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And therefore when we are in great pain; or suffer wrong; when a righteous parent, or a beloved child dies : though we complain and lament, as if fo fad a case never happened before, and perhaps say fo too; yet these are but words of passion ; for there have been the like complaints before, and the same reasons of complaint too. We are not made in a different mould, and to a different sensation, from those that have lived in former times; for they were affected with pain and grief as we are, and from the same causes too. :
For which reason, when providence either punishes or rewards in this life; when it either punishes the wicked, and tries the righteous, by adverfity; or re, wards the righteous, and ensnares the wicked, with prosperity ; it goes the same way to work, either inflicting that which is equally ungrateful to all men, as pestilence, sword, famine, disappointments, loffes, and the like; or sending the contrary things, which are always grateful.
: So that as to the good or the evil, which happens in the several ages of the world, There is no new thing under the fun; but that which þath been, is now; and that which is to be, bath already been.
MOREOVER; All men have the same natyral pasions and appetites, which they either govern or not govern as they ought to do, and which, according as they are well used or not, will perpetually produce the same effects of good or evil. The affections of envy, pride, ambition, revenge, covetoufness, and voluptuousnefs, have reigned amongst evil men in all ages. Injustice ftill proceeds from the fame covetousness or ambition; cruelty, from the sąme revengefulness, or anger, or hatred; luxury, from the same inordinate love of ease and pleasure; and insolent contempt of others, from the same pride and overweening conceit of one's self. These vices' have their root, in the ungoverned passions of human nature, and in the abuse of man's free will.
: And therefore fince God has left mankind, to a natural liberty and power over their own actions, under the disadvantage of bad inclinations, and with the help only of such grace as may by them be resisted;
it is no wonder, that there is so great a likeness of events still returning, because so much of the good that happens to us depends upon wisdom and virtue, and so many evils of this life, upon folly and vice.
It hath always been seen, that justice and faithfulness, reverence to God, and good will to men, have enabled men to do well for themselves. But when they degenerate, and their manners are corrupted, then their prosperity begins to be undermined. And if they grow from bad to worse, God will suffer them to reap the fruit of their own doings; and all their fins to ripen into those mischiefs, which they naturally produce: In which also it is not hard, to trace the footsteps of a divine vengeance,
Indeed it sometimes happeneth, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all: That is; Through the over-ruling providence of God, things do sometimes happen otherwise than by common rules; which though it doth not fall out so seldom, as to be always new and surprising, yet neither doth it happen so often, but that the contrary is the ordinary course of things; and for the most part, a faithful man shall be trusted, a charitable man shall be loved, a religious and virtuous man shall be honoured, an honest and diligent man shall thrive; tbe integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the perver seness, of transgresors shall destroy them. The wise shall inberit glory, but Shame shall be the promotion of fools.
So that not only the good and evil of this life are in all ages the fame, but the causes of both are the same too; that is to say, the virtues and the vices, the wisdom and
folly of mankind, and the wife prović dence of God fuperintending all, and ala Ways governing all for the best. And therefore that which bath been; is nor; and that which is to be, bath already been
AND NOW, amongst other good uses that may be made of this consideration, this certainly is one; That we should always difpofe ourselves to receivè our portion in this world, be it better, or be it worses with as much moderation and equality of tempér as we can.
If we are profperous, and our affaits suck ceed according to our defirės; let us not for this cherish pride, and self-conceit's and vain opinions of ourselves, as if we only were fit to be regarded. Others have been as fortunate as ourselves; and yet examples of this world's inconftancy.
Is any of us in adversity? This also hath been a common case, and therefore let us nat tepine at providence. Evil men have been punished for their fins, and good men tried by afflictions. We, as well as others before us, carry the causes and seeds