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not vent it now, fears the pride of his owne heart will dub him dunce for ever. Such a one will trouble the whole Israel of God with his most untimely births, though he makes the bones of his vanity stick up, to the view and griefe of all that are godly wise. The devill desiers no better sport then to see light heads handle their heels, and fetch their carreers in a time, when the Roofe of Liberty stands open.
The next perplexed Question, with pious and ponderous men, will be: What should bee done for the healing of these comfortlesse exulcerations. I am the unableft adviser of a thousand, the unworthiest of ten thousand; yet I hope I may presume to assert what follows without just offence.
First, such as have given or taken any unfriendly reports of us New-English, should doe well to recollect themselves. Wee have beene reputed a Colluvies of wild Opinionists, swarmed into a remote wildernes to find elbow-roome for our phanatick Doctrines and practises: I trust our diligence past, and constant sedulity against such persons and courses, will plead better things for us. I dare take upon me, to bee the Herauld of New-England so farre, as to proclaime to the world, in the name of our Colony, that all Familists, Antinomians, Anabaptists, and other Enthusiasts fhall have free Liberty to keepe away from us, and such as will come to be gone as fast as they can, the fooner the better.
Secondly, I dare averre, that God doth no where in his word tolerate Christian States, to give Tolerations to such adversaries of his Truth, if they have power in their hands to suppresse them.
Here is lately brought us an Extract of a Magna Charta, so called, compiled between the Sub-planters of a West-Indian Island; whereof the first Article of constipulation, firmly provides free stable-room and litter for all kinde of consciences, be they never so dirty, or jadish; making it actionable, yea, treasonable, to disturbe any man in his Religion, or to discommend it, whatever it be. Wee are very sorry to see such professed prophaneneffe in English Profefsors, as industriously to lay their Religious foundations on the ruine of true Religion; which strictly binds every conscience to contend earnestly for the Truth: to preserve unity of Spirit, Faith and Ordinances, to be all like minded, of one accord; every man to take his brother into his Christian care: to stand fast with one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Gospel. and by no meanes to permit Heresies or erronious opinions: But God abhorring such loathsome beverages, hath in his righteous judgement blasted that enterprize, which might otherwise have prospered well, for ought I know; I presume their case is generally knowne ere this.
If the devill might have his free option, I beleeve he would ask nothing else, but liberty to enfranchize all falfe Religions, and to embondage the true; nor should hee need: It is much to be feared, that laxe Tolerations upon State-pretences and planting necessities, will be the next subtle Stratagem he will spread to distate the Truth of God and supplant the peace of the Churches. Tolerations in things tolerable, exquisitely drawn out by the lines of the Scripture, and pensill of the Spirit, are the facred favours of Truth,
the due latitudes of Love, the faire Compartiments of Christian fraternity: but irregular dispensations, dealt forth by the facilities of men, are the frontiers of error, the redoubts of Schisme, the perillous irritaments of carnall and spirituall enmity.
My heart hath naturally detested foure things: The standing of the Apocrypha in the Bible; Forrainers dwelling in my Countrey, to crowd out native Subjects into the corners of the Earth; Alchymized coines; Tolerations of divers Religions, or of one Religion in segregant shapes: He that willingly assents to the last, if he examines his heart by day-light, his conscience will tell him, he is either an Atheist, or an Heretique, or an Hypocrite, or at best a captive to some Luft: Poly-piety is the greatest impiety in the world. . True Religion is Ignis probationis, which doth congregare homogenea & segregare heterogenea.
Not to tolerate things meerly indifferent to weak consciences, argues a conscience too strong: pressed uniformity in these, causes much disunity: To tolerate more then indifferents, is not to deale indifferently with God: He that doth it, takes his Scepter out of his hand, and bids him stand by. Who hath to doe to institute Religion but God. The power of all Religion and Ordinances, lies in their purity: their purity in their fimplicity: then are mixtures pernicious. J lived in a City, where a Papist preached in one Church, a Lutheran in another, a Calvinist in a third; a Lutheran one part of the day, a Calvinist the other, in the same Pulpit: the Religion of that place was but motly and meagre, their affections Leopard-like. If the whole Creature should conspire to doe the B2
Creator a mischiefe, or offer him an insolency, it would be in nothing more, than in erecting untruths against his Truth, or by sophisticating his Truths with humane medleyes: the removing of some one jota in Scripture, may draw out all the life, and traverse all the Truth of the whole Bible: but to authorise an untruh, by a Toleration of State, is to build a Sconce against the walls of heaven, to batter God out of his Chaire: To tell a practicall lye, is a great sin, but yet transient; but to set up a Theoricall untruth, is to warrant every lye that lyes from its root to the top of every branch it hath, which are not a few.
I would willingly hope that no Member of the Parliament hath skilfullý ingratiated himselfe into the hearts of the House, that he might watch a time to midwife out some ungracious Toleration for his own turne, and for the sake of that, some other, I would also hope that a word of generall caution should not be particularly misapplied. I am the freer to suggest it, because I know not one man of that mind, my aime is generall, and I desire may be so accepted. Yet good Gentlemen, look well about you, and remember how Tiberius play'd the Fox with the Senate of Rome, and how Fabius Maximus cropt his ears for his cunning.
That State is wise, that will improve all paines and patience rather to compose, then tolerate differences in Religion. There is no divine Truth, but hath much Coelestiall fire in it from the Spirit of Truth: nor no irreligious untruth, without its proportion of Antifire from the spirit of Error to contradict it: the zeale of the one, the virulency of the other, must necessarily kindle Combustions. Fiery diseases seated in the
spirit, spirit, imbroile the whole frame of the body: others more externall and coole, are lesse dangerous. They which divide in Religion, divide in God; they who divide in him, divide beyond Genus Generalissimum, where there is no reconciliation, without atonement; that is, without uniting in him, who is One, and in his Truth, which is also one.
Wise are those men who will be perswaded rather to live within the pale of Truth where they may bee quiet, than in the purlieves, where they are sure to be hunted ever & anon, do Authority what it can. Every singular Opinion, hath'a singular opinion of it self; and he that holds it a singular opinion of himself, & a fimple opinion of all contra-fentients: he that confutes them, must confute al three at once, or else he does nothing; which will not be done without more stir than the peace of the State or Church can indure.
And prudent are those Christians, that will rather give what may be given, then hazard all by yeelding nothing. To sell all peace of Country, to buy some peace of conscience unleasonably, is more avarice than thrift, imprudence than patience: they deal not equally, that fet any Truth of God at such a rate; but they deal wisely that will stay till the Market is fallen.
My prognosticks deceive me not a little, if once within three feaven years, peace prove not such a penny-worth at most Marts in Christendome, that hee that would not lay down his money, his lust, his opinion, his will, I had almost said the best flower of his Crowne for it, while he might have had it; will tell his own heart, he plaid the very ill husband. Concerning Tolerations I may further affert. B 3