Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

14 NATURE OF [Chap. 1. than they possess, but say, with the glutton at the feast, Sure there is no other heaven but this ! or, if they expect more by the Messiah, it is only the increase of their earth- ly felicity. The apostle bestows most of this Epistle against this distemper, and clearly and largely proves, that the end of all ceremonies and shadows is to direct them to Jesus Christ, the substance ; and that the rest of Sabbaths, and Canaan, should teach them to look for a further rest, which indeed is their happiness. My text is his conclu- sion after divers arguments; a conclusion which contains the ground ofall the believer's comfort, the end of all his dutyand sufferings, the life and sum of all gospel promises and Christian privileges. What more welcome to men, under personal afflictions, tiring duties, successions of suf- ferings, than rest? It is not our comfort only, but our sta- bility. Our liveliness in all duties, our enduring tribula- tion, our honoring of God, the vigor of our love, thank- fulness, and all our graces ; yea, the very being of our re- ligion and Christianity depend on the believing serious thoughts ofour rest. And now, reader, whatever thou art, young or old, rich or poor, I entreat thee, and charge thee, in the name of thy Lord, who will shortly call thee to a reckoning, and judge thee to thy everlasting, unchangea- ble state, that thou give not these things the reading only, and so dismiss them with a bare approbation; but that thou set upon this work, and take God in Christ for thy only rest, and fix thy heart upon him above all. May the living God, who is theportion and rest of his saints, make these our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly, that loving him, and delighting in him, may be the work of our lives; and that neither I that write, nor you that read, this book, may ever be turned from this path of life.; lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, weshould come short of it, through our ownunbe- lief, or negligence. The saints' rest is the most happy state of a Christian ; or, it is the perfect endless enjoyment of God by the per- fected saints, according to the measure of their capacity, to which their souls arrive at death, and both soul and body most fully, after the resurrection and final judgment. Ac- cording to this definition of the saints' rest, a larger account of its nature will be given in this chapter ; of its prepara-