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it) for the promoting whereof, or punishing dissenters from it, the magistrate has the same right to use force, as you pretend he has here in England. Till you therefore name some such other true church and true religion, besides that of England, your saying, that God is the party you write for, will rather show that you make bold with his name, than that you do not write for another party.

You say too, you write not for any party, but the souls of men. You write indeed, and contend earnestly, that men should be brought into an outward conformity to the church of England. But that they embrace that profession upon reason and conviction; you are content to have it presumable, without any farther enquiry or examination. And those who are once in the outward communion of the national church, however ignorant or irreligious they are, you leave there unassisted by your only competent means, force; without which, you tell us, the true religion, by its own light and strength, is not able to prevail against men's lusts, and the corruption of nature, so as to be considered as it ought, and heartily embraced. And this dropped not from your pen by chance; but you professedly make excuses for those of the national religion, who are ignorant of the grounds of it; and give us reasons why force cannot be used to those who outwardly conform, to make them consider so as sincerely to embrace, believe, and obey the truth that must save them. But the reverend author of the Pastoral Care tells you, p. 201, "PARTY "is the true name of making converts, except they "become at the same time good men.'

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If the use of force be necessary for the salvation of souls, and men's souls be the party you write for you will be suspected to have betrayed your party, if your method and necessary means of salvation reach no further than to bring men to outward conformity, though to the true church; and after that abandons them to their lusts and depraved natures, destitute of the help of force; your necessary and competent means of salvation.

This way of managing the matter, whatever you intend, seems rather, in the fitness of it, to be for another party. But since you assure us, you write for nothing but God and men's souls; it can only be said you had a good intention, but ill luck: since your scheme, put into the language of the country, will fit any national church and clergy in the world, that can but suppose itself the true; and that I presume none of them will fail to do.

You were more than ordinary reserved and gracious, when you tell me, That "what party I write for, you "will not undertake to say." But having told me, that my letter tends to the promoting of scepticism in religion; you thought, it is like, that was sufficient to show the party I write for; and so you might safely end your letter with words that looked like civil. But that you may another time be a little better informed what party I write for, I will tell you. They are those who in every nation fear God, work righteousness, and are accepted with him; and not those who in every nation are zealous for human constitutions; cry up nothing so much as outward conformity to the national religion; and are accepted by those who are the promoters of it. Those that I write for are those, who, according to the light of their own consciences, are every-where in earnest in matters of their own salvation, without any desire to impose on others; a party so seldom favoured by any of the powers or sects of the world; a party that has so few preferments to bestow; so few benefices to reward the endeavourrs of any one who appears for it; that I conclude I shall easily be believed when I say, that neither hopes of preferment, nor a design to recommend myself to those I live amongst, has biassed my under standing, or misled me in my undertaking. So much truth as serves the turn of any particular church, and can be accommodated to the narrow interest of some human constitution, is indeed often received with applause, and the publisher finds his account in it. But I think I may say, truth, in its full latitude of those generous principles of the gospel, which so much recommend


and inculcate universal charity, and a freedom from the inventions and impositions of men in the things of God; has so seldom had a fair and favourable hearing anywhere, that he must be very ignorant of the history and nature of man, however dignified and distinguished, who proposes to himself any secular advantage by writing for her at that rate.

As to your request in the close of your letter, I hope this will satisfy you, that you might have spared it; and you, with the rest of the world, will see that all I writ in my former was so true, that you need not have given me any caution for the future. As to the pertinence of what I say, I doubt whether I shall please you; because I find by your last letter, that what is brought by me to show the weakness, absurdities, or insignificancy of what you write, you are very apt to call impertinent, and nothing to the purpose. You must pardon me therefore, if I have endeavoured more to please other readers than you in that point. I hope they will find, in what I have said, not much beside the matter. But to a man who, supposing himself in the right, builds all upon that supposition, and takes it for an injury to have that privilege denied him; to a man who would sovereignly decide for all the world, what is the true religion; and thereby empower what magistrates he thinks fit, and what not, to use force; to such a man, not to seem impertinent, would be really to be This makes me pleased with your reply to so many passages of my letter, that they were nothing to the purpose: and it is in your choice whether in your opinion any thing in this shall be so.


But since this depends upon your keeping steadily to clear and settled notions of things, separate from words and expressions used in a doubtful and undetermined signification; wherewith men of art often amuse themselves and others; I shall not be so unreasonable as to expect, whatever you promise, that you should lay by your learning to embrace truth, and own what will not perhaps suit very well with your circumstances and in


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I see, my design not to omit any thing that you might think looks like an argument in yours, has made mine grow beyond the size of a letter. But an answer to any one being very little different from a letter, I shall let it go under that title. I have in it also endea voured to bring the scattered parts of your scheme into some method, under distinct heads; to give a fuller and more distinct view of them; wherein, if any of the arguments, which give support to your hypothesis, have escaped me unawares, be pleased to show them me, and I shall either acknowledge their force, or endeavour to show their weakness.

I am, SIR,

June 20, 1692.

Your most humble servant,







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