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Senfe fhould Grief be left unlimited, more than any other Paffion? Why fuch coftly Sacrifices as Health and Life, and the Comforts of both, to a Calamity that you think has carried off too much already? We may pay the Tribute of a few Tears to the Memory of fome dear Objects; but then, Religion fays, we fhould weep as if we wept not, because there will ever be more Occafion of Joy to a good Man, than of Sorrow: And Philofophy fays, it is a needlefs Aggravation of Mifery to faint under our Pains; and not have Courage to fuffer thofe Misfortunes, which it is not in our Power to avoid.

Should the Pilot abandon the Helm in the Violence of a Tempest? Should Reafon and Grace be leaft b heark

hearkened to, when their Dictates are most seasonable, and their Maxims moft needful? Has not this Weakness of Mind betrayed abundance of People into those Extremities, that are a Difgrace to human Nature, and a Reproach to the Christian Character?

Ye Children of Affliction, break the Tide of Sorrow by throwing it into different Chanels; and direct its Course fo as to make it useful, by employing its Influence to spiritual Purposes. It will be more easy, at fuch a time, to convert the Sorrow of this World, that worketh Death, into that godly Sorrow that worketh Repentance unto Life. So other natural Paffions may be fanctified, by making them affift in the Exercise of

fpiritual

As

fpiritual Grace. It is a tender Time, while the Soul is more fufceptible of Impreffion, and turns more eafily, as the foftened Wax to the Seal. Thankfulness is a proper Graft upon the Joys of Prosperity when the Heart is inlarged, fo will godly Sorrow be feasonable to a mournful Occafion; and the rather, because this is one great End of God in all our Afflictions,

I know not whether it has been obferved or no; but to me it feems, that the Measures of Mourning are reprefented to leffen in proportion as Men are nearer to God. The People of God under the Old Teftament, were forbid thofe Signs of Sorrow that were common among the Gentiles, as cutting themselves, b 2

and

and tearing their Hair. It was their Glory to have God so nigh to them. The Priests among them were not allowed thofe Expreffions of Sorrow which were indulged to the People. The Priefts were nearer to God, and miniftring before him, The Nazarite, who by a special Separation was most nearly devoted to God, had the leaft to do with Mourning or its Forms, because the Confecration of his God was upon his Head; Numb. 6.7. The Christian Church, who are brought nigh by the Blood of Chrift, a peculiar holy People, and a royal Priesthood, are laid under this Prohibition, that they forrow not as do others, 1 Theff. 4. 13. Neither as other fees, nor other Gentiles.

Among Christians, the Apostles be

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ing nearest to God in Holiness and Spirituality, were the best able to rejoice in Tribulation. As forrowful, yet always rejoicing. And, to mount the laft and higheft Step of this Gradation, Heaven, where we are nearest of all to God, there shall be no more Sorrow; Rev. 21. 4. everlafting Joy fhall be upon their Heads; Thanksgiving, and the Voice of Praife. In thy Prefence is Fulness is Joy; at thy Right Hand are Pleafures for

evermore.

The most comfortable Thoughts in this Cafe, and fuch as make up the very Cordial of Confolation, belong only to a truly good Man, and can only be relished by such a Why do you oppose a Man of this World with Arguments drawn

one.

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