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Of Refignation to the Divine Will in Affliction.
JOB V. 6, 7.
Although Affliction cometh not forth of the Duft, neither doth Trouble Spring out of the Ground; yet Man is born unto Trouble as the Sparks fly upward.
Na foregoing Difcourfe, ISER M. have obferved that these XI. Words contain in them,
1. A pathetical description of the Weakness and Vanity, the Sorrows and Calamities of human
SER M. Life: Man is born unto Trouble, as the XI.
Sparks fly upward.
2. A Declaration, that thefe Miseries of humane life, do not arife from Chance or from Neceffity, from blind Fate or unaccountable Accidents; but from the wife Difpofition of the Providence of God, governing the World. Affliction cometh not forth of the Duft, neither doth trouble Spring out of the Ground. Wherein
3. IT is implied, and intended to be inferred, that there are many just and good, wife and useful Ends; upon account of which, God permits fo many Afflictions to fall upon Mankind; and the confideration therefore of which, (fo far as we can discover them in this prefent dark and imperfect State,) ought to teach us Patience and cheerful Refignation to the Divine Will.
THE two former of thefe I have already difcourfed on; and fhown, that, fince Afflictions do not come forth of the Duft, do not arise from Chance or from Neceffity; but are all under the Disposal of the All-Wife Providence of God, governing the World; this one general confideration
fideration alone, ought fufficiently to fe-SER M. cure our entire Truft and Dependence upon God, our Hope and Confidence in Him; fo as to be an abundant Support and Comfort to us, under all the poffible Accidents and Calamities of Life; even though we could not at all understand any of the grounds of his Acting, and the Reasons of his fo dealing with us.
BUT feeing this is not wholly the Cafe; and that in this general Obfervation it seems moreover to be implied, and intended to be inferred, that there are also discoverable in particular, many just and good, wife and useful Ends; upon account of which, God permits fo many Afflictions to fall upon Mankind; and the confideration of which, ought to teach us Patience, and cheerful Refignation to the Divine Will It remains therefore, that we proceed now, in the
3d and laft place, To confider what are (some of the plaineft and most fatiffactory of) thofe reafons, that we are capable of difcovering; upon account of which, it was best and fittest that things should be fo ordered as they are; and in confide
SER M. confideration whereof, we ought more fully and readily to acquiefce in the divine good pleasure in all things.
AND firft, We are to confider, that fome of those things which we usually esteem among the Troubles and Afflictions of life, are fuch as may justly and must neceffarily be refolved into the abfolute Sovereignty and Dominion of God. Of this kind, are Mortality in general, and the Shortness of humane Life; the unequal Diftribution of Riches and Honour, and the good things of this prefent Life; the different capacities, and abilities of Mind ; the different tempers, and conftitutions of body; the different ftates and conditions, wherein God has originally placed men in the World. Of these things there can, there needs no other account to be given, than the abfolute Sovereignty and Dominion of God. For infinite Power, Wif dom and Goodness, may display itself in producing what Variety of Creatures he pleases; and in communicating to them his free Bounties, in what measure and proportion he thinks fit. He that had no Obligation, no Want or Neceffity upon
him, to give Being to any thing at all; SER M. = may give Being to his Creatures for what XI. Duration he pleases; and diftribute his abfolute and unconditionate Favours, Iwithout giving any account of his Ways. It is no juft ground of complaint in Men, that they were not created in the condition of Angels; any more than it is an injury to inferior Creatures, that they are not indued with the Capacities of Men. Neither is it a wrong to those who are born with lower capacities and to meaner circumftances, that they are made inferior to others; But they have much more reafon to be thankful for what they have, than to be difpleafed for want of what they have not. It is fufficient if, in matters of Reward and Punishment, God in the End deals equitably with all his ra tional Creatures ; and difposes of them according to the proportion of the feveral deferts, of each of them in their refpective States. But in the original appointment of the State and Condition of their Nature, there is no room for any other confideration, than that of the abfolute Sovereignty of infinite Power, and