Изображения страниц
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Thi Bishop of Bangor’s Pre

fervative Defended, &c.



HEN some of the Bishops, and a small number of our Clergy, refus'd the Oaths that were appointed Anno 1689, I have very good Reason to believe, not one of 'em had it in

his Thoughts, at first, to form a Separan from our Church. The Questions upon which ere was a Disagreement at that time, were chieflyf a Civil Nature; about which there began to be derent Opinions in the Reign of King James the Fit: yet these were not judg’d to be of that consequce to the Church, as to make it neceflary for a (vocation to declare its Judgment there. upon.

S. 2. ake it for granted (because I am sure the contrarloes not appear from any Authentick Act or Deci made or done in any Convocation held from tbeginning of the Reformation) that our Church never yet in her Supreme Judicature, after

. A 2

or Deci mainning of the Supreme Judicatur

4 The Bishop of BANGOR’s , a special Deliberation, given us her final and explicite Declaration of her Sense upon all the Questions that were first debated between Us and the Nonjurors, in favour of the said Nonjurors, and against us, who maintain the Justice of the present Settlement. But on the contrary, this we are sure of, from Archbishop Sancroft's Copy of Canons, piblish'd 1689, that the Sense of the Convocation, which made those Canons about 1606, was entirely on oir fide, and fully against the Nonjurors in several Partialars.

S. 3. 'Tis very well known, my Lord, that our Bishops in Parliament have frequently concurrd with the State in many such Votes and publick Ats, as plainly shew'd their Sentiments were differet from the Opinions of those Gentlemen who haveof late Years refus'd the Oaths: Of this their Men o Reading cannot be ignorant. And certainly it oght to be well consider'd by 'em, that though there has been no Judicial Determination in form by ou whole Church-Representative, upon the several Guestions in dispute between Us and the Nonjurors; yet our Bishops, and our ablest Writers, have oftendeclar'd their Sense before the Revolution happenl: and which is more than that, before the unhapy Troubles in the Reign of King Charles the First, it which time they could be under no Biass or lmressions from their own or the publick Circumstans; and by consequence, their Judgments must havebeen the inore impartial. Men of Probity and Maesty can never persuade themselves, that what waslone and agreed, nay and zealously espous'd by our ishops in Parliament in the Case of the Queen of Ses, and of the Allistance of her Subjects and the Dut), against their oppressive Princes; can possibly be ppos'd to favour the modern Opinions of our Nonjurs. Nor do the Nonjurors pretend to approve othe Allirtance that was given, or pretended to be sen, to the Rochellers by King Charles the First; oro like the Forms of Prayer then us'd in our Chunes in be


all vide; though Obedi very probable thivil Power and

half of our Protestant Brethren in France. No, these Authorities are fully on our side, and as fully against the Nonjurors; of which they are sufficiently sensible, and make us so too, by the weak and evasive Defences they have publish'd against them.

S. 4. As our Convocations, which are our supreme Ecclefiaftical Assemblys, have not actually decided our several controverted Questions about Civil Power and Obedience; so 'tis not very probable they will do it: because, though Obedience in general to Superiors of all kinds, is a Christian Doctrine; yet the particular Instances of Civil Power and Obedience are Matters

purely of a Civil Nature and Cognizance, and are onily and finally determinable by our Laws, and in our

Legislative Assemblies, in Parliament; and by no means in a Convocation, who act not there as Legislators, by a supreme and underiv'd Authority.

S.5. However, my Lord, we have on our side the highest Ecclesiastical Authorities that are extant; I mean, that of our Bishops acting in their Legislative Capacity: and we have also on our side the Supreme Civil Authority, in some Instances or other, in every Reign since the Reformation, as I shall fully evince upon some other Occasion. But, which is above all these Authorities, we have also on our side the higheft Authority, I mean the Word of God; and the general sense of all Civiliz'd Nations : To which our Adversaries, the Nonjurors, oppose some ill-chosen Passages out of the Homilies, and the Writings of Private Divines ; and they are so unreasonable, as to stile such defective Authorities the Doctrine of the Church, and demand we should receive 'em as such. And as to their Comments upon the Thirteenth of the Romans, and some other Texts in the Old and New Testament, they are so injudicious, not to say absurd and stupid, that I have often blush'd to see some Men, who in other Matters are not destitute of Prudence and Understanding, openly espousing and


[ocr errors]

of the sonjurors, Natio God

6 The Bishop of BANGOR'S forming a Party against Church and State, upon fo weak a Foundation.

S. 6. The Leaders soon grew sensible, that their Cause would sink, and their Faction expire, if they built their Hopes upon the Strength of their Civil Notions; and this put 'em upon looking out for Succours. Accordingly they began in their Pamphlets to attack the Royal Supremacy ; they maintain'd soon after the Independency of the Church on the State ; they advanc'd new Notions of Sacerdotal Power ; the Neces. fity of a regular and uninterrupted Succession; the Invalidity of the Sacraments, and of all Divine Offices ad. ministred by our Protestant Brethren at home and abroad; the Efficacy of Sacerdotal Absolution; the Usefulness of Prayers for the Dead : and one of their number has been so hardy as to defend the Natural Mortality of Human Souls. But to compleat their Design, they have at last agreed upon a Scheme of Civil and Religious Notions, which strike at the Root of our Reformation ; insomuch that they have publickly declar'd their Hopes of an Union with the Popish Church of France, and at the same time assert our Church to be Schismatical, and our Prayers and Ministrations to be Wicked and Immoral.

$. 7. In this Disposition are our Jacobite Separatists, though their Leaders, A Bishop Sancroft, Bishop Kenn, and Dr. Hickes, were all within a few hours of taking the Oaths to King William. The two first perhaps, who died some years since, little thought of the Schemes that Dr. Hickes and his Adherents form’d afterwards ; and had they liv’d, 'cis reasonable to think, would have disapprov'd 'em. By the Death of the rest, Dr. Hickes was left at the Head of the Schism, and being a Man of Spirit and Animo. sity, resolv'd to be considerable: with the Alistance of fome Under-Writers, he has leven'd the Nation with some Principles inconsistent with our Conftitution in Church and State; when at the same time those Writers pretend an extraordinary Zeal for


both, and by that impose upon the Unwary. But

now they have thrown off the Mask; they declare four Establish'd Church Schismatical, and affirm the

lacobite Party to be the only True Church of. Enge

land. ' $. 8. This Party, though inconsiderable in it felf

for Numbers or Interest, yet are confident and turi bulent; chiefly because they have receiv'd too much 1 Countenance from some, who have taken the Oaths I to the present Government; whom, in requital a for that Kindness, the Nonjurors look upon as A

postates. LS. 9. 'Tis no wonder to see a Fluctuation in Mens di Principles, when too many set out at first without i any good Foundation, and so few give Attention e.

nough to examine the Grounds of the Christian Re

ligion, and of our English Reformation and Conftiini tution. Others are under an unhappy Biass from

Resentment or Disappointment; and the Opinions of most are not owing to Meditation, but Party.

Warm with Prejudice and Party-Zeal, some have E fallen upon the Bishop of Bangor's Preservative; 'tis

not strange he should offend the Nonjurors, for their i Cause is desperate: methinks therefore abler Pens should have been employ'd. But 'tis surprizing to

find two Perfons of our own Communion attack the . Bishop with so little Ceremony. Some years since ia Man would for this have been callid a thousand

Presbyterians ; now the Tide is turn’d, to defend our Bishops is a sure Mark of a Presbyterian: if Men indulge this peevih Humour, they will gratify the Papists, and call our Liturgy and Homilies Presbyterian at last. The common Enemy boast in their Correspondence abroad, of the Giddiness of our people, and make use of the present ill Temper of the Nation to gain Prosely tes ; Numbers are become Favourers of Popery, and are ready upon a slight Attack or Invitation to quit our Communion, for a Church that makes the greatest noise about Sacerdotal


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »