Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

stles, who went about teaching and doing good, that what they taught was a Turbulent and Seditious Religion, and that they chemselves, the publishers of it, were the Difturbers of States and Kingdoms, and the known Destroyers, wheresoever they came, of the common Peace and Quiet of Mankind. Thus the Jews at the preaching of St Paul at Thessalonica, tho' they themselves were in an open Ryot, for They took unto them, as the Text says, Acts 17. 5. certain lerod fellows of the baser fort, and gatherd a Company, and set all the City on an Uproar, and assaulted the house of Fafon, yet had the impudence to accuse St Paul and his Fellows of the Crime which they themselves were at that time actually guilty of, crying, Thefe that have turn'd the World upside down are come hither also. But this Charge by which the Gospel of Christ was at firft so Blasphem'd, by the unexampled Meekness of our Saviour, and the Peaceableness of his Doctrine, and the inoffensive Carriage of those that were the first Teachers and Learners of it, was visibly confuted and utterly overthrown. And it were devoutly to be wish'd, that the same Imputation which in those more pure and early times of Christianity was so notoriously false, were not as manifeftly made true in Our time upon whom the Ends of the World are come ; that


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

there were nothing of that restless and perverse Spirit among us that Delights in 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 said, Peace I leave you, and had no need to have been so earnestly entreated by the Apostle in the latter end of the foregoing verse and the firft of my Text, I beseech you Brethren, that Ye study to be Quiet.

Must we then be so paffionatly urg'd, muft we be beseech'd to be Quiet? What is there that for its own fake seems to be more Defireable? Must we make it a Study to be Quiet? What is there that at first fight seems to be more easy? Yet how amiable foever this Duty is, fuch is the general Neglect of it, that it may seem reasonable to exhort, and to press, and beseech Men to it; how easy foever it seems, yet it is really so hard that it máy well require out utmost Endeavour and Study to perform it.

I shall therefore Firft 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 Practice of this Duty.

II. Lay II. Lay before you the advantages that accrew from the right observing of this Precept of the Apostle, both to our Private Selves and to the Publick.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

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 Chriftian temper, that neither any inward commotions of disorderly palfions, or irregular desires, nor any outward contingencys 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 side 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 shine: as in a Calm and Smooth River all the Beautys of the Heavens, the Sun, or Stars appear in all their Lustre and equally almost delight us when reflected there, as when we see them shining in the Firmament

above ;

above; but if the least Storm or roughness come, all the glorious Images are immediately defac'd and disappear. This is the moft Happy and most delireable State that can on Earth be obtain'd, this is that peace which the World cannot give, that which passeth all Understanding, which it is easier for those that Enjoy it to Feel and Experiment 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 cast up Mire and Dirt, there is no peace, faith my God, to the Wicked. Isaiah 57. the two last Verses. But left this should be thought an Idle and Contemplative Study only, an unactive Stupidity and unconcern'dness of Mind as the Stoicks, or such an Enthusiastic sort of Quiet as Molinus and his Followers, who have from it form’d to themselves a New Sect 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 busineß, agreeable to what elsewhere he commands, That with Quietnes ye work. For it is nothing else but Idleness that hinders Men from being Quiet, nor · any sort of idleness fo troublesom as that against which St. Paul chiefly seems here to caution his Thessalonians, among whom he bad heard, as he tells them in the next Epistle


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

(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 good Christians Quietly to do their own business, not Impertinently or Uncharitably meddling with that of their Neighbours, nor impudently presuming to thruft themselves uncall’d, into that of the Publick. For the Original Word will bear both these Senses, and Tàidha as it Gignifies a Mans own proper affairs, so 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 Busybodys, with some cautions against the mischief of each of their Practices.

There is no Creature so generally despis'd and hated, and railld at, as a Meddler in other Mens 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? fince in fome degree or other most Men are guilty of the Vanity at least, if not of the Sin, of this impertinent humour of troubling themselves wich things wherein they have no manner of concern. There are as many sorts of these Bufybodies as there


« PreviousContinue »