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tkat my Heart may be so polless’d with this Henvenly Wisdom, Love, Goodness, Hope and Foy in the Holy Ghost ; that discontented 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 į" and think I can never enough praise and acknowledge chy Grace towards me, (tho Ilhould do nothing elfe,) in calling me to be. Ya happy, and intending to make me everlastingly blessed. Dispel all the Clouds of Darkness, Melaricholy and Sadness, that at any time overcast my Mind, by the Brightness of this Celestial Light fining perpetually there : And preserve it in its full Strength and Power, that they may never return again ; but ..]
may rejoice in our Lord alway, and be ftill praising thee, whose 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 Use of all the Instructions, Counfels and Exhortations of thy Ministers; that they
be Helpers forward of my Joy, and we may all rejoice in the Day of Christ, to find that our Labour is not in vain in the Lord. Now to him who is able to make all Grace abound towards 145 ; that we always, having all. Sufficiency in all Things, may abound in every good Work ; be Glory, Honour, Thanksgiving and Praise, by Christ Jesus, throughout all Generations. Amen.
HEB. XIII.. 5.
etortice categ T hath ever been the Study of all
Mankind, how to attain Satisfaction
of Mind, and Contentment of Spi-
which they could set their Hearts. There is no other End of all Mens Thoughts and restless Contrivances, of all their Labours and busy Endeavours, but only this; That ať
last they may be quiet, and come to rest. The Scepticks themselves, who were thought of all Men the most unreasonable, have left this Testimony of their Philosophy, that it designied nothing else but this : Which they imagined could not be compassed, but . by suspending their Judgments about all Things whatsoever, and forming no Opinion of them ; so 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 these Words : The End of the Scepticks we affirm to be, * τω αν τους κατά δόξαν αταραξίαν, än untroubled State of Mind, about all those things which fall under our Opinion; és tuis reτων ναγκασμένοις μετριοπάθειαν, αnd in thofe things we are necesitated to suffer a Moderation of our Paffions, and patient enduring of them. For though it be impossible for any Man to be wholly free from Molestation, but Cold, Hunger, Thirst, and such like things, will pinch him; yet the Scepticks forbearing to make any Opinion of those Things, as the rest of the World do, suffer them with a more equal Mind, than they who account them such great Evils. Thus he. Which I mention to show, that tho Men differ never so 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 seek, Repose and Tranquillity of Spirit.
Now Emptiness and Want of something that we desire, being the common Cause of our Difquiet; I have begun to show, that there is such a Fulness of Divine Blessings, which our Saviour hath bestowed on us, as may very well be sufficient for our Satisfaction, and make us obey this Apostolical Exhortation, to be content with fúch Things as we have, or with our present
Condition; if we will not refuse to receive ity nor shut it out of our Hearts.
For thus, you know, I described the Nature of Christian Contentment: That it is such a Fulness in our Souls, as makes us so well pleased in the Condition wherein we are, that we do not fuffer the Desire of a Change to trouble our Spirit, or discompose dur Duty. Every Word. in this Description is worthy to be considered , and therefore I resolved to take it in Pieces, and set before you, by Parts, this Lesson, which the Apollo himself, he tells us elsewhere, had learned, and here endeavours to teach others.
I began with the first Word, and declared, as far as I cou'd at once, wherein that Fulness cons fists, which will make us say, as St. Philip did to our Saviour, ápuci, it fufficątki
T And I shewed you, (1.) What a Fulness there is of Divine Wisdom and Heavenly Knowledge, wherewith our Lord has replenished us. And: (2.) What a Fulness of Love, called by the As postle the Fulness of God, this is apt to inspire us withal. And (3.) How this makes us to abound in good Works, and to be filled with the Fruits of Righteousness
. (4.) What Fulness of Hope also, and (5-) Fulness of Joy, which springs from feveral Heads, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ hath communicated to all those who understand, and believe, and obey his Holy Gospel. -.-6. There is a Sixth Thing remaining to com pleat this Fulness, which we also find there mentioned, arising from the Society and sweet
Converse that we have with good People, cfpecially with good Friends who add very much to the Contentment of Life, be our Condition whát it will. St. Paul intending to make a Vifit to the Roman Christians in his Way to Spain, and to stay a-while with them, could not better exprefs the passionate Desire he had to enjoy them, and the pleasure' it wou'd be to him, than by saying that he hoped first (before hc left them) to be somewhat filled with their Company, Rom. XV. 24. The little Time he had to spend among them, he promised himfelf wou'd give him no little Contentment : And though he could not enjoy them so long as he wilh'd, yet he should go to Spain the better satisfied, for being filled, in part, with their Company at Rome.
And truly it is a great Satisfaction, whichi the Company of those we love is wont to yield us. The very Reinembrance of them is so delightful that Gregory Názianžen doubts not to say, that this is * legs rūs dvopwtions cudojuovies, tasv Misekapp'tutos, the very it most Bound and Term of Human Felicity; or, if you will call it fo, of the Blessedness of this Life. Nature it felf most strongly inclincs all Creatures to it, as Aristotle obferves; there being no Beasts of the Earth, or Fowls of the Air, or Fishes of the Sca, no living Creatures, whether Wild or Tame, but take a kind of Contentment to be with others of the like Kind with themselves. And
* Epift: 11. ad Pofthum. 1: