Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 21 getteth advantage even with them, by telling that the sin is small, and such as God's servants ordinarily commit ; and that, naturally, we fly with greater fear from a great danger than from a less ; from a wound in the heart than froma cut finger. And therefore one reasonwhy idle words and sinful thoughts are, even deliberately, oftener committed than most hainous sins, is because the soul is not awaked so much by fear and care to make resistance ; and love needeth the help of fear in this our weak condition. "9. And it is certain that usually the servants.of God, being menof most knowledge, do therefore sin against more knowledge than others do ; for there are but few sins which they know not to be sins. They know that idle thoughts and words, and the omis- sions of the contrary, are their sins.. "10. There are some sins of such difficulty to avoid, (as the disorder or omission of holy thoughts, and the defects of love to God, etc.,) and some temptations so strong, and the soul in so slug- gish a, case to resist, that good thoughts, which are in delibe- ration used against them, are borne dawn at last, and are less ef- fectual. "11. And our present stock ofhabitual grace is neversufficient of itself without co-operating grace 'from Christ; and therefore whenwe provoke him to withhold his help, no wonder if. we show our weakness, so far as to stumble in the way to heaven, or to step out into some by-path, or break over the hedge, and some- times to look back, and yet never to turn back, and go again from God to the world. " 12. And because no fall of a saint which is venial, an infirmity, consistent with grace, doth either destroy the habit of love and grace, or set up acontrary habit above it, nor yetpervert the scope and bent of theconversation, but only prevaileth to a particular act, it therefore followeth, that the soul riseth up fromsuch a sin by true repentance, and that the new nature or habit of love within us will workout the sin as soon as it hath advantage as a needle in the compass will return to its, proper point, when the force that moved it dothcease; and as a running stream will turn.clear again, when the force that muddied it is past. And this repentance will do Much to increase our hatred, of the sin and fortify us against the next temptation ; so that though there be some sinswhich, through our great infirmity, we daily commit, as we daily repent of them, (as disordered thoughts, defects of love, neglect of God, &c.,) yet it will not be so with those sinswhich a willing, sincere, habituated penitent bath more in his power to cast out. " 13. And yet when all this is done, sin will breed fears ; (and themore by how much the more deliberate and wilful it is ;) and the best way to keep under doubt's and terrors, and to keep up t