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PART

I.

Reverend

Mr.

Richard

Baxter.

dically placed

in their

juif Advantages before

my Eyes, I am

fo

clear

in my

Be-

lief

of the

Chriftian.Verities,

that

Satan

hath tittle room

for

a

Temptation.

But

fometimes when he

bath on

a

fudden

fer

fome

Temptation

before me, when

the

forefaid Evidences have been

out

of the

Way, or leß upon my Thoughts,

he

bath

by

fuck

Surprizes amazed me, and weakened my

Faith in

the prefent Act

:

So

nib

as

to the

Love ofGod,and

truffin&

inhim,(ometimes when the Motives are clear-

ly apprehended, the Duty

is

more

eafy

and delightful: And at other times, I am

meetly

paflive

and dull,

if not

guilty

of

a6tual Defpondency

and

Difruít.

40.

1

am much more

cautelous

in

my Belief

of Hiftory than

heretofore

:

Not

that

I

run into

their Extream that

will believe

nothing

becaufe

they

cannot

believe all things. But

I am abundantly

fatisfyed

by

the Experience of

this Age,

that

there

is

nobelieving two forts

of

Men,

Ungodly

Men and Partial Men

(

though

an

honett

Heathen

of

no Religion may

be

believed,

where

Enmity

againft Religi-

on byaffeth him not

;

yet a

debauched

Cbriflian,

betides his

Enmity to the Power

and Practice

of

his

own

Religion,

is

feldom

without

fome

farther

Byali

of

Inter-

eft or Fa&ion

;

e(pecially

when there

contort,

and

a

Man

is

both

ungodly

and

am.

bitious,

efpoufing an

Inrererejt

contrary to

a

holy heavenly Life, and

alfo

Faeliou,

embodying himfelf with

a Seet

or Party

ruited

to

his Spirit and De/lgn,

there

is

no

believing his Word

or Oath.

If

you read any Man partially

bitter

againft others

as differing

from him

in

Opinion,

or

as

crofs

to

his Greatnefi, Interef.

or D

fens,

take

heed how you believe any more,

than

the

t-liflorical Evidence diRinét horn

his

Word compelleth you to

believe.

The

prodigious

Lies

whichhave

been publifhed

in

this

Age

in

matters

of

Fas,

with

unblufhing Confidence, even where thou-

rands or Multitudes

of

Eye

and Ear- Witneffes

knew all to be falte, doth

call

Men

to takè

heed

what Hiftory they

believe, efpecially

where

Power

and Violence af-

fordeth

that

Priviledge

to

the Reporter, that no Man dare anfwer him or

deter

his

Fraud, or

if

they do

their Writings are all fuppreft.

As

long

as

Men have

Liberty to examine and contradict one another, one may partly

conjesure

by

comparing their

Words, on which

fide

the

Truth

is

like

to

lie.

But when great

Men

write

Hiltory,

or Flatteries

by their Appointment, which no Man dare

con

-

tradis,

believe

it but

as

you

are contlrained.

Yet in

there

Cafes

I

can

freely be-

lieve

Hiftory: r.

If

the Perron thew that he

is

acquainted

with

what

he faith.

x.

And

if

he

Thew

you

the

Evidences

of

Honetby and Confcience,

and the Fear

of

God

(

which

may

be

much perceived

in

the

Spirit

of

a Writing

).

;.

And

if

he appear to be

Impartial and Charitable, and

a

Lover

of

Goodnefs

and

of

Mankind;

and

not

poffeft

with Malignity, or perfonal

if

Will and Malice,

nor

carried away by Faction or

perfonal

lntereff

:

Confcionable Men dare

not

lye;

but Faction

and Incerelt abate MensTendernefs

of

Confcience.

And a charita-

ble impartial Heathen may fpeak

Truth in

a love

to

Truth,

and hatred

of

a Lye

:

But ambitious Malice and

falfe

Religion, will not flick to

ferve themfelves

on any

thing.

It's

eat'

to trace

the

Footfleps

of

Veracity in the Intelligence,

Impartiality,

and

Ingenuity

of

a Thuanus, a Guiceiardine,

a

Paulus

Vener.

though Papilts, and

of

Socrates

and

Sozomen,

though

accufèd

by the

Fasious

of

favouring the

Novations-

and many

Proteftants in

a Melantlbon,

a

Bucholrzer,

and many

more;

and among

Phyficians

in

fuch

as Craro,

Pleuras,

be.

But

it's

as

eafy

to

fee

the

Footfteeps

Of

Partiality and

Faítion

and Defign, in a

Genebrard,

a Baroniu, and

a

Multitude of

their Companions

;

and to

fee

reafon

of

Sufpicion

in many more. Therefore

I

confefi

I

give but

haltingCredit to moil Hiftories

that

are written,

not

only againft

the

Albigenfes

and

Waldenfes,

but againft

moll:

of

the Ancient Hereticks, who have

left

us

none

of

their own Writings, in which they

rpeak

for

themfelves,

and

I

har-

dly

lament

that the Hiftorical Writings

of

the Ancient

Schifmaticks and

Heriticks

(as

they were

called

)

perithed, and

that partiality

fuffered

them

not

to furvive,

that

we might have had more Light

in

the Church

-

Affairs

of

thofe times,

and been

better

able

to

judge between

the Fathers and them. And

as

I am prone to

think

that

few

of

them were fo bad

as

their

Adverfaries made them

;fo

I

am

apt to think

that

fuch

as

the Novations, and

Luciferians, and

Indians,

be.

whom their Adverfa-

ries

commend, were

very good

Men, and

more Godly than

molt

Catholicks,

however miltaken in

fome one

Point.

Sure

I

am, that

as

the

Lies

of

the

Papilla,

of

Luther,

Zwinglius, Calvin,

and Beza, are

vifibly malicious

and impudent, by

the common plenary contradictingEvidence

;

and yet the Multitude

of their

Se-

duced ones believe

them

all

in

defpight

of

Truth

and Charity

; fo

in

this

Age

there

havebeen fuck

thingswritten

againft Parties and Perlons whom

theWritersde-

fign

to make odious ; fo notorioufly falte

as

you

would think

that the

Senfe

oftheir

Honour at lealt,

fhould have made

it

impoffible for

thch Men to write

:

My own

Eyes

135