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and furnish the Figure. What Solid Satisfaction is there in a vaft Revenue, in a Train of Domefticks, in Services of Plate, and regaling the Palate? What Satisfaction is there in all this Bulk, and Glitter, if the Man's Confcience, or his Covetousness, difturbs him? If he lan guishes after an impracticable Addition, or is teaz'd with Apprehenfions of Misfortune? These Attendants keep Sollici tude awake, and flat the Relifh of Enjoyment. And when this is the Cafe, the happy Mortal is little better than Slave well drefs'd, punifh'd in State, and laid in Chains of Gold.
Some People are rather overloaden, than furnish'd with Riches; perfectly master'd by their Money, and as it were Villains regardant to their own Eftates. They have nothing to fpare for their Dependants, no Bounty for Friendfhip, no Charity for Indigence and Diftrefs Their Treasure lyes hoarded, or circu lates at home; and fometimes their Family and Perfon are held to fhort Allowance. And thus they feem to keep their Money rather from other People, than for themselves.
In a Word, let's go a little higher in the Contemplation: And here you'll perceive that even Princes have not their G 2 Grandeur
Grandeur without Abatement. The Magnificence of their Courts are not always Entertaining Amufements: Difquiets will sometimes crowd thro' all this Equipage and Appearance. The Attendance of their Guards,and the Force of their Armies, are no fufficient Defence against Alarms and uneafy Thinking. If they prove arbitrary and tyrannical, they are afraid of their own Strength:They are anxious left that Sovereign Power which makes them dreadful to their Subjects, should recoil in a Revolt, and be turn'd against themfelves. Thus this fublime Station proves often flippery; the Monarch is flatter'd by his Circumftances to be more easily betray'd, faluted for a Stab, and rais'd to an Eminence to make the Fall the heavier. Thus the Reverse of Fortune ftrikes hard upon Crown'd Heads; the Cloud breaks in a Tempeft; and their Calamities are proportion'd to their Condition.
Atience being my Subject at pres fent, dearly Beloved, whence can I & take my rife better, than by obferving to Patientia. J you, that without fome Degrees of this Vertue, yon can neither learn nor im prove by the Difcourfe. But a: Hint may be enough for this purpose I mult confefs, I know no Inftance of Duty within the compaís of the Chriftian Religion, that has more Serviceableness and Luftre in't than that I am now upon. Even the Pagan Philofophers make pretenfions to this good Quality: But fince they are underfurnish'd to pronounce upon the Queftion; fince the Wisdom of 1 Cor. iiis this World is Foolifbnefs with God; their 9. Patience must be counterfeit too. Indeed where there is no good Rule to direct, Practice muft ramble and mifcarry of Course. The Behaviour of thefe Philofophers is fufficient to prove the Charge, and ftrike them out of all Claim to the Character of Wifdom: For a Wife Man is unpretending, gentle, and fmoothtemper'd; but these Sages are neither one nor t'other: They are paffionate and haughty, and too much pleas'd with themfelves, to please God Almighty.
Na sva no
Of Patience from Saint Cyprian.
Patience can never dwell with so much Confidence and Conceit, and where Pride and Oftentation looks fo open and undisguis'd. But as for us Chriftians, who are to be great in Practice more than Talk, rather to Live, than drefs like Admirers of Wisdom, and value the Consciousness above the Commendation of a good Action; let us who profefs the Worship of the True God, govern our Conduct by His Laws, and manage by that Patience fo ftrongly recommended and enjoin'd.
This Vertue is of High Defcent, 'tis exercis'dr Above, and lyes in common between Mortals and the Deity. Thus the Dignity of this Original befpeaks its Excellency: But then 'tis no Incommunicable Attribute: God has put it in our power to produce fomething of the fame kind, done us the honour to approach His Nature, and refemble His Perfections: And have we no ambition to be like the Sovereign Being? If God is our Lord and Father, we fhould anfwer the Duty of both Relations. Servants hould be obedient, and Sons hold up to their Descent. Now how far the Patience of God reaches, we may learn in fome measure, by the Affronts from the Pagan Religion. Men fet up rival Deities,
ties, are licentious in their Solemnities, and run after Scandalous Objects of Worship: And yet God fuffers this Revolt; His Goodness is not tir'd with all } this Provocation; His Bounty is continued, and His Bleffings difpenced, without Diftinction, The Day dawns, and the Sun fhines upon Good and Bad Every body has an equal fhare in these Liberalities of Providence: A wicked Wretch finds his Account in a Shower of Rain, no less than his Honeft Neigbour: Knaves and Men of Probity, Atheists and Saints, People that thank God for what they have, and thofe who never think of Him, fare much alike in thefe matters. The Seafons come up, th the Winds blow, the Rivers continue their courfe, the Trees afford their Verdure, and the Fruits ripen, for the Worst as well as the Beft. And notwithstanding all this Ingratitude and Contempt, God, as it were, moderates His Anger and retrains His Refentment. And tho' Revenge is always in His Power, He chufes Clemency and Forbearance, and mercifully waits for the Recollection of Sin ners. He has folemnly declar'd He has no Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked, but xxixii.11. that he turn from his Way and Live. Thus upon this Motive the Prophet Joel ex- Joel ii.