Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

1V PREFACE. tomed, a person, in passing through the town, in the° intervals of public worship, might overhear hundreds of families engaged in singing psalms, reading the scriptures,- and other good books, or such sermons as they had wrote down, while they heard them from the pulpit. His care of the souls committed to his charge, and the success of his labours among them, were truly remarkable ; for the number of his stated communicants rose to six hundred, of whom he himself declared, there were not twelve concerning . ing whose sincere piety he had not reason to enter- tain good hopes. Blessed be God, the religious spi- rit which was thus happily introduced, is yet to be traced in the town and neighbourhood in some de- gree: (® that it were in a greater!) and in proportion as that spirit remains, the name of Mr. Baxter continues in the most honourable and affectionate rémembrance. As a writer, he has the approbation of some of his greatest contemporaries, who best knew him, and were under no temptations to be partial in his favour. Dr. Barrow said, " His practical writings were never mend- " ed, and his controversial ones seldom confuted." With a view to his casuistical writings, the honourable Robert Boyle, esq. declared, " He was the fittest man " of his age for a casuist, because he feared no man's " displeasure, nor hoped for any man's preferment." Bishop Wilkins observed of him, " That he had "cultivated every subject he had handled; that if he " had lived in the primitive times, he would have "been one of the fathers of the church; and that it " was enough for one age to produce such a person as " Mr. Baxter." Archbishop Usher bad such high thoughts of him, that by his earnest importunity he put him upon writing several of his practical discour- ses, particularly that celebrated piece, his Call to the Unconverted. Mr. Manton, as - be freely expressed it, " thought Mr. Baxter came nearer the apostolical " writings than any man in the age." And it is both As a preacher, and a writer, that 1)r. Bates considers him, when in his funeral sermon for him he says, " In his