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Paul Baynes

Paul Baynes, A. M.—This excellent divine was born in London, and educated in Christ's college, Cambridge, where he was chosen fellow. His conduct at the university was, at first, so exceedingly irregular, that his father was much displeased with him; and, at his death, left forty

founds a year, to the disposal of his friend Mr. Wilson of irchin-lane, desiring, that if his son should forsake his evil ways, and become steady, he would give it him; but if he did not, that he should withhold it from him. Not long after his father's death, it pleased God to convince him of his sins, and bring him to repentance. He forsook the paths of vice, and soon became eminent for piety and holiness. Much being forgiven him, he loved much. Mr. Wilson, being taken dangerously ill, and having heard what the

• Fuller's Church Hist. b. iz. p. 209, 910. + Bridges'! Hist, of Northamptonshire, vol. i. p. 274. t Fuller's Church Hist. b. Ix. p. 210. —Wood's Athens Oxon. Voi. i. p. 749.

Lord had done for Mr. Baynes, sent for him, when he was much delighted and profiled by his fervent prayers and holy conversation. Therefore, according to the trust reposed in him, he made known to Mr. Baynes the agreement into which he had entered with his father, and delivered to him the securities of the above annuity.

Mr. Baynes, it is said, was inferior to none, in sharpness of wit, in depth of judgment, in variety of reading, in aptness to tcach, and in holy, pleasant, and heavenly conversation. Indeed, his fame was so great at Cambridge, that, upon the deatli of the celebrated Mr. Perkins, no one was deemed so suitable to succeed him in the lecture at St. Andrew's. In this public situation, he was much admired and followed; multitudes rejoiced under his ministry; and he so conducted himself, that impiety alone had cause to complain.* Here he was instrumental, under God, in the conversion of many souls. Among these was the holy and celebrated Dr. Sibbs.

His excellent endowments, together with his extensive usefulness, could not screen him from the oppressions of the times. Dr. Harsnct, chancellor to Archbishop Bancroft, visiting the university, silenced him, and put down his lecture, for refusing subscription. Mr. Baynes was required to preach at this visitation, when his sermon was sound and unexceptionable. But being of a weak constitution, he retired at the close of the service, for some refreshment; and being called during his absence, and not answering, he was immediately silenced. Nor were his enemies satisfied with this, but, to make sure work of it. the reverend chancellor silenced him over again; all of which Mr. Baynes received with a pleasant smile on his countenances Having received the ecclesiastical censure, he appealed to the archbishop; but his grace stood inflexible to the determination of his chancellor, and threatened to lay the good old man by the heels, for appearing before him with a little black edging on his citffs.t

After receiving the above censure, Mr. Baynes preached only occasionally, as he found opportunity, and was

* Clark's Lives annexed to bis Martyrologie, p. 82, 83. + Baynes's Diocesans Tryall, Prcf. Edit. 1621.

% Ibid.—How a little black edging conld offend his lordship, is certainly not easy to discover. It was not prohibited by any of the canons, nor any violation of the ecclesiastical constitutions. Therefore, unless the archbishop had some enmity against the good man previously in his heart, it seems difficult to say how he could have been offended with so trivial a matter.

reduced to great poverty and want. Notwithstanding this, he never blamed himself for his nonconformity. But of the persecuting prelates he used pleasantly to say, u They are a generation of the earth, earthly, and savour not the ways of God." He was an excellent casuist, and great numbers under distress of conscience resorted to him for instruction and comfort. This the bishops denominated keeping conventicles; and for this marvellous crime, Bishop Harsnet, his most furious persecutor, intended to have procured his banishment. He was, therefore, called before the council; and, being allowed to speak in his own defence, he made so admirable a speech, that before he had done, one of the lords stood up, and said, " He speaks more like an angel than a man, and I dare not stay here to have a hand in any sentence against him." Upon this he was dismissed, and heard no more of it.*

Though Mr. Baynes's natural temper was warm and irritable, no one was more ready to receive reproof, wheji properly administered. Indeed, by the power of divine grace, the lion was turned into a Iamb; and he was become of so holy and humble a spirit, that he was exceedingly beloved and revered by all who knew him. During the summer season, after he was silenced, he usually visited gentlemen in the country; and they accounted it a peculiar telicity to be favoured with his company and conversation. In his last sickness, the adversary of souls was permitted to disturb his peace. He laboured to the last under many doubts and fears, and left the world less comfortable than many others, greatly inferior to him in christian faith and holiness. He died at Cambridge, in the year 1617.

The celebrated Dr. Sibbs gives the following account of this accomplished servant of Christ: " Mr. Baynes," says he, " was a man of much communion with God, and acquaint" ance with his own heart, observing the daily footsteps of " his life. He was much exercised with spiritual conflicts, " by which he became more able to comfort others. He had " a deep insight into the mystery of God's grace, and man's " corruption. He sought not great things in the world. «* He possessed great learning, a clear judgment, and a ready " wit. + Fuller has classed him among the learned writers who were fellows of Christ's college, Cambridge^ What a reproach was it to the ruling prelates, and what a blow against the church of God, when so excellent a divine was cast aside and almost starved 1

The following aneedote is related of Mr. Baynes, shewing the warmth of his natural temper, with his readiness to receive reproof and to make a proper use of it. A religious gentleman placed his son under his care and tuition; and Mr. Baynes, entertaining some friends at supper, sent the boy into the town for something which they wanted. The boy staying longer than was proper, Mr. Baynes reproved him with some sharpness, severely censuring his conduct. The boy remained silent; but the next day, when his tutor was calm, he thus addressed him : " My father placed me under your care not only for the benefit of human learning, but that by your pious counsel and example, I might be brought up in the fear of God: but you, sir, giving way to your passion the last night, gave me a very evil example, such as I have never seen in my father's house." " Sayest thou so," answered Mr. Baynes. " Go to my tailor, and let him buy thee a.suit of clothes, and make them for thee, which I will pay for, to make thee amends." And it is added, that Mr. Baynes watched more narrowly over his own spirit ever after.*

His Works.—1. Holy Helper in God's Building, 1618.—2. Discourse on the Lord's Prayer, 1619.—3. The Diocesans Tryall, wherein all the Sinncires of Dr. Dnwnham's Defence are brought into three Heads and orderly dissolved, 1621.—4. Help to true Happiness, 1635.—5. Brief Directions to a Godly Life, 1637.—6. A Commentary on Ephesians, 1668.