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: “But now, instead of this excellency of “ condition and constitution of religion, the “ people are fallen under the harrows and “ saws of impertinent and ignorant preachers, “ who think all religion is a sermon, and all “ sermons ought to be libels against truth and “old governors, and expound chapters that “ the meaning may never be understood, and “pray, that they may be thought able to talk, “ but not to hold their peace, they casting “ not to obtain any thing but wealth and “victory, power and plunder: and the peo“ple have reaped the fruits apt to grow upon “such crah-stocks; they grow idle and false, “ hypocrites and careless; they deny them“ selves nothing that is pleasant; they despise “ religion, forget government, and some never “ think of heaven; and they that do, think to “ go thither in such paths which all the ages “ of the church did give men warning of, “ lest they should that way go to the Devil.
• But when men have tried all they can, “ it is to be supposed they will return to the “ excellency and advantages of the christian “ religion, as it is taught by the church of “ England; for by destroying it no end 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 unblame" able 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 go“ vernor that understands his own interest, “ unless he be first abused by false preachers, “ and then prefers 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 both one and the other would be su“ preme 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 66 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 ecclesiastical “ state. Nothing so combines with govern« ment, 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 reli“gion, 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 vic“ tory, in that day we shall prevail against “*all God's enemies and ours, not in the pur« chases and perquisites of the world, but in “ the rewards and returns of holiness and pa“ tience, 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, un« less 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 we are 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 followsing 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 só a holy institution. .
“ This only he affirms, that there is a 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 im
pertinent people, who take more pains to
“ prove there is a purgatory than to persuade “ men to avoid hell. And that a plain cateos chism can more instruct a soul, than the “ whole day's prate which some daily spit « forth, to bid them get Christ,' and perse"cute his servants.
“ Christian religion is admirable for its “ wisdom, for its simplicity; and he that “ presents the following papers to thee, 'de - signs to teach thee as the church was taught “ in the early days of the apostles ; to believe “ the Christian faith, and to understand it; 56 tỌ 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 : 6 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 s into that state of good things, that it shall “ rejoice for ever.