|Title:||Copy Proposition On Religion In Hand ?, Dury|
The Hartlib Papers
in Answer to some Queries
Matters of Religion,
as to the public Profession therof in a Christian
[left margin: what is meant by matters of Religion & public profession:]
1. By matters of Religion I meane the truths & the Duties which according to the word of God all men are bound for Conscience sake to maintaine.
2. By the public profession of those truths & duties; I meane a holding forth of the same in such a way; that all may take notice thereof; & such as will may concurre therin.
3. By matters of Religion in a larger sense may bee meant all whatsoeuer men conceiue themselves bound to think or doe in order to the worshipping of God.
4. And by the public profession of these Matters in a stricter sense may be meant such a holding forth of the same as is allowed by public authority & not otherwise to bee openly practised.
5. From the difference of those Notions, with respect to our present condition some seasonable thoughts may bee entertained concerning these following Queries. as.
[left margin: four Queries arising thence:]
1. What the matters of Religion are which by all are to bee maintained for Conscience sake towards God?
2. what Liberty is due to the profession of those matters?
3. How farre men are bound to stand for that Liberty; & how they ought to maintaine it?
4. How farre the ouerseers of humane Societies to whom the management of all our public affaires are Committed; may or ought to interest themselues authoritatiuely in the public profession of Religious matters by allowing or not allowing, by Regulating or not Regulating the same in these three Nations wherof they are ouerseers.
[left margin: the scope of the propositions:]
6. Concerning these Queries; if an agreement can bee found in some undoubted propositions answering the same; wherof some use may bee made for the concurrence of the free willing professors of these three Nations in their Religious profession; this without all doubt will much advance their peace & to this effect these following propositions are offered.
to the first.
[left margin: what all men are bound to maintaine in matters of Religion:]
7. The matters of Religion which all men for Conscience sake towards God are bound to mainetaine; are the fundamentall Truths of Christianitie without which no man can bee saued. & the fundamentall duties of the profession therof; without which no Christian Societies of Men can bee rightly ordered for mutuall peace & Common safety. [catchword: :8: These]
[left margin: what the principles of all fundamentals are:]
8. These fundamentals I conceiue must bee Consonant to these main Principles
1. That the Scriptures of the old & New Testament <according to
its their owne Principles> rationally understood & interpreted are the Word of God & the only infallible & vniversall rule of all Faith & obedience.
2. That the knowledge of God in Iesus Christ regenerating the Soule, is the only meanes of saluation.
3. That in the meetings of the professors whether priuat or public, all things must bee done unto edifying decently & orderly:
4. And what euer is Contradictorie to these principles is destructiue to the foundations of Christianitie in the Truth & in the profession therof.
to the Second.
[left margin: Liberty to bee used & not to bee used:]
9. The Libertie due to the profession of Christianity; is that no man or state may forbidde or obstruct the publishing of the [
unquestionable?] Truths; & of the undoubted Commandements of Iesus Christ.
10. But no professor of Christianitie may pretend to such a Libertie as to publish what he pleaseth under the name of Christianitie without being obliged to giue a reason therof to euerie one who shall in an orderly way desire it of him.
to the Third.
11. All the professors of Christianitie are bound in Conscience to stand for this Libertie; & not to suffer themselues to bee abridged of it although it should cost them their liues.
[left margin: How farre this Liberty & how to bee stood for:]
12. This Liberty which they are bound thus to stand for; ought to bee maintained with all meeknes of wisdome, without violence & strife; not otherwise then Christ & his Apostles did use their Liberty in the dayes of their flesh, & stood for it with patient Continuance in well doing; & without giuing offence by Contentiousnes unto any.
[left margin: The ground of the settlement of Religion in the three Nations:]
13. If these propositions are without all Contradiction undoubted truths; & direct answers to the three first Queries; then it will follow that there ought to bee a settlement of the public profession of Christianitie in these three Nations by a free willing Concurrence of the professors, in their owning of these Truths & their walking after these rules.
[left margin: The scope of the fourth Querie:]
14. But if to procure this Settlment by this free willing Concurrence of professors, the ouerseers of our Societies in these three Nations must needs haue some influence, vpon the worke. (at least so farre as to giue some public addresse therunto.) then the fourth Querie must also bee thought vpon; that wee may know how farre our ouerseers may & ought to, interest themselues authoritatiuely to giue some addresse unto this concurrence & to this effect the termes of the Querie are first to bee opened; & then the propositions in answer therunto are to bee Considered./ [catchword: To the]
To the fourth:
[left margin: who are the ouerseers of our public Societies:]
15. By the ouerseers of our humane Societies; to whom the management of the public affaires of <the> three nations is Committed; are meant the present Parliament as the supreme Magistrat of the three Nations; with the Counsell of state appointed by their Authority; & the Commissioners for each nation respectiuely as they are subordinat to the Parliament & the Counsell of state.
[left margin: what it is to bee authoritatiuely interessed in the public profession:]
16. To interest themselues authoritatiuely in the public profession of Religious matters: is in my Conception to make use of their power & Authority only so, as to patronize, to Lead, & to direct the Actions wherby the Truths & duties of Christianitie are held forth by the free willing professors therof. that their actions may bee so assisted & addressed to their proper endes in a public way, that all who belong to their inspection may take notice therof, and bee made willing to Concurre therin.
[left margin: what to allow or not to allow:]
17. To allow these actions authoritatiuely; is by a public sanction to approue of them that they may bee done in public freely & without Let; & not to allow of them; is by the same sanction to disapproue therof that they may not bee done in public, freely & without Let./
[left margin: what to Regulat or not to Regulat:]
18. To Regulat these actions is by the same sanction to declare what the rule is, wherby these actions as to the public will bee edifying orderly & decent; & without which they will bee unedifying, disorderly, & undecent. & not to regulat them is by the same sanction to declare them free, & not under the restriction of any such Rule./
19. And this much Concerning the termes of the Querie to open them: now the thing Questioned wherunto some answer is to bee found is; How farre these our ouerseers, may & ought thus to interest themselues in those matters of Religion: which to resolue; these propositions are offered./
[left margin: what is meant by being interessed in some thing:]
20.[altered from 02.] When one is said to interest himselfe into a thing; the meaning is that he doth apply himselfe unto it as one Concerned therin; & that he owneth it by some speciall obligation & relation binding him therunto; the Question then will bee how farre the supreme powers ouer us; may & ought to apply themselues unto the profession of the fundamentall Truths & Duties of Christianity; & how farre they are bound by a speciall relation therunto to owne the same Authoritatiuely?
[left margin: what a Christian as a Christian & what as a Magistrat he may apply himselfe unto:]
21. That all Christians as Christians ought to apply themselues vnto the profession of the fundamentall Truths & Duties of Christianity, is a thing out of all question [word deleted] And whether a Christian as a Magistrat may & ought to apply himselfe heerunto, although some seeme to make a doubt therof, yet I can see no ground to Question it; Chiefly if it bee acknowledged that it is not vnlawfull for a Christian to bee a Magistrat in humane societies, which I suppose no rationall man will rationally deny: [catchword: 22. But]
[left margin: what a Magistrat as a Magistrat & a Magistrat as a Christian ought to do:]
22. But if it bee found that all Magistrats as Magistrats are bound by a speciall relation to their place to owne the profession of some Religion authoritatiuely; then I conceiue it will cleerly follow; that a Magistrat being a Christian & set ouer Christians to Regulat their public societies, is bound to owne the profession of Christianity authoritatiuely:
[left margin: Reasons why a Magistrat as a Magistrat ought to owne some Religion authoritatiuely:]
23. Now that a Magistrat as a Magistrat is bound by a speciall relation to his place, to owne the Profession of some Religion Authoritatiuely; I suppose may bee fully made out from four grounds.
1. from the essentiall parts of the life of man, wherin the true nature of humane Societie doth Consist, which is made vp of the Acts of the minde more then of the Acts of the Body, for which cause by the verie principles of humane societie the public Care of Religion will bee found inseparable from Magistracie. that is. from the Authoritatiue way of acting amongst men.
2. from the perpetuall practise of all the nations which throughout the world haue been Civilized & gouverned by lawes; whose Magistrats haue alwayes had a public care of Religious Matters to order them authoritatiuely.
3. from the law of God which vpon the grounds of Naturall equitie inioyned the Magistrat of the Iewes to owne the profession of Religion authoritatiuely.
4. from the ende of Christs Comming to publish the Gospell which was not to destroy but to fulfill the worke of the law of Nature; wherof the profession of Religion in humane societies is a Chief branch; as appeareth by the first table of the Morall law; which is nothing else but an explication of the law of nature, which by sin is darkened in the heart of man.
[left margin: Reasons why a Magistrat as a Christian ought to owne the Christian Religion authoritatiuely:]
24. But that a Magistrat being a Christian & set ouer Christians to regulat their public societies, is bound to owne the profession of Christianity authoritatiuely; may bee made out from a threefold obligation lying vpon him in Relation to his Magistracie.
1. as he is a Christian he is obliged to know that the Father hath ordained him to the place of his Magistracie, & hath put his name vpon him, that he should manage the public affaires of those ouer whom he is set in the name of his son Iesus Christ, as he is made Lord of Lords & King of Kings & if this is his place under God & Christ, then hee is obliged therin to haue a speciall respect vnto the main will of the Father to obserue the decree which he hath made in the world Concerning his son; which is that Christ Iesus shall Reigne & bee exalted ouer all. for this is the Fathers main will, & expresse decree; published & declared by Christ himselfe Psal. 2.
2. As he is set vp among Christians he must conceiue himselfe intrusted by them with the management of their public affaires, to procure the Common good of their Societie now the true & indeed only Common good of their public societie as they are Christians, is that Iesus Christ should bee owned in his Kingdome by all them who belong vnto their societie. from whence will follow, that he by the trust Committed vnto him, (that is, by his authority) is bound to Patronize, to Lead, & to direct the actions which uphold the profession of the name of Christ, amongst those, that haue committed this trust vnto him./ [catchword: 3. As]
3. As he is by his place an ouerseer of the public wayes of men & a keeper of good order in a Christian Common=wealth; for in this respect he must conceiue himselfe bound to deale Prudently & keepe them Authoritatiuely to the orderly way of their association, by the rules of their profession; now if their assotiacion & profession bee wholly grounded vpon the forenamed Truths & Duties of Christianity, then it will follow that he by his place, (that is Authoritatiuely) is bound to keepe them therunto.
[left margin: The Generall conclusion of the fourth Querie.]
25. From all which I conceiue it doth follow undeniably; that if a Magistrat bee a Christian; he is bound by a Speciall relation to his place; & to the fundamentals of Christianity to owne the profession therof authoritatiuely; & although he should not bee lookt vpon as a Christian, but as a Prudent Man set vp to see good order kept in the Societies of Christians; that euen then also he would bee bound by his place, that is authoritatiuely, to keepe them to the rules of their profession.
[left margin: How farre a Magistrat may allow or disallow, regulat or not Regulat the public profession of Religion.]
26. And this in the Generall concerning the authoritatiue influence of a Magistrat in Matters of Religion.
But in case the Question bee further made thus. How farre then may a Magistrat who is a Christian take vpon him to allow or disallow, to Regulat or not to Regulat the actions of the public profession of Christianity? I conceiue the answer may bee this. That hee may do all this so farre as his influence doth not abridge the professors of Christianity of their Liberty to publish the Truths & Commandements of Iesus Christ; & that his allowing or disallowing, his regulating or not regulating ought only to go so farre as to giue the professors of those truths & Commandements, an addresse to Concurre freely & without Let Conueniently in the public course of their profession one with another.
27. Whence will further follow that he ought to allow a free disquisition to bee hadd by all; & proposall to bee made of all, the truths & Commandements of Iesus Christ from the scriptures; & that his authority & care ought to appeare only heerin, that he should Regulat the peacable manner both of the disquisition & proposall according to the rules of edification, of orderlines & of decencie which are held forth in the scriptures, as they are to bee vnderstood rationally by peacable & prudent men.
28. He ought also by his influence & care to allow the practise of all duties which are Consonant to the fundamentals of the profession: & to disallow & prohibit all practises which are destructive therunto. & that both for Conscience sake as he is a Christian; & for his place & Conscience sake, as he is a Magistrat among Christians.
[left margin: what the way & rule is to iudge of doubtfull cases concerning the public profession]
29. But if some will make the Question; who shall bee the iudge of that which is publicly edyfying, orderly & decent? & who shall determine what is Consonant to, & inconsistent with the fundamentals of the profession? The answer I suppose may bee this; that to those [catchword: who are]
who are intrusted with the care & oversight of the public; the Iudicature of ordinary matters ought to bee referred; but that in extraordinary cases some extraordinary way to determine the same may bee followed; yet that both in the ordinary & the extraordinary Iudicatures of these matters; all that meddle therewith, are bound to direct their iudgment by a certaine rule; which is (as I conceiue) this; That from the scriptures rationally understood; & from the examples of Christ and his Apostles in their way of walking peaceably amongst men; as these direct us to a spirituall walking with God in righteousnes & Holines; & with men in loue & peace; all what is edifying, orderly & decent & all what is Consistent or inconsistent with the fundamentals of the profession ought to bee determined./
[left margin: Cases of difference between professors & professors how to bee composed.]
30. In case then the professors of Christianity, who consent to these Principles haue a difference, concerning any matters of edification, of orderlines, & of decencie among themselues; if their difference doth tend to begette scandales among them; they ought with foreknowledge & advice of their ouerseers to meet & conferre in a friendly and orderly way upon the busines which is doubtfull; & what shall bee agreed vpon & found by the conferring parties & concurrence of their ouerseers to bee consonant & the forenamed rules & principles, ought to bee binding between them; & what shall bee found so nice or Circumstantiall as not to come cleerly within the Compass of these rules; ought to bee left free & undetermined without breach of Loue or cause of scandall; & the ouerseer of the public societie, ought to think himselfe bound, to look authoritatiuely to the Conferring parties who make the agreement to oblige them to keep to their agreements for public peace & edification sake.
[left margin: Cases of difference concerning the use of Christian Liberty between professors & their ouerseers.]
31. Our present diuisions at this time, arise mostly from the different apprehensions professors haue, of the right use of their Christian Liberty; & not only professors heerin differ one from another; but many of them are diuided about this subiect from some of the ouerseers of our public societies; if then the Question should bee made what in this case is to bee done Iudicially to compose these differences; I would impartially offer this. That as all professors ought to endeuour by all equitable meanes, to cleer the wayes of their walking to bee in offensiue towards each other; so they ought in a speciall Manner to approue them by the forenamed Rules unto their ouerseers that they are not disorderly; & as the professors ought to intend this both towards their neighbours & towards their ouerseers; so the ouerseers should as Christians condescend; to conferre with all that take notice of their way with offence; to shew vnto them by the same Rules, the Righteousnes of their Course in Regulating or not Regulating the public profession; as that Course may bee made out to bee publicly usefull or necessary to aduance edification & avoid offences.
32. And this is the way to giue & receiue satisfaction & remoue offences which may arise between professors & professors; & between professors & their ouerseers: But in Case the ouerseers amongst themselues should haue different opinons Concerning their [catchword: right]
[left margin: Cases of difference concerning the public profession between ouerseers among themselues how to bee managed.]
right course of Regulating, or not Regulating the public profession; then I Humbly Conceiue it will bee their dutie and wisdome, Conscionably to Conceale; & not to suffer those differences to appeare unto those ouer whom they are set, lest they bee scandalized therat; but they ought to hold forth unanimously the practise of that only wherin they fully agree to make use of their authority for the preuenting & healing of breaches & mainetaining of public peace. & if it happen that by reason of their weakenesses their differences in this Kind Cannot bee Concealed; then all honest professors ought earnestly to pray for them, that they may not by their diuisions hinder the progresse of the gospell & scandalize the weake. But if any of the ouerseers of a Christian Common=wealth should in a Politic way make use of such differences, to gaine followers to themselves, & for worldly interests foment religious Controuersies to diuide the professors, & to make themselues in the state Considerable by a partie. Christ will Certainly call such to a seuere account for such practises: therefore to his iudgment who is the searcher of all hearts they are to bee left; & in the meane time the duty of all impartiall & vpright hearted Christians is, to pray[altered from pay] for all that are in authority, that wee may Lead a quiet & peacable life in all Godlines & Honestie under their conduct. Amen.
[another hand?: No: 60]
[another hand?: Mr. Duries propositions]
in Answer to some Queries in
Matter of Religion.