Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 8.] THE SAINTS' REST. 113 will speed as well as other vessels." What horrible abuse of God is this, to pretend to trust God, to cloak their own wilful negligence ! If thou didst really trust God, thou wouldst also be ruled by him, and trust him inhis own ap- pointed way. He requires thee to give " diligence to make thy calling and election sure," and so trust him. He hath marked thee out a way in Scripture, by which thou art charged to search and try thyself, and mayst arrive at cer- tainty. Were he not a foolish traveller, that would hold on his way, when he does not know whether he be right or wrong; andsay, "I hope I am right; I will go on, and trust in God ?" Art thou not guilty of this folly in thy travels to eternity? not considering that a little serious inquiry, whether thy way be right, might save thee a great deal of labor, which thou bestowest in vain, and must undo again, or else thou wilt miss of salvation, and undo thyself. How canst thou think or speak of the great God without terror, as long as thou art uncertain whether he be thy father or thy enemy, and knowest not but all his perfec - tions maybe employed against thee ? or of Jesus Christ, when thou knowest not whether his blood hath purged thy soul ; whether he will condemn or acquit thee in judg- ment; or whether he be the foundation of thy happiness, or a stone of stumbling, to break thee, and grind thee to powder ? How canst thou open the Bible and read a chap- ter, but it should terrify thee ? Methinks, every leaf should be to thee as Belshazzar's writing on the wall, except only that which draws thee to try and reform. If thou readest the promises, thou knowest not whether they shall be ful- filled to thee. If thou readest the threatenings, for any thing thou knowest, thou readest thy own sentence. No wonder thou art an enemy to plain preaching, and say of the minister, as Ahab of the prophet, " I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." How canst thou without terror join in prayer? When thou re- ceivest the Lord's supper, thou knowest not whether it be thy bane or bliss. What comfort canst thou find in thy friends, and honors, and houses, and lands, till thou knowest thou hast the love of God with them, and shalt have rest with himwhen thou leavest them ? Offer a pri- soner, beforehe knows his sentence, either music, or clothes, or preferment; what are they to him, till he knows he shall