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unbeliever demonstrate that there is no hell ; how odious, as well as infamous is such an and if he can, he sins so much the more one! especially if he be arrived at that conrationally ; otherwise, if he cannot, the case summate and robust degree of falsehood, as remains doubtful at least; but he who sins to play in and out, and shew tricks with oaths, obstinately, does not act as if it were so much the sacredest bonds which the conscience of as doubtful; for if it were certain and evident man can be bound with ; how is such an one to sense, he could do no more ; but for a man shunned and dreaded, like a walking pest ! to found a confident practice upon a disput- What volleys of scoffs, curses, and satires, are able principle, is brutishly to outrun his reason, discharged at him! so that let never so much and to build ten times wider than his founda- honour be placed upon him, it cleaves not to tion. In a word, I look upon this one short him, but forthwith ceases to be honour, by consideration, were there no niore, as a suffi- being so placed ; no preferment can sweeten cient ground for any rational man to take him, but the higher he stands, the farther and up his religion upon, and which I defy the wider he stinks. subtlest atheist in the world solidly to answer In like manner, for the drinker and deor confute ; namely, that it is good to be sure. bauched person ; is any thing more the object And so I proceed to the
of scorn and contempt than such an one ? Third and last supposition, under which His company is justly looked upon as a disthe principles of religion may, for argument grace; and nobody can own a friendship for sake, be considered ; and that is, as false ; him without being an enemy to himself. A which surely must reach the utmost thoughts drunkard is, as it were, outlawed from all of any atheist whatsoever. Nevertheless, even worthy and creditable converse. Men abhor, upon this account also, I doubt not but to loathe, and despise him, and would even spit evince, that he who walks uprightly walks at him as they meet him, were it not for fear much more surely than the wicked and pro- that a stomach so charged should something fane liver ; and that with reference to the more than spit at them. most valued temporal enjoyments, such as are But not to go over all the several kinds of Teputation, quietness, health, and the like, vice and wickedness ; should we set aside the which are the greatest which this life affords, consideration of the glories of a better world, or is desirable for. And,
and allow this life for the only place and scene Ist, For reputation or credit. Is any one of man's happiness, yet surely Cato will be nad in greater esteem than the just person, always more honourable than Clodius, and who has given the world an assurance, by the Cicero than Catiline. Fidelity, justice, and constant tenor of his practice, that he makes temperance will always draw their own reconscience of his ways, that he scorns to do ward after them, or rather carry it with them., con unworthy or a base thing; to lie, to de
in those marks of honour which they fix upon fraud, to undermine another's interest, by any the persons who practise and pursue them. It sinister and inferior arts? And is there any is said of David, (1 Chron. xxix. 28,) "that thing which reflects a greater lustre upon a he died full of days, riches, and honour;" and man's person, than a severe temperance, and there was no need of a heaven, to render a restraint of himself from vicious and unlaw- him in all respects a much happier man than ful pleasures? Does any thing shine so bright Saul. But in the as virtue, and that even in the eyes of those 2d place, The virtuous and religious person who are void of it? For hardly shall you find walks upon surer grounds than the vicious any one so bad, but he desires the credit of and irreligious, in respect of the ease, peace, being thought what his vice will not let him and quietness which he enjoys in this world; be ; so great a pleasure and convenience is it, and which certainly make no small part of to live with honour and a fair acceptance human felicity. For anxiety and labour are amongst those whom we converse with; and great ingredients of that curse which sin has a being without it is not life, but rather the entailed upon fallen man. Care and toil came skeleton or caput mortuum of life ; like time into the world with sin, and remain ever since without day, or day itself without the shining inseparable from it, both as to its punishment of the sun to enliven it.
and effect. On the other side, is there any thing that The service of sin is perfect slavery ; and more imbitters all the enjoyments of this life he who will pay obedience to the commands than shame and reproach? Yet this is gene of it shall find it an unreasonable taskmaster, rally the lot and portion of the impious and and an unmeasurable exactor. irreligious; and of some of them more espe And
to represent the case in some particucially
lars. The ambitious person must rise up early For how infamous, in the first place, is the and sit up late, and pursue his design with a false, fraudulent, and unconscionable person ! | constant, indefatigable attendance; he must and how quickly is his character known! For be infinitely patient and servile, and obnoxious hardly ever did any man of no conscience to all the cross humours of those whom he continue a man of any credit long. Likewise, I expects to rise by; he must endure and digest
all sorts of affronts ; adore the foot that kicks settling an ungrounded, odious, detestable inhim, and kiss the hand that strikes him ; terest, so heartily, and so justly maligned, while, in the meantime, the humble and con abhorred, and often címnes plotted against ; so tented man is virtuous at a much easier rate; that, in effect, he is still in war, though he his virtue bids him sleep, and take his rest, has quitted the field. The torment of his while the other's restless sin bids him sit up suspicion is great, and the courses he must and watch. He pleases himself innocently take to quiet his jealous, suspicious mind, inand easily, while the ambitious man attempts finitely troublesome and vexatious. to please others sinfully and difficultly, and But in the meantime, the labour of obeperhaps in the issue unsuccessfully too. dience, loyalty, and subjection, is no more, but
The robber, and man of rapine, must run, for a man honestly and discreetly to sit still, and ride, and use all the dangerous and even and to enjoy what he has, under the protecdesperate ways of escape; and probably, after tion of the laws. And when such an one is all, his sin betrays him to a gaol, and from in his lowest condition, he is yet high and thence advances him to the gibbet; but let happy enough to despise and pity the most him carry off his booty with as much safety prosperous rebels in the world ; even those and success as he can wish, yet the innocent famous ones of forty-one (with all due respect person, with never so little of his own, envies to their flourishing relations be it spoke) not him not, and if he has nothing, fears him not. excepted. In the
Likewise the cheat and fraudulent persou is 3d and last place, The religious person put to a thousand shifts to palliate his fraud, walks upon surer grounds than the irreligious, and to be thought an honest man ; but surely in respect of the very health of his body. there can be no greater labour than to be Virtue is a friend and a help to nature; but always dissembling, and forced to maintain a it is vice and luxury that destroys it, and the constant disguise, there being so many ways diseases of intemperance are the natural proby which a smothered truth is apt to blaze duct of the sins of intemperance. Whereas, and break out; the very nature of things on the other side, a temperate, innocent use of making it not more natural for them to be, the creature, never casts any one into a fever than to appear as they be. But he who will or a surfeit. Chastity makes no work for a be really honest, just, and sincere in his deal- chirurgeon, nor ever ends in rottenness of ings, needs take no pains to be thought so ; bones. Sin is the fruitful parent of disno more than the sun needs take any pains to tempers, and ill lives occasion good physicians. shine, or when he is up, to convince the world Seldom shall one see in cities, courts, and rich that it is day.
families, (where men live plentifully, and eat And here again, to bring in the man of and drink freely,) that perfect health, that luxury and intemperance for his share in the athletic soundness and vigour of constitution, pain and trouble, as well as in the foremen- which is commonly seen in the country, in tioned shame and infamy of his vice. Can poor houses and cottages, where nature is their any toil or day-labour equal the fatigue or cook, and necessity their caterer, and where drudgery which such an one undergoes, while they have no other doctor, but the sun and he is continually pouring in draught after the fresh air, and that such an one as never draught, and cramming in morsel after morsel, sends them to the apothecary. It has been and that in spite of appetite and nature, till observed in the earlier ages of the church, that he becomes a burden to the very earth that none lived such healthful and long lives, as bears him ; though not so great an one to monks and hermits, who had sequestered themthat, but that (if possible) he is yet a greater selves from the pleasures and plenties of the to himself ?*
world, to a constant ascetic course of the And now, in the last place, to mention one severest abstinence and devotion. sinner more, and him a notable, leading sinner Nor is excess the only thing in which sin indeed, to wit, the rebel. Can any thing have mauls and breaks men in their health, and the more of trouble, hazard, and anxiety in it, comfortable enjoyment of themselves thereby, than the course which he takes ? For, in the but many are also brought to a very ill and first place, all the evils of war must unavoid languishing habit of body, by mere idleness, ably be endured, as the necessary means and and idleness is both itself a great sin and the instruments to compass and give success to his cause of many more. The husbandman retraitorous designs. ' In which, if it is his lot to turns from the field, and from manuring his be conquered, he must expect that vengeance ground, strong and healthy, because innocent that justly attends a conquered, disarmed and laborious; you will find no diet-drinks, villain ; for when such an one is vanquished, no boxes of pills, nor galley-pots, amongst his his sins are always upon him. But if, on the provisions ; no, he neither speaks nor lives contrary, he proves victorious, he will get | French, be is not so much a gentleman, forfind misery enough in the distracting cares of sooth. His meals are coarse and short, his
employment warrantable, his sleep certain * See Sermon I. p. 6
and refreshing, neither interrupted with the
lashes of a guilty mind, nor the aches of a possibly be enforced (even in the judgment of crazy body. And when old age comes upon its best friends and most professed enemies) him, it comes alone, bringing no other evil with by any farther arguments than what have it but itself ; but when it comes to wait upon been produced, (how much better soever the a great and worshipful sinner, (who for many said arguments may be managed by abler years together has had the reputation of eating hands.) For I have shown and proved, that well and doing ill,) it comes (as it ought to whether the principles of it be certain, or but do to a person of such quality) attended with probable, nay, though supposed absolutely a long train of rheums, coughs, catarrhs, and false, yet a man is sure of that happiness in dropsies, together with many painful girds and the practice, which he cannot be in the neachings, which are at least called the gout. glect of it; and consequently, that though he How does such an one go about, or is carried were really a speculative atheist, (which there rather, with his body bending in ward, his is great reason to believe that none perfectly head shaking, and his eyes always watering are,) yet if he would but proceed rationally, (instead of weeping) for the sins of his ill that is, if (according to his own measures of spent youth. In a word, old age seizes upon reason) he would but love himself, he could such a person, like fire upon a rotten house ; not however be a practical atheist ; nor live it was rotten before, and must have fallen of without God in this world, whether or no he itself ; so that it is no more but one ruin pre expected to be rewarded by him in another. venting another.
And now, to make some application of the And thus I have shewn the fruits and effects foregoing discourse, we may, by an easy but of sin upon men in this world. But perad sure deduction, conclude and gather from it venture it will be replied, that there are many these two things, sinners who escape all these calamities, and First, That that profane, atheistical, epineither labour under any shame or disrepute, curean rabble, whom the whole nation so any unquietness of condition, or more than rings of, and who have lived so much to the ordinary distemper of body, but pass their defiance of God, the dishonour of mankind, days with as great a portion of honour, ease, and the disgrace of the age which they are and health, as any other men whatsoever. But cast upon, are not indeed, (what they are to this I answer,
pleased to think and vote themselves,) the First, That those sinners who are in such a wisest men in the world; for in matters of temporally happy condition, owe it not to choice, no man can be wise in any course or their sins, but wholly to their luck, and a practice in which he is not safe too. But can benign chance that they are so. Providence these high assumers, and pretenders to reason, often disposes of things by a method beside prove themselves so amidst all those liberties and above the discoveries of man's reason. and latitudes of practice which they take?
Secondly, That the number of those sinners, Can they make it out against the common who by their sins have been directly plunged sense and opinion of all mankind, that there into all the forementioned evils, is incom is no such thing as a future estate of misery parably greater than the number of those, for such as have lived ill here? Or can they who, by the singular favour of Providence, persuade themselves that their own particular have escaped them. And,
reason, denying or doubting of it, ought to Thirdly and lastly, That notwithstanding be relied upon as a surer argument of truth all this, sin has yet in itself a natural tendency than the universal, united reason of all the to bring men under all these evils; and, if world besides affirming it? Every fool may persisted in, will infallibly end in them, un believe and pronounce confidently'; but wise less hindered by some unusual accident or men will, in matters of discourse, conclude other, which no man, acting rationally, can firmly, and, in matters of practice, act surely; steadily build upon. It is not impossible but and if these will do so too in the case now a man may practise a sin secretly, to his dying before us, they must orove it, not only proday; but it is ten thousand to one, if the bable, (whichi yet they can never do,) but practice be constant, but that at some time or also certain, and past all doubt, that there is other it will be discovered; and then the no hell, nor place of torment for the wicked ; effect of sin discovered, must be shame and or at least that they themselves, notwithconfusion to the sinner. It is possible also, standing all their villainous and licentious that a man may be an old healthful epicure; practices, are not to be reckoned of that numbut I affirm also, that it is next to a miracle ber and character, but that, with a non obstante if he be so; and the like is to be said of the to all their revels, their profaneness, and several instances of sin hitherto produced by scandalous debaucheries of all sorts, they conus. In short, nothing can step between them tinue virtuosoes still; and are that in truth, and misery in this world, but a very great, which the world in favour and fashion (or strange, and unusual chance, which none will rather by an antiphrasis) is pleased to call presume of who walks surely.
them. And so, I suppose that religion cannot In the meantime, it cannot but be matter
of just indignation to all knowing and good spirited, uncomprehensive zealots, who know meu, to see a company of lewd, shallow not the world, nor understand that he only is brained huffs, making atheism and contempt the truly wise man, who, per fas et nefas, gets of religion the sole badge and character of wit, as much as he can. gallantry, and true discretion; and then over But, for all this, let atheists and sensualists their pots and pipes, claiming and engrossing satisfy themselves as they are able. The forall these wholly to themselves; magisterially mer of which will find, that as long as reason censuring the wisdom of all antiquity, scoffing keeps her ground, religion neither can nor will at all piety, and, as it were, new-niodelling lose hers. And for the sensual epicure, he the whole world. When yet, such as have also will find that there is a certain living had opportunity to sound these braggers spark within him, which all the drink he can throughly, by having sometimes endured the pour in will never be able to quench or put penance of their sottish company, have found out; nor will his rotten abused body have it them in converse so empty and insipid, in in its power to convey any putrifying, condiscourse so trifling and contemptible, that it suming, rotting quality to the soul: no, there is impossible but that they should give a credit is no drinking, or swearing, or ranting, or and an honour to whatsoever and whomso- fluxing a soul out of its immortality:. But ever they speak against : they are, indeed, that must and will survive and abide, in such as seem wholly incapable of entertaining spite of death and the grave; and live for ever any design above the present gratification of to convince such wretches, to their eternal wo, their palates, and whose very souls and that the so much repeated ornament and flouthoughts rise no higher than their throats; rish of their former speeches, “ God damn but yet withal, of such a clamorous and pro- l’em," was commonly the truest word they voking impiety, that they are enough to make spoke, though least believed by them while the nation like Sodom and Gomorrah in their they spoke it. punishment, as they have already made it too 2dly, The other thing deducible from the like them in their sins. Certain it is, that foregoing particulars, shall be to inform us of blasphemy and irreligion have grown to that the way of attaining to that excellent prividaring height here of late years, that had men lege, so justly valued by those who have it, in any sober civilized heathen nation spoke and so much talked of by those who have it or done balf so much in contempt of their not, which is assurance. Assurance is profalse gods and religion, as some in our days perly that persuasion or confidence which a and nation, wearing the name of Christians, man takes up of the pardon of his sins, and have spoke and done against God and Christ, his interest in God's favour, upon such grounds they would have been infallibly burnt at a and terms as the Scripture lays down. But stake, as monsters and public enemies of now, since the Scripture promises eternal hapsociety.
piness and pardon of sin upon the sole condiThe truth is, the persons here reflected upon tion of faith and sincere obedience, it is evident are of such a peculiar stamp of impiety, that that he only can plead a title to such a pardon they seem to be a set of fellows got together, whose conscience impartially tells him that and formed into a kind of diabolical society, he has performed the required condition. And for the finding out new experiments in vice; this is the only rational assurance which a man and therefore, they laugh at the dull, inex can with any safety rely or rest himself upon. perienced, obsolete sinners of former times; He who in this case would believe surely, and, scorning to keep themselves within the must first walk surely; and to do so is to common, beaten, broad way to hell, by being walk uprightly. And what that is, we have vicious only at the low rate of example and sufficiently marked out to us in those plain imitation, they are for searching out other and legible lines of duty, requiring us to deways and latitudes, and obliging posterity mean ourselves to God humbly and devoutly, with unheard-of inventions and discoveries in to our governors obediently, and to our sin ; resolving herein to admit of no other neighbours justly, and to ourselves soberly measure of good and evil but the judgment of and temperately. All other pretences being sensuality, as those who prepare matters to infinitely vain in themselves, and fatal in their their hands, allow no other measure of the consequences, philosophy and truth of things, but the sole It was, indeed, the way of many in the late judgment of sense. And these, forsooth, are times, to bolster up their crazy, doating conour great sages, and those who must pass for sciences, with (I know not what) odd confithe only shrewd, thinking, and inquisitive dences, founded upon inward whispers of the men of the age ; and such, as by a long, Spirit, stories of something which they called severe, and profound speculation of nature, conversion and marks of predestination - all have redeemed themselves from the pedautry of them (as they understood them) mere deof being conscientious, and living virtuously, lusions, trifles, and fig-leaves, and such as and from such old fashioned principles and would be sure to fall off and leave them naked creeds, as tie up the minds of some narrow before that fiery tribunal, which knows no
other way of judging men but according to of nothing, and only in the number of possitheir works.
bilities, and consequently could have nothing Obedience and upright walking are such to recommend him to Christ's affection, nor substantial, vital parts of religion, as, if they shew any thing lovely, but what he should be wanting, can never be made up, or com afterwards receive from the stamp of a premuted for, by any formalities of fantastic venting love. Yet even then did the love of looks or language. And the great question, Christ begin to work, and to commence in when we come hereafter to be judged, will the first emanations and purposes of goodness not be, How demurely have you looked ? or, towards man ; designing to provide matter for How boldly have you believed ? With what | itself to work upon, to create its own object, length have you prayed ? and, with what and, like the sun in the production of some loudness and veheinence have you preached ? animals, first to give a being, and then to shine But, How holily have you lived ? and, How uprightly have you walked ? For this, and 2dly, Let us take the love of Christ as this only, (with the merits of Christ's right directing itself to nian actually created and eousness) will come into account before that brought into the world; and so
those glogreat Judge, who will pass sentence upon rious endowments of human nature in its every man according to what he has done here original state and innocence, were so many in the flesh, whether it be good, or whether demonstrations of the munificent goodness of it be evil; and there is no respect of persons him by whom God first made, as well as afterwith him.
wards redeemed the world. There was a conTo whom, therefore, be rendered and sult of the whole Trinity for the making of ascribed, as is most due, all praise, might, man, that so he might shine as a mastermajesty, and dominion, both now and for piece, not only of the art, but also of the evermore. Amen.
kindness of his Creator; with a noble and a clear understanding, a rightly disposed will, and a train of affections regular and obsequious, and perfectly conformable to the dictates of that high and divine principle, right
So that, upon the whole matter, he SERMON XIV.
stepped forth, not only the work of God's
hands, but also the copy of his perfections; OF THE LOVE OF CHRIST TO HIS a kind of iinage or representation of the Deity DISCIPLES.
in small. Infinitely contracted into flesh and
blood; and (as I may so speak) the preludium PREACHED AT CHRIST-CHURCH, OXON, BEFORE THE
and first essay towards the incarnation of the UNIVERSITY, 1664.
divine nature. But,
3dly, and lastly, Let us look upon man, not only as created and brought into the world
with all these great advantages superadded to “ Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for
his being, but also as depraved, and fallen all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known
from them; as an outlaw and a rebel, and unto you." - John, xv. 15.
one that could plead a title to nothing but
to the highest severities of a sin-revenging We have here an account of Christ's friend- justice. Yet even in this estate also, the ship to his disciples ; that is, we have the best boundless love of Christ began to have warm of things represented in the greatest of ex thoughts and actings towards so wretched a amples. In other men we see the excellency, creature, at this time not only not amiable, but in Christ the divinity of friendship. By but highly odious. our baptism and church communion we are While, indeed, man was yet uncreated and made one body with Christ; but by this we unborn, though he had no positive perfection become one soul.
to present and set him off to Christ's view, Love is the greatest of human affections, yet he was at least negatively clear, and, like and friendship is the noblest and most refined unwritten paper, though it has no draughts improvement of love-a quality of the largest to entertain, yet neither has it any blots to compass. And it is here admirable to observe offend the eye, but is white, and innocent, and the ascending gradation of the love which fair for an after-inscription. But man, onco Christ bore to his disciples. The strange and fallen, was nothing but a great blur, nothing superlative greatness of which will appear but a total universal pollution, and not to bo from those several degrees of kindness that it reformed by any thing under a new creation. has manifested to man in the several periods Yet, see here the ascent and progress of of his condition, as,
Christ's love. For first, if we consider man 1st, If we consider him antecedently to his in such a loathsome and provoking condition, creation, while he yet lay in the barren womb was it not love enough that he was spared and