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See more cited out of him, and Bishop Downam, Bishop Abbot, &c., in my “Formal Hypocrite,” pp. 210, 212. &c. Direct. iv. ‘Be very fearful of making the persons of the godly contemptible, though for their real faults, lest the ungodly easily step thence to the contempt of godliness itself.” For it is easy to observe how commonly the vulgar judge of the doctrine and religion by the person that professeth it. If a Papist or a Sectary live a holy life, take heed of making a scorn of their persons, notwithstanding thou takest the rise of thy derision from their mistakes: for even a mistaking saint is dearly beloved and honoured of God : and wherever holiness is, it is the greatest, most resplendent, and predominant thing in him that hath it"; and therefore puts a greater honour on him, than any mistake or infirmity can dishonour him: as the person of a king must not be dishonoured by a reproachful mention of his infirmities, lest it reflect upon his office; so neither must the person of a holy man, lest it reflect on his religion. Not that any man's person should credit or secure his faults, nor that we should judge of the faults or manners by the men, instead of judging of the men by their manners: but you must judge of them by that which is predominant; and so blame their faults, as to preserve the honour of their virtues and religion, and of their persons for their virtues' sake. So blame the falls of Noah, and Lot, and David, and Peter, as may make the sin more odious, but not so as may make their persons contemptible, lest it make their religion next to be contemned. Mark here the difference between the mentioning of good men's falls, by the godly and by the ungodly. The godly mention them to make sin appear a thing more to be feared and watched against, and holiness to appear more excellent and necessary; but the ungodly mention them (and read them in Scripture) to make themselves believe that sin is not so bad and dangerous a thing as preachers tell them; and that holiness doth but little differ from a fleshly life. Direct. v. “Judge not of God's servants barely by report, without some considerable acquaintance with them.' I cannot remember one of a multitude of the enemies, scorners, and persecutors of godliness, great or small, high or low, but such as never had the happiness to be well acquainted with them, by any familiarity, or observation of the secret passages of their lives: but usually they are such as know them but by report, or by sight, or small acquaintance. And if they did but live with them in the same houses, or were of their familiarity, it were the likeliest way to change their minds and speeches : unless their acquaintance were only with some of the more ignorant, passionate, or distempered sort of Christians. Direct. v 1. ‘Take heed of uncharitableness and malice against any; but especially the servants of Christ.” For this blinds the judgment, and mads men with a venomous kind of passion, and will make them scorn and rage against the most holy servants of the Lord. The least true love to a Christian, as a Christian, would do much to the cure of all this sin. Direct. v11. ‘Take heed of being engaged in a sect or faction, and take heed of the carnal zeal of schism, and of the spirit of faction, which ordinarily makes men think it lawful, if not necessary, to scorn the persons that seem against them, that so they may disable them from hindering the interest of their cause or party.” Thus Papists, and thus—the factious ones of every party, think that their revilings are but the necessary disarming of the enemies of God (for such all must seem that differ from them:) and a stripping them of that honour by which they might do hurt. Thus good is pretended for the most odious evil, and God is set up against that love which is the fulfilling of his law; and made the patron of the scorners of his children: but
* Pliny saith, that as pearls though they lie in the bottom of the sea, are yet much nearer kin to heaven, as their splendor and excellency sheweth; so a godly and generous soul hath more dependance on heaven whence it comes, than on earth where it abideth. A good saying for a heathen.
surely he scorneth the scorners". Direct. vi.11. ‘Take heed of error and infidelity:’ for if
the understanding be once deluded, and take religion itself
to be but a deceit or fancy, and godliness to be but con
ceit and hypocrisy, no wonder if it be made a scorn by
such. And such scorners will justify themselves in it, and
think they do no harm : so great a plague is a blinded mind.
I have said less against this devilish sin than the nature o Prov. iii. 34.
of it requireth, because I have already said so much, especially in three treatises, viz. “The vain Religion of the Formal Hypocrite:” that called “Now or Never:” and “A Saint or a Brute.” I conclude with these earnest requests to the godly: 1. Give men no occasion of scorn by your imprudence, scandal, selfishness, or passion, as you tender the honour of God and men's salvation. As Chrysostom saith, “As he that beareth the king's standard in fight had need to be well guarded, so he that carrieth the name and profession of God and godliness P.” 2. Be not discouraged by scorners: these are but easy in comparison of what Christ suffered for you, and what the scorners themselves must suffer.
CHAPTER X. Directions for the Government of the Body.
PART I. Directions about our Labour and Callings.
Tit. 1. Directions for the Right Choice of our Calling and ordinary Labour.
I HAve already spoken of Christian works, and the duty of our callings, Chap. iii. Grand Direct. 10.; and am now only to subjoin these few Directions, for the right choosing of your callings: for of the using of them I must speak more anon. Direct. 1. ‘Understand how necessary a life of labour is, and the reasons of the necessity.’ Quest. 1. ‘Is labour necessary to all? Or to whom if not to all ?” Answ. It is necessary (as a duty) to all that are able to perform it: but to the unable it is not necessary: as to infants, and sick persons, or distracted persons that cannot do it, or to prisoners, or any that are restrained or p Socrates cum suisset à quodam calce percussus, admirantibus illius tolerantiam dixit; quid enim si me asinus calce impetisset, num illi diem dixissem? Diog. Laert. lib. ii. sect. 22, p. 92. WOL. III. P P
hindered unavoidably by others, or to people that are disabled by age, or by any thing that maketh it naturally impossible. Quest. 11. ‘What labour is it that is necessary 3” Answ. Some labour that shall employ the faculties of the soul and body, and be profitable, as far as may be, to others and ourselves. But the same kind of labour is not necessary for all. In some labours, the mind is more employed than the body: as in the labours of a magistrate, a minister, a physician, a lawyer, &c.: though some in these may have much bodily labour also. The labour of some is almost only of the mind: as, 1. Of students in divinity, philosophy, law, physic, &c., who are but preparing themselves for a calling. 2. Of some ministers, or other godly persons, who by the iniquity of the place or times where they live, may for a season be disabled from appearing among men, and labouring for any except by the mind: being imprisoned, or driven into solitude, or otherwise made incapable. 3. Of men that have some extraordinary necessity for a season, to converse with God and themselves alone: as, men that are near death, and have need to lay by all other labours to prepare themselves. Though, usually, even they that are near death should labour the good of others to the last; and in so doing they profit and prepare themselves. The labour of some others is more of the body than the mind: as, most tradesmen and day-labourers. And the labour of some is equally of the body and mind: as, some painful ministers, and physicians, scribes, and artificers of more ingenious professions, as watchmakers, printers, builders, &c.; some of these are fittest for one man, and some for another". Quest. 111. ‘May not religion excuse men from all other labour, save prayer and contemplation"?’ Answ. Religion is our obligation to obey God. God bindeth us to do all the good we can to others. Some men that have ability, opportunity, and a call, may be excused by religion from worldly labours, as ministers; but not from such spiritual labours for others which they can perform. He that under pretence of religion, withdraweth from converse, and forbeareth to do good to others, and only liveth to himself and his own soul, doth make religion a pretence against charity and the works of charity, which are a great part of religion: for “pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world".” Even when sickness, imprisonment, or persecution disableth to do any more for others, we must pray for them. But while we can do more, we must.
a See 1 Cor. ix. 6. 2 Cor. vi. 1. 1 Cor. xvi. 10. 2 Tim. ii. 15. * See before Chap. vi. Tit. 4 of this: and in my “Treatise of Divine Life.” Part iii.
Quest. Iv.!" Will not riches excuse one from labouring in a calling?' Answ. No : but rather bind them to it the more: for he that hath most wages from God, should do him most work. Though they have no outward want to urge them, they have as great a necessity of obeying God, and doing good to others, as any other men have that are poor.
Quest. v. “Why is labour thus necessary to all that are able to Answ. 1. God hath strictly commanded it to all: and his command is reason enough to us. “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy-bodies. Now them that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work and eat their own bread".” “We beseech you brethren that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and work with your hands as we commanded you, that ye may walk honestly (or decently) towards them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing’.” “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground'." And in the fourth Commandment; “Six days shalt thou labour.” So Ephes. iv. 28. Prov. xxxi. 31. 33.
2. Naturally, action is the end of all our powers; and the power were vain, but in respect to the act. To be able to understand, to read, to write, to go, &c. were little worth, if it were not that we may do the things that we are enabled to.
c James i. 27. - * 2 Thess. iii. 10–12. * Ver, 6, 14. 1 Thess, iv. 11. * Gen. iii. 19.