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will answer all purposes to make the man of God perfect; they ferved Timothy, and may well serve the Clergy of England. Timothy, you fay, was a Bishop too;-well then imitate him, and give up all Articles, except the word of God. All your decrees and canons concerning Religion are unrighteous, mere willworship and doctrines of men.-Can you not trust men with the care of Souls, who promise to teach according to the Old and New Testament, as well as he who promises to teach according to the Articles. You fwear upon the Gospels, which implies, that you think they have fome efficacy to inforce truth, why may they not serve Ministers to subscribe, and be a fufficient teft of Orthodoxy? But you will fay, perhaps, that all parties. pretend to hold by the Scriptures, even when they teach the groffeft Errors. And truely, an't please your Lordships, the Articles are but a poor fafe-guard against
gainst Herefy. Some of yourselves have hinted, that they may be taken in diffe rent senses; who, then, is fure which is the true fenfe? It is true, men need not fubfcribe unless they please, they have
no more to do but let them alone, and want a living, and they had better do this than fubfcribe the Doctrine they do not believe But is it righteous in you the leaders in the Church, to impofe fuch hardships on worthy honest men; who are willing to teach Christianity according to the best of their Judgement, as it is made known in Divine Revelation. But do you yourselves believe the Articles? Pray do not stare again. I have really just ground of fufpicion concerning you. Your Sermons, my Lords. Your printed Sermons, bear witness against you; few, if any of them, are confiftent with thofe aphorifms, which you are fo tenacious in fupporting. If thefe articles are fo proper to fupport the orthodox faith, why do you not preach agreeable
agreeable to the Doctrine contained in them? This does not look well on your part. Is it not altogether unrighteous to impose doctrines upon your Brethren, which you never mean to teach yourfelves? Perhaps, you do not mean that they should teach them, you only require fubfcription. Is not this prevarication, and lying to God? Was this the way the Holy Ghost moved you, when you entered into orders? Alas! my Lords, I pity you! You ought to give. up these badges of unrighteousness, and ceafe to faddle the Clergy, like fo many Affes, with fuch ungodly trapping. You ride in ftate now, and receive honours of men, but mind the Great Bishop and Shepherd of Souls is to come again, and you must give an account of your conduct. Your Mitres will be laid in the duft, and the long Robes you love to walk in will be infufficient to cover your nakedness at the day of Judgement.
The impofition of Articles is unrighteous, if your Reverences will please to confider, that they have an immediate tendency to hinder all religious enquiries, and argue the imperfection of the word of God as a standard, to direct Chriftian teachers in matters of religion. Is it not plain when fuch a fyftem is made a ftandard of Chriftian Doctrine, that the word of God was infufficient without fuch a manufacture, to lead men into truth? And fuppofing your Articles are the very true fum and scope of Scripture knowledge; is not the didactic part of your office ufelefs?-For what occafion is there for any more teaching from Scripture, when you have reached the scope and meaning of divine Revelation? All that you have now to do is to illuftrate your own articles. This, my Lords, is a poor compliment paid to the Bible. But is it not a fign that the meaning of your Articles is not quite clear, when it needs fuch long and tedious illuftrations?
Justrations? Bishop Burnet certainly be lieved that your Articles were not altogether plain, when he was at so much pains as to write large Commentaries upon them. Though your articles were altogether agreeable to the word of God, yet you have no right to impofe them as articles of other men's Faith: for youare not their Judges, none have a right to impose matters of belief upon us, but he who has a right to Judge us for our unbelief, and can reward us for our faith. The Stewards in the Church fhould bring forth, out of their treasure, things new and old: but your impofition prevents all new discoveries in religion. If the Articles are the true meaning of Scripture, as they ought to be before they can be reasonably impofed as tefts of Faith, they are the rules by which teachers must inftruct their hearers, and every new difcovery is excluded unless it tallies exactly with the old; in this respect it cannot be new. But can any