Baxter - BV669 B3 1681

( 13 ) r4. "Though the Paftorsof theChurch were all of one Office, now call- ed Order, being all fubordinate Minifters of Chrift, in 'the Prophetical, Prieftly andRegal parts of hisOffice, in the Powerand Duty of Teach- ing, Wor(hiping and Government ; yetwas the difparity of Age, Grace and Guifts to beobferved among them, and the younger Paftors (aswell as people) owed a meet reverence and fubmiflion to the Elder, andthe weaker to the ftronger who had notorioufly more of God's Grace and Guifts. So that in a Church where there were many Paftors it, was not unlawful nor unneceffary, to acknowledge this difparity, . and for the younger and weaker to.fubmit muchto the judgment of the elder and more able. t5.. While they kept only to the exercife of the meer Paftoral work of Teaching, and Worlhiping, and that Government which belongeth hereunto, they had little temptation (comparatively) to ftrive for a pre- eminence in Rule, or for a Negative Voice; But aliene or accidental work, did further that as followeth. to. TheApoftles did reprove thofe Worldly contentiousand unchari- table Chriftians, who wentto Lawbefore Heathen Judges : And.the.thing fhewed fo little of the Chriflian Spirit of Love, and was alfoof fo ill con- fequence, by fcandals and Mentions., that it was worthy to be reproved, efpecially in Chriftians that were perfecuted by thofe Maiftrates. There- fore almoft all the differences of Chriftians were neceflarilydecided by Arbitration : And none were thought fo fit to be. the Arbitrators, as the Elders or Paftorsof the Churches. Bywhich it came to pats, that where Churches weregreat, and the ceafing of perfecution (which came but as ftorms that paffed away) did reftore that peace which cherifhed diffea Li- ons. the workof the Elders in thefe Arbitrations, was not fmall; efpe- eially as added to their greater proper Office-work. 17. At the fame time many Herefies arofe, which occafioned Divifi- ons in the. Churches, and fometimes among the Officers themfelves. r8. And the Miuifters being, though holy, yet imperfect, as well as other Chriftians, the remnants of felfconceitednefs and pride, occa- honed alto the trouble of the Churches : For whenthe Apoftles themfelves whileChrift was with them ftrove who Ihould be the Greateft, and have thehigheft place, it is no wonder if they did fo afterward, who had not fo great a meafure of Grace as they. ig. Befides all this, when the,Apoftoii¢al Virtues ceafed, there were few Philofophers or Learned men that turned Chriftians, and few that had excellent Gifts of Oratory, fit to be Teachers of theChurches ; And themolt of the Elders were .good men but of inferiour parts; Like the better fort of ourunlearned godly Chriftians. By which means it came topafs, that forne one of the Clergy in every Church, (when there were many) having fo much Knowledge,_and Oratory as to overtop ,the reft, he was ordinarily more efteemed than the reft; 2o. By thefe four means :conjisnct:it quickly came to pats,, that in every Church.