« EelmineJätka »
IX. . The one transgresses under a fixed Perfuan o fon, that his Misconduct is not offensive,
nor can affect his Title to Happiness; a faral Error, which must effectually prevent his Ariving to do better. The other is sensible of his Faults" even at the Time he commits them, and is témpted to commit then only with the uncertain Hopes; that he shall not be condemned for them : But as he may easily be brolight to apprehend his Danger as well as his Guilt, it seems not very dif" ficult to reduce such a Wanderer into the right Way. - Where the Mistake lies in the Judgment, it takes the deeper Root, the more it is dwelt upon---though where the Irregularity proceeds from the Affections, the Man is more open to Conviction, and by a tolerable Measure of Thought and Application likely to discern the Absurdity of supposing, that the most Holy will in his Particular Casë allow that Action to be innocent, on which he has set an indelible Mark of his Displeasure.
: To what has been already urged from Reason, we have this additional Argument against a partial Obedience; that it not only leads to an universal Corruption, but also
does it give Occasion to the making every SERM. Sin exceeding sinful. When the Lufts, and IX. Passions are permitted to range at large, and to be solicited by every occurring Gratification, they serve as Checks and Re straints to one another,----eager to take difa ferent Roads, and drawing toff in contrary Directions, they retard their own Progress, and are many times hindered from too excessive: an Indulgence. But when 2:few gain, the : Superiority, and have either fub: dued the rest, or brought them into their Interest, muft:they not have power to run greater Lengths of Malignity? And the more so, when it is likewise taken for granted, that there is no Harm done in pursuing a favourite Luft ---gratifying: a darling Paffion,----neglecting a troublesome Duty; and that God will be satisfied with any Remains of Service.' What in such a Cafe Thall prevent Men from being as wicked as they desire, if they may safely give a Loose to an admired Temptation (which is all “the Generality are fond of) and yet fecure God's Love and Esteem by obeying him in those Instances, in which they have no: Inclination to tranfgrefs? And must not the End of this be, that the Sin, which doth lo easily beset each of us, shall absolutely
SERM. overcome us, and make us Slaves to it beIX. yond Redemption ?
But after all, what. Necessity is there for hunting far abroad for Evidence in the Affair upon Trial, when the Criminals are so very forward to appear as Witnesses against one another ? Every one readily fees the dangerous Guilt of any sinful Practice in the Person of his Neighbour, whilst he is so prepossessed in his own Favour, as to fancy an Exemption for himself. Let Offenders speak their Sentiments of others, and they will be sure to give a right Testimony, though a vicious Self-love as surely leads. them to represent Things wrong, where they are most interested in a right Representation.
Thus, should the Covetcus be asked his Opinion of Prodigality, he would not hesitate to declare, that it was defervedly condemned as a mis-spending of our Talent, and an Abuse of the Divine Bounty, and that it it fit Poverty foould come on such Persons as or one that travelleth, and their... Wants as Can armed Man (e). On the other Hand, (Thould we desire the Prodigal to speak his
ve Thoughts • lo Prev, xxiv. 34.
Thoughts of Covetoufness, he would at once SERM.
Serm, mongers and Adulterers. God will judge (1). IX. So again, let us but ask the Gluttonous and
the Drunken, what they think of the Envious and Malicious, and they will not scruple to tell us that such Wretches have a very near Resemblance of the Parent of all Evil, and that the foul Crimes they are addicted to; art peculiarly reckoned to be the Works of the Devil,---or, flould we ask the Envious and Mali. cious what Judgment was to be passed upon the Gluttonous and the Drunken, they will freely pronounce them fit Objects of God's Wrath, and fairly ranked among fuch Sinners, as Mall not inherit the Kingdom of God (m): In the same Way of thinking of each other are the Hypocrite and the Pro phane, This being charged with living without God in the World, and That with disa owning his Attributes, if not denying his Existence, And in Fact a wicked Person is rarely to be met with, who will not peremp: corily sentence all other Sins besides his own to: Condemnation, yet blinded by a partial Fondness for himself, speaks Peace to his own Mind ; tho' he confesses, that ass to all the World of ungodly Men eller there is no Peace as faith the Lord, unto the Wicked.(n) i