Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

150 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. form of government in that declaration would not be satisfactory, nor attain that concord which was our end, because the pastors had no government of the flocks ; and Twas resolved to meddle no more in the business, but patiently suffer with other dissenters. But two or three days after, I met the king'sdeclaration cried about the streets, and I presently stepped into a house to read it; and seeing the word consent pot in about confirmation and sacrament, though not as to jurisdiction, and seeing thepastoral persuasive power of governing left to all the ministers with the rural dean, and some more amendments, I ,wondered how it came to pass, but was ex- ceeding gladof it ; as perceiving that now the terms were, though not such as we desired, such as any sober; honest minister might submit to. I presently resolved to do my best to persuade all, ac- cording to my interest and opportunity, to conform according to the terms of this declaration, and cheerfully to promote the concord of the church, and brotherly love, which this concord loth be- speak. "Having frequent business with the lord chancellor about other matters, I was,going to him whenI met the king'sdeclaration inthe street ; and I was so much pleased with it, that, having told him whyI was so earnest to have had it suited to thedesired end, I gave him hearty thanks for the additions, and told him that if the liturgy were but altered as the declaration promised, and this settled and continued to usby a law, and not reversed, I should take it to be my duty to do my best to procure the full consent of others, and promote our happy concord on these terms ; and should rejoice to see the day when factions and parties may all be swallowed up in unity, and contentions turned to brotherly love. At that time he began to offer me a bishopric, of whichmore anon."* Thisrejoicing in the king's declaration was altogether premature. The whole of this movement was designed only to gain time, to keep the Presbyterians quiet with vain hopes, and to divide the more moderate from the more zealous. This was the policy of the court party, while their single intention was not only to bring every thing back to the old footing, but to make the yoke of uni- formity heavier than before.. A part of the same policy was, to bring over, or at least to silence, some of the leaders whom they feared, by giving them preferments in the church. Of the negotia- tion 'on this subject Baxter gives the following account. " A little before the meeting about the king's declaration, Colo- nel Birch came to me, as from the lord chancellor, to persuade me to take the bishopric ofHereford, forhe had boughtthe bishop's * Narrative, Part II. pp. 276, 279.