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do not only traffick in a simple posture, but if a Christian (though he must be an odd one) Aing out a filthy word, it is customary with them, by way of moral, to bring him water to purge his mouth. How much do the like virtues, and reasonable instances, accuse people professing Christianity, of gross folly and intemperance ? O! that men and women had the fear of God before their eyes! and that they were fo charitable to themselves, as to remember whence they came, what they are doing, and to what they must return: that so, more noble, more virtuous, more rational and heavenly things might be the matters of their pleasure and entertainment! that they would be once persuaded to believe how inconsistent the folly, vanity, and conversation they are mostly exercised in, really are with the true nobility of a reasonable soul; and let that just principle, which taught the Heathens, teach them, lest it be found more tolerable for Heathens than such Christians in the day of account ! For if their shorter notions, and more imperfect sense of things could yet discover so much vanity; if their degree of light condemned it, and they, in obedience thereunto, disused it, doth not it behove Christians much more? Christ çame not to extinguish, no, but to improve that knowledge: and they who think they need do less now than before, had need to act better than they think. I conclude, that the fashions and recreations now in repute are very abusive of the end of man's creation; and that the inconveniencies that attend them, as wantonness, idleness, prodigality, pride, lust, respect of pers fons (witness a plume of feathers, or a lace-coat in a country village, whatever be the man that wears them) with the like fruits, are repugnant to the duty, reason, and true pleasure of man, and absolutely inconsistent with that wisdom, knowledge, manhood, temperance, industry, which render man truly noble and good.
§. IX. Again, these things which have been hitherto condemned, have never been the conversation or pracfice of the holy men and women of old times, whom the scriptures recommend for holy examples, worthy of
imitation. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were plain men, and princes, as graziers are, over their families and flocks. They were not solicitous of the vanities so much lived in by the people of this generation, for in all things they pleased God by faith. The first forfook his father's house, kindred, and country; a true type or figure of that self-denial all must know, that would have Abraham to their father. They must not think to live in those pleasures, fashions and customs they are called to leave; no, but part with all, in hopes of the great recompence of reward, and that
better country, which is eternal in the heavens!' The prophets were generally poor mechanicks; one a shepherd, another an herdsman, &c. They often cried out upon the full-fed, wanton Ifraelites to repent, to fear and dread the living God, to forsake the sins and vanities they lived in; but they never imitated them. John Baptist, the messenger of the Lord, who was fanctified in his mother's womb, preached his embasly to the world in a coat of camel's hair, a rough and homely garment. Nor can it be conceived that Jesus Christ himself was much better apparelled, who according to the Aesh, was of poor defcent, and in life of great plainness ; infomuch that it was usual in way of derision to say, “Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph a
carpenter And this Jesus tells his followers, that as for soft raiment, gorgeous apparel and delicacies, they were for kings courts: implying, that he and his followers were not to seek after those things; but seems thereby to express the great difference that was betwixt the lovers of the fashions and customs of the world, and those whom he had chosen out of it. And he did not only come in that mean and despicable manner himself, that he might stain the pride of all Aesh, but therein became exemplary to his followers, what a selfdenying life they must lead, if they would be his true disciples. Nay, he farther leaves it with them in a
1 Heb. xi. Amos vii. 15, 16. m Luke i. 15. Mat. iii. 1, 2, 3, 4. Mat. xiii. 55. Mark vi. 3. Luke vii. 25.
parable, parable, to the end that it might make the deeper impression, and that they might see how inconsistent a pompous worldly-pleasing life is with the kingdom he came to establish and call men to the poffeffion of: and that is the remarkable story of Dives; who is represented, first, as a rich man; next, as a voluptuous man, in his rich apparel, his many dishes, and his pack of dogs; and lastly, as an uncharitable man, or one who was more concerned how to please the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, and fare fumptuously every day, than to take compassion of poor Lazarus at his gate: no, his dogs were more pitiful and kind than he. But what was the doom of this jolly man, this great Dives? We read it, was everlasting torment; but that of Lazarus eternal joy with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God. In short; Lazarus was a good man, the other a great man: the one poor and temperate, the other rich and luxurious: there are too many of them alive; and it were well, if his doom might awaken them to repentance.
§. X. Nor were the twelve apostles, the immediate messengers of the Lord Jesus Christ, other than poor men, one a fisherman, another a tent-maker; and he that was of the greatest (though perhaps not the best employment) was a custom-gatherer. "So that it is very unlikely that any of them were followers of the fashions of the world: nay, they were so far from it, that, as became the followers of Christ, they lived poor, afflicted, self-denying lives; bidding the churches to walk as they had them for examples. And to shut up this particular, they gave this pathetical account of the holy women in former times, as an example of godly temperance, namely, that first they did expressly abftain from gold, silver, braided hair, fine apparel, or such like; and next, that their adornment was a ' meek and quiet fpirit, and the hidden man of the
heart, which are of great price with the Lord:' affirm: ing, that such as live in pleasure, are dead whilft
they live";' for that the cares and pleasures of this life choke and destroy the seed of the kingdom, and quite hinder all progress in the hidden and divine life. Wherefore we find, that the holy men and women of former times were not accustomed to these pleasures and vain recreations; but having their minds set on things above, fought another kingdom; which consists in
righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit; • who having obtained a good report, entered into their i eternal resto,' therefore their works follow, and praise them in the gates.
CH A P. XV.
9. 1. The judgments of God denounced upon the Jews
for their luxury; all ranks included. §. 2. Christ charges his disciples to have a care of the guilt of it: a fupplication to the inhabitants of England. §. 3. Temperance pressed upon the churches by the apostles. J. 4. An exhortation to England to measure herself by that rule. $. 5. What Christian recreations are. $. 6. Who need other sports to pass away their time, are unfit for heaven and eternity.
. 7. Man has but a few days: they may be better bestowed: this doctrine is ungrateful to none that would be truly blessed. §. 8. Not only good is omitted by this luxurious life, but evil committed, as breach of marriage and love, loss of health and estate, &c. play-houses and stages most inftrumental to this mischief. 8. 9. How youth is by them in. flamed to vanity: what mischief comes of revels, gamings, &c. Below the life of noble Heathens. §. 10. The true disciples of Jesus are mortified in these things : the pleasure and reward of a good employment of time.
a Mat. iv, 18. Mat. ix.
Acts xviii. 1, 2, 3. John xiii. 5. 1 Cor. iv. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
Phil. iii. 17.
1 Pet. ii. Jam. i. 15, 2o. 1 Pet. iii. 4, 5.
I Tim. v. 6.
Luke viii. 14. • Heb. xii. 2, 14, 15, 16. Heb. iv. 9. Rev. xiv, 13.
$. I. BUT
UT such excess in apparel and pleasure was
not only forbid in scripture, but it was the ground of that lamentable message by the prophet Isaiah to the people of Israel : Moreover the Lord « faith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, ( and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes,
walking and mincing as they go, and making a . tinkling with their feet; therefore the Lord will < smite with a scab the crown of the head of the • daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their
secret parts; in that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, and their cauls
(or net-works, in the Hebrew) and their round tires like the moon; the chains and the bracelets, and
the spangled ornaments; the bonnets, and the or'naments of the legs, and the head-bands, and the ' tablets, and the ear-rings, the rings and nose jewels;
the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and
the wimples, and the crisping pins; the glasses, and " the fine linen, and the hoods and the veils : and it ! shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smells, there
Thall be a stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and cinstead of well-fet hair, baldness; and instead of a
stomacher, a girding of fack-cloth, and burning in* stead of beauty: thy men shall fall by the sword, and
thy mighty in the war; and her gates shall lament • and mourn, and she, being desolate, shall fit upon is the ground a' Behold, O vain and foolish inhabitants of England and Europe, your folly and your doom ! Yet read the prophet Ezekiel's vision of miserable Tyre, what punishment her pride and pleasure brought upon her; and amongst many other circumstances these are fome; “These were thy merchants in all sorts of things; (in blue clothes and broidered work, and in chefts of ' rich apparel, emeralds, purple, fine linnen, coral and
agate, fpices, with all precious stones and gold, horses, chariots, &c. For which hear part of her doom,
a Ifa. iii, 16 to 26.