Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

86 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. or ,hurt that our words do by those that they themselves converse with ; and when I convince them that my decisions of manyques- tions (which they are offended at) are true, they say, it is an un- seasonable and a hurtful truth; and when I have called them to look further abroad in the world, and told them my . reasons, they say, ° Had these been all set down, men would have been satisfied. And on how hard terms do we instruct such persons, whose nar- row understandings cannot know obvious reasons of what we say till they are particularly told them! And so to tell :men the re* sons of all that such can quarrel with, will make every book to swell with commentaries to . such a bigness as they can neither buy nor read; and theycome not to us to know our reasons, nor have we leisure to open them to every, single person: and thus suspi- cious men, when their understandingswant the humbling acquaint- ance with their ignorance, and their consciences that tenderness which should restrain them from rash'judging, go on to accuse such needful truths of which they know not the use and reason. And what man livingbath the leisure andopportunify to acquaint all the ignorant persons in city and country with all the reasons ofall that he shall say, write, or do? Or, who, that writeth not a page in,' stead of a sentence, can so write that every unprepared reader shall understand him? And what hopes bath the tutor or school- master ofpreserving his reputation, who shall be accounted errone- ous, and accused of unsound or injurious doctrine,by every scholar that understandeth not his words, and all the reasons of them ? But God, in great mercy to me, bath made this my lot (not taus- . ing, but permitting, the sins of the contentious) that I might, be- fore death, be better weaned from all below: had my temptations from inordinate applause had no allay, they might have been more dangerously strong. Even yet whilechurch-dividers, on both ex- tremes, do make me the object of their daily obloquy, the contin- ued respects of the sober and peaceable are se greatyas to be a temptation strong enough, to so weak a person, to give a check to my desires to leave the world. It is long since riches and world- ly honor appeared to me as they are, as not rendering the world much lovely or desirable. But the love and concord of religious persons bath a more amiable aspect: there is so much holiness in these, that I was loath to call them vanity and vexation ; but yet as flesh and blood would refer them to selfishends, and any way value them as a carnal interest, I must so call them, and number them with the things that are loss and dung ; Phil. iii. 7, 8. Selfishness can serve itself upon things good and holy; andif good men, and good books, and good sermons, would make the world seem over- lovely to us, it will be a mercy of God to abate the temptation ; and if my soul, looking toward the heavenly Jerusalem, be hinder