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In this posture they seem to stand with great zeal and confidence on the wall of Sion; but like Jebusites, not like Israelites, or Levites: blind also as well as lame, they discern not David from Adonibezec but cry him up for the lord's anointed, whose thumbs and great toes not long before they had cut off upon their pulpit cushions. Therefore he who is our only King, the Root of David, and whose kingdom is eternal righteousness, with all those that war under him, whose happiness and final hopes are laid up in that only just and rightful kingdom, (which we pray incessantly may come soon, and in so praying wish hasty ruin and destruction to all tyrants,) even he our immortal King, and all that love him, must of necessity have in abomination these blind and lame defenders of Jerusalem, as the soul of David hated them, and forbid them entrance into God's house, and his own. But as to those before them,
being the best and chief of Protestant divines, we may follow them for faithful guides, and without doubting may receive them, as witnesses abundant of what we here affirm concerning tyrants. And indeed I find it generally the clear and positive determination of them all, (not prelatical, or of this late faction sub-prelatical,) who have written on this argument, that to do justice on a lawless king is to a private man unlawful; to an inferior magistrate, lawful.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE ARTICLES OF PEACE, &c.
E accuses first, "That we are the subverters of religion, the protectors and inviters not only of all false ones, but of irreligion and atheism"; an accusation that no man living could more unjustly use than our accuser himself; and which, without a strange besottedness, he could not expect but to be retorted upon his own head; all men who are true Protestants, of which number he gives out to be one, know not a more immediate and killing subverter of all true religion than Antichrist, whom they generally believe to be the pope and Church of Rome; he therefore, who makes peace with this grand enemy and persecutor of the true Church, he who joins with him, strengthens him, gives him root to grow up and spread his poison, removing all opposition against him, granting him schools, abbeys, and revenues, garrisons, towns, fortresses, as in so many of those articles may be seen, he of
* James, Earl of Ormond, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
all Protestants may be called most justly the subverter of true religion, the protector and inviter of irreligion and atheism, whether it be Ormond or his master. And if it can be no way proved that the Parliament hath countenanced Popery or Papists, but have everywhere broken their temporal power, thrown down their public superstitions, and confined them to the bare enjoyment of that which is not in our reach, their consciences; if they have encouraged all true ministers of the Gospel, that is to say, afforded them favor and protection in all places where they preached, and although they think not money or stipend to be the best encouragement of a true pastor, yet therein also have not been wanting nor intend to be, they doubt not then to affirm themselves, not the subverters, but the maintainers and defenders, of true religion; which of itself and by consequence is the surest and the strongest subversion, not only of all false ones, but of irreligion and atheism. For "the weapons of that warfare," as the apostle testifies, who best knew, "are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, and all reasonings, and every high thing exalted against the knowledge of God, surprising every thought unto the obedience of Christ, and easily revenging all disobedience." 2 Cor. x. What minister or clergyman, that either understood his high calling, or sought not to erect a secular and carnal tyranny over spiritual things, would neglect this ample
and sublime power conferred upon him, and come a-begging to the weak hand of magistracy for that kind of aid which the magistrate hath no commission to afford him, and in the way he seeks it hath been always found helpless and unprofitable. Neither is it unknown, or by wisest men unobserved, that the Church began then most apparently, to degenerate, and go to ruin, when she borrowed of the civil power more than fair encouragement and protection, more than which Christ himself and his apostles never required. To say, therefore, that we protect and invite all false religions, with irreligion also and atheism, because we lend not, or rather misapply not, the temporal power to help out, though in vain, the sloth, the spleen, the insufficiency of churchmen, in the execution of spiritual discipline over those within their charge, or those without, is an imputation that may be laid as well upon the best regulated states and governments through the world; who have been so prudent as never to employ the civil sword further than the edge of it could reach, that is, to civil offences only; proving always against objects that were spiritual a ridiculous weapon. Our protection therefore to men in civil matters unoffensive we cannot deny; their consciences we leave, as not within our cognizance, to the proper cure of instruction, praying for them. Nevertheless, if any be found among us declared atheists, malicious enemies of God, and of Christ; the Parliament, I
think, professes not to tolerate such, but with all befitting endeavors to suppress them. Otherways to protect none that in a larger sense may be taxed of irreligion and atheism, may perhaps be the ready way to exclude none sooner out of protection, than those themselves that most accuse it to be so general to others. Lastly, that we invite such as these, or encourage them, is a mere slander without proof.