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[175] esteem. Baxter himself admits that the Quakers, by their perseverance in holding their religious meetings in defiance of penal laws, took upon themselves the burden of persecution which would otherwise have fallen upon himself and his friends; and makes special mention of the noble and successful plea of Penn before the Recorder's Court in London, based on the fundamental liberties of Englishmen and the rights of the Great Charter.

The intolerance of Baxter towards the Separatists was turned against him whenever he appealed to the King and Parliament against the proscription of himself and his friends. ‘They gathered,’ he complains, ‘out of mine and other men's books all that we had said against liberty for Popery and Quakers railing against ministers in open congregation, and applied it as against the toleration of ourselves.’ It was in vain that he explained that he was only in favor of a gentle coercion of dissent, a moderate enforcement of conformity. His plan for dealing with sectaries reminds one of old Isaak Walton's direction to his piscatorial readers, to impale the frog on the hook as gently as if they loved him.

While at Acton, he was complained of by Dr., Ryves, the rector, one of the King's chaplains in ordinary, for holding religious services in his family with more than five strangers present. He was cast into Clerkenwell jail, whither his faithful wife followed him. On his discharge, he sought refuge in the hamlet of Totteridge, where he wrote and published that Paraphrase on the New Testament which was made the ground of his prosecution and trial before Jeffreys.

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