Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

188 HOIV TO LEAD A HEAVENLY [Chap. 12. mind may consist with thy outward profession and com- mon duties, but it cannot consist with this heavenly duty. Thou thyself knowest how seldom and cold, how cursory and reserved, thy thoughts have been of the joys above, evèr since thou didst trade so eagerly for the world. O the cursed madness of many that seem to be religious ! They thrust themselves into a multitude of employments, till they are so loaded with labors, and clogged with cares, that their souls are as unfit to converse with God, as a man to walk with a mountain on his back; and as unapt to soar in meditation, as their bodies to leap above the sun ! And when they have lost that heaven upon earth which they might have had, they take up witha few rotten arguments to prove it lawful ; though, indeed, they cannot. I ad- rise thee, Christian, who hast tasted the pleasures of a heavenly life, if ever thou wouldst taste of them any more, avoid this devouring gulf of an earthly mind. If once thou come to this, that thou a wilt be rich," thou " fallest into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts." Keep these things loose about thee, like thy upper garments, that thou mayest lay them by whenever there is need ; but let God and glory be next thy heart. Ever remember, " that the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God. " Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." This is plain dealing, and happy he that faithfully re- ceives it ! 3. Beware of the company of the ungodly. Not that I would dissuade thee from necessary converse, or from doing them any office. of love ; especially not from endea- voring the good of their souls, as long as thou hast any opportunity or hope; nor would I have thee to conclude them to be dogs and swine, in order to evade the duty of reproof; nor even to judge them such at all, as long as there is 'any hope for the better; much less can I approve of their practice, who conclude men dogs or swine, before ever they faithfully and lovingly admonish them, orperhaps before they have known them, or spoken with them. But it is the unnecessary society of ungodly men, and too much familiarity with unprofitable companions, that I dissuade