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4-34-

The

L

I

F

E

of

the

SIR,

YOur firff

Quern=

is, Whether the

way

of

Comprehenfion

or

Indulgence

h

more deer

rabk?

í4nfw.

If

the

Comprehenfionwere truly

Charitable

and Catbolick, upon

the

Terms

of

the Primitive Simplicity

in

Do&rine, Difcipline and Worf

hip,

extending to

all

that the Apofolick Churches in

their

times received ;

it would end

all

our

Diffe-

rences and Miferies, except

what in

this

imperfedt flare

of

the Church Militant

muf

beftill ekpeeted

:

and

it

would

prevent

the

fin

and everlafting woe

of

mul-

titudes

of

Souls.

But becaufe

there

is

no hope

of

this, by reafon

of the

ignorance,

impiety,

uncharicablenefs,

malice and

fadtioufnefs

of

the Times

;

rebus

[ss

tantibat,

,

it

is

mot

evident

thatno

Friend

of

the Church

Ihould be for

Comprehenfion

without

Indulgence

;

nor

for

Indulgence

without the Enlargement

of

the

Aft of Uniformity

to

a

greater

Comprebenfon;

but for

the

Conjunllion

ofboth: which will

attain

the

ends

of

both, and avoid the chief

Inconveniencies

of

either

alone.

I.'The

way

of

Comprehenfion

alone

is

not

futficient

(on

Terms not

Catholick,

which

muf

be

expeaed

):

r.

Becaufe

fach

Comprehenfion

will ftill leave out many

worthy

Perfons,

whole

Gifts

God would

have exercifed for his

Churches

Service.

And he that

rightly

valueth the

preaching

of

the Gofpel, and the

faving

of

Souls,

would rather choofe to

have

a

Milione

hang'd about

his

Neck, and

be

call into

the

Sea,

than unneceffarilyto

filence

any faithful Minifters

of

Chrif.

2. Becaufe

even

the

Culpable

fhould be

punilhed but according to the

meafure

of

their

offence:

Thole

thereforewhole Labours are

like

to

do more good

in

the

Church than their

Faults to do

harm,

fhould be

Corredted for

thole

Faults,

with

filch perfonal

gentle

Chafifement,

as

may not take them

off

their

Labours for

the Church.

It

is

a

lighter Punifhment to

honerMinifers,

to

make Brick

as

the

Ifraeliter

in

Egypt,

fo

they

may withal

but preach the Gofpel, than

to

be

forbidden to preach for

the

Saving

of

the People.

See

Theft,

2. 14,

1

y, 16.

3.

Efpecially confideiing

that

the

lofs

by

Silencing

them redoundeth to the

Souls

of

others, efpecially the igno-

rant

and prophane

:

and why

fhould

other

Men be

denied the

Means

of

their

Sal

-

vation, and fo

perilla, becau(e a

Minifer

differeth from the

State

in

force feller

things

?

4.

Confidering

alfo

that there are not competent Men

enough to do

the

Work of the

Gofpel

without them

:

Nay, there

will

be

much want when

all

are

employed.

s.

It

is deGrable

that

his

Mafefy

have Power

to indulge the

Peace

-

alele,

and abate Penalties,

as

in

his

Wifdom he

(hall

fee

molt

conducible

to the

Ineace

of

Church

and Stare, and

not to

he

too much

tiedup by

an indifpenfable

Efa-

blifhment.

Thefe

Reafons

(

and

many

more)

are confhderable

for the way

of

Indulgence.

2.

The

way

of

Indulgence alone is

not

fuflicient ;

but

firfb,

the

Law

fhould

be

made more

Comprebenfive:

r.

Becaufe

indeed

the

prefent Impolitions and

Refri-

¿lions

of

the Law (confidering

alfo

the direful

Penalty)

are fach

(

efpecially

the

Declararion

and

Sirbfription

required),

as

the

Age

that

is

further

from the heels

of.

Truth,

Will fo

el

f

vibe

and

denominate,

as

will make

our

Poferity

with too late

that

the good

of

Souls,

the welfare

of

the

Church,

and the Honour

of

our

Nation had

been

better provided

for

a. Becaufe

iris

exceeding

deGrable

that

as

much

fliengtb

and

unity

as

may

be,

may be

found in the efablifhed

Body

of theClergy

:

which

will

be the

glory.

of

the Church, the advantage

of

the Gofpel, the

prevention

of

many

fins of

Uncharitablenefs, and the great

fafety and

cafe

of

his

Maiefy

and the

Realm: When

as

meer Indulgence,

(iffrufrated

by

Refridlions,

will

be

unfatif-

fadtory,and

not attain

its

ends; but

if

any

thing

large

and full)

will drain

almof

all

the efablilhed Churches, of

a

moreconfiderable part

of

the People

than

I

will now

mention

;'

and

willkeep

much difunion among the

Minters. ;. If

there

be no

way

but

that

of

Indulgence,

it will

load

his

Mafefy

with too much

of

the offence

and

murlpur

of

the

People.

If

he indulge but

few,

thofe

that

expedted it will

lay

all

the blame

on him

:

If

he indulge

all

or molt

that

are meet for it,

he

will much

offend

the Parliamentand Prelates, who

will

think the Law

is

vain:

But

a

power

of

indulging afmall

Number, when the molt

are embodied by

a

Comprehenfion;

will be ferviceable

toGod and the King, and the Common Peace,

and

fully

of-

fenfive

unto

none. 4.

The

Indulgence

will be

hardly attained

by

fo

many

as

need

it, and

are meet for it

;

molt

being

diftant, many

friendlefs

and

moneylefs,

and

too many mifreprefented

by

their

Adverfaries

as

unworthy,

4.

If

the

Indulgence

he for

private Meetings

only, it

will occafion

filch

)ealouSes

that they preach

Se-

dition,