Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PA a T I. Reverend Mr. RichardBaxter, 7 But I afterward perceived that Education is God's ordinary way for the Convey- anceof his Grace, and ought no more to be fet in oppoftion to the Spirit, than thepreaching of the Word; and that it was the great Mercy of God to begin with me fo loon, and to prevent fuch fins as elfe might have been my shame and forrowwhile I lived ; and that Repentance is good,but Prevention andInnocence is better ; which though we cannot attain in perfe&ion, yet the more the better. And I underftood, that though Fear without Love benot a Date of Saving Grace and greaten Love to the World than to God benot continent with Sincerity ; yet a littlepredominant Love ( prevailing again' worldly Love ) conjunEf with a far greater meafare of Fear, may be a Rare of Special Grace! And that Fear being an eafier and irrefiftible Paffion, Both oft obfeure that meafure of Love which is in- deed within us! And that the Soul of a Believer groweth up by degrees, from the more troublelome ( but fafe ) Operations of Fear , to the more high and excellent Operations of Complacential Love; even as it hath more of the fenfeof theLove ofGod in Chrift, andbelief of the Heavenly Life which it approacheth : And that it is long before Love be fenfibly predominant in relpeEt of Fear ( that is, of Self -love and Self-prefervation), though at the firft it is predomi- nant againft Worldly Love. And I found that my hearty Love of the Word of God, and of theServants of God, and nay delires to be more holy, and efpecial- Iy the hatred of my Heart for loving God no more, and my Love to love him, and be pleating to him, was not without fòme Love to hit afelf,thcugh it works more fenfibly on his nearer Image. 4. Another of my Doubts was becaufe myGriefand Humiliation was nogreater, and becaufe I could weep no more for this. But I underftoodat Ian that God breaketh-not all Mens hearts alike, and that the gradual proceedings ofhis Grace might be one caufe, and my Nature not apt to weep for other Things another : And that the Changeofour Heart from Sin to God, is true Repentance; andá loathing of our felves is true Humiliation ! and that he that had rather leave his Sin, than have leave to keep it , and had rather be the molt holy, than have leave to be unholy or left holy, is neither without true Repentance, nor the Love ofGod. ç. Another ofmy Doubts was, becaufe I had after my Change committed lome Sins deliberately and knowingly : And be they never fo fmall,I thought he that could fin upon knowledge anddeliberation had no true Grace, and that if I had but had as Prong Temptations toFornication, Drunkennefs, Fraud, or other more heinous Sins, I might alto have committed them ! And if theft proved that I had then no SavingGrace, after allthat I hadfelt, I thought it unlikely that ever I fliould bave any. This (tuck with melonger thanany of the reP ; and the more, becaufe that e- very Sin which I knowingly committed did renew it : And the terms on which I receive Confolation againft it are thefe : (Not as thofe that think every Sin a- gainft Knowledgedoch nullifie all our former Grace and Unregenerateus; and that every timewe Repent of filch, we have anew Regeneration : but) x. All Saving Grace Both indeed put the Soul into a Pate of Enmity to Sin as Sin, and confequently to every known Sin. 2. This Enmity mutt thew it felf in Vietory; for bare 'riving, when we are overcome, and yielding to fin when we have a while Driven againft it,proveth not theSoul to be fincere. g. Yetdo-not God's Childrenalways overcome ; for then they lhould not fin at all ! But be thatfaith be bath no fin deceivetb bimfelf. 4. God's Children always overcome thofe Temptations which woulddrat, them toa wickedunholy(late ofLife, and would unregenerate them and change their fare, and turn them back from God to a flefhly worldly Life ; and alto to any particular Sin which proveth facha Pate, and lignitieth a Heart which bath more habitual Love to the World thanunto God ( which may well be called a Mortal Sin , as proving the Sinner in a Pate of Death; as others may be called Venial Sins, which are continent with Spiritual Life and a Ju'ified State). S. Therefore whenever a juflitied Perfon finneth, the Temptation at that time prevaileth again' the Spirit, and the Love of God ! not to the Extinf,Eion of the Loveof God, nor to the DeflruEtion of theHabit, nor the fetting up ofthe corítrary Habit in predominancy ; as fetting up the habitual Love of any Sin above the ha- bitual Loveof God ! The inclinationof the Soul is Pill mot to God : And he efteemeth him moP, and preferreib him in the adherence of his Will, in the main bent andcourfe of Heart and Life; only he is overcome, and fo far abateth the a&ual