Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 129 to a deeper compassion of these miserable men, but especially to a deeper sense of the danger of weak unsettled professors, whom they labor to seduce, another providence also instigating thereto, I put those sermons ,on Gal. iii. to the press."* 17. "The Agreement of the Worcestershire Ministers for Cate- chising." 12mo. published in 1656. 18. "Gildas Salvianus: The Reformed Pastor; shewing the Nature of the Pastoral Work, especially in Private Instruction and Catechising, with an open Confession of our too open Sins," etc. 8vo. published in 1656. Of the occasion and design of these two works he speaks thus. " About that time, being apprehensive how great a part of our work lay in catechising the aged who were ignorant, as well as children, and especially in serious conference with them about the matters of their salvation, I thought it best to draw in all the ministers of the county with me, that the benefit might extend the further, and that each one mignt have the less opposition. Which having pro- cured, at their, desire I wrote a catechism, and the articles of our agreement, and before them an earnest exhortation to our ignorant people to submit to this way: and this was then published. The catechism was also a brief confessionof faith, being the enlargement of a confession. which I had before printed in an open sheet, when we set up church discipline. "When we set upon this great work, it was thought best to be- gin witha day of fasting and prayer byall the ministers, at Worces- ter, where theydesired me to preach. But weakness and other things hindered me from that day; and to compensate that, I en- larged and published the sermon which I had prepared for them; and entitled the treatise Gildas Salvianus (because I imitated Gildas and Salvianus in my liberty of speech to the pastors of the churches) or the Reformed Pastor." The Reformed Pastor is one of those works of Baxter which has been most extensively circulated and most profitably read. It is in the hands of thousands.of ministers at this. day ; and it were well if the diligent and devotional study of that book were made a part of the course of preparation for the ministry in every theolo= gical seminary. " I have very great cause,".says the author, less than ten years after its first publication, " to be thankful to God for the success of that book, as hoping many thousand souls are the better for it, in that it prevailed with many ministers to set upon that itork which I there exhort them to. Even from beyond the seas, I have had letters of request, to direct them how theymight bringon that work according as that book had convinced them that *Baxter's Practical Werke; London, 1830 Vol. xx. pp. 22, 23. VOL. I. 17