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quiet, and in confusion; but he dwells in peaceable and quiet spirits. Unquiet spirits can take in neither counsel nor comfort, grace nor peace, &c. Psal. lxxvii. 2. My soul refused to be comforted. The impatient patient will take down no cordials, he hath no eye to see, nor hand to take, nor palate to relish, nor stomach to digest any thing that makes for his health and welfare; when the man is sick and froward, nothing will down, the sweetest music can make no melody in his ears, Exod. vi. 6, 7, 8, 9. " Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burthens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage : and I will redeem you with a stretched-out-arm, and with great judgments, and I will take you to me for a people, and I wwill be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burthens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord." The choicest cordials and comforts that heaven or earth could afford, are here held forth to them, but they have no hand to receive them. Here Moses's lips drop honeycombs, but they can taste no sweetness in them: here the best of earth, and the best of heaven is set before them, but their souls are shu up, and nothing will down: here is such ravithing music of paradise, as might abun. dantly delight their hearts, and please their ears, but they cannot hear: here are soul enlivening, soul-supporting, soul-strengthening, soul-comforting, soul-raising, and soul-refreshing words, but they cannot hearken to them, ver. 9. “ And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel, but they hearkened not unto Moses, for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.” They were under their anguish, feverish fits, and so could neither hear nor see, taste nor take in any thing that might be a mercy or a comfort to them; they were sick of impatience and discontent * And these humours being grown strong, nothing would take with them, nothing would agree with them. When persons are under strong pangs of passion, they have no ears either for reason or religion.
Reas. 6. A sixth reason why gracious souls should be silent under the smarting rod, is this, viz. because it is fruitless, it is bootless to strive, to contest or contend with God. No man hath ever got any thing by muttering or murmuring under the hand of God, except it hath been more frowns, blows, and wounds. Such as will not lie quiet and still, when mercy hath tied them with silken cords, justice will put them in iron chains : if golden fetters will not hold you, iron shall t. If Jo
No air agrees well with weak, peevish, sickly bodies.
+ If bedlans will not lie quiet they are put into dark rooms, and heavier chains are put upon them,
nah will vex, and fret, and fling, justice will fling him overboard to cool him, and quell him; and keep him prisoner in the whale's belly, till his stomach be brought down, and his spirit be måde quiet before the Lord. Jer. vii. 19. “Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces ?” By provoking of me, they do but provoke themselves; by angering of me, they do but anger themselves; by vexing of me, they do but fret and vex themselves, 1 Cor. x. 22. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
Zanchy observes these two things from these words.
(1.) That it is ill provoking God to wrath, because he is stronger than we.
(2.) That though God be stronger than we, yet there are those who provoke him to wrath ; and certainly there are none that do more to provoke him, than those who fume and fret when his hand is upon them Though the cup be bitter, yet it is put into your hand by your Father; though the cross be heavy, yet he that hath laid it on your shoulders, will bear the heaviest end of it himself, and why then should you mutter? Shall bears and lions take blows and knocks from their keepers, and wilt thou not take a few blows and knocks from the Keeper of Israel? Why should the clay contend with the pote ter, or the creature with his Creator, or the servant with his lord, or weakness with strength, or a poor nothing creature with an
cmnipotent God? Can stubble stand before the fire ? can chaff abide the whirlwind ? or can a worm ward off the blow of the Almighty? A froward and impatient spirit under the hand of God, will but add chain to chain, cross to cross, yoke to yoke, and burden to burden. The more men tumble and toss in their feverish fits, the more they strengthen their distemper, and the longer it will be before the cure be effected. The easiest and the surest way of cure, is to lie still and quiet. Where patience hath its perfect work, there the cure will be certain and easy ; when a man hath his broken leg set, he lies still and quiet, and so his cure is easily and speedily wrought; but when a horse's leg is set, he frets and flings, he flounces and flies but, unjointing it again and again, and so his cure is the more difficult and tedious. Such Christians that under the hand of God are like the horse or mule, fretting and flinging, will but add to their own sorrows and sufferings, and put the day of their deliverance further off.
Reas. 7. A seventh reason why Christians should be mute and silent under their afflictions, is, because hereby they shall cross and frustrate Satan's great design and expectation. In all the afflictions he brought upon Job, his design was not so much to make Job a beggar, as it was to make him a blasphemer : it was not so much to make Job outwardly miserable, as it was to make Job inwardly miserable, by occasioning him to mutter and murmur against the righteous hand of God, that so he might have had some matter of accusation against him to the Lord. He is the unwearied accuser of the brethren, Rev.xii. 10, “ The accuser of the brethren is cast down, which accuseth them before our God day and night." Satan the great makebate between God and his children, he hath a mint constantly going in hell, where as an untired mint-master, he is still a coining and hammering out accusations against the saints. First, he tempts and allures souls to sin, and then accuses them of those very sins he hath tempted them to, that so he may disgracethem before God, and bring them, if it were possible, out of favour with God; and though he knows before-hand, that God and his people are, by the bond of the covenant and by the blood of the Redeemer, so closely united that they can never be severed, yet such is his rage and wrath, envy and malice, that which he knows he shall never effect. Could he but have made Job froward or fretful under the rod, he would have quickly carried the tidings to heaven, and have been so bold as to have asked God, whether this was a carriage becoming such a person of whom himself had given so glorious a character? Satan knows that there is more evil in the least sin, than there is in all the afflictions that can be inflicted upon a person; and if he could have but made a breach upon Job's patience, ah, how he would have insulted over God himself! Could he but have made Job a