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Submission To Divine Providence In The Death Of Children by Philip Doddridge

3. LET us not sink in hopeless Sorrow, or break out into clamorous Complaints, if GOD has brought this heavy Affliction upon us.

A STUPID Indifference would be absurd and unnatural: GOD and Man might look upon us as acting a most unworthy Part, should we be like the Ostrich in the Wilderness, which hardeneth herself against her young ones, as if they were not hers; because GOD hath deprived her of Wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her Understanding[q]. Let us sorrow like Men, and like Parents; but let us not, in the mean time, forget that we are Christians. Let us remember how common the Calamity is; few Parents are exempt from it; some of the most pious and excellent have lost amiable Children, with Circumstances perhaps of peculiar Aggravation. 'Tis a Trial which GOD hath chosen for the Exercise of some who have been eminently dear to him, as we may learn from a Variety of Instances both ancient and modern. Let us recollect our many Offences against our heavenly Father, those Sins which such a Dispensation may properly bring to our Remembrance[r]; and let that silence us, and teach us to own, that 'tis of the Lord's Mercies we are not consumed[s], and that we are punished less than our Iniquities deserve[t]. Let us look round on our surviving Comforts; let us look forward to our future, our eternal Hopes; and we shall surely see, that there is still Room for Praise, still a Call for it. Let us review the Particulars mentioned above, and then let Conscience determine whether it doth not become us, in this particular Instance, to say it steadily, and chearfully too, Even this is well. And may the GOD of all Grace and Comfort apply these Considerations to our Mind, that we may not only own them, but feel them, as a reviving Cordial when our Heart is overwhelmed within us! In the mean Time, let me beseech you whose tabernacles are in Peace[u], and whose Children are yet about you[w], that you would not be severe in censuring our Tears, till you have experimentally known our Sorrows, and yourselves tasted the Wormwood and the Gall, which we, with all our Comforts, must have in a long and a bitter Remembrance[x].

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