Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

40 THE EXCELLENCIES OF [Chap. 3. salvation into this mould of purchase and freeness, that the love and joy of man might be perfected, and the honor of grace most highly advanced ; that the thought of merit might neither cloud the one nor obstruct the other ; and that on these two hinges the gate of heaven might turn. So then, let DESERVED be written on the door of hell, but on the door of heaven and life, THE FREE GIFT. 3. This rest is peculiar to saints, belongs to no other of all the sons of men. If all Egypt had been light, the Is- raelites would not have had the less; but to enjoy that light alone, while their neighbors lived in thick darkness, must make them more sensible of their privilege. Distin- guishing mercy affects more than any mercy. If Pharaoh had passed as safely as Israel, the Red Sea would have been less remembered. If the rest of the world had not been drowned, and the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah not burned, the saving of Noah had been no wonder, nor Lot's deliverance so much talked of. When one is enlightened, and another left in darkness; one reformed, and another by his lust enslaved; it makes the saints cry out, " Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world ?" When the prophet is sent to one widow only of all that,were in Israel, and to cleanse one of all the lepers, the mercy is more observable. That will surely be a day of passionate sense on both sides, when there shall be two in one bed, and two in the field, the one taken and the other left. The saints shall look down upon the burning lake, and in the sense of their own hap- piness, and in the approbation of God's just proceedings, they shall rejoice and sing, "Thou art righteous, O Lord ! who wast, art, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus." 4. But though this rest be peculiar to the saints, yet it is common to all the saints; for it is an association of blessed spirits, both saints and angels; a corporation of perfected saints, whereof Christ is the head ; the communion of saints completed. As we have been together in the labor, duty, danger, and distress; so shall we be in the great re- compense and deliverance. As we have been scorned and despised; so shall we be owned and honored together. We who have gone through the day of sadness, shall en-. joy together that day of gladness. Those who have been with us inpersecution and in prison, shall be with us also