Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

The Preface to the Reader. prove their Cenfures and Reflections, if filch th °ngs mult be my Difcipline andLot Quo guifgue eft major magic eft placabilia ira Et faciles motusmensGenerofa capit. Corpora Magnanimo facia ell proflralle Leoni Pugna forum fsnem cumjacet bofts,.babet. At lupus do. tropes inftant Morientìbus urf Et gueecungue minor nobilitate fera.eft.. .. Ovid. Trill. Eleg. iv. However let the Readerbear with me if I attempt to obviate what I apprehend Molt likely forMen to reply and urge upon me,by offering thefe things taferious and impartial Thoughts, relating to a. The Author, z. The Treatife, 3. The Publication, And 4. My felf. FirE the Author. . r. Hewas one who lov'd to fee and let things in their cleareft, andmolf genuine Light ; he well confidered what fort and lize of Evidence and Proof all things were capable of. Matters of Senfe are evident by their due Appulfeson the Sentes. Matters of Doófrinal Truth by Demonllration ; Matters of Hiffory by credible report : and he could confider well how Certainty and Probability differed. Nor was he willing to be impofed upon, or deceived through Prejudice, Lazinefs, Inte- refl, or a faelious Spirit. To fay he never was miftaken ( for undoubtedly he had his Errours and Miffakes, Tome of them rerraded, and publickly acknowledgd by him when difcern'd) is to attribute more tohim, than any meet Man can fay: andmore than any impartial and fevere Student will arrogate to himfelf. I Thal! never call the Retra&anon of a difcovered Errour or Miftake, a Fault; but rather a commendable Excellence : and I judge it better to argue clofely, than bitterly to recriminate or traduce. Truth needs neither Scoff nor Satyr to defend it. z.This made him fo folicitous to leave behindhim filchan Impartial Account of the Hiflory of his Times, andof his own Endeavoursin his place and day to promote Holinefs, Truth and Peace. 3. Hehence obferv'd how thefe great Concerns were either promoted or ob- ftruded ; and by whom. What was amifs, or right, either in himfelf or others, Ó'c. 4. He was concerned to prevent Mifapprehenfions,Prejudice, Cenfures and Scan- dals for time to come ; tocall the Guilty to Repentance; to clear the Innocent,and warn the prefect and fucceeding Generations againif their being fplit upon the like Rocks; to lay all Mifcarriages at their right Doors; and to undeceive Forreiga Churches and Kingdoms, and to deliver them from being impofed on, by falfe Re-, prefentations of our Affairs at home. S. He had an acrimonious pungent Stile indeed, contra&ed by his plain dealing withobltinate Sinners> whirls he told are was much feverer than his Spirit was. He lov'd to give Sins and Sinners what Names might make themfelves and all Men moff fenlible oftheir aggravated Crimes.And yet he was averfe from blackning them more than there was reafonfor in his judgment : and from concluding Men grace- lefs or hopelefs from any particular Mifdemeanoursor Defe&s. 6. He was publick fpirited, and valued not (nor would hebe fwayed by)Parties, Names or Intereffs.HisSoul was drawn out toa greater length, and wrought into a finer temper , than toover -look any thing truly Excellent and Worthy in any one, thoughof a different Charaler and Perfwafion fromhimfelf, as to thingsofa lower Nature,and confiffent with the Spirit and great Defigns of Chriilianity. I have heard him great and copious in his Commendations offeveral Prelates and Conformifts.And ter the Reader pardon me if I tell him the RightReverend the Archbilhop of Canter- bury,Dr.Tenifon,the Reverendprefect Bithops ofWúreofter and Ely,were exprefly men- timed by him to me as Perlons greatly admired, and highly valued by him ; and of theirreadinefs to ferve the Publick Interelf, both Civil and Religious, he told me he doubtednot. And for feveral of their excellent and ufeful Labours, I think my felt (amongftmany others) obliged to bid; God, and thank them ;, though I be unknown to them, and indeed def rvedly below their Notice.) His great Concern and vehement Delirewas for a Commeheofion fit to include all peaceable, ufeful, ütber Perlons. And he thought it not impoflible nor incongruous to fix upon Foun- dations large and flrong enough, fo as to take in all that might fitly contribute to Publick