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  48


[Sect. 1] THe Preface to the Directory, being the Oratour to perswade all men to be content with this grand and sudden change, to lay down with patience and aequanimity, all their right which they had in the venerable Liturgie of the Church of England, and account themselves richly rewarded, for doing so, by this new framed Directory, begins speciously enough, by seeming to lay down the onely *reasons, why our Ancestors a hundred years ago, at the first Reformati∣on of Religion, were not onely content, but rejoyced also in the Book of Common-Prdyer, at that time set forth; But these reasons are set down with some partiality, there being some other more weighty grounds of the Reformers framing, and others rejoycing in that Book, then those ne∣gative ones which that preface mentions, viz, the perfect reformation wrought upon the former Liturgie, the perfect conformity of it with, and composure out of the Word of God, the excellent orders prescribed, & bene∣fit to be reaped from the use of that Book, & the no manner of reall objecti∣on, or exception of any weight against it; All which if they had been men∣tioned, as in all justice they ought (especially when you report not your own judgements of it but the judgements of those rejoycers of that age, who have left upon record those reasons of their rejoycing) this Preface had soon been ended, or else proved in that first part, an answer or confu∣tation of all that follows. But 'tis the manner of men now adayes, to con∣ceal all that may not tend to their advantage to be taken notice of, (a practice reproached by honest Cicero, in his books of offices of life, in the story of the Alexandrian ship-man, that went to relieve Rhodes, & out∣going the rest of his follows, sold his Corn at so much more gain, by that infamous artifice though not of lying yet of concealing the mention of the Fleet that was coming after) and to cut off the locks of that Samp∣son whom they mean to bind, pare and circumcise the claws of that crea∣ture they are to combate with; I mean to set out that cause, and those arguments at the weakest, to which they are to give satisfaction. And yet by the way, I must confesse, that even these weak arguments which they have named, are to me of some moment, as first, The redresse of many things, which were vain, erroneous, superstitious, and Idolatrous, which argues that all is not now involv'd under any of those titles, nor conse∣quently to be abolisht, but further reform'd onely. 2. That they which did this, were wise and pious, which they that were, would never take pains to purge that which was all drosse, their wisdome would have Page  49 helpt them to discern that it was so, and their piety oblige them to reject it altogether, and not to save one hoof, when all was due to the common slaughter. 3. That many godly and learned men rejoyced much in the Liturgie, which argues that all was not to be detested, unlesse either these men now be somewhat higher then Godly or Learned, of that middle sort of rationals, that Iamblichus out of Aristotle speaks of, betwixt God, and Man, the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or unlesse it be confest that many Godly and Learn∣ed men may be mistaken in a matter of this moment, and then these may be also mistaken at this time.

[Sect. 2] Having therefore made use of that artifice, mention'd some generall slight grounds of mens approving and rejoycing in the new formed Litur∣gie, the Composers of that Preface, I mean speedily to weigh them down, with a heap of contrary sad matter, and then to leave it to the Readers judgement, whether they are not his friends, thus to disabuse him, and his silly good-natur'd ancestors, that were thus slightly flat∣ter'd into a good opinion of an inconvenient, if not mischievous Litur∣gie. Great hast is therefore made, and some arts and preparations used, to work upon the affection more then judgement of the Reader, and this is done by that Rhetoricall pathetick stroke [Howbeit, long and sad expe∣rience hath made it manifest] Words of some consideration and efficacy, * but that they have one weak part in them, an infirmity that this age is very subject to, that of causlesse and groundlesse calumny. For how long soever, and to murmurers, and passionate lovers of news and change, how irksome and tedious soever the experience of this Liturgie hath been, 'tis notoriously certain that it hath not been sad, save onely again to those evill eyes; but on the other side, a continuall float and tide of joy to all true English men, to see and observe the prosperity and flourishing of this Church, in a perpetuall swelling and growth, ever since the esta∣blishing of that Protestant Liturgie and Religion together among us, till at last (about the time when this vast calamity brake in upon us) it was grown to such an height, as was certainly never heard of (or by Ene∣mies themselves affirmed at any other time to have been) in this King∣dom, or (were it not a little like boasting, to which yet you have constrain'd us, I should adde) in any other part of Europe also for these many hun∣dred yeers.

[Sect. 3] But what is it that this so falsly supposed sad experience hath made ma∣nifest? Why, that the Liturgie used in the Church of England (notwithstand∣ing the pains and Religious intentions of the Compilers of it) hath prov'd an of∣fence, not onely to many of the Godly at home, but also to the Reformed Churches abroad.

Page  50 In which words we shall not take advantage of the Confession of the Religious intentions of the Compilers of our Liturgie, which signifies the offence here spoken of in their notion of it to be acceptum, non datum, taken when it was not given; nor 2. Oppose those religious intentions to the irre∣ligious mistakes of others, and accusations of those things which were so religiously intended; nor. 3. Compare the reputations of those Per∣sons which compiled that Liturgie, whether in King Edwards (Cranmer, Ridly, P. Martyr) or in Queen Elizabeths dayes (Parker, Grindall, Horn, Whitchead, &c.) with the Members of this Assembly, much lesse the intenti∣ons of them, which in the mouth of Enemies is acknowledged religious, with the intentions of these, which if we may measure by their more visible enterprizes, and the Covenant in which they have associated con∣trary to all Laws of God and men, we shall have temptation to suspect not guilty of over-much Religion; or good purpose to the government of this Kingdom; nor 4. confront the number of those others that are here confest to be pleased and benefited, against those others that are said to be offended, which were argument enough for thatwhich is established, that considering the danger of change, it ought in all reason rather to stand to please one sort, and benefit them still, then to be pull'd down to comply with the other. But we shall confine our selves to that which the objectors principally designed as a first reason for which our Liturgie must be destroyed, because, forsooth, say they, it hath prov'd an ffence, &c. For the through examining of which reason, it will be necessary to en∣quire into these three things: 1. What they mean by offence: 2. What truth there is in the assertion, that the Liturgie hath prov'd so to the Godly at home, and to the Reformed Churches abroad: 3. How far that might be a reason of destroying that which proves an offence.

[Sect. 4] For the first, the word Offence is an equivocall mistaken word, and by that means is many times a title of a charge or accusation, when there is no reall crime under it; For sometimes in our English language especi∣ally, it is taken for that which any body is displeased or angry at, and then if the thing be not ill in it self, that anger is a causelesse anger, which he that is guilty of, must know to be a sin, and humble himself before God for it, and fail into it no more, and then there need no more be said of such offences, but that he that is or hath been angry at the Liturgie, must prove the Liturgie to be really ill, (which if it could be done here, the matter of Offence would never have been charged on it, for that is set to supply the place of a greater accusation) or else confesse himself, or those others so offended, to have sinned by such anger. But then 2. If we may guesse of the meaning of the word by the reason which is brought Page  51 to prove the charge [For not to speak, &c.] it is set here to signifie, 1 The burthen of reading all the Prayers; 2. The many unprofitable burthensome Ce∣remonies, which hath occasion'd mischiefby disquieting the Consciences of those that cocld not yeeld to them, and by depriving them of the Ordinances of God, which they may not enjoy without conforming or subscribing to those Ceremonies. To proceed then to the second thing, what truth there is in this Asser∣tion, and view it in the severals of the proof.

[Sect. 5] For the first of these, the burthen of reading the Prayers; if they were enough to prove the Liturgie offensive, all Christian vertues would be in∣volv'd in that charge, because they have all some burthen and difficul∣tie in them, and for this particular, seeing we speak to Christians, we might hope that the Service would not passe for a burthen to the Godly (who are here named) i. e. to minds truly devout, if it were longer then it is: and that it may not do so, I am sure it is very prudently framed with as much variety, and as moderate length of each part, as could be imagined, and sure he that shall compare the practices, will find the burthen and length both to Minister and People to be as great, by obser∣ving the prescriptions in the Directory, in the shortest manner, as this that our Liturgie hath designed. 3. For the many unprofitable burthensome Cere∣monies. Every of those Epithets is a calumny; for 1. They are not many, To the People I am sure, For kneeling and standing which are the onely Ceremonies in the daily Service, will not make up that number (and for the rest, there is but a superaddition of some one in each Service.) As for sitting bare, if reason it self will not prescribe that civility to be paid to God in the House of God, (where without any positive precept, Jacob put off his shooes from off his feet) neither doth our Liturgie prescribe it. 2 They are not unprofitable, but each of them tending to advance the businesse towhich they are annext, kneeling to increase our humility, and joyn the body with the soul in that duty of adoration, standing to elevate and again to joyn with the soul in Confession of God and Thanksgiving, and the rest proportion'd to the businesse in hand; and 3. If not many, not unproffi∣able, then not burthensome also. As for the disquieting the Conscience of many godly Ministers and People, who could not yeeld to the Ceremonies; I answer, that by what hath formerly been said, and the no-objection in this Directorie against any such, it appears that thereis no Ceremonie ap∣pointed in our Liturgie which is improper or impertinent to the action, to which it is annext, much lesse in it selfe unlawfull. And then for mans Con∣sciences to be disquieted, it argues that they have not, in that manner, as they ought, desired information; as for Ministers, we know that all that have been received into that Order, have voluntarily su scribed to them, Page  52 and consequently have receded from their own subscription, if they have after refused to conform. And we desire to know what tender respect will be had to the Consciences of those, who shall submit to your Directory, and afterward refuse to conform unto it. I am sure the denuntiations which we have heard of against the dissenting Brethren, about the matter of Jurisdiction and Censures (and now lately concerning the depravers of your Directory) have been none of the mildest, although those are your own fellow-Members, that have assisted you as affectionately in the grand Cause as any, and never made themselves liable to your severi∣tie, by having once conformed to you in those particulars. And so 3. For depriving them of the ordinances of God, &c. if that were the punishment appointed for the obstinate and refractory, 'tis no more then the Laws of the Land appointed for their Portion, and in that sure not without any example in Scripture and Apostolicall practice, who appointed such per∣verse Persons to be avoided, which is a censure as high as any hath been here on such inflicted. What Ordinances they were of which such men were deprived, I conceive is specified by the next words, that sundry good Chri∣stians have been by means thereof kept from the Lords table, which must needs refer to those that would not kneel there, and why that should be so unreasonable, when the very Directory layes the matter so, that none shall receive with them who do not fit, there will be little ground, un∣lesse it be that no posture in the Service of God can be offensive, but one∣ly that of kneeling, which indeed hath had the very ill luck by Socinus, in his Tract De Coenâ Domini, to be turn'd out of the Church as Idolo∣latricall (with whom to affirm the same will be as great a complyance, as kneeling can be with the Papists.) And by these as superstitious at least, I know not for what guilt, except that of too much humility, as being in M. Archer his Divinitie, as before I intimated, a betraying of one of the greatest comforts in the Sacrament, the sitting fellow Kings with Christ in his earthly Kingdom, confessing thereby that some mens hearts are so set on that earthly Kingdom, that the hope of an Heavenly Kingdom, will not yeeld them comfort, unlesse they may have that other in the way to it; and withall telling us, that he and his Compeers are those men.

[Sect. 6] Having survey'd these severalls, and shewed how injustly the charge of Offence is laid on the Lyturgie, and how little 'tis prov'd by these reasons, I shall onely adde, that the proposition pretended to be thus proved by these particulars, is much larger then the proofs can be imagined to extend. For part of the proposition was, that the Litur∣gie was offence to the Reformed Churches abroad, To which the [For] is Page  53 immediately annext, as if it introduced some proofe of that also. But 'tis apparent, that the proofes specified inferre not that, for neither the burthen of reading is offence to them, nor are their Consciences disquieted, nor they deprived of Gods ordinances by that means. In which respect 'tis necessary for us to conclude, that the word Offence, as applyed to them nor are their consciences disquieted, nor they deprived of Gods ordinance by that meanes. In which respect 'tis necessary for us to conclude, that the word Offence, as applyed to them, is taken in that other notion, that they are displeased and angry at it. To which we then must answer, that although there is no guilt inferred from the undergoing this fate of being disliked by some, but rather that it is to be deemed an ill indication to be spoken well of by all, yet have we never heard of any Forrreigne Church which hath exprest any such offence; the utmost that can be said, is (and yet not so much as that is here suggested) that some particular men have exprest such dislike; to whom we could easily oppose the judgement of others more eminent among them who have largely exprest their ap∣probation of it. And 'tis observable, that Calvin himselfe, when from Frank fort he had received an odious malitious account of many parti∣culars in our Liturgy (as any will acknowledge that shall compare the report then made, with what he finds) though he were so far transport∣ed as to call them ineptias follies, yet addes the Epithet of tolerabiles, that though such, they were yet tolerable. And therefore

In the third place, I may now conclude, that if all that is thus af∣firm'd to prove the Offence in the Liturgie, used in the Church of England were (after all this evidence of the contrary) supposed true, yet is it no argument to infer the justice of the present designe which is not reform∣ing, but abolishing both of that and all other Liturgie. Were the Offence in the length of the Service, that length might be reform'd, and yet Liturgie remain; were there Offence in the Ceremonies, or mischief in the punishing them that have not conformed, those Ceremonies might be left free, that Conformity be not thus prest, and still Liturgie be preserved inviolate. As for the forreign Churches, 1. I shall demand, whether onely some are thus offended, or all. Not all, for some of the wisest in these Churches have commended it; and if some onely, then it seems others are not of∣fended, and why must we be so partiall, as to offend and displease some, that we may escape the offending others? not sure because we more esteme the judgements of the latter, for by the Apostles rule the weaker men are, the more care must be taken, that they be not offended. 2 I shall suppose that their Liturgie, or their having none at all, may possibly of∣fend us, and then demand why they shall not be as much obliged to Page  54 change for the satisfying of us, as we of them? I am ashamed to presse this illogicall discourse too far, which sure never foresaw such exami∣nation, being meant onely to give the People a formall specious shew for what is done, a heap of popular Arguments, which have of late gotten away all the custome from Demonstrations, and then, Si populus vult deci∣pi, decipiatur if the tame Creature will thus be taken, any fallacy, or Topicke doth as well for the turn, as if Euclid had demonstrated it.

[Sect. 8] In pursuit of this popular Argument it follows, that by this means, i. e.*of the Liturgie, divers able and faithfull Ministers were debarred from the exer∣cise of their Ministery, and spoiled of their livelyhood to the undoing of them and their Families. To which I answer. 1. That if this be true, it is very strange that so few of this present Assembly were of that number. For of them I may surely say many, very many in proportion, were not debarred of the exercise of their Ministery, were not despoyled of their livelyhood, &c. And if any one was, which I professe I know not, I beleeve it will be found, that the standing of Liturgie, brought not those inflictions upon him. The conclusion from hence will be, that either these present Assem∣blers concurred not in judgement with those many able and faithful Mini∣sters, (and then why do they now bring their Arguments from them, whose judgement they did not approve and follow?) or else that they were not so valiant, as to appear when fufferings expected them, or else that they had a very happy Rainbowe hanging over their heads to avert from them that common storme. But then secondly, It might be consider∣ed, whether those mentioned penalties have not been legaelly, and by Act of Parliament, inflicted on those who suffered under them, and then whe∣ther that will be ground sufficient to abolish a Law, because by force thereof some men that offended against it have been punished. Thirdly, whether somemen did not choose non conformitie as the more instrumental to the exercise of their Ministry, changing one Parish for the whole dio∣cesse and Preaching oftner in private Families then any other did in the Church, and withall, whether this had not the encouragement of being the more gainfall trade, of bringing in larger Pensions then formerly they had receiv'd Tithes. Fourthly, whether the punishments inflicted on such, have not generally been inferiour to the rignor of the Statute, and not executed on any who have not been very unpeaceable, and then whe∣ther unpeaceable persons would not go neer to fall under some mulcts, what ever the Form of Government, what ever the Church Service were, none having the promise of inheriting〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Land of Canaan, an happy prosperous life in this world, but they whose meeknesse and obedi∣ence to Laws have given them a claim to that priviledge. Fifthly; whe∣ther Page  55 the number of those, who by Ordinances have lately been so debarred of the exercise their Ministry, and spoiled of their livelyhood, have not been far greater then all those together, that ever the Liturgie thus offended since the Reformation. Sixthly, whether this Directory, should it be esta∣blisht, would not be so imposed, that they which obey it not, shall be sub∣ject to these or the like penalties.

[Sect. 9] 'Tis added in the next place to raise the cry, and encrease the Odium,*and to involve the Prelates and the Liturgie in the same calamity, (for otherwise what hath the Prelates labouring, &c. to do with the Liturgie) That the Prelates and their Faction have laboured to raise the estimation of the Liturgie to such an height, as if there were no other worship, or way of worship of God among us, but onely the Service-book, to the great hindrance of the Preach∣ing the Word. To which I answer, 1. That this or any other action of the Prelates, if supposed never so true, and never so extravagant, is wholly extrinsecall and impertinent to the businesse of the Liturgy, and the more impertinent, by how much the more extravagant, such actions being easily coerced, and reduced by and according to the rule, and such unreason∣able enhaunsments separable, without any wound or violence to the Liturgie. Give the Liturgie its due, not its usurped estimation, and we are all agreed. 2. 'Tis here acknowledged that this was but laboured, not affirmed that it was effected, and then this sure is too heavy a doom on the Liturgie, for that their labouring; we do not find that St Paul was stroke dead, like Herod, because the Lycaonians meant and laboured to do sacrifice unto him. Act. 14. 16. But then 3. he that shall consider who they are which make this objection, will sure never be moved by it. For cer∣tainly they that have formerly set the prime of their wits and endea∣vours to vilifie and defame the Liturgie; and now that they think they have power, have absolutely abolisht it, will go neer to be partiall when they are to judge of the due estimation of it; they that declaim at Bishops for advancing it, will they be just and take notice of their own con∣tempts, which enforced the Bishops thus to rescue and vindicate it? I shall not expect it from them, nor, till then, that they will deliver any more then popular shews of truth in this matter. For 4. the Prelates have not raised the book to an higher estimation then the Law hath raised it, that is, that it may be observed so as may most tend to edification, nor do we now desire any greater height of value for it, then you for the Dire∣ctorie, I shall adde, nor so great neither, for we do not exclude all other as unlawfull, as you have done, and then I am confident God will not lay that charge on us, which you do on the Prelates, nor any man that shall consider how different our titles are, though our claims not proportion'd Page  56 to them. A peice of modesty and moderation which we challenge you to transcribe from us. 5. All this all this while is a meer Calumny, if by the Service Book is meant the use of the prayers in the Liturgie, for no Prelate ever affirm'd, or is known to have thought, that there is no other way of worship of God, but that among us. But then 6ly, We adde that this way of publick prayer by set Form, the onely one establisht by Law, (and so sure to be esteem'd by us before any other) is also in many respects the most convenient for Publick worship, of which affirmation we shall offer you no other proof or testimony, then what Mr. Calvin, whom before we named, hath given us in his Epistle to the Protector, in these words, Quod ad formulam, &c. As for Forms of Prayers, and Ecclesiasticall Rites, I very much approve, that it be set or certain. From which it may not be lawfull for the Pastors in their Function to depart, that so there may be provision made for the simplicity and unskilfulnesse of some, and that the consent of all the Churches among them∣selves may more certainly appear: and lastly also, that the extravagant levity of some, who affect novelties, may be prevented. So probable was my conjecture, that at first I interposed, that the men that had here imposed upon their fellows so far, as to conclude the abolition of Liturgie necessary, were those that undertook to reform Geneva as well as England, to chastise Calvins estimation of it, as well as that of our Prelates.

[Sect. 10] As for that pompous close, that this hath been to the great hindrance of the*Preaching of the Word, and to the justling it out as unnecessary, or at est inferiour to the reading of Common-Prayer. I answer, 1. That the Liturgie, or the just estimation of it, is perfectly uncapable of this charge, it being so far from hindring, that it requires the Preaching of the Word, assignes the place where the Sermon shall come in, hath Prayers for a blessing upon it. 2. That if any where Sermons have been neglected, it hath not been through any default either of the length or estimation of the Liturgie, for these two, if Faction and Schisme did not set them at oddes, would very friendly and peaceably dwell together, and each tend much to the proficiencie and gain which might arise from either; Prayers would prepare us to hear as we ought, i. e. to practice also; and Sermons might incite and stir up the languishing devotion, and enliven and animate it with zeal and fervencie in Prayer. And constantly the more we esteemed the Ordinance, and set our selves to the discharge of the dutie of Prayer, the more should we pro∣fit by Sermons which were thus received into an honest heart thus fitted, and made capable of impression by Prayer. These two may therefore live like Abraham and Lot, and why should there be any wrangling or controversie betwixt thy Heards-men and my Heards-men? But seeing it is made a season of complaining, I answer, 3. That it is on the other side most notorious, Page  57 that in many places the Sermon hath justled out the Common Prayers, and upon such a provocation, (and onely to prevent the like partiality or oppression) it may be just now to adde, that as long as the Liturgy con∣tinues in its legall possession in this Church, there is no other legall way (as that signifies, commanded by Law) of the publick worship of God among us, and although that voluntary Prayer of the Minister before Sermon, when it is used, is a part of the worship of God, (as all Prayer is) yet is it not prescribed by the Law, nor consequently can it without usurpation cut short or take away any part of that time which is by that assigned to the Liturgie; the free will offerings, though permitted must not supplant the daily prescribed oblations, the Corban must not excuse the not honour∣ing of Parents, the customes which are tolerated must not evacuate or su∣persede the precepts of the Church. As for Sermons, which in this period seem the onely thing that is here opposed to Liturgie; I hope they do not undertake to be as eminent a part of the worship of God among us as Prayer. If they do, I must lesse blame the poore ignorant people, that when they have heard a Sermon or two think they have served God for all that day or week, nor the generality of those seduced ones, who place so great a part of Pietie in hearing, and think so much the more comfortably of themselves from the number of the houres spent in that Exercise, which hath of late been the onely businesse of the Church, (which was by God instil'd the House of Prayer) & the Liturgie at most used but as Musick to entertain the Auditors till the Actors be attired, and the Seats be full, and it be time for the Scene to enter. This if it were true, would avow and justifie that plea in the Gospel [Lord open unto us, for thou hast taught in our streets] i. e. we have heard thee Preach among us. Which sure Christ would not so have defamed with an [I will say unto them, go you cursed &c.] if it had been the prime part of his worship to be such hearers; the consideration of that place will give us a right notion of this businesse, and 'tis this, that hearing of Sermons, or what else ap∣pointed by the Church for our instruction, is a duty of every Christian prescribed in order to practice or good life, to which knowledge is neces∣sarily preparative, and so, like many others, actus imperatus, an act com∣manded by Religion; but so far from being it self an immediate or elicite act of worship precisely or abstractly, as it is hearing, that unlesse that proportionable practice attend it, 'tis but an aggravation and accumulati∣on of our guilts, the blessednesse not belonging to the hearing, but the [and keeping the word of God] & the go you Cursed, to none more then to those, that hear and say, but do not: and for the title of worship of God, whether outward or inward outwardly exprest, orall Prayer certainly, & Page  58adoration of God is the thing to which that most specially belongs, as may appear, Psal. 95. 6. where that of worshipping is attended, with fal∣ling down and kneeling before the Lord our maker. And even your Di∣rectory, though it speak extream high of Preaching the Word, yet doth not it stile it any part of Gods worship, as it doth the reading the word of God in the Congregation, p. 12. because indeed our manner of Preaching is but an humane thing, and the word of man. This I should not here have said, because I would be sure not to discourage any in the attending any Christian duty (and such I acknowledge hearing to be, and heartily exhort all my Fellow-Labourers in their severall Charges, to take heed to Doctrine, to Reproof, to Exhortation, to be as frequent and diligent in it, as the wants of their Charges require of them; and my fellow-Christians also, that they give heed to sound Doctrine, that they require the Law at the Priests mouth, as of a messenger of the Lord of hosts, & again to take heed how they hear) but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or impropriety of speech, that I say no more, that is in this matter discernible in the words of the Directorie, and the consequent dangers which experience hath forced us to observe in them, who place the worship of God especially in hearing, have extorted thus much from us, which may be usefull to give us a due valuation of Sermon and Prayer, the former as a duty of a Christian, the latter a duty too, and an elicite act, a prime speciall part of worship also.

[Sect. 11] And whereas 'is added, that the Liturgie by many is made no better then an Idol, 1. That is a speech of great cunning, but withall of great unchari∣tablenesse:*cunning, in setting the words so cautiously thus, not an Idoll, but [no better then] (as they, that will rayl, but would not pay for it, whose fear doth moderate the petulancy of their spleen, and covetousnesse keep them from letting any thing fall that the Law may take hold of, are wont to do) and yet withall signifying as odiously as if it had been made an Idoll indeed. Whereas the plain literall sense of the words if it be taken, will be this, that an Idoll is not worse then our Common-Prayer Book is to many, or that it is used by many as ill as an Idol is wont to be used, which is then the most bitter peice of uncharitablenes, if not ground∣ed on certain knowledge, and that impossible to be had by others, as could be imagined. The truth is, this Directory hath now proved that there is a true sense of these words, the Compilers of which have demon∣strated themselves to be those many that have made our Liturgie no bet∣ter then an Idoll, have dealt with it as the good Kings did with the abomi∣nations of the Heathens, brake it in peices, ground it to powder, & thrown the dust of it into the Brook; for abolition is the plain sence for which that is the metaphor. But then a▪ 'Tis possible, the calme meaning of those Page  59odious words is no more then this, that many have given this an estimati∣on higher then it deserves, If any such there be, I desire not to be their ad∣vocate, having to my task onely the vindication of it's just esteem; but yet cannot resist the temptation which prompts me to return to you, that some men ar neer the golden mean as the Assemblers, have said the like of Preaching, though not exprest it in so large a Declamatory figure; and I shall ask; whether you have not possibly given them some occasion to do so (as great perhaps as hath been given you to passe this sentence on on them) at least now confirmed them in so doing, by applying or ap∣propriating to the Preaching of the word (in the Modern notion of it, and as in your Directory it is distinguisht from reading of the Scriptures) the title which St Paul gives to the Gospel of Christ, saying, that it is the Power of God unto Salvation, and one of the greatest and most excellent works of the Ministry of the Gospel, p. 27, which former clause of power of Cod. &c. though it be most truly affirmed by S. Paul of their Preach∣ing the Gospel, and also truly applied or accommodated to that Preach∣ing or interpreting of Scripture, which is the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the due application of the Scripture rule to particular cases, yet is it not true in universum, of all that is now adayes call'd Preaching, much of that kind being 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, of a mortiferous poysonous savour, not to them that perish, but to the most Christian auditory it meets with; And that the railing of every Pulpit-Rabshakeh, the speaking evil of Dignities, &c. should be stiled the power of God to Salvation, I have little temptation to believe. And whe∣ther the latter clause be true also, I refer you to S. Aug. Ep. 108. ad Hono∣rat. where speaking of damages that come to the people by the absence of the Minister, and consequently of necessaria Ministeria, the speciall use∣full necessary acts of the Ministry, he names the Sacraments, and recei∣ving of Penitents, and giving of comfort to them, but mentions neither Praying nor Preaching in that place, I shall adde no more, but that some have on these, and the like grounds been tempted to say, that you idolize Preaching, because you attribute so much to any the worst kind of that, above what others have conceived to be its due proportion. And yet we hope you think not fit to abolish Preaching on that suggestion, and con∣sequently, that it will be as unjust to abolish Liturgy on the like, though it should be prov'd a true one, this being clearly the fault of Men, end not of Liturgy, as that even now of the Lycaonians and not of Paul, especially when the many, which are affirmed to have thus offended, by Idolizing the Liturgy, are said to be ignorant and superstitious, whose faults, & errors and imprudencies, if they may prove matter sufficient for such a sentence, may also rob us of all the treasures we have, of our Bibles & Souls also. For Page  60 thus hath the Gospel been used as a 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or charm, and that is but little better then an Idol, and so have some persons been had in admira∣tion, and beleeved as if they were infallible, and so in a manner Idoliz'd also, and that this should be a capitall crime in them that were thus ad∣mired, would be a new peice of severitie, that few of Draco's Laws could parallel.

[Sect. 12] The next charge (which is an appendant proof of this) is that the Peo∣ple pleasing themselves in their presence at that Service, and their Lip-labour*in bearing a part in it, have thereby hardned themselves in their ignorance, and carelesnesse of saving knowledge and true piety. To this I answer, 1. That 'tis no fault to be so pleased with presence at that service (the congregation of many Saints is to any a pleasing company) and therefore if it were immediate to, and inseparable from the Liturgy, would not be a charge against it, nor in any probability hinder but ad∣vance the desire, and acquisition of saving knowledge and true piety, which is there proposed to all that are present at the Liturgy. But if the phrase signifie being pleased with the bare presence, or the being present, and doing nothing of that they come for, as the lip. labour seems to denote the hard labour of the lip, and not joyning any zeal or intention of the heart, it is but then an uncharitable censure again, if it be not upon certain knowledge, and if it be, 'tis as incident to that order of the Directories pro∣posing, as to the Liturgy, One may please himself with a bare presence at Sermon, and either sleep it out, or think on some worldly matter; one, may say all or most of the Ministers Prayer after him, and sigh and groan at every period and satisfie himself that this is a gallant work of piety, but truly I would be unwilling to be he that should passe this censure on any whose heart I did not know (for sure it is not necessary that any man should leave his heart at home, when his body is present, or employ it on some thing else, when his lips are busied either in our Liturgy or that Di∣rectory prayer) nor, if I did so should I think that the Directories order for worship should be rejected for this fault of others, if there were nothing else to be said against it. As for the Peoples bearing a part in the Service, wch seems to refer to the responses, this hath had an account given of it already

[Sect. 13] Onely in the whole period put together, this seems to be in••nuated, that the saving knowledge, and true piety, is no where to be had, but in those Sermons, which are not shered in with the Liturgy; which we shall not wonder at them for affirming, who have a long time thus perswaded the people, that all saving knowledge is to be had from them, and their complices, and blasted all others for carnal men, of which many discrimi∣native Characters were formerly given, as kneeling or praying at the time Page  61 of entrance into pue or pulpit; but now it seems the use of the Liturgy supplies the place of all, as being incompatible with saving knowledge and true piety. If this be true, that will be a very popular plausible argu∣ment I confesse, and therefore I shall oppose unto, that which I hope will not passe for boast either with God or Angels, that of the Sermons which have been Preacht since the Reformation in this Kingdom, and commended to the Presse and publick view, very few were Preacht by those that excluded the Liturgy out of the Churches, and that since this Directory came into use, and so made a visible discrimination among men there hath been as much saving knowledge, i. e, Orthodox doctrine, and exhortation to repentance, Prayer, Faith, Hope, and Love of God, Self∣deniall, and readinesse to take up the crosse, (duties toward God) and to Allegiance, Justice, Mercy, Peaceablenesse, Meeknesse, Charity even to Enemies, (and the rest of the duties toward man) to be heard in the Ser∣mons of those that retain the Liturgy, and as much obedience to those observable in the lives of those that frequent it, as is to be met with in the espousers of the Directory. If it be not thus, I confesse I shall have lit∣tle hope, that God will suffer such a jewel as the Liturgy is, to continue any longer among us so unprofitably, and yet if men were guilty of this fault also, and the Liturgy of the unhappinesse of having none but such Clients, yet would not this be sufficient authority for any men to abolish it, any more then it will be just to hang him who hath been unfortunate, or to make any mans infelicity his guilt. I beseech God to inflame all our hearts with that zeal, attention, fervency, which is due to that action of of Prayer in our Liturgy, and that cheerfull obedience to all that is taught us out of his Word, and then I am sure this argument or objection against our Liturgy will be answered, if as yet it be not.

[Sect. 14] The next objection is the Papists boast, that our Book is a complyance with them in a great part of the Service, and so that they were not a lit∣tle confirm'd in their Superstition and Idolatry, &c. Where I shall 1. de∣mand, is there any Superstition or Idolatry in that part of the Service wherein we thus comply with them? if so, 'tis more then a complyance with Papists, 'tis in it self a down-right damning sin; and if there be not, but all that is Idolatrous or superstitious in their Service is reform'd in ours, then sure this will be far from confirming them in either of those, if they depend any thing upon our judgements or our cōplyance. 2. 'Tis a lit∣tle unreasonable, that they who will not believe the Papists in any thing else, should believe their boast against us, and think it an accusation suffi∣ciently proved, because they say it; whereas this affirmation of the Pa∣pists, if it be theirs, (and not the Assemblers rather imposed upon them) Page  62 is as grosse, though perhaps not as dangerous a falsity, as any one which the Assemblers have condemn'd in them. For 3. The truth is notorious, that our Reformers retain'd not any part of Popish-service, reformed their Breviry and Processionall, and Masse-book, as they did their Doctrine, retained nothing but what the Papists had received from purer Antiquity, and was as clear from the true charge of Popery, as any period in either Prayer or Sermon in the Directory; which argues our complyance with the ancient Church, and not with them; the very thing that Isaac Casaubon so admired in this Church of ours, the care of antiquity and purity, proclaiming every where in his Epistles to all his friends, that there was not any where else in the world the like to be found, nor ever hoped he to see it till he came into this Kingdom. And sure there is no Soloecisme in this, that we being a Reformed Church, should desire to have a Reformed Liturgy, which hath alwayes had such a consent and sympathy with the Church, that it will not be a causlesse fear, lest the a∣bolition of Liturgy as far as God in judgement permits it to extend, (the just punishment of them that have rejected it) be attended with the abo∣lition of the Church in time, and even of Christianity also.

[Sect. 15] As for the confirming of Papists in their superstition by this means, I desire it be considered whether it be a probable accusation, viz. 1. Whe∣ther the rejecting that which the Papists have from antiquity, as well as what they have obtruded on, or superadded to it, be a more likely means to win them to hear us or reform themselves, then our retaining with them what they retain from Antiquity, i. e. whether a servant (much more whe∣ther a brother) that is reprehended as much for his diligence, as for his neglects, for his good and faithfull, as for his ill and false services, be more likely thereby to be enclined to mend his faults, then he that is seasonably and meekly reprov'd for his miscarriages onely? It was good advice in that ancient Epistle to Polycarpus, ascribed to S. Ignatius,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, meeknesse is the best means to bring down the most pesti∣lent adversary, & the resemblance by which he expresse it as seasonable, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Fomentations are most proper to allay any ex∣asperation of humours. And 'tis Hippocrates advice, that the Physitian should never go abroad without some〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, lenitives or mollifying applications about him; It seems there was nothing of so daily approved use as those. And that will avow this method of complying with adversa∣ries, as far as w may, to be a probable & a wise, as wel as a Christiā course to bring them from their superstition, & not to confirm them in it. And a∣nother use there is wherein the Papists themselves confesse this cōpliance was politick, to take all scruple out of the heads & hearts of the people of Page  63 England, concerning the lawfulnesse of this Reformation, (This is the o∣pinion of the Papists exprest / in a Book call'd Babel and Jerusalem, or Monarcho-machia Protestantium, subscibed by P. D. M. but conceiv'd to be Patisons; p. 314.) that they might conceive, that the Service and Religion still continued the same, but was translated into English onely, for their hetter edification, and so, saith he, 〈◊〉was indeed very politickly handled. 2. Whether that which drives away all Papists from all kind communion or conversation with us, from all hearing of our Preaching or Doctrine, be more likely to work them over to our side, then that which permits them to come to our Churches with us. For this is noto∣riously known, that as our Liturgy now is, and was framed in Queen E∣lizabeths dayes, the Papists did for ten years together, at the beginning of her Reign, come to Church with us, and so continved, till the Popes ex∣cōmunicating the Queen and our Nation, made it so appear unlawfull for them. And perhaps but appear too, for an account might be given of this businesse, that it is no way unlawfull (by his own principles) to a Pa∣pist, remaining thus to come to our Churches, and be present at our Litur∣gy, and (if that be thought an objection or reproach against us, I shall then adde) not onely to ours, but to that Service which is performed according to the Directory also, the onely difference being, that if both by them were conceiv'd lawfull (as by mistake, I beleeve, in them neither now is) our Liturgy would be more likely to attract them, then the Directory; And this we conceive not such a fault as to offer any excuse for it, (for if S. Paul by being a Jew to the Jew, could hope to gain the Jew, why should not we (without being Papists to the Papists, but onely Christians in those things wherein they are so too) expect to gain the Papist also? For supposing this to be, as you call it a compliance with them, sure 'twere a more probable gaining way, then to denounce enmity to all, whom they ever converst with; I mean to the primitive Liturgies for no other crime, but because they made use of them, Who are best Diviners in this matter, they, or we, experience may perhaps hereafter prove. In the mean, I can∣not imagine but Liturgy and moderation, & charity, may be able to bring in as fair a shole of Proselytes, to convert as many Papists to us, or at least to confirm Protestants, as an Ordinance for Sequestration of all their goods, & Halter, & a Directory will be able to do, yea with an Ordināce for the ordinatiō of Ministers by meer Presbyters too, cal'd in to assist th

[Sect. 16] And whereas 'tis added in that same Section, that the Papists were ve∣ry*much encouraged in that expectation, when upon the pretended war∣rantablenes of imposing of the former Ceremonies, new ones were daily ob∣truded upon the Church. 1. I demand an occasion of that phrase [pretended Page  64 warrantablenesse of imposing of Cerémonies.] May any Ceremonies be im∣posed or no? if they may, then an Act of Parliament may certainly do it, and such was that wch confirm'd our Liturgy, & so the warrantablenesse not pretended; if not, why then do you impose entring the Assembly not irreverently, p. 10. and taking their places without bowing? For that gene∣rall, and that negative is notation of some Ceremony, if it have any sence in it. The phrase [not irreverently] prescribes somé reverence, there being no middle between those two, & consequently the forbidding of the one being a prescription of the other. For I shall ask. Is keeping on the hat ir∣reverence at that time? If it be, then pulling it off, or not keeping it on is a Reverence then required; And if this be avoided by saying, that this is onely there directed, not cōmanded; I reply, that an Ordinance prefixt for the establishing that direction, requiring that what is there directed shall be used, amounts to a prescription. The same may be said of causing the man to take the woman by the right hand in marriage, in the Directory, wch is the prescribing of a Ceremony, as much as if the Ring had been ap∣pointed to be used there also. 2. I answer that we know not of any Cere∣monies wch have been obtruded or forced on any wch the Law hath not cōmanded, (or if there had, this had been nothing to the Liturgy, nor con∣sequently to be fetcht in as a part of a charge against it;) That of bowing at the entrance into the Church, is the most likely to be the Ceremony here spoken of, and yet that is neither a new one (never by any Law or Canon turn'd out at the Reformation, but onely not then imposed under any cō∣mand, and since disused in some places) nor yet was it lately imposed or obtruded on the Church, but on the other side in the Canon of the last so hated Convocation, (which alone could be said to deal with the Church in this matter) it was onely recōmended, and explained, and vindicated from all mistake, and then the practice of using of it left to every mans liberty, with the caution of the Apostle, that they that use it should not condemne thē that use it not, nor they that use it not, judge them that use it. 3. That the warrantablenesse of imposing the former Ceremonies was no means or occasion of obtruding new daily, but rather an hedge to keep off such obtrusion; for when it is resolved by Law, that such Ceremonies shall be used, 'tis the implicite intimation of that Law, that all other uncōmanded are left free, & that, without authority (as the word [daily] supposes the discourse here to mean) no other can be obtruded. For sure 'tis not the quality of Law to steal in illegall pressures, but to keep them out rather, to define and limit our Liberty, not to enthrall us, to set us bounds and rules of life, not to remove all such. But then 4. That it may appear of how many truths this period is composed (every one of them with the help of Page  65 one syllable a [not] set before the principall verb, able to become such) I shall adde that the very obtrusion of such Ceremonies, if they had been obtruded, would never have encouraged a rationall Papist to ex∣pect our return to them, but only have signified that we meant by com∣plying with them, as farre as it was lawfull, to leave them without ex∣cuse, if they did not do so too, comply with us in what they might, and restore the Peace and Union of Christendom by that means. This with any moderate Papist would most probably work some good, and for the more fiery Jesuited, I am confident none were ever more mortal∣ly hated by them, then those who were favourers of the Ceremonies now mentioned, and for the truth of what I say, you are obliged to believe that passage in Romes Masterpeece, which you appointed to be set out, wherein the King, and the late Arch-bishop of Canterbury, were by the popish contrivers designed to slaughter 〈◊〉 persons wh•• they despaired to gain to them: but that any of the now Assemblers were so hated, or so feared, or thought so necessary to be taken out of the way, we have not yet heard, but are rather confident that if a petion of Rome, or a Cardinals cap, will keep them longer together to do more such work as this, so reproachfull to the Protestant Religion, they should be so hired, rather then dissolve too speedily.

[Sect. 17] In the next place, 'tis found out by experience, that the Liturgie hath been a great means to make and encrease an idle and unedifying Ministry, which*contented it self with set forms made to their hands by others without putting forth themselves to exercise the gift of prayer. To this I answer, that those Ministers are not presently proved to be idle and unedifying which have been content to use the Liturgy. I hope there may be other wayes of labour, beside that of extemporary prayer (which can be no longer a la∣bour then while it is a speaking.) For 1. I had thought that these men might have acknowledged preaching and Catechizing, the former at least, to have been the work of a Minister, and that an edifying work, and that sre those men have been exercised in, who have retaind the Litugy also. 2. Study of all kind of Divine learning, of which the haters of Li∣turgie have not gotten the inclosure, may passe with sober men for a la∣bour also, & that which may tend to edification, if it have charity joyned with it, and that may be had too, without hating the Liturgie. But then 3. I conceive that this Directory is no necessary provision against this reproached idlenesse, or unedifyingnesse in any that were former∣ly guilty of them in the dayes of Liturgie. For sure the labour will not be much increased to the Minister, that will observe the Directory, be∣cause either he may pray extempore, which will be no pains, but of his Page  66lungs and sides in the delivery, or else a form being composed by any, ac∣cording to the Directory (which is in effect a Form it self,) he may thenceforth continue as idle as he who useth our form of Liturgie, and he which hath a mind to be idle, may with that use of it, and that you acknowledge, when you interpose that caution P. 8. [that the Ministers become not herely slothfull and negligent] which were wholly an unnecessa∣ry caution, if this Directory made idlenesse impossible; and if a caution will serve turn, the like may be added to our Liturgie also, without abroga∣ting of it. And for the edifying, I desire it may be considered, whether the extravagancies and impertinences, which our experience (as well grounded as that which taught these men this mystery of the idle un∣edifying Ministry) bids us expect from those who neglect set forms, do more tend to the edifying of any then the use of those prayers which are by the piety and judgement of our Reformers composed, and with which the Auditory being acquainted, may with uninterrupted devotion go along and say, Amen.

[Sect. 18] And whereas 'tis added in this place, that our Lord Christ pleaseth to furnish all his Servants whom he calls to that office with the gift of Prayer. I * desire 1. That it may be shewed what evidence we have from any pro∣mise of Christ in his word, that any such gift shall be perpetually annext by him to the Ministry; I beleeve the places which will be brought to enforce it, will conclude for gifts of Healing, making of psalms, and other the like also, which Ministers do not now a dayes pretend to. 2. I would know also why Christ, if he do so furnish them, may not also be thought to help them to the matter of their prayers (in which yet here the Directory is fain to assist them, and pag. 8. supposes the Minister may have need of such help and furniture,) as well as the form of words, in which the Liturgie makes the supply. 3 I shall not doubt to affirm, that if the gift of prayer signifie an ability of praying in publick without any pre∣meditation, discreetly and reverently, and so as never to offend against ei∣ther of those necessaries, every Minister is not furnisht with this gift, some men of very excellent abilities wanting that sudden promptnesse of elo∣cution, and choice of words for all their conceptions, others being na∣turally modest and bashfull, and not endued with this charisma of bold∣nesse, which is a great part, a speciall ingredient of that which is here called the gift of prayer. And even for those which have the former of these, and are not so happy as to want the latter, that yet they are not sufficiently gifted for prayer in publick, experience hath taught us by the very creditable relations of some, who have faln into so many indiscre∣ti••s, that we say no worse in that performance 'Tis true that God en∣ableth Page  67 men sufficiently in private to expresse their necessities to him, be∣ing able to understand sighs and groans, when words are wanting, and as well content with such Rhetorick in the Closet as any, but this is not peculiar to Ministers, and for any such ability in publick, there will not be the like security, unlesse the language of sighs and groans, without other expressions, be there current also, which appears by some, who are forced to pay that debt to God in that coyn, having through unthrif∣tinesse provided no other; and yet 'twere well also if that were the worst of it, but the truth is, blasphemy is somewhat worse then saying nothing.

[Sect. 19] The last objection is, That the countenance of the Liturgie would be a*matter of endlesse strife and contention in the Church, and a snare to many godly Ministers, &c. to the end of that page. Where 1. is observable the tem∣per and resolution of these men, of whom such special care is taken, which makes it so necessary for them, not onely to strive and contend, 1. against establisht Law. 2. about forms of Prayer, (which sure is none of the prime Articles of the Creed) but also to strive for ever, which being observed, it seems secondly, That they have a very charitable opinion of us all who are assertors of Liturgy, that we will never strive or contend for it, for other∣wise the strife may be as endlesse upon its taking away. And sure in or∣dinary judging (if they be not sure that none are contentious, but their favourites) we see no reason, why the introduction of a new way of wor∣ship, should not be more matter of strife, and so also a snare to more (if any can be ensnared or scandalized, but they) then the continuance of the old establisht Liturgie. Where, by the way, the snare they speak of seems to signifie that which catches and intraps their estates and not their souls, causeth them to be persecuted, &c. which is a notable paralogisme and fal∣lacy put upon the Scripture use of that phrase, if we took pleasure in ma∣king such discoveries. But then thirdly, We desire experience may be judge, and upon the sentence which that shall give, that it may be con∣sidered, whether upon the ballancing of the Kingdom, it will not be found that a far greater number are now at this time offended at the Directory, and thereby ensnared in their Estates, if they lie within your power, then formerly at any time (I shall adde in all times since the Reformation, put together) ever were by the Liturgie.

[Sect. 20] As for that passage which is added in the close of this Section, that in these latter times God vouchsafeth to his people mere and better means for the discovery of errour and Superstition.] Though this sounds somewhat like his Divinity who makes the power of resisting Kings, to be a truth which God pleas,d to reveal in these latter times, for the turning Antichrist out of the Page  68 world, but hid in the primitive times, that Antichrist might come in, yet I shall not now quarrell with it (because 'tis possible it may have another sence, and I would not deny any thing but what is apparently and in∣excusably false) but from thence assume, 1. That I hope God vouch∣safeth these means to them, that use the Liturgie also; For if it must be supposed a in to continue the use of it, 'tis not, I hope, such a wasting sin, as to deprive men of all grace, even of the Charismata, which unsan∣ctified men may be capable of, and of means of knowledge, which is but a common grace, and therefore I must hope that the phrase [his people] is not here meant in a discriminative sence (like the Montanists form of nos spirituales, in opposition to all others, as animales & phychici) to signifie onely those that are for the Directory, for then let them be assured, Gods gifts are not so inclosed, but that Oxord is vouchsafed as plentifull means for the discovery of errur and superstition, as London, and have, among other acts of knowledge, discovered this one by Gods blessing, (which again I shall mention) that there may be as much errour and Superstition, in rejecting of all Lturgie, as in retaining of any, in opposing Ceremonies, as in asserting them, a negative (as I said) touch not, taste not, kneel not, bow not, as well as a positive superstition; as also that there be er∣rours in practice, as well as doctrine,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉infidelities against the Com∣mandments, and Sermon of Christ in the Mount, as well as against the Creed it self, and that imposing of Laws on the King and Kingdom by the Sword, abolishing Liturgie, setting up Directories by that serne way of argument, those carnall weapons of miliia or warfare, when they are not onely practised, but asserted for lawfull, are errours, damnable errours al∣so, and such as are very neer the ordinary notion of Superstition, the teaching for doctrine the Commandments of men, I would I might not say of—also. But then 2. all this being supposed of Gods granting better means of knowledge now, then formerly, I shall yet interpose, that sure this is not a truth of an unlimited extent, for there have been Apostles, which had etter means then we, and they that were nearesthm, (and knew their doctrines, and practices, better then it is possible we should) had so also, nay Ʋniversall Councels meeting in the Holy Ghost, and pi∣ously and judiciously debating, had by the priviledge of Prayer, more right to that promise of Christs being in the midst of them, and leading them into all truth, then an illegally congregated Assembly; and all these have been greater favourers of Liturgie then any of equall authority with them have been of your Directory; And 3. if all were supposed and granted which you claim, yet still the means of knowledge now vouch∣safed do not make you infallible, lay not any morall or physicall 〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉Page  69 you to be faultlesse or errourlesse, and therefore still this may be errour in you as probably, as Liturgie should be Superstition in us. And for gifts of Preaching and Prayer, I answer, if they are and have been truly gifts, others of former times may be the Spirit have had as liberal a portion of them, as we. For sure those daies wherein the spirit was promised to be powred out on all flesh, are not these dayes of ours, or of this age, exclusively to all others; Of this I am confident, that some other ages have had them in such a measure, as was most agreeable to the propa∣gating of the Gospel, and if that were then by forming or using of Litur∣gies, why may it not be so at this time also?

[Sect. 21] Having given you my opinion of these passages, and yeelded to them for quietnesse sake, a limited truth, I must now adde, that if they be argumentative, and so meant as a proof that these Assemblers are like∣ly to be in the right, while they destroy Liturgie, although all the Chri∣stian world before them have asserted it, this will be a grosse peice of in∣solency and untruth together; a taking upon them to be the onely people of God of these latter times, nay to have greater judgement knowledge, gifts, then all the whole Christian world, for all Ages together, including the Apostles and Christ himself, have had. For all these have been produced together with the suffrage of Jews, Heathens, Mahometans also, to main∣tain set Forms; and though it be true, that some of late have found out many Superstitions, that never were discover'd before, one or other al∣most in every psture or motion in Gods Service, yet this sure is by the help of an injustice in applying without all reason that title to those actions, and not by a greater sagacity, in discerning, making many acts of indifferent performance, nay of Piety it self, go defamed and mourn∣ing under the reproach of Superstition, and not bringing any true light into the world, that before was wanting. This one Odium fastned on all Orthodox Ministers in this Kingdom at this time, of being superstitious, and the mistake of the true notion of the word which hath to that end been inued into many, (but is by a Tract lately printed somewhat dis∣covered) hath brought in a shole of Sequestrations of Livings, which have been very necessary and instrumentall, to the maintaining of these pre∣sent distempers. And now at length it proves in more respects then one, that what ever unatiate hydropecall appetices are tempted to take away, is presently involved under that title, a name that hath an universall malignitie in it, makes any thing lawfull prize that is in the company. God will in time display this deceit also.

Having mentioned these so many reasons of their abolishing our Litur∣gie, i. e. their so many 〈◊〉 against our Church and Church-men, all Page  70 if they were true, hang so loose and so separable from Liturgie, that they cannot justifie the abolition of it; At length they shut up their suggestions with [Ʋpon these and many the like weighty considerations, and because of divers particulars contained in the Book, they have resolved to lay aside the Book]* where if the many considerations unmentioned be of no more truth or vali∣dity then these, and so be like weighty considerations, I acknowledge their▪ prudenc in not naming them, and think that no part of the World is like to prove the worse for this their reservednesse, onely by the way a generall charge is nothing in Law, and in generalibus latet dolus, is a legall exception against any thing of that nature. But if they have any other which they conceive to be of any weight, hey are very unjust and very uncharitable to us, thus to ensnare our estates (the fault even now laid upon the Prelates) by requiring our approbation of their Directorie, and conformity of our practice to it, and yet not vouchsafe us that con∣viction, which they are able, to satisfie us of the reasons of their proceed∣ings. But the truth is, we shall not charge this on them neither, being made confident by the weaknesse of the motives produced, that they have not any more effectuall in store. And for the particulars contained in the Book, if there were any infirm parts in it, any thing unjustifiable, (which we conceive their Conscience tels them there is not, having not in this whole Book produced one, and yet their charity to it not so great, as to cover or conceal any store of sins) yet would not this inferre any more then onely farther Reformation of the Book, which is not the designe against which we now argue.

[Sect. 23] And having proceeded to so bloody a sentence upon such (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in the Gospel phrase) testimonies and accusatious so unsufficient and unproportionable to such a ••ndenmation, they could not but foresee the opinion that would be had of the action, and the ill and odious conse∣quents that would attend it, which therefore to keep off, is the next endeavour, by professing that which is done, is not from any love of Novelty. And truly 'tis well you tell us so, for otherwise the semblance of that love in this and other actions, might have perswaded us mortals, who see but the outsides, so to judge. And still notwithstanding the affirma∣tion, (which is not of much value in your own cause, unlesse we had more testimonies of the Authors infallibility, then this Preface hath af∣forded us) the consideration of the matter and terms of the change from what and to what, of the no manner of advantage or acquisition by it to recompence all the disadvantages, the great temerity, if not impiety to boot, in separating from this Nationall, and in scorning and defying the practice of the Ʋniversall Church, and the great illegality, that I say Page  71 no worse, of your action and the preparatory steps of motion to it, may tempt us to affirm, that it must needs be a love of novelty, even a Platnick love, as the phrase is now adayes, a love of novelty, as novelty, without any other hope for reward, without any other avowed designe in seeking it; for if there be any other which may be own'd, I am confident it hath already appeared by what hath been said, that this is not the way to it. But then 2. Such a profession as this will not sure signifie much, to innovate, and yet to say we love not innovation, to act with a proud high hand in despight of so much at least of God, as is imprinted in the Laws of man, and our lawfull Superiour's, and then to excuse it by saying we love not to do so, will but little alleviate the matter before any equall Judge. 'Tis certain there is something unlovely in the reproach∣full name of sin, how glibly soever the pleasures of it go down, yea and even in the sin it self, it hath the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the two Cups in Homer, more truly then that to which he applies it, its bitter and hatefull, as well as its sweeter lovelier parts, extemplo quodcun{que} malum committitur, ipsi Displi∣cet, and if men may have leave and excuse to commit adultery so long, till they fall in love not onely with the pleasure of it, but the very sin∣fulnesse of it, and the name and reproach also, we shall give them a good large space of Repentance: the short is, the mention of Novelty is an evi∣dence that the Composers Conscience tels them, that what they now do is such, and 'tis not their not loving it (perhaps onely thinking, perhaps onely saying they do not love it) which will much lessen the fault but ra∣ther define it to be an act against Conscience, to be and continue guilty of so huge a novelty, when they professe they love it not.

[Sect. 24] The next envie that they labour to avoid, is the having an intention to disparage the Reformers, of whom they are perswaded, that were they now alive they would joyn with them in this work. This is another 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to blanch your actions with contrary intentions, to do that which is most reproachfull to the Reformers, to obliterate, or which is worse, to de∣fame their memory (whom yet at the beginning you called wise and pius) and then say you intended them no disparagement, nay to make▪ them repent and retract after their death (i. e. to put them in a kind of Purgatory) to undertake for them that they have changed their minds, and not onely that they are now content to part with that finally out of the Church, the short temporary losse of which, one of them (Arch-bishop Cranmer in one of his letters publisht by Miles Coverdale) laments, as the severest part of the Persecuters tyranny toward him, viz. that they would not permit him the use of the Common-Prayer Book in the prison; but withall that they are grown zelots too, are content to act most ille∣gallyPage  72 and seditionsly to cast it out. The judgement of this matter we leave to any ordinary arbitration, 1 Whether it be likely that they would joyn, against Law to take that away, which they compiled, or make all prescribed Forms unlawfull, who did not think any fit in publick, but those which were prescribed. 2. Whether any man can have ground of such perswasion, when they died in the constant exercise of it, and have sent them no message from the dead of their change of minde. 3. Whe∣ther it be not strongly improbable, that they of the first Reformation who in Queen Maris dayes flying and living in Frankfrd, and there meeting with the objections that have been produced by our new re∣formers maintained the Book against them all, would now if they were return'd to us from a longer exile, disclaim all that they had thus maintain'd. 4. Whether it be not an argument of a strong confidence and assurance, (which is the mot dngeous mother of Schisme and Heresie imaginable) of strong 〈◊〉 and 〈◊〉 judgement, to think that all men would be of their side (as 〈◊〉 thought veily that all Lon∣don would rise with him▪ as soon as he appear'd in Chea side) upon no other ground of that perswasion mentiond, but 〈◊〉 that they are of it, which is but in effect as the same H••kt did shewing no evidence of his being a Prophet, but onely his confidence, which produced all kinde of direfull Oabes that he was, and hideous imrecations on him∣self, if he were not so. That which is added by way of honour to those Martyrs, that they were excellent instruments to begin the •••ging and building of his house, may be but an artifice of raising their own reputa∣tion, who have perfected those rude beginnings, or if it be meant in earnest, as kindnesse to them, 'tis but an unsignificant civilitie, to abo∣lish all the records of their Reformation, and then pay them a little praise in exchange for them, Martyr their ashes (as the Papists did Fagius and Bucer) and then lay them down into the earth again, with a dirge or an••em, defame the Reformation, and Commend the Reformers; but still to intimate how much wiser and Godlier you are, then all those Martyrs were.

[Sect. 25] Thus farre they have proceeded ad amoliendam invidiam; Now to the positive motives, of setting upon this great work of innovation, and those are, 1. To answer in sme measure the gratious providence of God which at this time calleth upon them for farther Reformation: What they should mean by the gracious providence of God in this place, I confesse I cannot guesse, (if it be not a meer name to adde some credit to the cause) un∣lesse it be the prosperity & good successe of their Arms; which if through∣out this War they had reason to brag or take notice of (as sure they Page  66 have) not, but of Gods hand many times visibly shewed against them, in raising the low estate of the King, without visible means, and bring∣ing down their mighty strengths, as the Septuagint makes God pro∣mise to fight against Amalek〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by secret hand, by invisible,) yet sure would not that justifie the taking up of those Arms, much lesse be able to consecrate all other sins, that those Arms may enable any to be guilty of. Tis the Turks Divinity, as before I intimated, to p•••e sentence on the action by the prosperity of the man, to make one killing of a Father villany and sacriledge, because the designe it aim'd at miscarried, and another of the same making an heroick act, that God was pleased with, be∣cause it brought the designer to the Kingdom: And therefore, I beseech you, look no longer on the cause through the deceivable and deceitfull glasses of your conceited victories, but through that one true glasse the word of Christ in the New Testament; and if that call you to this farther reformation, go on in Gods name; But if it be any else that call∣eth you, (as sure somewhat else it is you mean, for if it were Gods word you would ere now have shew'd it us, and here have call'd it Gods word, which is plain and intelligible, not Gods providence, which is of an ambiguous signification) if any extraordinary revelation how∣ever convey'd to you; this you will never be able to approve to any that should doubt your call, and therefore I shall meekly desire you, and in the bowels of Christian compassion to your selves, if not to your bleeding Countrey, once more to examine seriously, what ground you have in Gods word, to satisfie conscience of the lawfulnesse of such at∣tempts, which you have used, to gain strength to work your Reforma∣tion; and this we the rather desire to be shewed by you, because you adde, that having consulted with Gods holy word, you resolve to lay aside the former Liturgie, which cannot signifie that upon command of Gods word particularly speaking to this matter, you have done it, for then all this while, you would sure have shewed us that word, but that the Word of God hath lead you to the whole work in generall, which you have taken in hand, and therefore that is it, which as a light shi∣ning in so dark a place, we require you in the name of God to hold out to us.

After this there is a second motive, the satisfaction of your own consci∣ences. This I cannot speak to, because neither I know them, nor the grounds of them, save onely by what is here mentioned, which I am sure is not sufficient to satisfie conscience; (phancy perhaps it may) one∣ly this I shall interpose, that it is possible your own consciences may be erronious, and we are confident they are so, and then you are not Page  74 bound to satisfie them, save onely by seeking better information, which one would think might be as feaseable a task as abolishing of Liturgie.

[Sect. 27] Next a third motivels mentioned, that you may satisfie the expectation of other Reformed Churches; To this first I say, that this is not the rule for the reforming of a Nationall Church〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and independent. And such I conceive, the last Canon of the Councell of Ephesus, will by conse∣quence conclude this of England to be; and its being so is a sufficient plea, 1. To clear us from all shew of Schisme in Separating from the Roman Church (to which we were not, according to the Ephesine rule, subjsted as a part) though we reformed our selves, when the Pope vehe∣mently required the contrary, and would not himself be reformed; and from the Church universall, of which we still remain a member undi∣vided, 2. To answer this motive of our Assemblers, by telling them that in the reforming such a Church (as this of ours, if not by others, yet by them is acknowledged to be) the care must be, to do what the head and members, of the Church, shall in the fear of God resolve to be fittest, and not what other Churches expect; for if that were the rule, it would be a very fallacious and very puzling one, the expectations of severall Churches being as severall, and the choice of some difficulty, which of them was fittest to be answer'd. But then secondly, what the expectation of other Churches have been in this point, or what the reasons of them, we do not punctually know, onely this we do, that after your solliciting of many (which is another thing, somewhat distant from their expect∣ing) we hear not of any, that have declared their concurrence in opi∣nion with you in this: But on the contrary, that in answer to your Letter directed to the Church of Zeland, the Wallachrian Classis made this return to you, that they did approve set and prescribed forms of pub∣lique Prayer, as profitable and tending to edification, quite contrary to what you before objected of the Offence to the Protestant Churches abroad, and now of their expectation, &c.) and give reasons for that approbation, both from Texts of Scriptures, and the generall practice of the Reformed Church, avouching particularly the forementioned place of Calvin, and conclude it to be a precise singularity in those men who do reject them. And now, I beseech you, speak your knowledge, and instance in the particular, if any Church have in any addresse made to you, or answer to your invitation, signified their expectation that you should abolish Liturgie, or their approbation of your fact, able to counte bal∣lance this censure from the pen of those your friends thus unexpect∣edly falne upon you. Some ingenuity either of making good your asser∣tion Page  75 of the Churches, or else of Confession that you cannot, will be in com∣mon equity expected from you.

[Sect. 28] The desires of many of the Godly among your selves (which you mention as a fourth motive for abolition) will signifie little, because how many suffrages soever might be brought for the upholding of Liturgie, those who are against it shall by you be called, the godly, and that number what ever it is, go for a multitude. But then again, Godly they may be, but not wise, (piety gives no infallibility of doctrine to the professor) at least in this point, unlesse you can first prove the Liturgie to be ungodly; nay they that rejoyced in it, were, as you say, godly and learned, and they that made it wise and pious, and therefore sure some respect was due to the wse, as well as godly in the abrogation. And yet it may be added farther, that the way of expressing of the desires of those whom you mean by the Godly, hath been ordinarily by way of Petitions, and those it cannot be dissembled have been oft framed and put into their hands (I say not by whom) even in set prescribed Forms: not thinking it enough to give them a Directory for matter, without stinting their Spirits, by ap∣pointing the words also. This shews that the desires of those many of the Godly, are not of any huge consideration in this businesse, and yet I have not heard to my remembrance of any Petition, yet ever so inso∣lent, as to demand what you have done (in answer it seems to some inarticulate groans or sighs) the abolition of all Liturgie.

[Sect. 29] The last motive is, That you may give some publique testimony of your endeavours for uniformity in divine worship promised in your Solemn League and Covenant. To this the answer will be short, because it hath for the main already been considered. 1. That the Covenant it self is unlaw∣full, which therefore obliges to nothing but Repentance, and restitu∣tion of a stray Subject to his Allegiance to God and the King again. 2. That there is one speciall thing considerable of this Covenant, which will keep it either from obliging or from being any kind of excuse or extenuation of the crimes that this action is guilty of, and that is the voluntary taking of that Covenant on purpose, thus to ensnare your selves in this obligation, to do what should not otherwise be done; We be∣fore told you, that Heods oath would not justifie the beheading of John; and shall now adde, that if some precedaneous hatred to John, made Herod lay this designe before hand, that Herodias's daughter should dance, that upon her dancing he would be vehemently pleas'd, that upon her pleasing of him he would swear to give her any thing she should ask, even to half his Kingdom, and the same compact appoint her to make this Pe∣tition, to take John Baptist's head for her reward, (as 'tis not unlikely Page  76 but that as Herodias was of counsell with her Daughter, so Herod might be with Herodias) if the train I say, lay thus, sure Herods oath would take off but little from the crimson dye of his murther, but ra∣ther superadde that sin of deep hypocrisie, of making pietie, and the Re∣ligion of oaths, a servant and instrument to his incest and murthering of a Prophet. And then I shall no farther apply, then by asking this que∣stion, did you not take this Covenant on purpose to lay this obligation upon you, and now pretend that for your Covenants sake, you must needs do it? If you cannot deny this, O then remember Herod. But if you took the Covenant without any such designe, but now ind your selves thus ensnared by it, then rather remember the times to get out of that snare, and not to engage your selves faster in it. 3. I answer, that if by uniformity be meant that among your selves in this King∣dom; the taking away our Liturgie by Ordinance, while it remains establisht by valid Law, is no over-fit means to that end, nothing but a new Act, and an assurance that all would be obedient to that Act, can be proper for that purpose; and I am sure there are some men in the World, whom if such an Act displeased, the obedience would not be ve∣ry uniform; what ever it may seem to be when better Subjects are sup∣posed to be concluded by it. But if it be uniformity with the best reform∣ed Churches (as your Covenant mentions) then 1. That uniformitie in matters of Form or Ceremonie is no way necessary, (Communion betwixt Churches may be preserv'd without it) not near so usefull, as that other among our selves, and therefore the bargain will be none of the most thriving, when that acquisition is paid so dear for, uniformity with strangers purchased with confusion at home, as bad a market, as unequall a barter, as if we should enter upon a Civill War, for no other gain, then to make up a Peace with some Neighbour Prince; which none but a mad Statesman would ever counsell. But then 4. The Covenant for such uniformitie, obliges not to make this Directory, which I shall prove. 1. By the verdict of those themselves which have taken the Covenant, of whom many, I am confident, never conceived themselves thereby obliged to abolish Liturgie, there being no such intelligible sence con∣teined in any branch of the Covenant, any such intention of the imposers aowed at the giving of it. 2. Because we conceive we have made it manifest, that that part of the Covenant which mentions uniformity with other best reformed Churches, doth not oblige to abolish Liturgie, not onely because the generall matter of the Covenant refers unto the Government, and not to the Liturgie, but because this of England, as it now stands establisht by Law, is the best Reformed, both according to Page  77 that rule of Scripture, and standard of the purest Ancient Church; For which we have also the testimony of Learned Protestants of other Countreys, preferring it before their own, and shall be ready to justi∣fie the boast by any test or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that shall be resolved on fit to decide this doubt or competition between this of ours, and any that you shall Vote or name to be the best.

[Sect. 30] The like challenge we also make in return to a tait intimation of yours more then once falne from you in this Preface, and in the body of the Directory, p. 40. and 73. viz. that the Church of England hath hi∣therto been guilty of Superstition in her Liturgie. To which we first reply by desiring, that you mention any one particular wherein that ac∣cusation may appear to be true, (and we hereby undertake to main∣tain the contrary against all the learnedst in that Assembly) which if you will not undertake to specifie and prove, you must acknowledge to be guilty of great uncharitablenesse in affirming. I shall not be so uncha∣ritable as to wish that the judgement of the Civill Law may be your doom, and the sentence that belongs to Superstition be the reward of your defamation, I shall not say so much as the Lord reprove, by way of imprecation, but once more repeat, Lord lay it not to your charge.

[Sect. 31] Upon these grounds you proceed, that [having not consulted with flesh and blood, &c.] This sure in St Pauls phrase, Gal. 1. 16. signifies not con∣sulting with men, though Apostolicall; as consulting with them is oppo∣sed to immediate revelation from Heaven; and then sure your Assembly was very spirituall, and very heavenly, for with them you confesse to have consulted; but if you mean by the phrase, in a larger sense, earthly or humane interests, I shall onely ask, whether all the actions which have proceeded from you are so visibly divine, and unmixt with earth, so apparently uninterested, that your own testimony should be sufficient to give credit to this affirmation?

[Sect. 32] Having said this, you proceed to the conclusion, that you resolved to set up the Directory, and in it to hold forth such things as are of divine In∣stitution in every Ordinance, and other things be set forth according to the rules of Christian Prudence; agreeable to the generall rules of the Word of God. And now 'tis a little strange, (but yet that which my temper obliges me to desire may still be my fate, when I fall upon a Controversie with any) that we which have been at such distance all this while, should just now mee at parting, that such contradictory premises, should beget the same conclusion; For there is not a better Rule in the World, nor any which I would rather chuse to be judged by in this matter, then that which is here proposed by you; Onely I desire a little importunately Page  78 to be advertised, where it is that the Compilers of our Liturgie have swerved from it. Where you have swerved, we have instanced in ma∣ny particulars in our Answer to the Ordinance, and shall now once for all demand, what rules of prudence oblige you to turn those many se∣verals there mentioned out of the Service of the Church, every one of them tending to edfication directly, over and above the agreeablenesse of each to the generall rules of Scripture; in particular, whether it be agreeable to Christian Prudence to a bolish a Liturgie, which hath been so piously and discrectly framed, by those who have seal'd our Reforma∣tion with their blood, and in stead of it to bring in a voluntary way of serving God in a Nationall Church, where there be many thousand Pa∣rishes, and no such promise of divine inspiration or enthusiasme, but that there may be still some number of those Ministers, who will not be able to speak constantly in the Congregation, so as in the presence of Angels they ought to speak. The experiments that have given us reason thus to fear, and desire prevention of the like, we are again tempted to adde unto this paper, but we delight not to demonstrate them guilty of Blasphemies, who have accused us of Superstition. We desire this fault may be cured by some milder recipe.

[Sect. 33] As for that which in passing you say, that by your Directory Mini∣sters may be directed to keep like soundnesse of Doctrine, this indeed is a pre∣rogative of the Liturgie, (which hath alwayes been used as an hedge to keep out errours, and to retain a common profession of Catholick verities) but cannot belong to your Directory, which hath neither Creed nor Catechism, nor one Article of Religion, or Doctrine asserted in it, but leaves that wholly to the Preacher, whose doctrine that it should be sound at all, or agree with the doctrine of all other Preachers, and so be like sound, here is no provision made.

We have thus call'd your Preface also to some triall, and found it of such a composure and temper, 1. So many variations from truth (which one that desires to be civill, must be unjust if he do not call them so) that we cannot with any pleasure give an account of our judgement of them. 2. So many unconcluding premises, Affirmati∣ons, which if they were all supposed true, would never come home to abolition, and among all the heap, so no one truth which is of im∣portance or weight toward that conclusion, that now we conceive we have discharged the task, given the Reader such a view of the inward parts of this spatious fabrick, that he will not wonder, that we are not so passionately taken with the beauty, as to receive at a venture whatsoever is contain'd in it; For supposing there were never an un∣seasonable Page  79Direction in all the Book following, yet the reception of that, being founded in the ablition both of ours, and of all Liturgy, the Christians prudence agreeable to the word of God, which is here commend∣ed to us, obliges us to stop our ears to such slight temptations, and never to yeeld consent, to the but laying aside that form of Service, which we have by establisht Law so long enjoyed, to the great content and benefit of this Nation; though God knows some have not made so holy, others so thankfull an use of it, as it deserved of us, some neg∣lecting it, others slandering, and so many bringing worldly hearts along with them, which though they are great evils, under which this di∣vine Liturgy hath suffered, yet being the infelicities, not the crimes, the crosse, which hath made it like unto our Saviour, in being spit on, evil'd, and crown'd with thorns (for such he cals the cares of this world, the most contumelius part of the suffering) and not at all the guilt (be∣ing wholly accidentall and extrinsecall to it) must never be exchanged, for the certain evils, naturall and intrinsecall to the no-Liturgy, and withall the greater mischiefs which may probably follow this altera∣tion; for all which patience and submission, we have not the least kind of invitation, save onely that of the noise, and importunity of some enemies, which should it be yeelded to, would, I doubt not, be resist∣ed and prest again, with the Petitions of many thousands more, im∣portuning the return and restitution of the Liturgy again; unlesse by this means the Devil should gain an absolute and totall manumission, cast off all his trashes, and presently get rid of both his enemies, Reli∣gion, and Liturgie together.

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, agreeale 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 ae 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 Marmers 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,