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they should set it out to the best Advantage, making it by all exemplary Virtues and Graces to appear fo charming to those they converse with, that they may fall in Love with it. I beseech you, says St. Peter, 1 Ep.ch.2. as Strangers and Pilgrims, (being as it were v. 11, 12. in a strange Country, and amongst many Enemies) abstain from fleshly Lufts, which war against the Soul, having your Conversation honest among the Gentiles. Honest how is that? Why laudable, commendable, honourable, such as may be well thought of among the Gentiles; just as St. Paul useth the same Phrafe in the i2th of the Romans, Provide things honest in the light of all Men
i V, 17. that is, take Care that all your Matters be so decently managed, as that they may be approved of, and well reported among Men. And this Sense the following Words of St. Peter do confirm, That whereas, says he, 1 Ep.2.12. they, viz. the Gentiles, Speak against you as evil Doers, they may by your good Works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the Day of Visitation.
Here then is the Province that is committed to all of
this is the work that God hath put us upon : We are to adorn the Doctrine of God our Tit. 2. 10. Saviour in all things. We are to recommend our Religion to all about us, not only by living free from Blame, but by abounding in all Virtue, and in all good Works. Hear, I pray, what St. Peter speaks to this Purpose in the 3d chapter of his first Epistle,
9,10. quoting a Passage out of the Psalms; He that will love Life, and see good Days, let him refrain bis Tongue from Evil, and his Lips that they Speak no Guile. Let him
eschew Evil, and do Good : Let him seek v. 12. Peace, and ensue it. For the Eyes of the V. 13. Lord are over the Righteous; And who is
he that will harm you, if ye be Followers of
Let us all therefore apply these Rules to
to produce among Mankind. Let us do nothing that is bad, nothing that hath even the Appearance of Evil. Whatever seems to be unjust, or even hard to those we deal with, let us forbear it. Whatever looks like Knavery or a Trick, let us avoid it. Let our Words and Actions be all of a Piece, being true to our Words, and sincere in our Professions of Kindness. Let us be ready to do Acts of Humanity, and Kindness, and Charity, as often as they fall in our Power. Let us forgive Injuries, and endeavour to heap Goals of Fire on the Heads Rom. 12. of those that do them; that is, by our generous obliging Treatment of them, melt them into Reconciliation and Friendship with us; for that is the Method, they say, of melting the hardest Metal, by heaping Coals of Fire on the Top of it.
Let us be regular in all our Conversation, setting Examples of Piety, and Devotion, of Temperance and Purity, of Moderation and Contentedness, of Humility and Affability, and Meekness to all above us. In a word, Whatever things Phil
. 4. S. are true, whatsoever things are juf, whatfoever things are lovely, honest, and of good Report; if there be any Praise, any Virtue, let us follow these things. This is the true and proper Way both to secure ourselves, and to do Honour and Service to our Religion in all Times whatsoever. Who Mall 1 Pet.3.13. harm you, if ye be Followers of that which is good? The Christian Religion is a Thing
fo amiable, and its Precepts so extremely agreeable to the Nature of Mankind, that where-ever they are lived up to, they will by degrees mollify the Heart of the most obdurate, and conciliate Love and Respect, at least Tenderness and Compassion from all forts of Men. Let the Times be what they will, the better a Man lives, the more upright and just, the more humble and peaceable, the more devout and charitable, the more innocent and virtuous he is, the better he is like to fare in this world. But however that happens, this Comfort such a Man hath, that he is of all others the fittest to conflict with a Storm: And if it pleases God that he fall under it, blessed, unspeakably blessed shall he be, for exceeding great Thall his Reward be in the other World.
The Danger of Cloaking or Diffem
bling our Sins. Confeffion of Sins
[Delivered in Two Sermons.]
PROV, xxviii. 13.
But whoso confesseth, and forsaketh them,
HIS is undoubtedly one of those
vice in our Common-Prayera Book - “ Dearly beloved Brethren, the
Scripture moveth us in sundry Places, to “ acknowledge and confess our manifold “Sins and Wickedness, and that we should