Baxter - BV669 B3 1681

theunwilling-that had but rather endure it thanPrifon, h a greatpro; fanation of it, and a cheat to poor fouls, and a horrid corrupting of -Chrift's Churches and Ordinances. 68. If wilful Church -corruptions have -/lade any places uncapable ofa prefent conformity to Chrift's Inftitutions, their incapacity mutt not be- come the meafureand rule of our Reformation ; But a true Conformity to the Inftitution mutt be intended and endeavoured, though all cannot came up to it atthefirft. 69. We do not hold that every Corruption in Number, or Officers, or Order, nullifieth à Church, or maketh all Communion with it unlawful, as long as the_efrential conftitution doth remain. Yea, though my own judgment is, that everyChurch in Townor Country fhould have a Bifhop, yet if they would but fet up one Bifhop with his Militant Presbyters in every Corporation and Great Town, with the neighbour Villages, ac- cording to the antient prafìife, from the middle of the third Century for many following ; fo that true difcipline might but be made pofbleto them that had a heart to praaice it, I fhould greatly rejoyce in fuch a 'Reformation; much more, if every Parifh Paftor were reftored to all the `jiatts ofhis Office, though he exercifed all under the Government of Bi- fhops. 7o. Wehold the Parifh Churches ofEngland, that havetrue Minifters (that are, not utterly uncapablethrough Ignorance, Herefie, lnfufficiency, or Wickednefs,) to be true Churchesof Chrift ; But that is, becaufe we hold the particular Minifters to be trueBithops (Epifcvpos Gregis erg non 'Epifcoporum,)and tohave the paver oftheKeys over all their Flocks : And that is; becaufe we hold that it is not in our Bithops power to.deprive themof it though they would; And becaufe we hold that whenChrift hath inftituted and defcribed the OfficeofaPaftor or Presbyter, and the Or- dainers ordain a man to that Office, their power (hall be judgedof by Chrifts inftitution, andnot by the Ordainers will, though he miftake or would maim and change it by his wrong defcription. And that the Or- tlainer is but a Minifterial Invefter, delivering .pofl"ellion according to his Mafterswill and not his own: And as long as Chrift giveth to Paftors the power of the Keys, and they themfelves confent to receive and ufe them, (efpecially if the People alfo confent to the exercile of them) it is not the Bithops will or words that can nullifie this power. And if this Anfwer were not good, I confefs, I werenot able toAnfwer a Browniffs who faith, that we have no true Publick Churches of God's Inftitution, Diocefan-Churches being but Humane, ifthey had Bifho s in each Church under them, and being fin ful when they have none, and Parochial Chur- chesbeing Humane or null, as having no Bifhops of their own,. nor Pa- ftors of Chrift's Inftitution, but half Paftors ; and therefore being but part of a Diocefan Church. But all this is fí +iciently anfwered by our forefaid Reafons; which nó high Prelatift can Çoundly anfwer. :71. I do hold that.thofe Parifh'Aflem'blies, tel'at haveno Minifters, [but G facia