Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

26 LIFE OF RICRARD BAXTER. when we are overcome, and yielding to sin when we have awhile striven against it, proveth not the soul to be sincere. " 3. Yet do not God's children always overcome ; for then they should not sin at all ; but he that saith he hath ne sin deceiveth himself. "4. God's children always overcome those temptations which would draw them to a wicked, unholy state of life, and would un- regenerate them, and change their state, and turn them back from God to a fleshly, worldly life ; and also to any particular sin which proveth such a state, and signifieth a heart which bath more love to the world than to God,which may well be called a mortal sin, as proving the sinner in a state of death; as others may be called venial sins, which are consistent with spiritual life and a justified state. " 5. Therefore, whenever a justified person sinneth, the tempta- at that time prevaileth against the Spirit and the love of God; not to the extinction ofthe love of God,, nor the destruction of the habit, nor the setting upof the contrary habit in predominance ; as setting up the habituallove of any sin above the habitual love of God. The inclination of the soul is still most to God; and he esteemeth him most, and preferreth him in the adherence of his will, in the main bent and courseof heart and life ; only he isover- come, and so fax abateth the actual love and obedience to God, as to commit this particular act of sin, and remit or omit that act of love. " 6. And this it is possible for a justified person to .do upon some deliberation ; for as grace may strive one instant only in one act, and then be suddenly overcome, so it may strive longer, and keep the mind on considerations of restraining motives, and yet be over- come. "7. For it is not the mere length of consideration, which is enough to excite the heart against sin, but there must be clearness of light, and liveliness in those 'considerations. And sometimes a sudden conviction is so clear, and great, and sensible, that in an instant it stirreth up the soul toan utter abhorrence of the tempta- tion, when the same man at another time may have all the same thoughts in so sleepy a degree as shall not prevail. " S. And though a little sin must be hated, and universal obedi- ence must prove our sincerity, and no one sin must be wilfully continued in, yet it is certain that God's servants do not often commit sins materially great and hainous, (as fornication, drunken- ness, ;perjury., oppression, deceit, etc.,) and yet that they often commit some lesser sins, (as idle thoughts, and idle words, and dullness in holy duties, defectiveness in the love of God, andomis- sion of holy thoughts and words, etc.,) and tliat the tempter often k"