Images de page

“ such be found, let them take that which is

next Hand; that is, to follow the Opinion of

many and great learned Do&tors agreeing toge“ ther: All which faithfully, foberly, diligent

ly observed and kept, by God's Grace, we “Lhall without any Difficulty discover Error. God give us Understanding to perceive, and to follow such things as may serve our Eternal Peace,

And now I have finished what I undertook, more from a Desire of being serviceable to my Neighbour, and the Interest of divine Truth, than any Opinion of my own Abilities. My Intention was sincere, and I hope the Perfora mance, however weak, may be useful.

1. I have in the Letter proved the English Liturgy. to be free from Popery; not only from the Subject Matter thereof, but the Testimony of the most eminent Divines at Home and Abroad, both at, and since the Reformation; and that a Liturgy, or Set Form of Prayer, is warranted and authorized by the Holy Scriptures, the Pra&tice of the Church of God among the Jews, and the universal Consent of the Christian Church always and every where.

2. That the Bishop is the Center of Unity in the Church over which he presides, and that consequently all Separation from him is Schism. I have fhewn how feverely this Sin was punished under the Law, how strictly prohibited by our B. Saviour and his Apostles; and how watchful the Bishops of the Primitive Church were against its Affaults, by the Denunciation of the highest Censures against the Authors and Encouragers of Separation.

3. That

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


[merged small][ocr errors]

3. That the Bishop ong in his Province, as Christ is in his Church, the Center of Union, and Fountain of Power, whoever shall pretend to execute any ministerial Fun&tion, without being. thereunto ordained and appointed by him, do sacrilegiously usurp a Power, and invade an Of fice which belongs not to them ; such are not Shepherds, but Thieves ; come not in at the Door, but climb over the Wall, run unsent, and preach without a Call, and are highly injurious to the Majesty of GOD, as they presume to transače Affairs of the highet.Consequence in his Name without his Commission ; and that he has no where promised to ratify such Ministrations, or fulfil such Covenants, as thus not only without his Leave, but even against his Order and Appointment are enter'd into. To fhew the Judgment of the Catholick Church in this point, I have given inftances, that where any have prefum'd to derive an Ordination from Presbyters, such pretended Priesthood has been Synodically declared Null and Invalid.

From all which it will appear, that it is not a Matter of Indifferency where we pray, where we hear GOD'S Word or receive the Sacraments; that it is of the greatest Concern that we be not mistaken in this Matter, for such Disappointments are fatal where Salvation is concern’d. If the awful Solemnity of publick Devotion requires the most perfect Service we can perform, Let us choose to worship GOD by a well-composed Liturgy. If no Ministrations are Valid which are performed in Schifm, if such unhallow'd Offerers fin against their own Soul, let us carefully abstain from the Ways of Korah, that we perish not in his Gainsaying. If 10



Person hath Autho om GOD to receive into his Church by Bam, or to confecrate the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, if he cannot remit or retain Sins, or tranfact any thing in GOD's stead, in order to our Peace and Pardon, Let useful to avoid those Asemblies, where such Itrations are pretended, and to bear gar Testimony against such Profanation of Hotel Things ; and while we seriously lament and bewail the fad Condition of such as are deprived of a Regular pod and Valid Administrations, let us pray

GOD will root out every Plant which he hath not planted, that he will send faithful Labourers into his Vineyard; Let us honour the Duft of Zion, the few Stones of our Ruins that are left us, and with them the Orthodox Remains of our once Glorious Episcopal Church) let us worship the GOD of our Fathers, in the Way and Manner of the Church, always and Livery, wheze bearing Witness to those Trieth for which we suffer, that he may look in Mercy upon us, and turn again our Captivity as the Streams in the South (c) And considering the Frailty of our huinan Nature, and the many and great Dangers and Temptations with which we are beset, let us thus continue to pray in the Words of the Church;

Hom all Sedition, Privy-Conspiracy and Rebellion, from all False Doctrine, Herely and Schism, from Hardness of Heart; and Contempt of thy Word and Commandments,

Good LORD deliver us. Amen,

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »