Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

54 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. pared thee to see this light, and converse with men. And wilt thou yet doubt and fear against all this evidence, experience and foretaste ? I think it not needless labor to confirm my soul in the full per- suasion of the truth of its own immortal nature, and of a future life ofjoyor misery to mankind, and of the certain truthoftheChristian faith : the being of God, and his perfection, bath so great evidence, that I find no great temptation to doubt of it, any more than wheth- er there be ah earth, or a sun ; and the atheist seemeth to me to be in that no better than mad. The Christian verity is known only by supernatural revelation ; but by such revelation it is, so attested externally to the world, and internally to holy souls, as maketh faith the ruling, victorious, consolatory principle, by which we must live and not by sight; but the soul's immortality and reward here- after is of a middle nature, viz. of natural revelation, but incompar- ably less clear than the being of a God ; and therefore, by the ad- dition of evangelical (supernatural) revelation, is made to much more clear and sure. And I find, among the infidels of is age, that most who deny the Christian verity, do almost as muchdenyor question the retribution of a future life. And they that are fully satisfiedof this, do find Christianity so excellently congruous to it, as greatly facilitateth the work of faith. . Therefore, I think that there is scarce any verity, more needful to be thoroughly digested into a full assurance, than this of the soul's immortality, and hope of future happiness. And when I consider the great unlikeness of men's hearts and lives to such a belief as we all profess, I cannot but fear, that not only the ungodly, but most that truly hope for glory, have a far weaker belief (in habit and act) of the soul's immortality, and the truth of the gospel, than they seem to take notice ofin themselves. Can I be certain, or fully persuaded, (in habit and act,) of thefuture rewards and punishments of souls, and that we shall be all shortly judged as we have lived here, and yet not despise all the vanities of this world, and set my heart, with resolution and diligence, to the preparation which must be made by a holy, heavenly, fruitful life, as one whose soul is taken up with the hopes and fear ofthings of such unspeakable importance ? Who could stand dallying, as most men do, at the door ofeternity, that did verily believe his im- mortal soul must be shortly there ? Though such an one had no certainty of his own particular title to salvation, the certaintyof such a grand concernment (that joyor misery is at hand)would sure- ly awaken him to try,cry, or search ; to beg, to strive, to watch, to . spareno care, or cost, or labor, to makeall sure in a matter of-such weight ; it could not be but he would do it with speed, and do it with afull resolved soul, and do it with earnest zeal and diligence.