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A33980 Thirteen sermons upon several useful subjects two of them being funeral dicourses, occasioned by the death of the Reverend Mr. Nathaniel Mitchel, Minister of the Gospel ... / by John Collinges ...; Sermons. Selections Collinges, John, 1623-1690. 1684 (1684) Wing C5344; ESTC R16837 141,524 284

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Philistines saith he make war against me and God is departed from me He was persecuted followed close by the Army of the Philistines but he was forsaken God saith he is departed from me Now let us look upon David in the 30th chapter of that Book he was not in Saul's circumstances Saul was the Actual King though was David the Anointed King to succeed him he fled to Achish but was turned off from him by the importunity of his Princes chap. 29. he had but one poor City to hide his head in and to make his retreat to that was Ziklag Whiles David was at Gath the Amalekites had come invaded the South and Ziklag and had smitten Ziklag and burnt it with fire and had taken his Wives and the Wives of his companions the Women captives and carried all away David comes ch 30. 3. and finds the City burnt the Wives Sons and Daughters that belonged to him and to his company all taken captives v. 6. He was greatly distressed for to all this was added another great evil his people spake of stoning him What doth David v. 6. He incouraged himself in the Lord his God Here was now one answering to St. Paul in the New Testament troubled on every side but not distressed perplexed but not in despair persecuted but not forsaken cast down but not destroyed He incouraged himself in his God is not overmuch cast down but is comforted takes courage and recovereth all again The Reason lieth in two things 1. A wicked man hath no interest in God He can in an hour of trouble cry out O God but he cannot cry out My God Nature teacheth men in hours of distress that Affliction springs not out of the Earth nor trouble out of the Dunghil but there is a Supreme Being who being offended plagueth the children of men Hence naturally the afflicted person calls upon God after one fashion or another The Mariners who were carrying Jonah to Tarshish in the Storm called each of them upon his God Jonah 1. but the wicked man cannot say My God he cannot claim a Covenant interest in and relation unto God so as he must be in distress in despair forsaken destroyed at all such times when the help of man is vain he cannot but think that in an hour of distress God is saying to him Now I am come to reckon with thee for all thy oaths and curses and blasphemies by which thou hast blasphemed me for all thy drunkenness and other debaucheries now go to thy Lusts which thou hast served in despight of my Commandments to the World and to thy worldly Friends and see if they be able to deliver thee out of my hands 2. He hath no true habits of Hope or Faith There is indeed a God in the World a God that is able to succour people in all distresses to relieve them in all troubles but he hath neither any habit of true Hope or Faith by which he should commit himself to this God nor any object prepared for his Soul to cast anchor upon not a Promise in the whole Book of God that he can hope should be made Yea and Amen to his Soul for that he is without Christ in whom all the Promises are Yea and Amen But now the godly man is not so he is upon this account every way as happy as the other is miserable he is not more exempted from trouble than another man yea he is more exposed to trouble the World which loveth its own hateth him because he is not of the World but God hath chosen him out of the World imprinted his Image upon him markt him for his own To look to be freed from trouble is a mighty vain expectation Man is born to it Christians indeed are more especially as Sheep designed for the slaughter A man cannot reasonably wish desire or hope for a perfect immunity from distresses and troubles because it is not possible so as the Child of God's happiness lieth not there that the fire shall not come nigh him but here is his happiness that the fire shall not hurt shall not consume him If he be thrown into the fire God will be with him in the fire if into the water God will be with him in the water the floods shall not drown him When the Lord our God the holy One of Israel is our Saviour Isa 43.1 2. we shall not be in distress nor in despair nor forsaken nor destroyed Two things will advantage this Meditation 1. That we are not afflicted from outward contingencies but from some inward defects Let a mans burden be never so heavy if he hath but strength enough to bear it and to go away chearfully with it it is no affliction to him let a mans affliction be never so sharp and smarting if he hath but a consolation that ballanceth it it takes out the fire of it and chaseth away the grief and sorrow of it distressedness of spirit under a calamity despair and casting away of hope dejection and demission of Spirits straitnings in our bowels the being at a loss in our own thoughts what to do which way to turn us how to get out of our Net these are the things that afflict us Man is afflicted from the tumultuousness and unquietness of his own thoughts let those be at rest and the affliction of all troubles is evaporated What signified a prison to Algerius who could subscribe a Letter From the delectable Orchard of the Leonine prison or a Martyrs fire to James Bainham who burning in the fire could cry out O ye Papists you look for Miracles now see one I feel no more pain than if I were upon a Bed of Roses Or Death to Ann Askew who being about to die could subscribe her Letter written by Ann Askew who neither wisheth Death nor feareth it and is as merry as one that is bound for Heaven What signified the threat of starving to Elizabeth Young who had her Answer ready If you take away my meat God will take away my stomach I give you but these few of many Instances to prove that we are not afflicted from outward contingencies so much as from some inward defects had we but like good men learned to be satisfied from our selves to be content that God should chuse our Lot for us had we but learned in all estates to be content and in all things to rejoyce no outward contingency could afflict us so that if God hath cast his Salt into the bitter waters which bubble up from our own spirits as from a corrupt fountain there would be nothing unclean nothing bitter nothing afflictive to us Now if this be the state of a Child of God that when he is troubled on every side he is not distressed in himself when he is perplexed he is not in despair when he is persecuted he is not forsaken our irregular passions are then corrected the sting of our deaths is taken out our deaths are ours the Mercury is corrected and prepared