O sirs, how many souls, then, have every one of us been guilty of damning! What a number of our neighbours and acquaintance are dead, in whom we discerned no signs of sanctification and never did once plainly tell them of it, or how to be recovered! If you had been the cause but of burning a man's house through your negligence, or of undoing him in the world, or of destroying his body, how would it trouble you as long as you lived! If you had but killed a man unadvisedly, it would much disquiet you. We have known those that have been guilty of murder, that could never sleep quietly after, nor have one comfortable day, their own consciences did so vex and torment them. O, then, what a heart mayst thou have, that hast been builty of murdering such a multitude of precious souls! Remember this when thou lookest thy friend or carnal neighbour in the face and think with thyself, Can I find in my heart, through my silence and negligence, to be guilty of his everlasting burning in hell? Methinks such a thought should even untie the tongue of the dumb. . . . [H]e that is guilty of a man's continuing unregenerate, is also guilty of the sins of his unregeneracy. . . . Eli did not commit the sin himself and yet he speaketh so coldly against it that he also must bear the punishment . Guns and cannons spake against sin in England, because the inhabitants would not speak. God pleadeth with us with fire and sword, because we would not plead with sinners with our tongues (410-11).' Everlasting Rest
Richard Baxter