« AnteriorContinuar »
feth up the Heart, stirreth us for ward, carrieth us beyond our felves; and in this State it is where a Man loseth himfelf, whereof we ought to take good heed :- For when Fortune laugheth, and every thing happeneth to our desire, then fhould we fear most,"and stand upon our guard, bridle, our Affections, compofe our A&tions by Reason; and above all, avoid Presumption, which commonly follows it for it has a flippery Pace, wherein a Man must'take sure footing; for there is no time where in a Man doth more forget God; and it is a rare thing to find a Man that doth humbly attribute the Cause of his Felicity unto him; and therefore we ought to carry our felves as in an evil and dangerous way, and go with fear and doubt. 0. how many have been lost, and have perish'd misera bly, for want of Discretion to mo, derate themselves therein! We must therefore stay our felves, or go forward with a flower Pace. But in these times of Profperity, Adversity is a Medicine, because it leadeth us to the Kyowledge of our klves: Byt
we must take heed of the common Opinion of Adversity, which is erroneous, and differs from Truth and Reason; (viz.) To discredit and bring into hatred, all Adversities and Afflictions, and call them Evils, Difafters, Mischiefs, &c. Because such outward things in themselves are neither good nor evil, neither do they make a Man wicked, but rather serve as a means to amend those that are fo; for doubtless Adversity, Afflictions, Crosses, and Accidents, are common to all; but they'work divers Effects, according to that Subject on which they fall; Toithe Foolish and Impenitent, they may be a means to drive them to Despair or Distraction: To Sinners and Offenders (not har den'd) they are lively Instructions to put them in mind of their Duty, and to bring them to the Knowledge of God: To Vertuous People, they are a means to exercise their Vertue, and gain greater Commendation, and a nearer Alliance with God: To Wife Men, they are a matter of Good, and sometimes a means to mount up to Greatness à is an excellent. Example
hereof, was Fosepb the Son of cob.
. .: | That a Man may the better defend himfelf in these Adversities, and quit himself with advantage, a principalmean is to be an honest Man, for a vertuous Man is more peaceable in Adversity, than a vicious Man is in Profperity; and he that hath an evil Conscience is more tormented, than he that hath a good one ; for having the inward part found, outward things cannot hurt it ; efpecially being oppos'd with a good Courage. Now such Adversities, co-as are real, & Sickness, Pain; Grief, Lofs, &c. We may obferve are Natural unto Men from their Birth; then what doth af fiat us, being natural unto us, we cannot: juftlyy receiver Offence (theres by ;(for Offence is a Malady of the Sou); contrary to Nature, and ought not to come near us. There is not an Accident befals us, wherein Nam ture. hath not prepar'd an aptness in us to receive it, and to turn it to our content: For it is the leffer part of Man that is fubject to Foro tune; the principal part cannot be overcome without our consent: For tune may make a Man poor, fick, afflicted, but not vicious and difsolute, nor take from us Courage and Virtue, and if we consider aright, we have more reason to be content with our good Fortune, than to complain of the bad. We should not so torment our felves at our Miffortunes, as to forget our Comforts; for if the Evils that we suffer should be compar'd with the Blessings we enjoy, the Division being equally made, we may see, by the overplus of the Good, the Injustice of our Complaint: And if we cast our Eyes. abroad, and fee those that are in a far worfe Condition than us, (who would think themselves happy if they were in our Places) we might fo far consider their Condition, as to think, it is God's great Mercy to us, that ours is not so bad ; which, if weightily confider'd by us, would keep us from murmuring, and bear patiently our Adversities, &c. Charron.
That there is a Divine Providence over us in Humane Things, appears from the following Quotations, viz. Gen. 24. 35. Exod. 21. 1, 3. 1 Sam. 2.7. JOB 1. 24. and 36. 22. Pfal. 107. 40, 41. Prov. 16. 33. Ecclef. 7. 14. and 9. I 1'g 12. Jer. 10° 23.
Ecause the Sout of Man (as afore
faid) is the most precious thing be longing to Man (the Image of God) and is Immortal; and the way for it to attain to Everlasting Happiness, is to abide in the Love and Favour of God; which is no other way, attain'd to, but by the assistance of the Spirit of God) to follow and embrace Vertue, the several Branches whereaf are in the following Chapter des fined by the Philosophers.