Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

152 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. us should be bishops, yet they said Dr. Reynolds and Mr. Baxter, being knownto be formoderate Episcopacy, their acceptancewould be less scandalous; but ifMr. Calamy should accept it, who had preached, and written, and done so much against it, (which were then at large recited) never Presbyterian would be trusted for his sake. So that the clamor was very loud against his acceptance of it; and Mr. Matthew Newcomen, his brother-in-law, and many more, wrote to me earnestly to dissuade him. " For my own part, I resolved against it at the first, but notas a thingwhich I judged unlawful in itself, as described in theking's declaration; but, 1. I knew that it would take me off my writing. 2. I looked to have most of the godly ministers cast out; and what good could be doneby ignorant, vile, incapable men ? 3. I feared this declaration was but for a present,use, and that shortly it would be revoked or nullified. 4. And if so, .I doubted not but the laws would prescribe such work few bishops, in silencing ministers, and troubling honest Christians for their consciences, and ruling the vicious with greater lenity, as that I had rather have the meanest employment among men. 5. My judgment;was also fully resolved against the lawfulness of the old diocesan frame. "But when Dr. Reynolds and Mr. Calamy asked my thoughts, I told them that; distinguishing between what is simply and what is by accident evil, I thought that, as Episcopacy is described in the king's declaration, it is lawful, when better cannot be had; but yet scandal might make it unfit for some men more than others. To Mr. Calamy, therefore, I would give nocounsel, but for Dr. Rey- nolds,. I persuaded him to accept it, so be it he would publicly de- clare that he took it on the terms of the king's declaration, and would lay it down when he cóuld no longer exercise it on those terms. Only I left it to his consideration whether it would be better to stay till he saw what they would do with the declaration; and for myself, I was confident I should see cause to refuse it, " When I came to the lord chancellor, the next day save one, he asked me of my resolution, and put me to it so suddenly, that I was forced to delay no longer, but told him that I could not accept it for several reasons. And it was not the least that I thought I could better serve the church without it, if he would but prosecute the establishment ofthe terms granted. And because I thought it would be ill taken if I refused it upon any but acceptable reasons, and also that writing would serve best against misreports hereafter, I the next day put a letter into the lord chancellor's hand, which he took in good part ; in which I concealed most of my reasons, but gave the best, and used more freedom in my further requests than I expected should have any good success."