Page images
PDF
EPUB

CONSIDERATIONS

Concerning
Comprehension, Toleration,

AND THE
Renouncing the Covenant.
TE who endeavours to make

any Alteration in a fetei

led Government either of s Church or State, is obliged by all the Rules of Justice and of Prudence to alledge fome very good cause, why it is that he doth do ro; Alteration being in it self so great an Inconvenience, as that it ought not by any means to be attempted, but for some weighty Reason.

Now as to the Church, as it is by Law established (notwithstanding all the fearful Outcries which of late have been made against it) I would fain have any of our Diffenting Brethren to answer directly , Whether there be any one thing sinful in her

Com

Communion, or only some things (as they conceive) inexpedient ? If only inexpedient (as there is good cause to believe, that the most considerable Persons, and those in no small numbers among them, do suppose no more) then I would fain know, whether inexpediency alone is a sufficient and just cause of Separation? And how well soever any particular man a. mong them may think of the Grounds of his own Separation ; there is ve. ry good evidence, that there are abundance among themselves who do plainly perceive, and much lament it, that by the means of this present Separation, there hath been an entrance made for such Doctrines and Pradi. ces into this Nation, which are chargeable with (to phrase it modestly) the very highest degrees of inexpediency. When the rule and measures of inex. pediency are well considered of, and regard is had to that great variety of Respects in which one and the fame thing may be both expedient and inexpedient; it will then be found, that inexpediency is a thing, which private persons cannot easily determine, indeed are no competent Judges of: Besides if it were a clear case, that in the present settlement there were something not altogether fo expedie ent as were to be wished : Is this a fufficient warrant for any not only to millike so much of the Law as they think capable of being mended, but withall openly and avowedly to separate, to unite and joyn in great Combinations against the Publick Constitutions, only because they are not arrived, in their esteem, at all possible degrees of perfection? He who can submit to no Law but such a one as is exactly made to his own mind in all particulars, must resolve, for any thing I know, never to obey, as long as he lives, any Law which is not of his own making; and not only fo,but he will find that he must not obey many Laws of his own making for a ny long time neither : If therefore a supposed inexpediency be the utmost of the charge, as I suppose in the end it will appear to be, then all wise men should consider with themselves, Whe,

B 2

ther

ther any fancied Alteration can be fecure from equal, if not greater dangers? And before that any such Alteration be made it seems to be but just and equal that the New Model be agreed upon by those who do design it, and that it be proposed either to our Governours, or to the publick view, that it may be examined, before admitted; and seeing that it is to be of lasting Consequence, it is to be ho. ped that it will not be too hastily concluded upon.

A late ingenious Person set forth an handsome Discourse upon this Argument, entituled, of the Religion of England, asserting, that Reformed ChriStianity setled in its due Latitude is the Stability and Advancement of this Kingdom. Wherein he hath attempted fomething like a Model of a future Settlement ; "his Discourfe is plausible, and desires seem to be bent on Peace, and many of his Principles took as if they did seem to tend much that way, but there seems to be this one thing very observable in his whole way of Writing, that with

great

great Art he doth very dexterously take care pot to come too close up to the Argument, and he brings his Reader even to the very Point where the business lies, and almost unperceivably steals by and pasleth on to something else; and to a narrow view it will appear plainly, that he keeps himself within the compass of fich wide Generalities, that he leaves the Reader in the same uncertainties in which he found him. The Draught of his Design is to be seen, Sect. 14. pag. 28. which doth consist in these three Contrivances. First, That there is to be an established and approved Or. der But, because that this alone he finds not to be sufficient ; therefore in the second place, there is to be a Provision for a sort of men who cannot come within the establishment, and they are to be tolerated under. certain Restrictions ; Nor is this all ; for neither the establishment alone is sufficient, neither will a Toleration of Dilsenters from it suffice ; and there. fore in the third place, there are anosher fort of men, who must be only con.

B 3 nived

« PreviousContinue »