Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

The Preface to the Reader. Deathfhall be!eyed, and they that will not Thall be damned , and commanded bii fiers to preach the Goel to the World : He will come again and raife the Bodies of all Mem from Death, and willfet all the World before bim to bejudged, according to what tbeJ bave done in the Body e and be will adjudge the Righteousto Life Ever /afting, and the rtß to Everlafting Puni(hment; wbieb fhall be Executedaccordingly. That God the Holy Gboft, the Spirit of the Father and the Son, war fim from the Fa- ther by the Son, to inffire and guide the Prophets and Apojlies, that they might fully re-. veal the Dottrine of Cbrift ; And by multitudes of Evident Miracles, andwonderfulGifts to be thereat Witnefl of Cbrift and of the Truth of his Holy Word: And alfo to dwell and work in all that are drawn tobelieve, that, being fsrft filmed to Chriff their Head, and into cueChurch which is his Body, andfo pardoned and made the Sons of God , they may be a peculiar People fanttifud to are ; andmay mortife the Fefh , and overcome the World and the Devil r and being zealots of goal Works, may ferve God in Holineß and Rigbteóufneß, and may live in theffecial Love and Communion of the Saints ; and in hope of CbrijFs Coming, and of Everlafting Life. In thebelief hereof the;Things confented towere asfolloweth t °Hat be heartily took thée one G OD, for bis only G GD , and bis chief Good: and 1 this ' E SUS C HR I ST for his only Lord, Redeemer, and Saviour, and this HOLT G HOSTfor bis Santlfer c and the Dottrine by bim revealed, and fooled by his Miracles, and now contained in the Holy Scriptures, be took for the Lawof God and the Rule of bis Faith and Life : And repenting unfeignedly of his Sins, be did refolve, through the Grace ofGod, ßncerely to obey him, both in Holeneß to God , and Righteouf- neef to Men, and infecial Love to the Saints, and in Communion with them ; ageinft ai the Temptations of the Devil, the World, and his own Flefh ; and this to the Death. If therefore thefe things were Bellhved and Contented to by him ; and if thefe things do efentiare oarSaving Cbrifiianity, and fo be 1ùticient to make us all one in. Chriff, why fhould force different Modes and Forms of Speech, wherewith thefe great Subftantials may and do confift , obtain of Men to think him Heterodox, becaufe he ufes not their Terms ? And why Ihould fuch Diltances and Dilcords be kept up amungft, us, whillt we all of us own all the forementioned Articles, and are always ready (on all fides) to renounce whatever Opinions (hall appear to overthrow or (hake fuch Articles of Faith, and Covenanting Terms with God and Chriff ? And I cannot but believe that all Chriltians ferioufly bound for Hea- ven, and that are fixed upon thefe Truths, are nearer each to other in their Judg- ments than different Modes of Speech feem to reprefentthem. Of fuch great Con- sequence is trueCharity andCandour amongst Christians. 3. The Reverend Prelates, and the Minifters and Members of the Church of England, may poffibly diftafte his plainnefs with them, and think him too severe upon them: But I. they are no Strangersto his profeffed and exemplified Mode- ration. Who valued their Worth and Learning more than he did ? Who moreen- deavoured to keep up Church Communion with them, by Pen, Difcourfe and Praetife, thoughnot exclusively ? Who more Iharply handled, and more throughly wrote againff, and reprehended total Separation from them than himfelf? And what Diffenter from them ever made fairer and more noble Overtures , or more ju- dicious Propolàls for a large- and lafting Comprehenfion with them, than they knew he did? And who more fairly warned them of the difmal Conlèquénces and calamitous Effe&s of fonarrowing the Church of England by the ftri& Aels pro- cured and executed againff fo many peaceable Minifters, who thereby were fllen- sed, imprifoned, dilcouraged and undone? Andhowmany Souls and Families were ruin'd and fcandaliz'd by their impofed Terms, another (and that a solemn and great) Day will (flew e're long. a. Our Author never yet endeavoured to un- Church them , nor to eclipse their Worthies : nor did he ever charge their great Severities on them all. He ever would acknowledge ( and he might truly do it ) that they had great and excellent Men, and many fuch amongft them, both of their Laity and Clergy. ;. He thought ( whatI am satisfied is true) that many of them little knew who and what was behind the Curtain, nor what deigned nor greatServices were doing to France and Rome hereby. 4. And his great Sufferings from them may well ( even as other things) abate their Cenlarïng (if not prevent