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Rules for the Difetvery of falfe Prophets : Or the Dan-
E R Μ Ο Ν
Preached before the
At St. MARY's in OXFORD,
to the serious Consideration of the Company
By JOHN FREE, D. D.
-Και εξ υμών αυτών ανασήσονται άνδρες λαλώντες διεστραμμένα, τα
A&. XX. 30.
Church in Fleet-street, Mrs. Cooke, at the Royal Exchange,
CANTERBURY, Primate, and METROPLITAN of all
ENGLAND, &c. &c.
there are some Occasions, wheri the Interest of the common Cause, and the mutual Relation which the Sups. porters, and Defenders of that Cause bear to each other, may require more of Intercourse, and Communication between Superiors and Inferiors, than may be necessary in peaceable Times, and the ordinary Course of Things.
Your Grace is by your Station, as well as your Afsection, to be esteemed the present FATHER of the Church of England. And therefore, confidering both your Authority and good Disposition towards us, it is no Wonder, that your Clergy should apply; as they see a Necefsity, for such Indulgences, as may forward their honeft Endeavours, and which, I dare say, Your GRACE will never with hold; I mean your Concurrence, Counsel; and Protection.
As there seems to be this Privilege allowed Your Clergy, I thought there was an absolute Necessity at present to use it, and pathetically to lay betore YOUR GRACE, the Conduct and Disposition of an Enemy, which through the Negligence of some Persons, who should have been more upon their Guard, have by fecret Advances, so far stolen upon the common People, as to seduce many of all Denominations from their proper Paftors, and aided by this mixed Multitude to threaten the CHURCH of ENGLAND, the Bulwark of the Protestant Cause, with a general Alteration or total Subuerfion.
To fuch a Pitch of Infolence are they arrived, that Your Clergy are often interrupted by these Enthusiasts as they pass the Streets, and told to their Faces by the lowest and most ignorant Wretches, that they know nothing of the true Gospel; and what still thews a greater Contempt of our Establishment, we are the more lubject to these Indignities and Disturbances, when we appear in that Dress, which the Laws and Customs of this Country assign us, to distinguish us as Servants of the State, in the now sad Capacity of Ministers of the falling Church of ENGLAND.
The Vulgar in the capital Cities, and the Body of Artizans in the most populous trading Towns are mostly in the Hands of these People : And their Purses being likewise at their Command, they want no Advantages, that Money can give them, for printing and distributing GraTis, their lying, blasphemous, and delusive Pamphlets, to the remoteft Corners of the Land; while many of the laborious honeft CLERGY, who do the Service of this Capital, through the ill Returns of Abufes, Deprefpon, and Neglect, not having a common Subsistence, can have no Superfluity to expend in the publick Service, and there-, fore can by no Means support at their own Coft, the Expence of Apologies and Defenses from the Press.
Such being the proftrate, miserable State of the Church and those, who ufed to defend it, and such the triumphant State of its Enemies, I cannot see how any Order of Men in the English PriESTHOOD, though they do not stand in the Breach, can expect for their Tameness any better Security or longer Continuance than the Rest: While this Turbulence remains, they all fublift as it were at Mercy,