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SERM. with complaints, the necessary result whereof is to displease or provoke very many, to oblige or satisfy very few; of being frequently engaged in resentments of ingratitude, of treachery, of neglects, of defects in duty, and breaches of trust toward them; of being constrained to comply with the humours and opinion of men; of anxious care to keep, and jealous fear of losing all; of danger, and being objected to the traitorous attempts of bold malecontents, of fierce zealots, and wild fanatics; of wanting the most solid and savoury comforts of life, true friendship, free conversation, certain leisure, privacy, and retiredness, for enjoying themselves, their time, their thoughts, as they thinkgood; of satiety, and being cloyed with all sorts of enjoyments: in fine, of being paid with false coin for all their cares and pains, receiving for them scarce any thing more but empty shows of respect, and hollow acclamations of praise; (whence the Psalmist might well say, Psal. Ixii. 9. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree a lie; a lie, for that their state cheateth us, appearing so specious, yet being really so inconvenient and troublesome.) Such is the state of the greatest men; such as hath made wise princes weary of themselves, ready to acknowledge, that if men knew the weight of a crown, none would take it up"; apt to think with pope Adrian, who made
* Personata felicitas. Sen. Ep. 80.
Adulandi certamen est, et unum omnium amicorum officium, una contentio quis blandissime fallat. Sen. de Benef. vi. 30. Vid. optime disserentem.-Vid. et de Clem. i. 19.-Et ad Polyb. 26.
Antigonus. Nescitis amici, quid mali sit imperare, &c. Saturn. apud Vopisc.
this epitaph for himself: Here lieth Adrian the SERM. Sixth, who thought nothing in his life to have be- XL. fallen him more unhappy, than that he ruled *: such, in fine, their state, as upon due consideration we should, were it offered to our choice, never embrace; such indeed, as in sober judgment, we cannot Nihil diffiprefer before the most narrow and inferior fortune: bene imperare. Diohow then can we reasonably be displeased with our cles. apud condition, when we may even pity emperors and Vopise. in kings, when, in reality, we are as well, perhaps are much better, than they?
7. Further, it may induce and engage us to be content, to consider what commonly hath been the lot of good men in the world: we shall, if we survey the histories of all times, find the best men to have sustained most grievous crosses and troubles; scarce is there in holy scripture recorded any person eminent and illustrious for goodness, who hath not tasted deeply of wants and distresses. Abraham, the father of the faithful, and especial friend of God, was called out of his country, and from his kindred, to wander in a strange land, and lodge in tents, without any fixed habitation. Jacob spent a great part of his life in slavish toil, and in his old age was in reflection upon his life moved to say, that the days of his pilgrimage had been few and Gen.xlvii.9. evil. Joseph was maligned and persecuted by his
* Hic situs est Adrianus VI. qui nihil sibi in vita infelicius duxit, quam quod imperavit. Lud. Guicciard. P. Jovius in vit.
y Consider what calamities great, powerful, glorious men have endured; Croesus, Polycrates, Pompey, &c. Sen. de Ira, iii. 25.
Οἱ τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἄριστοι πενία διέζων παρὰ πάντα τὸν βίον. (Aristides, Phocion, Epaminondas, Pelopidas.) Æl. xi. 9, 11, 43. Lamachus, Socrates, Ephialtes, Abel, Noe, &c. Chrys. tom. vi. p. 107.
SERM. brethren, sold away for a slave, slandered for a most XL. heinous crime, thrust into a grievous prison, where Psal. cv. 18. his feet were hurt with fetters, and his soul came Σίδηρον διῆλBy Jux into iron. Moses was forced to fly away for his life, to become a vagabond in a foreign place, to feed sheep for his livelihood; to spend afterward the best of his life in contesting with an obstinately perverse exemplum prince, and in leading a mistrustful, refractory, mu
Socrates, Cato, Regulus, Pho
cion, &c. Magnum
fortuna non tinous people, for forty years' time, through a vast
tom. v. Or. 27. p. 168.
Or. 10. p.
Vid. Chrys, and wild desert. Job, what a stupendous heap of mischiefs did together fall and lie heavy upon him! et tom. vi. (Thou writest bitter things against me, he might well say.) David, how often was he plunged in saddest extremity, and reduced to the hardest shifts; being hunted like a partridge in the wilderness by an envious master, forced to counterfeit madness for his security among barbarous infidels; dispossessed of his kingdom, and persecuted by his own most favoured son; deserted by his servants, reproached and scorned by his subjects!! Elias was driven long to sculk for his life, and to shift for his livelihood in the wilderness. Jeremy was treated as an impostor and a traitor, and cast into a miry dungeon; finding matter from his sufferings for his doleful lamentaLam. iii. 1.tions, and having thence occasion to exclaim, I am the man that have seen affliction by the rod of his Acts vii. 52. wrath, &c. Which of the prophets were not per1 Cor. iv. secuted and misused? as St. Stephen asked. The apostles were pinched with all kinds of want, ha
107. Job xiii. 27. 1 Sam.
γ Νῦν καὶ πάλαι ἐξ οὗ γεγόνασιν ἄνθρωποι ἅπαντες οἱ τῷ Θεῷ φίλοι τῷ στυγνῷ καὶ ἐπιμόχθῳ καὶ μυρίων γήμοντι δεινῶν͵ ἐκληρώθησαν βίῳ. Chrys in Mart. Ægypt. t. v. 522.
Ἐν τοῖς πειρασμοῖς ἤνθουν οἱ δίκαιοι, τοὺς ἁγίους ἅπαντας οὕτως ἤγαγεν ὁ Ocòs dià Oxífews. Chrys. in 2 Cor. Or. 27.
vi. Or. 93.
τὸν ὅλων ἐ
rassed with all sorts of toil, exposed to all manner SERM. of hazards, persecuted with all variety of contumelies and pains that can be imagined: above all, our Lord himself beyond expression was a man of sor-Chrys. tom. row, and acquainted with grief, surpassing all men Isa. liii. 3. in suffering as he did excel them in dignity and in virtue; extreme poverty, having not so much as Matt. viii. where to lay his head, was his portion; to undergo Ex yàp Tv continual labour and travel, without any mixture of τῶν ἀνθρώcarnal ease or pleasure, was his state; in return for yixe τοῦ παρόντος the highest good-will and choicest benefits, to re-porous ceive most cruel hatred and grievous injuries, to be rodaéras loaded with the bitterest reproaches, the foulest slanders, the sorest pains which most spiteful malice could invent, or fiercest rage inflict, this was his lot: των ήδικής Am I poor? so, may one say, was he to extremity; vous, xì Am I slighted of the world? so was he notoriously; äyav wigAm I disappointed and crossed in my designs? So viagos. was he continually, all his most painful endeavours having small effect; Am I deserted or betrayed of friends? so was he by those who were most intimate, and most obliged to him; Am I reviled, slandered, misused? was not he so beyond all comparison most outrageously?
παρὰ τῶν συμβεβιω
Have all these, and many more, of whom the Heb. xi. 38. world was not worthy, undergone all sorts of inconvenience, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; and shall we then disdain, or be sorry to be found in such company? Having such a cloud of mar- Heb. xii. 1. tyrs, let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Is it not an honour, should it not be a comfort to us, that we do, in condition, resemble them? If God hath thus dealt with those, who of all men have been dearest to him, shall we take it BARROW, VOL. II. k k
SERM. ill at his hands, that he, in any manner, dealeth so XL. with us? Can we pretend, can we hope, can we even wish to be used better, than God's firstborn, and our Lord himself hath been? If we do, are we not monstrously fond and arrogant? especially considering, that it is not only an ordinary fortune, but the peculiar character of God's chosen, and children, to be often crossed, checked, and corrected; even pagans have observed it, and avowed there is great reason for it; God, saith Seneca, hath a fatherly mind toward good men; and strongly loveth them -therefore after the manner of severe parents, he educateth them hardly, &c. The apostle doth in Heb. xii. 6, express terms assure us thereof; for, whom, saith he, the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons but if ye be without chastisement, whereof all (that is, all good men, and genuine sons of God) are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Would we be illegitimated, or expunged from the number of God's true children? would we be divested of his special Ecclus.ii. 1. regard and good-will? if not, why do we not gladly Τέκνον, εἰ Teorie embrace, and willingly sustain adversity, which is by προσέρχη δουλεύειν κυ- himself declared so peculiar a badge of his children, so constant a mark of his favour? if all good men do, as the apostle asserteth, partake thereof; shall we, by displeasure at it, show that we desire to be assuredly none of that party, that we affect to be John xvi. discarded from that holy and happy society? Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice. It is peculiarly
Goy Thy χήν σου εἰς
the lot of Christians, as such, in conformity to their Rom. viii. afflicted Saviour; they are herein predestinated to