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that they may reform, without giving up either APPEND.their authority or revenues; and be still as great, w but much better bishops, under our circumstances, than under their own.
As to the Pope's authority, I take the difference to be only this; that we may all agree (without troubling ourselves with the reason to allow him a primacy of order in the episcopal college ; they would have it thought necessary to hold communion with him, and allow him a little canonical authority over them, as long as he will leave them to prescribe the bounds of it: We fairly say we know of no authority he has in our realm ; but for actual submission to him, they as little mind it as we do.
At present he has put them out of his commu. nion; we have withdrawn ourselves from his; both are out of communion with him, and I think it is not material on which side the breach
Feb. 5. 1781-19. O. S.
APPEND. not to apprehend, that what is now done may be
as well in favour of the doctor's attempt as against
your friends, to find out the meaning of this mo- APPEND.
III. tion; from whom it came; how far it has gone; what was the occasion of it; and what is like to be the consequence of what the Abbè Du Bois says of my letters, and how they are received by him and the other ministers. I shall soon discover whether any notice has been taken of it to our ministry ; and I should think if the Abbè spoke to your Lord about it, he would acquaint you with it.
Feb. 24. 1718.
HAN and BissI should do all they can to blacken the good Cardinal de NOAILLES, and in him the party of the Anti-Constitutionists, but especially the Sorbonne, their most weighty and learned ad. versaries: and I am sensible that such a complaint is not only the most proper to do this, but to put the court itself under some difficulties, which way soever it acts upon it. But I am still the more curious to learn, if it were possible, not only the proceedings of the ministry above board hereup. on, but their private thoughts and opinions about it. I am under no concern upon my own account, farther than that I would be unwilling to have my letters scanned by so many great men, which will scarcely bear the judgment of my very friends. You must do me the favour to get out of your doctors what will be most obliging to them, whether to continue to write to them, or to be silent for a while, till we see what will be the effect of this enquiry. In the mean time, it grows every day plainer what I said from the beginning, that no reformation can be made but by the au
APPEND. thority, and with the concurrence, of the court;
and that all we divines have to do, is to use our interest to gain them to it, and to have a plan ready to offer to them, if they should be prevailed upon to come to it.
I am at present engaged in two or three other transactions of moment to the foreign Protestants, which take up abundance of my time; God knows what will be the effect of it. Nevertheless, if I can any way help to promote this, though I am at present without any help, alone, in this project, I shall do my utmost, both to keep up my poor little interest with the two doctors and their friends, and to concert proper methods with them about it. The surest way will be, to begin as well, and to go as far as we can, in settling a friendly correspondence one with another : to agree to own each other as true brethren, and members of the Catholic Christian church: to agree to communicate in every thing we can with one another (which, on their side, is very easy, there being nothing in our offices, in any degree, contrary to their own principles); and would they purge out of theirs what is contrary to ours, we might join in the public service with them, and yet leave one another in the free liberty of believing Transubstantiation or not, so long as we did not require any thing to be done by either in pursuance of that opinion. The Lutherans do this, very thing; many of them communicate not only in prayers, but the communion with us; and we never enquire whether they believe Consubstan. tiation, or even pay any worship to CHRIST as present with the elements, so long as their outward actions are the same with our own, and they give no offence to any with their opinions.
P. S. Since this last accident, and the public noise of an union at Paris, I have spoken some
thing more of it to my friends here, who, I begin APPEND.
March 16. S. V. 1718. I THANK you for your account of what passed I between Mons. Hop and you, relating to the project of an union : I doubt that gentleman will not be pleased with it; because, indeed, the Gala lican church will never unite with any church that has not an orderly episcopacy in it. I am very sorry my poor letters are made so public. The next thing will be, that either the imprudence of our friends, or the malice of our enemies, will print them; and then I shall have censures enough for them, perhaps some reflections printed upon them, or answers made to them ; but this shall not engage me in any defence of them, or in taking any farther notice of them. I beg you to keep those I have written to yourself from all view ; for l have no copies of them, and I wrote them as I do my other ordinary letters, without any great thought or consideration, more than what my subject (as I was writing) led me in that instant to. This is the liberty to be taken with a friend, where one is sure what he writes shall go no farther; but, for the same reason, will require the strictest suppression from any other view. I cannot yet guess what this turn means, nor how it will end : I wish your doctors could give you some farther light into it.