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P

A

R.

T

I.

Reverend

Mr.

Richard

Baxter.

137

r.

But having

mentioned the Changes which

I

think

were

for the better,

I

mutt

add,

that

as

I

confeffed

many

of

my

Sins

before,

fo

fine

I

have been guilty

of

many,

which becaufe materially

they

Teemed

fmall

,

have had

the

lefs

refiftance,

and yet on the review

to

troublemore

than

if

they had

been

greater done in igno-

rance

:

It

can be

no

fmall fin

formally which

is

committed

againft

Knowledge and

Confcience

and Deliberation,

whatever

excufe

it

have.

To

have finned while

I

preacht

and

wrote

againft Sin, and had filch

abundant and great obligations from

God,

and made

fo

many promifesagainft

it, doth

lay me very low

t

not

fo

much

in fear

of

Hell,

as

in great difpleafureagainft my

felf,

and

fach

felt-

abhorrence

as

would caufe revenge upon my felt, were

it not forbidden. When God

forgiveda

me I cannot

forgive

my felf

; efpecially for

any

rafts

words

or

deeds , by

which

I

have teemed

injurious, and

lets

tender and kind than

I

fhould have been to

my

near

and dear Relations , whofe Love

abundantly obliged me

;

when filch are

dead, though we never

differed in

point

of

Intereft or any great

Matter,

every,

fòwr

or

crofs

provoking word which

I

gave

them, makethme almolt unreconcile-

able

to

my

felf: and tellsme

how Repentance brought fome

of

old to pray

to the

Dead whom they

had wronged

, to

forgive

them, in the hurry

of

their Pal:

lion.

a. And though

I

before told

the Change

of

my Judgment againft provoking

Writings,

I

have

had more will

than

skill lince to avqid

fach.

I

muff mention

it

by way

of penitent

Con£effion,

that Iam too

much inclined

to

filch

words

in

Con-

troverfal

Writings which are

too

keen, and

apt to

provoke

the

-Perfbn whom

I

write

againft. Sometimes

I

fufpe&

that Age fowreth my

Spirits

,

and fometimes

I

am apt

to think

that

it

is

long

thinking

and fpeaking

of

filch

things

that makethme

weary,

and

lefs

patient with

others

that

underftand them

not:

And

fometimes

I

am ready

to

think that it

is

out

of

a

hatred

of

the

flattering humour" which

now

prevaileth

fo

in theWorld, that

few Perfons are ableto bear

the

Truth

:

And

I

ant

fare that

I

cannot only bear myfelf

filch

Language

as

I

ufe

to

others, but

that

I

expect

it. I think

all

thufe

are partly

Caufes ;

but

I

am

lure

the principal

Caufe

is

a

long

Cuftom

of

Itudying how to

fpeak and

write in the keenelf manner

to

the

common, ignorant, and ungodly People (without which

keenefs

to them, no

Sermon

nor

Book does much

good)

;

which bath

fo

habituated me to ir,

that

I

am

fill

falling

into the

fame

with

others

;

forgetting

that

many Minifters andPro-

feffors

of

Strittnefs do delire

the

greateft

£harpnefs

to the Vulgar,

and

to their Ad-

verfaries, and

the greatelt lenity

and

fmoothnefs and comfort

,

if

not

honour

to

themfelves.

And I

have a

Itrong natural inclination to

fpeak

of

every

Subje&

juft

as it

h,

and to call

a

Spade a Spade,

es.

verba

rebus

aptare

;

fo

as

that the thing

fpoken

of

may be fullieft known by the words

;

which methinks

is

part of our

,(peaking

truly.

But

I

unfeignedly

confefs

that it

is

faulty,

becaufe

imprudent; (for

that

is

not a good

means

which doth harm,

becaufe

it

is

not

fitted

to the

end )

;

and

becaufe

whilft

the

Readers

think

me

angry,

(

though

I

feel

no Paflion at fuck

times in my

felf)

it

is

fcandalous and

a hinderance to the

ufefulnefs

of what

I

write

:

And

efpecially becaufe

(thoughI

feel

no

Anger

, yet which

is

work

) I

know that there

is

fome want

of

Honour

and

Love

or

7enderneß

to

others ;

or

elfe

I

Mould

not

be

apt to

ufe

filch

words

as

open their

weaknefsand offend

them

:

And

therefore I repent

of

it,and

with

all

over

-£harp paffages

wereexpunged from myWri-

rings, and delire forgivenefi

of God

and Man. And

yet

I

mutt

fay

that

I

am oft

afraid

of

the contrary Extream, left when

I

fpeak

againft

great and

dangerous

Er-

rours

and

Sins,

(

though

of

Perfons otherwife honelt

) I

thould

encourage men to

them,

by

(peaking too

eafily

of

them

(as

Eli did

to

his

Sons)

,

and left

I

Ihould

fo

favour

the Perlon

as

may befriend

the

Sin, and wrong the

Church. And

I

muff

fay

as

the

New-England Synodifts

in

their

Defence againft

Mr.

Davenport,

lag.

z.

Pref.

[

We.

heartily

delire

that

ea much

as may

be,

a&

Expreßions

and

Reßexions may

be

for

-

born 'chat

tend

to

break the Bond

of

Love. Indeed filch

u

our

Infirmity,

that

the naked dif-

covery

of

the

fallacy

or invalidityof

another, Allegations

or

Argnings

is

apt

to provoke.

This

in

D1utes

is

unavoidable.]

And

therefore

I

am

lefs

for

a

difputing way than ever

; believing

that

it

tempt

-

eth Men to bend their Wits,

to

defend

their Errours

and oppofe the

Truth

and

hindereth

ufually

their information

:

And the Servant

of

the Lord mutt

not

ftrive,

'but

be gentle

to

all

Men, etc. Therefore

I

am molt in Judgment

for a

Learning

or

a

Teaching

way

of

Converfe

:

In

all Companies,

I

will be glad either to hear thole

fpeak that

can

teach me,

or to be heard

of

chofe

that

have

need

to

learn.

T

And