Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

AMR 144 The LIFT ©f the L r B. I. 6. Alfa that they too much exploded Synods, refuting them as Rated, and ad- mitting thet$ but upon fome extraordinary Occafionr. 7. Alfo their over.rigidnefs againft the Admiffronof Chriftians ofother Church- es to their Communion. 8. And their making a Minifter to be as no Minifter to any but his own Flock, and to as toothers but as a private Man; withdivers others fuch Irregularities, and dividing Opinions : Many of which the moderation of theNew England Synod bathof latecorreaed anddifowned ; and fo done very mud-4 toheal theft Breaches. 4 rq. s. And for the Anabaptifis I knew that they injurioufly excluded the In- fants of the Faithful from folemn entrance into the Covenant andChurch ofGod, and as frnfulty made their Opinion a Ground of their Separations from the Churches and Communion of their Brethren ; and that among them grew up the Weeds of many Errors and Divifions, Sub-divifions, Reproach of Minilters, Fa- .Rion and Pride, and fcandalous Praítices were fomented in their way. 4 r6. Thecafe Banding thus with all thefe Parties, I thought it my Duty, r. To labour to bring them all toa concordant Pradtice of fo much as they all agreed in. z. To fet all that together which was True and Good among them all, and to promote thatfo far as I was able, and to rejea the refs. 3. And efpecially in or- der to thefe, to labour the reviving of Cbrifbian Charity, which Faûion and Dif- putes had lamentably extinguilh'd. But how to accomplilh this, was beyond the Profpea of my Hope. 17. Befides the Hinderances which,are contained in Mens Principles, I found three others which wereexceeding Powerful : One is in Mens Company and ano- therin their feeming Inrerefhs, and the chiefeft of all in the Difpofition and Qtia'= lityof their Minds. 4 18. r. Some that were moll converfant with faber, peaceable, experienced Men, and were under the Care ofpeaceable Minifters,' I foundvery much inclined to Charity and Peace. But multitudes ofthem convertedmolt with ignorant,proud, unexperienced, Pafftonate, Uncharitable Perfons; who made it a part of their Zeal and Ingenuity to break a Jeft in Reproach and Scorn of them that differed from them ; and who were ordinarilyBackbiters,'and bold unrighteous Cenfurers of others, before they well underlined them, or ever heard them give a Reafon of their Judgments or PraPices, or (peak for themfelves. And the hearing and converting with fuch Petfons as the: doth powerfully difoft Men to the fame Difeafe, and to fin impenitently after their Example. Efpecialiy when Men are incorporated into a Seel or uncharitable Parry, and have captivated themfelves to a human Servitude in Religion, and given up themfelves to the Will of Men, the Stream will bear down the plaineft Evidence, and carry them to the foulelt Errors. 19. z. And as it is carnal Interefá that ruleth the carnal World, fo I found that r. AmongSelfriJlMen, therewere as many /were/is and Ends, as Perfons; and eve- ry one had an Intereftof his own whichgoverned him, and fet him ata very great Enmity to the molt neceffary means of Peace. i. And that ever Man that had once given up himfelf to a Party, and drowned himfelf in a Faûion, did make the Intereftof that Faûion or Party to be his own : And the Interelt of Cbriflia pity, Catbolicifm and Charity, is contrary to the Intereft of Seas, as facb. And it is the Nature of a Salary, that he preferreth the Intereft of his Opinion, Sea or Party, before the Intereft of Chriftianity, Catholicifm and Charity, and will fa- crifice the latter to theService of the former. §zo. 3. But the GrandImpediment I foundin the temper ofMens Minds ; and there I perceived amanifolddifference. Among all theft Parties I found that fome were naturally of mild and calm and'gentleDifpofition, and force offower, Bow- , ard, paffronate, peevilh, or furious Natures : Some were young and raw and un- experienced, and thofe were like a young Fruit, four and hall; addised to pride oftheir ownOpinions, to Self-conceitednefs, Turbulency, Cenforioufnefs and Te. merity, and to engage themfelves for a Caufe and Party before they underftood the matter : and were led about by thole Teachers andBooks that had once won their higheft Efteem; judging of Sermons and Perfons by their Fervency; more than by the foundnefi of the Matter and the Cade. And fame I found on the other fide, to be ancient and experienced Chriftians that had tried theSpirits, and feen what was ofGod, and what of Man, and noted the Events ofboth in theWorld; and theft werelike ripe Fruit, Mellow andfweet, firft pure, then peaceable, gen- tle, eafy tobe intreated, full of Mercy and goodFruits, without Partiality; with- out Hypocrify, who beingMakers of Peace, did fow the Fruits. of Righteoufnefs in