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church is both superstitious and idolatrous. And all this I do acknowledge, intend, profess, and declare without any equivocation, or reserved or other sense, than the plain and usual signification of these words, according to the real intention of the lawmakers, and the common acceptation of all true Protestants.
This is the test I offer; large in matter, because comprehensive of oaths and test too, yet brief in words.
The next thing is the ways of taking it with most aggravation upon the refusers or violaters of it.
1. That in all cities and great towns, notice be given by the magistrates thereof to the inhabitants of every ward or parish to appear on such a day, be it New-years-day, or Ash-Wednesday rather (when the pope curses all Protestants) at their publick hall, or other places of commerce, where the magistrates shall first openly read, subscribe, and seal the test. Then that it be read again by the proper officer of the place to the people, and that those that take it, do audibly pronounce the words after him that reads it; and when they have so done, that they subscribe and seal it. That such subscriptions be registered, and copies of each parish subscription transmitted to the parish, and affixed upon some publick place for all that will to see.
2. That in the countries, the parishes of each hundred or rape may be likewise summoned to appear upon the day aforesaid, at the head market-town in the - said hundred or rape; and that the justices of the peace within that part of the county shall first read, subscribe, and seal the said test, in view of the. people, and then that the people say, subscribe, and seal the test, as is before expressed. Which being done, let the said subscriptions be collected into one volume, and kept in the county-court as a book of record; and that to each parish be transmitted a : Vol. IV.
copy of the said parish subfcription, to be affixed upon some publick place within the said parish, for all to see.
Lastly, Let this be done annually, that is, upon every New-year's-day, or Afh-Wednesday, as a perpetual testimony of the people's affection to the king and government, and their abhorrence of the practices of Rome.
The abuse of this discrimination should be very penal: for it is a great lie upon a man's own conscience, and a cheat put upon the government: your wisdom can best proportion and direct the punishment; but it can scarcely be too severe, as our business stands.
But as, in case of such hypocrisy, a severe penalty should be inflicted, so pray let provision be made, that if any person so subscribing, should be afterwards called by the name of Jesuit or Papift, without very good proof, it should be deemed and punished in open sessions, for a Nander and breach of peace; yet so as that the penalty may be remitted at the request of the abused party.
I should think that this business, carefully done, might render needless my answer to the last objection, viz. " Which way shall we be able to prevent Papifts < from paffing for Protestant Diffenters, that so the « security propounded to the government be not baf< fled by disguise ? For no Papist can subscribe this, but he will lie in the face of the government and country, and that yearly, and upon record too; which is ten times more than a transient oath, muttered with one word spoken, and another dropt. However, that we may carry it as far as human prudence can go, 1 yet offer two expedients:
First, That upon jealousy of any person's being a Papift, or popishly inclined, who is known to frequent the assemblies of Protestant Diflenters, four of that party, of most note and integrity, unto which he pretends to adhere, should be summoned to appear
before those justices of the peace unto whom the complaint is made, to testify their knowledge of the person suspected, his education, principles, and manner of life : which way of inspection, as it goes as far as man can reach, so can it scarcely fail; for those persons will not only discover their own hypocrisy if they conceal him, but expose themselves and their friends to ruin. So that to say true, the government has the interest and security of an entire party, for the discovery of every such suspected person.
But if this will not do, then,
Secondly, Be you pleased to refer the discrimination of suspected persons to the good old way of the government, that is, · The enquiry and judgment of
twelve men of the neighbourhood;' to wit, a jury : provided always, that they be such as have taken, or will thermselves take, the test; else, that they may be excepted against by the party suspected.
Indeed a good expedient may be made out of both, for the first may be the evidence to the last, and I chink you will hardly fail of your ends.
I shall conclude with this request, first, to Almighty God, that he would please to make us truly and deeply sensible of his present mercies to us, and to reform our hearts and lives to improve them thankfully. And, secondly, to you, that we may be loving, humble, and diligent, one to and for another: for as from such amendments we may dare promise great and sudden felicity to England, so if looseness in life, and bitterness in religion, be not speedily reprehended and reformed, and the common civil interest maintained entire, God will, I justly fear, repent he has begun to do us good, adjourn the day of our deliverance to that of our repentance and moderation, and overcast these happy dawnings of his favour, by a thick and dismal cloud of confusion and misery: which God avert!
These things that I have written, are no wild guesses, or may-be's, but the disease and cure, the danger and fafety, of England : in treating of which, that
God who made the world knows, I have not gratified any private spleen or interest (for I am sorry at the occasion) but singly and conscientiously intended his honour, and the lasting good of England, to which all personal and party considerations ought ever to submit.
Amicus Plato, amicus Aristoteles, fed magis amica veritas, i, e. Anglia.
Your own faithful and most affectionate
PHIL-ANGL U S.
EXAMINATION AND STATE
BOTH WITH RESPECT TO
Persons in their Private CAPACITY,
AND IN THEIR
CHURCH SOCIETY and COMMUNION.
Written for the Establishment of the Faithful, Infor
mation of the Simple-hearted, and Reproof of the Arrogant and High-minded.
By a Lover of True LIBERTY, as it is in Jesus.
To go amongst the People of the Lord called Quakers.
“ If the SON make you Free, ye shall be free Indeed."
John viii. 36. « If we walk in the Light as he is in the Light, we have Fel
“ lowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ şe ais Son cleanseth us from all Sin.” I John i. 7.