Circumstances And Indifferent Until We Say No


This I prove, 1. from their practice. 2. from their pleading.

In their practice, who sees not, that they would tie the people of God to a necessity of submitting their necks to this heavy yoke of human ceremonies, which are with more vehemence, forwardness, and strictness urged, than the weighty matters of the Law of God, and the refusing whereof is far more inhibited, menaced, spied upon, [accused], aggravated, censured, and punished, than idolatry, popery, blasphemy, swearing, profanation of the Sabbath, murder, adultery, etc? Both preachers and people have been, and are, fined, confined, imprisoned, banished, censured and punished so severely that we may well say of them that which our Divines say of the Papists, “These contrivances of theirs they place before the decalogue, and punish those violate them more severely than those who transgress the divine precepts.” 1 Wherefore, seeing they make not only as much, but more ado, about the controverted ceremonies, than about the most necessary things in religion, their practice herein makes it too too apparent, what necessity they annex to them.2

—George Gillespie, A Dispute Against The English-Popish Ceremonies Obtruded Upon The Church Of Scotland (first published 1637; 1660 edition)

1. “Haec sua inventa Decalago anteponunt, et gravius eos multarent qui ea violarent, quam qui divina praecepta transgrederentur.” Peter Martyr. in 1 Reg. 8. de Templ. dedic.
2. Spelling and punctuation modified.

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