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ADDRESSED TO THE BISHOPS
PROVINCE OF CANTERBURY.
BY ARCHBISHOP SANCROFT.
JULY 16TH, MDCLXXXVIII.
Some Heads of Things to be more fully insisted upon by the Bishops in their Addresses to the Clergy and People of their respective Diocesses.
HAT the Clergy often read over the Forms of their Ordination; and seriously consider. what Solemn Vows and Professions they made therein to God and his Church, together with the several Oaths and Subscriptions they
I have taken, and made upon divers Occasions.
II. That in Compliance with those and other Obligations, they be Active and Zealous in all the Parts and Instances of their Duty, and especially strict and exact in all Holy Conversation, that so they may become Examples to the Flock.
III. To this end, that they be constantly Resident upon their Cures in their Incumbent Houses; and keep sober Hospitality there according to their Ability.
IV. That they diligently Catechise the Children and Youth of their Parishes (as the Rubrick of the Common-Prayer Book, and the 59th Canon injoin) and so prepare them to be brought in due time to Confirmation, when there shall be Opportunity; and that they also at the same time expound the Grounds of Religion and the Common Christianity, in the Method of the Catechism, for the Instruction and Benefit of the whole Parish, teaching them what they are to believe, and what to do, and what to pray for; and particularly often and earnestly inculcating upon them the Importance and Obligation of their Baptismal Vows.
V. That they perform the Daily Office publickly (with all Decency, Affection and Gravity) in all Market and other Great Towns, and even in Villages, and less populous Places, bring People to Publick Prayers as frequently as may be; especially on such Days, and at such Times, as the Rubrick and Canons appointed on Holy Days, and their Eves, on Ember and Rogation Days, on Wednesdays and Fridays in each Week, and especially in Advent and Lent.
VI. That they use their utmost Endeavour, both in their Sermons, and by private Applications, to prevail with such of their Flock as are
of competent Age, to receive frequently the Holy Communion: And to this end, that they administer it in the greater Towns once in every Month, and even in the lesser too, if Communicants may be procured, or how-ever as often as they may and that they take all due Care, both by Preaching and otherwise, to prepare all for the worthy receiving of it.
VII. That in their Sermons they teach and inform their People (four times a Year at the least, as what the Canons require) that all Usurp'd and Foreign Jurisdiction is for most Just Causes taken away and abolish'd in this Realm, and no manner of Obedience or Subjection due to the same, or to any that pretend to act by virtue of it: but that the King's Power being in his Dominions highest under God, they upon all Occasions perswade the People to Loyalty and Obedience to his Majesty in all things Lawful, and to patient Submission in the rest; promoting (as far as in thein lies) the jublick Peace and Quiet of the World.
VIII. That they maintain fair Correspondence (full of the kindest Respects of all sorts) with the Gentry and Persons of Quality in their Neighbourhood, as being deeply sensible what reasonable Assistance and Countenance this poor Church hath received from them in her Necessities.
IX. That they often exhort all those of our Communion, to continue stedfast to the end in their most Holy Faith, and constant to their Profession; and to that end, to take heed of all Seducers, and especially of Popish Emissaries, who are now in great numbers gone forth amongst them, and more busy and active than ever. And that they take all occasions to convince our own Flock, that 'tis not enough for them to be Members of an Excellent Church, rightly and duly Reformed, both in Faith and Worship, unless they do also reform and amend their own Lives, and so order their Conversation in all Things as becomes the Gospel of Christ.
X. And forasmuch as those Romish Emissaries, like the Old Serpent, Insidiantur Calcaneo, are wont to be most busy and troublesome to our People at the end of their Lives, labouring to unsettle and perplex them in time of Sickness, and at the hour of Death; that therefore all who have the Cure of Souls, be more especially vigilant over them at that dangerous Season; that they stay not till they be sent for, but enquire out the Sick in their respective Parishes, and visit
them frequently: that they examine them particularly concerning the state of their Souls, and instruct them in their Duties, and settle them in their Doubts, and comfort them in their Sorrows and Sufferings, and pray often with them and for them; and by all the Methods which our Church prescribes, prepare them for the due and worthy receiving of the Holy Eucharist, the Pledge of their happy Resurrection: thus with their utmost Diligence, watching over every Sheep within their Fold (especially in that critical Moment) lest those Evening Wolves devour them.
XI. That they also walk in Wisdom towards those that are not of Our Communion and if there be in their Parishes any such, that they neglect not frequently to confer with them in the Spirit of Meekness, seeking by all good Ways and Means to gain and win them over to our Communion: More especially that they have a very tender Regard to our Brethren the Protestant Dissenters; that upon occasion offered, they visit them at their Houses, and receive them kindly at their own, and treat them fairly where-ever they meet them, discoursing calmly and civilly with them; perswading them (if it may be) to a full Compliance with our Church, or at least, that whereto we have already attained, we may all walk by the same Rule, and mind the same thing. And in order hereunto that they take all Opportunities of assuring and convincing them, that the Bishops of this Church are really and sincerely irreconcileable Enemies to the Errors, Superstitions, Idolatries and Tyrannies of the Church of Rome; and that the unkind Jealousies which some have had of us to the contrary, very were altogether groundless.
And in the last place, that they warmly and most affectionately exhort them, to joyn with us in daily fervent Prayer to the God of Peace, for an Universal Blessed Union of all Reformed Churches, both at Home and Abroad, against our common Enemies, and that all they who do confess the Holy Name of our dear Lord, and do agree in the Truth of his Holy Word, may also meet in one Holy Communion, and live in perfect Unity and Godly Love.