Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

T H E PREFACE T O T H E READER. § L IAmvery fYenfrble that this Memorial of Mr. Baxter, and his Hiftorical Ac - counts of the Times which went overhim, have been long expected and much defired by the World. And the greater the impatience, the more feverely the delay is like to be refented. But he that well confiders, r. How confufedly a great quantity of loofe Papers relating thereunro,cameinto my hands ; allwhichwere to be forced and reduced to their proper places. z. How much other work was then incumbenton me. ;. How little my indifpofed and weak hand can write ; (not an OP avo page in a competently great charaéter inad hour). 4.How many uncomfortable Providenceshave linediverted me ; and could not but do fo. r.How much time the orderly difpofal of his bequeathed Library to young poor Students; according to his Injunétions on me, took up. 6.1-Iowmuch time my Minifterial Work required ; together with the unavoidable removal of my Habitation and Meeting Place, and the Setling of my Congregation thereupon: He that (I fay), well confiders thefe things (andmore that I could fay , were it expe- dient fo long to detain the Reader from the more profitable and delightful Enter- tainment of the Book it Pelf) will at leali abate his Cenfures, if not quite lay them by. However, I muff and (hall fubmit my felt unto what Confiru5tions the Rea der !hall think fit to make of my Apology for its delay folong. § IL As to the Authour of the enfuing Treatife, he appearsPar negocio, as being very Sagacious, Obfervant, Impartial, andFaithful. The Things here treated on were Things tranfaCted in his day, qualm ipfe vìdit ; Et quorum pars magna fuit. Much he-knew and felt, and was himfelf a&ively and paflively concerned in, and the ref: hewas inquifitive after, obfervant of, and acquainted with. And being himfelf an hater of falfe HiRory, he gave the greater heed and diligence to enter into the depths and fpringsofwhat was inhis day upon the Theatre of A&ion. Much he mull be inform'd of by others neceffarily: and yet he was greatly averfefrom the reception of things as true, upon too look reports. He fanned Intelligence, and was not eafily impofed upon, in things ofmoment. Credulity , Raflinefs, Partia- lity, andPerfidioufnefs, Ignorance and Injudicioufnefs do ill become Hiftorians. Quie nefcit, primam hi(toriæ Legem effe, ne quidfalls dicereaudeat ? deinde ne quid veri non audeat ? Nequa fuf(icio gratinfit in fcribendo ? nequarmultatie ? Ora. lib. r r. and he had realòn for this thought to that (as the Lord Bacon well obferves) the Examples ofour aincefiors, theVic Ludes ofAffairs, the Grounds of Civil Prudence, and Mena Names and Reputations do depend upon the Knowledge, the Judieioufnefs and Faithfulnefsof Hiftorians. Diligent Searches, deep and wife Thoughts,faithful Reprefpntations andReports, with honed Intentions, and generous Deigns and Aims at Publick Good, render Mens Hiftories of. Things and Perlons (as influential upon others,) pleafant and advantageous. Every one is not fit to tell theWorld the Hiftoryofhis ownLife and Times : Who f;v'd therein : what Poft and Station, Trull and Buliinefs,was their affigned Province: what Chara6ters theybore through their deportment therein : what were the regentPrinciples, the genuine Spirit, and b main