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TUNIC LIBRARY 286387

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THE

FRENCH CHURCH'S

APOLOGY

PORTIF

CHURCH OF INGLAND:

OR,

THE OBJECTIONS OF DISSENTERS AGAINST TIIE ARTICLES,
HOMILIES, LITURGY, AND CANONS OF THE ENGLISH
CHURCH, CONSIDERED, AND ANSWERED UPON
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE REFORMED

CHURCH OF FRANCE.

A WORK CHIEFLY EXTRACTED OUT OF THE AUTHENTIC ACTS AND

DECREES OF THE FRENCH NATIONAL SYNODS, AND THE MOST

APPROVED WRITERS OF THAT CHURCH.

BY THE REV. JOSEPH BINGHAM, M. A.

And some time Fellow of Unirersity College in Oxford.

TO THE

MOST REVEREND FATHER IN GOD,

THOMAS,

BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE,

LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY,

Primale of all England, and Metropolitan, and one of Her Majesty's

most honorable Privy Council, fc.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GRACE,

In regard to the eminency of your office and station in the Church, which entitles you more than ordinarily to be a defender of the present constitution, and a patronizer of all honest endeavours that are used to support it, I do with great submission present to your grace this following discourse; which contains a modest vindication of the doctrine, worship, government and discipline of our Church, from the chief objections of dissenters, and returns answer to them upon the principles of the reformed Church of France. The argument, I confess, is something singular: there being few that have trod in the same path before, and none that I know of, who have set themselves purposely to examine the French synods, with any design to justify the Church of England thereby. But I hope the rareness of the argument will be so far from being a prejudice against it, that it will excite the curiosity of those, for whose benefit it is intended, to make a new search into these matters: and when they find so exact an harmony and agreement betwixt the French and English Church upon the chief points controverted, that may perhaps induce them to lay aside their prejudices and mistakes, and return to their ancient communion again, from which, if the French Church may be allowed to be judge, they have unreasonably departed. The business of-lay-communion I have not very much insisted on, because that dispute seems to be almost at an end: it being confest by dissenters themselves, as well in their writings as practice upon some occasions, that lay-communion with the Church of England is not unlawful. But that, which is now chiefly pretended to keep up the present unhappy separation, is the difficulty of clerical communion ; that is, the hard terms and conditions, which are required of those that are to enter into the ministry: I have therefore more industriously all along in this discourse set myself to examine these; and by stating things exactly, made it appear, that the terms of clerical communion are not more difficult in the English Church, than they are in the reformed Church of France: and that if dissenters will allow themselves to be determined and concluded either by the opinion and judgment, or the synodical rules and discipline of the French Church, they ought to submit to the settled

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