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Churchship; where I never heard even fuch talk fo irreligiously about Oaths, as I have heard fome High-Churchmen, or deliver fuch open Perjury as Parfon B----fe. What adds to the Wickedness and Guilt of these HighChurchmen, is, that they pretend to be Chriftians, and to take their Religion from the New Teftament; that they are of a Church, whofe diftinguishing Doctrine is Loyalty to the Prince, and which they extend fo far, as to allow Resistance in no Cafe to be lawful; and that they have a Sovereign, against whom they have nothing to object, but his Virtues, his mild, equal, impartial, and juft Administration of Government; for, as to his Title, (which is the best of Titles, even the voluntary Eftablifhment of a free People by an Act of their Legislature) thefe fwearing High-Churchmen can have no juft Scruple.
THESE High-Churchmen therefore are True Atheifts; they are practical Atheists. "The fpeculative Difference between them and Atheists, is a Matter of fmall Moment; for, what is it to their Neighbours, while they act like Atheifts, that they believe in God and Religion? For, while they act like Atheifts, they do all the Mifchief that Atheists can do, and all thofe Things for which alone Atheism
is so justly detestable. For if speculative Atheism did not lead Men to Immorality, to Faction, to Rebellion, r. it would be fo far from being deteftable, that it would be prefer-able to any Religion that spoiled Mens Morals, and made them bad Subjects: And I' would rather have a fpeculative Atheist for my Neighbour and Fellow-Subject, and run the Hazard of his being a vicious Man, than an‹ Orthodox-religious Man, whofe Religion madehim vicious.
Wednesday, November 16. 17.20.
Of High-Church ATHEISM. Part 3.
HE next Article of Atheism, that
of Religion; for unless there be a Toleration of Religion, Religion, which is a Matter of Choice and Confcience, is almoft excluded the World.
IT is afferted by Mr. HOBBES, that the Civil Magiftrate of every Country is the Legiflator in Matters of Religion; that his Subjects ought to obey him therein; and that, if they do not, they fhould be compelled by Force to profefs that Religion which he injoins. This Doctrine implies Speculative Atheism, as
it deftroys God's Dominion, by fubverting his Authority and Laws, and by making a God of the Magiftrate; and as it roots out all Religion, by taking away Mens Right to follow their Confciences therein; which conftitures the very Effence of Religion: And it must introduce Practical Atheism, if followed; by dif turbing, diftreffing, imprifoning, and taking away the Lives of the best Men; by fetting Men at Variance with one another, and cauf ing civil Wars on a religious Account; and by leaving Men to be governed only by the Laws of the civil Magiftrate, and taking away all Moives to good Actions drawn from Confcience towards God.
Now the Speculative Principles of HighChurch Priests, and thofe of Atheists, differ but little from each other: And the Practices following from both their Principles are the. fame; that is, the High-Church Priests must be no lefs Practical Atheists, than the Speculative Atheists themfelves.
1. FOR, First, as to the Speculative Prin ciples of High-Church Priests: Though the High-Church Priests contend for a Law of God, a Bible, and a Confcience, yet they as effectually fubvert thofe good Things, as the Atheists, by afferting, at the fame time, a Right
in the Civil Magiftrate to compel Men by Laws, or Force, to embrace the true Religion : For, what is the Difference between a Right in the Magiftrate to compel Men to embrace the true Religion, and a Right in the Magiftrate to compel Men to embrace his Religion, which he will always think the best and true Religion?"
ALL the Arguments of High-Church Pricfts for Church-Authority, and the Church-Unity, imply the fame Atheism. For, do they not therein contend for Submiffion to Man in Matters of Religion, and for the Sacrifice of fome Mens Confciences to the Judgments of other Men? Which is fubverting the Law of God, the Bible, and Confcience, no less, than vefting the Power and Compulfion in the Civil Magi-ftrate.
BUT their Arguments againft all Innovations, in Matters of Religion, are most Atheistical. They contend fo generally against Innovations, that they cite with Approbation MGENAS's Advice to AUGUSTUS, namely, Thaa he should follow conftantly the Established Religion of his Country; for all Innovations would foment Sedition in the State, and be a Means to fubvert his Government. Now though this Advice fo manifeftly afferts Athe