Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 12.] LIFE UPON EARTH. IS6 you from. Not only the open profane, the swearer, the drunkard, and the enemies of godliness, will prove hurtful companions to us though these indeed are chiefly to be avoided ; but too frequent society with persons merely civil and moral, whose conversation is empty and unedifying, may much divert our thoughts from heaven. Our back- wardness is such, that we need the most constant and pow- erful helps. A stone or a clod is as fit to rise and fly in the air, as our hearts are naturally to move toward heaven, You need not hinder the rocks from flying up to the sky; it is sufficient that you do not help them ; and surely, if our spirits have not great assistance, they may easily be kept from soaring upward, though they should never meet with the least impediment. O think of this in the choice of your company! When your spirits are so disposed for heaven that you need no help to lift them up, hut, as flames, you are always mounting, and carrying with you all that is in your way, then, indeed, you may be less care- ful of your company ; but, till then, as you love the de- lights of a heavenly life, be careful herein. What will it advantage thee in a divine life to hear how the market goes, or what the weather is, or is like to be, or what news is stirring ? This is the discourse of earthly men. What will it conduce to the raising thy heart God-ward, to hear that this is an able minister, or that an eminent Christian, or this an excellent sermon, or that an excellent book, or to hear some difficult, but unimportant controversy ? Yet this, for the most part, is the sweetest discourse thou art like to have from a formal, speculative, dead- hearted professor. Nay, if thou hadst newly been warming thy heart in the contemplation of the blessed joys above, would not this discourse benumb thy affections, and quickly freeze thy heart again ? I appal to thejudgment of any man that bath tried it, and maketh observations on the frame of his spirit.' Men cannot well talk of one thing and mind another, es- pecially things of such different natures. You, young men, who are most liable to this temptation, think seriously of what I say; can you have your hearts in heaven, among your roaring companions, in an alehouse or tavern ? or when you work in your shops with those whose common language is oaths, " filthiness, or foolish talking or jest- ing?" Nay, let me tell you, if you choose such company