Baxter - BX5202 B29 1689

[15c] L. 2ott talk as ifyou mold have, a Church of Saints, and fem. td make Religion too f eriou5 a b.f7nef r._: It is well if we could have a Church of Civil Men and Peaceable SubjeEts, that will ufe Religion for the Civil Intereft, asfar as will f rve the mill of Governors, and the Common Peace. M. lam fure St. Paul wrote to no Church but fuck as he call- ed Saints; and I am fure Chrift will fave none ...but Saints: -An unfandl.ified Chriftian, and a Church not holy, are contradidtions in adjeEto. Chrift came not to . let up a meer worldly Kingdom, and to devife a Religion to ferve the Will, Ambition or Intereft of worldly men, nor meerly to promote Civility, Wealth and Peace. If thisbe all that you would have, go to 4riftotle, Plato, Seneca, Plutarch, Cicero, &c. You need not be Chriftians for this. But yet we pretend not to knowmens Hearts : It is vifible Saints that thevifible Church confifteth of; and with whom we muff have vifible Communion. And it is not left to the will of every Pallor whom he will take for a Saint ; for then Churches would be of as many forts or degrees, asMinifters ftrid} or loofe Opinions are. But Chrifi bath himfelf made the Articles Effen- tial to Chriftian. Faith and Practice, and the Baptifinal Covenant,` and required us to take thole into the Church who ferioufly pro- fefs Belief, and Confent, till they null that Profeffion bya contra- ry Profeflion or Ccnverfation ; which muff be proved againft any Iran before he is rejec` ed : For the Church is not a Society to be arbitrarily Made or unmade, at every Minifters or Bitops will, but bath from Chrift the fixed Laws of its (onflitution and ne- ceffary Adminiftration (better than our 141 Canons. ) But indeed you have toucht our fore : For my part I am pal doubt that weMould all live in Peace, and Chriflian Piety, if all (yea'all Bifhops and Priefts) were but agreed at the Heart what it is to be a Chriftian, and whether the Gofpel be certainly true, and whether Chrift be the Son of God, ora deceiver, and whe- ther there be a Life after this, and a Judgment of all according to their works : Yea, were they but heartily agreed that there is a God, who is the Rewarder of them that diligently fèe.k him, and a punifher of the wicked. The difpute feems to me to be, whether we Mall be Chrifliáns indeed, or worldly Hypocrités called -Chri flians ; and whether we (hall safe the Name ofGod, Chrift and Religion for Chrift and - Holinefs, or for the Fla: a. gainit Chrift. L. . o