Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. ..153 The letter here referred to is inserted by Baxter in his Narrative, and is too characteristic to be omitted, even in this more compen- dious biography,` "MY LORD, , " Your great favor and condescension encourages me to give yóu more of my sense of the business which your lordship was pleased to propound. I was, till I saw the declaration, much dejected, and resolved against a' bishopric as unlawful. But find- ing there more than, on Oct.' 22, his majesty granted us,in the pastor's consent, etc., the rural dean with the whole ministry en- abled to exercise as much persuasive pastoral power as I, who be- lieve that the church hath no other kind of power, could desire, subscription abated in the universities, etc.;and finding such happy concessions in the great point of parochial power and dis- cipline, and in the liturgy, and ceremonies, my soul rejoiced in thankfulness to God and his instruments ; and my conscience pres- ently told me, it was my duty to do my best, with myself and others, as far as I had interest and opportunity, to suppress all sinful discontents; and having competent materials put into my hands, (without which I could have done, nothing) to persuade all my brethren to thankfulness and an obedient submission to the govern- ment. And being raised to some joyful hopes ofseeing thebegin - Dings of a happy union, I shall, crave your lordship's pardon for presuming to tell you what farther endeavors will be necessary to accomplish it. " 1. If your lordship will endeavor to get this declaration passed into an act: "2. If you will speedily procure a commission to the persons that are (equally) to be deputed to that work, to review the com- mon-prayer book, according to the declaration: " 3. If you will further effectually the restoration of able, faith- ful ministers, who are lately removed, (who :have, and will have, great interest in the sober part of the people) to a settled station of service in the church: "4. If you will ,open,some way for the ejection of the insuffi- cient, scandalous, and unable: "5. If you will put as many of our persuasion as you can into bishoprics if it may be, more than three: "6. If you will desire the bishops to place some of them in in- ferior places of trust, especially rural deaneries, which is a station suitable to us, in that it bath no salary or maintenance, nor coer- cive, power, but that simple, pastoral, persuasive power which we desire. "This much will Set us all in joint VOL. I. 20