Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

24 NATURE OF [Chap. I. tidings of peace and good things, tidings ofgreat joy to all nations ! Is my mourning, my fasting, my sad humblings, my heavy walking, come to this ? Is my praying, watch- ing, fearing to offend, come to this? Are all my afflictions, Satan's temptations, the world's scorns and jeers, come to this ? O vile nature that resisted so much, and so long, such a blessing ! Unworthy soul, is this the place thou earnest so unwillingly to ? Was duty wearisome ? Was the world too good to lose ? Didst thou stick at leaving all, denying all, and suffering any thing for this ? Wast thou loath to die, to come to this ? O false heart, thouhadst al- most betrayed me to eternal flames, and lost me this glory ! Art thou not now ashamed, my soul, that ever thou didst question that love which brought thee hither? that thouvast jealous of the faithfulness of thy Lord ? that thou suspect- edst his love, when thou shouldst only have suspected thy- self ? that ever thou didst quench a motion of his Spirit ? and that thou shouldst misinterpret those providences, and repine at those ways, which have such an end ? Now thou art sufficiently convinced that thy blessed Redeemer was saving thee, as well when he crossed thydesires, as when he granted them; when he broke thy heart, as when he bound it up. No thanks to thee, unworthy self, for this re- ceived crown ; but to Jehovah, and the Lamb, be glory for ever." But, 0! the full, the near, the sweet enjoyment, is that of love. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwell- eth in God, and God in him. Now the poor soul com- plains, " O that I could love Christ more !" then, thou canst not choose but love him. Now, thou knowest little of his amiableness, and therefore lovest little : then, thine eyeswill affect thy heart, and the continual viewing of that perfect beauty will keep thee in continual transports of love. Christians, doth it not now stir up your love, to re- member all the experiences of his love ? Doth not kind- ness melt you, and the sunshine of divine goodness warm your frozen hearts ? What will it do then, when you shall live in love, and have all in him, who is all ? Surely love is bothwork and wages. What a high favor, that God will give us leave to love him ! that he will be embraced by those who have embraced lust and sin before him ! But, more than this, he returneth love for love; nay, a