Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

118 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. given up themselves to the will of men, the stream will bear down the plainest evidence, and carrthem to the foulest errors. " And as it is carnal interest that ruleth the Carnal world, so I found that, among selfish men, there were as many interests and ends as persons; and every one had an interest of his own which governed him, and set him at a very great enmity. to the most necessary means of peace. I found, also, that every man that had once given up himself to a party, and drowned himself in a faction, did make the interests of that faction or party to be his own. And the interest of Christianity, catholicism and charity, is contrary to the interests of sects as such. And it is the nature of a sectary, that he preferreth the interest of his opinion, sect, or party, before the interest of Christianity, catholicism, and charity, and will sacrifice the latter to the service of the former. "But the grand impediment I found in the temper of men's minds; and there I` perceived a manifold difference. Among all these parties, I found that Some were naturally of 'mild, and calm, and gentle dispositions, and some of sour, froward, passionate, peevish, orfurious natures. Some were young, and raw, and unex- perienced, and, like young fruit, sour and harsh ; addicted to pride of their own opinions, to self -conceitedness, turbulency, censori- ousness, and temerity, and to engage themselves to a party before they understood the matter; and were led about by those teachers and books that had once won their highest esteem, judging of ser- mons.and persons by their fervency more than by the soundness of the matter and thecause. And some I found, on the other side, to be ancient and experienced Christians, that had tried the spirits, and seen what was of God and what of man, and noted the events of both in the world; and these were like ripe fruit, mellow and sweet, first pure, then peaceable, gentle easy to be entreated, full ofmercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy, who, being makers of peace, did sow the fruits of righteousness in peace. I began, by experience, to understand the meaning of those words of Paul, 1 Tim. iii. 6, 'Not a novice, lest, being lifted upwith pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil.' Novices, that is, young, raw, unexperienced Christians, are much apter to be proud, and censorious, and factious, than old, experienced, judicious Christians. " But the difference between the godly and the ungodly, the spiritual and carnal worshipers of God, was here the most consid- erable of all. An humble, holy, upright soul, is sensible of the interest of Christ and souls ; and a gracious person is ever a char- itable person, and loveth his neighbor as himself; and therefore judgeth of him as he would be judgedof. himself, and speaketh of