d to bring men to take such care;[157] and thence inferr, Then it is every man’s Interest to vest such Power in the Magistrate? Well, Sir; I have consider’d this, but can by no means discern where the Pleasantness of it lies. For if the Power I speak of, be of such a nature as I have represented it; it will follow unavoidably, not onely that the People may vest it in the Magistrate without abandoning the care of their Salvation, or leaving it blindly to the choice of another to prescribe to them what Faith or Worship they shall embrace; but likewise, that it is every one’s Interest (supposing it in his power) to vest it in him.

But you are pleas’d to assist me in your next words:[158] For, say you, if it be the Power of the Magistrate, it is his. And what need the People vest it in him; unless there be need, and it be the best course they can take, to vest a Power in the Magistrate, which he has already? So that herein, it seems, lies the Pleasantness of what I say. But what a miserable Cavil is this! For cannot I enquire, whence the Magistrate receives his Power; without supposing it his, before he receives it? Or cannot I say, that the Power of the Magistrate is such in the nature of it, that if we suppose it vested in him by the consent of the People, this will not import their abandoning the care of their Salvation, but rather the contrary, because it is the Interest of the People (supposing it in their power) to vest such a Power in him: Cannot I say this, without implying that the Magistrate has this Power already, before the People have vested it in him? What pretense can any man have to affirm this? especially considering, that my words do so plainly tend, as any man may see, to shew that the Power which I claim for the Magistrate, does therefore belong to him, because it is vested in him either by God, or by the People: As it may be by either, for any thing the Author, or your self have said to the contrary.

[159]2. Another pleasant thing which you tell me I here say, is, That the Power of the Magistrate is to bring men to such a care of their Salvation that they may not blindly leave it to the choice of any person, or of their own lusts and passions, to prescribe to them what Faith or Worship they shall embrace; And yet that ’tis their best course to vest a Power in the Magistrate, liable to the same lusts and passions as themselves, to choose for them. But where, I beseech you, do I say, that it is the People’s best course to vest a Power in the Magistrate to choose for them? That you do not pretend to shew: but instead of it, you say, If they vest a Power in the Magistrate to punish them when they dissent from his Religion, to bring them to act, even against their own Inclination, according to Reason and sound Iudgement; or to bring them to consider Reasons and Arguments proper and sufficient to convince them: How far is this from leaving it to the choice of another man to prescribe to them what Faith or Worship they shall embrace? Which is just nothing to your purpose. For I speak not of the Magistrate’s Religion, but of the true Religion, and that proposed with sufficient Evidence of the Truth of it. And if the People do onely vest a Power in the Magistrate, to punish them when they reject that Religion so proposed, to bring them to act according to Reason and sound Iudgement, &c. I think that is far enough from leaving it to the choice of another man, to prescribe to them what Faith or Worship they shall embrace.

But it seems you have not done with this yet. For you say you do neither me nor the Magistrate Injury,[160] when you say that the Power I give the Magistrate, of punishing men to make them consider Reasons and Arguments proper and sufficient to convince them, is to convince them of the truth of his Religion (whatever that be) and to bring them to it. Which seems a little strange, and pleasant too. But thus you prove it: For men will never, in his opinion, act according to Reason and sound Iudgement, till they embrace his Religion. And if you have the brow of an honest man, you will not say the Magistrate will ever punish you to bring you to consider any other Reasons and Arguments but such as are proper to convince you of the truth of his Religion, and to bring you to that. Which (besides the pleasant talk of such Reasons and Arguments as are proper and sufficient to convince men of the truth of the Magistrate’s Religion, though it be a false one) is just as much as to say, It is so, because in the Magistrate’s opinion it is so; and because it is not to be expected that he will act against his opinion. As if the Magistrate’s Opinion could change the nature of things, and turn a Power to promote the true Religion, into a Power to promote a false one. No, Sir: The Magistrate’s Opinion has no such virtue. It may indeed keep him from exercising the Power he has to promote the true Religion; and it may lead him to abuse the pretense of it, to the promoting a False one: But it can neither destroy that Power, nor make it any thing but what it is. And therefore whatever the Magistrate’s Opinion be, his Power was given him (as the Apostles Power was to them) for edification onely, not for destruction: And it may always be said of him (what St. Paul said of himself) that he can do nothing against the Truth, but for the Truth. And therefore if the Magistrate punishes me, to bring me to a False Religion; it is not his Opinion that will excuse him, when he comes to answer for it to his Judge. For certainly men are as accountable for their Opinions (those of them, I mean, which influence their Practice) as they are for their Actions.

Here is therefore no shifting forwards and backwards, as you pretend; nor any Circle, but in your own Imagination. For though it be true that I say The Magistrate has no Power to punish men, to compell them to his Religion; yet I no where say, nor will it follow from any thing I do say, That he has Power to compell them to consider Reasons and Arguments proper to convince them of the truth of his Religion. But I do not much wonder that you endeavour to put this upon me. For I think by this time it is pretty plain, that otherwise you would have but little to say: And it is an art very much in use among some sort of Learned Men, when they cannot confute what an Adversary does say, to make him say what he does not; that they may have something which they can confute.

[161]Your next Paragraph runs high, and charges me with nothing less than Prevarication. For whereas, as you tell me, I speak of it here as the most deplorable Condition imaginable, that men should be left to themselves, and not be forced to consider and examine the Grounds of their Religion, and search impartially and diligently after the Truth, &c. It seems all the Remedy I offer is no more than this, Dissenters must be punish’d. Upon which thus you insult: Can any body that hears you say so, believe you in earnest; and that want of Examination is the thing you would have amended, when want of Examination is not the thing you would have punish’d? —But if in all your Treatise you can shew me one place where you say that the Ignorant, the Careless, the Inconsiderate, the negligent in examining, &c. are to be punish’d, I will allow your Remedy for a good one. But you have not said any thing like this; and which is more, I tell you before hand you dare not say it. And whilst you do not, the World has reason to judge, that however want of Examination be a general Fault, which you with great vehemency have exaggerated; yet you use it only for a pretense to punish Dissenters; and either distrust your Remedy, or else care not to have it generally cured. Now here I acknowledge, that though want or neglect of Examination be a general Fault, yet the Method I propose for curing it, does not reach to all that are guilty of it, but is limited to those who reject the true Religion, proposed to them with sufficient Evidence. But then to let you see how little ground you have to say that I prevaricate in this matter, I shall onely desire you to consider, what it is that the Author and my self were enquiring after. For it is not, What course is to be taken to confirm and establish those in the Truth, who have already embraced it: Nor, How they may be enabled to propagate it to others: (For both which purposes I have already acknowledged it very useful, and a thing much to be desired, that all such persons should, as far as they are able, search into the Grounds upon which their Religion stands, and challenges their belief:) But the Subject of our enquiry is onely, What Method is to be used, to bring men to the true Religion. Now if this be the onely thing we were enquiring after, (as you cannot deny it to be;) then every one sees that in speaking to this Point, I had nothing to do with any who have already embraced the true Religion; because they are not to be brought to that Religion, but onely to be confirm’d and edified in it; but was onely to consider how those who reject it, may be brought to embrace it. So that how much soever any of those who own the true Religion, may be guilty of neglect of Examination; ’tis evident, I was onely concern’d to shew how it may be cured in those, who, by reason of it, reject the true Religion, duly proposed or tender’d to them. And certainly to confine my self to this, is not to prevaricate, unless to keep within the bounds which the Question under debate prescribes me, be to prevaricate.

In telling me therefore that I dare not say that the Ignorant, the Careless, the Inconsiderate, the negligent in examining, &c. (i. e. all that are such) are to be punish’d, you onely tell me that I dare not be impertinent. And therefore I hope you will excuse me, if I take no notice of the three Reasons you offer in your next Page, for your saying so. And yet if I had had a mind to talk impertinently; I know not why I might not have dared to do so, as well as other men.

There is one thing more in this Paragraph, which though nothing more pertinent than the rest, I shall not wholly pass over. It lies in these words: He that reads your Treatise with attention, will be more confirm’d in this Opinion (viz. That I use want of Examination onely for a pretense to punish Dissenters, &c.) when he shall find, that you (who are so earnest to have men punish’d, to bring them to consider and examine, that so they may discover the way of Salvation) have not said one word of considering, searching, and hearkening to the Scripture; which had been as good a Rule for a Christian to have sent them to, as to Reasons and Arguments proper to convince them of you know not what, &c. How this confirms that Opinion, I do not see; nor have you thought fit to instruct me. But as to the thing it self, viz. my not saying one word of considering, searching, and hearkening to the Scripture, whatever advantage a captious Adversary may imagine he has in it, I hope it will not seem strange to any indifferent and judicious Person, who shall but consider that throughout my Treatise, I speak of the true Religion onely in general, i. e. not as limited to any particular Dispensation, or to the Times of the Scriptures; but as reaching from the fall of Adam to the end of the World; and so comprehending the Times which preceeded the Scriptures; wherein yet God left not himself without witness, but furnished Mankind with sufficient means of knowing Him and his Will, in order to their eternal Salvation. For I appeal to all Men of Art, whether, speaking of the true Religion under this generality, I could be allowed to descend to any such Rules of it, as belong only to some particular Times, or Dispensations: Such as you cannot but acknowledge the Old and New Testaments to be.

[162]You say that, Page 26. of my Answer, out of abundant kindness, when the Dissenters have their Heads (without any cause) broken, I provide them a Plaister.But whoever shall consider the Penalties I there speak of, will, I perswade my self, find no Heads broken, and so but little need of a Plaister.

But having said there,

That the Power I asscribe to the Magistrate, is given him to bring men, not to his own, but to the true Religion: And, That though (as our Author puts us in mind) the Religion of every Prince is Orthodox to himself; yet if this Power keep within it’s bounds (i.e. if the Penalties the Magistrate makes use of to promote a False Religion, do not exceed the measure of those which he may warrantably use for the promoting the True,) it can serve the interest of no other Religion but the True, among such as have any concern for their eternal Salvation; (and they that have none, deserve not to be consider’d ••) because the Penalties it enables him that has it to inflict, are not such as may tempt such persons either to renounce a Religion which they believe to be true, or to profess one which they do not believe to be so; but onely such as are apt to put them upon a serious and impartial Examination of the Controversy between the Magistrate and them: which is the way for them to come to the knowledge of the Truth: I add these words;

 

And if upon such examination of the matter, they chance to find that the Truth does not lie on the Magistrate’s side; they have gain’d thus much however, even by the Magistrate’s misapplying his Power, that they know better than they did before, where the Truth does lie, &c.

 

(Which is the Plaister you speak of.) Now this you tell me is as true as if I should say, Upon Examination I find such a one is out of the way to York; therefore I know better than I did before, that I am in the right. Where I shall only observe, that if you had put it, Therefore I know better than I did before, where the right way does lie,your Inference had run exactly parallel with mine. But then it would have been true too; which was not for your purpose.

[163]You say, He that has been punished, may have examined before; and then, you tell me, I am sure he gains nothing. Right, Sir. But neither does he lose much, if it be true, which I there add,

That all the hurt that befalls him, is, onely the suffering some tolerable Inconveniencies, for his following the Light of this own Reason, and the Dictates of his own Conscience.

But you go on,[164] and say, However, you think you do well to encourage the Magistrate in punishing, and comfort the man who has suffer’d unjustly, by shewing what he shall gain by it. Whereas, on the contrary, in a Discourse of this nature, where the bounds of Right and Wrong are enquired into, and should be establish’d, the Magistrate was to be shew’d the bounds of his Authority, and warn’d of the injury he did when he misapplies his Power, and punish’d any man who deserv’d it not; and not be sooth’d into injustice, by consideration of gain that might thence accrue to the Sufferer. Shall we do evil that good may come of it? There are a sort of People who are very wary of touching upon the Magistrate’s duty, and tender of shewing the bounds of his Power, and the injustice and ill consequences of his misapplying it; at least, so long as it is misapplied in favour of them, and their Party. As to what you say here of the nature of my Discourse, I shall onely put you in mind, that the Question there debated is, Whether the Magistrate has any Right or Authority to use Force for the promoting the true Religion. Which plainly supposes the Unlawfulness and Injustice of using Force to promote a false Religion, as granted on both sides. So that I could no way be obliged to take notice of it in my Discourse, but onely as occasion should be offer’d.

And whether I have not shew’d the bounds of the Magistrate’s Authority, as far as I was any way obliged to do it, let any indifferent Person judge. But to talk here of a sort of People who are very wary of touching upon the Magistrate’s duty, and tender of shewing the bounds of his Power, where I tell the Magistrate that the Power I asscribe to him in reference to Religion, is given him to bring men, not to his own, but to the true Religion; and that he misapplies it, when he endeavours to promote a false Religion by it, is, methinks, at least a little unseasonable.

Nor am I any more concern’d in what you say of the Magistrate’s misapplying his Power in favour of a Party. For as you have not yet proved that his applying his Power to the promoting the true Religion (which is all that I contend for) is misapplying it; so much less can you prove it to be misapplying it in favour of a Party.

But that I encourage the Magistrate in punishing men to bring them to a false Religion (for that is the punishing we here speak of) and sooth him into Injustice, by shewing what those who suffer unjustly shall gain by it, when in the very same breath I tell him that by so punishing he misapplies his Power, is a Discovery which I believe none but your self could have made. When I say that the Magistrate misapplies his Power by so punishing; I suppose all other men understand me to say, that he sins in doing it, and layes himself open to divine vengeance by it. And can he be encouraged to this, by hearing what others may gain by what (without Repentance) must cost him so dear? ‘Tis true indeed, the Apostate Emperour (who yet, by the way, was for Toleration, and talk’d much of his […]) pretended to take encouragement from some of the Promises of the Gospel,[165] to spoil and impoverish Christians, in consideration of what they would gain by it. But every one sees that this was no more than Pretense and Mockery, in one who believed nothing of those Promises, but only intended to ridicule and expose them. But had he believed the Promises made to Christians, he would have believed the Threats likewise which the Gospel denounces against their Persecutors. And can any man think he would have been so mad, as to deprive them of their Goods and Possessions, that they might gain the Kingdome of Heaven, when he knew that he should himself get nothing in the end but damnation by it?

[166]But you say, and you undertake to prove, that this Mischief (viz. the Magistrate’s misapplying his Power) upon my Principle, joyn’d to the natural thirst in man after Arbitrary Power, may be carried to all manner of exorbitancy, with some pretense of Right. Well, Sir; though I do not think my self bound to take notice of all that may be done with some pretense of Right; yet, however, let us see how you go about to prove this. Thus, say you, stands your System. If Force, i. e. Punishment, may be any way useful for the promoting the Salvation of Souls, there is a Right somewhere to use it. And this Rights is in the Magistrate. Who then, upon your grounds, may quickly find reason where it suits his inclination, or serves his turn, to punish men directly to bring them to his Religion. For if he may use Force, because it may be, indirectly, and at a distance, any way, useful towards the Salvation of Souls, towards the procuring any degree of Glory; Why may he not, by the same Rule, use it where it may be useful, at least indirectly, and at a distance, towards the procuring a greater degree of Glory? For St. Paul assures us, that the Afflictions of this life work for us a far more exceeding weight of Glory. So that why should they not be punish’d, if in the wrong, to bring them into the right way; If in the right, to make them by their Sufferings gainers of a far more exceeding weight of Glory? But as prettily as this looks, I fear, if it be examined, it will not be found sufficient to prove even that little which you pretend to prove by it.

For, first, you must give me leave to ask you once more, Where I say, If Force may be any way useful for the promoting the Salvation of Souls, there is a Right somewhere to use it? For in the Page you referr to, the words are

If there be so great Use and Necessity of outward Force for the promoting true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls, &c. Nor do I any where speak otherwise, that I know.

But, secondly, let it be supposed if you please, that I say what you so often tell me I do, though I do not: Yet even so, unless it be as necessary for men to attain any greater degree of Glory, as it is to attain Glory, it will not follow, that if the Magistrate may use Force, because it may be indirectly, &c. useful towards the procuring any degree of Glory, he may by the same Rule, use it where it may be in that manner useful towards the procuring a greater degree of Glory. But that there is the same Necessity of men’s attaining a greater degree of Glory, as there is of their attaining Glory, no man will affirm. For without attaining Glory, they cannot escape the damnation of Hell: which yet they may escape, without attaining any greater degree of Glory. So that the attaining Glory, is absolutely necessary: but the attaining any greater degree of it, however desirable, it is not so necessary. Now if there be not the same Necessity of the one of these, as there is of the other; there can be no pretense to say, that whatever is lawful in respect to the one of them, is likewise so in respect to the other. And therefore thought St. Paul assures us that the Afflictions of this Life work for us a far more exceeding weight of Glory; it will not follow from thence, even by the Rule which you make for me, but is not mine, That if men be in the right way, they may be punish’d to make them by their Sufferings gainers of a far more exceeding weight of Glory. So that your some pretense of Right, which was all that in modesty you could undertake to prove, comes at last to just none at all.

But how unfortunate was I, to talk of the Magistrate’s misapplying his Power,[167] when he punishes those who have the Right on their side! For by granting that, it seems I grant all that the Author contends for, and so give up the Cause I undertook to defend. So you tell me, Sir: and thus you think you prove what you say. For, say you, if the Magistrate misapplies, or makes a wrong use of his Power, when he punishes in matters of Religion any one who is in the Right, though it be but to make him consider; he also misapplies his Power, when he punishes any one, whomsoever in Matters of Religion, to make him consider . Which is certainly as wonderful a Collection as any you make in your whole Letter: As any man may see, that will but compare the Magistrate’s punishing in Matters of Religion any one who is in the Right to make him consider, with his punishing any one whomsoever (i. e. any one who is in the Wrong) in matters of Religion, to make him consider.

For, first, to punish one who is in the Right, is to punish one who does not deserve to be punish’d; which is manifestly unjust, whatever the end be for which he is punish’d. But to punish one who is in the Wrong, and refuses to consider what may convince him of the Right, (and such onely are the persons whom I would have punish’d,) is onely to punish one who well deserves to be punish’d which no man can pretend to be unjust.

Again; To punish one who is in the Right, to make him consider what may shew him the Right, and move him to embrace it (which is the thing we mean here by considering,) is vain and ridiculous; because he does already discern and embrace the Right, and therefore needs not be made consider, to bring him to embrace it. But to punish one who is in the Wrong, and can by no other means be prevail’d upon to consider what may manifest the Right to him; I say, to punish such a one to make him consider, is but reasonable and necessary; because it is necessary for him to consider, and Punishment is necessary to bring him to consider.

Now if these Cases are so widely different: If in the first of them, the Magistrate punishes where there is neither any desert, nor any need, or use of Punishment, but in the other, he punishes where Punishment is both deserv’d, and necessary to be inflicted: Is there any imaginable ground to say, That if the Magistrate misapplies, or makes a wrong use of his Power, in the first Case, he does so likewise in the other?

Yes, you think there is. For, say you, every one is here Iudge for himself, what is Right; And in matters of Faith, and Religious Worship, another cannot judge for him. So that to punish any one in matters of Religion, though it be but to make him consider, is by your […] Confession, beyond the Magistrate’s Power. And that punishing in matters of Religion is beyond the Magistrate’s Power, is […] what the Author contends for. Which Demostration of yours; if I may have leave to put it into from, stands thus:

Whoever takes upon him to judge for another, what is Right in matters of Religion, takes upon him to do what no man can do.

 

But whoever punishes any man in matters of Religion, to make him consider, takes upon him to judge for another, what is Right in matters of Religion.

Therefore whoever punishes any one in Matters of Religion, to make him consider, takes upon him to do what no man can do: and consequently misapplies his Power of punishing, if he has that Power.

Where if the Second Proposition were as evidently true, as the First is; I should readily admit the Conclusion, as sufficiently demonstrated. But if that Proposition be so far from being evidently true, that, on the contrary, it is certainly false, and plainly involves a Contradiction in it; then you must give me some better proof of the Conclusion, before I shall be obliged to assent to it. Now (a little to examine that Proposition;) Why, I beseech you, does any one punish another to make him consider? Is it not, that that other may judge for himself, of what he is required to consider? For as he that will judge of any matter, must first consider it; (according to that old Rule, Si judicas, cognosce🙂 So I know no use there is of considering, but in order to judging. And can he who punishes another to make him consider, that he may judge for himself of the matter to be consider’d, intend to judge for him, whom he punishes to make him judge for himself? If this be manifestly contradictious and impossible, (as it must be acknowledged to be;) then every one sees that it is so far from being evidently true, that whoever punishes any one in Matters of Religion, to make him consider, takes upon him to judge for another what is Right in Matters of Religion, that it is repugnant and absurd to say, that any man, who punishes another to make him consider, does at the same time take upon him to judge for that person, in any matter whatsoever.

Thus you see with how little reason you say, that by granting that the Magistrate misapplies his Power, when he punishes those who have the Right on their side, I grant all that the Author contends for. Indeed if I had said that the Magistrate does therefore, in that Case, misapply his Power, because whoever punishes any one in matters of Religion to make him consider, takes upon him to judge for him what is Right, in matters of Religion; you had had some ground for what you say. But that is no Reason of mine, but a• Assumption, or Supposition of yours; and a very bad one too, as I hope has been sufficiently shewn.

My following words (which are the last you take notice of) are these:[168]

And all the hurt that comes to them by it, is onely the suffering some tolerable Inconveniencies for their following the Light of their own Reason, and the Dictates of their own Consciences: which certainly is no such Mischief to Mankind a• to make it more eligible that there should be no such Power vested in the Magistrate, but the care of every man’s Soul should be left to himself alone (as this Author demands it should be:) That is, that every man should be suffer’d quietly, and without the least molestation, either to take no care at all of his Soul, if he be so pleas’d; or, in doing it, to follow his own groundless Prejudices, or unaccountable Humour, or any crafty Seducer whom he may think fit to take for his Guide.

 

Which words you set down at large: but instead of contradicting them, or offering to shew that the Mischief spoken of, is such as makes it more eligible &c you onely demand,[169] Why should not the care of every man’s Soul be left to himself, rather than the Magistrate? Is the Magistrate like to be more concern’d for it? Is the Magistrate like to take more care of it? &c. As if not to leave the care of every man’s Soul to himself alone, were, as you express it afterwards, to take the care of men’s Souls from themselves: Or as if to vest a Power in the Magistrate, to procure as much as in him lies (i.e. as far as it can be procured by convenient Penalties) that men take such care of their Souls as they ought to do, were to leave the care of their Souls to the Magistrate, rather than to themselves: Which no man but your self will imagine. I acknowledge as freely as you can do, that as every man is more concern’d than any man else can be, so he is likewise more obliged, to take care of his Soul; and that no man can by any means be discharged of the care of his Soul; which, when all is done, will never be saved but by his own care of it. But do I contradict any thing of this, when I say, that the care of every man’s Soul ought not to be left to himself alone? or, that it is the Interest of Mankind, that the Magistrate be entrusted and obliged to take care, as far as lies in him, that no man neglect his own Soul? I thought, I confess that every man was in some sort charged with the care of his Neigbour’s Soul. But in your way of reasoning, he that affirms this, takes away the care of every man’s Soul from himself, and leaves it to his Neighbour, rather than to himself. But if this be plainly absurd; as every one sees it is; then so it must be likewise, to say, that he that vests such a Power as we here speak of in the Magistrate, takes away the care of mens Souls from themselves, and places it in the Magistrate, rather than in themselves.

What trifling then is it, to say here, If you cannot lay your hand upon your Heart, and say all this (viz. that the Magistrate is like to be more concern’d for other men’s Souls, than themselves, &c.) What then will be got by the change? For ’tis plain, here is no such change as you would insinuate; but the care of Souls which I assert to the Magistrate, is so far from discharging any man of the care of his own Soul, or lessening his obligation to it, that it serves to no other purpose in the world, but to bring men, who otherwise would not, to consider and do what the Interest of their Souls obliges them to.

‘Tis therefore manifest, that the thing here to be consider’d, is not, Whether the Magistrate be like to be more concern’d for other men’s Souls, or to take more care of them, than themselves: nor, Whether he be commonly more careful of his own Soul, than other men are of theirs: nor, Whether he be less exposed, in matters of Religion, to Prejudices, Humours, and crafty Seducers, then other men: nor yet, Whether he be not more in danger to be in the wrong, than other men, in regard that he never meets with the great and onely Antidote of mine (as you call it) against Error which I here call Molestation. But the Point upon which this matter turns, is onely this, Whether the Salvation of Souls, be not better provided for, if the Magistrate be obliged to procure, as much as in him lies, that every man take such care as he ought of his Soul, than if he be not so obliged, but the care of every man’s Soul be left to himself alone: Which certainly any man of common Sense may easily determine. For as you will not, I suppose, deny, but God has more amply provided for the Salvation of your own Soul, by obliging your Neighbour, as well as your self, to take care of it; though ’tis possible your Neighbour may not be more concern’d for it, than your self; or may not be more careful of his own Soul, than you are of yours; or may be no less exposed, in matters of Religion, to Prejudices, &c. than you are; Because if you are your self wanting to your own Soul, it is more likely that you will be brought to take care of it, if your Neighbour be obliged to admonish and exhort you to it, than if he be not; though it may fall out that he will not do what he is obliged to do in that case: So I think it cannot be denied, but the Salvation of all men’s Souls is better provided for, if besides the obligation which every man has to take care of his own Soul (and that which every man’s Neighbour has likewise to do it) the Magistrate also be entrusted and obliged to see that no man neglect his Soul, then it would be, if every man were left to himself in this matter: Because though we should admit that the Magistrate is not like to be, or is not ordinarily, more concern’d for other men’s Souls, than they themselves are, &c. it is nevertheless undeniably true still, that whoever neglects his Soul, is more likely to be brought to take care of it, if the Magistrate be obliged to do what lies in him to bring him to do it, than if he be not. Which is enough to shew, that it is every man’s true Interest, that the care of his Soul should not be left to himself alone, but that the Magistrate should be so far entrusted with it as I contend that he is.

Having thus, Sir, as I think, consider’d all that is material in your Letter, and a great deal more; I now referr it (if I may use your words) to your self,[170] as well as to the judgement of the World, Whether the Author of the Letter, and your self, in saying no Body has a Right; or I, in saying the Magistrate has a Right to usesome degrees of Force in Matters of Religion, have most Reason. If you think the advantage lies on your side, and shall do me the favour to let me know why you think so; I shall consider what you say, with all the care I can use, and with a mind as well disposed to receive Information, as your self can wish. And if upon such a consideration of what is offer’d, I find my self in an Error; I shall freely acknowledge my Conviction with all thankfulness; nor shall I be ashamed even publickly to retract my Error. But if instead of satisfactory Reason, I meet with nothing but Sophistry, and unfair dealing; I am apt to think I shall content my self with what I have already said: being now sufficiently sensible, that Cavils and Impertinencies are endless, when a Man of Parts shall not disdain to make use of them.

[171]As to the Request you leave with me, That if ever I should write again about the means of bringing Souls to Salvation, I would take care not to prejudice so good a Cause by ordering it so, as to make it look as if I writ for a Party; I do not see what need there was of it; having given you no occasion, that I know, to think or suspect, that in answering the Author’s Argument, I writ for any Party, but God, and the Souls of men: A Party, which I hope I shall never desert. Indeed if I had misrepresented the Author of the Letter, and imposed upon him things which he never said; if I had industriously set my self to make faults where there were none; or had pretended to confute my Adversary by what I could not but know to be false, or nothing to the purpose: In short, if I had dealt with that Author, as I think it appears by this time his Defender has dealt with me; then, I confess, you might well have suspected that I writ for some other Party. But if there be nothing of all this in my Answer, nor any thing unbecoming a man of Candour and Sincerity; as you have not yet been able to shew that there is: then your Suggestion is altogether groundless, and uncharitable.

What Party you writ for, when you writ your Letter, I will not take upon me to say. But I think I have too much occasion to leave this Request with you; That if ever you write again about the Subject of our Debate, you would take care to make it look, as if you believed what you writ to be both pertinent and true. And then, as there will be less ground to suspect that you write for another Party: So there will be this further advantage by it, that a great deal less Paper will serve your turn.

Sir,

I am Your most humble Servant.

Feb. 21 1691.

 

[1] P. 1.

[2] A. p. 12, 13, 14.

[3] P. 6.

[4] P. 1.

[5] P. 2.

[6] A. p. 1.

[7] Iob. 17.9, 15, 20, &c.

[8] Rom. 1.20.

[9] Isai. 44.18, 19, 20. and 46.8.

[10] Iob. 17.20, 21.

[11] A. p. 4.

[12] A. p. 2.

[13] P. 2.

[14] A. p. 2.

[15] P. 2, 3.

[16] P. 3.

[17] P. 3.

[18] P. 3.

[19] P. 3.

[20] P. 4.

[21] P. 4.

[22] P. 4.

[23] P. 4.

[24] L. p. 9.23, 24.

[25] P. 35.

[26] P. 4.

[27] P. 4, 5.

[28] A. p. 2.

[29] see Mr. Edwards‘s Gangroena.

[30] P. 5.

[31] A. p. 3.

[32] P.•.

[33] L. p. 8.

[34] P. 6.

[35] A. p. 24, 25, 26.

[36] P. 6.

[37] P. 7.

[38] P. 7.

[39] A. p. 5.

[40] P. 7.

[41] P. 7.

[42] A. •. 10, 11, 12, 15, 16.

[43] P. 8.

[44] P. 7.

[45] P. 8.

[46] A. p. 13.14.

[47] P. 8, 9.

[48] P. 9, 10.

[49] P. 10.

[50] L. p. 3.

[51] P. 10.

[52] P. 10, 11.

[53] A. p. 23.

[54] A. p. 5.

[55] P. 11.

[56] P. 12.

[57] P.•2•

[58] A. p. 5.

[59] P. 12.

[60] P. 13.

[61] P. 13.

[62] P. 13.

[63] 2. Ths. 2.10, 11, 12.

[64] P. 14.

[65] L. p. 8.

[66] A. p. 5.

[67] P. 14

[68] P. 14, 15.

[69] P. 15.

[70] P. 15.

[71] P. 15, 16.

[72] P. 16.

[73] P. 17.

[74] P. 17.

[75] A. p. 6.

[76] P. 17.

[77] P. 18.

[78] P. 18.

[79] Iob 31.26, 27, 28.

[80] P. 18.

[81] P. 19.

[82]p. 16.

[83] P. 17.

[84] P. 19.

[85] Vid. Grot. ad Marci cap. 4. com. 24.

[86] P. 19.

[87] Luke 12.14.

[88] Mat. 10.8.

[89] Vers. 15.

[90] Vid. Hen. Dodwell. Dissertat. in Irenaú, Diss. 2.

[91] P. 19.

[92] A. p. 10.

[93] P.20.

[94] P 20, 21.

[95] Acts 4.13.

[96] P. 21.

[97] Iam. 1.20.

[98] A. p. 10.

[99] Vid. Mat. 13.14, 15. & Act. 28.25, 26, 27.

[100] P. 21, 22.

[101] A. p. 11.

[102] P. 22.

[103] P. 23.

[104] P. 24.

[105] A. p. 5.

[106] Vid.•ug. •pist. 4•. & 50.

[107] P. 10.

[108] P. 25.

[109] P. 45.

[110] P. 46.

[111] A.•.14.

[112] P. 41.

[113] P. 42.

[114] A. p. 26.

[115] P. 40.

[116] P. 43, 44.

[117] P. 46.

[118] P. 46.

[119] P. 46.

[120] P. 46.

[121] A. p. 15.

[122] P. 47.

[123] Prov. 22.15.—29.15.

[124] P. 47, 48.

[125] P. 48.

[126] P. 48, 49.

[127] A. p. 17.

[128] P. 50.

[129] P. 50.

[130] P. 51.

[131] L. p.6.

[132] L. p. 6, 7.

[133] P. 51.

[134] A. p.16.

[135] P. 50.

[136] P. 51, 52.

[137] P. 52, 53.

[138] A. p. 18.

[139] P. 53.

[140] P. 54.

[141] P. 54.

[142] Rom. 13.1.

[143] Vers. 2.

[144] Vers. 4.

[145] Eccl. Pol.

[146] lib. 1.S.10.

[147] P. 55.

[148] A. p. 19.

[149] L.p. 7.

[150] P. 56.

[151] P. 56, 57.

[152] P. 57, 58.

[153] A. p. 21.

[154] P. 58, 59. A. p. 20, 21.

[155] L. p. 7.

[156]p. 21, 22.

[157] P. 5•

[158] P. 60.

[159] P.60.

[160] P. 60, 61:

[161] P. 61.

[162] P. 64.

[163] P. 64.

[164] P. 64, 65.

[165] Julianus Imp. Epist. 43. edit. Petav.

[166] P. 65.

[167] P. 66.

[168] A. p. 26, 27.

[169] P. 67.

[170] P. 67.

[171] P. 68.

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