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return of Charles II., who on his Restoration made him one of his chaplains in ordinary. The king, conscious of his extraordinary merit, offered him the bishopric of Hereford, but he refused it, preferring his humble situation at Kidderminster to all other ecclesiastial dignities.

It must appear strange to the reader, that this very situation, which his pious modesty preferred to a bishopric, he was not permitted to enjoy, for he was suffered to preach only two or three times in it after the Restoration ! Baxter's doc. trine was too pure, and his life and ethical system too strict, to be long a court favourite in those times of irreligion and dissipation. Being prevented from feeding his flock at Kidderminster, he went to London, and preached in different parts of the city, till the Act of Uniformity took place. During the plague, in 1665, he went into Buckinghamshire, but afterwards returned to Acton. When the act against conventicles expired, his audience became so large that his house could not contain them. Many were reformed, and many profited; but as the worthless and the wicked soon began to envy him, he was seized and put in prison, but procuring a habeas corpus, was discharged. He afterwards returned to London, and in 1682 was imprisoned again for the awful offence of coming within five miles of a corporate town! Had Mr. Baxter relaxed in his piety, the rod of the wicked would have ceased from his inheritance; but as he fol. lowed Christ in purity and righteousness, this was a crime in the sight of the world which could never be forgiven. In 1684 he was seized again, and in the reign of James II. was committed prisoner to the King's Bench, and tried before the infamous and bloody judge Jeffries for his Paraphrase on the New Testament, which that ignorant tyrant called a scandalous and seditious book against the government. He continued in prison for two years ; from which he was at last discharged, and had his fine remitted by the king. Having endured much persecution, passed through many sufferings, and glorified God in every fire which he permitted his enemies to kindle around him, he died in the salvation which he had so long, and so successfully witnessed, in 1691, aged seventy-six years, and is buried in Christ's Church, London.

Mr. Baxter, as to his person, is said to have been tall and slender, and stooped much. His countenance was grave and composed, with a cheerful predominant smile.

He had a very piercing eye, and spoke with great distinctness. Learned men, who were of widely different sentiments from himself, have testified, that he had the happy faculty of saying what he pleased, and proving all he said.

He appears to have acquainted himself thoroughly both with geometry, and logic: and those who are acquainted with these sciences can easily perceive this in all his reasonings. He is allowed to have possessed an extraordinary power in extempore preaching. His capacity as a writer was very great, and his success in enlightening the mind, and affecting the heart, was uncommon.

He wrote not less than 120 books, and had sixty written against him, but those rather added to, than diminished from his reputation. Dr. Isaac Barrow, than whom none was more capa


ble of judging, says, Mr. Baxter's practical writings were never mended, and his controversial, seldom confuted.

The following is Mr. Grainger's character of him, which should never be omitted in an account of his Life. “Richard Baxter was a man famous for weakness of body and strength of mind; for having the strongest sense of religion himself, and exciting a sense of it in the thoughtless and profligate ; for preaching more sermons, engaging in more controversies, and writing more books, than any other nonconformist of his age.

“ He spoke, disputed, and wrote with ease ; and manifested the same intrepidity when he reproved Cromwell, and expostulated with Charles II. as when he preached to a congregation of mechanics. His presence and his firmness of mind on no occasion forsook him. He was just the same man before he went to a prison, while he was in it, and when he came out of it; and he maintained a uniformity of character till the last gasp. This is a very faint sketch of Mr. Baxter's character, for men of his size cannot be drawn in miniature."

It is natural for a person when he sees a book to inquire who was its author ? and those who profit by any man's writings, delight to find authentic memorials of his life ; and wish especially to know, whether it illustrated the doctrines he taught.

A genuine Christian is one who believes in, and confesses Christ, regulates his conduct by the testimonies of his Master, and with meekness and patience endures those troubles and afflictions, which they who live godly in Christ Jesus

must suffer. But he goes farther; he not only bears evil without avenging himself, but does good to the utmost of his power, to the unthankful and the unholy; prays for his persecutors, and endeavours to live for the good of mankind, his worst enemies not excepted. Such was Mr. Baxter ; such his friends and enemies allow him to have been ; and such he is demonstrated to have been by his numerous and excellent writings.

As a useful writer, as well as a successful controversialist, Mr. Baxter has deservedly ranked in the highest order of the divines of the seventeenth century. His works have done more improve the understanding, and mend the hearts of his countrymen, than those of any other writer of his age. While the English language remains, and scriptural Christianity and piety to God are regarded, his works will not cease to be read and prized by the wise and pious of every denomination.

His Call to the unconverted has gone through many editions, and has been translated into different languages. The good this tract has done cannot be rated too high : but the extent of it will be fully known only in that day when the righteous appear before their Judge, and their works follow them. His Saint's Everlasting Rest has also been frequently published, both in the original and in abridgments, and has been highly and deservedly prized by Christians of almost every denomination. To this excellent work many can (under God) attribute their establishment in the divine life.

His Reformed Pastor has not only added much to his praise, as a Christian and a writer, but has also contributed much to the zeal and usefulness of ministers of all denominations, who have carefully read it.

These have hitherto been the most popular of his works, not perhaps because they were the best, but because the first was small, and easily read; and the others, by being faithfully abridged by different pious men, were made portable, and brought down to a moderate price. His other practical works would, I am certain, have met with the same favourable reception from Christians in general, had they been brought within their reach.


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