Obrazy na stronie

her with the Teachers, may consider the great Danger xvi A Letter to the Author. ther from them to the Church again, ta which they made ample Recompence by their Writings, and were great Ornaments to it in every Respect all their Lives long. Í knew them both very well, and am glad of this Opportunity, to mention them with that Respect which is due to both their Memories; whereof the Latter told me, that he had the Misfortune to lead Mr. Allen out of the Church to the Schism, but that Mr. Allen had the blessed Part to lead him out of the Schism to the Church again. It is to me a comfortable Presage, that God will not forsake the Church of England, nor suffer Toleration and the Gates of Hell to prevail against her, because he raises out of her People, Men to defend her, and adorn up more such continually, that those, who are misled by unauthorized Ministers, and

they are in, and after your Example, enter in at the right Door into her Fold, and declare, as you have bravely done, That you sincerely believe the Subject of your. Discourse to be a substantial Truth, nay even a first Principle of Christianity, and that without the couragious asserting thereof, the whole Christian Priesthood, and the Divine Authority of it, must be called in Question, and encourage every bold Intruder to ufurp the fa


cred Ministry, in Opposition to that Commissiön, which hath been constantly handed down from Christ and his Apostles to this very Day. In the same Place you say

sạy you hope, that none vested with this Divine Authority will fight against it

, &c. which if any Clergyman should do, in the Manner as you there mention, I could not but suspect, that he was one of those who took Gifts and Presents of the Dissenters, to let the Names of their Children, who had no other but Schif matical Lay-Baptisms, be Registred among the true Baptisms of the Church. This unwarrantable Practice, which you have observed to be scandalously practised in some Places, I can confirm to be true; For I knew some Ministers of this City (now dead) who were guilty of this Practice, and are gone to God to give an Account of it; and I my self, foon after I was presented to the Vicaridge of Alhallows Barkin, had several, and some very great Offers, from Dilsenters, to enter their Childrens Names, as baptiz'd, in the Parish Church Register; and a Parochial Priest of a great City in this Kingdom, who gave me a Visit about a Year since, did assure me, that all the Ministers of that Place, himself only excepted, were guilty of this execrable Practice; execrable I call it, because it is double Falsification of our Parochial Dip


tychs, as they are Registers and Records both of Church and State, and I think both Deprivation, and the Pillory, to be just Punishments for that Minister, who dares do fo great and mischievous a Wickedness, or suffer it to be done,

I say, I should be tempted to suspect any Clergyman, that should write in the Manner you mention, against you, to be one of that corrupt Sort, or at least of another, who to court the Favour and Applause of the Dissenters, either never preach in Defence of the Church against them, or if they do, they do it no otherwise than barely to shew, that the Church of England is a Safe Communion, and that those, who thro Mistake separated from it, would be in no Danger of Damnation if they returned to it. But to thew that Separation from it is SCHISM, and by Consequence a damning Sin, and that the Separatists of all forts from it, are, without the extraordiDary Mercy of God, in great and apparent Danger of Damnation, these Gentlemen love not to touch upon that Point, nor rise to that Heighth, which long before the Revolution occa Gioned the Distinction between High and Low Church-men, and the former to be called by ill, or ignorant Men, High-Flyers, Tantivies, and other such opprobrious Names. It was, I suppose, a


Reflection upon these Men, and the Indig. nation he had against their double Practices, which Provoked a Divine not very many Years since, to utter a Sarcasm upon

them from the Pulpit, in Words to this purpose, That somé (at the Time he spoke it) were become Fathers of the Church, who never were her true Sons.

Sir, I wish all Clergymen, who are concerned in either of these Remarks, would seriously consider your pious and seasonable Address to us in the Conclusion of your Appendix. We are all concerned, (as you beseech and conjure us to do,) to consider Our high and hóly Calling to the Priesthood, and to vindicate our unalienable Rights to administer the Holy Sacraments, and to let the People understand, that the Ministration of them is ESSENTIAL to our Office, and our Office essential to the Ministration of them; and that our long and general Silence in not asserting, and defending this great Iruth, hath, as you observe, been the occafion of much Ignorance among the People, of the Nature of Schism, and the direfúl Cons sequences of it, which some of our Order still are, as I am sure some have been, so averse (contrary to their Trust, and the Duty of it) to set before the People. I remem. ber, when some of the London Clergy, refolving to do this, as you now beseech us,


and for the fame Reasons', 'it"Was opposed by the free-thinking Divines, especially by one of them, whom I will not name, for no other Reason, but that'it would be cena füred as preaching up our selves; a Reason, whereof the Weakness and ill Consequences are shewn by an excellent Person, in the Preface to his Companion for the Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England; whére, to oblige the Clergy to instruct the People in the great Truth of Sacerdotal Million, and Authority to administer, the Sacraments, he wishes the Catechism of the Church might be continued, in a few Queftions and Answers, to shew, who only have Power to administer

the Holy Sacraments

. I need not name this worthy Gentleman, wliom God raifed up out of the People before you, to defend the Rights and Authority of the Priesthood, and who thinks it no more Dimunition, or Difhonour to him, to be thought one of the People with respect to the Church, than one of them with respect to the State.

In your Appendix to your Book, I think you have solidly and satisfactorily answer'd all the Objections that have been made à gainst the useful Subject of it, fince the first Edition, taking in your Second Tloughts, and the Explanation of your Design, and Meaning in fome Passages of

« PoprzedniaDalej »