Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 151 unbelief and earthly mind predominant, theywould chain my af- fections to this world ; or, if I were constrainedly weary of a mise- rable lifé, I sháuld have no comfortable hopes ofa better. But as it is the nature of my sin to draw, down my heart from God and glory, it is the nature of my faith, and hope, and love, to carry it upward, and to desire the heavenly perfection; not to love death, but to love that which is beyond it. And have I been so many years in the school of Christ, learning both how to live and die, begging and studying for this grace, and exercising it against this sinful flesh, and shall I now, after all, find flesh more powerful to draw me downward, than faith, hope, and love,,to carry my desires up to God? OGod forbid ! O thou that freely gayest me thy grace, main- tain it to the last against its enemies, and make it finally victorious ! It came from thee ; it bath been preserved by thee ; it is on thy side, and wholly for thee.. O let it not now fail, and be conquered by blind and base carnality, or by the temptations of a hellish con- quered enemy ; without it I had lived as a beast, and without it I should, die more miserably than a beast.. It is thine image which thoulowest ; it is a divine nature and heavenly beam. What will a soul be without it, but a dungeon of darkness, a devil for malig- nity, and dead to holiness and heaven.? Without it, who shall plead thy cause against the devil, world, and flesh? Without thy glory, earth is bin earth : without' thy natural efficacy, it would be nothing : without thy wise and potent ordination, it would be but a chaos ; and, without thy grace, it would be a hell. O rather deny,me the light of the sun, than the light of thy countenance! Less miserable had I been without life or being, than without thy grace. Without thee, and my Savior's help, I can do nothing; I did not live without thee ; I could not pray or learn thee ; I never could conquer a temptation without thee and can I die, or be prepared to die, without thee? Alas ! I shall but say as Philip of Christ, "I know not whither my soul is going, and .how then shall I know the way ? " My Lord, having loved his own in the world, did love them to the end. Thou lovest fidelity and perseverance in thy servants : even those that in his sufferings forsook him and fled, yet are commendedand rewarded by Christ, fo,r continuing with him in his temptations; Luke xxii. 28. And wilt thou forsake a sinner, in his extremity, who consenteth to thycovenant, and would not forsake thee ? My God, I have often sinned against thee ; but yet thou knowest I would fain be thine : I have not served thee with the resolution, fidelity, and delight, as such a master should have been served: but yet I would not for- sake thy service, nor change my master, or my work. I can say, with thy servant Paul, that thou art the God whose I am, and