10. THERE IS ANOTHER REASONING THAT SOME MAY HAVE AND IT IS THIS: 'Oh, I could bear much affliction in some other way, but this is very grievous to me, the unsettledness of my condition. Even if my condition were low, yet if it were in a settled way, I could be content, but it is so unconstant, and so unsettled, that I never know what to trust to, but am tossed up and down in the world in an unsettled condition, and this is hard to be content with.' Now to that I answer:
1 . The Psalmist says, 'That every man in his settled estate is vanity' (Psalm 39:5). Your Bibles have it: 'Every man at his best estate is vanity,' the word is, 'his settled estate'. You think, if you were but settled, then you could be content, but the truth is, man in his settled estate is vanity.

2. Perhaps God sees it is better for you to live in a continual dependence upon him, and not to know what your condition shall be on the morrow, than for you to have a more settled condition in terms of the comforts of the creature. Do but remember what we spoke of before, that Christ does not teach you to pray, 'Lord, give me enough to serve me for two or three years,' but, 'This day our daily bread.' This is to teach us that we must live upon God in a dependent condition every day for daily bread. Here was the difference between the land of Canaan and Egypt: the land of Canaan depended on God for the watering of it with showers from Heaven, but Egypt had a constant way of watering the country, that did not so much depend upon Heaven for water, but upon the river Nile, which at some certain time overflowed the country. Knowing that the watering of their country depended upon the river and not upon heaven, they grew more proud. And therefore the Scripture, to express Pharaoh's pride, brings him in as saying: 'The river is mine': he could order the river as he pleased, for it was his. Canaan was a country which was to depend upon God, and though they had rain at one time, yet they never knew whether they should have it at another time, and lived always in dependence upon God, not knowing what should become of them. Now God thought this to be a better land for his people than Egypt, and this is given as one reason among others, that the Lord looked upon it as more suitable to the state of his people, who were to live by faith, that they should be continually depending upon Heaven, upon himself, and not have a constant settled way in the creature for their outward dependence. We find by experience that when those who are godly live in the greatest dependence upon God, and have not a settled income from the creature, they exercise faith more, and are in a better condition for their souls than before. Oh, many times it falls out that the worse your outward estate is the better your soul is, and the better your outward estate is the worse your soul is.

We read in Ezra 4:13, the objection that the enemies had against the people of Israel's building of the wall of the city: their writing to Artaxerxes against them said, 'Be it known unto the king, that if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will not they pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings.' If the wall be built, they say, then they will refuse to pay toll, tribute and custom to the king, that is, so long as they live in such a condition where they have dependence wholly upon the king, and live at the king's mercy, that is, they are in no city with walls, but the king may come upon them when he will, so long they will pay custom to the king; but if once they come to build a wall, and can defend themselves, and have not their dependence upon the king as before, then they will deny paying toll, tribute and custom. So it is thus, for all the world, between God and men's souls: when a soul lives in mere dependence upon God, so that sensibly he sees that God has advantage of him every moment, Oh, then such a soul will pay toll and custom, that soul exercises faith, and begs every day his daily bread; but if God hedges that man about with wealth, with prosperity—perhaps an inheritance falls to him, perhaps he has a constant office that brings in so much yearly to him duly paid—he is not so sensible now of his dependence upon God, and he begins now to pay less toll and custom to God than before. God has less service from this man now than before. God sees it better for his people to live in a dependent condition. We are very loath in respect of God to be dependent, we would all be independents in this way, we would be dependent upon ourselves and have no dependence upon the Lord, but God sees it better for us to live in a depending condition.

3. This may be your comfort: though for outward things you are mightily unsettled, yet for the great things of your soul and eternal welfare there you are settled. There you have a settled way, a constant way of fetching supply: Of his fullness we receive grace for grace. You have there an abundance of treasure to go to, and get all that you stand in need of. And observe that now your condition is more settled in the Covenant of grace than it was in the Covenant of works: in the Covenant of works God gave man a stock to trade with, but he put it into his hand, so that he might trade, and gain or lose; but in the Covenant of grace, God makes sure: the stock is kept in the hand of Christ, and we must go to him for supply continually, for Christ keeps the stock. perhaps we may trifle away something in our trading, but God takes care that we never spend the stock. It is as when a man's son goes bankrupt, having squandered away the capital that he gave him before; afterwards he puts his capital into a friend's hand, and says, 'You shall keep the stock and it shall not be at his disposal.' So we are in a more settled condition in respect of our eternal estate than Adam was in innocence. Therefore let that comfort us in all our unsettled conditions in the matters of the world.