Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 91 ness of my stomach, to rise before seven &clock in the morning, and afterwards not till much later; and some infirmities I labored under, made it above an hour before I could be dressed. An hour, I must of necessity have to walk before dinner, and another before supper; and after supper I can seldom study: all which, be- side times of family duties, and prayer, and eating, &c., leaveth me but little time to study: which hath been the greatest external per- sonal affliction of all my life. "Besides all these, every first Wednesday of the month wasour monthly meeting for parish discipline ; and every first Thursday of the month was the ministers' meeting for discipline and dispu- tation. In those . disputations it fell to my lot to be almost con- stant moderator; and for every such day, usually, I prepared a written determination; all which I mention as my mercies and de- lights, and not as my burdens. Every Thursday, besides, I had the companyof divers godly ministers at my house, after the lec- ture, with whomI spent that afternoon in the truest recreation, till my neighbors came to meet for their exercise of repetition and prayer. "Forever blessed be the God of mercies, that brought me from the grave, and gave me, after wars and sickness, fourteen years' liberty in such sweet employment ! and that, in times of usurpa- tion, I had all this mercy and happy freedom ; when, under our rightful king and governor, I, and many hundreds more, are si- lenced and laid by as broken vessels, and suspected and vilified as scarce to be tolerated to live privately and quietly in the land ! that God should make days of licentiousness and disorder, under an usurper, so great a mercy to me, and many a thousand more, who, under the lawful governors which they desired, and in the days when order is said to be restored, do sit in obscurity and un- profitable silence, and some lie in prison ; and all of us are account- ed as the scum and 'sweepings, or offscourings of the earth ! "I have mentioned my sweet and acceptable employment; let me, to the praise of my gracious Lord, acquaint you with some of my success ; and I will not suppress it, though I foreknow that the malignant' will impute the mention of it to pride and ostentation. For it is the sacrifice of thanksgiving which I owe to my most gra- cious God, which I will not deny him for fear of being censured as proud ; lest I prove myself proud, indeed, while I cannot undergo the imputation of pride in the performance of my thanks for such undeserved mercies. " My public preaching met with an attentive, diligent audito- ry. Having broke over the brunt of the oppositionof the rabble before the wars, I found them afterwards tractable and unpre- judiced.