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this Man, or his Parents, that he was Serm. born blind : But to let them see that there III. were other Reaforis for it than they were aware of, Jesus answer’d, Neither hath this Man finned, nor his Parents, but that the Works of God poould be made manifest in bim, i.e. They were not guilty of any particular heinous Sin, for which they thought this Affliction was sent, as a Judgment, but that the Glory of God might be made manifest in restoring his Sight
But, perhaps, it will be said, that to refolve these Things into the Will of God, instead of clearing the Difficulty, is the only Way to make it the more perplexing. This may seem too arbitrary a Way of proceeding to make it satisfactory to Reafon: For they that call in Question the Justice of God in this Case, will probably ask, how that can be clear'd up by resolving Things into an arbitrary Will ? For if it be unjust for good Men to suffer Amictions, 'tis not the saying, it is the Will of God to have it so, that can make it otherwise, that can alter the Naturę of Things, and make that just which is in itself unjust. The Potter has indeed Power over the Clay, and accordingly makes what he pleases of it; but then it may be said, The Clay is not an intelligent Being, nor
SERM, capable of Pain or Pleasure, Happiness or
be answer'd, that if the Will of God was
Secondly, To shew, that the Lefton moft
no more than what we have deserv'd, we Sermi should humble ourselves under the mighty III. Hand of God, who is infinitely wise, and therefore best knows what is most proper for us, and infinitely just and good, and therefore will not afflict us without a fufficient Reason for fo doing. That we can't find out the Reason is no Wonder, because it is one of those Secrets of Providence which will not be unfolded in this Life, any further than this, in general, that it is some how or other for our Advantage, and yet, by a proper Submission and Resignation to the Will of God, it is the same thing as if we could find it out. For as God is a Being infinite every Way, by a proper Submission to him, we have the same Complacency and Satisfaction of Mind as if we faw the Reason explicitly laid before us; whereas to murmur and repine, is to cut ourselves off from this Benefit, 'tis to distrust God, and deny the Reason of his Proceedings : And as it is founded in Unbelief, fo it ought to be subdued with all possible Speed; especially if we consider, that we profess ourselves Christians, haye taken up the Cross, and must behave ourselves like the Disciples of Christ. We have promised to renounce the Pomps and Vanities of the World, we can't therefore
SERM. expect a Life of Eafe and Satisfaction without
III. a Mixture of Sorrows and Calamities, nor to Mar
arrive at perfe& Happiness but thro' much Tribulation. This Argument, one would think, should make us easy under all Afflic• tions. Indeed 'tis easy for them who feel no
Pain or Anxiety to forbear Complaints'; for, as Job says, Doth the wild Ass bray when be hath Grass ? or loweth the Ox over his Fodder : Yet still what will it signify to strive against God; for he giveth not Aca count of any of his Matters? What will it profit to oppose ourselves to the Almighty ? Who hath hardened himself against him and bath prospered ? Behold, be taketh away, who can hinder him ? who will say unto him, What doest thou ? If we speak of Strength, lo he is strong; and if of Judga ment, who pall set us a Time to plead? In a Word, and to conclude, let us submit ours felves to God in every Condition of Life; and take care how we suspect the Justice of his Proceedings before we know the Whole of Things. At present we know only in part a future State will reconcile all those Difficulties, and demonstrate, after all our rash and unwarrantable Complaints, that the righteous Lord loveth Righteousness, his Cound tenance will behold the Thing that is just.
Gen. iii. Is.
thee and the Woman, and be-
thou falt bruise his Heel. i es vooN this Chapter we have a short, SERM.
1 but furprizing, Account of the IV.
m y .