Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BT763 .B35 1655

.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