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God hath overthrown me, and hath encompassed me with his net, &c. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, &c. in my flesh shall I see God.-Job xix. 6. 25-27.
When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I: for thou hast been a shelter. Ps. lxi. 2, 3.
When he slew them, then they sought him, and they returned and inquired early after God: and they remembered that God was their rock, &c.—Ps. lxxviii. 34, 35. Isa. ix. 13.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes: the law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.-Ps. cxix. 71, 72. ·
My beloved hath withdrawn himself, and was gone; my soul failed, &c. I sought him, &c. Cant. v. 6.
Lam. iii. 39, 40. Isa. ix. 13. Jer. xxxi. 18, 19.
I will cause you to pass under the rod, &c. and ye shall know that I am the Lord.-Ezek. xx. 37, 38.
Wherefore doth a living man complain? &c. Let us search and try our ways, and turn again unto the Lord.
When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of the enemies' land, &c. then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathens, &c.-Ezek. xxxix. 27, 28.
O king, this is the decree of the most High: they shall drive thee from men, &c. until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.-Dan. iv. 24, 25. 32.
Behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, &c. Then shall she say, 1 will go and return to my first husband, for then was it better with me than now, &c.-Hosea ii. 6—8. v. 15.
I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the Lord; he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.Hosea v. 15. vi. 1.
I will bring a third part through the fire, &c. they shall call on my name, and I will hear them.-Zech. xiii. 9.
We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us, &c.2 Cor. i. 9, 10.
Our light affliction worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, &c.— 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18.
IV. For God's Glory, and the furtherance of the Gospel.
I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, that the Egyptians may
know that I am the Lord, &c. And the Egyptians pursued after them, &c. and the children of Israel were sore afraid, &c.-Exod. xiv. 4. 9, 10. 17,18.
He fed thee with manna, &c. that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. -Deut. viii. 3.
Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.-2 Sam. xii. 14.
. Hast thou considered my servant Job &c. and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.-Job ii. 3.
Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.-Ps. lxxvi. 10.
The three children's sufferings made their persecutors to acknowledge and give honour to God.-Dan. iii. 27-29.
So Daniel's sufferings made Darius the king (who had caused him to be cast into the lions' den) acknowledge and honour God.-Dan. vi. 20. 26, 27.
Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents; that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.-John ix. 2, 3.
sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness: gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.-2 Cor. xii. 7-10.
When Paul was buffetted, &c. he besought the Lord thrice that it might depart and it was said, My grace is
Joseph's afflictions and sufferings, his being sold by his brethren, and afterwards being imprisoned, happened, through God, to his great honour and advantage: he is advanced to be next the king; his brethren, who sold him, are made to bow to him and honour him, and are nourished by him; his father's sorrows are also recompensed, in that Joseph provided for him in the famine.Gen. xxxvii. 28. 34, 35. xxix. 5. 20. xli. 39-44. xlv. 5.7,8. xlvii. 11, 12.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass as at this day, to save much people alive.-Gen.1. 20.
The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.— Exod. i. 11, 12. Ezra v. vi.
And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and his servant Moses.-Exod. xiv. 31.
Who fed thee with manna, &c. that he might humble thee, &c. to do thee good at thy latter end.-Deut. viii. 16.
Hezekiah, left of God, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.-2 Chron. xxxii. 31.
When Manasseh was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God; and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed unto him, &c. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God, &c. He took away the strange gods, &c.-2 Chron. xxxiii. 11-13. 15, 16.
Tatnai the governor's opposing the Jews, wrought for their advantage in the end.-Ezra v. vi.
If they be found in fetters, &c. then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions, that they have exceeded: he openeth also their ear to discipline.-Job xxxvi. 8-10.
Before I was afflicted, I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes, O Lord. Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.-Ps. cxix. 67.71.75.
They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth, and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, &c.-Ps. cxxvi. 5, 6.
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.-Eccles. vii. 2, 3.
When Christ withdrew from the spouse, he endeared himself the more to her.-Cant. v. 6. 10, 11.
When the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion, and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, &c. Such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them, but shall stay upon the Lord, &c.-Isa. x. 12. 20.
When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.-Isa. xxvi. 9.
into the land of the Chaldeans, for their good: for I will set mine eyes upon them for good.-Jer. xxiv. 5, 6.
So will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place
God's chastening of Ephraim did him much good in the end.-Jer. xxxi. 18—20.
They shall bear the punishment of their iniquity, &c. that the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions: but that they may be my people, and I may be their God.-Ezek. xiv. 10, 11.
I will cause you to pass under the rod: and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.-Ezek. xx. 37.
Daniel and the three children, by their afflictions, were more advanced. Dan. iii. vi.
I will hedge up thy way with thorns, &c. Then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband, for then was it better with me than now. I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably (or friendly) unto her.-Hosea
ii. 6-8. 14.
Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen.-2 Cor. iv. 16-18. Heb. x. 34-36.
In nothing terrified by your adversaries; which is to them an evident token of perdition; but to you of salvation, and that of God.-Phil. i. 28.
Tribulations, that ye endure, &c. that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God.-2 Thess. i. 4, 5.
It is a faithful saying, &c. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.2 Tim. ii. 11, 12. Rom. viii. 17, 18. 1 Pet. iv. 13.
correcteth, &c. for he maketh sore, and bindeth up, &c.-Job v. 17, 18.
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord; and teachest him out of thy law.-Ps. xciv. 12,
Whom the Lord loveth, he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.-Prov. iii. 12.
He that spareth the rod, hateth his son: but he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes.-Prov. xiii. 24.
We have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? for they, &c. chastened us after their own pleasure; but he, for our profit, &c. No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.-Heb. xii. 9-11.
Ye are in heaviness, &c. that the trial of your faith, &c. might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.-1 Pet. i. 6, 7.
See Second Consideration following. SECT. III. The Considerations which should stay, bear up, and comfort the Spirits of Christians in their afflictions, and under Persecutions. Cons. I. That it is their Portion, which God appointed them to in this Life; and that too for good Ends.
Cons. II. That such who are so exercised, are blessed and happy, and 80 pronounced in Scripture; a Seal of their Sonship, and God's choice Love to them, and of their Salvation. BEHOLD, happy is the man whom God
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, &c. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake: rejoice, and be exceeding glad. -Matt. v. 4. 10-12.
Blessed are ye that hunger now, &c. that weep now, &c. But woe unto you that are rich, &c. that are full, &c. that laugh now, &c. when all men speak well of you.-Luke vi. 21, 22. 24-26.
In nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition; but to you of salvation, and that of God: for unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.-Phil. i. 28, 29.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons for what son is there? &c. If ye be without chastisement, &c. then are ye bastards, and not sons.-Heb. xii. 7, 8.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, &c. James i. 12.
We count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job. -James v. 11.
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord (or for the Lord's sake).Rev. xiv. 13.
Cons. III. That God well knows the
design and ways of Satan, and all the adversaries of Believers: and that they can do no more, nor proceed further against us than God permits. He turns about their purposes.
Your father deceived me, &c. but God suffered him not to hurt me. If he said thus, &c. Laban pursued Jacob, &c. And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad (or from good to bad), &c. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob, &c.-Gen. xxxi. 7, 8. 23, 24. 29. 42.
When Esau was coming against Jacob with four hundred men, and Jacob was afraid, yet God changed Esau's heart; so that when he met Jacob, he embraced him, &c. which made Jacob say to Esau, I have seen thy face as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.-Gen. xxxii. 6-8. xxxiii. 3, 4. 10.
And the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.-Gen. xxxv. 5.
Joseph's brethren, when they saw him, &c. conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh; come now therefore, and let us slay him, &c. and we shall see what will become of his dreams, &c. All which God prevented, and purposed better things.-Gen. xxxvii. 17, &c. xxxix. 1. 19, 20.
The king of Egypt designed the weakening of Israel, and preventing their increase: but the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied.-Exod. i. 9—12. 20.
And the Lord said, I have surely seen the afflictions of my people, &c.
for I know their sorrows.-Exod. iii. 7. Acts vii. 34. Ps. x. 14.
Pharaoh could not hurt Moses and Aaron, though they came with so many threatenings from God.-Exod.
vii. viii. &c.
Pharaoh's design in pursuing Israel God knew, and prevented Pharaoh, and overthrew him.-Exod. xiv.
The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, mine hand shall destroy (or repossess) them. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them, they sank as lead, &c. Who is like unto thee, O Lord' Exod. xv. 9—11.
Balak's design was to have Balaam to curse Israel; but God overruled him, so that he could not but bless Israel. - Numb. xxii. xxiv. 10-13. xxiii.
Saul designed to kill David, made many attempts, and pursued him; yet could never effect it: God prevented him.-1 Sam. xviii. xix. xxiii. xxiv. xxvi.
Ahithophel gave counsel against David, but God brought it to nought, and suffered not his enemies to bring their designs to pass.-2 Sam. xvii.
The king of Syria went up against Samaria, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me. But God prevented him.-1 Kings xx. 1, 2. 10. 21.
God defeated the king of Syria's design against Elisha. 2 Kings vi. 13, &c.
The enemies of Israel set themselves to hinder the building of the temple; asked who commanded them to do it; wrote to the king against it; but God prevented their purpose, and brought forth the contrary effect. -Ezra. v. vi.
When Israel were building, the adversaries conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. And when our enemies