Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

The Preface to the Reader. VI,< The followingHiftory takes a'confiderable compafs ( fromA. 0.1615. to r684) and itWill entertainthe Reader with no fmail variety of ufeful and delightful Matter. I, You have here the Hiftoryof God's early, kind, and e powerful Dealings with him- felf, foas to enprinciple and train him up as a Chriftian : and how God tonch'd and fixed his Soul forhimfeif in Chriftian Bonds. God call that Mantle on him which made his heart to turn and Rand towards him s and be rpoft ambitious o and folicitous about his pardon from, fellowfhip with, devotednefs to, and living with God in the heavenly glory. Then God acquainted him with his natural, de- generate and loft felf, till Chrift by Grace befriended and relieved him. When ma- king towards, and brought to Chrift, he is pre1 ntly and (enfibly engaged inferrer and open War withSatan and his own Leif. And here hisConflióts and Temptations are gradually and wifely ordered him, and lec loofeupon him ; but every way fuit- ed to his ftrength and benefit. His Exercifes were and muff be fuch as (hall put him to deep Thoughts, clofe Studies, ftri t Guards and Watchings, fervent Prayer, and a quick fenfe of the Neceffity of daily help fromHeaven. And Satan is permitted toattack him in all the Articles of his Chriftian Faith, and in the Foundation of his Heavenly Hopes. He was fo feverely urged b,Satan to Atheifm,Scepticifm,In- fidelity, and followed with fuch perplexing Difficulties and amazing Intricacies a- bout both Natural and Revealed Religion, as that he had concerned and earneft breathings after, value of, and refolution for full Satisfaítion about both the Foun- dations and SuperftrsEture of Religion. Slight Studies , precarious though confi- dent Affertions, the Publick Vogue and Suffragesof Men, Worldly Interests, Popu- lar Applaufes, and Fleshly Eafe, could fet no Pints and limitstd his inquihtive Mind and painful .Searches. His Soul ever lay open to Evidence: His Eye was fit* upon the Matter to find out that : he then confidered Words as the fit Portraiétures of Things, and Reprefentations of Humane Apprehenfrons to mutual Information a- bout Thingsand Words. And when heobserved Wordsto be fo equivocal, and of fuch lax, uncertain fence, he was evercareful to give Expreffions their Prix and just Interpretations, and to be clear about the fixed fenceof doubtful Terms. And from theaccuracy of his Judgment, and finenefs of his Thought, and from the impetu- oufnefs of his tiefstes and endeavours to know.Things clearly, orderly and diftinft- ly, aroff that multitude and variety of Diftin,tions, (manywhereof were thought unufual, though I never thought yet any of them u(ele(s and impertinent as impro- ved by him) which ufually accompanied his Difcourfe and Writings. But (tocon- clude this Head) clear knowledge of the Name and Kingdom of God in Chrift, well grounded Faith, lively Hopes, rational Satisfa6tiota about the Safety of his State and Saul, the Soondnefs and due Furnitureof his Inner Man in order to hisfulfilling after God and ChriP,and -an Exemplary Holy Life,an happyDeath,a joyful Refurre- Etion, there were the Pleafure, Ambition and Employment of his Life ; as alfo to be found inChriP,and every way faithful and fruitful tohim.Andby what Instruments, Steps and Methods, God brought him hitherto, this following Account of his, from hisown Pen will tell you: As alfo to what he ever had recourfefor his ownPerfon- alSatisfadion and Redrefs, and how God exercifed and used his Parts and Thoughts herein. You have here the Hifiory of his Minifterial Self God fet upon hisSoul, asone refolv'd to qualifie and anoint it in no ordinary manner, for that Sacred Fun&ion, whereunto ( after many Temptations and Attempts to fix him in fomeother Stati- on and Employment, both from others and himfelf) by the Call and Conduet of his heavenly Mater, he applied and kept himfelfat laB. God throughly made him fire to know the Soul which he had breathed into him, as to its Faculties, Capaci- ties, Worth and Ufefulnefs. God madehim feel and mind that Body wherein this Soul of his was lodged ; and wherein and how far his better Parc might be helped or hinder'd thereby : and the two Worlds whereto both Soul and Body were rela- ted ; and wherewith they were variously concerned. And in this World God fix'd him in fuch a Profpeet of another, as made him intimately and sharply-feel both what, and where, amidst what Circumstances,.anti to what purpofes he here a bode in painful, exercifed and declining Flelh. And all this gave him great Advantages and Inducements to deal more clolèly, skilfully, diligently, andconitantly, and im- portunately with Souls, about their great Concerns. And what a Transcript God made him of what the Apofllefpeaksas to himfelf-nd Timothy, in Col. r.zf --ap. the following History of his Kidderminfler (andother) Labours and Succeffes in the Gofpel, will convince you to great Sarisfaftiox: as allo of what Oppofitions and Deliverances and Prefervations he met with there. And