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A46813 Beaufrons, or, A new-discovery of treason under the fair-face and mask of religion, and of liberty and conscience : in an answer to the Protestant reconciler ... / by one of His Majestie's chaplains. Jenner, David, d. 1691. 1683 (1683) Wing J657; ESTC R32980 46,367 116

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194. when it is no Sin but a Duty of the Inferiour to Obey them A Ruler that hath but a bad end or bad circumstances may sin in commanding And yet it will be the Subjects Duty to Obey Yea as to the Matter it self it may be unlawfull for a Ruler to command a thing that will doe no good And yet it may be the Subjects Duty to doe it Therefore says Mr. Baxter remember that ye do not prove it sinfull in you to doe such things Ibid. p. 195. by proving it a sin in the Imposer unless ye have some better Reason and can shew a Law of God forbidding you And elsewhere he tells his Reader That a Form or Liturgy defective may and must be used rather than a Schism by Separation be made and rather than the Churches Edification be hindered by our Non-complyance with such a defective Form His own words are If I am restrained from the Publick Preaching of the Gospel or exercise of my Ministery Ibid. Direct 32. p. 185 186. unless I will use a more disordered or defective Form I shall take it for my Duty then to use it for to use a more defective Form with Liberty to use my best Gifts also and to exercise my Ministery publickly to all is more to the Churches Edification than by Separation to use my Gifts onely a few days in a Corner and then for my Disobedience to he in Prison and use them no more Thus far Mr. Baxter pleads excellently for Obedience to our King and Governours in things indifferent and which are not forbidden by some express Law of God and that not the King nor the Imposers but the Separatists and Disobedient are the Authours and Causes of the Schism and Faction throughout the Body of the Nation And great pity it is ☞ that Mr. Baxter's own practice by a daily Separation from the Church of England and by his Constant Disobedience to the King 's and Governours Impositions of things Indifferent should so Notoriously Contradict his own Doctrine But to return to our Reconciler and to speak ad hominem The Sin of not observings things indifferent when lawfully commanded is the sole and chief cause of the Schism This is no more than what the Reconciler himself has owned to be true in many places of his * Protest Recon c. 1. p. 22. c. 2. p. 29. c. 3. p. 58 59. c. 5. p. 145. and Preface p. 59. Book When he Exhorts the Dissenters to obey the King and Governours and to Conform to their Impositions And his Argument persuading the Dissenters to Obedience and Conformity is this scil Because the Ceremonies imposed are things Indifferent Ergo The Dissenters ought to Obey and Conform Lest by their Disobedience they become Guilty of Schism For Separating when they ought not to Separate * I verily believe all Separate Congregations in the Nation which are not Subject to the Government of our Diocesans are Schismatical and that all they who abet and head them and exercise among themselves a Spiritual Jurisdiction Independent on them do set up Altar against Altar Prot. Recon Preface p. 59. Thus our Reconciler is become a very Bifrons a Janus with Two Faces And with the One He looks upon the King and Governours as the onely Authours of our Schisms and Factions for Imposing things Indifferent But with the other He looks on the Dissenters as the onely Authours and Causes of the Schisms throughout the Nation for their not Conforming to the Ceremonies imposed which are things Lawfully to be observed they being things Indifferent As to the Reconciler's other Reason scil That the King and Governours are therefore the Authours of all our Schisms Because they require Subscription † Protestant Reconciler c. 1. p. 7. to things Indifferent c. It is as scandalous to the King and Governours and as false as the other Argument And can be published for no other end But to amuse the World and to prejudice the People against the King and his Government For did not God himself require an Oath which is much more than Subscription of the Priests and People of Israel thereby strictly binding them to observe not onely his Moral but also his Ceremonial Law which chiefly consisted of things Indifferent before they were lawfully Imposed and Commanded And I pray Are not Kings God's Vicegerents And is it not their Prerogative to be like God and to Imitate him in all things lawfull and expedient And did not the Religious Kings and Princes of old Nehem. 5.12 c. 10.29 2 Chron. 15.14 2 Chron. 34.21 33. particularly Nehemiah Asa and Josias make the People take an Oath and to Swear Vniformity and Conformity to God's Laws and to some things that were Indifferent in themselves And have not all Christian Kings and Princes throughout all Ages imitated those Godly Kings when they went about Reformation Have they not required Subscription to their Pious Orders and Constitutions The Reconciler is not able to mention any one Christian Council or Christian Emperour King or Prince that ever made any Canons Laws or Constitutions for Government of the Church and State but they required either an Oath or Subscription for the better observation of their said Canons and Laws or else they subjoyned a dreadfull Punishment such as an Anathema and Excommunication upon Obstinate Disobedience And yet those Primitive Councils and Ancient Christian Emperours ☞ were never Scandalized as is our Gratious King and Governours nor ever said to be the Authours of Schisms and Factions for requiring Subscriptions and strict Obedience unto their Impositions of things indifferent as our King Bishops and Governours are said to be by the Scurrilous Reconciler SECT II. According to the Reconciler The King and Governours are Proud Men and the Plagues of the Earth for Imposing things Indifferent Take the Reconciler's own words IT seemeth Pride for men to institute unnecessary Rites and Ceremonies and say I Command you all to Worship God according to these my Institutions and Inventions and he that will not thus Worship him shall not have liberty to Worship him at all Note Reader * A Great Lie cast upon the Kingand Government that this is an Abominable Lye told of the King and our Governours for by Act of Parliament Any Man with any Company not exceeding five may in his own House worship God in any manner If says the Reconciler the work of Church-Government be to make small Matters great and make that damnable which before was lawfull and this without any Necessity at all Prot. Recon c. 10. p. 328. it will tempt the People as it does the Reconciler to think such Governours to be The Plagues of the Earth To confirm all this Harangue the Reconciler quotes Mr. Baxter's Disp 5th of Human. Cerem Ch. 14. Sect. 8. and Ch. 5. Sect. 4. And in the following words he says Prot. Recon ibid. p. 328 329. That not the Dissenters for Disobeying But
to serve God after their own Desire And pray What Kingdom is there in the Christian World where by Law Greater Moderation and Clemency is shown than this These are some of the Good circumstances our Church and State are in at present And therefore for any man to desire that our present Laws especially those of Vniformity may be altered it is really to desire That our present Good State and Condition may be Altered especially in the Church whose Good and Welfare does and ought to go hand in hand with that of the State And although an Alteration of the Established Laws may possibly be for the better yet it is an hundred to one but such an Alteration may be infinitely for the worse if we duely consider the great Divisions Heats Animosities and Bloudy-Plots on foot among us and all under the Pretence of Reformation and of setting up a more holy and purer way of Worship than what is Established by Law And therefore these things considered it seems to be the wisest and safest way to keep our present Station and to be what we are that is Well and Prosperous Lest by Changing we prove to be otherwise that is Convulsive Sick and Vnsetled in both Church and State Secondly If we consider our present circumstances as to the Time we live in then in truth they are bad enough For our Church and State as now established have Enemies abroad and which is worse at home The times we live in are full of Deceit and Hypocrisie of Divisions and Distractions full of Plots and Treasons And these Clandestine Treasons are Hatched not onely by Papists but also by Dissenters So that our King and Governours have no real Friends no True Trojanes to Trust unto but onely the Episcopal Protestants of the Church of England whose Honour and Glory it is that they were never sound Guilty of any Treasons or Plots against their King and his Government And in truth it is impossible They should ever be Disloyal unless they shall renounce their own professed Principles and act contrary thereunto and then they would cease to be Episcopal Protestants Whereas on the other side it is impossible for the other Parties whether Papists or Dissenters ever to be constantly Loyal and Faithfull to the King and his Government if they shall continue to act according to their own professed Doctrines as has already been proved For Sinon will ever be a Sinon And if King Priamus shall hearken to his Advice Sinon will persuade him to break down Troy's Wall and let in the Trojan-Horse Nirgil Aen. l. 2. and then in the Night-time of Security Sinon contrary to his Vows and Promises his Plighted Faith and Troth Sinon will Betray the over-credulous King and the Coeci furore Citizens into the hands of the Grecians and set City and all into a Combustion And as my Lord Verulam observes the Wolf will ever be a Wolf though in Sheeps Clothing And the Fox will ever remain a Fox No Art nor Argument can ever prevail with the one to lay aside his Ravening and Cruelty Nor with the other to lay aside his Deceipt and Cunning. And therefore it can be no part of Prudence nor of Fidelity in the Shepherd to let either the Wolf or the Fox into the Fold among the Flock lest the Sheep and the Lambs become a prey to them both Wherefore Queen Elizabeth for the preservation of Peace and Good Order in Church and State and for the prevention of Errour Heresie and Schism did wisely make a strict Law for Vniformity and She Severely punished the Rebellious and Obstinate Offenders Notwithstanding their great and earnest Plea of tenderness of Conscience for their Non-Conformity And She hang'd some of the first Independents that ever were known to be in England Full. Hist l. 9. p. 169. such as Mr. Barrow Elias Thacker and John Coping for their Seditious and Treasonable Practices But to shew that she could be Mercifull as well as Severe she graciously pardoned Mr. Brown the Independent But our present Gratious King has in Acts of Mercy infinitely out-done Queen Elizabeth for he has saved from Death many of the Presbyterian and Independent-Regicides and has pardoned the whole Body of them for that and other their Treasons But because he found that they and the rest of their Dissenting-Brethren were restless and by their daily Separations made a Dangerous Schism in the Church and as Pernicious a Faction in the State setting up Church against Church Government against Government and thus rendring the Kingdom Divided Therefore was the King and Governours forced to make Laws to Restrain them and to bring all things into their Pristine Order and Vniformity And forasmuch as the Causes and Occasions of the said Laws of Vniformity are still in Being Therefore the said Laws themselves ought in Reason and Prudence to be continued and to stand still in their full force and power And if our King should execute the Laws of Vniformity with Rigour and Severity yet His Majesty would doe no more than what the Independents in New England have done for the Suppression of Dissenters among themselves For they Excommunicate and Banish all Anabaptists into Long-Island All Quakers into Road-Island or other parts and all Episcopal-Men they Expell their Territories And it is not to be forgot how Severely they dealt with Mr. Dunster the first Master of Harvey College in Cambridge in New-England whom the Independents first Excommunicated out of their Congregational-Church at Cambridge then deprived him of his Mastership and Expelled him the said College and after all they Banished him and his Wife out of their Dominions upon Suspicion of his being an Anabaptist or rather as some believe for his being an Arminian and for uttering some words in favour of the Church of England's Episcopacy Nor may we pass by their Severity towards two or three Quakers whom they Hang'd for returning after Banishment and for disturbing their Congregations in New-England Thus the Reader may see what Strict Laws the Dissenters where they have power do make for maintaining their own Ecclesiastick Orders and Impositions and how severely they execute them upon the Offenders And therefore neither the Dissenters nor the Reconciler have any Reason to complain of our King for want of an Indulgence and Condescention toward them when by executing His Laws for Conformity He does but give them their own Measure and does onely par pari referre Doe to them as they doe to others This being Granted We may now from the Premisses Rationally Conclude against the RECONCILER and his Proposition That Considering the Circumstances of Treason and Rebellion of Schisms and Factions our Church and State our King and Governours at present are Molested withall Therefore Things Indifferent ought the rather by Strict Laws of Uniformity and Conformity to be Imposed as Conditions of Church-Communion FINIS