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under these fair Colours and handsome Pretexts Sedaries infuse their Poyfon, their Pernicious, God-provoking, Truthdefacing, Church-ruinating and Statesaking Toleration.
To which Author I shall only add the more Publick Testimony to the Truth of Jesus Christ , and to our solemn League and Covenant, as also against the Errours, Heresies, Blasphemies of these Times, and the Toleration of them, subscribed by the Ministers of Christ within the Province of London, Decem. ber 14. 1647. Which I have already mentioned, but in this part of the Argument shall inlist something more largely upon; because they were such a Body of men as were looked upon as very considerable, and sufficiently qualified to speak the fence of their whole Party to great advantage: And besides that some of them are yet. living and Preachers at this day to the separated Congregations about the Town. Now I would fain know of these Gentlemen, whether they are of the same Judgment now about Toleration , as they were then ? if
they are, then methinks they should do very well to declare it, and so much the rather because that by their behaviour one would guess that their minds were altered ; in that they do fo far comply as to joyn Counsets and Interests with those whom formerly they bore testimony against : Again, if they are of the fame mind about Toleration now as they were former ly; then all the under Sects have grcat Cause in time to beware of them, ought to look upon them as very false brethren, who want nothing but opportunity to take away that Liberty which now indeed is common to them with the rest of their Brethren, but they never intended it for any but themselves. And on the other side, if they are not of the fame mind about Toleration now as they were formerly; then they ought in all Honefty to declare to the World how much they were formerly mistaken, in that they raised such fearful Outcries against that Toleration which is an innocent and an useful thing ; the giving of which is ( as it
is now faid) the Duty and Interest of all Government, is indeed no o. ther than the permitting to us that Liberty with which Christ made us free, or rather, which is the Right of Nature, the Common Birth right of all Mankind.
In the Preface to the aforesaid Testimony they tell us of the spreading Herefies and cursed Blasphemies of those Times, which had born down the Authority of the Scriptures and our Solemn League and Covenant (very fitly joyn, ned:) And then they add, But above all our Souls are wounded to think with what hope and industry, a Toleration of all thefé Evils is endeavoured,and with what a wellcomed boldneß fundry odioys Hereticks, which in other places have been banished and branded with infamy, do vent their poysonous Opinions amongst ws; as if they intended to make England a common receptacle of all the sinful Dregs of Foreign countries as well as former Ages,pag.29. As if all the Er. rours, Heresies, seets, Schisms, Divisions, Loafeneß, Prophaneneß,and Breach of Covenant among us, were small mat.
62 ' ters,
. ters; what secret and publick Endeavours, Projects, Methods and Practices are ihere amongst us to bring in an universal, boundless, lawles, abominable and intolerable Toleration, to the filling up of the measure of our Iniquities, and the pulling down God's fierce indignation upon this Nation, and pag. 30. Instead of Unity and Uniformity in Matters of Religion, we are torn in pieces with destructive Schisms , Separations, Divisions, and Subdivisions, &c. and instead of Extirpation of Heresie, Schism, Prophaneneß, we have such an impudent and general inundation of all these Evils, that Multitudes are not aJhamed to press and plead for a publick, formal, Universal Toleration. And having thus shewed how great their Zeal was in this case, I fhall likewise lay down their Reasons for it, which with great carnestness they did express in these following Words , pag. 32. A publick and a general Toleration will prove an hideous and complexive evil of most dangerous and mischievous Consequence , if ever (which God forbidy it should be consented to by Authority, for hereby, First, the Glory of the most high God, will be laid in the very dust; Secondly, the Truth of Christ, yea all the Fundamentals of Faith will be razed to the veryground ; Thirdly, all Christ's Ordinances, Offices, Worship, Religion, yea and the very power of Godliness will be utterly overthrown ; Fourthly, thousands, and ten thousands of poor Souls which Christ bath ranfomed with his own blood, shall be hereby betrayed, seduced, and endangered to be undone to all eternity. Fifthly, Magistracy and Ministry, and with them all' Religious, and comely Order in the church and Commonwealth will be plucked up by the very roots, Sixthly,Re. formation in Religion, in Dodrine,Worship, Discipline and Government Mall be utterly made voyd. Seventhly, Eng. land Mall be swallowed up with sects, Schisms, Divisions, Disorders, and Confusions, and become an odious sink, and a common reccptacle of all the prodigious Errours, Lies, Iteresies, and Blasphemies, Libertinism and Profaneness in the World ; so that Rome it self shall not be a more odious puddle and cage of all a