Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

$4 The LIFE of the ILIB.I. expe&ed, fo long encouraged me, yet at fan I could endure it no longer ; partly becaufe it hindred my otherStudies, and partly becaufethe very fear of mifcarrying and doing any one harm, did make it an intollerableburden to me : So that after Tome Years Practice, Iprocured a godly, diligent Phyfician to come and live in the Town, and bound my felf by Promife to praetife no more ( unleS in Con- fultation with him in cafe of anyTeeming necefftty ); And fo with that Anfwer I turned them all off, and never medled with it more. But all thefe my Labours ( except my private Conferences with the Families) evenpreaching and preparing for it, were but my Recreations, and as it were the work of my fpare hours : For my Writings were my chiefelt daily Labour ; which yet went the more (lowlyon, that -Inever one hour had an Amanuenis to dit ate to, and fpecially becaufe my WeakneS took up fomuch of my time. For all the Pains that my Infirmities ever brought upon me, were never half fo grievous an Af iótion to me, as theunavoidable lofs of my time, which they occafioned. I could not bear (through theweaknefs of my Stomach ) to rife before Seven a Clock in the Morning, and afterwards not till much later ; and fome Infirmities I labouredunder, made it above an hour before I could be dreil. An hour I muff of necellity have towalk before Dinner,and another before Supper; andafter Sup- per I can feldom Study : All which, betides times of Family Duties, and Prayer, and Eating, ere.. leaveth me but little time toRudy ; which bath been the greatete external Perfonal Aftlietionofall my Life. Betides all thole, every first Wednefday of the Month was our monthly Meeting for Parifh Difcipline ; and every first Thurfday of the month was the Milliners meet- ing for Difcipiine and Difputation : And in thofe Difputationsit fell to my lot to be almoff confiant Moderator ; and for every fuch day (ufually)lIprepared a written De- termination. All which I mention as my Mercies and Delights, andnot as my Bur- dens. And every Tburfday beides, I had the Companyof divers godlyMiniltersat myHoufe after theLefture, with whom I fpent that Afternoon in the trueft Re- creation, till my Neighbours carne to meet for their Exercife of Repetition and Prayer. For ever bleffed be the God of Mercies, that brought me from the Grave, and gave meafter Wars and Sicknefs,fourteen years Liberty in fuch fweet Imployment! And that in times of Ufurpation 1 had all this Mercy and happy Freedom, when under our rightful King and Governour, I and many hundreds more are filenced, and laidby, as broken Veffels, and fufpeted and vilified as fcarce to be tollerated privately and quietly in theLand! That God fhould make days of Licenti- oufnefs and Diforder under an Ufurper fo great a Mercy to me, and many a thou- fand more, who under the lawful Governours which theydelayed, and in the days whenOrder is laid to be reamed, do fome of us fitin obfcuriry and unprofitable fa- ience, and fome lie in Ptifons, and all ofus are accountedas theScum andSwep- ings:or OlFfcouringsof the Earth. § rgti. I'havementioned my fweet and acceptable Employment; Let me to the praife ofmy gracious Lord, acquaint you with fame ofmy Succefs: And I Will not fupprefsit, though I fore-know that the Malignant will impute the men- tionofit to Pride and ORentation. For it is the Sacrifice of Thankfgiving which I owe to my molt graciousGod, which I will not deny him for fear of being cen- futed as proud , left I prove my felf proud indeed , while I cannot undergo the Imputation of Pride in theperformance of my Thanks for fuch undeferved Mer- cies. My publick Preaching met with an attentive diligent Auditory! Having broke overthe brunt of the Oppofition of the Rabblebefore the Wars, I found them after- wards tra&able and unprejudiced. Before I ever entred into the Miniftry, God bleffed my private Conference to the Converfronof fome, who remain firm and eminent in holinefe to this day : But then, and in the beginningof my Miniftry I was wont to number themas Jewels but lince thud couldnot keepanynumber of them. The Congregation was ufually full, fo that we were fain to build five Galleries after any coming thither ( the Church it felf being very capacious, and the molt commodious and Convenient, that ever I wasin). Our private Meetings alfowere full. On the Lord's Days there was no diforder to be Peen in the Streets, but you might hear an hundred Families Singing Pfalms andrepeating Sermons, as you pat: fed through the Streets. In a word, when i came thither first, there was about one Familyin a Street that worfhipped God and calledon his Name, and when I cameaway there were fame Streets where there was not pad one Family in the fide