Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

132 EXCITEMENT TO SEEK [Chap. 9. and judgment are at the door; and what if the man die, and drop into hell, while you are purposing to prevent it ? If, in the case of his bodily distress, you " must not say to him, Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee ;" how much less may you delay the succor of his soul ! That physician is no better than a mur- derer, who negligently delays till his patient be dead or past cure. Lay by excuses, then, and all lesser business, and " exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day, lest any be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Let your exhortation proceed from compassion and love. To jeer and scoff, to rail and vilify, is not a likely way to reform men, or convert them to God. Go to poor sinners with tears in your eyes, that they may see you believe them to be miserable, and that you unfeignedly pity their case. Deal with them with earnest, humble entreaties. Let them perceive it is the desire of your heart to do them good ; that you have no other end but their everlasting happiness; and that it is your sense of their danger, and . your love to their souls, that forceth you to speak; even because you " know the terrors of the Lord," and for fear you should see them in eternal torments. Say to them, "Friend, you know I seek no advantage of my own : the method to please you, and keep your friendship, were to sooth you in your way, or let you alone; but love will not suffer me to see you perish, and be silent. I seek nothing at your hands but that which is necessary to your own happiness. It is yourself that will have the gain and corn-. fort, if you come to Christ." If we were thus to go to every ignorant and wicked neighbor, what blessed fruit should we quickly see ! Do it with all possible plainness and faithfulness. Do not make their sins less than they are, nor encourage them in a false hope. If you see the case dangerous, speak plainly : "Neighbor, I am afraid God hath not yet renewed your soul ; I doubt you are not yet recovered ' from the power of Satan to God;' I doubt you have not chosen Christ above all, nor unfeignedly taken him for your sovereign Lord. If you had, surely you durst not so easily disobey him, nor neglect his worship in your family, and in public; you could not so eagerly follow the world, and talk of no- thing but the things oftheworld. If you were ' in Christ,'