Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

P A It T I. Reverend Mr. Richard Baxter. 53 was come to Cromwell before me, (. I believe by Col. Purefeys means ) : tut Col. Whalley welcomed me, andwas-the worfe thought on for it by the reft of the Ca- bal. 77. Here I fet my fell from day to day to find out the Corruptions of the Soldiers; and to difcourfe and difpute them out of their miltakes, hoth Religious and Political: My Life among them was a daily contending againft Seducers, and gently arguing with the more Tradable, and another kind of Militia I had than theirs. I found that manyhonest Men of weak judgments and little acquaintance with fuch Matters, had been feduced intoa difputing vein,and made it coo much of their Religionto talk for this Opinion and for that ; fometimes for State Democracy and fometime for Church Democracy; fometimes againft Forms of Prayer, and fometimes againft Infant Baptifm , (which yet lime of themdid maintain); fome- times againft Set-times of Prayer, and againft the tying of our (elves to any Duty before the Spirit move us ; and fometimes about Free-grace and Free-will, and all the Points of Antinomianifm and Arminianifm. So that I was almoft always; when I had opportunity, difputing with one or other ofthem ; fometimes for our Civil Government, and fometimes for Church Order and Government; fome- times for Infant'Baptifm,andoft againftAntinomianifm and the contrary Extream, But their moff frequent andvehement Difputeswere for ¡Libertyof Conkience, as they ; that is, that the CivilMagiftrate had nothingto do to determine of any thing inMatters of Religion, by connraint or reftraint, but every Man might not only boll, but preachand do in Matters of Religion what he pleafed: That the Civil Magiftratehash nothing to do but with Civil Things, to keep the Peace, and protect the Churches Liberties, 6-e. I found that one half almoft of the Religious Party among them were fach as were either Orthodox, or but very lightly touched with their miftakes; and al- molt another halfwere honeftmen, thatItept further into the contending way, than they could well get out ofagain, but with competent help might be recovered :. But a few fiery, felfconceitedmen among themkindled the ref', and made allthe noife and bugle, and carried about the Army as they pleafed. For the greaten part of the commonSoldiers, efpecially of theFoot, were ignorant men, of little Religion, abundance of them Inch as had been taken Prifoners, or turned out of Garrifonsunder the King, and had been Soldiers in his Army : And thefe would do any thing to pleafe their Officers, and were ready Innrutnents for the Seducers, efpecially in their great Work, which was to t:rydown the Covenant , to vilifie alt Parifh Minilters, but efpecially the Scots and Presbyterians : For the molt of the Soldiers that I fpoke withnever took the Covenant, becaufe it tied them to defend the King's Perfon, and toextirpate I-lerefie and Schifra. Becaufe I perceived that it was a few Men that bore, theBell, that did all the hurt among them, I acquainted my felfwith thofe Men, and would be oft difpu- ting with them in the hearing of the felt ; and I found' that they were men that had been in London, hatcht up among the old Separatifts, and had made it all the matter of their Study and Religion ro rail againft Minifters, and Para Churches, andPresbyterians, and had littleother knowledge, nor Iittle difcourfeof any thing about the Heart or Heaven: but were fierce with Prideand Selfconceitednefs, and had gotten a very great conqueft over their Charity, both to the Epifcopal and Presbyterians. ( Whereas many ofchore honeft Soldiers which were tainted but with Come doubts about Liberty of Confcienceor Independency, were men that would Difcourfe of the Points of Sanctification and Chriftian Experience very fa- vonrily.) But we fo far prevailed in opening the folly of thefeRevilers and Self-conceited men, as thatfonte of them became the laughingdtock of the Soldiers before I left thesis ; and when they preached(for great Preachers they were) their weaknefs ex-. pofed thetas to contempt. A great part of the mifchiefthey did among the Soldi- ers'was by Pamphlets, which they abundantlydifperfed; fuch as R.Overtone, Mar- Mar-Priefi, and more of his ; andforce of °f. Lilburn's, who was one of them and divers againft the King, and againft theMiniltry , and for Liberty of Con- fcience, &e. And Soldiers being ufually difperft in their Quarters, they had (hell Books to readwhen they had none to contradict them: But there was yet a more dangerous Party thanall thefe among them, (only in Major Bethel's Troop of our Regiment) who rook the dire(Jefuitical way : They firm molt vehemently declaimed againft theDodrineof Ele&ion, and for thepow, er ofFreewill, and all other Points which are controverted between the Jefuitsand Donal