Baxter - BV669 B3 1681

(4.o) them fhall be more regarded than the reft, as being of.greater w ifdom, how oft and when and where they (hall affemble , with many the like.) 6 3. We hold that as all Chrifians ( ordinarily ) fhould have perfonai Communion in particular Churches, fo thofe Churches and their Bithops fhouldhold fuch Communion as is needful to their ftrength and concord, and thecommon good. 64. This Communionof Churches is to be held internally by Concord inthe fame Faith and Love and Religion, . and externally by.the fame pro- feffion, and infirumenrát1y, r. by Meífengers and Letters, and, 2. byDele- gates and Synods when there is need ; (which as is Paid, for Time, Place, Numbers, Provinces, Orders, are left to humane Prudence.) 65. Ifanythat divide the Country into ProvinceS, will fettle Synods accordingly, and fettle over them Prefidents for the ordering of their proceedings, and will give power to one above others, to .call.fuch Sy- nods, and will call thereProvinces, or Nations, or Empires, by thename of Provincial, National, or Imperial Churches, and the Bithops fo exalt- ed by thename of Metropolitans, Primates, Patriarchs, &c. We con- tend not againft this as unlawful in it felf(though we eafily fee.theacciden- tal danger, beingtaught it by long and fadexperience;) fobrit, a. that none of there bepretended tobe of Divine Inftitution, but ofhumane de- termination; 2. and that they meddle with nothing but fuch accidentals as are left to humaneprudence ; 3. and that they equal not their humane Affociation withthe ChriftianWorfhiping Churches, which areofChrift's Inftitution, 4. and that muchlefs they do not opprefstheir brethren, and tyrannize, nor deprive the particular Paltors and Churchesof their pro- per priviledges and work. But, alas when were thefe Rules obferved by humane Churches ? 66. The Canons of filch Synods or Councils of Bifhops, may be made Laws indeed by the Civil power, and they are (ifjuft) obligatory to the people, byvirtue ofthe Paftoral Authority of the Bithops : But as to the particular Bithops, they are only Agreements, and no proper Laws (the Major Vote ofBithops being not proper Governours of the reft) and bindonly by virtue of Chrift's General Laws for Love and Concord. 67. ThePaftoral power is not at all Costive by fecular force, on bo- dyor eftate, but only Nunciative and perfwafive, commanding in Chrift's name asauthorized byhim, and executed no otherwife than by a Mini- flerial word, and bywith -holding our own ails of Adminiftration, andde- nyingour Communion to offenders: Nor did the Apoftlesthemfelves pre- tend to anyother than thispower of theWord (for the Keys are exercifed but thus) excepting what they did by Miracle. And if Bithops would go no further, they would work onnone but Voluntiers, and their ufurpa- tions mightbe the more eafily born. 67. And indeed we are fully perfwaded, that none but Voluntiers are -fit for the great priviledgeof Church-Communion, and that giving it to the