Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BT763 .B35 1655

The Preface the Beaarers. though through the great mercy of God , the cafe is much altered in thole reipeds,yet alas, how few are they evenof thofe that we hope are Godly , who earneftly thirff after the faving of mens fouls, and lay out them- felves freely in publike and private , in faithful endea- 'vors to that end ? What a multitudeof fleepy, heartlefs Preachers are there, that give not the Alaram of Gods approaching Iudgement to the drowfie fouls that daily fit under them, nor fpeak to poor people with any fuch ferioufnefs, as befeems them in a matter of fuch unfpeak- able confequence. How feldom inmany places fball we hear anawakening heart-warming Sermon?Andofthofe few that are ferious and diligent, fo few have ability to put their matter into any handfom drefs , and fo many run out into intemperance and divifions, than it harden- eth thedrowfie Preachers the more in their way ; and they take theirdulnefs for foberneis, and their confcien- ces do the lets check them for their negleft of mens fouls. This is the unhappy cafe of many men of Good learning and parts : They are fo fenfible of the evil of the exorbitancies of the times, that they overlook and regard not the evil of their own heartlefs and unfaith- ful Adminiftration. If they hear a Private man ufe Tome unfit expreffions in prayer, it extreamly offendeth them: but if they totally omit it, they are not much offended at it. They forget that Godwill bear more with many flips of the tongue, and unhandfom words, then with a neglect of his worlhip, or aheartlefs performance of it: and that their well-dreff forms, if lifelefs, are 'finking -carkaffes, or ufelefs pitftures, when a broken heart,with broken expreffions may go away with thebleffing. And therefore they are commonly againft private mens pray- ing together, efpecially before many ; And as the Pa- piths would drive them from the Scripture for fear of abufing