Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

152 TILE SAINTS' REST [Chap. M. be unto you," but when they were shut up for fear of the Jews? When did Stephen see heaven opened, but when be was giving up his life for the testimony of Jesus ? Is not that our best state, wherein we have most of God ? Why else do we desire to come to heaven ? If we look for a heaven of fleshly delights, we shall find ourselves mis- taken. Conclude, then, that affliction is not so bad a state for a saint in his way to rest. Are we wiser than God? 1)oth he not know what is good for us, as well as we ? or is he not as careful of our good, as we are of our own ? Wo to us, if he were not much more so; and if he did not love us better than we love either him or ourselves ! Say not, " g çould bear anyother affliction but this." If God had afflicted thee where thou canst bear it, thy idol would neither have.been discovered nor removed. Neither say, " If God would deliver me out of it, s çould be con- tent to bear it." Is it nothing that he hathpromised it" shall work for thy good ?" Is it not enough that thou art stile to be delivered at death ? Nor let it be said, " If my affliction did not disable me from my duty, I could bear it." it loth not disable thee for that duty which tendeth to thy own personal benefit, but is the greatest ..L .nxna 11 03 t ou tanst expect. As for thy duty to others, it is not thy duty . when God disables thee. Perhaps thou wilt say, " The godly are my affiicters; if it were ungodly men, I could easilybear it." Whoever is the instrument, the affliction is from God, and the deserving cause thyself; and is it not better to look more to God than thyself? Didst thou not know that the best men are still sinful in part ? Do not plead, " If I had but that consolation which you say God Ieserveth for suffering times, I should suffer more content- edly; but I do not perceive any such thing." The more von suffer for righteousness' sake, the more of this blessing you may expect; and the more you suffer for your own evil doing, the longer it will be before that sweetness comes. Are not the comforts you desire neglected or re- sisted ? Have your afflictions wrought kindly with you, and fitted you for comfort ? It is not suffering that prepares you for comfort, but the success and fruit of suffering upon your hearts. Secondly. To show the unreasonableness of resting inTire- sent enjoyments, consider it is idolizing them ; it contra-