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boldly say, Ye diseases and pains, thou death, or thou Satan, with all thy infernal forces, do you expect to cast me down from my happy state? It is long since I knew you, and by faith stripped you of your mask. Without the will of my heavenly Father you can do nothing, you cannot injure one hair of my head. Ye pains, ye diseases, you will slay the old man, you will destroy the body of sin. Death, thou wilt terminate my miseries, and open wide to me the gate of heaven. And thou, O Satan, how unwillingly soever, shalt become to me a teacher of humility, and after a contest of short continuance, I will conquer, seize, and bind thee, and will trample and bruise thee under my feet: Whilst thou shalt be tormented with eternal flames, I shall be honoured with a triumph that will never end. "For which cause we faint not; but though our out"ward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by
day. For our light affliction which is but for a mo"ment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eter"nal weight of glory; while we look not at the things “which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; "for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."t
XCI. Since such treasures of glory are laid up and reserved for the Christian, with what magnanimity ought he to contemn the fading enjoyments of the world, and to consider as loss and dung, far beneath his regard, all those vanities which the unthinking multitude admire and adore! Shall a candidate for heaven, shall a son of the resurrection, occupy himself in laborious exertions to gather, preserve, and accumulate things of nought, things which render no man
t 2 Cor. iv. 16-18.
happier, since they render no man wiser, holier, or liker to God; and which generally become incitements to vice? Shall he be elated at the increase of such trifles, or discouraged at their loss? Shall he suffer himself to be ensnared by the allurements, or depressed by the calamities of the present life? Shall he contemplate with an envious eye the uncertain prosperity of them," who "have their portion in this life, and whose belly," not whose soul," God fills with his hid treasure; whose "children are filled,90 and leave the rest of their sub"stance to their babes :" whilst he "shall behold God's "face in righteousness, and be satisfied, when he awakes, "with his likeness."u
What expressions of the liveliest gratitude, in fine, will he not acknowledge himself bound to render to Jesus Christ his Saviour, who by his own death has rescued him from so deep an abyss of complicated misery, and advanced him to so great a height of felicity! I thank God," says the Apostle, "through Jesus "Christ our Lord."v