Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 'T.] THE SAINTS' REST. 99 we should never see their faces in rest ? Do we, as Paul, "tell them, weeping,"of their fleshly and earthly disposi- tion ; " and teach them publicly, and from house to house, at all seasons, and with many tears ?" And do we entreat them, as for their soul's salvation ? Or, rather, do we not study to gain the approbation of critical hearers ; as if a minister's business were of no more weight but to tell a smooth tale for an hour, and look no more after the peo- ple till the next sermon ? Does not carnal prudence con- trol our fervor, and make our discourses lifeless, on sub- jects the most piercing ? How gently do we handle those sins, which will so cruelly handle our people's souls ! In a word, our want of seriousness about the things of heaven, charms the souls of men into formality, and brings them to this customary careless hearing, which undoes them. May the Lord pardon the great sin of the ministry in this thing; and, in particular, my own ! And are the people more serious than magistrates or min- isters ? How can it be expected? Reader, lookbut to thy- self, and resolve the question. Ask conscience, and suffer it to tell thee truly. Hast thou set thy eternal rest before thine eyes, as the great business thou hast to do in this world ? Hast thou watched and labored with all thy might, " that no man take thy crown ?" Hast thou made haste, lest thou shouldst come too late, and die before thy work be done? Hast thou pressed on through crowds of oppo- sition, "toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," still "reaching forth unto those things:which are before ?" Can consciencewitness your se- cret cries, and groans, and tears ? Can your family witness that you taught them the fear of the Lord, and warned them not to " go to that place of torment ?" Can your min- ister witness, that he has heard you cry out, " What shall I do to be saved?" and that you have followed him with complaints against your corruptions, and with earnest in- quiries after the Lord ? Can your neighbors about you wit- ness, that you reprove the ungodly, and take pains to save the souls ofyour brethren ? Let all these witnesses judge this daybetween God andyou, whetheryou are in earnest abr t eternal rest. You can tell, by his work, whetheryour ser- vant has loitered, though you did not see him ; so you may, by looking at your own work. Is your love to Christ,