Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PART II. Reverend Mr. RichardBaxter. 14=3 Capiende, is the Life of all their Cenfures ) : But both Parties too much debate the Magi/trate,by making him their meet Executioner when as he is theMudge where- ever he is. the Executioner , and is to try each Caule at his ownBarr before he be obliged to puniíh any ; and they corrupt the Difcipline of Chrift by mixing it with fecular Force ; and they reproach the Keys or Minifterial Power, as if it were a Leaden Sword, and not worth a Straw unlefs the Magiftrates Sword enforce it, (And what then did the Primitive Church for Threehundred Years ?) And worít of all, they corrupt the Church by forcing in the Rabble of the unfit and unwil. ing; and thereby tempt many Godly Chriltians to Schiff-us and dangerous Separati- ons. In all this I deny not, but that the Magiftratemuff rellrain all lints of Vice: But not as a Hangman only, that executeth the Judgment of another ; nor ea No- mine to puniíha Man becaufe he is Excommunicate ( that is moft heavily punifhed already by others ) : Till Magiftrates keep the Sword themfelves, and learn to de- ny it to every angry Clergyman that would do his own Work by it, and leave them to their own Weapons, the Word and Spiritual Keys ; â valeant quantum valere poffúnt, the Church (hall never have Unity and Peace ; bucufyúe probarum 3. And I difliked fame of the Presbyterians, that they were not tender enough to diffenting Brethren; but too much againft Liberty as others were too much for it ; and thought by Votes and Number to do that which Love and Reafon.lhould have done. 4. And when the Independents raid [ A Worfhiping Churchand a Governed Church is andmuff be ad one : ] And the Presbyterians fail [ They may be all one ,bough it be not neceffäry]; yet in their Practice they would have íò felled it, that they fhould nowhere beall one, but tenor twelve worlhipping Churches íhouldhave made one Governed Church ; which prepared the way to the Diocefane Frame; though I confer; it is incomparablybetter ( becaufe ten or TwelveChurches is not fo ma- ny as a thoufand or many hundred ; and becaufe the Pallor of everyChurch had the Government of his own Flock, in Conjun&ion with the Presbyteryor Synod, though not alone ). S 14. 4. And in the Independent way I difliked many things: As 1. That they made too light of Ordination. z. That they altohad their Office of Lay-Elaerlhip. ;. That they were commonly Strider about the Qualification of Church Mena. bers, than Scripture, Reafon, or the Practice of the Univerfal Church would al- low ; not taking a Man's bare Profefon as Credible, as a fufficient Evidence of his Ti- tle to Church Communion, unlefs either by a holy Life, or the Particular Narrati- on of the Paffeges of the Work of Grace, he fatished the Paflors ( yea, and all the Church ) that he was truly Holy ; whereas every Man's Pro£ehlion is the valid Evidence of the thing profeffed in his Heart, unlefs it be dig roved by him that quellioneth it, by proving him guilty of Herehes or Impiety, or Sins incontinent with it. And if once you go beyond the Evidence of [ a ferias., fiber Conf ffion ] as 'a credible and fuf icient fign of Title, you will never know where to relt ; but the Churches Opinion will be both Rule and Judge, and Men will he let in or kept out, according to the various Latitude of Opinions or Charity in the feveral Officers or Churches : and he will be paffable in one Church who in another is in- tolierable ; and fo the Churches will be heterogeneous and confuted. And there is inall Isis a little (if not more than a little) fpiritual Pride of the Weaker fort of Profeffors, Aiding to be vifibly fee at a greater Dillance from the colder Profef-. fon of Chihlianity, than God would have them, that fo they may he more obfer- vable, and confpicuous for their Holynefi in the World : And there is too much uncharirablenefs in it, when God bath given fncere Profeffors the Kernel of his Mercies, evenGrace and Glory, and yet they will grudge to cold Hypocritical Profeffors, fo finall a thingas the outward Shell, and vifible Communion and ex- ternal Ordinances; Yea, though fuch are kept in the Church for the Sakes and Serviceof the Sincere. 4. And I difliked alfò the lamentable tendency of this their way to Divilìons and Sub-divifions, and the nourilhing of Herefies and Sells. ç. But above all I difliked, that molt of them made the People by majority of Votes to be Church-Governors, in Excommunications, Abíolutions, &c. which Chrift hath made an Ad of Office, and fo they governed their Governors and themfelves. 6. Alfa