Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

I5AXTRR'S DYING THOUGHTS. me ? And howgreat is the number of them that expect unright- eous things ! By nothing do I diplease so many as by not dis= plè , ing God and my conscience ; and for nothing am I so deeply accused of sin as for not sinning. And the world will not think well of any thing that crosseth their opinion and carnal interest, be it never so conform to God's commands. I must confess, that,while I suffer from all sides, few men have more common and open praises from their persecutors than I : but while they praise me in general, and for other particulars, they aggravate my non-conform- ity to their opinions and wills, and take me to be so much the more hurtful to them. The greatest crimes that have been charg- ed on me, have been for the things. which I thought to be my greatest duties, and for those parts of my obedience, to my con- science and God, which cost me dearest ; and where I pleased my. flesh least, I pleased the world least. At how' cheap a rate to my flesh could I have got the applause of factious men, if that had been my end and business! Would I have conformed to their wills, and taken abishopric, and the honors, andriches of the world, how gooda man had I been called by the diocesan party ! And, O, what praise I should have with the Papists, pould I turn Papist ; and all the backbiting andbitter censures ofthe Antinomians, An- abaptists, and Separatists, had, been turned into praise, couldI have said as they, or not contradicted t,hem ! But otherwise there is no escaping their . accusations ; and is this tumultuous, militant, yea, malignant world, a place that I should be loath to leave ? Alas ! our darkness, and weakness, and passions are such, that it is hard for a family, or a few faithful friends,,to live so evenly in the exercise of love, as not to have oft unpleasant jars. What, then, is to be expected from strangers, and from enemies ? Ten thousand persons will judge of abundance of my words and ac- tions, who never knew the reason of them. Every one's concep- tions are as the report and conveyanceof the.matter to them is; andwhile they have a various Tight, and false reports, (and,defect- iveness will make them false,) what can be. expected, but false, injurious censures ? And though no outward thing on earth is more precious than the holy word, and worship, and ordinances of God, yet even here. I see that which pointeth me up higher, and telleth me it is much better to be with Christ. Shall I love the name of heaven better than heaven itself ? The Holy Scriptures are precious, because I have there the promise of glory ; but is not the possession better than the promise ? If a light apd guide thither through this wil- derness be good, surely the end must needs be better. And it hath pleased God, that all things on earth, and therefore, even the Sacred Scriptures, should bear the marks of our state of imperfec-