Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

The Preface to the Reader. And the Knowledge which couldnot keep fome from doing Mifhief in theWorld, and from their being fitted for Hell, and from drawing others after them thither; hath yet helped others to heavenlinefs andHeaven. But he that well confiders what Man is toGod, and God to Man ; what. an Enemy degenerate Man is to God and himfelf; what a date and frame and pofture of War fin hath put Men into, both againit God, themf Ives, and each other'; what an Enemy Satan is to all, and what advantages Sin gives hit» againit us; and how Chrift is engaged againft Satan for us, as the.Captain of our Salvation ; and how he manages this War by his Spirit, Oracles, Ordinances, Officers,and under -Agents in Church and State, and by the Condu& of Providence Over crowned Heads, Thrones, Senates, Armies , Navies, greater and lefsCommunities, and iinglePerlóns; in all things done by them, for them, or upon them,or agàinf them: how he ufes,and influences the Faculties,ArRi- ons, Projects, Confederacies, and Interefts of Men, by poizing them, changing them, and turning them to his own purpofes and praife: He, I fay, that well attends to thefe things in his Hiflorical Readings and Studies; will (tohis profit and delight) difcern God's Providence in and over the Affairs of Men to be exprelfive of God's Name, miniffring to his avouched purpofes, and a great Teftimony to his Word and Son, and to his Covenant and Servants. § V. And fuch a Perron was the Reverend Author (and inpart the Subjedt Matter) of the fubléquentTreatilè. He was an early Votary to his God : fo early as that he knew not when God engaged him fielt unto himfèlf Andhence he in great ,mea- litres efcaped thofeEvil Habits and Calamities which old Ageordinarily pays to dear . for, though he laments the careleGtefs and intemperance of his heft childilh and youthful days. And if the Reader think it ftrange and mean, that thefe, and fome other paflages inferiorie fubfellsj lhould be inferred amongft fo many things far more confiderable, written by himfelf, and publiflsed by me, I crave leave co reply, r. That Cohfcience is a tender thing, and when awaken'd, it accounts no fin !mall, nor any Calamity below molt ferious Thoughts and fenhble and fmart Refentments, that evidently fprings from the leaft Mifcarriage, which might (andought to) have been prevented. z. That the apprehenfion of approaching Death made him fèverer in hisScrutinies and Refle&ions. ;. That lie thence thought himfelf concerned and bound induty to warn othersagainit all which he thought or found fo very prejudicial to his ownSoul and Body. 4. That as mean paffages as there are tobe found in Ancient andModern Lives and Hillories,: which pats not under rigid.Cen- lures. ç. That the Author wrote this his Hillary, l,barfimer raptim, and it was ra- thera Rhaplody than one'continued Work. So that I hope that the obvious ine- qualities ofStyle and Matter, (or the Defe&s in accuracy of Method ( much more the Errours of the Prefs) will be no fcandal to the ingenuous and candid Readers. 6. And as to my luffering fuch things to be expofed to publick view ; can any Man take it ill, that I give him what Mr. Baxter left with me to this end ? and had I thought to have expunged tome things, and to have altered others ,: I could nor have laid as he hindelf did (in his Preface to the Lord. Chief Juftice Hale's Judg, ment of the Nature of true Religion ) ` I rake it as an intolerable Piaculum to pat any alteringband ofmine to the Writing, of fuch a Man But to pars by this His ferioufnefs in and about the greateft things,and his folicitous care, to fave his own and others Souls, and his great zeal for Holinefs,Truth, Concord and Peace amongft all Chriflians abroad, and in there Kingdoms, made him ( when capable thereof) to mind how Matters flood betwixt God and us; and to enter into the Springs of Publick Affairs and Acîions in Church and State : and to take notice of the Origi- nais, Initruments, Principles, Progrefs, Tra&s, Traverfes, and Refults of Things. How Men were placed, 1pirited, influenced and engaged : and how herein they minilired to the woesor welfare of the Publick, of rhemfelves, and of Pofterity. And very loth he was that all lhould be impofed upon and injured by partial or faire I-Iilfory; and hi become Deceiversor Deceived, and Scandalizers or Scanda- lized. He wellconlidered what a faithful Hilory of his Times might import to alt And hence, having had fuch perte& underftandingof all the Things here treated on, from the firfl, he thought it notemits to write the chiefeft of them in order; that others might know the certainty of things, to the. better inlitution of after Condu& andDeportment: and (if it may yet be) tocall the Guilty of all Parties yet alive, to due Repentance, and Returns to God. hs §VI.