Nathaniel Ward – The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America, 1647
- We’ve been getting some unkind press about how we live in New England. People have all kinds of funny ideas about how crazy we are & how fanatical our religious doctrines can be. But if you don’t like the way we do things you’re free to go elsewhere.
- There are so many states around the world that
clearly aren’t living up to the examples provided in the Bible about how God
wants the world to run.
- There’s a good reason why we left all the noise back in England. In order to establish a place for the conscience to contend earnestly for the truth, to preserve unity of spirit, faith & rules, to be with like-minded folks in one collective spirit to strive for the faith of the Gospel.
- We don’t want to be surrounded by heresies & faults. God has allowed us to find a place to practice as we see as how he wants us to.
- What people are asking for when they ask for freedom of conscience in diverse religious communities is exactly what the devil would ask for – the ability to allow false religions through lax tolerations to corrupt the one true faith.
- There are 4 things I cannot stand:
- 1 – The toleration of the Apocrypha of the Bible.
- 2 – Foreigners in my country to crowd out the natives.
- 3 – Alchemized coins
- 4 – Toleration of divers religious
- If you sign up to the 4th one, you might as well say you’re an atheist or a heretic & be done with it. It’s phony & it leads to bad places.
- Not to tolerate things merely indifferent to
weak consciences argues a conscience too strong. Pushing for uniformity in
these things causes disunity. To tolerate beyond the indifferent is another
matter. The power of religion & rules is in their purity & simplicity.
Mixing them makes them terrible.
- I once lived in a city where a Catholic preached in one church, a Lutheran in another, a Calvinist in another. One church had a Lutheran in the morning & a Calvinist in the afternoon. The religion in the place was weak & ineffective.
- You can really pervert the Bible by adding to it or taking anything out of it. Allowing any authorization of untruths by a state is akin to attack God himself.
- Concerning toleration – He who is willing to
tolerate any religion besides his own either doubts his own or is insincere in
- He who is willing to tolerate any unsound opinion so that his own opinion will be tolerated will need God’s Bible at the Devil’s girdle.
- Toleration of false religions or opinions is full of errors & sins
- The state that will give any liberty of conscience in religion must give that same liberty in its moral laws or else the whole system will crumble.
- It’s said that although a man may have light enough to see the truth but not enough to enlighten other ought to tolerate others. If that’s the case all members of Parliament are doers of the Devil’s deeds.
- It’s also said that men ought to have liberty of their conscience & their persecution is to debar them of it. It’s crazy to think that men should be allowed to wallow in such impious ignorance. There’s nothing dumber than this idea.
- It’s said that the state ought not to meddle in Ecclesiastic matters. The English are very tolerant of non-Catholic opinions. But that will inevitably lead to their reinstatement. Why I’m fixated on all of this toleration is because I am starting to panic at the idea Parliament would grant toleration. God gave them all wisdom in so many things but it seems that all civil liberties are up for grabs the moment that toleration is allowed in the spiritual realm of life.