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ment the breaches among us, which others widen and keep open, is publicly known. He said to a friend, “I “ can as willingly be a martyr for love as for any article “ of the creed.” It is strange to astonishment, that those who agree in the substantial and great points of the reformed religion, and are of differing sentiments only in things not so clear, nor of that moment as those wherein they consent, should still be opposite parties. Methinks, the remembrance how our divisions lately exposed us to our watchful adversary, and were almost fatal to the interest of religion, should conciliate our affections. common danger and common deliverance, should prepare our spirits for a sincere and firm union: When our sky was so without a glimmering horizon, then by a new dawning of God's wonderful providence, a deliverer appeared, our gracious sovereign, King William the II I. who has the honour of establishing our religion at bome, and gives us hopes of restoring it abroad, in places from whence it has been so unrighteously and cruelly expelled. May the union of his protestant subjects in religious things, so desired by wise and good men, be accomplished by his princely counsel and authority. Integrity with charity would remove those things that have so long disunited us. I return from this digression.
Love to the souls of men, was the peculiar character of Mr. Baxter's spirit. In this he imitated and honoured our Saviour, who prayed, died, and lives for the salvation of souls. All his natural and supernatural endowments were subservient to this blessed end. It was his meat and drink, the life and joy of his life, to do good to souls. His industry was almost incredible in his studies : He had a sensitive nature desirous of ease as others have, and faint faculties, yet such was the continual application of himself to his great work, as if the labour of one day had supplied strength for another, and the willingness of the spirit had supported the weakness of the flesh. In his usual conversation, bis serious, frequent, and delightful discourse was of divine things, to enflame his friends with the love of heaven. He received with tender compassion and condescending kindness, the meanest that came to him for counsel and consolation. He gave, in one year, a hundred pounds to buy bibles for the
poor. He has, in his will, disposed of all that remains of his estate, after the legacies to his kindred, for the benefit of the souls and bodies of the poor. He continued to preach so long, notwithstanding his wasted languishing body, that, the last time, he almost died in the pulpit
It would have been his joy to have been transfigured in the mount.
Not long after his last sermon, he felt the approaches of death, and was confined to his sick bed. Death reveals the secrets of the heart ; then words are spoken with most feeling and least affectation. This excellent Saint was the same in his life and death: His last hours were spent in preparing others and himself to appear before God. He said to his friends that visited him, “ You o come. hither to learn to die: I am not the only person " that must go this way; I can assure you
whole “ life, be it never so long, is little enough to prepare for « death Have a care of this vain deceitful world, and “ the lusts of the fiesh: Be sure you choose God for your « portion, heaven for your home, God's glory for your “ end, his word for your rule, and then you need never “ fear but we shall meet with comfort."
Never was penitent sinner more humble and debasing himself, never was a sincere believer more calm and comfortable. He acknowledged himself to be the vilest dunghill worm (it was his usual expression) that ever went to heaven. He admired the divine condescension to us, often saying, “ Lord, what is man?
What am “ I, vile worm, to the great God?” Many times he prayed, God bę merciful to me a sinner! and blessed God, that that was left upon record in the gospel, as an effectual prayer. He said, “ God may justly condemn
me for the best duty I ever did : And all my hopes are “ from the free mercy of God in Christ, which he often
After a slumber he waked and said, " I shall rest from “ my labour.” A minister then present said, “ And your • works follow you:' To whom he replied, “ No works, “ I will leave out works, if God will grant me the other." When a friend was comforting him with the remembrance of the good, which many had received by his preaching and writings, he said, “ I was but a pen in God's hand; “ and what praise is due to a pen ?”
His resigned submission to the will of God in his sharp sickness, was eminent. When extremity of pain constrained him earnestly to pray to God for his release by death, he would check himself; “ It is not fit *s for me to prescribe;" and said, “ When thou wilt, “ what thou wilt, how thou wilt."
Being in great anguish, he said, “ O how unsearchable are his ways, and his paths past finding out! the reaches “ of his providence we cannot fathom:" And to his friends : “ Do not think the worse of religion for what “ you see me suffer.”
Being often asked by his friends, how it was with his inward man? he replied, “ I bless God I have a well“ grounded assurance of my eternal happiness, and great “ peace and comfort within ;” but it was his trouble he could not triumphantly express it, by reason of his extreme pains. He said, “ Flesh must perish, and we must “ feel the perishing of it: And that though his judgment “ submitted, yet sense would still make him groan.
Being asked by a person of quality, · Whether he had not great joy from his believing apprehensions of the • invisible state?" He replied,
1. What else think you “ Christianity serves for?" He said, “ The consideration “ of the Deity in his glory and greatness was too high for “our thoughts; but the consideration of the Son of God “ in our nature, and of the saints in heaven whom he “ knew and loved, did much sweeten and familiarize hea“ven to him.” The description of heaven in the xiith chapter to the Hebrews and the 22d verse, was most comfortable to him: That he was going to the innumerable company of angels, and to the general assembly and church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven; and io God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than the blood of Abel. “ That Scripture, he said, deserved a thou“ sand thousand thoughts. He said, “ O how comfort“ able is that promise, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, “ neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the “ things God has laid up for those who love him."
At another time he said, “ That he found great comfort “ and sweetness in repeating the words of the Lord's “ Prayer, and was sorry that some good people were “ prejudiced against the use of it; for there were all ne“ cessary petitions for soul and body contained in it.”
At other times he gave excellent counsel to young ministers that visited him, and earnestly prayed to God to bless their labours, and make them very successful in converting many souls to Christ. And he expressed great joy in the hopes that God would do a great deal of good by them, and that they were of moderate peaceful spirits.
He did often pray that God would be merciful to this miserable distracted world: And that he would preserve his church and interest in it.
He advised his friends to beware of self-conceitedness, as a sin that was likely to ruin this nation: And said, “ I have written a book against it, which I am afraid “ has done little good.”
Being asked whether he had altered his mind in controversial points, he said, “ Those that please, may know “ my mind in my writings: And what he had done was “ not for his own reputation, but the glory of God.”
I went to him with a very worthy friend, Mr. Mather of New England, the day before he died; and speaking some comforting words to him, he replied, “I have “ pain, there is no arguing against sense, but I have “ peace, I have peace. I told him, 'You are now ap• proaching to your long-desired home. He answered, “I believe, I believe." He said to Mr. Mather, “ I “ bless God that you have accomplished your business ; " the Lord prolong your life.”
He expressed a great willingness to die; and during his sickness, when the question was asked, how he did, his answer was, “ Almost well.” His joy was remarkable, when in his own apprehensions death was nearest : And his spiritual joy at length was consummated in eternal joy.
Thus lived and died that blessed saint. I have, without any artificial fiction of words, given a sincere short account of him. All our tears are below the just grief for such an invaluable loss. It is the comfort of his friends, that he enjoys a blessed reward in heaven, and has left a precious remembrance on the earth.'
Thus far Dr. Bates. To this may be added from Mr. Sylvester a short account of his person. He was tall and slender, and stooped much: His countenance composed and grave, somewhat inclining to smile. He had a piercing eye, a very articulate speech, and his deportment rather plain than complimental. He had a great command over his thoughts. He had that happy faculty, so as to answer the character that was given of him by a learned man, dissenting from him, after a discourse with him; which was, “That he could say what he would, . and he could prove what he said.'
It is impossible to read the account he gives of himself in his Reliquia without emotion. The sickness and languors he underwent almost from his childhood, and which he has so pathetically described, render it matter of admiration, that such a frame should hold out for seventy-six years, when, before twenty, he complained of a præmatura senectus, and all the symptoms of fourscore.
The stone which was generated in his kidneys, and which he sustained there above fifty years, is preserved in the British Museum. It is a large blue pebble, very much resembling the shape of a kidney itself.
We cannot dismiss this memoir of so extraordinary a person, without affixing that memorial of gratitude which Dr. Bates renders for Mr. Baxter to Sir Henry Ashurst, Bart. his pious patron and frend.
• To the right worshipful, and his much honoured friend, Sir Henry Ashurst, Baronet.
"Your noble and constant kindness to Mr. Baxter living, and your honourable respect to him dead, have induced me to inscribe the following memorial of him to your name. He was most worthy of your highest esteem and love: for the first impressions of heaven upon your soul, were in reading his unvalued book of the Saint's Everlasting Rest. This kindied a mutual affection in your breasts: His love was directing, counselling, and exciting you to secure your future happiness: Your love was observant, grateful, and beneficent to him. The sincerity and generosity of your friendship was very evident, in your appearing and standing by him, when he was so roughly and unrighteously handled, by one who was the dishonour of this age's law, Chief Justice Jefferies, whose deportment in a high place of judicature was so contrary to wisdom, and humanity, and justice, that there need no foul words to make his name odious. Of this and your other favours Mr. Baxter retained a dear and lasting sense; and in his dying hours declared, that you had been the best friend 'he ever had. He has finished his course, and received his crown: His name will shine longer than his enemies shall bark.
"I cannot omit the mentioning, that Mr. Boyle and Mr. Baxter, those incomparable persons in their several studies, and dear friends, died within a short space of one another. Mr. Boyle was engaged in the contemplation of the design and architecture of the visible world, and made rare discoveries in the system of nature: Not for curiosity and barren speculation, but to admire and adore the perfections of the Deity in the variety, order, beauty, and marvellous artifice of the creatures that compose this great universe. Mr. Baxter was conversant in the invisible world : His mind was constantly applied to under