Baxter - BV669 B3 1681

(17®) _; lofophers, and thole few fo plaine as we fee they are (the befl of them far below the writings of abundance of late Latin and Englifh and French writers, that were but Presbyters), you may eafily judge of what parts the reff of the Presbyters of thole times were, that never wrote. And from hence youmay gather the reafons, t. Why fo few Volumes areleft us written in the two firft ages. a. And why the Churches had then fo many Presbyters, (Whatever Doctor Hammond fay to the contrary withoutany proof.) It waseafy to find fuch Chriftians as afore- , decribed, who might competently guide the rat by Dodrine, worfhip, difcipline and example : Though to find Learned men was hard. 3. And you may fee why to many Hereficks boafted fo much of their high. er knowledge, and Platonical &c. fpeculations, as accounting the Or- be : ignorant men. 4. And you may fee why fo few were Champions for the truth. 5. And why there were fo many parties and diviftons,'when the Elderswere many and lefs judicious. 6. And you may fee how the opinion of Ecclefiaftick meer Ruling Elders came up , andhow to expound Paul:, t him. 5. r y. Efpecially them that labour in theWord and Doctrine. For it was but here and there a Learned or fpecial gifted Chriflian, that was able folemnly and ornately to Preach, decide hard cafes and controverfies, confuteHereticks, and guide the Churches indifficult cafes. And the ref}; did, fit about the Bithop as his a{1ìllants, and Preach and officiate at his_diredion, and, overfee the people from man to man ; beingof the fame order and office with the Bithop, but not of the lame parts, and therefore not equal in the exer- c}fc. - 7 And therefore lafily hence you may fee, the reafons ofthe firfi fix- ed particular Church Einrcopäcy : Thofe few that were Philofophersor eminentlyqualified (being fcarceenow to make one for every Church ) did by their gifts overtop the ref} in the due efteem of all the people Whowere bound to efteem himwifeftthat was wifeft, and to yield more to his judgment than to others that knew lefs : And this inequalityof gifts ufually tailed as long as life , and therefore fo did the inequality ofef}eem and reverence. Andboth the peopleand the inferiour gifted Paflors, obeyed the Law ofGod in nature, and readily gave honour to whom honour was due. And when one was dead finding another l}ill tc exceithe ref}, they accordingly preferred him before the ref}, even a an excellent Phyfician would be by the patients, and by all the young er and more ignorant Phyficians, that are not carryedaway with prid t And this did eafily (as all things elfe ). turne into formalityunder pr hence oforder, andcome to feem a kind of Office. But when differen required it, I know not but that all thiswas well doue, except that rh.: forefawnot the degenerate tyranny that would afterwardhence arife. This prefent experience openeth to us to the day. What did let. a Luther, and Melandlbon, and illyricus, but their eminentparts ?- Wh, el