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cerning the impofing your Articles are unrighteous. Your Lordships had no power to make them at firft, and the continuance of them is a conftant ufurpation of the prerogative of Christ.As I intend to preach a fhort word to you, who feldom preach any yourselves, though you are fufficiently paid for that purpose, I fhall endeavour to fhew that all Laws concerning your Articles are unrighteous, and burden's grievous to be borne; and, for the fake of form, fhall make fome practical improvement.
As to the first, all Laws concerning your Articles are contrary to the Great charter of liberty in the gospel, wherewith Christ hath made his Difciples frée. I have seen it afferted, by fome of the best English Lawyers, That even a British Parliament, with the King at their head, have no lawful power to make any Laws contrary to the Great Charter of the Kingdom; for, in fuch a cafe, the conftitution
tution would be difolved, and a revolu
tion would infue. Whatever may be in this, it is manifeft, from the New Testament, that all decrees which are contrary to the Gospel Charter of Chriftian Liberty, destroy the Constitution of the Church. Allow me to afk your Lordfhips, In what part of the Gofpel, or the writings of our Saviour's Apoftles, you find authority for any order of men making rules of Faith for others, and impofing them upon them on pain of lofs and displeasure. You ought certainly to give us fome fatisfaction in a matter of fo much confequence. It is altogether unrighteous to claim a privilege in Religion which you can produce no warrant for from the Book where all religious privileges are contained. You cannot even fhew the smallest hint in all that Jefus and his Apoftles have said, that has any reference to fuch an order of Clergymen as you profefs to be. Pray, do good Sirs! fhew a Lord Spiritual in A 2 the
the New Testament; Shew a Moft, or a Right Reverend Father in God, in all that Book, and you fhall have all duc honours paid you. You ftare at the demand.-But it is not reasonable before you receive honours, or affume power, that you produce your warrant for fo doing? But fuppofe we should indulge you with your titles, and fuffer you to receive praise one of another. Yet we can fee no reason why you should retail out our Faith to us, and fettle the bounds of our Creed. Is it not unrighteous for Clergymen to affume powers which our Saviour hath forbidden, and his Apoftles exprefsly refufed? Pray, my dear Doctors, hear what your Redeemer fays, Neither be ye called Mafters, for one is your Mafter, even Chrift. His apostles fays the fame thing in effect, We are not Lords of your Faith, but helpers of your joy. What Jefus has forbidden, and his apoftles refufed, how dare you pretend to affume? To Chriftians there is but one Lord,
Lord, and one Faith, but in your Church there are twenty-fix Lords, and two Faiths. The doctrine contained in divine revelation, and another very different, contained in your Articles. I hope you will not be fo daring as to presume to affirm that the Doctrine in the Bible, and that contained in the thirty-nine Articles, are the fame. Remember there is no Refurrection of the Dead in all your Articles. The want of this doctrine makes an effential difference, you will perhaps fay in your defence, you only impose the Articles upon Teachers, who are to have the care of Souls.-Be fo kind as fhew your warrant for this. If it is not in the Gofpels, or in fome of the Epiftles, you must own you have none. But this practice is founded upon the right all Societies have over their members. Stop a little. The Church is a Society, which has all things eftablished by the autho rity of her Lord and Master; her Faith is given compleatly in the Scriptures,
and every office and duty is fully and perfectly revealed there. A Church is a Society formed according to the mind of Christ, and not according to the will of men: All contingencies are provided for by him, who knew all his works from the beginning, and perfectly forefaw what would happen. There can never be any need of Bylaws to anfwer purposes which could not be forfeen.Your Saviour, My Lords, knew all things that ever could happen, and has provided for them in his word. He even forefaw that men, like you, would feek to be Lords over his heritage; and has made a Law against it. You may try your Experiments in the Kingdoms of this World, if you please, but beware of making alterations in our Saviour's Kingdom, on pretence that it is the right of Societies to make rules for their members.-Chrift has given you the Scriptures; be fatisfied with them. They