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there were nothing of that restless and and perverse Spirit among us, that Delights in m; Confusion and Disorder ; but that we had
all carefully and faithfully preserv'd our gracious Lord's last Legacy, which he gave us, when he faid, Peace I leave you, and had
no need to have been so earnestly entreatoled by the Apostle, in the latter end of the
foregoing Verse, and the first of my Text, } .I beseech you Brethren, that Te ftudy to be
Mut we then be so passionately urg'd, muft we be beseech'd to be Quiet? What is there, that for its own sake seems to be more Desireable ? Muft we make it a Study to be Quiet? What is there, that at first fight seems to be more easy? Yer how amiable soever this Duty is, such is the general Neglect of it, that it may seem reasonable to exhort, and to press, and beseech Men to it ; how easy soever it seems, yet it is really so hard, that it may well require our utmost Endeavour and Study to per. form it.
I shall therefore, First, shew wherein this Duty confifts, and what may be understood by our Studying to be quiet, and to Do our Own business, with some directions relating to the Pra&tice of this Duty.
11. Lay before you the Advantages that accrue from the right observing of this Precept of the Apoftle, both to our Private Selves, and to the Publick.
First then, to Study to be Quiet, may imply an earnest and sincere Endeavour, to bring our Minds to that gentle and serene, and truly Christian Temper, that neither any inward Commotions of disorderly Passions, or irregular Desires, nor any outward Contingencies, or Assaults of Fortune, can be able to discompose. To work in ourselves an Unconcernedness for all other things, but the things that belong unto our Peace: To put ourselves out of the reach of being difturb’d, by rightly judging nothing, on this fide Heaven, considerable enough to make us uneasy, or forfeit our Quiet for it ; To fit ourselves, by thus abftracting our Thoughts from the Noise and Trouble, and Strife and Business, and Vanity of the World, for a Communication and Entercourse with God, and the Peaceful Spirits above. For in none but Minds thus Compos’d and Even, do the bright Reflections of the Deity and Angels Thine: as in a Calm and SmoolhRiver, all the Beauties of the Heavens, the Sun, or Stars appear in all their Lustre, and equally almost delight us when reflected there, as when we lee them shining in the Firmament
above; but if the least Storm, or Roughness come, all the glorious Images are immediately defac'd and disappear. This is the most happy and most delireable State, that can on Earth be obtain'd; this is that Peace which the World cannot give, that which pafseth all Understanding, which it is easier for those that Enjoy it, to Feel and Experi. ment, than to Express; this is that which so notoriously distinguishes the Good Man
from the Wicked, The Wicked are like the · troubled Sea, when it cannot rest, whose Waters
coft up Mire and Dirt; there is no Peace, faith my God, to the Wicked. Isaiah 57. the two Jast Verses. But left this should be thought an Idle and Contemplative Study only, an una&tive Stupidity and unconcernedness of Mind,as theStoicks; or such an Enthusiastick sort of Quiet, as Molinus and his Followers, (who have from it form’d to themselves a New Seat and Name) pretend to : The Studying to be Quiet, principally intended by the Apostle, is in the next words explain'd by Doing your own Bufiness, agreeable to what elsewhere he commands, That with Quietness ye work. For it is nothing else but Idleness, that hinders Men from being Quiet , nor any sort of Idleness so troublesome as that, against which St. Paul chiefly seems here to caution his Thessalonians, among whom he had heard, as he tells them in the nextEpistle,
(the 3d Chapter and the 11th Verse) there were some that walked disorderly, working not at all, but were busy-bodies; and whom therefore he beseeches here as Brethren, and with them all goodChriftians, Quietly to do their own business, not Impertinently or Unchari. tably meddling with chat of their Neighbours, nor impudently presuming to thrust themselves uncall’d, into that of the Publick. For the Original Word will bear both these Seoses, and Táidre, as it signifies a Man's own proper Affairs, fo also it as well may signify Private business, in Opposition to Publick business, and affairs of State,
I shall very briefly give you the Character of both these sort of Busy-bodies, with some Cautions against the Mischief of each of their Practices.
There is noCreature fo generally despis'd and hated, and railld at, as a Meddler in other Men's matters ; and yet how few are there, that are Innocent enough in this point, as to be able to justify themselves in casting the first Stone ?' or perceive, that in aiming at others, they may not hit themselves? since in some degree or other, molt Men are guilty of the Vanity at least, if not of the Sin, of this impertinent Humour, of troubling themselves with things wherein they have no manner of concern. There are as many forts of these Busy-bodies, as there
are of Businesses in the World: Some indeed are more Innocent than Others, as they who out of Levity or Officiousness, are ftill forward and pressing to give Advice and Direction to all they meet, and will needs understand more of each Man's Affairs than he Himself, (and so far indeed they are not without Reason, if they judge of Others by themselves, who are, for the most part, the greatest Strangers at Home.) Or They, who will not suffer you to be Quiet, for their little Tales of all their Intriegues, and Adventures of the Place wherein they live; that know exactly what paft last between This and the Other, and how far the Bufiness in hand between the Parties is advanc'd; what was or what should have been done, at such a Meeting, and who was the Entertainer, and who the Jest of the Company; and, overflowing with this precious Knowledge, are very communicative and would fain have cvery Body as Wise (indeed a great Favour!) as themselves. Such, and a multitude of the like Nature, are indeed, as I said, of the more innocent Kind; but even Gnats and Flies, and the smallest Insects, are as Troublesome, tho' not foVenemous, as Toads and Adders: These moleit all Converfation, for the time they are Buzzing in it, as much, nay more, than those more dangerous Meddlers, who have the Pogfon of Afps under