greater number, and already in favour with the people, were generally hated. It was easy, therefore, for the Parliament to make that calumny pass currently with the people, when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Laud, was for Arminius, and had a little before, by his power ecclesiastical, forbidden all ministers to preach to the people of predestination; and when all ministers that were gracious with him, and hoped for any Church preferment, fell to preaching and writing for free-will, to the uttermost of their power, as a proof of their ability and merit. Besides, they gave out, some of them, that the Archbishop was in heart a Papist; and in case he could effect a toleration here of the Roman religion, was to have a cardinal’s hat: which was not only false, but also without any ground at all for a suspicion.
B. It is a strange thing, that scholars, obscure men, and such as could receive no clarity but from the flame of the state, should be suffered to bring their unnecessary disputes, and together with them their quarrels, out of the universities into the commonwealth; and more strange, that the state should engage in their parties, and not rather put them both to silence.
A. A state can constrain obedience, but convince no error, nor alter the minds of them that believe they have the better reason. Suppression of doctrine does but unite and exasperate, that is, increase both the malice and power of them that have already believed them.
B. But what are the points they disagree in? Is there any controversy between Bishop and Presbyterian concerning the divinity or humanity of Christ? Do either of them deny the Trinity, or any article of the creed? Does either party preach openly, or write directly, against justice, charity, sobriety, or any other duty necessary to salvation, except only the duty *we owe* to the King; and not that neither, but when they have a mind either to rule or destroy the King? Lord have mercy upon us! Can nobody be saved that understands not their disputations? Or is there more
- obscure men that could.