THE GRAND DEBATE BETWEEN The most Reverend the BISHOPS, AND The PRESBYTERIAN Divines, Appointed by His Sacred MAJESTY, AS COMMISSIONERS FOR The Review and Alteration OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, &c.

BEING An Exact Account of their whole Proceedings.

The most perfect Copy.

London, Printed 1661.

A Copy of His Majesties Commission.

CHARLES the second by the Grace of God King of England, Scotland, France & Ireland, Defen­der of the Faith, &c. To our Trusty and wel-beloved, the most Reve­rend Father in God, Accepted Arch-bishop of York, The right reverend Fathers in God, Gilbert Bishop of London, John Bishop of Durham, John Bishop of Rochester, Humphrey Bishop of Sarum, George Bishop of Worcester, Robert Bishop of Lincoln, Benjamin Bishop of Peterborough, Brian Bishop of Chester, Richard Bishop of Carlile, John Bishop of Exeter, Edward Bishop of Norwich, & to our trusty and wel-beloved, the Reverend Anthony Tuckney D. D. John Conant D. D. William Spurstow D. D. John Wallis D. D. Thomas Manton, D. D. Ed­mund Calamy B. D. Richard Baxter Clerke, Arthur Juckson, Tho. Case, Samuel Clarke, Matthew Newco­men, Clerkes; and to our trusty and wel-beloved Dr. Earle Dean of Westminster, Peter Heylin, D. D. Joh. Hacket, D. D. Joh. Berwick D. D. Peter Gunning D. D. John Pearson D. D. Tho. Pierce D. D. Anthony Sparrow, Herbert Thorndike D. D. Thomas Horton D. D. Thomas Jacomb, D. D. William Bate, John Rawlinson, William Cooper, Clerkes, D. John Light- [Page] foot, D. John Collings, D. Benjamin Woodbridg; and VVilliam Drake Clerke, Greeting. Whereas by our Declaration of the 25 of October last concerning Ecclesiasticall affaires, we did (amongst other things) express our esteem of the Liturgy of the Church of England, contained in the Book of Common prayer; and yet since we find exceptions made against several things therein, we did by our said Declaration declare we would appoint an e­qual number of learned Divines, of both perswa­sions, to review the same: we therefore in accom­plishment of our said wil and intent, and of our continued and constant care and study for the peace and unity of the Churches within our do­minions, & for removal of all exceptions and dif­ferences, and the occasions of such differences, and exceptions from among our good subjects, for or concerning the said Book of Common prayer, or any thing therein contained, doe by these our Letters patents require, authorize, constitute, and appoint you the said, &c. to advise upon and re­view the said Book of Common prayer, compa­ring the same with the most ancient Liturgies which have been used in the Church in the primi­tive and purest times. And to that end to assemble and meet together, from time to time, and at such time within the space of foure Calendar moneths now next ensuing, in the Masters lodging in the [Page] Savoy in the Strand in the County of Middlesex, or in such other place or places as to you shall be thought fit and convenient, to take into your se­rious and grave considerations the several directi­ons and rules, forms of prayer, and things in the said Book of Common prayer contained, and to advise, consult upon, and about the same, and the several objections and exceptions, which shall now be raised against the same, and (if occasion be) to make such reasonable and necessary altera­tions, corrections and amendments therein as by and between you the said Arch-bishop, Bishops, Doctors, and Persons hereby required and autho­rized to meet and advise as aforesaid, shall be a­greed upon to be needfull and expedient, for the giving satisfaction to tender consciences, and the restoring and continuance of peace and unity in the Churches under our protection and Govern­ment; but avoyding (as much as may be) all un­necessary abreviations of the Forms and Liturgy wherewith the people are altogether acquainted, and have so long received in the Church of Eng­land. And our will and pleasure is, that when you the said Arch-bishop, Bishops, Doctours, and persons authorized and appointed by these our Letters patents to meet, advise, and consult upon and about the premises, as aforesaid, shall have drawn your consultations to any resolution [Page] and determination which you shall agree upon as needfull or expedient to be done for the altering, diminishing, or inlarging, the said Book of Com­mon prayer, or any part thereof, that then forth­with you certifie and present to us in writing un­der your severall hands the matters and things whereupon you shall so determine, for our appro­bation, and to the end the same or so much there­of as shall be approved by us, may be established, and for as much as the said Archbishop & Bishops have severall great Charges to attend, which we would not dispense with, or that the same should be neglected upon any great occasion whatsoever, and some of them being of great age and infirmities, may not be able constantly to at­tend the execution of the service and authority hereby given and required by us, in the meeting and consultation aforesaid; We will therefore and hereby require you the said Dr. Earles, &c. to sup­ply the place and places of such of the Arch-bi­shop and Bishops (other then the said Edward Bishop of Norwich) as shall by age, sickness, infir­mity, or other occasion be hindred from attending the said meeting or consultation (that is to say) that one of you the said Dr. Earles, &c. shall from time to time supply the place of each one of them, the said Arch-bishop and Bishops (other then the said Edward Bishop of Norwich) which shall hap­pen [Page] to be hindred or to be absent from the said meetings, or consultations, and shall and may ad­vise, consult and determine, and also certifie and execute all and singular the powers and authori­ties before mentioned in and about the premises, as fully and absolutely as such Arch-bishop and Bishops which shal so happen to be absent should or might doe by vertue of these our Letters pa­tents, or any thing herein contained, in case he or they were personally present. And whereas in re­gard of the distance of some, the infirmity of o­thers, the multitude of constant imployment, and other incidental impediments, some of you the said Edward Bishop of Norwich, &c. may be hin­dred from the constant attendance in the execu­tion of the service aforesaid, We therefore wil and doe hereby require and authorize you the said Thomas Horton, &c. to supply the place or places of such the Commissioners last before mentioned, as shal by the means aforesaid or any other occa­sion be hindred from the said meeting and con­sultations that one of you, the said Thomas Horton, &c. shal from time to time supply the places of each one of the said Commissioners last mentio­ned, which shal happen to be hindered or absent from the said meeting and consultations: and shal and may advise consult and determine, and also certifie and execute all and singular the powers [Page] and authorities before mentioned in and about the premises as fully and absolutely as such of the said last mentioned Commissioners, which shall so happen to be absent, should or might doe by vertue of these our Letters patents or any thing therein contained, in case he or they were personally present. In witness whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made patents, wit­ness our self at VVestminster the 25 day of March in the thirteenth year of our Reign.

Per ipsum Regem. Barker.

THE EXCEPTIONS OF THE PRESBYTERIAN - Brethren, Against some passages in the present LITURGY.

ACknowledging, with all humility and thankfulness, His Majesties most Princely condescention and indulgence to very many of his Loyall subjects, as well in his Majesties most gracious Declaration, as particularly in this present Commission issued forth in pursuance thereof; we doubt not but the Right Reverend Bi­shops, and all the rest of His Majesties Commissioners intrusted in this work, will in imitation of His Majesties most prudent and Christian Moderation and Cle­mency, judge it their duty (that we find to be the Apostles own practice) in a speciall manner to be tender to the Churches peace, to bear with the infirmities of the weak, and not to please themselves, nor to measure the Consciences of other men by the light and latitude of their own, but seriously and readily to consider, and advise of such Expedients as may most conduce to the healing of our breaches, and uniting those that differ.

And albeit we have an high and honourable esteem of those Godly and Learned Bishops, and others, who were the first Compilers of the publick Liturgy, and doe look upon it as [Page 2] an excellent and worthy Work, for that time, when the Church of England made her first step out of such a mist of Popish Ignorance and Superstition, wherein it formerly was involved; yet consi­dering, that all humane Works do gradually arrive at their ma­turity and perfection, and this in particular being a Work of that nature, hath already admitted several emendations since the first compiling thereof, It cannot be thought any disparagement, or derogation either to the Work it self, or to the Compilers of it, or to those who have hitherto used it, if after more than one hundred years since its first composure such further emendations be now made therein, as may be judged necessary for satisfying the scruples of a multitude of sober persons, who cannot at all (or very hardly) comply with the use of it as now it is, and may best suit with the present times, after so long an enjoyment of the glorious light of the Gospel, and so happy a Reformations especially considering that many godly and learned men, have from the beginning all along desired the alteration of many things therein, and very many of his Majesty's pious peaceable and loyal Subjects, after so long a discontinuance of it, are more averse from it than heretofore; the satisfying of whom (as far as may be) will very much conduce to that Peace and Unity which is so much desired by all good men, and so much endeavoured by His most Excellent Majesty.

And therefore in pursuance of this His Majesty's most gracious Commission for the satisfying of tender Consciences, and the procuring of Peace and Unity amongst our selves, we judge meet to propose,

I. That all the Prayers, and other Materials of the Liturgy, may consist of nothing doubtful or questioned amongst Pious, Learned and Orthodox Persons, inasmuch as the professed end of composing them is, for the declaring of Unity and consent of all who joyn in the Publick Worship, it being too evident, that the limiting Church-Communion to things of doubtful disputa­tion, hath been in all Ages the ground of Schism and separation, according to the saying of a Learned Man.

To load our Publick Forms with the private Fancies upon which we differ, is the most Sovereign way to perpetuate Schism to the Worlds end. Prayer, Confession, Thanksgiving, reading [Page 3] of the Scriptures, and administration of the Sacraments in the plainest and simplest manner were matter enough to furnish out a sufficient Liturgy, though nothing either of private Opinion, or of Church pomp, of Garments, or prescribed Gestures, of Imagery, of Musick, of matter concerning the dead, of many superfluities which creep into the Church under the name of Order and De­cency did interpose it self. To charge Churches or Litnrgies with things unnecessary was the first beginning of all Supersti­tion; and when scruple of Conscience began to be made, or pretended, then Schisme began to break in. If the speciall Guides and Fathers of the Church would be a little sparing of incumbring Churches with Superfluities, or not over-rigid, either in reviving obsolete Customs, or imposing new, there would be far less cause of Schism, or Superstition, and all the Inconveni­ence likely to ensue would be but this; they should in so doing yield a little to the imbecility of their Inferiours, a thing which S. Paul would never have rrefused to doe, mean while, whereso­ever false or suspected Opinions are made a piece of Church-Li­turgy, he that separates is not the Schismatick; for, it is alike unlawful to make profession of known or suspected falshood, as to put in practice unlawful or suspected actions.

II. Further, we humbly desire, that it may be seriously con­sidered, that as our first Reformers out of their great wisdome did at that time so compose the Liturgy as to win upon the Pa­pists, and to draw them into their Church-Communion, by va­rying as little as well they could from the Romish forms be­fore in use; so whether in the present constitution and state of things amongst us we should not according to the same rule of Prudence and Charity have our Liturgy so composed, as to gain upon the judgement and affections of all those who in the sub­stantials of the Protestant Religion are of the same perswasions with our selves. In as much as a more firm union and consent of all such, as well in Woship as in Doctrine, would greatly streng­then the Protestant Interest against all those dangers and tem­ptations which our intestine Divisions and Animosities do expose us unto from the common Adversary.

III. That the Repetitions and Responsals of the Clerk and People, and the alternate Reading of the Psalms and Hymns [Page 4] with a confused murmure in the Congregation, whereby what is read is less intelligible, and therefore unedifying, may be o­mitted, the Minister being appointed for the People in all Pub­lick Services appertaining unto God, and the holy Scriptures both of the old and new Testament, intimating the peoples part in publick Prayer, to be only with silence and reverence, to at­tend thereunto, and to declare their consent in the close, by saying, Amon.

IV. That in regard the Letany (though otherwise containing in it many holy Petitions) is so framed, that the Petitions, for a great part, are uttered onely by the People, which we think not to be so consonant to Scripture, which makes the Minister the Mouth of the People to God in Prayer, the particulars thereof may be composed into one solemn Prayer to be offered by the Minister unto God for the People.

V. That there may be nothing in the Liturgy which may seem to countenance the observation of Lent, as a Religious Fast, the Example of Christ's fasting forty dayes and nights being no more imitable, nor intended for the imitation of Christians, than any other of his miraculous works were, or than Moses his forty dayes Fast was for the Jewes, and the Act of Parliament 5 Eliz. forbid­ding abstinence from flesh to be observed upon any other than a politick Consideration, and punishing all those who by Preach­ing, Teaching, Writing, or open Speech shall notifie, that the for­bearing of flesh is of any necessity for the saving of the soul, or that it is the service of God otherwise than as other politick Laws are.

VI. That the Religious observation of Saints dayes appointed to be kept as holy dayes and the Vigils thereof, without any foun­dations (as we conceive) in Scripture, may be omitted, that if any be retained they may be called Festival, and not Holy dayes, nor made equal with the Lords day, nor have any peculiar Ser­vice appointed for them, nor that the People be upon such days enforced wholly to abstain from work; and that the names of all others not inserted in the Callendar, which are not in the first and second Books of Edward the Sixth, may be left out.

VII. That the gift of Prayer being one special qualification for [Page 5] the Work of the Ministery bestowed by Christ in order to the e­dification of his Church, and to be exercised for the profit and benefit thereof according to its various and emergent nece­ssities.

It is desired that there may be no such Imposition of the Litur­gy, as that the exercise of that gift be thereby totally excluded in any part of publick worship; and further, that considering the great age of some Ministers, and the infirmities of others, and the variety of several services oft time occurring upon the same day, whereby it may be inexpedient to require every Minister at all times to read the whole; it may be left to the discretion of the Minister to omit it, as occasion shall require, which liberty we find to be allowed even in the first Common Prayer Book of Edward the Sixth.

VIII. That in regard of the many defects which have been ob­served in that Version of the Scriptures which is used throughout the Liturgy, (many fold instances whereof may be produced) as in the Epistle for the first Sunday after Epiphany, taken out of Rom. 12. 1. Be you changed in your shape. And the Epistle for the Sunday next before Easter, taken out of Phil. 2. 5. Found in his apparel as a man; As also the Epistle for the first Sunday in Lent, taken out of the fourth of the Galatians, Mount Sinai is Agar in Arabia, and bordereth upon the City which is now called Jerusalem. The Epistle for Saint Matthews day being taken out of the second Epistle of the Corinthians and the fourth, We go not out of kind. The Gospel for the second Sunday after Epiphany, taken out of the second of John, When men be drunk. The Gospel for the third Sunday in Lent, taken out of the eleventh of Luke, One house doth fall upon another. The Gospel for the Annunciation, taken out of the first of Luke, This is the sixth month which is called Barren, and many other places; we therefore desire instead thereof the Translation allowed of by Authority may alone be used.

IX. That in as much as the Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation to furnish us thoroughly unto all good works, and contain in them all things necessary either in Doctrine to be believed, or in Duty to be practised; whereas divers Chap­ters of the Apocryphal Books appointed to be read, are charged to [Page 6] be in both respects of dubious and uncertain credit: It is there­fore desired that nothing be read in the Church for Lessons, but the Holy Scriptures in the Old and New Testament.

X. That the Minister be not required to rehearse any part of the Liturgy at the Communion Table, save onely those parts which properly belong to the Lords Supper, and that at such time onely when the Holy Supper is administrated.

XI. That the word (Minister) and not (Priest) or (Curate) is used in the absolution, and in divers other places; It may thoroughout the whole Book be used instead of those two words, and that instead of the word (Sunday) the word (Lords day) may be every where used.

XII. Because singing of Psalms is a considerable part of Pub­lick Worship, we desire that the Version set forth and allowed to be sung in Churches may be amended, or that we may have leave to make use of a purer Version.

XIII. That all obsolete words in the Common Prayer, and such whose use is changed from their first significancy (as read who smote thee) used in the Gospels for the Monday and Wed­nesday before Easter (Then opened be their witts) used in the Gospel for Easter Tuesday, &c. may be altered into other words generally received, and better understood.

XIV. That no portions of the Old Testament, or the Acts of the Apostles be called Epistles; or read as such.

XV. That whereas throughout the severall offices the Phrase is such as presumes all persons (within the Communion of the Church) to be regenerated, converted, and in an actuall state of grace, which had Ecclesiasticall Discipline been truly and vi­gorously executed in the exclusion of scandalous and obstinate sinners might be better supposed; But that there having been, and still being a confessed want of that (as in the Liturgy is acknow­ledged) it cannot rationally be admitted in the utmost latitude of Charity: we desire that this may be reformed.

XVI. That whereas orderly connexion of Prayers and of parti­cular [Page 7] Petitions and expressions, together with a competent length of the formes used, are tending much to edification, and to gain the reverence of people to them: There appears to us too great neglect of this Order, and of other Just Laws of method particu­larly.

1. The Collects are generally short, many of them consisting but of one or two Sentences of petition, and those generally u­sherd in with a repeated mention of the Name and Attri­butes of God, and presently concluding with the Name and Merits of Christ whence are caused many unnecessary inter­cessions and abruptions, which when many Petitions are to be offered at the same time, are neither agreeable to scrip­turall example, nor suted to the gravity and seriousness of that Holy Duty.

2. The Prefaces of many Collects have not any clear and spe­ciall respect to the following Petitions; and particular peti­tions are put together, which have not any due order or evident connexion one with another, nor suitable with the occasions upon which they are used, but seem to have fallen in rather casually, than from any orderly codtinuance.

It is desired that instead of these various Collects, there may be one Methodicall and entire form of Prayer composed out of many of them.

XVII. That whereas the Puplick Liturgy of a Church should in reason comprehend the summe of all such sins as are ordinarily in Prayer by the Church to be confessed, and of such Petitions and Thanksgiving as are ordinarily by the Church to be put up to God, and that Puplick Catechismes or Systemes of Doctrine should summarily comprehend all such Doctrines as are neces­sarily to be believed, and these explicitely set down. The present Liturgy, as to all these seems very defective particularly:

1. There is no preparatory Prayer in your addresses to God for assistance or acceptance; yet many Collects in the midst of the Worship have little or nothing else.

2. The Confession is very defective, not clearly expressing [Page 8] Originall sin, nor sufficiently enumerating Actuall sins with their aggrivations, but consisting only of generals, whereas Confession being the exercise of repentance ought to be more particular.

3. There is also great defect, as to such Forms of publick pray­ers and thanksgivings as are suitable to Gospel-worship.

4. The whole body of the Common Prayer also consisteth very much of meer generals, as to have our prayers heard, to be kept from all evil, and from all enemies and all adversities, that we may do Gods will without any mention of the par­ticulars wherein these generals exist.

5. The Catechism is defective as to many necessary Doctrines of our religion, some even of the Essentials of Christianity not mentioned, except in the Creed, and there not so ex­plicite as ought to be in the Catechism.

XVIII. Because this Liturgy containeth the imposition of di­vers Ceremonies, which from the first Reformation have by sun­dry Learned and pious men been judged unwarrantable: as,

1. That publick Worship may not be celebrated by any Mi­nister that dares not wear a Surplice.

2. That none may Baptise, or be Baptised without the tran­sient Image of the Cross, which hath at least the semblance of a Sacrament of humane institution, being used as an en­gaging sign in our first and solemn Covenanting with Christ, and the Duties whereunto we are really obliged by Bap­tism, being more expresly affixed to that Aery fign than to the holy Sacrament.

3. That none may receive the Lords Supper that dares not kneel in the act of receiving, but the Minister must exclude all such from the Communion, although such kneeling not only differs from the practice of Christ and of his Apostles; but (at least on the Lords daies) is contrry to the practice of the Catholick Church for many hundred years after, and [Page 9] forbid by the most venerable Councila that ever were in the Christian world. All which Impositions are made yet more grievous by that subscription to their lawfulness, which the Cannon exacts, and by the heavy punishments, upon the non observance of them, which the Act for uni­formity inflicts.

And it being doubtfull, whether God hath given power unto men to institute in his worship such mysticall teaching signs, which not being necessary in genere, fall not under the rule of doing all things decently, orderly, and to edification, and which once granted, will upon the same reason open a door to the ar­bitrary Imposition of numerous Ceremonies of which St. Aug. complained in his dayes, and the things in Controversie being in the Judgement of the Imposers confessed indifferent, who dare not so much as pretend any real goodness in themselves, other­wise than what is derived from their being imposed, and conse­sequently the Imposition ceasing, that will cease also, and the Worship of God not become indecent without them; whereas on the other hand in the Judgement of the Opposers, they are by some held sinful and unlawful in themselves, by others very in­convenient and unsuitable to the simplicity of Gospel-Worship, and by all of them very grievous and burdensome, and there­fore not at all fit to put in balance with the peace of the Church, which is more likely to be promoted by their removal than continuance, considering also how tender our Lord and Sa­viour himself is of weak Brethren, declaring it to be much better for a man to have a Milstone to be hanged about his neck, and to be cast into the depth of the Sea, than to offend one of his little ones, and how the Apostle Paul (who had as great a Legislative power in the Church as any under Christ) held himself obliged by that common rule of Charity, not to lay a stumbling block, or an occasion of offence before a weak Brother, chusing rather not to cat flesh while the world stands (though in it self a thing lawful) than offend his Bro­ther, for whom Christ dyed; we cannot but desire that these Ceremonies may not be imposed on them who judge such im­positions a violation of the Royalty of Christ, and an Im­peachment of his Laws as insufficient, and are under the holy Law of that which is written, Deut. 12. 32. VVhat thing soever I [Page 10] command you, observe to do it, thou shalt not adde thereto, nor dimi­nish from it; but that there may be either a total abolishion of them, or at least such a liberty, that those who are unsatisfied concerning their lawfulness, or expedency, may not be com­polled to the practice of them or subscription to them; but may be permitted to enjoy their Ministerial Functions and Commu­nion with the Church without them.

The rather because these Ceremonies have for above an hun­dred years been the fountain of manifold evils in this Church and Nation, occasioning sad Divisions between Ministers and Ministers, and also between Ministers and people, exposing many orthodox, pious, and peaceable Ministers to the displeasure of their Rulers, casting them upon the edge of the penal Statutes, to the loss not only of their Livings and liberties, but also of their opportunities for the service of Christ and his Church, and for­cing people either to worship God in such a manner as their own consciences condemn, or doubt of, or else to forsake our Assemblies, as thousands have done, and no better fruits than these can be lookt for from the retaining and imposing these Ceremonies. unless we could presume that all his Majesties Sub­jects should have the same subtilty of Judgement to discern even to a Ceremony how farr the Power extends in the things of God. which is not to be expected, or should yeeld obedience to all the Impositions of men concerning them, without enquiring into the will of God, which is not to be desired.

We do therefore most earnestly intreat the Right Reverend Fathers and Brethren, to whom these Papers are delivered, as they tender the Glory of God, the Honour of Religion, the Peace of the Church, the Service of His Majesty in the accom­plishment of that happy Union which his Majesty hath so abun­dantly testified his desires of, to joyn with us in importuning His most Excellent Majesty that His most gracious Indulgence, as to these Ceremonies granted in His Royall Declaration, may be comfirmed and continued to us, and our posterities, and ex­tended to such as do not yet enjoy the benefit thereof.

XIX. As to that Passage in His Majesties Commission, where­in we are authorized and required to compare the Present Liturgy with the most ancient Liturgy, which have been used in the Church in the purest and most Primitive Times; we have in [Page 11] obedience to His Majesties Commission made Inquiry, but cannot find any Records of known Credit concerning any entire Forms of Liturgies within the first 300 years, which are confessed to be as the most Primitive, so the purest Ages of the Church; nor any Imposition of Liturgies upon any National Church; for some hundred years after we find indeed Liturgical Forms fathered upon St. Basil, St. Chrysostome, and St. Ambrose; but we have not seen any Copies of them, but such as give us sufficient evi­dence to conclude them either wholly spurious, or so interpolat­ed, that we cannot make a Judgement what in them hath any Primitive Authority.

Having thus in general expressed our desire, we come to par­ticulars, which we find numerous, and of a various nature; some we grant are of an inferiour consideration, verbal rather than material, which were they not in she Publick Liturgy of so Fa­mous a Church, we should not have mentioned; others dubi­ons and disputable, as not having a clear foundation in Scripture for their warrant; but some there be that seem to be corrupt, and to carry in them a repugnancy to the rule of the Gospel, and therefore have administred just matter of exception and offence to many truly religious and peaceable, not of a private station only, but Learned & Judicious Divines, aswel of other Reformed Churches, as of the Church of England, ever since the Reformation.

We know much hath been spoken and written by way of A­pology in answer to many things that have been obiected, but yet the doubts and scuples of tender consciences still continue, or rather are increased: We do therefore humbly conceive it there­fore a Work worthy of those Wonders of Salvation which God hath wrought for his Majesty, now on the Throne, and for the whole Kingdome, and exceedingly becoming the Ministers of the Gospel of Peace, with all holy moderation and tenderness to en­deavour the removal of every thing out of the Worship of God, which may justly offend or grieve the spirits of sober and godly people; the things themselves that we desire to be removed, not being of the foundation of Religion, nor the Essentials of Pub­lick Worship, nor the removal of them any way tending to the prejudice of the Church or State; therefore their continuance and rigorous Imposition can no ways be able to countervail the laying aside of so many pious and able Ministers, and the uncon­ceivable grief that will arise to multitudes of His Majesties most [Page 12] Loyal and peaceable Subjects, who upon all accasions are ready to serve him with their Prayers, Estates, and Lives: For the preventing of which evils, we humbly desire that these particu­lars following may be taken into serious and tender considera­tion.

Concerning Morning and Evening Prayer.

1. Rub. That Morning and Evening Prayer shall be used in the accustomed place of the Church, Chancel, or Chappel, except it shall be otherwise determined by the Ordinary of the Place, and the Chancel shall remain as in times past.

We desire that the words of the first Rub. may be expressed, as in the Book established by Authority of Parliament 5 & 6 Ed­wardi 6. thus; The Morning and Evening Prayer shall be used in such place of the Church, Chappel, or Chancel, and the Mi­nister shall so turn himself, as the people may best hear; and if there be any controversies therein, the matter shall be referred to the Ordinary.

2. Rub. And here it is to be noted, that the Minister at the time of the Cimmunion, and at other times in his ministration, shall use such Ornaments in the Church as were in use by Authority of Parlia­ment, in the second year of the Reign of Edward the Sixth, accor­ding to the Act of Parliament, &c.

For as much as the Rubrick seemeth to bring back the Cope, Albe, and other vestments, forbidden in the Common Prayer Book, 5. 6. of Edw. 6. And for the reasons alledged against Ce­remonies under our 18. general Exception, we desire it may be wholly left out.

The Lords Prayer after the Absolution ends thus: Deliver us from evill.

We desire that these Words, For thine is the Kingdome, the [Page 13] Power and the Glory, for ever and ever, Amen, may be always ad­ded unto the Lords Prayer, and that this Prayer may not be en­joyned to be so often used in the Morning and Evening Service.

And at the end of every Psalm throughout the year, and likewise in the end of the Benedictus. Benedicite magnificat, &c. Nunc Dimittis, shall be repeated, Glory be to the Father, &c.

By this Rubrick, and other places in the Common Prayer Book the Gloria Patri is appointed to be said six times ordinarily in every Morning and Evening Services, frequently eight times in a Morning, sometimes ten, which we think carries with it at least an appearance of that vain repetition which Christ forbids; for the avoiding of which appearance of evil, we desire it may be used but once in the Morning, and once in the Evening.

Rubr. In such places where they do sing, there shall the Lessons be sung in a plain Tune, and likewise the Epistle and Gospel. Or this Canticle, Benedicite omnia opera.

Except. The Lessons, and the Epistles, and Gospels, being for the most part neither Psalms nor Hymns; we know no warrant why they should be sung in any place, and conceive that the di­stinct reading of them with an audible voyce, tends more to the edification of the Church: We desire that some Psalm or Scrip­ture Hymn may be appointed instead of that Apocryphal.

In the Letany; From fornication, and other deadly sins.

Except. In regard that the wages of sin is death; we desire that this clause may be thus altered. From fornication and all other beynous (or grievous) sins.

From battle and murther, and from sudden death.

Except. Because this expression (of sudden death) hath been so often excepted against; we desire (if it be thought fit) it may be thus read: From battle and murther, and from dying suddainly and unprepared.

That it may please thee to preserve all that travel by land and by water, all women labouring with child, all sick persons and young Children, and to shew thy pity upon all prisoners and captives.

[Page 14]We desire that the term All, may be advised upon as seeming liable to just exceptions, and that it may be considered whether Excep. it may not better be put indefinitely, those that travel, &c. rather then universally.

The Collect of Christmas day.

Almighty God which best given us thy only begotten son to take our nature upon him, and this day to be born of a pure Virgin, &c:

The Rubrick.

Then shall follow the collect of the Nativity which shall be said continually unto New-years-day.

The Collect for VVhitsunday.

God which upon this day, &c.

We desire that in both collects the words (this day) may be Excep. left out, it being according to vulgar acceptation a contradiction.

Rubrick.

The same Collect to be read on Monday and Tuesday in Whit­sun-week.

The two Collects for St. Johns and Innocents, the Collects for the first day in Lent, for the fourth Sunday after Easter, for Trinity Sunday, for the sixth and twelfth sunday after Trinity, for St. Lukes day and Michaelmas day.

We desire that these Collects may be further considered and debated, as having in them divers things that we judge fit to be Excep. altered.

The Order for the Administration of the Lords Supper.

SO many as intend to be partakers of the holy Communion shall signifie their Name to the Curate over night, or else in the morn­ing Rub. before the beginning of morning Prayer.

The time here assigned for notice to be given to the Minister is not sufficient. Excep.

And if any of these be an open and notorious evil liver, the Curate having knowledge thereof, shall call him and advertize him in any Rub. wise not to presume to come to the Lords Table.

We desire the Ministers power both to admit and keep from Excep. the Lords Table, may be according to his Majesties Declaration of the 25. Octob. 1660. in these words, The Minister shall admit none to the Lords Supper till they have made a credible profes­sion [Page 15] of their faith, and promised obedience to the will of God, according as is expressed in the consideration of the Rubrick be­fore the Catechisme; and that all possible diligence be used as is for the instruction and reformation of seandalous offendors, whom the Minister shall not suffer to partake of the Lords table, untill they have openly declared themselves to have truly repented and amended their former naughty lives, as is partly expressed in the Rubrick, and more fully in the Cannons.

Then shall the Priest rehearse distinctly all the ten Commandments, Rub. and the people kneeling shall after every Commandment ask God mercy for transgressing the same.

We desire,

First, that the Preface prefixed by God himself to the ten Excep: Commandments may be restored.

Secondly, that the fourth Commandment may be read, as in Exodus 20. Deut. 5. He blessed the Sabbath day.

Thirdly, that neither Minister nor People may be enjoyned to kneel more at the reading of this, then of any other parts of Scripture: The rather because many ignorant persons are thereby induced to use the ten Commandments as a prayer.

Fourthly, that instead of those short prayers of the people in­termixed with the several Commandments, the Minister after the reading of all may conclude with a suitable Prayer.

After the Creed, if there be no sermon, shell follow one of the Homi­lies already set forth, or hereafter to be set forth by common authority Rub.

We desire that the preaching of the Word may be strictly in­joyned, and not left so indifferent at the administration of the Excep. Sacrament, as also that Ministers may not be bound to those things which are as yet but future, and not in being.

After the Sermon, Homily, or Exhortation, the Curate shall de­clare, Rub. &c. and earnestly exhort them to remember the poor, say­ing one or more of these sentences following.

Two of the sentences here cited are Apocryphal, and four of them more proper to draw out their peoples bounty to their Mi­nister, Excep. then their charity to the poor.

Then shall the Church-wardens, or some other by them appointed Rub. gather the Devetion of the people.

Collection for the poor may be better made at or a little be­fore Excep. the departing of the Communicants.

We be come together at this time to feed at the Lords Supper, to the Rub.[Page 16] which in Gods behalf I bid you all that be here present, and beseech you for the Lord Jesus Christs sake, that you will not refuse to come.

If it be intended that these Exhortations should be read at the Excep. Communion, they seem to us unreasonable.

The way and means thereto is, first to examine our lives, & con­versations, and if ye shall perceive your offences to be such as be not 2. Exhor only against God, but also against our neighbours, then you shall re­concile your selves unto them, and be ready to make restitution and satisfaction. And because it is requisite that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in Gods mercy, and with 3. Exhor a quiet conscience.

We fear this may discourage many from comming to the Sa­crament who lye under a doubting and troubled conscience. Excep.

Then shall this general confession be made in the name of all those Rub. be­fore the Confession. that are minded to receive the holy Communion, either by one of them or by one of the Ministers, or by the Priest himself.

We desire it may be made by the Minister only.

Then shall the Priest or the Bishop being present stand up, and tur­ning Excep. Rub. himself to the people, say thus.

The Ministers turning himself to the people is most convenient throughout the whole ministration. Excep.

Before the Prefaces on Christmas day and seven daies after.

Because thou didst give Jesus Christ thine only Son to be born as this Rub. day for us, &c.

First, we cannot peremptorily fix the Nativity of our Saviour Excep. to this or that particular day. Secondly, it seems incongruous to affirm the birth of Christ, and the descending of the holy Ghost to be on this day, for seven or eight daies together:

Upon Whitsunday and six daies after.

According to whose most true promise the Holy ghost came down Prayer be­fore that which is at the Con­secration. Excep. this day from Heaven; grant us that our sinfull bodies may be made clean by his body and our soul washed by his most precious blood.

We desire that whereas these words seem to give a greater ef­ficacy to the blood then to the Body of Christ, may be altered thus, That our sinful souls and bodies may be cleansed through his precious body and blood.

Prayer at the consecration.

Hear us O merciful father, &c. who in the same night that he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his Disciples, saying, take, eat, &c.

[Page 17] We conceive that the manner of consecrating of the Elements is not here explicite and distinct enough: And the Ministers Excep. breaking of the bread is not so much as mentioned.

Then shall the Minister first receive the Communion in both kinds, Rub. &c. and after deliver it to the people in their hands kneeling; and when he delivereth the bread, he shall say, The body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto ever­lasting life, and take, and eat this in remembrance, &c.

We desire that at the distribution of the Bread & Wine to the Communicants we may use the words of our Saviour as near as Excep. may be, and that the Minister be not required to deliver the bread & wine into every particular Communicants hand, and to repeat the words to eachone in the singular number, but that it may suffice to speak them to divers joyntly, according to our Saviours exam­ple. We also desire that kneeling at the Sacrament (it not being the gesture which the Apostles used, though Christ was perso­nally present amongst them, nor that which was used in the pu­rest and primitive times of the Church) may be left free, as it was 1 & 2 Ea. 6. As touching Kneeling, &c. they may be used or left, as every mans devotion serveth, without blame.

And note, That every Parishioner shall communicate, at the least, three times in the year, of which Easter shall be one; and after shall Rub, receive the Sacraments, and other Rites, according to the Orders in this book appointed.

Forasmuch as all Parishioners are not duely qualified for the Lords Supper; and those habitually prepared, are not at all Excep. times actually disposed, but may be hindred by the providence of God, and some by the distempers of their own spirits; We desire this Rubrick may be wholly omitted▪ or they altered. E­very Minister shall be bound to administer the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, at the least, thrice a year: provided there be a due number of Communicants manifesting their desires to re­ceive.

And we desire that the following Rubrick in the Common-Prayer-Book in 5 & 6 Ed. 6. established by Law as much as any other part of the Common-Prayer-Book, may be restored for the Vindication of our Church in the matter of kneeling at the Sacrament (although the gesture be left in different) ‘(Al­though no order can be so perfectly devised, but it may be of some, either for their ignorance and infirmity, or else of ma­lice [Page 18] and obstinacy misconstrued and depraved, and interpreted in a wrong part. And yet because that brotherly Charity willeth, that (so much as conveniently may be) offences should be taken away;’ Therefore we willing to do the same whereas it is ordered in the Book of Common-Prayer in the admini­stration of the Lords Supper, that the communicants kneeling should receive the Holy Communion; which thing being well meant for the signification of the humble and grateful acknow­ledgment of the benefit of Christ given to the worthy Receivers, and to avoid the prophanation and disorder, which about the Holy Communion might else ensue) lest yet the same kneeling might be thought, or taken otherwise: We do declare that it is not meant thereby, that any Adoration is done, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine, there bodily received, or unto any real and essential presence there being of Christs natural flesh and blood, forasmuch as concerning the Sacramental Bread and Wine they remain still in their very na­tural substance, and therefore may not be adored; for that were Idolatry to be aborred of all faithful Christians: And as con­cerning the natural body and blood of our Saviour Christ, they are in Heaven, and not here; for it is against the truth of Christs natural body to be in more places than in one at one time.

Of Publick Baptism.

THere being divers learned, pious and peaceable Ministers, who do not only judg it unlawful to baptize children, whose Parents both of them are Atheists, Infidels, Hereticks, or unbapti­zed; but also such, whose parents are excommunicate persons; Fornieators, or otherwise notorious and scandalous sinners. We desire they may not be inforced to Baptize the children of such, until they have made open profession of their repentance before Baptism.

Parents shall give notice over night, or else in the morning.

VVe desire that more timely notice may be given. Rub. Excep.

And then the Godfathers and the Godmothers, and the people with their Children,

Here is no mention of the Parents in whose right the child is baptized, and who are fittest both to dedicate it to God, and to undertake to God and the Church for it. We do not know that [Page 19] any persons (except the parents, or some other appointed by them) have any power to consent for the children, or to enter anto Covenant We desire it may be left free to parents, whether they will have Sureties to undertake for their children in Bap­tism. Excep.

Ready at the Font.

VVe desire it may be so placed, as all the Congregation may Rub. Excep. best see and hear the whole administration.

In the first Prayer.

By the Baptism of thy well beloved Son, &c. didst sanctifie the flood Jordan, and all other waters to the mystical washing away of sin.

It being doubtful whether either the flood Jordan, or any o­ther waters were sanctified to a Sacramental use by Christs being baptized and not necessary to be altered: VVe desire this may be otherwise expressed.

The third Exhoreation. Excep,

Do promise by you that are their Sureties.

The Questions.

  • Dost thou forsake? &c.
  • Dost thou believe? &c.
  • VVilt thou be baptized? &c.

VVe know not by what right the Sureties do promise and an­swer Excep. in the name of the Infant: It seemeth to us also to coun­tenance the Anabaptistical opinion, of the necessity of an actual profession of faith and repentance in order to Baptism. Th [...]s such a profession may be required of the parents in their own name, and now solemnly renewed when they present their children to Baptism, we willingly grant: But the asking of one for another, is a practice, whose warrant we doubt: And we desire that the two first Interrogatories may be put to the Parents to be answered in their own names; and the last propounded to the Parents, or Pro-parents, thus;

[Page 20] Will you have this child baptized into this Faith?

In the second Prayer before Baptism.

May receive remission of sins by spiritual regeneration.

This expression seeming incovenient, we desire it may be Except. changed into this, May be regenerated, and receive remission of sins.

In the Prayer after Baptism.

That it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Infant by thy holy Spirit.

We cannot in Faith say, that every Child that is baptized, Excep. is regenerated by Gods Holy Spirit; at least, it is a disputa­ble point, and therefore we desire that it may be otherwise ex­pressed.

After Baptism.

Then shall the Priest make a Cross.

Concerning the Cross in Baptism, we refer to our eighteenth Excep. General.

Of Private Baptism.

VVE desire that Baptism may not be administred in a pri­vate place at any time, unless by a lawful Minister, and in the presence of a competent number: That where it is evi­dent that any child hath been so baptized, no part of the admi­nistration may be reiterated in publick under any limitation; and therefore we see no need of any Lyturgy in that case.

Of the Catechism.

Quest. 1 VVHat is your name?

Quest. 2. Who gave you that name?

Answ. My Godfathers and my Godmothers in my Baptism.

Qust. 3. What did your Godfathers and Godmothers do for you in Baptism?

We desire that these three first Questions may be altered, con­sidering that the for greater number of persons baptized within Excep. [Page 21] these twenty years last past, had no Godfathers nor Godmothers at their Baptism. The like to be done in the seventh Question.

Answ. 2. In my Baptism wherein I was made a Child of God, a member of Christ, and an Inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven.

VVe conceive it might more safely be expressed thus; Wherein Excep. I was visibly admitted into the number of the members of Christ, the Children of God, and the Heirs (rather than the Inheritors) of the Kingdom of heaven.

Of the Rehearsal of the ten Commandements.

VVe desire that the Commandements may be inserted accord­ing to the new Translation of the Bible.

10. Answ. My duty towards God, is to believe in him, &c.

In this Answer there seems particular respect to be had to the Excep. several Commandements of the first Table, as in the following Answer to those of the second; and therefore we desire it may be advised upon, whether to the last words of this Answer, may not be added particularly, On the Lords day, otherwise there being nothing in all this answer that refers to the fourth Com­mandement.

Qu. 14. How many Sacraments hath Christ ordained?

Answ. Two only as generally necessary to salvation.

That these words may be omitted, and answer thus given, Excep. Two only, Baptism and the Lords Supper.

Qu. 19. What is required of persons to be baptized?

Answ. Repentance, whereby they forsake sin: and Faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promise of God.

Qu. 20. Why then are Infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot perform them?

Answ. Yes, they doe perform them by their Sureties, who promise and vow them both in their names.

We desire that the entring of Infants into Gods Covenant. Excep. may be more warily expressed, and that the words may not seem to found their Baptism upon a real actual faith and repen­tance of their own. And we desire that a promise may not be ta­ken for the performance of such faith and repentance; especially that it be not asserted, that they perform these by the promise of their Sureties, it being to the seed of Believers that the covenant of God is made, and not (that we can find) to all that have such believing Sureties, who are neither Parents nor Pro-parents of their children.

[Page 22] In the generall; Wee observe that the Doctrine of the Sacra­ments was added upon the conference at Hampton Court, is much more fully and particularly delivered, then the other parts of the Catechism in short Answers, fitted to the memories of children, and thereupon wee offer it to be confidered.

1. Whether there should not be a more distinct and full ex­plieation of the Creed, the Commandements, and the Lords Prayer.

2. Whether it were not convtnient to adde (what seemes to be wanting) somewhat particularly concerning the nature of Faith, of Repentance, of the two Covenants, Justification, San­ctification, Adoption and Regeneration.

Of Confirmation.

The last Rubrick before the Catechism.

AND that no man should think that any detriment shall come Rub. to Children by deferring of their Confirmation, he shall know for truth, that it is certain by Gods Word, that Children by being bap­tized, have all things necessary for their Salvation, and be undoub­tedly saved.

Although wee charitably suppose the meaning of these words Except. was only to exclude the necessity of any other Sacraments to baptized Infants; yet these words are dangerous, as to the mis­leading of the vulgar, and therefore we desire they may be expunged.

After the Catechism.

SO soon as the Children can say in their mother tongue the Arti­cles Rub, of the Faith, the Lords Prayer, and the ten Commande­ments, and can answer to such other questions of the short Catechsm, &c: Then shall they be brought to the Bishop, and the Bishop shall confirm them.

We conceive that it is not a sufficient qualification for con­firmation, Except, that Children be able memoriter to repeat the Articles of the faith, commonly called the Apostles Creed, the Lords [Page 23] Prayer, and the ten Commandements, and to answer to some questions of the short Catechism; for its often found, that Children are able to doe all this at four or five years old:

2. It crosses what is said in the third reason of the first Rubrick before confirmation, concerning the usage of the Church in times past, ordaining that Confirmation should be administred to them that are of perfect age, that they being instructed in Christian Religion, should openly professe their own faith, and promise to be obedient to the will of God.

Thirdly, VVe desire that none may be confirmed, but accor­ding to his Majesties Declaration. Viz. That Confirmatioin be rightly and solemnly performed by the information, and with the consent of the Minister of the place.

Rubrick.
After the Catechism.

THen shall they be brought to the Bishop by one that shall he his God-father or God-mother,

This seems to bring in a second sort of God-fathers and God-mothers, Except. beside, those made use of at Baptism, and we see no need either of the one or other.

The Prayer before Imposition of hands.

Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by water and the holy Ghost, and hast given them the forgivenesse of all their sins.

This supposeth all the Children who are brought to be con­firmed, Excep. have the Spirit of Christ, and the forgivenesse of all their fins: whereas a great number of Children of that age having committed many sins since their Baptism, doe shew no evidence of serious repentance, or of any speciall saving grace: And therefore this confirmation (if administred to such) would be a perillous and gross abuse.

Rub. Before the Imposition of hands.

THe Bishop shall lay his hand upon each child severally.

This seems to put a higher value upon Confirmation than Except. upon Baptism or the Lords Supper; for according to the Rules and Orders of the Common-Prayer-Book, every Deacon may Baptize, and every Minister may Consecrate and administer the Lords Supper; but the Bishop only may confirm.

The Prayer after Imposition of hands.

VVE make our humble supplication to thee for these children, upon whom after the Example of thy holy Apostles, we have laid our hands to certifie them by this signe of thy favour and gracious goodness towards them.

We desire that the practice of the Apostles may not be alledged as a ground of the Imposition of hands for the confirmation of Except, children, both because the Apostles did never use it in that ease, as also because the Articles of the Church of England declare it to be a corrupt imitation of the Apostles practice. Art. 25.

VVe desire that Imposition of hands may not be made (as here it is a signe to certifie children of Gods grace and favour towards them, because this serms to speak it a Sacrament, and is contrary to that fore mentioned 25. Art. which sayes, that Confirmation hath no visible signe appointed by God.

The Rub. after Confirmation.

NOne shall be admitted to the holy Communion, until such time as he can say the Catechism and be confirmed.

VVe desire that Confirmation may not be made so necessary to the holy Communion, as that none should be admitted to it, Excep. unless they be confirmed.

Of the Form of solemnization of Matrimony.

THe man shall give the woman a Ring, &c. shall surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, whereof the Rub. Ring given and received is a token and pledge, &c.

Seeing the Ceremony of the Ring in marriage is made neces­sary Excep. to it, and a significant sign of the vow and covenant betwixt the parties: and Romish Ritualists give such reasons for the insti­tution and use of the Ring, as are either frivolous or superstitious: It is desired that this Ceremony of the Ring in marriage may be left indifferent to be used or forborn.

The man shall say with my body I thee worship, &c.

This word (worship) being much altered in the use of it, since this form was first drawn up. We desire some other word may be Excep. used instead of it.

In the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghost &c.

These words being only used in baptism, and here in the so­lemnization of Matrimony, and in the absolution of the sick, We Excep. desire it may be considered whither they should not here be o­mitted, lest they should seem to favour those that count Matrimo­ny a Sacrament.

Till death us depart.

This word depart is here improperly used. Excep.

Then the Mioister or Clerke going to the Lords Table shall say or Rub. sing this Psalm.

The Psalm ended, & the man and woman kneeling before the Lords Table, the Priest standing at the Table, and turning his face, &c. Next Rub.

We conceive the change of place and posture mentioned in these two Rubricks, is needless, and therefore desire it to be o­mitted. Excep.

[Page 26] Consecrated the state of Matrimony to such an excellent mystery. Seeing the institution of Matrimony was before the fall, and so Collect. before the promise of Christ, as also for that the said passage in Excep. the Collect seems to countenance the opinion of making Matri­mony a Sacrament, we desire that clause may be altered or o­mitted.

Then shall begin the Communion, and after the Gospel shall be said a Sermon, &c. Rub.

The new married persons, the same day of their marriage must receive the holy Communion. Lastrub.

This Rubrick doth either inform all such as are unfit for the Sacrament to forbear marriage, contrary to Scripture, which Excep. approves the marriage of all men, or else compels all that marry to come to the Lords Table though never so unprepared. And therefore we desire it may be omitted, the rather because that marriage festivals are too often accompanied with such diver­tisements as are unsutable to those Christian duties, which ought to be before and follow after the receiving that holy Sacrament.

Of the order for the visitation of the sick.

BEfore Absolution, here shall the sick person make a special con­fession &c. after which confession the Priest shall absolve him af­ter Rub. this sort.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.

And by his Authority committed to me, I absolve thee. Rub.

Forasmuch as the conditions of sick persons be very various and different, the Minister may not onely in the exhortation, but Excep. in the prayer also be directed to apply himself to the particular condition of the person as he shall find most suitable to the pre­sent occasion, with due regard had both to his spiritual condition and bodily weaknesse, and that the Absolution may be onely re­commended to the Minister to be used or omitted as he shall see occasion.

[Page 27] That the form of the Absolution be declaratory and condi­tional, as (I pronounce thee absolved) instead (I absolve thee) if thou dost truly repent and believe.

Of the Communion of the sick.

BUt if the sick person be not able to come to Church, yet is desi­rous Rub. to receive the Communion in his house, then must he give knowledge over night, or early in the morning to the Curate, and having a convenient place in the sick mans house, he shall there ad­minister the holy Communion.

Considering that many sick persons, either by their ignorance or vicious life, without any evident manifestation of repen­tance, Excep. or by the nature of the disease disturbing their intellectu­als, be unmeet for receiving the Sacrament: It is proposed that the Minister be not injoyned to administer the Sacrament to e­very sick person that shall desire it, but onely as he shall judge expedient.

Of the order for the buriall of the dead.

We desire it may be expressed in the Rubrick that the prayers and exhortations here are not for the benefit of the dead, but onely for instruction and comfort of the living.

THe Priest meeting the Cords at the Church-stile shall say or else Rub. the Priest and Clerk shall sing, &c.

We desire that Ministers may be left to use their discretions in Excep. these circumstances, and to perform the whole service in the Church, if they think fit for the preventing of those inconveni­encies, which many times both Minister and people are exposed unto standing in the open aire.

For asmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear Brother here departed, we Rub. therefore commit his body to the ground, &c. In sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life.

These words cannot in truth be said of persons living and dy­ing Excep. in open and notorious sins.

The first Prayer.

We give thee thanks for that it hath pleased thee to deliver this our Brother out of the misery of this sinful world. That we with this our Brother and all other departed in the true faith of thy holy Name may have our perfect consummation and blisse.

These words may harden the wicked and are inconsistent with the largest Charity. Excep.

The last Prayer.

That when we depart this life we may rest with him, as our hope is this our Brother doth.

These words cannot be used with respect to those persons who have not by their actual repentance given any ground for the Excep. hope of their blessed hope.

Of the thanksgiving of women after Child-birth commonly called the Churching of women.

THe woman shall come into the Church, and there shall kneel Rub. down in some convenient place nigh unto the place where the Table stands, and the Priest standing by shall say.

In regard that the woman's kneeling where the Table is in many Churches inconvenient; we desire that those words may be left out, and that the Minister may perform that service in the Excep. Deske or Pulpit.

Then the Priest shall say this Psalme &c. Rub.

This Psalm seems not so pertinent as some others: as Psal. 113. and Psal. 128. &c. Excep.

Lord save this woman thy servant, which putteth her trust in thee.

It may fall out that a woman may come to give thanks for a Ans. Excep. Child born in Adultery or Fornication; And therefore we de­fire that something may be required of her by way of profession of her humiliation as well as of her thanksgiving.

[Page 29] The woman that comes to give thanks must offer her accustomed offerings. Rub.

This may seem too like a Jewish Purification, rather then a Excep. Christian thanksgiving.

And if there be a Communion it is convenient that she receive the The same Rubrick. holy Communion.

We desire this may be interpreted (if duly qualified) for a scandalous sinner may come to make this thanksgiving. Excep.

THus have we in all humble pursuance of his Majesties most gracious endeavours for the publick weal of this Church, drawn up our thoughts and desires in this weighty affair, which we most humbly offer to his Majesties Commissioners for their se­rious and grave confideration: wherein we have not the least thoughts of depraving or reproaching the Book of Common-Prayer, but a sincere desire to contribute our endeavours to­wards leading the distempers (and as far as may be) reconciling the minds of Brethren. And in as much as his Majesty hath in his gracious Declaration ond Commission mentioned new Forms to be made and suited to the several parts of worship: we have made a considerable progresse therein, and shall by Gods assi­stance offer them to the reverend Commissioners with all conve­nient speed. And if the Lord shall graciously please to give his blessing to these our endeavours, we doubt not but that the peace of this Church will be shortly setled, The hearts of Ministers and People comforted and composed, and the great mercy of Unity and Stability (to the immortal honour of our most dear Sove­raign) bestowed upon us, and our posterity after us.

FINIS.

To the most Reverend ARCHBISHOP AND BISHOPS And the Reverend their Assistants, Commissi­oned by his Majesty, to treat about the Altera­tion of the Book of Common Prayer.

Most Reverend Father and Reverend Brethren;

WHen we received your Papers, and were told that they conteined not onely an answer to our Excepti­tion against the present Liturgy; But also severall Concessions, wherein you seem willing to joyn with us in the Alteration and Reformation of it; Our expectations were so far raised, as that we promi­sed our selves, to find our Concessions so considerable, as would have greatly conduced to the healing of our much to be lamented Divi­visions, the setling of the Nation in Peace, and the satisfaction of tender Consciences, according to his Majesties most gracious Decla­ration, and his Royal Commission in pursuance thereof: but having taken a survey of them, we find our selves exceedingly disappointed, and that they will fall far short of attaining those happy Ends, for which this meeting was first designed; as may appear both by the paucity of the Concessions, and the inconsiderablenesse of them, they being for the most part, Verbal and Literal, rather then Real, and Substantial; for in them you all allow not the laying aside of the reading of the Apocrypha for Lessons, though it shut out some bun­dreds of Chapters of Holy Scripture, and sometimes the Scripture it self is made to give way to the Apochryphal Chapters; you plead against the addition of the Doxology unto the Lord's prayer, [Page 31] you give no liberty to omit the too frequent repetition of Gloria Pa­tria, nor of the Lord's Prayer in the same publick Service, nor do you yield the Psalmes be read in the new Translation, nor the word Priest to be changed for Minister or Presbyter, though both have been yielded unto in the Scottish Liturgy; you grant not the omis­sion of the Responsals, no not in the Let any it self, though the Peti­tions be so framed, as the people make the prayer, and not the Mi­nister; nor to read the Communion service in the Desk, when there is no Communion, but in the late Form instead thereof, it is enjoyned to be done at the Table, through there be no Rubrick in the Com­mon Prayer book requiring it; you plead for the bolinesse of Lent, contrary to the statute; you indulge not the omission of any one Ce­remony; you will force men to kneel at the Sacrament, and yet not put in that excellent Rubr. in the v. and vj. of Edw. 6. which would much conduce to the satisfaction of many that scruple it. And whereas divers Reverend Bishops and Doctours, in a paper in Print before these unhappy Wars began, yielded to the laying aside of the Crosse, and the making many material alterations you after xx. years sad calamities and divisions, seem unwilling to grant what they of their own accord then offered; you seem not to grant that the clause of the fourth commandement in the Common Prayer book (the Lord blessed the seventh day) should be altered according to the Hebr. Exod. 20. the Lord blessed the Sabbath day; you will not change the word Sunday into the Lord's day, nor adde any thing to make a difference between Holidaies that are of Humane Institution: and the Lord's day, that is questionlesse of Apostolicall practise; you will not alter Deadly Sin in the Letany into Heynous Sin, though it hints to us that some sins are in their own nature Ve­nial; nor that Answer in the Catech. of two Sacraments onely generally necessary to salvation, although it intimates that there are New Testament Sacraments, though Two onely necessary to sal­vation; you speak of singing David's Psalmes, allowed by Authori­ty, by way of contempt calling them Hopkins Psalmes; and though singing of Psalmes be an Ordinance of God, yet you call it one of our principal parts of VVorship, as if it were disclaimed by you. And are so far from countenancing the use of conceived prayer in the publick VVorship of God (though we never intended thereby the ex­cluding of set Forms) as that you seem to dislike the use of it even in the Pulpit, and heartily desire a total restaint of it in the Church; you will not allow the omission of the Benedicite, nor a Psalm to be [Page 32] read instead of it; nor so much as abate the reading of the chapters out of the Old Testament, and the Acts for the Epistles; But rather then you will gratifie us therein, you have found out a new device, that the Minister shall say (for the Epistle) you will not so much as leave out in the Collect for Christmas day these words (this day) though at least it must be a great uncertainty, and cannot be true stylo veteri, & novo. In publick Baptism you are so far from giving a liberty to the parent to answer for his own child (which seems most reasonable) as that you force him to the use of sureties, and cause them to answer in the name of the Infant, that he doth believe, and repent, and forsake the devil and all his worke, which doth much fa­vour the Anabaptistical opinion for the necessity of an actual pro­fession of Faith and Repentance in order to Baptism; you will not leave the Minister in the visitation of the sick to use his judgment of discretion in absolving the sick person, or in giving the Sacrament to him, but enjoyn both of them, though the person to his own judgment seem never so unfit; neither do you allow the Minister to pronounce the absolution in a Declarative and conditional way; but absolute­ly, and conditionately. And even in one of our concessions in which we suppose you intend to accommodate with us, you rather widen then heal the breach, for in your last Rubr. before the Catech you would have the words thus altered, That Children being baptized, have all things necessary for salvation, and dying before they commit any actual sin, be undoubtedly saved, though they be not confir­med, which assertion, if understood of all Infants even of Heathen, is certainly false, and if only of the Infants of Christians, is doubtfull and contrary to the judgment of many learned Protestants, and will give little satisfaction to us or others; some more we might name, which for brevity sake we omit: All which considered we altogether despair of that happy success which thousands hope & wait for from this his Majesties commission; unless God shall incline your hearts for the peace and union of the Nation to a more considerable & satis­factory alteration of the Liturgie. In which that we may the better prevail, we here tender an answer to your Reply, both against our general and particular Exceptions, of which we desire a serious per­usal and candid interpretation. We have divided both your Pre­face and Reply into several Sections, that so you might more easily understand to which of the particulars both in the one and in the o­toer our Answer doth refer.

THE PAPERS That passed between the COMMISSIONERS Appointed by His Majesty for the Alteration of the COMMON PRAYER, &c.

THe strain of these Papers we fear is like to perswade many that your design is not the same with ours: Being assured, that it is our Duty to do what we can to the peace and concord of Believers, espe­cially when we had the past & present Calamities of these Nations to urge us, and His Majesty's Commands, & gracious Promises to encourage us, we judged the fittest means to be by making known the hinderances of our Con­cord, and without reviving the remembrance of those things that tend to exasperate, to apply our selves with due submission to those that may contribute much to our recovery, and without personal reflections to propose the Remedies which we knew would be most effectual, and humbly and earnestly to petition you for your consent. But instead of Consent or amicable debates in or­der to the removal of our differences, we have received from you [Page 34] a Paper abounding with sharp accusations, as if your work were to prove us bad, and make us odious, which as it is attempted upon mistake, by unrighteous means, so were it accomplisht, we know not how it will conduce to the Concord which ought to be our common end. If we understand Christs Commission, or the Kings, and our duty as Christians, or as Ministers, our work now assigned us, was not to search after & aggravate the faults of one onother, (though of our own in season we are willing to hear) but to re­view the Liturgy, and agree upon such alterations, diminutions, and enlargement, as are needfull to our common unity & peace. What is amiss in us we shall thankfully accept your charitable as­sistance to discover, but we take not that for the question which his Majesty called us to debate: nor do our judgements or dispositi­ons lead us to recriminations, nor to cast such impediments in the way of our desired accord: And were it not that our Calling and our Masters work are concerned somewhat in our just vindi­cation, we should not trouble you with so low, so private, and un­necessary a work, but leave such Causes to the righteous Judge, who will quickly, impartially, infallibly and finally decide them.

PREFACE.

[BEfore we come to the Proposals, it will be perhaps necessary to say a Sect. 1. word or two to the Preface, wherein they begin with a thankefull acknowledgement of his Majesties most Princely condescention, to which we shall only say, that we conceive the most real expression of their thank­fulness had been an hearty compliance with his Majesties earnest and pas­sionate request for the use of the present Liturgy, at least so much of it as they acknowledge by these Papers to be lawful: how far they have in this expressed their thankefulness, the world sees, we need not say.]

The Reply to your Preface.

1. AS we hope it is no matter of offence to acknowledge his Ma­jesties gracious condescention, so when his Majesty by his Declaration hath granted us some liberty as to the use of the Litur­gy before the Alteration, and hath by his Commission engaged us in a consultation for the alteration of it, we conceive our Brethren (nor the world to whose observation they appeal) had no warrant to censure us as unthankful to his Majesty, because of our present forbearance to use it, or part of it before the intended alteration: [Page 35] At least till they had heard us speak for our selves, and render an account of the reasons of our forbearance, and they had gone before us more exemplarily in their own obedience to his Maje­sty's Declaration. As to our own Conscience, if we thought not the Common-Prayer Book to be guilty of the general and par­ticular faults which we have layd open to you, we durst not have found fault with it; and while we took it to be a defective, disorderly, and inconvenient Mode of Worship, it would be our sin to use it of choice, while we may prefer a more convenient way, what ever we ought to do in case of necessity, when we must wor­ship God inconveniently, or not at all. And as to our People, for whose Edification, and not Destruction, we have our Power or Of­fices, we have taken that course, as far as we are able to understand, which most probably tended to their good, and to prevent their hurt and separation from the Church: and consequently that course which did most conduce to his Majesty's Ends, and to his real Service, and the Churches Peace: none of which would be promoted by our obtruding that upon our People, which we know them unable to digest, or by our hasty offending them with the use of that, which we are forced to blame, and are endeavouring to correct and alter. And we see not how it can be justly intimated that we use no part of it, when we use the Lords Prayer, the Creed, the Commandments, the Psalms, the Chapters, and some other parts; And how much more you expect we should have used, that we might have escaped this brand of Ingratitude, we know not. But we know that Charity suffereth long and thinketh no evil, (1 Cor. 13. 4, 5.) and that we have not attempted to obtrude any mode of Worship on our Brethren, but desired the liberty to use things of that nature as may conduce to the benefit of our Flocks: And as we leave them to judge what is most beneficial to their own Flocks, who know them, and are upon the place; so it is but the like freedome which we desire, we are loath to hurt our People knowingly. The time is short, if you will answer our reasonable Proposals, it will not be too late at the expiration of our Com­mission, or the date of the reformed Liturgy to use it: greater li­berty hath been used about Liturgies in purer times of the Church, with less offence and accusation.

[It can be no just cause of offence to minde them of their duty as they do Sect. 2. us of ours, telling us, it is our duty to imitate the Apostles practise in a special manner, to be tender of the Churches peace, and to advise of such [Page 36] expedients, as may conduce to the healing of breaches, and uniting those that differ; For preserving of the Churches peace we know no better nor more efficatious way than our set Liturgy, there being no such way to keep us from Schism as to speak all the same thing according to the Apostle.]

Reply. If you look to the time past, by our Duties we suppose you mean our Faults; For it is not Duty when it's past: If you in these words respect only the time present and to come, we Reply, 1. The Liturgy we are assured will not be a less, but a more pro­bable means of Concord after the desired Reformation than before; the defects and inconveniencies make it less fit to attain the end. 2ly. Whether the Apostle by speaking the same thing did mean ei­ther (all using this Liturgy of ours) or [all using any one form of Liturgy as to the words] may easily be determined. This is of much later date, unless you will denominate the whole form of the Lords Prayer, and some little parts. And those that affirm, that the Apostles then had any other, must undertake the task of proving it, and excusing the Churches for losing and dis-using so precious a Relict; which if preserved would have prevented all our strifes about these things. And in the mean time they must satisfie our Arguments for the Negative: As 1. If a Liturgy had been indited by the Apostles for the Churches, being by universal Officers inspired by the Holy Ghost, and so of universal use, it would have been used and preserved by the Church as the Holy Scriptures were. But so it was not. Ergo no such Liturgy, was indited by them for the Churches. 2ly. If a prescript form of words had been delivered them, there would have been no such need of exhorting them to speak the same thing, for the Liturgy would have held them close enough to that. And if the meaning had been (see that you use the same Liturgy) some word or other to some of the Churches would have acquainted us with the existence of such a thing, and some Reproofs we should have found of those that used various Liturgies, or formed Liturgies of their own, or used extemporary prayers: and some express exhorta­tions to use the same Liturgie or Forms: But the holy Scripture is silent in all those matters: It is apparent therefore that the Churches then had no Liturgy, but took liberty of extemporate expressions, and spoke in the things of God, as men do in other matters, with a natural plainess and seriousness, suiting their expressions to the subjects and occasions. And though Divisions began to disturb their Peace and holy Orders, the Apostle [Page 37] instead of prescribing them a Form of Divine Services for their Unity and Concord, do exhort them to use their Gifts and liberties aright, and speake the same thing for matter, a­voiding Disagreements, though they used not the same words. 3. Just. Martyr, Tertull. and others sufficiently intimate to us, that the Churches quickly after the Apostles did use the per­sonal Abilities of their Pastors in prayer, and give us no hint of any such Liturgy of Apostolical fabrication and imposition, and therefore doubtlesse there was nothing, for it could not have been so soon lost or neglected. 4. It is ordinary with those of the contrary judgment, to tell us that the extraordinary Gifts of the Primitive Christians, were the reason why there were no prescribed forms in those times, and that such Liturgies came in upon the ceasing of those Gifts: And 1 Cor. 14. describeth a way of publick worshiping, unlike to prescript forms of Liturgy: So that the matter of Fact is proved and confessed. And then how fairly the words of the Apostles, exhorting them (to speake the same thing) are used to prove that he would have them use the same forms or Liturgy; we shall not tell you by any provoking aggravations of such abuse of Scripture. And indeed for all the miraculous Gifts of those times, if prescript forms had been judged by the Apostles to be the fittest means for the Concord of the Churches, it is most probable they would have prescribed such: Considering 1. That the said miraculous Gifts were ex­traordinary, and belonged not to all, nor to any at all times, and therefore could not suffice for the ordinary publick Worship. 2. And those Gifts began even betimes to be abused, and need the Apostles Canons for their regulation, which he giveth them in that 1 Cor. 14. without a prescript Liturgy. 3. Because even then divisions had made not only an entrance, but an unhappy progress in the Churches, to cure which the Apostle exhorts them oft to Unanimity and Concord, without exhorting them to read the same or any Common-Prayer-book. 4. Because that the Apostles knew that perillous times would come, in which men would have itching ears, and would have heaps of Teachers, and would be self-willed, and unruly, and divisions, and offences, and heresies would encrease: And Ergo, as upon such fore-sight they indited the holy Scriptures to keep the Church in all generations, from error and divisions in points of Doctrine, so the same reason and care would have moved them to do the same to keep the Churches in unity in point of Worship, if indeed they had taken prescribed [Page 38] forms to be needfull to such an unity: they knew that after de­parture the Church would never have the like advantage, infal­lible, authorized, and enabled for delivering the universal Laws of Christ: And seeing in those parts of worship, which are of sta­ted use, and still the same forms might have suited all ages as this age, and all Countries as this Country: (in the substance) there can no reason be given, why the Apostles should leave this undone, and not have performed it themselves, if they had judged such forms to be necessary, or the most desirable means of unity. If they had prescribed them, 1. The Church had been secured from er­ror in them. 2. Believers had been preserved from divisions, a­bout the lawfulnesse and fitnesse of them, as receiving them from God. 3. All Churches and Countries might had one Litur­gy, as they have one Scripture, and so have all spoke the same things. 4. All ages would have had the same without innovation, (in all the parts that require not alteration) whereas now on the contrary, 1. Our Liturgies being the writings of fallible men, are lyable to error, and we have cause to fear subscribing to them, as having nothing contrary to the word of God. 2. And matters of Humane institution have become the matter of scruple, and con­tention. 3. And the Churches have had great diversity of Litur­gies. 4. And one age hath been mending what they supposed they received from the former faulty, and imperfect: So that our own which you are so loath to Change, hath not continued yet three Generations. And it is most evident that the Apostles being en­trusted with the delivery of the entire rule of Faith and worship, and having such great advantages for our unity and peace, would never have omited the forming of a Liturgy of universal useful­nesse, to avoid all the foresaid inconveniences, if they had taken this course of unity to be so needfull, or desirable as you seem to do. Whereas therefore you say you know no better or more ef­ficatious way than our Liturgy, &c. We reply, 1. The Apostles knew the best way of unity, and of speaking the same thing in the matters of God: But the Apostles knew not our Liturgy, (nor any Common-Prayer-book, for ought hath yet been proved) Ergo the said Liturgy is not the best way of unity, or speaking the same thing, &c. 2. The Primitive Church in the next ages after the Apostles, knew the best way of unity, &c. But they knew not our Liturgy, Ergo our Liturgy (not known till lately) is not the best way [...]. If it be said that our Liturgy is antient, because the Sursum Corda, the Gloria Patri &c. are antient. We answer, if in­deed [Page 39] it be those ancient Sentences that denominate our Liturgy, we crave the justice to be esteemed users of the Liturgy, and not to suffer as refusers of it, as long as we use all that is found in it of such true antiquity.

[This experience of former and latter times hath taught us, when the Sect. 3. Liturgy was duly observed, we lived in peace, since that was layd aside, there hath been as many modes and fashions of publick Worship, as fan­cies, we have had continual dissention, which vaeriety of Services must needs produce, whilest every one naturally desires and endeavours not only to maintain, but to prefer his own way before all others; whence we conceive there is no such way to the preservation of peace, as for all to re­turn to the strict use and practise of the form.]

Reply. Pardon us while we desire you to examine whether you speak as members that suffer with those that suffer, or rather as insensible of the calamities of your Brethren, that is as uncharita­ble: You say you lived in peace, but so did not the many thou­sands that were fain to seek them peaceable habitations in Holland, and in the Desarts of America, nor the many thousands that lived in danger of the High Commission, or Bishops Courts at home, and so in danger of every malicious neighbour that would accuse them, hearing Sermons abroad, when they had none at home, or of meeting in a Neighbours house to pray, or of not kneeling in the receiving of the Sacrament, &c. We would not have remem­bred you of these things, but that you necessitate us by pleading your peace in those dayes, as an argument for the imposing of the Liturgy. 2. Might not Scotland as strongly argue from this Medium against the Liturgy, and say, before the Liturgy was imposed on us, we had peace, but since then we have had no peace. 3. When the strict imposing of the strict use and practice of these forms, was the very thing that disquieted this Nation, (taking in the conco­mitant Ceremonies and subscription) when this was it that bred the Divisions which you complain of, and caused the separations from the Churches, and the troubles in the Churches; it is no better arguing to say, we must return to the strict use of that form if we will have peace, than it was in the Israelites to say, we will worship the Queen of Heaven, because then we had peace and plenty, when that was it that deprived them of peace and plenty, (we compare not the Causes, but the Arguments) nor is it any better an Argument, than if a man in a Dropsie, or Ague, that [Page 40] catcht it with voracity, or intemperance, should say, while I did eat and drink liberally, I had no Dropsie or Ague, but since my appetite is gone, and I have lived temperately, I have had no health, Ergo I must return to my intemperance, as the only way to health. Alas, is this the use that is made of all our experiences of the causes and progresse of our Calamities? what have you, and we, and all smarted as we have done, and are you so speedily ready to return to the way that will engage you in violence against them that should be suffered to live in peace? If the furnace that should have refined us, and purified us all to a greater height of love, have but inflamed us to greater wrath, wo to us and to the Land that beareth us! what dolefull things doth this prognosticate you, that prisons or other penalties will not change mens Judge­ments? And if it drive some to comply against their Consciences, and destroy their Souls, and drive the more conscientious out of the Land, or destroy their bodies, and breed in the minds of men a rooted opinion, that Bishops that are still hurting and afficting them, (even for the things in which they exercise the best of their understanding, and cautelously to avoid sin against God) are no Fathers, Friends, or edifyers, but destroyers. Alas! who will have the gain of this? O let us no more bite, and devour one ano­ther, least we be devoured one of another. Gal. 5. 15. or Christ be provoked to decide the Controversie more sharply than we desire or expect. 4. But really hath liberty to forbear the Liturgy pro­duced such divisions as you mention? The Licence or connivance that was granted to Hereticks, Apostates, and foul-mouthed raylers against the Scripture, Ministry, and all Gods Ordinances, indeed bred confusions in the Land; But it is to us matter of ad­miration to observe (clean contrary to your intimation) how little discord there was in Prayer, and other parts of Worship among all the Churches throughout the three Nations, that agreed in Doctrine, and that forbore the Liturgy. It is wonder­full to us in the review to consider, with what love, and peace, and concord, they all spoke the same things, that were tyed to no form of words, even those that differed in some points of Disci­pline, even to a with-drawing from locall communion with us, yet strangely agreed with us in worship. And where have there been lesse Heresies, Schisms, than in Scotland, where there was no such Liturgy to unite them? If you tell us of those that differ from us in Doctrine, and are not of us, it is as impertinent to the point of our own agreement in Worship, as to tell us of the Papists.

[And the best expedients to unite us all to that again, and so to peace, are, besides our prayers to the God of Peace, to make us all of one mind in an house, to labour to get true humility, which would make us think our Guides wiser, and fitter to order us than we our selves, and Christian Cha­rity, which would teach us to think no evil of our Superiors, but to judge them rather carefull Guides, and Fathers to us, which being obtained, no­thing can be imagined justly to binder us from a ready complyance to this method of Service appointed by them, and so live in unity.

Reply. Prayer and Humility are indeed the necessarie means of Peace: But if you will let us pray for peace in no words but what are in the Common-Prayer-book, their brevitie and unapt­ness, and the customariness, that will take off the edge of fervour, with humane nature, will not give leave (or help sufficient) to our souls to work towards God, upon this Subject, with that en­largedness, copiousness, and freedom, as is necessary to due fer­vour. A brief transient touch, and away, is not enough to warm the heart arigne; and cold Prayers are like to have a cold return, and therefore, even for Peace sake, let us pray more copiously and heartily than the Common-Prayer-book will help us to do. And whether this be that cause, or whether it be that the Com­mon-Prayer-book hath never a Prayer for it self, we find that its Prayers prevail not to reconcile many sober, serious persons to it that live in faithfull fervent Prayer. 2. And for Humility, we humbly conceive it would most effectually heal us, and by cau­sing the Pastors of the Church to know that they are not to rule the flocks as Lords, but as ensamples, not by constraint, but wil­lingly, 1 Pet. 5. 2, 3. and it would cause them not to think so highly of themselves, and so meanly of their Brethren, as to judge no words fit to be used to God in the publick Worship, but what they prescribe, and put into our mouths, and that other men are generally unable to speak sensibly, or suitably, unless they tell us what to say; or, that all others are unfit to be trusted with the ex­pressing of their own desires: Humilitie would perswade the Pa­stors of the Church at least to undertake no more than the Apo­stles did, and no more to obtrude or impose their own words upon all others in the publick Worship: If they found any unfit to be trusted with the expression of their mindes in publick Prayer, they would do what they could to get meeter men in their pla­ces, and till then they would restrain and help such as need it, and not upon that pretence as much restrain all the ablest Mini­sters, [Page 50] as if the whole Church were to be nominated, measured, or used, according to the quality of the most unworthy. And it is also true, that humility in private persons and inferiors, would do much to our peace, by keeping them in due submission, and obedience, and keeping them from all contentions and divisions, which proceed from self-conceitedness and pride. But yet, 1. The humblest, surest Subjects may stumble upon the scruple, whether Bishops differ not from Presbyters only in degree, and not in order or office, (it being a Controversie, and no resolved point of faith even amongst the Papists, whose faith is too extensive, and favour too Ecclesiastical, ambition too great) and conse­quently they may doubt whether men in the same order, do, by divine appointment, owe obedience unto those that gradually go before them. 2. And they may scruple whether such making themselves the Governours of their Brethren, make not them­selves indeed of a different order or office, and so incroach not on the authority of Christ, who only maketh Officers purely Ecclesi­astical; and whether it be no disloyalty to Christ to own such Of­ficers. 3. And among those Divines that are for a threefold Epis­copacy, (besides that of Presbyters, who are Episcopi Gregis) viz. General unfixed Bishops, like the Evangelists or Apostles, (in their measure) and the fixed Bishops of Parochial Churches, that have Presbyters to assist them, to whom they do preside, and also the Presidents of larger Synods) yet is it a matter of very great doubt, whether a fixed Diocesan being the Pastor of many hun­dred Churches, having none under him, that hath the power of Jurisdiction or Ordination, be indeed a Governour of Christs ap­pointment or approbation, and whether Christ will give us any more thanks for owning them as such, than the King will give us for owning an Usurper. Humility alone will not seem to subject these men to such a Government. 4. And though their coercive Magistratical power be easily submitted to, as being from the King, (how unfit Subjects soever Church men are of such a power) yet he that knoweth his Superiours best, doth honour God more, and supposeth God more infallible than man, and will feel himself most indispensibly bound by Gods commands, and bound not to obey man against the Lord. And whereas there is much sayd against the peoples taking on them to judge of the lawfulness of things com­manded them by Superiors; we add, 5. That humble men may believe that their Superiors are fallible; that it is no impossibi­lity to command things that God forbids, that in such Cases, if we [Page 51] have sufficient means to discern the sinfulness of such Commands, we must make use of them, and must obey God rather than men; that when the Apostles acted according to such a Resolution, Acts 4. 19. and Daniel and the three Witnesses, Dan. 6. and 3. they all exercised a judgement of Discerning upon the matter of their Superiors commands; that not to do so at all, is to make Subjects Bruits, and so no Subjects, because not rational free A­gents, or to make all Governors to be gods. And lastly, That it will not save us from Hell, nor justifie us at Judgement for sinning against God, to say, that Superiors commanded us, nor will it prove all the Martyrs to be sinners and condemned, because they judged of their Superiors commands, and disobeyed them. All which we say to shew the insufficiency of the Remedy, hereby you propounded, (the humility of Inferiors) unless you will also add your help, without obedience there is no order or lasting concord to be expected: And by abasing the eternal God, so far as to set him and his Laws below a Creature, under pretence of obedience to the Creature, no good can be expected, because no peace with Heaven, without which, peace with men is but a Con­federacy hastning each party to Destruction: And therefore abso­lute obedience must be given only to God the absolute Sovereign. In all this we suppose that we are all agreed: And therefore, 6. and lastly, We must say, that the way to make us think the Bi­shops to be so wise, and careful Guides and Fathers to us, is not for them to seem wiser than the Apostles, and make those things of standing necessity to the Churches unity, which the Apostles ne­ver made so, nor to forbid all to preach the Gospel, or to hold Communion with the Church, that dare not conform to things unnecessary. Love and tenderness are not used to express them­selves by hurting and destroying men for nothing; And to silence and reject from Church Communion for a Ceremony, and in the mean time to perswade men that they love them, is but to stab or famish all the sick persons in the Hospital or Family, whose sto­machs cannot take down the Dish we offer them, or whose throats are too narrow to swallow so big a morsel as we send them; And when we have done, to tell them, the only remedy is for them to believe we love them, and are tender of them. And who knows not that a man may think well of his Superiors, that yet may question whether all that he teacheth or commandeth him, be lawful.

Sect 5. [If it be objected, That the Liturgy is in any way sinful and unlawful for us to joyn with, it is but reason that this be first proved evidently, be­fore any thing be altered: it is no Argument to say, that multitudes of sober pious persons scruple the use of it, unless it be made to appear by evi­dent reasons, that the Liturgy gave the just grounds to make such scru­ples. For if the bare pretence of scruples be sufficient to exempt us from Obedience, all Law and Order is gone.]

Reply. To this passage we humbly crave your consideration of these Answers; 1. We have not only sayd, (that sober pious per­sons scruple the Liturgy) but we have opened to you those de­fects, and disorders, and corruptions, which must needs make the imposing of it unlawful, when God might be more fitly served. 2. It is strange, that you must see it first evidently proved unlaw­ful for men to joyn with the Liturgy (you mean, we suppose, to joyn with you in the using of it, or when you use it,) before you will see reason to alter any thing in it: what if it be only proved unlawful for you to impose it, though not for others to joyn with you when you do impose it, is this no reason to alter it? should you not have some care to avoid sin your selves, as well as to pre­serve others from it? An inconvenient mode of Worship is a sin in the Imposer, and in the Chooser, and voluntary User, that might offer God better, and will not, Mal. 1. 13, 14. And yet it may not be only lawful, but a duty to him that by violence is ne­cessitated to offer up that or none. And yet we suppose the Im­posers should see cause to make an alteration. If you lived where you must receive the Lords Supper sitting, or not at all, it's like you would be of this minde your selves. 3. Why should it be cal­led a [bare pretence of scruples] as if you search'd the Hearts, and knew (not only that they are upon mistake, but) that they are not real, when the persons not only profess them real, but are willing to use all just means that tend to their satisfaction, they study, read, pray, and will be glad of Conference with you, at any time, upon equal tearms, if they may be them­selves believed. 4. Even groundless scruples about the matter of an unnecessary Law, which hath that which to the weak both is and will be an appearance of evil, may be sufficient to make it the Duty of Rulers to reverse their impositions, though they be not sufficient to justifie the Scrupulous. 5. If a man should think that he ought not to obey man, even when he thinketh it is against the Commands of God, though he be uncertain, [Page 45] (as in case of going on an unquestioned Warfare, or doing Doeg's execution, &c.) yet it followeth not, that [all Law and Order is gone] as long as all Laws and Orders stand that are visibly sub­servient to the Laws of God, and to his Sovereignty, or consistent with them, and when the Subject submitteth to suffering where he dare not obey.

[On the contrary we judge, that if the Liturgy should be altered as is Sect. 6. there required, not only a multitude, but the generality of the Soberest and most loyal Children of the Church of England would justly be offended, since such an alteration would be a virtual Confession that this Liturgy were an intollerable burden to tender Consciences, a direct cause of Schism a superstitious usage (upon which pretences it is here desired to be altered) which would at once both justifie all those which have so obstinately separa­ted from it, as the only pious, tender conscienced men, and condemn all those that have adhered to that, in conscience of their duty and loyalty, with their loss or hazard of estates, lives, and fortunes, as men supersti­tious, schismatical, and void of Religion and Conscience. For this reason and those that follow, we cannot consent to such an alteration as is desi­red, till these pretences be proved, which we conceive in no wise to be done in these Papers, and shall give reasons for this our Judgment.]

Reply. If the Liturgie should be altered, as is here required, and desired by us, that it could be no just offence to the generality (or any) of the soberest and most loyal Children of the Church (as you speak) is easie to be proved, by laying together the con­siderations following: Because it is by themselves confessed to be alterable, as not having it self its former Constitution, till less than two hundred years ago. 2. And themselves affirm it to be not ne­cessary to salvation, but a thing indifferent, while they exclude all higher institutions from the power of the Church. 3. They con­fess it lawful to serve God without this Liturgie, without which he was served by other Churches above 1460 years, and with­out which he is now served by other Churches, when the contrary minded doubt whether with it he be lawfully served. 4. Those that desire the alteration, desire no more than to serve God as the Churches did in the daies of the Apostles, that had their most infallible Conduct. 5. And they offer also such Formes as are more unquestionable as to their Congruency to the word of God, and to the nature of the several parts of Worship. 6. And yet though they desire the surest Concord and an universal [Page 54] Reformation) they desire not to impose on others what they of­fer, but can thankfully accept a Liberty to use what is to their own Consciences most unquestionably safe, while other men use that which they like better. So that set all this together, with the consideration of the necessity of the preaching the Word, and Com­munion that is hereupon denied, and you may see it proved, That to have such a Liturgy so altered, that is confessed alterable, for so desirable an end, to the use only of those that cannot well use it, without urging others to any thing that they do themselves ac­count unlawful, cannot be a matter of just offence to the generali­ty of sober Children of the Church, nor to any one. And as to the reason given, it is apparently none. For, 1. Of those that scruple the unlawfulness of it, there are many that will not peremptorily affirm it unlawful, and condemn all that use it, but they dare not use it doubtingly themselves. 2. When our Papers were before you, we think it not just that you should say, that it's here desired to be altered, on the pretence that it is a direct cause of Schism and a superstitious usage: Have we any such expressions? If we have, let them be recited; if not, It is hard that this should even by you be thus affirmed, as is sayd by us, which we have not sayd: We have sayd [that the Ceremonies have been the Fountain of much evil, occasioning divisions, but not what you charge us to have sayd in words or sense. 3. And may not you alter them without approving, or seeming to approve the reason upon which the alteration is desired, when you have so great store of other reasons? The King in his Declaration is far enough from see­ming to own the Charge against the things which he was pleased graciously to alter so far as is there exprest. If a Patient have a con­ceit that some one thing would kill him, if he took it, the Physitian may well forbear him in that one thing, when it is not necessary to his health, without owning his reasons against it: If his Majesty have Subjects so weak as to contend about things indifferent, and if both sides err, one thinking them necessary, and the other sinful, may he not gratifie either of them, without seeming to reprove their errour. By this reason of yours he is by other men in such a Case necessitated to sin; For if he settle those things which some count necessary, he seems to approve of their opinion, that they are necessary: If he take them down when others call them sinful, he seems to own their charge of the sinfulness. But indeed he needeth not to do either, he may take them down, or leave them indifferent, professedly for unity and peace, and professedly dis­own [Page 45] the Errors on both sides. We are sorry if any did esteem these Forms and Ceremonies any better than mutable indifferent modes and circumstances of Worship: and did hazard estate or life for them as any otherwise esteemed: And we are sorry, that by our Divisions the Adversary of Peace hath gotten so great an advan­tage against us, as that the Argument against necessary charitable forberance is fetch'd from the interest of the reputation of the contending Parties, that things may not be abated to others which you confess are indifferent and alterable, and which many of them durst not use, though to save their lives. And this because it will make them thought the pious, tender concienc'd men, and make others thought worse of. But with whom will it have these effects? those that you call the generality of the sober loyal children of the Church will think never the worse of themselves, because others have libertie to live by them without these things. And the rest, whose liberties you denie, will think rather the worse of you, than the better, for denying them their libertie in the worshipping of God. You undoubtedly argue here against the interest of Reputa­tion, which you stand for, your Prefaces to your indulgencies, and your open Professions; and (if you will needs have it so) your own Practises, will tell the World loud enough, that the things which you adhered to with so great hazards are still lawfull in your Judgement, and it will be your honour, and add to your reputa­tion, to abate them to others, when it is in your power to be more severe. And if you refuse it, their sufferings will tell the World loud enough, that for their parts they still take them to be things unlawful. As for the reasons by them produced to prove them sinfull, they have been publickly made known in the writings of many of them; In Ames his fresh sute against the Ceremonies, and in the Abridgement, &c. and in Bradshaw's, Nicols, and other mens Writings.

[To the first general Proposal we answer, That as to that part of it Prop. u. 1. Sect. 5. which requires, that the matter of the Liturgie may not be private opinion or fancy, that being the way to perpetuate Schism; the Church hath been carefull to put nothing into the Liturgie, but that which is either evi­dently the Word of God, or what hath been generally received in the Ca­tholick Church, neither of which can be called private opinion: and if the contrary can be proved, we wish it out of the Liturgie.]

Reply. We call those Opinions which are not determined Cer­tainties, and though the greater number should hold them as O­pinions, they are not therefore the Doctrines of the Church, and therefore might be called Private Opinions; but indeed we used not the Word (that we can find:) the thing we desired, was, that the materials of the Liturgie may consist of nothing doubtfull, or questioned among pious learned and orthodox Persons.] We said also (that the limiting Church Communion to things of doubt­full disputation, hath been in all Ages the ground of Schisme and Separation (which is not to say, that the Liturgy it self, is a Su­perstitious usage, or a directs cause of Schisme,) And we cited the words of a Learned man (Mr. Hales) not as making every word our own, but as a Testimony ad hominem, because he was so high­ly valued by your selves (as we suppose) and therefore we thought his words might be more regarded by you than our own. 2. Where you say [that the Church hath been carefull to put nothing in the Liturgy, but that which is either evidently the word of God, or that which had been generally received in the Catholick Church.] We reply, 1. We suppose there is little or nothing now contro­verted between us, which you will say is evidently the Word of God, either the Forms or Ceremonies, or any of the rest. 2. If by [in the Church] you mean [not by the Church] but [by any part in the Church] how shall we know that they did well. And if by [the generality] you mean not All, but the Greater part, you undertake the proof of that which is not easie to be proved. It be­ing so hard to judge of the majority of Persons in the Catholick Church in any notable differences. We do take it for granted, that you limit not the Catholick Church, as the Papists do, to the Confines of the Roman Empire, but indeed we can only wish, that your Assertion were true, while we must shew it to be untrue, if you speak of the Primitive Church, or of an universality of time, as well as place, (if not its more against you, that the Primitive Catholick Church was against you.) The very thing in questi­on that containeth the rest [that its needfull to the peace of the Church, that all the Churches under one Prince should use one form of Liturgy] was not received by the Catho­lick Church, nor by the generality in it: when it is so well known that they used diversity of Liturgies and Customes in the Roman Empire. The generality in the Catholick Church received not the Lords Supper Kneeling, at least on any Lords dayes, when it was forbidden by divers generall Councills, and when this prohibi­tion [Page 55] was generally received as an Apostolical tradition: We have not heard it prov'd, that the Surplice or Cross, as used with us, wree received by the Universal Church; It is a private Opinion not recei­ved by the Catholick Church, that [it is requisite that no man should come to the Holy Communion, but with a full trust in Gods mercy, and with a quiet Conscience,] though it be every mans duty to be perfect pro statu viatoris, yet it is not requisite that no man come till he be perfect. He that hath but a weak Faith (though not a full trust) must come to have it strenthned: And he that hath an unquiet Conscience, must come to receive that mercy which may quiet it. It is a private Opinion, and not generally received in the Catholick Church [that one of the People] may make the Pub­lick Confession at the Sacrament, in the name of all those that are minded to receive the Holy Communion] It is a private and not generally received distinction, that the body of Christ makes clean our bodies, and his blood washeth our souls.] It is a doubtful opinion, to speak easily, that when the Lords Supper is delivered with a Prayer not made in the Receivers name, but thus directed to him by the Minister [the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c. preserve thy Body and Soul,] it is so intollerable a thing for the Receiver not to kneel, in hearing the Prayer, that he must else be thrust from the Communion of the Church, and yet that no Mini­ster shall kneel, that indeed doth pray: But he may pray standing, and the Hearers be cast out for standing at the same words. It is not a generally received, but a private opinion, [that every Parishi­oner (though impenitent, and conscious of his utter unfitness, and though he be in despair, and think he shall take his own damnati­on) must be forced to receive thrice a year: when yet even those that have not [a full trust in Gods mercy] or [have not a quiet Conscience] were before pronounced so uncapable, as that none such should come to the Communion.] Abundance more such Instances may be given to shew how far from truth the Assertion is, that [the Church hath been careful to put nothing into the Litur­gie, but that which is either evidently the Word of God, or which hath been generally received in the Catholick Church] unless you speak of some unhappie unsuccesful Carefulness. But we thankfully accept of your following words, [and if the contrary can be proved we wish it out of the Liturgie] which we entreat you to perform, and impartially receive our proofs. But then we must also entreat you; 1. That the Primitive Churches Judg­ment and practice may be preferred before the present declined, [Page 56] much corrupted State. And 2. If Gods Law rather than the sin­ful practises of men breaking that Law may be the Churches Rule for Worship: For you call us to subscribe to Art. 19. that [as the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch hath erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living, and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith: and saith Rogers, in Art. 20. they are out of the way, which think that either one man, as the Pope, or any certain Calling of men, as the Clergie, hath power to decree, and appoint Rites or Ceremonies, though of themselves good, unto the whole Church of God, dispersed over the universal world,] and indeed if you would have all that Corruption brought into our Liturgie, and Discipline, and Do­ctrine, which the Papists, Greeks, and others, that undoubtedly make up the far greater number of the now universal Church do use: you would deserve no more thanks of God, or man, than he that would have all Kings, and Nobles, and Gentry, levelled with the poor Commons, because the latter are the greater num­ber, or than he that would have the healthful conformed to the sick, when an epidemical disease hath made them the Majority, or than he that would teach us to follow a multitude to do evil, and to break more than the least Commands, because the greater number break them; we pray you therefore to take it for no justi­cation of any uncertain or faulty passage in our Liturgie, though the greater number now are guilty of it. 3. And we must beseech you, if the Churches Judgment or Practice must be urged, that you would do us the justice, as to imitate the ancient Churches in your sense of the quality, and the mode and measure of using, and imposing things, as well as in the materials used, and imposed Consider not only [whether you finde such things received by the ancient Churches,] but also consider how they were received, esteemed, and used,] whether as necessary or indifferent, as points of Faith, or doubtful Opinions, whether forced on others, or left to their free choice: If you finde that the generality of the anci­ent Churches received the White Garment after Baptism, and the tasting of Milk and Honie as Ceremonies freely, though generally used, you should not therefore force men to use them: If you finde that the Doctrine of the Millennium, or of Angels corporeity was generally received as an Opinion, it will not warrant you to receive either of them as a certain necessary truth. If you finde that the General Councels forbad Kneeling in any Adoration on the Lords daies, but without force against Dissenters, you may [Page 57] not go denie the Sacrament to all that kneel, nor yet forbid them to kneel in praying. So if you find some little parcels of our Litur­gie, or some of our Ceremonies used as things indifferent, left to choice, forced upon none, but one Church differing from another in such usages or observances, this will not warrant you to use the same things as necessarie to order, unitie, or peace, and to be forced upon all; use them no otherwise than the Churches used them.

[We heartily desire, that according to this Proposal, great care may be taken to suppress these private Conceptions of Prayers before and after Ser­mon, Sect. 2. lest private opinions be made the matter of Prayer in publick, as hath, and will be, if private persons take liberty to make publick Prayers.]

Reply. The desire of your hearts is the grief of our hearts, the Conceptions of Prayer by a publick person, according to a publick Rule, for a publick use, are not to be rejected as private Concepti­ons: We had hoped you had designed no such innovation as this in the Church: When we have heard any say that it would come to this, and that you designed the suppression of the free Prayers of Ministers in the Pulpit, suited to the varietie of subjects and occa­sions, we have rebuked them as uncharitable in passing so heavie a censure on you: And what would have been said of us a year ago, if we should have said that this was in your hearts? nothing will more alienate the hearts of many holy prudent persons from the Common-Prayer, than to perceive that it is framed and used as an Instrument to shut out all other Prayers, as the Ministers private Conceptions. Such an end and design will make it under the no­tion of a means, another thing than else it would be, and afford men such an Argument against it, as we desire them not to have: but we hope you speak not the publick sense. As the Apostles desi­red (as aforesaid) that all would speak the same things, without giving them (that ever was proved) a form of words to speak them in, so might we propose to you, that uncertain opinions be made no part of our Liturgie without putting all their words into their mouths, in which their desires must be uttered. Your heartie desire, and the reason of it, makes not only against extemporarie Prayer, but all prepared, or written forms, or Liturgies, that were indited only by one man, and have not the consent antecedently of others. And do you think this was the course of the Primitive times? Basil thus used his private Conceptions at Caesarea, and Greg. Thau­maturgus before him at Neocesarea, and all Pastors in Justin Martyrs [Page 58] and Tertullians daies. And how injurious is it to the publick Offi­cers of Christ, the Bishops and Pastors of the Churches, to be called private men, who are publick persons in the Church, if they be not? every single person is not a private person, else Kings and Judges would be so. And have you not better means to shut out private opinions, than the forbidding Ministers praying in the Pul­pit, according to the varietie of subjects and occasions: You have first the Examination of persons to be ordained, and may see that they be able to speak sense, and fit to mannage their proper works with judgement and discretion, before you ordain them; And some confidence may be put in a man in his proper calling and work, to which he is admitted with so great care, as we hope (or desire) you will admit them; If you are necessitated to admit some few that are injudicious, or unmeet, we beseech you (not only to restore the many hundred worthy men laid by, to a capacity, but that you will not so dishonour the whole Church, as to suppose all such, and to use all as such, but restrain those that deserve restraint, and not all others for their sakes: And next you have a publick Rule (the Holy Scripture) for these men to pray by, and if any of them be intollerably guiltie of weaknesses or rashness, or other miscarriages, the words being spoken in publick, you have witnesse enow, and sure there is power enough in Magistrates and Bishops to punish them, and if they prove incorrigible, to cast them out. In all other professions these means are thought sufficient to regulate the Pro­fessors, His Majestie thinks it enough to regulate his Judges, that he may choose able men, and fit to be trusted in their proper work, and that they are responsible for all their maladministrations, with­out prescribing them forms, beyond which they may not speak any thing in their Charge. Physitians being first tried, and responsible for their doings, are constantly trusted with the lives of high and low, without tying them to give no counsel, or medicine, but by the prescript of a Book, or determination of a Colledge: And it is so undeniable, that your reason makes more against Preaching, and for only reading Homilies, as that we must like it the worse, if not fear what will become of Preaching also. For 1. It is known that in Preaching a man hath far greater opportunity, and liberty to vent a false or private opinion, than in Prayer. 2. It is known de eventu, that it is much more ordinary. And if you say [that he speaks not the words of the Church, but his own, nor unto God, but man, and therefore it is less matter.] We answer, it is as consi­derable, if not much more, from whom he speaks, than to whom, [Page 59] he speaks as the Minister of Christ, in his stead and name, 2 Cor. 5. 19, 20. And it is as a higher, so a more Reverend thing to speak in Gods name to the people, than in the peoples name to God; and to speak that which we call Gods word, or truth, or message, than that which we call but our own desire: We make God a lyer, or corrupt in his words, if we speak a falshood in his name; we make but our selves lyers, if we speak a falshood to him in our own names; The former therefore is the more heynous and dreadfull abuse, and more to be avoided: or if but equally, it shews the ten­dency of your reason, (for we will not say of your design, as ho­ping you intend not to make us Russians) We do therefore for the sake of the poor threatened Church, beseech you that you will be pleased to repent of these desires, and not to prosecute them, consi­dering that to avoid a lesser evil (avoidable by safer means) you will bring a far greater evil on the Churches, and such as is like to strip these Nations of the glory in which they have excelled the rest of the world, even a learned, able, holy Ministry, and a people sincere, and serious, and understanding in the matters of their Salvation. For 1. As it is well known that an ignorant man may read a Prayer and Homily as distinctly and laudably as a Learned Divine, and so may do the work of a Minister, if this be it; so it is known that mans nature is so addicted to ease and sensual diversions, as that multitudes will make no better preparations, when they find that no more is necessary, when they are as capable of their places and maintenance if they can but read, and are forced upon no exer­cise of their parts, which may detect and shame their ignorance, but the same words are to be read by the ablest and ignorantest man; it is certain that this will make multitudes idle in their Academical Studies, and multitudes to spend their time idly all the year, in the course of their Ministry: and when they have no necessity that they are sensible of, of diligent studies, it will let loose their fleshly voluptuous inclinations, and they will spend their time in sports, and drinking, and prating, and idlenesse, and this will be a Semi­nary of Lust: or they will follow the world, and drown them­selves in Covetousnesse and Ambition, and their hearts will be like their studies: As its the way to have a holy, able Ministry, to en­gage them to holy studies, to meditate on Gods Law day and night, so its the way to have an ignorant, prophane and scandalous Ministry (and consequently Enemies to serious Godlinesse in o­thers) to impose upon them but such a work, as in ignorance and idlenesse, they may perform as well as the judicious and the [Page 60] diligent. If it be said [that their parts may be tried and exercised some other way] we answer, where should a Ministers parts be exer­cised, if not in the Pulpit, or the Church, and in Catechising, in pri­vate Baptism, and Communion, and in the visitation of the sick? their work also is such as a School-boy may do as well as they, their ignorance having the same Cloak, as in publick. If it be said [that a Ministers work is not to shew his parts] we answer, but his Mini­sterial work is, to shew men their sins, and to preach the wonder­full Mysteries of the Gospel, to help men to search, and understand the Scriptures, and to search, and to know their hearts, and to know God in Christ, and to hope for the glory that is to be re­vealed: and fervently to pray for the successe of his endeavours, and the blessings of the Gospel on the people, and chearfully to praise God for his various benefits, which cannot be well done without abilities. A Physitians work is not to shew his parts ulti­mately, but it is to do that for the cure of diseases which without parts he cannot do, and in the exercise of his parts, on which the issue much depends, to save mens lives. The ostentation of his good works, is not the work of a good Christian: and yet he must so let his light shine before men, that they may see his good works, and glorifie God. And undeniable experience tells us, that God ordinarily proportioneth the successe and blessing, to the skill, and holinesse and diligence of the Instruments, and blesseth not the la­bours of ignorant, ungodly Drones, as he doth the labours of able faithfull Ministers. And also that the readiest way to bring the Gospel into contempt into the world, and cause all religion to dwindle away into formality first, and then to barbarism and bru­tishnesse, is to let in an ignorant, idle, vicious Ministry, that will become the peoples scorn: Yea, this is the way to extirpate Chri­stianity out of any Country in the world, which is decaying a pace when men grow ignorant of the nature and reasons of it, and un­experienced in its power and delightfull fruits, and when the Tea­chers themselves grow unable to defend it. And we must add, that whatsoever can be expected duly to affect the heart, must keep the intellect, and all the faculties awake in diligent attention, and ex­ercise: And in the use of a form, which we have frequently heard and read, the faculties are not so necessitated and urged to attention, and serious exercise, as they be when from our own understanding we are set about the natural work of representing to others what we discern and feel. Mans mind is naturally sloathfull, and will take its ease, and remit its seriousnesse longer than it is urged by [Page 61] necessity, or drawn out by delight, when we know before-hand, that we have no more to do, but read a Prayer, or Homilie, we shall ordinarily be in danger of letting our mindes go another way, and think of other matters, and be senceless of the work in hand. Though he is but an Hypocrite that is carried on by no greater motive than mans observation, and approbation; yet is it a help not to be depised, when even a necessity of avoiding just shame with men, shall necessarily awake our invention, and all our faculties to the work, and be a concurrent help with spiritual motives. And common experience tells us, that the best are apt to lose a great deal of their affection, by the constant use of the same words or forms; Let the same Sermon be preached an hun­dred times over, and trie whether an hundred for one will not be much less moved by it, than they were at first. It is not only the common corruption of our nature, but somewhat of innocent in­firmity that is the cause of this. And man must cease to be man, or to be mortal, before it will be otherwise; so that the nature of the thing, and the common experience of our own dispositions, and of the effect on others, assureth us, that understanding serious Godliness, is like to be extinguished, if only forms be allowed in the Church, on pretence of extinguishing errors and divisions: And though we have concurred to offer you our more corrected Nepenthes, yet must we before God and men, protest against the dose of Opium which you here prescribe or wish for, as that which plainly tendeth to cure the disease by the extinguishing of life, and to unite us all in a dead Religion. And when the Prayers that avail must be effectual and servent, Jam. 5. 16. and God will be worshipped in spirit and truth, and more regardeth the frame of the heart, than the comeliness of expression; we have no rea­son to be taken with any thing that pretends to help the tongue, while we are sure it ordinarily hurts the heart: And it is not the affirmations of any men in the world, perswading us of the harm­lesness of such a course that can so far un-man us, as to make us dis-believe both our own experience, and common observation of the effect on others. Yet we confess that some forms have their laudable use, to cure that error and vice, that lieth on the other extreme. And might we but sometimes have the liberty to inter­pose such words as are needful to call home and quicken attention and affection, we should think that a convenient conjunction of both, might be a well tempered means to the common consti­tutions of most. But still we see the world will run into extreams, [Page 62] what ever be said or done to hinder it. It is but lately that we were put to it, against one extreme, to defend the lawfulness of a form of Liturgie; now the other extreme it troubleth us, that we are forced against you, even such as you, to defend the use of such Prayers of the Pastors of the Churches, as are necessarily varied ac­cording to subjects and occasions, while you would have no Prayer at all in the Church, but such prescribed forms. And why may we not add, that whoever maketh the forms imposed on us, if he use them, is guilty as well as we of praying according to his pri­vate conceptions? And that we never said it proved from Scri­pture, that Christ appointed any to such an Office, as to make Prayers for other Pastors and Churches to offer up to God: and that this being none of the work of the Apostolick, or common Mi­nisterial Office in the Primitive Church, is no work of any Office of Divine Institution.

[To that part of the Proposal, that the Prayers may consist of nothing Sect. 3. doubtful, or questioned by pious, learned, and orthodox persons; they not determining who be those orthodox Persons, we must either take all them for orthodox Persons, who shall confidently affirm themselves to be such, and then we say; First, The Demand is unreasonable, for some such as call themselves orthodox, have questioned the prime Article of our Creed, even the Divinity of the Son of God, and yet there is no reason we should part with our Creed for that. Besides, the Proposal requires impossiblity, for there never was, nor is, nor can be such Prayers made, as have not been, nor will be questioned by some who call themselves, pious, learned, and or­thodox: if by orthodox be meant those who adhere to Scripture, and the Catholick Consent of Antiquity, we do not yet know that any part of our Liturgy hath been questioned by such.]

Reply. And may we not thus mention orthodox Persons to men that profess they agree with us in Doctrinals, unless we digress to tell you who they be? What if we were pleading for civil Con­cord among all that are loyal to the King, must we needs digress to tell you who are loyal? We are agreed in one Rule of Faith, in one Holy Scripture, and one Creed, and differ not (you say) about the Doctrinal part of the 39. Art. And will not all this seem to tell you who are Orthodox. If you are resolved to make all that a matter of Contention, which we desire to make a means of Peace, there is no remedy while you have the Ball before you, and have the Wind and Sun, and the power of contending without [Page 63] controll. But we perceive, [That the Catholick consent of An­tiquity] must go into your definition of the Orthodox, but how hard it is to get a reconciling determination, what Ages shall go with you, and us, for the true Antiquity, and what is necessary to that consent that must be called Catholick, is unknown to none but the unexperienced. And indeed we think a man that searcheth the holy Scripture, and sincerely and unreserved­ly gives up his Soul to understand, love and obey it, may be Or­thodox, without the knowledge of Church-History; we know no universal Law-giver, nor Law to the Church, but one, and that Law is the sufficient rule of Faith, and consequently the test of the truly Orthodox, though we refuse not Church-History, or other means that may help us to understand it. And to acquaint you with what you do not know, we our selves (after many Pa­stors of the Reformed Churches) do question your Liturgie, as far as is expressed in our Papers: And we profess [to adhere to Scripture, and the Catholick Consent of Antiquity] (as de­scribed by Vincentius Liniensis) If you will say, that our Pretence and Claim is unjust, we call for your Authority to judge our Hearts, or depose us from the number of the Orthodox, or else for your proofs to make good your Accusation. But however you judge, we rejoice in the expectation of the righteous Judgment, that shall finally decide the Controversie; to which, from this Aspertion, we appeal.

[To those Generals, loading Publick Form with Ch. pomp, garm. Ima­gery, Sect. 4. and many Superfluities that creep into the Church under the name of Order and Decency, incumbring Churches with Superfluities, over ridgid reviving of obsolete Customes, &c. We say, that if these Generals be intended as applyable to our Liturgy in particular, they are gross and foul Slanders, contrary to their Profession, page ult. and so either that or this contrary to their Conscience, if not, they signifie nothing to the present business, and so might with more prudence and candor have been omitted.]

Reply. You needed not go a fishing for our Charge; what we had to say against the Liturgie, which we now desired you to ob­serve, was here plainly laid before you; Answer to this, and sup­pose us not to say, what we do not, to make your selves mat­ter of reproaching us with gross and foul slanders. Only we pray [Page 64] you answer Mr. Hales, as Mr. Hales, (whom we took to be a Per­son of much esteem with you), especially that passage of his which you take no notice of, as not being so easie to be answered, for the weight and strength which it carries with it; viz. That the li mitting of the Church Communion to things of doubtful dispu­tation, hath been in all Ages the ground of Schism and Separa­tion, and that he that separates from suspected Opinions is not the Separatist. And may we not cite such words of one that we thought you honored, and would hear without contradicting our Profession, of not intending depravation or reproach against the Book without going against our consciences? If we cite the words of an Author for a particular use (as to perswade you of the evil of laying the Churches Unity upon unnecessary things) must we be responsible therefore for all that you can say against his words in other respects? we suppose you would be loath your words should have such interpretations, and that you should be un­der such a Law for all your Citations; do as you would be done by.

[It was the wisdome of our Reformers to draw up such a Liturgy as Sect. 2. neither Romanist, nor Protestant could justly excopt against, and there­fore as the first never charged it with any positive errors, but only the want of something they conceived necessary: so it was never found fault with by those to whom the name of Protestants most properly belongs, those that profess the Augustine Confession: and for those who unlaw­fully and sinfully brought it into dislike with some people to urge the present Stave of Affaires, as an Argument why the Booke should be altered, to give them satisfaction, and so that they should take advantage by their own unwarrantable Acts, is not rea­sonable.]

Reply. If it be blameless, no man can justly except against it; But that de facto the Romanists never charged it with any positive errors, is an Assertion that maketh them reformed, and recon­cilable to us, beyond all belief: Is not the very using it in our own Tongue a positive error in their account? Is it no positive error in the Papists account, that we profess [to receive these Creatures of Bread and Wine?] do they think we have no positive error in our Catechism about the Sacraments, that affirmeth it to be Bread and Wine after the Consecration, [Page 65] and makes but two Sacraments necessary? &c.] 2. And unless we were nearlier agreed than we are, it seemeth to us no com­mendation of a Liturgie, that the Papists charge it with no po­sitive error. 3. That no Divines, or private men at home, or of Foreign Churches [that ever found fault with the Liturgie, are such to whom the name of Protestant properly belong­eth] is an assertion that proveth not what authoritie of judge­ing your Brethren you have, but what you assume, and com­mendeth your Charitie no more than it commendeth the Pa­pists, that they denie us to be Catholicks. Calvin and Bucer subscribed the Augustine Confession, and so have others that have found fault with our Liturgie. 4. If any of us have blamed it to the people, it is but with such a sort of blame, as we have here exprest against it to your selves; And whether it be [unlawfull, and sinfull] the impartial comparing of your words with ours, will help the willing Reader to discern. But if we prove indeed that it is [defective and faultie, that you bring for an Offering to God] when you or your Neighbours have a better, which you will not bring, nor suffer them that would (Mal. 1. 13.) and that you call evil good in justifying its blemishes, which in humble modestie we besought you to amend, or excuse us from offering, then God will better judge of the unlawfull act than you have done. But you have not proved, that all, or most of us, have caused the people at all to dislike it; if any of us have, yet weigh our Argument, though from the present state of affairs: or, if you will not hear us, we beseech you hear the many Mini­sters in England, that never medled against the Liturgie, and the many moderate Episcopal Divines that have used it, and can do still, and yet would earnestly entreat you to alter it, partly because of what in it needs alteration, and partly in respect to the Commodity of others; Or at least we beseech you recant, and obliterate such passages as would hinder all your selves from any act of Reformation hereabout, that if any man among you would find fault with some of the grosser things, which we laid open to you (tenderly and spiringly) and would reform them: he may not presently forfeit the reputation of being a Protestant: And lastly, we beseech you denie not again the name of Protestants to the Primate of [Page 66] Ireland, the Archbishop of York, and the many others that had divers meetings for the Reformation of the Liturgy, and who drew up that Catalogue of faults, or points, that needed mend­ing, which is yet to be seeu in print; they took not ad­vantage of their own unwarrantable Acts for the attempting of that alteration.

[The third and fourth Proposals may go together, the demand in N. 3, 4. both being against Responsals, and alternate Readings, in Hymns and Psalmes, and Letany, &c. And that upon such Reason as doth in truth enforce the necessity of continuing them as they are, namely, for edifica­tion. They would take these away, because they do not edifie, and upon that very reason they should continue, because they do edifie: If not by informing of our reasons and understandings, (the Prayers and Hymns were never made for a Catechism) yet by quickening, continuing, and uniting our devotion, which is apt to freeze, or sleep, or flat in a long continued Prayer, or form; it is necessary therefore for the edifying of us therein, to be often called upon and awakened by frequent Amens, to be excited and stirred up by mutual exultations, provocations, petitions, holy contentions and strivings, which shall most shew his own, and stir up others zeal to the glory of God. For this pur­pose alternate Reading, Repetitions and Responsals, are far better than a long tedious Prayer: Nor is this our opinion only, but the Socrat. 1. 6. cap. 8. Theodor. 1. 2. c. 24. 2 Chron. 7. 1, 4. Ezra 3. 11. Judgement of former Ages, as appears by the practice of ancient Christian Churches, and of the Jewes also. But it seems they say to be against the Scripture, wherein the Minister is appointed for the People in publick Prayers, the peoples part being to attend with silence, and to declare their assent in the cloze, by saying Amen; if they mean that the people in publick Services must only say this word Amen, as they can no more prove it in Scriptures, so it doth certainly seem to them, that it cannot be proved; for they di­rectly practise the contrary in one of their principal parts of Wor­ship, singing of Psalms, where the people bear as great a part as the Minister. If this way be done in Hopkin's, why not in David's Pslams? if in Meetre, why not in Prose? if in a Psalm, why not in a Letany?]

Reply. What is most for edification, is best known by expe­rience, and by the reason of the thing; For the former, you are [Page 67] not the Masters of all mens experience, but of your own, and others that have acquainted you with the same, as theirs: We also may warrantably professe in the name of our selves, and many thousands of sober pious persons, that we experience that these things are against our edification, and we beseech you do not by us, what you would not do by the poor la­bouring servants of your family, to measure them all their dyet for quality or quantity, according to your own appe­tites, which they think are diseased, and would be better, if you work'd as hard as they; And we gave you some of the reasons of our judgment. 1. Though we have not said that the people may not in psalmes to God concur in voice, (we speak of prayer which you should have observed) and though we only concluded it agreeable to the Scripture prac­tice, for the people in prayer to say but their Amen, yet knowing not from whom to understand the will of God, and what is pleasing to him, better than from himself, we con­sidered what the Scripture saith of the ordinary way of pub­lick worship; and finding ordinarily that the people spoke no more in prayer (as distinct from Psalmes and praise) than their Amen, or meer consent, we desired to imitate the su­rest pattern. 2. As we find that the Minister is the mouth of the people to God in publick (which Scripture, and the necessity of order, do require) so we were loath to counte­nance the peoples invading of that Sacred Office, so far as they seem to us to do; 1. By reading half the Psalmes and Hymnes; 2. By saying half the Prayers, as the Minister doth the other half; 3. By being one of them the mouth of all the rest in the Confession at the Lords Supper; 4. By being the only Petitioners, in the far greatest part of all the Letanie, by their [good Lord deliver us] and [we beseech thee to hear us good Lord] while the Minister only reciteth the matter of the prayer, and maketh none of the Request at all, we fear lest by parity of reason, the people will claim the work of preaching, and other parts of the Ministerial Office; 3. And we mentioned that which all our ears are witnesses of, that while half the Psalmes, and Hymnes, &c. are said by such of the people as can say them, the murmure of their voices in most Congregations, is so intelligible and confused, as must hinder [Page 68] the edification of all the rest; For who is edified by that which he cannot understand? we know not what you mean by citing 2 Chron. 7. 1, 4. Ezra 3. 11. where there is not a word of publick prayer, but in one place of an Acclamation, upon an extraordi­nary sight of the Glory of the Lord, which made them praise the Lord, and say, [He is good, for his Mercy is for ever] When the prayer that went before was such as you call [a long te­dious prayer] uttered by Solomon alone without such breaks, and discants; And in the other places is no mention of prayer at all, but of singing praise, and that not by the people, but by the Priests, and Levites, saying the same words [for he is good, for his Mercy endures for ever towards Israel.] The people are said to do no more than shout with a great shout, because the foundation of the house was laid: and if shouting be it that you would prove, it's not the thing in question. Let the or­dinary mode of praying in Scripture be observed, in the Prayers of David, Solomon, Ezra, Daniel, or any other, and if they were by breaks, and frequent beginnings and endings, and alternate interlocutions of the people, as yours are, then we will conform to your mode, which now offends us; But if they were not, we beseech you reduce yours to the examples in the Scripture: we desire no other rule to decide the Controversie by. As to your Citation, 1 Socrat. there tells us of the alter­nate singing of the Aruians in the reproach of the Orthodox, and that Chrysostome (not a Synod) compiled Hymnes to be sung in opposition to them in the streets, which came in the end to a Tumult and Bloodshed. And hereupon he tells us of the origi­nal of alternate singing. viz. a pretended vision of Ignatius, that heard Angels sing in that order. And what is all this to alter­nate reading, and praying, or to a Divine Institution, when here is no mention of reading, or praying, but of singing Hymnes? And that not upon pretence of Apostolical Traditi­on, but a vision of uncertain credit. Theodor. also speaketh only of singing Psalmes alternately, and not a word of reading or praying so; And he fetcheth that way of singing also as Socrat. doth, but from the Church at Antioch, and not from any pretended doctrine, or practise of the Apostles; And nei­ther of them speaks a word of the necessitie of it, or of for­cing any to it, so that all these your Citations, speaking not a [Page 69] word so much as of the very Subjects in question, are marvellously impertinent. The words [their Worship] seem to intimate, that singing Psalms is part (of our Worship) and not of yours, we hope you disown it not; for our parts we are not ashamed of it, your distinction between Hopkin's and David's Psalms, as if the Meetre allowed by Authority to be sung in Churches made them to be no more David's Psalms, seemeth to us a very hard saying. If it be because it is a Translation, then the Prose should be none of David's Psalms neither, nor any Transla­tion be the Scripture. If it be because it is in Meetre, then the exactest Translation in Meetre should be none of the Scri­pture. If because it's done imperfectly, then the old Tran­slation of the Bible, used by the Common-Prayer-book, should not be Scripture. As to your reason for the supposed priority, 1. Scripture examples telling us, that the People had more part in the Psalms, than in the Prayers or Readings, satisfie us, that God and his Church then saw a disparity of Reason. 2. Common observation tells us, that there is more Order and less hindrance of Edification in the Peoples singing, than in their Reading, and Praying together vocally.

[It is desired that nothing should be in the Liturgy, which so much N. 5. Sect. 1. us seems to countenance the observation of Lent as a religious Fast, and this as an expedient to Peace, which is in effect to desire, that this our Church may be contentious for Peace sake, and to divide from the Church Catholick, that we may live at unity among our selves: For Saint Paul reckons them amongst the lovers of Conten­tion, who shall oppose themselves against the Custome of the Churches of God; that the religious observation of Lent was a Custome of the Churches of God, appeares by the Testimonies following, Chrysost. Ser. 11. in Heb. 10. Cyrill. Catec. myst. 5. St. August. Ep. 119. ut 40. dies ante Pascha observetur, Ecclesiae consuetudo ro­boravit: and St. Hierom ad Marcell, saies, it was secundum traditionem Apostolorum; This Demand then tends not to Peace, but Dissention. The fasting Forty daies may be in imitation of our Saviour, for all that is here said to the contrary; for though we cannot arrive to his perfection, abstaining wholly from meat so long, yet we may fast forty daies together, either Cornelius his Fast, till three of the Clock af­ternoon, [Page 70] or Saint Peter's fast till noon, or at least Daniel's fast, ab­staining from Meats and Drinks of delight, and thus far imitate our Lord.]

Reply. If we had said, that the Church is contentious, if it a­dore God in kneeling on the Lords daies, or use not the White Garment, Milk and Honey after baptism, which had more pretence of Apostolical tradition, and were generally used more anciently than Lent, would you not have thought we wronged the Church? if the purer times of the Church have one Custome, and later times a contrary, which must we follow? or must we necessarily be contentious for not fol­lowing both? or rather may we not by the example of the Church that changeth them, be allowed to take such things to be matters of Liberty, and not necessity? If we must needs conform to the Custome of other Churches in such things, or be contentious, it is either because God hath so command­ed, or because he hath given those Churches Authority to command it: If the former, then what Churches or what Ages must we conforme to? If all must concurr to be our patterne, it will be hard for us to be acquainted with them so far as to know of such Concurrences: And in our Case we know that many do it not; If it must be the most, we would know where God commandeth us to imitate the greater num­ber, though the worse; or hath secured us that they shall not be the worst? or why we are not tied rather to imitate the pu­rer Ages than the more corrupt? If it be said, that the Church hath Authority to command us, we desire to know what Church that is, and where to be found, and heard, that may com­mand England, and all the Churches of his Majesty's Domi­nions. If it be said to be a General Council; 1. No Gene­ral Council can pretend to more Authority than that of Nice, whose 20th Canon, back'd with Tradition and common pra­tice, now bindes not us, and was laid by without any Re­peal by following Councils. 2. We know of no such things as General Councils, at least that have bound us to the reli­gious observation of Lent. The Bishops of one Empire could not make a General Council. 3. Nor do we know of any such [Page 65] power that they have ever the universal Church, there being no visible head of it, or Governours to make u­niversal Laws, but Christ, (as Rogers on the 20. Arti­cle fore-cited shews) our 21. Article saith that [General Councils may not be gathered together without the Com­mandment and Will of Princes] and doubtless all the Hea­then, and Mahomitans, and all the contending Christi­an Princes, will never agree together, (nor never did) to let all their Christian Subjects concurre to hold a Ge­neral Council. It saith also [and when they be gathered together (forasmuch as they be an Assembly of men, where­of all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God) they may erre, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God; therefore things ordained by them, as necessary to Salvation, have neither strength nor au­thority, unlesse it may be declared that they be taken out of the Holy Scriptures;] And if they may erre in things pertaining unto God, and ordained by them as ne­cessary to Salvation] much more in lesser things. And are we contentious if we erre not with them? Our. 39. Ar­ticle determineth this Controversie, saying, [It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all pla­ces one, or utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and changed according to the diversity of Coun­tryes, times, and mens manners, so that nothing be or­dained against Gods Word.] And after [every particu­lar, or national Church, hath authority to ordain, change, or abolish Ceremonies, or Rites of the Church, ordained only by mans authority, so that all things be done to edifying] they that believe not this, should not subscribe it, nor require it of others. As for the Testimonies cited by you, they are to little purpose: We deny not that the Custom of observing Lent, either fewer dayes or more, was as Antient as those Authors. But 1. That Lent was not known or kept in the 2d. or 3d. Ages, you may see as followeth, Tertul. de jejun. l. 2. cap. 14. pleading for the Montanists, [Si omnem in totum de­votionem temporum, & dierum, & mensium, & annorum e­rasit [Page 66] Apostolus, cur Pascha celeramus anno circulo in mense primo? cur quodragin [...]a inde diebus in omni exul­tatione decurrimus? cur stationibus quartam & sextam, sabbati dicamus? & jejunits Parasceven? quanquam vos etiam sabbatum si quando continuatis; nunquam risi in Pascha jejunandum, &c. And cap. 15. excusing that rigor of their Fasts [quontula est apud ncs interdictio ciborum, duus in anno. Hebdomadas xerophagiarum nec totas; excap­tis scilicet sabbatis, & dominicis offerimus Deo; The old general Fast at that time was only the voluntary un­constrained fasting on Good Friday, & after that on one or two dayes more, and then on six; Iraeneus in a fragment of an Epist. in Euseb. Hist. lib. 5. cap. 26. Gr. Lat. 23. saith, (the Controversy is not only of the day of Easter, but of the kind of Fast it self: for some think they should fast one day, some two, others more, some measure their day by 40. hours of day and night; and this variety of those that observe these Fasts began not now in our Age, but long before us with our Ancestors, who as is most like, propagated to posterity the Custom which they retein, as brought in by a certain simplicity, and private will; And yet all these lived peaceably among themselves, and we keep peace among our selves, and the difference of Fasting is so far from violating the consonancy of Faith, as that it even commendeth it.] Thus Iraeneus, (read the rest of the Chapter) thus is the true reading confessed by Bellarmine, Rigaltius, &c. and Dionis. Alexand. Ep. Can. ad Basil. pag. 881. Balsam. saith, [nor do all equally and alike sustain those six dayes of Fasting; but some passe them all Fasting, some two, somethree, some four, some more;] And the Catho­licks [Page 67] in Tert. de jejun, cap. 2. say, neque de caetero differentur jejunandum, ex arbitrio, non ex imperio nova disciplinae, pro temporibus & causis uniuscujusque sic & Apostolos ob­servasse, nullum aliud imponentes jugum certorum, & in commune omnibus obeundorum jejuniorum; And Socrat. admireth at many Countries, that all differed about the number of dayes, and yet all called it Quadragesi­ma, lib. 5. c. 22. Eat. Gr. 21. So Sozomen lib. 7. c. 19. Gr. & Niceph. lib. 12. cap. 34. which may help you to expound Hierom, and the rest cited by you, as Ri­galitus doth ad Tertul. de jejun. 128. as shewing that they did it with respect to Christs 40. dayes fast, but not as intending any such thing themselves as any fast of 40. dayes. It is against the Montanists, that the Quadrages. was but once a year that Hierom useth the title of Apostolick tradition. And how to expound him, see Epist. ad Lucin. [u [...]aqueque provincia abundet in suo sensu, & precepta Majorum leges Apostolicus arbi­tictur;] But saith August. ad Casulan. Ep. 86. [In E­vangelicis & Apostolicis literis, totoque Instrumento quod appellatur Testamentum Novum, animo id revolens video preceptum esse jejunium: quibus autem diebus non oportet jejunare, & quibus oporteas, precepto Do­mini vel Apostolorum non invenio definitum.] And that Christ ans abstinance in Lent was voluntary [quanto magis quisque vel minus voluerit, vel potuerit.] Au­gust. affirmeth, cont. Faustum Manich. lib. 30. cap. 5. And Soerat. ubi supr. saith. [ac quontam nemo de eâre praeceptum literarum monumentis proditam potest osten­dete, perspicuum est Apostolos liberam potestatem in ea­dem cujusque menti, ac arbitrio permississe: ut quisque nec metu, nec necessitate inductus quod bonum sit ageret.] [Page 68] And Prosper de vit. Contempl. li. 2. C. 24 veruntamen sic jeju­nare, vel abstinere debemus ut nos non jejunandi, vel absti­nendi necessitate subdamus, ne jam deveti, sed inviti, rem voluntariam faciamus.] And Cossianus, lib. 2. col. 21. cap. 30. saith in primitivâ ecclesiâ equale fuisse jejunium per totum annum: Ac frigescente devotione, cum negligerentur jejunia in­ductum Quadragiâ Sacer dotibus. But when you come to de­scribe your fast, you make amends for the length, by making it indeed no fast; To abstain from meats and drinks of de­light,] where neither the thing, not the delight, is profita­ble to further us in our duty to God, is that which we take to be the duty of every Christian all the year, as being a part of our mortification, and self denyal, who are com­manded to Crucifie the flesh, and to make no provision to satisfie the lusts of it, and to subdue our bodies; But when those meats and drinks, do more help than hinder us in the service of God, we take it to be our duty to use them, unless when some other accident forbids it, that would make it o­therwise more hurtful; And for fasting till noon, we suppose it is the ordinary way of dyet to multitudes of Sedentary persons, both Students, and Tradesmen, that find one meal a day sufficient for nature: If you call this fasting, your poor Brethren fast all their life time, and never knew that it was fasting; But to command hard Labourers to do so, is but to make it a fault to have health, or to do their necessary work. We beseech you bring not the Clergy under the suspition of Gluttony, by calling our ordinary wholesome temperance by the name of fasting: sure Princes may feed as fully and delightfully as we; yet Solomon saith [woe to thee O Land when thy King is a Child, and thy Princes eat in the morning; Blessed art thou O Land when thy King is the Son of Nobles, and thy Princes eat in due season, for strength, & not for drunkenesse: For meer sensual delight it is never lawful; And when it is for strength it is not to be forbidden, unless when by accident it will infer a greater good to abstain, Eccl. 20. 16. 17. so Prov. 31. 4. 6. It is not for Kings to drink wine, not for Princes strong drink; give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts.]

[Nor does the Act of Parliament 5 Elizab. forbid it, we dare not think a Parliament did intend to forbid that which Christ his Church hath commanded; Nor does the Act determine any thing about Lent Fast, but only provide for the maintenance of the Navy, and of Fishing in order thereunto, as is plain by the Act. Besides we conceive that we must not so interpret, one Act, as to contradict another, being still in force and unrepealed. Now the Act of 1 Eliz. confirmes the whole Li­turgy, and in that the religious keeping of Lent, with a severe penalty up­on all those, who shall by open words speak any thing in derogation of any part thereof, and therefore that other Act of 5 Elizab. must not be inter­preted to forbid the religious keeping of Lent.]

Reply. If when the expresse words of a Statute are cited, you can so easily put it off, by saying (it does not forbid it,) and you dare not think that a Parliament did intend to forbid that which Christ his Church hath commanded,) and (you must not interpret it as con­tradicting that Act which confirms the Liturgy,) we must think that indeed we are no lesse regardful of the Laws of the Governours than you; But first, we understand not what Authority this is that you set against the King and Parliament, as supposing they will not for­bid what it commands? You call it Christs Church, we suppose you mean not Christ himself, by his Apostles infallibly directed and inspired: If it be the National Church of England, they are the Kings Subjects; and why may he not forbid a Ceremony which they command; or why should they command it if he forbid it? If it be any Foreign Church, ther's none hath power over us. If it be any pretended head of the Church universal, whether Pope or general Council, having power to make Laws that bind the whole Church, it is a thing so copiously disproved by Protestants against both the Italian and French Papists, that we think it needlesse to con­fute it, nor indeed dare imagine that you intend it. We know not the refore what you mean; But whatever you mean you seem to contradict the forecited Article of the Church of England, that makes all humane Laws about Rites and Ceremonies of the Church to be unchangeable, by each particular National Church; And that it is not necessary that Ceremonies or Traditions be in all places one, or utterly like▪ we most earnestly beseech you be cautious how you obtrude upon us a Foreign Power, under the name of Christs Church, that may command Ceremonies which King and Parliament may not forbid, whether it be one man or a thousand, we fear it is against our Oathes of Allegiance and Supremacy, for us [Page 70] do own any such Power. And (not presuming upon any immo­dest challenge) we are ready in the defence of those Oathes, and the Protestant Religion, to prove against any in an equal conference, that there is no such Power, and for the Statute, let the words them­selves decide the Controversy, which are these [Be it Enacted that who soever shall by Preaching, Teaching, Writing, or open speech, notifie that any eating of Fish, or forbearing of Flesh, mentioned in this Statuie, is of any necessity for the saving of the Soul of man, or that it is the Service of God, otherwise than as other Politick Laws are, and be, that than such persons are and shall be punished, as the spreaders of false news are, and ought to be.] And whereas you say the Act deter­mines not any thing about Lent Fast, it speaks against eating Flesh, (on any days now usually observed as Fish days: and Lent is such, and the senfe of the Act for the Lituigy may better be tryed by this, which is plain, than thus reduced to that which is more obscure.

[The observation of Saints dayes, is not as of Divine, but Ecclesiasti­cal Institution, and therefore it is not necessary that they should have N. 6. any other ground in Scripture, than all other Institutions of the same nature, so that they be agreeable to the Scriptare in the general end, for the promoting piety, and the observation of them was antient, as ap­pears by the Rituals, and Liturgies, and by the joynt consent of Anti­quity, and by the antient translation of the Bible, as the Syriack and Ethiopick, where the Lessons appointed for Holydayes, are noted and set down, the former of which was made near the Apostles times, Be­sides our Saviour himself, kept a Feast of the Churches Institution, viz. the Feast of the Dedication, S. Jo. 12. 22. The choice end of these dayes being not feasting, but the exercise of Holy Duties, they are fitter called Holydayes, than Festivals, and though they be all of like nature, it doth not follow that they are equal; The people may be dispensed with for their work, after the Service, as Authority pleaseth, The other names are left in the Calender, not that they should be so kept as Holydayes, but they are useful for the preservation of their memories, and for other reasons, as for Leases, Law-dayes, &c.]

Reply. The antiquity of the Translations mentioned is far from being of determinate certainty: we rather wish than hope that the Syriack could be proved to be made near the Apostles times; But however, the things being confessed of humane Institution, and no Forreign Power having any Authority to command his Majesties Subjects, and so the imposition being only by our own Governours, [Page 71] we humbly crave that they may be left indifferent, and the unity or peace of the Church, or Liberty of the Ministers not laid upon them.

[This makes the Liturgy void, if every, Minister may put in, and N. 7. S. 1. leave out all at his discretion.]

Repl. You mistake us: we speak not of putting in, and leaving out, of the Liturgy, but of having leave to intermix some exhortati­ons or prayers besides, to take off the deadnesse which will follow, if there be nothing but the stinted Forms; we would avoid both the extreme that would have no forms, and the contrary extremes that would have nothing but forms; But if we can have nothing but extremes, there's no remedy, its not our fault. And this mo­deration and mixture which we move for, is so far from making all the Liturgy void, that it will do very much to make it attain its end, and would heal much of the distemper which it occasioneth, and consequently would do much to preserve the reputation of it. As for instance, it besides the Forms in the Liturgy, the Minister might at Baptism, the Lords Supper, Marriage, &c. interpose some suit­able exhortation or prayer upon special occasion when he finds it needful. Should you deny this at the visitation of the Sick, it would seem strange, and why may it not be granted at other times: It is a matter of far greater trouble to us, that you would deny us and all Ministers the Liberty of using any other Prayers besides the Liturgy then that you impose these

[The gift or rather spirit of Prayer consists in the inward graces of the spirit, not in ex tempore expressions, which any man of natural S. 2. parts, having a voluable tongue, and audacity, may attain to without any special gift.]

Repl. All inward Graces of the spirit, are not properly called the spirit of Prayer, nor is the spirit of Prayer that gift of Prayer which we speak of; Nor did we call it by the name of a special gift,) nor did we deny that ordinary men of natural parts and volu­able tongues may attain it; But yet we humbly conceive that as there is a gift of Preaching, so also of Prayer, which God bestows in the use of means, diversified much according to mens natural parts, & their diligence, as other acquired abilities are, but also much depending on that grace that is indeed special, which maketh men [Page 72] love and relish the holy subjects of such spiritual studies, and the holy exercise of those Graces that are the soul of Prayer, and consequently making men follow on such exercises with delight and diligence, and therefore with success; And also God is free in gi­ving, or denying his blessing to mans endeavours. If you think there be no Gift of Preaching, you will too dishonourably level the Minist­ry: If Reading be all the Gift of Prayer or Preaching, there needs no great understanding or learning to it. Nor should Cobblers and Tinkers be so unfit men for Ministers as they are thought; Nor would the reason be very apparent, why a Woman might not speak by Preaching, or praying in the Church.

[But if there be any such Gift as is pretended, it is to be subject to 4. 3. the Prophets, and to the Order of the Church.]

Repl. The Text speaks (as Dr. Hammond well shews) of a subjection to that Prophet himself, who was the Speaker; Inspira­tion excluded not the prudent exercise of Reason; But it is a strange ordering, that totally excludeth the thing ordered. The Gift of Preaching (as distinct from reading) is to be orderly and with due subjection exercised; But not to be on that pretence ex­tinguished and cast out of the Church: And indeed if you should command it, you are not to be obeyed, whatever we suffer; And why then should the Gift of Prayer (distinct from reading) be cast out.

[The mischiefs that come by Idle, Impertinent, Ridiculous, some­times §. 4. Seditious, Impious, and Blasphemous expressions under pre­tence of the Gift, to the dishonour of God, and scorn of Religion, be­ing far greater than the pretended good of exercising the Gift: It is fit that they who desire such liberty in publike devotions, should first give the Church security, that no private opinions; should be put into their Prayers, as is desired in the first Proposal, and that nothing con­trary to the Faith should be uttered before God, or offered up to him in the Church.]

Repl. The mischiefs which you pretend, are Inconveniencies attending humane Imperfection, which you would cure with a mis­chief; Your Argument from the abuse against the use is a palpable Fallacy, which cast out Phisicians in some Countries, and rooted [Page 73] up Vines in others, and condemneth the reading of the Scriptures in a known. Tongue among the Papists; If the Apostles (that complain­ed then so much of Divisions, and preaching false Doctrines, and in envy and strife, &c.) had thought the way of Cure had been, in sending Ministers about the world, with a Prayer-book, and Ser­mon-book, and to have tied them only to read either one or both of these, no doubt but they would have been so regardful of the Church, as to have composed such a Prayer-book, or Sermon-book themselves, and not lest us to the uncertainties of an Authority not infallible, nor to the Divisions that follow the Impositions of a questionable power, or that which unquestionably is not Universal, and therefore can procure no universal Concord. If one man a­mong you draw up a form of Prayer, it is his single conception: And why a man as learned and able may not be trusted to conceive a Prayer, for the use of a single Congregation, without the dangers mentioned by you, as one man to conceive a Prayer for all the Churches in a Diocess or a Nation? we know not; These words (That the mischief is greater than the pretended good) seem to expresse an unjust Accusation, of ordinary conceived prayer, and a great un­dervaluing of the benefits: If you would intimate that the Crimes expressed by you are ordinarily found in Ministers prayers, we that hear so much more frequently than you, must profess we have not found it so (allowing men their different measures of Exact­ness, as you have even in writing) Nay to the praise of God we must say, that multitudes of private men can ordinarily pray with­out any such Imperfection, as should nauseate a sober person, and with such seriousness, and aptness of Expression as is greatly to the benefit and comfort of ourselves, when we joyn with them; And if such general Accusations may serve in a matter of publick, and common fact, there is no way for the Justification of the Innocent. And that it is no such common guilt, will seem more probable to them that consider, that such conceived Prayers, both prepared and extemperate, have been ordinarily used in the Pulpits in England, and Scotland, before our dayes till now, and there hath been power e­nough in the Bishops and others, before the Wars, to punish those that speak Ridiculously, Seditiously, Impiously, or Blasphemously; And yet so few are the Instances (even when jealousie was most busy) of Ministers punished, or once accused of any such fault in Pray­er, as that we find it not easy to remember any considerable number of them: There being great numbers punished for not reading the [Page 74] Book, for playing on the Lords dayes, or for preaching too oft, and such like, for one that was ever questioned for such kind of praying. And the former shewed that it was not for want of will to be se­vere, that they spared them as to the latter. And if it be but few that are guilty of any intolerable faults of that nature in their Prayers, we hope you will not go on to believe, that the mischiefs that come by the failings of those few, are far greater than the benefit of con­ceived prayer by all others. We presume not to make our Expe­riences, the measure of yours, or of other mens. You may tell us what doth most good, or hurt to your selves, and those that have so communicated their Experiences to you; But we also may speak our own, and theirs that have discovered them to us. And we must se­riously profess, that we have found far more benefit to our selves, and to our Congregations (as far as our Conference, and Converse with them, and our observation of the effects alloweth us to di­scern) by conceived Prayers, than by the Common-Prayer-book, We find that the benefit of conceived Prayer is to keep the mind in serious Employment, and to awaken the affections, and to make us fervent, and importunate, And the Inconvenience is that some weak men are apt as in Preaching and Conference, so in Prayer to shew their weaknesse, by some unapt Expressions, or disorder, Which is an evil no way to be compared, with the fore-mentioned. good, considering that it is but in the weak, and that if that weak­nesse be so great as to require it, forms may be imposed on those few, without imposing them on all for their sakes (as we force not all to use Spectacles, or Crutches, because some are purblind or lame) and considering that God heareth not Prayers, for the Rhetorick, and handsome Cadencies, and neatnesse of Expression, but will bear more with some Incuriosity of words (which yet we plead not for) than with an hypocritical, formal heartlesse, lip­service; For he knoweth the meaning of the Spirit even in the groans, which are not uttered in words; And for the Common-Prayer our Observation telleth us, that though some can use it ju­diciously, seriously, and we doubt not profitably, yet as to the most of the vulgar, it occasioneth a relaxing of their attention, and intention, and a lazie taking up with a Corps, or Image of devo­tion, even the service of the lips, while the heart is little sensible of what is said. And had we not known it we should have thought it incredible, how, utterly ignorant abundance are of the sence of the words which they hear, and repeat themselves from day to day even [Page 75] about Christ himself, and the Essentials of Christianity. It is won­derful to us to observe that rational Creatures can so commonly seperate the words from all the sense and life, so great a help or hinderance even to the understanding, is the awakening or not a­wakening of the Affections about the things of God; And we have already shewed you many unfit Expressions in the Common-Prayer­book, especially in the Epistles and Gospels, through the faulti­nesse of your Translations, as Eph. 3. 15. (Father of all, that is called, Father in Heaven and Earth) And that Christ was found in his Apparel as a man) That Mount Sinai is Agar in Arabia, and bordereth upon the City now called Jerusalem) Gal. 4. 25. (This is the Sixth Month which is called Barren) Luke 1. (And when men be drunk) John 2. with many such like, which are parts of your publick worship; And would you have us hence conclude, that the mischiefs of such Expressions are worse, than all the benefits of that worship: And yet there is this difference in the Cases, that weak & rash Ministers were but here and there one; But the Common-Prayer is the service of every Church, and every day had we heard any in extemporary Prayer use such unmeet Expressions, we should have thought him worthy of sharp reprehension, yea though he had been of the younger or weaker sort; Divers other unfit Expressions, are mentioned in the Exceptions of the late Arch-Bishop of York, and Primate of Ireland, and others (before spoken of) And there is much in the prejudice or diseased Curiosity of some hearers, to make words seem Idle, Impertinent, or Ridiculous which are not so (and which perhaps they understand not) some thought so of the inserting in the late Prayer-book, the private opinion of the Souls departed praying for us; and our praying for the benefit of their prayers; As for the security which you call for, (though (as is shewed) you have given us none at all against such errors in your forms, yet) we have before shewed you, that you have as much as among imperfect men can be expected: The same that you have, that Physitians shall not murther men, and that Lawyers and Judges shall not undoe men, and that your Pilate shall not cast away the ship, you have the power in your hands of taking or refusing as they please or displease you, and of judging them by a known Law for their proved miscarriages, according to the quality of them, and what would you have more.

[To prevent which mischief the former Ages know no better way, §. 5.[Page 76] than to forbid any Prayers in publick, but such as were prescri­bed by publick Authority: Con. Carthag. Can. 106. Milen. Can. 12.]

Repl. To what you allege out of two Councils, we answer, 1. The Acts of more venerable Councils are not now at all ob­served (as Nice 1. Can. ult. &c.) nor many of these same which you cite. 2. The Scripture, and the constant practice of the more antient Church allowed what they forbid. 3. Even these Canons shew that then the Churches thought not our Liturgy to be necessary to their Concord: Nor indeed had then any such form imposed on all, or many Churches to that end. For the Can. of Counc. Carth.) we suppose you meant Council 3. Can. 23.) mentioneth Prayers even at the Alter, and alloweth any man to describe and use his own Prayers, so he do but first, cum instructionibus fratribus eas conferre, Take advice about them with the abler Brethren. If there had been a stated form be­fore imposed on the Churches, what room could there be for this course. And even this much seems but a Caution, made newly upon some late abuse of Prayer. The same we may say de Concil. Male Can. 12.: If they were but a prudentioribus tractata, vel comprobata in Synodo, new Prayers might by any man at any time be brought in, which sheweth they had no such stated publick Liturgy as is now pleaded for. And even this seemeth occasioned by Pelagianisme, which by this Caution they would keep out.

We hope your omission of our 8th. desire (for the use of the new Translation) intimateth your grant that it shall be so; But we marvel then that we find among your Concessions, the alter­ation of no part but the Epistles and Gospels.

[As they would have no Saints dayes observed by the Church, so no N. 9. Apocriphal Chapter read in the Church, but upon such a reason, as would exclude all Sermons, as well as Apocripha, viz. because the holy Scriptures contain in them all things necessary either in Doctrine to be believed, or in duty to be practised; if so, why so many unnecessary Ser­mons? why any more but reading of Scriptures? If notwithstanding their sufficiency, Sermons be necessary, there is no reason why these A­pocriphal Chapters should not be as useful, most of them containing ex­cellent discourses, and rules of mortality, it is heartily to be wished [Page 77] that Sermons were as good; if their fear be that by this mean [...] those Books may come to be of equal esteem with the Canon, they may be secured against that by the Title which the Church hath put upon them, calling them Apocriphal, and it is the Church's testi­mony which teacheth us this difference, and to leave them out, were to cross the practice of the Church in former Ages.]

Repl. We hoped when our desires were delivered in writing they would have been better observed and understood: We asked not (that no Apocriphal Chapter may be read in the Church,) but that none may be read (as Lessons) for so the Chapters of holy Scripture there read, are called in the Book, and to read them in the same place under the same title, without any sufficient note of distinction, or notice given to the people that they are not Canonical Scripture, they being also bound with our Bibles) is such a temptation to the vulgar to take them for Gods Word, as doth much prevail, and is like to do so still. And when Papists second it with their confident affirmations, that the Apocriphal Bookes are Canonical, well refelled by one of you, the R. Reverend Bishop of Durham,) we should not needlesly help on their successe. If you cite the Apocripha as you do other humane writings, or read them as Homilies, (when and where there is reason to read such) we speak not against it,) to say that the people are secured by the Churches calling them Apocripha, is of no force, till experience be proved to be dis-regardable, and till you have proved that the Ministers is to tell the people at the reading of every such Chapter that it is but Apocriphal, and that the people all understand Greek so well as to know what Apocripha signifieth. The more sacred and ho­nourable are these Dictates of the holy Ghost recorded in Scrip­ture, the greater is the sin, by reading the Apocripha, without sufficient distinction to make the people believe that the writings of man are the Revelation and Laws of God; And also we speak against the reading of the Apocripha, as it excludeth much of the Canonical Scriptures, and taketh in such Books in their stead, as are commonly reputed fabulous. By this much you may see how you lost your Answer by mistaking us, and how much you will sin against God, and the Church, by denying our desire.

[That the Minister should not read the Communion Service at the N. 10. Communion Table, is not reasonable to demand, since all the Primi­tive Church used it, and if we do not observe that golden Rule, of the venerable Council of Nice, Let antient customes prevail, till reason plainly requires the contrary: We shall give offence to sober Christians by a causelesse departure from Catholick usage, and a great advantage to enemies of our Church, than our Brethren I hope would willingly grant, The Priest standing at the Communion Ta­ble, seemeth to give us an invitation to the holy Sacrament, and minds us of our duty, viz. To receive the holy Communion, some at least every Sunday, and though we neglect our duty, it is fit the Church should keep her standing.]

Repl. We doubt not but one place in it self is as lawful as ano­ther, but when you make such differences as have misleading intimations, we desire it may be forborn. That all the Primi­tive Church used when there was no Communion in the Sacra­ment, to say Service at the Communion Table, is a crude asser­tion, that must have better proof before we take it for convin­cing, and it is not probable, because they had a Communion every Lords day: And if this be not your meaning, you say nothing to the purpose: To prove that they used it when there was none; And you your selves devise many things more universally practised than this can at all be fairly pretended to have been. The Coun­cil of Nice gives no such golden Rule as you mention; A Rule is a general applyable to particular Cases, the Council only speaks of one particular; Let the antient Custom continue in Aegypt, Lybia, and Pentapolis, that the Bishop of Alexandria have the power of them all;) The Council here confirmeth this parti­cular Custom, but doth not determine in general of the Authori­ty of Custom. That this should be called a Catholic usage shews us how partially the word (Catholick) is sometimes ta­ken. And that this much cannot be granted, as least we advan­tage the enemies of the Church, doth make us wonder whom you take for its enemies, and what is that advantage which this will give them; But we thank you that here we find our selves called Brethren, when before we are not so much as spoken to, but [Page 79] your speech is directed to some other (we know not whom) concerning us, your reason is that which is our reason to the contrary, you say (The Priest standing at the Communion Ta­ble seems to give us an Invitation to the holy Communion, &c.) what when there is no Sacrament by himself or us intended? no warning of any given? no Bread and Wine prepared? Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Therefore we desire that there may be no such service at the Table when no Communion is in­tended, because we would not have such grosse dissimulation used in so holy things, as thereby to seem (as you say) to in­vite Guests when the Feast is not prepared, and if they came we would turn them empty away. Indeed if it were to be a private Mass, and the Priest were to receive alone for want of Compa­ny, and it were really desired that the people should come, it were another matter; Moreover there is no Rubrick requiring this service at the Table.

[It is not reasonable that the word Minister should be only N. 11. used in the Liturgy, for since some parts of the Liturgy may be per­formed by a Deacon, others by none under the Order of a Priest, viz. Absolution, Consecration, it is fit that some such word as Priest, should be used for those Offices, and not Minister, which signifies at large every one that ministers in that holy Office, of what Order soever he be; The word Curate signifying properly all those who are trusted by the Bishops, with Cure of Souls, as antiently it signified, is a very fit word to be used, and can offend no sober per­son. The word Sunday is antient. Just. Mart. Ap. 2. And there­fore not to be left off.]

Repl. The word (Minister) may well be used in stead of Priest and Curates,, though the word (Deacon) for necessary distinction stand; yet we doubt not but (Priest) as it is but the English of Presbyter) is lawful; But it is from the common danger of mistake, and abuse that we argue. That all Pastors else are but the Bishops Curates, is a Doctrine that declares, the heavy charge and account of the Bishops, and tends much to the ease of the Presbyters minds if it could be proved. If by (Cu­rates) you mean such as have not directly by divine Obligation the Cure of Souls, but only by the Bishops Delegation.) But if [Page 80] the Office of a Presbyter be not of divine Right, and so if they be not the Curates of Christ, and Pastors of the Church, none are; And for the antient use of it, we find not that it was so from the beginning: And as there's difference, between the an­tient Bishops of one single Church and a Diocesan that hath ma­ny hundred, so is there between their Curates. But why will you not yield so much, as to change the word (Sunday) into the (Lords Day) when you know that the latter is the name used by the Holy Ghost in Scripture, and commonly by the an­tient Writers of the Church, and more becoming Christians. Just. Mart. speaking to Infidels, tells how they called the Day, and not how Christians called it; All he saith is that on Sunday, that is so called by Heathens, the Christians hold their meet­ings. See the usage of the Church in this point in August. Cont. Faustum Manithaeum. Lib. 18. Cap. 5.

[Singing of Psalms in Meeter is no part of the Liturgy, and so N. 1 [...]. no part of our Commission.]

Repl. If the word Liturgy signifie the publick Worship, God forbid we should exclude the singing of Psalms: And sure you have no fitter way of singing than in Meeter) when these and all Prayers conceived by private men (as you call the Pastors) whe­ther prepared or excemporate, (and by purity of reason-preach­ing) are cast out, what will your Liturgy be? We hope you make no question, whether singing Psalms, and Hymns were part of the Primitive Liturgy, and seeing they are set forth, and allowed to be sung in all Churches of all the people together) why should they be denyed to be part of the Liturgy; we un­derstand not the reason of this [N. 13. 14.] The 13. and 14. we suppose you grant by passing them by.

[The phrase is such, &c.] The Church in her Prayers useth no more offensive phrase, than St. Paul uses, when he writes to the N. 17. Corinthians, Galathians, and others, calling them in general the Churches of God, Sanctified in Christ Jesus, by vocation Saints, a­mongst whom notwithstanding there were many, who by their known sins (which the Apostle endeavoured to amend in them) were not pro­perly such, yet he gives the denomination to the whole, from the great­er [Page 81] part, to whom in charity it was due. And puts the rest in mind what they have by their Baptisme undertaken to be, and what they profess themselves to be, and our prayers and the phrase of them, surely supposes no more than that they are Saints by calling, sancti­fied in Christ Jesus, by their Baptisme admitted into Christs Con­gregation, and so to be reckoned members of that Soeiety, till either they shall separate themselves by willful Schisme, or be separated by legal Excommunication, which they seem earnestly to desire, and so do we.]

Repl. But is there not a very great difference between the Titles, given to the whole Church (as you say from the greater part; as the truth is from the better part, though it were the lesse) and the Titles given to Individual members, where there is no such reason? we call the Field a Corn field, though there be much Tares in it, because of the better part, which deno­minateth: But we will not call every one of these Tares by the name of Corn. when we speak of the Church, we will call it holy, as Paul doth: But when we speak to Simon Magus, we will not call him holy, but say (Thou art in the gall of bitter­nesse, and the bond of Iniquity, and hast no part or lot in this matter, &c.) We will not perswade the people that every notorious Drunkard, Fornicator, Worldling, &c. that is burried as a Brother, of whose Resurtection to life Eternal, we have sure and certain hope, and all because you will not Excommuni­cate them. We are glad to hear of your desire of such Disci­pline: But when shall we see more than desire: and the edge of it be turned from those that fear sinning, to those that fear it not.

[The Connexion of the parts of our Liturgy is conformable to the Example of the Churches of God before us, and have as much de­pendence N. 16. §. 1. as is usually to be seen in many petitions of the same Psalm, and we conceive the Order and Method to be excellent and must do so till they tell us what that Order is which Prayers ought to have, which is not done here.]

Repl. There are two Rules of Prayer, one is the nature of the things, compared (in matter and order) with nature and [Page 82] necessity: The other is the revealed will of God in his word: In general the holy Scripture; more especially the Lords Prayer: The Liturgy (for the greatest part of the Prayers for daily use) is confused, by which soever of those you measure it; You seem much to honour the Lords Prayer, by your frequent use of it (or part of it) we beseech you dishonour it not practically by denying it for matter, and order to be the only ordinary perfect Rule we know about particular Administrations, when it is but certain select requests that we are to put up, suited to the parti­cular subject, and occasion, we cannot follow the whole method of the Lords Prayer, which containeth the heads of all the parts; where we are not to take in all the parts, we cannot take them in that order; But that none of all your Prayers should be for­med to the perfect Rule, that your Let any which is the compre­hensive Prayer, and that the body of your daily Prayers (bro­ken into several Collects) should not (as set together,) have any considerable respect unto that order, nor yet to the order which reason and the nature of the thing requireth, which is observed in all things else, and yet that you should admire this, and be so tenacious of that, which in conceived Prayer you would call by worse names than confusions, this shews us the wonderful power of prejudice; We were thus brief in this exception, lest we should offend by instances: But seeing you conceive the order and method to be excellent, and to be willing to hear more, as to this and the following exception, we shall annex a Catalogue of defects, and disorders, which we before forbore to give you: The Psalmes have ordinarily an observabe method: If you find any whose parts you cannot so well set together, as to see the beauty of method, will you turn your eye from the rest, and from the Lords Prayer, and choose that one to be your President! or excuse disorder on that pretence.

[The Collects are made short as being best for devotion as we ob­served before, and cannot be accounted faulty, for being like those [...] § short but prevalent Prayers in Scripture; Lord be merciful to me a Sinner; Son of David have mercy on us; Lord encrease our Faith.]

Repl. We do in common speech call that a Prayer, which con­taineth [Page 83] all the substance of what in that businesse and addresse we have to say unto God, and that a Petition which containeth one single request; usually a Prayer hath many Petitions. Now if you intend in your addresse to God, to do no more than speak a transient request or ejaculation (which we may do in the midst of other businesse) then indeed your instances are per­tinent. But why then do you not give over when you seem to have done, but come again and again and offer as many Prayers, almost as Petitions. This is to make the Prayer short, (as a Sermon is that is cut into single Sentences, every Sentence having an exordium, and Epilogue as a Sermon,) but it is to make the Prayers much longer than is needful or suitable to the matter; Do you find this the way of the Saints in Scripture? Indeed A­braham did so, when Gods interlocution answering the first Pray­er, called him to vary his request, Gen. 18. But that's not our case: The Psalms and Prayers of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Asa, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, and the other Prophets, of Christ himself, Joh. 17. are usually one continued speech, and not like yours, (as we said before.)

[Why the repeated mention of the Name and Attributes of God, should not be more pleasing to any godly person, we cannot imagine, or §. 3. what burden it should seem, when David magnified one Attribute of Gods mercy, 26. times together. Psal. 36. Nor can we conceive why the Name and merits of Jesus, with which all our Prayers should end, should not be as sweet to us as to former Saints and Mar­tyrs, with which here they complain our Prayers do so frequently end: since the Attributes of God are the ground of our hope, of obtain­ing all our Petitions such Prefaces of Prayers as are taken from them, though they have no special respect to the Petitions following are not to be termed unsuitable, or said to have fallen rather casually, than orderly.

Repl. As we took it to be no Controversy between us, whe­ther the mention of Gods Name is deservedly sweet to all his Servants; So we thought it was none, that this reverend Name is reverently to be used, and not too lightly, and therefore not with a causelesse frequency tossed in mens mouthes, even in pray­er itself; and that tautologies and vain repetitions, are not the [Page 84] better but the worse, because Gods Name is made the matter of them. It is not you that have expressed your offence (as well as we) against those weak Ministers that repeat too frequently the Name and Attributes of God, in their extemporate Pray­ers? And is it ill in them? and is the same, and much more well in the Common Prayer? O have not the Faith or worship of our glorious God in respect of persons. Let not that be called ridi­culous idle, impertinent, or worse in one, which is accounted commendable in others. Do you think it were not a faulty cros­sing, of the mind and method of Jesus Christ, if you should make 6. Prayers of it he 6. Petitions of the Lords Prayer, and set the Preface and Conclusion unto each? as (Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name, for thine is the Kingdome, &c. and so over all the rest; Yet we know that the same words may be oft repeated (as David doth Gods enduring mercy,) with­out such tautological vanity: when it is not from emptinesse or neglect of order, or affectation; But in Psalms or Hymns where affections are to be elevated by such figurative elegancies, and strains as are best beseeming Poetry or Rapture, we are not against such repetitions; But if we may (according to the Com­mon-Prayer-book) begin and end, and begin and seem to with­draw again, and make a Prayer of every Petition or two, and begin and end every such petition, with Gods name, and Christs merits, as making up half the form, or near, nothing is an affect­ed empty tossing of Gods name in Prayer if this be not: We are perswaded if you should hear a man in a known extemporate prayer do thus, it would seem strange and harsh even to your selves.

[There are besides a preparative Exhortation, several prepara­tory prayers: 1. Despise not O Lord humble and contrite hearts. N. 17. §. 1. Exc. 1. Which is one of the sentences in the Preface; And this, That those things may please him, which we do at this present) at the end of the Absolution: And again immediately after the Lords Prayer before the Psalmody, O Lord open thou our Lips. &c.]

Repl. Despise not O Lord humble and contrite hearts) is not prayer, for assistance, and acceptance in that Worship, suited to the duty of a people addressing themselves to God: But it is re­cited [Page 85] as a Scripture invitation to repentance, and (that those things may please him which we do at this present) are no words of Prayer, but part of an exhortation to the people; (and O Lord open thou our lips) comes after the Exhortation, Confessi­on, Absolution, and Lords Prayer, and ergo, is not in the place of such an Address, as we are speaking of, What will not seem to justify, what we have a mind to justify; and to condemn that which we have a mind to condemn?

[This which they call a defect, others think they have reason to §. 2. Exc. 2. account the perfection of the Liturgy, the Offices of which being in­tended for common and general services, would cease to be such, by descending to particulars, as in confession of Sin, while it is general, all persons may and must joyn in it, since in many things we offend all; But if there be a particular enumeration of sins, it cannot be so general a confession, because it may happen that some or other may by Gods Grace have been preserved from some of those sins enume­rated, and therefore should by confessing themselves guilty, tell God a Lye, which needs a new Confession.]

Repl. If general words be its perfection, its very culpable in tediousnesse and vain repetitions; For what need you more than (Lord be merciful to us sinners.) There's together a general confession of Sin, and a general Prayer for mercy, which com­prehend all the particulars of the peoples Sins, and wants. We gave you our reason, which you answer not; Confession is the exercise of Repentance, and also the helper of it; And it is noe true repentance which is not particular, but only general. If you say that you repent that you have sinned, and know not where, or do not repent of any particular sin, you do not indeed repent, for Sin is not existent but in the Individuals: And if you ask for grace, and know nor what grace, or desire no particular graces; indeed you desire not grace at all: We know there is time and use for general Confessions, and Requests; But still as implying particulars, as having gone before, or following, or at least it must be supposed, that the people understand the particulars included and have inward confessions and desires of them: Which can­not here be supposed, when they are not all mentioned, not can the people generally be supposed to have such quick and compre­hensive [Page 86] minds, nor is there leisure to exercise such particular re­pentance or desire, while a general is named: And we beseech you let Scripture be Judge, whether the Confessions and Pray­ers of the Servants of God have not been particular; As to your objection or reason, we answer; 1. There are general Prayers with the particular, or without them. 2, There are particular Confessions and Prayers proper to some few Christians, and there are others common to all; It is these that we expect, and not the former. 3. The Churches Prayers must be suited to the body of the Assembly, though perhaps some one, or few may be in a state not fit for such expressions: What a lamentable Li­turgy will you have, if you have nothing in it, but what every one in the Congregation may say as true of and suitable to them­selves? Then you must leave out all Thanksgiving for our Justi­fication and forgivenesse of sin, and adoption, and title to glo­ry, &c. because many in the Assembly are Hipocrites, and have no such mercies, and many more that are sincere, are mistaken in their own condition, and know not that they have the mercies which they have, and therefore dare not give thanks for them, lest they speak an untruth: Then the Liturgy that now speaks as in the persons of the Sanctified must be changed, that the two fore-mentioned sorts, (or the latter at least) may consent; and when you have done, it will be unsuitable to those that are in a better state, and have the knowledge of their Justification. This is the Argument which the Sectaries used against singing of Davids Psalms in the Congregations, because there is much in them, that many cannot truly say of themselves. But the Church must not go out of that way of worship prescribed by God, and suired to the state of the ordinary sort of the spiritual Worship­pers, because of the distempers, or the super-eminent excellen­cies of some few: It were easy to go over Davids Psalms and your own Liturgy, and shew you very much that by this Ar­gument must be cast out: He that finds any passage unsuitable to himself, is not to speak it of himself.

[As for original sin, though we think it an evil custom springing §. 3. from false Doctrine, to use any such expressions as may lead people to think that to the persons baptized (in whose persons only our Pray­ers are offered up,) original sin is not forgiven in their holy Bap­tisme; [Page 87] Yet for that there remains in the Regenerate some reliques of that which are to be bewailed, the Church in her Confession ac­knowledgeth such desires of our own hearts as render us miserable by following them; That there is no health in us, That without Gods help our frailty cannot but fall. That our mortal nature can do no good thing without him; which is a clear acknowledgment of Original sin.]

Repl. 1. He that hath his Original sin forgiven him, may well confesse that he was born in iniquity and conceived in sin, and was by nature a Child of wrath, and that by one man sin en­tred into the world, and that Judgment came on all men to Con­demnation, &c. The pardoned may confesse what once they were, and from what Rock they were hewn: even actual sins must be confessed, after they are forgiven, (unless the Anti­monians hold the truth against us in such points. 2. All is not false Doctrine that crosseth mens private Opinions, which you seem here to obtrude upon us. We know that the Papists (and perhaps some others) hold that all the baptised are delivered from the Guilt of Original sin; But (as they are in the dark, and disagreed in the Explicatio of it) so we have more reason to incline to either of the ordinary Opinions of the Protestants, than to this of theirs, 3. Some learned Protestants hold that visibly all the baptised are Church members; pardoned and justi­fied, which is but that they are probably justified indeed, and are to be used by the Church (upon a Judgment of Charity) as those that are really justified. But that we have indeed no certainty that they are so; God keeping that as a secret to him­self concerning Individuals, till by actual Faith and Repentance, it be manifest to themselves. Another Opinion of many Prote­stants is, that all persons that are Children of the Promise, or that have the conditions of pardon and Justification in the Covenant mentioned, are to receive that pardon by Baptisme: and all such are pardoned, and certainly in a state of Justification and Salva­tion thereupon: and that the promise of pardon is made to the Faithful and to their seed: and therefore that all the Faithful and their seed in Infancy have this pardon given them by the promise, and solemnly delivered them, and sealed to them by Baptism, which investeth them in the benefits of the Covenant. [Page 88] But withall that first, the professed Infidel and his seed as such, are not the Children of the promise, and therefore if the Parent ludicruosly or forcedly, or the Child by errour be baptised, they have not thereby the pardon of their sin before God. 2. That the Hypocrite that is not a true believer at the heart, though he professe it, hath no pardon by Baptisme before God, as be­ing not an heir of the promise, nor yet any Infant of his as such: But though such are not pardoned, the Church that judgeth by profession, taking Professors for Believers, must accordingly use them & their seed, 3. But though the Church judge thus cha­ritably of each Professor in particular, till his hypocrisy be detect­ed, yet doth it understand that hypocrites there are, & still will be in the Church, though we know them not by name. And that therefore there are many externally baptised, and in Communi­on, that never had the pardon of sin, indeed before God; as not ha­ving the Condition of the promise of pardon: Such as Simon Ma­gus was. We have less reason to take this Doctrine for false, than that which pronounceth certain pardon, and salvation to all bap­tised Infants whatsoever: And were we of their judgment, we should think it the most charitable Act in the world to take the Infants of Heathens, and baptise them; And if any should then dispatch them all to prevent their lapse, they were all certainly saved. We hope by (some reliques) you mean that which is truly and properly sin. For our parts we believe according to the ninth Article, that Original sin standeth in the Corruption of the nature of every man, whereby man is far gone from Original righteousnesse, and inclined to evil; And that this infection of nature doth remain in the Regenerate; And though there is no Condemnation for them that believe and are baptised, yet Con­cupisence and Lust, hath of it self the nature of sin.) you say, (The Church acknowledgeth such desires, &c.) Devices, and Desires are Actual sins and not Original, which consisteth in privation, and corrupt inclination: The next words (There is no health in us) it seems the Translators that put it into the Liturgy mis-understood; But however you seem here plainly by your mis-interpretation to mis-understand it. Nulla salus in no­bis, is spoken actively and not possessively or passively, the plain sence is, that there is no help deliverance and salvation in our selves: we cannot help our selves out of this misery, but must [Page 89] have a better Saviour; as Christ is oft called our salvation, so we are denied to be our own: so that yet here is no confession at all of Original sin, but of the effects; The two next senten­ces confesse a debility, and privation, but not that it was ab ori­gine, but may for any thing that's there said be taken to be since contracted; Nor are the words in this Confession, but in some other Collects else where, which proves not that this Confession saith any thing of Original sin.

[We know not what publick prayers are wanting, nor do they tell §. 7. Exc. 3. us, the usual Complaint hath been, that there were too many: Nei­ther do we conceive any want of publick Thanksgivings there being in the Liturgy, Te Deum, Benedictus, Magnificat, Benedicite, Glory be to God on high, Therefore with Angels and Arch-Angels, The Doxology, Glory be to the Father, &c. All peculiar as they require, to Gospel worship, and fit to expresse our thanks and honour to God upon every particular occasion, and occa­sional Thanksgivings after the Letany, of the frequency whereof themselves elsewhere complain, who here complain of defect; If there he any forms wanting the Church will provide.]

Repl. We have shewed you in the forms which we offered you, what we judge wanting, the Right Reverend Bishop of Exeter hath taken notice of the same want, and proposed a sup­ply, those you name are either but general sentences, or extend but to some few particulars, as being suited to the persons and particular occasions of them, and none save the (Te Deum) designed to be the distinct praise of the Church for the benefits of Redemption, as the sutable and sufficient performance of this great part of the Liturgy; However it will do you no harm that your Brethren be gratified, with fuller expressions and vari­ety. They that have complained of too many (because you shred your Petitions into almost as many Prayers, and so the Thanksgivings into such briefs) yet complained not of too much; But that too many (by the multitudes of Prefaces, and Epilogues) was the the cause of too little.

[They complain that the Liturgy contains too many Generalls, §. 5. Exc. 4. without mention of the particulars, and the Instances are such Peti­tions [Page 90] as those, That we may do Gods will; To be kept from all evil, almost the very Terms of the Petitions of the Lords Prayer: so that they must reform that, before they can pretend to mend our Li­turgy in these Petitions.]

Repl. We complain not that there are Generals, but that there is nothing but Generalls in so great a part of your Prayers and therefore they are very defective: And if really these Gene­ralls suffice you, a few lines may serve instead of your whole Book, Instead of all your Confessions, it may serve to say (That we have greatly sinned) and no more: Instead of all your Let any or Deprecations it is enough to say (Deliver us from all evil) Instead of all your Petitions for Grace, Peace, Rain, Fair-weather, Health, &c. it is enough to say (Give us the Good we want) In­deed the Lords Prayer hath general Requests, because it is the design of it, to be a Rule of Prayer, and so contain but the Heads to which all Prayers are to be reduced; But if therefore you will have no more particulars, why do you use any prayer but the Lords Prayer; We hope you do not think to supply any defects pretended to be found in its Generals, not to correct the order of it; If it be but because you would not on every particular oc­casion be so long, as to say the whole, you may take that Head. which suiteth that occasion: And so (Give us this day our daily bread) may serve instead of all the Collects for temporal supplies: And all your Offices may be blotted out, and one of the petiti­ons of the Lords prayer placed in the stead of each of them.

[We have deferred this to the proper place as you might have done.]

Repl. It was the proper place under the head of defectivenesse, §. 6. Exc. 5. to instance in this as well as other defects.

[We are now come to the main and principal demand as is preten­ded N. 18. §. 1. viz. The abolishing the Laws which impose any Ceremonies, especially three, the Surplice, the Sign of the Crosse, and Kneeling; These are the Yoak which if removed, there might be peace. It is to be suspected, and there is reason for it, from their own words, that somewhat else pinches, and that if these Ceremonies were laid aside and these or any other Prayers strictly enjoyned without them, it would be deemed a burden intollerable, it seems so by N. 7. where [Page 91] they desire that when the Liturgy is altered, according to the rest of their proposals, the Minister may have liberty to adde, and leave out what he pleases; Yet because the imposition of these Ceremonies is pretended to be the insupportable Grievance, we must of necessity ei­ther yield that demand, or shew reason why we do not; and that we may proceed the better in this undertaking, we shall reduce the sum of their complaint, to these several heads, as we find them in their Papers; The Law for imposing these Ceremonies, they would have abrogated for these reasons.]

Repl. To what you object, to intimate your suspition of us) from N. 7. we have before answered: We must confesse the abatement of Ceremonies, with the exclusion of all Prayers, and exhortations, besides what's read will not satisfie us. The li­berty which we desired in all the parts of Worship (not to adde to the Liturgy, nor take from it) but to interpose upon just oc­casion, such words of Prayer, or exhortation, as are requisite, and not to be tyed at any time to read the whole, we are assured will do much to preserve the Liturgy, and bring it into more profitable use and take off much of mens offence. And pardon us while we tell you this certain truth, that if once it be known that you have a design to work out all Prayers (even those of the Pulpit) except such as you prescribe, it will make many thousand people, fearing God, to be averse to that which else they would have submitted to, and to distaste both your endeavours and ours, as if we were about drawing them into so great a snare. And as the Proverb is; You may as well think to make a Coat for the Moon, as to make a Liturgy that shall be sufficiently suited to the variety of places, times, subjects, accidents, without the Liber­ty of intermixing such Prayers or exhortations, as alterations and diversities require.

[1. It is doubtful whether God hath given power to men to im­pose §. 2. such signified signs, which though they call them significant, yet have in them no real goodness, in the judgement of the Imposers themselves, being called by them things indifferent, and therefore Cor. 11. fall not under St. Pauls rule of Omnia Decenter, nor are suitable to the simplicity of the Gospel Worship.

2. Because it is a violation of the Royalty of Christ, and an im­peachment2.[Page 92] of his Laws as unsufficient, and so those that are under the See Hook­er li. 3. Sect. 4. Law of Deut. 12. Whatsoever I command you, observe to do, you shall take nothing from it, nor adde any thing to it; You do not observe these.

3. Because sundry learned pious, and Orthodox men, have ever since the Reformation judged them unwarrantable, and we ought to 3. be as our Lord was, tender of weak Brethren, not to offend his little ones, nor to lay a stumbling-black before a weak Brother.

4. Because these Ceremonies have been the fountain of many e­vils 4. in this Church and Nation, occasioning sad divisions betwixt Minister, & Minister; betwixt Minister and People, exposing many See Hook­li. 4, Sect. 1. Orthodox Preachers to the displeasure of Rulers; And no other fruits than these can be looked for from the retaining these Ceremonies.

Repl. We had rather you had taken our Reasons as we laid them down, than to have so altered them; Ergo having told you that some hold them unlawful, and others inconvenient, &c. and desired that they may not be imposed on such, who judge such Impositions a violation of the Royalty of Christ, &c. You seem to take this as our own sense, and that of all the Ceremo­nies, of which we there made no mention; You referre us to Hooker, since whose writings, Ames in his fresh suit, and Brad­shaw, and Parker, and many others have written that against the Ceremonies, that never was answered, that we know of, but de­serve your Consideration.

[Before we give particular Answer to these several Reasons, it S. 3. R. 1. will not be unnecessary to lay down some certain general premises, or rules, which will be useful in our whole discourse. 1. That God hath not given a power only, but a command also of imposing what­soever should be truly decent, and becomming his publick Service, 1 Cor. 14. After St, Paul had ordered some particular Rules for Praying, Praising, Prophesying, &c. He concludes with this general Canon, Let all things be done [...] in a fit Scheme, Habit, or Fashion, decently, and that there may be uniformity in those decent performances, let there be a [...] Rule or Canon for that purpose.]

Repl. As to your first rule we answer. 1. It is one thing to im­pose in general, that all be done decently and in order. This God [Page 93] himself hath imposed by his Apostle: And its another thing to impose in particular, that this or that be used, as decent and orderly. Concerning this we adde, it is in the Text said, Let it be done, but not let it be imposed, yet from other Scrip­tures we doubt not but Circumstances of meer decency & order, as determined time, place, utensils, &c. which are common to things civil, and sacred, though not the Symbolical Ceremo­nies. which afterwards we confute) may be imposed with the necessary cautions and limitations afterward laid down. But 1. that if any Usurpers will pretend a power from Christ, to im­pose such things on the Church, though the things be lawful, we must take heed how we acknowledge an usurped power by formal obedience. 2. A just power may impose them but to just ends, as the preservation and successe of the modified Worship, or Ordinances. And if they really conduce not to those ends, they sin in imposing them. 3. Yet the Subjects are bound to obey a true Authority in such impositions, where the matter belongs to the Cognizance, and Office of the Ru­ler, and where the mistake is not so great, as to bring great­er mischiefs to the Church, than the suspending of our active obedience would do. 4. But if these things be determined under pretence of order and decency, to the plain destruction of the ordinances modified, and of the intended end, they cease to be means, and we must not use them. 5. Or if under the names of things decent, and of order, men will meddle with things that belong not to their Office, as to institute a new Worship for God, new Sacraments, or any thing forbidden in the general Prohibition of adding or diminishing, this is a U­surpation, and not an act of Authority, and we are bound in o­bedience to God to disobey them. 6. Where Governours may command at set times, and by proportionable penalties enforce, if they command when it will destroy the end, or enforce by such penalties, as destroy or crosse it, they greatly sin, by such commands. Thus we have more distinctly given you our sense, about the matter of your first rule.

[Not Inferiours but Superiours must iudge what is convenient and §. 4. Rul. 2. decent; They who must order that all be done decently, must of ne­cessity, first judge what is convenient, and decent to be ordered.]

Repl. Your second Rule also is too crudely delivered, and [Page 94] therefore we must adde: 1. A Judgement is a Sentence, in or­der to some Execution, and Judgements are specified from the ends, to which they are such means; When the question is ei­ther, what Law shall be made, or what penalty shall be exerci­sed? the Magistrate is the only Judge, and not the Bishop or o­ther Subject, In the first he exercises his judicium discretionis in order to a publick Act. In the second he exerciseth a publick judgement: When the question is, what order pro tempore is fittest in Circumstantials for this present Congregation; the proper Presbyters or Pastors of that Congregation, are the di­rective Judges, by Gods appointment. 3. The Magistrate is Ruler of these Pastors, as he is of Physicians, Pailosophers, and other Subjects. He may make them such general Rules, espe­cially for restraint, to go by, as may not destroy the exercise of their own Pastoral power: As he may forbid a Physician to use some dangerous Medicine on his Subjects, and may punish him when he wilfully killeth any of them: But may not on that presence appoint him what, and how, and when, and to whom he shall administer, and so become Phisician himself alone. 4. When the question is, who shall be excluded from the Commu­nion of a particular Church? The Pastors of the Church (or Congregation) are the first proper Judges. 5. When the que­stion is, who shall be excluded from, (or received into) the Communion of all the associated Churches, of which we are naturally capable of Communion? The associated Pastors or Bishops of these Churches in Synods are Judg [...]; Beyond this there are no Judges. 6. When the question is, whether the Laws of Magistrates, or Canons of Bishops, are agreeable or not to the Word of God, and so the obedience is lawful or unlaw­ful, the Conscience of each individual Subject is the Judge, per judicium discretionis, as to his own practise; And if men had not this judgement of discerning, but must act upon absolute implicite obedience, then first man were ruled as unreasonable, Secondly, the magistrate were made a God, or such a Leviathan as Hobbs describeth him; Thirdly, And then all sin might law­fully be committed, if commanded: But we are assured none of this your sense.

[These Rules and Canons for decency made and urged by Supe­riours §. 5. R. l. 3., are to be obeyed by Inferiours, till it be made as clear that now they are not bound to obey, as it is evident in general, that they [Page 95] ought to obey Superiours; for if the exemption from obedience be not Heb. 13. 17. Rom. 13. as evident as the Command to obey, it must needs be sin not to obey.]

Repl. To your third Rule we adde; It is first considerable what the thing is, and then how it is apprehended, if it be really lawful, and well commanded, and to be obeyed, it is no igno­rance, doubt or errour of the Subject that can exempt him from the duty of obeying; But it may ensnare him in a certain­ty of sinning, whether he obey, or disobey: For as God com­mandeth him to obey, and also not to do that which man com­mandeth, when God forbiddeth it; So he obligeth the erroni­ous, first to lay down his errours, and so to obey. But if a thing he forbidden of God, and commanded of man, and one man erroniously thinke it lawful, and that he should obey, and another is in doubt between both, it is neither a duty, nor law­ful for either of them here to obey For mans errour changeth nor Gods Laws, nor disobligeth himself from obedience; But this mans duty is both to lay by that errour, and to refuse obedi­ence but if the question be only of the order of such a persons du­ty, we answer; If the thing be really lawful, and obedience a duty, then he that doubteth or erreth, should, if possible, suddenly lay by his errours or doubt, and so obey: But if that cannot be, he should first go about the fittest means, for his better infor­mation till he be resolved, and so obey. And so on the con­trary, if really the thing commanded be unlawful, if he be sure of it, he must resolve against it; if he hesitate he is not there­fore allowed to do a thing forbidden, because he is ignorant: For his ignorance is suposed culpable it self, but he is first to consult and use the best means, for his Instruction, till he know the truth, and in the mean time to suspend his Act. But yet be­cause of humane frailty, between several faults, we must consi­der when we cannot avoid all as we would, in what order most safely to watch, and to avoid them. And so when I have done my best, and cannot discern whether a Command be just, and the thing lawful or not; If it have the face of Idolatry, Blasphemy, or some hainous Sin; that is commanded, and our dis-obedience have the appearance, but of an effect of involuntary ignorance, it is more excusable in us to fear the greater Sin, and so to suspend till we are bet­ter satisfied, than to do that which we suspect, to be so hainous a Sin, though in leed it prove no sin; So on the contrary, if our disobedience be like to bring Infamy, or Calamity on the [Page 96] Church, and our Obedience appear to be but about a very small sin, if we doubt of it, it is more excusable to obey, than to diso­bey, though both be faulty, supposing the thing to be indeed unlawful, and we discern it not. So that your Rule of obeying, where you are not as sure, &c, Is an unsure Rule, unless as we have fullyer cautioned it.

[Pretence of Conscience is no exemption from obedience, for the §. 6. Rul. 4. Law as long as it is a Law, certainly binds to obedience; Rom. 13. Ye must needs be subject, and this pretence of a tender gainsaying Conscience cannot abrogate the Law, since it can neither take away the Authority of the Law-maker, nor make the matter of the Law in it self unlawful; Besides if pretence of Conscience did exempt from obedience, Laws were uselesse, whosoever had not list to obey might pretend tenderness of Conscience, and be thereby set at liberty, which if once granted, Anarchy and Confusion must needs follow.]

Repl Neither pretence of Conscience, nor real Errour of Conscience exempteth from the Obligation, to obey: though sometime it may so ensnare, as that obeying shall become of the two the greater sin; so also real Errours, or pretence of Conscience will justifie no man for obeying when it is by God forbidden.

[Though Charity will move to pity, and relieve those that are §. 7. Rul. 5. truly perplexed or Scrupulous: yet we must not break Gods Com­mand, in Charity to them, and therefore we must not perform pub­lick Services undecently or disorderly for the ease of tender Con­sciences.]

Repl. O that you would but do all that God alloweth you, yea that he hath commanded you, for these ends! how happy would you make your selves, and these poor afflicted Churches. But as to the instance of your Rule we answer. 1. When the indecency and disorder is so small as that it will not crosse the ends, so much as our disobedience would, we are here so far more conformable, and peaceable than you, as that we would even in Gods worship, do some things indecent, and disorderly, ra­ther than disobey; And so should you do rather than destroy your Brethren, or hinder that peace, and healing of the Church. For Order is for the thing ordered, and not contrarily. For ex­ample, there is much disorder lies in the Common-Prayer- [Page 97] Book, yet we would obey in it, as far as the ends of our calling do require. It would be undecent to come without a Band, or other handsome raiment into the Assembly: yet rather than nor worship God at all, we would obey if that were com­manded us; we are as confident that Surplices, and Copes are un­decent, and kneeling at the Lords Table is disorderly, as you are of the contrary: And yet if the Magistrate would be advi­sed by us (supposing himself addicted against you) we would advise him to be more charitable to you,, than you here advise him to be to us: We would have him, if your Conscience re­quire it, to forbear you in this undecent and disorderly way; But to speak more distinctly. 1. There are some things decent and orderly, when the opposite species is not undecent or dis­orderly. 2. There are some things undecent, and disorderly, in a small and tolerable degree: And some things in a degree in­tolerable. 1. When things decent are commanded, whose op­posites would not be at all undecent, there Charity and Peace, and Edification, may command a Relaxation; or rather should at first restrain from too severe Impositions: As it is decent to wear either a Cloak or a Gown, a Cassock buttoned, or unbut­ton'd, with a Girdle or without, to sit, stand, or kneel in singing of a Psalm, to sit or stand in hearing the word read, or preached &c. 2. When a Circumstance is undecent or disorderly, but in a tollerable degree, to an Inconvenience, Obedience, or Charity, or Edification, may command us to do it, and make it not only lawful, but a duty pro hic, & nunc, while the preponderating Accident prevaileth. Christs instances go at least as far as this, a­bout the Priests in the Temple breaking the Sabbath blamelesly and Davids eating the Shew bread, which was lawful for none to eate ordinarily, but the Priests: And the Disciples rubbing the ears of Corn: (I will have mercy & not sacrifice) is a Leston that he sets us to learn, when two duties come together, to prefer the greater, if we would escape sin; And sure to keep an able Preacher in the Church, or a private Christian in Communion, is a greater duty caeteris paribus than to use a Ceremony, which we conceive to be decent; It is more orderly to use the bet­ter translation of the Scripture, than the worse as the Common-Prayer-book doth; and yet we would have no man cast out, for using the worse: It is more orderly decent, and edifying, for the Minister to read all the Psalms, than for the people to read each second verse; And yet we would not cast out men from the Church or Ministry meerly for that disorder, It is more order­ly, [Page 98] and decent to be uncovered in divine worship, than cover­ed: And yet rather than a man should take cold, we could al­low him to hear a Chapter or Sermon covered: why (not much more) rather than he should be cast out. But let us come to the Application. It is no undecent disorderly worship­ing of God, to worship him without our Crosse, Surplice, and kneel­ing in the reception of the Sacrament. 1. If it were, than Christ, and his Apostles bad worship undecently and disorderly; And the Primitive Church that used not the Surplice, nor the tran­sient Image of the Cro [...]e in Baptisme (but in an unguent) yea the Church for many hundred years that received the Sacra­ment without kneeling. 2. Then if the King, Parliament, and Con [...]ocation should change these Ceremonies, it seems you would take your selves bound to retain them; For you say you must not worship God undecently: But that they may be changed by Authority our Articles determine, and therefore Charity may well require the Magistrate to change them with­out any wrong to the worship of God. 3. We appeal to the common judgment of the Impartial, whether in the nature of the thing, there be any thing that tells them, that it is undecent, to pray without a Surplice in the reading place, and not unde­cent to pray without in th [...] Pulpit; And that it is undecent to baptise without crossing, and not to receive the Lords Sup­per without: And that it is undecent for the Receiver to take the Lords Supper without kneeling, and not for the Minister to give it him standing that prayeth in the delivery.

[These premised we Answer to your first Reason, that those things §. 8. Answ. 1. which we call Indifferent, because neither expresly commanded nor forbiden by God, have in them a real goodnesse, a fitnesse, and decen­cy, and for that cause, are imposed, and may be so by the Rule of St. Paul, by which Rule and many others, in Scripture a power is given, to men to impose Signs, which are never the worse surely, because they 1. Cor. 14. signifie something that is decent and comely, and so it is not doubtful whether such power be given; It would rather be doubtful, whether the Church could impose such idle Signs, if any such there be, as sig­nifie nothing.]

Repl. To your first Answer we reply. 1. We suppose you speak of a moral goodnesse; And if they are such indeed, as are within their power and really good, that is of their own nature, fi [...]ter than their opposites, they may be imposed by just authori­ty [Page 99] by equal means, though not by Usurpers, nor by penalties that will do more harm than the things will do good. 2. Signs that signifie nothing, we understand not: It is one thing to be decent, and another (to signifie something that is decent: what you mean by that we know not. The Crosse signifieth our not being ashamed to profess the faith of Christ crucified, &c. do you call that (something that is decent) It is something necessary to salva­tion. 3. Signs are exceeding various: At present we use but two distinctions. 1. Some are signs, Ex primaria intentione instituentis, purposed, and primarily instituted to signify▪ (as an Esoucheon, or a sign at an Inne door in common matters: and as the Sacrament, and Cross in sacred matters) and some are signs but consequently secondarily, and not essentially as intended by the Institutor (so hills and trees may shew us what a clock it is: And so every crea­ture signifyeth some good of mercy or duty, and may be an object of holy meditation: so the colour and shape of our clothes, may mind us of some good, which yet was none of the primary, or proper end of the maker or wearer,) 2. Signs are either arbitra­ry expressions, of a mans own mind in a matter, where he is let free, or they are covenanting signs between us and God in the Covenant of Grace, to work Grace on us as moral causes, and to engage us Sacramentally to him; such we conceive the Cross in Baptisme to be. The Preface to the Common Prayer-book saith (They are apt to teach and excite, &c. Which is a moral operation of Grace: And the Canon saith It is an honourable badge, whereby the Infant is dedicated to him that died on the Cross, We are signed with it (in token that hereafter we shall not be ashamed to con­fess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight, &c.) now if a thing may be commanded meerly as a decent circumstance of worship, yet it is unproved that a thing, that in its nature as in­stituted, and in the primary intention is thus sacramentally to dedicate and ingage us in Covenant to God, by signifying the grace and duty of the Covenant be lawfully commanded by man. 1. Decent Circumstances are necessary in genere; There must be some fit Time, Place, Gesture, Vesture, (as such) Utensils, &c. But that there be some such dedicating engaging signs, in our co­venanting with God signifying the Grace of the Covenant, and our state and duty as Souldiers under Christ (besides Gods Sacra­ments) this is not necessary in genere, and therefore it is not left to man to determine de specie. 2. If there be any reason for this use of the Cross, it must be such as was in the Apostles days, and concerneth the universal Church in all ages and places, and then [Page 100] the Apostles would have taken care of it; Thus much here in brief of signs, and more anon when you again call us to it.

[To the second) that it is not a violation of Christs Royalty to make such Laws for decercy, but an exercise of his power and authority, which §. 9. [...]. 2. he hath given to the Church: And the disobedience to such commands of Euperiours is plainly a violation of his Royalty. As it is no violati­on of the Kings Authority, when his Magistrates command things ac­cording to his Laws; But disobedience to the command of those Injun­ctions of his Deputies, is violation of his Authority; Again, it can be no impeachment of Christs Laws as insufficient, to make such Laws for decency, since our Saviour as is evident by the Precepts themselves, did not intend by them to determine, every minute and circumstance of time, place, manner of performance, and the like, but only to command in general the substance of those duties, and the right ends that should be aimed at in the performance, and then left every man in particular (whom for that purpose he made reasonable) to guide himself by rules of reason, for private Services; And appointed Governours of the Church, to determine such particularities for the publick: Thus our Lord commanded Prayers, Fasting, &c. for the times and places of per­formance; he did not determine every of them, but left them to be gui­ded as we have said; So that it is no impeachment of his Laws as in­sufficient, to make Laws for determining those particulars of decency, which himself did not, as is plain by his Precepts, intend to determine but left us Governours for that purpose, to whom he said, As my Father, sent me, even so send I you, and let all things be done decently, and in order; of whom he hath said to us, Obey those that have the over sight over you; and told us that if we will not hear his Church we must not be accounted as Christians, but Heathens and Publicans; And yet nevertheless they will not hear it, and obey it in so small a mat­ter, as a circumstance of time, place, habit, or the like, which she thinks decent and fit, and yet will be accounted for the best Christians, and tell us that it is the very awe of Gods Law, Deut. 12. 32. that keeps them from obedience to the Church in these commands, not well consider­ing that it cannot be any adding to the Word of God, to command things for order and decency which the Word of God commands to be done so as they be not commanded as Gods immediate Word, but as the Laws of men, but that it is undenyably adding to the Word of God, to say that Superiours may not command such things, which God hath no where forbidden, and taking from the Word of God, to deny that power to men, which Gods Word hath forgiven them.]

Repl. To make Laws [to determine of undetermined circumstances necessary in genere, to be some way determined and left to Magistrates, or Ministers de specie, and to do this according to the general rules of Scripture, and in order to the main end, and not against it. and is not against the Royalty or will of Christ; But to make new dedicating co­venanting Symboles, to signify the doctrine of the Covenant of Grace, and solemnly ingage us unto God, and place those in the publick wor­ship, which are not meet Circumstances, but substantial institutions, not necessary in genere (that there should be any such at all, besides Gods Sacraments,) we fear this is a violation of the Royalty of Christ, and a reflection on his Laws as insufficient: for first, if it belong to the power proper to Christ, then it is a violation of his Royalty for any man to exercise it; But it belongeth to the power proper to Christ: ergo, &c. The minor is proved thus, If it belong to the universal head, or Ruler of the Church as such, then it belongs to the power proper to Christ (for we are ready to prove there is none under him, no universal head or ruler personally, or collectively and civilly one,) But &c. If in the reason of it, it should be the matter of an universal Law, if of any then it should be the work of the universal Lawgiver, if any: But &c. If in the reason of it, it be equally useful to the Church universal, as to any particular Church or age, then it should according to the reason of it, be the matter of an universal Law, if of any: But, &c. it hath the same aptitude, to engage us to a duty of universal necessity, and hath no reason proper to this age or place for it, but common to all. Moreover it is no where committed to the power or care of man, ergo it is proper to the care and power of Christ, no Text is shewed that giveth man power in such things: To do all things decently and orderly, and to edifica­tion is no giving of power on that pretence to make new Covenanting dedicating signes, to do Gods work decently, &c. is not to make more such of our own heads: It is but the right modifying of the work already set us. And to do all decently, orderly, and to edification, was a duty in Moses time, when yet such things as these in question might not be ad­ded by any but God: (when we say by God, we mean by his inspired In­struments, and when we say by Christ, we mean by his inspired Instru­ments:) If we should make Laws that every one is publickly to tast Vine­gar, and Gall, as a sign that we are not ashamed of, but resolved through all flesh displeasing difficulties to follow Christ, that died so, and thus to engage, and dedicate our selves to him, this were to do more, then to do [all things decently, and orderly which he appointed: If milk were to be publickly sucked or drunk, by all in profession, that we will feed on the sincere milk of his word, and so dedicate us to him by Covenant, or [Page 102] if we were to put on an Helmet, & other Armour in token that we will be his Souldiers to the death, and manfully fight under, &c. These engagements by such publick signs, are Sacraments in the sense, as the word was used of old, when it signified a Souldiers solemn lysting or Covenanting with his Commander. Thus by distinguishing decent and orderly modes, and Circumstances necessary in genere, from new ordi­nances, even solemn dedicating, covenanting or such like mystical signs, we have shewed you what we grant, and where you fail, and what is indeed a wrong to Christ, and an accusation of his Laws and what not: and how unjust your following accusation of us is: (who never yet told you, we would be accounted the best Christians, but to desire to please Christ as near as we can, is not blame worthy.) Abundance of things of lesser moment than these are commanded by God in the Law, to which he added that sanction Deut 12. 32. What ever things I command thee, &c. And we conceive that the words [as my Father sent me so &c.] had some what proper to the extraordinary mission: and if he hear not the Church &c. is neither spoken of a Church universal, nor of Magistrates making Laws for such Ceremonies, or signs. But if he hear not the Church, with which he was in Communion, and which ad­monisheth him for his sin, let the Church reject him from their Com­munion.

[The command for decent Ceremonies may still continue in the §. 10. A. 3. Church, notwithstanding the 12. of Deut. and so it may too for all the exceptions taken against them, by sundry learned, pious, and Or­thodox persons who have judged them, they say, unwarrantable. And if Laws may be abrogated assoon as those that list not to obey will ex­cept against them, the world must run into confusion. But those that ex­cept are weak Brethren, whom by Christs Precept and example we must not offend. If by weak we understand ignorant, they would take it ill to be so accounted, and it is their own fault if they be, there having been much written, as may satisfy any that have a mind to be satis­fied: And as King James of blessed memory said at Hampton-Court. If after so many years preaching of the Gospel, there be any yet unsa­tisfied, I doubt it proceeds rather out of stubbornesse of opinion than out of tendernesse of Conscience, If by tendernesse of Conscience they mean, a fearfulnesse to sin, this would make them most easy to be satisfied, because most fearful to disobey superiours. But suppose there be any so scru­pulous as not satisfied with what hath been written, the Church may still without sin urge her command for these decent Ceremonies, and not be guilty of offending her weak brother, for since the scandal is taken [Page 103] by him, not given by her, it is he that by vain scrupulosity offends himself, and layes the stum­bling-block in his own way.]

Repl. But the command for mans Institution of a new worship of God, or of Rites Sacra­mental, or so like to Sacraments as the Crosse is, or for the unnecessary Imposition of un­necessary things, which should be left to every prudent Ministers discretion, and this upon pain of being cast out of the Church or Ministry, and the Law for subscribing that all these are lawful, and for swearing obedience to the Bishops, all these Laws are not to be found in Scripture. If you should but command your Servant to do what you bid him decently and orderly, you would think he mistook you, if upon that pretence he would do any other work, which he could but say tended to the decency of yours. And we would gladly hear what you think your selves is forbidden in Deut. 12. 32. If not such humane Ordinances? And why you forbear giving the truer sense of the Text. It is a sad case with the poor Church, when Gods wisdome, that made a few and necessary things the matter of his Churches concord, is no more valued; But we will be wiser, and when the experience of the Church that hath been torn into pieces 1400. years, by mens Inventions, and needless usages, and Impositions, is yet of no more force with us that come after them, but what e­ver can be said or done, or seen, we will still make Laws, that all men shall be tantum non, unchristened and damned, (that is cast out of the Ministry or Church communion) that will not wear this or that, or bow thus or thus, or look this way or that way, or say this word or that word; and when we have laid such a needless snare, we will uncharitably cry out the world will be brought into cofusion, because men that list not to obey, would have the Laws abrogated. Where hath Christ set you to make such Laws? Is it not work enough for us & you to obey the Laws that he hath made? Why made he none for postures, and vest­ures, & words & teaching signs of this nature, if he would have had them: If he had not told us that there is one Lawgiver, one Lord, and that his word is able to make us wise unto Sal­vation, and that he would lay no greater burden on us, than necessary things, and would not have us despise, or judge each other on such occasions: If he had but told us, that he left any Officers after his inspired Apostles, for the making of Ceremonies, or new Laws of wor­ship, or teaching engaging signs for the Church, we would as gladly understand and obey his will in these things as you, what hurt is it to us, to use a Crosse, or other Ceremony, if it were not for fear of disobeying God? Enforce Gods Laws upon us zealously, if you will, and see if we will disobey. But that the world shall run into confusion, rather than we shall have leave to serve God as Peter and Paul did, without Crossing, Surplices, and Kneeling at the Sacrament, and then that we shall be reproached as the cause of all by our disobedience, God hath told the world by his word, and will tell them by his Judge­ments that this is not his way to Unity and Peace. As to the Argument from your Bre­threns weaknesse we say first, It is not your strength to slight it or them: Nor is it their weaknesse that they are willing to be esteemed weak. The Apostle called those weak that placed a necessity in indifferent things, Rom. 14, And not those that understood their indifferency; But the truth is the nature of things indifferent, is not well undestood by all on either side, some may think evil of some things that deserve it not, and in this they are weak, though in other matters they may be strong. And for the rest we speak according to the worst that you your selves can charitably suppose, you can say no more of them, but that they are weaker, that is, in this know lesse than you, though perhaps we may take them to be stronger, that is, to be more in the right, yet are we nor so confident as to censure you, or others; but speak of things difficult, and doubtful as they are. But how prove you it, we would take it ill, to be our selves, or have those we speak of accounted ignorant, in such things as these use us no worse than the ignorant should be used: and till you would turn a man out of the Ministry, or Church for being ignorant of the nature of a Ceremony, (which never [Page 104] was in his Creed, the Decalogue or Scripture) dealt not so by us, that would be wiser if we knew how. That all our ignorance is our own fault we deny not, but it is an expresse of confidence and uncharitablenesse to rell us, that there is so very much written as may satisfie any man that hath a mind to be satisfied, and when we professe in his sight that knoweth the hearts, that we have a mind to be satisfied, and would know the truth at what rate soever if we knew how, what would you have us do that we do not, to be satisfied? Do we not read as much for Ceremonies, as the dissenters use to do against them? Many Books against them are yet unanswered, and we never shunned any publick, or private conference with any of you, and such reasonings as these are not like to convince us. If you will be the judges of your brethrens hearts, and say it is not tendernesse of Conscience, but stubborn­nesse, we shall refer that to the day when your hearts, and ours, shall be opened, Must none be tender Conscienc'd that dare not venture to obey you in such things? When you may with undoubted safety forbear the imposing of your Ceremonies, and so forbear the casting out of your brethren, if you will not, who shews lesse tendernesse of Conscience? That the scandal is taken and not given, is still the thing in question, as to many things: and if it were not just occasion of oftence, you ought not to lay that which anothers weaknesse will turn into a stumbling block unnecessarily before them; if the Apostles Argument be good Rom. 14. the Church may not urge unlawful things, nor things meerly lawful upon such penalties as will exclude things necessary. If an idle word be to be accounted for, an idle Law is not laudable, much less when all men must be excluded the Ministry, or Com­munion that scruple it: when yet a man may be a prophan swearer, for 12 pence an oath, and may swear an hundred times before he payes that 12 pence. A Papist shall pay 12 pence for not coming to Church, and a Protestant be thrust out of your Communion, for not kneeling at the Sacrament, and a Minister suspended, imprisoned, undone for not cros­sing a Child or wearing a Surplice: May Magistrates, or the Church thus urge their com­mands? Can any thing be spoken plainer, than the Scripture speaks against this course? And would you make the world believe that the brethren that do not all that you bid them are so unreasonably and obstinately scrupulons, as to have no matter of offence, but what they lay before themselves? when they have the practice of the Apostles, and the custom of the Primitive Church, for many hundred years against you, and this called by them an Apostolical tradition, and decreed by the most uncharitable Councils that ever were. If you had but one of these (the decree of a General Council, or practise of all the purest Churches alone) for one of your Ceremonies, you would think him uncharitable, that so reproached you for pretending Conscience.

Sect. 11. The case of St. Paul not eating of flesh, if it offended his Brother, is nothing to the purpose, who there speaks of things not com­manded either by God, or by his Church, neither having in them any thing of decency, or fignificancy to serve in the Church, St. Paul would deny himself his own liberty, rather than offend his Brother, but if any man breaks a just Law or Custom of the Church, he brands her for a lo­ver of Schism, and Sedition, 1 Cor. 11. 16.

Reply. But because at our last meeting it was said with so much confidence by one, that the case in Rom, 14. and 15. was nothing to ours, we shall here say the more to what you say, that St. Pauls not eating flesh is nothing to the purpose: your reasons are, first, because he speaks of nothing commanded by God or his Church. Secondly, not of any thing of decency or significancy to serve in the Church. To the first, we have oft told you, that which is undenyable; First, that Paul was a Governour of that Church himself, that had no superiour to controule him. [Page 105] If you say that he then wrote not as a Governour; we answer, Yes: For he wrote as an Apostle, and wrote the Epistle that was to be a standing Law or Canon to them: If this be not an act of his Office, and Autho­rity, there was none such; And then you must say the like of all the rest of the Epistles. 2ly: Moreover, as Paul the Apostle excludeth all such impositions; so he wrote to all the resident Pastours that were at Rome, for he wrote to the whole Church: and therefore these commands extend to the Governours, that they make not such things the matter of Con­tempt or Censuces, or any uncharitable Course, but bear with one ano­ther in them. Will you call men obstinate self-offenders, that differ from you, when you have no better answers then these, to the plain decisions of the Holy Ghost? What we speak of Rom. 14. 15. we speak also of 1 Cor. 8. And 3ly. It is to the Rulers of the Church, that we are speak­ing, and it is they that answer us: and shall the Rulers say [If it were not a thing commanded we might bear with you] when it is themselves that command them ecclesiastically; and we intreat them but to forbear that, and to concurre with us in petitioning the King, to forbear com­manding them coercively, who no doubt will easily for bear it, if they do their part. 4ly. Yea, à fortiori, it layeth a heavier charge on such Gover­nours, then others: If it be so heynous a sin as Paul maketh it, to cen­sure or despise one another, for meat, and daies, and such like things; how much more to excommunicate, silence, and undo one another, & de­prive thousands of souls of the preaching of the Gospel that consented not to their Pastours non-conformity? 5ly. Paul letteth you know, that these things are not the Center, or matter of our necessary concord, but of mutual forbearance, & therefore condemneth all that will make them necessary to our united Ministry, or Communion. And the difference is wholly to the advantage of our cause: For those that Paul spake to, were not come so high as to go about to force others to do as they did: but on­ly to despise them for not doing it. 2. And therefore to your second Reason we answer. 1. If the things had been different, yet so was Pauls injunction different from our Request; For Paul goeth so high as to command them to deny their own liberty in not eating lawfull meats themselves, lest they offend and hurt their brethren: whereas we are now desiring you, that you would not force others to do that which they take to be a sin, and that with penalties that fall heavier on the Church then on them. They had on both sides fairer pretences then you have: The Cases before us to be compared, are four; The Case of the Refusers of meats, and observers of daies then; The Case of the users of those meats and non-observers of those daies; The Case of our Imposers; And the Case of non-Conformists. The pretence of their Refusers of [Page 106] meats had in 1 Cor. 8. was that being offered to Idols; they thought it made them partakers of the Idolatry, & so they sinn'd through weakness in being offended at others, and censuring them that used their liberty: And had they not here a fairer pretence, for their offence and censures, than you for your impositions? you cannot shew half so great an appea­rance of good in the things commanded, as they could do of evil in the things for which they were offended. And the offended censurer in Rom. 14. had this pretence, that the thing was forbidden in Gods own Law, even the meats, which he refused; and the daies commanded which he observed: and he knew not that the Law in these matters of Order & Ceremony was abrogated (which Peter was ignorant of, when he refu­sed to eat things common and unclean.) But you have no pretence of Gods own command, for the matter of your impositions, as these men had for the matter of their offence and censure, so that here you are in the worser-side. And for the other party that in 1 Cor. 8. abused their liber­ty, and Rom. 14. despised their brethren, they had a double pretence: one was that it was their liberty, and if every scrupulous party should drive them from their lawfull meat and drink, they knew not whither they might drive them: another was, that the Law was abrogated by Christ; and therefore if they complied in practice with the scrupulous, or did not shew their difference, they might seem to be guilty of the re­storing of the Law, and complying with the Jews, and the Hereticks, that both then were enemies to the Church, and agreed in this: Had not these men now a far fairer pretence for eating 1 Cor. 8. and for the dis­sent shewed Rom. 14. then you ever yet produced for forcing others from Ministry and Church into sin and Hell, if they will not obey you against their consciences, and all for that which you never pretended to shew a command of God for, and others shew you, as they think, Scripture and Councils, and customes against. To tell us then that Paul spake of things [not decent, and sign ficant] is [pardon our plainess] to say much less then nothing: For it was not against imposing that Paul spake, but using, and not using censuring, and despising; And their Arguments were (sutable to their cause) of another kind of moment, then decency, or in­decency, significancy or insignificancy, even from supposed Idolatry, re­jecting Gods Law, and complying with the Jews and Hereticks, in re­storing the Law, and casting away the liberties purchased by Christ even in their private eating, & drinking. To be no more tedious now, we hum­bly offer in any way convenient to try out with that Reverend brother tha [...] so confidently asserted the disparity of the Cases, and to prove that these Scriptures, most plainly condemn your impositions now in question, though we should have thought that one impartial reading of them might [Page 107] end the controversy, and save the Church and you from the sad effects. As to that 1 Cor. 11. 16. We answer, first, it is uncertain whether the word Custom referr to the matter of Hair, or to Contention: so many Expositours judge (q. d. The Churches of God are not contentious) 2d. Here is no institution (muchless by fallible men) of new Covenant­ing, dedicating, or teaching Symbols or Ceremony, nor is here any un­necessary thing enjoyned: but that which nature, and the custom of the countrey, had made so decent as that the opposite would have been abu­sively undecent: This is not your case. A Cross or Surplice, is not de­cent by nature, or common reputation, but by institution (that is not all: for if it be not instituted because decent, it will not be decent because in­stituted); nor are these sodecent, as the opposite to be indecent. The A­postles worshipped God as decently without them, as you do with them; the Minister prayeth in the Pulpit as decently without the Surplice, as in the reading place with it. 3d. Paul doth but exhort them to this un­doubted comliness, (as you may well do, if men will do any thing which nature or common reputation makes to be slovenly, unmannerly or indecent, as being covered in prayer or singing Psalms, or any such like, about which we will never differ with you,) but even here he talks not of force, or such penalties as tend to the greater hurt of the Church, and the ruine of the person.

Sect. 12. A. 4. That these Ceremonies have occasioned many divisions, is no more fault of theirs, then it was of the Gospel that the preaching of it occa­sioned strife, betwixt father and son, &c. The true cause of those divisions is the cause of ours, which S. Jam. tels us is Last, and inordinate desires of honors or wealth, or licentiousness, or the like; were these Ceremonies laid aside, there would be the same divisions, if some, who think Moses and Aaron took too much upon them, may be suffered to deceive the people, and to raise in them vain fears and jealousies of their Governours: but if all men would as they ought, study peace and quietness, they would find other and better fruits of these Laws of Rites and Ceremonies; as edification, decency, order and beau­ty in the service and worship of God.

Reply. Whether the Ceremonies be as innocent, as to divisions, as the Gospel, (a strange assertion) will better appear when what we have said, and what is more fully said by Dr. Ames, Bradshaw, and others, is well answered. If the true cause of our divisions, be as you say (lust and inordinate desires of honours or wealth, or licentiousness) then the party that is most lustfull, ambitious, covetous, and licentious, are li­kest to be most the cause. And for lust, and licentiousness, we should take it for a great attainment of our ends, if you will be intreated to turn the edge of your severity against the lustfull, and licentious: O that [Page 108] you would keep them out of the Pulpits, and out of the communion of the Church, till they reform! And for our selves, we shall take your admonitions, or severities, thankfully, when ever we are convicted by you of any such sins: We are loath to enter upon such comparison, between the Ministers ejected (for the most part), and those that are in their Rooms, as tends to shew by this Rule who are likest to be the dividers. And for inordinate desire of honors and wealth, between your Lordships and us; we are contented that this Cause be decided by all England, even by our enemies at the first hearing, without any further vindication of our selves; and so let it be judged who are the dividers: only we must say, that your intimation of this Charge on us that seek not for Bishopricks, Deaneries, Archdeaconries, or any of your preferments; that desire not, nor could accept pluralities of Benefices, with cure of souls; that never sought for more then food and raiment with the Liberty of our Ministery, even one place with a tolerable maintenance, whose pro­voking cause hath been our constant opposition, to the Honors, Wealth, Lordships, and pluralities of the Clergy; yea who would be glad, on the behalf of the poor Congregations, if many of our brethren might have leave to preach to their Flocks for nothing; we say, your intimation ma­keth us lift up our hearts, and hands to heaven, and think, Oh what is man! What may not by some History be told the world! Oh how desira­ble is the blessed day of the righteous universal judgment of the Lord! how small a matter till then, should it be to us to be judged of man? we hope upon pretence of not suffering us to deceive the people, you will not deny us liberty to preach the necessary saving truths of the Gospel, considering how terrible a Symptom, and Prognostick, this was in the Jews, 1 Thes. 2 15, 16. Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own Prophets, and persecuted the Apostles, and God they pleased not, and were contrary to all men, forbidding to preach to the Gentiles, that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alwaies: for wrath was come upon them to the utmost. We can as easily bear what ever you can inflict upon us, as the hinderers of the Gospel, and silencers of faithfull Ministers, and troublers of the Churches, can bear what God will inflict on them. And so the will of the Lord be done.

Sect. 13. Cer. 3. There hath been so much said not only of the lawfulness, but also of the conveniencies of those Ceremonies mentioned, that nothing can be added: This in brief may here suffice for the Surplice, that reason and ex­perience teaches, that decent ornaments, and habits, preserve reverence and awe; held therefore necessary to the Solemnity of Royal Acts, and Acts of ju­stice: and why not as well to the Solemnity of Religious Worship? And in particular no habit more suitable then white linnen which resembles purity, [Page 109] and beauty, wherein Angels have appeared, Rev. 15. Fit for those whom the Scripture calls Angels; and this habit was ancient; Chryso. Ho. 60. ad pop. Antioch.

Repl. First, if nothing can be added, then we doubt the unanswered writings extant against these impositions, will never be well answered. 2ly. We are desirous, that no indecent Vestures or habits, be used in Gods service. Those that Scruple the surplice do it not as it is a ha­bit determined of, as decent; but as they think it is made a holy vest­ment, and so part of external worship, as Aarons vestments were (as may be seen in the Arguments of Cotton, and Nicholls lately printed to­gether.)

Sect. 14. The Cross was alwaies used in the Church, in immortali lavacro, Tertul. And therefore to testify our Communion with them, as we are taught to do in our Creed, as also in token that we shall not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, it is fit to be used still, and we conceive cannot trouble the conscience of any that have a mind to be satisfied.

Repl. That the Cross was alwaies used in the Church in baptism is an assertion certainly untrue, and such as we never heard or read till now: Do you believe it was used in the baptism of the Eunuch, Lydia, the Jay­lor, Cornelius, the 300. Acts 3. or in those times? And when it did come up, it was with Chrism, and not ever any transient Image, and therefore you so far differ from the users. 2ly. The condemnation of genu flection on the Lords daies in adoration, was at least as ancient and universall, and commanded by Councils when the Cross was not, and yet you can dispense with that, and many such usages. And if you will your selves fall in with custome, yet every ancient common custome, was never intended to be a matter of necessity to union or toleration of our brethren: use no other force about the Cross, than the Church then did. 3ly. Your saying that [you conceive it cannot trouble the con­science of any that have a mind to be satisfied] doth but express your uncharitable censoriousness, while your brethren have studied and prayed and conferred for satisfaction, (its like as much as you,) and pro­fess their earnest desire of it, and their readiness to hear or read any thing that you have to say in order to their satisfaction.

Sect. 15. The posture of kneeling best suites at the Communion, as the most convenient, and so most decent for us, when we are to receive, as it were from Gods hand, the greatest of Seals of the Kingdom of heaven: he that thinks he may do this sitting, let him remember the Prophet Mal. Offer this to thy Prince to receive his Seal, from his own hand sitting, see if he will accept of it. When the Church did stand at her prayers, the manner of receiving was more Ado­rantiun. S. Aug. Psal. 98. Cyril. Catech. Mystag. 5. Rahter more then [Page 110] at prayers, since standing at Prayer hath been generally left, and kneeling used instead of that, (as the Church may vary in such indifferent things); now to stand at Communion, when we keel at Prayers were not decent, much lesse to sit, which was never the use of the best times.

Reply. To all this about Kneeling we say first, we have considered the Text in Mal. and what you say, and yet first, we find that our Betters even Christs Apostles, and the universal Church for many hundred years thought not kneeling more decent, nor did the Church in the first Age think sitting unmeet in that service to the King of the Church; and we hope you reprehend them not. 2ly. You require not the Adult that are baptized, to receive that Seal or Sacrament kneeling. 3ly. When kneel­ing at Prayers was in use, in the Apostles times, yet kneeling in the re­ception of the Sacrament was not. 4ly. Why can you so lightly put off both the practice, and Canons of the Church, in this more then in other such things? However you cannot here deny de facto, but that kneel­ing on the Lords dayes in the receiving of the Sacrament was for many hundred yeares of the purer times of the Church dis-used, and condem­ned; And why do you not tell us what other general Council repealed this, that we may see whether it be such as we are any way bound by? When you say [the Church may vary in such indifferent things.] First, if kneeling or standing at prayer be an indifferent thing, then so are they at this Sacrament. 2ly. Then you follow the changes, and we the old pattern. 3ly. Then the Canons of general Councils, and Customes pretended to be from Apostolical tradition may be changed. 4ly. What is it that you call the Church, that changeth, or may change these? A Council or a popular custome? Bring us not under a forraign power. 5ly. The thing then being so indifferent and changeable, you may change it if you please for ends that are not indifferent. 6ly. And if now the Ministers may pray standing, why may not the people receive stand­ing. 7ly. When you say that to sit was never the use of the best times] you deny the Apostles and primitive times to be the best: as to the ex­tent of the Church they were not the best, but as to purity of admini­strations they were.

Sect. 16. That there were ancient Liturgies in the Church is evident, S. Chrysostom, S. Basil, and others, and the Greeks tells us of S. James's, much older then they; and though we find not in all ages whole Liturgies, yet it is certain that there were such in the oldest times, by those parts which are extant, as Sursum Corda, &c. Gloria Patri, &c. Benedicite, Hymnus, Cheru­binus, &c. Verè dignum & justum, &c. Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo, with divers others. Though those that are extant may be interpo­lated, yet such things as are found in them all consistent to Catholick and primi­tive [Page 111] doctrine, may well be presumed to have been from the first, especially since we find no original of these Liturgies from general Councils.

Reply. We know there wanteth not a Lindanus, a Coccius, to tell the world of S. Peters Liturgy, which yet prayeth that by the interces­sion of S. Peter, and Paul, we may be defended, &c, and mentioneth Linus, Cletus, Clemens, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lucia, Barbara, and abundance such: shall we therefore conclude, that there were Liturgies from the first? and that what is here consentient to Antiquity, was in it? There wants not a Marg. de la Bigne, à Greg. de Valent. à Coccius to commend to us the Liturgy of Mark, that prayeth, Protege Civitatem istam proper Mar­tyrem tuum & Evangelistam Marcum, &c. And tells us, that the King where the Authour lived was an Orthodox Christian, and prayeth for the Pope, Subdeacons, Lelors, Cantors, Monks, &c. Must we therefore believe that all that's Orthodox in it is ancient? So there wants not a Bign. Bellarm. &c. to tell us of S. James his Liturgy, that mentions the Confessours, the Deiparam, the Anchorets, &c. which made Bellarm. him­self say [de Liturgia Jacobi sic sentio, Eam aut non esse ejus, aut multa à po­sterioribus eidem addita sunt]. And must we prove the Antiquity of Litur­gies by this, or try ours by it? There wants not a Sainctetius, a Bellarm. a Valentia, a Peresius to predicate the Liturgy of S. Basil, as bearing wit­nesse to transubstantiation, for the sacrifice of the Masse for praying to Saints, &c. When yet the exceeding disagreement of Copies, the diffe­rence of some forms from Basils ordinary forms, the prayers for the most pious and faithful Emperours, shew it unlikely to have been Basils: ma­ny predicate Chrysostomes Masse or Liturgie, as making for praying to the dead, and for them, the propitiatory Sacrifice of the Masse, &c. when in one edition, Chrysostom is prayed to in it, saith Cook: in another. Ni­colaus, and Alexius that lived 1080 is mentioned: in another, doctrines are contained (as de Contaminata Maria) &c. clean contrary to Chryso­stoms doctrine: must we now conclude that all is ancient, that is Ortho­dox, when one Copy is scarce like another? or can we try our Liturgies by such as this? The shreds cited by you prove a Liturgie indeed, such as we have used while the Common Prayer-book was not used, where the Psalms, the words of Baptism, and the words of Consecration, com­memoration and delivery of the Lords Supper, and many other, were used in a constant form, when other parts were used as the Minister found most meet so Sursum Corda was but a warning before, or in the midst of devotion, such as our [Let us pray] and will no more prove that the substance of prayer was not left to the Minister's present or prepared Conceptions, than Ite missa est, will prove it. The Gloria patri Bellarm. himself saith, according to the common opinion was formed [Page 112] in the council of Nice, which was in the 4th Century. And even then such a particular testimony against the Arrians might well stand with a body of unimposed prayers, and rather shewes that in other things they were left at liberty; If the Benedicite, the Hymnes, or other passages here mentioned, will prove such a Liturgy as pleaseth you, we pray you bear with our way of worship, which hath more of Hymnes and other forms then these come to; That these Liturgies had no original from ge­nerall Councils addes nothing with us to their Authority, but sheweth that they had an arbitrary original: and all set together, shews that then they had many Liturgies in one Prince's Dominion, and those altera­ble, and not forced, and that they took not one Liturgy to be any neces­sary means to the Churches unity or peace, but bore with those that used various at discretion. We well remember that Tertull, tells the Heathens that Christians shewed by their conceived Hymnes, that they were so­ber at their religious feasts, it being their custome [ut quisque de scriptu­ris sanctis, vel de proprio ingenio potest, provocetur in medium Deo canere] Apol. cap. 39. Note here 1. that though there be more need of forms for singing then for praying. yet even in this, the Christians in publick had then a liberty of doing it de proprio ingenio, and by their own wit or parts. 2. That those that did not de proprio ingenio, did it de scripturis sanctis, and that there is no mention of any other Liturgy, from which they fetch so much as their Hymnes. And the same Tertul. Apol. cap. 30. describing the Christians publick prayers saith [sine monitore, quia de pe­ctore, oramus] [we pray without a Monitor or promptor, because we do it from the heart, or from our own breast,] And before him Just. Mart. Ap. 2. p. 77. saith, [...]. But if all these words seem not plain enough to some, it is no wonder when they rest not in the greater plainness of the holy Scriptures, where prayer is so frequently mentioned, as much of the imployment of believers; and so many directions, encouragements and exhortations given about it: and yet no Liturgy or stinted forms, ex­cept the Lords prayer, is prescribed to them, or once made mention of, no man directed here to use such, no man exhorted to get him a Prayer­book, or to read or learn it, or to beware that he adde or diminish not: whereas the holy Scriptures that were then given to the Church, men are exhorted to read, and study, and meditate in, and discourse of, and make it their continual delight: and it's a wonder that David, that menti­ons it so oft in the 119. Psalm, doth never mention the Liturgy, or Com­mon-Prayer-Book, if they had any: And that Solomon, when he dedica­ted the house of Prayer without a Prayer-book, would onely begge of God, to hear [what Prayers, or what Supplication soever, shall be made [Page 113] of any man, or of all the people of Israel, when every one shall know his own sore, and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in that house] 2 Chron. 6. 29. and that he giveth no hint of any Liturgie or form, so much as in those common Calamities; and talkes of no other book then the knowledge of their own sores, and their own griefs: And in the Case of Psalmes, or singing unto God; where it is certain, that they had a Liturgy or form, (as we have,) they are carefully collected, pre­served, and delivered to us, as a choise part of the holy Scripture. And would it not have been so with the prayers? or would they have been altogether unmentioned, if they also had been there prescribed to, and used by, the Church, as the Psalmes were? Would Christ and his Apostles, even where they were purposely giving rules for prayer, and correcting its abuse, as Matth. 6. 1 Cor. 14. &c. have never mention­ed any forms but the Lord's Prayer, if they had appointed such, or de­sired such to be imposed, and observed? These things are incredible to us when we most impartially consider them. For our own parts, as we think it uncharitable to forbid the use of Spectacles to them that have weak eyes, or of Crutches to them that have weak Limbs; and as uncha­ritable to undo all that will not use them, whether they need them or not: so we can think no better of them, that will suffer none to use such forms, that need them; or that will suffer none to pray, but in the words of other mens prescribing, though they are at least, as able as the prescribers. And to conclude, we humbly crave, that ancient cu­stomes may not be used against themselves, and us; and that you will not innovate, under the shelter of the name of Antiquity. Let those things be freely used among us, that were so used in the purest primitive times. Let unity and peace be laid on nothing, on which they laid them not; let diversity of Liturgies, and Ceremonies be allowed, where they allowed it. May we but have love and peace, on the Terms as the ancient Church enjoyed them, we shall then hope we may yet escape the hands of uncharitable destroying Zeal: we therefore humbly recommend to your observation the concurrent Testimony of the best Histories of the Church concerning the diversity of Liturgies, Ceremonies, and modal observances in the several Churches under one and the same civil Government: and how they then took it to be their duty to for­bear each other in these matters, and how they made them not the test of their Communion, or center of their peace. Concerning the observation of Easter it self, when other Holy dayes, and Ceremonies were urged, were lesse stood upon, you have the judgement of Irenaeus, and the French Bishops, in whose name he wrote in Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 5. c: 23. Where they reprehend Victor for breaking peace with the [Page 114] Churches, that differed about the day, and the antecedent time of fa­sting, and tell him that the variety began, before their times, when yet they neverthelesse retained peace, and yet retain it; and the discord in their fasting declared, or commended the concord of their faith, that no man was rejected from Communion by Victor's, predecessors on that account, but they gave them the Sacrament, and maintained peace with them, and particularly Polycarp, and Anicetus, held Communion in the Eucharist, notwithstanding this difference. Basil Epist. 63 doth plead his cause with the Presbyters, and whole Clergy of Neocaesarea, that were of­fended at his new Psalmodie, and his new order of Monasticks: but he on­ly defendeth himself, and urgeth none of them to imitate him, but telleth him also of the novelty of their own Liturgy, that it was not known in the time of their own late renowned Bp. Greg Thaumaturgus, telling them that they had kept nothing unchanged to that day of all that he was used to, (so great alterations in 40. years were made in the same Con­gregation) as he professeth to pardon all such things, so be it the princi­pal things be kept safe. Socrat. Hist. Eccl. l. 5 [...]. c. 21. about the Easter difference saith, that neither the Apostles, nor the Gospels, do impose a yoke of bondage on those that betake themselves to the doctrine of Christ, but left the Feast of Easter, and other Festivals, to the observa­tion of the free and equal judgement of them that had received the be­nefits. And therefore because men use to keep some Festivals, for the re­laxing themselves from labours, several persons in several places, do cele­brate, of custom, the memorials of Christs passion arbitrarily, or at their own choice. For neither our Saviour, nor the Apostles commanded the keeping of them by any Law, nor threaten any mulct, or penalty, &c. It was the purpose of the Apostles not to make Laws for the keeping of Fe­stivals, but to be Authours to us of the reason of right living, and of pie­ty. And having shewed that it came up by private custom, and not by Law, and having cited Irenaeus, as before he addeth, [that those that a­gree in the same faith, do differ in point of Rites and Ceremonies] and instancing in divers, he concludeth that because no man can shew in the monuments of writings, any Command concerning this, it is plain, that the Apostles herein permitted free power to every ones mind and will; that every man might do that which was good, without being in­duced by fear, or by necessity.] And having spoken of the diversity of customes, about the Assemblies, Marriage, Baptism, &c. He tells us that even among the Novatians themselves, there is a diversity in their man­ner of their praying [and that among all the forms of Religions and par­ties, you can no where find two, that consent among themselves in the manner of their praying.] And repeating the decree of the Holy Ghost, [Page 115] Acts 15. [To impose no other burden but things necessary] he repre­hendeth them that, neglecting this, will take Fornication as a thing in­different; but strive about Festivals, as if it were a matter of life, over­turning Gods Laws, and making Laws to themselves.] &c. And Sozomen Hist. Eccles. l. 7. c. 18. and 19. speaketh to the same purpose, and tells us that the Novatians themselves determined in a Synod at Sangar in By­thinia, that the difference about Easter being not a sufficient Cause for breach of Communion, all should abide in the same concord, and in the same Assembly, and every one should celebrate this Feast as pleased him­self: and this Canon they called [...], and c. 19. He saith of Victor, and Polycarp, that [they deservedly judged it frivolous, or absur'd, that those should be separated on the account of a custom, that consented in the principal heads of Religion: For you cannot find the same traditions in all things alike, in all Churches, though they agree among themselves] and instancing in some Countries, where there is but one Bishop in many Cities, and in other Bishops are ordained in the Villages.] After many other instances, he adds that they use not the same prayers, singings or readings, nor observe the same time of using them.] And what Liturgy was imposed upon Constantine the Emperour, or what Bishops or Synods, were then the makers of Lyturgies, when he himself made publick pray­ers for himself and auditory, and for his Souldiers? Euseb. de vit. Constan­tini, l. 4. c. 18. 20, &c. But the diversity, liberty, and change of Lyturgies in the Churches under the same Prince, are things so well known, as that we may suppose any further proof of it to be needless. In the conclusion therefore, we humbly beseech you, that as Antiquity and the custom of the Churches in the first ages, is that which is most commonly, and confi­dently pleaded against us, that your mistake of Antiquity may not be to our Cost, or paid so dear for, as the loss of our Freedom, for the serving of God in the work of the Ministery to which we are called; we beseech you let us not be silenced or cast out of the Ministery or Church, for not using the Liturgy, Cross, Surplice, kneeling at the Sacrament, till ye have either shewed the world that the practice or Canons of the Catholick Church hav [...] led you the way as doing it, or requiring it to be done. And make not that to necessary as to force men to it on such dreadful terms, which the ancient Churches used with diversity, and indifferency of liber­ty; we beseech you shew the world some proof, that the ancient Churches did ever use to force, or require Ministers to subscribe to their Liturgies, as having nothing in them contrary to the word of God, or to swear obe­dience to their Bishops, before you impose such things on us, while yet you pretend to imitate Antiquity. And have but that moderation to­wards your brethren: as in suffering, or at death, or judgement, you would [Page 116] most appear. Remember how unpleasing the remembrance of such diffe­rences about Ceremonies was to Bp. Ridley, as towards Bp. Hooper, when they were in prison: and how the Arrians fury made the Orthodox gladly to go to the Churches of the Novatians, and meet with them and joyn with them in prayer, and had almost been united with them in the bond of Concord, if the Novatians, in a stiffe maintaining of their old customes had not utterly refused it; But yet in other matters they embraced each other with so singular a benevolence and love, that they would willingly have died for each other] as Socrat, tels us Hist. l. 2. c. 30. And may we not all here see our duty? When Atticus was urged to deny to the Novations the Liberty of then meetings within the City, he refused it, because they had suffered for the faith, in the Arrians persecution; & changed nothing in the faith, though they separated from the Church: and was so far from violence against dissenters, as that he gave large relief to them, that dif­fered from him in Religion, Socrates Hist. l. 7 c. 25. It was the much praised saying of Theodosius to him that asked him, Why he put none to death that wronged him. [I would I could rather make them that are dead alive] Socrates l. 7. c. 22. Much more should Christian Bps. be enemies to cruelty who know that Charity is more essentiall to Christianity then this, or that form of Liturgy, or Ceremonies. If you think it unsufferable that we should have differences about such things, remember that there will be no perfect Unity till there is perfect Charity, and sanctity; and that destroying one another, and consequently destroying Charity, is an unhappy way to Uni­ty. And that Unity is to be held in things necessary, & Liberty in things unnecessary, and Charity in both: remember that it was in a far greater difference, where Constantine perswadeth the Christians to mutuall for­bearance by the example of the Philosophers, that suffered differences in abundance of their opinions, Euseb. de vita Constant. l. 2. c. 67. And that Valens the Arrian was made more moderate, and abated his persecution of the Orthodox by the Oration of Themistius, who bid him not wonder at the dissentions of Christians; for they were small if compared with the multitude & cloud of opinions that are among the heathen Philosophers, as being more then 300. And that God will by his diversity of opinions manifest his glory and make men the more reverence him, who is so hardly known] Socrat. l. 4. c. 27. Those that dissent from you in these colerable Cases cannot change their own Opinions; But you can, if you will, for­bear hurting of your brethren. Do that which you can do; rather then urge them by unsutable means to that which they cannot do. These are not matters sufficient to justify contention, & uncharitable usage of your bre­thren. When many of the Macedonian faction petitioned the good Em­perour Jovianus to depose those that affirmed the son to be unlike the Fa­ther, [Page 117] and to put their party in their places, he gave them no answer but this [I hate contention; and I love and honor them that are addicted to concord] Socrat. l. 4. c. 21. [Then, saith Euseb Hist. l 8. c. 1. did the Lord obscure the daughter of Sion, and cast down the glory of Israel, &c. When those that seemed our Pastors, rejecting the rule of godliness, were inflamed among themselves with mutual contentions, & drove on only those con­tentions, threatnings, emulations, mutual hatred and enmity, & the like, Tyrants prosecuted their Ambitions]. We thought it no impertinent di­gression here to take this occasion again to crave your exercise of the an­cient Charity, and our enjoyment of the ancient Liberty, instead of for­cing the anciently free Liturgy, and Ceremonies, and that by impropor­tionable penalties; And if yet we cannot prevaile with you, we shall still beg for peace of the God of peace, where we have better hopes to be heard and shall hold on in seeking it, how ill soever our endeavours may be in­terpreted or succeed. And as the good man wept, Socrat. l. 4. c. 18. when he saw a woman pompously adorned, because he was not so carefull to please God, as she was to allure men: so we shall confess we ought to weep, that we cannot be more Charitable, & laborious in building up the Church in holiness and peace, then others are by uncharitable courses, to afflict it. And it shal be our hope that whether by their labours, or their sufferings, God will serve and honor himself, by those many faithful servants of his, whom he hath called into his work, and whose cause we plead, and that however they are used they shal not be unuseful to the ends of their voca­tion. As Theodoret observes Hist l. 4. c. 30. that in a Calamitous time, [the Moderator of the Universe raised up such guides as were sufficient, in so great a fluctuation, and opposed the valour of the Leaders, to the greatness of the enemies incursion, & gave the best remedies in the hard­est times of Pestilence.] so that the banished Pastors did from the utter­most parts of the earth corroborate their own, and refute the adversaries by their writings] And for ourselves, as we were truly desirous to do our parts to preserve your reputation with the flocks, in order to the success of your Government for their good, and never envied you, even that worldly honour or revenew, which yet some have thought unsutable to the simplicity and employment of Christs Ministers: so if you will neither suffer us quietly to serve God or conscionably to serve you, we shal be the less sollicitous for that part of our task, from which you have power to discharge us. And as Basil said to Valens the Emperour that would have him pray for the life of his Son [If thou wilt receive the true faith, & re­store the Churches to concord, thy son shal live, which when he refused, he said [The will of God then be done with thy Son,] so we say to you: If you will put on Charity, and promote your brethrens and the Churches [Page 118] peace, God will honour you, and good men will honour you, and your calling will have advantage by it. But if you will do contrary, the Will of the Lord be done with your honours. But know that them that honour him, he will honour, and those that despise him shall be lightly esteemed: and that by the course of uncharitable violence, which we deprecate, you will most deeply wound the Cause of your Preheminence, even more than its adversaries could have done. And if it be the will of God, that suffer­ing at home where we have served him, must be our Lot, we doubt not but he will furnish us with strength, and patience, and we shall remember such ensamples as Ruffin recordeth, Hist. l. 2. c. 3. When a military Bishop sent his Souldiers, to assault 300 scattered Christians, there appeared a strange kind of warfare, when the assaulted offered their necks, saying on­ly, Amice, ad quid venistr? Friend, why camest thou thither? Or if we must be removed from the land of our Nativity, as Maris told Julian, He thank't God that had deprived him of his sight, that he might not see the face of such a man, Socrat. Hist. l. 3. c. 10. So we shall take it as a little abate­ment of our affliction, that we see not the Sins, and Calamities of the peo­ple, whose peace and welfare we so much desire. Having taking this op­portunity here to conclude this part with these Requests and Warnings; we now proceed to the second part, containing the particulars of our Exceptions, and your Answers.

Concerning Morning and Evening Prayer.

Sect. 1. [Rubr. 1. We think it fit that the Rubrick stand as it is and all to be left to the discretion of the Ordinary.]

Reply. We thought the end and use more considerable than custom and that the Ordinary himself should be under the rule of doing to edification.

Sect. 2. Rub. [For the reasons given in our Answer to the 18th General, whither you refer us, we think it fit that the Rubrick continue as it is.]

Reply. We have given you reason enough against the imposition of the usual Ceremonies; and would you draw forth those absolute ones to in­crease the burden?

Sect. 3. Lords Pr. [Deliver us from evil. These words, For thine is the Kingdom, &c. are not in S. Luke, nor in the antient Copies of St. Matth. never mentioned in the antient Comments, nor used in the Latin Church, and therefore questioned whether they be part of the Gospel: there is no reason that they should be alwayes used.]

Reply. We shall not be so over-credulous as to believe you, that these words are not in the antient Copies: It is enough that we believe that some few antient Copies have them not; but that the most (even the generality [Page 119] except those few) have them. The judgement of our English Translators, and almost all other Translators of Matth. and of the reverend B of Che­ster, among your selves, putting the Copy that hath it in his Bible, (as that which is most receiv'd, and approved by the Church) do shew on which side is the chief authority: if the few copies that want it had been thought more arthentick and credible, the Church of England and most other Churches would not have preferred the copies that have this doxology. And why will you in this contradict the later judgement of the Church, expressed in the translation allowed and imposed? The Syriack, Ethiopick, and Persian translations also have it: and if the Syriack be as antient as you your selves even now asserted, then the antiquity of doxology is there evident: and it is not altogether to be neglected, which by Chemnitius and others is conjectured, that Pauls words in Tim. 4. 18. were spoken as in reference to this Doxology. And as Pareus and other Protestants con­clude, it is more probable the Latrines neglected, than that the Greeks in­serted of their own heads this sentence. The Socinians and Arrians have as fair pretence for their exception a ainst 1 John 5, 6, 7. Masculus saith, [non cogitant vero similius esse, ut Graecorum ecclesia magis quàm Latina, quod ab Evangelistis Graece scriptum est, integrum servârit, nihilque de suo adjecerit. Quid de Graeca ecclesia dico? vidi ipse vetustissimum Evan­gelium secundum Matth. Codicem Chaldaeis & Elementis, & Verbis con­scriptum, in quo Coronis ista perinde atque in Graecis legebatur. Nec Chal­daei solum, sed & drabes Christiani paciformiter cum Graecis orant, & Exemplar Hebraeum à docto & celebri D. Sebast. Munstero vulgatum, hanc ipsam Coronidem habet; Cum ergo consentiunt hâc in re Hebraeorum, Chal­daeorum, Arabum, & Graecorum Ecolesiae contra omnes reliquas, tantum tribuitur authoritatis, ut quod s [...]la diversum legit, ab Evangelitis traditum esse credatur: quod vero reliquae omnes concorditer habent & orant, pro addi­titio & peregrino habeatur. And that Luke hath it not, will no more prove that it was not a part of the Lords Prayer, than all other omissions of one Evangelist, will prove that such words are corruptions in the other, that have them. All set together give us the Gospel fully, and from all we must gather it.

Sect. 4. Lords Pr [...]often used. [It is used but twice in the morning, and twice in the Evening Service, and twice cannot be called often, much lesse so often. For the Letany, Communion, Baptism, &c. they are Offices distinct from morning and evening prayer, and it is not sit that any of them should want the Lord, Prayer.]

Reply. We may better say, we are required to use it six times every mor­ning than but twice, for it is twice in the Common morning prayer, and once in the Letany, & once in the Communion service, & once at Baptism, [Page 120] (which in great Parishes is usual every day) and once to be used by the Preacher in the Pulpit. And if you call these distinct offices, that maketh not the Lords Prayer the seldomer used: sure we are, the Apostles thought it fit that many of their prayers should be without the Lords Prayer.

Sect. 5. Glor. Patri. [This Doxology being a solemn Confession of the blessed Trinity should not be thought a burden to any Christian Liturgy, especially being so short as it is: neither is the repetition of it to be thought a vain repe­tition, more than His mercy endureth for ever, so often repeated Psal. 136. We cannot give God too much glory; that being the end of our Creation, and should be the end of all our Services.]

Reply. Though we cannot give God too much glory, we may too often repeat a form of words, wherein his name and glory is mentioned: there is great difference between a Psalm of praise, and the praise in our ordi­nary prayers: more liberty of repetition may be taken in Psalms, and be an Ornament; and there is difference between that which is unusual (in one Psalm of 150.) and that which is our daily course of worship. When you have well proved that Christs prohibition of battology extendeth not to this (Matth. 6.); we shall acquiesce.

Sect. 6. P. 15. Ru. 2. [In such places where they do sing, &c.] The Rubr. directs only such singing, as is after the manner of distinct reading, and we never heard of any inconvenience thereby, and therefore conceive this Demand to be needlesse.]

Reply. It tempteth men to think they should read in a singing tone: and to turn reading Scripture into Singing, hath the inconvenience of tur­ning the edifying simplicity and plainness of Gods service into such affe­cted unnatural strains and tones, as is used by the Mimical, and Ludici­ous, or such as feign themselves in raptures: and the highest things (such as words and modes that signifie Raptures) are most loathsome, when forced, feigned, and hypocritically affected; and therefore not fit for Congrega­tions, that cannot be supposed to be in such Raptures; this we apply also to the sententious mode of prayers.

Sect. 7. Benedicite. [This Hymn was used all the Church over, Conc. Tolet. Can. 13. and therefore should be continued still, as well as Te Deum, (Ruffin. Apol. cont. Hieron.) or Veni Creator, which they do not object against as Apocryphal.]

Reply. You much discourage us in these great straits of time to give us such loose and troublesome citations; you turn us to Ruffin Apol. in gross, and tell us not which of the Councils of Tolet (among at least 13.) you mean: but we find the words in Council 4. But that provincial Spanish Council, was no meet Judge of the Affairs of the universal Church, unto the universal Church: nor is it certain by their words whether (quem) [Page 121] refer not to (eadem) rather than to (Hymnum): but if you so regard that Council, remember that Can. 9. it is but once a day that the Lords prayer is in joyned, against them that used it on the Lords day only; and that Can. 17. it is implyed, that it was said but once on that day. The Benedicite is somewhat more cautelously to be used than humane Compositions that professe to be but humane; when the Apocryphal wri­tings that are by the Papists to be Canonical, and used so like the Canon in our Church, we have the more cause to desire that a sufficient distin­ction be still made.

In the Letany.

Sect. 1. The alterations here desired are so nice, as if they that made them were given to change.

Reply. We bear your Censure: but professe, that if you will desert the products of Changers, and stick to the unchangeable Rule delivered by the Holy Ghost, we shall joyfully agree with you. Let them that prove most given to change, from the unchangeable Rule and Ensamples, be taken for the hinderers of our unity and peace.

Sect. 2. From all other deadly sin, is better, than, From all other hai­nous sin] upon the reason here given; because the wages of sin is death.

Reply. There is so much mortal poison in the Popish distinction of mortal, and venial sin, (by which abundance of sins are denied to be sins at all properly, but only Analogically) that the stomack that feareth it, is not to be charged with niceness. The words here seem to be used by way of distinction, and all [deadly sin] seemeth not to be spoken of [all sin.] And if so, your reason from Rom. 6. 23. is vain, and ours firm.

Sect. 3. From sudden death, as good as, From dying suddenly, which there­fore we pray against, that we may not be unprepared.

Reply. We added [unprepared] as expository, or hinting to shew the reason why sudden death is prayed against, and so to limit our prayers to that sudden death, which we are unprepared for; there being some wayes of sudden death no more to be prayed against, than death it self simply considered may. When you say [from sudden death] is as good as [from dying suddenly] we confess it is. But not so good as [from dying sud­denly, and unpreparedly: we hope you intend not to make any believe, that out turning the Adjective to an Adverb was our Reformation. And yet we wondred to hear this made a common jest upon us, as from those that had seen our papers: Would you have had us said [from sudden and unprepared death?] you would then have had more matter of just exception against the words [unprepared death] than now you have against dying [Page 122] suddenly: A man may be well prepared to die suddenly by Martyrdom for Christ, or by War for his Prince, and many other wayes.

Sect. 4. [All that travel,] as little lyable to exception as [those that travel,] and more agreeable to the phrase of Scripture, 1 Tim. 1. 2. I will that prayers be made for all men.]

Reply. An Universal is to be understood properly, as comprehending all the Individuals, and so is not an Indefinite; And we know not that we are bound to pray for Thieves, and Pyrates, and Traytors that travel by land, or water, on such errands as Faux, or the other Powder-plotters, or the Spanish Armado in 88. or as Parry, or any that should travel on the Errand as Clement or Raviliac did to the two King Henry's of France; Are these Niceties with you?

Sect. 5. P. 16. [The 2d. Collect, &c.] We do not find, nor do they say, what is to be amended in these Collects; therefore to say any thing particu­larly, were to answer to we know not what.]

Reply. We are glad that one word in the proper Collects, hath appear­ed such to you as needs a Reformation, especially when you told us be­fore that the Liturgy ws never found fault with by those to whom the name of Protestant most properly belongs]; which lookt upon our hopes of Reformation, almost as destructively as the Papists Doctrine of In­fallibility doth, when we dealt with them. As for the Collects men­tioned by us, you should not wonder that we brought not in a parti­cular Charge against them: For first, we had a conceit that it was best for us to deal as gently & tenderly as we could with the faults of the Li­turgy, and therefore we have under our Generals, hid abundance of par­ticulars, which you may find in the Abridgement of the Lincolnshire Ministers, and in many other Books; And Secondly, we had a conceit, that you would have vouchsafed to treate with us personally in pre­sence, according to the sense of his Majestie's Commission, and then we thought to have told you particularly of such matters: but you have forc'd us to confess, that we find our selves deceived.

The Communion Service.

Sect. 1. P. 17. Kyries. To say [Lord have mercy upon us] after every Com­mandment is more quick and active, than to say it once at the Close, and why Christian people should not upon their knees ask their pardor for their life forfeited for the breach of every Commandment, and pray for Grace to keep them for the time to come, they must be more than Ignorant that can cruple.

Reply. We thank you for saying nothing against our four first requests: though we are thought more than Ignorant for our scruple, we can truly say, We are willing to learn. But your bare opinion is not enough to cure Ignorance, and more. By your reason, you may make kneeling the Ge­sture for hearing the Scriptures read, and hearing Sermons, and all; If you will but interweave prayers, he must be more than Ignorant that will not kneel. The universal Church of Christ was more than Ignorant for many hundred years, that not only neglected, but prohibited Genuflexion in all adoration each Lords day: when now the 20th. of Exod. or 5th. of Deut. may not be heard or read without kneeling, save only by the Clergy.

Sect. 2. P. 18. Homilies. Some Livings are so small, that they are not able to maintain a licenced Preacher, and in such and the like Cases this provision is necessary: nor can any reason be given, why the Minister's reading a Homi­ly, set forth by common Authority, should not be accompted preaching of the Word, as well as his reading (or pronouncing by heart) a Homilie, or Ser­mon of his own, or any other mans.

Repl. When the Usurper would quickly have brought Livings to that competency, as would have maintained able Preachers, we may not question whether just Authority will do it. 2ly. When abundance of able Ministers cast out, would be glad of liberty to preach for nothing, this pretence hath no taste, or sense in it. 3ly. When we may not without the imputation of uncharitableness once imagine, that your Lordships with your Deans, and other Officers, do not value the saving of souls above money, we may conclude, that you will voluntarily allow so much out of your ample Revenues, as will supply such places or ma­ny of them; The rather because we find you charging them, as desiring inordinately the honours, and wealth of the world, that would have had all Ministers to have had 100. li. or 80. li. per annum a piece: and there­fore may conclude that you will take no more, if you hate that sin, more than they do that are accused of it. But the next place of your Answer frighteth us more: to which we say, that we will not differ with you for the name, Whether reading Homilies may be called Preaching. But we take the boldnesse to say, That it is another manner of preaching that Christ and his Apostles sent men to perform, and which the Church hath gloried in, and been edified by, to this day, and which thousands of souls have been brought to Heaven by, and which we again desire may be enjoyned, and not left so indifferent.

Sect. 3. Sentences.

[The Sentences tend all to exhort the people to pious liberalitie, whether the Object be the Minister, or the Poor, and though some of the Sentences [Page 124] be Apocryphal, they may be useful for that purpose.] Why Collection for the poor, should be made at another time, there is no reason given, onely change desired.

Reply.

1. We have oft told you why the Apocrypha should be cautelously used in the Church: That Usurper that should pretend to the Crown, and have a more numerous party then the King, (that hath the undoubted right) will be lookt on more suspitiously then ordinary subjects. 2. It is a sordid thing for Ministers to love money; and its sordid, unlesse in ex­traordinay necessities, to have them beg, and beg for themselves, and beg under pretence of serving God, even in times when the Clergy seems ad­vanced. 3. We confesse our selves deceived, in thinking we should have free personal debates with you, which made us reserve many of our Rea­sons. Reasons are, 1. for lesse disturbance. 2. Because the peoples af­fections are much more raised usually, and so fitter for returns, when they have received. 3. Because especially it is most seasonable to do the Acts of gratitude, when we have received the obliging benefits; and so say (What shall I give the Lord for all his benefits?) when we have par­taked of them, and to offer our selves first, and with our selves, what he giveth us, unto Him, when we have received him, and his grace offered to us.

These are the Reasons that brought us under your censure of desiring a change.

Sect. 4. P. 19. 3. Exhort.

[The first and third Exhortations are very seasonable before the Communi­on, to put men in mind how they ought to be prepared, and in what danger they are, to come unprepared; that, if they be not duly qualified, they may depart, and be better prepared another time.

Reply.

But is it not more seasonable, that, in so great businesse, such warning go a considerable time before? Is there leisure of self-examination, and making restitution, and satisfaction, and going to the Minister for Coun­sel to quiet his conscience, &c. in order to the present Sacrament? We yet desire those things may be sooner told them.

Sect. 5. Exc. 1.

[We fear this may discourage many] Certainly themselves cannot desire, that men should come to the holy Communion with a troubled conscience, and therefore have no reason to blame the Church for saying, It is requisite, that men come with a quiet conscience, and prescribing meanes for quieting thereof: If this be to discourage men, it is fit they should be discouraged and deterred, and kept from the Communion, till they have done all that is here [Page 125] directed by the Church, which they may well do, considering that this Exhor­tation shall be read in the Church, the Sunday, or Holiday before].

Reply.

But we can, and do, desire that many that have a troubled conscience, and cannot otherwise quiet it, should come to the Communion for re­medy and not be discouraged, or kept away.

Sect. 6. Minister's turning.

[The Minister's turning to the people, is not most convenient throughout the whole Ministration: when he speaks to them as in Lessons, Absolution, and Be­nedictions, it is convenient that he turn to them; when he speaks for them to God, it is fit that they should all turn another way, as the ancient Church ever did; the reasons of which you may see, Aug. lib. 2, de Ser. Dom. in monte.

Reply,

It is not yet understood by us, why the Ministers, or people, (for, which you mean by [they all] we know not) should turn another way in pray­er: we think, the people should hear the prayers of the Minister; if not, Latine prayers may serve; and then you need not except against ex­temporate prayers, because the people cannot own them; for how can most of them own what they hear not, whatever it be? As for August. reason for looking towards the East, when we pray, (Ut admoneatur animus ad naturam excellentiorem se convertere, id est, ad Dominum; cum ipsum corpus ejus, quod est terrenum, ad corpus excellentius, id est, ad corpus celeste con­vertitur): We suppose you will not expect that we should be much moved by it; if we should, Why should not we worship towards any of the creatures visible, when we can pretend such Reasons for it, as minding us of superiour things? and why should not we look Southward, when the Sun is in the South?

And we fear the worshipping towards the Sun, as representing or mind­ing us of Christ's heavenly body, is too like to the prohibited worship­ing before an Image, and too like that worshipping before the Host of Heaven, in which the old Idolatry consisted, or at least which was the In­troduction of it; of which our Protestant Writers treat at large against the Papists, on the point of Image-Worship; See also V [...]ssius de Idololatriâ, lib. 2. cap. 23. &c.

Sect. 7. Exc. 3.

[It appears by the greatest evidences of Antiquity, that it was upon the 25. day of Decemb. S. Aug. in Psal. 132.]

Reply.

It is not Aug. alone in Psal. 132. that must tell us which way the great­est Evidences of Antiquity go: and his reasoning that John must decrease, and Christ must increase, as proved by John's being born when the days [Page 110] decrease, and Christs being born when the days increase, doth not much invite us to receive his Testimony. We conceive the Ancient opinion of Jerusalem, and other Eastern Churches that were nearest to the place, is a greater Argument for the contrary, then you have here given us for what you thus affirm: We might set Epiphanius against Augustine, and all the Greek Church, till in the midst of Chrysostom's time, when they changed their opinion. And in our time the judgment of the famous Chronologers, Sca­liger, Beroaldus, Broughton, Capellus, Clopenburgius, with many others, are not contemptible, as set against such an unproved Assertion as this.

Sect. 8.

[That our sinful Bodies, &c.) It can no more be said, those words do give greater efficacy to the blood, then to the body of Christ, then when our Lord saith, This is my blood which is shed for you, and for many, for the re­mission of sins, &c. And saith not so explicitly of the Body.]

Reply.

Sure Christ there intimateth no such distinction as is here intimated: there his body is said to [be broken for us] and not only for [our bodies]

Sect. 9. 20. Com. Kneel.

[It is most requisite that the Minister deliver the Bread and Wine into eve­ry particular Communicant's band, and repeat the words in the singular num­ber; for so much as it is the propriety of Sacraments to make particular obsig­nation to each Believer, and it is our visible profession, that by the Grace of God, Christ tasted death for every man.

Reply. 1.

Did not Christ know the propriety of Sacraments better than we, and yet he delivered it in the plural number to all at once, with a [take ye, eat ye, drink ye [all of it]; we had rather study to be obedient to our Master, than to be wiser than he. 2. As God maketh the general Offer, which giveth to no man a personal interest, till his own acceptance first appro­priate it; so it is fit, that the Minister that is Gods Agent, imitate him, when his example, and the reason of it so concern to ingage us to it; Cle­mens Alexandr. Stromat. lib. 1. Prope. In it giveth a reason (as we un­derstand him) for the contrary; that man being a free Agent, must be the chooser or refuser for himself,— [...]. Quemadmodum eucharistiam cum qui­dam, ut mos est diviserint, permittunt unicuique ex populo ejus partem sumere: and after rendreth this reason, [...] ad accuratè enim perfecteque eligendum ac fugiendum, optima est conscientia.

And that thing is so agreeable to your own doctrinal principles, that we fear you dis-relish it, because it comes from us.

Sect. 10. Kneel at Sacra.

[Concerning Kneeling at the Sacrament we have given account already: on­ly thus much we adde, that we conceive it an errour to say that the Scripture affirms the Apostles to have received not-kneeling. The posture of the Paschal Supper we know, but the institution of the holy Sacrament was after Supper; and what posture was then used the Scripture is silent. The Rubr. at the end of the 1. Ed. C. that leaves kneeling, crossing, &c. indifferent, is meant only at such times as they are not prescribed, and required. But at the Eucharist, knee­ling is expresly required in the Rubr. following.]

Reply.

Doubtless, when Matthew and Mark say it was [as they did eat] to which before it is said, that [they sate down]; and when Interpreters ge­nerally agree upon it, this would easily have satisfied you, if you had been as willing to believe it, as to believe the contrary. Matth. 26. 20, 21, 26. the same phrase is used v. 26. As

In vers. 21. where it sheweth, they were still sitting: For the sense of the Rubr. if you prove that the makers so interpret it, we shall not de­ny it; but the reason of both seems the same.

Sect. 11. Com. three times a Year.

[This desire to have the Parishioners at liberty, whether they will ever re­ceive the Communion or not, savours of too much neglect, and coldness of affe­ction towards the holy Sacrament: It is more fitting that order should be ta­ken to bring it into more frequent use, as it was in the first, and best times; Our Rubr. is directly according to the ancient Council of Eliberis C. 81. Gratian. de Consecrat. no man is to be accounted a good Catholick Christian that does not receive three times in the year: The distempers which indispose men to it, must be corrected, not the receiving of the Sacrament therefore omitted: It Hooker. l. 5. Sect. 6. 8. is a pitifull pretence to say, they are not fit, and make their sin their excuse; Formerly our Church was quarrelled at for not compelling men to the Commu­nion, now for urging men; how should she please?

Reply.

We confess it is desireable that all our distempers, and unfitnesses should be healed; and we desire with you that Sacraments may be oftner: But that every person in the Parish that is unfit, be forced to receive, is that which we cannot concurre with you to be guilty of. Two sorts we think unfit, to be so forced (at least.) First, abundance of people, grossely igno­rant and scandalous, that will eat and drink judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lords Body. Secondly, many melancholy, and other­wise troubled doubting Souls, that if they should receive the Sacrament before they find themselves more fit, would be in danger to go out of their wits, with fear, lest it would seal them to destruction, and as the [Page 128] Liturgy saith, lest the Devil enter into them as into Judas: or at least it would grievously deject them. As formerly, so now, there is great reason at once to desire, that the unprepared be not forced to the Sacrament, and yet that so great a part of the body of the Church may not be let a­lone in your Communion, without due admonition and discipline, that ordinarily neglect or refuse the Churches Communion in this Sacrament: those that are so prophane should be kept away, but withall they should be proceeded with by discipline, till they repent, or are cast out of the Church.

Sect. 12.

[This Rubr. is not in the Liturgy of Queen Elizabeth, nor confirmed by Law, nor is there any great need of restoring it; the World being now in more danger of profanation, then of Idolatry: besides the sense of it, is declared sufficiently in the 28. Article of the Church of England: The time appoin­ted we conceive sufficient.]

Reply.

Can there be any hurt or danger in the people's being taught to under­stand the Church aright? Hath not Bishop Hall taught you in his life of a Romanist, that would have faced him down, That the Church of Eng­land is for Transubstantiation, because of Kneeling, p. 20. And the same Bishop (greatly differing from you) saith in the same Book, p 294. But to put all scruples out of the mind of any Reader concerning this point, let that serve for the upshot of all, which is expresly set down in the fifth Rubrick in the end of the Communion set forth, as the judgment of the Church of England, both in King Edward and Queen Elizabeth's times (note that) though lately upon negligence (note upon negligence) o­mitted in the Impression] and so recites the words. Where you say, there is no great need, &c. We reply, 1. Profaneness may be opposed never­theless for our instructing the people against Idolatry. 2. The abound­ing of Papists who in this point seem to us Idolatrous, sheweth that there is danger of it. 3. The commonness of Idolatry through the World, and the case of the Israelites of old, shew that mans nature is prone to it. 4. Prophaneness and Idolatry befriend each other; As God is jealous against Idolatry, so should all faithfull Pastors of the Church be, and not refuse such a caution to the people and say, There is no great need of it.

Publike Baptism.

UNtill they have made due profession of Repentance, &c. We think this desire to be very hard and uncharitable, punishing the poor Infants for the Parents sakes; and giving also too great and arbitrary a [Page 129] power to judge which of his Parishioners he pleaseth, Atheists, [...] Hereticks, &c. and then in that name to reject their children from b [...]Baptized: Our Church concludes more charitably, that Christ will [...] ­vourably accept every Infant to Baptism, that is presented by the Church according to our present Order: And this she concludes out of Holy Scriptures, (as you may see in the Office of Baptism) according to the Practise and Doctrine of the Catholick Church, Cypr. Ep. 59. August. Ep. 28. & de verb. Apost. Ser. 14.

Reply.

We perceive you will stick with us in more then Ceremonies; To your reasons we Reply, 1. By that reason, all the Children of all Heathens or Infidels in the World should be admitted to Baptism; because they should not be punished for the parents sakes. 2. But we deny that it is (among Christians that believe original Sin) any absurdity to say, that Children are punished for their Parents sakes. 3. But yet we deny this to be any such punishment at all, unless you will call, their non-deliverance a pu­nishment. They are the Children of wrath by nature, and have original Sin; The Covenant of Grace that giveth the saving benefits of Christ, is made to none but the faithfull, and their seed; Will you call this a punish­ing them for their Fathers sakes, that God hath extended his Covenant to no more? Their Parents infidelity doth but leave them in their origi­nal Sin, and Misery, and is not further it self imputed to them. If you know of any Covenant or promise of Salvation made to all without con­dition, or to Infants, or any other condition or qualification, but that they be the seed of the faithfull dedicated to God; you should do well to shew it us, and not so slightly pass things of so great moment, in which you might much help the World out of darkness, if you can make good what you intimate; If indeed you mean as you seem to speak, That its unchari­tableness to punish any Infants for the Parents faults, & that a non-libera­tion is such a punishment; then you must suppose that all the Infants of Heathens, Jews, & Turks are saved (that die in Infancy), or else Christ is uncharitable; And if they are all saved without Baptism, then Baptism is of no such use, or necessity; as you seem to think: What then is their priviledge, of the seed of the faithfull, that they are holy, and that the Co­venant is made with them, & God will be their God? We fear you will a­gain revive the opinion of the Anabaptists among the people, when they observe that you have no more to say for the Baptizing of the Children of the faithfull, then of Infidles, Heathens, & Atheists. To your second Objection we Answer; You will drive many a faithfull labourer from the work of Christ, if he may not be in the Ministry, unless he will baptise the Children of Heathens, Infidels, and Excommunicate ones, before [...] [Page 122] [...] [Page 123] [...] [Page 124] [...] [Page 125] [...] [Page 110] [...] [Page 127] [...] [Page 128] [...] [Page 129] [Page 130] their Parents do repent: And the first Question is not, Who shall be the judge? But, whether we must be all thus forced? Is not the Question as great, Who shall be the judge of the unfitness of Persons for the Lords Supper? And yet, there, you think it not a taking too much upon us to keep away the scandalous, if they have their Appeals to you? And is it in­deed (a power too great & arbitrary) to have a judiciam discretionis about our own Acts; and not to be forced to baptize the children of Heathens against our Consciences? Who judged for the Baptizers in the Primitive Church, what persons they should baptize? We act but as Engines un­der you, not as Men, if we must not use our Reason; and we are more mi­serable then brutes or men, if we must be forced to go against our Con­sciences, unless you will save us harmless before God: O that in a fair debate you would prove to us that such children as are described are to be baptized, and that the Ministers that baptize them, must not have power to discern whom to baptize. But who mean you by the Churches, that must present every Infant that Christ may accept them? Is every In­fant first in the promise of pardon? (If so, shew us that promise) and then sure God will make good that promise, though Heathen Parents present not their children to him, (as your grounds suppose); if not, then will the sign save those that are not in the promise: But is it the Godfathers that are the Church? Who ever called them so? And if by the Church you mean the Minister, and by presenting, you mean baptizing them, then any Heathen's child that a Minister can catch up and baptize shall be saved: which if it could be proved, would perswade us to go hunt for children in Turkie, Tartary, or America, and secretly baptize them in a habit, that should not make us known. But there is more of fancy then charity in this; and Christ never invited any to him, but the children of the promise to be thus presented and baptized.

Sect. 3. P. 23.

[And then the Godfathers, &c.) It is an erronious doctrine, and the ground of many others, and of many of your Exceptions, that children have no other right to Baptism then in their Parents right. The Churches Primitive practise S. Aug. Ep. 23. forbids it to be left to the pleasure of Parents, whether there shall be other Sareties or no? It is fit we should observe carefully the practice of venerable Antiquity, as they desire Prop. 18.]

Reply.

We conjecture the words that conclude your former Subject being mis-placed, are intended as your Answer to this: and if all the children of any sort in the world that are brought to us, must by us be baptized without distinction, indeed it's no great matter what time we have notice of it.

[Page 131] It seems we differ in Doctrine, though we subscribe the same Arti­cles we earnestly desire you distinctly to tell us, What is the Infants ti­tle: to Baptism, if it be not to be found in the Parent? Assign it, and prove it when you have done, as well as we prove their right as they are (the seed of Believers dedicated by them to God), and then we promise to consent: Its strange to us to hear so much of the Churches Primitive practice, where so litle evidence of it is produced, Aug. ep. 23. talketh not of Primitive practice: Ab initio non fuit sic; Was it so in the Apostles daies? And afterwards you prove not that it was the judg­ment of the Catholick Church, that bare Sponsors instead of Parents. Pro-parents or Owners of the Children, might procure to the Children of all Infidels a title to Baptism, and its benefits. Such Susceptors as be­came the Owners or Adopters of the Children, are to be distinguished from those that pro forma stand by for an hour during the Baptizing of the Children, and ever after leave them to their Parents: who as they have the naturall interest in them, and power of their disposall, and the Education of them, so are fittest to covenant in their names.

[The Font usually stands as it did in Primitive times, at or near the Church door, to signify that Baptism was the entrance into the Church mysticall, we are all baptized into one body, 1 Cor. 12. 13. and the people may hear well enough. If Jordan and all other waters be not so far sanctified by Christ, as to be the matter of Baptism, what authority have we to baptise? and sure his Baptism was Dedicatio Baptismi.]

Reply. Our less difference of the Font, and flood Jordan, is almost drowned in the greater before going: But to the first we say that we conceive the usual scituation for the people's hearing, is to be preferred before your Ceremonious position of it. And to the second we say, that Dedicatio Baptismi, is an unfitting phrase: and yet, if it were not, what's that to the sanctification of Jordan, and all other waters? Did Christ sanctify all Corn or Bread, or Grapes or Wine to an holy use, when he administred the Lords Supper? Sanctifying is separating to an holy use; But the flood Jordan and all other water, is not separated to this holy use, in any proper sense: No more than all mankind is sanctified to the Priestly office, because men were made Priests.

[It hath been accounted reasonable, and allowed by the best Laws, that Guardians should Covenant and contract for their Minors to their benefit: by the same right, the Church hath appointed sureties to undertake for Chil­dren, when they enter into Covenant with God by Baptism; And this generall practice of the Church is enough to satisfy those that doubt.]

Repl. 1. Who made those Sureties Guardians of the Infants that are neither Parents, nor Pro-parents, nor Owners of them? We are not now speaking against Sponsors: But you know that the very original of those Sponsors, is a great Controversie: And whether they were not at first most properly Sponsors for the Parents that they should perform that part they undertook (because many Parents were Desertors, and many proved negligent) Sponsors then excluded not Parents from their proper under­taking, but joyned with them; God-fathers are not the Infants Guardi­ans with us and therefore have not power thus to Covenant and Vow in their name: VVe intreat you to take heed of leaving any Children indeed out of the mutual Covenant that are baptized; How are those in the Co­venant that cannot consent themselves, and do it not by any that truly represent them, nor have any Authority to act as in their names? The Au­thority of Parents being most unquestionable (who by nature, and the word of God, have the power of disposing of their Children, and con­sequently of choosing and covenanting for them), VVhy should it not be preferred? at lest you may give leave to those Parents that desire it, to be the Dedicators of, and Covenanters for, their own Children, and not force others on them whether they will or no. 2. But the question is not of Co­venanting, but professing present actual believing, forsaking, &c. In which, though we believe the Churches sense was sound, yet we desire that all things, that may render it lyable to mis-understanding, may be avoyded.

Receive remission of sins by spiritual Regeneration]. Most proper for Baptism Sect 6. pag. 24. is our spiritual Regeneration, S. John 3. Unlesse a man be born again of Wa­ter and the Spirit, &c. And by this is received remission of sins, Acts 2. 3. Re­pent, and be baptized every one of you, for the remission of sins's So the Creed [one Baptism for the remission of sins.]

Repl. Baptism, as an outward Administration, is our visible Sacra­mental Regeneration: Baptism as containing, with the Sign, the thing signified, is our spiritual real Regeneration. As we are regenerated before Baptism, (as, you know, adult Believers are), so we cannot pray to receive remission of sins by that same Regeneration renewed. As we are regene­rated really in Baptism; that Regeneration and Remission, are conjunct benefits: But if Baptism at once give Regeneration and Remission, it follows not that it gives Remission by Regeneration: But as Regene­ration comprehendeth the whole change (reall or Physical) and relative; so we acknowledge, that as the part is given by the whole, you may say that Remission is given by Regeneration, but more fitly in it than by it; But we are not willing to make more adoe about words than needs.

[We cannot in faith say that every Child that is baptized is regenerate, &c.]. Sect. 7. pag 24. Seeing that Gods Sacraments have their effects, where the Receiver doth not [Page 133] ponere obicem, put any bar against them (which children cannot do); we may say in faith of every child that is baptized, that it is regenerated by Gods Holy Spirit, and the denial of it tends to Anabaptism, and the contempt of this holy Sacrament, as nothing worthy nor material, whether it be administred to chil­dren or no: Concerning the Cross, we refer to our Answer to the same in general.

Repl. All Gods Sacraments attain their proper end: But whether the Infants of Infidels be the due Subjects, and whether their ends be to seal up Grace and Salvation to them that have no promise of it, or whether it be only to seal the Covenant to believers and their seed, are Questions yet Tit. 3. 5. undecided, wherein we must intreat you not to expect that we should im­plicitly believe you; and it is as easy for us to tell you, that you are pro­moting Anabaptism, and much more easy to prove it: We take those but for words of course.

PRIVATE BAPTISM.

[We desire that Baptism may not be administred in a private place]. And so Sect 8. do we, where it may be brought into the publick Congregation. But since our Lord hath said, S. Joh 3. Unlesse one be born of Water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. We think it fit that they should be Baptized in private, rather than not at all; It is appointed now to be done by the lawful Minister.

Repl. We must needs suppose you are disputing with Protestants, who ordinarily shew the Papists that that Text, Joh. 3. asserteth no absolute necessity of Baptisme to salvation. But we believe as well as you, that it is the regular way of solemn Initiation into the Covenant and Church of Christ, which none that indeed are the Children of the promise should neglect. As Coronation solemnizeth his entrance upon the Kingdome, that had before the title; And as Marriage solemnizeth that which be­fore was done by consent; So Baptism solemnizeth the mutual Cove­nant, which before had a mutual consent, and none is authorised to con­sent for Infants but those that by nature, and Gods Law, have the pow­er of disposing of them, and whose will is in sensu-forensi, the Childrens will: It solemnly investeth us in what we had an Antecedent right to, and therefore belongs to none but those that have that right; And this we are ready to make good by any fair Debate that you will allow us.

[Nor is any thing done in private reiterated in publick, but the solemn re­ception into the Congregation, with the prayers for him, and the publick de­claration before the Congregation of the Infants now made by the God-fathers, that the whole Congregation may testify against him, if he does not perform it, which the Ancients made great use of.

[Repl. Do you not say in the Rubr. (And let them not doubt, but the Child so baptized is lawfully and sufficiently baptized, and ought not to be [Page 134] baptized again). And after (I certify you that in this case all is well done, &c.) And yet you do not renew all the Baptismal Covenant, renouncing the flesh, &c. and ingaging into the Christian belief; And that you may see that the Church of England taketh not all Infants infallibly to be regene­rated by Baptism (unlesse you grant that they repent to the substance of Baptism) the Baptismal prayer is here used, for the fore-baptized, [that God will give his holy Spirit to this Infant, that he being born again, and made heir of everlasting Salvation, &c.] which sheweth that he is now supposed to be Regenerandus, non regeneratus. Do they pray for his Rege­neration, whom they account regenerate already? You must either confess that there they repeat much of the substance of Baptism, and take the Child as not baptized, or else that they take the baptized Child to be not-regenerate. And then we may well take them for unregnerate, that shew no signs of it, at years of discretion, but live a carnal and ungodly life, though they can say the Catechism, and seek Confirmation.

Of the CATECHISM.

[Though divers have been of late baptized without God-fathers, yet many have been baptized with them, and those may answer the Questions, as they are: Sect, 1. p. 2. 26. An. 3. the rest must answer, according to truth. But there's no reason to alter the Rule of the Catechism, for some mens irregularities.

Reply. If you will have a Catechism proper to those that had God-fa­thers, give leave to others to use one that will teach them, as you say, to answer according to truth: And let us, in the same, have that liberty, of leaving out the doubtful Opinion of God-fathers and God-mothers, and that which we think too childish a beginning, [What is your name,] and let us use one that speaks more of the necessary Doctrines of Salvation, and nothing but Necessaries.

[We conceive this expression as safe as that which they desire, and more fully expressing the Efficacy of the Sacrament, according to S. Paul, the 26, and Sect. A. 2. 27. of Gal. 3. Where S. Paul proves them all to be Children of God, because they were baptized, and in their Baptism had put on Christ; If Children, then Heirs, or, which is all one, Inheritors, Rom. 8. 17.

Reply. By Baptism Paul means not the Carkase of Baptism, but the Baptismal dedication, and covenanting with God; They that do this by themselves, if at age, or by Parents, or Pro-parents authorized (if In­fants) sincerely, are truly members of Christ, and children of God, and Heirs of Heaven; They that do this but hypocritically, and verbally, as Si­mon Magus did, are visibly such as the others are really. But really are still in the gall of bitternesse, and bond of iniquity, and have no part or lot in this businesse, their hearts being not right in the sight of God. This is that truth which we are ready to make good.

[We conceive the present Translation to be agreeable to many antie [...] Copies, therefore the change to be needlesse.]

Repl. What antient Copy hath (the Seventh day) in the end of the Cor. fourth Commandment, instead of the Sabbath day? Did King James cause the Bible to be new translated to so little purpose? We must bear you witnesse, that in some Cases you are not given to change.

[My duty towards God, &c.] It is not true that there is nothing in that Answer which refers to the 4th Commandment; for the last words of the An­swer Sect. 4 pag. 27. do orderlie relate to the last Commandment of the first Table, which is the fourth.

Repl. And think you, indeed, that the 4th. Commandment obligeth you no more to one day in seven, than equally (to all the dayes of your life)? This Exposition may make us think that some are more serious, than else we could have imagined in praying after that Commandment, Lord have mercy upon us, and encline our hearts to keep this Law.

[Two only as generally necessary to salvation, &c. These words are a Reason of the Answer that there are two only, and therefore not to be left out.] Sect. 5.

Repl. The words seem to imply by distinction, that there may be o­thers not so necessary: and the Lords Supper was not by the Antients taken to be necessary to the salvation of all.

[We desire that the entring of Infants, &c.] The effect of Childrens Bap­tism, Sect. 6. depends neither upon their own present actual Faith and Repentance, which the Catechism saith expresly, they cannot perform; nor upon the Faith and Repentance of their natural Parents, or Pro-parents, or of their Godfa­thers or Godmothers; but upon the Ordinance and Institution of Christ: But it is requisite that when they come to age, they should perform these Conditions of Faith and Repentance, for which also their Godfathers and Godmothers charitably undertook on their behalf. And what they do for the Infant in this Case, the Infant himself is truly said to do, as in the Courts of this Kingdom daily, the Infant does answer by his Guardian, and it is usual for to do ho­mage by proxy, and for Princes to marry by proxy. For the further justifica­tion of this Answer, See St. Aug. Ep. 23. ad Bonifac. Nihil aliud credere quam sidem habere; ac per hoc cum respondetur Parvulum credere qui fidei nondum habet effectum, respondetur Fidem habere propter fidei Sa­cramentum, & convertere se ad Deum propter Conversionis Sacramen­tum, quia & ipsa responsio ad celebrationem pertinet Sacramenti: itaque parvulum, etsi nondum fides illa, quae in credentium voluntate consistit, tamen ipsius sidei Sacramentum, fidelem facit.]

Repl. 1. You remove not all the inconvenience of the words that seem­eth to import what you your selves disclaim. 2. We know that the effects of Baptism, do depend on all the necessary con-causes on Gods mercy, or [Page 136] Christs merits, on the Institution, and on Baptism it self according to its use, as a delivering investing Sign, and Seal; and they depend upon the promise sealed by Baptism; and the promise supposeth the qualified sub­ject, or requisite Condition in him, that shall have the benefit of it. To tell us therefore of a common Cause, on which the effect depends, viz. the Institution of Baptism it self, when we are inquiring after the special condition that proveth the person to be the due subject, to whom both Promise and Baptism doth belong; This is but to seem to make an An­swer. Either all baptized absolutely are justified and saved, or not: If yea, then Christianity is another kind of thing than Peter or Paul under­stood, that thought it was not the Washing of water, but the Answer of a good Conscience to God: Then let us catch Heathens and dip them, and save them in despite of them; But if any condition be requisite (as we are sure there is) our Question is, What it is? and you tell us of Bap­tism it self. Did ever August jure, vel injuria was to be esteemed a Belie­ver? We grant with Austin, that Infants of Believers, propter Sacramen­tum fidei, are visibly and professedly to be numbred with Believers; but neither Austin, nor we, will ever grant you that this is true of all that you can catch, and use this form of Baptism over. The Seal will not save them that have no part in the Promise.

[The Catechism is not intended as a whole Body of Divinity; but as a Com­prehension Sect. 7. pa. 28. of the Articles of Faith, and other Doctrines most necessary to Sal­vation; and being short, is fittest for Children, and Common people; and as it was thought sufficient upon mature deliberation, and so is by us.]

Repl. The Creed, the Decalogue, and the Lords Prayer, contain all that is absolutely necessary to Salvation at least. If you intended no more, What need you make a Catechism? If you intend more, Why have you no more? But, except in the verie words of the Creed, the essentials of Christianity are left out; If no explication be necessary, trouble them with no more than the Text of the Creed, &c. If explication be necessary, let them have it; At least in a larger Catechism, fitter for the riper.

CONFIRMATION.

[It is evident that the meaning of these words is, that Children Baptized, Sect. 1. Rub. 1. and dying before they commit actual Sin, are undoubtedly Saved, though they be not Confirmed; wherein we see not what danger there can be of mislead­ing the vulgar, by teaching them truth: But there may be danger in this de­sire of having these words expunged, as if they were false; for St. Austin saies, He is an Infidel that desires them to be true, Ep. 23. ad Bonifac.]

Repl. What? all Children Saved whether they be Children of the Pro­mise or no? Or, can you shew us a Text that saith (Whoever is Bapti­zed, shall be Saved)? The Common-Prayer-Book plainly speaks of the non-necessity of Unction, Confirmation, and other Popish Ceremonies and Sacraments, and meaneth that, ex parte Ecclesiae, they have all things necessary to Salvation, and are undoubtedly Saved, supposing them the due Subjects, and that nothing be wanting ex parte sui; which certainly is not the case of such as are not Children of the Promise, and Cove­nant. The Child of an Heathen doth not ponere obicem actually quo minus baptizetur, and yet being baptized is not saved, on your own reckoning, (as we understand you); therefore the Parent can ponere obicem, and ei­ther hinder the Baptism or effect, to his Infant. Austin speaks not there of all Children whatever, but those that are offered per aliorum spiritua­lem voluntatem, by the Parents usually, or by those that own them after the Parents be dead, or they exposed, or become theirs: He speaks also of what may be done, & de eo quod fieri non posse arbitratur: But our que­stion is, What is done? and not, What God can do: Our great Question is, What Children they be that Baptism belongeth to?

[After the Catechism we conceive that it is not a sufficient qualification, &c.] We conceive that this qualification is required rather as necessary, than Sect. 2. Rubr. as sufficient; and therefore it is the duty of the Minister of the place, Can. 61. to prepare Children in the best manner to be presented to the Bishop for Confirmation, and to inform the Bishop of their fitnesse; but submitting the judgement to the Bishop, both of this, and other qualifications, and not that the Bishop should be tyed to the Ministers consent. Compare this Rubr. to the second Rubr. before the Catechism, and there is required what is further ne­cessary and sufficient.

Repl. 1. If we have all necessary ordinarily, we have that which is sufficient ad esse: there is more ordinarily necessary, than to say those words. 2. Do you owe the King no more obedience? Already do you contradict His Declaration, which saith, Confirmation shall be performed (by the information, and with the consent of the Minister of the place?) But if the Ministers consent shall not be necessary, take all the charge upon your own souls, and let your souls be answerable for all.

They see no need of Godf. here] The Compilers of the Liturgie did, and so doth the Church; that there may be a witnesse of the Confirma­tion.] Sect. 3. Ex. 1▪

Repl. It is like to be your own work as you will use it, and we cannot hinder you from doing it in your own way. But are Godfathers no more than witnesses? &c.

[This supposeth that all children, &c.] It supposeth, and that truly, that all children were at their Baptism, regenerate by Water, and the Holy Ghost, and had given unto them the forgivenesse of all their Sins; and it is chari­tably presumed, that, notwithstanding the frailties and slips of their Child­hood, they have not totally lost, what was in Baptism conferred upon them, and therefore addes, Strengthen them we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and daily encrease in them their mani­fold gifts of Grace, &c. None that lives in open sin ought to be Confirm­ed.]

Repl. 1. Children baptized without right, cannot be presumed to be really regenerate, and pardoned. 2. We speak only of those that by li­ving in open sin, do shew themselves to be unjustified; and these you con­fesse should not be Confirmed. O that you would but practise that; If not, this Confession will witnesse against you.

[Before the imposition of hands, &c.] Confirmation is reserved to the Sect. 5. p. 30. Rub. Bishop, in honorem Ordinis; To blesse, being an Act of Authority; so was it of old. St. Hierom, Dialog. Adv. Lucifer. saies, it was totius orbis con­sensio in hanc partem. And St. Cyprian to the same purpose, Ep. 73. And our Church doth every where professe, as she ought, to conform to the Catholick usages of the Primitive times; from which causelesly to depart, argues rather love of contention than of peace. The reserving of Confirmation to the Bishop, doth argue the Dignity of the Bishop above Presbyters, who are not allowed to Confirm; but does not argue any excellency in Confirmation, above the Sacra­ments. St. Hierom argues the quite contray, ad Lucif. cap. 4. That be­cause Baptism was allowed to be performed by a Deacon, but Confirmation on­ly by a Bishop; therefore Baptism was most necessary, and of the greatest va­lue; The mercy of God allowing the most necessary means of Salvation, to be administred by inferiour Orders, and restraining the lesse necessary, to the higher, for the honour of their Order.]

Reply. O that we had the Primitive Episcopacy, and that Bishops had no more Churches to oversee, than in the Primitive times they had; and then we would never speak against this reservation of Confirmation to the honour of the Bishop: But when that Bishop of one Church, is turn­ed into that Bishop of many hundred Churches; and when he is now a Bishop of the lowest rank, that was an Arch-bishop, when Arch-bishops first came up, and so we have not really existent, any meer Bishops, (such as the Antients knew) at all, but only Arch-bishops and their Curates; Marvel not, if we would not have Confirmation proper to Arch-bishops, nor one man undertake more than an hundred can perform: But if you will do it, there is no remedie, we have acquit our selves.

Prayer after the Imposition of hands, is grounded upon the practice of the Sect. 6. Ex. 1. Apostles, Heb. 6. 2. & Acts 8. 17. Nor doth 25. Article say, that Confirmation is a corrupt imitation of the Apostles practice, but that the 5. commonly called Sacraments have ground partly on the corrupt following the Apostles, &c. which may be applied to some other of those 5; but cannot be applied to Confir­mation, unless we make the Church speak contradictions.

Reply. But the question is not of Imposition of hands in generall; but this Imposition in particular: And you have never proved, that this sort of Imposition, called Confirmation, is mentioned in those Texts: And the 25. Article cannot more probably be thought to speak of any one of the 5. as proceeding from the corrupt imitation of the Apostles, than of Confirmation as a supposed Sacrament.

We know no harm in speaking the language of holy Scripture, Acts 8. 15. Sect. 7. Ex. 2. they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost; and though Impositions of hands be not a Sacrament, yet it is a very fit sign, to certifie the persons what is then done for them, as the Prayer speaks.

Reply. It is fit to speak the Scripture language in Scripture sense; But if those that have no such power to give the Holy Ghost, will say, Re­ceive the Holy Ghost, it were better for them to abuse other language, than Scripture language.

After Confirmation.

There is no inconvenience that Confirmation should be required before the Sect. 8. Communion, when it may be ordinarily obtained: that which you here fault, you elsewhere desire.

Reply. We desire that, the credible approved profession of Faith, and re­pentance, be made necessaries: But not that all the thousands in England that never yet came under the Bishops hands (as not one of many ever did, even when they were at the highest) may be kept from the Lords Supper: for some cannot have that Imposition, and others will not, that yet are fit for Communion with the Church.

The Ring is a significant sign, only of humane institution, and was alwayes Marriage the Ring. Sect. 1. p. 31. given as a pledge of fidelity, and constant love, and here is no reason given why it should be taken away; nor are the reasons mentioned in the Roman Ri­tualits given in our Common-Prayer-Book.

Repl. We crave not your own forbearance of the Ring; but the in­differencie in our use of a thing so mis-used, and unnecessary.

[These words (in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) if they seem to make Matrimony a Sacrament; may as well make all sacred, yea civil actions Sect. 2. p [...]. 32. Ex. 1. of weight to be Sacraments, they being usual at the beginning and ending of all such. It was never heard before now, that those words make a Sacrament.]

Reply. Is there no force in an argument drawn from the appearance of evil, the offence and the danger of abuses, when other words enow may serve turn?

They go to the Lords Table, because the Communion is to follow.

Reply. They must go to the Table, whether there be a Communion Sect. 3. or not.

[Consecrated the estate of Matrimony to such an excellent mystery, &c.] Though the institution of Marriage was before the Fall, yet it may be now, and Se. 4. Col. is consecrated by God to such an excellent mystery, as the representation of the spiritual marriage, between Christ and his Church, Eph. 5. 23. We are sor­ry that the words of Scripture, will not please. The Church in the 25. Arti­cle, hath taken away the fear of making it for a Sacrament.]

Reply. When was Marriage thus consecrated? If all things, used to set forth Christs offices, or benefits, by way of similitude, be consecrated; then a Judge, a Father, a Friend, a Vine, a Door, a Way, &c. are all conse­crated things: Scripture phrase pleaseth us, in Scripture sense.

The new married persons the same day of their marriage must receive the Se. 5. p. 33. Rubr. 18. Holy Communion.] This inforces none to forbear Marriage, but presumes (as well it may) that all persons marriageable ought to be also fit to receive the Holy Sacrament; And marriage being so solemn a Covenant of God, they that undertake it in the fear of God, will not stick to seal it by receiving the Holy Communion, and accordingly prepare themselves for it. Is were more Christi­an, to desire that those licentious Festivities might be supprest, and the Commu­nion more generally used by those that marry: the happiness would be greater then can easily be exprest. Unde sufficiat ad enarrandum felicitatem ejus Matrimonii, quod Ecclesia conciliat, & confirmat oblatio. Tertul. lib. 2. ad Uxorem.

Reply. Indeed! will you phrase and modify your administrations up­on such a supposition, that all men are such as they ought to be, and do what they ought to do? Then take all the World for Saints, and use them accordingly, and blot out the doctrine of Reproof, excommunica­tion, and damnation from your Bibles; Is it not most certain that very many married persons are unfit for the Lords Supper, and will be when you and we have done our best? And is it fit then to compell them to it? But the more unexpected the more welcom is your motion, of that more Christian course of suppressing of licentious festivities. When shall we see such Reformation undertaken?

Visitation of the Sick:

FOr as much as the condition, &c.] All which is here desired, is already Sect. 1. presumed, namely, that the Minister shall apply himself to the particular condition of the person; but this must be done according to the Rule of pru­dence and justice, and not according to his pleasure: therefore if the sick person shew himself truly penitent, it ought not to be left to the Ministers pleasure to deny him Absolution, if he desire it. Our Churches direction, is according to the 13. Can. of the venerable Council of Nice, both here, and in the next that follows.

Reply. But the question is whether he shew himself truly penitent or not. If we have not here neither, a judgment of discretion, for the con­duct of our own actions, What do we with reason? Why are we trusted in the Office? and, Whose judgment must we follow? The Bishop cannot have leisure to become the Judge whether this man be penitent. It must then be the Minister, or the man himself; And must we absolve every man that saith he repenteth? Then we must believe an incredible profession, which is against reason: Some are known Infidels, and in their health profess that they believe not the Scripture to be true, and make a mock at Jesus Christ; and perhaps, in a sickness, that they apprehend no dan­ger in, will send for the Minister in scorn, to say [I repent] and force him to absolve them, that they may deride him, and the Gospel. Some of us have known too many of those that have for twenty, or thirty years been common drunkards, seldom sober a week together, and still say when they came to themselves, that they were sorry for it, and did un­feignedly repent; and as they said in health, so they said in sickness, dy­ing with in a few daies or weeks after they were last drunk: must we ab­solve all these? Some dye with a manifest hatred of an Holy Life, reviling at those that are carefull to please God; yet saying, they hate them not as holy, but because they are all Hypocrites, or the like: And yet will say, they repent of their sins. Some forbear not their accustomed swea­ring and cursing while they profess repentance. Some make no restitu­tion for the wrong which they say they repent of: And must we take all these for truly penitent? If not; the Minister must judge. What you mean by your saying, (Our Churches direction is according to the 13th Canon of the venerable Council of Nice, both here and in the next that follows) we know not: the second Council of Nice you cannot mean (its Can. being uncertain) and the 13th is of no such sense. And the 13th Can. of the first Council of Nice, is only, that lapsed Catechumens shall be 3, years inter and ientes before they pray again with the Cate­chumens. [Page 142] This shews they then took not up with every word of seem­ing penitence as true repentance, but what it is to your purpose we know not, nor is here any other Can. in that Council for you: The 11th Can. is sufficiently against you. The lapsed that truly repented, were to re­main among the penitent for three years; and seaven years more, if they were fideles, &c. (Ab omnibus vero illud praecipue observetur, ut animus eorum, & fructus poenitentiae attendatur: quicunque enim cum omni timore, & lacri­mis perseverantibus, & operibus bonis, Conversationem suam, non verbis solis sed opere & veritate demonstrant, cum tempus statutum etiam ab his fuerit impletum, & orationibus jam coeperint communicare, licebit etiam Episcopo humanius circa res aliquot cogitare:) We know this rigor as to time was unjust, and that to the dying it was abated: but you see here that bare words (that were not by seriousness and by deeds, made credible) were not to be taken, as sufficient marks of penitence, of which it was not the person himself that was to be the Judge.

The form of Absolution in the Liturgy, is more agreeable to the Scrip­tures, Sect. 2. then that which they desire; it being said, in St. John 20. Whose sins you remit they are remitted, not, whose sins you pronounce remitted; and the Condition needs not to be expressed, being alway necessarily under­stood.

Reply. It is a Controversy among the Learnedst Expositors, how much of that of John 20. was proper to the Apostles, and such others as were then to have the spirit in an extraordinary manner, who did re­mit sin effectively by remitting the punishment of it, by casting out De­vils, healing the sick, &c. according to that of Jam. 5. 14, 15. Is any sick among you, let him call for the Elders of the Church, and let them pray for him, and anoint him with Oyl, in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. If besides this remitting them effectively, the rest be no other then a Ministerial pro­nouncing them forgiven by God according to his Covenant in the Gos­pel, then you cannot plead the phrase of a Text, which respecteth ano­ther way of Remission then we pretend to: But must phrase it accor­ding to the nature of the thing, and the sense of other Scriptures also that fullier open it; There are three waies of pardoning, 1. By grant or Guift, (whether by a general Act of pardon, or a particular.) 2. By sentence. 3. By execution; that is, preventing, or taking off, the penal­ty: The first of these is done already by God in the Gospel. The Se­cond, God doth principally, and his Ministers instrumentally as his Messengers: The third (the taking off the penalty) they can do no otherwise in the Case before us, then by praying that God will take [Page 143] it off, and using his ordinary means. So that it is most evident, that this Absolution that Ministers are to perform, can be no other then to pro­nounce the penitent Believer to be absolved by God according to his Co­venant: And if there be no other, should we not speak as intelligibly as we can? Indeed there is more in absolving the excommunicate; for then the Church both judiciously, and executively, remitteth the penalty of excommunication (to which also the Text John 20. may have much respect) but the penalty of damnation can be no otherwise remitted by us, then as is expressed. And indeed the thing is of such exceeding weight, that it behoveth us to deal as intelligibly and openly in it, as we can. And therefore we admire that you should say (the Condition needs not be ex­pressed, being always necessarily understood) by necessarily do you mean, necessitate naturali, & irresistibili? so that all the wicked men in the world cannot chuse but understand us, to speak conditionally? Surely this is none of your meaning; if it were, it were far from truth: Or do you mean not de necessitate vel actitudine eventus, but de debito ex obligatione? no doubt but it is necessary as a duty, and also ad finem as a means: And therefore it is, that we desire it may be expressed. And doubtless you think not that all men do their duties, and understand all that they ought to under­stand: no not in this particular. If you mean that all sick men may be rationally supposed to understand it; this can never be believed by us that are acquainted personally (and have been) with so many of whom it is not true. How many think the Minister's Absolution, and the Sacra­ment, will serve turn, with their unsound hypocritical repentance? how easily is that understood absolutely, or as bad, while they take you to take it for granted, that they have the Condition, which is absolutely expressed.

It is not fit the Minister should have power to deny this viation, or holy Com­munion Sect. 3. p. 34, Exc. 1. to any that humbly desire it, according to the Rubrick; which no man disturbed in his wits can do, and whosoever does, must in charity be presumed to be penitent, and fit to receive.

Repl. There is no condition mentioned in the Rubrick, but that he (be desirous to receive the Communion in his house) humbly is not there: And why may not a man disturbed in his wits desire the Communion? you deny things that ordinarily fall out, and yet lay the weight of your Cause on that denial. But why must we give the Sacrament to those that have lived in gross ignorance, Infidelity, and prophaneness, and never ma­nifested credibly, that they repent? You say that (whosoever desireth the Sacrament, according to the Rubrick, must in charity be presumed to be penitent.) But where hath God commanded or approved so blind & dan­gerous an act as this, under the name of Charity? the ordinary observati­ons [Page 144] of our lives, is not to be confuted by mens Assertions: we know by sad experience, that there's abundance of the worst of men among us, that are desirous to receive this Sacrament when they are sick, that give no credible evidence of true repentance; but some in the ignorance, & deceit of their hearts; & some as conscious of their impiety, for which they seek any shifting remedy to quiet their Consciences, for the time, are much more eager for this Sacrament in their sickness, then many better and more penitent persons. And must we judge all these penitent, and give them the Sacrament as such? we must needs professe that we think this Course would not be the least effectual service unto Satan, to deceive poor sinners, and keep them from knowing their misery, and seeking aright after the true remedy in time. Pardon us, while we lay together the parts of your Doctrine, as we understand it here delivered; and leave it to your Consideration, what a Church, and what a Ministry it would make. 1. All Infants of any Parents in the world that we can baptize, are undoubtedly regenerate, and in a state of life, and shall be saved, if they so die. 2. The Holy Ghost, and Forgivenesse of sin, being then given them; it is charitably presumed that they have not totally lost this, notwithstanding the frailties and slips of their Child-hood; and so when they can say the Catechism, they are to be confirmed. 3. Being con­firmed, they are to be admitted to the Lords Supper. 4. All that mar­ry, and others, thrice a year must receive the Lords Supper (though unfit.) 5. The Minister must absolve all the sick, that say they repent: (if we understand you) for we suppose you allow not the Minister to be Judge. 6. This Absolution must be absolutely expressely (I absolve thee from all thy sins) without the Condition (if thou repent and be­lieve.) 7. Whosoever desireth the Communion in his sickness, must in charity be presumed to be penitent, and fit to receive. 8. The Mini­ster must not have power to forbear such Baptizing, Absolving, or deli­vering the Communion as aforesaid (we now omit what's said of the dead at Burial.) And if this be not the ready way to hinder thousands, from the necessary knowledge of their unrenewed hearts, and lives, and from true repentance, and from valuing Christ as the Remedy, and from making a necessary preparation for death, and also the way to lay by abundance of faithful conscionable Ministers, that dare not take such a deceiving dangerous Course; we must confess our selves much mistaken in the nature of mans corruption, and misery, and the use of Gods Ordi­nances for his recovery.

The Burial of the Dead.

IT is not fit so much should be left to the discretion of every Minister: And Sect. 2. p. 2. the desire that all may be said in the Church, being not pretended to be for the ease of tender Consciences, but of tender Heads, may be helped by a Cap, better then a Rubr.

Reply. We marvel that you say nothing at all to our desire, (that it be expressed in a Rubrick, that prayers and exhortations there used, be not for the benefit of the dead, but only for the instruction &c. comfort of the living.) You intend to have a very indiscreet Ministry, if such a needlesse Circumstance may not be left to their discretion. The contri­vance of a Cap instead of a Rubr. sheweth that you are all unacquainted with the subject, of which you speak: and if you speak for want of expe­rience of the Case of Souls, as you now do about the Case of mens bo­dies, we could wish you some of our experience of one sort (by more Converse with all the Members of the Flock) though not of the other. But we would here put these three or four Questions to you.

1. Whether such of our selves as cannot stand still in the cold winter at the Grave, half so long as the Office of Burial requireth, without the certain hazard of our lives, (though while we are in motion, we can stay out longer) are bound to believe your Lordships, that a Cap will cure this better then a Rubr. though we have proved the contrary to our cost? and know it as well as we know that cold is cold Do you think no place but that which a Cap or Clothes do cover, is capable of letting in the excessively refrigerating Air?

2. Whether a man that hath the most rational probability, if not a mo­ral certainty, that it would be his death, or dangerous sickness (though he wore 20. Caps) is bound to obey you in this Case.

3. Whether usually the most studious laborious Ministers, be not the most invaletudinary and infirm? And 4ly, Whether the health of such should be made a jest of, by the more healthful; and be made so light of, as to be cast away, rather then a Ceremony sometime be left to their discretion? And whether it be a sign of the right and genuine spirit of Religion, to subject to such a Ceremony, both the life of godliness, and the lives of Ministers, and the peoples souls? Much of this concerneth the people also: as well as the Ministers.

We see not why these words may not be said of any person, who we dare Sect 3. p. 33. not say is damned; and it were a breach of Charity to say so, even of those whose repentance we do not see: For whether they do not inwardly, and heartily re­pent, even at the last act, who knowes? And that God will not even then par­don them upon such repentance, who dares say? It is better to be Charitable, and hope the best, then rashly to condemn.

Reply. We spoke of persons, living and dying in notorious sins; suppose they were whoredom, perjury, oppression, yea Infidelity, or Atheism, &c. But suppose we cannot be infallibly certain, that the man is damned, be­cause it is possible that he may repent, though he never did express it: will you therefore take him for a brother whose soul is taken to God in mercy? You are not sure that an excommunicate person, or an Heathen, doth not truly repent after he is speechless: But will you therefore say, that all such die thus happily? This is a most delusory Principle. The Church judgeth not of things undiscovered: Non esse & non apparere, are all one as to our Judgment; we conclude not peremptorily, because we pretend not here to infallibility. As we are not sure that any man is truly penitent, that we give the Sacrament to; so we are not sure that any man dieth impenitently. But yet we must use those as penitent, that seem so to reason, judging by ordinary means, and so must we judge those as impe­nitent, that have declared their sin, and never declared their repentance. It seems by you, that you will form your Liturgy, so as to say, that eve­ry man is saved, that you are not sure is damned, though he shew you no repentance; and so the Church shall say, that all things are, that are but possible, if they conceit that Charity requireth it. But if the living by this be kept from Conversion, and flattered into Hell, will they there call it Charity, that brought them thither? O lamentable Charity, that smoo­thers mens way to Hell, and keepeth them ignorant of their danger, till they are past remedy! millions are now suffering for such a sort of Cha­rity. Lay this to the formentioned propositions, and the world will see that indeed we differ in greater things then Ceremonies, and Forms of Prayer.

Churching Women.

IT is fit that the woman performing especial service of Thanksgiving, should Sect. 1. p. 36. Exc. 1. have a speciall place for it, where she may be perspicuous to the whole Congre­gation; and neer the Holy Table, in regard of the Offering she is there to make: They need not fear Popery in this, since in the Church of Rome she is to kneel at the Church door.

Reply. Those that are delivered from impenitency, from sickness, &c. perform a special service of thanksgiving, &c. yet need not stand in a special place: but if you will have all your Ceremonies, Why must all others be forced to imitate you? We mentioned not the Church of Rome.

[The Psalm 121. is more fit and pertinent, then those others named, as 113, Sect. 2. Exc. 2. 128. and therefore not to be changed.]

Reply. We have poposed to you what we think meetest in our last pa­ges; if you like your own better, we pray you give us leave to think otherwise, and to use what we propounded.

If the woman be such as is here mentioned, she is to do her penance before she Sect. 3. Exc. 3. be Churched.]

Reply. That is, if she be accused, prosecuted, and judged by the Bishop's Court to do penance first, which happeneth not to one of a multitude; and what shall the Minister do with all the rest? All tends to take away the difference between the precious and the vile, between those that fear God, and that fear him not.

[Offerings are required as well under the Gospel, as the Law: and amongst other times most fit it is, that oblations should be, when we come to give thanks Sect. 4. Exc. 4. for some special Blessing, Psal. 76. 10, 11. Such is the deliverance in Child­bearing.]

Reply. Oblations should be free, and not forced: to some special use, and not to ostentation.

[This is needless since the Rubr. and Comm. require that no notorious per­son Sect. 5. Exc. 5. be admitted.]

Reply. We gladly accept so fair an interpretation, as freeth the Book from self-contradiction, and us from trouble; but we think it would do no hurt but good, to be more express.

The Concessions.

WE are willing that all the Epistles and Gospels be used according to Sect. 1. the last Translation.

Reply. We still beseech you, that all the Psalms, and other Scriptures in the Liturgy recited, may (for the same reason) be used according to the last Translation.

That when any thing is read for an Epistle, which is not in the Epistles, the Superscription be, [for the Epistle.] Sect. 2.

Repl. We beseech you, speak as the vulgar may understand you: [for the Epi­stle] signifieth not plain enough to such, that is indeed none of the Epistles.

That the Psalms be collated with the former Translation, mentioned in Sect. 3. Rubr. and Printed according to it.

Reply. We understand not what Translation, or Rubr. you mean.

That the words (this day) both in the Collects, and Prefaces, be used only up­on Sect. 4. the day itself, and for the following dayes, it be said (as about this time.)

Reply. And yet there is no certainty, Which was the day it self.

That a longer time be required for signification of the names of the Com. and Sect. 5. the words of the Rubr. be changed into these (at least some time the day before.)

Reply. (Sometime the day before) may be, near or at night, which will [Page 148] not allow any leisure at all, to take notice of the proofs of peoples scan­dals or to help them in preparation.

That the power of keeping scandalous Sinners from the Communion, may be Sect 6. expressed in the Rubr. according to the 26. and 27. Canons, so the Minister be obliged to give an account of the same immediately after to the Ordinary.

Reply. We were about returning you our very great thanks, for gran­ting us the benefit of the 26. Canon, as that which exceedeth all the rest of your Concessious; But we see you will not make us too much beholden to you: and poor Christians that will not receive the Sacrament contra­ry to the example of Christ and his Apostles, and the custom of the Catho­lick primitive Church, and the Canons of general Councils) must be also used as the notorious impenitent sinners. But the Canon requireth us not to signifie the cause, but upon complaint, or being required by the ordinary

That the whole Preface be prefixed to the Commandments. Sect. 7.

Reply. And why not the word (Sabbath day) be put for the (seventh day) in the end. Must not such a falsification be amended?

That the second Exhortation be read some Sunday, or Holy-day, before the Sect. 8. celebration of the Communion, at the discretion of the Minister.

That the general Confession at the Communion be pronounced by one of the Sect. 9. Ministers, the people saying after him, all kneeling humbly upon their knees.

That the manner of consecrating the Elements, may be made more explicit, Sect. 10. and express; and to that purpose, those words be put into the Rub. [then shall he put his hand upon the Bread, & break it] then shall he put his hand unto the Cup.]

That if the Font be so placed as the Congregation cannot hear, it may be re­ferred to the Ordinary, to place it more conveniently. Sect. 11.

That those words [yes they do perform them, &c.] nay be altered thus: [be­cause they promise them both, by their Sureties, &c. Sect. 12.

That the words of the last Rubr before the Catechism, may be thus altered, (that children being baptized have all things necessary for their salvation, and Sect. 13. dying before they commit any actual sins, be undoubtedly saved, though they be not Confirmed.]

That to the Rubr. after Confirmation, these words may be added (Or be rea­dy, and desirous to be Confirmed.] Sect. 14.

That those words (with my body I thee worship) may be altered thus: (with Sect. 15. my body I thee honour.)

That those words (til death us depart) be thus altered (till death us do part.) Sect. 16.

That the words (sure and certain) may be left out. Sect. 17.

Reply. For all the rest we thank you, but have given our reasons against your sense expressed in Sect. 13. before, and for satisfactoriness of the last: And we must say, in the conclusion, That, if these be all the abatements and amendments you will admit, you sell your innocency, and the Chur­che's peace for nothing.

FINIS.

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