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for we must trust God for our souls, and for the next world, and this naturally teaches us to trust God in this world too; to live securely upon his providence, and to suffer him to dispose of us, as he pleases.

Indeed no man can trust God in this world, who has not a stedfast faith in God, for the rewards of the next : for the external administrations of providence are not always what we could wish ; but good men are very well contented, and have great reason to be so, to take this world and the next together; and therefore are not solicitous about present things, but leave God to choose what condition for them he pleases, as being well assured of his goodness, who has prepared for them eternal rewards.

And those who can trust God with their souls, who can trust him for an immortal life, for an unseen and unknown happiness, will find no difficulty in trusting him for this world ; I mean those who are concerned for their futurc happiness, and take any care of their souls. If all who are unconcerned for their souls, and never trouble their heads, what will become of them hereafter, may be said to trust God with their souls, then, I confess, this will not hold true ; for the greatest number of those who thus trust God with their souls, will trust him for nothing else. But this is not to trust God, but to be careless of our souls; but now, when a man who stedfastly believes another life after this, and is heartily concerned, what will become of him for ever, can seThe pro

curely rely on God's promises, beyond his own knowledge and prospect of things : he will very easily trust God for every thing else : for he is not so solicitous about any thing in this world, as he is for his soul ; and if he can trust God with his dearest interests, surely he will trust him in less matters. mises of eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ, are the highest demonstrations of God's love to us ; and he who is so well assured of God's love, that he can trust him for heaven, can never distrust his care and providence in this world. The methods of God's providence can never be so unknown to us in this wo as the state of the other world is unknown ; and if we can cheerfully follow God into an unseen and unknown world, cannot we be contented to follow him through the most dark and perplexed tracks of providence here? So that we have as little reason to complain, that the state of the other is unknown to us, as we have, that we must live by faith in this world ; for absent, unseen, and unknown things, are the objects of onr faith : and those who will trust God no farther than they can see, neither in this world nor in the next, have no reason to depend upon his providence here, nor to expect heaven hereafter.

2ly, The state of the other world being so much unknown to us, is a very good reason, why we shouli cheerfully comply with all the terms and conditions of the gospel; to do whatever our Savior requires, that

case, which

we may obtain eternal life. This, it may be, you will not so readily apprehend, and yet the reason of it is very plain; for since the state of the other world is so much unknown to us, we do not, and cannot know neither, what dispositions and habits and complexion of soul are necessary to fit and qualify us for this unknown happiness. But our Savior, who knew what that state is, knew also what is necessary to that state ; and therefore the wisest course we can take, is to obey all his laws without any dispute, not only as the conditions of happiness, without which we shall not be admitted into heaven, but as the necessary preparations for it. As to explain this by a parallel


will easily understand: suppose we had pre-existed in a former state, as some say we did, before we came into these bodies ; and before we knew any thing of this world, or what the pleasures and entertainments of it are, should have been told what kind of bodies we must go into, no doubt but there would have been wonderful wise disputes about the make and frame of our bodies ; we should have thought some part superfluous, or useless, or ill contrived ; indeed, should have wondered what such a body was made for, as well we might, before we understood the use of any other part of it : but God, who knew what he intended us for, provided such a body for us, as is both beautiful and useful ; and we cannot want any part of it, but we are deprived of some conveniences and pleasures of live. And thus we may easily suppose it to be, with reference to the next world, that the habits and tempers of our minds are as necessary to relish the pleasures of that statc, as our bodily senses are to taste bodily pleasures; and since we do not particularly know what the delights of that state are, and.Christ does, we ought as perfectly to resign up ourselves to his directions for the fashioning our minds, as we tru st God to form our bodies for us.

Whatever graces and virtues he requires us to exercise in this world, though we do not see the present use of them, tho' we may think them an unnecessary restraint of our liberties, and very needless and unreasonable severities, yet we ought to conclude, that Christ knew the reason of such commands, and that such qualities and dispositions of mind, will be found as necessary in the next world, as our bodily senses are here.

And this we ought especially to conclude of such degrees and instances of virtue, as seem above our present state, and not so well fitted to our condition of life in this world ; for why should our Savior give us such laws, and exact such a degree of virtue from us here, as abridges our present enjoyments, and it may be exposes us to great inconveniences and sufferings, were not that temper of mind, which these virtues form in us, of great use and necessity in the next life ? As for instance ;

We should think it sufficient, while we live in this world, where there are so many inviting ob


jects; and while we are clothed with bodies of flesh, which are made for the enjoynients of sense, and have natural appetites and inclinations to them, so to govern ourselves in the use of these pleasures, as neither to make ourselves beasts, nor to injure our neighbors; and while we keep within these bounds, to gratify our appetites and inclinations to the full ; for it is certainly the happiness of an earthly creature to enjoy this world, though a reasonable creature must do it reasonably: But not to love this world, seems a hard command to a creature who lives in it, and was made to enjoy it ; to despise bodily pleasures, to subdue the fleshly principle in us, not only to reason, but to the spirit, to live above the body, and to strive to stifle not only its irregular, but even its natural appetites, and to taste the pleasures of it very sparingly, and with great indifference of mind, seems a very hard saying to flesh and blood : we should think it time enough to have our conversation in heaven, when we come thither ; but it is plainly above the state of an earthly creaturē, to live in heaven, tu have all our joys, our hopes, our treasure, and our hearts there : the state of this world would be very happy and prosperous without such a raised, and refined, and spiritualized mind ; and therefore these are such virtues as are not necessary to the present constitution of this world, and therefore can be only in order to the next.

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