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Gentleness and Civility than the Romans did i but nothing would satisfy these Malecontents, but to have their own Lust, and Heart's Delire: And that would not satisfy them neither, for they were proud Persons, and spoke great swelling Words of Vanity, admiring none but themselves and their own Party, which made them complain of, and be discontented with every Body else,
This is the Condition of many in the World at this Day, who are still inuttering and grumbling if every thing be not done according to their Desire; that is, are always ill at ease, because their Desire can never be satisfied with any worldly Good; One complains of bad Trading; another of bad Government; one faith he hath a very hard Bargain; and another that he is not respected by his Neighbours; one is troubled because he is kept under, and such and such are preferred before him; and they also are not well pleased because they are not advanced higher, or are not regarded according to their Dignity. To cease which Complaints, that are without End, let us consider,
First, That this is a very uncomfortable Condition, and puts the Soul into very great Diforders ; for, to say no more, such Men, as you have been often told, want not only that which they have not, but even that which they have; they want not only all things else, but themfelves too, they possess not their own Souls, which are carried away by Things without them, they know not whither; they are seldom at home,
and when they are there, they find nothing but Tumults and Disorders, which hurry them again away from themselves. Let it be considered also,
Secondly, How prejudicial this Temper of Mind is, to him that labours with it. For, ist, it provokes God to with-hold those Blessings, which otherwise he might have bestowed. It puts a Man further off from those things, the want of which he complains about. He gets nothing but rather loses, by repining against God; as Theagenes in the Story tells his Chariclea, when she was summing up all their Miseries, and crying to Apollo, woł taūTA Shows; where or when will there be an End of these Things? Tbou dost, says he, by these unmannerly Complaints, but waçúvev to Sãov, exasperate the Divinity, and sharpen its Displeasure against thee. Oυ και όνειδίζειν αλλα παρgκαλών Χρεών ο γαϊς εκ αιτίαις εξιλε
I 1. Æthi. &3 to repâtlov. For we ought not tore. proach but to beseech and intreat, when we are in Misery. The most excellent Nature is
propitiated and rendred mild and gentle to us, by Prayers not by Accusations. There is nothing truer, we drive our felves away from the Port, at which we would arrive, by these Storms and bluftring Passions. If we would be carried to the Haven we desire, let us be calm and of a still and quiet Disposition. For,
2dly, These Complaints endanger the Loss also of that which we have already. The Devil and our first Parents, were not well pleased in
the Station wherein God first set them, and so they fell from it, into a worse.
It is a Saying of Ben Syra, a famous Man among the Hubrews, He thar faith what shall I eat with my Freat, take his Bread from him. He deferves, he means to lose a good thing, who repines because he hath not more with it. Thus Balaam, they observe, is found to be llain in the Battle with the Midianites, Numb. 31. 8. What did he thera, say the Doctors who dispute about it in the Talmud? R. Jubanan. anfwers, he came to receive his Reward for the Feat he had dune, in feducing Israel to the Destruction of four and twenty thousand of them.
And thus said Mar. Zutra. the Son of Gemara. Tobias, the vulgar Saying was fulfilled, Sa hedr. Cap. XI.
The Camel went to beg Horns, and
they cut off bis Ears. They that capnot be contented but they must be gaping after more, have this for their Reward, that they do not always keep what they enjoy ; especially, when they gruinble at their present Condition, and quarrel because it is no better: And is it not a sad thing, instead of being raised higher, to find our felves to have caught a Fall? And yet there is fomething more to be lamented behind, which is, that,
3dly, These Complaints make us more miferable in that worfe Condition, when we fall into it; if we cannot bear our present Estate, we fhall ill
have more Preffures in it. Jeremy, I remember, tells us, how his Townlinen, the People of Anatboth
fought fought his Life, as you may read in the latter End of the eleventh Chapter of his Prophecy, ver. 19, 20, 21, &c. and yet notwithstanding, they flourished, sind grew so great, as to tempt him to Discontent; for he begins the twelfth Chapter, with a Complaint to God, saying, Wherefore doth the Way of the wicked prosper Wherefore are all they happy that deal
treacherously? and he desires to be revenged of them, saying, ver. 3. Pull them out like Sheep for the Slaughter, and prepare them for the day of Slaughter. But in this Beginning of his Pallion, the Voice of God quiets and appeases his Spirit with these Words, ver. 5. If thou hast run with the Footmen, and they have wearied thee, then bum canst thou contend with Horses? And if in the Land of Peace wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of fordan ? Which is as much as to say, if thou canst not endure the Malice and Rage of this little City Anathoth, then how wilt thou be able to brook the Fury of the Men of Jerusalem, against whom I must have thee to prophecy? If these affault thee as a Company of Footmen, the other will be as terrible as Horsemen, much stronger, and mightier, and swifter, to execute their malitious Intentions. If whilst thou enjoyest thy own Estate, thou canst not be satisfied, because of their Hatred, which makes some seek thy Destruction; what wilt thou do, when all shall be swallowed up by the Men of Jeri. salem? Who will in great Violence and Rage break in upon thee, as Jordan doth upon the lower Grounds, when he swells over his Banks.
That is, How wilt thou bear it, when they shall cast thee into a Prifon, nay, thrust thee into a nafty Dungeon, when thou shalt link in the Dirt and Mire ?
It is cerrain, that if we complain so heavily now, we shall not know what to do with ourfelves hereafter, when we may be worfe; as we have reason to think we shall be, if we cannot forbear our present Complaints.
But there is something beyond this to be confidered, which is,
Thirdly, That it is a most sinful and damnable Condition, which not only brings upon us temporal Evils and Calamities, and raises great Troubles in our own Spirits; but renders us verý obnoxious to the Displeasure of the eternal God. For,
1. It dishonours him very much, and represents him as tho' he was not good and kind to his Creatures. It disparages his Providence, as if he was not wise, or careful, or concerned for us. And it disparages his Promises, as if they were not just, faithful and true. Nay,
2. It hath been the very Mother or Nurfe of Atheism and Irreligion in some Tempers; it hath made
many doubt of the Being and Providence of the Almighty, when they have been denied those Things, which they ser their Hearts upon, or when they suffered the Loss of them, tho’they took themselves to have deserved better, Thus some of the Roman People cryed out, when they saw such a base Fellow as Licinus honoured with a Marble Monument, and Cato have but a poor one, and Pompey the Great, none at all,