Vera Effigies RICHARDI BAXTERI Ministri Iesu Christi.

Reliquiae Baxterianae: OR, Mr. RICHARD BAXTERS NARRATIVE OF The most Memorable Passages OF HIS LIFE AND TIMES.

Faithfully Publish'd from his own Original Manuscript, By MATTHEW SYLVESTER.

Mihi quidem nulli satis Eruditi videntur quibus nostra ignota sunt. Cic. de Finib. lib. 1.
Quibus [ergò] rectè dem, non praetermittam—Sic habeto, me, cum illo re saepe communicatâ, de illius ad te sententiâ atque authoritate Scribere— Cic. Epist. 7. ad Lentul. Lib. 1.

LONDON: Printed for T. Parkhurst, I. Robinson, I. Lawrence, and I. Dunton. M DC XC VI.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL Sir Henry Ashhurst Bar.

SIR,

I Am not a little sensible of the great Obligations you laid upon the Reverend Author of this following Nar­rative, of which neither was his Sense small. 'Tis well known to me and others, how great a Veneration he had for your deceased Father, whom he took to be one of the liveliest Instances and Emblems of Primitive Christi­anity that ever he was acquainted with. Neither am I ignorant of the very great Respects he deservedly bore to your Self and Family.

The remembrance of your so firm and generous adhe­rence to him, in the Day of his Trial and Distress, seems to me greatly to justifie your Title to the Dedication of this Account of the Person and Labours which you so greatly va­lued, so publickly own'd. He took your resolute Appearance for him, as a delightful demonstration of your great Re­spects to his great Master, and for the same Master's sake unto himself. He ventur'd his All for God, and you expos'd your Self for him, to the severely trying Entertain­ments which he met with in open Court, from Men of Place and Figure in that Day; wherein their indecent Carriages reflected great Honour both on him and you, tho' not a little Disreputation was thereby contracted to them­selves.

Had not the Reverend Author plac'd great Confidence in you, so great a Trust as his last Will and Testament re­pos'd in you, had never been your Lot. To be Executor to two such Excellent Persons, as Mr. Baxter and Mr. [Page] Boyle, fixes great Honour upon your Name, and can­not but raise great Expectations in the World from you, of answering that Character which it appears you had ob­tain'd, with two Persons of so great Eminence. But (Sir) Give me leave to tell you, that the Eye of God is upon you: and that his Claims and Expectations must be answer'd by you. Men judge charitably; but God judges of us as we are indeed. God cannot be deceiv'd; Men may. Pardon me, if I add what he once said to me concerning my own self; Sir, I think I know you, but I am not sure I do. The Word came close to me, and it may possibly be of use to you: it may awaken us both in­timately to consider, to whose Iudgment we all must stand.

The Lord fulfil in you and your hopeful Issue, all the good pleasure of his Goodness, and the Work of Faith, La­bour of Love, and Patience of Hope with power, so as to heighten and compleat your Faithfulness and Figure in your Generation: This is the Prayer and Hope of,

Right Worshipful,
Yours Humbly, Thankfully and faithfully, in the best Services, and fastest Bonds, whilst MATT. SYLVESTER.

THE PREFACE TO THE READER.

§ I.

I Am very sensible that this Memorial of Mr. Baxter, and his Historical Ac­counts of the Times which went over him, have been long expected and much desired by the World. And the greater the impatience, the more severely the delay is like to be resented. But he that well considers, 1. How confusedly a great quantity of loose Papers relating thereunto, came into my hands; all which were to be sorted and reduced to their proper places. 2. How much other work was then incumbent on me. 3. How little my indisposed and weak hand can write; (not an Octavo page in a competently great character in an hour). 4. How many uncomfortable Providences have since diverted me; and could not but do so. 5. How much time the orderly disposal of his bequeathed Library to young poor Students, according to his Injunctions on me, took up. 6. How much time my Ministerial Work required; together with the unavoidable removal of my Habitation and Meeting Place, and the Setling of my Congregation thereupon. He that (I say) well considers these things (and more that I could say, were it expe­dient so long to detain the Reader from the more profitable and delightful Enter­tainment of the Book it self) will at least abate his Censures, if not quite lay them by. However, I must and shall submit my self unto what Constructions the Rea­der shall think fit to make of my Apology for its delay so long.

§ II.

As to the Authour of the ensuing Treatise, he appears Par negotio, as being very Sagacious, Observant, Impartial, and Faithful. The Things here treated on were Things transacted in his day, quaeque ipse vidit; Et quorum pars magna fuit. Much he knew and felt, and was himself actively and passively concerned in, and the rest he was inquisitive after, observant of, and acquainted with. And being himself an hater of false History, he gave the greater heed and diligence to enter into the depths and springs of what was in his day upon the Theatre of Action. Much he must be inform'd of by others necessarily: and yet he was greatly averse from the reception of things as true, upon too loose reports. He fanned Intelligence, and was not easily imposed upon, in things of moment. Credulity, Rashness, Partia­licy, and Persidiousness, Ignorance and Injudiciousness do ill become Historians. Quis nescit, primam historiae Legem esse, me quid falsi dicere audeat? deinde ne quid veri non audeat? Nequa suspicio gratiae sit in scribendo? nequa simultatis? Cic. de Orat. lib. II. and he had reason for this thought in that (as the Lord Bacon well observes) the Examples of our Ancestors, the Vicissitudes of Affairs, the Grounds of Civil Prudence, and Mens Names and Reputations do depend upon the Knowledge, the Judiciousness and Faithfulness of Historians. Diligent Searches, deep and wise Thoughts, faithful Representations and Reports, with honest Intentions, and generous Designs and Aims at Publick Good, render Mens Histories of Things and Persons (as influential upon others) pleasant and advantageous. Every one is not fit to tell the World the History of his own Life and Times: Who liv'd therein: what Post and Station, Trust and Business, was their assigned Province: what Characters they bore through their deportment therein: what were the regent Principles, the genuine Spirit, and [Page] main End and Scope, of what they did: what they pretendedly or really design'd: what was the Conduct, Tendency and Result of their Consults and Actions: where­in they truly failed, and how, and why? Such things as these call for the greatest Clearness, Freedom and Sincerity, Pains and Judgment; and I may add, a great Concern for Publick Good, which is the loveliest Property, and clearest Symptom of a large and noble Soul. History should inform, admonish, instruct, and reclaim, reform, en­courage Men that read it. And therefore they that write it should [...], i. e. discern things Excellent, and those things in their difference each from other, and in their importance to the Reader; and so take care that nothing doubtful, false, impertinent, mean, injurious, cloudy, or needlesly provoking or reflecting be exposed to Publick View by them; nor any thing excessive or defective, as rela­ting to the just and worthy Ends of History. The Author of the subsequent Histo­ry (now with God) had an Eagle's Eye, an honest Heart, a thoughtful Soul, a searching and considerate Spirit, and a concerned frame of Mind to let the present and succeeding Generations duly know the real and true state and issues of the Oc­currences and Transactions of his Age and Day; and how much Judgement, Truth, and Candour appear in his following Accounts of Things, the Candid and Impar­tial Reader will easily and quickly be resolved about. Scandals, arising from Igno­rance and misreports of what related to our Church and State greatly affected his very tender Spirit; and the removal and prevention of them, and of what Guilt, Calamities and Judgments might or did attend those Scandals, was what induced Mr. Baxter to leave Posterity this History of his Life and Times.

§ III.

Memorable Persons, Consultations, Actions, and Events (with their respective Epochs, Successions and Periods) are the Subject Matter of History: Propriety, clearness and vigour of Expression is what duly and gratefully represents the Matter to the Reader. Accurate Method gives advantage to the Memory, as well as satisfa­ction to the Judgment. The faithfulness, fulness, and freedom of relation conci­liates a good Reputation to the Writer by its convincing Influences upon the Rea­der's mind; and thus it powerfully claims and extorts his Submission to the evident credibility of what he peruses: and the weight and usefulness of the Things rela­ted makes the Reader serious, and concerned to observe what he reads: for finding the Matter great, the Expression proper and lively, the Current of the History or­derly and exact, and the Purposes and Ends various and important which the Hi­story subserves, he accordingly values and uses it as a Treasure. And from thence he extracts such Maxims and Principles as may greatly bestead him in every Exi­gence, and in every Station and Article of Trust and Concern, and Negotiation. History tells us who have been upon the Stage, how they came into Business and Trust, what was the Compass and Import of their Province, what they themselves therein signified to others; and what, others to them; and what all availed to Po­sterity, and how they went off, and so what Figure they most deserv'd to make in the Records of Time.

§ IV.

He that well considers the Nature of Man, his Relation to God, God's governing of Man, and the Conduct of Providence pursuant to God's concerns with Men, and their concerns with him, as also the Discipline and Interests of the Holy War with Satan, will read History with a finer Eye and to better purpose than others can. To covet, endeavour, and obtain ability and furniture from History, Philology, Divi­nity, &c. to minister to discursive Entertainment, or Self-conceitedness, Ambition, Preferment, or Reputation with Men, is a design (when ultimate) so mean in God's Eye, so odious and noysom to others, when by them discerned, and so uncomforta­ble and fatal to our selves when at last accoun [...]ed for, as that no wise Man would terminate and center himself, or his Studies there. I have seen all sorts of Learning differently placed, used, and issued. I can stay patiently to see the last Results of all. I have seen Learning excellently implanted in a gracious heart: (So it was in Mr. Baxter, and in several Prelates, and Conformists and Non-conformists, and o­thers: it is so at this day). I have seen it without Grace; or not so evidently un­der the influences and conduct of Grace, as I have greatly desired it might have been: and here what Partiality, Malignity, Faction, Domination, Superciliousness and Invectives hath his History and other Learning ministred unto! Indeed sanctified Learning hath a lovely show: And the Learning of graceless Persons hath in many Instances and Evidences greatly befriended God's Interest in the Christian World. [Page] And the Knowledge which could not keep some from doing Mischief in the World, and from their being fitted for Hell, and from drawing others after them thither; hath yet helped others to heavenliness and Heaven. But he that well considers what Man is to God, and God to Man; what an Enemy degenerate Man is to God and himself; what a state and frame and posture of War sin hath put Men into, both against God, themselves, and each other; what an Enemy Satan is to all, and what advantages Sin gives him against us; and how Christ is engaged against Satan for us, as the Captain of our Salvation; and how he manages this War by his Spirit, Oracles, Ordinances, Officers, and under-Agents in Church and State, and by the Conduct of Providence over crowned Heads, Thrones, Senates, Armies, Navies, greater and less Communities, and single Persons; in all things done by them, for them, or upon them, or against them: how he uses, and influences the Faculties, Acti­ons, Projects, Confederacies, and Interests of Men, by poizing them, changing them, and turning them to his own purposes and praise: He, I say, that well attends to these things in his Historical Readings and Studies, will (to his profit and delight) discern God's Providence in and over the Affairs of Men to be expressive of God's Name, ministring to his avouched purposes, and a great Testimony to his Word and Son, and to his Covenant and Servants.

§ V.

And such a Person was the Reverend Author (and in part the Subject Matter) of the subsequent Treatise. He was an early Votary to his God: so early as that he knew not when God engaged him first unto himself. And hence he in great mea­sures escaped those Evil Habits and Calamities which old Age ordinarily pays so dear for, though he laments the carelesness and intemperance of his first childish and youthful days. And if the Reader think it strange and mean, that these, and some other passages inferioris subsellij should be inserted amongst so many things far more considerable, written by himself, and published by me, I crave leave to reply, 1. That Conscience is a tender thing, and when awaken'd, it accounts no sin small, nor any Calamity below most serious Thoughts and sensible and smart Resentments, that evidently springs from the least Miscarriage, which might (and ought to) have been prevented. 2. That the apprehension of approaching Death made him severer in his Scrutinies and Reflections. 3. That he thence thought himself concerned and bound in duty to warn others against all which he thought or found so very prejudicial to his own Soul and Body. 4. That as mean passages as these are to be found in Ancient and Modern Lives and Histories, which pass not under rigid Cen­sures. 5. That the Author wrote this his History, sparsim & raptim, and it was ra­ther a Rhapsody than one continued Work. So that I hope that the obvious ine­qualities of Style and Matter, (or the Defects in accuracy of Method (much more the Errours of the Press) will be no scandal to the ingenuous and candid Readers. 6. And as to my suffering such things to be exposed to publick view; can any Man take it ill, that I give him what Mr. Baxter left with me to this end? and had I thought to have expunged some things, and to have altered others, I could not have said as he himself did (in his Preface to the Lord Chief Justice Hale's Judg­ment of the Nature of true Religion) 'I take it as an intolerable Piaculum to put any altering hand of mine to the Writings of such a Man—But to pass by this— His seriousness in and about the greatest things, and his solicitous care to save his own and others Souls, and his great zeal for Holiness, Truth, Concord and Peace amongst all Christians abroad, and in these Kingdoms, made him (when capable thereof) to mind how Matters stood betwixt God and us; and to enter into the Springs of Publick Affairs and Actions in Church and State: and to take notice of the Origi­nals, Instruments, Principles, Progress, Tracts, Traverses, and Results of Things. How Men were placed, spirited, influenced and engaged: and how herein they ministred to the woes or welfare of the Publick, of themselves, and of Posterity. And very loth he was that all should be imposed upon and injured by partial or false History; and so become Deceivers or Deceived, and Scandalizers or Scanda­lized. He well considered what a faithful History of his Times might import to all. And hence, having had such perfect understanding of all the Things here treated on, from the first, he thought it not amiss to write the chiefest of them in order; that others might know the certainty of things, to the better institution of after Conduct and Deportment: and (if it may yet be) to call the Guilty of all Parties yet alive, to due Repentance, and Returns to God.

§ VI.

The following History takes a considerable compass (from A. D. 1615. to 1684.) and it will entertain the Reader with no small variety of useful and delightful Matter [...] You have here the History of God's early, kind, and powerful Dealings with him­self, so as to enprinciple and train him up as a Christian: and how God touch'd and fix'd his Soul for himself in Christian Bonds. God cast that Mantle on him which made his heart to turn and stand towards him; and be most ambitious of, and solicitous about his pardon from, fellowship with, devotedness to, and living with God in the heavenly glory. Then God acquainted him with his natural, de­generate and lost self, till Christ by Grace befriended and relieved him. When ma­king towards, and brought to Christ, he is presently and sensibly engaged in secret and open War with Satan and his own self. And here his Conflicts and Temptations are gradually and wisely ordered him, and let loose upon him; but every way suit­ed to his strength and benefit. His Exercises were and must be such as shall put him to deep Thoughts, close Studies, strict Guards and Watchings, servent Prayer, and a quick sense of the Necessity of daily help from Heaven. And Satan is permitted to attack him in all the Articles of his Christian Faith, and in the Foundation of his Heavenly Hopes. He was so severely urged by Satan to Atheism, Scepticism, In­fidelity, and followed with such perplexing Difficulties and amazing Intricacies a­bout both Natural and Revealed Religion, as that he had concerned and earnest breathings after, value of, and resolution for full Satisfaction about both the Foun­dations and Superstructure of Religion. Slight Studies, p [...]ecarious though confi­dent Assertions, the Publick Vogue and Suffrages of Men, Worldly Interests, Popu­lar Applauses, and Fleshly Ease, could set no stints and limits to his inquisitive Mind and painful Searches. His Soul ever lay open to Evidence: His Eye was first upon the Matter to find out that: he then considered Words as the fit Portraictures of Things, and Representations of Humane Apprehensions to mutual Information a­bout Things and Words. And when he observed Words to be so equivocal, and of such lax, uncertain sence, he was ever careful to give Expressions their strict and just Interpretations, and to be clear about the fixed sense of doubtful Terms. And from the accuracy of his Judgment, and sineness of his Thought, and from the impetu­ousness of his Desires and endeavours to know Things clearly, orderly and distinct­ly, arose that multitude and variety of Distinctions, (many whereof were thought unusual, though I never thought yet any of them useless and impertinent as impro­ved by him) which usually accompanied his Discourse and Writings. But (to con­clude this Head) clear knowledge of the Name and Kingdom of God in Christ, well grounded Faith, lively Hopes, rational Satisfaction about the Safety of his State and Soul, the Soundness and due Furniture of his Inner Man in order to his fulfilling after God and Christ, and an Exemplary Holy Life, an happy Death, a joyful Resurre­ction, these were the Pleasure, Ambition and Employment of his Life; as also to be found in Christ, and every way faithful and fruitful to him. And by what Instruments, Steps and Methods, God brought him hitherto, this following Account of his, from his own Pen will tell you. As also to what he ever had recourse for his own Person­al Satisfaction and Redress, and how God exercised and used his Parts and Thoughts herein.

You have here the History of his Ministerial Self. God set upon his Soul, as one resolv'd to qualifie and anoint it in no ordinary manner, for that Sacred Function, whereunto (after many Temptations and Attempts to fix him in some other Stati­on and Employment, both from others and himself) by the Call and Conduct of his heavenly Master, he applied and kept himself at last. God throughly made him first to know the Soul which he had breathed into him, as to its Faculties, Capaci­ties, Worth and Usefulness. God made him feel and mind that Body wherein this Soul of his was lodged; and wherein and how far his better Part might be helped or hinder'd thereby: and the two Worlds whereto both Soul and Body were rela­ted: and wherewith they were variously concerned. And in this World God fix'd him in such a Prospect of another, as made him intimately and sharply feel both what, and where, amidst what Circumstances, and to what purposes he here a bode in painful, exercised and declining Flesh. And all this gave him great Advantages and Inducements to deal more closely, skilfully, diligently, and constantly, and im­portunately with Souls, about their great Concerns. And what a Transcript God made him of what the Apostle speaks as to himself and Timothy, in Col. 1. 25—29. the following History of his Kidderminster (and other) Labours and Successes in the Gospel, will convince you to great Satisfaction: as also of what Oppositions and De [...]iverances and Preservations he met with there.

[Page]And you have here some Ta [...]s and Informations of his Thoughts and Studies; and of his Books and Letters to divers Persons, of different Stations and Quality, and also of what Pens and Spirits wrote against him. He was of such Repute and Figure in his day, as that many coveted to see his Face, to hear his Voice, and to receive his Resolution of weighty Cases of Conscience proposed to him. And in all this you will find that verified of him, which the Lord Bacon hath deliver'd from his Pen, viz. Much Reading makes Men full: Much Writing makes them judicious and acute: and much Conversation makes them ready. I have been amazed to see how ha­stily he turned over Volumes, how intimately he understood them, how strangely he retained his Reading, and how pertinently he could use it to every proposed Case. Men stayed not long for what they wrote to him about: and what he wrote was to great satisfaction and to the purpose. He wrote his Books with quick dispatch; and never, but when he thought them needful, and his duty then to write them. And when as the Reader well considers his Apology for his Books hereafter menti­oned, let him but seriously weigh what is alledged, and accordingly form his Cen­sures. His mentioned and recited Casuistical Letters and Books, savour at least of Thought and Pains; and perhaps the Reader's patient and attentive minding of both his mention'd Books and Letters will not be loss of time and pains. And though through too much haste and heedlesness, some few Escapes (perhaps Inac­curacies) in the beginning may distaste his curious eye; yet a very few Pages fol­lowing will yield him better Entertainment.

§ VII.

But the great things which are as the Spirit of this History, are the Accounts he gives of the Original Springs and Sources of all these Revolutions, Distractions and Disasters which happen'd from the Civil Wars betwixt King Charles the First, to the Restoration of Charles the Second, and wha [...] was Consequent after thereupon to Church and State. And here we shall find various and great Occurrences springing from different Principles, Tempers and Interests; directed to different Ends, and resolved into different Events and Issues. The Historian endeavours to be faithful, candid, and severe. Nothing of real serviceable Truth would he conceal. Nothing but what was influential on, and might, or did affect the Publick Interest would he expose to Publick View. Nothing that might be capable of candid Interpretation or Allay, would he severely censure. Nothing notoriously criminal, and fatal to the Common Good would he pass by without his just Resentments of it, and severe Reflections on it. As to his immediate Personal acquaintance with, or knowledge of the things reported by him, I know no further of that, than as he himself re­lates. As to what he received from others by Report, how far his Information was true or false, I know not. Indeed I wrote (with tender and affectionate respect and reverence to the Doctors Name and Memory) to Madam Owen to desire her to send me what she could, well attested, in favour of the Doctor, that I might in­sert it in the Margent, where he is mentioned as having an hand in that Affair at Wallingford House; or that I might expunge that passage. But this offer being re­jected with more contemptuousness and smartness than my Civility deserved, I had no more to do than to let that pass upon Record; and to rely upon Mr. Baxter's re­port, and the concurrent Testimonies of such as knew the Intreagues of those Times. Yet that I might deal uprightly and upon the square, I have mention'd this (though obiter) to testifie my Respects to him with whom I never was but once: but I was treated by him then with very great Civility indeed.

§ VIII.

I cannot deny but it would have been of great advantage to the acceptableness and usefulness of this Book, had it's Reverend Author himself revised, compleated, and corrected it, and published it himself. I am sure it had ministred more abun­dantly to my satisfaction: for I neither craved nor expected such a Trust and Lega­cy as his Manuscripts. Nor knew I any thing of this his kind purpose and will, till two or three days before he dyed. My Heart akes exceedingly at every remem­brance of my incumbent Trust: and at the thoughts of my Account for all at last. I am deeply sensible of my inability for such Work; even to discouragement, and no small Consternation of Spirit. I want not apprehensions of the Pardon which I shall need from God, and Candour from Men, both which I humbly beg for as up­on the knee. I know the heart and kindness and clemency of my God through Je­sus Christ: But I know not yet what Men will think, speak, write concerning me. God speak to Men for me, or give me Grace and Wisdom to bear and to im­prove [Page] their Censures and Reflections, if such things must be my Discipline and Lot.

Quo quisque est major magis est placabilis ira
Et faciles motus mens Generosa capit.
Corpora Magnanimo satis est prostrasse Leont
Pugna suum sinem cum jacet hostis, habet.
At lupus & turpes instant Morientibus ursi
Et quaecunque minor nobilitate fera est.
Ovid. Trist. Eleg. iv.

However let the Reader bear with me if I attempt to obviate what I apprehend most likely for Men to reply and urge upon me, by offering these things to serious and impartial Thoughts, relating to 1. The Author, 2. The Treatise, 3. The Publication, And 4. My self.

First the Author.

1. He was one who lov'd to see and set things in their clearest, and most genuine Light; he well considered what sort and size of Evidence and Proof all things were capable of. Matters of Sense are evident by their due Appulses on the Senses. Matters of Doctrinal Truth by Demonstration; Matters of History by credible report: and he could consider well how Certainty and Probability differed. Nor was he willing to he imposed upon, or deceived through Prejudice, Laziness, Inte­rest, or a factious Spirit. To say he never was mistaken (for undoubtedly he had his Errours and Mistakes, some of them retracted, and publickly acknowledg'd by him when discern'd) is to attribute more to him, than any meer Man can say: and more than any impartial and severe Student will arrogate to himself. I shall never call the Retractation of a discovered Errour or Mistake, a Fault; but rather a commendable Excellence: and I judge it better to argue closely, than bitterly to recriminate or traduce. Truth needs neither Scoff nor Satyr to defend it.

2. This made him so solicitous to leave behind him such an Impartial Account of the History of his Times, and of his own Endeavours in his place and day to promote Holiness, Truth and Peace.

3. He hence observ'd how these great Concerns were either promoted or ob­structed; and by whom. What was amiss, or right, either in himself or others, &c.

4. He was concerned to prevent Misapprehensions, Prejudice, Censures and Scan­dals for time to come; to call the Guilty to Repentance; to clear the Innocent, and warn the present and succeeding Generations against their being split upon the like Rocks; to lay all Miscarriages at their right Doors; and to undeceive Forreign Churches and Kingdoms, and to deliver them from being imposed on, by false Re­presentations of our Affairs at home.

5. He had an acrimonious pungent S [...]le indeed, contracted by his plain dealing with obstinate Sinners; which he told me was much severer than his Spirit was. He lov'd to give Sins and Sinners what Names might make themselves and all Men most sensible of their aggravated Crimes. And yet he was averse from blackning them more than there was reason for in his judgment: and from concluding Men grace­less or hopeless from any particular Misdemeanours or Defects.

6. He was publick spirited, and valued not (nor would he be swayed by) Parties, Names or Interest [...]. His Soul was drawn out to a greater length, and wrought into a siner temper, than to over-look any thing truly Excellent and Worthy in any one, though of a different Character and Perswasion from himself, as to things of a lower Nature, and consistent with the Spirit and great Designs of Christianity. I have heard him great and copious in his Commendations of several Prelates and Conformists. And let the Reader pardon me if I tell him the Right Reverend the Archbishop of Canter­bury, Dr. Tenison, the Reverend present Bishops of Worcester and Ely, were expresly men­tion'd by him to me as Persons greatly admired, and highly valued by him; and of their readiness to serve the Publick Interest, both Civil and Religious, he told me he doubted not. And for several of their excellent and useful Labours, I think my self (amongst many others) obliged to bless God, and thank them; though I be unknown to them, and indeed deservedly below their Notice.) His great Concern and vehement Desire was for a Comprehension fit to include all peaceable, useful, sober Persons. And he thought it not impossible nor incongruous to fix upon Foun­dations large and strong enough, so as to take in all that might fitly contribute to [Page] Publick Welfare, into one good Constitution and Establishment. And to my knowledge many are animated with the same Desires. May not the Church of England be more evidently beautiful, large and safe hereby? And though Authori­ty has not yet wrought us up to this, I humbly judge that amicable Conversation amongst those that attend our respective Ministry, and among us Ministers our selves, would shew to all that we are propense to Peace and Love, and to mutual Usefulness and Endearments. It seems to me most strange and hateful, that diffe­rent Sentiments about disputable Matters, should alienate Affections, banish Civili­ties of Conversation, and scarce be enquired into, and debated about, without scur­rilous Reflections and enflamed Passions. Rage and force may produce Hypocrites or Adversaries, but scarce ever hearty, serious Converts: But for Men to be hired, cheated, frighted into a Change of Sentiment, is very odd indeed. Truth and Faithfulness are very valuable things; and to me as worthy of a Commendation in a Conformist, as in a Non-conformist, & vice versa. Nor shall I count things bet­ter or worse for the sake of Persons in whom I meet with them. Truth and Good­ness make Men worthy, but what can they derive from Men? God hath shewed them to us in their proper Evidence, fit for Discovery by impartial Search, and at our peril is it to reject them: Neither can any Man's Confidence or Passion, change their Nature or justifie our Refusal or Mistakes thereof. No wonder then if this Reverend Author be so impartially free in both his Narratives and Characters, whilst the Publick Interest was so much in his Eye, and lay so pressingly on his heart.

7. Whilst so devoted to the publick good of Church and State, he observed Per­sons, enquired into Things, studied Expedients, consulted God and Man, to know, what was the likeliest way, to heal the Wounds, and settle the Peace and Welfare of Church and State: and how to do this regularly and successfully, was the solici­tous Inquest and Endeavour of his Soul: and if he did mistake his way, it was not wilfully, but through infirmity.

8. But his defeated Expectations and Endeavours amidst those many Revolutions in his time, from which resulted hindrances, neither few nor mean, made him more strictly to take the Minutes of Proceedings and Events, as they occurred; and so to make some fit Remarks thereon. And having thus furnished himself with apt Materials and Memoirs, he at last digested all into this following History; which you have faithfully from his own Original; abating some corrigenda, Some little words supply'd here and there which currente calamo were left out. Some small Chasms to be fill'd up, whereto the current Sence directed us. And in some Letters here inserted, not being by himself transcribed, the words being something less le­gible than others, they must be almost guessed at. Though these were few and no way affecting the Sence considerably. And some Repetitions, through the Au­thor's own forgetfulness, left out. But the History is entirely his, transcribed and published as such from his own Copy, which I keep by me for my own Vindication carefully; and as a Memorial of himself with me.

Secondly, As to the History.

I. Of what Concern and Consequence the Matter of it is, the patient and dili­gent and judicious Reader may soon discern. Weighty things, when fully, credi­bly, and impartially related, do readily commend themselves to the Reader's Ac­ceptation, and they do as readily meet therewith, where Ingenuity and Candour do prevail. What these things are which the Historian mainly insists upon, may be discover'd quickly by reading over the Contents thereof; whereto I would refer the Reader. First, Lest the first sheet or two, through their Graphical inaccuracy, should be offensive to him, and so discourage his progressive Reading: The Histo­ry takes it's rise indeed à leviusculis, from meaner things; which (seeing the Author seem'd desirous and resolv'd to insert upon Reasons best known to himself) indeed I durst not blot out. Readers (and Friends to the deceased) may be of various Appetites and Humours; and different Things may have their different Relishes from variously disposed Palates. Why may not Histories take their start from smal­ler Matters, and so proceed to greater; as well as the material Origination of the Universe from its Chaos, and of Humane Bodies from their first Dust or Seed? I do indeed profess my grief and shame that they escaped me so inadvertently, but I was then bereav'd of that Composure in my Thoughts (through the tremendous Hand of God upon me otherwise, which I will not now relate) for otherwise my Caution had been greater, and so, those Sheets and other Passages more correct. [Page] I had neither time nor strength to attend the Press, so as to inspect the Impression sheet by sheet; and thereupon I trusted to the promised Care of the Booksellers: but I found upon review the Errata to be more numerous and gross by far than ever I expected. But if the Candid Reader will correct the Errata, as they are ren­der'd corrigible to his view, I shall think my self greatly obliged to him. But if the Reader's first Historical Salute displease him, as being much beneath his expect­ed Entertainment, one hours reading I hope he will find to be the utmost Exer­cise of his Patience, from the meanness of the Matter at his Entrance into the Book.

II. As to the Author's ordering and digesting of his own Memoirs, a Rhapsody it now appears; and as to method and equality of Stile, somewhat below what curious Readers might expect; yea, and from what it had been, had it but passed the Author's stricter Thoughts and View. Yet we shall find the History greatly useful, though not exactly uniform; nor is it so confused, as to be incapable of ea­sie References and Reductions to such proper Order as may best please the Reader: if the Design be clear and worthy, viz. to set in open Light the degenerate Age he lived in: the magnalia of Grace and Providence as to himself: his Self-censurings on all occasions: Caution and Conduct unto others: and tracing all Events to their genuine Sources and Originals, the judicious Reader will improve such things. There were several Papers loosely laid, which could not easily be found, when needed. And the defectiveness of my very much declining Memory, made me for­get (and the more because of haste and business) where I had laid them after I had found them. And some few Papers mention'd, and important here, are not yet found, though search'd after; which yet hereafter may be brought to light amongst some others, intended for the Publick View, if God permit. The Reve­rend Author wrote them at several times, as his other Work and Studies, and fre­quent Infirmities would admit of. And he was more intent upon the Matter than the Method: and finding his Evening Shadows growing long, as the Presage of his own approaching and expected Change, he was willing (through the importunity of his Friends) to hasten the compleating of his Works before he died. And he had rather that the Work was done somewhat imperfectly, than not at all. It is true indeed, that he hath left us nothing of the last Seven years of his Life, save his Apology for his accused Paraphrase and Notes on the New Testament, for which he was so fiercely prosecuted, imprisoned, traduced and fined. And though some pressed me to draw up the Supplemental History of his Life, yet the wisest that I could consult advised me to the contrary: and I did take their counsel to be right and good; for I well knew my self very unable to do that uniformly with the rest; and I was not inclined to obtrude upon the World what was not Mr. Baxters. Pre­carious Reputation I affect not. That Fame cannot be rightfully my own which is not deserved by me. And if this Preface and my subjoyned Sermon be but can­didly received, or moderately censured, and any way tributary to the Reader's benefit, I shall rejoyce therein, and not expect his undeserved Commenda­tion.

III. I am well aware (and think it worth my while to take notice) of several Things which may awaken Prejudice, Censure, or Displeasure, and occasion (if not cause) Objections and Offence, as to the Treatise and my self; which I would obviate and prevent (at least allay) if possible. I neither love to kindle Flames, nor to enrage them, nor to contribute the least breath or fewel to them. I am for Faithfulness and Truth in the softest stile and way consistent with the Ends and Interest thereof. Flattering Titles and needless Pungencies I distast. What was the Author's, is not mine. To publish is not always to assent. And if Modesty and Self-diffidence do make me refrain from Censures and Corrections and Expun­ctions, can that be esteemed culpable? Especially when it is vel sole Meridiano cla­rius, to both my self and every Man, how much my Knowledge, Parts, Judgment, Holiness and Advantages to know what he Reports and Censures, come short of what his were. Most of the Persons (if not well nigh all) censured by him, were altogether unknown to me: Nor do I find them all, or many, mentioned by him as utterly ungodly or undone. But as far as Miscarriages or Neglects upon the Publick Stage did minister to Suspicion, and (to the prejudice thereof) affect the Publick Interest; so far they are remarked by him with resentment. If justly, the Equity will justifie the Censure; and evidently shew how much the Interest of Church and State lay nearer to, and more upon his Heart than private Friendship [Page] or Concerns. But if unjustly, it is the undoubted right and duty of those that can, to clear the Censured from all their undue Imputations and Aspersions; and could I do it for them, my Obligations to, and value for this quondam excellent Histo­rian and Divine, should not prevent my utmost cordial Engagements in that matter, namely, to wipe of all Aspersions from the Innocent, or to abate and lessen them, as far as they are capable duly of Allays. But let me meet the Reader with these cautionary offers.

I. Perhaps it may be thought unmeet by some that a Divine should turn Histo­rian. Answ. 1. Why not as well as Grotius, Du Plessis, Lassitius, &c. yea, and King Iames the First meddle with writing about Sacred Things. (2.) Mr. Baxter was neither ignorant of, nor unconcerned in, nor unfit for such a Work as this; who knew him better than he knew himself? or did more intirely search into Affairs? or lay under greater Advantages for pious and just Informations? (3.) He had no Advantages, nor heart for Gain or Honour by this his Undertaking. It is known he hath refused Preferment, even by King Charles the Second, but sought for none. (4.) Writing of Histories rather refer to Abilities than to Office. Men may not govern Kingdoms, Cities, nor Societies, till called thereto by solemn Designation, be they never so throughly qualified; nor can they administer in Publick Worship till called thereto by Solemn Ordination, or as Probationers in order to that Of­fice. But Men may write for God and Common Good if they be able so to do. For their Abilities, Opportunities, and Capacity for Publick Service, are a Call sufficiently and safely to be depended on. (5.) The Author's Modesty, Humili­ty, and well known Self-denial, and evident Remoteness from all Pragmaticalness and Affectation, may well prevent Suspicion of his Exorbitancy in this his Enter­prize. And (6.) his great Ability and Concern to serve the Publick Interest, when as all possible help was needful, requisite and grateful, may well implead such bold Retorts upon his Undertaking. Who stays for a particular Commission to extinguish Flames, or to give needful Informations of instant Dangers, or of necessary Conduct, when great Calamities or Miscarriages cannot otherwise be pre­vented?

2. It is not impossible that some will judge him too impudent and unworthy in branding Persons with such ungrateful Characters, as do so evidently expose the Memory of the Dead and Living, or their Posterity, and intimate to disgrace. But (1.) Matters of Fact notoriously known are speaking things themselves: and their Approbation or Dislike from others should be as Publick as the Things themselves. Matters of Publick Evidence and Influence are as the Test of Publick Sentiments, and of the prevailing temper of those Communities wherein such things were done. And can Civilities of Conversation, or Interest, or Personal Respects and Tenderness, be an Equivalent with God, to what is expected by him from Bodies Politick, or from his faithful Servants in them. (2.) The Author blames himself as freely, and as publickly confesseth, and blames his own Miscar­riages, as he doth any other. (3.) He spares no Man nor Party, which he saw culpable, and verily thought reproveable on just grounds. Nor is he sparing of fit Commendations, nor of moderating his Reprehensions, where he saw the Case would bear it. (4.) He was far from Partiality, and addictedness to any Party. Good and Evil, Truth and Falshood, Faithfulness and Persidiousness, Wisdom and Folly, Considerateness and Temerity, &c. they were respectively commended or dispraised wherever they were found. (5.) Though Oliver Cromwell, once Pro­tector, Dr. Owen, and others, seem to be sharply censur'd by him, in the thoughts of those that valued them; yet let the assigned Reasons be considered by the Reader, and let him fairly try his own strength in either disproving the Matters of Fact, and so impeach the Truth of the History: or in justifying what was done, and so implead the Criminal Charge; or in allaying the Censure by weighing well how much of their reported or arraigned Miscarriages may and ought to be ascribed to meer Infirmity or Mistake; or by preponderating their censured Crimes, with other worthy Deeds and Characters, justly challenging Commendations. For as to Oliver Cromwell, what Apprehensions and Inducements governed him, and what hold they took upon his Conscience, and how far he acted in faithfulness thereto, as in designed reference to God's Glory, to the Advancement of Religion, to the Reformation of a de­bauched Age, and to the Preservation of these Kingdoms from Popery, Slavery, and Arbitrariness (the general Fear and Plea of these Kingdoms at that time,) whether without or with good ground, let others judge) is not for me here to de­termine. I have heard much of his Personal and Family Strictness and Devotion: [Page] Of his Appeals to God for the Sincerity of his Designs and Heart, from some who have heard him make them as they have credibly told me: Of his Encouragement of [...]ious Godliness, and of the great Discouragement which Irreligion and Pro­ph [...]neness and Debauchery ever met with from him. These Things were good and great. But from what Principles they came, and by what right from God and Man they were his Rectoral Province, and to what ultimate End he really did di­rect them; these Things require deeper Thoughts than mine, in order to a sober Judgment on them. It is more than I can do to vindicate his Right to Govern, and to behead our King, and to keep out another—but I am alway glad of any thing which may allay the Guilt of Men: though I had rather find no Guilt (nor any appearance or suspicion of it) that shall need Charity or Industry to ex­tenuate or allay it. God grant these Kingdoms greater Care and Wisdom for time to come: and cause us to sit peaceably, orderly, obediently, submissively and thank­fully under the gracious Government of King William our present rightful and law­ful Soveraign, in so great Mercy to these Kingdoms, whom may the most high God long preserve, conduct, and greatly prosper. (6.) As to the Relatives and under Agents of Oliver Cromwell, I offer these things: 1. The Author would not charge them with what they never did. 2. Their Disadvantages through the Exi­gencies, Influences, and Temptations of their Day ought to be well considered, lest otherwise Men be intemperate and excessive in their censorious Reflections on them. Things now appear (perhaps) in a far clearer Light than heretofore. 3. Instant Necessities may admit of greater Pleas: and Men at a greater distance may not so sitly judge of present Duty or Expediency. And 4. there is undoubtedly such a thing as interpretative Faithfulness and Sincerity, which so far cheers Mens hearts, and spirits resolution and appeals to God, although the Principles which bear Men up herein may be, and frequently are erroneous, and but meer Mistakes. 5. We know not all that men can say, when calmly heard and fairly dealt with, for their own censured Actions, by way of Apology or Defence. 6. We must con­sider our own selves as in this World and Body; and as liable to equivalent (if not the same) Dangers and Temptations. The sence and provident reach of that Di­vine Advice, Gal. 6. 1. is vastly great, and greatly useful, and would prevent rigid Constructions if well attended to. 7. Oliver Cromwell's Progeny (those that are yet alive) are chargeable no further with his Crimes than they are approved by them: and this I never heard them charged with since 60. I know them not: but I have been told that they are serious, peaceable, useful, commendable Persons, and make a lovely Figure in their respective, though more private Stations. 8. As to Dr. Owen, 1. It is too well known (to need my proof) how great his Worth and Learning was. How soft and peaceable his Spirit, for many of his last years, if credible Fame bely him not. And perrar'o in melius mendax fama. He was indeed both a burning and a shining Light. 2. As to the Wallingford-House Affair, and the Doctor's Hand therein; our Reverend Author considered him and others as to what he thought culpable, and of pernicious Consequence and scandalous Report and Influence, as to both the present and succeeding Ages. He had no Personal Prejudice against him or others. But as both Church and State were so disorderly endangered and affected by what was there consulted and done; so Mr. Baxter did so much resent the thing, as to think it fit to be recorded, and accented with fit aggravations; as a Remonstrance to the Crime, and as a Warning to the Christian World. And he is not the only Person who hath believed, noticed and blamed that Matter. But that the Doctor is in his great Master's joys, is what our Author hath reported, his very firm perswasion of, in print. 9. As to our Brethren the Independants, 'tis true that no mean Ferment appears to have been upon the Author's Spirit. But (1.) is he sharper upon them, then on the Presbyterians, Anabaptists, Prelates, where he thought or found them culpable? (2.) What Party did our Author wholly side with? (3) What bosom Friend did he ever spare wherein he sound him reprehensible? (4.) He was so intent upon Orthodox Doctrines, Ca­tholick Union, Christian Concord and Behaviour, and Peaceable Usefulness and Conversation amongst all Protestants, and upon avoiding Divisions amongst Christ's Followers, as that whatever obstructed these Concerns, he was impatient of, and warm against. Truth, Peace, and Love, was he a Votary to, and Martyr for: and hereunto did he devote most of his Life and Labours. Dicam quod res est. It is scandalous that there should be Divisions, Distances, Animosities and Contentions, amongst Christians, Protestants, Dissenters, against each other, and in the Bowels of each Party. But much hereof arises from unhappy Tempers, Self-ignorance, Confidence and Inobservance, want of frequent, patient, and calm Conference and [Page] impartial Debates about things controverted, addictedness to Self-Interest and Re­putation with our respective Parties, impatience of severe Thoughts and Studies, and of impartial Consideration before we fix and pass our Judgment, taking things too much upon Trust, Prejudice against those whose Sentiments are different from our own, laying too great a weight upon eccentrical and meaner things, prying too boldly into, and talking too confidently [...] about things unrevealed, or but darkly hinted to us in the Sacred Text, and representing the Doctrine of our Christianity in our own Artificial Terms and Schemes, and so confining the Interest, Grace, and Heart of God and Christ to our respective Parties: as if we had forgot, or had ne­ver read Rom. 14. 17—19. Acts 10, 34, 35. Gal. 6. 14—16. and Eph. 4. 1— [...] That Person whose Thoughts, Heart and Life shall meet me in the Spirit and Reach of 2 Pet. I. I—II. shall have my hearty Love and Service, although he de­termine never to hear me Preach, or to Communicate with me all his days, through the Impression of his Education or Acquaintance; though at the same time I should be loth that such a narrow Thought should be the Principle, Poise and Con­duct of my Church Fellowship, Spirit, or Behaviour. God hath, I doubt not, his eminent and valuable Servants in [...]all Parties and Perswasions amongst Christians. An heavenly mind and Life is all in all with me. I doubt not but that God hath many precious faithful Ones amongst the Men called Independants, Presbyterians, [...]nabap [...]ists, Prelatical—And I humbly judge it reasonable that (1.) The Mis­carriages of former Parties be not imputed to succeeding Parties who own not, nor abet their Principles as productive of such practical Enormities. (2.) That the Miscarriages of some particular Persons be not charged on the rest, until they pro­fess or manifest their Approbation of them. (3.) That what is repented of and pardoned, be not so received as to foment Divisions and Recriminations. (4.) That my trust from Mr. Baxter, and faithfulness to him, and to Posterity, be not constr [...] ­ed as the Result of any Spleen in me against any Person or Party mentioned in this following History. (5.) And that we all value that in one another, which God thinks lovely where he forms and finds it. And 6. O Utinam! that we form no other Test and Canon of Christian Orthodoxy and Saving Soundness, and Christi­an Fellowship, than what the Sacred Scriptures give us as Explicatory of the Christi­an Baptismal Creed and Covenant, as influencing us into an holy Life, and heaven­ly Hopes and Joys. I thought once to have given the World a faithful Abstract of Mr Baxter's Doctrines or Judgment, containing the Sence of what he held about Justification, Faith, Works, &c. and yet laying aside his Terms of Art: that hereby the Reader might discern the Consonancy of it to the Sacred Text, and to the Doctrinal Confessions of the Reformed Churches; his Consistence with himself, and his nearer approach in Judgment to those from whom he seems to differ much, than the prejudiced Adversaries are aware of. But this must be a Work of Time, if not an Enterprize too great for me, as I justly fear it is. But I will do by him as I would do by others, and have them do by me, viz. give him his owned Explica­tion of the Baptismal Creed and Covenant, as a fit Test to try his Judgment by; and if his Doctrines in his other Treatises consist herewith, others perhaps will see more Cause to think him Orthodox in the most weighty Articles, and less to be suspected, notwithstanding his different Modes of Speech.

The Things professedly believed by him (as may be seen in his Christian Concord) were,

THat there is one only God: The Father, Infinite in Being, Wisdom, Goodness, and Power: the Maker, Preserver, and Disposer of all things; and the most just and merciful Lord of All.

That Mankind being fallen by Sin from God and Happiness, under the Wrath of God, the Curse of his Law, and the Power of the Devil, God so loved the World, that he gave his only Son to be their Redeemer: who, being God, and one with the Father, did take to him our Nature, and became Man, being conceived of the Holy Ghost in the Virgin Mary, and born of her, and named JESUS CHRIST: and having liv'd on Earth without Sin, and wrought many Miracles, for a witness of his Truth, he gave up himself a Sacri­fice for our Sins, and a Ransom for [...], in suffering Death on the Cross: and being buried, he is Lord of all in Glory with the Father. And having ordained that all that truly repent, and believe in him, and love him above all things, and sincerely obey him, and that to the [Page] Death shall be saved, and they that will not shall be damned, and commended his Mini­sters to preach the Gospel to the World: He will come again and raise the Bodies of all Men from Death, and will set all the World before him to be judged, according to what they have done in the Body: and he will adjudge the Righteous to Life Everlasting, and the rest to Everlasting Punishment; which shall be Executed accordingly.

That God the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Father and the Son, was [...]nt from the Fa­ther by the Son, to inspire and guide the Prophets and Apostles, that they might fully re­veal the Doctrine of Christ; And by multitudes of Evident Miracles, and wonderful Gifts to be the great Witness of Christ and of the Truth of his Holy Word: And also to dwell and work in all that are drawn to believe, that, being first joyned to Christ their Head, and into one Church which is his Body, and so pardoned and made the Sons of God, they may be a peculiar People sanctified to Christ; and may mortifie the Fesh, and overcome the World and the Devil: and being zealous of good Works, may serve God in Holiness and Righteousness, and may live in the special Love and Communion of the Saints; and in hope of Christ's Coming, and of Everlasting Life.

In the belief hereof the Things consented to were as followeth:

THat he heartily took this one GOD, for his only GGD, and his chief Good: and this IESUS CHRIST for his only Lord, Redeemer, and Saviour, and this HOLY GHOST for his Sanctifier: and the Doctrine by him revealed, and sealed by his Miracles, and now contained in the Holy Scriptures, he took for the Law of God; and the Rule of his Faith and Life: And repenting unfeignedly of his Sins, he did resolve, through the Grace of God, sincerely to obey him, both in Holiness to God, and Righteous­ness to Men, and in special Love to the Saints, and in Communion with them; against all the Temptations of the Devil, the World, and his own Flesh; and this to the Death.

If therefore these things were Believed and Consented to by him; and if these things do essentiate our Saving Christianity, and so be sufficient to make us all one in Christ, why should some different Modes and Forms of Speech, wherewith these great Substantials may and do consist, obtain of Men to think him Heterodox, because he uses not their Terms? And why should such Distances and Discords be kept up amongst us, whilst we all of us own all the forementioned Articles, and are always ready (on all sides) to renounce whatever Opinions shall appear to overthrow or shake such Articles of Faith, and Covenanting Terms with God and Christ? And I cannot but believe that all Christians seriously bound for Hea­ven, and that are fixed upon these Truths, are nearer each to other in their Judg­ments than different Modes of Speech seem to represent them. Of such great Con­sequence is true Charity and Candour amongst Christians.

3. The Reverend Prelates, and the Ministers and Members of the Church of England, may possibly distaste his plainness with them, and think him too severe upon them: But 1. they are no Strangers to his professed and exemplified Mode­ration. Who valued their Worth and Learning more than he did? Who more en­deavoured to keep up Church Communion with them, by Pen, Discourse and Practise, though not exclusively? Who more sharply handled, and more throughly wrote against, and reprehended total Separation from them than himself? And what Dissenter from them ever made fairer and more noble Overtures, or more ju­dicious Proposals for a large and lasting Comprehension with them, than they knew he did? And who more fairly warned them of the dismal Consequences and calamitous Effects of so narrowing the Church of England by the strict Acts pro­cured and executed against so many peaceable Ministers, who thereby were silen­ced, imprisoned, discouraged and undone? And how many Souls and Families were ruin'd and scandaliz'd by their imposed Terms, another (and that a solemn and great) Day will shew e're long. 2. Our Author never yet endeavoured to un­Church them, nor to eclipse their Worthies: nor did he ever charge their great Severities on them all. He ever would acknowledge (and he might truly do it) that they had great and excellent Men, and many such amongst them, both of their Lai [...]y and Clergy. 3. He thought (what I am satisfied is true) that many of them little knew who and what was behind the Curtain, nor what designed nor great Services were doing to France and Rome hereby. 4. And his great Sufferings from them may well (even as other things) abate their Censuring (if not prevent [Page] too keen Relentments) of these Historical Accounts of them. 5. And to leave these things out was more than Mr. Baxter would allow me, or admit of. Pardon one who acts by Order, not of Choice.

4. That such copious and prolix Discourses should be here inserted about Things fitter for oblivion, than to be remembred, may seem liable to Exceptions and Distast from some; viz. such Discourses as respect the Solemn League and Covenant, the Oxford Act, &c. Things now abandon'd and repealed by Act of Parliament for Li­berty of Conscience. But 1. those pressing Acts are yet upon Record, and so, ex­posed to the view of Men, from Age to Age. 2. They represent Dissenters as an intolerable Seed of Men. 3. All Readers will not readily discern what here is said by way of Apology for those of whom such Acts took hold. 4. Hereby Dis­senters will appear to all succeeding Generations, as a People worthy of nothing but National Severities and Restraints. Whence 5. their Enemies will be confirm­ed in their groundless Thoughts and Censures of them. 6. This will not lead to that Love and Concord amongst all Protestants which God's Laws, and the Pub­lick Interest and Welfare of Church and State require. 7. Those things abode so long in force, and to such fatal dreadful purpose, as that the Effects thereof are felt by many Families and Persons to this day. 8. And all this was but to dis­charge some, of no small Figure in their Day, from all Obligations to perform what had been solemnly vowed to God. Surely such as never took that Covenant could only disclaim all Obligations on themselves to keep it, by virtue of any such Vow upon themselves: but to discharge those that had taken it, from what therein they had vowed to God to do (till God himself discharge them, or that it be evi­dent from the intrinsick unalterable Ev [...] of the Matter vowed, that no such Vow shall stand) is more than I dare undertake to prove at present, or to vindicate in the great Day. However, a Man's own Latitude of Perswasion cannot, as such, absolve another, nor eo nomine, be another's Rule or Law. But 9. if these long Discourses be needful, pertinent, clear, and strong, as to the state of that A [...]air, their length may be born with. 10. The Author thought it needful to have this set in the clear open Light, to disabule all that had been imposed on, by false, or partial and defective History in this Matter: and to remove, or prevent, or allay Scandal and Censure for time to come. 11. And if such things be also published to make our selves and others, still more sensible of what we owe to God, and to our most gracious King (and his late Soveraign Consort, and our then most gracious Queen Mary, not to be parallel'd in any History that I know of, by any of her Sex, for All truly Royal Excellencies) and to his Parliaments, who have so much obliged us with freeing us from those so uncomfortable Bonds; what Fault can be imputed to the Publisher herein? Shall Gratitude be thought a Crime, though more copious in the Materials of it, than may every way consist with the stricter Bounds of Accuracy? 12. I am apt to think (and not without cogent ground) that very many Readers (now and hereafter) would (with the Author) have thought me unfaithful to themselves and him, had I not transmitted to Posterity what he left, and as he left it for their use. And I hope therefore that the Reader will not interpret this Publication as the Product of a Recriminating Spirit. God himself knows it to be no such Birth.

Thirdly, The Publication.

1. The Author wrote it for this End. 2. He left it with me to be published af­ter his Death. 3. He left it to the Iudgment of another and my self only, by a Writing ordered to be given me after his Death, as my Directory about the Publi­cation of his other Manuscripts, which are many, and of moment. And if th [...] rest entrusted with me about their being printed (one or two of which he ordered me to choose ad libitum, as fitly supposing all might not be at leis [...]re) shall think fit (of whose consent I nothing doubt) you may expect a considerable Volume of Letters by way of Epistolary Intercourse betwixt him and Mr. Lawson, Mr. Burgess, Mr. Vines, Mr. Gataker, Mr. W. the Lord Chief Justice Hales, Mr. Sa­muel Iacomb, Mr. Dodwell, his dear Flock and Friends at Kidderminster, with seve­ral others. These Letters are Polemical, Casuistical, and Practical. Some are Monitory and Reproving: but their Names forbidden to be mentioned. Which Order shall faithfully be by me observed [...] Non enim me min [...]s obseq [...] quam [...] con [...]ilij p [...]niter. If we may find Encour [...]gement, I doubt not of the Reader's consi­derable Satisfaction and Advantage. But (to return to where I left) 4. He had [Page] neither Time nor Strength to finish it; nor to correct it with his own Hand. Such therefore as it is, you have it. 5. He brought it down (not long be­fore he died) to publish it, but upon second Thoughts he changed that purpose, as his Bookseller since his Death assured me. 6. I have reason to think that the Author had some thoughts to have made further Progress in this History, but that other things diverted him therefrom, till his Death at last made that im­possible.

Singula quid referam, nil non mortale tenemus;
Pectoris, Exceptis ingeniique, bonis.
Ovid. de Trist. Eleg. vii.

Fourthly, As to my self.

When I came up to London, Anno Dom. 1671. I was brought into Acquaintance with Mr. Baxter, by my dear and intimate Friend Mr. Ioseph Trueman ( [...]) who it seems, unknown to me, had told Mr. Baxter concerning me, more than I ever expected or deserved. And so great was Mr. Trueman's Reputation with Mr. Baxter, as to conciliate that regard to his Character of me, which great­ly promoted my Intimacy, and my more free and frequent Conversation with him ever after. Hereupon Mr. Baxter wrote to a worthy Person to seek me out, and to bring me (a perfect Stranger in the City) into Acquaintance and Employment: which accordingly was done. And some short time after Mr. Baxter and my [...]elf met together upon Ministerial Employment somewhat frequently, to mutual Sa­tisfaction and reciprocal Endearments; God speaking to his Heart for me. The Lord impute not to me my so small improvement of that so great Advantage. I never was deny'd admission to him, when desired by me: And many Secrets he committed to me relating to his Soul and Secular Affairs, which have been, are, and shall be such God willing, whilst I live: for I take it to be sinful to betray a Secret, unless Concealment be injurious to the Publick, or to another Person. And in that case I will never (as I think I never have done to the best of my remembrance) promise Secrecy: for I think it base, and no way capable of Vin­dication, to serve one Friend so as unjustly and unworthily to disserve another. At last it pleased God to cast my Lot upon Copartnership with him in Ministerial Work in Charterhouse-yard, in my own Dwelling-house there; which he the rather complyed with because of the vicinity of our Respective Habitations. He would not meddle with the Pastoral Work; but would stile himself (when somewhat pleasant) my Curate; but he would take no Money of me for his pains: but oft and freely profest his Satisfaction in his Conjunction with me, and in the serious and moderate temper of my Flock. And I know none beyond them for Peace and Love and Candour. He was greatly solicitous about my Subsistence and En­couragemement after his Death. And not long before his Exit he drew up a Pa­per to have been read to the Congregation, to have procured me some generous Subscriptions from them for one year, besides what they usually allowed me An­nually; and to excite others thereunto, he Subscribed Ten pounds for himself. He designed it to have been proposed and effected when I was in the Country; but coming to the knowledge of it, I put it by, which he distasted not a little. However, I am for making the Gospel and my Ministry as little chargeable as I can: for I seek not theirs, but them: and having Food and Raiment, I can be therewith Content. My Congregation is but small: but they are worthy of a far better Pastor than my self. And they are kinde to me, rather beyond, than at the rate of their Ability. And I have found God's Blessing on what they have al­low'd me. And I find my Labour not in vain amongst them.

§ IX.

No Man can justly wonder that he escaped not the Scourges of Tongues and Pens, and the bold Strokes of Calumny, who well considers Humane Degene­racy, Satan's Malignity, the Dulness of some, the Rashness of others, the Cre­dulity of others, the Narrowness of others, the Imperfections of himself, and of all, the Entertainments of God's choicest Favourites and Servants upon Record [Page] from Age to Age: and the vast Reaches and Designs of Providence in all. Could I but perswade the Reader to read and pause upon some Instances upon Record in Sacred Writ, as being least liable to Exception (though many might be produced from Ancient and Modern Histories) he might there by at least prevent considerably his being Scandalized by the many Obloquies that come from incon­siderate and malignant Men. What Man of Worth could or did ever yet abso­lutely escape being traduced by some or other? See Ier. 15. 10. and 20. 10. Neh. 2. 19. and 6. 6, 7. Gen. 39. 14. 1 Sam. 22. 9—15. 2 Sam. 16. 3. Amos 7. 10, 11. Matth. 26. 61. Acts 24. 5—9. and 18. 13. Rom. 3. 8. If greater Persons (such as Ioseph, Nehemiah, Ieremiah, Daniel, Christ, and his Apostles, and David him­self, Christ's Royal Antitype) were traduced by the Sons of Belial, as guilty of what their Souls abhorr'd so intimately; what wonder is it to find this Reverend Person Mr. Baxter, misrepresented by the malignity and obloquy of some; and by the weakness, credulity, and mistakes of others; and those perhaps excellent Per­sons otherwise, in manifold respects?

Mr. Baxter is charged by some as being against King Charles the First in the first War, and too much a Fomenter of it. To this you have his Replys in the History it self; and thither I refer the Reader.

He has been also traduced by some, as having kill'd a Man in cold Blood with his own hands. From which Scandalous Report he has also vindicated himself in the following History. But for the Reader's further Satisfaction, I will here subjoyn a Letter from Dr. Allestree, which is not there inserted (that I remember). When a credible Person (Mr. I. H.) told Mr. Baxter that the Doctor had formerly said the like to him; saying, That he could not think well of one that had kill'd a Man in cold Blood with his own hands; Mr. Baxter suspecting that the Doctor's Chair and Reputation might give credit to this slanderous Report, he wrote to the Doctor, des [...]ing to know of him whether he reported this or no; assuring him in the same Letter, that he never struck any Man in anger, in all his Life, to his remem­brance —This Letter to the Doctor was dated London, Decemb. 8. 1679. Here­upon the Doctor returned him the following Answer:

SIR,

I Must profess sincerely that I cannot recollect that ever I said such words of you to Mr. H. as it seems be doth affirm I did. But yet I cannot but acknowledge it is very possible that I related (and it may be to him) that I had heard you kill'd a Man in cold blood; since I very well remember that above Thirty years since, at the end of the War, I heard that publickly spoke before Company, and with this further Circumstance, that it was a Sol­dier who had been a Prisoner some hours before. Now this Report relating to the Wars, in which I fear such things were no great Rarities; and from my very tender youth, I having not had the least Concern with you, nor likelyhood of any for the future, did not therefore apprehend at present any concern or occasion of enquiring whether it were true; of which, up­on that confident Asseveration I did make no doubt. And I took so little thought of laying up the Relation, that I protest to you, as in the presence of Almighty God, it is impossible for me, to recover who made up that Company in which I heard it, or from whom I heard it. And I wonder how it came into my mind to say that I had heard it so long after. But how­ever, though it be some ease to me to believe that the late Discourses of it, do not come from my relating it so long since that I have heard it, neither are likely to receive any confirmation from it, unless it be made more publick than I have made it; yet I do profess it is a great affliction to me to have spoken that, though but as a Report, which it seems was a slander (for so I believe it upon your Asseveration) and not having endeavoured to know whether it were true. And as I have begg'd God's forgiveness, so I heartily desire you will forgive me. And if I could direct my self to any other way of Satisfaction, I would give it. This is the whole Account I can give of this Matter; To which I shall only add that I am,

SIR,
Your very affectionate Servant, Richard Allestree.

[Page]Such was the Exemplary Ingenuity and true Equity and Candour of this wor­thy Person.

But the boldest Stroke that ever I met with at the Reputation of this worthy Person Mr. Baxter, occurs in a Letter that I have lately received from a Person very credible (out of Worcestershire, Dated March the first, 1695/6.) The Sum whereof is this:

—HEre is a Report in some Persons mouths that Mr. Baxter, before he dyed, and so till his Death, was in a great doubt and trouble about a Future State. It is suggested that he continued in such Doubt, or rather was inclining to think there was no Future State at all, and that he ended his Days under such a Perswasion; which occasi­oned no small trouble to him, he having written so many things to perswade persons to be­lieve there was.—

This Report is related to me as brought down from London by no mean Man; by one of great Repute in his Faculty, and well known through the Nation, frequently an Hearer of Mr. Baxter, and an honourable Person. And I am further informed by the same Hand, That it is there reported that many of his Friends, Per­sons of Quality about London, know the truth of it.

1. Audax facinus! What will degenerate Man stick at! We know nothing here that could in the least minister to such a Report as this. I that was with him all along, have ever heard him triumphing in his heavenly Expectation, and ever speaking like one that could never have thought it worth a Man's while to be, were it not for the great Interest and Ends of Godliness. He told me that he doubted not, but that it would be best for him when he had left this Life, and was translated to the heavenly Regions.

2. He own'd what he had written, with reference to the Things of God, to the very last. He advised those that came near him carefully to mind their Soul Concerns. The shortness of Time, the instancy of Eternity, the worth of Souls, the greatness of God, the riches of the Grace of Christ, and the excellency and import of an heavenly Mind and Life, and the great usefulness of the Word and Means of Grace pursuant to Eternal Purposes, they ever lay pressingly upon his own Heart, and extorted from him very useful Directions and Encouragements to all that came near him, even to the last. Insomuch, as that if a Polemical or Ca­suistical Point, or any Speculation in Philosophy or Divinity, had been but of­fered to him for his Resolution, after the clearest and briefest Representation of his Mind, which the Proposer's Satisfaction call'd for, he presently and most de­lightfully fell into Conversation about what related to our Christian Hope and Work.

3. Had he thought that there had been no Future State for Man to be Con­cern'd about, why was he so delighted in a hopeful Race of young Ministers and Christians? to my knowledge he greatly valued young Divines, and hopeful Can­didates for the Ministry: He was most liberal of Counsel and Encouragement to them, and a most inquisitive after, and pleased with their growthful Numbers and Improvement: And he told me, and spake it in my hearing, That he had the greatest Hopes and Expectations from the succeeding Generation of them: And he pleased himself with the Hopes and Expectations of this, that they would do God's Work much better than we had done before, and escape our Errours and Defects.

4. Any Man that reads his last Will may easily see that his Apprehensions and Disposition did not savour of such Scepticism as the Report insinuates. That part thereof which may Confirm the Reader that Mr. Baxter had no such Thoughts abiding in him, I shall here for the Reader's Satisfaction lay before him; which is as followeth:

I Richard Baxter of London Clerk, unworthy Servant of Iesus Christ, drawing to the End of this Transitory Life, having through God's great Mercy the free use of my Understanding, do make this my last Will and Testament—My Spirit I commit, with Trust and Hope of the Heavenly Felicity, into the Hands of Iesus my glorified Redeemer and Intercessor: and by his Mediation into the hands of God my reconciled Father, the [Page] Infinite, Eternal Spirit, Life, Light and Love, most great and wise and good, the God of Nature, Grace, and Glory: of whom, and through whom, and to whom are all things: My absolute Owner, Ruler, and Benefactor; whose I am, and whom (though imperfectly) I serve, seek, and trust; to whom be glory for ever, Amen.—To him I render most humble thanks that he hath fill'd up my Life with abundance of Mercy, pardoned my Sins by the Merits of Christ, and vouchsafed by his Spirit to Renew and Seal me as his own; and to moderate and bless to me my long Sufferings in the Flesh, and at last to sweeten them by his own Interest and comforting Approbation, who taketh the Cause of Love and Concord as his own.—

Now let the Reader judge whether any thing in all this can in the least infer his Doubting or Denial of a Future State; or any Repentance of the Pains he took to establish others in the Belief and Hopes of what the Gospel tells us of as future. It is strange to see how Men can trifle in their Soul-affairs, and how easily they can receive whatever may mortifie the Life and Joy of Christian Godliness: But we read of some that have been led Captive by the Devil at his will. But this we may believe, and all shall find that the Hell which they gave no credit to the report of, they shall surely feel, and that they shall never reach that Heaven which they would never believe Existent, and worth their serious looking after. Were it but a meer probability, or possibility, who will have the better of it? When we reach Heaven, we shall be in a Capacity of Insulting over In [...]idels: But if there be no Future State, they can never live to upbraid us. And it is but folly, madness, and a voluntary cheating of themselves, for Men to think that Honour, Parts, or Learning, or Interest, or Possessions can ever skreen them from the Wrath of a neglected and provoked God. And one would think that such a Spirit that can so boldly traduce and asperse Men, is much below what has acted a Pagan Roman; for even one of them, could say,

Compositum jus fasque animi, Sanctosque recessus
Mentis, & incoctum genoroso pectus [...]onesto
Da, cedò—
Pers.

How little of this Spirit was in the Author and Promoter of this Aspersion, I leave to his own and others Thoughts to pause on; who he is I know not: But for the sake of his Honour, Soul, and Faculty, I must and will request of God that he may have those softer Remorses in his own Spirit in due season, which may pre­vent a smarter Censure from the universal, awful Judge; and that he would soberly pause upon what that great Judge has uttered, and left upon record in Matth. 12. 36, 37. for it is what that Judge will abide and try us by.

I can easily foresee that Readers of different sorts are likely to receive this Work, with different Sentiments.

1. The Interested Reader, in things related here, will judge of and relish what he reads as he finds himself concerned therein: He may possibly look upon himself as either commended or exposed, blamed or justified; whether justly or unjustly he may best know. But I would hope that his Concernedness for the Interest of Equi­ty and Truth, and for the Publick Good, will rather make him candid than severe.

2. The Impartial Reader is for knowing Truth in its due and useful Evidence, and for considering himself as liable to Imperfections if engaged in such work as this: and thus he will allow for others Weaknesses, as he would have his own allowed for.

3. Should any Reader be censorious, and stretch Expressions and Reports beyond their determin'd Line and Reach, sober and clear Conviction in this Case may be their Cure.

4. As to the Judicious Reader, he loves, I know, to see things in their Nature, Order, Evidence and Usefulness: and if he find Materials, he can dispose them ea­sily, and phrase them to his own Satisfaction, and at the same time pity the injudi­ciousness of a Publisher, and the imperfections of the Author.

5. As to the weak Reader (for judiciousness is not every sober Person's Lot) it will be harder to convince him beyond his ability of discerning things in their di­stinctness, truth and strength.

6. As to the byassed Reader, it is hoped that his second serious Thoughts may cure him of his Partiality.

[Page]7. As to the selfish Reader, it is bold for any Man to think himself Superiour to the rest of Men and that all must be a Sacrifice to his own Concerns and Humour: A narrow Soul is a great In [...]elicity, both to its self, to others, and the Publick In­terest.

8. The Publick Spirited Reader is more concern'd for Truth than for any Thing that Rivals it: his Thoughts and Motto is Magna est veritas & praevalebit; and he will think himself most gratified when Publick Expectations and Concerns are an­swered and secured best.

9. Those that are perfectly ignorant of what the History is most concerned in will be glad of better Informations; and the Things recorded will be (as being No­vel) most grateful to him.

10. As to those that were acquainted mostly with the Things here mentioned, they will have their Memories refreshed, and meet with some Additions to their useful Knowledge.

11. And as to my self, if there be any thing untrue, injurious, or unfit, as to either Publick or Personal Concerns, the Publisher hopes that the Reader will not look upon him as obliged to justifie or espouse whatever the Author may have mis­represented, through his own Personal Infirmities or Mistakes; for all Men are im­perfect, and my Work was to publish the Author's Sentiments and Reports, rather than my own: Nor will I vouch for every Thing in this History, nor in any meer Humane Treatise, beyond its Evidence or Credibility. But let the Reader assure himself that I am his, in the best of Bonds and Services, whilst

I am M. S.

A BREVIATE OF THE CONTENTS OF THE Ensuing Narrative: Which was written by Parts, at different Times.

PART I.
Written for the most part in 1664.

AFter a brief Narrative of his Birth and Parentage, and large one of his School-masters, Mr. Baxter proceeds to an Account of the means of his coming to a serious sense of Religion, and of his perplexing Doubts and their Solutions, to page 9. of his bodily weakness and indispositions, to p. 11. of several remark­able Deliverances [...]e met with: viz. from the Temptations of a Court Life; from being run over by a Waggon; in a fall from a Horse; and from Gaming, p. 11, 12. His applying himself to the Ministry, Ordination by the Bishop of Worcester, and Settlement in Dudley School as Master, p. 12, 13. His studying the Matter of Con­formity, and Iudgment about it at that time, p. 13, 14. His removal from Dudley to Bridgnorth, and success there, p. 14, 15. of the coming out of the Etcaetera Oath, and his further studying the point of Episcopacy upon that occasion, p. 15, 16. Upon occasion of this Etcaetera Oath, he passes to the Dissatisfactions in Scotland on the account of the imposi­tion of the English Ceremonies, thence to Ship-money in England, thence to the Scots first coming [...]ither, and so to the opening of the Long Parliament, p. 16, 17. After an Account of their, Proceedings till such time as a Committee was chosen to hear Petitions against Scandalous Ministers, he shews how by that means he came to be settled in the Town of Kiddermin­ster as Lecturer to a scandalous Incumbent, against whom a Petition had been presented to that Committee, had [...]e not consented to his Settlement under him, p. 18, &c. a sort of a Prediction of his in a Funeral Sermon preacht afterwards at Bridgnorth, p. 20. His Temp­tations to Infidelity, and to question the Truth of the Scriptures, &c. with the means of his being extricated out of them, p. 21, &c. a remarkable story of a false Accusation of one Mr. Cross a pious Minister in the Neighbourhood of Kidderminster, as if he attempted to ravish a Woman, with its detection, p. 24. A return to the Proceedings of the Parliament; and Account of the springs and rise of the Civil War, to p. 29. The Case of the Country stated about the Civil Differences between King and Parliament, and the Ecclesiastical Differences between the Prelatical, and the Antiprelatical Party, from p. 30. to p. 38. His own sense of, and [...] about this matter, p. 39. Here he returns to the series of his own Life, and relates a remarkable story of his preservation from the fury of the rabble at Kidderminster, who were enrag'd upon the Churchwardens going to remove a Crucifix according to order of Parliament, p. 40. upon the Peoples tumultuousness he retired to Glou­cester, [Page] where he first met with some of the Anabaptists, p. 40, 41. then he returns to Kid­derminster, where a little after, some of Essexes Army quarter'd: but they retiring before a part of the Kings Army, and he finding the Rabble furious thought not his stay sase, and so went with the Essexians to Worcester, p. 42. October the 23d, 1640. the day of Edge-hill Fight he preacht at Alcester; and the next day went to see the place of Battel, p. 43. after this he went to Coventry; where he continued a year, preaching to the Town and Garrison, p. 44. he went with some Country Gentlemen to We [...]m and other places, de­signing to leave Coventry; but soon return'd thither again; and st [...]y'd there another year, having much trouble from Separatists, Anabaptists, and Antinomians, p. 45. Of the laying the Earl of Essex aside, and the new modelling the Army, p. 47. Of the Scotch Covenant. How far Prelacy was abjur'd in it as it was explain'd by the Assembly of Di­vines, p. 48. of Cromwell's Interest, in the new modell'd Army, and the change of the old Cause, p. 49. the Fight at Naseby and its Consequences, p. 50. an Account of his first coming into the Army presently after that Fight; the Principles and Temper he then found prevail amongst them, p. 50, 51. How he became a Chaplain to Col. Whalley's Regiment, and upon what grounds and considerations, p. 52. how strenuously he set himself to oppose the Sectaries in the Army, p. 53. An Account of the several Marches and most remarkable Actions of the Army, while he continued in it, from p. 54. to p. 58. [An Account of a Dispute he maintain'd for an whole day together with some of the Sectaries of the Army, in the Church at Agmondesham in Buckinghamshire, p. 56.] His sickness forc't him to withdraw from the Army; retiring from which, he after several removes, returns to Kid­derminster, p. 58. A further Account of the Proceedings of the Sectaries after he left the Army, and of Oliver's intreagues, p. 59. An Account of the King's treatment after his delivering himself to the Scots, till he was forc't to fly to the Isle of Wight, p. 60, 61. of the Treaty that was on foot with the King while he was confin'd there; and the Di­spute between the Kings and Parliaments Divines concerning the Point of Episcopacy, and his Iudgment about it, p. 62. What follow'd afterwards till the King's Tryal and Execu­tion, p. 63. Of the Engagement; his Iudgment of it and Preaching against it, p. 64. What hindred Cromwell's advancement after the taking off the King, p. 65. of King Charles the Second his being forc't by the Scots to take the Covenant, before they would admit him to the Succession; and his Iudgment thereupon, p. 66. Of the Order of the Rump for all Ministers upon pain of Sequestration to pray to God for success for the Army advancing against the Scots, and to return Thanks for their Victories; and his Practice a­bout it, p. 66. Of the trouble of the Presbyterian Ministers in London on account of their adherence to the King; and Mr. Love's Tryal, p. 67. of Cromwell's march into Scot­land, and his Victory there; the King's march into England, and the Fight at Worcester, p. 68, 69. of what follow'd after, till Cromwell became Protectour: and the Iudgment of the generality of the Ministers as to the point of Submission to him, p. 70, 71. of the Triers of Ministers chosen by Cromwell, p. 72. of the Assembly at Westminster, p. 73. Of the several Sects which sprang up in these times. Of the Vanists. Sir Henry Vane's Cha­racter, p. 74, 75. Of the Seekers and Ranters, p. 76. of the Quakers and Behmenists, p. 77. of other Sect-Masters, as Dr. Gell, Mr. Parker, Dr. Gibbon, &c. p. 78.

From publick he then passes to his own personal Affairs. And gives a full Account of the Sequestration of the Living of Kidderminster, p. 79. An Account of his illness after his return thither, and of several Answers of Prayer with reference thereto; as also with reference to others, p. 80, 81, 82. A particular account of his laborious work and diligent improve­ment of his time to the best advantage in his Masters service while at Kidderminster, p. 83. the great success of his Ministerial Labours amongst that People, p. 84, 85. His great advan­tages in order to, and in all this service, p. 86, 87, 88, 89, 90. The Church Discipline kept up there, p. 91, &c. the difference that arose between him and Mr. Tombs, and their publick Dispute at Bewdley, p. 96.

Cromwell's Death and Character, p. 89. Of the setting up and deposing of Richard Cromwell; with a Censure upon it, p. 100, 101. on which occasion a general Account is gi­ven of the Sectarian Party then grown rampant, p. 102, &c.

Of Monk's coming to restore the King, p. 105, &c.

A large account of his several Books and Writings. The occasions of them, and the oppositi­on made against them, from p. 106. to p. 124.

A general Censure of his own Works, p. 124. a Comparison between his younger and his ri­per years; An account of his Sentiments about Controversial Writings; His Temptations and Difficulties; most considerable improvements; and remaining defects, from p. 124. to p. 136. a penitent Confession of his Faults, p. 137.

PART II.
Written in 1665.

HE begins with the Differences and Debates about Church Government in the late times [...] and gives his Iudgment about the several Principles of the Erastians, Prelatists, Pres­byterians, Independants, and Anabaptists; shows what he approv'd and dislik'd in each; mentions the many impediments on all [...]ands to charitable conciliatory endeavours; and yet gives an Account how he resolv'd to set upon reconciling work, in order whereto the Worce­stershire Agreement was form'd, which was not altogether without its success, from p. 139. to p. 150. Nineteen Quaeries about Ecclesiastical Cases, drawn up by an Episcopal man in the late Times, and convey'd to him by Sir Ralph Clare, with his Answer to them from p. 151. to p. 157. A Letter of his in answer to Sir Ralph Clare his Parishioner, who would not Com­municate with him, unless he might receive kneeling, and on a distinct day, and not with those who received sitting, p. 157, &c. A Letter from the associated Ministers in Cumberland and Westmoreland, to the associated Ministers in Worcestershire, p. 162. an Answer to it, p. 164. Many other Counties begin to associate for Church Discipline: the Articles agreed to, by the Mi­nisters in Wiltshire, p. 167. A Letter from the associated Churches in Ireland, to Mr. Baxter and the associated Ministers in Worcestershire, p. 169. the Answer to it, p. 170. A second Letter from the Irish Ministers, p. 171. A Letter of Mr. Baxter's to Bishop Brownrigg, about an Agreement between the Presbyterian and Episcopal Party, p. 172. The Bishops Reply to it; containing his Iudgment about Church Government, p. 174, 175, &c. Mr. Baxter's Notes on the Bishop's Answer, p. 178. After this, he upon occasion of the passing of Letters be­tween him and Mr. Lamb and Mr. Allen, two Anabaptist Freachers, to disswade them from separation, propounds and answers this Question; Whether it be our duty to seek peace with the Anabaptists? and proposes a method of managing a Pacificatory attempt with them, p. 181. &c. A personal Treaty of his with Mr. Nye about an Agreement with the Independants, and a long Letter to him about that affair, p. 188, &c. Proposals made by him in Crom­well's time, for a general holy Communion, Peace, and Concord, between the Churches in these Nations, without any wrong to the Consciences or Liberties, of Presbyterians, Congre­gational, Episcopal; or any other Christians, p. 191, &c. The occasion of choosing a Com­mittee of Divines, to make a Collection of Fundamentais; of which Mr. Baxter was one, p. 197. His own Iudgment of Fundamentals, ib. and p. 198. The proceedings of the Di­vines in this matter, p. 199. Papers deliver'd in by Mr. Baxter to them, on points wherein he differ'd from them, p. 200, &c.

An Account of his preaching before Cromwell; and personal Conference with him after­wards in private; and a second Conference with him in his Privy Council, p. 205. of what past between him and Dr. Nich. Gibbon, ibid. Of his Acquaintance and Conversation with Archbishop Usher, while he continued at my Lord Broghil's: where a particular account is given of the Learned Primates Iudgment about Universal Redemption; about Mr. Bax­ter's terms of Concord; and about the validity of Presbyters Ordination, p. 206. Of the Carriage of the Anabaptists after the Death of Cromwell, p. 206. and the general Confusi­on of the Nation, p. 207. New Proposals he made to Dr. Hammond about an Agreement with the Episcopal Party, by Sir Ralph Clare's means, p. 208. Dr. Hammond's Answer, and Mr. Baxter's Reply, p. 210.

Of General Monk's march to London; and the common sentiments and expectations of people at that time, p. 214. of his preaching before the Parliament the day before they voted the King back, p. 217. of his Conference with Dr. Gauden and Dr. Morley, p. 218. What past between one William Johnson, a Papist, and Mr. Baxter; in particular with reference to the Lady Anne Lindsey, daughter of the Countess of Balcarres, whom he had seduc'd and afterwards stole away and convey'd into France, p. 218, &c. Two Letters of Mr. Baxter's to this young Lady; one before she was stole away; and the other while she was in a Nun­nery in France, p. 221, &c.

Of peoples various expectations upon the King's return, p. 229. Of some of the Presbyteri­an Ministers being made the King's Chaplains; and Mr. Baxter among the rest; ibid. seve­ral of them together wait on his Majesty. The sum of Mr. Baxter's Speech to the King, p. 230. the King receives them graciously, and orders them to bring in Proposals in order to an Agreement about Church Government, p. 231. where upon they daily met at Sion Col­ledge for Consultation, p. 232.

Their first Address and Proposals to his Majesty about Concord, p. 232, &c. the brief sum of their judgment and desires about Church Government, p. 237. Bishop Usher's Model of Government to which they all agreed to adhere, p. 238. Five Requests made to the King [Page] by word of mouth, suiting the Circumstances of Affairs at that time, p. 241. The Answer of the Bishops to the first Proposals of the London Ministers, p. 242. the Ministers defence of their fore-mention'd Proposals, p. 248. His Majesty's Declaration concerning Ecclesiastical Affairs, as it was first drawn up, and shown to the Ministers, by the Lord Chancellour, p. 259. The Ministers Petition to the King, upon their sight of the first draught of this Declaration, p. 265. the Alterations of the Declaration which they offer'd, p. 275. a Conference between se­veral Divines of each side, about the fore-mention'd Declaration, before the King at the Lord Chancellours, and the effects of it, p. 276. of the coming out of the Declaration with amend­ments, p. 279. Of Mr. Baxter's preaching before the King, and printing his Sermon, and the false accusation of him by Dr. Pierce on that occasion, p. 279. a Character of Dr. Pierce, and Ac­count of his enmity against Mr. Baxter, p. 280. of the offer of a Bishoprick made to Mr. Baxter with some others, who joyntly demurr'd about the acceptance, p. 281. Mr. Baxter re­fuses to accept the terms proposed in the fore-mention'd Declaration; and sends a Letter to the Lord Chancellour containing his Reasons, p. 282. Dr. Regnolds accepts a Bishoprick: other Preferments offer'd to other Presbyterians who refus'd them, p. 283. An Address of Thanks to the King from the London Ministers, for his Declaration, p. 284. a Censure of this De­claration, p. 286. How well this Declaration was put in Execution, p. 287. Mr. Crof [...]on's writing for the Covenant, and imprisonment in the Tower, p. 288. A false report spread a­bout of Mr. Baxter, by Mr. Horton, Chaplain to the Earl of Manchester, p. 289. an ac­count of Mr. Baxter's transactions with the Lord Chancellour, about the Affairs of New-England, p. 290. a Letter to Mr. Baxter from the Court and Government of New-Eng­land, p. 291. another from Mr. Norton, p. 292. another from Mr. Elliot, p. 293. Mr. Bax­ter's answer to Mr. Elliot, p. 295. Mr. Baxter's endeavours to be restor'd to the People of Kid­derminster, from whom he was separated upon the return of the sequestred Ministers to their Livings, p. 298. A Letter of my Lord Chancellours to Sir Ralph Clare about Mr. Baxter's return to Kidderminster, p. 299. Of the Rising of the Fifth Monarchy men under Venner, about this time, p. 301. of his publick Ministry in London, p. 301. His going to the Arch­bishop to beg a License, p. 302. His Majesty's Commission for the Savoy Conference, p. 303. an Account of what past at the Conference, p. 305. Exceptions that Mr. Baxter drew up a­gainst the Common Prayer at that time, p. 308. the Exceptions against the Book of Common Prayer that were deliver'd in to the Commissioners, p. 316, &c. Of the choice of the Convo­cation, and of Mr. Calamy, and Mr. Baxter for London, p. 333. a further account of the Conference, p. 334, &c. a Paper then offer'd by Dr. Cosins, about a way to terminate the differences; with an Answer to it, p. 341, &c.

An Account of the Dispute manag'd in Writing at that time, between Dr. Pierson, Dr. Gunning, Dr. Sparrow, and Dr. Pierce; and Dr. Bates, Dr. Jacomb, and Mr. Baxter, who were deputed for that purpose, p. 346, &c. A Reply to the Bishops Disputants which was not answer'd, p. 350. a Continuation of the Conference, p. 356. a Copy of the Part of the Bi­shops Divines in the Disputation, p. 358. A Censure of this Conference, and Account of the Managers of it, p. 363. of the Ministers going up to the King after the Conference, p. 365. the Pe­tition they presented to his Majesty on that occasion, p. 366. to which (by reason of their Affi­nity) is annexed a Copy of the Concessions that were made by Bishop Usher, Bishop Williams, Bishop Moreton, Bishop Holdsworth, and many others in a Committee at Westminster 1641. p. 369.

Books written against Mr. Baxter by Mr. Nanfen, Dr. Tompkins, and others, p. 373. He goes to Kidderminster, to try if he might be permitted to preach: there, p. 374. Bishop Morley and his Dean, endeavour to set the people there against him, p. 375, 376. Bp. Morley and Dr. Bore­man write against him, p. 377. Mr. Bagthaw writes against the Bishop, p. 378. Of the sur­reptitious publication of the Savoy Conference, p. 379. other assaults that Mr. Baxter met with, p. 380. a false report rau'd of him by Dr. Earls, p. 381. a Letter of Mr. Baxter's to him on that occasion, with his answer to it, p. 382. Divers Ministers imprison'd particularly in Worcestershire, on occasion of a pretended Conspiracy, p. 383. Of BLACK BAR­THOLOMEW DAY 1662. wherein so many Ministers were silenc'd, p. 384. of the sad consequences of that day, p. 385. Mr. Calamy's imprisonment for preaching occasionally af­ter the silencing, p. 386. the state of the Conformists and Nonconformists in England at that time, p. 336. the sum of their several Causes, and the Reasons of their several ways, p. 387, &c.

Of the King's Declaration, Dec. 26. 1662. p. 430. Old Mr. Ashes Death and Character, ibid Mr. James Nalton's Death and Character, p. 431. How Mr. Baxter and Dr. Bates had like to have been apprehended for going to pray with a sick person, p. 431. of the impri­sonment of divers Ministers about the Country, p. 432. Strange Iudgments of God, about this time turn'd by the Devil to his own advantage, ibid. Much talk about an Indulgence or a Comprehension in 1663. p. 433. An Answer (sent in a Letter to an honourable Person at that time) to this Question, Whether the way of Comprehension or Indulgence be more de­sirable, [Page] p. 434. But the Parliament that then sate, considerably added to former rigour, p. 435. Mr. Baxter and others go to the Assemblies of the Church of England, p. 436. His Answer to the Objections against this practice, and Reasons for it, p. 438. He retires to Acton, p. 440. A Letter to Mr. Baxter from Monsieur Amyraut, another from Monsieur Sollicoffer a Swit­zer, which by reason of the Iealousies he was under, he thought not fit to answer, p. 442. He debates with some ejected Ministers, the Case about Communicating sometimes with the Pa­rish Churches, in the Sacraments, p. 444. A Letter from my Lord Ashley, with a special Case, about the lawfulness of a Protestant Lady's marrying a Papist, in hope of his Conversi­on, with Mr. Baxter's reply, p. 445.

PART III.
Written for the most part in the year 1670.

OF the Plague in the year 1665, p. 1. during the Sickness some of the ejected Ministers preach in the City Churches, p. 2. at the same time the Five-mile Act was fram'd at Oxford, ibid a Censure of the Act, p. 3. the reasons of mens refusal to take the Oath imposed by that Act, p. 5. Queries upon the Oxford Oath, p. 7. further Reflections on it, p. 10. Twenty Nonconforming Ministers take this Oath, p. 13. a Letter from Dr. Ba [...]es to Mr. Baxter about that affair, p. 14. of the Dutch War, p. 16. of the Fire of London, ibid. of the Instruments of the Fire, p. 18. The Nonconformists set up seperate publick Meetings, p. 19. of the burning of our Ships at Chatham by the Dutch, p. 20. the disgrace and banishment of my Lord Chan­cellour Hide, ibid. Sir Orlando Bridgman made Lord Keeper, p. 22. the Nonconformists conniv'd at in their Meetings, ib. Mr. Baxter sent for to the Lord Keeper about a Toleration and Comprehension, p. 23. Proposals then offer'd by Mr. Baxter and others, p. 24. the Lord Keeper's Proposals, p. 25. Alterations made by Mr. Baxter and his Associates in his Proposals, p. 27. [falsly pag'd 35.] Reasons of these Alterations, p. 28. [falsly pag'd 36.] Alterations of the Liturgy, &c. then offer'd, p. 31. [falsly pag'd 39.] two new Proposals added, and accepted with alterations, p. 34. an Address of some Presbyterian Ministers to the King, with a Letter of Dr. Manton's to Mr. Baxter about it, p. 36. great talk of Liberty at this time, but none en­sued, p. 38. Of the Book call'd A Friendly Debate, p. 39. of Parker's Ecclesiastical Policy, p. 41. of Dr. Owen's Answer, and Parker's Reply, p. 42. An Apologue or two, familiarly re­presenting the Heats and Feuds of those times, p. 43, &c. Mr. Baxter's further account of himself while he remain'd at Acton, p. 46. of his acquaintance with worthy Sir Matth. Hale, p. 47. of the disturbance he receiv'd at Acton, p. 48. he is sent to New Prison, p. 49. a Narrative of his Case at that time, p. 51. the Errours of his Mittimus, with an Explication of the Oxford Act, p. 56. His Reflections during his imprisonment, p. 58. His Release and perplexity there­upon, p. 60. His Benefactours while in prison, ibid. His bodily weakness, ibid. An Account of his Writings since 1665. p. 61. on Account of a Treaty between him and Dr. Owen, about an Agreement between the Presbyterians and the Independants, p. 61. a Letter of Dr. Owen's to Mr. Baxter about that matter, p. 63. Mr. Baxter's Reply to it, p. 64. how it was dropp'd, p. 69. of his Methodus Theologiae, ibid. and some other Writings, p. 70. the heat of some of his old people at Kidderminster, p. 73. the renewal of the Act against Conventicles, p. 74. Dr. Manton's imprisonment, ibid. Great offers made to Mr. Baxter by the Earl of Lauderdail, if he would go with him into Scotland. Mr. Baxter's Letter to him upon that occasion p. 75. Another Letter of his to the Earl of Lauderdail, p. 77. [falsly pag'd 93.] a Letter of his to Sir Robert Murrey, about a Body of Church Discipline for Scotland, which was sent to him for his Iudgment about it, p. 78. the Affair of the Marquis of Antrim, with reference to his Commission from K. Charles 1. p. 83. of Du Moulin's Jugulum Causae; and two Books of Dr. Fowler's, p. 85. of Serjeant Fountain's kindness to him, p. 86. of Major Blood, and his stealing the Crown, p. 88. of the shutting up the Exchequer, by which Mr. Baxter lost a thousand pounds, which he had devoted to charitable uses, p. 89. of Fowlis's History of Romish Treasons, p. 90. Characters of many of the silenc'd Ministers, of Worcestershire, Warwick­shire, in and about London, &c. from p. 90 to p. 98. the second Dutch War, and the Declara­tion for Liberty of Conscience thereupon, p. 99. the different Sentiments of People about the de­sirableness either of an establisht Toleration, or a Comprehension, p. 100. Mr. Baxter gets a License, p. 102. the Merchants Lecture set up at Pinners-Hall; and Mr. Baxter's Accusati­ons for his Sermons there, p. 103. Malitious Writings and Accusations of Parker and others, ibid. a private Conference between Mr. Baxter and Bp. Gunning, p. 104 the Parliament jealous of the growth of Popery, p. 106. a private Conference of Mr. Baxter's with Edward Wray, Esq. about the Popish Controversies, p. 107. Mr. Falkener writes for Conformity, p. 108. a Letter of Mr. Baxter's to the Earl of Orery, about a general Union of all Protestants against Popery, with Proposals for that purpose, p. 109, &c. the Strictures return'd upon these Proposals, with the Answers to them, from p. 113. to 140. More bitter and malignant Writings against [Page] the Nonconformists, p. 141. a Paper of Mr. John Humphreys for Comprehension with Indul­gence, that was distributed among the Parliament men, p. 143, &c. a great change of Affairs in Scotland, p. 147. a Character of Mr. Thomas Gouge the silenc'd Minister of St. Sepul­chres, p. 147. a Letter of Mr. Baxter's to Dr. Good Master of Baliol Colledge in Oxford, a­bout some passages in a Book he had lately publish'd, p. 148. fresh Accusations whereby Mr. Bax­ter was assaulted, p. 151. a Deliverance when he was preaching over St. James's Market-house, p. 152. his success while he preach't there; and his opposition, p. 153. a Proclamation publish'd to call in the Licenses, and require the Execution of the Laws against the Nonconformists, ib. false Reports about his preaching at Pinners-Hall, p. 154. Mr. Baxter apprehended as a Con­venticler, p. 155. a difference at Court on occasion of Mr. Baxter's Sufferings, p. 156. a private Treaty between Dr. Stillingfleet, Dr. Tillotson, Dr. Bates, Dr. Manton, Mr. Baxter, and Mr. Pool, about an Act for Union and Comprehension, p. 157. An Act for the Healing and Concord of his Majesty's Subjects in matters of Religion, then agreed upon amongst th [...]m, p. 158. Petiti­ons Mr. Baxter was then put upon drawing up, which were never presented, 160. the Case of the City as to the Prosecution of Dissenters, p. 165. [falsly pag'd 565. an account of his trouble with Sir Thomas Davis, ibid. great Debates about the Test in Parliament, p. 167. a Censure of it, p. 168. a penitent Confession of one of the Informers who had given Mr. Baxter much trouble, p. 171. further troubles that he met with, and weakness, p. 172. a further Account of Sir Matthew Hale, p. 175. of Mr. Read's imprisonment, p. 176.

Of the Additions of the years 1675, 1676, 1677, 1678, &c.

OF Monsieur Le Blank's Theses, p. 177. of Dr. Jane's Sermon before my Lord Mayor, and his Charge against Mr. Baxter, ibid. further troubles he met with, p. 178. a passage be­tween the Bp. of Exeter and Mr. Sangar, ibid. an horrid Lie reported of Mr. Baxter in a Coffee-house about his killing a Tinker, the Reporter whereof was brought openly to confess his fault, p. 179. Mr. Hollingworth's Sermon against the Nonconformists, p. 180. a further pas­sage of Sir Matth. Hale, p. 181. Dr. Manton's death, p. 182. about the Controversie of Pre­determination started amongst the Nonconformists, by a Book of Mr. How's, ib. of the Popish Plot and Sir Edmundbury Godfrey's murder, &c. p. 183. of several of Mr. Baxter's Wri­tings, p. 185. of the Writings of Dr. Stillingfleet, Mr. Hinkley, Mr. Dodwell, and others, a­gainst the Nonconformists, p. 187, 188. of the deaths of many of his dear Friends, p. 189. some further account of Mr. Thomas Gouge, p. 190. of his new apprehension and sickness, p. 191. an Account of his Case at that time, p. 192. the Iudgment of Saunders and Pollixtin about it, p. 195. of some other of his Writings, p. 196. of a Legacy of 600 l. left by Mr. Robert Mayot of Oxon, to be distributed by Mr. Baxter among Sixty ejected Ministers, p. 198. a further Account of his sufferings and weakness, ibid. & p. 199.

The Appendix contains these several Pieces following.

  • Numb. I. A Reply to some Exceptions against the Worcestershire Agreement, (a large Account whereof is given at the beginning of the second Part of this Narra­tive) and Mr. Baxter's Christian Concord, written by a nameless Author, [supposed to be Dr. Gunning] and sent by Dr. Warmestry, p. 1.
  • Numb. II. Several Letters that pass'd between Mr. Baxter and Mr. Martin Johnson, about the Point of Ordination; and particularly the necessity of a constant uninterrupted Succession, in order to the validity of Ministerial Functions, p. 18.
  • Numb. III. Several Letters between Mr. Baxter and Mr. Lamb, p. 51.
  • Numb. IV. Letters and Papers between Mr. Baxter and Mr. Allen, p. 67.
  • Numb. V. A Letter of Mr. Baxter's to Mr. Long of Exeter, p. 108.
  • Numb. VI. A Resolution of this Case; What's to be done when the Law of the Land com­mands persons to go to their Parish Church, and Parents require to go to private Meetings? p. III
  • Numb. VII. A Letter of Mr. Baxter's about the Case of Nevil Symmons Bookseller, p. 117.
  • Numb. VIII. Mr. Baxter's general Defence, of his accused Writings, call'd Seditious and Schismatical, p. 119.
  • Numb. IX. An Act for Concord, by Reforming Parish Churches, and Regulating the Toleration of Dissenters, p. 127. A Letter to the Right Worshipful Sir E. H. about that matter, p. 130.

Be pleased (Candid Reader) to correct these Errours in the beginning thus:

PAge 1. line 29. for and read one; and after rest r. and. p. 2. l. 10. after clock r. in the. and l27. dele and. p. 3. l. 35. for being r. bringing me. p. 4. l. 28. dele of. and l. 40. after knowledge r. was. l. 42. for wonder r. wondred p. 6. l. 17. r. that part of Physick. p. 8. l. 29. r. usually. p. 199. l. 14. for he r. it. l. 46. for rejections r. objections. The rest as they occur inter legendum: for I could not attend the Press and prevent the Errata.

THE LIFE OF THE REVEREND Mr. Richard Baxter.
LIB. I. PART I.

§ 1. MY Father's Name was Richard (the Son of Richard) Baxter: His Habitation and Estate at a Village called Eaton-Constan­tine, a mile from the Wrekin-Hill, and above half a mile from Severn River, and five miles from Shrewsbury in Shrop­shire: A Village most pleasantly and healthfully situate. My Mother's Name was Beatrice the Daughter of Richard Adeney of Rowton, a Village near High-Ercall, the Lord New­port's Seat, in the same County: There I was born A. D. 1615. on the 12th of November, being the Lord's Day, in the Morning at the time of Divine Worship; and Baptized at High-Ercall the 19th day following: And there I lived from my Parents with my Grandfather till I was near Ten years of Age, and then was taken home.

My Father had only the Competent Estate of a Freeholder, free from the Temp­tations of Poverty and Riches: But having been addicted to Gaming in his Youth, and his Father before him, it was so entangled by Debts, that it occasioned some excess of worldly Cares before it was freed.

We lived in a Country that had but little Preaching at all: In the Village where I was born there was four Readers successively in Six years time, ignorant Men, and two of them immoral in their lives; who were all my School-masters. In the Village where my Father lived, there was a Reader of about Eighty years of Age that never preached, and had two Churches about Twenty miles distant: His Eye­sight failing him, he said Common-Prayer without Book; but for the Reading of the Psalms and Chapters, he got a Common Thresher and Day-Labourer one year, and a Taylor another year: (for the Clerk could not read well): And at last he had a Kinsman of his own, (the excellentest Stage-player in all the Country, and a good Gamester and good Fellow) that got Orders and supplied one of his Places! After him another younger Kinsman, that could write and read, got Orders: And at the same time another Neighbour's Son that had been a while at School turn'd Minister, and who would needs go further than the rest, ventur'd to preach (and after got a Living in Staffordshire,) and when he had been a Preacher about Twelve or Sixteen years, he was fain to give over, it being discovered that his Orders were forged by the first ingenious Stage-Player. After him another Neighbour's Son took Orders, when he had been a while an Attorney's Clerk, and a common Drun­kard, and tipled himself into so great Poverty that he had no other way to live: It [Page 2] was feared that he and more of them came by their Orders the same way with the forementioned Person: These were the School-masters of my Youth (except two of them:) who read Common Prayer on Sundays and Holy-days, and taught School and tipled on the Week-days, and whipt the Boys when they were drunk, so that we changed them very oft. Within a few miles about us, were near a dozen more Mi­nisters that were near Eighty years old apiece, and never preached; poor ignorant Readers, and most of them of Scandalous Lives: only three or four constant com­perent Preachers lived near us, and those (though Conformable all save one) were the common Marks of the People's Obloquy and Reproach, and any that had but gone to hear them, when he had no Preaching at home, was made the Derision of the Vulgar Rabble, under the odious Name of a Puritane.

But though we had no better Teachers, it pleased God to instruct and change my Father, by the bare reading of the Scriptures in private, without either Preach­ing, or Godly Company, or any other Books but the Bible: And God made him the Instrument of my first Convictions, and Approbation of a Holy Life, as well as of my Restraint from the grosser sort of Lives. When I was very young, his serious Speeches of God and the Life to come, possessed me with a fear of sin­ning! When I was but near Ten years of Age, being at School at High-Ercall, we had leave to play on the Day of the King's Coronation; and at Two of the Clock afternoon on that Day there happened an Earthquake, which put all the People into a fear, and somewhat possessed them with awful thoughts of the Dreadful God. (I make no Commentary on the Time; nor do I know certainly whether it were in other Countreys.)

At first my Father set me to read the Historical part of the Scripture, which suit­ing with my Nature greatly delighted me; and though all that time I neither un­derstood nor relished much the Doctrinal Part, and Mystery of Redemption, yet it did me good by acquainting me with the Matters of Fact, and drawing me on to love the Bible, and to search by degrees into the rest.

But though my Conscience would trouble me when I sinned, yet divers sins I was addicted to, and ost committed against my Conscience; which for the warn­ing of others I will confess here to my shame.

1. I was much addicted when, I feared Correction to lie, that I might scape.

2. I was much addicted to the excessive gluttonous eating of Apples and Pears: which I think laid the foundation of that Imbecillity and Flatulency of my Stomach, which caused the Bodily Calamities of my Life.

3. To this end, and to concur with naughty Boys that gloried in evil, I have oft gone into other men's Orchards, and stoln their Fruit, when I had enough at home.

4. I was somewhat excessively addicted to play, and that with covetousness, for Money.

5. I was extreamly bewitched with a Love of Romances, Fables and old Tales, which corrupted my Affections and lost my Time.

6. I was guilty of much idle foolish Chat, and imitation of Boys in scurrilous foolish Words and Actions (though I durst not swear).

7. I was too proud of my Masters Commendations for Learning, who all of them [...]ed my pride, making me Seven or Eight years the highest in the School, and boasting of me to others, which though it furthered my Learning, yet helped not my Humility.

8. I was too bold and unreverent towards my Parents.

These were my Sins which in my Childhood Conscience troubled me for a great while before they were overcome.

In the Village where I lived the Reader read the Common-Prayer briefly, and the rest of the Day even till dark Night almost, except Eating time, was spent in Dancing under a May-Pole and a great Tree, not far from my Father's Door; where all the Town did meet together: And though one of my Father's own Tenants was the Piper, he could not restrain him, not break the Sport: So that we could not read the Scripture in our Family without the great disturbance of the Taber and Pipe and Noise in the Street! Many times my Mind was inclined to be among them, and sometimes I broke loose from Conscience, and joyned with them; and the more I did it the more I was enclined to it. But when I heard them call my Father Puritan, it did much to cure me and alienate me from them: for I consi­der'd that my Father's Exercise of Reading the Scripture, was better than theirs, and would surely be better thought on by all men at the last; and I considered what it was for that he and others were thus derided. When I heard them speak [Page 3] scornfully of others as Puritans whom I never knew, I was at first apt to be­lieve all the Lies and Slanders wherewith they loaded them: But when I heard my own Father so reproached, and perceived the Drunkards were the forwardest in the reproach, I perceived that it was mere Malice: For my Fa­ther never scrupled Common-Prayer or Ceremonies, nor spake against Bishops, nor ever so much as prayed but by a Book or Form, being not ever acquainted then with any that did otherwise: But only for reading Scripture when the rest were Dancing on the Lord's Day, and for praying (by a Form out of the end of the Common-Prayer Book) in his House, and for reproving Drunkards and Swear­ers, and for talking sometimes a few words of Scripture and the Life to come, he was reviled commonly by the Name of Puritan, Precision and Hypocrite: and so were the Godly Conformable Ministers that lived any where in the Country near us, not only by our Neighbours, but by the common talk of the Vulgar Rabble of all a­bout us. By this Experience I was fully convinc'd that Godly People were the best, and those that despised them and lived in Sin and Pleasure, were a malignant un­happy sort of People: and this kept me out of their Company, except now and then when the Love of Sports and Play enticed me.

§ 2. The chiefest help that I had for all my Learning in the Country Schools, was with Mr. Iohn Owen School-master at the Free-School at Wroxeter, to whom I went next, who lived in Sir Richard Newport's House (afterward Lord Newport) at Eyton, and taught School at that ancient Uriconium, (where the Ruins and old Coin confirm those Histories, which make it an ancient City in the Romans Times).

The present Lord Newport and his Brother were then my School-fellows, in a lower Form, and Dr. Richard Allestree now Dr. of the Chair in Oxford, Canon of Christ's-Church, and Provost of Eaton-Colledge: of whom I remember that when my Master set him up into the lower end of the highest Form, where I had long been Chief, I took it so ill, that I talkt of leaving the School: whereupon my Master gravely, but very tenderly, rebuked my pride, and gave me for my Theme, Ne sutor ultra crepidam.

§ 3. About that time it pleased God of his wonderful Mercy to open my Eyes with a clearer insight into the Concerns and Case of my own Soul, and to touch my heart with a livelier feeling of things [...] Spiritual than ever I had sound before: And it was by the means and in the order following; stirring up my Conscience more against me, by robbing an Orchard or two with rude Boys, than it was be­fore: And being under some more Conviction for my Sin, a poor Day-Labourer in the Town (he that I before-mentioned that was wont to read in the Church for the old Parson) had an old torn Book which he lent my Father, which was cal­led Bunny's Resolution, (being written by Parson's the Jesuit, and corrected by Edm. Bunny). I had before heard some Sermons, and read a good Book or two, which made me more love and honour Godliness in the General; but I had never felt a­ny other change by them on my heart. Whether it were that till now I came not to that maturity of Nature, which made me capable of discerning; or whether it were that this was God's appointed time, or both together, I had no lively sight and sense of what I read till now. And in the reading of this Book (when I was about Fifteen years of Age) it pleased God to awaken my Soul, and shew me the folly of Sinning, and the misery of the Wicked, and the unexpressible weight of things Eternal, and the necessity of resolving on a Holy Life, more than I was ever ac­quainted with before. The same things which I knew before came now in another manner, with Light, and Sense and Seriousness to my Heart.

This cast me first into fears of my Condition; and those drove me to Sorrow and Confession and Prayer, and so to some resolution for another kind of Life: And many a-day I went with a throbbing Conscience, and saw that I had other Matters to mind, and another Work to do in the World, than ever I had minded well before.

Yet whether sincere Conversion began now, or before, or after, I was never able to this day to know: for I had before had some Love to the Things and People which were good, and a restraint from other Sins except those forementioned; and so much from those that I seldom committed most of them, and when I did, it was with great reluctancy. And both now and formerly I knew that Christ was the only Mediator by whom we must have Pardon, Justification, and Life: But even at that time, I had little lively sense of the Love of God in Christ to the World or me, nor of my special need of him! for Parsons and all Papists almost are too short upon this Subject.

And about that time it pleased God that a poor Pedlar came to the Door that [...] [Page 2] [...] [Page 3] [Page 4] had Ballads and some good Books: And my Father bought of him Dr. Sibb's brui­sed Reed. This also I read, and found it suited to my state, and seasonably sent me; which opened more the Love of God to me, and gave me a livelier apprehension of the Mystery of Redemption, and how much I was beholden to Jesus Christ.

All this while neither my Father nor I had any Acquaintance or Familiarity with any that had any Understanding in Matters of Religion, nor ever heard a­ny pray ex tempore: But my Prayers were the Confession in the Common-Prayer Book, and sometime one of Mr. Bradford's Prayers, (in a Book called his Prayers and Me­ditations) and sometime a Prayer out of another Prayer-Book which we had.

After this we had a Servant that had a little Piece of Mr. Perkins's Works (of Re­pentance, and the right Art of Living and Dying well, and the Government of the Tongue): And the reading of that did further inform me, and confirm me. And thus (without any means but Books) was God pleased to resolve me for himself.

§ 4. When I was ready for the University, my Master drew me into another way which kept me thence, where were my vehement desires. He had a Friend at Ludlow, Chaplain to the Council there, called Mr. Richard Wickstead; whose Place having allowance from the King (who maintaineth the House) for one to attend him, he told my Master that he was purposed to have a Scholar fit for the U­niversity; and having but one, would be better to him than any Tutor in the Uni­versity could be: whereupon my Master perswaded me to accept the offer, and told me it would be better than the University to me: I believed him as knowing no bet­ter my self; and it suited well with my Parents minds, who were willing to have me as near to them as possible (having no Children but my self): And so I left my School-master for a supposed Tutor: But when I had tried him I found my self deceived; his business was to please the Great Ones, and seek Preferment in the World; and to that end found it necessary sometimes to give the Puritans a flirt, and call them unlearned, and speak much for Learning, being but a Superficial Scholar of himself: He never read to me, nor used any savoury Discourse of God­liness; only he loved me, and allowed me Books and Time enough: So that as I had no considerable helps from him in my Studies, so had I no considerable hinderance.

And though the House was great (there being four Judges, the King's Attorney, the Secretary, the Clerk of the Fines, with all their Servan [...]s, and all the Lord Pre­sident's Servants, and many more) and though the Town was full of Temptations, through the multitude of Persons, (Counse [...]lors, Attorneys, Officers, and Clerks) and much given to tipling and excess, it pleased God not only to keep me from them, but also to give me one intimate Companion, who was the greatest help to my Seriousness in Religion, that ever I had before, and was a daily Watchman over my Soul! We walk'd together, we read together, we prayed together, and when we could we lay together: And having been brought out of great Distress to Pro­sperity, and his Affections being fervent, though his Knowledge not great, he would be always stirring me up to Zeal and Diligence, and even in the Night would rise up to Prayer and Thanksgiving to God, and wonder that I could sleep so, that the thoughts of God's Mercy did not make me also to do as he did! He was unwearied in reading all serious Practical Books of Divinity; especially Per­kins, Bolton, Dr. Preston, Elton, Dr. Taylor, Whately, Harris, &c. He was the first that ever I heard pray Ex tempore (out of the Pulpit) and that taught me so to pray: And his Charity and Liberality was equal to his Zeal; so that God made him a great means of my good, who had more knowledge than he, but a colder heart.

Yet before we had been Two years acquainted, he fell once and a second time by the power of Temptation into a degree of Drunkenness, which so terrified him upon the review (especially after the second time) that he was near to De­spair; and went to good Ministers with sad Confessions: And when I had left the House and his Company, he fell into it again and again so oft, that at last his Con­science could have no Relief or Ease but in changing his Judgment, and disown­ing the Teachers and Doctrines which had restrained him. And he did it on this manner: One of his Superiours, on whom he had dependance, was a man of great Sobriety and Temperance, and of much Devotion in his way; but very zea­lous against the Nonconformists, ordinarily talking most bitterly against them, and reading almost only such Books as encouraged him in this way: By converse with this Man, my Friend was first drawn to abate his Charity to Nonconformists; and then to think and speak reproachfully of them; and next that to dislike all those that came near them, and to say that such as Bolton were too severe, and enough to make men mad: And the last, I heard of him was, that he was grown a Fudler, and Railer at strict men. But whether God recovered him, or what became of him I cannot tell.

[Page 5]§ 5. From Ludlow Castle, after a year and half, I returned to my Father's House, and by that time my old School-master, Mr. Iohn Owen, was sick of a Consump­tion (which was his Death:) and the Lord Newport desired me to teach that School till he either recovered or died, (resolving to take his Brother after him if he died): which I did about a quarter of a year, or more.

After that old Mr. Francis Garbett (the faithful, learned Minister at Wroxeter) for about a Month read Logick to me, and provoked me to a closer Course of Study; which yet was greatly interrupted by my bodily weakness, and the troubled Con­dition of my Soul. For being in expectation of Death, by a violent Cough, with Spitting of Blood, &c. of two years continuance, supposed to be a deep degree of a Consumption, I was yet more awakened to be serious, and solicitous about my Soul's everlasting State: And I came so short of that sense and seriousness, which a Matter of such infinite weight required, that I was in many years doubt of my Sin­cerity, and thought I had no Spiritual Life at all. I wondred at the sensless hard­ness of my heart, that could think and talk of Sin and Hell, and Christ and Grace, of God and Heaven, with no more feeling: I cried out from day to day to God for Grace against this sensless Deadness: I called my self the most hard hearted Sinner, that could feel nothing of all that I knew and talkt of: I was not then sen­sible of the incomparable Excellency of Holy Love, and Delight in God, nor much imployed in Thanksgiving and Praise: But all my Groans were for more Contrition, and a broken Heart, and I prayed most for Tears and Tenderness.

And thus I complained for many Years to God and Man, and between the Ex­pectations of Death, and the Doubts of my own Sincerity in Grace, I was kept in some more care of my Salvation, than my Nature (too stupid and too far from Me­lancholy) was easily brought to.

At this time I remember, the reading of Mr. Ezek. Culverwell's Treatise of Faith did me much good, and many other excellent Books, were made my Teachers and Comforters: And the use that God made of Books, above Ministers, to the benefit of my Soul, made me somewhat excessively in love with good Books; so that I thought I had never [...]now, but scrap'd up as great a Treasure of them as I could.

Thus was I long kept with the Calls of approaching Death at one Ear, and the Questionings of a doubtful Conscience at the other! and since then I have found that this method of God's was very wise, and no other was so like to have tended to my good. These Benefits of it I sensibly perceived.

1. It made me vile and loathsome to my self, and made Pride one of the hate­fullest Sins in the World to me! I thought of my self as I now think of a detesta­ble Sinner, and my Enemy, that is, with a Love of Benevolence, wishing them well, but with little Love of Complacency at all: And the long continuance of it, tend­ed the more effectually to a habit.

2. It much restrained me from that sportful Levity and Vanity which my Na­ture and Youthfulness did much incline me to, and caused me to meet Temptations to Sensuality with the greatest fear, and made them less effectual against me.

3. It made the Doctrine of Redemption the more savoury to me, and my thoughts of Christ to be more serious and regardful, than before they were. I re­member in the beginning how savoury to my reading was Mr. Perkin's short Trea­tise of the Right Knowledge of Christ crucified, and his Exposition of the Creed; because they taught me how to live by Faith on Christ.

4. It made the World seem to me as a Carkass that had neither Life nor Loveli­ness: And it destroyed those Ambitious desires after Literate Fame, which was the Sin of my Childhood! I had a desire before to have attained the highest Academi­cal Degrees and Reputation of Learning, and to have chosen out my Studies accord­ingly; but Sickness and Solicitousness for my doubting Soul did shame away all these Thoughts as Fooleries and Childrens Plays.

5. It set me upon that Method of My Studies, which since then I have found the benefit of, though at the time I was not satisfied with my self. It caused me first to seek God's Kingdom and his Righteousness, and most to mind the One thing needful; and to determine first of my Ultimate End; by which I was engaged to choose out and prosecute all other Studies, but as meant to that end: There­fore Divinity was not only carried on with the rest of my Studies with an equal hand, but always had the first and chiefest place! And it caused me to study Practical Divinity first, in the most Practical Books, in a Practical Order; doing all purposely for the informing and reforming of my own Soul. So that I had read a multitude of our English Practical Treatises, before I had ever read any other Bodies of Divinity, than Ursine and Amesius, or two or three more. [Page 6] By which means my Affection was carried on with my Judgment: And by that means I prosecuted all my Studies with unweariedness and delight: And by that means all that I read did stick the better in my memory: and also less of my time was lost by lazy intermissions: (but my bodily Infirmities always caused me to lo [...]e (or spend) much of it in Motion and Corporal Exercises; which was some­times by Walking, and sometimes at the Plow, and such Country Labours).

But one loss I had by this Method, which hath proved irreparable: That I mist that part of Learning which stood at the greatest distance (in my thoughts) from my Ultimate End, (though no doubt but remotely it may be a valuable means), and I could never since find time to get it. Besides the Latin Tongue, and but a me­diocrity in Greek (with an inconsiderable trial at the Hebrew long after) I had no great skill in Languages: Though I saw than an accurateness and thorow in­ [...]ight in the Greek and Hebrew were very desirable; but I was so eagerly carried after the Knowledge of Things, that I too much neglected the study of Words. And for the Mathematicks, I was an utter stranger to them, and never could find in my heart to divert any Studies that way. But in order to the Knowledge of Divinity my inclination was most to Logick and Metaphysicks, with that part Physicks which treateth of the Soul, contenting my self at first with a slighter study of the rest: And these had my Labour and Delight. Which occasioned me (perhaps too soon) to plunge my self very early into the study of Controversies; and to read all the School men I could get; (for next Practical Divinity, no Books so suited with my Disposition as Aquinus, Scotus, Durandus, Ockam, and their Disciples; because I thought they narrowly searched after Truth, and brought Things out of the dark­ness of Confusion: For I could never from my first Studies endure Confusion! Till Equivocals were explained, and Definition and Distinction led the way, I had rather hold my Tongue than speak! and was never more weary of Learned Mens Dis­courses, than when I heard them long wrangling about unexpounded Words or Things, and eagerly Disputing before they understood each others Minds; and ve­hemently asserting Modes and Consequences and Adjuncts, before they considered of the Quod sit, the Quid sit, or the Quotuplex. I never thought I understood any thing till I could anatomize it, and see the parts distinctly, and the Conjunction of the parts as they make up the whole. Distinction and Method seemed to me of that ne­cessity, that without them I could not be said to know; and the Disputes which forsook them, or abused them, seem but as incoherant Dreams.

§ 6. And as for those Doubts of my own Salvation, which exercised me many years, the chiefest Causes of them were these:

1. Because I could not distinctly trace the Workings of the Spirit upon my heart in that method which Mr. Bolton, Mr. Hooker, Mr. Rogers, and other Divines de­scribe! nor knew the Time of my Conversion, being wrought on by the fore­mentioned Degrees. But since then I understood that the Soul is in too dark and passionate a plight at first, to be able to keep an exact account of the order of its own Operations; and that preparatory Grace being sometimes longer and sometimes shorter, and the first degree of Special Grace being usually very small, it is not possible that one of very many should be able to give any true account of the just Time when Special Grace began, and advanced him above the state of Prepara­tion.

2. My second Doubt was as aforesaid, because of the hardness of my heart, or want of such lively Apprehensions of Things Spiritual, which I had about Things Corpo­ral. And though I still groan under this as my sin and want, yet I now perceive that a Soul in Flesh doth work so much after the manner of the Flesh, that it much desireth sensible Apprehensions; but Things Spiritual and Distant are not so apt to work upon them, and to stir the Passions, as Things present and sensible are; especially being known so darkly as the state and operations of separated Souls, are known to us who are in the Body: And that the Rational Operations of the higher Faculties (the Intellect and Will) may without so much passion, set God and Things Spiritual highest within us, and give them the preheminence, and subject all Carnal Interest to them, and give them the Government of the Heart and Life: and that this is the ordinary state of a Believer.

3. My next Doubt was, left Education and Fear had done all that ever was done upon my Soul, and Regeneration and Love were yet to seek; because I had found Convictions from my Childhood, and found more Fear than Love in all my Duties and Restraints.

[Page 7]But I afterward perceived that Education is God's ordinary way for the Convey­ance of his Grace, and ought no more to be set in opposition to the Spirit, than the preaching of the Word; and that it was the great Mercy of God to begin with me so soon, and to prevent such sins as else might have been my shame and sorrow while I lived; and that Repentance is good, but Prevention and Innocence is better; which though we cannot attain in perfection, yet the more the better. And I understood, that though Fear without Love be not a state of Saving Grace, and greater Love to the World than to God be not consistent with Sincerity; yet a little predominant Love (prevailing against worldly Love) conjunct with a far greater measure of Fear, may be a state of Special Grace! And that Fear being an easier and irresistible Passion, doth oft obscure that measure of Love which is in­deed within us! And that the Soul of a Believer groweth up by degrees, from the more troublesome (but safe) Operations of Fear, to the more high and excellent Operations of Complacential Love; even as it hath more of the sense of the Love of God in Christ, and belief of the Heavenly Life which it approacheth: And that it is long before Love be sensibly predominant in respect of Fear (that is, of Self-love and Self-preservation), though at the first it is predomi­nant against Worldly Love. And I found that my hearty Love of the Word of God, and of the Servants of God, and my desires to be more holy, and especial­ly the hatred of my Heart for loving God no more, and my Love to love him, and be pleasing to him, was not without some Love to himself, though it workt more sensibly on his nearer Image.

4. Another of my Doubts was because my Grief and Humiliation was no greater, and because I could weep no more for this.

But I understood at last that God breaketh not all Mens hearts alike, and that the gradual proceedings of his Grace might be one cause, and my Nature not apt to weep for other Things another: And that the Change of our Heart from Sin to God, is true Repentance; and a loathing of our selves is true Humiliation! and that he that had rather leave his Sin, than have leave to keep it, and had rather be the most holy, than have leave to be unholy or less holy, is neither without true Repentance, nor the Love of God.

5. Another of my Doubts was, because I had after my Change committed some Sins deliberately and knowingly: And be they never so small, I thought he that could sin upon knowledge and deliberation had no true Grace, and that if I had but had as strong Temptations to Fornication, Drunkenness, Fraud, or other more heinous Sins, I might also have committed them! And if these proved that I had then no Saving Grace, after all that I had felt, I thought it unlikely that ever I should have any.

This stuck with me longer than any of the rest; and the more, because that e­very Sin which I knowingly committed did renew it: And the terms on which I receive Consolation against it are these: (Not as those that think every Sin a­gainst Knowledge doth nullifie all our former Grace and Unregenerate us; and that every time we Repent of such, we have a new Regeneration: but)

1. All Saving Grace doth indeed put the Soul into a state of Enmity to Sin as Sin, and consequently to every known Sin.

2. This Enmity must shew it self in Victory; for bare striving, when we are overcome, and yielding to sin when we have a while striven against it, proveth not the Soul to be sincere.

3. Yet do not God's Children always overcome; for then they should not sin at all! But he that saith he hath no sin deceiveth himself.

4. God's Children always overcome those Temptations which would draw them to a wicked unholy state of Life, and would unregenerate them and change their State, and turn them back from God to a fleshly worldly Life; and also to any particular Sin which proveth such a state, and signifieth a Heart which hath more habitual Love to the World than unto God (which may well be called a Mortal Sin, as proving the Sinner in a state of Death; as others may be called Venial Sins, which are consistent with Spiritual Life and a Justified State).

5. Therefore whenever a justified Person sinneth, the Temptation at that time prevaileth against the Spirit, and the Love of God! not to the Extinction of the Love of God, nor to the Destruction of the Habit, nor the setting up of the contrary Habit in predominancy; as setting up the Habitual Love of any Sin above the ha­bitual Love of God! The inclination of the Soul is still most to God: And he esteemeth him most, and preferreth him in the adherence of his Will, in the main bent and course of Heart and Life; only he is overcome, and so far abateth the [Page 8] actual Love and Obedience to God, as to commit this particular Act of Sin, and re­mit or omit that Act of Love.

6. And this it is possible for a Justified Person to do upon some deliberation: For as Grace may strive one instant only in one Act, and then be suddenly over­come; so it may strive longer, and keep the Mind on Considerations of re­straining Motives, and yet be overcome.

7. For it is not the mee [...] Length of Consideration which is enough to excite the Heart against Sin, but there must be clearness of Light, and liveliness in those Considerations: And sometimes a sudden Conviction is so clear, and great, and sensible, that in an instant it stireeth up the Soul to an utter abhorrence of the Temptation, when the same Man at another time may have all the same thoughts, in so sleepy a degree as shall not prevail. And sometimes the weakness of Grace as much appeareth by making no resistance at all, by causing deliberation (even in Sins of Passion and Surprize) as at other times it doth, by yielding after dull deli­berations.

8. And though a little Sin must be hated, and universal Obedience must prove our Sincerity, and no one Sin must be wilfully continued in; yet it is certain that God's Servants do not oft commit Sins materially great and heinous (as Fornication, Drunkenness, Perjury, Oppression, Deceit, &c.) and yet that they often commit some lesser Sins, (as idle thoughts, and idle words, and dulness in holy Duties, de­fectiveness in the Love of God, and omission of holy Thoughts and Words, &c.) And that the Tempter oft getteth advantage even with them, by telling them that the Sin is small, and such as God's Servants ordinarily commit; and that naturally we fly with greater fear from a great danger than from a less; from a wound at the heart than a cut finger! And therefore one reason why idle words and sinful thoughts are even deliberately oftner committed than most heinous Sins, is because the Soul is not awaked so much by fear and care to make resistance: And Love needeth the help of fear in this our weak condition.

9. And it is certain that ususally the Servants of God, being men of most know­ledge, do therefore sin against more knowledge than others do; for there are but few Sins, which they know not to be Sins: They know that idle Thoughts and Words, and the omissions of the contrary, are their sins.

10. There are some Sins of such difficulty to avoid, (as the disorder or omission of holy Thoughts, and the defects of Love to God, &c.) and some Temptations so strong, and the Soul in so sluggish a case to resist, that good Thoughts which are in deliberation used against them, are borne down at last, and are less effe­ctual.

11. And our present stock of Habitual Grace is never sufficient of it self, with­out Co-operating Grace from Christ: And therefore, when we provoke him to withhold his help, no wonder if we shew our weakness, so far as to stumble in the way to Heaven, or to step out into some by-path, or break over the hedge, and sometimes to look back, and yet never to turn back, and go again from God to the World.

12. And because no fall of a Saint, which is Venial, an Infirmity, consistent with Grace, doth either destroy the habit of Love and Grace, or set up a contrary ha­bit above it, nor yet pervert the scope and bent of the Conversation, but only pre­vaileth to a particular Act, it therefore followeth, that the Soul riseth up from such a Sin by true Repentance, and that the new Nature or Habit of Love within us, will work out the Sin as soon as it hath advantage: As the Needle in the Com­pass will return to its proper Point, when the force that moved it doth cease; and as a running Stream will turn clear again, when the force that muddied it is past. And this Repentance will do much to increase our hatred of the Sin, and fortifie [...] against the next Temptation: so that though there be some Sins, which through our great Infirmity we daily commit, as we daily repent of them (as disordered Thoughts, defects of Love, neglect of God, &c.) yet it will not be so with those Sins which a willing, sincere, habituated Penitent hath more in his power to cast out.

13. And yet when all is done, Sin will breed fears, (and the more, by how much the more deliberate and wilful it is:) And the best way to keep under Doubts and Terrours, and to keep up Comfort, is to keep up Actual Obedience, and quick­ly and penitently return when we have sinned.

This much I thought meet to say for the sake of others who may fall into the same Temptations and Perplexities.

[Page 9]§ 7. The Means by which God was pleased to give me some Peace and Comfort, were,

1. The Reading of many Consolatory Books.

2. The observation of other Mens Condition: When I heard many make the very same Complaints that I did, who were People of whom I had the best esteem, for the uprightness and holiness of their Lives, it much abated my fears and troubles. And in particular it much comforted me, to read him whom I lo­ved as one of the holiest of all the Martyrs, Mr. Iohn Bradford, subscribing him­self so often, [The hard-hearted sinner; and the miserable hard-hearted sinner] even as I was used to do my self.

3. And it much increased my peace when God's Providence called me to the comforting of many others that had the same Complaints: While I answered their Doubts, I answered my own; and the Charity which I was constrained to exer­cise for them redounded to my self, and insensibly abated my Fears, and procured me an increase of quietness of Mind.

And yet after all, I was glad of Probabilities instead of full undoubted Certainties; and to this very day,An. 1664 though I have no such degree of Doubtfulness as is any great trouble to my Soul, or procureth any great disquieting Fears, yet cannot I say that I have such a certainty of my own sincerity in Grace, as excludeth all Doubts and Fears of the contrary.

§ 8. At that time also God was pleased much to comfort and settle me by the acquaintance of some Reverend peaceable Divines; Mr. Garbet (aforesaid) and Mr. George Baxter of Little Wenlock, (very holy men and peaceable, who laboured faithfully with little success till they were above fourscore years of Age apiece;) especially old Mr. Samuel Smith, sometime of Prittlewell in Essex, but then of Cres­sage in Shropshire (who hath written on the 6th of Hosea, the first Psalm, the 23d Psalm, the 51st Psalm, the 90th Psalm, the Eunuch's Conversion, Noah's Dove, the Great Assize, and other Books:) This good Man was one of my most familiar Friends, in whose Converse I took very much delight; who was buried but this Winter 1664. at his Native place at Dudley in Worcestershire.

§ 9. And because the Case of my Body had a great Operation upon my Soul, and the History of it is somewhat necessary to the right understanding of the rest, and yet it is not a Matter worthy to be oft mentioned, I shall here together give you a brief Account of the most of my Afflictions of that kind, reserving the men­tion of some particular Deliverances to the proper place.

I was naturally of a sound Constitution, but very thin and lean and weak, and especially of a great debility of the Nerves. At seven years old I had the Measils, and at fourteen the Small-pox: I too soon after them went into the cold, and after (in a Loosness) went into a River or Brook to wash me; and I eat raw Apples and Pears and Plumbs in great quantities for many years: All which together brought me into a violent Catarrh and Cough, which would not let me sleep quietly in the Night. When this had continued about two years, my Body being very thin, and Consumptions then common in the Country, I was much afraid of a Consumption: And first I did eat great store of raw Garlick, which took off some part of my Cough, but put an Acrimony into my Blood, which na­turally was acrimonious.

After this the Spitting of Blood increased my fears: After that Sir Henry Herbert advised me to take the Flower of Brimstone, which I contin [...]ed till I had taken seven Ounces; which took off most of the remainder of my Cough, but increa­sed the Acrimony of my Blood.

Then an unskilful Physician perswaded me that I had a Hectick, and to cure that I took much Milk from the Cow, and other pituitous cooling things, and constantly anointed my Stomach and Reins with refrigerating Oils of Violets and Roses; and was utterly restrained from my usual Exercise! By this time I had an extream chilliness without, and yet a strange scurf on my Tongue, with a con­stant extream desire of stretching, that I thought I could almost have endured a Rack; and an incredible flatulency at the Stomach, and a bleeding at the Nose.

The next Physician (an Aged and Experinced Doctor) was confident the Scurvy was my chief Distemper, and thereupon prescribed me more Acrimonious Medicaments, Scurvy-grass, Horse-radish, Mustard, Wormwood, &c. which a­bundantly increased my bleeding at the Nose; insomuch as I bled many times half a Pint or a Pint a day, and it continuing long, I was much weakned: Yet under this fear of the Scurvy I continued two years taking excessive quantities of Acri­monious [Page 10] Things; eating abundance of Mustard at every Meal, and drinking only Wormwood-beer, &c. and using some Exercise, as much as time would give me leave.

By this time divers eminent Physicians agreed that my Disease was the Hypo­condriack Melancholy, and not the Scurvy.

To recite a Catalogue of my Symptoms and Pains, from Head to Feet, would be a tedious interruption to the Reader: I shall therefore only say this, that the Symptoms and Effects of my General Indisposition were very terrible; such as a flatulent Stomach, that turn'd all things into Wind; a Rheumatick head to a ve­ry great degree; and great sharpness in my Blood, which occasioned me no small trouble by the excoriation of my Fingers ends, which upon any heat I us'd, or A [...]o­matick thing I took, would be raw and bloody: and every Spring and Fall, or by any kind of heating, my Nose still fell a bleeding, and that with such a great vio­lence, and in such excessive quantities, as often threatned my Life: which I then ascribed to such Causes as I have since liv'd to see my self mistaken in; for I am now fully satisfied that all proceeded from Latent Stones in my Reins, occasioned by unsuitable Diet in my Youth.

And yet two wonderful Mercies I had from God:

1. That I was never overwhelm'd with real Melancholy. My Distemper never went so far as to possess me with any inordinate Fancies, or damp me with sinking Sadness, although the Physicians call'd it the Hypocondriack Melancholy. I had at several times the Advice of no less than Six and thirty Physicians, by whose order I us'd Druggs without number almost, which God thought not fit to make suc­cessful for a Cure: and indeed all Authors that I read, acquainted me that my Disease was incurable; whereupon I at last forsook the Doctors for the most part, except when the urgency of a Symptom, or Pain, constrained me to seek some present ease.

2. The second Mercy which I met with, was, that my Pains, though daily and almost continual did not very much disable me from my Duty; but I could Study, and Preach, and Walk almost as well if I had been free: (of which more anon).

At last falling into a sudden and great decay and debility, I went to Sir Theodore Mayerne, who kept me in a long Course of Physick, which did me some good for the present; and after that, riding much in the Army did me some good than a­ny thing: But having one Symptom on me (the constant excoriation of my three formost Fingers ends on both Hands to the raw flesh) he sent me to Tunbridge-Waters, where I staid three Weeks; and after that my Defluctions and Agitation of the Serous Matter, much encreased, (though the Excoriation ceased at that time) and hastned my greater ruine. Especially one Errour of his did me hurt: He vehemently persswaded me to the eating of Apples, which of all things in the World had ever been my most deadly Enemies; so that when it was too late, Dr. Mayerne perceived that though Acrimony disposed the matter, yet meer flatulency pumped up the Blood, and was the most immediate Cause of the Haemorrhagie. Having taken cold with riding thin clothed in the Snow, and having but two days eaten Apples before Meat, as he perswaded me, I fell into such a bleeding as continued six days, with some fits of intermission; so that about a Gallon of Blood that we noted was lost, and what more I know not: Upon this both he and other Physicians gave me up as hopeless, through the weakness thereby occasioned, and concluding that all would end in a Dropsie, (for my Leggs began to swell [...]): By a Friend's perswasion I wrote to Dr. George Bates, (Archiater to King Charles the Second as Sir Theodore Mayerne was to King Charles the First) who concurred so exactly in all points with Dr. Mayerne, as if they had consulted, (the Case and the Medicaments prescribed being unusual) that I marvelled at their Concord: and by both their Counsels (though neither of them had any considerable hope of my Life). I was necessitated, besides other Remedies, to be oft in purging, for all my weakness, to prevent a Dropsie. Within a quarter of a year I was able weak­ly to Preach again; but continued divers years in languishing Pains and Weak­nesses, double or fourfold to what I had before: So that besides all my former In­ [...]mities, ever after this Bleeding my chief Disease is a Praematura Senectus, through the great Diminution of Nature's Stock: And just the same Symptoms as most men have about Fourscore years of Age, are added to those which I had be­fore.

In some seeming Necessities my latter Physicians, after all this, did four or five times take some Blood from me; and once a spoonful in about seven Ounces of Se­rum did coagulate; but at no other time would one jot of it ever coagulate or co­here, [Page 11] but was a meet putrilage sine fibris, like thin Ink or Saw-pit Water.

To keep this Blood in the relaxed Vessels was now all my Cares, which daily shed abroad upon my Eyes, and Teeth, and Jaws, and Joynts, so that I had scarce rest night or day: (of some of the Effects, and my Remedy which God blessed to my ease, I shall speak more afterward). With such Blood, in a kind of Atro­phie, which hath caused a very troublesome Drowsiness to seize upon and follow me, I have lived now these many years, and wrote all the Books that ever I wrote, and done the greatest part of my Service: My chiefest Remedies are,

1. Temperance as to quantity and quality of Food: for every bit or spoonful too much, and all that is not exceeding easie of digestion, and all that is flatulent, do turn all to Wind, and disorder my Head.

2. Exercise till I sweat: For if I walk not hard with almost all my strength, an hour before Dinner, and an hour before Super, till I sweat well, I am not able to digest two Meals; and cannot expect to live when I am disabled for Exercise, being presently overwhelmed with chilliness, flatulency, and serosity.

3. A constant Extrin [...]ick Heat, by a great Fire, which may keep me still near to a Sweat, if not in it: (for I am seldom well at ease but in a Sweat).

4. Beer as hot as my Throat will endure, drunk all at once, to make me Sweat.

These are the Means which God hath used to draw out my days, and give me ease (with one Herb inwardly taken); which I write for the sake of any Stu­dents that may be near the same Distempers; but almost all Physick did me harm: And no Aromatical Thing now can I taste, but it setteth my Nose a bleeding, though since I bled a Gallon I am not so prone to it as before.

I have cast in all this here together, that the Reader may better understand other things, and may not too oft be troubled with such Matters. But now at the Age of near Seventy years, what Changes and sad Days and Nights I undergo, I after tell.

§ 10. About the Eighteenth year of my Age Mr. Wickstead, with whom I had lived at Ludlow, had almost perswaded me to lay by all my Preparations for the Ministry, and to go to London, and get acquaintance at Court, and get some office, as being the only rising way. I had no mind of his Counsel who had helped me no better before; yet because that they knew that he loved me, and they had no great inclination to my being a Minister, my Parents accepted of his Motion: He told them that if I would go up and live a while with Sir Henry Herbert, then Master of the Revels, he would quickly set me in a rising way.

I would not be disobedient, but went up, and stayed at Whiteball with Sir H. H. about a month: But I had quickly enough of the Court; when I saw a Stage-Play instead of a Sermon on the Lord's-days in the Afternoon, and saw what Course was there in fashion, and heard little Preaching, but what was as to one part against the Puritans, I was glad to be gone: And at the same time it pleased God that my Mother fell sick, and desired my return; and so I resolved to bid farewel to those kind of Employments and Expectations.

While I was in London I fell into Acquaintance with a sober, godly, understand­ing Apprentice of Mr. Philemon Stephens the Bookseller, whose Name was Hum­phrey Blunden (who is since turned an extraordinary Chymist, and got Iacob Behem his Books translated and printed), whom I very much loved, and who by his Con­solatory Letters and Directions for Books, did afterwards do me the Offices of an useful Friend.

§ 11. When I was going home again into the Country about Christmas-day, the greatest Snow began that hath been in this Age,An. 1634 which continued thence till Ea­ster, at which some places had it many yards deep; and before it was a very hard Frost, which necessitated me to Frost-nail my Horse twice or thrice a day. On the Road I met a Waggon loaded, where I had no passage by, but on the side of a bank, which as I passed over, all my Horses feet split, from under him, and all the Girths brake, and so I was cast just before the Waggon Wheel, which had gone over me, but that it pleased God, that suddenly the Horses stopt, without any dis­cernable cause, till I was recovered: which commanded me to observe the Mercy of my Protector.

§ 12. This mindeth me of some other Dangers and Deliverances which I past over. At Seventeen years of Age, as I rode out on a great unruly Horse for plea­sure, which was wont on a sudden to get the Bitt in his Teeth, and set on running; as I was in a Field of high Ground, there being on the other side a Quick-set Hedge, a very deep narrow Lane, about a Stories height below me; suddenly the Horse [Page 12] got the Bridle as aforesaid, and set on running; and in the midst of his running unexpectedly turned aside, and leapt over the top of the Hedge into that deep Lane: I was somewhat before him at the Ground, and as the Mire saved me from the hurt beneath, so it pleased God that the Horse never touched me, but he light with two feet on one side of me, and two on the other; though the place made it marvellous, how his feet could fall besides me.

§ 13. While I look back to this, it maketh me remember how God at that time did cure my inclination to Gaming: About Seventeen years of Age being at Lud­low Castle, where many idle Gentlemen had little else to do, I had a mind to learn to play at Tables; and the best Gamester in the House undertook to teach me! As I remember, the first or second Game, when he had so much the better that it was an hundred to one, besides the difference of our skills, the standers by laugh'd at me, as well as he, for not giving it up, and told me the Game was lost: I knew no more but that it was not lost till all my Table-men were lost, and would not give it over till then. He told me, that he would lay me an hundred to one of it, and in good earnest laid me down ten shillings to my six pence: As soon as ever the Money was down, whereas he told me that there was no possibility of my Game, but by one Cast often, I had every Cast the same I wished, and he had every one according to my desire, so that by that time one could go four or five times about the Room his Game was gone, which put him in so great an admiration, that I took the hint, and believed that the Devil had the ruling of the Dice, and did it to entice me on to be a Gamester. And so I gave him his Ten shillings again, and re­solved I would never more play at Tables whilst I lived.

§ 14. But to return to the place where I left: When I came home from London, I found my Mother in extremity of Pain, and spent that Winter in the hearing of her Heart-piercing Groans, (shut up in the great Snow, which many that went abroad did perish in) till on May the 10th she died.

At Kiderminster, the Town being in want of fire, went all to shovel the way over the Heath to Stone-bridge, from whence their Coals come; and so great and sudden a storm of Snow fell, as overwhelmed them; so that some perished in it, and others saved their Lives by getting into a little Core that standeth on the Heath, and others scaped home with much ado.

§ 15. Above a year after the Death of my Mother, my Father married a Wo­man of great Sincerity in the Fear of God, Mary the Daughter of Sir Tho. Hunkes: whose Holiness, Mortification, Contempt of the World, and fervent Prayer (in which she spent a great part of her Life) have been so exceeding Exemplary, as made her a Special Blessing to our Family, an Honour to Religion, and an honou­rable Pattern to those that knew her. She lived to be 96 years old.

§ 16. From the Age of 21 till near 23, my Weakness was so great, that I expe­cted not to live above a year; and my own Soul being under the serious appre­hension of the Matters of another World, I was exceeding desirous to Communi­cate those Apprehensions to such ignorant, presumptuous, careless Sinners as the World aboundeth with. But I was in a very great perplexity between my En­couragements and my Discouragements: I was conscious of my personal insuffici­ency, for want of that measure of Learning and Experience, which so great and high a Work required. I knew that the want of Academical Honours and De­grees was like to make me Contemptible with the most, and consequently hinder the Success of my Endeavours. But yet expecting to be so quickly in another World, the great Concernments of miserable Souls, did prevail with me against all these Impediments; and being conscious of a thirsty desire of Mens Conversi­on and Salvation, and of some competent perswading Faculty of Expression, which [...]ervent Affections might help to actuate, I resolved that if one or two Souls only might be won to God, it would easily recompence all the dishonour which for want of Titles I might undergo from Men!

And indeed I had such clear Convictions my self of the madness of secure pre­s [...]mptuous Sinners, and the unquestionable Reasons which should induce men to a holy Life, and of the unspeakable greatness of that Work, which in this hasty Inch of Time, we have all to do, that I thought that Man that could be ungod­ly, if he did but hear these things, was fitter for Bedlam, than for the Reputation of a sober rational Man: And I was so foolish as to think, that I had so much to say, and of such Convincing Evidence for a Godly Life, that Men were scarce a­ble to withstand it; not considering what a blind and sensless Rock the Heart of an obdurate Sinner is; and that old Adam is too strong for young Luther (as he said). But these Apprehensions determined my choice.

[Page 13]§ 17. Till this time I was satisfied in the Matter of Conformity: Whilst I was young I had never been acquainted with any that were against it, or that questioned it. I had joyned with the Common-Prayer with as hearty [...]ervency as afterward I did with other Prayers! As long as I had no Prejudice against it, I had no stop in my Devotions from any of its Imperfections.

At last at about 20 years of Age, I became acquainted with Mr. Simmonds, Mr. Cradock, and other very zealous godly Nonconformists in Shrewsbury, and the ad­joyning parts, whose fervent Prayers and savoury Conference and holy Lives did profit me much. And when I understood that they were People prosecuted by the Bishops, I found much prejudice arise in my heart against those that persecuted them, and thought those that silenced and troubled such Men could not be the ge­nuine Followers of the Lord of Love.

But yet I resolved that I would study the Point, as well as I was able, before I would be confident on either side: And it prejudiced me against the Nonconfor­mists, because we had but one of them near us, (one Mr. Barnel of Uppington) who, though he was a very honest blameless Man, yet was reputed to be but a mean Scholar; when Mr. Garbet, and some other Conformists, were more Learn­ed Men: And withal, the Books of the Nonconformists were then so scarce, and hard to be got (because of the danger) that I could not come to know their rea­sons. Whereas on the contrary side, Mr. Garbet and Mr. Samuel Smith, did send me Downham, Sprint, Dr. Burges, and others of the strongest that had wrote against the Nonconformists; upon the reading of which I could not see but the Cause of the Conformists was very justifiable, and the reasoning of the Nonconformists weak.

Hereupon when I thought of Ordination, I had no Scruple at all against Sub­scription: And yet so precipitant and rash was I, that I had never once read over the Book of Ordination, which was one to which I was to Subscribe; nor half read over the Book of Homilies, nor exactly weighed the Book of Common-Prayer, nor was I of sufficient Understanding to determine confidently in some Controverted Points in the 39 Articles. But my Teachers and my Books having caused me in general to think the Conformists had the better Cause, I kept out all particular Scruples by that Opinion.

§ 18. At that time old Mr. Richard Foley of Stourbridge in Worcestershire, had re­covered some alienated Lands at Dudley, which had been lest to Charitable Uses, and added something of his own, and built a convenient new School-House, and was to choose his first School-Master and Usher: By the means of Iames Berry (who lived in the House with me, and had lived with him) he desired me to ac­cept it. I thought it not an inconvenient Condition for my Entrance, because I might also Preach up and down in Places that were most ignorant, before I pre­sumed to take a Pastoral Charge (to which I had no inclination). So to Dudley I went, and Mr. Foley and Iames Berry going with me to Worcester, at the Time of Ordination, I was Ordained by the Bishop, and had a Licence to teach School; for which (being Examined) I Subscribed.

§ 19. Being settled (with an Usher) in the new School at Dudley, and living in the House of Mr. Richard Foley Junior, I there preached my first Publick Sermon in the upper Parish Church; and afterwards Preached in the Villages about; and there had occasion to fall afresh upon the study of Conformity: For there were many private Christians thereabouts that were Nonconformists, and one in the House with me. And that excellent Man, Mr. William Fenner, had lately lived two miles off at Sedgeley, who by defending Conformity, and honouring it by a wonderfully powerful and successful way of Preaching, Conference, and holy Li­ving, had stirred up the Nonconformists the more to a vehement pleading of their Cause: And though they were there generally godly honest People, yet smartly censorious, and made Conformity no small fault: And they lent me Manuscripts and Books which I never saw before; whereupon I thought it my Duty to set up­on a serious impartial Trial of the whole Cause.

The Cause of Episcopacy Bishop Downham had much satisfied me in before; and I had not then a sufficient Understanding of the difference betwixt the Argu­ments for an Episcopacy in general, and for our English Diocesans in particular. The Cause of Kneeling at the Sacrament I studied next: and Mr. Paybody fully satisfied me for Conformity in that. I turned over Cartwright and Whitgift, and others; but having lately procured Dr. Ames fresh suit, I thought it my best way to study throughly Dr. Burges (his Father-in-law) and him, as the likeliest means to avoid distraction among a multitude of Writers, and not to lose the Truth in [Page 14] crowds of Words; seeing these two were reputed the strongest on each side. So I borrowed Amesius his Fresh Suit, &c. and because I could not keep it, I transcribed the strength of it the broad Margin of Dr. Burges his Rejoynder, over against each Paragraph which he replied to: And I spent a considerable time in the strictest Examination of both which I could perform.

And the result of all my Studies was as followeth: Kneeling I thought lawful, and all meer Circumstances determined by the Magistrate, which God in Nature or Scripture hath determined of only in the General. The Surplice I more doubted of; but more inclined to think it lawful: And though I purposed, while I doubted, to forbear it till necessity lay upon me, yet could I not have justified the forsaking of my Ministry for it; (though I never wore it to this day). The Ring in Mar­riage I made no Scruple about. The Cross in Baptism I thought Dr. Ames proved unlawful; and though I was not without some doubting in the Point, yet because I most inclined to judge it unlawful, never once used it to this day. A Form of Prayer and Liturgy I judged to be lawful, and in some Cases lawfully imposed: Our Liturgy in particular, I judged to have much disorder and defectiveness in it, but nothing which should make the use of it, in the ordinary Publick Worship, to be unlawful to them that have not Liberty to do better. Discipline I wanted in the Church, and saw the sad Effects of its neglect: But I did not then understand that the very Frame of Dioce [...]n Prelacy excluded it, but thought it had been on­ly the Bishops personal neglects. Subscription I began to judge unlawful, and saw that I sinned by temerity in what I did: For though I could still use the Common Prayer, and was not yet against Diocesans, yet to Subscribe, Ex Animo, That there is nothing in the three Books contrary to the Word of God, was that, which if it had been to do again, I durst not do. So that Subscription, and the Cross in Baptism, and the prom [...] giving of the Lord's Supper to all Drunkards, Swearers, Fornicators, Scor­ners at Godliness, &c. that are not Excommunicate by a Bishop or Chancellor that is out of their Acquaintance. These three were all that I now became a Noncon­formist to.

But most of this I kept to my self. I daily disputed against the Nonconformists; for I found their Censoriousness and Inclinations towards Seperation, (in the weak­er sort of them) to be a Threatning Evil, and contrary to Christian Charity on one side, as Persecution is on the other. Some of them that pretended to much Learning, engaged me in Writing to dispute the Case of Kneeling at the Sacra­ments; which I followed till they gave it over. I laboured continually to repress their Censoriousness, and the boldness and bitterness of their Language against the Bishops, and to reduce them to greater Patience and Charity. But I found that their Sufferings from the Bishops were the great Impediment of my Success, and that he that will blow the Coals must not wonder if some Sparks do fly in his face; and that to persecute Men, and then call them to Charity, is like whipping Children to make them give over Crying. The stronger sort of Chri­stians can bear Mulcts and Imprisonments and Reproaches for obeying God and Conscience [...] without abating their Charity or their Weakness to their Persecutors; but to expect this from all the weak and injudicious, the young and passionate, is against all Reason and Experience: I saw that he that will be loved, must love; and he that rather chooseth to be more feared than loved, must expect to be hated, or lo­ved but diminutively: And he that will have Children, must be a Father: and he that will be a Tyrant must be contented with Slaves.

§ 20. In this Town of Dudley I lived (not a Twelve-month) in much com­fort, amongst a poor tractable People, lately famous for Drunkenness, but com­monly more ready to hear God's Word with submission and reformation, than most Places where I have come: so that having since the Wars set up a Monthly Le­cture there, the Church was usually as much crowded within, and at the Windows, as ever I saw any London Congregations: (Partly through the great willingness of the People, and partly by the exceeding populousness 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 weakness I was obliged to thankfulness to God, for a conveni­ent Habitation, and the tender care of Mr. R. Foley's Wife, a Genlewoman of such extraordinary Meekness and Patience, with sincere Piety, as will not easily be believed by those that knew her not! who died about two years after.

§ 21. When I had been but three quarters of a year at Dudley, I was by God's very gracious Providence invited to Bridgnorth, the second Town of Shropshire, to preach there as Assistant to the worthy Pastor of that place. As soon as I heard [Page 15] the place described, I perceived it was the fittest for me; for there was just such Employment as I desired, and could submit to, without that which I scrupled, and with some probability of peace and quietness.

The Minister of the place was Mr. William Madstard, a grave and severe Anci­ent Divine, very honest and conscionable, and an excellent Preacher, but some­what afflicted with want of Maintenance, and much more with a dead-hearted unprofitable People. The Town Maintenance being inconsiderable, he took the Parsonage of Oldbury near the Town, a Village of scarce twenty Houses, and so desired me to be one half day in the Town, and the other at the Village; but my Lot after fell out to be mostly in the Town. The place is priviledged from all Episcopal Jurisdiction, except the Archbishop's Triennial Visitation. There are six Parishes together, two in the Town, and four in the Country, that have all this Priviledge. At Bridgnorth they have an Ordinary of their own, who, as an Of­ficial, keepeth a constant Ecclesiastical Court, having the Jurisdiction of those six Parishes. This reverend and good man, Mr. Madstard, was both Pastor and Offi­cial, the Place usually going along with that of the Preacher of that Town (though separable): By which means I had a very full Congregation to preach to, and a freedom from all those things which I scrupled or thought unlawful. I often read the Common Prayer before I preached, both on the Lord's-days and Holy-days; but I never administred the Lord's Supper, nor ever Baptized any Child with the Sign of the Cross, nor ever wore the Surplice, nor was ever put to appear at any Bishop's Court.

But the People proved a very ignorant, dead-hearted People, (the Town con­sisting too much of Inns and Alehouses, and having no general Trade to imploy the Inhabitants in, which is the undoing of great Towns): so that though through the great Mercy of God, my first Labours were not without Success, to the Con­version of some ignorant careless Sinners unto God, and were over-valued by those that were already regardful of the Concernments of their Souls, yet were they not so successful as they proved afterwards in other places. Though I was in the fer­vour of my Affections, and never any where preached with more vehement de­sires of Mens Conversion (and I account my Liberty with that measure of Suc­cess which I there had, to be a Mercy which I can never be sufficiently thankful for) yet with the generality an Applause of the Preacher was most of the success of the Sermon which I could hear of; and their tipling and ill company and dead-heartedness quickly drowned all.

§ 22. Whilst I here exercised the first Labours of my Ministry, two several As­saults did threaten my Expulsion: The one was a new Oath,An. 1640 which was made by the Convocation, commonly called The Et caetera Oath: For it was to swear us all, That we would never Consent to the Alteration of the present Government of the Church, by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Arch-deacons, &c. This cast the Ministers through­out England into a Division, and new Disputes. Some would take the Oath, and some would not.

Those that were for it, said, That Episcopacy was Iure Divino, and also settled by a Law, and therefore if the Sovereign Power required it, we might well swear that we would never consent to alter it; and the King's Approbation of these Ca­nons made them sufficiently obligatory unto us.

Those that were against it, said, I. That Episcopacy was either contra jus Divi­num, or at best not Iure Divino, and therefore mutable when the King and Par­liament pleased.

2. Or at least that it was undeniable, That Archbishops, and Deans, and Chap­ters, and Arch-deacons, &c. were not all Iure Divino: nay, that the English frame of Diocesans having many hundred Parish Churches under one Bishop in fini gradus, was not only against the Word of God, but destructive of all the Episcopacy which was known in the Church at least for 200 years.

3. They said that it was intolerable to swear to a blind Et caetera; for litterally it included all the Officers of the Ecclesiastical Courts that are now in Exer­cise of the Government; Lay-Chancellors (that use the Keys for Excommunica­tion and Absolution) Surrogates, Commissaries, Officials, and the rest. And was it ever known that all the Clergy was sworn to such an Anomalous Rab­ble?

4. They said that for ought they knew this Goverment in whole, or in some part, might be altered by the King and Parliament by a Law: And to tie up our selves by an Oath that we would never obey such a Law, nor consent to that which the King might command us, this they thought was a Bond of Disobedience, next to a Rebellion.

[Page 16]5. They said that it was against the Subjects Liberty; which alloweth them so­berly to Petition the King and Parliament for a Redress of any Grievance.

And if now a Lay-Chancellor's use of the Keys, e. g. were no burden to the People, we know not how God may make such Alterations by his Providence, as may make that a Grievance which now is none.

6. And they said it was against the Priviledges of Parliament, that such an Oath should be devised and imposed upon the Subjects, without a Law, or the Parlia­ments consent.

These and other Reasons were pleaded against it: (And afterward when the Parliament took it into consideration, it was Condemned on these and other Ac­counts). The Ministers of the Country met together at Bridgnorth to Debate this Business, that they might have no Division: and some few were for the Oath, but more against it. This put me upon deeper Thoughts of the Point of Episcopacy, and of the English frame of Church-Government than ever I had before: and now I had the opportunity of seeing some Books, which I never had before. My very dear Friend, Mr. William Rowley, (a Gentleman of Shrewsbury) sent me Gersomus Buce­rus his Dissertatio de Gubernatione Ecclesiae, and Didoclaves Altare Damascenum; and shortly after I had Parker de Polit. Eccles [...] and Baynes's Diocesanes Trial; and I received Bishop Downham, and compared his Reasons with Bucers, Didoclaves, &c. And though I found not sufficient Evidence to prove all kind of Episcopacy unlawful, yet I was much satisfied that the English Diocesan frame, was guilty of the Cor­ruption of Churches and Ministry, and of the ruine of the true Church Discipline, and substituting an heterogeneal thing in its stead.

And thus the Et caetera Oath, which was imposed on us for the unalterable sub­jecting of us to Diocesans, was a chief means to alienate me, and many others from it. For now our drowsie mindlesness of that subject was shaken off by their vio­lence; and we that thought it best to follow our business, and live in quietness, and let the Bishops alone, were rowzed by the terrours of an Oath to look about us, and understand what we did.

§ 23. This Oath also stirred up the differing Parties (who before were all one Party, even quiet Conformists) to speak more bitterly against one another than here­tofore: And the dissenting Party began to think better of the Cause of Noncon­formity, and to honour the Nonconformists more than they had done. And it fell out that at the same time when we were thus rowzed up in England, or a little before, the Scots were also awakened in Scotland: For when all was quiet there under a more moderate Episcopacy than we had then in England, (though that Nation had been used to Presbytery) a new Common-Prayer Book (that is, the English one with some few Alterations) was framed, and imposed on the People of Scotland; who having not been used to that way of Worship, one Woman in E­denburgh cried out in the Church, Popery, Popery, and threw her Stool at the Priest; and others imitated her presently, and drove him out of the Church; and this little Spark set all Scotland quickly in a Flame. Insomuch that other Places taking as much distaste at the Common Prayer, and at the Bishops also for its sake, and for fear of the Silencing of their Ministers, and some Ministers increasing their distaste, the Lords presently were divided also; insomuch that the King was fain to instruct the Earl of Trequaire, as his Commissioner, to suppress the Maiecontents: But in a short time the number of them so encreased, that the King's Commissioners could do no good on them, but they got the power of all the Land, because the far greatest part of the Nobility with the Ministry were conjoyned. Hereupon they all entered into a National Covenant, to the same purpose as formerly that Nation had done, but they did it without the King's Authority. The Oath or Covenant was against Popery and Prelacy and Superstition, and to uphold the Gospel and Reformation. The Aberdeen Doctors dissented from the Covenant, and many Writings past on both sides between the Covenanters and them, till at last the ensuing Wars did turn the Debates to another strain.

§ 24. It fell out unhappily that at the same time while the Scots were thus dis­contented, the King had imposed a Tax here, called Ship-money, as for the strength­ning of the Navy; which being done without Consent of Parliament, made a wonderful murmuring all over the Land, especially among the Country No­bility and Gentry; for they took it as the overthrow of the Fundamental Laws or Constitution of the Kingdom, and of Parliaments, and of all Propriety.

They said that the Subjects Propriety in his Estate, and the Being of Parliaments, and that no Laws be made, nor Moneys taken from the Subjects, but by the Par­liaments Consent, are part of the Constitution of the Republick or Government. [Page 17] And they said that the King having long disused Parliaments upon Displeasure a­gainst them, because they curbed Monopolies, and corrected Abuses of Officers, &c. had no way to lay them by for ever, but to invade the Subjects Propriety, and to assume the power of laying Taxes and raising Moneys without them; and that if thus Parliaments and Propriety were destroyed, the Government was dissolved or altered, and no Man had any Security of Estate or Liberty or Life, but the Plea­sure of the King, whose Will would be the only Law. They said also, that those that counselled him to this were Enemies to the Commonwealth, and unfitter to counsel him than Parliaments, who are his highest Court and Council.

The poor Plowmen understood but little of these Matters; but a little would stir up their Discontent when Money was demanded: But it was the more intelli­gent part of the Nation that were the great Complainers. Insomuch that some of them denied to pay the Ship-money, and put the Sheriffs to distrain; the Sheriffs, though afraid of a future Parliament, yet did it in obedience to the King. Mr. Hampden and the Lord Say brought it to a Suit; where Mr. Oliver St. Iohn and o­ther [...]Lawyers boldly pleaded the Peoples Cause. The King had before called all the Judges to give their Opinions, Whether in a Case of need he might impose such a Tax, or not. And all of them gave their Opinion for the Affirmative, except Judge Hatton and Judge Crook. The Judgment passed for the King against Mr. Hampden: But this made the Matter much more talk of throughout the Land, and considered of by those that thought not much of the Importance of it be­fore.

§ 25. Some suspected that many of the Nobility of England did secretly Conse­derate with the Scots, so far as to encourage them to come into England; thinking that there was no other way to cause the Calling of a Parliament, which was the thing that now they bent their minds to as the Remedy of these things. The Earl of Essex, the Earl of Warwick, the Earl of Bedford, the Earl of Clare, the Earl of Bullingbrook, the Earl of Mulgrave, the Earl of Holland, the Lord Say, the Lord Brook, and I know not how many more, were said to be of this Con [...]ederacy. But Heylin himself hath more truly given you the History of this, That the Scots, after they came in, did perswade these Men of their own danger in England, if Ar­bitrary Government went on, and so they petitioned the King for a Parliament, which was all their Consederacy; and this was after their second Coming into England.

The Scots came with an Army, and the King's Army met them near Newcastle; An. 1639 but the Scots came on till an Agreement was made, and a Parliament called; and the Scots went home again.

But shortly after, this Parliament so displeased the King that he Dissolved it, and the War against the Scots was again undertaken, (to which, besides others, the Papists by the Queens means did voluntarily contribute): whereupon the Scots complain of evil Counsels and Papists as the cause of their renewed dangers, and again raise an Army and come into England. And the English at York petition the King for a Parliament, and once more it is resolved on, and an Agreement made,An. 1640 but neither the Scottish or English Army disbanded. And thus began the Long Parliament as it was after called.

§ 26. The Et caetera Oath was the first thing that threatned me at Bridgenorth; and the second was the passage of the Earl of Bridgwater, Lord President of the Marches of Wales, through the Town in his Journey from Ludlow to the King in the North: For his coming being on Saturday Evening, the most malicious persons of the Town went to him, and told him that Mr. Madestard and I did not sign with the Cross, nor wear the Surplice, nor pray against the Scots (who were then upon their Entrance into England; and for which we had no Command from the King, but a printed Form of Prayer from the Bishops.) The Lord President told them, That he would himself come to Church on the morrow, and see whether we would do these things or not. Mr. Madestard went away, and left Mr. Swain (the Reader) and my self in the danger. But after he had spoken for his Dinner, and was ready to go to Church, the Lord President suddenly changed his purpose, and went away on the Lord's Day as far as Lichfield; requiring the Accusers and the Bailiffs to send after him to inform him what we did. On the Lord's Day at E­vening they sent after him to Lichfield to tell him that we did not conform: but though they boasted of no less than the hanging of us, they received no other An­swer from him, but that he had not the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, and therefore could not meddle with us; but if he had, he should take such order in the busi­ness as were fit: And the Bailiffs and Accusers had no more wit than to read his [Page 18] Letter to me, that I might know how they were baffled. Thus I continued in my Liberty of preaching the Gospel at Bridgenorth about a year and three quarters, where I took my Liberty (though with very little Maintenance) to be a very great mercy to me in those troublesome times.

§ 27. The Parliament being sate, did presently fall on that which they account­ed Reformation of Church and State, and which greatly displeased the King as well as the Bishops. They made many long and vehement Speeches against the Ship-money, and against the Judges that gave their Judgment for it, and against the Et caetera Oath, and the Bishops and Convocation that were the formers of it; but especially against the Lord Thomas Wentworth Lord Deputy of Ireland, and Dr. Laud Archbishop of Canterbury, as the evil Counsellers, who were said to be the Cause of all. These Speeches were many of them printed, and greedily bought up throughout the Land, especially the Lord Falklands, the Lord Digbies, Mr. Grim­stones, Mr. Pims, Mr. Nath. Fiennes, &c. which greatly increased the Peoples Ap­prehension of their Danger, and inclined them to think hardly of the King's Pro­ceedings, but especially of the Bishops. Particular Articles of Accusation were brought in against the Lord Deputy, the Archbishop, the Judges, Bishop Wren, Bishop Pierce, and divers others.

The Concord of this Parliament consisted not in the Unanimity of the Persons (for they were of several Tempers as to Matters of Religion), but in the Compli­cation of the Interest of those Causes which they severally did most concern them­selves in. For as the King had at once imposed the Ship-money on the Common­wealth, and permitted the Bishops to impose upon the Church their displeasing Articles, and bowing towards the Altar, and the Book for Dancing on the Lord's Day, and the Liturgy on Scotland, &c. and to Suspend or Silence abundance of Ministers that were conformable, for want of this Super-canonical Conformity; so accordingly the Parliament consisted of two sorts of Men, who by the Con­junction of these Causes were united in their Votes and Endeavours for a Reforma­tion: One Party made no great matter of these Alterations in the Church; but they said, That if Parliaments were once down, and our Propriety gone, and Ar­bitrary Government set up, and Law subjected to the Prince's Will, we were then all Slaves, and this they made a thing intolerable; for the remedying of which, they said, every true English Man could think no price to dear: These the People called Good Commonwealth's Men. The other sort were the more Religious Men, who were also sensible of all these things, but were much more sensible of the In­terest of Religion; and these most inveyed against the Innovations in the Church, the bowing to Altars, the Book for Sports on Sundays, the Casting out of Mini­sters, the troubling of the People by the High-Commission Court, the Pilloring and Cutting off Mens Ears, (Mr. Burtons, Mr. Prins, and Dr. Bastwicks) for speak­ing against the Bishops, the putting down Lectures, and Afternoon Sermons and Expositions on the Lord's Days, with such other things, which they thought of greater weight than Ship-money. But because these later agreed with the former in the Vindication of the Peoples Propriety and Liberties, the former did the easilier concur with them against the Proceedings of the Bishops and High Commission Court.

And as soon as their Inclination was known to the People, all Countreys sent in their Complaints and Petitions. It was presently known how many Ministers Bishop Wren (and others of them) had suspended and silenced; how many thou­sand Families had been driven to flie into Holland, and how many thousand into New-England: Scarce a Minister had been Silenced, that was alive, but it was put into a Petition. Mr. Peter Smart of Durham, and Dr. Layton (a Scotch Physician, who wrote a Book called Sion's Plea against the Prelates) were released out of their long Imprisonment: Mr. Burton, Mr. Prin, and Dr. Bastwick, who (as is said) had been pillored, and their Ears cut off, and they sent into a (supposed) perpetual Im­prisonment into the distant Castles of Gernsey, Iersey, and Carnarvon, were all set free, and Damages voted them for their wrong: And when they came back to London, they were met out of the City by abundance of the Citizens, with such Acclamations as could not but seem a great Affront to the King, and be much dis­pleasing to him. The Lord Keeper Finch and Secretary Windebank fled beyond Sea, and saved themselves: The guilty Judges were deeply accused, and some of them imprisoned for the Cause of Ship-money. But the great Displeasure was against the Lord Deputy Wentworth, and Archbishop Laud: Both these were sent to the Tower, and a Charge drawn up against them, and managed presently against the Lord Deputy by the ablest Lawyers and Gentlemen of the House. This held them work [Page 19] a considerable time: The King was exceeding unwilling to consent unto his death; and therefore used all his skill to have drawn off the Parliament from so hot a Pro­secution of him.

And now began the first Breach among themselves: For the Lord Falkland, An. 1641 the Lord Digby, and divers other able Men, were for the sparing of his Life, and grati­fying the King, and not putting him on a thing so much displeasing to him. The rest said, If after the Attempt of Subverting the Fundamental Laws and Liberties, no one Man shall suffer Death, it will encourage others hereafter to the like. The Londoners petitioned for Iustice: And too great numbers of Apprentices and others, (being imboldened by the Proceedings of the Parliament, and not fore-knowing what a Fire the Sparks of their temerity would kindle) did too triumphingly and disorderly urge the Parliament, crying Iustice, Iustice. And it is not unlikely that some of the Parliament-men did encourage them to this, as thinking that some backward Members would be quickned by Popular Applause: And withal, to work on the Members also by disgrace, some insolent Painter did (seditiously) draw the Pictures of the chief of them that were for saving the Lord Deputy, and cal­led them the Straffordians (he being Earl of Strafford) and hang'd them with their Heels upward on the Exchange. Though it cannot be expected that in so great a City there should be no Persons so indiscreet as to commit such disorderly Acti­ons as these, yet no sober Men should countenance them, or take part with them, whatever ends might be pretended or intended. The King called these Tumults: the Parliament called them the Cities Petitioning! Those that connived at them were glad to see the People of their mind in the main, and thought it would do much to facilitate their Work, and hold the looser Members to their Cause: For though the House was unanimous enough in condemning Ship-money, and the Et caetera Oath, and the Bishops Innovations, &c. yet it was long doubtful which side would have the major Vote in the matter of the Earl of Strafford's Death, and such other Acts as were most highly displeasing to the King. But disorderly means do generally bring forth more Disorders, and seldom attain any good end for which they are used.

§ 28. The Parliament also had procured the King to consent to several Acts which were of great importance, and emboldened the People by confirming their Autho­rity: As an Act against the High Commission Court, and Church-mens Secular or Civil Power; and an Act that this Parliament should not be dissolved till its own Consent, (alledging that the dissolving of Parliaments emboldened Delin­quents, and that Debts and Disorders were so great that they could not be overcome by them in a little time): Also an Act for Triennial Parliaments. And the Peo­ple being confident that all these were signed by the King, full sore against his will, and that he abhorred what was done, did think that the Parliament which had con­strained him to this much, could carry it still in what they pleased, and so grew much more regardful of the Parliament, and sided with them not only for their Cause, and their own Interest, but also as supposing them the stronger side (which the Vulgar are still apt to follow).

§ 29. But to return to my own matters: This Parliament, among other parts of their Reformation, resolved to reform the corrupted Clergy, and appointed a Com­mittee to receive Petitions and Complaints against them; which was no sooner un­derstood, but multitudes in all Countreys came up with Petitions against their Mi­nisters. The King and Parliament were not yet divided, but concurred, and so no partaking in their Differences was any part of the Accusation of these Mini­sters, till long after when the Wars had given the occasion; and then that also came into their Articles: but before it was only matter of Insufficiency, false Doctrine, illegal Innovations, or Scandal, that was brought in against them.

Mr. Iohn White being the Chair-man of the Committee for Scandalous Ministers (as it was called) published in print one Century first of Scandalous Ministers, with their Names, Places, and the Articles proved against them: where so much ignorance, insufficiency, drunkenness, filthiness, &c. was charged on them, that ma­ny moderate men could have wished that their Nakedness had been rather hid, and not exposed to the Worlds derision, and that they had remembred that the Papists did stand by, and would make sport of it. Another Century also was after pub­lished.

Among all these Complainers, the Town of Kederminster in Worcestershire, drew up a Petition against their Ministers: The Vicar of the place they Articled against as one that was utterly insufficient for the Ministry, presented by a Papist, un­learned, preached but once a quarter, which was so weakly, as exposed him to [Page 20] laughter, and perswaded them that he understood not the very Substantial Articles of Christianity; that he frequented Alehouses, and had sometimes been drunk; that he turned the Table Alter-wife, &c. with more such as this. The Vicar had a Curate under him in the Town whom they also accused; and a Curate at a Chap­pel in the Parish, a common Tippler and a Drunkard, a railing Quarreller, an ig­norant insufficient Man, who (as I found by Examining him) understood not the common Points of the Childrens Catechism, but said some good words to them sometimes out of Musculus's Common Places in English, which was almost the only Book he had; and his Trade in the Week-days was unlawful Marriages. The Peo­ple put their Petition into the Hands of Sir Henry Herbert Burgess for Bewdley, a Town two miles distant. The Vicar knowing his insufficiency, and hearing how two others in his Case had sped, desired to compound the Business with them; and by the mediation of Sir Henry Herbert, and others, it was brought to this, That he should instead of his present Curate in the Town, allow 60 l. per Annum to a Prea­cher whom fourteen of them nominated, should choose; and that he should not hinder this Preacher from preaching whenever he pleased, and that he himself should read Common Prayer, and do all else that was to be done: and so they preferred not their Petition against him, nor against his Curates, but he kept his Place, which was worth to him near 200l. per Ann. allowing that 60l. out of it to their Lecturer. To perform this he gave a Bond of 500l.

These things being thus finished, some of them desired old Mr. Lapthorn (a fa­mous Man, turned from Nonconformity by King Iames) to come and preach with them on trial to be their Lecturer: Mr. Lapthorn's roughness and great imme­thodicalness, and digressions, so offended the intelligent leading Party, that they rejected him somewhat uncivilly, to his great displeasure.

Hereupon they invited me to them from Bridgnorth: The Bailiff of the Town, and all the Peoffees desired me to preach with them, in order to a full determinati­on. My mind was much to the place as soon as it was described to me; because it was a full Congregation, and most convenient Temple; an ignorant, rude and revelling People for the greater part, who had need of preaching; and yet had a­mong them a small Company of Converts, who were humble, godly, and of good Conversations, and not much hated by the rest, and therefore the fitter to assist their Teacher; but above all, because they had hardly ever had any lively, serious preaching among them: For Bridgnorth had made me resolve that I would never more go among a People that had been hardened in unprositableness under an a­wakening Ministry; but either to such as never had any convincing Preacher, or to such as had profited by him. As soon as I came to Kiderminster, and had preach­ed there one day, I was chosen Nemine contradicente, (for though fourteen only had the power of choosing, they desired to please the rest). And thus I was brought by the gracious Providence of God, to that place which had the chiefest of my Labours, and yielded me the greatest Fruits of Comfort. And I noted the mercy of God in this, that I never went to any place in my Life, among all my Changes, which I had before desired, designed or thought of, (much less sought); but only to those that I never thought of, till the sudden Invitation did surprize me.

§ 30. When I had been here a while, in the beginning of Iuly, the two Fami­lies which I had last lived in, at Dudley and Bridgnorth, were at once visited with Sickness, and they both sent for me (upon a conceit of my skill in Physick), but being from home I went to neither of them; and it proved a most contagious ma­lignant Fever next the Plague; Mrs. Foley and some of her Family died: and Mr. Madestard, his Wife, and a Gentlewoman that lived with them, died within a day or two each of other. Being with my old Friend Mr. William Rowley, the sad Message came to us (Mr. Madestard being his Kinsman) and I went with him to the Funeral, and preached his Funeral Sermon in so deep a sense of the misery of that unprofitable People, and the deep groans which I have heard from their faith­ful Pastor, for their obdurateness, that I could not forbear to tell them my fears of some heavy Judgment to come upon that place, which they were more capa­ble of laying to heart than their Pastor's death. I had never before (nor ever did I since) presume upon such kind of Predictions, (nor did I speak that with any pretence of Prophesie) but the expression of that fear I could not then suppress: My Text was Ezek 33. 33. And when this cometh to pass (loe it will come) then shall they know that a Prophet hath been among them. And when the War was begun, the Town (being against the Parliament) was a Garrison for the King, kept by the Neighbour Gentlemen of the Country; who fortified the Castle, and when the [Page 21] Parliament's Forces came to take the Town, they cast such effectual Fire-works from the Castle as burnt down the Town to the Ground, and burnt also the great Church where I preached that Sermon, and where Mr. Madstard was interred: So that the Inhabitants were undone, and fain to lye under Hedges, till the Com­passion of others afforded them Entertainment and Habitation. And as for their Church, it was a great while before it was rebuilt, and that after two general Collections, for it. The first time that I came among them when the Wars were past, I chose the same Text again to preach on, to call their sins against their faith­ful Pastor to remembrance: But they and I were so much interrupted with Tears, that (with some Pawses) I had much ado to proceed on to the end.

§ 31. Whilst I continued at Kederminster, it pleased God to give me much En­couragement by the Success of my weak but hearty Labours: As when I was young, I used to keep a daily Catalogue of my daily Mercies and Sins, but when I grew elder I found that Course had its Inconveniences, and took up too much time, and therefore I only recorded those which were extraordinary; even so when I first entered upon my Labours in the Ministry, I took special notice of every one that was humbled, reformed or converted; but when I had laboured long, it pleased God that the Converts were so many, that I could not afford time for such particular Observations about every one of them, left I should omit some greater Work; but was fain to leave that to their compassionate familiar Neigh­bours, and take notice my self of Families and considerable Numbers at once, that came in and grew up I scarce knew how.

§ 32. All this forementioned time of my Ministry was past under my fore­described Weaknesses, which were so great as made me live and preach in some continual expectation of Death, supposing still that I had not long to live. And this I found through all my Life to be an unvaluable mercy to me: For,

1. It greatly weakned Temptations.

2. It kept me in a great Contempt of the World.

3. It taught me highly to esteem of time: so that if any of it past away in idle­ness or unprofitableness, it was so long a pain and burden to my mind! So that I must say to the Praise of my most wise Conductor, that time hath still seemed to me much more precious than Gold or any Earthly Gain, and its Minutes have not been despised, nor have I been much tempted to any of the Sins, which go under the name of Pastime, since I understood my Work.

4. It made me study and preach things necessary, and a little stirred up my slug­gish heart, to speak to Sinners with some Compassion, as a dying Man to dying Men.

These, with the rest which I mentioned before when I spake of my Infirmities, were the Benefits which God afforded me by Affliction! I humbly bless his graci­ous Providence, who gave me his Treasure in an Earthen Vessel, and trained me up in the School of Affliction, and taught me the Cross of Christ so soon; that I might be rather Theologus Crucis, as Luther speaketh, than Theologus Gloriae; and a Cross-bearer, than a Cross-maker or Imposer.

§ 33. At one time above all the rest, being under a new and unusual Distemper, which put me upon the present Expectations of my Change, and going for Com­fort to the Promises as I was used, the Tempter strongly assaulted my Faith, and would have drawn me towards Infidelity it self. Till I was ready to enter into the Ministry, all my Troubles had been raised, by the hardness of my heart, and the doubtings of my own Sincerity; but now all these began to vanish, and never much returned to this day: And instead of these, I was now assaulted with more pernicious Temptations; especially to question the certain Truth of the Sacred Scriptures; and also the Life to come, and Immortality of the Soul. And these Temptations assaulted me not as they do the Melancholy, with horrid vexing Im­portunity; but by pretence of sober Reason, they would have drawn me to a set­led doubting of Christianity.

And here I found my own Miscarriage, and the great Mercy of God. My Mis­carriage, in that I had so long neglected the well settling of my Foundations, while I had bestowed so much time in the Superstructures and the Applicatory part! For having taken it for an intolerable Evil, once to question the Truth of Scriptures and the Life to come, I had either taken it for a Certainty upon Trust, or taken up with Common Reasons of it, which I had never well considered, digested, or made mine own. Insomuch as when this Temptation came, it seemed at first to answer and enervate all the former Reasons of my feeble Faith, which made me take the Scriptures for the Word of God; and it set before me such Mountains of [Page 22] Difficulty in the Incarnation, the Person of Christ, his Undertaking and Perform­ance with the Scripture Chronology, Histories and Stile, &c. which had stalled and overwhelmed me, if God had not been my strength. And here I saw much of the Mercy of God, that he let not out these terrible and dangerous Temptations upon me, while I was weak and in the infancy of my Faith; for then I had ne­ver been able to withstand them. But Faith is like a Tree, whose Top is small while the Root is young and shallow: and therefore as then it hath but small root­ing, so is it not liable to the shaking Winds and Tempests as the big and high­grown Trees are: But as the top groweth higher, so the root at once grows great­er, and deeper fixed, to cause it to endure its greater Assaults.

Though formerly I was wont when any such Temptation came, to cast it aside, as fitter to be abhorred than considered of yet now this would not give me satis­faction; but I was fain to dig to the very Foundations, and seriously to Examine the Reasons of Christianity, and to give a hearing to all that could be said against it, that so my Faith might be indeed my own. And at last I found that Nil tam certum quamquod ex dublo certum; Nothing is so firmly believed, as that which hath been sometime doubted of.

§ 34. In the storm of this Temptation, I questioned a while whether I were indeed a Christian or an Infidel, and whether Faith could consist with such Doubts as I was conscious of: For I had read in many Papists and Protestants, that Faith had Certainty, and was more than an Opinion; and that if a Man should live a godly Life, from the bare apprehensions of the Probability of the Truth of Scrip­ture, and the Life to come, it would not save him, as being no true Godliness or Faith. But my Judgment closed with the Reason of Dr. Iackson's Determination of this Case, which supported me much, that as in the very Assenting Act of Faith there may be such weakness, as may make us cry, Lord increase our Faith: We believe, Lord help our belief; so when Faith and Unbelief are in their Conflict, it is the Ef­fects which must shew us which of them is victorious. And that he that hath so much Faith as will cause him to deny himself, take up his Cross, and forsake all the Profits, Honours, and Pleasures of this World, for the sake of Christ, the Love of God, and the hope of Glory, hath a saving Faith, how weak soever: For God cannot condemn the Soul that truly loveth and seeketh him: And those that Christ bringeth to persevere in the Love of God, he bringeth to Salvation. And there were divers Things that in this Assault proved great Assistances to my Faith.

1. That the Being and Attributes of God were so clear to me, that he was to my Intellect what the Sun is to my Eye, by which I see it self and all Things: And he seemed mad to me that questioned whether there were a God: that any Man should dream that the World was made by a Conflux of Irrational Atoms, and Reason came from that which had no Reason, or that Man, or any Inferiour Be­ing was independent; or that all the being, Power, Wisdom, and Goodness which we conversed with, had not a Cause which in Being, Power, Wisdom and Good­ness, did excel all that which it had caused in the World, and had not all that for­maliter vel eminenter in it self which it communicated to all the Creatures. These, and all the Suppositions of the Atheist, have ever since been so visibly foolish and shameful to my Apprehension, that I scarce find a Capacity in my self of doubting of them; and whenever the Tempter hath joyned any thing against these, with the rest of his Temptations, the rest have been the easier overcome, because of the overwhelming cogent Evidences of a Deity, which are always before the Eyes of my Soul.

2. And it helped me much to discern that this God must needs be related to us as our Owner, our Governour, and our Benefactor, in that he is related to us as our Creator; and that therefore we are related to him as his own, his Subjects, and his Beneficiaries; which as they all proceed by undeniable resultancy from our Creation and Nature, so thence do our Duties arise which belong to us in those Relations, by as undeniable resultancy; and that no shew of Reason can be brought by any Infi­del in the World to excuse the Rational Creature from Loving his Maker, with all his heart and soul and might, and devoting himself and all his Faculties to him from whom he did receive them, and making him his ultimate End who is his first Efficient Cause. So that Godliness is a Duty so undeniably required in the Law of Nature, and so discernable by Reason it self, that nothing but unreasonableness can contradict it.

3. And then it seemed utterly improbable to me that this God should see us to be Losers by our Love and Duty to him, and that our Duty should be made to be our Snare, or make us the more miserable by how much the more faithfully we [Page 23] perform it! And I saw that the very Possibility or Probability of a Life to come, would make it the Duty of a Reasonable Creature to seek it, though with the loss of all below.

4. And I saw by undeniable Experience, a strange Universal Enmity between the Heavenly and the Earthly Mind, the Godly and the Wicked, as fulfilling the Prediction Gen. 3. 15. The War between the Woman's and the Serpent's Seed, be­ing the daily Business of all the World. And I saw that the wicked and haters of Godliness are so commonly the greatest and most powerful and numerous, as well as cruel, that ordinarily there is no living according to the Precepts of Nature and undeniable Reason, without being made the Derision and Contempt of Men (if we can scape so easily).

5. And then I saw that there is no other Religion in the World which can stand in competition with Christianity: Heathenism and Mahometanism are kept up by Tyranny, and Beastly Ignorance, and blush to stand at the Bar of Reason: And Judaism is but Christianity in the Egg or Bed. And meer Deism, which is the most plausible Competitor, is so turned out of almost all the whole World, as if Na­ture made its own Confession, that without a Mediator it cannot come to God.

6. And I perceived that all other Religions leave the People in their worldly, sensual, and ungodly state; even their Zeal and Devotion in them, being com­monly the Servants of their Fleshly Interest: And the Nations where Christianity is not, being drowned in Ignorance and Earthly mindedness, so as to be the shame of Nature.

7. And I saw that Christ did bring up all his serious and sincere Disciples to real Holiness and to Heavenly mindedness, and made them new Creatures, and set their Hearts and Designs and Hopes upon another Life; and brought their Sense into subjection to their Reason, and taught them to resign themselves to God, and to love him above all the World. And it is not like that God will make use of a Deceiver for this real visible Recovery and Reformation of the Nature of Man; or that any thing but his own Zeal can imprint his Image.

8. And here I saw an admirable suitableness in the Office and Design of Christ, to the Ends of God, and the Felicity of Man: and how excellently these Super­natural Revelations do fall in, and take their place in subserviency to Natural Ve­rities; and how wonderfully Faith is fitted to bring Men to the Love of God; when it is nothing else but the beholding of his amiable attractive Love and Good­ness in the Face of Christ, and the Promises of Heaven, as in a Glass, till we see his Glory.

9. And I had felt much of the Power of his Word and Spirit on my self; do­ing that which Reason now telleth me must be done: And shall I question my Physician when he hath done so much of the Cure, and recovered my depraved Soul so much to God.

10. And as I saw these Assistances to my Faith, so I perceived that whatever the Tempter had to say against it, was grounded upon the Advantages which he took from my Ignorance, and my Distance from the Times and Places of the Mat­ters of the Sacred History, and such like things which every Novice meeteth with in almost all other Sciences at the first, and which wise well-studied Men can see through.

§ 35. All these Assistances were at hand before I came to the immediate Evi­dences of Credibility in the Sacred Oracles themselves. And when I set my self to search for those, I found more in the Doctrine, the Predictions, the Miracles, antecedent, concomitant, subsequent, than ever I before took notice of: which I shall not here so far digress as to set down, having partly done it in several Trea­tises; as The Saints Rest, Part 2. The Unreasonableness of Infidelity; A Saint or a Bruit, in my Christian Directory; and since more fully in a Treatise, called, The Reasons of the Christian Religion; my Life of Faith, &c.

§ 36. From this Assault I was forced to take notice, that it is our Belief of the Truth of the Word of God, and the Life to come, which is the Spring that sets all Grace on work, and with which it rises or falls, flourishes or decays, is actuated or stands still. And that there is more of this secret Unbelief at the Root than most of us are aware of; and that our love of the World, our boldness with Sin, our neglect of Duty are caused hence [...] I observed easily in my self, that if at any time Satan did more than at other times weaken my Belief of Scripture, and the Life to come, my Zeal in every Religious Duty abated with it, and I grew more indifferent in Religion than before: I was more inclined to Conformity in those Points [Page 24] which I had taken to be sinful, and was ready to think, why should I be singular and offend the Bishops and other Superiours, and make my self contemptible in the World, and expose my self to Censures, Scorns, and Sufferings, and all for such little things as these, when the Foundations themselves have so great difficulties, as I am unable to overcome. But when Faith revived, then none of the Parts or Concernments of Religion seemed small, and then Man seemed nothing, and the World a shadow, and God was all.

In the begining I doubted not of the truth of the Holy Scriptures, or of the Life to come, because I saw not the Difficulties which might cause doubting: After that I saw them and I doubted, because I saw not that which should satisfie the mind against them: Since that, having seen both Difficulties and Evidences, though I am not so unmolested as at the first, yet is my Faith I hope much stronger, and far better able to repel the Temptations of Satan, and the Sophisms of Infidels than before: But yet is my daily Prayer, That God would increase my Faith, and give my Soul a clear fight of the Evidences of his Truth, and of himself, and of the invisible World.

§ 37. Whilst I was thus employed between outward Labours and inward Trials, Satan stirr'd up a little inconsiderable rage of wicked men against me. The Town having been formerly eminent for Vanity, had yearly a Shew, in which they brought forth the painted forms of Giants, and such like foolery, to walk about the Streets with; and though I said nothing against them, as being not simply evil, yet on every one of those Days of Riot, the Rabble of the more vicious sort had still some spleen to vent against me, as one part of their Game. And once all the igno­rant Rout were raging mad against me for preaching the Doctrine of Original Sin to them, and telling them that Infants before Regeneration, had so much Guilt and Corruption, as made them loathsome in the Eyes of God: whereupon they vented it abroad in the Country, That I preached that God hated, or loached Infants; so that they railed at me as I passed through the Streets. The next Lord's Day I clear­ed and confirmed it, and shewed them that if this were not true, their Infants had no need of Christ, of Baptism, or of Renewing by the Holy Ghost. And I askt them whether they durst say that their Children were saved without a Saviour, and were no Christians, and why they baptized them, with much more to that pur­pose; and afterward they were ashamed and as mute as fishes.

Once one of the drunken Beggers of the Town raised a slander of me, That I was under a Tree with a Woman (an ill-fam'd Beggar of the Town): All the Drunkards had got it in their mouths, before I could find out the Original. I got three or four of them bound to the Good Behaviour, and the Sot himself that rai­sed the Slander, confessed before the Court that he saw me in a rainy day on Horse­back stand under an Oak which grew in a thick Hedge, and the Woman afore­said standing for shelter on the other side the Hedge under the same Tree, and that he believed that we saw not one another; but he spake it as a Jest, and the Com­pany were glad of the occasion to feed their Malice. So they all askt me forgive­ness, and I desired the Magistrate immediately to release them all.

There lived at Kinver an ancient, prudent, Reverend Divine, Mr. Iohn Cross, (who died since, Pastor of Matthews Friday-street in London): This godly Man had been the chief means of the good which was done in Kidderminster before my coming thither; when I came, I got him to take every second day in a Weekly Lecture. It came to pass once, that a Woman defamed him at Kidderminster o­penly, and told the People that he would have ravished her. Mr. Cross being a wise Man, sent one before to desire the Bailiff and Justice to call her to Examina­tion, and he came after and sate in a common dark coloured Coat, among many others, in the Bailiff's Parlour, as if he had been one of the Magistrates. The Bailiff called her in, and she stood impudently to the Accusation: The Bailiff askt her whether she knew the Man if she saw him; which she confidently affirm­ed. He askt her, Is it this Man, or that Man, or the other Man, or any there? And she said, O no, God forbid that she should accuse any of them. Mr. Cross said, Am not I the Man; and she said, No, she knew the Man well enough. And when they had told her that this was Mr. Cross, she fell down on her knees, and askt him forgiveness, and confest that one of his Neighbours (who was his great Accuser at the Bishops Courts) had hired her to report it. But the Good Man forgave them all.

§ 38. And here I must return to the Proceedings of the Parliament, because the rest will not be well understood without connoting the Occasions of them which were administred. When the Londoners cried to the House for Iustice, and honour­ed [Page 25] those Members who were for the punishment of Delinquents, and dishonoured those that pleased the King, a Breach began to be made among themselves: And the Lord Digby, the Lord Falkland, and divers others, from that time forward joyned with the King; being not so immoveable as many of the rest, whom neither hope nor fear nor discontent would alienate from the Cause which they thought well of. Yet others were tried with the offer of Preferments: The Lord Say was made one of the Privy Council; Mr. Oliver St. Iohn was made the King's Sollicitor, &c. But as this did not alter them, so others of them would accept of no Preserment, left they should be thought to seek themselves, or set their Fidelity to Sale. When the Earl of Strafford was Condemned, and the King desired to sign the Bill, many Bi­shops were called to give him their Advice, and it is commonly reported, that Archbishop Usher and divers others told him, that he might lawfully concur with the Judgment of his Parliament proceeding according to Law, though his own Judgment were that their Sentence was unjust: But Dr. Iuxon, the Bishop of Lon­don, advised him to do nothing against his Conscience: and others would give no Advice at all. When the King had Subscribed, and Strafford was beheaded, he much repented it, even to the last, as his Speeches at his Death express. And the Judgments of the Members of the Parliament were different about these Proceed­ings.

Some thought that the King should not at all be displeased and provoked, and that they were not bound to do any other Justice, or attempt any other Re­formation but what they could procure the King to be willing to. And these said, When you have displeased and provoked him to the utmost, he will be your King still! and when you have sate to the longest, you must be dissolved at last: you have no power over his Person, though you have power over Delinquent Subjects: And if he protect them by Arms, you must either be ruined your selves by his displeasure, or be engaged in a War: Displeasing him is but exasperating him; and would you be ruled by a King that hateth you? Princes have great Minds, which cannot easily suffer Contradiction and Rebukes: The more you offend him, the less you can trust him; and when mutual Confidence is gone, a War is beginning: And if it come to a War, either you will conquer or be con­quered, or come to Agreement. If you are conquered, you and the Common­wealth are ruined, and he will be absolute, and subdue Parliaments, and Govern as he pleaseth. If you come to an Agreement, it will be either such as you force him to, or as he is willing of: If the latter, it may be easilier and cheaper done before a War than after: If the former, it will much weaken it: And if you Con­quer him, what the better are you? He will still be King: You can but force him to an Agreement: and how quickly will he have power and advantage to violate that which he is forced to; and to be avenged on you all for the displeasure you have done him: He is ignorant of the Advantages of a King that cannot foresee this]. These were the Reasons of many that were for pleasing the King.

But on the other side there were Men of divers tempers: Some did not look far before them, but did what they thought was best at present: whether any de­signed the subduing of the King, and the change of Government, at that time, I cannot tell: For I then heard of no notable Sectary in the House but young Sir Henry Vane, (whose Testimony was the Death of the Earl of Strafford, when other Evidence was wanting, and of whom I shall say more anon). But the leading and prevailing part of the House were for the Execution of Strafford, and for pu­nishing some Delinquents, though it did displease the King: And their Reasons (as their Companions tell us) were such as these: They said, If that be your Principle that the King is not to be displeased, or provoked, then this Parliament should never have been called, which you know he was forced to against his Will: and then the Ship-money should have gone on, and the Subjects Propriety, and Parliaments, have been overthrown: And then the Church Innovations should not have been controuled, nor any stop to the Subverters of our Government and Li­berties attempted: then no Members should speak freely against any of these in the House; for you know that all these are very displeasing: And then what do we here? Could not the King have pleased himself without us? Or do we come to be his Instruments, to give away the Peoples Liberties, and set up that which was begun? Either it is our Duty to reform, and to recover our Liberties, and relieve our Country, and punish Delinquents, or it is not? If it be not, let us go home again: If it be, let us do it and trust God: For if the fears of foreseen Oppositi­ons shall make us betray our Country and Posterity, we are perfidious to them, and Enemies to our selves, and may well be said to be worse than Infidels, much [Page 26] rather than they that provide not for their Families; when Infidels have not thought their Lives too good to save the Commonwealth. And as for a War, the danger of it may be avoided: It is a thing uncertain, and therefore a present certain Ruine, and that by our own hand, is not to be chosen to avoid it. The King may fee the danger of it as well as we, and avoid it on better Terms: Or if he were willing, he may not be able to do any great harm: Do you think that the People of England are so mad, as to fight against those whom they have chosen to represent them? to destroy themselves, and the hopes of their Posterity? Do they not know that if Parliaments be destroyed, their Lives and Estates are meerly at the Will and Mercy of the Conquerour? And do not you see that the People are every where for the Parliament? And for Revenge; what need we fear it when the Parliament may continue till it consent to its Dissolution? And sure they will not consent till they see themselves out of the danger of Revenge]. Such as these were the Reasonings of that Party which prevailed.

But others told them, That those that adhered to the Bishops, and were offend­ed at the Parliaments Church Reformations, would be many; and the King will never want Nobility and Gentry to adhere to him; and the Common People will follow their Landlords, and be on the stronger side: and the intelligent part, who understand their own Interests, are but few: And when you begin a War, you know not what you do]. Thus were Mens minds then in a Division: but some unhappy means fell out to unite them so as to cause them to proceed to a War.

§ 39. The things that heightned former Displeasures to a miserable War were such as follow, on both Parts: On the Parliaments part were principally, 1. The Peoples indiscretion that adhered to them; 2. The imprudence and violence of some Members of the House, who went too high: 3. The great Diffidence they had of the King when they had provoked him.

On the other side it was hastened, 1. By the Calling up of the Northern Army. 2. By the King's imposing a Guard upon the House. 3. By his entring the House to accuse some Members. 4. By the miscarriage of the Lord Digby and other of the King's Adherents. 5. But above all by the terrible Massacre in Ireland, and the Threatnings of the Rebels to Invade England. A little of every one of these.

§ 40. 1. Those that desired the Parliaments Prosperity were of divers sorts. Some were calm and temperate, and waited for the Fruits of their Endeavours in their sea­son: And some were so glad of the hopes of a Reformation, and afraid left their Hearts and Hands should fall for want of Encouragement, that they too much boasted of them, and applauded them: which must needs offend the King, to see the People rejoyce in others as their Deliverers, and as saving them from him; and so to see them preferred in Love and Honour before him. But some were yet more indiscreet: The remnant of the old Separatists and Anabaptists in London was then very small, and scarce considerable; but they were enough to stir up the younger and unexperienced sort of Religious People, to speak too vehemently and intempe­rately against the Bishops and the Church and Ceremonies, and to jeer and deride at the Common Prayer, and all that was against their minds: (For the young and raw sort of Christians are usually prone to this kind of Sin; to be self-conceited, petulant, wilful, censorious, and injudicious in all their management of their Dif­ferences in Religion, and in all their Attempts of Reformation): scorning and clamouring at that which they think evil, they usually judge a warrantable Course: And it is hard finding any sort of People in the World, where many of the more unexperienced are not indiscreet, and proud and passionate.

These stirr'd up the Apprentices to joyn with them in Petitions, and to go in great numbers to Westminster to present them: And as they went they met with some of the Bishops in their Coaches going to the House; and (as is usual with the passionate and indiscreet when they are in great Companies) they too much forgot Civility, and cried out, No Bishops; which either put them really into a fear, or at least so displeased them, as gave them occasion to meet together, and draw up a Protestation against any Law which in their Absence should be passed in the Parliament, as having themselves a place there, and being, as they said, de­ferred from coming thither by those Clamours and Tumults.

This Protestation was so ill taken by the Parliament, as that the Subscribers of it were voted Delinquents, and sent to Prison, as going about to destroy the pow­er of Parliaments; (and among them even Bishop Hall himself).

[Page 27]These numerous Petitioners also were very offensive to the King, insomuch that once some of his Cavaliers came out upon them armed as they passed by Whitehall, and catcht some of them, and cut off their Ears; and Sir Richard Wiseman leading them, there was some Fray about Westminster-Abbey between the Cavaliers and them, and Sir Richard Wiseman was slain by a stone from off the Abbey Walls. And when at last the King forsook the City, these Tumults were the principal Cause alledged by him, as if he himself had not been safe. Thus rash Attempts of Head-strong People, do work against the good Ends which they themselves intend; and the Zeal which hath censorious Strife and Envy, doth tend to Confusion, and every evil Work: And Overdoing is the ordinary way of Undoing.

§ 41. 2. And some Members of the House did cherish these Disorders; and because that the Subjects have liberty to Petition, therefore they made use of this their Liberty in a disorderly way. When they had disgraced Ship-money, and the Et caetera Oath, and Bowing towards Altars, and such things as were against Law, they stopt not there, but set themselves to cast out the Bishops and the Liturgy which were settled by Law. And though Parliaments may draw up Bills for repealing Laws, yet hath the King his Negative Voice, and without his Consent they can­not do it; which though they acknowledged, yet did they too easily admit of Pe­titions against the Episcopacy and Liturgy, and connived at all the Clamours and Papers which were against them.

Had they only endeavoured the Ejection of Lay Chancellors, and the reducing of the Diocesses to a narrower Compass, or the setting up of a Subordinate Disci­pline, and only the Correcting and Reforming of the Liturgy, perhaps it might have been borne more patiently; but some particular Members concurred with the Desires of the imprudent Reformers, who were for no less than the utter Extirpa­tion of Bishops and Liturgy: To which purpose the Lord Brook wrote his Book against Episcopacy. And in the House of Commons Sir Henry Vane endeavoured to draw all up to the bighest Resolutions, and by his Parts and Converse drew ma­ny (so far) to his mind. And also the sense of the younger less experienced sort of the Ministers and private Christians in the Country, was much against amending the Bishops and Liturgy, and thought this was but to guild over our Danger, and lose our Opportunity; but they were for an utter Extirpation. Though none of all this was the Sense of the Parliament, yet those Members which were of this Opinion did much to encourage the Petitioners, who in a disorderly manner la­boured to effect it.

The Bishops themselves who were accounted most moderate (Usher, Williams, Morton) and many other Episcopal Divines with them, had before this in a Com­mittee at Westminster, agreed on certain Points of Reformation, which I will give you afterward, though out of the proper place, when we come to our Proposals at the King's Return 1660. But when the same Men saw that greater Things were aimed at, and Episcopacy it self in danger, or their Grandeur and Riches at the least, most of them turned against the Parliament, and were almost as much displeased as others.

§ 42. 3. And the great distrust which the Parliament had of the King, was ano­ther thing which hastened the War: For they were confident that he was un­moveable as to his Judgment and Affections, and that whatever he granted them, was but in design to get his advantage utterly to destroy them; and that he did but watch for such an Opportunity: They supposed that he utterly abhorred the Parliament, and their Actions against his Ship-money, his Judges, Bishops, &c. and therefore whatever he promised them, they believed him not, nor durst take his word; which they were hardened in by those former Actions of his, which they called, The Breach of his former Promises.

§ 43. And the Things on the other side, which occasioned their Diffidence, and caused the War, were these following especially above all the rest: 1. The Ar­mies of the Scots and English did long continue in the North undisbanded, in their Quarters, till the Parliament should provide their Pay. Some say other Business caused the delay, and some say that the Parliament was not willing that they should be so soon disbanded; but the Army of the English wanting pay, was easily discon­tented: And the Parliament say that the Court drew them into a Plot against the House, to march suddenly up towards London, and to Master the Parliament: Di­vers of the Chief Officers were Examined, (Sir Iacob Astley, O Neale, Sir Fulh Huncks (my Mother-in-Law's Brother) and many others; and they almost all con­fessed some such thing, that some near the King (but not he himself) had treated with them about bringing up the Army, but none of them talkt of destroying or [Page 28] forcing the Parliament. These Examinations and Depositions were published by the Parliament, which did very much to perswade abundance of People that the King did but watch while he quieted them with Promises, to Master them by Force, and use them at his Pleasure. And this Action was one of the greatest Causes of the dangerous diffidence of the King.

§ 44. 2. Another was this: When the Parliament had set a Guard upon their own House, (which they took to be their Priviledge) the King discharged them, and set another Guard upon them of his choosing: which made them seem as much afraid, as if he had made them Prisoners, and would at some time or other com­mand that Guard to Execute his Wrath upon them; whereupon they dismissed them, and called for a Guard of the City Regiments. This also did increase the Diffidence.

§ 45. 3. Another great Cause of the Diffidence and War was this: The King was advised no longer to stand by, and see the Parliament affront him, and do what they listed; but to take a sufficient Company with him, and to go suddenly in Person to the House, and there to demand some of the Leading Members to be delivered up to Justice, and tried as Traitors: Whereupon he goeth to the House of Commons with a Company of Cavaliers with Swords and Pistols, to have charged five of the Members of that House, and one of the Lords House, with High Treason; viz Mr. Pim, Mr. Hampden, Mr. Hollis, Mr. Strowd, and Sir Ar­thur Haseirigge, and the Lord Kimbolivn (after Earl of Manchester and Lord Cham­berlain) of the Lord's: But the King was not so secret or speedy in this Action, but the Members had notice of it before his coming, and absented themselves (be­ing together at an inner House in Red-Lyon Court in Watling street near Breadstreet in London): And so the King and his Company laid hands on none, but went their ways. Had the five Members been there, the rest supposed they would have taken them away by violence.

When the King was gone, this Allarm did cast the House into such Apprehen­sions, as if one after another, their Liberties or Lives must be assaulted by the Sword if they pleased not the Court: So that they presently voted it a Breach of their Priviledges, and an Effect of the King's evil Counsellors, and published their Votes; to awaken the People to rescue them, as if they were in apparent Danger.

The King being disappointed, publisheth a Paper in which he chargeth the Members with Treason, as stirring up the Apprentices to tumultuous Petitioning, &c. But confesseth his Error in violating their Priviledges.

§ 46. 4. And another thing which hastened the War, was, that the Lord Dig­by and some other Cavaliers, attempted at Kingston upon Thames, to have sudden­ly got together a Body of Horse; which the Parliament took as the beginning of a War, or an Insurrection and Rebellion: But the Party was dissipated before they could grow to any great Strength; and the Parliament voted him a Delinquent, and sent to apprehend him and bring him to Justice, with his partakers: But he sled into France; and when he was there, the Parliament intercepted some of his Letters to the King, advising him to get away from London, to some place of Strength, where his Friends might come to him; which they took as an Advise to him to begin a War. Thus one thing after another blew the Coals.

§ 47. 5. But of all the rest, there was nothing that with the People wrought so much, as the Irish Massacree and Rebellion: The Irish Papists did by an unexpect­ed Insurrection, rise all over Ireland at once, and seized upon almost all the Strengths of the whole Land, and Dublin wonderfully escaped (a Servant of Sir Iohn Clotworthy's discovering the Plot) which was to have been surprised with the rest, Octob. 23. 1641. Two hundred thousand Persons they murdered, (as you may see in the Earl of Orary's Answer to a Petition, and in Dr. Iones's Narrative of the Examinations, and Sir Iohn Temple's History, who was one of the resident Justices:) Men, Women and Children were most cruelly used; the Women ript up, and filthily used when they killed them, and the Infants used like Toads or Vermin: Thousands of those that escaped, came stript and almost famished to Dublin, and afterwards into England to beg their Bread: Multitudes of them were driven together into Rivers, and cast over Bridges and drowned: Many Witnes­ses swore before the Lords Justices, that at Portdown-bridge a Vision every Day ap­peared to the Passengers of naked Persons standing up to the middle in the River, and crying out, Revenge, Revenge! In a word, scarce any History mentioneth the like barbarous Cruelty as this was: The French Massacree murdered but Thirty, or Forty Thousand; but Two Hundred Thousand was a Number which astonished those that heard it.

[Page 29]This filled all England with a Fear both of the Irish, and of the Papists at home; for they supposed that the Priests and the Interest of their Religion were the Cause: In so much, that when the Rumour of a Plot was occasioned at London, the poor People, all the Countries over, were ready either to run to Arms, or hide them­selves, thinking that the Papists were ready to rise and cut their Throats: And when they saw the English Papists join with the King against the Parliament, it was the greatest thing that ever alienated them from the King.

Hereupon, the Parliament was solicitous to send help to Dublin, lest that also should be lost. The King was so forward to that Service, that he prest the Parlia­ment that he might go over himself: The Parliament liked that worst of all, as if they had been confident that ill Counsellors advised him to it, that he might get at the Head of two Armies, and unite them both against the Parliament, and by his Absence make a Breach, and hinder the Proceedings of the Houses.

Those that came out of Ireland represent the woful Case of it, and the direful Usage of the Protestants, so as provoked the People to think that it was impossible that any Danger to them could be greater than their Participation of the like. The few that were left at Dublin got into Armes, but complained of their Necessities, and the multitude of their Enemies! So that an Hundred were used to fight against a Thousand: And to increase the Flame, some Irish Rebels told them, that they had the King's Commission for what they did; which though the soberer part could not believe, yet the credulous timerous vulgar were many of them ready to believe it: And the English Souldiers (under Sir Charles Cootes, the Lord Incheguin, &c.) send over word that it was the common Feast of the Irish, that when they had done with the handful that was left in Ireland, they would come over into England, and deal with the Parliament and Protestants here. These Threatnings with the Name of Two hundred thousand murdered, and the Recital of their monstrous Cruel­ties, made many thousands in England think that nothing could be more necessary than for the Parliament to put the Countrey into an armed Posture for their own Defence. And that side which the Papists of England took, they could hardly think would be their Security.

§ 48. Things being thus ripened for a War in England, the King forsaketh Lon­don, and goeth into the North, in Yorkshire he calleth the Militia of the Country which would join with him, and goeth to Hull, and demandeth entrance; Sir Iohn Hotham is put in trust with it by the Parliament, and denieth him entrance with his Forces.

The Parliament nameth Lord Lieutenants for the Militia of the Several Countries, and the King nameth other Lord Lieutenants by a Commission of Aray, and each of them command the said Lord Lieutenants to settle the Militia.

The Parliament publisheth their Votes to the People,An. 1641 That the King, misled by evil Counsel, was raising a War against his Parliament: The Lord Willouhby of Parham in Lincolnshire, the Lord Brook in Warwickshire, and others in other Coun­ties, call in the Country to appear in Arms for the Parliament: The King's Lords call them in to appear for the King: both King and Parliament published their De­clarations justifying their Cause.

The Parliament chooseth the Earl of Essex for their General, and resolveth the raising of an Army, as (For the Defence of the King and Parliament, and the Li­berties of the Subjects, against evil Counsellors and Delinquents): They publish a Remonstrance of the State of the Kingdom first, and a Declaration of the Cau­ses of their taking up Arms afterward: which two contain most of the Reasons of their Cause.

The King answereth them, and goeth to Nottingham, and there setteth up his Standard to Summon his Subjects to his Aid.

The Lord Brook and the Earl of Northampton had some skuffling in Warwickshire: The Earl of N. with some Forces assaulted Warwick Castle, kept by Major Iohn Bridges, and Coventry City, kept by Col. Iohn Barker, and was repulst from both. A Party assaulted Mr. Puresoyes House, and burnt the Barns, where Mr. George Ab­bot, with a few of his Servants, repulst them.

At Nottingham there were but about Two thousand came in to the King's Stan­dard, whereas the Londoners quickly fill'd up a gallant Army for the Earl of Essex; and the Citizens abundantly brought in their Money and Plate (yea, the Women their Rings) to Guildhall to pay the Army.

Hereupon the King sent to the Parliament from Nottingham the Offer of a Trea­ty, with some General Proposals, which in my Opinion was the likeliest Oppor­tunity that ever the Parliament had for a full and safe Agreement; and the King [Page 30] seemed very serious in it, and the lowness of his Condition upon so much Trial of his People, was very like to have wrought much with him. But the Parliament was perswaded that he did it but to get time to fill up his Army, and to hinder their Proceedings, and therefore accepted not of his Offer for a Treaty, but instead of it sent him Nineteen Proposals of their own; viz. That if he would Disband his Army, come to his Parliament, give up Delinquents to a Legal Course of Justice, &c. he should find them dutiful, &c. And the King published an Answer to these Nineteen Propositions; in which he affirmeth the Government to be mixt, having in it the best of Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy, and that the Legislative Power is in the King, Lords and Commons conjunct, and that the Lords are a sufficient skreen to hinder the King from wronging the Commons, and to keep off Tyranny, &c. And he adhereth only to the Law which giveth him the power of the Militia! Out of this Answer of the King's to these Nineteen Proposals, some one drew up a Political Catechism, wherein the Answers of every Question were verbatim the words of the King's Declaration, as if therein he had fully justified the Parliaments Cause.

The great Controversie now was the present power of the Militia: The King said that the Supreme Executive Power, and particularly the Power of the Mili­tia, did belong to him, and not to the Parliament, and appealed to the Law. The Parliament pleaded that as the Execution of Justice against Delinquents did belong to him; but this he is bound by Law to do by his Courts of Justice, and their Ex­ecutions are to be in his Name; and by a Stat. Edw. 3. if the King by the Little Seal, or the Great Seal, forbid a Judge in Court to perform his Office, he is ne­vertheless to go on: Also that for the Defence of his Kingdoms against their Ene­mies, the Militia is in his power; but not at all against his Parliament and Peo­ple, whom Nature it self forbiddeth to use their Swords against themselves. And they alledged most the present danger of the Kingdoms, Ireland almost lost, Scotland disturbed, England threatned by the Irish, and the Ruine of the Parliament sought by Delinquents, whom they said the King, through evil Counsel did protect: And that they must either secure the Militia, or give up the Protestant Religion, the Laws and Liberties of the Land, and their own Necks to the Will of Papists and Delinquents.

§ 49. And because it is my purpose here, not to write a full History of the Ca­lamities and Wars of those Times, but only to remember such Generals with the Reasons and Connexion of Things, as may best make the state of those Times un­derstood by them that knew it not personally themselves, I shall here annex a brief Account of the Country's Case about these Differences: not as a Justifier or De­tender of the Assertions, or Reasons, or Actions of either Party which I rehearse; but only in faithfulness Historically to relate things as indeed they were.

And 1. It is of very great moment here to understand the Quality of the Per­sons which adhered to the King, and to the Parliament, with their Rea­sons.

A great part of the Lords forsook the Parliament, and so did many of the House of Commons, and came to the King; but that was for the most of them, after Edghill Fight, when the King was at Oxford. A very great part of the Knights and Gentlemen of England in the several Counties (who were not Parliament Men) adhered to the King; except in Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, &c. where the King with his Army never came: And could he have got footing there, it's like that it would have been there as it was in other places: And most of the Tenants of these Gentlemen, and also most of the poorest of the People, whom the other called the Rabble, did follow the Gentry, and were for the King.

On the Parliaments side were (besides themselves) the smaller part (as some thought) of the Gentry in most of the Counties, and the greatest part of the Tradesmen, and Free-holders, and the middle sort of Men; especially in those Corporations and Countries which depend on Clothing and such Manufactures.

If you ask the Reasons of this Difference, ask also, why in France it is not com­monly the Nobility nor the Beggars, but the Merchants and middle sort of Men, that were Protestants. The Reasons which the Party themselves gave was, Because (say they) the Tradesmen have a Correspondency with London, and so are grown to be a far more Intelligent sort of Men than the ignorant Peasants that are like Bruits, who will follow any that they think the strongest, or look to get by: And the Freeholders, say they, were not enslaved to their Landlords as the Tenants are: The Gentry, (say they) are wholly by their Estates and Ambition more [Page 31] dependent on the King, than their Tenants on them; and many of them envied the Honour of the Parliament, because they were not chosen Members themselves. The other side said, That the Reason was because the Gentry (who commanded their Tenants) did better understand Affairs of State than half-witted Tradesmen and Freeholders do.

But though it must be confessed, That the Publick Safety and Liberty wrought very much with most, especially with the Nobility and Gentry, who adhered to the Parliament, yet was it principally the differences about Religious Matters that filled up the Parliaments Armies, and put the Resolution and Valour into their Soldiers, which carried them on in another manner than mercenary Soldiers are carried on. Not that the Matter of Bishops Or no Bishops was the main thing, (for Thousands that wished for Good Bishops were on the Parliaments side) though many called it Bellum Episcopale; (And with the Scots that was a greater part of the Controversie.) But the generality of the People through the Land (I say not all, or every one) who were then called Puritans, Precisions, Religious Persons, that used to talk of God, and Heaven, and Scripture, and Holiness, and to follow Sermons, and read Books of Devotion, and pray in their Families, and spend the Lord's Day in Religious Exercises, and plead for Mortification, and serious Devotion, and strict Obedience to God, and speak against Swearing, Cursing, Drunkenness, Prophane­ness, &c. I say, the main Body of this sort of Men, both Preachers and People, adhered to the Parliament. And on the other side, the Gentry that were not so precise and strict against an Oath, or Gaming, or Plays, or Drinking, nor trou­bled themselves so much about the Matters of God and the World to come, and the Ministers and People that were for the King's Book, for Dancing and Recrea­tions on the Lord's Days; and those that made not so great a matter of every Sin, but went to Church and heard Common Prayer, and were glad to hear a Sermon which lasht the Puritans, and which ordinarily spoke against this strictness and pre­ciseness in Religion, and this strict Observation of the Lord's Day, and following Sermons, and praying Ex tempore, and talking so much of Scripture and the Mat­ters of Salvation, and those that hated and derided them that take these Courses, the main Body of these were against the Parliament. Not but that some such for Money, or a Landlord's Pleasure, served them; as some few of the stricter sort were against them, or not for them (being Neuters): but I speak of the notable Division through the Land.

If you ask how this came to pass, it requireth a longer Answer than I think fit here to give: But briefly, Actions spring from natural Dispositions and Interest. There is somewhat in the Nature of all worldly Men which maketh them earnestly defi­rous of Riches and Honours in the World; and they that value them most will seek them; and they that seck them are more like to find them than those that despise them; and he that taketh the World and Preferment for his Interest will estimate and choose all means accordingly; and where the World is predominant, Gain goeth for Godliness, and serious Religion, which would mortifie their Sin is their greatest Enemy: Yet Conscience must be quieted, and Reputation preserved, which can neither of them be done, without some Religion: Therefore such a Religion is ne­cessary to such as is consistent with a worldly Mind; which Outside-formality, Lip-service and Hypocrisie is; but Seriousness, Sincerity and Spirituality is not.

On the other side, there is that in the new Nature of a spiritual Believer, which inclineth him to things above, and causeth him to look at worldly Grandeur and Riches, as things more dangerous than desirable; and he is dead to the World, and the World to him by the Cross of Christ; no wonder therefore if few such at­tain great Matters in the World, or ever come to Preferment or Greatness upon Earth: And there is somewhat in them which maketh them more fearful of dis­pleasing God, than all the World, and will not give them leave to stretch their Consciences, or turn aside when the Interest, or Will of Man requireth it: And the Laws of Christ, to which they are so devoted, are of such a stream as cannot suit with carnal Interest. There is an universal and radicated Enraity between the Carnal and the Spiritual, the Serpent's and the Woman's Seed, the fleshly Mind, and the spiritual Law of God, through all the World, in all Generations, Gen. 3. 15. Rom. 8. 6, 7, 8. Thus Enmity is found in England, as well as in other Countries, between the Godly and the Worldly Minds; as he that was born after the Flesh did persecute him that was born after the Spirit, even so was it here: The vulgar Rabble of the carnal and prophane, the Fornicators, Drunkards, Swearers, &c. did every where hate them that reproved their Sin, and condemned them by a holy Life. This Difference was universal, and their Enmity implacable, farther [Page 32] than common Grace abated it, or special Grace cured it. So that every where serious, godly People, that would not run with others to excess of Rvot, were spo­ken against and derided by the Names of Precisians, Zealot, Over-strict, the holy Brethren, and other Terms of Scorn.

These things being supposed, it unhappily fell out that in the Days of Queen Mary (that we may fetch the matter ab origine) our Reformers, being Fugitives at Frankford, fell into a Division: One part of them were for Diocesans, and the English Liturgy and Ceremonies, that they might no more than needs depart from the Papists, nor seem unconstant by departing from what King Edward had be­gun. The other were for Calvin's Discipline and way of Worship; for the setting up of a Parochial Discipline instead of a Diocesan; and to have a Government in every particular Church, and not only One over a Thousand, or many Hundred Churches: and for a plain and serious way of Worship, suited as near as possible to God's Word.

When these two Parties returned into England, the Diocesan Party got Queen Elizabeth's Countenance, and were preferred, and their way set up. The other Party petitioned, and hoped, and waited, but were discountenanced, rebuked, and by Law suppressed. This lamentable Breach was never healed: The discounte­nanced Party were servent Preachers, of holy Lives, and so were many of the Bishops also in those days! But if those that succeeded them had been as holy and as diligent Preachers, they had kept up their Honour and Places without such As­saults as they have undergone. But when Iewel, Pelkington, Grindal, and such like were dead, many succeeded them whom the People took to be other kind of Men. And the silenced Disciplinarians (as then they were called) did by their Writings, their secret Conference and Preaching, and their Godly Lives, work much upon such as were religiously addicted. And moreover, besides what they received from such Teachers, there is (I know not perfectly whence), among the most of the Religious serious People of these Countreys, a suspicion of all that is Ceremonious in God's Service, and of all which they find not warrant for in Scrip­ture, and a greater inclination to a rational convincing earnest way of Preaching and Prayers, than to the written Forms of Words which are to be read in Churches. And they are greatly taken with a Preacher that speaketh to them in a familiar natural Language, and exhorteth them as if it were for their Lives; when another that readeth or faith a few composed Words in a reading Tone, they hear almost as a Boy that is saying his Lesson: And they are much perswaded that a just Pa­rochial Discipline would greatly reform the Church; and that Diocesans by exclu­ding it, cherish Vice.

Now upon the Difference between the Diocesans and the Disciplinarians, the Diocesans found that their very Places, and Power, and Lands, and Lordships were assaulted by the contrary Opinion; and therefore they thought it necessary to sup­press the Promoters of it. And so putting Episcopacy, Liturgy, Ceremonies, and all into the Subscriptions which they imposed on all that would be Ministers or Schoolmasters, they kept and cast out very many worthy Men: For some that were for Liturgy and Ceremonies, were not for Diocesans, but for Parish Disci­pline; and some that were for Bishops were not for the Ceremonies; and some that were for the rest yet scrupled some one, and he that could not Subscribe to all, was forbidden to preach the Gospel: whereas in the mean time many Bishops preached very seldom, and abundance of Places had ignorant Readers that could nor preach, and silly Preachers, whose Performances were so mean, that they had better kept to the Reading of the Homilies; and many of these were of Scandalous Lives.

Hereupon the Disciplinarians cried out of the ignorant scandalous Ministers; and almost all the scandalous Ministers (and all that studied Preferment) cried out of the Nonconformists: The name Puritan was put upon them, and by that they were commonly known; when they had been called by that name awhile, the vicious Multitude of the Ungodly called all Puritans that were strict and serious in a Ho­ly Life, were they ever so conformable! So that the same name in a Bishops mouth signified a Nonconformist, and in an ignorant Drunkards or Swearers mouth, a godly obedient Christian. But the People being the greater number, became a­mong themselves the Masters of the Sense. And in Spalatensi's time, when he was decrying Calvinism, he devised the name of Doctrinal Puritans, which com­prehended all that were against Arminianism. Now the ignorant Rabble hearing that the Bishops were against the Puritans, (not having wit enough to know whom they meant) were emboldened the more against all those whom they cal­led [Page 33] Puritans themselves, and their Rage against the Godly was increased: and they cried up the Bishops, partly because they were against the Puritans, and partly be­cause they were earnest for that way of Worship which they found most consistent with their Ignorance, Carelesness, and Sins. And thus the Interest of the Dioce­sans and of the Prophane and Ignorant sort of People were unhappily twisted to­gether in England.

And then on the other side, as all the Nonconformists were against the Prelates, so other of the most serious godly People were alienated from them on all these foresaid conjunct Accounts.

1. Because they were derided and abused by the Name of Puritans.

2. Because the Malignant Sort were permitted to make Religious Persons their common Scorn.

3. Because they saw so many insufficient and vicious Men among the Confor­mable Clergy.

4. Because they had a high esteem of the Parts and Piety of most of the Non­conformable Ministers.

5. Because they grieved to see so many Excellent Men silenced, while so many Thousand were perishing in Ignorance and Sin.

6. Because though they took the Liturgy to be lawful, yet a more orderly seri­ous Scriptural way of Worship was much more pleasing to them.

7. Because Fasting and Praying, and other Exercises, which they found much benefit by, were so strictly lookt after, that the High Commission and the Bishops Courts did make it much more perillous, than common Swearing and Drunken­ness proved to the Ungodly.

8. Because the Book that was published for Recreations on the Lord's Day made them think that the Bishops concurred with the Prophane.

9. Because Afternoon Sermons and Lectures, though by Conformable Men, be­gan to be put down in divers Counties.

10. Because so great a number of Conformable Ministers were suspended or pu­nished for not reading the Book of Sports on Sundays, or about Altars, or such like: and so many Thousand Families, and many worthy Ministers, driven out of the Land.

11. Because when they saw Bowing towards Altars, and the other Innovations added, they feared worse, and knew not where they would end.

12. And lastly, Because they saw that the Bishops proceeded so far as to swear Men to their whole Government by the Et caetera Oath, and that they approved of Ship-money, and other such incroachments on their Civil Interests.

All these upon my own knowledge were the true Causes why so great a number of those Persons who were counted most Religious, fell in with the Parliament in England; insomuch that the generality of the stricter diligent sort of Preachers joyned with them, though not in medling with Arms, yet in Judgment, and in flying to their Garrisons; and almost all those afterwards called Presbyterians, were before Conformists: Very few of all that Learned and Pious Synod at Westminster were Nonconformists before, and yet were for the Parliament, supposing that the Interest of Religion lay on that side.

Yet did they still keep up an honourable esteem of all that they thought Religious on the other side; such as Bishop Davenant, Bishop Hall, Bishop Morton, Archbishop Usher, &c. But as to the generality, they went so unanimously the other way, that upon my knowledge many that were not wise enough to understand the Truth about the Cause of the King and Parliament, did yet run into the Parliaments Armies, or take their part (as Sheep go together for Company) moved by this Argument, [Sure God will not suffer almost all his most Religious Servants to err in so great a matter.] And [If all these should perish what will become of Religion.] But these were insufficient Grounds to go upon. And abundance of the ignorant sort of the Country, who were Civil, did flock in to the Parliament, and filled up their Armies afterward, meerly because they heard Men swear for the Common Prayer and Bishops, and heard others pray that were against them; and because they heard the King's Soldiers with horrid Oaths abuse the name of God, and saw them live in Debauchery, and the Parliaments Soldiers flock to Sermons, and talking of Re­ligion, and praying and singing Psalms together on their Guards. And all the so­ber Men that I was acquainted with, who were against the Parliament, were wont to say, [The King hath the better Cause, but the Parliament hath the better Men].

[Page 34]Aud indeed, this unhappy Complication of the Interest of Prelacie, and Pro­phaneness, and Opposition of the Interest of Prelacie to the Temper of the gene­rality of the Religious Party, was the visible Cause of the overthrow of the King in the Eye of all the understanding World, that ever was capable of obser­ving it.

§ 50. And whereas the King's Party usually say, that it was the seditious Preach­ers that stirred up the People, and were the Cause of all this, I answer,

1. It is partly true, and partly not: It is not true that they stirred them up to War (except an inconsiderable Number of them, one perhaps in a County, if so much.) But it is true that they discovered their dislike of the Book of Sports, and bowing to Altars, and diminishing Preaching, and silencing Ministers, and such like; and were glad that the Parliament attempted a Reformation of them.

2. But then it is as true, that almost all these were conformable Ministers, the Laws and Bishops having cast out the Nonconformists long enough before; inso­much, that I know not of two Nonconformists in a County. But those that made up the Assembly at Westminster, and that through the Land, were the Honour of the Parliaments Party, were almost all such as had till then conformed, and took those things to be lawful in case of necessity, but longed to have that necessity re­moved.

§ 51. When the War was beginning, the Parties set Names of Contempt upon each other, and also took such Titles to themselves and their own Cause, as might be the fittest means for that which they designed: The old Names of Puritans and Formalists were not now broad enough, nor of sufficient force. The King's Party, as their Serious Word, called the Parliaments Party Rebels, and as their common lu­di [...]rous Name, The Round-heads (the original of which is not certainly known: Some say, it was because the Puritans then commonly wore short Hair, and the King's Party long Hair: Some s [...]y, it was because the Queen, at Strafford's Tryal, asked who that Round-headed Man was, meaning Mr. Pym, because he spake so strongly.)

The Parliaments Party called the other side commonly by the Name of Malig­nants, as supposing that the generality of the Enemies of serious Godliness went that way, in a desire to destroy the Religious out of the Land. (And the Parlia­ment put that Name into their Mouths) and the Souldiers they called Cavaliers, be­cause they took that Name to themselves; and afterwards they called them Dam­me's [because God Damn me] was become a common Curse, and as a By-word among them.

The King professed to sight for the Subjects Liberties, the Laws of the Land, and the Protestant Religion. The Parliament profest the same, and all their Com­missions were granted as [for King and Parliament] for the Parliament professed, that the Separation of the King from the Parliament, could not be without a De­struction of the Government, and that the Dividers were the Destroyers and Ene­mies to the State, and if the Soldiers askt each other at any Surprize or Meeting [who are you for?] those on the King's side said, [for the King] and the others said, [for King and Parliament] the King disowned their Service, as a Scorn, that they should say they fought for King and Parliament, when their Armies were ready to charge him in the Field. They said to this,

1. That they fought to redeem him from them that took him a voluntary Cap­tive, and would separate him from his Parliament.

2. That they fought against his Will only, but not against his Person, which they desired to rescue and preserve, nor against his Authority which was for them.

3. That as all the Courts of Justice do execute their Sentences in the King's Name, and this by his own Law, and therefore by his Authority, so much more might his Parliament do.

§ 52. But now we come to the main matter; What satisfied so many of the in­telligent part of the Countrey to side with the Parliament when the War be­gan?

What inclined their Affections I have before shewed; and it is not to be doubted but their Approbation of the Parliament in the cause of Reformation made them the easilier believe the lawfulness of their War: But yet there were some Dissen­ters which put the matter to debates among themselves. In Warwickshire, Sir Fran­cis Nethersole, a religious Knight, was against the Parliaments War and Covenant, (though not for the Justness of the War against them.) In Glocestershire, Mr. Geree, an old eminent Nonconformist, and Mr. Copell, a learned Minister (who put out himself to prevent being put out for the Book of Recreations) and some others with [Page 35] them were against the lawfulness of the War; so was Mr. Lyford of Sherborn in Dorcetshire, and Mr. Francis Bampfield, his Successor, and some other Godly Mini­sters in other Countries: And many resolved to meddle on no side.

Those that were against the Parliaments War were of three Minds or Parties: One Part thought that no King might be resisted (but these I shall not take any more notice of.) The other thought that our King might not be at all resisted; because he is our Sovereign, and we have sworn to his Supremacy; and if he be Supreme, he hath neither Superior, nor Equal: And Oaths are to be interpreted in the strictest Sense. The third sort granted that in some Cases the King might be resisted, as Bilson, and other Bishops hold, but not in this Case.

1. Because, the Law giveth him the Militia, which was contended for; and the Law is the measure of Power.

2. Because, say they, the Parliament began the War, by permitting Tumults to deprive the Members of their Liberty, and affront and dishonour the King.

3. Because the Members themselves are Subjects, and took the Oath of Alle­giance and Supremacy, and therefore have no Authority to resist.

4. It is not lawful for Subjects to defend Reformation or Religion by Force, against [...] Soveraigns; no such good Ends will warrant evil Means.

5. It is contrary to the Doctrine of Protestants, and the ancient Christians, and Scripture it self [...] which condemneth all that resist the higher Powers; and as for the Primitive Christians [...] it is well known they were acquainted with no other lawful Weapons against them but Prayers and Tears.

6. It importeth a false Accusation of the King, as if he were about to destroy Religion, Liberties, or Parliaments, all which he is resolved to defend, as in all his Declarations doth appear.

7. It justifieth the Papists Doctrine and Practices of Rebellion, and taketh the Odium from them unto our selves, and layeth a Reproach upon the Protestant Cause.

8. It proceedeth from Impatience and Distrust of God, which causeth Men to fly to unlawful means. Religion may be preserved better by patient Sufferings.

These were their Reasons who were against the Parliaments War, which may be seen more at large in Mr. Dudly Digs his Book, and Mr. Welden's, and Mr. Michael Hudson's, and Sir Francis Nethersole's.

§ 53. As for those on the Parliaments side, I will first tell you what they said to these Eight Reasons; and next, what Reasons moved them to take the other side.

1. To the First Reason, they said (as before) that for the Law to give the King the [...]itia, signifieth no more but that the People in Parliament consented to obey him in Matter of Wars, and to fight for him, and under his Conduct: For the Law is nothing but the Consent of King and Parliament; and the Militia is no­thing but the Peoples own Swords and Strength: And that this Consent of theirs should be supposed to be meant against themselves, as if they consented to destroy themselves whenever he commanded it, is an Exposition against Nature, Sense, and Reason, and the common Sentiments of Mankind. And they said that the same Law required Sheriffs to exercise the Militia in Obedience to the Decrees of his Courts of Justice, and this against the King's Personal Commands, and in the King's Name. Because King and Parliament have by Law setled those Courts and Methods of Execution, a Command of the King alone can no more prevail against them, than it can abrogate a Law. And the Law, said they, is above the King, because King and Parliament are more than the King alone. And they pretend also Presidents for their Resistance.

2. To the Second, they said, that when 200000 Protestants were murdered in Ireland, and their Friends so bold in England, and the Parliaments Destruction so industruously endeavoured, it was no time for them to rebuke their Friends upon terms of Civility and good Manners, though their Zeal was mixt with Indiscreti­on; and that if the Londoners had not shewed that Zeal for them, it might have emboldned their Enemies against them; and that if the permitting of Petitioners to crowd to them too boldly, and speak too unmannerly can be called, the raising of a War (when they fought with none, but were assaulted themselves) then the calling up of the Army from the North, was much more so, and so they were not the Beginners. Or had they been the Beginners, it had been lawful, being but to bring Delinquents to Justice, as the Sheriff himself may in Obedience to a Court of Justice. But the Irish Flames which threatned them were kindled before all these

[Page 36]3. To the third they said, that the Parliament are Subjects limitedly, and not simply, as the King is not an absolute, but a limited King, viz. limited by the Laws and Constitutions of the Government; they are Subjects to him according to Law, but not subject to Arbitrary Government against Law: Their Propriety is excep­ted in their Subjection, and they have certain Liberties which are not subject to the Will of the King. And also, they said, That as the Sheriff is a Subject, and a Court of Justice; Subjects, and yet may resist the King's Letters, even under the Broad-Seal, and his Messengers or armed Men that act illegally (because the Law, which hath his Authority and the Parliament's, enable them so to do) so also may the Parliament, which is his highest Court of Justice. And they said, that as they have a part in the Legislative Power, they have part in the Summa Po­tes [...]as, and so far are not Subjects. And they said, that the bare Title of Supreme is no Argument against the Constitution of a Kingdom, though it be expressed in an Oath. For the King is stiled, the Supreme Governor of France, and yet the Oath of Supremacy doth not bind us to believe, that no French Man may law­fully [...]ear Arms against him.

4. They say to the fourth, That they wholly grant it; that though Religion may be the end of a lawful War, yet not of a Rebellion: nor may any Reformations be performed by any Actions which belong not to the Places and Callings of the Performers. But where the means are Lawful, Religion and Reformation are law­ful Ends.

5. To the fifth they said, That they agree with all good Christians and Prote­stants, that true Authority may not be resisted by any Subject: But all Protestants, or most, agree with them, that a limited Governor, which hath not Authority to do what he lists, may perform an Act of Will, which is no Act of Authority; and that the Parliament was the highest Judicature, and that it was Rebellion in them that resisted the Parliament in their legal prosecution of Delinquents, and Defence of the Land and themselves: and that Paul, Rom. 13. determineth not at all, whe­ther the Emperors or the Senate was the higher Power; and that the Resisters of the Parliament are the condemned Breakers of that Order and Command.

6. To the sixth they said, that they Charge nothing on the King, but what their Eyes behold, viz. That he hath forsaken his Parliament, and raiseth Arms against them, and protecteth Delinquents: And this they mention but as Matter of Fact; for the culpability they charge upon his evil Counsellors, and Instru­ments: For the King being no Subject, is liable to no Accusations in any of his [...] Irish, the Papist, and those guilty Persons who would ruine all, to [...] Justice, whom they accuse, and not the King. And what­eve [...] [...] King's Declarations say, Ship-money hath been imposed, the Judges have been [...] the German Horse were to have been brought in; the Northern Ar­my [...] have been brought up against the Parliament; the House was invaded and [...] Members demanded, a Guard was set upon them, and their Destruction [...] Enemies) was powerfully endeavoured.

7. [...] the seventh they said, That for the supreme legislative Authority to de­fend [...] and the Land, and for the King's Courts of Justice to prosecute De­lin [...] [...] though against the King's Will) is no dishonour to the Protestant Religi­on, [...] any thing like the Papists Doctrine and Practices of Rebellion; nor any Justification of them. If it were, then the very Constitution of our ancient Go­vernment or Kingdom, would it self be a dishonour to our Religion.

8. To the last they say, That Patience is our Duty so far as we are called to Sufferings, and God is [...]o be trusted in the way which he hath appointed us: But if the Irish Rebels had foretold the Parliament and Justices of their Insurrection, and then exhorted them to Patience and Non-resistance and trusting God, or if a Thief that would rob us to exhort us to be patient and not resist, he doth but exhort us to be guilty of his Sin. [...] Protestants Patience was that which pleased the Irish; or (if a King must be brought in as a Party) the French Mens Patience in the Parisian Massacre pleased Charles IX. and the Executioners: And if in all Coun­tries the Protestants would let the Papists cut their Throats, and die in the Ho­nour of Patience, it would satisfie those bloody Adversaries, who had rather we di­ed in such Honour, than lived without it: But if such Patience would be a poor Excuse for a Father that sought not to preserve his Children, much less for the Paliament that stand still while Papists and Delinquents subvert both Church and State.

[Page 37]These were their Answers to their Accusers in those Points.

§ 54. The Sum of those Reasons which satisfied many that adhered to the Par­liament, were these, which I will but briefly name.

1. As to the Danger of the State, the Matters of Fact did make it seem undeniable to them: Ship-money they judged not of according to the Sum; but they thought [...] Propriety was thereby destroyed, and Parliaments cast aside and made unnecessa­ry: And they saw that this Parliament was called upon the Scots, and then called Discontented Lords importunity, after many Parliaments had been dissolved in dis­pleasure, and after they had been long forborn: And the calling up of the Nor­thern Army, and the demanding of the Members, made Multitudes think that the ruine of the Parliament was the great Design; and their ungrateful beginning and proceedings made this seem credible, so that I met with few of that sort that doubted of it. But above all, the Two hundred thousand kill'd in Ireland, affright­ed the Parliament and all the Land. And whereas it is said, that the King hated that, as well as they: They answered, that though he did, his hating it would neither make all those alive again, nor preserve England from their threatned As­sault, as long as Men of the like malignity were protected, and could not be kept out of Arms, nor brought to Justice.

2. The End of the War did much prevail with them: For they thought that to master and destroy the Parliament, was to leave the People hopeless, as to any Security of their Propriety or Liberties, or any Remedy against meer Will! For there is no other Power that may relieve them: And if Parliaments were so used before, what would they be, (said they) if by such a War they should be con­quered. And they thought that the ruine of the State and of Men's Propriety, was such an End as no means could be lawfully used for; and that the Preservation of the Kingdom was such an End as would make lawful any necessary means, which God himself had not forbidden.

3. And then as to Authority, they thought that the Legislative Power is the chiefest part of Soveraignty; and that the Parliament having a part in the Le­gislative Power, had so far inherently a Power to defend it, which no Law can suppose them to give away: And as the Peoples Representatives, they supposed them­selves much Intrusted to secure their reserved Liberties, which the Law giveth not the King any Authority to take away.

4. And they supposed that Government being that Publick Work which up­holdeth the Common Peace, it is to be done by Publick Instruments and [...] Means; and that the Kings Laws are his Instruments of Government, and also his Publick Courts and Officers: And that the Subjects cannot know so well, whether pri­vate Commands or Commissions be real or counterfeit, nor are so much bound to take notice of them. And that the Judgments and Executions of the Courts of Justice, being the Effect of Laws which King and Parliament have made, are of greater Authority than contrary Commissions or Commands from the King alone.

5. It much confirmed them because all confessed, That the Sheriffs of Counties must raise the posse Comitatus for the Execution of some Decrees of Courts of Ju­stice, though the King forbid it, or grant a Commission to any to hinder it: And that the foresaid Statute of Edw. 3. maketh even the King's Letters under the Broad Seal to be void when they would hinder Justice.

6. And they pleaded the Law of Nature, which is greater than Positive Laws, That no Nation is bound to destroy it self. The Militia being nothing but the Peoples own Sword, they say they are not bound to destroy themselves with it; nor can any Law be so interpreted. And whereas it was said, That the King sought not to destroy the Parliament, but to bring some among them to punish­ment; they said, that it belongeth to the Parliament to judge its Members; and that if on pretence of punishing offending Members, the King may come and fetch away, or demand those that displease him, Parliaments and Liberties and all Security of them is gone.

7. The King's Answer to the Nineteen Propositions, greatly confirmed many, when they saw the King himself declaring to them, That the Legislative Power was in Kings, Lords, and Commons, and that the Government was mixt, and was not Arbitrary; which they thought it must needs be, if his Commissions were of greater power than his Laws and Courts, and if no resistance might be made against any that executed an illegal Commission. [...] [Page 36] [...] [Page 37]

[Page 38]8. It most prevailed with many, that the Parliament professed not to fight a­gainst either the Person or Authority of the King, though against his Will; but that their War was only against Subjects. They said that some Subjects were Delin­quents that fled from Justice, against whom they might raise Arms offensively; and other Subjects took Arms against the Parliament; and against these they made a Defensive War: But all of them were Subjects, and not Kings: And the King's Will or Commission is not enough to save all Subjects from punishment, when his Law is against it; nor to authorize them to destroy the Parliament and their Coun­try.

9. They were much emboldened because this Parliament was continued by Law till it should dissolve it self. And therefore some said, the King's Presence is vir­tually, with them, he being a part of the Parliament: and others said that no War could be lawful which was for their dissolution or ruine, or to deprive them of their Liberty; and that the defence of them was lawful, whom the Law conti­nued.

10. They alledged King Iames, who, they said, of any Man did most endeavour to advance his Prerogative, and yet in his printed Treatise for Monarchy confesseth, That a King cannot lawfully make a War against the Body of his Kingdom, but only against an offending Faction. Therefore, say they, not against the Repre­sentative Body, till it be proved that by perfidiousness they have forfeited the Vir­tue and Honour of their Representation.

11. They alledged Barclay, Grotius, and other Defenders of Monarchy, especial­ly that passage of Grotius de Iure Belli, where he saith, That if several Persons have a part in the Summa Potestas (of which he maketh Legislation a chief Act), each part hath naturally the power of defending its own Interest in the Soveraignty against the other part if th [...] [...] invade it. And addeth over boldly, That if in such a War they con­quer, the conqu [...]red party loseth to them his share: And saith, That this is so true that it holdeth, though the Law expresly say, that one of the Parties shall have the power of the Militia, it being to be understood that he shall have it against Forreign Enemies and Delin­quents, and not against the other part.

12. It much confirmed them to find the most Learned Episcopal Divines speak so high for the Legislative Power of Parliaments (as Tho. Hooker doth Eccles. Pol. lib. 1. for the Eighth Book, which saith more than the Parliament ever said, was not then published). And for resistance in several Cases, as Bishop Bilson doth, even in that Treatise wherein he so strongly defendeth Obedience, and which he dedica­ted to Queen Elizabeth. And to find how far they defend the French, Dutch, and German Protestants Wars.

13. They said that the Carnal respect of Men for personal Interests, hath made all the stream of most Mens Words and Writings go on the Prince's side; but Tyanny is a Mischief as well as Disobedience, and that which all Ages, and most Nations have grievously smarted by: and they that befriend it, are guilty of the Sin, and of the Ruines which it procureth: It keepeth out Christianity from five parts of the World: It corrupteth it and keepeth out the Protestant Truth in most of the sixth part: The Eastern and the Western Churches suffer under it, to the perdition of millions of Souls. If Bodily Sufferings were all, the matter were no­thing; but it is Mens Souls, and the Interest of the Gospel, which is the Sacri­fice to their Wills.

14. Lastly, This greatly confirmed many, that the Matter being a Controversie, whether the Disobedience and Resistance of King or Parliament, is now the Re­bellion and Sin, the simple People are not wiser than the States-men that differ a­bout it. How then should they better quiet their Judgments, than in the Judg­ment of the Parliament, who are the Trustees of the People, and the chief Court and Council of the King, and have so many Lawyers and Wife men among them, and are so greatly interessed in the common Good themselves? If it were but the Question, Which is the King's Governing Will, which the People must obey? And a Soldier saith, It is my Commission, and the High Court of Parliament saith, It is the Law declared in a Court of Justice, a Parliament seemeth to be the properest Judge: As in Controversies of Physick, who is to be believed before the Colledge of Physicians? Or in Controversies of Religion, who before a General Council? If the House of York and Lancaster [...]ight for the Crown, and both Command the Subjects Arms. the poor Peasants are not able to judge of their Titles: And if a Parliament shall not judge for them who shall?

These were the Reasons which caused Men to adhere to the Parliament in this War.

[Page 39]§ 55. For my own part I freely confess, that I was not judicious enough in Po­liticks and Law to decide this Controversie which so many Lawyers and Wise men differed in. And I freely confess, that being astonished at the Irish Massacre, and perswaded fully both of the Parliaments good endeavours for Reformation, and of their real danger, my Judgment of the main Cause much swayed my Judgment in the Matter of the Wars: and the Arguments à fine, & à natureâ, & necessitate, which common Wits are capable of discerning, did too far incline my Judgment in the Cause of the War, before I well understood the Arguments from our particular Laws: And the Consideration of the Quality of the Parties that sided for each Cause, in the Countries, did greatly work with me, and more than it should have done: And I verily thought, that if that which a Judge in Court saith sentential­ly is Law, must go for Law to the Subject, as to the Decision of that Cause, though the King send his Broad Seal against it, then that which the Parliament saith is Law, is Law to the Subjects (about the Dangers of the Common-wealth) what­ever it be in it self; and that if the King's Broad-Seal cannot prevail against the Judge, much less against their Judgment.

I make no doubt but both Parties were to blame (as it commonly falleth out in most Wars and Contentions) and I will not be he that shall Justifie either of them. I doubt not but the Headiness and Rashness of the younger unexperienced sort of religious People, made many Parliament Men and Ministers overgo themselves, to keep pace with those hot Spurs; no doubt but much Indiscretion appeared, and worse than Indiscretion in the tumultuous Petitioners, and much Sin was com­mitted in the dishonouring of the King, and provocation of him, and in the un­civil Language against the Bishops and Liturgie of the Church: But these things came principally from the Sectarian separating Spirit, which blew the Coals among foolish Apprentices: And as the Sectaries increased so did this Insolence in­crease. I have my self been in London, when they have on the Lord's Days stood at the Church Doors while the Common Prayer was reading, saying, We must stay till he is out of his Pottage. And such unchristian Scorns and Jests did please young inconsiderate Wits, that knew not what Spirit they were of, nor whither such unwarrantate things did tend. Learned Mr. Iohn Ball, though a Nonconformist, discerned the stirrings of this insolent Sectarian Spirit betimes, and fell a writing against it; even then when some were crying out of Persecution, and others were tender of such little Differences: One or two in the House, and five or six Mini­sters that came from Holland, and a few that were scattered in the City, which were the Brownists Relicts, did drive on others according to their own dividing Principles, and sowed the Seeds which afterward spread over all the Land; though then there were very few of them in the Countreys, even next to none. As Bishop Hall speaks against the justifying of the Bishops, so do I against justifying the Par­liament, Ministers, or City: I believe many unjustifiable things were done; but I think that few Men among them all, were the Doers or Instigaters of it.

But I then thought that whosoever was faulty, the Peoples Liberties and Safety could not be forfeited: And I thought that all the Subjects were not guilty of all the Faults of King or Parliament when they defended them: Yea, that if both their Causes had been bad as against each other, yet that the Subjects should adhere to that Party which most secured the welfare of the Nation, and might defend the Land un­der their Conduct, without owning all their Cause. And herein I confess I was then so zealous, that I thought it a great Sin for Men that were able to defend their Coun­try, to be Neuters: And I have been tempted since to think that I was a more competent Judge upon the Place, when all things were before our eyes, than I am in the review of those Days and Actions so many Years after, when Distance disadvantageth the Apprehension. A Writer (against Cromwel's Decimation) re­canting his great Adherence to the Parliament in that War, yet so abhorreth Neu­trality, that he likeneth him rather to a Dog than a Man that could stand by when his Country was in such a case: But I confess for my part I have not such censori­ous Thoughts of those that then were Neuters as formerly I have had: For he that either thinketh both sides raised an unlawful War, or that could not tell which (if either) was in the right, might well be excused if he defended neither.

I was always satisfied, 1. That the Dividers of the King and Parliament were the Traitors, whoever they were: and that the Division tended to the Dissolution of the Government.

[Page 40]2. And that the Authority and Person of the King were inviolable, out of the reach of just Accusation, Judgment, or Execution by Law; as having no Superiour, and so no Judge.

3. I favoured the Parliaments Cause, as they professed 1. To bring Delinquents to a Legal Trial:

2. And to preserve the Person and Government of the King, by a Conjunction with his Parliament.

But Matters that Warrs and Blood are any way concerned in are so great and ten­derly to be handled, that I profess to the World that I dare not, I will not justifie any thing that others or I my self have done of any such consequence. But though I never hurt the Person of any Man, yet I resolve: to pray daily and earnestly to God, that he will reveal to me whatever I have done amiss, and not suffer me through Ignorance to be impenitent, and would forgive me both my known and unknown Sins, and cleanse this Land from the Guilt of Blood.

§ 56. Having inserted this much of the Case of History of those Times, I now proceed to the Relation of the Passages of my own Life, beginning where I left.

When I was at Kidderminster the Parliament made an Order for all the People to take a Protestation to defend the King's Person, Honour and Authority, the Pow­er and Priviledges of Parliaments, the Liberties of the Subject, and the Protestant Reli­gion, against the common Enemy] meaning the Papists; the Irish Massacre and Threat­nings occasioning this Protestation. I obeyed them in joyning with the Magistrate in offering the People this Protestation; which caused some to be offended with me.

About that time the Parliament sent down an Order, for the demolishing of all Statues and Images of any of the three Persons in the blessed Trinity, or of the Virgin Mary, which should be found in Churches, or on the Crosses in Church-yards. My Judgment was for the obeying of this Order, thinking it came from just Authority; but I medled not in it, but left the Churchwarden to do what he thought good. The Churchwarden (an honest, sober, quiet Man) seeing a Cru­cifix upon the Cross in the Church-yard, set up a Ladder to have reacht it, but it proved too short: whilst he was gone to seek another, a Crew of the drunken rio­tous Party of the Town (poor Journey-men and Servants) took the Allarm, and run altogether with Weapons to defend the Crucifix, and the Church Images (of which there were divers left since the time of Popery): They Report was among them, that I was the Actor, and it was me they sought; but I was walking almost a mile out of Town, or else I suppose I had there ended my days: when they mist me and the Churchwarden both, they went raving about the Streets to seek us. Two Neighbours that dwelt in other Parishes, hearing that they sought my Life, ran in among them to see whether I were there, and they knockt them both down in the Streets, and both of them are since dead, and I think never perfectly reco­vered that hurt. When they had foamed about half an hour, and met with none of us, and were newly housed, I came in from my walk, and hearing the People Cursing at me in their Doors, I wondered what the matter was, but quickly found how fairly I had scaped. The next Lord's Day I dealt plainly with them, and laid open to them the quality of that Action, and told them, Seeing they so required me as to seek my Blood, I was willing to leave them, and save them from that Guilt. But the poor Sots were so amazed and ashamed, that they took on sorrily, and were loth to part with me.

§ 57. About this time the King's Declarations were read in our Market-place, and the Reader (a violent Country Gentleman) seeing me pass the Streets, stopt and said, There goeth a Traitor, without ever giving a syllable of Reason for it.

And the Commission of Array was set afoot (for the Parliament medled not with the Militia of that Country, the Lord Howard their Lieutenant not appearing). Then the rage of the Rioters grew greater than before! And in preparation to the War, they had got the word among them [Down with the Round-heads;] Insomuch that if a Stranger past in many places that had short Hair and a Civil Habit, the Rabble presently cried, [Down with the Round-heads]; and some they knockt down in the open Streets.

In this Fury of the Rabble I was advised to withdraw a while from home; where­upon I went to Glocester: As I past but through a corner of the Suburbs of Wor­cester, they that knew me not, cried, Down with the Round-heads, and I was glad [Page 41] to spur on and be gone. But when I came to Gloucester, among Strangers also that had never known me, I found a civil, courteous, and religious People, as different from Worcester, as if they had lived under another Government. There I stay­ed a Month, and whilst I was there, many Pamphlets came out on both sides, preparing for a War. For the Parliaments Cause the principal Writing, which ve­ry much prevailed, was, Observations, written by Mr. Parker a Lawyer: But I remember some Principles which I think he misapplieth, as also doth Mr. Thomas Hooker, Ecclis. polit. lib. 8. viz. That the King is singulis major, but universis minor; that he receiveth his Power from the People, &c. For I doubt not to prove that his Power is so immediately from God, as that there is no Recipient between God and him to convey it to him: Only (as the King by his Charter maketh him a Mayor or Baliff whom the Corporation chuseth so) God by his Law, as an Instrument, conveyeth Power to that Person or Family whom the People consent to; and their Consent is but a Conditio sine quâ non; and not any Proof that they are the Fountain of Power, or that ever the governing Power was in them; and therefore for my part I am satisfied that all Politicks err, which tell us of a Mage­stas Realis in the People, as distinct from the Majestas Personalis in the Governors. And though it be true that quo ad naturalem bonitatem & in genere Causae finalis the King be universis minor, (and therefore no War or Action is good which is against the common Good, which is the end of all Government; yet as to governing Pow­er (which is the thing in question) the King is (as to the People) Universis Major, as well as Singulis: For if the Parliament have any Legislative Power, it cannot be as they are the Body or People, as Mr. Tho. Hooker ill supposeth (who lib. 1. Polit. Eccles. maketh him a Tyrant that maketh Laws himself without the Body) but it is as the Constitution twisteth them into the Government: For if once Le­gislation (the chief Act of Government) be denied to be any part of Government at all, and affirmed to belong to the People as such, who are no Governors, all Government will hereby be overthrown. Besides these Observations, no Books more advantaged the Parliament's Cause, than a Treatise of Monarchy (after­wards published,) and Mr. Prin's large Book of the Soveraign Power of Parlia­ments, wherein he heapeth up Multitudes of Instances of Parliaments that exer­cised Soveraign Power.

At this time also they were every where beginning the Contention between the Commission of Array and the Parliaments Militia: In Gloucestershire the Country came in for the Parliament: In Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire, they were wholly for the King, and none, to any purpose, moved for the Parlia­ment.

§ 58. Whilst I was at Gloucester I saw the first Contentions between the Ministers and Anabaptists that ever I was acquainted with: For these were the first Anabap­tists that ever I had seen in any Country, and I heard but of few more in those parts of England. About a dozen young Men, or more, of considerable Parts, had received the Opinion against Infant Baptism, and were re-baptized, and la­boured to draw others after them, not far from Gloucester: And the Minister of the Place, Mr. Winnel, being hot and impatient with them, hardened them the more. He wrote a considerable Book against them at that time: But England having then no great Experience of the tendency and consequents of Annabaptistry, the Peo­ple that were not of their Opinion did but pity them, and think it was a Conceit that had no great harm in it, and blamed Mr. Winnel for his Violence and Asperi­ty towards them.

But this was the beginning of the Miseries of Gloucester; for the Anabaptists somewhat increasing on one side, before I came away, a good Man, called Mr. Hart, came out of Herefordshire with Mr. Vaughan, a Gentleman, and they drew many to Separation on another side: and after them in the Wars came one Mr. Bacon, a Preacher of the Army, and drew them to Antinomianism on ano­ther side, which together so distracted the good People, and eat out the Heart of Religion and Charity (the Ministers of the Place being not so able and quick as they should have been in confuting them, and preserving the People) that the Ci­ty which had before as great Advantages for the prosperity of Religion among them, as any in the Land, in the Civility, Tractableness, and Piety of the People, be­came as low and Poor as others, and the Pity of more happy Places, while these Tares did dwindle and wither away the solid Piety of the Place.

§ 59. When I had been at Glucester a Month, my N [...]ighbours of Kiderminster came for me home, and told me, that if I stayed any longer, the People would interpret it, either that I was afraid upon some Guilt, or that I was against the [Page 42] King: So I bid my Host (Mr. Darney the Town Clark) and my Friends farewell, and never came to Gloucester more.

When I came home I found the beggarly drunken Rowt in a very tumultuating Disposition, and the Superiors that were for the King did animate them, and the People of the Place who were accounted Religious were called Round-heads, and openly reviled, and threatned as the King's Enemies (who had never medled in any Cause against the King:) Every drunken Sot that met any of them in the Streets, would tell them, [we shall take an order with the Puritans ere long.] And just as at their Shews, and Wakes, and Stage-plays, when the Drink and the Spirit of Ryot did work together in their Heads, and the Crowd encouraged one ano­ther, so was it with them now; they were like tyed Mas [...]iffs newly loosed, and sled in the Face of all that was religious, yea, or Civil, which came in their way. It was the undoing of the King and Bishops that this Party was encouraged by the Leaders in the Countrey against the civil religious Party. Yet, after the Lords Day when they had heard the Sermon they would a while be calmed, till they came to the Alehouse again, or heard any of their Leaders hiss them on, or heard a Rab­ble cry, [Down with the Round-heads.] And when the Wars began, almost all these Drunkards went into the King's Army, and were quickly killed, so that scarce a Man of them came home again and survived the War.

§ 60. All this time, the King having marched from Nottingham to Shrewsbury, had there very succesfully made up his Army, especially out of Shropshire, Wor­cestershire, Herefordshire and Wales, though many came also out of other Parts: And the Earl of Essex's Army was filled up, and was marching down towards Worcester.

The Fury of the Rabble was so hot at home, that I was fain to withdraw again, and being with one Mr. Hunt near I [...]kborough, there came a Party of the Earl of Essex's Army before the rest, to block up the Lord Bryon in Worcester, till the Earl of Essex came to take him there. This Party lay in a Meadow near Powick, above a Mile from Worcester, Mr. Hunt, with other Countreymen bringing them in Pro­vision; I had a great mind to go see them, having never seen any part of an Ar­my; As soon as I came, a Messenger came out of Worcester secretly, to tell them that the Lord Bryon was mounted and ready to be gone: Hereupon, the Comman­ders (Col. Brown a Scot, Col. Edwin Sans of Kent, and Col. Nath. Fienes, Capt. Ioh. Fienes, and Capt. Wingate) consulted what was to be done; Brown and Sands were hot for the leaving of their Ground (where they were secure by a River) and presently to pursue the Enemy: The rest said, This Message may be a Deceit, to draw us into a Snare; let us first send Scouts, and see how it is. But the other prevailed, and over the Bridge they went; (being all horse and Dragoons) and by that time they had past a narrow Lane, and half of them entred a Field beyond it, they found the King's Horse under the Command of Prince Rupert drawn up ready to charge them (when they knew not whom they fought with, nor knew that Prince Rupert was within twenty Miles of them) so he charged them before the rest came in, and Col. Sands was wounded and taken Prisoner, and died of his Wounds; and Major Douglas slain, and the rest [...]led; and though the Enemy pursued them no farther than the Bridge, yet fled they in grievous terror to Par­thore, and the Earl of Essex's Life Guard lying there, took the Allarm that the Ene­my was following them, and away they went. This Sight quickly told me the Vanity of Armies, and how little Confidence is to be placed in them.

§ 61. Upon this, Prince Ruport fetcht off the Lord Byron and marcht away; and the next Day the Earl of Essex came to Worcester, with many Lords and Knights, and a flourishing Army, gallantly cloathed, but never tried in Fight.

There were with his Army, as Chaplains to the several Regiments, abundance of famous, excellent Divines; viz. Mr. Stephen Marshall and Dr. Burges to the Earl of Essex's Regiments, Mr. Obediah Sedgwick to Col. Hollis's Regiment, Dr. Ca­libute Downing to the Lord Robert's Regiment, Mr. Iohn Sedgwick to the Earl of Stamford's Regiment, Dr. Spurtow, to Mr. Hampdens, Mr. Perkins to Col. Goodwin's, Mr. Moor to the Lord Wharton's, Mr. Adoniram Bifield to Sir Henry Cholmeley's, Mr. Nalton to Col. Grantham's, Mr. Simeon Ash to the Lord Brooks or the Earl of Man­chester's, (I remember not whether) Mr. Morton of Newcastle, with Sir Arthur Ha­selrigg's Troop; with many more Mr. Bifield and Mr. Moor quartered with us at Kiderminster, where were the Regiments of Col. Essex, the Lord Wharton, Sir Henry Cholmeley, and the Lord Brooks at Beudeley: while they quartered there, the King's Army was upon the March from Shrewsbury towards Oxford: Their way lying through Wolverhampton, some of their Scouts appeared on the Top of Kniver [Page 43] Edge, three miles from Kidderminster: The Brigades in Kidderminster not knowing but all the King's Army might come that way, marcht off to Worcester, and in haste left a Carriage or two with Arms behind: some of the Inhabitants hasted to the King's Soldiers, and told them all, which made them come into the Town and take those Arms.

The Fury of our own Rabble, and of the King's Soldiers was such, that I saw no safety in staying at home: The Civility of the Earl of Essex's Army was such, that among them there was no danger (though none of them knew me): And there was such excellent Preaching among them at Worcester, that I stayed there among them a few days, till the marching of the King's Army occasioned their re­move.

Upon the Lord's Day following I preached at Alcester for my Reverend Friend Mr. Samuel Clark: As I was preaching the People heard the Cannon play, and per­ceived that the Armies were engaged; when Sermon was done (in the Afternoon) the report was more audible, which made us all long to hear of the success: About Sun-setting (Octob. 23. 1642.) many Troops fled through the Town, and told us that all was lost on the Parliament side, and the Carriage taken and Waggons plun­dered before they came away; and none that followed brought any other News. The Towns-men sent a Messenger to Stratford upon Avon to know the certain truth. About four a clock in the Morning the Messenger returned, and told us, That Prince Rupert wholly routed the left Wing of the Earl of Essex's Army; but while his Men were plundering the Waggons, the main Body and the Right Wing rout­ed the rest of the King's Army, took his Standard (but it was lost again); kill'd his General the Earl of Lindsey, and his Standard-bearer, took Prisoner the Earl of Lindsey's Son the Lord Willoughby, and others; and lost few Persons of Quality, and no Noblemen but the Lord St. Iohn, eldest Son to the Earl of Bullingbrook: and that the loss of the left Wing was through the Treachery of Sir Faithful Fortescue, Major to the Lord Fielding's Regiment of Horse, who turned to the King when he should have Charged: and that the Victory was obtained principally by Colonel Hollis's Regiment of London Red-Coats, and the Earl of Essex's own Regiment, and Life-Guard, where Sir Philip Stapleton, and Sir Arthur Haselrigge, and Col. Urrey did much.

The next Morning being willing to see the Field where they had fought, I went to Edghill, and found the Earl of Essex with the remaining part of his Army keep­ing the Ground, and the King's Army facing them upon the Hill a mile off; and about a Thousand dead Bodies in the Field between them, (and I suppose many were buried before): and neither of the Armies moving toward each other. The King's Army presently drew off towards Banbury, and so to Oxford. The Earl of Essex's Army went back to provide for the wounded, and refresh themselves at War­wick Castle, (the Lord Brook's House).

For my self I knew not what Course to take: To live at home I was uneasie; but especially now, when Soldiers on one side or other would be frequently among us, and we must be still at the Mercy of every furious Beast that would make a prey of us: I had neither Money nor Friends: I knew not who would receive me in any place of Safety; nor had I any thing to satisfie them for my Diet and Entertainment. Hereupon I was perswaded by one that was with me to go to Co­ventry, where one of my old Acquaintance was Minister, (Mr. Simon King, some­time School-master at Bridgenorth): So thither I went with a purpose to stay there till one side or other had got the Victory, and the War was ended, and then to re­turn home again: For so wise in Matters of War was I, and all the Country be­sides, that we commonly supposed that a very few days or weeks by one other Bat­tel, would end the Wars; and I believe that no small number of the Parliament­men, had no more with than to think so to. There I stayed at Mr. King's a month, but the War was as far from being like to end as before.

Whilst I was thinking what Course to take in this Necessity, the Committee and Governour of the City desired me that I would stay with them, and lodge in the Governour's House, and preach to the Soldiers. The offer suited well with my Necessities, but I resolved that I would not be Chaplain to the Regiment, nor take a Commission; but if the meer preaching of a Sermon once or twice a week to the Garrison would satisfie them, I would accept of the Offer, till I could go home again. (Mr. Aspinall, one of the Ministers of the Town, had a Commission from the Earl of Essex to be Chaplain to the Garrison Regiment; but the Governour and Committee being displeased with him, made no use of him. And when he was displeased, as thinking I would take his place, I assured him I had no such in­tent; [Page 44] and about a Twelve-month after he died). Here I lived in the Governours House, and followed my Studies as quietly as in a time of Peace, for about a year, only preaching once a week to the Soldiers, and once on the Lord's Day to the People, not taking of any of them a Penny for either, save my Diet only.

Here I had a very Judicious Auditory; among others many very godly and judicious Gentlemen; as Sir Richard Skeffington (a most noble, holy Man) Col. God [...]rey Bosvile, Mr. Mackworth, with many others; of all which Mr. George About was the chief (known by his Paraphrase on Iob, and his Book against Bread for the Lord's Day). And there were about thirty worthy Ministers in the City, who fled thither for Safety from Soldiers and Popular Fury, as I had done, though they never medled in the Wars; viz. Mr. Richard Vines, Mr. Anthony Burges, Mr. Burdall, Mr. Brumskill (who lived with that Eminent Saint the old Lady Bromley, Widow to Judge Bromley, whose only discernable fault to me) was too much Humility and Low thought of her self), Dr. Bryan, Dr. Grew, Mr. Stephens, Mr. Craddock, Mr. Morton of Bewdley, (my special Friend) Mr. Diamond, good old Mr. Overton, and many more, whose presence commanded much respect from me. I have cause of continual thankfulness to God for the quietness and safety, and sober, wise, religious Company, with liberty to preach the Gospel, which he vouchsafed me in this City, when other Places were in the Terrours and Flames of War.

§ 62. When I had been above a year at Coventry, the War was so far from being ended, that it had dispersed it self into almost all the Land: only Middlesex, Hartfordshire [...] most of Bedford and Northamptonshire were only for the Parliament, and had some quietness: And Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Huntington­shire with the Isle of Eli, were called the Associated Countries, and lived as in Peace, because the King's Armies never came near them: and so for the most part it was with Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. And on the other side, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Shropshire, (till this time) and almost all Wales. (save Pembrokeshire, which was wholly for the Parliament) were only possessed for the King, and saw not the Forces of the Parliament: But almost all the rest of the Counties had Gar­risons and Parties in them on both sides, which caused a War in every County, and I think there where few Parishes where at one time or other Blood had not been shed.

§ 63. And here I must repeat the great Cause of the Parliaments Strength and the King's ruine; and that was, That the debauched Rabble through the Land, emboldened by his Gentry, and seconded by the Common Soldiers of his Army, took all that were called Puritans for their Enemies: And though Some of the King's Gentry and Superiour Officers were so Civil that they would do no such thing, yet that was no Security to the Country, while the multitude did what they list. So that if any one was noted for a strict and famous Preacher, or for a Man of a precise and pious Life, he was either plundered, or abused, and in danger of his Life: So that if a Man did but pray in his Family, or were but heard repeat a Sermon, or sing a Psalm, they presently cried out, Rebels, Round-heads, and all their Money and Goods that were portable proved guilty, how innocent soever they were themselves. I suppose this was kept from the knowledge of the King, and perhaps of many sober Lords of his Council: (for few could come near them; and it is the fate of such not to believe evil of those that they think are for them, nor good of those that they think are against them). But upon my certain know­ledge this was it that filled the Armies and Garrisons of the Parliament with sober, pious Men. Thousands had no mind to meddle with the Wars, but greatly desi­sired to live peaceably at home, when the Rage of Soldiers and Drunkards would not suffer them: some stayed till they had been imprisoned; some till they had been plundered, perhaps twice or thrice over, and nothing left them; some were quite tired out with the abuse of all Comers that quartered on them; and som [...] by the insolency of their Neighbours; but most were afraid of their Lives; and so they sought refuge in the Parliaments Garrisons. Thus when I was at Coventry the Religious part of my Neighbours at Kidderminster that would fain have lived quietly at home, were forced (the chiefest of them) to be gone: And to Coven­try they came; and some of them that had any Estate of their own, lived there on their own charge: and the rest were fain to take up Arms, and be Garrison Soldi­ers to get them bread.

§ 64. In Shropshire, where my Father dwelt, both he and all his Neighbours that were noted for praying and hearing Sermons, were plundered by the King's Soldiers, so that some of them had almost nothing but Lumber left in their House: though my Father was so far from medling on either side, that he knew not what [Page 45] they were doing, but followed his own business; nor had he seen me, or heard of me of a long time.

At this time Col. Mitt [...]n, and other Shropshire Gentlemen, resolved to settle a Garrison at Wem, a little Town in their own Country, eight Miles from Shrews­bury, and Mr. Mackworth, Mr. Hunt, &c. were earnest with me to go with them because it was my Native Country. I was desirous to be near my Father if I could any way relieve him, and to be absent a while from Coventry, (there being some Dif­ference between the Earl of Denbigh and the Committee, which went high): so I consented to go with them only for a few weeks, and to return: Their Design was to get some of my Neighbours thither, who they knew would follow me; and about thirty or forty of them joyned in Colonel Mackworth's Troop and went.

As soon as we came thither, and they began to fortifie Wem, the Lord Capel brought his Army from Shrewsbury against them; where (Sir William Brereton bringing the Cheshire Trained Bands to assist the little handful at Wem) the two Armies lay within a Mile of each other two or three Days, and after some little Skirmishing the Lord Capell drew off, and marcht into Cheshire to Nantwich, being assured thereby to draw off, the Cheshire Men, and then resolved the same Night to return and Storm the Town; and his Plot took according to his Contrivance; for that Night he plundered all the Villages about Nantwich, and at Midnight march'd back another way: The Cheshire Men were quickly on their March, when they heard that the Enemy was plundring their Countey: and by that time they came to Nantwich the Lord Capell was got back again to Wem. There was nothing about the Town but a Ditch little bigger than such as Husbandmen inclose their Grounds with, and this not finished; and the Gates, new made, had no Hinges, but were reared up, and there was but very few Men in the Town; especially under the Command of Col. Hunt (a plain hearted, honest, godly Man, entirely beloved, and trusted by the Soldiers for his Honesty): I went with the Cheshire Men to Nant­wick; when they came thither, they understood the Stratagem of the Lord Capell, and heard that they were storming Wem; and Sir William Brereton would have had his Men march after them presently, to relieve Wem; but the Soldiers were all Commanders, and seeing their own Countrey plundred in their Absence, and be­ing weary, they all resolved that they would not go; and so Wem was given up as lost; but in the Morning about three or four a Clock, when we thought they had been asleep, their Minds all changed, and to Wem they would then go; but they marcht so slowly, and halted by the way, that the Lord Capell's Army had twice stormed Wem, and being beaten back, drew off just as the Cheshire Men came upon them, and secured their Retreat by Lee-bridge and the Darkness of the Night, and the Ignorance of their Fears and Disorders in the Army that pursued them. When we came to Wem, we found that the Lord Capell had been twice repulst with much loss; Col. Win slain, and Col. Sir Tho. Scriven mortally wounded, and little Hurt done to any in the Town.

§ 65. When I had stayed here, and at Longford Garrison about two Months or more, and had redeemed my Father out of Prison at Lillshoul, I returned to Coven­try, and my Neighbours would not stay behind: (the recital of Military Passage there and elsewhere, belongeth not to my present purpose, but as it concerneth the History of my own Life, and therefore I leave them to such as write the Hi­story of those Wars): When I came to Coventry, I setled in my old Habitation and Imployment, and followed my Studies there in quietness for another Year. But whereas whilst I rode up and down, my Body had more Health than of a long time before, when I settled to my Studies in a Sedentary Life (and grieved for the Calamitous Condition of the Land) I fell weaker than ever I was before: And go­ing to London was long under the Cure of Sir Theodore Meyers, and somewhat reco­vered, returned again.

§ 66. The Garrison of Coventry consisted half of Citizens, and half of Coun­try-men: the Country-men were such as had been forced from their own Dwel­lings, the most religious Men of the Parts round about, especially from Bremicham, Sutton-Coldfield, Tamworth, Nuneaton, Hinkley, Rugby, &c. These were Men of great Sobriety and Soundness of Understanding as any Garrison heard of in England: But one or two that came among us out of New England (of Sir Henry Vane's Par­ty there) and one Anabaptist Taylor, had almost troubled all the Garrison, by in­tecting the honest Soldiers with their Opinions: But they found not that Success in Coventry, as they had done in Cromwel's Army. In publick I was fain to preach over all the Controversies against the Anabaptists first, and then against the Sepa­ratists; [Page 46] and in private, some of my Worcestershire Neighbours, and many of the Foot Soldiers were able to baffle both Separatists, Anabaptists, and Antinomians, and so kept all the Garrison sound: Whereupon, the Anabaptists sent to Bedford for one Mr. Benjamin Cox, an old Anabaptist Minister, and no contemptible Schol­lar, the Son of a Bishop; and he and I had first a Dispute by Word of Mouth, and after by Writing; and his Surceasing gave me ease: In conclusion a few poor Townsmen only were carried away, about a Dozen Men and Women; but the Souldiers and the rest of the City kept sound from all Infection of Sectaries and Dividers.

§ 67. While I lived here in Peace and Liberty, as Men in a dry House do hear the Storms abroad, so did we daily hear the News of one Fights, or other, or one Garri­son or other won or lost; the two Newbery Fights, Glocester Siege, the marvellous Sieges of Plimouth, Lime, and Taunton, Sir William Waller's Successes and Losses; the Loss at Newark, the Slaughter at Bolton, the greatest Fight of all at York, with abundance more. So that hearing such sad News on one side or other was our daily Work; insomuch that as duly as I awakened in the Morning I expected to hear one come and tell me, Such a Garrison is won or lost, or such a Defeat received or given: And [do you hear the News] was commonly the first Word I heard. So miserable were those bloody Days, in which he was the most honourable, that could kill most of his Enemies.

But among all these I was especially pleased with the Surprize of Shrewsbury; both because it was done without loss of Blood, and because my Father and many of my dear Friends were thereby redeemed, for when I returned from Wem to Co­ventry, it happily fell out that Sir Fulk Hunkes was made Governor of Shrewsbury by the King, and he protected my Father while he was there: But at last the Gen­t [...]y of the Countrey and he agreed not, he being too much a Soldier, and too civil for many of them, and they procured him to be removed, and Sir Rich. Oatley first, and after Sir Mich. Earnley made Governors. Sir Fulk Hunkes was confident when he went, that their Drunkenness and Carelesness would shortly lose the Town; and so it did indeed fall out: His old Mother, the Lady Hunkes, he left with my Father, where she died between 80, and 100 Years old. But when he was gone my Father was made one of the Collectors of their Taxes for the King, which he justly performed: But he would not forcibly distrain of them that refused to pay, as not knowing but they might hereafter recover it all of him; for which he was laid in Prison by them that swore he should lie and rot there: But he had been there but a few Weeks, before the Keeper in the night came to him, and beg'd his Favour to save him and his House, for the Parliaments Souldiers had surprised the Town: My Father would not believe it, till he heard and saw that which compell'd his Belief; and with what Joy I need not tell.

§ 68. There were abundance of strange Providences in these times that fell out for some particular Persons: The marvellous Preservation of Souldiers by Bibles in their Pockets which have received the Bullets, and such like I will not mention. When Prince Rupert put the Inhabitants of Bolton in Lancashire to the Sword, (Men, Women, and Children) an Infant escaped alive, and was found lying by her Father and Mother, who were slain in the Streets: an Old Woman took up the Child, and carried it home, and put it to her Breast for warmth, (having not had a Child her self of about 30 Years) the Child drew Milk, and so much, that the Woman nursed it up with her Breast Milk a good while: The Committee desi­red some Women to try her, and they found it true, and that she had a considerable proportion of Milk for the Child: If any one doubt of this, they may yet be resolved by Mrs. Hunt, Wife to Mr. Rowland Hunt of Harrow on the Hill, who living then in Manchester, was one of them that by the Committee was de­sired to trie the Woman, and who hath oft told it me, and is a credible, godly, discreet Gentlewoman, and Wife to a Man of most exemplary Holiness, and of the primitive Sincerity without Self-seeking, Hypocrisie and Guile. The Maid her self thus nursed up, lived after wards in London.

This putteth me in mind of that worthy Servant of Christ, Dr. Teat, who being put to fly suddenly with his Wife and Children from the Fury of the Irish Rebels, in the Night without Provision; wandred in the Snow out of all ways upon the Mountains till Mrs. Teat, having no suck for the Child in her Arms, and he being ready to die with Hunger, she went to the Brow of a Rock to lay him down, and leave him that she might not see him die, and there in the Snow out of all ways where no Footsteps appeared, she found a Suck-bottle full of new, sweet Milk, which preserved the Child's Life.

[Page 47]In Cornwall, Sir Rich. Greenvile having taken many Souldiers of the Earl of Essex's Army, sentenced about a dozen to be hanged: when they had hanged two or three, the Rope broke which should have hanged the next: And they sent for new Ropes so oft to hang him, and all of them still broke, that they durst go no far­ther, but saved all the rest: Besides universal undeniable Report, I had this oft told me by Mr. Woodhouse, an honest godly sober Man, a Sisters Son of Justice Kettleby of Shrop­shire, who himself stood by expecting Death, and was one of the Number of them whose Lives were saved by it.

If I would here give an account of all the Military Actions of those times which I had the certain knowledge of; the manner of taking and losing Towns and Castles, the Progress of the main Armies and of the Parties in the several Counties, in Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Lin­colnshire, Gloucestershire, and other Counties where particular Wars were carried on, and between Pembrokeshire and the rest of Wales, and also the manner of the seve­ral great Fights, especially that at Marston-moor near York, it would fill of it self a greater Volume than I intend, and is a matter besides my present purpose, and fit to be done in another manner: And therefore I shall pass that by, and proceed in the Narrative of the passages of my own Life, in [...]erposing only Generals, and the passages which occasioned them.

§ 69. When by the great Mercy of God I had lived two years in quietness at Co­ventry, the Earl of Essex being weakened by a great loss in Cornwall, An. 16. 14 fell under the great displeasure of some of the Parliament, not as to his Person, but as to the Conduct of Affairs, who prevailed to have him laid by. The Causes were all these in Conjunction:

1. Though none could deny but the Earl was a Person of great Honour, Valour, and Sincerity; yet did some Accuse the Soldiers under him of being too like the King's Soldiers in Profaneness, lewd and vitious Practices, and rudeness in their Carriage towards the Country; and it was withal urg'd, that the Revolt of Sir Faithful Fortescue, Sir Richard Greenvile, Col. Urrey, and some others, was a satisfy­ing Evidence, that the irreligious sort of Men were not to be much trusted, but might easily by Money be hired to betray them.

2. And it was discovered that the Earl of Essex's Judgment (and the wisest Mens about him) was never for the ending the Wars by the Sword, but only to force a Pacificatory Treaty: He thought that if the King should Conquer, the Govern­ment of the Kingdom would be changed into Arbitrary, and the Subjects Proprie­ty and Liberty lost: And he thought that if he himself should utterly conquer the King, the Parliament would be tempted to encroach upon the King's Prerogative, and the Priviledges of the Lords, and put too much Power in the Gentries and the People hands, and that they would not know how to settle the State of the Kingdom, or the Church, without injuring others, and running into Extreams, and falling into Divisions among themselves. Therefore he was not for a Conquest of the King. But they saw the Delay gave the King advantage, and wearied out and ruined the Country, and therefore they now began to say, that at Edghill, at Newbury, and at other times, he had never prosecuted any Victory, but stood still and seen the King's Army retreat, and never pursued them when it had been easie to have ended all the Wars.

3. But the chief Cause was, that Sir H. Vane by this time had increased Sectaries in the House, having drawn some Members to his Opinion; and Cromwell, who was the Earl of Manchester's Lieutenant General, had gathered to him as many of the Religious Party, especially of the Sectaries as he could get; and kept a Correspon­dency with Vane's Party in the House, as if it were only to strengthen the Religi­ous Party: And Manchester's Army, especially Cromwell's Party, had won a Victo­ry near Horncastle in Lincolnshire, and had done the main Service of the day at the great [...]ight at York; and every where the Religious Party that were deepliest ap­prehensive of the Concernment of the War, had far better Success than the other sort of Common Soldiers.

These things set together, caused almost all the Religious sort of Men in Parlia­ment, Armies, Garrisons and Country, to before the new modelling of the Army, and putting out the looser sort of Men (especially Officers) and putting Religious Men in their steads. But in all this Work, the Vanists in the House, and Cromwell in the Army, joined together, out-witted and over-reacht the rest, and carried on the Interest of the Sectaries in Special, while they drew the Religious Party along as for the Interest of Godliness in the general.

[Page 48]The two Designs of Cromwell to make himself great, were,

1. To Cry up Liberty of Conscience, and be very tender of Men differing in Judgment, by which he drew all the Separatists and Anabaptists to him, with ma­ny soberer Men.

2. To set these self-esteeming Men on work to arrogate the Glory of all Suc­cesses to themselves, and cry up their own Actions, and depress the Honour of the Earl of Manchester, and all others; though Men of as much Godliness at least as they: so that they did proclaim the Glory of their own Exploits, till they had got the fame of being the most valiant and Victorious Party. The truth is, they did much, and they boasted of more than they did.

And these things made the new modelling of the Army to be resolved on. But all the Question was how to effect it, without stirring up the Forces against them which they intended to disband: And all this was notably dispatcht at once, by One Vote, which was called the Self-denying Vote, viz. That because Commands in the Army had much pay, and Parliament Men should keep to the Service of the House, therefore no Parliament Men should be Members of the Army. This pleased the Soldiers, who looked to have the more pay to themselves; and at once it put out the two Generals, the Earl of Essex and the Earl of Manchester, and also Sir William Waller a godly valiant Major General of another Army; and also many Colonels in the Army, and in other parts of the Land, and the Gover­nour of Coventry, and of many other Garrisons: and to avoid all Suspicion Crom­well was put out himself.

When this was done, the next Question was, Who should be Lord General, and what new Officers should be put in, or old ones continued? And here the Policy of Vane and Cromwell did its best: For General they chose Sir Thomas Fairfax, Son to the Lord Ferdinando Fairfax, who had been in the Wars beyond Sea, and had fought valiantly in Yorkshire for the Parliament, though he was over-powered by the Earl of Newcastle's Numbers. This Man was chosen because they supposed to find him a Man of no quickness of Parts, of no Elocution, of no suspicious plotting Wit, and therefore One that Cromwell could make use of at his pleasure. And he was acceptable to sober Men, because he was Religious, Faithful, Valiant, and of a grave, sober, resolved Disposition; very fit for Execution, and neither too Great nor too Cunning to be Commanded by the Parliament.

And when he was chosen for General, Cromwell's men must not be without him: so valiant a Man must not be laid by: The Self-denying Vote must be thus far only dispensed with: Cromwell only, and no other Member of either House, must be excepted, and so he is made Lieutenant General of the Army: and as many as they could get of their Mind and Party, are put into Inferiour Places, and the best of the old Officers put into the rest. But all the Scotch-men (except only Ad­jutant Crey) are put out of the whole Army, or deserted it.

§ 70. And here I must digress to look back to what I had forgotten, of the Scots Army and the Covenant: When the Earl of Newcastle had over-powered the Lord Fairfax in the North, and the Queen had brought over many Papists Soldiers from beyond Sea, and formed an Army under General King a Scot, and the King had another great Army with himself under the Command of the Earl of Forth, another old Scottish General; so that they had three great Field Armies, besides the Lord Goring's in the West, and all the Country Parties, the Parliament were glad to desire Assistance from the Scots; (whose Army was paid off and disbanded before the Eng­lish Wars). The Scots; consented; but they offered a Covenant to be taken by both Nations, for a resolved Reformation, against Popery, Prelacy, Schism, and Pro­phaneness, (the Papists, the Prelatists, the Secfaries, and the Prophane, being the four Parties which they were against).

This Covenant was proposed by the Parliament to the Consideration of the Sy­nod at Westminster: The Synod stumbled at some things in it, and especially at the word [Prelacy]. Dr. Burges the Prolocutor, Mr. Gataker, and abundance more declared their Judgments to be for Episcopacy, even for the ancient mode­rate Episcopacy, in which one stated President with his Presbytery, governed eve­ry Church; though not for the English Diocesan frame, in which one Bishop, with­out his Presbytery, did by a Lay-Chancellour's Court, govern all the Presbytery and Churches of a Diocess, being many hundreds; and that in a Secular manner by abundance of upstart Secular Officers, unknown to the Primitive Church. Here­upon grew some Debate in the Assembly; some being against every Degree of Bi­shops, (especially the Scottish Divines,) and others being for a moderate Episcopa­cy. But these English Divines would not Subscribe the Covenant, till there were [Page 49] an alteration suited to their Judgments: and so a Parenthesis was yielded to, as de­scribing that sort of Prelacy which they opposed, viz. [That is, Church Government by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans and Chapters, Arch-deacons, and all other Ecclesiastical Officers depending on that Hierarchy.] All which conjoyned are mentioned as the De­scription of that Form of Church Government which they meant by Prelacy, as not extending to the ancient Episcopacy.

When the Covenant was agreed on, the Lords and Commons first took it them­selves, and Mr. Thomas Coleman preached to the House of Lords, and gave it them with this publick Explication, That by Prelacy we mean not all Episcopacy, but only the form which is here described.

When the Parliament had taken it they sent it to all the Garrisons, and Armies to be taken: and commended it to all the People of the Land. And when the War was ended, they caused all the Noblemen, Knights, Gentlemen, and Officers which had been against them in the Wars, to take it before they would admit them to Composition; and take it they did: And they required that all young Mini­sters should take it at their Ordination.

The Covenant being taken, the Scots raised an Army to help the Parliament, which came on and began to clear the North, till at York fight, the Scots Army, the Earl of Manchester's Army, and the Lord Fairfax's small Army, joyned Battel against Prince Rupert's Army, and General King's Army, and the Earl of Newca­stle's Army, where they routed them, and it was thought about 5000 were slain upon the place, besides all that died after of their wounds.

After this the Scots Army lay still in the North a long time, and did nothing, till thereby they became odious as a burden to the Land: The Scots said, that it was caused by the Policy of the Sectaries, that kept them without pay, and without orders to March. Their Adversaries (the Vanists and the Cromwellians) said it was their own fault, who would not March. At last they were Commanded to be­siege Hereford City, where they lay a long time, till the Earl of Montross, ha­ving raised an Army in Scotland against them for the King, had made it necessary for them to return into their own Country, and leave Hereford untaken, and the People clamouring against them, as having come for nothing into the Coun­try.

Some Months after they were gone, Col. Iohn Birch and Col. Morgan took Here­ford in an hour, without any considerable bloodshed. The Waters about the Walls being hard frozen, the Governour sent Warrants to the Constables of the Country neer adjoyning to bring in Labourers to break the Ice; Col. Birch got these War­rants, and causeth one of his Officers in the Habit of a Constable, and many Sol­diers with Mattocks, in the habit of Labourers, to come the next morning early to the Gates and being let in, they let in more, and surprized the Town.

This much I thought good to speak altogether here for brevity of the Scots Ar­my and Covenant, and now return to the new modell'd Army.

§ 71. The English Army being thus new modell'd, was really in the hand of Oliver Cromwell, though seemingly under the Command of Sir Thomas Fairfax (who was shortly after Lord Fairfax, his Father dying.) Cromwell's old Regiment which had made it self famous for Religion and Valour, being fourteen Troops was divided; six Troops were made the Lord Fairfax's Regiment; and six Troops were Col. Whalley's Regiment; and the other two were in Col. Rich's and Sir Ro­bert Pye's Regiments. The Confidents of Cromwell were especially Col. Ireton, and Major Desborough (his Brother-in-law) and Major Iames Berry, and Major Harri­son, and Col. Fleetwood, and (as his Kinsman) Col. Whalley, and divers others.

But now begins the Change of the old Cause. A shrewd Book came out not long before, called Plain English, preparatory hereto: And when the Lord Fairfax should have marched with his Army, he would not (as common Fame faith) take his Commission, because it ran as all others before, [for Defence of the King's Per­son]: for it was intimate that this was but Hypocrisie, to profess to defend the King when they marcht to fight against him; and that Bullets could not distinguish between his Person and another Man's; and therefore this Clause must be left out, that they might be no Hypocrities. And so had a Commission without that Clause [for the King]. And this was the day that changed the Cause.

§ 72. The Army being ready to march,An. 16 45 was partly the Envy and partly the Scorn of the Nobility, and the Lord Lieutenants and the Officers which had been put out, by the Self-denying Vote: But their Actions quickly vindicated them from Contempt. They first attempted no less than the Siege of Oxford: but in the mean time the King takes the field with a very numerous well-recruited Army, [Page 50] and marcheth into Northamptonshire into the Parliaments Quarters, and thence strait to Leicester, a Town poorly fortified, but so advantagiously situated for his use, as would have been an exceeding Loss to the Parliament, if he could have kept it. It was taken by Storm, and many slain in it.

General Fairfax leaveth Oxford, and marcheth through Northamptonshire towards the King. The King having the greater number, and the Parliaments Army be­ing of a new contemned Model, he marcheth back to meet them, and in a Field near Naseby, a Village in Northamptonshire, they met. Cromwell had hasted a few days before into the associated Counties (which were their Treasury for Men and Money) and brought with him about 500 to 600 Men, and came in to the Army just as they were drawn up, and going on to give Battel. His sudden and seasona­ble coming, with the great Name he had got by the Applauses of his own Soldiers, made a sudden Joy in the Army, (thinking he had brought them more help than he did) so that all cried, A Cromwell, A Cromwell, and so went on; and after a shor [...] hot Fight, the King's Army was totally routed and put to flight, and about 5000 Prisoners taken, with all his Ordinance and Carriage, and abundance of his own Letters to the Queen and others in his Cabinet: (which the Parliament prin­ted, as thinking such things were there contained as greatly disadvantaged the Re­putation of his Word and Cause). Major General Skippon fighting valiantly was here dangerously wounded, but afterwards recovered. The King's Army was ut­terly lost by the taking of Leicester: for by this means it was gone so far from his own Garrisons, that his Flying Horse could have no place of Retreat, but were utterly scattered and brought to nothing. The King himself fled to Lichfield, (and it is reported that he would have gone to Shrewsbury, his Council having never suffered him to know that it was taken till now); and so he went to Rayland Ca­ [...] [...] which was a strong Hold, and the House of the Marquess of [...] a Papist: (where his Dispute with the Marquess was said to be; which Dr. Ba [...]ly published, and then turned Papist; and which Mr. Christopher Cartright continued, de [...]ending the King). Fairfax's Army pursued to Leicester, where the wounded Men, and some others, stayed with the Garrison: in a day or two's time the Town was re-taken.

And now I am come up to the Passage which I intended of my own going into the Army.

§ 73. Na [...]by being not far from Coventry where I was, and the noise of the Vi­ctory being loud in our Ears, and I having two or three that of old had been my intimate Friends in Cromwell's Army, whom I had not seen of above two Years, I was desirous to go see whether they were dead or alive; and so to Naseby Field I went two days after the sight, and thence by the Armies Quarters before Lei­cester to seek my Acquaintance. When I found them, I stayed with them a Night, and I understood the state of the Army much better than ever I had done before. We that lived quietly in Coventry did keep to our old Principles, and thought all others had done so too, except a very few inconsiderable Persons: We were un­feignedly for King and Parliament: We believed that the War was only to sive the Parliament and Kingdom from Papists and Delinquents, and to remove the Dividers, that the King might again return to his Parliament; and that no Changes might be made in Religion, but by the Laws which had his free consent: We took the true happiness of King and People, Church and State, to be our end, and so we understood the Covenant, engaging both against Papists and Schisma­ticks: And when the Court News-book told the World of the Swarms of Ana­baptists in our Armies, we thought it had been a meer lye, because it was not so with us, nor in any of the Garrison or County-Forces about us. But when I came to the Army among Cromwell's Soldiers, I found a new face of things which I ne­ver dreamt of: I heard the plotting Heads very hot upon that which intimated their Intention to subvert both Church and State. Independency and Anabap­tistry were most prevalent: Antinomianism and Arminianism were equally distri­buted; and Thomas Moor's Followers (a Weaver of Wisbitch and Lyn, of excellent Parts) had made some shifts to joyn these two Extreams together.

Abundance of the common Troopers, and many of the Officers, I found to be honest, sober, Orthodox Men, and others tractable ready to hear the Truth, and of upright Intentions: But a few proud, self-conceited, hot-headed Sectaries had got into the highest places, and were Cromwell's chief Favourites, and by their very heat and activity bore down the rest, or carried them along with them, and were the Soul of the Army, though much fewer in number than the rest (being indeed not one to twenty throughout the Army; their strength being in the Ge­nerals [Page 51] and Whalleys and Rich's Regiments of Horse, and in the new placed Officers in many of the rest).

I perceived that they took the King for a Tyrant and an Enemy, and really intended absolutely to master him, or to ruine him; and that they thought if they might fight against him, they might kill or conquer him; and if they might con­quer, they were never more to trust him further than he was in their power; and that they thought it folly to irritate him either by Wars or Contradictions in Par­liament, if so be they must needs take him for their King, and trust him with their Lives when they had thus displeased him. They said, What were the Lords of Eng­land but William the Conquerour's Colonels? or the Barons but his Majors? or the Knights but his Captains? They plainly shewed me, that they thought God's Providence would cast the Trust of Religion and the Kingdom upon them as Con­querours: They made nothing of all the most wise and godly in the Armies and Garrisons, that were not of their way. Per fas aut nefas, by Law or without it, they were resolved to take down, not only Bishops, and Liturgy, and Ceremonies, but all that did withstand their way. They were far from thinking of a moderate Episcopacy, or of any healing way between the Episcopal and the Presbyterians: They most honoured the Separatists, Anabaptists, and Antinomians; but Cromwell and his Council took on them to joyn themselves to no Party, but to be for the Liberty of all. Two sorts I perceived they did so commonly and bitterly Speak a­gainst, that it was done in meer design to make them odious to the Soldiers, and to all the Land; and that was

1. The Sots, and with them all Presbyterians but especially the Ministers; whom they call Priests and Priestbyters, and Drivines, and the Dissemby-men, and such like.

2. The Committees of the several Countries, and all the Soldiers that were un­der them that were not of their Mind and Way.

Some orthodox Captains of the Army did partly acquaint me with all this, and I heard much of it from the Mouths of the leading Sectaries themselves. This struck me to the very Heart, and made me Fear that England was lost by those that it had taken for its Chiefest Friends.

§ 74. Upon this I began to blame both other Ministers and my self. I saw that it was the Ministers that had lost all, by forsaking the Army, and betaking themselves to an easier and quieter way of Life. When the Earl of Essex went out first, each Regiment had an able Preacher, but at Edg-hill Fight almost all of them went home, and as the Sectaries increased, they were the more averse to go into the Army: Its true, that I believe now they had little Invitation, and its true that they must look for little Welcome and great Contempt and Opposition, besides all other Difficulties and Dangers: But it is as true, that their Worth and Labour in a patient self-denying way, had been like to have preserved most of the Army, and to have defeated the Contrivances of the Sectaries, and to have saved the King, the Parliament and the Land. And if it had brought Reproach upon them from the Malitious, (who called them Military Levites) the Good which they had done would have wiped off that blot, much better than the contrary course would do.

And I reprehended my self also, who had before rejected an Invitation from Cromwell: When he lay at Cambridge long before with that famous Troop which he began his Army with, his Officers purposed to make their Troop a gathered Church, and they all subscribed an Invitation to me to be their Pastor, and sent it me to Coventry: I sent them a Denial, reproving their Attempt, and told them wherein my Judgment was against the Lawfulness and Convenience of their way, and so I heard no more from them: And afterward meeting Cromwell at Leicester he expostulated with me for denying them. These very men that then invited me to be their Pastor, were the Men that afterwards headed much of the Army, and some of them were the forwardest in all our Changes; which made me wish that I had gone among them, however it had been interpreted; for then all the Fire was in one Spark.

§ 75. When I had informed my self to my sorrow of the state of the Army, Capt. Evanson (one of my Orthodox Informers) desired me yet to come to their Regiment, telling me that it was the most religious, most valiant, most succesful of all the Army, but in as much danger as any one whatsoever. I was loth to leave my Studies, and Friends, and Quietness at Coventry, to go into an Army so contra­ry to my Judgment: but I thought the Publick Good commanded me, and so I gave him some Encouragement: whereupon he told his Colonel (Whalley) who [Page 52] also was Orthodox in Religion, but engaged by Kindred and Interest to Cromwell: He invited me to be Chaplain to his Regiment; and I told him, I would take but a days time to deliberate, and would send him an Answer, or else come to him.

As soon as I came home to Coventry, I call'd together an Assembly of Ministers, Dr. Bryan, Dr. Grew, and many others, (there being many, as I before noted, fled thither from the Parts thereabouts). I told them the sad News of the Cor­ruption of the Army, and that I thought all we had valued was like to be endan­gered by them; seeing this Army having first conquered at York, (where Cromwell was under Manchester) and now at Naseby, and having left the King no visible Ar­my but Gorings, the Fate of the whole Kingdom was like to follow the Disposition and Interest of the Conquerours. We have sworn to be true to the King and his Heirs in the Oath of Allegiance. All our Soldiers here do think that the Parlia­ment is faithful to the King, and have no other purposes themselves. If King and Parliament, Church and State be ruined by those Men, and we look on and do nothing to hinder it, how are we true to our Allegiance and to the Covenant, which bindeth us to defend the King, and to be against Schism, as well as against Popery and Prophaneness? For my part (said I) I know that my Body is so weak, that it is like to hazard my Life to be among them, and I expect their Fu­ry should do little less than rid me out of the way; and I know one Man cannot do much upon them: But yet if your Judgment take it to be my Duty, I will ven­ture my Life among them, and perhaps some other Ministers may be drawn in, and then some more of the Evil may be prevented.

The Ministers finding my own Judgment for it, and being moved with the Cause, did unanimously give their Judgment for my going. Hereupon I went strait to the Committee, and told them that I had an Invitation to the Army, and desired their Consent to go. They consulted a while, and then left it wholly to the Governour, saying, That if he consented they should not hinder me. It fell out that Col. Bar­ker the Governour was just then to be turned out, as a Member of Parliament, by the Self-denying Vote. And one of his Captains was to be Colonel and Gover­nour in his place, (Col. Willoughby). Hereupon Col. Barker was consent in his dis­content that I should go out with him, that he might be mist the more; and so gave me his consent.

Hereupon I sent word to Col. Whalley that to morrow God willing I would come to him. As soon as this was done the elected governour was much displeased, and the Soldiers were so much offended with the Committee for consenting to my go­ing, that the Committee all met again in the Night, and sent for me, and told me I must not go. I told them that by their Consent I had promised, and therefore must go. They told me that the Soldiers were ready to mutiny against them, and they could not satisfie them, and therefore I must stay: I told them that I had not promised if they had not consented, though being no Soldier or Chaplain to the Garrison, but only preaching to them I took my self to be a Free-man; and I could not break my word when I had promised by their Consent. They seemed to deny their Consent, and said they did but refer me to the Governour. In a word, they were so angry with me, that I was fain to tell them all the truth of my Motives and Design, what a case I perceived the Army to be in, and that I was resolved to do my best against it. I knew not, till afterward, that Col. Wil­liam Purefoy a Parliament Man, one of the chief of them, was a Confident of Cromwells: and as soon as I had spoken what I did of the Army, Magisterially he answereth me, [Let me hear no more of that: If Nol. Cromwell should hear any Soldiers speak but such a word, he would cleave his crown: You do them wrong; it is not so.] I told him, what he would not hear, he should not hear from me; but I would perform my word though he seemed to deny his: And so I parted with those that had been my very great Friends, in some displeasure. But the Sol­diers threatned to stop the Gates and keep me in; but being honest understanding Men, I quickly satisfied the Leaders of them by a private intimation of my Rea­sons and Resolutions, and some of them accompanied me on my way.

§ 76. As soon as I came to the Army, Oliver Cromwell coldly bid me welcome, and never spake one word to me more while I was there; nor once all that time vouchfaced me an Opportunity to come to the Head Quarters where the Councils and Meetings of the Officers were, so that most of my design was thereby frustra­ted. And his Secretary gave out that there was a Reformer come to the Army to undeceive them, and to save Church and State, with some such other Jeers; by which I perceived that all that I had said but the Night before to the Committee, [Page 53] was come to Cromwell before me, (I believe by Col. Purefoy's means): But Col. Whalley welcomed me, and was the worse thought on for it by the rest of the Ca­bal.

§ 77. Here I set my self from day to day to find out the Corruptions of the Soldiers; and to discourse and dispute them out of their mistakes, both Religious and Political: My Life among them was a daily contending against Seducers, and gently arguing with the more Tractable, and another kind of Militia I had than theirs.

I found that many honest Men of weak judgments and little acquaintance with such Matters, had been seduced into a disputing vein, and made it too much of their Religion to talk for this Opinion and for that; sometimes for State Democracy, and sometime for Church Democracy; sometimes against Forms of Prayer, and sometimes against Infant Baptism, (which yet some of them did maintain); some­times against Set-times of Prayer, and against the typing of our selves to any Duty before the Spirit move us; and sometimes about Free-grace and Free-will, and all the Points of Antinomianism and Arminianism. So that I was almost always, when I had opportunity, disputing with one or other of them; sometimes for our Civil Government, and sometimes for Church Order and Government; some­times for Infant Baptism, and oft against Antinomianism and the contrary Extream. But their most frequent and vehement Disputes were for Liberty of Conscience, as they called it; that is, that the Civil Magistrate had nothing to do to determine of any thing in Matters of Religion, by constraint or restraint, but every Man might not only hold, but preach and do in Matters of Religion what he pleased: That the Civil Magistrate hath nothing to do but with Civil Things, to keep the Peace, and Protect the Churches Liberties, &c.

I found that one half almost of the Religious Party among them were such as were either Orthodox, or but very lightly touched with their mistakes; and al­most another half were honest men, that stept further into the contending way, than they could well get out again, but with competent help might be recovered: But a few fiery, self-conceited men among them kindled the rest, and made all the noise and bustle, and carried about the Army as they pleased. For the greatest part of the common Soldiers, especially of the Foot, were ignorant men, of little Religion, abundance of them such as had been taken Prisoners, or turned out of Garrisons under the King, and had been Soldiers in his Army: And these would do any thing to please their Officers, and were ready Instrument for the Seducers, especially in their great Work, which was to cry down the Covenant, to vilifie all Parish Ministers, but especially the Scots and Presbyterians: For the most of the Soldiers that I spoke with never took the Covenant, because it tied them to defend the King's Person, and to extirpate Heresie and Schism.

Because I perceived that it was a few Men that bore the Bell, that did all the hurt among them, I acquainted my self with those Men, and would be oft dispu­ting with them in the hearing of the rest; and I found that they were men that had been in London, hatcht up among the old Separatists, and had made it all the matter of their Study and Religion to rail against Ministers, and Parish Churches, and Presbyterians, and had little other knowledge, nor little discourse of any thing about the Heart or Heaven: but were fierce with Pride and Self-conceitedness, and had gotten a very great conquest over their Charity, both to the Episcopal and Presbyterians. (Whereas many of those honest Soldiers which were tainted but with some doubts about Liberty of Conscience or Independency, were men that would Discourse of the Points of Sanctification and Christian Experience very sa­vourily.)

But we so far prevailed in opening the folly of these Revilers and Self-conceited men, as that some of them became the laughing-stock of the Soldiers before I left them; and when they preached (for great Preachers they were) their weakness ex­posed them to contempt. A great part of the mischief they did among the Soldi­ers was by Pamphlets, which they aboundantly dispersed; such as R. Overtons, Mar­tin Mar-Priest, and more of his; and some of I. Lilburn's who was one of them; and divers against the King, and against the Ministry, and for Liberty of Con­science, &c. And Soldiers being usually disperst in their Quarters, they had such Books to read when they had none to contradict them.

But there was yet a more dangerous Party than all these among them, (only in Major Bethel's Troop of our Regiment) who took the direct Jesuitical way: They first most vehemently declaimed against the Doctrine of Election, and for the pow­er of Free-will, and all other Points which are controverted between the Jesuits and [Page 54] Dominicans, the Arminians and Calvinists. Then they as fiercely cried down our present Translation of the Scriptures, and debased their Authority, though they did not deny them to be Divine: And they cried down all our Ministry, Episco­pal, Presbyterian and Independent; and all our Churches: And they vilified al­most all our ordinary Worship; especially singing of Psalms, and constant Family Worship: They allowed of no Argument from Scripture but what was brought in its express words: They were vehement against both the King, and all Govern­ment but Popular; and against Magistrates medling in Matters of Religion: And all their disputing was with as much fierceness, as if they had been ready to draw their Swords upon those against whom they disputed. They trusted more to Policy, Scorn and Power, than to Argument: They would bitterly scorn me a­mong their Hearers, to prejudice them before they entred into dispute. They a­voided me as much as possible; but when we did come to it, they drowned all Reason in fierceness, and vehemency, and multitude of words. They greatly strove for Places of Command, and when any Place was due by order to another that was not of their mind, they would be sure to work him out; and be ready to mutiny if they had not their will. I thought they were principled by the Jesuits, and acted all for their Interest, and in their way; but the secret Spring was out of sight. These were the same men that afterward were called Levellers, and rose up against Cromwell, and were surprized at Burford (having deceived and drawn to them many more): And Thompson the General of the Levellers that was slain then, was no greater a Man than one of the Corporals of this Troop; the Cornet and others being much worse than he.

And thus I have given you a taste of my Imployment in the Army.

§ 78. As soon as I came to the Army they marched speedily down into the West, because the King had no Army left but the Lord Goring's there, and they would not suffer the Fugitives of Naseby-fight to come thither to strengthen them: They came quickly down to Somerton when Goring was at Langport; which lying upon the Ri­ver, Massey was sent to keep him in on the farther side, while Fairfax attended him on this side, with his Army. One day they faced each other, and did nothing: The next day they came to their Ground again. Betwixt the two Armies was a narrow Lane which went between some Meadows in a bottom, and a small Brook crossing the Lane with a narrow Bridge. Goring planted two or three small Pieces at the Head of the Lane to keep the Passage, and there placed his best Horse; so that none could come to them, but over that narrow Bridge, and up that steep Lane upon the mouth of those Pieces. After many hours facing each other, Fair­fax's greater Ordinance affrighting (more than hurting) Goring's men, and some Musquetiers being sent to drive theirs from under the Hedges, at last Cromwell bid Whalley send three of his Troops to Charge the Enemy, and he sent three of the General's Regiment to second them, (all being of Cromwell's old Regiment). Whal­ley sent Major Bethel, Capt. Evanson, and Capt. Grove to Charge; Major Desborough with another Troop or two came after; they could go but one or two abreast o­ver the Bridge. By that time Bethel and Evanson with their Troops were got up to the top of the Lane, they met with a select Party of Goring's best Horse, and charged them at Sword's point whilst you would count three or four hundred, and then put them to Retreat. In the flight they pursued them too far to the main Bo­dy; for the Dust was so extream great (being in the very hottest time of Sum­mer) that they that were in it could scarce see each other, but I that stood over them upon the brow of the Hill saw all: when they saw themselves upon the face of Goring's Army, they fled back in haste, and by that time they came to the Lane again, Capt. Grove's Troop was ready to stop them, and relieve them, and Desbo­rough behind him: whereupon they rallied again, and the five or six Troops together marcht towards all Goring's Army: But before they came to the Front, I could discern the Rere begin to run, and so beginning in the Rere they all fled before they endured any Charge nor was there a blow struck that day, but by Bethels and Evanson's Troop (on that side) [...] and a few Musquetiers in the Hedges. Goring's Army fled to Bridg­water; and very few of them were either kill'd or taken in the fight or the pursuit. I happened to be next to Major Harrison as soon as the flight began, and heard him with a loud Voice break forth into the Praises of God with fluent Expressions, as if he had been in a Rapture.

Upon this Goring fled further West ward (to Exeter) with his Army: But Fair­fax stayed to besiege Bridgwater: and after two days it was taken by storm, in which Col. Hammond's Service was much magnified. Mr. Peters being come to the Army from London but a day before, went presently back with the News of [Page 55] Goring's Rout: and an Hundred pounds Reward was voted to himself for bringing the News, and to Major Bethel for his Service, but none to Capt. Evanson, because he was no Sectary; and Bethel only had all the Glory and Applause by Cromwell and that Party.

From Bridgwater they went back towards Bristol, where Prince Rupert was, taking Nunny Castle and Bath in the way: At Bristol they continued the Siege about a month. After the first three days I sell sick of a Fever (the Plague being round about my Quarters): As soon as I felt my Disease, I rode six or seven miles back into the Country, and the next morning (with much ado) to Bath: where Dr. Venner was my careful Physician; and when I was near to death (far from all my Acquaintance) it pleased God to restore me, and on the fourteenth day, the Fe­ver ended in a Crisis of Sweat and Urine: But it left me so macerated and weak, that it was long e're I recovered that little strength I had before. I came back to Bristol Siege three or four days before the City was taken: The Foot which was to storm the Works, would not go on unless the Horse went with them, (who had no Service to do): So Whalley's Regiment was fain to go on to encourage the Foot, and to stand to be shot at before the Ordinance (but in the Night) while the Foot did storm the Forts: where Major Bethel (who in the last Fight had but his Thumb shot) had a shot in his Thigh of which he died, and was much lamented. The Outworks being taken, Prince Rupert yielded up the City, upon Terms that he might march away with his Soldiers, leaving their Ordnance and Arms.

Upon this the Army marcht to Sherborn Castle (the Earl of Bristol's House): which after a Fortnights Siege, they took by storm, and that on a side which one would think could never have been that way taken. While they were there, the Country-men, called Clubmen, rose near Shaftsbury, and got upon the top of a Hill: A Party was sent out against them, who marcht up the Hill upon them, and routed them, though some of the valientest Men were slain in the Front.

When Sherborn Castle was taken, part of the Army went back and took in a small Garrison by Salisbury, called Langford-House, and so marcht to Winchester Ca­stle, and took that by Composition after a Weeks siege, or little more. From thence Cromwell went with a good Party to Besiege Basing-House (the Marquess of Win­chesters) which had frustrated great Sieges heretofore: Here Col. Hammond was taken Prisoner into the House, and afterward the House was taken by storm, and he saved the Marquess and others; and much Riches were taken by the Sol­diers.

In the mean time the rest of the Army marched down again towards the Lord Goring, and Cromwell came after them.

§ 79. When we followed the Lord Goring westward, we found that above all other Armies of the King, his Soldiers were most hated by the People, for their incredible Prophaneness and their unmerciful Plundering (many of them being Forreigners). A sober Gentleman that I quarter'd with at South-Pederton in Somer­setshire averred to me, That with him a Company of them prickt their Fingers, and let the Blood run into the Cup, and drank a Health to the Devil in it: And no place could I come into but their horrid Impiety and Outrages made them odi­ous.

The Army marched down by Hunnington to Exeter; where I continued near three Weeks among them at the Siege, and then Whalley's Regiment with the Ge­neral's, Fleetwood's and others being sent back, I returned with them and left the Siege; which continued till the City was taken: And then the Army following Go­ring into Cornwall, there forced him to yield to lay down Arms, his Men going away beyond Sea or elsewhere without their Arms: And at last Pendennis Castle, and all the Garrisons there were taken.

In the mean time Whalley was to Command the Party of Horse back, to keep in the Garrison of Oxford till the Army could come to besiege it: And so in the ex­tream Winter he quartered about six Weeks in Buckinghamshire: and then was sent to lay siege to Banbury Castle, where Sir William Compton was Governour, who had wearied out one long siege before: There I was with them above two Months till the Castle was taken; and then he was sent to lay siege to Worcester, with the help of the Northampton, and Warwick, and Newport-Pannel Soldiers, who had assisted him at Banbury. At Worcester he lay in siege eleven Weeks: and at the same time the Army being come up from the West, lay in siege at Oxford.

By this time Col. Whalley, though Cromwell's Kinsman and Commander of the Trusted Regiment, grew odious among the Sectarian Commanders at the Head­quarters for my sake; and he was called a Presbyterian, though neither he nor I [Page 56] were of that Judgment in several Points. And Major Sallowey not omitting to use his industry in the matter to that end) when he had brought the City to a neces­sity of present yielding, two days or three before it yielded, Col. Rainsboroug was sent from Oxford (which was yielded) with some Regiments of Foot, to Com­mand in Chief; partly that he might have the honour of taking the City, and partly that he might be Governour there (and not Whalley) when the City was Surrendred: And so when it was yielded, Rainsborough was Governour to head and gratifie the Sectaries, and settle the City and Country in their way: But the Committee of the County were for Whalley, and lived in distaste with Rainsborough, and the Sectaries prospered there no further than Worcester City it self, (a Place which deserved such a Judgment); but all the Country was free from their In­fection.

§ 80. All this while, as I had friendly Converse with the sober part, so I was still employed with the rest as before, in Preaching, Conference, and Disputing against their Confounding Errours: And in all Places where we went, the Secta­rian Soldiers much infected the Countreys, by their Pamphlets and Converse, and the People admiring the conquering Army, were ready to receive whatsoever they commended to them: And it was the way of the Faction to speak what they spake as the Sense of the Army, and to make the People believe that whatever Opinion they vented, (which one of forty in the Army, owned not) it was the Army's Opinion. When we quarter'd at Agmondesham in Buckinghamshire, some Sectaries of Chesham had set up a Publick Meeting as for Conference, to propagate their Opinions through all the Country; and this in the Church, by the encouragement of an ignorant Sectarian Lecturer, one Bramble, whom they had got in (while Dr. Crook the Pastor, and Mr. Richardson his Curate, durst not contradict them). When this Publick Talking day came, Bethel's Troopers (then Capt. Pitchford's) with other Sectarian Soldiers must be there, to confirm the Chesham Men, and make Men be­lieve that the Army was for them: And I thought it my Duty to be there also, and took divers sober Officers with me, to let them see that more of the Army were against them than for them. I took the Reading Pew, and Pitchford's Cornet and Troopers took the Gallery. And there I found a crowded Congregation of poor well-meaning People, that came in the Simplicity of their Hearts to be deceived. There did the Leader of the Chesham Men begin, and afterward Pitchford's Soldi­ers set in, and I alone disputed against them from Morning until almost Night; for I knew their trick, that if I had but gone out first, they would have prated what boasting words they listed when I was gone, and made the People believe that they had baffled me, or got the best; therefore I stayed it out till they first rose and went away: The abundance of Nonsense which they uttered that day, may partly be seen in Mr. Edward's Gangraena: for when I had wrote a Letter of it to a Friend in London, that and another were put into Mr. Edward's Book, with­out my Name. But some of the sober People of Agmondesham gave me abundance of thanks for that Days work, which they said would never be there forgotten: And I heard that the Sectaries were so discouraged that they never met there any more. I am sure I had much thanks from Dr. Crook and Mr. Richardson, who being ob­noxious to their displeasure, for being for the King, durst not open their mouths themselves. And after the Conference I talkt with the Lecturer Mr. Bramble (or Bramley) and found him little wiser than the rest.

§ 81. The great Impediments of the Success of my Endeavours I found were only two: 1. The discountenance of Cromwell, and the chief Officers of his Mind, which kept me a stranger from their Meetings and Councils. 2. My incapacity of Speaking to many, because Soldiers Quarters are scattered far from one another, and I could be but in one Place at once. So that one Troop at a time ordinarily, and some few more extraordinarily was all that I could speak too: The most of the Service I did beyond Whalley's Regiment, was (by the help of Capt. Lawrence) with some of the General's Regiment, and sometimes I had Converse with Major Harrison and some others: But I found that if the Army had but had Ministers enough, that would have done but such a little as I did, all their Plot might have been broken, and King, Parliament, and Religion might have been preserved: Therefore I sent abroad to get some more Ministers among them, but I could get none. Saltmarsh and Dell were the two great Preachers at the Head Quarters; on­ly honest and judicious Mr. Edward Bowles kept still with the General. At last I got Mr. Cook of Roxhall to come to assist me; and the soberer part of the Officers and Soldiers of Whalley's Regiment were willing to pay him out of their own pay: And a Month or two he stayed and assisted me; but was quickly weary, and left [Page 57] them again: He was a very worthy, humble, laborious Man, unwearid in preach­ing, but weary when he had not opportunity to preach, and weary of the Spirits he had to deal with.

§ 82. All this while, though I came not near Cromwell, his Designs were visible, and I saw him continually acting his part. The Lord General suffered him to go­vern and do all, and to choose almost all the Officers of the Army. He first made Ireton Commissary General; and when any Troop or Company was to be disposed of, or any considerable Officer's place was void, he was sure to put a Sectary in the place; and when the brunt of the War was over, he lookt not so much at their Valour as their Opinions: So that by degrees he had headed the greatest part of the Army with Anabaptists, Antinomians, Seekers, or Separatists at best: and all these he tied together by the point of Liberty of Conscience, which was the Common Interest in which they did unite. Yet all the sober Party were carried on by his Profession that he only promoted the Universal Interest of the Godly, without a­ny distinction or partiality at all: But still when a place fell void, it was Twenty to one a Sectary had it, and if a Godly Man of any other Mind or temper had a mind to leave the Army, he would secretly or openly further it. Yet did he not openly profess what Opinion he was of himself: But the most that he said for any was for Anabaptism and Antinomianism, which he usually seemed to own. And Harrison (who was then great with him) was for the same Opinions. He would not Dispute (with me) at all, but he would in good Discourse very fluently pour out himself, in the Extolling of Freegrace, which was savoury to those that had right Principles, though he had some misunderstandings of Freegrace himself. He was a Man of excellent Natural Parts for Affection and Oratory; but not well seen in the Principles of his Religion: Of a Sanguine Complexion, naturally of such a vivacity, hilarity and alacrity as another man hath when he hath drunken a Cup too much; but naturally also so far from humble Thoughts of himself, that it was his ruine.

§ 83. All these two Years that I was in the Army, even my old bosom Friend, that had lived in my House, and been dearest to me, Iames Berry, (then Captain, and after Colonel and Major General, and Lord of the Upper House) who had formerly invited me to Cromwell's old Troop, did never once invite me to the Ar­my at first, nor invite me to his Quarters after, nor never once came to visit me, nor saw me save twice or thrice that we met accidently: so potent is the Interest of our selves and our Opinions with us, against all other Bonds whatever: He that forsaketh himself in forsaking his own Opinions, may well be expected to forsake his Friend, who adhereth to the way which he forsaketh: and that Change which maketh him think he was himself an ignorant, misguided man before, must needs make him think his Friend to be still ignorant and misguided, and value him ac­cordingly. He was a Man, I verily think, of great Sincerity before the Wars, and of very good Natural Parts, especially Mathematical and Mechanical; and affecti­onate in Religion, and while conversant with humbling Providences, Doctrines and Company, he carried himself as a very great Enemy to Pride: But when Crom­well made him his Favourite, and his extraordinary Valour was crowned with ex­traordinary Success, and when he had been a while most conversant with those that in Religion thought the old Puritan Ministers were dull, self-conceited, Men of a lower form, and that new Light had declared I know not what to be a higher at­tainment, his Mind, his Aim, his Talk and all was altered accordingly. And as Ministers of the old way were lower, and Sectaries much higher in his esteem than formerly, so he was much higher in his own Esteem when he thought he had at­tained much higher, than he was before when he sate with his Fellows in the Common Form. Being never well studied in the Body of Divinity or Contro­versie, but taking his Light among the Sectaries, before the Light which longer and patient Studies of Divinity should have prepossest him with, he lived after as honestly as could be expected in one that taketh Errour for Truth, and Evil to be Good.

After this he was President of the Agitators, and after that Major General and Lord as aforesaid: And after that a principal Person in the Changes, and the prin­cipal Executioner in pulling down Richard Cromwell; and then was one of the Governing Council of State. And all this was promoted by the misunderstanding of Providence, while he verily thought that God, by their Victories, had so called them to look after the Government of the Land, and so entrusted them with the welfare of all his People here, that they were responsible for it, and might not in Con­science [Page 58] stand still while any thing was done which they thought was against that Interest which they judged to be the Interest of the People of God.

And as he was the Chief in pulling down, he was one of the first that fell: For Sir Arthur Haselrigg taking Portsmouth (of which more hereafter) his Regiment of Horse sent to block it up, went most of them into Sir Arthur Haselrigg. And when the Army was melted to nothing, and the King ready to come in, the Council of State imprisoned him, because he would not promise to live peaceably; and af­terwards he (being one of the four whom General Monk had the worst thoughts of) was closely consin'd in Scarborough Castle: but being released he became a Gardiner, and lived in a safer state than in all his Greatness.

§ 84. When Worcester Siege was over, (having with Joy seen Kidderminster and my Friends there once again), the Country being now cheared, my old Flock ex­pected that I should return to them, and settle in Peace among them.

I went to Coventry, and called the Ministers again together who had voted me into the Army: I told them [‘That the forsaking of the Army by the old Mini­sters, and the neglect of Supplying their Places by others, had undone us: that I had laboured among them with as much Success as could be expected in the narrow sphere of my Capacity: but that signified little to all the Army! That the Active Sectaries were the smallest part of the Army among the Common Soldi­ers, but Cromwell had lately put so many of them into Superiour Command, and their Industry was so much greater than others, that they were like to have their Will: That whatever obedience they pretended, I doubted not but they would pull down all that stood in their way, in State and Church, both King, Parlia­ment and Ministers, and set up themselves. I told them that for this little that I have done I have ventured my Life, and weakened my Body (weak before): but the Day which I expected is yet to come and the greatest Service with the Greatest Hazard is yet before. The Wars being now ended, I was confident they would shortly shew their purposes, and set up for themselves: And when that day came, for all that are true to King, Parliament, and Religion then to appear if there be any hope by contradicting them or drawing off the Soldiers from them, was all the Service that was yet possible to be done: That I was like to do no great matter in such an Attempt; but there being so many in the Army of my mind, I knew not what might he till the Day should discover it: Though I knew it was the greatest hazard of my Life, my Judgment was for staying among them till the Crisis, if their Judgment did concur’]. Whereupon they all voted me to go, and leave Kidderminster yet longer, which accordingly I did.

§ 85. From Worcester I went to London to Sir Theodore Mayern, about my health: He sent me to Tunbridge Wells, and after some stay there to my benefit, I went back to London, and so to my Quarters in Worcestershire where the Regiment was.

My Quarters fell out to be at Sir Tho. Rous at Rous's Lench, where I had never been before: The Lady Rous was a godly, grave, understanding Woman, and en­tertained me not as a Soldier but a Friend. From thence I went into Leicestershire, Staffordshire, and at last into Derbyshire. One advantage by this moving Life I had, that I had opportunity to preach in many Countreys and Parishes; and whatever came of it afterward, I know not; but at the present they commonly seemed to be much affected.

I came to our Major Swallow's Quarters at Sir Iohn Cook's House at Melbourn in the edge of Darbyshire, beyond A [...]hby de la Zouch, in a cold and snowy Season: and the cold, together with other things coincident, set my Nose on bleeding. When I had bled about a quart or two, I opened four Veins, but it did no good. I used divers other Remedies for several days to little purpose; at last I gave my self a Purge, which stopt it. This so much weakened me and altered my Complexion, that my Acquaintance who came to visit me scarce knew me. Coming after so long weakness, and frequent loss of Blood before, it made the Physicians conclude me deplorate after it was stopped; supposing I would never escape a Dropsy.

And thus God unavoidably prevented all the Effect of my purposes in my last and chiefest Opposition of the Army; and took me off the very time when my Attempt should have begun: My purpose was to have done my best first to take off that Regiment which I was with, and then with Capt. Lawrence to have tried up­on the Generals (in which two was Cromwell's chief Confidents) and then have joyned with others of the same, mind (for the other Regiments were much less [Page 59] Corrupted). But the Determination of God against it was most observable: For the very time that I was bleeding the Council of War sate at Nottingham, where (as I have credibly heard) they first began to open their Purposes and act their Part: and presently after they entered into their Engagement at Triploe-Heath. And as I perceived it was the Will of God to permit them to go on, so I afterward found that this great Affiction was a Mercy to my self; for they were so strong and a­ctive, that I had been likely to have had small Success in the Attempt, but to have lost my Life among them in their Fury. And thus I was finally separated from the Army.

§ 86. When I had stayed at Melbourn in my Chamber three Weeks (being a­mong Strangers, and not knowing how to get home) I went to Mr. Nowell's house at Kirby-Mallory in Leicestershire, where with great Kindness I was entertained three Weeks: By that time the Tidings of my Weakness came to the Lady Rous in Wor­cestershire, who sent her Servant to seek me out; and when he returned, and told her I was far off, and he could not find me, she sent him again to find me, and bring me thither if I were able to travel: And in great weakness, thither I made shift to get, where I was entertained with the greatest Care and Tenderness, while I continued the use of means for my Recovery: and when I had been there a quar­ter of a Year, I returned to Kidderminster.

§ 87. When I was gone from the Army, the Parliament was most Solicitous how to keep them from Tumults and Disobedience: But Sir Henry Vane with his Party secretly confederated with them, to weaken all others, and to strengthen the Secta­ries: Whereupon they procured the House to Disband both Major General Mas­sey's Brigade, and all other Field Soldiers, and the honest County Forces and Gar­risons of most Places, which among them had sober Men enow to have resisted them. This was the successfullest Act that was done for their Designs: for now they had little fear of Opposition.

The Design of Vane and Cromwell now was not only to keep up an Army of Sectaries, when the Sober Party were Disbanded, but also to force the Parliament to their mind, and moddel it so as that they should do their work: (which I had foretold some Parliament Men of long before): One of the Principal Engines in this Contrivance was, to provoke the Parliament to pass such Votes as the Army would be most displeased with, and then to stir up the Army to the deepest Re­sentment of it. Accordingly the Parliament voted that part of the Army should go to Ireland, and part be disbanded, and part continued. The Leaders in the Ar­my incensed the Soldiers, by perswading them that this was to deprive them of their Pay, and to divide them, and when they had them at home again to ruine them as Sectaries, and this was the Reward of all their Services. Whereupon at Triploe-Heath they entered into an Engagement to stick together, &c. and were drawing up a Declaration of their Grievances; (the aggravating of supposed In­juries being the way to raise Mutinies, and make use of Factions for Seditious Ends) Quarter-Master General Fincher acquainteth Sir William Waller with their Design, (who with others was sent to the Army) and Col. Edward Harley (Member of the Parliament and of the Army) acquainteth the House with it. Cromwell being in the House doth with vehemency deny it; and said it was a Slander, raised to discompose the Army by discontenting them, and undertook that they should all lay down their Arms at the Parliaments Feet, and for his own part, protesting his Submission and Obedience to them. And this he did when he was Confederate with them, and knew of the Paper which they were drawing up, and confest it after when the Copy of it was produced, and presently went among them, and headed them in their Rebellion. In short, he and his Cabal so heightned the Dis­contents, and carried on the New Confederate Army, that the Parliament was fain to Command all that were faithful to forsake them, and offer them their Pay to encourage them thereto: Commissary General Fincher, and Major Alsop, and Ma­jor Huntington, and many more with a considerable number of Soldiers came off: But being not enow to make a Body to resist them, it proved a great Addition to their strength: For now all that were against them being gone, they filled up their Places with Men of their own Mind, and so were ever after the more unani­mous.

§ 88. Upon this Cromwell and his Obedient Lambs (as he called them) advanced in the Prosecution of their Design, and drew nearer London, and drew up an Im­peachment against Eleven Members of the Parliament, forsooth accusing them of Treason; viz. Sir Philip St [...]pleton, Sir William Lewis, Col. Hollis, Sir Iohn May­nard, Mr. Glyn, &c. and among the rest Col. Edward Harley (a sober and truly [Page 60] religious Man, the worthy Son of a most pious Father, Sir Robert Harley). And when thereby they had forced the House to seclude them as under Accusation, they let fall their Suit, and never prosecuted them, nor proved them Guilty.

Thus begun that Pride to break forth into Rebellion, which grew up from Suc­cesses in impotent Minds, not able to conquer so great a Temptation as their Con­quests. When they had cast out these Members, they thought that the House would have done as they would have had them, and been awed into Obedience, but still they continued to cross them, and came not up to the Conformity expe­cted. A while after the City seemed to take Courage, and would defend the Par­liament against the Army, and under Major General Massey and Major General Pointz they would put themseves into a Military posture: But the Army made haste, and were upon them before they were well resolved what to do, and the hearts of the Citizens failed them, and were divided, and they submitted to the Army, and let them enter the City in triumph. Whereupon Massey and Hollis, and others of the accused Members fled into France, of whom Sir Philip Stapleton died of the Plague near Calice; and now the Army promised themselves an obe­dient Parliament; but yet they were not to their mind.

§ 89. Here I must look back to the Course and Affairs of the King; who at the Siege of Oxford, having no Army left, and knowing that the Scots had more Loy­alty and Stability in their Principles than the Sectaries, resolved to cast himself upon them, and so escaped to their Army in the North. The Scots were very much troubled at this Honour that was cast upon them: for they knew not what to do with the King. To send him back to the English Parliament seemed unfaith­fulness, when he had cast himself upon them: To keep him they knew would di­vide the Kingdoms, and draw a War upon themselves from England; whom now they knew themselves unable to resist. They kept him awhile among them with honourable Entertainment, till the Parliament sent for him; and they saw that the Sectaries and the Army were glad of it, as an occasion to make them odious, and to invade their Land. And so the terrour of the Conquering Army made them deliver him to the Parliaments Commissioners upon two Conditions: 1. That they should promise to preserve his Person in Safety and Honour, according to the Duty which they owed him by their Allegiance. 2. That they should pre­sently pay the Scots Army one half the Pay which was due to them for their Ser­vice, (which had been long unpaid to make them odious to the Country where they quartered).

Hereupon the King being delivered to the Parliament, they appointed Colonel Richard Greaves, Major General Richard Brown, with others to be his Attendants, and desired him to abide awhile at Homeby-House in Northamptonshire, While he was here the Army was hatching their Conspiracy: And on the sudden one Cornet Ioyce, with a party of Soldiers, fetcht away the King, notwithstanding the Par­liaments Order for his Security: And this was done as if it had been against Crom­well's Will, and without any Order or Consent of theirs: But so far was he from losing his Head for such a Treason, that it proved the means of his Pre [...]erment. And so far was Cromwell and his Soldiers from returning the King in Safety, that they detained him among them, and kept him with them, till they came to Hamp­ton Court, and there they lodged him under the Guard of Col. Whalley, the Army quarterring all about him. While he was here the mutable Hypocrites first pre­tended an extraordinary Care of the King's Honour, Liberty, Safety and Con­science. They blamed the Austerity of the Parliament, who had denied him the Attendance of his own Chaplains; and of his Friends in whom he took most pleasure: They gave Liberty for his Friends and Chaplains to come to him: They pretended that they would save him from the Incivilities of the Parliament and Presbyterians. Whether this were while they tried what Terms they could make with him for themselves, or while they acted any other part; it is certain that the King's old Adherents began to extol the Army, and to speak against the Pres­byterians more distastfully than before. When the Parliament offered the King Propositions for Concord, (which Vane's Faction made as high and unreasonable as they could, that they might come to nothing) the Army forsooth offer him Proposals of their own, which the King liked better: But which of them to treat with he did not know. At last on the sudden the Judgment of the Army chang­ed, and they began to cry for Iustice against the King, and with vile Hypocrisie, to publish their Repentance, and cry God Mercy for their Kindness to the King, and confess that they were under a Temptation: But in all this Cromwell and Ireton, and the rest of the Council of War appeared not: The Instruments of all this Work must [Page 61] be the Common Soldiers, Two of the most violent Sectaries in each Regiment are chosen by the Common Soldiers, by the Name of Agitators, to represent the rest in these great Affairs. All these together made a Council, of which Col. Iames Berry was the President, that they might be used, ruled and dissolved at pleasure. No man that knew them will doubt whether this was done by Cromwell's and Ireton's Direction. This Council of Agitators take not only the Parliaments Work upon themselves, but much more: They draw up a Paper called The Agreement of the People, as the Model or Form of a New Commonwealth. They have their own Printer, and publish abundance of wild Pamphlets, as changeable as the Moon: the thing contrived was an Heretical Democracy. When Cromwell had awhile permitted them thus to play themselves, partly to please them, and confirm them to him, and chiefly to use them in his demolishing Work, at last he seemeth to be so much for Order and Government, as to blame them for their Disorder, Pre­sumption and Headiness, as if they had done it without his Consent. This em­boldeneth the Parliament (not to Censure them as Rebels, but) to rebuke them and prohibit them, and claim their own Superiority: And while the Parliament and the Agitators are contending, a Letter is secretly sent to Col. Whalley, to intimate that the Agitators had a design suddenly to surprize and murder the King. Some think that this was sent from a real Friend; but most think it was contrived by Cromwell to affright the King out of the Land, or into some desperate Course which might give them Advantage against him. Collonel Whalley sheweth the Letter to the King, which put him into much fear of such ill governed Hands: so that he secretly got Horses and slipt away towards the Sea with two of his Con­fidents only; who coming to the Sea near Southampton, found that they were dis­appointed of the Vessel expected to transport them; and so were fain to pass over into the Isle of Wight, and there to commit his Majesty to the Trust of Collonel Robert Hammond who was Governor of a Castle there: A Day or two all were amazed to think what was become of the King; and then a Letter from the King to the House acquainted them that he was fain to fly thither from the Cruelty of the Agitators, who, as he was informed thought to murder him; and urging them to treat about the ending all these Troubles. But here Cromwell had the King in a Pinfold, and was more secure of him than before.

§ 90. The Parliament and the Scots, and all that were loyal and soberminded abhorred these traiterous Proceedings of Cromwell and the sectarian Army; but saw it a Matter of great difficulty to resist them: but the Conscience of their Oath of Allegiance and Covenant, told them that they were bound to hazard their Lives in the attempt.

The three Commanders for the Parliament in Pembrookshire raised an Army against them, viz. Major General Langhorn, Collonel Powel, and Collonel Poyer: The Scots raised a great Army under the Command of the Duke of Hamilton: The Kentish Men rose under the Command of the Lord Goring and others: and the Es­sex Men under Sir Charles Lucas: But God's time was not come, and the Spirit of Pride and Schism must be known to the World by its Effects. Duke Hamilton's Army was easily routed in Lancashire, and he taken, and the scattered Parts pur­sued till they came to nothing: Langhorn with the Pembrookshire Men was totally routed by Collonel Horton, and all the chief Commanders being taken Prisoners, it fell to Collonel Poyer's Lot to be shot to Death: The Kentish Men were driven out of Kent into Essex, being foiled at Maidstone: And in Colchester they endured a long and grievous Siege, and yielding at last, Sir Charles Lucas, and another or two were shot to Death, and thus all the Succors of the King were defeated.

§ 91. Never to this time, when Cromwell had taught his Agitators to govern, and could not easily unteach it them again, there arose a Party who adhered to the Principles of their [agreement of the People] which suited not with his Designs: And to make them odious he denominated them Levellers, as if they intended to level Men of all Qualities and Estates; while he discountenanced them, he discon­tented them; and being discontented, they endeavoured to discontent the Army; and at last appointed a Randezvouz at Burford to make Head against him. But Cromwell (whose Diligence and Dispatch was a great Cause of his Successes) had presently his Brother Desborough, and some other Regiments ready to surprise them there in their Quarters, before they could get their Numbers together: So that about 1500 being scattered and taken, and some slain, the Levellers War was crusht in the Egg, and Thompson (one of Captain Pitchford's Corporals aforemen­tioned) who became their chief Leader, was pursued near Wielingborough in Northamptonshire, and there slain while he defended himself.

[Page 62]§ 92. As I have past over many Battles, Sieges, and great Actions of the Wars, as not belonging to my purpose; so I have passed over Cromwell's March into Scot­land to help the Covenanters when Montross was too strong for them, and I shall pass over his Transportation into Ireland, and his speedy Conquest of the remaining For­ces and Fortresses of that Kingdom, his taking the Isles of Man, of Iersey, Garnsey, and Scilly, and such other of his Successes, and speak only in brief of what he did to the change of the Government, and to the exalting of himself and of his Confidents. And I will pass over the Londoners Petitions for the King, and their Carriage to­wards the House, which looked like a force, and exasperated them so, that the Speakers of both Houses, the Earl of Manchester and Mr. Lenthall, did with the greater part of the present Members, go forth to Cromwell, and make some kind of Confederacy with the Army, and took them for their Protectors against the Citizens. Also their votings and unvoting in these Cases, &c.

§ 93. The King being at the Isle of Wight, the Parliament sent him some Pro­positions to be consented to in order to his Restoration: The King granted many of them, and some he granted not: The Scottish Commissioners thought the Con­ditions more dishonourable to the King, than was consistant with their Covenant and Duty, and protested against them; for which the Parliament blamed them as hinderers of the desired Peace. The chiefest thing which the King stuck at, was, the utter abolishing of Episcopacy, and alienating theirs and the Dean and Chapters Lands. Hereupon, with the Commissioners certain Divines were sent down to satisfie the King, viz. Mr. Steph. Marshall, Mr. Rich. Vines, Dr. Lazarus Seaman, &c. who were met by many of the King's Divines, Archbishop Usher, Dr. Hammond, Dr. Sheldon, &c. The Debates here being in Writing were published, and each Party thought they had the better, and the Parliaments Divines came off with great Honour: But for my part, I confess these two things against them, though Persons whom I highly honoured:

1. That they seem not to me to have answered satisfactorily to the main Ar­gument fetcht from the Apostles own Government, with which Saravia had incli­ned me to some Episcopacy before; though Miracles and Infallibility were Apo­stolical temporary Priviledges; yet Church Government is an ordinary thing to be continued: And therefore as the Apostles had Successors as they were Preach­ers, I see not but that they must have Successors as Church Governors: And it seemeth unlikely to me, that Christ should settle a Form of Government in his Church, which was to continue but for one Age, and then to be transformed into another Species. Could I be sure what was the Government in the Days of the Apostles themselves, I should be satisfied what should be the Government now.

2. They seem not to me to have taken the Course which should have setled these distracted Churches: Instead of disputing against all Episcopacy, they should have changed Diocesan Prelacy into such an Episcopacy as the Conscience of the King might have admitted, and as was agreeable to that which the Church had in the two or three first Ages. I confess, Mr. Vines wrote to me as their excuse in this and other Matters of the Assembly, that the Parliament tied them up from treat­ing or disputing of any thing at all, but what they appointed or proposed to them: But I think plain dealing with such Leaders had been best, and to have told them this is our Iudgment, and in the matters of God and his Church we will serve you according to our Judgment, or not at all. (But indeed if they were not of one Mind among themselves, this could not be expected).

Archbishop Usher there took the rightest course, who offered the King his Reduction of Episcopacy to the form of Presbytery: And he told me himself, that before the King had refused it, but at the Isle of Wight he accepted it, and as he would not when others would, so others would not when he would: And when our present King Charles II. came in, we tendered it for Union to him, and then he would not: And thus the true moderate healing terms are always rejected by them that stand on the higher Ground, though accepted by them that are lower and cannot have what they will: From whence it is easy to perceive, whether Prosperity or Adversity, the Highest, or the Lowest, be ordinarily the greater Hinderer of the Churches Unity and Peace. I know that if the Divines and Parliament had agreed for a moderate Episcopacy with the King, some Presbyterians of Scotland would have been against it, and many Independants of England, and the Army would have made i [...] the matter of odious Accusations and Clamours: But all this had been of no great regard to remove foreseeing judicious Men from those heal­ing Counsels which must close our Wounds whenever they are closed.

[Page 63]§ 94. The King sending his final Answers to the Parliament, the Parliament had a long Debate upon them, whether to acquiesce in them as a sufficient Ground for Peace; and many Members spake for resting in them, and among others Mr. Prin went over all the King's Conscessions in a Speech of divers Hours long, with marvellous Memory, and shewed the Satisfactoriness of them all, (and after printed it:) So that the House voted that the King's Concessions were a sufficient Ground for a Personal Treaty with him; and had suddenly sent a concluding An­swer, and sent for him up, but at such a Crisis it was time for the Army to bes [...]ir them: Without any more ado Cromwell and his Confidents send Collonel Pride with a Party of Souldiers to the House, and set a Guard upon the Door; one Part of the House (who were for them) they let in; another part they turned away, and told them that they must not come there; and the third part they imprisoned (the soberest worthy Members of the House); and all to prevent them from be­ing true to their Oaths and Covenants, and loyal to their King: To so much Re­bellion, Perfideousness, Perjury and Impudence, can Error, Selfishness and Pride of great Successes, transport Men of the highest Pretences to Religion.

§ 95. For the true understanding of all this, it must be remembred, that though in the beginning of the Parliament there was scarce a noted gross Sectary known, but the Lord Brook in the House of Peers, and young sir Henry Vane in the House of Commons; yet by Degrees the Number of them increased in the Lower House; Major Sallowey and some few more Sir Henry Vane had made his own Adherents: Many more were carried part of the way, to Independency, and Liberty of Reli­gions; and many that minded not any side in Religion, did think that it was no Po­licie ever to trust a conquered King, and therefore were wholly for a Parliamentary Government: Of these some would have Lords and Commons as a mixture of Aristocracie and Democracie, and others would have Commons and Democracie alone; and some thought that they ought to judge the King for all the Blood that had been shed. And thus when the two Parts of the House were ejected and im­prisoned, this third part composed of the Vanists, the Independants, and other Sects, with the Democratical Party, was left by Cromwell to do his Business under the Name of the Parliament of England; but by the People in Scorn commonly called, The Rump of the Parliament. The secluded and imprisoned Members published a Writing called, their Vindication; and some of them would afterwards have thrust into the House, but the Guard of Soldiers kept them out, and the Rump were called the Honest Men. And these are the Men that henceforward we have to do with in the Progress of our History, as called, The Parliament.

§ 96. As the Lords were disaffected to these Proceedings, so were the Rump and Soldiers to the Lords: So that they passed a Vote (supposing that the Army would stand by them) to establish the Government without a King and House of Lords; and so the Lords dissolved, and these Commons sat and did all alone. And being deluded by Cromwell, and verily thinking that he would be for Democracie, which they called a Commonwealth, they gratified him in his Designs, and them­selves in their disloyal Distrusts and Fears; and they caused a High Court of Ju­stice to be erected, and sent for the King from the Isle of Wight: Collonel Ham­mond delivered him, and to Westminster-Hall he came, and refusing to own the Court and their Power to try him, Cook as Attorney having pleaded against him, Bradshaw as President and Judge recited the Charge and condemned him:An. 1648 And be­fore his own Gate at Whitehall they erected a Scaffold, and before a full Assembly of People beheaded him: Wherein appeared the Severity of God, the Mutability and Uncertainty of Worldly Things, and the Fruits of a sinful Nation's Provoca­tions, and the infamous Effects of Error, Pride and Selfishness, prepared by Sa­tan to be charged hereafter upon Reformation and Godliness, to the unspeakable Injury of the Christian Name and Protestant Cause, the Rejoicing and Advantage of the Papists, the Hardning of Thousands against the Means of their own Sal­vation, and the Confusion of the Actors when their Day is come.

§ 97. The Lord General Fairfax all this while stood by, and, with high Resent­ment, saw his Lieutenant do all this by tumultuous Souldiers, tricked and over-powered by him; neither being sufficiently upon his Guard to defeat the Intreagues of such an Actor; nor having Resolution enough (as yet) to lay down the Glo­ry of all his Conquests and for sake him: But at the King's Death he was in won­derful Perplexities, and when Mr. Colomy and some Ministers were sent for to re­solve him, and would have farther persuaded him to rescue the King, his Troubles so confounded him, that they durst let no Man speak to him: And Cromwell kept him (as it was said) in praying and consulting till the Stroke was given, [Page 64] and it was too late to make Resistance. But not long after, when War was deter­mined against Scotland, he laid down his Commission, and never had to do with the Army more, and Cromwell was General in his stead.

§ 98. If you ask what did the Ministers all this while; I answer, they Preach'd and Pray'd against Disloyalty: They drew up a Writing to the Lord General, de­claring their Abhorrence of all Violence against the Person of the King, and urg­ing him and his Army to take heed of such an unlawful Act: They present it to the General when they saw the King in Danger: But Pride prevailed against their Counsels.

§ 99. The King being thus taken out of the way,An. 1649 Cromwell takes on him to be for a Commonwealth (but all in order to the Security of the good People) till he had removed the other Impediments which were yet to be removed: so that the Rump presently drew up a Form of Engagement, to be put upon all Men, viz. [I do promise to be True and Faithful to the Commonwealth as it is now established with­out a King or House of Lords.] So we must take the Rump for an established Com­monwealth, and promise Fidelity to them. This the Sectarian Party swallowed easily, and so did the King's old Cavaliers, so far as I was acquainted with them, or could hear of them (not heartily, no doubt, but they were very few of them sick of the Disease called tenderness of Conscience, or Scrupulosity: But the Pres­byterians, and the moderate Episcopal Men refused it, (and I believe so did the Prelatical Divines of the King's Party for the most part; though the Gentlemen had greater Necessities.) Without this Engagement no Man must have the Benefit of suing another at Law (which kept Men a little from Contention, and would have marr'd the Lawyers trade); nor must they have any Masterships in the Univer­sities, nor travel above so many Miles from their Houses, and more such Penalties, which I remember not (so short Lived a Commonwealth deserved no long Re­membrance): Mr. Vines and Dr. Rainbow, and many more were hereupon put out of their Headships in the Universities, and Mr. Sidrach Sympson, and Mr. Io. Sadler, and such others put in; yea, such a Man as Mr. Dell, the Chaplain of the Army, who, I think, neither understood himself, nor was understood by others any farther than to be one, who took Reason, Sound Doctrine, Order and Concord to be the intollerable Maladies of Church and State, because they were the great­est Strangers to his Mind. But poor Dr. Edward Reignolds had the hardest Measure; for when he refused to take the Engagement, his Place was forfeited; and after­wards they drew him to take it, in hopes to keep his Place, (which was no less than the Deanarie of Christ's-Church) and then turned him out of all, and offered his Place to Mr. Ios. Caryll; but he refusing it, it was conferred on Dr. Owen, to whom it was continued from year to year.

And because the Presbyterians still urged the Covenant against killing the King,Mr. Eaton wrote a Book to prove that the Oath of Allegiance nor the Co­venant bind not. and pulling down the Parliament, and setting up a Commonwealth, and taking the Engagement, some of the Independent Brethren maintained, that its Obli­gation ceased, because it was a League, and the Occasion of it ceased: And some of the Rump said it was like an Almanack out of date; and some of the Souldiers said they never took it; and others of them railed at it as a Scottish Snare: So that when their Interest would not suffer them to keep so solemn a Vow, their Wills would not suffer their Judgments to confess it to be Obligatory, at least, as to the part which they must violate.

§ 100. For my own part, though I kept the Town and Parish of Kiderminster from taking the Covenant (and seeing how it might become a Snare to their Con­sciences) yea, and most of Worcestershire besides, by keeping the Ministers from offering it in any of the Congregations to the People (except in Worcester City, where I had no great Interest, and know not what they did); yet I could not judge it seemly for him that believed there is a God, to play fast and loose with a dreadful Oath, as if the Bonds of National and Personal Vows were as easily shak'd off as Sampson's Cords.

Therefore I spake and preach'd against the Engagement, and dissuaded Men from taking it: The first hour that I heard of it, being in Company with some Gentlemen of Worcestershire, I presently wrote down above twenty Queries against it, intending as many more almost against the Obligation, as those were about the Sense and Circumstances: And one that was present got the Copy of them, and shortly after, I met with them verbatim in a Book of Mr. Henry Hall's as his own: (one that was long imprisoned for writing against Cromwell.)

[Page 65]Some Episcopal Divines that were not so scrupulous it seems as we, did write for it (private Manuscripts which I have seen) and plead the irresistability of the Imposers, and they found starting holes in the Terms, viz. That by the Common­wealth they will mean the present Commonwealth in genere, and by [Established] they will mean only de facto, and not de jure, and by [without a King, &c.] they mean not quatenus but Etsi; and that only de facto pro tempore; q. d. I will be true to the Government of England, though at the present the King and House of Lords are put out of the Exercise of their power]. These were the Expositions of many Episcopal Men, and others that took it: But I endeavoured to evince, that this is meer jugling and jesting with Matters too great to be jested with: And that as they might easily know that the Imposers had another sense, so as easily might they know that the words in their own obvious usual sense among men, must be taken as the Promise or Engagement of a Subject as such to a Form of Govern­ment now pretended to be established: And that the Subjects Allegiance or Fideli­ty to his Rulers can be acknowledged and given in no plainer words: And that by such Interpretations and Stretchings of Conscience, any Treasonable Oath or Pro­mise may be taken, and no Bonds of Society can signifie much with such Inter­preters.

§ 101. England and Ireland being thus Conquered by Cromwell, (by deluding well-meaning Men into his Service, and covering his Ambition with the Lord Fairfax's Generalship); the Parliament being imprisoned and cast out, the King cut off, and the Rump established as a new Commonwealth, (those great and solid Men, Pim, Hampden, &c. being long before dead and rid out of his way, who else had been like to have prevailed against the Plots of Vane in the Parliament) you would think there were nothing now standing in his way, to hinder him from laying hands upon the Crown. But four Impediments yet stood before him: 1. The nu­merous Cavaliers (or Royalists) ready for new Enterprizes against him. 2. The Scots, who resolved to stick to the Covenant and the King. 3. The Army, which must be untaught all the Principles which he is now permitting them to learn: (For those Principles which must bring him to the Crown, are the worst in the World for him when once he is there). 4. The Ministers of England and Scotland, and all the sober People who regarded them.

The first of these he most easily (though not without strugling) overcame, ma­king his advantage by all their Enterprizes. The second put him harder to it, but he overcame them at last. The third proved yet a greater difficulty, but he seem­ed absolutely to overcome it, yet leaving still some Life in the root. The fourth strove against him more calmly and prudently, with invincible Weapons, and though they were quiet, were never overcome; but at last revived the spark of Life which was left in the third, and thereby gave a Resurrection to the first and second, and so recovered all at last; not to the state of their own Interest, or to that Condition of Church Affairs which they desired, but to that Civil State of Royal Government to which they were engaged, and from which the Nation seem­ed to have fallen.

These are the true Contents of the following parts that were acted in these Lands: The Rump I might mention as another of his Impediments, but as they now were doing his work, so I conjoyn the Relicts of them which then disturbed him, with the Army who were the strength by which they did it.

§ 102. The King being dead, his Son was by right immediately King, (and from that time he dateth his Reign.) The Scots send Messengers to him to come over to them and take the Crown: But they treat with him first for his taking of the Co­venant; and renouncing the Wars, and the Blood that was shed in them by his Fa­thers Party. By which I perceive that the Scots understood the Clause in the Co­venant of [Defending the King's Person and Authority in the Defence of the true Religion and the Liberties of the Kingdom] otherwise than we did: For as they extended the word [true Religion] further than we did (including the Form of Church Go­vernment in Scotland) so they seem to understand it Conjunctione inseparabili; and to prefer the Defence of Religion before the Defence of the King: whereas we understood it Conjunctione seperabili; and though in meer estimation we preferred Re­ligion before King or Kingdom, yet in regard of the Duty of Defence, we thought the King must be restored and defended, though (legally) he would have brought in worse than Prelacy: Though we did not think that he might do it illegally; and therefore that he could not govern Arbitrarily, nor take away the Peoples fore-prized Propriety or Liberty, nor change the Form of the Government of the Commonwealth.

[Page 66]But those that thought otherwise, said, That there is no power but from God, and therefore none against him or above him; and therefore none against or above his Laws]: which how true soever, seemeth not at all to decide our Case: For though it follow never so much that such Acts against God are not Acts of Au­thority, yet the same Person that hath not Authority to do this, may have Autho­rity in other matters, and may be our rightful Governour, and therefore must be obeyed in all things lawful, (though not in this;) and his Person defended. And therefore how they could refuse to receive the King, till he consented to take the Covenant, I know not: unless the taking of the Covenant had been a Condition on which he was to receive his Crown by the Laws or Fundamental Constitution of the Kingdom (which none pretendeth). Nor know I by what power they can add any thing to the Coronation Oath or Covenant, which by his Ancestors was to be taken, without his own Consent. But in their Zeal for the Church, the Scots did cause the King, when he was come over to them, not only (mutat is mutandis) to take the Covenant, but also to publish a Declaration to the World, that he did it voluntarily and heartily, and that he lamented the Sins of his Father's House, ac­knowledging the Guilt of the Blood of the late Wars, &c.] In all which it seem­ed to me and many others that they miscarried divers ways: 1. In imposing Laws upon their King, for which they had no Authority. 2. In forcing him to disho­nour the Memory of his Father, by such Consessions. 3. In tempting him to speak and publish that which they might easily know was contrary to his heart, and so to take God's Name in vain. 4. And in giving Cromwell occasion to charge them all with dissimulation.

§ 103. What Transactions there were between the King and the Scots for the Ex­pediting of his Coronation, and what Preparations were made for an Army to de­fend him, and what Differences among the Parties hereabouts, I shall not describe, there being enow of them that were upon the place who can do it better: But to return to England, as soon as they understood what the Scots had done, the Secta­ries in England reproached them as Fools and Hypocrites, that by such a Pageantry mockt themselves, and would make the People believe that the King was turned Presbyterian, and was a Cordial Covenanter, when they had forced him to say and do that which they might well know he did abhor. And they presently re­solve to invade the Scots, to keep them from invading England, and not to stay till they came in upon this Land, as heretofore. So that Cromwell is in Scotland with his Army before they were well setled in their Affairs. This much increased the alienation of the Peoples hearts from the Cromwellians: for though they might sup­pose that the Scots intended to bring the King into England, yet few believed that he might begin with them by an Invasion, it being too much to have resisted them at home.

§ 104. When the Soldiers were going against the King and Scots, I wrote Letters to some of them to tell them of their Sin, and desired them at last to begin to know themselves: it being those same men that have so much boasted of Love to all the Godly, and pleaded for tender dealing with them, and condemned those that per­secuted them or restrained their Liberty, who are now ready to imbrue their Swords in the Blood of such as they acknowledge to be Godly, and all because they dare not be perjured or disloyal as they are. Some of them were startled at these Letters, and (O blindness!) thought me an uncharitable Censurer that would say that they could kill the Godly, even when they were on their march to do it: For how bad soever they spake of the Cavaliers, (and not without too much desert as to their Morals) they confessed that abundance of the Scots were godly Men. And afterward those that I wrote to better understood me.

§ 105. At the same time the Rump (or Commonwealth) who so much abhor­red Persecution, and were for Liberty of Conscience, made an Order that all Mi­nisters should keep their days of Humiliation, to fast and pray for their Success in Scotland: and that we should keep their Days of Thanksgiving for their Victories; and this upon pain of Sequestration: so that we all expected to be turned out: but they did not execute it upon any save one in our parts.

For my part, instead of praying and preaching for them, when any of the Com­mittee or Soldiers were my hearers, I laboured to help them to understand, what a Crime it was to force men to pray for the Success of those that were violating their Covenant and Loyalty, and going in such a Cause to kill their Brethren: And what it was to force Men to give God thanks for all their Bloodshed, and to make God's Ministers and Ordinances vile, and serviceable to such Crimes, by forcing Men to run to God on such Errands of Blood and Ruine: And what it is to be [Page 67] such Hypocrites as to persecute and cast out those that preach the Gospel, while they pretend the advancement of the Gospel, and the liberty of tender Consci­ences: And what a means it was to debauch all Consciences, and leave neither tenderness nor honesty in the World, when the Guides of the Flocks, and Preach­ers of the Gospel shall be noted to swallow down such heinous Sins.

My own Hearers were all satisfied with my Doctrine, but the Committee Men look sowre, but let me alone. And the Soldiers said I was so like to Love, that I would not be right till I was shorter by the Head. Yet none of them ever med­led with me farther than by the Tongue, nor was I ever by any of them in those times, forbidden or hindered to preach one Sermon, except only one Assize-Ser­mon which the High Sheriff had desired me to preach, and afterward sent me word to [...]orbear, as from the Committee, saying, That by Mr. Moor's means (the Independent Preacher at the Colledge) the Committee told him that they desired me to forbear, and not to preach before the Judges, because I preached against the State: But afterward they excused it, as done meerly in kindness to me, to keep me from running my self into danger and trouble.

§ 106. Not far from this time the London Ministers were called Traitors by the Rump and Soldiers for plotting for the King (a strange kind of Treason),An. 1651 be­cause they had some Meetings to contrive how to raise some small Sum of Money for Massey's relief, who was then in Scotland: And some falseCapt. A­dams. Brother discovered them, and eight of them were sent to the Tower, Mr. Arthur Iackson, Dr. Drake, Mr. Watson, Mr. Love, Mr. Ienkins, &c. and Mr. Nalson and Mr. Caughton fled into Holland, where one died, but the other returned and lived to suffer more by them he suffered for.

Mr. Love was tried at a Court of Justice, where Edm. Prideaux a Member and Sollicitor for the Commonwealth, did think his Place allowed him to plead against the Life and Blood of the Innocent. Mr. Love was condemned and beheaded, dying neither timerously nor proudly in any desperate Bravado, but with as great alacrity and fearless quietness and freedom of Speech, as if he had but gone to Bed, and had been as little concerned as the standers by. AnMr. Gib­bons. honest Gentleman was beheaded with him for the same Cause. And at the time of their Execution, or very near it on that day, there was the dreadfullest Thunder and Lightning and Tempest, that was heard or seen of a long time before.

This Blow sunk deeper towards the Root of the New Commonwealth, than will easily be believed; and made them grow odious to almost the Religious Party in the Land, except the Sectaries: (Though some malicious Cavaliers said it was good enough for him, and laught at it as good News): for now the People would not believe that they sought the promoting of the Gospel, who killed the Ministers for the Interest of their Faction. And there is, as Sir Walter Rawleigh noteth of Learned Men, such as Demosthenes, Cicero, &c. so much more in Divines of famous Learning and Piety, enough to put an everlasting odium upon those whom they suffer by, though the Cause of the Sufferers were not justifiable. Men count him a vile and detestable Creature, who in his passion, or for his interest, or any such low account, shall deprive the World of such Lights and Ornaments, and cut off so much excellency at a blow, and be the Persecutors of such worthy and re­nowned Men. Though the rest of the Ministers were released, upon Mr. Ien­kins's Recantation, and Confession that God had now convinced him, that he ought to submit to the present Government. Yet after this, the most of the Mi­nisters and good People of the Land, did look upon the New Commonwealth as Tyranny, and were more alienated from them than before.

§ 107. The Lord Fairfax now laid down his Commission, and would have no more of the Honour of being Cromwell's Instrument or Mask, when he saw that he must buy it at so dear a rate. And so Cromwell with applause received a Com­mission, and entered upon his place.

And into Scotland he hasteneth, and there he maketh his way near Edinburgh, where the Scots Army lay: But after long skirmishing and expectations, when he could neither draw the Scots out of their Trenches to a fight, nor yet pass forward, his Soldiers contracted Sicknesses, and were impatient of the Poverty of the Coun­try, and so with a weakned ragged Army he drew off to return to England, and had the Scots but let him go, or cautelously followed him, they had kept their Peace and broken his Honour: But they drew out and followed him, and overtaking him near Dunbarr, did force him to a Fight, by engaging his Rere; in which Fight being not of equal Fortitude they were totally rowted, their Foot taken, and their Horse pursued to Edinburgh.

[Page 68]§ 108. Ten thousand Prisoners of the Foot were brought to Newcastle, where the greatness of the Number, and the baseness of the Country (with their Poverty) and the cruel Negligence of the Army, caused them to be almost all famished: For being shut up in a Cabbage-Garden, and having no Food, they cast them­selves into a Flux and other Diseases with eating the raw Cabbages; so that few of them survived, and those few were little better used. The Colours that were ta­ken were hanged up as Trophies in Westminster-Hall, and never taken down till the King's Restoration.

§ 109. Cromwell being thus called back to Edinburgh, driveth the Scots to Ster­ling beyond the River, where they fortifie themselves: He besiegeth the impreg­nable Castle of Edinburgh and winneth it; the Governor, Coll. William Dunglasse, laying the blame on his Souldiers that else would have delivered It and him; but his Superiors condemned him for the Cowardly Surrender.

After this, Cromwell passeth some of his Men over the River, and after them most of the rest: The King with the Scots Army being unable to give him Battle after such Discouragements, takes the Opportunity to haste away with what Force they had towards England, thinking that Cromwell being cast now some Days March behind them, by Reason of his passing the River, they might be before him in England, and there be abundantly increased, by the coming in both of the Cava­liers and the rest of the People to him. And doubtless all the Land would Sud­denly have flockt in to him but for these two Causes:

1. The Success of Cromwell at Dumbarre and afterwards, had put a Fear upon all Men, and the manner of the Scots coming away, persuaded all Men that Neces­sity forced them, and they were look'd upon rather as flying than as marching in­to England; and few Men will put themselves into a flying Army which is pursued by the conquering Enemy.

2. The implacable Cavaliers had made no Preparation of the Peoples Mind, by any Significations of Reconciliation, or of probable future Peace: And the Prelatical Divines, instead of drawing nearer those they differed from for Peace, had gone farther from them by Dr. Hammond's new way, than their Predecessors were before them; and the very Cause which they contended for, being not Con­cord and Neighbourhood, but Domination, they had given the dissenting Clergy and People no hopes of finding favourable Lords, or any Abatement of their former Burdens, so little did their Task-Masters relent: But contrariwise, they saw Rea­son enough to expect that their little Fingers would be heavier than their Predeces­sors Loyns. And it is hard to bring Men readily to venture their Lives to bring themselves into a Prison, or Beggary, or Banishment.

These were the true Causes that no more came in to the King: The first kept off the Royalists and the rest, the second kept off the rest alone. Yet the Earl of Darby, the Lord Talbott and many Gentlemen did come in to him; and some that had been Souldiers for the Parliament, (as Capt. Benbow from Shrewsbury, with Cornet Kinnersly and a Party of Horse, and some few more.)

The King's Army of Scots was excellently well governed (in comparison of what his Father's was wont to be): Not a Souldier durst wrong any Man of the worth of a Penny; which much drew the Affections of the People towards them.

The Presence of Collonel Rich. Graves, and Collonel Massy with them, was the great Inducement to the Parliamentarians to come in: But another great Impedi­ment kept them off, which was, Cromwell's exceeding speedy Pursuit of them; so that People had not time to resolve themselves considerately; and most were willing to see what Cromwell's Assault would do, before they cast themselves into the Danger; Soldiers may most easily be had when there is least need of them.

The King came by the way of Lancoshire, and summoned Shrewsbury in vain as he passed by through Shropshire: And when all the Country thought that he was hastening to London (where all Men supposed he would have attained his Ends, increased his Strength, and had no Resistance,) he turned to Worcester, and there stayed to refresh his Army, Cromwell's Forces being within a few days March of him.

§ 110. The Army passed most by Kiderminster (a Fields Breadth off) and the rest through it: Collonel Graves sent two or three Messages to me, as from the King, to come to him; and after, when he was at Worcester, some others were sent: But I was at that time under so great an Affliction of sore Eyes, that I was not scarce able to see the Light, nor fit to stir out of Doors: And being not [Page 69] much doubtful of the Issue which followed, I thought if I had been able, it would have been no Service at all to the King; it being so little on such a sudden, that I could add to his Assistance.

When the King had stayed a few Days at Worcester, Cromwell came with his Ar­my to the East side of the City, and after that, made a Bridge of Boats over Se­vern, to hinder them from Forage on the other side; but because so great an Army could not long endure to be pent up, the King resolved to charge Cromwell's Men; and a while the Scots Foot did charge very gallantly, and some chief Persons among the Horse, The Marquis Hamilton (late Earl of Lanerick) being slain: But at last the hope of Security so near their Backs, encouraged the King's Army to retreat into the City, and Cromwell's Souldiers followed them so close at the Heels, that Major Swallow of Whalley's Regiment first, and others after him entered Sidbury-Gate with them; and so the whole Army fled through the City quite away, ma­ny being trodden down and slain in the Streets; so that the King was faign to fly with them Northward, the Lord Will [...]ot, the Earl of Lauderdaile, and many others of his Lords and Commanders with him: Kiderminster being but eleven Miles from Worcester, the flying Army past some of them through the Town, and some by it: I was newly gone to Bed when the Noise of the flying Horse acquainted us of the Overthrow: and a piece of one of Cromwell's Troops that Guarded Bewdley-Bridge having tidings of it, came into our Streets, and stood in the open Market­place before my Door, to surprise those that past by: And so when many hundreds of the flying Army came together, when the 30 Troopers cryed stand, and fired at them, they either hasted away, or cryed Quarter, not knowing in the Dark what Number it was that charged them: And so as many were taken there, as so few Men could lay hold on: And till Midnight the Bullets flying towards my Door and Windows, and the sorrowful Fugitives hasting by for their Lives, did tell me the Calamitousness of War.

The King parted at last from most of his Lords, and went to Boscobell by the white Ladies, where he was hid in an Oak, in manner sufficiently declared to the World; and thence to Mosely, and so with Mrs. Lane away as a Traveller, and escaped all the Searchers Hands, till he came safe beyond Sea, as is published at large by divers.

The City of Worcester was much plundered by Cromwell's Souldiers, and a Party only sent out after the King's Fugitives (for an Army I will call them no more): the Earl of Derby was taken, and Capt. Benbow of Shrewsbury, and were both put to Death; the Sentence of Coll. Mackworth dispatched Benbow, because he had been a Souldier under him. The Earl of Lauderdaile, and the Earl of Craford were sent Prisoners to Windsor-Castle, where they were detained till the Restoration of the King: Coll. Graves at last being released by Cromwell, lived quietly at his House, which made him ill thought of, and kept from Preferment afterwards when the King came in.

And thus Cromwell's next Impediment was over.

§ 111. The Scots Army being utterly dispatched in England (and many of the Prisoners of Foot sent to the Barbado's, &c.) part of Cromwell's Army was sent to prosecute the Victory in Scotland, where (briefly) all their Garrisons at last were taken, and the Earl of Glencarne, and that learned, religious, excellent Person, the Earl of Balcarres, who kept up the last Forces there for the King, were fain to fly to the King beyond Sea: And Major General Monk was there left with some Forces to keep the Country in Subjection.

§ 112. Cromwell having thus far seemed to be a Servant to the Parliament, and work for his Masters the Rump or Commonwealth, doth next begin to shew whom he served, and take that Impediment also out of the way: To which End he first doth by them as he did by the Presbyterians, make them odious by hard Speeches of them throughout his Army; as if they intended to perpetuate themselves, and would not be accountable for the Money of the Commonwealth, &c. and he treateth privately with many of them, to appoint a time when they would dis­solve themselves, that another free Parliament might be chosen: But they per­ceived the Danger, and were rather for the filling up of their Number by New Elections, which he was utterly against.

His greatest Advantage to strengthen himself against them by the Sectaries, was their owning the publick Ministry and their Maintenance; for though Vane and his party set themselves to make the Ministers odious by reproachful Titles, and to take them down, yet still the greater part of the House did carry it for a sober Ministry, and competent Maintenance. And when the Quakers and others did openly [Page 70] reproach the Ministry, and the Souldiers favour them, I drew up a Petition for the Ministry, and got many thousand Hands to it in Worcestershire, and Mr. Tho. F [...] ­ley, and Coll. Iohn Bridgis presented it; and the House gave a kind and promi­sing Answer to it, which increased the Sectaries Dipleasure against them: And when a certain Quaker wrote a reviling Censure of this Petition, I wrote a De­fence of it, and caused one of them to be given each parliament Man at the Door; and within one day after they were dissolved: For Cromwell impatient of any more delay, suddenly took Harrison and some Souldiers with him (as if God had im­pelled him) and as in a Rapture went into the House, and reproveth the Members for their Faults, and pointing to Vane, calls him a Juglar, and to Henry Martin, and calls him Whoremaster, and having two such to instance in, taketh it for granted that they were all unfit to continue in the Government of the Commonwealth; and out he turneth them: And so ended the Government of the Rump, and no sort of People expressed any great Offence that they were cast out, though all, save the Sectaries and the Army almost, did take him to be a Traitor that did it.

§ 113. The young Commonwealth being already Headless, you might think that nothing was left to stand between Cromwell and the Crown: For a Governor there must be, and who should be thought fitter? But yet there was another Pageant to be played, which had a double end: 1. To make the Necessity of his Govern­ing undeniable. And 2. To make his own Souldiers at last out of love with Democracie; or at least to make them hateful that adhered to it. A Parliament must be called, but the ungodly People are not to be trusted with the choice; therefore the Souldiers, as more religious, must be the Choosers: And two out of a County are chosen by the Officers upon the Advice of their Sectarian Friends in the Country. This was called in Contempt, The Little Parliament.

This Conventicle made an Act (as I remember) that Magistrates should marry People instead of Ministers, (yet not prohibiting the Ministers to do their part): And then they came to the Business of Tythes and Ministers; and before this, Har­rison, being authorized thereto, had at once put down all the Parish-Ministers of Wales, because that most of them were ignorant and scandalous, and had set up a few i [...]nerant Preachers in their stead, who were for Number incompetent for so great a Charge, there being but one to many of those wide Parishes; so that the People having but a Sermon once in many Weeks, and nothing else in the mean time, were ready to turn Papists or any thing: And this Plight would the Anabap­tists, and other Sectaries have brought England to: And all was, 1. That the Peo­ple might not be tempted to think the Parish-Churches to be true Churches: 2. Nor Insant Baptism to be true Baptism, and so themselves to be true Christians; but must be made Christians and Churches in the Anabaptists and Separatists way. Hereupon Harrison became the Head of the Sectaries, and Cromwell now began to design the heading of a soberer Party, that were for Learning and Ministry; but yet to be the equal Protector of all: Hereupon in the Little Sectarian Parliament, it was put to the Vote, whether all the Parish Ministers of England should at once be put down or no? And it was but accidentally carried in the negative by two Voices: And it was taken for granted, that the Tythes and Universities would at the next Oppor­tunity be voted down; and now Cromwell must be their Saviour, or they must pe­rish; when he had purposely cast them into the Pit, that they might be beholden to him to pull them out. (But his Game was so grosly play'd, as made him the more loath'd by Men of Understanding and Sincerity) So Sir C. W. and some others of them take their time, and put it to the vote whether the House as uncapable of serving the Commonwealth, should go and deliver up their Power to Cromwell from whom they had received it; and they carried it in the Affirmative, and away they go, and solemnly resign their Power to him; and now who but Cromwell and his Army.

§ 114. The intelligent Sort by this time did fully see that Cromwell's design was, by causing and permitting destruction to hang over us, to necessitate the Nation whether they would or not, to take him for their Governour, that he might be their Protector: Being resolved that we should be saved by him, or perish: He made more use of the wild headed Sectaries than barely to fight for him: They now serve him as much by their Heresies, their Enmity to Learning and Ministry, their pernicious Demands which tended to Confusion, as they had done before by their Valour in the Field. He can now conjure up at pleasure some terrible appa­rition, of Agitators, Levellers, or such like, who as they affrighted the King from Hampton-Court, shall affright the People to fly to him for refuge; that the hand that wounded them may heal them. For now he exclaimeth against the giddiness of [Page 71] these unruly Men, and earnestly pleadeth for Order and Government, and will needs become the Patron of the Ministry, yet so as to secure all others of their Li­berty.

Some that saw his Design, said, We will rather all perish, and see both Tythes and Universities overthrown, than we will any way submit to such deceitful Usur­pations.

Others said, It is the Providence of God, whoever be the Instruments, which hath brought us into this Necessity, which we were unable to prevent; and being in it, we are not bound to choose our own destruction: Therefore Necessity re­quireth us to accept of any One to rule us that is like to deliver us.

But the generality of the Ministers went the middle way; and our Consciences thus apprehended the state of our present Duty: [We acknowledge that God Al­mighty hath over-ruled in all these great Mutations, and hath permitted the perfi­diousness of Men, and their Success. And the Common Good being the end of all just Government, we may not do any thing against the Common Good, much less to the Destruction of it, under pretence of resisting an Usurper, or of Restoring him who is our rightful Governour. If the Universities be overthrown, the Fa­bricks demolished, the Lands alienated, the Ministry put down, the Tithes sold, or given to the People, to engage them all to be against any means which tend to a Recovery, whatever we contribute to this, we do against the King and King­dom, and do but cut his Throat in kindness: For we pull down the House that he may be Master of it, and destroy the Commonwealth that he may be the Head of it: We strengthen his Enemies by our imprudent Passions: But yet we must nei­ther do nor approve of Evil, for any Good End, nor forbear in our Places season­ably to reprehend it: Therefore it is unlawful for us to Consent to any Governour but the King; or take any Engagement or Oath of Allegiance to any: But it is not unlawful for us to submit to them, by living quietly in our Places, and to make use of the Courts of Justice established by Law, yea, and to demand protection from the Usurper. For his stepping into the Ruler's place, and Usurping the Govern­ment, obligeth him to do all the parts of a Governour's Office, while he is there; and warranteth us to demand it, and accept it of him; but it doth not at all ob­lige us to obey him or consent to his Usurpation: Even as we may demand Justice of a General of Rebels, or a Captain of Thieves; or of Pyrates that shall surprize the Ship which we are in: but we are not bound to consent to his Government, or formally obey him; but contrarily to disown his Villany, and to do all that we can against his Tyranny, which tendeth not to the hurt of the Society: So here, it is our Duty to keep the state of things as entire as we can, till God be pleased to restore the King, that he may find it a whole and not a ruin'd irrepairable State.]

And thus for my part was my Practice: I did seasonably and moderately by Preaching and Printing condemn the Usurpation, and the Deceit which was the means to bring it to pass.Very like to Maximus in the days of Gratian and Theo­dosius. I did in open Conference declare Cromwell and his Ad­herents to be Guilty of Treason and Rebellion, aggravated with Perfidiousness and Hypocrisie; to be abhorred of all good and sober Men: But yet I did not think it my Duty to rave against him in the Pulpit, nor to do this so unseasonably and im­prudently as might irritate him to mischief. And the rather because, as he kept up his approbation of a godly Life in the general, and of all that was good, except that which the Interest of his Sinful Cause engaged him to be against; so I perceived that it was his design to do good in the main, and to pro­mote the Gospel and the Interest of Godliness, more than any had done before him; except in those particulars which his own interest was against: And it was the principal means that hence-forward he trusted to for his own Establishment, even by doing good: That the People might love him, or at least be willing to have his Government for that Good, who were against it, as it was Usurpation. And I made no question at all, but that when the Rightful Governour was restored, the People that had adhered to him (being so extreamly irritated) would cast out multitudes of the Ministers, and undo the Good which the Usurper had done, be­cause he did it; and would bring abundance of Calamity upon the Land. And some Men thought it a very hard Question, Whether they should rather wish the continuance of an Usurper that will do good, or the restitution of a Rightful Go­vernour whose Followers will do hurt. But for my part I thought my Duty was clear, to disown the Usurper's Sin, what Good soever he would do; and to per­form all my Engagements to a Rightful Governour, leaving the Issue of all to God: but yet to commend the Good which a Usurper doth, and to do any lawful thing [Page 72] which may provoke him to do more; and to approve of no Evil which is done by any, either Usurper or a lawful Governour.

And thus stood the Affections of the Intelligent sort to Cromwell: but the Sim­pler sort believed that he designed nothing of all that came to pass; but that God's Providence brought about all, without his Contrivance or Expecta­tion.

§ 115. The little Parliament having resigned their Commission to Cromwell, An. 1653 that we might not be ungoverned, a Iuncto of Officers, and I know not who (nor ever could learn, but that Lambert and Berry were two Chief Men in it) did draw up a Writing, called, The Instrument of the Government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland]. This Instrument made Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector of the Commonwealth: The Lord Mayor and Aldermen, the Judges, and the Offi­cers of the Army, were suddenly drawn together to Westminster-Hall, and upon the reading of this Instrument, installed Cromwell in the Office of Protector, and swore him accordingly; and thus the Commonwealth seemed once more to have a Head.

§ 116. I shall for brevity over-pass the particular mention of the Parliaments sum­moned by Cromwell; of their displeasing him by ravelling his Instrument, and o­ther means, and of his rough and resolute dissolving them.

One of the chief Works which he did was the purging of the Ministry; of which I shall say somewhat more. And here I suppose the Reader to understand that the Synod of Westminster was dissolved with the Parliament; and therefore a Society of Ministers with some others, were chosen by Cromwell to sit at White­hall, under the Name of Triers, who were mostly Independants, but some sober Presbyterians with them, and had power to try all that came for Institution or In­duction, and without their Approbation none were admitted: This assembly of Triers examined themselves all that were able to come up to London: but if any were unable, or were of doubtful Qualifications between Worthy and Unworthy, they used to refer them to some Ministers in the County where they lived, and to approve them if they approved them.

And because this Assembly of Triers is most heavily accused and reproached by some Men, I shall speak the truth of them, and suppose my word will be the ra­ther taken, because most of them took me for one of their boldest Adversaries, as to their Opinions, and because I was known to disown their Power, insomuch that I refused to try any under them upon their reference, except a very few, whose Importunity and necessity moved me (they being such as for their Episcopal Judg­ment, or some such Cause, the Triers were like to have rejected.) The truth is, that though their Authority was null, and though some few over-busie and over-rigid Independants among them, were too severe against all that were Armi­nians, and too particular in enquiring after Evidences of Sanctification in those whom they Examined, and somewhat too lax in their Admission of Unlearned and Erroneous Men, that favoured Antinomianism or Anabaptism; yet to give them their due, they did abundance of good to the Church: They saved many a Congregation from ignorant, ungodly, drunken Teachers: that sort of Men that intended no more in the Ministry, than to say a Sermon, as Readers say their Common Prayers, and so patch up a few good words together to talk the People asleep with on Sunday; and all the rest of the Week go with them to the Ale-house, and harden them in their Sin: And that sort of Ministers that either preacht against a holy Life, or preacht as Men that never were acquinted with it; all those that used the Ministry but as a Common Trade to live by, and were never likely to convert a Soul; all these they usually rejected; and in their stead admitted of any that were able serious Preachers, and lived a godly Life, of what tollerable O­pinion soever they were. So that though they were many of them somewhat par­tial for the Independents, Separatists, Fifth-Monarchy-men and Anabaptists, and against the Prelatists and Arminians, yet so great was the benefit above the hurt, which they brought to the Church, that many thousands of Souls blest God for the faithful Ministers whom they let in, and grieved when the Prelatists afterward cast them out again.

§ 117. And because I am fall'n upon this Subject, I will look back to the Alte­rations that were made upon the Ministry by the Long Parliament before, both by the Country Committees and the Synod at Westminster: I know that there are Men in the World that defame both the Actors and the Work, and would make the World believe that almost none but worthy Learned Men were turned out, and that for their Fidelity to the King and Bishops, and that almost none but Unlearned [Page 73] and Factious Fellows were introduced. But this Age hath taught the World how little the Report of such Men is to be believed of any others, who speak what their Interest and Malice do command them; and by these are made strangers to the Men they speak of, though they dwell among them: For they Converse not with them at all, unless in some wrangling Dispute, when Malice and Passion seek a Whetstone; but they talk only with those that talk against them, and easily be­lieve any false Reports, when once they are so like the Common Enemy that they desire them to be true. But I shall in this Case also speak impartially, neither ju­stifying what they did amiss, nor condemning them without cause.

And because I have past it by before, I shall say something of the Westminster As­sembly here. This Synod was not a Convocation according to the Diocesan way of Government, nor was it called by the Votes of the Ministers according to the Presbyterian way: But the Parliament not intending to call an Assembly which should pretend a Divine Right to make obliging Laws or Canons to bind their Brethren, but an Ecclesiastical Council to be Advisers to themselves, did think that they best knew who were the fittest to give them Advice, and therefore chose them all themselves. Two were to be chosen out of each County; but some few Coun­ties (I know not upon what reason) had but one: I suppose it was long of the Parliament Men of those Counties. And because they would seem Impartial, and have each Party to have liberty to speak, they over and above the number chose many Episcopal Divines, even the Learnedest of them in the Land, as Archbishop Usher Primate of Ireland, Dr. Holdsworth, Dr. Hammond, Dr. Wincop, Bishop West­ford, Bishop Prideaux, and many more. But they would not come, because it was not a Legal Convocation, and because the King declared himself against it: Dr. Dan. Featley and very few more of that Party came: (But at last he was charged with sending Intelligence to the King's Quarters at Oxford, of what was done in the Synod and Parliament, and was imprisoned; which much reflected on the Parlia­ment, because whatever his Fact were, he was so Learned a Man, as was sufficient to dishonour those he suffered by). The Prolocutor or Moderator was Dr. William Twisse (a Man very famous for his Scholastical Wit and Writings in a very smooth triumphant Stile): The Divines there Congregate were Men of Eminent Learn­ing and Godliness, and Ministerial Abilities and Fidelity: And being not worthy to be one of them my self, I may the more freely speak that Truth which I know even in the Face of Malice and Envy, that, as far as I am able to judge by the In­formation of all History of that kind, and by any other Evidences left us, the Chri­stian World, since the days of the Apostles, had never a Synod of more Excellent Divines (taking one thing with another) than this Synod and the Synod of Dort were.

This Assembly was confined by the Parliament to debate only such things as they proposed to them: And many Lords and Commons were joyned in Commis­sion with them, to see that they did not go beyond their Commission: Six or se­ven Independants were joyned with them, that all sides may be heard; of whom five were called the Dissenting Brethren, (Philip Nye, Thomas Goodwyn, Ieremiah Bur­roughs, Sydrach Sympson, and William Bridge) who joyned with the rest till they had drawn up a Confession of Faith, a larger and a shorter Catechism. But when they came to Church Government, they engaged them in many long Debates, and kept that Business as long as possibly they could undetermined; and after that kept it so long unexecuted in almost all parts of the Land, saving London and Lan­cashire, that their Party had time to strengthen themselves in the Army and the Parliament, and hinder the Execution after all, and keep the Government deter­mined of, a Stranger to most of the People of this Land, who knew it but by hearsay, as it was represented by Reporters. For my own part, as highly as I ho­nour the Men, I am not of their Mind, in every Point of the Government which they would have set up; and some words in their Catechism I could wish had been more clear; and above all, I could wish that the Parliament and their more skil­ful Hand, had done more than was done to heal our Breaches, and had hit upon the right way either to unite with the Episcopal and Independants (which was pos­sible, as distant as they are) or at least had pitched on the Terms that are fit for Universal Concord, and left all to come in upon those Terms that would. But for all this dissent I must testifie my Love and Honour to the Persons of such great Sin­cerity, and Eminent Ministerial Sufficiency, as were Gataker, Vines, Burgess, White, and the greater part of that Assembly.

[Page 74]Among other parts of their Trust, one was to approve of all that should be ad­mitted into any Church Livings. They had no Power to put out any, but only to judge of the fitness of such as were taken in. The Power of Casting out un­worthy Men, was partly in a Committee of Parliament Men at London, and part­ly in the Committees of each several County, according to an Ordinance of Parlia­ment expressing the Crimes: Herein it was laudable that Drunkards, Swearers, Cursers, Blasphemers, Hereticks, Fornicators, and such scandalous Persons were to be ejected: but it was not well done to put in those among them that had been against the Parliament in the War: For the Work of God should not give place to the Matters of their Secular Interest and Policy, as long as the Being of the Commonwealth is secured: And all the Learned Ministers in the Land, on one side and the other, are few enow to do the Work of Christ: And I believe that those that were against them, would have done them less hurt in the Pulpits where there were so many Witnesses, than they did in Private. But yet I must needs say, that in all the Countreys where I was acquainted, six to one at least (if not ma­ny more) that were Sequestred by the Committee, were by the Oaths of Wit­nesses proved insufficent, or scandalous, or both; especially guilty of Drunkenness or Swearing: and those that being able, godly Preachers, were cast out for the War alone, as for their Opinions sake, were comparatively very few. This I know will displease that Party; but this is true. And though now and then an unworthy Person by sinister means crept into their Places, yet commonly those whom they put in, were such as set themselves laboriously to seek the Saving of Souls: Indeed the one half of them were very young; but that could not be helpt, because there were no other to be had. The Parliament could not make Men Learned nor Godly, but only put in the learnedest and ablest that they could have. And though it had been to be wisht that they might have had leisure to ripen in the Universities, yet many of them did as Ambrose, teach and learn at once so successfully, as that they much increased in Learning themselves, whilst they pro­sited others; and proportionably more than many in the Universities do.

§ 118. To return from this Digression to the Proceedings of Cromwell, when he was made Lord Protector, he had the Policy not to detect and exasperate the Mini­sters and others that consented not to his Government, (having seen what a stir the Engagement had before made): but he let Men live quietly, without putting any Oaths of Fidelity upon them; except his Parliaments; for those must not en­ter the House till they had sworn Fidelity to him. The Sectarian Party in his Ar­my and elsewhere, he chiefly trusted to and pleased, till by the Peoples submission and quietness he thought himself well settled: And then he began to undermine them, and by degrees to work them out: And though he had so often spoken for the A­nabaptists, now he findeth them so heady, and so much against any settled Go­vernment, and so set upon the promoting of their Way and Party, that he doth not only begin to blame their unruliness, but also designeth to settle himself in the Peoples Favour by suppressing them. In Ireland they were grown so high, that the Soldiers were many of them re-baptized as the way to Preferment: and those that opposed them they crusht with much uncharitable Fierceness. To suppress these, he sent thither his Son Henry Cromwell, who so discountenanced the Anabaptists, as yet to deal civilly by them, repressing their Insolencies, but not abusing them, or dealing hardly with them; promoting the Work of the Gospel, and setting up good and sober Ministers; and dealing civilly with the Royallists, and obliging all; so that he was generally beloved, and well spoken of. And Major Ge­neral Ludlow, who headed the Anabaptists in Ireland, was fain to draw in his head.

In England Cromwell connived at his old Friend Harrison, while he made himself the Head of the Anabaptists and Fanaticks here, till he saw it would be an ap­plauded acceptable thing to the Nation to suppress him, and then he doth it easily in a trice, and maketh him contemptible who but yesterday thought himself not much below him: The same he doth also as easily by Lambert and layeth him by.

§ 119. In these times (especially since the Rump reigned) sprang up five Sects at least, whose Doctrines were almost the same, but they sell into several Shapes and Names: 1. The Vanists: 2. The Seekers: 3. The Ranters: 4. The Quakers: 5. The Behmenists.

1. The Vanists, (for I know not by what other Name to make them known) who were Sir Henry Vane's Disciples, first sprang up under him in new England when he was Governor there: But their Notions were then raw and undigested, and their Party quickly confounded by God's Providence; as you may see in a [Page 75] little Book of Mr. Tho. Welds of the Rise and Fall of Antinomianism, and Familism in New-England; where their Opinions and these Providences are recorded by him that was a reverend Minister there: One Mrs. Dyer, a chief Person of the Sect, did first bring forth a Monster, which had the Parts of almost all sorts of living Creatures, some Parts like Man, but most ugly and misplaced, and some like Beasts, Birds and Fishes, having Horns, Fins and Claws; and at the Birth of it the Bed shook, and the Women present fell a Vomiting and were fain to go forth of the Room: Mr. Cotton was too favourable to them, till this helpt to recover him: Mrs. Hutchinson, the chief Woman among them and their Teacher, (to whose Exercises a Congregation of them used to assemble) brought forth about 30 mishapen Births or Lumps at once; and being banished into another Plantati­on was killed there by the Indians. Sir Henry Vane being Governor, and found to be the secret Fautor and Life of their Cause, was fain to steal away by Night, and take Shipping for England, before his Year of Government was at an end.

But when he came over into England he proved an Instrument of greater Cala­mity to a People more sinful and more prepared for God's Judgments: Being chosen a Parliament man, he was very active at first for the bringing of Delin­quents to Punishment: He was the Principal Man that drove on the Parliament to go too high, and act too vehemently against the King: Being of very ready Parts, and very great Subtilty, and unwearied Industry, he laboured, and not without Success, to win others in Parliament, City and Country to his Way. When the Earl of Strafford was accused, he got a Paper out of his Father's Cabi­net (who was Secretary of State) which was the chief Means of his Condem­nation: To most of our Changes he was that Within the House, which Cromwell was without. His great Zeal to drive all into War, and to the highest, and to cherish the Sectaries, and especially in the Army, made him above all Men to be valued by that Party.

His Unhappiness lay in this, that his Doctrines were so clowdily formed and ex­pressed, that few could understand them, and therefore he had but few true Disci­ples: The Lord Brook was slain before he had brought him to Maturity: Mr. Ster­ry is thought to be of his Mind, as he was his Intimate; but he hath not opened himself in writingA post hu­mous Book of Mr. Ster­ry's is since Published., and was so famous for Obscurity in Preaching (being, said Sir Benj. Rudiard, too high for this World, and too low for the other) that he thereby proved almost Barren also, and Vanity and Sterility were never more hap­pily conjoined: Mr. Sprig is the chief of his more open Disciples (too well known by a Book of his Sermons.)

This Obscurity by some was imputed to his not understanding himself; but by others to design, because he could speak plainly when he listed: the two Courses, in which he had most Success, and spake most plainly were, His earnest Plea for uni­versal Liberty of Conscience, and against the Magistrates intermedling with Reli­gion, and his teaching his Followers to revile the Ministry, calling them ordinari­ly Blackcoats, Priests, and other Names which then savoured of Reproach; and those Gentlemen that adhered to the Ministry, they said, were Priest-ridden.

When Cromwell had served himself by him as his surest Friend, as long as he could; and gone as far with him as their way lay together, (Vane being for a Fanatick Democracie, and Cromwell for Monarchy) at last there was no Remedy but they must part; and when Cromwell cast out the Rump (as disdainfully as Men do Excrements) he called Vane a Jugler, and Martin a Whoremonger, to excuse his usage of the rest as is aforesaid.

When Vane was thus laid by, he wrote his Book called The retired Man's Medita­tions, wherein the best part of his Opinions are so expressed, as will make but few Men his Disciples: His Healing Question is more plainly written.

When Cromwell was dead, he got Sir Arthur Haselrigge to be his close Adherent on Civil Accounts, and got the Rump set up again, and a Council of State, and got the Power much into his own Hands. When he was in the height of his power he set upon the forming of a new Commonwealth, and with some of his Adherants drew up the model, which was for popular Government; but so that Men of his Confidence must be the People.

Of my own displeasing him this is the true Account: It grieved me to see a poor Kingdom thus tost up and down in Unquietness, and the Ministers made odious and ready to be cast out, and a Reformation trodden under Foot, and Parliaments and Piety made a Scorn, and scarce any doubted but he was the principal Spring of all: Therefore, being writing against the Papists, coming to vindicate our Re­ligion against them, when they impute to us the Blood of the King, I fully pro­ved [Page 76] that the Protestants, and particularly the Presbyterians adhorred it, and suf­fered greatly for opposing it; and that it was the Act of Cromwell's Army and the Sectaries, among which I named the Vanists as one Sort, and I shewed that the Fryers and Jesuits were their Deceivers, and under several Vizors were disperst among them; and Mr. Nye having told me that he was long in Italy, I said, it was considerable how much of his Doctrine their Leader brought from Italy; whereas it proved that he was only in France and Helvetia upon the Borders of Italy, and whereas it was printed from Italy, I had ordered the Printer to correct it [from­wards Italy] but though the Copy was corrected, the Impression was not: Here­upon Sir Henry Vane being exceedingly provoked, threatned me to many, and spake against me in the House, and one Stubbs (that had been whipt in the Convo­cation House at Oxford) wrote for him a bitter Book against me, who from a Vanist afterwards turned a Conformist, since that he turned Physician, and was drowned in a small Puddle or Brook as he was riding near the Bath.

I confess my Writing was a means to lessen his Reputation, and make men take him for what Cromwell (that better knew him) called him a Iugler: and I wish I had done so much in time: But the whole Land rang of his Anger and my Danger; and all expected my present Ruine by him. But to shew him that I was not about Recanting (as his Agents would have perswaded me) I wrote also against his Healing Question, in a Preface before my Holy Commonwealth. And the speedy turn of Affairs did tye his Hands from Executing his Wrath upon me.

Upon the King's Coming in, he was questioned, with others, by the Parliament, but seemed to have his Life secured: But being brought to the Barr, he spake so boldly in justifying the Parliaments Cause, and what he had done, that it exaspe­rated the King, and made him resolve upon his Death. When he came to Tower­hill to die, and would have spoken to the People, he began so resolutely as caused the Officers to sound the Trumpets and beat the Drums, and hinder him from speaking. No Man could die with greater appearance of gallant Resolution, and Fearlesness than he did, though before supposed a timorous Man: Insomuch that the manner of his Death procured him more Applause than all the Actions of his Life. And when he was dead his intended Speech was printed, and afterwards his Opinions, more plainly expressed by his Friend than by himself.

When he was Condemned some of his Friends desired me to come to him, that I might see how far he was from Popery, and in how excellent a Temper, (think­ing I would have askt him Forgiveness for doing him wrong): I told them, that if he had desired it, I would have gone to him: but seeing he did not, I supposed he would take it for an injury; for my Conference was not like to be such as would not be pleasing to a dying man: For though I never called him a Papist, yet I still suppose he hath done the Papists so much Service, and this poor Nation and Re­ligion so much wrong, that we and our Posterity are like to have cause and time enough to Lament it. And so much of Sir Henry Vane and his Adherents.

§ 121. The second Sect which then rose up was that called Seekers: These taught that our Scripture was uncertain; that present Miracles are necessary to Faith; that our Ministry is null and without authority, and our Worship and Ordinances unnecessary or vain; the true Church, Ministry, Scripture, and Ordinances being lost; for which they are now Seeking.

I quickly found, that the Papists principally hatcht and actuated this Sect, and that a considerable Number that were of this Profession were some Papists, and some Infidels: However they closed with the Vanists, and sheltered themselves under them, as if they had been the very same.

§ 122. The third Sect were the Ranters: These also made it their Business as the former, to set up the Light of Nature, under the Name of Christ in Men, and to dishonour and cry down the Church, the Scripture, the Present Ministry, and our Worship and Ordinances; and call'd men to hearken to Christ within them: But withal, they conjoyned a Cursed Doctrine of Libertinism, which brought them to all abominable filthiness of Life: They taught as the Familists, that God regardeth not the Actions of the Outward Man, but of the Heart; and that to the Pure all things are Pure, (even things forbidden): And so as allowed by God, they spake most hideous Words of Blasphemy, and many of them committed Whoredoms commonly: Insomuch that a Matron of great Note for Godliness and Sobriety, being perverted by them, turned so shameless a Whore, that she was Carted in the Streets of London.

[Page 77]There could never Sect arise in the World, that was a lowder Warning to Pro­fessors of Religion to be humble, fearful, cautelous, and watchful: Never could the World be told more lowdly, whither the Spiritual Pride of ungrounded Novices in Religion tendeth; and whither Professors of Strictness in Religion may be car­ried in the Stream of Sects and Factions.They were so very few and of short continuance that I ne­ver saw one of them I have seen my self Letters written from Abbington, where among both Soldiers and People, this Contagion did then pre­vail, full of horrid Oaths and Curses and Blasphemy, not fit to be repeated by the Tongue or Pen of Man; and this all uttered as the Effect of Knowledge, and a part of their Religion, in a Fanatick Strain, and fathered on the Spirit of God.

But the horrid Villanies of this Sect did not only speedily Extinguish it, but al­so did as much as ever any thing did, to disgrace all Sectaries, and to restore the Credit of the Ministry and the sober unanimous Christians: So that the Devil and the Jesuits quickly found that this way served not their turn, and therefore they suddenly took another.

§ 123. And that was the fourth Sect, the Quakers; who were but the Ranters turned from horrid Prophaneness and Blasphemy, to a Life of extream Austerity on the other side. Their Doctrines were mostly the same with the Ranters: They make the Light which every Man hath within him to be his sufficient Rule, and consequently the Scripture and Ministry are set light by: They speak much for the dwelling and working of the Spirit in us; but little of Justification, and the Pardon of Sin, and our Reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ: They pretend their dependance on the Spirit's Conduct, against Set-times of Prayer, and against Sacraments, and against their due esteem of Scripture and Ministry. They will not have the Scripture called the Word of God: Their principal Zeal lyeth in railing at the Ministers as Hirelings, Deceivers, False Prophets, &c. and in re­fusing to Swear before a Magistrate, or to put off their Hat to any, or to say [You] instead of [Thou] or [Thee] which are their words to all. At first they did use to fall into Tremblings and sometime Vomitings in their Meetings, and pretended to be violently acted by the Spirit; but now that is ceased, they only meet, and he that pretendeth to be moved by the Spirit speaketh; and sometime they say no­thing, but sit an hour or more in silence, and then depart. One while divers of them went Naked through divers chief Towns and Cities of the Land, as a Pro­phetical act: Some of them have famished and drowned themselves in Melancholy; and others undertaken by the Power of the Spirit to raise them (as Susan Pierson did at Claines near Worcester, where they took a Man out of his Grave that had so made away himself, and commanded him to arise and live; but to their shame). Their chief Leader Iames Nayler acted the part of Christ at Bristol, according to much of the History of the Gospel, (and was long laid in Bridewell for it, and his Tongue bored as a Blasphemer by the Parliament). Many Franciscan Fryers and o­ther Papists, have been proved to be Disguised Speakers in their Assemblies, and to be among them; and it's like are the very Soul of all these horrible Delusions. But of late one William Penn is become their Leader, and would reform the Sect, and Set up a kind of Ministry among them.

§ 124. The fifth Sect are the Bethmenists, whose Opinions go much toward the way of the former, for the Sufficiency of the Light of Nature, the Salvation of Hearthens as well as Christians, and a dependence on Revelations, &c. But they are fewer in Number, and seem to have attained to greater Meekness and conquest of Passions than any of the rest: Their Doctrine is to be seen in Iacob Behmen's Books, by him that hath nothing else to do, than to bestow a great deal of time to understand him that was not willing to be easily understood, and to know that his bombasted words do signifie nothing more than before was easily known by common familiar terms.

The chiefest of these in England are Dr. Pordage and his Family, who live toge­ther in Community, and pretend to hold visible and sensible Communion with Angels, whom they sometime see, and sometime smell, &c. Mr. Fowler of Red­ding accused him before the Committee for divers things, (as for preaching against Imputed Righteousness, and perswading married Persons from the Carnal Know­ledge of each other, &c.) but especially for Familiarity with Devils or Conjuration. The Doctor wrote a Book to vindicate himself, in which he professeth to have sen­sible Communion with Angels, and to know by sights and smells, &c. good Spirits from bad: But he saith, that indeed one Month his House was molested with E­vil Spirits, which was occasioned by one Everard whom he taketh to be a Conjurer, who stayed so long with him, as desiring to be of their Communion. In this time [Page 78] he saith, that a fiery Dragon, so big as to fill a very great Room, conflicted visibly with him many hours; that one appeared to him in his Chamber in the likeness of Everard, with Boots, Spurs, &c. that an impression was made on the Brick-wall of his Chimney, of a Coach drawn with Tygers and Lions, which could not be got out till it was hewed out with Pick-Axes: and another on his Glass-window which yet remaineth, &c. Whether these things be true or false I know not; but the chief Person of the Doctor's Family-Communion (being a Gentleman and Stu­dent of All Souls in Oxford) was thus made known to me. His Mother being a sober, pious Woman, being dissatisfied with his way, could prevail with him to suffer her to open it to none but me; (of whole Conversion to them their Cha­rity was much desirous): Upon discourse with the young man, I found a very good Disposition, aspiring after the highest Spiritual state, and thinking that visi­ble Communion with Angels was it, he much expected it, and protest in some measure to have attained it; for some lights and odd sights he had seen; but upon strict Examination, he knew not whether it were with the Eye of the Body or of the Mind: nor I knew not whether it were any thing real. or but fantastical. He would not dispute, because he thought he knew things by a higher light than Reason, even by Intuition, by the extraordinary Irradiation of the Mind. He was much against Propriety, and against Relations of Magistrates, Subjects, Husbands, Wives, Masters, Servants, &c. But I perceived he was a young, raw Scholar of some Fryar whom he understood not, and when he should but have commended the Perfection of a Monastical Life (which is the thing that they so highly magnifie) he carried it too far, and made it seem more necessary than he should.

They then professed to wait for such a Coming down of the holy Ghost upon them, as should send them out as his Missionaries to unite, and reconcile, and heal the Churches, and do wonders in the World: But its fifteen years ago, and yet they are latent and their work undone.

§ 125. Among these fall in many other Sect-makers; as Dr. Gell of London (known partly by a printed Volume in Folio) and one Mr. Parker, who got in to the Earl of Pembroke; and was one that wrote a Book against the Assemblies Confession: In which (as the rest) he taketh up most of the Popish Doctrines, and riseth up against them with Papal Pride and Contempt, but owneth not the Pope himself, but headeth his Body of Doctrine with the Spirit, as the Papists do with the Pope: (And if they could bring men to receive the rest, it will be easie to spurn down the Idol of their Fantasie or pretended Spirit, and to set on the proper Head again). To these also must be added Dr. Gibbon, who goeth about with his Scheme to Pro­selyte men, whom I have more cause to know than some of the rest.

All these with subtile Diligence promote most of the Papal Cause, and get in with the Religious sort, either upon pretence of Austerity, Mortification, Angelical Communion, or Clearer Light; but none of them yet owneth the Name of a Papist, but what they are indeed, and who sendeth them, and what is their Work, though I strongly conjecture, I will not assert, because I am not fully certain: Let time discover them.

§ 126. The most among Cromwell's Soldiers that ever I could suspect for Papists, were but a few that began as Strangers among the Common Soldiers, and by de­grees rose up to some Inferiour Offices, and were most conversant with the Com­mon Soldiers; but none of the Superiour Officers seemed such, though seduced by them. There is one of them (Capt. Everard) that was a busie preaching Sectary (in appearance) and disputed for Anabaptistry, and against Original Sin (whom Mr. Stephens hath wrote against, who took him then to be a Papist; and who hath lately published a Book for the Popish Religion, as giving the Reasons of his Con­version to them, as if it were a thing that had been lately done: But they permit but now and then one thus to detect themselves, to win others by the fame of their Conversion: But the rest must still ply their work, as masked: for secret Instru­ments have much advantages above publick ones. Capt. Everard since the burning of London, and since many new Fires have been attempted to consume the rest, was Accused to Sir Richard Brown, as one that intended to burn the rest of the Ci­ty; and upon search there was a dangerous Letter found with him, and four hun­dred Hand-Granado's with Earthen Shells, and fill'd up ready with Powder, were found covered under his Billets. There being two of that Name that were Sectaries in Cromwell's Army, I have not yet learned which of them this was.

[Page 79]§ 127. Also the Socinians made some increase by the Ministry of one Mr. Biddle, sometimes School-master in Glocester; who wrote against the Godhead of the Holy Ghost, and afterwards of Christ; whose Followers inclined much to meer Deism and Infidelity.

§ 128. Having gone on thus far with the general Hints of the History of those times, because I would not obscure them by the Interpositions of my own Affairs, I now return to these, and shall set them also together, that they may be the better understood.

I have related how after my bleeding of a Gallon of Blood by the Nose, I was left weak at Sir Thomas Rous's House at Rous-Lench, where I was taken up with daily Medicines to prevent a Dropsie: And being conscious that my time had not been improved to the Service of God as I desired it had been, I put up many an earnest Prayer to God, that he would restore me, and use me more successfully in his Work. And blessed be that Mercy which heard my Groans in the Day of my Distress, and granted my Desires, and wrought my Deliverance, when Men and Means failed, and gave me Opportunity to Celebrate his Praise.

Whilst I there continued weak and unable to Preach, the People at Kiddermin­ster had again renewed their Articles against their old Vicar and his Curate; and upon Trial of the Cause the Committee sequestred the Place, but put no one in­to it, but put the Profits into the Hands of divers of the Inhabitants to pay a Preacher till it were disposed of. They sent to me, and desired me to take it, in case I were again enabled to Preach: which I flatly refused; and told them, I would take only the Lecture, which by his own Consent and Bond I held be­fore.

Hereupon they sought to Mr. Brumskill, and others, to accept the Place, but could not meet with any one to their minds: Therefore they chose one Mr. Rich­ard Serjeant to Officiate, reserving the Vicaridge for some one that were fitter.

When I was able (after about five Months) to go abroad, I went to Kidder­minster, where I found only Mr. Sergeant in Possession; and the People again ve­hemently urged me to take the Vicaridge: which I denied; and got the Magi­strates and Burgesses together into the Town-hall, and told them, That (though I was offered many Hundred pounds per Annum elsewhere) I was willing to continue with them in my old Lecturers place which I had before the Wars, expecting they should make the Maintenance an Hundred pounds a year, and a House; and if they would promise to submit to that Doctrine of Christ, which as his Minister I should deliver to them, proved by the Holy Scriptures, I would not leave them. And that this Maintenance should neither come out of their own Purses, nor any more of it out of the Tythes save the 60l. which the Vicar had before bound him­self to pay me, I undertook to procure an Augmentation for Mitton (a Chappel in the Parish) of 40l. per Annum, which I did; and so the 60 l. and that 40l. was to be part, and the rest I was to have nothing to do with. This Covenant was drawn up between us in Articles, and Subscribed, in which I disclaimed the Vicaridge and Pastoral Charge of the Parish, and only undertook the Lecture.

And thus the Sequestration continued in the hands of the Towns-men, as afore­said, who gathered the Tythes, and paid me (not an Hundred as they promised) but Eighty pound per Annum, or Ninety at most, and House-rent for a few Rooms in the top of another man's house, which is all I had at Kidderminster. The rest they gave to Mr. Sergeant, and about 40l. per Annum to the old Vicar, and 6l. per Annum to the King and Lord for Rents, besides other Charges.

But when they had long continued in this way, they feared lest some one else against their wills would get a grant of the Sequestration from the Committee, and therefore they went privately and got an Order from them to settle me in the Title, and never shewed it me, but kept it by them secretly, only to secure the Place from a Surprize, and themselves from repaying what they disbursed.

And thus it lay till the King's Coming out of Scotland with his Army to Wor­cester: and then, their Houses being full of Soldiers, they brought me the Order, and intreated me, if not to own it, yet to keep it safe, and to save them harmless by it, if they were called to account.

I recite this, because Mr. Thomas Pierce, while he was rageingly fierce to prove me a Thief, and I know not what else, doth charge me with taking this Se­questration, and so with taking another man's Bread out of his mouth, and rob­bing the Innocent; and so doth Bishop Morley after him; and Durel, Dr. [...]Boneman, and many others, from him: whereas the Place was sequestred while I was far [Page 80] enough off, and I disowned it, and made a contrary Covenant with the People: But I durst not till this for my own vindication, left the Towns-men should be cal­led to an account; for the Sequestration to their undoing; though I knew them to be honest and just in the Distribution of it. And indeed though (which they knew not) the Matter of Fact was false, by which they proved me so vile a Per­son, yet I was the less careful so to clear my self as I might, because I take it to be a thing as justifiable as to eat Bread, if I had taken the Sequestration; because the man's own Fundamental Right (as it was a thing Consecrated to God) was null, he being so insufficient as not to be owned for a Minister: As I have great reason, by all the trial I made of him, to think that he understood not the Substance of Re­ligion, the common Catechism or Creed, so he was unable to teach the People the very Substantials of Christianity. Once a quarter he scrapt a [...]ew words toge­ther, which he so said over as to move pity in his Auditors; but woe to the Peo­ple that have no other Pastor then such as he: And God's Right being the first in Dedicated Things, and the Law also annexing them to the Office for the Work's sake, and for the sake of the Peoples Souls, he that cannot at all do the Work, and so is uncapable of the Office, can have no Title to the Place and Mainte­nance. And I cannot believe that the Peoples Souls must be all untaught and sa­crificed to his pretended Legal Right. And another Pastor they were not like to have without the Maintenance, unless they could have got one that had an Estate of his own, and would go on warfare at his own Charges, or could live without Food and Raiment: for the Peoples Poverty disabled them from maintaining him: [...] it had been but a Physician's or Surgeon's Place in an Hospital, which a meer [...] had got for his life, I think to let the People perish, for fear of dispos­sessing him of his Place and Pay, had been to be righteous over much, and chari­table over little: And the fifth part was allowed them for their Wives, though they did nothing for it. And yet this ignorant man was not dispossest by force, but by the Power then in possession; even by Parliamentary Power, when the Lords (who are the highest Judicture) sate as well as the Commons, by the King's [...]aw. And he was cast out on Articles sworn for Insufficiency and Scandal. And yet this was done by others, before I came near them: And must the place be void of a Teacher, because the Parliament would not give the Maintenance to a man that knew not what the Work of a Pastor was.

§ 129. Besides this ignorant Vicar, there was a Chappel in the Parish, where was an old Curate as ignorant as he, that had long lived upon Ten pound a year and unlawful Marriages, and was a Drunkard, and a Railer, and the Scorn of the Country: I know not how to keep him from reading, (for I judged it a Sin to tolerate him in any Sacred Office). I got an Augmentation for the Place, and got an honest Preacher to instruct them, and let this scandalous Fellow keep his for­mer Stipend of Ten pound, for nothing, and yet could never keep him from for­cing himself upon the People to read, nor from unlawful Marriages, till a little before Death did call him to his account. I have Examined him about the familiar Points of Religion, and he could not say [...]alf so much to me as I have heard a child say.

And these two in this Parish were not all: In one of the next Parishes, called The Rock, there were two Chappels, where the poor ignorant Curate of one got his living with cutting Faggots, and the other with making Ropes: Their Abili­ties being answerable to their Studies and Employments.

§ 130. In my Labours at Kidderminster after my return, I did all under lan­guishing Weakness, being seldom an hour free from pain. Of which I shall give a brief Account together, as an addition to the general one foregoing, that I may not be oft upon it; mentioning only some of those passages in which God's Mercy most affected me.

Many a time have I been brought very low, and received the Stentence of Death in my self, when my poor, honest, praying Neighbours have met, and up­on their Fasting and earnest Prayers I have been recovered, Once when I had continued weak three Weeks, and was unable to go abroad, the very day that they prayed for me, being Good-Friday, I recovered, and was able to Preach and Administer the Sacrament the next Lord's Day; and was better after it: (It being the first time that ever I administred it): And ever after that whatever Weakness was upon me, when I had (after Preaching) administred that Sacrament to many hun­dred People, I was much revived and eased of my Infirmities.

[Page 81]Another time I had a Tumour rose on one of the Tonsills in my Throat, white and hard like a Bone; above the hardness of any Schyrrhous Tumour: I feared a Cancer; being it was round and like a Pease, as it beginneth: And when I had by the Physician's Advise applied such Remedies as he thought fittest, and it no whit altered, but remained as hard as at the first; at the end of about a quarter of a Year, I was chek'd in Conscience that I had never publickly praised God par­ticularly for any of the Deliverances which he had vouchsafed me: And being speaking of God's Confirming our Belief of his Word by his fulfilling of Promises, and hearing Prayers, (as it is published in the second part of my Saints Rest) I annexed some thankful mention of my own Experiences; and suddenly the Tu­mour vanished, and no sign wherever it had been remained: Nor did I either swal­low it down or spit it out, nor knew what went with it to this Day.

Another time, having read in Dr. Gerhard the admirable Effects of the swallow­ing of a Gold Bullet upon his own Father in a Case like mine, I got a Gold Bul­let and swallowed it (between 20 s. and 30 s. weight); and having taken it, I knew not how to be delivered of it again: I took Clysters and Purges for about three Weeks, but nothing stirred it; and a Gentleman having done the like, the Bullet never came from it till he died, and it was cut out: But at last my Neigh­bours set a Day apart to fast and pray for me, and I was freed from my Danger in the beginning of that day.

Another time being in Danger of an Aegilops, and (to be brief) at divers times in divers Weaknesses, Pains and Dangers, I have been delivered upon earnest Prayers; such as have assured me that God heareth such extemporate Prayers as many now deride. And because I am speaking of Prayer, I will add one Instance more or two of the Success of it for my Neighbours, as well as for my self.

§ 131. There liveth yet in Kidderminster a grave and honest Widow, Mrs. Giles, Widow to Mr. Giles of Astley, one of the Committee of that County; she had a Son of about 14 or 15 Years of Age, Apprentice in Worcester to a Mercer; he fell into a Feaver, which being removed, ended in a most violent Epilepsie: The Physicians used all ordinary means for a long time in vain; so that she was fain to take him home to her to Kidderminster, where the Physician of the Place and my self did what we could for him, in vain, he had 4 or 5 violent fits in a Day; they were fain to hold a Key between his Teeth to save his Tongue: At last the Peo­ple of the Town, at her Request, kept a Day of Fasting and Prayer at her House; and the second day (as I remember) he was suddenly cured, and never had a Fit since to this Day (but some little Weakness of his Head sometimes): He is now an Apothecary in Wolverhampton.

§ 132. Another Instance; Rich. Cook of Kinver a Mercer, an ancient sober God­ly Man, being desirous to live at Kidderminster, took the next House to mine: The House proved so secretly crackt and Ruinous, that he was afraid it would undo him to repair it: This seized him with a Trouble on his Conscience whether he had done well to remove from Kinver (where he had been long a comfortable Neigh­bour to old Mr. Crosse): To revive his Spirits he drank much hot Waters, which inflamed his Blood; and so from Melancholy he fell quite Mad. We were forced by the Wars to leave him; but his Wife procured what means she could, but all in vain: When he had continued thus four Years, the excellentest, skilful Men at that Disease undertook him, and did what they could, but all in vain. He had ex­ceeding Quantities of Blood taken from him: Some that had seen the Success would have set upon Fasting and Praying for him in his Presence: But I discou­raged them, as thinking it a tempting carnal Men to contemn Prayer, when they saw it unsuccessful, and I thought they had no cause to expect a Miracle: I had no hope of his Cure because it was natural or heridatory to him, his Father having much about his Age fallen Mad before him and never recovered. When he had continued in this sad Case about ten or twelve Years, some of these Men would not be dissuaded, but would Fast and Pray at his House with great importunity; and many Months they continued it (once a Fortnight, or thereabouts) and he was never the better: But at last he sensibly began to amend, and is now as well almost as ever he was before, and so hath continued for a considerable time.

§ 133. I the rather mentioned these Passages of the Force of Prayer, because being not one in any of them my self, nor being present with them, there is no matter of appearing Ostentation, they being a few poor humble Weavers and other Tradesmen only, and no Minister with them, whose Prayers God hath thus frequently heard for others, and for me (though at this present some of the Chief of them lye in Prison, only for praying, and singing Psalms, and repeating Ser­mons [Page 82] together when they come from the Publick Congregation). And now I re­turn to the Recital of my own Infirmities.

After abundance of Distempers and Languishings, I fell at last into a Flux Hepa­ticus, and after that into manifold other Dangers successively (too long to be re­cited) from all which upon earnest prayer I was delivered.

Once riding upon a great hot-metled Horse, as I stood on a sidelong Pavement in Worcester, the Horse reared up, and both his hinder Feet slipt from under him; so that the full Weight of the Body of the Horse fell upon my Leg; which yet was not broken, but only bruised; when considering the Place, the Stones, the Man­ner of the Fall, it was a Wonder that my Leg was not broken all to Pieces.

Another time, as I sat in my Study, the Weight of my greatest Folio Books brake down three or four of the highest Shelves, when I sat close under them, and they fell down on every side me, and not one of them hit me, save one upon the Arm; whereas the Place, the Weight, and greatness of the Books was such, and my Head just under them, that it was a Wonder they had not beaten out my Brains, one of the Shelves right over my Head having the six Volumes of Dr. Walton's Oriental Bible, and all Austin's Works, and the Bibliotheca Patrum, and Marlo­rate, &c.

An other time, I had such a Fall from an high Place without much hurt, which should I describe it, it would seem a Wonder that my Brains were whole. All these I mention as obliged to record the Mercies of my great Preserver to his Praise and Glory.

§ 134. At last my Weakness was grown so great that I was necessitated to use Breast Milk four Months together; and as much longer, or more, I remained somewhat repaired: But then I fell into a Disease in my Eyes almost incredible; I had near every Day for one Year, and every second Day for another Year, a fresh Macula, commonly called a Pearl, in one Eye, besides very many in the other; the first that I had continued divers Weeks, till by the ordinary Method of Cure I had almost lost my Eye. At last I found that Honey alone, or with other things, six or seven times a Day applied constantly discussed and cured it in one Day: and the next Night in my Sleep another still came, a spurious Opthalmy going be­fore, and leaving the Macula behind it: And I found it came from the extreme thinness of the Blood, with the extreme Laxity of the debilitated Vessels, and the Fatulency pumping up the Matter.

Thus I continued two Years, curing the Spot one Day, and finding it still re­turned the next Morning; so that I had about three hundred Pearls in those two Years; and though for the first Month I could neither read nor endure the Light, yet the rest of the time I went on with my Studies, though not without Pain and much Disturbance. No Purging nor outward Applications, nor other Medi­cines would Prevent the Return of it; till at two Years end I wrote to Dr. G. Bates for his Advice. The Humidities of my Stomach at the same time tasting like boiled Vinegar, or Vitrial, he prescribed me the use of Chalk in Substance (a spoonful shaved in a convenient Liquor) which powerfully precipitateth and dulcifieth acid Humours, and also hath a harmless corroborating Astriction (like Magisterial of Corall or Crabs Eyes:) the use of this gave a check to my Distemper, so that my Spots came seldomer than before: At last I had a Conceit of my own that two Plants which I had never made trial of, would prove accomodate to my Infirmity, Heath and Sage, as being very drying and astringent without any Acrimony: I boiled much of them in my Beer instead of Hops, and drank no other: When I had used it a Month my Eyes were cured, and all my tormenting Tooth-aches, and such other Maladies. Being desirous to know which of the two Hearbs it was which I was most beholden to, I tryed the Heath alone one time, and the Sage alone anotherwhile; and I found it was the Sage much more than the Heath which did the Cure: whereupon I have used it now this ten Years, and through God's great Mercy, I never had a Spot more for many Years; nor many since at all: Also these other Effects have followed it; 1. It easeth my Headach. 2. I have no other Remedy for my terrible Toothach, inward or outward that will serve; nor did this ever fail me, if it hath had but twelve or twenty hours to work. 3. Where­as before I could endure no strong Drink, but was fain to drink very small Beer, or Iulep Alexande, and a Spoonful of Wine would have disturbed me a Fortnight, (with Ophthalmies, Toothaches, &c.) since I used Sage I can bear the strongest Beer, (so I disuse not my Medicine the while.) 4. The vitriolate cutting Acidity of my Stomach is more dulcified than I could possibly have believed it would be. In a Word, God hath made this Herb do more for me (not for Cure but for Ease) [Page 83] than all the Medicines that ever I used from all Physitians in my Life: So that though still I am very seldom without pain, yet my Languishings and Pains have been much less these last ten Years than long before. How it doth all this I am not certain; but I suppose principally by its great Astriction, mightily corroborating the relaxed Stomach and Vessels, and Brain, and by Astriction of the relaxed Vein, doth hinder the Motion and Shedding abroad of the corrupted Blood they contain: And also I am sure it mightily precipitateth and taketh off Acidities. The way I use it is, 1. Well boiled in the Wort in all my Beer: 2. Well boiled in my Gruel for every Mornings Breakfast: 3. Upon any special Necessity I take a Spoonful of the Powder (of the Leaves dryed and mixed with two or three Parts of Sugar) which is the Strongest way of all: So that I find the Vertue is most in the terrene and salive Parts, and not in any thing superficial and volatile. For the Infusion, and Ale made by Infusion doth me little Good, nor the Conserve of the Flowers. I have tried it on others, and find no such marvelous Effects as on my self; but least on the fat and strong, and most on the lean, old and weak, and that have thin fluid Humours, and laxity of Vessels, and some inordinate Acrimony. This I thought my self obliged to mention to the Praise of my heavenly Physician, in Thankfulness for these ten Years Ease; and to give some hint to others in my Case: Though now, through Age and constant Use, this Herb doth less with me than at the first; yet am I necessitated still to use it, and quickly to return to it when I have omitted it. After sixteen or seventeen Years benefit it now saileth me, and I forsake it.

§ 135. I shall next record, to the Praise of my Redeemer, the comfortable Em­ployments and Successes which he vouchsafed me during my abode at Kiderminster, under all these Weaknesses. And 1. I will mention my Employment. 2. My Successes. And 3. Those Advantages by which under God it was procured; in order.

1. I preached before the Wars twice each Lord's Day; but after the War but once, and once every Thursday, besides occasional Sermons. Every Thursday Even­ing my Neighbours that were most desirous and had Opportunity, met at my House, and there one of them repeated the Sermon, and afterwards they proposed what Doubts any of them had about the Sermon, or any other Case of Consci­ence, and I resolved their Doubts: And last of all I caused sometimes one, and sometimes another of them to Pray (to exercise them); and sometimes I prayed with them my self: which (beside singing a Psalm) was all they did. And once a Week also some of the younger sort who were not fit to pray in so great an As­sembly, met among a few more privately, where they spent three Hours in Pray­er together, ever Saturday Night they met at some of their Houses to repeat the Sermon of the last Lord's Day, and to pray and prepare themselves for the follow­ing Day. Once in a few Weeks we had a Day of Humiliation on one Occasion or other; Every Religious Woman that was safely Delivered, instead of the old Feastings and Gossipings, if they were able, did keep a Day of Thanksgiving with some of their Neighbours with them, praising God, and singing Psalms, and sober­ly Feasting together. Two Days every Week my Assistant and I my self, took 14 Families between us for private Catechising and Conference (he going through the Parish, and the Town coming to me): I first heard them recite the Words of the Catechism, and then examined them about the Sense, and lastly urged them with all possible engaging Reason and Vehemency, to answerable Affection and Practice. If any of them were stalled through Ignorance or Bashfulness, I forbore to press them any farther to Answers, but made them Hearers, and either examin­ed others, or turned all into Instruction and Exhortation. But this I have opened more fully in my Reformed Paster. I spent about an Hour with a Family, and ad­mitted no others to be present, lest Bashfulness should make it burthensom, or any should talk of the Weaknesses of others: So that all the Afternoons on Mondays, and Tuesdays I spent in this (after I had begun it; for it was many Years before I did attempt it): And my Assistant spent the Morning of the same Days in the same Employment. Before that, I only catechised them in the Church; and con­ferred with, now and then, one occasionally.

Besides all this, I was forced five or six years by the Peoples Necessity to pra­ctise Physick: A common Pleurisie happening one year, and no Physician being near, I was forced to advise them, to save their Lives; and I could not afterwards avoid the Importunity of the Town and Country round about: And because I never once took a Penny of any one, I was crowded with Patients, so that almost Twenty would be at my Door at once; and though God by more Success than I [Page 84] expected, so long encouraged me, yet at last I could endure it no longer; partly because it hindred my other Studies, and partly because the very fear of miscarrying and doing any one harm, did make it an intollerable burden to me: So that after some Years Practice, I procured a godly, diligent Physician to come and live in the Town, and bound my self by Promise to practise no more (unless in Con­sultation with him in case of any seeming necessity); And so with that Answer I turned them all off, and never medled with it more.

But all these my Labours (except my private Conferences with the Families) even preaching and preparing for it, were but my Recreations, and as it were the work of my spare hours: For my Writings were my chiefest daily Labour; which yet went the more slowly on, that I never one hour had an Amanuensis to dictate to, and specially because my Weakness took up so much of my time. For all the Pains that my Infirmities ever brought upon me, were never half so grievous an Affliction to me, as the unavoidable loss of my time, which they occasioned, I could not bear (through the weakness of my Stomach) to rise before Seven a Clock in the Morning, and afterwards not till much later; and some Infirmities I laboured under, made it above an hour before I could be drest. An hour I must of necessity have to walk before Dinner, and another before Supper; and after Sup­per I can seldom Study: All which, besides times of Family Duties, and Prayer, and Eating, &c. leaveth me but little time to study; which hath been the greatest external Personal Affliction of all my Life.

Besides all these, every first Wednesday of the Month was our monthly Meeting for Parish Discipline; and every first Thursday of the month was the Ministers meet­ing for Discipline and Disputation: And in those Disputations it fell to my lot to be almost constant Moderator; and for every such day (usually) I prepared a written De­termination. All which I mention as my Mercies and Delights, and not as my Bur­dens. And every Thursday besides, I had the Company of divers godly Ministers at my House after the Lecture, with whom I spent that Afternoon in the truest Re­creation, till my Neighbours came to [...]et for their Exercise of Repetition and Prayer.

For ever blessed be the God of Mercies, that brought me from the Grave, and gave me after Wars and Sickness fourteen years Liberty in such sweet Imployment! And that in times of Usurpation I had all this Mercy and happy Freedom, when under our rightful King and Governour, I and many hundreds more are silenced, and laid by, as broken Vessels, and suspected and vilified as scarce to be tollerated to live privately and quietly in the Land! That God should make days of Licenti­ousness and Disorder under an Usurper so great a Mercy to me, and many a thou­sand more, who under the lawful Governours which they desired, and in the days when Order is said to be restored, do some of us sit in obscurity and unprofitable si­lence, and some lie in Prisons, and all of us are accounted as the Scum and Swep­ings or Off-scourings of the Earth.

§ 136. I have mentioned my sweet and acceptable Employment; Let me to the Praise of my gracious Lord, acquaint you with some of my Success: And I will not suppress it, though I fore-know that the Malignant will impute the men­tion of it to Pride and Oftentation. For it is the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving which I owe to my most gracious God, which I will not deny him for fear of being cen­sured as proud, lest I prove my self proud indeed, while I cannot undergo the Imputation of Pride in the performance of my Thanks for such underserved Mer­cies.

My publick Preaching met with an attentive diligent Auditory! Having broke over the brunt of the Opposition of the Rabble before the Wars, I found them after­wards tractable and unprejudiced.

Before I ever entred into the Ministry, God blessed my private Conference to the Conversion of some, who remain firm and eminent in holiness to this day: But then, and in the beginning of my Ministry I was wont to number them as Jewels; but since then I could not keep any number of them.

The Congregation was usually full, so that we are fain to build five Galleries after my coming thither (the Church it self being very capacious, and the most commodious and Convenient, that ever I was in). Our private Meetings also were full. On the Lord's Days there was no disorder to be seen in the Streets, but you might hear an hundred Families singing Psalms and repeating Sermons, as you pas­sed through the Streets. In a word, when I came thither first, there was about one Family in a Street that worshipped God and called on his Name, and when I came away there were some Streets where there was not past one Family in the [Page 85] side of a Street that did not so; and that did not by professing serious Godliness, give us hopes of their sincerity: And those Families which were the worst, being Inns and Alehouses, usually Some persons in each House did seem to be Religious. Though our Administration of the Lords Supper was so ordered as displeased ma­ny, and the far greater part kept away themselves, yet we had 600 that were Com­municats, of whom there was not twelve that I had not good hopes of, as to their sincerity: and those few that did consent to our Communion, and yet lived scan­dalously were Excommunicated afterward: And I hope there were many that had the Fear of God that came not to our Communion in the Sacrament, some of them being kept off by Husbands, by Parents, by Masters, and some disswaded by Men that differed from us: Those many that kept away, yet took it patiently, and did not revile us, as doing them wrong: And those unruly young men that were Ex­communicated, bore it patiently as to their outward behaviour, though their hearts were full of bitterness: (except one, of whom I shall speak anon). When I set upon Personal Conference with each Family, and Catechizing them, there were very few Families in all the Town that refused to come; and those few were Beg­gers at the Towns-ends, who were so ignorant that they were ashamed it should be manifest. And few Families went from me without some tears, or seemingly seri­ous Promises for a Godly Life. Yet many ignorant and ungodly Persons there were still among us: but most of them were in the Parish, and not in the Town: and in those parts of the Parish which were furthest from the Town. And whereas one part of the Parish was impropriate, and payed Tythes to Lay-men, and the other part maintained the Church, (a Brook dividing them) it fell out that al­most all that side of the Parish which paid Tythes to the Church, were godly, ho­nest People, and did it willingly without Contention; and most of the bad People of the Parish lived on the other side. Some of the Poor men did competently un­derstand the Body of Divinity, and were able to judge in difficult Controversies: Some of them were so able in Prayer, that very [...]ew Ministers did match them, in order and fulness, and apt Expressions, and holy Oratory, with fervency: Abun­dance of them were so able to pray very laudably with their Families, or with others. The temper of their Minds, and the innocency of their Lives was much more laudable than their Parts. The Professors of serious Godliness, were generally of very humble Minds and Carriage; of meek and quiet behaviour unto others; and of blamelesness and innocency in their Conversations.

And God was pleased also to give me abundant Encouragement in the Lectures which I preached abroad in other places; as at Worcester, Cleobury, &c. But especi­ally at Dudley and Sheffual; at the former of which (being the first place that ever I preached in) the poor Nailers and other Labourers would not only crowd the Church as full as ever I saw any in London, but also hand upon the Windows, and the Leads without.

And in my poor Endeavours with my Brethren in the Ministry, my Labours were not lost; Our Disputations proved not unprofitable; Our Meetings were ne­ver contentious, but always comfortable; We took great delight in the Company of each other; so that I knew that the remembrance of those days is pleasant both of them and me: when Discouragements had long kept me from motioning a way of Church-order and Discipline, which all might agree in, that we might neither have Churches ungoverned, nor fall into Divisions among our selves, at the first motioning of it, I found a readier Consent than I could expect, and all went on without any great obstructing difficulties: And when I attempted to bring them all conjunctly to the work of Catechizing and Instructing every Family by it self, I found a ready consent in most, and performance in many. So that I must here to the praise of my dear Redeemer, set up this Pillar of Remembrance, even to his Praise who hath employed me so many years in so comfortable a Work, with such encouraging Success! O what am I, a worthless Worm, not only want­ing Academical Honours, but much of that Furniture which is needful to so high a Work, that God should thus abundantly encourage me, when the Reverend In­structors of my Youth, did labour Fifty years together in one place, and could scarcely say they had Converted one or two of their Parishes! And the greater was this Mercy, because I was naturally of a discouraged Spirit; so that if I had preached one Year, and seen no Fruits of it, I should hardly have for born running away like Ionah, but should have thought that God called me not to that Place. Yea, the Mercy was yet greater in that it was of farther publick Benefit: For some Independents and Anabaptist that had before conceited, that Parish Churches were the great Obstruction of all true Church Order and Discipline, and that it [Page 86] was impossible to bring them to any good Consistency, did quite change their Minds when they saw what was done at Kiderminster, and began to think now, that it was much through the faultiness of the Parish Ministers, that Parishes are not in a better Cafe; and that it is a better Work thus to reform the Parishes, than to gather Churches out of them, without great Necessity.

And the Zeal and Knowledge of this poor People provoked many in other parts of the Land. And though I have been now absent from them about six Years, and they have been assaulted with Pulpit-Calumnies, and Slanders, with Threat­nings and Imprisonments, with enticing Words, and seducing Reasonings, they yet stand fast and keep their Integrity; many of them are gone to God, and some are removed, and some now in Prison, and most still at home; but not one, that I hear of, that are fallen off, or forsake their Uprightness.

§ 137. Having related my comfortable Successes in this Place, I shall next tell you by what, and how many Advantages this much was effected (under that Grace which worketh by means, though with a free diversity); which I do for their sakes that would have the means of other Mens Experiments, in mana­ging ignorant and sinful Parishes.

1. One Advantage was, that I came to a People that never had any awakening Ministry before (but a few formal cold Sermons of the Curate): For if they had been hardened under a powerful Ministry, and been Sermon Proof, I should have expected less.

2. Another Advantage was, that at first I was in the Vigour of my Spirits, and had naturally a familiar moving Voice (which is a great matter with the common Hearers); and doing all in bodily Weakness, as a dying Man, my Soul was the more easily brought to Seriousness, and to preach as a dying Man to dying Men; for drowsy Formality and Customariness doth but stupisy the Hearers, and rock them asleep: It must be serious Preaching, which must make Men serious in hear­ing and obeying it.

3. Another Advantage was, that most of the bitter Enemies of Godliness in the Town, that rose in Tumults against me before, in their very Hatred of Puri­tans, had gone out into the Wars, into the King's Armies, and were quickly kill'd, and few of them ever returned again; and so there were few to make any great Op­position to Godliness.

4. Another, and the greatest Advantage was, the Change that was made in the Publick Affairs by the Success of the Wars; which, however it was done, and though much corrupted by the Usurpers, yet it was such as removed many and great Impediments to Mens Salvation: For before, the riotous Rabble had Bold­ness enough to make serious Godliness a common Scorn, and call them all Puri­tans and Precisians that did not care as little for God and Heaven and their Souls as they did; especially if a Man were not fully satisfied with their undisciplined, disordered Churches, or Lay Chancellors Excommunications, &c. then no Name was bad enough for him: And the Bishops Articles enquiring after such, and their Courts and the High Commission grievously afflicting those that did but Fast and Pray together, or go from an ignorant drunken Reader, to hear a godly able Preacher at the next Parish, &c. this kept Religion among the Vulgar under ei­ther continual Reproach or Terror, encourageing the Rabble to despise it and revile it, and discouraging those that else would own it. And Experience tell­eth us, that it is a lamentable Impediment to Mens Conversion, when it is a way every where spoken against, and prosecuted by Superiors, which they must em­brace; and when at their first Approaches they must go through such Dangers and Obloquy as is fitter for confirmed Christians to be exercised with, than un­converted Sinners or young Beginners: Therefore, though Cromwell gave Liberty to all Sects among us, and did not set up any Party alone by Force, yet this much gave abundant Advantage to the Gospel, removing the Prejudices and the Ter­rours which hindered it; especially considering that Godliness had Countenance and Reputation also, as well as Liberty; whereas before, if it did not appear in all the Fetters and Formalities of the Times, it was the way to common Shame and Ru­ine: Hearing Sermons abroad when there were none, or worse at home; Fasting and Praying together; the strict Observation of the Lord's Day, and such like, went under the dangerous Name of Puritanism, as well as opposing Bishops and Ceremonies.

I know in these Times you may meet with Men that confidently affirm, that all Religion was then trodden down, and Heresy and Schism were the only Piety; but I give Warning to all Ages by the Experience of this incredible Age, that [Page 87] they take heed how they believe any, whoever they be, while they are speaking for the Interest of their Factions and Opinions, against those that were their real or supposed Adversaries.

For my part, I bless God who gave me even under an Usurper whom I oppo­sed, such Liberty and Advantage to preach his Gospel with Success, which I can­not have under a King to whom I have sworn and performed true Subjection and Obedience; yea, which no Age since the Gospel came into this Land, did before possess, as far as I can learn from History. Sure I am, that when it became a matter of Reputation and Honour to be Godly, it abundantly furthered the Succes­ses of the Ministry. Yea, and I shall add this much more for the sake of Posterity, that as much as I have said and written against Licentiousness in Religion, and for the Magistrates Power in it, and though I think that Land most happy, whose Rulers use their Authority for Christ, as well as for the Civil Peace; yet in Com­parison of the rest of the World, I shall think that Land happy that hath but bare Liberty to be as good as they are willing to be; and if Countenance and Mainte­nance be but added to Liberty, and tollerated Errors and Sects be but forced to keep the Peace, and not to oppose the Substantials of Christianity, I shall not hereafter much fear such Toleration, nor despair that Truth will bear down Adver­saries.

5. Another Advantage which I found was, that Acceptation of my Person, which Bishop Morley and Dean Warmstry so vehemently dissuaded them from (in vain): Though to win Estimation and Love to our selves only, be an end that none but proud Men and Hypocrites intend, yet it is most certain that the Grate­fulness of the Person doth ingratiate the Message, and greatly prepareth the Peo­ple to receive the Truth: Had they taken me to be Ignorant, Erroneous, Scanda­lous, Worldly, Self-seeking, or such like, I could have expected small Success among them.

6. Another Advantage which I had was, by the Zeal and Diligence of the Godly People of the Place; who thirsted after the Salvation of their Neighbours, and were in private my Assistants, and being dispersed through the Town, were rea­dy in almost all Companies to repress seducing Words, and to justify Godliness, and convince, reprove, exhort Men according to their needs; as also to teach them how to pray; and to help them to sanctifie the Lord's Day: For those Peo­ple that had none in their Families who could pray, or repeat the Sermons, went to their next Neighbour's House who could do it, and joined with them; so that Some House (of the ablest Men) in each Street were filled with them that could do nothing, or little in their own.

7. And the holy, humble, blameless Lives of the Religious sort was a great Advantage to me: The malicious People could not say, your Professors here are as proud and covetous as any: But the blameless Lives of godly People did shame Opposers, and put to Silence the Ignorance of foolish Men, and many were won by their good Conversation.

8. And our Unity and Concord was a great Advantage to us, and our freedom from those Sects and Heresies which many other Places were infected with. We had no private Church, though we had private Meetings; we had not Pastor against Pastor, nor Church against Church, nor Sect against Sect, nor Christian against Christian. There was none that had any odd Opinions of his own, or censured his Teacher as erronious, nor questioned his Call: At Bewdley there was a Church of Anabaptists; at Worcester the Independents gathered theirs: But we were all of one Mind, and Mouth, and Way: Not a Separatist, Anabaptist, An­tinomian, &c. in the Town! One Journeyman Shoemaker turned Anabaptist, but he left the Town upon it, and went among them. When People saw diver­sity of Sects and Churches in any Place, it greatly hindred their Conversion; and they were at a loss, and knew not what Party to be of, or what Way to go; and therefore would be of no Religion at all; and perhaps derided them all whom they saw thus disagreed: But they had no such Offence or Objection there; they could not ask, which Church or Party shall I be of; for we were all but as one: Nay, so Modest were the ablest of the People, that they never were inclined to a preaching way, nor to make Ostentation of their Parts; but took warning by the Pride of others, and thought they had teaching enough by their Pastors, and that it was better for them to bestow their Labour in digesting that, than in Preaching themselves.

[Page 88]9. And our private Meetings were a marvellous help to the propagating of God­liness among them: for thereby Truths that slipt away were recalled, and the se­riousness of the Peoples minds renewed; and good desires cherished; and hereby their knowledge was much increased; and here the younger sort learned to pray, by frequent hearing others: And here I had opportunity to know their Case: for if any were touched and awakened in publick, I should presently see him drop in to our private Meetings: Hereby also idle meetings and loss of time was prevent­ed. And so far were we from being by this in danger of Schism or Divisions, that it was the principal means to prevent them: For here I was usually present with them, answering their Doubts, and silencing Objections, and moderating them in all. And some Private Meeting's I found they were exceeding much inclined to: and if I had not allowed them such as were lawful and profitable, they would have been ready to run to such as were unlawful and hurtful: And by encouraging them here in the fit exercise of their parts, in Repetition, Prayer, and asking Questi­ons, I kept them from inclining to the disorderly exercise of them, as the Sectaries do. We had no Meetings in opposition to the Publick Meetings; but all in sub­ordination to them; and under my over-sight and guidance; which proved a way profitable to all.

10. Another thing which advantaged us was some publick Disputations which we had with Gainsayers, which very much confirmed the People: The Quakers would fain have got entertainment and set up a Meeting in the Town (and fre­quently railed at me in the Congregation): But when I had once given them leave to meet in the Church, for a Dispute, and before the People, had opened their deceits and shame, none would entertain them more, nor did they get one Proselyte among us. Before that, Mr. Iohn Tombes being Lecturer of Bewdley, two miles off us, (who was reputed the most Learned and able Anabaptist in England) we kept fair Correspondence for a long time, and I studiously avoided all Debates with him about Infant Baptism; till at last he forced me to it as I shall shew fur­ther anon, And after one days Dispute with him of Bewdley, my Hearers were more setled, and the course of his Infection stopt. How mean soever my own Abilities were, yet I had still the advantage of a good Cause, and thereby easily o­pened the vanity of all Pretenders, Deceivers and Dividers that came among us.

11. Another advantage was the great honesty and diligence of my Assistants: When I came first to Kidderminster after the Wars, I found Mr. Richard Sergeant there received as their Preacher [...] whom they took in a Case of Necessity when they could get no other: I found him very honest, but of no extraordinary Learn­ing, and of no taking utterance, so that some that were more for Learing than for serious Piety, would have had me taken in his stead a very grave, ancient Do­ctor of Divinity, who had a most promising Presence, and tolerable Delivery, and reverend Name, and withal was my Kinsman: But I found at last that he had no relish of serious Godliness, nor solid Learning or Knowledge in Divinity, but stole Sermons out of printed Books, and set them off with a grave Delivery. But Mr. Sergeant so increased in Ability, that he became a solid Preacher, and of so great Prudence in Practical Cases, that I know few therein go beyond him; but none at all do I know that excelleth him in Meekness, Humility, Self-denial and Diligence No Child ever seemed more humble: No Interest of his own, either of Estate or Reputation, did ever seem to stop him in his Duty: No Labour did he ever refuse which I could put him to: When I put him to travel over the Parish (which is near 20 miles about) from House to House to Catechize and Instruct each Family, he never grudged or seemed once unwilling. He preached at a Chappel above two miles off one half the day, and in the Town the other, and never murmured. I never heard of the Man or Woman in all that Town and Parish, that ever said, This Fault he did; This Word he spake amiss against me; This Wrong he did me; nor ever one that once found fault with him (save once one man upon a short mistake, for being out of the way when he should have baptized a Child): This admirable blamelesness of Life much furthered our work: And when he was remo­ved two miles from us, I got Mr. Humphrey Waldern to succeed him, who was very much like him, and carried on his work.

12. Another Advantage was the Presence and Countenance of honest Justices of Peace: Colonel Iohn Bridges, a prudent, pious Gentleman, was Patron of the Church, and lived in the Parish, and was a Justice of Peace: And a Bailiff and Justice were Annually chosen in the Corporation, who ordinarily were godly men, and always such as would be thought so, and were ready to use their Authority to [Page 89] Suppress Sin, and promote Goodness. And when once a Sabbath-breaker thought to have overthrown the Officers at Law, Serjeant Fountain being then Judge of Assize, did so repress his Malice, as discouraged all others from any more such attempts. But now the World is changed—.

13. Another help to my Success, was that small relief which my low Estate enabled me to afford the Poor: though the Place was reckoned at near 200l. per Annum, there came but 90l. and sometimes 80l. per Annum to me: Besides which, some years I had 60l. or 80l. a year of the Booksellers for my Books: which little dispersed among them, much reconciled them to the Do­ctrine which I taught: I took the aptest of their Children from the School, and set divers of them to the Universities; where for 8l. a year, or 10l. at most, by the help of my Friends there I maintained them. Mr. Vines and Dr. Hill did help me to Sizers places for them at Cambridge: And the Lady Rous allowed me 8l. a year awhile towards their Maintenance, and Mr. Tho. Fowley and Col. Bridges also assisted me. Some of them are honest able Ministers, now cast out with their Bre­thren: But two or three, having no other way to live, turned great Conformists, and are Preachers now. And in giving that little I had, I did not enquire whe­ther they were good or bad, if they asked Relief: For the bad had Souls and Bo­dies that needed Charity most. And I found that Three pence or a Groat to eve­ry poor Body that askt me, was no great matter in a year, but a few pounds in that way of giving would go far. And this Truth I will speak to the encouragement of the Charitable, that what little Money I have now by me, I got it almost all (I scarce know how) in that time when I gave most: And since I have had less opportunity of giving, I have had less increase.

14. Another furtherance of my work was the Writing's which I wrote, and gave among them. Some small Books I gave each Family one of, (which came to about 800); and of the bigger I gave fewer: And every Family that was poor, and had not a Bible, I gave a Bible to. And I had found my self the benefit of reading to be so great, that I could not but think it would be profitable to others.

15. And it was a great Advantage to me, that my Neighbours were of such a Trade as allowed them time enough to read or talk of holy Things. For the Town liveth upon the Weaving of Kidderminster Stuffs; and as they stand in their Loom they can set a Book before them, or edifie one another: whereas Plowmen, and many others, are so wearied or continually employed, either in the Labours or the Cares of their Callings, that it is a great Impediment to their Salvation; Freeholders and Trades-men are the Strength of Religion and Civillity in the Land: and Gentlemen and Beggers, and Servile Tenants, are the Strength of Iniquity; (Though among these sorts there are some also that are good and just, as among the other there are many bad.) And their constant Converse and Traffick with London doth much promote Civility and Piety among Trades-men.

16. And I found that my single Life afforded me much advantage: For I could the easilier take my People for my Children, and think all that I had too little for them, in that I had no Children of my own to tempt me to another way of using it. And being discharged from the most of Family Cares (keeping but one Servant) I had the greater vacancy and liberty for the Labours of my Calling.

17. And God made use of my Practice of Physick among them, as a very great advantage to my Ministry; for they that cared not for their Souls did love their Lives, and care for their Bodies: And by this they were made almost as observant, as a Tenant is of his Landlord: Sometimes I could see before me in the Church a very considerable part of the Congregation, whose Lives God had made me a means to save, or to recover their health: And doing it for nothing so obliged them, that they would readily hear me.

18. And it was a great advantage to me, that there were at last few that were bad, but some of their own Relations were Converted: Many Children did God work upon at 14, or 15, or 16 years of Age: And this did marvellously reconcile the Minds of the Parents and Elder sort to Godliness: They that would not hear me, would hear their own Children: They that before could have talkt against Godliness, would not hear it spoken against when it was their Childrens Case: Many that would not be brought to it themselves, were proud that they had un­derstanding Religious Children: And we had some old Persons of near Eighty years of Age, who are, I hope, in Heaven, and the Conversion of their own Children was the chief means to overcome their Prejudice and old Customs and Conceits.

[Page 90]19. And God made great use of Sickness to do good to many. For though Sick­bed Promises are usually soon forgotten; yet was it otherwise with many among us: And as soon as they were recovered, they first came to our private Meetings, and so kept in a learning state, till further Fruits of Piety appeared.

20. And I found that our disowning of the Iniquity of the Times, did tend to the good of many: For they despised those that always followed the stronger side, and justified every wickedness that was done by the stronger Party: Though we had judged the Parliaments War to be lawful and necessary, to save themselves and us from the Irish and their Adherents, and to punish Delinquents in a Course of Law, while we believed that nothing was intended against the King or Laws; yet as soon as ever we saw the Case changed, and Cromwell's Army enter into a Rebel­lion against King and Parliament, and kill the King, and invade the Scots, and fight against the King that should have succeeded, &c. we openly disowned them, and on all just occasions exprest our abhorrence of their Hypocrisie, Perjury, and Rebellion; (except two or three idle drunken Fellows that thought to live by flattering the Times, this was the Sense of all the Town). And had I owned the Guilt of others, it would have been my shame, and the hinderance of my work, and provoked God to have disowned me.

21. Another of my great Advantages was, the true Worth and Unanimity of the honest Ministers of the Country round about us, who associated in a way of Concord with us: Their Preaching was powerful and sober; their Spirits peace­able and meek, disowning the Treasons and Iniquities of the times as well as we; they were wholly addicted to the winning of Souls; self-denying, and of most blameless Lives; Evil spoken of by no Sober Men; but greatly beloved by their own People, and all that knew them; adhering to no Faction; neither Episcopal, Presbyterian nor Independent, as to Parties; but desiring Union, and loving that which is good in all.

These meeting weekly at our Lecture, and monthly at our Disputation, con­strained a Reverence in the People to their Worth and Unity, and consequently furthered my Work, such were Mr. Andrew Trisham Minister of Bridgnorth, Mr. Tho. Baldwin Minister at Chadsley, Mr. Tho. Baldwin Minister of Clent, Mr. Ioseph Baker Minister in Worcester, Mr. Henry Oasland Minister of Bewdley, Mr. William Spicer Minister of Stone (an old man since dead), Mr. Richard Sergeant last Minister of Stone, Mr. Wilsby of Womborne, Mr. Iohn Reignolds of Wolverhampton, Mr. Ioseph Rocke of Rowley, Mr. Richard Wolley of Sallwarp, Mr. Giles Wolley, Mr. Humphrey Waldern of Broome, Mr. Edw. Bowchier of Church-hill, Mr. Ambrose Sparry of Martley, Mr. William Kimberley of Ridmarley, Mr. Benj. Baxter of Upton upon Severn, Mr. Dow­ley of Stoke, Mr. Stephen Baxter, Mr. Tho. Bromwick of Kemsey, Mr. I. Nott of She­riff-hales, with many others; to whom I may adjoyn Mr. Iohn Spilsbury, and Mr. Iuice one of Bromsgrove, and the other of Worcester, Independants, and very honest, sober, and moderate men; (who were all of them now silenced and cast out, though not one of them all had any hand in the Wars for the Parliament, or any Military Employment; only Mr. George Hopkins of Evesham was in the Army, (a worthy faithful Minister also) and no other of our Association that I know of besides my self in all the County.

22. Another Advantage to me was the quality of the Sinners of the place. There were two Drunkards almost at the next Doors to me, who (one by night, and the other by day) did constantly every Week, if not twice or thrice a Weak, roar and rave in the Streets like stark-madmen; and when they have been laid in the Stocks or Gaol, they have been as bad as soon as ever they came out: And these were so beastly and ridiculous, that they made that Sin (of which we were in most danger) the more abhorred.

23. Another Advantage to me was the quality of the Apostates of the place. If we had been troubled with meer Separatists, Anabaptists, or others that erred plausibly and tollerably, they might perhaps have divided us, and drawn away Disciples after them: But we had only two Professors that fell off in the Wars, and (one or two at most) that made no Profession of Godliness were drawn in to them. They that fell off were such as before, by their want of grounded Under­standing, Humility and Mortification, gave us the greatest suspicion of their Sta­bility: And they fell to no less than Familism and Infidelity, making a jest of the Scripture, and the Essentials of Christianity: (Though they so carefully hid it, that we could never possibly have known their Minds, but from the Alehouse, and Companions with whom they were more free). And as they fell from the Faith, so they fell to Drinking, Gaming, furious Passions, horribly abusing their Wives [Page 91] (and thereby saving them from their Errours) and to a vicious Life. So that they stood up as Pillars and Monuments of God's Justice, to warn all others, to take heed of Self-conceitedness and Heresies, and of departing from Truth and Chri­stian Unity: And so they were a principal means to keep out all Sects and Errours from the Town.

24. Another great help to my Success at last, was the fore-described Work of Personal Conference with every Family apart, and Catechising and Instructing them. That which was spoken to them personally, and put them sometime upon Answers, awakened their Attention, and was easilier applyed than publick Preach­ing, and seemed to do much more upon them.

25. And the Exercise of Church-Discipline was no small furtherance of the Peoples Good: For I found plainly that without it I could not have kept the Religious sort from Separations and Divisions. There is something generally in their Dispositions, which inclineth them to dissociate from open ungodly Sinners, as Men of another Nature and Society; and if they had not seen me do something reasonable for a Regular Separation of the notorious obstinate Sinners from the rest, they would irregularly have withdrawn themselves; and it had not been in my power, with bare words, to satisfie them, when they saw we had liberty to do what we would.

It was my greatest Care and Contrivance so to order this Work, that we might neither make a meer Mock-shew of Discipline, nor with Independants, un-church the Parish-Church, and gather a Church out of them anew. Therefore all the Mini­sters Associate agreed together, to practice so much Discipline, as the Episcopal, Presbyterians and Independants were agreed on, that Presbyters might and must do. And we told the People that we went not about to gather a new Church, but taking the Parish for the Church, unless they were unwilling to own their own Membership, we resolved to exercise that Discipline with all: Only because there are some Pa­pists and Familists or Infidels among us, and because in these times of Liberty we cannot (nor desire to) compel any against their Wills, we desired all that did own their Membership in this Parish Church, and take us for their Pastors, to give in their Names, or any other way signifie that they do so: and those that are not willing to be Members, and rather choose to withdraw themselves than live under Discipline, to be silent: And so, for very fear of Discipline, all the Parish kept off except about Six hundred, when there were in all above Sixteen hundred at Age to be Communicants. Yet because it was their own doing, and they knew they might come in when they would, they were quiet in their Separation; for we took them for the Separatists: For those that scrupled our Gesture at the Sa­crament, I openly told them that they should have it in their own. Yet did I Bap­tize all their Children; but made them first (as I would have done by Strangers) give me privately, (or publickly if they had rather) an account of their Faith; and if any Father were a scandalous Sinner, I made him confess his Sin openly with seeming Penitence, before I would Baptize his Child: If he refused it, I forbore till the Mother came to present it, (for I rarely, if ever, found both Father and Mother so destitute of Knowledge and Faith, as in a Church Sense to be uncapa­ble hereof.)

Of those that refused to come under Discipline, some were honest Persons, who by their Husbands, Parents or Masters, were forbidden: Many were grosly igno­rant; many were prophane and scandalous; and many were kept off by the Ex­ample and Perswasions of some leading Persons, who were guided by the higher sort of the Prelatical Divines; who though they could say little or nothing against what we did, yet their Religion being too much made up of Faction and Personal Interest, they disowned our Course as unsuitable to the Interest of their Civil and Ecclesiastical Sidings and Designs.

About six or seven young Men did joyn with us who were addicted to Tipling, and one of them was a weak-headed Fellow, who was a common notorious Drun­kard. We could not refuse them, because our business was not to gather a New Church, but only to know who owned their own Membership, and who would disown it and withdraw themselves. But we told him that he was a notorious Drunkard, that we must presently admonish him, and expect his humble, penitent Confession, and promise of Amendment, or else we must declare him unfit for Church-Communion. He lamented his Sin with great aggravation, and promi­sed Amendment; but quickly returned to it again: We admonished him again and again, and laboured to bring him to Contrition and Resolution; and he would still confess it, and still go on: I warned him publickly, and prayed for him several [Page 92] days in the Church; but he went on in his Drunkenness still: At last I declared him unfit for the Churches Communion, and required them to avoid him accord­ingly (for this was all we did, whether you will call it Excommunication or not) endeavouring to convince him of his Misery, and of the necessity of true Repen­tance and Reformation.

If any shall here ask me, Why we took this Course, and did not take all the Parish for Members without putting the Question to them; and what Benefits we found by such a Course of Discipline? I answer first to the last Question:

1. We performed a plain Command of Christ: and we took Obedience to be better than Sacrifice, and be our best kind of Worship, and the pleasing of God to be the greatest benefit.

2. As is said before, we kept the Church from irregular Separations, which else could never have been done.

3. We helpt to Cure that dangerous Disease among the People, of imagining that Christianity is but a matter of Opinion and dead Belief, and to convince them how much of it consisteth in Holiness, and how far it is inconsistent with reigning Sin; and so did vindicate the Honour of Christ and the Christian Faith.

4. We greatly suppressed the practice of Sin, and caused People to walk more watchfully than else they would have done. These and many other great Benefits accrewed by it to the Church.

But if you ask what good the Offenders themselves received by it, I shall tell you the truth according to my Experince. All sober, godly, well-minded Per­sons, if they once fell into any scandalous Action (as scarce two of them ever did) yea the very Civil and Younger sort that were tractable, did humbly confess their Sin, and walk more watchfully. But those that were cast out of our Communion were enraged, and made much more Enemies to Godliness than before, though we exercised as much Patience and Tenderness towards them, as Reason could desire. The Drunkard before-mentioned, after his Ejection, when he was drunk would stand at the Market-place, and like a Quaker, Cry out against the Town, and take on him to prophesie God's Judgments against them, and would rage at my Door, and rail and curse. And once he followed me as I went to Church, and laid hands on me in the Church-yard, with a purpose to have killed me; but it fell out that he had hold only of my Cloak, which I unbottoned and left with him; and before his Fury could do any more, (it being the Fair-day) there were some Strangers by in the Church-yard, who drag'd him to the Magistrate and the Stocks. And thus he continued raging against me about a year, and then died of a Fever in horrour of Conscience. Three or four more we were forced to cast out, one for Slandering, and all the rest for drunkenness; and though their wit, and the honesty of their Neighbours and Relations made them live quietly, yet their Enmity was much en­creased, and they themselves so much the worse, as convinced the strictest Religi­ous sort, that Excommunication is not to be used but upon great Necessity. And indeed, how can you expect that he who will stand it out to an Excommunication, should be bettered by any ordinary means? When private Intreaties and vehement Exhortations, and Warnings before others, and at last before the Church, and ear­nest Prayers for them, and all that we could say or do for many Weeks or Months together, would not make most of them so much as say, We are sorry for our sin; nor any of them leave their common Drunkenness; how should Excommunication do them good?

If you say, Why then did you use it? I answer, For the sake of the rest more than for them: for all the Reasons before-mentioned, and many more which I have laid down in the Preface to my Universal Concord. We knew it to be an Or­dinance of Christ, and greatly conducing to the Honour of the Church; which is not a common prophane Society, nor a Sty of Swine, but must be cleaner than the Societies of Infidels and Heathens: And I bless God that ever I made trial of Discipline; for my Expectations were not frustrate though the ejected Sinners were hardened: The Churches Good must be first regarded.

As to the other Question, Why we dealt not thus by all the Parish, and took them not all for Members without question? We knew some Papists and Infidels that were no Members: We knew that the People would have thought themselves wronged more to be thus brought under Discipline without and against their own Consent, than to [...] them to withdraw. And we thought it not a Business [...]it for the unwilling, [...]ually at such a time as that: But especially, I knew that it was like to be their utter undoing, by hardening them into utter Enmity against the means that should recover them: And I never yet saw any signs of hope in [Page 93] any Excommunicate Person; (unless as they are yet men, and capable of what God will do upon them) except one that humbled himself, and begged Absoluti­on. Now either Discipline is to be exercised according to Christ's Rule, or not. If not, then the Church is no purer a Society, as to its Orders, than those of In­fidels and Pagans, but Christ must be disobeyed, and his House of Prayer made a Den of Thieves: If yea, then either impartially upon all obstinate impenitent Sinners according to Christ's Rule, or but on some: If but on some only, it will be a Judgment of Partiality and Unrighteousness; whereas, where there is the same Cause, there must (usually) be the same Penalty. If on all, then the mul­titude of the Scandalous in almost all places is so great, and the Effects of Excom­munication so dreadful, that it would tend to damning of multitudes of Souls; which being contrary to the design of the Gospel, is not to be taken for the Will of Christ: we have our Power to Edification, and not to Destruction. A few in case of necessity may be punished, though to their hurt, for the good of all; but multitudes must not be so used. Indeed, a Popish Interdict, or mock Excommuni­cation, by the Sentence of a Prelate or Lay-Chancellour, may pass against multi­tudes, and have no considerable Effect, (but as it is enforced by the Sword): But the Word of God is quick and powerful, and when it is thus personally applyed in the Sentencing of a guilty obstinate Sinner, doth one way or other work more ef­fectually. Therefore in this difficulty there can be but two Remedies devised: One is with the Anabaptists to leave Infants unbaptized, that so they may not be taken into the Church, till they are fit for the Orders of the Church: But this is injuri­ous to Infants, and against the will of God, and hath more inconveniences than benefits. (Though for my part, as much as I have wrote against them, I wish that it were in the Church now, as it was in the days of Tertullian, Nazianzen, and Austin, where no man was compelled to bring his Infants to Baptism, but all left to their own time: For then some (as Augustine, &c.) were baptized at full Age, and some in Infancy.) The second therefore is the only just and safe Reme­dy; which is, That by the due performance of Confirmation, there may be a Soleman Transition out of the state of Infant Church-Membership, into the state of Adult Church-Membership; and due qualifications therein required: and that the un­fit may, till then, be left inter Auditores, without the Priviledges proper to Adult Members; of which I have fully written in my Book of Confirmation.

26. Another Advantage which I found to my Success was, by ordering my Do­ctrine to them in a suitableness to the main end, and yet so as might suit their Dis­positions and Diseases. The thing which I daily opened to them, and with great­est importunity laboured to imprint upon their minds, was the great Fundamental Principles of Christianity contained in their Baptismal Covenant, even a right knowledge, and belief of, and subjection and love to, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and Love to all Men, and Concord with the Church and one another: I did so daily inculcate the Knowledge of God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, and Love and Obedience to God, and Unity with the Church Catholick, and Love to Men, and Hope of Life Eternal, that these were the matter of their daily Cogitations and Discourses, and indeed their Religion. And yet I did usually put in something in my Sermon which was above their own discovery, and which they had not known before; and this I did, that they might be kept humble, and still perceive their ignorance, and be willing to keep in a learning state. (For when Preachers tell their People of no more than they know, and do not shew that they excel them in Knowledge, and easily over-top them in Abilities, the People will be tempted to turn Preachers themselves, and think that they have learnt all that the Ministers can teach them, and are as wise as they; and they will be apt to contemn their Teachers, and wrangle with all their Doctrines, and set their Wits against them, and hear them as Censurers, and not as Disciples, to their own undoing, and to the disturbance of the Church; and they will easily draw Disciples after them: The bare Authority of the Cler­gy will not serve the turn, without over-topping Ministerial Abilities). And I did this also to increase their Knowledge; and also to make Religion pleasant to them, by a daily addition to their former Light, and to draw them on with desire and Delight. But these things which they did not know before, were not unprofita­ble Controversies which tended not to Edification, nor Novelties in Doctrine con­trary to the Universal Church; but either such Points as tended to illustrate the great Doctrines before-mentioned, or usually, about the right methodizing of them. The opening of the true and profitable method of the Creed, (or Doctrine of Faith) the Lord's Prayer, (or Matter of our Desires) and the Ten Command­ments, [Page 94] (or Law of Practice) which afford matter to add to the knowledge of most Professors of Religion, a long time: And when that is done, they must be led on still further by degrees, as they are capable; but so as not to leave the weak behind: and so as shall still be truly subservient to the great Points of Faith, Hope, and Love, Holiness and Unity, which must be still inculcated, as the beginning and the end of all.

27. Another help to my Success was, that my People were not Rich: There were among them very few Beggers, because their common Trade of Stuff-weaving would find work for all, Men, Women and Children, that were able: And there were none of the Trades-men very rich, seeing their Trade was poor, that would but find them Food and Raiment. The Magistrates of the Town were few of them worth 40l. per An. and most not half so much. Three or four of the Richest thriving Masters of the Trade, got but about 500 or 600l. in twenty years, and it may be lose 100l. of it at once by an ill Debtor. The generality of the Ma­ster Workmen, lived but a little better than their Journey-men, (from hand to mouth) but only that they laboured not altogether so hard.

And it is the Poor that receive the glad Tidings of the Gospel, and that are usually rich in faith, and heirs of the heavenly riches which God hath promised to them that love him; Iames 2. 5. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the Iudgment Seats? As Mr. George Herbert saith in his Church Militant:

Gold and the Gospel never did agree:
Religion always sides with Poverty.

Usually the Rich are Proud and Obstinate, and will not endure the due Con­duct of the Ministry: Let them be never so ignorant, they must not be crost in their Conceits and Way; and if they be, they storm, and raise Persecution upon it; or at least draw away a Faction after them. Let them be never so Guilty (un­less it be some swinish inexcusable Sin) they will not endure to be told of it. Their Gentility seemeth to allow them, in the three or four Sins of Sodom, Pride, Fulness of Bread, and Abundance of Idleness, and not considering the Poor and Needy. And their fulness and idleness tempt them to further Voluptuousness and Sensuality, to Filthi­ness, or to Time-wasting needless kinds of Sports: And they must not be crost in any of this. Do but offer to Exercise Christ's Discipline upon any of these, and tell them of their Faults alone, and then before two or three, and when they hear not, tell the Church; and you will make them hate both you and Discipline, and say you affect a Domination, and to trample upon your Superiours, and are as proud as Popes. Christ knew what he said, when he said, How hardly shall a Rich Man enter into the Kingdom of Heaven! Even as a Camel through the Eye of a Needle. But if a poor man be bad, and hate both Piety and Reproof, yet his opposition is not so fierce or so significant; he maketh not so much ado, nor en­gageth so many with him, nor is so much regarded by the rest. One Knight (Sir R. C.) which lived among us, did more to hinder my greater Successes, than a multitude of others could have done: Though he was an old Man, of great Courtship and Civility, and very temperate as to Dyet, Apparel and Sports, and seldom would Swear any lowder than [By his Troth, &c.] and shewed me much Personal Reverence and Respect (beyond my desert), and we conversed together with Love and Familiarity; yet (having no relish of this Preciseness and Extem­porary Praying, and making so much ado for Heaven; nor liking that which went beyond the pace of Saying the Common Prayer, and also the Interest of himself and his Civil and Ecclesiastical Parties, leading him to be ruled by Dr. Hammond) his coming but once a day to Church on the Lord's days, and his Abstaining from the Sacrament, &c. as if we kept not sufficiently to the old way, and because we used not the Common Prayer Book, when it would have caused us to be Sequestred) did cause a great part of the Parish to follow him, and do as he did; when else our Success and Concord would have been much more happy than it was. And yet Ci­vility and yielding much beyond others of his Party, (sending his Family to be Ca­techized and personally Instructed) did sway with the worst almost among us to do the like. Indeed we had two other Persons of Quality, that came from other places to live there, and were truly and judiciously Religious, who did much good, (Col. Iohn Bridges, and at last Mrs. Hanmer): For when the Rich are indeed Religious, and overcome their Temptations, as they may be supposed better than others, be­cause their Conquest is greater, so they may do more good than others, because their Talents are more. But such (comparatively) are always few.

[Page 95]28. Another thing that helped me was, my not medling with Tythes or Worldly Business; whereby I had my whole time (except what Sickness deprived me of) for my Duty, and my Mind more free from Entanglements than else it would have been; and also I escaped the offending of the People, and contending by any Law Suits with them. And I found also that Nature it self being Conscious of the Baseness of its Earthly Disposition, doth think basely of those whom it discern­eth to be Earthly; and is forced to Reverence those whose Converse is supposed to be most with God and Heaven. Three or Four of my Neighbours managed all those kind of Businesses, of whom I never took Account; and if any one deni­ed to pay their Tythes, if they were poor I ordered them to forgive it them; After that I was constrained to let the Tythes be gathered, as by my Title, to save the Gatherers from Law-Suits. But if they were able, I ordered them to seek it by the Magistrate, with the Damage, and give both my Part and the Damages to the Poor (for I resolved to have none of it my self that was recovered by Law, and yet I could not tollerate the Sacriledge and Fraud of covetous Men). But when they knew that this was the Rule I went by, none of them would do the Poor so great a Kindness as to deny the Payment of their Tythes, that were able. And in my Family I had the Help of my Father and Mother in Law, and the Be­nefit of a godly, understanding, faithful Servant (an ancient Woman near Sixty Years old) who eased me of all Care, and laid out all my Money for House­keeping, so that I never had one Hour's trouble about it, nor ever took one Day's Account of her for Fourteen Years together, as being certain of her Fidelity, Pro­vidence and Skill.

29. And it much furthered my Success, that I stayed still in this one Place, (near Two Years before the Wars, and above Fourteen Years after); for he that re­moveth oft from Place to Place, may sow good Seed in many Places; but is not like to see much Fruit in any, unless some other skilful Hand shall follow him to water it: It was a great Advantage to me, to have almost all the Religious Peo­ple of the Place, of my own Instructing and Informing; and that they were not formed into erroneous and factious Principles before; and that I stayed to see them grown up to some Confirmedness and Maturity.

30. Lastly, Our Successes were enlarged beyond our own Congregations, by the Lectures kept up round about: To divers of them I went as oft as I was able; and the Neighbour Ministers ofter than I; especially Mr. Oasland of Bewdley, who ha­ving a strong Body, a zealous Spirit, and an earnest Utterance, went up and down Preaching from Place to Place, with great Acceptance and Success. But this Busi­ness also we contrived to be universally and orderly managed: For besides the Lectures set up on Week-days fixedly in several Places, we studied how to have it extend to every Place in the County that had need. For you must understand that when the Parliament purged the Ministry, they cast out the grosser sort of insuffi­cient and scandalous ones, as gross Drunkards, and such like; and also some few Civil Men that had assisted in the Wars against the Parliament, or set up bowing to Altars, and such Innovations: But they had left in near one half the Mini­sters, that were not good enough to do much Service, nor bad enough to be cast out as utterly intollerable: These were a company of Poor weak Preachers, that had no great Skill in Divinity, nor Zeal for Godliness; but preached weakly that which is True, and lived in no gross notorious Sin: These Men were not cast out, but yet their People greatly needed help; for their dark sleepy Preaching did but little Good: Therefore we resolved that some of the abler Ministers should often vo­luntarily help them; but all the Care was how to do it without offending them: And it fell out seasonably, that the Londoners of that County at their yearly Feast, did collect about 30l. and send it me (by that worthy Man, Mr. Thomas Stanley of Bread-street) to set up a Lecture for that Year: Whereupon, we covered all our Designs under the Name of the Londoners Lecture, which took off the Offence: And we chose four worthy Men, Mr. And. Tristram, Mr. Hen. Oasland, Mr. Tho. Baldwin, and Mr. Ios. Treble (who only now conformeth) who undertook to go each Man his Day, once a Month, which was every Lord's Day between the four, and to preach at those Places which had most need, twice on a Lord's Day; but to avoid all ill Consequents and Offence, they were sometimes to go to abler Mens Congregations, and wherever they came to say somewhat always to draw the People to the Honour and special Regard of their own Pastors; that how weak soever they were, they might see that we came not to draw away the Peoples Hearts from them, but to strengthen their Hands, and help them in their Work. This Lecture did a great deal of Good; and though the Londoners gave their Mo­ney [Page 96] but that one Year, yet, when it was once set on foot, we continued it volun­tarily (till the Ministers were turned out, and all these Works went down toge­ther).

So much of the Way and Helps of those Successes, which I mention because ma­ny have enquired after them, as willing with their own Flocks to take that Course, which other Men have by Experience found to be effectual.

§ 138. Having before said somewhat of my Troubles with Mr. Tombes, I shall here more fully tell the Reader how it was.

Mr. Tombs being my Neighbour within two Miles, and denying Infant Baptism, and having written a Book or two against it, he was not a little des [...]ous of the Propagation of his Opinion, and the Success of his Writings; and he thought that I was his chiefest Hinderer, though I never medled with the point: Where­upon, he came constantly to my Weekly Lecture, waiting for an Opportunity to fall upon that Controversy in his Conference with me: But I studiously avoided it; so that he knew not how to begin: And he had so high a Conceit of his Writings that he thought them unanswerable, and that none could deal with them in that way.

At last, some how, he urged me to give my Judgment of his Writings; and I let him know that they did not satisfie me to be of his Mind, but went no farther with him: Upon this, he forbore coming any more to our Lecture; and he un­avoidably contrived me into the Controversy, which I shun'd; for there came unto me five or six of his chief Proselites, as if they were yet unresolved, and desired me to give them in Writing the Arguments which satisfied me for Infant Baptism. I asked them whether they came not by Mr. Tombes's Direction: And they confes­sed that they did. I asked them whether they had read the Books of Mr. Cobbet, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Church, Mr. Blake for Infant Baptism: And they told me, No. I desired them to read that which is written already, before they call'd for more; and then come to me, and tell me what they had to say against them. But this they would by no means do; but must have my Writings. I told them, that now they plainly confessed that they came upon a Design to promote their Party by conten­tious Writings, and not in sincere Desire to be informed, as they pretended: But to be short, they had no more Modesty than to insist on their Demands, and to tell me that if they turned against Infant Baptism, and I denied to give them my Ar­guments in Writing, they must lay it upon me. I asked them whether they would continue unresolved till Mr. Tombes and I had done our Writings; seeing it was some Years since Mr. Blake and he began, and have not ended yet. But no Reasoning served the turn with them, but they still call for my written Arguments: When I saw their factious Design and Immodesty, I bid them tell Mr. Tombes, that he should neither thus command me to lose a Years time in my Weakness, in quar­relling with him, nor yet should have his End in insulting over me, as if I fled from the Light of Truth: Therefore I offered him, if we must needs contend, that we might do it the shortest and most satisfactory way, and spend one Day in a Dispute at his own Church, where I would attend him, (that his People might not remain unsatisfied, till they saw which of us would have the last Word); and after that we would consider of Writing.

So Mr. Tombes and I agreed to meet at his Church on Ian. 1. And in great Weakness thither I came, and from Nine of the Clock in the Morning till Five at Night, in a crowded Congregation, we continued our Dispute; which was all spent in manageing one Argument, from Infants right to Church-Membership to their Right to Baptism: of which he after complained, as if I assaulted him in a new way, which he had not considered of before: But this was not the first time that I had dealt with Anabaptists, who had so much to do with them in the Army as I had: In a Word, this Dispute satisfied all my own People and the Country that came in, and Mr. Tombes's own Townsmen, except about Twenty whom he had perverted, who gathered into his Church, which never increased to above Twenty two, that I could learn. So much of that Dispute, of the Writing more anon.

§ 139. If any shall demand whether the increase of Godliness was answerable in all Places to what I have mentioned (and none deny that it was with us) I answer, that however Men that measure Godliness by their Gain and Interest and Domina­tion, do go about to persuade the World that Godliness then went down, and was almost extinguished, I must bear this faithful Witness to those times, that as far as I was acquainted, where before there was one godly profitable Preacher, there was then six or ten; and taking one Place with another, I conjecture there is a [Page 97] proportionable increase of truly godly People, not counting Hereticks or perfidious Rebels or Church-disturbers as such: But this increase of Godliness was not in all places alike: For in some places where the Ministers were formal, or ignorant, or weak and imprudent, contentious or negligent, the Parishes were as bad as here­tofore. And in some places, where the Ministers had excellent parts, and holy lives, and thirsted after the good of Souls, and wholly devoted themselves, their time and strength and estates thereunto, and thought no pains or cost too much, there abundance were converted to serious Godliness. And with those of a mid­dle state, usually they had a middle measure of Success. And I must add this to the true Information of Posterity, That God did so wonderfully bless the Labours of his unanimous faithful Ministers, that had it not been for the Faction of the Pre­latists on one side that drew men off, and the Factions of the giddy and turbulent Sectaries on the other side, (who pull'd down all Government, cried down the Ministers, and broke all into Confusion, and made the People at their wits end, not knowing what Religion to be of); together with some laziness and selfishness in many of the Ministry, I say, had it not been for these Impediments, England had been like in a quarter of an Age to have become a Land of Saints, and a Pattern of Holiness to all the World, and the unmatchable Paradise of the Earth. Never were such fair opportunities to sanctifie a Nation, lost and trodden under foot, as have been in this Land of late! Woe be to them that were the Causes of it.

§ 140. In our Association in this County, though we made our Terms large enough for all, Episcopal, Presbyterians and Independants, there was not one Presbyterian joyned with us that I know of, (for I knew but of one in all the County, Mr. Tho. Hall) nor one Independant, (though two or three honest ones said nothing against us) nor one of the New Prelatical way (Dr. Hammond's) but three or four moderate Conformists that were for the old Episcopacy; and all the rest were meer Catholicks; Men of no Faction, nor siding with any Party, but owning that which was good in all, as far as they could discern it; and upon a Concord in so much, laying out themselves for the great Ends of their Ministry, the Peoples Edification.

§ 141. And the increase of Sectaries among us was much through the weakness or the faultiness of Ministers: And it made me remember that Sects have most abounded when the Gospel hath most prospered, and God hath been doing the greatest works in the World: As first in the Apostles and the Primitive Times, and then when Christian Emperours were assisting the Church; and then when Reformation prospered in Germany; and lately in New-England where Godliness most flourished; and last of all here, when so pleasant a Spring had raised all our hopes: And our Impatience of weak Peoples Errours and Dissent, did make the Busi­ness worse; whilst every weak Minister that could not or would not do that for his People which belonged to his place, was presently crying out against the Ma­gistrates for suffering these Errours; and thinking the Sword must do that which the Word should do: And it is a wicked thing in Men, to desire with the Papists, that the People were rather blind than purblind, and that they might rather know nothing, than mistake in some few Points; and to be more troubled that a man contradicteth us in the Point of Infant Baptism or Church Government, than that many of the People are sottishly careless of their own Salvation. He that never regard­eth the Word of God, is not like to Err much about it: Men will sooner fall out about Gold or Pearls, than Swine or Asses will.

§ 142. All this while that I abode at Kidderminster, (though the Rulers that then were made an Order that no Sequestred Minister should have his fifth part, unless he removed out of the Parish where he had been Minister, yet) did I never remove the old Sequestred Vicar so much as out of his Vicaridge House, no nor once came within the Doors of it; so far was I from Seizing on it as my own, or removing him out of the Town: But he lived in peace and quietness with us, and reformed his Life, and lived without any Scandal or Offensiveness, and I never heard that he spake an ill word of me. And yet as soon as the times were chang­ed, the instigation of others made him as malapart again, as if he had been awa­kened out of a sleepy Innocence.

§ 143. About this time Cromwell set up his Major Generals, and the Decimation of the Estates of the Royalists, called Delinquents, to maintain them: And Iames Berry was made Major General of Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, and North-Wales; the Countreys in which he had formerly lived as a Servant (a Clark of Iron-works). His reign was modest and short; but hated and scorned by the Gen­try [Page 98] that had known his Inferiority: (so that it had been better for him to have chosen a stranger place): And yet many of them attended him as submissively as if they had honoured him; so significant a thing is power and prosperity with worldly minds.

§ 144. I come now to the End of Cromwell's Reign, who died (of a Fever) be­fore he was aware. He escaped the Attempts of many that sought to have di­spatched him sooner; but could not escape the stroke of God, when his appoint­ed Time was come. (ThoughAs it is currently reported without any Contradi­ction th [...]t ever I heard of. an Independant, praying for him, said, [Lord, we ask not for his Life, for that we are sure of; but that he may serve thee better than ever he had done]; to the dishonour of that Presumption which some men call a parti­cular Faith; that is, A believing that they shall receive whatever they ask, if they can but stedfastly believe that they shall receive it, though it be such as they have no other promise for, but that of Hearing [believing Prayers] which they misunder­stand).

Never man was highlier extolled, and never man was baselier reported of, and vilified than this man. No (meer) man was better and worse spoken of than he; according as mens Interests led their Judgments. The Soldiers and Sectaries most highly magnified him, till he began to seek the Crown and the Establishment of his Family: And then there were so many that would be Half-Kings themselves, that a King did seem intollerable to them. The Royalists abhorred him as a most perfi­dious Hypocri [...]e; and the Presbyterians thought him little better, in his management of publick matters.

It after so many others I may speak my Opinion of him, I think, that, having been a Prodigal in his Youth, and afterward changed to a zealous Religiousness, he meant honestly in the main, and was pious and conscionable in the main course of his Life, till Prosperity and Success corrupted him: that, at his first entrance into the Wars, being but a Captain of Horse, he had a special care to get religious men into his Troop: These men were of greater understanding than common Sol­diers, and therefore were more apprehensive of the Importance and Consequence of the War; and making not Money, but that which they took for the Publick Felicity, to be their End, they were the more engaged to be valiant; for he that maketh Money his End, doth esteem his Life above his Pay, and therefore is like enough to save it by flight when danger comes, if possibly he can: But he that ma­keth the Felicity of Church and State his End, esteemeth it above his Life, and therefore will the sooner lay down his Life for it. And men of Parts and Under­standing know how to manage their business, and know that flying is the surest way to death, and that standing to it is the likeliest way to escape; there being many usually that fall in flight, for one that falls in valiant fight. These things it's probable Cromwell understood; and that none would be such engaged valiant men as the Religious: But yet I conjecture, that at his first choosing such men in­to his Troop, it was the very Esteem and Love of Religious men that principally moved him; and the avoiding of those Disorders, Mutinies, Plunderings, and Grievances of the Country, which deboist men in Armies are commonly guilty of: By this means he indeed sped better than he expected. Aires, Desbo­rough, Berry, Evanson, and the rest of that Troop, did prove so valiant, that as far as I could learn, they never once ran away before an Enemy. Hereupon he got a Commission to take some care of the Associated Counties, where he brought this Troop into a double Regiment, of fourteen full Troops; and all these as full of religious men as he could get: These having more then ordinary Wit and Re­solution, had more than ordinary Success; first in Lincolnshire, and afterward in the Earl of Manchester's Army at York Fight: With their Successes the Hearts both of Captain and Soldiers secretly rise both in Pride and Expectation: And the fami­liarity of many honest erroneous Men (Anabaptists, Antinomians, &c.) withal began quickly to corrupt their Judgments. Hereupon Cromwell's general Religious Zeal, giveth way to the power of that Ambition, which still increaseth as his Successes do increase: Both Piety and Ambition, concurred in his countenancing of all that he thought Godly of what Sect soever: Piety pleadeth for them as Godly; and Charity as Men; and Ambition secretly telleth him what use he might make of them. He meaneth well in all this at the beginning, and thinketh he doth all for the Safety of the Godly, and the Publick Good, but not without an Eye to himself.

[Page 99]When Successes had broken down all considerable Opposition, he was then in the face of his strongest Temptations, which conquered him when he had con­quered others: He thought that he had hitherto done well, both as to the End and Means, and God by the wonderful Blessing of his Providence had owned his endea­vours, and it was none but God that had made him great: He thought that if the War was lawful, the Victory was lawful; and if it were lawful to fight against the King and conquer him, it was lawful to use him as a conquered Enemy, and a foolish thing to trust him when they had so provoked him, (whereas indeed the Parliament professed neither to fight against him, nor to conquer him). He thought that the Heart of the King was deep, and that he resolved upon Revenge, and that if he were King, he would easily at one time or other accomplish it; and that it was a dishonest thing of the Parliament to set men to fight for them against the King, and then to lay their Necks upon the block, and be at his Mercy; and that if that must be their Case, it was better to flatter or please him, than to fight against him. He saw that the Scots and the Presbyterians in the Parliament, did by the Covenant and the Oath of Allegiance, find themselves bound to the Person and Family of the King, and that there was no hope of changing their minds in this: Hereupon he joyned with that Party in the Parliament who were for the Cutting off the King, and trusting him no more. And consequently he joyned with them in raising the Independants to make a Fraction in the Synod at West­minster and in the City; and in strengthening the Sectaries in Army, City and Country, and in rendering the Scots and Ministers as odious as he could, to disable them from hindering the Change of Government. In the doing of all this, (which Distrust and Ambition had perswaded him was well done) he thought it lawful to use his Wits, to choose each Instrument, and suit each means, unto its end; and accordingly he daily imployed himself, and modelled the Army, and disbanded all other Garrisons and Forces and Committees,Mean men in their rising must adhere (to a Faction) but great Men that have strength in themselves, were better to maintain them­selves indifferent and neutral: yet even in beginners to adhere so moderately, as that he be a Man of that one Faction which is most passable with the other, com­monly giveth best way. The lower and weaker Faction is the firmer in Conjunction: And it is often seen that a few that are stiff, do tire out a great number that are more moderate: when one of the Factions is extinguished, the other remaining subdivideth—It is commonly seen that Men once placed take in with the contrary Faction to that by which they en­ter—Lord Verulam Essay 51. p. 287. which were like to have hindered his design. And as he went on, though he yet resolved not what form the New Common­wealth should be molded into, yet he thought it but reasona­ble, that he should be the Chief Person who had been chief in their Deliverance; (For the Lord Fairfax he knew had but the Name). At last, as he thought it lawful to cut off the King, because he thought he was lawfully conquered, so he thought it lawful to fight against the Scots that would set him up, and to pull down the Presbyterian Majority in the Parlia­ment, which would else by restoring him undo all which had cost them so much Blood and Treasure. And accordingly he conquereth Scotland, and pulleth down the Parliament: being the easilier perswaded that all this was lawful, because he had a secret Byas and Eye towards his own Exaltation: For he (and his Officers) thought, that when the King was gone a Govern­ment there must be; and that no Man was so fit for it as he himself; as best deserving it, and as having by his Wit and great Interest in the Army, the best sufficiency to manage it: Yea, they thought that God had called them by Successes to Govern and take Care of the Commonwealth, and of the Interest of all his People in the Land; and that if they stood by and suffered the Parliament to do that which they thought was dangerous, it would be required at their hands, whom they thought God had made the Guardians of the Land.

Having thus forced his Conscience to justifie all his Cause, (the Cutting off the the King, the setting up himself and his Adherents, the pulling down the Parlia­ment and the Scots,) he thinketh that the End being good and necessary, the neces­sary means cannot be bad: And accordingly he giveth his Interest and Cause leave to tell him, how far Sects shall be tollerated and commended, and how far not; and how far the Ministry shall be owned and supported, and how far not; yea, and how far Professions, Promises, and Vows shall be kept, or broken; and there­fore the Covenant he could not away with; nor the Ministers, further than they yielded to his Ends, or did not openly resist them. He seemed exceeding open hearted, by a familiar Rustick affected Carriage, (especially to his Soldiers in sport­ing with them): but he thought Secrecy a Vertue, and Dissimulation no Vice, and Simulation, that is, in plain English a Lie, or Perfidiousness to be a tollerable Fault in a Case of Necessity: being of the same Opinion with the Lord Bacon, (who was not so Precise as Learned) That [the best Composition and Temperature is, [Page 100] to have openness in Fame and Opinion, Secrecy in habit, Dissimulation in seasonable use; and a power to feign if there be no remedy,] Essay 6. pag. 31. Therefore he kept fair with all, saving his open or unreconcileable Enemies. He carried it with such Dissimulation, that Anabaptists, Independants, and Antinomians did all think that he was one of them: But he never endeavoured to perswade the Presbyteri­ans that he was one of them; but only that he would do them Justice, and Pre­serve them, and that he honoured their Worth and Piety; for he knew that they were not so easily deceived. In a word, he did as our Prelates have done, begin low and rise higher in his Resolutions as his Condition rose, and the Promises which he made in his lower Condition, he used as the interest of his higher fol­lowing Condition did require, and kept up as much Honesty and Godliness in the main, as his Cause and Interest would allow, (but there they left him): And his Name standeth as a monitory Monument or Pillar to Posterity to tell them, [The instability of Man in strong Temptations, if God leave him to himself: what great Success and Victories can do to lift up a Mind that once seemed humble: what Pride can do to make Man selfish, and corrupt the Heart with ill designs: what selfishness and ill designs can do, to bribe the Conscience, and corrupt the Iudgment, and make men justifie the greatest Errours and Sins, and set against the clearest Truth and Du­ty: what Bloodshed and great Enormities of Life, an Erring deluded Judgment may draw Men to, and patronize; and That when God hath dreadful Judgments to execute, an Erroneous Sectary, or a proud Self-seeker, is oftner his Instrument, than an humble, Lamb-like, innocent Saint].

§ 145. Cromwell being dead, his Son Richard by his Will and Testament, and the Army was quietly setled in his place; while all Men look'd that they should pre­sently have fallen into Confusion and Discord among themselves; the Counties, Cities, and Corporations of England send up their Congratulations, to own him as Protector: (But none of us in Worcestershire, save the Independants, medled in it.)

He interred his Father with great Pomp and Solemnity: He called a Parlia­ment, and that without any such Restraints as his Father had used: The Members took the Oath of Fidelity or Allegiance to him at the Door of the House before they entred. And all Men wondred to see all so quiet, in so dangerous a Time. Many sober Men that called his Father no better than a Trayterous Hypocrite, did begin to think that they owed him Subjection. They knew that the King was by Birth their Rightful Sovereign; and resolved to do their best while there was hopes to introduce him, and defend him: But they were astonished at the marvellous Providences of god, which had been against that Family all along, and they thought that there was no rational probability of his Re­storation, having seen so many Armies and Risings and Designs overthrown, which were raised or undertaken for it: They thought that it is not left to our liberty, whether we will have a Government, or not; but that Govern­ment is of Divine Appointment; and the Family, Person or Species is but of a subservient, less necessary determination: And that if we cannot have him that we would have, it followeth not that we may be without: That twelve years time (from the Death of the last King) was longer than the Land could be without a Governour, without the Destruction of the Common Good, which is the End of Government! Therefore that the Subjects, seeing they are unable to re­store the King, must consent to another: That the House of Commons, having sworn Allegiance to him, have actually subjected the Nation to him: And though his Father Trayterously made the Change, yet the Successor of a Traytor may by the Peoples consent, become a Governour, whom each Individual must ac­knowledge by Subjection: That the Bishops and Churches both of East and West, as all History sheweth, have professed their Subjection to Usurpers, in a far short­er time, and upon lighter Reasons: That this Man having never had any hand in the War, (but supposed to be for the King) nor ever seeking for the Government, and now seeming to own the Sober Party, was like to be used in the healing of the Land, &c.] Such Reasonings as these began to take with the minds of many, to subject themselves quietly to this Man (though they never did it to his Father) as now despairing of the Restitution of the King:The ad­vantage of Mens pre­sent cruel Malice, was only from the Epistle of 2 Books wherein I never justified his Usurpation: But Iudicis officium est: ut res ita tempora rerum, &c. And I confess such Thoughts were somewhat prevalent with my self: But God quickly shewed us the root of our Errour, which was our limiting the Almighty; as if that were hard to him that was impossible to us: So that the Restoration of the King, which we thought next impossible, was accomplished in a trice: And we saw that twelve or eighteen years is not long enough to wait on God.

[Page 101]The Army set up Richard Cromwell, it seemeth upon Tryal; resolving to use him as he behaved himself: And though they swore Fidelity to him, they meant to keep it no longer than he pleased them; And when they saw that he began to favour the sober People of the Land, to honour Parliaments, and to respect the Ministers, whom they called Presbyterians, they presently resolved to make him know his Masters, and that it was they and not he, that were called by God to be the chief Protectors of the Interest of the Nation. He was not so formidable to them as his Father was, and therefore every one boldly spurned at him. The Fifth Monarchy Men followed Sir Henry Vane, and raised a great and violent clamorous Party against him, among the Sectaries in the City: Rogers and Feake, and such like Firebrands preach them into Fury, and blow the Coales; But Dr. Owen and his Assistants did the main Work: He gathereth a Church at (at Lieutenant Ge­neral Fleetwood's Quarters, at Wallingford House, consisting of the active Officers of the Army (this Church-gathering hath been the Church [...] scattering Project): In this Assembly it was determined that Richard's Parliament must be dissolved, and then he quickly fell himself: (Though he never abated their Liberties or their Greatness; yet did he not sufficiently befriend them); Dictum factum; almost as quickly done as determined: Though Col. Richard Ingolsby and some others, would have stuck to the Protector, and have ventured to surprise the Leaders of the Facti­on, and the Parliament would have been true to him; yet Berry's Regiment of Horse, and some others, were presently ready to have begun the Fray against him; and as he sought not the Government, he was resolved it should cost no Blood to keep him in it: But if they would venture for their Parts on new Confusions, he would venture his Part by retiring to his Privacy: And so he did (to satisfie these proud distracted Tyrants, who thought they did but pull down Tyranny) re­sign the Government by a Writing under his Hand, and retired himself, and left them to govern as they pleased.

His Good Brother in Law, Fleetwood, and his Uncle Desborough were so intoxi­cated as to be the Leaders of the Conspiracy: And when they had pull'd him down, they set up a few of themselves under the Name of a Council of State; and so mad were they with Pride, as to think the Nation would stand by and reve­rence them, and obediently wait upon them in their drunken Giddiness; and that their Faction in the Army was made by God an invincible Terror to an that did but hear their Names. The Care of the Business also was, that Oliver had once made Fleetwood believe that he should be his Successor, and drawn an Instrument to that purpose; but his last Will disappointed him. And then the Sectaries flat­tered him, saying, that a truly Godly Man that had commanded them in the Wars was to be preferred before such an one as they censured to have no true Godliness.

§ 146. I make no doubt but God permitted all this for Good; and that as it was their Treason to set up Oliver and destroy the King, so it was their Duty to have set up the present King instead of Richard: And God made them the means, to their own Destruction, contrary to their Intentions, to restore the Monarchy and Family which they had ruined. But all this is no Thanks to them; but that which with a good Intention had been a Duty (to take down or not set up Richard Crom­well) yet as done by them was as barbarous Perfideousness as most ever History did declare: That they should so suddenly, so scornfully and proudly pull down him whom they had so lately set up themselves and sworn to: And that for no­thing; they could scarce tell why themselves; nor ever were able to give the World a fairer Reason for their Villany (by any Fault they could charge upon him) than the Munster Fanaticks had to give for their Bethlehem Outrages and Rebellion: That they should do this while a Parliament was sitting which had so many wise, religious Members; not only without the Parliaments Advice, but in despight of them, and force him to dissolve them first; as if Perjury and Re­bellion were newly put into the Commandments; or God had made these proud Usurpers to be the Governors of Protector and of Parliaments, and exempted them wholly from the Precept [Honour thy Father] [Let every Soul be subject to the higher Powers]: That they should so proudly despise not only the Parliament, but all the Ministers of London and of the Land, as to do this, not only without advising with, and against their Judgments; but in a factious Envy against them, left they should be too much countenanced: Yea, they did it against the Judgments of most of their own Party (the Independants), as they now profess themselves: Yea, Mr. Nye, that was then thought to be engaged in the same Design, doth utterly disclaim it, and [Page 102] profess that his Consent or Hand was never to it: But Pride usually goeth before Destruction.

§ 147. And having said this of the Crimes of these Firebrands of the Army, I must say somewhat of the Sectarian Party in General; I mean, those who have been most addicted to Church-Divisions, and Separations, and Sidings, and Parties, and have re­fused all terms of Concord and Unity: I doubt not but many of them were People that feared God, who in their Ignorance of the Doctrine of Church Unity and Communion, have been drawn by Pretences of Purity to follow their Leaders in ways which they understood not: And I doubt not but the Presbyterians have had their Faults in their Treaties with them; and that politick Statesmen kept open the Divisions for their own Designs, (that they might have a Party to weaken the Scots and Presbyterians that would have restored the King). But yet I must record it to the Shame of their Miscarriages, that the weaker and younger sort of Professors, have been prone to be puft up with high Thoughts of themselves, and to over-value their little Degrees of Knowledge and Parts, which set them not above the Pity of understanding Men: That they have been set upon those Courses which tend to advance them above the Common People in the Observation of the World, and to set them at a farther Distance from others than God alloweth, and all this un­der the Pretence of the Purity of the Church. That in Pro­secution of their Ends,The Lord Bacon nameth Four Causes of Atheism. 1. Many Di­visions in Religion. 2. The Scan­dal of Priests. 3. A Custom of Prophane Scoffing about Holy Matters. 4. Corrupting prosperi­ty. Essay 16. p. 91. there are few of the Anabaptists that have not been the Opposers and Troublers of the faithful Mi­nisters of the Land; and were the Troublers of their People, and the Hinderers of their Success; they strengthned the Hands of the Prophane: The Sectaries (especially the Ana­baptists, the Seekers, and the Quakers) chose out the most able, zealous Ministers, to make the Marks of their Reproach and Obliquy, and all because they stood in the Way of their Designs, and hin­dered them in the propagating of their Opinions: They set against the same Men that the Drunkards and Swearers set against, and much after the same manner; re­viling them, and raising up false Reports of them, and doing all that they could to make them odious, and at last attempting to pull them all down; only they did it more prophanely than the Prophane; in that they said, [Let the Lord be glo­rified; Let the Gospel be propagated] and abused and prophaned Scripture and the Name of God by entituling him to their Faction and Miscarriages. Yea, though they thought themselves the most understanding and consciencious People of the Land, yet did the Gang of them seldom stick at any thing which seemed to pro­mote their Cause; but whatever their Faction in the Army did, they pleaded for it and approved it: If they pull'd down the Parliament, imprison'd the godly faithful Members, killed the King, if they cast out the Rump, if they chose a Little Parliament of their own, if they set up Cromwell, if they set up his Son and pull'd him down again, if they sought to obtrude Agreements on the People, if they one Week set up a Council of State, and if another Week the Rump were resto­red, if they sought to take down Tythes and Parish-Ministers, to the utter Confu­sion of the State of Religion in the Land; in all these the Anabaptists, and many of the Independants in the Three Kingdoms followed them; and even their Pa­stors were ready to lead them to consent.

And all this began but in unwarrantable Separations, and too much aggravating the Faults of the Churches and Common People, and Common Prayer Book and Ministry; which indeed were none of them without Faults to be lamented and reformed: But they thought that because it needed Amendment, it required their obstinate Se­paration, and that they were allowed to make odious any thing that was amiss; and because it was faulty, if any Man had rebuked them for belying it, and making it far more faulty than it was, instead of confessing their Sin, they called their Reprover a Pleader for Antichrist or Baal; every Error in the Mode of the Common Worship they had no fitter Name for, than Idolatry, Popery, Antichri­stianism, Superstition, Will-worship, &c. when in the mean time, many of their own Prayers were full of Carnal Passion, Selfishness, Faction, Disorder, vain Re­pitions, unfound and loathsom Expressions, and their Doctrine full of Errors and Confussion; and these Beams in their own Eyes were matter of no Offence to them: They would not communicate with that Church where ignorant Persons or Swearers were tollerated (though they themselves never did their Part to have them cast out, but look'd the Ministers should do all without them); but without any scruple they would communicate with them that had broke their Vow and Covenant with God and Man, and rebelled against both King, Parliament, and [Page 103] all kind of Government that was set up (even by themselves) and did all the fore-recited Evils.

I know these same Accusations are laid by some in Ignorance or Malice, against many that are guilty of no such things, and therefore some will be offended at me, and say, I imitate such Reproachers: But shall none be reproved because some are slandered? Shall Rebells be justified, because some innocent Men are called Rebels? Shall Hypocrites be free from Conviction and Condemnation, because wicked Men call the Godly Hypocrites? Woe to the Man that hath not a faithful Reprover; but a Thousand Woes will be to him that hateth reproof: And woe to them that had rather Sin were credited and kept in Honour, than their Party dis­honoured: and Woe to the Land where the Reputation of Men doth keep Sin in Reputation. Scripture it self will not spare a Noah, a Lot, a David, a Hezeki­ab, a Iosiah, a Peter; but will open and shame their Sin to all Generations: And yet, alas! the Hearts of many, who I hope are truly Religious in other Points, will rise against him that shall yet tell them of the Misdoings of those of their Opinion, and call them to Repentance. The poor Church of Christ, the sober; sound religious Part, are like Christ that was crucified between two Malefactors; the prophane and formal Persecutors on one hand, and the Fanatick dividing Sectary on the other hand, have in all Ages been grinding the spiritual Seed, as the Corn is ground between the Milstones: And though their Sins have ruined themselves and us, and silenced so many hundred Ministers, and scattered the Flocks and made us the Hatred and the Scorn of the ungodly World, and a by Word and Desolation in the Earth; yet there are few of them that lament their Sin, but ju­stify themselves and their Misdoings, and the penitent Malefactor is yet unknown to us. And seeing Posterity must know what they have done, to the Shame of our Land, and of our sacred Profession, let them know this much more also to their own Shame, that all the Calamities which have befallen us by our Divisions were long foreseen by seeing Men, and they were told and warned of it, year after year: They were told that a House divided against it self could not stand, and told that it would bring them to the Halter and to Shame, and turn a hopeful Reforma­tion into a Scorn, and make the Land of their Nativity a Place of Calamity and Woe; and all this Warning signified nothing to them; but these Ductile Profes­sors bldinly followed a few selfconceited Teachers to this Misery; and no warning or means could ever stop them.

Five dissenting Ministers in the Synod begun all this, and carried it far on: Mr. Philip Nye, Mr. Tho. Goodwin, Mr. Sydrach Sympson, and Mr. William Bridge, to whom that good Man Mr. Ieremiah Burroughs joined himself in Name; but as he never practised their Church-gathering way, so at last he was contented to have united on the Terms which were offered them, and wrote his excellent Book of Heart Divisions. After this they encreased, and Mr. Burroughs being dead, Dr. Iohn Owen arose, not of the same Spirit, to fill up his place; by whom and Mr. Phillip Nye's Policie the Flames were encreased, our Wounds kept open, and carried on all, as if there had been none but they considerable in the World; and having an Army and City Agents fit to second them, effectually hindred all remedy till they had dash'd all into pieces as a broken Glass. O! what may not Pride do? and what Miscarriages will not false Principles and Faction hide? One would think that if their Opinions had been certainly true, and their Church-Orders good, yet the Interest of Christ, and the Souls of Men, and of greater Truths, should have been so regarded by the Dividers in England, as that the Safety of all these should have been preferred, and not all ruined rather than their way should want its carnal Arm and Liberty; and that they should not tear the Garment of Christ all to pieces, rather than it should want their Lace.

§ 148. And it must be acknowledged also impartially, that some of the Presby­terian Ministers frightned the Sectaries into this Fury by the unpeaceableness and impatiency of their Minds: They ran from Libertinism into the other Extream, and were so little sensible of their own Infirmity, that they would not have those tollerated who were not only tollerable, but worthy Instruments and Members in the Churches: The Reconcilers that were ruled by prudent Charity always called out to both the Parties, that the Churches must be united upon the Terms of primitive Simplicity, and that we must have Unity in things necessary, and Liberty in things unnecessary, and Charity in all: But they could never be heard, but were taken for Adversaries to the Government of the Church, as they are by the Prelates at this Day: Nay, when in Worcestershire we did but agree to practice so much as all Parties were agreed in, they said, we did but thereby set up another Party. We [Page 104] told them of Archbishop Usher's Terms in his Sermon before the King on Eph. 4. 3. but they would not hear. The Lord Bacon in his Third Essay, and his Considerations, Mr. Hales in his Treatise of Schism, and all men of sound Experience and Wisdom, have long told the World, that we must be united in things Necessary, which all Christians agree in, or which the Primitive Churches did unite in, or not at all: But nothing shorter than the Assemblies Confession of Faith and Catechisms, and and Presbytery, would serve turn with some. Their Principles were that no others should be tolerated; which set the Independants on contriving how to grasp the Sword! They were still crying out on the Magistrate, that he was irreligious, for suffering Sects, and because he did not bring Men to Conformity: And now they cannot be tollerated themselves, to preach, nor scarce to dwell in the Land. The Uni­ting of the Churches upon the Primitive Terms, and the tollerating (not of all, but) of tollerable Differences, is the way to Peace, which almost all Men approve of, except those who are uppermost, and think they have the Reins in their own hands. And because the side which is uppermost are they that have their Wills, therefore the Churches had never a settled Peace this Thousand years at least; the true way of Settlement and Peace, being usually displeasing to them that must give Peace to others: But this way hath the mark of being the best; in that it is the only way, which every Sect acknowledge for the second, and next the best; and is it which all, except the predominant Party, liketh. But Wisdom is justified of her Children.

§ 149. To consummate the Confusion, by confirming and increasing the Di­vision, the Independants at last, when they had refused with sufficient pervicacy to associate with the Presbyterians (and the Reconcilers too) did resolve to shew their proper strength, and to call a General Assembly of all their Churches. The Savoy was their Meeting-place. There they drew up a Confession of their Faith, and the Orders of their Church Government. In the former, they thought it not enough expresly to contradict St. Iames, and to say (unlimitedly) That we are justified by the Righteousness of Christ only, and not by any Works; but they contradict­ed St. Paul also, who faith, That Faith is imputed for Righteousness. And not only so, but they expresly asserted, that [we have no other righteousness] but that of Christ. A Doctrine abhorred by all the Reformed and Christian Churches; and which would be an utter shame to the Protestant Name, if what such Men held and did were indeed imputable to the sober Protestants. I asked some honest Men that joyned with them, Whether they subscribed this Confession; and they said No. I asked them why they did not contradict it; and they said that the meaning of it was no more than that we have no other Righteousness but Christ's to be justified by: So that the Independant's Confessions are like such Oaths and Declarations, as speak one thing and mean another. Also in their Propositions of Church Order, they widened the breach, and made things much worse, and more unreconcile­able than ever they were before. So much could two Men do with many honest tractable young Men, and had more Zeal for separating Strictness, than Iudgment to understand the Word of God, or the Interest of the Churches of the Land, and of themselves

§ 150. But it hath pleased God by others that were sometime of their way, to do more to heal this Breach, than they did to make it wider. I mean the Synod of New-England; who have published such healing Propositions about stated Synods, and Infants Church Membership, as hath much prepared for a Union between them, and all other moderate Men: (And someMr. Mitchel, as its said. One hath strenuously defended those Propositions against the opposition of Mr. Davenport, a dissenting Brother). I take this to be more for healing than the Savoy Propositions can be effectual to di­vide,And since this Mr. El­liot of New-Eng­land hath sent me a printed Paper of his own, contriving a Healing Form of Synods for constant Communion of particular Churches. because the New-England men have not blemished their Reputation, nor lost the Authority and Honour of their Judgments, by any such Actions as the leading Savoyers have done.

§ 151. When the Army had brought themselves and the Nation into utter Con­fusion, and had set up and pull'd down Richard Cromwell, and then had set up the Rump again, and pull'd them down again, and set up a Council of State of them­selves and their Faction, and made Lambert their Head, next under Fleetwood, (whom they could use almost as they would) at last the Nation would endure them no longer, nor sit still while the world stood laughing them to scorn, as acting over the Minster Tragedy: Sir George Booth and Sir Thomas Middleton raised Forces in Cheshire and North-Wales: (but the Cavaliers that should have joyned with [Page 105] them failed them almost all over the Land; a few rose in some places, but were quick­ly ruined and came to nothing). Lambert quickly routed those in Cheshire: Sir Arthur Haselrigge with Col. Morley get into Portsmouth, which is possessed as for the Rump. Monk declareth against them in Scotland, purgeth his Army of the Ana­baptists, and marcheth into England. The Rump Party with Haselrigge divided the Army at home, and so disabled them to oppose Monk; who marcheth on, and all are afraid of him; and while he declareth himself against Monarchy for a Com­monwealth, he tieth the hands of his Enemies by a lie, and uniteth with the City of London, and bringeth on again the old ejected Members of the Parliament, and so bringeth in the King. Sir William Morrice (his Kinsman) and Mr. Clarges were his great Advisers: The Earl of Manchester, Mr. Calamy, and other Presbyterians, encouraged and perswaded him to bring in the King. At first he joyned with the Rump against the Citizens, and pull'd down the City Gates to master them; but at last Sir Thomas Allen then Lord Mayor (by the perswasion of Dr. Iacomb, and some other Presbyterian Ministers and Citizens, as he hath oft told me himself) invited Monk into the City, and drew him to agree and joyn with them against the Rump (as they then called the Relicts of the Parliament). And this in truth was the Act that turned the Scales and brought in the King: whether the same men expected to be used as they have since been themselves, I know not: If they did, their Self-denial was very great, who were content to be silenced and laid in Gaols, so they might but bring in the King. After this the old Excluded Members of the Parliament meet with Monk; He calleth them to sit, and that the King might come in both by him and by them. He agreeth with them to sit but a few days, and then dissolve themselves and call another Parliament. They consent­ed, and prepared for the King's Restoration, and appointed a Council of State, and Dissolved themselves. Another Parliament is chosen, which calleth in the King, the Council of State having made further preparations for it. (For when the Que­stion was, Whether they should call in the King upon Treaty and Covenant, (which some thought best for him and the Nation) the Council resolved absolute­ly to trust him, Mr. A. especially perswading them so to do). And when the King came in, Col. Birch and Mr. Prin were appointed to Disband the Army, the several Regiments receiving their Pay in several places, and none of them daring to disobey: No not Monk's own Regiments who brought in the King.

Thus did God do a more wonderful Work in the Dissolving of this Army, than any of their greatest Victories was, which set them up. That an Army that had conquered three such Kingdoms, and brought so many Armies to destruction, cut off the King, pull'd down the Parliament, and set up and pull'd down others at their pleasure, that had conquered so many Cities and Castles; that were so united by Principles and Interest and Guilt, and so deeply engaged, as much as their E­states, and Honour, and Lives came to, to have stood it out to the very utmost; that had professed so much of their Wisdom and Religiousness; and had declared such high Resolutions against Monarchy: I say, that such an Army should have one Commander among themselves, whom they accounted not Religious, that should march against them without Resistance, and that they should all stand still, and let him come on, and restore the Parliament, and bring in the King, and disband themselves, and all this without one bloody Nose! Let any Man that hath the use of his Understanding, judge whether this were not enough to prove that there is a God that governeth the World, and disposeth of the Powers of the World ac­cording to his Will! And let all Men behold this Pillar of Salt, and standing Mo­nument of Divine Revenge, and take heed of over-valuing Human Strength, and of ever being puffed up by Victories and Success, or of being infatuated by Spiri­tual Pride and Faction! And let all Men take warning how they trample upon Government, rebel against it, or vilifie the Ministers and Ordinances of Christ, and proudly despise the Warnings of their Brethren.

§ 152. And at the same time while Monk was marching against them into Eng­land, the sober godly Officers of Ireland were impatient of the Anabaptists Tyran­ny: So that Col. Iohn Bridges (the Patron of Kidderminster) with his Lieutenant Thompson, and some few more Officers, resolved upon a desperate surprizal of Dub­lin Castle, (which the Anabaptists possest, with most of the strong Holds): and so happily succeeded, that without any bloodshed they got the Castle: And that being won, the rest of the Garrisons of all the whole Kingdom yielded without any loss of Blood; and unless one or two, without so much as any appearance of a Siege. Thus did God make his wonders to concur in time and manner; and shew­ed the World the instability of those States which are built upon an Army. He [Page 106] that will see more of this Surprize of Dublin Castle, may read it as printed by Colonel Bridges in a short Narrative. Had it not been for that Action, it is pro­bable that Ireland would have been the Refuge and Randezvouz for the disbanded or fugitive Army, and that there they would not only have maintained the War, but have imbodied against England, and come over again, with Resolutions height­ned by their Warnings. The Reward that Col. Bridges had for this Service was the peaceful Testimony of his Conscience, and a narrow escape from being utterly ruined; being sued as one that after Edghill Fight had taken the King's Goods, in an Action of Fourscore Thousand pound: But all was proved false, and he being cleared by the Court, did quickly after die of a Fever at Chester, and go to a more peaceable and desirable World.

§ 153. For my own Actions and Condition all this time, I have partly shewed them in the Second Part: How I was called up to London, and what I did there, and with how little Success I there continued my Pacificatory Endeavours. When I had lived there a few Weeks, I fell into another fit of Bleeding, which though it was nothing so great as formerly, yet after my former depauperation by that means and great debility, did weaken me much. Being restored by the mercy of God, and the help of Dr. Bates, (and the moss of a dead man's skull which I had from Dr. Michlethwait) I went to Mr. Thomas Foley's House, where I lived (in Au­stin-Fryars) about a year; and thence to Dr. Michlethwait's House in Little Brittain, where I tabled about another year: and thence to Moorfields, and thence to Action; from which being at the present driven by the Plague, I wait for the further disposal of my Almighty and most Gracious Lord.

§ 154. And now I shall annex for the Reader's satisfaction, an Account of my Books and Writings, on what occasion they were written, and what I now judge of them on a review, and after so much sopposition.

§ 155. The Books which I have written (and those that are written against me) are so numerous, that I confess if they plead not to the Reader for themselves, I cannot easily excuse my putting the World to so much trouble. And I was once almost faln out with my self, when I saw such abundance of Sermon Books print­ed in Oliver's days, because I concurred with them in over-loading the World. But God was pleased to keep me from Repentance by their Success; and since then I am more Impenitent herein than ever, as seeing more of the reason of God's dispo­sal than I saw before. For since so many hundred Ministers are silenced, and an Act is now past in the Parliament to forbid us coming withing five miles of any Ci­ty, Corporation, or Burgess Town; and a former Act forbiddeth us speaking to above four that are not of a Family; and knowing what Persons are Ministers in many of our places, I now bless God that his poor Servants have the private help of Books, which are the best Teachers, under God, that many thousand Per­sons have.

And whereas there are about Fifty Books (as I remember) that in whole or in part are written against me, or some Passages in mine; I bless the Lord that they have not disturbed or discomposed my mind, nor any more hindered me from my greater duty, by Replies; nor been altogether unprofitable to me: And that none of them, nor all of them, any whit disabled me from the Service of God by di­minishing my Estimation with those that I have opportunity to serve, or with the common Readers that may profit by my Labours, but only with the Members of the several Factions.

Some are written against me by Quakers, Iames Nayler, and many others: Some by Clement Writer, and other Seekers and Infidels: Some by Papists; some by Ana­baptists (Mr. Tombes, Fisher, and many others): some by Reverend Brethren that understood not all Points of Doctrine as I did (which-ever of us was in the right) (as Mr. Rutherford, Mr. Blake, Mr. Burgess, Dr. Kendall, &c.) some by Antinomians, and some by Separatists; and some by good Men that were but half possest with their Opinions, (as Mr. Eires, Mr. Crandon, Mr. Warner, &c.): some by proud im­patient Men; and some by the Prelatical Party: some by young Men that wanted Preferment, and thought that this was the way to get it; and some by obscure Men that desired to be taken notice of; and some by Flatterers, that desired to please others on whom they did depend; and some by malicious blood-thirsty Ca­lumniators! some by factious Temporizers, (as Stubbs, Rogers, Needham, &c.); and abundance by erroneous impatient Men, that could not endure to be contradicted in their Mistakes. To many of these I have returned Answers; and that some others re­main unanswered, is through the restraint of the Press.

[Page 107]§ 156. The first Book that ever I published is a small one, called, Aphorisms of Iustification and the Covenants, &c. I had first begun my Book, called The Saints Rest; and coming in it to answer the Question, How in Matth. 25. the reward is adjudged to men on the account of their good works? The chief Propositions of that Book did suddenly offer themselves to me, in order to that Resolution: But I was prepared with much disputing against Antinomianism in the Army. At Sir Thomas Rous's House, in my weakness, I wrote most of that Book, and finished it when I came to Kidderminster. I directed it to Mr. Vines and Mr. Burgess, out of my high esteem of them, though my personal acquaintance with them was but small. Mr. Vines wrote to me applaudingly of it. Mr. Burgess thought his Name engaged him to write against it.

Two Faults I now find in the Book: 1. It is defective, and hath some Proposi­tions that need Correction, being not cautelously enough expressed. 2. I medled too forwardly with Dr. Owen, and one or two more that had written some Passa­ges too near to Antinomianism. For I was young, and a stranger to mens tempers, and I thought others could have born a Confutation as easily as I could do my self; and I thought that I was bound to do my best publickly, to save the World from the hurt of published Errours; not understanding how it would provoke men more passionately to insist on what they once have said. But I have now learned to con­tradict Errours, and not to meddle with the Persons that maintain them. But in­deed I was then too raw to be a Writer.

This Book was over-much valued by some, and over-much blamed by others, both contrary to my own esteem of it: It cost me more than any other that I have written; not only by mens offence, but especially by putting me upon long and tedious Writings. Some that publickly wrote against it, I publickly answered. And because of the general noise about it, I desired those that would have me of their mind, to send me their Animadversions; which proved so many, that took me up too much of my time to answer them. But it was a great help to my Under­standing: For the Animadverters were of several minds; and what one approved another confuted, being further from each other than any of them from me.

The first that I craved Animadversions from was Mr. Burgess, and with much ad extorted only two or three Letters against Justification by Works (as he called it): which with my Answers were afterward published; when he had proceeded to print against me what he would not give me in writing.

The next (and full) Animadversions which I received, were from Mr. Iohn Warren, an honest, acute, ingenious man; to whom I answered in freer Expressi­ons than to others, because he was my Junior and familiar Friend; (being a School-Boy at Bridgenorth when I was Preacher there, and his Father being my Neigh­bour.)

Next his I had Animadversions from Dr. Iohn Wallis, very judicious and mode­rate, to which I began to write a Reply, but broke it off in the middle because he little differed from me.

The next I had was from Mr. Christopher Cartwright of York, (who defended the King against the Marquess of Worcester): he was a man of good reading as to our later Divines, and was very well verst in the Common Road, (very like Mr. Bur­gess); a very good Hebrician, and a very honest worthy Person. His Animadver­sions were most against my distinction of Righteousness into Legal and Evangeli­cal, according to the two Covenants. His Answer was full of Citations out of Amesius, Whittaker, Davenant, &c. I wrote him a full Reply; and he wrote me a Rejoynder; to which my time not allowing me to write a full Confutation, I took up all the Points of Difference between him and me, and handled them briefly, confirming my Reasons, for the ease of the Reader and my self.This is since pub­lished.

The next Animadverter was Mr. George Lawson, the ablest Man of them all, or of almost any I know in England; especially by the Advantage of his Age and very hard Studies, and methodical Head, but above all, by his great skill in Politicks, wherein he is most exact, and which contributeth not a little to the understanding of Divinity. Though he was himself near the Arminians (differing from them in the Point of Perseverance as to the Confirmed, and some little matters more) and so went farther than I did from the Antinomians, yet being conversant with Men of another Mind, to redeem himself from their Offence, he set himself against some Passages of mine, which others marvelled that he of all Men should oppose; especially about the Object of Faith, and Iustification. And afterwards he published an excellent Summ of Divinity, called, Theopolitica; in which he insist­eth [Page 108] on those two Points, to make good what he had said in his M. S. against me: (though the Reader that knoweth not what past between him and me, will not understand how these Passages there fell in, and some Divines have told me how excellent a Book it had been, if he had not been led aside in those Particulars; not knowing how it came to pass, the ablest Men being sometimes most hard­ly drawn to desert any thing which they have once affirmed). He hath writ­ten also Animadversions on Hobbes; and a piece of Ecclesiastical and Civil Policy, according to the Method of Politicks; an excellent Book, were it not that he seemeth to justify the Kings Death, and meddle too boldly with the Political Controversies of the times (though he be a Conformist): Also I have seen some ingenuous Manuscripts of his for the taking of the Engagement (to be true to the Commonwealth as established without a King and House of Lords) his Opi­nion being much for submitting to the present Possessor, though a Usurper): But I thought those Papers easily answerable. His Animadversions on my Papers were large, in which he frequently took occasion to be copious and distinct in laying down his own Judgment, which pleased me very well: I returned him a full Answer, and received from him a large Reply; instead of a Rejoinder to which, I summ'd up our Differences, and spoke to them briefly and distinctly, and not ver­batim to the Words of his Book. I must thankfully acknowledge that I learnt more from Mr. Lawson than from any Divine that gave me Animadversions, or that ever I conversed with: For two or three Passages in my first Reply to him he con­vinced me were Mistakes, and I found up and down in him those hints of Truths which had a great deal of Light in them, and were very apt for good Improve­ment: Especially his instigating me to the Study of Politicks, (in which he much lamented the Ignorance of Divines) did prove a singular Benefit to me. I confess it is long of my own Uncapableness that I have received no more good from others: But yet I must be so grateful as to confess that my Understanding hath made a better Improvement (for the sudden sensible increase of my Know­ledge) of Grotius de Satisfactione Christi, and of Mr. Lawson's Manuscripts, than of any thing else that ever I read; and they convinced me how unfit we are to write about Christ's Government, and Law, and Iudgment, &c. while we understand not the true Nature of Government, Laws, and Iudgment in the general; and that he that is ignorant of Politicks and of the Law of Nature, will be ignorant and er­roneous in Divinity and the sacred Scriptures.

§ 157. 2. The Second Book which I wrote(and the first which I began) was that called, The Saints everlasting Rest: Whilst I was in Health I had not the least thought of writing Books; or of serving God in any more publick way than Preaching: But when I was weakened with great bleeding, and left solitary in my Chamber at Sir Iohn Cook's in Derbyshire, without any Acquaintance, but my Ser­vant, about me, and was sentenced to Death by the Physician, I began to contem­plate more seriously on the Everlasting Rest which I apprehended my self to be just on the Borders of. And that my Thoughts might not too much scatter in my Meditation, I began to write something on that Subject, intending but the Quan­tity of a Sermon or two (which is the cause that the Beginning is in brevity and Style disproportionable to the rest); but being continued long in Weakness, where I had no Books nor no better Employment, I followed it on till it was en­larged to the bulk in which it is published: The first Three Weeks I spent in it was at Mr. Nowel's House at Kirkby-Mallory in Leicestershire; a quarter of a Year more, at the Seasons which so great Weakness would allow, I bestowed on it at Sir Tho Rous's House at Rous-Lench in Worcestershire; and I finished it shortly after at Kid­derminster: The first and last Parts were first done, being all that I intended for my own use; and the second and third Parts came afterwards in besides my first In­tention.

This Book it pleased God so far to bless to the Profit of many, that it encou­raged me to be guilty of all those Scripts which after followed. The Marginal Ci­tations I put in after I came home to my Books; but almost all the Book it self was written when I had no Book but a Bible and a Concordance: And I found that the Transcript of the Heart hath the greatest force on the Hearts of others: For the Good that I have heard that Multitudes have received by that Writing, and the Be­nefit which I have again received by their Prayers, I here humbly return my Thanks to him that compelled me to write it.

§ 159. 3. The Third Book which I published was that which is entituled, Plain Scripture Proof for Infants Church-Membership and Baptism: being the Arguments used [Page 109] in the Dispute with Mr. Tombes, and an Answer to a Sermon of his afterward preached, &c.

This Book God blessed with unexpected Success to stop abundance from turning Anabaptists, and reclaming many both in City and Country, (and some of the Officers of the Irish and English Forces) and it gave a considerable Check to their Proceedings.

Concerning it I shall only tell the Reader, 1. That there are towards the latter part of it, many enigmatical Reflections upon the Anabaptists for their horried Scan­dals, which the Reader that lived not in those times will hardly understand: But the cutting off the King, and rebelling against him and the Parliament, and the Invading Scotland, and the approving of these, (with the Ranters and other Sects that sprang out of them) were the Crimes there intended; which were not then to be more plainly spoken of, when their Strength and Fury was so high.

2. Note, that after the writing of that Book, I wrote a Postscript against that Doctrine of Dr. Burges and Mr. Tho. Bedford, which I supposed to go on the other Extream; and therein I answered part of a Treatise of Dr. Sam. Warks's which Mr. Bedford published; and it proved to be Mr. Thomas Gataker whom I defended, who is Dr. Ward's Censor; But I knew it not till Mr. Gataker after told me.

But after these Writings I was greatly in doubt [whether it be not certain that all the Infants of true Believers are justified and saved if they dye before actual Sin] My Reason was, because, it is the same justifying saving Covenant of Grace which their Parents and they are in: And as real Faith and Repentance is that Con­dition on the Parents part which giveth them their right to actual Remission, and Adoption: So to be the Children of such, is all the Condition which is required in Infants in order to the same Benefits: And without asserting this the Advantage of the Anabaptists is greater than every one doth imagine. But I never thought with Dr. Ward that all Baptised Children had this Benefit, and Qualitative Sanctifica­tion also; nor with Dr. Burgess and Mr. Bedford, that all converted at Age, had inherent seminal Grace in Baptism certainly given them; nor with Bishop Dave­nant that all justly baptised had relative Grace of Justification and Adoption: But only that all the Infants of true Believers who have right to the Covenant and Bap­tism in foro Coeli as well as in foro Ecclesiae, have also thereby Right to the Pardon of Original Sin, and to Adoption, and to Heaven; which Right is by Baptism to be sealed and delivered to them. This I wrote of to Mr. Gataker who returned me a kind and candid Answer, but such as did not remove my Scruple; and this oc­casioned him to print Bishop Davenants Disputations with his Answer. My Opi­nion (which I most incline to) is the same which the Synod of Dort expresseth, and that which I conjecture Dr. Davenant meant, or I am sure came next to.

Here note also, that Mr. Tombes sollicited me yet after all this, to write him down my Proofs of Infants Church-membership out of the circumcised Church, which I did at large, as from the Creation downward, as far as Proof could be expected in Proportion to the other Histories of those Times. Instead of sending me an Answer to my Papers, he printed some of them with an insufficient Answer in his last Book: These Papers with a Reply to him I have since Printed.

§ 159. 4. The Fourth Book which I published is a small one, called, The right Method for Peace of Conscience and spiritual comfort, in thirty two Directions. The Oc­casion of it was this: Mrs. Bridgis, the Wife of Col. Iohn Bridgis, being one of my Flock, was often weeping out her Doubts to me, about her long and great Uncer­tainty of her true Sanctification and Salvation. I told her that a few hasty Words were not Direction enough for the satisfactory resolving of so great a Case; and therefore I would write her down a few of those necessary Directions which she should read and study, and get well imprinted in her Mind. As soon as I had begun I found 1. that it would not be well done in the Brevity which I expected. 2. And that when it was done it would be as useful to many others of my Flock as to her; and therefore I bestowed more time on it, and made it larger and fit for common use.

This Book pleased Dr. Hammond much, and many Rational Persons, and some of those for whom it was written: But the Women and weaker sort I found could not so well improve clear Reason, as they can a few comfortable, warm and pret­ty Sentences; it is Style and not Reason which doth most with them: And some of the Divines were angry with it, for a Passage or two about Perseverance; be­cause I had said that many Men are certain of their present Sanctification, which are not certain of their Perseverance and Salvation; meaning all the Godly that [Page 110] are assured of their Sanctification, and yet do not hold the certainty of Preserve­rance. But a great Storm of Jealousie and Censure was by this and some such Words raised against me, by many good Men, who lay more on their Opinions and Party than they ought. Therefore, whereas some would have had me to retract it, and others to leave it out of the next Impression, I did the latter, but instead of it I published not long after

§ 160. 5. My Book called [R. B's. Iudgment about the Perseverance of Believers] In which I shewed them the Variety of Opinions about Perseverance, and that Augustine and Prosper themselves did not hold the certain Perseverance of all that are truly sanctified, though they held the Perseverance of all the Elect; but held that there are more Sanctified than are Elect, and that Perseverance is affixed to the Elect as such, and not to the Sanctified as such. (which Bishop Usher averred to Dr. Kendal before my Face to be most certainly Austin's Judgment, though both he and I did incline to another). From hence, and many other Arguments I inferred, that the sharp Censures of Men against their Brethren, for not holding a Point which Austin himself was against, and no one Author can be proved to hold from the Apostles Days till long after Austin, doth argue less Judgment and Cha­rity than many of the Censurers seem to have. I never heard of any Censure against these Papers, though the few Lines which occasioned them had so much.

§ 161. 6. Before this I had published two Assize Sermons, entituled, True Chri­stianity, one of Christ's Dominion, and the other of his Sovereignty over all Men as Redeemer: The first was preached before Judge Atkins, Sir Tho. Rous being high Sheriff: The second before Serjeant Glyn, who desiring me to print it, I thought meet to print the former with it.

§ 162. 7. Also I published my Apology against divers that had printed Books against many things which I had written. It consisteth of five parts: 1. An An­swer to Mr. Blake. 2. An Answer to Dr. Kendall. 3. A Confutation of Ludiom [...] ­us Colvinus. 4. An Answer to Mr. Crandon. 5. An Answer to Mr. Eyres.

The first, Mr. Blake, a reverend worthy Man of my acquaintance, in a Trea­tise of the Covenants had written much, I thought mistakingly against me; and though I replyed without any sharpness, it was very displeasing to him.

Dr. Kendall was little quick Spirited Man, of great Ostentation and a Conside­rable Orator and Scholar: He was driven on farther by others than his own Incli­nation would have led him: He thought to get an Advantage for his Reputation, by a Triumph over Iohn Goodwin and me; for those that set him on work would needs have him conjoin us both together, to intimate that I was an Arminian; while I was replying to his first Assault, he wrote a second; and when I had be­gun a Reply to that, meeting me at London, he was so earnest to take up the Con­troversy, engaging Mr. Vines to persuade me that Bishop Usher might determine it, and I was so willing to be eased of such work, and to end any thing which might be made a Temptation against Charity, that I quickly yielded to Bishop Ushers Arbitriment, who owned my Judgment about Universal Redemption, Per­severance, &c. but desired us to write against each other no more; and so my Se­cond Reply was supprest.

As for Ludiomaeus Colvinus, it is Ludovicus Molinaeus a Doctor of Physick, and Son to Pet. Molinaeus, and publick Professor of History in Oxford: He wrote a small Latin Tractate against his own Brother Cyrus Molinaeus, to prove that Justi­fication is before Faith: I thought I might be bold to con [...]ute him who chose the Truth and his own Brother to oppose. Another small Assault the same Author made against me (instead of a Reply) for approving of Camero and Amiraldus's way about universal Redemption and Grace: To which I answered in the Preface to ther Book: But these things were so far from alienating the Esteem and Affection of the Doctor, that he is now at this Day one of those Friends who are injurious to the Honour of their own Understanding by overvaluing me, and would fain have spent his time in translating some of my Books into the French Tongue.

Mr. Crandon was a Man that had run from Arminianism into the Extream of half Antinomianism, and having an excessive Zeal for his Opinions (which seem to be honoured by the extolling of Free-grace) and withal being an utter stran­ger to me, he got a deep conceit that I was a Papist, and in that persuasion wrote a large Book against my Aphorisms, which moved laughter in many, and pity in others, and troubled his Friends, as having disadvantaged their Cause. As soon as the Book came abroad, the news of the Author's death came with it, who died a fortnight after its birth. I had before hand got all save the beginning [Page 111] and end, out of the Press, and wrote so much of an Answer as I thought it wor­thy, before the publication of it.

Mr. Eyres was a Preacher in Salisbury of Mr. Crandon's Opinion; who having preached there for Justification before Faith, (that is, the Justification of Elect Infidels) was publickly confuted by Mr. Warren, and Mr. Woodbridge (a very ju­dicious Minister of Newbury, who had lived in New-England): Mr. Woodbridge printed his Sermon, which very perspicuously opened the Doctrine of Justification after the method that I had done. Mr. Eyres being offended with me as a Partner, gave me some part of his opposition, to whom I returned an Answer in the end: And a few words to Mr. Caryl who licensed and approved Mr. Crandon's Book, (for the Antinomians were commonly Independants). No one of all the Parties re­plied to this Book, save only Mr. Blake to some part of that which touched him.

§ 162. 8. Because my Aphorisms had so provok'd so many, and the noise was ve­ry loud against them, to make the Passages plainer which ofended them (about Justification, Sanctification, Merit, Punishment, &c.) I wrote a Book, called The Confession of my Faith about those matters: which I gave the World to save any more of them from misunderstanding my Aphorisms, and declared my Suspension of my Aphorisms till I should reprint them, intending only to correct two or three Passages, and elucidate the rest: But afterward I greatly affected to bring them into a small System of Divinity, which having never yet had time to write, I have omitted the reprinting of them to this day; (But some have surreptitiously printed them against my will).

In my Confession I opened the whole Doctrine of Antinomianism which I oppo­sed, and I brought the Testimonies of abundance of our Divines, who give as much to other Acts besides Faith, in Justification as I. And I opened the weakness of Dr. Owen's Reasonings for Justification before Faith, in his former Answer to me. To which he wrote an Answer, annexing it to his Confutation of Biddle and the Cracovian Catechism (to intimate that I belonged to that Party) that I thought it unfit to make any Reply to it, not only because I had no vacancy from better work, but because the quality of it was such as would unavoidably draw me, if I confuted it, to speak so much and so offensively to the Person, as well as the Do­ctrine, that it would have been a Temptation to the further weakening of his Cha­rity, and increasing his desire of Revenge: And I thought it my duty (when the Readers good required me not to write) to forbear replying, and to let him have the last word, because I had begun with him. And I perceived that the com­mon distast of Men against him and his Book made my Reply the more unneces­sary.

But for all the Writings and Warth of Men which were provoked against me, I must here record my Thanks to God for the Success of my Controversal Wri­tings against the Antinomians: when I was in the Army it was the predominant Infection: The Books of Dr. Crisp, Paul Hobson, Saltmarsh, Cradock, and abundance such like were the Writings most applauded; and he was thought no Spiritual Christian, but a Legalist that savoured not of Antinomianism, which was sugared with the Title of Free-grace; and others were thought to preach the Law, and not to preach Christ. And I confess, the darkness of many Preachers in the Mysteries of the Gospel, and our common neglect of studying and preaching Grace, and Gratitude, and Love, did give occasion to the prevalency of this Sect, which God no doubt permitted for our good, to review our apprehension of those Evangeli­cal Graces and Duties which we barely acknowledged, but in our practice almost over-lookt. But this Sect that then so much prevailed, was so suddenly almost ex­tinct, that now they little appear, and make no noise among us at all, nor have done these many years! In which effect those ungrateful Controversal Writings of my own have had so much hand, as obligeth me to very much Thankfulness to God.

§ 164. About that time having been at London, and preached some Sermons there, one scrap of a Sermon preached in Westminster-Abbey to many Members of Parliament, was taken by some one and printed; which is nothing but the naming of a few Directions which I then gave the Parliament Men for Church Reforma­tion and Peace, according to the state of those Times which it was preached in. (In Oliver Cromwell's time.)

§ 165. 10. And when I was returned home I was sollicited by Letters to print many of the Sermons which I had preached in London; and in some of them I gratified their desires: One Sermon which I published was against Mens making [Page 112] light of Christ, upon Matth. 22. 5. This Sermon was preached at Lawrence Iury, where Mr. Vines was Pastor: where though I sent the day before to secure room for the Lord Broghill, and the Earl of Suffolk, with whom I was to go in the Coach, yet when I came, the Crowd had so little respect of Persons, that they were fain to go home again, because they could not come within hearing, and the old Earl of Warwick (who stood in the Abbey) brought me home again: And Mr. Vines himself was fain to get up into the Pulpit, and sit behind me, and I to stand be­tween his Legs: which I mention that the Reader may understand that Verse in my Poem concerning him which is printed, where I say, That ‘At once one Pulpit held us both.’

§ 166. 11. Another of those Sermons which I published was, A Sermon of Iudg­ment, which I enlarged into a small Treatise. This was preached at Pauls at the desire of Sir Christopher Pack, then Lord Mayor, to the greatest Auditory that I ever saw.

§ 167. 12. Another Sermon which I preached at Martin's Church, I printed with enlargement, called, Catholick Unity; shewing the great necessity of Unity in real Holiness: It is fitted to the prophane and ignorant People, who are still cry­ing out against Errours and Divisions about lesser matters, while they themselves do practically and damnably err in the Foundation, and divide themselves from God, from Christ, from the Spirit, and from all the living Members of Christ: And it sheweth how greatly Ungodliness tendeth to Divisions, and Godliness to the truest Unity and Peace.

§ 168. 13. About that time I had preached a Sermon at Worcester, which (though rude and not polished) I thought meet to print, under the Title of The true Catho­lick, and The Catholick Church described: It is for Catholicism against all Sects; to shew the Sin and Folly and Mischief of all Sects that would appropriate the Church to themselves, and trouble the World with the Question, Which of all these Par­ties is the Church? as if they knew not that the Catholick Church is that whole which containeth all the Parts, though some more pure, and some less: especially it is suited against the Romish Claim, which damneth all Christians besides them­selves; and it detecteth and confuteth dividing Principles: For I apprehended it a Matter of great Necessity to imprint true Catholicism on the Minds of Christians; it being a most lamentable thing to observe how few Christians in the World there be, that fall not into one Sect or other, and wrong not the common Interest of Christianity, for the promoting of the Interest of their Sect: And how lamenta­bly Love is thereby destroyed, so that most men think not that they are bound to love those, as the Members of Christ, which are against their Party, and the Lea­ders of most Sects do not stick to persecute those that differ from them, and think the Blood of those who hinder their Opinions, and Parties, to be an acceptable Sa­crifice to God. And if they can but get to be of a Sect which they think the ho­liest (as the Anabaptists and Separatists), or which is the largest, (as the Greeks and Papists) they think then that they are sufficiently warranted, to deny others to be God's Church, or at least to deny them Christian Love and Communion.

To this small Book I annexed a Poscript against a ridiculous Pamphlet of one Malpas, an old scandalous neighbour Minister, who was permitted to stay in by the Parliament, (so far were they from being over-strict in their Reformation of the Clergy) and now is a considerable Man among them.

§ 169. 14. When we set on foot our Association in Worcestershire, I was desired to print our Agreement, with an Explication of the several Articles: which I did in a small Book, called, Christian Concord: In which I gave the reasons why the Episcopal, Presbyterians, and Independants might and should unite on such Terms, without any change of any of their Principles: But I confess that the new Episcopal Party, that follow Grotius too far, and deny the very being of all the Ministers and Churches that have not Diocesan Bishops, are not capable of Union with the rest upon such Terms: And hereby I gave notice to the Gentry and others of the Royalists in England, of the great danger they were in of chang­ing their Ecclesiastical Cause, by following new Leaders that were for Grotianism. But this Admonition did greatly offend the Guilty, who now began to get the Reins; though the old Episcopal Protestants confessed it to be all true. There is nothing bringeth greater hatred and sufferings on a Man, than to foreknow the mischief that Men in power are doing, and intend, and to warn the World of it: For while they are resolutely going on with it, they will proclain him a Slanderer [Page 113] that revealeth it, and use him accordingly, and never be ashamed when they have done it, and thereby declared all which he foretold to be true.

§ 170. 15. Having in the Postscript of my True Catholick, given a short touch a­gainst a bitter Book of Mr. Thomas Pierce's against the Puritans and me, it pleased him to write another Volume against Mr. Hickman and me, just like the Man; full of malignant bitterness against Godly men that were not of his Opinion; and breathing out blood-thirsty malice, in a very Rhetorical fluent style. Abundance of Lies also are in it against the old Puritans, as well as against me; and in particu­lar in charging Hacket's Villany upon Cartwright as a Confederate: which I instance in, because I have (out of old Mr. Ash's Library) a Manuscript of Mr. Cartwright's containing his full Vindication against that Calumny, which some would fain have fastened on him in his time.

But Mr. Pierce's principal business was to defend Grotius: In answer to which I wrote a little Treatise, called, The Grotian Religion discovered, at the Invitation of Mr. Thomas Pierce: In which I cited his own words, especially out of his Dis­cussio Apologetici Rivetaini, wherein he openeth his Terms of Reconciliation with Rome, viz. That it be acknowledged the Mistress Church, and the Pope have his Supream Government, but not Arbitrary, but only according to the Canons; To which end he defendeth the Council of Trent it self, Pope Pius's Oath, and all the Councils, which is no other than the French sort of Popery: I had not then heard of the Book written in France, called Grotius Papizans, nor of Sarravius's Epistles, in which he witnesseth it from his own mouth. But the very words which I cited con­tain an open Profession of Popery. This Book the Printer abused, printing every Section so distant, to fill up Paper, as if they had been several Chapters.

And in a Preface before it, I vindicated the Synod of Dort (where the Divines of England were chief Members) from the abusive virulent Accusations of one that called himself Tilenus junior. Hereupon Pierce wrote a much more railing ma­licious Volume than the former, (the liveliest Express of Satan's Image, malignity, bloody malice, and falshood, covered in handsome railing Rhetorick, (that ever I have seen from any that called himself a Protestant). And the Preface was answer­ed just in the same manner by one that stiled himself Philo-Tilenus. Three such Men as this Tilenus junior, Pierce and Gunning, I have not heard of besides in Eng­land! Of the Jesuites Opinion in Doctrinals, and of the old Dominican Complexi­on, the ablest Men that their Party hath in all the Land; of great diligence in stu­dy and reading; of excellent Oratory (especially Tilenus junior and Pierce); of temperate Lives; but all their Parts so sharpened with furious persecuting Zeal, against those that dislike Arminianism, high Prelacy, or full Conformity, that they are like the Briars and Thorns which are not to be handled, but by a fenced hand, and breathe out Tereatnings against God's Servants better than themselves; and seem unsatisfied with blood and ruines, and still cry, Give, Give; bidding as lowd defiance to Christian Charity, as ever Arrius or any Heretick did to Faith.

This Book of mine of the Grotian Religion greatly offended many others: but none of them could speak any Sence against it, the Citations for Matter of Fact being unanswerable. And it was only the Matter of Fact which I undertook, viz. To prove that Grotius profest himself a moderate Papist: But for his fault in so do­ing, I little medled with it.

§ 171. 16. Mr. Blake having replye, to some things in my Apology, especially about Right to Sacraments, or the just subject of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, I wrote five Disputations on those Points, proving that it is not the reality of a Dogmatical (or Justifying) Faith, nor yet the Profession of bare Assent (called a Dogmatical Faith by many); but only the Profession of a Saving Faith, which is the Condition of Mens title to Church-Communion Coram Ecclèsiâ: and that Hy­pocrites are but Analogically or Equivocally called Christians, and Believers, and Saints, &c. with much more to decide the most troublesome Controversie of that Time, which was about the Necessary Qualification and Title of Church-Mem­bers and Communicants: Many men have been perplexed about that Point, and that Book. Some think it cometh too near the Independants, and some that it is too far from them; and many think it very hard, that [A Credible Profession] of True Faith and Repentance, should be made the stated Qualification; because they think it incredible that all the Jewish Members were such: But I have sifted this Point more exactly and diligently in my thoughts, than almost any Controversie whatsoever: And fain I would have found some other Qualification to take up with, (1. Either the Profession of some lower Faith than that which hath the Promise of Salvation; 2. Or at least such a Profession of Saving Faith, as needeth not to [Page 114] be credible at all, &c.) But the Evidence of Truth hath forced me from all other ways, and suffered me to rest no where but here. That Profession should be made necessary without any respect at all to Credibility, and consequently to the verity of the Faith professed, is incredible, and a Contradiction, and the very word Profession signifieth more. And I was forced to observe, that those that in Charity would belive another Profession to be the title to Church-Communion, do greatly cross their own design of Charity: And while they would not be bound to believe men to be what they profess, for fear of excluding many whom they cannot believe, they do leave themselves and all others as not obliged to love any Church-Member as such, with the love which is due to a True Christian, but only with such a Love as they owe to the Members of the Devil; and so deny them the Kernel of Charity, by giving the Shell to a few more than else they would do. Whereas upon my deepest search, I am satisfied that a Credible Profession of true Christianity, is it that denominateth (the Adult) visible Christians: And that this must con­tain Assent and Consent, even all that is in the Baptismal Covenant, and no more; and therefore Baptism is called our Christning: But withal, that the Indepen­dants bring in Tyranny and Confusion, whilst they will take no Profession as Cre­dible, which hath not more to make it credible than God and Charity require: And that indeed every man's word is to be taken as the Credible Profession of his own mind, unless he forfeit the Credit of his word, by gross ignorance of the Matter professed, or by a Contrary Profession, or by an inconsistent Life: And therefore a Pro­fession is credible as such, of it self, till he that questioneth it doth disprove it. Else the Rules of Humane Converse will be overthrown: for who knoweth the Heart of another so well as he himself: And God who will save or damn men, not for other mens Actions but their own, will have mens own choosing or refusing to be their inlet or exclusion, both as to Saving Mercy, and to a Church state: And if they be Hypocrites in a false Profession, the sin and loss will be their own. But I confess mens Credibility herein hath very various degrees: But though my fears are never so great, that a man dissembleth and is not sincere, yet if I be not able to bring in that Evidence to invalidate his Profession, which in foro Eccle­siae shall prove it to be incredible, I ought to receive him as a credible Professor, though but by a Humane, and perhaps most debile Belief.

§ 172. 17. After that I published four Disputations of Justification, clearing up further those Points in which some Reverend Brethren blamed my Judgment; and answering Reverend Mr. Burgess (who would needs write somewhat against me in his Treatise of Imputed Righteousness); and also answering a Treatise of Mr. Warner's of the Office and Object of Iustifying Faith: The Fallacies that abuse ma­ny about those Points are there fully opened.

If the Reader would have the Sum of my Judgment about Justification, in brief, he may find it very plainly in a Sermon on that Subject, among the Morning Exercises at St. Giles's in the Fields, preached by my worthy Friend Mr. Gibbons of Block-Fryars, (in whose Church I ended my Publick Ministry); a Learned Judicious Man, now with God. And it is as fully opened in a Latin Disputation of Monsieur le Blanc's of Sedan; and Placaeus in Thes. Salmur. Vol. 1. de Iustif. hath much to the same purpose.

§ 173. 18. Near the same time I published a Treatise of Conversion, being some plain Sermons on that Subject, which Mr. Baldwin (an honest young Mini­ster that had lived in my House, and learnt my proper Characters, or short-hand, in which I wrote my Sermon Notes) had transcribed out of my Notes. And though I had no leisure, for this or other Writings, to take much care of the stile, nor to add any Ornaments, or Citations of Authors, I thought it might bet­ter pass as it was, than not at all; and that if the Author, mist of the Applause of the Learned, yet the Book might be profitable to the Ignorant, as it proved through the great Mercy of God.

§ 174. 19. Also I published a shorter Treatise on the same Subject, entituled, A Call to the Unconverted, &c. The Occasion of this was my Converse with Bi­shop Usher while I was at London, who much appoving my Method or Directions for Peace of Conscience, was importunate with me to write Directions suited to the vari­ous States of Christians, and also against particular Sins: I reverenced the Man, but disregarded these Persuasions, supposing I could do nothing but what is done as well or better already: But when he was dead his Words went deeper to my Mind, and I purposed to obey his Counsel; yet so as that to the first sort of Men (the Ungodly) I thought vehement Persuasions meeter than Directions only: And so for such I published this little Book; which God hath blessed with unexpected Suc­cess [Page 115] beyond all the rest that I have written (except The Saints Rest): In a little more than a Year there were about twenty thousand of them printed by my own Consent, and about ten thousand since, besides many thousands by stollen Impres­sions, which poor, Men stole for Lucre sake: Through God's Mercy I have had Infor­mations, almost whole Housholds converted by this small Book, which I set so light by: And as if all this in England, Scotland and Ireland were not Mercy enough to me, God (since I was silenced) hath sent it over on his Message to many beyond the Seas; for when Mr. Elliot had printed all the Bible in the Indians Language, he next translated this my Call to the Unconverted, as he wrote to us here: And though it was here thought prudent to begin with the Practice of Pie­ty, because of the envy and distaste of the times against me, he had finished it, before that Advice came to him. And yet God would make some farther use of it; for Mr. Stoop the Pastor of the French Church in London, being driven hence by the displeasure of Superiors, was pleased to translate it into elegant French, and print it in a very curious Letter, and I hope it will not be unprofitable there; nor in Germany, where it is printed in Dutch.

§ 175. 20. After this I thought, according to Bishop Usher's Method, the next sort that I should write for, is those that are under the work of Conversion; because by Half-Conversion Multitudes prove deceived Hypocrites: Therefore I published a small Book entituled, Directions and persuasions to a sound Conversion; which though I thought more apt to move than the former, yet through the Fault of the covetous Booksellers, and because it was held at too high a Price (which hindred many other of my Writings), there were not past two or three Impres­sions of them sold.

§ 176. 21. About that time being apprehensive how great a part of our Work lay in catechising the Aged who were Ignorant, as well as Children, and especi­ally in serious Conference with them about the Matters of their Salvation, I thought it best to draw in all the Ministers of the Country with me, that the Benefit might extend the farther, and that each one might have the less Opposition. Which having procured, at their desire I wrote a Catechism, and the Articles of our Agreement, and before them an earnest Exhortation to our Ignorant People to submit to this way (for we were afraid lest they would not have submitted to it): And this was then published. The Catechism was also a brief Confession of Faith, being the Enlargement of a Confession which I had before printed in an open Sheet, when we set up Church Discipline.

§ 177. 22. When we set upon this great Work, it was thought best to begin with a Day of Fasting and Prayer by all the Ministers at Worcester, where they desired me to preach: But Weakness and other things hindered me from that Day; but to compensate that, I enlarged and published the Sermon which I had prepared for them, and entitled the Treatise, Gildas Salvianus (because I imitated Gildas and Salvianus in my Liberty of Speech to the Pastors of the Churches) or The reformed Pastor: I have very great Cause to be thankful to God for the Success of that Book, as hoping many thousand Souls are the better for it, in that it pre­vailed with many Ministers to set upon that Work which I there exhort them to: Even from beyond the Seas, I have had Letters of Request, to direct them how they might bring on that Work according as that Book had convinced them that it was their Duty. If God would but reform the Ministry, and set them on their Duties zealously and faithfully, the People would certainly be reformed: All Churches either rise or fall as the Ministry doth rise or fall, (not in Riches and world­ly Grandure) but in Knowledge, Zeal and Ability for their Work. But since Bi­shops were restored this Book is useless, and that Work not medled with.

§ 178. 23. When the part of the Parliament called the Rump or Common­wealth was sitting, the Anabaptists, Seekers &c. flew so high against Tythes and Ministry, that it was much feared lest they would have prevailed at last: Where­fore I drew up a Petition for the Ministry, which is printed under the Name of the Worcestershire Petition, which being presented by Coll. Iohn Bridges and Mr. Thomas Foley, was accepted with Thanks; and seemed to have a considerable ten­dency to some good Resolutions.

§ 179. But the Sectaries greatly regard against that Petition, and one wrote a vehement Invective against it; which I answered in a Paper called, The Defence of the Worcestershire Petition (which by an Over-sight is mained by the want of the Answer to one of the Accusers Queries). I knew not what kind of Person he was that I wrote against, but it proved to be a Quaker, they being just now rising, and [Page 116] this being the first of their Books, (as far as I can remember) that I had ever­seen.

§ 180. 24. Presently upon this the Quakers began to make a great Stirr among us, and acted the Parts of Men in Raptures, and spake in the manner of Men in­spired, and every where railed against Tythes and Ministers. They sent many Papers of Queries to divers Ministers about us: And to one of the chief of them I wrote an Answer, and gave them as many more Questions to answer, enti [...]uling it, The Quakers Catechism: These Pamphlets being but one or two Days Work, were no great Interruption to my better Labours, and as they were of small Worth, so also of small Cost. The same Ministers of our Country that are now silenced, are they that the Quakers most vehemently opposed, medling little with the rest. The marvellous concurrence of Instruments telleth us, that one principal Agent doth act them all. I have oft asked the Quakers lately, why they chose the same Ministers to revile, whom all the Drunkards and Swearers rail against? And why they cryed out in our Assemblies, Come down thou Deceiver, thou Hireling, thou Dog; and now never meddle with the Pastors or Congregati­ons? And they answer, 1. That these Men sin in the open Light, and need none to discover them. 2. That the Spirit hath his times both of Severity, and of Lenity. But the Truth is, they knew then they might be bold without any Fear of Suf­fering by it: And now it is time for them to save their Skins; they suffer enough for their own Assemblies.

181. 25. The great Advancement of the Popish Interest by their secret agen­cy among the Sectaries, Seekers, Quakers, Behmenists, &c. did make me think it necessary to do something directly against Popery; and so I published three Dispu­tations against them, one to prove our Religion safe, and another to prove their Religion unsafe; and a third to shew that they overthrew the Faith by the ill Reso­lution of their Faith. This Book I entituled, The safe Religion.

§ 182. 26. About the same time I fell into troublesom Acquaintance with one Clement Writer of Worcester, an ancient Man that (had long seemed a forward Pro­fessor of Religiousness, and of a good Conversation, but was now perverted to I know not what: A Seeker he profest to be, but I easily perceived that he was ei­ther a jugling Papist or an Infidel; but I more suspected the latter: He had writ­ten a scornful Book against the Ministry, called Ius Divinum Presbyterii, and after two more against the Scripture and against me, one called Fides Divina, the other's Title I remember not: His Assertion to me was, that no Man is bound to believe in Christ that doth not see confirming Miracles himself with his own Eyes.

By the Provocations of this Apostate, I wrote a Book, called, The unreasanableness of Infidelity, consisting of four Parts: The first, of the extrinsick Witness of the Spirit by Miracles, &c. to which I annexed a Disputation against Clement Writer, to prove that the Miracles wrought by Christ and his Apostles, oblige us to believe that did not see them. The Second part was of the intrinsick Witness of the Spi­rit, to Christ and Scripture. The Third was of the Sin or Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. And the Fourth was to repress the Arrogancy of reasoning against Divine Revelations. All this was intended but as a Supplement to the Second Part of The Saints Rest, where I had pleaded for the Truth of Scripture: But this Sub­ject I have since more fully handled in my Reasons of the Christian Religion.

At the time Mr. Gilbert, a learned Minister in Shropshire wrote a Small concise Tractate in Latin (as against a Book of Dr. Owen's, though his intimate Friend) to prove that Christ's Death was not necessary absolutely, but of Divine Free Choice; and in answer to that Book, I wrote a brief Premonition to my Treatise against Infidelity to decide that Controversy.

§ 183. 27. Mr. Tho. Foley being High Sheriff, desired me to preach before the Judges; which I did on Gal. 6. 16. and enlarged it to a Treatise, entituled, The Cru­cifying of the World by the Cross of Christ; for Mortification; and put an Epistle some­what large before it to provoke rich Men to good Works.

§ 184. 28. Some Men about this time persuaded me, that if I would write a few single Sheets on several Subjects, though the Style were not very moving, yet it would do more good than larger Volumes, because most people will buy and read them, who will neither buy nor read the larger. Whereupon I wrote first, One Sheet against the Quakers, containing those Reasons which should satisfie all So­ber Men against their way.

§ 185. 29. The Second Sheet I called A Winding Sheet for Popery, containing a Sum­mary of Moderate and Effectual Reasons against Popery: (which single sheet no Papist hitherto hath answered).

[Page 117]§ 186. 30. The third Sheet was called [One Sheet for the Ministry, against the Ma­lignants of all sorts); containing those Reasons for the present Ministry which shew the greatness of the Sin of those that set against them. It was intended then a­gainst the Quakers and other Sectarian Enemies to the Ministry: but is as useful for these Times, and against those that on other pretences hate, and silence, and suppress them; and might tell their Consciences what they do.

§ 187. 31. The fourth Sheet I called [A Second Sheet for the Ministry]; being a Defence of their Office as continued, against the Seekers, who pretend that the Ministry is ceased and lost: And it may serve against the Papists that question our Call for want of a Succession; and all their Spawn of Sectaries that are still set­ting themselves against the Ministry, (and against the Sacred Scriptures).

§ 188. 32. Mr. William Montford being chosen Bayliff of Kiderminster, desired me to write him down a few brief Instructions for the due Execution of his Office of Magistracy, that he might so pass it as to have Comfort and not Trouble in the Review; which having done, considering how many Mayors, and Bayliffs, and Countrey Justices needed it as well as he, I printed it in an open Sheet to stick upon a Wall, Entituled, Directions for Iustices of Peace, especially in Corporations; for the Discharge of their Duties to God; (suited to those Times).

§ 189. 33. Mr. Iohn Dury having spent thirty Years in Endeavours to recon­cile the Lutherans and Calvanists, was now going over Sea again upon that Work, and desired the Judgment of our Association how it should be successfully expedited; which at their desire I drew up more largely in Latin, and more briefly in English: The English Letter he printed, as my Letter to Mr. Dury for Pacification.

§ 190. 34. About that time Mr. Ionathan Hanmer of Devonshire wrote a Trea­tise for Confirmation, as the most expedient means to reform our Churches, and re­concile all that disagree about the Qualification of Church Members: I liked the Design so well (having before written for it in my Treatise of Baptism) that be­ing requested, I put a large Epistle before it; and after that, when some Brethren desired me to produce more Scripture Proof for it than he had done, I wrote a small Treatise called, [Confirmation and Restauration the necessary means to Reformation and Reconciliation]. But the times changed before it could be much practised.

§ 191. 35. Sergeant Shephard, an honest Lawyer, wrote a little Book of Sincer [...]ty and Hypocrisy; and in the end of it Mr. Tho. Barlow (afterward Bishop of Lincoln) wrote (without his Name) an Appendix in Confutation of a supposed Opinion of mine, that Saving Grace differeth not Specie but Gradu from Common Grace: To which I replied in a short Discourse called [Of Saving Faith, &c.] I had most highly valued the Author whom I wrote against, long before, for his Six Exerci­tations in the end of Schibler's Metaphysicks: But in his Attempt against me, he came quite below himself, as I made manifest; and he resolved to make no Answer to it. In this Tractate the Printer plaid his part so shamefully, that the Book is scarcely to be understood.

§ 192. 36. Being greatly apprehensive of the Commonness and Danger of the Sin of Selfishness, as the Summ and Root of all positive Evil, I preached many Sermons against it; and at the Request of some Friends I published them, entituled A. Treatise of Self-denial; which found better acceptance than most of my other, but yet prevented not the ruine of Church and State, and Millions of Souls by that Sin.

§ 193. 37. After that I published, Five Disputations about Church-Government, in order to the Reconciliation of the differing Parties: In the first I proved that the English Diocesance Prelacy is intollerable (which none hath answered): In the Se­cond I have proved the Validity of the Ordination then exercised without Dioce­sanes in England (which no Man hath answered, though many have urged Men to be re-ordained). In the third I proved that there are dives sorts of Episco­pacy lawful and desirable. In the fourth and fifth I shew the lawfulness of some Ceremonies and of a Liturgy, and what is unlawful here.

This Book being published when Bishops, Liturgy and Ceremonies were most de­cryed and opposed, was of good use to declare my Judgment when the King came in; for if I had said as much then, I had been judged but a Temporizer: But as it was effectual to settle many in a Moderation, so it made abundance of Conformists afterwards (or was pretended at least to give them Satisfaction): Though it never medled with the greatest Parts of Conformity (Renouncing Vows, Assent and Consent to all things in three Books, &c.); and though it un­answerably confuted our Prelacy and Re-ordination, and consequently the Renun­ciation of the Vow against Prelacy; and opposed the Cross in Baptism. But Sic­vitant [Page 118] Stulti Vitia (as my Aphorisms made some Arminians). If you discover an Error to an injudicious Man, he reeleth into the contrary Error, and it is hard to stop him in the middle Verity.

§ 194. 38. At the same time I published another Book against Popery, fit for the defensive part, and instructing Protestants how to answer any Papist. It is entitu­led, A Key for Catholicks, to open the jugling of the Iesuits, and satisfie all that are but truly willing to understand whether the Cause of the Roman or Reformed Churches be of God.

In this, Treatise, proving that the Blood of the King is not by Papists to be charged upon Protestants, I plainly hazarded my Life against the Powers that then were; and grievously incensed Sir H. vane (as is before declared): And yet Mr. I. N. was so tender of the Papists Interest, that having before been offended with me for a Petition against Popery, and (a Justice of all times) spake against it on the Bench, and his Displeasure encreased by this Book; he took occasion since the King came in, to write against me for those very Passages which condemned the King-killers: Because comparing the Case with the Doctrine and Practice of the Papists, I shewed that the Sectarians and Cromwelians had of the two a more plausi­ble Pretence, (which I there recited) he confuteth those Pretence of theirs as if they had been my own; thereby to make the World believe that I wrote for the King's Death, in the very Pages where to the hazard of my Life I wrote against it; when he himself took the Engagement against the King and the House of Lords, and was a Justice under Oliver, and more than so, signed Orders for the se­questring of others of the King's Party. But the great Indignation against this Book and the former, is, that they were by Epistles directed to Ri. Cromwell as Lord Protector, which I did only to provoke him that had Power, to use it well, when the Parliament had sworn Fidelity to him; and that without any Word of Approbation to his Title.

Yet those that were not prejudiced by partiality against this Book (my Key for Ca­tholicks) have let me know that it hath not been without Success: It being indeed a sufficient Armory, for to furnish a Protestant to defend his Religion against all the Assaults of the Papists whatsoever, and teacheth him how to answers all their Books. The second part doth briefly deal with the French and Grotian Party, that are for the Supremacy of a Council, at least as to the Legislative Power, and sheweth that we never had a general Council, nor can it be at all expected.

§ 195. 39. But the Book which hath furnished my Enemies with matter of Re­viling (which none must dare to answer) is my Holy Commonwealth: The Occa­sion of it was this; when our Pretorian Sectarian Bands had cut all Bonds and Pull'd down all Government, and after the Death of the King had twelve Years kept out his Son, few Men saw any probability of his Restitution; and every self-conceited Fellow was ready to offer his Model for a new Form of Government: Mr. Hobbs his Leviathan had pleased many: Mr. Tho. White the great Papist, had written his Politicks in English for the Interest of the Protector, to prove that Subject ought to submit and subject themselves to such a Change: And now Mr. Iames Harring­ton (they say by the help of Mr. H. Nevill) had written a Book in Folio for a Democracy, called Oceana, seriously describing a Form near to the Venetian, and setting the People upon the Desires of a Change: And after this Sir H. Vane and his Party were about their Sectarian Democratical Model, which Stubbs defended; and Regars and Needham (and Mr. Bagshaw had written against Monarchy be­fore). In the end of an Epistle before my Book of (Crucifying the World) I had spoken a few Words against this Innovation and Opposition to Monarchy; and ha­ving especially touched upon Oceana and Leviathan, Mr. Harrington seemed in a Bethelhem Rage; for by way of Scorn he printed half a Sheet of foolish Jeers, in such Words as Ideots or Drunkards use, railing at Ministers as a Pack of Fools and Knaves, and by his gibberish Derision persuading Men that we deserved no other Answer than such Scorn and Nonsense as beseemeth Fools: And with most inso­lent Pride he carried it, as if neither I nor any Ministers understood at all what Policy was; but prated against we knew not what, and had presumed to speak against other Mens Art, which he was Master of, and his Knowledge to such Ide­ots as we incomprehensible. This made me think it fit, having given that Gene­ral hint against his Oceana, to give a more particular Charge, and withal to give the World and him an Account of my Political Principles, and to shew what I held as well as what I denyed; which I did in that Book called, Political Aphorisms, or A Holy Commonwealth, as contrary to his Heathenish Commonwealth: In which I plead the Cause of Monarchy as better than Democracy and Aristocracy; but as [Page 119] under God the Universal Monarch. Here Bishop Morley hath his Matter of Charge against me; of which one part is that I spake against Unlimited Monarchy, because God himself hath limited all Monarchs. If I had said that Laws limit Monarchs, I might among some men be thought a Traytor, and unexcusable: but to say that God limiteth Monarchs, I thought had never before been chargeable with Treason, or opposed by any that believed that there is a God. If they are indeed unlimited in respect of God, we have many Gods or no God. But now it is dangerous to med­dle with these matters: Most men say now, Let God defend himself.

In the end of this Book is an Appendix concerning the Cause of the Parlia­ments first War, which was thus occasioned: Sir Francis Nethersole a Religious Knight, who was against the lawfulness of the War on both sides, sent his man to me, with Letters to advise me to tell Cromwell of his Usurpation, and to coun­sel him to call in the King; of which when I had given him satisfaction, he sent him against with more Letters and Books, to convince me of the unlawfulness of the Parliament's War: And others attempting the same at the same time; and the Confusions which the Army had brought upon us, being such as made me very much disposed to think ill of those beginnings which had no better an end, I thought it best to publish my Detestation and Lamentation for those Rebellious Proceedings of the Army, (which I did as plainly as could be born, both in an Epistle to them, and in a Meditation in the end), and withal to declare the very Truth, that hereby I was made suspicious and doubtful of the beginnings or first Cause, but yet was not able to answer the Arguments which the Lawyers of the Parliament then gave, and which had formerly inclined me to that side. I con­confessed, that if men Miscarriages and ill Accidents would warrant me to Con­demn the beginnings which were for another Cause, then I should have condemned them: But that being not the way, I found my self yet unable to answer the first Reasons; and therefore laid them down together, desiring the help of others to answer them, professing my own suspicion, and my daily prayers to God for just satisfaction. And this Paper is it that containeth all my Crimes. Against this, one Tomkins wrote a Book, called, The Rebels Plea. But I wait in silence till God enlighten us.

In the beginning of this Book having reprehended the Army, I answer a Book of Sir Henry Vane's called, The Healing Question. It was published when Richard Cromwell was pull'd down, and Sir H. Vane's New Commonwealth was form­ing.

§ 196. 40. About the same time, one that called himself W. Iohnson, (but I hear his Name is Mr. Terret) a Papist, engaged me in a Controversie, about the per­petual visibility of the Church; which afterwards I published; the story of which you have more at large in the following part of this Book. In the latter I inserted a Letter of one Thomas Smyth a Papist, with my Answer to it, which it seemeth occasioned his recovery from them, as is manifest in a Letter of Mr. Thomas Stanley his Kinsman (a sober godly man in Breadstreet) which I by his own consent sub­joyned. To this Book Mr. Iohnson hath at last replyed; and I have since return'd an Answer to him.

§ 197. 41. Having been desired in the time of our Associations, to draw up those Terms which all Christian Churches may hold Communion upon; I published them, though too late for any such use (till God give men better minds) that the World might see what our Religion and our Terms of Communion were; and that if after Ages prove more peaceable, they may have some light from those that went before them. It consisteth of three parts:

The first containeth the Christian Religion, which all are positively to profess, that is, Either to subscribe the Scriptures in general, and the ancient Creeds in particular; or at most, The Confession (or Articles) annexed: e.g. [I do be­lieve all the Sacred Canonical Scripture, which all Christian Churches do receive; and par­ticularly I believe in God the Father Almighty, &c.]

The second Part (instead of Books of unnecessary Canons) containeth seven or eight Points of Practice for Church-Order, which, so it be practised, it is no great matter whether it be subscribed or not. And here it must be understood that these are written for Times of Liberty, in which Agreement rather than Force doth procure Unity and Communion.

The third Part containeth the larger-Description of the Office of the Ministry, and consequently of all the Ordinances of Worship; which need not be subscri­bed, but none should preach against it, nor omit the practice; except Peace re­quire that the Point of Infant Baptism be left free.

[Page 120]This small Book is called by the Name of Universal Concord; which when I wrote, I thought to have published a Second Part, viz. a large Volume containing the particular Terms of Concord. between all Parties capable of Concord. But the Change of the Times hath necessarily changed that purpose.

§ 198. 42. The next published was a Sermon before the Parliament, the day before they voted in the King, being a Day of Humiliation appointed to that end. It is called A Sermon of Repentance, of which more afterward.

§ 199. 43. The next published was a Sermon preached before the Lord Mayor and Aldermen at Pauls, being on their Day of Rejoycing for General Monk's Suc­cess to bring in the King: It is called A Sermon of Right Rejoycing.

§ 200. 44. The next was a Sermon of the Life of Faith, preached before the King, being all that every I was called to preach before him, when I had been sworn his Chaplain in Ordinary: of which more afterward.

§ 201. 45. The next was called A Believer's last Work, being prepared for the Funeral of Mrs. Mary Hanmer, Mother to my Wife (then intended, but after mar­ried): Its use is to prepare for a Comfortable Death.

§ 202. 46. Before this (which I forgot in its proper place) I published a Trea­tise of Death, called, The last Enemy to be overcome, shewing the true Nature of the Enmity of Death, and its uses: Being a Funeral Sermon for Mrs. Elizabeth Baker, Wife to Mr. Ioseph Baker Minister at Worcester; with some Notes of her Life.

§ 203. 47. Another was called, The vain Religion of the Formal Hypocrite: A Dis­covery of the Nature and Mischief of a Formal vain Religion, preached at West­minister-Abby: with a Sermon annexed of the Prosperity of Fools. This being preach­ed at Covent-Garden was unjustly accused, and published by way of Vindication, with the former.

§ 204. 48. The next was a Treatise on Luke 10. 42. One thing is needful; called, (A Saint or a Bruit) shewing the Necessity, Utility, Safety, Honour and Plea­sure of a Holy Life, and evincing the Truth of our Religion against Atheists and Infidels and Prophane ones.

§ 205. 49. The next was a Treatise of Self-knowledge, preached at Dunstan's West, called, The Mischiefs of Self-ignorance, and Benefits of Self-acquaintance; which was published partly to vindicate it from many false Accusations, and partly at the desire of the Countess of Balcarres to whom it was directed. It was fitted to the Disease of this [...]urious Age, in which each man is ready to devour others, because they do not know themselves.

§ 206. 50. The next was a Treatise called The Divine Life: which containeth three Parts; The first is of the Right Knowledge of God, for the imprinting of his Image on the Soul, by the knowledge of his Attributes, &c. The second is, Of walking with God. The third is, Of improving Solitude to converse with God, when we are forsaken by all Friends, or separated from them.

The Occasion of the publishing of this Treatise was this; The Countess of Bal­carres being going into Scotland, after her adobe in England, being deeply sensible of the loss of the Company of those Friends which she left behind her, desired me to preach the last Sermon which she was to hear from me on those words of Christ, Iohn 16. 32. Behold the hour cometh, yea is now come, that ye shall be Scattered every man to his own, and shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.] At her request I preached on this Text; and being afterward desired by her to give it her in Writing, and the Publication being her design, I prefixed the two other Treatises to make it more considerable, and published them together. The Treatise is upon the most Excellent Subject, but not elaborate at all; being but Popular Sermons preached in the midst of diverting Businesses, Accusations, and malicious Clamours.

When I offered it to the Press, I was fain to leave out the quantity of one Ser­mon in the end of the second Treatise [That God took Henoch]: wherein I shew­ed what a mercy it is to one that hath walked with God, to be taken to him from this World; because it is a dark, a wicked, a malicious, and implacable, a trea­cherous deceitful World, &c. All which the Bishop's Chaplain must have ex­punged, because men would think it was all spoken of them! And so the World hath got a Protection against the force of our Baptismal Vow.

§ 207. Because I have said so much in the Epistles of these two Books of the Countess of Balcarres, the Reader may expect some further satisfaction of her Quali­ty, and the Cause.

[Page 121]She is Daughter to the late Earl of Seaforth in Scotland, towards the High-lands, and was married to the Earl of Balcarres, a Covenanter, but an Enemy to Crom­well's perfidiousness, and true to the Person and Authority of the King: with the Earl of Glencarne he kept up the last War for the King against Cromwell, and his La­dy, through dearness of Affection, marched with him, and lay out of doors with him on the Mountains. At last Cromwell drove them out of Scotland, and they went together beyond Sea to the King; where they long followed the Court, and he was taken for the Head of the Presbyterians with the King, and by evil In­struments fell out with the Lord Chancellor, who prevailing against him, upon some advantage he was for a time forbidden the Court; the Grief whereof added to the Distempers he had contracted by his Warfare on the cold and hungry Moun­tains, cast him into a Consumption, of which he died. He was a Lord of excel­lent Learning, Judgment and Honesty; none being praised equally with him for Learning and Understanding in all Scotland.

When the Earl of Lauderdaile (his near Kinsman and great Friend) was Pri­soner in Portsmouth and Windsor-Castle, he fell into acquaintance with my Books, and so valued them that he read them all, and took Notes of them, and earnestly commended them to the Earl of Balcarres (with the King). The Earl of Bal­carres met at the first sight with some Passages where he thought I spake too favou­rably of the Papists, and differed from many other Protestants, and so cast them by, and sent the reason of his distaste to the Earl of Lauderdaile: who prest him but to read one of the Books over; which he did; and so read them all (as I have seen many of them marked with his hand); and was drawn to over-value them more than the Earl of Lauderdaile.

Hereupon his Lady reading them also, and being a Woman of very strong Love and Friendship, with extraordinary Entireness swallowed up in her Husband's Love, for the Books sake and her Husband's sake, she became a most affectionate Friend to me, before she ever saw me. While she was in France, being zealous for the King's Restoration (for whose Cause her Husband had pawned and ruined his Estate), by the Earl of Lauderdaile's direction, she with Sir Robert Murray, got divers Letters from the Pastors and others there, to bear witness of the King's sincerity in the Protestant Religion (among which there is one to me from Mr. Gaches). Her great Wisdom, Modesty, Piety and Sincerity, made her accounted the Saint at the Court. When she came over with the King, her extraordinary Respects obliged me to be so often with her, as gave me Acquaintance with her Eminency in all the foresaid Vertues: She is of solid Understanding in Religion, for her Sex; and of Prudence much more than ordinary; and of great Integrity and Constancy in her Religion, and a great Hater of Hypocrisie, and faithful to Christ in an unfaithful World; and she is somewhat over-much affectionate to her Friend; which hath cost her a great deal of Sorrow,She is since married to the Earl of Argyle. in the loss of her Husband, and since of other special Friends, and may cost her more when the rest forsake her, as many in Prosperity use to do those that will not forsake their Fidelity to Christ. Her eldest Son, the young Earl of Balcarres, a very hopeful Youth, died of a strange Disease, two Stones being found in his Heart, of which one was very great. Being my constant Auditor and over-respectful Friend, I had occasion for the just Praises and Acknowledgments which I have given her; which the occasioning of these Books hath caused me to mention.

§ 208. 51. After our Dispute at the Savoy, somebody printed our Papers (most of them) given in to them in that Treaty; of which the Petition for Peace, the Reformed Liturgy (except the Prayer for the King which Dr. W. wrote), the large Reply to their Answer of our Exceptions, and the two last Addresses were my writing: But in the first Proposals, and the Exceptions against the Liturgy, I had less to do than some others.

§ 209. 52. When the grievous Plague began at London, I printed a half-sheet (to stick on a Wall) for the use of the Ignorant and Ungodly who were sick, or in danger of the Sickness: (for the Godly I thought had less need, and would read those large Books, which are plentifully among us). And I the rather did it, because many well-winded People that are about the Sick, that are ignorant and unprepared, and know not what to say to them, may not only read so short a Paper to them, but see there in what method such Persons are to be dealt with in such a Case of Extremity, that they may themselves enlarge as they see Cause.

[Page 122]§ 210. 53. At that time one Mr. Nathaniel Lane wrote to me to intreat me to write one sheet or two for the use of poor Families, who will not buy or read any bigger Books. Though I knew that brevity would unavoidably cause me to leave out much necessary matter, or else to write in a Stile so concise and close as will be little moving to any but close judicious Readers, yet I yielded to his per­swasions, and thought it might be better than nothing, and might be read by many that would read no larger; and so I wrote two Sheets for poor Families: The first containing the method and motives for the Conversion of the Ungodly. The se­cond containing the Description or Character of a true Christian, or the necessa­ry Parts of Christian Duty, for the direction of Beginners in a Godly Life. These three last Sheets were printed by the favour of the Archbishop's Chaplain, when the Bishop of London's Chaplain had put me out of hope of printing any more.

With all these Writings I have troubled the World alreadyOf what is since published, see after-ward.: and these are all except Epistles to other mens Works; (as one before Mr. Swinnock's Books of Re­generation; one before Mr. Hopkin's Book; one before Mr. Eedes; one before Mr. Matthew Pool's Model for Advancing Learning; one before Mr. Benjamin Baxter's Book; one before Mr. Ionathan Hanmer's Exercitation of Confirmation; one before Mr. Lawrence of Sickness; two before two of Mr. Tombe's Books; and some others; (of which there are two that I must give some account of).

The Bookseller being to print the Assembly's Works, with the Texts cited at length, desired me by an Epistle to recommend it to Families: I thought it a thing arrogant and unfit for a single Person, who was none of the Synod, to put an Epistle before their Works. But when he made me know that it was the desire of some Reverend Ministers, I wrote an Epistle, but required him to put it into other mens hands, to publish or suppress, according to their Judgment: but to be sure that they printed all or none. The Bookseller gets Dr. Manton to put an E­pistle before the Book, who inserted mine in a differing Character in his own, (as mine, but not naming me): But he leaveth out a part, which it seems, was not pleasing to all. When I had commended the Catechisms for the use of Families, I added, That [I hoped the Assembly intended not all in that long Confession and those Ca­techisms, to be imposed as a Test of Christian Communion; nor to disown all that scrupled any word in it; If they had I could not have commended it for any such use, though it be useful for the instruction of Families, &c.] All this is left out, which I thought meet to open, lest I be there misunderstood.

Also take notice that the Poem prefixed to Mr. Vines's Book of the Sacrament, was not printed by any order of mine. Having received the Printed Book from the Stationer as Gift, it renewed my Sorrow for the Author's Death; which pro­voked me to write that Poem the same Night, in the Exercise of my Sorrow, and gave it the Donor for his Book; and he printed it without my knowledge.

§ 211. Manuscripts that are yet unprinted, which lye by me, are these fol­lowing.

1.Since printed twice. A Treatise in Folio, called, A Christian Directory, or Sum of Practical Divi­nity, In four Tomes: The first called Christian Ethicks; The second Christian Eccle­siasticks; The third, Christian Oeconomicks; The fourth, Christian Polisticks. It contain­eth bare Directions for the practice of our Duties in all these respects; as Christians, as Church-Members, as Members of the Family, and as Members of the Com­monwealth: But there is a sufficient Explication of the Subject usually premised, and the Directions themselves are the Answers of most useful Cases of Conscience thereabouts, though the Cases be not named by way of Question: But where it was necessary the Cases are distinctly named and handled.

My intent in writing this, was at once to satisfie that motion so earnestly made by Bishop Usher, mentioned in the Preface to my Call to the Unconverted, which I had been hindred from doing by parts before: And I had some little respect to the request which was long ago sent to him from some Transmarine Divines, to help them to a Sum of Practical Divinity in the English method: But though necessary brevity hath deprived it of all life and lustre of Stile, it being but a Skeleton of Practical Heads: yet is it so large by reason of the multitude of things to be hand­led, that I see it will not be of so common a use as I first intended it. To young Ministers, and to the more intelligent and diligent sort of Masters of Families, (who would have a Practical Directory at hand to teach them every Christian Duty, and how to help others in the practice) it may be not unserviceable.

[Page 123]2. Another Manuscript is called [Since printed. A christian indeed]: It consisteth of two Parts; The first is a Discovery of the calamities which folow the weakness and faultiness of many true Christians, and Directions for their strengthening and growth in Grace:Since prin­ted as Di­rections for weak Christians. which was intended as the third particular Tractate in fulfilling the foresaid request of Bishop Usher; The Call to the Unconverted being for that sort; and the Directions for a sound Conversion, being for the second sort, who are yet as it were in the birth: And this being for the weaker and faultier sort, of Christians, which are the third sort. To which is added a second Part, containing the just Description of a sound confirmed Christian (whom I call a Christian indeed) in sixty Characters of Marks; and with each of them is adjoyned the Character of the weak Christian, and of the Hypocrite about the same part of Duty. But all is but briefly done (the Heads being many) without any life or ornament of Stile.

This short Treatise I offered to Mr. Thomas Grigg, Now dead. the Bishop of London's Chaplain, to be licensed for the Press, (a man that but lately Conformed, and professed special respect to me); but he utterly refused it; pretending that it fa­voured of Discontent, and would be interpreted as against the Bishops and the Times. And the matter was, that in several Passages I spake of the Prosperity of the Wicked, and the Adversity of the Godly, and described Hypocrites by their Enmity to the Godly, and their forsaking the Truth for fear of Suffering, and de­scribed the Godly by their undergoing the Enmity of the wicked World, and be­ing stedfast whatever it shall cost them, &c. And all this was interpreted as a­gainst the Church or Prelatists. I asked him whether they would license that of mine which they would do of another man's against whom they had not displeasure (in the same words): And he told me No: because the words would receive their interpretation with the Readers from the mind of the Author. And he askt me, whether I did not think my self that Nonconformists would interpret it as against the Times. I answered him, yes, I thought they would; and so they do all those Passages of Scripture which speak of Persecution and the Suffering of the Godly; but I hoped Bibles should be licensed for all that. I asked him whether that was the Rule which they went by, that they would license nothing of mine which they thought any Readers would interpret as against the Bishops or their Party. And when he told me plainly, that it was their Rule or Resolution, I took it for my final Answer, and purposed never to offer him more: For I despair of writing that which men will not interpret according to their own Condition and Opinion; especially against those whose Crimes are notorious before the World. This made me think what a troublesome thing is Guilt, which, as Se­neca saith, is like a Sore, which is pained not only with a little touch, but some­time upon a conceit that it is touched; and maketh a man think that every Bryar is a Sergeant to Arrest him; or with Cain, that every one that seeth him would kill him! A Cainites heart and life hath usually the attendance of a Cainities Conscience. I did but try the Licenser with this small inconsiderable Script, that I might know what to expect for my more valued Writings! And I told him that I had trou­bled the World with so much already, and said enough for one man's part, that I could not think it very necessary to say any more to them; and therefore I should accept of his discharge. But fain they would have had my Controversal Writings, (about Universal Redemption, Predetermination, &c. in which my Judgment is more pleasing to them); but I was unwilling to publish them alone, while the Practical Writings are refused. And I give God thanks that I once saw Times of greater Liberty (though under an Usurper); or else as far as I can discern, scarce any of my Books had ever seen the Light.

3. Another Manuscript that lyeth by me, is a Disputation for some Univer­sality of Redemption Publisht since the Author's Death, by Mr. Ios. Read, which hath lain by me near Twenty years unfinished, part­ly because many narrow minded Brethren would have been offended with it, and and partly because at last came out after Amyraldus, and Davenant's Diss [...]rtations, a Treatise of Dallaeus, which contained the same things, but especially the same Testimonies of concordant Writers which I had prepared to produce.

4. There is also by me an imperfect Manuscript of Predetermination.

5. And divers Disputations of sufficient Grace.

6. And divers miscellaneous Disputations on several Questions in Divinity, cur­sorily managed at our Monthly Meetings.

7. And my two Replies to Mr. Cartwright's Exceptions against my Aphorisms.Since Printed.

8. And my two Replies to Mr. Lawson's Animadversions on the same Book.

[Page 124]9. And my Reply to Mr. Iohn Warren's Animadversions (which being first done is least digested).

10. And the beginning of a Reply to Dr. Wallis's Animadversions.

11. And a Discourse of the Power of Magistrates in Religion, against those that would not have them to meddle in such Matters, being an Assize Sermon preach­ed at Shrewsbury when Coll. Thomas Hunt was Sheriff.

12. And some Fragments of Poetry.Since Printed.

13. And a Multitude of Theological Letters.

14. And an imperfect Treatise of Christ's Dominion, being many popular Ser­mons preached twenty Years ago; and very rude and undigested; with divers others.

§ 212. And concerning almost all my Writings I must confess, that my own Judgment is, that fewer well studied and polished had been better: but the Read­er who can safely censure the Books is not fit to censure the Author, unless he had been upon the Place, and acquainted with all the Occasions and Circumstances: Indeed for the Saints Rest I had Four Months Vacancy to write it (but in the midst of continual Languishing and Medicine): But for the rest I wrote them in the Crowd of all my other Imployments, which would allow me no great Leisure for Polishing and Exactness, or any Ornament; so that I scarce ever wrote one Sheet twice over, nor stayed to make any Blo [...]s or Interlinings, but was fain to let it go as it was first conceived: And when my own Desire was rather to stay upon one thing long, than run over many, some sudden Occasions or other extorted almost all my Writings from me: and the Apprehensions of Present Usefulness or Necessity prevailed against all other Motives. So that the Divines which were at hand with me still put me on and approved of what I did, because they were moved by Pre­sent Necessities as well as I: But those that were far off, and felt not those nearer Motives, did rather wish that I had taken the other way, and published a few ela­borate Writings; and I am ready my self to be of their Mind, when I forgot the Case that then I stood in, and have lost the Sense of former Motives. The oppo­sing of the Anabaptists, Separatists, Quakers, Antinomians, Seekers, &c. were Works which then seemed necessary; and so did the Debates about Church Go­vernment and Communion which touched our present Practice; but now all those Reasons are past and gone, I could wish I had rather been doing some work of more durable Usefulness. But even to a foreseeing Man, who knoweth what will be of long­est use, it is hard to discern how far that which is presently needful may be omitted, for the sake of a greater future Good. There are some other works, wherein my Heart hath more been set than any of those forementioned; in which I have met with great Obstructions. For I must declare that in this as in many other Mat­ters I have found that we are not the Choosers of our own Imployments, no more than of our own Successes.

§ 213. Because it is Soul-Experiments which those that urge me to this kind of Writing, do expect that I should especially communicate to others, and I have said little of God's dealing with my Soul since the time of my younger Years, I shall only give the Reader so much Satisfaction, as to acquaint him truly what Change God hath made upon my Mind and Heart since those unriper times, and where­in I now differ in Judgment and Disposition from my self: And for any more par­ticular Account of Heart-Occurrences, and God's Operations on me, I think it somewhat unsavory to recite them; seeing God's Dealings are much what the same with all his Servants in the main, and the Points wherein he varieth are usu­ally so small, that I think not such fit to be repeated: Nor have I any thing extra­ordinary to glory in, which is not common to the rest of my Brethren, who have the same Spirit, and are Servants of the same Lord. And the true Reason why I do adventure so far upon the Censure of the World, as to tell them wherein the Case is altered with me, is that I may take off young unexperienced Christians from being over confident in their first Apprehensions, or overvaluing their first degrees of Grace, or too much applauding and following unfurnished unexperi­enced Men; but may somewhat be directed what Mind and Course of Life to pre­fer, by the Judgment of one that hath tryed both before them.

1. The Temper of my Mind hath somewhat altered with the Temper of my Body. When I was young, I was more vigorous, affectionate, and servent in Preaching, Con­ference and Prayer, than (ordinarily) I can be now; my Stile was more extem­porate and laxe, but by the Advantage of Affection, and a very familiar moving Voice and Utterance, my preaching then did more affect the Auditory, than many of the last Years before I gave over Preaching; but yet what I delivered was [Page 125] much more raw, and had more Passages that would not bear the Tryal of accurate Judgments; and my Discourses had both less Substance and less Iudgment than of late.

2. My understanding was then quicker, and could easilyer manage any thing that was newly presented to it upon a sudden; but it is since better furnished, and acquainted with the ways of Truth and Error, and with a Multitude of particular Mistakes of the World, which then I was the more in Danger of, because I had only the Faculty of Knowing them, but did not actually know them. I was then like a Man of a quick Understanding that was to travail a way which he never went before, or to cast up an Account which he never laboured in before, or to play on an Instrument of Musick which he never saw before: And I am now like one of somewhat a slower Understanding (by that praematura Senectus which weak­ness and excessive bleedings brought me to) who is travelling a Way which he hath often gone, and is casting up an Account which he hath often cast up, and hath ready at hand, and that is playing on an Instrument which he hath often played on: So that I can very confidently say, that my Judgment is much sounder and firmer now than it was then; for though I am now as competent Judge of the Actings of my own Understanding then, yet I can judge of the Effects: And when I peruse the Writings which I wrote in my younger Years, I can find the Footsteps of my unfurnished Mind, and of my Emptyness and Insufficiency: So that the Man that followed my Judgment then, was liker to have been misled by me, than he that should follow it now.

And yet, that I may not say worse than it deserveth of my former measure of Understanding, I shall truly tell you what change I find now, in the perusal of my own Writings. Those Points which then I throughly studied, my Judgment is the same of now, as it was then; and therefore in the Substance of my Religion, and in those Controversies which I then searcht into, with some extraordinary Dili­gence, I find not my mind disposed to a Change: But in divers Points that I studi­ed slightly and by the halves, and in many things which I took upon trust from others, I have found since that my Apprehensions were either erroneous, or very lame. And those things which I was Orthodox in, I had either insufficient Reasons for, or a mixture of some sound and some insufficient ones, or else an insufficient Apprehension of those Reasons; so that I scarcely knew what I seemed to know: And though in my Writings I found little in substance which my present Judgment differeth from, yet in my Aphorisms and Saints Rest; (which were my first Writings) I find some raw unmeet Expressions; and one common Infirmity I perceive, that I put off Matters with some kind of Confidence, as if I had done something new or more than ordinary in them, when upon my more mature Re­views, I find that I said not half that which the Subject did require: As E. g. in the Doctrine of the Covenants, and of Justification, but especially about the Di­vine Authority of the Scripture in the second part of the Saints Rest; where I have not said half that should have been said; and the Reason was, because that I had not read any of the fuller sort of Books that are written on those Subjects, nor conversed with those that knew more than my self, and so all those things were either new or great to me, which were common and small perhaps to others; and because they all came in by the way of my own Study of the naked matter, and not from Books, they were apt to affect my mind the more, and to seem greater than they were. And this Token of my Weakness accompanied those my younger Studies, that I was very apt to start up Controversies in the way of my Practical Writings, and also more desirous to acquaint the World with all that I took to be the Truth, and to assault those Books by Name which I thought did tend to deceive them, and did contain unsound and dangerous Doctrine; And the Reason of all this was, that I was then in the vigour of my youthfull Apprehensi­ons, and the new Appearance of any sacred Truth, it was more apt to affect me, and be highlyer valued, than afterward, when commonness had dulled my De­light; and I did not sufficiently discern then how much in most of our Controver­sies is verbal, and upon mutual Mistakes. And withal I know not how impatient Divines were of being contradicted, nor how it would stir up all their Powers to defend what they have once said, and to rise up against the Truth which is thus thrust upon them, as the mortal Enemy of their Honour: And I knew not how hardly Mens Minds are charged from their former Apprehensions be the Evidence never so plain. And I have perceived, that nothing so much hindreth the Recep­tion of the Truth, as urging it on Men with too harsh Importunity, and falling too heavily on their Errors: For hereby you engage their Honour in the business, [Page 126] and they defend their Errors as themselves, and stir up all their Wit and Ability to oppose you: In controversies it is fierce Opposition which is the Bellows to kindle a resisting Zeal; when if they be neglected, and their Opinions lie a while despised, they usually cool and come again to themselves (though I know that this holdeth not when the Greediness and Increase of his Followers, doth animate a Sectary, even though he have no Opposition). Men are so loth to be drenched with the Truth, that I am no more for going that way to work; and to confess the Truth, I am lately much prone to the contrary Extream, to be too indifferent what Men hold, and to keep my Judgment to my self, and never to mention any thing wherein I differ from another, or any thing which I think I know more than he; or at least, if he receive it not presently to silence it, and leave him to his own Opinion: And I find this Effect is mixed according to its Causes, which are some good, and some bad: The bad Causes are 1. An Impatience of Mens weakness and mistaking frowardness and Self-conceitedness. 2. An Abatement of my sensible Esteem of Truth, through the long abode of them on my Mind: Though my Judgment value them, yet it is hard to be equally affected with old and common things, as with new and rare ones. The better Causes are 1. That I am much more sensible than ever of the necessity of living upon the Principles of Religion, which we are all agreed in, and uniting these; and how much Mischief Men that over­value their own Opinions have done by their Controversies in the Church; how some have destroyed Charity, and some caused Schisms by them, and most have hindered Godlyness in themselves and others, and used them to divert Men from the serious prosecuting of a holy Life; and as Sir Francis Bacon saith, (in his Essay of Peace) that it's one great Benefit of Church-Peace and Concord, that writing Controversies is turned into Books of practical Devotion for increase of Piety and Virtue. 2. And I find that it's much more for most Mens Good and Edification, to converse with them only in that way of Godliness which all are agreed in, and not by touching upon Differences to stir up their Corruptions; and to tell them of lit­tle more of your knowledge, than what you find them willing to receive from you as meer Learners; and therefore to stay till they crave Information of you (as Musculus did with the Anabaptists; when he visited them in Prison, and conversed kindly and lovingly with them, and shewed them all the Love he could, and ne­ver talkt to them of their Opinions, till at last they who were wont to call him a Deceiver and false Prophet, did intreat him to instruct them, and received his Instructions). We mistake Mens Diseases when we think there needeth nothing to cure their Errors; but only to bring them the Evidence of Truth: Alas! there are many Distempers of Mind to be removed, before Men are apt to receive that Evidence. And therefore that Church is happy where Order is kept up, and the Abilities of the Ministers command a reverend Submission from the Hearers; and where all are in Christ's School in the distinct Ranks of Teachers and Learners: For in a learning way Men are ready to receive the Truth, but in a Disputing way they come armed against it with Prejudice and Animosity.

3. And I must say farther, that what I last mentioned on the by, is one of the notablest Changes of my Mind: In my youth I was quickly past my Fundamen­tals, and was running up into a multitude of Controversies, and greatly delighted with metaphisical and scholastick Writings (though I must needs say, my Preach­ing was still on the necessary Points): But the elder I grew the smaller stress I layd upon these Controversies and Curiosities (though still my intellect abho [...]reth Confusion), as finding far greater Uncertainties in them, than I at first discerned, and finding less Usefulness comparatively, even where there is the greatest Certainty. And now it is the fundamental Doctrines of the Catechism, which I highliest value, and daily think of, and find most useful to my self and others: The Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, do find me now the most acceptable and plentiful matter, for all my Meditations: They are to me as my daily Bread and Drink: And as I can speak and write of them over and over again; so I had rather read or hear of them, than of any of the School Niceties, which once so much pleased me. And thus I observed it was with old Bishop Usher, and with ma­ny other Men: And I conjecture that this Effect also is mixt of good and bad, according to its Causes.

The bad Cause may perhaps be some natural Infirmity and Decay: And as Trees in the Spring shoot up into Branches, Leaves and Blossoms; But in the Autumn the Life draws down into the Root; so possibly, my Nature conscious of its Infirmi­ty and Decay, may find it self insufficient for numerous Particles, and Assurgency to the attempting of difficult thing; and so my Mind may retire to the Root of [Page 127] Christian Principles; and also I have often been afraid, lest ill-rooting at first, and many Temptations afterwards, have made it more necessary for me than many others to retire to the Root, and secure my Fundamentals. But upon much Observation I am afraid lest most others are in no better a Case; and that at the first they take it for a granted thing, that Christ is the Saviour of the World, and that the Soul is Immortal, and that there is a Heaven and a Hell, &c. while, they are studying abundance of a Scholastick Superstructures, and at last will find cause to study more soundly their Religion it self, as well as I have done.

The better Causes are these: 1. I value all things according to their Use and Ends; and I find in the daily Practice and Experience of my Soul, that the Know­ledge of God and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and the Truth of Scripture, and the Life to come, and of a Holy Life, is of more use to me, than all the most curious Specu­lations. 2. I know that every Man must grow (as Trees do) downwards and upwards both at once; and that the Roots increase as the Bulk and Branches do. 3. Being nearer Death and another World, I am the more regardful of those things which my Everlasting Life or Death depend on. 4. Having most to do with ignorant miserable People, I am commanded by my Charity and Reason, to treat with them of that which their Salvation lyeth on; and not to dispute with them of Formalities and Neceties, when the Question is presently to be deter­mined whether they shall dwell for ever in Heaven or in Hell. In a Word, my Meditations must be most upon the matters of my Practice and my Interest: And as the Love of God, and the seeking of Everlasting Life is the Matter of my Practice and my Interest, so must it be of my Meditation. That is the best Do­ctrine and Study which maketh men better, and tendeth to make them happy. I abhor the Folly of those unlearned Persons, who revile or despise Learning be­cause they know not what it is: And I take not any piece of true Learning to be useless: And yet my Soul approveth of the Resolution of Holy Paul, who de­termined to know nothing among his Hearers, (that is, comparatively to value and make Oftentation of no other Wisdom) but (that Knowledge of) a Cruch­fied Christ; to know God in Christ is Life Eternal. As the Stock of the Tree affordeth Timber to build Houses and Cities, when the small though higher multi­ [...]arious Branches are but to make a Crowns Nest, or a Blaze: So the Knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, of Heaven and Holyness, doth build up the Soul to endless Blessedness, and affordeth it solid Peace and Comfort; when a multitude of School [...]Niceties serve but for vain Janglings and hurtful Diversions and Contenti­ons: And yet I would not dissuade my Reader from the perusal of Aquinas, Scotus, Ockam, Arminiensis, Durandus, or any such Writer; for much Good may be gotten from them: But I would persuade him to study and live upon the essential Do­ctrines of Christianity and Godliness, incomparably above them all. And that he may know that my Testimony is somewhat regardable, I presume to say, that in this I as much gainsay my natural Inclination to Subtilty and Accurateness in Knowing, as he is like to do by his, if he obey my Counsel. And I think if he lived among Infidels and Enemies of Christ, he would find that to make good the Doctrine of Faith and of Life Eternal, were not only his noblest and most useful Study; but also that which would require the height of all his Parts, and the ut­most of his Diligence, to manage it skilfully to the Satisfaction of himself and others.

4. I add therefore that this is Another thing which I am changed in; that where­as in my younger Days I never was tempted to doubt of the Truth of Scripture or Christianity, but all my Doubts and Fears were exercised at home, about my own Sincerity and Interest in Christ, and this was it which I called Unbelief; since then my soreft Assaults have been on the other side, and such they were, that had I been void of internal Experience, and the Adhesion of Love, and the speci­al help of God, and had not discerned more Reason for my Religion than I did when I was younger, I had certainly Apostatized to Infidelity (though for Atheism or Ungodliness, my Reason seeth no stronger Arguments, than may be brought to prove that there is no Earth or Air, or Sun). I am now therefore much more Apprehensive than heretofore, of the Necessity of well grounding Men in their Religion, and espe­cially of the Witness of the indwelling Spirit: For I more sensibly perceive that the Spirit is the great Witness of Christ and Christianity to the World: And though the Folly of Fanaticks tempted me long to over-look the Strength of this Testi­mony of the Spirit, while they placed it in a certain internal Assertion, or enthusi­astick Inspiration; yet now I see that the Holy Ghost in another manner is the Witness of Christ and his Agent in the World: The Spirit in the Prophets was [Page 128] his first Witness; and the Spirit by Miracles was the second; and the Spirit by Renovation, Sanctification, Illumination and Consolation, assimilating the Soul to Christ and Heaven is the continued Witness to all true Believers: And if any Man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his, Rom. 8. 9. Even as the Ra­tional Soul in the Child is the inherent Witness or Evidence, that he is the Child of Rational Parents. And therefore ungodly Persons have a great disadvantage in their resisting Temptations to unbelief, and it is no wonder if Christ be a stumbling block to the Jews, and to the Gentiles foolishness. There is many a one that hideth his Temptations to Infidelity, because he thinketh it a shame to open them, and because it may generate doubts in others: but I doubt the imperfection of most mens care of their Salvation, and of their diligence and resolution in a holy Life, doth come from the imperfection of their belief of Christianity and the Life to come. For my part I must profess, that when my belief of things Eternal and of the Scripture is most clear and firm, all goeth accordingly in my Soul, and all Temptations to sinful Com­pliances, Worldliness or Flesh-pleasing, do signifie worse to me, than an invitation to the Stocks or Bedlam. And no Petition seemeth more necessary to me than [Lord in­crease our Faith: I Believe, help thou my unbelief.]

5. Among Truths certain in themselves, all are not equally certain unto me; and even of the Mysteries of the Gospel, I must needs say with Mr. Richard Hook­er Eccl. Polit. that whatever men may pretend, the subjective Certainty cannot go beyond the objective Evidence: for it is caused thereby as the print on the Wax is caused by that on the Seal: Therefore I do more of late than ever discern a neces­sity of a methodical procedure in maintaining the Doctrine of Christianity, and of beginning at Natural Verities, as presupposed fundamentally to supernatural (though God may when he please reveal all at once, and even Natural Truths by Supernatural Revelation): And it is a marvellous great help to my Faith, to find it built on so sure Foundations, and so consonant to the Law of Nature. I am not so foolish as to pretend my certainty to be greater than it is, meerly because it is a dishonour to be less certain; nor will I by shame be kept from confessing those Infirmities, which those have as much as I, who hypocritically reproach me with them. My certainty that I am a Man, is before my certainty that there is a God; for Quod facit notum est magis notum: My certainty that there is a God, is greater than my certainty that he requireth love and holiness of his Creature: My certain­ty of this is greater than my certainty of the Life of Reward and Punishment hereafter: My certainty of that, is greater than my certainty of the endless dura­tion of it, and of the immortality of individuate Souls: My certainty of the Dei­ty is greater than my certainty of the Christian Faith: My certainty of the Chri­stian Faith in its Essentials, is greater than my certainty of the Perfection and In­fallibility of all the Holy Scriptures: My certainty of that is greater than my cer­tainty of the meaning of many particular Texts, and so of the truth of many par­ticular Doctrines, or of the Canonicalness of some certain Books. So that as you see by what Gradations my Understanding doth proceed, so also that my Certain­ty differeth as the Evidences differ. And they that have attained to greater Perfe­ction, and a higher degree of Certainty than I, should pity me and produce their Evidence to help me. And they that will begin all their Certainty with that of the Truth of the Scripture, as the Principium Cognoscendi, may meet me at the same end; but they must give me leave to undertake to prove to a Heathen or Infidel, the Being of a God; and the necessity of Holiness, and the certainty of a Reward or Punishment, even while he yet denieth the Truth of Scripture, and in order to his believing it to be true.

6. In my younger years my trouble for Sin, was most about my Actual failings in Thought, Word, or Action, (except Hardness of Heart, of which more anon). But now I am much more troubled for [...]nward Defects, and omission or want of the Vital Duties or Graces in the Soul. My daily trouble is so much for my Ignorance of God, and weakness of Belief, and want of greater love to God, and strangeness to him, and to the Life to come, and for want of a greater willingness to die, and longing to be with God in Heaven, as that I take not some Immoralities, though very great, to be in themselves so great and odious Sins, if they could be found as separate from these. Had I all the Riches of the World, how gladly should I give them, for a fuller Knowledge, Belief, and Love of God and Everlasting Glo­ry! These wants are the greatest burden of my Life, which oft maketh my Life it self a burden. And I cannot find any hope of reaching so high in these, while I am in the Flesh, as I once hoped before this time to have attained: which maketh me the wearier of this sinful World, which is honoured with so little of the Know­ledge of God.

[Page 129]7. Heretofore I placed much of my Religion in tenderness of heart, and grie­ving for sin, and penitential tears; and less of it, in the love of God, and studying his love and goodness, and in his joyful praises, than now I do. Then I was little sensible of the greatness and excellency of Love and Praise; though I coldly spake the same words in its commendations, as now I do: And now I am less troubled for want of grief and tears (though I more value humility, and refuse not needful Humiliation): But my Conscience now looketh at Love and Delight in God, and praising him, as the top of all my Religious Duties, for which it is that I value and use the rest.

8. My Judgment is much more for frequent and serious Meditation on the hea­venly Blessedness, than it was heretofore in my younger days. I then thought that a Sermon of the Attributes of God, and the Joys of Heaven [...] were not the most excellent; and was wont to say, Every body knoweth this, that God is great and good, and that Heaven is a blessed place; I had rather hear how I may attain it. And no­thing pleased me so well as the Doctrine of Regeneration, and the Marks of Since­rity; which was because it was suitable to me in that state: but now I had rather read, hear or meditate, on God and Heaven, than on any other Subject: for I perceive that it is the Object that altereth and elevateth the Mind; which will be such as that is, which it most frequently feedeth on: And that it is not only use­ful to our comfort, to be much in Heaven in our believing thoughts; but that is must animate all our other Duties, and fortifie us against every Temptation and Sin; and that the Love of the end is it that is the poise or spring, which setteth every Wheel a going, and must put us on to all the means: And that a Man is no more a Christian indeed than he is Heavenly.

9. I was once wont to meditate most on my own heart, and to dwell all at home, and look little higher: I was still poring either on my Sins or Wants, or examining my Sincerity; but now, though I am greatly convinced of the need of Heart-acquaintance and imployment, yet I see more need of a higher work; and that I should look often upon Christ, and God, and Heaven, than upon my own Heart. At home I can find Distempers to trouble me, and some Evidences of my Peace: but it is above that I must find matter of Delight and Ioy, and Love and Peace: it self. Therefore I would have one thought at home upon my self and sins, and many thought above upon the high and amiable and beatifying Objects.

10. Heretofore I knew much less than now; and yet was not half so much ac­quainted with my Ignorance: I had a great delight in the daily new Discoveries which I made, and of the Light which shined in upon me (like a Man that cometh into a Country where he never was before): But I little knew either how imperfectly I understood those very Points, whose discovery so much delighted me, nor how much might be said against them; nor how many things I was yet a stranger to: But now I find far greater Darkness upon all things, and perceive how very little it is that we know in comparision of that which we are ignorant of, and and have far meaner thoughts of my own Understanding, though I must needs know that it is better furnished than it was them.

11. Accordingly I had then a far higher opinion of Learned Persons and Books, than I have now; for what I wanted my self, I thought every Reverend Divine had attained, and was familiar acquainted with: And what Books I understood not by reason of the strangeness of the Terms, or Matter, I the more [...] admired and thought that others understood their worth. But now Experience h [...]th con­strained me against my will to know, that Reverend Learned Men are imperfect, and know but little as well as I; especially [...] that think themselves the wise [...] And the better I am acquainted with them, the more I perceive that we are all yet in the dark: And the [...] I am acquainted with holy Men, that are all for Heaven, and pretend not much to Subtilties, the more I value and honour them. And when I have studied hard to understand some abs [...]ruse admired Book, (as De Scientia Dei, De [...] Praedeterminatione, de Libert [...] to Creature a, &c.) I have but attained the Knowledge of Humane Imperfection, and to see that the Author [...] but a Man as well as [...]

12. And at first I took [...] more upon my Author's Cr [...]dit, [...] now I can do [...] And when an Author was highly commend [...]d to me by [...] or, pleased me in some part, I was ready to entertain the whole; whereas now I take and leave in the same Author, and dissent in some things from [...] him that I like best, as well as from others.

[Page 130]13. At first I was greatly inclined to go with the highest in controversies, on one side or other; as with Dr. Twisse, and Mr. Rutherford, and Spanhemi [...] de Provi­dentia, & gratia, &c. But now I can so easily see what to say against both extreams that I am much more inclinable to reconciling Principles. And whereas then I thought that Conciliators were but ignorant men, that were willing to please all, and would pretend to reconcile the World by Principles which they did not under­stand themselves; I have since perceived that if the amiableness of Peace and Con­cord had no hand in the business, yet greater Light and stronger Judgment usually is with the Reconcilers, than with either of the contending Parties (as with Dave­nant, Hall, Usher, Lud. Crocius, Bergius, Strangius, Camero, &c.) But on both ac­counts their Writings are most acceptable, (though I know that Moderation may be a pretext of Errors).

14. At first the Stile of Authors took as much with me as the Argument, and made the Arguments seem more forcible: But now I judge not of Truth at all by any such Ornaments or Accidents, but by its naked Evidence.

15. I now see more Good and more Evil in all Men than heretofore I did: I see that Good men are not so good, as I once thought they were, but have more Imperfections: And that nearer approach and fuller trial, doth make the best ap­pear more weak and faulty, than their Admirers at a distance think. And I find that few are so bad, as either their malicious Enemies, or censorious separating Profes­sors do imagine. In some indeed I find that Humane Nature is corrupted into a greater likeness to Devils, than I once thought any on Earth had been. But even in the wicked usually there is more for grace to make advantage of, and more to testifie for God and Holiness, than I once believed there had been.

16. I less admire Giftes of Utterance and bare Profession of Religion than I once did; and have much more Charity for many, who by the want of Gi [...]ts, do make an obscurer Profession than they. I once thought that almost all that could pray movingly and fluently, and talk well of Religion, had been Saints. But Experi­ence hath opened to me, what odious Crimes may consist with high Profession; and I have met with divers obscure Persons, not noted for any extraordinary Pro­fession, or forwardness in Religion, but only to live a quiet blameless Life, whom I have after found to have long lived, as far as I could discern, a truly godly and sanctified Life; only their Prayers and Duties were by accident kept secret from o­ther mens observation. yet he that upon this pre [...]ence would confound the Godly and the Ungodly, may as well go about to lay Heaven and Hell toge­ther.

17. I am not so narrow in my special Love as heretofore: Being less cens [...]rious, and talking more than I did for Saints, it must needs follow that I love more [...]s Saints than I did before. I think it not lawful to put that Man off with bare Church Communion, and such common Love which I must allow the Wicked, who professeth himself a true Christian, by such a Profession as I cannot dis­prove.

18. I am not too narrow in my Principles of Church Communion as once I was: I more plainly perceive the difference between the Church as Congregate or visible, and as Regenerate or Mystical: and between Sincerity and Profession; and that a Cre­dible Profession is proof sufficient of a Man's Title to Church Admission: and that the Profession is Credible in foro Ecclesiae, which is not disproved. I am no [...] for nar­rowing the Church more than Christ himself alloweth us; nor for robbing him of any of his Flock. I am more sensible how much it is the Will of Christ th [...]t every Man be the chooser or refuser of his own felicity, and that it li [...]th most on his own hands, whether he will have Communion with the Church or not; and that if he be an hypocrite it is himself that will bear the loss.

19. Yet am I more apprehensive than ever of the great use and need of Ecclesi­astical Discipline, and what a sin it is in the Pastors of the Church, to make no distinction, but by bare Names and Sacraments, and to force all the unmeet against their own wills, to Church Communion and Sacraments (though the ignorant and erroneous may sometime be forced to hear instruction): And what a great dishonour to Christ it is, when the Church shall be as vicious as Pagan and Ma­hometan Assemblies, and shall differ from them only in Ceremony and Name.

20. I am much more sensible of the Evil of Schism, and of the Separating [...] Hu­mour, and of gathering Parties, and making several Sects in the Church than I was heretofore. For the Effects have shewed us more of the mischiefs.

[Page 131]21. I am much more sensible how prone many young Professors are to Spiritual Pride and Self-conceitedness, and Unruliness and Division, and so to prove the Grief of their Teachers, and Firebrands in the Church; and how much of a Mi­nister's work lieth in preventing this, and humbling and confirming such young unexperienced Professors, and keeping them in order in their progress in Reli­gion.

22. Yet am I more sensible of the Sin and Mischief of using Men cruelly in Matters of Religion, and of pretending Mens good, and the Order of the Church, for Acts of Inhumanity or Uncharitableness: Such know not their own Infir­mity, nor yet the nature of Pastoral Government, which ought to be Paternal and by Love; nor do they know the way to win a Soul, nor to maintain the Churches Peace.

23. My Soul is much more afflicted with the thoughts of the miserable World, and more drawn out in desire of their Conversion than heretofore: I was wont to look but little further than England in my Prayers, as not considering the state of the rest of the World: Or if I prayed for the Conversion of the Jews, that was al­most all. But now as I better understand the Case of the World, and the method of the Lord's Prayer, so there is nothing in the World that lyeth so heavy upon my heart, as the thought of the miserable Nations of the Earth: It is the most asto­nishing part of all God's Providence to me, that he so far forsaketh almost all the World, and confineth his special Favour to so few: That so small a part of the World hath the Profession of Christianity, in comparison of Heathens, Mahome­tans and other Infidels! And that among professed Christians there are so few that are saved from gross Delusions, and have but any competent Knowledge: and that among those there are so few that are seriously Religious, and truly set their hearts on Heaven. I cannot be affected so much with the Calamities of my own Relati­ons, or the Land of my Nativity, as with the Case of the Heathen, Mahometan, and ignorant Nations of the Earth. No part of my Prayers are so deeply serious, as that for the Conversion of the Infidel and Ungodly World, that God's Name may be sanctified, and his Kingdom come, and his Will be done on Earth as it is in Hea­ven: Nor was I ever before so sensible what a Plague the Division of Languages was which hindereth our speaking to them for their Conversion; nor what a great Sin Tyranny is, which keepeth out the Gospel from most of the Nations of the World. Could we but go among Tartarians, Turks, and Heathens, and speak their Lan­guage, I should be but little troubled for the silencing of Eighteen hundred Mini­sters at once in England, nor for all the rest that were cast out here, and in Scotland and Ireland: There being no Employment in the World so desirable in my Eyes, as to labour for the winning of such miserable Souls: which maketh me greatly honour Mr. Iohn Eliot, the Apostle of the Indians in New-England, and whoever else have la­boured in such work.

24. Yet am I not so much inclined to pass a peremptory Sentence of Damnation upon all that never heard of Christ; having some more reason than I knew of be­fore, to think that God's dealing with such is much unknown to us! And that the Ungodly here among us Christians are in a far worse Case than they.

25. My Censures of the Papists do much differ from what they were at first: I then thought that their Errours in the Doctrines of Faith were their most danger­ous Mistakes, as in the Points of Merit, Justification by Works, Assurance of Sal­vation, the Nature of Faith, &c. But now I am assured that their mis-expressions, and mis-understanding us, with our mistakings of them, and inconvenient expres­sing our own Opinions, hath made the difference in these Points to appear much greater than they are; and that in some of them it is next to none at all. But the great and unreconcilable Differences lye, in their Church Tyranny and Usur­pations, and in their great Corruptions and Abasement of God's Worship, together with their befriending of Ignorance and Vice. At first I thought that Mr. Perkins well proved that a Papist cannot go beyond a Reprobate: but now I doubt not but that God hath many sanctified Ones among them, who have received the true Doctrine of Christianity so practically, that their contradictory Errours prevail not against them, to hinder their Love of God, and their Salvation: but that their Errours are like a conquerable Dose of Poyson which Nature doth overcome. And I can never believe that a Man may not be saved by that Religion, which doth but bring him to the true Love of God, and to heavenly Mind and Life: nor that God will ever cast a Soul into Hell that truly loveth him. Also at first it would disgrace any Doctrine with me, if I did but hear it called Popery and An­tichristian: but I have long learned to be more impartial, and to dislike Men for [Page 132] bad Doctrine, rather than the Doctrines for the Men; and to know that Satan can use even the Names of Popery and Antichrist, against a Truth.

26. I am deeplier afflicted for the disagreements of Christians than I was when I was a younger Christian. Except the Case of the Infidel World, nothing is so sad and grievous to my thoughts, as the Case of the divided Churches. And there­fore I am more deeply sensible of the sinfulness of those Prelates and Pastors of the Churches, who are the principal Cause of these Divisions. O how many millions of Souls are kept by them in ignorance, and ungodliness, and deluded by Faction as if it were true Religion. How is the Conversion of Infidels hindered by them! and Christ and Religion heinously dishonoured! The Contentions between the Greek Church and the Roman, the Papists and the Protestants, the Lutherans and the Calvinists, have wofully hindered the Kingdom of Christ.

27. I have spent much of my Studies about Terms of Christian Concord, and have over and over considered of the several ways, which several sorts of Reconci­lers have devised: I have thought of the Papists way, who think there will be no Union, but by coming over wholly to their Church: and I have found that it is neither Possible nor desirable. I have thought and thought again of the way of the moderating Papists, Cassander, Grotius, Balwin, &c. and of those that would have all reduced to the state of the Times of Gregory the First, before the Division of the Greek and Latin Churches, that the Pope might have his Primacy, and govern all the Church by the Canons of the Councils, with a Salvo to the Right of Kings and Patriarchs and Prelates; and that the Doctrines and Worship which then were received might prevail. And for my own part, if I lived in such a state of the Church, I would live peaceably, as glad of Unity, though lamenting the Corrup­tion and Tyranny: But I am fully assured that none of these are the true desirable Terms of Unity, nor such as are ever like to procure an Universal Concord: And I am as sure that the true Means and Terms of Concord are obvious and easie to an impartial willing mind. And that these three Things alone would easily heal and unite all the Churches.

1. That all Christian Princes and Governours take all the Coercive Power about Religion into their own hands, (though if Prelates and their Courts must be u­sed as their Officers in exercising that Coercive Power, so be it): And that they make a difference between the approved and the tolerated Churches; and that they keep the Peace between these Churches, and settle their several priviledges by a Law.

2. That the Churches be accounted Tolerable, who profess all that is in the Creed, Lord's Prayer and Decalogue in Particular, and generally all that they shall find to be revealed in the Word of God, and hold Communion in Teaching, Pray­er, Praises, and the two Sacraments, not obstinately preaching any Heresie contra­ry to the particular Articles which they profess, nor seditiously disturbing the Pub­lick Peace: And that such Heretical Preaching, and such Seditious unpeaceableness, or notorious Wickedness of Life, do forfeit their Toleration.

3. And that those that are further Orthodox in those Particulars, which Rulers think fit to impose upon their Subjects, have their publick Maintenance and greater Encouragement. Yea, and this much is become neccessary, but upon supposition that Men will still be so self-conceited and uncharitable, as not to forbear their unne­cessary Impositions. Otherwise there would be found but very few who are Tole­rable, that are not also in their measure to be approved, maintained and encoura­ged. And if the Primitive Simplicity in Doctrine, Government and Worship, might serve turn, for the Terms of the Churches Union and Communion, all would be well without any more ado; supposing that where Christian Magistrates are, they keep the Peace, and repress the Offenders, and exercise all the Coercive Government: And hereticks, who will subscribe to the Christian Faith, must not be punished! because they will subscribe to no more, but because they are proved to preach or promote Heresie, contrary to the Faith which they profess.

28. I am farther than ever I was from expecting great matters of Unity, Splen­dor or Prosperity to the Church on Earth, or that Saints should dream of a King­dom of this World, or slatter themselves with the Hopes of a Golden Age, or reigning over the Ungodly, (till there be a new Heaven and a new Earth wherein dwelleth Righteousness). And on the contrary I am more apprehensive that Suffer­ings must be the Churches most ordinary Lot, and Christians indeed must be self­denying Cross-bearers, even where there are none but formal nominal Christians to be the Cross-makers: And though ordnarily God would have Vicissitudes of Summer and Winter, Day and Night, that the Church may grow extensively in the Summer of Pro­sperity, [Page 133] and intensively and radicatedly in the Winter of Adversity; yet usually their Night is longer than their Day, and that D [...]y its self hath its Storms and Tem­pests. For the Prognosticks are evident in their Causes: 1. The Church will be still Imperfect and Sinful, and will have those Diseases which need this bitter Remedy. 2. Rich Men will be the Rulers of the World; and Rich Men will be generally so far from true Godliness, that they must come to Heaven as by Human Impossibilities, as a Camel through a Needles Eye. 3. The Ungodly will ever have an Enmity against the Image of God, and he that is born of the Flesh will persecute him that was born after the Spirit, and Brotherhood will not keep a Cain from killing an Abel, who offereth a more acceptable Sacrifice than himself: And the Guilty will still hate the Light, and make a Prey to their Pride and Malice of a Conscionable Re­prover. 4. The Pastors will be still troubling the Church with their Pride and Avarice and Contentions; and the worst will be seeking to be the Greatest, and they that seek it are likest to attain it. 5. He that is highest will be still imposing his Conceits upon those under him, and Lording it over God's Heritage, and with Di [...]trephes casting out the Brethren, and ruling them by constraint, and not as Vo­lunteers. 6. Those that are truly judicious will still comparatively be few; and consequently the Troublers and Dividers will be the Multitude; and a judicious Peace-maker and Reconciler will be neglected, slighted, or hated by both Extreams. 7. The Tenour of the Gospel Predictions, Precepts, Promises and Threatnings, are fitted to a People in a suffering State. 8. And the Graces of God in a Believer are mostly sured to a State of Suffering. 9. Christians must imitate Christ, and suffer with him before they reign with him; and his Kingdom was not of this World. 10. The Observation of God's dealing hitherto with the Church in every Age confirmeth me: and his befooling them that have dreamed of glorious Times. It was such Dreams that transported the Munster Anabaptists, and the Followers of David George in the Low Countries, and Campanella, and the Illuminati among the Papists, and our English Anabaptists and other Fanaticks here, both in the Army and the City and Country. When they think the Golden Age is come, they shew their Dreams in their extravagant Actions: And as our Fifth Monarchy Men, they are presently upon some unquiet rebellious Attempt, to set up Christ in his Kingdom whether he will or not. I remember how Abraham Scultetus in Curricu­lo Vitae suae confesseth the common Vanity of himself and other Protestants in Germany, who seeing the Princes in England, France, Bohemia, and many other Countrys, to be all at once both Great and Wise, and Friends to Reformation, did presently expect the Golden Age: But within one year either Death, or Ruines of War or Back-slidings, had exposed all their Expectations to Scorn, and laid them lower than before.

29. I do not lay so great a Stress upon the external Modes and Formes of Wor­ship, as many young Professors do. I have suspected my self, as perhaps the Reader may do, that this is from a cooling and declining from my former Zeal (though the truth is, I never much complyed with Men of the Mind): But I find that Iudgment and Charity are the Causes of it, as for as I am able to discover. I can­not be so narrow in my Principles of Church-Communion as many are; that are so much for a Liturgy, or so much against it, so much for Ceremonies or so much against them, that they can hold Communion with no Church that is not of their Mind and Way. If I were among the Greeks, the Lutherans, the Indepen­dants; yea, the Anabaptists (that own no Herisy, nor set themselves against Charity and Peace) I would hold sometimes occasional Communion with them as Christians (if they will give me leave, without forcing me to any sinful Subscription or Action): Though my most usual Communion should be with that Society, which I thought most agreeable to the Word of God, if I were free to chuse. I cannot be of their Opinion that think God will not accept him that prayeth by the Common-Prayer-Book, and that such Forms are a self-invented Worship which God rejecteth: Nor yet can I be of their Mind that say the like of extemporary Prayers.

30. I am much less regardful of the Approbation of Man, and set much light­er by Contempt or Applause, than I did long ago. I am oft suspicious that this is not only from the increase of Self-denial and Humility; but partly from my be­ing glutted and surfeited with human Applause: And all worldly things appear most vain and unsatisfactory when we have tryed them most. But though I feel that this hath some hand in the Effect, yet as far as I can perceive, the Knowledge of Man's Nothingness, and God's transcendent Greatness, with whom it is that I have most to do, and the sense of the brevity of humane things, and the nearness [Page 134] of Eternity are the principal Causes of this Effect; which some have imputed to Self-conceitedness and Morosity.

31. I am more and more pleased with a solitary Life; and though in a way of Self-denial I could submit to the most publick Life, for the service of God, when he requireth it, and would not be unprofitable that I might be private; yet I must confess, it is much more pleasing to my self, to be retired from the World, and to have very little to do with Men, and to converse with God and Conscience and good Books; of which I have spoken my Heart in my Divine Life, Part III.

32. Though I was never much tempted to the Sin of Covetousness, yet my fear of dying was wont to tell me, that I was not sufficiently loosened from this World. But I find that it is comparatively very easy to me to be loose from this World, but hard to live by Faith above. To despise Earth is easy to me; but not so easy to be acquainted and conversant in Heaven. I have nothing in this World which I could not easily let go; but to get satisfying Apprehensions of the other World is the great and grievous Difficulty.

33. I am much more apprehensive than long ago, of the Odiousness and Danger of the Sin of Pride; scarce any Sin appeareth more odious to me: Having daily more Acquaintance with the lamentable Naughtiness and Frailty of Man, and of the Mischiefs of that Sin; and especially in Matters Spiritual and Ecclesiastical: I think so far as any Man is proud he is kin to the Devil, and utterly a Stranger to God and to himself: It's a Wonder that it should be a possible Sin, to Men that still carry about with them, in Soul and Body, such humbling matter of Remedy as we all do.

34. I more than ever lament the Unhappiness of the Nobility, Gentry, and great ones of the World, who live in such Temptation to Sensuality, Curiosity and wasting of their time about a multitude of little things; and whose Lives are too often the Transcript of the Sins of Sodom; Pride, fulness of Bread, and abun­dance of Idleness, and want of Compassion to the Poor. And I more value the Life of the poor Labouring Man; but especially of him that hath neither Pover­ty nor Riches.

35. I am much more sensible than heretofore, of the Breadth, and Length, and Depth of the radical, universal, odious Sin of Selfishness, and therefore have writ­ten so much against it: And of the Excellency and Necessity of Self-denial, and of a publick Mind, and of loving our Neighbour as our selves.

36. I am more and more sensible that most Controversies have more need of right Stating than of Debating; and if my Skill be increased in any thing it is in that, in narrowing Controversies by Explication, and separating the real from the verbal, and proving to many Contenders, that they differ less than they think they do.

37. I am more solicitous than I have been about my Duty to God, and less solicitous about his Dealings with me; as being assured that he will do all things well; and as acknowledging the Goodness of all the Declarations of his Holyness, even in the Punishment of Man; and as knowing that there is no Rest but in the Will and Goodness of God.

38. Though my Works were never such as could be any Temptation to me to dream of obliging God by proper Merit, in commutative Justice; yet one of the most ready, constant, undoubted Evidences of my Uprightness and Interest in his Covenant, is the Consciousness of my living as devoted to him: And I the easi­lier believe the Pardon of my Failings through my Redeemer, while I know that I serve no other Master, and that I know no other End, or Trade, or Business; but that I am imployed in his Work, and make it the Business of my Life, and live to him in the World, notwithstanding my Infirmities: And this Bent and Business of my Life, with my longing Desires after Perfection, in the Knowledge and Be­lief and Love of God, and in a Holy and Heavenly Mind and Life, are the two standing, constant, discernable Evidences, which most put me out of doubt of my Sincerity: And I find that constant Action and Duty is it that keepeth the first always in Sight; and constant Wants and Weaknesses, and coming short of my De­sires, do make those Desires still the more troublesom, and so the more easily still per­ceived.

39. Though my habitual Judgment and Resolution and Scope of Life be still the same, yet I find a great Mutability as to actual Apprehensions, and Degrees of Grace; and consequently find that so mutable a thing as the Mind of Man, would never keep its self if God were not its Keeper. When I have been seriously musing upon the Reasons of Christianity, with the concurrent Evidences metho­dically [Page 135] placed in their just Advantages before my Eyes, I am so clear in my Be­lief of the Christian Verities, that S [...]tan hath little room for a Temptation. But sometimes when he hath on a sudden set some Temptation before me, when the foresaid Evidences have been out of the Way, or less upon my Thoughts, he hath by such Surprizes amazed me, and weakened my Faith in the present Act: So also as to the Love of God, and trusting in him, sometimes when the Motives are clear­ly apprehended, the Duty is more easy and delightful: And at other times, I am meerly passive and dull, if not guilty of actual Despondency and Distrust.

40. I am much more cautelous in my Belief of History than heretofore: Not that I run into their Extream that will believe nothing because they cannot believe all things. But I am abundantly satisfyed by the Experience of this Age, that there is no believing two sorts of Men, Ungodly Men and Partial Men (though an honest Heathen of no Religion may be believed, where Enmity against Religi­on byasseth him not; yet a deba [...]ed Christian, besides his Enmity to the Power and Practice of his own Religion, is seldom without some further Byass of Inter­est or Faction; especially when these concurr, and a Man is both ungodly and am­bitious, espousing an Intere [...]t contrary to a holy heavenly Life, and also F [...]ctious, embodying himself with a Sect or Party suited to his Spirit and Designs, there is no believing his Word or Oath. If you read any Man partially bitter against others as differing from him in Opinion, or as cross to his Greatness, Interest or Designs, take heed how you believe any more, than the Historical Evidence distinct from his Word compelleth you to believe. The prodigious Lies which have been published in this Age in matters of Fact, with unblushing Confidence, even where thou­sands or Multitudes of Eye and Ear-Witnesses kn [...]w all to be false, doth call Men to take heed what History they believe, especially where Power and Violence af­fordeth that Priviledge to the Reporter, that no Man dare answer him or detect his Fraud, or if they do their Writings are all supprest. As long as Men have Liberty to examine and contradict one another, one may partly conjecture by comparing their Words, on which side the Truth is like to lie. But when great Men write History, or Flatteries by their Appointment, which no Man dare con­tradict, believe it but as you are constrained. Yet in these Cases I can freely be­lieve History: 1. If the Person shew that he is acquainted with what he faith. 2. And if he shew you the Evidences of Honesty and Conscience, and the Fear of God (which may be much perceived in the Spirit of a Writing). 3. And if he appear to be Impartial and Charitable, and a Lover of Goodness and of Mankind; and not possest with Malignity, or personal ill Will and Malice, nor carried away by Faction or personal Interest: Conscionable Men dare not lye; but Faction and Interest abate Mens Tenderness of Conscience. And a charita­ble impartial Heathen may speak Truth in a love to Truth, and hatred of a Lye: But ambitious Malice and false Religion, will not stick to serve themselves on any thing. It's easy to trace the Footsteps of Veracity in the Intelligence, Impartiality, and Ingenuity of a Thua [...]s, a [...], a P [...]lus V [...]et. though Papists, and of Secrates and So [...], though accused by the Factious of favouring the Novations; and many Protestants in a M [...]lanct [...], a [...], and many more; and among Physicians in such as Crat [...], Pla [...]us, &c. But it's [...] easy to see the Footsteep [...] of Partiality and Faction and Design, in a Gensb [...]rd, a [...], and a Multitude of their Companions; and to see reason of Suspicion in many more. Therefore I confess I give but halting Credit to most Histories that are written, not only against the Albigouses and [...], but against most of the Ancient Hereticks, who have left us none of their own Writings, in which they speak for themselves, and I har­tily lament that the Historical Writings of the Ancient Schismaticks and [...] (as they were called) perished, and that partiality suffered them not to sh [...]vi [...], that we might have had more Light in the Church-Affairs of those times, and been better able to judge between the Fathers and them. And as I am pro [...]e to think that few of them were so [...]ad as their Adversaries made them; so I am apt to think that such as the Novations, and Luci [...]rians, and [...], &c. whom their Adversa­ries commend, were very good Men, and [...] Godly than most Catholicks, however mistaken in some one Point. Sure I am, that as the Lies of the Papists, of [...], Zwinglius, C [...]lvin, and [...], are visibly malicious and imp [...]dent, by the common plenary contradicting Evidence; and yet the Multitude of their Se­duced ones believe them all in despight of Truth and Charity; so in this Age there have been such things written against Parties and Persons whom the Writers de­sign to make odious; so notoriously false as you would think that the Sense of their Honour at least, should have made it impossible for such Men to write: My own [Page 136] Eyes have read such Words and Actions asserted with most vehement iterated unblush­ing Confidence, which abundance of Ear-Witnesses, even of their own Parties must needs know to have been altogether false: and therefore having my self now written this History of my self, notwithstanding my Protestation that I have not in any thing wilfully gone against the Truth, I expect no more Credit from the Reader, than the self-evidencing Light of the matter, with concurrent rational Ad­vantages, from Persons, and Things, and other Witnesses, shall constrain him to; if he be a Person that is unacquainted with the Author himself, and the other Evi­dences of his Veracity and Credibility. And, I have purposely omitted almost all the Descriptions of any Persons that ever opposed me, or that ever I or my Brethren suffered by, because I know that the appearance of Interest and partiality might give a fair excuse to the Readers incredulity: (Although indeed the true Description of Persons is much of the very Life of History, and especially of the History of the Age which I have lived in; yet to avoid the suspicion of Partiality I have left it out). Except only when I speak of the Cromwellians and Sectaries, where I am the more free, because none suspecteth my Interest to have engaged me against them; but (with the rest of my Brethren) I have opposed them in the obedience of my Conscience, when by pleasing them I could have had almost any thing that they could have given me, and when before-hand I expected that the present Governours should silence me, and deprive me of Maintenance, House and Home, as they have done by me and many hundreds more. Therefore I supposed that my Descripti­ons and Censures of those Persons which would have enriched and honoured me, and of their Actions against that Party which hath silenced, impoverished and ac­cused me, and which before-hand I expected should do so, are beyond the Suspi­cion of Envy, Self-interest or Partiality: If not, I there also am content that the Reader exercise his Liberty, and believe no worse even of these Men, than the E­vidence of Fact constraineth him.

Thus much of the Alterations of my Soul, since my younger years, I thought best to give the Reader, instead of all those Experiences and Actual Motions and Affections, which I suppose him rather to have expected an account of. And ha­ving transcribed thus much of a Life which God hath read, and Conscience hath read, and must further read, I humbly lament it, and beg pardon of it, as sinful and too unequal and unprofitable: And I warn the Reader to amend that in his own, which he findeth to have been amiss in mine; confessing also that much hath been amiss which I have not here particularly mentioned, and that I have not lived according to the abundant Mercies of the Lord. But what I have recorded, hath been especially to perform my Vows, and declare his Praise to all Generations, who hath filled up my days with his unvaluable Favours, and bound me to bless his Name for ever: And also to prevent the defective performance of this Task, by some overvaluing Brethren, who I know intended it, and were unfitter to do it than my self. And for such Reasons as Iunius, Scaltetus, Thuanus, and many o­thers have done the like before me. The principal of which are these three: 1. As Travellers and Seamen use to do after great Adventures and Deliverances, I here by satisfie my Conscience, in praising the Blessed Author of all those undeserved Mercies which have filled up my Life. 2. Foreseeing by the Attempts of Bi­shop Morley, what Prelatists and Papists are like to say of me, when they have none to contradict them, and how possible it is that those that never knew me may believe them, though they have lost their hopes with all the rest, I take [...] to be my Duty to be so faithful to that stock of Reputation which God hath in­trusted me with, as to defend it at the rate of opening the Truth. Such as have made the World believe that Luther consulted with the Devil, that Calvin was a stig­matized Sodomite; that Beza turned Papist, &c. to blast their Labours, I know are very like to say any thing by me, which their Interest or Malice tell them will any way advantage their Cause, to make my Writings unprofitable when I am dead. 3. That young Christians may be warned by the Mistakes and Failings of my unriper Times, to learn in patience, and live in watchfulness, and not be fierce and proudly confident in their first Conceptions; And to reverence ripe ex­perienced Age, and to take heed of taking such for their Chief Guides as have nothing but immature and unexperienced Judgments, with fervent Affections, and free and confident Expressions; but to learn of them that have (with holiness) stu­dy, time and trial, looked about them as well on one side as the other, and attain­ed to clearness and impartiality in their Judgments.

[Page 137]1. But having mentioned the Changes which I think were for the better, I must add, that as I confessed many of my Sins before, so since I have been guilty of many, which because materially they seemed small, have had the less resistance, and yet on the review to trouble more than if they had been greater done in igno­rance: It can be no small sin formally which is committed against Knowledge and Conscience and Deliberation, whatever excuse it have. To have sinned while I preacht and wrote against Sin, and had such abundant and great obligations from God, and made so many promises against it, doth lay me very low: not so much in fear of Hell, as in great displeasure against my self, and such self abho [...]ence as would cause revenge upon my self, were it not forbidden. When God forgiveth me I cannot forgive my self; especially for any rash words or deeds, by which I have seemed injurious, and less tende [...] and kind than I should have been to my near and dear Relations, whose Love abundantly obliged me; when such are dead, though we never differed in point of Interest or any great Matter, every sowr or cross provoking word which I gave them, maketh me almost unreconcile­able to my self: and tells me how Repentance brought some of old to pray to the Dead whom they had wronged, to forgive them, in the hurry of their Pas­sion.

2. And though I before told the Change of my Judgment against provoking Writings, I have had more will than skill since to avoid such. I must mention it by way of penitent Confession, that I am too much inclined to such words in Con­troversal Writings which are too keen, and apt to provoke the Person whom I write against. Sometimes I suspect that Age sowreth my Spirits, and sometimes I am apt to think that it is long thinking and speaking of such things that maketh me weary, and less patient with others that understand them not: And sometimes I am ready to think that it is out of a hatred of the flattering humour which now prevaileth so in the World, that few Persons are able to bear the Truth: And I am sure that I cannot only bear my self such Language as I use to others, but that I expect it. I think all these are partly Causes; but I am sure the principal Cause is a long Custom of studying how to speak and write in the keenest manner to the common, ignorant, and ungodly People (without which keeness to them, no Sermon nor Book does much good); which hath so habituated me to it, that I am still falling into the same with others; forgetting that many Ministers and Pro­fessors of Strictness do desire the greatest sharpness to the Vulgar, and to their Ad­versaries, and the greatest lenity and smoothness and comfort, if not honour to themselves. And I have a strong natural inclination to speak of every Subject just as it is, and to call a Spade a Spade, & verba rebus aptare; so as that the thing spoken of may be fulliest known by the words; which methinks is part of our speaking truly. But I unfeignedly confess that it is faulty, because impru [...] [...] that is not a good means which doth harm, because it is not fitted to [...] and because whilst the Readers think me angry, (though I feel no [...] times in my self) it is scandalous and a hinderance to the usefulness of [...] write: And especially because (though I feel no Anger, yet which is worse) I know that there is some want of Honour and Love or Tenderness to others; or else I should not be apt to use such words as open their weakness and offend them: And therefore I repent of it, and wish all over-sharp passages were expunged from my Wri­tings, and desire forgiveness of God and Man. And yet I must say that I am oft afraid of the contrary Extream, lest when I speak against great and dangerous Er­rours and Sins, (though of Persons otherwise honest) I should encourage men to them, by speaking too easily of them (as Eli did to his Sons), and lest I should so favour the Person as may befriend the Sin and wrong the Church. And I must say as the New-England Synodists in their Defence against Mr. Davenport, pag. 2. Pref. [We heartily desire that as much as may be, all Expressions and Reflexions may be for­born that tend to break the Bond of Love. Indeed such is our Infirmity, that the naked dis­covery of the fallacy or invalidity of anothers Allegations or Arguings is apt to provoke. This in Disputes is unavoidable.]

And therefore I am less for a disputing way than ever; believing that it tempt­eth Men to bend their Wits, to defend their Errours and oppose the Truth, and hindereth usually their information: And the Servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle to all Men, &c. Therefore I am most in Judgment for a Learning or a Teaching way of Converse: In all Companies, I will be glad either to hear those speak that can teach me, or to be heard of those that have need to learn.

[Page 138]And that which I named before on the by, is grown one of my great Diseases: I have lost much of that Zeal which I had, to propagate any Truths to others, save the meer Fundamentals. When I perceive People or Ministers (which is too common) to think they know what indeed they do not, and to dispute those things which they never throughly studied, or expect I should debate the Case with them, as if an hours talk would serve instead of an acute understanding and seven years study, I have no Zeal to make them of my Opinion, but an impati­ence of continuing Discourse with them on such Subjects, and am apt to be silent or to turn to something else: which (though there be some reason for it) I feel cometh from a want of Zeal for the Truth, and from an impatient Temper of Mind. I am ready to think that People should quickly understand all in a few words; and if they cannot, lazily to despair of them, and leave them to them­selves: And I the more know that it is sinful in me, because it is partly so in o­ther things; even about the Faults of my Servants or other Inferiours, if three or four times warning do no good on them, I am much tempted to despair of them, and turn them away and leave them to themselves.

I mention all these Distempers, that my Faults may be a warning to others to take heed, as they call on my self for Repentance and Watchfulness. O Lord, for the Merits and Sacrifice and Intercession of Christ, be merciful to me a Sinner, and forgive my known and unknown Sins.

THE LIFE OF THE REVEREND Mr. Richard Baxter.
LIB. I. PART II.

§ 1. IN the Time of the late unhappy Wars in these Kingdoms, the Controversies about Church Government, were in most Mens mouths, and made the greatest Noise, being hotly a­gitated by States-men and Divines, by Words and Writings: which made it necessary to me, to set my self to the most serious study of those Points: The result of which was, this confident and setled Judgment, that of the four contending Parties, (the Erastian, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Inde­pendant) each one had some Truths in peculiar, which the other overlookt, or took little notice of, and each one had their proper Mistakes which gave advantage to their Adversaries; though all of them had so much truth in common among them, as would have made these Kingdoms happy, if it had been unanimously and soberly reduced to practice, by prudent and charitable Men.

§ 2. 1. The Erastians, I thought, were thus far in the right, in asserting more fully than others the Magistrates Power in Matters of Religion; that all Coercive Power (by Mulcts or Force) is only in their hands (which is the full sence of our Oath of Supremacy); and that no such Power belongeth to the Pastors or Peo­ple of the Church; and that thus (as Dr. Ludov. Molinae [...] pleadeth) there should not be any Imperium in Imperio, or any Coercive Power challenged by Pope, Pre­late, Presbytery, or any, but by the Magistrate alone: that the Pastoral Power is only Perswasive, or exercised on Volunteers; yet not private, such as belongeth to every Man (to perswade) that hath a perswading Faculty [...] but Publick and Autho­ritative by Divine appointment: And not only to perswade by Sermons or general Speeches, but by particular oversight of their particular Flocks! much like the Au­thority of Plato or Zen [...] in his School, or a Master in any Academy of Volunteers, or of a Physician in his Hospital, supposing these were Officers of God's Institution, who could as the ground of their perswasitant [...] produce his Commission or Command for what they said and did.

But though the Diocesans, and the Presbyterians of Scotland (who had Laws to enable them) opposed this Doctrine or the Party at least, yet I perceived that in­deed, it was but on the ground of their Civil Advantages, as the Magistrate had impowered by them by his Laws) (which the Erastians did not contradict); ex­cept some few of the higher [...] sort, who pleaded as the Papists, for somewhat [Page 140] more, which yet they could not themselves tell what to make of: But the gene­rality of each Party indeed owned this Doctrine; and I could speak with no sober Judicious Prelatist, Presbyterian, or Independant, but confessed that no Secular, or Forcing Power, belonged to any Pastors of the Church as such; and unless the Magistrates authorized them as his Officers, they could not touch mens Bodies or Estates, but the Conscience aloneArchbi­shop Bil [...]on frequently and fully professeth. (which can be of none but of Assenters).

§ 3. 2. The Episcopal Party seemed to have reason on their side in [...], that in the Primitive Church there were some Apostles, Evangelists, and others; who were general unfixed Officers of the Church, not tyed to any particular Cha [...]ge; and had some Superiority (some of them [...]over-fixed Bishops or Pastors! And though the extraordinary Parts of the Apostles Office ceased, with them, I saw no proof of the Cessation of any ordinary part of their Office, such as Church Government is confessed to be. All the doubt that I saw in this was, Whether the Apostles themselves were constituted Governours of other Pastors, or only over-ruled them by the Eminency of their Gifts and Priviledge of Infallibility. For it seemed to me unmeet to affirm without proof, that Christ setled a Form of Government in his Church, to endure only for one Age, and changed it for a New one when that Age was ended.

And as to fixed Bishops of particular Churches that were Superiours in degree to Presbyters, though I saw nothing at all in Scripture for them, which was any whit cogent, yet I saw that the Reception of them in all the Churches was so timely (even in the days of one of the Apostles in some Churches), and so general, that I thought it a most improbable thing, that if it had been contrary to the A­postles mind, we should never read that they themselves, or any one of their Dis­ciples that conversed with them, no nor any Christian or Heretick in the World, should once speak or write a word against it, till long after it was generally setled in the Curches. This therefore I resolved never to oppose.

§ 4. 3. And as for the Presbyterians, I found that the Office of Preaching Presbyters was allowed by all that deserve the Name of Christians; and that this Office did participate (subserviently to Christ) of the Prophetical (or Teaching) the Priestly (or worshipping) and the Governing Power; and that both Scripture, Antiquity, and the perswasive Nature of Church Government, clearly shew that all Presbyters were Church Governours, as well as Church Teachers! and that to deny this was to destroy the Office, and to endeavour to destroy the Churches. And I saw in Scrip­ture, Antiquity and Reason, that the Association of Pastors and Churches for A­greement, and their Synods in Cases of Necessity, are a plain duty: and that their ordinary stated Synods are usually very convenient.

And I saw that in England the Persons which were called Presbyterians were emi­ment for Learning, Sobriety and Piety: and the Pastors so called were they that went through the Work of the Ministry, in diligent serious preaching to the Peo­ple, and edifying Mens Souls, and keeping up Religion in the Land.

§ 5. 4. And for the Independants, I saw that most of them were Zealous, and very many Learned, discreet and godly Men; and fit to be very serviceable in the Church. And I found in the search of Scripture and Antiquity, that in the beginning a Governed Church, and a stated worshipping Church, were all one; and not two several things: And that though there might be other by [...]Meetings in places like our Chappels or private Houses, for such as Age or Persecution hindered to come to the more solemn Meetings, yet Churches then were no bigger (in num­ber of Persons) than our Parishes now (to grant the most): And that they were Societies of Christians united for Personal Communion; and not only for Communi­on by Meetings of Officers and Delegates in Synods, as many Churches in Associa­tion be. And I saw if once we go beyond the bounds of [Personal Communion] as the end of particular Churches, in the Definition, we may make a Church of a Nation, or of ten Nations, or what we please, which shall have none of the Nature and Ends of the Primitive particular Churches. Also I saw a commendable care of serious Holiness and Discipline in most of the Independant Churches: And I found that some Episcopal Men (as Bishop Usher himself did voluntarily profess his Judg­ment to me) did hold that every Bishop was independant, as to Synods, and that Synods were not proper Governours of the particular Bishops, but only for their Concord.

§ 6. 5. And for the Anabaptists themselves (though I have written and said so much against them,) as I found that most of them were Persons of Zeal in Reli­gion, so many of them were sober godly People, and differed from others but in the Point of Infant Baptism, or at most in the Points of Predestination and Free­will [Page 141] and Perseverance, (as the Iesuits differ from the Dominicans, the Lutherans from the Calvinists, and the Arminians from the Contra-Remonstrants): And I found in all Antiquity, that though Infant Baptism was held lawful by the Church [...] yet some with Tertullian and Nazienzen, thought it most convenient to make no haste, and the rest left the time of Baptism to every ones liberty, and forced none to be baptized: Insomuch as not only Constantint, Theud [...]sius, and such other as were converted at Years of Discretion, but Augustine and many such as were the Chil­dren of Christian Parents (one or both) did defer their Baptism much longer than I think they should have done. So that in the Primitive Churchi some were Baptized in Infancy, and some at ripe Age, and some a little before their Death; and none were forced, but all left free; and the only Penalty (among men) of their delay was, that so long they were without the Priviledges of the Church, and were numbred but with the Catechumens, or Expectants.

§ 7. 6. As to Doctrinal Differences also (between Arminians and Anti-Arminians) I soon perceived that it was hard to find a Man that discerned the true State of the several Controversies; and that when unrevealed points (uncertain to all), were laid aside, and the Controversies about Words were justly separated from the Con­troversies about things; the Differences about things which remained were fewer and smaller than most of the Contenders perceived or would believe.

§ 8. 7. Yea, I found that our Doctrinal Controversies with the Papists them­selves, were very much darkned, and seldom well stated; and that in the Points of Merit,See this matter ful­ly cleared in Le Blan­cis Thesis. Justification, Assurance of Salvation, Perseverance, Grace, Free­will, and such others, it was common to misunderstand one another, and rare to meet with any that by just Distinction and Explication, did well state the Con­troversies, and bring them out of the Dark.

§ 9. What I begin to write about any of these Doctrinal Differences, in my Aphorisms, Confession, Apologie, &c. I will now pass by, and the manifold Censures and Encounters which I had thereupon, and the many Manuscripts of worthy Brethren animadverting upon my Aphorisms, which I was (privately) put to answer: Because it is not such Differences that now I am to speak of.

§ 10. I perceived then that every Party beforementioned, having some Truth or Good, in which it was more eminent than the rest, it was no impossible thing to separate all that from the Error and the Evil, and that among all the Truths which they held either in Common or in Controversy, there was no Contradiction: And therefore, that he that would procure the Welfare of the Church must do his best to promote all the Truth and Good which was held by every part, and to leave out all their Errors and their Evil; and not take up all that any Party had espoused as their own.

§ 11. The things which I disliked as erroneous or evil in each Party were these:

1. In the Erastians I disliked, 1. That they made too light of the Power of the Ministry and Church, and of Excommunication; and did not distinguish suf­ficiently of a persuasive Power which is but private, and is founded only in the Reason of the Speaker, and a persuasive Power which is publick in an Officer of Christ (which Camero well calleth Doctoral), and is founded conjunctly in his Authority (by God's Commission) and his Arguments. 2. That they made the Articles of [the Ho­ly Catholick Church, and the Communion of Saints] too insignificant, by making Church Communion more common to the impenitent than Christ would have it; and so dishonoured Christ by dishonouring his Church, and making it too like to the Heathen World, and breaking down the Hedge of Spiritual Discipline, and laying it almost in common with the Wilderness. 3. That they misunderstood and injured their Brethren, supposing and affirming them to claim as from God a coercive Power over the Bodies or Purses of Men, and so setting up Imperium in Imperio; whereas all temperate Christians (at least except Papists) confess that the Church hath no Power of Force, but only to manage God's Word unto Mens Conscience [...]

§ 12. In the Diocesane Party I utterly distiked

1. Their Extirpation of the true Discipline of Christ, as we conceive, by con­sequence, though not intentionally; not only as they omitted it, and corrupted it; but as their Principles and Church State had made it unpracticable and impossible, while one Bishop with his Consitory, had the sole Government of a thousand or many hundred Churches, even over many thousands whose Faces they were ne­ver like to see; not setting up any Par [...]chia Government under them: But just as if the Archbishops [...] (or rather the Patriarchs.) in C [...]nstanti [...]'s days, should have [Page 142] deposed all the Bishops in the Empire, and have taken all their Charges upon themselves.

2. That hereby they altered the Species of Churches, and either would de [...] all particular Churches, and have none but associated Diocesane Churches, (who hold the Communion by Delegates and not personally); or else they would turn all the particular Parochial Churches into Christian Oratories and Schools, while they gave their Pastors but a Teaching and Worshiping Power; but not a Go­verning.

3. That hereby they altered the ancient Species of Presbyters, to whose Office the Spiritual Government of their proper Folks as truly belonged, as the Power of preaching and worshipping God did.

4. That they extinguished the ancient Species of Bishops, which was in the times of Ignatius, when every Church had one Altar and one Bishop; and there were none but Itinerants or Archbishops that had many Churches.

5. That they set up Courts that were more Secular than Spiritual, in the manner of other Secular Courts; and that the Government of the Church by Excommu­nication, Suspensions, Absolutions, &c. was exercised by a Chancellor, who was a civil Lawyer and a Lay-man even against Ministers themselves, unless for a blind, some Priest did formally pronounce the Sentence.

6. That the great Church Business of these Bishops and Courts, was to vex ho­nest Christians that durst not worship God by such Ceremonies as their Conscien­ces thought unlawful, and to silence able godly Preachers that durst not subscribe and swear Obedience to them, and use every one of their Formes and Ceremo­nies, and profess the Lawfulness of all this; and that by gratifying the multitude of the ungodly, and espousing a Cause so perniceous to the Church, which multitudes of sober Christians would dislike, they had engaged themselves into a way of Enmity and Violence against a very considerable Number of as able Mini­sters, and holy Christians as any were in the Land or in the known World.

7. And hereby it came to pass that the Multitude of the Ignorant and ungodly People were become the zealous Pleaders for the Prelacie, and made it the Brest­work to exercise their Enmity against the serious Practice of Religion.

8. And that ignorant drunken Readers (unfit to live in Christian Communion) were the only Pastors (under the Prelates) of abundance of the Churches in the Land.

9. And that their zeal for Formality and Ceremonies, and their Enmity to the most serious way of Preaching, Praying, yea, and Living, did greatly tend to the suppressing of Godliness, and the increase of Ignorance and Prophaneness in the People.

10. And lastly, That they were set upon a way of uncharitable Censuring, Re­proaching, Cruelty and Force, for the carrying on of so ill a Cause; wherein their carnal Interest did evidently manage a War against the Interest of Christ and Godliness and the Souls of Men.

§ 13. 3. In the Presbyterian way I disliked

1. Their Order of Lay-Elders who had no Ordination, nor Power to Preach, nor to administer Sacraments: For though I grant that Lay-Elders, or the Chief of the Peo­ple, were oft imployed to express the Peoples Consent, and preserve their Liber­ties, yet these were no Church-Officers at all, nor had any Charge of private Over­sight of the Flocks: And though I grant that one Church had oft more Elders, than did use to preach, and that many were most employed in private Oversight, yet that was but a prudent dividing of their Work, according to the Gifts and parts of each, and not that any Elders wanted Power of Office to preach or Administer Sacraments when there was Cause.

2. And I disliked the Course of some of the more rigid of them, that drew too near the way of Prelacie, by grasping at a kind of secular Power; not using it themselves, but binding the Magistrates to confiscate or imprison Men, meerly be­cause they were excommunicate; and so corrupting the true Discipline of the Church, and turning the Communion of Saints, into the Communion of the Multitude that must keep in the Church against their Wills, for fear of being un­done in the World. When as a Man whose Conscience cannot feel a just Excommuni­cation, unless it be back'd with Confiscation or Imprisonment, is no fitter to be a Member of a Christian Church in the Communion of Saints, than a Corps is to be a Member of a Corporation. It's true they claim not this Power as Iure Divino (though some say that the Magistrate is bound to execute these Penalties on Men meerly as excom­municate;) nor no more do the Prelates, when yet the Writ de Excommunicato [Page 143] Capiendo, is the Life of all their Censures): But both Parties too much debase the Magistrate, by making him their meer Executioner; when as he is the Iudge where­ever he is the Executioner, and is to try each Cause at his own Barr before he be obliged to punish any; and they corrupt the Discipline of Christ by mixing it with secular Force; and they reproach the Keys or Ministerial Power, as if it were a Leaden Sword, and not worth a Straw unless the Magistrates Sword enforce it. (And what then did the Primitive Church for Three hundred Years?) And, worst of all, they corrupt the Church by forcing in the Rabble of the unfit and unwil­ing; and thereby tempt many Godly Christians to Schisms and dangerous Separati­ons. In all this I deny not, but that the Magistrate must restrain all sorts of Vice: But not as a Hangman only, that executeth the Judgment of another; nor eo No­mine to punish a Man because he is Excommunicate (that is most heavily punished already by others): Till Magistrates keep the Sword themselves, and learn to de­ny it to every angry Clergyman that would do his own Work by it, and leave them to their own Weapons, the Word and Spiritual Keys; & valeant quantum valere possunt, the Church shall never have Unity and Peace; hucusque probatum est.

3. And I disliked some of the Presbyterians, that they were not tender enough to dissenting Brethren; but too much against Liberty as others were too much for it; and thought by Votes and Number to do that which Love and Reason should have done.

4. And when the Independents said [A Worshiping Church and a Governed Church is and must be all one:] And the Presbyterians said [They may be all one though it be not necessary]; yet in their Practice they would have so setled it, that they should no where be all one, but ten or twelve worshipping Churches should have made one Governed Church; which prepared the way to the Diocesane Frame; though I confess it is incomparably better (because ten or Twelve Churches is not so ma­ny as a thousand or many hundred; and because the Pastor of every Church had the Government of his own Flock, in Conjunction with the Presbytery or Synod, though not alone).

§ 14. 4 And in the Independent way I disliked many things: As

1. That they made too light of Ordination.

2. That they also had their Office of Lay-Eldership.

3. That they were commonly Stricter about the Qualification of Church Mem­bers, than Scripture, Reason, or the Practice of the Universal Church would al­low; not taking a Man's bare Profession as Credible, as a sufficient Evidence of his Ti­tle to Church Communion, unless either by a holy Life, or the Particular Narrati­on of the Passages of the Work of Grace, he satisfied the Pastors (yea, and all the Church) that he was truly Holy; whereas every Man's Profession is the valid Evidence of the thing professed in his Heart, unless it be disproved by him that questioneth it, by proving him guilty of Heresies or Impiety, or Sins inconsistent with it. And if once you go beyond the Evidence of [a serious sober Confession] as a credible and sufficient sign of Title, you will never know where to rest; but the Churches Opinion will be both Rule and Judge, and Men will be let in or kept out, according to the various Latitude of Opinions or Charity in the several Officers or Churches: and he will be passable in one Church who in another is in­tollerable; and so the Churches will be heterogeneous and confused. And there is in all this a little (if not more than a little) spiritual Pride of the Weaker sort of Professors, affecting to be visibly set at a greater Distance from the colder Profes­sors of Chistianity, than God would have them, that so they may be more obser­vable, and conspicuous for their Holyness in the World: And there is too much uncharitableness in it, when God hath given sincere Professors the Kernel of his Mercies, even Grace and Glory, and yet they will grudge to cold Hypocritical Professors, so small a thing as the outward Shell, and visible Communion and ex­ternal Ordinances; Yea, though such are kept in the Church for the Sakes and Service of the Sincere.

4. And I disliked also the lamentable tendency of this their way to Divisions and Sub-divisions, and the nourishing of Heresies and Sects.

5. But above all I disliked, that most of them made the People by majority of Votes to be Church-Governors, in Excommunications, Absolutions, &c. which Christ hath made an Act of Office, and so they governed their Governors and themselves.

[Page 144]6. Also that they too much exploded Synods, refusing them as stated, and ad­mitting them but upon some extraordinary Occasions.

7. Also their over-rigidness against the Admission of Christians of other Church­es to their Communion.

8. And their making a Minister to be as no Minister to any but his own Flock, and to act to others but as a private Man; with divers others such Irregularities, and dividing Opinions: Many of which the moderation of the New England Synod hath of late corrected and disowned; and so done very much to heal these Breaches.

§ 15. 5 And for the Anabaptists I knew that they injuriously excluded the In­fants of the Faithful from solemn entrance into the Covenant and Church of God, and as sinfully made their Opinion a Ground of their Separations from the Churches and Communion of their Brethren; and that among them grew up the Weeds of many Errors and Divisions, Sub-divisions, Reproach of Ministers, Fa­ction and Pride, and scandalous Practices were fomented in their way.

§ 16. The case standing thus with all these Parties, I thought it my Duty, 1. To labour to bring them all to a concordant Practice of so much as they all agreed in. 2. To set all that together which was True and Good among them all, and to promote that so far as I was able, and to reject the rest. 3. And especially in or­der to these, to labour the reviving of Christian Charity, which Faction and Dis­putes had lamentably extinguish'd. But how to accomplish this, was beyond the Prospect of my Hope.

§ 17. Besides the Hinderances which are contained in Mens Principles, I found three others which were exceeding Powerful: One is in Mens Company and ano­ther in their seeming Interests, and the chiefest of all in the Disposition and Qua­lity of their Minds.

§ 18. 1. Some that were most conversant with sober, peaceable, experienced Men, and were under the Care of peaceable Ministers, I found very much inclined to Charity and Peace. But multitudes of them conversed most with ignorant, proud, unexperienced, Passionate, Uncharitable Persons; who made it a part of their Zeal and Ingenuity to break a Jest in Reproach and Scorn of them that differed from them; and who were ordinarily Backbiters, and bold unrighteous Censurers of others, before they well understood them, or ever heard them give a Reason of their Judgments or Practices, or speak for themselves. And the hearing and conversing with such Persons as these doth powerfully dispose Men to the same Disease, and to sin impenitently after their Example. Especially when Men are incorporated into a Sect or uncharitable Party, and have captivated themselves to a human Servitude in Religion, and given up themselves to the Will of Men, the Stream will bear down the plainest Evidence, and carry them to the foulest Errors.

§ 19. 2. And as it is carnal Interest that ruleth the carnal World, so I found that 1. Among Selfish Men, there were as many Interests and Ends, as Persons; and eve­ry one had an Interest of his own which governed him, and set him at a very great Enmity to the most necessary means of Peace. 2. And that ever Man that had once given up himself to a Party, and drowned himself in a Faction, did make the Interest of that Faction or Party to be his own: And the Interest of Christia­nity, Catholicism and Charity, is contrary to the Interest of Sects, as such. And it is the Nature of a Sectary, that he preferreth the Interest of his Opinion, Sect or Party, before the Interest of Christianity, Catholicism and Charity, and will sa­crifice the latter to the Service of the former.

§ 20. 3. But the Grand Impediment I found in the temper of Mens Minds; and there I perceived a manifold difference. Among all these Parties I found that some were naturally of mild and calm and gentle Dispositions, and some of sower, frow­ard, passionate, peevish, or furious Natures: Some were young and raw and un­experienced, and those were like a young Fruit, four and harsh; addicted to pride of their own Opinions, to Self-conceitedness, Turbulency, Censoriousness and Te­merity, and to engage themselves for a Cause and Party before they understood the matter: and were led about by those Teachers and Books that had once won their highest Esteem; judging of Sermons and Persons by their Fervency, more than by the soundness of the Matter and the Cause. And some I found on the other side, to be ancient and experienced Christians that had tried the Spirits, and seen what was of God, and what of Man, and noted the Events of both in the World; and these were like ripe Fruit, Mellow and sweet, first pure, then peaceable, gen­tle, easy to be intreated, full of Mercy and good Fruits, without Partiality, with­out Hypocrisy, who being Makers of Peace, did sow the Fruits of Righteousness [Page 145] in peace, Iames 3. 17, 18. I began by experience to understand the meaning of those words of St. Paul, 1 Tim 3. 6 [Not a Novice, lest being lifted up with pride, be fall into the condemnation of the Devil.] Novices, that is, young, raw, unexperien­ced Christians, are much apter to be proud, and censorious, and factious, than old experienced, judicious Christians.

§ 21. But the Difference between the Godly and the Ungodly, the Spiritual and the Carnal worshippers of God, was here the most considerable of all. An humble, holy, upright Soul is sensible of the interest of Christ and Souls; and a gracious Person is ever a charitable Person, and loveth his Neighbour as himself; and there­fore judgeth of him, as he would be judged of himself, and speaketh of him as he would be spoken of himself, and useth him as he would be used himself: And it is as much against his charitable inclination to disagree or separate from his Brethren, much more to prosecute them or cast them out, as it is against the nature of the body to dismember it self, by cutting off any of the parts. And it is easie to bring such Persons to Agreement, at least to live in Charitable Communion. But on the other side the Carnal, Selfish and Unsanctified, (of what Party or Opinion soever) have a Nature that is quite against holy Concord and Peace. They want that love which is the natural Balsom for the Churches wounds: They are every one Selfish, and ruled by Self-Interest, and have as many Ends and Centres of their Desires and Actions, as they are individual Men. They are easily deceived and led into Er­rour, especially in Practicals, and against Spiritual Truths, for want of Divine Il­lumination, and Experience of the Things of God, and a Nature suitable there­to. Their Designs are Carnal, Ambitious, Covetous, as Worldly Felicity is their I­dol and their End: God is not taken for their highest Governour, his Laws must give place to the Desires of their Flesh: Their very Religion is but Pride and Worldliness, or subject to it. They have a secret Enmity against a holy, spiritual Life, and therefore against the People that are holy: They love not them that are serious in their own Religion, and that go beyond their dead Formality: This En­mity, provoked by Self-interest or Reproof, doth easily make them Persecutors of the Godly, if they have but power. And their carnal worldly hearts incline them to the carnal worldly side in any Controversies about Religion, and to corrupt it, and make it a carnal thing. These Hypocrites in the Church do betray its Purity and Peace, and [...]ell Christ's Interest and the Gospel for as small a price as Iudas sold his Lord for. And though in a time, when God's Providence setteth his own Cause on the higher ground, and giveth it the advantage of holy Governours, these Men may possibly be serviceable to its welfare, as finding it to serve their carnal Ends; yet ordinarily they will [...]ell the Peace of the Church for Preferment; and are either imposing persecuting Dividers, or discontented humourous Dividers; and hardly brought to the necessary terms of a just and holy and durable Peace, (of whom I have more largely written in my Book called Catholick Unity). These, and ma­ny more Impediments do rise up against all conciliatory endeavours.

§ 22. But I found not all these alike in all the disagreeing Parties, though some of both Sorts in every Party. The Erastian Party is most composed of Lawyers and other Secular Persons, who better understand the Nature of Civil Covern­ment, than the Nature, Form and Ends of the Church, and of those Offices ap­pointed by Christ for Men's Spiritual Edification and Salvation. The Diocesan Party (with us) consisted of some grave, learned, godly Bishops, and some sober godly People of their mind; and withal of almost all the carnal Politicians, Temporizers, Prophane, and Haters of Godliness in the Land; and all the Rabble of the igno­rant, ungodly Vulgar: Whether this came to pafs from any thing in the Nature of their Diocesan Government, or from their accommodating the ungodly Sort by the formal way of their Publick Worship; or from their heading and pleasing them by running down the stricter sort of People whom they hated; or all these together; and also because the worst and most do always fall in with the Party that is uppermost, I leave to the Judgment of the considerate Reader. The Presbyte­rian Party consisted of grave, orthodox, godly Ministers, together with the hope­fullest of the Students and young Ministers, and the soberest, godly, ancient Chri­stians, who were equally averse to Persecution and to Schism; and of those young ones who were educated and ruled by these: As also in those places where they most prevailed, of the soberest sort of the well-meaning Vulgar, who liked a god­ly Life, though they had no great knowledge of it: And this Party was most desi­rous of Peace. The Independant Party had many very godly Ministers and People, but with them many young injudicious Persons, inclined much to Novelties and Separations, and abounding more in Zeal than Knowledge; usually doing more [Page 146] for Subdivisions, than the few sober Persons among them could do for unity and Peace; too much mistaking the Terms of Church Communion, and the difference between the Regenerate (invisible) and the Congregate (or visible) Church. The Anabaptists Party consisted of some (but fewer) sober, peaceable Persons, and orthodox in other Points; but withal, of abundance of young transported Zealots, and a medley of Opinionists, who all hasted directly to Enthusiasm and Subdivisions, and by the Temptation of Prosperity and Success in Arms, and the Policy of some Commanders, were led into Rebellions, and hot Endeavours against the Ministry, and other Ioandalous Crimes; and brought forth the horrid Sects of Ranters, Seekers, and Quakers in the Land.

§ 23. But the greatest Advantage which I found for Concord and Pacification, was among a great number of Ministers and People who had addicted themselves to no Sect or Party at all; though the Vulgar called them by the Name of Presby­terians: And the truth is, as far as I could discover, this was the Case of the great­est number of the godly Ministers and People throughout England. For though Presbytery generally took in Scotland, yet it was but a stranger here: And it found some Ministers that lived in conformity to the Bishops, Liturgies and Ceremonies (however they wisht for Reformation); and the most (that quickly after were ordained) were but young Students in the Universities, at the time of the change of Church Government, and had never well studied the Point on either side: And though most of the Ministers (then) in England saw nothing in the Presbyterian way of practice, which they could not cheerfully concur in, yet it was but few that had resolved on their Principles: And when I came to try it, I found that most (that ever I could meet with) were against the Ius Divinum of Lay Elders, and for the moderate Primitive Episcopacy, and for a narrow Congregational or Pa­rochial Extent of ordinary Churches, and for an accommodation of all Parties, in order to Concord, as well as my self. I am sure as soon as I proposed it to them, I found most inclined to this way, and therefore I suppose it was their Judgment before: Yea, multitudes whom I had no converse with, I understood to be of this mind; so that this moderate Number, (I am loth to call them a Party, because they were for Catholicism against Parties), being no way pre-engaged, made the Work of Concord much more hopeful than else it would have been, or than I thought it to be when I first attempted it.

§ 24. Things being in this Case, I stood still some years, as a looker on, and contented my self to wish and pray for Peace, and only drop now and then a word for it in my practical Writings; which hath since been none of my smallest troubles. The Reasons were, 1. Because I was taken up in Practicals, and in such Controversies as tended to Doctrinal Agreement. 2. Because I looked when some abler and more eminent Divines attempted it. 3. But the chief Reason was, Despair: I was so cons [...]lous of my meanness and in considerableness in the Church, that I verily thought, but very few will regard what I said. But when I once at­tempted it, God convinced me of this Errour, and shewed me how little Instru­ments signifie, when he will work: and that his Ministers and People were more humble to hear the meanest of their Brethren, than I before believed. At last the workings of my earnest Desire, and the apprehension of my Duty, to do my best, and leave the Success to God, engaged me as followeth.

§ 25. I first began in Conference and Writing to Reverend Mr. Anthony Burgess, and some others, to put the main Question, Whether all Church Government be not, as Camero holdeth, only Perswasive, not by private, but publick or authorized Doctoral Perswasion, and so can work on none but the Conscientious or Assenters? And whether the usurpation of a strictly Legislative and Judicial Power (save only to judge what we are to execute), or a power of binding Dissenters, even Clave errante, especially binding Magistrates to execute by Corporal Penalties and Mulcts, and other Punishments, Eo nomine, because by Excommunication the Church hath punished them, I say, whether this be not a robbing the Magistrate of his Power, and making the Exercise of the Keys, to be too like a Coercive Secular Judgment, and so the Ground of all the Quarrels in the Church? For I saw plainly that the Papists, and those Prelates and Presbyterians who are for such an unexamined Judicial Power, do but strive for that which belongeth to none of them all. Upon the raising of these doubts I was suspected to be an Erastian, and had no other Answer, or Satisfaction: But the study of the Point somewhat cleared my own Judgment.

[Page 147]§ 26. Next this I wrote to Reverend and Judicious Mr. Richard Vines, about an attempt for Concord with all, but especially the Episcopal Party: And also about Lay-Elders; and his Judgment fully concurred with me, and (besides others) he wrote to me the following Letter.

SIR,

THough I should have desired to have understood your thoughts about the Point of Sa­criledge, that so I might have formed up my thoughts into some better order and clear­er issue than I did in my last: yet to shew unto you how much I value this Correspondence with you, I am willing to make some return to your self. And first touching the School­master intended, &c.—The Accommodation you speak of is a great and a good work for the gaining into the Work such useful parts and interests as might very much heal the Discord, and unite the strength of Men to oppose destructive ways, and in my opinion more feasible with those men than any other, if they be moderate and godly: for we differ with them rather about some Pinacles of the Temple, than the Foundation or Abbuttresses thereof. I would not have much time spent in a formula of Doctrine or Worship: for we are not much distant in them, and happily no more than with one another. But I would have the Agree­ment attempted in that very thing which chiefly made the Division, and that is Government; heal that breach and heal all; there begin, and therein labour all you can. What influence this may have upon others, I know not, in this exulceration of mens minds: but the Work speaks it self good, and your Reasons for the attempting of it are very considerable. For the Assem­bly, you know, they can meddle with just nothing but what is sent unto them by Parlia­ment, or one House thereof (as the Order faith) and for that reason never took upon them to intermeddle therein. What they do in such a thing, must be done as private persons, and not as in the capacity of Assembly-men, except it come to them recommended by the Parlia­ment. The great business is to find a temperament in Ordination and Government, in both which the Exclusion or Admittance of Presbyters (dicis Causa) for a shadow, was not regular; and no doubt the Presbyters ought and may both teach and govern, as men that must give account of Souls. For that you say of every particular Church having many Presbyters, it hath been considered in our Assembly, and the Scripture speaks fair for it, but then the Church and City was of one Extent: No Parishes or Bounds assigned out to particular men (as now) but the Minister preached in circuita, or in common, and stood in relation to the Churches as to one Church, though meeting haply in divers houses or places (as is still the manner of some Cities in the Low Countries.) If you will follow this model, you must lay the City all into one Church particular, and the Villages half a dozen of them into a Church: which is a business here in England of vast design and consequence. And as for that you say of a Bishop over many Presbyters, not over many Churches; I believe no such Bishops will please our men: but the Nation, as you conceive it, hath been, and is the Opinion of learned Men. Grotius in his Commentary on the Acts, in divers places, and particularly cap. 17. saith, That as in every particular Synagogue (many of which was in some one City) there was [...], such was the Primitive Bishop: and doubtless the first Bishops were over the Community of Presbyters, as Presbyters in joint relation to one Church or Region; which Region being upon the increase of Believers, divided into more Churches, and in after times those Churches assigned to particular men: yet he, the Bishop, con­tinued Bishop over them still. For that you say, he had a negative voice, that's more than ever I saw proved, or ever shall, I believe for the first two hundred years; and yet I have laboured to enquire into it. That makes him Angelus princeps, not Angelus praeses, as Dr. Reignolds saith; Calvin denies that, and makes him Consul in Senatu. Or as the Speaker in the House of Parliament, which as I have heard that D. B. did say, was but to make him Foreman of the Iury. Take heed of yielding a Negative Voice. As touching the introduction of Ruling Elders, such as are modelled out by Parliament, my judgment is sufficiently known: I am of your judgment in the Point. There should be such El­ders as have power to preach as well as rule: I say power; but how that will be affe­cted here I know not, except we could or would return to the primitive nature and constitu­tion of particular Churches: and therefore it must be helped by the combination of more Churches together into one as to the matter of Government, and let them be still distinct as to Word and Sacraments. That is the easiest way of Accommodation that yet occurs to my thoughts. Sir, I fear I trouble you too long, but it is to shew how much I value you and your Letters to me; for which I thank you, and rest

Yours in the best Bonds, R. Vines.

[Page 148]§ 27. Something also I wrote to Reverend and Learned Mr. Th. Gataker, whose Judgment I had seen before in his own Writings: And having the encouragement of such Consent, I motioned the Business to some London Ministers to have it set on foot among themselves, because if it came from them, it would be much more ta­king than from us: But they thought it unfit to be managed there, for several Rea­sons, and so we must try it, or only sit still and wish well as we had done.

§ 28. Next this, the state of my own Congregation, and the necessity of my Duty, constrained me to make some Attempt. For I must administer the Sacra­ments to the Church, and the ordinary way of Examining every Man before they come, I was not able to prove necessary, and the People were averse to it: So that I was forced to think of the matter more seriously; and having determined of that way which was, I thought, most agreeable to the Word of God, I thought, if all the Ministers did accord together in one way, the People would much more ea­sily submit, than to the way of any Minister that was singular. To attempt their Consent I had two very great Encouragements: The one was an honest, humble, tractable People at home, engaged in no Party, Prelatical, Presbyterian, or Inde­pendant; but loving Godliness and Peace, and hating Schism as that which they perceived to tend to the ruine of Religion. The other was a Company of honest, godly, serious, humble Ministers in the Country where I lived, who were not one of them (that Associated) Presbyterian or Independant, and not past four or five of them Episcopal; but dis-engaged faithful Men. At a Lecture at Worcester I first procured a Meeting, and told them of the Design, which they all approved: They imposed it upon me, to draw up a Form of Agreement. The Matter of it was to consist [So much of the Church Order and Discipline, as the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Independant are agreed in, as belonging to the Pastors of each particular Church]. The Reasons of this were, 1. Because we all believed that the practice of so much as all are agreed in, would do very much to the Order and Reformation of the Chur­ches; and that the controverted Parts are those of least necessity or weight. 2. Be­cause we would not necessitate any Party to refuse our Association, by putting in a word which he disowneth: for we intended not to dispute one another into near­er Agreement in Opinions, but first to agree in the practice of all that which was owned by us all.

According to their desire I drew up some Articles for our Consent which might engage us to the most effectual practice of so much Discipline as might reduce the Churches to order, and satisfie Ministers in administring the Sacraments, and stop the more religious People from Separation, to which the unre [...]ormedness of the Churches through want of Discipline inclined them, and yet might not at all con­tradict the Judgments of any of the three Parties: And I brought in the Reasons of the several Points: which after sufficient Deliberation and Examination (with the alteration of some few words) were consented to by all the Ministers that were present; and after several Meetings we subscribed them, and so associated for our mutual help and concord in our Work. The Ministers that thus associated were for Number, Parts and Piety, the most considerable part of all that County, and some out of some neighbouring Counties that were near us. There was not, that I know of, one through Presbyterian among them, because there was but one such that I knew of in all the County, and he lived somewhat remote: Nor did any Independant subscribe, save one; for there were, (that I knew of) but five or six in the County, and two of the weightiest of them approved it in words, and the rest withdrew from our Debates, and gave us no reason against any thing pro­posed. Those that did not come near us, nor concur with us, were all the weaker sort of Ministers, whose Sufficiency or Conversation was questioned by others, and knew they were of little esteem among them, and were neither able or willing to exercise any Discipline on their Flocks: As also some few of better parts of the Episcopal way, who never came near us, and knew not of our Proposals, or resol­ved to do nothing, till they had Episcopacy restored; or such whose Judgments esteemed such Discipline of no great necessity: And one or two very worthy Mi­nisters, who approved of our Agreement, subscribed it not, because they had a People so very Refractory, that they knew they were not able to bring them to sub­mit to it.

Having all agreed in this Association, we proposed publickly to our People so much as required their Consent and Practice, and gave every Family a Copy in Print, and a sufficient time to consider and understand it, and then put it in Execu­tion; and I published it with the Reasons of it, and an Explication of what seem­ed doubtful in it, in a Book which I called [Christian Concord] which pleased me, and displeased others.

[Page 149]§ 29. There were at that time, two sorts of Episcopal Men, who differed from each other, more than the more moderate sort differed from the Presbyterians. The one was the old common moderate sort, who were commonly in Doctrine Calvinists, and took Episcopacy to be necessary ad bene esse Ministerii & Ecclesiae, but not ad esse; and took all those of the Reformed that had not Bishops, for true Churches and Ministers, wanting only that which they thought would make them more com­pleat. The other sort followed Dr. H. Hammond, and (for ought we knew) were very new, and very few: Their Judgment was (as he afferteth in Annot. in Act. 11. & in Desertat.) that all the Texts of Scripture which speak of Presbyters, do mean Bishops, and that the Office of Subject-Presbyters was not in the Church in Scripture Times, (but before Ignatius wrote it was) but that the Apostles planted in every Church only a Bishop with Deacons, but with this intent (asserted but never proved) that in time, when the Christians multiplied, these Bishops (that had then but one Church a piece) should ordain Subject-Presbyters under them, and be the Pastors of many Churches: And they held that Ordination without Bishops was invalid, and a Ministry so ordained was null, and the Reformed Church­es that had no Bishops, nor Presbyters ordained by Bishops, were no true Church­es, though the Church of Rome be a true Church, as having Bishops: These Men in Doctrine were such as are called Arminians: And though the other sort were more numerous and elder, and some of them said that Dr. H. Hammond had given away their Cause (because hereby he confesseth that de facto, the Churches were but Congregational or Parochial, and that Every Church had a Bishop, and no Subject Presbyters were ordained by the Apostles, or in Scripture time, which is almost all that the Presbyterians desire) yet Dr. H. Hammond and the few that at first followed him, by their Parts and Interest in the Nobility and Gentry, did car­ry it at last against the other Party. Now in my Christian Concord, I had confes­sed that it was only the moderate ancient Episcopal Party which I hoped for Agreement with; it being impossible for the Presbyterian and Independant Party to associate with them that take them and their Churches, and all the reformed Ministers and Churches that have not Episcopal Ordination, for null: And know­ing that this Opinion greatly tended to the Division of the Christian Churches, and gratifying the Papists, and offending the Protestants, I spake freely against it, which alienated that party from me.

Having setled our Associations Dr. Warmerstry (after Dean of Worcester) and Dr. Thomas Good (after Prebend of Hereford) were willing to have a Conference with us, in order to bring in the Episcopal Party in Shropshire (where they then lived) to our Association: Accordingly we met with them at Cleobury in Shrop­shire; and our Articles were read over by Dr. Warmerstry, and examined one by one, and in the conclusion they professed their very good likeing of our Design, and that they purposed to join with us, but they thought it not meet at that pre­sent, being but two, to subscribe their full Assent lest it should seem over hasty to their Brethren, and should hinder the Association, which they Desired to promote: But yet at present they subscribed as followeth:

§ 30. WE whose Names are under written, having had Conference with divers of our Brethren of the Ministry of Worcestershire, concerning their Agreement and Association, for the promoting of Peace and Unity, and Reformation of their respective Congregations, according to the Word of God, do by these Presents approve of their Chri­stian Intendments in the general, as being such that in Reference to the present Condition of the Church, we conceive to conduce very much to the Glory of God, the Promotion of Holyness, the restraint of Sin, the removing of Scandal, and the setling of God's People in Christian Unity and Concord. Witness our Hands, the Day and Year above written,

THO. WARMESTRY. THO. GOOD.

(This is that Dr. Warmestry, who, when I was silenced by Bishop Morley, and he made Dean of Worcester, came purposely to my Flock, to preach those vehement tedious Invectives of which more hereafter.)

31. In our Association we agreed upon a Monthly Meeting at certain Market-Towns for Conference about such Cases of Discipline as required Consultation [Page 150] and Consent: Accordingly at Evesham and Kiderminster they were constantly kept up: In the Town where I lived we had once a Month a Meeting of Three Ju­stices of the Peace (who lived with us) and three or four Ministers (for so ma­ny we were in the Parish, my self and Assistants) and three or four Deacons, and twenty of the ancient and godly Men of the Congregation, who pretended to no Office, as Lay-Elders, but only met as the Trustees of the whole Church, to be present and secure their Liberties; and do that which any of the Church might do; and they were chosen once a year hereunto (as [...] Grotius de Imperio sum [...] adviseth); because all the People could not have leisure to meet so oft, to debate things which required their Consent: At this meeting we admonished those that remained impenitent in any scandalous Sin, after more private Admonition be­fore two or three; and we did with all possible tenderness persuade them to repen­tance, and labour to convince them of their Sin and danger; and pray with them if they consented: And if they could not be prevailed with to repent, we required them to meet before all the Ministers at the other monthly Meeting, which was always the next Day after this parochial Meeting. There we renewed our Admo­nitions and Exhortations, and some Ministers of other Parishes laboured to set it home, that the Offender might not think it was only the Opinion of the Pastor of the Place, and that he did it out of ill Will or Partiality. If he yielded penitent­ly to confess his Sin and promise Amendment (more or less publickly according to the Nature of the Scandal) we then joined in Prayer for his true Repentance and Forgiveness, and exhorted him farther to his Duty for the future: But if he still continued obstinately impenitent, by the Consent of all, he was by the Pastor of the Place to be publickly admonished and prayed for by that Church, usually three several days together; and if still he remained Impenitent, the Church was re­quired to avoid him, as a Person unfit for their Communion; as is more fully opened in the Articles of our Agreement.

§ 32. This monthly Meeting of the Ministers proved of exceeding great Benefit and comfort to us; where when we had dined together, we spent an Hour or two in Disputation on some Question which was chosen the Week before; and when the Respondent and Opponent had done their Part, they were pleased to make it my Work to determine: And after that, if we had any Church-business (as aforesaid) we consulted of it. And many Ministers met with us, that were not of our Association, for the Benefit of these Disputations. I must confess this was the comfortablest time of all my Life, through the great delight I had in the Company of that Society of honest, sincere, laborious, humble Ministers of Christ: Every Week on the Lecture Day I had the pleasant Company of many of them at my House, and every Month at our appointed Meeing I had the Compa­ny of more; I so well knew their Self-denial, Impartiality, Peaceableness, and exemplary Lives, together with their Skill and faithful Diligence for the Good of Souls (however almost all of them have been since silenced and cast out) that its pleasant to me to remeber the Converse I had with them; so aimable are sincere and upright Men, whose singleness of Heart doth imitate the State of the primitive Believers, when proud, self-seeking reserved Hypocrites, do turn their best Endowments into a Reproach.

§ 33. When Dr. Warmestry and Dr. Good had subscribed as above, a while after Dr. Warmestry consulted with his London Brethren: and he received a Paper of Ani­madversions (not against the Articles of our Agreement, but) against my Expli­cation of them, and my Passages which oppose those Episcopal Divines who deny the Ministry and Churches which have not Prelatical Ordination: These Animad­versions he sent to me with a Letter, which signified his desire of Peace in general, but that he must not strike a League with Faction, &c. There was no Name to this Paper, but long time after I learnt that it was Mr. Peter Gunning's, afterwards Bishop of Ely. I presently wrote an Answer to it, and offered the Doctor to send it him, if he would tell me the Author. Because it is too long to be inserted here, I have put the Paper and Answer together in the End,In the Ap­pend [...]x. where you may read them.

After this I received from Sir Ralph Clare these ensuing Papers, as from some Courtiers (which are of the same Strain with Dr. Gunning's); which with my brief Answer I adjoin.

SIR,

THE Influence and Power you have in the present Pastor of your Church (who is much famed abroad, and had in a reverend Esteem as well for Piety of Life, as for his Learning, Moderation, and desiring the Peace of the Church) gives Encourage­ment to your old Acquaintance, and Associate in that One-glorious Court of England to desire the Favour that this inclosed Paper may be presented to his Christian View and Con­sideration; presuming so great is his Charity, that he will not leave any wounded Soul unhealed, wherein he is able to bestow his Balm. In this he extends not his Charity alone as to a single Person, but (in me) there are many more of your Friends included; who would have appeared in Person, or met in Conference, were is not our Mansions are at too great a distance, and the Malignity and Iealousy of Times challenges Retirements, rather than Assemblies.

It is not civil in us to chalk the Method of Answering the Queries; yet for Easement Sake and Brevity, it will be satisfactory his free Concession of any Proposals in the Affirmative to be true without any Enlargement of Reasons; and for those Queries which may and must admit Divisions, Distinctions, and Discourse on the Case, let the reverend Gentleman use his own Form, Iudgment and Discretion; as believing he will proceed with such Candor and Impartiality, as becometh a Man of his Calling and Eminency; waving all By-Inter­ests and Relations to any Party or Faction, either regnant or eclipst; which Act will de­servedly heighten the high Esteem he is valued at, and your self by this Honour done, en­gage me and many more of your old Friends (in me) to subscribe our selves

Your Servants, Theophilus Church. (A feigned Name)
April 20. 1655.

Certain Queries and Scruples of Conscience offered to some Learned Divines for Resolution and Satisfaction.

1. WHETHER may a Christian Magistrate tolerate Liberty of Conscience in Re­ligion and Church Discipline without Scandal?

2. Whether may and ought a tender Conscience exercise and use his Liberty and Freedom without Violence inforced by Superiors?

3. Whether in Matters of Government Ecclesiastical depending only of Fact, the gene­ral and perpetual Practice of the Church from Age to Age, be not a sufficient Evidence and Warrant of the Right, Truth, and certainty of the thing?

4. Whether the Vocation of Bishops be an Order Lawful in it self?

5. Whether the Regiment Ecclesiastical by Bishops hath not continued throughout the Chri­stian Church ever since the Apostles, untill Calvin's days? No Church Orthodox dis­senting.

6. Whether was there ever since the Apostle's days so much as one national Church go­verned by a Presbytery without a Bishop untill Calvin's Days? If so, where was the Ori­ginal? in what Place? by what Persons? of what continuance? and how was it lost, or changed into Episcopacy, and upon what Grounds or Motives?

7. Whether the present Ministry in the Church of England (as it now separated from their lawful Superiors or Bishops) be not Schismatical?

8. Whether all these Ministers that have taken the Oath of Canonical Obedience to their Bishops, and have backsliden and submitted to those Powers that violently deprived the said Bishops of their legal Powers and Iurisdictions, by yielding a voluntary Obedience to their Ordinances, are not under a high Censure of Perjury and Schism?

9. Whether those Ministers now pretended to be made and ordained in the Church of England only by their Fellow Ministers without a Bishop, be true Ministers or no; or else meer Lay Persons, and bold Usurpers of the Sacred Function and Order, like Corah and his Complices?

10. Whether all those Ministers which are now in actual possession of the late Incum­bents Parsonages and Cures of Souls (and deprived for their only adhering and assisting their late lawful Prince and their Governour, and also their Bishops) to whom they owed [Page 152] all Canonical Obedience) without and beside any Legal Induction or Admission, may not be re­puted as Intruders and false Shepherds?

11. Whether it had not been an excellent part of Christian Perfection, rather to endure passively lost of Liberty, Estate, and even of Life it self for the maintenance and defence of the Iust and Legal Rights invested in the Church, and the Bishops it's Superintendent Pa­stors, and the Liturgy and Service of the Church, than carnally for Self-interest and Ends, to comply and submit even against their knowing Consciences, to a violent and meer prevail­ing power and force in the abolishing of Episcopal Power, and the daily Prayers and Service used in the Church?

12. Whether all such Persons be not guilty of Schism and of Scandal given, which Com­municate and be present in such Ministers Congregations and Assemblies, whether in Church or in private Meetings, to hear their Prayers or Sermons, or receive their Sacraments accord­ing to the now present mode and form, more especially in the participation with them in the Sa­crament of the Eucharist? Or how far may a good Christian Communicate with such with­out just Scandal given or taken?

13. Whether it be lawful and just for any Orthodox Minister or Episcoparian to accept of any Benefice with Cure of Souls, as the state of the English Church now standeth visible and ruling, without guilt of Schism by compliance to their Form?

14. Whether as the Condition of the present Church of England is, The Ministers there­of may not legally, and so justifiably, exercise and use against the late Liturgy of the Church, there being no Statute Law prohibiting the same? And whether those that continue the Ob­servation of the late Directory be not perturbers of the Peace of the Church, especially since the limitation of trial by a pretended Legality and Command for its observance, is expired and not reconfirmed.

15. Whether the old Iewish Church had not set Forms of Prayer? whether St. John the Raptist our Saviour's Praecursor, and our blessed Saviour himself, taught not their Disciples set Forms of Prayers, and whether the Christian Church (especially since the time of Peace from the violence of Heathenish Persecution) had not, nor generally used set Forms of Pray­er? And whether the Ministers now ex tempore Prayers in the Church, be not as well a set Form of Prayers to the Auditors, whose Spirits are therein bounded, as any set Form of Prayer used in the Church?

16. Whether may a Christian, without Scandal given, appear to be a Godfather or God­mother to a Child in these New Assemblies, where the Minister useth his own Dictates and Prayers, and not of the ancient Liturgy, except the Words of Baptism, I Baptize thee (A. B.) in the Name of the Father, &c.

17. Whether any Supream Earthly Power or Powers Spiritual or Temporal, joint or se­parate, can alienate and convert to secular uses or imployments any Houses, Lands, Goods, or Things once devoted, offered and dedicated to God and his Church, without grand Sacri­ledge and Prophaneness; although by Corruption of Persons and Times they have been either superstitiously abused, or too prophanely employed, but rather to reduce them to their primitive Use and Donation?

18. Whether the ancient Fasting Days of the Week and Festivals of the Church, setled both by Provincial Synods in the Year 1562. and 1640. and confirmed by the then Regal Power, and also by several Statutes and Laws, ought not by all persons in Conscience to be still observed, until they be abrogated by the like Powers again? or how far the Liberty of Conscience therein may be used in observing or not observing them? the like for the usage of the Cross in Baptism, and the humble posture of Kneeling at the receiving of the blessed Sa­crament of the Lord's Supper?

19. Which way of security and peace of Conscience may a quiet Christian order and dispose himself, his Wife, Children and Family in his Duty and Service towards God, and enjoy the right use and benefit of the Sacraments and other holy Duties, as long as that part of the Catholick Church wherein he lives, is under persecution, and the visible Ruling Church therein is faln Schismatical, if not in many particulare Heretical?

May 14th, 1655. An Answer to the foregoing Questions, sent to Sir R. Clare.

Ad Quest. 1m. EIther that Conscience owneth the right Religion and Discipline only, or the right with some tolerable accidental Errours, or a wrong Religion and Discipline in the Substance. The first the Magistrate must not only tolerate, but promote. The second he must tolerate rather than do worse by suppressing it. The third he must suppress by all lawful means, and tolerate when he cannot help it, without a greater Evil. I suppose no Judicious Man will expect an exact Solution of so Comprehensive a Question in few words: And I find not that a large Discussion is now expected from me: There are four or five Sheets of my Manuscripts in some hands abroad on this Point, which may do more to­wards a satisfactory Solution, than these few words.

Ad 2m. Either the tender Conscience is in the right, or in the wrong: If in the wrong, the Magistrates Liberty will not make a Sin to be no Sin; but the Party is bound by God to rectifie his Judgment, and thereby his Practice. If in the right, it is a strange Question, Whether a Man may obey God, that hath the Magistrates leave, till he be enforced by Mens violence? Doth any doubt of it?

Ad 3m. Matter of Government depending only on Fact, is a Contradiction: Seeing Government consisteth in a Right, and the Exercise of it. I am not able therefore to understand this Question. Yet, if this may afford any help toward the Soluti­on, I affirm, That the general and perpetual practice of the Church from Age to Age, of a thing not forbidden by the Word of God, will warrant our imitation. I say [of a thing not forbidden] because it hath been the general and perpetual practice of the Church, to Sin, by vain Thoughts, Words, imperfect Duties, &c. wherein our imitation is not warrantable. The general and perpetual practice includeth the Apo­stles and that Age. But what is meant by [Evidencing the Right of a thing that de­pendeth only of Fact] or by [Evidencing the Truth and Certainty of a Fact by general and perpetual practice] (which is to prove idem per idem), I will not pre­sume that I understand.

Ad 4m. I know not what Bishops you mean. A Congregational Bishop oversee­ing the People is undoubtedly lawful: so is a Congregational Bishop, being Presi­dent of a Presbytery which is over that Congregation. Where many Congregati­onal Officers are associated, I do not think that a President for a time, or during his fitness, standing and fixed, is unlawful. The like I may say of a President of ma­ny of those Associations again associated, as in a Province or Diocess: And I be­lieve it were a very easie work for wise, godly, moderate men to agree about his Power: And I would not seem so censorious as to proclaim that England wanteth such, further than the actual want of such Agreement, or just endeavours there­to, doth proclaim it. I am satisfied also, that the Apostles themselves have de jure Successors in all that part of their work which is to be perpetuated, or continued till now; though not in their extraordinary Endowments and Priviledges. But if the sence of your Question be, Whether one Man may be the standing chief Governour of many particular Churches with their Officers, having either sole power of Ordination and Jurisdiction (as some would have) or a Negative Voice in both (as others) it would seem great arrogancy in me to be the confident Determiner of such a Question, which so wise, learned, godly sober Men, have said so much of on both sides already.

Ad 5m. 1. He that knows how short Church History is in these Matters for the first Age after the Apostles, at least, and hath read impartially what Gersom, Bucerus, Parker, Blondellus, Salmasius, Altare Damascen, have said on one side; and Saravia, Downham, Dr. Hammond, &c. on the other; would sure never expect that I should presume to pass any confident Sentence in the Point: And it's like he would be somewhat moderate himself.

2. I say as before, I know not what you mean by Bishops: I am confident that the Church was not of many Hundred years after Christ governed as ours was late­ly in England, by a Diocesan Bishop and a Chancellor, excluding almost all the Pres­byters.

3. Why do you say [Since the Apostles days,] when you before spoke of the [General and perpetual practice of the Church]?

[Page 154] Ad 6m. The word [National Church] admits of divers sences. As it was usu­ally understood in England, I think there was none for divers hundred years after Christ, either governed by Bishops or without them. They that will look after the most encouraging Presidents, must look higher than National Churches.

Ad 7m. The Question seems not to mean any particular truly-schismatical Party of Ministers, but the generality, that live not under the Bishops: and so I answer ne­gatively, waiting for the Accusers proof.

Ad 8m. 1. I know not what the Oath of Canonical Obedience is: therefore cannot give a full Answer. I know multitudes of Ministers ordained by Bishops, that never took any such Oath.

2. The Powers that violently took down the Bishops, were the Secular Powers: None else could use violence. And it were a strange Oath for a Man to swear that he would never obey the Secular Powers if they took down the Bishops, when the Holy Ghost would have us obey Heathen Persecutors.

3. If it were so great a Sin to obey those Powers, I conceive it must be so to the Laity as well as the Ministry: And I knew but few of the Episcopal Gentry or others called to it, that did refuse to take the Engagement to be true and faithful to that Power, when the Presbyters here accused durst not take it.

4. Most Presbyters that I know do perform all Ecclesiastical Matters upon sup­position of a Divine Direction, and not upon the Command of Humane Pow­ers.

Ad 9m. The Ordination of meer Presbyters is not null, and the Presbyters so or­dained now in England are true Presbyters, as I am ready to maintain. But wait for the Accuser's proof of the nullity.

Ad 10m. 1. This calls me to decide the Controversie about the late Wars, which I find not either necessary or convenient for me to undertake.

2. The like I must say of deciding the Legality of Inductions and Admis­sions.

3. If a worthy Man be cast out, had you rather that God's Worship were neg­lected, and the People perished for lack of Teaching, then any other Man should be set over them, though one that had no hand in casting him out? Must the People needs have him or none as long as he lives? Was it so when Bishops were cast out heretofore by Emperours or Councils? I think may take the Guidance of a destitute People, so I hinder not a worthy Man from recovering his Right.

4. I never desired that any should be Excluded but the Unworthy,(the Insuffici­ent, or Scandalous, or grosly Negligent): And I know but too few of the Ejected that are not such: And this Question doth modestly pass over their Case; or else I should have said somewhat more to the Matter.

Ad 11m. 1. It is a necessary Christian Duty to see that we do not the least Evil for our own safety: And all God's Ordinances must be maintained as far as we can: But as I before disclaimed the Arrogance of determining the Controversie a­bout our Diocesan Episcopacy, so I think not every Legal Right of the Church (which it hath by Man's Law), nor every thing in our Liturgy, to be worthy so stiff a maintenance, as to the loss of Life; nor the loss of Peace: Nor did the late King think so, who would have let go so much. But I think that they that did this [carnally for Self-interest and Ends] did grievously sin, whether the thing it self were good or bad: especially if they went against their Consciences.

2. I think there is no unlawful Prayers or Service now offered to God in the Church ordinarily, where I have had opportunity to know it. And I think we pray for the same things, in the main, as we were wont to do; and offer God the same Service: And that Mr. Ball and others against the Separatists, have sufficiently proved, that it is no part of the Worship, but an Accident of it-self indifferent, that I use These Words, or Those, a Book or no Book, a Form premeditated, or not. And no Separatist hath yet well answered them.

Ad 12m. Such as you described you can hardly know, and therefore not know­ingly scruple their Communion; for a Man's ends and knowledge are out of your sight: You can hardly tell who did this [against Knowledge and Conscience, car­nally, for Self interest]. But if you mean it of your ordinary Ministers and Con­gregations, I am past doubt that you are Schismatical, if not worse, you avoid the Assemblies, and Ordinances mentioned, upon such Accusations and Suppositi­ons: And I shall much easier prove this, than you will make good your Separa­tion.

[Page 155] Ad 13m. Permitting you to suppose [Orthodox] and [Episcoparian] to be the same, at present; you may easily know that the Episcopal are not all of a Mind, but differ, I think, much more among themselves, than the moderate Episcopal and Presbyterians differ: some maintaining that the Ordination of meer Presby­ters is not null, with divers the like things; which the novel sort doth disclaim. The old Episcopal Protestant may not only take a Cure of Souls now, without any Contradiction to his Principles, but may comfortably Associate with the peaceable Ministry of the Land, and may not conscionably avoid it. The Novel sort be­fore mentioned, ought to rectifie their mistakes, and so to take up their duty; but as they are, I see not how they can do it in consistency with their Principles, unless under the Jurisdiction of a Bishop.

Ad 14m. For the Point of the legality of the Liturgy, you call me to determine Cases in Law, which I find my self unfit for. And for the Directory, its Nature is (according to its Name) not to impose Words or Matter, nor bind by human Authority, but to direct Men how to understand God's Word concerning the Or­dering of his Worship. Now either it directeth us right or wrong: If wrong, we must not follow such Directions: If right, it's no unlawful disturbance of the Churches Peace to obey God's Word upon their Direction: Circumstances, where­in some place most of their Government, they very little meddle with. And in­deed I know but few that do much in the order of Worship eo Nomine because it is so in the Directory; but because they think it most agreeable to God's Word; or most tending to Concord, as things now stand. Would you have us avoid any Scripture or orderly Course, meerly because it is expressed in the Directory? And think you those are Ways of Peace?

Ad 15m. I think (on the Credit of others) that the Jewish Church had a Litur­gy; I am sure they had Forms of Praises and Prayer in some Cases. I know Christ taught his Disciples the Lord's Prayer, I will not determine whether as a Directory for Matter and Order, or whether as a Form of Words to be used, or when, or how oft used: I conjecture you regard the Judgment of Grotius, who saith in Matt. 6. 9. [ [...]: In hunc Sensum: Non enim praecipit Christus verba recitari, quod nec legimus Apostolos fecisse, quanquam id quoque fieri cum fructu potest sed materiam precum hinc promere.] i.e. Pray thus; that is, to this Sense: For Christ doth not command the saying of the Words, nor do we read that the Apostles did it, though that also may profitably be done; but hence to fetch the Matter of Prayer.] You know the Directory adviseth the use of the Words: And how it was that Iohn taught his Disciples to pray, I cannot tell; nor will herein pretend my self wiser than I am. The Example of the Primitive Church is never the more imita­ble for the Cessation of Persecution; and its Example before is most to be regard­ed, that being purest that is next the Fountain. We are sure that the Church long used extemporate Prayers, and its probable betimes, some Forms withal. I think they are strangely Dark and addicted to Extreams, that think either that no Forms are lawful, or that only prescribed or premiditated Forms are lawful. And if you will condemn all publick extemporate Prayers, you will err as grosly as they that will have no other.

Ad 16m. I know no necessity of any Godfather or Godmother, beside the Pa­rents, unless you will call those so, that in case of their necessary Absence are their Delegates. Nor do I know that ordinarily among us any Dictates or Prayers are used that a sober Christian hath the least reason to scruple Communion in. Will you have a Pastor that shall not speak in the Name of the People to God? or will you call his Prayers [his own] which he puts up by Virtue of his Office, accord­ing to God's Word?

Ad 17m. I think they cannot without Sacriledge make such Alienation; except where God's Consent can be proved. For Example; if the Ministers of the Church have full as much means given, as is fit for the Ends to which it is given, and yet the People will give more and more, to the Burden and ensnaring of the Church, and the impoverishing or ruin of the Common-wealth, here I think God consents not to accept that Gift, and therefore it was but an Offer, and not plenarily a Gift, for want of Acceptance; for he accepts not that which he prohibits. Here there­fore the Magistrate may restore this to its proper use. But whether this were any of the Case of these (Sacrilegious) Alienations too lately made in this Land, is a far­ther Question: I apprehend a deep Guilt of Sacriledge upon some.

Ad 18m. The Particulars here mentioned must be distinctly considered:

[Page 156]1. About Fasts and Feasts, the Question as referring to the Obligation of the Laws of the Land, is of the same Resolution as all other Questions respecting those Laws; which being a Case more out of my way, I shall not presume to deter­mine without a clearer Call. Only I must say that I see little Reason why those Men should think themselves bound in this, who yet suppose themselves loose from many other Laws, and who obey many of the Laws or Ordinances of the present Powers.

2. I much fear that not only the Querist, but many more are much ensnared in their Consciences, by misunderstanding the Nature and use of Synods. It's one thing for an Assembly of Bishops to have a superior Governing Power directly over all particular Churches and Bishops; and another thing for such an Assembly to have a Power of determining of things necessary for the Concord of the seve­ral Churches. I never yet saw it proved that Synods are over Bishops in a di­rect Governing Order, nor are called for such Ends; but properly in ordine ad Uni­tatem, and so oblige only (more than single Bishops) by Virtue of the General Precept, of maintaining Unity and Concord. This is the Opinion of the most learned Bishop and famous antiquary that I am acquainted with.

3. And then when the end ceases, the Obligation is at an End. So that this can now be no Law of Unity with us.

4. All human Laws die with the Legislator, farther than the surviving Rulers shall continue them. The Reason is drawn from the Nature of a Law, which is to be jussum Majestatis, in the Common wealth, and every where to be a sign of the Rectors Will de debito, vel constituendo, vel confirmando: Or his Authoritative Determination of what shall be due from us and to us. Therefore no Rector, no Law: and the Law that is, though made by the deceased Rector, is not his Law, but the present Rector's Law, formally; it being the signifier of his Will: And it is his Will for the continuance of it, that gives it a new Life. In all this I speak of the whole Summa potestas that hath the absolute Legislative Power. If therefore the Church Governors be dead that made these Laws, and no sufficient Power suc­ceeds them to continue these Laws and make them theirs, then they are dead with their Authors.

5. The present Pastors of the Church (though but Presbyters) are the true Guides of it, while Bishops are absent (and the true Guides conjunctly with the Bishops, if they were present, according to the Judgment of your own side). Whoever is the sole existent governing Power [...] may govern, and must be obeyed in things Lawful. Therefore you must (for all your unproved Accusation of Schism) obey them. The Death or Deposition of the Bishops depriveth not the Presbyters of that Power which they had before.

6. Former Church Governors have not Power to bind all that shall come after them, where they were before free: But their Followers are as free as they were.

7. The Nature of Church Canons is to determine of Circumstances only for a present time, place or occasion, and not to be universal standing Laws, to all Ages of the Church: For if such Determinations had been fit, God would have made them himself, and they would have been contained in his perfect Word. He gives not his Legislative Power to Synods or Bishops.

8. Yet if your Conscience will needs persuade you to use those Ceremonies, you have no ground to separate from all that will not be of your Opinion.

9. For the Cross, the Canons require only the Minister to use it, and not you: and if he do not, that's nothing to you.

10. Have you impartially read what is written against the Lawfulness of it, by Amesius's fresh Suit, Bradshaw, Parker, and others: If you have: you may at least see this, that it's no fit matter to place the Churches Unity or Uniformity in: and they that will make such Laws for Unity go beyond their Commission. Church Governors are to determine the Circumstances pro loco & tempore in parti­cular, which God hath in Word or Nature made necessary in genere, and left to their Determination. But when Men will presume beyond this, to determine of things not indeed circumstantial, or no way necessary in genere nor left to their Determination (as to institute new standing Symbols in and with God's Symbols or Sacraments, to be engaging Signs to engage us to Christ, and to Work Grace on the Soul as the Word and Sacraments do, that is by a moral Operation) and then will needs make these the Cement of Unity; this is it that hath been the Bane of Unity, and Cause of Divions.

[Page 157]11. Kneeling at the Sacrament is a Novelty introduced many hundred years after Christ, and contrary to such Canons and Customs of the Church, to which for Antiqui [...]y and Universality, you owe much more respect, than to the Canons of the late Bishops in England.

12. If your General Rule hold that you stand bound by all Canons, not repeal­ed by equal Power, you have a greater burden on your back than you are aware of, which if you bore indeed, you would know how little this usurped Legis­lative Power befriends the Church: And among others, you are bound not to kneel in the Church on any Lord's Day, in Sacrament or Prayer. Grotius de Imperio Sumpotest. would teach much more Moderation in these Matters than I here per­ceive.

Ad Q. 19m. 1. It's too much Self-conceitedness and Uncharitableness to pass so bold a Censure as your Supposition doth contain, of the visible ruling Church be­ing Schismatical, and so Heretical. Which is the ruling Church? I know none in England besides Bishops that pretend to rule any but their own Provinces; and but few that pretend Order to Regiment. Perhaps when the Schism and Herefie come to be opened, it will not be found to lye where you imagin, nor so easily pro­ved as rashly affirmed, or intimated.

2. Do not be too sensible of Persecution, when Liberty of Conscience is so pro­claimed, though the Restriction be somewhat on your side. O the difference of your Persecution, and theirs that suffered by you!

3. The only conscionable and safe way for the Church and your own Souls, is to love, long for, pray, and consult for Peace. Close in the unanimous practice of so much as all are agreed in: In amicable Meetings endeavour the healing of all breaches: Disown the ungodly of all Parties: Lay by the new violent Opinions inconsistant with Unity. I expect not that this advice should please the preju­diced: But that it's the only safe and comfortable way, is the Confident Opi­nion of

Your Brother, Richard Baxter

All the Disturbance I had in my own Parish was by Sir Ralph Clare's refusing to Communicate with us, unless I would give it him kneeling on a distinct Day, and not with those that received it fitting. To which Demand I gave him this follow­ing Answer.

SIR,

UPon Consultation with others and my own Conscience, I return this Answer to your last motion; beseeching you to believe that it had been more plea­sing, if it would have stood with the pleasing of God and any own Consci­ence.

1. In general it is my resolution to be so far from being the Author of any Di­visions in any part of the Church of Christ, as that I shall do all that lawfully I can to avoid them.

2. I am so far from the Judgment and Practices of the late Prelates of England, in point of compelling all to obey or imitate them in gestures and other indifferent things, on pain of being deprived of God's greatest Ordinances (which are not in­differents), beside the ruine of their Estates, &c. that I would become all things (lawful) to all Men for their good, and as I know that the Kingdom of God standeth not in such things, so neither would I shut any out of his visible King­dom for such things; as judging that our Office is to see God's Law obeyed as far as we can procure it, and not to be Law-gives to the Church our selves, and in Circumstantials to make no more Determinations (than are necessary; left they prove but Engines to ensnare Mens Consciences, and to divide the Church. And as I would impose no such things on other Churches if I had power, so neither will I do it on this Church of which I have some oversight.

3. More particularly, I am certain that sitting in the receiving of the Lord's Supper is lawful: or else Christ and his Apostles, and all his Churches for many hundred years after him did sin, which cannot be. And I take it to be intolerable arrogan­cy [Page 158] and unmannerliness (to speak easily) to call that unreverence and sawciness, (as many do) which Christ and the Apostles and all the Church so long used with one consent. He better knew what pleaseth himself than we do: The vain pretended difference between the Apostles Gesture and ours, is nothing to the matter: He that sitteth on the Ground, sitteth as well as he that sitteth on a Stool: And if any difference were, it was their Gesture that seems the more homely: and no such difference can be pretended in the Christian Churches many hundred years after. And I think it is a naked pretence (having no shew of reason to co­ver it) of them that against all this will plead a necessity of kneeling, because of our unworthiness: For, 1. The Churches of so long time were unworthy as well as we. 2. We may kneel as low as the Dust (and on our bare knees, if we please) immediately before in praying for a blessing and for the pardon of our sins, and as soon as we have done. 3. Man must not by his own Conceits make those things necessary to the Church, which Christ and his Church for so long thought unne­cessary. 4. On this pretence we might refuse the Sacrament it self: for they are more unworthy to eat the Flesh of Christ, and to drink his blood, than to sit at his Table. 5. The Gospel is Glad Tidings; the Effects of it are Faith and Peace and Joy: the Benefits are to make us one with Christ, and to be his Spouse and Mem­bers: the work of it is the joyful Commemoration of these Benefits, and living in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost: And the Sacramental Signs are such as suit the Benefits and Duties. If therefore Christ have called us by his Ex­ample, and the Example of all his Church, to sit with him at his Table to repre­sent Our Union, Communion, and joyful redeemed State, and our everlasting sit­ting with him at his Table in his Kingdom, it as little beseems us to reject this Mercy and Duty, because of our Unworthiness, as to be our own Lawgivers. And on the like Reasons men might say, [I will not be united to thee, nor be a Member of thy Body, or married to thee, nor sit with thee on thy Throne (Rev. 3. 21.) according to thy Promise, because it would be too great sawciness in me]. Gospel Mercies, and Gospel Duties, and Signs, must be all suited, and so Christ hath done them, and we may not undo them.

4. I must profess that upon such Considerations, I am not certain that sitting is not of commanded Necessity (as I am sure it is lawful); nor am I certain that kneeling in the Act of Receiving, when done of choice, is not a flat sin. For I know it is not only against Scripture Example (where though Circumstances ap­parently occasional bind not, as an upper Room, &c. yet that's nothing to others) but also it is against the Canons of Councils, yea a General Council (at Trull, in Constantinople) and against so concurrent a Judgment and Practice of the Church for many hundred years, that it seems to fight with Vincentius Lerinens. Catholick Rule, quod semper, ubique & ab omnibus receptum, &c. Let them therefore justifie kneeling as lawful that can, for I cannot; and therefore dare not do that which shall be an owning of it, when we may freely do otherwise.

5. Yet for all this, I so much incline to Thoughts of Peace, and Closure with others, that I will not say that sitting is of necessity, nor that kneeling is unlaw­ful (unless where other Circumstances make it so) nor condemn any that differ from me herein: Yea, if I could not otherwise Communicate with the Church in the Sacrament, I would take it kneeling myself, as being certain that the Sacra­ment is a Duty, and not certain that kneeling is a sin: and in that Case I believe it is not.

6. As for them that think kneeling a Duty, because of the Canons of the late Bishops enjoyning it, I have more to say against their Judgment than this Paper will contain. Only in a word, 1. If it be the Secular Powers establishing, those Canons that binds their Consciences, Why do they not obey the present Secular Powers in all other things? It is known the King consented to relax this: And how­ever, this is little to them that go on the Ground of Divine or Ecclesiastical Right. And if we must so plunge our selves into Enquiries after the Rights of Secular Go­vernours, before we can know whether to stand or set at the Sacrament, we are all uncertain what to do in greater Matters: for there are as apparent grounds for our uncertainty of five hundred years old and more, which this is no place to dive into. And it would be as unlawful on this ground to read any other Psalm or Chapter, but what was of old appointed for the Day, as to forbear kneeling at the Sacrament. And perhaps on the Opponents grounds, it would be still as sinful to restrain a Child or Servant from Dancing on the Lord's Day. And if it be Ec­clesiastical Authority that they stick at, that must be derived from Christ, and so Originally Divine, or it is none. And then (not to wade so unseasonably into [Page 159] the main Controversie), 1. Before they have proved their Legislative Authority; 2. And that this Congregation is Iure Divino part of their Charge, and under their Jurisdiction; 3. And that they had power to contradict the Examples of Christ and his Apostles herein, and the constant practice of the Primitive Church, and the Canons of Councils, even General Councils; 4. And that their Canons are yet in force against all these; I say before all this be well done, we shall find that there must go more than a slight Supposition to the making good of their Cause. Ac­cording to their own Principles, a lower Power cannot reverse the Acts of a high­er. But the General Councils Nice and Constantinople that forbad Kneeling on any Lord's Day, was a higher Power than the English Convocation: Ergo, The English Convocation cannot Repeal its Acts. (Though for my own part I think that neither of their Acts do need any Repeal to Null them to us, in such Cases). 5. Besides this; if these Canons bind Conscience; yet, it is either by the Autho­rity that Enacted them, or by the Authority of the present Church-Governours that impose them. If old Canons bind, without or against the present Power, then the same Canon that forbiddeth Kneeling bindeth, and many an hundred more, a great part of which are now made no Conscience of: If it be the present Autho­rity that is above the Ancient, then. 1. They that pretend to such Authority over this Congregation should produce and exercise it: For if we know them not, not receive any Commands from them, we are capable of no Disobedience to them. 2. And in the mean time, We that are in the place must take it as our Charge; or do the Work, or for ought I know, it will in most Places be undone: For the Authority is for the Work. 3. We use to take it for the great partiality (at least) of the Church of Rome, that will be judged by none but the present Church, that is, themselves, when we would be tried by the Scripture or the Ancient Church. In a word, I do not think that when Circumstances tending to Order and Decen­cy are so mutable, that God ever gave power to any Bishops to tie all Congrega­tions and Ages to this or that Sacrament Gesture; nor at all to make them so neces­sary, as that Bodily Punishment or Excommunications should be inflicted on the Neglecters of them. And I think that Calling which hath no better Work than this to do, is not worth the regarding.

And here I should propound to the contrary-minded one Question, Whether if a Bishop should command them to stand or sit, they would do it? Yea; or if a Convocation commanded it? If they say Yea; then must they lay by all their Arguments from pretended irreverence to prove Sitting evil: for I hope they would not be irreverent, nor do evil at the command of a Bishop or Convocation: And then let our Authority (from Scripture Example and the Universal Church, and a General Council, and the present Secular Power; and the late Assembly and Parliaments, and the present Pastors or Presbyters of the Congregations) I say, let all this be set against the present Countermand of I know not who, nor for what Reason, as being not visible. But if they say, They would not obey the Bishops if they forbad them Kneeling, then let them justifie us that obey them not when they command us to Kneel, having so much as is expressed to the contrary.

Thus Sir, I have first given you my Reasons about the Gesture it self. And of putting it into each Persons hands, I have thus much more to say; 1. I know no­thing to oblige me to it. 2. Christ himself did otherwise, as appeareth in Matth. 26. 26, 27. [For ( [...]); take ye, eat ye, drink ye all of it] doth shew that it was given to them all in general, and not to each man singly. 3. And in this also Antiquity is on my side, the contrary being much later. More Reasons I have that I shall not now trouble you with.

To this I may well add, That no Man can have any Rational pretence (that I know of) against the Receiving of the Sacrament upon such a General Delivery. 1. Because the contrary was never yet pleaded necessary Iure Divino that I know of. 2. And if it were a Sin, it would be the Ministers Sin so to deliver it, and not theirs, who as they have not the Rule of his Actions, so they shall not Answer for them. Having thus told you my thoughts of the Matters in doubt, I shall next tell you my purpose as to your Motion.

1. I did never hitherto, to my remembrance, refuse to give the Sacrament to any one, meerly because they would not take it Sitting or Standing; nor did ever forbid or repel any on that account; nor ever mean to do. If any of my Charge shall take it Standing or Kneeling, I shall not forbid them on any such account.

[Page 160]2. If they further expect that I should put it into each Man's hands individual­ly, I may well expect the liberty of guiding my own Actions, according to my own Conscience, if I may not guide theirs: It is enough that in such Cases they will refuse to be Ruled by me; they should not also usurp the ruling of me: but let us be equal, and let me have my liberty, as I am willing to let them have theirs; and if I sin they are not guilty of it: Nor have they any ground to refuse the Sacrament rather than so take it.

3. Yet if any of my Pastoral Charge shall be unsatisfied, if they will but hear my Reasons first, and if those Reasons convince them not, if they will profess, that they think it a Sin against God for them to Receive the Sacrament unless it be put into their hands Kneeling, and Ergo that they dare not in Conscience take it otherwise, I do purpose to condescend to their Weakness, and so to give it them. So that no one of them shall be ever able to say, that I wronged a truly tender Con­science, or deprived them of that holy Ordinance. My Reasons are, because I take not their Errours to be so heinous a thing, as to deserve their total Exclusion from the Sacrament. Nor do I suppose it a Sin in me so far to yield to them in case of such Weakness. Though I know Inconveniencies will follow, which they, and not I, are guilty of. And thus much, as far as is necessary, I should make known.

4. But then these Persons must not expect that I should never give them my Judgment and Reasons against their Opinion: for that were to cease teaching them the Truth, as well as to yield to their Errours.

5. And I shall expect that at the first Receiving they will openly profess that they take not the Bread for the Substantial Body of Christ, nor Worship the Bread.

6. But as for those that are not of my Pastoral Charge, I must say more, whe­ther they live in this Parish or another; Either they are such as are Members of some other particular Church, or of none. For the former sort, 1. Ordinarily it is fit and necessary that they Receive the Sacrament of their own Pastor, and in that particular Church of which they are Members; or else how are they Mem­bers of it? 2. And in Extraordinary Cases, I shall not deny any of them the Sa­crament on these Conditions; 1. If they bring Certificates from the Pastor under whose Guidance they are, that they are of his Flock, and walk as Christians, sup­posing the Pastor faithful that certifieth it. 2. Or if they do not this, yet if they will come to me, and acquaint me who is their Pastor, and what Church they are Mem­bers of, and what Reasons they had to withdraw from this Church, I shall not refuse them, if their account be such as may justly satisfie.

But as for those of this Parish that have (after this two years Invitation and Expectation) refused to profess themselves to be Members of this particular Church, and to take me for their Teacher or Pastor, and yet are not Members of any other Church, nor under any particular Pastor and Discipline, I shall de­sire to speak with them before I give them the Sacrament. And if they can give me any tolerable Reason of it, I shall willingly receive it, and if they prove the blame to be in me, I shall endeavour to reform it. But if they give me no suffi­cient reason, I cannot admit such to the Lord's Supper (specially ordinarily and the multitude of them) for these Reasons following: 1. Because I take it to be a heinous, scandalous sin, to live from under Discipline, as a Stragler and in Disor­der, having no Pastor, nor being a Member of any particular Church: And therefore I dare not admit such till they repent, no more than I would do a Drun­kard or Adulterer. 2. I dare not be an Instrument of hindering Reformation, and the Execution of just Discipline, by gratifying the Unruly that fly from it, and set themselves again it. And as for all those that either will not give me an account, why they live from under Discipline, or can give no just account, yea, and those that think their own Reasons for it good, when I do not, or on any ground are from under my Pastoral Charge, without my Fault, I say, for all these, I dare not admit them ordinarily to the Sacrament, because I dare not spend so much time on them as is necessary for Preparation. I may not do it without some pre­vious Instruction; and I have so much more work already than I can well do, that I have not a minute of time to spare. And (except in publick or extraordinary Cases) I take my self to be more strictly tied to those of my Charge, than to any others; and having made my self theirs, I dare not rob them of my Labours, nor neglect them to attend on others that are no part of my Charge, nor will be. If you say, that if they did become Members of my Charge, I must then as much neglect others for them; I answer, but then I could do it innocently, when I have [Page 161] the same Relation to them, and Obligation to help them, as others. If I were your Steward, and you trust me to distribute Money or Bread to all that are un­der my Stewardship, if there were but few I must give it them all; and if many they can have but all. If I had ten Children, and had but ten Pounds to give them, I might justly