Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 7.] THE SAINTS/ REST. 107 ofGod for neglecting it." How do their failings thus wound and disquiet them, who have been the wonders of the world for their heavenly conversation ! It is for want of diligence that heaven itself is lost. When they that have " heard the word, and anon with joy received it, and have done many things, and heard" the ministers of Christ glad- ly, shall yet perish, should not this rouse us out of our se- curity ? How far hath many a man followed Christ, and yet forsook him, when all worldly interests and hopes were to be renounced ! God hath resolved, that heaven shall not be had on easier terms. Rest must always follow la- bor. " Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord." Seriousness is the very thing wherein consists our since- rity. If thou art not serious, thou art not a Christian. It is not only a high degree in Christianity, but the very life and essence of it. As fencers upon a stage differ from sol- diers fighting for their lives, so hypocrites differ from serious Christians. If men could be saved without this serious diligence, they would never regard it; all the excellencies of God's ways would never entice them. But when God .bath resolved, that, without serious diligence here, we shall not rest hereafter, is it not wisdom to exert ourselves to the .utmost? 6. But to persuade thee, if possible, reader, to be se- riot's in thy endeavors for heaven, let me add more conside- rations. As, for instance, considerGod is in earnest with a syou; andwhy should you net beso withhim? Inhis commands, 'i,his threatenings, his promises, he means as he speaks. In his judgments he is serious. Was he not so, when he drowned the world, when he consumed Sodom and Go- morrah, and when he scattered the Jews ? Is it time, then, to trifle with God ? Jesus Christ was serious inpurchasing our redemption. In teaching, he neglected his meat and drink : in prayer, he continued all night : in doing good, his friends thought him beside himself: in suffering, he fasted forty days, was tempted, betrayed, spit upon, buffet- ed, crowned with thorns, sweat drops of blood, was cruci- fied, pierced, died. There was no jesting in all this. And should we not be serious in seeking our own salva- tion ? The Holy Spirit is serious in soliciting us to be happy. His motions all frequent, pressing, and importunate. "He striveth with us." He is grieved when we resist him ; and