Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 11.] LIFE UPON EARTH. 185 and thoughts, we shall find the least to be bitter and bur- densome. Christian, see the emptiness of all these things, and the preciousness of the things above. If thy thoughts should, like the laborious bee, go over the world from flower to flower, from creature to creature, they would bring no honey or sweetness home, save what they ga- thered from their relations to eternity. Though every truth of God is precious, and ought to be defended ; yet even all our study of truth should be still in reference to our rest ; for the observation is too true, " that the lovers of controversies in religion have never been warmed with one spark of the love of God." And as for minding the " affairs of church and state ;" so far as they illustrate the providence of God, and tend to the settling of the Gospel and the government of Christ, and consequently to the saving of our own souls and those of our posterity, they are well worth our diligent observation; but these are only their relations to eternity. Even all our dealings in the world, our buying and selling, our eating and drinking, our building and marrying, our peace and war, so far as they relate not to the life to come, but tend only to the pleasing of the flesh, are not worthy the frequent thoughts of a Christian. And now, doth not thy conscience say that there is nothingbut heaven, and the way to it, that is worth thy minding ? Nov, reader, are these considerations weighty, or not ? Have I proved it thy duty to keep thy heart on things above, or have I not ? If thou say, Not, I am confident thou contradictest thy own conscience. If thou acknow- ledge thyself convinced of the duty, that very tongue of thine shall condemn thee, and that confession be pleaded against thee, if thou wilfullyneglect such a confessed duty. Be thoroughly willing, and the work is more than half done. I have now a few plain directions to give you for your help in this, great work; but, alas ! it is in vain to mention them, except you be willing to put them into practice. However, I will propose them to thee, and may the Lord persuade thy heart to the work !