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136

Ì

he

LIFE

of

the

L

I

B.

I.

Eyes have read

fuch

Words

and

Anions

afferted with Mott vehement iterated unblulh-

ing Confidence, which

abundance

of

Ear

-

Witneffes,

even

of their

own Parties

mull needs know to have

been

altogether

falfe

:

and therefore having my fellnow

written

this

Hiftory

of

my felt,

notwithftanding my.Proteftarion that I

have not

in

any thing

wilfully gone againft

the

Truth,

I

expe&

no more Credit

from

the

Reader, than the

felf-

evidencing Light

of the

matter, with concurrent rational

Ad-

vantages, from Perlons, and.

Things, and other Witneffes,

(hall

conftrain

him

to;

if

he

be

a

Perfon that

is

unacquainted with the Author himfelf, and the other Evi-

dences

of

his

Veracity andCredibility. And, I have purpofelyomitted almoft

all

the

Defcriptions

of

any Perlons

that

ever oppofed me, or

that

ever

I

or

my Brethren

fuffered by becaufe

I

know that

the

appearance of

Inrerefl

and

partiality

might

give

a fair excufe to

the

Readers incredulity

:

(Although

indeed the

true

Defcription of

Perlons

is

much

of

the very Life

of Hiftory,

and efpecially

of

the

Hiftory

of

the

Age which

I

have

lived in

;

yet

to avoid the fufpicion

of

Partiality I have

left it

out). Except only when I

fpeak

of

the

Cromwe

/iani

and Seetaries,

where

I ans

the

more

free, becaufe

nonelùfpe

&eth my

Interelt to

have engaged

me

againft them

;

but

( with the reft

of

my

Brethren)

I

have oppofed

them in the obedience of

my

Confcience,

when

by pleating

them I could

have had almoft any

thing that

they

could have

given me,

and when before-hand

I

expected

that

the prefent Governours

Ihould

tilence

me,

and

deprive me

of

Maintenance,Houle

and

Home,

as

they

have

done by me and many hundreds more. Therefore I fuppofed that my Defcripti-

ons and Cenfures

of

thole Perfons which would have enriched

and

honoured

me,

and

of

their A

&ions againft

that Party which path

tilenced, impoverifhed and

ac-

cured me,

and which

before

-hand I expeeted

thould

do

fo, are

beyond the

Sufpi-

coon

of Envy,

Seif-

intereft

or Partiality

:

If

nor,

I

there

alto ans

content that the

Reader exercife

his

Liberty, and

believe

no

worfe even

of

thefe

Men, than the E-

vidence

of

Fad

conftrainethhim.

Thus much

of

the Alterations of mySoul, Bice my younger

years,

I thought

bell

to

give

the Reader,

iniead of

all thole Experiences

and

A&ual Motions

and

Affections,

which

I

fuppofe him

rather to

have expe&ed

an account

of.

And

ha-

ving

trantèribed thus much

of

a

Life

which God hath

read, and Confcience bath

read,

and

muff

further

read,

I

humbly lament

it,

and beg pardon

of

it,

as finful

and

too unequal and unprofitable

:

And I warn

the

Reader to amend that in

his

own, which

he findeth

to

have been

amifs

in mine

;

confefling alto

that much bath

been

amif which

I

have

not

here

particularly mentioned, and that

I

have

not

lived

according to the abundant Mercies of the Lord.

But

what

I

have

recorded, bath

been efpeciallyto performmy Vows, and declare his Praife to

all

Generations, who

bath

filled

up

my days

with

his unvaluable Favours,

and bound me to

biefs his

Name

for

ever

;

And

alfo

to prevent the

defective performance

of

this

Task,

by

fore

overvaluing Brethren, who

I

know intended it, and were

unfitter

to do it

than

my

felf.

And

for

fuch Reafons

as

junior,

Sealtetue,

Thongs

,

and

many

o-

thers have

done the

like before me.

The

principal

of

which

are thefe

three:

r.As

Travellers and Seamen

ufe

to do after great Adventures and

Deliverances,

I

here-

by

fatisfie

my Confcience, in praifing the

Bleffeel

Author

of

all thofe undeferved

Mercies which

have

filled

up

my Lite.

z.

Forefeeing

by the Attempts

of

Bi-

fhop

Morley,

what

Prelatiffs and Papifts are like

to

fay

of

me,

when

they have

none to contradi&them, and

howpoflible it

is

that thole that never

knew me

may

believe

them, though they

have loft their hopes

with

all

the

refs,

I

take

it

to

be

my

Duty to

be

fo

faithful

to that flock

of

Reputation

which

God

bath

in-

trufted me with,

as

to

defend it at

the

rate of

opening

the

Truth.

Such

as

have

made

the

World believe

that

Lather

confalted with the Devil,

that

Calvinwas a

ftig_

matized Sodomite, that

Beza turned

Papift,

eye.

to,

blaft

their

Labours,

I know

are

very like to

fay

anything

by

me, which their Intereft or Malice

tell

them

will

any

way advantage

their Caufe,

to make my Writings unprofitable

when I am

dead.

3.

That

young Chriftians may

be

warned by the Miftakes and

Failings

of

my

unriperTimes,

to learn in patience, and

live

in watchfulnefs, and

not

be

fierce and proudly confident in

their

firft

Conceptions; And to

reverence ripe ex-

perienced Age,

and to

take heed

of

taking

fuch

for

their

Chief

Guides

as

have

nothing

but immature and unexperienced Judgments,

with fervent

Affe&ions,

and

free and confident Expreffîons

;

but to learn

of

them that have

(with

holinefs)

flu

-

dy, time and

trial, looked about them

as

well

on one

fide as

the other, and attain

-

ed

to ciearnefsand impartiality

in their Judgments.

1.

But