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posture, unless I can clearly discover and see the Law, it will be impossible for me to tell what posture I am to use ; and consequently I must be discouraged from receiving at all ; because if I should, I must act wholly upon uncertainties, my Conscience being utterly unresolved, whether I use the right or wrong posture. A Law must be discernable and easie to be found out, especially in this case, wherein all Christians whatsoever, both Learned and Unlearned, are equally con
2. IT must be supposed, that this Law lieth in some positive Precept or other, or else is fercht from some leading and Authoritative Example. For considering, that every posture is indifferent in it felf, neither absolutely necessary, nor absolute ·ly sinful, it is impoffible to conceive how I should be determined and bound up to the use of one, rather than another, but by fome Command that peremptorily requires my Obedience, or by some overruling Example that exacteth my imitation. One of these things must be the Law in cases of this nature; or else there can be none.
3. IT must be supposed too, that this Law (whether it be grounded upon some positive Precept, or upon Authoritative
Example) is clearly and evidently to be found in the Word of God. For, to make that unlawful, which the Word of God hath no where forbidden, is to say in effect, that the Word of God is not the Rule we are to go by, that the Scriptures are scanty and imperfect, as to the definitions of Good and Evil ; that there is another Standard of our Duty over and above that Law of Liberty which is extant in the Bible, and that the great Law. giver of the World did not make fuffici ent Provisions for the Information and Government of Mens Consciences; and then the next thing is, that Men will set up any pretence against the Law of Christ, and call Evil, Good; and Good, Evil according as their Fancy is, and just as the Humour takes them.
THESE three things being premised, we now desire our Diffenting Brethren to shew us where any Law against Kneeling at the Sacrament is plainly delivered in the whole Word of God. if they say the thing is unlawful, when there is no Law against it, all their talk is nothing but an heap of Non-sence. If they supo pose such a Law, but cannot tell where to find it clearlyg. they ought to consider that doubtful Suppositions and uncertain Conjectures are no Rules of Conscience,
nor) nor sufficient grounds for separation from a Church that cannot be proved a Transgreslor. If they will ingeniously confess (as they ought) that there is nothing in the Scripture that condemns a kneeling posture, we shall take it as a sufficient Vindication of our Innocence, and thank them for being so just to us; but withal, must leave it to their serious consideration, whether they have not forsaken the Proteftant Principle, of the Perfecti. on of the Holy Scriptures, in making that to be Sinful, when in the account of Scripture it is not so?
BUT to bring the Controversie to a full issue in this case, we of the Church of England do go upon three sure Principles. 1. That Christ gave no positive Command (that we read of) about any one particular kind of posture. 2. That nothing can be clearly against our kneeling posture, from the Example of our Saviour, or of his Apostles. 3. That were we sure what their posture was at the Institution of this Mystery, it ought not to be judged a leading and Authoritative Example nevertheless. I. FIRST, we say, 'that Christ
gave no positive Command (that we read of) about any one particular kind of posture. Of the truth hereof, any Man may be
satisfied presently, by looking into the account that is given in the Scriptures of the Institution of this Sacrament. For neither do the Evangelists, nor St. Paul speak one word of any particular posture that was ordered at the Celebration of this Mystery. Indeed, our Saviour said, Do this (meaning what he and his Dir. ciples did then) as St. Luke and St. Paul affirm. But that Command relates only to the Action of Ministring and Receiving of Christ's Passion; it doth not in any wise respect a Posture. For St. Matthew and St. Mark render it, Takė, eat, and drink ye all of this (as St. Matthew speaks of the administration of the Cup:) So that by doing this, must be meant only the Sacramental Action. Besides, it is not said simply, Do this, but Do this
, in remembrance of me, which manifestly relates to the breaking of the Bread, and to the pouring out of the Wine, whereby the Paffion is represented; and it is not the Pow sture (be it what it will) but the Minia Stration that is the Memorial of a broken and Crucified Jesus. Lastly, the Posture is a Circumstance only; and if Men suppose that the Command, Do this, respecteth that Circumstance, they may as well suppose that it respecteth all the other Circumstances too; and then they must
think thermselves bound to Celebrate the Lord's Supper at Night too, and after a Meal, and in a private House, and in an upper Room, and with such a Select Number, and with Unleavened Bread, and the like. For the Command extendeth to all, as well as to one Circumstance, if Men
but the truth is, it extendeth to 'no Circumstance at all, and consequently not to any one fort of Posture; and therefore it must be concluded, that neither Kneeling, nor any other Posture is in it self Unlawful, or Contra. dictory to any positive Command of Christ.
2. IT must be then some Example or other of Christ and his Apostles, that is pretended to be against us; and this I know is the general Objection, which I shall consider distinctly, because at the first sight there seem to be some intima tions in Scripture, which are apt to startle such people as do not read the Sacred Story with due Consideration and Care.
1. THEY say that Kneeling was not our Saviour's posture, when he himself did eat of this Bread, and drink of this Cup. But now, what if our Blessed Saviour did not receive this Sacrament at all ? Indeed 'tis commonly thought, and confidently affirmed that he did lo; but