Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 11.] LIFE UPON EARTH. 169 painful would this work be to you. But because I know, while we have flesh about us, and any remains of that " car- nal mind which is enmity to God" and to this noble work, that all motives are little enough, I will here lay down some considerations, which, if you will deliberately weigh with an impartial judgment, I doubt not but theywill prove effectual with your hearts, and make you resolve on this excellent duty. More particularly consider, it will evidence your sincere piety; it is the highest excellence ofthe Chris- tian temper; it is the way to live most comfortably; it will be the best preservative from temptations to sin ; it will enliven your graces and duties ; it will be your best cor- dial in all afflictions; it will render you most profitable to others; it will honor God : without it you will disobey the commands, and lose the most gracious and delightful dis- coveries of the word of God : it is also the more reasonable to have your hearts with God, as his is so much on you and in heaven, where you have so much interest and rela- tion; besides, there is nothing but heaven worth setting your hearts upon. 1. Consider, a heart set upon heaven will be one of the most unquestionable evidences of your sincerity, and a clear discovery of a true work of saving grace upon your souls. You are often asking, " How shall we know that we are truly sanctified 1" Here you have a sign infallible from the mouth of Jesus Christ himself: " where your treasure is, there will your hearts be also." God is the saints' treasure and happiness; heaven is the place where they must fully enjoy him. A heart,therefore, set upon heaven, is a heart set upon God; and surely, a heart set upon God through Christ, is the truest evidence of saving grace. When learn- ing will be no proof of grace; when knowledge, duties, gifts, will fail; when arguments from thy tongue or hand may be confuted; yet then will this, from the bent of thy heart, prove thee sincere. Take a poor Christian, of a weak understanding, a feeble memory, a stammering tongue; yet his heart is set on God, he hath chosen him for his portion, his thoughts are on eternity, his desires are there; he cries out, " O that I were there !" He takes that day for a time of imprisonment, in which he hath not had one refreshing view of eternity. I had rather die in this man's condition, than in the case of him who hath the most eminent gifts 8