Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

150 BAXTER'S DYING TB GIIGHTS. love? God's kingdom is not to be judged of by his gaol or gibbets. We willfully forsook the light, and made the world a dungeon to ourselves. And when recovering light doth shine unto us, how unthankfully do we usually entertain it ! We cannot have the conduct and comfort of it while we shut our eyes and turn away. And what though God give not all men an overcoming measure, nor to the best so much as they desire : the earth is but a spot, or print of God's creation ; not sb much as an ant-hillock to a kingdom, or, perhaps,'to all the earth. And who is scandalized be- cause the world bath an heap of-ants 'in it, yea, or a nest of snakes, that are not men? The vast, unmeasurable worlds of light, which are above us,, are possessed by inhabitants suitable to their glory. A casement or crevice of light, or a candle in this dark- some world, is an unspeakable mercy ; yea, that we may but hear of a better world and may seek it in hope. We must not grudge that in our prison we have not that presence of our King, and pleasures of the kingdom, as innocent and free subjects have : hope of pardon, and a speedy deliverance, are great mercies to male- factors. And if my want of the knowledge and love of God, and joyful communion with the heavenly society, be my prison, -and as the suburbs of hell, should it not make me long for the day of my re- demption, and theglorious liberty of the sons of God ? My true desires of deliverance, and of holiness and perfection, are my evi- dences that I shall obtain them. As the will is the sinner, so it is the obstinate continuance of a will to sin, which is the bon- dage, and the cause of continued sin ; and a continued hell is con- tinued sins as to the first part at least. Therefore, they that con- tinue in belp do continue in a sinning will, and so continue in a love and willingnessof so much ofhell. So far as God maketh us willing to be delivered from sin, so far we are delivered ; and our initial, imperfect deliverance is the way to more. Ifpains, then, make me groan for ease, and sickness make me wish for health, why should not my remnants of ignorance, unbelief, and strange- ness to God, occasion me to long for the day of my salvation? This is the greatest ofall my troubles ; and should it not then be the greatest wearying burden from which I should earnestly desire to he eased? As grace never doth hurt efficiently, and yet may be ill used, and do hurt objectively, (as to them that are proud of it,) so sinnever doth good efficiently, and of itself, and yet objective- ly may do good ; for sin,may be the object of grace, and so to use it, is not sin. My unbelief, and darkness, and disaffection, and inordinate love of this life, dó, of themselves, most hinder my de- sires of deliverance, and of a better life ; but, objectively, what more fit to make me weary of such a grievous state? Were my