Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.4

MI }i± J38 Of ChrU1ian Liberty. SE&M. with the true peace and intereft of any civil V. fociety ? I hope it is not, whatever hath c`'""'°' been fometimes alledged to the contrary; and then what fervice can the civil power do to the Bate, or to chriftianity itfelf, by any exercife of authority, otherwife than by en- couraging and protecting fubjeds in the profeßion and practice of the chriftian reli- gion, with all the liberty which the gofpel giveth ? To annex temporal rewards to ex- ternal religious ads, and penalties to the omiffion of them, is not to ferve but to hurt pure religion ; and when parties are formed amongft chriftians upon a difference of fen - timents and pratice in the leffer matters of religion, to diftinguifh them by the favour and difpleafiire of the magiftrate, or by civil privileges and penalties, is to abridge liberty, and to obftru ± inftead of promoting true chriftian peace, as well as to make factions in the civil fociety. This hath been, and is generally the cafe, where the chriftian religion hath been pro- feffed by whole nations. Princes and ftates have thought themfelves obliged to thew their zeal for chriftianity, and to better its condition, by their countenance and the affiftance of their power, which, however well intended, ipftead of advancing pure re- ligion, ri