Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

vi PREFACE. and his writings. It is therefore the less remarkable that Mr. Addison, from an accidental and very im- perfect acquaintance, but with his usual pleasantness and candour, should mention the following inci- dént : "1 once met with a page of Mr. Baxter "Upon the perusal of it I conceived so good an idea "of the author's piety, that I bought the whole " book. Whatever other causes might concur, it must chiefly be ascribed to Mr. Baxter's distinguished reputation as a preacher and a writer, that presently after the Restoration he was appointed one of the chaplains in ordinary to king Charles II. and preached once before him in that capacity; as also he had an offer made him by the lord chancellor Clarendon, of the bishopric of Hereford, which, in a respectful letter to his lordship,.. he saw proper to decline. The Saint's Rest is deservedly esteemed one of the most valuable parts of his practical works. He wrote it when he was far from home, without any books to consult but his Bible, and in such an ill state of health, . as to be in continual expectation of death for many months ; and therefore, merely for his own use, he fixt his thoughts on this heavenly subject, " which (says he) bath more benefited me than all the studies of my life." At this time he could be little more than thirty years old. He afterwards preached over the subject in his weekly lecture at Kidderminster, and in 1656 he published it and indeed it appears to have been the first that ever he published of all his practical writings. Of this book Dr. Bates says, " It "was written by him when languishing in the sus- "pence of life and death, but has the signatures of his "holy, vigorous mind. To allure our desires, he un- " veils the sanctuary above, and discovers the glories "and joys of the blessed in the divine presence, by a "light so strong and lively, that all the glittering va " pities of this world vanish in that comparison, and "a sincere believer will despise them, as one of mature " age does the toys and baubles of children. To ex- " cite our fears, he removes the screen, and makes the