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hindering its enemies from entering into the administration : but they can be hindered only by a TEST


II. Again, This promise of protection is of such a nature, as is, on no pretence, to be dispensed with. For, protection was not only a condition of alliance, but, on the church's part, the sole condition of it. We have shewn, that all other benefits and advantages are foreign to a church, as such, and improper for it. Now the not performing the sole condition of a convention virtually destroys and dissolves it: especially if we consider that this sole condition is both necessary and just : Necessary, as a free convention must have mutual conditions; and, but for this, one side would be without any: Just, as the convention itself is founded on the laws of nature and nations; and this the only condition which suits the nature of a church to demand or expect.

III. But again, the church, in order to enable the state to perform this sole condition, the affording of protection, consented to give up its supremacy, and independency, to the civil sovereign. Whence it follows, that whenever the enemies of the established church get into the magistrature, to which, as we said, the supremacy of the church is transferred by the alliance, she becomes a prey, and lies entirely at their mercy: being now, by the loss of her supremacy, in no condition for defence, as she was in her natural state, unprotected and independent. So that not to secure her by a test-law is betraying, and delivering her up bound, to her enemies.

Thus it is seen what obligation the state lies under, from compact, of providing a test-law for the security of the established church: and, by inforcing this obligation, from the last motive, we have obviated the only plausible objection that could be made to our account of this condition of protection: which is, “ That if an union between church and state be, as we have represented it, so necessary for the wellbeing of civil society, how happened it, that that universal charity to mankind, which is the characteristic of true religion, could not engage the church to enter into union, without standing upon terms of advantage to itself: especially such as necessarily introduce a test-law, so full of inconvenience to the subject?”

This objection, though already obviated, shall be now considered more particularly. 1. We say, that religion constituting a political society, and it being of the nature of political society to seek support from alliances, the church was in a proper and reasonable pursuit, when it aimed at its own advantage in this convention. 2. We say, that as man, when he entered into civil society, necessarily parted from some of his natural rights, so the church, when it entered into alliance with the state, did the same. The right she departed from was her independency; which she transferred to the civil sovereign : for no alliance can be made between two such independent societies, till one hath given up its independency to the other; and this, the law of nations says, shall be the less powerful society: which in the present case, is the church. Now, as man received an equivalent for the natural rights he gave up; so, in all reason, should the church. 3. But lastly, we say, the church could not enter into alliance, and not stipulate for this condition, without concurring to its own destruction. It hath been shewn just before, that the dependency of the church on 24


the state necessarily follows an alliance: and, in the preceding paragraph, that, where a church, in this condition, hath enemies in the magistrature, and without means of defence in herself, she must expect the most fatal issue. Now the great law of selfpreservation obliges her to provide against them. But no other provision can be made than engaging the protection of the state. Therefore we conclude, that the church's stipulating for that protection was not only what she in justice might, but what in duty she was obliged to do.

Here we might have concluded our inquiry; having, in a continued chain of reasoning, drawn from the most simple principles, explained the original and nature of civil and religious society; and, from thence, deduced our main conclusions, The NECESSITY OF AN ESTABLISHED CHURCH, and The JUSTICE EQUITY OF A TEST-LAW.

But, that nothing may be wanting to put so impore tant a matter out of controversy,


II. I proceed, in the next place, to shew, that had no promise of protection been made, yet the state would have lain under the most indispensable necessity of providing a test-law for its own security. A celebrated writer, who, as far as religion hath to do with politics, was no bad judge, either of its essential or accidental effects, speaking of a TEST-LAW, scruples not to pronounce,

" That no man ought to be trusted “ with any share of power under a government, who “ must, to act consistently with himself, endeavour. " the destruction of that very government

• Lord Bolingbroke's Letter to Sir W. Windham ; where, if in any place, he delivers bis real opinion.


* "


It hath been observed, that wherever there are di. versities of religion, each sect, believing its own the true, strives to advance itself on the ruins of the rest. If this doth not succeed by force of argument, these partisans are very apt to have recourse to the coactive power of the state : which is done by introducing a party into the public administration. And they have always had art enough to make the state believe, that its interests were much concerned in the success of their religious quarrels. What persecutions, rebellions, revolutions, loss of civil and religious liberty, these intestine struggles between sects have occasioned, is well known even to such as are least acquainted with the history of mankind.

To prevent these mischiefs was (as we have shewn) one great motive for the state's seeking alliance with the church. For the obvious remedy was to establish one church, and give a free toleration to the rest. But if, in administering this cure, the state should stop short, and not proceed to exclude the tolerated religions from entering into the public administration, such imperfect application of the remedy would infinitely heighten the distemper. For, before the alliance, it was only a mistaken aim in propagating truth, which occasioned these disorders : but now, the zeal for opinions would be out of measure inflamed,by envy and emulation; which the temporal advantages, enjoyed by the established church, exclusive of the rest, will always occasion. And what mischiefs this would produce, had every sect a free entry into the administration, the reader may easily conceive.

. Now this being the inevitable fate of every government where religion is established, with diversity of sects, and without a test-law; and an established religion being proved indispensably necessary to society;


we must conclude, that the state has the most pressing reasons to provide a test-law, as well for its own security, as for the discharge of its contract with the church *.

If it be said, That would men content themselves, as, in reason, they ought, with enjoying their own opinions, without obtruding them upon others, these evils, which require the rernedy of a test-law, would never happen. This is very true: and so, would men but observe the rule of right in general, there would be no need to have recourse to civil society to rectify the evils of a state of nature.






thus far, the argument leads us to give some good account of the principal objections against the EQUITY of a test-law: the way being now cleared to a ready and satisfactory answer.

I. The first objection, the sheet-anchor of the cause, is this, “ That every qualified subject having a right

to a share of the honours and profits in the disposal “ of the magistrate, the debarring him from these ad“ vantages, for matters of opinion, is a violation of “ the common rights of subjects.” This goes directly to the essentials; and attacks the very JUSTICE and EQUITY of a test-law: the other objections being only against the use and expediency of it.

See note [B] at the end of this Book.


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