Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.4

x 2Ò Of art./Ilan Liberty. S E R M. bei} proteftant writers, who think themfelves V. concerned to make an apology for this, have foftened it fo as to leave little more in it than an inconvenient and improper way of fpeaking, Y [hall infift no farther upon it. There is another claim more peremp- torily infifted on by many proteftants, and of a power more properly binding upon con- fcience, which if it be juft, layeth an effec- tual refiraint on the liberty of private chri- fiians in the matters wherein it is exercifed, that is, á power to decree rites and cere- monies. It is alledged, in defence of this preten- ion, that the Yews, burdened as their reli- gion was with a multitude of pofitive di- vine appointments, yet added to them many ritual ufages, which were only impofed by ecclefiaftical authority, or handed down by tradition from their fathers ; fuch as a kind of baptifm in ufe amongft them, and fome ceremonial obfervances in the pafchal iòlemnity, which it cloth not appear that our Saviour ever reproved them for, on the contrary, he hallowed thofe to be the federal rites of his new difpenfation; that whereas the New Teftament doth not determine the external circumftances of religion, nor lay any firefs upon them ; the apofiles them- [elves,