Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PAR T II. ReverendMr. Richard Baxter. A peened to be the likeliest courfefor the attainment of our Defiles, and accordingly was re- 'elver' on : And becaufe we knew that many of our Brethren in the Miniftry differed from us, we refobued to draw up féveral Propof to wherein we and they by a mutual Condefcen tiers might agree as Brethren in Love and Peace to carry on the fame Work, and therefore required nothing of them but what we provedby the Confèffono of the Congregational Bre- thren ( their own Party) to be of lefs Moment, and not of abflute Necefitty. Wherein ( we urged ) they might and ought to yield for the ChurchesPeace o But our Endeavours to gain thorn were frnftrated, they were fo refolved that they would notfo much or read our Propofalo and Reafons. We therefore let about the Work our felves, and made (me Progrefr in it ; by -this time webegan to feel what we `expecited at the frit fitting out, viz. the Rage andMalice of wicked Men vented in RailingsandSlanders on the one hand, and bitter Cenfure,and Sufpicionsof the Brethren on the other. In the midit of all this we receivedyour Book as a feafonable Refrefóment o Our Hands were much firengtbned by it; it was a great Encouragement to us, to fee that other godly and learned Men had walked much what in the fame Steps, and had pleaded our Caufe alined by the fame Arguments wherewithwe endeavouredto fìrengtbenit. But z. weare hereby quicknedup to carry our Design higher. Our Propftiono for the Subfiance of them are near the fame with yours ; we agree in a great part of your Difcipline, our Rules of Adm en are competent Know- ledge, Unblameablenefl ofConverfation, and affent to the Covenant of Grace, the means to carry it on are, the People, Confem and Afficiation of Miniflers; and where we differ from You, 'Cis not becaufe we differ in Opinion, but becaufe our People( whole Condition and Temper we were forced to let before to in framing our Agreement ) lifer from yours. Hence our Examinationof the Peoples Knowledge is moregeneral than yours, if we un- dirftandyou right in Prop. 19. Reg.9. hence inflead ofyour Parifh Apiftantswe areforced to make tile ofone anotbero help in private Examinations, and Determination of Fitnß as well as in more publick Debates andConfultations o Tet in two things we come :Port ofyour Agreement : t. In that we have not as yet propounded to our Peopleyour height ofDifci- pline; though we never thought ferset and private Admonitions and Sufßenfionfrom the Sacrament loch a Measure of Difcipline wherein we might comfortaby fotiso* our febues without farther Progrefr ; yet (.our Hands being much weakened by our Brethren, refufalto join withus, our People ftubborn, andSuJjenfionfrom the Supper being apiece ofDifcipline that bath not been hereprailifd till of late, and therefore a matter ofgreater Shame. till Cullom (hall make id more common) we refolvedto propoundand Prallife this ßrFl as an Effäy to try what Succeßand Entertainment a farther Difcipline might find. For though the Fear of Peoples flying of and feparating is not by of looked upon as a sufficient charge for the negleú and laying afide all endeavours to reform: Tet we look upon it at a fufsoient Ground of proceedingwarily. Though we always required Peoples Consent to the Termsof the Covenant of Grace and Difcipline, yet have we not been fo full in this as you. That which kept as off was a fear ofoffending fame ofour Brethren, who being more likely to hear of our Pralice than of the Grounds andReafons of it, might safelymiflake our meaning. But now the way of Difcipline being made more fmootb both by what we have put in Pralltee alreadyand by what you havedeclared, weare encouraged inboth tbefe Respells to make a farther Addition to our former Propofals. Somethings there are wherein afarther Explicationofyour meaning wouldhave beenve- rygrateful to us. s. Whether the blanes of flubas arefufpendedfrom theLord's Supper and ofsuch as de- lay or refuse'Cenfent to your Difcipline only from Dif/atisfaition about the matter of its Management, are to be excludedfromBaptifm ? 2. Why you refolve to exerciseyour Difcipline upon thofe only which teftifle their Con- fine, feeing you acknowledge your present Pari(hes ( before the exercise of this Difcipline ) true particular Organized Churches ofChriFl; iffame of thole whom you accounted Mem- bore fhouldfy o why may they not be Sharers in your Difcipline, and upon their Refusal cast out, rather than silentlyleft out? 3. Why (if you limityour publick Cenfareo andAdmonition to thole ono that give ex.. profs Confem Prop. sß.) you resolve to censure the scandalous Sinner upon flaban Offer of Content as carrieth in the Front ofit a lain Refusal ofyour Difcipline ? Prop. 19. Reg. 1o. and bow this will fondwith the fourth andfifthRealen, of that Proposition in pag. .12. of the Explanation? We know that you haveof parpofe left many things undetermined, and that which you have propounded is fitted to the Temper of Parifbes in general, rather than to fame ofyours in particular, and therefore we do not mention these as an Accusation against your Props- falo ; butfor ourown Advantageand Satisfabtion in cafe we fhould receive any Letters from you. Y 2 Brethren, 3