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trate for their maintenance ; which two things, independence and state-hire in religion, can never consist long or certainly together. For magistrates at one tirne or other, not like these at present our patrons of christian liberty, will pay none but such whom by their committees of examination they find conformable to their interests and opinions: and hirelings will soon frame themselves to that interest, and those opinions which they see best pleasing to their paymasters ; and to seem right themselves, will force others as to the truth. ****

Heretofore in the first evangelic times, (and it were happy for Christendom if it were so again) ministers of the gospel were by nothing else distinguished from other christians, but by their spiritual knowledge and sanctity of life, for which the church elected them to be her teachers and overseers, though not thereby to separate them from whatever calling she then found them following besides ; as the example of St. Paul declares, and the first times of christianity. When once they affected to be called a clergy, and became, as it were, a peculiar tribe of Levites, a party, a distinct order in the commonwealth, bred up for divines in babbling schools, and fed at the public cost, good for nothing else but what was good for nothing, they soon grew idle : that idleness, with fulness of bread, begat pride and perpetual contention with their feeders the despised laity, through all ages ever since; to the perverting of religion, and the disturhance of all Christendom. And we may confidently conclude, it never will be otherwise while they are thus upheld undepending on the church, on which alone they anciently depended, and are by the magistrate publicly maintained; a numerous faction of indigent persons, crept for the most part

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out of extreme want and bad nurture, claiming by divine right and freehold the tenth of our estates, to monopolize the ministry as their peculiar; which is free and open to all able christians, elected by any church. Under this pretence exempt from all other employment, and enriching themselves on the public, they last of all prove common incendiaries, and exalt their horns against the magistrate himself that maintains them, as the priest of Rome did soon after against his benefactor the emperor, and the presbyters of late in Scotland. Of which hireling crew, together with all the mischiefs, dissensions, troubles, wars merely of their kindling, Christendom might soon rid herself and be happy, if christians would but know their own dignity, their liberty, their adoption, and let it not be wondered if I say, their spiritual priesthood, whereby they have all equally access to any ministerial function, whenever called by her own abilities, and the church, though they never near commencement or university. But while protestants, to avoid the due labour of understanding their own religion, are content to lodge it in the breast, or rather in the books of a clergyman, and to take it thence by scraps and mammocks, as, he dispenses it in his Sunday's dole ; they will be always learning and never knowing ; always infants; always either his vassals, as lay papists are to their priests; or at odds with him, as reformed principles give them some light to be not wholly conformable; whence infinite disturbances in the state, as they do, must needs follow. Thus much I had to say; and, I suppose, what may

I be enough to them who are not avariciously bent otherwise, touching the likeliest means to remove hirelings out of the church; than which nothing can more con duce to truth, to peace and all happiness both in church


and state. If I be not heard nor believed, the event will bear me witness to have spoken truth; and I, in the mean while, have borne my witness, not out of season, to the church and to my country.




And what best means may be used against the


All protestant churches with one consent, and particularly the church of England in her thirty-nine articles, artic. 6th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and elsewhere, maintain these two points, as the main principles of true religion ; that the rule of true religion is the word of God only: and that their faith ought not to be an implicit faith, that is to believe, though as the church believes, without or against express authority of scripture. And if all protestants, as universally as they hold these two principles, so attentively and religiously would observe them, they would avoid and cut off many debates and contentions, schisms and persecutions, which too oft have been among them, and more firmly unite against the common adversary. For hence it directly follows, that no true protestant can persecute, or not tolerate his fellow-protestant, though dissenting from him in some opinions, but he must flatly deny and renounce these two his own main principles, whereon true religion is founded; while he compels his brother from that 'which he believes as the manifest word of God, to an implieit faith (which he himself condemns) to the endangering of his brother's soul, whether by rash belief, or outward conformity : for whatsoever is not of faith, is sin."

I will now as briefly show what is false religion or heresy, which will be done as easily : for of contraries the definitions must needs be contrary. Heresy therefore is a religion taken up and believed from the traditions of men, and additions to the word of God. Whenco also it follows clearly, that of all known sects, or pretended religions, at this day in Christendom, popery

is the only or the greatest heresy: and he who is so forward to brand all others for heretics, the obstinate papist, the only heretic. Hence one of their own famous writers found just cause to style the Romish church “Mother of error, school of heresy." And whereas the papist boasts hiniself to be a Roman Catholic, it is a mere contradiction, one of the pope's bulls, as if he should say, universal particular, a catholic schismatic. For catholic in Greek signifies universal : and the christian church was so called, as consisting of all' nations to whom the gospel was to be preached, in contradistinction to the jewish church, which consisted for the most part of Jews only.

Sects may be in a true church as well as in a false, when men follow the doctrine too much for the teacher's sake, whom they think almost infallible; and this becomes, through infirmity, implicit faith ; and the name sectary pertains to such a disciple.

Schism is a rent or division in the church, when it comes to the separating of congregations; and may also happen to a true church, as well as to a false ; yet in the

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