Imatges de pÓgina

can be served but of sin and folly, faction and death eternal. For besides that no church that is enemy to this, does worship God in that truth of propositions, in that unblamable and pious liturgy, and in preaching the necessities of holy life, so much as the church of England does;-besides this, I say, it cannot be persecuted by any governor that understands his own interest, unless he be first abused by false preachers, and then prefer his secret opinion before his public advantage. For no church in the world is so great a friend to loyalty and obedience, as she, and her sisters of the same persuasion. They that hate bishops, have destroyed monarchy; and they that would erect an ecclesiastical monarchy, must consequently subject the temporal to it. And and the other would be supreme in consciences; and they that govern there, with an opinion that in all things they ought to be attended to, will let their prince govern others, so long as he will be ruled by them: and, certainly, for a prince to persecute the protestant religion, is as if a physician should endeavour to destroy all medicaments, and fathers kill their sons, and the master of ceremonies destroy all formalities and courtships; and as if the pope should root out all the ecclesiastic state. Nothing so combines with government, if it



be of God's appointment, as the religion of the church of England; because nothing does more adhere to the word of God, and disregard the crafty advantages of the world. If any man shall not decline to try his title by the word of God, it is certain there is not in the world a better guard for it, than the true protestant religion, as it is taught in our church. But let things be as it please God: it is certain, that in that day when truth gets her victory, in that day we shall prevail against all God's enemies and ours, not in the purchases and perquisites of the world, but in the rewards and returns of holiness and patience, and faith and charity; for by these we worship God, and against this interest we cannot serve any thing else.

In the mean time, we must, by all means, secure the foundation, and take care that religion may be conveyed, in all its material parts, the same as it was, but by new and permitted instruments. For let us secure that our young men be good Christians it is easy to make them good protestants : unless they be abused with prejudice, and suck venom with their milk,-they cannot leave our communion, till they have reason to reprove our doctrine.

There is, therefore, in the following pages, a

compendium of what we are to believe, what to do, and what to desire; it is, indeed, very little, but it is enough to begin with, and will serve all persons so long as they need milk, and not strong meat. And he that hath given the following assistances to thee, desires to be even a door-keeper in God's house, and to be a servant of the meanest of God's servants, and thinks it a worthy employment to teach the most ignorant, and make them to know Christ, though but in the first rudiments of a holy institution. This only he affirms, that there is more solid comfort and material support to a Christian spirit in one article of faith, in one period of the Lord's Prayer, in one holy lesson, than in all the disputes of impertinent people, who take more pains to prove there is a purgatory, than to persuade men to avoid hell and that a plain catechism can more instruct a soul, than the whole day's prate which some daily spit forth, to bid men get Christ, and persecute his


Christian religion is admirable for its wisdom, and for its simplicity; and he that presents the following papers to thee, designs to teach thee as the church was taught in the early days of the apostles. To believe the Christian faith, and to understand it; to represent plain rules of good life; to describe

easy forms of prayer; to bring into your assemblies hymns of glorification and thanksgiving, and psalms of prayer. By these easy paths they lead Christ's little ones into the fold of their great bishop; and if by this any service be done to God,-any ministry to the soul of a child or an ignorant woman,-it is hoped that God will accept it: and it is reward enough, if by my ministry God will bring it to pass, that any soul shall be instructed, and brought into that state of good things, that it shall rejoice for


But do thou pray for him that desires this to thee, and endeavours it.

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