Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

I76 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. me ? Is he the God of the mountains, and not of the valleys? Did he love me in my youth and health, and doth he not love me in my age, and pain, and sickness? Did he love all the faithful better in their life than at their death? If our hope be not chiefly in this life, neither is our state of love, which is principally the heavenly, endless grace. My groans grieve my friends, but abate not their love. Did he love mejor my strength, my weakness might be my fear; as they that love for beauty loathe them that are deformed, and they that love for riches despise the poor. But God loved me when I was his enemy, to make me a friend, and when I was bad, to make me better. Whatever he taketh pleas- ure is in his own gift. Who made me to differ? And what have I that I have not received? And God will finish the work, the building, the warfare,That is his own. O, the multitude of mer- cies to my soul and body, in peace and war, in youth and age, to myself and friends, the many great and gracious deliverances which have testified to me the love of God ! Have I lived in the expe- rience of it, and shall I die in the doubts of it? Had it been love only to my body, it would have died with me, and not have ac- companied my departing soul. I am not much in doubt of the truth of my love to him'; though I have not seen him, save as in aglass, as in a glass 'seen I love him. I love my brethren whom I have seen, and those most that are most in love with him. I love his word, and works, and ways, and fain I would be nearer to him, and love him more ; and I loath myself for loving him no better. And shall Peter say more confidently, " Thou knowest that I love thee," than "I know that thou lovest me?" Yes, he may; because, thoughGod's love is greater and steadfaste'r than ours, yet our knowledge ofhis great love is less than his knowledge of our little love ; and as we are defective in our own love, so are we in our certainty of its sincerity. And without the knowledge ofour love to God, we can never be sure of his special love to us. But yet I am not utterly a stranger to myself; I know for what I have lived and labored in the world, and who it is that I have desir- ed to please. TheGod whose I am, and whom I serve, bath loved me in my youth, and he will love me in my aged weakness. My flesh and my heart fail; my pains seem grievous to the flesh; but it is love that chooseth them, that useth them for my good, that moderateth them, and will shortly end them. Why, then, should I doubt ofmy Father' Shall pain or dyingmake me doubt? Did God love none from the beginning of the world but Enoch and Elias? And what am I better than my forefathers? What is in me that I should expect exemption from the common lot`of mankind? Is not a competent time of great mercy on earth, in order to the unseen felicity, all that the best of melt can hope for?