I so wish I could have heard and listened to this during my first pastorate. Had God granted me ears to hear, it might have spared me errors of attitude, action, and inaction that I regret (and even dream about) to this day.
Pastor brother, I commend it to you. Listen and hearken.
Here's another little taste. Baxter is giving motives for earnest oversight of the church. Each is simply a hammer-blow. Here's part of his fourth:
The last motive that is mentioned in my text, is drawn from the price that was paid for the Church which we oversee: ‘Which God,’ says the apostle, ‘hath purchased with his own blood.’ Oh what an argument is this to quicken the negligent, and to condemn those who will not be quickened to their duty by it! ‘Oh,’ saith one of the ancient doctors, ‘If Christ had but committed to my keeping one spoonful of his blood in a fragile glass, how curiously would I preserve it, and how tender would I be of that glass! If then he have committed to me the purchase of his blood, should I not as carefully look to my charge.' What! sirs, shall we despise the blood of Christ? Shall we think it was shed for them who are not worthy of our utmost care? You may see here, it is not a little fault that negligent pastors are guilty of. As much as in them lieth, the blood of Christ would be shed in vain. They would lose him those souls which he hath so dearly purchased. Oh, then, let us hear these arguments of Christ, whenever we feel ourselves grow dull and careless: ‘Did I die for these souls, and wilt not thou look after them? Were they worth my blood, and are they not worth thy labor? Did I come down from heaven to earth, “to seek and to save that which was lost;” and wilt thou not go to the next door, or street, or village, to seek them? How small is thy condescension and labor compared to mine! I debased myself to this, but it is thy honor to be so employed. Have I done and suffered so much for their salvation, and was I willing to make thee a fellow-worker with me, and wilt thou refuse to do that little which lieth upon thy hands?’ Every time we look upon our congregations, let us believingly remember that they are the purchase of Christ’s blood, and therefore should be regarded by us with the deepest interest and the most tender affection. Oh, think what a confusion it will be to a negligent minister, at the last day, to have this blood of the Son of God pleaded against him; and for Christ to say, ‘It was the purchase of my blood of which thou didst make so light, and dost thou think to be saved by it thyself?’ O brethren, seeing Christ will bring his blood to plead with us, let it plead us to our duty, lest it plead us to damnation.Are you writhing in the dust yet? Right there with you.
If you have not yet gotten it, get it while you can.