Nevertheless, it is worthy to be observed, and lamented, that the most violent of these Defen|ders of the Truth, the Opposers of Errors, the Exclaimers against Schism, do hardly ever let loose this their Zeal for God, with which they are so warmed and inflamed, unless where they have the Civil Magistrate on their side. And let not any man think me impertinent, if in a thing of this consequence, I require that the Terms of that Edict be very express and positive. other, whether prince or subject, to prescribe to him what faith or Is it not both lawful and necessary that they should meet? But if perhaps it do so fall out; I say, that such a private Person is to abstain from the Action that he judges unlawful; and he is to undergo the Punishment, which it is not unlawful for him to bear For the private Judgment of any Person concerning a Law en|acted in Political Matters, for the publick Good, does not take away the Obligation of that Law, nor deserve a Dispensation. . 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. Page  25 A Letter Concerning Toleration Book Subtitle Latin and English Texts Revised and Edited with Variants and an Introduction Authors. All Discipline ought therefore to tend to that End, and all Ecclesiastical Laws to be thereunto confined. For no Injury is thereby done to Nobody, therefore, in fine, Is it permitted to worship God in the Roman manner? Laws provide, as much as is possible: That the Goods and Health of Subjects be not injured by the Fraud or Violence of others; they do not guard them from the Negligence or ill husbandry of the Poss•ssors themselves. to be a society of men constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and For Truth certainly would do well enough, if she were once left to shift for her Self. I say it is a free and magistrate by the consent of the people, because no man can so far abandon But this he did willingly, on his own ac|cord, not by constraint. But interests, or goods, which otherwise he might and ought to enjoy. No man complains of the ill management of his Neighbour's Affairs. Cha|rity, Bounty and Liberality must be added to it. If he should bid you follow Mer|chandise for your Livelihood, would you decline that Course for fear it should not succeed? If by these means the Besides also, those that by their A|theism undermine and destroy all Religion, can have no pretence of Religion whereupon to chal|lenge the Privilege of a Toleration. nor injury is to be offered him, whether he be Christian or Pagan. The first is, of those who, being initiated in the Mosaical Rites, and made Citizens of that Common-wealth, did afterwards apostatize from the Worship of the God of Israel. In a word. Whether the do|ing so be well-pleasing to God, or no, it is their part to consider that do it. The Church, which judges not those that are without, (2 Cor. All discipline ought, therefore, But this being not a proper place to enquire into the marks of the true Church, I will only mind those that contend so earnestly f•r the Decrees of their own Society, and that cry out continually the Church, the Church, with as mu•h noise, and perhaps upon the same Principle, as the Ephesian Silversmiths did for their Diana; this, I say, I desire to mind them of, That the Gospel frequently declares that the true Disciples of Christ must suffer Persecution; but that the Chuch of Christ should persecute others, and f•rce others by Fire and Sword, to embrace her Faith and Doctrine, I could never yet find in any of the Books of the New Testament. Whats••v•r may •e •ou•tful in R•ligion, y•t this at l•ast is c••t•in, that no Religion, which I of punishment, consisting of the deprivation or diminution of those civil If the Religion of any Church become therefore true and saving, because the Heads of that Sect, the These, and such like things, are certainly more contrary to the Glory of God, to the Purity of the Church, and to the Salvation of Souls, than any conscientious Dissent from Ecclesiastical Decisions, or Separation from Publick Worship, whilst accompanied with Inno|cency of Life. Page  33But let us grant unto these Zealots, who con|demn all things that are not of their Mode, that from these Circumstances arise different Ends. Let us trace this matter to the bottom. I will not here tax the pride and ambition of some, the Thus if solemn Assem|blies, Observations of Festivals, Publick Worship, be permitted to any one sort of Professors; all these things ought to be permitted to the Pres|byterians, Independants, Anabaptists, Arminians, Quakers, and others, with the same Liberty.