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the things themselves that we enjoy, but in our appetites concerning them. But then, that those defires are so provided for by nature and art, by ordinary and extraordinary, by.. foresight and contingency, according to necessity and up to conve niency, until we arrive at abundance, is a dong chain of mercies reaching from hea, ven to earth. Is not all the earth our orchard and our granary, our vineyard and our garden of pleasure and the face of the fea is our traffic, and the bowels of the sea a storehouse of fish to feed us; and all the face of heaven is a repository of fruitful Ahowers and refreshments, T
And when God made provision for his other creatures, he gave it to them of one kind, and with variety no greater than the changes of day and night, one devouring the other, or fitting down with his draught of blood, or walking upon his portion of grafs : But man hath for his food all the food of beasts, and all the beasts themfelves that are fit for food, and the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth. It is an infinite variety of meat, with which
God furnishes out the table of mankind, And his bounty doth not only furnish the table of the rich, but he hath made provifion also for the poorest persons; fo that if they can but rule their desires, they fall have their tables furnished. Are not all the men and women in the world provided for, and fed, and cloathed, till they die? And was it not always so from the first morning of the creation ? And that any person is starved to death, is a contingency extremely rare, and seldom happens without the person's own default. The poor man need not to be troubled, that he is to expect his daily portion after the fun is up; for he hath found to this day that he was not deceived; and then he may rejoice, because he fees by an effective proof, that God, upon his own honest endeavours, hath engaged, every day to send him provisions of meat and drink.
And is it not a great thing, that God hath made fuch extraordinary provisions for our health ? such infinite differences of herbs, and plants, and minerals; and hath discovered the secrets of their nature, by
mere chance, or by inspiration ? either of which, is a miracle of providence, secret to us, but ordered by certain and regular decrees of heaven.
6thly, But because such is the bounty of God, that he hath provided a better life for the inheritance of man; if God is so merciful in making fair provision for our less noble part, we may expect that the mercy of God will much more take care, to secure to us his designed bounty, in order to our eternal inheritance.
And here I consider, that it is an infinite mercy of the almighty Father of mercies, that he hath appointed to us such a religion, as leads us to a huge felicity by its own natural tendency. The religion of a Christian is the greatest security, and the moit certain instrument, of making a man easy in this world, and beloved by all mankind.
The whole religion of a Christian, as it relates to others, is nothing but justice and mercy, which are the certain parents of peace and benefit. And upon this suppo
fition, . XIII. the Divine Mercy. 255 fition, what evil can come to a juft and merciful, to a kind and useful person? For the first commiflion of evil was upon the stock of injustice. He that kills may be killed; and he that doth injury, may have injury done to him. He that invades another man's right, must venture the loss of his own. Laws and judges, private and publick judicatures, racks and gibbets, were made, not for the righteous, but for the unjust. All which would be needless, if men did do as they would willingly fuffer.
And because there is no evil that can befal a just man, unless it comes by injury and violence ; our religion hath made as good provision against that also, as the nature of the thing will suffer. For by patience we are reconciled to the sufferance, and by hope and faith we see a certain consequent reward; and by praying for the persecuting man, we are cured of all the evil of the mind, the envy and the fretfulness that uses to gall the troubled and refisting person. And when we turn all the paffion into charity, and God turns all the 3
suffering into reward, there remains nox thing that is very formidable.
So that our religion obligeth us to fuch duties, as prevent all evils that happen justly to men. And for the evils that are unavioidable and come by violence; the graces of this discipline turn them into virtues and rewards, and make them, that in their event they are desirable, and in the suffering they are very tolerable.
And thus God's mercies are over all his works: For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to. all them that call upon thee.