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P

A

It

r

II.

Reverend

Mr.

Richard

Baxter.

a

May.

[4th,

1655.

An rinfiver

to

the

foregoing Queffion.r,

fine

tb

Sir

R.

Clare.

1d

QaefE.

i

".

rIther

that Confcienceowneth the right

Religion and Difèipiinä

only,

or the right with

fome tolerable accidental Errours, or

A

wrong Religion

and Difcipline in

the

Subftance.

The

firft

the Magiftrate muff

not

only tolerate, but promote.

The

fecond he muff

tolerate rather than

do worfelsy

fuppreffmg it.

The

third

he

mutt

fupprefs by all lawful means,

and tolerate when

he cannot

help

it, without

a

greater Evil.

I

fuppofe no

Judicious Man

will

expel}

an

exa& Solution

of

fo

Cöiltprehenfive

a

Queffion in

few words

:

And

I

find not

thata

large DifcufBon

is

now

expe&ed

from

me

:

There

are four

or

five

Sheets

of

my Manufcripts

in

tome hands abroad

on

this

Poidy

which may

de.

more to-

wards

a fatisfa

&ory Solution,

than

there few words.

Ad a

".

Either the

tender Confcience

is

in the right, or in the wrong

:

-If

in

the

wrong,

the Magißrates Liberty

will

not

make

a Sin

to

be

no

Sin ;

but

the Party

is

bound by God to

re&ifie his

Judgment, and thereby

his

Pra

&ice.

If

in the

right;

it

is

a

ßrange Quehion, Whether

a

Man

may obey

God, that bath theMagihrates

leave, till

he be enforced by

Mens violence

?

Doti

any doubt

of

it

?

Ad

r.

Matter of

Government depending

only on

Fact,

is

a

Contradi

&ion

t

Seeing

Government confißeth

in

a Right, and the

Exercife

of

it.

I

aria

not

able

therefore

to

underhand

this

Quehion. Yet,

if

this

may

afford

any help toward

the Soluti.

on,I

affiirm,That

the general andperpetual

pradiceof

the

Church

from Age to Age;

of

a thing not forbidden

by

theWord

of

God,willwarrant our imitation.l

fay

[of'

a

thingnot forbidden]

becapfe

it bath

been the general and perpetual pra&ice

of

the

Church, to

Sin,

by

vain

Thoughts,

Words, imperfe&

Duties,

&e. wherein our

imitation

is

not warrantable.

The

generaland

perpetual

praEtice

includeth the Apo`

-

files and

that

Age. But

what

is

meant by [Evidencing the

Right

of

a

thing that

de-

pendeth only

of

Fa&] or

by

[Evidencing the

Truth

and

Certainty

of

a Fa&

by

general and

perpetual pra&ice] ( which

is

to prove

idem per

idem),

I

will

not pre-

fume

that

I

.underhand.

Ad 4

".

I

know

not what

Bithops

you mean.

A.

Congregational

Bifhop

overfee+

ing the

People

is

undoubtedly lawful:

fo

is

a Congregational

Bifhop, being Prefi-

dent

of

a

Presbytery which

is

over that Congregation.

Where many Congregati-

onal

Officers are

affociated,

I

do not think that

a

Prefident

for

a

time, or during

his

fitnefs, Banding

and

fixed,

is

unlawful.

The

like

I may

fly

of

a

Prefident

of

ma-

ny of

thofe Affociationsagain affociated,

as

in

a Provine

or

Diocefs

:

And

1

be-

lieve

it were

a

very

eafie

work for wife, godly, moderate

men to

agree about his

Power:

And

I

would

not

feem fo cenfòrious

as

to proclaim that

England

wanteth

fuch, further than the

aecual

want of

fuch Agreement,

or jell

endeavours

there-

to,

doth proclaim

it.

I

am

fatisfied

alto,

that

the

Apoftles themfelves have

de

jure

Succeffors

in

all

that part

of

their work which

is

to

be

perpetuated, or continued

till

now;

though not

in

their extraordinary Endowments

and Priviledges. But

if

the

fence

of

your Queftion be, Whether one Man may

be

the handing

chief

Governour

of

many particular Churches

with their Officers,

having either foie

power

of Ordination

and Jurifdi&ion

(as tome

would

have)

or

a

Negative Voice

in

both

(as

'others)

it

would feem

great arrogancy in me to

be the

confident

Determiner of

fuch a

Quellion,

which fo

wife,

learned,

godly fober Men,have laid

fo

much

of

on

both

fides

already.

Ad

5

".

r. He that

knows

how

fhort

Church Hiftory

is

in

there

Matters for the

fjrft Age after the

Apofles,

at

lean,

and

bath

read impartially

what

Gerfom, Bucerar;

Parker,

Bl,ndellae, Salmafaur,

Altare

Damafcen,

have raid

on one

fide

;

and Saravia,

Downbam,

Dr.

Hammond,

&c.

on the other

;

would fore never expe&

that

I

thould

prefume

to

pats

any confident Sentence in the

Point

:

And it's like he

would-

be

fomewhat

moderate himfelf.

z.

I

fay

as

before,

I know

not what you

glean by

Bithops

:

I

am confident

that

the Church

was

not

of

many

Hundred

years after

Chrilgoverned

as

ours

was

late-

ly

in

England,

by

a

Diocefan

Bifhop

and

a

Chancellor,excluding almoh

all

the Pret

byters.

;.

Why do you

fay

[Since the

ApoDles

days,] when

you

before fpoke

of

the

[General

and perpetual praefice

of

_the

Church

]

?

X

Ad