Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

i39 T H E T'I F E O F T H E R E V E R E N D Mr. RichardBaxter. PARTII. N the Time ofthe late unhappy Wars in thefe Kingdoms, the Controverftes about Church Government, were inmoft Mens mouths, and made the greateft Noife, being hotly a- gitated by States -men and Divines,by Words and Writings: which made it neceffary to me, to fet my felf to the molt ferious Rudy of thofe Points : The refult of whichwas, this confident and fetled Judgment, that ofthe four contending Parties, ( the Eraftian, Epifcopal, Presbyterian and Inde- pendant) each one had fome Truthsin peculiar, which the other overlookt,ortook little noticeof, and each onehad their proper Miftakes which gave advantage to their Adverfaries ; though all of themhad fo much truth in common among them, as would have made thefeKingdoms happy,if it had been unanimoufly and foberly reduced to practice, by prudent and charitable Men. § x. x. TheEraflians, I thought, were thus far in the right, in afferting more fullythan.others the MagiftratesPower inMatters of Religion; that all Coercive Power (byMulets or Force) is only in their hands ( which is the full fence of ourOath of Supremacy); and that no fuch Power belongeth to the Paftorsor Peo- ple of the Church ; and that thus (asDr, Laday. Molineus pleadeth ) there fhould not be any Imperium in Imperio , or any Coercive Power challenged by Pope, Pre- late, Presbytery, or any, butby theMagiftrate alone: that the Paftoral Power is only Perfwafve, or exercifed on Volunteers; yet not private, fach as belongeth to every Man (toperfwade) that path a perfwading Faculty, butPublick and Autho. ritative by Divine appointment : And not only to perfwade by Sermons or general Speeches, but by particular overfight of their particular Flocks ! much like the Au- thority ofPlato or Zeno in hisSchool, or a Molter in any Academy of Volunteers, or of a Phyfician in his Hofpital, fuppoling thefewere Officers ofGod's Inftitution, who could as theground of their perfwatanr, produce his Commifiïon or Command for what they faicfand did. But though the Diocefans, and the Presbyterians of Scotland ( who had Laws to enable them ) oppofed this Doetvine or the Party at leaft, yet I perceived that in- deed, it was but on the ground of their Civil Advantages, as the Magiftrate had . empoweredby them by his Laws) ( which the Eraflians did not contradict) ; ex- cept fomefew of the higher flifferfort, who pleadedas the Papifts, for fomewhat T a more,