Baxter - BR161 B28 1680

their Councils abridged, i9 the Church, and call all that obey them not Schifmaticks and Sala- ries, and ftrangers may believe therefore, that it is but fome few in- conGderable fellows that are againft them, when yet the far greateft part may utterly diffent and abhor their pride. I have lived to fee filch an Affembly ofMinifters, where three or four leading men were fo pre valent as to form a Confeflion of Faith in the nameof thewhole party, which had that in it which particular members did difown. And when about a controverted Article, One man hath charged medeeply , for que- ltí.oning the words of the Church, others that were at the forming ofthat Article, have laid it all on that fameman, as by his impetuoufnefs putting in that Article, thereft beingloth to ftrive much againft him, and fo it was he himfelf that was the Church, whofeauthority he fo much urged, at leaft the effe&uai fignifying part. Wecannot judge what iscommoneft by what is uppermoft, or ingreateft power. In diversParifhesnow, where the Minifter is conformable, perhaps ten parts of the people do diflikeit; and fometimes you may fee but three or four perlons with him at the Com- mon-prayers ; And yet all know, that Diffenters are talkt of as a few fingular Fanaticks. I compare not the Caúfes,but conclude,that fo alto for theNumberr,humbleGodly perlons might beverynumerous,thoughonly the aftions of worldly Prelates do take up moft ofthe Hiftory of the Church. Yea, I believe, that among the Papifts themfelves, five to one of the people, were they free from danger, would declaretheir diflikeof agreat part of the aftions and Doftrines of their Prelates, and that the greateft part that arenamedPapifts, are not fuch throughly and at theheart. When the Rulers, Scribes, and Pharifees were againft Chrift, andper- fecuted him and the truth, the comnion people fo much adhered to him, that the perfecutors durit not feize on himopenly by force, but werefain to ufe a Traytor, to apprehendhim in the night, and in afolitaryplace, left they lhould be !toned by the people, who faid, Never man fpake as this man fpeaketh. §. 44. Let usnot therefore turn Church-Hiftory into a temptation, nor thinkbafelyof the Church, or Chriftianity, or Chrift, becaufe ofPapal and Prelatical pride and tyranny. God can make ufe of a furly porter tokeep his doors; yea, a rnaftiff_dog may be a keeper of the houle; and his Corn bath grown in every Age, not only with ltraw and chalFe, but with fome tares : And yet he hath gathered, and will gather, all his chofen. S. 45. Nor is the Miniftry it felf to be therefore difhonoured : For as at this day, while a few turbulent Prelates perfecute good men, and much of the Miniftry is in toomany Countries lamentably corrupted, yetisRe- ligion, piety, andhoneftykept up by the Miniftry, and never was well kept upwithout it : For theFaithful Minifters labour 1tí11, and their very fuffer- ings further the Gofpel, andwhat they may not do publickly they dopri- vately. Yea, tl.eir very Writings thew, that üill there are filch as God doth qualifie todo his work, even among the Papifts, he that readeth the pious D 2 Writings