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doubt I should not well withstand. No talk will persuade men that he is the best physician that healeth no more nor worse diseases than others do. Nor would Christ be taken for the Saviour of the world, if he did not save men.
And he saveth them not if he make them not holier and better than other men.
O, then, how much do we owe to Christ for sending his Spirit into his saints, and for exemplifying his holy word on holy souls, and for giving us as many visible proofs of his holiness, power, and truth, as there are holy Christians in the world ! We must not flatter them, nor excuse their faults, nor puff them up. But because the righteous is more excellent than his neighbour, we must accordingly love and honour them, and Christ in them. For Christ telleth us, that he is glorified in them here, (John, xvii. 10,) and that what is done to them, his brethren, even the least, is taken as done to him, (Matt. xxv.,) and he will be glorified and admired in them when he cometh in his glory at the last, (2 Thess. i. 8, 10,) and he will glorify their very works before all the world, with a “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
CURE OF MELANCHOLY AND OVERMUCH
SORROW, BY FAITH AND PHYSIC.*
Question.-What are the best preservatives against melan
choly and overmuch sorrow?
2 COR. ii. 7.
Lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch
The brevity of a sermon not allowing me time for any unnecessary work, I shall not stay to open the context, nor to inquire whether the person here spoken of be the same that is condemned for incest in 1 Cor. v., or some other, nor whether Chrysostom had good tradition for it, that it was a doctor of the church, or made such after his sin? Nor whether the late expositor + be in the right, who thence gathers that he was one of the bishops of Achaia; and that it was a synod of bishops that were to excommunicate him; who yet held that very congregation then had a bishop, and that he was to be excommunicated in the congregation, and that the people should not have followed or favoured such a teacher, it would have been no schism, or sinful separation, to have forsaken him. All that I now intend is, to open this last clause of the verse,
which gives the reason why the censured sinner, being penitent, should be forgiven and comforted; viz., Lest he should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow, as it includeth these three doctrines, which I shall handle altogether, viz.:
* This sermon was written for the morning exercises at Cripplegate, but not preached. The omissions in the folio edition of Baxter's works are inserted froin the original edition of the sermon in the “ Continuation of Morning Exercise Questions, aud cases of conscience, practically resolved by sundry ministers, in October, 1682."
T, R. of Dr. Hammond,
1. That sorrow, even for sin, may be overmuch. 2. That overmuch sorrow swalloweth one up.
3. Therefore it must be resisted and assuaged by necessary comfort, both by others, and by ourselves.
In handling these, I shall observe this order : 1. I shall show you
when sorrow is overmuch. 2. How overmuch sorrow doth swallow a man up. 3. What are the causes of it. 4. What is the cure.
I. It is too notorious that overmuch sorrow for sin is not the ordinary case of the world. A stupid, blockish disposition is the common cause of men's perdition. The plague of a hard heart, and seared conscience, keeps most from all due sense of sin, or danger, or misery, and of all the great and everlasting concerns of their guilty souls, A dead sleep in sin doth deprive most of the use of sense and understanding ; they do some of the outward acts of religion as in a dream ; they are vowed to God in baptism by others, and they profess to stand to it themselves ; they go to church, and say over the words of the creed, and Lord's prayer, and commandments; they receive the Lord's Supper, and all as in a dream! They take on them to believe that sin is the most hateful thing to God, and hurtful to man, and yet they live in it with delight and obstinacy; they dream that they repent of it, when no persuasion will draw them to forsake it, and while they hate them that would cure them, and will not be as bad and mad as they who feel (not) in them any effectual sorrow for what ispast, or effectual sense of their present badness, or effectual resolution for a new and holy life. They dream that there is a judgment, a heaven, and a hell, but would they not be more affected with things of such unspeakable consequence if they were awake ? Would they be wholly taken up with the matters of the flesh and world, and scarce have a serious thought or word of eternity, if they were awake? O how sleepily and senselessly do they think, and talk, and hear of the great work of man's redemption by Christ, and of the need of justifying and sanctifying grace, and of the joys and miseries of the next life ; and yet they say that they believe them! When we preach or talk to them of the greatest things, with the greatest evidence, and plainness, and earnestness that we can, we speak as to the dead, or to men asleep; they have ears, and hear not, nothing goeth to their hearts. One would think that a man that reads in Scripture, and believes the everlasting glory offered, and the