Samuel Parker - A Discourse of Ecclesiastical Politie (1671) HTML.pdf

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    UMDL Texts home   Login Your bookbag has 0 items   HomeSearchBrowseBookbagHelp A discourse of ecclesiastical politie wherein the authority of the civil magistrate over the consciences of subjects in matters of external religion is asserted : the mischiefs and incoveniences of toleration arerepresented, and all pretenses pleaded in behalf of liberty of conscience are fully answered. Parker, Samuel, 1640-1688. Table of contents  |  Add to bookbag Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]A DISCOURSE OF Ecclesiastical Politie: WHEREIN The Authority of the CivilMagistrate over the Consciences of Subjects in Matters of External Religion isAsserted.The Mischiefs and Inconveniences OF Toleration are Represented, And allPretenses Pleaded in Behalf of  Liberty of Conscience  are fully Answered.The Third Edition.  LONDON,  Printed for  Iohn Martyn  at the Bell in S t   Paul 's Church-yard, 1671.Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered] The PREFACE TO THE READER. Reader,  I   Cannot Imagine any thing, that our Dissenting Zealots will be able to objectagainst this Ensuing Treatise, unless perhaps in some Places the Vehe ∣ mence andSeverity of its Style; for ca ∣ vil I know they must: and if they can raise noTolerable Exceptions against the Reasonableness of the Discourse it self, it shallsuffice to pick quarrels with Words and Phrases. But I will assure thee, the Author is a Person of such a tame and softly humour, and so cold a Complexion, that hethinks himself scarce capable of hot and passionate Impressions: and there ∣ fore if he has sometimes twisted Inve ∣ ctives with his Arguments, it proceed ∣ ed not fromTemper but from Choice; and if there be any Tart and Vpbraiding Expressions,they were not the Dictates of Anger or Passion, but of the Iust and Pi ∣ ous A discourse of ecclesiastical politie wherein the authority of the civil magi...;view=fulltext1 de 15512/08/2016 18:53  Resentments of his Mind. And I ap ∣  pealPage iito any Man, who knows upon what sober Grounds and Principles theReforma ∣ tion of the Church of England   stands; and how that its Forms  and  Institutions  are not only countenanced by the best and purest times of Christianity, but establisht by the Fundamental Laws of the Land; whe ∣ ther hecan so perfectly Charm and Stupifie his Passions, as not to be chafed into someheat & briskness? when he seriously consi ∣ ders, that this Church so rightlyconstitu ∣ ted, and so duely authorised should be so sa ∣ vagely worried by a Wildand Fanatique Rabble; that this Church so soberly mo ∣ delled, so warrantablyreformed, and so handsomly settled, should have been so per  ∣  petually beleaguered, and be yet not out of all danger of being rifled, if not utterlyde ∣ molisht by Folly and Ignorance; that the publick Peace and Settlement of a Nation should be so wofully discomposed upon such slender and frivolousPretenses, and that, after they have been so often and so shame ∣ fully baffled; that both Church and State should be so lamentably embroyl'd by the Pride andInsolence of a few pee ∣ vish ignorant and malepert Preachers; And lastly, thatthese Brain-sick People, if not prevented by some speedy and effe ∣ ctualPage iiiRemedy, may in a little time grow to that Power and Confidence, as to be able (touse their own Language) to * shut the Heavens that they shall not rain,  i. e. torestrain the Highest Powers of Church and State from their wonted Influence;and to have Power over the Waters to turn them into Blood,  i. e. to turn the stillPeople of a State or Na ∣  tion into War and Blood:  or, to speak in our own plain  English,  to tye the Hands of Authority, to instigate the people of God toRebellion, and once more involve the Kingdom in Blood and Confusion. Let theReader consider all this, as throughly and seriously as I have done, and then be aSto ∣ ick if he can.But besides this, let any man, that is ac ∣ quainted with the Wisdom and Sobriety of True Religion, tell me, how 'tis possible not to be provoked to scorn andindignation against such proud, ignorant, and superci ∣ lious Hypocrites; whothough they utterly defeat all the main Designs of Religion, yet boast themselvesits only Friends and Patrons; signalize their Party by distin ∣ ctive Titles andCharacters of Godliness, and brand all others, howsoever Pious andPage ivPeaceable, with bad Names, and worse Su ∣ spicions? who I say, that loves andadores the Spirit of true Religion, can forbear to be sharp and severe to such thick  A discourse of ecclesiastical politie wherein the authority of the civil magi...;view=fulltext2 de 15512/08/2016 18:53  and fulsom abuses? In that there is not any thing can so much expose or traducetrue Piety, as this sort of Hypocrisie; because whilst Folly and Phantastry appearsin the Vizour of Holiness, it makes that seem as ridiculous as it self. And hencethe greatest Friends of true Goodness have always been the severest Satyristsupon False Godli ∣ ness; and our Blessed Saviour scarce seemed more concern'd to plant and propagate Christianity, than to explode the Pharisa ∣ ick Hypocrisie, i. e. Religious Pride and In ∣ solence.I know but one single Instance, in which Zeal, or a high Indignation is just andwarrantable; and that is when it vents it self against the Arrogance of haughty, peevish, and sullen Religionists, that under higher pretences to Godliness supplantall Principles of Civility and good Nature; that strip Religion of its outside to makeit a covering for Spight and Malice; that a ∣ dorn their peevishness with the Mask of Piety, and shroud their Ill Nature under the demure pretences of Godly Zeal; AndPage vstroak and applaud themselves as the only Darlings and Favourites of Heaven,and with a scornful pride disdain all the Re ∣ sidue of Mankind, as a Rout of worthless and unregenerate Reprobates. Thus the only hot fit of Zeal we find our Saviour in, was kindled by an Indignation against the Pride and Insolence of theIews, when he whipt the Buyers and Sellers out of the outward Court of theTemple: For though they bore a blind and superstitious Reve ∣ rence towards that part of it, that was peculiar to their own Worship, yet as for the outward Court,the place where the Gentiles and Proselytes worship't, that was so unclean &unhallowed, that they thought it could not be prophaned, by being turn'd into anExchange of Vsury. Now this Insolent Contempt of the Gentiles, and im ∣  pudentconceit of their own holiness, pro ∣ voked the mild Spirit of our Blessed Saviour tosuch an height of Impatience and Indig ∣ nation as made him with a seeming furyand transport of passion whip the Trades ∣ men thence, and overthrow the Tables.So hateful is all proud, testy, and factious Zeal to a loving and Divine Temper of mind. And indeed what can we imagine more o ∣ dious or mischievous than a spiritof Pride,Page viPeevishness, and Animosity adopted into the Service of God? This dividesReligion into Factions and Parties, engenders a sullen and unsociable Nicenesstowards all that herd not with themselves, breeds nothing but rancour, malice andenvy, and every thing that is destructive of the Common Peace and Amity of Mankind. And when People Separate and Rendevouz themselves into distinctSects and Parties, they always confine all their kind Influences to their ownFaction, and look with a scornful and ma ∣ lignant Aspect upon all the rest of Man ∣ kind, become Enemies and Outlaws to Humane Society, and shatter in pieces that natural Peace and common Love, that preserves the Welfare andTranquillity of Humane Nature. Their minds (like the savage  Americans)  are as A discourse of ecclesiastical politie wherein the authority of the civil magi...;view=fulltext3 de 15512/08/2016 18:53  contracted as their Herds, and all that are not within the Fold of their Church, arewithout the Sphere of their Charity: this is entirely swal ∣ lowed up within their owncombination, and 'tis no part of their duty to commiserate or supply the Wants of the Vnregenerate. As the Poet describes the  Jewish  Bigots, Non monstrare vias, eadem nisi sacra colenti,Quaesitum ad fontem solos deducere Verpos.Page viiThey would not so much as direct the way to any but a circumcised Brother, nor be ∣ stowa Cup of cold Water upon a thirsty Samaritan.  The Elect are confined to their own Party,and all besides are the Wicked and Reprobate of the Earth, hated of God, and unfit to be beloved by his People. And this possesses their minds with a ho ∣ ly Inhumanity; and then,if the Saints ever get into Power, no Tyrant so cruel and butcherly; and they have thesame esteem of the Wicked as of Insects or Ver  ∣ min, and use them accordingly: But whenthey are out of Power, they are then forced to support their Malice with Slanders andCalumnies and proud Comparisons: when they meet and gossip together, How do theycongratulate each other, that they are not as this or that Formalist? and the greatest partof their Idle Tattle is usually spent either in Censuring or Pitying, or Slandering some of their Neighbours, as poor carnal and unconverted Wretches. And when they deign toconverse with the Vn ∣ regenerate and Men of the World, i. e.  all out of their own Rowt,they make them keep their distance; and the Language of their Deportment is that of their Predecessors in the Prophet  Isaiah: stand by thy self, Page viii come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.  In brief, whoever is proud and conceitedupon the score of Religion, naturally falls into the most savage inso ∣ lence and baseness of  Nature, and is utterly uncapable of being either good Subject, or good Neighbour. A discourse of ecclesiastical politie wherein the authority of the civil magi...;view=fulltext4 de 15512/08/2016 18:53
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