Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

76 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. were carried on by his profession, that he only promoted the uni- versal interest of the godly, without any distinction or partiality at all ; but still, when a place fell void, it was twenty to one a secta- ry had it ; and if a godly man, of another mind or temper, had a mind to leave the army, he would, secretly, or openly, further it. Yet he did not openly profess what opinion he was of himself."* The fact which Baxter here testifies, namely, that, all this while; he came not near Cromwell, is á fact which ought to qualify his strictures on Cromwell's proceedings and intentions. Baxter fear- ed, as well he might, the progress of Arminianism, Antinomianism and fanaticism in the army; and he used, with laudable diligence, the weapons of his warfare tocheck those evils. Had he been inti- mate with the counsels of the sectarian commanders at head-quar- ters, he might have seen other evils at work in other quarters, and threatening to become, in their results, not less disastrous to the cause of truth and holiness. Cromwell saw, what the good chap- lain of Whalley'sregiment seems never tohave suspected, that the Presbyterian party, in the assembly and parliament, were deter- mined to set up their Scotch hierarchy as the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and, under the claim ofa divine right, to put again upon the necks ofIndependents, Baptists, and all other sectaries, that yoke ofuniformity, which neither they nor their fathers had been able to bear. Seeing this, he must have felt himself bound to use all proper means for the defeat of such a design; and it is not difficult to suppose that he.may have acted as conscientiously in his meas- uses for the defence of thegreat principles on which the revolu- tion rested, as Baxter acted in attempting to argue down the vaga- ries of Antinomian fanatics. After the surrender of Worcester, the war'with the king being apparently at an end, Baxter visited hisold flock at Kidderminster, andwas earnestly importuned to resume his labors there. On this application, he went to Coventry, and sought the advice of the ministers there, by whose counsel he had first gone into the army. In asking their advice, he told them not only all his fears, but that his own judgment was' clear for staying in the army till the crisis which he expected should arrive. Their opinion accorded with his ; and he determined on a still longer absence from the peace- ful labors of his pastoral charge. About this time, he retired from his quarters for a while, on ac-. count of his health. He visited London for medical assistance, and spent some time at Tunbridge wells, and returned to his regi ment in Worcestershire, prepared to go on with his work. But soon the fatigue and exposure ofmoving fromplace to place, as in Narrative, Part I. pp. 55, 57.