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Esteem of himself, but not of those he en- Sunday
XIII. vies; it being a sort of bearing Testimony to those Excellencies, that he thinks them worth the Envying. 29. What hath been said of the Value and A Refpe&
due to Mon Respect due to those Excellencies of the Mind,
in regard may, in a lower Degree, be applied to the out of their ward Advantages of Honour, Greatness, and Ranks the like: These, tho' they are not of equal lities. Value with the former, (and such for which no Man is to prize himself) yet in regard that these Degrees and Distinctions of Men are by God's Wise Providence disposed for the better Ordering of the World, there is such a civil Respect due to those to whom God hath dispens'd them, as may best preserve that Order for which they were in tended. Therefore all Inferiors are to behave themselves to their Superiors with Modesty and Respect, and not by a rude Boldness confound that Order which it hath pleased God to set in the World; but, according as our Church-Catechism teaches, Order themselves lowly and reverently to all their Betters. And here the former Caution against Envy comes in most seasonably ; these outward'Advantages being Things of which generally Men have more taste than of the other, and therefore will be more apt to envy and repine to see others exceed them therein: To this therefore all the former Considerations against Envy,will be very proper; and the more
Sunday necessary to be made use of, by how much XIII. Temptation is in this Case to most Minds
30. The second Qualification is that of bose sbat Want: Whoever is in Distress for any thing bere of any wherewith I can supply him, that Distress of art Mania his makes it a Duty in me fo to supply him,
and this, in all kinds of Wants. Now the Ground of its being a Duty, is, that God hath given Men Abilites, not only for their own Use, but for the Advantage and Benefit of
others; and therefore what is thus given for their Use, becomes a Debe to them, whenever their Need require it. . Thus he that is ignorant, and wants Knowledge, is to be instructed by him that hath it ; and this is one special End why that Knowledge is given to him; The Tongue of the Learned is given to speak a Word in season, Ifa. I. 4. He that is in Sadness and Affliction, is to be comforted by him that is himself in Chearfulness. This we fee St. Paul makes the End of God's comforting him, that he might be able to comfort them that are in any Trouble, 2 Cor. i. 4. He that is in any
Course of Sin, and wants Reprehension and Counsel, must have that Want supplied to him by those who have such Abilities and Opportunities, as may make it likely to do Good. That this is a Justice we owe to our Neighbour, appears plainly by that Text, Levit. xix. 17. Thou sbalt not hate thy Brother in thy Heart, thou foalt in any wife reprove him,
and not suffer Sin upon him; where we are un- Sunday der the same Obligation to reprove him, that XIII. we are not to hate him. He that lies under any Slander, or unjust Defamation, is to be defended and cleared by him that knows his Innocence ; or else he makes himself guilty of the Slander, because he neglects to do that which may remove it: And how great an Injustice that of Slandering our Neighbour is, I have already shewn.
31. Lastly, He that is in Poverty and Need, to the must be relieved by him that is in Plenty : Poor. and he is bound to it, not only in Charity, but even in Justice. Solomon calls it a Due, Prov. iii. 27. With-hold not Good from him to whom it is due, when it is in the Power of thine Hand to do it: And what that Good is, he explains in the very next Verse; Say not to thy Neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee. It seems, 'tis the with-holding a Due, To much as to defer giving to our Poor Neighbour. And we find God did, among the Jews, separate a certain Portion of every Man's Encrease to the use of the Poor, a Tenth every third Year, (which is all one with a Thirtieth part every Year) Deut. xiv. 28, 29. And this was to be paid, not as a Charity,
or a Liberality, but as a Debt; they were unjust, if they with-held it. And surely we have no reason to think, that Chriftian Juftice is funk so much below the Jewish, that either nothing at all, or a less
Sunday proportion is now required of us. I wish our XIII. Practice were but at all answerable to our
Obligation in this point, and then surely we should not see so many Lazarus’s lie unrelieved at our Doors, they having a better Right to our Superfluities than we ourselves have And then, what is it but arrant Robbery, to bestow that upon our Vanities, nay, our Sins, which should be their Portion ?
32. In all the foregoing Cases, he that hath draws those Ability, is to look upon himself as God's Stewmbich are ard, who hath put it into his Hands to diftri
bute to them that Want; and therefore not to Employed.
do it, is the same Injustice and Fraud that iq would be in any Steward to purse up thad Money for his private Benefit, which was intrusted to him for the Maintenance of the Family: and he that shall do thus, hath just reafon to expect the Doom of the unjust Steward, Luke xvi. to be put out of his Stewardfbip, to have those Abilities taken from him, which he hath so unfaithfully employed. And as for all the rest, so particularly for that of Wealth, ’ris very commonly to be observed, that it is withdrawn from those that thus defraud the Poor of their Parts, the griping Miser coming often, by strange undiscernable Ways to Poverty; and no wonder, he having no Title to God's Blessing on his Head, who does not confecrate a Part to him in his Poor Members. and therefore, we see the Israelites, before they could make that Challenge of God's Promise to
bless them, Dent. xxvi. 15. Look down from thy Sunday
XIII. Holy Habitation, and bless thy People Israel, &c. They were first to pay the Poor Man's Tythes, ver. 12. without which they could lay no claim to it. This with-holding more than is meet, as Solomon says, Prov. xi: 24. tends to Poverty; and therefore, as thou would it play the good Husband for thyself, be careful to perform this Justice, according to thy Ability, to all that are in Want.
33. The Third Qualification, is that of Re-Duties in lation ;- and of that there may be divers Sorts, Relation. arising from divers Grounds, and Duties answerable to each of them. There is, First, a Relation of a Debtor to a Creditor ; and he that stands in that Relation to any, whether by virtue of Bargain, Loan, or Promise, 'tis his Duty to pay justly what he Owes, if he be a ble (as, on the other side, if he be not,
'tis the Creditor's, to deal Charitably and Chriftianly with him, and not to exact of him beyond his Ability). But I need not insist on this ; having already, by shewing you the Sin of With-holding Debts, informed you of this Duty.
34. There is also a Relation of an obliged Gratitude Person to his Benefactor, that is, one that hath done him good, of what kind soever, whether spiritual or corporal; and the Duty of that person is, First, Thankfulness, that is, a ready and hearty Acknowledgment of the Courtesy receiv'd : Secondly, Prayer for
one that fast srs.