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lerly shopbook of Easier. They pray us that it would please us to let them still hale us, and worry us with their bandogs and pursuivants ; and that it would please the parliament that they may yet have the whipping, fleecing, and flaying of us in their diabolical courts, to tear the fiesh from our bones, and into our wide wounds instead of balm, to pour in the oil of tartar, vitriol, and mercury : surely a right reasonable, innocent, and softhearted petition. o the relenting bowels of the fathers! Can this be granted them, unless God have smitten us with frenzy froin above, and with a dazzling giddiness at noonday? Should not those men .rather be heard that come to plead against their own preferments, their worldly advantages, their own abundance; for honour and obedience to God's word, the conversion of souls, the christian peace of the land, and union of the reformed catholic church, the unappropriating and unmonopolizing the rewards of learning and industry, from the greasy clutch of ignorance and high feeding. We have tried already, and miserably felt what ambition, worldly glory, and immoderate wealth, can do; what the boisterous and contradictional hand of a temporal, earthly, and corporeal spirituality can avail to the edifying of Christ's holy church; were it such a desperate hazard to put to the venture the universal votes of Christ's congregation, and fellowly and friendly yoke of a teaching and laborious, ministry, the pastorlike and apostolic imitation of meek and unlordly discipline, the gentle and benevolent mediocrity of church-maintenance, without the ignoble huckfierage of piddling tithes ? Were it such an incurable mischief to make a little trial, what all this would do to the flourishing and growing up of Chrifi's mystical body? as rather to use every poor shift, and if that serve not, to threaten uproar and combustion, and shake the brand of civil discord ?
O, fir, I do now feel myself inwrapped on the sudden into those mazes and labyrinths of dreadful and hideous thoughts, that which way to get out, or which way to end, I know not, unless I turn mine eyes, and with your help list up my hands to that eternal and propitious Throne, where nothing is readier than grace and refuge
to the distresses of mortal fuppliants : and it were a shame to leave these serious thoughts less piously than the heathen were wont to conclude their graver discourses.
Thou, therefore, that fittest in light and glory unapproachable, Parent of angels and men ! next, thee I implore, omnipotent King, Redeemer of that loft remnant whose nature thou didst assume, ineffable and everlasting Love! And thou, the third subsistence of divine infinitude, illumining Spirit, the joy and folaee of created things! one Tripersonal godhead! look upon this thy poor and almost spent and expiring church, leave her not thus a prey to these importunate wolves, that wait and think long till they devour thy tender flock; these wild boars that have broke into thy vineyard, and left the print of their polluting hoofs on the souls of thy servants. O let them not bring about their damned designs, that ftand now at the entrance of the bottomless pit, expecting the watchword to open and let out those dreadful locufts and scorpions, to reinvolve us in that pitchy cloud of infernal darkness, where we shall never more see the fun of thy truth again, never hope for the cheerful dawn, never more hear the bird of morning sing. Be moved with pity at the afflicted state of this our fhaken monarchy, that now lies labouring under her throes, and struggling against the grudges of more dreaded calamities.
O thou, that, after the impetuous rage of five bloody inundations, and the succeeding sword of intestine war, soaking the land in her own gore, didst pity the sad and cealeleis revolution of our swift and thick-coming forrows; when we were quite breathless of thy free grace didst motion peace, and terms of covenant with us; and having first wellnigh freed us from antichrifiian thraldom, didft build up this Britannic empire 10 a glorious and enviable height, with all her daughter-islands about her; stay us in this felicity, let not the obstinacy of our half-obedience and will-worship bring forth that viper of fedition, that for these fourscore years hath been breeding to eat through the entrails of our peace; but let her cast her abortive spawn without the danger of this travailing and throbbing kingdom: that we may still remember in our solemn thanksgivings, how for us, the northern ocean even to the frozen Thule was scattered with the proud shipwrecks of the Spanish armada, and - the very maw of Hell ransacked, and made to give up her concealed destruction, ere she could vent it in that horrible and damned blast.
O how much more glorious will those former deliverances appear, when we shall know them not only to have saved us from greatest miseries past, but to have referved us for greatest happiness to come? Hitherto thou haft but freed us, and that not fully, from the unjust and tyrannous claim of thy foes, now unite us entirely, and appropriate us to thyself
, tie us everlastingly in willing homage to the prerogative of thy eternal throne.
And now we know, O thou our most certain hope and defence, that thine enemies have been consulting all the forceries of the great whore, and have joined their plots with that fad intelligencing tyrant that mischiefs the world with his mines of Ophir, and lies thirsting to revenge his naval ruins that have larded our seas : but let them all take counsel together, and let it come to nought; let them decree, and do thou cancel it; let them gather themselves, and be scattered; let them embattle themfelves, and be broken ; let them embattle, and be broken, for thou art with us.
Then, amidst the hymns and hallelujahs of saints, fome one may perhaps be heard offering at high strains in new and lofty measures, to sing and celebrate thy divine mercies and marvellous judgments in this land throughout all ages; whereby this great and warlike nation, inftructed and inured to the fervent and continual practice of truth and righteousness, and casting far from her the rags of her old vices, may press on hard to that high and happy emulation to be found the fobereft, wisest, and moft Christian people at that day, when thou, the eternal and shortly-expected King, fhalt open the clouds to judge the several kingdoms of the world, and distributing national honours and rewards to religious and just commonwealths, shall put an end to all earthly tyrannies, proclaiming thy universal and mild monarchy through heaven and earth; where they undoubtedly, that by their
labours, labours, counsels, and prayers, have been earnest for the common good of religion and their country, shall receive above the inferiour orders of the blessed, the regal addition of principalities, legions, and thrones into their glorious titles, and in supereminence of beatific vision, progressing the dateless and irrevoluble circle of eternity, Thall clasp inseparable hands with joy and bliss, in overmeasure for ever.
But they contrary, that by the impairing and diminution of the true faith, the distresses and servitude of their country, aspire to high dignity, rule and promotion here, after a shameful end in this life (which God grant them), shall be thrown down eternally into the darkest and deepest gulf of Hell, where, under the despiteful control, the trample and spurn of all the other damned, that in the anguish of their torture, shall have no other ease than to exercise a raving and bestial tyranny over them as their slaves and negroes, they shall remain in that plight for ever, the baseft, the lowermost, the most dejected, moft underfoot, and downtrodden vassals of perdition.
And whether it may be deduced from the apostolical times, by virtue of
those testimonies which are alleged to that purpose in some late treatises; one whereof goes under the name of James Archbishop of Armagh.
SCOPACY, as it is taken for an order in the church above a presbyter, or as we commonly name him, the minister of a congregation, is either of divine constitution, or of human. If only of human, we have the same human privilege that all men have ever had since Adam, being born free, and in the mistress island of all the British, to retain this episcopacy, or to remove it, consulting with our own occasions and conveniencies, and for the prevention of our own dangers and disquiets, in what best manner we can devise, without running at a loss, as we must needs in those stale and useless records of either uncertain or unfound antiquity ; which, if we hold fast to the grounds of the reformed church, can neither skill of us, nor we of it, fo oft as it would lead us to the broken reed of tradition. If it be of divine constitution, to fatisfy us fully in that, the scripture only is able, it being the only book left us of divine authority, not in any thing more divine than in the allsufficiency it hath to furnith us, as with all other spiritual knowledge, so with this in particular, setting out to us a perfect man of God, accomplished to all the good works of his charge: through all which book can be nowhere, either by plain text or solid reafoning, found any difference between a bishop and a presbyter, save that they be two names to signify the same order. Notwithstanding this clearness, and that by all evidence of argument, Timothy and Titus (whom our prelates claim to imitate only in the controlling part