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working habits and put on more decent clothes when they come to family prayer; they are bound to do so, &c. And what obedience is to be rendered by children and servants to their superiors of a family, is to be rendered by a people of any nation to the superiors or spiritual magistrates of a national Church.
III. Of Prayer: 1. To pray by the Spirit, as to sing by the Spirit, in 1. Cor. xiv. signifies to pray and sing by inspiration in an unknown tongue. Also in Rom. viii. 26, where it is said, that the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, and that the Spirit - maketh intercession with groanings, &c. : by the Spirit there is to be understood the inspired man or orator; for then in the infancy of the Church, as men preached and expounded the Old Testament, and uttered hymns, so they prayed publicly by inspiration; but those inspirations ceased as the Church learned what to preach, and how to expound, and for what, and bow, and to whom
Those first inspired preachers and psalmists and orators were to the Church Christian, as "Bezaleel and Aholial were to the Sanctuary'when God first directed the making of it. There were none among the chila dren of Israel, who till then had been shepherds, that had any skill in engraving, embroidering, carving, casta ing, and any other cunning workmanship, that was necessary for the Sanctuary and the holy vessels and garments; and therefore God, to supply that defect among them, inspired Bezaleel, Aholiab, and many more, with wisdom and understanding how to work all manner of work for the service of the Sanctuary, as you may read Exod. xxxi. 1, xxxvi. 1, xxxviii. 22, 23. But then in after ages men that had learned these arts from those who had learned them from the first inspired men, wrought for the Tabernacle and the Temple without inspiration, and wrought every thing as well, and in a manner as acceptable to God as those who were at first inspired ; and for brevity sake, I leave you to make the application.
2. There are several sorts of Prayer, and one common part of all sorts of Prayer, viz. Invocation.
3. The sorts of Prayer are V. Confession of Sins and begging pardon for them; Petition for mercies and bles. sings we stand in need of, which when it is for others is called Intercession; Deprecation of God's anger and
judgments; Thanksgiving for blessings received; and praising God for the infinite excellencies of his nature.
4. A prayer is longer or shorter, as it consists of more or fewer, longer, or shorter parts of Prayer.
5. It is easy to make a mere scheme or enumeration of heads of Prayer of half an hour long, and by consequence for a man of good memory and coufidence to make one prayer two or three hours long upon those heads, if be have bodily strength to speak so long.
6. It is indifferent whether we pray unto God in one long, or many shorter prayers, or in prescribed forms of prayer, or forms not prescribed, as extemporary prayers are to the hearers.
7. But in what manner soever we pray, we ought to invoke God with hearty reverence, to confess our sins, with hearty shame and sorrow, and to beg pardon for them with hearty and earnest desires. With the same hearly and earnest desires ought we to petition him for all mercies and blessings for ourselves and others, and deprecate his anger and judgments. In like manner ought we to give him thanks with hearty thankfulness, and praise him with an hearty admiration of the infinite excellencies of his nature. And whosoever prays to God in all or any of the aforesaid parts or sorts of prayer, with those hearty affections and dispositions that are re.. spectively due unto them, be it in his own or other men's words, in forms preseribed, or forms not prescribed, in forms read, or forms spoken without reading, in one continued, or many distinct prayers, he prays in a manner acceptable to God, and according to ihe rules of worshipping God delivered in his word.
8. He may also be said to pray by the Spirit, because the Spirit of God helps us to prepare our minds for prayer' by working in us an hearty and devout desire to pray, together with those hearty dispositions and affections which belong to the several parts and sorts of prayer, and this is all which the Spirit of God hath for many ages ordinarily done for men in prayer.
9. If men are pot affected with prescribed forms of prayer, it is because they have not minds prepared for prayer, or because they do not attend to them, or else because they come with prejudice to them :.for other Christians eminent both for knowledge and piety are, much affected with them, as, is visible in our Churches, where godly men and women of all ranks may be seen
most fervent in their devotions, and offering up their common prayers with sighs and tears. I have known several Dissenters most passionately affected with the Church-prayers upon their sick and death-beds, when sickness made them truly devout, and helped to purge their minds now intent upon heaven, from preconceited opinions against forms of prayer.
$ 10. The gift of extemporary prayer is an acquired gift, or habit got by. art and exercise, as the gift of extemporary preaching, pleading, declaiming, or inaking verses is; and, like those gifts, it is common to good and bed, to the hypocrite and sincere, to the worst as well as the best men. Major Weire of Edinburgh (not to mention others) who was as bad as a man could be, indeed little better than a Devil, had it in greater perfection than any man was ever yet known to have it. You may see an account of him in Ravillac Redivivus.
. 11. They were Popish priests in the time,of Q. Elizabeth who first magnified extemporary prayer in opposition to the Church's Liturgy, calling it Spiritual Prayer, or Praying by the Spirit, as you may see proved in a little book called Fores and Firebrands, with which the Papists being charged in the late controversy could not tell what to reply.
12. Almost all the Reformed Churches worship God by prescribed forms as well as ours, and particularly the Lutheran, French, and Helvetian Protestants.
IV. Of Conscience, and the Holy Scriptures. 1. Whoever pleads conscience against the commands of his lawful superiors, ought to try his conscience by the adequate rule of conscience, wbich is the will of God manifested to us by the light of nature, and the liglit of, revelation in the holy Scriptures.
2. As to the holy Scriptures, it is not the words in which they are written; but the sense of those words which is Scripture; and therefore every man that pretends to govern his conscience by the Scriptures, ought to use all diligence to understand them in the true sense. I have instanced in two texts of Scripture under the head of prayer, whose words are usually urged without the sense to justify the preference of extemporary prayer above forms, and I shall now instance in one or two more; the first of which the Dissenters usually urge against the observation of Holy-days, Gal. iv. 9, 10.
But the days and months there meant are the new moons, and sabbaths, and fasts, and festivals of the Jewish Church, which the Galatians observed ont of an errones ous opinion that it was necessary to the salvation of Cbristians to keep the law of Moses as the Jews did, the ritual part of whose religion the Apostle calls weak and beggarly elements, because they were utterly useless to those who had attained to the knowlege of Christ. The other text in wbich I shall instance, is in l. Cor. ii. 4,2 where the Apostle saith,“ my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in deu monstration of the Spirit, and of power.” This text'is usually applied by the Dissenters in favour of extempo rary preaching, or preaching without book, in opposition to preaching within book, especially if preaching extemporary be accompanied with much voice and action : but in reality it is not applicable to any sort of preaching now a-days; the demonstration of the Spirit being to be understood of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, such as speaking with strange tongues, &c.; and Power signifies the power of doing miracles, as healing the sick, &c. which attended the preaching of the Apostles, as it is written of them, Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem till ye shall be endued with power from on high ; and ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and God also bearing them witness with sägns and condets, and divers miracles und gifts of the Holy ehost. 11. V. Of holy Orders and Church Government.
1. In the holy priinitive Church wheresoever dispersed over the whole world, there were Bishops distinct from, and superior to, Presbyters.
These Bishops were ever esteemed to be the successors of the Apostles, and the chief ministers in their respective jurisdictions next under Christ, who is King and Governor, as well as Priest.
3. As the Presbyters were inferior to them, so they were ordained by them, and it was held altogether unlawful for any to ordain a Presbyter or Priest except he were himself a Bishop; and no one approved example of such ordination can be shewn for the space of above 2400 years. 154. Nay 'twas the general belief of the best and puresť ages 8f The Church, as it appears from the writers of
those ages, that Bishops are necessary to the constitution of the Church, insomuch that the ancient heretics and schismatics, that they might have the appearance of Churches still, endeavoured to get a Bishop for their head in their seyeral separations.
5. And as our Church is conformable to the Primitive Catholic Church in doctrines so by the special providence o God, it hath the happiness above most other reformed Churches to be conforined to it in Government, in that it hath Bishops by a continual succession from the Apostles, as well as Presbyters and Deacons in a decent subordination; and for this blessing the people, of this nation are bound to be thankful to God, and so to account of their Bishops as ministers of Christ, and to submit themselves unto them as unto their chief Pastors and Spiritual Magistrates under Christ, and conscientiously to obey all such orders, as they being lawfully assembled have made for order and discipline, accord, ing to God's word and the canons and customs of the Catholic Church.
VI. Of Tradition. 1. By Tradition the writers of the Church of England always understand written tradition, in opposition to the Popish writers, who not being able to defend their innot vations and corruptions by written tradition, set up, I know not what, oral traditions, contrary to the writings of the ancient Fathers in the best and purest ages, as well as to the Holy Scriptures.
2. As there are true and false scriptures, so there are true and false written traditions.
3. The true written traditions are such as are to be found in the undoubted writings of the Fathers, by which we come to understand what was the consentient belief and practice of the ancient Catholic Church.
4. This tradition is not to be despised or lightly esteemed by any sober inan, because it is of mighty use for the clearing of inany things, which out of the Scripture alone cannot be so clearly and satisfactorily proved. As first, That the books of the New Testament were written by those whose names they bear, and that they were written by divine in piration, odly. That these books collected together in the New Testament, and none other, are the rule of the Christian faith, to which I may add many other things; as the Lord's day is to be observed, infants to be baptized; that the institution of the