Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5151 .B3 1659

( 83 ) gregation with it own Officer, or Officers, be not a true parti- cular Political Church ; then onr ordinary Parifh afl'embliec are none;and where the Presbyterian Government is not fet up (which is up but in fewplaces ofEngland) k would then follow that we have no true Political Churches:left among us(&perhaps never had : ) which I meet yet with few fo uncharitable as co af- firm, except the Papiffs and the Sep:iratifts and a few fort ofEpifcopal Divines, who think we have no Churches for want of- ifhops, (except where Bithops yet are retained and acknowleged.) For my part I wouldnot lay too great a firefs upon any forms or modes which may be altered or diverfified. Let the Church havebut fach a ?umber offoulsas maybe confilleat with the ends and fo the effenceof aparticular.Church, that they may held per- Iona' holy communion r and then I will not quarrel about the name of one or two Congregakfons,nor whether theymug needsallmeet to- getherfor allordinances, nor the like. Yea I think afull number ( fo they in not fo full or difiant, as tobe uncap,bleof that com- munion ) are defreable , for the f?rength and beauty of the Church ; and toofmal Churches, ifit may be, to be avoided. So that all the premifes being confidered out difference ap- pears to be but fmall in thefe.matters between the Congregatio- nal and Presbyterian way, among them that are moderate. I fha11 noc,prefume. more particularly toenter into that de- . bate, whichbath been fo far proceeded in already by fuch Reve- rend men,but fhall return to the rea ofthe task before promifad againf} the.Diocefan Churches as the fuppofed fubje& of the Bithops Government. As for Scripture times and the next fucceeding together, I (hall before I look into other teftimonies, propound there two Arguments. i. From the Bifhops office, which was be- fore mentioned. 1f the office ofa Bifhop in chofe times, was to do fomach work as could not be done by him for a Church any greater than our Parifhes, then were the Churches of thofe times no greater then our Parifhes : But the Antecedent is true ; therefore fo is the confequent. The works are before mentioned, Preaching, Praying, adminiftring the Lords Sup- per, viíìcing thetick, reducinghereticks, reproving, cenfuring, abfolving : to which they quickly added too much moreoftheir l'd w own