תמונות בעמוד

lfa. ii. 11.


SERM. upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty; fo XL.

he raiseth the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out Ifa. xxv. 5. of the dunghill : he casteth down the mighty from their seat, Job v. 11. and exalteth the humble and meek : he sendeth the rich Psal. xviii. empty away, and filleth the hungry with good things. He Pla.cxiii. 7.

maketh fore, and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hands cvii. 41. make whole. Job v. 18. 1 Sam. ii. ... Considering therefore the reason of things, and the na

ture of God, if our state be at present bad or forrowful, we have more reason to hope for its amendment, than to fear its continuance b. If indeed things went on in a fatal track, merely according to a blind and heedless chance, or a ftiff and unalterable necessity; if there were no remedy from God's providence, or support by his grace to be expected, (although even then there would be no reason to grieve or complain; grief would be unreasonable, because unprofitable, complaint would be vain, because fortune

and fate are deaf,) yet our infirmity might somewhat exMatt. I. 29. cuse that idle proceeding; but since not a Sparrow falleth Luke sti. to the ground, not a hair of our head perisheth; nothing at

all passeth otherwise, than by the voluntary disposition of a most wise and gracious God; since he doth always ftri&tly view, and is very sensible of our griefs, yea doth

in a manner sympathize with them, (according to those Hof. xi. 8. pathetical expressions in the prophets: His bowels found, Jer. xxxi. and are troubled; his heart is turned within him; In all Ifa. Ixiii. 9, their afflictions he was afflicted :) since he farther hath by Luke xii. promise obliged himself to care for us, to support and fuc

cour us; we have all reason to hope, yea firmly to believe, Matt. vi.33: (if at least we can find in our hearts to hope and to bePhil

. iv. 6. lieve,) that we shall, as soon as it is good and expedient for Pfal. Iv. 23. us, find relief and ease; we shall have that eŭxaspor Bostany, urxvii. s. that seasonable succour, of which the Apostle to the He

brews fpeaketh.



29, 31.
Heb. xiii. s.

Heb. iv. 6.

• Τους για ν&ν έχεσι και σώφρονι λογισμό κεχρημένους αδέν των ανθρωπίνων αδέκητο», udir gég teútwr sendspor i Bílaum, &c. Theod. Ep. 14.

Sperat adverfis, metuit secundis,
Alteram forten benc præparatum pe&tus. Hor. Carm, ii. 10.

Hope lieth at the bottom of the worst condition that SERM. can be: The poor, faith Job's friend, hath hope ; and the XL. rich can have no more; the future being equally close to Job v. 16. both, the one can have no greater assurance to keep what he hath, than the other hath to get what he needeth; yea clearly the poor bath the advantage in the cafe ; for God hath more declared, that he will relieve the poor man's want, than that he will preserve the rich man's store : if then we have in every condition a hope present to us, why do we grieve as those who have no hope ? having 1 Theft. iv. ever ready the best anchor that can be to rest upon, (for in 13.

Heb. vi, 19. this rolling fea of human affairs, there is no firmer anchor than hope,) why do we let our minds be tossed with difcontentful solicitudes and fears ? why do we not rather, as the Apostle enjoineth, rejoice in hope, than grieve out Rom. xii. of despair? why do we not, as the Prophet adviseth, hope Lam. iii.96. and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord ? The effe& of so repofing ourselves for the future on God's providence would be perfect content and peace, according to that of the Prophet, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose Ila. xxvi. 3. mind is stayed on thee, because he trufteth in thee; and that of the Wise Man, A patient man will bear for a time, and Eccl. i. 23. afterwards joy shall Spring up unto him.

The truth is, and it seemeth very observable, in order to our purpose, that most discontent ariseth, not from the sense of incumbent evil, but from suspicion, or fear of somewhat to come; although God at present dispenseth a competency of food and raiment, although we are in a tolerable condition, and feel no extremity of want or pain, yet, not descrying the way of a future provision for us, answerable to our desires, we do trouble ourselves; which demeanour implieth great ignorance and infidelity C: we think God obliged in kindness, not only to bestow upon us what is needful in its season, but to furnish us with stores, and allow us securities; we must have somewhat in hand, or we cannot trust him for the future: this is that which our

• Παλλής μικροψυχίας εσίν υπέρ των ύσερον συμβησoμίνων, ή μηδε όλως συμβαsopivan pian e Sopíar Ádm xaprichar sg ríslofan. Chryf. ad Stagir. 2.

SERM. Saviour cautioneth against, as the root of discontent and

XL. fign of diffidence; Take no thought for the morrow, for the Matt. vi. 34. morrow shall take thought for the things of itself; fufficient

to the day is the evil thereof : an advice no less pious, than manifestly full of reason and wisdom: for what a palpable folly is it to anticipate that evil which we would avoid; then, when we earnestly desire to put off sorrow, to pull it toward us; to feel that mischief which possibly shall never be; to give it a being in our fancy, which it may never have in nature d? Could we follow this advice, never resenting evils before they come, never prejudging about future events against God's providence and our own quiet; constantly depending on the Divine care for us; not taking false alarms, and trembling at things which Thall never come near us; not being disturbed with panic fears; no discontent could ever seize upon us: for the present is ever supportable; our mind cannot be overwhelmed by the pangs of a transitory moment.

If we need farther encouragement for application of Lam.iii

. 25. this remedy, we have manifold experiments to assure its

virtue: as there are innumerable promises, that none who hope in God shall be disappointed ; so there are many illus'trious examples of those, whom God hath in remarkable

manner and wonderful measure relieved from wants and xvii. : distresles, raising them out of deepest poverty, contempt, Ezr.viii

. 22. and worldly wretchedness, into most eminent degrees of

wealth and prosperity: Look, faith the Hebrew Sage, into the ancient generations, and see; Who hath trusted in the Lord, and hath been ashamed? Or who hath abiden in his fear, and hath been forsaken? Or who hath invoked him, and he did overlook (or despise) him? If we look into those generations, we may there find Joseph, out of Navery and out of prison, advanced to be the chief gover

lla. xxx.18.
xl. 31. alis.
Psal. xxv.3.
xxxvii. 9.
ix. 10.
2 Chron.

2 Chron.
xv. 2.
Eccl. ii. 10.

d Calamitofus eft animus futuri antius, et ante miferiam miser. Sen. Ep. 18.

Ne sis miser ante tempus; cum illa quæ imminentia expavifti, fortaffe nunquam ventura fint, certe nondum venerint, &c. Ser. Ep. 13.

Quod juvat dolori suo occurrere? fatis cito dolebis cum venerit. Ibid.
Quoties incerta crunt maria, tibi fave. Ibid.

i. 3.

nor of a moft flourishing kingdom : Mofes, from an exile SERM. and a vagrant, made the redeemer and commander of a XL. populous nation : Job, out of extreme poverty and disgrace, restored to be in wealth and honour twice greater Job xlii. 10. than the greatest men of the East: Daniel, out of captivity and persecution, become president of the greatest monarchy on earth : David, raised out of great meanness to highest dignity, restored out of extreme straits into a most prosperous state; according to those words of admiration and acknowledgment: 0 what great troubles and adverfi- Pfal. lxxi.

18. lxix.29. ties hast thou shewed me; and yet dids thou turn and re- xviii. 36. fresh me, yea and broughtest me from the deep of the earth again: thou has brought me to great honour, and comforted me on every fide. Thus hath God eminently done with divers; thus we may be assured that he will do competently with us, if with the like faith and patience we do, as they did, rely and wait upon him.

6. But farther, imagine or suppose, that our condition (fo irksome to us at present) will certainly hold on to the utmost; yet confider also, that it soon will cease, and change of itself: fince we are mortal, our evils cannot be perpetual, we cannot long be infested with them.

As it may debase and embitter all the prosperity in the world, to consider, that it is very fading and short-lived that its fplendour is but a blaze, its pleasure but a flash, its joy but as the crackling of thorns; so it should abate Eccl. vii. 6. and sweeten any adversity, to remember, that it is passing away, and suddenly will be gone e Put, I say, the worst case that can be: that it were certainly deterinined, and we did as certainly know it, that those things which cause our displeasure should continue through our whole life ; yet fince our life itself will soon be spun out, and with it all our worldly evils will vanish, why are we troubled ? What is said of ourselves must in consequence be truly applied to them : They flee like a shadow, and continue 1 Chron.

xxix. 15. not; they are winds pasing and coming not again ; they

e (Pfal. xxvii. 13.) I had fainted, if I had not believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Jam. iv, 14.


SERM. are vapours appearing for a little time, and then vanishing XL.

away; they wither like grass, and fade away as a leaf ; Pr. lxxviii. they may die before us, they cannot outlive us ; our life

is but a handbreadth: and can then our evils have any Psal. xc. s. vast bulk? Our age is as nothing, and can any crosses thereIfa. Ixiv. 6. in be then any great matter? How can any thing fo very Psal. xxxix. short be very intolerable? It is but onlyov ápti dumnsérres, Omnia bre-being, as St. Peter speaketh, a little while yet aggrieved; via tolera. it is but pesxpèy őoov őov, a small quantity, whatever it be of bent, etiam. time, as the Apostle to the Hebrews faith, that we need i magna. patience ; it is but tò tapautixa trappor rñs friteus, an af

Pet. i. 6. fliction for a present moment; and therefore, as St. Paul inHeb. 2. 36, timateth, light and inconsiderable, that we are to undergo. 2 Cor.iv.17. We have but a very narrow strait of time to pass over,

but we shall land on the firm and vast continent of eternity; when we shall be freed from all the troublesome agitations, from all the perilous storms, from all the nauseous qualms of this navigation ; death (which may be very near, which cannot be far off) is a fure haven from all the tempests of life, a safe refuge from all the persecu. tions of the world, an infallible medicine of all the difeases of our mind and of our state: it will enlarge us from all restraints, it will discharge all our debts, it will ease us from all our toils, it will stifle all our cares, it will veil all our disgraces; it will still all our complaints, and bury all our disquiets; it will wipe all tears from our eyes, and banish all sorrow from our hearts : it perfectly will level all conditions, setting the high and low, the rich and poor, the wife and ignorant all together upon even ground'; smothering all the pomp and glories, swallowing all the wealth and treasures of the world.

It is therefore but holding out a while, and all our molestation, of its own accord, will expire : time certainly will cure us; but it is better that we should owe that benefit to reason, and let it presently comfort us 8: it is

1 *Iσος χώρος άπασι, σίνησι τι και βασιλεύσι,

Távous iron víxus. Phocyl. I Keurlo

ο μίλλεις το χρόνο χαρίζεσθαι, τισι κερίζιεθει το λόγο. Ρlut, d Αpoll.

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