Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5151 .B3 1659

(66) is of the fame fort with theirs : for ours is of the firfl fort ; and if theirs be of the fame, we are both agreed. And that the Lord Jefus Chrifl fhould fettle one kind of Go. vernment de facto during scripture time, and change it for ever after, is moll improbable : i. Becaufe it intimateth levity, or 'nutabatty in a Lawgiver, fo fuddenly to change his Laws and form of Government ; either fomething that he is fuppofed not to have forefeeta, or fome imperfedion is intimated as the caufe. Or if they fay, that it was the change of the flare of the body Governed, viz. the Church : I anfwer, 2. There was no change of the (late of the Church to necefl-itate a change of the kird of Officers and Government for (as I (hall Phew anon) there was needof more Elders then one in Scripture times ; and the increafeof the Church might require an increafe of Officers for Number, but not for Kind. There was as much need of aflifl- ing Presbyters, as of Deacons. I may well conclude therefore, that he that will affirm a Change of the Government fo fudden- ly, mull be lure to prove it ; and the rather, becaufe this is the Bithops own great and moll confiderable Argument on the other fide, when they plead that the Apoflles themfelves were Rulers of Presbyters, therefore Rulers over Presbyters ( and many Churches) fhould continue as Gods Ordinance : many on the other fide anfwer them, ( though fo do not I) that this (Ordinance was temporary, during the Apofiles times, who had noSuccefförs in Government : to which the Prelates reply, that itsnot imaginable that Chrifl fhould fettleone fort of Church. Government for the firfl age, and another ever after, abolifhing that firfi fo loon : and that they who affirm this, mull prove ir. for my part, I am overcome by this Argument, to allow all that the Apoflolical pattern canprove, laying afide that which depended on their extraordinary gifts and privi!edges ; but, then I:fee no reafon but they fhould acknowledge the force of their own Mediim ; and conclude its not imaginable that , if God fettled fixed Bithops only over particular Congregations,, without any filch order as fubjeft Presbyters, in the flit' age, be fhould change this, and fet up fubjeci Presbyters and many' Churches under one man for ever after. If they fay, that': this is, not a change of the fpecies, but a gpow inc upof. theChurch from Infancy toMa tunty; J anfwer, It,m