Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PART Reverend rllr. RichardBaxter. 47 §.26. Next this I wrote toReverendand Judicious Mr. Richard Vines, ßbóut an attempt for Concord with.aII, but efpecially the EpifcopalParty : And alfo about Lay -Elders ; andhis Judgment fully concurred with met, and ( betides etheis ) he wrote to me the following Letter. SIR,' 1 THauggh Ifbouldhave defired to have underfloodyour thoughts about the Point of Sa- eriledge, thatfo I might have farmed up my thoughts intofame better order and clear- er iffue than I did in my laft: yet to fhew unto you how much Ivalue tbù Correfsondence with you, I amwilling towake fame return to your felf. And firfl touching the School- mailer intended,&c. -The Accommodation you 'peak of n a great and a good work for thegaining intothe Workfuch ufeful parts and interefts as might very muyh...heal the Difcord, and :mite theffrengtb ofMen to oppofe de(trudive ways, and in my apinion more feafsble with thole men thanany other, if they be moderate andgodly : for we differ with them rather about force Pinaclesofthe Temple, than the Foundation or Abbuttreffet thereof. I would not have much timeJbentin a formula of Doiirine àr Worfhipt for we are not much defiant in tbem,and happily nomore thanwith one anotber.But Iwould have the Agree- mentattempted in thatvery thing which chieflymade the Divifson,andtbat is Government; Beal that breachandheal all ; there begin,anch therein labour allyou can. What influence this may have upon others, Iknownot, intbis exulceration ofinene minds: but the WorkJeaks it felf good, andyour Reafens,fartbe attempting of itare very confiderable.. For the Affem- bly,ÿou know, they can meddle with juft nothing but whae is feat unto them by Parlia- ment, or one Houfe thereof ( as the Order faith ) and for that realen never took upon them to intermeddle therein. What they do infuck a thing, muff be done as private perfns, and not as in the capacityof Afernbly-men, except it come to them recommended by the Parlia- ment. The great bufinef! is tofind a temperament in Ordination and Government, in both which the Exclufien or Admittance ofPresbyters ( dices Caufa) for a fhadow , was not regular; andno doubt the Presbyters ought and may Both teach andgovern, as men that muff give account of Souls. For that you fay of every particular Church having many Presbyters,it bath beenconfidered in our Alfembly,and the Scripture fjeakífairfor it,butthen the Church andCity wasof ene Extent: NoParifhes or Bounds aligned out to particular men (as now) but the Minifiedpreached in circuita, or in common, andflood in relation to the Churches assn one Church, -though meeting haply in divers bouts or places (as is (laU the manner offome Cities in the Low Countries.) If you will follow this model, you mull lay the City all into one Churchparticular, and the Villages half a dozenoftbeminto a Church e which is a bufneßhere in England ofveil deftgn and confequence. Andas for that you fay of a Billie') over manyPresbyters, not over many Churches ; I believe no fuck Bofhops will pleafeour mene but the Nation, sir you conceive it, hack been, and is the Opinion oflearned Men. Grotius inPsi,Commencery on the Alts, in divers places,and particularlycap. 07. faith, That as in every particular Synagogue (many of which was in fame me City) therewas drroo4aye-, fucbtwas the Primitive Rifhop: and doubtlefi the firfl Bi)hops were over the Community ofPresbyters, as Presbyters in joint relation to one Church or Region.; whichRegionbeing upon the increafeof Believers, divided into more Churches, and in after times thole Churchesalggned toparticular men e yet be, the Bifhop,con- tinned Bithopever themlid. For thatyou fay, he hada negative voice,'that's more thin ever I fewproved, or everfha/l, I believefor the firft two .hundred :years ; and yet I have laboured to enquire intoit. Tknt makes himAngelus princeps, not Angelus præfes, as Dr. Reignolds faith ; Calvin denies that, andmakes himConlin in Senate. Or as the Speaker in the Houfe of earliament,. which as I have beard that D. B. did'fay, was but to make him Foreman of the jury. Take heedofyieldinga Negative Voice. As touching the introdailsen ofRuling Elders, fuck asare modelled outby Parliament , my judgment is fuffsciently known e Ì amof your judgment in the Point. There fhould be fuch El- ders as have power to preach as well as rule : Ifay power ; but how that will be see- ded here I know not, except we couldorwould return to the primitive nature and conftitu- tien ofparticular Cha rrebes e and therefore it mu"be helped by the combination of more Churches togetherinto one as to the matter of Government, and let them beRill diflinit as tel Word and Sacraments: That se the eafsefi way of Accommodation that yet occurs to my thoughts. Sir, IfearI troubleyou too long, but it rs to fhew howmuch Ivalueyou andyour Letter, to me ; for which 'thankyou and sell Yours in the bell Bonds; V z . Vines; 4 27