Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

Chap. I. The HISTORY of the PuRtaANS. 29 of a church is, according to the confcience of thefupreme civil magifirate, in King an error, and the Ie/er part is in the right? In anfwer to this queftion his Ed X547 VI. lordfhip obferves, ihat There is no promife in f ripture that the majority of v.,-Jl pafors (hall be in the right ; on the contrary it is certain, that truthfeparate from interef hasfew votaries. Now, as it is not reafonable that thefinaller part fhoulddepartfrom their fentiments, becaufe oppofed by the majority, whofe snteref lead them to oppofe the reformation, therefore they might take fänc- tuary in the authority of the prince and the law. But is there any promife in fcripture, that the king or prince fhall always be in the right ? Or, is it reafonable that the majority fhould depart from their fentiments in religion, becaufe the prince with the minority areof another mind ? If we ask, what authority chriftian princes have to bind the confciences of their fubjeéts by penal laws to worfhip God after their manner? His lordfhip anfwers, This was prat"lifed in the jewifhfate. But it ought to be remember'd, that the jewi/h Efate was a theocracy ; that God himfelf was their king, and their chief magiftrates only his vicegerents or deputies ; that the laws of Mo- fes were the laws of God; and the penalties annexed to them, as much of divine appointment as the laws themfelves. It is therefore abfurd to make the fpecial commiffìon of the jewifh magiftrates, a model for the rights of chriflian princes. His lordfhip adds, It is the firfl law in Juftinian's code, made by the emperor Theodofius, That all/houldeverywhere; underfe vere pains, follow that faith that was received by Damafus bi/hopof Rome, and Peter of Alexandria. Andwhymight not the king and laws of England give the like authority to the archbifhops of Canterbury and York? I an-. fwer, becaufe Theodo /ius's lawwas an unreafonable ufurpation upon the rights ofconfcience. If the apoftle Paul, who was an infpired perfon, had not dominion over the faith of the churches; how came the Roman emperor,. or any chriftian princes, poffefs'd of a jurifdidion, which has no founda- tion in the law of nature, or in the new teftament ? His lordfhip goes on, It is not to be imagined how any changes in religion can be made byfivereignprinces, unlefs an authority be lodged with them of giving the fanc`lion ofa law to the founder, though the legèr part ofa church; for as princes and lawgivers are not tied to an implicit obedience to clergymen, but are left to thefreedom of their own diferning, fo they mull have apower to choofe what fide to be af, where things are much enquired into. And why have not the clergy and the common people the fame freedom ? Why muft. they be tied to an implicit faith in their princes and lawgivers? Is there any promife in the word- of God,, that princes and lawgivers (hall be infallible, and always judge right which is the founder, though the lefher part of a church? If (as his lordfhip adds) the major part of fynods cannot be fup- pofed to be in matters offaithfo a®fledfromHeaven,_ that the leer part muf necfarily acquiefèe in their decrees; or that the civil powers.mulI always make laws