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Pa

rt III.

Reverend

r

Mr.

Richard

Baxter.

Power

of

the Keys from

the

Lawful Bilhops

and Pallors

ofthe Church; Nor

will I

endeavour

to

report

the AncientDifcipline (by removing the SpiritualGovernment

by

the Keys, out

of

the Hands

of

Lay

-

Chancellors,

into the

Hands

of

fo many

able

Palters,

as

the

number of Churches, and

neceffity

of

the

work regsiireth) .nor any

other Reformation of the Church,

by any Rebellious,

Schifnatical, or

other

unlaw-

ful means

whatfoever; ( nor

do

I

believe

that

any Vow

or

Covenant obligeth me

thereto;)

declaring, notwithftanding,

that

it's

none

of

my meaning

to

bind myfelf

from

any Lawful Means

of

fuels

Reformation

;

nor

to

difobey

the King,

if

at

any

time

He

conmuand

-me,

to

endeavour

the Alteration of

any

thing

jufllyalterable.

The General

*finer

seas

as

followeth.

T

Iron

Serions

Confideration

ofthe Aft

of

Parliament,

Entitled, An

AG

fur

Re-

l..l

ftrain:ng

of

Nonconformiftr

from

Inhabiting in Corporations;

And of the Oath

therein mentioned,

I

am

of

Opinion,

That

there

is

nothing contained in

that Oath,

according

to the true

Senfe

thereof,

But

that it

is

not

Lawful

to

take up Arms againft

the

King, or

any

Authorifed

by his Commiffion;

or for

-a

private

Perfon

to

endea-

vour the Alteration ofthe

Monarchical

Government in

the

State,

or the

Government

by Bilhops

in

the

Church

:

And

that

any Perfon

(notwithftanding the taking

of

filch

Oath) if

he

apprehend

that the

Lay

-

Judges in Bifhop's

Courts (as

to

Sentence

of

Ex-

communication

for Matters meetly Ecclelaftical, or for

any

other

Caufe)

ought

to

be

Reformed

;

or

that

Bilhopricks

are of too large extent,

may fafely

Petition

or

efe

any

lawful

Endeavour

for Reformationofthe

fame

:

For

that

filch

Petition, or

other

Lawful

Endeavour,

doth not tend tothe Alteration ofthe Government, but to the

amendment

of what

Ihall

be

found

amifs

in

the Government,

and Reformed

by

Law-

ful

Authority,

and thereby

the Government better

Eftablilhed.

And,

I

conceive,

every Expofition

ofthe

faid

Oath,

upon Suppoliition,

orPrefumption of

an

Obligation

thereby, to

any

thing

which

is

contrary

tothe

Law

of God, or theKingdom,

is

an

illegal,

and

a

forced Expofition,

contrary

to

the intent and

meaning

of the

faid

Oath

and

Aft of

Parliament

;

for

it

is

a

Rule,

mullion

iniquum

eJ

in Lege priefumendum,

And

an

Expofition

tending

to

enjoyn any

thing contraryto the

Law

of

God, would

make

the Aft of Parliament void,

which

ought not

to

be

admitted,

when

it

bears

a

fair

and plain Senfe, which

is

no

more,

Than that

Subjefts

ought

not to

take up

Arms againft their LawfulKing,

or

fach as

are

lawfully Comrniffsonated by him ;

and

for private

Perfons

to

be

unquiet

in

the

place

wherein they live,

to

the diftur-

bance

of the Government

in Church or State.

John

Fountain,

Feb.

6.

s

665.

9

The

Particular

Anfiner teas

as

follometh.

N7

O

T

at prefent

to

difpnte the things prefuppofed (although

I may

not grant

l

N

all in

the

Fourth,

and

fume

other of the

Potations,

to

he

warranted

by

the

Law

of Nature

or

Scripture)

I

add

as neceTary

to

the

Refolving

of the

Qseftions

upon the

Aft

of Parliament,

That

in

the Expofition of Afts of Parliament,

if

there

maybe a

fair and

reafonalale

Conftrufìion

made

of theWords, not contrary to the

Law

of

God or Reafon,

that

Conftruftion ought

to

be made

thereof, and hat

any

Expofition, which tends

to

make

it

fenflcfs,

or

contrary

to

the

Lam

ofGodana'

Rearon,

or to

fuppofe any wicked

thing

enjoyned thereby

is a

forced

Gonftruftion,

and contrary

to

Law, being deftruftive to the

very AG

of Parliament.

I

hereupon

lay alideany

Anfwer

to

the

Fourth and Eighth Qeeftions, which may,

peradventure,

be

thought

nicer Cavils againft

the

Aft,

though

I

knowing

the Temper ofthePro-

pounder, have

a

more charitable Opinion

of

him. But

I

do

apprehend,

that tho'

there

may

want

a

Word

to

make a Logical Pofstign, concerning

the

Tráyterous Po-

fition

mentioned

in the Oath, yet there

is

a

plain

Senfe

in the Oath, via.

That

iris

unlawful

to

take up Arms againft

the

King;

and

that if

any would make a

diftin-

ftion,

and

affirm,

That

though the

unlawfnlnefs

were admitted

to

take up

Arms

again

t

hin, yet

by his Authority,

they might take up Arms againft

hisPerron,

or

agamítthofe

that

are

Commiff

oned

by

him, in purfuance

of

fuch

Commilfion,

fisch

an

Affirmation

and Polition

as

this,

is

Traytorous,

and

to

be

abhorred;

and

there is

B

b

b

B

filch