Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

72 LINE ON RICHARD BAXTER. " Because I perceived that it was a fewmen who bore the bell, that did all the hurt among them, I acquainted myself with those men, and would be oft disputing with them, in the hearing of the rest. I found that they were men who had been in London, hatched up among the old separatists, and had made it all the matter of their study and religion to rail against ministers, parish churches, and Presbyterians; and who had little other knowledge or discourse of any thing about the heart, or heaven. They were fierce with pride and self-conceitedness, and had gotten a very great conquest over their charity, both to the Episcopalians and Presbyterians; whereas many of those honest soldiers, who were tainted but with some doubts about liberty of conscience, or Inde- pendency, were men who would discourse of the points of sanc- tification, and Christian experience, very savorily. But we so far prevailed in opening the folly of these revilers, and self-conceited . men, as that some of them became the laughing-stock of the sol- diers before I left them ; and when they preached, for great preachers they were, their weakness exposed them to contempt. A great part of the mischief they did among the soldiers, was by pamphlets, which were abundantly dispersed, such as Overton's Martin Mar-Priest, and more of his; and some of J. Lilburn's, whowas one of them; and divers against the king, and against the ministry, and for liberty of conscience, &c. And, soldiers being usually dispersed in their quarters, they had such books to read, when they had none to contradict them. " But there was yet a more dangerous party than these among the soldiers, (only in Major Bethel's troop of our regiment,) who took the direct Jesuitical way. They first most vehement y de- claimed against the doctrine of election, and for the power of free-will, and all other points which are controverted between the Jesuits and Dominicans, the Arminians and Calvinists. Then they as fiercely cried down our present translation of the Scrip- tures, and debased their authority, though they did not deny them to be divine. They cried down all our ministry, Episcopal, Pres- byterian, and Independent, and all our churches. They vilified almost all our ordinary worship, especially singingof psalms, and constant family worship ; they allowed of no argument fromScrip- ture, but what was brought in its express words ; they were vehement against both king, and all government, but popular; and against magistrates meddling in matters of religion. All their disputing was with as much fierceness as if they had been ready to draw their swords upon those with whom they disputed. They trusted more to policy, scorn, and power, than to argument. They would bitterly scorn me among their hearers, to prejudice them before they entered into dispute. They avoided me as much as possible ; but when they did come to it, they drowned