Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

164 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. desire.. The gentleman bath pursued both others arid myselfwith letters to this effect, andyet, notsatisfied therewith, came to Boston to disburthen his heart to me;" " upon issue of which conference, no better expedient, under God, presented itself to ùs than this." The letter from Elliot, abovementioned, is a valuable and beau- tiful memorial of the venerated apostle of the Indians; but it was written at a later date, and the insertion of any extracts here would too much interrupt our narrative. The Savoy conference was closed July 25th, 1661. The last interview of Baxter and his brethren with the king, when they presented their last and hopelegss petition, must have been soon after. In bringing down 'to this time the story of the public transactions, many incidents of a more private and personal nature have been omitted. Some of these will now be recited in his, own language: " When I had refused a bishopric, I did it on such reasons as offended not the lord chancellor ; and, therefore, instead of it, I presumed to crave his favor to restore me to preach to sny people at Kidderminster again, fromwhence I had been cast out, when many hundreds of others were ejected, upon the restoration of all them that had been sequestered. It was but á vicarage, and the vicar was a poor, unlearned, ignorant, silly reader,, who little understood what Christianity, and the articles of his Creed, did signify ; but once a quarter, he said something which he called a sermon, which made him the pity or laughter of the people. This man, being unable to preach ,himself, kept alwaysa curate 4.ï under.him to preach. My people were so dear to me, and I to them, that I would have been with them upon the lowest lawful terms. Some laughed at me for refusing a bishopric, and petitioning to be a reading vicar's curate; but I had little hopes of so good a condition, at least for any considerable time. "The ruler of the vicar and all the business there, was Sir Ralph Clare;' an old man, and an old courtier, who carried it towards me, all the time I was there, with great civility and respect, and sent me a purse of money when I went away, but I refused it. But his zeal against all who scrupled ceremonies, or who would not preach for prelacy and conformity, was so much greater than his respects to me, that he was the principal cause of my removal, though he has not owned it to this day. I suppose he thought that when I,was far enough off, he could sofar-rule the town, as to reduce the people to his way. But he little knew, nor others of that temper, how firmconscientious men are to the matters of their everlasting interest, and howlittle men's authority can do against the authority of God, with those that are unfeignedly subject to him. Openly, he seemed to be for my return at first, that he