Helpes for Discovery of the Truth In Point of TOLERATION: BEING The judgment of that eminent Scholler Tho. Cartwright, sometimes Divinity-Professor in the University of Cambridge in the Reigne of Queen Elizabeth of happy memory, and then a famous Non-Conformist, for which through the tyranny of the Bishops he suffered Exile. Wherein the Power and Duty of the Magistrate in rela∣tion to matters of Religion is discussed; as also whether the Ju∣diciall Lawes given by Moses to the Jewes are abrogate by the coming of Christ. More particularly in relation to some sinnes, viz. Blasphemy, Adultery, &c. Occasionally handled in a Controversie betweene the said publike Professor T. C. and Doctor Whitgift. Here also by the way is laid downe his judgment in the case of Divorce, and that the party innocent may marrie again.
LONDON, Printed for Thomas Banks, at the signe of the Seale in Westminster Hall. 1648.
To the Reader.
FOr understanding this piece of Mr. Cartwrights, thou art to consider, that it is an extract out of a booke of his written for a reply to the then Bishop of Canterbury Dr. Whitgift. And find∣ing that he unfolds many truths for the setling of mens judgments in these times, as concerning the force of the Judiciall Lawes of Moses given to the Jewes, concerning the punishment of blasphe∣my, adultery, &c. it was judged likely to prove usefull to the Church of Christ if it were made more publike, the old Book be∣ing neer worn out of print.
The extent and continuance of the Law Morall, Ceremoniall, and Judiciall, with their severall uses, not being well considered, hath been the cause that many errors of late times have been plea∣ded for. Somthing of the Law was abrogated by the coming of Christ: this being hinted and taken hold of by the ignorant and unstable, they understand it of the abrogation of all, both Cere∣moniall, Judiciall and Morall, and so open a gap to licentious∣nesse. Thus by confounding what should be distinguisht, many ab∣surdities have their rise. There is somthing Morall among the Iudicialls, which will stand against all opposition. There is som∣what in the Morall which is abrogate to the believer, as the curse, the condemning power, the irritating nature, &c. Qui bene di∣stinguit, bene docet. I leave the clearing of some of these things to this ensuing extract: The Lord grant us discerning spirits, to∣gether with hearts to walk in the light of his truth, when we dis∣cerne it.Page 1
Helpes for discovery of the Truth, in point of Toleration.
MY former Assertion was, That we have a word of God for our direction in all things which we have to doe. My reason illustrating this truth was this, That o∣therwise our estate should be worse then the state of the Jews, who had direction (as is on all hands confest) out of the Law, even for the least things; And whereat it is the vertue of a good Law, to leave as little undetermined, and without the compasse of the Law, as can be, my adversary D. W. imagi∣ning that we have no word for divers things, wherein the Jews had particular direction, supposeth a greater perfection •n the Law given to the Jewes, then in that which is left to us.
That this is a principall vertue of the Law, may be seen •nd evidenced thus; First, because conscience that is well ••nstructed and touched with the feare of God, will seek di∣rection from the light of Gods word, even in the smallest actions. Secondly, common reason will urge it, the Masters whereof give this Rule, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Arist. ad Theod. viz. It greatly behoveth those Lawes which are well made, as much as can be to determine of all things, and to leave as few things as may be to the discretion of the Judge.
I added, That the new Testament is a noble addition to the old, that it maketh the old more manifest, and bringeth greater light; which expression (though D. W. wrangleth withall) is no other then Mr. Calvin useth on 2 Tim. 3. where he calls the Gospel an addition to the Law: Let us there∣fore now consider, whether in the matter of the Judiciall Law, that which I have set downe be strange and dangerous, as Dr. W. surmiseth.
I doe not affirm, that the Magistrate is simply bound to the Judiciall Law of Moses; but that he is bound to the E∣quity, which I also call the substance and marrow of them, in regard of which equity, I affirm that, *There are certaine Page 2 Lawes among the judicialls, which cannot be changed.
Hereof I gave example in the Laws which command, that a stubborn Idolater, Blasphemer, Murtherer, Incestuous per∣son, and such like should be put to death.
For the first point, That the equity of the judicialls doth remain, and therefore ought to be a rule to direct all Laws by:* To let passe the authority of Mr Calvin, Mr Beza, and other writers of our time, who have written with any judge∣ment of this matter,* (who doe in plain words affirm, that there is a perpetuall equity in them, and that our Laws, though they differ in forme, yet ought to retaine the reason or ground of them) I say to let that passe, I assert, That all these Laws, Morall, Ceremoniall, and Judiciall, being the Laws of God, and by his revealed will established, must so farre forth remaine, as it appeareth not by his will that they are revoked.
To boult out therefore this truth, seeing the altering or revoking of any Law must be by our Saviours comming on∣ly, Let us inquire what those Laws are which he put an end unto.
This thing may be considered in that division which S. Paul useth,* where he saith that our Saviour Christ came to make peace, first between God and men, and then between men and men; that is to say between the Jews and Gentiles. 1. The Ceremoniall Law therefore being a Law of enmity (which as a wall held out the Gentiles from joyning themselves un∣to the Jews) was necessary, among other causes, in this re∣spect to be taken away. Secondly, the curse of the Law, for the breach of any of the Lawes of God, either pertaining to the Jews in times past, or unto us now (being that which maketh the wall between the Lord and us) was, for our re∣conciliation with his Majesty, necessarily to be removed: whereupon it followeth, First, That the Morall Law (as that which hindereth not our reconciliation with God, nor our good agreement with men) is in as full strength as ever it was before the comming of our Saviour Christ: For the curse of the Law besides that, it is in regard of the Elect, ra∣ther fulfilled and executed in the person of our Saviour Christ, then abrogated. 2. Besides that also, it hath a necessary use as yet towards the Elect, not only to drive them to the faith Page 3 which is in Christ Jesus, but also to keep under the remnants of rebellion, even of them which have already believed. And 3. Besides that, the force thereof is dayly, and shall be for ever executed upon the wicked. 4. Besides all this, seeing this curse was annexed not only to the breach of the Morall Law, but also of the Ceremoniall and Judiciall, there is no just cause, why the Morall Law should be said to be abro∣gated.
Secondly it followeth hereupon, That those Judiciall Laws of Moses, which are meerly Politck, and without all mixture of Ceremonies, must remain, as those which hinder not the Attonement of Jews and Gentiles with God, or of one of them with another. Besides this, It being mani∣fest, that our Saviour Christ came not to dissolve any good Government of Common-wealth, he can least of all be thought to come to destroy that which himselfe had esta∣blished.
Of this Point Dr. W. hath two contrary sentences, one of Musculus,* which saith that the Judiciall Law is abrogate, the other of Beza, which is, That the Judiciall Law being given to the Jewes, is not yet abrogate, so that if they had any estate of Common-wealth in the Land of Canaan, they should be con∣strained to use that forme of Government, which was given to them by Moses.
Now albeit those Lawes given unto the Jews for that Land, doe not bind the Gentiles in other Lands, forsomuch as the diversity of the dispositions of the people, and state of that Country, gave occasion of some Laws there, which would not have been in other places, yet forasmuch as there is in those Laws a constant and everlasting Equity whereupon they were grounded, 2. And the same perfecter and further from errour then the forge of mans reason (which is even in this behalfe shrewdly wounded,) is able to devise; It follow∣eth, that even in making Politick Laws for the Common∣wealth, Christian Magistrates ought to propound unto them∣selves those Laws, and in light of their Equity by a just pro∣portion of circumstances, of person, place, &c. to frame them.
Now to prove this truth, That the equitie of the Iudiciall Law remaineth, (not as a counsail which men may follow if Page 4*they list, and leave at their pleasure, but) as a Law whereto they be bound,* I shall prove by an Argument taken from that of the Apostle in 1 Cor 9. where after he had alleaged divers similitudes, fetcht from the common use of men, to prove that a Minister of the Gospel ought to be maintained upon the Churches charge;* least it might be objected that these were but humane reasons, he citeth one of the Judiciall Laws, as the eternall Law of God, Deut. 25. 4. Thou shalt not muzzell the mouth &c. Where it is manifest, that he doubt∣eth not to bind the Conscience of the Corinths unto the e∣quity of that Law which was Judiciall, and so urgeth it ver. 10.
Likewise of the finding of the Priests in the service of the Altar, commanded in the Law, he concludeth, That those which preach the Gospel should live of it. And this main∣tenance of the Priest, albeit in the manner of the provision it was meerly Ceremoniall, yet as it was a reward of their ser∣vice, due by men (as the punishments also, if they had failed in their duties,) was meer Judiciall. Whereupon it follow∣eth, that in those Judicialls, to all the circumstances where∣of we are not bound, we are yet bound to the Equity of them.
It remaineth to shew, that there are certain Judiciall Lawes which cannot be changed, as that a Blasphemer, contemptu∣ous and stubborn Idolater, &c. ought to be put to death. They which would have this left at liberty, have nothing to alledge to colour their loosenesse, but the coming of Christ and his passion: but they do not see how this their arguing faultreth divers wayes. For,
1. It is a childish error to think, that our Saviour Christ came to exempt men from corporall death, which the Law casteth upon evill doers, when as he came not to deliver from death, which is the parting of the body from the soule, but from that which is the separation both of body and soul from the gracious presence of the Lord. And if it were so, that our Saviour Christ had born in his Body this civill punishment of publike offenders, it must thereupon follow, not that it is in the liberty of the Magistrate to put them to de•th, but that he must, will he, nill he, if they repent, keep them alive. For if our Saviour hath answered that justice of God in his Law, Page 5 whereby he hath commanded that such malefactors should be put to death,* it should be great injustice to require that again in the life of the offender.
2. Againe, this opinion is injurious to the death of Christ; for if he were for this cause made manifest in the slesh, that he might destroy sin, which is the work of the Devill, 1 Ioh. 3. 8. this imagination of a liberty left to the Magistrate, whether he will put them to death or not, doth make Christ build againe that kingdome of sin which he hath destroyed: For, when both in common reason, and by the manifest word of God, the Lord giveth this blessing unto the punishment of such grievous offenders by death,* that others (not only which see, but also) which heare of them, have the bridle of feare put up∣on them, whereby they are with-holden from the like crimes, it must needs follow, that whosoever maketh our Saviour Christ author of this loosenesse, in not punishing such offend∣ers, maketh him forthwith to loose the bridle whereby others are stayed from throwing themselves down the hill of wic∣kednesse which was before committed: And what is, if this be not, to make our Saviour Christ a troubler of common∣wealths?
Moreover, if our Saviour Christ by his coming loosed these civill punishments, and purchased this grace of his Fa∣ther for blasphemers, &c. that if they could find favour in the eyes of the Magistrate, they might escape the hands of death,* which the Law of God adjudgeth them unto: How commeth it to passe, that the Apostles, to whom the Lord committed the publishing of all that pardon which he obtai∣ned for us, did never make mention of the slaking of these punishments? If our Saviour Christ had obtained this liber∣ty, it was worthy the preaching; and therefore unlesse D. W. can shew something out of the writings of the Apostles,* to warrant this Sanctuary, which he would so faine build to the support of blasphemers, murderers, &c. it followeth, that the Apostles, by his saying, have not answered the trust com∣mitted unto them; But if all godly minds doe abhorre these absurdities, there is no cause why they should like of this cor∣ruption of the Doctor, whereupon all these depend. Nay in that the Apostle putteth a sword in the hand of the Magi∣strate, Page 6 and in the use of it maketh him a Minister and servant of the vengeance and justice of the Lord against sinne:* He stri∣keth through this opinion, which imagineth that our Saviour Christ came to hang the sword of the Lords justice upon the pleasure and will of man. For the Magistrate being the Lords Officer, as the Sheriffe is the Magistrates: It is no more in his choice to with-hold the Sword which the Lord hath put in his hand to draw, then in the power of the Sheriffe, to stay the execution of that judgement, which the Magistrate himselfe hath lawfully commanded,
Now seeing there is a sword in the Magistrates hand, by the doctrine of the Apostles, and that also which the Magi∣strate must of duty draw; I would gladly know where that necessity of drawing this sword can be found, if it be not in these crimes of Blasphemy, &c. which I have set downe?
And if he say that Paul, by the sword understandeth all manner of civill punishments, as well by the purse, as by other bodily chastisements which spare the life; I grant it, but by an usuall manner of speech which is figurative, and noteth the whole by the part, he rather chose to utter those punishments by the Sword, then either by the whip or purse: whereby he did not only not exclude this necessity of punish∣ing malefactors with death, but laid rather a straiter bond up∣on the Magistrate to execute those which commit things wor∣thy of death.
Hitherto generally of putting those to death, which com∣mit things against the Laws remaining still in force, as they were in times past established by the bloud of the Transgres∣sors: Now I will come to the particular crimes set downe, and first for the crime of Adultery.
It is to be considered that the crime of Adultery is a breach of the holy and ancient, both institution and solemn Covenant of the Lord, then that it is an injury done unto the innocent party in the most precious possession that can be,* in things pertaining to this present life, joyned with dishonour cast not only upon the person, but upon all his Children, and in a manner on all those that belong unto him. Thirdly that this fire doth not only wast the family where it is, but maketh a breach into the Common-wealth, whilst the right of inheri∣tance, Page 7 either of Lands or Offices is oftentimes thus translated from the true Inheritors, while the children which are so be∣gotten, having oft times lesse care and cost bestowed on them in their education, become hurtfull Members of the Common∣walth; whereby all may clearely see the perpetuall equi∣ty of the Law of God in the revengement of this sinne by death.
And when the Lord addeth this for a reason of putting the Adulterer to death,* that the evill may be taken out of Israel, unto the heap of discommodities before rehearsed for fault of executing this Judgement of death, he threatneth the whole Common-wealth with mischiefe to fall upon it; and the equity of this punishment by death hath so lightsome colours upon it, that it hath upholden it selfe against the ig∣norance and injustice of all which have not willingly put out that sparkle which standeth in the discretion of honesty; For even before this candle light of the Law of God was set up,* not onely the godly (as Job) which were in some part re∣formed of the generall blindnesse, but even those that were not of the Church of God, as Abimelech the King of Gerar, and the very Canaanite (as long as there was any step of e∣quity among them) did see that the filth of this sinne was such,* as ought to be washed away with the bloud of the of∣fenders. For whereas Isaac feared the assault, both of his life and of the chastity of Rebecka,* the King ordained that whosoever either laid violent hands on him, or had to doe with his wife, should die; and in that Judah called for Tha∣mar to be led forth to death in the Land of Canaan, where himselfe was but a private man, for that she being made sure unto an husband, plaid the Harlot: he gave to understand, that the Canaanites, who had even then filled a good part of that measure of sin unto the brinke, whereof they came afterward did notwithstanding pursue Adulterers unto death.
And when the Lord did afterward give testimony to this punishment by the expresse words of his Law, it is manifest, that the Law which God hath written in the table of the hearts of all men, pronounceth the sentence of death against Adulterers: So that unlesse men will like Gyants fight against Page 8 the light of nature, or say, that our Saviour Christ came to abolish that which in all times and with all Nations (not alto∣gether spoiled of the discretion of honesty and dishonesty) was observed, it followeth, that the punishment of Adultery by death, and consequently much more the punishment of incestuous meetings by death, standeth in as full force now as ever it did before the coming of our Saviour Christ.
The exceptions against this Doctrine are of no value, for if this be the truth of God there can be no prerogative a∣gainst it, unlesse he can shew some higher Court then heaven, and some chief Justice above the Lord.
It is not denied, but the punishments by death whereby men have established Lawes which themselves have for their better commodity devised, may be either mitigated or taken away by those to whom it appertained; neither is the Magi∣strate by any thing which I have set downe bound to miti∣gate the punishment of Theeves. For, their punishment may grow by the circumstance of place, as in Scithia where all things lying open to the spoile, had need to be locked up by the straighter punishment, and sometimes by the disposition of the people lighter handed then others, as if one had to do with the Lacedemonians, or some Nation in whom that sinne had taken deeper root. And I will not deny, but even these crimes of Murther and Adultery may vary by divers circum∣stances, and therefore the Magistrate may according to the quantity of the fault appoint the manner of death sharper or milder. But that there is any place, time, or other circumstance, which can lessen these crimes that they should not be worthy of death, upon the reasons before alledged, I utterly deny.
*It may be objected, that the Law of our Saviour Christ touching divorcement for Adultery, Mat. 5. 32. had been to no purpose, if the Adulterer ought of necessity to be put to death.
*First, he that urgeth this may be justly charged with a mistake in bringing in our Saviour Christ there as a maker of Lawes under the Gospell, whereas he made none in those pla∣ces, but expounded the Law of God, which he had made from the beginning; the other refusalls made by the Jewes of their wives, were never any Lawes but Permissions only: Page 9 and therefore in their abolishment there was no Law of God abrogated.
Secondly,* it was necessary to use that exposition, notwith∣standing that the punishment of the Law by death remained;* for besides that the Jewes being under the Government of the Romanes had those civill punishments by death suspended upon the pleasure of their Officers, who were often corrup∣ted: our Saviour Christ fore-seeing all things did fore-see what loosenesse would follow in this behalfe, and therefore as the office of a good Teacher required, he instructed the conscience, and taught that albeit the Magistrate faile in the execution of the Law, yet that the former yoke being bro∣ken, men were at their liberty to enter into a new contract of Marriage with other; whereby he met with the corrupt opinion of those which dreame that the knot of Marriage is not cut asunder by Adultery during the life of the parties married.
Now for the opinion of Musculus before quoted, at pa. 3. although his manner of speech (in saying that all Moses is abrogated) be hard, yet it will appeare that D. W. hath wrested this learned mans words from his meaning, and that he is but a snatcher at syllables; for the meaning of that lear∣ned man Musculus was, that these Lawes are abrogate, as gi∣ven by Moss, and doe notwithstanding remaine as they con∣taine a perpetuall equity; and that this is his meaning may be proved by comparing him with himselfe, for in the same title of Lawes he writeth thus, There are (saith he) that think that Christ did abrogate the punishment prescribed by the Law against Adulterers, when he saith, Neither doe I condemne thee, goe and sinne no more; these be gay fellowes, they thinke not of this, that our Saviour Christ came into the world, not to judge or punish, but to save sinners: and yet in the meane season not to take away the punishments of the Law, given of God his Father by Moses; whereupon he said not simply, thon thoughtest not to be condemned, &c. and so sheweth, that if she had been condemned accor∣ding to the sentence of the Law, that the Lord would not have spoke against it. This our Saviours refusall to condemn this woman taken in Adultery, doth no more cease the punish∣ment due to Adultery,* then his refusing to judge in the divisi∣on Page 10 of an inheritance when he was requested, doth countenance Anabaptisticall community, or doth prove, that Inheritances should not be divided, in both these he refuseth to meddle, as impertinent to that spirituall work he intended] Calvin in his Comment on John, calleth it Popish divinity, that the sen∣tence of our Saviour Christ, Jo. 8. should bring any favour to Adulterers,* as touching the civill punishment.
As for Mr. Beza, it is known that he proveth that Hereticks ought by the Law of God to be put to death,* whereby it ap∣pears that he beleeves those Judicialls which give sentence of death against the crimes here set down to be still in as full force as ever they were. Unto which I could add Peter Martir, who hath a long dispute of the necessary observation of this Law against Adulterers, and as I have shewed there is none of these crimes but even the Law of nature will teach us, that they ought to receive the reward af death.*
The Dr. proceeds, and seeks to make one difference between the Law and Gospel, to ly in relation to the severity of the Law and lenity of the Gospel, in respect of temporall punishment.
The Answer.* I say that in this very point, a great part of the errour of the Manichees doth consist, for they were led to condemne the Justice of God under the old Testament, be∣cause of the outward punishments which were exercised part∣ly by the hand of God by judgements from Heaven, and partly by the Ministery of men at the commandment of the Law; therefore the favour of Manichism is still hot as ever it was.
But since I am entred into the mention of this, the Truth is, that even in these outward punishments, the dispensaton of God under the Law, is divers from that under the Gospel; For under the Paedagogy of the Law, as he crowned the obe∣dience of it for the most part with greater abundance of out∣ward blessings, then he doth the obedience of his Saints under the Gospel: so did he with more terrible, more often, and more manifest judgements, revenge the breach of it in that time, then he doth now. And herein indeed is the difference which the Dr. is groping after but cannot hit on it; But that this should bring any diversity in the set and ordinary punish∣ments prescribed by the Law, I for my part cannot understand. The contrary rather I can gather; for even as although the Page 11 Lord doth not now by outward blessings give so plentifull testimony to the obedience of the Gospell, as then of the Law: yet the Magistrate ought to be as diligent to procure the good of the Church as ever he was in the time of the Law: Even so although the Lord by bodily punishments doth not so severely revenge as he did then, yet the Magistrate may not remit any thing therfore of that severity which he was wont to use. Nay more, even as the Magistrate ought so much the more carefully to procure the outward welfare of the Church now, as the Lord withdraweth his hand that way, more now then he did then, even so ought he to keep by so much an harder hand over the punishment of sinne now, then he did then, as the Lord more rarely thundereth by his judge∣ments from Heaven, now, then he did in time of the Law.
And sruely, if ever there had been any time wherein the Magistrates sword might have rested and rusted in the sheath, the time of the Law of all had been most fittest: when the Lord did so visibly sit in judgement, and himselfe in proper person hold the Assize.
The causes of this diversity between the Law and Gospell may be seen in those learned men mentioned, which handle the Point.
It is enough for me, so to helpe the Dr. out, with what he travelled with, that I have shewed, that what is by me here laid downe is nothing hindered, but greatly helped by this difference which he bringeth betweene the Law, and the Gospel.
*Next, the Dr. finds fault with my interpretation of that place of Zachary, concerning putting to death him that pro∣phesied falsly,* his reason is, Because (forsooth) by that means the Parents should have power of death upon their Children;* therefore (saith the Dr.) there must be some other sence sought out, then that which the words doe purport.
*Whereunto I answer, That Moses shewing what ought to be done against those false Teachers which goe about secretly to withdraw from the true worship of God, saith, Deu. 13. 6, 9. that though it be his Brother, his Sonne, his Daughter, or his Wife, he shall not spare but kill them: tell me now I pray you, doth not Moses mean there truly, and as his words Page 12 sound, that the false Teacher shall die? If you cannot deny it, then you see that your reason which you here assigne is no∣thing worth, for there also it is commanded to the Father to kill his Sonne.
But if you list to learne,* you may perceive that by these words understood simply, there is no power given to one private man to kill another, nor for the parent (as a private man) to kill his children: but this manner of speech is groun∣ded upon the Law of God, Deut. 17. 7. whereby it was pro∣vided, that the witnesse which had accused should throw the first stone against the convicted person; forasmuch therefore, as both Moses and Zachary after Moses, will have the Father accuser of his own Child, if the knowledge of his inticement to Idolatry remaine with him alone, therefore also they as∣cribe the killing of the guilty person unto them, as a thing belonging to the duty of the Accuser.
Oh! but your words seem to give suspition of a difference between the Jewes and us, what is that? why that Christian Parents should rather put their children to death, then to be with-drawne by them: so that the Jewes have an absolute Commandement to put them to death, but the Christians have it under condition, if they cannot otherwise keep still the true Worship of God.
But where and in what shop is this difference quoined? For how shall they be sure they shall not be with-drawne by him, unlesse they procure him to be put to death?
And although they were out of the perill of being with-drawn, how are others provided for, whom he may corrupt? And if it were possible that poison which he hath, could not hurt a∣ny other, where is the revenge of Gods glory which hath been dishonoured by such false teaching? and in the maintenance whereof the zeale of Gods children as well under the Gos∣pell as under the Law doth consist?
I conclude therefore that place of Zachary (against your fond distinction) that the same severity of punishment which was used against false Prophets then, ought to be used now under the Gospell against false Teachers, comparing one per∣son and circumstance with another. As he which hath fallen from God, and gone about to draw others away, to be handled Page 13 according to the Law prescribed in that 13. of Deut. If this be extreme, I am content to be so counted with the holy Ghost. And though in some cases of Idolatry, upon repen∣tance life is given, yet in this case and some other expressed in the Law, as of open and horrible blasphemy of the Name of God; I deny that upon repentance there ought to follow a∣ny pardon of death, which the Judiciall Law doth require.
Besides,* It is an Anabaptisticall tenent to avoid all punish∣ment of sin whatsoever, to maintain that, For whatever offence a man commit, if he shew tokens of repentance, he may be delive∣red from bodily punishment: For what Murtherer, what Trai∣tor, &c. which though he be never so unrepentant and obsti∣nate in his sin, hearing that upon repentance there is a way to escape death, will not inforce himselfe to shew all tokens of repentance?
Let this truth therefore be further enforced by this Argu∣ment.* Forasmuch as I have shewed out of the new Testament that he who killeth a man, and taketh away his corporall life ought to die, it followeth much more, that he which taketh away the life of the soule should die: and if it be meet to maintaine the life of man by the punishment of death,* how should the honour of God, which is more precious then all mens lives, be with smaller punishment established?
Therefore to close up this question, I will adde this; That the Magistrates which punish Murtherers and Thiefes, and Treasons, with other transgressors of the second Table severe∣ly, and are loose in punishing the breaches of the first Table, begin at the wrong end, and do all one with those, who to drie up many rivers continually fed by one fountain, begin at the channells where it divideth and parteth it selfe into many armes: which as it is an endlesse labour, so is this also which they go about;* for whereas S. Paul teacheth Rom. 1. that God for revenge of the dishonour of his Name, giveth men over to wicked minds, to the committing all kind of silthinesse, and of all kind of sins against the second Table, be they never so horrible; and so maketh the breach of the first Table the cause of the breach of the second: It cannot be (let the Magistrate lay as good watch as he can, and aggravate punishments as Page 14 much as he can,) I say it cannot be but where either the first table is broken, or the breach not duly revenged, but swarms of Treasons, Thefts, Murthers, Adulteries, Perjuries and such like, must needs breake out in those Governments.
And therefore as the short and easie way to dry up the Channells and Rivers is to stop up the head and fountaine of all, so the only remedy of purging the Common-wealth of these mischiefes, is to bend the force of sharp and severe punishments especially against Idolaters, Blasphemers, Con∣temners of true Religion, and of the Service of God.
And therefore I conclude,* that those which would have the severity of the Law against Idolaters, &c. abated, doe at una∣wares not onely thereby utter the small price which they set either of Gods glory, or of the salvation of their Brethren, but withall declare themselves enemies to Common-wealths, and of all both civill and godly honestie of life.