Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 159 first to profess to them, that the guilt of disappointing his majesty and the kingdom, lay notupon us, who desired to obey the king's commission, but on them. And so we yielded to spend the little time remaining, in disputing with them, rather than go home and do nothing,.ánd leave them to tell the court that we durst not'dis- pute with them when they so provoked us, nor were able to prove our accusations of the liturgy.'''* The dispute thus undertaken was managed by three on each side, chosen for the purpose. _ Baxter took the lead on one side, and Dr. Gunning on the other. Bishop Burnet's account of the debate is, that these two disputants °'spent several days in logical arguing; to the diversion of the town, who'looked upon them as a couple of fencers engaged ina dispute that could not 'be'broughtto any end. The bishops insisted on the laws being still in force, to which they would admit of no exception unless it was proved that the matter of them was sinful. They charged the Presbyterians with making a schism for that which the' could not prove to be sinful. They said there was no reason tò gratify such men ; that one demand grantedwould draw on many more ; that all authority in church and state was struck at by the position they had insisted on, namely,, That it was not lawful to impose things indifferent ; since, these seemed to be the only matters in,which authority could interfere." Thus ended the Savoy conference, the commission by which it was .held expiring July 25, 1651. At the end, it was agreed to report to the king, as the result oftheirconference, "That we were all agreed on the ends for the churches' welfare, unity, and peace, and his majesty's happiness and contentment, but after all our de- bates were disagreed of the means." "When this work was over," says .Baxter, " the rest of our brethren met again, and resolved to draw up an account of our em- 'deavors, and present it to his majesty, with our petition for his promised help yet for those alterations and abatements which we could not procure of the bishops. They also resolved that; first, we should acquaint the lord chancellor with it, and consult with him about it:' Which we did ; and as soon as we came to him, accord- ing to my expectation, I found him most offended at me, and that I had taken off the distaste and blame from' all the. rest. At our first entrance, he merrily told us that if I were but as fat as Dr. Manton, we should all do well. I told him, if his lordship could teach me the art of growing fat, he should find me not unwilling to learn by any good means.. He grew more serious, and said that I was severe and strict like a melancholy man, and Blade those things * Narrative, Part II. p. 336.