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that we may know, at least in this our Day, the Things which belong to our Peace y, our present and future Happiness. But what others will do, is for them to consider : and what shall be the Consequences of Mens Doings, is for God to appoint. Let us only look to our own Souls ; that in the Midst of a bad World we be, as we ought, innocent, prudent, and exemplary ; that we watch over those, who are under our Care, and warn others as we have Opportunity ; that, by openly professing the Gospel of Christ, we encourage the Profession of it; and, by adorning our Profession with a suitable Conduct, do Honour to it. Provided we behave thus; let others behave as they please, and the Event be what it will to them, and to all, in temporal Concerns; to us the final Event however shall be good. Christianity began with a very small Number : and were it to be reduced to an equally small one again, we might take the same Comfort still, which our Saviour gave his Disciples at first: Fear not, little Flock: for it is your Father's good Pleasure to give you the Kingdom ?: The Kingdoms of this Earth we have Cause to hope will yet, in due Time, notwithstanding all Appearances to the contrary, Luke xix. 42.
z Luke xii. 32
become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of bis Cbrift , in a much ampler Manner than they have hitherto been. But the Kingdom of Heaven, God, who cannot lie b, hath, in the plainest Terms, promised to the faithful Disciples of his Son. And all who have secured his Presence with them here, by a Life of Religion and Virtue, shall assuredly reign with him for ever hereafter in those blessed Mansions of bis Father's House, whither be is gone to prepare a Place for us, and will come again, and receive us unto himself, that where he is, there we may be
a Rev. xi. 15.
• Tit. i. 2.
© John xiv. 2, 3.
HE Nature of Almighty God being
absolutely perfect and uncompounded, neither Paffions nor Affections, properly so called, have any Place in it: but his Actions all proceed from uniform and unmixed Regard to Truth and Equity. His Creatures, incapable of attaining to be in any Respect what he is, fall short of it in different Degrees, from those Spirits above, that approach nearest to pure
Intelligence, though infinitely distant from it, to the lowest Inhabitants of Earth, which have no other Guide than Appetites and Instincts. Man is of a middle Rank ; and partakes, almost equally, of inferior Principles to excite and move him, where Reafon would be insuf, ficient, and of Reason to direct and restrain these, where else they would take a wrong Course, or exceed proper Bounds. Our Proportion therefore of lower Faculties, though a Proof that we are very imperfect, contributes to our being on the Whole less so, than we should have been ; and a due Regulation of them by the higher, will make us continually more perfect than we are.
This is the great Employment allotted us by our Maker here on Earth : which indeed we often find much Pain in attempting, but should suffer much greater by neglecting, and shall be rewarded eternally for performing.
Now, according to the several Kinds of our inward Dispositions, the moral Discipline of them varies. Some, as the benevolent Sort, require chiefly to be strengthened : some again, as the irascible, to be kept in Subjection. And indeed our Anger is so hard to be governed, and the Cause of such dreadful Evils, when it is not governed; that no Wonder, if great and wise Men have seemed to speak of it, as totally and essentially vicious; as requiring to be, not only moderated but rooted out. Yet, as those Parts of the outward Frame of Nature, which have produced at any Time the most frightful Ef
fects, appear notwithstanding, on due Inquiry, beneficial Constituents of that Whole, which the Creator originally pronounced to be good : let us not condemn, without Reserve, this part of our inward Frame ; which he hath planted in our Breasts, otherwise it had never existed there ; and which, in Condescension to our Understandings, he hath ascribed to himself.
Resentment is, in its primitive Nature, a just and generous Movement of the Mind, expressing that Displeasure against ill Actions, which they deserve : and, in our Hearts at least, such Disapprobation of what is wrong seems inseparably connected with approving what is right. From this Principle, applied to ourselves, we feel a Scorn of Baseness and Vice, that
prompts us to reject it with Disdain, when we are tempted to it: or a consequent SelfDislike, if we have fallen under the Temptation, which doth not easily allow us any Rest, till we have returned to our Duty. The same Principle, pointed towardsour Fellow-Creatures, deters them from enterprising Wickedness, and invigorates us to resist it: or, if it be already committed, stirs us up to set before them the Offensiveness of their Conduct in so strong a Light, as may induce them to reform it. And