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of a people, than to have the administration of justice, and all public ornaments, in their own election and within their own bounds, without long travelling or depending upon remote places to obtain their right, or any civil accomplishment, so it be not supreme, but subordinate to the general power and union of the whole republic; in which happy firmness, as in the particular above mentioned, we shall also far exceed the United Provinces, by having, not as they, to the retarding and distracting ofttimes of their counsels or urgentest occasions, many sovereignties united in one one commonwealth, but many commonwealths under one united and entrusted sovereignty.
And when we have our forces by sea and land, either of a faithful army, or a settled militia, in our own hands, to the firm establishing of a free commonwealth, public accounts under our own inspection, general laws and taxes, with their causes, in our own domestic suffrages, judicial laws, offices, and ornaments at home in our own ordering and administration, all distinction of lords and commoners, that may any way divide or sever the public interest, removed; what can a perpetual senate have then, wherein to grow corrupt, wherein to encroach upon us, or usurp? or if they do, wherein to be formidable? Yet if all this avail not to remove the fear or envy of a perpetual sitting, it may be easily provided, to change a third part of them yearly, or every two or three years, as was above mentioned, or that it be at those times in the people's choice, whether they will change them, or renew their power, as they shall find cause.
I have no more to say at present; few words will save us, well considered; few and easy things, now seasonably done. But if the people be so affected, as to prostitute religion and liberty to the vain and groundless apprehension that nothing but kingship can restore
trade, not remembering the frequent plagues and pestilences that then wasted this city, such as through God's mercy we never have felt since, and that trade flourishes no where more than in the free commonwealths of Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries, before their eyes at this day; yet if trade be grown so craving and importunate through the profuse living of tradesmen, that nothing can support it, but the luxurious expenses of a nation upon trifles or superfluities, so as if the people generally should betake themselves to frugality, it might prove a dangerous matter, lest tradesmen should mutiny for want of trading, and that therefore we must forego and set to sale religion, liberty, honor, safety, all concernments divine or human, to keep up trading; if, lastly, after all this light among us, the same reason shall pass for current, to put our necks again under kingship, as was made use of by the Jews to return back to Egypt, and to the worship of their idol queen, because they falsely imagined that they then lived in more plenty and prosperity, our condition is not sound, but rotten, both in religion and all civil prudence, and will bring us soon, the way we are marching, to those calamities which attend always and unavoidably on luxury, all national judgments under foreign and domestic slavery. So far we shall be from mending our condition by monarchising our government, whatever new conceit now possesses us.
However, with all hazard I have ventured what I thought my duty to speak in season, and to forewarn my country in time; wherein I doubt not but there be many wise men in all places and degrees, but am the effects of wisdom are so little seen among Many circumstances and particulars I could have added in those things whereof I have spoken; but a few main matters now put speedily in execu
tion, will suffice to recover us, and set all right; and there will want at no time who are good at circumstances, but men who set their minds on main matters, and sufficiently urge them, in these most difficult times, I find not many.
What I have spoken, is the language of that which is not called amiss 'The good old Cause;' if it seem strange to any, it will not seem more strange, I hope, than convincing to backsliders. Thus much I should perhaps have said, though I were sure I should have spoken only to trees and stones; and had none to cry to, but with the prophet, 'O earth, earth, earth!' to tell the very soil itself what her perverse inhabitants are deaf to; nay, though what I have spoken should happen, which Thou suffer not, who didst create mankind free! nor Thou next, who didst redeem us from being servants of men! to be the last words of our expiring liberty. But I trust I shall have spoken persuasion to abundance of sensible and ingenuous men ; to some perhaps whom God may raise to these stones to become children of reviving liberty; and may reclaim, though they seem now choosing them a captain back for Egypt, to bethink themselves a little, and consider whither they are rushing; to exhort this torrent also of the people, not to be so impetuous, but to keep their due channel; and at length recovering and uniting their better resolutions, now that they see already how open and unbounded the insolence and rage is of our common enemies, to stay these ruinous proceedings, justly and timely fearing to what a precipice of destruction the deluge of this epidemic madness would hurry us, through the general defection of a misguided and abused multitude.
HERESY, SCHISM, TOLERATION;
AND WHAT BEST MEANS MAY BE USED
THE GROWTH OF POPERY.
It is unknown to no man, who knows aught of concernment among us, that the increase of popery is at this day no small trouble and offence to greatest part of the nation; and the rejoicing of all good men that it is so; the more their rejoicing, that God hath given a heart to the people to remember still their great and happy deliverance from popish thraldom, and to esteem so highly the precious benefit of his gospel, so freely and so peaceably enjoyed among them. Since therefore some have already in public, with many considerable arguments, exhorted the people to beware the growth of this Romish weed, I thought it no less than a common duty to lend my hand, how unable soever, to so good a purpose. I will not now enter into the labyrinth of councils and fathers, an intangled wood which the papists love to fight in, not with hope of victory, but to obscure the shame of an open overthrow; which yet in that kind of combat many heretofore, and one of late hath eminently given them. And such manner of dispute with them, to learned men is
useful and very commendable. But I shall insist now on what is plainer to common apprehension, and what I have to say, without longer introduction.
True religion is the true worship and service of God, learnt and believed from the word of God only. No man or angel can know how God would be worshipped and served unless God reveal it. He hath revealed and taught it us in the holy scriptures by inspired ministers, and in the gospel by his own Son and his apostles, with strictest command to reject all other traditions or additions whatsoever; according to that of St Paul, Though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be anathema, or accursed.' And Deut. Iv. 2, Ye shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish aught from it.' Rev. xxII. 18, 19, any man shall add, &c. If any man shall take away from the words,' &c. With good and religious reason, therefore, all protestant churches with one consent, and particularly the church of England in her thirtynine articles, article sixth, nineteenth, twentieth, twentyfirst, and elsewhere, maintain these two points, as the main principles of true religion; that the rule of true religion is the word of God only, and that their faith ought not to be an implicit faith, that is to believe, though as the church believes, against or without express authority of scripture. And if all protestants as universally as they hold these two principles, so attentively and religiously would observe them, they would avoid and cut off many debates and contentions, schisms and persecutions, which too oft have been among them, and more firmly unite against the common adversary.
hence it directly follows, that no true protestant can persecute, or not tolerate his fellow protestant, though dissenting from him in some opinions, but he must