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may fo speak, by such 'outward actions or words as are made the signs and tokens of it; and in the use of these that sense, and those affections may be highthened and increased. | I say true piety, devotion, &c. consists in such a just and worthy fenfe of God as is suitable to his natural and his moral perfections. For, were we to conceive of God as a bard and fevere master, as one who lays burthens upon his servants that are great and grievous to be born, who requires brick where he gives no Araw, reaps where he has not fown, gathers where he has not strawed, and watches for the halting of his servants that he might take occasion from it greatly to punish them: or were w.e to conceive of the Deity as an arbitrary and tyrannical governor, who acts unreasonabły in his legislative capacity, by commanding for commanding fake, and thereby extorting Tuch obedience from his subjects as no ways answers the end of government to them: or were we to conceive of God as an unkind and cruel parent of mankind, who takes pleasure in their unhappiness and misery: and were we to be affected suitably: this would be so far from being true piety, that it would be just the reverse, viz. it would be the height of impiety and profaneness. .

Again, I say, that true piety is in the mind, tho' it may be made visible as aforesaid. And, agreeably to this, the founder of our (viz. the Christian) Sect, hath justly observed, that God, in distinction from, and in opposition to, body

ór matter, is a spirit or mind; and therefore,
whoever will worship God truly and acceptably,
and according to his nature, must worship him
in spirit or mind, that being the only true or
real worship ; because bodily worship when
feparated from such a sense of the Deity as is
usually intended to be set forth by it,' is no
other than a meer fiktion or lye. And, as all
acts of outward worship are nothing more than
visible marks and tokens of that inward piety
which takes place in the mind, and when they
are separated from that sense of the Deity are
mere emptiness or nothing; so those outward
marks are, in some cases, merely arbitrary ;
that is, they are not natural marks of that re-
spect which is intended to be set forth by them,
but are made tokens of respect by the fashion
and custom of the world, and as such are liable
to be altered and changed. Thus, amongst our
selves, custom has made bowing the body to be
a mark of respect for one fex, and bowing the
knee to be a mark of respect for the other.
And, as each sex perform different actions
when they pay their respect to their neighbours ;
so they use those different actions as marks of
their respect to God. "And indeed, custom must,
in fome measure, be our guide in this affair;
because it would be very preposterous for a
man to put off his hat as a mark of respect to
his neighbour, and to put off his shoe as a token
of his respect to God; seeing the latter action
would not have the appearance of being a mark
of respect, when, and where custom had



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constituted the former. But then, tho' the
visible marks of respect are, in some cases, at
least, merely arbitrary; yet, I think, no action"
can, with any propriety, be constituted a mark
of respect that is in itself apparently a mark
of the contrary. That is, no action can be
made a mark of goodness that is in itself a bad
action; nor can an act of cruelty be made a
token of pity and kindness, because the action
itself bespeaks the contrary; or, at least, such
a conduct would be greatly preposterous. And
therefore, were a man to cut and wound his
body till the blood gushed out, as the Priests
of Baal did, and do other such like actions,
and were he to use these actions as tokens of
that sense of God which he has upon his mind;
those actions, I think, could not convey to
the beholders a just and worthy sense of God, be-
cause the actions themselves plainly bespeak the.
contrary; namely, they bespeak the being,
who is applied to in this way, to be pleased
with blood and Naughter; which, surely, would
not be a just and worthy, but a false and un-
worthy, representation of the Deity, were he
to be applied to in such a manner. And,

As true piety consists in our having a just and worthy sense of God impressed upon our minds, and in our being suitably affected therewith ; so it is founded in nature, God is not only compleatly perfect in himself, but he is also the fountain of being, and of all good to us; and, as such, the nature of the thing requires, or it is just and reafonable, that we


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should frequently and upon all proper occasions awaken in our felves a juft and worthy sense of God, and be suitably affected therewith. This, I say, is a suitable and proper behaviour for such dependent beings as we are, towards their great and kind Creator, from whom we have received our being, and by whose providence we are continually upheld and preserved. It is likewise fit and reasonable with regard to the purpose it is subservient to, as it naturally tends to excite and engage our imitation of the Deity, and thereby to render our selves approvable in his fight. Moreover, perfetion is, in the nature of the thing, preferable to imperfection, and, as such, it is the proper object of our choice, and this makes it reasonable or our duty to make use of those means that are proper to lead us thereto, of which means, I think, it must be allowed that true piety is the principal. When we entertain our minds with a just sense of the wisdom and goodness of God, and how that wisdom and goodness has been exemplified in promoting our own and the common tranquillity; and when we are suitably affected therewith; this is, not only acting properly towards the Deity, but it also tends to excite our imitation of him, and therefore, it must be our duty or it is reasonable that we should be frequent in such exercises. Again, when we reflect seriously upon the rectitude of the divine nature, viz. that God's affections and actions are always most pure, as they are perfectly conformable to that rule of action that is founded in the reason of

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things; things; and when we likewise view our felves as it were in a glass, and see how greatly we þave departed from this rule, and when we are fuitably affected therewith; this naturally tends to humble us in our own fight, to engage us to be watchful of our behaviour for the time to come, and to endeavour to render our felves the proper objects of God's mercy, : And as this is our case; To our present circumstances require or make it reasonable that we should be frequent in such exercises. · If it should be said, that prayer, in this view of the case, is a needless performance, because meditation and reflexión may answer the end without it. Answer, admitting that one branch of piety, by a constant and proper application, may be sufficient to answer the forementioned purpose ; yet, I think, that will not be a sufficient ground for discouraging or laying aside. the use of the rest, when, perhaps, the use of all may scarce be sufficient to call in, and retain, our attention, and engage our affections and imitation as aforesaid..

If it should be asked, that if true piety confists in having a just and worthy sense of God imprefsed upon the mind, and the being suitably affeEted therewith, and if St Paul's remark. be just, viz. that bodily exercise profiteth little, and if our Saviour's doctrine be true, viz. that God is a spirit, and they that worship him (truly and acceptably) must worship him in ipirit and in truth, for the Father feeketh such to worship him, then, to what purpose can

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