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different nature: if so, and vanity never urged more, I say, there can be nothing more clear, than fince they acknowledge their great abuse, that they are wholly to be forsaken: for since they may as well be let alone, as done at any time, surely they shonld then of duty be les alone, when the use of them is an abetting the general excess, and a mere exciting others to continue in their abuse, because they find perfons reputed sober, to imitate them, or otherwise give them an example. Precepts are not half to forcible as examples.

D. III. Every one that pretends to feriousness ought to inspect himself, as having been too forward to help on the excess, and can never make too much hafte out of those inconveni. encies, that by his former example he encou. raged any to; that by a new one he may put a seasonable check upon the intemperance of others. A wise parent ever withdraws those objects, however innocent in themselves, which are too prevalent upon the weak senses of his children, on purpose that they might be weaned: and it is as frequent with men to bend a crooked fick as much the contrary way, that they might make it straight at last. Those that have more sobriety than others, should not forget their stewardships, but exercise that gift of God to the security of their neighbours. It was murdering Cain, that rudely a ked the Lord, was be his brother's keeper? For every man is neceffarily obliged thereto; and therefore should be so wise, as to deny himself the use of such indifferent enjoyments, as cannot be used by him, without too manifeft an encouragement to his neighbour's folly.

§. IV. God hath sufficiently excited men to what is faid; for in the case of the brazen ferpent, which was an heavenly inftitution, and type of Christ, he with great displeasure en• joined it should be broke to pieces, because they were too fond and doating upon it. Yes, the very groves themselves, however pleasant for situation, beautiful for their walks and trees, must be cut down : and why? Only because they had been abused to idolatrous uses. And what is an idol, but that which the mind

pots an over estimate or value upon ? None can benefit themselves so much by an indifferent thing, as others by not using that abufed liberty.

$. V. If those things were convenient in themselves, which is a step nearer necessity, than mere indifferency, yet when by circumftances they become prejudicial, fuch conve. niency itself ought to be put off; much more what is but indifferent should be denied. Peo ple ought not to weigh their private fatisfactions more than a public good; nor please themfelvez iu too free an use of indifferent things, ac the cost of being so really prejudicial to the public, as they certainly are, whose ufe of them, if no worse, becomes exemplary to others, and begets an impatiency in their minds to have the like. Wherefore it is both reasonable and incumbent on all, to make only such things necessary, as tend to life and godliness, and to

• 2 Kings xviii. 3, 4.

employ their freedom with most advantage to their neighbours. So that here is a two-fold obligation; the one, not to be exemplary in the use of such things; which though they may use them, yet not without giving too much countenance to the abuse and exceflive vanity of their neighbours. The other obligation is, that they ought so far to condescend to such religious people, who are offended as these fashions, and that kind of conversation, as to reject them.

§. VI. Now those, who notwithstading what I have urged, will yet proceed; what is it, but that they have so involved themselves and their affections in them, that it is hardly possible to reform them; and that for all their many protestations against their fondness to such fopperies, they really love them more than Christ and his cross. Such cannot feek the good of others, who do so little respect their own. For, after a serious consideration, what vanity, pride, idleness, expence of time and estates, have been, and yet are? How many persons debauched from their first fobriety, and women from their natural sweetness and innocency, to loose, airy, wanton, and many times more enormous practices ? How many plentiful estates have been over-run by numerous debts, chastity ensnared by accursed luftful intrigues ; youthful health overtaken by the hafty seizure of unnatural distempers, and the remaining days of such spent upon a rack of their vices procuring, and so made flaves to the unmerciful, but neceffary effects of their own inordinate pleasures ? in which agony they vow the greatest temperance; but are no sooner out of it, than in their vice again."

S. VII. That these things are the case, and almost innumerable more, I am perfuaded no ingenious person of any experience will deny: how then, upon a serious reflection, any that pretend confcience, or the fear of God Al. mighty, can longer continue in the garb, livery, and conversation of those, whose whole life tends to little else than what I have repeated, much less join with them in their abominable excess, I leave to the just principle in them: selves to judge ? No surely! this is not to obey the voice of God, who in all ages did loudly cry to all, Come out of, of what? The ways, fashions, converse, and spirit of Babylon. What is that? The great city of all thefe vain, foolish, wanton, superfluous, and wicked prac. tices, against which the scriptures denounce most dreadful judgments; ascribing all the intemperance of men and women to the cup of wickednefs the hath given them to drink; whose are the things indifferent, if they must be so. And for witness, John in his revelation fays in her description; How much the hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her. And the kings of the earth, who have lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her and lament her; and the 'Lam. iv. 5. Job xxi. 13, 14. Pf. lv. 23. Pf. xxxvii. 10.

& Jer. xvi. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. * Ifa. iii. 13. to 16. Jer... 8. Ch. xv. 6,7. Amos vi. 3, 4,5,6,7.

Eccl. viii. 12.

Pf. xxxvii. 1, 2.

Prov. ii. 22.

merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth her merchandize any more; the merchandize of gold and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and filk, and fearlet, and thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble; and cine namon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. Behold the character and judgment of luxury: and though I know it hath a farther fignification than what is literal, yet there is enough to thew the pomp, plenty, fulness, idleness, eafe, wantonnefs, vanity, lust, and excess of luxury, that reign in her. But at the terrible day, who will go to her exchange any more? Who to her plays ? Who will follow her fashions then ? And who shall traffic in her delicate inventions ? Not one; for she shall be judged. No plea shall excufe, or rescue her from the wrath of the Judge ; for strong is the Lord, who will perform it.*. If these reasonable pleas will not prevail, yet however I shall caution fuch, in the repetition of part of Babylon's miserable doom : mind, my friends, more heavenly things, hasten to obey that righteous principle, which would exercise and delight you in that which is eternal; or else with Babylon, the mother of lult and vanity, the fruits that your souls lust after shall depart

i Rev. xviij. 7, 9, 11, 12, 13.

Rev. xviii. 8.

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