Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOLGFITS. 69 many, very many's sufferings! My ears are daily filled with the cries of the poor, whom I cannot relieve ; with the endless com- plaints of fearful, melancholy, despairing persons ; with the wran glings of the ignorant and proud professors, and contentious divines, who censure most boldly where they are most erroneous or dark ; or with the troublesome discontents of those that I converse with ; and should.1 be afraid of the endingof so'sad-a tragedy, or of awak- ing out of such an unpleasant dream ? Have I not many times thought of the privilege of the deaf, that hear not these trouble- some and provoking things ; and ofthe blind, that see not the vani- ties and temptations of It is one part of thebenefit of solitude, or a private life and habitation, to free me from many of these unpleasing objects ; and a great part of the benefit ofsleep, that, with my clothes, I' may lay by these troublesome thoughts. But other men tell me, the church cannot yet spare you ; there is yet this and that necessary work to be done ; there is this and that need, &c. But, (1.) Is it we or God that must choose his servants, and cut out their work ? Whose work am I doing? Is it my own or his ? If his, is it not he that must tell me what, and when, and how long? . And will not his will and choice be best? If I believe not, this, how do I take him for my God ? Doth God or I know better what he bath yet to do ? And who is fittest to do it? The church's service and benefits must be measured out by our Master and Benefactor, and not by ourselves. (2.) What am Ito those more excellent persons whom, in all ages, he bath taken. out of the world ? Andwould men's thoughts of the church's needs detain them? The poor heathen, infidel, 1Vlahometan nations have no preachers of the gospel. And if their need prove not that God will send them such, no country's need will prove that God will continue them such. Many more useful servants of Christ have died in their youth`: John Janeway preached but one sermon ; Joseph Allen (and many other excellent men) died in the midst of his vigorous, successful labors ; bpth' of them far more fit for God's work, and likely to win souls, and glori- fy God, than I am or ever was, however their greater light was partly kindled from mylesser. Yet did both these, under painful, consuming languishings of the ,flesh, die, as they had long lived, in the lively, triumphant praises of their$edeemer, and joyful desires and hopes of glory. And shall I, at seventy-six yearsof age, after such a life of unspeakable mercies, and almost fifty-three years of comfortable he!p in the service of my God, be now afraid of my reward, and shrink at the sentence of death, and still be desiring to stay here upon pretense of further service? We know not what is best for the church, as God doth.; the churchand the world are not VOL. II. 12