Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 71 And what we know not, Christ, that prepared' and promiseth it, Both know; and is that nothing to us, if really we trust our souls to him ? He that knoweth not more good by heaven than by earth is yet so earthly and unbelieving, that it . is no wonder if he be afraid and unwilling to depart. II. In departing from this body and life, I must depart from all its 'ancient pleasures : I must taste no more sweetness in meat, or drink, or rest, or sport, or any such thing, that now delighteth me : house and lands, and goods, and wealth, must all be left; and the place where I live must knowme no more. All my possessions must be no more to me, nor all that I labored for, or took delight in, than if they had never been at all. And what though it must be so ? Consider, O my soul ! 1. Thy ancient pleasures are all past already; thou losest none of. them by death, for they are all lost before, if immortal grace have not, by sanctifying them, made the benefits of them to become immortal. All the 'sweet draughts, and morsels, and sports, and laughters; all the sweet thoughts of thy Aridly possessions, or thy hopes,.that ever thou hadst till this present hour, are passed by, dead, and gone already. All that death doth to such as these is, to prevent such, that on earth thou shalt have no more. 2. And is not that the case of every brute, that bath no comfort from the prospect of another life, to repair his loss? and -yet as our dominion diminisheth their pleasure while they live, by our keep- ing themunder fear and labor, so, at our will, their lives must end. To Tease -a gentleman's appetite for half an hour, or less, birds, beasts, and fishes, must lose life itself, and all the pleasure which light might have afforded them for many years ; yea, perhaps many.of these (birds and fishes at least) must die to become but one feast to a rich man, if not one ordinary .meal. And is not their sensual pleasure of the same 'nature as ours? Meat is as sweet to them, and easeas welcome, and lust as strong, (in season ;) and the pleasure that death depriveth our flesh of, is such as is common to man with brutes : why then shòuld it seem hard to us to lose that, in the course of nature, which our wills deprive them of at our pleasure? When, if we are believers, we can say, that we do but exchange these delights of life for the greater delights of a life with Christ, which is a comfort which our fellow-creatures (the brutes) have not. 3. And, indeed, the pleasures of life are usually imbittered with so much pain, that to a great,part of the world doth seem to exceed them; the vanity and vexation is so great and grievous as the pleasure seldom countervaileth. It is true, that nature de- sireth life, even under sufferings that are but tolerable, rather than to die; but that is not so much from the sensible pleasure of life,