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flicting of penalties to make men consider, the magistrate of a country, where the national religion is false, no more misapplies his power, than he whose religion is true; for one has as much right to punish the negligent to make them consider, study, and examine matters of religion, as the other. 2. If the magistrate punishes men in matters of religion, truly to make them consider, he will punish all that do not consider, whether conformists or non-conformists. 3. If the magistrate punishes in matters of religion to make men consider, it is, as you say, “ to make men judge for themselves : for there is no use of considering, but in order to judging.” But then when a man has judged for himself, the penalties for not considering are to be taken off: for else your saying “ that a man is punished to make him consider, that he may judge for himself,” is plain mockery. So that either you must reform your scheme, or allow this proposition to be true, viz. “ Whoever punishes any man in matters of religion, to make him in your sense consider, takes upon him to judge for another what is right in matters of religion :” and with it the conclusion, viz. “ Therefore whoever punishes any one in matters of religion, to make him consider, takes upon him to do what no man can do, and consequently misapplies his power of punishing, if he has that power. Which conclusion, you say, you should readily admit as sufficiently demonstrated, if the proposition before-mentioned were
But further, if it could enter into the head of any law-maker but you to punish men for the omission of, or to make them perform any internal act of the mind, such as is consideration; whoever in matters of religion would lay an injunction on men to make them consider, could not do it without judging for them in matters of religion ; unless they had no religion at all, and then they come not within our author's toleration ; which is a toleration only of men of different religions, or of different opinions in religion; for supposing you the magistrate with full power, and, as you imagined,
right of punishing any one in matters of religion, how could you possibly punish any one to make him consider, without judging for him what is right in matters of religion? I will suppose myself brought before your worship, under what character you please, and then I desire to know what one or more questions you would ask me, upon my answer to which you could judge me fit to be punished to make me consider, without taking upon you to judge for me what is right in matters of religion? For I conclude from the fashion of my coat, or the colour of my eyes, you would not judge that I ought to be punished in matters of religion to make me consider. If you could, I should allow you not only as capable, but much more capable of coactive power than other men.
But since you could not judge me to need punishment in matters of religion, to make me consider, without knowing my thoughts concerning religion, we will suppose you, being of the church of England, would examine me in the catechism and liturgy of that church, which possibly I could neither say nor answer right to. It is like, upon this, you would judge me fit to be punished to make me consider. Wherein, it is evident, you judged for me, that the religion of the church of England was right; for without that judgment of yours you would not have punished me.
We will suppose you to go yet further, and examine me concerning the Gospel, and truth of the principles of the Christian religion, and you will find me answer therein not to your liking : here again no doubt you will punish me to make me consider ; but is it not because you judge for me, that the Christian religion is the right? Go on thus as far as you will, and, till you find I had no religion at all, you could not punish me to make me consider, without taking upon you to judge for me what is right in matters of religion.
To punish without a fault is injustice; and to punish a man without judging him guilty of that fault, is also injustice; and to punish a man who has any religion to make him consider, or, which is the same thing, for
not having sufficiently considered; is no more nor less but punishing him for not being of the religion you think best for him ; that is the fault, and that is the fault you judge him guilty of, call it considering as you please : for let him fall into the hands of a magistrate of whose religion
he is, he judgeth him to have considered sufficiently. From whence it is plain, it is religion is judged of, and not consideration, or want of consideration. And it is in vain to pretend that he is punished to make him judge for himself; for he that is of any religion, has already judged for himself; and if you punish him after that, under pretence to make him consider that he may judge for himself; it is plain you punish him to make him judge otherwise than he has already judged, and to judge as you have judged for him.
Your next paragraph complains of my not having contradicted the following words of yours, which I had cited out of your A. p. 26, which, that the reader may judge of, I shall here set down again : “ And all the hurt that comes to them by it, is only the suffering some tolerable inconveniencies, for their following the light of their own reason, and the dictates of their own consciences : which certainly is no such mischief to mankind, as to make it more eligible that there should be no such power vested in the magistrate, but the care of every man's soul should be left to him alone, (as this author demands it should be:) that is, that every man should be suffered quietly, and without the least molestation, either to take no care at all of his soul, if he be so pleased; or, in doing it, to follow his own groundless prejudices, or unaccountable humour, or any crafty seducer, whom he may think fit to take for his guide." To which I shall here subjoin my answer and
your reply: L. II. p. 136. L. III. p. 76. “Which words you
Why should not set down at large; but instead of the care of every contradicting them, or offering to man's soul be left show that the mischief spoken of
to himself, rather is such as makes it more eligible, than the magi- &c. you only demand, 'Why should strate? Is the ma not the care of every man's soul be gistrate like to be left to himself, rather than the ma
concerned gistrate? Is the magistrate like to for it? Is the ma- be more concerned for it? Is the gistratę like to magistrate like to take more care take more care of of it ? &c. As if not to leave the it? Is the magi care of every man's soul to himself strate commonly alone, were, as you express it aftermore careful of wards, to take the care of men's his own, than 0. souls from themselves: or as if to ther men are of vest a power in the magistrate, to theirs ? Will you procure, as much as in him lies, say the magistrate (i. e. as far as it can be procured is less exposed, in by convenient penalties) that men matters of reli- take such care of their souls as they gion, to preju- ought to do, were to leave the care dices, humours, of their souls to the magistrate and crafty se- rather than to themselves: which ducers, than other no man but yourself will imagine. men? If you can I acknowledge as freely as you can not lay your hand do, that as every man is more conon your heart, and cerned than any man else can be, say all this, what so he is likewise more obliged to then will be got by take care of his soul; and that no the change? And man can by any means be diswhy may not the charged of the care of his soul; care of every man's which, when all is done, will never soul be left to him. be saved but by his own care of it. self? Especially, But do I contradict any thing of if a man be in so this, when I say, that the care of
danger to every man's soul ought not to be miss the truth, left to himself alone? Or, that it ' who is suffered is the interest of mankind, that the quietly, and with magistrate be intrusted and obliged out the least mo to take care, as far as lies in him, lestation, either to that no man neglect his own soul? take no care of his I thought, I confess, that every soul, if he be so man was in some sort charged with
pleased, or to fol. the care of his neighbour's soul. low his own pre- But, in your way of reasoning, he judices,' &c. For that affirms this, takes away the if want of molesta- care of every man's soul from himtion be the danger- self, and leaves it to his neighbour ous state wherein rather than to himself. But if this men are likeliest be plainly absurd, as every one sees to miss the right it is, then so it must be likewise to way,
it must be say, that he that vests such a power confessed, that, of as we here speak of in the magiall men, the magi- strate, takes away the care of men's strate is most in souls from themselves, and places danger to be in it in the magistrate, rather than in the wrong; and themselves. ' so the unfittest, if “What trifling then is it to say you take the care here, . If you cannot lay your hand of men's souls from upon your heart, and say all this, themselves, of all viz. that the magistrate is like to men, to be intrust be more concerned for other men's ed with it. For he souls than themselves, &c. What never meets with then will be got by the change? that great and For it is plain, here is no such only antidote of change as you would insinuate: yours against er but the care of souls, which I assert ror,
to the magistrate, is so far from here call molesta- discharging any man of the care of tion. He never has his own soul, or lessening his oblithe benefit of your gation to it, that it serves to no sovereign remedy, other purpose in the world, but to punishment, to bring men, who otherwise would make him consi- not, to consider and do what the which you
interest of their souls obliges them think so necessary, to. that you look on “ It is therefore manifest, that it as a most dan- the thing here to be considered gerous state for is not, whether the magistrate be men to be with like to be more concerned for out it; and there. other men's souls, or to take more fore tell us, It is care of them than themselves : every man's true nor whether he be commonly more