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Pd1,16j,Mt¡!jl

The.

LIFE

o

f

the

LIB.

I.

more,

which yet they could not

themfelves tell

what to make

of

:

But

the

gene-

rality

of

each

Party indeed

owned

this

Do &rine

;

and I

could fpeak

with no

fiber

Judicious

Prelatift, Presbyterian

or

Independant, but

confeffed

that no

Secular,

or ForcingPower,

belonged

to

any

Paftoks

of

the Church

as

fuch ; and

unlefs

the

Magiftrates authorized them

as

his Officers,

they could

not touch

mens

Bodies

or

Archbi-

Eftates,

but the Confcience

alone

` (which

can be

of

none but

of

Affenters).

lhopsi!

¡oe

4

;-

z.The

Epifcopal

Party

feemed

to

have reafon on

their

fide

in this,that

in the

ad

lty'Y Primitive Church there were

f

me

Apoftles, Evangelifts,

and others., who

were

profetieth.

general

unfixed Officers

of

the Church, not tyed

to any particular Charge ;

and

had

Male Superiority

(

tome

of

them )

over-fixed Bithops

or Paftors

!

And though

the extraordinary Parts

of

the

Apoftles Office ceafed,

with them, d taw no proof

of the

Ceffation

of

any

ordinary

part

of

their

Office, fuch

as

Church

Government

is

confeffed

to

be. All

the doubt that

I

faw

in

this was,

Whether the

Apoftles

themfelves were

conftituted Governours

of

other Parlors, or only

over

-

ruled-them

by the Eminency of their

Gifts and Priviledge

of

Infallibility.

For

it

feemed

to

me unmeetto

affirm

without proof, that Chrift

fetled a

Form

of

Government in

his

Church, to endure

only for

one

Age,

and changed

it

for

a

New onewhen that

Age

was

ended.

And

as

to

fixed

Bifhops

of

particular Churches that were

Superiours

in

degree

to

Presbyters, though

I

faw

nothing at

all

in Scripture

for them ,,.which was any-

whit

cogent, yet

I

faw

that theReception of them in

all

the Churches

was

to

timely

(

even

in

the

days

of

one

of

the

Apofles in

force

Churches), and

fo

general,

that

I

thought

it

a

most improbable

thing, that

if

it

had been contrary to the A-

potìles

mind,

we

fhould

never read that they

themfelves,

or

any one

of their

Dif-

ciples

that

converfed with

them, no nor any Chriltian or

Heretick in the World,

fhould once fpeak or write

a

word againft

it,

till

long

after

it

was generally fetled

its

the Catches. This therefore

I

refolved never

to

oppofe.

-

§

4.

3.

And

as

for the

Presbyterians,

I foundthat the

Office

of

Preaching Presbyters

was allowed by all

that

deferve the Name

of Chriftians;

and that this Office

did

participate

(lùbferviently

to

Chrift) of

the

Prophetical

(or Teaching),the

Priejtly

(

or worshipping)

and the

Governing Power

;

and

that

both Scripture, Antiquity,

and the

perfwafive

Nature

of

ChurchGovernment,

clearly

Phew

that

all

Presbyters were

Church

Governours,

as

well

as

Church

Teachers! and

that to

deny this

was

to

deftroy the

Office, and to endeavour

todeftroy the Churches. And

I faw

in

Scrip-

ture,

Antiquity and Reafon,

that

the

Affociatton

of

Paftors and Churches

for A-

greement,

and

their

Synods

in

Cafes

of

Necefftty, are a plain duty

:

and that their

ordinary

flitted,Synods

are afuaily very convenient.

And

I

faw

that in

England

the

Perfons

which

were

called

Presbyterians

were emi-

ment

for

Learning,

Sobriety and Piety

:

and the

Peon

fo called

were

they that

went through the Work of

the

Miniftry,

in diligent

ferrous

preaching to the Peo-

ple, and edifyingMens

Souls,

and keeping up

Religion

in the

Land.

§

ç.

4.

And for the

Imde

endants,

I

faw

that molt

of

them

were

Zealous,

and

very many

Learned,

difcreet and godly

Men;

and

fit

to

be very

ferviceable

in

the

Church.

And I

found in the fearch

of Scripture and Antiquity,

that

in the

beginning

a

Governed Church,

and

a

Jiated

worf/ipping Church,

were

all

one;

and not

two

feveral

things: And that though there might

be

other

by-Meetings

in

places

like

our Chappels or private

Hodes,

for fuch

as

Age

or Perfecution

hindered

:

to

come tò the more

folemn Meetings, yet Churches

then were

no.

bigger

(in

num-

ber

of Perfons)

than our

Parilhes now,

(to

grant the

molt)

:

And that

they were

Societies

of Chriltiansunited

for

Perfonal Communion

; and

not

only for

Communi-

on by

Meetings

of

Officers

and

Delegates

in

Synods,

as

many Churches

in

Affocia-

tion

be.

And

I faw

if

once we go beyond the

bounds

of [

Perfona! Communion

j

as

the

end

of

particular Churches, in

the

Definition, we may make

a

Church

of a

Nation,

or

of

ten

Nations,

or what we pleafe, which

!hall

have-none

of

the

Nature

and

Ends

of

the Primitive particular

Churches. Alto

I

faw a

commendable care

of

ferions Idolised

and

Difcipline

in

molt of the Independant Churches

:

And

I

found

that

force

Epifcopal Men (as-Bifhop

tither

himfelf did

voluntarily

profefs his

Judg-

ment to me)

chid

hold

that

every

Bifho was

independant,

as

to Synods,

and

that

Synods were

not proper

Governours

off

the particular

Bithops,

but only

for

their

Concord.

§

6. ç, And for

the Anabaptifts

themfelves

(

though

I

have

written

and faid fo

much

againft

them,)

as

I

found that molt

of

them were

Perfons

of Zeal

in Reli-

gion,

fo

many

of

them were fiber

godly People, and differed from others

but

in

the Point

of Infant

Baptifin,

oratnioft

in

the

Points

of

Predettination and

Free-

will