Baxter - BV669 B3 1681

C25) from under the perfecutions of former Emperours, when they had but a little profperity , immediately before Dioctefans perfecution; they are thusdefcribed. [Repogreat and robot mannerofgloryand liberty the dcçirine, ofpiety due Almighty God, preacbedin the World byChrifl, bath obtainedbe- e t Dr. fore theperfecution of our time, among all mortal men both Grecians and `Barba- Aanmer's rians, it requireth more labour to declare, &c. The clemency of the EmperoùrsPri4,í, (when Heathen) towards theChriflianswas fo increafed, to whom alfo they com mitted the Government of theGentiles ; Andforthe rentfavour they bare to'dur Dolbrine, theygranted liberty andfecurity to the Pre$effars ofChrif;ianity. What (hall I fayofthem, that in thevery Palaceof theEmpereurs, and In the prefence cfPrinces lived anofl familiarly : whichefteemedof their Alinifters fohighly,tbat theygranted them in their prefencefreely to deal in matters of Religion, bothby word and deed; together with their wivesand childrenand fervantsr And thus one might thenhave feen the Bopsofall Churches ingreat reverence andfavour amongall forts of men, and with all Magiflrates. Who can worthily defcribe thofe innumerable heaps, and flocking multitudes, throughout all Cities andfa- mous A emblies, frequenting the places dedicated -to prayer: Becaufe ofwhich circumf ones, they notcontented with the old and ancient buildings (which could not r'eceive them) have throughout all Cities, builded themfrom the Foundati- on wide andample Churches : Thefe things thusprevailed in procefs of time, and daily increafed far and nigh: fo that no malice could intercept, no fpiteful fiend bewitch, no might with cunning at all hinder it, as longat the Divine andheaven- ly handofGod upheld and vifited his People, whom as yet he worthily accepted; But aftef that our affairs through too much liberty,' cafe and fecurity, degene- ratedfrom the Natural rule of piety; and after that one purfued another with . epencontumely andhatred; andwhen that we impugned our felves by no o ther than our felves, with the armour offpite, andyharp fpears ofapprebrioui' words, fo that Bifhops againfl Bi(hops, andPeopleagainfl People, railedfedition ; lafl of all, when that curfed hypocrifre and diffmulation had foram even to the brim of malice; The heavy handofGods high judgment after his wonted man- ner (whilefi as yet the Ecclefiáflical Societies áffembltd themfelves neverthelefs) began foftly by little and little to vifit est; fo that the perfecution that was'raif-- ed againfi us took, firfl his 'Original, ' from the' Brethren that were under Bannerin the Camp. When as we were touched with nofenf thereof, nor went about so p4CifiL God, we heaped finupon fin, thinking like carelefr Epicures, that God neither cared, nor would vifit ourfins ; And they which famed our Shepherds, laying afide the ruleof piety, praflifed' contention and fchifm a- mong themfelves, andwhir they aggravatedthefe things, that is, contentious, threatnings, mutual hatred and enmity-, -and every one proceeded in Ambition, much like Tyranny it felf, then I fay, then did the Lord make the daughter of Zion obfcure, and overthrew from above the gloryof Ifrael, &c. - C. 2. We few with our eyes the thrown down to the ground, the foundati onsdiggedup, theholy Scriptures burnedto ufhes in the open Market-place, and; the Pa-liars of the Churches forte fhamefitllÿ hid themfelves îtet is it not our drift to deferibe thebitter calamities of thefe men, which at length they faiffered, E ter