Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 127 devils tempt me within, and devils incarnate persecute me without. Blaspheming ofGod, reviling godliness, deriding the Sacred Scrip- tures, and sacred exercises, malignant slandering of the servants of God, hating, persecuting, silencing, and saying all manner Of evil falsely of them, for their righteousness' sake., while such crimes are pretended, as they once falsely charged on Christ himself. This is the conversation of those that I have long dwelt with in the world: atheism, infidelity, papal church tyranny, bloody wars, destroying the righteous, oppressing the poor, adul- tery and fornication, stigmatizing perjury, ambition, violence, covetousness, deceit, sottish ignorance, willfulness in sin, hatred of reproof, revengeful malice ;--these, and such like, are the fruits of the soil where I have long sojourned, (though, through the grace of Christ, among the faithful, there have been better fruits.) And is not the company of holy angels better than this ? With whom God is all ; who are even made up of shining wisdom, and holy love, and beneficent activity; who are the blessed choir that melodiously sing forth the high praises of their Maker. Among whom God dwelleth as in his presence -chamber, or his temple, and in whom he taketh his great delight. With these I shall see or hear no evil. No mixture of fools or wicked odes do pollute or trouble their society. There will be no false doctrine, no evil example, no favoring wickedness, no accusing goodness, no hurt- ful violence; but holy, powerful, operative love, will be all, and do all, as their very nature, life, and work. And is it not better to be a door-keeper there, than to dwell in the palaces of wicked' ness ? And is not a day with them better than a thousand here ? 3. And with the holy angels I shall love holy souls that are made like unto them, and joined with thèm in the same society; and it is likely with them judge, that is, rule the world. All their infirmities are there put off with the flesh ; they also are spirits made up of holy life, and light, and love. There is none of their former ignorance, error, 'imprudence, selfishness, contentiousness, impatience, or any other troubling, hurtful thing. When, I think with what fervent love to Gods to Jesus Christ, and to one another, they will be perfectly united there, alas ! how sad and how shame- ful is it, that they should here be prone to disaffections and divis- ions, and hardly 'agree to call each other the servants of God, or to worship God in the same assemblies ! but the remnants ofdivid- ing principles, viz.. pride, error, and uncharitableness, will be all left behind. Society with imperfect saints is sweet; the imper- fect image of God upon' them is amiable ; but their frailties here are so vexatious, that it -is bard to live with some of them in peace. But perfect love will make them ones and O, how delightful will that communion of saints be ! I can never forget how sweet God