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a blessing upon it. Seek first the kingdom of God, " and the righteousness thereof, and all these things shall be sadded unto you.' It shall be given in as an advantage and over-measure. 2. It will add great cheerfulness to the employments of your calling, and to those worldly employments that are requisite for your fupport and subsistence, when you shall resign up your endeavours therein to the good pleasure of Almighty God. 3. It will remove all vexatious solicitousness and anxiety from you, when you shall have such confiderations as these; Almighty God (it is true) hath
placed men in this world, as irra paflage to another, fa and requires of me an honest employment for my < support and subsistence; or else hath lent me a rea• sonable liberal portion, whereby I may comfortably
fubfist without much pains or labour; I will use it & foberly, cheerfully, thankfully : If he bless me with
increase or greater plenty, I will increase my humiSlity, fobriety and thankfulness; but if it be not his s pleasure to bless me with plenty and increase, his will be done; I have enough in that I have ; there is another more abiding city, wherein I shall have supplies without want, or fears or cares.'
3. This confideration will give abundance of quietness, patience, tranquillity of mind in all conditions. Am I in this world poor, or despised, or disgraced, or in sickness, or pain? Yet this text gives me two great supports under it. 1. It will be but short; this lower world, the region of these troubles and storms, is no continuing, no abiding city; and consequently the troubles and storms of this inferior city are not abiding or long. 2. After this flitting, perishing city that thus passeth away, this four life, which is but the region of death, there succeeds another city that endureth for ever; a city not made with hands, eternal in the hea. yens, a state of everlasting blessedness, where are nei. ther cares, nor tears, nor fears, nor poverty, nor forrow, nor want, nor reproach: I will therefore with all patience, cheerfulness, and contentedness, bear whatso
ever God pleaseth to exercise me withal in this life; for I well know that my light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall be attended with a far more ex. ceeding and eternal weight of glory.
These considerations will seem but dry and empty, to men that do not deeply and considerately weigh matters : Ordinarily young heads think them, at least, unseasonable for their youth; but they must know, that fickness and death will overtake the youngest in time, and that will undeceive people, and render the best appearances of this world, either bitter, or at leaft infipid, and without any pleasant relish; and then the hopes and expectations of this city to come, will be of more value to us than the best conveniencies and delights this lower world can afford. Let us therefore in our health make it our business to secure our interest in it, and it will be our comfort and benefit both in life and death.
CONTENTEDNESS and Patience differ in this, That the object of the former, is any condition, whether it be good, bad or indifferent; the object of the latter, is any present or incumbent evil. But though they differ in the latitude or extent of their object, yet they both arise from the same principle, which, if rightly qualified, gives both.
The measure and original of all passions is love ; and the object of love, is that which is really or apparently good. If our love be right, it regulates all our passions : for discontent or impatience ariseth from the absence of somewhat that we love or value; and according to the measure of our love to the thing we want, such is the measure of our discontent or impatience under the want of it.
He that lets his love upon that, which the more he loves, the more he enjoys, is sure to avoid the danger of difcontent or impatience; because he cannot want that which he loves; and though he loves something else that may be loft, yet under that loss he is not obnoxious to much impatience or discontent, because he is sure to retain that which he most values and affects, which will answer and supply lesser wants with a great advantage: the greatest bent and portion of his love is laid out in what he is sure to enjoy, and it is but a small portion of love that is left for the thing he is. deprived of, and consequently, his discontent but litile, and cured with the fruition of a more valuablegood.
He that sets his love upon the creature, or any refult from it, as Honour, Wealth, Reputation, Power,
• Wife, Wife, Children, Friends, 'cannot possibly avoid difcontent or impatience; for they are mutable, uncer tain, unsatisfactory goods, subject to casualties; and according to the measure of his love to them, is the measure of his discontent and impatience in the loss of them, or disappointment in them.
He that sets his love upon God, the more he loves him, the more he enjoys of him. In other things, the greatest danger of disappointment, and consequently, of impatience, is when he loves them beft; but the more love we bear to God, the more love he returns to us, and communicates his goodness the more freely to us. · Therefore we are certain that we cannot be disappointed; nor consequently, have any ground of impatience or discontent in that which is our u"um magnum, the thing we chiefly value. '
He that sets his entirelt love on God, yet hath a liberty to issue a subordinate portion of love to other good things, as health, peace, opportunities to do good, wife, children, friends : and in these he may be crofled and disappointed. But the predominant love of God delivers the soul from discontent and impaa tience, even under these losses.. .
1. Because the foul is still assured of what it most values, the love of God returned to the soul, which compensates and drowns the other loss, and the difcontent that may arise upon it. · 2. Because the heart is satisfied that these losses come from the hand of him whom he loves, of whöfe truth, wisdom, love and goodness he hath assurance, and therefore will be delivered out in measure, upon most just grounds, and for most excellent ends. „Hle fends an instruction along with his rod, and the soul reads love as well in the rod of God, as his staik.
3. Because the love of God, taking up the principal bent and strength of the soul, leaves but a gentle and moderate affection to the things it loreth, and consequently, a gentle and easy parting with them, or being without them. The great tumult and disorder that is made in the mind upon loffes, crosses, or difeontents, is not so much from the intrinsical value of the things themselves, but from the estination that is put upon them: were the love to them no more than they des ferve, the discontent and impatience in the loss would be very little. Our chiefeft love, when it is placed upon God, is placed where it should be ; and the mind is then in its right frame and temper, and dispenseth its love to other things regularly and orderly, and proportionably to their worth; and thereby the discontent or trouble that ariseth upon their loss of disappointment, is weighed out according to their true value, agreeable to the just measure of reason and prudence: But when our love is out of its place, it becomes immoderate and diforderly; and consequently, the difcontents that arise upon disappointments in the things we immoderately love, become immoderate, exorbitant difcontents, impatience, and perturbation of mind.
4. Our love to God brings us to a free refignation of our will to his : For 'we therefore love him, becaufe we conclude him moft wise, most bountiful, most merciful, most just, most perfect; and therefore muft of neceflity conclude that his will is the best will, and fit to be the meafure and rule of ours, and not ours of his: And inasmuch as we conclude that no loss or crofs befalls us without his will, we do likewife conclade that it is moft fit to be borne: And becaufe he never wills any thing, but upon most wise and juft reafons, we conclude, that surely there are fuch reasons in this difpenfation; and we study and search, and try whether we can spell out those reasons of his.