Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

102 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. and concord with thechurch and one another. I did so daily in- culcate the knowledge of God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sancti- fier, luve and obedience to God, unity with the church catholic, and love to men, and the hope oflife eternal, that these were the matter of their daily' cogitations and discourses, and indeed, their religion. Yet, I did usually put in something into my sermon, which was above their own discovery, and which theyhad not known be- fore; and.this I did that they might be kept humble, and still per- ceive their ignorance, and be willing to keep in a learning state. For when preachers tell their people of no more than they know, and do not show that they excel them in knowledge, and easily overtop them in abilities, the people will be tempted to turn preach- ers themselves, and think that they have learned all that the min- isters can teach them, and are as wise as they ; and they will be apt to contemn their teachers, andwrangle with alltheir doctrines, and set their wits against them, and hear them as censurers, and not disciples, to their own undoing, and to the disturbance of the church ; and theywill easily draw disciples, after them. The bare authority ofthe clergy will not serve the turn, without overtopping ministerial abilities. And I did this to increase their knowledge, and also to make religion pleasant to them, by a daily addition to their former light, and to draw them on with desire and delight. But these things which they didnot know before, were not unprof- itable controversies which tended not to edification, or novelties in doctrine contrary to the universal church ; but either such points as tended to illustrate the great doctrines before mentioned, or usually about the right methodizing ofthem the opening of the true and profitable method of the creed or doctrine of faith ; the Lord's Prayer, or matter of our desires ; and the ten command- ments, or the lawof practice. p. Another help to my sdccess was, that mypeople were not rich. There were among them very few beggars; because their common trade of stuff-weaving would find work for all, men, wo- men, and children, that were able. And there werenone of the tradesmen very rich, seeing their trade was poor, that would but find them food and raiment. , The magistrates of the town were, fewof them, worth forty pounds per,annum; and most not half so much. Three or four of the richest thrivingmasters of the trade, got about five or six hundred pounds in twenty years. The gene- rality of the master workmen lived but a little better than their journeymen, from hand to mouth, but only that they labored not altogether so hard. "And it is the poor that receive the glad tidings of the gospel, and that are usually rich in faith, and heirs of the heavenly riches