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And let us believe as mil as, without offering Violence to our Reason, we can of all Men; and chuse much rather m our Judging, and in our Reports of Men, to offend ontne'&gfa than on the Left hand. I am certain, thus much is implied in those two Precepts os our Lord, viz. Judg not that ye be not Judged; for mth what Judgment ye Judge ye shall be Judged, and, vith that Measure ye mete, it shall be meted to you again, ftlatth. 7. 1,2. And Judge not accord* kg to the appearance, hut \udg Righteous Judgment, John 7.14. *
1. Ought the Slandering of Our Neigf?bour to be so detested by us, then what an Abominable thing is it, to Slander, and injure the Good* fyme and Reputation of the KlnZs Majestyy and of those that under Him have Authority over us! 'Tis an express Law of Godj Exod. 11. 18. & repeated by St. Paul, viz. Thou shalt not rtYtle the Gods, nor Curse for speak evil of) the <%tt* ler of thy People. And as to the Kjng, -tis Ib great a wickedness to defame ffm, or fay any thing to the lessening of his Honour, that the Wise Man thus chargeth us, Becks. 10. to. Curse mt the King, no not in thy thought.
And 'tis as much the Peoples interest,* as it is . the JQngs, that He be not Slandered, or Spoken Evil of. For Seditious and Rebellious Practi-. ces do usually arise from Mens first taking this Wicked Liberty; as we have all known by very woeful Experience. And we -know by the bke experience, that the IQng suffers not more by those leud Practices,than the People necessarily must.
It was a good faying, as I remember, of
Aristotle, o Tov "a$xovtcl xmyogei Tw xo\iv vfiejlljH, VWhosoever defames the Prince, is Injurious to the Common-Wealth; or Mischiefs his Sub- . je&s..
And as for those that take liberty to Invent or Tell Stories reflecting upon their Ecclesiastical Governours, Pastors, or Teachers, they are in a special manner injurious to the Souls of Men. For nothing so tends to the prejudicing of their People against their Dotlrine, as their having an Evil Opinion of their Persons. And for this Reason, I think none are so much concerned to keep their Good-Names as unspotted as they can, and to clear themselves of whatsoever Af» perfions are cast upon them, as They are.
ANd now I will take this Occasion to inform you, That Some having greatly concerned themselves oflate, to carry Tales of Scandalous Passages which they pretend to have heard from the Tulpits of divers of my Brethren in this Ctty, there are Others who have very lately done the like good Office for My self. I am too well aware Who they are, I will tell you who they are Not; I am very confident, they are not Papists, at least not ^Profejsed ones. But you of this Parish may have a shrewd guess within a very few,- for you must needs know some to have long expressed as bitter and implacable enmity against: me, as if we had b :en of tftx> Churches and Contrary Religions'. And that without the least provocation on My part. And I doubt not there are many of the Roman Relig\mf from whom I should have had much more }ujl}- Fair, and Qmflian Treatment-. As silent as I have: been hitherto, this is not the first" nor: second time neither, that I have been in the self* same manner most vilely abused by The/e People,
as-iiv due -time,. I trust hvGod will be made
manifest. at least the last I have beard of) That I vent* ed in this Pulpit, on ÆSaints-Day, mh^ This day Fortnight, a Bitter Curs? against the Papists, together • with all those (for which I trust to the Memory of an Extraordinary Person) "whogrve them encouragement. And the Curse I understand was worded to this Effect; / wist? their Names and Memories may <2tyt Eternally. Whatsoever the Express Words were, I hear they perfectly Jgreed^'m the selfsame, which is so far from Evidence of their telling Truth of me, that 'tis a much stronger Argument of their being Conspirators against me. But may this Curse, instead of falling upon the Papists, or those that Encourage them, light up* on my Own Name and Memory, if I either Pronounced It, or any Curse like it against either the One or the other, or any Curse'at all against either. And as I solemnly Appeal to God Almighty, so I Appeal to You my Auditors, Whether there were the least Appearance qr Shadow os an Occasion given by me, for such an Information As this against me. I Appeal to You also, Whether you can think it Possible, that such an Accusation as this could arise from meer Mistake. I am Confident, That All who
minded my Sermon, will pronounce, that neither this Qxwge, nor any Charge that hath the least likeness to it, be itWorded how it will, must be nothing better than pure Invention; which we have shewn is the most Horrible way of Plundering.
I prevailed with a most Worthy Prelate to hear that Sermon read out of my Notes word for word, and I cannot call to mind my having said above three or sour Words more than are in my Notes, and those I acquainted his Lordship with, meerly that I might truly fay, That He had nothing of the Sermon Concealed from Him. And after it was read, not one S/t of a Sentence could be fixed upon, that might put my Enemies in mind to Invent such a Slander as this of me, unless it were this, viz. If we do mt justify to all the World ("meaning, as before was expressed, "toe Divines of the Church of EigUnd) the Representations we have made of that^e* tgion (vi%. Aietytnari) to our'People, let our Names flink, and our Memories he covered with Eternal p?ame. And these words next follow,'Tw a most wicked thing to Slander a particular Person, and much more' to Slander and Be'Jye a whole Church, and that so Excellent and Famous * Church, as that of Rome once