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nived at. Each of these particulars are afterwards confidered : The esta. blishment hath the honour of the first place, and hath , as it well deserves, incomparably the greatest part of the pains bestowed upon it, and of this he tells us, Sect. 15. That it must not be loose and incoherent, but well coma: packed, that it may attain the ends of Discipline, which are to promote sound Doctrine and Godly Life, and keep out Idolatry,Superstition, and all wicked Era rour and Practice that tends to the vanquishing of the power of Christianity : Now these things do not require a constitution of narrower bounds than things necessary to Christian Faith and Life, and godly Order in the Church, * Now is it not very plain, that such a Comprehension as is here described, that it shall be enabled to attain all these great and publick ends here provided for, hath left no place for Toleration or Connivance ? and accordingly both those things are hud. led together, and in a very few words dispatched, Sect. 18. pag. 38. I shall lay them down and leave ihe Reader
to judge upon them: As for others that are of sound Belief and good Life, yet have taken in fome Principles less congruous to National Settlement ; I would never be a means of exposing them to oppression, Contempt and Hatred, but would admit their plea as far as it will go, &c. Nevertheless, their Liberty pleaded for is not to be inordinate but measured and limited by the safety of true Religion in general, and of the publick and establissed Order, Gr.
And now I shall take leave to de. fire those Persons, who cannot come within the Comprehension, to confider with themselves, how very little they are beholding to this their Advocate ; he hath not in the least intimated to us what kind of Principles those are which he would have connived at, as being only less congrut ous to a National Settlement ; nor given us any manner of mark whereby to know them; Besides, whatever Favour he doth intend for these dirsenting Brethren, he hath fo clogged it with many Qualifications and Limitations, that he hath rendred it so B4
plainly useless, that I much doubt whether he did ever really intend them any favour at all. First, They must be of found Belief and good Life, Secondly, Their Plea must be admitted as far as it will go; Now how far that is he hath not told us : Thirdly, Their Liberty must not be inordinate, but must have two meafures ; First, The safety of Religion in general. Se condly, "The safety of the publick eftablished Order. Upon these Terms, and upon the whole matter, I think, that it is no easier a thing to understand the Nature and Bounds of that Settlement which our Author is here de. signing, by the placing of several sorts of men in the three Ranks of, First, an establishment ; Secondly, a Toleration; and thirdly, a Connivance, with this Reason, for the two latter; For if God hath received them, why should their fellow-fervants rejet or afflict them cauftefly ? Every true Chriftian Mould be tender of all that love the Lord Jesus in sincerity; I un derstand , I say, as little by all this, what those Particulars are which he
would have from us, as if he had contented himself with Mr. Sterra's three Forms of Believers ; and meihinks the one Harangue is as edifying and intelligible as the other : Lct usreo ceive one another into the Glory of God, as Christ receiveth us, though that cloathing of the outward form be not on the same fashion in all, nor on some so well. Shaped as on otkers, to the proportion of the Body, which is Christ. The Lord Jesus hath his Concubines, / is Queens, his Virgins ; Saints in remoter forms , Saints in higher forms, Saints unmarried to any Form, who keep ihemselves single for the immediate embraces of their Love, in his Epistle before England's Deliverance from the Northern Pres
Now In these two Gentlemen of very differing Dispensations', there are three sorts of People proposed to our Care, and it is not unlikely that they may be suited each to one another: But this one thing is remarkable in that Discourse of Mr. Sterry that the Presbyterians can, at the vefy besty hope for no higher Rank than
that of Christ's Concubines, as being according to the tenor of that Sermon, if at all Saints, at the very best, Saints in the remoter Forms. The more moderate sort of Independents may indeed by him be accounted Queens, as being Saints in higher forms'; but for Christ's Virgins, who are unmarried to any form , and keep themselves single for the immediate embraces of their love ; I cannot imagine who these should be, unless those Saints who are above Ordinances : And for my own part, I mult freely profess, that for all the account which our Author hath given us of his three Contrivances of Comprehension, To. leration and Connivance, I cannot at all perceive but that Mr. Sterry's way of Torting out the several Ranks of Saints, doth well suit with and is proportioned to it : And here let any rober man judge,whether the Settlement pretended for in the first of these three Proposals be not absolutely unsetled again in the two other.
But in the next place I must go on to consider a Pretence , much oftner