an oath to be a solemn religious assertion; and Puffendorf expressly says, "recte juramentis summa religio tribuitur."* Sanderson more fully: "quod autem (juramentum) sit actus religiosus: constat primo ex auctoritate scripturæ, Deut. vi. 13. ubi Moses ita populum alloquitur, Dominum Deum tuum timebis, et ipsi servies, et per nomen ejus jurabis.' Ex quo loco concludunt uno ore scholastici, juramentum esse actum cultus (ut illi vocant) latriæ, i. e. cultus sacri soli Deo debiti. Constat secundo ex consensu omnium populorum, apud quos, etsi unius naturæ lumine ducerentur, sanctissima semper est habita juramenti religio; usque adeo ut ipsa sanctitatis, religionis, aliaque his cognata vocabula apud rerum gentilium scriptores vix ulla alia in re frequentius usurpata occurrant, quam in hac materia juramentorum: et quum plurima ipsis alia sacra haberentur, jurijurando tamen soli, non alia de causa quam quod inter tot sacra sacerrimum quodammodo esset, peculiari quodam jure sacramenti nomen remansit. Constat tertio ex evidentissima ratione: quia juramentum tendit in honorem Dei; per agnitionem veritatis, scientiæ justitiæ, et potentiæ divinæ." You see how this great man asserts the religion of an oath from the authority of Scripture, the consent of all people, and the evidence of reason; but all this could not restrain his lordship from writing down the religion of oaths; and for this only reason, because it stood in his way; a reason which has often carried his lordship into great extremes. I remember once, when he was urged (in a dispute about government) with the example of our blessed Saviour's suffering as applied by St. Peter, he made no scruple to affirm, "that the example of our Lord is much more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves than to subjects:"+ a doctrine which will make the ears of a Christian tingle, and ought to make him read with caution a writer so fond of his own notions as to take such steps to defend them.

* De Jure Naturæ, p. 332. Amst. 1704.

Answer to Dr. Atterbury, p. 65.


SINCE the second edition has been in the press, I received the following remark from a very worthy friend in the country: it relates to a fact which does not affect the merits of the cause; but I am willing to rectify any mistake, and therefore think fit to add the following remark in the words of my friend.

"As to what you say, at p. 58.* that it cannot be suggested that King William consented to as much as he could obtain from his parliament, &c. Dr. Calamy, at p. 439 of his abridgment of Baxter's Life, writes thus- His Majesty (King William) in one of his speeches to the two Houses (in the year 1689, and before the passing the act of indulgence, as he has placed it) told them he hoped they would leave room for the admission of all protestants that were willing and able to serve him, which was a thing would tend to the better uniting themselves, and the strengthening them against their common adversaries. Pursuant hereto, when the act for abrogating of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and appointing other oaths, was read a second time in the House of Lords, a clause was ordered to be brought in, to take away the necessity of receiving the sacrament `to make a man capable of having an office. Such a clause being after reported to the House, was rejected by a great majority.'

"After this he says, at p. 440. "Another clause was inserted by the court party in the aforesaid bill, by which it was provided that any man should, be sufficiently qualified for any office, employment, or place of trust, who within a year before or after his admission or entrance thereinto, did receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, either according to the usage of the church of England, or in any other protestant congre

* P. 460.

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gation, and could produce a certificate under the hands of the minister and two other credible persons, members of such a protestant congregation. The question being put, whether this clause should be made part of the bill, it passed in the negative.'

"From these two passages it seems to appear that King William did what he could at his accession to the crown and after, to have exempted the dissenters from the test, or at least from the taking it in the church of England. It is also very plain that they would not refuse to take it (for offices) in their own congregations, if they could gain that point; and yet that practice would be liable to all Bishop Hoadley's objections. They never made the least objection against the naturalisation act, when it was in force; which required foreign protestants to receive the sacrament in any protestant congregation; notwithstanding what Mr. Peirce writes, whose words I will beg leave to transcribe; for perhaps you have not the book by you. The parliament did never design to guard against the dissenters by the test act, but only against the papists; however the act has been since basely abused. For though it is true those who first devised the act used not to attend our assemblies, yet it is well known they were favorers of the dissenters, and friends to our civil liberties. The law itself has been censured by dissenters and churchmen as unjust and ungodly; and if our adversaries had any regard to the honor of Christianity, they would long ago have earnestly solicited the repeal of it, &c.'"*

* Vindication of the Dissenters, p. 284. Part. i.-a book which gives the true spirit and principles of the dissenters.





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