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PREAC H'D A T
St. Clement Dane?
By RICH. LVCAS, D. D
Printed for S. Smith, and BAValfmd, at the Prince's Arms in St. /^z/ss Church-yard, 1707.
This Sermon is taken q$z of the Second Volume of Dr. Lucas's Sermons, and at the Desire of some Persons reprinted 'by it self.
The Influence of Conversation, with the Regulation thereof.
Prov. XIII. 26.
He that walketh with wife Men fiail fe be wife -, but a Companion of Fcois stall be des royed.
Conversation has ever justly been accounted a powerful In-strument of Good or Evil; ie has ever had a mighty Influence on the Conduct of Human Life \ and the Vice and Vertue of the World, has ever in a great measure been owing to it. The Regulation therefore of it did in all Ages demand the utmost Prudence and Caution, but surely in none more than in this of ours: A 2 - Now,
Now, if ever, it is necessary for us to <xhoit all that have a concern for their own Souls, to shun the way of the Sinner, and refrain their Feet from the Path of the Wicked. iVc■w, if ever 'tis necessary for us to exhort all that fear the Lord, to unite and combine themselves for the defence of his Honour, for the Security of their own Souls, and if it be possible for the giving a Check to Sin, and propagating Holiness, in this impious Generation; for now the number and confidence of Sinners increases* daily; Atheism and Prophaneness spread like a Leprosy; there is nothing in Example, nothing in Discourse, that speaks us Christians} we seem to have quitted, not only the Morals, but the Principles of the Gospel, and have degenerated so far from the Modesty, Purity; Sanctity and Dignity of Christian Conversation, that the least Air of Seriousness and Gravity, begins to look singular and unfashionable: so that what is worst of all, whilst the Wicked publish their Sin as Sodom, and hide it not, Religion seems
to want Assurance, to distrust its own Cause, and to be in a manner out of Countenance every where, but in the Closet and the Temple; and we are in danger in a little while to see Men more ashamed of Vertue, than of Vice. These are the Reflections which determine me to this Subject. There is nothing obscure in the Text; 1 am only to mind you, that Wisdom and Goodness, Folly and Sin, are Terms equivalent in the Language of the Scripture, and particularly of this Book of Proverbs-, and that to make up the Antithesis or Opposition, between the two Parts of this Verse entire and full, we must read it thus; He that keeps Company with the vertuous and good, will himself be vertuom and happy: but he that keeps Company with the vicious, will be vicious and miserable. The Text then contains these two Propositions.
I. That Men generally become such As the Company they keep.
A 3 II.