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quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. Let any one, who hath the least sense upon his spirit, of the account which he must one day make to the great King and Judge of all the world, of the authority and power wherewith he was intrusted, determine, whether it be not incumbent on him by all the protection he can afford, by all the privileges he can indulge, the supportment that he can grant, by all that encouragement, which, upon the highest account imaginable, he is required or allowed to give to any person whatsoever, to further the propagation of the gospel, which upon the matter is the only thing of concernment, as well unto this life, as that which is to come. And if any thing be allowed in a nation, which in God's esteem may amount to a contempt and despising thereof, men may be taught by sad experience what will be the issue of such allowance.
5thly. I shall only propose one thing more to your consideration. Although the institutions and examples of the Old Testament, of the duty of magistrates, in the things and about the worship of God, are not in their whole latitude and extent to be drawn into rules, that should be obligatory to all magistrates now under the administration of the gospel ; and that because the magistrate then was. "custos, vindex, et administrator legis judicialis, et politiæ Mosaicæ,' from which as most think we are freed, yet doubtless there is something moral in those institutions, which being unclothed of their Judaical form, is still binding to all in the like kind, as to some analogy and proportion : subduct from those administrations, what was proper to, and lies upon the account of the church and nation of the Jews, and what remains upon the general notion of a church and nation must be everlastingly binding. And this amounts thus far at least, that judges, rulers, and magistrates, which are promised under the New Testament, to be given in mercy, and to be of singular usefulness, as the judges were under the Old, are to take care that the gospel church may, in its concernment as such, be supported and promoted, and the truth propagated wherewith they are intrusted; as the others took care that it might be well with the Judaical church, as such. And on these, and such like principles as these are, may you safely bottom yourselves in that undertaking, wherein you seek for direction from God this day.
[3.] For the rules which I intimated, I shall but name them, having some years since delivered my thoughts to the world at large on this subject; and I see no cause as yet to recede from any thing then so delivered. Take then only for the present these brief directions following.
1st. Labour to be fully persuaded in your own minds, that you be not carried up and down with every wind of doctrine, and be tempted to hearken after every spirit, as · though you had received no truth, as it is in Jesus. It is a sad condition, when men have no zeal for truth, nor against that which is opposite to it, whatever they seem to profess; because indeed having not taken in any truth in the power and principle of it, they are upon sad thoughts, wholly at a loss whether there be any truth or no: this is an unhappy frame indeed, the proper condition of them whom God will spew
out of his mouth. 2dly. Know that error and falsehood have no right or title, either from God or man, unto any privilege, protection, advantage, liberty, or any good thing you are intrusted withal: to dispose that unto a lie, which is the right of, and due to truth, is to deal treacherously with him by whom you are employed : all the tenderness and forbearance unto such persons as are infected with such abominations, is solely upon a civil account, and that plea which they have for tranquillity, whilst neither directly nor morally they are a disturbance unto others.
3dly. Know that in things of practice, so of persuasion, that are impious and wicked, either in themselves, or in their natural and unconstrained consequences, the plea of conscience is an aggravation of the crime: if men's consciences are seared, and themselves given up to a reprobate mind, to do those things that are not convenient, there is no doubt but they ought to suffer such things, as to such practices are assigned and appointed.
Should I now descend unto particulars in all the things mentioned, and insist on them, time would wholly fail me; neither is it a work for a single sermon: and therefore in one word I shall wind up the whole matter, and end.
Know them then that are faithful and quiet in the land, regard the truth of the gospel ; remember the days of old, what hath done you good, quieted your heart in distress, crowned your undertakings with sweetness; lose not your first love; draw not out your own thoughts for the counsel of God; seek not great things for yourselves; be not moved at the lusts of men, keep peace what in you lieth, with all that fear the Lord ; let the glory of Christ be the end of all your undertakings, &c.
a Discourse of Toleration.
GOD'S WORK IN FOUNDING ZION,
PEOPLE'S DUTY THEREUPON.
a This sermon was preached in the abbey church at Westminster, at the opening of the Parliament, Sept. 17, 1656.
TO HIS HIGHNESS
THE LORD PROTECTOR,
THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND,
SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND, &c.
Although I need plead no other reason for the publishing of the ensuing discourse, but your order and command for my so doing; yet because I know that your peculiar interest, as governors of this commonwealth, in the several stations wherein you are placed of God, is truly stated therein ; in the pursuit whereof your peace, and the peace of these nations will be found to lie; I crave leave to add that consideration also. Being fully acquainted in and with what weakness it was composed and delivered, I cannot but conclude, that it was merely for the truth's sake therein contained, which is of God, and its suitableness, through his wise providence, to the present state of things in these nations, that it found acceptance and entertainment with you, which also makes me willing to be therein your remembrancer a second time. From the day wherein I received a command and call unto the service of preaching unto you, unto this issue of it, wherein it is clothed anew with obedience to your order, I found mercy
with God to have that caution of the great apostle abiding in my heart and thoughts : 'If I yet please man, I am not a servant of God.' Hence I can with boldness pro