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mit himself to it, as proceeding from the best Judgment. No, nor will it be poslible for us to direct our Lives aright, so that we never reproach or accuse that which is ordered by the best Mind; unless we think likewise, that those Things only are the Good and the Evil in which we are concerned, which are within our own Power. For if we seek our Good and Happiness in external Things, and there also imagine that our Evil and Misery lyes; since we cannot but be often frustrated in our Desires to enjoy that Good, and to avoid that Evil; we shall naturally fall into a secret repining at the Author of those Things, who, when he could, would not give us the one, and keep from us the other. For all Things that have Sense in them naturally abhor that which they conceive hurtful, and einbrace, as you heard, that which they conceive most delightful: and they are affected towards the Authors and Causes of them, according to the Hurt or Good, which they take to be in the Things themselves. Is it not necessary then that we rectify our Thoughts and Apprehensions of Things? otherwise it cannot be avoided, but that he who thinks himself mischieved and undone by any Thing, and believes God to have a Hand in all Events, should be apt to complain and have an evil Heart towards him. He will never delight in him, that is the Cause of his Misery, For every one is affected towards him that doth the Damage, like as he is towards the Damage it felf. Children theinselves, we fee, are an.
gry at their parents, when they with-hold that which they apprehend necessary for them, or when they inflict that which they think unnecessary. Who doth not see then, I say again, an absolute Necessity of establishing firmly in his Mind the Notions forementioned That is, after he is rooted in this Belief that God is the first Cause of all Things, to perswade himself that he still governs all Things; which those are most apt to doubt of, who have ill Success, even in good Enterprises. Notwithstanding that we see the Evil unpunished according to their Merits, and the Good unrewarded, and in want of these Things, which we think they should be encouraged withall; Let this Principle remain unshaken in our Minds, that Things do not fall out by Chance, but are disposed by Alinighty Providence and a better Wisdom than nur own. Especially the Affairs of Mankind, who are the only pious and religious Creatures in this lower World; and therefore are no small and contemptible Portion of God's Goods and Possessions (as one may call them,) which are valued by him, according to their Worth and Dignity. Do we not see how the Mind of Man takes care of its own Works? nay, how it governs whole Nations and manages the Affairs of Kingdoms? why should we think then that the divine Mind is unconcerned in its Works, even in the principal of them, or that it is wearied in its Inspection over them? Let not any of tlie cross Things that we meet withal, particulary the Troubles and Afflictions of the
good and the profperous, flourishing Condition of the Bad, be of any Forçe to supplant our Belief of this Matter. And that we may always preserve it and hold it fast, let us always remember that it is imposlīble, the divine Mind should not do Justice, and manage Things with the greatest Prudence, and have the greatest Love to those that are his Worshippers and cordially obey his Laws. We ought to think that those Things are not so good, as we imagine, which pious Men want, nor those Things fo Evil, as we fancy, which they fuffer; rather than think that God is not good when he denys them the one, and when he lets them endure the other. And by the same Reason we should not be offended at the Prosperity of the Wicked; nor think God to be of so weak a Nature as to he bribed by a Multitude of Gifts and Sacrifices ( which their Riches can furnith his Temples withal) to be more liberal to them in his Benefits, than to the poor pious Persons. There is nothing more absurd than this. We may be sure there are other Reafons in his most excellent Mind for this Sort of Dispensation. Which if we cannot comprehend, yet this we ought to be sure of, that he is so just and good, as to do good alwayes to those that are good, and to make thein better even by their Calamities.
This Discourse shows how needful it is to imprint the first Rule in our Minds, and to joyn it together with this. For if we had not so high an Opinion of those Things which we desire as our Good, nor so bad an Opinion of those Things which we would by all means avoid as our Evil; if we thought the one could not do us any fuch great Good, nor the other such great_Harm; and that to te the true Good and Evil, which we do our selves; we should not be tempted to have, in the least, worse Thoughts of God for want of that Good which we long for, or because of that Evil which we suffer. The better we practise the first Rule, the better we shall follow this, and this will ease us of all our Troubles. If we think that God is good, notwithstanding what we want or what we endure; nay, that he can do us Good by either; and that he doth not, nor we ought to esteem 'that fo Good which may do us Hurt, and that so Evil which may do us Good; we should be easily satisfied and acquiesce in that which he is pleased to appoint or permit. The Course of the World can, not run amiss under his Guidance. Which way
foever the Current or Storm drives us, we shall still meet with our Haven. If our main Interest be secured, nay, promoted by what happens ; there will be no Cause of making complaints, much less of bitter Lamentations. And truly it argues a great Defect in the Minds of Men, and that their Judgment is blind, as
bilo the Jew still better explains this Matter, in that they admire these outward petty Things so much, and regard not how Matters are within.
Men do not think that God hath as much Wisdom and Care as a common Physician : Who going to administer to a Man's Body, though he be a Prince that sends for him, doth not regard the brave Front of the House; nor stands to look upon the noble Porch and Walks ; or the fine Pictures in his Gallery, as he goes along; or the numerous Attendants, and the Servants that wait to receive him: but goes straight to the Bed-side of his Patient; and not regarding what the Curtains or Coverings are made of, or any Thing else, applies himfelf presently to his Business. And sometimes haftily throwing all aside, when there is
great Danger, he lays his Hand directly upon his Pulfe to feel how it beats; and sometimes goes further and feels his Breast, or his Belly, and his Legs, that he may know exactly in what Condition he is. Nay, he throws off all the Clothes, perhaps, as if he was in a Passion, that he may make a speedy Application to his Feet or some other Part, where he thinks it will be moft effectual, Which may make ig. norant People think that he is rude and uncivil; a Man that understands not the Reverence he ought to have to that great Person and those that are about him. But he knowing very well what the Necessity is, goes on with his Work, and not regarding their Censures, administers what he thinks most fit. Perhaps he lances, or cuts, or burns the Flesh, if the Case require it. Is it not easy to accomodate this to our present Purpose? There is no wife Man