4 quotes from Richard Baxter: Conversing with God in Solitude

4 quotes from Richard Baxter: Conversing with God in Solitude

I’ve been writing quotes down over the summer and am beginning to type them up, they will find their way here over the fall. This is from Richard Baxter’s work, Converse with God in Solitude. Published in the 17th century, this is quickly one of the dearest books on my shelf regarding how I think of God in prayer.

Here are four quotes to prime you: 

For if God be with me, the maker, ruler and disposer of all things is with me; he is with me, to whom i am absolutely devoted; who loves me best; whose love is more to me than the love of all my friends in the world; with whom my greatest business lies; with whom I may converse without reserve or interruption; and with whom I must live forever…
…And as my greatest, so my daily business is also with God. He purposely leaves me under daily want and necessities, and the daily assault of enemies, and the surprise of afflictions, that I may be daily driven to Him. He loves to hear from me, He would have me be no stranger to him…
…If God not be enough to employ my soul, then all the persons and things on earth are not enough. And when I have infinite goodness to delight in, where my soul may freely let out itself, without fear of exceeding love, how sweet should this employment be!
…I am often unready to pray, but my God is always ready to hear. I am unready to come to him, walk with him, and delight myself in him, but he is never unready to entertain me. Many a time my conscience would have driven me away, but God has invited me to him, and rebuked my accusing and trembling conscience. Many a time I have called myself a prodigal, “a miserable sinner,” when he has called me “his son,” and reproved me for questioning his love. He has readily forgiven the sins, which I thought would have made my soul the fuel of hell. He has entertained me with joy, with music and a feast, when I rather deserved to be cast out of doors….O how many mercies have I tasted since I thought I had sinned away all mercies! How patiently he has borne with me, since I thought he would have never put up with me more! And yet, except my sins, and the withdrawing of my heart, there has been nothing to interrupt our converse.  I upbraid myself with my sins, but he upbraids me not. I condemn myself for them, but he will not condemn me. He forgives me sooner than I forgive myself. I have peace with him, before I can have peace in my own conscience.
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