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precious than of gold that perisheth, &c.-1 Pet. i. 6, 7.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, &c.-i Pet. iv. 12, 13.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried.-Rev. ii. 10.
I will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.-Rev. iii. 10.
II. To humble and purge them. The Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness to humble thee, &c. Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, &c.-Deut. viii. 2. 16.
So Manasseh made Judah, &c. to err, and to do worse than the heathen: wherefore the Lord brought upo them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh, &c. bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, &c. And God brought him again unto his kingdom, &c. He then took away the strange gods, &c.— 2 Chron. xxxiii. 9—13. 15, 16.
Job complains of his afflictions; then saith, What is man that thou shouldest magnify him? &c. I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men?--Job vii. 16-20.
Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble? for thou writest bitter things against me.-Job xiii. 25, 26.
He knoweth the way that I take : when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.-Job xxii. 10.
If they be, &c. holden in cords of affliction : then he sheweth them
their work, and their transgressions, that they have exceeded: he openeth their car to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.Job xxxvi. 8-10.
Behold, I am vile: what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth once have I spoken, but I will not answer; yea twice, but I will proceed no farther.-Job xl. 4, 5.
I have heard of thee, &c. but now mine eye seeth thee: wherefore I abhor myself, &c.—Job xlii. 5, 6.
Hath he smitten him? &c. By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this is all the fruit, to take away his sin.-Isa. xxvii. 7-9.
Ephraim by chastisement was humbled and instructed.-Jer. xxxi. 18,19.
My fury and mine anger was poured forth, &c. They are not humbled even unto this day; neither have they feared, nor walked in my law. Jer. xliv. 6. 10.
I will cause you to pass under the rod, &c. and there shall ye remember your ways, &c. and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight.-Ezek. 37, 38. 43.
Some of them of understanding shall fall, &c. to purge and to make them white.-Dan. xi. 35.
I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver. -Zech. xiii. 9.
Lest I should be exalted above measure, &c. there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to buffet me.-2 Cor. xii. 7.
To make them remember God, and things above; to look to, own them, and close with them.
Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed and Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, &c. the Lord which saidest unto me, Return, &c. Gen. xxxii. 7-9.
When Joseph's brethren were dealt roughly with, they remembered their sin against Joseph.-Gen. xlii. 21.
He suffered thee to hunger, &c. that he might make thee know that
man doth not live by bread alone, Lam. iii. 39, 40. Isa. ix. 13. Jer, but, &c.-Deut. viii. 3.
xxxi. 18, 19.
I will cause you to pass under the rod, &c. and ye shall know that I am the Lord.-Ezek. xx. 37, 38.
When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of the enemies' land, &c. then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathens, &c.-Ezek. xxxix. 27, 28.
O king, this is the decree of the most High: they shall drive thee from men, &c. until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.-Dan. iv. 24, 25. 32.
Behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, &c. Then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband, for then was it better with me than now, &c.—Hosea ii. 6—8. v. 15.
I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the Lord; he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.Hosea v. 15. vi. 1.
know that I am the Lord, &c. And the Egyptians pursued after them, &c. and the children of Israel were sore afraid,&c.-Exod. xiv. 4. 9, 10. 17,18. . He fed thee with manna, &c. that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. -Deut. viii. 3.
Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.-2 Sam. xii. 14.
Hast thou considered my servant Job? &c. and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.-Job ii. 3.
Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.-Ps. lxxvi. 10.
The three children's sufferings made their persecutors to acknowledge and give honour to God.-Dan. iii. 27-29.
So Daniel's sufferings made Darius the king (who had caused him to be cast into the lions' den) acknowledge and honour God.-Dan. vi. 20. 26, 27.
Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents; that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.-John ix. 2, 3.
Jesus said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.-John xi. 4.
This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God.-John xxi. 19.
We are troubled on every side, &c. that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body: for we which live, are always delivered unto death, that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.2 Cor. iv. 8-11.
sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness: most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.-2 Cor. xii. 7-10.
When Paul was buffetted, &c. he besought the Lord thrice that it might depart and it was said, My grace is
I would have you understand, brethren, that the things which have happened to me, have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel, &c. and many of the brethren in the Lord waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.-Phil. i. Î2—14.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit, &c. on your part he is glorified. 1 Pet. iv. 14.
For the procuring of great Good and Advantage to those who are exercised therewith.
Joseph's afflictions and sufferings, his being sold by his brethren, and afterwards being imprisoned, happened, through God, to his great honour and advantage: he is advanced to be next the king; his brethren, who sold him, are made to bow to him and honour him, and are nourished by him; his father's sorrows are also recompensed, in that Joseph provided for him in the famine.Gen. xxxvii. 28. 34, 35. xxix. 5. 20. xli. 39-44. xlv. 5. 7, 8. xlvii. 11, 12.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass as at this day, to save much people alive.-Gen.1. 20.
The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.— Exod. i. 11, 12. Ezra v. vi.
And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and his servant Moses.-Exod. xiv. 31.
Who fed thee with manna, &c. that he might humble thee, &c. to do thee good at thy latter end.-Deut. viii. 16.
Hezekiah, left of God, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.-2 Chron. xxxii. 31.
It is a faithful saying, &c. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.2 Tim. ii. 11, 12. Rom. viii. 17, 18.
1 Pet. iv. 13.
We have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? for they, &c. chastened us after their own pleasure; but he, for our profit, &c. No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.-Heb. xii. 9-11.
Ye are in heaviness, &c. that the trial of your faith, &c. might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.-1 Pet. i. 6, 7.
See Second Consideration following.
correcteth, &c. for he maketh sore, and bindeth up, &c.—Job v. 17, 18.
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord; and teachest him out of thy law.-Ps. xciv. 12.
Whom the Lord loveth, he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.-Prov. iii. 12.
He that spareth the rod, hateth his son: but he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes.-Prov. xiii. 24.
SECT. III. The Considerations which should stay, bear up, and comfort the Spirits of Christians in their afflictions, and under Persecutions. Cons. I. That it is their Portion, which God appointed them to in this Life; and that too for good Ends. Cons, II. That such who are so exercised, are blessed and happy, and 80 pronounced in Scripture; a Seal of their Sonship, and God's choice Love to them, and of their Salvation. BEHOLD, happy is the man whom God
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, &c. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake: rejoice, and be exceeding glad. -Matt. v. 4. 10-12.
Blessed are ye that hunger now, &c. that weep now, &c. But woe unto you that are rich, &c. that are full, &c. that laugh now, &c. when all men speak well of you.-Luke vi. 21, 22. 24-26.
In nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition; but to you of salvation, and that of God: for unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.-Phil. i. 28, 29.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons for what son is there? &c. If ye be without chastisement, &c. then are ye bastards, and not sons.-Heb. xii. 7, 8.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, &c. -James i. 12.
We count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job. -James v. 11.
If ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid.
1 Pet. iii. 14.
If ye be reproached for of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory, and of God, resteth upon
&c.-1 Pet. iv. 14.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.-Rev. iii. 19.