Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

The LIFE of the Lis. I. was feared that he and more ofthem came by their Orders the fameway with the forementioned Perfon : Thefewere the School -mailers ofmy Youth (except two of them :) who read Common Prayer on Sundays and Holy -days, and taught School and tipled on the Week - days,and whipt theBoys when they were drunk,fo that we changed them very oft. Within a few miles about us,werenear a dozen moreMi- nifters that were near Eighty years old apiece, and never preached ; poor ignorant Readers,and moll ofthem ofScandalous Lives : only three or four confiant com- petent Preachers lived near us, and thofe (though Conformable all fave one ) were the commonMarks of the People's Obloquy and Reproach, and any that had but gone to hear them, when he had noPreaching at home, was made the Durillon of the Vulgar Rabble, under the odious Name ofa Puritan. But though we had no better Teachers , it pleated God to inflru& and change my Father, by the bare reading of the Scriptures in private,without either Preach- ing, or Godly Company, or anyother Books but the Bible: And God made him the Initrument of my first Convt&ions, and Approbation of a Holy Life, as well as of my Refrain from the groffer fort of Lives, When I was very young, his ferious Speechesof God and the Life to come, poffeffed me with a fear of fin- ning : When I wasbut nearTenyears of Age, being at School at Higb.Ercall , we had leave to play on the Dayof the Kings Coronation ; andat Two ofthe Clock afternoon on that Day there happened an Earthquake, which put all the People into a fear, and fomewhat poffeffedthemwith awful thoughts of the Dreadful God. (I make no Commentary on theTime; nor do I know certainly whether it were in other Countreys.) At firft my Fatherfet me to read the Hiftorical part of the Scripture, which fuit- ing with my Nature greatly delighted me; and though all that time I neither un- derstood nor relished much the Do&rinal Part, and Mystery ofRedemption, yet it did megood by acquainting me with the Matters of Fa&, and drawing me on to love the Bible, and to fearch by degrees intothe ref. But thoughmy Confciencewould trouble me when I finned, yet divers fins I was addieted to, and oft committedagainft my Confcience; which for the warn- ing ofothers I will confefs here to my shame. a. I was much addi&ed.when, I feared Corrre&ionto lie, that I might fcape. 2. Iwas much addi&ed to the excelliive gluttonous eating ofApples and Pears : which I think laid the foundationof that Imbecdlliry and Flatulency ofmy Stomach, which caufed the Bodily Calamities of myLife. 3. To this end, and toconcur with naughtyBoys that gloried in evil, I have oft gone into other men's Orchards , and foln their Fruit, when I had enough at home. 4. 1 was fomewhat excefliively addi&ed to play, and that with covetoufnefs, for Money. S. I was extreamly bewitched with a Loveof Romances, Fables and old Tales, which corrupted my Affe&ions and loft my Time. 6. i was guilty ofmuch idle foolish Chat, and imitation of Boys in fcurrilous foolish Words and A&ions (though I durf not fwear). 7. I was too proud ofmy Matters Commendations for Learning,who all of them fed my pride, making meSeven or Eight years the higheft in the School , and boating of me to others, which though it furthered my Learning, yet helped not my Humility. 8. I wastoo bold and unreverent towards my Parents. Thefe were my Sins which in my Childhood Confcience troubled me for a great while before they were overcome. In the Village where I lived the Reader read the Common-Prayer briefly, and the tell of the Day even till dark Night almolt, except Eating time, was fpenc in Dancing under a May-Pole anda great Tree,not far front my Father's Door; where all the Town did meet together : And though one ofmy Father's own Tenants was the Piper, he could not refrain him, norbreak the Sport : So that we could not read theScripture in our Family without the great dinurbanceo. theTaber and Pipe and Noife in the Street ! Many times my Mind was inclined to be among them, and fòmetimes I broke look from Coniience, and joyned with them; and the more I did it the more I was enclined ro it. But when I heard them call my Father Puritan; it did much to cure me and alienate me from them : for I confi- der'd that my Father's Exercife of Reading the Scripture, was better than theirs, and would Purelybe better thought on by all men at the Tall; and I conldered what it was for that he and others were that derided. When I heard them fpeak fcornfully