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Se Km.ter condition, and of a good education; it AVU-is therefore generally accompanied with ^^^more reputation and honour; with more Value and Esteem in the World, than most Other single Virtues. For This reason, those who are not indued with this Virtue, are yet very desirous of being thought to be so; and, as That which is most esteemed is always most in danger of being counterfeited, False Courage is very apt to supply the Place and the Want of True. For there is a Courage, which deserves not That Name j and there is a Hardiness, which is not a Virtue, but a Vice. Something of this nature there may be observed in the instance of almost every Virtue. Superstition, and Forms, and outward Ceremonies, too usually supply the place of true Piety towards God. Coveteoufness calls itself Frugality; and the name of Generofoy often covers the real crime of Profuseness. The most unchristian Vices of Uncharitableness and Persecution frequently pass under the Title of Zeal j and hove towards God, is (in some men's opinion) excellently expressed by Hatred towards their Brethren, towards



Men very often much more pious thanSErM. themselves. Thus likewise in the case of 2 Courage -t Fool-hardiness too often puts on the Garb of This Virtue; and a senseless pretending to dejpise, what ought not and cannot be despised, serves instead of really contemning such Dangers, as ought to be contemned. Now the way to distinguish rightly, when Courage is really That Virtue which the Name denotes, is to consider carefully its true Definition: Which, (as I before observed,) is this; 'Tis a Greatness or Braveness of Mind, consisting and showing forth itself in a just Contempt of Danger. Where therefore the Contempt of Danger is just and well-grounded, there such Contempt is the True Virtue of Courage, a True Greatness and Bravery of Mind: But where the Contempt of Danger is neither reasonable nor just, there it is not Courage, but Fool-hardiness and Madness. For want of observing this plain distinction it comes to pass, that whereas it is True Greatness and Bravery of Mind, for a Man to hazard his Life in the Defence of his Country, in Defence of the common Rights and Liberties of ManB b 3 kind,

Serm kind, in opposition to the unjust Invasions XVII. gf ambitious Tyrants, and the Great Op~ prejfors of the World; contempt of Dangert in This cafe, being just and wellgrounded, because a Man hazards Himself for the Publick Benefit, and for the preventing a much greater and more extensive Evil than the Loss of his own single Life: From hence passionate and unreasonable Men ignorantly call it Courage, to hazard their Lives in their own private Quarrels; where Contempt of Danger is, on the contrary, neither reasonable nor just j because, neither is the Danger at all needful to be run into, nor is the Benefit proposed to be obtained by it, in any manner equal to the Evil hazarded. Again r Whereas it is True Greatness of Mind, to be above all vain Superstitions, to despise all false and groundless Imaginations, not to be terrified with empty Phantoms, nor fear where no Fear is; hence weak and profane Men have ridiculously attempted, to cause it to be looked upon as a piece of Courage and Gallantry, to despise the real Differences of Good and Evil; to mock at Truth in common with Errourt and

at at Religion and Virtue equally with Super-SErmstiiion: to affect to be above the Oblisa- XVII. tions even of the most reasonable and necessary Laws, without which no Order, no Government, no Peace could possibly subsist in the World; lastly, to dare undauntedly to revile the Maker of all things, and show their Fearlessness even of God himself, by openly trampling upon his Commandments in their Lives, and reproaching his Name by vain Oaths and profane Speeches. The Fortitude of these Men, is like that Courage of a Soldier, who not daring to do his common Duty against the publick Enemy, should be perpetually showing his Prowess in bravely refusing to obey the Orders of his proper Commander. And the Liberty These Heroes in Vice promise to their Followers, in discharging them from all Obligations of Virtue, and from all Fear of God, is excellently described by St Peter, in his 2d epistle, ch. ii. 18. When they speak great swelling words of Vanity, they allure thro' the Lujls of the Fief}}, those that were clean escaped from Them who live in Errour; While they promise than Liberty, Bb 4 they

Se R M.they themselves are the Servants of Corrupt ^j"' tion i For of whom a man is over come < of the same is be brought in bondage. These are the persons, who, in the worst and highest Sense of the phrase, make a Mock at Sin; and who are accordingly in Scripture represented as being guilty of the worst and highest degree of Folly. Fools, that is, those who in a singular manner, and by way of emphasis or distinction above all Others, deserve the Name of Fools, are They which make a Mock at Sin. Weaknejjes there are in all Men; and the Most are too often guilty of such Actions, as would in strictnels rank them, in those particulars at least, among the Unwise. But the compkat character of Folly, or that which renders a Man in his whole denomination, according to the Scripture-sense, a Fool; is the making a mock at Sin. Not, being deluded into it by Ignorance or Mistake; Not, being seduced into it by Inadvertency or Surprize -, But, knowingly and deliberately looking upon it as a trivial matter; mocking at it as a thing harmless, and of no great Danger; This is the proper EJJence, This


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