Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

aq- The LIFE of the iI&.I, crowds of Words ; feeing thefe two were reputed the ftrongeft on each fide; So I borrowed Amelia, his FreJhSuit, &c. and becaufe I could not keep it 1 tranfcribed the frength of it the broad Margin of Dr. Burger his Rejoynder, over againft each Paragraph which he replied to : And I fpent a confiderable time in the 1tridelt . Examination of both which I could perform. And' the refult.ofall my Studies was as followeth : Kneeling I thought lawful, and all meet Circumftances determined by the Magiftrate, which God in Nature or Scripturehath determined ofonlyin the General.The Surplice I more doubted of; but more inclined to think it lawful : And though Ipurpofed, while I doubted, to forbearit till neceffity lay upon me, yet could I not have jullified the forfaking ofmy Minilry for it ; ( thoughI never wore it to this day). The Ring in Mar- riage I made noScrupleabout. TheCrofs in Baptifm I thought Dr. Amer proved unlawful; and though I wasnot without fonte doubting in the Point, yet becaufe I molt inclined to judge it unlawful, never once ufed it to this day. A Form of Prayer and Liturgy I judged to be lawful, and in tome Cafes lawfully impofed : Our Liturgy in particular, I judged to have much diforder and defeEtiveneß in it, but nothing which thould make the ufe ofit, in the ordinary Publick Worfhip, to be unlawful to them that havenot Liberty to do better. Difcipline I wanted in the Church, and faw the fad Effects of its negle& : But I did not then underhand that the very Frame of. Diocefan Prelacy excluded it, but thought it had been on- ty the Bilkops perfonai negleóls. Subfcription I began to judge unlawful, and faw that I finned by temerity in what I did: For though I could Bill ufe the Common Prayer, and was not yet againft Diocefans , yet to Subfcribe , Ex Animo, That there it nothingh the three Books contrary to the Word ofGod, was that, which ifit had been to do again, I durft not do. So that Subfcription, and the Croft in Baptifm,-and thepromifuonsgiving of the Lord's Supper to all Drunkards, Swearers, Fornicators, Seer- ners at Gedlineß, &c. that are not Excommunicateby a Bithop of Chancellor that is out of their Acquaintance. Theft three were all that I now became a Noncom formift to. But moil of this I kept tomy felt I daily difputed againft the Nonconformirts ; for I found their Cenforioufnefs and Inclinations towards Seperation,(in the weak- er fort of them) to be a ThreatningEvil, and contrary to Chri(tian Charity on one fide, as Perfecution is on the other. Some of them that pretended to much Learning, engaged me in Writing to difpute the Cafe of Kneeling at the Sacra- ments ; which I followed till they gave it over. I laboured continually to reprefs their Cenf rioufnefs, and the boldnefs and bitrernets of their Language againft the Bilhçtps, and to reduce themeto greater_Patience and Charity. But I found that their' Sufferings from the Bifhops were the great Impediment of my Succefs, and that he that will blow the Coals mull not wonder if fome Sparks do fly in his face; and that to perfecute Men, and then call them to Charity, is like whipping Children to make them give over Crying. The fronger fort of Chri- flians can bear Molds and Imprifonments and Reproaches for obeying God and Confèience,without abating their Charity or their. Weaknefs to their Pertecutors;but to expe& this from all the weak and injudicious,the young and paffionate,is againft all Reafori and Experience : I faw that he that will be loved, mutt love ; and he- that rather choofeth to be morefeared than loved, mull expel to be hated, or lo- ved but diminutively : And he that will have Children, mull be a Father: and he that will be a Tyrant muff be contented with Slaves.' § zo. In this Town of Dudley I lived ( not a Twelve-month) in much com- fort, among1 a poor traetable People, lately famous for Drunkennefs, but com- monly more ready tohear God's- Word with fubutillionand reformation, than moll Places where I have come: fo that having lime the Wars fet up a Monthly, Le- duc there, the Church was ufually as much crowded within, andat the Windows, as ever I faw any London Cdngregations: (Partly through the great willingnefs of the People, and partly by the exceeding populoírfnefs of the Country, where the Woods and Commons are planted with Nailers, Scithe Smiths ,. and other Iron- Labourers, like a continued Village). And here in my weaknefs I was obliged to thankfulnefs to God, for a conveni- ent Habitation, and the tender care of Mr. R. Foley's Wife, a Genlewoman of ftch extraordinary Meeknefs and Patience, with lincere Piety , at will not eafily be believed by thofe that knew her not ! who died about two years after. § zr. When I had been but three quarters of a year at Dudley, I was by God's very gracious Providence invited to Bridgnorth, the fecond Town of Sbropfhire, to preach there as Affiliant to theworthy Pallor of that place. As Loon as I heard the