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in this School? For it difciplines us to the most perfect Submiffion to the Will of God. Here Occafions are prefented us to win the most glorious Victories, and to triumph over the most daring Enemies. For whether was the greater Conqueror, think you, the Devil or Job? The Devil robbed him of his Goods; but he kept his Patience. He threw him on a Dunghill; but he could not throw down his Confidence in God, who was his Helper. His Children, nay, his own Health was loft; but he preserved his Integrity, which was a greater Treasure. Do as he did, and you will not repent, though you fuffer as he did. You will gain one way, what you lose another: And your Gains will be all in the nobler Part, when your Loffes are but in the

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The very Pagans were not without a Sense of this Doctrine, if they had any Sense of Wisdom. They were wont to say, when Men complained of the difficult and ungrateful Paffages of Human Life; "Do you know "what you wou'd have? How would you "become fuch brave Men, as you are am"bitious to be, if you have nothing to en<< counter withal? Did the Heroes of former "Ages come to that Glory which they won, "in a foft and delicate way of living? T "ora, 87 8 Hexane, &c. Do you think that "Hércules had been fo famous, if there had "been no Lion, no Hydra, no wild Men and "barbarous Tyrants in the World, whom he "grappled

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grappled withal and foil'd, and thereby be came the Saviour of his Country? Confi"der this; look upon the Powers and Faculties, and the Occafions likewife which God "hath given you to adorn your felves, and "make your felves glorious. It is Baseness to fit trembling at what may happen; or to fit bewailing the Misfortunes which have "happened. The next thing will be mis deois ynglar, to accufe God, and to make "Complaints against Heaven. What elfe is "the Confequence of fuch a cowardly Spi "rit and ungenerous Mind, but Impiety and Ungodliness? Which is the worse, because God hath not only given us thofe Powers by which we may bear whatsoever befals ༦ us, with an undejected and unbroken Mind ; "but like a gracious Sovereign and a true "C Father, I do but tranflate the Words of "Arrianus) hath fo put it in our Power, that

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none can hinder us from being thus happy; Ci but it lies wholly in our own Breast, to "become Men of excellent Spirits. Why "fhould we not apply our felves to this, ra"ther than fit ftill and wring our Hands? "The Condition indeed is fad wherein we

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are; but it need not be fo long, if we will * take Occafion thereby to become good, nay, "the best of Men. More humble, that is, “ more modeft, more charitable in a profperous Condition when we enjoy it; and more CC patient, more fubmiffive and refigned to God, more conftant and undaunted, more ftrong

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“in Faith and rich in Hope, and more dif "C pofed to defend and juftify the wise Provi"dence of the Almighty Lord of the World, CC while we remain afflicted". This let us ftudy, and we fhall not fuffer, as I faid, more than we gain, by any Calamity.

VI. Let it be confidered also, That Afflictions and Sufferings prepare us, more than any thing elfe, for Death; that great Terror of Mankind. And this, I affure you, is a confiderable Benefit; for the Dread of this makes even Life it felf to be but a Death. They putting us upon continual Thoughts of it, bring us acquainted with it, and put us in mind to dispose our selves to receive it, and make us more willing to welcome it: We having little to leave, but that which we call Mifery, which every one would be gladly rid of. But I'll leave this, and confider only one Thing more, which may be enlarged in many Particulars; and that is,

. VII. The great Advantage which we may receive by these Afflictions, in order to the fweetning even of the Enjoyments of Life. By their Austerity and Sharpness, they make a grateful Sauce to all other Things that we poffefs. This, if it can be proved to be more than a witty Saying, will be apt to give us great Content. For what is there that we more defire, than to lead the most pleasant Life? They that look not at the Pleafures of the

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the World to come, would gladly know how to enjoy as much of Pleafure as they can here; and they that do, would not willingly be without as much of it as they can lawfully enjoy. Now it may be made good, I think, that fome Croffes are very useful to us upon this Account: Nay, that the most perfect Pleasure of fome Kind cannot be attained without them. For,

1. First of all, this is manifeft, that those Things we call evil, discover, more than any thing else, a true Friend from a falfe: For a Friend (as Solomon faith, Prov. xvii. 17.) loves at all times, and a Brother is born for Adverfity. Now you will all grant, I fuppofe, that there is no fmall Pleasure and Profit too in hearty Friendship. It is one of the sweetest Good of Human Life. It renders all the delightful Things of this World greater, and the troublesome Things lefs. And therefore it is none of the Things that we imagine, (as an Ancient Poet well expreffes it, in the First of Plato's Epiftles) neither Gold, nor Adamant, nor Silver Tables gliftering in Mens Palaces, nor large Poffeffions in Lands and Houses, nor. any other Matter, which will fo much conduce to the Satisfaction of Life, sadüv årdgør ὁμοφράδμων νόησις, as the confpiring and agreeing Minds of good Men. This Socrates repeats again and again, that it is neither ouvyyáraz,

c. Kindred, nor Honours, nor Wealth, that will make us happy, but Love only. This 0 3

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makes Heaven upon Earth. Which made that great Lawyer Gerbellius refolve, nihil iniquius ferre Daemonem, quod finceras Amicitias, that the Devil takes nothing fo heavily, as fincere Friendship: Whereby Men are made fo unlike his ill-natur'd felf, and provide fo much for their own Safety, Security, and Delight, But the more Value we grant this is of, the greater Reason we have to defire, that we may not be deceived by its Counterfeit. One wou'd not willingly be cheated in a Thing of fuch Moment, on which we rely fo much for our Happiness. Nay, we wou'd fain be fure that we are not cheated with Shadows and Appearances of Kindness, inftead of fubftantial and folid Affection. Which it is hard to be, as long as we are in full Profperity, and fail along with a fair Gale, without any contrary Blaft of Fortune. Who is there that will not be willing to court the Rich and the Great? And how eafy is it to frequent the Company of those that are well, and merry, and joyful? This is not the Time to know, who truly love us; but we are indebted very much for the certain Knowledge of this great Thing to fome Trouble that befals us. This is the Touchstone to which when a Man is brought, it will try him whether he be of the right Stamp. All Sorts of Affliction and Mifery prefently reveals to us what Friendship is fincere, and what is not. And the greater any Calamity is, the more certain the Discovery

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