Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

194 now TO LEAD A IIEAVENr.Y [Chap. 12. Sit not still with a disconsolate spirit, while comforts grow before thine eyes, like a man in the midst of a garden of flowers, that will not rise to get them, and partake of their sweetness. This I know, Christ is the fountain ; but the well is deep, and thou must get forth this water before thou canst be refreshed with it. I know, so far as you are spiritual, you need not all this striving and violence but in part you are carnal, and as long as it is so, there is need of labor. It was a custom of the Parthians, not to give their children any meat in the morning, before they saw the sweat on their faces with some labor. And you shall find this to be God's usual course, not to give his children the tastes of his delights till they begin to sweat in seeking after them. Judge, therefore, whether a heavenly life or thy carnal ease be better; and, as a wise man, make thy choice accordingly. Yet, let me add for thy encourage- ment, thou needest not employ thy thoughts more than thou now dos ; it is only to fix them upon better and more pleasant objects. Employ but as many serious thoughts every day upon the excellent glory of the life to come, as thou now dost upon worldly affairs, yea, on vani- ties and impertinences, and thy heart will soon be at hea- ven. On the whole, it is " the field of the slothful that is all grown over with thorns and nettles ; and' the desire of the slothful killeth his joy, for his hands refuse to labor ; and it is the slothful man that saith, There is á lion in the way, a lion is in the streets. As the door turneth upon its hinges, so cloth the slothful upon his bed. The slothful hidetlr his hand in his bosom ; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth," though it be to feed himself with the food of life. What is this but throwing awayour consola- tions, and consequently the precious blood that bought them ? For a he that is slothful in his work, is brother to him that is a great waster." Apply this to thy spiritual work, and study well the meaning of it. 7. Contentment with the merepreparatives to this heavenly life, while we are utter strangers to the life itself, is also a dangerous and secret hinderance : when we take up with the mere study of heavenly things, and the notions of them, or the talking with one another about them ; as if this were enough to make us heavenly. None are in more danger of this snare, than those that are employed in lead-