Of what is necessary for A mans reception into the kingdome of heaven.
The Difficulty Of Obeying God And Man Both At Once, The most frequent praetext of Sedition, and Civill Warre, in Christian Common-wealths hath a long time proceeded from a difficulty, not yet sufficiently resolved, of obeying at once, both God, and Man, then when their Commandements are one contrary to the other. It is manifest enough, that when a man receiveth two contrary Commands, and knows that one of them is Gods, he ought to obey that, and not the other, though it be the command even of his lawfull Soveraign (whether a Monarch, or a Soveraign Assembly,) or the command of his Father. The difficulty therefore consisteth in this, that men when they are commanded in the name of God, know not in divers Cases, whether the command be from God, or whether he that commandeth, doe but abuse Gods name for some private ends of his own. For as there ware in the Church of the Jews, many false Prophets, that sought reputation with the people, by feigned Dreams, and Visions; so there have been in all times in the Church of Christ, false Teachers, that seek reputation with the people, by phantasticall and false Doctrines; and by such reputation (as is the nature of Ambition,) to govern them for their private benefit.
Is None To Them That Distinguish Between What Is, And What Is Not Necessary To Salvation But this difficulty of obeying both God, and the Civill Soveraign on earth, to those that can distinguish between what is Necessary, and what is not Necessary for their Reception into the Kingdome of God, is of no moment. For if the command of the Civill Soveraign bee such, as that it may be obeyed, without the forfeiture of life Eternall; not to obey it is unjust; and the precept of the Apostle takes place; “Servants obey your Masters in all things;” and, “Children obey your Parents in all things;” and the precept of our Saviour, “The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses Chaire, All therefore they shall say, that observe, and doe.” But if the command be such, as cannot be obeyed, without being damned to Eternall Death, then it were madnesse to obey it, and the Counsell of our Saviour takes place, (Mat. 10. 28.) “Fear not those that kill the body, but cannot kill the soule.) All men therefore that would avoid, both the punishments that are to be in this world inflicted, for disobedience to their earthly Soveraign, and those that shall be inflicted in the world to come for disobedience to God, have need be taught to distinguish well between what is, and what is not Necessary to Eternall Salvation.