Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

50 LIFE OF RICIfARD BAXTER. be sinful, and was ready to think, why should I be singular, and of- fend the bishops and my superiors, and make myself contemptible in the world, and expose myself to censures, scorns and sufferings, and all for such little things as these, when the foundations have so great difficulties. as I am unable toovercome? But when faith revived, then none of the parts or concernments of religion seemed small, and then man seemed nothing, and the world a shadow, and God was all. " In the beginning, I doubted not of the truthof the Holy Scrip- tures or of the life to come, because I saw not the difficulties which might cause doubting. After that, I saw them, and I doubted be- cause I saw not that which should satisfy the mind against them. Since that, having seen both difficulties and evidences, though I am not so unmolested as at first, yet is my faith, I hope, much stronger, and far better able to repel the temptations of Satan and the sophisms of infidels than before. Bút yet it is my daily prayer, that God would increase my faith, and give my soul a clear sight of the evidences of his truth, and of himself, and of the invisible world."* It was a little more than a yearafter Baxter's coming to Kidder- minster, when the war between the king and the parliament was fairly begun. In his own Narrative, he describes much at length the causes of the war, the character of the parties into which the nation was divided, and the progress of events. He was himself the sworn partisan of neither side ; his views were much more fa- vorable to the doctrine of non-resistance, than were those of his friends ; and he ascribes the blame ofthe war to both parties. On the side of the parliament, he blames, first, the indiscretion and tu- multuous proceedings of the people who adhered to them, particu- larly in London, where their zeal broke out in acts of violence. This he attributes in a great measure to the bitter and angry spirit of a few, who were yet " enough to stir up the younger and unex- perienced sort of religious people to speak too vehemently and in- temperately against the bishop's and the ceremonies, and to jeer and deride at the common prayer, and all that was against their minds. For the young and raw sort of Christians are usually prone to this kind of sin ; to be self-conceited, petulant, wilful, censorious and injudicious in all their managementof their differences in reli- gion, and in all their attempts ofreformation. Scorning and clam- oring at that which they think evil, they, usually judge a war- rantable course. And it is hard finding any 'sort of people in the world, where many of the most unexperienced are not indiscreet, and proud, and passionate." This spirit among the people, he . Narrative, Part I. pp. 21, 24.