The Lord complaineth of the people; and the people think it is the fault of God. The same controversy is handled, chap. xvii. ver. 25. where they plainly say, "that the way of the Lord is not equal:" and God saith, "it is their ways that are not equal." So here they ...
The Lord complaineth of the people; and the people think it is the
fault of God. The same controversy is handled, chap. xvii. ver. 25.
where they plainly say, "that the way of the Lord is not equal:" and
God saith, "it is their ways that are not equal." So here they say, in
verse 9, "If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine
away in them, how shall we then live?" As if they should say, if we
must die, and be miserable, how can we help it? as if it were not long
of them, but God. But God in my text doth clear himself of it, and
telleth them how they may help it if they will, and persuadeth them to
use means, and if they will not be persuaded, he lets them know that it
is long of themselves; and, if this will not satisfy them, he will not
therefore forbear to punish them. It is he that will be their judge,
and he will judge them according to their ways; they are no judges of
him or themselves, as wanting authority, and wisdom, and impartiality.
Nor is it the cavilling with God, that shall serve their turn, or save
them from the execution of justice, at which they murmur.
IT may be proper to prefix an account of this book given by Mr. Baxter
himself, which was found in his study after his death, in his own
"I published a short treatise on conversion, intitled, A Call to the
Unconverted. The occasion of this was my converse with bishop Usher,
while I was at London. who, approving my method and directions suited
for peace of conscience, was importunate with me to write directions
suited to the various states of Christians, and also against particular
sins: I reverenced the man, but disregarded these persuasions,
supposing I could do nothing but what is done better already: but when
he was dead, his words went deeper to my mind, and I purposed to obey
his counsel; yet, so as that to the first sort of men, (the ungodly), I
thought vehement persuasions meeter than directions only; and so for
such I published this little book, which God hath blessed with
unexpected success, beyond all the rest that I have written, except
"The Saint's Rest."