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formerly used to, were such as had incurred Ecclefiastical Čensure ; yet it is confessed that the forms pronounced on those occasions immediately respected the Conscience of the Sinner, and not the outward Regimen of the Church; that they were instrumental to procure the Forgiveness of God, whilst the Ecclesiastical Bond was declared to be released by an additional ceremony of the Imposition of Hands e. If then Absolutions, even in the earliest ages, were thought to be instrumental to procure God's Forgiveness to such Sins as had deserved Ecclesiastical Bonds; why may they not be allowed as. instrumental and proper to procure his Forgiveness to Sins of daily Incursion, though they may not be gross enough, or at least enough public, to come within the cognizance of Ecclesiastical Censures? If it be urged, that the ancient Absolutions were never Declarative, but either Intercessional, like the prayer that follows the Absolution in the office appointed for the Visitation of the Sick, or Optative, like the form in our Office of Communion; I think it may be answered, that the Effect of the Absolution does not at all depend upon the Form of it, since the Promises of God are either way applied, and it must be the Sinner's embracing them with Repentance and Faith, that must make the Application of them effectual to himself.
I hope this explanation will justify my notions upon the Daily Absolution, as well as reconcile them with what I have said upon the other. I shall add nothing more in defence of them, than that they seem fully to be countenanced by the Form itself, (as I have shewed at large upon the place,) and particularly by the inhibition of Deacons from pronouncing itf : which to me is an argument that our Church designed it for an Effect, which it was beyond the commission of a Deacon to convey. Not that I would draw an argument from the opinion of our Church, where that opinion seems repugnant to Scripture or Antiquity : but where it does
e See Dr. Marshall's Penitential Discipline, page 93, &c. See also the forms of Absolution in his Appendix, Numb. 4, 5, 6, 7. See Page 120, &c.
not appear to be inconsistent with either, I think her decision should be allowed a due weight. Wherever I have found or suspected her to differ from one or the other, the Reader will observe I have not covered or disguised it; but on the contrary perhaps have been too hasty and forward, and too unguarded in my remarks. But Truth was what I aimed at through my whole undertaking ; which therefore I was resolved at any hazard to affert just as it appeared to me. It is not at all indeed unlikely that in so many points as the nature of this work has led me to confider, some things may appear as Truths to me, which others, who have better opportunities of inquiring into them, may find to be otherwise: and therefore I can only profess that I have not advanced any thing but what I have believed to be true; and that if I am any where in an error, I shall be always open to conviction, let the person that attempts it be Adversary or Friend ; since if Truth: can be attained to by any means at last, I shall not value from whom or from whence it proceeds: though I cannot but say, the satisfaction will be the greater if it appear on the side which our Church has espoused, notwithstanding the discovery may possibly demand some Retractations on my own part, which in such case I shall always be ready to make, and think it a happiness to find myself mistaken.
In the mean while, I request that where I am allowed to be right, I may not meet with less favour, because I have thewed myself fallible ; and particularly I would importune my Reverend Brethren of the CLERGY, (upon whose countenance the success of this work must depend,) that if the Rubrics especially have been any where cleared, and with proper arguments enforced, they would join their assistance to make my endeavours of some service to the CHURCH. For it will be but of very little use to have illustrated the rule, unless they also concur to make the practice more uniforın. And indeed I would hope that a small importunity would be sufficient to prevail with them, when they see what difgrace their compliances have brought both upon the
Liturgy Liturgy and themselves; since not only the Occasional Offices are now in several places prostituted to the caprice of the people, to be used where, and when, and in what manner they please ; but even the Daily and Ordinary Service is more than the Clergy themselves know how to perform in any Church but their own, before they have been informed of the particular custom of the place.
But I would not presume to dictate to those from whom it would much better become me to learn : and therefore I shall only observe farther with regard to the Citations I have had occasion to make, that I have but very seldom set down any of them at large, because I was willing to avoid all unnecessary means of swelling the book. Besides, I considered, that though I should cite them ever so distinctly, yet those who understand not the Language they were written in, must take my word for the meaning of them at last: and those who are capable of reading the Originals, I supposed, would turn to the books themselves for any thing they should doubt of, how careful soever I should have been in transcribing them ; so that I thought it sufficient to be exact in my references, as to the Tome, and Page, and marginal letter, and then to insert a general Table of the Ecclesiastical Writers, which should once for all shew the Editions that I have used s. The reason of my adding a coluinn of the Times when the Writers flourished, was, that my less learned Reader might gather from thence the Antiquity of the several Rites and Ceremonies I had occasion to treat of, by consulting when those Authors lived, who are produced in defence of them.
6 If I have any where made use of a different Edition, I have taken care to specify it in the citation itself.
CITED IN THE FOLLOWING BOOK ;
With the Times when they flourished, and the Editions
made use of.
Ecclefiaftical Writers. Flourished
Anno Dom. Alcuin
396 Bafil the Great
1115 Canons called Apostolical, 2 most of them composed 300
398 Clemens of Alexandria 192 Clemens of Rome
65 Codex Theodosianus Constitutions called Apofto- 450
lical, about Cyprian
248 Cyril of Jerusalem
350 Dionysius of Alexandria 254 Dionysius, falsely called the
362 Areopagite Durandus Mimatensis 1286 Durantus Epiphanius
368 Euagrius Scholasticus
315 Gennadius Massilienf. 495 Gratian
1131 Gregory the Great Gregory Nazianzen
370 Gregory Nyffen
370 Hierom, or Jerom
by Coteler, Antwerp. 1698 Hiftor. Compend. Paris 1649 Opera Ed. Savil. Eton. 1612 Opera
Paris 1629 Epistolæ by Wotton, Cant. 1718
Lugd. 1665 by Coteler, Antwerp. 1698 Opera by Fell, Oxon. 1682 Opera by Mills, Oxon. 1703 Epist. adv. Paul. Sam. Paris 1610 Opera
Paris 1615 Rationale
Lugd. 1612 De Rit. Ecclef. Cath. Rom. 1591 Opera
Paris 1622 Ecclef. Hiftor.
Paris 1673 Opera
Paris 1659 De Ecclef. Dogmat. Hamb. 1614 Opera
Paris 1601 Opera
Paris 1675 Opera
Paris 1630 Opera
Paris 1615 Opera Edit. Ben. Paris 1704 Opera by Smith, Oxon. 1709
Ecclefiaftical Writers. Flourished Books.
167 Adv. Hæref. by Grabe, Oxon. 1702
Ş Apol. 1. by Grabe, Oxon. 1700
303 Opera by Spark, Oxon. 1684
1080 De Ecclef. Observ. Paris 1610
220 Octavius by Davis, Cant. 1712
420 Lib. contr. Felic. Paris 1610
108 Ep. ad Phil. by Smith, Oxon. 1709
Vita S. Cypr. before St. Cy-
2 prian's Works, Oxon. 1682
434 De Trad. Div. Lit. Paris 1560
SIn Symbolum at the end of
2. Saint Cyprian's Works.
172 Orat. ad Gr. by Worth, Oxon. 1700
192 Opera by Rigaltius, Paris 1675
By Labbée and Coffart, in 15 Tomes. Paris 1671.
563 Orleance 1. See Aurelianense 1.
252 Quini-sextum in Trullo 692
517 Trullan. See Quini-sextum.