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idleness; we either know not what the gospel speaks, or we do not believe it, or we resolve not to be the better for it, if it: will put us to any labour ; either we, or the gospel, must bear the blame of our trouble and disquiet; either the gospel cannot relieve us, or we do ill to behave ourselves as though it could not. Every good chriftian, no doubt, will accuse himself, and not the gospel : But let him consider, that he cannot do honour to the gospel, nor to his Saviour, but by ceasing his discontents; for others will think, that he is no better physician than the rest, who hath no better ļuccess in his cureş. .
It is also a great disparagement to the providence of God which rules the world. If there were no providence, I confess we Should be destitute of the greatest reason that man hath, against fears, and cares, and sorrows. And he that is troubled, would be less unreasonable, because all the care would lie upon himself, and his own shoulders must alone bear the burden of every accident. But seeing we acknow
ledge an eternal wisdom, an infinite, unprejudiced understanding, that governs and fuperintends in all affairs; it is the greatest folly to be disquieted, and to deport our felves as if we and chance ruled all.
Some have fatisfied themselves with this fingle thought, that it is in vain to be troubled; since things must not be as we will, but as that almighty being pleases: A cold comfort, one would think, to be content upon necessity; and yet this fome heathens have mainly infifted upon, as their support. Thanks be to God, that we have fomething better to quiet us, and that is this, That the world is governed not merely by God's will, but by his wisdom. He disposeth all things according to his pleasure ; but it pleaseth him to do all things for the best. He rules the world, not as an absolute lord, so that we should be sensible only of his power ; but as a loving father, so that we may be afsured of his goodness. And therefore his children 'should not be difpleased, as if they were none of his family, nor within the verge of his care; but they should comfort themselves, that they are in
such safe hands, who will do nothing but with the greatest reason, and for the most excellent ends.
To be troubled, speaks as if God had provided better for the beasts than for mankind; for they live in peace within themselves, and we hear not of their murmurs and com, plaints. And by the fame reason that we are troubled, all the men in the world may be vexed also; and fo none think or speak well of God, but behave themselves as if he. cared not for his rational creatures. Every man may consider, that God hath endowed him with an understanding of such a size, with abilities and capacities of such a proportion, and measured for him such a fortune and condition as now he hath. If he is not contented, but fretteth within himself, that he is not better ; then so may another man, for he wants something also ; yea, so may all men, for they are all imperfect. And upon the same grounds, that a man is troubled for the want of one particular thing, he may at the next step be troubled that he is not a king, or that he is not an angel; and an angel may be troubled, that he was aof made to understand more: And so the
beft things would be most miserable, bes' cause they understand best their own wants.
In short, God's providence hath so ordered the several degrees of things in the world, that none of them fhould be troubled, but should mutually help and be assistant unto each other in their several wants. And so there is not the greatest man living, but stands in need of the meanest, as much as the meanest doth of him; just as none of us can live without the beasts, no more than many of them can live without us.
What things we want, God hath otherwife supplied us with ; either in some other kind, or by some other help. Which is an observation that we are so well acquainted withal, that we are not discontented because we need cloaths, and were born naked into the world; nor do we account that the beasts have a privilege above us, because they come well clad into being, and provided with apparel for all their lives, or are armed with horns and hoofs : For God hath given unto us reason, which is a better thing; and hath made the other creatures both to cloath and to arm us.
. . Now
Now so it is in other cases: As God hath made the brutes to help us in lesser things; so hath he made other men to relieve our greater necessities, to comfort us in our sadnesses, to supply us in our wants, to advise us in our difficulties, and to be eyes and hands -unto'us, if we have no wisdom nor strength of our own; yea his own Son hath he given, to make an universal provision for us. Now when we ask and resolve our selves, Which is better, to come into the world with cloaths on our back, or to have reafon? we should · ascend a little higher in our thoughts, and
put to ourselves a parallel case, Which is best, to have all in our own hands and sole disposal, or to have a supreme providence, an infinite wisdom to govern all our affairs? When we find the difference between these two, let us not live as if God ruled not at all, or as if it were better that we did rule than he. " !
I PROCEED NOW to the second part of my discourse, namely, to lay down some' RULES
to be observed by us, in order to preserve - us from trouble.