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of them hath a diverse posture, or cringe, by themselves, which cannot but move derision in worldlings and depraved politicians, who are apt to contemn holy things.
As for the fruit towards those that are within, it is peace, which containeth infinite blessings; it establisheth faith; it kindleth charity; the outward peace of the church distilleth into peace of conscience, and it turneth the labors of writing and reading of controversies into treatises of mortification and devotion.
Concerning the bounds of unity, the true placing of them importeth exceedingly. There appear to be two extremes; for to certain zealots all speech of pacification is odious. "Is it peace, Jehu?" "What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me." 1 Peace is not the matter, but following, and party. Contrariwise, certain Laodiceans 2 and lukewarm persons think they may accommodate points of religion by middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty reconcilements, as if they would make an arbitrament between God and man. Both
dancers in earlier times blackening their faces to resemble Moors. It was probably a corruption of the ancient Pyrrhic dance, which was performed by men in armor, and which is mentioned as still existing in Greece, in Byron's "Song of the Greek Captive: "
"You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet."
Attitude and gesture formed one of the characteristics of the dance. It is still practised in some parts of England. — Rabe lais, Pantag, ii. 7.
12 Kings ix. 18.
2 He alludes to the words in Revelations, c. iii. v. 14, 15, 16: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the begin ning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I will spue thee out of my mouth." Laodicea was a city of Asia Minor. St. Paul established the church there which is here referred to.
these extremes are to be avoided; which will be done if the league of Christians, penned by our Saviour himself, were in the two cross clauses thereof soundly and plainly expounded: "He that is not with us is against us; "1 and again, "He that is not against us, is with us;" that is, if the points fundamental, and of substance in religion, were truly discerned and distinguished from points not merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention. This is a thing may seem to many a matter trivial, and done already; but if it were done less partially, it would be embraced more generally.
Of this I may give only this advice, according to my small model. Men ought to take heed of rending God's church by two kinds of controversies; the one is, when the matter of the point controverted is too small and light, not worth the heat and strife about it, kindled only by contradiction; for, as it is noted by one of the fathers, "Christ's coat indeed had no seam, but the church's vesture was of divers colors; whereupon he saith, "In veste varietas sit, scissura non sit," 2 they be two things, unity and uniformity; the other is, when the matter of the point controverted is great, but it is driven to an over-great subtilty and obscurity, so that it becometh a thing rather ingenious than substantial. A man that is of judgment and understanding shall sometimes hear ignorant men differ, and know well within himself, that those which so differ mean one thing, and yet they them
1 St. Matthew xii. 30.
2" In the garment there may be many colors, but let there be no rending of it."
3 "Avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called."-1 Tim. vi. 20.
selves would never agree; and if it come so to pass in that distance of judgment, which is between man and man, shall we not think that God above, that knows the heart, doth not discern that frail men, in some of their contradictions, intend the same thing, and accepteth of both? The nature of such controversies is excellently expressed by St. Paul, in the warning and precept that he giveth concerning the same: "Devita profanas vocum novitates, et oppositiones falsi nominis scientia." 1 Men create oppositions which are not, and put them into new terms, so fixed as, whereas the meaning ought to govern the term, the term in effect governeth the meaning. There be also two false peaces, or unities; the one, when the peace is grounded but upon an implicit ignorance; for all colors will agree in the dark; the other, when it is pieced up upon a direct admission of contraries in fundamental points; for truth and falsehood, in such things, are like the iron and clay in the toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image; 2 they may cleave, but they will not incorporate.
Concerning the means of procuring unity, men must beware that, in the procuring or muniting of religious unity, they do not dissolve and deface the laws of charity and of human society. There be two swords amongst Christians, the spiritual and temporal, and both have their due office and place in the maintenance of religion; but we may not take up the third sword, which is Mahomet's sword,3
1"Avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science, falsely so called."-1 Tim. vi. 20.
2 He alludes to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, significant of the limited duration of his kingdom. - See Daniel ii. 33, 41.
8 Mahomet proselytized by giving to the nations which he conquered, the option of the Koran or the sword.
or like unto it; that is, to propagate religion by wars, or, by sanguinary persecutions, to force consciences; except it be in cases of overt scandal, blasphemy, or intermixture of practice against the state; much less to nourish seditions, to authorize conspiracies and rebellions, to put the sword into the people's hands, and the like, tending to the subversion of all government, which is the ordinance of God; for this is but to dash the first table against the second, and so to consider men as Christians, as we forget that they are men. Lucretius the poet,
when he beheld the act of Agamemnon, that could endure the sacrificing of his own daughter, exclaimed:
"Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum."1
What would he have said, if he had known of the massacre in France,2 or the powder treason of England? He would have been seven times more epicure and atheist than he was; for as the temporal sword is to be drawn with great circumspection in cases of religion, so it is a thing monstrous to put it into the hands of the common people; let that be left unto the Anabaptists, and other furies. It was great blasphemy when the devil said, "I
1" To deeds so dreadful could religion prompt." The poet refers to the sacrifice by Agamemnon, the Grecian leader, of his daughter Iphigenia, with the view of appeasing the wrath of Diana. Lucret. i. 95.
2 He alludes to the massacre of the Huguenots, or Protestants, in France, which took place on St. Bartholomew's day, August 24, 1572, by the order of Charles IX. and his mother, Catherine de Medici. On this occasion about 60,000 persons perished, including the Admiral De Coligny, one of the most virtuous men that France possessed, and the main stay of the Protestant
3 More generally known as "The Gunpowder Plot."
will ascend and be like the Highest;"1 but it is greater blasphemy to personate God, and bring him in saying, "I will descend, and be like the prince of darkness;" and what is it better, to make the cause of religion to descend to the cruel and execrable actions of murdering princes, butchery of 'people, and subversion of states and governments? Surely, this is to bring down the Holy Ghost, instead of the likeness of a dove, in the shape of a vulture or raven; and to set out of the bark of a Christian church a flag of a bark of pirates and assassins; therefore, it is most necessary that the church by doctrine and decree, princes by their sword, and all learnings, both Christian and moral, as by their Mercury rod,2 do damn and send to hell forever those facts and opinions tending to the support of the same, as hath been already in good part done. Surely, in counsels concerning religion, that counsel of the apostle would be prefixed: “Ira hominis non implet justitiam Dei;' 8 and it was a notable observation of a wise father, and no less ingenuously confessed, that those which held and persuaded pressure of consciences, were commonly interested therein themselves for their own ends.
1 Isa. xiv. 14.
2 Allusion is made to the "caduceus," with which Mercury, the messenger of the Gods, summoned the souls of the departed to the infernal regions.
The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." -James i. 20.