Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIPS` OP RICHARD BAXTER. 87 sequestration; so that we all expected 'to be turned out. But they did not execute it upon any save one in our parts:" a fact which shows that their love of toleration was not mere profession. " For my part," continues the narrative, " instead of praying and preaching for them, when any of the committee or soldiers were my hearers, I labored to help them understand what acrime it was to force men to pray for the success ofthose who were vio- lating their covenant and loyalty, and going, in stich a cause, to kill their brethren." "My.own hearers were all satisfied with my doctrine; but the committee men looked sour, but let me alone. And the soldiers said, I was so like to Love, that I would not be right till I was shorter by t e head. Yet none of them ever meddled with me, farther thaMby the tongue ; nor was I ever, by any of them in those times, forbidden or hindered to preach one sermon, only one assize sermon, which the high sheriff had de- sired me to preach, and afterwards sent me word, as from the committee, that they desired me to forbear, and not to preach be- fore the judges, because I preached against the state. But after- wards they excused it, as done merely in kindness to me, to keep me from running myself into danger and trouble."* Christopher Love, who is referred to in the preceding para- graph, was one of eight Presbyterian ministers in London, who, with others, were arrested on account of some measures - which theywere secretly pursuing to aid the king, and to unite the Pres- byterians with the Scots in maintaining his authority. Seven were pardoned on the recantation of one of them ; but Love, and another, a layman concerned in the same conspiracy, were made examples of public justice. He " was beheaded, dying neither timorously nor proudly in any desperate bravado, but with as great alacrity and fearless quietness as if he had but gone to bed, and had been as little concerned as the standersby." Baxter's conscientious scruples, and his Presbyterian feelings, would of course lead him to refuse any distinct acknowledgment of the government whichwas erected after the express abolitionof monarchy. When the 'engagement," or promise of fidelity to the commonwealth, was put upon the people, he took his stand fearlessly against it. "For my own part," he says, "though I kept the town and parish of Kidderminster from taking the covenant, seeing how it might become a snare to their consciences; yea, and most ofWor- cestershire besides, by keeping the ministers from offering it in any of the congregations to the people, except in Worcester city, where I had no great interest, and knew not what they did yet I *Narrative, Part I. p. 67.