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Kingdom and in this present age how many of us have written and are content and ready to bleed for the sincerity of the Gospel ? If there be any therefore in this holy order whose lips have hang'd cowards the onions and garlick, and fleshpots of Egypt, let them undergo just censure; but let the calling, and the 'zealous and faithful managers of it be acquired before God, and Men.
For the latter, I see and mourn to see that many good souls are brought into a dislike and deteftation of the common prayers of the Church of England as meer Mals and Popery, wo is me chat error should prevail so farr with good hearts. I belcech you for Gods sake and
your souls fake be rightly informed in this so materiall and important a point.
I see there is hercin a double offence. One of them which dislike the prayers because they are set forms; the other that dislike them because they are such ler forms.
For the former I besecch them to consider seriously whether they ought to think themselves wiser and perfecter then all the Churches of God that ever have been upon the Earth: This I dare confidently say that fiice God had an established Church in the World there were set forms of devotion: in the Jewish Church before and fince Christ, in the Christian Church of all ages; and at this very day all those varieties of Christians in the large circle of Christianography they have their set forms of prayers which they do and must use and in the Reformed Churches both of the Lutherans, and France, and Scotland, it is no otherwisc: yea reverend Mr. Calvin himself whose judgment had wont to sway with the forwardest Christians writing to the Protector of England, Apno 1548. hath these words, Quod ad formalan prealm attinet úr rituum Ecclefiafticorum valde probo ut certe illa extet qua paftoribis difcedere non liceat in fanētione fua, &cAnd adding three grave and solid reasons for it,concludes chus:fo then there ought to be a fee form of Catechism, a set form of administration of Sacraments, and of publick prayers ; and why will we cast off che judgment both of him and all the Divines of the whole Christian World till Barrow and Browne in our age and remembrance contradicted it, and run after a conccit that ncver had any being in the World till within our own memory:
For the latter. There are those who could allow some form of set prayers, buc diflike this of ours as favoring of the Pope and
the Mass, whence they lay it is derived ; Now I beseech you Brea thren as you would avoid the danger of that wo of calling good evill, and evill good, inform your selves throughly of the true State of this business.
Know therefore chat the whole Church of God both Eastern and Western as it was divided; both the Greck and Larin Church under which this Iland was wont to be ranged had their forms of prayer from the begining, which were then holy and Heavenly compiled by che hely Fathers of those firft times : Afterwards the abuses and errors of opery came in by degrees, as Transubftantiation, Sacrifice of the Mals, prayers for the dead, prayers to Saints ; these poysoned the Church, and vitiated these holy forms whiles they continued, but when Reformation came in, divers worthy Proteftant Divines, whereof some were noble Martyrs for religion, were appointed to revise thac form of service, to purge out all thac popish leaven chac had lowred them, to restore them to their former purity; leaving nothing in that book but that which they found consonant to godliness, and pure religion. If any
Min will now say that our prayer book is taken out of the Mass, let him know rather that the Mass was cait our of our prayerbook into which it was injuriously and impiously intruded; the good of those prayers are ours in the right of Christians, the cvill that was in them let them take as their own.
And if it should have been as they imagine ; let them know that we have departed from the Church of Rome but in those chings wherein they have departed from Christ, what good thing they have is ours still ;That scripture which they have, That Creed which they profess is ours, neither will we part wich it for their abuse.
If a peece of Gold be offerd us, will we not take it because it was raken our of the channell? If the Devil have given a confeffion of Christ, and said, I know who thou art even Jesus the Son of the living God; shall not I make this confession because it came out of the Devils mouth ? Alas we shall be herein very injurious both to our selves and to God whose every holy truth is.
This then is the form which hath been compiled by learned and holy Divines, by blessed Martyrs themselves, who used it comforrab'y, and blessed God for it. But if the quicker eyes of later times have found any thing which Сcc
difpleases them in the phrases and manners of expreflion or in some rites prescribed in it, Let them in Gods name await for the reforming sentence of that publick authority whereby it was framed and enacted; and let not private persons presume to put their hands to the work ; which would introduce nothing bue palpable confusion, let all things be done decently, and in order.
Shortly my Brethren let us hate Popery to the death but let us not involve within that odious name chose holy forms both of administration, and devotion which are both plcasing unto God, and agrecable to all Christianity and Godliness.
Have long held my peace, and meant to have done so still, but now like to Crafus his murc Son, I must break filence; I humbly befeech your Lordships to give me leave, to take this too just occasion to move your Lordships to take into
your deep,and serious consideration, the woful, and lamentable condition of the poor Church of England, your dear Mother; My Lords, this was not wont to be her file, we have heretofore talkr of the famous and flourishing Church of England, but now your Lordships must give me leave to say, that the poor Church of England humbly proftrates her self (nexe after his sacred Majeltv) at your Lordships fcet, and humbly craves your compaffion' and present aid.
My Lords, It is a foul and dangerous insolence, this which is now complained of to you, but it is but one of a hundred of those which have been of latc done to this Church and Government. The Church of England, as your Lordships cannot choose but kñow, hath been and is miserably infested on both Gides, with Papifts on the one side, and Schismaticks on the other; The Pfalmift hath of old distinguifhe the enemies of it, into wild Boars out of the Wood, and little Foxes. out of the Burroughs ; The one whereof goes about to root up the very foundation of Religion, the other to crop the branches, and bloffornes and clusters thereof, both of them conspire the urter ruine & devaftation of it; As for the former of them ;I do perceive a great deal of good, zeal for the remedy and suppreffion of them; and I do hcartily congratularc it, and bleffe God for it, and-besecch him
to prosper is, in those hands that shall undertake and prosecute it ; bue for the ocher give me leave to say, I do not linde many that are sensible of the danger of it, which yet in my apprehension is very great and apparent ; Alas my Lords, I beseech you to consider what it is ; that there should be in London, and the Suburbs and Libcrcies, no fewer then fourscore Congregations of several Settarics, as I have been too credibly informed,
inftructed by Guides fit for them, Coblers, Taylors, Feltmakers and such' like trafh, which all are caught to spic in the face of their Mother the Church of England; and to defye and revile her government ; From hence have iflucd chose dangerous assaults of our Church Governours ; From hence that imundation of base and scurrilous libels and pamphlets, wherewith we have been of lace overborne, in which Papists and Prelates like Oxen in a yoke are Nill matched together; O my Lords, I bcfeech you that you will be sensible of this great indigoity: Do but look upon thefe reverend persons : Do not your Lordships see here siceing apon these benches, those that have spenc their time, their strength, their bodies and lives, in preaching down, in writing down Popery ? and which would be ready (if oca cafion were offred) co sacrifice all their old blood chat remains to the maintenance of that truth of God, which they have taaght and written,and shall we be chus despightfully ranged with them, whom we do thus professedly oppose ; buc alas this is but one of those many scandalous aspersions, and intolerable affronts that are daily caft upon us. Now whither should we in this case have recourse for a needful and feasonable redresse? The arme of the Charch is alas now short and finewless, it is the interpofing of your authority that mult rcfcue us. You are the Eldeft fons of your dear Mother the Church and therefore molt fit & moft able to vindicare her wrongs, you are amici Sponfa, give me leave therefore in the bowels of Chrift humbly to beseech your Lordships to be tenderly sensible of these woful and dangerous conditions of the times. And if the government of the Church of England be unlawful and anfir, abandon and disclaim it, but if otherwise uphold and maintain it. Otherwise if these lawless outrages be yet fuffred to gather head, who knowes where they will end ? My Lords, if these men may with impunity,and freedom, thus bear down Ecclesiastical anthority, it is to be feared they will not reft there, but will be ccady to affront