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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 there; which he declined on account of his own weakness and the circumstances of his family. His opinion however was taken on the scheme for settling church disputes in that country. In 1671, Mr. 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 Osendon 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
justices who committed him, and therefore they made a new mittimis, in order to have hin sent to the county jail of Newgate, wbich 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 Wolverhainpton, 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 bis parish of Acton, which he fancied some way reflected upon him, because Mr. Baxter had always a large audience, though in truth this was in a great measure owing to the imprudence of the dean, whose curate was a weak unan, and too great a frequenter of alehouses.
1682, 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 extremity of pain, he was contentedly 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 oath, 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 paid 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 himself, 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.
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 Mayot, a beneficed clergyman in the church of England, who had devoted his 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 safe, 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, Mr. 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 thecounty 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 binder 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 1685, Mr. Baxter was committed to the King's Bench prison, by a warrant from the Lord Chief Justice Jefferies, for his paraphrase 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 mediation 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
* This trial of Mr. Baxter was by much the most remarkable trans. action in his life ; and therefore, ihough we by no means affect long citations, yet, in such a case as this, we are under a necessity of siating things from a person who bas given us the fairest account of them, for the sake of authority. On the 6th of May, being the first day of Easter Term, 1685, Mr. Baxter appeared in the court of King's Bench, and Mr. Attorney declared he would lle an information against him. On the 14th the def. ndant pleadrd not guilty, and on the 18th, Mr. Baxter being much indisposed, and desiring farther time than to the 30th, abich was the day appoin'ed for the trial, be moved by his counsel that it might be put off; 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 (say* • be) to do with other sorts of persons, but now we have a saint to deal wild, and I know how to deal with sainis as well as sinners. • Yonder (says he) stands Oats in the pillory (as he actually did in New • Palace-varıl), and he says he suffers for the truth, and so does Bax'er: • but if Baxter did but stand on the other side of the pillory with him, I I would say two of the greatest rogues and rascals in the kingdom stood • there' On the 30th of May, in the afternoon, he was brought to his trial before the Lord Chief Justice Jefferies, at Guild-ball. Sir Henry Ashurst, who could not forsake his own and his father's friend, stood by him all the while Mr. Baxter came first into court, and with all the Inarks of serenity and composure waited for the coming of the Lord Chief Instice, who appeared quickly after with great indignation in his face. He no sooner sat dowo), than a short cause was called, and tried ; after which the clerk began to read the title of another cause, You ' blockhead you (says Jefferies), the next cause is between Richard Bax. ' ter and the king :' Upon which Mr. Baxter's cause was called. Tbe passages mentioned in the information, was his Paraphrase on Matth. V. 19. Mark, ix. 39. Mark xi. 31. Mark xii. 38, 39, 40. Lake
After this he retired to a house he took in Charter-House Yard, contenting himself with the exercise of his ministry, as assistant to Mr. Silvester, and though no man was better qualified than he, for managing the public affairs of his party, yet he never meddled with them, nor had the least to do with those addresses which were presented by some of that body to King James II. on his indulgence. After his settlement in Charter-House Yard, be continued about four years and a half in the exercise of public duties, till he became so very weak as
%. 2. Joha 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 his enemies sotne "accusations out of Pom. xiil&c. as against the king, to touch bis 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 counsel opened the informanon at large, with its aggravations. Mr. Wallop, Mr. Williams, Mr Rotberam, Mr. Altwood, and Mr. Phipps, were Mr. Baxter's con-el, and had been feed by Sir Henry Ashurst. Mr. Wallop said, ' that he conceived the matter depending being a point of doctrine, it * ought to be referred to the bishop, his ordinary; but if not, he • humbly conceived the doctriue was procent and justifiable, setting • aside ine ippuendos, for which there was no colour, there being no * antecedent to refer them to. (i. e. po bishop or clergy of the church
of England named.) He said the book accused, i. e. “ The Comment “ on the New Testament," coolajned many eternal truths; but they who • drew the information were the libelleis, in applying to the prelates of • the church of England, those severe things which were written con• cerning some prelates who deserved the characters which he gave. My • Lord (says be), i humbly conceive the bishops Mr. Baxter speaks of,
as your Lordship, if you have read church history, must confess, were • tbe plagues of the churcb 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 factious knaves by the * chin, we should not be at tbe pass we are.' " My Lord, says Mr. Wal• lop, I hombly conceive, that the passages accused are natural deduc. • tions from the text.' " You humbly conceive, says Jefferies, and I • humbly conceive: Swear him, swear him. My Lord, says he, under • favour, I am counsel for the defendant; and, if I understand either • Latio or 'English, the information now brought agaiost Mr. Baxter • upon such a slight ground, is a greater reflection upon the church of • Englaod, than any thing contained in the book he is accused for.' Says Jefferies to bim, . Sometimes you humbly conceive, and some. 6 times you are very positive: You talk of your skill in church-history, • and of your understanding Latin and English ; I think I understand • something 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.' Upon which Mr. Wallop sat down. Mr. Rotberam urged, ' that if • Mr. Baxter's book had sharp reflections upon the church of Rome by " name, but spake well of the prelates of the church of England, it .' was to be presumed that the sharp reflections were intended only against the prelates of the church of Rome.' The Lord Chief Justice said, “ Baxter was an enemy to the name and thing, the office and • person of bishops.' Rotberam added, " that Baxter frequently at• tended divine service, went to the sacrament, and persuaded others to . do so too, as was certainly and publicly known; and had, in tbe • very book so charged, spoken very moderately and honourably of " the bishops of the church of England. Mr. Baxter added, “ My “ Lord, I have been so moderate with respect to the church of England, “ that I have incurred the censure of many of the dissenters upon that * account.” • Baxter for bishops, says Jefferies, that's a merry con
ceit indeed : Turn to it, turn to it. Upon this Rotheram turned to a place where it is said, “That great respect is due to those truly called • to be bishops among us,' or to that purpose. “Ay, saith Jefferies, . this is your Presbyterian cant; truly called to be bishops; that is • himself, and such rascals, called to be bishops of Kidderminster • and other such places : Bishops set apart by such factious, snivelling • Presbyterians as himself; a Kidderminster bishop be means : Ac• cording to the saying of a late learned author, and every parish shall ' maintain a tithe. pis metropolitan.' Mr. Baxter, beginning to speak again, says he to him, " Richard, Richard, dost thou think we will • hear thee poison the court, &c. Richard, thou art an old fellow,
an old knave; thou hast written books enough to load a cart, every
one as full of sedition (I might say treason) as an egg is full of meat. • Hadst thou been whipped out of thy writing trade forty years ago, • it had been happy. Thou pretendest to be a preacher of the gospel • of peace, and thou hast one foot in the grave; it is time for thee to « begin to think what account thou intendest to give. But leave thee • to thyself, and I see thou wilt go on as thou hast begun, but, by the
grace of God, I will look after thee. I know tbou hast a mighty
party, and I see a great many of the brotherhood in corners, waiting ' to see what will become of their mighty don, and a doctor of the
party (looking to Dr. Bates) at your elbow; but, by the grace of
Almighty God, I'll crush you all. Mr. Rotheram sitting down, Mr. Aliwood began to shew, that not one of the passages mentioned in the information ought to be strained to that sepse, which was put upon them by the inquendos, they being more natural when taken in a milder sense, nor could any one of them be applied to the prelates of the church of England without a very forced construction. Το evidence this he would have read some of the text: But Jefferies cried out, “ You shall not draw me into a conventicle with your ando• tations, nor your snivelling parson neither.' My Lord, said Attwood,
I conceive this to be expressly within Roswell's case lately before • your Lordship.' ' You conceive, says Jefferies, you conceive amiss; ! it is not.' • My Lord, says Mr. Attwood, that I may use the best authority, permit me to repeat your Lordship's own words in that