Page images

even unto this very day, devised nothing but how to delude and beggar us all, and how to keep war on foot; else why accepted you not those many fair offers of a gracious King, but still, as you got more power, incroached both upon him and us? Why send you not for him home, but still delay us? It is not far to him. We will study a way hencefurth to ease ourselves of such magistrates, such sheep-clad wolves. It is not your going back to the articles presented at Hampton-Court shall now make your atonement with us: you never took a way yet to make him a glorious King, or to reform, but deform religion; or to settle us under our ancient laws, or in our native liberties. Had you power, we know your minds ; we give you no thanks for your pretending to settle presbytery, since you wanted power to hinder it; nor for your late ordinance against hereticks. Put on your considering caps somewhat

, closer to your cocks-combs, aud sec now if you can re-ingratiate yourselves with our city: see if it will thank you to transfer its militia and Tower (out of these in whose they now be) into other Independents hands, and yet you did not that till very now: see if you can engage your brethren in the city, and us in a new war, and we shall observe who be ready in the same: see if you can or dare force us presbyterians, or our apprentices, to accompany you, and they shall carry away your weapons, and join with our friends your enemies. You must no more look to force or mugle men with the name of a parliament, being but a prevailing party, and fill your coffers by deceit: we will believe you no further; nor l'airfax, though he goes again to hear the lord primate preach at the temple, or proclaim for King, or King and parliament. Carry you the King captived along with you which way ever you go; as strictly as you have watched him, he hath given the prince power to contract for him; we are got before-hand with


in that: counterfeit his seal, and make what proclamations you will hereafter in his name, none will believe you. We have been told the ends of your laying open Rochester: bui, if our brethren of the association cannot get into a reailiness to stop your passage, the power of three kingdoms shall shortly follow you.

We heard of your late designs against our city, before we took notice of them, and we hear your intentions are to proceed, and to draw up both horse and foot to atchieve the same. I saw some of their leaders here the other day, and their men not far off; it is not denying and seeming to over-run your said designs, that shall make us negligent of our own safety: if ye knew not thereof, why do ye (to obstruct discoveries) refer the examination to men accused , viz. Ireton? How can you daub over this? Or why (if you set not on Fairfax in August last against our city) did ye go from the houses to him? And why did ye not since vute him a traitor, as ye did the Lord Inchiquin? my brethren, look over diurnals, and ye shall see him ever acting in relation to the houses, Our brethren of Essex came but peaceably with a petition, and this prevailing party derides them gone, calling them Essex calves; but, thanks to fate, yet delays, that, if they can quiet them a while, they may after make them the spoil of the Indepen: dent army they declare against. Look to it, gentlemen, disperse not yourselves till ye see it disbanded, and the King settled.

Ye must ever have some cloke for your knavery. When your late design against our city grew ripe, your mayor (a very horse and a traitor to our city, as many others of the common-council and captains are) must quarrel with the boys at their recreations, that ye might get another colour to draw your army again upon the city, and do that which then ye durst not, get down our chains, that, when the time of your necessity came, ye might disarm us, command our purses, and force us and our servants, against our consciences, though now again ye are forced to pull in your horns: and bring ye up your country soldiers, as we hear ye have, we shall make you aking hearts e're ye obtain your wills. Ye are loth to leave us, but, since we know your good-will, we shall look to you as we can: we trust our brethren of the association will be ready to assist us.

We have heard now of your private compliance with Irish natives, and your letters lately taken at sea, wherein ye promise liberty of conscience, and many immunities, if they will let you alone.

Thus have I given you a little sight of the Babylonian Bel-like idol, a brazen parliament, and of the collusion and veracity of the idol attendants, this prevailing party of both houses, who have so long deluded you with devices, and, like Bel's priests, wasted upon themselves and theirs, those vast contributions and levies which should have been expended on the publick service; and do desire, now time is like to serve for it, ye would endeavour your own freedom from the yoke of these men.

God save the King and kingdom.

CASE OF CONSCIENCE RESOLVED: Concerning ministers meddling with state matters in their sermons :

and how far they are obliged by the covenant to interpose in the affairs of civil government. By J. D. minister of the gospel. March 15, Imprimatur, Joseph Caryl.

London, printed by R. L. for R. W. 1649. Quarto, containing thirty pages.

The good intention of this pamphlet, and the masterly way of reason

ing with which it is composed, and, in particular, the tou often nel cessity to declaim against that cacochemy of the popular preachers, or court-flatterers, recommend it to the curious; and, as it is most scarce, a few of them only having escaped the injuries of time, after most of the impression had been seized and destroyed by the faction


which so lately had been guilty of preaching the King to death, I have recommitted it to the press, as a good monitor, both in correction and instruction, to the preachers of God's word, that they may not prostitute their function or office, either for or against a court; and to the hearers, that they may not applaud, nor be de. ceived by those, whose sermons, instead of teaching them the way of godliness, are calculated to find out the high way to preferment for their teachers, who have changed their characters, by leaving the service of God, and becoming the servants of the state. SIR, OU

ple of conscience, to do as others on all sides have done hitherto, riz. to intermeddle with matters of state in my sermons? I shall briefly let you know the grounds of my scruple concerning this matter, and, leaving them to your conscionable consideration, suggest some impartial thoughts, which, perhaps, may ease you of the scruples, which you have on the other hand; for which, you think it either unlawful for you, or unexpedient for your flock, to leave intermeddling in those matters.

Let us first agree what we mean by matters of state.

As for myself, I conceive, state-maiters to be all manner of counsels, designs, endeavours, and actings, which are undertaken or prosecuted, by those that manage with power, or authority, publick affairs; relating to the outward possessions, rights, freedoms, privileges, preroga. tives, and persons of men, as they are members of an outward commonwealth, or worldly kingdom. Concerning which matters, I think it not at all lawful for me to interpose my judgment in the pulpit, or to intermeddle towards the people, farther than the apostle hath commanded, Rom. xiii. 1,-8. and i Tim. ii. 2. and Tit. iii. 1. And the reasons, why I conceive it not lawful so to do, are these:

First, I know no law, either of God or man, obliging me to meddle with such matters, by interposing my judgment concerning them in the pulpit: and if no law either expresly commanding, or by a good inference warranting this intermeddling, can be shewed, I understand not how it can be counted lawful for any so to do.

Secondly, I find a law both of God and man, forbidding me to judge of matters, which belong not unto me, or which particularly concern other men.

The law of God is this: ‘Be not busy in other men's affairs, 1 Pet. iv. 15. And what have I to do to judge them that are without? i Cor. v. 12. And who art thou that judgest another inan's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth, Rom. xiv. 4. And judge not, that be not judged, Matt. vii. 1. Now, when I reflect upon myself, in reference unto these laws, my conscience doth tell me, that I am not called to manage the affairs of state, but that they belong to other men; and, therefore, that I ought not to be busy in thein, and trouble my head atout them. And, if I judge the magistrate's employment (as a civil magistrate) to be without the church, I have scarce so much: sure I am, no more right than the apostle Paul had to judge of them. Now


he tells us, that he had nothing to do to judge them, but that the judgment of those, that are without the church, God hath reserved unto himself, i Cor. V. 13. therefore it doth not appertain to me to mcddle with them. But if, as a Christian magistrate, I take him to be within the church; yet his employment, quatenus", a magistrate, is not mine, nor is he therein my servant, but Christ's; and then the other rule doth take place, Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? Now the magistrate is undoubtedly God's servant, Rom. xiii. 4. therefore I must let him stand or fall to his own master, in matters of outward government, which God hath intrusted him, and not me, withal. And, in case I do look upon him as a brother, and his actions or designs as the affairs of a private man, then still the former rules do hold; and Christ doth forbid me to judge him in publick, or to lay lis faults open to any, till I have dealt with in private, and, by degrees, brought him to the judicature of those, who are his competent judges, Matt. xviii. 15, &c. It is not lawful, therefore, for me, in my private way, to condemn him, whether I look upon him as a brother, or not; and far less is it lawful to judge him in publick, and make myself an informer against him towards the multitude, who are not his competent judges.

Moreover, the law of God in the fifth commandment is, “Honour thy father and mother, that thy days may be long in the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee :' all divines have understood this, as well of the respect due unto the civil magistrate, as to natural parents. Now, to take upon us to judge and censure their actions, or to blast and blame their † proceedings in publick, before the multitude, directly or indirectly, is manifestly to dishonour them; and, if this is unlawful in a son to deal so with parents, it is also unlawful in a subject to deal so with his magistraies.

As for the laws of men in this matter, I shall not need to mention any : for, it is evident in all nations, that to controul the actions of the civil magistrate, and to traduce him in his proceedings, is a crime punishable in subjects, by those that have power, and are in authority ever them, with death, imprisonment, fines, or banishment, according to the nature of the fact, and as the supreme authority doth judge fit.

Thirdly, the nature of the gospel, whereunto I am appointed a minister of Christ, is inconsistent with the care of those things wherewith I must intermeddle, if I should take upon me to judge of them. For the gospel is the testimony of Jesus, to reveal him to the world, and to invite all men from the cares and lusts of the world, to enter into his kingdom, and rest; which is a kingdom of truth, and not of this world, John xviii. 36, 37, whereof the kingdoms are but lyes and restdess vanities. If then I account myself appointed to this employment by Christ, to mind the mysteries of his truth, and that wisdom which is of God, i Cor. ii. 7, 8. which none of the princes of this world know, or, as princes of this world, care for: I ought not to apply myself to inter

pcudle in their affairs; and, if I vuglit not to do this, I conceive, it is 130t lawful for me to judge of their affairs in publick, either to com

• As, or, so far es.

+ ou natural parents.

mend or condemn them in the pulpit. For Christ being intreated, Luke xii. 13, to employ his authority, to cause one brother to divide the inheritance with the other, did refuse to do it, upon this ground, because God had not appointed bim a judge, or a divider over men in temporal matters. The disciple is not above the niaster; and, if the master had no right to meddle in small matters, between man and man, what right have I to meddle in the greatest, between state and state, or rulers and subjects? When Christ called one of his disciples to him, and he desired leave, first, to go and bury his father, Christ bid him, let the dead bury their dead; but go thou, (saith he) and preach the kingdom of God, Matt. viii, 21, 22. and Luke ix. 60. If then those, that are called to preach the kingdom of God, ought to free their minds from the cares, which, through natural affection, and a kind of civil duty, so nearly concern themselves and their kindred, how much more ought they to be disinterested in niatters of state, which at all do not concern them?

The cares of a quite contrary nature cannot be at once rightly entertained in the same mind; they are like two opposite masters, whom none can serve at the same time acceptably, nor at different times faithfully; therefore, he that will be Christ's servant, and a faithful soldier in his warfare, must not be iniangled in the affairs of this life, otherwise he will not be able to please him, who hath chosen bim to be & soldier, 2 Tim. ii. 4. Now all the affairs of state concern only this life, and nothing else directly and principally.

Fourthly, The intermeddling with state-matters in sermons is contrary to the rule of preaching, and to the true aim, which ought to be maintained in the performance of that duty.

The rule of preaching is, If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God, i Pet. iv. 11. We are warranted to speak nothing (if we speak in God's name) but that which is undeniably his word. Now thing can beget faith, and build up the soul unto godliness, but the truth of God; if we speak other matters, which the wisdom of earthly men, or our own imaginations, or passions, dictate, we profane the ordinance of God, and destroy the faith of the hearers. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord, by the prophet Jeremiah, Jer. xxiii. 28. (ur own words and dreams, about temporal concernments, are less worth than chaff, and the faith of professors cannot stand in the wisdom of inen, but in the power of God. And because Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God, and the power of God, therefore, in our preaching, we should determine to know nothing amongst our hearers, but Jesus Christ and him crucified, i Cor. ii. 5.

The aim, to be maintained in preaching, is to persuade God only, and not men; and not to please men, or become their servants, but God's alune, Gal. i. 10. for he, that intendeth to please men, is no more the servant of Christ, 1 Cor. ii. 2. Now, when men set them. selves to speak of state-matters in the pulpit, their aim is, either to please the magistrates, by commending i hem to the people, or to shew their dislike against their proceedings, by reproving the same, which doth tend to make the people displeased with their magistrates. Now, whether the design be the one, or the other, it is altogether unworthy

« PreviousContinue »