Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 73' ere of it, that we desire sleep. And if we can thus be contented every night to die, as it were, to all our waking pleasures, why should we be unwilling to die to them at once ? 5. If it be the inordinate pleasures forbidden of God, which you are loath to leave, those must be left before you die, or else it had been better for you never to have been born : yea, every wise and godly man doth cast them off with detestation. You must be against holiness on that account, as well as against death ; and, in- deed, the same cause which maketh men unwilling to live a holy life, bath a great hand in making them unwilling to die, even be- cause they are loath to leave the pleasure of sin. If the wicked be converted, he must be ,gluttonous and drunken no more ; he must live in pride, vain-glory, worldliness, and sensual pleasures no more ; and therefore he draweth back from a holy life, as ifit were from death itself. And so he is the loather to die, because he must have no more of the pleasures of his riches, pomp, and hon- ors, his sports, and lust, and pleased appetite, forever. But what is this to them that have mortified the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof? 6. Yea, it is these forbidden pleasures which are the great im- pediments both of our holiness and our truest pleasures ; and one of the reasons why God forbiddeth them, is, because they hinder us from better. And if for our own good we must forsake them when we turn to God, it must be supposed that they should be no reason against our willingness to die, but rather that to be free from the danger of them, we should be. the more willing. 7. But the great satisfying answer of this objection is, that death will pass us to far greater pleasures, with which all these are not worthy to be compared. But of this, more in due place. III. When I die, I must depart, not only from sensual delights, but from the more manly pleasures of my studies, knowledge and converse with many wise and godly men, and from all. my pleas- ure in reading, hearing, public and private exercises of religion, &c. I must leave my library, and turn over those pleasant books no more. I must no more Come among the living, nor see thé faces of my faithful friends, nor be seen of man. Houses, and cities, and fields, and countries, gardens, and walks, will be nothing as to me. I shall no more hear of the affairs of the world, of man, or wars, or other news, nor see what becomes of that be- loved interest of wisdom; piety, and peace, which I desire may prosper, &c. Answ. 1. Though these delights are far above' those of sensual sinners, yet,. alas ! how low and little are they ! How small is our knowledge in comparison of our ignorance ! . And how little doth the knowledge of learned doctors differ from the thoughtsofa silly voL. ii. 10