Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PAAT II. Reverend Mr. Richard Baxter; 145 in peace, James ;. rß,18. I began by experience to underhand the meaning of thofe words of Sr. Paul, r Tim.;. 6. [ Not a Novice, left being lifted up with pride, befall into the condemnation of the Devil.] Novices, that is, young, raw, unexperien- ced Chriftians,are much apter to beproud, and cenforious,and factious, than old experienced, judicious Chriftians. § 21. But the Difference between the Godly and the Ungodly, the Spiritual and the Carnal worshippers ofGod; was here the moft conuderable of all. An humble, holy, upright Soul is fenlible of the intereft of Chriff and Souls ; and a, gracious Perfon is ever a charitable Perfon, and loveth his Neighbour as'himfelf; and there- fore judgeth ofhim, as he would be judged of himfelf and fpeaketh of him as he would be fpoken of himlèlf, and uleth him as he would be ufèd himfelf : And it is as much againft his charitable inclination to difagree or feparate from hisBrethren, much more toprofecute themor cuff them out, as it is againff the nature of the body to difinember it felf, by cuttingoffany of the parrs. And it is eafie to bring Perlons to Agreement, at leaft to live in Charitable Communion. But on the other fide the Carnal, Selfith and Unfan6tified, (of what Party or Opinion foever) havea Nature that is quite againft holy Concord and Peace. They want that love which is the natural Balfom for the Churches wounds : They are everyone Seljifh, and ruled byiSelf-Intereft, and have as manyEnds and Centres of their Delires and A&ions, as they are individual Men. They are eafily deceived and led into Er- rour, efpecially in Pratticals, and againtt Spiritual Truths, for want of Divine Il- lamination, and Experience of the Things ofGod, and a Nature fuitable there- to. Their Defigns are Carnal, Ambitious, Covetous,as Worldly Felicity is their I- dol and their End : God is not taken for their higheft Governour, his Laws mull give place "to the Defiresof their Flefh : Their very Religion is but Pride and Worldlinefs, or fubjeCt to it. They have a fecret Enmity againft a holy, fpiritual Life, and therefore againfi the People that are holy : They love not them that are ferious in their own Religion, and that go beyond their deadFormality : Thisirn- mity, provoked by Selfintereft or Reproof, loth eafily make them Perfecutors of theGodly, if they have but power. And their carnalworldly hearts incline them to the carnal worldly fide in any Controverfies about Religion, and to Corrupt it, and make it a carnal thing. Thefe Hypocrites in the Church do betray itsPurity and Peace, and fell Chrilt's Intereff and theGofpel for as fmall a price as Judas fold his Lord for. And though in a time, when Gods Providence letrethhis own Caufe on the higher ground, and giveth it the advantage of holy Governours,thefe Men may pofibly be ferviceable to its welfare, as finding it to ferve their carnal Ends ; yetordinarily they will fell the Peace of the Church for Preferment; and are either impoJng perfecaringDividers, or difiontentedhumorous Dividers; and hardly brought to the neceffary terms of a jolt and holy and durable Peace, (ofwhom I have more largely written in my Book called Catbolick Unity). Thefe, and ma- nymore Impediments do rife up againftall conciliatory endeavours. § 22. But I found not all thefe alike in all the difagreeing Parties, though fome of bothSorts in every Party. The Era/turn Party is molt compofed Of Lawyers and other Secular Perfons, who better underhand the Nature of Civil Govern- ment, than theNature, Form and Ends of the Church, and of thofe Offices ap- pointed by Chriftfor Men's Spiritual Edificationand Salvation.The Diocefan Party. ( with us )'confifted of force grave, learned, godlyBithops , andforce lober godly People of their mind; and withal of almoft all the carnal Politicians,Tempotizers, Prophane, and Haters of Godlinefs in the Land ; and all the Rabble of the igno- rant, ungodly Vulgar: Whether this carne to pats from any thing in theNature of their Diocefan Government, or from their accommodating the ungodly Sort by the formal way of their Publick Worlltip; or from their heading and pleating them by running down the ftrieter fort of People whom they hated ; or all there together; and alto becaufe the warp andmuff do always fall in with the Party that is uppermoft, I leave to the Judgment of the confiderate Reader. The Presbyte- rian Party confifted of grave, orthodox, godly Minitiers, together with the hope- fulleft of theStudents and young Minitters, and the fobereff, godly, ancient Chri- ftians, who were'equally averfe to Perfecution and to Scbifm"; and of thofe young ones who wereeducated and ruled by theft : As alfo in thofe places where they molt prevailed, of the foberehfort of the well-meaning Vulgar, who liked a god- ly Life, though they had no great knowledge of it : And this Party was motidefi- rousof Peace. TheIndependant Party hadmany very godly Mini tiersand People, but with them manyyoung injudicious perfons , inclined much to Noveltiesand Separations, and abounding more in Zeal ,thanKnowledge ; ufually doing more V fo,