Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 1 it was done, it would be as useful to many others of my flock es to her ; and therefore I bestowed more time on it, and made it larger and fit for common use. "This book pleased Dr. Hammondmuch, and many rational persons, and some of those for whom it was written ; but the women and weaker sort, I found; could not so well improve clear reason as they can a few comfortable, warm, and pretty sentences. It is style, and not reason, which doth most with them. Some of the divines were angry with it, for a passage. or two about perse- verance; because 1 had said that many men are certain of their present sanctification, who are not certain of theirperseverance and salvation, meaning all the godly that are assured of their sanctifica- tion, and yet do not hold the certainty of perseverance. But a great storm, of jealousy and censure was, by this, and some such words, raised against me by manygood men, who laymore on their opinions and party than they ought ; therefore, as some would have had me to retract it, and others to leave out of the next impression, I dfd the latter." This "storm of jealousy and censure" led him to publish, not long after, the work next to be noticed. 5. "Richard Baxter's Account of his Present Thoughts con- cerning the Controversies about the Perseverance of the Saints." A pamphlet in416. published in 1653. " In this book," he says, "I showed the variety of opinions about perseverance, and that Augustine and Prosper themselves did not hold the certain perse- verance of all that are truly sadctified, though they held the perse- verance of all the elect ; but held that there are . more sanctified than are elect, and that perseverance is affixed to the elect as such, and not the sanctified as such." "From hence, and many other arguments, I inferred that the sharp censures of men against their brethren for not holdingapoint which Augustine himself wasagainst, andno one author can be proved to hold from the apostles' days till long. after Augustine, doth assure less charity than many of the censurers seem to have." The following passage bas been cited from this work as a plain expressvn of his personal opinion respecting the doctrine in ques- tion. 'Therefore, notwithstanding all the objections that are against it, and the illuse that will be made of it by many,'and,the accidental troubles into which it may cast some believers, it seems to me that the doctrine of perseverance is grounded on the Scrip- tures, and therefore is to be maintained, not onlyas extending to all the elect, against theLutherans and Arminians, but also as extend- ing to all the truly sanctified, against Augustine, and the Janse- * Narrative, Part II. pp. 109, 110.