Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD. BAXTER. 189 or, too much applauding and following unfurnished, unexperienced men; and that they may be directed what mind and course of life to prefer, by the judgment of one that bath tried both before them. " 1. The temper of my mind hath somewhat altered with the temper of my body. When I was young, I was more vigorous, affectionate, andfervent, in preaching, conference, and prayer, than, ordinarily, I can be now: My style was more extemporate and lax, but, by the advantage of warmth, and a very familiar moving voice andutterance, my preaching then did more affect the audi- tory, than many of the last years before I gave over preaching. But what I delivered then was much more raw, and had more passagesthat wouldnot bear the trial ofaccurate judgments ; and my discourses had both less substance and less judgment than of late. 2. My understandingwas then quicker, and could more easily manage any thing that was newly presented to it upon a sudden; but it is since better furnished, and acquainted with the ways of truth and error, and with a multitude of particular mistakes of the world, which then I was the more in danger of, because I had only the faculty of knowing them, but did not actually know them. I was then like aman of quick understanding, that was to travel a way which he never went before, or to cast up an account which he never labored in before, or to play on an instrument of music which he never saw before. I am pow like one of somewhat a slower understanding, who is traveling a way which be bath often gone, and is casting up' anaccount which he bath often cast up, and bath ready at hand, and that is playing on an instrument which he bath frequently used; so that I can very confidently say my judgment is much sounder and firmer now than it was then. When I peruse the writings which I wrote in my younger,years, I can find the footsteps of my unfurnished mind, and of,my emptiness and insufficiency; so that the man that followed my judgment then, was liker to have been misled by me than he that should follow it now. "And yet, that I may not say worse than it deserveth,of nay fornier measure of understanding, I shall truly tell you what change I find now in the perusal of myown writings. Those points which then I thoroughly studied, my judgment is the same of now as it was then, and therefore in the substance of my religion, and in those controversies which I then searched into with some extraor- dinary diligence, I find not my mind disposed to a change ; but in divers points that Istudied slightly, and by the halves, and inmany things which I took upon trust fromothers, I have found since, that my apprehensions were either erroneous or very lame." "And this token of my weakness accompanied those my younger studies, that I was very apt to start up controversies in the way of my practical writings, and also more desirous to acquaint the world with