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and Uptfght Men, for the most Part, in, the most Publick Calamities, fare well;, at least much better than those that are not so. In their greatest Extremities, when they have no Prospect of Deliverance, from any Human Means, strange, extraordinary, unexpected Succour and Relief doth arrive to them. In a Word, that Care of the special Providence of God attends them,, that they are never miserable; however they may be; now and then cut short of their outward Fortunes. •,'...,
But it must be acknowledged, that though Piety and Uprightness hath the Promise of Security in this Life; and that Promise, for the most Papt,; and in general speaking, is made good -7 • yet there are a great many exempt Cafes. God may see it fit, now and then, to suffer an Upright Man to be Oppressed, and to perish in a common Ruin; and' this without any Violation of his Promises of this kind, which do indeed, respect no . more than the ordinary common Events and Successes of Things. But yet, even in this Cafe, still there will to the Upright, arise Light in Darkness \ That is, Light in the Third Sense we have given of the Word, viz. taking Light for Peace, and Joy, and Comfort. And this is that which the fsalmiji PC 97.11. tells us in another Place, Light is sown for the Righteous, and Gladness for the Upright in Heart.
Whatever Afflictions come upon the Upright Man, yet he hath this Advantage. of
other Men, that he bears them infinitely more lightly than they do: They are really no great Disturbance to him; for he enjoys the fame Calmness and Serenity of Mind, the fame Peace, and Quiet, and Contentment that ever he did.
His present Sufferings are rather matter of Rejoicing and Triumph to him, than of Discontent and Repining; for he knows that they come. upon him by the Counsel and Disposal of the great Governor of the World: And he knows that he hath so sincerely approved himself to God, and is so well beloved by him; that he should not have been ordered into these Circumstances had it not been really for his good. And this Consideration doth so effectually support him under all the Difficulties that he hath to conflict with, that he not only sits down easily and quietly, but is very well pleased with the Dispensations of the Divine Providence towards him, how ingrateful soever they mav be to Flesh and Blood.
Let what will happen to him, he is full of Peace and Joy: For he hath met with no Disappointment of his Designs. His great Aim was to please God; and his Conscience from God's Word assures him, that he has done it; and he hath nothing to do farther, but to wait for the happy Time, when the Secrets of all Hearts shall be revealed, and every Man's Counsels and Actions shall be made manifest, and then he doubts not to receive Approbation and Praise, and a great
Reward in that Day of the Lord Jesus. And so much the rather, because this light JjJliBion, 2 Cor. 4. wherewith he is now exercised, he is assured, I7' •will work for him afar more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory.
To conclude, 'Whatever his Sufferings be, he will live and ~die in a profound Peace, perfectly satisfied with all God's Dealings towards him: And his Life and Death will verify, to all that know him, that Advice and Observation of the Qsalmifl; Mark the Per/etf Mah, Ps. 37,37. and behold the Upright j for the End of that Man 'is 'Peace.
Luke xvi. 3 1.
— If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, tho' one roje from the Dead.
H E Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, in the Gospel, is Ib well known, that it is needless to relate the Particulars of it. These Words are the Conclusion of that Parable, and they are made the Words of Abraham, who being in Paradise, is brought in as speaking them to the Rich Man in Hell.
The Occasion was this. This, now, Poor Man, not being able to obtain the least Comfort and Refreshment, for himself, under that untupportable Anguish he endured; bethinks himself of his Friends and Relations in the
World, and casts about how to prevent their coming to that fad Condition. And for this purpose, he begs of Abraham, that he would be pleased to send the happy Lazarus into the World again, to testify to his Brethren what he knew and had seen concerning the State of the other Life; and to exhort them to a timely Repentance, lest they ihould come into that Place of Torment in which he was.
To this Request Abraham thus answers, fhey had Moses and the ^Prophets, which did plainly enough testify against their Sins, and offered sufficient Motives to them to Repent: and therefore there was no need of fiich extraordinary Means as he desired.
But this Answer did not satisfy the miserable Man. Still he pursues his former Request. Nay, Father Abraham, (fays he) but if one went unto them from the Dead, they will repent. There was no resisting such an Argument as that. If Lazarus, whom they had all known living, and now knew to be dead, Ihould arise again, and Personally come to them, and tell them in what a sad Condition he had seen their Friend, and that they must all expect: to run the same Fortune, if they did not change their Course of Living: This would come close to them, and be more convincing than a Hundred Arguments drawn from the Books of Moses and the Prophets, which were written many Ages before their Time, and so consequently could not be presumed to have so great a Force as an Argument drawn from their own Sense and Experience.