Page images

all Light, and Deaf to all Argument; so, it se RM. can be Sated by nothing but some one particular XVI. Sacrifice which it proposes ; after which is compaffed, it generally ends in Shame and Repen tance. The Power of these Principles is known to be so great in Civil Affairs, that one main Foundation of all Civil Government, is, That Men ought not to be the Avengers of their own Personal Injuries; And this Fundamental Maxim of Society is facredly observed through the Whole Tenor of our English Laws: and never tranfgrefled or neglected, but upon Extraordinary Occafions. · How terrible was the Force of These feen ta be in the Days of our Fathers; Especially, when they were set on Fire by that mistaken Zeal, (the true and genuine Enthufiafm, } which at once inflames and consecrates the Paf hons; at once actuates them into Rage to all Extremities, and fanctifies that Rage by the faered Names of God and Religion : By which it came to pass, that the Cause of every heated Imagination became the Cause of God; that whatever Men thought well of, in Religious Affairs, for Themselves, They came to think it their Duty to force upon others; and that Mutual Toleration was declared by Some, who once wanted it themselves, the Greatest of all


SER M. the Monsters which those unhappy Times XV). brought forth.

We have much to learn from these Things; and much to avoid. Let us imitate all that Zeal of our Forefathers for our Legal Constitution, which was visibly designed, and naturally tended, to prevent future Encroachments of Power, either against, or without, Law: And let us fly far from all those Methods which naturally paved the way to the Loss of all that Freedom which they pretended to secure. Let us value our Liberties, as Honest Men: Not only for the Pleasure and Security They afford to Ourselves; but as a Trust reposed in Us for our Posterity, much more Sacred and Important than Any other Legacy of this World, that we can leave them. Let not our Passions be our first Instructors in any Step of our Public Conduct: But let them Themselves be instructed and guided by our Reafon. Let our Love to what we justly approve, and chuse for Ourselves in Religion, engage Us to such Charity and Forbearance towards Others, as may demonstrate our Gratitude for our own Happiness ; and our deep Şense that Whatsoever we may account the Cause of God is to be promoted by None but the Methods of God.

In a word, As Britons, enjoying the Blessings of a Constitution unknown to all the CounI


tries around Us, even where the Word Liberty S E R M. is still used ; and, As Christians, enjoying the XVI. Light and Liberty of the Gospel; Let us secure, as much as can be, the Repose and Comforts of this present Life, by valuing and preserving. that Form of Government which administers so much Good to Us; and let Us press, with unwearied Steps, to the Rewards of the Life. which is to come, (free from all the Viciffitudes, and Confusions, of the happiest Kingdoms of this World) by walking worthy of our Holy Vocation, and adorning our Profession by a truly Christian and unblameable Conversation.

Which God grant, for the sake of Jesus Christ

our Lord, &c.

[ocr errors]


Of Christian Moderation.


Preached at St. Swithin's Church,'on

Jan. 30, 1702-3.

Let your

Moderation be knoren unto all Men,




HE Word which is here translated Mo

deration, signifies an Easiness and Gen

tleness of Mind, disposing Men, not only to be contented and quiet themselves, but to be pliable and yeilding to Those around them, in order to the general Good ; a Temper always ready, by all reasonable Methods, to promote and establish the Happiness of Themselves, and of the World about them. This Temper, we see, St. Paul doth most heartily recommend to Christians, nay, he desires it may be one of the more conspicuous and visible Parts of their Character ; a Mark, as it were, to distinguish them from the World of ill-natured and in


[ocr errors]

flexible Men; and to make a Difference be- SERM.
tween Them, and the other part of Mankind, XVII.
who are not to be moved by any Confide-
rations, to yeild or bend to any Terms of
Love and Peace. And yet, notwithstanding
this, how little of this excellent Virtue do
we see in the World ? And what little Hopes
have we of seeing more of it? Many Men take
the Word into their Mouths, and use it as they
see fit: Some, to ridicule, and make a Jeft of it;
Some, to put it, as a false Colouring to Some-
thing bad underneath: And Many mistake
Something Else for it; and whilst they think
they are possessed of it, are far removed from
it. There seem to be Few, who have that
Charity that is necessary to the very being of it;
and for want of this, Many can neither under-
stand, nor heartily feek after it. And yet, from
the want of this Virtue have proceeded very
many of those Miseries Men have felt in their
own Minds; the Plagues of Impatience, Ma-
lice, and Revenge ; and almost all the Unhap-
pinesses and Ruines that have befallen public
Societies. Why then should not Men be will.
ing, if they have any Sense left of their own
private Quiet; if they have any Regard to the
Happiness of their Neighbours; if they be
touched with any Concern for the Good of that
Society they belong to; nay, if they bat cons



« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »