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effeminacy, and made them only companions for the beast that perishes : witness those famous men, Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristi. des, Cato, Seneca, Epictetus, &c. who placed true honour and fatisfaction in nothing below virtue and immortality. Nay, such are the remains of innocence among fome Moors and Indians in our times, that they do not only traffic in a simple posture, but if a Christian, (though he must be an odd one) fling out a filthy word, it is customary with them, by way of moral, to bring him water to purge his mouth. How much do the like virtues and reasonable instances accuse people, professing Christianity, of gross folly and intemperance? 0, that men and women had the fear of God before their eyes; and that they were so charitable to themselves, as to remember whence they came, what they are doing, and to what they must return: that so more noble, more virtuous, more rational and heavenly things might be the matters of their pleasure and entertainment ; that they would be once persuaded to believe how inconsistent the folly, vanity, and conversation they are mostly exercised in, really are with the true nobility of a reasonable soul; and let that just principle, which taught the Heathens, teach them; left it be found more tolerable for Heathens than fuch Christians, in the day of account. For if their shorter notions, and more imperfect sense of things could yet discover so much vanity; if their degree of light condemned it, and they, in obedience thereunto, disused it;
doth it not behove Christians much more? Christ came not to extinguish, no, but to improve that knowledge; and they who think they need do less now than before, had need to act better than they think. I conclude that the fashions and recreations now in repute, are very abusive of the end of man's creation ; and that the inconveniencies that attend them, as wantonness, idleness, prodigality, pride, lust, respect of persons (witness a plume of feathers, or a lace coat in a country village, whaiever be the man that wears them) with the like fruits, are repugnant to the duty, reason, and true pleasure of man, and absolutely inconfistent with that wisdom, knowledge, manhood, temperance, and industry, which render man truly noble and good.
f. IX. Again, these things, which have been hitherto condemned, have riever been the conversation or practice of the holy men and women of old times, whom the scriptures recommend for holy examples, worthy of initation. Abrahain, Ifaac, and Jacob, were plain men, and princes, as graziers are, over their families and flocks. They were not solicitous of the vanities so much lived in by the people of this generation, for in all things they plcased God by faith. The first forfook his father's house, kindred, and country; a true type or figure of that self-denial all must know, that would have Abraham to their father. They must not think to live in those pleasures, fashions, and customs they are called to leave; no, but part with all in hopes of the great
recompence of reward, and that better country which is eternal in the heavens." The pro. phets were generally poor mechanics ; one a Thepherd, another an herdsman, &c. They often cried out upon the full-fed wanton Israelites to repent, to fear and dread the live ing God, to forsake the fins and vanities they lived in ; but they never imitated them. John Baptist, the messenger of the Lord, who was fanétified in his mother's womb, preached his embaffy to the world in a coat of camel's hair, a rough and homely garment. Nor can it be conceived that Jesus Christ himself was much beiter apparelled, who, according to the flesh, was of poor descent, and in life of great plainness; insomuch that it was usual in a way of derision to fay, Is not this, Jefus, the carpenter, the son of Mary ?" And this Jesus tells his followers, That as for soft raiment, gorgeous apparel and delicacies, they were for king's courts :P implying, that he and his followers were not to seek after those things; but seems thereby to express the great difference that was betwixt the lovers of the fashions and customs of the world, and those whom he had chosen out of it. And he did not only come in that mean and despicable manner himself, that he might stain the pride of all flesh, but •therein became exemplary to his followers, what a self-denying life they must lead, if they would be his true difciples. Nay, he further leaves it with them in a parable, to the
IIcb. xi. 26. 15. Rom. v. I.
• Mat, xiii. 55. Mark vi. 3. P Luke vii. 25.
n Mat. iii. 1, 2, 3, 4.
end that it might make the deeper impression, and that they might see how inconsistent a pompous worldly-pleasing life is with the kingdom he came to establish and call men to the poffefsion of: and that is the remarkable story of Dives, who is represented first, as a rich man;' next as a voluptuous man, in his rich apparel, his many dishes, and his pack of dogs; and lastly, as an uncharitable man, or one who was more concerned to please the lurt of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, and fare sumptuously every day, than to take compassion of poor Lazarus at his gate: no, his dogs were more pitiful and kind than ne. But what was the doom of this jolly man, this great rich man? We read it was everlasting torment; but that of Lazarus, eternal joy with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God. In short, Lazarus was a good man, the other a great man: the one poor and temperate, the other rich and luxurious: there are too many of them alive; and it were well, if his doom might awaken them to repentance.
$. X. Nor were the twelve apostles, the immediate messengers of the Lord Jesus Christ," other than poor men, one a fisherman, another a tent-maker; and he that was of the greatest, though perhaps not the best employment, was a custom-gatherer. So that it is very unlikely, that any of them were followers of the fashions of the world : nay, they were so far from it, that, as became the followers of Christ, they Luke xvi. 19, &c. * Mat. iv. 18. and is. 9. A&s xviii. 3.
si Cor. iv. g to 14.
lived poor, afflicted, self-denying lives; bidding the churches to walk as they had them for examples. And to shut up this particular, they gave this pathetical account of the holy women in former times, as an example of godly temperance," namely, that, first they did expressly abstain from gold, silver, plaited hair, fine apparel, or such like; and next, that their adornment was a ineek and quiet spirit, and the hidden man of the heart, which are of great price with the Lord: affirming that such as live in pleasure, are dead whilst they live :* for that the cares and pleasures of this life choak and destroy the seed of the kingdom, and quite hinder all progrefs in the hidden and divine life. Wherefore we find, that the holy men and women of former times were not accustomed to thefe pleasures and vain recreations; but having their minds set on things above, sought another kingdom, which consists in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit; who having obtained a good report, and entered into their eternal rest; therefore their works follow, and praise them in the gates,
· Phil. iij. 1,7. "Peo. ii. 21. u Ibid. iii. 3, 4. * I Tim. v. 6. Luke viii, 14. Ro n. xiv. 17. Heb. xi. 2. &iv. 9. Rev. xiv. 13
CH A P. XV.
1. The judgments of God denounced upon the Fews for their luxury; all ranks included.