Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. Ql ing the specimens of clerical character with which they were ac- quainted,) were so much pleased with it, that he felt himself con- strained to yield to their wishes. Accordingly he went toLondon, and, by the friendly aid of Mr. Wickstead, was introduced to the patronage of Sir Henry Herbert, then master of the revels, He staid with Sir Henry at Whitehall about a month ; and in that short time had enoughof the court. For when he saw, as he says, "a stage play instead of a sermon on the Lord's days in theafter- noon," and " heard little preaching but what was as to one part against the Puritans," he was glad to be gone. At the same time hismother, being sick, desired his return. So he "resolved to bid farewell to those kinds of employments and expectations." It is no wonder if, after this piece of experience, he entertained very little respect for the religion of the court and the king, and was more inclined than ever toward the principles of the calumniated Puritans. When he came home, he found his mother in extreme pain. She continued in lingering distress for about five months, and died on the tenth ofMay, 1635. More than a year afterwards, his father married Mary the daughter of Sir Thomas Hurkes, a woman of eminent excellence, whose "holiness, mortification, contempt of the world, and fervent prayer," made her " a blessing to the family, an honor to religion, and a pattern to those that knew her." This is the character given of her by her step -son, after her departure at the age of ninety-six. He now pursued his preparation for the ministry without any further interruption, save what was occasioned by the extreme in- firmity ofhis constitution, and the repeated attacksof disease. His physical frame, though naturally sound, wasnever firm or vigorous ; and from childhoodhewas subject to a nervous debility. At four- teen years of age, he had the small pox; and in connection with that disease, he brought upon himself,, by improper exposure and diet, a violent catarrh and cough, which prevented all quiet sleep at night. After two years, this was attended with spittingof blood and other symptoms of consumption ; and from this time to the extremeold age at which he left the world, he lived a dying life. The ever-varying remedies which he successively tried, following from time to time the discordant suggestions of physicians and other advisers, had little effect except to vary, and with each vari- ation, as it seemed, to aggravate, the symptoms of disease. The record of his diseases and his remedies, need not be transcribed. His "rheumatic head ;" his "flatulent stomach, that turned all things into wind ;" hisblood in such a state as to occasion the fre- quent excoriation ofhis fingers' ends; and his excessive bleedings at the nose, both periodical, every spring and autumn, and occa-