Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PA ß T I. Reverend Mr. Richard Baxter. 131 zr. I am much more fenfible how prone manyyoung Profeffors are to Spiritual Pride and Self conceitednefs, and Unrulinefs and Divifion, and fa to prove the Grief of their Teachers, and Firebrands in the Church ; and how much of a Mi- niRer's work lieth in preventing this, and humbling and confirming fuch young unexperienced Profeffors, and keeping them in order in their progrefs in Reli- gion. 22. 'Yet am I more fenfible of the Sin and Mifehief of ufing Men cruelly in Matters ofReligion, and of pretending Mensgood, and theOrder of theChurch; for Ads ofInhumanity or Uncharitablenefs: Such know not their own Infir- mity, nor yet the nature of Paftoral Government, which ought to be Paternal and by Love ; nor do they know the way to win a Soul , nor to maintain the Churches Peace. 23. My Soul is much more aflli@ed with the thoughts of the miferable World, and more drawn out indelire of their Converfion than heretofore: I was wont to look but little further than England in my Prayers, as not confidering the Rate of therel ofthe World : Or if I prayed for the Converfion of the Jews, that was al- moil all. But now as I better underftand theCafe of theWorld, and the method of the Lord's Prayer, fo there is nothingin the World that lyeth fo heavy upon my heart, as the thought of themiferable Nations of the Earth: It is the molt alto - nilhing part of, all God's Providence to me, that he fo far forfaketh alma all the World, and confineth his fpecial Favour to fo few : That fo fmall a part of the World haththe Profelßon ofChriflianity, incompanion of Heathens, Mahome- tans and other Infidels ! And that amongprofeffed Chriftians there are fo few that are faredfromgroßDeluftons, and have but any competentKnowledge : and that among chafe there are fo few that are ferioully Religious, and truly fer their hearts on Heaven. I cannot be affe&edfo much with the Calamitiesof my own Relati- ons, or he Land of my Nativity, as with the Cafeof the Heathen, Mahometan; and ignorant Nationsof the Earth. No part of myPrayers are fo deeply ferious; as that for the Converfionofthe Infidel andUngodly World, that God's Name may be fanEtified, andhis Kingdom come, and his Will bedone on Earthas itis inHea- ven : Nor was I ever before fo fenfible what a Plague the Divifion of Languages was which hindereth our fpeaking to them for their Converfion ; nor what a great Sin tyranny is, which keepeth out the Gofpel from moll of the Nationsof theWorld. Could webut go among Tartarians, Turks, and Heathens, and fpeak their Lao guage, I fhould bebut little troubled for the filencing of Eighteen hundred Mini Reis at once in England, nor for all the yell that were talc out here, and in Scotland andlrelas,d : There beingno Employment in theWorld fo defirable in my Eyes, as to labour for the winning of fuch miferableSouls : whichmaketh me greatlyhonour Mr. j obn Eliot, the Apoftle ofthe Indians in NewEngland,and whoeverelfehave la. boured in fuch work. 24. Yet am I not fo much inclined to pafs a peremptorySentence of Damnatioh uponall that never heard of Chrift ; having force more reafon than I knewof be- fore, to think that God's dealing with fuch is much unknown to re ! And that the Ungodly here among us Chrifians are in a far worfe Cafe than they. zq. My Cenfures of the Papilts do much differ from what they were at frít I then thought that their Errours in the DoEleines of Faith were their molt danger- ous Miflakes, as in the Points of Merit, Jufiificationby Works, Affurance of Sal- vation, the Natureof Faith,d'c. But now I am affuredthat their mif-exprefrons, and mifunderftandingus, with our miftakingsof them, and inconvenient expref- fing our ownOpinions, hath made the difference in thefe Points to appear much greater than they are; and that in fame of them it is next to none at alh But the great and unreconcilable Differences lye, in their Church Tyranny and Ufur- parions, and in their great CorruptionsandAbafement ofGod's Worfhip, together with their befriending of Ignoranceand Vice. At firlt I thought that Mr. Perkins well proved that a Pappif cannot gobeyond a Reprobate: but now I doubt not but that God bath many fanúified Ones among them, who have received the true Doctrineof Chriftianity fo praetically , that their contradiétory Errours prevail not againft them, to hinder their Love of God, and their Salvation : but that their .Errours are likea conquerable Dofe of Poyfon which Nature doth overcome. And I can never believe that a Man may not be fared by that Religion, which doth but bring him to the true Love of God, and to a heavenly Mind and Life : nor that Godwill ever call a Soul into Hell that truly loveth him.. Alfo at fir11 it would difgrace any Doctrinewith me, if I did but hear it called Popery and An- tichril}ian but I have long learned to bemore impartial, and to diAike Men for S a bad