Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 191 in my younger days, I never was tempted to doubt of the truth of Scripture or Christianity, but all my doubts, and fears were exercised at home, about my own sincerity and interest in Christ, and this was it which I called unbelief; since then, my sorest assaults have been on the other side; and such theywere, that, had I been void of internal experience and the adhesion of love, and the special help of God, and had not discerned moré reason for my religion than I did when I was younger, I had certainly apos- tatized to infidelity. .I am now, therefore, much more apprehen- sive than heretofore of the necessity of well grounding men in their religion, and especially of the witness of the indwelling Spirit." " For my part, Z must profess that, when my belief of things eternal and of the Scripture is most clear and firm, all goeth ac- cordingly in my soul, and all temptations to sinful compliances, worldliness, or flesh-pleasing, do signify worse to me than an inyi- tation to the stocks or Bedlam. And no petition seemeth more necessary to me than,Lord, increase our faith ; I believe, help thou my unbelief. " 5. Among truths certain ib themselves, all are not equally -certain to me ; and even of the mysteries of the gospel I must needs say, with Mr. Richard Hooker; that, whatever men may pretend, the subjective certainty cannot go beyond the objective evidence ; for it is caused thereby as the print on the wax is caused by that on the seal. Therefore I do, more of late than ever, dis- cern a necessity of a methodical procedure in maintaining the doc- trine of Christianity, and of beginning at natural verities as pre- supposed fundamentally to supernatural truths ; though God may, when he please, reveal all at once, and even natural truths by supernatural revelation. And it is a marvelous great help to my faith, to find it built on so sure foundations, and so consonant to the law of nature." "6. In my younger years, my trouble for sin was most about my actual failings ; but now I .am much,more troubled for inward defects, and omission, or want of the vital duties or graces in the soul.". "Had I all the riches of the world, how gladly would I give them for a, fuller knowledge, belief, and love, of. God and everlasting glory ! These wants are the greatest burden of my life, which oft maketh my life itself a burden. I cannot find any hope of reaching so high, in these, while I am in the flesh, as I once hoped before this time to have attained; which maketh me the wearier . of this sinful world, that is honored with so little of the knowledge of God. "7. Heretofore, I placed much of my religion in tenderness of heart, and grieving for sin, and penitential tears ; and less of it in the love of God, and studying his love and goodness, and in his