Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 1O.] is NOT ON EARTH. 149 consider not the unreasonableness of such desires. And when we enjoy convenient houses, goods, lands, and re- venues, or the necessary means God hath appointed for our spiritual good, we seek rest in these enjoyments. Whether we are in an afflicted or prosperous state, it is apparent, we exceedingly make the creature our rest. Do we not desire creature enjoyments more violently, when we want them, than we desire God himself ? Do we not delight more in the possession of them, than in the enjoyment of God ? And if we lose them, doth it not trouble us more than our loss of God ? Is it not enough that they are refreshing helps in our way to heaven, but they must also be made our heaven itself? Christian reader, I would as willingly make thee sensible of this sin, as of any sin in the world, if I could tell how to do it; for the Lord's greatest quarrel with us is in this point. In order to this, I most earnestly beseech thee to consider the reasonableness of present afflictions, and the unreasonableness of resting in present enjoyments; as also of our unwillingness to die, that we, ,ma, t.vuace rCLei uai resi. First. To show the reasonableness of present afflictions, 'considerthey are the way to rest ; they keepus frommis- taking our rest, and from losing our way to it; they quicken our pace toward it; they chiefly incommode our flesh ; and under them God's people have often the sweetest foretastes of their rest. 1. Consider that labor and trouble are the common way to rest, both in the course of nature and grace. Can there possibly be rest without weariness ? Do you not travail and toil first, and rest after ? The day for labor is first, and then follows the night for rest. Why should we desire the course of grace to be perverted, any more than the course of na- ture ?. It is an established decree, " that we must, through much tribulation, enter into the kingdom of God ;" and that, " if we suffer, we shall also reign with Christ." And what are we, that God's statutes should be reversed for our pleasure ? 2. Afflictions are exceedingly useful to us, to keep us frommistaking our rest. AChristian's motion toward hea- ven is voluntary, and not constrained. Those means, there- fore, are most profitable, which help his understanding and will. The most dangerous mistake of our souls is, to take