Baxter - BV669 B3 1681

The Hiflory oftheProduaion o f this Treatïfe', with its De- fign andStan ; to prevent áni,f-underfianding. 13 Ecaufemany of late, as well as Juflice RogerL'Ef/range,do feem to believe themfelves in their accufation of me, as changing with the Times; though I greatly affc& thechange of a Proficient, andknow not at what age it is that fuch men would fix us that we may grow no wifer, nor ever repent of formerIgnorance or Errour ; yet Iwill hereconfefs to them that if what I here write againit be good and right, I have been forty years unchanged in my Errour. My mutabilityhath been little to my advantage for this world , For further than I was for the King, I never was one yearon that whichwas called the upper orfironger prevailing fide, as far as I un- derhand it. Nor to the very day that I was turned out of all, did my Preferments, or Riches ever ferve me, fo much as to have a Houfe, or keepa Servant man, (fave inTravail) or Woman (fave one aged Woman that providedme necefltries, in a few top rooms ofanother mans Houle ;) which I mention for the fake of the mi- flakenFrench ftranger, Mr. Durel, that tells the World another foory. And as to this Subjeél, this is theBreviateofits Hiflory, ab ori- gine. I was inmy Child-hood, firft bred up under the School,and Church - teaching,of eight feveral men, ofwhomonly two preach- edonce amonth, and the refl were but Readers of , the Liturgie, and moll ofvery fcandalous lives. After that I fell into the hands ofa Teacher, that fludied for preferment, and reviled Puritanes; and after that I fell into the happier acquaintance of three ancient Divines, that were called then Conformable Puritanes ; and all ofthembred in me an Opinion, that Nonconformiis were unlearn- ed "inen, addifledto humorous, caufelefs Singularity : For I knew but one * who was an honeft plain Preacher but of little learn- *Where ing: And tofettleme, theDivines that I followed, made me read Dr. ,sue- Bilhop Downame's Defence, Bifhop Andrews, and others forEpifco- breed was pacy, and Mr. Sprint, Dr. Burges, and others for theCeremonies: next And I verily judged them tobe in the right: But as loon as I was Neighbor. ordained, I removed intoa Countreywhere were force Noncon- formi4s, force fewof them Learned Minifters, andmany Lay- men ; of whom, one in the houlewith me, was oftdifputing the Cafe withme, andl thought I had hill the better : And the Non- conformable Mini¡lersthere, were men of fo much Holinefs, and A z Peace,