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rassed with all sorts of toil, exposed to all manner SERM. of hazards, persecuted with all variety of contume
. lies and pains that can be imagined : above all, our Lord himself beyond expression was a man of sor- Chrys. tom.
vi. Or. 93 row, and acquainted with grief, surpassing all men Isa. liii. 3. in suffering as he did excel them in dignity and in virtue; extreme poverty, having not so much as Matt. viii. where to lay his head, was his portion; to undergo Ex qèle rão continual labour and travel, without any mixture of Thrones carnal ease or pleasure, was his state; in return for Toy Masker the highest good-will and choicest benefits, to re- raspou tous
ror Edwo in ceive most cruel hatred and grievous injuries, to be orovdaxbras
, việuy Đáy loaded with the bitterest reproaches, the foulest orw cięsiv slanders, the sorest pains which most spiteful malice Teens could invent, or fiercest rage inflict, this was his lot: * Am I poor? so, may one say, was he to extremity; nivous, vai
'πλείστοις Am I slighted of the world? so was he notoriously; ärav aspi
πεπτωκότας Am I disappointed and crossed in my designs ? so ä vægois. was he continually, all his most painful endeavours the having small effect; Am I deserted or betrayed of friends? so was he by those who were most intimate, and most obliged to him; Am I reviled, slandered, misused ? was not he so beyond all comparison most outrageously?
Have all these, and many more, of whom the Heb. xi. 38. world was not worthy, undergone all sorts of inconvenience, being destitute, afflicted, tormented ; and shall we then disdain, or be sorry to be found in such company? Having such a cloud of mar- Heb. xii. 1. tyrs, let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Is it not an honour, should it not be a comfort to us, that we do, in condition, resemble them? If God hath thus dealt with those, who of all men have been dearest to him, shall we take it
BARROW, vol. II. kk
SERM. ill at his hands, that he, in any manner, dealeth so XL,
with us? Can we pretend, can we hope, can we even wish to be used better, than God's firstborn, and our Lord himself hath been ? If we do, are we not monstrously fond and arrogant ? especially considering, that it is not only an ordinary fortune, but the peculiar character of God's chosen, and children, to be often crossed, checked, and corrected; even
pagans have observed it, and avowed there is great Sen. de reason for it; God, saith Seneca, hath a fatherly
mind toward good men; and strongly loveth them
—therefore after the manner of severe parents, he
educateth them hardly, &c. The apostle doth in Heb. xii. 6, express terms assure us thereof; for, whom, saith he,
the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons— but if ye be without chastisement, whereof all (that is, all good men, and genuine sons of God) are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Would we be illegitimated, or expunged from the number of God's
true children? would we be divested of his special Ecclus.ii. 1. regard and good-will? if not, why do we not gladly Tírvov, si a sposiezh embrace, and willingly sustain adversity, which is by piem, iropaea
in himself declared so peculiar a badge of his children, sov to you so constant a mark of his favour? if all good men Frigeopóv. do, as the apostle asserteth, partake thereof; shall
we, by displeasure at it, show that we desire to be
assuredly none of that party, that we affect to be John xvi. discarded from that holy and happy society? Ve
rily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice. It is peculiarly
the lot of Christians, as such, in conformity to their Rom. viii. afflicted Saviour; they are herein predestinated to
χήν σου εις
John 151 xvi. 33.
be conformable to his image; to this they are ap- SERM. pointed. (Let no man, saith St. Paul, be moved by X these afflictions, for ye know, that we are appointed Thess. iii. thereunto :) to this they are called, (if when ye do řil. ii. 10.
., 1 Pet. ii. 20, well, saith St. Peter, and suffer for it, ye take it 21. patiently, this is acceptable with God; for even hereunto were ye called, this is propounded to them as a condition to be undertaken and undergone by them as such; they are by profession crucigeri, bearers of the cross; (if any one will come after Matt. xvi. me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and Tim. . follow me; every one that will live godly in Christ: Jesus, must suffer persecution :) by this are they 'Ey rõ xóc
um Ogótas admitted into the state of Christians; (by many af-Tors. flictions we must enter into the kingdom of heaven;) partem anthis doth qualify them for enjoying the glorious re-perpessus wards, which their religion propoundeth; (we are
cruci micoheirs with Christ; so that, if we suffer together, lito Hier.
ud Asel. we shall also together be glorified with him ; if we Ep. 99.
Acts xiv.22. endure, we shall also reign with him?:) and shall Vid. Greg.
Naz. Ep. we then pretend to be Christians, shall we claim any 201. ( benefit from thence, if we are unwilling to submit to
W2 Tim.ji.12. the law, to attend the call, to comply with the terms (Phil. iii. thereof? Will we enjoy its privileges, can we hope for its rewards, if we will not contentedly undergo what it requireth? Shall we arrive to the end it propoundeth, without going in the way it prescribeth, the way which our Lord himself doth lead us in, and himself hath trod before us?
? It is a privilege of Christians, in favour bestowed on them; ixão éxapioon. Phil. i. 29.
Our glory. Eph. iii. 13.
SERM. In fine, seeing adversity is, as hath been declared, *•_a thing so natural to all men, so common to most
men, so incident to great men, so proper to good
men, so peculiar to Christians, we have great reason 1 Pet. iv.12. to observe the apostle's advice, Beloved, wonder not
concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as if some strange thing happened to you ; we should not wonder at it as a strange or uncouth thing, that we are engaged in any trouble or inconvenience here; we are consequently not to be affected with it as a thing very grievous.
Phil. iv. 11. I have learned in whatsoever state I am, &c. MOREOVER, considering the nature of this duty SERM. itself may be a great inducement and aid to the XLI. practice of it.
1. It is itself a sovereign remedy for all poverty 1 Tim.vi. 6. and all sufferance; removing them, or allaying all yes toplopeos
"Eori di pese the mischief they can do us. It is well and truly
I å svasBuce
wury uità autapsaid by St. Austin, Interest non qualia, sed qualis zsías. Aug.
1° de Civ. Dei, quis patiatur; It is no matter what, but how dis- i. 8. posed a man suffereth : the chief mischief any adversity can do us is to render us discontent; in that consisteth all the sting and all the venom thereof; . which thereby being voided, adversity can signify nothing prejudicial or noxious to us; all distraction, all distemper, all disturbance from it is by the antidote of contentedness prevented or corrected. He that hath his desires moderated to a temper suitable with his condition, that hath his passions composed and settled agreeably to his circumstances, what can make any grievous impression on him, or render him anywise miserable ? he that taketh himself to have enough, what doth he need ? he that is well pleased