Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

Chap. IV. 7 a HISTORY of the PURITANS. 93 atioris her majefly thought fit, the told archbifhopParker, that the would Queen not have paffed the ad. Elizabeth, Upon this fatal rock of uniformity in things meerly indifferent, (in the r 5 opinion of the impofers) was the peace of the church of England fplit. Remark:. The pretence was decency and order ; but it feems a little (range, that uni- formity thould be neceffary to the decent worthip of God, when in molt other things, there is a greater beauty in variety. 'Tis not neceffary to a decent drefs, that men's cloaths fhould be all of the fame colour and fathion ; nor would there be any indecorum or diforder, if in one congre- gation the facrament fhould be adminifired kneeling, in another fitting, and in a third handing; or if in one and the fame congregation, the mi- niher was at liberty to read prayers either in a black gown or furplice, fup- pofing the garments to be indifferent, which the makers of this law ad- mitted, tho' the puritans denied. The rigorous preffing of this act, was the occafion of all the mifchiefs that befel the church for above So years. What good end could it anfwer to prefs men's bodies into the publick fervice, without convincing their minds? If there mull be one eflablifh- ed form, there Should certainly have been an indulgence to tender cop- fciences. When there was a difference in the church of the Romans, a- bout eating flefh, and obferving feftivals, the apofile did not pinch them with an at of uniformity, but allowed a latitude, Rom. xiv. 5. Let not how that eateth, judge him that eateth not ; but let every man be fullyper- fuaded in his own mind. --Why doll thou judge thy brother? or, why doll thoufit at nought thy brother ? For we mull all Eland before the judgment fiat of Chrijl. Had our reformers followed this apoflolical precedent, the church of England would have made a more glorious figure in the pro- teflant world, than it did by this compulfrve aft of uniformity. Sad were the confequences of thefe two laws, both to the papifis and Preeeedbrgs puritans. The papifts in convocation made a Rand for the old religion; °f "V". and in their 6th feflion agreed upon the following articles, to be prefented u°n. to the parliament, for difburdening their confciences. r." That in the facrament of the altar, the natural body of Chrifi is really .< prefnt, by virtue of the words ofconfecration pronounced by the prieR. 2. " That afcer the confecration there remains not the fubflanc-e of " bread and wine, nor any other fubftance but God-man. 3. " That in the mats the true body of Chrift is offered as a propitia- tory facrifice for the living and the dead. q.. '° That the fupreme power of feeding and ruling the church, is in " St. Peter and his fucceffors.- s. That the authority of determining matters of faith and difciplire " belongs only to the paflors of the church, and not to laymen." Thefe articles or retolutions were prefented to the lord keeper, by their prolocutor Dr. Harpeileld, but his lordfhip gave them no anfwer ; nor did