Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  166 / 846 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 166 / 846 Next Page
Page Background

132

The

LIFE

of

the

LIB.1.

bad Doctrine,

rather than the Do

/brines for

the Men

;

and

to

know that

Satan

can

ufe

even

the

Names

of

Popery and Antichrift, againft a Truth.

26.,

I

am deeplier

aflBis}ed

for the

difagreements

of

Chrittians than

I

was

when

I

was a

younger Chriftian. Except the Cafe

of the

Infidel

World, nothing

is fo

dad and

grievous

to

my

thoughts,

as

the

Cafe

of

the divided Churches. And there-

fore I am more

deeply

fenfible

of

the

finfulnefs

of

thofe Prelates and Paftors

of the

Churches,

who arethe

principal Caufe

of

theft

Divifions.

O

how many

millions

of

Souls

are kept by them in ignorance, and ungodlinefs, and deluded by

Falion

as

if

it were trueReligion.

;

How

is

the Converfton

of

Infidels hinde. ed by

them

!

and Chrift and Religion

heinoufly difhonoured

!

The

Contentions between the

Greek

Church and the

Roman,

the

Papifts and the Proteftants, the

Lutherans

and

the

Calvinifis, have wofully

hindered

the Kingdom of Chrift.

27.

I

have fpent

much

of

my

Studies

about

the

Terms

of

Chriflian

Concord,

and

have

over and over confidered

of

the feveral ways, which feveral

forts

of

Reconci-

lers

have devifed

:

I

have thought

of

the

Papifas

way, who think there

will be

no

Union,

but

by

coming

over wholly

to their

Church

:

and

I

have found that it

is

neither

paíble

nor

deferable.

I

have

thought

and

thought

again

of

the way

of

the

moderating Papifis, Caffander, Groriva,

dalwin, &c. and

of

thole that

would have all

reduced

to the

flare

of

the Times of

Gregory

the Firlt, before the Divicon

of

the

Greek

and Latin Churches,

that the Pope might

have his

Primacy, and govern all.

the Church

by

the Canons

of

the Councils,

with

a Salvo

to the Rights

of

Kings

and Patriarchs and Prelates

;

and

that the

Do&rines and

Worfhip which

then were

received

might

prevail. And

for

my own part,

if I

lived

in

filch a

(late

of

the

Church, I

would live peaceably,

as

glad

of

Unity,

though lamenting the Corrup-

tion and

Tyranny

:

But

I

am

fully

allured that none

of

theft

are

the true

defirable

Terms of Unity, nor

fach

as

are

ever

like

to

procure an Univerfal Concord

:

And

I

am

as

fore that

the

true

Means and

Terms

of

Concord are

obvious and carte

to

an

impartialwilling .mind.

And that

thefe

three

Things

alone would

eafily

heal

and

unite

all

the

Churches.

t.

That

all

Chriftian Princes and

Governours take

all

the Coercive

Power

about

Religion

into their own Hands, (though

if

Prelatesand

their Courts mutt be

u-

fed

as their

Officers

in exercicng that

Coercive

Power, fo

be

it):

And that they make

a

difference between

the

approved

and the

tolerated

Churches

;

and

that

they keep

the Peace between

thefe

Churches,

and

fettle

their

feveral Priviledges

by a

Law.

a.

That

the Churches

be

accounted

Tolerable,

who

profefs all

that

is

in the

Creed,

Lord's

Prayer

and Decalogue in particular, and generally

all

that they

(hall

find

to be revealed in

the Word

of

God,and

hold

Communion

in Teaching,

Pray-

er,

Praifes, and the

two

Sacraments,

not

obftinately preaching

any Hereticcontra-

ry to

the particular Articles which

they

profeti,

nor

feditioufly

difturbing the Pub-

lick Peace: And that fach

Heretical Preaching,

and

filch

Seditious unpeaceableneß,

or

notorious Wiickedneß

of

Life,

do

forfeit their

Toleration.

;. And that

thofe

that

are

further

Orthodox

in

thofe Particulars,

which Rulers

think

fit

to

impofe

upon their

Subjeets,

have

their

publick Maintenance

and

greater

Encouragement.

Yea, and

this much is

become neceffary,

but upon

fuppofition

that

Men

will

flill be

fo felf-

conceited and uncharitable,

as

not to

forbear

their

unne

ceffary Impofitions. Otherwife there would

be found

but very

few

who are

Tole-

rable,

that

'are

not

alfo

in their

meafure

to

be approved,

maintained and encoura-

ged. And

if

the Primitive

Simplicity

in Do

/brine

,

Government and

Worfltip,

might

fern

turn,

for

the Terms

of

the Churches

Union and Communion,

all

would be well

without any more

ado;

fuppocng

that

where Chriftian

Magiftrates-

are,

they

keep the Peace, and reprefs

the Offenders, and

exercife all

the Coercive

Government

:

And Hereticks who will fubfcribe to the

Cbri/lian Faith,

mutt

not

be punifhed

dbecaufe

they

will

fubfcribe to

no

more,

but

becaufe

they are proved to

preach or promote Heretic, contrary to

the Faith which they

profefs.

ah. I

am farther than ever I

was

from expe /bing great matters

of

Unity,

Splen-

dor

or Prefperity to the

Church

on

Earth, or that

Saints lhould

dream

of

a

King-

dom

of

this World,

or

flatter themfelves

with the Hopes

of

a

Golden

Age,

or

reigning over the

Ungodly, (

till there

be

a new Heaven

and

a

new

Earth

wherein

dweller, Righteau¡neß

). And

on the contrary

I

am

more

apprehenfive

that

Suffer-

ings mutt

be

the Churches molt ordinary

Lot, and Chriflians

indeed muff

be felf-

denying Crofs-bearers,

even

where there are none but formal nominal Chriftians to

be

the

Crof

rrsakers

:

And though ordnariiy God would

have

Viciffttudesof Summer and

Winter,Day and Night,that the Church may grow

extenftvely

in

the Summer

of

Pro

-

fperity,