« EdellinenJatka »
for that, but the disease. The wilful child would live without the rod, but the parent fees it neceffa. Ty to chastife him. If God withdraw any thing from thee, it is but to starve a lost that would feed on it; if he lay on thee what thou wouldst not, it is but to bear down a luit, that otherwise would carry thee headlong. Give providence a fair bearing, it will answer for itself. Why should people then caft out with their mercies, and be angry with their blessings?
6. Consider, that great things in one's lot have a great burden with them. A man will get a softer bed in a palace than in a cottage, but the mean man will readily sleep founder in his cottage than the king in his palace. People look to the great things which others have beyond them, but they do not consider the burden going along with them. They who want the one want the other too, and therefore have reason to be content. !
(1.) Where there is a great trust, there is a great reckoning, Luke xii. 48. Thou seest others have much that thou wantett, grudge'it not; they have the inore to reckon for. God keeps an account of all his mercies bestowed on all men, and they that have most now have most to account for, when the Lord shall seek an account of his servants. · Look well to thyself, and be content. I fear it be found, that for as little as thou hast, thou haft more than thou canst guide well.
(2.) Great things in the world are great fnares, and bring great dangers along with them, Mark's, 23. They that walk low make not such a figure as thöfe that walk on high ; but the latter are most apt to fall. Hlow fond are we of the world even when it frowns on us? what would come of us if it did notliing but smile? It is hard to carry a full cup even. Af fliction is often seasonable ballaft to a light 'heart, that prosperity would give too much fail to, till it should be funk.
7. Consider, if thou be a child of God, that which thou hast, thou haft on free coit, Rom. viii. 32. And therefore thongh it be little, it is better to thee than the abundance of many others, which will bring a dear reckoning at length. The chile dren of the family may fare more coarsely than strangers ; but there is a great difference; the strangers have a reckoning for it when they go away; but the children have nothing to pay.
(1.) Remember thou forfeited all in Adam; it is a mercy that thou hast any thing at all. I know no. thing but lin and death that we can lay claim to as our own properly, Lam, iii. 39. He'that deserves hell has no reason to complain, while he is out of it,
(2.) Any thiag which thou hast a covenant.right to now is through Christ; it is the purchase of his blood. So that makes it precious, as being the price of blood ; and that should make us content with it, seeing we have it freely through him,
8. Consider the vanity of all things below the fun, Eccl. i, 2. A just estimation of worldly things would make us content with very little. But a blind judgement frit sets an exorbitant price on earthly things, and raises the value of them; and then people think never to get enough of them. But low thoughts of them would clip the wings of nur affections to them, and little of them would content us, Prov. xxiii, 5. Riches make themselves wings, and fee away. There is a wing of change, casualties, and Infles; and though by thy wisdom thou could clip all these wings, yet there is a wing of death and mortality that will carry them away.
9. Consider the preciousness and excellency of heavenly things, Col, iii. 2, More heavenly-mindedness would make us less anxious about there things. If we be in bazard of losing there, it is madness to be taken up about trifles, and concern ed, with earthly losses. Will he whole life is in hazard go up and down making mvan for a fore
А а 2
fi ger? And if they be secureu, it is horrid ingrati: de co be discontent with our lot here. Word a man that has a ship loaded with goods coming afnore, ves himselt for losing a pis out of his fle:ve, or a penny out of his pocker? Heaven will n ake up all our lofies; and hell will make men forget their greatest crosses in the world.
Lajily, Consider much of death and eternity. For as little as any of us have, we have perhaps as much as will terve our turn here. Our time is uncertain. It is folly to vex ourselves, though we have not all conveniencies that we would desire in a house that we have no tack of, but may remove from tomorrow, . I have insisted largely on this point, because it is
so very neceffary. Labour for a full contentment with your condition. This is the way to make a virtue of necessity ; for our discontent and uneasiness will not add a cubit to the stature of our lot. And that which God will make crooked in it, we will not get made straight, however unealy we be about it.
II. We are to consider the duty of this command as it respects our neighbour. And that is a right and charitable or loving frame of spirit towards himself and all that is his. We may take up this in five things, which are here required.. i
1. Love to our neighbour's perfon, as to ourselves, Rom. xiii. 9. For seeing this command for. bids us to wrong him so much as in thoughts it plainly binds love to him upon us ; not in word only, nor in deed only, by doing him good, but in heait, that our bowels move towards him, and love him for the sake of God. For whatever be unholy in him, yet he is one of God's creatures, of the same nature with ourlelves, and capable of enjoy. ing the same God with us.
2. An upright respect to what is his, for his fake, As we are to love himself for God's fake, so what is his for his fake, Deut. xxii. I. A careless dispo. fition and unconcernedness about what is our neighbour's, can never be a right frame to what is his. So it is an argument of the world's corruption, that all men seek their own things, and are so little concerned for the things of others. That is not charitable walking, Phil. ii. 4. was created, and all along in the second "Adam. And thus this command carries the matter of holiness to the utmost point.
3. An hearty desire of his welfare and profperity in all things as of our own, his honour, life, chaftity, wealth, good name, and whatever is his. This we owe to our very enemies, so far as it may be consistent with the honour of God, and their own spiritual good, which is the main thing we are to desire for all. I add this, because sometimes the lofs of these may be more to the honour of God, and our neighbour's advantage, than the having of them, to wit, when they are abused to lin, Rom. vii. 20. Matth. V. 44. .. . i
jos 4: A real complacency in his welfare, and the wel. fare of what is his, Rom. xii. 15. If our hearts rejoice not in our neighbour's welfare, we covet what he has, and secretly in our hearts devour it. But as we are to be well content with our own condition, lo we are to be well content with our neighbour's welfare.
5. Lastly, A cordial sympathy with him in any evil that betails hiin, kom. xii. 20. For we are members one of another; and, as every member fhares in the grief of any one, fo fhould we in one another's afflictions. A hard heart unconcerned with the afflictions of others, especially where peo. ple talk to the grief of those whom God has wounded, is a fign of a wretched temper and uncharitable frame of 1pirit, Pial. lxix. 26. & xxxv, 13. 14. 15. LHI. We must consider this command as it respects the foot of fin. And to it requires original righteousness, a holy frame of the foul, whereby it is bent to all good, and averse to all evil; that holy frame of fpirit that was in the firft Adain when he
That this is here required, will appear, if ye consider that this command forbids the very first risings of original corruption, whofe very nature it is to be still coveting; and therefore original corruption itself is forbidden, and consequently original righteousness required.
Not only good actions are required by the holy law, but a holy temper of the spirit, consisting in the light of the mind taking up duty, a bent of the will inclining ever to good, and averse to every evil, and the orderliness of the affections keeping precisely within the holy boundaries set to them by the law, not to look over the hedge in the least point.
This is certainly required fomewhere in the law; for men are condemned for the want of it; and in none of the commands is it required, if it be not here. And thus ye may see the utter impossibility of keeping perfectly these commands; for whatever men pretend as to the rest, who of Adam's children do not stick here as soon as they are born ?
This cominand reaches us as soon as we are born; nay as soon as we are living fouls in the woinb, requiring of us what we have not to produce, and that is an holy nature. But alas! we are evil be. fore we can do evil; and we want that holy nature naturally, and therefore have at length such unholy lives.
If it be inquired, how this command in this point is answered sincerely? Anf. It is by our being renewed in the spirit of our minds, our partaking of the new nature in regeneration, where old things being done away, and all things becoming new, we are made new creatures. This is that new nature which is the image of God repaired, with a perfection of parts, to be crowned in heaven with à perfection of degrees,