Baxter - BR161 B28 1680

The P REFACE, flf, much more many thoulards filch And as Goodnefs and Ami- ablenefsare all one, fo that which is bell, fhould be loved belt : And he that would not die to faze his,Country is worfe than fiber Heathens mere. And he that would not rather be annihilated than all or halfe the world fbould be annihilated, isfo bafely felfb, that I jbouldfeoner believe that analogical Reafn ruleth f me bruites , than that true Reafen determineth this mans choice. Spinofa táketh the Knowledge of our Unionwith Univerfal nature(which he calleth Ged) to be mansperfection andhischiefgood, in cemparifon of which f njual Pleafure, Riches and Honour are but troublesfurther then they are a meanes hereto : And if he had bet- ter known God , as the Creator and Governour and end of the ma- terial Vniverfe which he took to be God , and had jayned [holy Uniteing Joyful Love to the Univerfe , and fpecially to the Heavenly Society, and above them all to God himfelf] unto this Knowledge, and extended it to the perpetuity ofan Immertal f ate, he had been happily in the right, which miffing, he became apernicious feducer ofhimfelf andothers. But thus nature and Grace do loudly tell us, that each part fhould be greatly concerned for the whole, and therefore every one ßmuld dfre to know as much of the whole, as he is capable, and as tendeth to his duty and delight. And how(mall a parcel ofTime, or Men, or A&ions are prefint or in our daies ? How little knoweth he that knoweth no more than le hat h lived to fie? What Religion can be have whoknoweth not the Hifiary of Creation, Redemption or the giving of the Holy Ghofl, or the planting and 'propagating the Church, andalfa what will be when this life is ended? But it is not all Riflery that is needful or ufeful to as : There are many things done which we are not concerned to be acquainted with. But the Riflery of the Church, ofthe propagation of the Chriftian faith, and what the Do&rive was that was then received, and how it was pratfid, promoted and defended, and how it was corrupted invaded and perfeecuted, is of fo great ufe to pofterity, that next to the Scriptureand the illuminationof Gods Spirit, I remember no- thing more needful to beknown. When Philip Nerius fit uphis Oratorian exercifis at Rome, as to win the people, they found itnece[ry to nfe large afelionate ex- tensperate prayers and expolitionsandSermons, fo thenext thing found ref e,au was, to bejlow conflantly one exercife in opening (hurch-Hif}o- ry