A vindication of the ancient liturgie of the Church of England wherein the several pretended reasons for altering or abolishing the same, are answered and confuted
Hammond, Henry, 1605-1660.
Page  1

CHAP. I.

IN the Ordinance prefixt to the Directory (being almost wholly made up of forms of Repeal) there are onely two things worthy of any stay or consideration.

[Sect. 1] 1. The motives upon which the Houses of Parliament have been inclined to think it necessary to abolish the Book of Common-Prayer, and establish the Directory, and those are specified to be three. First the consideration of the manifold inconveniences that have risen by the Book in this Kingdom. 2. The resolution according to their Covenant, to re∣form Religion according to the word of God, and the best reformed Churches. 3. Their having consulted with the Learned, and Pious, and Reverend Divines to that purpose, from whence they conclude it necessary to abolish the Book.

[Sect. 2] To this conclusion inferr'd upon these premises, I shall confidently make this return, 1. That the conclusion is as illogicall as any that any Assembly of wise men have ever acknowledged themselves to be guilty of, no one of the three Motives being severally of strength to bear such a superstructure, and therefore all together being as unfufficient; for if the conclusion were onely of the prudence, or expedience, of taking it away, somewhat might be pretended for that inference from the premises, supposing them true: But when 'tis of necessity (and that twise repeated, and so not casually fallen from them) there must then be somewhat of precept divine in the premises to induce that necessity, or else it will never be induced: for I shall suppose it granted by them with whom I now dispute, that nothing is necessary in the worship of God, but what God hath prescribed, the necessity of precept being the onely one that can have place in this matter, and the necessitas medii, being most improper to be here pleaded. But that there is no such direct precept, so much as pretend∣ed to by those three motives it is clear, and as clear, that all together, do not amount to an interpretative precept. For that a lawfull thing though prest with manifold inconveniences should be removed, is no where commanded the lawfull Magistrate, but left to his prudence to judge whether there be not conveniences on the other side, which may coun∣terballance those inconveniences; much lesse is it commanded the infe∣riour Courts in despight of King and standing Law. For what ever of expedience; and so of prudence might be supposed to interpose, that may be sufficient to incline a Wise Magistrate to make a Law, but not any else, either to surp the power of a Law-maker, or to do any thing contrary to establish'd Laws; there being nothing that can justifie the least disobe∣dience Page  2 of Subjects to their Prince, or the Laws of the Kingdom, but that obligation to that one superiour Law of that higher Prince, our Father which is in heaven, which being supposed, 'tis not all the resolutions and Covenants in the world that can make it lawfull for any so to disobey, much lesse necessary, any more, then the saying Corban in the Gospel, ie. pretending a vow will free the Childe from the obligation of honouring or relieving his Father, or then Herod's vow made it lawfull to cut off the head of John the Baptist: and then how far the consultation with those Di∣vines may induce that necessity, will upon the same ground also be mani∣fest to any, especially that shall remember, with what caution that As∣sembly was by the Houses admitted to consult, and with what restraints on them, and professions, that they were call'd onely to be advisers, when they were required, but not to conclude any thing, either by a generall con∣currence, or by that of a Major part, any farther then the reasons which they should offer them, might preuail with them; to which purpose it was so ordered, that if any one man dissented from the rest of their Di∣vines, his opinion and reasons were as much to be represented to the Houses, as that other of the rest of the Assembly.

[Sect. 3] By this I conceive it appears, that I have not quarrell'd causelesly with the Logick of this conclusion, the premises pretending at most but motives of expedience, and so as unable to infer a necessity, as a Topicall ar∣gument is to demonstrate, or a particular to induce an universall. That which I would in charity guesse of this matter, as the cause of this mistake, is my not groundlesse suspicion, that when the Presbyterians had prepa∣red the premises, the Independents framed the conclusion, the former of these joyning at last with the other in a resolution of taking away the Book, but onely on prudentiall considerations; not out of Consci∣ence of the unlawfulnesse, and proportionably setting down those rea∣sons but prudentiall reasons; and the latter though restrained from putting conscience into the premises, yet stealing it secretly into the con∣clusion, and so each deceiving and being deceived by each-other, I am not sure that my conjecture is right in this particular, yet have I a rea∣son to insert it. I Because I find in many places of the Directory certain footsteps of this kind of composition and complyance, and mixture of those so distant sorts of Reformers. 2. Because the Presbyterians which have formerly appeared both in other and in this Kingdom (whose co∣py these present reformers of that party have transcribed) have con∣stantly avowed the lawfulnesse of Liturgy, and so cannot affirm any ne∣cessity of abolishing; witnesse Calvin himself (whom we shall anon have occasion to produce) and the practice of the Church of Geneva, and Page  3 neerer to our selves, witnesse those foure classes, which in Q. Elizabeths dayes, had set themselves up in this Kingdom. These had made com∣plaint to the Lord Burleigh against our Liturgy, and entertained hopes of obtaining his favour in that businesse about the yeer 1585. he de∣manded of them, whether they desired the taking away of all Liturgy, they answered, no, he then required them to make a better, such as they would desire to have setled in the stead of this. The first Classis did ac∣cordingly frame a new one, somewhat according to the Geneva form. But this the second Classis disliked, and altered in 600 particulars; that again had the fate to be quarrell'd by the third Classis, and what the third resolved on, by the fourth; and the dissenting of those Brethren, as the Division of tongues at Babel, was a fair means to keep that Tower then from advancing any higher. Nay even for our neighbours of Scot∣land themselves, what ever some of them of late have thought fit to do, since they became Covenanteers, (in animosity perhaps and opposition to that terrible mormo, the Liturgy sent to them from hence) we know that they were Presbyterians formerly, without seeing any necessity of abolishing Liturgy.

[Sect. 4] 'Tis no news to tell you that Mr Knox wrote a Liturgy, wherein there is frequent mention of the dayes of Common Prayer; and among many other particulars, these ensuing, worthy your remark. 1. Plain undis∣guised confessions of such faults, which this age, though as notoriously guilty of as they, will not put into publick forms, or leave upon record against themselves, as, That for the pleasure and defence of the French they*had violated their Faith, oft breaking the leagues of unity and concord, which their Kings and Governors had contracted with their Neighbours. And again, that *for the maintenance of their friendship, they have not feared to break their solemn∣ed oaths made unto others. To which I might adde, from another Confes∣sion, * that Whoredome and adultery are but pastimes of the flesh; crafty dealing, deceit and oppression is counted good conquest, &c. but that it would look too like a Satyre against some part of that Nation at this time thus to speci∣fie. 2. Their great sence and acknowledgement of obligations from this Kingdom of England, and not onely prayers for continuance of peace between England and Scotland, but even execrations on all (and so sure on those their successors of this age) which should continue or contri∣bute ought toward the breaking of it, the words are these. Seeing when*we by our power were altogether unable, &c. thou didst move the hearts of our neighbours (of whom we had deserved no such favour) to take upon them the com∣mon burthen with us, and for our deliverance, not onely to spend the lives of many, but also to hazard the estate and tranquillity of their Realm, Grant unto us that Page  4 with such reverence we may remember thy benefits received, that after this in our default, we never enter into hostility against the Nation of England, suffer us never to fall into that ingratitude and detestable unthankefulnesse, that we should seek the destruction and death of those whom thou hast made instruments to deliver us from the tyranny of mercilesse strangers. [the French.] Dissipate thou the counsels of such as deceitfully travail to stir the hearts of either Realm against the other, let their malicious practices be their own confusion, and grant thou of thy mercy, that love, and concord, and tranquillity may continue and encrease among the in∣habitants of this Island, even to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thirdly, that some of their forms of words are directly all one with ours, others with some small additions retaining our forms, as in the Prayer for the King, and the Exhortation before the Sacrament, and the adjuration of the Parties to be married will appear. Fourthly, that on their day of Fast (though that be with great care provided and ordered to be the Sunday twice together, quite contrary to the Canons and custome of the Primitive Church, yet) 'tis then appointed, that the Minister with the People shall prostrate themselves, &c. a posture of most humble bodily adoration, made to reproach those who will not so much as recom∣mend or direct any one kind of corporall worship or gesture of humi∣liation in all their Directory. The inlarging to this mention of particu∣lars I acknowledge to be a digression. But the presenting to your know∣ledge or remembrance this Scottish Liturgy is not; By which superadded to the former, and by much more which might from other Churches be added to that, it briefly appears what is or hath been the uniform judgement of the Presbyteriansin this matter, directly contrary to the concluded necessity of abolishing.

[Sect. 5] Which necessity on the other side the Independents have still assert∣ed, and for that and other such differences have avowed their resolu∣tions, to be the like scourges to them as they have been to us, professing (and ad homines, unanswerably proving the reasonablenesse of it) to eform the Geneva reformation (as a first rude and so imperfect draught just creeping out of Popery there, and therefore not supposeable to be compleat at the first assay) as the Presbyterians upon the same pretences have design'd and practiced on our English Reformation.

[Sect. 6] All this I have said against the concluded necessity in case, or on sup∣position that the premises were true, but now I must adde the falsnesse of those also, and then if the necessity will still remain, I must pronounce it a peice of Stoicall fatality, an insuperable unruly necessitie indeed, that will acknowledge no Laws, or bounds, or limits to confine it.

[Sect. 7] And first for the manifold inconveniences, if that phrase denote those Page  5 severals which in the Preface to the Directory are suggested, I shall in due place make it appear.

1. That there are no such inconveniencies.

2. That greater then those may easily, and hereafter shall be pro∣duced against their Directory, and consequently that, although true in∣conveniencies were supposed sufficient to infer a necessitie of abolition, yet such onely pretended names of inconveniency, such Chimaera's and Mormo's (especially over-ballanced with reall ones in the other scale) would be abundantly insufficient to do it. But if the manifold inconveni∣ences have a larger prospect to refer to, we shall conclude it very uncha∣ritable not to mention those, which might possible have had the same effect with us as with them, convinced us also to be their Proselytes, and in the meane time very unjust to put so uncertain an equivocall phrase into a law, which we have no Criterion or nomenclature to in∣terpret; but beyond all, very imprudent to mention and lay weight on such slight and such no inconveniencies afterward specified, when others might have been produced better able to beat the envy of the accusation.

[Sect. 8] As for your resolution, if it went no higher then the Covenant, and that but to reform Religion, according to the word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches, I am sure it cannot oblige, or so much as incline you to take away that Book, there being nothing in it. 1. Contrary to the designe of Reformation. 2. Contrary to the word of God, or 3. Contrary to the example of the best reformed Churches.

Not 1. to Reformation, for Reformation is as contrary to abolition of what should be reformed, as cure to killing; and if it be replyed, that the abolition of Liturgy, as unlawfull may be necessary to the reforming of Religion, I shall yeeld to that reply on that supposition, but then withall adde, that Liturgy must first be proved unlawfull, and that testified from divine infallible principles; which because it is not thorow this whole Book so much as pretended, both that and the second suggestion from the word of God must necessarily be disclaimed, and then the example of the best reformed Churches will soon follow, not onely because all other Reformed Churches ordinarily known by that Title, have some kind of Liturgy, and that is as contrary to abolition, as the continuing of ours without any change, but because no reformation, is to be preferr'd before that which cuts off no more then is necessary to be cut off, and which produces the Scripture rule, the sword of the Spirit for all such am∣putations; and therefore the Church of England, as it stands established by Law is avowable against all the Calumniators in the world, to be Page  6 the best and most exemplarie reformed; so far, that if I did not guesse of the sense of the Covenant more by the temper then words of the Cove∣nanteers, I should think men, that have Covenanted to reform after the example of the best Reformed Churches, indispensably obliged to conform to the King-Edward, or Queen-Elizabeth-English Reformation, the most regular perfect pattern that Europe yeeldeth.

[Sect. 10] As for the truth of the last affirmation that they have consulted with the Divines called together to that purpose, although I have no reason to doubt of it, yet this I know, that very many of the learned'st there present, were, immediately before their imbarking in that imployment, otherwise minded, and that therefore so sudden an universall change of minds savours either of some strong charm, or strange inconstancy, and I shall make bold to ask this Question of that whole number of Di∣vines, whether I should do them wrong in affirming, that there yet are not ten Divines in that number that think all Liturgy unlawfull, and consequently that it was necessary (not to reform, but) to abolish our Book, which is the stile of the Ordinance. If this challenge of mine may not be answer'd with a plain punctuall subscription of so many to the condemnation of all Liturgy as unlawfull, I am sure this is an Argu∣ment, ad homines, unanswerable. And the ground of my challenge, and of my specifying that number, is the relation we have oft had of the but seven dissenting Brethren, i. e. the but so many of the Independent Party among them, which upon my former ground I now suppose the onely mortall enemies to all Liturgy. But if I am mistaken, and this be the common sense of those Assemblers; then have I reason to adde to my former complaints this other of their so over-cautious expressions, which through this whole Book hath not once intimated either the whole or any part to be unlawfull, but onely quarrel'd the inconveniences, which supose it otherwise to be lawfull.

[Sect. 11] And thus much might suffice of the first observable in the Ordinance, the concluding this abolition to be necessary. But because I would fore∣see and prevent all possible rejoynder, and because I would here inter∣pose some considerations which would otherwise take up a larger place, I shall suppose the Presbyterians may have another notion of the word Necessary, of a lower importance then this under which we have hitherto proceeded against them (though still the Independents, whose judgement is not wont to be despised in the framing of Ordinances, can∣not be imagined to take it in any other) and that is, that it shall signifie onely a Politicall necessity, or that which is necessary, if not to the being, yet to the well being, i. e. to the Peace and presperity of this Kingdom. Now Page  7 because there be two parts of every Christian Kingdom, a Seat and a Church, and so two branches of Policy, Civill and Ecclesiasticall, I shall not undertake to be so far Master of their sence, as to pitch upon either as that wherein they affirm this abolition necessary, but say somewhat to both, and to shew that it is not necessary in either sence of Politicall ne∣cessity.

[Sect. 11] And first that the abolition of Liturgy cannot have so much as a be∣nigne influence on the State, much lesse be necessary to the prosperity of it, I shall infer onely by this vulgar aphorisme, that any notable or grand mutation, if from some higher principle it appear not necessarie to be made, will be necessary not to be made, at least not to be made 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, altogether, but onely by degrees, and prudent dispensings. I shall not any farther enlarge on so plain a theme, then to mention one proportion or resemblance of this truth in the naturall body ob∣served by the Physitians in the cure of an hydropicall patient, who, when the body lyes covered with such a deluge of water, that it proves necessary to make some sluce to let out the burthenous superfluity, do not yet proceed by any loose way of letting out all at once, because the violent effluvium, or powring out of Spirits constantly consequent to that, would certainly destroy the Patient, and endanger him on dry ground, as much, or more, then in the midst of those waters; but the method is a 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the making so small a hole in the skin, that shall drain the body by insensible degrees by drawing out a little at once, and never above a pint at a time, though many gallons are designed to passe by this way of evacuation. I shall adde no more to this resem∣blance, but that the totall violent illegall abolition of Liturgy in a set∣led Church, is certainly of this nature, and being superadded to the change of the Government into a Form quite contrary to that which for 1600 yeers hath prevailed in the universall Church of Christ, there setled by the Apostles, may be allow'd the stile of insignis mutatio, a mu∣tation of some considerable importance to a Christian state, which be∣ing admitted altogether without any preparative alleviating steps, will (by the rapid sudden motion at least, if there were nothing else) have a dangerous influence upon the whole body, of which the cunningest di∣viner cannot at this distance foresee the effects, or prevent the emergent mischiefs which succeeding time may discover. If it be said, that this abolition is now necessary to conclude the present War, and that be affirmed to be the Politick necessity here meant, I answer, that if it were able to do that, I should acknowledge it the strongest argument that could be thought on to prove it Politically necessary, this War being so unnecessa∣rily Page  8 destructive, and any thing that could rid us of that, so strongly con∣venient, that if Conscience would permit the use of it, I should allow it the title of necessary. But to make short of this, no man can believe that these Armies were raised or continued to subdue the Common-Prayer-Book, for, besides that there was a time when 'twas found necessary for the Houses to declare, that they had no designe to take away that Book, for fear the people should be disobliged by it, and another when the Earl of Essex his Army exprest some kindnesse to it; 'Tis now confest by the Pretenders of both Perswasions, Presbytrians and Independents, one that they do not, the other that they must not take up Arms for Re∣ligion, and so that kind of politicall necessity of abolishing the Book is, and by themselves must be disclaimed also.

[Sect. 12] Now for the second branch of this necessity, that which is in order to Ecclesiasticall or Church-policy, we shall take liberty in this place to con∣sider this matter at large, because it may perhaps save us some pains hereafter, and because their pretending of this necessity of doing what they do, is a tentation, if not a challenge to us to do so, and then we shall leave it to the Reader to judge what grounds may hence be fetcht for this pretended necessity. And this must be done by laying together the se∣verall things that are in our Liturgy, and are purposely left out in the Directory, and so are as it were the Characteristicall note, by which the Directory is by the Assemblers designed to differ from our Liturgie, as so much food from poyson, Christian from Antichristian (if Necessity be pro∣perly taken) or (if improperly for that which is necessary onely to the well being) as a more perfect and more profitable, from that which, if it be so at all, is not either (in their opinion) in so high a degree.

[Sect. 13] Now the severals of our Liturgie which are purposely avoided in this Directory, I have observed to be principally these; Of those that are more extrinsecall, six.

  • 1. The prescribing of Forms, or Liturgie it self.
  • 2. Outward or bodily worship.
  • 3. Ʋniformity in performing Gods service.
  • 4. The Peoples bearing some part in the service.
  • 5. The dividing the Prayers into severall Collects, and not putting them all into one continued Prayer.
  • 6. The Ceremonies of kneeling in the Communion, of Crosse in Baptisme, of Ring in Marriage, &c.

Then of those that are intrinsecall, and parts of the Service.

  • 1. The Absolution, in the beginning of the Service next after the Confession, and before the Communion, and in the Visitation of the sick.
  • Page  [unnumbered] 2. The Hymnes, the Introite, the Te Deum, &c.
  • 3. The use of the Doxologie or giving glory to God.
  • 4. The Confession of the Faith in the Creeds.
  • 5. The frequent repeating of the Lords Prayer, & the prayers for the King
  • 6. The observations of divers Feasts commemorative, not onely of Christ, but of Saints departed, and assigning Services, Lessons, Epistles, and Gospels, and Collects to them.
  • 7. The reading the Commandments, and the Prayers belonging to that Service.
  • 8. The order of the Offertory.
  • 9. Private Baptisme.
  • 10. Aprescript form of Catechisme.
  • 11. Confirmation.
  • 12. The solemnities of burying the dead.
  • 13. Thanksgiving after Child-birth.
  • 14. Communion of the sick.
  • 15. The Service containing the Communion.
  • 16. The observation of Lent, and the Rogation, and I would adde also of the Ember weeks.

This may seem too loose a task, to enlarge on each of these, and yet we are in justice to this Book, and for answer to the pretended Necessity of abolishing it, obliged to do so, as breifly as it may, onely so farre as may serve to give the Reader a view of the lawfullnesse at least, and withall of the usefulnesse of each of these, and consequently of the no appearance of reason why it should be thought necessary to abolish any one of them, much lesse of all the rest for that ones sake.

[Sect. 14] And first for the prescribing of Forms of Prayer, or Liturgy it self, we shall referre it to judgement whether it be necessary in Ecclesiasticall Po∣licy, i. e. strongly conducing to the benefit and edification of a Church to interdict or banish it out of the Kingdome, when we have proposed these few things concerning it. 1. The example of God himself and holy men in the Old Testament, prescribing set Forms of blessing the people to be used daily by Aaron and his Sons, Numb. 6. 23. The Lord blesse thee and keep thee, &c. set Forms for the people to use themselves, Deut. 26. 3. 5. Thou shall say before the Lord, A Syrian, &c. as also at the going out of their Armies, Deut. 20. 3. and of Thanksgiving, Exod. 15. 1. made by Moses, and it seems learnt by-heart by all the people; and in the same words used again by Mirian, v. 21. and so it appears, Isa. 38. 20. that Hezekiah did not onely form a set thanksgiving, but used it all the dayes of his life. And the same Hezekiah, 2. Chron. 29. 30. in his thanksgiving commanded the Levites also to sing praises to God with the words of Page  10David and Asaph, i. e. Forms already prepared to his hand by those sa∣cred Pen-men.

[Sect. 15] 2. The practice of the Jews since Ezra's time constantly using set Forms of Prayer by way of Liturgie; For this I shall produce no other proof then the testimony of a learned Member of their Assembly, Mr. Selden in in his notes on Eutychius, vouching all his affirmation out of the ancient records of the customes of the Jewish Nation from whom, that they may be of authority with you, I shall transcribe these severals, That certain forms of praying, which were to be used by every one daily by Law, or re∣ceived custome, were instituted by Ezra and his house, i. e. his consistory. That the Jews about the end of the Babylonish captivity had their ancient*manners as well as language so depraved, that without a Master they ei∣ther were not able to pray as they ought, or had not confidence to do so. And * therefore that for the future, they might not recede either in the matter of their prayers (through corruption) or expression (through ignorance) from that form of piety commanded them by God, this remedy was applyed by the men of the great Synagogue, Ezra & his 120. Collegues, (where by the way is observable one speciall use and benefit of set Forms, not onely to provide for the ignorance, but to be an hedge to true Religion, to keep out all mix∣tures or corruptions out of a Church; To which purpose also the Councels in the Christian Church have designed severall parts which we still retain in our Liturgie, a reall and a valuable benefit, if it were considered.) That*of this kind there were 18. Prayers or Benedictions, called in the Gemara composed or appointed Prayers. That the three first of these, and the three last respected the glory of God the twelve other intermediate were spent on those prime things that were necessary, either to the whole People, or every particular man, (proportionable to which perhaps it is that our Saviour who accommodated most institutions of his Baptisme and his last Supper, &c. to the customes of the Church, did also designe his prayer, as it is set down in Matthew, though not according to the number of the Jewish prayers, yet to the generall matter & form of them, the three first branches of it, and the conclusion, which may passe for three branches more, referring to the glory of God, and the other intermediate to our private and publick wants.) That these Prayers were to be learnt by every man that the Pray∣ers of the unskilfull might be as perfect as of the most eloquent. That every*act of praying was begun with, Psal. 51. 15. O Lord open thou our lips & our mouthes shall shew forth thy praise (the very form of words still retain∣ed in St James his Liturgy, and in ours before the Introite) and concluded with Psal. 19. the last verse, Into thy hands, &c. That of these 18 Prayers*no one was to be omitted, that if any other were added, they were counted of Page  11 like free-will offerings, as the other were answerable to the prescribed and were called by that name. That the additions might be made onely in those Prayers which concern their own wants, because those were capable of va∣riation, but not to those that concern'd God. That on Sabbath & Feast-dayes no man might use a voluntary prayer. That about the time of the Jews de∣struction*Gamliel and his Sanhedrim added a nineteenth Prayer, and af∣ter him others, so that at length the daily service grew to an 100 Prayers. That it is likely that the Pagans come to use their set Forms in their Sa∣crifice*also, (and perhaps the Mahumedans too) by the example of the Jewish Church, for which he there referres the Reader to many Books of the Learned. I conceive the authoritie of this Gentleman hath not been de∣spised by the House of Commons, and the Assemblers (when it hath chanced to agree with their designes or interest) and therefore I have thus farre, as an Argument ad homines, insisted on it.

[Sect. 16] 3. The not onely practice, but precept of Christ in the New Testament, who did not only use himself a set form of words in prayer, three times to∣gether using the same words. Matth. 26. 44. and upon the Crosse in the same manner, praying in the Psalmists words, onely changed into the Sy∣riack dialect, which was then the vulgar: but also commanded the use of those very words of his perfect form, which it seems he meant not onely as a pattern but a form it self (as the Standard weight, is not only the mea∣sure of all weights, but may it self be used) Luke 11. 2. when you pray, say, Our Father, &c. which precept no man can with a good conscience ever obey, that holds all set forms necessary to be cast out of the Church.

[Sect. 17] 4. The practice, not onely of John the Baptist, who taught his disciples to pray, Luke 11. 1. (which occasioned Christs Disciples to demand, and him to give them a form of Prayer) but especially of the Apostles, of which we find intimations, 1. Cor. 14. 26. When you come together every one of you hath a Psalm, which sure referres to some of the Psalms of David or Asaph, used then ordinarily in their devotions, (and that as even now I said, authorized by the example of Christ himself upon the Crosse, who it is thought repeated the whole 22. Psalm, it is certain, the first verse of it, My God, my God, why hast thou for saken me) and so certainly a set form, and that of Prayer too (of which thanksgivings and Praises are a part.) But because every one had his severall Psalm, it is therefore reprehended by the Apostle, as tending to confusion, and by that consequence, S. Pauls judgement is thence deducible for the joyning of all in the same form, as being the onely course tending to edification in the end of that verse, and then sure 'twould be hard, that that which the Apostle conceived the onely course for edifying, should now be necessarie to be turn'd out of the Page  12 Church as contrary to edification. Farther yet, 'tis clear by text, that the Apostles when they met together, to holy duties (such are Fasting, Pray∣er, receiving the Sacrament) continued very long time, sometimes a whole day together. This being too much to be alwayes continued in the Church, and unsuteable to every mans businesse, is said to have been the occasion that S. James first made choice of some speciall Prayers most frequently by them used, which was after called his Liturgie, which (or some other in the disguise of that) the Greek Church still use on solemn dayes. This also being of the longest for every dayes use, St Basil is said to have shortned, and that again St Chrisostome; how certain these re∣ports are, I shall not take upon me to affirm, but onely adde, that the Greek Church, who are most likely to know the truth of it by their re∣cords, do retain all these three Liturgies, and would loudly laugh at any man that should make doubt whether St James, St Basil, and St Chryso∣stome, were not the Authours of them. 2. That the judgement of that Church (if they are deceived also, and may not be thought worthy to be heeded by our Assemblers) is yet an argument of great authoritie to any prudent man, if not that these Liturgies were purely the same with those which were written by that Apostle, and those holy men, yet that there were such things as Liturgies of their penning. The like might be added of that short form of St Peters, which alone they say was used in the Roman Church for a great while, till after by some Popes it was aug∣mented, and the same of St Marks Liturgy. I am sure St Augustine speaking of some forms retained in the Church, and still to be found in our Liturgie, particularly that of Sursum corda, Lift up your hearts, &c. faith, that they are verba ab ipsis Apostolorum temporibus petita, words fetcht from the times of the Apostles, which supposes that they did use such Forms. And for that particular mentioned by St Augustine, it is agreeable to the Constitutions of the Apostles, l. 8. c. 16. (which collection if it be not so ancient as it pretends, doth yet imitate Apostolicall antiquity) and so in St James's, and Basils and Chrysostomes Liturgy in the same words with our Book as farre as to the word [bounden] and for many other such particular Forms used by us we find them in Cyril of Jerusalems Ca∣techisme, one of the ancientest Authours we have, and then that it should be necessary for the Church to turn out what the Apostles had thus brought into it, will not easily be made good by our Assemblers.

[Sect. 18] Fifthly, The practice of the Universall Church from that time to this, which is so notorious to any that is conversant in the writings of the Ancient Fathers, and of which so many testimonies are gathered toge∣ther for many mens satisfaction by Cassander, and other writers of the Page  13Liturgica, that 'twere a reproach to the Reader to detain or importune him with testimonies of that nature. To omit the practice of *Constantine, who prescribed a form for his Souldiers (a Copy of which we have in Euseb. de vit. Const. l. 4. c. 20.) I shall one∣ly mention two grand testimonies for set Forms, one in the 23 Canon of the third Councell of Carthage, Quascunque sibipre∣ces aliquis describet noniis utatur, ise priùs oas cum instructi∣oribus fratribus contulerit: No man may use any Prayers which he hath made, unlesse he first consult with other learneder Chri∣stians about thē. And the other more punctuall: Concil: Milev. c. 12. Placuit ut precesquae probatae fuerintin Concilio ab omnibus celebrentur. Nec alia omninò dicātur in Ecclesia, nisi quae à pru∣dentioribus tractantur, vel comprobatae in Synode fuerint, no for∣tè aliquid contra fidem, aut per ignorantiam, aut per minus stu∣dium sit compositum. It was resolv'd on, that the Prayers that were approv'd in the Councell should be used by all, & that no o∣ther should be said in the Church but those that had been weighed by the more prudent, or approv'd in a Synod, lest any thing, either through ignor∣ance or negligence should be dōne against the Faith. Instead of such Citati∣ons (and because whatsoever argument is brought from that Topick of Ecclesiasticall tradition, is now presently defamed with the title of Popish and Antichristian, because forsooth Antichrist was a working early in the Apostles time, and every thing that we have not a mind to in antiquity, must needs be one of those works) I shall rather choose to mention ano∣ther, as a more convincing argument ad homines, and that is,

[Sect. 19] Sixthly, The judgement and practice of the Reformed in other King∣domes, even Calvin himself in severall ample testimonies, one in his Notes upon Psal. 20. 1. another in his Epistle to the Protector. I shall not give my self licence to transcribe these, or multiply more such Testimo∣nies, onely for the honour not onely of Liturgie in generall, but parti∣cularly of our Liturgie, 'twill be worth remembring that Gilbertus a German, many yeers since, in a book of his, propounds our Book of pray∣er * for a sample of the Forms of the ancient Church; And for the purity of it, through Reformation, that Crnmer procured the King Edwards Com∣mon-Prayer-Book to be translated into Latin, & sent it to Bucer, & requi∣red his judgement of it, who answer'd, that there was nothing in it, but what was taken out of the word of God, or which was not against it, com∣modē acceptum, being taken in a good sence, some things indeed, saith he, quae nisi quis, &c. unlesse they be interpreted with Candor, may seem not so agree∣able to the word of God, & which unquiet men may wrest ute matter of Page  14 contention. As may be seen at large in Bucers Scripta Anglicana. Upon this occasion this Book of King Edwards was again survey'd, and in those particulars, that were Subject to such Cavills, corrected. After which time the quarrels about that Book were generally with the Papists (not so much with the opposite extreame (and therefore John Ould in Queen Maries dayes wrote against them in defence of it, and of the King Ed∣wards Reformation. And Cranmer made a challenge, that if he might be permitted by the Queen to take to him P. Martyr, and foure or five more, they would enter the lists with any Papists living, and defend the Common-Prayer-Book to be perfectly agreeable to the Word of God, and the same in effect which had been for 1500 yeers in the Church of Christ. This for the reputation of the Book. Then for the fruit and be∣nefit that by the use of it redounded to Christians, take an essay by Mr John Hullier, Fellow of Kings Colledge in Cambridge, who was Martyr'd in Queen Maries dayes, Ann. 1557. and being at the stake among many other books that were thrown into the fire to him, it hapned that a Com∣mon-Prayer-Book fell between his hands, which he joyfully receiving opened, and read till the flame and smoke suffered him not to see any more, and then he fell to prayer, holding his hands up to heaven, and the book betwixt his arms next his heart, thanking God for that mercy in sending him it, the relation is Mr Foxes, and from thence the plea au∣thentick, that the tree that bare wholsome fruit, should not be cut down by*the law, Deut. 10. 20. even when Warre was to be made on a City, and as Maimon addes, l. de Idol. though it were worshipt for an Idoll, and if that which was then of so dear esteem be now so necessary to be cast our, it is an ill indication of the times into which we are fallen.

[Sect. 20] Seventhly, The reasons on which the very Heathens themselves took up the same practice, which was universall (it seems) through all the world, more Catholick then the Church it self. To this purpose beside those Au∣thors which Mr Selden refers to, I shall onely adde these three testimonies, first of Plato, l. 7. de leg. where he commands, that what ever Prayers or Hymnes the Poets composed to the Gods, they should first shew them to the Priests (as if they were in a manner leprous till then) before they publisht them, let they should ask evil things in stead of good (an infirmity that these dayes are very subject unto) The second in Thucyd. l. 6. p. 434. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Set forms for severall occasions, and a common joynt sending them up to heaven. The third in Alexander ab Alex. l. 4 c. 17. that the Gentiles read their Prayers out of a Book before their Sacrifices, Nè quid praeposterè dicatur, aliquis ex script praeire & ad verbum referre solitus est: That the work might not Page  15 be done proposterously. Which two reasons of theirs, the one lest they should stray in the matter of their Prayers, the other lest offend in the manner, may passe for Christian reasons, as seasonable with us, as they were among them. And no necessitie that those reasons should be despised by us neither.

[Sect. 21] Eightly, The irrationall concludings, or shortnesse of discourse of those which are against set forms, especially in two things; the first ob∣served by D. Preston (whose memory is, I hope, not lost among these Assemblers) and made use of in a Printed work of his to the confuting of them. That while they in opposition to set Forms require the Minister to conceive a Prayer for the Congregation, they observe not, that the whole Congregation is by that means as much stinted, and bound to a set Form, to wit, of those words which the Minister conceives, as if he read them out of a book. 2. That the persons with whom we have now to deal, though they will not prescribe any Form of Prayer, yet venture to * prescribe the matter of it in these words, pag. 14. the Minister is to call up∣on the Lord to this effect. Now why the prescription of the matter is not the stinting of the Spirit, as well as the form of words (unlesse the Spirit, like the Heathen Mercury be the God of eloquence, and be thought to deal in the words onely) or why the promise of dabitur in illâ horâ, it shall be given you in that houre, should not be as full a promise for matter, as for expressions; especially when that Text forbids care or provision, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 not onely how, but what they should speak, and the promise is pe∣culiarly * for the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, it shall be given you what you shall speak; and this is it, that is attributed to the Spirit, v. 20. (from whence if I should conclude, that the holy Ghost taught the Disciples onely the matter of their answer; and they themselves were left to put it in form of words, there is nothing in that Text against that assertion; and that it was so in their penning of the New Testament, many probable Arguments might be produced if it were now seasonable,) and consequently, why the prescribing of one should not be unreasonable in them, that condemne all prescribing of the other, I confesse is one of those things which my charity hath made me willing to impute to the shortnesse of discourse, because I am unwilling to lay any heavier charge upon it.

[Sect. 22] From all which considered, and a great deal more which might be added, from the usefulnesse of known Forms to those, whose under∣standings, are not quick enough to go along with unknown, and if they have no other, are faine ofttimes to return without performing any part of that so necessary duty of prayer in the Church, from the experience of the effects of the contrary doctrine, the many scandalous Page  16 passages which have fallen from Ministers in their extemporary Prayers (of which meer pity and humanity, civility and mercy to Enemies, re∣strains us from inserting a large Catalogue) and the no manner of ad∣vantage above that which set Forms may also afford, but onely of sa∣tisfaction to the itching eare, exercise and pleasure to the licentio•• tongue, and the vanity of the reputation of being able to perform that office so fluently (which yet is no more then the Rabbins allow Achito∣phel, that he had every day three new Forms of prayer) or having a plen∣tifull measure of the Spirit; which is believed to infuse such eloquence, I shall now conclude it impossible that any humane eye should discern 〈◊〉Necessitie, in respect of Ecclesiasticall policy, edifying the Church, why all Liturgie should be destroyed, not wash't nor purg'd with Sope, suc any Reformation would be, but torn and consumed with nitre, for suc is abolition, why it should suffer this Ostracisme, unlesse as Aristides di for being too vertuous) be thus vehemently first declaimed, and then b▪∣nish'd out of the Church.

[Sect. 23] Secondly, for outward bodily worship, 'tis particularly prohibited by the Directory at one time, at the taking of our seats or places when we enter th Assembly, (directly contrary to that of Iidor si quis veniat cùm lectio cele∣bratur*adoret tantùm Deum: If any come in when the Lesson is a reading let him onely perform adoration to God, & hearken to what is read) & neve so much as recommended at any time, nor, one would think, permitted i any part of their publick service, like the Persians in Strabo, l. 15. that ne¦ver offer'd any part of the flesh to the Gods in their sacrifices, kept all th to themselves, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, supposing the Gods would b content with the souls, which in the blood were powred out and sacri¦ficed to their honour, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 they said that the Gods wanted and desired the souls for a sacrifice, b not any thing else; of which people Herodotus, l. 1. hath observed that they had neither Templars nor Altar, and laugh'd at them which built either but went to the top of some hill or other, and there sacrificed, prefe¦ring such naturall Altars before any other. The former of these is th avowed Divinity of these men (and might perhaps have been attende with the latter too, were it not that there be so many Churches alread built conveniently to their hands) in stead of which, our Liturgie hat thought fit not onely to recommend but prescribe bodily worship; fi•• by directing in the Rubrick what part of service shall be performed kneel¦ing, then by reading the Venite, where all encourage and call up one th others to worship, and fall down, and kneel, &c. to worship i. e. adore, whic peculiarly notes bodily worship, and so surely the falling down, and kneel¦ing Page  17 before the Lord. And of this I shall say, that it is 1. an act of obedience to that precept of glorifying God in our bodies, as well as souls. 2. A transcribing of Christs copy, who kneeled, and even prostrated himself in prayer, of many holy men in Scripture, who are affirmed to have done so (and that affirmation written for our example) and even of the Publican, who though standing yet by standing afar off, by not looking up, by striking his breast, did clearly joyn bodily worship to his prayer, of [Lord be mer∣cifull to me a sinner] used at his coming into the Temple, and in that po∣sture thrived better then the Pharisee in his loftier garbe, went away more justified, saith our Saviour, as a vessel at the foot of a hill, will (say the Artists) receive and contain more water, then the same or the like vessell * on the top of it would be able to do (and he that shall do the like, that shall joyn adoration of God, and nothing but God, to the use of that or the like servent ejaculation at his entrance into Gods house, will sure have Christs approbation of the Publicans behaviour, to justifie him from any charge of superstition in so doing) and besides 3. the most agreeable humble gesture, and so best becoming, and * evidencing, and helping the inward performance of that most lowly dutie of Prayer, and consequently that it may be charged with blas∣phemy, as well and as properly, as with superstition, and probably would be so, if the latter were not the more odious of the two: and indeed why kneeling or bowing should be more lyable to that censure, then either mentall or orall prayer, there is no reason imaginable, it being as possible that one may be directed to a false object (and so become Idolatrous, or superstitious in the true notion of those words (as they denote the worship of Idols, or dead men,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or superstites) as the other, and (for the improper notion of Supersti∣tion (the one again as much capable of being an excesse in Religion (the mind or tongue being as likely to enlarge and exceed as the body) or of using a piece of false Religion, as the other, the bodily worship duly per∣formed to God, being the payment of a debt to God (and no doubt ac∣ceptable, when it is paid with a true heart) and no way an argument of want, but a probable evidence of the presence and cooperation of inward devotion, as I remember Nazianzen saith of his Father, Or. 8. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, He shewed a great deal in the outside, but kept the greater treasure within in the invisible part. And on the other side, the stiffnesse of the knee, an argument of some eminent defect, if not of true piety, yet of somewhat else, and Christs prediction, John 4. that the time should come that the worshippers should worship God in spirit and truth, (being not set in opposition to bodily worship, but to the ap∣propriating Page  18 it to some singular places, Jerusalem or that Mountain) not producible as any apology or excuse for such omission. To these brief inti∣mations I shall need adde no more, when the conclusion that I am to in∣ferre is so moderate, being onely this, that it is not necessary to turn all bowing, or kneeling, or bodily worship out of the Church, (were there any superstition in any one or more gestures, this were too great a severi∣ty, to mulct the Church of all, above the proportion of the most unli∣mited arbitrary Court, whose amercements must alwayes be within the compasse of salvo contenemente, which this will not be, if there be no com∣petency of bodily worship left behind) and that the Liturgie doth better to prescribe it at fit times, then the Directory to omit all mention of it at all times, unlesse by way of dislike and prohibition. Which conclusion will be the more easily evinced against them, by asking them whether in their Family-Parlour-Prayers; or in their private Closet-prayers, they do not approve and practice that gesture; which as I believe in charity they do, so I must from thence infer, that by them the house of God, is the onely place thought fit to be despised. And if it be replyed, that the Di∣rectory forbids not kneeling, but onely commands it not, leaving it free to use or not to use. I answer. 1. That the effect of this liberty is very remarkable among them, and equall to that of a prohibition, no man almost of their perswasion ever kneeling in their Churches. 2. That the never so much as recommending it, is very near a forbidding of it. 3. That bowing or adoration is directly forbidden once (which by the way, is as much the defining of a Ceremony, viz. that of standing or going up∣right, and so as contrary to the Independants perswasions, and to the great clamorous complaint for Liberty in Ceremonies, as any prescripti∣on of kneeling or bowing can be.) 4. That kneeling also is at the recei∣ving of the Sacrament forbidden, by necessity of consequence, sitting be∣ing prescribed, and therefore that that reply or excuse is false also. And so now what speciall advantage this is like to bring in to this Church of ours, to have the bodies of negligent, or prophane, or Factious men left (without any so much as an admonition) to their own inclinations and so what depth of Ecclesiasticall policy there was which made this change so necessary, I desire now may be judged.

[Sect. 24] Thirdly, For uniformity in that Service; (which our Liturgie labours to set up, by prescribing the manner of it, but the Directory hath taken away by leaving all to the chance of mens wills, which can no more be thought likely to concurre in one form, then Democritus's Atomes to have met together into a world of beautifull Creatures, without any hand of providence to dispose them) it hath certainly the approbation of all Page  19 wise men, and command of St Paul, 1 Cor. 14. 40. in that grand place, Let all things be done decently, and in order. Of which I conceive the clear importance to be, that all be done in the Church according to custome and appointment. The former implyed in 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, (custome being the onely rule of decency, and therefore the indecency of wearing long hair, is proved by being against nature, i. e, saith Suidas in the Scripture phrase, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a custome of some continuance in that place, and thereupon St Paul thinks it enough against an Ecclesiasticall usage, and that which might supersede all strife about it, 1 Cor. 11. 16. [we have no such customes, &c.]) and the latter in plain words 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, according to order or ap∣pointment (for so the words literally import) and then upon these two grounds is uniformitie built, and necessarily results, where all that is done in the Church is ruled by one of these, by custome, or by Law, which being here commanded by St. Paul, is a proof of the more then lawful∣nesse of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉prescription of Ceremonies in a Church, and of uniformity therein. And then what necessitie there is or can be that St Pauls com∣mand shall be so neglected, all care of uniformitie so disclaimed, all 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, constitution, or ordinance, for any Ecclesiasticall matter (unlesse their ordinance against all such constitutions) so solemnly disavowed, it will be hard to imagine, or guesse, unlesse it be on purpose to observe Master Prynnes rule of Conforming the Church to the State, to fill one as full of disorder and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and confusion as the other. I remember a saying of Socrates which Plato and Cicero record from him, Mutatâ Musicâ mu∣tantur & mores: that the change of a kinde of Musick, had a great influ∣ence on mens minds, and had a generall change of manners consequent to it. I conceive uniformitie in Gods service to be parallel to Musick, being it self an outward concord, or harmony of the most different affections; and that that should be not onely changed, but lost, I cannot understand any necessity, unlesse it be that some such like effects may be wrought in Religion also.

[Sect. 25] For the fourth, the Peoples bearing some part in the service (whether by way of response in the Prayers, and hymnes, or by reading every other verse in the Psalm, mentioned in Theodorets story, l. 2. c. 24. where speak∣ing of Flavianus and Diodorus, he saith of them, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. They divided the Quire of Singers into two parts, and appointed them to sing the Psalms successively, which custome began by them (who, saith he were admirable men, & labour'd extreamly to stir up all men to Piety, & to that end invented this) 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, prevaild over the whole world, or by way of mutuall charity, returning a prayer Page  20 for the Priest, who began one peculiarly for them; which Innocentius re∣ferres to, in his letter to Aurelius and Augustino, calling the communes & alternas preces, to which he there attributes more force, quàm privatis, then to private, or by way of following the Presbyter in Confession of sins, both at the beginning of the Service, and before the Communion; or in Profes∣sion of Faith in the Creeds, wherein every the meanest Christian is to have his part;) it is certainly designed by the Church, from the example of pure antiquity, to very gainfull uses, to quicken devotion, which the length of continued hearing may have leave to dull and slacken, and to recall those thoughts which may upon the like temptation have diverted to other objects; in a word, to engage every one to be made no idle of unprofitable Spectator of the Service: and as long as there is still need of that help to these so necessary ends, and not the least shew or pretence of objection against it, how necessarie it can be to reject it wholly, and lay all the task upon the Priest, and not require so much as an Amen (which it seems was in fashion in St Pauls time) of the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Lay person, I leave to the most prejudicate Reader to give sentence for me.

[Sect. 26] As for the Letany, wherein the People are more exercised then in any other part of the Service, it is certainly designed to make it more propor∣tionable to the title bestowed on it by the Ancients of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. earnest or intense Prayer, and in Methodius,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, earnest Petitions, in the Greek Liturgie, simply 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, intense or earnest) from Act. 12. 5. Luke 22. 44. This continuall joyning of the people in every passage of it, tending very much both to the improving and evidencing that fervor and intention, which can never be more necessary then throughout that Ser∣vice; of which I shall in passing say these three things, and justifie them against any gain-sayer, that there is not extant any where, 1. a more particular excellent enumeration of all the Christians either private or common wants, as far as is likely to come to the cognisance of a Congre∣gation; nor secondly, a more innocent blamelesse Form, against which there lies no just objection, and most of the unjust ones that have been made, are reproachfull to Scripture it self, from whence the passages ex∣cepted against are fetcht, as that particularly of Praying for Gods mercy upon all men, from 1. Tim. 2. 1. nor thirdly, a more artificiall composure for the raising that zeal, and keeping it up throughout, then this so defamed part of our Liturgie; for which and other excellencies undoubtedly it is, (and not for any Conjuring or Swearing in it) that the Devil hath taken care that it should drink deepest of that bitter cup of Calumnie and Reviling, which it can no way have provoked, but onely as Christ did the reproach of the diseased man, What have I to do with Page  21 thee? &c. when he came to exorcize and cast out the Devill that possest him. And for this to be thrown out of the Church, sure there is no other necessity, then there was that there should be Scandal and Heresies in it, onely because the Devil and his Factors would have it so.

[Sect. 27] 5. For the dividing of Prayers into divers Collects or Portions, and not putting all our Petitions into one continued Prayer, these advantages it hath to give it authority, 1. the practice of the Jews, whose Liturgie was dispensed into Lessons, &c. and 18 Collects, or short Prayers. 2. The exam∣ple of Christ prescribing a short Form, and in that, saith St Chrisostome,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, teaching us the measure or length due to each Prayer of ours, Hom: de Annf. 965, and setting a mark of Heathenisme, Mat. 6. and of Pharisaisme, Matth. 23. 14. on their long Prayers. 3. The ad∣vice of the Ancients, who tell us St Peters Form, used for a great while in the Roman Church, was a short one, and that Christ and S Paul com∣manded us to make our Prayers, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, short and frequent, and with little distances between. And so Epiphanius.*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: orat. 6. 24. directs to offer our Petitions, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, with all frequencie; and Cassian, de instit. mon. l. 2. 10 from the universall consent of them, Ʋtilius censent breves orationes sed creberrimas fieri: The way that is resolved to be most profitable, is to have short Prayers, but very thick or frequent. And he addes a consideration which prompted them to this reso∣lution: Ut Diaboli insidiantis jacula succinctâ brevitate vitemus: That by that means the Devils darts which he is wont to find and steal his time to shoot in to our breasts, may by the brevitie of our Prayers be prevented. To these many more might be added, but that the no-advantage on the other side above this (save onely the reputation of the labour, and patience of speaking, or hearing so much in a continued course, in one breath as it were) will save us the pains of using more motives to perswade any, that sure it is not necessarie to exchange this pleasant easie course of our Litur∣gie, for the redious toilsome lesse profitable course in the Directory.

[Sect. 28] Sixthly, for the Ceremonies used in the severall Services, much might be said, as particularly for that of kneeling (in opposition to sitting at the Lords Supper designed in the Directory) 1. that it is agreeable to the practise * of all Antiquity, who though they kneeled not because the Canon of the Councell of Nice, obliged all to stand in the Church, between Easter and Whitsuntide, or on the Lords day all the yeer long, (which by the way ab∣solutely excludes sitting, as also doth that saying of Optatus, l. 4. That the People may not sit in the Church: and of Tertullian, l. de Orat:〈◊〉. 12. That 'twas an Heathen custome to sit in the Church, & therefore ought to be re∣prehended;) yet used the Prayer-gesture at receiving, i. e. bowing their bodies Page  22 and heads, which the Fathers call adoration: kissing of the hand, is the pro∣prietie of the Latin word, but the ordinary denotation of it, bowing the bo∣dy: the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is more then the former, the cultus major, among the Learned; For as Herodotus observes of the Eastern Nations, that the manner of equals was to kisse one another at meeting; of inferiours to kisse the hand of the Superiour; but of the Suppliants or Petitioners, that would expresse the greatest humility to bow themselves before him, so was this last of the three continued among the primitive Christians, in their Services of the greatest piety and humility; Climacus, p. 298. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, When I receive I worship, or adore; Agreeable to which the great men in the French Churches, who receive it passing or going (a meer Egyptian. Passeover custome) do first make a lowly cringe or curtesie before they take it in their hands. 2. That Christ's Table-gesture at the delivering it, is no Argument for sitting, both because it is not manifest by the Text that he used that, save onely at the Passeover, from which this Supper of the Lord was distinct, and was celebrated by blessing, and breaking, and giving the bread, &c. to which some other gesture might be more proper, and more commodious, and because Christ's gesture in that is no more obligingly ex∣emplary to us, then his doing it after Super was to the Apostles, who yet did it Fasting. Act. 13. 2. and generally took it before the agapae, and as by Plinies Epistle it appears, so early in the morning, that the congregation departed and met again, ad capiendum cibum promiscuum, to take their meals together. As also 3. that the contrary gesture of sitting, as it was, not many yeers since, by a full Synod of Protestants in Poland for∣bidden, if not condemned, because they found it used by the Arrians, as complying with their opinion, who hold our Saviour to be a meer Crea∣ture, so is now profest by some of our late Reformers writings to be a badge and cognisance of their believing in the infallibility of Christ's promise of coming to reign on this Earth again, and take them into a familiar and (a kind of) equall conversation with him, the Doctrine of the Millenaries, once in some credit, but after condemn'd by the Church, and though favoured by some Learned men, both anciently and of late, is not yet sure clear enough to come into our Creed or Liturgy: or to be profest and proclaimed by that gesture, when ever we receive the Sacra∣ment. The evidence or proof of it being primarily that in the Revelation, which by the rest of that Book I am very apt to suspect, may signifie any thing rather then what the letter of the words imports to us at the first view of them. But I shall not enlarge on this, nor the other Ceremonies mention'd, but refer the Reader to the Learned Satisfactory unanswer'd labour of Mr Hooker, on these Subjects, and then ask him when he hath Page  23 read him, 1. whether he repent him of that pains. 2. Whether in his con∣science he can think it necessary, or tending to edification, to cast all these causelesly out of this Church, or the whole Liturgie for their sakes.

Now for those things that are more intrinsecall to the Liturgie, and parts of the Service; as

[Sect. 29] 1. For the pronouncing of Absolution, which Christ so solemnly instated on the Priest in his Disciples (by three severall acts, first unto Peter as the mouth of the Apostles, Matth. 16. 19. then by way of promise to them altogether, cap. 18. 18. then by way of actuall instating it on them, brea∣thing that power and the Holy Ghost on them together, Joh. 20. 23.) and which is so distinctly named by St James, cap. 5. 15. in the case of sicknesse, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, (not as we render they shall be forgiven him, as if it were 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and belonged onely to God's act of pardoning, but) imperso∣nally Absolution shall be given him; and so constantly preserved and ex∣ercised in the universall Church in publick and private, and approved as far as our Liturgie uses it) even by those who affirm that power in the Mi∣nister to be onely declarative, that any man conversant either in the Gospel or writings of the Fathers, or modern Authors, or that hath but seen Knox's Scotch Liturgie, and observ'd that part of it, about the receiving of Peni∣tents, would be amazed to see a Directory for the publick worship of God (which is a large phrase, and contains the whole office of the Priest) and in it a title for the visitation of the sick, and yet find never a word about Absolution, no not in case of scruple, doubt, or temptation, pag. 67. or the death-bed it self. This exercise of those Keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, i. e. of the Church, this pronouncing of Gods pardon, & actuall giving the Pardon and Peace of the Church to all her penitent children, especially that more particular act before the Communion, and on the Bed of sick∣nesse, is, beside the obedience to Christ, so necessary an expression of Chri∣stian charity in every Church to its poore members, and the denying of it, where it is due, so barbarous an inhumanity (which yet I hope no man shall be the worse for, but those that do deny it) that as the turning of Publick censures out of this Church, is a rare example of despight unto Christs command, (there being no Nationall Church from Christs time to this to be found without it, till this of ours for these last three yeers) so the sending of Absolution after it, and the affirming it to be necessary to be done, and appointing all foot-steps of it to be turn'd out of the Service, is a peice of disorder, as contrary to Charity as to Piety, to Reason as Re∣ligion, this being so far from the blame of an exuberancy in our Service, that there is more reason to wish that there were more of this nature, then that that, which we have already, were omitted.

Page  24 [Sect. 30] 2. For the Hymnes of the Church, it will not be amisse perhaps to give you first the true notion of the word; there being among the Hebrews three sorts of Songs, 1. Mizmor, a concise or short verse, 2. Tehillah, Praise, celebrating or depredicating of God, and 3. Schir, a Canticle, as the word is used in the title of that Song of Songs. And answerable to these three, we have Col. 3. 17. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Psalms and Hymnes, and Songs, where the word Hymne is answerable to the second of these, a praising and magnifying of God in and for some of his most remarkable acts of mercy and power. Thus was it the dictate even of nature it self among the heathens, to imploy a great part of their Poetry, i. e. their piety (for so Or∣pheus the first and most famous Writer of Hymnes, was called Theologus Poeta, a Poet that was a Divine also) in framing of Hymns to their gods, though those of Musaeus and Linus, the other two Theologi Poetae are not now to be met with. The like we have still of Homer also, and I remember Galen the famous Physitian, in one of his Books, De usu partium, describing the composure of the Foot, breaks out of a sudden into an excellent ac∣knowledgement, which he calls 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a true Hymne in laud of that God which made these curious bodies of men. This duty of naturall Piety, Christianity certainly hath not obstructed, but ele∣vated it to a far higher pitch by superadding that greatest obligation taken from the Redemption of mankinde, to that old one of the Creation. And thus in all Ages of the Church some Hymnes have been constantly retained to be said or sung in the Churches, I mean not, onely the daily lections of the Psalms of David (which yet this Directory doth not men∣tion, but onely commands a more frequent reading of that Book, then of some other parts of Scripture) nor the singing of some of those Psalms in Metre, (which yet this Directory doth not prescribe neither, save onely on dayes of Thankesgiving, or after the Sermon if with convenience it may be done, making it very indifferent, it seems, whether it be kept at all in the Church or no, unlesse on those speciall occasions.) But the alternate reading of the 'Psalmes both by Priest and people (Psalme ab omnibus cele∣brentur, Let the Psalms be said by all, in the Milevit: Counc. Can. 12.) the constant use of some speciall Psalms, as the Introite, and of other more purely Christian Hymnes, either framed by holy men in the Scripture in reference to Christs Incarnation, or by the Church since on purpose to blesse and praise God for his mercies in Christ, which sure deserve a daily celebration from every Christian, as well & as richly as any Victory over Enemies, though it be one of theirs over the King himself, can deserve of them upon any day of Thanksgiving. Of this kind is the Te Deum, 〈◊〉 most Divine and admirable Form called anciently, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a triumphant Page  25 Song, generally thought to be composed by St Augustine, and St Am∣brose,* on the day that St Ambrose baptized St Augustine, and fitted to that purpose with an acknowledgement of the Trinity, in reference to St Au∣gustines conversion from Manichaisme. If this be true, then sure is it one of those, the repeating of which moved St Augustine to so much passion, that he saith in his Confessions, l. 9. Quantum flevi in hymnis & Canticis Ecclesiae tuae, that and the like hymns of the Church fetcht many tears from him. Of which I shall onely say, that to any man that hath but an humble, faithfull, thankfull fervent heart to go along with it, it is as christian a piece of praise and praier, as any humane pen could contribute toward the pub∣lick worship of God, which he that hath had the use of in the Church, and now thinks fit to banish out of it, shews his own former coldnesse and non-proficiencie under that means of grace, and that he never joyned in it with any zeal or earnestnesse, or else his retchlesse ingratitude to the Church which hath allow'd him the benefit of it.

[Sect. 31] The like might be added of those two other in the administration of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, the former before the Sacrament begin∣ning with, Lift up your hearts, and ending with the Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts, &c. a form to be found with little variation, both in Saint Jameses, St Basils, and St Chrysostomes Liturgie; the other, after the Sacra∣ment, Glory be to God on high, &c. called anciently Hymnus Angelicus, the Angelicall hymne, from the first part of it which was sung by Angels, and both these such ancient, pure, excellent composures in themselves, and so fitly accommodated to the present businesse, and all that I have named, so far from any appearance of evil, so free from any the least objection of any the most petulant malicious calumniatour (as far as I yet ever heard) so well-becoming a congregation of Saints, who by praising God in the Church, should practice before hand, and fit themselves for the singing of Hallelujahs perpetually in heaven, and in the mean time bear the Angels companie here (who St Chrysostome tels us, sing all the hymnes with us) that 'tis little better then furie, savouring much of the temper of that evil*Spirit on Saul, that was exercised with Davids Musick, and (therefore may be allowed to have malice to that and the like ever since) to think it necessary to throw this piece of heaven out of the Church.

3. For the Doxoligie so constantly annexed to many parts of our ser∣vice, in these words, (wherein the people either are to begin or answer) Glory be to the Father, &c. It is an ancient piece of very great consideration the former versicle of it being, as 'tis affirmed by good authorities, compo∣sed by the first Councell of Nice, and appointed by them to be used in the Church, as a lesser Creed, or confession of the Trinity and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Consub∣stantialityPage  26 of the Son and holy Ghost, with the Father (at which it hath therefore anciently been the custome to stand up, confession of God, being a praising of him (as the word in other languages imports) to which there∣fore that posture is most due) which may well passe for no fable, because 'tis clear, that soon after that time, Flavianus sang it aloud in the Church of Antioch, as appears by aZozomen, and bTheodoret, (and if we may be∣lieve cNicephorus, St Chrysostome joynd with him in it;) Of this Philo∣storgius the Arian historiographer tels us, An. 348. Flavianus having gotten a congregation of Monks together,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, was the first that began that form of Doxology, others using that other form of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Glory to the Father, by the Son in the holy Ghost: making the Son inferior to the Father, and the holy Ghost to the Son, as Eunomius and Eudoxius did, which it seems Philostorgius himself most approv'd of, (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, saith his Epitomator of him) others (not as Gotofred mends his copy, and reads it, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but as the Oxford manuscript)〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Glory to the Father, and the Son in the holy Ghost. These two severall forms, & some say a third [in the Son and the holy Ghost] were it seems proposed against Athanasius in the Councel of Antioch, An. Dom. 34, and by men of severall perswa∣sions used in the Church of Antioch, as a character, by which 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, they exprest their several opinions, saith Zozomen. l. 3. c. 19. & l. 4. 27. & by so doing, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, every one applied the Psalm or hymn (to the end of which, as now with us, it was, it seems, then annext) to his opinion. In which narration of Philostorgius, we have no reason to suspect any thing, but the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that Fla∣vianus was the first that sang it, wherein his favor with the Arrians might make him partial, or the truth might be, he was the first that sang it at An∣tioch, for there Athanasius was in a Councel condemn'd, & so still the form might in other places be used more anciently. This first verse being on this occasion brought into the Church as a testimony, and pillar of the Catho∣lick veritie against the Arrians, and annext by ancient custome to the end of the Psalms in the Liturgy, St Jerome, or some body before him, being moved by the noise of the Macedonians (who excepted against that part of it concerning the holy Ghost affirming that the Doctrine of the Divini∣tie of the holy Ghost was novell) is said to have been the Author of adding the other verse or line to the former, in opposition to them, As it was in the beginning, &c. to signifie this to be the ancient Catholick, no new private doctrine or opinion; and yet that it was very neer, if not as anci∣ent as the former may be guest by what Theodoret, l. 2. c. 24. saith of Le∣ontius Bishop of Antioch, that he was wont to say to himself the Arrian Page  27Doxology so softly, that no word could be heard by him that stood next, but〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for ever and ever, (the close of the second line) and this saith he, while Flavianus, who opposed him, was a Lay-man. And if this be a time wherein such Forms as these, (which besides giving glory to God, do secure and defend the Catholick Doctrine of the Trini∣ty against all ancient or modern Arrians and Macedonians) are ne∣cessarily to be cast out, as hinderances to growth and edification, sure the designe is onely to plant Heresies in the Church (to which alone that may prove impediment) but nothing else.

[Sect. 33] Having said this, 'twill not be needfull to adde concerning the fourth head, more then onely the acknowledgement of my wonder and astonish∣ment, why the same calamity and tempest that carried away his lesser Creed, should also be able to raise so fierce a Torrent, as to drive and hurry with it three larger Creeds also, especially that not onely of the Nicene Fathers, but of the Apostles themselves; Against the matter of which I have not heard, that the Presbyterians have any objection, and sure the Beads-mans Divinity, that turns the Creed into a Prayer, hath not concluded the use of it to be a restinting of the Spirit. What the effect of this part of Reformation is likely to be, will not be heard to divine, even Barbarisme and Atheisme within a while, the turning God and Christ, and all the Articles of the Creed out of mens brains also, and not (as yet it is) onely out of their hearts; what is the necessitie of doing it, will not so easily be resolved even by him that hath imbibed the Assem∣blers principles, unlesse it be to gratifie the Separatists, who are profest deniers of one Article, that of the Holy Catholick Church, resolving the end and the effect of the Holy Ghosts descent to have been onely to con∣stitute particular Congregations, and none else. As for the great pattern of the Presbyterians, the practice of Geneva, or Scotland, that appears by Knocks Common Prayer Book, to have allowed a set form of Confession of Faith, and designed it for the publick use as the first thing in that Booke of Prayers, though the truth is, the Apostles, or other ancient Creeds being set aside, one of the Geneva forming is fain to supply the place of them, which yet by the setting the severall parts of the Apostles Creed in the margent, both there and in the order of Baptisme, appears rather to be an interpretation of it, and so still the Separatists must be the onely men in the Church fit to be considered, or else apparently there is no such Po∣liticall necessitie of this neither.

[Sect. 34:] For the fifth thing, the so frequent repetition of the Lords Prayer, and Prayers for the King in our Service, this account may be briefly given of it. For the former, that in our Common-Prayer Book, there be severall Ser∣vices Page  28 for severall occasions, of the Sacraments, &c. for severall dayes, as the Letany, for severall times in the day, not onely Morning and Evening but one part to be said earlier in the morning, and then toward noone a re∣turn to another part, (as the ancient Primitives had three Services in a forenoon, 1. that for the Catechumeni, consisting of Prayers, Psalms, and Readings; then a 2. for the Penitents, such as our Letany; and a 3. for the Fideles, the Faithfull, our Communion Service;) and even that which is assigned to one time so discontinued by Psalms, and Hymnes, and Lessons, that it becomes in a manner two Services, clearly two times of Prayer. Now our Saviour commanding, when you pray, say our Father; we have accordingly so assigned it, to be once repeated in every such part of Ser∣vice, and I remember to have heard one of the gravest and most reverend men of the Assembly, being asked his opinion about the use of the Lords Prayer, to have answer'd to this purpose, God forbid that I should ever be upon my knees in Prayer, and rise up without adding Christs form to my imperfect petitions. And whereas this Directory is so bountifull, as to re∣commend this Praier to be used in the Praiers of the Church, and yet so wary as but to recommend it, it is thereby confest that it is lawfull to re∣tain a set Form, (for that is surely so; and then the often using of a law∣full thing will not make it unlawfull) but withall that Christs com∣mand in point of his Service shall no more oblige to obedience, then the commands of men, for if it did, this would be more then recommended. And now why that which may, say they, commendably (must, say we, necessarily in obedience to Christ) be used in the Prayers of the Church, and being repeated oftner then once, shall be usefull to him who was not come at the first saying, or may be said more attentively by him who had before been too negligent, should be necessary to be used but once, when all mens zeal or understanding of so divine a Forme, or perhaps presence at that part of the Service, shall not necessarily go along with it, I leave to more subtle Diuiners to instruct us. This I am sure of, that God hath made a peculiar promise to importunity in Prayer, to a coming often to him on the same errand, and Luk. 18. 5. by a phrase in the Pa∣rable seems to say, that he that comes oft to God in this manner, will at length force him to shame, if he do not grant his Petition, for that is the meaning of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. And from thence the Fathers use a bold phrase in their Liturgies,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, I put thee to shame, i. e. im∣portune thee, Basil. in Liturg: and in the Psaltery of the Greek Church, which hath many Prayers mixt with it, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, unlesse thy own goodnesse put thee to shame, &c. Now that this will not be subject to the censure of vain repetitions, Mat. 6. 7. which Page  29 is the onely exception made against it, if the example of David, Psal. 136. be not sufficient to authorize the repeating any Form often, which is as faultlesse as that was) might largely be evidenced, 1. by the nature of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, there used, which both Hesychius and Suidas apply to another matter, and explain it by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉long, idle, unseasonable forms, such as Battus used in his〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, his long-winded Hymns so full of Tautologies, which Munster therefore rendreth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉do not multi∣ply words, unprofitably or unseasonably. 2. by the customes of the Hea∣thens which Christ there referres to [〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, use not, &c. as the Heathens] and which are evident in their writers, espe∣cially their Tragedians; where 'tis plain, that their manner was to sound, or chant for many houres together, some few empty words to the honour of their Gods, such the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in their Bacchanals, from the noise of which they were call'd Evantes; such in Sophocles,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. and especially in the Virgins Chorus of Aeschylus's Tragedy, called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Where there are near an hundred verses, made up of meer Tautologies,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and an enumeration of the severall names of the Gods with unsignificant noises added to them, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and within two verses the same again, and much more of the same stile. Two notable examples of this Heathenish custome the Scripture affords us, one, 1. Kings 18. 26. where the Prophets of Baal from morning till noon, cry O Baal, hear us, and it follows, they cryed with a loud voice, and cut themselves.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉ac∣cording to their custome or rites (that loud crying the same words so long together was as much a heathenish rite, as the cutting of themselves,) The other of Ephesians Acts 19. 34. who are affirm'd to have cryed with one voice for two houres space,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Great is Diana of the Ephesians, and 3. by the designed end that Christ observes of that hea∣then custome, 1. that they may be heard by that long noise, for which E∣lias sco••es them, 1. Kings 18. 27. Cry aloud, perhaps your God is a talk∣ing, or a pursuing, &c. 2. that their Petitions may be more intelligible to their Gods, to which Christ opposes, your heavenly Father knoweth what you have need of, and so needs not your Tautologies to explain them to him. Much more might be said for the explaining of that mistaken place, but that it would seem unnecessary to this matter, the exception be∣ing so causlesse, that the Vindication would passe for an extravagance.

[Sect. 35] Of the Prayers for the King, the account will not be much unlike, S. Paul commands that prayers, & supplications, and intercessions, & thanks∣givings be made for Kings, &c. 1. Tim. 2. 1, 2. where though the mention Page  30 of those severall sorts of prayers, signified by those foure words, might be matter of apology, for the making severall addresses to God for Kings in one service, supposing them proportioned to those sorts in that text, yet have we distributed the frequent prayers for him into the severall services, one solemn prayer for him, in the ordinary daily service, (and onely a versicle before as it were prooemiall to it) another in the Letany, ano∣ther after the Commandments) on which though our book hath two forms together, yet both the Rubrick and Custome, gives us authority to interpret, it was not meant that both should be said at once, but either of the two chosen by the Minister,) another before the Communion, where the necessity of the matter, being designed for the Church militant, makes it more then seasonable to descend to our particular Church, and the King the supream of it; just as Herodotus relates the custome of the Persians, l. 1. p. 52. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, they pray for all the Persians, particularly for the King. To this practice of ours so grounded in the Apostle, we shall adde, 1. the reward promised (by the Apostles intimation) to such Prayers (if not, as I conceive, by those words, that we may live a peaceable and quiet life, &c. that peaceable and quiet life, of all blessings the greatest, seeming to be a benefit or do∣native promised to the faithfull discharge of that duty, of praying, and supplicating, and interceding, and giving thanks for Kings, yet certainly somewhat else) in that high Declaration made concerning it in the next words, for this is good and acceptable before God our Saviour, whose acceptation is reward sufficient to any action, and yet who never accept but rewards also. 2. The practise of the ancient Christians, set down by Tertull. Sacrificamus pro salute Imperatoris purâ prece: our prayers are*sent up a pure sacrifice for the prosperity of the Emperour. And that quo∣ties conveniebant, in another place, at every meeting or service of the Church, & precantes semper pro omnibus Imperatoribus, vitam prolixam, Imperium securum, domum tutam, exercitus fortes, Senatum fidelem, populum probum, Orbem quietum, quaecunque hominis & Caesaris vot sunt: praying alwayes for the Emperours, and begging of God for them, long life, secure Reign, the safety of his house, couragious Armies, a faith∣full Senate, a good people, a quiet world, all those severals, (which would make up more prayers then our book hath assigned) all that either a Man or King they can stand in need of; and so Athengoras and others to the same purpose, especially when they have occasion to justifie the fide∣lity of Christians to their unchristian Emperours, having no surer evidence to give of that, then the frequency of their prayers for them, which they which think necessary to abridge, or supersede, must give us leave by that Page  31 indication to judge of somewhat else, by occasion of that topick to observe their other demonstrations of disloyalty to those that are set over them by God; And to any that are not guilty of that crime, nor yet of another, of thinking all length of the publick service unsupportable, I shall referre it to be judged, whether it be necessary, that the King be prayed for in the Church, no oftner then there is a Sermon there.

[Sect. 36] 6. The Communion of Saints, (which if it were no Article in our Creed, ought yet to be laid up, as one of the Christians tasks or du∣ties) consists in that mutuall exchange of charitie and all seasonable ef∣fects of it, between all parts of the Church, that triumphant in heaven, Christ and the Saints there, and this on earth militant; which he that disclaims, by that one act of insolence, casts off one of the noblest priviledges, of which this earth is capable, to be a fellow citizen with the Saints, and a fellow member with Christ himself. The effects of this charity on their parts is, in Christs intercession, and in the Saints suffra∣ges, and dayly prayers to God for us; but on our part thanksgivings and commemorations, which 'tis apparent the Primitive Christians used, ve∣ry early solemnizing the day of Christs resurrection, &c. and rehear∣sing the names of the Saints out of their Diptycks, in time of the offer∣tory before the Sacrament; besides this so solemn a Christian duty, an∣other act of charity there is, which the Church ows to her living sonnes the educating of them in the presence of good examples, and setting a remark of honour on all which have lived Christianly, especially have died in testimony of the truth of that profession; and again, a great part of the New Testament, being story of the lives of Christ and his Apo∣stles, (and the rest but doctrine agreeable to what those lives expressed) it must needs be an excellent compendium of that book, and a most use∣full way of infusing it into the understanding, and preserving it in the memory of the people, to assigne proper portions of Scripture in Lessons, Epistles, and Gospels to every day, every Sunday, every Festivall in the yeare (which are none in our Church, but for the remembrance of Christ, and the Scripture-Saints) to infuse by those degrees all necessary Christian knowledge, and duties into us, the use of which to the igno∣rant is so great, that it may well be feared, that when the Festivals, and solemnities for the birth of Christ, and his other famous passages of life and death, and resurrection and ascension, & mission of the holy Ghost, and the Lessons Gospels (and Collects) and Sermons upon them, be turn'd out of the Church, together with the Creeds also, 'twill not be in the power of weekly Sermons on some head of Religion to keep up the know∣ledge of Christ in mens hearts, a thing it seems observ'd by the Casuists,Page  32 who use to make the number of those things that are necessariò credenda; necessary to be believed, no more, then the Festivals of Christ make known to men: and sure by the ancient Fathers whose Preaching was generally on the Gospels for the day; as apears by their Sermons de tempore, and their postils. To all these ends are all these Festivals, and these Services de∣signed by the Church, (and to no other that is capable of any the least brand of novell or superstitious) and till all this antidote shall be demon∣strated to be turned poyson, all these wholesome designes, to be perfectly noxious, till ill or no examples, uncharitablenesse, schismaticall cutting our selves off from being fellow members with the Saints, and even with Christ our head, till ingratitude, ignorance, and Atheisme it self, be cano∣nized for Christian and Saint-like, and the onely things tending to edifi∣cation in a Church, there will hardly appear any so much as politick ne∣cessity to turn these out of it,

[Sect. 37] 7. For the reading of the Commandments, and prayer before, and the responses after each of them, though it be not anciently to be found in the Church, as a part of the Service, (but onely retained in the Catechisme) till King Edwards second Liturgie, (and therefore sure no charge of Po∣pery to be affixt on it) yet seemeth it to me a very profitable part of devo∣tion, being made use of as it ought. The Priest after a premised prayer for grace to love and keep Gods Commandments, is appointed to stand and read every of the Commandments distinctly to the people, as a kind of Moses, bringing them from God to them; These are they to receive in the humblest affection of heart, and posture of body, as means to try and exa∣mine themselves, and to humble themselves in a sense of their severall fail∣ings, and thereupon implore (every one for himself, and for others, even for the whole Kingdome) first Gods mercy for pardon for all that hath been committed against the letter of each Commandment, or what ever Christ, and the Gospel hath set down under any, or reducible to any of those heads. 2. Grace to perform for the time to come, what ever may be ac∣ceptable to Christ in that particular. This being thus distinctly and lei∣surely done to each perticular precept, the heart enlarging to every par∣ticular under that, proves an excellent form of confession of sinnes, and of resolution (and prayer for strength) to forsake them. And let me tell you were Gods pardon thus ervently and often called for by each humble soul in a Kingdome, for every mans personall, and the whole Kingdome Nationall sinnes, the Atheisme speculative and practicall, the impiety, iu∣fidelity, want of love and fear, and worship of God, &c. in the first Com∣mandment, and so throughout all the rest, and the grace of God, to work all the contrary graces in every heart, in the heart of the whole Kingdome,Page  33 as humbly and heartily invoked, the benefit would certainly be so great and so illustrious, that none but Satan, who is to be dethroned, and part with his kingdome by that means, would ever deem it necessary to cast out this part of Service, and have nothing at all in exchange for it.

8. For the order of the Offertory, it must first be observed, that in the Primitive Apostolick Church, the Offertory was a considerable part of the action, in the administring and receiving the Sacrament; the manner of it was thus. At their meetings for divine service, every man as he was able brought something along with him, bread, or wine, the fruits of the Season &c. of this, part was used for the Sacrament, the rest kept to furnish a common table for all the brethren (and therefore in Ignatius,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to celebrate the Feast, is to administer that Sacrament, being joyn'd there with the mention of Baptisme) Rich and Poore to eat together, no one taking precedence of other, or challenging a greater part to himself by reason of his bringing more; this is discernable in Saint Pauls words, chiding the Corinthians for their defaults in this matter, 1 Cor. 11. 21. every man, saith he, takes and eats before another his own supper, (i. e,) the Rich that brought more, eats that which he brought; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as if he were at home eating his own private meal, without respect to the nature of those 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which were a common meale for all, and so while one is filled to the full, some others have little or nothing to eat, which is the meaning of that which follows, one is hungry, and another is drunk∣en; after the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 ceased, and the bringing of the fruits of the season, which were as a kind of first-fruit offering, was out-dated, whether by Canon of the Church, or by contrary custome, this manner was still con∣tinued, that every receiver brought somewhat with him to offer, particu∣larly bread, and wine mixt with water. Justin Mart, Apol. 2. p. 97. sets down the manner of it clearly in his time, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. the bread and wine of the brethren, i. e. Communicants is brought to the Priest or Prefect; (not as in the Latine interpreter reads Praefecto fratrum, as if 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 were to be joyned with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which belongs to 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) and he receiving it gives lad and praise unto God, in the name of the Son and the Holy Ghost, and all the people ioyn in the Amen, then do the Deacons distribute that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the bread, over which he hath thus given thanks, and then, saith he, over & above the richer sort and every one as he shall think good contributes, & that which is so raised is left with the Priest, who out of that stock succors the Orphan & Widow, and becomes a common provider for all that are in want. This clearely di∣stinguisheth two parts of the Offertory, one designed for the use of all the Faithfull in the Sacrament, another reserved for the use of the poore, the Page  34 former called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Oblations, in the Councell of Laodicea. the other 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in that of Gangra, and proportionably, the reposicory for the first called Sacrarium in the fourth Councell of Carthage, Can. 93. (and by Possidonius in the life of SAugustine, Secretarium unde altari necessari inferuntur, where those things are laid, and from whence fetcht, which are necessary to the Altar) the other Gazophylacium or treasury, the first St. Cyprian calls Sacrificia, sacrifices. the second Eleemosynae, Almes, l. de op. & Eleem. parallel to those which we find both together mentioned, Act. 24. 17. I came to bring almes to my Nation and offerings. This saith Ju∣stin*Martyr, is our Christian Sacrifice, which will more appear to him that considers that the feasting of the people, their partaking of the Sacri∣fice, having their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, was alwaies annexed to sacrifices both among Jews and Heathens, which the Apostle calls partaking of the Al∣tar, and consequently that the Sacrifice, and the feast together, the sacrifice in the offertory, the feast in the eating and drinking there, do compleat and make up the whole businesse of this Sacrament, as farre as the people are concerned in it; and all this blest by the Priest, and God blest and praised by Priest and People, and so the title of Eucharist belongs to it. Thus after Justin: Irenaeus. The Offertory of the Christians is accounted 〈◊〉*pure sacrifice with God as when St Paul, saith he, mentions the acts of th Philippians liberality, he calls them〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, an acceptable sacrifi•• (and so Heb. 3. 16. to do good and to Communicate forget not, such acts 〈◊〉 liberality to those that want for with such Sacrifices God is well pleased and presently defines what this Sacrifice was, primitiae earum quae sunt ∣jus creaturarum, the first fruits of God's creatures, So Tertullian, modicas*unusquis{que} stipem menstruâ die adponit, every one brings somewhat ever month, just parallel to our Offertory at monthly Communions; Much more might be said of this out of ancient Constitutions and Canons, if't were no for my desire of brevity. Effectually St Cyprian, Locuples & dives es, 〈◊〉*dominicam celebrare te credis, & corbonam non respicis, qui in domini∣cum sine sacrificio venis, qui partem de sacrificio quod Pauper obtulit ••∣mis? Art thou rich & thinkst thou receivest as thou oughtst, & respecte not the Corban, feedest on the poore mens Sacrifice, and bringst none 〈◊〉 self? and St Aug. to the same purpose; and 'tis worth observing that ma••* authorities, which the Papists produce for the externall Sacrifice of the b¦dy of Christ in the Masse, are but the detortion and disguising of thos places which belong to the Offertory of the People, and in the Canon of thMasse that prayer which is used for the offering up of Christ, (laded with so many crosses) plainly betraies it self to have been first instituted by rela∣tion to these gifts and oblations, as appears by the mention of Abels Sa∣crifice, Page  35 and Melchizedecks offering (that of Abels the fruit of the Earth, Melchizedecks a present onely of Bread and Wine to Abraham) and the per quem haec omnia semper bonacreas (by whom thou createst all these good things) which belongs evidently to the fruits of the Earth, but is by them now most ridiculously applied to the body of Christ. I have been thus large in shewing the originall of the Offertory, because it hath in all ages been counted a speciall part of divine worship, the third part of the Christian Holocaust, saith Aquinas, 2a, 2ae. q. 85. art. 3. ad 2. the observation of which is yet alive in our Liturgy (I would it had a more chearfull uni∣versall reception in our practice) especially if that be true which Honorius saith, that instead of the antient oblation of Bread and Wine, the offering of money was by consent receiv'd into the Church in memory of the pence in Judas'sail. Now that this offering of Christians to God for pious and charitable uses, designed to them who are his Proxies and Deputy recei∣vers, may be the more liberally and withall more solemnly performed, many portions of Scripture are by the Liturgy designed to be read to stir up and quicken this bounty, and those of three sorts, some belonging to good works in generall, others to alms-deeds, others to oblations, and when it is received and brought to the Priest, he humbly prayes God to accept those alms, and this is it which I call the service of the Offertory, so valued and esteemed among all Antients, but wholly omitted in this Directory (onely a casuall naming of a Collection for the poore by way of a sage caution, that it be so ordered, that no part of the publick worship be there∣by hindred upon what grounds of policy or pretence of necessity, I know not, unlesse out of that great fear let works of charity (which the Apostle calls an acceptable sacrifice, and with which God is well pleased) should passe for any part of the service or worship of God, which after praying to him is an act that hath the greatest remark, and highest character set upon it & when it is thus in the Offertory, is accounted pars cultūs a part of worship, say the School-men. And beside, where it is used, as it ought proves of excellent benefit (when prudent faithfull officers have the dis∣pensing of it) toward the supplying and preventing the wants of all, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Minister is thereby enabled to be the guardian of all that are in want, saith Justin M. Apol, 2. and sure necessi∣ty hath little or no law or reason in it, when the rejecting of such cu∣stomes as these proves the onely necessary.

[Sect. 39] 9. For private Baptism, that which our Liturgy prescribes is, that all possible care be taken, that all Children that are to be Baptized be brought to Church, and not without great cause and necessity Baptized at home in their houses. And yet when great need shal compel them so to do, then an Page  36 order of administring it is prescribed, such as in case the Childe die, it may not be deprived of the Sacrament, and in case it live, it may, as publickly be presented, and with Prayer received into the Church, and pronounced to be baptized already, which is equivalent as if it had been baptized in the publick. The clear confest ground of this practice is the desire of the Church not to be wanting to any the meanest creature, in allowing it that which Christ hath given it right to, and to encourage and satisfie the cha∣ritable desires of Parents, which in danger of instant death require it for them. This ground seems clearly to be acknowledg'd by the Compilers of this Directory pag. 41. where'tis affirmed, that the posterity of the Faithfull born within the Church, have by their birth (not by their li∣ving to the next Lords Day, or till they can be brought to Church) in∣terest in the Covenant and right to the seale of it, which sure is Baptisme) and then what necessitie there is, that they that are acknowledg'd to have right to that seal, should yet not be permitted to have it, (as in case pri∣vate Baptisme be excluded, some of them infallibly shall not) I professe my understanding too short to reach: And as ignorant I must confesse to be also, why, when they come to the Congregation, it should be utterly unlawfull for them to be Baptized in the place where Fonts have hither∣to been placed, i. e. near the doore of the Church, as the Directory appoints; A new scandalous piece it seems of Popery, and Superstition, (which is as dangerous as private Baptisme, and therefore with it together forbidden) and yet very ancient, and farre from any superstitious inent; Baptisme being at first in any convenient pond or river, as the Gospel, and after that Just. Martyr, tells us: and is noted by the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is * literally, to dope over head in the water, and by the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a swimming or diving place, by which the Fathers expresse the Font. But when Churches were built, then there was an erection also of Bap∣tisteria, at first without, but after within the Churches, and those placed near the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Porch of the Church, on no other designe undoubtedly, then to signifie the Sacrament there celebrated to be a rite of initiation or entrance into the Church, (as the Chancell or upper part of the Church was assigned unto the other Sacrament to signifie it to be∣long to those onely that were come to some perfection) against which 'tis not possible any thing should be objected of unfitnesse, but that the Mi∣nisters voyce will not in some Churches so easily be heard by the whole Congregation, which if it may not be helpt, by raising his voyce at that time, will not yet infuse any Popery or Superstition into it, the charge that is here so heavily laid on it, (as well as that of unfitnesse) of which if it be guilty, Superstition is become a strange ubiquitary, ready to fly and af∣fix Page  37 it self to any thing they will have it, and shall as justly be fastened by me on their negative, or prohibition of Baptisme in that place [it is not to be administred in the places where Fonts, &c.] as upon our positive ap∣pointing it. For sure if a significant rite, or designation of place, &c. with∣out any other guilt, then that it is so, be superstitious; an unsignificant in∣terdiction of it will be as much; and if the positive superstition be to be condemned, the negative must be so also.

10. For the prescript form of Catechisme, it is placed by our Church in our Liturgie, and as fit to be placed there as any directions for Preaching can be in theirs, (which takes up so great a part in their Religion, and consequently in their Directory) the previous instruction of youth being so much more necessary then that, as a foundation is then any part of the superstructure, that being necessary to the end onely, but this over and above necessary to make capable of the other necessary. Of this particular Catechisme I might say somewhat, which would be worthy to be obser∣ved in these times, how much Christian prudence the Church hath shewed in it, in setting down for all to learn, onely those few things which are necessary to the plainest and meanest, for the direction of Christian faith and practice; and if we would all keep our selves within that modera∣tion, and propose no larger Catalogue of credenda to be believed by all then the Apostles Creed, as 'tis explained in our Catechisme, doth pro∣pose, and lay the greater weight upon consideration and performance of the vow of Baptisme, and all the commands of God as they are explained (and so the obligation, to obedience enlarged) by Christ, and then one∣ly adde the explication of the nature and use of the Sacraments, in those most commodious and intelligible expressions (and none other) which are there set down, I should be confident there would be lesse hating and damning one another (which is most ordinary for opinions) more piety and charity, and so true Christianity among Christians and Protestants, then hitherto hath been met with. But seeing, though this be fit to be said, yet 'tis unnecessary in this place, this Catechisme being not put in ballance with any other way of instructing youth in the Directory, but onely sold or cast away for nought, and no money, nothing taken or of∣fered in exchange for it, I am superseded from this, and onely left to won∣der why Catechising of Children in the faith and knowledge of their vowed duty (which I hope is no stinting of their Spirits) should be one of those burthens which 'tis so necessary should be thrown off, and not so much as considered in this Directory.

11. For Confirmation, which (being a thing wherein the Bishop is a party, will, I must expect, be matter of some envy and odium but to name Page  38 it, and) being so long and so scandalously neglected in this Kingdome (though the rule have also been severe and carefull in requiring it) will now not so easily be digested, having those vulgar prejudices against it, yet must I most solemnly professe my opinion of it, That it is a most an∣cient Christian custome, tending very much to edification, Which I shall make good by giving you this view of the manner of it. It is this, that eve∣ry Rector of any Parish, or Curate of charge, should by a familiar way of Catechizing instruct the youth of both sexes within his Cure in the prin∣ciples of Religion, so farre, that every one of them before the usuall time of coming to the Lords Supper, should be able to understand the particu∣lars of the vow made in Baptisme for the credenda and facienda yea and fugienda also, what must be believed, what done, and what forsaken; and be able to give an intelligent account of every one of these, which being done, every such Child so prepared, ought to be brought to the Bishop for Confirmation. Wherein the intent is, that every such Child attained to years of understanding shall singly and solemnly before God, the Bishop and the whole Congregation, with his own mouth, and his own consent take upon himself the obligation to that, which his Godfathers and God mothers in Baptisme promised in his name, and before all those reve∣rend witnesses, make a firm, publick, renued promise, that by Gods help he will faithfully endeavour to discharge that obligation in every poi•• of it, and persevere in it all the dayes of his life. Which resolution and promise so heighrned with all those solemnities, will in any reason hav a mighty impression on the Child, and an influence on his actions fo ever after. And this being thus performed by him, the Bishop shall seve∣rally impose his hands upon every such child (a Ceremony used to th purpose by Christ himself) and blsse, and pray for him, that now that th temptations of sinne, begin more strongly, in respect of his age, to assau•• him, he may receive grace and strength against all such temptations 〈◊〉 assaults, by way of prevention and speciall assistance, without which ob∣tained by prayer from God, he will never be able to do it. This is th summe of Confirmation, and were it rightly observed (and no man ad∣mitted to the Lords Supper, that had not thus taken the Baptisme 〈◊〉 from the Sureties into his own name, and no man after that suffered continue in the Church, which brake it wilfully, but turned out of th••• sacred courts, by the power of the keyes in excommunication) it would cer¦tainly prove, by the blessing of God there begged, a most effectuall mean to keep men, at least within some tearms of Christian civility, from fal¦ling into open enormous sinnes; and that the defaming and casting out this so blamelesse gainfull Order should be necessary or usefull to any p¦licy Page  39 save onely to defend the Devil from so great a blow, and to sustain and uphold his Kingdome, I never had yet any temptation or motive to suspect or imagine. Instead of considering any objections of the adversa∣ry, against this peice, whether of Apostolicall or Ecclesiasticall discipline (which I never heard with any colour produced) I shall rather expresse my most passionate wish unto my Friends, those who sincerely wish the good of this Nationall Church, that they will endeavour their utmost to revive these means of regaining the purity and exemplary lives of all its members, when God by restoring our Peace shall open a door for it.

[Sect. 42] 12. For the Sclemnities of Buriall, as they are certainly uselesse to them who are dead, so are they not designed by us but to the benefit of the li∣ving in Lessons and Prayers upon those occasions, as also for the freeing us from the imputation of rudenesse and uncivility (which Christianity teaches no body) to those bodies which shall have their parts in the re∣surrection, and to their memories, which the obligation of kindred, friend∣ship, at least the common band of Christianity, make precious to us; and that it should be necessary, and tend to edification, not to pray such season∣able Prayers, hear, and impresse upon our hearts such seasonable Lessons, (at a time when they are exemplified before our eyes, and our hearts be∣ing softned with mourning, are become more malleable) to perform such laudable Christian Civilities, onely for fear we should (not pray but) be thought to pray to or for them, over whom, or near whose hearse, or by or toward whom we thus pray (which that we do not, our Prayers that then we use, are ready to testifie) is another unreasonable, able to evidence the power of prejudice and faction to any that is not sufficiently convinced of it.

[Sect. 43] 13. For that of thanksgiving after Childbirth, as it may be acknow∣ledged, to be taken up in proportion to, or imitation of Purification a∣mong the Jews, so is it not thereby lyable to any charge of evil; For here∣in is a marvellous mistake among men, to think that because the continu∣ing of circumcision was so forbidden by S. Paul, Gal. 5. 2. therefore it should be unlawfull for any Christian church, to institute any usage which had ever been commanded the Jews. For the reasons which made the re∣taining of circumcision so dangerous, will not be of any force against other customes of the Jews, as 1. that it was prest by the Judaizing Chri∣stians, as necessary to justification, Gal. 5. 4. which is in effect the disclaiming of Christ or of any profit, v. 2. or effect, v. 4. by him, a falling from grace, & renouncing the Gospel. 2. That it was contrary to that liberty or manu∣mission from the Judaicall Law which Christ had purchased, v. 13. to have circumcision imposed as a law of Gods still obligatory, when Christ by his Page  [unnumbered] death hath cancelled it. 3. That some carnall professots, which thought by this means to escape the opposition, and persecution, which then fol∣lowed the doctrine of Christ, and profession of Christianity, did much boast that they put themselves and their Disciples in a course to void the crosse, c. 6. 12. which is the meaning of that, v. 13. that they may glory in your flesh, i. e. in your being circumcised, as that is by Saint Paul opposed to glorying in the Crosse, v. 14. i. e. the persecution that followed profession of the Gospel, as c. 5. 11. he mentions it as the onely reason of his being per∣secuted, that he would not Preach Circumcision: agreeable to which is that of Ignatius in Ep. ad Magnes.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. If we till now live according to the Law of the Jews & circumcision of the flesh, we deny that we have received grace, for the divinest Prophets lived accord∣ing to Jesus Christ, and〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for doing so were persecuted: which they that desired to avoid, and therefore would be circumcised, or Preach cir∣cumcision, those are the men S. Paul so quarrels with, as those that would not suffer for Christs sake, that were not much in love with that Crosse of his. To which a fourth reason may also be added, that many of the Cere∣monies of the Law did presignifie the future Messias, and the teaching the necessity of such observances as nor yet abolisht, is the professing Christ not to be the Messias. All which notwithstanding, it still remains very possi∣ble, that a rite formerly commanded the Jews, not as significative of the future Messias; but as decent in the worship of God, without any depend∣ing on it for justisication, without any opinion that the Jewish Law obliges us, & without any fear of being persecuted by the Jews, or consequent com∣pliance with them, may now be prescribed by the Christian Church meer∣ly as a humane institution, judging that decent or usefull new, which was so then, & in this case if nothing else can be objected against it, save onely that God once thought fit to prescribe it to his own People, there will be little fear of danger in, or fault to be found with any such usage. For it is an or∣dinary observation which Paulus Fagius in his Notes on the Targum (a most learned Protestant) first suggested to me, that many of the Jewish Ce∣remonies were imitated by Christ himself under the Gospel. I might shew it you in the Apostles, who were answerable to the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the missi or messengers among the Jews, and were by Christ our High-Priest sent a∣broad to all Nations to bring in (that peculium, which of all others he counted most his due, having paid so dear for it) sinners to their Saviour, as they were among the Jews sent by the High-Priest to ferch in the dues to the Temple. So also the imposition of hands, a form of benediction a∣mong the Jews, as ancient as Jacob himself, Gen. 48. 14. In blessing Josephs sonnes, and is often used by Christ to that same purpose. And even the two Page  41Sacraments are of this nature, Baptisme related to the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, washings used by them at the initiating or admitting of Proselytes, & Christs taking bread, & giving thanks, &c. after Supper (wherein the other Sacrament was first instituted) was directly the postcoenium, among the Jews, not a peculiar part of the Passeover Feast, but a Ceremony after all Feasts, very usuall among them. So the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, from the Assemblies civill or facred among the Jews, is made use of to signifie the Christian Church, which Christ was to gather together. So the Lords day one day in seven, proportionably to their Sabbath. So 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Elders among the Jews are brought by the Apostler to signifie an Order in the Church & 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Colleges of many of them together, called by Ignatius,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉sacred Societies,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Counsellers & Assi∣stants of the Bishops; & his 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in Ep. ad Trall: are parallel to the San∣bedrim or Councell of Elders that were joyned to Moses in his govern∣ment, to facilitate: the burthen to him. The same may be said of the Dea∣cons which were an imitation of the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the Treasurer or Steward a∣mong them, & consequently the place, where the goods which they were to distribute were kept, is parallel to their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the treasury, & so the Bishop also, saith Grotius, is a transcript of the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉the head of the Congregation. And the Patriarchs among Christians are taken from the heads of the Tribes among them, called ordinarily by the 72, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and in the Testament 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Adde unto these the Christia Censure of Excommunication answerable to their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (whether it were from sacred or onely from civill Assemblies among them it mat∣ters little, for the civill among them may be accommodated to Ecclesia∣sticall among Christians, as in some of the fore-mentioned is acknowled∣ged, and as the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which signifies primarily any kind of As∣sembly, & is so taken, Matth. 6. 5. is appropriated to a place of divine wor∣ship in other places) and the severall degrees of it in the Christian Church, answerable to their Niddui, Cherem, and Schammatha; And so for Absolution also. All this I have said, and might adde much more to make the demand appear no unreasonable one, that it may be lawfull for the Church to use a custome, which hath some resemblance of some Cere∣mony in sorce anciently among the Jews, viz. that of the Purification of Women in our Churching. Which objection being removed there will re∣main no other, and then that it should be simply unlawfull or unedifing, to take notice of the deliverance of each Woman, or to pay acknowledge∣ment to God for it, and necessary to set up such Schools of ingratitude in the Church, is more then ingenucus nature will suffer any Christian to believe, upon the bare authority of these Assemblers.

Page  42 [Sect. 44] 14. The Cummunion of the sick, if it be superstition & Popery also, (as sure is implyed by the no mention of it at the visitation of the sick in the Directory) 'tis sure of a very long standing in the Church; the Canons of the Councels about the Lapsi and Excommunicate, that generally take care that they should have the Peace of the Church in extremis (answer∣able to our Absolution at that time) and if with expressions of penitent hearts they desire it; the Sacrament also, are evidences so clear of this cu∣stome, that I shall not need produce any testimonies; those that are moved with the practice of Antiquity being sufficiently furnisht with them; If any may be unsatisfied in this, let him read the famous story of the dying Srapion in Eusebius, l. 6. c. 36. And that it should be necessarie to the edification of that Church, that this viaticum, (as the Fathers call'd it) should be denied every hungring and thirsting traveller at that time when it might yield him most comfort, and our charity most inclines us to allow it him, nay that the Church should be thought to suffer by that in any eminent manner (if it were ill) which is done privately onely to some particular, (and order taken that all publickly should be warned to re∣ceive the Communion frequently in the Church, and so not want it on the bed, or trouble the Minister then for it) and consequently the Church perhaps never hear of it, this is again a new kind of necessity, to be fetcht from some under-ground Fundamentall Laws of I know not whose lay∣ing, that the Christian Church never heard of till these times.

[Sect. 45] 15. As for the Service of the Commination, fitted for the first day of Lent; which by denuntiations against particular sinnes under the Law, (ap∣pointed to be read to, and attested by the people, with an Amen of ac∣knowledgement, that every such offender is by the Law cursed, not of Prayer that he may be so dealt with in Gods justice) is designed to bring men to humiliation & contrition for sin, the speciall duty of that day and the ensuing season, and closeth with most affectionate prayers for such penitents; it is matter of some panick sencelesse fears to some ignorant men (which are very tender and passionate friends to their beloved sins, and dare not subscribe to the condemnation of them) but very usefull to awake even those and all others out of this security, as a Feaver to cure the Lethargick, to kindle a fire about mens ears, that they may see their danger, and make out to the use of all Christian means of repentance and devotion, and laying hold on Christ to avert it; and if such a bug-bear as that of being thought to curse our selves and freind, in the saying Amen to the threatnings (which will be true to all impenitents whether we say or no) be sufficient to exercize such an exorcist, to cast out of the Church such a powerfull means of bringing sinners to repentance, Page  43 or if bare prejudice of the Assemblers without either hearing or objecting against it, be enough to make it necessary to be left out of our service, the Devill will never be in danger from his enemies, as long as he may have but the spell of the Directory to put them thus to flight for him.

[Sect. 46] Lastly, for the observation of Lent, &c. if they be consider'd in gene∣rall as Fasts, there will sure be no necessity to renounce them; the Jews had their Fasts as well as Feasts (and those set publick, not onely volun∣tary private Fasts) and not onely that great day of Expiation appointed by God himself, but occasionall ones appointed by men, and yet, when appointed, as constantly observ'd as that other, the Fast of the fourth moneth, of the fifth, of the seventh, and of the tenth moneth. Zach. 8. 19. and under Christianity, though in the time of Christs presence with the Disciples, they fasted not, yet the fasting of Johns Disciples, nay the twice a week of the Pharisees themselves is not (though mentioned yet) reprehended, but implicitely approved by Christ, and of his own saith he, they should not have that immunity long, The dayes should come when the Bridegroome should be taken away (and that is ever since Christs Ascension) and then shall they fast in those dayes. 'Twere ea∣sie to iustifie this through the writings, and by the practice of the whole Church of God till these dayes of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 let loose, till these dayes of animosities and Epicurisme, have made the usage of Fasts by Pa∣pists, a command to us not to use them, and concluded the abating any thing of our gluttony to be an intrenchment on our Christian Liberty, and both those deceits together quarrell'd all Christian times of fasting out of our practice first, then out of our Kalendar. This being said in generall of fasting, the application of this to these fast of the Church, will be indisputably satisfactory to any, that shall but consider the oc∣casions of each of them, of the Lenten-fast, the known fourty dayes ex∣ample of abstinence in Christ, whereupon saith St. Jerome, Ʋnam qua∣dragesimam*sec. traditionem Apostolorum, &c. jeunamus: We fast the Lent according to the tradition of the Apostles. And Epiphanius joyns with him to make the Lent fast an Apostolicall tradition, & others of the Ancients concurring for the practice of it, if not so punctuall for the tra∣dition, St, Basil may speak for all in hom. 2. of fasting, that there was no age, nor place, but knew it, and observed it. And then I know no necessity of despising Christs pattern, & Apostolicall practice, unlesse it be the same which obliges to the destroying of Episcopacy (which as it is an imparity opposite to the equality of Presbyters, is clearly deducible from both those Authorities, to which it seems this yeer is resolved to prove fat all;) that so there may be at length as little imitation of Christ among us, as reverence Page  44 to Apostles. Then for Rgation week, though the originall or occasion of that cannot be deduced so high, but is by Historians referred to Claud. Mamertus Bishop of Vienn in France, for the averting of some Judge∣ments, which on the observation of many inauspicious accidents and pro∣digies were sadly scared to be approaching, yet will it not be Necessary to turn the Fasts, or the Ltanies, or the Services assigned to it out of the Church, as long as dangers are either present, impendent, or possible, or in∣deed as long as there be sins enough among us to abode us ill, or provoke any wrath of Heaven, any judgements on us; And when all those occa∣sions cease, I am content those Services may be laid aside also, i. e. when we meet all together in Heaven. Next, the Ember weeks are of great An∣tiquity in the Church, called the quatuor tempora in the latin Fathers,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (from whence I conceive in the English Ember) in the Greek, and (beside the first institution of them for quarterly seasons of devotion, pro∣portion'd to each part of the year, as the first fruits of every season, that the whole, and each division of it might be blest by it, and again beside their answerablenesse to those foure times of solemn Fast mention'd a∣mong the Jews, that we Christians may not be inferiour unto them in that duty) an admirable use is assign'd to them in the Church, in imita∣tion of the Apostles, Act. 13. 3. by Fasting and Prayer to prepare for the ordination of Ministers immediately consequent to every such week, that God would send, and furnish worthy Instruments of his glory to serve him in that glorious Office, and till Ministers are acknowledg'd to be generally so good, that either they cannot or need not be better, till those are also grown immortall (as the framers of this Ordinance) and so no use of care for succession. I shall suppose it not over-necessary to pre∣cipitate these out of the Church of Christ, but rather wish that there were in our Liturgie some Service appointed of Lessons and Prayers for this purpose, to be used constantly on the dayes of Fast through those weeks.

[Sect. 47] Thus have I, as briefly as I could; examined all the pretended exube∣rances of our Liturgie, which have required it thus to be more then lan∣ced even to a deliquium animae, to many fainting fits a long while, and at last to its fatall period, if our Assemblers may be allowed of the Jury, and this Ordinance have leave to be the executioner; And as yet to the utmost of our impartiall thoughts can we not discern the least degree of necessity, of any the most moderate signification of the word, to own so tragicall an Exit. The leafs which have been spent in this search, as it may seem unnecessarily, might perhaps have been better employed; Yet will it not be unreasonable to expect a expect a favourable reception of them, when 'tis considered, that by this means a farther labour is spared, there needing Page  45 no farther answer to the whole body of the Directory, or any part of it when it shall thus appear, that there was no necessity for the change, nay (which I conceive hath all along been concluded) that the continuance of the Liturgy, unlesse some better offer or bargain were proposed to us, is still in all policy, in all secular or Christian prudence most necessary. And therefore when we have considered the second particular in the Ordinance, and to that annext a view of some severalls in the Preface, the Readers task will be at an end, and his patience freed from the en∣tation of our importunity.

[Sect. 48] The second thing then in the Ordinance is, that all the severals which this Ordinance is set to confront, are Statutes of Edward the sixth, and of Queen Elizabeth, all which are without more ado repealed by this Ordinance; which I mention not as new acts of boldnesse, which now we can be at leasure to declaim or wonder at, but to justifie the calum∣niated Sons of this Church, who were for a long time offered up malici∣ously to the peoples hatred and fury, first as Illegall usurpers, and adders to Law, then as Popishly affected, and the pattern of Queen Elizabeths time vouched to the confirming of this their Charge, and the Erection of her very Picture in some Churches, and solemnization of a day for her annuall remembrance, (by those who will not now allow any Saint, or even Christ himself the like favour) design'd to upbraid those wayes and reprove those thoughts. It seemeth now 'tis a season for these men to tra∣verse the scene, to put off disguises, and professe openly and confidently, what till now they have been carefull to conceal, that their garnishing the Scpulchre of Q. Elizabeth was no argument that they were cordial∣ly of her Religion or meant kindnesse sincerely to the Q. Elizabeths re∣formation. Some seeds we know there were of the present practices trans∣mitted hither from our neighbour Disciplinarians in the dales of Q. Eli∣zabeth, and some high attempts in private zeal in Hacket, and Coppin∣ger, and Arthington, at one time, which when God suffered not to pros∣per, it was the wisdom of others to call phrensie and madnes in those un∣dertakers. And generally that is the difference of fate between wickednes prospering and miscarrying, the one passeth for Piety, the other for Fury. I shall now not affirm, (or judge my Brethren) but meekly ask this que∣stion, and leave every mans own conscience to answer (not me, but) him∣self in it sincerely, and without partiality, whether if he had lived in the dayes of Q. Elizabeth, and had had his present perswasions about him, and the same encouragements and grounds of hope, that he might prosper and go through with his designes, he would not then in the matter of Religion have done just the same, which now he hath given his Vote, and Page  46 taken up Arms to do. If he say, out of the uprightnesse of his heart, he would not, I shall then onely ask why it is done now, what ill Planet hath made that poyson now, which was then wholsome food, why Queen Elizabeths Statutes should be now repealed, which were then so lauda∣ble? If any intervenient provocation, or any thing else extrinsecall to the matter it self have made this change now necessary, this will be great injustice in the Actors. Or if the examples of severity in her dayes, (the hanging of Coppin and Thacker, An. 1513. at S. Edmundsbury, for pub∣lishing Browns book, (saith Camden) which (saith Stow p. 1174.) was written against the Common Prayer book) might then restrain those that were contrary minded, I know no reason why the Laws by which that was done, should not still continue to restrain; or at least why Consci∣ence should not be as powerfull as Fear. From all this I shall now take confidence to conclude, that were there not many earlier testimonies to confirm it, this one Ordinance would convince the most seducible mista∣ker of these two sad truths.

[Sect. 49] 1. That the preservation of Laws, so long and so speciously insisted on was but an artifice of designe to gain so much either of authority to their Persons, or of power and force into their hands, as might enable them to subvert and abolish the most wholsome Laws of the Kingdom, and in the mean time to accuse others falsly of that, which it was not their innocence, but their discretion, not their want of will, but of opportunity, that they were not really, and truly, and perfectly guilty of themselves, that so they may most compleatly own and observe the principles by which they move, and transcribe that practice, which hath been constant∣ly used by the Presbyterian, (wheresoever they have appear'd) to pretend their care and zeal to liberty, that by that means they may get into power (like Absalom a passionate friend to justice, when he had an itch to be King; or like Doces in Herodotus.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, his ambition of Magistracy made him content to be just) when as soon as they attain, they inclose, and tyrannically make use of to the enthralling and enslaving all others; Even Laws themselves, the onely Bounds and Bulwarks of Liberty, which alone can secure it from servitude on one side, and licentiousnesse on the other, (which very licentiousnesse is the surest way to servitude, the licentiousnesse of one implying the oppression and captivity of some other, and being it self in a just weighing of things the greatest *slavery as much as the mans own unruly passions are greater ty∣rants then laws, or lawful Princes) are to be levell'd in their Jehu-march, to be accused and found at last the onely guilty things, and the same cala∣mity Page  47 designed to involve the pretended Enemies of Laws and the Laws themselves.

[Sect. 50] The second truth that this unhappy Ordinance hath taught us, is that which a while ago had been a Revelation of a Mystery indeed, which would without any other auxiliary have infallibly quencht this flame (which now like another Aetna and Vesuvius is gotten into the bowels of this Kingdome, and is there likely to rage for ever, if it be not asswa∣ged from Heaven, or determin'd through want of matter, by having de∣voured all that is combustible) but now is a pretty vulgar observation, that hath no influence or impression on any man, and therefore I scarce now think it worthy the repeating; and yet to conclude this period fairly, I shall; 'tis onely this, That the framers of this Ordinance, that have so long fought for the defence of the establisht. Protestant Religion, will not have the Peace, unlesse they may be allowed liberty to cast off and repeal every of those Statutes, that of the second and third of Edward the sixth, that of the fifth and sixth of the same King, that of the first of Queen Elzabeth, that of the fifth, that of the eighth of the same Queen, (though not all at once, yet as far as concerns the matter in hand, by which you may be assured, that the fragments of those Statutes which remain yet unabolished, are but reserved for some other opportunity, as ready for a second and third sacrifice, as thus much of them was for this), by which the Protestant Religion stands established in this Kingdome, and in which the whole work of Reformation is consummate. And all this upon no higher pretence of Reason, then onely a Resolution to do so, a not being advised by their Divines to the contrary, and (to coun∣tenance the weaknesse of those two motives) a proostesse scandalous mention, or bare naming of manifold inconveniences, which might as reasonably be made the Excuse of Robbing, and Murthering, and Damning (as far as an Ordinance would reach) all men but themselves, as of abolishing this Litugio, Lord lay not this ix to their Charge.