Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

PAR ReverendMr. Richard Baxter, perform it ! And I faw that the very Pofibility or Probability of a Life to come, Would make it the Duty of a Reafonabie Creature to Peek it, though with the lofs of all below; 4. And I faw by undeniable Experience, a ftrange Univerfal Enmity between the Heavenly and the Earthly Mind, the Godly and the Wicked , as fulfilling the Predietion Gen. ;its'. The War between the Woman's and the Serpent's Seed, be- ing the daily Bufinefs of all the World. And I faw that the wicked and haters of Godlinefs are fo commonly the greatelt and molt powerful and numerous, as well as cruel, that ordinarily there is no living according to the Precepts of Natureand undeniable Reafon, without being made the Derifion and Contemptof Men(ifwe canfcape fo eafily). r. And then Ifaw that there is no other Religion in the World which can ftand in competitionwith Chriftianity: Heathenifm and Mahometanifm are kept up by Tyranny , and Beaftly Ignorance, and blulh to fiend at the Bar of Reafon : And Judaifm is but Chriftianit in the Egg or Bed. And weer Deifm, which is the mofa plaufible Competitor, is fo turned out of almoft all the whole World, as if Na- ture made its own Confeffton , that without a Mediator it cannot come to God. 6. And I perceived that all other Religions leave the People in their worldly, fenfual, andungodly flete ; even their Zeal and Devotion in them, being corn- manly the Servantsoftheir Flefhly Intereft : And the Nations where Chriltianity is not, beingdrowned in Ignorance andEarthly mindednefs, fo as to be the diamo of Nature. 7. And I faw that Chrift did bring up all his ferious and fincere Difciples toreal Holinefs and to Heavenly mindednefs, and made them new Creatures, and fet their Hearts and Defigns and Hopes upon another Life ; and brought their Senfe into fubje6tion to their Reafon, and taught them to refign themfelves to God, and to love him above allthe World. And it is not like that God will make life of a Deceiver for this real vifible Recovery and Reformation of the Nature of Man; or that any thing but his own Zeal can imprint his Image. 8. And here I faw an admirable lùitablenefs in the,Office and Delign of Chrift, ro the Ends ofGod, and the Felicity of Man : and how excellently there Super- natural Revelations do fall in, and take their place in fubferviency to Natural Ve- rities; and how wonderfullyFaith is fitted to bring Men to the Love of God ; when it is nothing elfe but the beholding of his amiable attraAive Loveand Good- nell in the Faceof Chrift, and the Promifes of Heaven, as in a Glafsa till we fee his Glory. 9. And I had felt much of the Power of his Word and Spirit on my felf; do- ing that whichReafon now tellethme mutt bedone : And fhall I queltion my Phyfician when he bath done fo much of theCure, and recovered my depraved Soul fo much to God. ro. And as flaw there Afliftances tomy Faith, fo I perceived that whatever the Tempter had to fay againft it, was grounded upon the Advantages which he took from my Ignorance, and my Diftance from the Times andPlaces ofthe Mat. ters of the Sacred Hillary, and fach like things which every Novice meeteth with in almoft all other Sciencesat the firft; and which wife wellftudied Men can fee through. 3y. All there Afiiflances were at handbefore I came to the immediate Evi- dences of Credibility in the Sacred Oracles themfelves. And when I fet my felf to fearch for thole, I found more in the Doctrine, the PredisBions, the Miracles, antecedent, concomitant, fubfequent, than ever I before rook notice of: which. I (hall nothere fo far digrefs as to letdown, having partly done it in feveral Trea- tifes ; as The Saints Reif, Part 2. The UnreafonablenefhofInfidelity ; al Saint or a Bruit, in my Chriffian Direífory ; and fince more fully in a Treatife, called, The Reafon of the Chrillian Religion; my Life of Faith, &c. 4 36. From this Affault I wasforced to take notice, That it is our Belief of the Truth of the Word of God, and the Life to come, which is the Spring that fets all Grace on work, and with which it rifes or falls, flourifhes or decays, is a6tuated or Randsdill. And that there is more of this fecret Unbelief at the Root than mole ofus are awareor; and that our love ofthe World,our boldnefs with Sin,our neglect of Duty arecauld hence. I obferved eafily in my felt, that if at any time Satan did more than at other times weaken my Belief of Scripture, and the Life to come, my Zeal in every Religious Duty abated with it, and I grew more indifferent in Religion than before :I wasmore inclined to Conformity in thofe Points which