Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/73

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and daily conversed with our Saviour; and by the miracles he wrought, did know he was God, and consequently knew certainly that their disobedience to the high-priest’s present command was just. Can any minister now say, that he hath immediately from God’s own mouth received a command to disobey the King, or know otherwise than by the Scripture, that any command of the King, that hath the form and nature of a law, is against the law of God, which in divers places, directly and evidently, commandeth to obey him in all things? The text you cite does not tell us, that a minister’s authority, rather than a Christian King’s, shall decide the questions that arise from the different interpretations of the Scripture. And therefore, where the King is head of the Church, and by consequence (to omit that the Scripture itself was not received but by the authority of Kings and States) chief judge of the rectitude of all interpretations of the Scripture, to obey the King’s laws and public edicts, is not to disobey, but to obey God. A minister ought not to think that his skill in the Latin, Greek, or Hebrew tongues, if he have any, gives him a privilege to impose upon all his fellow subjects his own sense, or what he pretends to be his sense, of every obscure place of Scripture: nor ought he, as oft as he *thinks he* hath found out some fine interpretation, not before thought on by others, to think he had it by inspiration: for he cannot be assured of that; no, nor that his interpretation, as fine as he thinks it, is not false: and then all this stubbornness and contumacy towards the King and his laws, is nothing but pride of heart and ambition, or else imposture. And whereas you think it needless, or perhaps hurtful, to have the Scriptures in English, I am of another mind. There are so many places of Scripture easy to be understood, that teach both true faith and good morality (and that as fully as is necessary to salvation), of which no seducer is able to dispossess the mind (of any ordinary readers), that the reading of them is so profitable as not to be forbidden without great damage to them and the commonwealth.