Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

INTRODUCTION. 15 our own salvation. We are members of theworld and church, and we must labor to do good to man. We are trusted with'our Mas- ter's talents forhis service, in our placés to do our best to propa- gate his truth, and grace, and church ; and to bring home souls, and honor his cause, and edify his flock, and further the salvation - of as many as we can. All this is to be done on earth, ifwe will secure the end of all in heaven. r Use 1. It is, then, an error (though it is but few, I think, that are guilty of it) to think, that all religion lieth in minding only the life to come, and disregardingall things in this present life : all true Christians must seriously mindboth the end and the means, or way. If they mind not, believingly, the end, they will never be faithful in theuse of means. Ifthey mind.not, and use not diligently, the means, they will never obtain the end. Nonecan use earth well that prefer notheaven, and none come to heaven,. at age, that are . not prepared. by well using earth. Heavenmust have the deepest esteem, and habitual love, and desire, and joy ; but earth must have more of our daily thoughts for present practice. Aman that travelleth to the most désirable home, bath a habit of desire to it all the way, but his present business is his travel;. and horse, and company, and inns, and ways, and weariness, &c., may take up more of his sensible thoughts, and of his talk, and action, than his home. Use 2. I have oft marveled to find David, in the Psalms, and other saints, before Christ's coming, to have expressed so great a sense of the things of.this present life, and to have said so little of another ; to have made so great a matter of prosperity, dominions, and victories, on one hand, and of enemies, suécess, and persecu- tion, on the other. But I consider that it was not for mere per- sonal, carnal interest, but for the church of God, and for his honor, word, and worship. And they knew that if things go well with us on earth,'they will be sure to, go well in heaven. If the Mili- tant church prosper in holiness, there 'is no doubt but it will .tri- umph in glory. God will be sure to do his part in receiving souls, if they be here prepared for his receipt. And Satan doth much of his damning work by men: if we escapé their temptations, we es- cape much of our danger. If idolaters prospered, Israel was tempt- ed to idolatry. The Greek church is almost swallowed up by Turkish prosperity and dominion. Most follow the powerful and prosperous side. And, therefore, for God's cause, and for heaven- ly, everlasting interest, our own state, but much more the church's; must be greatly regarded here on earth. Indeed, if earth be desired only for earth, and prosperity loved but for the present welfare of the flesh, it is the certain mark of damning carnality, and an earthly mind. But to desire peace, and