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$. 3Of the second evil. A misunderstanding of .
$. 4. Of the third evil, viz. A debasing of the
§. 5. Of the fourth evil, viz. preferring human au-
$. 6. Of the fifth evil, propagation of faith by
An appendix of the causes and cure of persecution,
My friends and countrymen, IF you believe that there is a God, and that he is
holy, just and good; that he made us; that we owe ourselves to him, and that he is not careless of us, but the constant observer of our thoughts and actions; and that as he is the rewarder of them that fear, love, and obey him, so he is the severe punisher of all such as transgress his law, and break his righteous commandments; if, I say, you believe thefe things, and not only that there is a final day of reckoning, but that God, even in this world, recompenses his judgments upon the wicked, and visits nations with his hot displeasure because of their impiety; which
hath hath been the sensible experience and free confession of all ages; then it belongs to us of these kingdoms to reflect upon ourselves, and take a true view of our actions; since divine vengeance, for aught we see, is still at the door. And, for the Lord's sake, let us have a care in the doing of it, since « God will not “ be mocked ;” a and that our miscarriage in such an inquiry will be, as only our own infelicity, so of infinite moment 'to us. I must needs be plain and earneft here ; for if we miscarry in the search, we shall certainly miscarry in the cure. Sin gives the deada lieft of all wounds to mankind; but, with grief I say it, for it is true, there is no wound so Nightly healed. We rather seek our ease, than our security; like those fools, that love the pleasantest, not the safest poțions. It is ill at all times to Aatter a man's self; but it is most dangerous about repentance. Something men would keep, something men would hide ; and yet they have to do with that “ searcher of hearts, "b from whom it is impossible they should hide any thing, This folly increases our account, endangers our cure, and makes our condition desperate, if not irrecoverable.
O England, my native country! Come to judgment! Bring thy deeds to the true light; see whether they are “ wrought in God or no.”( Put not off thyfelf with hay, straw, and stubble; for they will burn, and the fire is at the door, that will consume them. He is coming, whose reward is with him, and will give everyone according to his works. Let us therefore examine ourselves, try ourselves, prove our ownselyes, whether Christ be in us or not; if his fpirit, his nature, his meekness, his patience, his great self-denial, dwell in us: if not, we are reprobates; yet under the reproofs of the Almighty, the charge and guilt of sin; and his witness in our own consciences sends up evidence to heaven against us every day :
* Gal. yi. 5,6,7.
b Jer. xvii10. John iij. 21.
12• 2 Çor, xiii, 5;
Rev, xxii, this I justly fear and take to be our case. Let us therefore strictly look into our conversations, and with an impartial eye take a just view of those sins, that most severely cry to the great judge against us. And they appear to me to be of two sorts; the one relating more particularly to the state, and the other to the church, if I may without offence use that distinction ; for my witness is with God, I intend not provocation to any, but the edification of all.
Those impieties that relate more particularly to the state to correct, are DRUNKENNESS; WHOREDOMs and FORNICATION; Luxury or Excess, in APPAREL, in FURNITURE, and in Living; PROFUSE GAMING; and finally, OATHS, BLASPHEMY and PROFANESS: these swarm in our streets, these are a scandal to our profession, and cry aloud to heaven, and provoke divine wrath against us.
Of the sin of drunkenness.
Runkenness, or excess in drinking, is not only a
violation of God's law, but of our own natures : it doth, of all other sins, rob us of our reason, deface the impressions of virtue, and extinguish the remembrance of God's mercies and our own duty: it fits men for that which they would abhor, if sober. The incest, murder, robberies, fires, and other villanies, that have been done in drunken fits, make drunkenness a common enemy to human society. It renders men unfit for trust or business; it tells secrets, betrays friendship, disposes men to be trepanned and cheated : finally, it spoils health, weakens human race, and, above all, provokes the just God to anger, who cried thus of old against those that were guilty of it;f • Wo to the “ drunkards of Ephraim ! the drunkards of Ephraim
Isa. xxviü. 1, 2, 3. Amos vi, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. VOL. IV.