Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE. OF RICHARD BAXTER. 69 them, however it had been interpreted ; for then all the fire was in one spark. "When I had informed myself, to my sorrow, of the state of the army, Captain Evanson (one of my orthodox informers) desired me yet to come to their regiment, telling me that it was the most religious, most valiant, most successful of all the army ; but in as much danger as any one whatsoever. I-was unwilling to leave my studies, and friends, and quietness, at Coventry, to go into an army so contrary to my judgment; but I thought the public good com- manded me, and so I gave him some encouragement. Whereupon he told his colonel, (Whalley,*) who also was orthodox in religion, but engaged by kindred' and interest to Cromwell. He invited me to be chaplain to his regiment, and I told him I would take but one day's time to deliberate, and would send him an answer or else come to him. "As 'soon as I came home to Coventry, I called together an as- sembly of ministers ; Dr. Bryan, Dr. Grew, and many others. I told them the sad news of the corruption of the army, and that. I thought all we hadvalued was likely to be endangered by them ; seeing this army having first conquered at York, and now at Nase- by, and having left the king no visible army but Goring's, the fate of the whole kingdom was likely to follow the disposition and inte- rest of the conquerors. We have sworn to be true to the kingand his heirs, in the oath of allegiance. All our soldiers here dothink that the parliament is faithful to the king, and have no other pur- pose themselves. If king and parliament, churcli and state, be ruined by those men, and we look on, and do nothing to hinder it, how are we true to our allegiance and to the covenant, which bindeth us to defend the king, and to be against schism, as well as against Popery and profaneness ? For my part, said I, I know that my body is so weak that it is likely to hazard my life to be among them; I expect their fury should do little less than rid me out of their way ; and I know one man cannot do much among them : but yet, if your judgment take it to be my duty, I will ven- ture my life; perhaps some other minister may be drawn in, and then some more of the evil may be prevented. "Theministers, finding myownjudgment forit, and being moved with the cause, did unanimously give their judgment for mygoing. Hereupon, I went straight to the . committee, and told them that I had an invitation to the army, and desired their consent to go. They consulted awhile, and then left it wholly to the governor, *This Whalley is the manwho, many years afterwards, with his son-in-law, Goffe, found refuge from the vengeance of the English court among the repub- lican settlers ofNew England. The history of the regicide judges is too well known in this country to need repetition here.