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onThat Account, does give a much Stronger Evidence of the True Greatness and Generosity of Mind than thofe do, who relinquish their Duty, for the sake os avoiding that Uneasiness, which such Reflections and Imputations bring upon them. Every Man of a Great Mind is Forward in making Allowances for the little Infirmities and Heats of Pa/Hon, which are the Unhappiness of Humane Nature, and are apt to rise in Conversation , even sometimes amongst Dearest Friends: Nor is he less forward in making All Lawful Satisfaction for any Injury he hath inadvertently ofFer'd to his Neighbour; but he cannot be compell'd either to Demand or Grant what is unlawful to be Demanded or Granted, by any Means, or for the Sake of avoiding any Inconveniences, be they ever so Great. To sear Men more than God, is the most Dishonourable Misapplication and Degeneracy of Fear. To be shaken and beaten off from Obedience by the Uneasy Apprehensions of being Censured for the Faithful Discharge of it; to be Laughed or Frighted out of

Necessary

SERMON X. 379

Necessary Duty, is the Undoubted Indication and Property of a Weak, and Little, and Base Spirit, which is not Able to Support, and therefore does readily give up, the most Excellent Ornaments and Accomplishments, when any faint Attempt is made upon Them, Thofe therefore who engage in Duels, through fear of suffering some little Seeming Calumnies and Reproaches, (for in the Judgment of the best and wisest Men, they are far from being really such) do at once forfeit All just Pretensions to true Honour and Generosity of Mind, and all Claim and Title to Eternal Salvation.

Fourthly and lastly, 'Tis observable of thofe Intentions and Affections which the Gofpel hath reduced to the Prohibition *in the Text, that there is this Peculiarity in the Guilt and Danger attending them, That they are the Immediate Pollutions of the Soul, and do render it Obnoxious to the Wrath of God, tho' no Actual Violence should proceed from them, and 'tis through their Mediation, and purely owing to them, that any External ternal Act of Violence becomes Morally Evil: The very same Action, which, proceeding from vicious Purposes and Affections, becomes highly Criminal, is perfectly Blameless, when they are not the Foundation of it; otherwise, a Man would not be pronounced Innocent, who destroys his Neighbour's Life through Ignorance, or his Own, in a Fit of Frenzy. And we ought therefore to take the more diligent Heed, that we keep the Commandment, in this Refined and Extensive Sense of it; for whilst we are free from all Outward Reflraints, we easily Aide into the Transgression of it. Men who have not sufficient Degrees of Natural Courage, or want Favourable Opportunities, Actually to Defile their Hands with Blood, may yet Sacrifice their Neighbour in their Secret Thoughts and Wishes, and Indulge their Imagination in the View of those Mortal Wounds, which they dare not give; and Men, who are afraid to handle the Instruments of Death, may slooot out their Arrows, even bitter Words, and pierce the $ouls of their Brethren with the Expres

SERMON X. 381

{ions of Cruelty, Despitefulness, and Scorn: But they may Justly also Fear that the Blood thus shed in Fancy and Conception only, shall be laid to their Charge, and that the Reward of the False, or Cruel Tongue, shall be, as the Iniquity it self is, mighty and sharp Arrows with hot Burning Coals. For whosoever is angry with his Brother without a Cause, shall he in Danger of the Judgments and whosoever si:all say to his Brother, Racha, shall be in- Danger of the Council-, hut whosoever shall say, thou Fool, shall be in Danger of Hell-Fire. And this demonstrates the Excellence of the Gospel of Christ, that as Moral Duty, ih Every Branch of it, is therein raised to the most Elevated Height of Perfection, so more especially does it Recommend and Promote the Exercise of Universal Charity and Benevolence, by an Absolute Prohibition of all Strife, and Variance, and Clamour, and Evil-speaking, and Wrath, and Hatred, and Envyt and Rancour, and Malice. For these are some of those Works of the Devil which every Disciple of Christ has solemnly lemnly Renounced, and whoever indul-* ges them, dishonours the Profession, and forfeits the Privileges of the Gospel.

Let this then be the Use and Application of the Whole, That the Hemousness of the Sin of Murther should raise in us a Proportionable Abhorrence of it, and. the utmost Esteem and Desire of those Qualities and Practices, which are most directly and fully Opposed to it; That we mould stand at the utmost Distance from the utmost Danger; That we should not only have the tenderest Regard to the Preservation of our Neighbour's Life, but to the Conveniencies and Comforts of it; That instead of Violence and Injury we should abound in Acts of Beneficence; That Anger mould be prevented by Habitual Meekness; Malice by Lovingkindness and Compassion; Revenge by Constant Endearments, and Hatred by Complacency and Delight. So shall we fully answer the End of the Commandment, and being thus Heavenly in our Dispositions here, we cannot fail of obtaining an Inheritance in those Mansions of Everlasting Peace, and Love, and Joy,

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