Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

104 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. gatherers from lawsuits.) But if the parties were able, I ordered them to seek it by the magistrate,with the damage, andgive both my part and the damages to the poor; for I resolved to havenone of it myself that was recovered by law, and yet I could not tole- rate the sacrilege and fraud of covetous men. When theyknew that this was the rule I went by, none of them that were able would do the poor so great a kindness as to deny the payment of their tithes. Ih my family, I had the help of my father and moth- er-in-law, and the benefit of a godly, understanding, faithful ser- vant, an ancient woman, near sixty years old, who eased me of all care, and laid out all my money for housekeeping; so that I never had one hour's trouble about it, nor ever took one day's account of her for fourteen years together, as being certain of her fidelity, providence, and skill. " 29. And it much furthered . my success, that I staid still in this one place near two years before the wars, and above fourteen years after; for he that removeth oft from place to place, may sow good seed in many places, but is not likely to see much fruit in any, unless some other skilful hand shall follow him to water it. It was a great advantage to me to have almost all the religious people of the place, of my own instructing and informing; and that they were not formed into erroneous and factious principles before ; and that I staid to see them growúp to some confirmedness and maturity. "30. Lastly, our successes were enlarged beyond our own con- gregations, by the lectures kept up round about. To divers of them I went so oft as I was able ; and the neighboring ministers, oftener than I; especially Mr. Oasland, of Bewdley, who, having a strong body, a zealous.spirit, and an earnest utterance, went up and down preaching from place to place, with great acceptance and success. . But this business, also, we contrived to be uni- versally and orderly managed. For, beside the lectures set up on week days fixedly, in several places, we studied how to have them extend to every place in the county that had need. For, when the parliament purged the ministry, they cast out the grosser sort of insufficient and scandalous ones, such as gross drunkards and such like ; and also some few civil men that had assisted in the wars against the parliament, or set up bowing to altars, or such innova- tions ; but they had left in-nearly one half the ministers, that were not good enough to do much service, or bad enough to be cast out as utterly intolerable. These were a company of poor, weak preachers, who had nò great skill in divinity, or zeal for godliness; but preached weekly that which is true, and lived in no gross, no- torious sin. These men were not cast out, but yet their people greatly needed help ; for their dark, sleepy preachingdid but little