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ear bodies, it urges with double force the outward action. The rule before us, again't polluting our minds.
“ We must not covet, nor defire other But, above all other considerations, it men's goods,” comes a step nearer home, behoves us molt to keep our thoughts pure, and considers the motive which governs because they are the fountains from which the action. our words and actions flow. “ Out of the Covetouisness, or the love of money, is abundance of the heart the mouth speak- called in scripture “ the root of all evil;" eth.” Obscene words and actions are only and it is called so for two reasons ; bebad thoughts matured, and spring as na- cause it makes us wicked, and because it turally from them as the plant from its makes us miserable. feed. It is the same vicious depravity
First, it makes us wicked. When it carried a step farther; and only thews a once gets possession of the heart, it will let more confirmed and a more mischievous no good principle flourish near it. Most degree of guilt. While we keep our im- vices have their fits; and when the viopurities in our thoughts, they debauch only lence of the passion is spent, there is some ourleires: bad enough, it is true. But interval of calm. The vicious appetite when we proceed to words and actions, we cannot always run riot. It is fatigued at ket cur impurities loose: we spread the least by its own impetuosity: and it is contagion, and become the corrupters of posible, that in this moment of tranquilothers.
lity, a whisper from virtue may be heard. Let it be our first care, therefore, to But in avarice, there is rarely intermiskeep our thoughts pure. If we do this, fion. It hangs like a dead weight upon our words and actions will be pure of the soul, always pulling it to earth. We course
. And that we may be the better might as well expect to see a plant grow enabled to do it, let us use such helps as upon a flint, as a virtue in the heart of a season and religion prescribe. Let us mifer. avoid all company, and all books, that It makes us miserable as well as wicked, have a tendency to corrupt our minds; The cares and the fears of avarice are and every thing that can infame our paf- proverbial; and it must needs be, that he, fions. He who allows himself in these who depends for happiness on what is things
, holds a parley with vice ; which liable to a thousand accidents, must of will infallibly debauch him in the end, if course feel as many distresses, and almost he do not take the alarm in time, and as many disappointments. The good man break off such dalliance.
depends for happiness on something more One thing ought to be our particular permanent; and if his worldly affairs go care, and that is, never to be unemployed. ill
, his great dependance is still left Ingenious amusements are of great use in But as wealth is the god which the cove
the vacuities of our time. Idle tous man worships (for “covetousness," we should never be. A vacant mind is an we are told, “ is idolatry,”) a disappointe invitation to vice,
Gilpin. ment here is a disappointment indeed. Be
he ever so prosperous, his wealth cannot $168. On coveting and defiring other men's secure him against the evils of mortality; goods.
against that time, when he must give up We are forbidden, next, “ to covet, or all he values ; when his bargains of ad, desire other men's goods.".
vantage will be over, and nothing left but There are two great paths of vice, into tears and despair, which bad men commonly strike; that of But even a defiring frame of mind, unlawful pleasure, and that of unlawful though it be not carried to fuch a length, gain-The path of unlawful pleasure we is always productive of misery. It can have just examined; and have seen the not be otherwise. While we suffer ours danger of obeying the headftroog impulse selves to be continually in quest of what of our appetites.-We have considered also we have not, it is impossible that we should an immoderate love of gain, and have seen be happy with what we have. In a word, dihoneity and fraud in a variety of shapes. to abridge our wants as much as posible, But we have yet viewed them only as they not to increase them, is the truer happirelate to society. We have viewed only nels,
* Sæviat, atque novos moveat fortuna tumultus ;
Quantum hinc innuinuet ?
We are much mistaken, however, if we particular duties to discharge; and secondthink the man who hoards up his money ly, in what manner we ought to discharge is the only covetous man. The prodigal, wiem. though he differ in his end, may be as First, that man was not born to be idle, avaricious in his means *. The former may be interred from the active spirit that denies himself every comfort; the latter appears in every part of nature. Every grasps at every pleasure. Both charac- thing is alive; every thing contributes to ters are equally bad in different extremes. the general good : even the very inaniThe miser is more detestable in the eyes mate parts of the creation, plants, stones, of the world, because he enters into none metals, cannot be called totally inactive, of its joys; but it is a question, which is but bear their part likewise in the general more wretched in himself, or more pèrni- usefulness. If then every part, even of cious to fociety.
inanimate nature, be thus employed, surely As covetousness is esteemed the vice of we cannot suppose it was the intention of age, every appearance of it among young the Almighty l'ather, that man, who is the persons ought particularly to be discou- moft capable of employing himself proraged; because if it gets ground at this perly, should be the only creature without early period, nobody can tell how far it employment. may not afterwards proceed. And yet, Again, that man was born for active on the other side, there may be great life, is plain from the necessity of labour. danger of encouraging the opposite ex. If it had not been necessary, God treme. As it is certainly right, under pro- not originally have imposed it. But withper restrictions, both to save our money, out it, the body would become enervated, and to spend it, it would be highly useful and the mind corrupted. Idiencís, thereto fix the due bounds on each fide. But fore, is jutty etteemed the origin both of nothing is more difficult than to raise these disease and vice. So that if labour and nice limits between extremes. Every employment, either of body or mind, had man's case, in a thousand circumstances, no use, but what respected ourselves, they differs from his neighbour's: and as no would be highly proper : but they have rule can be fixed for all, every man of farther use. course, in these disquisitions, must be left The necessity of them is plain, from the to his own conscience. We are indeed want that all men have of the assistance of very ready to give our opinions how others. If so, this assistance fhould be others ought to act. We can adjust with mutual ; every man should contribute his great nicety what is proper for them to part. We have already seen, that it is do; and point out their mistakes with proper there should be different stations in much precision; while nothing is necessary the world that some thould be placed to us, but to act as properly as we can high in life, and others low. The lowest, ourselves; observing as just a mean as we know, cannot be exempt from labour; possible between prodigality and avarice; and the highest ought not: though their and applying, in all our difficulties, to the labour, according to their station, will be word of God, where these great land- of a different kind. Some, we see, “mui marks of morality are the most accurately labour (as the catechism phrases it) to get fixed.
their own living; and others should do We have now taken a view of what is their duty in that state of life, whatever prohibited in our commerce with man. that state is, unto which it hath pleased kind: let us next see what is enjoined. God to call them.” All are asülted : all (We are still proceeding with those duties should aflirt. God diftributes, we read, which we owe to ourselves). Instead of various talents among men ; to some he spending our fortune therefore in unlaw- gives five talents, to others two, and to ful pleasure, or increasing it by unlawful others one: but it is expected, we find, gain; we are required “ to learn, and la- that notwith tanding this inequality, each bour truly (that is honestly) to get our should employ the talent that is given to own living, and to do our duty in that the best advantage : and he who received ftate of life, unto which it shall please God five talents was under the same obligation to call us.”—These words will be suffi- of improving them, as he who had re; ciently explained by considering, firit, that ceived only one; and would, if he had we all have fome station in life--some hid his talents in the earth, have been
• Alieni appetens, fui profufus.
SAL. de Catal
punished, punished, in proportion to the abuse. and as acting immediately under his eye Every man, even in the highest station, not expecting our reward among men may find a proper employment, both for but from our great Master who is in heahis time and fortune, if he please : and he ven. This fanctifies, in a manner, all our may allure himself that God, by placing actions : it places the little difficulties of him in that station, never meant to ex- our station in the light of God's appointempt him from the common obligations of ments; and turns the most common duties fociety, and give him a licence to spend of life into acts of religion. Gilpin. his life in cafe and pleasure. God meant affured:y, that he should bear his part in
$ 169. On the Sacrament of Baptifm. the general commerce of life--that he The facrament of baptism is next conshould confider himself not as an indivi: fidered ; in which, if we consider the indual, but as a member of the community ; ward grace, we hall see how aptly the the interests of which he is under an obli- fign represents it.--The inward grace, or gation to support with all his power;- thing signified, we are told, is “ a death and that his elevated station gives him no unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousother pre-eminence than that of being the ness:" by which is meant that great remore extensively useful.
novation of nature, that purity of heart, Having thus feen, that we have all which the christian religion is intended to fome station in life to support—some par- produce. And surely there cannot be a ticular duties to discharge; let us now more significant sign of this than water, on see in what manner we ought to discharge account of its cleansing nature. As water them.
refreshes the body, and purifies it from all We have an easy rule given us in scrip- contracted filth; it aptly represents that ture on this head; that all our duties in renovation of nature, which cleanses the life should be performed “ as to the Lord, soul from the impurities of sin. Water and not unto man:” that is, we should indeed, among the ancients, was more contider our stations in life as trufts re- adapted to the thing signified, than it is at posed in us by our Maker; and as such present among us. They used immersion ihould discharge the duties of them. What, in baptifing : fo that the child being dipthough no worldly trust be reposed ? What, ped into the water, and raised out again, though we are accountable to nobody up-baptism with them was more significant of on earth? Can we therefore suppose our- a new birth unto righteousness. But though felves in reality less accountable? Can we we, in these colder climates, think immerfuppose that God, for no reason that we fion an unsafe practice ; yet the original can divine, has singled us out, and given meaning is still supposed. us a large proportion of the things of this It is next asked, What is required of world (while others around us are in need) those who are baptised ? To this we anfor no other purpose than to squander it swer, “ Repentance, whereby they forsake away upon ourselves? To God undoubt- sin; and faith, whereby they stedfastly be edly we are accountable for every blessing lieve the promises of God, made to them we enjoy. What mean, in scripture, the in that facrament,” talents given, and the use alligned ; but The primitive church was extremely the conicientious discharge of the daties strict on this head. In those times, before of life, according to the advantages, with christianity was established, when adults which they are attended ?
offered themselves to baptism, no one was It matters not whether these advantages admitted, till he had given a very satisbe an inheritance, or an acquisition : itill factory evidence of his repentance; and they are the gift of God, Agreeably to till, on good grounds, he could profess his their rank in life, it is true, all men should faith in Christ : and it was afterwards exLive: human distinctions require it; and pected from him, that he should prove his in doing this properly, every one around faith and repentance, by a regular obe, will be benefited. Utility should be con- dience during the future part of his life. sidered in all our expences. Even the very If faith and repentance are expected at amusements of a man of fortune should be baptism; it is a very natural question, founded in it.
Why then are infants baptised, when, by In short, it is the constant injunction of reason of their tender age, they can give fcripture, in whatever station we are placed, no evidence of either? to contider ourselves as God's servants, Whether infants should be admitted to
baptisın, or whether that facrament should viour (alluding to the passover, which the be deferred till years of discretion; is a Lord's fupper was designed to supersede) question in the christian church, which not as hitherto, in memory of your
delihath been agitated with some animosity: verance from Egypt; but in memory of that Our church by no means looks upon bap- greater deliverance, of which the other was
necessary to the infant's salvation * only a type: “Do it in remembrance of No man acquainted with the spirit of chris. me.” tianity can conceive, that God will leave The outward part, or sign of the Lord's the salvation of so many innocent fouls in supper, is “ bread and wine”--the things the hands of others. But the practice is signified are the “ body and blood of considered as founded upon the usage of Christ.”—In examining the facrament of the earliest times : and the church observ. baptism, I endeavoured to shew, how very ing, that circumcision was the introductory apt a symbol water is in that ceremony. site to the Jewish covenant; and that bap- Bread and wine also are symbols equally tism was intended to succeed circumcision; apt in representing the body and blood of it naturally supposes, that baptism should Chrift: and in the use of these particular be administered to infants, as circumcifion symbols, it is reasonable to suppose, that
The church, however, in this case, our Saviour had an eye to the Jewish hath provided sponsors, who make a pro. passover; in which it was a custom to feflion of obedience in the child's name. drink wine, and to eat bread. He might But the nature and office of this proxy hath have instituted any other apt symbols for been already examined, under the head of the fame purpose; but it was his usual our baptismal vow.
Gilpin. practice, through the whole system of his $ 170. On the Sacrament of tipe Lord’s familiar as posible: and for this reason he
inftitution, to make it, in every part, as Supper.
seems to have chosen such symbols as were The first question is an enquiry into then in use; that he might give as little the original of the institution : “Why was cilence as poslible in a matter of indifthe facrament of the Lord's supper or- ference. dained ?"
As our Saviour, in the institution of his It was ordained, we are informed supper, ordered both the bread and the “ for the continual remembrance of the wine to be received; it is certainly a great facrifice of the death of Christ; and of the error in papists, to deny the cup to the benefits which we receive thereby.” laity. They fay, indeed, that, as both
In examining a sacrament in general, we fleih and blood are united in the substance have already seeni, that both baptism, and of the human body ; so are they in the the Lord's fupper, were originally infli- facramental bread; which, according to tuted as the “ means of receiving the them, is changed, or, as they phrafe it, grace of God; and as pledges to afure transubitantiated into the real body of as thereof."
Christ. If they have no other reason, why But besides these primary ends, they have do they adminiiler wine to the clergy. cach a secondary one; in representing the The clergy might participate equally of two most important truths of religion ; both in the bread.--- But the plain truth is, which gives them more force and influence. they are desirous, by this invention, to add Baptism, we have seen, represents that an air of mystery to the facrament, and renovation of our sinful nature, which a superstitious reverence to the prieit, as the gospel was intended to introduce: if he, being endowed with some peculiar and the peculiar end, which the Lord's holiness, might be allowed the use of fupper had in view, was the sacrifice both. of the death of Christ; with all the be- There is a difficulty in this part of the nefits which arise from it-the remission catechism, which thould not be passed over. of our fins--and the reconciliation of the We are told, that “the body and blood of world to God. “ This do,” said our Sa- Christ are verily and indeed taker, and
The catechism afferts the facraments to be only generally necessary to salvation, excepting particular cases. Where the use of them is intentionaliy rejected, it is certainly criminis. -Tho Quakers indeed rejeet them on principle : but though we may wonder both at their logic and divio mity, we should be forry to include them in an anathema.
recived by the faithful in the Lord's sup- forms a religious exercise, without being
These “ stedfart purposes of leading a
them on their guard for the future, and It is next asked, What benefits we re- strengthening them more and more in all ceive from the Lord's lupper? To which their good resolutions of obedience.-And it is answered, “ The strengthening and when can these meditations arise more refrening of our souls by the body and properly, than when we are performing a blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the rite, initituted on purpose to commemorate bread and wine." As our bodies are the great atonement for fin ? trengthened and refreshed, in a natural To our repentance, and resolutions of way, by bread and wine ; fo should our obedience, we are required to add “ souls be, in a spiritual way, by a devout lively faith in God's mercy through Chrift; commemoration of the passion of Christ. with a thankful remembrance of his death.” By gratefully remembering what he suffer- We Tould impress ourselves with the ed for us, we should be excited to a greater deepest fense of humility-totally rejectabhorrence of fin, which was the cause of ing every idea of our own merit--hoping bis fefferings. Every time we partake of for God's favour only through the merits this facrament, like faithful soldiers, we of our great Redeemer--and with hearts take a fresh oath to our leader; and Mould full of gratitude, trusting only to his allbe animated anew, by his example, to per- suficient sacrifice. fevere in the spiritual conflict in which, un- Lastly, we are required, at the cebrader him, we are engaged.
tion of this great rite, to be “ in charity It is lastly asked, “ What is required of with all men.” It commemorates the them who come to the Lord's Tupper?" greatest instance of love that can be conTo which we answer, “ That we should ex- ceived; and should therefore raise in us amine ourselves, wbether we repent us truly correspondent affections. It should excite of our former fins-Atedfastly purposing to in us that constant flow of benevolence, in lead a new life—have a lively faith in God's which the spirit of religion confifts; and mercy through Chrift-with a thankful without which indeed we can have no reliremembrance of his death ; and to be in gion at all. Love is the very distinguishcharity with all men.”
ing badge of christianity :.“ By this,” said That pious frame of mind is here, in our great Matter, « shall all men know very few words, pointed out, which a that ye are my disciples." christian ought to cherish and cultivate in One species of charity should, at this himself at all times; but especially, upon time, never be forgotten; and that is, the the performance of any folemn act of reli- forgiveness of others. No acceptable gift gion. Very little indeed is said in scrips can be offered at this altar, but in the spirit core, of any particular frame of mind, of reconciliation. Hence it was, that the which should accompany the performance ancient christians instituted, at the cele. of this duty; but it may easily be inferred bration of the Lord's supper, what they from the nature of the duty itself.
called love-fealls. They thought, they In themrit place, “ we should repent us could not give a better instance of their truly of our former fins ; fedfastly purpof- being in perfect charity with each other, ing to lead a new life.” He who pere than by joining all ranks together in one