Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

148 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. to recite in our following addresses by wayof gratitude, and for other reasons easy to be conjectured." After waiting awhile for the promised proposals of the opposite party, they received, instead of what they expected, only a sharp and controversial reply to the paperswhich they had offered. The bishops had determined to make no proposal but that of entire con- formity to the old episcopal establishment., Against this paper, Baxter, at the request of his brethren, drew up a defense of their proposals. But on consideration, it was judged impolitic to provoke them by a reply such as he had'prèpared. Not long' afterwards, they were informed that another course- had been chosen; and that the king would publish, in the form of a royal declaration, all his intentions on the subject of ecclesiastical affairs. This they were to see before it should be published, that they might inform the king of whatever might be in their view in- consistent with the desired concord. A draught of the proposed declaration was accordingly sent them, by the Lord Chancellor Hyde (afterwards earl of Clarendon.) Having perused it, they saw that it would not serve the purpose professed. They drew up their objections in the form of a petition to the king, the paper be- ing prepared by the ready pen of Baxter, and thoroughly revised and amended by his brethren, who feared that the boldness and plainness which he had used would give offense..' This petition, be- ing delivered to the lord chancellor, was still so ungrateful to his feelings, that he never called them to present it to the king. In- stead of that, he proposed to them to present the precise alterations in the royal declaration which they considered absolutely necessary. With this proposal they complied. And on an appointed day, (22 Oct. 1660,) 'they met the king at the lord chancellor's house, with several of the bishops and lords. " The business of the day," says Baxter, "was not to dispute ; but as the lord chancellor read over the declaration, each party was to speak to what they disliked, and the king to determine how it should be, as liked himself." "The great matter which we stopped at was the word consent, where the bishop is to confirm.' by the consent of the pastor of that church ;' and the kingwould by no means passthe word con- sent,' either there or in the point of ordination or censures, because it gave the ministers a negative voice." In connection with this interview, one anecdote recorded byBax- ter deserves to be repeated, as it helps to illustrate the character of all the pardos concerned. The king was already, as there is much reason to believe, a secret Papist; at least he was determined to go as far as he dared, in promoting the interests of the Papists. The bishops and other courtiers had no disposition to object to what they knew to be his wishes. The Presbyterians, with all