Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 12.1 LIFE UPON EARTH. 187 damp thy joys, and make the thoughts of that day and state become thy trouble, and not thy delight ! Every wilful sin will be to thy comforts as water to the fire ; when thou thinkest to quicken them, this will quench them. It will utterly indispose and disable thee, that thou canst no more ascend in divine meditation, than a bird can fly when its wings are clipped. Sin cuts the very sinews of this heavenly life. O man ! what a life dost thou lose ! What daily delights dost thou sell for a vile lust ! If heaven and hell can meet together, and God become a lover of sin, then mayst thou live in thy sin, and in the tastes of glory ; and have a conversation in heaven, though thou cherish thy corruption. And take heed, lest it banish thee from heaven, as it does thy heart. And though thou be not guilty, and knowest no reigning sin in thy soul, think what a sad thing it would be, if ever this should prove thy case. Watch, therefore ; especially resolve to keep from the occasions of sin, and out of the way of temptations. What need have we daily to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil !" 2. An earthly mind is another hinderance carefully to be avoided. God and mammon, earth and heaven, cannot both have the delight of thy heart. When the heavenly believer is blessing himself in his God, and rejoicing in hope of the glory to come ; perhaps thou art blessing thy- self in thy worldly prosperity, and rejoicing in hope of thy thriving here. When he is comforting his soul in the views of Christ, of angels, and saints, whom he shall live with for ever; then thou art comforting thyself with thy wealth, in looking over thy bills and bonds, thy goods, thy cattle, or thy buildings, and in thinking of the favor of the great, of the pleasure of a plentiful estate, of larger pro- visions for thy children after thee, of the advancement of thy family, or the increase of thy dependents. If Christ pronounced him a fool, that said, "Soul, take thy ease; thou hast enough laid up for many years ;" how much more so art thou, who, knowingly, speakest in thy heart the same words ! Tell me, what difference between this fool's expressions and thy affections? Remember, thou hast to do with the Searcher of hearts. Certainly, so much as thou delightest, and takest up thy rest on earth, so much of thy delight in God is abated. Thine earthly