Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BT763 .B35 1655

(I5) may find us work enough, yea and make a happy progrels and growth, by an increafe ofour firmnefs, and clearnefs in the appre- henfionof the common truths,and an improvement ofthemon the heart and life. And it had beenhappy for the church in all Ages, efpecially this,ifthey had looked more after this kind ofgrowth in knowledge, (as to intenfion,affedion,and execution) and lefs gaped after new Light and Revelation,and an extenfive increafe.Though yet t would have none under-value Gods grace in this kind of in- cre,ak,nor negleeiany due means for the attaining °fit. 2. i would have thefe men that have fuch a fwelled belief,to compare the Af- fembliesfhorter Catechifm, not only with the Epiftles which the Apoltles wrote to particular Churches, but with all the Confeffi- ons ofFaith that were made for four hundred yearsafter Chrift in the Church ; and fee ifany ofthem ufed a more extenfive form ? Nay, all the Creeds and Confefsions of the Church fet together for many hundred years ( except the Scriptures) were not com- parable to this, for fulnefs and exadnefs oforder and exprefsion. Only in the point ofthe Myfterieofthe Trinity, you may find ma- ny more copious, and wordy, as urged to it by the feveral Hereties of thofe times.But whether they are therefore ever the moreexcel- lent,I will not prefume to cenfure. Nay,what talk I of Creeds and, Confefsions, when you may read many and many Volumes of the Fathers that contain not fo much of the body ofTheologie, as this Catechifm. I fpealc not this in any contempt or diminution of the Authority of the Writings of the Fathers and firft Ages of the Church : I do in feveral other refpeets ( for their reverend Anti- quity, their better opportunity to know the way ofthe Apoftles in mattersof fa&, &c. prefer them before any Writings of thefe times, and fo give them the Preheminenee teeemdsim quid ; but /imp/ cite, and for the innate worth of the Writings themfelves,, I prefer the la tter,and fpecially this in queftion much before them. 3. Further let the Objedors confider whether this were not the firft corrupting of the Church and the ChriftianDoetrine, by being, as I may fay, Orthodox over-much, and making tooaria paths for other men towalk in, and enlarging the borders of their Belief too far, and condemning all that entertained not theNo- tions °Home. Alfo whether this were' not the great caufe of all the fad' divifion: that in all Ages have diftraaed and difturbed the Church, and proved the greateft dif&race' and hindrance tome