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p

A &

T

I.

Reverend

Mr..

Richard

Baxter.

i

27

Chriffian Principles

;

and

alfo

I

have often

been afraid,

left

ill-rooting

at

first,

and

many

Temptations

afterwards, have

made

it

more neceffary for me than many others

to retire to the

Root,

and fecure my Fundamentals.

But

upon much Obfervation

I am

afraid left

molt others

are

in no

better a

Cafe

;

and that at the

firft

they take

it

for

a

granted thing,

thatChrift

is

the

Saviour

of the

World,

and

that

the

Soul is

Immortal, and that there

is

a

Heaven and a

Hell,

&c.

while they are studying

abundance

of

Scholaffick Superftru &ures,

and at laft will

find cause

to

Andy

more

foundly their Religion it fell,

as

well

as

I have

done.

The

better

Caufes are thefe

:

r.

I

value all things

according to their

Ufe

and

Ends ;

and I

find

in the daily Pra

&ice

and Experience

of

my

Soul,

that the Know

ledge of

God

and

Chrift, and the Holy

Spirit, and the

Truth

of

Scripture, and the

Life

to come,and

of

a

Holy

Life,

is

of

more

sift

to

me,than

all

the moft curious

Specu-

lations. z.

I

know-

that

every

Man

muff grow (

as

Trees do

)

downwards and

upwards

both at

once ; and that

the

Roots

increafe

as

the

Bulk

ands

Branches do.

3.

Being nearer

Death

and another

World,

I

am the more regardful

of

thofe

things which

my Everlafting

Life or Death depend

on. 4.

Having moft

rb

do

with ignorant

miserable

People,

I am commanded

by

my Charity

and Reafon,

to

treat

with them of that which their

Salvation

lyeth on

;

and not

to

difpute with

them

of

Formalities and Niceties,

when the Queftion

rs

prefetfttly

to

be

deter-

mined whether they

(halt

dwell for ever in Heaven

or in

Hell.

In

a

Word, my

Meditations

muff

be

moll upon the matters

of

my

Pra

&ice

and

my

Interest

r

And

as

the

Love

of

God,

and the feeking

-of

Everlafting

Life

is

the Matter

of

my

Prallsce

and

mÿ

Interest,

fo

must

it

be

of

my Meditation.

That

is

the

beft

Do-

Brine

and Study which maketh Men

better,

and tendeth to make them

happy.

I

abhor the Folly

of

thofe unlearned Perfons,

who

revile

or

defpife

Learning

be-

cause

they knownot

what it is:

And I take

not

any piece

of

true Learning to be

ufelefs:

And

yet

my

Soul

approveth

of

the Refolution

of

Holy

Paul,

who de-

termined to know nothing among

his

Hearers,

(

that

is,

comparatively

to

value

and make

Orientation of

no

other

Wifdom)

but

(

the Knowledge

of

)

a

Cruci-

fied

Chrift

;

to know God

in Chrift

is

Life

Eternal.

As

the

Stock

of

the

Tree

affordeth

Timber to

build Houfes and Cities,

when the

fmall

though higher

multi-

farious Branches are but

to

make a

Crows Neff,

or a

Blaze

:

So

the Knowledge

of

God and

of

Jesus

Chrift, of

Heaven

and

Holynefs,

deth

build

up the

Soul

to

endlefs

Bleffednef, and affordeth

it

f-slid

Peace and

Comfort;

when

a

multitude

of

School Niceties ferve

but for

vain

Janglings and hurtful Diverfions and Contenti-

ons

:

And yet

I

would not diffuade

my

Reader

from

the

perufal

of

Aquinas,

Scotus,

Ockam,

Arminienfs, Durandue,

or

any

fuch

Writer

;

for much Good may

be

gotten

from

them

:

But

I

would perfuade him

to

fudy

and live upon the effential

Do-

&rines

of Chriffianity and

Godlinefi, incomparably above them

all.

And that he

may

know that my Teffimony

is

somewhat regardable,

I

prefume

to

fay,

that

in

this

I

as

much

gainfay

my natural Inclination to

Subtilty

and

Accurateness

in

Knowing,

as

he

is

like

to do

by his,

if

he

obey

my Counfel. And

I

think

if

he

lived

among

Infidels

and Enemies

of

Christ,

he

would

find

that to

make good

the

Doltrine

of Faith and

of

Life

Eternal,

were not only

his

nobleft and

molt

ufeful

Study;

but

alfo

that

which would require the height

of

all his Parts,

and the

ut-

moft

of

his

Diligence,

to

manage

it

skilfully

to the

Satisfa

&ion

of

himfelf

and

others.

4.

I

add

therefore

that

this

is

Another thing which

I

am

changed in ;

that

where-

as

in my younger Days

I

never

was

tempted to doubt of the

Truth of

Scripture

or Chriftianity, but

all my

Doubts and Fears were exercifed at home, about

my

own

Sincerity and

Inrereft in Chrift, and

this

was it which I

called Unbelief;

since

then my

fore(}

Affaults

have been

on the other

fide,

and

fach they were,

that

had

I

been void

of internal

Experience, and the

Adhesion

of

Love, and the fpeci-

al help

of

God, and had

not

difcerned more Reafon for my Religion

than I did

when

I

was

younger,

I

had certainly Apoftatized

to

Infidelity

(though

forAtbei(ns

or

Ungadlinefa,

my Reafon feeth

noftronger Arguments,than

maybe

brought to prove

that there

is

no Earth or Air,or

Sun). I

am

now

therefore much more Apprehenfive

than heretofore,

of

the Necefiìty

of

well

grounding

Men

in their Religion, and

efpe=

cially

of

the Witnefs

of

the indwelling

Spirit: For

I

more fenfibly perceive

that the

Spirit

is

the great

Witnefs

of

Chrift and Chriffianity

to the

World

i

And though

the Folly

of

Fanaticks tempted me long to over-look

the

Strength of

this

Teffi-

mony

of the

Spirit,

while they placed

it

in a certain

internal

Affertion,

or enthufi-

aftick Infpiration;

yet

now

I

fee

that the Holy Ghoft in anothermanner

is

the

Witnefs of

Chrift and

his

Agent in the World

;

The

Spirit in the Prophets was

his

a.