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and rule of action so pliable and bending, pens into the fatal neighbourhood of such that it shall be impossible to be broke. So pests, presently they are upon him, plying that he who goes to hell must pass through a his full purse and his empty pate with adnarrower gate than that which the gospel says dresses suitable to his vanity ; telling him, leads to heaven. For that, we are told, is what pity it is that one so accomplished for only strait, but this is absolutely shut; and parts and person should smother himself in so shut, that sin cannot pass it, and therefore the country, where he can learn nothing of it is much if a sinner should.
gallantry or behaviour; as, how to make his So insufferably have these impostors poisoned court, to hector a drawer, to cog the die, or the fountains of morality, perverted and em storm a whorehouse ; but must of necessity based the very standard and distinguishing live and die ignorant of what it is to trepan rule of good and evil. So that all their books or be trepanned, to sup, or rather dine at and writings are but debauchery upon record, midnight in a tavern, with the noise of oaths, and impiety registered and consigned over to blasphemies, and fiddlers about his ears, and posterity.
to fight every watch and constable at his reIn every volume there is a nursery and turn from thence, and to be beaten by them; plantation of vice, where it is sure to thrive, but must at length, poor man! die dully of and from thence to be transplanted into men's old age at home, when here he might so practice. For here it is manured with art fashionably and genteelly, long before that and argument, sheltered with fallacy and dis- time, have been duelled or fluxed into another tinction, and thereby enabled both to annoy world. others and to defend itself.
If this be not the guise and practice of the And to shew how far the malignity of this times, especially as to the principal cities of way of sinning reaches, he who has vented a the kingdom, let any one judge ; and whether pernicious doctrine, or published an ill book, for such a poor deluded wretch, instead of must know that his guilt and his life deter- growing rusty in the country, (as some call it) mine not together; no, such an one, as the to be thus brought by a company of indigent, apostle says, “ being dead, yet speaketh ;” he debauched, soul-and-body-destroying harpies, sins in his very grave, corrupts others while to lose his estate, family, and virtue, amongst he is rotting himself, and has a growing them in the city, be not a much greater violaaccount in the other world after he has paid tion of the public weal and justice of any nature's last debt in this; and, in a word, government, than most of those crimes that quits this life like a man carried off by the bring the committers of them to the gallows, plague, who, though he dies himself, yet does we may at present easily see, and one day execution upon others by a surviving infec- perhaps sadly feel. tion,
Nor is this trade of corrupting the gentry 2. Such, also, are to be reckoned to take and nobility, and seasoning them with the pleasure in other men's sins, as endeavour by vices of the great town, as soon as they set all means to allure men to sin ; and that foot into it, carried on secretly, and in a coreither by formal persuasion, importunity, or ner, but openly, and in the face of the sun, desire, as we find the harlot described, enticing by persons who have formed themselves into the young man, in Prov. vii. ver. 13 to 22; companies, or rather corporations. So that a or else by administering objects and occasions man may as easily know where to find one fit to inflame and draw forth a man's corrupt to teach him to debauch, whore, game, and affections : such as are the drinking of a blaspheme, as to teach him to write or cast choleric or revengeful person into a fit of rage accompts. It is their support and business, and violence against the person of his neigh nay, their very profession and livelihood; bour, thus heating one man's blood in order getting their living by those practices for to the shedding of another's. Such also as which they deserve to forfeit their lives. the provoking of a lustful, incontinent person, Now these are another sort of men, who by filthy discourse, wanton books and pictures, are justly charged with the guilt and character and, that which equals and exceeds them all, of delighting in other men's sins - men who the incentives of the stage, till a man's vice are the devil's setters; who contrive, study, and folly works over all bounds, and grows and beat their brains, how to draw in some at length too mad and outrageous to be either poor, innocent, unguarded heir into their governed or concealed.
hellish net, learning his humour, prying into Now with great variety of such kind of his circumstances, and observing his weak traders for hell as these, has the nation of late side ; and all this to plant the snare and apply years abounded. Wretches who live upon the temptation effectually and successfully : the shark, and other men's sins, the common and when, by such insinuations, they have poisoners of youth, equally desperate in their ouce got within him, and are able to drill him fortunes and their manners, and getting their on from one lewdness to another, by the same very bread by the damnation of souls. So arts corrupting and squeezing him as they that if any inexperienced young novice hap- please, no wonder if they rejoice to see him
guilty of all sorts of villainy, and take pleasure as are, calling faction, and a spitting in their in those sins in which they find their profit too. prince's face, petitioning ; fanaticis.n and
3. Such as affect the company of infamous schism, true protestantism ; sacrilege and raand vicious persons, are also to be reckoned pine, thorough reformation, and the like. As, in the number of those who take pleasure in on the contrary, branding conforinity to the such men's vices. For otherwise, what is there rules and rites of the best church in the in such men which they can pretend to be world, with the false and odious name of pleased with? For generally such sots have formality ; and traducing all religious, conneither parts nor wit, ingenuity of discourse, scientious observers of them, as mongrel Pronor fineness of conversation, to entertain or testants, and Papists in masquerade. And, delight any one, that, coming into their com indeed, many are and have been called Papists pany, brings but his reason along with him. of late years, whom those very persons that But, on the contrary, their rude impertinent call them so know to be far from being so. loudness, their quarrels, their nastiness, their But what then do they mean by fixing such dull, obscene talk and ribaldry, (which from false characters upon men, even against their them you must take for wit, or go without it,) own consciences ? Why, they mean and decannot but be very nauseous and offensive to sign this, – they would set such a mark upon any one who does not balk his own reason, those whom they hate, as may cause their out of love to their vice, and for the sake of throats to be cut, and their estates to be seized the sin itself, pardon the ugliness of its cir upon, when the rabble shall be let loose upon cumstances; as a father will hug and embrace the government once again, which such beghis beloved son, for all the dirt and foulness garly, malicious fellows impatiently hope and of his clothes — the dearness of the person long for. easily apologizing for the disagreeableness of Though I doubt not (how much soever the habit.
knaves may abuse fools with words for a One would think it should be no easy matter time) but there will come a day, in which the to bring any man of sense to love an alehouse most active Papists will be found under the - indeed, of so much sense as seeing and Puritan mask ; in which it will appear, that smelling amounts to—there being such strong the conventicle has been the Jesuits' safest encounters of both, as would quickly send kennel, and the Papists themselves, as well as him packing, did not the love of good fellow- the fanatics, have been managers of all those ship reconcile him to these nuisances, and the monstrous outcries against Popery, to the ruin deity he adored compound for the homeliness of those Protestants whom they most hate, of its shrine.
and whom alone they fear. It being no unIt is clear, therefore, that where a man can heard-of trick for a thief, when he is closely like and love the conversation of lewd, de- pursued, to cry out, Stop the thief, and thereby bauched persons, amidst allthe natural grounds diverting the suspicion from himself, to get and motives of loathing and dislike, it can clear away. It is also worth our while to proceed from nothing but the inward affection consider with what terms of respect and comhe bears to their lewd, debauched humour. mendation knaves and sots will speak of their It is this that he enjoys, and, for the sake of own fraternity. As, What an honest, what a this, the rest he endures.
worthy man, is such an one! And, What a 4thly and lastly, Such as encourage, coun good-natured person is another! According tenance, and support men in their sins, are to to which terms, such as are factious, by worthy be reckoned in the number of those who take men, mean only such as are of the same facpleasure in other men's sins. Now this may tion, and united in the same designs against be done two ways, –
the government with themselves. And such 1st, By commendation. Concerning which, as are brothers of the pot, by a good-natured we may take this for granted, - that no man person, mean only a true, trusty debauchee, commends another any farther than he likes who never stands out at a merry meeting, su him : for, indeed, to commend any one, is to long as he is able to stand at all; nor never vouch him to the world, to undertake for his refuses a health, while he has enough of his worth, and, in a word, to own the thing which own to pledge it with ; and, in a word, is as he is chiefly remarkable for. He who writes honest as drunkenness and debauchery, want an encomium Neronis, if he does it heartily, is of sense and reason, virtue and sobriety, can himself but a transcript of Nero in his mind; possibly make him. and would, no doubt, gladly enough see such 2dly, The other way by which some men pranks as he was famous for, acted again, encourage others in their sins is, by preferthough he dares not be the actor of them ment. As, when men shall be advanced to himself.
places of trust and honour for those qualities From whence we see the reason of some that render them unworthy of so much as men's giving such honourable names and ap sober and civil company. When a lord or pellations to the worst of men and actions, master shall cast his favours and rewards upon and base, reproachful titles to the best - such such beasts and blemishes of society as live
only to the dishonour of Him who made them, business and his recreation, his companion and the reproach of him who maintains them. and his other self; and the very dividing beNone certainly can love to see vice in power, tween his flesh and his bones, or rather, bebut such as love to see it also in practice. tween his body and his soul, shall be less Place and honour do of all things most mis terrible and afflictive to him, than to be took become it; and a goat or a swine, in a chair off from his vice. of state, cannot be more odious than ridi Nevertheless, as unnatural as this effect of culous.
sin is, there is one yet more so ; for that innate It is reported of Cæsar, that, passing through principle of self-love, that very easily and a certain town, and seeing all the women of often blinds a man, as to any impartial reit standing at their doors with monkeys in flection upon himself, yet, for the most part, their arms, he asked whether the women of leaves his eyes open enough to judge truly of that country used to have any children or no? the same thing in his neighbour, and to hate thereby wittily and sarcastically reproaching that in others which
he allows and cherishes them for misplacing that affection upon brutes,
in himself. And therefore, when it shall which could only become a mother to her come to this, that he also approves, embraces, child. So, when we come into a great family and delights in sin, as he observes it, even in or government, and see this place of honour the person and practice of other men, this allotted to a murderer, another filled with an shews that the man is wholly transformed atheist or blasphemer, and a third with a filthy from the creature that God first made him ; parasite, may we not as appositely and pro nay, that he has consumed those poor reperly ask the question, whether there be any mainders of good that the sin of Adam left such thing as virtue, sobriety, or religion him ; that he has worn off the very remote amongst such a people, with whom vice wears dispositions and possibilities to virtue ; and, those rewards, honours, and privileges, which in a word, turned grace first, and afterwards in other nations the common judgment of nature itself, out of doors. No man knows, reason awards only to the virtuous, the sober, at his first entrance upon any sin, how far it and religious ? And certainly it is too flagrant may carry him, and where it will stop, the a demonstration, how much vice is the darling commission of sin being generally like the of any people, when many amongst them are pouring out of water, which, when once poured preferred for those practices, for which, in out, knows no other bounds but to run as far other places, they can scarce be pardoned. as it can.
And thus I have finished the third and last 2dly, A second effect of this disposition of general thing proposed, for the handling of mind is, that it peculiarly indisposes a man the words, which was to shew the several to repent, and recover himself from it.
For sorts or kinds of men which fall under the the first step to repentance is a man's dislike charge and character of taking pleasure in of his sin; and how can we expect that a man other men's sins.
should conceive any thorough dislike of that, Now, the inferences from the foregoing par which has took such an absolute possession of ticulars shall be twofold.
his heart and affections, that he likes and 1. Such as concern particular persons ; and, loves it, not only in his own practice, but also
2. Such as concern communities or bodies of in other men's ? Nay, that he is pleased with men.
it, though he is past the practice of it. Such And first, for the malignity of such a dis a temper of mind is a downright contradiction position of mind as induces a man to delight to repentance, as being founded in the destrucin other men's sins, with reference to the tion of those qualities which are the only diseffects of it upon particular persons. As, positions and preparatives to it. For that
1st, It quite alters and depraves the natural natural tenderness of conscience which must frame of a man's heart ; for there is that first create in the soul a sense of sin, and from naturally in the heart of man which abhors thence produce a sorrow for it, and at length sin as sin, and consequently would make him cause a relinquishment of it, that, I say, (we detest it, both in himself and in others too. have already shewn,) is took away by a cusThe first and most genuine principles of rea tomary, repeated course of sinning against son are certainly averse to it, and find a secret conscience; so that the very first foundation grief and remorse from every invasion that of virtue, which is the natural power of dissin makes upon a man's innocence; and that tinguishing between the moral good and evil must needs render the first entrance and ad of any action, is, in effect, plucked up and mission of sin upeasy, because disagreeable. destroyed, and the Spirit of God finds nothing Yet time, we see, and custom of sinning, can in the heart of such an one to apply the means bring a man to such a pass, that it shall be of grace to. All taste, relish, and discernment more difficult and grievous to him to part with of the suitableness of virtue, and the unsuithis sin, than ever it was to him to admit it. ableness of vice, being utterly gone from it. It shall get so far into, and lodge itself so And as this is a direct bar to that part of deep within, his heart, that it shall be his repentance which looks back with sorrow and
indignation upon what is past, so is it equally internal acts of it may be quick and vigorous, such to that greater part of repentance which when the external, imperate acts of the same is to look forward, and to prevent sin for the habit utterly cease : and let men but reflect future. For this properly delivers a man up upon their own observation, and consider imto sin, forasmuch as it leaves his heart destitute partially with themselves how few in the of all those principles which should resist it. world they have known made better by age. So that such an one must be as bad as the Generally they will see that such leave not devil will have him, and can be no better their vice, but their vice leaves them, or rather than the devil will let him. In both he must retreats from their practices, and retires into submit to his measures. And what is this their fancy, and that we know is boundless but a kind of entrance into, or rather an anti- and infinite; and when vice has once settled cipation of hell? What is it but judgment itself there, it finds a vaster and a wider comand damnation already begun? For a man pass to act in than ever it had before. I in such a case is as sure of it as if he were scarce know any thing that calls for a more actually in the flames.
serious consideration from us than this ; for 3dly, A third effect of this disposition of still men are apt to persuade themselves that mind (which also naturally follows from the they shall find it an easy matter to grow virformer) is, that the longer a man lives the tuous as they grow old. But it is a way of wickeder he grows, and his last days are cer arguing highly irrational and fallacious. For tainly his worst. It has been observed, that this is a maxim of eternal truth, that nothing to delight in other men's sins was most pro- grows weak with age but that which will at perly the vice of old age; and we shall also length die with age, which sin never does. find, that it may be as truly and properly The longer a blot continues, the deeper it called the old age of vice. For, as first, old sinks. And it will be found a work of no age necessarily implies a man's having lived small difficulty to dispossess and throw out a so many years before it comes upon him; and vice from that heart, where long possession withal, this sort of viciousness supposes the begins to plead prescription. It is naturally precedent commission of many sins by which impossible for an old man to grow young a man arrives to it; so it has this farther pro- again ; and it is next to impossible for a deperty of old age, that, as when a man comes crepit, aged sinner to become a new creature, once to be old, he never retreats, but still goes and“ be born again.” on, and grows every day older and older; so 4thly and lastly, We need no other arguwhen a man comes once to such a degree of ment of the malign effects of this disposition wickedness as to delight in the wickedness of of mind than this one consideration, that other men, it is more than ten thonsand to many perish eternally, who never arrived to one odds if he ever returns to a better mind, such a pitch of wickedness as to take any but grows every day worse and worse. For pleasure in, or indeed to be at all concerned he has nothing else to take up his thoughts, about, the sins of other men. But they perislı and nothing to entertain his desires with, in the pursuit of their own lusts, and the which, by a long estrangement from better obedience they personally yield to their own things, come at length perfectly to loathe and sinful appetites, and that, questionless, very fly off from them.
often not without a considerable mixture of A notable instance of which we have in inward dislike of themselves for what they Tiberius Cæsar, who was bad enough in his do; yet for all that, their sin, we see, proving youth, but superlatively and monstrously so too hard for them, the overpowering stream in his old age ; and the reason of this was carries them away, and down they sink into because he took a particular pleasure in seeing the bottomless pit, though under the weight other men do vile and odious things. So that of a guilt, by vast degrees inferior to that all his diversion at his beloved Capreæ, was to which we have been discoursing of. For, be a spectator of the devil's actors, represent doubtless, many inen are finally lost, who yet ing the worst of vices upon that infamous have no men's sins to answer for but their stage.
own : who never enticed nor perverted others And, therefore, let not men flatter them to sin, and much less applauded or encouraged selves, (as, no doubt, some do,) that though them in their sin; but only being slaves to they find it difficult at present to combat and their own corrupt affections, have lived and stand out against an ill practice, and upon that died under the killing power of thein, and so account give way to a continuance in it, yet passed to a sad eternity. that old age shall do that for them, which they But that other devilish way of sinning in their youth could never find in their heart hitherto spoken of, is so far beyond this, that to do for themselves ; I say, let not such per this is a kind of innocence, or rather a kind sons mock and abuse themselves with such of charity, compared to it. For this is a solifalse and absurd presumptions. For they tary, single, that a complicated, multiplied must know that a habit may continue, when guilt. And, indeed, if we con at what a it is no longer able to act; or rather the elicit, rate some men sin now-a-days, that man
sins charitably who damns nobody but him Vice could not come to this pitch by chance. self. But the other sort of sinners, who may But we have sinned apace, and at a higher properly enough bo said to people hell, and, strain of villainy than the fops our ancestors in a very ill sense, to bear the sins of many, (as some are pleased to call them) could ever as they have a guilt made up of many guilts, arrive to. So that we daily see maturity and so what can they reasonably expect, but á in vice joined with youth and greenness damnation equivalent to many damnations ? of years. A manifest argument, no doubt, of
And thus much for the first general inference the great docility and pregnancy of parts that from the foregoing discourse, shewing the ma is in the present age, above all the former. lignity of such a disposition of mind as induces For, in respect of vice, nothing is more usual a man to delight in other men's sins, with re now-a-days, than for boys illico nasci senes. ference to particular persons.
They see their betters delight in ill things ; 2. The other inference shall be with re they observe reputation and countenance to ference to communities, or bodies of men ; attend the practice of them; and this carries and so such a disposition has a most direct them on furiously to that which, of them. and efficacious influence to propagate, multi- selves, they are but too much inclined to; and ply, and spread the practice of any sin, till it which laws were purposely made by wise men becomes general and national. For this is to keep them from. They are glad, you may nuost certain, that some men's taking pleasure be sure, to please and prefer themselves at in other men's sius, will cause many men to once, and to serve their interest and their sensin, to do them a pleasure ; and this will suality together. appear upon these three accounts,-1. That it And as they are come to this height and is seldom or never that any man comes to rampancy of vice, in a great measure, from such a degree of impiety, as to take pleasure in the countenance of their betters and superiors ; other men's sins, but he also shews the world so they have took some steps higher in the by his actions and behaviour that he does so. same from this, That the follies and extrava2. That there are few men in the world so
gances of the young too frequently carry with inconsiderable, but there are some or other them the suffrage and approbation of the old. who have an interest to serve by them. And, For age, which naturally and unavoidably is 3. That the natural course that one man takes but one remove from death, and consequently to serve his interest by another is, by applying should have nothing about it but what looks himself to him in such a way as may most like a decent preparation for it, scarce ever gratify and delight him.
appears of late days but in the high mode, the Now from these three things put together, flaunting garb, and utmost gaudery of youth; it is not only easy, but necessary to iufer, that with clothes as ridiculously, and as much in since the generality of men are wholly acted the fashion, as the person that wears them is by their present interest, if they find those usually grown out of it. The eldest equal the who can best serve them in this their interest, youngest in the vanity of their dress, and no most likely also to be gained over so to do by other reason can be given of it, but that they the sinful and vile practices of those who ad equal, if not surpass them in the vanity of dress to them; no doubt such practices shall their desires. So that those who by the mabe pursued by such persons, in order to the jesty and, as I may so say, the prerogative of compassing their desired ends. Where great their age, should even frown youth into soness takes no delight in goodness, we may be briety and better manners, are now striving sure there shall be but little goodness seen in all they can to imitate and strike in with the lives of those who have an interest to serve them, and to be really vicious, that they may by such an one's greatness. For take any be thought to be young. illustrious, potent sinner, whose power is The sad and apparent truth of which makes wholly employed to serve his pleasure, and it very superfluous to inquire after any farther whose chief pleasure is to see others as bad cause of that monstrous increase of vice, that and wicked as himself; and there is no ques- like a torrent, or rather a breaking in of the tion but in a little time he will also make
sea upon us, has of late years overflowed and them so; and his dependants shall quickly victoriously carried all before it. Both the become his proselytes. They shall sacrifice honourable and the aged have contributed all their virtue to his humour, spend their credit they could to the promotion of it; and, so far and good name, nay, and their very souls too, as they are able, to give the best colour to the to serve him; and that by the worst and worst of things. This they have endeavoured, basest of services, which is, by making them and thus much they have effected, that men selves like him. It is but too notorious how now see that vice makes them acceptable to long vice has reigned, or rather raged amongst those who are able to make them considerable. us; and with what a bare face and a brazen It is the key that lets them into their very forehead it walks about the nation, as it were, heart, and enables them to command all that elato capite, and looking down with scorn upon is there. And if this be the price of favour, virtue as a contemptible and a mean thing. I and the market of honour, no doubt where