Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 149 den of my soul! Though I can say that I love God's truth and graces, his work, and his servants, and whatever of God I see in the world, and that this is a love of God in his creatures, word and works! yet that I have no more desiring and delightful love of heaven, where his loveliness will be more fully opened to my soul, and that the thoughts of my speedy appearing there are no more joyful to me than they are, is my sin, and my calamity, and my shame. And if I did not see that it is so with other of the ser- vants of Christ, as well as with me, I should doubt whether affec- tions so unproportionable to my profession did not signify unsound- ness in my belief. It is strange and shameful, that one that ex- pecteth- quickly to see the glorious world, and to enter the holy, celestial society, should be no more joyfully affected with these hopes, and that I should make any great matter of the pain, and langúishing, and perishing of the flesh, when it is the common way to such an end. O hateful sin ! that hath so darkened and cor- rupted souls as to estrange and indispose them to the only state of their hoped happiness. Alas! what did man when he forsook the love and obedience of his Gòd? How just it is, that this, flesh and world should become our prison, which we would make our home, and would not use as our Lord appointed us, as our servant and way to our better state! Though our way must not be our home, our Father would not have been so strange to us in the way, if we had not unthankfully turned away from his grace and love. It is to us that know not the mysteries of infinite wisdom, the saddest thought that ever doth possess our minds, to consider that there is no more grace and holiness, knowledge of God, and com- munion. with him in this world. That so few are saints, and those few so lamentably defective and imperfect. That when the sun shineth on all the earth, the Sun of Righteousness shineth on so small a part of it, and so few live in the love of God, and the joy- ful hopes of future blessedness ; and those few have so low a meas- ure of it, and are corrupted and troubled with so many contrary affections. Infinite goodness is not undisposed to do good. He that made us capable ofholy and heavenly affections, gave us not that capacity in vain ; and yet, alas ! how little of God and glory taketh up the hearts of men ! But man bath no cause to grudge at God. The devils, before their fall, were not made indefectible r divine wisdom is delighted in the diversity ofhis works, and maketh them not all of equal ex- cellency. Free will was to act its part : hell is not to be as good as heaven:, and sin bath made earth to be next to hell; so much sin, so much hell. What is sin but a willful forsaking of God ? And can we forsake him, andyet love him, and enjoy his