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Part

Ill.

Reverend

Mr. Richard

Baxter,

197

faìd Communion in publick

was

more freely blamed

by

the

Independents and Ana-

baptifts, and

fome few

hot

Scots

Men.

And the

private Church

Meetings

were

fo

much

fupprett,

and

the prifons

fo

full, that

my Confcience

began

to

tell me,

that

I

Ihoeld be guilty,

of injuring the

truth,

the

Church, and

the

Souls

and Bodily wel-

fare of

Thy

brethren,

if

I,thould

by

filence

harden

them

againft publick

worship.

Specially

the

Cafe

of

the Countrey

moved lne,wherein

a great

part of

the

Kingdom;

farce

two hundred men in

a

whole

Country,

can have

th'e

liberty of

any

trite

Church

Worfhip,

betides Parochial. I

remembred

the

Cafe

of the Old Noncon-

formilts

againft

the

Brmnni2s,

and

the Writings of

Mr.

)".

Ball,

Paget,

Hilderfham,

Bradfháw, Gifford,

Brightman, Ames, &e.

I

could

not but

remember what work

the

feparating

party

had made in England and

Scotland,

in

my days

from 1644 till

i

66o

againft

Government, Religion

and Concord

:

I

faw

what

I

long forefaw, each ex-

treme party growing more extreme, and going

further

ftill

from

one

another;

And

fo

great.

a Change

is

grown on

London,

that

the

Terms

which weoffered

the

Bithops

for

Concord 166o are now

abhorred

as

Antichriftian

:

I

law

multitudes like to

be

Imprifoned and Ruined

for

refuting

their Duty,

as

if it

were

fin,

and

difgracing,

Religion by

fathering thefe Errours on it.

The

Conformifts, teeing the Errour

of

the

Separatifts, derided them all, and were confirmedin

the.

Juttification

of

all

their

Conformity

;

thinking

that it

was

but

a

juft differing from

a

crazed Company

of

Fanaticks:

Thofe that imprifoned and ruined both them and the reft

of

the

Noncoaformifts, thought they did God

fervice by

it,

againft

an

unruly

fort of

Men

:

The

Common people were made believe

that

this

was

the true Com-

plexion of all

the

Diflenters from whatever

the

Law

Commanded.

The di-

fiance

growing

wider, and great

fufferings increafing hard

thoughts

of thole

by whom

Men fuffered, all

real Love did

feem

to

be almoft

utterly deftroy,

ed

,

and Neighbours dwelt

together like

unplacable Enemies

:

And worft

of

all, Men were

frightened

to

think that they mutt rather

give

over

all

Church

Worlhip, than

they mart Communicate with

the heft Miaiftry

in-

the

Parifh

Churches

; and fo

the

main body

of

the Land would

live like

Atheifts, who

can have

no

other

Church-

Worfhip but the

Parochial

:

For

the

Nohconformifts

Churches

were in almoft

all

Countries,

fo fupprelled

that

no confiderable

Numbers could

enjoy

them.

And by this

means

the

Papifts were like

to

have

their Wills

:

The

Pro

-

teftants

muft

he

told that

Recufancy

is

all.

their Duties: And

going

to the

Publick Churches

a

fin

:

And

who

can

for

Ihame

drive Papifts

to

fin

?

And

if

thus they could draw all

Proteftants

to

forfake

the

Paid

Churches, they

would like

a

defeated

City and Garrifosfd

Fort,

be open

and ready

for their

poffetlion.

And

while the Papifts and Maligrants

are

ftudying

hour

to

caft

out

áll

the

Godly Conforming Minifters,

that the

Ductile remainder

might

be

prepared.

for Popery, the feparating

part of

the

Independents and Anabap-

tifts,

and fome few

hot

Scotch

Presbyterians, go before them, and

tell

all

the

People

that

it

is

unlawful

to

hear them, and

to

own

then

as

Minifters

or

Churches,

and to

have Communion

with them in

the Liturgy or

Sacraments.

Even whenthe rigour

of

Profecutors

hath brought

it

to that

pats

that

they mutt

have

filch

or

none,

as

to

Church worship.

Seeing

fo

many

in

prifon, for

this

Error, to

the dilhonour

of

God,

and fo many

more like

to

be

ruin'd

by

it,

and

the

feparating party,by the temptation

of

fiffering,

had

fo

far prevailed

with the

molt

IIrilt,

and zealous

Chriltians,

that

a

great Num-

ber

were

of their

mind, and

the Non

-

conformable Minifters,whofe

judgment

was

against

this reparation, durst

not

publish

their diflikeof it partly

becaufe

of

Tharp

and

bitter

Cenfures

of the Separattás,and

who

took theta for Apoftates

or

Carnal

Temporizers

that

communicated in publick, and

partly for

fear

of

Encouraging

Perfecution againft

the

Sepáratilts, and

partly for

fear

of

toting all

opportunity

of

teaching

them (

and

Tome

that

had no

hope

of

any

other

friends

or

maintenance,

or

Auditors thought

they might

be

gent,.

)

On

all

thefe accounts,

I,

that

had

no

gathered

Church,

nor

lived on

the

Contribution

of

any

fuels,

and

was

going

out

of

the world

in pain and Languor, did

think

that

I was

fittett

to

bear

men's

Cen-

times,

and

to

take

that

reproach on

my felf, which my

brethren

were

lets

fit

to

hear, who might

live

for farther

Service.

And at the Importunity

of the

Book-

feller

,

I

confented

to

publifh

the

Reafons

of my

Communicating

in

the Parilh-

Churches,

and againft Separation.

Which

when

it

was coming

out

a Manufcript

of