Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

146 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. which I have eaten, which must concoct it into my living sub- stance. Arguments will be but undigested food, till God's effect- ual influx do digest them. I must learn bothas a student and a beggar: when I have thought, and thought a thousand times, I must beg thy blessing, Lord, upon my thoughts, or they will all be but dullness or self-distraction. If there be no motion, light, and life here, without the influx of the sun, what can souls do, or receive, or feel, without thy influx? This world will be to us, without thygrace, as a grave or dungeon, where we shall lie in death and. darkness. The eye of my understanding, and all its thoughts, will be useless or vexatious to me, without thine illumi- nating beams: O shine the soul of thy servantinto aclearer knowl- edge of thyself and kingdom, and love him into more divine and heavenly love, and then he will willingly come to thee.' I. And why should I strive, by the fears of death, against the common course of nature, and against my only hopes of happiness? Is it not appointed for all men once to die? Would I have God to alter this determinate course, and make sinful man immortal upon earth? Whenwe are sinless, we shall be immortal. The love of life was given to teach me to preserve it carefully, and use it well, and not to torment me with the continual, troubling fore- sight of death. Shall I make myself more miserable than the vegetatives and brutes? Neither they nor I do grieve that my flowers must fade and die, and that my sweet and pleasant fruits must fall, and the trees be unclothed of their beauteous leaves until the spring. Birds, and beasts, and fishes, and worms, have all a self-preserving fear of death, which'urgeth them to fly from dan- ger ; butfew, if any of them, have a tornienting fear arising from the forethoughts that theymust die. To the body,, death is less troublesome than sleep; for in sleep I may have disquieting pains or dreams ; and yeti fear not going to my bed. But of this before. If it be the misery after death that is feared, O, what have I now to do, but to receive the free, reconciling grace that is offered me fromheaven, to save me from such misery, and to devote my- self totally to him who bath promised, that those that come to him he will in no wise cast out But this cometh by my selfishness. Had I studied my duty, and then remembered that I am not mine own, and that it is God's part, and not mine, to determine of the duration of my life, I had been quiet from these fruitless fears. But when I fell to myself, from God, I am fallen to care for myself, as if it were my work to measure out my days : and now I trust not God,, as I should do, with his own. And had my resignation and devotedness to him been more absolute, my trust in him would haóe been more easy. But, Lord, thou knowest that I would fain be thine, and wholly