Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 8.] THE SAINTS REST. 121 lical. Besides, grace is never apparent and sensible to the soul, but while it is in action ; therefore want of action must cause want of assurance. And the action of the soul upon such excellent objects, naturally bringeth consolation with it. The very act of loving God in Christ, is inexpressi- bly sweet. The soul that is best furnished with grace, when it is not in action, is like a lute well stringed and tuned, which, while it lieth still, maketh no more music than a common piece of wood ; but when it is handled by a skilful musician the melody is delightful. Some degree of comfort follows every good action, as heat accompanies fire, and as beams and influence issue from the sun. A man that is cold should labor till heat be excited ; so he that wants assurance must not stand still, but exercise his graces till his doubts vanish. Thewant of consolation in the soul, is also very commonly owing to bodily melancholy. It is no more wonder for a conscientious man, under me- lancholy, to doubt, and fear, and despair, than for asick man to groan, or a child to cry when it is chastised. Without the physician in this case, the labors of thedivine are usu- ally in vain. You may silence, but you cannot comfort them. You may make them confess theyhave some grace, and yet cannot bring them to the comfortable conclusion. All the good thoughts of their state, which you can possi- blyhelp them to, are seldom above a day or two old. They cry out of sin and the wrath of God, when the chief cause is in their bodily distemper. 3. As motives to the duty of self-examination, I entreat you to consider the following : To be deceived about your title to heaven is very easy. Many are now in hell, that never suspected any fa' -hood in their hearts, that ex- celled in worldly wisdom, that lived in the clear light of the Gospel, and even preached against the negligence of others. To be mistaken in this great point is also very common. It is the case of most in the world. In the old world, and in Sodom, we find none that were in any fear of judgment. Almost all men among us, verily look to be saved; yet Christ tells us, " there be few that find the strait gate and narrow way which leadeth unto life." And if such multitudes are deceived, should we not search the more diligently, lest we should be deceived as well as they ? Nothing is more dangerous than to be thus mistaken. if 6