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can be guessed at by their words and actions, very much abhor it.
Now, as to the behaviour of our dissenting Brethren in this particular, I shall desire their admirers to remember this one thing, that His Majesty not long after His Happy Restauration did put forth a Declaration concerning Ecclesiastical Affaires, wherein He did very graciously indulge, much to the dissatisfied Part of the Clergy, in hopes thereby to win upon them; and in that Declaration He did propose this unto them, as a way whereby they might shew their Gratitude for so great a Condescention, That they would read so much of the Liturgy as themselves had no exception against : But with many of them He could not prevail for so much as one Syllable, not one Collect, no nor so much as one Chapter according to the Rubrick ; So much doth yielding work upon that good-natur'd Generation. Now whether this Refractoriness, as to the whole Book, and every part and parcel of it, could possibly proceed solely and altogether
from Conscience, and not very much, if not altogether, from Design or Humour,let their best Friends speak.
In the next place,now as to the Canons , I do not know that there doth or can ly any Objection against them which our present Debate is concerned about ; because they are no immediate Parts of the Publick Worship, and therefore can be no cause of the present Separation, especially as to the People. As to the Canons made in the year 1640. I must needs confess, that the scotch Commissioners did complain much against them, and some English Gentlemen made witty Speeches upon them ; but they had both of them the ill luck to confess the real cause of the Pique which they had against them, viz. The acknowledgement of His Majesties Authority as being Independent, and above all Coercion, either Papal or Popular. A Doctrine which I must needs say was very inconsistent with those Designs which those angry Patriots were at that time carrying on. And I am very much mistaken if, at this very day, a great part of that Quarrel which is taken up against the Church be not founded upon this, that it is too faithfully devoted to the Interests of the Crown; and that many Persons are Presbyterians, Independents, Fifth-Monarchy-men, oc. as so many fanctified disguises under which they act the Part of Common-wealths.men.
In the next place come we therefore to the Ceremonies ; and there indeed the noise is very great. An Excellent Person, who for his pious la. bours upon a noble Argument, and much wore worthy of his Pen, deserves much honour, hath in this part of the Question exprest much more Concern, than, I hope, himself upon a serious review will admit the Cause to bear, in a Book entituled, Liberty of Conscience upon its true and proper Grounds asserted and vindicated, &c. hath thus expressed himself,p.49. How may we lament over the present Imposition of the Ceremonies now enjoyn’d among us in England, which are no part of divine Truth, nor any of Christ's Institutions, but things perfe&tly Humane in their Creation; and jet are enforced by the Civil Power upon the Pradice and Consciences of men. Now here, with all due respect to that Learned Gentleman, I shall deGre him to take notice, whether it be not an Excellency and a Felicity almost peculiar to the Church of England, that in all her Constitutions, her greatest Adversaries are forced to betake themselves to the scanning of a few Ceremonies, to find a cause, or, to speak more properly, a shew of Controversie; and that himself in his own great Judgment hath not been able to find out any other flaw in the Matter of all her Laws, as much foever as he doth millike the Imposition of them. As for the Ceremonies themselves, the Exceptions, or at least the Clamours are very many; That they are uncommanded by God; that they are significant ; that they are Willworship; that they are teaching for Do&rines of God the Command. ments of men ; and lastly, that they do give scandal.
As As to the Ceremonies being uncommanded by God, I never heard of any man who pretended them to be otherwise ; and therefore it is most clear and certain, that that Church doth not teach for Doctrines of God the Commandments of Men, which doth own publickly, that these are not the Doctrines of God, but only the Commandments of Man : And if any man doch mistake in this case, which is a thing incredible that any should do so; but if there be such a one, I am sure that the mistake is his own and not the fault of the Church : For she hath taken care to prevent it, in the Chapter of Ceremonies before the Common Prayers, wherein she declares that theCeremonies which are retained, are retained for Discipline and Order, which upon just Cause may be altered and changed, and there. fore are not to be esteemed equal with Gods Law. But however, this is plain in the nature of things, that although among the Ceremonies no one in particular is necessary, yet in general it is necessary, so far as Order and De