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SERM. humerous Off-fpring, repine or be difconIII. tented, because his Eftate doth not anfwer his Demands, but he labours under the Burthen of Need and Poverty; for that God who takes Care of the young Eagles, when left and forfaken by the old Ones, and numbers the very Hairs of our Heads, will much more provide for all his Children and Servants, if they have but Faith fufficient to put their Trust in him; and I verily believe, that though fuch Perfons, when preffed by Want, and under very uneafy Circumstances, may wish that they had fewer Children, yet, generally, a poor Man could hardly tell which of his Children to part with, if he was to be deprived of any one of them.
3. THOSE who have had Children, and are deprived of them, either by a natural Death, or which is worse by any unfortunate Accident; may hence learn to refign themselves up to the Will of God, and intirely to depend on his good Provi
IF exceffive Grief is allowable in any Cafe, it must be in that of a tender Mother for the Death of her only Child, or of a Father for the Heir of his Inheritance; because Nature urges Men to thefe Paffions,
Paffions, and, whilft we are Men, it is SERMI impoffible, to be without them; they are III. Part of our very Beings, and are, indeed, our own felves. And yet, if we confider Things calmly and deliberately, we shall find, that to grieve and mourn, as Men without Hope, is not only unchriftian, but unreasonable; and that whatsoever Sorrow exceeds the Bounds of a decent and becoming Paffion, is not only our Sin, but our Folly. For what is it we grieve and mourn for? Is it, because God has taken our dear Relation out of this troublesome and miferable World, in which, at the beft, we ate but Strangers and Pilgrims, and placed him in a State of endless Happiness and Felicity? Is it fo terrible a Thing to be delivered from the Prifon of our Bodies, to be freed from those Storms and Tempefts, which fhipwreck the Quiet and Content of our Minds, and to arrive at the Haven of lafting Reft and Tranquillity? Is it a reasonable Thing that we should mourn and lament, because our Relations are got fafe to their Journey's End before us, and are in a far better Condition, than this World could bestow upon us or them? This certainly should be rather the Subject of our Joy and SaF tisfaction,
SERM. tisfaction, than of our Trouble and DifIII. content.
FOR who is there that would not rejoice and be exceeding glad, when he heard that his Son was made a mighty Prince in a foreign Country; and that he fhould fhortly fee him in all his Splendor and Glory, and partake with him in this profperous Condition? And, is it not much greater Caufe of Joy, that we are affured our Friends are in Poffeffion of an immortal Crown, which fadeth not away, eternal in the Heavens? If therefore we inquire into the Caufe of our immos derate Grief, for the Lofs of Children and Relations, we shall find it proceeds either from Infidelity, or because we entertain an, exceffive Love to the good Things of this World, either we do not believe that there is a Life to come after this fhort Life is ended, we do not expect the Joys and Happiness of another World, or else we prefer the good Things of this before them. For, fuppofe it was put into our Power to raise our deceafed Relations from the Dead, and to redeem them from the Power of the Grave, and to give them a longer Continuance amongst us; would it not be a very unreasonable Thing to defire, that they should quit the Society of Saints and
and Angels in Heaven, to bear us Com-SERM. pany upon Earth; and leave thofe happy III. and bleffed Abodes, to undergo the Slavery' of a finful Life? Let us therefore rather bemoan our own Lot-and Portion than theirs, and pray, that God in his good Time would accomplish the Number of his Elect, deliver us from thefe vile and finful Bodies, and cloath us with that House which is from above; that fo, together with them, we may be made perfect in Glory. In the mean while, let our chief Endeavours be, to make our Calling and Election fure, to live good and ufeful Lives, and to be converfant in Works of Piety, Juftice, and Mercy, and especially to abound in Alms-deeds and a liberal Contribution to the Neceffities of our poor Brethren; which is a Duty more particularly incumbent on those who have no Children of their own to provide for, and therefore are the more able to provide for the fupernumerary Branches of a prolific Family.
The Nature and Neceffity of good
MAT. V. 16.
Let your Light fo fhine before Men,
HEN our Saviour Chrift was here upon Earth, it was his chief Business and Delight to do the Will of Joh. iv. him that fent him, and to finish his Work. And it was upon this Defign, that he
N. B. The Occafion, on which this Sermon and the next following were preached, was as follows: The Chapel at Highgate, in Middlefex, was firft erected and endowed in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, Anno Dom. 1565, and afterwards enlarged, in the Reign of King James