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grievous; and we must not only be Staicks, but even flocks and ftones, if we have not a just fenfe and refentment of this difference. Our bleffed Saviour had fo; and as he was afflicted more than any man, and fuffered more than any of the fons of men, fo was he likewife very fenfible of his fufferings, and had a natural dread and horror of them; infomuch that he himfelf tells us, that his foul was exceeding forrowful, even to death, upon the apprehenfion of what he was to undergo; which made him pray fo earneftly, and to repeat that petition fo often; Father, if it be poffible, let this cup pass from me. Nay, the very anguish of his mind, caufed by the dread and horror of his fufferings, was fo great as to force his blood through the pores of his body, fo that he sweat as it were thick drops of blood falling upon the ground.

And this is not to be wondered at, becaufe our bleffed Saviour, as he had the greatest endowments of human nature in their greateft perfection, fo he had a perfect fenfe of the evils, and pains and fufferings of it. And all philofophy that will not acknowledge lofs, and pain, and fuffering, to be evils, and trouble fome and terrible, is either obftinate fullennefs, or grofs hypocrify.

2. Nor doth this prohibition of our Saviour exclude natural affection. This is a plant which God himself hath planted in human nature, and that for very exccllent ends and purposes: and having made us men, and endowed us with fuch paffions, he does not expect that we should put off our nature, and transform ourfelves into another fort of creatures than what we were when we came out of his own hands. To be without natural affection, and to have no afflictive sense of the lofs of nearest relations, is condemned in fcripture, as a mark of the greatest degeneracy and depravation of human nature. And therefore we cannot imagine that our Saviour did intend to forbid fuch a moderate and well-regulated degree of trouble upon thefe occafions, as is the proper and genuine iffue of thofe natural affections, which God himself hath implanted in us.

3.When our Saviour forbids us to be troubled, he doth not forbid us to have a just sense of God's judgments, or of his hand, in procuring or permitting the evils which

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which befal us; much lefs of our own fins, which are the meritorious caufe of them; nay, on the contrary, he expects that we fhould acknowledge his providence, and the juftnefs of it, in his fevereft dealings with us; that we fhould be humbled under his mighty hand, and turn to him that fmites us, and bear the indignation of the Lord patiently, because we have finned againf him. Whatever. is a fign of God's difpleafure against us, is a juft and reasonable cause of trouble to us.

But when our Saviour here forbids us to be troubled, he plainly intends to prolribit these three things.

i. Immoderate grief and forrow for any present affliction or lofs, without any restraint upon ourfelves, fo as to let the grief loose, and to give full fcope to it, to let the reins fall out of our hands, fo that the confiderations of reafon and religion have no manner of power and command over us; to forrow, as Rachel did for her children, refufing to be comforted. This is unreafonable, and ufually of pernicious confequence: for no man knows, when he once abandons himself to melancholy, and gives way to grief, and lets it pierce his heart, and enter into his foul, how it may over-whelm his fpirit, and fink it paft recovery. And to this pitch the trouble of fome men for worldly loffes and difappointments, because it was not reftrained and governed at firft, hath brought them; and it often happens, as St. Paul hath obferved, the trouble of the world worketh death.

I think hardly any man did ever die of grief for his fins, and killed himself by laying them to heart. It is well if our forrow for fin proceed to that degree, as to work real repentance and amendment. And the reafon why our forrow for fin is commonly moderate and within bounds, is because the forrow and trouble of repentance is always reasonable, and reafon keeps our grief within bounds: but the farrow of the world, that is, of covetous and worldly-minded men, who have unreafon, ably fet their affections upon this world, hath nothing to fet bounds and give limits to it. And therefore by the juft judgment of God, it fometimes proceeds fo far as to work death. Many mens hearts have been broken for the lofs of an eftate, or fome great crofs and dif


appointment in their worldly affairs and defigns. Thus Nabal, upon the very apprehenfion of the danger that he and his eftate were in, and had fo narrowly escaped, was ftruck with grief to the degree of ftupidity, fo that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone; and in a few days he died of that grief.

2. We are not to be troubled for prefent afflictions and fufferings to the degree of impatience and difcontent, fo as to fret and murmur in our hearts against God, and to charge him foolishly, as if he dealt hardly with us, and had not a due regard for us, and an equal confideration of our cafe. For we are all finners, and always deferve to fuffer and therefore whatever temporal evils befal the best men in this world, they are always less than their iniquities have deferved: and yet men are very prone to cenfure and find fault with God, for the evils and calamities which they draw down upon themfelves, So Solomon obferves, Prov. xix 3. The foolishness of man perverteth his way; and his heart fretteth against the Lord. We fuffer for our own fins and follies, and then are angry with God because we fuffer. God is angry with us for our fins, and when he is angry with us, and lifts up his hand against us, it becomes us to humble our felves under his mighty hand; for who can stand before him when once he is angry? But we have no cause to fret against him, for the evils which we bring upon our felves: befides that fretting is not the way to relieve and ease us, but to vex and gall us the more.

3. As to the fear and apprehension of future evils, though we ought to have a juft fense of them, yet we ought not to be dejected and troubled for them to the degree of defpondency, fo as to conclude ourfelves miferable and forfaken, utterly loft and undone, and that our cafe is paft all help and remedy: we should not be fo dejected, as if we were deftitute of all comfort, and utterly without hope. Hope lies at the bottom of the worft condition; for while we are not without God, we can never be without hope; fo long as the government of the world is in fo good hands, our cafe can never be defperate; and therefore we ought to rebuke the defpon, dency of our fpirits, as David did, Pfal. xliii, 5. Why art thou fo caft down, O my foul? and why art thou dif


quieted within me? hope in God. And we fhould fupport ourfelves in the greateft dangers and fears, as he did, Pfal. iii. 1. 2. 3. Lord, how art they increased that trouble me? how many are they that rife up against me? Many there be which fay of my foul, there is no help for him inGod. But thou, O Lord, art a fhield for me, my glory, and the lifter up of my head.

And this caufe of trouble, upon the fear and apprehenfion of future evils, was the cafe of the difciples, who were mightily dejected and difturbed, upon the apprehenfion of the deftitute condition they fhould be in upon our Saviour's departure from them; that they fhould be expofed to a malicious world, without all manner of protection from thofe innumerable evils and dangers which threatened them. And this I fhall have moft particular refpect to in my following difcourfe, as being more particularly intended by our Saviour, and being one of the most common caufes of trouble in this world. I proceed therefore in the

Second place to confider, what force there is in the remedy here prescribed by our Saviour, to mitigate and allay our troubles, both in refpect of our prefent evils and fufferings, and the danger and apprehenfion of future evils, and to fupport and comfort our minds under them. Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe alfo in me.

In which words our Saviour prescribes a double remedy against trouble.

First, Faith in God, the great Creator and wife Governor of the world. Ye believe in God, or, Believe ye in God; to which he adds, in the

Second place, Faith likewife in himself, the Son of God, and the Saviour of men. Ye believe in God, believe alfo in me. Not as if faith in God were not a fufficient ground of confolation and fupport of our minds, but to acquaint us, that a firm faith in him who is the Son of God, and Saviour of the world, would very much tend to confirm and strengthen our truft and confidence in God; as will clearly appear, when I come to fhew what peculiar confiderations of comfort and support the Christian religion offers to us, beyond what the common light and reason of mankind, from the confiderati


on of the divine nature and perfections, does fuggeft to us. And to explain the full ftrength and force of thefe two confiderations, I fhall do thefe two things.

First, I fhall endeavour to fhew, what confiderations, of comfort and fupport the belief of a God, and the natural notions and acknowledgments of mankind concerning him, do afford to good men, for the allaying and mitigating of their fears and troubles. And,

Secondly, What farther confiderations faith in Christ, and the firm belief of the Chriftian religion, do afford to this purpose. Ye believe in God, believe alfo in me.

Firft, To fhew, what confiderations of comfort and fupport the belief of a God, and the natural notions and acknowledgments of mankind concerning him, do afford to good men, for the allaying and mitigating of their fears and troubles; which I fhall briefly deduce thus.

The firm belief and perfuafion of a God does neceffarily infer the belief of his infinite power, and wisdom, and holiness, and goodness; for thefe are neceffary and effential perfections of the divine nature, without which we cannot conceive such a being as God is. Now from thefe effential perfections of the divine nature, these two principles do naturally refult.

I. That his providence governs the world, and adminifters the affairs of it, particularly of mankind, with great goodness and wildom.

II. That his providence is more peculiarly concerned for good men, and that he hath a very tender and peculiar care of them, and regard to them.

Now these two principles, concerning which I have difcourfed at large upon another occafion*, afford us this fourfold ground of comfort, under all the evils that' we labour under, and are afraid of.

I. If God govern the world, then we and all our interefts and concernments are certainly in the best and fafeft hands; and where, if we know how to wish well and wifely for ourselves, we fhould defire to have them; and therefore why fhould our heart be troubled at any thing that doth or can befal us? †

II. Another

* See Vol. VI. fermon 138.

+ See this matter alfo handled at large in the fame fermon.

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