Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

The Preface to the Reader. Such was the Exemplary Ingenuity and true Equity and Candour of this wor- thy Perfon. . But the boldeft Stroke that ever Ì met with at the Reputation of this worthy Perfon Mr. Baxter, occurs in a Letter that I have lately received from a Perfon very credible ( out of Worcefterfhire, Dated Mareb the firft, 3691. ) The Sum whereof is this: _i ]Ere is àReport infbme Perfons.moutbs that Mr. Baxter, before he dyed, ,andfo jam. tillbis Death, was in a great doubt and trouble about a Future State. It is fuggfbei that be continued infacb Doubt, orl.atber was inclining to think there was no Fatale State at all , and that he ended bis Days'under flab a Perfwafon; which occafs- seed no fmall trouble to bim, be having written fo many things to perfwadeperfoas to be= lieve there was.. This Report is related to me as brought down from London by no mean Man ; by one of great Repute in his Faculty, and well known through the Nation, frequently an Hearer of Mr. Baxter, and an honourable Perfon. And lam further informed by the fameHand, That it is there reported that many ofhis Friends, Per- font of quality about London, know the truth of it. x. elution feminist ! What will degenerate Mán flick at ! We know nothing here that could in the le&minifter to tuch a Report as this. I that was with him all along, have ever heard him triumphing in his heavenly Expefkation, and ever fpeaking likeone that could never have thought it worth. a Man's while to be, were it not for the great Intereff and Ends of Godlinefs. He told me that he doubted not, but that it would be heft for him when he had left this Life, and was tranflated to the heavenlyRegions. 2. He own'd what he had written, with reference to the Things of God, to the very laft. He advifed thofe that came near him carefully to mind their Soul Concerns. The thortnefs of Time, the inftancy of Eternity, the worth of Souls, the greamefs of God, the riches of the Grace of Chrift, and the excellency and import of an heavenly Mind and Life, and the great ufefulnefs of the Word and Means of Grace purfuant to Eternal Purpofes, they ever lay prellingly upon his own Heart, and extorted from him very ufeful Diredtions and Encouragements to all that camenear him, evento the laft. Infomuch, as that if a Polemical or Ca- fuiltical Point, or any Speculation in Philofophy or Divinity, had been but of- fered to him for his Refolution, after thecleareft and briefeft Reprefentationofhis Mind, which the Propofer's Satisfa&ion call'd for, he prefently and molt de- lightfullyfell into Converfation about what related to our Chriftian Hope and Work. ;. Had he thought that,tliere had been no Future State for Man to be Con- cern'd about, why was he fodelighted in a hopeful Race of young Minihers and Chriftians ? to my knowledge hegreatly valued young Divines, and hopeful Can didates forthe Miniftry : Hewas molt liberal ofCounfel and Encouragement to them, and moll inquifitive after, and pleated with their growthful Numbers and Improvement: And hetold me, and fpake it in my hearing, That he had the greateft Hopes and Expebtations from the fucceeding Generation of them : And he pleafed himfelf with the Hopes and Expe&ations of this, that they would do God's Work much better than we had done before , and efcape our Errours and Defedts. 4. Any Man that reads his laft Will may eafily fee that, his Apprehenfions and Difpofition did not favour of filch Scepticifm as the Report inlnuates. That pare thereof which may Confirm the Reader that Mr. Baxter had no filch Thoughts abiding in him , IIhall here for theReader's Satisfaction lay before him ; which is as followeth: IRichard Baxter of London Clerk, seaworthy Servant of yefus Cbria, drawing to the End of this Tra>filmy Life, laving through God's great Mercy the free ufe of my Underftanding, domake this my loll Will and Teftament My Spirit I commit, with Truf and Hope of. the Heavenly Felicity, into the Hand, of ` fefas say glorified Redeemer and Intercefrr and by bi, Mediation into the hand, of Go4 my reconciled Father, the,