Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

EPISTLE DEDICATORY. To my much valued, beloved, and honoredFriends, Colonel JoHx BRIDGES, with Mrs. MARGARET BRIDGES, his wife, and Mr. THOMAS FOLEY, with Mrs. ANNE FOLEY, his wife. THOUGH, in publishing our writings, we intend them for the good of all, yet custom, not without reason, doth teach us, some- times, to direct themmore especially to some. Though one only had the original interest in these papers, yet do I now direct them to you all, as not knowing how in this to separate you. You dwell together in my estimation and affection ; one of you a mem- ber of the church which I must teach, and legalliethe patron of its maintenance and minister; the other, a special branch of that family which I was first indebted to in this county. You lately joined in presenting to the parliament the petition of this county for the gospel and a faithful ministry: When I only told you of my intention of sending some poor scholars to the university, you freely and jointly offeredyour considerable annual allowance thereto, and that for the continuance ofmy life, or their necessities there. I will tell the world of this, whether you will or no; not for your applause, but for their imitation ; and the 'shame of many, of far greater estates, that will not be drawn to do the like. The season somewhat aggravates the goodnessof your works. When Satan bath a design to burn up those nurseries, you are watering God's plants; when the greedy mouth of sacrilege is gaping for their maintenance, you are voluntarily adding for the supplyof its defect. Who knows how many souls theymay win to Christ (if God shall send them forth into his harvest) whom you have' thus assisted ? And what an addition to your comfort this may be! When the gospel is so undermined, and the ministry' so maligned, and their maintenance so envied, you have, as the mouth of this county, appeared for them all. What God will yet do with us, we cannot tell ; but if he will continue his gospel to us, you may have the greater comfort in it. Ifhe will remove it, and forsakea proud, unworthy, false-hearted people, yet may you have ,the comfort pf your sincere endeavors; you (with the rest that sincerely furthered