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• to rest satisfied in his present station, whatever it
be. The Family we live in is God's, it is he that maintains us in it, and he is Lord of his family, and placech or displaceth therein according to his own Wisdom. Whatever our Office, Sracion or Allowance be, it is not what we had any antecedent Right to, but what he hath of his undeferv'd goodness freely assign'd us. Howsoever therefore he disposetli of us, we are to be content, and cheerfully to do the Business which he hath set us to do.
5. As we are the Stewards of God, we are bound to behave our selves as becomes us 10wards the whole family wherein we live. First, We are not to envy any one therein for his higher place, or greater allowance. Whatsoever he is, he is God's Steward too of so much as God hath thought fit to instrust him with, and he hath no more than his Master thinks fit to give him, and we have in the mean time all that God sees it fit for us to have. God is the best Judge, and a just Disposer of his own, and it becomes not us to have an evil envious Eye at any one, because he is good to him. Secondly, We are not to wrong any one of God's great family, the VVorld, of any part of his Goods, for in that we contradict the VVill of our Master, and wrong him. Whatever Portion of his Goods God hath committed to another's Trust, they are God's Goods still, and he hath placed them as he saw fit, and we wrong him in displacing and removing them to our felves, or making use of them without his Authority. Thirdly, We ought to live in due Subjection and Obedience to every one in his Office and Stewardship whereinto God hath
put him, and to do his Commands cheerfully in all Things wherein God hath given him the Cornmand over us. Lastly, We are to despise no one, whatever he be, for his poverty, or low Estate, and mean or vile condition in the World; for he is a Member of the same great Family, and serves the same great Master, and is entertain'd by him, and is his Steward too of fu much as it pleaseth him, and lives as we do of his Allowance, and may (for ought we know ) be dearer to him, and more in his favour than we are ; and tho’he judge him nor fo fic for the higher Office and Employment which he hath put us into at present, yet may his Fidelity and diligence in a lower be more acceptable, and in the end better rewarded.
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6. Hence have we much cause to comfort our felves, so long as we behave our felves as we ought in our Stewardship, notwithstanding any ill Opinion Men may have of us, how much foever they may scorn, or abuse us. For whac need we trouble our selves with what Men think or say of us, so long as we stand in this honour. able relation to God, and can allure our felves that he is well pleas'd with our carriage in our Stewardship? Him it concerns us to please, by whose Bounty we live, and who can when he will displace us. We are not to account to Men, but God. It ochers will be displeas'd at us for pleasing our Master, we cannot help ir, nor need we be much concern'd at it. So long as they can neither laugh nor frown us out of our Duty, they cannot out of his favour, and therefore not out of our Reward. Yea, tho' God, io cry our conAtancy and patience, thall suffer them to deprive
us of any of those Goods whereof he hath made us Stewards, they are his still whilft in their Hands, and he can when he will restore them to us, or give us a better Stewardship, or put us into Posteffion of our eternal inheritance.
Verse 1: --- And the same was Accused un
to him, that he had wasted bis Goods.
ITTE are all (as hath been faid) God's Stew
V Vards, and have every one of us fome Portion of bis Goods committed to our Care and wife Managernent. God, I say, is the Rich Mafter, and every one of us the Steward. We are now to consider three things more, viz. What are his Goods, when they are wasted, and what the Steward's being Accus'd unto his Mafter for walting them, signifies,
First, What are the Master's Goods, which the Steward wasted ? Now, in general (as was said before) these Goods are the things (of what fort foever they be) that God bestoweth upon any of us. When God first made Man, he did very no. bly enrich him. God created Man in his own
Image. Gen. 1. 27. And enriched him with those excellent faculties of Soul, which well fitted hiin to be the Lord of the lower World under him. And so he made him. v. 28. Have Dominion (faith he to Man) over the Fish of the Sea, and over the Fowl of the Air, and over every Living thing that moveth upon the Earth. He put all things under his Feet. Psal. 8. And the Earth hath be given to the Children of Mon. Plal. 115, 16. These Goods are in particular either such
as are comn:on to Mankind, or such as are ap· propriated to certain Ranks, Orders and Relations
among Men. The common Goods are either such as are usually called the Goods of Fortune, or Worldly Goods, as Lands, Houses, Catile, Gold and Silver, and whatever serves for our bodily Life, Healch and Refreshment, for Food and Rai. ment. All which are without us, and callid therefore ourward good things. Other Goods which God hath given us we have within our felves, some in our Bodies call'd bodily good things, as Health and Strength, and Beauty, our Limbs, and the Intruments of Sense as well as Action; and fome belonging to the Soul, as Understanding, Wit, Memory, Will and Conscience, all which are natural to the Soul of Man; befides which, there be fupernatural Gifts of the Holy Ghost, which he distributeth among Men as he will, which I reckon not among common Goods, because they are common to all, for they are not fo; but because Mankind is capable of them generally, and they are not appropriated to any particular Order or Rank of Men. There are also other accidental circumstantial or acceftional good things which God giveth unto Men, as Time, Opportunities and Occasions, Credit
and and Reputation, Friends, Helps and Advantages, and many sorts of Encouragements, and in short, whatever may in any kind be comfortable or useful to us in this Life, or Instrumental to a better, and eternal, especially the light of the Gospel, and the helps of the Ministry, Churches, and Means of upholding the worship of God, with good Education, Schools of Learning, and the like: All of us, indeed, are not partakers of ·all these good things, or in the same measure; but every one hath some of them, and of so much as he hath, is God's Steward.
Now there be also other Goods of God, which are committed to the charge of some Orders and Ranks among Men. Thus Kings, and Governors, and all Subordinate Magistrates, and Officers in the Kingdom or Commonwealth, have the People of whole Nations, or less and narrower Provinces and Precincts committed unto their Care, to iñake good Laws, and see them doly executed for the maintenance of Piery, Justice and Sobriery ; Peace and Quietness. They are God's Ministers. Rom. 13. Bishops and Pastors are God's Ministers in his Church, and Stewards of the mysteries of God. 1 Cor. 4. 1. These have the care of the Flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hatb made them Overseers. Act. 20. 28, All Parents, and Masters, and Mistresses of Families, have their respective charges of Children and Servants committed to their Care and Government. And this is enough to show us what are our Mifter's Goods.
Secondly, When are these Goods wasted? We must know, That God hath not ( as too many vain Persons in the World love to do) filled his