Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 11.] LIFE UPON EARTH. 173 the Father of lights. The men of the world that dwell below, and know no other conversation but earthly, no wonder if their'" understanding be darkened," and Satan d6 take them captive at his will." Howcan worms and moles see, whose dwelling is always in the earth ? While this dust is in their eyes, no wonder they mistakegain for god- liness, sin for grace, the world for God, their own wills for the law of Christ, and; in the issue, hell for heaven. But when a Christian withdraws himself from his worldly thoughts, and begins to converse with God in heaven, methinks he is, as Nebuchadnezzar, taken from the beasts of the field to the throne, and " his reason returneth unto him." When he bath had a glimpse of eternity, and looks down on the world again, how doth he charge with folly his neglects of Christ, his fleshly pleasures, his earthly cares ! How doth he say of his laughter, It is mad ; and of bis vain mirth, What doth it ? How loth he verily think there is no man in Bedlam so truly mad as wilful sinners, and unworthy slighters of Christ and glory ! This makes a dying man usually wiser than others, because he looks on eternity as near, and hath more heart-piercing thoughts of it than he ever had in health and prosperity. Then many of the most bitter enemies of the saints have their eyes opened, and, like Salaam, cry out, " O that I might die the death of the righteous, and that my last end might be like his !" Yet let the same men recover, and lose their ap- prehensions of the life to come, and how quickly do they lose their understanding with it Tell a dyingsinner of the riches, honors, or pleasures of the world, and would he not answer, " What is all this to me, who must presently appear before God, and give an account of all my life?" Christian, if the apprehended nearness of eternity will work such strange effects upon the ungodly, and make them so much wiser than before, O what rare effects would it produce in .thee, if thou .couldst always dwell in the views of God, and in lively thoughts of thy everlasting state ! Surely a believer, if he improve his faith, may ordinarily have more quickening apprehensions of the life to come, in the time of his health, than an unbeliever hath at the hour of his death. A heavenlymind is also fortified against temptations, be- cause the affections are thoroughly prepossessed with the