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doms, knowing the great advancement in the church that was already designed for him, though he rejoiced as much as any man in the public happiness, yet he was really troubled at the nearness of his own temporal felicity. He started back from that which others hunt after and eagerly pursue, and was afraid of what most men passionately desire, a prosperous state; which he expressed to one of his friends with the greatest concernment of an earnest melting passion in these words: "I must confess," said he, "I "never saw the time in all my life, wherein I could so cheerfully say my Nunc dimittis as now. In"deed I do dread prosperity, I do really dread it.” And it pleased God to give him his wish and choice: for some weeks before his majesty landed in this kingdom, that holy soul was translated to a better place. I doubt not but it was an excess of humility in that incomparable person, which caused these his fears. For certainly if any man, one of his confirmed, radicated, and even heroic virtue, might and would have been very safe in a prosperous condition. But indeed, to the generality of men, prosperity is questionless full of hazard and danger.

Hence Solomon, the wisest of mere mortal and fallen men, tells us, The prosperity of fools shall destroy them, Prov. i. 32. Foolish men are ruined and undone by their prosperity; and therefore it is a wise and weighty petition which we have in the excellent Litany of our church, " In all time of our “tribulation, in all time of our wealth, Good Lord "deliver us." We are in great danger, not only in the time of want, but also in the time of wealth; not only in the day of adversity, but also in the day

of prosperity; and from this danger we are earnestly to pray that God would deliver us.

Let this therefore be your daily prayer; and if with this prayer you keep in memory the cautions before given you, you are safe. But especially be sure you forget not the fifth caution, to join your prosperity with charity. Without this, I am persuaded, (saith an excellent author,) the danger of prosperity neither can nor ever will be avoided, i. e. without being fruitful in good works, and liberal and openhanded to the relief of the poor, and also to the furtherance of all pious and sacred uses, as occasion offers itself. It is St. Paul's charge, 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, &c. To which Solomon's advice is to be added, Prov. iii. 9. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase. God requires this as a tribute, whereby we should acknowledge him to be the giver of what we have. "Away with words, (as the same author goes on,) or mere "verbal thanksgivings. God is thy landlord, and he requires a lord's rent; those who use not to pay it, "will soon forget who is their landlord; which is "the proper fountain of all the evil that comes by "abundance." Nay, he that thinks this tribute of his goods is not due to God, doth already disclaim his landlord, and deny God to be his Lord.



The sum of all that I have said upon this first observation is this: A prosperous condition in this world is a blessing of God, wherein we not only may, but ought to rejoice; and I think I may safely say, we

sin if we do not: for it is the command of God in my text, In the day of prosperity be joyful. But yet prosperity is then only a real blessing, when we are truly thankful to God for it; when we take a moderate delight and satisfaction in it; when we soberly make use of the good things God hath given us for ourselves, and out of our plenty supply the poverty of others, according to our proportion and ability; when we walk humbly with our God and with our neighbour, and honour the Lord with our substance; and, in a word, when we make use of our temporal prosperity, as a help and furtherance to our eternal happiness.

I conclude all with the excellent collect and prayer of our church on the fourth Sunday after Trinity.

"O God, the Protector of all that trust in thee, "without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; "increase and multiply upon us thy mercy: that, "thou being our Ruler and Guide, WE MAY SO "PASS THROUGH THINGS TEMPORAL, THAT WE "FINALLY LOSE NOT THE THINGS ETERNAL. "Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our Lord and Saviour."


To whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed, as is most due, all honour and glory, might, majesty, and dominion, both now and for evermore. Amen.



ECCLES. vii. 14.

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. IN my entrance on this text, having shewn the connection of it with the preceding verses, and fully explained it, I raised these plain and useful propositions and observations from it.

I. The good and prosperous days and times of our life are in God's design given to us, as peculiar times of comfort and rejoicing.

II. The evil days, the days and times of our affliction and trouble, are in God's design the proper seasons of recollection and serious consideration.

III. The providence of God hath so contrived it, that our good and evil days, our days of prosperity and adversity, should be intermingled each with the other.

IV. This mixture of good and evil days is by the divine Providence so proportioned, that it sufficiently justifies the dealings of God towards the sons

Adversity the proper Season, &c.


of men, and obviates all our discontents and murmurings against him.

I have already despatched the first of these observations, and therein endeavoured fully to instruct you in the right use of a prosperous state. I proceed now to the second observation.

II. The evil days, the days and times of our affliction and trouble, are in God's design the proper seasons of recollection and serious consideration.

But in the day of adversity consider. And indeed if then we do not consider, we shall never consider; if sadness will not make us serious, nothing will. But what are we to consider in the day of adversity?

1. We are to consider from whom the adversity or affliction comes. And here we are to look above all secondary causes and instruments to God, who is above all, by whose either efficacious operation, or wise and just permission, every evil of affliction, that befalls us, happens to us. This is the plain doctrine of God himself, by his prophet Amos, chap. iii. 6. Shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it? No, certainly. God is the great Disposer of all the evils of affliction that happen to us. This consideration will be of mighty force to make us submit to the present adversity or affliction under which we labour. It is God's doing, (by whatever means or instruments it comes to pass,) and therefore we must submit. This was the argument which induced holy Job to a patient submission, Job i. 21. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. He looked not to the secondary causes that had robbed him of his wealth, and his children too, for whom his

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