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braham, called from all appearances of comfort, to be a pilgrim in a strange land, to part with an only son; being as fully persuaded of the divine goodness in all things, which happen to you, as Abraham was of the divine promise, when there was the least appearance of its being performed.
This is the true christian resignation to God, which requires no more to the support of it, than such a plain assurance of the goodness of God, as Abraham had of his veracity. If you ask yourself, what greater reason Abraham had to depend upon the divine veracity, than
have to depend upon the divine goodness, you will find, that none can be given.
You cannot therefore look upon this as an unnecessary, high pitch of perfection, since the want of it implies the want not of any high notions, but of a plain and ordinary faith in the most certain doctrines both of natural and revealed religion. - Thus much concerning resignation to the divine will, as it signifies a thankful approbation of God's general providence. It is now to be considered, as it signifies a thankful acceptance of God's particular providence over us.
Every man is to consider himself as a particular object of God's providence ; under the
same care and protection of God, as if the world had been made for him alone.
It is not by chance; that any man is born at such a time, of such parents, and in such place and condition. It is as certain, that every soul comes into the body at such a time, and in such circumstances, by the express designment of God, according to some purposes of his will, and for some particular ends ; this is as certain, as that it is by the express designment of God, that some be. ings are angels, and others are men.
It is as much by the counsel and eternal pur. pose of God, that you should be born in your particular state, and that Isaac should be the son of Abraham, as that Gabriel should be an angel, and Isaac man.
The scriptures assure us, that it was by divine appointment, that our blessed saviour was born at Bethlehem, and at such a time. Al though it was owing to the dignity of his per: son), and the great importance of his birth, that thus much of the divine counsel was declared to the world concerning the time and manner of it; yet we are as sure from the same scriptures, that the time and manner of every man's coming into the world, is according to some eternal purposes and directions of divine providence,
and in such time, and place, and circumstances, as are directed and governed by God for particular ends of his wisdom and goodness.
This we are as certain of from plain revelation, as we can be of any thing. For if we are told, that 'not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our heavenly father ;' can any thing more strongly teach us, that much greater beings, such as human souls, come not into the world without the care and direction of our heavenly father? If it be said, “the very hairs of your
head are all numbered'; is it not to teach us, that nothing, not the smallest things imaginable, happen to us by chance? But if the smallest things, we can conceive, are declared to be under the divine direction, need we, or can we be more plainly taught, that the greatest things of life, such as the manner of our coming into the world, our parents, the time, and other circumstances of our birth and condition, are all according to the eternal purposes, direction, and appointment of divine providence ?
When the disciples put this question to our blessed lord concerning the blind man, saying, *Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind ? He, that was the eter
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nal wisdom of God, made this answer, Nei-
As therefore it is thus certain, that we are,
particular in our state, is the effect of God's particular providence over us,and intended for some particular ends both of his glory and our own happiness ; we are by the greatest obligations of gratitude called upon to conform and resign our will to the will of God in all these respects; thankfully approving and accepting every thing, which is particular in our state ; praising and glorifying his name for our birth of such parents, and in such circumstances of state and condition ; being fully assured, that it was for some reasons of infinite wisdom and goodness,
that we were so born into such particular states of life.
If the man above-mentioned was born blind, that the works of God might be manifested in him,' had he not greater reason to praise God for appointing him in such a particular manner, to be the instrument of his glory? If one person is born here, and another there ; if one falls amongst riches, and another into poverty ; if one receives his flesh and blood from these
parents, and another from those, for as particular ends, as the man was born blind; have not all people the greatest reason to bless God, and to be thankful for their particular state and condi. tion, because all, that is particular in it, is as directly intended for the glory of God, and their own good, as the particular blindness of that man, who was so born, that the works of God might be manifested in him'?
How noble an idea does this give us of the divine omniscience presiding over the whole world, and governing such a long chain and combination of seeming accidents and chances, to the common and particular advantage of all beings? So that all persons, in such a wonder ful variety of causes, accidents and events should all fall into such particular states, as were