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[149] He tells us at length in his Life how he struggled with these spiritual infirmities and temptations. The future life, the immortality of the soul, and the truth of the Scriptures were by turns questioned. ‘I never,’ says he in a letter to Dr. More, inserted in the Sadducisimus Triumphatus, ‘had so much ado to overcome a temptation as that to the opinion of Averroes, that, as extinguished candles go all out in an illuminated air, so separated souls go all into one common anima mundi, and lose their individuation.’ With these and similar ‘temptations’ Baxter struggled long, earnestly, and in the end triumphantly. His faith, when once established, remained unshaken to the last; and although always solemn, reverential, and deeply serious, he was never the subject of religious melancholy, or of that mournful depression of soul which arises from despair of an interest in the mercy and paternal love of our common Father.

The Great Revolution found him settled as a minister in Kidderminster, under the sanction of a drunken vicar, who, yielding to the clamor of his more sober parishioners, and his fear of their appeal to the Long Parliament, then busy in its task of abating church nuisances, had agreed to give him sixty pounds per year, in the place of a poor tippling curate, notorious as a common railer and pothouse encumbrance.

As might have been expected, the sharp contrast which the earnest, devotional spirit and painful strictness of Baxter presented to the irreverent license and careless good humor of his predecessor by no means commended him to the favor of a

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