Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 145' animal, and which is become inordinate and too strong by sin. II. The remnants of unbelief, taking advantage of our darkness here in the flesh, and our too much familiarity with this visible world. III. The want of more lively foretastes in a heavenly mind and love, through weakness of grace, and the fear of guilt. These stand up against all that is said ; and words will not overcome them : what, then, must be done ? Is there no remedy ? There is a special sort of the teaching of God, by which we must learn " so to number our days as to apply our hearts to wis- dom;" without which, we shall never, effectually, practically, and savingly, learn either this or any the most common, obvi- ous, and easy lesson. . When we have read, and heard, and spoken, and written, the soundest truth and certainest argu- ments, we know yet as if we knew, not, and believe as if we be- lieved not, with a slight and dreaming kind of apprehension, till God, by a special illumination, bring the same things clearly toour minds, and awaken the soul by a special suscitation, to feel what we know, and suit the soul to the truth revealed by an influx of his love, which giveth us a pleasing sense of the amiableness and con- gruity of the things proposed. Since we separatedourselves from God, there is a hedge of separation between our senses and our understandings, and between our understandings and our wills and affections, so that the communion between them is violated, and we are divided in ourselves by this schism in our faculties. All men still see the demonstrationsof divine perfections in the world, and every part thereof; and yet how little is God known ! All men ma7 easily know that there is a God, who is almighty, omni- scient, goodness itself, dternal, omnipresent, the Maker, Preserver and Governor of all, who should have our whole trust, and love, and obedience ; and yet how little of this knowledge is to be per- ceived in men's hearts to themselves, or in their lives to others ! All men know that the world is' vanity ; that men must die ; that riches then profit not ; that time is precious ; and that we have only this little time to prepare for that which we must re- ceive hereafter; and yet how little do men seem to know, indeed, of all such things as no man doubtsof ! And when God doth come in with his powerful, awakening light and love, then all these things have another appearance of affecting reality than they had before; as if but now we began to know them: words, doctrines, persons, things, do seem as newly known to us. All my best reasons forour immortalityand fúture life are but as the new-formed body of Adam, before God breathed into him the breath oflife. It is he that must make them living reasons. To the Fathet of Lights, therefore, 1 must still look up, and for his light and love I must still wait, as for his blessing on the food 'VOL. II. 19