Baxter - HP BV4920 B38 1829

74 A CALL TO soul with false conceits and hopes. I am resolved no more to deceive myself, but endeavour to know truly whether I be converted or not: that if I be, I may rejoice in it, and glorify my gracious Lord, and comfortably go on till I reach the crown: and if I am not, I may set myself to beg and seek after the grace that should convert me, and may turn without any more delay. For, if I find in time that I am out of the way, by the help of Christ I may turn and be recovered, but ifl stay till either my heart be forsaken of God in blindness or hardness, or till I be catched away by death, it is then too late. There is no place for repentance and conversion then; I know it must be now or never. Sirs, this is my request to you, that you will but take your hearts to task, and thus examine them till you see if it may be, whether you are converted or not? And if you cannot find it out by your own endeavours, go to your ministers, if they be faithful and experienced men, and desire their assistance. The matter is great, let not bashfulness, nor carelessness hinder you. They are set over you, to advise you, for the saving of your soul, as physicians advise you for the curing of your bodies. It undoes many thousands that they think they are in the way to salvation, when they are not; and think that they are converted when it is no such thing. And then when we call to them daily to turn, they go away as they came; and think that this concerns not them; for they are turned already, and hope they shall do well enough in the way that they are in, at least if they pick the fairest path, and avoid some of the foulest steps, when, alas! all this while they live but to the world and flesh, and are strangers to God and eternal life; and are quite out of the way to heaven. And all this beca11se we cannot persuade them to a few serious thoughts of their condition, and to spend a few hours in the examining of their states. Are there not many self-deceivers who hear me this day, that never bestowed one ho~r, or