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' fatuus, causing him to fall into the pit of everlasting

destruction: who are led by this, are made obnoxious ! to all the impostures and injections of the devil, and

to lie under everlasting errors and deceits."

To all which I have no other answer than what it is to itself; for it contains that charge against its author, that I shall leave him to clear himself from, both to God and the whole world; only I cannot be so wanting of civility to the person he dedicated his book to, as not to let him know, that it is unworthy of his quality and repute amongst men, to have his name used to the protection of so much rudeness, irreligion, and abuse.

I cannot think so meanly of him, as that the endeavours of so fcurrilous an author should excite him to any severity against that poor people he has so basely wronged: for such a thing were not only beneath that place he holds amongst men, but would be to entitle himself to all our adversary's shameful miscarriages, and encourage him to persist in what it greatly behoves him to repent of, which God grant, for his mercy-fake: which is my whole answer to his ill treatment of us, and the worst wish I have for him.


C o N C L U S I O N.

To those to whom the discourse is dedicated.

INCE then it is so evidently proved, by scripture,

reason, and undoubted precedents, that it is no new or unwonted thing, for national churches to be deceived, (e) notwithstanding they have been endowed

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(d) I intreat you to read a late piece of Dr. Cave's, called • Primitive Christianity,' in which the poverty, fimplicity, meanness, manner, and place of worship, maintenance, ministry, objected novelty, &c. of the ancient Chriftians, are related. Vol. III,



with power, learning, nobility, wealth, and worldly glory, and that it hath pleased Almighty God, in the most signal reformations that have been wrought upon the world, to employ a sort of plain, simple, and illiterate people; let not our meanness, plainness, and simplicity, be any argument with you against us, in the mouths of that decimating tribe, whose trade it is to oppose that reformation, which, in conscience, can neither own nor pay them; the old enemies of God's appearance in the world, who therefore dread a free and universal preaching, because the engrossinent of it to themselves has proved so profitable. Be Gamaliels at least, I beseech you, and fight not their battles: “ If we are not of God, we cannot stand :" and if of God, “ they must fall.” Leave us therefore with our spiritual weapons to decide this controversy, without interposing your worldly power. It is strange that we should be such ignorants, and bereticks too, whilst they bless themselves with the name of learned and orthodox, and yet dread the consequence of being left by 'you to a fair field with us. Are not their universities, bishops, and doctors, enough to silence such illiterate whifflers, as our adversary is pleased to call us, without the argument of your carnal sword? Certainly they ill deserve fifteen hundred thousand pounds a year, if at last you must do the business for them: what less can we expect from the worst of persons and causes ? But as this employment is below the dignity of their office, who are publick magistrates, and much too narrow for that univerfal influence it should have for publick good, so remember that great saying of the late king, to the then prince of Wales :

Always keep up solid piety, and those fundamental ( truths which mend both hearts and lives of men, with impartial favour and justice. Your prerogative is best sewn and exercised in remitting, rather than exacting the rigour of laws, there being nothing

worse than legal tyranny.' Again, "A charitable « connivance, and Christian toleration often diffi. pates what, rougher opposition fortifies :' which


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had been the faying and counsel of king James before him. It is a sure rule in divinity, "That God never " loves to plant his church by violence and bloodshed.' And in his expositions on Rev. xx. he faith, “That persecution is the note of a false church.'

Heresy must be cut off with the sword of the * Spirit,' faith Jerom. "The church doth not perse

cute, but is persecuted,' saith Hilary. If you will, with blood, with evil, and with torments defend your worship, it shall not thereby be defended, but

polluted,' said Lactantius. I will conclude with Chrysostom; . It is not,' faith he, the manner of the

children of God to persecute about their religion, o but an evident token of Antichrist.p'

So let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

I am

A friend to all men,

Who would have vice punished, conscience tolerated,

and righteousness established, whose end is peace and assurance for ever.

W. PE N N.

The 16th of the 5th month, 1673.

Jer. Proæm, lib. 4. Hilar, contr. Auxent. Lact. lib. 3. cap. 10.

Relig. Uris. pag. 192.

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What is most fit, easy, and safe, at this Juncture of Affairs,

to be done, for quieting of Differences, allaying the Heat of contrary Interests, and making them subfervient to the Interest of the Government, and consistent with the Prosperity of the Kingdom?

Submitted to the Confideration of our SUPERIORS.

Lex eft Ratio fine Appetitu.

Published in the Year 1678:

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