Imágenes de páginas

tion if not the principal one, against coming into our Church.

As also because some of our own Brethren, who consider Subscriptions in the fame Light with the bigotted Members of the Church of Rome, and probably never read, or never duly considered the Act of Uniformity, have taken Occasion, from that Form of Declaration of Afsent, to brand those, who presume to doubt, or differ from them in any of their imaginafy orthodox Notions, with the Imputation of Perjury, or, at least, of Hypocrify.

But though we should suppose this. was done, and that Subscrip

нь tions tions were declared to be only required for Peace-sake; yet there is still a Difficulty which remains behind, with regard to those who do not approve of all the Articles of the established Religion, or of every thing in the Liturgy ; because it is natural for them to desire, that those Things, which they take to be Errors should be amended; and yet it is found by Experience, that whoever attempts to find fault with the Canons or the Articles of Religion, or the established Form of Liturgy, becomes immediately a Disturber of the Peace of the Church, as he is sure, at least, to be loaded with the opprobrious Name of Schismatic, or Heretic, which, ever since the Days of Po

pery, pery, are Sounds that occasion wondrous Horror in the Ears of the Vulgar.

· Whoever considers the Difficulties which attend the Reformation of Religion in general, and, in particular, the Difficulties which attended these Nations in their Reformation from Popery, ought to thank God that so much was done at that Time as was done, rather than repine that more was not effected. The Humour of the Times would not suffer a more thorough Reformation; these Nations hav

ing been so long accustomed to a · Kind of utter Darkness, that their

Eyes would not bear too much

Light to be let in at once. i ' ;

b 2 : Christi

[ocr errors][merged small]

Christianity was not established, nor the Jewish Religion thoroughly reformed, all on a sudden. After St. Paul had been many Years a Preacher of the Gospel, he complied with the Jewish Ceremony of [2] Saving his Head in Cenchrea, because he was under a Vow; and of [3] purifying himself at the Temple of Jerusalem, rather than give Offence to the Jews: And the whole Council of Apostles, when affembled at Jerusalem, assented to enjoin those [4] Jewish Profelytes, who, from among the Gentiles, were turned unto God, to continue for some

[2] Acts xviii. 1.
[3] Acts xxi, 24.
[4] Acts xv. 19. XX. 29.

time under a prohibition from eating Things strangled, and from Blood, which hath been long since discontinued. And our Saviour himfelf was pleased to declare, that he concealed many Truths, till the Disciples should be able to bear them, John xvi, 1 2,

The present Conftitution of these Kingdoms, both in Church and State, is, in my sincere Opinion, the best in the known World; but

I will not say, that it is not capable . of being still further amended.

What then is to be done? For if the Church be not infallible any more than the State, why may not that be amended as well as the Stąte? And why should we be

b 3 more

« AnteriorContinuar »