Imágenes de páginas

must looke for a lpirituail death in the New Testament. Why I pray you Brethren consider,

i. The Papists are not of that mind, but they execute it in the letter; they have put to death the Prophets and servants of God in the letter jhunted them up and downe; the Inquisition Is incomparably more bloudy then any other other Butchery. They doe not,nor may not plead any Inch thing; they beleeve it is true in the letter. And let me lay further, the holy Ghost makes it as true in the letter; this Text is in the New Testa ment, not in the Old, Thou haft given them blond to drinke, for they ere worthy : and he speaks oft he very bloud of the hearts of men: And it is parallel with Gods justice of old; it was j ust then, and it is just now. Zachary intends the day es of the New Testament, though written in the Old, that when a fountaine is opened to the house ofDavid ,and inhabitants ofJerusalem, for finne and for uncleanneffe, then the father and mother of a false Prophet shall accuse him to the Magistrate, and shall lay unto him, He shall not live. Was it an abomination then to speak lyes in the Name of the Lord, and nolefle thenblasphemie, and shall it be more savourably interpreted now? A man may now speak a lye, and bring in a salse Christ, a false Mediator, and salse mcanes of" satissaction, and false merits., now he may without perill of his . life, in the Old Testament he might not. Why but was it not sulhcient to have a spirituals judgement ? Even they had lpirituail judgements then; but God saw it meet to inflict some temporall judgement as well as spiritualism! is now his judge* ment changed?

Besides, are not Moses Morali Lawes of pcrpetuall equity, and therefore to be observed in all Ages ? Is blasphemy more tolerable in the New Testament, or thrusting men away from God?is it not as odious now as then? Is not murther of sbules as damnable now as then? Is not conspiracie and sedition as damnable and capital now as then ? Is not the law ofretaliation as just in the New Testament as in the old? and therefore a man woujd wonder that liich frivolous interpretations should come into the hearts of men, to hinder the free passage of the justice ot God, on such notorious offenders. ...

But you will fay, Conscience should not be forced, and men should not be put to death for their conscience.; Why doe you thinke Heretiqucs were not as conscionable in


the Old Testament as now? If any man had a conscience to turft - men from God, he would have men of as much conscience to cut them off; if they make no conscience of the blaspheming the name of God, the Lord would have meni make no Conscience of cutting them off from breathing hi the aire of God; If men make no conscience of murthering soules, or railing scdition,and tumult,and murthering men better then themselves,, the Lord would have men make no conscience of paying every man in his owne kind. ...-;»:

But let me answer again, But mark what I say, the Lord will easily provide for this, and so he doth: and in England I am sure he hath, (what in Holland I know not, but) he hath provided therc,That if a J esuite or Priest, or their abettors, shall come in, and take the oath of sidelity to the State,and Ib carry matters before some Justice of Peace, the Law discharged! them from capitall punishment:And the Law of God in the New Testament is, that sii'ch should be once or twice admonished, but if he still continue, the Apostle would have him cast out of the Church j the Church hath no sarther power; if they be proceeded with sarther, it .must be by the Magistrate: Him that is an heretique, ofter once or twice admonition,reject, knowing that he that is such, is subverted,&c. So that it must be for Fundamental! Articles of Religion in doctrine or worship, which are ib clearly delivered in the Word, that no man that understands Scripture, and the wayesof salvation, but maybe satissied in conscience what is the holy and acceptable will of God in mch points; and therefore he takes it for granted, if a man be once or twice admonished, he is convinced of himscife, he is subverted, he is turned orTfrom the foundation, that now no man is put to death for his conscience, but for sinning against the light of his conscience; his owne conscience convinced him, and the light of the Word is so cleare, as cannot but convince him, that the way of Godrunnes just quite conr -trary to his interpretation and seducement: And therefore now if you sinne, you sinne against conscience, and therefore you justly suffer for being subverted, and turned off from the foundation, from Christ Jesus, and holding another foundation , and persisting therein obstinately. So there are two things in an heretique, he is both subverted himscife, as an house from the foundation, it is against the foundation of Religion;

C and and he holdeth out obstinately against light of conscience, with stubbornness; and now in such a case thine eye shall not spare him. A soule that sins of ignorance, may be pardoned > but if he still continue obstinate, thme eye shall not spare himjthe wrath of God now goes out against a person, against a City; if it were against a Tribe, they goe about by force of Armes to redrefleit; they (hall not suffer iuch in a Country. This is then the Answer to the second Objection, and still justisies the equity of that Law.

O bj. 3. There is a third Objection, Ay, but is it not written,that you shall suffer tares to grow with the wheat, lest while ye gather up the tares y ye root up also the wheat with them f Mat. 13.30. Now our Saviour tending to clemencie and moderation, he saith, Let both grow together untill the harvest 3&c, -'

Arisw. Ay, but tares and wheat,they may grow together,but he doth not say, ye may suffer bryars and thorns to grow with them, for then you choak all the wheat: And therefore it hath been a salse interpretation of the Popish sort, and taken up by the Anabaptists,that tares signisie indifferently all forts of wicked men; but I know none that expound them better then Jerome, and none so well; the tares are very like the wheat in Jury ; what they are in other Countries I know not, but they are like to the wheat there, and you will not know the difference in the greene blade,nor in the spindling, untiil it grows towards the harvest, then you will flnde it but an empty eare and thin, and yet it grows so close with the other wheat, and like it, that if you pluck it up, you may pluck up the wheat with it, let therefore hoth grow together till the harvest.

What is then meant hy Tares? Not such as sinne through obstinacie, but hyhocrites that are like the servants of God., that you would think they aresiich; after you discover them, they are empty eares, and hollow,have no satnesse of graine, and that is indeed none of the wheat. Now let Hypocrites grow together with the Elect, doe not cast them out meerly for hypocrisie, though you sinde'them halting, unlefle they break forth to scandalous behaviour, either in doctrine.or worship, or conversation's they appearcto be bryars and thornes; if they be manifest fruits of the curse, away with them, Why cumber you the ground t for else you shall neither have Church censure, nor caYill to stand. Such notorious wicked persons, adulterers, Idolaters, *

ters, railers, refractory and scandalous persons-, drunkards, and
the like, are not tares; we must not abuse Scripture,that because
tares and hypocrites are sufTered,therefore refractoryjscandalous, •
notorious wicked men and heretiques may be suffered; no, that
is not the meaning, they are not ears, you may fee them asar off;
you shall not need to scare rooting up the wheat by cutting off
them,the wheat is nothing like them. So you seethe sirst Ule,to
j'ustisiethe equity andsoveraigiity of such capitall punimments
on Priests and jeseites, and consequently briflicn as bring in
other Gods,or another way of worshipping the true God, then
that wherein we may enjoy fellow strip with the true God, the
justice and suitableness of it to the holy will of God, since there
were any Lawes made amongst Gods people. -.' - -

For a second Use, it may serve to reprove the carnall and sin- yfi 2. * full foolim pity that is found in any State, that (hall be sparing of (pilling such bloud of the Priests and Jesuit es: It is you fee contrary to the unchangeable j'ustice of God; the Lord loathes . this kinde of lenity, an3 gentlenesses andindulgence,and toleration of such kind of persons, and ordinary receivings of them-; if men will luster such in the State, truly they shall doe it to the subversion of their owne lafeties and dignities, and disturb their whole State. It is a very sad speech which the Lord utters in the 48. Jer. 10. Cursed Is he that doth the rvork_ofthe Lordr.egligentIj ; and cuilcd is he that keepethback his sword from bloud, when the Lord calls us to sheath the sword of Authority in such kind of delinquents as these be;if we lhall now spare them, and neglect this work of God, curled be such. A State shall be separate from God, and a Kingdome more and more corrupt and leavened,by such toleration ; the wrath of God will break forth, tumults,and seditions, and ail kind of seandalous, and unrighteous, and ungodly proceedings will let a whole Kingdome in combustion, Church and Common-wealth at variance: There can be no peace to sitch a State, where such persons are tolerated : And therefore we may feare the righteous hand of God, in disturbing the Countrey whereto wee owe so much love and saithfulnefle, if there be a suspending of the holy and righteous Law of God; that these rivers and fountaines mould drinke of bloud,for they are worthy. • - . '< #

Thirdly, this may serve to teach all Magistrates and Cover- Vfi 3. noursin every Common-wealth, tolooke that all your Lawes,

be righteous la wes : If you will act any thing justly, the Lord takes it as his act, he is the actor of it. And therefore though this Law was made by Queene Elizabeth, with the consent of the whole body of the Parliament, and though her Secretary, by her direction and consent, published the justice of the Law, the Text iaith, it is the Lord, Thou art juft and righteous, just and true are thy wayesy because thou hast judged thus: They have sijed the blond of Saints and Prothets, they have given them blond, and thou hast given them blond to drinke, for they are worthy. Even so, saith another Angel, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgements. If there be any whollbme and just Law in a Kingdome,the Lord ownes it as his owne, and it is to be obeyed as a righteous Law of God; if it be unjuft, it is not Gods, for his law is just* an adequate rule of righteoulnefle. So that what ever is lesse then the Law of God, if it suit not with the Law or God, and keep correspondencie therewith, you cannot say it is a Law of God : Therefore Law givers, and Law makers, should ever have respect what doth the Lord onr God say; If it be Gods Law, and Gods will, let it be established -3 if not, let it be antiquiated: But if you can sinde a hint from the Law of God for it, then let it stand

And fourthly, this must teach confederate States, or such States, whether neere for co-habitation, or sarther off; if they heare of others proceedings, it is good toconsirme what they have justly done. Queene Elizabeth makes a Law in the yeere 84. against Priests and J esuites, the Decree is righteous, when others heare of this righteous lection, they make it also acapitall crime for any (uch persons to be sound amongst them ; if it be capitall in England, it is so in Holland, they will require it of the necks of them that ihallbe found delinquent.What then? This is Even foj one State must say Even so upon the j'ust act of another; and they must record it in their Statutes, unlefle there be some apparent dissimilitude, which i$not in case of this naturejfor there is the same equity in all Ages,and all Nations,and therefore-it is for them to say A?ncn,ot Even so to it: And what is that? It is no more but this, If you enact a Law which is in another Countrey,you say Amen to Gods j'ustice in your own Count rev, as others doe in theirs.

The sist Use that you may make of this Point,is, to teach you a tender respect in all lawes to the j'udicials ot Moses, to all the


« AnteriorContinuar »