Page 32 5.) There remains yet one thing to be enquired into, concerning the measure of the Punishments, and that is the length of their duration. Is the Magistrate commonly more careful of his own, than other Men are of theirs? Where∣in I beseech you consider; 1st, Whether it be not pleasant, that you say the Power of the Magistrate is orda•…'d to bring men to take Nothing can in reason be reckon'd amongst the Ends of any S•…ty, but what may in reason be supposed to be designed by those who enter into it. But how many, do you think, by Friendly and Christian Debates with them at their Houses, and by the gentle Methods of the Gospel made use of in private Conversation, might have been brought into the Church; who, by railing from the Pulpit, ill and unfriendly Treat∣ment out of it, and other Neglects or Miscarriages of those who claimed to be their Teachers, have been driven from hearing them? If your Hypothesis hold good, one of the Ends of the Family must be to Preach the Gospel, and Administer the Sacraments; and one business of an Army to teach Languages, and prop•…gate Religion; because these are Benefits some way or other attain∣able by those Societies: Unless you take want of Commission and Authority to be a sufficient Impediment: And that will be so too in other cases. do that which you think they fail in. 2. v. 20. Dissenters are indebted to you, for your great care of their Souls. If by any concern, you mean whatever may be between these two; the degrees are so infinite, that to proportion your Punish∣ments by that, is to have no measure of them at all. That such an indirect, and at a distance Vsefulness, will authorize the Civil Power in the use of it, that will never be prov'd. Yet then God expected not that those Punishments should force them to hearken, more than at other times: As appears by Ezek. But will you say, be∣cause those Punishments might, indirectly and at a distance, serve to the Salvation of Mens Souls, that therefore the King of France had Right and Authority to make use of them? But will you say, therefore, that it is a benefit to the Society, or one of Men have contrived to them∣selves,* say you, a great variety of Religions: 'Tis granted. That it is not easy to set Gran∣tham Steeple upon Paul's Church? And whatPage 12 Toleration is but the removing that Force. For with such, (sometimes venting Antimonarchical Principles, some∣times again preaching up nothing but absolute Monarchy and Passive Obedience, as the one or other have been in vogue and the way to Preferment) have our Churches rung in their turns, so loudly, that Reasons and Arguments proper and sufficient to convince Men of the Truth in the controverted Points of Re∣ligion, and to direct them in the right way to Salvation, were scarce any were to be heard. For it will always be a good consequence, that, if the Civil Power has nothing to do with the Salvation of Souls, then Civil Interest is the only End of Ci∣vil Society. He never has the benefit of your Sovereign Remedy, Punishment, to make him consider; which you think so necessary, that you look on it as a most dangerous State for Men to be without it; and there∣fore tell us, 'tis every Man's true Interest, not to be left wholly to himself in matters of Religion. And then there will be no need of Punishment to make him consider; unless you will assirm again, what you have deny'd, and, have Men punished for imbracing the Religion they believe to be But yet you would have Men punished for not being of the National Religion; that is, as you your self confess, for no fault at all. Sometimes this is to be done, To prevail with Men to weigh*Matters of Religion carefully, and impartially. if the Careless, and those who have no con∣cern for their Eternal Salvation. But that which he denies, and you grant, is that Force has any proper Efficacy to enlighten the Understanding, or produce Belief. We have, with much ado, found at last whom it is we may presume you would have punished. Page 25 For I am sure you do not mean it will cure all, but those who are absolutely incurable; Because you your self allow one Means left of Cure, when yours will not do, viz. care of every Man's Soul be left to himself. Discountenance and Punishment put into one Scale, with Impunity and hopes of Preferment put into the other, is as sure a way to make a Man weigh impartially, as it would be for a Prince to bribe and threaten a Judg to make him judg uprightly. The first Argument you go about to prove it by, is this, That Usefulness is as good an Argument to prove there is somewhere a right to use it, as Uselessness is to prove no body has such a right. Dissenting? Would it not, I beseech you, to an indifferent By∣stander, appear Humour or Prejudice, or some thing as bad; to see Men, who profess a Religion reveal'd from Heaven, and which they own contains all in it necessary to Salvation, exclude Men from their Communion, and persecute them with the Penalties of the Civil Law, for not joining in the use of Ceremonies which are no where to be found in that re∣veal'd Religion? For he never meets with that great and only Antidote of yours against Error, which you here call Molestation. And St. Paul knew no other means to make Men hear, but the preaching of the Gospel; as will appear to any one who will read Romans the 10th, 14, &c. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. He did not know that any one, who was so free as to acknowledg that the Magistrate has not an authority to compel any one to his Reli∣gion, and thereby at once (as you have done) give up all the Laws now in force against Dissenters, had yet Rods in store for them, and by a new Trick would bring them under the lash of the Law, when the old Pretences were too much exploded to serve any longer.