Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

The .L IFE of the L 1'B. I By which means my AffeElion was carried on with my Judgment: And by that . means I profecuted all my Studies with unweariednefs and delight t And by that means all that I read did flick the better in my memory : and alfo lefs of my time was loft by lazy intermiflìons : (but my bodily Infirmities always caufed me to tole ( or fpend ) much of it in Motion and CorporalExercifes; which was fine- ti nes by Walking, and fometimes at the Plow, and fach Country Labours). But one lofs 1 had by this Method, which hath proved irreparable ; That Imitt that part of Learning which flood at the greateft diftance ( in my thoughts) from my Ultimate End,(though nodoubt but remotely it may be avaluable means), and I could never line find time to getft. Betides the Latin Tongue, and but a me- diocrity in Greek ( with an inconliderable trial at the Hebrew long after) I had no great skill in Languages : Though I faw that an accuratenefs and thorow in- fight in the Greek and Hebrew were very defirable ; but I was fo eagerly carried after the Knowledge of Things, that I too much negledted the Rudy of Words. And forthe Matbematicks, 1 was an utter ftranger to them, and never could find in my heart to divert any Studies that way. But in order to the Knowledge ofDivinity treat inclination was molt to gcmy felf at fir i with with that (lighter tudyPofhewrleßh And thefe had my Labour andDelight. Which occaftoned me ( perhaps too foon ) to plunge my felf very early into the fludy of Controverfres; and to read all the School- men I could get ; ( for next PraElical Divinity, noBooks fo fuited with my Difpofition as Aquino", Scotus, Durandus, Ockam, and their Difciples; becaufe I thought they narrowly fearched after Truth, and brought Things out of the dark- nefs of Confufion : For I could never from my firft Studiesendure Conffon: Till' Equivocal.; were explained, and Definition and Difíinûion led the way, I had rather hold my Tongue than fpeakl and was never more weary of Learned Mens Dif- courfes, thanwhen I heard them long wrangling about unexpounded Words or Things, andeagerly Difputing before they underftood each others Minds; and ve- hemently afferting Modes and Confequences and Adjunfls, before they confidered of the Quod ft, the Quid fir, or the Quotuplex. I never thought I underftood any thing till I could anatomize it, and fee the parts diflinïtly, and the ConjunEtionof the parts as they make up the whole. Difiinstion and Method feemed to nie of that ne- ceflity, that without them I could not be laid toknow ; and the Difputes which forfook them, or abufed them, feembut as incoherent Dreams. § 6. And as for thofe Doubts of my own Salvation , whichexercifed me many years, the chiefeft Caufes of themwere theft r. Becaufe I could not diftinéìly trace the Workings of the Spirit upon myheart in that method which Mr. Bolton, Mr. Hooker, Mr. Rogers, and other Divines de- fèribe ! nor knew the Time of my Converfion, being wrought on by the fore- mentioned Degrees. But fence then Iunderftood that the Soul is in too dark and pa(lionate a plight at firft, tobe able to keep an exatft account of the order of its own Operations ; and that preparatory Grace being fometimes longer and fometimes Ikorrer, and the firft degree of Special Grace beingufually very fmall, it 'is not polhble that one of very many Ihould be able to give any true account of the jolt Timewhen Special Grace began, and advanced him above the flare of Prepara- tion, z. My fecondDoubt was as aforefaid, becaufe of thebardneßof my beart,or want of fuch lively Apprebenfonsof Things Spiritual, Whit I had about Things Corpo- ral. And though I fä11 groan under this as my fin and want , yet I now perceive that a Soul in Flefh doth work fo much after the manner of the Flefh, that it much defireth fenfible Apprehenfions; but Things Spiritual andDiflant are not fò apt to work upon them, and to ttir the Paffions, as Things prefent and fenfible are ; efpecially being known fo darkly as the Bate and operations of feparated Souls,, are known to us who are in theBody : And that the Rational Operations of the higher Faculties ( the Intelle&and Will) may without fo much paillon, fet God and Things Spiritual higheft within us, and give them the preheminence, and fubjedl all Carnal Intereit to them, and give them the Government of the Heart and Life : and that this is the ordinary Bateof a Believer. ;. My next Doubt was, left Education and Fearhad done all that ever was done Conviâi and and. Love were found more Fear than Love in all my found and Ref[rainto. But