Good Christian Reader,
BY the help of a very little Natural Logick, thou mayst easily observe how far some Mens specious Pretences are out-done by their Actions; their Principles (to which they ought to stand in the Opinion of their great Master Hobbs) exceeded and bafled by their Practice, since those very Persons who lately Addressed for Liberty of Conscience, in words full of flattery, do now Usurp, Tyrannize over others, and deprive them not only of their freedom in Religious concernments, but of their Possessions; and (that no Barbarity may be omitted,) even of their precious Lives, only for adhering to that Holy Doctrine which was once delivered to the Saints, and often established by sundry Laws in that Kingdom.
And it will be no hard matter, after the perusal of the following Sheets, to perceive the vast difference between an English and a Scotch Persecution, (as some call it) how gently and orderly the Church of England proceeded against the Dissenters, in comparison of the Kirk; who by their Clubs and Batoons; have come near to, if not outdone the merciless fury of French Dragooning.
And here it may be worthy remark, how dangerous it is for the best Constituted Established Government to connive at, not to say encourage, the profane Vulgar in their Riots. A number of wild Beasts, let loose, have as much Conduct, less Malice, and cannot do half the Mischief: The noise of the Waves, the raging of the Sea, may as soon be stilled, as the madness of the People; it is a Work only for a power Almighty: that many headed Beast ought to be carefully looked after, and watched.
But further, methinks, it is also very clear by the subsequent Tract, that in some parts of the World there are a company of Resolute Christians, that dare lay down their Lives for the Truth of those Doctrines which they have formerly Taught; and that in those places there may be a large History written, not only of the Doctrine, but real Practice of Passive Obedience, in the Sufferings of those Men, who contrary to the new Maxims of Government, pay Obedience where they can have no Protection.
And now Christian good Reader, if thou shalt be convinced of the verity of these foregoing deductions, by the subsequent undenyable Truths; I have but one thing to request from thee, and that is no more than what thy Profession will oblige and command thee: I mean to put on Bowels of Mercy and Compassion to the Poor, Afflicted, Distressed, to help them as much as thou art able with thy Substance, and to extend that Charity which is already gone over the Alps, and hath assisted the Protestants in France, Hungary, and Piedmont, to thy Neighbouring Brethren, and of thy Communion in Scotland: and if thy Circumstances are too mean to assist them with thy Purse, be sure to let them have thy Charity for their Sufferings, in thy hearty Prayers for a happy and sudden Deliverance from those, who so Cruelly, and Despightfully use them.
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