Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BARTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 2J edictus Spinosa, in his Tractat. Theolog.. Polit., whither the prin- ciples of infidelity tend.' Ifsin so overspread the earth, that the whole world is as drowned in wickedness, notwithstanding all the hopes and fears of a life to come, what would it do were there no such hopes and fears ? III. And no mercy can be truly known and estimated, nor rightly used and improved, by him that seed' not its tendency to the end, and perceiveth not that it leadeth to a better life, and useth it not thereunto. God dealeth more bountifully with us than worldlings understand. He giveth us all the mercies of this life, as helps to an immortal stateofglory, and as earnestsof it. Sensual- ists know not what a soul is, nor what soul mercies are ; and, there- fore, not what the soul of all bodily mercies are, but take up only with the carcass, shell, or shadow. If the king would give me a lordship, 'and send me a'horse orcoach to carry -me to it, and 1 should only ride about the fields for my pleasure, and make no other use of it, should I not undervalue and lose the, principalbene- fit of my horse or coach ? No wonder ifunbelievers be unthank- fulf when they know not at all that part of God's mercies which is the life and real excellency of them. W. And, alas ! how should I bear with comfort the sufferings of this wretched life, without the hopes of a life with Christ? What should support and comfort meunder my bodily languishings and pains, my weary hours,-and my daily experience of the vanity and vexation ofall things under the sun, had I not a prospect of a comfortable end of all? I, that have lived in the midstof great and precious mercies, have all my life had something to do to over- come the temptation Of wishing that I had never been born, and had never overcome it but by the belief of a blessed life hereafter. Solomon's sense of vanity and vexation bath long made all the business, and wealth, and honor, and pleasure, of this world, as such, appear such a dream and shadow to me, that were it not for the end, I could not have much differenced men's sleeping and their waking thoughts, nor have much more have valued the wak- ing than the sleeping part of life., but should have thought it a kind of happiness to have slept from the birth unto the death. Children cry when they come into the world ; and I am often sorry when I am awakened out of a quiet sleep,' especially to the busi- ness of an unquiet day. We should be strongly tempted, in our considering state, to murmur at our Creator, as dealing muchhard- lier by us than by the brutes, if we must have had all those cares, and griefs, and fears, by the knowledge ofwhat we want, and the prospect ofdeath, and future evils, which they are exempted from, and had not, withal, had the hopes of a future felicity to support us. Seneca and his stoics had no better argument to silence such VOL. II. 4