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juncta, diu sustinuit! eadem circumstantium approbatione, eadem eloquentia, iisdem virtutibus Prolocutoriam hanc Cathedram aliquanter perornet, aliam atque altiori honoris gradu positam (nisi vana auguror) aliquando ornaturus. Quicquid certe Ecclesiæ Anglican* utile aut gloriosum fuerit, id omne nobis spondet hodiernus rerum status: Populi studium, Principum virorum servor, Optima; Reginæ pietas, arctissima inter Ordines Civiles atque Ecclesialticos concordia. Fuit semper inter inseriora Regni & Ecclesiæ Concilia affinitatis conjunctio, et qualis inter sorores esse soler, cum diversitate aliqua non parva similitudo: at propior iis jam abhinc intercedit cognatio, dum duobus hisce cætibus duo præerunt viri in eadem Æde; fæcunda optimarum artium parente pariter innutriti, sub eodem beatæ memorise Antestiti simul educti, iisdem principiis penitus imbuti, uterque fide in Principem, in Patriam, in Ecclesiam explorata, stabili, inconcussa: uterque magna de se pollicitus, majora præstiturus: alter Reipublicæ, alter Ecclesiæ optime apudnos conflitutæ & seliciter attemperatæ propugnator strenuus: Dignus sane ille, quem Senatus Regina addictiffimus sibi præficeret, quem Regina civium amantislima autoritate sua confirmaret: nec indignus hic, quern Clerus Episcopal! Ordini firmiter obstrictus deditusque, Vobis, Pat Res, commendet, quem Vos, Patres maxime colendi, pro tenerrima in Clerura affectu calculis vestris comproberis.
Upper'Houfe of Convocation.*
THE Clergy, Most Reverend Father', f .* have in the usual Manner, with all Fidelity, discharged the Duty You injoined them, the Choice of a Man of Learning and Eloquence out of their own Body, fit to undertake, and equal to execute the Office of their Prolocutor, and: they do this Day recommend to you, Venerable Fathers, by my Mouth, this excellent Person, % already by his great Merits to the Church sufficiently recommended to Our, to Your, and the geneial Esteem of all good Men; a Person endowed with such Talents, that he deserves all: Manner of Praise; so high in Fame and Reputation, that he stands in need of none; a Person so exactly suiting the Plan and Character which our Ancestors laid down for a Prolocutor, that
*' This Version was mads by Dr. SemiM, and approv'J by» Dr. Stxalri.tye. t A£!drt(li'.g l]:mre!f co Archbishop Tcanipm, i Dr. i"r.na!sAtttrhu-y.
E 6 H he may well seem selected from among Us to this high Dignity, not so much by our Votes, as by the Ancient Rules of Convocations.
For if a Store of exquisite Learning can be of any Assistance in the Discharge of this Ossice, who can discharge it with greater Applause to himself, or more Advantage to Us, than One who is well acquainted with all Parts of Literature, long and successsully exercised in most Arts and Studies, most accomplished and perfect in those Sciences which admit of the greatest Perfection? If lastly, it is a peculiar Part of the Character of a Complete ProloCutor, toexpress by his single Tongue the Sentiments of many Eloquent Men, we have an Orator of so finished an Elegance, that You, Fathers, need not fear that his Unskilsulness should diminish the Dignity of your Answers; and we may justly hope, that his Eloquence will add a considerable Weight and Advantage to Our Petitions. If Good-will has an Influence in reconciling Resentments, Authority a great Force in moderating Disputes, whom could we rather wish to be a Judge in our Debates, than one whose gentle Disposition renders him so popular, that he may justly hope by the Sweetness of his Temper to allure all who have any Share of Goodness or Humanity, to the Study of Peace and Unity; one, whose Gravity is so free from Arrogance, that should any Commotions happen to arise among us, the very Dignity of his Presence must immediately suppress them? Little therefore, most Sacred Fathers, had the Clergy answered your Expectations, had they placed this weighty Burden on any weaker Shoulders; and at the fame Time they had proved themselves ungratesul, and forgetsul of the greatest Benesits, had they not willingly offered
fered any Honours, that they could conser, to one who had so highly deserved of them. He certainly may rightsully claim the first Place in our SyNod, who by Divine Incitement strenuously endeavoured, by Divine Favour happily effectecTthis, That Synods in this Nation are not altogether lost and dead, nor intirely Speechless.
Indulge me, Fathers, if I trace this Matter something higher; nothing shall I say to detract from your Dignity, to which I bear the deepest and sincerest Veneration; nothing to revive ancient Differences, to which I have the utmost Abhorrence.
The Convention of the Bishops and Clergy had been now for some Years interrupted. The Meetings of the States in Parliament for the Management of the Affairs of the Common-Wealth were frequent; all this Time there were no Meetings of the Bijhops and their Clergy, for the Promotion of the Good of the Church. I don't say, I don't think, that this was done with an evil Intent; nay, I am apt to believe, that it proceeded from an Affection to the Church, from a pious Fear of Differences, and an ardent Desire for the Preservation of Peace: But however, many Persons, who neither wanted Honesty nor Foresight, thought that this Intermiflion of Convocations would one Time or other prove of the greatest Disadvantage to the Church. They were under great Apprehensions, that what they knew was begun by the best of Princes, and with the best Advice, might by a worse Prince, who had worse Designs, be turned to the Destruction of the Church. In the mean time many new monstrous Doctrines are daily published; many Heresies diffuse their poisonous Principles with Impunity; Reproaches and Blasphemies, shamesul to utter, and horrible to hear, are freely vented against the Priesthood, against Things Sacred, and the most Holy Name of God himself. The Authority of a Convocationhad formerly given a proper and present Antidote against these Plagues. All good Men implore this Assistance; without this they think we must utterly despair of preserving and desending Religion in these Nations.
Such was the State of Affairs, when this very Learned Person thought it proper to place The Rights, Powers and Privileges of an English Convocation f in an open and true Light, and to strengthen them with all the Force they could receive from Laws and Custom. With this View he searches caresully into the Ancient Monuments of the Church, then covered with Dust and Obscurity, rightly thinking that the Manner and Method of Convening, the Rules and Laws of holding Convocations, was not to be drawn from the modern Discourses of Men, nor from the Memory of us, or our Fathers; but from the Commentaries of the Ancients, the Edicts of Kings, and the Registers of Popes. For this Purpose he got into his Possession, with great Labour and Cost, many loose and scattered Manuscripts, almost obliterated by Time, which he carefully read again and again. By the Assistance of these he first ventured to tread a Way involved with Darkness, covered with Thorns, and perplexed with. Intricacies, without any Guide to conduct him, without any Footsteps of former Travellers to direct him. But he, relying on the. Strength and
* The Tirle of Dr.Aneitaty'j Book in Aufwtr so Dr. Wake'/ State 01 tlie Chinch, ai.d Clergy oi England, tol. J703.