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A27054 The true and only way of concord of all the Christian churches the desirableness of it, and the detection of false dividing terms / opened by Richard Baxter. Baxter, Richard, 1615-1691. 1680 (1680) Wing B1432; ESTC R18778 282,721 509

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world falsly that it is but Things Indifferent that we deny obedience to and call on us to tell them what it is that we fear if we conform and when we tell them they make this also our crime because they think themselves accused what remedy have we against such men 2. I love and honour all good and pious men that Conform For I consider how variously the same thing is represented to and apprehended by men of various educations converse and advantages so that the same sin materially heinous may formally be much less in some than in others As was Paul's ignorant unbelief and persecution Or else saith the Papist Answerer of the three books for the Jesuites Loyalty Most Princes must be most heinous sinners that make wars against each other in which multitudes are killed when both sides cannot have a just cause unless the supposition that their cause was good by mistake excuse them THE CONTENTS The First Part. THe Reasons for Christian Vnity and Concord after the nature of it described and how much may be hoped for on earth Chap. 1. The Text opened The Doctrines named The method proposed page 1 Chap. 2. The Nature of Vnity and this Vnity of the Spirit opened p. 10. Chap. 3. The necessity and benefits of this Vnity and Peace to all men p. 30. Chap. 4. The Vnity of the Spirit is the welfare of the Church p. 45. Chap. 5. This Vnity is for the good of the World without the Church p. 67. Chap. 6. It is due to the honour of Christ and amiable to God p. 71. Chap. 7. What obligations are on all Christians to avoid sinful divisions and discord and to promote this unity and peace p. 75. Chap. 8. What sort and measure of Vnion may or may not be hoped for on earth p. 79. Chap. 9. That Christ who commanded our Vnion hath himself prescribed the terms p. 98. Chap. 10. No humane terms not made by Christ or his Spirit extraordinarily given to the Apostles are necessary to the Being of particular Churches but divers humane Acts are necessary to their existence p. 100. Chap. 11. The danger of the two extremes And first of despairing of Concord and unjust tolerations p. 114. Chap. 12. The sin and danger of making too much necessary to Vnion and Communion p. 119. Chap. 13. To cry out of the mischiefs of Toleration and call for sharper execution while dividing snares are made the terms of Vnion is the work of ignorant proud and malignant Church destroyers p. 125. The Second Part. THe Terms of Concord Chap. 1. In General what are the true and only terms of Church Concord and what not p. 135. Chap. 2. Instances of Gods description of these terms in Scripture p. 143. Chap. 3. The true terms of Catholick Vnion and Concord more particularly described as the chief means of hope for the Churches peace p. 162. Chap. 4. What are the terms necessary for the continuance of this Communion and what are the causes of abscission and excommunication p. 177. Chap. 5. What are the terms necessary to the office and exercise of the Sacred Ministry p. 200. Chap. 6. What is necessary to the Constitution administration and Communion of single Churches p. 228. Chap. 7. What are the necessary terms of Concord of those single Churches with one another in the same Kingdome or in divers p. 243. Chap. 8. What is necessary to the Civil peace and Concord of Christians and what is the part of the Christian Magistrate about Religion as to his promoting or tolerating mens doctrines or practices therein p. 248. Chap. 9. Objections answered about Toleration especially p. 267. Chap. 10. A draught or Specimen of such Forms as are mentioned for Approved and Tolerated Ministers p. 279. The Third Part. Of Schism ESpecially the false dividing Terms of Vnion and other Causes of Schism Chap. 1. What SCHISM is and what are its Causes and effects p. 1. Chap. 2. The true Preventions and Remedies of Schism p. 16. Chap. 3. More of the same Twenty things necessary hereunto p. 26. Chap. 4. The Catholick Church will never unite in the Papacy p. 29. 1. What the Papists opinion is of the Terms of Vnion 2. The fifth Monarchy opinion of Campanella de Regno Dei and some other Papists That it is really an Vniversal Kingdome which is claimed by the Pope 3. The Christian world will never unite in one Pope Chap. 5. The Catholick Church will never unite in Patriarchs or any humane Church officers or forms of Government p. 41. Chap. 6. The Catholick Church will never unite in General Councils as their Head or necessary center or terms of Concord p. 52. Chap. 7. The Catholick Church will never unite in a Multitude of pretended articles of faith not proved certainly to be Divine nor in subscribing to or owning any unnecessary doubtful opinions or practices p. 60. Chap. 8. The Catholick Church will never unite by receiving all that is now owned by the Greek or Latine Church the Abassine Armenian the Lutherans or Calvinists or in a full Conformity to any divided party which addeth to the primitive simplicity in her terms of Concord p. 68. Chap. 9. The pretended necessity of an uninterrupted successive ordination by Diocesan Bishops will never unite the Churches but is Schismatical Mr. Dodwells book hereof confuted p. 73. Chap. 10. None of these terms will unite a National Church associated Churches nor well any single Church Though by other means a competent Vnion may be kept in some Churches notwithstanding some such Schismatical inventions as lesser diseases destroy not nature p. 104. Chap. 11. The severity and force of Magistrates denying necessary Toleration and punishing dissenters from uncertain unnecessary things will never procure Church Vnion and Concord but division p. 107. Chap. 12. Excommunicating and Anathematizing in such cases will not do it p. 112. Chap. 13. Any one unlawful uncertain doctrine oath Covenant profession subscription or practice so imposed will divide p. 116. Chap. 14. Vnlimited Toleration will divide and wrong the Church p. 118. Chap. 15. The Catholick Church will never unite in a reception and subscription to every word verse or book of the holy Scripture as in our Translations or any particular Copy nor otherwise known but some will still doubt of the Divine authority of some parts p. 134. Chap. 16. The Church will never unite in any mens Commentaries on the Bible p. 137. Chap. 17. A summary recital of the true terms of Concord and of the Causes of Schism p. 139. Id quod natura remittit Invida jura negant Ovid. ERRATA In the First and Second Parts Page 17. line 19. for more read as p. 19. for affecteth r. asserteth p. 26. l. 11. dele with p. 45. l. 17. for in r. is p. 58. l. 13. r. above p. 96. l. 7. r. to their p. 130. l. 2. r. Placeus p. 225. l. 2. r. condemn In the Third Part. Page 4. line 25. read sin p. 5. l. 11. r.
ages of the Christian World hath shewed that they did not well understand it If universal constant undenyable experience be not enough to prove that it is so and hath been so and therefore will be so Let the certain Causes of it be considered 1. Men are born of much different Intellectual complexions and degrees of capacity some are Ideots or natural fools some are half such some are very flegmatick and dull of wit and must have long time and teaching to learn a little and of memories as weak to retain what they learn some have naturally strong wits and as strong memories If these be bred up in the same house will they therefore have the same knowledge and conceptions § 4. 2. And as men naturally differ in quickness and dulness of wit so they do in the temperature of all their humours and bodies which accidentally will cause great difference in their minds A sanguine man hath usually other thoughts and perceptions than a phlegmatick man and a phlegmatick man hath other thoughts and sense of things than the cholerick have And the melancholy man differeth from them all and often from himself As these tempers variously affect the phantasie and the passions so consequently they do usually the Intellect and the Will § 5. 3. The Countreys that men are born in it not by the air and soil at least by the great diversity of Languages Laws Governments and Customs do make much difference in mens conceptions As we see by experience in the difference of many Nations § 6. 4. The very sins or merits of Parents may do much to the hurt or benefit of Children partly by corrupting or bettering their bodily temperature and partly by Gods curse or blessing on their souls As I have fully proved in my Second Disputation of Original Sin § 7. 5. And were there no other cause of different conceptions than the different education of children by their parents it would make a very great difference in the world When one is brought up in Learning and another in barbarism one in reading and hearing Gods Word and another in contemning and deriding it One is taught to reverence Gods name and truth and another to blaspheme them or despise them One is taught one Religion and another another One is taught to lay all his salvation on that which another is taught to abhorr And it is not only in Divers Lands but in the same Cities Towns and Streets yea among men that publickly profess the same Religion in Name and Generals that this difference is found § 8. 6. And if Parents make no difference yet Schoolmasters often will With their Grammar learning one teacheth his Scholars to deride such or such a party of Christians as Hereticks Heteroclites or anomalous and others say the same of others as they themselves do like or dislike And Boyes usually take deeply their Masters dictates especially if they be cunning and malignant and such as the Devil and flesh befriend § 9. 7. And it is no small difference that Company and Converse cause Even among Children and Servants in families and Boys at School from whom they are as apt to receive ill impressions as from evil Teachers And therefore variety of company in Youth is like to breed variety of sentiments § 10. 8. And the different Books which they read will make the like difference while one writeth against that which another proclaimeth to be excellent and necessary and all set off the matter with such plausibility and confidence as young and unexercised persons are unable to see through and perceive the error § 11. 9. And when they go abroad in the world the difference among those that they converse with all their lives may well be expected to cause much difference in their thoughts If they be set Apprentices one falls into a family of one mind and another of another And so if they be servants And their friends and companions will occasion as much And if they marry the different judgements of Husbands and Wives may do the same § 12. 10. And especially when differences in Religion have already got possession of all mankind in some degree and they set themselves to enquire after the nature of these differences and being at first unskilful are unable to try and judge aright they must needs fall into great variety of judgements § 13. 11. And the great difference among Preachers and Pastors of the Church will be as powerful a cause of discord to youth and learners as almost any of the rest while one Preacher condemneth that as a dangerous errour and frighteneth them from it as a heinous sin which another extolleth as necessary truth or duty And yet thus it is in many particulars even where men profess the same Religion witness the many loads of books that are written by the Papists against each other As the Dominicans against the Jesuites and the Jesuites against them The Jansenists against both and their odious charges of highest false doctrines and crimes in their provincial Letters and the Jesuits Morals Gulielmus de sancto Amore and his partners against the Fryars The secular Priests against the regulars such as Watson in his Quodlibets and abundance more such like And in what Countrey almost or City do not preachers in some measure differ and breed diversity of senses in the people Which Paul foretold even in the purest times and Church that of their own selves should men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them Besides the grievous Wolves that should enter and devour the flock Act. 20. 30. It must be that heresies must arise that they that are approved may be made manifest In Corinth some were of Paul and some of Apollo and some of Cephas and they had such divisions as shewed them to be much carnal At Rome they judged and despised one another about meats and drinks and dayes Rom. 14. 15. And some caused divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which they had learned Rom. 16. 16 17. In Galati● they had Judaizing teachers that troubled them And at Antioch some taught them that except they were circumcised and kept the Law of Moses they could not be saved Act. 15. 1 c. In Asia some Churches had Nicolaitans and such as taught them to eat things offered to Idols and to commit fornication and the woman Jezabel that seduced them and some had such as Diotrephes that received not the brethren and cast out those that did and prated even against the beloved Apostle with malicious words Divers Churches had perverse disputers about the Law and genealogies and such as strove about words that profited not but to the subverting of the hearers and some whose doctrine fretted like a Cancer who subverted whole houses whose mouths were to be stopped And the Colossians had such as were for humane ordinances touch not taste not handle not and for worshipping Angels and prying into unknown things Col. 2. And Paul telleth the
be conscionable men of upright lives will become of the same minds and look on the persecutors as the enemies of good men and of publick peace that do all this by pride and domination The ungodly rabble of drunkards prophane swearers adulterers and such like for the most part hating Godliness and strict living will cry up the Prelates and triumph over the sufferers And thus the Land will be divided the Prelates and other prosecutors with the dirty malignant rabble of the licentious will make one party and these will call themselves Orthodox and the Church The sufferers and all that pity them and like them better than the Persecutors will be the other party The conjunction of the debauched and malignant rabble with the Prelates and their party will increase sober mens disaffection to them and make men take them for the patrons of impiety And how sad a condition must such Churches be in To say nothing of the state concussions and diseases that usually follow Whatever ignorant men may dream these prognosticks are most certain as any man that can discern effects in moral causes may see and as history and sad experience prove to all men of reading observation and understanding § 13. And in Pastors of the Church this will be a double crime and shame because 1. It is their office to gather and edifie Christs flock and not to scatter and afflict them 2. Because they should most imitate Christ in tender bowels gentleness and long-suffering bearing the Lambs in their armes and not breaking the bruised reed nor quenching the smoaking flax Nurses or Mothers use not to kill their Children for crying nor to turn them out of doors because they are unclean nor to cut their throats to make them swallow bigger morsels instead of cutting their meat Much less to cast them off for obeying their father 3. Because it is supposed that they best know the will of Christ and should be best acquainted with the wayes of peace And therefore should understand Rom. 14. 15. Him that is weak in the faith Receive but not to doubtful disputations The Kingdom of God is not meats and drinks but righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Ghost And he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God and approved of men that is of wise and good men but not of proud persecutors Rom. 14. 17 18. Wherefore receive ye one another as Christ also received to the Glory of God Rom. 15. 7. If the people were Schismatical and inclined to fall in pieces the Guides and builders should soder and cement them and as pillars and bases in the Church which is the house of the living God as Timothy is called should bear them up that they fall not by division § 14. In a word whoever will impartially read Church History especially of the Councils and Popes shall find that the self-conceited Usurpation of proud Prelates imposing unnecessary devices of their own professions or practices on the Churches and this with proud and fierce impatience toward dissenters and usurping a Legislation which Christ never gave them hath been the great cause of much of the hatred schisms persecutions wars rebellions against Emperours and Kings false excommunications interdicts and the disgrace of Christistianity weakning of the Church and hindering the Conversion of Jews and Infidels and been a chief Granado Thunderbolt or Wild-fire by which Satan much prospered in storming of the Church CHAP. XIII To cry out of the intolerable mischiefs of Toleration and call for sharper execution while dividing snares are made the terms of Vnion is the work of ignorant proud and malignant Church-destroyers § 1. TO tolerate all evil that pretendeth Religion is to be no friend to Religion Government or peace To tolerate no error in Religion is for no Prince to tolerate himself his wife his child or any one subject And to pretend to this is to crave self-destruction neque enim lex justior ulla est c. and to proclaim himself ignorant yea grosly ignorant what is a Church a Pastor a Government a Christian or a Man § 2. Multitudes of Books are written for and against Toleration They that are lowest usually write for it Even Jer. Taylor 's Liberty of Prophecying before he was a Bishop was thought a commendable or tolerable Book But most are against it that are in power and think they can force others to their wills But it is wise and just and impartial men that are here the discerners of the truth whose judgements are not biassed by interest or passion nor blinded by unacquaintedness with their adversaries or their cause or perverted by using only one ear and one eye He knoweth not mankind who knoweth not how greatly not only the common gang but even learned men yea and zealous religious men are to be suspected in their evil characters and reports of those that they are speaking against as adversaries It grieveth me to know and think how little most adversaries in this case are to be believed § 3. To describe the due bounds of Toleration is far from being impossible or very difficult to an understanding and impartial man But to stop the mouth or rage of Contradicters and to reconcile the multitude of ignorant proud tyrannical uncharitable interessed factious partial men to such certain measures is next impossible and never yet even among the Clergy was attained since the Spirit of infallibility simplicity and Love departed and the Spirit of darkness pride and malignity in most places got the upper hand § 4. Many and many Books of this nature I have lately read that cry down liberty and Toleration and call for greater severities and describe those whose ruine or sufferings they plead for as ignorantly and falsly as if they talkt of men at the Antipodes whom they had never seen and as if they had never heard their Cause and as cruelly as if they had been preaching to Souldiers and confuting John Baptist or preaching a Visitation Sermon to Bonner or Gardiner And yet the falshoods or injuries set off with so great confidence and well composed words and zeal against schism and error and especially for the Church and Government that it grieveth my soul to think how difficult such men do make it to strangers that must know all on trust from others and men of other business that cannot have while to search into the truth to escape deceit and the consequent mischiefs Zeal for piety is not more abused by Sectaries than zeal for themselves and their power and wealth called zeal for the Church and truth and order is abused by bad domineering men Or else the world had not been embroiled by the Clergy these twelve hundred years at least nor Rome arrived at its pernicious Greatness and power to destroy § 5. And let mens different Religions or Opinions be never so many and notable yet every where the same plea against Toleration is used and the same Arguments seem good for every