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of God, of the same Essence or Substance with the Father, and the Belief of it as necessary to Salvation; because so many Arians and Socinians, and other inexcusable Unbelievers, are involved in the dangerous Consequences of that Doctrine : and for their fakes, and, it may be, secretly for their own, they rack their Inventions to find out New, Loose, and Evasive Expofitions of that Fundamental Myftery of Christianity, and express them in odd uncertain Terms, unknown to all Antiquity, and as different in Sense as in Sound, from the Language of the Catholick Church. I have said Inexcusable Unbelievers, tho' these Gentlemen of Large Thoughts, and pretended Large Charity, would excuse them; because the Mystery is Incompre: hensible, and the Manner of the Thing, as taught by the Catholick Church, Inconceivable by Human Understanding; but, let me say, no otherwise inconceivable by us than some Natural Mysteries are; which, tho' we cannot conceive, yet we believe. They will tell us in Behalf of these Unbelievers, That Men's Minds are as different as their Faces ; That our Brains, and the Cells in them, are of different Make; and, That all Men cannot believe alike. But, Sir, to lhew the Vanity of such Apologies, let uş suppose that some of our Countrymen
were Trading among a People very remote from the Sea ; imagine under the Foot of Mount Caucasus ; and had told them, that the Waters of the River which run through the Capital City of England, did twice every Day, and sometimes oftner, run backwards up the same Channel, down which the Stream had run not long before And that the King of that people, as well as the People, wondring at this Relation, should send Letters to the Queen, to defire Her Majesty, that if it was true, she would be pleased to confirm the Truth of it by an Answer with her Royal Seal; and that, after he received Her Majesty's most Authentick Letter, should neverthe less declare he would not believe the Thing, because he could not conceive the Manner of it, nor how it could possibly be done; and thereupon also did brand the First Re : lators of this Inconceivable Natural My stery, as Lyars, and then banish them out of his Dominions: Supposing all this, Sir ; Do you think it were reasonable to make an Apology for such a Prince's obstinate Incredulity; who,' upon the Authority of such Testimonies, would not believe the Thing, because it was not only above his Understanding, but that of all the Philosophers in his Kingdom? I say, would it be reasonable for fuch a Prince, and his
Philosophers, to disbelieve, or doubt of that Thing, after such undoubted HumanAuthority for the Truth of it; or for others to paliate or excuse their obstinate Unbelief, because Men's Minds are not all alike, and their Brains of different Make? Sir, I wish the Gentlemen, for whose Sake I have made this Comparison, would consider it, and no longer, under Pretence of Universal Charity, and the different Features of Minds, write in such Manner of the great Mystery of our Religion, as to confirm our Doubters or Unbelievers in their Scepticism or Unbelief, and thereby give them Occasion to reject it as uncertain or false, rather than be involv'd in the Dreadful Consequence of their Unbelief, Nould it be, as it certainly is, a Divine Truth.
Then, as to the Practical Principles, which I call Precepts, or Commands, they are also as necessary to be observd, as the other are to be believ'd; and, if I may so speak, are as dear to God as any Article of Faith ; and yet there is none of them, which fome Men of Latitude among us will not foften, and trim up into another Sense, to please the Transgressors of them to theis Eternal Ruin.
hus, Sir, that very Sect, which not only neglects, but despises the Two Sacraments as Temporary Institutions, or Ritual
Ordinances, appointed only for the Infant State of the Church, are not only allowed the Title of Christians, but reckon'd in the ordinary State of Salvation, by some Free
Thinkers, in the Broad Way, which leadeth to Destruction. . And then, as to the Political Doctrines, or Principles, relating to the Government of the Church; tho' it was the Consentient Belief of all Christi. ans for Fifteen Hundred Years, that Bishops were the Successors of the Apostles, and as such only have power to Ordain Ministers in the Church; yet have we Men, and Men of no ordinary Figures in the Church, that not only never Preach this Doctrine themselves, but do not love that others fhould Preach it,, or Instruct the Youth in it; because, say they, It Unchurches the Foreign Churches. But, Sir, in the Name of God, is it this Receiv'd Principle of the Catholick Church that Unchurches Foreign Churches; or do they Unchurch them, selves
, in continuing wilful Transgressors of it? As, not to speak more of the Moral Precepts of Christianity; Is it, for Instance, the Doctrine of Sobriety, or Justice, or Temperance, or Purity, or Humility, that damns so many Millions of Christians; or do they damn themselves by their wilful Violation of them? The Positive Laws of God are áll Sacrosanct, especially those be
bath bath Ordaind for Government; and he will in no wise excuse the wilful Neglect, Contempt, or Transgression of them ; but e. yery such Transgression and Disobedience against the Polity of the Christian TheoCracy, let the Number of Offenders be never so great, fhall receive a just Recompence of Reward. And therefore judge, Sir, who act most like Primitive Chrifti. ans, and the Faithful Servants of Christ; those, who in all Meekness and Charity, set this Receiv'd Principle concerning the Oecumenical Theocracy of the Mystical Israel, the Necessity of Conformity and Obedience, and the Consequences of Disobedience to it, before the other Churches; or those, who sooth and flatter them in their Error, because they are whole Nations ; tho' most of them have abandon'd the Divine Order of Bishops, purely for Human Reasons of State; and particularly, because they have alienated the Revenues, by which they were maintained. Yet, Sir, the same Persons, who had rather this Principle were suppress’d, than that those Nations should, as they speak, be Unchurched by it, would ( at least many of them) make no Difficulties to Unchurch Lesser Bodies of Christians by it; and let the. Con sequences which arise from it, have their full Force upon a few, tho' the Trasgressi