Imatges de pàgina
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abundant ; in Stripes above Measure ; in Prisons mere frequent ; in Deaths often. Of the Jews five Times received I forly Stripes, save one : Thrice was I beaten with Rods; once stoned ; thrice suffered Shipwreck; a Night and a Day was I in the Dcep. In Journeying often ; in Perils of Waters ; in Perils of Robbers; in Perils by mine own Countrymen ; in Perils by the Heathen ; in Perils in ibe City ; in Perils in the Wilderness; in Perils in the Sea ; in Perils among false Breibren : In Weariness and Painfulness; in Watchings often; in Hunger and Thirst; in Fasting often; in Cold and Nakedness; besides the Care of all the Churches ; 2 Co“. 11. and yet, light Afflictions !

The Time 'is Mort: It remains, that they that weep, pould be as if they wept not; 1 Cor. 7. The End of all Things is at band. I shall Thorily know myself what it is to change Worlds. ?Tis more to the Purpose to prepare for my own Death, than fruitlely to lament that of another. And to make sure of meeting my godly Friends, is more now my Business, than to lofé Time in tewailing their Parting. Establish your Hearts, for the Coming of the Lord draws nigb; James

1. 2.

It will be a double Lofs to lose the dear Relacions, and to lose the Benefit of the Amfiction 100: lc is enough to have lost them. Shall I lose the fpiritual Advantage that might be gained by such a Trial, and into which it might be improved

Patient

Patient Submission gives the surest: Poffeffion of ourselves, and the best Enjoyment of every thing else. In Patience we poslefs our Souls ; Luke 21. 19. Without it, we have lost Poffefsion of ourselves : And he that does not enjoy himself, can enjoy nothing else ; for whatever is poured into a cainted Veffel is all spoiled.

It is a dangerous thing to provoke God by obstinate Grief, left a worse thing come unto us. For he has fail, With the Froward, I will few myself froward, Pfal. 18. 26. . He that bath a froward Heart findetb no Good, Prov. 17. 20. Thorns and Briers are in the Way of the Froward. He that keeps bis Soul (quiet and submislive) fall be free from them, Prov. 22. 5. And after this, D. I well to be angry? Would any one choose to walk upon Thorns and Briers, that could pick out an easier Path? Where one Tear falls upon the Account of complying with God's Will, a Multitude fall in consequence of having our own Will. Not only the Miseries of this Life, but the eternal Miseries of the Life to come, are owing to this unreligned Self-will. It may be written on many a Tomb, HERE LIES THE BODY OF N. N. BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE HIS OWN WILL.

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SECT. X.

Help against immoderate Grief, from Confi

derations with respect to others, and the World about us.

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accept of.

your Care with that of others, and you may easily observe more miferable and mournful ones. There are a thousand Persons with whom you would not change Conditions. By what Law is it, that you must only gaze at those above you, and take no Notice of thofe below? That you must look on him only who is carried on Mens Shoulders, and think it a fine thing to be so mounced, but never consider the poor Men that carry him, whose Place you would by no means

" You look with a greedy Eye upon such a one's Wealth, says Bishop Pa. trick, would you have it with his Cares and “ Feari, his Conscience and Mind ? His Ig.

nurance; perhaps bis Folly and Vices ? His $ ill Taste of Things, and Incapacity of In“ tellectual Pleasures ? His uncomfortable

Prospects?"

Mourner. No! I would be myself what I am, with the Addition of what I want.

Answer. Are you sure of continuing what you are with that Addition? Since no one can lave all Things, is not yours a good Loc? What Pretences have you, for every good

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Thing to center in yourself? Was it always well with you as it is now ? Formerly you had no Being : Formerly you had none of those Relations or Poffeffions you now lament. You have lost that which fome never had. Can you say, you had rather never to have had them than to lose them? If it was a good Thing, the having it for a Time was a greater Good than not to have had it at all.

Compare yourfelf with the miserable Sorrows and Sufferings of others. You will find such a one has lost her pretty Children ; and at the same time a loving Husband, that was better to her than ten Sons. Another has lost a near Relation, and with that near Relation away went the Means of Sublistance. The Sons of Zedekiah were sain before his Face; and then his own Eyes were put out, and he himfelf led into Captivity ; 2 Kings 25. David had the Mortification of a beloved Son dying in actual Rebellion against his Father, his Prince, and against his God. How much more terrible was that, than to close his Eyes in a peace. ful Way? The Mother of the Maccabees saw her seven Sons tormented to death before her Face, and she afterwards herself underwent the fame. The Sufferings of the Primitive Chrif. tians, how grievous! The patient Resignation of our English Martyrs to be burnt, how remarkable, how affecting, how glorious! If Mankind were to bring together all their leveral Troubles and Calamities, in all their Cir

cumstances

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cumstances of good and bad that attended them, and lay them in one common Heap, on this Condition, that when they had so done, every Man was to come again to take up an equal Portion of the Miseries of Life, and divide them equally, a great many who now complain would gladly take up what they brought, and go away contented.

What if the great God designs that others who look on, mould have the Benefit of my Example and good Behaviour under fuch a Trial as this. Hath he not a Right to use me for such a Purpose? And does it not become me to comport with it, and behave accordingly? Job lost his Children, his Estate, his Health, and in some measure, his Reputation with his Friends; his Ease and Peace; and all this to Thew the World a Pattern of Patience: Shall others have no Benefit from the Example of our Behaviour? Though God can never want á Cause of inflicting Evil where Sin is; yet this shews, that Sin is not always the Cause. Hast thou considered my Servant job, says God to Satan, that there is none like bim in the Earth, although thou movedf me against bim, to destroy bim without a Cause, Job 2. 3.

This Resignation is the most diftinguishing Character of a Christian ; that which does most undoubtedly distinguish good Men from bad. The Externals of Religion cannot do it, because they are common to the Hypocrite and the SinThe Hypocrite can hear and read, sing

Pfalms

Cere.

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