Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BT763 .B35 1655

141'4 Aki


RICH: BAXTER'S Confesfsionofhis Faith) Elpecially concelLni"ng the trite- rep ofRepentance and fincere Obe- dience to CHRIST, in our JUSTIFICATION 84 SALVATION. VVritten for the fatisfadion of the mif- informed, the conviction ofCalumniators, and the Explication and Vindication of fame weighty T R u T H s, T M. 4.8. Godlinef is profitable to All things , having promife of the Life that now is, and of that which is to come. R E V. 22.14. Bidedare they that Do his Commandments , it they may have Right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in by the Gates into the City. LONDON, Printed by R. w. for Tho. Vnderhil, and Bra. ritOff, land are tobe fold at the Anchar and Bible in Pauls Church-yard, and at the three Daggers in Ileetfireet. c 6 5 5.

Greg. Na 1471ZC Direakin to his dock, what Pallor -o choole when he was gone. Rocunumrequiro : tit ex eorum17102CrO fit, qui aliis funt non miferationi : qui non in omnibm rebus, cunais obfequuntur, fedqui in quibuldam etiam, ob Recrii fludium, in hominum offer fionem incurrunt. Alterum enim in pmfins ittondi twin; efl : alterom in polierom tetiliAmum. A Theme for Calumniators. Concil. Arelatenf. De his qui falln accufant Pores fuos, Placuit, ens 11111; ad exitaint nonCommunicare : fedfalfum teflein,j ttxta Scripturain, hypo- nitunz non licere.e((e.

The Preface to theReaders Elpecially my Reverend Brethren Qf the Minillry. S is the MoOn with the Stars unto the expanded Firmament ; As are the well ordered Cities with OW their Ornaments and Fortifications to the Woods and Wildernefs ; Such is the Church to the reft of the World. The felicity of the Church is in the Love ofGod, and its bleffed influences , whole face is that Sun which doth enlighten and enliven it. Hearth and fin had not caufed a feparationand ecclipfe,theWorld and the Church would have been the fame , and this Church would have en- joyed an uninterrupted Day-light. It is the Earth that moveth and turneth from this Sun, and not the Suns receding from our Earth, that brings our Night. It is not God, but Man, that loft his Goodnefs 5 Nor is it neceffary to our Reparation, that a change be made Onhim, but on us. Chrift came not into the World to make God Better, but to make us Better ; Nor did heDie to make himmore difpofed to doGood, but to Difpofe 'us toReceive it : Though as he is extrinfecally Denominated from the particular Objed, tobe particularly Willing of this or that, and to Love that which he Lovednot before 5fo we may well fay, that Chrift dyed to purchafe for us the LoveofGod, and to procure his willingnefs of a prefent effecting our Remif- fion, and fo to Accept andApprove us as his own. But his pur- chafewas not Adually to change the mind of God, nor to in- clirY to have Mercy, who before was. dif-inclined: but to make the Pardon of mans fin a Thing convenient , for the Ri 7nteous and Holy Governour ofthe world to beftow with- -out : impeachment of the Honour ofhis Wifdom, 1-folinefs or juftice.: yea, to the more eminent Glorifying of them all. A 3 Two

'The Preface to the Readers. Two things are requifite to make man to be Amiable in the eyes of God, anda fit Object for the moil; Holy to take plea- fure in : One is in his fuitablenefs to the Holinefs ofGods Na- ture: The other refpedeth his Governing Juftice. We muff in this life fee God in the Glafs of the Creature, and fpecially in Man that bearethhis Image. If a good man be the Ruler of a Common-wealth, as he is Ethically Good, he cannot but loath the Evil, and love the Good : And ashe is a Wife and Righteous Governour,he muff preferve the honorofhis Laws, and thereby his own, by doing Juftice on them that violate them,and prefervingand encouraging thoie that doobey them. As man is firft confiderable as Man, before he be to be conli, dered as a Governour; and as a good Man,beforeas a good Go-' vernour,the firft beinghis Natural GoocInefs,commonly called his univerfal Juftice, the other his Redoral Gooch-leis, com- monly called his particular Juftice, flowing out from the firft : fo muff we ( through the neceffity of our prefent weaknefs ) conceive of God. Were we Holy, he would loveus as a Holy God: andwere we Innocent, he would encourage us as a Righ- teous and Bounteous Governour. But as there is no particu- lar Governing Juftice, without that univerfal Natural Juftice, which it prefuppofeth, and floweth from; fo can there be no fuch thing as Innocency in us as Subjeds ' which floweth not froma Holinefs ofour Natures as Men. We muff Be Good, - before wean Live as the Good. In both thefe refpeds man was Amiable in the eyes of his Maker, till fin depraved him, and deprived him of Both. To Both thefe muff the Saviour again Reftore him : and this is the work that he came into the World to do, even to feek and to fave that Which was doubly loft, and todeftroy that two-fold work of the Devil, who had drawn us to bebothUnholy and Guilty. As in the Fall the na- tural Real Evil was Antecedent to the Relative (Guilt); fo is it in the Good conferred in the Reparation. We muff inorder ofnature be firft Turned by Repentance unto, God , through Faith

The,Preface to the PedderL, Faith in the Redeemer, and then receive the Remiffion. of our Ads 26. 18. Rom. 8. 3c. . And as it was manhimfelfthat was the fubj-ea ofthat two-fold unrighteoufnefs , fo is it man, himfelf that mita be reftored to that two-fold Righteoufnefs, which he loft, that is, San City and Not-Guiltinefs. Chrift came not to poffefs God with any falfe opinion of us ; nor is he fuch a. Phyfitian ds to perform but a fuppofed or Reputative Cure : He came not to perfwade his Father to judge Us to be beet ufe He is Well; nor to leave us uncured, and toper fwadeGod that weare Cured, It is We that were guilty and. unholy ; it is We that mull be juftified or condemned ; and therefore it is We that mutt be reftored unto Righteoufnefs.. fCluill only were Righteous, Chrift.only would be reputed and judged Righteous,. and Chrift only would be Happy. The judge of the world will not juftifie the unrighteous, meerly becaufe another is Righteous : Nor can the Holy God take Complacency in an unholy limner, , becaufe another is Holy. Neverdid the bleffed Son ofGod intend in his dying or me- rits, to change the holyNature of his Father, and to caufe him to fove that which is pot-Lovely, or to Reconcile him to that which he Abhorreth,as he is God. We mull bear his own Image, and be Holy as he is Holy, beforehe can Approve us, or Love us in Complacency. This is the work of our Welled Redeemer, to make Man fit. for -Gods Approbation and De- light. Though we are the Subjeas, he is the Caufe. He Re- tzenerateth us,That he may Pardon us ; andpardoneth us, that he may further fanClifieus, and make us fit for our Mafters ufe. He will not remove our Guilt till weReturn ; nor will he Ac- cept our actual Cervices till our Guilt be removed. By fuperna- tural operations mull both be accomplilhed : A Regrefs from fuch a Privation as was our Unholinefs, .requiretha fuyernattc- ral work upon us : And a deliverance from filch Guilt and de- ferved Pun iihment, requireth a fupernatural operation for us. The one Cl rift effecteth by his fanctifying Spirit, through the inftru-

The Preface to the Readers. inftrumentality ofhis Word, as Informing and _Exciting : The other he effecteth byhis own (and his Fathers) Will, through the inftramentality of his Go#e/-Grant, by way of Donation; making an universal conditional Deed of gift of himfelf and Rerniffion and Right to Glory, to all that Return by Re- pentance and Faith. His Blood is the meritorious caufe of both, but not of both on the fame Account : For it was di- rectly Guilt only that madehis Blood Neceffary for our Reco- very : Had there been nothing to do but Renew us by Re- pentance and Sanctification , this might havebeen done with- out any Bloodfhed, by the work of the Word and Spirit : As God at firft gaveman his Image freely, and did not fell it for a Price ofBlood : Nor dothhe fo Delight in Blood, as to define it, or accept it for it felf, but for the ends which it muff , as a convenient means, attain. Thole ends are the Demonftration proximately ofhis governing Juftice, in the vindicationof the honour ofhis Law and Rule, and for the awingofothers : ulti- mately and principally, it is the Demonftration ofhis natural fin-hating Holinefs , and his unfpeakable Love to the fons of men, but ipecially to his Elect : In this fenfe was Chrift a Sa- crifice and ranfome, and may truly be Paid to have fatisfied for our fins. He was not a finner, nor fo elleemed, nor could poi- fibly take uponhimfelf the fame Numerical Guilt which lay on us (the Accident, if removed from its Subject, perifheth) nor yet a Guilt ofthe fame fort, as having not the fame fort of foundation or efficient ; ours arifing from theMerit ofour fin, and the Commination of the Law, and His being rather occa- fioned then Merited by our fin, and occafioned by the Laws threatening ofus (both which are, as we may call them, but .Pro-caufes, as tohim) havingneither fin ofhis owns nor merit ofwrath from fuck fin ; nor did the Law oblige him to fuffer for our fins ; but he obliged himfelf to fuffer for our fins , though not as in our Perfons ftritly, yet in our ftead, in the perfon of a Mediator. The

The Preface to the Readers. The Lordour Redeemer having thus laid the founda- tion, by paying a Cufficient ranfom for all mankind, and perfeftly finifhed his work of fatisfaaion , he takedi longer time for the conveyance of the fruits of it. As the Expiatory facrifice was for All, fo will he have the tenour ofhis Grant in the Gofpei to be Univerfal, with- out reftraint to any , or excepting any : All {hall have Pardon andRight to life Eternal,ifthey will Believe and, Repent, and none fhall have them that Refule thefe Conditions : Antecedently to Believing, All have an equal Conditional Gift of pardon, and None have 'an ,.Abfolute, nor an Actual Right : The GoCpel findeth us equal, and makes no inequality, till we firft make it our felves : But the fecret unfearchable workings of Divine Grace do bein the difference, and make it in us, be- fore it is made us.- As an Eternal Purpofe did Defign it, fo an infuperable Vi6torious handdoth execute it When the fame Chrift path dyed for All and the fame Conditional Grant is made to All and the fame Pro- mulgation of it is made tomany , even to All that hear it ; Yet the fame Vieforious, Internal Grade is not afford- ed to All ; nor doth God give All a Heart to Believe and Accept of what the Promile offereth them. The Spirit is as the wind, that bloweth where it lifteth. All have fufficient ObjediVe Grace;that live under the GO , fpel ; and all have 'a fufficient Help External or Inter- nal, to make themBetter , and bring them Neerer to hrift than they were : But All have not fufificiea Inter- n '34 Grace 'Immediately to caufe them to 3elieve : much leis Ejfee-tual. Thar this is (laved to try, is long of t lemfelves,who Ce that Commoner Grace which was iflidint t) have,made them:Better : That it is Granted to Any) is frotn the Bountyof God : That it is Granted to This man rat, then to That , is from his At;folute Dominion

The Preface to the Readers. Dominion, and Will, andhis Differencing Grace. We do not orily-All deferve Death, by Original fin, but we di All Deferie to be Denyed the Graceof Chrift. ' by a fo lowing Demerit : And All that want the Gofpel, or the fpecial efficacy of it in Regeneration , do by fin againft fome CommonGrace, Deferve that want: (We Rill fuppofe Infants Involved in their Parents cafe) fo that God will Judge noneon the meer terms ofthe rigid. Law of Nature, nor Condemn them only for Original fin. They that fay otherwife, do too injurioufly exte- nuate both the Grace of God, and the fin of man. If All have force Grace thewed them (that is, fame Mercy contrary to their Merit) then all have {bine fin againft Grace : and then All fhall be Judgedby the Procurer of that Grace, for their fin againft it. It is not the leach wrong that the Pelagians, Jefuites and Arminians have done to the Church, that by making Grace Univerfal further than was juft, theyhave tempted others in way of Oppofition todeny that Grace of God which is in- deed Univerfal , or which is Common tomore than the Elea alone : bymaking Chrift tohave dyed for All with an equal Intention of laving them, they have oc- cafioned fo many todeny that indeed he did dye for All:, So that had not theNotions of an Univerfal fuf.Hciency of Chrifts Death, and of an Univerfal Offer of him in the Gofpel, through the Great Mercy ofGod been pre- ferved among us, and thefe had much Influence into our Popular and Pracclical Preaching, we had been drawn- very neer to a fubvertin.g of the very foundation , and thould have been too like to them that preach another Gofpel, to the great danger of the foulsofour hearers,and the difhonour of our Redeemer. The two great works of Chrift in theApplicationor Collation of the Benefits which he hath Merited, are thole. ..mummiusammummimmi

ThePreface to the Readers, thofe before mentioned : Juftification , and Sanaifica. tion : under the &ft I contain Remiffion, Acceptance, Abfolution , and Imply Adoption, and our Right to Glory Under the latter I comprehend , the Giving (4 the Spirit, and all its Purifying Works upon our fouls. I think it had been well for the Church, if we had ufed lefs inour Difputes the term yttflification , or had. differencedbetter between the Name and the Thing,an4 difcerned about which it was that we contended : and when we once law that there was no Hope of agreeing about the fenfe of that word, if we had treated more ful- ly and diftindly about Remiflionof fin alone, and under that term , and tryed howwe could have agreed upon that : Could we yet be fo difcreet , I think the Church would reap muchbenefit by it. Doubtlefs we might much eafier convince a Papift, whowill illow us fomuch of that whichwe demandabout Remiffion of fin,while they contend againft us in the point of Justification : when fomany of ours do takeRemiflion and Juitifica- tion for the fame thing. It pleafeth our Phyfitian in a fweet equality tocarry onboth thefe happyWorks, Remifsion and Sandifica- tion, and not to let one go fo far before the other , as thole think, who fuppofeour fins to be pardoned before they are fins,or that our Pardon is abfolutelyperfed be- fore our Death. As we fhall have more fins to remove by further Sanaification, fo fhall we have more still to pardon, to the laft : and one of thefe works as well as the other, will be imperfe6t, till we are perfeaed. And they that take Pardon andJuftification for the fame , or the former to be any part of the latter,muft then confefs that Juftification is no more perfed than Par-, don is. (a 2) They

21'e Preface to the Readers. They are very different Queftions, Flow we are con., ilituted juft , or put into a juftifyed Oate at our Con- verfion and how we are fentenced juft; -or juftifyed at Gods Judgement Seats They that will needs (to the great difgrace of their underftandings) deny that there is any fuck thing as a juitification at judgement, Inuit either fay that there is no judgement, or that All are Condemned ; or that judging doth not contain. Juftid- .cation and Condemnation, as its disjunct fpecies ; but force men (hall then be judged, :Who (hall neither be ju- ftifyed or condemned. To which end, when they have full taken down the Authority of Chrift, who: tells us that By our words. we 'ball (then) be juflifyed, or by. our words we ihalLbe condemned, they mull' next take down the Authority of Lawyers, and then, of our common cuitom of fpeech, and muff fet up their own Authority inftead of all. To fay , God will then but declare us juft, is no anfwer, till they have proved that it is not by a fentence of judgement that he will declare it ; or elfe, that declaring by a fentence of judgement, is no ftification ; yea, that it is not the moil proper and full ju- ftification imaginable. _ I have laidenough in the following Treatife ' to thew my thoughts of the Neceility and Excellencyof Holi- nefs, and fincere obedience. We are taught to pray for It in the Lords Prayer, (in the three firft Petitions) be- -fore the forgivenefs of fin (in the fifth) And doubtlefs it is that higher Bleffing, which forgivenefs tendeth to 'as a means to the end : Even that Godmay have his own again, which was loft, and man may again be neerer and liker to God, and fitter to know, love andhonour him, and be happy therein. I fcarce know any one error that fubjeated the Church and Chriftian Religion to -much to the jealoufieS and reproach of unbelievers, or the

the Preface to the. Readers. the Reformed Churches to the (corn of the Papifts, and fo hardened them in their way, as force rnens rnifuncler- ftnr:ir,g , andmilreporting the doctrine of the imputa- tion el- Chrifts Righteoufnefs to a fanner. But efpecially by thCe men, who affirm that we are juftified even be- forewe repent or believe, and that through the imputa- tion of Chrifts Righteoufnefs , God judgeth the rnoft fwinilh impenitent wretch, (fo he be elect) to be righ- teous in his fight, and the object of his complacency. As if a man fhould fall in love with a Toad, upon a falfe fup- pfition that it is a Lark. Chrifts Righteoufnefs is ours for the pardonof our fin, and the merit of Grace and Glory for us : but not to be inflea -1. of Faith, Repent- ance, Sanctification or fincere Obedience. He that hath not thefe, (hall neverbe faved by Chrifis Righteoufnefs. So far as we are finners, a Pardon is our Righteoufnefs : but fo far as we are holy, it is not fo : And he that hath not fomewhat better then fin in him is none of Chrifts. As thevery confutationof Faith and Repentance to be conditionsof pardon, and fincere Obedience to be a condition of Salvation, hath plainly excepted final in- fidelity and impenitency, and Rebellion, from the num- ber of thole fins that ihall be pardoned, and w (hall be , juftified from ; fo muff their contraries be found in us at Judgement, if we will be then jullified. And then , as the Blood and Merits of Chrift (or as conimonly its cal- led, his 'imputed RighteOufnefs) Inuit be the" inatter,cf 'our juftification from the guilt of all other fins (that is) from the guilt of all fin, which believersdid 'corninit) mull our own perfonal Faith,Reetitmice, and fin (i bedience be thematter of our. jultifi cation fro'rr' vir ticular f , t alfe Accufation / potential or 'aCtuti) 0 F 1-AlL non-performance of thefe conditions ,of th P. !ICI hou't (a 3) A

The Fretlee to the )leaders. OfourhaVing no part in Chrift and Life, forwant ofthofe conditions. This is the Juftification by works ( as many are willing to call it, to make it odioas) which I do alien and defend and which I judge fo necefiary to be be- lieved, that I (hall endeavour to acquaint thofe with it whom I muft Catechife. The fumrne ofwhat I have faid is this ; That Mans perfeaion and felicity is finally in God ; and that his Recovery confifteth in being brought back to him,which muft be done, as by the Merits of Chrift, fo by Union. Withhim, andconfequently by communication of Life from him : And having union with hrift it neceffarily followeth that we have union with the Church, which is his Body, and communion with it. Were we not One amongour felves, we were not ABody : and were we not One in Chrift our center and Head, we were not His Bo- dy. As we have internal communion in the fame Spirit, in the fame Faith, Hope, and Love ; fo have we external communion in the fame Profeffion of Faith and Piety (in the effentials) and in the fame'Praaifeof Worfhiping God through our Lordlefus Chrift, and in fincerely af- lifting each other for our Salvation. `There is therefore as One onlyHead and Lord,foone Only Body and Catholike Church, and one only true Religion in the world,and that is the Chriftian Religion: All that hold the Effentialsof this Religion fincerely, are ofthe true Church, andof the true Religion, and all of One Religion, how different foever in letter things. Though they may each appropriate Chrift and the ChurCh, and the true Religion to themfelves, and cenfo- rioufly excludeall others (as do thePapiits) yet are their cenfured Brethren neverthelefs Chriftians and of the true Church andReligion for all their cenfures. Every Child is not a Ballard, nor dilinherited nor aft out of the

.The Preface to the Readers. the Family, whom an angry brother fhall call Baftard iri their fallings out. The relative union holds, even when local conjundion and communion in actual worfhip, and in the profeflion of lower Truths is difclaimeli. Yea, if a froward Chriflian fay, I am not ofthefame Church or Re- ligion you, yet is he not the leis of the fame (if the other be a Chliftian) : nor loth that break him off, Peeing he intendeth not to clifclaimChriflians as Chriftians, but as. Erroneous. Yet fuch diflocations, and breaches , and divifions, are the great rejoycing of the enemy ofthe Church , and the great difhonourof our facred profeffi- on,and tendeth to the great hurt and ruin of the dividers; and hash ever been an exceeding hinderance of the Gofpel. S it is thus the great defign of Chrift , by Unity Land Purity tobring his. Church toperfed felicity, in the full enjoyment of the ever bleffed God ; fo is it the defign and daily bufinels ofSatan to counter-work him,, and to keep men from felicity in God, by keeping them fromChrIft, fromUnity, and fromPurity. His firft work is todifgrace the Chriftian Faith , and to tell men how improbable it is to be true ; and to that end to hide the Evidence from their eyes. If he cannot thus totally keep them fromChrift , he ufually per- f vadeth them to takeup with a bare opinionative affent ; andputteth before them the Idols of Pleafure, Profits, and Vain-glory , that theymay by a teeming felicity be detained from God. And as knowing how much the Churches welfare, and the laving of fouls, dependeth upon the Teachers and Leaders of theFlocks,his chiefeft endeavors are for the A

The Preface to the Readers, the perverting of them ; that they maybecomehis inftru-: merits, to the perverting of the refl. For Magiftrates he would firft taint them with fe- cret infidelity ; or elfe engage them to the utmoft in a carnal felf-intereft, anal perfwacle them thlt '.,:hrifts In tereft doth ftand in their way, . He would delude them fo far as to carafe them tomiftake where their inter( lyeth, and fo to efpoufe them to an intereft incontinent with Chrifts ; and then will they be involved before they are aware into a kerning neceility of fi againft Heaven, and fecret or open oppoRtion °if the Church The deceiver would make them forget, mar from chri they have their power, and under him and frr him muff they hold it, and exercife it. A fairer opportunity in- deedhe hath to draw the Princes and Great ones of the world,to forget that they arebut men, and fervants, and to forget the fading vanity and danger oftheir condition, and toRebel againft Chrift by felf exaltation, then with the meaner and poorer inhabitants of the earth: He of- fereth them a more golden and glorious bait, and there- by hath hitherto befooled the molt of them, to fall up-. on that ftone that will dafh them in pieces: Or elfe if he cannot taint them with the common Profanefs,lre will at leaft engag them to a hatredof the power ofGodlinefs. Or if he can taint _them (as hedid conflantiffs) with He ' retie, he will engage them to fall upon the' foundeft in the Church. Or can he but delude them to fit by, and as Neuters to look on, as being indifferent between Chrift and him, at leaft, hewill deprive the Church of the be- nefit of their power, or of that fpecial intereft in them, which they may claim from their commiffi oh. As kazi- anen calls the Magiftrate the. Vice- gerent of Chrift ; fo may the -Church juftly fay as Tertallia,7, did, Apologet. cap. 3 3. imper atoremnecf e ft ut fUlpiciampi ,ut eum quern Domino'

The Preface to the Peaders. bomipts Nailer elegit ut merito dixerim5 Eofter eft magh (War, sit Nero Deo conflituttts. But the main defign of the enemy is againft their Pa- 'tors. Some of them he keeps in a firperficial carnal and cuftomary Chriftianity ; So that theynever foundly be- lievedthe great myfteries which for a Livingjthey fludy and preach : And how fuel" are like to edifie the Church, and preach that heartily toothers ,that never was in their own hearts, youmay eafily Judge : when they mutt fpeak all out of their books , and by hear-fay:, and the common opinionof others, of things which they never well believed or felt thelifelves. Others he intangleth in worldly affairs, and caufeth them to mind the 'natters of the ilefh , that they are heartiefs and unfaithful in their mafters work - So that s poor foul may go to Hell with very little diurbance , and starve even at the next door to them, while they are minding their Own matters, or are dulled by lazynefs, and addia: their chiereft -,iffe6tions and endeavours to the fervice of fo vile a mafter as their &Ili. How far Satan bath prevailed this way with the Pa- 'ots of the Congregations , is a matter of too clear Evidence, and very fadconfideration. As they do molt grofly mifcarry among the Papifts and more defiled parts of the Church, by keeping up Ignorance,and Dif- cord, and a Carnal, Pompous , Ceremonious worfhip., that theymay uphold a carnal Intereft of their own ; So I would in themolt Reformed Churches we were more Innocent then we are. What an ignorant, or negligent miniflery was (for the greater part -) in England, in the time of the late Bifhops rule, yeawhat opp(As ofGod- , lynefs, and too manyof them openly deboilt , I need not tell any that will believe their eyes and ears. And , ( b ) though

The Preface the Beaarers. though through the great mercy of God , the cafe is much altered in thole reipeds,yet alas, how few are they evenof thofe that we hope are Godly , who earneftly thirff after the faving of mens fouls, and lay out them- felves freely in publike and private , in faithful endea- 'vors to that end ? What a multitudeof fleepy, heartlefs Preachers are there, that give not the Alaram of Gods approaching Iudgement to the drowfie fouls that daily fit under them, nor fpeak to poor people with any fuch ferioufnefs, as befeems them in a matter of fuch unfpeak- able confequence. How feldom inmany places fball we hear anawakening heart-warming Sermon?Andofthofe few that are ferious and diligent, fo few have ability to put their matter into any handfom drefs , and fo many run out into intemperance and divifions, than it harden- eth thedrowfie Preachers the more in their way ; and they take theirdulnefs for foberneis, and their confcien- ces do the lets check them for their negleft of mens fouls. This is the unhappy cafe of many men of Good learning and parts : They are fo fenfible of the evil of the exorbitancies of the times, that they overlook and regard not the evil of their own heartlefs and unfaith- ful Adminiftration. If they hear a Private man ufe Tome unfit expreffions in prayer, it extreamly offendeth them: but if they totally omit it, they are not much offended at it. They forget that Godwill bear more with many flips of the tongue, and unhandfom words, then with a neglect of his worlhip, or aheartlefs performance of it: and that their well-dreff forms, if lifelefs, are 'finking -carkaffes, or ufelefs pitftures, when a broken heart,with broken expreffions may go away with thebleffing. And therefore they are commonly againft private mens pray- ing together, efpecially before many ; And as the Pa- piths would drive them from the Scripture for fear of abufing

The Preface to the Readers. abufing it, fo would they drive them from filch Prayer, left they lhould hap to Me Tome unhanfome words. Were there no other charge againft thepious Mini- flery ofEnglaa,but only the common neglect of D i fci- pline,I think we ihould be afhamed to look up to heaven. Becaule the Sworddoth not enforce it, they think no- thing can be done ; fuch contemptuous thoughts have they of their own offices, and the ipiritual Sword which Chrift hath put into their hands. Becaufe there are diffe- rences about Come Modes and Accidents of Difcipline, therefore will they negled the fuloftance , which molt are agreed in. Somewill examine mens fitnefs for the Sacrament, and think theyhave done all, if they keep the unworthy from that Ordinance ; fuffering them fill to remain members, and enjoy other parts of Commu- nion. If Ruling be as Effential a part of our Paftoral work as Preaching, then are thole to be numbred among Negligent Minifters , that negle& to Rule well as thole that neglect to Preach. And why the Magiftrate should not Punifh fuch negligent ones, as well as the other, I yet know not. But the great advantage that Satan hath, got upon the Church, through the fin of the Paftors in there latter times, is by Divifion : For by this he hath much promo- ted all the ref of his Defigns. Infidelity it felf breaks in upon us ; and not only the vulgar, but many of for- mer forwardnefs and parts, do queftion or cal offall Re- ligion, becaule they feeus of fo many minds and wayes. Andour fin bath as haynous Aggravations as moil mens can have : In that We are the men that have feel-1111e fad effeds of Divifion, that have had fuch extraordinaryme- dicines to heal them ; fuch Calls, fuchopportunities and advantages for acloture, and fo long time in all : We have lived to fee the Church in danger of being twal- (13 2) lowed

Ihe-Preface to the Readers. towed up by deceit and by violence; andyet aswe have laid it open to all this danger by our divi lions or negli- gence, fo we do fit frill and do little to refcue it fromthe danger.. Some are regardIefs of thefematters : fome only en- quire as of a matter of news, what others do in it , and wilh it were done, while they fit frill : come cry out of the Magiftrate for not doing his part, not confidering how they condemn theinfelves for negleding their own. Few are able to do what our neceffity requireth , and not many willing : Few have a skill in narrowing a differ- ence ; in finding out the true point and frate of it, and hitting on the-right-remedy : And fewer know their-own inability ; and therefore we do not only. want Healers but we wa.nt men of fomuch meeknefs, and felf-denial, andChriftian humility, as to give their confent , that others may do that, which they cannot do then-delves,: And vvell.were it- if they wouldnotrejed-what-they ap- prove of, meerly becaufe it is not of their doing or mo- tioning, or becaufe it-comes not from thofe whom they efteem. Too many there are alfo, that are fo apparently carnal, that they will do nothing till they know whether it be pleafing to,thofe in Power, left they should make an ill bargain in hazarding their outwardwelfare , and in difpleafing men that can hurt them , to pleafe Chrift, who they prefume will not,hurt them. And yet more are: there, that apprehending how much the exercife of Chriftian Difcipline difpleafeth the vulgar, and confe- quentlywill lofe them their love and maintenance , will rather quietly let-all -alone, then -unite with any in. fo un- gratefull a. work. Andyet .more hainous is- our fin in the continuance of. thefe divifions,in that we have been too much guilty of being-

The Preface to the Readers. being the Leaders into it, and therefore fhould lead out of it ; and in that it especially belongeth toour office ;. and in that we have yet Tome fuch intereft in our peoples eftimation that we may probably do fomewhat toward it. But fpecially, becaufe the remedy is fo obvious, and our union io eafie, were we but truly willing and induftri- ous to attain it. I. For Difcipline, our differences lie in fo narrow a room, that there is no probabilityof the con,- tinuance of abreach, if we had but got together, and humbly and lovingly followedon the work, in impartial confultations, and in peeking Gods direaion. z. And. for Dodrine,we have a Teft and Rule fufficient to unite in ; we have the whole facred Scripture, which if we all profeis to beleve we furely make a ?Ian profefsion of Faith. Or if that be too large , we have the Apoftles Creed, or other ancient Creeds of the Church and the Scripture before us , fufficient. to. afford us both mat, ter and words for a, full and fit Confefsion of our Faith.. But the Deceiver hash here over-reacht us as much as in any thing. Some are fuch Infidels and indifferent to all Religions, that they wouldhave no Tell at all, but have all to live in a broken Licentioufnefs:But I hope amongft Minifters thefe are but feW. The. far greater number run into the contraryextream,'andvould have almoft all that thruft on, others, which theyare confident of thernfelves (And confidence is not the belt or commoneft fign of Truth.) Hence are our large and difputable, confeffions, tobe impofed on others : Hence is it that everyman is fo ready to lay the heavieft charges on thofe that differ from his own conceits. That is hainous error which croffeth our opinions, and where we err not for company : and we are willing the Magiftrate fhould reftrain men from . contradidinEus, 2S being fecretly confcious of our own, (b.-. 3) dtf

The Preface to the Readers. diCability to make goolthe caufe that we are fo confident. is the right. All this muff be done under fame pious pretence : It is in a blinde z,eal for unity that the Papifts deftroy (as much as in them lyeth)the 'Unity ofthe Church . It is in a blinde zeal againft error that many an error is promo- ted. The molt deft ruc1ive engine (for ought I can tinder- itand that ever was ured todivide that Church,were Hu- mane, fuperfluous and queftionable Rules in impofed Confeffions, intended by proud and ignorant men, for the Unity of that Church , and the fecurity of the Truth. mHefebeing the apparent ways of the Churches Re- l. covery by Chrift, and its danger from the Deceiver, whichare before mentioned; I have judged it my duty to promoteas much asI could, (Thrifts means for our reco- very, and to oppofe as much as I could the Enemies de- figns and endeavors for our ruine. And in my weak per- formances my encouragements have been fuch fromGod and man, that I have no caufe to complain, or tobe much difcouraged by Come fmaller Oppofition. I muff needs confefs that I did not, nor could in modefty exped the tenthpart of that acceptance and fruit of my poor La- bors, as upon experience I have fince found. And when I meet with oppofition ,my confcience conftraineth me to fufpeft my own mifcarriage, and firft p enquire, how far I have given caufe. But when I have made as imparti- al an enquiry as I am able and am more confirmed in the Truth which I haveowned, I dare not defers that Truth under pretence of humility. Nor dare I bely my felf to humour other men. The Oblations that I have heardmade againft me,be- fides

The Preface to theReaders'. fides what in this Book I have anfwered already , I fhall here briefly touch upon , and give force part of my an- fvver in the words of others that can better bear offthe becaufe mine own are fo lyable to mifconftrudi- ons and have .by thefe disfatisfied Brethren been fo much wrefted as they have oft been. 1. Some have given out that I am addided to fingu- larity, and affect to hear an Egoprimes inveni.Their proof for ought that ever I could learn, is only from my Wri- tings, becaufe I faynot in all things as they do. To there Brethren I fay 1. I flaall promife by the grace of God to watch my heart with what diligence I can, againft theafledation of fingularity , and I defire their prayers and admonitions for my furtherance. 2 And I wouldhave them alfo fearch, left they prove guilty ofa flander, while they enter into mens hearts, and venture to proclaimwhat they do not know. Is this the encou- ragement they give to Truths that no man can tell them one wordmore then they have con fidered ( though he profefs himfelf never fo much below them in other things) but it mull be rejeded as Novelty, and himCelf charged with fingularity ? Are they Pure that I may not have better.ends then they imagine 3. And I en- gage the fmall reputationof my reading, to make good,, that the Opinions which I oppose are molt, if not every one of them, notorious Novelties, contrary to the Do- &rine of the Ancient Chriftians for many hundred vears, after Chrift. I profefs to efteem it an unchriftian thing to hunt after fame and vain-glory , much more to pur- chafe it by the fale of Truth ; and fuch courfes can bring nothingbut Infamy in the ends The great diffe- rencingCharaecers which Tertuilliln giveth between an Infidel and a Chriftian, have taken much withme , and feemed to me excellently accommodated to e 2Ch. fipa.

ThePreface to the Readers. Cap. 46. cQuid adeofimile Pbilofophlos ? Grx- ace Di cipultts &Cali ? FaMe Negotiator, 6. vita ? verbo- rum jaaortim operator ? To Trade for life eternal , is not confident with Trading principally for Fame. 2. It is .objeccled, that lively I am Proud, and the evi- dence is, that I contradict fo many others, and fpeak fo flightly of others as I do. Anfiv. 1. I fay to this as to the former: T will by Gods help fearch myheart for the fin ofPride,anddefire them to do the like , and fee that they be well acquit from ufurping Gods prerogative and flandering their Bro- ther. And this I dare fay, that the evideateft vLory that I have had againft any fin (except Covetoafnefs ) is againft Pride; and if I have not conquered this, I have conquered none : And yet I feel fuch reliques of it, that am forced to fufpe6t it, and conitantly watch againft it in all myundertakings. 2. But howcome I to be fOun- happy, that only thole that know me not, load me with this charge, and never any one Brother did tell me of it tomy face yr 3. It may be worth their labour to fearch how much Pride may lie in their impatiency of con- tradiction, and making a man an offender for a word, and being fuch that a man knows not how to fpeak to them, for fear of feeming contumelious , by withdrawing, or not giving them the honour they expect. I remember how Flu in excufedhis fiend to a man of fuch a fpirit, and with a fear left after hiS greateft caution he ihould feem contumelious himfelf by the Apologie, Epift. 143. adProcsileianum. Audivi de Memoratofratre tefude con- -queltum, pod' nefcio quid tibi contumeliofe reffronderit : pod qt.41;; tone dam contumeliam deputes, quum certum mini eli non defuperboanimo procefiffe : Novi enimfratrem mean; : fedfiquidin difputandoprofidefua, & proEcclefhe charitate, di. itfortaie ferventius, quarn tua gravito nollet audire ; non

1,..",,tee to the ,elders; :Luc Alan ills Contumacia,Pdfiducia sominanda t..,ouakorem enim & difputatorem, non AdeNtatorem&Adulatoi.em, fe of e Cupiebat. Vereor ne a quoque aliquid contumeliofe in to dicere exilimes : quad vehementer Caveo,quantum Fogtim. 4. If it be Pride in me to contradift a few Divines ire this part of the Church, in this and one former age, and that with fo great tendernefs &I efpea,what is it in them to Contradict theantient Do4tors and Churches , till thefe dayes, and all theother Churches ofthe world till now r 5. Let the Citations in this Bookwitnefs, whe- ther I proudly affect fingularity. 6. I am reviled as a Papift by Mr. Crandon, for teaching People to depend fo much upon their Guides. Andwill they yet condemn me alfo, for not depending on them yea fornot belie- ving them againft the Evidenceof Truth which I ne- ver perfivaded the loweft Chriftian to And if I melt needs depend on any, me thinks it fhould be on the An- tient Churches and Doctors, whom themfelves do con- tradict, and mention with higher charges of errour ( whether that be pride let them fee to it ) then ever I did them. I remember the antient Character ofa Pagan and a Chriftian : Tertull. Apolog. c . 45. Vobis banana , aftimatioinnocentiam traaialt: humana item Dominatio im. peravit : inde neeplen.e, nec adeo timendx eflisdifciplin ,e ad innocentix Veritatem. Tanta eft Prudentia homin is ad de- monflranduM bonum, quantum authoritas adexigendam,tam illa:fallifacilis, quam ifia Contemni. Nazianz. Drat. 27. pag. 468. ( Edit. Morel. ) eltqui plerifquefeats videtur, inquies very mea in tere rei veritatemmagi's curo, immofolum curo ? hoc enim vel me Condenrnaverit, vel abfolverit : hoc milerum vel beatum reddiderit. At quid aliis videatur, nihil ad nos, qnemadmo- dum nec aliengmfomnium. ob. 3. But thus you break th e Churches Peace while ( yeti

The'Prefaci to the Ae..4d.m.-. lett pretend tobe zealous for it : why do you. not lot go, Truth for Peace Anftv. t . Have the Diffenters ftadyed an anfwer to this Queftion themfelves. 2. I refolve by. Gods help never to own or fubfcribe toone word oferror for Peace:(& therefore defire much Caution in Impofed. Confeisions) : But I am refolved to /dew any Truth for the ChurcheS Peace,which is, not ofgreater moment and worth than its Peace , fo to be obtained. 3. I never yet. was ConfCious of fuch a Guilt , of breaking the Churches Peace by the divulging my opi, nions, ( except in humane frailties, in themanner of de, daring them ) : I never endeavour to make a partie for my opinions. I ever fpoke more againft fuch parties, then for my opinions.,My Doctrines, which they blame, are fo purpofely defigned for healing of the divided Churches, that it was my chief motive to publill them, The Churches were. lamentably divided about fuch things, before that I did offer my thoughts fora Iteme- ' dy:Am not. I then dealt with,.as if I went topart. twothat are fighting in the ftreet-? and though I (peak them fair,. and perfwade them to be friends, they take witnels that its I that break-the Peace ? 4. It is not the peace of one divided party or Corm- trey, that is the Peace of Chrifts Church : Nor doth it befeem any Chriftian to have fonarrow a Spirit,. and to. overlookChrifts- Intereft in the reft of the Churches but to remember the Condition of their Brethren. abroad. 5. I do here offerit as my heartydefire , That my Bre-' thren of the mini /try in any, of their Affociations when they. areAffembled,within my reach,whereImay be prePent, would freely queftion 'anything inmy Doc` rine which they dillike And:

The Preface to the Readers. aidwhen they have heardme [peak for my [elf, if they (hall afterward determine that I aught to hence lath Doeirtn,l, or that the deliveringof them tendeth to the diquiet of the Church, t dopromife (if a3 aferefatd, they feem riot to me of fuch evdence and moment, as to be of more value then the Churches Peace, cf whichfort I take not many to be be(ides fund imentals) that I will forbear any fiirther pablicatiox of them. Yea we have long been under fuch an Agree- men_ in this County, whereby we are engaged to be accountable for our Do6trine to the Aflociated Nlini- fters ; and never any yet once queftioned me for any thing which I had Printed or Preach't , nor defired me to forbore. I leave it therefore to a more impartial cenfurc,whe7 ther I be guilty of breaking the Churches Peace. obj. 4. Some are much offended that I have Re- plyed to fume Brethren that have written againft rue. Anfiv. Is it their duty to begin, and is it my fin to make a nectfEry Defence e Either their writings were contemptible, or confiderable weight ; fhould I fay the firff, it would be juftly taken ill If the latter , ei- ther they prove me erroneous, or not. If they do, let the equal confiderer of both difcern it he may beft judge that hears both (peak : Blame me not then for Replying,( but for erring in my Reply ; and (hew me the error. if theydo not convince me of error, fhould I fluently futfer ',the Reputation of man to cloud the Truth, and'wrong the Church , and draw people into miftakes And is it not marvel that this Ohiedion fhould feemof force againft me,for my Defence,& not againft them thavbegin by an Aecufation ? Dowe de ',to, hear men called into queftion at any publike Bar, and then blamed and reviled, for appearingbr for ma. (c a ) king

The Preface to the .Readers. king their Defence ? But this proceeds from the reiped of perfons ; which blindeth the wife, and perverteth. juitice. Thence it is, that I amblamed by many Friends for Replying tomy Reverend Brother Mailer Biake,whoyet tell me that for all the rift its no matter, they deferved no better : When I ufed more reverence and care to avoid offenfivewords to him,then any another. Hierome faith thus to Augufiine (Hieron. Tom.z. p.35 2 . Edit. Ba- fit. Et inter Epift. Auguft. eft Epif.18. pag. 2. 7 .Edit.Parif) _Nee ego tibi, fed caufa caufie refpondit. Et fa colpa eft re- fpondifje qthefout patienter audias, multo major eft provo- caffe : fed faceffaiit ifliufmodi queremonix-,fit inter nos pura dermanitas deinceps non 6,Qtpeffionum, fed charitatis, adnos Scripta Mittamus. objec1.5. Others fay that by intimating their errors, I diflionour the Miniftry, andbring them into reproach. Anfrv. z . And yet I amblamed for honoring them fo much, and drawing the people to fomach dependanceon them. 2. Then do I more difhonour my feif: For, though I yet know them not in particular (for elfe I errednot) yetin general, I doubt not but I have a multitude of er- rors and than have while I am here where we know but in part. 3. He that exaltethhimfelf fhall bebrought low, and he,that humblethhimfelf than be exalted. It will more honour any Minifler humbly to confefs his imperfe&ion, then to take himfelfwronged by thole that modeftly in- timate them, byaflerting the contraryTruth. Great Au- was not too good to confefs more, Epift.i4o. Au- Acta. 'orae,alum legs quomodo fum, de culla latis 4tque abdi- penetralibits,Nefcio longephira earn fcio e Andoft he twit thelike, 4-

The Preface to the Readers. 4., I can honour and reverence my Brethren, while I honour not their error,which I would hate if I found it in my felt. Attgufi. Epifi. 147. Quid atom in to honorare nondubitem, facile intelligis-; Non erroremfchifmatis,unde onmes quantum ad me attinet cupio fanari, dignum bonore aliquo exiflimo. 5. I muft freelyconfefs that I both take the generali- tyof the Minifters now in England, to be the belt and wifell fort of men in the Land;and yet tobea great caufe of our troubles and calamities , in that they are not wi- fer andbetter then they are : Their calling requireth fo muchmore then a common degree of wifdoin and good- nefs,that if they bebut meerly honeft as-other men, they will be our ruine. Nazian: Orat. i. fai:h(pag.8.) Prx- fativel Autifitis (vitium eft) non quam-optimum nec novas fubinde virtuturn accefsiones flare Siquidern vir- tutis fua praflantia multitudinem admediocritatem trac7u- rus fit ; Ibid. Profeolo Ars padam 4rtium & fcientia entiarum mihi effe videtur ;)ominem regere, animal vmnium maxime varium&multiplex. Et p.6. At vero homini cum difficile fit fcire pArere, turn multo cdificilius effe videtur, fcire homini bus imperare ; at pr,efertim in hoc nofiro imperio, pod in legedivina fitum eft, & ad Deurn ducit : cujus qua maims efl majorque dignitits,eo etiain majosperi, culum eftsprudenti utique homini& cordat o. obiea.6. Another accufation is, that I din folicitous after a union with fuch as are not tobe united With ; and to that end-dobend the Truthto fucha ihapeas may feern leaft offenfive to theth '5 which compliance or -fyncretifth affefted. with4103 then, doth argue Come fecret incliaiai on to their Opinions,. moue then I yet Mhnifeft,. 'Anfiv: pert,; I haVre arifWer to make, but toappeal hirtithatkilibWeth the heart, and know- ech whetherI diffembleMyffith, or they be daring flan- (c 3) eierers I ufe the Tram nation rather hen the Greek,as fup. ftoefia R aders derictiand eta

'4: (1 fP The Preface to the Readers. derers that give this out. I have fpoke to this in my fol- lowing Confeflion, andadd with Tertul.Apol.c.2o.Nemo jam ipfamiam incutlat , nemo aliud exijtimet, pia nee fas eft 'di de flo Religione mentiri. z. I affed nounion with any that are not united to Cbrifl, or appear fo to me, by being in union with his Church: I will incorporate with none that deny any fun- damental effential point of Chriftianiity : And for the ref}, I dole not with them in their errors, but in the true faith which they profels . And thole that be unfitted for actual Communion , though I communicate not with them, yet do I take it to be my duty to do my beft to make them fit. I will not dole with a Papift, as a Papa; but if I meet with a Chriftian that goeth under that name, I will own him as a Chriftian, though not as a Pa- pift5and I would endeavor to undeceive him that I might fullyer joynwith him: And to that end I would take out of theway Tome hurtfull fumbling blocks, that I finde there laid. If he be curled that putteth a fumbling block before the blind, I doubt he is too guilty that is angry withhim that would remove it 3. I never affected a Unionon unlawful! terms (Co far as I could difcern them;). Never did I motion that we might renounce the leaf part of Gods Truth for unity withany: but only that we might findeout the true point of difference, and remove our verbal quarrels out of the way, and then confider, whether our difagreements are fuch as will warrant a rejection, feparation, and condem- nationof each other, or not ; and accordingly to clofe, or alienate® Inour Agreement about Difcipline , logic are offended that we affected any agreement with the E- pifcopal Divines : and moft of .them, as averfe from it, and undifpofed to clofe with others;As ifindeed we were Rot all Brethren 5 and xni lit not well be agreed, were we truly

The Prefati is the _Readers, truly and confcionably willing : For my part, I 'fee no greater difficulty in the bufinefs. 4. The forwardnefs that many men to keep open divifions, and to think th6fe that faynot as they, tobe fo great Hereticks or fo erroneous, that we muff affth no communion with them, and thus making fuch grounds of their own for Church Union, whichwill not bear it,is a downright mark of a Schifinatical Spirit, how earneft- ly foever they may fpeak againff Schifin. Therewill ne ver be a found Clofure and Union but on Chrifts Ground,work, and in him as the Center. The Papifts are the greateft Schifinaticks in the world(that I knowof) andyet they are the greateft pretenders to Unity,and de- Fryers. of Schifm, and all by makinga new . Center for Unity: which who fo doth not dole mtift be difclaitn- ed by them as Schifinatical ; that is, by making new Ar- ticles of Faith, and a new Head to the Church, Catho- lick. And do not foie enemies of Popery, turn fo far. to Popery, in appropriating the Church; to their own: party, and making their opinions (which the Church. never owned,at leaft for four hundred years ) to be the groundof Unity, and Teaof true Chriftians 5. I never thought that whenever men differ,it is my . duty to go in a middle between both, (for fo that middle will be next taken for an extream5 and men muff feek.out another middle to avoid that :) but yet I have obferved not only that in molt differences, men can hardly keep, out of extreams, and that Truth and Peace do exceed- ingly befriend each other : but alfo that Auffins Argo:- anent is very probable,in Epifi.204. Donato: perfwading him to return from Schifm to the Church, Ibi eft veritas pietas quit; ibi e Chrifiiana unitas e 4;1614 Spiritus Ckaritas. However I am certain that our torn condition is not fodefirable toany fenfible well-tempered Chrifti- an