Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  401 / 846 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 401 / 846 Next Page
Page Background

P

A K

r

II.

Reverend

Mr:

Richard

Baxter.

fle

&ions

upon the Right Reverend

Bithops

and Learned, Brethren

Who

think not

meet

to yield

to any

conliderable Alterations

to

the Ends expreffedin your Maje-

fly's Commitfion, yet we mull fay,that it

is

fome

quiet

to

our

Minds

that

wehave

not

been guilty

of

your Majefty's

and

your

Subjeets

difappointments, and

that

we

account not your Majefty's gracious CommilBon,

nor our

Labour, loft, having

Peace

of

Confcience in the difcharge

of

our

Duties

toGod and

you

:

that we

have

been the

Seekers

and Followers

of

Peace, and

have

earneftly pleaded, and

humbly'

petitioned for

it ;

[and

ofered

for it

any price below

the

offence

of

God

Almighty,

and

the

wounding

or

hazard

of

our

own,

or

of

the

Peoples

fouls; and that

we have in

feafon born

Thefe

sot

ow

teftimony

againfl

theft Extreams, wbieb

at

left will

appear

to,

theft

that

do

not

now

dif

derlined

wait,

to have

proceeded

from

uncharitable miftake,

and

tended

to

the divifion

and

trouble

Paffages

of

the Church

:

that

whatever

Pall

become

of

Charity, Unity

and

Concord, our Life, oar

Were

left

Beauty,

and

our

Bands,ow

Confciences

tell

as we havenot

deferted

them,

nor left any probable

P

°ePentédt

means

unattempted, which

we

coulddifcern

within

our

power].

And we humbly

be

-.

ro

the

leech

your

Majefty to believe,

that

we

own no

Principles

of

Fa&ion

or

Di(obedi-

King,

ence,

not

Patronize the Errours or Obftinacy

of

any

:

It

is

granted

us

by all,

that

nothing

fhould be

commanded

us

by

Man,

which

is

contrary to

the Word

of

God t

that

if

it

be,

and we know

it,

we are bound

not

to

;perform

it

;

God being the

AbfoluteUniverfal

Soveraign

;

that we muti

ufe all

juft

means

to difcern the

Will

of

God,

and

whetherthe Commands

of

Man

be

contrary

to it

:

that

if

the Com-

mand

be

finful,

and

any through the negle

&of

fufficient fearch,

Ihall

judge

it

law-

ful,

his

culpable

Errour excufeth not

his

doing

of

it from being

fin

:.

and therefore

as a reafonable

Creature

muff needs have a

Judgment

of

difcerning, that

he may

rationally obey, fo

is

he

with the greateft

care and diligence

to exercife

it

in

the

greateft things, even

the obeying

of

God and

the

facing

of

our

Souls

; and

that

where

a

Prong probability

of

great

fin

and danger lyeth

before

us,

we muff

not

rafhly

run.on

without

fearch

;

and that

to go againft Confcience

,

even where

it

is

miftaken;

is fin

and danger to him

that erreth. And on the other;

fide

we are

a=

greed,

that in

things no way againft the Laws

of

God, the Commands

of

our,.Go-

vernours mull be

obeyed: that

if

they command

what God

forbids,

we mutt pa-

tiently fubmit to Suffering; and every

Soul

muff be fubjeet

to the higher Powers,

for Confcience

fake,

and

not

relict

:

that PublickJudgment, Civil or Ecclefiaftical,

belongeth only

to

publick Perfons, and

not to

any

private Man

:

that no

Man

mull

be caufelefly

and pragmatically inquifitive

into the

Reafons

of

his

Superiours

Commands

;

nor

by Pride and

Self-

conceitednefs exalt

his

own Underllanding a-

bove

its

worth

and

office ;

but

all

to

be modellly and

humbly

felt-

fufpicious:

that

none mutt erroneouflypretend God's Law againft the

juft

Command

of

his

Supe-

riour, nor

pretend the doing of

his

Duty to

be

fn

:

that

he who fufpeeteth his Su-

periours Commands

to

be

againft God's Laws, muff

ufe:

all

means

for full Infor-

mation, before he fettle

in

a courfe

of

difobeying

them

:

and

that

he

who indeed

difcoverethany thing commanded to

be fin, though he mull

not do it,

muff

ma-

nage

his

Opinion

with very great tendernefs andcare

of

the Publick Peace

and

the

Honour

of.his Governours.

Thefe areour Principles:

If

we

are otherwife repre-

fented

to your

Majefy

we are

mìf

eprefented

:

If

we

are accufed

of

contradieling

them,

we humbly crave

that

we may never be condemned

till

we are

heard.

It

is

the

define

of

our

Souls

to

contribute

otir

Parts

and

Intel-ells

to

the

utmoff, for

the

promoting

of

Holinefs,

Charity, Unity,

and Obedience

to

Rulers

in

all

lawful

Things

:

But

if

we Ihouid

fin

,againft

God,

becaufe.

we are commanded

;

who

(hall

anfwer for

us,

or face

ns

from his

Juftice? And

we humbly

crave, that

it

may

be no unjuft grievance

of

:our Diffent,

that

thereby we

fuppofe Superiours

to

err;

feeing

it

is

but

(uppofing

them to

be

Men,ngt

yet in Heaven

;

and this may be

im-

puted to

every

one

that

differeth

in Opinion from another.

And

we

befeech

your

Majeffy'to

believe,

that

as

we

Peek

no greater

Mattersin the

World, than our

daily

bread, with Liberty to preach the

Gofpel,'and

Worthip

God according

to

his

Word,

and

the praetife

of

the

Primitive

pureft Church,fo we hope it

is

not through

pufllanimity

and overmuch tendernefs

of

Suffering

that

we have

pleaded

fo

much

for the avoidin

of

Suffering

to

our

Selves

or others

:

May none

of our

Sufferings

hinder

the

of

the

Church, and

the good

of

Souls

[

ofMen!

May not

our

Tl eft

,

dread Sovereign, the Breath

of

our

Noftrils,

be

tempted

by

mrf

reprefentatiano

to

dißa/I

fact

derlined

ew

are

faithful, and unawares

to

wrong the

interef

of Chrif,

and

put

forth bu

lean to

af-

pa¡¡agj

flea

thole

that Chrif

wouldhave

himcberifli,

left

their

íd'

d

fhould

be

provoked

to

jealoufte were

left,

did

offence!

May

not the

Land

of

our

Nativity

langnifh

in

Doroif ns, nor

be

filled

with

the

ónt

inthai

Groans

of

ttofe

that

are

Phut out

of

the

holy

Af

mblies,

and

thole

that want

the

neceffary

potent

e

a

breaking

pf

the

Bread

of

Life

!

Nor

be

difapp'oïnted

of

it!

expelled

Peace

and

79,

!

Let

not

3ô7