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it, as mere Weakness: But the Notion, that we either ought or may allowably indulge ourselves in Diffatisfaction or Grief, is utterly to be rejected.
And the sooner and the more completely we quiet every painful Feeling and bring our Minds to a calm Acquiescence in the good Pleasure of God; the better we are, and the happier it will be for ús.
Other Motives to bear Evil patiently and & contentedly are to be fought for from different
Quarters, as the Circumstances of the Case require ; are often hard to find; and when found, have often small Weight and Influence. But Resignation to the Will of our gracious heavenly Father, is one and the fame Inducement, that naturally presents itself to Thoughts ; is equally suited to all Occasions and while it awes us with the Confideration of his absolutely sovereign Authority, fooths us with the Assurance, that though he cause Grief, yet he will bave Compasion, according to the Multitude of his Mercies". Again : Resistance to the Purposes of our Fellow-creatures may frequently prevail : but Reluctance against those of our Maker never can. Therefore Sentiments of dutiful Submission spare us
the pain of unavailing inward Struggles, lessen every Suffering, prepare us for every Trial. If we will not yield with Meekness to the Disposal of God, how shall we bear Injuries from one another; how indeed shall we refrain from being injurious, when our Interests and Inclinations prompt us ? The Practice of selfdenying Duties, without leaning on Heaven for Support, is too hard a Task for hunian Nature. But such as not only believe the Precept, but have formed themselves to feel the Impressions of Resignation, are in Proportion superior to all Difficulties. Their Spirits are calm ; and instead of plunging rafhly into deeper Distresses and even Guilt, as the impatient do, they find their way, if any one can be found, out of every Perplexity. By excluding eager Hopes and high Desires of earthly Good, this pious Principle excludes also jealous Envy, keen Resentment, tormenting Fears, bitter Disappointments, and final Dislike of every Thing. He that gives himself up into the Hands of God, with unfeigned Approbation of the Divine Conduct in whatever may befall him, will act as he ought in all Emergencies, with Uprightness and Alacrity, with Courage and Honour ; will suffer with a com
posed posed and even Temper; will thus give Testimony to the Efficacy of Religion, and vindicate the Dispensations of Providence to Mankind. Nor can it fail, but so dutiful a Subject to the King of all, fo faithful a Confessor, so ready a Martyr, if Need be, in his Cause, will obtain from him the strongest Consolation here, and the amplest Recompence hereafter. Therefore, let us pray earnestly for this blessed Disposition, and improve ourselves in it by continual Exercises of rational Devotion : ftir up our Faith and our Love, when they languish; recover our Steps, whenever they had well-nigh slipped e: put our Trust in the Lord, and be doing Good: delight in him, and be shall give us our Heart's Desire : commit our Way unto him, and he fall bring it to pass; bring forth our Righteousness as the Light, and our Judgement as the Noon-day'.
SE R M ON XII.
Eph. V. 20.
Giving Thanks always for all Things unto God
and the Father, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Chrift.
HAVE endeavoured, in three Discourses, to
instruct you in the Duties of Patience, Contentment and Resignation : each rising higher than the other in the Scale of right , Disposition, and advancing further from mere Virtue into the superior Region of Piety. Happy, in Comparison of others, are such as possess these Attainments in any good Degree: but even they have another Step to take ; for yet bew I unto you a more excellent Waya. It is not sufficient, that we bear Sufferings of every Kind with all the Composure, which our Nature admits ; that we reflect on the various