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church, must be restrained, not only by general rules of order, but according to the particular exigencies of circumstances. And our church wishes, with much reason, for circumstances more favourable to the exertion of it *. But how little soever exerted, the power is inherent in the office of priesthood. And though we are no more infallible in our proceedings and sentences, than temporal judges are in theirs; yet our acts, as well as theirs, are to be respected, as done by competent authority. And if they are done on good grounds also, whatever we shall bind or loose on earth, will be bound or loosed in heaven f. Nor will other proofs of repentance be sufficient in the sight of God, if submission to the discipline of the church of Christ, when it hath been offended, and requires due satisfaction, be obstinately refused, either from haughtiness or negligence.

To these words is subjoined the concluding charge: and be thou a faithful dispenser of the word of God, and of his holy sacraments. This then is the stewardship committed to you. And you cannot but see, in what a profane and corrupt age it is committed to you: how grievously religion, and its ministers, are hated or despised; how lamentably both they, and its other professors, are degenerated and divided. Your business will be, each within the sphere of his influence, to prevent these things from growing worse; which, bad as they are, they still may; and, if possible, to make them better; or at least, to recover or preserve şuch, as you can, from the general depravity. But you will never succeed in your attempts for this purpose, either by bitterness against infidels, heretics, and sectaries, or by contempt and ridicule of enthusiastic or superstitious persons. The

Omice of Commination. + Matth. xviii. 18.

only right method is a very different one: diligent study, to fit yourselves more completely for teaching and vindicating the truths of Christianity : scriptural and rational instruction, assiduously given, with zeal and mildness duly tempered, and suited to the capacities and condition of your hearers : a willing and devout and affecting performance of all sacred rites, whether in the church or elsewhere : but above all, a behaviour, innocent, humble, peaceable, disinterested, beneficent, abstemious, discreet, religious.

Take heed therefore to your steps: and walk in the present evil days with such piety and caution, that, as the office exhorts, you may neither offend, nor be occasion that others offend; but may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion * against you; that they who are of the contrary part, and falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ, may be ashamed t of themselves; or however, that your Master and Judge may not be ashamed of you I at the great day, but pronounce over each of you,

Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord g.

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2 Cor. xi. 12. I Mark viii. 38. Luke ix. 26.

+ Tit. ii. 8. 1 Pet, iii, 16. s Matth. xxv. 21.

0 RATIO,

QUAM CORAM

SYNODO PROVINCIÆ CANTUARIENSIS

ANNO 1761 CONVOCATA

HABENDAM SCRIPSERAT, SED MORBO PRÆPEDITUS NON HABUIT,

ARCHIEPISCOPUS.

SATISFECISTIS egregie, Fratres, nostræ omnium expectationi, Prolocutore electo, quem naturæ dotibus cumulatum, fide Christiana penitus imbutum, humanitate politum, eruditione excultum, auctoritate gravem novimus: atque adeo dignissimum, qui a viro laudato iis ornaretur præconiis, quæ in utrumque conveniunt. Concesso igitur vobis libenter, quem petitis, Referendario, intendamus jam communiter animos in ea, quæ hodiernæ celebritatis ratio postulat. Et hæc quidem, licet minime idoneus, tamen cum id sit officii mei, conabor exponere; oratione usus Latinâ, (sic enim est in more positum, nequid, puto, intelligant inepti auditores) nulla autem adhibita dicendi elegantia ; quam si sectarer tandem post quadraginta ferme annorum desuetudinem, omnino non assequerer; sed familiari admodum ac tenui sermone : Deum orans ut quod e pectore meo proveniet in vestra descendat, et fructum ferat. Neque enim plausum, ne vestrum quidem, capto; de hoc unice sollicitus, ut aliquid, si possum, proferam, quo sapientiores et meliores utrinque evadamus, et servi fideles utilesque Domini nostri Jesu Christi inveniamur in supremo illo die.

Convenimus, Patres Fratresque, in id parati, ut opem feramus veræ religioni, bonisque moribus, modo quidpiam ejusmodi nobis demandetur. Quod cum jam diu non sit factum, rogitant homines procacioris ingenii, quorsum huc ridenda solennitate, sic enim interpretantur, congregamur, quibus nihil negotii datum est, nec etiam dabitur. Sinite quæso, ut huic petulantiæ, nimium grassanti, pauca prius reponam, quam ad alia progrediar.

Illudne ergo spernendum existimant, quod hæc sacra Synodus eodem antiquissimojure constituta est, quo comitia procerum et eorum qui plebis vicem gerunt; quodque optimi Principis jussu acciti, comparemus ? Reverebuntur, qui recta sapiunt, utramque partem, tam ecclesiasticam quam civilem, reipublicæ Britannicæ, nec vel unum lapidem, præsertim qui fundamenta contingat, ex venerando ædificio dimotum cupient, ne totius molis, ut superiore sæculo, ruina consequatur Multa fecit hic cætus in redintegranda puriori fide cultuque, reipublicæ cumprimis utilia: hoc solo meritus, ut semper in posterum honorifice convocaretur. Quæ porro sit facturus, vel nunc vel posthac, quandocunque concessa fuerit aliquid agendi facultas, in pejus præjudicari non debet: neque paulo modestiores negaturos putem, quin ab eo non pauca in commune bonum fieri possent, et a nobis fierent lubenter. Quid quod et interim orientur ab hoc consessu commoda non mediocria ? Videbunt

cives nostri in eum intuentes, quinam simus, qui ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, Episcopi, Decani, Archidiaconi, præsidemus; qualesque sibi delegerit Procuratores Clerus parochialis: unde fore confidimus, ut nihil sibi a nobis extimescendum esse autument, sed omnia quæ bona sunt speranda. Congregati preces coram Deo fudimus concorditer: quas quin ille, promissi memor, clementer acceperit, nefas est dubitare. Hortationi interfuistis, pietate pariterac prudentia summa refertæ, quæ etsi multorum aures recitata prætervolaverit, omnium animos lecta inflammabit. Consilia etiam saluberrima præsentes invicem pro re nata communicabimus. Licebit denique Regem uno ore suppliciter compellare; nostram in illum fidem et observantiam, in religionem, virtutem, legitimam libertatem, cum civilem tum ecclesiasticam, studium testari; eoque efficere, ut etiamsi natura atque institutione nunquam non fuerit præconibus veritatis propitius, fiat tamen indies benignior, et spretis male feriatorum hominum cavillationibus, quicquid vel factu vel creditu indignum est, cohibeat, quantum salva unicuique conscientiæ prærogativa potest; quæcunque autem sunt vera, quæcunque pudica, justa, sancta, amabilia, bonæ famæ * non solum, ut semper, exemplo, sed monitis privatim, edictis, publice, animose tueatur.

Hæc nihil esse nemo dixerit : satis non esse, ultro fateor. Disquiramus igitur, unde quod deest possit accedere.

Clamabunt extemplo fervidiores, argumentis, obtestationibus, amicorum deprecatione, purpuratorum gratia, omni machina contendendum, ut quæcunque jura Synodis prioribus fuerunt attributa, iisdem armetur et hæc, regio mandato : resuscitandam demum

* Phil. iv. 8.

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