« PreviousContinue »
quiet, I mean, tho' we fuffer in Things of more Moment than those now named, for the Peace of our Mind is still more precious, and we ought not to grudge to give any thing for it, nor murmur that it costs us fo much to learn it.
And if, as Simplicius gloffes upon that 'Author, any Man would seriously follow his way, of Merchandise, not for a Tiine, but always, how rich and wealthy would 'he grow! What Treasures would he possess at no great Expence ! For he would, as Diomedes's Sand, change Brass and Iron for Silver or Gold; he would purchase the greatest Good of the Mind, with the Loss of little Things without him : And the Cafe, may happen fo, that he may keep those also, and the Preparation of his Mind to receive the Loss of them contentedly, may be sufficient.
But when all this is done, we see by the Inftances now given, that it is not sufficient, tho' it may
do inuch toward the teaching us to deny our selves : We must make use of other Helps, and render this Duty more easy, by reflecting, as I have faid heretofore, upon the innumerable Blessings we still enjoy, tho’in some things we deny our Desires, and especially by considering what Happiness we shall deprive our felves of, by gratifying our intemperate Appetites, and letting them loose beyond their Bounds. Let us think how Christ Jesus was promoted to his celestial Glory, who pleased not himself, (Rom. 15. 3.) but, as it was written, the Reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell upon me.
did not think much to deny his own Will to follow God's, nor did he suffer any Loss thereby, (tho' for the present he parted with his Life, and that in a shameful and ignominious Manner) but it turned to his great Gain, as you have often heard; for he humbling himself, tho' he was fo divine a Person, being obedient to Death, even the Death of the Cross, therefore God highly exalted him, and raised his Name above every Name, that every Knee should bow unto him, and confess him to be the Lord of all, to the Glory of God the Father. Amen.
Adore thee, O Lord, and acknowledge thy me with an understanding and immortal Spirit, capable of the noblest Enjoyments, of no less than to bave Acquaintance and Society, yea, an happy Friendship with thy self, to be admitted into thy fecret Councils, which thou hast revealed in Christ Jesus, and to rejoice with thee for ever, in being Partaker of thy blessed Nature and Likeness. O God, bomo much ought I to rejoice at present, in this Dignity to which thou hast preferred me, tbo’ I were in want of all other Things ? And therefore how much more ought I to rejoice, that Thou hast made so bountiful a Provision for my Body, of the Things of this Life ; and thereby given
me greater Leisure to attend to the enriching of this immortal Spirit with the most excellent Goods, the choicest Treasures of Wisdom, Vertue and Piety? Be thy holy Name for ever praised and acknowledged by me, which hath taken fuch Care of Me, and instructed me by the Religion of Christ Jesus, how to be happy, both here and eternally. I thank thee, O Lord, that I see the Way bow to do my Soul good, without hurting my Body; yea, that Thou
hast made my Care to provide for my everlasting Welfare, to be a certain Means to secure thy Blessing upon me for the Things of this present Time. O bom admirable is thy Goodness which would not have me to be a little but very happy! How admirable is thy Goodness, which designs such great, such long Polesions for me, as surpass ał that Mankind thought of, or de fired! We ask good Things for this World, and thou givest us eternal Bliss ; We seek the fading Enjoyments of a frail Body, and thou haft sent us the lasting Felicity of an immortal Soul. We are too prone to forget our main Concernments in endless Life, and thou remembrest us of them, to our exceeding Advantage also other Ways.
I thank Thee again, as well as I am able, O God, the Father of my Spirit, and beseech Thee to turn my Mind, in Consideration of thy Goodness, from all inordinate Cares about unnecessary Things, to this one thing needful, the saving of my Soul. Help me to employ the bappy Leisure thou givest me, to the settling my self in eternal Repose : Bless my Endeavours to grow in the
Knowledge of Thee : Lift up my Heart in most ardent Defires, after a fuller Participation of Thee : Satisfy me with thy Love and thy divine Likeness, that I may be able not only contentedly to enjoy what thou bast blessed me withal, but chearfully to deny any thing for thy fake, and make all that I have a Sacrifice to thy Service: Preserve me especially from being transported åt any time, beyond the Bounds of Piety, Righteousness, Moderation, cor Decency, by the Violence of any Appetite whatsoever : And enable me, in the Confideration of what I have, and what I hope for, to keep close to thy Will, and to contain my self within the Limits which thou hast pré-, scribed me, on whom all' my present Poffeffions and future Hopes depend entirely.
Endue me, I beseech Ibee, with so much Wifdom and Goodness, that I may profit by the Smallest Occasions, and exercise my self by every thing that befals me, to j'ach patient Endurance, and bumble Resignation, that I may attain at laft a perfect Peace and Quiet nefs of Spirit, and feeling daily the Comfort anal Satisfa&tion of that Happiness, nothing may t'empt me out of it, but all things may make an Addition to it, by my fedfast and unmoveable Adherence to thy holy Will, and Submission to thy good Providence.
Turn my Eyes still unto Jefus, and fix my Mind and Heart in delightful Contemplations of bim, and devout Affections to him, that being filled with his Spirit, I may pårtake with him bis Joys and Consolations, and bave Hopes by
quitting my own Desires at present, to obtain that glorious Good which exceeds all that Heart can desire; when he shall come again to perfeet the Satisfaction of all those that love and wait for bis blessed Appearing. Amen.
He B. XIII. 5.
S I begun, so I shall end there Dil courses, by defiring you to read again those Words, in Heb. 13. 5. Be content with such Things as
Which Exhortation, if you will faithfully receive, yoù will easily fee, which is the fourth Thing I would advise you of, froin what hath been said..
as you have.
IV. The Reasonableness of that Command, Thou Malt not covet, and of those Words of our Saviour, Luke 13..15. Take heed and beware of Covetousness; and of the Admonition just before my Text, Let your Conversation be without Co