Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

28- LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. asion to confer with some of them, the nearness and the hideous- ess of this deplorable evil did very much force my thoughts that ay, especially when I found that I fell into whole companies of hem, besetting me at once, and who, with great scorn andcunning ubtlety, endeavored to bring my special friends to a contempt of he scripture and the life to come ; and also when I considered owmany of them wereonce my intimate friends, whom I cannot et choose but love with compassion, when I temember our former onverse and familiarity: and some of them were ancient profess- ors, who have done and suffered much in a better cause ; and hose uprightness we were all as confident of is most men's ving on earth. All this did make the case more grievous to me; et I must needs say that theMost that I have known to fall thus r, were such as were formerly so proud., or sensual, or giddy pro- ssors, that they seemed then but to stay for a shaking temptation lay them in . the dirt; and those of better qualifications, of whose ncerity we were so confident, were very few. It yet troubled me ore, that those of them, whose welfare I most heartily desired, ould never be drawn to open their minds to me, so that I was t of all capacity of doing them any good, though sometime to. thers they would speak more freely. And when I have stirred metime further abroad; I have perceived that some persons of nsiderable quality, and learning, having much conversed with en of that way, and read such books as 'Hobbes's Leviathan,' ave been sadly infected with this mortal pestilence; and the horrid nguage that some of them uttercannot but grieve any one that eareth of it, who hath the least sense of God's honor, or the orth of souls. Sometimes they make a jest at Christ ; some- mes at scripture ; sometimes at the soul of man ; sometimes at irits ; challenging the devil to come and appear to them, and pro- ssing howfar theywould travel to see him, as not believing that deed he is; sometimes scorning at the talk of hell, and presum- g to seduce poor, carnal, people, that are too ready to believe ch things, telling them that it were injustice in God to punish a ort sin with an everlasting punishment; and that God is good, d therefore there cannot be any devils, or. hell, because evil annot come from good ; sorrtetimes they say that it is not they, ut sin that dwelleth in them; and therefore sin shall be damned, d not they ; and most of them give up themselves to sensuality, hich is no wonder ; for he that think's there is no greater happi- ess hereafter!to be expected,' is like enough to take his fill of nsual pleasure while he may have it; and, as I have said once efore, he that thinks he shall die like a dog, is like enough to ve like a dog. . "Being awakened by, these sad experiences and considerations