Baxter - HP BV4920 B38 1829

THE UNCONVERTED. 149 hearts," Ps. lxvi. 18. and depart not from iniquity when you call on the name of the Lord. 2 Tim. ii. 19. Your "prayers are abominable, because you turn away your ear from hearing the law," Prov. xxviii. 9. and are more ready to offer the sacrifice of fools, thinking you do God some special service, than to hear his word and obey it. Eccles. v. 1. 9. Yea, the persons that you converse with, and all their actions, you make the occasions of your sin and destruction; if they live in the fear of Gqd, you hate them. If they live ungodly, you imitate them; if the wicked are many, you think you may the more boldly follow them; if the godly be few, you are the more emboldened to despise them. If they walk exactly, you think they are too precise; if one of them fall in a particular ' temptation, you stumble and turn away fi·mn holiness, because that others are imperfectly holy; as if you were warranted to break your necks, because some others have by their heedlessness strained a sinew, or put out a bone. If a hypocrite discover himself; you say, 'They are all alike,' and think yourselves as honest as the best. A professor can scarce slip into any miscarriage, but because he cuts his finger, you think you may boldly cut your throats. If ministers deal plainly with you, you say they rail. If they speak gently or coldly, you either sleep ·under them, or are little more affected than the seats you sit upon. If any errors creep into the church, some greedi ly entertain them, and others reproach the Christian doctrine for them, which is most against them. And if we would draw you from any ancient rooted error, which can but plead two, or three, or .' six, or seven hundred years' custom, you are as much offended with a motion for reformation as if you were to lose your life by it, and hold fast old errors, while you cry out ~ainst new ones. Scarce a difference can arise among the ministers of the gospel, but you will fetch your own death from it; and you 1Will not hear, or at least not obey, the unquestiona.·