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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Psalm 141:5

Let the righteous smite me, etc. If the righteous smite us by reproofs, it must be taken as a kindness, and as a precious balsam, which doth not break our head, but heal us. Not that we are bound to belie ourselves in compliance with every man’s censorious humour that will accuse us; but we must be readier to censure ourselves than others, and readier to confess a fault than to expect a confession from others whom we reprove. Sincerity and serious repentance will be honourable in that person who is most careful to avoid sin, and most ready penitently to confess it when he hath been overcome, and truly thankful to those that call him to repentance; as being more desirous that God and his laws and religion should have the glory of their holiness, than that he himself should have the undue glory of innocency; and escape the deserved shame of his sin. It is one of the most dangerous diseases of professors, and one of the greatest scandals of this age, that persons taken for eminently religious arc more impatient of plain, though just, reproof than many a drunkard, swearer, or fornicator; and when they have spent hours or days in the seeming earnest confession of their sin, and lament before God and man that they cannot do it with more grief and tears, yet they take it for a heinous injury in another that will say half so much against them, and take him for a malignant enemy of the godly who will call them as they call themselves.—Richard Baxter (1615-1691), in “The Morning Exercises.”

Quoted in Charles Spurgeon, Treasury of David

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