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is the very End of God's beftowing Riches upon us, the Pretence of our defiring them, and the beit Ufe we can poffibly make of them; we certainly must be self-condemned, if, to please a vitiated Imagination of our own, or attract the Eyes of others, we lay them out in fuch extravagant Manner upon ourselves, as to defraud many poor and needy Creatures of the neceffary Comforts of Life. 3. That our Dress and Attire be fuch, as fhall neither naturally, nor defignedly ferve to the Purposes of Loofenefs and Immodefty in ourselves, nor minifter Temptations to the unwary Hearts, or the heated and depraved Imaginations of others. 4. That too much of our Time be not taken up in dreffing and adorning ourselves; becaufe Time is not our own, and must not be expended, as we think fit. And, 5. That, when we are never fo richly and elegantly dreffed, we be not fo conceited, and highly opinionated of ourselves, as to look down upon others, that make not the like Appearance, with Contempt and Derifion. For, fince Dress adds no real Value to any Perfon, the Vanity must be egregious, to spend any confiderable Part, either of our Thoughts, or Time, or Wealth, or Esteem, about them.
3. Once more; there is a Temperance in the Matter of our Recreations. For, though these are not only useful, but, many Times, neceffary, to breathe our Spirits, after they have been almoft ftifled in a Crowd of Bufinefs, and fo divert our wearied Thoughts, which, like the Strings of a Lute, by being flackened now and then, will found the sweeter, when they come to be wound up again; yet we must take great Care, that we turn not our Phyfick into Food, and make that our Bufinefs, which should be our Diverfion; that our Recreations be fhort, and apt to refresh, but not to steal
away our Minds from feverer Employments. For long Sports and Recreations are like a large Entry to a little House; they take up fo much Room in the narrow Compafs of our Time, that there is not Space enough left in it for the more useful Apartments; and, fo far as our Sports do exceed the Measures of neceffary and convenient Recreation, they are unwarrantable Incroachments either upon our Calling, or our Religion. The like Care we muft take, to make our Recreations a liberal Exercife to amuse and recreate us, and not a fordid Trade to get Money. For fome Money indeed we may be allowed to play, as much, as will be neither any great Concern to the Lofer, nor Triumph to the Winner; but he, that propofes to adventure any confiderable Sum this Way, runs himfelf manifeftly into the Danger either of Covetousness, and an eager Defire of winning, or of Rage, and Anger at his ill Fortune, if he happens to lofe; both of which will naturally engage him in other Commiffions. Covetousness will tempt him to cheat and cozen, and Anger to fwear and curse, as common Experience fhews: The Man therefore, who plays deep, may every Time be faid to fet his Soul, together with his Money, to ftake, and is fure to lofe all Sense of the Sport and Recreation, which he pretends to aim at; because, all the while that he plays, he is convulfed with alternate Paffions, and has, at one Time, the Defires and Fears of the Covetous, and, anon, the Impatience and Rage of the furious Man, boiling in his Breast.
These are some of the chief Inftances of that Virtue of Temperance, which concerns our Bodies, and we have only hitherto confidered the Tranfgreffions of them, in Point of Excefs. There is another Evil, fays the Royal Preacher, which I have feen under the Sun, and it is common among Men; a Man, to whom God hath given Riches,
Wealth, and Honour, fo that he wanteth nothing for
VER fince the firft Corruption of our Nature, our Bodies are become the Inftruments of Sin, and the Defires and Appetites, that arise from thence, are in a great Measure our Prompters and Seducers to it. These are the Lufts, which war against the Soul, as the Apostle declares; and yet they have the good Luck to be thought our dearest Friends, and looked upon as a Part of ourfelves. In them, when accomplished, we account ourfelves happy; in them, when croffed, we account ourselves miferable; and in them, when unbeard, we account ourselves affronted. We allow them indeed to do any Thing with us; they can put out our Eyes, and be welcome; they can blind our Judgments, and make Stupidity please us. Our holy Religion however teaches us ano ther Leffon: It informs us, that, notwithstanding this dear Union and Commerce between Soul and Body, there are no two in the World at greater Enmity with one another; none, that drive on U 3
fuch different Interefts, as they. Our fleshly Lufts are in a State of Rebellion against our Reafon; and to liften to them is to be Confederates to our own Ruin. Some of them are actually evil, and the rest are inclinable to be fo; and therefore the Bufinefs of Religion is to deftroy the one, and restrain the other; from whence arife the two great Chriftian Duties of Mortification and Self-denial.
I. The Apoftle, fpeaking of what we have hinted above, viz. that the Flesh lufteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Flesh, and that thefe are contrary the one to the other, gives us a long Mufter-Roll of that formidable Army of Wickednefs, against which we engaged ourselves at our Baptifm to contend. The Works of the Flesh, says he, are manifeft, which are thefe: Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Lafcivioufnefs, Idolatry, Witchcraft, Hatred, Variance, Emulation, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Herefies, Envyings, Murthers, Drunkennefs, Revellings, and fuch-like. Now, to fome, or more, of thefe, every one of us, by our depraved Nature, is inclined, and perhaps have run great Lengths in the Commiffion of them. The Inclination or Appetite therefore, whereby we have been inftigated to do thefe Things, we must so totally extirpate and destroy, as to leave no Remains of it in our Nature. For it is not enough that we neither practife any of thefe Sins, nor confent to the Practice of them, unless we make it our conftant Endeavour likewife to wean and abftract ourselves from those evil Tendencies and Inclinations, which we have contracted by our adhering to them, Thefe Inclinations indeed are no farther our Sins, than we yield our Confent to them; yet, while we patiently harbour them in our Bofom, without endeavouring to smother and extinguish them, they are in fome Measure chofen and voluntary, and may be faid to have in them the
Bane and Formality of Sin. Though we fhould not think it proper, for Inftance, to run into the the fame Acts of Lafcivioufnefs, that we have formerly done; yet, while we retain, with Delight, our Inclination towards it, we are still incontinent in the Sight of God. We must not think therefore, that our Sin is mortified, because we neither practife, nor confent to the Practice of it; for, while we have any Inclinations to it remaining in us, we muft ftrive to fubdue and conquer them; otherwife we have only forced our Enemy into his laft Retreat, where, by our own Neglect, we give him an Opportunity to rally, and re-inforce himself against us. Our Sin ftill lives in our Inclination to Sin, and will foon, if it be not beaten thence, recover its broken Forces, and become as formidable again as ever. If ever therefore we mean to mortify our vicious Inclination, we must not only abftain from the Sin itself, but avoid all Occafions, that lead to it; deny ourfelves thofe lawful Liberties, that too nearly approach it, and impofe upon ourselves fuch voluntary Reftraints and Severities, as have a natural Tendency to ftarve and root it out.
How much it is every Chriftian's Duty, in this Senfe of the Word, to mortify his evil and corrupt Affections, needs not furely to be told him, when he remembers, how, at his firft Initiation. into the Service of Chrift, he renounced all the finful Lufts of the Flesh, and, at the facred Altar, when he ratified his baptifmal Vow, offered and prefented unto God himself his Soul and Body, to be a reasonable, boly, and lively Sacrifice unto him: When he reflects, how frequently, in the Old Testament, he is called upon to cease to do Evil, and learn to do well; to circumcife himself to the Lord, and to take away the Fore-fkin of his Heart; and how inceffantly, in the New, to purge out the old Leaven, in U 4