Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

70 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. lîre of 'this flesh ? What taketh.úp the thoughts and care which we should lay out upon things spiritual and heavenly, but this body and its life ? What pleasures are they that steal away men's hearts from the heavenly pleasures of faith, hope, and love, but the pleasures ofthis flesh ? This draweth us to sin ; this hindereth us from and in our duty. This bodyhath, its interest, which must be minded, and its inordinate appetite, whichmust be pleased; or else what murmurings and disquiet must we expect! Were it not for bodily interest, and its temptations, how much more innocently and holily,might I live! I should have nothing to care for, but to please God, and to be pleased in him; were it not for the care of this bodily life. What employment should my will and love have, but to delight in God, and love him and his interest, were it not for the love of the body, and its concerns ? By this the 'mind is darkened, and the thoughts diverted: by this our wills are per- verted and corrupted, and; by loving things corporeal, contract a strangeness and aversion from things spiritual ; by this, heart and time are alienated from God.; our guilt is increased, and our heav- enly desire and hopes destroyed; life made unholy and uncomfort- able, and death made terrible; God and our souls separated, and life eternal set by, and in danger of being utterly lost. I know that it is the sinful soul that is in all this the chiefcause and agent; but what is it but bodily interest that is its temptation, bait, and end ? What but the body, and its life, and its pleasure, is the chief, objective, alluring cause of all this sin and misery? And shall I take such abody to be better than heaven, or be loath to be loosed from so troublesome a yoke-fellow, or to be separated from so burdensome and dangerous a companion? Obi. But I know this habitation, but the next I know not. I have long been acquainted with this body, and this world, but the next I am unacquainted with. . Ans. 1. If you know it, you know all that of it which I have mentioned before ; you know it to be a burden and snare. I am sure I know, by long experience, that this flesh bath been a pain- ful lodging to my soul, and this world as a tumultuous ocean, or like the Uncertain' and stormy region of the air. And well he de- serveth bondage, pain, and enmity, who will love them because he is acquainted with them, and is loath to leave them because he flatly had them long, and is afraid of being well because he bath been long sick. 2. And do you not know the next .and better habitation? Is faith noknowledge ? Ifyou believe God's promise, you knowthat such a state there is ; and you know, in general, that it is better than this world ; and you know that we shall be in holiness and glorious happiness with Christ; and is this no knowledge? 3.