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crease the Miseries of others, have trefured up only. Wrath against the Day of Wrath, when every one shall receive, according to his works : whilst the Merciful shall receive Mercy and be admitted into the Joy of their Lord.
1 Pet. iii. 8. Love as Brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.
MY HAVE taken frequent Oc
Incasions of shewing you, in
versal Love and Benevolence are press’d upon us in the Writings of the New-Testament; that they are called the End of the Commandment and the fulfilling of the Law. The Apostle in the Words following my Text recommends a particular Branchi of Benevolence, which, tho’ it be of the utmost Importance, is generally overlook'd and neglected; and that not only by the Vicious and Profane, but by the better Sort of Men ; and tho' it be one of the greatest and most pernicious, is scarce deem'd any Breach of Charity at all; nay, is often gloried in, as worthy and meritorious, by those who, perhaps, would not readily offend in any other way. The Apostle goes on, not rendering Evil for Evil, or Railing for Railing, but contrariwise Blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto calld, that ye should inherit a Blessing. For he that will love Life, and fee good Days, let him refrain bis Tongue from Evil, and his Lips that they speak no Guile. You see the Apostle does particularly recommend Love, Pity, and Courteousness in our Conversation, he forbids us to render Railing for Railing, and tells us, that
the way to enjoy Life and to see good Days is to restrain our Tongues from Evil.
I shall observe to you in the First Place, how frequent Offences of this kind are, with the Reasons of it.
Secondly, How pernicious they are not only to others, but to our selves.
And Lastly, Exhort you to embrace the contrary Behaviour from the Blefsings that attend it.
First then, I shall take notice of the Frequency of the Malevolence of the Tongue, and inquire into the Reasons of it.
We can scarce fall into any Company, in which either the real Failings and Misfortunes of others, or elle those that are merely fictitious and imaginary, are not the common Topick of Discourse. We may ob
serve, that upon all other Subjects, most Men are under Difficulties, and at a loss to support Conversation ; there is generally a Reservedness, and long Pauses and Intervals of Silence will intervene; but when Scandal comes upon the Board, every one finds a Fluency of Speech, all are Wits and Orators, every one's Quiver is full-fraught, every one is a fhrewd Archer in discharging those Arrows, which are bitter Words. This Game is no sooner started, but we see the most Dull and Indifferent, the most Silent and Insipid, rouz'd to che Purfuit; there is an Eagerness, a general Emulation who shall excel, who shall be foremost in the cruel Chace; as tho’ Mankind were form’d to vilify and abuse, to tear and devour one another.
When we consider the focial Qualifications of human Nature, and the great Variety of Pleasures and Endearments