Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

130 EXCITEMENT TO SEEK [Chap. 9. happiness ? Why, then, do not all the children of this kingdom exert themselves more to help others to the en- joyment of it ? Alas ! how little are poor souls about us beholden to most of us ! We see the glory of the king- dom, and they do not ; we see the misery of those that are out of it, and they do not; we see some wandering quite out of the way, and know, if they hold on, they can never come there; and they themselves discern it not. And yet we will not seriously show them their danger and error, and help to bring them into the way, that they may live. Alas ! how few Christians are there to be found that set themselves with all their might to save souls ! No thanks to us, if heaven be not empty, and if the souls of our brethren perish not for ever. Considering how im- portant this duty is, to the glory of God and the happiness of men, I will show how it is to be performed ; why it is so much neglected ;and then offer some considerations to persuade to it. First. The duty of exciting and helping others to discern their title to the saints' rest. This does not mean that every man should turn a public preacher, or that any should go beyond the bounds of their particular callings ; much less does it consist in promoting a party spirit; and, least of all, in speaking against men's faults behind their backs, and being silent before their faces. This duty is of ano- ther nature, and consists of the following things : in having our hearts affected with the misery of our brethren's souls, in taking all opportunities to instruct them in the way of salvation, and in promoting their profit by public ordi- nances. 1. Our hearts must be affected with the misery of our brethren's souls. We must be compassionate toward them, and yearn after their recovery and salvation. If we earnestly longed after their conversion, and our hearts were solicitous to do them good, it would set us on work, and God would usually bless it. 2. We must take every opportunity that we possibly can, to instruct them how to attain salvation. If the person be ignorant, labor to make him understand the chief happi- ness of man; how far he was once possessed of it; the covenant God then made with him; how he broke it; what penalty he incurred; and what misery he brought