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quiet and torment myself with vexation at them? Let God alone to govern and order the world as he thinks fit: as his power is infinite, and cannot be refifted, so is his wisdom infinite, and knows best what is to be done, and when, and how. 2. As it gives a sound argument of patience and contentedness, so it gives a clear inference of resignation of ourselves up unto him, and to his will and disposal, upon the account of his goodness. It is the mere bounty and goodness of God that first gave being to all things, and preserves all things in their being ; that gives all those accommodations and conveniencies that accompany their being; why should I therefore distrust his goodness ? As he hath power to do what he pleaseth, wisdom to direct and dispose that power, so he hath infinite goodness that accompanies that power and that wisdom.
and that wisdom. As I cannot put my will into the hands of greater wisdom, so I cannot put my will into the hands of greater goodness. His beneficence to his creatures is greater than it is pofsible for the creatures to have to themfelves. I will not only therefore patiently submit to his power and will, which I can by no means resist, but cheerfully resign up myself to the disposal of his will, which is infinitely best, and therefore a better rule for my disposal than
my own will.
5. The next expedient is faith and recumbence! upon those promises of his, which all wise and good men do, and must value above the best inheritance in this world ; namely, that he will not leave nor forsake those that fear and love him? How much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that aik
him 3?" He that spared not his own Son, but de• livered him up for us all, how shall he not with him
also freely give us all things 4 ?'' All things shall ' work together for good to them that love Gods.' Upon the assurance of these Divine promises, my heart may quiet itself in the midst of all the most dark and tumultuous concuffions in the world. Is it best for me to be delivered out of them, or to be preserved in or under them? I am under the providence and govern. ment of my heavenly Father, who hath faid, He will not leave me, nor forsake me; who takes more care of me, and bears more love to me than I can bear to my moft dutiful child ; that can in a moment rescue me from the calamity, or infallibly secure me under it ; that fees and knows every moment of my condition, and a thousand expedients to preserve or relieve me. On the other side, do I fall in the same common cala. mity, and sink under it, without any deliverance from it, or preservation under it? His will be done, I am sure it is for my good; nay, it is not possible it should be otherwise : For my very death, the worst of worldly evils, will be but the transmission of me into a state of blessedness, rest and immortality ; for, Blessed are
? Heb. xiii. 5. Matth. vi. 30. Matth. vii. 11. * Rom. viii. 32. * Rom. viii. 28.1
they that « ie in the Lord, they rest from their labours, and their works follow them 1.'
6. The next expedient is prayer. The glorious God of Heaven hath given us a free and open access to his throne, there to sue out by prayer, those blesfings and mercies which he hath promiled. It is not only a duty that we owe in recognition of the Divine sovereignty; a privilege of greater value than if we were made lords of the whole earth; but a means to attain those mercies, that the Divine wisdom and goodness knows to be fittest for us ; by these means we may be sure to have deliverance or preservation, if useful or fit for us; or if not, yet those favours and condescen. fions from Almighty God, that are better than deliverance itself; namely, patience and contentednets with the Divine good pleasure; resignation of our wills to him; great peace and tranquillity of mind; evidences and communications of his love and favour to us ; fupport under our weaknesses and despondencies; and many times Almighty God, in these wildernesses of distractions and confusions, and storms, and i Rev. xiv. IS.
calamities, calamities, whether public or private, gives out, as a return to hearty and faithful prayer, such revelations of his goodness, and irradiations of his favour and love, that a man would not exchange for all the external happiness that this world can afford, and recompenseth the loss and troubles in relation to externals, with a far greater measure of the manifestations of his favour, than ever a man did receive in his greatest confluence of external advantages. Yea, and poslībly, the time of external storms and troubles is far more feasonable for such returns of faithful and humble prayer, than the times of external affluence and benefits; and the devotion of the soul by such troubles raised to a greater height, and accompanied by more grace, and humility, and fervency, than is ordinarily found in a condition of external peace, plenty, and serenity.
CHANGES AND TROUBLES.
PEACE way-ward Soul ! let not those various storms, Which hourly fill the world with fresh alarms, Invade thy peace; nor discompose that rest, Which thou may'st keep untouch'd within thy breafi. Amidst those whirlwinds, if thou keep but free The intercourse betwixt thy God and thee ; Thy region lies above these storms; and know, Thy thoughts are earthly, and they creep too low, If these can reach thee, or access can find, To bring or raise like tempests in thy mind. But yet in these disorders something lies, That's worth thy notice, out of which the wise
May trace and find that just and powerful Hand,
THE REDEMPTION OF TIME:
HOW, AND WHY IT IS TO BE REDEEMED.
WOULD consider these particulars: 1. What that Time is which we are to redeem. 2. What it is to redeem that Time. 3. How that Time is to be redeemed. 4. Why that Time is thus to be redeemed.
The first of these, What that Time is, that is to be redeemed. The philosophers trouble themselves much what Time is, and leave it very difficult; but we shall not need to trouble ourselves with that enquiry. The Time that is here meant, seems to be under this double relation : First, in relation to some apt season for any thing to be done ; and then it is properly called opportunity, which is nothing else but the coincidence of some circumstances accommodated to fome action suitable to it: as the Time for the husbandman to reap his corn, is when the corn is ripe, and the weather seasonable; it is Time for the smith to forge iron when it is hot, and therefore malleable. And so in matters moral; it is a Time to show mercy when an object of misery occurs, and a power to give relief. This, as I take it, is that which the Greeks call naipes, or opportunity. Secondly, in relation to that continuance of the duration of the reasonable creature in life, in this world, or the Time of our life.
II. To redeem Time, therefore, is in relation to both these ; viz. 1. In relation to seasons and opportunities ; the redemption of Time in this respect is, 1. Diligently to watch and observe all fitting seasons and opportunities of doing all the good we may, whe