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is condemned to die to-morrow cannot forget it: and yet poor sinners, that continually are uncertain to live an hour, and certain speedily to see the majesty of the Lord to their inconceivable joy or terror, as sure as they now live on earth, can forget these things for which they have their memory: and which one would think should drown the matters of this world, as the report of a cannon does a whisper, or as the sun obscures the poorest glow-worm. O wonderful folly and distractedness of the ungodly! That ever men can forget, I say again, that they can forget, eternal joy, eternal woe, and the eternal God, and the place of their eternal unchangeable abodes, when they stand even at the door; and there is but a thin veil of flesh between them and that amazing sight, that eternal gull, and they are daily dying and stepping in.''
“ Though all divine graces, the fruit of the Spirit,' were visible in his conversation, yet some were more eminent. Humility is to other graces, as the morning-star is to the sun, that goes before it, and follows it in the evening : humility prepares us for the receiving of grace, “ God gives grace to the humble :” and it follows the exercise of grace ; " Not 1,” says the apostle, “but the grace
of God in me.” In Mr. Baxter, there was a rare union of sublime knowledge, and other spiritual excellencies, with the lowest opinion of himself.”
“ Self-denial and contempt of the world were shining graces in him. I never knew any person less indulgent to himself, and more indifferent to his temporal interest. The offer of a bishopric was no temptation to him ; for his exalted soul despised the pleasures and profits which others so earnestly desire; he valued not an empty title upon his tomb."
“ This saint was tried by many afflictions. We are very tender of our reputation : his name was obscured under a cloud of detraction. Many slanderous darts were thrown at him. charged with schism and sedition. He was accused for his paraphrase upon the New Testament, as guilty of disloyal aspersions upon the government, and condemned, unheard, to a prison, where he remained for some years.
But he was so far from being moved at the unrighteous prosecution, that he joyfully said to a constant friend, 'What could I desire more of God, than after serving him to my power, I should now be called to suffer for him.'
“ But his patience was more eminently tried by his continual pains and languishing. Martyrdom is a more easy way of dying, when the combat and the victory are finished at once, than to die by degrees every day. His complaints were frequent, but who ever heard an unsubmissive word drop from his lips? He was not put out of his patience, nor out of the possession of himself. In his sharp pains, he said, I have a rational patience, and a believing patience, though sense would recoil.'
“His pacific spirit was a clear character of his being a child of God. How ardently he endeavored to cement the breaches among us, which others widen and keep open, is publicly known. He said to a friend, I can as willingly be a martyr for love, as for any article of the creed. It is strange to astonishment, that those who agree in the substantial and great points of the reformed religion, and are of differing sentiments only in things not so cleai, nor of that moment as those wherein they consent, should still be opposite parties.”
“ Love to the souls of men was the peculiar character of Mr. Baxter's spirit. In this he imitated and honored our Savior, who prayed, died, and lives for the salvation of souls. All his natural and supernatural endowments were subservient to this blessed end. It was his meat and drink,' the life and joy of his life to do good to souls. In his usual conversation, his serious, frequent and delightful discourse was of divine things, to inflame his friends with the love of heaven. He received with tender compassion and condescending kindness, the meanest that came to him for counsel and consolation. He gave in one year a hundred pounds to buy bibles for the poor. He has in his will disposed of all that remains of his estate after the legacies to his kindred, for the benefit of the souls and bodies of the poor.”
Who will not join in the prayer with which Bates concludes his sermon?
“May I live the short remainder of my life, as entirely to the glory of God, as he lived; and when I shall come to the period of my life, may I die in the same blessed peace wherein he died; may I be with him in the kingdom of light and love for ever."
“ Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart : and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Mat. xi. 28. “ For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
GAL. y. 17. “ Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteouness ?”
Rom. vi. 16. “Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."
Rom. xiij. 14. “ For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die : but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Ron. viii. 13.
“ While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption : for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."
2 Pet. ii. 19. “ Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked lurn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel ?"
EZEK. Xxxiii. 10, 11. "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us : we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
2 COR. V. 20. “ Trust in the Lord, and do good, &c. Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Ps. xxxvii. 3, 4.
Sound doctrine makes a sound judgment, a sound heart, a sound conversion, and a sound conscience.
To my much valued, beloved, and honored Friends, Colonel
John BRIDGES, with Mrs. MARGARET BRIDGES, his wife, and Mr. Thomas Foley, with Mrs. ANNE FOLEY, his wife.
Though in publishing our writings, we intend then for the good of all : yet custom, not without reason, doth teach us, sometimes to direct them more especially to some. Though one only had the original interest in these papers, yet do I now direct them to you all, as not knowing how in this to separate you. You dwell together in my estimation and affection : one of you a member of the church which I must teach, and legally the patron of its maintenance and minister : the other, a special branch of that family which I was first indebted to in this county. You lately joined in presenting to the parliament, the petition of this county for the Gospel and a faithful ministry. When I only told you of my intention, of sending some poor scholars to the university, you freely and jointly offered your considerable annual allowance thereto, and that for the continuance of my life, or their necessities there. I will tell the world of this, whether you will or no; not for your applause, but for their imitation; and the shame of many of far greater estates, that will not be drawn to do the like. The season somewhat aggravates the goodness of your works. When satan hath a design to burn up those nurseries, you are watering God's plants; when the greedy mouth of sacrilege is gaping for their maintenance, you are voluntarily adding for the supply of its de