Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 99 among the other there are many bad. And their constant con- verse and traffic with London, doth much promote civility and piety among tradesmen. " 16. I found also that my single life afforded me much ad- vantage for I could the easier take my people for my children, and think all that I had t&o little for them, in that I had no chil- dren ofmy own to tempt me to another way of, using it. Being discharged from the most of family cares, and keeping but one servant, I had the greater vacancy and liberty for the labors of my calling. "17. God made use ofmy practiceof physic among them, also, as a very great advantage to my ministry; for they that cared not for their souls, did love their lives, and care for their bodies ; and, by this, they were made almost as observant, as a tenant is of his landlord. Sometimes I could see before me in the church, a very considerable part of the congregation, whose lives God had made me a means to save, or to recover their health ; and doing it for; nothing so obligedthem, that ,they would readily hear me,. 18. It was a great advantage to 'me, that there were at last few that were bad, but some of their ownrelations were converted. Many children did God work upon, at fourteen, fifteen, or sixteen years ofage; and this did marvellously reconcile the minds of the parents and ejder sort to godliness. They that would not hear me, would hear their own children. They that before couldhave talk- ed against godliness, would not hear it spoken against,,when it was their children's case. Many whowould notbe brought to it them- selves, were proud that they had understanding, religious children ; and we had some old ,persons Of eighty years of age, who are, I hope, in heaven, and the conversion of their Own children was the chief means to overcome their prejudice, and old customs,,and conceits. "19. And Godmade great use of sickness to do good to many. For though sick-bed promises are usually soon forgotten, yet it was otherwise with many among us; and as soon as they were re- covered, they came first to our private meetings, and so kept in a learning state till further fruits of piety appeared. "20. And I found that our disowning the iniquity of the times did tend to the goodof many. For theydespised those that al- ways followed the stronger side, and justified every wickedness that was done by the stronger party." "And had I owned the guiltof others, it would have been my shame, and the hindranceof my work, and provoked God,to have disowned me. "21. Another of my great advantages was, the true worth and unanimity of the honest ministers of the country round about us, who associated .in a way of concord with us. Their preaching was