Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

170 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. parents, in a safer station; or as if, for some little reason, they might send them as to sea without pilot or anchor, and think that God must save them from thewaves ; or as ifit werebetter to enter them into Satan's school, or army, and venture them upon the no- torious danger of damnation, than to miss of preferment and wealth, or of the fashions and favor of the times; and then when they hear that they have forsaken God, and true religion, and given up themselves to lust and sensuality; and, perhaps, as ene- mies to God and good men, destroy, what their parents labored to build up, these parents wonderat God's judgments, and with broken hearts lament their infelicity,when it were,better to lament their own misdoing, and it had beenbest of all to have lamented it. Thus families, churches, and kingdoms, run on to blindness, un- godliness, and confusion : self -undoing, and serving the malice of Satan for fleshly lust; is the too common employment of mankind : all is wise, and good, and sweet, which is prescribed us by God, in true nature, or supernatural revelation; -,but folly, sin, and mis- ery, mistaking themselves to be wit, and honesty, and prosperity, and raging against that which nominally they pretend to and pro- fess, are the ordinary case and course of the most of men; and when we would plead them out of their deceit , and misery, it is well if we are not tempted to imitate them, or be not partly in- fected with their disease, or at least reproached and oppressed as their enemies : such a Bedlam is most of the worldbecome, where madness goeth for the only wisdom, and he is the braest man that can sin and be damned with reputation and renown, and success- fully drive or draw the greatest number with him unto hell ; to which the world bath no small likeness, forsaking God, and being very much forsaken by him. This is the world which standeth in competition for my love, with the spiritual, blessed world: much-of God's mercies and com- forts I have here had ; but their sweetness was their taste of divine love, aid their tendency to heavenly perfection. Whatwas the end and use of all the good that ever I saw, or that ever God did for my soul or body, but to teach me to love him, and long for more ? How many weaning experiences ; how many thousand bitter or contemning thoughts have I had of all the glory and pleasures of this world! How many thousand love tokens from God have called me to believe and taste his goodness ! Wherever I go, and which way soever I look, I see vanity and vexation written upon all things in this world, so far as they }t standi come petition with God, and would be the end and portion of fleshly mind ; and I see holiness to the Lord written upon every thing in this world, so far as it declareth God and leadeth me to him, as my ultimate end. God bath not for nothing engaged me in war