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P

A

iL

T

II.

Reverend

Mr. Richard.

Baxter.

the Old Conformity

:

And what they aim at

further,

when they have thus driven

out

all

the

able, faithful

Minifters, God knoweth.

But

if

we let in

with them, and

ufe

the very

means

which they

have fabricated

for

this very end,

todeftroy the

In

tereft

of

Godlinefs, though the Aól commanded were indifferent

,

we are made

guilty

of

their

Sin.

But

the moderate Nonconformi(ts fay,

That

(itch

Reafons

as

theft are

good Se;

conds where

the Matter

is

fins proved

evil

:

but

t.

That

Mens

Ds¡Kn

: are

latentin

their

hearts,

and the itrongeft Conje6tures will

not fetve inftead

of

Proof z.

Íf

that it were

known to,

any

one

of

us,

not

by

the Evidence

of

the thing,but

by fome

other Difcovery,

that

a

lawful thing

is

Commanded

wiofi

a

pernicious defign,

that

will not excufe

us

from

our Obedience,

unle(s

it

be

pt

obable

that the Church,

is

like

to

be faxed from

ruine, by our forbearance

to,

obey

:

And we

may

do the

thing commanded without any participation

of the

Guilt

of

Mens private malici-

ous

Intentions.

1

307.

4. AIR,

they (ay,

That

we have

Covenanted

to endeavour

aReformation,

and

had

begun it, and therefore

(hall be

Covenant

-

breakers

and,1açkfliders,

if

we

yield to any thing which

was

to

be

reformed.

But here

the

more moderate have many Diftinetions

,

between things unlawful

and

things only inconvenient, and

between thole

that

have

opportunity

to do bet-

ter,

and thole

that

have

not,

and between feldom Communion, and molt ordina-

ry. And they

fay

that things

unlawful mull

not

be

done, whether

we have cove-

named againit them, or not

:

But for things only

inexpedient or

evil by a

fuperable

Accident, they become our Duties, and no Covenant difobligeth

us

from our Du-

ty

:

and that the

Covenant

never

was

intended

to

oblige

us

to prefer

no

Wolhip

be-

fore that which

is defe5iive,

but only to prefer that which

is

better

before

is

And

that

is

may be a duty to

Communicate fometime with

a

very

faulty

Church, in

or-

der to our Catholick Communion with

the

whole, fo

be it

our ordinary particular

Communion be in the pure(t Church and

Order

(ceeteri:

paribus)

that

we

can

have.

4

;o8.

s.

And another Reafon given

is,

That

the

Aggravation

of

the

Sin

of

thefe Impolèrs

is

very great,

that

they

have

been Perlecutors

heretofore,

and feep

and

felt

God's Judgments for

ic,

and

have been convinced

and intreared to

return

to

Charity,

and yet they have, with renewed Malice

,

it

themfelves to the de-

bauching of the Conlciences

of

the Kingdom, and to the extirpation..

of

Natural

Flonelty, and

have

banded

all

their Party with the Mark

of

Pètwjxry,

Ferfidiaufaeß,

and

Perfeear:on,

while they brand

the Confciencious with the Name

of

Puritan:;

And

therefore they are

a

Generation ready

for

perdition,

and

certainly near fpme

heavy Curie

:

And for

us

to

jnyn

with them that are

in

the

way;

to

Wrath,

is

the

way

to

be

partakers

of

their

Plagues.

But the

moderate

fay

to

this,

I.

That

the

Extenuation

as well

as

the

aggravation

of

their

Sin mull

be

congdered

:

And that it muff be remembred,

that

among the

Nonconformiffs there

is

a

Party

of

Seetaries.

that

Rebelled againft

all

the Gover-

nours that

were over them, and cut

off

the King's Head,when they

had

conquered

thofe that are now againff them, in the Field, and fèqueffred their

Effaces :

And

that

fuch

great Provocation may

not

only fublimate Malice where

is

findeth

it, but

greatly

exafperate even temperate Men. z.

That

it's

true

that

we muff partake

with

no

Men in their

Sins,as

ever we would efcape

their

Plagues

:

but when that which

is

the Impofers

Sin,

is

become

the

Subjects

Duty,

God will not plague

no

with

them

for doing

our

Duties.

3.

That

it

is

dangerous

toprefume

to foretci

on

whom

Gat

will bring

his

Judgments in this

Life,

and to prefume that weare

fáfe,

and they are

near perdition;

while

all

things come alike

to

all,

and the differencing Day

of

Judgment

is

not yet come. Therefore it

is

dangerous on fuch Prophefies, or.

Pre

-

fumptions, or Fears

ro

go

out of

the way

of

any Duty

,

or to

avoid any

lawful

Communion with the Church.

4

3o9.

6.

Again it

is

faid,

That

thefe

Impofztionr

being the Engines

of

Divifion

in

the Church

(

as

Mr. Hale:

himfelf affirmeth), we

lhall be

partakers

of

the Schifms

if

we

ufe

them.

But the moderate

fay,

That

indeed

if

we partake

in

the

Impofrion,

we

partake

in the Guilt

of

the Divi

ion

caufed by it

:

But

when they are

Impcfed,

we

may

do that which in it fell

is

lawful

,

without any confent

to the

Impobtion

atall:

Yea, and

that which

as

impolèd tended: to Divifion,

may, upon

lappofition

that

it

will be,

and

is

impofed,

be prabkifed

fometimes

as

the way to

Unity,

and

to

p-

4

void

Divifion.

Eee

z

5