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Relation between the Preservation of
Objects of those Appetites, than between the Particulars before mentioned.
The Honours and Praises of Men are so many Testimonies of our own Worth and Excellence; they are so many Assurances of the Interest we have in them, of their Readiness to preserve our Being and administer to our Pleasures. The same Principle which prompts
to pursue and delight in these Honours, sets us also on work to bestow them; the same End is answer'd in our being observ'd by such as have many Admirers and Dependents, and so much power to make our Being happy or miserable, to preserve, or destroy it: The Security and Happiness in this case is mutual, and reciprocal.
On the other hand, the general Hatred and Contempt of Society is so full of Terror of real Danger and Mifery, that we can no more restrain our Endeavours to avoid this dismal, this forlorn and dangerous Condicion, than the Dissolution of our Body. No State can be more uneligible, none more repugnant to every Inclination of our Nature, than to have our Hand against every Man, and every Man's Hand against us, to live under Cain's Apprehension, a Punishment greater than he or any other can bear, that every one who finds us shall say us. So that to love the Praises of Men, and seek Honour one of another, is a Principle implanted in us by our Maker, and must necessarily be a constituent Part of a rational and so cial Creature Trahimur omnes Laudis studio, et optimus quisque maximè Gloriâ ducitur.
But as all our Principles and Inclinations are good, and wisely contrived and accommodated to great
and salutary Ends, so all are liable to Abuse and Irregularity; and the Abuse or Misapplication of any Power or Faculty of our Nature always bears a Proporcion, and is more or less pernicious and destructive of our own and other Men's Being and Perfection, according to the Order it stands in, and the nearer or more remote Relation it bears to these Ends.
It is obvious to the first Thought, that this Direction of our Nature is most necessary and excellent, that nothing could more effectually contribute to its Preservation and Perfection.
What can be more worthy our Creator, or more beneficial to his Creature, than for this latter to be thus laid under the strongest Motives, I may say a kind of Necessity of seek
ing his own Preservation, Perfection and Happiness, and of rendring himself as agreeable to and considerable amongst his Fellow-creatures as his Nature will admit of? What more lovely and excellent than a general Emulation, who shall be most cminent in all those good Qualities, and possess most of those Materials which contribute molt to our own and the Common Happiness, to see a whole Species of Creatures contending together in Perfection, every one manifesting his best Endowments, and not bearing the Discovery of his Faults or Imperfections, without the utmost Shame and Confusion.
Now if it shall appear, that this noble Propensity, this divine Instinct is misapply'd and inverted, how fatal must be the Consequences! What can follow but a general Destruction and Misery, Imperfection and Degeneracy of Mankind
If then we look abroad, and examine into the State of the World, which is much the same now as it was in our Lord's Time, and the Ages before, we shall soon be convinced that this Principle, under its present Direction and Application, is one of the most effectual Causes of the
present Destruction and Misery, Imperfection and Degeneracy of Mankind, and of consequence the greatest Hindrance to our Faith in Christ, and Obedience to his Doctrine.
Let us only consider with ourselves upon what the Emulation of States, Cities, Families, and private Persons turns. · I need not give you a long Detail of those Particulars which are. all Matter of our constant Experience.
be sufficient for me to appeal to every one of my Hearers, whether or no he does not find in every Company
fall into, many things in credit with them, and recommend