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By Traditions the Church plainly means, not DoEtrins (in which Sense 'tis frequently used, particularly in our Disputes with the Church of Rome) but Practices or Usages in the Service of God, even the same which the expresses immediately by the word Ceremonies (which is only explanatory) and which the afterwards calls Rites, supposing them the same with Ceremonies.
The Three First Propositions. The Church infers the First from the Second and Third. Now the Second is a Truth, which none can doubt of, that is acquainted with Ecclesiastical History. 'Tis impossible for me at present to prove it by a compleat Induction of Particulars : nor do I remember, that any Party denies it. However, the Instances given by St. Auflin in his Epistle to Januarius, and in his Retractations, lib. 2. cap. 20. by Socrates in his History, lib. 5. cap. 22. and by Sozomen in his History, lib.7. cap. 19. are undeniable Evidence, with respect to the Times in which they wrote. As for the Third Proposition, since the Church has Power to decree Rites and Ceremonies (see the Twentieth Article, Prop. 1.) the Church must of course have Power to change them. For what should hinder the Church from altering what is founded upon her own Power? And common Sense informs us, that the Church must in making Alterations be guided by a regard to the Diversity of Countries, Times, and Mens Manners, and that nothing may be ordained
contrary to God's Word. Now from these Two, the Seond and Third Propositions, the First necessarily follows. For tho' the Diversity of Traditions and Ceremonies in all Ages is a very good Presumption that they may be lawfully diverse ;
yet the Power of changing them is a Demonstration, that there is no Necessity of their being in all Places one and utterly like.
The Fourth Proposition is manifestly built upon the Supposition of a Christian State, and that the Magistrate has actually interposed in the Appointment or Confirmation of Traditions and Ceremonies. This being observed, the Truth of the Pro. position is felf evident, provided the Magistrate may in such Cases exercise his Authority, touching which Point see the Discourse of the Independency of the Church on the State, Chap.
The Fifth Proposition necessarily follows from, or rather is contained in, the Third.
The THIRTY FIFTH ARTICLE.
HE second book of Homilies, the several titles where
of we have joyned under this article, doth contain a godly and wholsom doctrin, and necessary for these times, as doth the former book of Homilies, which were set forth in the time of Edward the VI. and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the ministers, diligently and distinëtly, that they may be understood of the people.
Of the Names of the Homilies.
2. Against Peril of Idolatry.
7. Of Prayer.
ministred in a known Tongue.
Body and Blood of Christ. 16. Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost. 17. For the Rogation Days. 18. Of the State of Matrimony. 19. Of Repentance. 20. Against Idleness. 21. Againjt Rebellion,
These Expressions, we judge them to be read in Churches, &c. must needs mean, that the Homilies are such as may lawfully and profitably be read therein. But this, as the Rubric in the Communion Office exprefly declares, is upon Supposition, that there be no Sermon. For our Church does not allow of using a Sermon and Homily at the same time.
Now that the Two Books of Homilies do contain godly and wholsom Doctrin, and necessary for these Times (viz. the times of which the Compilers undoubtedly spake, even their own Times) and that they may consequently be read in Churches, &c. will appear upon the perusal of them ; for they establish and confirm their own Doctrin by Reason, Scripture and Antiquity.
Only it must be remembred, that he who subscribes this Article, is not supposed thereby to declare his Approbation of every Particular, which is found in the Homilies. For tho' our Subscription to the Articles ties us up to every single Proposition of the said Articles: yet 'tis unreasonable to extend a single Proposition in the Thirty fifth Article, to an Approbation of every Proposition, that may be found in a whole Folio Book, of merely Human Composition ; and in which, upon that Account, 'would be a Miracle, if nothing were either really amiss, or what an honest Man might with a very good Conscience difsent from. And I dare say, whoever carefully examines the Homilies, provided he be otherwise well affected to the Eftablished Church, will heartily wish for, and be very ready to allow, this Sense of our Subscription.
But yet, because in Matters of Subscription a Man ought to take effectual Care, that he deals openly and fairly, that he does not trifle with Sacred Obligations, and play with Setled Impositions, and thereby give his Conscience, either such a Wrench as may often make his Heart ake, or fuch a Loose as may debauch it in other Instances; for these Reasons, I say, and also that I may both silence such as strain every thing to a false and bad Sense, and render those perfectly easy, who are willing to admit a good and true one ; I shall subjoin a decisive Explanation of our Subscription to this Article.
Bishop Morton having wrote a Defence of the Surpliss, the Cross, and Kneeling at the Sacrament; Dr. Ames publish'd a Reply to it. To this Reply Dr. John Burges return'dan Answer, which occafioned Dr. Ames's Fresh Suit, to which Mr. Ritchel rejoined, and fo the Controversy ended,
Now Dr. Burges had formerly, by some indiscreet Superior, been deprived for Nonconformity. But afterwards he presented his Sense of the Terms required, first by the Hands of the Bihop of Winchester (Dr. Lancelot Andrews, I presume) to King James the First, and then to the Arch-Bishop of Canterby ry, Dr. G. Abbot: and thereupon he was restored ro the Exercise of his Ministry.
He gives us an Account of this Matter in the Preface to his Answer to Dr. Ames, p. 18. in these Words, And after that time, even the very Day in which I was deprived for refusal of Subscription, I did openly before (I take it) an Hundred Witnesses (whereof some yet. remain) profess, that if it should be made plain to mez that there was no such Alteration in the Churcb's Intenda ment as I apprehended, I would then subscribe, as I had done before, without Scruple. And accordingly afterwards I did freely subscribe, after that His Majesty bad seen the Interpretation of things which I had conceived, and satisfied my self in, and had allowed them: and after that my Lord's Grace of Canterbury that now is, bad told me, that they were not my Senses, but the very true Meaning and Sense of the Church of England, whatfoever fome Men out of the Ryot of their Wits had difcoursed. These Interpretations I will subjoin to this Discourse, because it may do some Men good.
Accordingly he does subjoin that Paper, Pref. p. 23, &c. under this Title, A Particular of those int terpretations of some Things questioned in the Matter of Subscription, with which I had satisfied my self in former times, and with which I offered to subscribe the same Day wherein I was deprived for not subscribing; which were after presented to His Majestie by the then Bishop of Winchester, and after to my Lord's Grace of Canterbury, upon which I was restored to my Ministerie. And at the End of it he has these Words, Tbese Interpretations L 2