Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

36 BAXTER'S DYÍNG THOUGHTS. in nature, as I have elsewhere said, that if you graft many sorts of scions (some sweet, some bitter, some crabs) on the same stock, they will be one tree, and yet have diversity of fruit. If souls he not unible nor partible substances, there is no place for this doubt: if they be, they will be still what they are, notwithstanding any such union with a common soul. As a drop of water in the sea is a separable part, and still itself; and as a crab upon the foresail stock, or tree. And the good or bad quality ceaseth not by any union with others. Sure we are, that all creatures are in God, by close dependence, and yet that the goodare good, and the bad are bad; and that God is good, and hath no evil ;;.and that, when man is tormented, or miserable, God suffereth nothing by it, (as the whole man doth, when but a tooth doth ache,) for be would not hurt himself were he passive. Therefore, to dream of any such cessation of our in- dividuation by any union with a creature, as shall make the good less good or happy, or the bad less bad or miserable, is a ground- less folly. Yet it is very 'Probable that there will be a nearer union ofholy souls with God andChrist, and one another, than we can hefe con- ceive of: but this is so far from being to be feared, that it is the highest of our hopes. (1.) God himself (though equally every where in his essence) doth operate very variously on his creatures. On the wicked, he operateth as the first cause of nature, as his sun shineth on them. On some, he operateth by common grace : to some he giveth faith to prepare them for the indwelling of his Spirit. In believers he dwelleth by love, and they in him ; and if we may use such a comparisons as Satan acteth on some only by suggestions, but on others so despotically as that it is called his possessing them, so God's Spirit worketh on holy souls, so pow- erfully and constantly, as is called his possessing them. And yet, on the human nature of Christ, the divin nature of the second person bath such a further, extraordinary operation, as is ,justly called a personal union ; which is not by a more essential presence, '(for that is every where) but by a peculiar operation and relation : and so, holy souls beingunder a more felicitating operation of God, may well be said to have -a nearer union with them than now they have. (2.) And I observe that (as is aforesaid) all things have natur- ally a strong inclination to, union and Communion with their like : every clod and stone inclineth to the earth : water would go to water, air to air, fire to fire : birds and bèasts associate with their like ; and the noblest natures are most strongly thus inclined; and therefore I have natural reason to think that it will be so with holy souls.