Hoadly - BX5136 H6

of CONFORMITY. I havebeen the more concern'd upon the matter ofthis declarationand fubfcrip- tion, becaufe (though I be convinc'd that it is a great crime for any one to profefs his fenfe of any thing in words not confiífent with it ; yet, on the o- ther hand) I am fo far from thinking it a vertue, that I cannot but account it a thing ofvery ill confequence, and a piece of publick differvice, to deal very hard- ly with declarations and fubfcriptions ; to firetch them beyond what the original deign of them, or the words in which they are exprefs'd, will fairly and honeft- ly bear, in order to make them appear as rigid and unreafonable as pofiible. What I think,and hope,I have prov'd,under this Head, may be reduc'd to this; That the declaration of Affent and Confent cannot poflibly be extended to any thing but the ufe of this Book : and that the fubfcrip- tien concerns this Book, only as it is a Book direEing the Minitier what Prayers and what Ceremonies to ufe ; and has no reference to any thing in it that does not concern the Minifter who is to ufe it. And from hence it follows, that whoever thinks this Book fit to be ufed in the fer- vtce of God, may very fairly make this deçla 43