Hall - HP BX5133 .H34 1647

40 Meditations andYowes. . Cent. III. - Ifthis valourhad been ofthemfelves, I would gevcr have looked'afrerthem in hope A ofimiration.Now,I know it was he for whom they fuffcred,& that fuffered in them, which fuftainedrhem. They wereof themfelves as weak as I; and God can be as ftrong in me as he was in rhem.O Lord, thouart not more unable ro giVe me rhis grace;but I ;m more unwonhyro recciveir: and yet th?u regardeft nor worrhinelfe, butmercy.Give me thdr ftrengrh,and what end thouWilt• ... Our fir{\ age is all in hope.When ~e are mthe wo~be, who knowes whether we !hall have our right lhape and proportion ofbody, bemg neuher monllrous nor deformed!When we are borne, who knowes whether with the due features ofa man, we lhall have the faculties of reafon and underllanding~ When yet our progrelfe in yeersdifcovereth wit or folly; who knows, whetherwith the power ofreafon we B !hall have the grace offaith ro ~ Chril):ians?& whenwe ~egin to profelfewdl1whetherir be a remporacy,and feemmg,or a true and favmg faith? Our rmddle age IS half in hope forrhe future,and halfin proof for that is pall:Our oldage is ourofhope,and altogether in proofe. Inour !all rimes therefore we know, both what we have been and whatto expea.Itis goodfor youth to look forward 7 and fiill to propound rh~ bell things unto it felf;for an old man to look backward , and to repent him ofthat whorein he bath failed,and to recolleti bimfdf~or the prefenr:b~t in my middle age, I willloqk bothbackward and forward;companng my hopes with my proof;redeeming the rime,ere it be all fpent,that my recov<ry may pr<vent ray repentance. It is both afolly and mifery to fay,This I might havedone. 5 c It is thewonderful! mercy ofGod,both to forgive us our debts to him in our fins and to make himfdfa debtor to us in his promife.:So that now bgth wayes the foul~ may be fure;fince he ndthercallethfor thole debts which he bathonce forgiven; nor wirhdraweth thofe favours,and that heavenwhich he bath promifed : but as he is a !ll.ercifull creditor to forgive, fo he is a rrue debtor to pay whatfoever he bath undertaken:whence it is come to palfe, that thepenitent linner owes nothing to God bur love andobedience,and God owes llillmuchand all eo him: for heowes as much as he bath promifed1and what he owes by venue ofhis blelfed promife, we may challenge.O infinite mercy!He that lent usall that we have, and in wbofe debt books we runne hourcly forward till the fumme be endletfc;yer owes us more,and bids us look for paymenr. I cannot d~ferve thelea_fi favou_r h~ can give; yet will I as confidently D chall<ngethe greatell,astfl deferved n.Prom1femdebceth no lelfe rhc loan or defert. 6 Iris no fmall commendation to manage a little well.He is agood Waggonerrhat 1 can turnin a narrow room.To live well in abundance,is the p~aifeo(the ellate,notof the per!Oo, I willlludy more how to give a good account gfmy little, then bow·ro make: ic morcf 7 Many Chrillians doegreatly wrong tbemfdvcs with adull aadheayy kind offullennelfc1who nor fuffcring thcmfc!Ycs to delight in any worldly thing,are thereupon oft·times fo heanklfe,rhat they ddightin nothing. Thefe men,like ro careles guefts when they areinvitcd to an excellent banquet, lofe their dainties for want or a llo~ E make;and lofe their fl:omake for want ofexercifc. A &ood confciencekeepsalwaies good cheere: he cannot chuft but fare well that barb lt , unlelfe he lofe his appetite ~ith neglca and ~othfuln_e!l'e.I~ is aJbame for. us Chri!lians,norro finde as much joy 10God,asworldhngs doe mrhc1r forced mernments; and lewd wretches in the pra- &iceoftheir fins. 8 A wife Chrillian bath 110 enemies.Many hare and wrong him :bur he loves all and all pl<afwre him.Tbofethat profelfe love to him, pleafure him with the comfort oftheir fociety,and the mutuall refieaion offricndlhip: rhofe that profelfe hatred, make himmore waryofhis ways;lhew him faults inhimfdf,which his friendswould eithernor haveefpied, or not cenfured: fc:nd hi mthe more willingly to feek favour above