Baxter - BV669 B3 1681

( 38 ) to fuch Archbishops (or General Bifhaps) as Timothy and Tiros. I (hall not contend againfa aayof this, for the reafons aforef;;id, being uncertain of the thing in queftion.: But if I muft be put to fubfcribe, that I be lieve all this to be true, (as if it were an Article of myFaith) the fame uncertainty would forbid me. 54. Andhere Imuft take occafionto fay, that I take unnecefrary Sub - fcriptions, Declarations, Promifes and Oaths, tobe,vue;of thechiefeft of theDevil's Engines todivideChrift's Churches, and to.fifh out thofe Mi- nilters that make codnfcience of perjury. and lying, and td,turn themout of the workof Chrift, and to leave in thofe that do not, (when Confcience can ,find but any fhiftiag pretence ; ) And how. fit filch are for the Sacred Miniftry, and whofe fervants really they are, and how they are like todo Chrift's work, andwhat a Cafe the Cherches will be in that have fuch, andwhat the efeEts willbe with the common people, and haw the lovers ofCodlinefswill refentailtbis, and what ti1 elfe will follow hereupon,Ileave to theReader that bath the brainsofa man, or ever ,opened his eyes to mark what is doneabroad in the World, or that ever read with obfer- vation the things that inother Ageshave befallen the Churches, or that knoweth what relation light hath to darkuefs, good to evil, and Chrift to Belial. ',think thatthe Articles ofour Faith and the matters of our pra.. Slice are fo tobe diftinguifhed, as that there is a neceßity of Believing the former, and therefore we may be called to profefs that we do Believe them; And for the other, (the A enda) we muff be called to Do them, (and if they be plain and neceflàry duties of our Religion, being to be Believed to beDuties before we do them, we may fometimebe put topro- fefs that Belief.) But dutiesof humane impofition, or of doubtful nature, may be done as things lawful by thoufands of peaceable men, that can- not fayor fwear that they are duties ; or may be done as of humane obli- gation by thofe that-cannot fay they areof Diviae obligation. 55. Wehold that the firft Churches that did divolveall arbitrations of differences amongChriftians upon the Paftors, did that which brought nogreat prefent inconvenience, when the People were but few and the Paftors had fufficient leifure ; but that which prepared for the degenera- ting ofthe Miniltry and the Churches lamentable corruption ; And there.. fore that they fhould have forefeen this, and done as St. Paul direCed them, and referred matters to any fit [wife man among them.] And when they faw the mifchief, they Ihould have quickly reformed it, as Silvanue Bifhop of Troas aforementioned did : And that if there wereLay Elders in anyof theancient Churches, (as onepail-age inOrigen, and one in Am- brofe, and this of Silvanos in Socrates have spade fome think) they were truly Lay, and appointed only tofuch Arbitrations as thefe, and filch o- ther Animadverfions over thereft, as Lay-men may do ; (A help that I once tryed and found to be verygreat.) 6. We hold that when Conflantine gave the Clergy the foie Power of Judging the Caufes (Civil andCriminal) of all the Christians, he !hew- ed