Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 135 with an effectingword. How can Irejoice in death and darkness ? When the bridegroont is absent I must fast and mourn. While I looktowards heaven but through the crevices of this dungeon flesh, my love and joy will be but answerable to my light. How long is it since I hoped that I had been translated from the kingdom of darkness, and delivered from the power of the prince ofdarkness, and brought into that light which is theentrance of the inheritance of saints ! And yet, alas ! darkness, darkness is still my misery. There is light round about me, in thy word and works, but dark- ness is within me; and if my eye be dark, the sun will be no sun to me. Alas ! my Lord, it is not all the learning in the world ; no, not of theology, that consisteth in the knowledge of words and methods, which I cad take for thesatisfactory, heavenly light. To knowwhat thou hast written in the sacred book, is not enough to make me know my glorified Savior, my Father, and my home. It must be a light from heaven that must show me heaven, and a light accompanied with vital heat that must turn to love and joy within me. O let me not have only dreaming knowledge of words and signs, but quickening light,,to show the things which these words do signify, tomymind and heart. Surely, the faith by which we must live, must bea living faith, and must reach further than to words, how true soever. Can faith live in thedark? What is it but an effect ofthine illumination? What is my unbeliefbut the dark- ness of my soul ? Lord Jesus, scatter all these mists ! Make thy way, O thou Sun of Righteousness, into this benighted mind ! O send thine advocate to silence every temptation that is against thy truth and thee ; and thine agent to prosecute thycause against thine enemies and mine, and to be the resident witness of thy verity, and my sonship and salvation. Hearing of thee is not satisfactory to me : it must be the presence and operation' of thy light and love, she'd abroad by thy Spirit on my heart, that must quiet and con- tent my soul. I confess, with shame, that I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am unworthy to have any glimpse or taste of heaven ; but so did many that are now entertained and feasted by thy love in glory. My Lord, I know that heaven is not far fromme : it is not, I be- lieve, one day's or hour's journey to a separated soul. How quick is the communion of my eyes with the sun, that seems far off! and couldst thou riot show it me in a moment ? Is not faith a seeing grace? It can see the invisible God, the unseen world, the new Jerusalem, the innumerable angels, and the spirits of the perfected just, if it be animated by thine influx ; without which it can do nothing, and is nothing. Thou, that oft healedst the blind here in the flesh, didst tell us that it is much more thy work to illuminate