marvellous, for it is evident that we do not ask in faith.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. By the peace of God, it is not meant that whereby God is peaceable and quiet in himself, but that which he giveth unto us, and poureth into our hearts. This peace is given to us while in the world, notwithstanding we suffer affliction. It passeth all understanding. It must not be understood by this, that we cannot perceive it; for if we have peace with God, it must be felt in the heart and conscience, otherwise we could not be preserved by it; but it is to be understood, that when tribulation cometh upon those who know not God, and are unacquainted with prayer and supplication, who trust in their own wisdom, being void of faith, they become exceedingly disquieted and troubled, not knowing the peace of God.

Those who rejoice sincerely in God, knowing that he is favourable to them, and that they are at peace with him, are patient in tribulation, and endure it valiantly, being strengthened inwardly by faith. When the believer is in trouble, he committeth all things to God, without seeking to know when, how, where, or by whom he will give him quietness. Again; God showeth them a great favour, insomuch that he maketh their trials of great advantage to them, which no one would suspect. This is that peace of the cross, the peace of God, the peace of conscience, yea, true christian peace, by which a man liveth quietly and peaceably with all men.

This peace cannot be comprehended by reason, that a man under the cross may have quietness of mind, joy of heart, and peace even in the very invasion of his enemies. This is the gift and work of God, which is unknown to all except those that have experienced it. Paul saith, Romans xv. 13. “Now


the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” That which he here calleth peace in believing, he calleth in our present text the peace of God.

Paul would have us understand, that he who rejoiceth in the Lord by faith, and is of a meek and

a patient mind, will be assaulted by the devil ; who will raise up some cross, that he may thereby drive him from his christian duty. The apostle therefore would have every one to be prepared against the attacks of Satan, and to place his confidence where he cannot trouble it: namely, in God. We must wait patiently for the coming of our Lord, who will make an end of adversity : by this means, our minds, hearts, and consciences, will be preserved and kept in peace.

Patience cannot endure, where the heart is not confirmed in this peace : for only those who possess it, are persuaded that God is favourable to them, and that he taketh care of them. We must not here understand the hearts and minds to be the will of nature, but, as Paul informeth us, of Christ Jesus. These are the hearts and minds produced by faith and love; and those that possess them, behave with reverence toward God, and in a loving and gentle manner toward their neighbours. They believe in God, and love him with their whole hearts, and are always ready to do whatever will be acceptable to him, and to their neighbours.

Such hearts and minds as these are often beset by the devil, who by the fear of death, and other troubles, endeavoureth to terrify, and drive from this godliness ; suggesting false hopes, which are the devices and imaginations of men. Thus the mind sometimes becomes seduced, and seeketh comfort in itself and other creatures ; having been drawn aside from the true worship of God, and wrapped in the snare of the devil

. We perceive in this short text, great instruction in the christian life ; how we must conduct ourselves toward God, and toward our neighbours. We must believe God to be all things unto us, and we must be all things unto our neighbours. We must be kind and merciful to them, even as God hath been kind and merciful to us ; thus, we must receive from God and give to them; and continue in faith and love, which is the whole sum of christianity.

In what a godly manner Paul setteth forth the duties of a christian in this text! First, he teacheth him that he ought to be glad and rejoice in the Lord always : Secondly, to show himself meek and gentle toward all his neighbours : if it be said, how can I do that without loss or injury ? the answer is, the Lord is at hand : if there be objections still, if it be said, what shall I do if men persecute me, and take away what I possess ? he addeth, be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. If the flesh again murmur, saying, what shall I do if I be oppressed and set at nought ? he concludeth by saying, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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