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black die ; how much more must that be so which is the caufe of it?
Lastly, It is a fruitful womb of other fins, it brings forth a great brood of other lufts.
When once it entered into Adam's heart, it made him at one stroke break through all the ten commandments. It were an endless labour to recount the viperous brood that comes forth of this cockatrice-egg, that fry of enormous lusts that are bred by it. But for a fwatch of this, I will instance in three of the grossest fins that men can readily fall into, which are the nacural product of discontentment.
(1.) Murder, the groffest fin of the second table, a fin which a peculiar vengeance pursues, and which a natural conscience so startles ať, that it is a continual lilh to the murderer. This is the product of discontent ; for when once the heart smoking with difcontent, breaks out into a flame, it breathes out blood and slaughter. So Ahab's discontent was the cause of the murder of Naboth, with all the mock. ing of God, the perjury and robbery that attended it, 1 Kings xxi. Nay, not content with the murder of a single person, it gaped in Haman to devour
righteous nation for one man's cause, Esth. iii. 6. Nay, the worst sort of murder proceeds from it; the murder of nearest relations, as in the case of Cain's murdering Abel, Gen. iv. 5. 8. And which is worst of all, self-murder is what always proceeds from it, as in the case of Abithophel, 2 Sam. xvii. 23. People grow discontented with their lot, their proud hearts are not able to bear it; so they turn desperate, seeing they cannot help it, and make away themselves.
(2.) Dealing with the devil. The discontenteci being angry with God, they are in a fair way to be a prey to Satan. Thus Saul in a fit of discontent went to the witch at Endor, i Sam. xxvii. The discontented heart is a drumly heart, and it is in such waters that Satan loves to fish. And here is VOL.IU.
is honk wherewith he catches them; he proffers to do that for then, or give that to them, which God vill not. And they being intent upon it, fo that they cannot be easy without it, are easily ensnared. Whereof the world has afforded many miserable inflances.
(3.) Blasphemy against God, the groffest fin of the first cable, for of that kind is the unpardonable tin. Discontent is in its own nature a practical blatphemy; and therefore when it comes to a height, it breaks out in open blasphemy, as in that abominable mouth, 2 Kings vi. ult. This evil is of the Lord; what should I wait for the Lord any longer. For being angry with God, people begin to quarrel with him, and murmur against him; and if they do not hold in time, they are in a fair way to blasphene Therefore it is marked concerning Job, how he lit ting down contented under all his losses, the devil milled the mark he aimed at in them, Jobi. ult. compare ver. 11. It is marked concerning Aaron, that he held' his peace, Lev. X. 3. for it is hard to speak and speak right under great pressures. These effects may convince us of the exceeding evil of this joot of bitterness. Lastly, View it in the qualities that agree to it
, which are not in many other lins. I will name the following
11, It is the noted rebel in the kingdom of pro vidence. God who has created the world, vindicates the government of it to himself alone. But the discontented go about to wrest the reins of goo vernment out of his hand. It wages war with the Governor of the world, and trives with him, as if the clay should ftrive with the potter, and fay, Why bast thou made me thus?
2. It is a peculiar despiser of the kingdom of grace. There is a particular malignity in it against legrace of the gospel. For it throws coatempt on
d, heaven, and all the purchate of Chiist, which
It is true,
is offered in the gospel to fill up the room of what the discontented wants, Exod. vi. 7. 9. other lusts do 1o too, as covetousness, sensuality, and profaneness. But here lies the difference ; these lusts have a bait of profit or pleasure with them, and have fomething to put in the room of spiritual things; discontent has no bait with it, nor any thing to put in the room of thein, If one should reject your converse, who has another lefs worthy to converse with, it is a slight; but if one that has none, if they take not you, do reject you, that is a greater contempt by far. So the discontented will rather pine away without any comfort, than-take it from the gospel. Again, in these lusts there is a folly and fimplicity; but in discontent there is a kind of gravity and devilish seriousness. To be contemned by a simple one or a roving fool, is not
but it is worfe by far to be contemned in a way of gravity and deliberation. This is must cutting: Lastly, It follows men to, and will continue with them in the kingdom of darkness for ever. There are some lusts which inen have no use for beyond the line of time; the covetous will defpise their gold, money, and wealth in hell, the unclean person his filthy companions, c. But when the dif: contented die without repentance, their works will follow them to the pit. In hell they will be discontented for ever without the least intermiflion; they will never give one smile more, but an eternal cloud of darknels will be on their countenance, and they will fret, murmur, and rage against God and themselves, and blaspheme for evermore.
Let us tee the evil of this then; and guard againit it,
Secondly, I will offer fome remedies against it, and advices in the case.
1. Practise the directions for contentment; particularly take God for your God in Christ, and labour to believe he is 10, Take him in the room of
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whatever ye want, or lies on you, which discontents you. Without this all else will be in vain. The greatest hole in your heart, the enjoyment of God is able to make up. And God often makes such in the hearts of men and women, that there may be room for himself, who otherwise is not missed, Zeph. iii. 17. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy: he will rest in his love, he will joy over : thee with singing
2. Labour to be humble. Humility lets us fee si our true worth that it is nothing, and so fences the heart against discontent, Gen. xxxii. 10. It makes one wonder he has any thing at all left him, and so lets him into the mystery of that text, i Theff. v. 18. In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. He that is con- i vinced that he deserves death, will not be discontent with banishment. And he that believes that he deserves to lose the presence of God for ever, will lay his hand on his mouth under temporal loffes.
3. Believe that there is nothing in the world in which either your happiness or misery is bound up. I know there are things of which we are wont to Speak fo; but the world's happiness or misery is but a fhadow of these things. That is happiness where a man wants no more that he can desire, and that is only in the enjoyment of God. And that is misery where one has nothing desirable left him, and none see that till they be in hell.
16972 4. Do not pore upon your crosses, for thảo does but breed and feed discontent, Pfal. xxxixi
It is obfervable, that Jacob would not call his son Ben. oni, left that should at every paming of the child jufile his wound. But you may dwell upon your affiiciion as from the hand of God, to consider wherefore the Lord has contended, that fo you may get the good of it. But turn your eyes on your inercies which you enjoy, and be thankful.
asi 15;. Be much exercised in religious duties. Go often to your knees, and pour out your hearts before the Lord, and tell him all your wants. This gave Hannah a sweet ease, i Sam. i. 18. Go often to your Bibles, and hcar the good news there from the far country, that is above the clouds, where there is neither cloud nor rain, Pfal. lxxiii. 16. 17. & cxix. 92. There are springs of confolation there, which a person never tastes of, till he be brought into the condition for which they were placed there.
6. Be always exercised in some honest business, - Idleness is dangerous many ways, particularly in the point of discontent. It is a nurse and fosterer of it. It is the standing pool that gathers mud; and in those that are idle Satan will be busy, and will
not miss the opportunity, Puch Curb it as soon as it begins to set out its head, nip it in the bud, for it is a fire that gathers force by continuing and spreading. The water which at the head might be easily paffed, comes afterwards to be fo big as to be able to drown. Discontent is a ftriving with God, and so is like the letting out of waters, which, however small at the beginning, grows to a monstrous bigness, if not timely remedied.
Lafly, Live by iaith, that is the best preservative againit discontent. Faith fays the soul in all events onbthe promises ; gives a favourable view of all crofles and afflictions, as tending to the good of the party ;' lays hold uppn things unseen the great portion; and so leflens the care about things of the world; and, in a word, finds all it wants in God. Thus much of discontent.
IJ. The branch that runs against our neighbour's condition, is envying and grudging. The object of this sin is the good of our neighbour; and the better the object is, the worse is the sin. It runs through the objects of all the other commands of the second table ; for the heart is apt to envy our neighbour's honour, life, &c. It is near of kin to