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take things amiss, and do things for others to take amiss, whatever ill-natured pleasure there may be in it just at the time, is neither a happy, nor a virtuous disposition; much less one allowed by the Gospel towards our brethren for whom Christ died*: but that indulging it must gradually sour our tempers, hurt our healths, at least destroy our comfort : besides the ample return for it, that we shall be too likely to meet with from the world; and the dreadful guilt that we incur by it in the sight of God. So that whatever difference of interests there may be in other respects, yet in one point the interest of all men is clearly the same: that gentleness and meekness be exercised, good-nature and obliging behaviour studi, ously cultivated. This is not only the way to enjoy life, but to act rightly in it. Such a turn of mind will enable us, and no other can, to judge reasonably both of things and persons; to discern how far men's actions and designs are justifiable or otherwise: and what allowance ought to be made, as often surely not a little ought, for early prejudices, warm passions, strong provocations, alluring prospects, easy mistakes, and undesigned neglects. Then further, preserving our own tempers calm is the surest method to compose and win upon others : to open their eyes, to conciliate their esteem; and, which is the great point that we should have in our view, to make all worthy persons on all sides, of whom it may be hoped there are many more than we can sometimes believe, agree with one another in whatever is of importance, and bear with one another in whatever is not. With the utmost reason therefore did the Apostle give this direction in the last place, of shewing all meekness unto all men, as finishing the character of a good subject, and providing completely for the happiness of a nation: that every one should follow the things, which make for peace *; carry himself with humanity, and prudent friendliness, to each of his fellow-subjects, without exception; moderate his justest zeal with equal charity; and copy, in the whole of his conduct, that most beautiful and excellent character of Mordecai, in the last verse of the Book of Esther; that he was accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed. God grant us to be every one thus minded; and reward us with his blessings, on ourselves, our king and the whole royal family, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
* Rom. xiv. 15.
CHA R G ES
DELIVERED TO THE
DIOCESES OF OXFORD AND CANTERBURY:
TO WHICH ARE ADDED
INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES FOR ORDERS;
INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN MADE AT THE OPENING OF THE
CONVOCATION IN 1761.
PUBLISHED FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS,
BY BEILBY PORTEUS, D.D. AND GEORGE STINTON, D.D.
HIS GRACI'S CHAPLAINS.
DELIVERED TO THE
CLERGY OF THE DIOCESE OF OXFORD,
A PRIMARY VISITATION, 1738.
I am very sensible, that you cannot meet together on this occasion, without making deep reflections on the loss, which you have suffered, for the public good, by the removal of a pastor, whom the experience of so many years hath taught you to esteem and honour so highly. It is your farther unhappiness, that he is succeeded by a person, very unequal to the care of this conspicuous and important diocese. But your humanity and your piety will, I doubt not, incline you, both to accept and to assist the endeavours of one, who can assure you, with very great truth, that he is earnestly desirous of being as useful to you all, as he can; and seriously concerned for the interests of religion, and of this church. Would to God there were less need of expressing a concern for them, than there is at present !