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You tell us, “ that no man can fail of finding the way of salvation, who seeks it as he ought.” I wonder you had not taken notice, in the places you quote for this, how we are directed there to the right way of seeking. The words, John vii. 17, are," If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.” And Psalm xxv. 9, 12, 14, which are also quoted by you, tell us, “ The meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his way. What man is he that feareth the Lord ? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant.” So that these places, if they prove what you cite them for, “ that no man can fail of finding the way of salvation, who seeks it as he ought;" they do also prove, that a good life is the only way to seek as we ought; and that therefore the magistrates, if they would put men upon seeking the way of salvation as they ought, should, by their laws and penalties, force them to a good life; a good conversation being the readiest and surest way to a right understanding. Punishments and severities thus applied, we are sure, are both practicable, just, and useful. How punishments will prove in the way you contend for, we shall see when we come to consider it. Having given us these broad marks of

your good will to toleration, you tell us, “ It is not your design to argue against it, but only to inquire what our author offers for the proof of his assertion.” And then you give us this scheme of his argument.

“1. There is but one way of salvation, or but one true religion.

2. No man can be saved by this religion, who does not believe it to be the true religion.'

“ 3. This belief is to be wrought in men by reason and argument, not by outward force and compulsion.

“ 4. Therefore all such force is utterly of no use for the promoting true religion, and the salvation of souls.

“5. And therefore nobody can have any right to use

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any force or compulsion, for the bringing men to the true religion." And

“ the whole strength of what that letter urged for the purpose of it, lies in this argument,” which I think you have no more reason to say, than if you should tell us, that only one beam of a house had any strength in it, when there are several others that would support the building, were that gone.

The purpose of the letter is plainly to defend toleration, exempt from all force; especially civil force, or the force of the magistrate. Now, if it be a true consequence “ that men must be tolerated, if magistrates have no commission or authority to punish them for matters of religion," then the only strength of that letter lies not in the unfitness of force to convince men's understanding. See Letter, p. 28.

Again; if it be true, that “magistrates being as liable to error as the rest of mankind, their using of force in matters of religion, would not at all advance the salvation of mankind," allowing that even force could work upon them, and magistrates had authority to use it in religion, then the argument you mention is not “the only one in that letter, of strength to prove the necessity of toleration." See Letter, p. 12. For the argument of the unfitness of force to convince men's minds being quite taken away, either of the other would be a strong proof for toleration. But let us consider the argument as you have put it.

« The two first propositions, you say, you agree to." As to the third, you grant “ that force is very improper to be used to induce the mind to assent to any truth.”. But yet you deny, " that force is utterly useless for the promoting true religion, and the salvation of men's souls;" which you call the author's fourth proposition; but indeed that is not the author's fourth proposition, or any proposition of his, to be found in the

pages you quote, or any where else in the whole letter, either in those terms, or in the sense you take it. In page 12, which you quote, the author is showing that the magistrate has no power, that is, no right, to make use of force in matters of religion, for the salvation of mens souls. And the reason he gives for it there is, because force has no efficacy to convince men's minds; and that without a full persuasion of the mind, the profession of the true religion itself is not acceptable to God. Upon this ground, says he, I affirm that the magistrate's power extends not to the establishing any articles of faith, or forms of worship, by the force of his laws. For laws are of no force at all without penalties; and penalties in this case are absolutely impertinent, because they are not proper to convince the mind." And so again, p. 28, which is the other place you quote, the author says: “ Whatsoever may be doubted in religion, yet this at least is certain, that no religion which I believe not to be true can be either true or profitable unto me. In vain, therefore, do princes compel their subjects to come into their church communion, under the pretence of saving their souls.” And more to this purpose. But in neither of those passages, nor any where else, that I remember, does the author say that it is impossible that force should any way, at any time, upon any person, by any accident, be useful towards the promoting of true religion, and the salvation of souls; for that is it which you mean by “utterly of no use.” He does not deny that there is any thing which God in his goodness does not, or may not, sometimes graciously make use of, towards the salvation of men's souls ; as our Saviour did of clay and spittle to cure blindness; and that so force also may be sometimes useful. But that which he denies, and you grant, is, that force has any proper efficacy to enlighten the understanding, or produce belief. And from thence he infers, that therefore the magistrate cannot lawfully compel men in matters of religion. This is what the author says, and what I imagine will always hold true, whatever you or any one can say or think to the contrary.

That which you say is, “ Force indirectly and at a distance may do some service.” What you mean by

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doing service at a distance, towards the bringing men to salvation, or to embrace the truth, I confess I do not understand; unless, perhaps, it be what others, in propriety of speech, call by accident. But be it what it will, it is such a service as cannot be ascribed to the direct and proper efficacy of force. And so, say you, “Force, indirectly, and at a distance, may do some service.” I grant it: make your best of it. What do you conclude from thence, to your purpose? That therefore the magistrate may make use of it ? That I deny, that such an indirect, and at a distance usefulness, will authorize the civil power in the use of it, that will never be proved. Loss of estate and dig. nities may make a proud man humble: sufferings and imprisonment may make a wild and debauched man sober: and so these things may “indirectly, and at a distance, be serviceable towards the salvation of men's souls.” I doubt not but God has made some, or all of these, the occasions of good to many men.

But will you therefore infer, that the magistrate may take away a man's honour, or estate, or liberty, for the salvation of his soul; or torment him in this, that he may in the other world ? What is otherwise unlawful in itself, as it certainly is to punish a man without a fault, can never be made lawful by some good that, indirectly, and at a distance, or, if you please, indirectly, and by accident, may follow from it." Running a man through may save his life, as it has done by chance, opening a lurking imposthume. But will you say, therefore, that this is lawful, justifiable chirurgery? The galleys, it is like, might reduce many a vain, loose protestant to repentance, sobriety of thought, and a true sense of religion: and the torments they suffered in the late persecution, might make several consider the pains .of hell, and put a due estimate of vanity and contempt on all things of this world. But will you say, because those punishments might, indirectly, and at a distance, serve to the salvation of men's souls, that therefore the king of France had right authority to make use of them ? If your indirect and at a distance serviceableness may authorize the magistrate to use force in religion, all the cruelties used by the heathens against Christians, by papists against protestants, and all the persecuting of Christians one among another, are all justifiable.

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But what if I should tell you now of other effects, contrary effects, that punishments in matters of religion may produce; and so may serve to keep men from the truth and from salvation? What then will become of your indirect and at a distance usefulness? For in all pleas for any thing because of its usefulness, it is not enough to say as you do, and is the utmost that can be said for it, that it may be serviceable: but it must be considered not only whất it may, but what it is likely to produce: and the greater good or harm like to come from it, ought to determine the use of it. To show you what effects one may expect from force, of what usefulness it is to bring men to embrace the truth, be pleased to read what you yourself have writ: “I cannot but remark, say you, that these methods (viz. depriving men of estates, corporal punishment, starving and tormenting them in prisons, and in the end even taking away their lives, to make them Christians) are so very improper in respect to the design of them, that they usually produce the quite contrary effect. For whereas all the use which force can have for the advancing true religion and the salvation of souls, is (as has already been showed) by disposing men to submit to instruction, and to give a fair hearing to the reasons which are offered for the enlightening their minds, and discovering the truth to them; these cruelties have the misfortune to be commonly looked upon as so just a prejudice against any religion that uses them, as makes it needless to look any farther into it: and to tempt men to reject it, as both false and detestable, without ever vouchsafing to consider the rational grounds and motives of it. This effect they seldom fail to work upon

the sufferers of them. And as to the spectators, if they be not beforehand well instructed in those grounds and motives, they will be much tempted, likewise, not only to entertain the same opinion of such a

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