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truth and faithfulness. So that the soul and to the contrary, he can have none; but, in spirit that animates and keeps up society, is the great concerns of life and health, every mutual trust, and the foundation of trust is man must be forced to proceed upon trust, truth, either known, or at least supposed in there being no knowing the intention of the the persons so trusted.
cook or baker, any more than of the priest But now, where fraud and falsehood, like himself. And yet, if a man should forbear a plague or canker, comes once to invade his food, or raiment, or most of his business society, the band, which held together the in the world, till he had science and certainty parts compounding it, presently breaks, and of the safeness of what he was going about, men are thereby put to a loss, where to league, he must starve, and die disputing; for there and to fasten their dependences, and so are is neither eating, nor drinking, nor living by forced to scatter, and shift every one for him demonstration. self. Upon which account, every notoriously Now this shews the high malignity of fraud false person ought to be looked upon and de and falsehood, that, in the direct and natural tested, as a public enemy, and to be pursued course of it, tends to the destruction of comas a wolf or a mad dog, and a disturber of the mon life, by destroying that trust and mutual common peace and welfare of mankind. There confidence that men should have in one anbeing po particular person whatsoever, but has other; by which the common intercourse of his private interest concerned and endangered the world must be carried on, and without in the mischief that such a wretch does to the which, men must first distrust, and then public.
divide, separate, and stand upon their guard, For look into great families, and you shall with their hand against every one, and every find some one false, paltry talebearer, who, by one's hand against them. carrying stories from one to another, shall The felicity of societies and bodies politic inflame the minds and discompose the consists in this, that all relations in them do quiet of the whole family. And from fami regularly discharge their respective duties and lies pass to towns or cities; and two or three offices. Such as are the relation between pragmatical, intriguing, meddling, fellows, prince and subject, master and servant, a man (men of business some call them,) by the and his friend, husband and wife, pareut and venom of their false tougues, shall set the child, buyer and seller, and the like. But whole neighbourhood together by the ears. now, where fraud and falsehood take place, Where men practise falsehood, and shew there is not one of all these that is not pertricks with one another, there will be perpe verted, and that does not, from a help of tual suspicions, evil surmisings, doubts, and society, directly become a hinderance. For, jealousies, which, by souring the minds of first, it turns all above us into tyranny and men, are the bane and pest of society. For barbarity, and all of the same religion and still society is built upon trust, and trust upon level with us, into discord and confusion. It the confidence that men have of one another's is this alone that poisons that sovereign and integrity.
divine thing called friendship; that when And this is so evident, that without trusting, a man thinks that he leans upon a breast as there could not only be no happiness, but in loving and true to him as his own, he finds deed no living in this world. For in those that he relies upon a broken reed, that not very things that minister to the daily neces only basely fails, but also cruelly pierces the sities of common life, how can any one be hand that rests upon it. It is from this, that assured, that the very meat and drink that he when a man thinks he has a servant or deis to take into his body, and the clothes he is pendent, an instrument of his affairs, and a to put on, are not poisoned, and made un defence of his person, he finds a traitor and a wholesome for him, before ever they are Judas, an enemy that eats his bread and lies brought to him. Nay, in some places, (with under his roof; and, perhaps, readier to do horror be it spoke,) how can a man be secure him a mischief and a shrewd turn than an in taking the very sacrament itself ? For open and professed adversary: And lastly, there have been those who have found soine from this deceit and falsehood it is, that when thing in this spiritual food, that has proved a man thinks himself matched to one who, by very fatal to their bodies, and more than pre the laws of God and nature, should be a compared them for another world. I say, how fort to him in all conditions, a consort of his can any one warrant himself in the use of cares, and a companion in all his concerns, these things against such suspicions, but in instead thereof, he finds in his bosom a beast, the trust he has in the common honesty and a serpent, and a devil. truth of men in general, which ought and In a word, he that has to do with a liar, uses to keep them from such villainies ? knows not where he is, nor what he does, nor Nevertheless, know this certainly beforehand, with whom he deals. He walks upon bogs he cannot, forasmuch as such things have been and whirlpools ; wheresoever he treads he done, and consequently, may be done again. sinks, and converses with a bottomless pit, And therefore, as for any infallible assurance where it is impossible for him to fix, or to be
at any certainty. In fine, he catches at an fasting, imperious, self-admiring, or rather, apple of Sodom, which, though it may enter- self-adoring hypocrite, (Luke, xviii. 11,) crow tain his eye with a florid, jolly white and red, and insult over the poor publican ! God, I yet, upon the touch, it shall fill his hand only thank thee," says he, “ that I am not like with stench and foulness; fair in look and other men;" and God forbid, say I, that rotten at heart; as the gayest and most there should be many others like him, for a taking things and persons in the world gene- glistering outside, and a noisome inside, for rally are.
*tithing mint and cummin, and for devour4. And lastly, deceit and falsehood do, of ing widows' houses ;” that is, for taking ten all other ill qualities, most peculiarly indis- parts from his neighbour, and putting God off pose the hearts of men to the impressions of with one. After all which, had this man of religion. For these are sius perfectly spiri- merit and mortification been called to account tual, and so prepossess the proper seat and for his ungodly swallow in gorging down the place of religion, which is the soul or spirit ; estates of helpless widows and orphans, it is and, when that is once filled and taken up odds, but he would have told you, that it was with a lie, there will hardly be admission or all for charitable uses, and to afford pensions room for truth. Christianity is known in for spies and proselytes. It being no ordinary scripture by no name so significantly, as by piece of spiritual good husbandry, to be charithe simplicity of the gospel.
table at other men's cost. And if so, does it not look like the greatest But such sons of Abraham, how highly soparadox and prodigy in nature, for any one to ever they may have the luck to be thought of, pretend it lawful to equivocate, or lie for it? are far from being Israelites indeed ; for the to face God and outface man, with the sacra character that our Saviour gives us of such, in ment and a lie in one's mouth together? Can the person of Nathaniel, (John, i. 47,) is, “ that a good intention, or rather a very wicked one, they are without guile." To be so, I confess, so miscalled, sanctify and transform perjury is generally reckoned (of late times especially) and hypocrisy into merit and perfection? or a poor, mean, sneaking thing, and the concan there be a greater blot cast upon any trary, reputed wit and parts, and fitness for church or religion (whatsoever it be) than by business, as the word is; though I doubt not such a practice ? for will not the world be but it will be one day found, that only honesty induced to look upon my religion as a lie, if I and integrity can fit a man for the main busiallow myself to lie for my religion ?
ness that he was sent into the world for; and The very life and soul of all religion is sin- that he certainly is the greatest wit, who is cerity. And therefore, the good ground, in wise to salvation. which alone the immortal seed of the word And thus much for the second general thing sprang up to perfection, is said, (Luke, viii. proposed, which was, to shew the pernicious 15,) to have been those “ that received it into effects of lying and falsehood. Come we now an honest heart,” that is, plain, clear, and to the well meaning heart; a heart not doubled, Third and last, which is, to lay before you nor cast into the various folds and windings the rewards or punishments that will assurof a dodging, shifting hypocrisy. For the edly attend, or at least follow, this base truth is, the more spiritual and refined any practice. sin is, the more hardly is the soul cured of it, I shall mention three ; as, because the more difficultly convinced. And 1. An utter loss of all credit and belief with in all our spiritual maladies, conviction must sober and discreet persons, and consequently, still begin the cure.
of all capacity of being useful in the prime Such sins, indeed, as are acted by the body, and noblest concerns of life. For there cando quickly shew and proclaim themselves; not be imagined in nature, a more forlorn, and it is no such hard matter to convince or useless, and contemptible tool, or more unfit run down a drunkard, or an unclean person, for any thing, than a discovered cheat. And and to stop their mouths, and to answer any let men rest assured of this, that there will be pretences that they can allege for their sin. But always some as able to discover and find out deceit is such a sin as a Pharisee may be guilty deceitful tricks, as others can be to contrive of, and yet stand fair for the reputation of them. For God forbid, that all the wit and zeal and strictness, and a more than ordinary cunning of the world should still run on the exactness in religion. And though some have deceiver's side ; and when such little shifts been apt to account none sinful, or vicious, and shuffling arts come once to be ripped up but such as wallow in the mire and dirt of and Jaid open, how poorly and wretchedly gross sensuality, yet, no doubt, deceit, false must that man needs sneak, who finds himhood, and hypocrisy, are more directly con self both guilty and baffled too! A knave trary to the very essence and design of religion, without luck is certainly the worst trade in and carry in them more of the express image the world. But truth makes the face of that and superscription of the devil, than any person shine who speaks and owns it; while bodily sins whatsoever. How did that false, a lie is like a vizard, that may cover the face
indeed, but can never become it; nor yet does comes once to be muffled, and the fatal cloth
stripped me of the dignity of my nature, and For what place can that man fill in a com put out the eyes of my reason, to make himmonwealth, whom nobody will either believe self sport with my calamity, my folly, and or employ? And no man can be considerable my dishonour. For so the Philistines used in himself, who has not made himself useful Samson, and every man in this sad case has to others; nor can any man bo so, who is enough of Samson to be his own executioner. incapable of a trust. He is neither fit for | Accordingly, if ever it comes to this, that a counsel or friendship, for service or command, man can say of his confident, he would have to be in office or in honour, but, like salt that deceived me, he has said enough to annihilate has lost its savour, fit only to rot and perish and abolish all pretences of friendship. And upon a dunghill.
it is really an intolerable impudence, for any For no man can rely upon such an one, one to offer at the name of friend, after such either with safety to his affairs, or without a an attempt. For can there be any thing of slur to his reputation ; since he that trusts a friendship in snares, hooks, and trepans? And, knave has no other recompense, but to be therefore, whosoever breaks with his friend accounted a fool for his pains. And if he upon such terms, has enough to warrant him trusts himself into ruin and beggary, he falls in so doing, both before God and man, and unpitied, a sacrifice to his own folly and that without incurring either the guilt of uncredulity ; for he that suffers himself to be faithfulness before the one, or the blemish of imposed upon by a known deceiver, goes inconstancy before the other. For this is not partner in the cheat, and deceives h’mself
. properly to break with a friend, but to disHe is despised and laughed at as a soft and cover an enemy, and timely to shake the easy person, and as unfit to be relied upon for viper off from one's hand. his weakness, as the other can be for his What says the most wise author of that exfalseness.
cellent Book of Ecclesiasticus ? (xxii. 21, 22.) It is really a great misery not to know “ Though thou drewest a sword at thy friend, whom to trust, but a much greater to behave yet despair not: for there may be a returning one's self so as not to be trusted. But this is to favour. If thou hast opened thy mouth the liar's lot; he is accounted a pest and a against thy friend, fear not; for there may nuisance ; a person marked out for infamy be a reconciliation.” That is, an hasty word and scorn, and abandoned by all men of sense or an indiscreet action does not presently disand worth, and such as will not abandon solve the bond, or root out a well-settled themselves.
habit, but that friendship may be still sound 2. The second reward or punishment that at heart; and so outgrow and wear off these attends the lying and deceitful person, is the little distempers. But what follows? “ Exhatred of all those whom he either has or cept for upbraiding, or disclosing of secrets, or would have deceived. I do not say, that a a treacherous wound,” (inark that,) “ for Christian can lawfully hate any one ; and yet I these things," says he “every friend will deaffirm, that some may very worthily deserve to part.”. And surely it is high time for him to be hated ; and of all men living, who may or go, when such a devil drives him away. Pasdo, the deceiver certainly deserves it most. sion, anger, and unkindness may give a wound To which I shall add this one remark farther, that shall bleed and smart, but it is treachery that though men's persons ought not to be only that makes it fester. hated, yet, without all peradventure, their And the reason of the difference is manipractices justly may, and particularly that fest; for hasty words or blows may be only detestable one which we are now speaking of. the effects of a sudden passion, during which
For whosoever deceives a man, does not a man is not perfectly himself; but no man only do all that he can to ruin him, but, which goes about to deceive, or ensnare, or circumis yet worse, to make him ruin himself ; and vent another in a passion; to lay trains, and by causing an error in the great guide of all set traps, and give secret blows in a present his actions, his judgment, to cause an error in huff. No; this is always done with forecast his choice too, the misguidance of which and design, with a steady aiming, and a long must naturally engage him in those courses projecting 'matice, assisted with all the skill that directly tend to his destruction. Loss of and art of an expert and well-managed sight is the misery of life, and usually the lypocrisy; and, perhaps, not without the forerunner of death ; when the malefactor pharisaical feigned guise of something like
self-denial and mortification, which are things father of liars ; so I think, that the same in which the whole man, and the whole devil canse that has drawn the hatred of God and too, are employed, and all the powers and man upon the father, may justly entail it faculties of the mind are exerted and made upon his offspring too; and it is pity that use of.
such an entail should ever te cut off. But, But for all these masks and vizards, nothing 3. And lastly, The last and utmost reward, certainly can be thought of or imagined, more that shall infallibly reach the fraudulent and base, inhuman, or diabolical, than for one to deceitful, (as it will all other obstinate and abuse the generous confidence and hearty impenitent sinners,) is a final and eternal freedom of his friend, and to undermine and separation from God, who is truth itself, and ruin him in those very concerns,
which with whorn no shadow of falsehood can dwell. nothing but too great a respect to, and too “ He that telleth lies,” says David, (Psal. ci. 7,) good an opinion of the traitor, made the poor “shall not tarry in my sight;" and if not in man deposit in his hollow and fallacious the sight of a poor mortal man, (who could breast. Such an one, perhaps, thinks to find sometimes lie himself,) how much less in the some support and shelter in my friendship, presence of the infinite and all-kuowing God? and I take that opportunity to betray him to A wise and good prince, or governor, will not his mortal enemies. He comes to me for vouchsafe a liar the countenance of his eye, counsel, and I shew him a trick. He opens and much less the privilege of his ear. The his bosom to me, and I stab him to the heart. Spirit of God seeins to write this upon the
These are the practices of the world we live very gates of heaven, and to state the condiin, especially since the year sixty, the grand tion of men's entrance into glory chiefly upon epoch" of falsehood, as well as debauchery. veracity. In Psalm xv. 1, " Who shall asceud But God, who is the great guarantee for the into thy holy hill ?" says the Psalmist. To peace, order, and good behaviour of mankind, which it is answered, (ver. 2) “ He that where laws cannot secure it, may, some time worketh righteousness, and that speaketh the or other, think it the concern of his justice truth from his heart.” and providence too, to revenge the affronts And, on the other side, how emphatically put upon them by such impudent defiers of is hell described in the two last chapters of both, as neither believe a Göd, nor ought to Revelation ; by being the great receptacle and be believed by man.
mansion-house of liars, whom we shall find In the meantime, let such perfidious there ranged with the vilest and most deteswretches know, that though they believe a table of all sinvers, appointed to bave their devil no more than they do a God, yet in all portion in that horrid place, (Rev. xxi. 8,) this scene of refined treachery, they are really · The unbelieving, and the abominable, and doing the devil's journey-work, who was a murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, liar and a murderer from the beginning, and and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their therefore a liar, that he might be a murderer ; part in the lake which burneth with fire anıl and the truth is, such an one does all towards brimstone :” and (xxii. 15,) “ Without are his brother's ruin that the devil himself could dogs and sorcerers,”. &c. “and whosoever do. For the devil can but tempt and deceive, loveth and maketh a lie.” and if he cannot destroy a man that way, his Now let those consider this, whose tongue power is at an end.
and heart hold no correspondence; who look But I cannot dismiss this head without one upon it as a piece of art and wisdom, and the farther note, as very material in the case now masterpiece of conversation, to overreach and before us. Namely, that since this false, wily, deceive, and make a prey of a credulous and doubling disposition of mind is so intolerably well-meaning honesty. What do such permischievous to society, God is sometimes sons think? Are dogs, whoremongers, and pleased, in mere pity and compassion to men, sorcerers, such desirable company to take up to give them warning of it, by setting some with for ever? Will the burning lake bo odd mark upon such Čains. So that, if a man found so tolerable ? Or will there be any one will be but so true to himself as to observe to drop refreshment upon the false tongue, such persons exactly, he shall generally spy when it shall be tormented in those flames ? such false lines, and such a sly, treaclierous Or do they think that God is a liar like themfleer upon their face, that he shall be sure to selves, and that no such things shall ever come have a cast of their eye to warn him, before to pass, but that all these fiery threatenings they give him a cast of their nature to betray shall vanish into smoke, and this dreadful him. And in such cases, a man may see
sentence blow off without execution ? Few more and better by another's eye, than he can certainly can lie to their own hearts so far as by his own.
to imagine this; but hell is, and must be Let this, therefore, be the second reward of granted to be, the deceiver's portion, not only the lying and deceitful person, that he is the by the judgment of God, but of his own conobject of a just hatred and abhorrence. For science too. And, comparing the malignity as the devil is both a liar himself, and the of bis sin with the nature of the punishment
allotted for him, all that can be said of a liar all credit and belief, and consequently, of all lodged in the very nethermost hell, is this ; capacity of being useful in any station or conthat if the vengeance of God could prepare dition of life whatsoever ; and next, that it any place or condition worse than hell" for draws upon him the just and universal hatred sinners, hell itself would be too good for him. and abhorrence of all men here ; and finally,
And now, to sum up all in short ; I have subjects him to the wrath of God and eternal shewn what a lie is, and wherein the nature damnation hereafter. of falsehood does consist ; that it is a thing And now, if none of all these considerations absolutely and intrinsically evil; that it is an can recommend and endear truth to the words act of injustice, and a violation of our neigh and practices of men, and work upon their bour's right.
double hearts, so far as to convince and make And that the vileness of its nature is equalled | them sensible of the baseness of the sin, and by the malignity of its effects. It being this greatness of the guilt, that fraud and falsehood that first brought sin into the world, and is leaves upon the soul ; let them lie and cheat since the cause of all those miseries and on, till they receive a fuller and more effectual calamities that disturb it; and farther, that conviction of all these things, in that place of it tends utterly to dissolve and overthrow torment and confusion, prepared for the devil society, which is the greatest temporal bless and his angels, and all his lying retinue, by ing and support of mankind; and, which is the decree and sentence of that God, who, in yet worst of all, that it has a strange and par his threatenings as well as in his promises, ticular efficacy, above all other sins, to indis will be true to his word, and cannot lie. pose the heart to religion.
To whom be rendered and ascribed, as is And lastly, that it is as dreadful in its most due, all praise, might, majesty, and punishments, as it has been pernicious in its dominion, both now and for evermore. Amen. effects. Forasmuch as it deprives a man of
REVEREND AND LEARNED SIRS,
These Discourses (most of them at least) having by the favour of your patience had the honour of your audience, and being now published in another and more lasting way, do here humbly cast themselves at your feet, imploring the yet greater favour and honour of your patronage, or at least the benevolence of your pardon.
Amongst which, the chief design of some of them is, to assert the rights and constitutions of our excellently reformed Church, which late we so often hear reproached (in the modish dialect of the present times) by the name of lit things; and that in order to their being laid aside, not only as little, but superfluous. But for my own part, I can account nothing little in any church which has the stamp of undoubted authority, and the practice of primitive antiquity, as well as the reason and decency of the thing itself, to warrant and support it. Though, if the supposed littleness of these matters should be a sufficient reason for tbe laying them aside, I fear our Church will be found to have more little men to spare than little things.
But I have observed all along, that while this innovating spirit has been striking at the constitutions of our Church, the same has been giving several bold and scurvy strokes at some of her Articles too ; an evident demonstration to me, that whensoever her discipline shall be destroyed, her doctrine will not long survive it; and I doubt not but it is for the sake of this that the former is so much maligned and shot at. Pelagianism and Socinianism, with several other heterodoxies cognate to and dependent upon them, which of late, with so much confidence and scandalous countenance, walk about daring the world, are certainly no doctrines of the Church of England. And none are abler and fitter to make them appear what they are, and whither they tend, than our excellent and so well stocked universities; and if these will but bestir themselves against all innovators whatsoever, it will quickly be seen that our Church needs none, either to fill her places or to defend her doctrines, but the sons whom she herself has brought forth and bred up. Her charity is indeed great to others, and the greater, for that she is so well provided of all that can contribute either to her strength or ornament without them. The altar receives and protects such as fly to it, but needs them not.
We are not so dull but we perceive who are the prime designers as well as the professed actors against our Church, and from what quarter the blow chiefly threatens us. We know the spring as well as we observe the motion, and scent the foot which pursues as well as see the hand which is lifted up against us. The Pope is an experienced workman; he knows his tools, and knows them to be but tools, and knows withal how to use them, and that so that they shall neither know who it is that uses them, or what he uses them for; and we cannot in reason presume his skill now in ninety-three to be at all less than it was in forty-one. But God, who has even to a miracle protected the Church of England hitherto, against all the power and spite both of her open and concealed enemies, will, we hope, continue to protect so pure and rational, so innocent and self-denying a constitution still. And next, under God, we must rely upon the old Church of England clergy, together with the two universities, both to support and recover her declining state. For so long as the universities are sound and orthodox, the Church has both her eyes open ; and while she has so, it is to be hoped that she will look about her, and consider again and again, what she is to change from, and what sho must change to, and where she shall make an end of changing, before she quits her present constitution.
Innovations about religion are certainly the most efficacious as well as the most plausible way of compassing a total abolition of it. One of the best and strongest arguments we have against Popery is, that it is an innovation upon the Christian church ; and if so, I cannot see why that which we explode in the popish church should pass for such a piece of perfection in a reformed one. The papists, I am sure, (our shrewdest and most designing enemies,) desire and push on this to their utmost ; and for that very
• This dedication refers to the twelve Sernions next following.