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‘ [158] alacrity as another man hath when he hath taken a cup too much.’ Baxter says of him, complainingly, ‘he would not dispute with me at all.’ But, in the midst of such an army, he could not lack abundant opportunity for the exercise of his peculiar powers of argumentation. At Amersham, he had a sort of pitched battle with the contumacious soldiers. ‘When the public talking day came,’ says he, ‘I took the reading-pew, and Pitchford's cornet and troopers took the gallery. There did the leader of the Chesham men begin, and afterwards Pitchford's soldiers set in; and I alone disputed with them from morning until almost night; for I knew their trick, that if I had gone out first, they would have prated what boasting words they listed, and made the people believe that they had baffled me, or got the best; therefore I stayed it out till they first rose and went away.’ As usual in such cases, both parties claimed the victory. Baxter got thanks only from the King's adherents; ‘Pitchford's troops and the leader of the Chesham men’ retired from their hard day's work, to enjoy the countenance and favor of Cromwell, as men after his own heart, faithful to the Houses and the Word, against kingeraft and prelacy.

Laughed at and held at arm's length by Cromwell, shunned by Harrison and Berry and other chief officers, opposed on all points by shrewd, earnest men, as ready for polemic controversy as for battle with the King's malignants, and who set off against his theological and metaphysical distinctions their own personal experiences and spiritual exercises, he had little to encourage him in his arduous

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