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Citizen brought a Surn of Money to be disposed to charitable Uses, adding that it was all he had, and defiring him only to let him have his Prayers, for an only Son of his who was at Sea, that God would keep him fafe. The good Father took it, and prayed earnestly for the young Man; but about thirty Days after he dyed, and the rich Ship also was foundered in the Sea, but the Goods faved; when the News of this arrived, it almost broke the Citizens Heart, nor could he be relieved by all the Comforts which the Patriarch gave him. At length he thoughtone Night,that he saw in his Dream this veryPatriarch standing by him, and saying, why dost thou grieve and torinent thy self in this Fashion ? Didst thou not desire me to ask of God that thy Son might be safe? Behold, now he is safe indeed, and placed out of all Danger of miscarrying: Believe it, if he had come to thee, he had been lost; and if thou hadst not been so charitable to the Poor, all thy Goods had been lost also, together with the Ship. Arise, therefore, and give God Thanks, that thy Son is safe, and that all the rest is not cast away.
When he awaked he was abundantly fatisfied with these Thoughts, and went to the Patriarch, telling him what had happened, and giving Thanks to God, whom he acknowledged to be a kind Father, when he doth what we would yet have done, as well as when he doth what we delire.
According to this Pattern, - and the Sense of this Story, let us govern our felves, and submit our Desires to an higher Wisdom, and then we
shall never be discontented; we shall believe that it is well done, whatsoever happens; and that if it had been otherwise, it might have been worse, tho' we perhaps cannot discern it. Let us not desire too passionately any thing but what is, for fear we should fall into a more troublesome Condition, as a Punishment of our Discontent, with that which was easy and peaceable; God always grants the Desires of good Men one way or other, if not just as they wilh-' ed, yet so as they would have wished, if they were as well acquainted with what is fit, as he himself is : In such Thoughts as these, we must repose and settle our selves.
selves. We may tumble up and down, if we please in our own unquiet Defires, but Rest we shall have none, till we fix our selves in an unmoveable Resolution, to acquiesce in that Will, which can neither err, nor be envious. That great Happiness, he, in his infinite Goodness, bestows upon us all, whose Will it is, that we should be contented with such things as we have, and therefore will not deny us the Grace fo to be.
PR AYER XV.
God, with whom is Fulness of Joy, and at
phose right Hand are Pleasures for evermore ; I thank thee with all my Soul, that I may draw nigh unto thee, and that thou baft repre.
sented thy self so gracious unto us, as not to af. fright us from thee, but to invite us to approach unto thee with the chearful Affections of Love and Hope and Joy in thee. It is an infinite Favour I am sensible, that I am admitted into thy Presence, and if I had nothing else to thank Thee for, I ought to rejoice and be glad in this, that I
may open my Heart unto Thee, and ease my Soul of all its Cares and Fears and troublesome Desires, into thy Bofom, and there rest in delightful Thoughts of thy Love and good Will towards me, which I ought to value more than all the World.
I thank thee, O Lord, for this happy Leisure wherein I may have Recourse unto thee, and that I bave
Heart to make Use of it, and am not quite a Stranger to all Converse with Thee. I am much bebolden to Thee, that my Head is not so full of other Business, nor my Heart so much in Love with the Things of this Life, as to divert my Mind from the Happiness which I taste in these Addresses to Thee, and in the Meditation of thy inestimable Kindness, which when I have thought of to all Eternity, I shall never come to the Bottom of it. For it is as great as thy self; who art infinite in Power and in Wisdom, and in Bounty, scattering thy Blessings in various Manners, not only upon me,
upon Creatures. o that
my Mind was more stedfastly fixed in sweet Contemplations of it, till my Heart was perfe&tly satisfied in it, and filled with such Peace
and Joy, and Comfort, as might make any Condition of Life, not only tolerable, but easy to me. Posless me at least with such a Sense of Thee, and of thy abundant Mercy towards me, as may root out of me all those covetous Desires, which are displeasing to Thee, and injurious to my own Tranquillity; give me a soft and tender Heart, fenfible of the least of thy Favours, as greater than I deserve; and especially make me fo apprehensive of heavenly things, that the Taste of them, may afwage all inordinate Appetites after other Enjoyments, as little and inconsiderable, in compare with those which thou hast blessed me withal : Endue me with that noble and generous Disposition, that I may not only eschew all sinful Courses, but whatsoever is indecent and unbecoming one, who bath such glorious Hopes in another World : Help me to honour my Religion, by giving thee perpetual Thanks, and Speaking good of thy Name at all Times, and whatsoever Temptations I may meet withal to Murmuring and Complaints, preserve me in such a settled Belief of thy fatherly Love, that I may never he guilty of great Ungratitude to it, as to repine at any Condition into which thou fəalt be pleased to dispose me : Re£tify my Mind and Will and let them so straight toward Thee, that they may always lye even with thy wise Will, and chearfully follow it, whethersoever thou shalt lead me. - I ought not, I know, to distrust thy Wisdom and Goodness, who bast declared that thou wilt continue thy loving Kindness to them that
know Thee, and thy Rigteousness to Men of upright Hearts. Lord as thou hast made
to know Thee, and bent my Heart to comply with Thee ; so preserve me alway in this boly Disposition ; that I may maintain my Uprightness and Integrity to the End, till I come to reap the Fruit of it, in eternal Union with thee.
And for that End, I beseech Thee to settle all those holy Truths in my Mind, which I feel so powerful, to compose and quiet me into a perfe&t Peace and happy Tranquility; Make them one with me, and work them into the Temper of my Spirit, that being gụided alway by an heavenly Reason and divine Wisdom, I may be raised above all the Troubles of this Life, and remain in a calm and undisturbed Expectation of a better : Possess thy self intirely of my Heart, that I may not converse with Thee as a Stranger, 'but as a familiar Friend, and as my Father. 0! that these heavenly Truths may not be as a Guest that tarrieth but for a Day with me; but may make their Abode in my Soul, and dwell with me for ever, that so I may feel the Strength and Virtue of them constantly in my Heart, overcoming all Inclinations to Covetousness, to Discontent, to Impatience, to Trouble of Spirit, and unsettledness of Mind; and placing me in such an immutable Rest and Peace, as may be the Beginning of that eternal rest which Christ bath prepared for his People.