Durham - BV4615 D87 1732

-HEAVEN upon EARTH3^ IN THE Serene Tranquillity and calm Com p ofuref Joy the fweet Peace and folid Y UF A Good CONSCIENCE,. Sprinkled with the Blood of J E S U S, AND Exerciled always to be void of Offence toward G O D and toward Men. Brought down, and holden forth in XXII, very fearching Sermons, on feveral Texts of Scripture to that Purpofe WHEREIN Many weightyand momentuous Cafes of C s e F N c greatly influencing a tender Chriffian Walk, are fober= ly, folidly, fuccindly and fatisfyingly difcuffed ; lev _ ral of which are not readily to be met with in the NA r 'rings of other Divines on this Subje &. By that Learned, and eminently Confcientious Minifter of the Gape', Mr. JAMES D v R x A M fotnetimo Preacher thereof at Glafgow. Pet. 3. ti 16. Having a good Confcience ; that whereas they fpeanRvil of you, asof Evil-doers, they maybe 44- aged that "illy accufe your good Converfation in Ghrr /o ['rint,td by T; D M A s L ti M Y S ÀEN and J o rt:AT R:9-=-. FE x T s a N, xa tnd ' fold at their PrintingNhoufe tAr n m ar ! et. U. Li

r. Ù T H Y2¡ READ IRS, And more paiticularly to the Inhabitants' of the City of CiL SGOpg TH E Microcofm, or little World Mán a notable, curious compend and abridg- ment (as it were) of the larger one, and the great mafler-piece of all the vifible works of G O D, was, when he came from under the hand of the omnipotent Creator in the first edition, a little model and reprefentation of the divine per- feEions ; having impreffed on him that blefi'ed and beautiful, that amiable and admirable conformity to the image and likenefs of GOD, wherein codified the pre= heminency of his nature above that of all other crea- tures in the vifible or fublunary world ; being one of the greateft excellencies that a created nature is capable of, and a clearer ray of divine Majefty, than his domi-. fiion over the other creatures ; and which only made him capable of the enjoyment of God, as being that which affimilated to him, and brought him to the nare- cft approaches to glory. All the faculties and powers of his foul carried this glorious chara&er vively ingraven on them r His body alfó had fomewhat of. the fame image Ramped on it, tho' not in refpe& of its figure and fhape, or natural ufe, but, as an eflential part of his nature, it was interefled therein by a participation of original, righteoufnefs : For it was Jman's perfon that was made holy. The his foul was the firft proper fubje& of that con- created habit, and principle of hounds; yet his body (as I laid) as an effential part of his nature, did participate thereof, by a peculiar communication of that holinefs to it, as far as it was to be influential on moral.. operations ; and hereby were the parts and. members of his body," in that flate of innocency and integrity's, geld inailrt mennts 4nd fervants unto righteoufrtefs ánd

iv The fIle bolinefs. His underfianding was a Iamp of clear and pure light, without any the leaft meafure or mixture of culpable darknefs or ignorance ; it was able clearly and diflin&ly to reprefent all obje&s, competent for him to know, with wonderful readinefs and facility. His will was (to fay fo) ftraight as a rufh, without any the leaft finful crook, or finifler biais, inclining only and per. fe &ly to that which was good, and altogether averfe from every thing that was evil; there being a thorow agree - ment betwixt his will, and the will of God ; fo that he willed what he willed, and nilled what he nilled, All his afc eliions moved only and conflantly towards right and commanded obje &s, and that with perfc &ion of regularity in all their motions. His memory was of ftrong retention, neither knew he, while he remained fuch, what it was to forget any thing that was fuitable and in- cumbent for him to remember. His confcience was in ex- cellent cafe to refle& ; and, there being no ground for any challenge, reproof; or accufation, it did only commend and applaud ; in a word, it did moft faithfully and exa&- ly at the part of God's Deputy, following his orders pun&ually and precifely, and fo was kept in an in diflurbed calm, and perfe&ly ferene tranquillity. The members of his body were fervants only to righteoufnefs, and, with holy alacrity, fubferved the foul in all its ope- rations, But, ah : the entring in of curled fin, made a fad, forrowful and ftupendious Cataftrophe letting on fire, as it were, the whole courfe of nature, and putting its very foundatiogs throe way out of courfe, and deplorably defacing the curious, flately, magnificent, beautiful and glorious fabrick of this little world Man quite vitiating and corrupting all the faculties, powers and parts of his foul and body, which, by the exa& and exquifite fymetry and harmony thereof, through the image of God con - created with him, made him, while it remained in its integrity, incapable of all fuch motions, or a &ions, which 4hould be fubfervient unto, or compliant with, any thing contrary unto, or different from it. His undemanding, the leading faculty, and the eye (as it were) of the foul, became an abyfs and dungeon of darknefs, cove- red all over with fogs, mitts and clouds of ignorance,

t, the Reader. v errors and milakes; fo that, becoming of a fpiritual and holy man, a carnal and corrupt man, He did not receive, neither could he know favingly the things of God. He be- came quite blind, having loft his vifible faculty, as to all fpiritual difcerning. His will, the ruling and governing faculty, utterly loft its re &itude, and became crook- ed, froward, perverfe, rebellious and obflinate, ftrongly inclined and bent to evil, to all evil, only to evil, always and conftantly to evil ; and altogether averíe from every thing truly good ; willing that which God nilled, and milling that which he willed. His affzitions turned all mutinous, diforderly, difturbed and confufed, furioufly ruffling on prohibited obje&s, as the horfe rufheth into the battle : And what movings of them were toward any commanded obje &, thefe were altogether irregular ; not fo much as one of them moved toward any fuch obje &, purely or primarly, becaufe it was a thing commanded. His memory quite loft its retentive faculty, i as to the re- membring of any thing fpiritually good, n the way it fhould have been remembred ; it became in that refpe& as a lecky veflel, all fuch things flipping and running through and out of it. His confcience, being defiled and made guilty, became clamorous, unquiet, challenging and accufing, boifterous and ftormy, filling him with horror ; and ( when not ftupified and benummed with fpiritually lethargick fecurity, or cauterized) putting him upon the rack, "and making a kind of hell in his bom fom, fo that he was Magur- mifrabib, terror round about, even his own Burrio and tormentor. All the members of his body were yielded to be the weapons, àf' unrighteoufnefs to fin : So that all the faculties and powers of his foul, and members of his body, were on the fudden up in arms in hoftility and rebellion againft God, proclaiming and waging war with him, and on the matter blafphe- moufly bidding him a defiance : O fad and forrowful revolution, in and on the little world Man! Heu quantum mutatus ab illo I God made him upright, but he fought out to himfelf many inventions ; Wo to us, for we have finned, and the crown bath fallen from our head. And by the lofs of.. our original righteoufhefs, and the corruption of our whole nature, with the innumerable a &ual fns and trail:.

e 'a e greffions that flow from thence, wt bear, alas ? a great deal more of the image of the devil, and of the brute, than we do of the image of God. The re- introduftion, reflauration, and renovation of the prifline beautiful conformity to the glorious image of God (with their re- conciliation and juflification through his fatisfa&ion to divine juflice) in force of the univerfally lapfed and loft oflerity of Adam, even all the ele& and gifted ones to the Mediator, to be redeemed, fan &hied and Paved by him, in order to the capacitating of them to enjoy fel- lowíhip with God, (forfeited by the fall) and that by a new creation (the very fplendor and glory of the whole creation) was the great errand and bufinefs for which Chrift Jefus came into the world ; who, being the head and foundatión -flone of this new creation, hath gracioufly undertaken to prepare, fantify and glo= rify his myflical body, or all the eleft given to him by Jehovah: Which he accordingly effe&eth and bring- eth to pats, by regenerating them, by fan&ifying them, and by carrying on this work of fan4iñcation in the growth and gradual advances thereof, till it be perfeEted and confummared in glory : Whereby the image of God in men is again renewed, and reflored both in their fouls and bodies refpe&ively, in a good meafure now in this life, and fhall be perfectly in the life to come : Where, as they fhall all fee him as he is, intuitively face to face, and enjoy him fully and immediately, without any the leafs moment's interruption through all eternity; fo they fhall be like him, perfec`ly like him, according to crea- ture-capacity ; refembling him to the very Life. All the faculties and powers of their fouls partake of this re- newing work ; The undemanding being favingly eíalight-- hcd The will re&ified ; The affetlions reduced into or- der ; The memory ffrengthned, and the confcience much cleanfed' calmed, and put into a capacity, as to accule and condemn, fo to excufe, allow and abfolve; acts there II{s juft ground for either ; and they put to make it their great'bufinefs, about which they allow themfelves to be exercifed, always to have it void of offence toward God aad iNyard men : Which confcience, with the concerns thereof, being the great theme and fubjet of thefe choice, fearch.., ins;

ing and favoury fermons (wherein if there be any thing that doth not fo fully anfwer expectation, let it be im- putted to the writer from his own mouth, whole copy was fo very incorre&, that the fitting it for the view of the world hath caufed no (mall labour to me) I need fay the lefs of it ; only in general, I would humbly offer thefe few things, Fire, We would above all things look well that once we have a good confcience, not only morally (that is, when confcience judgeth itfelf bound to own God's revealed. will for its rule, and when it impelleth or puiheth the man to a& according to that rule, and withal the more ordinary difpofition of his will is to comply with thefe impulfes of his confcience, which may be where there is no fpecial or faving grace) but gracioufly fo ; which neceífarily prefuppofeth a ftate of regeneration, and the heart's applying itfelf by faith (the gift of God) to the blood of fprinkling, which both purgeth and pacifieth cleanfeth and calmeth the confcience; which fpeaketh bet ter things than the blood of able, yea, bath a cry, able to outcry the loudeft cries of the molt clamorous and guil- ty confcience, and is that wherein all difquieting chal- lenges and accufations for fin are only fafely funk and and put to filence, fo as they íha11 never again fwim a hove and talk to the final forrow and íhame of fuch as are led through grace to take this courfe with them , as the now funk and any other way filenced challenges of moft men and women, will once moft certainly. rife on them, and fpeak at a high rate againft them, never any more taP hold their peace from grievoufly galling and gnawing ac- cufations ; For to the unclean and unbelieving nothing is pure, but even the mind and confcience is defiled. Secondly, The confcience being thus made good, we would endeavour by all fuitable means to keep it fo, that we may be in cafe on warrantable and good grounds to fay with -the apoffle, LVe trufi we have a good confcience in all things, willing to live honefily, Heb. 13. 18. And if at any time the confcience of the Chriftian be defiled and wounded by new contracted pollution and guilt, and challenges begin thence to arife and to difturb the peace nd fev et repefe of the foul, there would be on all fuck occafions

viii he Epiftle occafions frech believing applications made to the blood of fprinkling, that thereby the heart may be fprinkled from 4n evil confcience, and the confcience purged from dead works to ferve the living God ; and endeavours would be renewed in the ftrength of grace to walk more tenderly, without offence toward God, and toward men : Toward which there fermons abound with variety of choice and excellent directions and helps. Thirdly, and more particularly,We would fludy to have our confcience well and throughly informed, by intimate acquaintance with the mind and will of God, revealed in the fcriptures of truth,.as to all things that we are called to believe and do; fo that it may be in cafe to difcharge its office and duty aright, whether in dictating, or in teflifying, or in judging. An ill- informed confcience, efpe- cially where there is any zeal or forwardnefs, ftrongly pufheth and furioufly driveth men to many dangerous, diftra&ed and deflru &ive practices; bath not this driven men to kill the fervants of Chrifl (as himfelf foretold) and in doing fo to think that they did God fervice ? Did not this hurry on Paul, before his converfion, to perfe- cute callers on the name of the Lord Jefus, and to make bavock of the Church,by drawing and dragging the dif ciplcs, both men and women, bound to prifon, and by cruel perfecuting of them even to flrange cities, compel ling them to blafpheme ? So exceedingly mad was he (as himfelf confefï`eth) againft them. O what terrible and tragical things hath this fet men on to do, and what mad work bath it made in force places of the world, befide many leffer impertinencies, extravagancies and diftur- bances in particular Chrif}ian focieties! Fourthly, We would endeavour to have the confci- ence deeply impreffed with due and deep veneration, awe and dread of the majefty of God, the fupreme Lord (If, and great Lawgiver to, the confcience ; whole laws and commands are only properly, direftly, immediate- ly, and of themfelves obligatory thereof ; becaufe the confciences and fouls of men are properly fubje& only to God ; and becaufe the law of God written in the beans of men, and in the fcriptures, is the only rule of confcience ; and rnoreoverp becaufe men cannot ammedi- atehy

to the Reader. ix ately judge the confcience, nor know they the ferret motions thereof; and finally, becaufe he can only inflid fpiritual punifhment on the finning confcience. All the laws and commands of men, in whatever capacity, are only obligatory of the confcience mediately, indire&ly, and confequentially, viz. in fo far as they are confiftent, compliant and agreeable with the laws and commands of the abfolutely fupreme Lawgiver, or not repugnant thereunto : For certainly he hath not given a difpenfation to any power on earth, civil or ecclefiaftick, to counter- mand his commands, or to enjoin obedience to commands contrary to, or inconfiftent with, his own ; whofe com- mands are immediately and inviolably binding of the confciences of fuperiors and magifrates, tho' the greateft Monarchs on earth, as well as of inferiors and fubje&s, all without exception being inferiors and fubje &s to him : Yet fuch laws of men as do either preis or declare the commands and law of God, and make for the confervation and obfervation thereof, ob- lige in confcience ; becaufe fuch laws, as they are fuch, participate of the nature and force of the divine law ; and becaufe the law of God doth direly and immedi- ately command fubje &ion to the fuperior powers : Therefore, even in reference to their unjuft Iaws, and fuch as are repugnant to, or incrnfiffent with, the divine laws, fubje &s are obliged in confcience not to refufe obedience to them out of any contempt of lawful autho- rity (let be to difclaim and renounce the fame, as fome poor feduced and deluded perfons do in thefe days, either out of ignorance, or humour, or mifguided zeal, to the great reproach of religion) nor to admit of any thing that may have in it the leaft appearance of offence, and fcandal that way ; becaufe the contempt of lawful authority, and the fcandal of others, are in themfelves fins againft the law of God : Yet Rill, as no mere human laws do dire&ly, immediately and of themfelves (as I faid) bind the confcience ; fo neither hath God given a power to any of the fuperior powers on earth to enjoin obedience to commands that are crois to his own in-: jun&ïons, which all are obliged indifpenfibly to obey. And therefore it is not only firange, but even flupen, dinnc

e a.e dious, for any Chriilians,efpecially fuch as pretend to be proteflants, confidently to alfert, and boldly to publiíh to the world, as Mr. Hobbs doth in his Leviathan, (a book deigned by him, as I have been informed, to corn, element Gromwel, againft the writer's own confcience, fuch as it was) p. 168. ghat no private man is judge of good and evil actions in a common wealth, under civil laws; and that the meafure of good and evil aelions is the civil law (of aCions civilly good, why not ? but of aElions limply good and evil (as his affcrtion carries) why ? what reason, or fhadow of reafon ? God never having given, nor aíligned fuch a rule ; we may thus throw away our Bibles, as the rule of good and evil aEtions, and all be- take ourfelves to the civil law as the only rule) and the legifluitor the alone judge ; fince he may as well diveft a man of human nature and un -man him, as deprive him of a private judgment of difcretion, or of a private dif cretive judgment in reference to his own adions ; the fober exercife whereof is no affuming to himfelf in the leafs the capacity of a publick judge. And if at any time, in any thing relating to his own ads, this judgment of private difcretion fall to thwart the law or publick judg- ment, he adventures on t hat cum periculo, or on his peril; but it cannot in reafon utterly rob him of it, fince (as is faíd) he can as faon ceafe to be a man, or a rational crea- ture, as to have that quite denied him, or taken from him. And, to what end or purpofe thould he be privileged with this above brutes, if the exercife of it íhall be for ever fufpended in the members of kingdoms and com- 'mon- wealths, as almoft all men in the world are ? what found and orthodox divine,or found Chriftian lawier ever taught fuch c oa[rine ? The learned Dr. Ames tells us, in the 4th corolary, and very laf words of his firft book of Cafes of confcience, That interpretatio fcripturx, vel jug dicïum difcer ere voluntatem Dei, pertinet ad quemlibet in foro confcientix pro fcsneteip fo. And, page i 69. of the forecited book, the fame Bcbbs lays, 'That he who is fub- jec7 to río civil law, linneth all that he doth again ft his confcience ; yet it is not fo with him 2vho liveth in a com- mon-wealth, becaufe the law is the publick confcience Which Teems to be inconfitent with, if not point-blank con-

to the Reader. xi contradietory unto,what the apaftle exhorts to, Rom. 14, 5 Let every man be fully pertvaded in his own mind,or con- fcience, to wit, of the warrantablenefs of what he doth and, to what he afferts, v. 23. TVhatfoever is not done is frith (or from this full perfwafion of its warrantable - nefs) is fin. He doth not furely write this to Chriftians in Utopia, or in the fancied new world in the moon ; but to thofe who were really prefcnt members of the Ronzan common- wealth, or fubjeets of that empire ; neither can it with any thew of reafon he ilappol'ed (efpecially by Iim,wh ^,in the ¡train of his hook,as to this matter, makes very little, or rather no difference at all be twixt a Hea- then and Chr f ian magiftrate ; for whether the magiftrate be Pagan, -Wahornetan, 5ew , Chr f ian, Poprlh or Protef ant, Heretical or Orthodox, feems to be all one to him and his followers in this debate) that if the Roman emperor had been Chriflian, he would have written otherwife ; or that his becòming fuch, would enervate, yea, quite eva- cuate the firength and obligation of what he writes For he delivers it as an eternal and unalterable verity, rule -who will, and be the civil Iaws what they may be And while, in the 13 chapter of that fame epiftle, he telleth Chrif$ians, v. 5. That they mull needs be fubjeft,not only for wrath, but alto for confcience fake; He feems very clearly to diftinguith betwixt the law and command of the civil power (which Mr, Hobbs calleth the publick confcience) and the confcience of private Chriftian fubjeEs, and to preis upon them fubjeétion to the higher powers, for their own confcience fake, and fo to leave to them fame ex- ercife and judgment of that their confcience concerning the matter of their obedience and fubje&ion a Otherwile the obedience and fubjeftion could not well be faif-`to be for confcience fake, or out of confcience ; for he- might fhortly have laid, Obey the dictates of the publick èoh c -'nee, or the laws of the fuperior powers, there being no place for the exercife of the confcience of private fubje6ts in the matter. There is one divine (inch as he is) who, in hiÿ cclef aftick polity, more lately delivers the fame doctrine wherein he not only plainly Hobbizeth, but alfo palpably playeth the plagiary,borrowing,(not to fay ffealing) much Of what he lays to this purpofe through his book from Mr.

Xii The El We Mr. Hobbs, thon in force few things he oppofeth him, and delivers his fentirnents in a finer drefs of language. It may be, that none may think that he is beholden to the other,for that which he would furprize the world with as his own new and profoundly witty invention, vainly as it were crying, : Let them, for me, (hare betwixt them this glorying in their own íhame, that fhall not be rolled away. He Pays, That, in matters of religion, and divine worfhip, fubjec`t`s are to be ruled by authority and the publick confcience ; and that, in thefe matters, private men have not power over their own actions, nor are to be dire tied by their own judgments, but by the commands and determi- nations of the publick confcience ; only with thefe lorry re- ffritions, If the things commanded do not either countenance vice, or difgrace the Deity ; or if the things be not abfolute_ ¡y and effentially evil, whofe nature no cafe can alter, no cir- cumfiance can extenuate, and no end can fanai fy. Mr. Hobbs hath only this limitation, If the things be not againfi the law of nature : In eífe& both come near to the fame, if not to the very fame amount ; and by both an obliga- tion is pleaded to ly on the confciences of all private Chriftian fubje&s, to give up themfelyes to the conduét and regulation of the publick confcience, or of the laws of the common- wealth, as to many, at leaff, of the pofitive commands of God, doing contrary to which will not fall within the compafs of thefe very narrow limitations ; which either fuppofeth, without any warrant or proof; that the publick confcience is always infallible as to thefe (And it is worthy noticing what the learned Monfieur Claude hath to this purpofe in his defence of the refor- mation, where he faith, In eee5t an ahfolute obedience and entire re fgning of one's Pelf to the conduct of another in theft 7natters that regard the faith and the confcience, is a duty that we can law fully tender to none but to God, who is the frf truth, the farfi principle of all juflice, to which none can pretend without ufurping the full right of God: As is allo, what faith 1Amefius, Page 6th of his Cafes, cTbat the confcience is immediately fubjett to God, and to his will, and cannot fubjeet itfelf to any creature without idolatry.) Or it is the fhort cur, and compendious way to debauch wens confciences, and to drive all confcience out of the world;

to the Reader, xiii world ; being obvioufly liable to thefe following (befide others) great and grofs abfurdities ; i. That private Chriftian fubje&s are not at all to trouble them - felves,or to he at the pains to fearch the fcriptures in order to the information of their confciences, and bringing themfelves to be fully perfwaded in their mind or con- fcience (which they are exprefly commanded to do, fohn 5. 39. and Rom, 14. 5.) of the warrantablenefs of what they do, or are enjoined to do in religion, and ita the worfhip of God. if it be not againfl the law of natures which may be eafily difcerned ; (for,fays Mr. Hobbs, It is born with every man, and engraven on every man's heart) he is in all fuck things to acquiefce, without debate or de- mur, in the determination of the publick confcience ; and if he (hall endeavour to have his confcience informed, the more he doth fo, he but puts his own confcience the more upon the rack, and to the torture. If he muft,not-' withftanding the cleareft information and belt grounded perfwafion of his own judgment and confcience, ftand to, and acquiefce in the refolre of the publick confcience ;. as he mutt do according to this do&rine ; if he fin not, (as bath not hitherto been doubted by any man of con- fcience) in countera&ing his own light, and well- inform- ed confcience ; at leaft,he.cannot but be more difquieted, that he was, according to the command of God, at f© much pains in the duty of feeking to have his confcience fo well informed ; which God never made a juft ground of difquiet to the minds of bis people ; And his acquief- cence in the determination of the publick confcience, or of the law of the land, mutt be as to many, or molt, if not all divine pot tives in religion, and the worthip of God For, faith Mr. Hobbs, p. 249. 2 hey to whom God bath not fpoken immediately, are to receive commands from the fove reign ; and confequently in every common - wealth, they wb® have no fupernatural revelation to the contrary, ought t® obey the laws of their own fovereign in the external atgs and profefflon of religion ; which draws dreadfully deep, . as will further appear from fome of his inffanceso If (lays he, p. 271.) it be asked, What if we be commanded by our lawful prince to fay with our tongue, We believe not in Ghrifß (he may as well add, We believe not that there is

i to the Reader each a perfoh as Chrift) muff we obey fuch á cofnsnatd .Pro fef on with the tongue (faith he) is no more than any other geflure whereby we fgni fy our obedience, and wherein a Chriflian, holding firmly in his heart the faith of Chrifl' bath the fame liberty that Elitha allowed to Naaman the Sr Brian. A great and grofs miftake ; the prophet allowed no fuch thing, But, without giving any particular anfwer to his demand,fince,by what Mr. Hobbs confetfeth, he could not but know that what he defired (if indeed he defired it, fome learned men aferting, that the words contain a refle&ion upon a paff unlawful pra&iee, and a begging forgivenefs of it, and not a delire of a permiffion of any fuch pra &ice for the future) was a tin and unlawful to be done ; only bids him go in peace, withing him well, and God's bleffing to him, tho' not as to.that particular ;. Here, faith he, Naaman believed in bis Heart, but, by bowing before the idol Rimmon, he denied the true God in e ffett, as if he had done it with his lips : (How dare he then be fo bold, as to affirm, that the prophet. allowed and approved of his pra &ice ? What then fball we fay to that of our saviour, Whoever denieth me before Men, him will I deny before my Father which is in heaven ? 9'o this (faith he) we may fay, That whatfoever a fisbjett, as Naaman was, is compelled to, in obedience to his love_ reign, and Both it not according to his own mind, but in or- der to the laws of his country, that aëiion is not his, but bis favereign's ; nor is it he that in this cafe denies Chri'1, but his governor, and the law of his country. O what a wide door is opened here for groffett diffimulation,' and juggling in the matters of God, and for the moff palpable inconhftency betwixt the heart of a man, and his a &ions ! the one manifettly contradi&ing and bely. ing the other, which ought, efpecially in fuch cafes, faithfully to correfpond, and exaétly to agree. What fecurity, I pray, could men have upon earth one from a- nother in their oaths, covenants, pads and contra &s,' in their mutual bargainings and dealings, if fuch a curled latitude were allowed them, to fay, promife, and fwear one thing, and resolve another in their hearts ? And (hall that be allowed in matters wherein the honour of God is' fo much, and fo nearly concerned,' which is fo'abo-

to the Reader trainable in the concerns of men, all which comparative.., 1y are but trifles ? Might not all Chriflian martyrs of old, and proteftant ones of late, by fuch obedience to their refpe&ive lawful fovereigns, in the several parts of the Chriflian world,have efcaped and delivered themfelves from being burnt alive,and from other bloody,violent and cruel deaths, and exquisite torments ? And shall they- not, according to this detestable do&rine, be looked ar, as a company of filly fools, who needlefly threw away their lives, which they might thus have very eafily preferved? For none of them, we know of, were ever by their popish lawful fovereigns injoined, to fay with ¡their tongue, ghat they believed not in Chr ; which yet, faith he, they might and should have done, (keeping their mind to themfelves, and to God) and much more thole things which they were commanded. Further, Page 239, 240, 241. he refers to the decision of the sovereign, all forts of do &rive in effe &, and more par- ticularly and exprefly, Whether the fubje &s 'hall pro- fess, That life eternal and happinefs (hall be on the earth only ? Whether the foul of man is a living creature, inde- pendent on the body, or loth fuhfiJ feparately from the bo- dy ? Whether any mere man is immortal, otherwife than by the refurreltion of the lafi day? Whether wicked men shall be tormented eternally, fo as not to be deflroyed, to die, and he annihilated at length? (to all which himself feemeth to be inclined as his own opinions ; O wicked and wretch... ed! O atheistical, detestable and damnable opinions ! ) Whether, I fay, the fubje& shall profefs thefe things, or not, he refers to the decision of the fovereign ; by which we may very eafily judge in how many, and in how very momentuous things in Chriilian religion he ©bligeth fube&s, as to their outward profeffion and carriage, to (land to, and acquiefce in, the decision and determination of the lawful fovereign in a kingdom, or common-wealth, or of the publick Confcience, or law of the land ; which, whether it be not to deny all confci_ ence to fubjetis and private perlons, in fuch matters as fo nearly concern the eternal falvation of their immortal fouls, is obvious at firfl blush. It puts me in mind of what is reported of a great map (1'uieiliug prong of this.

Zvi fo the Reader. confcienee-deffroying do &rine) who, expof}ulating with fome country -men living under him, for their not do- ing fomewhat required of them by him; for which non- performance, when they pleaded confcience,he,in a great huff, not without fome execration, replied, -- What ¡ave the like of you to do with a Confcience ? Which was plainly on the matter to fay with Hobbs, that they, and fuch as they, thould have no confcience, but what is du- ¿tile and governable by the confcience of lawful rulers and fuperiors, and that their commands and prohibi- tions make things jufl and unjuft Which is (faith Mr; Leigh in his body of divinity, page 3 78.) to make fubje5h be af r, and the magifirate God. idly, All private per - fons living in a kingdom or common- wealth, muff henceforth, according to thefe doctors, difown, and not in the leaft regard, in many things, and thofe not of little moment in religion, and the worthip of God, their own confciences as his deputies ; and have recourfe to the publick confcience, or the law of the land, as the uni- aerial depute fet over all the confciences of private per - fops living therein nay, to it, as taking God's own room, to make laws dire&ly, immediately, and of themfelves, obligatory of all their confciences, and to enjoin obedi- ence to them, as fo obliging them ; and muff, contrary to the fcripture, no more notice the accufings or ex- rulings of their own confciences, but thofe only of the publick confcience. idly, The indifpenfibly requifite qua- I, lification of the obedience of children to their parents, Eph. 6. v. i. viz. in the Lord, (whereby the apofile doth undeniably lay it on the children, to confider and judge, by their judgment of private difcretion, whe- ther the commands and injun&ions of their parents be agreeable to- the mind of the Lord, and fuch, in obedi- ence whereto, they may exile& the Lord's approbation) mull be catheered and abandoned ; for certainly there Beth no greater obligation on fubje &s to obey the com- mands of the fovereign power of the kingdom or corn, mon- wealth, than lieth on children to obey their pa- rents, who were fovereigns in families, before ever there were any kingdoms or common - wealths ,ere &ed ; himfeif everywhere aíferts. 4tbiy, That if the apofíles

to the Reader. xvii our Lord fhould have been forbidden by the lawful fo- vereigns of the kingdoms and common- wealths of the world to preach the gofpel, and baptize, they should in obedience to them have forborn ; which Mr. Hobbs plainly, without a blufh, infinuates, when he lays, page 311. Our Saviour gave his apofiles power to preach and baptize in all parts of the world, fuppofing that they were not forbidden by their own lawful fovereigns. Had they not their Commifiiion from their Matter in molt ample form, without any the leaft, either dire& or indire &, in- timation of fuch an exception or limitation ? Matth. 28. 19, 20. Go ye therefore (lays he to them) and teach aI nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Gho f , teaching them to obferve all clhiwgs whatfoever I command you ; That is, of whatfo- ever nature they be, whether they he clear by the laWr of nature, or be divine pofitives, whoever forbid or com- mand you to the contrary : And, Atark 16. v. 15. Go ye (faith he to them) into all the world, and preach the gof- pel to every creature; which accordingly they did, y. 20. .find they went forth and preached every where : Not only where they were not forbidden ; Did they not preach the Gofpel at 7erufalem, notwithftanding they were fe- verely, not without threatnings, forbidden by their own fovereigns the council ? and tell them plainly, That they ought to obey God rather than men, wherein they could not obey both : Alledging, that they could not but fpeak the things that they had heard and feen, without any fuch regard (as might impede them in their work) to the flrait threatnings and prohibition, to fpeak at all, or to preach in the Name of yejus : And, left any fhould fay, or think, that this was more than they had warrant for, we are told, after the inhibition to preach, and after their imprifonment for contraveening, from which they were miraculoufly let free ; that the angel of the Lord, who had opened their prifon- doors, charged them thus, Go, and (land, and fpeak in the temple to the people (whatfoever the rulers think of it, and notwithftaiíd- ing they have inhibited and imprifoned you) all the words of this life ; of all which the divine hiftorian gives an account in the 4. and 5. 'chapters of the "ills of the d 4a?le, i

%V1í1 .Rpofiles. And why, I pray, doth he not as well make the fuppofition of their not being forbidden by any lawful fovereign, as by their own ? lince he will not, neither cloth, deny, that lawful fovereign powers may prohibite firangers within their own dominions, to preach or praetife againft the law, or publick confcience, and chaftife them for contravention and difobedience (ex- cepting always the perfons of ambaffadors and he- raids fent from other civil fovereigns, which ufed to be accounted in a manner facred and inviolable) as well as their own native fubje&ts And if fo, had the apostles been forbidden to preach and baptize, by the fovereign power of every kingdom and common -wealth, whe- ther they came (as they could not readily, nor reafon- ably expel but they would, all the kingdoms and corn- moon- wealths of the world being then Pagan, excepting that of the _Yews) where would they., or could they have preached and baptized ? and what would have be- come of the gofpel, and of a gofpel- church ? Did not Paul and Silas, after the magifirates of the city of Phi- lippi had (it feems with their own hands, debafing them- (elves in their fury below the dignity of their office) rent off their clothes, laid many flripes on them, and caen them into prison, for 'their preaching, and teaching cu- :flow (as was alledged by their accusers) which were not lawful to be received or obferved by them, being Romans ; Did they not,I fay, go in and exhort,or preach to the bre- thren in the houfe of Lydia, and that after they were by the magifirates desired to depart out of the city ? as we may fee,Aöh 16. 5tkly,Thatprivate persons living in king- doms or commonwealths do not fin, and (hall be kept harmless in obeying the laws and commands of their lawful fovereigns, tho' crofs the dictates of their own confcience, and it may be crofs to the positive com- mands of God ; The firff of these new teachers, Mr. Hobbs, tells us (as we íhewed before in the firff abfurdi- tg) in the cafe of denying Chrift before men, molt dread- fully threatned by him with denying them before . bis Fa- ther, That whatever afubjeFf, as Naaman was, is compelled to in obedience to his fovereign, and doth it not in order to is ow'as suited$ but in order to the laws of Pia own coun- try;

o dd the 1Veder xix by ; that aEtion is not his, but his foverei rn's ; nor is it he, that in this cafe deníeth Chr /, but his fovereign and the law of his country. And, p. 309. The civil fovereign may make laws fuitable to his doc`Irine (for he will have him to be the only fovereign teacher of the people, that are under him jure divino ; which quite nulls the divine right of all the minifters of the Gofpel) which may oblige men to fuch actions, as they would not otherwife do, and which he ought not to command ; and when they are com- manded, they are laws, and the external anions that are done in obedience to them, without the inward approbation, are the actions of the fovereign, and not of the fubjet, who, in that cafe, is but the inflrument, without any motion of his own at all, becaufe God hath commanded to obey them. Alas, the poor fubje &, is here by him, not only robbed of his judgment of privare difcretion and confcience, as to his own ads, which is hard enough ; but, in a manner, ofa human rational foul, if not alto of a fentitive one ; and fo degraded and detruded below the very beajls that pe- ril!) : For he makes him a mere innflrument without any ?notion at all ; only he fomewhat recovers him from his brutal, yea, infra - brutal {tare, by making him capable to obey commands, tho' againfl his confcience. The o- ther Hobbifb DoEtor, who will not be outflript by his snafler, according to his manner, di&ateth very magifle- rially, That, if there be any fin in the command of the fove- reign power, he that impofed it ¡ball anfwer it, and not Ì, whole whole duty is to obey ; the command of authority will warrant my obedience, my obedience will hallow, at leafs, excufe my anion, and fo fecure me from fin, if not from er- ror. Very eafy, loft and fmooth dodrìne indeed, for private perlons and fubje &s, if its teachers could affure us of its certain and infallible truth, and of its confo-- nancy and agreeablenefs with the fcriptures of truth ; but fubje&s muff nor call their fouls at hap- hazard, on the bare and unproved afferts of thefe gentlemen, who give us no great proof of either their truth or tendernen in other great concerns of religion ; efpecially fince the divinely infpired apoille teacheth us quite other do&rine,- while he tells us, more generally, z Cor. 5.1 o. That we muß all appear (or be made manifelî) before the judgment

xx the Epiflle feat of Chrifl, that every one may receive the things done in his body (whether commanded by fuperiors or not) ac- cording to that he bath done, whether it be good or bad : And snore particularly, Rom. 14. 12. So then, every one of us '.hall give an account'of himfelf (not another for him) to God : And, Gal. 6.4, 5. But let every man prove his own work, and then .(ball he have rejoycing in himfelf alone, and not in another. For every man pall bear his own burden : And, 1 Cor. 3. 8. And every man (hall receive his own re- ward, according to his own labour. And indeed, thefe teachers, by their flattering the fovereign powers, put them to make a very heavy reckoning ; and, by their pre- tending to gratify them, lay on them a great and unfup- portable burden ; which, when well corafidered, will be found very much to imbitter all the Tweet of that exor- bitant and incompetent power granted to them. I would have none to think, that, by any thing faid, I de-. fign in the leaft to derogate from lawful authority, and the civil magiftrate, any thing that is due thereunto ; God forbid I lhould : I heartily acknowledge magiftra-. cy to be the ordinance of God, Rom. 13. 1, 4. and magi- lirate, to be, by office, miners of God to us for good : To whom, for begetting and maintaining a juif aw, dread and veneration of them, he hath imparted and communi- cated force of his own names or !files, Exod. 22. 28. calling them gods ; even fuch as are Pfal. 82. 1, 6. his lieutenants, vicegerents and repre- fohn 10. 34, 35. fenters on earth ; and would befeech and obteff, that all of us may render, as unto God the things that are God's, fo to Cefar the things that are Cefar'., As to fear God, fo to honour the king I Pet. 2. 1; . That every foul be fubjeet to the higher Rom. 13. 1, 5. powers, fubjec`f, not only for wrath, but for confcience fakeSÏhatwe all fubmit our, T Pet. z. 13, 14, felves to every ordinance of roan for the 15. Lord's fake, whether it be to the king, as Matth. 22. fupreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are Pent by hint for the pun /fhment of evil - doers, and the praif'e of them that do well. For fo is the will of God, that with well doing; we may put to filence the ignorance of foo-

to the Reader. , xi fill', men. That we be /ubjeft to principalities and powers, and obey magrflrates. And that Tit. 3. r. fill of all, fupplications, and prayers, and inter- i Tim. 2 cefons, and giving of thanks, be made for all i, 2. men : For kings, and all that are in authority, ï. that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in ail godlinefs and bonefly : Cheerfully allowing to them all that the fcriptures of the old and new teftaments, and the confef- fions of faith of the reformed Churches of Chrift, allow unto them : And, whoever have taught, or held, or do teach, and hold the contrary, whatever be their preten- lions and profeflioris, are not only, not true preshyterherns, but,in fo far, not true protell ants , yea, not true Chriflians ; but the difgrace, fhame and reproach of presbytery, prote- flanifm, and Chriflianity, fo far as in them lies .; for their way hath a manifeft tendency to faften fuch unwor- thy imputations on thefe interefts, tho' they can caufe no inherent blemifhes in them, no more than fogs and mitts can do in the fun, albeit they may eclipfe and obfcure its glory. Let us make the fuppofition, that the apoftles of our Lord had taught fuch dottrine, as force very few, one or two, have of late taught,, and do ftill teach (which yet we cannot with any íhadow of truth make; for thefe di- vinely and infallibly infpired perlons could teach no fuch do&rive) what ground of jealoufy and prejudice would it have given to all the fecular powers of the world a- gainit the gofpel of Chrift ; as if the defign of it had been to ruine all civil authority, and to inftigate its dif- ciples to root out all civil magiftrates and rulers? How would it have let them on, and not without force rea- fon, with implacable fury to have, by all means, Rifled the gofpel- chriftian Church, in the very infancy and cradle thereof ? Whereas, the do&rive of Chrift and his apoftles teaching. no filch thing, but molt clearly, convincingly and fully, the contrary ; it made the civil powers their perfecuting its profeffors utterly inexcu- fable,' and their fufferings by them to be truly glorious. And it is worthy obefervation, that the time wIIrein our Lord Chrift, and his apofties, Paul and Peter, gave thefe fore - mentioned commands and inftru &ions to Chri- ftians, relating to their duty to the fuperior civil pow- B 3 ers

the !tie wers, was, when Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Ne- ro were Roman emperors ; none of whom were the beftg nor near the belt, even of Pagan emperors ; and fome of them were very monfters of men. Only it would be carefully looked to, that foundations be not fhaken and put out of courte, and that ancient boundaries and land- marks be not removed ; which no Chriftian civil love. reigns, in kingdoms or common-wealths, keeping them - felves in the line of due and juff fubordination to the Majefly of God, the great and abfolute Superior and Sovereign, the King of kings, by, and under whom, all kings reign, will allow of, or give way unto, whatever unhallowed Hobbits profanely and impioufly fuggeft to the contrary : Whofe principles (whatever they pretend to grant to the civil fovereigns of kingdoms and com- mon-wealths) have a manifeft tendency to the unhinging and utter diffolving of all government. For, let us in Thort but fuppofe thefe four things, which Hobbs very magilterially, tanquam ex tripode, dietates and takes for granted in his forecited book : ¡fl, That all religion is bottomed on human authority, and precarioufly borrow- ed from the will and pleafure of men, and hath no di- vine authority of its own ; whereby (as ingenuous and acute Sir Charles I'oolfly, in his Unreafonablenefs of Athe- ifm, fays) An inroad is n ade upon its befi defence; for in- deed (faith he) it will never be kept up with any other in- terefl in the ccnfciences of men; and where it is not fuppor- ted by co;nfcience, it is ever tottering, and yields to the blafls of every human pleafure. llc once (faith the fame learned gentleman) it be taken for granted, that the fériptures have no authority but what the civil power gives them, they quill foon come upon a divine account to have none at all. 2dly, That the apoftles could not make their writings obligatory canons without the help of the fovereign ci- vil powers ; and that therefore the fcripture of the new tef}ament is the only law there, where the civil power makes it fo As if, forfoath, the divine authority ifam- ped thereon by the abfblute Sovereign, by the great and -infallible degilator, carried with it no immediate obli- gallon on the confciences of men, to whom it comes, to receive and obey it as his law, knofoever b licvetb (faith Sir

to the Reader. xxiii Sir Charles Ioo fly) that it is in the power of every fate, whether the gofpel (hall be authentick or not, he null needs throw off all divine refpec9 to it, and be in a very fair way to trouble himfelf little with any devotion aril ng from it. idly, That there is no diflin&ion of good and evil a &i- ons but by the civil law, which is unto him the meafure thereof, thou this diftin&ion of good and evil be deeply and indelibly engraven on the hearts of all men, as a na- tive and neceffary refult of the faith of the being of God, as the fupreme re&itude. 4thly, That there are no ul- tra mundum, or eternal rewards or punifhments, nor any beyond or betide thefe that are beftowed or infli &ed by the civil power in this prefent life; thou, from the be-, ginning of the world, throughout all ages, experience bath given, in full demonftrative and undeniable evi- dence, that men have been mightily impelled and encou- raged to do good by the hope of future eternal rewards, and proportionably refrained, pulled back, and deter- red from doing evil, by the fear of future and eternal punifhments. If (I fay) we once fuppofe thefe things we quite ruine and raze the great foundations, not only of revealed and fupernatural, but allo of natural religion without which it is impoffible, that government amongft Men can have any lure or firm bafis to ref'' on, but muff needs, according to the prevalancy of t}leir Pelf interefls, crumble into pieces, and end in anar4lir and confufion. It is not altogether unworthy of remark here, that Hobbs runneth quite crofs to the di &ates of famed Machiavel, that ,prodigy of profound policy, thou but a, very coarfe divine, who labours much in his prince to perfwade fovereign civil powers of the neceffity and ad- vantage, for the fupportance of government, of diffem- bling and pretending, at leaf'', a great regard and vene- ration to religion ; . in comparifon of whom, the other is but an impolitick puny, and a far worfe divine, even (if it involved not a repugnancy) a diabolick one. Fifthly, We would take heed that we do not f`upinely and carelefly negle& and flight the checks, challenges, rebukes and accufations of our confciences, in leáfer things, or in matters of comparatively (mailer moment (wherein yet confçience bath a concern, as it hash in B4 all

Yxiv I'he Epif?le all our moral a &ions ; neither are many, even of our na- tural a &ions, as circumftantiated, quite excluded from its concern) for that infenfibly weakens the voice, checks and rebukes of confcience in more momentuous matters, and may predifpofe and prepare to trifle with it in thefe too, and may provoke God, whole deputy confcience is, to enjoyn it filence, and to Puffer the man to go on fe- curely in fin without checkor challenge, while yet in the mean time he fecretly commands it to write up, and keep a record of all thefe Items againff him, and in due time to fet them all in order, to marshal, as it were, and draw them up in rank and file before him in a terri- ble manner, and to give him at once a molt furious charge : Challenges and accufations of confcience, that have been (mothered for the time, and flighted, after ly- ing long filent, have in force notable ftrait and difficulty arifen and got up upon men many years thereafter ; as thefe of fcjeph's brethren did on them, full twenty years at leaf} after their pitilefs, cruel, unnatural, in- humwñe and barbarous ufage of their poor innocent younger brother. A fecure, filent and non-challenging ill concience, is amongft the worft of ill coníkiences, and in force refpe& worfe than a turbulent, ftormy and roring ill confcience, (if it come not to the height of defpair) becaufe difpofing the man atheiftically to think, that becaufe God by himfelf, and his deputy the con- fcience, keeps filence, he is therefore like unto the man himfelf, and that neither he nor his deputy will ever fpeak again, nor reprove for thofe things, but that he hath quite forgotten them all, and will not any more call to a reckoning for them. O that fuch as forget God, and flight his challenges and reproofs by their own con- fcience, 2vould confider this, left he tear them in pieces, when there will be none to deliver ! It may alfo provoke him to fpeak that very angry and terrible word, Hof. 4. 17. more terrible force way, than if he íhould íày, Famine, fire, fword, peftilence, and wild beafts fall on the man ; he is joined to his idols (and fo ifraitly joined that he will lilfen to no challenges of his confcience checking him for maintaining the conjun&ion ; nor to any fuggeflion of it, perfwading him to divorce from them,