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pares Profperity to the Indulgence of a fond Mother to a Child, which often proves his Ruin; but the Affections of the Divine Being, to that of a wife Father, who would have his Sons exercifed with Labour, Disappointment, and Pair, that they may gather Strength, and improve their Fortitude.'
No Calamity can happen to us when once we have a fufficient Fund of Patience, and Reason to Overcome it.
Men complain and repine in bad Fortune, and are infolent and infupportable in good Fortune. There is no Condition but is fubject to fome Vice, but only that which imitates Virtue, keeping conftantly the Middle, and carefully declining from all the Extremes. You fee then, that it is not fo difficult, as it is commonly imagined, to acquire Virtue; we should endeavour to fupport bad Fortune without repining, and to live in Profperity without Arrogance.
In virtuous Actions ftrive for to outvie,
A wife Man makes all his Paffions fubfervient to his Reafon. Of all Paffions there is none fo extravagant and outragious as that of Anger; other Paffions follicit and mislead us, but this runs away with us by Force, hurries us as well to our own, as to another's, Ruin; it falls many times upon the wrong Perfon, and difcharges itfelf upon the Innocent, inftead of the Guilty, and makes the moft trivial Offences to be capital, and punifheth an inconfiderate Word, perhaps with Fetters, Infamy, or Death; it allows a Man neither Time nor Means for Defence, but judges a Caufe without hearing it, and admits of no Mediation; it fpares neither
Friend nor Foe, but tears all to Pieces, and cafta human Nature into a perpetual State of War.
There is no furer Argument of a great Mind, than not to be tranfported to Anger by any Accident whatsoever; the Clouds and Tempefts are formed below, but all above is quiet and ferene; which is the Emblem of a brave Man, that masters all Provocations, and lives within himself.
In the Morning, I love to converse with the Dead; at Noon, with the Living; and at Night, with myself.
The holy Martyrs were an evident Proof of exemplary Goodnefs; who, by their Patience and Conftancy confounded and terrified the most re folved and cruel Tyrants, and by the dazling Luftre of their Graces, did either daunt, or convert, their very Tormentors and Executioners: Infomuch that thofe that hated and defpifed them, began to love, efteem and reverence them; and by the transform. ing Virtue of the Divine Light, which beamed forth from them, became the Adorers of that fovereign Truth; when, as before they had been the Murtherers of thofe who had fo boldly and generously defended it.
Virtue hath fuch a comely Shape and Mien,
We are taught by the Example of primitive good Men, that all true Chriftians, who have their Hearts inflamed with the Love of Heaven, fhould offer
up themfelves with Joy to God, and take patiently and chearfully from his Hands, whatsoever Sufferings he is pleafed to lay upon them, and try them by, without reflecting on the Indifcretion and Malice of those who may have occafioned the fame; they think it their Happiness and Glory to fuffer for his fake, to whom they are fo infinitely obliged; and therefore are fo far from having any Averfion for the Inftruments of their Sufferings, that they rather confider them as their Benefactors, who open a Way for them to obtain an eternal Crown of Glory.
The Houfe of Mourning folid Joys doth bring,
We must not let our Grief be too profound,
Let God be laft in thy Thoughts at Night when thou fleepeft, and thy firft Thoughts in the Morning when thou awakeft; fo fhall thy Fancy be fanctified in the Night, and thy Understanding Rectified in the Day; fo fhall thy Reft be peaceable, thy Labours profperous, thy Life pious, and thy Death glorious. Amen. So be it.
A new Verfion of the Twenty-third PSALM.
HE great Jehovah is my Friend,
By whofe almighty Providence
My Wants are all supply`d.
I browse upon the tend'reft Grafs,
My Soul, much like a wand'ring Sheep,.
When Death, with all his gloomy Train,
Though Foes by Numbers hem me round.
For all thy Bleffings then, O Lord,
A humble Heart by thee prepar'd,
Q. What is related of the Book of Pfalms? A. The Book of Pfalms is a rich Jewel, whofe Price and Value cannot well be conceived, much lefs fully exprefs'd. Some Divines have call'd it the Chriftian's Garden of Pleasure, flor'd with the moft delightful Flowers and exquifite Fruits: Others have term'd it their Magazine and Armoury, where they are furnished with Arms of Proof, for all Combats whatfoever: Others, their Exchequer and Treafury, fill'd with choice Riches: Others, an Apothecary's Shop, flor'd with excellent Medicines, and infallible Remedies against the various Maladies of the Soul: Others have confidered it as the true Representation of a Believer: An exquifite Mifror of the inconceiveable Grace of God, and a perfect and full Compendium of the whole Bible. We find in this Book all manner of fpiritual Exercifes of Piety, and Patterns and Forms of praifing the holy Name of God; of giving Thanks for his Benefits, in Acknowledgment and Gratitude for Mercies received, and a great Number of fervent and earnest Prayers for whatfoever may concern the Glory of God, or the Intereft of Believers, as well in general, as in particular; efpecially in all manner of Croffes, Calamities and Afflictions; with abundance of holy Meditations, folid and powerful Comforts, and efficacious Arguments to ftrengthen us in Faith, Patience, Hope, and all other divine Virtues and Graces; infomuch that we cannot conceive any Condition a Believer may be in here in this Life, whether of Profperity or Adverfity, of Temptation, or Deliverance, of Fighting or Vic. · tory, of Health or Sickness, but he will meet with, in this Book, an Entertainment fuitable to it, to the quieting his Confcience, and Advancement of his Salvation: There being no Counfel in Time of Difficulty, nor Support in Affliction, nor Comfort in Sorrow, nor Praifes and Elevations of Joy, wherewith