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DUTY OF PASTORS AND PEOPLE
A BRIEF DISCOURSE,
ADMINISTRATION OF THINGS COMMANDED
ESPECIALLY CONCERNING THE MEANS TO BE USED
(DISTINCT FROM CHURCH OFFICERS) FOR THE INCREASING OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE IN THEMSELVES AND OTHERS:
BOUNDS ARE PRESCRIBED TO THEIR PERFORMANCES;
THEIR LIBERTY IS ENLARGED TO THE
UTMOST EXTENT OF THE DICTATES OF NATURE AND RULES OF CHARITY; THEIR DUTY LAID DOWN
IN DIRECTIONS DRAWN FROM SCRIPTURE PRECEPTS, AND
THE PRACTICE OF GOD'S PEOPLE IN ALL AGES.
THE SEVERAL WAYS OF EXTRAORDINARY CALLING
WITH WHAT ASSURANCE SUCH TEACHERS MAY HAVE OF THEIR
I HAVE perused this discourse touching 'The Administration of things commanded in Religion,' and conceive it written with much clearness of judgment, and moderation of spirit, and therefore do approve of it to be published in print.
May 11, 1644.
TRULY NOBLE AND MY EVER HONOURED FRIEND,
SIR EDWARD SCOT,
OF SCOT'S HALL IN KENT,
KNIGHT OF THE HONOURABLE ORDER OF THE BATH.
HAVING of late been deprived of the happiness to see you, I make bold to send to visit you; and because that the times are troublesome, I have made choice of this messenger: who, having obtained a license to pass, fears no searching. He brings no news, at least to you, but that which was from the beginning, and must continue unto the end, which you have heard, and which (for some part thereof) you have practised out of the word of God. He hath no secret messages prejudicial to the state of church or commonwealth; neither, I hope, will he entertain any such comments by the way, considering from whom he comes, and to whom he goes; of whom, the one would disclaim him, and the other punish him. Ambitious I am not of any entertainment for these few sheets, neither care much what success they find in their travel; setting them out merely in my own defence, to be freed from the continued solicitations of some honest, judicious men, who were acquainted with their contents: being nothing but an hour's country discourse, resolved, from the ordinary pulpit method, into its own principles. When I first thought of sending it to you, I made ful: account to use
the benefit of the advantage, in recounting of, and returning thanks for, some of those many undeserved favours which I have received from you. But addressing myself to the performance, I fainted in the very entrance; finding their score so large, that I know not where to begin, neither should I know how to end : only one I cannot suffer to lie hid in the crowd, though other engagements hindered me from embracing it, viz. your free proffer of an ecclesiastical preferment, then vacant, and in your donation. Yet truly all received courtesies, have no power to oblige me unto you, in comparison of that abundant worth, which by experience I have found to be dwelling in you. Twice by God's providence have I been with you, when your county hath been in great danger to be ruined; once by the horrid insurrection of a rude godless multitude, and again by the invasion of a potent enemy, prevailing in the neighbour county; at both which times, besides the general calamity justly feared, particular threatenings were daily brought unto you: under which sad dispensations, I must crave leave to say (only to put you in mind of yourself, if it should please God again to reduce you to the like straits), that I never saw more resolved constancy, more cheerful unmoved Christian courage in any man. Such a valiant heart in a weak body, such a directing head, where the hand was but feeble, such unwearied endeavours under the pressures of a painful infirmity, so well advised resolves in the midst of imminent danger, did I then behold, as I know not where to parallel. Neither can I say less in her kind of your virtuous lady, whose known goodness to all, and particular indulgences to me, make her, as she is in herself, very precious in my thoughts and remembrance: whom having named, I desire to take the advantage thankfully to mention her worthy son, my noble and very dear friend C. Westrow, whose judg
ment to discern the differences of these times, and his valour in prosecuting what he is resolved to be just and lawful, places him among the number of those very few, to whom it is given to know aright the causes of things, and vigorously to execute holy and laudable designs. But farther of him I choose to say nothing, because, if I would, I cannot but say too little. Neither will I longer detain you from the ensuing discourse, which I desire to commend to your favourable acceptance, and with my hearty prayers, that the Lord would meet you and yours in all those ways of mercy and grace, which are necessary to carry you along through all your engagements, until you arrive at the haven of everlasting glory, where you would be. I rest
Your most obliged servant
In Jesus Christ our common Master,