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ce the ght be en the MODS phecy, gland;
raised the commons, under pretence of putting new counsellors about the king. He got the mob together, as if it were for the defence of the coast, or of public liberty. But his real design was probably to be one of the
four governors chosen by the commons, who were to hey
make an end of the king and nobility of England, and ng
to turn the monarchy into a republic. As for modest laLY
John of Leyden, he got more than the name of protector;
in their confessions of Faith. Though you dissent from They,
the Church of England, Sir, yet as it is presumed you pay a deference to what are called her doctrinal Articles, permit me to transcribe a part of the Thirty-eighth, which is levelled at the levelling pot-boilers of Germany, and at the dupes of Ket, who had taken upon him to dispose of property under the Oak of Reformation in England. “The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same; as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast.”
Calvin himself, though a strong republican, was frightened at the rapid progress of this civil enthusiasm. Hence it is, that when he drew up a Confession of Faith for the Reformed churches of France and Geneva, he bestowed the two last Articles of it upon the error which our American brethren, and you, Sir, are running headlong into. As you are probably a perfect stranger to these Articles, I shall faithfully translate them from my French Common Prayer Book.
ART. XXXIX. We believe that God will have the
coast, s with them,
and y at any or a
ally yes for
old to be governed by laws and civil powers, that the
d in urs. He
And there. lawlers inaline tablished kingdoms and republics, and
fore he has othes Bom
governments (some hereditary and some
otherwise] together with whatsoever belongs to judica
And he will be acknowledged the author o government. To this end he has put the sword in thi hands of rulers tó punish, not only the sins which are committed against the commandments of the second table, but also those which are committed against the precepts of the first table. We ought, then, not only to bear for his sake, that rulers should have dominion over us ; but it is also our bounden duty to honour them, and to esteem them worthy of all reverence; considering them as God's lieutenants and officers, which he has commissioned to execute a lawful and holy commission.”
“ ART. XL. We maintain, therefore, that we are bound to obey their laws and statutes, to pay tribute, taxes, and other duties, and to bear the yoke of subjec. tion freely, and with good will; though they should be unbelievers : Provided the supreme dominion of God be preserved in its full extent. And therefore we detest the men (he means republican levellers] who reject superiorities, introduce community and confusion of pro. perty, and overthrow the order of justice.”
Sir, you are a Calvinist. You follow the French Re. former when he teaches the absolute reprobation, and the unavoidable damnation, of myriads of poor creatures yet unborn. Oh ! forsake him not, when he follows Christ, and teaches God (and not the people) is to be acknowledged the author of power and government, and that we are bound to bear cheerfully, for his sake, the yoke of scriptural subjection to our governors. Represent no more this honourable, this divine yoke as abject slavery. And, instead of insinuating that the King and parlia. ment are robbers, because they lay a moderate tax upon their American subjects, help Mr. W. to undeceive those, whom the uneasy levellers of the day work up to almost as high a degree of republican wildness, as John of Leyden and Ket worked up the German and English mobs two or three hundred years ago. So will
shew yourself a true minister of the Prince of Peace, and a wise Protestant, who, like Cranmer and Calvin, oughs equally to level his doctrine at a tyrant and a mob:
Ana to pour like contempt upon the republican vanity of a tanner, who assumes the dignity of lawgiver under the Oak of Reformation, and upon the imperial pride of a monk, who, from St. Peter's humble chair, pompously holds out his foot to meet the adoration of prostrate Princes.
Be entreated, Sir, to rectify your false notions of liberty. The liberty of Christians, and Britons, does not consist in bearing no yoke; but in bearing a yoke make easy by a gracious Saviour and a gracious Sovereign. A John of Leyden may promise to make us first lawless, then legislators, and kings; and by his delusive promises he may raise us to—a fool's paradise, if not to - the gallows. But a true deliverer and a good governor says to our restless Antinomian spirits, Come unto me, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' We can have no rest in the Church, but under Christ's easy yoke: No rest in the state, but under the easy yoke of our rightful sovereign, To aim at breaking this yoke, because we have some objection to the minister or the King, is as great a piece of folly as for the crew of a ship to aim at cutting the rigging, and destroying the rudder of the ship in which they sail, because they have a pique against the pilot or captain. Suppose they should be so unhappily fortunate as to succeed, what will they gain by their success ? Will they be better able to bear the tossings of the next storm? Will they not be at the mercy of every wave-the sport of every blast-ready to be dashed against every rock ?
I am so fully convinced of the truth and importance of Calvin's two last Articles of religion, that, though I have for years checked his errors, if I had the wings of lightning, and a voice like thunder, I would, this in. stant, shoot myself across the Atlantic, and preach his loyal doetrine to our deluded brethren.
A seed of the error of the republican Anabaptists, has remained in England ever since the Reformation ; and the fiery zeal of some Independents and later Anabaptists, was the chief ladder by which the artful Cromwell
climbed to the height of supreme power, under pretence of forming a Commonwealth. That you may not charge me with misrepresentation, I shall draw my proof from the Rev. Mr. R. Baxter's Life, written by himself. His testimony is worth that of twenty others, because he had few equals in his time, for piety, wisdom, moderation, abundant labours, and ministerial success; and because he was an eye-witness of many things which he relates ; having been chaplain to a regiment of horse in Cromwell's army, -a place this, which he accepted chiefly with an intention to oppose, by his preaching, the headstrong republican spirit of those men, who, after having taken up arms with a design to redress grievances, and oppose arbitrary power, bore them with an intention of putting down hierarchy and monarchy together. Baxter failed in his attempt, partly through the forbidding coldness with which Cromwell looked upon him, and partly by a severe fit of sickness, which obliged him to leave the army when his moderation was most want. ing there. The following extract is taken from a folio volume printed in London, 1696, entitled-—" Reliquice Baxteriana, or, Mr. Baxter's Narrative of the most memorable Passages of his Life and Times.”
Page 26. Having told us, that what hastened on the war, on the side of the parliament, was, “(1.) The people's indiscretion that adhered to them. (2.) The impru. dence and violence of some members in the House, who went too high,"&c. He explains what he means by the people's indiscretion thus :-—“Some were yet more indiscreet ; the remnant of the old Separatists and Ana. baptists in London, was then very small, and scarce considerable; but they were enough to stir up the younger sort of religious people to speak too vehemently-against the Bishops and the Church-and all that was against their minds. These stirred up the apprentices to join with them in petitions, and to go in great numbers to present them : As they went, they met with some of the bishops in their coaches going to the House, and (as is usual with the passionate and indiscreet when they are in great companies) they too much forgot civility, and cried, No Bishops!" p. 27. “When
at last the King forsook the city, these tumults were the principal cause alleged by him, as if he himself had not been safe (in the midst of these mobbing retitioners ). Thus rash attempts of headstrong people do work against the good ends which they themselves intend. Overdoing is the ordinary way of undoing. And some mem. bers of the House did cherish these disorders : And be. cause the subjects have liberty to petition, they made use of this liberty in a disorderly way. Some particular members concurred with the desires of the imprudent Reformers, who were for no less than the utter extirpa tion of the Bishops and Liturgy. Those members, &c., did much encourage the petitioners, who, in a disorderly manner, laboured to effect it."
Page 39. “ I make no doubt that the headiness and rashness of the younger inexperienced sort of religious people, made many parliament-men and ministers overgo themselves to keep pace with those hot-spurs; no doubt but much indiscretion appeared, and worse than indiscretion, in the tumultuous petitioners, and much sin was committed in the dishonouring of the King, and provocation of him.—But these things came principally from the sectarian spirits, which blew the coals among foolish apprentices : And as the sectaries encreased, so did this insolence encrease.'
Page 50, 51. “When the Court News-book told the world of the swarms of Anabaptists in our armies, we thought it had been a mere lie, because it was not so with us.
But when I came to the army among Cromwell's soldiers, I found a new face of things, which I never dreamt of: I heard the plotting heads very hot upon that, which intimated their intention to subvert both Church and State. Independency and Anabaptistry were most prevalent. A few proud, self. conceited, hot-headed sectaries had got into the highest places, and were Cromwell's chief favourites; and by their very heat and activity bore down the rest, or car. ried them along with them, and were the soul of the army, though much fewer in number than the rest ; being, indeed, not one in twenty throughout the army';