Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

148 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. tered into the holiest, and bath assured me that there are many mansions in his Father's house ; and that whenwe are absent from the body we shall be present with the Lord. Organical sight is given me for my use here in the body; and a serpent or hawk hath as much or more of this than I have. Mental knowledge reacheth further than sight, and is the act of a nobler faculty, and for a higher use. +Though it be the soul itself im- bodied in the igneous spirits that seeth, yet it is by a higher and more useful faculty 'that it understandeth ; . and faith is not an un- derstanding act : it knoweth things unseen; because they are reveal- ed. Who can think that all believing, holy souls, that have pass- ed hence from the beginning of the world, have been deceived in their faith and hope ? And that all the wicked, worldly infidels, whose hope was only in this life, have been the wisest men, and have been in the right? . If virtue' and piety are faults or follies, and brutish sensuality be best, then why are not laws made to command sensuality, and forbid piety and virtue ? To say this, is to deny humanity, and the wisdom of our Creator, 'and to feign the world to be governed by a lie, and to take the perfection of our nature for its disease, and our greatest disease forour.perfection. But if piety and virtue be better than impiety and vice, the prin- ciples and necessary motives of them are certainly true, and the exercise of them is not in vain. What abominable folly and wick- edness were it to say that the wicked only attain their ends, and that they all lose their labor, and live and die in miserable deceit, who seek to please God in hope of a better life to come, believing that God is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him ! Would not this justify the foolish Manichees, that thought a bad God made this world ;. yea, and would infer that he not only made us for amischief, but ruleth us to our deceit andhurt, and giveth us both natural and supernatural laws, in ill-will tous, to mislead us to our misery, and to fill our lives with needless troubles? Shall I not abhor every suggestion that containeth such inhuman absurditiesas these ? Wonderful, that Satan can keep up so much unbelief in the world, while he must make men such fools, that he may make them unbelievers and ungodly ! III. That my soul is nomore heavenly, andmy foretaste of future blessedness is so small, is partly the fruit of those many willful sins by which I have quenched the Spirit that should be my Comforter; and it is partly fromour common state of darkness and strangeness, while the soul is in the flesh, and operateth as the body's form, according to its interest and capacity. Affections are more easily stirred up to things seen, than to things that are both unseen and known only very defectively, by general, and not by clear, dis- tinct apprehensions. And yet this, 0 this, is the misery and bur-