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320

The

LIFE

of

the

LiB.I.

ever were

in the Chriftian

World. All which Impofitions,

are made yet

more

grievous, by

that

Sabforiprion

to their

Lawfalneß,

which the Canon

exabts, and

bq

the

heavy

Punifhment upon the Non-obfervanee

of

them

which the All

of

Unifor-

mity inflidts.

And

it being doubtful

whether God hath

given

power untoMen, to

inftituré

in

his

Worfhip

fuch

Myftical Teaching

Signs,

which not being

necefrary

in

genre,

fall

not under the

Rule

of

doing all

things

decently, òrderly,

and to

edification

,

and

which

once granted

will upon

the

fame

reafon, open a door to the Arbitrary

Im-

poliition

of

numerócs Ceremonies

of which

St. Augafiine

complained

in

his days

;

and the things in Controverfie

being in

the Judgment

of

the

Impofers

confefl

dly

indifferent,

who do

not

fo

much

as

pretend any

real Goodnefs in them

of

them

-

felves,

otherwife

than

what

is

derived front

their

being impofed, and

confequendy

the Imphfition

ceafing,

that

will ceale alfo, and the Worfhip

of

God not

become

'indecent

without them.

Whereas

in the other hand

on

the Judgment

of the

Oppofers, they

are by

fonte

held finful, and unlawful in

themfelves ; by

others very inconvenient

and

unfuita-

ble

to the Simplicity

of

Gofpel Worfhip, and by all

of

them very grievous

and

bur-

thenfome, and therefore notat

all

fit

to

be

put

in ballance

with

the Peace of

the

Church,

which

is

more likely to

be

promoted

by

their removal, than continuance:

Confrdering

alfo

how tender our

Lord

and Saviour himfelf

is

of

weak

Brethren,

declaring

it

much

better

for

a

Man

to have

Milfìone

hang'd

about

Sir neck,

and

be

c

ft

into the depth

of

the

Sea, than

to offend

one

of

his little

Ones:

And how

the

Apa-

tite Paul

( who

had

as

great

a

Legiflative

Power

in

the Church,

as

any

under

Chrilb

)

held himfelf obliged by

that Common

Rule

of

Charity

,

not to lay

a

flan.

bling

block, or an

occaftan

of

offence before

a

weak

Brother,

chafing

rather

not

to

eat

Hell,

whiles

the

worldHands

(though

in

it

fell

a

thing

lawful) than

offend

ha

Brotherfor

whom

Chrifi

died.

We cannot but delire that

thefe Ceremonies may

not

be

impolèd

on them, who

judge fuch Impofitions

a

Violation

of

the Royalty of

Chrilt,

and

an

Impeachment of

his Laws

as

infufficient, and are

under the

holy awe

of

that

which

is

written,

Deut. 12.

;a.

(

What thing

farmer

1

command you

,

obferve to

do

it

)

Thou

f

salt not

add

thereto, nor diminifh)Som

it)

but that there may

be

either

a

total

Abolition

of

them, or at leaf'

fuch

a

liberty, that thofe who are

unfatisfied con-

cerning their

lawfulnefs

or expediency,

may not be compelled to

the

Praótice of

them, or Subfcriptionto them.

But may

be

permitted to enjoy their

Minilterial

Pun&ion, and Communion with the Church without them.

The

rather becaufe thefe Ceremonies have for

above an

hundred

years been

the

Fountain of

Manifold Evils in this

Church

and

Nation,

occafioning

fad Divifions

between Minifters and Minifters,

as

alto between

Minifters and People,

expofing

many Orthodox,

Pious, and Peaceable Minifters, to

the

difpleafure

of

their

Ru.

lers,

calling them

on

the

edge

of

the Penal

Statutes, to the

lofs

not

only

of

their

Livings and Liberties,

but alto

of

their Opportunities

for

the

Service

of

Chrilt,

and

his

Church

;

and forcing People, either

to

Worfhip God

in

fuch

a

manner

as

their

own

Confidences condemn,

or doubt

of,

or

elfe

to

forfake

our

Afremblies,

as

thou

-

fonds have

done. And no

better Fruits than theft can

be

looked

for

from the

re-

taining

and impofing

of theft

Ceremonies,

unlef

we could

prefrme, that

all

his

Majeity's

Subjects ihould have

the

fame Subtilty

of

Judgment

to

difeern'

even

to

a

Ceremony,

how

far 'the

Power of Man

extends in

the Things

of

God, which

is

nor

to be expe&ed,

or

fhould yield

Obedience to

all

the Impofitions

of

Men

con-

cerning

them

,

without inquiring into

the Will

of

God,

which

is

not to

be

red.

We

do therefore molt

earneftly entreat

the Right

Reverend Fathers and

Bre-

thren, to

whom

theft

Papers are delivered,

as

they tender the Glory

of

God,

the

Honour of

Religion, the Peace

of

the

Church,

the

Service

of

his

Majefty in

the

Accomplifhment

of

that happy Union, which

his

Majefty bath

fo

abundantly

te-

ftified

his Delires

of, to joyn with

us

in

importuning

his

molt Excellent

Majefty,

that

his

moll

gracious

Indulgence,

as

to

theft

Ceremonies, granted

in his

Royal

Declaration, may

be confirmed

and continued to

us

and our Pofterities,and

extend-

ed

to

fuch

as

do not yet enjoy

the Benefit

thereof.

r9.

As

to

that Foliage

in

his

Maje(ty'sCommilfion, where

we are authorized,

and required to

compare the prefent Liturgy, with the molt ancient

Liturgies

which

have been tiled in

the Church

,

in the molt pureft and

primitive

Times

e

We

hava

in Obedience

to his

Majefty's

Commillion,

made Enquiry, but cannot

find any Records

of known Credit, concerning

any entire Forms of Litnrgy,with-

in the

firft

Three

hundred years, which

are

confefed to

be

as

the

molt

primitive,

fo