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Serm. Satisfaction they possess their Souls, and have VI. Anxiety and Distrust removed far from
them, all is calm and serene within, and under the Shadow of his Wings are they safe, who has ordered them to be careful for nothing but how to please bim, and caring for the Things of the Lord, to cast all their Care for other Things on him, for he careth for them, and loadeth us with his Benefits (c).
Our most indulgent Father does not, except in some extraordinary Cases, expect our Obedience either at the Expence of our Lives, or our Happiness, he knoweth whereof we are made, that we are compounded of a Body as well as a Soul,---that we have both a sensible and rational Nature, ----that we live an animal Life here, and expect a divine Life hereafter, and he has accordingly provided bodily, sensible and animal Goods, suited to our present being, as well as spiritual, rational and divine Pleasures reserved for the future.
And if our bountiful Creator has made this Provision for us, has given us Appetites to desire and Senses to relish these Advantages, it is imposible it should
: . . ..... be . : ; () Pf. Ixviii. 19.
be absolutely a Fault, to pursue and enjoy Serm. them, and to regret in any Measure the VI. Want or the Loss of them. We may, no m doubt, very-innocently, and consistently with the Duties enjoined in the Text, concern ourselves about worldly Goods, because they are one Source of Comfort and Satisfaction to such Creatures as we are. But then, they being designed to gratify our baser Part, the Body, and to serve us for Conveniencies only during our short Stay in it, to be too intent after them, before they are gotten,--too fond of them, whilft they stay with us --or too. dejected, when at any time they are taken from us, is no way becoming Men and Christians, and equally condemned by Reason and Religion.
The former clearly forbids such a Conduct, as it is an over-valuing - of Things much beyond their real Worth, ånd a suppoposing our chief Happiness to be placed in what can at best yield but a very small Part of it.. : viu Dr.
: Noń doth the latter less strongly protest against it, becaufe of the ill Effects which worldly Mindedness has on Mens Innocence and Virtue, by taking them off from the
SERM. Care of their Souls, and the Concern for : VI. Religion, and leading them into Temptation,
and a Snare, and many Sinful Lufts which drawn Men into Deftruction and Perdition (d).
IN short, the whole Blame lies in the Excess of that Regard we are very apt to bestow on worldly Enjoyments. Whilft our Lord bids, us feek more excellent Things first; we put ourselves upon the very utmost Stretch of Application for thefe, and are rack'd at different Times with different Pains about them; impatient to get thefe ad. mired Goods, afraid perpetually of losing them, and quite desperate on their Lofs.
But let us at length take other Measures, and make sure of every folid Comfort by obeying God's Orders, and behaving ourselves in his Kingdom agreeably to that Plan of Government which he has marked out for us. Let us be diligent, but not in the wrong Place, nor for Trifling inftead of Substantial Blessings ; let us no longer .concur with those who seem to read our Saviour's Precept backward, and interpret it directly contrary to its true Meaning : He would have them sollicitous for nothing in
(d) 1 Tim. vi 9.
this World, and they are follicitous for no- SERM. beyond it. That Thought and Labour VI. which he requires them to employ on the Treasures of Eternity, they confine to the fleeting Amusements of a Moment, and by courting the Happiness of one World run the Risque of being miserable in both.
And a great Risque in Truth it is, even with Respect to the Happiness of the present Life ; which as Christ declares, consists not in the Abundance of good Things in any Man's Possession. That Person may be very wretched with them who cannot be content without them ; whilst he, to whom they are most indifferent, as having a much better Prospect, will always reap moft Satisfac tion from them. As long as they continue, he will be sure to use them to the Purposes of Piety, Charity, and Sobriety, to God's Glory, his Neighbour's Support and his Refreshment ; and if they happen to be taken from him, he will resign freely to the Will of Providence, without a murmuring or a desponding Thought, being persuaded, that if he be careful to seek first the Kingdom of God and his Righteouess, all these Things, all the Necessaries of Life, shall yet be added 21nto him.