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change. After the Restoration he became one of the King's chaplains in ordinary, preached before him once, and had frequent access to his royal person, and was always treated by him with peculiar respect. At the Savoy conferences, Mr. Baxier assisted as one of the commissioners, and then drew up the reformed liturgy. He was offered the bishopric of Hereford, by the Lord Chancellor Clarendon, which he refused to accept, for reasons which he rendered in a respectful letter to his Lordship. Yet even then he would willingly have returned to his beloved town of Kidderminster, and have preached in the low state of a curate. But this was then refused him, though the Lord Chancellor took pains to have him settled there as he desired.
When he found himself thus disappointed, he preached occasionally about the city of London, sometimes for Dr. Bates at St. Dunstan's in the West, and sometimes in other places, having a licence from Bishop Sheldon, upon his subscribing a promise, not to preach any thing against the doctrine or ceremonies of the church. The last time he preached in public was on the 15th day of May 1662, a farewell sermon at Blackfriars. He afterwards retired to Acton in Middlesex, where he went every Lord's day to the public church, and spent the rest of the day with his family, and a few poor neighbours that came in to him. In 1665, when the plague raged, he went to Richard Hampden's, Esq. in Buckinghamshire, and returned to Acton when it was over. He staid there as long as the act against conventicles continued in force, and when that was expired, he had so many auditors that he wanted room. Hereupon, by a warrant signed by two justices, he was committed for six months to New Prison jail, but got an habeas corpus, and was released and removed to Totteridge near Barnet.* At this place he lived quietly and with
* la this affair, as Mr. Baxter met with some hardship in the com. mitment, so he experienced the sincerity of many of his best friends, who on this occasion stuck by him very steadily. As he was carried to prison, he called upon Serjeant Fountain to ask his advice, who, when he had perused the mittimus, gave it as his opinion, that he might be discharged from his imprisonment by law. The Earl of Osrery, the Earl of Manchester, the Earl of Arlington, and the Duke of Buckingham, mentioned the aflair to the King, who was pleased to send Sir John Baber to him, to let him know, that though his majesty was not willing to relax the law, yet he would not be offended, if by any application to the courts in Westminster Hall he could procure his liberty; upon this a habeas corpus was demanded at the bar of the common-pleas, and granted. The judges were clear in their opinion, that the mittimus was iosufficient, and thereupon discharged him. This exasperated the
out disturbance. The king was resolved to make some concessions to the dissenters in Scotland, and the Duke of Lauderdale, by his order, acquainted Mr. Baxter, that if he would take this opportunity of going into that kingdom, he should have what preferment he would ihere; which he declined on account of his own weakness and the circumstances of his family. His opinion however was taken on the scheme for seitling church disputes in that country. In 1671, Mir. Baxter lost the greatest part of his fortune by the shutting up of the king's exchequer, in which he had a thousand pounds. After the indulgence in 1672, he returned into the city, and was one of the
Tuesday lecturers at Pinner's Hall, and had a Friday lecture at Fetter Lane; but on the Lord's days, he for some time preached only occasionally, and afterwards more statedly in St. James's market-house, where in 1674 he had a wonderful deliverance, by almost a miracle, from a crack in the floor. He was apprehended as he was preaching his lecture at Mr. Turner's, but soon released, because the warrant was not, as it ought to have been, signed by a city justice. The times seeming to grow more favourable, he built a meeting-house in Oxendon Street, where he preached but once before a resolution was taken to surprise and send him to the county jail on the Oxford act, which misfortune he luckily escaped ; but the person who preached for him was committed to the Gatehouse, and continued there three months. Having been kept out of his new meeting-house a whole year, he took another in Swallow Street, but was likewise prevented from using that, a guard being fixed there for many Sundays together, to hinder him from coming into it. On Mr. Wadsworth's dying, Mr. Baxter preached to his congregation in Southwark for many months. When Dr. Llyod succeeded Dr. Lamplugh in St. Martin's parish, Mr. Baxter made him an offer of the chapel he had built in Oxendon Street, for public worship, which was very kindly accepted. In 1652, he suffered more severely than he had ever done on account of his nonconformity. One day he was suddenly surprized in his house by many constables and officers, who apprehended him upon a warrant to seize his person, for coming within five miles of a corporation, producing at the same time five more warrants, to distrain for one hundred and ninety-five pounds for five sermons. Though he was much out of order, being but just. risen from his bed, where he had been in extreinity of pain, he was contentediy going with them to a justice, to be sent to jail, and left his house to their will. But Dr. Thomas Cox, meeting him as he was going, forced him again into his bed, and went to five justices and took his cath, that he could not go to prison without danger of death. Upon this the justices delayed till they had consulted the king, who consented that his imprisonment should be for that time forborne, that he might die at home. But they executed their warrants on the books and goods in the House, though he made it appear they were none of his, and they sold even the bed which he lay sick upon. Some friends aid them as much money as they were appraised at, and he repaid them. And all this was without Mr. Baxter's having the least notice of any accusation, or receiving any summons to appear and answer for luimself, or ever seeing the justices or accusers; and afterwards he was in constant danger of new seizures, and thereupon he was forced to leave his house, and retire into private lodgings.
justices who committed bim, and therefore they made a new mittimus, in order to have him sent to the county jail of Newgate, which be avoid. ed by keeping out of the way. The whole of this persecution is said to have been owing to the particular pique of Dr. Bruno Rives, Dean of Windsor and of Wolverhampton, rector of Haselly and of Acton, and one of the King's chaplains in ordinary. The reason that he pushed this matter so far was, because Mr. Baxter had preached in his parish of Acton, which he fancied some way reflected opon him, because Mr. Baxter had always a large audience, though in tru:h this was in a great measure owing to the imprudence of the dean, whose curate was a weak man, and too great a frequenter of alchouses.
Things .continued much in the same way during the year 1683, and Mr. Baxter remained in great obscurity, however, not without receiving a remarkable testimony of the sincere esteem, and great confidence, which a person of remarkable piety, though of another persuasion, had towards him: The Rev. Mr. Thomas Mavot, a bencficed clergy man in the church of England, who had devoted bis estate to charitable uses, gave by his last will £ 600 to be distributed by Mr. Baxter to sixty poor ejected ministers, adding, that he did it not because they were nonconformists, but because many such were poor and pious. But the king's attorney, Sir Robert Sawyer, sued for it in the chancery, and the Lord-keeper, North, gave it all to the king. It was paid into the chancery by order, and, as Providence directed it, there kept sate, till King William the Third ascended the throne, when the commissioners of the great seal restored it to the use for which it was intended by the deceased, and Mr. Baxter disposed of it accordingly. In the following year, 1684, Nr. Baxter fell into a very bad state of health, so as to be scarce able to stand. He was in this condition, when the justices of peace for the county of Middlesex granted a warrant against him, in order to his being bound to his good behaviour.
They got into his house, but could not immediately get at him, Mr. Baxter being in his study, and their warrant not impowering them to break open doors. Six constables, however, were set to hinder him from getting to his bed-chamber, and so, by keeping him from food and sleep, they carried their point, and took him away to the sessions house, where he was bound in the penalty of four hundred pounds to keep the peace, and was brought up twice afterwards, though he kept his bed the greatest part of the time. In the beginning of the year 1695, Mr. Baxter was committed to the King's Bench prison, by a warrant from the Lord Chief Justice Jefferies, for his para. phrase on the New Testament, and tried on the 18th of May in the same year in the court of King's Bench, and found guilty, and on the 29th of June following received a very severe sentence * In 1686, the king, by the me
* This trial of Mr. Baxter was by much the most remarkable trans. action in his life ; and therefore, though we by no means affect long citations, yet, in such a case as this, we are onder a necessity of stating things from a person who has given us the fairest account of them, for the sake of authority. Ou the oth of May, being the first day of Easter Term, 1085, Mr. Baxter appeared in the court of King's Bench, and Mr. Attorney declared he would ble an information against him. On the 1411 the defendant pleaded not guilty, and on the 18th, Mr. Baxter being much indisposed, and desiring farther time than to the 30th, which was the day appointed for the trial, he moved by his counsel that it might be put oil; on which occasion the Chief Justice answered angrily,' I will not • give him a minute's time more to save his life. We have had (says • he) to do with other sur's of persons, but now we have a saint to
deal with, and I know how to deal with saints as well as sinners. • Yonder (says he) stand: Oats in the pillory (as he actually did in New • Palace-varil), and he says he suffers for the truth, and so does Baxier;
but it Baxier did but stand on the other side of the pillory with him, I « would say ewo of the greatest rogues and rascals in the kingdom siood • tbere' On the 30th of May, in the afternoun, he was brought to his trial before the Lord Chief Justice Jefferies, at Guild-hall. Sir Henry Ashurst, who could not forsake his own and his father's friend, stood by him all the while. Mr. Baxter caine first into court, and with all the marks of serenity and composure waited for the coming of the Lord Chief Justice, who appeared quickly after with great indignation in his face. lle no sooner sat down, than a short cause was called, and tried ; after which the clerk began to read the title of another cause. • blockhead you (says Jetleries), the next cause is between Richard Bax.
ier and the king :' Upon which Mr. Baxter's cause was called. The passages mentioned in the information, was his Paraphrase on Matth. r. 19. Mark. ix. 99. Mark xi. 31. Mark xii, 38, 39, 40. Luke
diation of the Lord Powis, granted him a pardon, and on the 24th of November he was discharged out of the King's Bench. Sureties, however, were required for his good behaviour, but it was entered on his bail-piece by direction of King James, that his remaining in London, contrary to the Oxford act, should not be taken as a breach of the peace. After this he retired to a house be took in Charter-House Yard, contenting himself with the exer
x. 9. Jobs xi. 57, and Acts xv. 12. These passages were picked out by Sir Roger L'Estrange, and some of his fraternity. And a certain noted clergyman (who shall be nameless) put into the hands of bis enemies some accusations out of Rom. xii. &r. as against the king, to touch his life, but no use was made of them. The great charge was, that in these several passages he reflected on the prelates of the church of Eng. land, and so was guilty of sedition, &c. The king's counse I opened the information at large, with its aggravations. Mr. Wallop, Mr. Williams, Mr. Ro:beram, Mr. Attwood, and Mr. Phipps, were 1r. Baxter's cornel, and had been feed by Sir Henry Ashurst. Mr. Wallop said, • that be conceived the matter depending being a point of doctrine, it 'ought to be referred to the bishop, his ordinary; but it not, be * bumbly conceived the doctrine was innocent and justifiable, setting • aside the jonuendos, for which there was no colour, there being no
antecedent to refer them to. (i. e. no bishop or clergy of the church
of England named.) He said the book accused, i. e. “ The Cominent * on the New Testament,” contained many eternal truths; but they who 'drew the information were the libellers, in applying to the prelales of
the church of England, those severe things which were writou con'cerning some prelates who deserved the characters which he gave. My " Lord (says he), I bumbly conceive the bishops Mr. Baxter speaks of, • as your Lordship, if you bave read church-history, must confess, were • tbe plagues of the church and of the world! Mr. Wallop, says the • Lord Chief Justice, I observe you are in all these dirty causes; and were . it not for you gentlemen of the long robe, who should have more wit • and honesty than to support and hold up these fartious knases by the * cbin, we sbould not be at the pass we are.' • My Lord, says Mr. Wal.
lop, I humbly conceive, that the passages accused are natural deduc. tions from the text.' You bumbly conceive, says Jefferies, and I
humbly conceive: Swear him, swear him.' My Lord, says he, wo der *favour, I am counsel for the defendant; and, if I understand either * Latio or English, the information now brought against Mr. Baxter
upon such a slight ground, is a greater reflection upon the church of * England, than any thing contained in the book lie is accused for.' Says Jefferies to him, ' Sometimes you humbly conceire, and some.
times you are very positive: You talk of your skill in church history, • and of your understanding Latin and English ; I think I understand * sometbing of them as well as you; but, in short, I must tell you, that • if you do not understand your duty better, I shall teach it you.' T'pon which Mr. Wallop sat down. Mr. Rotheram urged, that if
Mr. Baxter's book had sharp reflections upon the charch of Rome by ' name, but spake well of the prelates of the church of England, it
as to be presumed that the sharp reflections were intended only * against the prelates of the church of Rome.' The Lord Chief Justice