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And thus the Sickness of thv Body, may be the Saving of thy Soul. Bear it therefore Patiently and Thankfully.
4. The Fourth Benefit of -.- . Sickness.
His Sickness and Pain, doth
xceanyou from this World. ■
We are exprefly commanded; Not to love the World, neither the things that are in the World. 1 John z. 15. Not to set our affecljons on things on the Earth. Col. 3. z. Not to lay up for our selves treasures on the Earth. Matth. 6. 19. But are plainly Admonished, that it is our Duty , To he crucified to the World. Gal. 6. 14. . And to converse as Strangers and Pilgrims on the earth. Heb. ir. 13.
But this we find to be a difficult Task. For we think this
>-i • C 5* lower
Ievi;er;< World, this Globe^of Eartlv which We hoW inhabit, tor be'a very sine defightful^Pkce.1 (Not that it i-s really so in ft' self, for it is but a dark Prison, if compared with those vast' Regions of Light and Splendor which are above ;> but I fay, we do fancy it is a very pleasant/ Place, because as yet we have never seen a better: And I must pertinently add, we are'fiotyet qualified for a better.
The truth is, we are so passionately fond of this World, that we have -slender inclinationt-o proyidc for/ the next.
Though'we are' as>(fure,- Ttiat there are Things Eternal, as that there are Thims Temporal; That there arc Spiritual joys in the other World , as. that there ate Sensual Satisfactions iii this'; yet these Spiritual Joys, because future and it a distance., do 'but kttle affect us..
But die Things of this World, and the Objects of Sense , are so agreeable to our fleshly Natures; they .are so suited to the Frame and Temper of Out Earthly bodies, that they make great ImpreUion upon us.
for, God having designed us to Sojourn for a while m this lower World , hath not orilv made us capable to relish its Ijjffi joytnents , but hath also made them necessary for the support: and continuance of our frail decaying Natures.
Whilst we are in this World, there must be Eating and 'Brhkmg, Marrying, and giving in Marriage. But in the other World, into which we must shortly remove, there will be >no occasion for any of these Things.
Skice therefore in the other World, we must live to all Eternity wyftho'ut these sensual .Satisfaction's, 'let us learn to mode'. rate
rate our Desires of them; and in some sense whilst we are in the Body, to live withouttit.nosnrjiJl But this, I fay,whilst in Health and Vigor, we find to be a very difficult Work. .And therefore to aslist us in our Duty, and to enable us to despise the Charms and Dalliance of this flattering World* God .is pleased (as an instance of his tender Care over us ) . to take us intD his School, the School of Affliction j. there by gentle Discipline to teach us this great Lesson, Of being mortified to the World. . ^ And in order to our improvement, he usually proceeds in .this Method. !..,-;l
ls he doth not take this WorM from us , C by depriving us of our greatest Comforts) he then takes us from this World , even whilst we are in it: By embittering it to us; and by making us uncapable to reliih its Enjoyments. We
■in-We aii;terow5 by experience: That noti only a • vigorous Constitution of Body?, f Kvhich w£ call Health) but also a suitable Disposition of Bodily Parts and Organs, are absolutely necessary to partake of sensual Pleasures.
..The brightest Colours, for instance, and the most curious Pictures , are no Diversion to a Blind Man. And the most ravishing Musick doth as little affect the Man that is Deaf. And the Experiment is the fame in other Delights of a grosser Nature.
The most poinant Salices, and the richest .Wines* are no Relish to a distemper'd Palate. And there is a time Q in the WifeMan's language) When Desire (ball fail.
Now this Natural' Mortification (as I may calHt) isagdod Introduction to that which is Spiritual.' ^ ■■ <■ <■> o;. ?m ,.;•>»<; -\