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Men, and to the Judgment of Almighty G6d, both in this World and in that which is to come. For with what Judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and •with what Measure ye mete, it Jhall be measured to you again. This Firjl Reason I considered at the last Occasion ; and proceed now to some other Considerations, tending to the fame Purpose, contained in the Words I have read, which I mail speak to, as they lie in Order. . .

II. The Second Reason then, for guarding U9 against this Vice, I observed in the Words, wa9f this, that it is a Practice highly unbecoming us, who have so many great Faults of our own, to be so sharp-sighted as to our Neighbours, and so censorious of them. And why beholdejl thou' the Mote that is in thy Brothers Eye, but ton-* Jiderejl not the Beam that is in thine own Eye?

This Reason is proposed with diverse {harp, aggravating Circumstances; all which tend to£hew the great Unreasonableness of this Vice, which therefore deserve our more serious Consideration; particularly these Four: which I design for the Subject of our present Meditations.

1. That the Person addicted to this Sin of rash judging and censuring, is described here to* be guilty of greater Faults himself, than are inthe censured Person. His Sins are compared to a Beam; the others to a Mote.

2. That he is represented as not endeavouring to see and find out his own Faults, which it is his Duty to. do; but over diligent in prying after his Neighbour's, which he neither ought, nor

D 2 can can well discover, while he labours under such an high Degree of Pride and Self-conceit himself.

3. The Vice is further aggravated, in regard of the Person against whom it is committed; Thy Brother; equal in Dignity; and that ought to be tender and dear to thee on Account of that Relation.

4. The Interrogation why he thus pries where he ought not to look, and looks not at Home, where he should use a diligent Inspection; shews that he has no good Motives and Intentions in so doing ; for the Interrogation carries the Force of a violent Negation

I. The Persons addicted to this Sin of rasti judging and censuring, are represented here as guilty cf greater Faults themselves, than are in the censured Person. Their Sins are compared to a Beam; the others to a Mote. And why beholdeji thou the Mote that is in thy Brothers Eye, but confidercjl not the Beam that is in thine own Eye? This is one great Instance of that fort of Hypocrisy, which our Saviour thought deserved most to be reproved in the Doctors of those Days, that overlooking great Matters, they spent all their Zeal about Things of little or no Consequence. They were very nice in Externals, the ceremonial Part of Religion, but inwardly full of Pride, Malice, Cruelty, and Uncharitablenels. Now I am afraid, if we enquire, we shall find a good deal of this Spirit and Temper among all the greatest Pretenders to Religion, and that both in Doctrinals and Morals. Is not this too common, and much to be lamented in all Paities of Christians, that they

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Jay greater Stress upon some of those little Points* in which, they differ from one another, than upon the . great Points of Christianity in which they are agreed? And consequently they are much more apt to censure and blame one another, for any one of these small Differences, than to love one another for their Agreement in the great Points of Christian Doctrine, and Morals. Then as to Christian Duties, are we not more apt to censure a Man for every the least Failure in a Matter of mere Decency, and Civility, than in a Matter of .downright Vice, especially those more spiritual Vices of Pride, Malice, Envy, persecuting Zeal, and the like, which have terrible bad Consequences in the World? But further, that the Vices of Cenfurers and rash Judges of other People, are more grievous than the Faults of the censured, will appear from these two or three Considerations.

1. That commonly the Causes from which Censeriousness proceeds are very bad, viz. inward Pride, Self-conceit, Hatred of our Neighbours, a Malignity of Nature, a Desire to expose others, and to set off ourselves.

2. That commonly it has exceeding bad Effects and Consequences, in fomenting Differences and Divisions, in raising Persecutions, in promoting Acts of Injustice, and in undermining the very Foundation of all Charity, I mean, Love and Charity in the Heart.

3. Because there is often some secret great Sin, which the proud, censorious Person lives in 5 for the better hiding and concealing of which, he takes upon him to censure and reprove the lesser Faults of other People, on purpose that by that

D 3 Means. Means he may divert his Mind from the Thoughts of his own Sins, and be thought a Person of extraordinary Piety by others. »

II. This censorious Person is represented here in my Text, as one that doth not so much as endeavour to fee and find out his own Faults, which it is his Duty to do; but over diligent in prying after his Neighbour's, which it is not his Business to enquire after; nor can he well discover them, while he labours under such an high Degree of Pride and Self-conceit himself. His not seeing with respect to himself, and his wishful looking with respect to his Neighbour, are both here noted. And indeed, it is no Wonder that the one is the Cause of the other. A Man cannot be both much abroad, and much at home. He that is busy, prying into his Neighbour's Faults, cannot be so well versed in his own Infirmities as he ought. He wants both the Time, and the Attention and Application that are necessary for it. Now what a Pegree of Unhappiness this is, let us a little consider. We could soon apprehend the Evil of this in the Management of a Temporal Estate. If a Man never looked after his own Affairs, but busied himself entirely abroad, every one would quickly tell what would become of such a Man. Suppose a Man were so well versed in all the Papers that give any News or In* telligence of remote Countries, that he were fit to make a Secretary of State to the Grand Seignipr, if he understood nothing of the Affairs of his own Country, or of his own Estate, would pot every one confess that such a Man's Knowledge and Care are wrong placed ? And if this holds true in Temporals, it doth much more so in Spirituals. For in the Affairs of this World, a Man may have his Place supplied by Attornies and Deputies; which cannot be in the Concerns of our Souls, which God will require of every Man himself. This careful Inspection into our own Heart and Life, is the Foundation of all our other religious Concerns. And therefore whatever obstructs it, mould be very carefully watched and guarded against. And of all Things of that Nature, there is none has a greater Influence on this Neglect of our Souls, than the busying ourselves unnecessarily with that which doth not' belong to us, our Neighbour's Faults or Infirmities.

But is it then a disallowable Thing to take any Inspection into our Neighbours Lives and Actions; and particularly to enquire into their Sin and Folly? There is some Difficulty in this Matter; and therefore I think it worth while to consider it a little more particularly.

1. First then, There are some Persons, who, by their Office and Station, not only may, but ought to have an Inspection into the Lives and Manners of Men. Parents lhould have an Inspection over their Children; and Masters and Mistresses of Families over their Servants: Pastors are to have so far an Inspection into their Peoples Lives and Consciences, as to be able to give them proper Advices in publick, or in private, as far as they have Access and Opportunity, in Sickness or in Health. Magistrates too, have as far an Inspection as relates to the publick Peace and Quiet i and Mens publick Actions, as far as they

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