Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PART I. Reverend Mr. Richard Baxter. 79 5 127. Alfo the SOeinlane made fome increafe by the Miniftry. of one Mr. Biddle, fometimes School-mafter in Glomfter; whowrote againft the Godhead of the Holy Ghoft, and afterwards of Chrift ; whofe Followers inclined much to meer Deifrt and Infidelity. § 128. Having gone on thtis far with the general Hints of the Hiftory of chore times, becaufe I wouldnot obfcuie them by the Interpoltions of my own Affairs, I now return to thefe, and Ihall fitthem allo together, that they may be the better underftood. . I have related how after my bleedingof a Gallon of Blood by the Nófe, T was left weak at Sir Thomas Rorer's Houfe at Rtius-Lencb, where I was taken up with daily Medicines to prevent a Dropfie : And being confcious that my time had not been improved to the Service of God as I defined it had been, I put up many as earneft Prayer to God, that he would reftore me, and ufe me more fuccefsfully in his Work. And bleffed be that Mercy which heardmy Groans in the Day of my, Diftrefs, and granted my Delires, and wrought my Deliverance, when Men and Means failed, and gave me Opportunity to Celebrate his Praife. Whilf l there continued weak and unable to Preach, the People at Riddermin- fier had again renewed their Articles againft their old Vicar and his Curate; and upon Trial of the Caufe the Committee fequeftred the Place, but put no one in- to it, but put the Profits into the Hands of divers of the Inhabitants to pay á Preachertill it were difpofedof. They fent to me, and defined me to take it in cafe I were again enabled to Preach : which I flatly refufed ; and told them , would take only the Leeture , which by his own Confent and Bond I held be- fore. Hereupon they fought to Mr. Br:mobil, and others, to accept the Place , but could not meet with any one to their minds : Therefore they chofe one Mr. Rich- ard Serjant to Officiate , referving the Vicaridge for fome one that were fitter. When I was able ( after about five Months) to go abroad, I went to Kidder- min/ter, where I found only Mr. Sergeant inPoffeffion; and the People again ve- hemently urged me to take the Vicaridge : which I denied ; and got the Magi- Prates and Burgeffes together into the Town-ball, and told them, That ( though I was offered many,Hundred poundsper Annumelfewhere) I was willing to continue- with them in my old Lecturers place which I had before theWars, expeeting they, fhould make the Maintenance an Hundred pounds a year, and a Houfe; and if they would promife to fubmit to that Doetrineof Chrift, which as his Minifter I fhould deliver to them, proved by the Holy Scriptures, I would not leave them. And that this Maintenance fhould neither come out of their ownPurfes, nor any more of it out of the Tythes fave the 6o 1. which the Vicarhad before bound him- fell to pay me, I undertook to procure anAugmentation for Mitten(a Chappel in the Parilh) of 40 kper Annum, which I did ; and fo the 6o 1. andthat 4.0 d. was to be part, and the relt I was to havenothing todo with. This Covenant was drawn up betweenus in Articles, and Subfcribed, in which I difclaimed the Vicaridge. and Paftoral Charge of the Parif i, and only undertookthe Lelture. And thus the Sequefiration continued in the handsof the Towns-men, as afore- laid, who gathered the Tythes, and paid me (not an Hundred as they promifed ) but Eighty pound per Annum, or Ninety at aloft; and Houfe-rent for a few Rooms' in the top of another man'shoule, which is all I had at Kidderminfter. The refs they gave to Mr. Sergeant, and about 40 1. per Annum to theold Vicar, and 61. per Annum to the King and Lord for Rents, befides other Charges. But when they had long continued in this way; they feared left fomé one elle againft their with wouldget a grant of the Sequeftrationfrom the Committee, and therefore theywent privately and got an Order from them to fettle me in the Tide, and never fhewed it me, but kept it by them fecretly, only to fecure the Place from a Surprize, and themfèlvesfrom repaying what theydisburfed. And thus it lay till the King's Coming out of scot/and with his Army to Thor- ee/er : and then, their Hoúfesbeing full of Soldiers, they Nought nie the Order,' and intreated me, if not to ownit, yet to keep it fate, and to fave them harmlea by it, ifthey were called to account. I recite this, becaufe Mr. Thomas Pierce, while he was rageingly fierce to prove me a Thief, and I know not what eu h, cloth charge me with taking this Se- queliration, and fo with taking another man's Bread out of his mouth, and rob- bing the Innocent ; and fò lothBilhop Morley after him; and Darel, Dr.'Beneman, and many others, from him : whereas the Place was fequeftred while I was far endue