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sary for Peace and Quietness : And therefore I am now not much difturbed upon

this Head. I likewise find by the Words of the Act of Parliament, which enjoins the Declaration of our " Assent and Con« sent to all Things contained in The Book of Common-Prayer,” that the Purport and Intent of the Ad is, that this Declaration of Aflent should be only to the Use of those Things which are contained in the faid Book, which is very different from afsenting to the Things themselves

and therefore I am pretty easy also with regard to this.

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How these Words, to the Use of, came to be omitted out of the express Form of Words that are or


dered to be read in Church for a legal Qualification, I cannot say, nor whether they were omitted out of Neglect, or by Design ; but I own it seems to me, when I consider the Humour of the Times when that Act was made, that it was done with Design; as a Snare, to oblige poor [1] conscientious Men, who did not read the Act of Parliament at length, to give up

their Livings, rather than declare their “ unfeigned Affent and Consent to all “ and every thing contained in The Book of Common-Prayer.For it is to be observed, that this Condition was not required by the Act of


[1] And accordingly, there were 1800 Perfons that were actually deprived of their Livings, rather than submit to the Terms prescribed.


Uniformity, as published in the Time of Queen Elizabeth, but was an Addition made thereto, after the Restoration of King Charles the Second, when the Nation was, as it were, mad with the Joy of having recovered its ancient Constitution both in Church and State ; The little Oath therefore, wherein it was declared, that it is not lawful, upon any Pretence whatsoever, to take. Arms against the King, was at the same time inserted into the Aft of Uniformity. Which Part of that Ac hath been since repealed; and indeed I cannot but fincerely wish, that the other Addition, which was made at the same time, was so far rectified, that the Words of the Declaration should


be made to correspond with the Design of the Ad, which manifestly was, to require the Declaration of Affent and Consent only to the Use of all and every thing contained in The Book of Common-Prayer. Becaufe I think that That solemn Declaration which a Clergyman is obliged to make in the Presence of God and his Congregation, when he is going to take upon himself the Care of their Souls, ought to be simple, positive, plain; free from all Ambiguity or Doubtfulness; and should be expressed in such a Manner, as that it cannot be mifunderstood, either by him, or by the Congregation; but that he

may safely and honestly make it, according to that plain and ordinary



Sense of the Words, in which they would commonly be understood by all Mankind, without any Evasion, Equivocation, or mental Reservation whatsoever; that is, without any latent Reference to the Intention of the Act, which is not expressed in the very Words of the Declaration.

And indeed I am the more defirous of this, because I know for a Certainty, that some of the most learned and conscientious Persons among the Dissenters, have made the Form of our Declaration of "un“ feigned Affent and Consent to All " and Every thing contained in The Book of Common-Prayer," an Ob


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