Portrait of a Hypocrite

From Richard Baxter’s A Christian Directory Chapter 1, Part 1, page 25,

“This is the true character of a self-deceiving hypocrite. He is neither so fully persuaded of the certain truth of the Scripture and the life to come, nor yet so mortified to the flesh and the world, as to take the joys of heaven for his whole portion, and to subject all his worldly prosperity and hopes thereunto and to part with all things in this world, when it is necessary to the securing of his salvation: and therefore he will not lose his hold of present things, nor forsake his worldly interest for Christ, as long as he can keep it. Nor will he be any further religious than may stand with his bodily welfare; resolving never to be undone by his godliness; but in the first place to save himself, and his prosperity in the world, as long as he can.
And yet, because he knoweth that he must die, and for aught he knows, he may then find, against his will, that there is another life which he must enter upon; lest the gospel should prove true, he must have some religion: and therefore he will take up as much as will stand with his temporal welfare, hoping that he may have both that and heaven hereafter; and he will be as religious as the predominant interest of the flesh will give him leave. He is resolved rather to venture his soul, than to be here undone: and that is his first principle. But he is resoled to be as godly as will stand with a worldly, fleshly life: that is his second principle. But he is resolved to be as godly as will stand with a worldly, fleshly life: that is his second principle. And he will hope for heaven as the end of such a way as this: that is his third. Therefore he will place most of his religion in those things which are most consistent with worldliness and carnality, and will not cost his flesh too dear.”

What is Holiness?

From Richard Baxter’s A Christian Directory Chapter 1, Part 1, Page 23,

“Holiness consisteth not in a mere forbearance of a sensual life, but principally in living unto God. The principle or heart of holiness is within, and consisteth in the love of God, and of his word, and ways, and servants, and honour, and interest in the world, and in the soul’s delight in God, and the word and ways of God, and in its inclination towards him, and desire after him, and care to please him, and lothness to offend him. The expression of it in our lives, consisteth in the constant, diligent exercise of this internal life, according to the directions of the word of God.”

Why Become a Christian?

From Richard Baxter’s A Christian Directory, Chapter 1 Part 1, page 20,

Search the Scriptures, and consider how happy the saints of God are there described. Think what it is, to have a purified, cleaned soul; to be free from the slavery of the flesh and its concupiscence; to have the sensitive appetite in subjection unto reason, and reason illuminated and rectified by faith; to be alive to God, and disposed and enabled to love and serve him; to have access to him in prayer, with boldness and assurance to be heard; to have a sealed pardon of all our sins, and an interest in Christ, who will answer for them all and justify us; to be the children of God, and the heirs of heaven; to have peace of conscience, and the joyful hopes of endless joys; to have communion with the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit, and to have that Spirit dwelling in us, and working to our further holiness and joy; to have communion with the saints; and the help and comfort of all God’s ordinances, and to be under his many precious promises, and under his protection and provision in his family, and to case all our care upon him; to delight ourselves daily in the remembrance and renewed experiences of his love, and in our too little knowledge of him, and love to him, and in the knowledge of his Son, and of the mysteries of the gospel; to have all things work together for our good, and to be able with joy to welcome death, and to live as in heaven in the foresight of our everlasting happiness.”

True Repentance vs Mockery Repentance

From Richard Baxter’s A Christian Directory Part 1, Chapter 1, page 13,

It is true also, that if you truly repent, you are forgiven: but it is as true, that true repentance is the very conversion of the soul from sin to God, and leaveth not any man in the power of sin. It is not for a man when he hath had all the pleasure that sin will yield him, to wish then that he had not committed it, (which he may do then at an easy rate,) and yet to keep the rest that are still pleasant and profitable to his flesh; like a man that casts away the bottle which he hath drunk empty, but keeps that which is full; or as men sell off their barren kine, and buy mileh ones in their stead: this kind of repentance is a mockery, and not a cure for the soul. If thou have true repentance, it hath so far turned thy heart from sin, that thou wouldst not commit it, if it were to do again, though thou hadst the same temptations as afore against it (because thou hast not the same heart). This is the nature of true repentance; such a repentance indeed as never too late to save; but I am sure it never comes too soon.”

The Mercy of Duties

From Part 1: Introduction of A Christian Directory by Richard Baxter

“And if any read should be discouraged at the number of duties and directions set before him, I entreat him to consider, 1. That it is God, and not I, that imposeth all these duties on you: and who will question his wisdom, goodness, or power to make laws for us and all the world? 2. That every duty and direction is a mercy to you; and therefore should not be matter of grief to you, but of thanks. They are but like the commands of parents to their children, when they bid them eat their meat, and wear their clothes, and go to bed, and eat not poison, and tumble not in the dirt; and cut not your fingers, and take heed of fire and water, etc. To leave out any such law or duty, were but to deprive you of an excellent mercy; you will not cut off or cast away any member of your body, any vein, or sinew, or artery, upon pretence that the number maketh them troublesome, when the diminishing of that number would kill or maim you. A student is not offended that he hath many books in his library; nor a tradesman that he hath store of tools; nor the rich at the number of his farms or flocks. Believe it, reader, if thou bring not a malignant quarrelsome mind, thou wilt find that God hath not burdened, but blessed thee with his holy precepts, and that he hath not appointed thee one unnecessary or unprofitable duty; but only such as tend to thy content, and joy, and happiness.”