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stumble and are impatient at the least dividing of one visible congregation from another, though it be not in fundamentalls; and through our forwardnes to suppresse, and our backwardnes to recover any enthrall’d peece of truth out of the gripe of custom, we care not to keep truth separated from truth, which is the fierceft rent and disunion of all. We doe not see that while we still affect by all means a rigid externall formality, we may as soon fall into a groffe confor. ming stupidity, a stark and dead congealment of wood and hay and stubble forc't and frozen together, which is more to the sudden degenerating of a Church than many subdichotomies of petty fchisms. Not that I can think well of every light separation, or that all in a Church is to be expected gold and filver and pretious stones : it is not possible for a man to sever the wheat from the tares, the good fish from the other frie; that must be the Angels Ministery at the end of inortall things. Yet if all cannot be of one mind, as who looks they should be? this doubtles is more wholsome, more prudent, and more Christian, that many be tolerated, rather then all compellid. I mean not tolerated Popery, and open fuperftition, which as it extirpates all religions and civill supremacies, To it self should be extirpat, provided first that all charitable and compassionat means be us’d to win and regain the weak and the mifled: that also which is

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impious or evil absolutely either against faith or maners no law can possibly per. mit, that intends not to unlaw it self; but those neighbouring differences, or rather indifferences, are what I speak of, whether in some point of doctrine or of discipline, which though they may

be many, yet need not interrupt the unity of Spirit, if we could but find among us the band of peace. In the mean while if any one would write, and bring his helpfull hand to the flow-moving Refor: mation which we labour under, if Truth have spok’n to him before others, or but seem'd at least to speak, who hath fo bejesuited us that we should trouble that man with asking licence to doe fo worthy a deed ? and not consider this,


that if it come to prohibiting, there is not ought more likely to be prohibited then truth it self; whose first appearance to our eyes blear'd and dimm'd with prejudice and custom, is more unsightly and unplausible then many errors, ev'n as the person is of many a great man fight and contemptible to see to. And what doe they tell us vainly of new opinions, when this very opinion of theirs, that none must be heard, but whom they like, is the worst and new ft opinion of all others; and is the chief cause why feets and schisms doe so much abound, and true knowledge is kept at distance from us; befides yet a greater danger which is in it. For when God shakes a Kingdome with strong and healthfull

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commotions to a generall reforming, 'tis not untrue that many sectaries and false teachers are then busiest in seducing; but yet more true it is, that God then raises to his own work men of rare abilities, and more then common industry not only to look back and revise what hath bin taught heretofore, but to gain furder and goe on, some new enlightn'd steps in the discovery of truth. For such is the order of God's enlightning his Church, to dispense and deal out by degrees his beam, so as our earthly eyes may best sustain it. Neither is God appointed and confin'd, where and out of what place these his chosen shall be first heard to speak; for he sees not as man fees, chooses not as man chooses, left


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