« AnteriorContinuar »
the Members of a Community, are, in
many Respects, and on many Accounts, so Mix'd and Complicated, that in the Political, as well as the Natural Body, when one Member suffers, all the Members suffer with it. Where is the Petulancy, or, the Impertinence, of Claiming to ourselves that Concern with Impious Men, or, those Relations to them, which we should be glad to Shake off and Disannull. The Case is so Plain, that it needs not to be Largely Illustrated, and so Afflićting, that it cannot be Neglećted, That our Relations to Them are, in This State, Indissoluble; That we must have Concern for Them, unless we can be Unconcern'd for our Selves;
That their Rebellions against God are Apt to call down Storms of Divine Fury upon
the Kingdom, and, that an Universal Calamity will Affect Us in Common with Themselves. \ 4.
The Deliverance of Righteous Lot from the Destruction of Sodom, was Extraor
dimary; And of such Uncommon and
Extraordinary Instances, the Spirit of God speaks in the xivth Ch, of Ezek,
with Relation to the several Kinds of National Judgments, and Particularly That, which should Now move our Piety, as well as our Fear: If Isènda Pestilence into that Land, and pour out my Fury upon it in Blood, to cut-off from it Man and Beaft; though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord, they shall deliver neither Son, nor Daughter; they shall but deliver their own Souls by: their Righteousness: Though God should think fit to deliver such Extraordinary Persons, in an Extraordinary Manner; yet even their Families, even the Dearest Branches of them, their Sons and their Daughters, should fall in the Common Destrućtion. And, in all Ordinary Cases, the Great Instruments of God's Vengeance, the Sword, the Famine, and the Pessilence, seem to breakin, Promiscuously, upon Virtuous, and Vicious Men. If any Person be Preserved, in the very middle of Danger, by the special Interposition of Heaven, from these Great Evils; yet do They plainly Ravage and Consume the Inhabitants of the Land, without vi
sible Difference or Discrimination.
upon the zealous Concern we are Bound
So far as it is thus Proper and Natural for us, to Detest and Bewail the Sins of our Brethren, because; we, as well as Themselves, are Thereby in Danger of being visited by Publick Calamity, in Danger of being Involved with them and by them, in a General Desolation; so far, the Propriety and Obligations of this Duty do chiefly depend upon the Immate Principle of Self-preservation.
But we are under Further Engagements to it, as it is the necessary Consequence of that Love of our Neighbours Themselves, which is Indispensably required at our hands. Our Affectionate Concern for them, will constrain us to Abhor and Bemoan those their Follies and Impieties, which must carry them, through
the National Punishment, if they should
bring it upon us, into Endless Misery; whilst Others, who may undergo the same Fate with them Here, shall pass, through the Doleful Vale of Death, into a Glorious Life.
And there are still Other, and Superiour Reasons, of this Duty, grounded
to have for God's Glory, which is the Ul
timate end of the whole Creation. The
Royal Prophet gives a Rule of Duty to
Us, under this Pathetic account of his
Fulfilling it Himself, in Both the parts
of it, Deep Sorrow for the violations of God's Honour, and an Utter Abhorrence of them: * Rivers of waters run down
+ Do not I hate them that hate thee; and
very Thoughts of them; when our An
guish occasion'd by them is Pungent and Lasting; when our real Abhorrence of them introduceth, as it will certainly introduce, the utmost Opposition to them, according to our Circumstances and Ca– pacities; when we Humbly acknowledge, that the severest Publick Judgments would be their Just Consequence and Reward, and, when our Deprecations of such Judgments are Sincere and Fervent; we do, at once Demonstrate our Ardent Love of God and Charity to our Brethren, our Faith, our Sincerity, our Humility, our Affiance, our Zeal, Dispositions and Qualifications, which God, Principally, Requires, and must therefore be Highly Acceptable to him. And hence it follows, that if we should Happily Abound with Persons, who do truly Detest, and Bewail, and oppose themselves to, the Sins of the Times, and are therefore Adorned with All these Heavenly Dispositions, we may reasonably Hope, that they, through the Intercesfion of Chrift, may prevail for Mercy with God, that we Perish mot.