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of a full estate, and yet he does bless the Lord; Job had lost his dear children, and yet he does bless the Lord; Job was in a great measure given up into the hands of Satan, and yet he blesses the Lord : for which he is commended.

So then, it is our duty, and the will of God our Father, that we should not only be thankful, but we should be thankful in every thing.

For, there is always excellency enough in God and Christ, to entertain your thankfulness, to draw out your thankfulness and praises. Indeed, there is a formal or notional difference, between praising God, and giving thanks to God. Praises respect the excellencies of God himself; thankfulness respects the benefits we receive from God. I praise God, when I honour him for the excellency that is in him; I am thankful to God, when I bless him for those benefits I receive from him. But now in Scripture, these are put one for the other ordinarily: and whatsoever our condition be, whether high or low, rich or poor, full or empty, there is enough excellency in Christ for to draw out our praises : and therefore in every thing we are to be thankful.

There is no condition so sad, but somewhat is good that is mingled with it; no darkness so dark, but some light withal; no misery so miserable, but some mercy withal. Heaven is all mercy, and hell is all misery : but this life is made up of both, it is a twilight, some good in every condition ; and therefore, in every thing we are to give thanks unto God.

It is the duty of a christian to be like unto Jesus Christ : he was thankful in every thing. When he had not whereon to lay his head, “Father, I thank thee,” Matt. xi. 25. When he was to go to his agony, and sweat drops of blood; they sung a hymn, says the text, a psalm of praise. So, when a a christian is to go to his agony: whatever agony he meets withal, there is rise enough yet for his thankfulness : in every thing be thankful.

As the apostle hath it in Eph. v. 20, Giving thanks always, for all things unto God, even the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

You will say, Suppose that a christian meet with some long, heavy, and sharp affliction : is he to be thankful then; to be thankful in that condition ?

Yes; look I pray into Isa. xxiv. 15, “Wherefore,” says he, “ glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord

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of Israel in the isles of the sea.” Glorify ye the Lord in the fires ; so ye read it. Some rather translate it thus: “Glorify ye the Lord in doctrines ;” Urim, the same word that we translate, Urim, for the Urim and Thummim : but I would rather translate it vallies ; so Calvin : for doctrines does not suit with that which follows : “Glorify ye the Lord in the vallies, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea. A valley is a low place, and dark; now, says he, though ye be in a dark condition, removed from light; Glorify the Lord in the vallies, glorify the Lord there. And good reason why the saints should do so; as ye will see, if ye will look into Zech. i. 8: “ I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle-trees that were in the bottom, and behind him were there red horses, speckled and white.” This man upon a red horse plainly must be meant Christ: who is here attended with red horses, speckled and white, to send forth and dispatch into the several parts of the world upon his design. These other red horses, they are behind him, waiting upon him : now where is Christ ? he is among the myrtle-trees : and where are the myrtle-trees ? they are in the bottom. The saints and people of God for their fruitfulness they are called myrtle-trees, and sometimes their condition is as a valley; they are in the bottom; but yet they are myrtle-trees in the bottom, and Jesus Christ is among these myrtle-trees, though they be in a bottom, though they be in a valley; and therefore no wonder that we should praise, and glorify God in this condition. Beloved, what we may rejoice in, that we may praise God for. Now, says the apostle, “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; and let the brother of high degree rejoice in that he is made low," James i. 9, 10: “ Rejoice in tribulation,” Rom. v. 3. A man is to rejoice more for the opportunity of exercising grace, than in all prosperity: there are some graces that cannot be exercised but in tribulation, cannot be exercised in heaven ; patience, and the like. Now then, when tribulation comes, a christian should thus look upon it: I have hereby an opportunity of exercising that grace, that I had not before ; and then he will bless God, and then he will be thankful in that condition : when God takes away one mercy, he gives another : if he take away Moses, he will give a Joshua : if he take away

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Eli, he will give a Samuel : if he will take away Christ's personal presence, he will send the Holy Ghost. And the truth is, he does not so much take away as borrow a mercy ; and he pays it again with usury and advantage : Onesimus goes away like a thief from Philemon, but he returns again with profit to him and others. As for these outward things, they will prove but debts at the great day of judgment: riches now, and gifts now, but debts then : and the less ye have of these outward things, the less ye have to reckon for them. In a bad day, men they say, Oh, that I had less, my reckoning would be less : the less ye have, the less your reckoning will be. The comfort of a man's life, consists not in muchness, but fitness to his heart. If a man have a great farm, and a small stock, it is the only way to break him : it is better to have a farm fit for one's stock, than a great farm. The Lord he sees what our stock of grace is, and accordingly he provides a farm for every one of his children; and sometimes it is lessened, but the reason is, because the stock of grace is no bigger, they have no more grace to stock it withal. Our gifts, and our parts, and our prosperity, they are so strong sometimes, that God is fain to mingle water therewithal, that we may not be drunk. I appeal to you: are not the saints gainers by all their losses ; are not they strengthened by all their weakness; are not they bettered by all their crosses ? Surely then, in all things they are to be thankful: though their affliction be exceeding long, sharp, and grievous; yet they are to be thankful in that condition.

But suppose now, that it be persecution that a man is to be exercised with ; and that is bitter : is a christian to be thankful then, even in that condition?

Yes, ye know what the apostle says; “to you it is given, not only to believe, but to suffer,” Phil. i. 29. God's gift is worth our thanks. And says the apostle, “ All shall turn to the furtherance of the gospel,” Phil. i. 22. Is it not a great matter, and worth our praise and thankfulness; that we should be trusted by God to bear witness to his truth? " For this came I. into the world,” says Christ, “that I might bear witness to the truth,” John xviii. 37. It was his design; thereby ye are like to him, and so honour him. When were the churches and people of God more pure than under per

VOL. IV.

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secution ? and is it not a great mercy to be kept pure? The more you suffer for any truth, the more that truth will be spread by you: you die, but the truth lives: your estate dies, and your name dies, and your liberty dies : but your dying estate gives a living testimony unto the truth. 6. When I am lifted up,” says Christ, meaning upon the cross, “I will draw all men after me," John xii. 32. And so shall you do, when you are lift up upon the cross for any truth, ye shall draw all men after that truth that ye are lifted up for. When have ye more communion with Jesus Christ, than when ye suffer most for his truth? Is it not a great mercy for a man to be glorified on this side heaven? Pray look upon that expression which ye have in John xiii. 30, 31; it is said concerning Christ himself, that when Judas went out, having received the sop, Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him, verse 30. Judas “having received the sop, went immediately out, and it was night : therefore when he was gone out, Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified.” Judas went out to betray him, to bring him to the cross, a false brother was gone out. Now is the Son of man glorified, says he, not only because the cross was the way to glory; but the truth is, he was glorified upon the cross, there was a glory there. You may observe it; he did many miracles, and when he had done those miracles, he did not say then, Now is the Son of man glorified. He was transfigured; and he did not say upon his transfiguration, Now is the Son of man glorified: but now he comes to suffer, now he comes to the cross; Now, says he, is the Son of man glorified. And indeed, now is his love to poor sinners glorified. The apostle says, “ He triumphed over all principalities and powers upon the cross,” Col. ii. 15; and his love triumphs over all our sins, and our guilt, and our unworthiness: oh, then was free grace and love, when Christ was upon the cross ! Now is the Son of man glorified. And so it shall be with you : when a false brother goes out to persecute you, to betray you, to bring you the cross ; you may say so : Now is the servant of the Lord glorified, now is my love to Christ glorified; never more glorified than now. This makes the apostle Peter speak in his 1st Epist. iv. 16: “If any man suffer as a christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf.” It is matter of praise, and

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thanksgiving here : says he, at verse 13, “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings.” Verse 14, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth on you.” That is, says one upon that place, as Noah's dove hovered over the water, and found no place for to rest her foot upon, until she returned to the ark: so does the Spirit of God, as it were, hover over the souls of men, it wanteth rest : and when it sees a soul that suffers for the truth, there it lights, there it rests, there the Spirit of God and of glory rests. I appeal

: which will be most comfortable, think ye, at the day of judgment; that ye have been persecuted for the truth, or that ye have been a persecutor of the truth? I know your answer ; when a christian is under persecution, he may lift up his voice, and say, I might have engaged against the truth ; ah! I might have been a persecutor of the truth; but blessed be God it is not so. The apostles went away rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ. Surely therefore, there is matter of praise and thanksgiving, even in this condition also, in this condition a christian should be thankful : it is the will of God our Father we should be thankful here.

But suppose that a man's inward and spiritual condition be overclouded, and God withdraw, and hide his face from a christian : shall he, can he be thankful in this condition ? is it his duty to be thankful now?

Yes; for though God do withdraw, though he do hide his face, and not shine upon a christian ; yet it may be light with him. Day may be day though the sun do not shine forth in bright beams. And it may be day light, it may be day upon a christian soul, though there be never a beam shines. We are saved by faith, and not by feeling.

Again, Though Christ doth hide his face, though he doth withdraw his comforting presence, he never withdraws his supporting presence from a christian; sometimes more of that, when least of the other. Christ deals by a christian as God dealt by Christ in his agony, and on the cross: though God withdrew his comforting presence, so as he cried out and said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken

Matt. xxvii. 46, yet he had never more of God's supporting presence: and so it is with a christian. Though

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