Imagens da página
PDF

To fay; That the Sufferings of Good Men in this World, are an undeniable Proof of another Life after this , wherein they jhall be fully recompensed, for all their present Afflictions; is indeed a true, but not a full Answer. < i. For it may easily be Replyedj Why are not Good Men happy in this World , as well as in the next? Why are they not Translated from one Happiness to another? Why are not they as much at Ease, as Healthful, and as Prosperous as other Men * Why are they so often in Sickness and in Pain, in Poverty and Disgrace? Are not they as capable of Worldly Ease and Happiness; cannot they relifli these Outward Satisfactions as well as Others > Have not they the fame Senses, the fame Inclinations to be Gratified >. What Reason therefore can be assigned; Why. Almighty God, who truly Loves

them,

them, and who delights in doing Good, should deny his Obedient Creatures any lawful Satisfactions'? •-■ '-j! -• ■J*

Amongst many other Reasons that are assigned for the Afflictions of Good Men, this seems to be the Chief} and gives the most full and satisfactory Account of that Matter. Viz. '''-" >'•

1 That our Gracious God truly loves his Obedient Creatures: And as an instance of that Love and Favour, hath not only provided good Accommodations in this World; (which are too mean to satisfy an Immortal Soul.) but also Joys unspeakable , and* 1 full of Glory, in the next. ■ 1.■'":'■■ '< ■•-':"

But since no "unholy , no unclean Thing can partake of those pure and spotless Joys ,• therefore , before such a Rebellious* Polluted Creature as fall'n Mart^ can be admitted into Heaven, u -{.:■ he

he must: be not only pardoned, but purified and refined. As his Person must be Justified , so his Nature must be Sanctified. And by the Work of God's Blessed Spirit j and by a Train of Providential Dispensations, his polluted Soul must not only be cleansed in this Life , but also Qualified and Prepared for such 9? Station, as the Wisdom of God shall design it in the next. It is therefore undeniable, That a peculiar Temper and Disposition of Soul is necessary, to make us capable of Eternal Happiness.

Which I shall further -explain in the following Instance.

As there are different Stations in this World, so there are different Degrees of Glory in the next. Now this difference of Conditions in this World , doth occasion a great deal of Pride, Envy, and Malice>• with many

other

other disturbing Passions. The Rich do flight and contemn the poor. The Poor do envy and malign the Rich. And unless these Passions are calmed and composed in this Life, they will still disorder the Soul, and make it miserable in the next.

For if it were possible, that a Proud, Ambitious, and Envious Man, could be admitted into Heaven, he would not enjoy himself in that happy Place; but would fret and repine , vex and torment himself, to see fo many Others preferred before him, and to shine with a greater Lustre than himself.

And therefore, since Humility, and a patient submissive Temper of Soul, is ib necessity for the enjoyment of Heaven; God is pleased by Afflictions and Troubles, by Sickness and Pain, which he lays upon his Children here; to exercise and improve

these these Graces; the Practice of which will be so necessary hereafter.

From these Premises I infer;

That one chief Reason , amongst others, why Sickness and Pain are inflicted on Good Men, is evidently this;

That by a patient, chearful, and thankful Submission to such Dispensations , their Souls may be Modelled into such a Divine Frame and Temper, as is absolutely necestary for the enjoyment of a future Happiness.

And therefore be Patient and Submissive under this Sickness and Pain, which undeniably, in so many Instances, doth work for your Good.

I have insisted thus largely upon Patience, because there is such frequent Occasion for the Exercise of that Grace, under the Pains and Confinement of a Sick Bed.

I have divided my Discourse into several Chapters or Sections; for the more con* venient Reading of it, at several Times.

« AnteriorContinuar »