Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING - THOUGHTS. 141 logical resemblance or signification.. As all passions earnestly de- sire vent and exercise, so specially do our holy affections of love, joy, and admiration of God Almighty. And there is inus a desire of communion with many in such affections and expressions. Me- thinks, when we are singing or speaking God's praise in the great assemblies, with joyful and fervent souls, I have the liveliest fore- taste ofheaven on earth ; and I could almost wish that our voices were loud enough to reach through all the world, and unto heaven itself; nor could I ever be offended (as many are) at the organs, and other convenient music, soberly and seasonably used, which excite and help to tune my soul in so holy a work, in which no true assistance is to be despised. No work more comforteth me in my greatest sufferings, none seemeth more congruous and pleas- ant to me while I wait for death, than psalms, and words ofpraise to God ; nor is there any exercise iti which I had rather end my life : and should I not, then, willingly 'go to the heavenly choir, where God is praised with perfect love, and joy, and harmony ? Had I more of a praising frame of soul, it would make me long more for that life of praise... For I never find myselfmore willing to be there than when I most joyfully speak or sing God's praise. Though the dead praise not God in the grave, and dust doth not give him thanks, yet living souls in heaven do it joyfully, while their fleshly clothing trams todust. Lord, tune my soul to thy praises now, that sweet experience may make me long to be where I shall do it better ! I see where any excellent music is, nature maketh men flock to it; and they that are but hearers, yet joinby a concurrent fancy and delight : surely, if I had once heard the heavenly choir, I should echo to their holy songs, though I could not imitate them; and I should think it the truest blessedness tobe there, and bear my.part. My God, thevoice of thy comforting Spirit, speaking thy love effectu- ally to my soul, would make such holymusic in me, that would incline me to the celestial concert; and without it all these thoughts and words will be in vain. It is the inward melody of thy Spirit and my conscience that must tune ine to desire the heavenly melody. O speak thy love first to my heart, and then I shall joyfully speak it to my brethren, anil shall ambitiously seek that communion of them that praise thee better than sinful; groan- ing mortals can: and though my sins here make a loathed jar and discord in my songs, I hope my groans for those sins, and their effects, will make no discord. Sighs and tears have had the honor to be accepted by thee, who despisest not a contrite soul : but if thy. Spirit will sing and speak within me, and help me against the discordant murmurs of my unbelieving heart, and pained flesh, I shall offer thee that which is more suitable to thy love and grace.