Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BANTER'S DYING TIlOUGli'tS. 51 evident not only to themselves in certainty, (if they are in a con- dition to know themselves,) but to others in part by the effects; they have other ends, other affections, other lives, than the rest of mankind have; though their heavenly nature and design be the less discerned and honored in the world, because their chiefest difference is out of the sight of man,in the heart, and in their secret actions, and because their imperfections blemish them, and because the malignant world is by strangeness and enmity an incompetent judge ; yet it is discernible to others, that they live upon the hopes of a better life, and their heavenly interest is it that overruleth all the adverse interests ofthis world, and that in order thereunto they live under the conduct of divine authority, and that God's will is highest and most prevalent with them, and that to obey and please him as far as they know it, is the greatest business of their lives, though ignorance and adverse flesh do make their holiness and obedience imperfect. The universal noise and opposition of the world against them, do show that men discern a very great differ- ence, which error, and cross interests, and carnal inclinations, ren- der displeasing to those who find them condemned by their heav- enly designs and conversations. But whether others discern it,* or deny it, or detest it, the true believer is conscious of it in himself; even when he groaneth to be better, to believe, and trust, and lone God more, and to have snore of the heavenly life and comforts, those very desires signify another appetite and mind, than wordlings have ; and even when his frailties and weaknesses makehim doubt ofhis own sincerity, he would not change his governor, rule, or hopes, for all that theworld can offer him. Re hath the witness in himself, that there is in believers a sanctifying Spirit, calling up their minds to God and glory, and warring victoriously against the flesh; (1 John v. 9- 11. Gal. v. 17. Rom. vii. Phil. iii. 7-15.) so that to will is present with them; and they love and delight in a holy conformity to their rule; and it is never so well and pleasant with them as when they can trust'and love God most ; and in their worst and weakest condition, they wouldfain be perfect. This Spirit and its renewing work, so greatly different from the temper and desires of worldly men, is given by Christ to all sound believers. It is true, that some that know not of an incarnate Savior, have much in them that is very laudable ; whether it be real saving holi- ness, andwhether Abrahamwereerroneous in thinking that even the Sodoms of the world were likely to have had fifty righteous persons in them, I am not now to inquire : but it is sure, 1. That theworld had really a Savior about four thousand years before Christ's in- carnation ; even the God of pardoning mercy, who promised and undertook what after was performed, and shall be to the end. 2.