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most, who called themselves, or were called by others, anabaptists, have ever maintained or practised such things, as may enrage people against us, and expose us to the scorn and fury of the less thinking bigoted part of those from whom we dissent, he does not forget it. Thus he insinuates a, that we countenance, at least, and have among us, some who deny the human nature of our Lord Christ. This at best is spitefully enough represented but I protest, for my part, I do not know there is so much as a single man in our body who dares impiously deny so great a fundamental of the Christian faith. We are sure such an one can be no Christian; and if there be any such, we disown them all, and their pernicious heresy, which we are firmly persuaded aims at no less than the utter destruction of Christianity itself. As invidious is his relating the scandalous story about Mr. Hicks: which, were it as true as it is false, has been equalled and outdone by some of our author's communion: and therefore notwithstanding this, we may still be reckoned as loyal to the government as themselves. But since he is forced to confess that no more than ' two persons only appeared to have been guilty,' he ought in honour, and in respect to the oaths of those of his own party, to have left the scandal in the obscurity it deserves, &c. I am,
THE private opinions of a few not justly inserted in the history of the whole body-There are probably ill men among us, as well as among others-Some of our author's invidious insinuations-Our adversaries, instead of railing, should endeavour to convince us from revelation, or reason, or antiquity-If their reflections were true, our reputation cannot suffer much-We are not guilty of the hated opinions Mr. Wall loads us with Our separation easy to be justified-Mr. Wall has not sufficiently shewn wherein the sin of schism consistsHe only explains it in general by division, separation, &c.— The true notion of schism-It may either be lawful or unlawful-Who are schismatics-Not they who go out from a communion they were before joined with, but those who unnecessarily give or take the occasion; or continue separate without a just cause-It being lawful in some cases, and unlawful in others to separate, it is examined what will justify a separation - Mr. Wall's distinction between fundamentals and non-fundamentals, though good in itself, is insufficient, unless he had determined what are fundamentals and what are not A rule to know these-Christ alone can determine what is necessary; and what he has not expressly made so, is not so-It is useful to distinguish between things necessary to salvation, and things only necessary to the constitution of a true gospel-church-This distinction well-grounded, because the qualifications of a Christian and a Church are very different-An error in what is essential to the constitution of a church only, a sufficient warrant to separate from a community in such erroror-Which is also confirmed from some of Mr. Wall's own words-Agreement in the fundamentals of religion not a sufficient reason against separation, as Mr. Wall would urge it-Turned against himself-Therefore his arguments tend to nothing so much as confusion-Though it should be allowed, that we ought to submit all things purely indifferent to the determinations of our superiors; this would make but very little, if at all, in Mr. Wall's favour-It does not follow that persons, who think they ought not to renounce communion for smaller matters, must therefore constantly conform in those things, and neglect what they think is better -If the ceremonies are not of so much consequence, as to
justify the dissenters in their separation; neither will they justify the church in so unnecessarily insisting on themThese things, said to be indifferent in themselves, by being the occasions of divisions, cease to be indifferent, and become unlawful The dissenters are verily persuaded the things for which they dissent, are not so indifferent as is pretendedThe Church's power of making laws for its own government, of no service to Mr. Wall-Things in themselves lawful may be so circumstantiated, as to become unlawful-As the case stands at present, the dissenters are obliged to dissent from the national church-The uncharitable obstinacy of our adversaries-The separation of the antipædobaptists particularly defended-Mr. Wall pretends, that though they are right, they have no ground to separate-The antipædobaptist notion stated-The time and manner of receiving baptism, so far as it relates to our present dispute, are fundamentals—That cannot be true baptism, which differs from true baptismOur separation justified by the definition of a church, in the nineteenth article of the Church of England-We ought not to unite with persons unbaptized-True baptism necessary to Church-membership-The words of the institution the best rule by which to judge what is true baptism-We refuse to communicate with the Church of England, for the same reason for which she refuses to communicate with persons she esteems unbaptized-Mr. Wall's terms of union very partial and unreasonable-We are obliged to the Toleration for the general forbearance Mr. Wall boasts of-And desire to remain in the hands of her Majesty and parliaments under God, who have hitherto so kindly secured us-A fair proposal, in order to establish unity among us-Mr. Wall a friend to persecutions for religion-The conclusion.
WHAT I have already said in my former, instead of more, may serve for a specimen of Mr. Wall's moderation and ingenuity. What can be more unfair, than to represent and judge of a whole body by the odd, singular opinions of a few particular men
in it? Mr. Wall, and all men, would justly esteem him an abusive historian, who, reciting the doctrines of the Church of England, should charge her with the miserable absurdity of the Church of Rome, transubstantiation, only because bishop Bramhall says, No genuine son of the Church of England did 'ever deny the true real presence;' or the gainful article of purgatory, because Mr. Dodwell has unaccountably asserted-and cited the Liturgies published by primate Ussher to prove that the dead, not excepting the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and even the blessed Virgin herself, are now in slavery to the Devil;' and adding in the next page, that by this slavery he does not mean they are liable to any punishments, but only certain molestations and disquietudes, from which they 'may be relieved by the prayers of the living. Had Bellarmine been to argue this notion of a purgatory with Mr. Dodwell, he would have desired no greater concessions.
That man would be justly blamed, who should pretend the Church of England teaches Christ's sacrifice of himself was not expiatory for sin, or that the martyrs are capable of making the like expiation; because Mr. Dodwell in another placed ventures at the
b Epistolary Discourse, p. 258.
c Epistolary Discourse, p. 259. [Mr. Dodwell, however, does not assert that the persons spoken of may be relieved, as if such were his own opinion. His words are, 'some disquietudes,
wherein they might be relieved by the prayers of the living according to the opinion of S. Justin Martyr.' Surely this is an imperfect and unfair quotation.]
d Dissertat. Cyprianic. xiii. §. 36. Et vero nominis ratio suadet potius ut sit virtus hæc CHRISTO cum ejusdem mystico corpore communis.
extravagant assertion, that this power and virtue is common to Christ and his mystical body;' speaking more particularly of the primitive martyrs making their blood almost equally effectual with Christ's, to the purging away sin; and accounting them so many expiatory sacrifices for sin; directly contrary to the determination of the holy penman, that Christ, (Heb. ix. 26.) once in the end of the world hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Cap. x. 10.) Which was offered once for all. (Ver. 12.) One sacrifice for sins for ever. (Ver. 14.) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Ver. 18.) And, There is no more offering for sin.
It would be shameful injustice to make the church answerable for all the strange, nay sometimes blasphemous and atheistical fancies, and bad actions of her pretended sons. Too great a part of the clergy, it is notorious, are either open non-juring jacobites, or secret, and therefore more mischievous, highflyers; entirely in the Pretender's interest, and as hearty friends to popish tyranny and superstition, as ever was the Laudean faction. What a number is there of them, who glory in being called highchurch-men, and carefully keep up the distinction, notwithstanding the queen and parliament have often declared such to be dangerous enemies to church and state! But to ascribe the disloyalties, corruptions, and pernicious doctrines of these men to the church, though they have had the fortune to worm themselves into some share of her dignities, would be disingenuous, and every honest man would abhor it.
Of the twelve our Lord had chosen, one was a