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abled to make a Schism within it; or if they are at length brought to be perswaded to part with any of their Principles, will they be so Honest as to declare that they have been so far mistaken, and desire their Followers to get out of those Snares which they in former Dayes did lay for them; and particularly will they renounce the Covenant ? It was very good Advice which the Right Reverend Father in God the Lord Bishop of Winchester. gave His Majesty, in his Epistle before the Coronation Sermon, when he re. minded Him of that wise Resolution of His Royal Grandfather, Henry the Fourth, that he was ready at any time to make a Peace with any of the Leaguers, but he would never make any peace with the League.
Now if they look upon it as any hard measure that they should be called upon to renounce the Covenant : Let them not at all wonder, if the Regular Sons of the Church have not forgot those rigours with which it was imposed , the many mis. chiefs which have been wrought, and
are something apprehensive of those mischiefs which may at this day be wrought by it ; if so be that the Renunciation of it should be laid alide ; which will certainly be interpre. ted as at least a tacit Confeffion, that that Injunction was unreasonable, and such a one as a man of a tender Conscience could not submit to; and that is a fair preparation for the Opinion that the Covenant is really a thing which doth oblige us. But because that Moderation is at this time a word much in fashion ; let us compare the Severities used in behalf of the Covenant with this which is so much complained of as being against it: It is indeed, by reason of the Clamours by themselves raised about its obligation, established by a Law, that none (hall be admitted to Publick Trusts in Universities, Schools, or the Church, who will not renounce its Obligation; but the Covenanters did not think this a sufficient security in their Care ; Mr. Calamy tells us in his fore-mentioned Speech , in the name of himself and the Reverend Ministers with him, with
great great Joy and Triumph ; That there was not one Person in the Kingdom of Scotland who is not a Covenanter, and there mall not one abide among them who will not take this Covenant. Now this Mr. Calamy from the beginning of the Long Parliament till the Day of his Death, was a Ringleader of that Party of men who do now plead for Comprehension, & do earnestly at this time desire that they may be dispensed with, for renouncing the Covenant. And if the Counsel of these Divines had been of as great Authority in the Army, as it was with the Two Houses, that which Mr. Calamy doth magnifie in Scotland would have been a pattern for the same course to be taken in England.
But seeing that the Covenant is more sacred with them than the Oaths of Alleagiance and Supremacy, will they, if they should be thus far con. discended to be so grateful to His Majesty as to declare their opinions against the. War raised against His Father? will they in lieu of renouncing the Covenant take an Oath wherein
they will assert, that the War raised by some Lords and Gentlemen fitting at Westminster, under the Name of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament, by a Commission granted to Robert Earl of Essex, was unlawful, as being against the known Laws both of God and of the Nation ? If they refuse this, seeing that we know that many of these very men for whom Comprehension is desired did preach up the War, if they will not declare against it, it is shrewdly to be suspected that their mind is the same as formerly, and the only change which is, is in the posture of Affairs...
But because it is now said in behalf of these men, that they allow Episcopacy, and approve of a Liturgy, nay of ours: That we may not be imposed upon by any ambiguous generality of Words; it is but requisite that in this they would declare particularly in what sence it is that they allow and approve both these Things; for if by things past we may guess at things present;by Episcopacy they may mean but Presbytery; by the Bishop may
be be understood a kind of a Prolocutor. Every assuming Presbyter may at any time say as one of them lately did, that he is as good a Scripture Bishop, as he · who sate upon the Bench ; or perhaps
look upon a Bishop only as a Civil Officer in order to some legal purposes:and by a Liturgy they may mean only such a Form of Prayers which may be either used or let alone, or rather a thing which is (if ever to be permitted only to those who are Persons of such small fufficiency as not to be able to pray without it, and so instead of being a Duty is intended meerly as a disparagement: Orit may be the Common Prayer may be allowed as a way of fpending the time till the Company is got together, and then comes the Prayer which the Spirit is the immediate Author of, and which alone hath the promise of any blessing made unto it.
Unless, I say that these Persons be required to express theirMinds very particularly in these and all other Matters
between us, we shall be always at a loss, how much of the