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Jcivil magistrate he hath no right. Christ hath a governmentof his own, sufficient of itself to all his ends and purposes in governing his church, but much different from that of the civil magistrate; and the difference in this very thing principally consists, that it governs not by outward force; and that for two reasons. First, because it deals only with the inward man and his actions, which are all spiritual, and to outward force not liable. Secondly, to show us the divine excellence of his spiritual kingdom, able without worldly force, to subdue all the powers and kingdoms of this world, which are upheld by outward force only. That the inward man is nothing else but the inward part of man, his understanding and his will, and that his actions thence proceeding, yet not simply thence, but from the work of divine grace upon them, are the whole matter of religion under the gospel, will appear plainly by considering what that religion is; whence we shall perceive yet more plainly that it cannot be forced.

What evangelic religion is, is told in two words; faith • and charity, or belief and practice. That both these

flow, either the one from the understanding, the other from the will, or both jointly from both, once indeed, naturally free, but now only as they are regenerate and wrought on by divine grace, is in part evident to common sense and principles unquestioned, the rest by scripture. Concerning our belief, Mat. xvi. 17, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.' Concerning our practice, as it is religious, and not merely civil, Gal. v. 22, 23, and other places, declare it to be

the fruit of the Spirit only. Nay, our whole pracstical duty in religion is contained in charity, or the

love of God and our neighbour, no way to be forced, yet the fulfilling of the whole law, that is to say, our whole practice in religion.

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If then both our belief and practice, which comprehend our whole religion, flow from faculties of the inward man,, free and unconstrainable of themselves by nature, and our practice, not only fronı faculties endued with freedom, but from love and charity besides, incapable of force, and all these things by transgression lost, but renewed and regenerated in us by the power and gift of God alone, how can such religion as this adınit of force from man, or force by any X way applied to such religion, especially under the free offer of grace in the gospel, but it must forthwith frustrate and make of no effect both the religion and the gospel ? And that to compel outward profession, which they will say, perhaps, ought to be coinpelled, though inward religion cannot, is to compel hypocrisy, not to X advance religion, shall yet, though of itself clear enough, be ere the conclusion further manifest.

The other reason why Christ rejects outward force 2 in the government of his church, is, as I said before, to show us the divine excellence of his spiritual kingdom, able without worldly force to subdue all the powers and kingdoms of this world, which are upheld by outward force only; by which to uphold religion otherwise than to defend the religious from outward violence, is no service to Christ or his kingdom, but rather a disparagement, and degrades it from a divine and spiritual kingdom, to a kingdom of this world, which he denies it to be, because it needs not force to confirm it; John xvi. 36, “If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews.' This proves the kingdom of Christ not governed by outward force, as being none of this world, whose kingdoms are maintained all by force only, and yet disproves not that a christian commonwealth may delend itself against outward force, in the cause of re

ligion as well as in any other, though Christ himself coming purposely to die for us, would not be so defended.

‘God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.' 1 Cor. i. 27. Then surely he hath not chosen the force of this world to subdue conscience, and conscientious men, who in this world are counted weakest, but rather conscience, as being weakest, to subdue and regulate force, his adversary, not his aid or instrument in governing the church. 2 Cor. x. 3, 4, 5, 6, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,

1 but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, and having in a readiness to avenge all disobedience.' It is evident by the first and second verses of this chapter, and the apostle here speaks of that spiritual power by which Christ governs his church, how allsufficient it is, how powerful to reach the conscience and the inward man, with whom it chiefly deals, and whom no power else can deal with; in comparison of which, as it is here thus magnificently described, how uneffectual and weak is outward force with all her boisterous tools, to the shame of those Christians, and especially those churchmen, who, to the exercising of church discipline, never cease calling on the civil magistrate to interpose his fleshly force; an argument that all true ministerial and spiritual power is dead within them, who think the gospel, which both began and spread over the whole world for above three hundred years

under . heathen and persecuting emperors, cannot stand or . continue, supported by the same divine presence and

protection, to the world's end, much easier under the defensive favor only of a christian magistrate, unless it be enacted and settled, as they call it, by the state, a statute, or a state religion; and understand not that the church itself cannot, much less the state, settle or impose one tittle of religion upon our obedience implicit

, but can only recommend or propound it to our free and conscientious examination, unless they mean to set the state higher than the church in religion, and with a gross contradiction give to the state in their settling petition, that command of our implicit belief, which they deny in their settled confession, both to the state and to the church.

Let them cease then to importune and interrupt the magistrate from attending to his own charge in civil and moral things, the settling of things just, things honest, the defence of things religious, settled by the churches within themselves, and the repressing of their contraries, determinable by the common light of nature, which is not to constrain or to repress religion probable by scripture, but the violaters and persecutors thereof; of all which things he hath enough and more than enough to do, left yet undone, for which the land groans, and justice goes to wrack the while. Let him also forbear force where he hath no right to judge, for the conscience is not his province, lest a worse woe arrive him, for worse offending than was denounced by our Saviour, Matth. XXIII. 23, against the Pharisees; Ye have forced the conscience, which was not to be forced; but judgment and mercy ye have not executed; this ye should

l have done, and the other let alone. And since it is the counsel and set purpose of God in the Gospel, by spiritual means which are counted weak, to overcome all power which resists him, let them not go about to do that by worldly strength, which he hath decreed

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to do by those means which the world counts weakness, lest they be again obnoxious to that saying which in another place is also written of the Pharisees, Luke vii. 30, “That they frustrated the counsel of God.'

The main plea is, and urged with much vehemence to their imitation, that the kings of Judah, * * and especially Josiah, both judged and used force in religion. * But to this * * I return a threefold answer; first, that the state of religion under the gospel is far differing from what it was under the law; then was the state of rigor, childhood, bondage, and works, to all which force was not unbefitting ; now is the state of grace, manhood, freedom, and faith, to all which belongs willingness and reason, not force; the law was then written on tables of stone, and to be performed according to the letter, willingly or unwillingly; the gospel, our new covenant, upon the heart of every believer, to be interpreted only by the sense of charity and inward persuasion. The law had no distinct government or governors of church and commonwealth, but the Priests and Levites judged in all causes, not ecclesiastical only, but civil, Deut. XVII. 8, &ć. which under the gospel is forbidden to all church ministers, as a thing which Christ their master in his ministry disclaimed, Luke xii. 14, as a thing beneath them, 1 Cor. VI. 4, and by many other statutes, as to them who have a peculiar and far differing government of their own. If noi, why different the governors ? Why not church ministers in state affairs, as well as state ministers in church affairs ? If church and state shall be made one flesh again as under the law, let it be withal considered, that God who then joined them, hath now severed them.

* Secondly, the kings of Judah, and those magistrates under the law might have recourse

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