Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PART II. Reverend Mr. Richard Baxter. the main Controverts), X. Before they have proved their Legiflative Authority; 2. And that this Congregation is ,areDivine part of their Charge, and under their Jurifdietion; ;. And that they had power to conrradiet the Examples of Chrift and his Apotles herein, and the constant pra6ticeof the Primitive Church, and the Canons of Councils, even General Councils; 4. And that their Canons are. yet in force againt all there; I fay before all this be well done, we (hall find that them mutt go more than a flight Suppofition to the making good of their Caufe. Ac- cording to their own Principles, a lower Power cannot reverfe the As of a high- er. But the General Councils at Nice and Conftantinople that forbad Kneeling on any Lord's Day, was a higher Power than the Englifh Convocation : Ergo, The Engle, Convocation cannot Repealits Mts. ( Though for my own part I think thatneither of their Aets do need any Repeal to Null them to us, in fuch Cafes). S. Betides this If thefe Canons bind Confciehce ; yet, it is either by the Autho- rity that Enacted them, or by the Authority of the prefent Church-Governours that impofe them. If old Canons bind, without or againft the prefent Power,then the fame Canon that forbiddeth Kneeling bindeth, and many an hundred more, a great part of which are nowmade no Confcience-of : Ifit be the prefent Autho- rity that is above the Ancient, then a. They that pretend to fuch Authority over this Congregation lhould produce and exercife it : For if we know them not, nor receive any Commands from them, we are capable of no Difobedience to them. 2. And in the meantime, We that are in the place mutt take it as our Charge ; or do the Work, or for ought I.know, it will in molt Places be undone: For the Authority is for the Work. 3. We ufe to take it for the great partiality (at lea' ) ofthe Churchof Rome, that will be judged by none but the prefent Church, that is, themfelves, when we would be tried by the Scripture or the Ancient Church. In a word, I do not think that when Circurntances tending to Order and Deceit cy are fo mutable, that God ever gave power to any Bithops to tie all Congrega- tions and Ages to this or that Sacrament Gefture ; norat all to make them fonecef- try, as that Bodily Punishment or Excommunications Ihould be inflieted on the Neglettersof them. And I think that Calling Which hath no better Work than this to do, is not worth the regarding. And here I Mould propound to the Contrary- minded one Quellion , Whether if a Bithop lwouldcommand them to Rand or fit, they would do it? Yea; or if a Convocationcommanded it ? If they fay Yea ; then mull they lay by all their Arguments from pretended irreverence to prove Sitting evil : for I hope they would not be irreverent, nor do evil at the commandof a Bithopor Convocation: And then let our Authority (from Scripture Example and the UniverfalChurch, and a General Council, and the prefent SecularPower, and the late Affembly and Parliaments, and the prefent Parlors or Presbyters of theCongregations) I fay, let all this befet againt the prefent Countermand of I know not' who, nor for what Reafon, as being not vifible. But if they fay, They would not obey the Bishops if they forbad them Kneeling, then let them jutifie us that obey them not when they commandus toKneel, having fo muchas is expreffed to the contrary. Thus Sir, I have fir' given you my Reafons about the Genure it felf. And of putting it into each Perkins hands, Ihave thus much more to fay ; r. I know no- thing to oblige me to it. z. Chrit himfelf did otherwife, as appeareth in Mattb. 26. z6, 27. [Forr4Ge1e, to .,1s, eiels Jç iro ,,,íeles ; takeye, eat ye, drinkye ad of it] cloth thew that it was given to themall in general, and not to each man Tingly. RAnd in this alto Antiquity'is on my fide, the contrary being much later. More eafons I have that I (hall notnow trouble you with. To this I may well add, That noMan can have any Rational pretence ( that I knowof) again(' theReceivingof theSacrament upon fuch a General Delivery: t. Becaufe the contrary was never yet pleaded neceffaryy use Diviso that I know of. 2. And if it were a Sin, it would be the Ministers Sink, to deliver it,and not theirs, who as they have not the Rule of his A6tions, fo they (hall not Anfwer for them. Having thus told you my thoughts of the Matters in doubt, I ¡hall next tellyou my purpofeas toyour Motion. t. I did never hitherto, to my remembrance, 'refute to give the Sacrament to any one, meerlybecaufe they would not take it Sitting or Standing ; nor did ever forbid or repel any on that account ; nor ever mean to do. If any of my Charge (hall take it Standing or Kneeling, I (hail not forbid them on any fuch account. 150