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recommend Christianity in the World, than the Peaceableness and Loyalty of its Principles. Had it been a peevish, unquiet, seditious, and turbulent Religion : had it countenanced Discontent or Faction, or allowed its Proselytes to oppose the Government, or even to complain or shew themselves uneasy under the Administration of it; it had never so happily weathered out the Storms that were raised against it, and got such kind Entertainment in the World. The Enemies of it did indeed endeavour to pofless the Minds of those who were Strangers to it with a Belief that it had an evil Aspect upon the secular Power, and that the Promoters of it were a Company of ill-affected Persons : But if they could have made good this Charge, they had in all Probability done their work, and put a Stop to the Growth of that Religion, which was deftitute of all worldly Advantages for the making its Way. But the quite contrary did appear both in the Doctrines which it taught, and in the Lives of all those who took it upon them. Never did any Religion, nor any Subjects, give such Security to Princes and States of the Enjoyment of all their natural Rights, as the Christian Religion and the Christian Subjects did. From whence it was manifeft, that this was the best contrived and fitted to be the Religion of the World ; and that all Men, who would prove good Subjects indeed, must
turn Christians. Since therefore such is the Nature of the Chriftian Religion, so obedient, fo submissive to Authority in its Principles; and since such Advantages may be expected to the Christians themselves, and to the World, by living up to these Principles, it cannot but infinitely concern all, who profess this Religion, to be very careful in this point; to give no Occasion to the higher Powers to look upon them as Enemies, or as diffaffected to their Interests: but on the contrary chearfully to own the Government which gives them Protection, and both in Thought, and Word, and Deed, to pay all faithful Allegiance to it. The Christians thought this to be both their Duty and their Interest in the very worst of Times, when they had no better Princes to rule over them than such Men as Caligula and Nero. How much more then ought we to charge ourselves with the Practice of it, who are in so much happier Circumstances, both with relation to our Government, and our Princes who administer it?
4. Another Particular that falls under the general Rule of walking circumspectly, and redeeming the Time, because the Days are evil, is that which is recommended by St. Paul in these Words, I be feech you, Brethren, , Ther. 4. says he, that ye study to be quiet, and mind 11, 12. your own Business, that ye may walk honestly towards them ihat are without; as much as
to say, that the Way to recommend your selves to them who are without, and to make them think honourably of you, is to study to be quiet, and to mind your own Bufiness. This is an excellent Rule of Wifdom at all Times, but more especially in Times of Danger or Difficulty. Let every Man disentangle himself, as much as he can, from all sorts of Quarrels and Embroilments, and from all things that may probably occasion them. Let every Man consult his own F.ase and Repose among his Neighbours, by giving no Disturbance to them, and avoiding, as much as is possible, Disturbance from them. Lastly, let every Man dwell at home, as much as his Circumstances will give him Leave, and mind his own Affairs, which will find him Work enough to do) but meddle as little as pofsible with Things that are foreign, and which do nothing concern him. I say, let every Man do thus, and he shall find the Sweet, and the Comfort, and Convenience of so doing, let him live in what Times he will. They who are Busy-bodies in other Mens Matters, create Trouble and Mischief to themselves in the best of Times, and therefore much more may they expect to reap the ill Consequences of their pragmatical Humour when the Times are ticklich and boisterous. The Way to live quietly and peaceably is to sit still, and take what comes without murmuring; to hear and to
fee, see, but without making spiteful Observations and Reflections ; to be very careful of our Words, that they do not needlessly grieve or provoke any: Especially, to be in all Cases tender of our Neighbours Reputation as of our own. But they who give themselves à Liberty of talking about every Thing, and every Person, what their own ungoverned Passion or Humour suggests to them; and they who will be invading other Mens Offices, and giving their Advice where it is not asked, and meddling 'with Affairs they have nothing to do with; they who are perpetually complaining of the Times, and quarrelling with the present Constitution of Things; they who make it their Business to enquire into the Slips or Vices either of publick or private Persons, and will always have something to insinuate to the Disadvantage either of the one or the other ; I say, this sort of People, as they do a great deal of Mischief to the Publick, so it cannot but be expected that by their too much meddling they should now and then burn their own Fingers. To conclude this point to study to be quiet and mind our own Business, is as likely a Means as any to preserve a Man from all the outward Inconveniencies that the Times can expose him to. But if it be ineffectual that way, and the Man cannot avoid suffering, yet he had better suffer thus than otherwise; nay, he ought to thank God that he
1 Pet. 4. fo suffer. Let none of you, says St. Peter, V. 15, 16. fuffer as an evil Doer, or as a Busy-body, in
other Mens Matters. But if any Man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on that behalf.
5. But lastly, in speaking to this Argument, I ought not to omit another Thing, which seems fairly to be hinted to us by St. Paul, as a very proper Means of redeemi10 the Time in evil Days; viz. a more than ordinary Diligence and Exactness in our own whole Conversation. His Words in the Text are, aixecas TTECATIQTaite; which if we would render strictly, it must be thus; See that ye walk accurately, that ye walk exaftly; that is to say, Let your Conversation be regular and irreproachable in all things, suitable to the Copy that Christ our Lord hath set before you to follow, and suitable to the Holiness and Purity of that Religion which you profess. As Christians are to have a Regard to their whole Conversation at all Times, so are they especially in evil
and dangerous Times : They should then Tit. 2.10. especially endeavour to adorn the Doctrine
of God in all things, as St. Paul elsewhere speaks, that is, to set it out to its best Advantage : They should not fully the native Beauty of it by any corrupt, or mean, or undecent Conversation, but give the World a fair View of its Amiableness and Goodness by their innocent and unspotted Lives: Nay,