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his Afcending into Heaven, and fending his Holy Spirit were fome of them? After thefe, all that was Prefigur'd of Old, had their Completion in the Blef fed Jefus. He also in Mercy, left thefe thou'd not have Power fufficient to convince, did leave behind him other Prophecies, the Difperfion of the Jews, and the Destruction of Jerufalem. That of the Jews, and the other too, is now in Force: For to this Hour they are Exiles, fcatter'd over the whole Earth, defpis'd and hated by all, and though they are vastly rich, yet are they not Mafters of one Foot of


This Severity of God to them, fhou'd by no means be a matter of Joy to us; we as Chriftians, ought to commiferate their Misfortune, and heartily pray to God to fhew pity on them, his ancient, and once moft beloved People.

From hence we may conclude with Nicodemus, that Chrift was the Meffias, that he is a Teacher come from God,


for no Man can do thefe Miracles, except John 3. 2. God be with him.

Secondly, From the Proof of this it doth of Confequence follow, That no Indulgence given by Men, no At, for exempting from the Penalties of certain Laws, in cafe of Separation, can free those from the Guilt of Schifm, who break Communion with a Church, that hath the Words of Eternal Life.


(2.) That nothing less than the maintaining of Herefy, and impofing Terms of Communion, that are abfolutely, and in their own Nature Sinful, will justify any Separation from the National Church, which we have been Baptized in, and belong to.

First, That no Indulgence given by Men, no At for exempting, &c.

There is no one thing oftener commanded, and more frequently prayed for by our Lord, than that all Chriftians fhou'd be of one Mind, and as Members of the fame Body: And on the other Hand, there is no Sin more forbidden, no Sin reprefented of


Dr. Gil. Sin.

bert BurBishop of

net, Lord



worse Confequence, and more Severity threatned, than Schifms and Divifrons; The Sinfulness of Schifm likewife is fo fully fet forth by the Apoftles, that there are no Chriftian Wri ters of any Church whatever, but own that it is in its Nature a Mortal We must not therefore think, that the Toleration, under which the Law has fettled the Diffenters, does « either abfolve them from the ObligatiCons that they lay under before, by the Laws of God, and the Gospel, to maintain the Unity of the Church, and not to rent it by unjust or caufeless « Schifms, or us (the Clergy) from "ufing our Endeavours to bring them "to it, and laying the Obligations to UniСС ty and Concord before them, with fuch "Advantages, that fome of them might open their Eyes, and fee at last upon "how flight Grounds, they have now fo "long kept up fuch Wranglings, and "made fuch a Rent in the Church, that both the Power of Religion in general, and the Strength of the Proteftant Re

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"ligion, have fuffer'd extreamly by


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The Legislature may, and do Screen the Separatists from Punishment in this World, but nevertheless, they muft without Repentance, look for the Punishment of their Schifm in the next. 'Tis true, the Civil Power may give us leave to be of any Religion, but then they cannot render it lawful in itself to forfake that Church, in which we have been Baptiz'd, without folid and good Reason. The Civil Power can Enact Laws to make Theft in this Life no Sin, and confequently he that fteals will be exempted from Punishment; but then as stealing was a Sin in the Sight of God before fuch Laws were made, fo it will remain, notwithstanding their Declaration to the contrary. The Measures of what is Just were fixed from Eternity; the Laws of God are true from Everlasting, and can never be repeal'd, and all God's Commandments are fure, they stand faft for Pfal. 3.7,

ever and ever.



The Reasons of them did exift from Eternity in the Divine Nature, and cannot upon any Account be alter'd or chang'd. "The Law thereBlackall, "fore of Man, can take away and " Exeter." discharge us from no Obligation but "that which itself laid upon us.

Dr. Of


now Bishop


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The Laws of Men cannot make Vertue, Vice; or Vice, Vertue; for if they cou'd, Good and Evil wou'd be most uncertain Things; and that which to Day was a Vertue, to Morrow might be a Crime; what was now a glorious, laudable Action, might at another time be culpable, and a prodigious Villany. Now thofe Actions are Good or Evil, which are either fo in themselves, or become so by the pofitive Law of God Almighty, and confequently it will follow (Schifm being by the Holy Scripture declared a Damnable Sin) that this Propofition is clearly made out.

(2.) Nothing less than the maintaining of Herefy, and impofing Terms of Communion, that are abfolutely, and in their own Nature Sinful, will


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