Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

I96 HOW TO LEAD A HEAVENLY [Chap. 12. flesh before the delights of the presence of God, it is im- possible your heart should be in heaven. As it is igno- rance of the emptiness of things below, that makes men so overvalue them; so it is ignorance of the high delights above, which is the cause that men so little mind them. If you see a purse of gold, and believe it to be but coun- ters, it will not entice your affections to it. It is not the real excellence of a thing itself, but its known excellence, that excites desire. If an ignorant man see a book, con- taining the secrets of arts or sciences, he values it no more than a common piece, because he knows not what is in it; but he that knows it, highly values it, and can even forbear his meat, drink, and sleep, to read it. As the Jews killed the Messiah, while they waited for him, be- cause they did not know him ; so the world cries out for rest, and busily seeks for delight and happiness, because they know it not; for did they thoroughly know what it is, theycould not so slight the everlasting treasure. 2. Labor also to know that heavcn is thy own happiness. We may confess heaven to be the best condition, though we despair of enjoying it; and we may desire and seek it, if we see the attainment but probable ; but we can never delightfully rejoice in it, till we are in some mea- sure persuaded of our title to it. What oomfort is it to a man that is naked, to see the rich attire of others? What delight is it for a man that hath not a house toput his head in, to see the sumptuous buildings of others? Would not all this rather increase his anguish, and make him more sensible of his own misery ? So, for a man to know the excellencies of heaven, and not knowwhether ever he shall enjoy them, may raise desire, and urge pursuit, but he will have littlejoy. Who will set his heart on another man's possessions ? If your houses, your goods, your cat- tle, your children, were not your own, you would less mind them, and less delight in them. O Christian ! rest not, therefore, till you can call this rest your own : bring thy heart to the bar of trial : set the qualifications of the saints on one side, and of thy soul on the other, and then judge how near they resemble. Thou hast the same word to judge thyself by now, as thou must be judged by at the great day. Mistake not the Scripture's descriptionof a saint, that thou neither acquit nor condemn thyself upon mie-