Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 147 Nay, that he was resolved to see it brought to pass, and that he would draw us together himself, with some more to that purpose. Insomuch that old Mr. Ash burst out into tears of joy, and could not forbear expressing what gladness this promise of his majesty had put into his heart."* About the same time, the king required them to draw up, and bring tohim, their own proposals for an agreement with the Episco- pal party,"on the subject of church government. They told him they were only a few individuals, and could not undertake to rep- resent the opinions or the wishes'of their brethren; and therefore desired leave to consult with their brethren in the country. This was refused, on the ground that it would take too much time, and would make too much noise. He assured them that his intention was only to consult with a,few individuals of each party. On their particular request, he promised them that when. they offered their concessions, the brethren on the other side should bring in theirs, and should state the utmost that they could yield for the sake of concord.. Accordingly they held a fewmeetings at Sion College, the usual place of meeting for the London ministers. Their consultations were with open doors, and as many of their brethren as chose, came to assist them. They soon agreed on their proposals ; and the extent of their concessions may be judged of by the fact, that the papers which they finally presented to the king were drawn up mostly by Baxter, and by Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Worth, both of whom were afterwards dignitaries in the church of England. The amount of their requests was that Episcopacy might be reduced to the form drawn up and proposed to Charles I. by Archbishop Usher, in the year 1641 ; a scheme in which the prelate became little more than a stated president in the synod of the presbyters, having the power of a negative voice on all their acts. When they went to the king with these proposals, expecting, of course, to meet there some divines of the other party, with their proposals foraccommodation and union, they found not one of them there. "Yet it was not fit for us," says Baxter, " to expostulate or complain. Buthis majesty very graciously renewed his profes- sions I must not call them promises that he would bring us to- gether, and see that the bishops should come down and yield on their parts. When he had heard our papers, he seemed well pleased with them, and told us he was glad we were for a liturgy, and yielded to the essence of Episcopacy, and therefore he doubted not of our agreement, with much more ; which we thought meet * sanative, Part IÍ. pp. 230, 231.