Page images
[ocr errors]

otherwise could not be so, is not our bulfinefs to determin. Much less are we willing to dispute the Poffibility of Salvation out of a Church, that has not such a Succession of Paftors by Episcopal Ordination, as we moft juftly plead for. We know that neither God's Arm is shorten'd, nor his Bowels fhut up, that neither his Power, nor his Goodness: can be confin'd. We know, that his Mercy' and Grace can supply all Canonical defects, wherever there is true Faith and good Works. Just as we Piously Hope and Warrantably Teach, that he confers the Benefits of Sacraments, where they are not pofsible to be had, to the hearty defirers of Them. But this still, I think, we may safely pronounce, that whatever Poffibility there may relsewhere be, the Certainty which depends upon God's Promises, and the Efficacy of Ordinary Grace, is chiefly, if not folely to be had there, where this Order is retain'd. Because we there, and there only, are sure, that the Sacraments are administer'd by those, who have receiv'd Authority from the Holy Ghost to make them effectual. Let then our Charity be as large as is poflible to our Brethren of the Reform'd Churches abroad, but let it not make us unjust to the most sound part of the whole Reformation at home. Let us not go about to defend Domestick Schism


[ocr errors]

by Forreigo Neceffity ; .Nor, with the If raelites, flight or reject this Divine Government, that we may be like to the Nation's round about us

To conclude, if these things be True, if the Grace that is come by Jesus Christ is not dispens d. but by his Church, if there is no Entrance into this Church, nor in it any Forgiveness of Sins, or means of Sanctifying Grace, but what is convey'd by their Office, to whom by the Holy Spirit is given the Miniftry of Reconciliation, if this Miniftry none can have but those only that are lawfully Sent, and if none have power to send but thofe that have receiv'd it in an uninterrupted Succeflion, from those that had it from Christ himself, and lastly if none can justly lay claim to such a Succeflion but Bishops duly Consecrated, if all these things are True, as I see not how any one of them can be disprov'd, Then surely we have great Reason, as many as are of this Communion, to Bless Almighty God for the Assurance we have, that we are in the Covenant of the Gospel, which certainly none but those who are within the Pale of the Church can have. As for thofe who neither have, nor pretend to such a Succession from the ApoAles, whether they are within the Church or without, we judge not, (tho' indeed the


Ancient Fathers do and that on the condemoing fide) neither presume we to set limits to the Extraordinary Uncovenanted Mercies of God, what They are, or how far They may Extend, we know not: But This we are sure of, that the Privileges of being within Christ's Holy Catholick Church, which only has a Right and Claim to the Promises, are Inestimable, or else they had not been purchas'd for us at so Dear a rate, as the most precious Blood of the Eternal Son, and made good and convey'd to us by the Holy Spirit of God.

To whom therefore, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit be afcribd all Glory and Praise, all Might, Majesty and Dominion botb now and for evermore. Amen.


[ocr errors]


Proverbs X. 9. He that walkethUprightly, walketh



HERE is not a more Universal, nor indeed a more Juft Complaint in the World, than of the Uncer

tainty of all things in it. No Man can rationally account himself secure of keeping any Good he enjoys, or obtaining any he pursues, unless he could command all. the Chances in the World. But how can he command them, when he cannot so much as number them? Poflibilities are as Infinite as God's Power; and whatsoever may come to pass, no Man can certainly conclude

And there is no Good thing which a Man pleases himself in Possessing,

shall not.


« PreviousContinue »