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13

THE FOURTEENTH PROPOSITION.

Concerning the Power of the Civil Magistrate, in matters purely Religious, and pertaining to the Conscience.

Since God hath assumed to himself the power and dominion of the conscience, who alone can rightly instruct and govern it, therefore it is not lawful for any whatsoever, by virtue of any authority or principality they bear in the government of this world, to force the consciences of others; and therefore all killing, banishing, fining, imprisoning, and other such things, which men are afflicted with, for the alone exercise of their conscience, or difference in worship or opinion, proceedeth from the spirit of Cain, the murderer, and is contrary to the truth; provided always, that no man, under the pretence of conscience, prejudice his neighbour in his life or estate; or do any thing destructive to, or inconsistent with human society; in which case the law is for the transgressor, and justice to be administered upon all, without respect of persons. 2222Luk ix. 55, 56., Mat. vii. 12, 29., Tit. iii. 10.


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