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followers: his feast therefore (which was his miracle) to the multitude, was plain and simple; enough, but without curiosity, or the art of cookery: and it went down well, for they were hungry; the best and fittest time to eat.
And the apostle, in his directions to his much beloved Timothy, debases the lovers of worldly fulness; advising him to 'godliness and content, as 'the chiefest gain :' adding, and having food and
raiment, let us therewith be content' Behold the abstemious, and most contented life of those royal pilgrims, the sons of heaven, and immortal offspring of the great power of God; they were in fasts and perils often, and eat what was set before them; and in all conditions learnt to be contented. O blessed men ! O blessed spirits ! let my soul dwell with yours for ever!
§. III. But the diseases which luxury begets and nourishes, make it an enemy to mankind : for besides the mischief it brings to the souls of people, it undermines health, and shortens the life of man, in that it gives but ill nourishment, and so leaves and feeds corrupt humours, whereby the body becomes rank and foul, lazy and scorbutick; unfit for exercise, and more for honest labour. The spirits being thus loaded with ill flesh, and the mind effeminated, a man is made unactive, and so unuseful in civil society; for idleness follows luxury, as well as diseases. These are the burdens of the world, devourers of good things, selflovers, and so forgetters of God; but (which is sad, and yet juft) the end of those that forget God, is to be « turned into hell.'
§. IV. But there is another part of luxury, which has great place with vain man and woman, and that is the gorgeousness of apparel ; one of the foolishest, because molt costly, empty and unprofitable excesses people can well be guilty of. We are taught by the scriptures of truth to believe that sin brought the first coat; and if consent of writers be of force, it was as well without
e , Tim. vi. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,
r Psal. ix. 174
as within: to those that so believe, I direct my discourse, because they, I am sure, are the generality. I say, if fin brought the first coat, poor Adam's offspring have little reason to be proud or curious in their clothes; for it seems their original was base, and the finery of them will neither make them noble, nor man innocent agains. But doubtless blessed was that time, when innocence, not ignorance, freed our first parents from such shifts: they were then naked, and knew no shame; but sin made them ashamed to be longer naked. Since therefore guilt brought shame, and shame an apron and a coat, how very low are they fallen, that glory in their shame, that are proud of their fall? for so they are, that use care and cost to trim and set off the very badge and livery of that lamentable lapse. It is all one, as for a man that had lost his nose by a scandalous diftemper, to take pains to set out a false one, in such shape and, splendor, as should give but the greater occasion for all to gaze upon him; as if he would tell them, he had lost his nose, for fear they should think he had not. But would a wise man be in love with a false nose, though ever so rich, and however finely made ? Surely no: and shall people that call themselves Christians, fhew so much love for clothes, as to neglect innocence, their first cloathing? Doth it not shew what cost of time, pains, and money, people are at to set off their shame, with the greatest shew and folemnity of folly ? is it not to delight in the effect of that cause, which they rather should lament? If a thief were to wear chains all his life, would their being gold, and well made, abate his infamy? to be sure his being choice of them would increase it. Why, this is the very case of the vain fashion-mongers of this shameless age; yet will they be Christians, judges in religion, saints, what not? O miserable state indeed l to be so blinded by the luft of the eye, the luft of the flesh, and the pride of life, as to call shame decency, and to be curious and expensive about that which should be their humiliation.
And not only are they grown in love with these vanities, and thereby express how wide they are from primitive innocence; but it is notorious how many fashions have been and are invented on purpose to excite: luft: which still puts them at a greater distance from a fimple and harmless state, and ensaves their minds to base concupiscence.
$. V. Nor is it otherwise with recreations, as they call them; for these are nearly related. Man was made a noble, rational, grave creature : his pleasure stood in his duty, and his duty in obeying God; which was to love, fear, adore, and serve him; and in using the creation with true temperance and godly moderation ; as knowing well that the Lord, his judge, was at hand, the inspector and rewarder of his works. In short, his happiness was in his communion with God; his error was to leave that conversation, and let his eyes wander abroad, to gaze on tranfitory things. , If the recreations of the age were as pleasant and necessary as they are said and made to be, unhappy then would Adam and Eve have been, that never knew thein. But had they never fallen, and the world not been tainted by their folly and ill example; perhaps man had never. known the necessity or use of many of these things. Sin gave them birth, as it did the other; they were afraid of the presence of the Lord, which was the joy of their innocency, when they had sinned; and then their minds wandered, sought other pleasures, and began to forget God; as he complained afterwards by the prophet Amos: “They put far away the evil day : they eat the
fat of the fock: they drink wine in bowls: they anoint themselves with the chief perfumes : they stretch I themselves upon beds of ivory: they chant to the ç sound of the viol, and invent unto themselves in
struments of musick, like David, not heeding or remembering the amictions and captivity of poor
Joseph;' him they wickedly sold, innocency was quite banished, and shame soon began to grow a custom,
Amos vi. 3, 4, 5, 6,
till till they were grown shameless in the imitation. And truly, it is now no lefs a shame to approach primitive innocence by modest plainness, than it was matter of shame to Adam that he lost it, and became forced to tack fig-leaves for a covering. Wherefore in vain do men and women deck themselves with specious pretences to religion, and Aatter their miserable souls with the fair titles of Christian, innocent, good, virtuous, and the like, whilft such vanities and follies reign. Wherefore to you all, from the eternal God, I am bound to declare, you mock him that will not be mocked, and • deceive yourselves';' such intemperance must be denied, and you must know yourselves changed, and more nearly approach to primitive purity, before you can be entitled to what you do but now usurp; c for
none but those who are led by the Spirit of God, are "the children of God k,' which guides into all temperance and meekness.
$. VI. But the Christian world (as it would be called) is justly reproveable, . because the very end of the first institution of apparel is grossly perverted. The utmoit service that clothes originally were designed for, when sin had stripped them of their native innocence, was, as hath been said, to cover their shame, therefore plain and modeft: next, to fence out cold, therefore subftantial : lastly, to declare fexes, therefore distinguishing. So that then necessity provoked to clothing, now pride and vain curiosity : in former times some benefit obliged, but now wantonness and pleafure : then they minded them for covering, but now that is the least part; their greedy eyes must be provided with gaudy superfluities; as if they made their clothes for trimming, to be seen rather than worn; only for the sake of other curiosities that must be tacked upon them, although they neither cover shame, fence from cold, nor distinguish sexes; but signally display their wanton, fantastick, full-fed minds, that have them.
Gal, vi: 74
ķ Rom. viii, 14. Gal., v. 24.
S. VII, Then $. VII. Then the best recreations were to serve God, be just, follow their vocations, mind their focks, do good, exercise their bodies in such manner as was suitable to gravity, temperance, and virtue; but now that word is extended to almost every folly that carries any appearance above open scandalous filth (detested of the very actors, when they had done it); so much are men degenerated from Adam in his disobedience; so much more confident and artificial are they grown in all impieties: yea, their minds, through custom, are become so very insensible of the inconveniency that attends the like follies, that what was once mere necessity, a badge of shame, at best but a remedy, is now the delight, pleasure, and recreation of the age. How ignoble is it! how ignominious and unworthy of a reasonable creature; man which is endued with understanding, fit to contemplate immortality, and made a companion (if not superior) to angels, that he should mind a little duft; a few shameful rags ; inventions of mere pride and luxury; toys, so apish and fantastick; entertainments so dull and earthy, that a rattle, a baby, a hobby-horse, a top, are by no means fo foolish in a simple child, nor unworthy of his thoughts, as are such inventions of the care and pleasure of men. It is a mark of great stupidity, that such vanities should exercise the noble mind of man, and image of the great Creator of heaven and earth.
$. VIII. Of this many among the very Heathens of old had so clear a prospect, that they detested all such vanity; looking upon curiosity in apparel, and that variety of recreations now in vogue and esteem with false Christians, to be destructive of good manners, in that it more easily stole away the minds of people from sobriety to wantonness, idleness, effeminacy, and made them only companions for the beast that perishes: witness those famous men, Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, Ariftides, Cato, Seneca, Epictetus, &c. who placed true honour and satisfaction in nothing below virtue and immortality. Nay, such are the remains of innocence among some Moors and Indians in our times, that they