Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 10.] Is NOT ON EARTH. 153 diets God's end in-giving them ; it is theway to have them refused, withdrawn, or imbittered ; to be suffered to take up our rest here, is the greatest curse ; it is seeking rest Nvhere it is not to be found ; the creatures, without God, would aggravate our misery ; and to confirm all this, we may consult our own and others' experience. 1. It is gross idolatry to make any creature, or means, our rest. Tobe the rest of the soul, is God's own preroga- tive. As it is apparent idolatry to place our test in riches or honors, so it is bait a more refined idolatry to take up our rest in excellent means of grace. How ill must our dear Lord take it, when we give him cause to complain, as he did of our fellow-idolaters " My people have been lost sheep; they have forgotten their resting-place. My people can find rest in any thing rather than in me. They candelight in one another, but not in me. They can re- joice in my creatures and ordinances, but not in me. Yea, in their very labors and duties they seek for rest, but not in me. They had rather be any where than be with me. Are these their gods ? Have these redeemed them ? Will these be better to them than I have been, or than I would be ?" If yourselves had a wife, a husband, a son, who had rather be any where than in your company, and was never so merry as when farthest from you, would you not take it ill ? So must our God needs do. 2. You contradict the end of God in giving these enjoy- ments. He gave them to help thee to him, and dost thou take up with them in his stead? He gave them to be re- freshments in thy journey, and wouldst thou dwell in thy inn and go no farther ? It may be said of all our comforts and ordinances, as is said of the Israelites, " The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them, to search out a resting-place for them." So do all God's mercies here. They are not that rest; as John professed he was not the Christ; but they are " voices crying in this wilderness," to bid us prepare, a for thekingdom of God," our true rest, « is at hand,." Therefore, to resthere, were to turn all mer- cies contrary,to their own ends and to our own advantages, and to destroy ourselves with that which should help us. 3. It is the way to cause God either to deny the mercies we ask, or to take from us those we enjoy, or at least im- bitter them to us. God is nowhere so jealous as here. If 7*