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if any suffer as a Christian, let him be shewed from his friend.-Job not be ashamed.-1 Pet. iv. 14-16. vi. 14.
To sympathize with them, visit, help, comfort, and pray for them: take heed we add not to their Trouble. The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.-Prov. xiv. 10. When Abraham heard that his brother Lot was taken captive, he armed (or led forth) his trained (or instructed) servants, &c. and pursued those who took Lot: and he smote them, &c. and he brought back all the goods and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.-Gen. xiv. 14-16.
When David fled from Saul into a wood, Jonathan went to him, and strengthened his hand in God.1 Sam. xxiii. 15—17.
When Nehemiah had heard that the Jews were in great affliction and reproach (though he were then a servant to the king): he sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven, &c.-Neh. i. 2, &c. Jer. ix. 1.
Thou shalt not vex a stranger, nor oppress him, &c. Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.Exod. xxii. 1. 22.
When Job's three friends heard of all the evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place, &c. for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him, and to comfort him. They wept.-Job ii. 11—13.
Thou hast strengthened the weak hands: thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.-Job iv. 3, 4.
To him that is afflicted, pity should
Job said to his friends, Ye are forgers of lies; ye are all physicians of no value: O that you would altogether hold your peace, and it should be your wisdom, &c. will you speak wickedly for God? &c.-Job xiii. 4, 5. 7. xii. 1-4.
Job answered and said, I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are ye all (or troublesome comforters are ye all)! shall vain words have an end? &c. I also could speak as ye do, if your souls were in my soul's stead; I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you: but I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should assuage your grief. Job xvi. 1—5.
How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? these ten times have ye reproached me. you are, &c. He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me : my kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me: they that dwell in my house, and my maids, count me for a stranger; I am an alien in their sight, &c. have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.Job xix. 2, 3. 13–15. 21. Ps. lxix. 8. 20.
How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood (or transgression)? -Job xxi. 34.
Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me: they have also let loose the bridle before me, &c. Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor ? Job xxx. 11. 25.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor (or sick), &c. the Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing, &c.—Ps. xli. 1—3.
God is said to be afflicted in the afflictions of his people.-Isa. Ixiii. 9. Jeremiah bemoans Judah's sad case
at large, and discovers the tender compassion he had for them.-Lam. i. ii.
Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission. Lam. iii. 48, 49.
Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, &c. Ye that put far away the evil day, &c. that lie upon beds of ivory, &c. but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.-Amos vi. 1. 3-7.
I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.-Zech. i. 15. Obad. 11-14.
When Jesus saw the multitude, he had compassion on them, because they fainted (or were tired and laid down); &c.-Matt. ix. 36.
I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me; I was sick, and ye visited me, &c. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.-Matt. xxv. 35-37.40.
When Jesus had put forth the parable of a man fallen among thieves, and wounded, and the priest and Levite passing by, and looking on him; and had mentioned that the Samaritan had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, and took care of him; he said, Go, and do thou likewise. Luke x. 30-37.
Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.-Luke xxii. 31, 32.
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing (or earnest and instant prayer was
made) of the church unto God for him.-Acts xii. 5. 12.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep: be of the same mind one toward another.-Rom. xii. 15, 16.
The members should have the same care one for another: and whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it: or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it: now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.— 1 Cor. xii. 25-27.
Blessed be God, &c. who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.-2 Cor. i. 3, 4.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.-Gal. vi. 2. Be kind one to another, tenderhearted.-Eph. iv. 32.
Ye have done well that ye did communicate with mine affliction, &c. Ye sent once and again unto my necessity.Phil. iv. 14—16. Isa. lviii. 10.
Put on therefore (as the elect of God, holy and beloved) bowels of mercies.-Col. iii. 12.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel, &c. The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus, for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: but when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me: the Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day; and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.-2 Tim.i.8.16-18.
At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me : I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.-2 Tim. iv. 16.
Ye endured a great fight of afflictions: partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock, both by reproaches
and afflictions: and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used; for ye had compassion on me in my bonds, &c.-Heb.x. 32-34. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them and them that suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.-Heb. xiii. 2, 3.
Pure religion, &c. is to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction.-James i. 27.
OF PUBLIC OR COMMON CALAMITIES
GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, &c. And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, &c. And behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh, &c. Accordingly he brings the flood.-Gen. vi. 5.7.17. vii. 4. Job xxxvii. 11-13. The Lord rained upon Sodom, and upon Gomorrah, brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven and he overthrew those cities.-Gen. xix. 24, 25.
God said, I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall not let the people -Exod. iv. 21. xiv. 4. Josh.
See now that I am he, and there is no God with me: I kill, and I make alive: I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.-Deut. xxxii. 39.
God's anger was hot against Israel, therefore he left their enemies amongst them. Judges ii. 20-23.
If ye turn away and forsake my statutes, &c. then will I pluck them
up by the roots out of my land, which I have given them, &c.-2 Chron. vii. 19, 20.
The Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, &c. and they came up into Judah, and brake into it, &c, 2 Chron. xxi. 16, 17.2 Kings xxiv. 2, 3.
They mocked the messengers of God, &c. till the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy: therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men, &c.2 Chron. xxxvi. 15-17.
Affliction cometh not forth of the dust, &c. he maketh sore and bindeth up.-Job v. 16. 18. ix. 12.
He turned their heart to hate his
people, and to deal subtilely with his
servants.-Ps. cv. 25.
them into the hand of the
heathen: and they that hated them
ruled over them.-Ps. cvi. 41, 42, xliv. 10—14. lx. 10. Lam. ii. 17.
O Assyrian, &c. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, &c. to tread them down, &c.-Isa. x. 5, 6,
Behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth.-Îsa. xxvi. 21.
Ye scornful men, &c. when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be overthrown by it, &c. I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption determined upon the whole earth.—Isa. xxviii. 14, 15, 18. 22.
Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the Lord; he against whom we have sinned?-Isa. xlii. 24.. Ezek. xxxix. Job xii. 23. 23, 24.
I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.-Isa. xlv. 7.
I was wrath with my people: I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand, &c. therefore shall evil come upon thee, &c. thou shalt not be able to put it off, &c.-Isa. xlvii. 6. 11.-Jer. xlvi. 15.
I have forsaken mine house: I to deliver them, &c.-Exod. iii. 7, 8. have left mine heritage: I have given Acts vii. 34. the dearly beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies.-Jer. xii. 7-10.
At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it: if that nation, &c.-Jer. xvii. 7, 8.
O thou sword of the Lord, &c. how can it be quiet seeing the Lord hath given it a charge against Ashkelon? &c.-Jer. xlvii. 6, 7.
Is there any sorrow like unto my sorrow, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger?-Lam. i. 12, &c. iii.
Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?--Amos iii. 6.
Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel; and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, &c.-Amos iv. 12.
God smote the Egyptians universally in the destruction of their firstborn. But he said, Against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast, &c. The plague shall not be upon you.-Exod. xi. 5-7. xii. 13.
The Lord shall judge his people, &c. when he sees that their power is gone. Deut. xxxii. 36. 2 Kings xiv. 26.
Elijah and the widow fed in the time of the famine.-1 Kings xvii.
God said to Josiah, Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace, and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. -2 Kings xxii. 20.
In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword: at destruction and famine thou shalt laugh.-Job v. 20. 22. Ps. xxxiii. 18, 19.
Though the earth be moved, &c. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, &c. God is in the midst of her, &c.
Before these days there was no,
SECT. II. The Privileges of the
WHEN God destroyed the whole world
God would have spared Sodom, for the sake of ten righteous persons. -Gen. xviii. 32.
In the destruction of Sodom, Lot was preserved and all his, and sent out by the angel from the overthrow, and escaped. Gen. xix. 12, 13. 15-17.
Jacob and his family nourished by Joseph in the great famine.-Gen. xlvii. 12, 13.
I have surely seen the affliction of my people, &c. and I am come down
Thou shalt not be afraid, &c. nor for the pestilence, &c. nor for the destruction, &c.-Ps. xci. 5-7. xxxvii. 18, 19.
Despise not the chastening of the Lord: neither be weary of his correction.-Prov. iii. 11, 12.
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself, &c. until the indignation be overpast: for behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth, &c.-Isa. xxvi. 20, 21.
The whole land shall be desolate, yet will I not make a full end.—Jer. iv. 27. v. 18. Isa. xvii. 4-6. Ezek. vi. 8. xi. 16.
For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, &c. that I cut thee not off, &c. for my name's sake, &c.Isa. xlviii. 9. 11.
Run ye to and fro through the
streets of Jerusalem, &c. if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth, and I will pardon it. Jer. v. 1.
When Jeremiah was taken with the rest of the Jews, God took care of him. Jer. xxxix. 11, 12. 14. xl. 2, &c.
I will make a full end of all nations, whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee.-Jer. xlvi. 28. Levit. xxvi. 44, 45.
Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh, and that cry for all the abominations, &c. Slay utterly old and young, &c. but come not near any man upon whom is the mark.Ezek. ix. 4-6.
Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls only.Ezek. xiv. 14. 18. 20.
All ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment, &c. it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.-Zeph. ii. 3.
Hurt not the earth, &c. till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.-Rev. vii. 2, 3.
And it was commanded them, that they should not hurt, &c. but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.-Rev. ix. 4.
SECT. III. The Duties of the Righte
ous in such times of Distress. WHEN God had said he would not go up with Israel, but send his angel, because they had sinned: the people mourned, and no man did put on his ornaments.-Exod. xxxiii. 1, &c.
If they shall confess their iniquity, &c. if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, &c.-Levit. xxvi. 40-42. When God's anger brake out against Israel, Moses prayed for them.Numb. xi. 1, 2.
When Israel fled before the men of Ai, Joshua prayed, and God com
mands him to arise, and search out the sin, and remove the cause.-Josh. vii. 6-16.
Israel in all their distresses cried to the Lord, and he helped.-Judges iii. 9. iv. 3. vi. 7. x. 10-14. 1 Sam. xii. 9, 10. 2 Kings xix. 14—19.
If I shut up heaven, that there be no rain, &c. or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.-2 Chron. vii. 13, 14. Deut. iv. 29, 30. xxx. 1, &c.
When Jerusalem was in distress, the princes and the king humbled themselves, &c. And God said, They have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them, but I will grant them, &c.-2 Chron. xii. 6, 7. xxxii. 26.
For a long season Israel had been without the true God, &c. but when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. -2 Chron. xv. 3, 4.
When Judah was beset by Israel, they cried unto the Lord.-2 Chron. xiii. 14.
So Asa cried, &c. 2 Chron. xiv. 11. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast 2 Chron. xx. Ezra viii. 21-23. throughout all Judah, in such a case.
Nehemiah mourned, and wept, and fasted, when he had heard of the sad calamity of the Jews; and he prayed, &c. So did Jeremiah.-Neh. i. 3-5. ii. 2, 3. Lam. iii. 48, 49.
When the Jews were near destruction by Haman's means, &c. Mordecai and the Jews greatly mourned, fasted, wept, lay in sackcloth.-Esth. iv. 1-3. 16.
The Psalmist makes complaint, and prays to God earnestly for the church in great calamity.-Ps. lxxiv. lxxix. 1xxx.
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion, &c. If I forget