A superb sermon preached in the heat of the English Civil War by one of the champions of religious liberty among them. Sidrach Simpson [1600-1655] was an Independent in the Westminster Assembly and thoroughly opposed to those Presbyterians who would "replace a Pope with a Presbyter." He, along with Jeremiah Burrough, William Bridge, etc,. were opposed to legislating the particulars of religion and had deep ties to many of the American Congregationalists who were champions of liberty of conscience, etc.
Check out the extract below. Interestingly, he sees the "reformation" as demanding the need for ongoing flexibility and resisting the temptation to codify present theology and practice as ultimate or final articulation of the faith.
Simpson, Sydrach [Sidrach]. Reformation's Preservation: Opened in a Sermon Preached at Westminster before the Honourable House of Commons, at the Late Solemne Fast, July 26, 1643. London. Printed by Benjamin Allen, and are to be sold in Popes-head-alley. 1643. 30pp .
Take heed unto the Laws you make in matters of Religion; for if the thing should fall out to be evil (as what man is there that errs not), when once it is Law, it will be followed. Suppose the thing be good, a Law, will be a Ne plus ultra, beyond which men will not go, and so it may either hinder, or make future reformation harder.
He then goes on to establish different categories of belief, placing only the most core Christian beliefs in the category he classes as indivisible, that is, admitting of no variation.
An excellent discourse.
Very nicely preserved complete English Civil War sermon from the Cromwellian era. Complete as issued, in simple perhaps 19th century plain wraps. Textually crisp with small corner loss to title and one sheet fold at corner. Rare on the market.