(Ezekiel Hopkins, 1633-1690 “The Excellency of Heavenly Treasures!)
All earthly things are to be accounted good or evil, only as they concern our eternal state and condition.
You will be greatly deceived if you look upon earthly things as they appear in themselves.
Then you will call prosperity, and riches and worldly abundance–good things.
Then you will call poverty and affliction–evil things.
But consider these things as they relate to eternity, and then poverty may be a mercy, and riches may be a judgment! God may bless you by afflictions, and curse you by prosperity! He may bestow more upon you in allowing you to lack these things, than if He gave all the world’s abundance to you.
It may be that prosperity may puff up your soul, and make it grow more estranged from God.
It may be that adversity may humble you, and bring your soul the nearer unto God, and so conduce more to the eternal good of your soul.
Adversity, in this case, is good; and not prosperity.
This present life is nothing but a preparation for eternity. All that we here do, or receive, or suffer–is in order to eternity; and, therefore, all must be measured by eternity.
That is good, which tends to our everlasting happiness–be it poverty or misery. Whatever it is . . .
that increases our grace,
that augments the stock of our heavenly treasure,
that promotes the everlasting salvation of our souls
Hence, if God denies any worldly enjoyment to His redeemed people, He denies it because it is not really good for them; because it will not conduce to their eternal happiness, which is the only rule and measure of earthly things.
Psalm 84:11, “The Lord gives grace and glory. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”