Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

46 FIRST SERMON Go now and bring thy straw and stubble, thy drowsy and sluggish devotion, thy fickle and flattering repent- ance, thy formal and demure services into the fire, to the law to measure them, to the Judge to censure them ; nay, now carry them to thine own conscience, and tell me whether that will not pass the Father's verdict upon them ; that which is fair in thine eye, is filthy in God's. Lastly: this serves for exhortation unto these par- ticular duties. [1.] Unto patience and meekness under any evil that God may bring upon us, and that not barely, because he doth us good in other things, which was Job's argument, Shall we receive good from the Lord, and not evil ?" Job ii. 10. But further, be- cause the very evils that come upon us, are often- times by him intended for good, as Joseph told his brethren, Gen. 1. 20. We are not angry with the physician when he lances, diets, and restrains us of our will : he denies us our will, that we may have our will ; a sick man is many times most faith- fully served, when he is crossed. I lop my trees, bruise my grapes, grind my corn, to fit it to the ends whereunto it tendeth. God's end is merciful when his hand is heavy, as John's roll was " sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly," Rev. x. 9. so troubles may be bitter to the palate, but profitable to the con- science ; like hot spices that bite the tongue, but com- fort the stomach. And as it dictates patience in suffering evil, so in doing our duties, though we suffer contempt and re- proaches for it. If we were to receive our rewards from men, their frowns might discourage us ; but when we have done God's will, God himself will be our reward, and make his promises a comfort unto us.