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saults from without. These are so far from moving, that they settle and fix the heart commonly more, cause it to cleave the closer and nearer unto God, but sinful liberty breeds disquiet and disturbs all. Where sin is, there will be a storm; the wind within the bowels of the earth makes the earthquake.

Would you be quiet, and liave peace within in troublous times, keep near unto God, beware of any thing that may interpose betwixt

you
and

your confidence. It is good for me (says the Psalmist) to be near God; not only to draw near, but to keep near, to cleave to him, and well in him, so the word. Oh! the sweet calm of such a soul amidst all storms; thus once trusting and fixed, then no more fear, not afraid of evil tidings, not of any ill-hearing. Whatsoever sound is terrible in the ears of men, the noise of war, news of death, even the sound of the trumpet in the last judgment, he hears all this undisquieted.

Nothing is unexpected, being once fixed on God; then the heart may put cases to itself, and suppose all things imaginable, the most terrible, and look for them; not troubled before trouble with dark and dismal apprehensions, but satisfied in a quiet une moved expectation of the hardest things. Whatsoever it is, though particularly not thought on before, yet the heart is not afraid of the news of it, because fixed trusting on the Lord; nothing can shake that foundation, nor dissolve that union, therefore no fear. Yea, this assurance stays the heart in all things, how strange and unforeseen soever to it, "all foreseen to my God, on whom I trust, yea, forecontrived and ordered by him." This is the impregnable fort of a soul, “ all is at the disposal and command of my God, my Father rules all, what need I fear?”

Every one trusts to somewhat; as for honour, and esteem, and popularity, they are airy vain things; but riches seem a more solid work and fence, yet

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they are but a tower in conceit, not really. The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit, but the name of the Lord is a strong tower indeed, ver. 10. This is the thing all seek, some fence and fixing. Here it is, we call you not to vexation and turmoil, but from it; and as St. Paul said ", Whom ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. Ye blindly, and fruitlessly seek after the shew. The true aiming at this fixedness of mind will make that, though they fall short, yet by the way they will light on very pretty things that have some virtue in them, as they that seek the philosopher's stone : But the believer hath the thing, the secret itself of tranquillity and joy, and this turns all into gold, their iron chains into a crown of gold.

This is the blest and safe estate of believers. Who can think they have a sad heavy life? Oh! it is the only lightsome, sweet, chearful condition in the world. The rest of men are poor, rolling, unstayed things, every report shaking them, as the leaves of trees are shaken with the wind", yea, lighter than so, as the chaff that the wind drives to and fro at its pleasure' Would men but reflect and look in upon their own hearts, it is a wonder what vain childish things the most would find there. Glad and sorry at things as light as the toys of children, at which they laugh and cry in a breath. How easily puft up with a thing or word that pleaseth us! Bladder like, swelled with a little air, and it shrinks again in discouragements and fear upon the touch of a needle's point, which gives that air some vent.

What is the life of the greatest part but a continual tossing, betwixt vain hopes and fears, all their days spent in these? Oh! how vain a thing is a'man even in his best estate, while he is nothing but himself! his heart not united and fixed on God, & Prov, xviii. 11. b Acts xvii. i 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18. k Isa. vii.

1 Psal. i.

:

disquieted in vain, how small a thing will do it! He need no other but his own heart, it may prove disquietment enough to itself, his thoughts are his tor

mentors.

I know some men are, by a stronger understanding and moral principles, somewhat raised above the vulgar, and speak big of a constancy of mind; but these are but flourishes, an acted bravery. Somewhat there may be that will hold out in some trials, but far short of this fixedness of faith. Troubles may so multiply, as to drive them at length from their posture, and come on so thick, with such violent blows, as will smite them out of their artificial guard, disorder all their Seneca and Epictetus, and all their own calm thoughts and high resolves. The approach of death, though they make a good mien, and set the best face on it; or if not, yet some kind of terror may seize on their spirits, which they are not able to shift off. But the soul trusting on God is prepared for all, not only for the calamities of war, pestilence, famine, poverty, or death, but in the saddest apprehensions of soul, above hope, believes under hope, even in the darkest night, casts anchor in God, reposes on him when he sees no light". Yea, though he slay me, says Job, yet will I trust on him; "not only though I die, but though he slay me; when I see his hand lifted up to destroy me, yet from that same hand will I look for salvation.

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My brethren, my desire is to stir in your hearts an ambition after this blest estate of the godly that fear the Lord, and trust in him, and so fear no other thing. The common revolutions and changes of the world, and those that in these late times we ourselyes, have seen, and the likelihood of more and greater coming on, seem dreadful to weak minds. But let these persuade us the more to prize and seek this fixed unaffrighted station; no fixing but here where we make a virtue of necessity.

m Isa. 1. 10.

Oh! that you would be persuaded to break off from the vile ways of sin, that debase the soul and fill it full of terrors, and disengage them from the vanities of this world to take up in God, to live in him wholly, to cleave to, and depend on him, to esteem nothing beside him. Excellent was the answer of that holy man to the emperor, first essaying him with large proffers' of honour and riches, to draw him from Christ. Offer these thing's (says he) to children, I regard them not. Then after he tried to terrify him with threatening Threaten (says he) your effeminate courtiers, I fear none of these things.

Seek to have your hearts established on him by the faith of eternal life, and then it will be ashamed to distrust him in any other thing. Yea, truly, you will not much regard, nor be careful for other things how they be. It will be all one, the better and worse of this moment; the things of it, even the greatest, being both in themselves so little and worthless, and of so short continuance.

Well chuse you; but all reckoned and examined, I had rather be the poorest believer than the greatest king on earth.

How small a commotion, small in its beginning, may prove the overturning of the greatest kingdom! But the believer is heir to a kingdom that cannot be shaken. The mightiest and most victorious prince, that hath not only lost nothing, but hath been gaining new conquests all his days, is stopt by a small distemper in the middle of his course : He returns to his dust, then his vast designs fall to nothing, in that very day his thoughts perish. But the believer, in that very day, is sent. to the possession of his crown, that is his coronaționday; all his thoughts are accomplished.

. How can you affright him ? Bring him word, his estate is ruined; yet my inheritance is safe, says he: Your wife, or child, or dear friend, is dead; yet my Father lives. You yourself must die; well then, I

go home to my Father, and to my inheritance.

For the publick troubles of the church, doubtless it is both a most pious and generous temper, to be more deeply affected for these than for all our private ones; and to resent common calamities of any people, but especially of God's own people, hath been the character of men near unto him, Observe the pathetical strains of the prophets bewailing, when they foretel the desolation even of foreign kingdoms, much more for the Lord's chosen people, still mindful of Sion, and mournful for her distresses", and the whole book of Lamentations, If I forget thee, O Jerusalem. Pious spirits are always publick, as even brave Heathens for the commonwealth: So he, in that of Horace*. Little regarding himself, but much solicitous for the publick. Yet even in this, with much compassion, there is a calm in a believer's mind, (how these agree, none can tell, but they that feel it) he finds amidst all hard news, yet still a fixed heart trusting, satisfied in this, that deliverance shall come in due time, and that in those judgments that are inflicted, man shall be humbled and God exalted! and that in all tumults and changes, and subversion of states, still his throne is fixed, and with that the believer's heart likewise". The Lord sitteth upon the flood : Yea, the Lord sitteth king for ever. Or, sat in the flood, possibly referring to the general deluge, yet that then God sat quiet, and still sitteth king for ever.

He steered the ark, and still guides his church through all. So Psal. xlvi. throughout that whole Psalm. In all commotions, the kingdom of Christ shall be spreading and growing, and the close of all shall be full victory on his side, and that is sufficient. Of this, a singular example is in Job, who was Jer. ix. 1.

o Psal. cxxxvii. * Invenit insomni volventem publica curâ Fata virûm, casusque urbis, cunctisque timentem, Securumque sui. P Psal. cii. 13.

9 Isa. ii. 11. and v. 15, 16. i Psal. xciii. So Psal. xxix. 10.

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