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though unnecessary, God does usually relieve such necessities; and he does not only, upon our prayers, grant us more than he promised of temporal things, but also he gives many times more than we ask. This is no objedt of our faith, but ground enough for a temporal and prudent hope: and if we fail in the particular, God will turn it to a bigger mercy, if we submit to his dispensation, and adore hin in the denial. But if it be a matter of necessity, let not any, man, by way of impatience, cry out, that God will not work a miracle; for God, by miracle, did give meat and drink to his People in the wilderness, of which he had made no particular promise inany Covenant: and if all natural means fail, it is certain that God will rather work a miracle than break his word; He can do that, he cannot do this. Only we muß remember, that our portion of temporal things is but food and raiment: God hath not promised us coaches and horses, rich houses and jewels, Tyrian silks and Persian carpets ; neither hath'he promised to minister to our needs in such circumstances as we shall appoint, but such as himself shall chuse. God will enable thee either to pay the debt, (if thou beggest it of him) or else he will

pay it for thee, i. e. take thy defire as a discharge of thy duty, and pay it to thy Creditour in blessings, or in some secret of his providence. It may be he hath laid up the corn that shall feed thee in the granary of thy Brother ; or will cloath thee with his wool. He enabled St. Peter to pay his Gabel by the ministry of a fish; and Elias to be waited on by a crow, who was both his minister and his steward for provisions; and his only Son rode in triumph upon an Ass that grazed in another man's pastures: And if God gives to him the dominion, and reserves the use to thee, thou hast the better half of the two: but the charitable man serves God and serves thy need: and both join to provide for thee, and God blesses both. But if he takes away the flesh-pots from thee, he can also alter the appetite, and he hath given thee power and commandment to restrain it: and if he lessens the revenue, he will also fhrink the K 3

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necessity; or if he gives but a very little, he will make it go a great way; or if he sends thee buta coarse diet, he will bless it and make it healthful, and can cure all the anguish of thy poverty by giving thee patience, and the grace of Contentedness. For the Grace of God secures you of provisions, and yet the Grace of God feeds and supports the spirit in the want of provisions: and if a thin table be apt to enfeeble the spirits of one used to feed better; yet the chearfulness of a spirit that is blessed will make a thin table become a delicacy, if the man was as well taught as he was fed, and learned his duty when he received the blessing. Poverty therefore is in some fences eligible, and to be preferred before Riches, but in all sences it is

very

tolerable.

Death of Children, or nearest Relatives and

Friends.

There are some perfons who have been noted for excellent in their lives and passions, rarely innocent, and yet hugely, penitent for indiscretions and harmless infirmities : such as was Paulina, one of the ghostly children of St. Hierom: and yet when any of her children died, she was arrested with a sorrow so great as brought her to the margin of her grave. And the more tender our spirits are made by Religion, the more ea. sie we are to let in grief, if the cause be innocent, and be but in any fence twisted with piety and due affe&tions. * To cure which we may consider that all the world must die, and therefore to be impatient at the death of a person, concerning whom it was certain and known that he must die, is to mourn because thy friend or child was not born an Angel ; and when thou hast a while made thy self miserable by animportunate and useless grief, it may be thou shalt die thy self, and leave others to their choice whether they will mourn for thee or no: but by that time it will appear how impertinent that grief was which served no end of life, and ended in thy own funeral. But what

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great matter is it if fparks fly upward, or a fone falls into a pit?' if that which was combustible be burned, or that which was liquid be melted, or that which is mortal do die? It is no more than a man does every day; for every night death hath gotten posseflion of that day, and we shall never live that day

over again; and when the last day is come, there are no more days left for us to die. And what is deeping and making, but living and dying? What is spring and autumn youth and old age, morning and evening, but real images of life and death, and really the same to many conliderable effects and changes ?

Untimely Death But it is not mere dying that is pretended by fame as the cause of their impatient mourning, but that the child died young, before he knew good and evil, his right hand from his left, and fo lost all his portion of this World, and they know not of what excellency his portion in the next shall be. * If he died young, he loft but little, for he understood but little, and had not capacities of great pleafures or great cares: but yet he died innocent, and before the fweetnefs of his Soul was defloured and ravilhed from him by the flames and follies of a froward age: He went out from the dining-room hefore he had fallen into errour by the intemperance of his meat, or the deluge of drink: and he hath obtained this favour of God, that his Soul buth suffered a less imprisonment, and her load was fooner taken off, that he might with lesser delays go and converfe with immortal spirits: and the babe is taken into Paradise before he knows good and evil. (For that knowledge threw our great father out, and this ignorance returns the Child thither.) * But (as concerning thy own particular) remove thy thoughts back to those days in which thy Child was not born, and you are now but

then there is no difference, but that you had a Son born; and if you reckon that for evil, you are thankful for the blessing; if it be good, it is better that you had K4

the

as

you were, and

the blessing for a while Itidem fi puer parvulus occidat, æquo animo

than not at all ; and yet ferendum putant ; fi verò in cunis, ne querendum quidem : arqui hoc acerbius exegit natura

if he had never been born, quod dederit. At id quiden in cæteris rebus this forrow had inot been melius putatur, aliquam partem quam nullam at•

at all. But be not more tingere, Seneca,

displeased at God for giving you a blessing for a while, than you would have been if he had not given it at all; and reckon that intervening blessing for a gain, but account it notan evil; and if it be a good, turn it not into forrow and sadness. * But if we have great reason to complain of the calamities and evils of our life, then we have the less reason to grieve that those whom we loved have so small a portion of evil assigned to them. And it is no small advantage that our children dying young receive: For their condition of a blessed immortality is rendred to them secure, by being snatch'd from the dangers of an evil choice, and carried to their little cells of felicity, where they can weep no more. And this the wifeft of the Gentiles understood well, when they forbad any offering or libations to be made for dead Infants, as was usual for their other dead ; as believing they were entred into a secure possession, to which they went with no other condition, but that they passed into it through the way of mortality, and for a few months wore an uneasie garment. And let weeping parents say, if they do not think, that the evils their little babes have suffered are sufficient : If they be, why are they troubled that they were taken from those many and greater, which in fucceeding years are great enough to try all the Reason and Religion which Art and Nature and the Grace of God hath produced in us, to enable us for such fad conţentions? And possibly we may doubt concerning Men and Women, but we cannot fufpect that Iufants death caii be such an evil, but that it brings to them much more good than it takes from them in this life.

Deat!

Death unseafonable.

But others can well bear the death of Infants: but when they have spent some years of childhood or youth, and are entred into arts and society, when they are hopeful and provided for, when the parents are to reap the comfort of all their fears and cares, then it breaks the spirit to lose them. This is true in many; but this is not love to the dead, but to themselves; for they miss what they had flattered themselves into by hope and opinion: and if it were kinda ness to the dead, they may consider, that since we hope he is gone to God, and to rest, it is an ill expression of our love to them, that we weep for their good fortune. For that life is not best which is longest : and Juvenis rewhen they are descended into the grave, it shall not linquit via be enquired how long they have lived, but how dii diligunt; well: and yet this shortning of their days is an evil Menand. wholly depending upon opinion. For if men did naturally live but twenty years, then we should be satisfied if they died about fixteen or eighteen; and yet eighteen years now are as long as eighteen years would

be then: and if a man were but of a day's life, it is well if he lasts till Even-song, and then says his Compline an hour before the time: and we are pleased d call not that death immature if he lives till feventy; and yet this age is as short of the old periods before and fince the flood, as this youth's age (for whom you mourn) is of the present fulness. Suppose therefore a decree passed upon this person, (as there have been many upon all mankind) and God hath fet him a shorter period; and then we may as well bear the immature death of the young man, as the death of the oldest men: for they also are immature and unseasonable, in respect of the old periods of many generations. * And why are we troubled that he had arts and sciences before he died ? or are we troubled that he does not live to make use of them? The first is cause of joy, they are excellent in order to certain ends: And the second cannot be cause of

for,

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