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dispensable duty to God, hold it their no small concernment to acquit themselves to the world also, in all these considerations.
In the mean time, the foregoing discourse may teach us an art that all the wisdom of the world cannot teach; which is, to know how to make ourselves happy in the most afflicted, abject, and forlorn condition of life: and that is, in short, to acquiesce cheerfülly and entirely in the good pleasure of Almighty God, whatsoever our estate or condition in this world falls out to be : for, to put all into one word, could men be but willing to do what God commands, and to suffer what God inflicts, there could be no more room for any such thing as discontent or misery in the whole course of things here below. The killing force of the greatest and the fiercest judgments is even broke by yieldance and submission ; for still it is opposition that strengthens a calamity. And when the creature will needs wage war with God, God acts with the greatest reason and equity that can be expected, even from men warring against men: those that will fight it out, he kills; and those that will yield, he spares.
The felicities and miseries of this world are dispensed by God variously, and the changes of our lives are, for the most part, much more numerous than the years of them : so that he who now flourishes with all the plenty and glory that Providence can heap upon him, may, in a short time, see himself stripped and disrobed of all; and then the use, the worth, and value of a patient, submissive spirit will come to be understood; since, without it, it will be impossible so to behave ourselves under God's afflicting hand, as not to add provocation to
A SERMON ON PSALM XXXIX. 9.
provocation, or to fall under one calamity without making it the occasion of another.
Which consideration surely should be sufficient to beget in us a readiness, not only to bear, but even to take up our cross; and to make every suffering free and voluntary, by a subsequent act of choice, looking unto Jesus, our great pattern and example, who, in obedience to his Father's will, endured the cross, and despised the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of God.
To which he, of his mercy, vouchsafe to bring us
all; to whom be rendered and ascribed, as is most due, all praise, might, majesty, and dominion, both now and for evermore, Amen,
The following alterations have been made by conjecture.
See the Advertisement in the 5th volume.
4. on) in
P. 23. 1. 13. tends] The original edition reads tend
109. 1. 10. wounded] drowned
114. l. 7. effect] affect
1. 21. causal] casual
1. 25. melts] meets
355. 1. 4. merit] demerit
403. 1. 30. cozenage] courage