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he seriously considered the studies, or rather follies of men: for (saith he) a madness it is for men not to believe the gospel, which hath been sealed by the blood of martyrs, published by the preaching of apostles, confirmed by miracles, attested by the world, confessed by devils: Sed longe major insania, si de evangelii veritate non dubites, vivere tamen quasi de ejus falsitate non dubitares; but a far greater madness it is, if, not doubting of the truth of the gospel, we so live as if we doubted not of the falseness of it." And certainly, they who abuse the doctrine of the gospel unto licentious living, and expose the holy name of God unto contempt, by turning his grace into lasciviousness, are "Christiani nominis probra et maculæ," the stain and dishonour, the blains and ulcers of the Christian name; no otherwise belonging unto the body of Christ, than dung and excrements to the natural body. If the Lacedæmonian in Plutarch would often look on his gray hairs, that he might be put in mind to do nothing unworthy the honour of them; how much more should he continually mind the dignity of our relation unto God,-as his children, that we never admit any thing, unbecoming the excellency of so high a calling!

2dly, Being in danger, by the different vicissitudes of Divine Providence, to be tossed and discomposed with various and unequal affections, contrary to that steadfastness of heart which ought always to be in believers, who have an all-sufficient God to rejoice in, and a treasure of exceeding great and precious promises (able by faith and hope to balance the soul against all secular fluctuations and concussions) to take comfort from;-in this case, therefore, it is necessary that our moderation be known; that we learn, with the apostle, in every state to be content,' to be abased and suffer need' without pusillanimity or despondency, to abound and be full,' without arrogance or vain-glory. Faith makes a rich man rejoice, in that he is made low and humbled, to glory no longer in grass and flowers, in withering and perishing contents: and it makes the brother of low degree, to rejoice in that he is exalted to the hope of salvation. (James i. 9, 10) When, therefore, with David, we find one while our mountain strong, and presently we are moved; (Psalm xxxvi. 6) when one day, with Jonah, we rejoice in our gourd, and another day are as angry because it

is withered; then we must labour for this Euraia, the pacateness and serenity of soul; like gold, to keep our nature in the fire; like celestial bodies, which, in all their motions, are regular and steady. Even heathen men, by the dictates of reason and philosophy, have arrived at a very noble constancy and composedness of mind. Of one, it is said, "That in all companies, times, and places, suos semper mores retinuit,' he never departed nor varied from himself;"-of another, that he was never observed either to laugh or weep; - of another, that he was of so equal a temper, that in his youth, he had the wisdom of an old man, and in his age, the valour of a young man: and of that excellent emperor Marcus Antoninus it is observed by Dion, ὅμοιος διὰ πάντων ἐγένετο, that ' he was ever like himself,' never given to change. How much more should Christians, who have an unchangeable God to take care of them,-a kingdom which cannot be shaken, provided for them,-promises, which are all yea and amen,' and a hope which is sure and steadfast set before them,-retain a mind like a rock, on which they are built, fixed, and inconcussible. Such was the blessed apostle, "as dying, and yet alive; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things:" and such he would have us all to be, steadfast and unmovable,' (1 Cor. xv. 58)not soon shaken in mind;' (2 Thess. ii. 2) but holding our confidence, and the rejoicing of our hope, firm unto the end.' (Heb. iii. 6)

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3. Being by the condition of our Christianity, to expect manifold afflictions and injuries in the world: here also it is necessary that our "moderation be known;" moderation of patience, in bearing them; of candour, in interpreting them; and of lenity and meekness, in forgiving them.

1. Moderation of patience in bearing them, having our eye more fixed on the hand of God ordering, than on the hand of man inflicting them; being more taken up with the hope of future good, than with the sense of present evil; looking rather with comfort on the need we have of them; (1 Pet. i. 16) on the fruit we have from them; (Heb. xii. 10) on the recompense of the reward which will follow them; (Heb. xi. 25, 26. Rom. viii. 17, 18) on the love of God, which will support them; (Heb. xii. 6) on our communion in them with

Christ, for whose sake we suffer them; (1 Pet. iv. 13) on the end of the Lord, who is ever pitiful and of tender mercy to us, in them, (James v. 11) than on any present weight or pressure we sustain from them. "Nullus dolor est de incursione malorum præsentium, quibus fiducia est futurorum bonorum," saith St. Cyprian. A man is never miserable by any thing, which cannot take away God or salvation from him.

2. Moderation of candour and equanimity; putting the best constructions on them: as the carpenter's plane rendereth rugged things smooth; as favourable glasses report faces better than they are. A meek spirit doth not easily take up every injury, not out of dullness, because it cannot understand them; but out of love, which doth not wittingly or hastily suspect evil; (1 Cor. xiii. 5) which covereth all sins; (Prov. x. 12) which teacheth us to show all meekness to all men. (Tit. iii. 2) We are prohibited society with some men; (2 Thess. iii. 6) but we are commanded to follow peace with all. (Heb. xii. 14)

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3. Moderation of meekness and lenity, not resisting of evil; nor, out of a vindictive spirit, embracing all advantages to avenge ourselves,-as if it were an argument of a low and dejected soul, not to repay evil with evil, and bid a defiance and challenge upon every wrong; directly contrary to the word of God, which maketh it a 'man's wisdom and glory, to pass over a transgression,' (Prov. xix. 11) and expressly requireth us not to recompense evil, but to wait on God :' (Prov. xx. 22. Rom. xii. 17) yea, contrary to the noble practice of many magnanimous heathens, Epaminondas, Agesilaus, Pompey, Cæsar, and others, who, by their clemency and bounty toward enemies, provided for their own safety, and made the way easy unto further victories. But we have a more excellent example to follow, "forbearing one another, and forgiving one another," saith the apostle, "even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Col. iii. 13) That man can have no assurance of Christ's forgiving him, who resolveth to be avenged on his brother. (Matth. xviii. 35) He who chooseth rather to be a murderer, to take away another man's life, or to throw away his own, than to suffer a reproach, hath, give me leave to say it, eousque,' renounced the doctrine of Christ, who commandeth us "to do good unto those

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that hate us, and pray for those that despitefully use us;" (Matth. v. 44) as himself did, (Luke xxiii. 34) who being reviled, "reviled not again," but was as a sheep, dumb before the shearer, as the prophet speaks. By this noble moderation, we disappoint those that wrong us, "quia fructus lædentis in dolore læsi est:" we fence ourselves against the harm which an injury would do us; as a cannon bullet is deaded by a soft mud wall,—and the force of a sword, by a pack of wool. He that is slow to anger, appeaseth strife.' (Prov. xv. 18) We melt and overcome our enemy, and heap coals of fire on his head.' (Rom. xii. 20) But, above all, we honour God, to whom alone vengeance belongeth; we adorn the gospel, and evidence ourselves to be the disciples of Christ.

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4. Being subject, by the dictates of over-much self-love, to assert with rigour our own right and interest, in this case also the precept is necessary, "Let your moderation be known ;"--rather remit of your own due, than, by too earnest an exacting of it, to grieve your brother, or to discredit your profession. Abraham did so: though the nobler person, yet in order unto peace and honour, that their dissensions might not expose religion unto reproach amongst the Canaanites, he gave unto Lot the præoption of what part of the land he would live in. (Gen. xiii. 9) It was as free for the apostle to have taken the rewards of his ministry of the Corinthians as of other churches; yet he purposely refused to use that power, that he might not hinder the gospel, nor give occasion of glorying against him unto those that sought it. (1 Cor. ix. 12, 14, 15. 2 Cor. xi. 8, 12) Our Saviour, though he might have insisted on the dignity of his person, as the Son of God, from paying tribute; yet to avoid offence, he did cedere de jure,' and gave order about the payment of it. (Matth. xvii. 24, 25, 26) No doubt is to be made, but that it is free for Christians to recover their just rights by a legal trial; yet when the Corinthians sued one another before unbelievers, and thereby exposed the gospel unto contempt, the apostle reproveth them, that "they did not rather take wrong, and suffer themselves to be defrauded;" the evil being far less for them to suffer wrong, than for the gospel to suffer reproach. (1 Cor. vi. 5, 6, 7) Thus doth this most amiable grace whereby we behave ourselves towards all men

with all equity, facility, equanimity, and suavity of conversation, attempering the severity of other virtues with the law of love, exceedingly conduce to the honour of God, and credit of the gospel, yea, to our own safety and interest. For as a tempest doth not break the corn which yields unto it, but the oaks which withstand it; nor thunder so easily hurt shrubs as cedars; so the wrath and prejudice of adversaries is exceedingly mitigated and abated by the humility, moderation, and meekness, of those that suffer them.

Lastly, Being subject to the same common passions and infirmities with other men, and thereupon liable to be transported into excess in the use either of our knowledge, power, or liberty; here also comes in the seasonable use of this excellent precept, "Let your moderation be known." Moderation of judgement, moderation of power, and moderation of passions.

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1. Moderation of judgement, that we suffer not our knowledge to puff us up, but temper it (as the apostle directeth us) with charity, and use it unto edification. (1 Cor. viii. 1) I do not hereby understand moderation in the measure or degrees of our knowledge; as if we should content ourselves with a mediocrity, and be, at our own choice, willingly ignorant of any part of God's revealed will, as we please ourselves; for we are required to grow in knowledge,' (2 Pet. iii. 18) and the word of Christ must dwell in us richly." (Col. iii. 16) Nor do I understand a moderation of indifferency, as if it mattered not what judgement we were of; but had, as the Priscillianists claimed, a liberty at pleasure to depart from the rule of divine truth in outward profession, to serve a present interest; for we are to buy the truth, and not to sell it ;' we can do nothing against the truth, but for it; we are to hold fast' the faithful word; (Tit. i. 9) and having 'proved all things, to hold fast that which is good." (1 Thess. v. 21) But by a moderation in judgement, I understand these three things:

1. A moderation of sobriety, not to break in and gaze upon hidden and secret things; as the men of Beth-shemesh into the ark. (1 Sam. vi. 19) Nor to weary ourselves about questions, as the apostle speaks, which are unprofitable and vain (Tit. iii. 9) such as that of Peter, 'What shall this man do? (John xxi. 21) and that of the apostles, Wilt thou now

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