Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 11.1 LIFE UPON EARTH. 183 whose departure hence we so much lamented ; and is this not attractive to thy thoughts ? If they were within thy reach on earth, thou wouldst go and visit them ; and why not oftener visit them in spirit, and rejoice beforehand to think of meeting them there? " Socrates rejoiced that he should die, because he believed he should see Homer, Hesiod, and other eminent persons. Howmuch moredo I rejoice, said a pious old minister, who am sure to see Christ my Savior, the eternal Son of God, in his assumed flesh ; besides so many wise, holy, and renowned patri- archs, prophets, apostles," &c. A believer should look to heaven, and contemplate the blessed state of the saints, and think with himself, " Though I am not yet so happy as to be with you, yet this is my daily comfort, you are my brethren and fellow-members in Christ, and therefore your joys are my joys, and your glory, by this near rela- tion, is my glory ; especially while I believe in the same Christ, and hold fast the same faith and obedience, by which you were thus dignified, and rejoice in spirit with you, and congratulate your happiness in my daily medita- tions." Moreover, our house and home is above. " For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Why do we then look no oftener towards it, and "groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven ?" If our home were far meaner, sure we should remember it, . because it is our home. If you were but banished into a strange land, how frequently would your thoughts be at home ! And why is it not thus with us in respect of hea- ven ? Is not that more truly and properly our home, where we must take up our everlasting abode, than this, which we are every hour expecting to be separated from, and to see no more ? We are strangers, and that is our country. We are heirs, and that is our inheritance ; even " an in- heritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us." We are here in continual dis- tress and want, and there lies our substance ; even " a better and an enduring substance." Yea, the very hope of our souls is there; all our hope of relief from our dis- tresses; all our hope of happiness, when here we are mise-