Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD SAxTER. 183 great question, whether this silence was a religious exercise not allowed by the liturgy, &c."* Notwithstanding all this persecution, manyof thenonconformists, including such men as Baxter, and Bates, and Calamy, insisted on the proprietyof occasional communion with the church of England, by attending on the public worship at the parish churches, and by receiving the Lord's supper at the hands of the more serious and exemplary among the established clergy. This occasioned an un- happy division among those who at such a time needed to act in concert ; and it limited the influence of these men with their suf- fering exasperated brethren. The opportunity of doing good by public preaching being at an end, Baxter looked about for some retirement where he might pur- sue his studies, and especially his writings, with better health and more tranquillity than he could hope to enjoy- in the city. He re- moved to Acton, six miles from London, July 14, 1663 ; " where," he says, " I followed my studies privately, in quietness, and went every Lord's-day to the public assembly, when there was any preaching or catechising, and spent the rest of the day with my family, and a few poor neighbors that came in ; spending now and.then a day in London. The next year, 1664, I had the company of divers godly, faithful friends, that tabled with me in summer, with whom I solaced myself with much content." "March 26, 1665, being the Lord's -day., as I was preaching in a private house, where we received the Lord's supper, a bullet came in at the window among us, passed by me, and narrowly es- caped the head of a sister-in-law of mine that was there, but hurt none of us. We could never discover whence it came." In these days of persecution and peril, the correspondence of Baxter was sought by distinguished Protestant divines on the continent, and among others by the celebrated Amyrault, then professor of divinity at Saumur, and the leader of the French Prot- estants ;" But I knew so well," says he, " what eyes were upon me, that I durst not write one letter to anybeyond the seas." . The vigilant eye of malice, which some had upon me, made me under- stand that, though no law of the land is against literate persons' correspondencies beyond seas, nor have any divines been hindered from it, yet it was like to have proved my min if I had but been known to answer one of these letters, though the matter had been never so much beyond- exception." Having followed him to his retirement, we may here continue the enumeration of his publications to the close of the year 1665, Narrative, Part II. pp. 435, 436.