Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. .11.1 LIFE UPON EARTH. 175 and that God said to Abraham, " Walk before me, and be thou perfect." 5. The diligent keepingyour hearts in heavenwill main lain the vigor of all your graces, and put life into all your :duties. The heavenly Christian is the lively Christian. It is our strangeness to heaven that makes is so dull. How will the soldier hazardhis life, and the marinerpass through storms and waves, and no difficultykeep them back, when they think of an uncertain, perishing treasure ! What life, then, would it put into a Christian's endeavors, if he would frequently think of his everlasting treasure ! We run so slowly, and strive so lazily, because we so little mind the prize. Observe but the man who is much in heaven, and you shall see he is not like other Christians; something of what he hath seen aboveappeareth in all his duty and con- versation. If a preacher, how heavenly are his sermons ! If a private Christian, what heavenly converse, prayers, and deportment! Set upon this employment, and others will see the face of your conversation shine, and say, Surely he bath been " with God on the mount." But ifyou lie, corn plaining of deadness and dullness; that you cannot love Christ, nor rejoice in his love; that you have no life in prayer, nor any other duty, and yet neglect this quicken- ing employment; you are the cause of your own. com- plaints. Is not thy life hid with Christ in God? Where must thou-go but to Christ for it ? And where is that, but to heaven, "whereChrist is? Thouwilt not come to Christ, that thou mayst have life." If thou wouldst have light and heat, why art thou no more in the sunshine ? For want of this recourse to heaven, thy soul is as a lamp not lighted, and thy duties as a sacrifice without fire. _ Fetch one coal daily from this altar, and see if thy offering will not burn. Light thy lamp -at this flame, and feed it dailywith oil from hence, and see if it will not gloriously shine. Keep close to this reviving fire, and see if thy affections will not be warm. In thy want of love to God, lift up thy eye of faith to heaven, behold his beauty, contemplate his excellencies, and see whether his amiableness and perfect goodness will not ravish thy heart. As exercise gives appetite, strength, and vigor to the body, so these heavenly exercises will quickly cause the increase of grace and spiritual life. Be- sides, it is not false or strange fire which you fetch from