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I will not now enter into the Detail of the
Examples and Evil Consequences of this in after Ages of th« Church, of which Catalogues might be Produc'd; but these could not add to the Authority os what is here brought out of the Scriptures of God, from the Beginning to the End. Besides that it would swell this, unnecessarily, to too great a Bulk. K. Charles L I fay Unnecessarily, as to Us, who are more Touch'd with Examples at Home than Abroad. And we have one very near, which we cannot forget, because we Feel it still, and Tremble at the Consequences which it may yet have upon Us; that is, the Marriage of that Glorious Martyr King Charles I. with one of a different Communion $ who, tho1 he efcap'd the Danger .Himself, yet his Children did not. .
But that is chiefly to be Attributed to those Rebels who Drove them into Foreign Countries and after (without a Blush!) QuanelI'd with them for what they had learn'd there.
No doubt, that §>ueen had an Influence upon her Children, as all Mothers must have, more or less. But she could not of her self have had those Opportunities no nor Advantages in point ofArgu~ ment,which that cutkdRebellion gave her,carry'd on by those who call'd themselves Protestants; and, if continu'd to be Justifyd, will make that Name Abhorrent to all Men of Sense and Sobriety; if it once come to be taken for granted, That that Cause cannot be maintains but by Rebellion, Perjury, and Lies.
Of the last of these, that §>ueen (as others) had a great Share cast upon her by a fort of Party. Colour'd Saints, who had God in their Mouth, the Devil in their Heart, and the World in both their Arms. And took that Handle to wound the King through her Sides,
* I have
I have no Design to Justifie Her, nor can I do it, knowing nothing of these Transactions: But who can believe those against Her, who branded King Charles I. and Archbishop Laud for Papists who both dy'd Martyrs for our Church! Those who had ib Abandon'd themselves to Lying for the Truth (as they call'd it) that they came almost to believe themselves as past those Lies they had told so often! Insomuch, that whatever Reports came from that Quarter, were justly to be sufpeSed. And he that will make that his Rule, to conclude All those Stories to be Lies which they tell, either to their own Advantage, or of Slander to the Church or the King, merely upon that Reason, because They tell them; will not find himself mistaken Once in Twenty times: And the more Confident and "Positive they are, then we are to SufpeS the most; for what cannot be Prov'd, must by these Means be supported. Ought we then to Believe those who have been so accustomed to make Lies thejr Refuge; and will stand it on to Out-face the Sun, in that of which they dare not come to the Proof, even Themselves being Judges I
I would do Justice to All j and allow that the §>ueen of King Charles had her Failings j and perhaps might meddle too much in the Government and that her Religion was a Byqfs to her; these are Inconveniences sufficient: But I would not give Credit to all the slanderous Stories rais'd of Her, by those who had Ends to serve in doing it: Ther is a Right to be done even to the Dead, that we onr selves suffer nor, when we can no longer Defend our selves.
But how much or little soever She was Faulty, yet this we know, That her Religion was made a Handle to ruin the Best of Kings: And / d 2 Her Her Influence upon their Children Abroad, cannot but be suspected to have had its Share in what follow'd.
our Mobility, This Encouragement being given by the &c. King's Example, was imitated by others, chiefly
of the Nobility, who made no Scruple to Æarry into Families of a different Communion^ as ■ ibrted best with their Interests. As it was in the Ezra ix. 3. time of Ezra, The Hani of the Princes - and Rulers were chief in thk Trespass. What Inconveniences arose from this to their several Families, I leave to themselves to reflefl y to recount them would require a History like to that of Sir Henry Spelmaris of Sacrilege^ 77;c/eMarriages But to come to an End, this will be granted are Unlawful, me on all Hands, That Marrying into another ^fs^^ Communion is, at least, aTentation. And then, tation. "1 how can any, without Mocking of God, repeat the Lord's Prayer, Lead tts not into Tentation, when at the fame time, even while the words are in his Mouth, in the Office of Matrimony, he Deliberately, Wilfully, and Avowedly Throws 'himself, Or Exposes his Child to this great Tentation!
How can any Priest, with a good Conscience, deliver over with-his own Hands, one of his flock to another of a different Communion? If they should f 'all thereby, would not their Blood be requir'd at his Hand! ,
God fays of such Marriages, surely they will be a Snare unto you. Oh no, fay we, that is too Severe, perhaps they may not! As the Serpent said ro Eve, Te shall not surely die. It is notNsurely so, Be not afraid. .'
And atrer the many Examples we have seen of the Wisest of Men. and greatly Beloved of God, and the whole Nation of the sevis, His own peculiar People Overthrown by this Lenta, . . tion}
tion, shall we run our selves Wilfully into it! Is ic not a Provoking of G^i, and a Presumptuous Sin! A trusting in our own Strength, in Gwtempt of the Commands and Threatnings of
Upon theiwhole, as it has been said in the Preface, Ther is no Reason that is sufficient to hinder Communion, but must also forbid Marriage with such: And if the Differences are so small, as to allow of Marriages, they cannot justifie a Breach of Communion. N Because our Marriage in the Church, by 1 which we are made Members of Christ, of His outward visible Body upon Earth; and by that Entituled to a'Membership in His Church Triumphant for ever in Heaven; which are not Two Churches or Bodies of Christ, but the fame Body in different States, they are the fame Family, Part in Heaven, and Part on Earth; I Eph. Hi. Ij, fay, this Spiritual Marriage is infinitely Greater^ and of more Eternal Consequence than our Worldly Marriages, which are Diffolvd. by Death: And therefor whatever is a sufficient Cause, to break off our Communion with any Church, must much more Forceably conclude against our Marrying in that Communion.
Let me add, That ther is no Cause Tustifia- what u a ble for a Member of any lawfully constituted/"/Ca>!se/«" Church to Separate from Her Communion, un- communbn, less something that is S/'tt/w is requir'd as a Condition of Her Communion. And if it be Sinful, or that we think it so, it must debarr Marriage as well as Communion, for all the Reasons before said.
I am now come to the last Point; which is, in whom the In whom lies the Power of Reforming this Mat- Power 0/ Reter. And that is shew'd in the Words of my forminon l,eS' Terf, which I have chosen for that Purpose.
Arise', fofihis Matter belongeth unto thee, said the People to Ezra the Priest.
Matters of Religion are to be Reform'i'by the Church; and not only the People, but the Princes are to make their Application to the Priests.
Ezra ix. r. Thus said Ezra, Now when these things were done, the Princes came to me, faying, 8tc.
Nuro.xii. It is told before, how Aaron and Miriam made a Sedition against Moses, because of his Ethiopian Wife. But this is no Objection, tho' Aaron was then High-Priest; Because,
first, It does not appear but that She was a Proselyte, as said before; and it is most probable that (he was so, going along with them in the Wilderness, and witness to the many Miracles there wrought.
Secondly, Ther ought no Sedition to be rais'd against the Supreme Civil Magistrate, tho' he had been Guilty. No, not by the High-Priest himself. Rebellion is never Justifiable, upon any Pretence whatsoever.
Thirdly, Moses was Supreme, as well in Ecclefiasticals as Temporals: It was he that consecrated Aaron, made the Tabernacle, and ordered the whole Oeconomy of the Worship of God, and gave the Law, from the Mouth of God himself; which is the Reason God gave against Aaron and Miriam, for their Mutiny against Moses. He was preferr'd to Aaron, even in the Priesthood, as it is written, Moses
P&L xeix, 6, and Aaron among his Priests • Tho5 Aaron did exercise it, because the Succession of the Highi Priesthood was to descend in the Family of Aaron the Elder Brother; yet, during the Life of Moses, he was Supreme in All things, by the special Appointment ofGod. But this was Personal only to Moses therefor his Cafe is Sini gular. But to Return.