A Postscript by way of Appendix to the two former Chapters.
[Sect. 1] THe truth of all which we have hitherto spoken, if we have not sufficiently evidenced it already, will abundantly appear by one farther testimony, which is authentick and undeniable to them, against whom we speak. And it is, (what the providence of God, and the power of truth hath extorted from them) their own con∣fession, in a book just now come to my hands, called, a Supply of Prayer for the Ships that want Ministers to pray with them, agreea•le to the Directory established by Parliament, published by Authority. From which these things Page 80 will be worth observing, 1. That the very body of it is a set form of Prayer, and so no Superstition in set forms. 2. That their publishing it by authority, is the prescribing of that form, and so 'tis lawfull to pre∣scribe such forms. 3. That the title, [of Supply of Prayer] proveth that some there are, to whom such supplies are necessary, and so a Directory not sufficient for all. And 4. That [its being agreeable to the Directory] Or as it is, word for word form'd out of it, (the Directory turn'd in∣to a Prayer) sheweth, that out of the Directory a Prayer may easily first be made, and then constantly used, and so the Minister ever after continue as idle without exercising that gift, as under our Liturgy is pretended, and so here under pretence of supplying the ships, all such idle Mariners in the ship of the Church are supplied also, which it seems was foreseen at the writing that preface to the Directory, where they say, * the Minister may if need be, have from them some help and furniture. 5. That the Preface to this new Work entitled, A reason of this work, containeth many other things, which tend as much to the retracting their former work, as Judas's throwing back the money did to his repentance.
[Sect. 2] As, 1. That there are thousands of Ships belonging to this Kingdom, which have not Ministers with them, to guide them in Prayer, and therefore either use the Common prayer, or no Prayer at all. This shews the nature of that fact of those which without any objection mention'd against any Prayer in that book, which was the onely help for the devotion of many thousands, left them for some moneths, to perfect irreligion and Atheisme, and not praying at all. And besides these ships (which they here confesse) how many Land-companies be there in the same condition? how many thou∣sand families which have no Minister in them? (of which number the House of Commons was alwayes wont to be one, and the House of Lords, since the Bishops were removed from thence) and to deal plainly, how many Ministers will there alwayes be, in England and Wales (for sure your care for the Ʋniversities is not so great as to be likely to work Miracles) which will not have skill, or Power, or gift, (which you please) of conceiving Prayers as they ought to do? and therefore let me impart to you the thoughts of many prudent men (since the news of your Directory, and abolition of our Liturgie) that it would prove a most expedite way to bring in Atheisme; and this it seems, you do al∣ready discern and confesse in the next words, that the no prayer at all, which succeeded the abolishing of the Liturgie, is rather to make them Heathers then Christians, and hath left the Lords day without any mark of pietie or devotion: (a sad and most considerable truth, which some per∣sons ought to lament with a wounded bleeding conscience, the Page 81 longest day of their life) and therefore we a•e apt to beleeve your charity to be more extensive, then the title of that book enlarges it, and that it hath designed this supply, not onely to those ships, but to all other in the like want of our Liturgie. Your onely blame in this particular hath been, that you would not be so ingenuous, as Judas and some others, that have soon retracted their precipitous action, and confest they did so, and made restitution presently, while you, rather then you will (to rescue men from heathenisme caused by your abolition) restore the Book again, and confesse you have sinned in condemning an innocent Litur∣gie, will appoint some Assembler, to compile a poor, sorry, pitteous form of his own, of which I will appeal to your greatest flatterer, if it be not so low that it cannot come into any tearms of comparison, or com∣petition, with those forms already prescribed in our Book; and so still you justifie your errour, even while you confesse it.
[Sect. 3] Secondly, that 'tis now hoped that 'twill be no grief of heart to full Christians, if the thirsty drink out of cisterns, when themselves drink out of fountains, &c. which is the speciall part of that ground, on which we have first formed, and now labour'd to preserve our Liturgie, on purpose that weak Ministers may not be forced to betray their weaknesse, that they that have not the gift of Prayer (as even in the Apostles time there were divers gifts, and all Ministers had not promise to succeed in all, but one in one, another in anothers gift by the same spirit) may have the help of these common gifts, and standing treasures of Prayer in the Church; and (because there be so many of these kinds to be lookt for in a Church) that those which are able to pray as they ought, without a form, may yet in publick submit to be thus restrain'd, to the use of so excellent a form thus set before them, rather then others should be thus adventur'd to their own temerity, or incur the reproach of being thought not able; and then this providing for the weak, both Minister, and People, will not now, I hope, be charged on the Liturgie, by those, who hope their supply of Prayer will be no grief to others.
[Sect. 4] Thirdly, That these Prayers being enlivened, and sent up by the spirit in him that prayeth, may be lively Prayers, and acceptable to him, who is a Spirit, and accepts of service in spirit and truth. Where 1. it appears by that confession, that as the place that speaks of worshipping in spirit and truth, is not of any force against set praiers, so neither is that either of the Spirits helping our infirmities, belonging as it is here confest most truly, to the zeal, and fervor, and intensenes of devot••••nfused by the Spirit, (and not to the words wherein the addresse 〈◊〉〈◊〉 which if the Spirit may not infuse also in the use of our Liturgy, and assist a Minister and Page 82 Congregation in the Church, as well and as effectually as a company of Mar•mers in a ship, I shall then confesse that the Directory first, and then this Supply, may be allow'd to turn it out of the Church.
[Sect. 5] Lastly, That in truth though Praiers come never so new even from the Spirit, in one that is a guide in Prayer, if the Spirit do not quicken and enliven that Prayer in the hearer that follows him, it is to him but a dead form, and a very carcase of Prayer, which words being really what they say, a truth, a perfect truth, and more soberly spoken then all or any period in the Preface to the Directory, I shall oppose against that whole Act of abolition, as a ground of confutation of the principall part of it, and shall onely adde my desire, that it be considered what Prayers are most likely to be thus quickned and enlivened by the Spirit in the hearer those that he is master of, and understands and knows he may joyn in, or those which depend wholly on the will of the Speaker, which perhaps he understandeth not, and never knows what they are, till they are delivered, nor whether they be fit for him to joyn in; or in plainer words, whether a man be likely to pray, and ask most fervently he knows not what, or that which he knows, and comes on purpose to pray. For sure the quick∣ning and enlivening of the Spirit, is not so perfectly miracle, as to ex∣clude all use of reason or understanding to prepare for a capacity of it, for then there had been no need to have turn'd the Latine Service out of the Church, the Spirit would have quickned those Prayers also,