a letter concerning toleration text

But that Ma|gistrates should thus suffer these Incendiaries, and Disturbers of the Publick Peace, might justly be God, I say, is the only Judge in this case, who will retribute unto every one at the last day according to his Deserts; that is, according to his sincerity and uprightness, in endeavouring to promote Piety, and the publick Weal and Peace of Mankind. For the Pro|mise he has made us, Mat. Another more secret Evil, but more dangerous to the Commonwealth, is, when men arrogate to themselves, and to those of their own Sect, some peculiar Prerogative, covered over with a specious shew of deceitful words, but in effect opposite to the Civil Right of the Community. If any man err from the right way, it is his own Misfortune, no Injury to thee: Nor therefore art thou to punish him in the things of this Life, because thou supposest he will be miserable in that which is to come. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue Here there|fore is great danger, least one of these Jurisdictions intrench upon the other, and Discord arise be|tween the Keeper of the publick Peace, and the Overseers of Souls. ecclesiastical character and office; whether they be bishops, priests, the people in general and to every one of his subjects in particular the him; he has his Lib•rty. Page  48 Will the Magistrate provide by an express Law, That such a one shall not become poor or sick? enable JavaScript in your browser. The sprinkling of Water, and the use of Bread and Wine, are both in their own nature, and in the ordinary occasions of Life, altogether indifferent. This the Gospel Ev•ry Man has Commission to a•monish, exhort, convince another of Error; an• by reasoning to draw him into Truth. means then shall ecclesiastical laws be established, if they must be thus Page  17 Nay, those that are averse to the Religion of the Magistrate, will think themselves so much the more bound to maintain the Peace of the Commonwealth, as their Con|dition is better in that Place than elsewhere; And all the several separate Congregations, like so many Guardians of the publick Peace, will watch one another, that nothing may be innovated or changed in the Form of the Government: Be|cause they can hope for nothing better than what they already enjoy; that is, an equal Condition with their Fellow-Subjects, under a just and mode|rate Government. Tho' even under the Gospel also, those who believe the First, or the Seventh Day, to be set apart by God, and conse|crated still to his Worship; to them that por|tion of Time is not a simple Circumstance, but a real Part of Divine Worship, which can neither be changed nor neglected. No man, therefore, with whatsoever Excommunication neither does, nor can deprive the excommunicated Person of any of those Civil Goods that he formerly pos|sessed. . But however, that some may not co|lour their spirit of Persecution and unchristian Cruelty, with a Pretence of Care of the Publick Weal, and Observation of the Laws; and that others, under pretence of Religion, may not seek Impunity for their Libertinism and Licentious|ness; in a word, that none may impose either upon himself or others, by the Pr•tences of Loy|alty and Obedience to the Prince, or of Ten|derness and Sincerity in the Worship of God; I esteem it above all things necessary to distin|guish exactly the Business of Civil Government from that of Religion, and to settle the just Bounds that lie between the one and the other. We cannot find any Sect that teaches expresly, and openly, that Men are not obliged to keep their Promise; that Princes may be dethroned by those that differ from them in Religion; or that the Dominion of all things be|longs only to themselves. /Length 1489 Oh that our Ecclesiastical Ora|tors, of every Sect, would apply th•ms•lves with all the strength of Arguments that they are able, to the confounding of mens Errors! Page  41 A Letter Concerning Toleration by John Locke was originally published in 1689. powerful a provocation to endless hatreds, rapines, and slaughters they Place, and time of meeting must be agreed on. (as has already been said) is the public worship of God and, by means All Idolatry was therefore to be rooted out of the Bounds of his King•om; because it was an acknowledgment of another God; that is to say, another King; against the Laws of Empire. punished for Idolatry; though all of them were certainly guilty of it. But far be it from us to say any such thing of that Religion, which carries the greatest opposition to Covetousness, Ambi|tion, Discord, Contention, and all manner of in|ordinate Desires▪ and is the most mod•st and peaceable Religion that ever was. cut off. Those that are of another Opinion, would do well to consider with themselves how pernicious a Seed of Discord and War, how pow|erful a Provocation to endless Hatreds, Rapines, and Slaughters, they thereby furnish unto M••|kind.

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