Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

108 `Ihe LIFE of the L I B. I. ethon thofe two Points, to make good what he had Paid in his M. S. again me: ( though the Reader that knoweth not what raft between him and me, will not underftand how thefe Paffages there fell in, and fome Divines have told me how excellent a Book it had been, if he had not been led afide in thofe Particulars ; not knowing how it came to pars, the ablefl Men beingfometimes moft hard- ly drawn to defert any thing which theyhave once affirmed ). He bath writ- ten alto Animadverfions on Hobbes; and a piece of Ecclefiaffical and Civil Policy, according to the Method of Politicks ; an excellent Book, were it not that he feemeth to juftify the Kings Death, and meddle too boldly with the Political Controverses of the times ( though he be a Conformift ) : Alfo I have feen fome ingenuous Manufcripts of his for the taking of the Engagement (to be true to the Commonwealth as eftablilhed without a King and Houfe of Lords) his Opi- nionbeing much for fubmitting to the prefent Poffeffor, though aUfurper ) : But I thought thofe Paperseafily anfwerable. His Animadverfions on my Papers were large, inwhich hefrequently took occalion to be copious and diftind in laying down his own Judgment, which pleated me very well: 1 returned him a full Anfwer, and receivedfrom him a largeReply ; infleadof a Rejoinder to which, I fummd up our Differences, and fpoke to them briefly and diftindIly, and not ver- batim to the Words of his Book. I mutt thankfully acknowledge that I learnt morefrom Mr. Lawfen than from any Divine that gave meAnimadverfions, or that ever I converted with : For two or three Paffages in my firft Reply to himhe con- vincedme were Miffakes, and I found up anddown in him thole hintsof Truths whichhad a great deal of Light in them, and were very apt for good Improve- ment : Efpecially hisinftigating me to the Study of Politicks, (in which he much lamented the Ignorance of Divines) did prove a fingular Benefit to me. I confefs it is long of my own Uncapablenefs that I have received no more good from others : But yet I mull be fo grateful as to confet that my Underftanding bath made a better Improvement ( for the fudden fonfible increafeof niy Know. ledge) of Grotius de Satisfaltione Cbrifti, and of Mr. Lawfon's Manufcripts, thatí ofany thing elfe that ever I read ; and they convinced me how unfit we are to write about Chrill's Government, and Laws, and yedgment, &c. while we underftand not the true Nature of Government, Laws and yndgmem in thegeneral ; and that he that is ignorant of Politicks and of the Law of Nature, will be ignorant and er- roneous in Divinity and the facred Scriptures. 4 r 57. a. TheSecond Book which I wrote ( and the firft which I began) was that called, The Saints evcrlafling Reft : Whilft I was in Health I had not the leaft thought of writing Books ; or of ferving God in any more publick way than Preaching : But whenI ssas weakened with great bleeding, and left folitary in my Chamber at Sir yobnCook's in Derbyfhire, without any Acquaintance, but my Ser- vant, about me, and wasfentenced to Death bythe Phyficians, I began to contem- plate more feriousy on the Everlafting Reft which I apprehendedmy Pelf to be jolt on the Borders of. And that myThoughts might not too much leaner in my Meditation, I began to write fomething on that Subjeâ, intending but the Quan- tity of a Sermon or two ( which is the caufe that the Beginningis inbrevity and Style difproportionable to the reft ); but being continued long in Weaknefs, whereI had no Books nor no better Employment , I followed it on till it was en- larged to the bulk in which it is publifed: The firít Three Weeks I fpent in it was at Mr. Nowel's Houfe at Kirkby-Mallory inLeiceflerfhire ; a quarter of a Year more, at theSeafons which fo great Weaknefs would allow, I bellowed on it at Sir Tbo Reeds Houle at Roue-LencbinWorcefterfhire; and I finilhed it Ihortly after at Kid - derminfeer The firft and left Parts were firft done, being all that I intended for my own tife; and the fecondand third Parts came afterwards in betides my firft In- tention. This Book it pleafed God fo far to blefi to the Profit of many, that it encou- raged me to be guilty ofall thofe Scriptswhich afterfollowed. The Marginal Ci- tations I put in after I came home tomy Books ; but almoft all the Book it felf was written when I had noBook but a Bible and a Concordance : And Ifound that the Tranfcript of the Heart bath the greateft force on the Hearts of others : For the Good that I haveheard that Multitudeshavereceived by thatWriting,and theBe- nefit which I have again received by their Prayers, I herehumbly return my Thanks to him that compelled me to write it. S aS9. 3. The ThirdBook which I publifhed was that which is entituled, Plain Scripture Proof for Infants Cbercb-Memberfbip and Baptifm: being the Arguments ofd in