But they have yet more advantage from our Formalists, for they like very well the course of conformity, as the way of returning to Popery, and some of them tell us in broad terms, that they hope we are coming fast home to them.
But the blessing of children in no wise slackened his course of piety. Not infrequently, family cares and business responsibilities draw men's thoughts and desires from God; and many who in youth were ardent in religious exercises and unfailing in spiritual duties, in middle life and old age are found to be merely formalists in worship, and paralysed for useful work in the Church.
Or is it muddy, and mixed with the doctrines of men? Look, man, and see, if the foot of the worshippers of Baal be not there, and the water fouled thereby. What water is fouled is not the water of life, or at least not in its clearness. Examine, which do you like better, self-soothing or soul-searching doctrine? Formalists and hypocrites love the former, and hate the latter.
The Pharisees were the ritualists and formalists of their day, who would wrangle about the breadth of a phylactery, and decide to an inch how far a man might walk on the Sabbath day; but the mere externals of religion will never permanently satisfy the soul made in the likeness of God. Ultimately it will turn from them with a great nausea and an insatiable desire for the living God.
If these things, I say, we call to mind, it will be more manifest that the ceremonies are given out for sacred signs of the very same nature that sacraments are of. For the sacraments are called by divines commemorative, representative and exhibitive signs; and such signs are also the ceremonies we have spoken of, in the opinion of Formalists. Sect. 3.
This I will make good: first, of all the ceremonies in general; then, of kneeling in particular. And I wish our opposites here look to themselves, for this argument proveth to them the box of Pandora, and containeth that which undoeth them, though this much be not seen before the opening. First, then, the ceremonies are idols to Formalists.
The republicans in their exuberant consciousness of having at last got rid of kings and kingly paraphernalia in their own, land for since the rejection of the sovereignty offered to France and England in 1585 this feeling had become so predominant as to make it difficult to believe that those offers had been in reality so recent were insensibly adopting a frankness, perhaps a roughness, of political and social demeanour which was far from palatable to the euphuistic formalists of other, countries.
Even in the cases of disorderly retreats, I believe discipline rather than pluck to have been wanting. Martinets and formalists would certainly be out of place here, and some of the technicalities of the art of war may well be dispensed with; nevertheless, all these palliations do not alter my unfavorable impression of the Federal officer on furlough.
We art provoked to disallow of lawful things, and to condemn the doers as superstitious and popishly affected. 2. We are animated by the example of Formalists to practise conformity, which in our consciences we condemn, and by consequence do sin, because he that doubteth is damned, and whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Sect. 10. Let us see next how the Bishop of Edinburgh can help the cause.
It is a ridiculous thing, and fit for a satire to persons of judgment, to see what shifts these formalists have, and what prospectives to make superficies to seem body, that hath depth and bulk.