Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

176 IMPORTANCE OF A HEAVENLY [Chap. 11. heaven for your sacrifices : the zeal which is kindled by your meditations on heaven, is most likely to be a heavenly zeal. Some men's fervency is only drawn from their books, some from the sharpness of affliction, some from the mouth of a moving minister, and some from the attention of an auditory; but he that knows this way to heaven, and de- rives it daily from the true fountain, shall have his soul revived with the water of life, and enjoy that quickening which is peculiar to the saints. " By this faith thou mayst offer Abel's sacrifice, more excellent than" that of common men, and " by it obtain witness that thou art righteous, God testifying of thy gifts" that theyare sincere. When others are ready, like Baal's priests, to " cut themselves," because their sacrifice will not burn, thou mayst breathe the spirit of Elijah, and in the chariot of contemplation soar aloft, till thy soul and sacrifice gloriously flame, though the flesh and the world should cast upon them all the water of their op- posing enmity. Say not, How can mortals ascend to hea- ven ? Faithhath wings, and meditation is its chariot. Faith is as a burning-glass to thy sacrifice, and meditation sets it to the face of the sun; only take it not away too soon, but Mold it there awhile, and thy soul will feel the happy effect. Reader, art thou not thinking, when thou seest a lively Christian, and hearest his lively, fervent prayers, and edi- fying discourse, " O how happy a man is this ! O that my soul were in this blessed condition !" Why, I here advise thee, from God, set thy soul conscientiously to this work, wash thee frequently in this Jordan, and thy leprous, dead soul will revive, "and thou shalt know that there is a God in Israel," and that thou mayst live a vigorous and joyful life, if thou dost not wilfully neglect thy own mercies. 6. The frequent believing views ofglory are the most pre- cious cordials in all afflictions. These cordials, by cheering our spirits, render our sufferings far more easy, enable us to bear them with patience and joy, and so strengthen our resolutions, that we forsake not Christ for fear of trouble. If the way be ever so rough, can it be tedious, if it lead to heaven ? 0 sweet sickness, reproaches, imprisonments, or death, accompanied with these tastes of our future rest ! This keeps the suffering from the soul, so that it can only touch the flesh. Had it not been for that little (alas ! too little) taste which I had of rest, my sufferings would have