Front Page Titles (by Subject) Generall Councill. - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Generall Councill. - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2 
The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (Camden Society, 1894). 4 vols.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Debate concerning the 9th Article, The Magistrates appointing Ministers.a
Truth, and light and knowledge has still gone under the name of errours and heresies, and still they have putt these Esau’s garments uppon Jacob’s back. And in that regard (that for the most parte truth and light go under the name of errour and heresy) wee shall give occasion to our Adversaries to raile against us in every pulpitt; and [they will] make itt their worke nott to discover truth and preach sound doctrine, butt to raile against honest men.
You agree [to allow them to preach against beliefs], if you doe butt say they must instruct the people as well concerning what is truth as what is false. I would know what latitude you give them to raile [against persons] by this, or that?
A use for satisfaction of conscientious men in those wordes. By our denying [the magistrate] compulsive power or restrictive power to [suppress] errours and heresies, wee doe allow they should bee opposed with spirituall weapons.
Wee are now about an Agreement, and as if the power were in our owne hands, butt if wee labour for libertie [for ourselves], lett us give itt to others that are as deare to Christ as wee are. Lett them preach what they will, they cannott touch mee only they touch mee in my purse.
Whitehall, 11 Jan. 1648
[a ]On Jan. 10 and Jan. 11 the discussion is evidently on Article 9, Clause 1, of the Agreement of Jan. 20: “It is intended that the Christian religion be held forth and recommended, as the public profession in this nation, which we desire may by the grace of God be reformed to the greatest purity in doctrine, worship and discipline according to the word of God; the instructing of the people thereunto in a public way, so it be not compulsive; as also the maintaining of able teachers for that end, and for the confutation or discovery of heresy, error, and whatsoever is contrary to sound doctrine is allowed to be provided for by our Representatives; the maintenance of which teachers may be out of a public treasury and we desire not by tithes. Provided, that popery or prelacy be not held forth as the public way or profession in this nation.”
[b ]William Butler of Northamptonshire, afterwards one of Cromwell’s major-generals, and throughout his life a great advocate of liberty of conscience. In 1652 he presented to the Committee for the Propagation of the Gospel a paper on behalf of toleration, containing four questions, the second of which illustrates the argument of this speech. “Whether it be not the will or counsel of God that there must be heresies, yea damnable heresies, that such who are approved may be made perfect, and whether it be not the pleasure of God that the judgment and condemnation of such false teachers and heretics be left to Himself?” Masson’s Life of Milton, iv., 393.