Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

11S .BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. righteous by so many afflictions : I shall know why he set up the ungodly, and .put. the humble under their feet ; why he permitted so much ignorance, ungodliness, pride, lust, oppression, persecu- tion, falsehood, deceit, and other sins inthe world : I shall know why the faithful are so few; and why so many kingdoms of the world are left in heathenism, Mahometanism, and infidelity. The strange permissions which now so puzzle me, and are the matter of my astonishment, shall all be then as clearas day : I shall, know why God disposed ofme as he did through all my life ; and why I suffered. what I did; and how many great deliverances I had,. which I understood not here, and how they were accomplished. All our misinterpretations of God's works and permissions will be then rectified ; and all our controversies about them, which . Satan bath made so great advantage of, (by a pretended zeal for some truths of God,) will thenbe reconciled, and at an end ; and all the Works of Divine Providence, from the beginning of the worldt,will then appear a most delectable, beauteous frame. 7. And among all these works, l shall especially know more the nature and excellency of God's mercies and gifts of love, which here we too unthankfully undervalued and made light of. The special works of love should be the matter of our most constant, sweet, and serious thoughts, and the fuel of our constant love and gratitude : the lively sense of love and mercy maketh lively Chris- tians, abounding in love to, God, and mercy to others; but the enemy of God and man most laboreth to obscure, diminish, and disgrace God's love and mercies to us, or to make us disrelish them, that they may be unfruitful, as to their excellent ends and uses. Little do most Christians know how much they wrong -God and themselves,and how much they loseby the diminutive,poor thoughts which they haveof God'smercies : ingratitude is a grievous misery to the sinner, as gratitude is a very pleasant work. Many a thousand mercies we now receive, whichwe greatly undervalue. But when I come to the state and work ofperfect gratitude, I shall have a more perfect knowledgeofall the mercies which ever I received in my life, and which my neighbors, and friends, and 'God's church, and the world, did ever receive ; for though the things be past, the use of it is not past. Mercies remembered must be the matter of our everlasting thanks; and we cannot be perfectly thankful for them without a perfect knowledge of them. The worth of a Christ and all his grace the worth of the gospel ; the worth of our church privileges, andall God's ordinances; the worth of our books and friends, and helps of our life and health, and all conveniences, will be better understood in heaven than the most holy and thankful Christian here understandeth them. 8. And it will be some addition to my figure happiness, that I