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cence to beg. Upon this point, it were to be wished that inferior parish officers had better encouragement given them to perform their duty in driving away all beggars, who do not belong to the parish, instead of conniving at them, as it is said they do, for some small contribution; for the whole city would save much more by ridding themselves of many hundred beggars, than they would lose by giving parish officers a reasonable support.
It should seem a strange, unaccountable thing, that those who have probably been reduced to want by riot, lewdness, and idleness, although they have assurance enough to beg alms publicly from all they meet, should yet be too proud to wear the parish badge, which would turn so much to their own advantage, by ridding them of such great numbers, who now intercept the greatest part of what belongeth to them: yet it is certain, that there are very many who publicly declare they will never wear those badges, and many others who either hide or throw them away : but the remedy for this is very short, easy, and just, by trying them like vagabonds and sturdy beggars, and forcibly driving them out of the town.
Therefore, as soon as this expedient of wearing badges shall be put in practice, I do earnestly exhort all those who hear me, never to give their alms to any public beggar, who doth not fully comply with this order; by which our number of poor will be so reduced that it will be much easier to provide for the rest. Our shop doors will be no longer crowded with so many thieves and pickpockets, in beggars' habits, nor our streets so dangerous to those who are forced to walk in the night.
Thus I have, with great freedom, delivered my thoughts upon this subject, which so nearly concerneth us. It is certainly a bad scheme, to any Christian country, which God hath blessed with fruitfulness, and where the people enjoy the just rights and privileges of mankind, that there should be any beggars at all. But, alas ! among us, where the whole nation itself is almost reduced to beggary, by the disadvantages we lie under, and the hardships we are forced to bear; the la-. ziness, ignorance, thoughtlessness, squandering temper, slavish nature, and uncleanly manner of living in the poor popish natives, together with the cruel oppressions of their landlords, who delight to see their vassals in the dust; I say, that in such a nation, how can we otherwise expect than to be overrun with objects of misery and want? Therefore, there can be no other method to free this city from so intolerable a grievance, than by endeavouring, as far as in us lies, that the burden may be more equally divided, by contributing to maintain our own poor, and forcing the strollers and vagabonds to return to their several homes in the country, there to smite the conscience of those oppressors who first stripped them of all their substance.
I might here, if the time would permit, offer many arguments to persuade to works of charity; but you hear them so often from the pulpit, that I am willing to hope you may not now want them. Besides, my present design was only to show where your alms would be best bestowed; to the honour of God, your own ease and advantage, the service of your country, and the benefit of the poor. I desire you will weigh and consider what I have spoken, and according to your
several stations and abilities, endeavour to put it in practice; and God give you good success. To whom, with the Son and Holy Ghost, be all ho
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.
And there sat in the window a certain young man,
named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep; ; ard while Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
I have chosen these words with design, if possible, to disturb some part in this audience of half an hour's sleep, for the convenience and exercise whereof, this place, at this season of the day, is very much celebrated.
* If the following discourse did not prove a lasting and effectual cure of the malady referred to in the Dean's congregation, it must be allowed at least to have possessed the merit of a temporary remedy ; since it is hardly possible to conceive that any one should indulge in slumber during the delivery.
There is, indeed, one mortal disadvantage to which all preaching is subject; that those who, by the wickedness of their lives, stand in greatest need, have usually the smallest share; for either they are absent upon the account of idleness, or spleen, or hatred to religion, or in order to doze away the intemperance of the week: or, if they do come, they are sure to employ their minds rather any other way, than regarding or attending to the business of the place.
The accident which happened to this young man in the text, hath not been sufficient to discourage his successors: but, because the preachers now in the world, however they may exceed St Paul in the art of setting men to sleep, do extremely fall short of him in the working of miracles ; therefore men are become so cautious, as to choose more safe and convenient stations and postures for taking their repose, without hazard of their persons; and upon the whole matter, choose rather to trust their destruction to a miracle, than their safety. However, this being not the only way by which the lukewarm Christians and scorners of the age discover their neglect and contempt of preaching, I shall enter expressly into consideration of this matter, and order my discourse in the following method :
First, I shall produce several instances to show
the great neglect of preaching now among us. Secondly, I shall reckon up some of the usual
quarrels men have against preaching. Thirdly, I shall set forth the great evil of this
neglect and contempt of preaching, and disco
ver the real causes whence it proceedeth. Lastly, I shall offer some remedies against this
great and spreading evil.