« AnteriorContinuar »
and inconceivable Love to us. If we have any Goodness in us, nay, any good Nature towards him who hath fo loved us; we cannot repine and murmur, (as you fhall hear next Time) nor bring any Complaints against his Provi dence, as if he dealt hardly with us; efpecially fince he hath fent the Holy Ghost to con firm our Hope, and to make us rejoice with Joy unfpeakable, and full of Glory.
God, who baft not only endued me with Principles of Reason, and made me underfand that thou art the Sovereign Lord, who or dereft all Things as thou pleafeft; but also made me Partaker of a Glorious Revelation of thy Mind and Will in Chrift Fefus; by which I understand that thou art our Father, and haft a most tender Affection to us, and delighteft to order all Things with the moft merciful Regard to our Good and Happiness: I caft down my self most humbly before thee; adoring, bleffing and praifing thy Divine Goodness, with a thankful Heart, which bath taken fuch Care for our Everlasting Salvatio on, and likewife for our prefent Satisfaction and Contentment in every State and Condition of Life. How much do we owe thee, who baft open'd to us thy Secrets, and admitted us into thy Counfels;
and promifed us fuch Things, as never enter'd into the Heart of Man to wish; and given us fuch Affurance, that it is thy Intentions we should live with Jefus, and reign with him in his Eternal Kingdom? And yet thou expecteft no Requital for this great Bounty; but only that we would believe thee, and love thee, and be made like thee, and place our Hope in thee; and rejoice evermore in the Holy Comfort of this Faith, and Love, and good Hope, which thou haft given us by Chrift Fefus. O God, what new Obligations are thefe, which thou layeft on us; that after thou haft done fo much for us, thou askeft nothing of us, but that we would be contented; and art well pleafed, if we be but pleafed and fatisfied with thy Bounty and Liberality towards us? There is infinite Reafon, that we should be more than well pleafed and contented: We ought to rejoice, and be exceeding glad in thee, who haft appeared. to us in Chrift Fefus, the Brightness of thy Glory, and the exprefs Image of thy Perfon; by whom thou hast given us the Title of thy Children, and made us the Companious and the Care of thy Holy Angels and promoted us to be Heirs of thy Glory; and given us the Holy Spirit, for an Earneft of the Immortal Inheritance. O fill my Mind with the Knowledge of thy Will, in all Wifdom. and Spiritual Understanding: Fill me with a Senfe of thy marvellous Love; and infpire my Will with the most ardent Love back again to thee. Fill me with all the Fruits of the Spirit, that they may be in me, and abound; So that I may abound in Hope, and be filled with all Foy in believing. O
that my Heart may be fo poffefs'd with this Heavenly Wifdem, Love, Goodnefs, Hope and Joy in the Holy Ghoft; that difcontented and troubled Thoughts may never find any Place there; but I may rather in every thing give Thanks, and employ my Time in meditating on thy Mercies; and think I can never enough praife and acknowledge thy Grace towards me, (tho' I should do nothing elfe,) in calling me to be so happy, and intending to make me everlastingly bleffed. Difpel all the Clouds of Darkness, Melancholy and Sadness, that at any time overcaft my Mind, by the Brightnefs of this Celeftial Light fining perpetually there And preferve it in its full Strength and Power, that they may never return again; but ..I may rejoice in our Lord alway, and be ftill praifing thee, whofe Mercy endureth for ever. Tea, give me the Grace to rejoice in the Good of others, as if it were my own; especially in their Spiritual Welfare, and Growth in Godliness; and to make a good Ufe of all the Inftructions, Counfels and Exhortations of thy Minifters; that they may be Helpers forward of my Foy, and we may all rejoice in the Day of Chrift, to find that our Labour is not in vain in the Lord. Now to him who is able to make all Grace abound towards us; that we always, having all Sufficiency in all Things, may abound in every good Work; be Glory, Honour, Thanksgiving and Praife, by Chrift Fefus, throughout all Generations. Amen.
HEB. XIII. 5.
Be content with fuch Things as ye
Thath ever been the Study of all Mankind, how to attain Satisfaction of Mind, and Contentment of Spirit, as the most desirable Good on which they could fet their Hearts. There is no other End of all Mens Thoughts and restless Contrivances, of all their Labours and bufy Endeavours, but only this; That at laft they may be quiet, and come to reft. The Scepticks themselves, who were thought of all Men the most unreafonable, have left this Teftimony of their Philofophy, that it defigned nothing else but this: Which they imagined could not be compaffed, but by fufpending their Judgments about all Things whatsoever, and forming no Opinion of them; fo as not to account fome Things good and others evil, as we
do, but to forbear to pronounce any Sentence at all concerning them. So Sextus tells us in thefe Words: The End of the Scepticks we affirm to be, * τ ἐν τοῖς κατὰ δόξαν ἀταραξίαν, an untroubled State of Mind, about all thofe things which fall under our Opinion; xer Tois naτων ναγκασμένοις μετριοπάθειαν, and in thofe things we are neceffitated to fuffer a Moderation of our Paffions, and patient enduring of them. For though it be impoffible for any Man to be wholly free from Moleftation, but Cold, Hunger, Thirst, and fuch like things, will pinch him; yet the Scepticks forbearing to make any Opinion of thofe Things, as the rest of the World do, fuffer them with a more equal Mind, than they who account them fuch great Evils. Thus he. Which I mention to fhow, that tho' Men differ never fo widely from the Senfe of the whole World in other Things; yet they agree in this, That they would not be troubled and disturbed; and study by the most contrary Means to come to the fame End that their Neighbours feek, Repose and Tranquillity of Spirit.
Now Emptiness and Want of fomething that we defire, being the common Caufe of our Difquiet; I have begun to fhow, that there is fuch a Fulness of Divine Bleffings, which our Saviour hath bestowed on us, as may very well be fufficient for our Satisfaction, and make us obey this Apoftolical Exhortation, to be content with fuch Things as we have, or with our prefent
* Lib. 1. Pyr. Hypot. cap. 12.