O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.—Psalm 95.6.

[The Terms of Toleration; or, The Conditions enjoined Protestant Dissenters... for Indulgence.]
 
THE
Terms of Toleration
OR, THE
CONDITIONS enjoined PROTESTANT DISSENTERS,
     by the  Late  Act  of  PARLIAMENT  for  IN-
     DULGENCE: Upon the Performance whereof,
     they are to enjoy the Liberty therein Granted.
 
TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Note
Please note: The following historical document is provided to satisfy the interest of readers by making available the text of the Toleration, or Indulgence, of William & Mary, sometimes mentioned in the writings of the Covenanters. It should be observed that the event known as the "Glorious Revolution," lauded by those who had followed a course of defection during the times of persecution, was not a Glorious Revolution for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The following document demonstrates that except for bloodshed, the Institutions of Church and State set up under the reign of William and Mary were nothing but a continuation of sinful Toleration and Indulgence, usurped Erastian dominion over Christ's Church, Covenant-breaking, and Covenant-refusing.


Licensed and Entered according to Order.

I. THAT they take the Oaths mentioned in an Act, Entitled, An Act for removing and preventing all Questions and Disputes, concerning the Assembling and Sitting of this present Parliament: Which Oaths are therein expressed, in these words following:

I A.B. do sincerely Promise and Swear, That I will be faithful, and bear true Allegiance to their Majesties, King WILLIAM and Queen MARY: So help me God.

I A.B. do Swear, That I do from my heart abhor, detest and abjure, as Impious and Heretical, that Damnable Doctrine and Position, That Princes Excommunicated, or Deprived by the Pope, or any Authority of the See of Rome, may be Deposed or Murdered by their Subjects, or any other whatsoever; And I do declare, That no foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State, or Potentate hath, or ought to have any Power, Jurisdiction, Superiority, Preeminence, or Authority, Ecclesiastical or Spiritual, within this Realm: So help me God.

II. That they make and Subscribe the Declaration mentioned in a Statute made in the Thirtieth year of the Reign of King CHARLES the Second, Entitled, An Act to prevent Papists from Sitting in either House of Parliament; which Declaration is expressed therein in these words following:

I A.B. do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, Profess, Testify, and Declare, That I do believe, That in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any Transubstantiation of the Elements of Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, at, or after the Consecration thereof by any person whatsoever; And that the Invocation or Adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other Saint, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are Superstitious and Idolatrous. And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, That I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me, as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, without any Evasion, Equivocation, or Mental-reservation whatsoever; and without any Dispensation already granted me for this purpose by the Pope, or any Authority {1:B} or Person whatsoever; or without any hope of any such Dispensation from any Person or Authority whatsoever; or without thinking that I am, or can be acquitted before God or Man, or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, although the Pope or any other person or persons, or Power whatsoever, should dispense with or Annul the same; or declare that it was null and void from the beginning.

'Which Oaths and Declaration, the Justices of the Peace, at the General Sessions of the Peace, to be held for the County or Place where such person shall live, are hereby required to tender and administer to such persons as shall offer themselves, to take, make, and subscribe the same; and thereof to keep a Register.' For entering of which, they are to pay but Sixpence; and for taking out a Certificate thereof, to pay Sixpence, and no more.

And that every Justice of the Peace may at any time hereafter, require any person that goes to any Meeting, for Exercise of Religion, to 'make and subscribe the Declaration aforesaid; and also to take the said Oaths, or Declaration of fidelity herein after mentioned, in case such person scruples the taking of an Oath, and upon refusal thereof, to commit such person to Prison, without Bail or Mainprize:' Which Declaration of Fidelity is expressed in these words, viz.

I A.B. do sincerely promise, and solemnly declare, before God and the World, That I will be true and faithful to King WILLIAM and Queen MARY; and I do solemnly profess and declare, That I do from my heart abhor, detest, and renounce, as impious and heretical, That damnable Doctrine and Position, That Princes Excommunicated, or deprived by the Pope, or any Authority of the see of Rome, may be Deposed or Murdered by their Subjects, or any other whatsoever. And I do declare, That no Foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State, or Potentate hath, or ought to have any Power, Jurisdiction, Superiority, Preeminence, or Authority, Ecclesiastical or Spiritual, within this Realm.

'And shall Subscribe a Profession of their Christian belief in these words:'

I A.B. Profess Faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ his Eternal Son, the true God, and in the Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for evermore: {2:A} And to acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, to be given by Divine Inspiration.

'Which Declarations and Subscription shall be made and entered of Record, at the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, for the County, City, or place, where every such Person shall then reside.'

Provided, That such who refuse to take the Oaths, when tendered to them, shall not be admitted to make and subscribe the two Declarations aforesaid, 'tho required thereto, unless such Persons can within thirty-one days, after such tender of the Declarations to him, produce two sufficient Protestant Witnesses to Testify upon Oath, that they believe him to be a Protestant Dissenter, or a Certificate under the Hand of four Protestants, who are conformable to the Church of England, and have taken the Oaths, and subscribed the Declaration above-mentioned, and shall also produce a Certificate, under the Hands and Seals of six or more sufficient Men of the Congregation, to which he belongs, owning him for one of them.

Provided also, that until such Certificates be produced, the Justice of the Peace is required to take a Recognizance with two Sureties in the penal Sum of Fifty pounds for his producing the same; or if he cannot give such Security, to commit him to Prison, there to remain until he can.

Provided always, That if any Assembly of Persons dissenting from the Church of England, shall be had in any place for Religious Worship with the Doors locked, barred, or bolted, during any time of such Meeting together, all and every Person that shall come to, and be at such Meeting, shall not receive any Benefit from this Law, notwithstanding his taking the Oaths, and Subscribing the Declaration aforesaid.

Provided, That nothing in this Act be construed to exempt any Persons from paying of Tithes, or any other Duties to the Church or Minister.

Provided, That the Laws made for frequenting Divine Service, be in force against all Persons that offend against them, except such Persons come to some Congregation of Worship, allowed of by this Act.

Provided always, That no Congregation or Assembly for Religious Worship shall be permitted, or allowed by this Act, until the place of such Meeting be certified to the Bishop of the Diocese, or to the Arch-Deacon of that Arch-Deaconry, or to the Justices of the Peace at the General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace, for the County, City, or Place, in which such Meeting shall be held, which is there to be Registered, and a Certificate to be delivered for Six pence, when demanded.

Secondly, or Lastly, There is required of every Preacher over and above the aforesaid Injunctions, That he do declare his Approbation of, and subscribe the Articles of Religion, mentioned in the Statute made in the Thirteenth year of the Reign of the late Queen Elizabeth, except the Thirty-fourth, about the Traditions of the Church; the Thirty-fifth, concerning Homilies; and the Thirty-sixth, of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers; and these words of the Twentieth {2:B} Article, viz. The Church hath Power to Decree Rights or Ceremonies, and Authority in Controversies of Faith. And yet;—and those who scruple the Baptizing of Infants, may except part of the Twenty-seventh Article, Touching Infant Baptism.

These Articles and Clauses of Articles, allowed by this Act to be excepted, are the rather added, both, because they contain the difference between the Church and Dissenters; And also, because a serious Consideration of the Nature and Quality of them (they being about Traditions and Ceremonies that may be changed by Authority) will produce not only a just Apology for this Indulgence, which leaves these Ceremonial Articles, guarded under the mighty Protection of the Church's Treasure, all the Tithes and Ecclesiastical Revenues of the Nation, being wholly given up to those only, who subscribe these Ceremonial Articles and Clauses, (a sufficient Security for them,) but also their Nature and Quality, being about Human Ceremonies, manifests likewise, that the Salvation of People's Souls, is no way in danger by this Indulgence, nor yet is the State in any hazard thereby.

Wherefore we may soberly Admonish all Persons angry at it, to forbear pretending for God, or the King, the Service of the Church or State, when they condemn this Indulgence, because it will be easily evidenced, that 'tis much to the Advantage of the Protestant Religion, and greatly for the Welfare of the Nation, to Tolerate so great a number of Protestants and Natives, who have been many years miserably spoiled, unto the great decay of Trade, obstruction of Religion, increase of Guilt, and profaneness in the Nation.

To Conclude, The Design and Preamble of this Act, being to Unite all Protestants in Interest and Affection, we have now one Interest; and desire there may be one Affection, both to each other, and to K. William and Q. Mary, and that henceforward, we may be looked upon, and valued, as we are true to the Protestant Interest, and the Interest of the Nation and Government, seeing we give the same Security to the Church and State, as any others, and that as readily too; and if the Wisdom of the Nation find it needful to require all to renounce the late K. James, or the like Security to the present Government, we doubt not but to yield as ready, hearty, and free a Compliance therewith, as the most dignified and conformable Clergy in the Nation.


LONDON: Printed for William Marshall at the Bible in Newgate-Street. 1689.