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SAINTS EVERLASTING REST;
BLESSED STATE OF THE SAINTS
IN THEIR ENJOYMENT OF GOD IN HEAVEN
BY THE REVEREND, LEARNED AND PIOUS
ABRIDGED BY BvJAMIN FAWCETT.
I think it of great service to the souls of men, to call
PUBLISHED BY STODDART & ATHERTON,
NO. 60 NORTH FRONT STREET.
BOROUGH & FOREIGN OF KIDDERMINSTER.
BOTH MAGISTRATES AND PEOPLE.
My Dear Friends,
THERE are obvious reasons for prefixing your names to this book. It contains the substance of what was first preached in your parish-church, and was first published from the press with a dedication to your worthy ancestors. Your trade and manufactures can never render your town so famous, as the name and writings of Mr. Baxter have already made it, both in this island, and in many remote parts of the protestant world. His intimate and important relation to Kidderminster, and the years he abode in it, afforded him the most delightful reflection as long as he lived.
Long experience has enabled me to testify for you, that, notwithstanding your share in those common distinctions, which so unhappily divide fellow protestants, you possess a most unusual degree of candour and friendship for each other. Thus yon show, that Kidderminster has not totally lost the amiable spirit which it imbibed more than a century ago.
There are no excellencies personal or relative, no species of domestic or public happiness, no beauties of civil or religious life, but what will be naturally, promoted by a care to secure to curselves an interest in The rest which remaineth to the People of God. They
are the people for whom alone that rest is designed, both by the promises of God, and by the purchase of the Son of God. A care to secure that rest to ourselves, is the one thing needful. But neither this people, nor this care, you well know, are the peculiarities of any age, or of any party. If the inhabitants of Kidderminster formerly excelled in this care, you must allow it w29
their greatest glory. And this, more than any improvements of trade; or increasing elegancies of life, will be the greatest glory of their successors.
To excite this care, is the noblest design of all religious instruction. This, and nothing else,
animates the following pages. Here, God and Christ, heaven and holiness, invite your most attentive and affectionate regards. Here, you may peruse, what multitudes in the same town have heard and read before you, to their everlasting joy, till your blessings prevail above the blessings of your progenitors. Here, by the help of divine grace,
you may learn the heavenly art of walking with God below, of living in a constant view and foretaste of the glories of the New Jerusalem, and of making all you say or do, suffer or enjoy, subservient to the brightening your immortal crown.-
Nothing has the compiler of this abridgment to wish like such consequences as these; even, to see the same holy and heavenly conversation in himself, and in those around him, now, as Mr. Baxter saw in his day. This would be the greatest joy, and shall be the constant and fervent prayer of
Your affectionate Friend,
And obedient Servant,
Kidderininster, Jan. 1, 1759.
BY THE COMPILER OF THIS ABRIDGMENT.
MR. RICHARD BAXTER, the author of the Saint's Rest, so well known to the world, by this, and many other excellent and useful writings, was a learned, laborious, and eminently holy divine of the last age.He was born near Shrewsbury, in 1615, and died at London in 1691.
His ministry in an unsettled state, was for many years employed with great and extensive success, both in London, and in several parts of the country; but he was no where fixed so long, or with such entire satisfaction to himself, and apparent advantage to others, as at Kidderminster. His abode there was indeed interrupted, partly by his bad health, but chiefly by the calamities of a civil war, yet in the whole it amounted to sixteen years; nor was it by any means the result of his owu choice, or that of the inhabitants of Kidderminster, that he never settled there again, after going from thence in 1660. Before his coming thither, the place was overrun with ignorance and profancness; but by a divine blessing on his wise and faithful cultivation, the fruits of righteousness sprung up in a rich abundance. He at first found but a single instance or two of daily family prayer in a whole street, and at his going away, but one family or two could be found in some streets that continued to neglect it. And on Lord's day, instead of the open profanation to which they had been so long accustomed, a person in passing through the town, in the intervals of public worship, might overhear hundreds of families engaged in singing psalms, reading the scriptures and other good