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inseparable from such reflections ;) I have
wondered with myself, and that even to AN
astonishment, how it should be possible, that ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER in the turn of so few years there should be so
numerous a party of men in these kingdoms, CONCERNING THE FOLLOWING SERMON.
who (as if the remembrance of all those dis
mal days between forty and sixty were utterly WHOSOEVER shall judge it worth his time to peruse the erased out of the minds of men, and struck following discourse, (if it meets with any such,) he is desired
out of the annals of time) are still prepared to take notice, that it was penned and prepared to have been preached at Westminster Abbey, at a solemn meeting of such as
and ready, nay, eager, and impetuously bent had been bred at Westminster school. But the death of King
to act over the same tragical scene again. Charles II, happening in the mean time, the design of this Witness, first of all, the many virulent and solemnity fell to the ground together with him, and was never
base libels spread over the whole nation resumed since ; though what the reason of this might be, I neither know, nor ever thought it worth while to inquire : it
against the king and his government; and being abundantly enough for me, that I can with great truth
in the next place, the desigu of seizing, his affirm, that I never offered myself to this service, por 80 much royal person, while the parliament was held as thought of appearing in a post so manifestly above me; but in Oxford in the year 1682; and likewise the that a very great person* (whose word was then law, as well as Rye conspiracy, formed and intended for the his profession) was pleased mero motu (to speak in the preroghtive style, as best suiting so commanding a genius) to put this
assassination of the king and of the duke his task upon me, as well as afterwards to supersede the perfor brother, in the year 1683 ; and lastly, (though mance of it: the much kinder act this of the two, I must con
antecedent in time,) the two famous* city fess, and that in more respects than one, as saving me the cavalcades of clubmen, in the two years of trouble of delivering, and at the same time blushing at so mean 1679 and 1680, countenanced and encouraged a discourse, and the congregation also the greater, of hearing it. But what further cause there was or might be of so much uncer
under that silly pretence of burning the pope, tainty in this whole proceeding, I cannot tell, unless possibly,
but carried on with so much iusolence and that what his lordship as chief justice had determined, he audacious fury, and such an open, barefaced thought fit as chancellor to reverse.
contempt of all authority, as if the rabble Nevertheless, out of an earnest (and I hope very justifiable) had in plain terms bid the government do its desire, partly to pass a due encomium (or such an one at least as I am able) upon so noble a seat of the Muses as this renowned
worst, and touch or meddle with them if it school bas been always accounted hitherto, and partly to own
durst. So hard has the experience of the the obligation and debt lying upon me to the place of my educa- world found it, for the pardon of a guilt (too tion, I have here at length presumed to publish it. So that big for the common measures of pardon) to although neither at the time appointed for that solemn meeting, produce any thing better than the same pracnor ever since, have I had any opportunity given me to preach this sermon myself, yet, now that it is printed, possibly some
tices which had been pardoned before. other may condescend to do it, as before in several such cases
But since nothing can happen without the like has been too well known to have been done.
some cause or other, I have been farther considering with myself what the cuuse of this terrible evil, which still looks so grim upon
the government, should be. And to me it SERMON XLIX.
seems to be this; that as the forementioned rebellion and civil war brought upon the
nation a general dissolution of order, and a THE VIRTUOUS EDUCATION OF YOUTH corruption and debauchment of men's manTHE SUREST, IF NOT SOLE WAY TO A
ners, so the greatest part of the nation by HAPPY AND HONOURABLE OLD AGE.
much now alive has been born, or at least bred, since that fatal rebellion. For surely
those who are now about or under fifty years “ Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is of age make a much greater number in the old, he will not depart from it." - PROV. xxii. 6.
kingdom than those who are above it ; espe
cially so much above it, as to have passed WHEN I look back upon the old infamons their youth before the time of the late conrebellion and civil war of forty-one, which, fusions; which have since so perfectly changed like an irresistible torrent, broke in upon and new-modelled, or rather extinguished the and bore down the whole frame of our govern- morality, nay, the very natural temper of the ment both in church and state, together with English nation. the principal concerns of private families, and For this is certain, that wise and thinking the personal interests of particular men, (as men observe with sorrow that the change is it is not imaginable, that where a deluge so very great and bad, that there is no relaovertops the mountains it should spare the tion in society or common life but has suffered valleys ;) and when I consider also, how fresh and been the worse for it. For look into all this is in the remembrance of many, and families, and you will find parents complainhow frequent in the discourse of most, and
* R. C. said he had tossed up the ball, and his successor in both carrying the same face of horror, (as P. W. said he would keep it up. That is to say, Extortion be• The lord Jefferys.
gan the dance, and Perjury would carry it on.
ing, that their children pay them not that perly so called. A grievance springing from duty and reverence, which they have heard à boundless, immense, and absurd liberty. and read that children used to shew their For though the zealous outcry and republican parents heretofore. Masters also complain, cant still used to join those two tinkling words that servants are neither so obedient nor so liberty and property together, (in a very diftrusty as in former times. And lastly, for the ferent sense from what belonged to them,) to conjugal relation, (a thing of the greatest and make a rattle for the people ; yet I am sure most direct influence upon the weal or woe of the intolerable excess of liberty has been the societies of any other thing in the world be chief thing which has so much contributed to sides,) it is but too frequent a complaint, that the curtailing their properties ; the true, if neither are men so good husbands, nor women not only cause, which of late years has made so good wives, as they were before that ac such numbers so troublesome to the govern. cursed rebellion had made that fatal leading ment as they have been. breach in the conjugal tie between the best of Well, but if it be our unhappiness that the kings and the happiest of people. But now, mischief is become almost general, let us at how comes all this to pass ? why, from the least prevent the next degree of it, and keep exorbitant licence of inen's education. They it from being perpetual. And this is not to were bred in lawless, ungoverned times, and be done but by a remedy which shall reach conventicle, fanatic academies, in defiance of as far and deep as the distemper : for that the universities, and when all things were began early, and therefore the cure must do turned topsy-turvy, and the bonds of govern so too, even from the childhood of the patient, ment quite loosed or broken asunder. So and the infancy of the disease. There must that, as soon as they were able to observe any be one instauratio magna of the methods and thing, the first thing which they actually did principles of education, and the youth of the observe, were inferiors trampling upon their nation, as it were, new cast into another and superiors ; servants called by vote of parlia a better mould. ment out of their masters' service to fight And for this we have the counsel and conagainst their prince, and so to complete one duct of the wisest of men, Solomon himself, rebellion with another; and women running who knew no other course to ensure a growing in whole shoals to conventicles, to seek Christ flourishing practice of virtue in a man's maforsooth, but to find somebody else. By which ture or declining age, but by planting it in liberties having once leaped over the severity his youth ; as he that would have his grounds and strictness of former customs, they found it covered and loaded with fruit in autumn, an easy matter, with debauched morals and de- must manure and dress them in the spring. lowered consciences, to launch out into much “ Traiu up a child,” says he, “in the way that greater. So that no wonder now, if, in an he should go :" the way, “non qua itur, sed age of a more grown and improved debauchery, qua eundum est.” Man is of an active nature, you see men spending their whole time in and must have a way to walk in, as necessarily taverns, and their lives in duels ; inflaming as a place to breathe in. And several ways themselves with wine, till they come to pay will be sure to offer themselves to his choice ; the reckoning with their blood; and women and he will be as sure to choose one of them. spending both time and fortune, and perhaps His great concern is, that it be a safe one ; their honour too, at balls, plays, and treats. since, as the variety of them makes the choice The reason of all which is, that they are not difficult, so the illness of some of them must now bred as they were heretofore : for that make it dangerous. “ For," as the same which was formerly their diversion only, is Solomon tells us," there is a way which seems now their chief, if not sole business ; and in right in a man's own eyes," when yet the case you would see or speak with them, you / tendency of it is fatal. An easy, pleasant, must not look for them at their own houses, and a broad way, a way always thronged with but at the playhouse, if you would find them passengers, but such that a man is never the at home. They have quite cashiered the safer for travelling in company. But this is commandment, which enjoins them six days not the way here chalked out to us: but doing what they have to do, and substituted rather a rugged, strait, and narrow way; and, to themselves a new and very different one in upon that account, the lesser, and consequently the room of it; according to which they are the younger any one is, the easier may he get for six days to go to plays and to make visits, into it, and pass through it. In a word, it is setting apart a seventh to go to church to see the path of virtue, and the high road to and to be seen. A blessed improvement heaven, the via ad bonos mores ; the entrance doubtless, and such as the fops our ancestors into which, some say, is never too late, and, 1 (as some use to call them) were never ac am sure, can never be too soon. For it is quainted with. And thus 'I have in some certainly long and laborious ; and therefore, measure shewn you the true grievance which whosoever hopes to reach the end of it, it will this poor
and distracted kingdom groans under. concern him to set out betimes; and his great A grievance (without the help of a vote) pro- | encouragement so to do is, that this is the
likeliest means to give him constancy and per- morals, and his esteem together. And reseverance in it. “He will not,” says Soloinon, member, that for all the disciplines of tempe“ forsake it when he is old.” Aud such is the rance, the hardships of labour, and the abridglength of the stage, that it will be sure to hold ments of thy swelling appetites, it will be him in his course, and to keep him going on a full, sufficient, and more than equivalent till he is grown so.
recompense, to be healthful, cheerful and It is, in my opinion, very remarkable, honourable, and (which is more than all) to that notwithstanding all the rewards which be virtuous when thou art old. confessedly belong to virtue in both worlds, The proposition then before us is this, yet Solomon, in the text, alleges no other That a strict and virtuous education of argument for or motive to the course here youth is absolutely necessary to a man's recommended to us, but the end of it: nor attainment of that inestimable blessing, that enjoins us the pursuit of virtue in our youth, unspeakable felicity of being serviceable to upon any other reason mentioned in the his God, easy to himself, and useful to others, words, but that we may practise it in our age. in the whole course of his following life. And no doubt it is an excellent one, and will In order to the proof of which, I shall lay have many others fall in with it, for the en down these six propositions. forcement of the duty here prescribed to us. 1. That in the present state of nature there
For can any thing in nature be more odi- is in every man a certain propensity to vice, or ous and despicable, than a wicked old man? a corrupt principle more or less disposing him a man, who, after threescore or fourscore to evil ; which principle is sometimes called the years spent in the world, after so many sacra- flesh, sometimes concupiscence, and sometimes ments, sermons, and other means of grace, sensuality, and makes one part of that which taken in, digested, and defeated, shall con we call original sin. A principle, which, tinue as errant a hypocrite, dissembler, and though it both proceeds from sin, and disposes masquerader, in religion as ever, still dodging to sin, yet, till it comes to act, the doctors of and doubling with God and man, and never the Romish church deny to be in itself sinspeaking his mind, por so much as opening ful. And the Pelagians deny that there is his mouth in earnest, but when he eats or any such thing at all ; especially our modern, breathes.
orthodox, and more authentic Pelagians. For Again, can any thing be so vile and forlorn, though our church indeed, in her ninth article, as an old, broken and decrepit sensualist, positively and expressly asserts both ; yet creeping (as it were) to the devil upon all there having been given us, not very long four? Can there be a greater indecency than since, a new and more correct draught of an old drunkard? or any thing more noisome discipline, to reconcile us to the schismatics, and unnatural, than an aged, silver-haired it is not impossible but that in time we may wanton, with frost in his bones, and snow have a new draught of doctrine also, to reconupon his head, following his lewd, senseless cile us to the Socinians. aniours ? a wretch so scorned, so despised, II. The second proposition is this, That the and so abandoned by all, that his very vices forementioned propensity of the sensual part, forsake him.
or principle, to vice, being left to itself, will And yet, as youth leaves a man, so age certainly proceed to work, and to exert itself generally finds him. If he passes his youth in action, and if not hindered and counterjuggling, shuffling, and dissembling, it is odds acted, will continue so to do, till practice but you will have him at the same legerde- | passes into custom or habit, and so by use main, and shewing tricks in his age also : and and frequency comes to acquire a domineering if he spends his young days whoring and strength in a man's conversation. drinking, it is ten to one but age will find him III. The third proposition is, That all the in the same filthy drudgery still, or at least disorders of the world, and the confusions wishing himself so. And lastly, if death that disturb persons, families, and whole (which cannot be far off from age) finds him societies or corporations, proceed from this so too, his game is then certainly at the best, natural propensity to vice in particular perand his condition (which is the sting of all) sons, which being thus heightened by habitual never possible to be better.
practice, runs forth into those several sorts of And therefore, whosoever thou art, who vice which corrupt and spoil the manners of hast euslaved thyself to the paltry, bewitching men. “ Whence come wars and fightings ?” pleasures of youth, and lookest with a wry says the apostle, (James, iv. 1 ;) “come they face and a sour eye upon the rough, afilicting not hence, even from your lusts that war in severities of virtue ; consider with thyself, your members?" And indeed it is hard to that the pleasures of youth will not, cannot assign any mischief befalling mankind, but be the pleasures of old age, though the guilt what proceeds from some extravagance either of it will. And consider also, what a dismal, of passion or desire, from lust or anger, covetintolerable thing must needs be, for a man ousness or ambition. to feel a total declension in his strength, his IV. The fourth proposition is, That when
the corruption of men's manners, by the miseries and calamities that afflict and disturb habitual improvement of this vicions princi, mankind. That when they come to spread ple, comes from personal to be general and so far, as from personal to grow national, they universal, so as to diffuse and spread itself will weaken, and at length destroy governover a whole community ; it naturally and ments. That this ill principle is controllable directly tends to the ruin and subversion of and conquerable only by discipline, and the the government where it so prevails ; so that infusion of good and contrary principles into Machiavel himself (a person never likely to the mind. And lastly, that this discipline die for love of virtue or religion) affirms over or infusion of good principles is never like and over in his Political Discourses upon Livy, to have its full force, efficacy, and success “ that where the manners of a people are upon the minds of men, but during their generally corrupted, there the government youth. cannot long subsist.” I say, he affirms it as Which whole deduction or chain of proposia stated, allowed principle; and I doubt not, tions, proceeding upon so firm and natural, but the destruction of governments may be and withal so clear and evident a connection proved and deduced from the general corrup- of each proposition with the other, I suppose tion of the subjects' manners, as a direct and there can need no farther demonstration to natural cause thereof, by a demonstration as prove it as absolutely necessary, as the peace certain as any in the mathematics, though of mankind, public and private, can be, that not so evident ; for that, I confess, the nature the minds of youth should be formed and of the thing may not allow.
seasoned with a strict and virtuous, an early V. The fifth proposition is, That this ill į and preventing education, principle, which being thus habitually im Let us now, in the next place, see who proved, and from personal corruptions spread they are whose province it is to be so great a ing into general and national, is the cause of blessing to society, so vast a benefit to the all the mischiefs and disorders, public and world, as to be the managers of this important private, which trouble and infest the world, trust. is to be altered and corrected only by disci And we shall find that it rests upon three pline, and the infusion of such principles into sorts of men, namely, the rational and spiritual part of man, as 1. Parents. 2. Schoolmasters. And, 3, may powerfully sway his will and affections, the Clergy; such especially as have cure of by convincing his 'understanding that the souls. practice of virtue is preferable to that of vice; 1. And first for Parents. Let them endeaand that there is a real happiness as well as vour to deserve that honour which God has honesty in the one, and a real misery as well commanded their children to pay them; and as a turpitude in the other; there being no believe it, that must be by greater and better mending or working upon the sensual part, offices than barely bringing them into this but by well principling the intellectual. world; which of itself putsthem only in danger
VI. The sixth and last proposition is, That of passing into a worse. And as the good old this discipline and infusion of good principles sentence tells us, that it is better a great deal into the mind, which only can and must work to be unborn, than either unbred, or bred this great and happy change upon a man's amiss ; so it cannot but be matter of very sad morals, by counterworking that other sensual reflection to any parent, to think with himand vicious principle, which would corrupt self, that he should be instrumental to give them, can never operate so kindly, so effica- his child a body only to damn his soul. And ciously, and by consequence so successfully, therefore, let parents remember, that as the as when applied to him in his minority, while paternal is the most honourable relation, so his mind is ductile and tender, and so ready it is also the greatest trust in the world, and for any good impression. For when he comes that God will be a certain and severe exacter once to be in years, and his mind, having of it; and the more so, because they have been prepossessed with ill principles, and such mighty opportunities to discharge it, and afterwards hardened with ill practices, grows that with almost infallible success. Forcallous, and scarce penetrable, his case will asmuch as a parent receives his child, from be then very different, and the success of the hand of God and nature, a perfect blank, such applications very doubtful, if not des a mere rasa tabula as to any guilt actually perate.
contracted by him, and consequently may Now the sum of these six propositions in write upon him what he pleases, having the short is this: That there is in every man invaluable advantage of making the first imnaturally (as nature now stands) a sensual pressions, which are of so strong and so preprinciple disposing him to evil. That this vailing an influence to determine the practice principle will be sure, more or less, to pass either to vice or virtue, that Buxtorf, in the into action; and, if not hindered, to produce third chapter of his Synagoga Judaica, tells vicious habits and customs. That these us, that the Jewish fathers professedly take vicious habits are the direct causes of all the l upon themselves the guilt of all their chil
dren's sins till they come to be thirteen years this service that you shall say, It is the old ; at which age the youth is called filius Lord's passover; who passed over the houses præcepti, as being then reckoned under the of the children of Israel in Egypt, when obligation of the law, and so by a solemn he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our discharge left to sin for himself.
fathers,” &c. So say I to all true English Now these and the like considerations (one parents : When your children shall ask you, would think) should remind parents what a Why do we keep the thirtieth of January as a dreadful account lies upon them for their fast and the twenty-ninth of May as a festichildren ; and that, as their children, by the val? What mean you by this service ? Then laws of God and man, owe them the greatest is the time to rip up and lay before them the reverence, so there is a sort of reverence also tragical history of the late rebellion and unthat they as much owe their children: a natural civil war. A war commenced without reverence, that should make them not dare to the least shadow or pretence of right, as being speak a filthy word, or to do a base or an notoriously against all law. A war begun indecent action before them. What says our without any provocation, as being against the Saviour to this point? (Matt. xviii. 6.) | justest, the mildest, and most pious prince “ Whosoever shall offend one of these little that had ever reigned. A war raised upon ones, it were better for him that a millstone clamours of grievances, while the subject were hanged about his neck, and he were swam in greater plenty and riches than had drowned in the depth of the sea.” And surely ever been known in these Islands before, and he, who teaches these little ones to offend no grievances to be found in the three kingGod, offends them with a witness : indeed sodoms, besides the persons who cried out of unmercifully, that it would be much the less them. Next to this, let them tell their chilcruelty of the two, if the wretch their father dren over and over, of the villainous imshould stab or stifle those poor innocents in prisonments, and contumelious trial, and the their nurse's arms. For then he might damn barbarous murder of that blessed and royal himself alone, and not his children also ; and martyr, by a company of cobblers, tailors, drayhimself for his own sins only, and not for men, drunkards, whoremongers, and broken theirs too.
tradesmen ; though since, I confess, dignified And therefore, with all imaginable concern with the title of the sober part of the nation. of conscience, let parents make it their busi- These, I say, were the illustrious judges of ness to infuse into their children's hearts early that great monarch. Whereas the whole and good principles of morality: Let them people of England, nobles and commons toteach them from their very cradle to think gether, neither in parliament nor out of parand speak awfully of the great God, reve- liament, (as that great judge* in the trial of rently of religion, and respectfully of the dis- the regicides affirmed,) had power by law to pensers of it; it being no part of religion any touch one hair of his head, or judicially to where, but within the four seas, to despise and call him to account for any of his actions. scoff at the ministers of it. But above all, and then, in the last place, they are to tell next to their duty to God himself, let them their children also of the base and brutish be carefully taught their duty to their king ; cruelties practised by those bloodhounds in and not so much as to pretend to the fear of the plunders, sequestrations, decimations, and the one, without the honour of the other ; murders of their poor fellow subjects: likelet them be taught a full and absolute (so far wise of their horrid oaths, covenants, and as legal) obedience and subjection to him (in perjuries; and of their shameless, insatiable, all things lawful,) the true and glorious char- and sacrilegious avarice, in destroying the acteristic of the Church of Evgland; for I purest church in the world, and seizing its know no church else, where you will be sure revenues; and all this under the highest preto find it. And to this end, let parents be tences of zeal for religion, and with the most coutinually instilling into their children's solemn appeals to the great God, while they minds a mortal and implacable hatred of those were actually spitting in his face. twin plagues of Christendom, fanaticism and These things, I say, and a thousand more, rebellion ; which cannot be more compen- they are to be perpetually inculcating into diously, and withal more effectually done, the minds of their children, according to that than by displaying to them the late unparal- strict injunction of God himself to the Israeleled rebellion in its flaming and true colours. lites, (Deut. vi. 6, 7,) “ These words shall be
For this was the method which God himself in thine heart, and thou shalt diligently teach prescribed to his own people, to perpetuate them thy children, and shalt talk of them the remembrance of any great and notable when thou sittest in thy house, and when providence towards them; and particularly thou walkest by the way, and when thou in the institution of the prime instance of liest down, and when thou risest up.” Such their religion the Passover, (Exod. xii. 26, 27,) discourses should open their eyes in the morn“And it shall come to pass, when your chil- ing, and close them in the evening. And I dren shall say unto you, What mean you by
* Sir Orlando Bridgman, lord chief baron,