Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  201 / 846 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 201 / 846 Next Page
Page Background

PART

II.

Reverend

Mr.

Richard

Baxter.

167

Brethren,

p

Ecaufe you

Dire&ed your

Letter to

me by

Name,

I

am bold

to

tell

you my

JD

private Refolution

of

your

firft

Quellion.

I

will

do

by

the Children of Re-

fufers,

as

by

Strangers

( except

I

know that

they

refufe

through

meer licentiouf-

`nefs ): I dare

not

refufe

to

Baptize the Child

of

a

Stranger,

as

filch:

but I will

firB fpeak

with

one

of

the Parents, and be more

fully

fatisfied

of

their Know-

'

ledge,

and

Reafons

of

Diffeny-

and enquire

of

their Lives: and

on

the

fame

Terms I admit Diffenters alto to the Lord's Supper,

viz.

if

there

be

no Charge

againft

their Lives, and they

come to

me

before hand

, and

fatisfie

me

of

their

fimefs.

Still

letting them know it

is

a

dangerous cafe

to

live from

under

Order

`

and Difcipline, and

that

I

do this

to them but for

a

time till they

cáìí

be fatisfied,

` as

I

would

do

for

a

Stranger.

Tour

Brother,

Rl.

Baxter.

To our

Reverend

and

Beloved Brethren the

Affociate

d Minifers

in

the

County

of Cumberland.

§aç.Upon the Publication

of

our

Agreement,theMinillersin

molt Counties

be-

gan to take

the

Bufinefs

into confideration; and though

fome few

of the

ancient

Presbyterians were

againf

it,

and thought

at

would bring the Presbyterian Govern.

ment into Contempt, or hinder the Exécution

of it,

when

it had

been agreed

on

by,fo grave a Synod atWeJlminfter, and eftablifhed by

the Parliament, and there-

fore

they

rather

defired a

Britt

Execution

of the Ordinance of

Parliament, and

an

Agreement on

thofe

Terms)

yet the moft

of

the godly, faithful Minihers,

as

far

as

I

could learn,

were

for

it

:

For

as

we hindered

no Man

from following

his

ownJudgment in

his

own Congregation,

fo

we

Evinced beyond denial

that it

would

be

but

a

partial dividing Agreement, to

agree

on the Terms.

of

Presbyte.

rians, Epifcopal, or any one

Party,

becaufe

it

would unavoidably

Phut

out the

other Parties

;

which

was

the principal thing which we endeavoured

to avoid:

it

being not

with

Presbyterians

only, but with

all

Orthodox,

faithful

Pallors and

People, that

we

are bound to hold

Communion,

and to livein

Chriftian Concord,

fo far

as

we have attained,

Phil.

;.

rg,

16.

§

;6.

Hereupon many Counties began to Affociate,

as

Wmlafhire,

Dorfetfhire, So-

merfeoJhire,

HampJhire,

Efex, and others

:

And

fome

of

them printed

the

Articles

of

their

Agreement.

In

a

word,

a

great delire

of

Concord began to

poffefs all

good

People

in

the

Land, and our

Breaches

feem'd ready to heal. And

though

fome

thought that

fo

many

Affociations,

andForms

of

Agreement, did but tend

to

more

Divifion, by fhewiag our

diverfity

of

Apprehenfions,

the contrary proved true

by

Experience

:

For we

all

agreed

on the

fame

Cowie,

even

to

unite

in

the pra-

&ice

of

fo

much of

Difcipline

as

the Epifcopal, Presbyterians, and

Independants

are agreed in, and

as

croffeth none

of

their Principles

:

And they that thought

the

Expreflion

of

the Churches

delires

in

various words

of

Prayer in Publick

was

better than

a feinted

Form

for all Churches neceffarily

to

ule,

should

not think

that

the Efpreliion of our Confent

to

the

fame things,

is

a

dividing way, becaufeit

is

done in

various Expreffions

:for

this

Liberty greatly helped

Unity

:

formany

a

one

would have rumpled fome

particular words in fuch

an

impofed

Form

of

Concord,

who

yet

would

accord in the Subftance

of

the

Work.

The

Efx

Agreement

was

printed;

(to

the

fame

purpofe with

ours).

The

Wilt(lire

Minifters were

fo

fiddly

held

to

it

by

the Independent

Party, that they

could get them but to there following preparatory Articles:

WE

wholeNames are Subfcribed,

Minihers

of

the

Gofpel

in

the County

of

YV

Mar,

being

humbly

fenfible

of

our many

Failings

in

the

Work

of

the

Mi-

`nihry

by

the Lord Chrift committed to

us,

and

of

the great need wherein we

`

Band

of

the

mutual help

of

ourBrethren

forAdvice, Encouragement and Strength-

'

ping herein: And fadly bawailing the Corruptions

of

the People in our

feveral

eon