THE Beacon Flameing WITH A NON OBSTANTE: OR A JUSTIFICATION OF The Firing of the BEACON, By way of ANIMADVERSION Upon the BOOK entituled The BEACON'S Quenched, Subscribed by Col. Pride, &c.

LONDON, Printed by Abraham Miller, and Published by the SUBSCRIBERS of the Beacon set on fire, 1652.

To the READER.

IT is said Revel. 18. one of Babylons names is MY­STERY. It hath been an ordinary custom with Antichrist, when he hath been unable to do his work in his own appearance, to put on a Disguise. To that end the Romish Emissaries have several times come into the Reformed Churches, under pretence of being converted, some of them acting the parts of Arminians (as in the Low-Countreyes) to the almost ruine both of that Church and State: Some of other Sects, according to their instructions, and as their Design required, that they might widen the Breaches, and foment the diseases of Protestant Churches, like Sanballat and his Complices, they pretend to joyn in the Building, that they may more effectually hinder it.

Nor hath this Design been wanting among us, as is too too evident from their foot-steps. They have brought things to this passe, that Antichrist is exalted by railing upon him; while the name is spoken against, but the thing hugg'd; divers Popish Opinions being already embraced by those that would be called Protestants. As a skilfull Gamester is willing to lose a Pawn at Chesse, that he may take a Queen. And in this Design we believe many move out of the sim­plicity of their hearts, Like a Bird that hasteth to the snare, and knows not that it is for his life: In which rank we place some of those with whom we have to do. It is not long since, a Book was made A Beacon fired to give notice to the State of divers Popish and Blasphemous Books, printed and published in England. It was hoped and expected, that the work would not displease any sober Protestant, but rather that it would awaken all out of that strange Security and Lethargy wherein they were. But behold there appear­ed some, yea of those that have given up their Name to the Prote­stant Cause, that rendered us evil for good, and writ a bitter An­swer, and took upon them to plead the Cause of the vilest of men, [Page] expresly desiring an Universal Toleration, and as it were making a Proclamation, Ho all ye Jesuites, Blasphemers, come into Eng­land, preach, write what you will, we fear you not! There are some men it seems that hate Presbytery worse then Popery. Thus what was thought to be a slander is now verified, That strong endea­vours are used to tolerate Popery, Blasphemy, &c. and what not? It was strange to us, that after the Parliament had appointed a Fast, to direct them in the Suppression of Errours, any of their servants should plead for a General Toleration. When we first saw the Book, we stood amazed. But after serious consideration we beheld and ado­red the wisdom of God, that hath brought secret things to light, and hath discovered the Design before it was fully effected; we hope in mer­cy, that our Parliament may have the honour to prevent it, and that all the people of the Land may be the more wary. It was also another piece of Divine Providence, that so wretched a Cause should be mana­ged with as much weaknesse as could be desired. We thought it our Duty, that such a Text should not want a Commentary, and such a Design of Darknesse a Light, that all men may see the Mystery and loath it, and Arm against it. This is the great aim of our Answer (God who knows our Hearts can witnesse) and that this may be effe­cted, is the Prayer of

  • Luke Fawne.
  • Samuel Gellibrand.
  • Thomas Underhill.
  • John Rothwell.
  • Joshua Kirton.
  • Nathan. Webb.


Quench. THe Humble Information of divers Officers of the Ar­my, and other well-affected Persons to the Parliament and Commonwealth of England.

Flame. The Authors of this Book could not be the Offi­cers of the Army (in charity it may be thought) be­cause they have, professedly to all the world, fought for the Maintenance of the true Protestant Religion in opposition to Po­pery, as the Declarations of Parliament and Commissions of Of­ficers do most clearly evince.

Nor can they be well-affected persons to Religion, for they plead for Baal; Or to the State, for they idolize it by preferring the Parliament really or feignedly above God, making it farre more vile to publish Books against the State and the Lord Gene­ral, than against the jealous Lord of Hosts, provoked thereby to destroy the Parliament and Army, as he did Herod when the peo­ple magnified him as God.

Quench. Cncerning the Machiavilian Design of the Presbyterians now car­rying on by the Stationers of London.

Flame. We shall try how you will make this good, and whose side Machiavil is on we hope before we have done.

Quench. He that shall reade Mr Calamy and his party in their late wri­tings, cannot but reade your glorious Titles, to be, Speckled vipers, murtherers, &c. and pag. 14. more particularly M. Calamy in his late Epistle before M. Love's Seventeen Sermons hangs out a flag of Defiance to the State, &c.

[Page 2] Flame. Why stumble you at the Threshold? a bad beginning presages no good end; You were very unfortunate in soaring so high at first as to strike at the precious Name, Person and Ministery (Li­berty, if not life) of M. Calamy. That Epistle prefix'd unto M. Love's Seventeen Sermons, where you say such bad language is used, is not M. Calamies; it's not his style, hath not his name, himself hath disclaim'd both the Imprimatur and Epistle to that Book, before the Committee of Plundred Ministers, and to a sub-Committee of that, the Bookbinder that printed the said book did affirm, that M. Calamy had no hand in either the Licensing or Epistle thereof: which that it may be fully believed by all that shall reade these lines, we will subjoyn his own confession, as he gave it in writing unto the Sub-committee.

The Humble Acknowledgement of George Eversden Stationer,


That whereas I placed the Imprimatur of M. Edmund Calamy before the Seventeen Sermons of M. Love, which should have been only before M. Mantons Sermon preached at M. Loves Fune­ral; and whereas I put the Letters E. C. at the later end of the Epistle of the said Book, wherein I gave occasion to the Reader to believe that it was written by M. Edmund Calamy, and finde it accordingly charged upon him in a late Book, called The Beacon quenched; I do hereby acknowledge that herein I have greatly wronged M. Calamy, that he was not the Author of the Epistle, that I added his Imprimatur to the whole, and subscribed the Letters E. C. to the Epistle, not out of any malice to him, but meerly and only to make the Book sell the better, and therefore humbly desire this Honourable Committee to pardon this great offence.

George Eversden.

By this it appears how farre you have abused the Parliament (and wronged that Reverend Minister of the Gospel) as to in­form it that M. Calamy called the Members speckled Vipers, Mur­therers, &c. For the sake of your souls learn to be more honest. And you our dear Countriemen learn from hence not to believe every bold and scandalous report that is cast upon the Ministery.

Quench. Speckled Vipers, Murtherers, Traitors, Rebels, Blasphemers, &c.

Flame. We wish that those who have used such Language had better [Page 3] manners, more love to the Commonwealth, and care of their own welfare. But what is all this to the Subscribers, or to the Presbyterian Party? as for us we know no Presbyterian that hath used any such language to or of the Parliament.

Quench. Your Honours have lately been Alarm'd with the noise of Po­pish Books, Blasphemous Books, &c. and had we heard and seen no more but such fair Grasse without a Snake, and the Plots of our constant Powder-Miners, we had held our peace.

Flame: We easily believe that had you heard and seen no more then the noise of such Books, you would have been no more offended at it then you are with the fair Grasse of Summer; but the Ma­gistrates Sword drawn out to suppresse them you cannot endure to hear of, that's the Snake in the bottom that so much scares you.

Quench. We cannot but in faithfulnesse tell your Honours the Plot is to amuse you with the noise of Popery and Blasphemy, and in the interim to spring their Mines to blow up your Selves, the Councel and Army, &c.

Flame. This you say and we deny, and none is the wiser by either, ex­cept to perceive how skilful you are in plotting meer fictions, your proofs are two, viz.

Quench. 1. For they hope yet for the day to steal the Sword out of your hands, 2. For can your Honours imagine that such Licensers who write such Language above-said will ever set your Honours Im­primatur to any lines, but of the same unclean and treasonable Spirit.

Flame. We appeal to your selves, Whether these be clear demonstra­tions to prove the Plot, you pretend to discover? As for M. Ca­lamy we beleeve he might challenge all his ill-willers to name one Popish, Blasphemous or Treasonable Book that ever was Licen­sed by him, and others can say of him that he hath Licensed as many excellent Books for his time, as any that ever in this Na­tion were imployed in that trust.

Quench. And for the Stationers subscribing to the Beacon, do all those golden Characters of Zeal and Holinesse spell any more then plain Presbytery?

Flame. By your own acknowledgement they spell as much: And do the golden Characters of Zeal and Holinesse spell Presbytery? Now well fare your hearts, you have said more in praise of Pres­byterie [Page 4] then our modestie would permit us. And blessed be God that Presbyterie Zeal and Holiness are acknowledged at least to accord even by our adversaries themselves.

Quench. Is not the sale of Popish books the greatest part of the trade of some of them? and p. 13. who did lately quarrell with one of their neighbour Book-sellers, because he would not exchange the Holy Court for some of their Presbyterian Books.

Flame. No, it is not, nor are Popish books in English sold by any of them, except very rarely to a learned pious friend whom they know to be sound in the faith, and able to handle the snake with­out being stung: which manner of selling may very well stand with a zealous desire that such books might never be published. And this being true, is answer enough about the exchange men­tioned.

Quench. Who are also strongly reported to have a factor in Rome it self.

Flame. This charge cannot reasonably be fastned on any of the Sub­scribers except one, whose Trade indeed is partly beyond the Seas, but yet so farre from having any Factour at Rome, that neither he nor his Predecessours before him in the place and Trade that he is in, ever had any dealings in any part of Italy: Nor is there any need of sending to Rome for Popish English Books of which the Beacon gives warning, for they are too numerous here at home.

Quench. Hath not the most treasonable book that ever was printed against the State, been certainly bought at the shop of some of them, even since they fired the Beacon to the Parliament?

Flame. They know no such thing. And that any such book was so sold by any of the Subscribers, or by any for or under them, with their knowledge or consent, they are ready and willing to deny upon oath before your and their betters, if called; do you prove the contrary if you can.

Quench. Do not these Mercenaries know, that a faire current for sober di­sputes and writings in matters of God controversall, ingageth more Authours to write, then a stop and stifling to the Spirit of God and men?

Flame. To make you more charitable then to judge us Mercenaries, we leave you to the sanctifying Spirit of God to work in you the grace of Charity; and are sorry you have so good an opinion of [Page 5] Idolaters and Blasphemers (whose Arguments are attended, where they are predominant, with Halter and Faggot) as to expect from them any sober Disputes and Writings. No man that is but mean­ly versed in history, and hath but competent intellectuals, would expect such things from the hands of Papists; witness but one passage (which Mr. Squire relates in those Sermons, wherein he De Antichristo, p. 110. proves the Pope to be Antichrist, among many other sad instan­ces) of the Duke of Alva, who professed publickly that he kil­led by torment 18000 of the Protestants in six yeers space, for the very cause of Religion. And yet religious Vargas (one of that tribe, that must be admitted to dispute) complained that he had made the Netherlands worse by shewing them too much mercy. And for your laying before us the consideration of the increase of books by such writings and disputes, to abate our zeal against popish and blasphemous books; let us tell you, that we so little regard increase of Trade by such loathsome ware, as that we were quickned up for fear of that temptation to pray against the publishing and increase thereof. And whereas you call the stopping and suppressing of popish and blasphemous books, a stopping and stifling of the Spirit of God: We wish from our hearts you would (according to the word of God, and judge­ment of all the Churches that are come out of Babylon, and the practice of the Army, that have sometimes severely punished Blasphemers) consider, the punishing of men for their evil deeds, and a stopping the course of Idolatry and Blasphemy, the proper work of the Magistrate.

Quench. And as to books of Heresie, Popery, Blaspemy, if there be equall liberty of engaging, &c.

Flame. We need no other confutation but the sence and experience of these late yeers wherein this equall liberty hath been used. O do not our eyes see how strangely Errours of all sorts and sizes have prevailed with the multitude; partly through the just judgement of God upon those that receive not the truth in the love of it: partly through the craftiness and hypocrisie of deceivers, and partly through the naturall aptness of people to imbrace novel­ties, carnall doctrines, and will-worship? And though God will keep his own, yet there is a necessity in respect of the weal of a Christian State to keep the multitude to the true profession, by whose suffrages Councels are form'd, and by whose strength the [Page 6] Magistrate rules; otherwise we shall quickly be govern'd by An­tichristian, popish, and blasphemous Magistrates; and then we have brought our Hogs to a faire market! And though it were blasphemy to deny the power and efficacy of Christ in his Word and Ordinances to conquer the greatest of his adversaries, yet it must be affirmed also from Scripture and experience, that he overcomes and rules by the use of means, and particularly by his blessing upon the Power and Strength of Men, as his instruments and in office under him. How otherwise did God give to Israel, the Land of Canaan, or to any Christian State deliverance from Romish Errours, Superstition, Idolatry, and thraldome? And how otherwise then by his two-edged sword did he pull down Prelacy in these Nations, or will he pull down Antichrist? will it not be by incensing the Kings of the earth against that Whore, and cau­sing them to hate her and burn her with fire? By your Doctrine you should have let the Cavaliers alone (who fought for their opinions and way of worship, as well as any thing else.) Do you think Jesus Christ was not as able to meet them in the field, and quell them without your help, as ten thousand Popes and De­vils? your Doctrine is brave Doctrine, to justifie our late war, is it not?

Quench. If there be equall liberty of engaging.

Flame. Should we have no better champions then you to dispute with Papists and Blasphemers upon an equall liberty; by your mincing their errours and crimes in your late plea for their more then to­leration, we have cause to beleeve that no more good will come of it, then did of the great Disputation at Munster in John of Leydens reign; which who will may reade in Sleydens History, or the extracts of it in English. Yet perhaps you would be ac­compted valiant champions against Popery, because you do upon all occasions vent so much heat without reason against Presbytery; for considering how the men of your temper use to call it Anti­christ, or Antichristianisme, we cannot but think that is one of your Poperies that you mean, when you pray, page 7. line 30. That God would stir up able Writers against all sorts of Poperies, which upon the title of your book having painted with the pictures of tyranny and cruelty, you affirm to be worse then all other wayes of Doctrine and Worship, saying, Then which no­thing is worse. But let us ask which of you did ever convict the [Page 7] Presbyterian Government aim'd at in England by the godly men therof, to have any tyrannical or heretical principles in it? Its easily affirm'd, but when or by whom was it evidenc'd out of the pro­ceedings or writings of the Assembly of Divines, or the Petitions or Books of any Presbytery of this Nation, or company of men truly Presbyterian. Read Jus Di­vinum. The Assertion of the Govern­ment of the Church of Scotland. The Provinci­al Assembly of Londons Vin­dication of Presbyterian Government, and see if any tyrannical or heretical prin­ciples be in them. And to make you so ashamed for all your bitterness against the Presbyterians, as never to shew your faces more untill you have done penance at least in a printed sheet of retractation, we do here for the glory of God, and comfort of the Church, challenge any of you to shew and declare any one fundamentall errour either in Doctrine or Worship, that hath been held forth or owned by any Presbyterie or companie of Presbyterians in any part of this Nation, or so much as by anie eminent single Presbyterian; This Crown hath God set upon the head of that Partie. To him be praise for ever in the Churches. Amen.

Quench. Yea, can it without amazement be remembred, that one of their Lords should proclaim that blasphemous crack Stupor mundi clerus Britannicus, The amazement of the world is the Clergie of Brit­tain.

Flame. We believe it to be true and no crack or blasphemie, so beneficent hath that LORD been to this Island, who ascended up on high to give gifts unto men, as that great hath been the num­bers of his Ministers, Embassadours (i. e. Pastors and Teachers) and (to his praise we may speak it) we think through his bles­sing upon their labours, there are not more glorified Saints in hea­ven, called thither since Christs Ascension, out of any so little spot of ground in the whole world, as out of great Britain, and no question the great number of our Ministers, so learned, pious and successful, maugre all the malice of men and devils cannot but be the amazement of the world; The good people of the world admire it and praise God for it, and those that be enemies are amazed and envie them and the Island for it.

Quench. And yet our Beacons must be fired, and the Alarm given to the Magistrates Sword, Arm, Arm, &c. for not a man dare stir of our British Clergie to receive the charge of some few often conquered reli­gious Adversaries.

Flame. The visible signs of the enemies approach gives an Alarm to a few that saw their motion, those few give warning by setting a [Page 8] Beacon on fire, now no man can be blamed for not putting on his Armour, before danger appears; Our Beacon was intended to give warning not only to the Magistrate, but to the Minister also, yea to all the Lords people of this Land: for your parts you'l take none, but quarrel with us, a shrewd sign that you will ei­ther be taken prisoners by the enemie, or are resolved to revolt to them. But for our Ministers they have given such good proof of their skill and zeal in receiving and repelling the charges of the Romish adversaries in time past, that we doubt not of them for the future, but Ill will never speaks well; and the truth is, so much hath been said in Print and Pulpit already, as thereby it is put out of all doubt, That the Romish Religion in those things we complain of, and to the practice whereof the Papists labour so much to seduce men, is a false Religion, made up of Idolatrie, Superstition, Will-worship, and maintained and propagated by hellish crueltie, and that the practice or promotion thereof is an abomination to the LORD. So that the Ministers have upon the point done their work, the Magistrates only remains. The like may be said of those opinions we call Blasphemy, as to the un­doubted and unspeakable wickedness and publishing of them.

Quench. We humbly conceive (not presuming to propose) that your (the States) former care of the Printers name and readinesse to produce the Authors or bringers of their Copies, together with some conve­nient Regulations, cannot justly by any just man be complain'd against.

Flame. This Model for Regulating the Presse supposes every Booksel­ler and Printer a competent and able Judge of whatsoever matter is printed, which He is not; or else suffers him to fall into the pit before he shall be bid, Stand. It also permits any Popish, Bla­sphemous, Treasonable Book, to be, 1. Printed. 2. Sold. 3. Read. 4. Complained of. 5. Debated by the State. And lastly, Adjudged, before it can be Suppressed; When the Steed is stollen you'l shut the Stable door.

Thus we have done with your first sheet, and are come to your second, which begins thus:

Quench. The Humble Information of divers Officers of the Army and other well-affected Persons to the Parliament and Commonwealth of Eng­land, concerning scandalous Presbyterian Books.

Flame. Whether the Authours of this Book could be Officers of the [Page 9] Armie or well-affected we have examined alreadie, we shall not meddle with the Subscribers of it, supposing Col. Pride, and the rest of the Souldiers might by some sudden surprize be drawn in to do it, concerning which they had done well to have inform'd us that we might the better have vindicated them. But concer­ning the Information it self, whose ever it is, we must truly say, Gentlemen, it comes too late; most of the Books you mention having been inform'd against by others long ago, & divers persons punished though with great tendernesse for them, and now (up­on our setting the Beacon a fire) you would rob those of the cre­dit of the work, who it seems were better lovers of the present Government then your selves: the Books in your Catalogue long ago discovered, and for which many have been in trouble, we shall note when we come to them in order. And that considered, it may be without any uncharitablenes adjudged, that had it not been to shew your heat against Presbyterie (occasioned as you pretend by our Beacon fired, though in that we speak not a word for Presby­tery, nor against Independency, or any Sect or Opinion, but Popery and Blasphemy) the Parliament had not been troubled with this your humble Information, though proceeding (as you say) from conviction of duty, which we can hardly believe; for had con­viction of duty put you upon this addresse, you would have equally complained of those bitter Books that have been made and published by others (against the State) who have declared both in Presse and Pulpit as much Violence and Virulencie a­gainst the present Government, and the chief men in it, as ever any.

Quench. Its conviction of Duty that puts us out to this humble Addresse.

Flame. To move the Parliament to betray their Trust, forswear them­selves, provoke God to wrath, grieve the hearts of the generali­tie of Gods dearest servants, rejoyce the hearts of Papists, Bla­sphemers, yea the Infernall Spirits (if ever they rejoyce at any thing) can be no humble Addresse, but a grand Presum­ption.

Quench. We have had a sad experience of the Plots and Designs of a Pres­byterian Party, especially in and about the City of London, who have not only kept a correspondency with those of Scotland, but also contributed moneys and other encouragements to their several In­vasions.

[Page 10] Flame. Name the men, and say no more then you know, as you would not be judged by the Lord for false witnessing, and let those persons, if any such be, answer for themselves. But whe­ther it be true or false its nothing to the Beacon, or the Suscri­scribers of it, and the like we say of all your charges.

Quench. Affirming that the Army was a Popish Army and full of Papists and Jesuites, and that Mr Peters and others were Jesuites.

Flame. That we do not affirm. Only thus much we have to say, That though we do not assert that, yet that there are Jesuites in the Nation that foment our differences, we think no wise man will de­nie. 2. Let the Tree be judged by the fruits, and Jesuites by Jesuitical operations: 1. Jesuites have alwaies made it their de­sign to ruine the Protestant Ministerie, as a learned man lately observed at Pauls, that Adam Contzen a Jesuite in his Politicks laies that down as one way to bring in the Popish Religion. 2. Je­suites labour to throw down Protestant Universities. They re­member well how they were tormented with the Universitie of Wittenberge at the Reformation in Germany, from whence learn­ed men were dispersed into all parts, who confounded the Popish partie and Religion in the several Provinces. They remember how our learned men have from time to time unravell'd their en­chantments. 3. Jesuites labour to bring the Protestant Religion into disgrace by the confusions, disorders, blasphemies and he­resies of Protestants, all which are abetted by a general Tolerati­on, and therefore they labour to hinder any settlement in the Church. Now this is all we shall say to apply it, Wherever the Cup is found, let him be taken. And wherever these de­signs are agitated, we may well say, Is not the hand of Joab in all this?

Quench. And that such Lay-people who had a Call of Spirit, and did dispense their Gifts.

Flame. By this Call of Spirit do you mean inward Holinesse, or extra­ordinarie Gifts? If the former, Shew us from Scripture, if you can, that the Habits of Grace without the Designation or Ordi­nation of either, an Apostle, Evangelist, or Presbyterie, were a sufficient Call to the Publick dispensing of Gods Word which very odly the Quenchers call dispensing their Gifts: If the later, Shew us the man, if you can, among all the Lay-Preachers (as your selves call them) in England, that can speak Tongues and [Page 11] Languages they never learned, work Myracles, and then we shall seriously consider from whence they come, but untill then we know who sent them.

Quench. Without the Formal Humane Ordinances of Presbytery, were Po­pish Priests in disguise.

Flame. If by this you mean Ordination of Ministers by a Presbyterie, we wish you had forborn thus rashly to let flie at so clear an Ordi­nance of Jesus Christ.

Quench. This Party have opposed all along the Proceedings of Parlia­ment.

Flame. Not so neither: for who then all along adhered to the Parlia­ment, when the Popish, Prelatical, Socinian and Arminian partie were against them and other Sectaries not yet hatcht?

Quench. And that these six Subscribers are of the same Tribe, will also ma­nifestly appear, as by the sequent Discourse, so by their setting the Bea­con on fire.

Flame. Here the great charge against the Booksellers, is, That they are enemies to the State; and why is it? Because they are Pres­byterians; surely that cannot be adjudged a Crime by those that account Poperie and Blasphemie none. If we are mistaken, then we believe Machiavil passes the sentence, and is no Presbyterian this year: No, Its because they fired the Beacon; a strong rea­son 'tis, that does as clearly prove us the Parliaments enemies, as your quenching the Beacon proves you their Friends. But the better to discern the strength of your Argument, let us put it in­to form, and then examine it; You argue thus: Those that in­form the Parliament and Commonwealth of England of the Vi­gilancie of Rome and Hell (the two greatest enemies to every Christian Commonwealth) to introduce their Doctrine, Worship and Government, and pray the Parliament to draw forth the great Sword of Government that is in their hands (not to kill, hang, burn or banish any man for his Opinion) but to guard the truth and to repel all the Assaults of Romish and blasphemous adversaries made by Books or other actions, are enemies to the Parliament. But the Subscribers of the Beacon have so informed, &c. Therefore they are enemies to the State. We grant the Minor, that we have so informed the Parliament; but denie your Major, which if you make not good, and at the same time prove a Hare to be an Owl, your Conclusion fals to the ground, and you may [Page 12] as truly say, men are enemies, because they are friends; we pray you to consider what rare stuff flows from your pretended Argu­ment, supposing it strong, viz. You make the Parliament, Po­perie and Blasphemie to be at such an agreement, that for any to seek the Suppression of one of them, makes them enemies to the other; and whether the Pope or the Parliament be most behol­ding unto you for such Doctrine, we leave you to them to de­termine. But if the Parliament and Armie should (though but by silence) appear to be of your minde (which God forbid, and we beleeve not) and cause all the Organs and Bels in Rome, and all the Romish Churches to make Melodie, yet we for our parts, and many thousands more, would pray God to give them Re­pentance, for frustrating the expectations of those, who in the simplicity of their hearts adventured their Liberties, Estates, Lives, All, with and under them, for nothing so much, as to have the true Reformed Religion (then in great danger) setled in Puritie, and fenced against Popish and blasphemous Pollu­tions.

Quench. For they are true Salamanders in a State, and delight in no­thing more then in Persecution of tender Consciences by Fire and Sword.

Flame. It is worth observing, how much these men stretch the notion of a tender conscience, that it may be applied to Idolaters and Blasphemers. It is strange that God should appoint that any ten­der consciences should be put to death! Why are you so bitter? Did we ask any more then Suppression of Poperie, Blasphemie, and the maintaining the Faith that was once delivered to the Saints? And do you think the Parliament hath not wisdom enough to do these without Fire and Sword (i. e.) burn­ing, heading, hanging? unlesse men be obstinately bent to be hang'd.

Quench. They are Boutefeux in a Superlative Degree, whose chief con­tent consists in making Combustions in all well-govern'd Common-wealths.

Flame. It is no new think for virulent and malicious men, to raise scan­dals and cast aspersions upon guiltless persons. And if it were e­nough to accuse, who should be innocent? Here is a bold accusa­tion, as full of rage and passion as void of sense and reason. The authours of it do not so much as offer any evidence or argument [Page 13] to prove it; you must take it upon their bare words: It is below them to prove any thing; and therefore we hold it not worth an Answer. Only thus much we shall say; If there were no worse Boutefenx then we; If all men, Souldiers and others, were as peace­ably minded as we, and as resolved to keep within their bounds and stations, there would not be such cause of great fear as is all the Land over, of destructive Mutations and Alterations in this Commonwealth.

Quench. And that the world may the better know these Subscribers, take their Names and places of Abode, as followeth.

Flame. The Lord deliver us from wicked and unreasonable men, for all men have not faith, and keep up our hearts in Gods fear only from fearing man, whose breath is in his nostrils, and so a Rush for your threats.

Quench. These were the Subscribers of the Pamphlet, but the Contrivers and Councellors of it, we shall in due time and upon just occasion dis­cover.

Flame. We can help you in this Discoverie better then any others, and assure you that the Subscribers were the only men that contrived it; but what if others had? was that any crime to contrive (by way of Information and Petition) how the truths and worship of God may be continued, and the spreading of Poperie and Blasphemie stopt? If you judge this to be criminal, then God be thanked you have not the Helm of the State in one hand, and the Sword of Supremacie in the other, and if ever you should, we must change our Thanksgiving into a Praier, and say, Good Lord be merciful unto us, and deliver us from such as you. Amen.

Quench. Their Preamble is embelished with much seeming Zeal, for Ex­altation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which were truly com­mendable if it came from pure hearts, but we have too great an Assurance that Self-interest is their Aim and Hypocrisie their Zeal.

Flame. Oh the hellish nature of pride, that would not onely get into the Chair of State, but usurp the Throne of God, and pretend to know assuredly the secrets of the heart! The Lord judge be­tween us and you, who proclaim us to be Hypocrites and Aimers at our own carnal Interest, not his Glorie, in our late Discoverie of Popish and blasphemous Books written and published by the [Page 14] enemies of the Reformed Churches, though you prove us not transgressors in any thing.

Quench. They insinuate Proposals for effecting their Desires, and so would fain scrue themselves into some Office or Monopoly for Licensing, Printing and selling Books.

Flame. Its no Monopolie to have power from the State as their Instru­ments to execute their Laws, yet we desired no such imploiment. Its more sutable to the Governors and Officers of our Companie: nor were we so foolish or presumptuous as to desire or ask the licensing of Books, its a trust too great for such as we or you ei­ther. Is it not strange that a Physician cannot use means that none may sell corrupt Physick, but he must be judg'd one that would monopolize all Medicine into his own hands? But to turn what you say into plainer English, though you world seem to speak only of us, yet you plainly insinuate that the Parliament cannot, ought not (by giving power to any) suppresse Popish and blasphemous Books, nor authorize Licensers, though ne­ver so godly and sound in the faith. But for these things we leave them to the Parliament, let that Power plead its own right.

Quench. Their Preamble is embelished with much seeming Zeal for the Ex­altation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which were truly commendable if it came from pure hearts.

Flame. Let the Reader take notice, that this Passage adjudges the Beacon fired to be truly commendable, their onely exception is, that it comes not from pure hearts, which we leave to him to determine, whose Prerogative alone it is.

Quench The Pamphlet sayes, the Parliament well knowing that the common People of this Nation will be of one Religion or other, and if by pub­lick Authority they be not kept to the Reformed, they will be easily drawn to the Popish. Hear they speak plain English, and would have a coercive Power in matters of Religion, a Presbyterian Classis would do well (but let it have some new name) that may excommuni­cate, injoyn penance, &c. What would this be lesse than a Spanish Inquisition?

Flame. Let the Reader judge how true this is by considering our own words by your selves repeated, And if by publick Authority they be not kept to the Reformed Religion. Here is a coercive Power in matters of Religion, which we from Scripture own to be in the Magistrate, and which hath been exercised by all the Magistrates [Page 15] that ever were in the world to this day, unless they were by death or otherwise hindred. And it is most famously known by all that know the Historie of the times, that there were never any pleaders for a Toleration of all Religions, but they were great persecutors of the contrary minded, if they once got into the saddle. The Historie of the Arrians is famous, who once Athan. were enemies to all persecution when they were under the hatehes, but when they got power into their hands, were more bitter persecutors then the Heathen Emperours. The Donatists were great Patrons of a Toleration, till under that Apostate Ju­lian, Optatus. they got power into their hands, and then they filled Africa with blood and desolation. The Storie of the Germane Anabap­tists is so famous that it needs no mentioning.

Quench. A Presbyterian Classis would do well; but let it have some new name, that may pronounce Censures, &c. and what would this be less then a Spanish Inquisition?

Flame. Some new name] to wit, a Parliament; for to them onely we seek for redress. Here you do more then insinuate, that if the Parliament shall punish men for, or but hinder them from com­mon swearing, offering their sons to Molech, open rejection of the Lords daie, worshipping the Sun, or a golden Calf, preaching up Mahomet, preaching down Christ, or maintaining that the Pope hath authoritie to blow up Parliaments, change the Govern­ment of this Commonwealth, discharge the people of Obedience to their Magistrates, or they suppress Popish and Hereticall Books (all which come under the notion of Religion) they are no bet­ter then a Spanish Inquisition. We beseech our dear Countrey­men that subscribed The Beacon quenched (whoever were the Au­thours of it) to consider what brave Doctrine this is; and whe­ther they are not of another minde, as we are perswaded they are, whatever they may say in a passion.

Quench But they know the Parliament and Armie have often declared against such proceedings, to wit, (as we suppose your meaning is) the suppressing Popish and Heretical Books.

Flame. The Parliament hath often declared to maintain the Protestant Religion, in opposition to Poperie; and that they never intended to let loose the golden Reines of Discipline, for men to follow the imaginations of their own hearts, and everie man do that which was right in his own eyes, commit Idolatry, despise Gods [Page 16] Ordinances, Blaspheme God, Christ, and Scripture.

Quench. The weapons of fasting and prayer are more available and Christian, then those of force.

Flame. For lesser matters in Religion, that are not so clear, fasting and praying is the best: But for Idolatrie, Superstition, Heresie, and Blasphemie. These without controversie God would have the Magistrate exercise his authoritie in suppressing, as manifest evils that strike at the foundation, Deut. 13. 6, 8, 9, 11. Zach. 13. Rom. 13.

Quench. How simple are these Subscribers to imagine that the truth of Christs holy Religion needs the support of humane Arms to sustain it.

Flame. That Christ can support his Church, Truth, and Worship, with­out the Ministerie of men or Magistrate, is true: But that he hath not appointed the Magistrate to punish evil doers, and encourage those that do well, and that in reference to both the Tables, is false; as hath been alreadie proved.

Quench. And how distrustfull are these men of Gods Providence!

Flame: It's no distrust of Gods Providence, for men to do their dutie, and use the means that God hath prescribed; if it were, the charge would lie against all war whatsoever, just or unjust, and all Courts of Judicature; yea, against the Magistrates cutting off the rottenest Branches in the Common-wealth, for the good of the whole Bodie: and indeed against all Government whatsoever. For is not God able to avenge his people, make up their losses, preserve a State if he would, without the help of any Govern­ment at all?

Quench. And doubtfull of our own strength, to imagine that any Papist can say or write more then we can answer.

Flame. To do what God requires, is no argument of our doubting ei­ther of the goodness of our cause, or our abilitie to answer gain▪ sayers.

Quench. We desire nothing more then that they and all dissenters should pro­pound their doubts in a Christian way.

Flame. You are verie tender of Papists, Idolaters, Heretiques, and Blasphemers (with none else the Beacon meddles) these are but Dissenters with you: We wish your charitie were a Scripture­charity. Do you think such as they, will meet in the love of Christ for better instruction? Or that those blasphemers that denie the Merits and Divinitie of Christ, will meet the Orthodox in the love of Christ? What Grolleries are these!

[Page 17] Quench. They forget that at the beginning of July last, a Petition was pre­sented to the Parliament, by many thousand well-affected persons, one Branch whereof was, That the press might be open to all.

Flame. What if we had remembred that Petition which moved for so wicked a thing as the gratifying the verie Kingdome of darkness? must not we therefore dare to petition for that which is just and good, yea so much the rather. And indeed that Petition you mention may well be remembred, for a Julian spirit put in this Petition among the rest, That Tithes might be taken away, and no other maintenance established in stead thereof. Had those Pe­titioners put in, And that the Tithes might come to those who pay them as their own proper goods, they would not be such de­ceivers of the poor Countryman, as otherwise they will be.

Quench. Now if it were worth the examining, we might certainly finde many untruths also in a few leaves of that Pamphlet, as that 1500. of each book were printed, is improbable; and that they were all printed in England, is doubtfull.

Flame. Have you been thus inraged at us for our Pamphlet, as you call it, without examining of it? more shame for you. And that 1500. of each book was printed we assert not, but guess, because that number is the usuall impression of a book. But that they were all printed in England, we are readie to make good, if the State should judge it worth the while. We do not guess at that, but are sure of it.

Quench. The Subscribers rank the Christian Moderator among Popish books, because it equally rejects Episcopall bondage and Presbyterian slavery.

Flame. We perswade our selves no wise man that reades that book, will doubt that he is a Papist, though now and then he transform himself into the appearance of a Protestant (as the Devil some­times changeth himself into the shape of an Angel of light.) It is known, and can be proved if need be, that Sancta Clara, that famous, or rather infamous Priest, presented one of them to a Ladie, who told it to a reverend Minister of this Citie; and with­all, said that he was the Authour of the book. Beside, the verie designe of the book is to vindicate the Popish Religion, it pleads for a generall toleration, and especially for a toleration of Popery, It pleads against all settlement of Religion: upon which we shall propound but one Quaere by the way, Whether the Jesuites (who [Page 18] are no fools) do not apprehend that a Toleration is their best market, and a settlement in Religion the onely way to suppress them? Whereas its said the book hath nothing against the State. It seems these men are of that Religion, that they care not what men say against God and Christ, and the truths of God, if they are but trueto the State. These men would do as the Romane Emperours did: If any man forswore himself by their Genius, they would be sure to punish them; but let him forswear himself by God, they would leave him to God to punish. So let a man blaspheme God, dethrone the Lord Jesus, call Moses and Christ Impostors, there are some Gallio's that care for none of these things: but let men speak but a word against the Parliament, let him but whistle against the Armie, and these verie men would break him in pieces like a potters vessell. But we hope our State will scorn the service of such spirited men. We hope they will remember what good Constantius did and said, when by a strata­gem he had found out the indifferency and carelesness of many of his Courtiers in the matters of Religion, he presently dismissed them with this noble speech, He that will not be faithfull to God, will never be faithfull to me, but for his own ends.

Quench. And holds forth an absolute incoertion in matters of inward be­lief.

Flame. See how both the Moderator and you equivocate; what do you tell us of inward belief, when the question is wicked practi­ces, Idolatry, Heresie, Blasphemie, and the spreading of these.

Quench. They say Christians of a different belief are not tolerated to pro­fess their Religion among Papists; are they not in France?

Flame. Take all we say, without clipping off that part which you had no minde to reminde the world of, and let it speak for it self. Our words are these: viz. For the world knowes that those vertues never appeared in Papists toward Christians of a different belief, who are not (that we know of) tolerated to profess their Reli­gion among them, except by the atchievement of the sword, taken up in their defence against popish cruelty. Nor doth the Mode­rator in the least demonstrate how the Protestants may be assured of a toleration, in case the Papists shall at any time become the major part, as being impossible for him or any others so to do, untill a popish generall Councell shall cancell some of their points of Faith about the Popes Supremacie and Churches infallibilitie. [Page 19] We think you were afraid to meddle with us here.

Quench. As for the popish books mentioned in their Catalogue, we do believe (upon good information) that the greatest part of them onely hold forth Morall Divinitie, and rules of good life.

Flame. Is this Morall Divinity, to assert that Rome is the onely true Church, the Pope Christs Vicar-generall, and the infallibilitie of both? also Traditions, Prayer for the dead, Invocation of Saints, Purgatorie, reall presence in the Eucharist, Adoration and bow­ing to the Hoast, Altars, Images, Reliques, a perfect keeping of the Commandments, merit of Good Works, Latine Service, with all the rabble of Popish Ceremonies and fopperies, stretching their wits to maintain these by Arguments; and is all this Mo­rall Divinity? damning all that are not of their belief; and is that a point of Morall Divinity so to do? If all this Rubbish must be so called, pray take in with the rest The Directory for the Mass, lately put to the Press, and call that Morall Divinity also.

Quench. And if those books have nineteen parts of good matter, and the twentieth part Popery, it were great pity the much good should suffer for the little evil; as was excellently said by a worthy Member of Parliament upon occasion of debate concerning the Racovian Ca­techisme, who upon that reason passed his vote against the burning of it.

Flame. Wo is us that we live to hear Protestants plead for that wicked book, which is indeed a verie sink of errours. Is it a small thing that it maintains Free-will, denies Paedobaptisme, Predestinati­on, &c. Turn in, and you shall see greater abominations then these. It denies the satisfaction of Christ, pleads for justification by works, It ungods the holy Ghost: And above a quarter of the book is spent in arguing against the Divinity of Christ. So that we think these men have done a great dishonour to the Parliament, in publishing to all the Nation that there is any there that should either speak in so bad a cause, or use such weak and fallacious arguments. And it is no credit to the Armie, that any of them should speak for so devillish a book, and that too after the Parliament had de­clared their hatred of it, and zeal against it; for which the hearts of many thousands in England did bless God on their behalf. Whether that Gentleman spake excellently in the Parlia­ment House or no, we have learned better then to pass [Page 20] our censure, especially considering that his speech was against the sence of the House. Certainly the time will come, that the se­cret debates of the Members of the Supreme Councell shall not be commended or censured without the walls of the Senate House by private men in publique print. But we shall dare to examine in the spirit of meekness, whether your notion of the twentieth part poyson be an excellent one or no. Our answer therefore is this: Things without life or sence are not capable of punishment or pain, and so their sufferings no matter of pity, further then in relation to the owners or users of them; and therefore when nineteen truths of God are transcribed or collected out of the perfect Canon of the Scripture, on purpose to put off (with them) one damnable errour that is shuffled in among them, it is no matter of pity to punish the spirit of errour, and preserve people from infection, by burning all that paper and ink (Gods truth for all that as a fountain abides and is not diminished) un­less the good were separated from the bad and preserved, and the bad rejected; which may be done no way but by that of Li­censing, which we desire in our Beacon fired. Your selves will grant, that a book containing nineteen parts of excellent Divi­nity or Policy, having but the twentieth part seditious and trea­sonable against the Parliament or Armie, ought to be burned and suppressed with a witness. If a great mans picture should be drawn never so well in respect of all the parts of it, except onely one of the members, and that should be so ugly, as to present that great man a verie deformed man, were it any pity to burn that picture? What madness were it to suffer the people of a Town to use infe­cted water, while there is enough pure water in the common Town-well or Fountain? And if there were true weight and rea­son in what you say of your twentieth part of Popery, it would prove it pity and folly to throw away a roasted apple that hath a dram, or a whole gile of beer that hath a gallon of strong poy­son in it.

Quench. For Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Sprig, they are very well able to answer for themselves; onely this we gather, that they are the more violent, as we conceive, against Mr. Sprig, for being the Authour of Anglia Rediviva or the History of the war while Sir Thomas Fairfax was Generall, by whose success the Presbyterian tyranny began to be abated.

Flame. We are not violent against Mr. Sprig, but (we think) zealous [Page 21] against his blasphemy, and that onely because it is blasphemy; and though it never can pull the sun of righteousness out of the firmament, yet it indangers the total eclipsing of it in our horizon. And as for the Presbyterian Tyrannie to be begun to be abated by Sir Thomas Fairfax, it's a silly fiction; the glorious Reforma­tion that Presbytery purports, though ever since the dawning of Reformation earnestly pray'd for by all the godly judicious Pro­testants, nicknamed Puritans, yet it was never exercised publickly before Sir Thomas Fairfax was Generall, and by means of his success against the great enemies of Presbytery: And not to this day, much less while he was Generall, did Presbytery in any part of this Nation do any thing that might have the least shew of Ty­rannie; a foolish picture of a bugbear that you paint upon good and wholsome Order in the Church of God. And pray whence did you gather that we were violent against Mr. Sprig because he was the Authour of that History? when as one of us the Subscri­bers hath the vending of that particular book.

Quench, Now the truth is, this party of men make an appearance of zeal against Papists and popish books, the better to disguise their designes, when as their malice and spleen is against the well affected, whom they stile Independents and Sectaries.

Flame. You cannot forbear being bitter and censorious; our zeal with you is but an appearance of zeal, and to disguise their designes; and their malice and spleen is against the well-affected; Is this Christi­anly done? reade our Beacon fired, do we give you any occasion of these expressions, and do we so much as name Independency or Sectary in all the book? Your Catalogue of books we said before is such, that the most of them were complained of formerly, and one or other punish'd for them, viz. The History of Independency, Mr. Walker, the supposed Authour, died prisoner in the Tower. The Plea for Non-scribers, complained of, and a Bookseller impri­soned for it. The same was done for Bonds and Bounds. Mr. Loves Sermons, the Epistle whereof you say hangs a flag of defiance, charg'd upon Mr. Calamy, a notorious untruth; as at the begin­ning is proved. Manus Testium, Lingua Testium, with a Narra­tive of the mysterie of State, long since complained of, and the sup­posed Authour many months imprisoned for them; with others. And for all these books, they are unjustly charg'd upon us or the Presbyterian party; let the Authours answer for them, if they [Page 20] [...] [Page 21] [...] [Page 22] have not alreadie; do we deal so with you or any others? do we charge the Armie or Independency with popish, with Mr. Sprig's, Mr. Hobs's, or the rabble of Ranters books?

Quench. These books we should not have mentioned, but through a necessity of quenching the fire of this Beacon.

Flame. Which does it no more, then if you should throw oyle into the fire, but does make good what we chiefly intended by the firing our Beacon; to wit, the necessity of the Parliaments regula­ting the exorbitancy of the Press; as the onely way to prevent the publishing of such books as tend to the dishonour of God, and disturbance of the State.

Quench. And of what more dangerous consequence such books are then any other sorts of books whatsoever, we leave to all true lovers of their Country to judge.

Flame. Popish and blasphemous books are of more dangerous conse­quence (not in the least to justifie treasonable ones) by how much the more God is provoked by them.

Quench. We humbly hope the Parliament will not restrain any peaceable spirit from the liberty of professing, nor shut up the Press from any godly persons having due regard to the honour and peace of the Par­liament and this Common-wealth.

Flame. For your last hope, or wish, or prayer, we will but mend it a little, and so conclude with an Amen, viz. We humbly hope that the Parliament will not restrain any peaceable spirit, that is a Prophet, from the liberty of prophecying, nor shut up the Press from any godly persons while they write godlily, having due regard to the honour and peace of the Parliament and this Common-wealth. Amen.


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