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

Of Chr /ian Liberty. 13 3 when arrived at the capacity of attending SE R M. to the proper objefts of it, as the higher V. fenfe of moral good and evil is, and like it, `'vim prior to and independant of authority and laws. There is a certain decorum in anions, and order in things, which a man obferving findeth it agreeable to him, as the contrary is difagreeable; and he learneth it from na- ture, not from human determinations, which we examine by a ftandard already in our minds. Thefe chara ters of decent and in- decent we apply to the performances of men with the external circumftances and manner of them, either fingle, or as affo- dated together, fo far as they come under our obfervation ; but they are not regarded as of any great importance to the ends of life or of fociety, nor are the fubje t of laws. Civil communities leave the direftion of public affairs, fo far as concerneth the points of mere decency and order, to the difcretion of thofe who are entrufted with the execu- tion of their appointments, without any re- gulation ; far lefs would fuch trifling regu- lations be necefhary to the ends of religion, or become its gravity and importance. Can there be a neceffity of fuch circumftantial appointments by public authority in per- forming acts of devotion, as íhall defeend Kea tó,