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SAINTYS EVERLASTING REST.
THE SECOND PART.
THE PROOFS OF THE TRUTH AND CERTAIN FUTURITY OF
OUR REST; AND THAT THE SCRIPTURE PROMISING THAT REST TO US, IS THE PERFECT INFALLIBLE WORD AND LAW OF GOD.
else is loved so much ? Hast thou made a hearty covenant to this end with him; and delivered up thyself accordingly to him ; and takest thyself for his and not thine own? Is it thy utmost care and watchful endeavour, that thou mayest be found faithful in this covenant ; and though thou fall into sin, yet wouldest not renounce thy bargain, nor change thy Lord, nor give up thyself to any other government for all the world? If this be truly thy case, thou art one of these people of God which my text speaks of: and as sure as the promise of God is true, this blessed rest remains for thee. Only see thou abide in Christ, and continue to the end; for if any draw back, his soul will have no pleasure in them.
But if all this be contrary with thee, or if no such work be found within thee, but thy soul be a stranger to all this, and thy conscience tell thee, it is none of thy case; the Lord have mercy on thy soul, and open thine eyes, and do this great work upon thee, and by his mighty power overcome thy resistance : form in the case thou art in, there is no hope. Whatever thy deceiving heart may think, or how strong soever thy false hopes be, or though now a little while thou flatter thy soul in confidence and security; yet wilt thou shortly find to thy cost, except thy thorough conversion do prevent it, that thou art none of these people of God, and the rest of the saints belongs not to thee. Thy dying hour draws near apace, and so doth that great day of separation, when God will make an everlasting difference between his people and his enemies : then wo, and for ever wo to thee, if thou be found in the state that thou art now in. (Deut. xxxii. 25.) Thy own tongue will then proclaim thy wo, with a thousand times more dolour and vehemence, than mine can possibly do it now. O that thou wert wise to consider this, and that thou wouldest remember thy latter end! That yet while thy soul is in thy body, and a price in thy hand, and day-light, and opportunity, and hope, before thee, thine ears might be open to instruction, and thy heart might yield to the persuasions of God; and thou mightest bend all the powers of thy soul about this great work; that so thou mightest rest among his people, and enjoy the inheritance of the saints in light ! And thus I have shown you who these people of God are. .
1 Whether thy infant baptism will serve or no, I am assured thy infant covenant will not now serve thy turn : but thou must actually enter covenant in thy own person. (John xv. 4-6; Matt. xxiv, 13; Heb. x. 38, 39.)
m I speak not this to the dark and clouded Christian, who cannot discern · that which is indeed within him,
Sect. VII. And why are they called the people of God? You may easily from what is said discern the reasons.
1. They are the people whom he hath chosen to himself from eternity.
2. And whom Christ hath redeemed with an absolute intent of saving them ; which cannot be said of any other.
3. Whom he hath also renewed by the power of his grace, and made them in some sort like to himself, stamping his own image on them, and making them holy, as he is holy.
4. They are those whom he embraceth with a peculiar love, and do again love him above all.
5. They are entered into a strict and mutual covenant, wherein it is agreed for the Lord to be their God, and they to be his people.
6. They are brought into near relation to him, even to be his servants, his sons, and the members and spouse of his Son.
7. And lastly, they must live with him for ever, and be perfectly blessed in enjoying his love, and beholding his glory. And I think these are reasons sufficient, why they peculiarly should be called his people.
And thus I have explained to you the subject of my text; and showed you darkly, and in part, what this rest is; and briefly who are this people of God. O that the Lord would now open your eyes, and your hearts, to discern, and be affected with the glory revealed! That he would take off your hearts from these dunghill delights, and ravish them with the views of these everlasting pleasures ! That he would bring you into the state of this holy and heavenly people, for whom alone this rest remaineth! That you would exactly try yourselves by the foregoing
TO MY DEARLY BELOVED FRIENDS,
INHABITANTS OF BRIDGNORTH,
BOTH MAGISTRATES AND PEOPLE,
RICHARD Baxter devoteth" this part of this Treatise, in testimoby of his unfeigned love to them, who were the first to whom he was sent, as fixed, to publish the Gospel: and in thankfulness to Divine Majesty, who there privileged and protected him:
HUMBLY beseeching the God of mercy, both to save them from that spirit of pride, separation, and levity, which hath long been working among them; and also to awake them thoroughly from their negligence and security, by his late heavy judgments on them and that as the flames have consumed their houses, so the Spirit of God may consume the sin that was the cause; and by those flames they may be effectually warned to prevent the everlasting flames; and that their new-huilt houses may have new.born inhabitants; and that the inext time God shall search and try them, he may not find one house among them, where his word is not daily studied and obeyed, and where they do not fervently call upon his name.