Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PA Iz_ T I. Reverend Mr. Richard Baxter. iä3 all kind of Government that was fet, up (even by themfelves ) and did all the fore recited Evils. - I know thefe fameAccufations are laid by fomein Ignorance orMalice, against many that are guilty of no filch things, and therefore fome will be offended at me, and fày, I imitate inch Reproachers : But !hall none be reproved becaufe Tonic are flandered ? Shall Rebells be juffified, becaufe tome innocent Men are called Rebels ? ShallHypocrites be free from Conviction. and Condemnation, becaufe wicked Men call the Godly Hypocrites? Woe to the Man that hath not a faithful Reprover ; but a Thoufand Woes will be to him that batetb reproof: And woe to them that had rather Sin were credited and kept in Honour, than their Party dif- honoured : and Woe to the Land where the Reputation of Men dotta keep Sin inReputation. Scripture it fell will not fpare a Noah, a Lot, a David, a Hezeki- ab, a j`toftab, a Peor ; but will open and (flame their Sin to all Generations : And yet, alas ! the Hearts of many, who I hope are truly Religious in other Points, will rife againß him that /hall yet cell them of the Mifdoings of thofe of their Opinion, and call them to Repentance. The poor Church ofChrift, the fober, found religious Part, are like Chrift that was crucified between two Malefa&ors ; the prophane and formal Perfecutors on one hand, and the Fanatick dividing Sedlary on the other hand, have in all Ages been grinding the fpiritual Seed, as the Corn is ground between the Milftonest And though.their Sins have ruined themfelves and us, andfilenced fo many hundred Minifters, andfcaaered the Flocks and made us the Hatred and theScorn ofthe ungodly World, and a by Word and Defolationin theEarth; yet there are few of them that lament their Sin, but ju- ftify themfelves and their Mildoings, and the penitent Malefahlar is yet unknown to us. And feting Pofterity mutt know what they have done, tothe Shame of our Land,and of our facred Profeffron,let them know this muchmore alfoto their own Shame, that all theCalamities which have befallen us by our Divifions were long forefeen by feting Men, and they were told and warned of it, year after year: They were told that a Houfe divided againft it felf cotild not Band, and told that it would bring them to the Halter and to Shame, and turn a hopeful Reforma- tion into a Scorn, and make the Land of their Nativity a Place of Calamity and Woe; and all this Warning fignified nothing to them ; but theft Ductile Profef- fors bldinly followed a few felfconceited Teachers to this Mifery ; and no warning or means could ever ttop them. Five diffenting Miniftersin the Synod begun all this, and carried it far on : Mr. Philip Nye, Mr. Tho. Goodwin, Mr. Sydracb Sympfon, and Mr. William Bridge, to whom that good Man Mr. Jeremiah Burroughs Joined himfIf in Name ; but as he never praótifed their Church - gathering way, fo at laß he ,was contented to have united on the Terms which were offered them, and wrote his excellent Book of Heart Div/ cons. Afterthis theyencreafed, and Mr.Burroughs being dead, Dr. Job,i Owen arofe, not of the fameSpirit, to fill up his place; by whom and Mr. Phillip Nye's Policie the Flames were entreated,, our Wounds kept open, and carried on all, as if there had been none but they confiderable in the World; and having an Army and City Agents fit to fecond them, effèé}ually hindred all remedyill they had dallad all,into pieces as a broken Glati. O! what may not Pride do? and what Mifcarriageswill not falfe Principles and Fadhion hide ? One would think that iftheir Opinions had been certainly true, and their Church-Orders good, yet the Interett of Chrift, and the Souls of Men, and of greater Truths, Ihould have been fo regarded by the Dividers in England, as that the Safety of all theft Ihould have been preferred, and not all ruined rather than their way Ihouldwant its carnal Arm and Liberty ; and that they Ihould not tear the Garment ofChrift all topieces, rather than it Ihould want their Lace. § 548. And it mutt be acknowledged alfa impartially, that fome of the Presby- terian Minifters frighsned the Seáaries into this Fury by the unpeaceablenel and impatiency of their Minds : They ran from Libertinism into the other Extream, and were fo little fenfible of their own Infirmity, that they would not have thofe tollerated who were not only tollerabee, but worthy Inttruments and Members in the Churches: The Reconcilers that were ruled by prudent Charity always-called out to both the Parties, that the Churches mutt be united, i pan the Terms of primitive Simplicity, and that we mutt have Unity in things nièejfary, andLiberty in things unnecefary, andCharity in all: But they could never be heard, butwere taken for Adverfaries to the Government of the Church, as they are by the Prelates at this Day : Nay, when inW.orceflerfhìre we did but agree to praâice fo much as all Parties were agreed in, they Paid, we did but thereby fet up another Party. We told