Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

162 The LIEEof the LYB.I. theirXills of us. Sir, Pardon thePlainnefs, and accept the true Account of my Thoughts, from Fkb. z. 1655. Tour Servant, Richard Baxter. § ; . About the fame time that we were thus associating in Worceflerflrire, it pleated God to Rir up the Ministers of Cumberland, and Westmorland to the fame Courfe ; who thoughthey knew not what we had done, yet fell upon the fame way, and agreed on Articles to the fame purpofe andof the fameSeule and Impor- tance as ours were ; of which Mr. Richard Gilpin (one of them, a worthy faith- ful Minister) fent me word, when he kw our Articles in Print; and they alto printed theirs (to fave the writing of many Copies, and to excite. others to the fame way ) and they found the fame readinefs toUnion among the Brethren as we had done. Their Agreement you may find printed ; our Letters wereas foiloweth : Dear Brethren, WÉ falafel you in the Lord: It was no fmall reviving to w to behold your Order and mutual Candefcentions.( expreffid in your Bookof Concord ) to promote the Reformation of your People in ways of Peace. We unfeignedly rejoice on your behalf ; and thought our felves bound to ftgnifie bowgrateful andhelpfulyour Endeavours are to w. The Scornen of this Age bave a long time bent their Tongueas a Bow, and dips their Ar- rows in Gall, and font forth bitter Accufations and Slanders again$' all the Ministers of the Gospel, calling them Difeurbers, implacable, &c. as if the very Elfe of a Minifter were to contradill, and to be averfe from Peace: Surely your carnal profecutfonof Con- cordwill be a /landing Confutation of that Charge, at 'call fofar as to cut off the Note of Univerfality font it But that which ma£í Fitts ar ia, that you arena willing to look upon the gasping Condition of the Church here, as idle,Speálators, or as meer Witneffes of ber. Funeral without trying any Remedy at all, and that you do not apprehendyour 'elves to bave done all your Duty, when you have bewailed berTrouble, and complained of brr AdverJaries Cruelty. Sion indeed herb been thrown down to the Ground, and bath been covered with a Cloud in the Day of the Lord's Anger, and ber Adverfaries are round about In this Difirefi flu bath spread forth ber Nandi, andhad, looked upon berLovers for Help, and that fo long, that fhe is ready to fay, that ber,Strength andber Hopeis poriibed from the Lord. Now bet Sons while they bave been eonfulting bow to relieve herhave fallanout about the Cure, and becaufe they have not been admitted to administer the Pbyfick according to their Minds, bave negletted to administer any at all; becaufe they could not be /offeredto do what tbeywould, they have forgotten that it was their Duty to do what they might. Somebave thrown all afide but preaching, as it were in a pettiflo Dis- content; fume have fatioed themfelves with adminifiring Cordials, without purging the noxious Humours, becaufe they thought this neceffary andsafe though in an unpresbyterated Church. Others it may be have fear a neceffity of makingfarther Progrefs, and have been grouping after it, but bave been difeouraged a;,, the fight of the thwarting and inconfiftont Principles, the Animoftiea and want of Condefentionof different Parties. Otbereit may be have in their Thoughts overcomethis Difficulty, andyet have flack at one that is lets, they bave been afraid to be the find Propounders of their conceived Remedy, fearing the Entertainment and Succefi that their charitable Endeavours mightfind, being more willing tofollow than to lead in fach a doubtful and unbeaten Path. This Defign which you bave refolved on will (we hope) convince Men that though we cannot as yet a:peat that the Lord's Hoare (horsld be fo finished that all fhall cry, Grace, Grace unto it: Yet that the Building need not wholly to eeafe, you are the first that have in this publickway broken the Ice, and who knows bow powerful your Example may be to call Men offrom their Con- tentions andStrivings one again.?another, by a brotherly Combination to carry on the work of Chrill as far as they can withone Shoulder. Whatsoever Advantage others may reap by your Endeavours, we are fare the Ad- vantage that we have by them is double. t. We, before we bad beard ofyour Book, had undertaken a Workof the like nature : Severalof w meetingtogether to confide about ma- naging the Lord's Work in oar Hands, were convincedthat for Reformation of our People more ought to be done by or than bare Preaching, a brotherly Afleosation of Minifers ap- peared