Consider, is it not better to remember your sins on earth, than in Hell? Before your Physician, than before your Judge? . . . O wretch, that I am! Where was my understanding, when played so boldly with the flames of hell, the wrath of God, the poison of sin! When God stood by, and yet I sinned! When conscience rebuked me, and yet I sinned! When heaven or hell were close at hand, and yet I sinned! When, to please my God and save my soul, I would not hold back a filthy lust, or forbidden vanity of no worth! When I would not be persuaded to a holy, Heavenly, watchful life though all my hopes of Heaven depended on it! I am ashamed of myself; I am confounded in the remembrance of my willful, self-destroying folly! I loathe myself for all my abominations! O that I had lived in poverty and rags when I lived in sin! And O that I had lived with God in a prison, or in a wilderness, when I refused a holy, heavenly life, for the love of a deceitful world!
– Richard Baxter
1615 – 1691