Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHAIED BAXTER. 165 might not offend the people; and the lord chancellor seemed very forward in it, and all the difficulty was, how to provide some other place for the old vicar, Mr. Dance, that he might be no loser by the change. And it was so contrived, that all must seem forward in it except the vicar. The king himself must be engaged in it; the lord chancellor earnestly presseth it; Sir Ralph Clare is willing and very desirous of it;' and the vicar is willing, if he may but be recompensed with as good a place. Either all de- sire it, or none desire it. But the hindrance was, thalt, among all the livings and prebendaries of England, there was none fit for the poor vicar. Aprebend he must not have, because he was insuffi- cient, and yet he is still thought sufficient to be the pastorof near 4,000 souls! The lord chancellor, to make the business certain., will`engage himself for a valuable stipend to the vicar, and his own steward must be commanded to pay it him. What could be de- sired more ? But the poor vicar was to answer him that this was no security to him; his lordship might withhold that stipendat his pleasure, and then where, was his maintenance ? Give himbut a legal title to any thing of equal value, and he would resign. And the patron was my sure and intimate friend. But no such thing was to be had, and so Mr. Dance must keep his place. "Though I requested not any preferment of them but this,.yet even for this I resolved I would never be importunate. I.only nominated it as the favorwhiéh I desired, when theiroffers in gen- eral invited me to ink.more ; and then I told them, that, if it were in any way inconvenient to them, I would not request it of them. And at the very. first I desired, that, if they thought it best for the vicar to keephis place, Iwas willing to take the lecture, which, by his bond, was secured to me, and.was'still my right ; or if that were denied me, I would be his curate while the king'sdeclaration stood in force. But none of these could be accepted with men that were so exceeding willing.. In the end, it appea'ed that two knights of the county, Sir Ralph Clareand Sir John Packington, who were very great with Dr. Morley, newly made bishop of Worcester, had made him believe that my interest was so great, and I could do so much with ministers and people in that county, that, unless-I would bind myself to promote their cause and party, I was not fit to be there. And this bishop, being greatest of any man with the lord chancellor, must obstruct my return to my ancient flock. At fast, Sir,Rálph Clare did freely tell me, that if I would conform to the orders and ceremonies of the church, and preach' conformity to the people, and lalsor to set them right, there was no man in England so fit to be there, for no man could more effectually do it; but if I would not, there was no man so unfit for the place, for no' man could more hinder it.