Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

180 THE SAINT'S REST IS NOT his saints. Never expect thy flesh shall truly ex- pound the meaning of the rod. It will 'call love, hatred ; and say, God is destroying, when he is saving. It is the suffering party, and therefore not fit to be the judge." Could we once believe God, and judge of his dealings by his word, and by their usefulness to our souls, and reference to our rest, and could we stop our ears against all the clamours of the flesh, then we should have a truer judgment of our afflictions. § 8. (6) Once more consider, God seldom gives his people so sweet a foretaste of their future rest, as in their deep afflictions. He keeps his most precious cordials for the time of our greatest faintings and dangers. He gives them when he knows they are needed, and will be valued ; and when he is sure to be thanked for them, and his people rejoiced by them. Especially when our sufferings are more di rectly for his cause, then he seldom fails to sweeten the bitter cup. The martyrs have possessed the highest joys. When did Christ preach such comforts to his disciples, as when their hearts were sorrowful at his departure ? When did he appear among them, and say, Peace be unto you, but when they were shut up for fear of the Jews? When did Stephen see heaven opened, but when he was giving up his life for the testimony of Jesus ? Is not that our.best state wherein we have most of God? Why else do we de- sire to come to heaven ? If we look for a heaven of fleshly delights, we shall find ourselves mistaken. Conclude then, that affliction is not so bad a state for a saint in his way to rest. Are we wiser than God ? Doth he not know what is good for us as well as Alt? or he is not as careful of our good as we are of our own ? Woe to us, if he were not much more so ; and if he did not love us better, than we love either him or ourselves ! ç 9. (7) Say not, " I could bear any other affliction but this." If God had afflicted thee where thou geanst bear it, thy idol would neither have been dis-