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The

Preface

to

the Reader.

orConcerns. But

if

unjaflly,

it

is

the

undoubted right and duty

of

thofe

that can,

to

clear

the

Cenfured from

all

their undue Imputations and Afperlions; andcould

I

do it for

them,

my Obligations to, and value for

this

quondam

excellent

Hifto-

rian and Divine,

Ihould

not prevent my utmoftcordial Engagementsin that matter,

iiamely,

to

wipe

of

all AfperGons

from the

Innocent,

or to abate and

leffen

them,

as

far

as

they

are

capable duly

of

Allays. But let

me meet the Reader

with

thefe

cautionary

offers.

I.

Perhaps it may be

thought unmeet

by

font

that

a Divine lhòuld-

turn

HiftÚ-

rian.

Anew.

x.

Why

not

as

well asGrotinl, Du

Pleffis,

Lapis",

&c.

yea, and

King

games

the Firft

meddle with

writing

about Sacred

Things. (

z.

),

Mr. Baxter was

neither ignorant of,

nor

unconcerned

in,

nor

unfit for

fach

a

Work

as

this ;

who

knew him

better

than he

knew himfelf

?

or did

more,

intirely

fearch

into Affairs?

or

lay

under greater

Advantages for pious

and

jut}

Informations?

(

3.

)

He had

no

Advantages, nor heart for Gain

orHonour by

this his

Undertaking.

It

is

known

he hath

refufed

Preferment,

even by

King

Charles

the Second, but fought

for

none.

( 4.)

Writing of Hiftories rather

refer

to

Abilities

than

to Office.

Men

may

not

govern Kingdoms,

Cities, nor

Societies, till called

thereto

by folemn Defignation;

be

they never

fo

throughly

qualified ;

nor,

can they adminifter

i{i

Publick Worfhip

till

called

theretò

by

Solemn

Ordination, or

as

Probationers in order

to that Of-

fice. But

Men

may

write

for God

and

Common Good

if

they be able

fo

to do.

For their

Abilities,

Opportunities,

and

Capacity for Publick,

Service, are

a

Call

fufficiently and fafely

be

depended

on.

(q.)

The

Author's Modefly

,

Humili-

ty, and

well

known

Self-denial, and

evident Remotenefs from

all

Pragmaticalnefi

and

Affe

&ation, may well prevent Sufpicion

of

his

Exorbitancy in

this

his.

Enter-

prize. And

(

6.

)

his

great Ability

and Concern to

ferve

the Publick Intereff,

when

as

all

poflible

help

was

needful, requifite and grateful, may well implead

Etch

bold Retorts

upon

his

Undertaking. Who

flays

for

a

particular Commiffion

to

extinguifh Flames,

or

to give needful Informations

of

inftant Dangers, or

of

neceffary

Conduct,

when great Calamitiesor Mifcarriagescannot otherwife

be

pre-

vented'?

a.

It

is

not

impoffible

that

force will judge

him too impudent and unworthy

in

branding Perlons with

fuch

ungrateful Chara

&ers,

as

do

fo

evidently expofe the

Memory of the Dead and Living, or their Poflerity, and intimate to difgrace.

But

(t

".)

Mattersef

Fa& notorioully known are fpeaking

things themfelves

and their Approbation

or Dillike from others fhould

be

as

Publick

as

the Things

themfelves.

Matters

of

Publick Evidence and Influence are

as

the

TO

of Publick

Sentiments, and

of

the prevailing temper

of

thofe Communities

wherein

fuck

things were done.

And

can Civilities

of

Converfation,

or

Interefl,

or Perfonal

Refpe

&s

and Tendernefs,

be

an Equivalent with God, to what

is

expe&ed by

him

from

Bodies

Politick, or

from his faithful Servants in

them.

( z.)

The

Author

blames

himfelf

as

freely, and

as

publickly confeffeth,

and

blames his

own Mifcar-

riages,

as

he

doth

any other.

,(g.)

He

fpares

no Man nor Party

,

which he faw

culpable, and verily

thought reproveableon

jufl grounds.

Nor

is

he

fparing

of

fit

Commendations,

nor

of

moderating

his

Reprehenfions, where he faw the Cafe

would

bear it.

(4.)

He

was

far from

Partiality, and

addietednefs

to any Party.

Good and

Evil,

Truth

and

Fallhood,

Faithfulnefs and Perfidioufnefs, Wifdom and

Folly, Confideratenefsand

Temerity, &r.

they were refpe

&ively

commended

or

difpraifed wherever

they

-were found,

(i.)

Though

Oliver Cromwell ,

once

Pro

-

te&or, Dr.

Owen,

and others,

feem

to

be£harpyly

cenfur'd by him

,

in

the

thopgbts

-

of

thole

that valued

them

;

yet

let

the

affigned Reafons be

confidered by the Reader,

and let him fairly try

his

own flrength ineither

daving

the Matters

of

Fa&,

'and

fo

impeach the

Truth

of the Hiftory

:

or in

juflifying

what

was

done, and

fo

implead

the

Criminal

Charge

;

or

in

allaying

the

Cenfure

by weighing well

how much

of

their

reported or

arraigned Mifcarriagesmay and

ought

to

be afcribed

to

inter

Infirmity

or

Miffake;

or

by

preponderating their cenfured Crimes, with other worthy

Deeds

and Chara&ers,jyftlychallengingCommendations. For

as

to Oliver

Cromwell,what

Apprehenfions and

Inducements governed him, and what hold they took

upon

his

Confcience, and how far he

a&ed

in

faithfulnefs

thereto,

as

in defigned reference

to God's Glory, to the Advancement of Religion , to the Reformation of

a

de-

bauched

Age,

and to the Prefervation

of

thefe

Kingdoms from Popery, Slavery,

and Arbitrarinefs

(

the general Fear and Plea

of

there Kingdoms at

that time,

)

whether

without

or with good ground,

let others

judge)

is

not for

me here to de-

termine.

I

have

heard much

of

his Perfonal and

Family Stri

&uefs

and.Devotion:

e

Of