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would not always be great; but still there would be à Difference.
I said thinking Men, for, as to the unthinking Herd, whatever was the Creed of their Father, or Tutor, that will be theirs, from their Infancy, to their Lives End; and accordingly, whatever Country you go into, let the Religion be what it will, the unthinking Part thereof are always the reputed Orthodox.
An Uniformity of Profeffion may indeed be both practicable and useful; and feems in some degree to be necessary, not only for the Preservation of Peace, but also for the general Good and Welfare of So
ciety: Since I do not conceive how any Society or Commonwealth can subsist, unless some Form of Religion or other be established therein; as well with regard to Points of Doctrine as Discipline; which however ought to be as plain, few, and fundamental, as possible. And as no established Form of Religion can fubfift, unless that Form be publicly made known, and the Teachers thereof are laid under fome Obligation, either by Subscription or otherwise, of complying with that Form, and of not preaching, or publicly teaching, any Doctrine contrary thereto ; so, I own, I do not see any Manner of Impropriety in the Legislative Power of any Society insisting upon such a kind of
Subscription, as is only required to be made for Peace-sake, and the Preservation of the outward Forms of Society: Since a Man under these Circumstances
prudential Reasons, honestly subscribe and submit to the Use of one eftablished Form, though he, in his own private Opinion, may think another to be better; provided that he is not obliged to subscribe any thing sinful; or so diametrically opposite to Truth, as that he cannot possibly put any other Construc
tion upon it.
The first Subscription, that I know of, was set on foot at the Council of Nice, when the famous Contest about the Trinity was de
termined in Favour of the consubftantial Doctriné, by a Majority of near Twenty to One: To which the Emperor required all the Bishops then present to fubfcribe. But then he allowed every one to put their own Sense upon the Word Consubftantial, and not the Sense that was intended by the Compilers of the Creed: And accordingly, Eusebius Bishop of Cæfarea, though he at first refused subscribing, yet when he was allowed to interpret the Word Confubftantial, as meaning only, that the Son was not of the Same Substance with the Creatures that were made by him; he then subscribed it, and fo, in a little Time after, did Arius.
Peace was what the Emperor wanted, and therefore he was content with Peace: But from the Time that Power was put into the Hands of the Church of Rome, implicit Faith and Obedience to her infallible Determinations being what she required ; unless Subscriptions were then to be understood as made according to the Sense of the Compilers of the Articles, the Recufants were anathematised, and Fire and Faggot was the Word.
But as I apprehend that the Church of Ireland doth not set up
Infallibility, I do not think that she requireth any other Kind of Subscription than such as is necef