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noble. There is a Reward due to the meanest, as well as to the greatest, if they act handfoınely and do what is enjoyned them.
Thus R. Israel brings in the poor Gibeonites and Slaves that were only Hewers of Wood, and Drawers of Water, coinforting themselves in these Words; Since it is so decreed by Heaven, let us bear it willingly, read the Law early and late; God is our Trust, let his Will be done. And thus I remeinber 'an excellent * Christian
* Erasmus Writer concludes part of a Letter of his, 1.24. Epift. containing a Number of Arguinents to us. Johan. bear all Affiliations patiently; Among all the Remedies of Grief, saith he, that Rhetoricians and Orators are wont to invent, I find none of more prefent Efficacy than this, to think that it is the Lord, let bim do wbat seemeth good in bis Sight: We have deserved worse, and He is no less propitious when He affiets, than when He doth what we would have Him; He alone knows what is expedient, let Him kill if He will, He cannot will, but what is beft; He often saves by slaying, and Nays by saving ; He is not inexorable, nor conceives implacable Anger; nor doth He send AMlictions which we cannot hear, but in the midst of Chastiseinents remeinbers Mercy, and according to the Measure of the Grief, mingles the Comforts of his Spirit, which if we have neither Death, nor Pains more terrible than Death, can deject a pious Mind, but if we want, the least of Evils is sufficient to overthrow ys; and beậdes, that these
temporal Evils, are compensated here with a plentiful Solace of his Holy Spirit, in the World to come they are rewarded with everlasting Joys.
XXIII. But I have one thing more to add, which is, that we cannot have the Confidence to cominend our felves thus to God's Providence, if we do not follow him in Obedience to his Commands. And therefore that Advice of the Philofopher is
excellent, thus angle tìs futurizs év Plutarch, αυτούς έσαν ημίν, εκκαθαίρωμεν, Let μίας. .
us purge and cleanse the Fountain
of Tranquility, that is in our own selves. The Spring of Peace and Contentinent is within, and therefore we had need look that it be clear and undefiled; we cannot derive our Satisfaction, as you have often been told, from Riches, or Greatness of Birth, or Heighth of Power, or Eloquence of Speech, or any Thing of this. Nature: After all our Trials, nothing will yield such a Calm and Serenity, Cole forzen per Jopeusr., &c. as a Soul pure and free from all evil Actions and Counsels, and a Genius or Disposition of Mind (which is the Fountain of Life) that is settled and uncorrupted : All the good Actions which flow from thence have a chearful and divinely inspired Energy or Force in them, and they breed in a Man a certain Greatness and Heighth of Mind, and leave a more sweet and durable Remembrance, than tliat Hope which Pindar called the Support and Comfort of old Age.
Shall we think, as Carnendes was wont to fay, that when the Branches of sweet Wood keep their Fragrancy, even after they are cut from the Tree, the worthy Actions of a Man of Understanding should not leave in him, continually, à grateful and fresh Remembrance behind them, with which he may entertain himfelf with great Pleasure and Contentment ? Experience tells us, they do not perish nor decay neither, but live still, and look back upon us with a chearful Aspect, from whence such Joy springs and flourishes, that makes a Man despise those that bewail and reproach our present Life, as if it were ranãv zuáegv, the Region of Evils and Milchiefs, a Place designed only for the Banishment of poor Souls from their heavenly Country. Some Philosophers railed upon it in this Manner, but if we do well we tholl find it otherwise, we shall begin to be happy here, nay, keep a perpetual Holy-day, by still doing well, or remembring all the Good we have done. So Diogenes told a Stranger at Lacedæmon (for which Saying he is much cryed up by the Ancients when he saw him very busy in making himself fine, and trimming up his Body for a Festival, Dost not thou understand that a good Man esteems every Day to be a Festival ? Be wise and good and thou wilt find it so, and a very splendid one too, for this world is a inost holy and divine Temple, into which a Man is brought at his Birth, to be a Spectator, not of Statues and
Images, made with Hands and that have no Life nor Motion, but of such as the divine Mind hath made the Copies of more excellent Things, and which have Life and Motion in them : The Sun, Moon and Stars, I mean, the ever running Rivers, the Earth that sends forth Nourishment for Plants and living Creatures, and the Life of good Men, being that which accomplishes, and perfects them for admission to these facred Solemnities and Spectacles, it must needs be full of Tranquility and Joy; and is not this far better than the vulgar Pleasure, who long for such and such an Holyday, that they may enjoy wintol génata, a bought Laughter, for which they pay a Price to the Players, or Dancers, or Musicians, whom they hire to entertain them? Let us sit then Spectators in this great Temple of God in a decent manner, for no Man mourus and laments on an Holy-day ; it is unfeemnly to be fad when he is adınitted to any Solemnity, and shall we shame and disgrace the perpetual Festival which God himself hath prepared for us, by Heaviness of Mind, by fad Thoughts and laborious Cares? Let us not be so rude as to hear the Pipe and Singing of Birds, and behold the little Tricks of other Creatures with Pleasure, abhorring all that is dismal and ungrateful to our Senses, and yet feeing our own Life void of all Mirth, sad, doleful, oppressed with unpleasant Pallions, Actions and Thoughts, without any End; to seek no Remedy for it, nor accept of the Assistance of those who offer it by their Counsels; let us listen to their pleasant Lessons,
who would persuade us and teach us how to ease our selves, and tune our Hearts to Joy and Gladness : And all Instructions will do no good without this, to do vertuously, and so with Hearts full of Love to God, and of delightful Refle&ions upon his Love to us, and our pious Gratiude to him, and of most delicious Hope in him for his everlasting Love and Favour, we may lit Spectators of his works here below, till he transate us to an higher Place, where we may take a better View of his inagnificent Greatness, and most bounteous Goodness to all his Creatures.
ler of all Things, in the most bumble Acknowledgment of my Obligations to Thee, and the most bearty Submission of all that I can have, unto thy Divine Wisdom, of whose Care and good Providence I have such rational Belief, and have had such long Experience : I owe all the Comforts of this present Life to thy Bounty, and wbatsoever Hopes I have, either bere or in the future State, they depend upon the same Goodness, and upon thy gracious Promises, thy Power, Faithfulness and Truth. I thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou haft manifested thy Will
, and declared thy most merciful Intentions of Grace towards us, in such precious Promises, which as they excite my Love