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. VI. 'The Just shall live by Faith. 107 his supports and comforts from God, both for this life, and that which is to come.
Another way wherein the just man lives, and ought to live, by faith, is this; that as he expects all his support from God, so he trusts all his concernments with him; his body, his soul, his estate, his friends, his relations, he trusts all with God, in the belief of these two great articles, that God's providence rules the world, ---- and that the same providence worketh all things for good to them that are good.
God did not make the world by his wifdom, and then leave it to be governed by chance; he did not employ infinite wifdom to build an house, and then send chance and folly to dwell in it. But the fame wisdom and power that made the world, do still dwell and abide in it.
And that we might trust God in all affairs, and having so done, might rejoice in that trust; that we might hope even against hope, and be content where there is nothing visible that should give content unto us,— therefore doth he tell us, that all things work together for good, that we might be content sometimes in the greatest straits ; content to see the poor man want a friend, or the righteous man necessary relief and support; that we might be patient when we see our friends wronged, our enemies prosper, our estates small, and our circumstances weak; that we might be content to do well, and to luffer ill; to be poor, without advantages of growing rich; to be despised, where we deserve honour; to be neglected, where we should be advanced ; to be fick and afflicted, without hopes of recovery of health and happiness in this world; therefore we are told, and therefore we are, to believe, that all things shall work together for good, to them that love God.
Haying thus far (hewed, What it is to live by faith ; I am to shew in the
Second Place, the excellency and advantage of this living.
And herein consisteth the excellency and advantage of it, in that it sets us above all
. VI. The Just fall live by Faith. 109 the trifling concerns of this world, and fixe eth our conversation in heaven. Faith enlighteneth the mind, purifies the heart, ennobles the affections, alters the whole frame and disposition of the soul, carries a man into another world, poffefses the mind with other thoughts, acquaints him with other things, furnisheth him with new desires, placeth him in another state ; so that he which before minded earthly things, is now raised far above them, hath God always in his eye, heaven is daily in his thoughts, eternity sinks into his mind, the joys of the angels, the contentments of the saints, the meditation of a blessed immortality, warm his heart every morning, and keep him company every day.
Every man hath a design, and some end or other to pursue in this world. Riches, greatness, power, worldly ambition, and earthly pleasures, are the great pursuits which engage the attention of mankind. But no sooner doth faith open the eye, no sooner is the sense of heaven and the true fear of God awakened in the soul, but all these things vanish as empty
shadows, or a dream of the night. The world palleth away, and the lusts thereof; but be that doth the will of God abideth for ever. ; ; ; ; ; :
And what large and excellent discourses, will the just man who lives by faith frame unto himself upon this truth? Behold, faith he, the world with all its pomp and lustre, with its glory and greatness, is in daily decay and consumption, and how should I live upon that which must die? How should that establish the soul, which hath itself no establishment? how should that be a foundation for me to rest upon, which hath no foundation for itself? .
Caft your eyes round about, upon the riches, wealth, and preferments of this world; and behold they are in a continual motion to corruption; they are in a daily flux; the waters do not hasten faster to the sea, than all these things melt towards smoke and vapour.
Have crowns and sceptres exempted any man from death, from the beginning of the world to this time? have riches ever made a man immortal ? hath health ever made a man wise? or have great prefer
ments ever given a man great content? Solomon hath long since put off his crown, and his robes, and long since turned to duft. The kings and emperors of former ages are all dead, and the worm made no difference between them and the meanest of their subjects. How little is there left in the world, that was two hundred years ago? All that is past, and something sprung up in its stead, which yet shall shortly pass away as that did. .
Thus faith views all things in the decline, it sees them all in motion and decay; it lets the world pass as it will pass ; it leaves that which leaves it; and turns its eye from beholding vanity : But how bright is the glory of heaven in the eye of faith? how precious are the things of immortality in them that believe ? and how ravishing are the affections of eternal life, in them that long after eternal things ? He thus believes, and thus acts. He never wants the help of a fin, to do him a favour; or the joy of a sensual pleasure, to make him happy. If he wants comfort, faith supplies him ; if he wants content, he