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Appearance, with Impunity; committing much Evil, and enjoying much Good. And they, who are punished, are often but flightly punished; and feldom according to the Degree of their Crimes: for the deliberate and artful Sinners, who are the worst, ufually fare best here below. As fure therefore as God is juft and true, another State remains, in which all this will be fet right.

What Sufferings, in particular, the divine Juftice will then inflict on unpardoned Sinners, Reason cannot determine and Revelation hath given us only general and figurative Descriptions of them; but fuch Defcriptions, as are beyond all Things terrible: and I fhall lay them before you, not in my own Words, but those of holy Writ. The Judge of all fhall fay unto them, Depart from me, ye curfed, into everlasting Fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels. There they fhall drink of the Wine of the Wrath of God, which is poured out, without Mixture, into the Cup of his Indignation, and fhail be tormented with Fire and Brimftone; and the Smoke of their Torment afcendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no Reft, Day nor Night: their Worm fhall not die, neither. fhall their Fire be quenched.

How fevere foever thefe Denunciations may appear to us, affuredly the Threatenings of God will not be vain Terrors. We are partial and incompetent Judges in our own Cafe: prone to flatter and deceive ourselves. But he knows exactly, what Sin deferves, and what the Honour of his Government requires: from his Declarations therefore we are to learn our Fate. He hath fet before us Life and Death: and whether we like, shall be given us. If therefore the latter be our wilful Choice, in which we obftinately perfift; what Wonder, if we are left to it? For Sin and Mifery muft and will be Companions for ever. Not that, in any Cafe, the Anger of God fhall prevail over his Juftice: but the Degree of each Perfon's Condemnation fhall be fo ex

81fa, Ixvi. 24.


e Matth. xxv. 14. Mark ix, 44, 46, 48.

f Rev. xiv. 10, 11.

Ecclus. xv. 37


actly proportioned to that of his Guilt, that when the Eyes of Sinners, which here they endeavour to shut, are opened, as they fhall be hereafter, to see what their Deeds have merited; every Mouth fhall be flopped, and all Flesh be filent before the Lord. For every Circumftance, that can either aggravate, or excufe, will be impartially weighed; and fome be accordingly beaten with many Stripes, and fome with few. But what the lowest Degree of the Almighty's final Vengeance may amount to, God forbid we fhould any of us try: for whoever fins, purpofely or carelessly, in Hopes of a small Punishment, will for that very Reason deserve a heavy one.

Let us all therefore make the Ufe that we ought, both of the Terrors and the Mercies of the Lord: awing ourselves by the former from tranfgreffing our Duty, and encouraging ourselves by the latter to the utmoft Diligence in performing it: that fo we may pass through Life with Comfort, meet Death with Cheerfulness, and having faithfully ferved God in this World, be eternally and abundantly rewarded by him in the


i Rom. iii. 19.

* Zech. ii. 15.


1 Luke xii, 47, 48.


Firft Commandment.

HE whole Duty of Man confifts in three Points:

TH renouncing what God hath forbidden us, believing

what he hath taught us, and doing what he hath required of us which accordingly are the Things promifed in our Name at our Baptifm. The two former I have already explained to you. And therefore I proseed at prefent to the third.


Now the Things, which God requires to be done, are of two Sorts: either fuch, as have been always the Duty of all Men: or fuch, as are peculiarly the Duty of Chriftians. And our Catechifm very properly treats of the former Sort firft, comprehending them under those ten Commandments, which were delivered by the Creator of the World, on Mount Sinai, in a moft awful Manner, as you may read in the 19th and 20th Chapters of Exodus. For though indeed they were then given to the Jews particularly, yet the Things contained in them are fuch, as all Mankind from the Beginning were bound to obferve. And therefore, even under the Mofaic Dispensation, they, and the Tables on which they were engraven, and the Ark in which they were put, were diftinguished from the reft of God's Ordinances by a peculiar Regard, as containing the Covenant of the Lord. And though the Mofaic Difpenfation be now at an End, yet concerning thefe moral Precepts of it our Saviour declares, that one fot or one Tittle fhall in no wife pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled ©. Accordingly we find both him, and his Apoftles, quoting thefe ten Commandments, as Matter of perpetual Obligation to Chriftians: who are now, as the Jews were formerly, the Ifrael of God.

Indeed the whole New Teftament, and especially the Sermon of our bleffed Lord, on the Mount, inftructs us to carry their obligation farther, that is, to more Points, than either the Jews, a People of grofs Underftanding and carnal Difpofitions, commonly took into Confideration; or their Prophets were commiffioned diftinctly to reprefent to them; the Wisdom of God foreseeing, that it would only increase their Guilt: and further indeed, than the Words of the Commandments, if taken ftrictly, exprefs. But the Reason is, that be

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a Decem fermones illi in tabulis nihil novum docent, fed quod obliteratum fuerat admonent. Novatian. de lib. Judaicis, c. 3. Exod. xxxiv. 28. Deut. iv. 13. ix. 9, 11, 15. 1 Kings viii. 9, 21, 2 Chron. v. 1o. vi. 11. Gal. vi, 16.

G 2

Jofh. iii. 1.
Matth. v. 13.


ing vifibly intended for a Summary of human Duty, they both may, and muft, be underftcod, by those who are capable of penetrating into the Depth of their Meaning, to imply more than they exprefs. And therefore, to comprehend their full Extent, it will be requifite to obferve the following Rules. Where any Sin is forbidden in them, the oppofite Duty is implicitly enjoined: and where any Duty is enjoined, the oppofite Sin is implicitly forbidden. Where the higheft Degree of any thing evil is prohibited; whatever is faulty in the fame Kind, though in a lower Degree, is by Confequence prohibited. And where one Inftance of virtuous Behaviour is commanded, every other, that hath the fame Nature, and fame Reafon for it, is understood to be commanded too. What we are expected to abstain from, we are expected to avoid, as far as we can, all Temptations to it, and Occafions of it: and what we are expected to practife, we are expected to use all fit Means, that may better enable us to practise it. All, that we are bound to do ourselves, we are bound, on fitting Occafions, to exhort and affift others to do, when it belongs to them: and all, that we are bound not to do, we are to tempt Nobody elfe to do, but keep them back from it, as much as we have Opportunity. The ten Commandments, excepting two that required Enlargement, are delivered in few Words: which brief Man

ner of speaking hath great Majefty in it. But explaining them according to thefe Rules; which are natural and rational in themfelves, favoured by ancient Jewish Writers, authorized by our bleffed Saviour, and certainly defigned by the Makers of the Catechism to be ufed in expounding it: we fhall find, that there is no Part of the moral Law, but may be fitly ranked under them as will appear by what shall be said, in speaking feparately on each Commandment.


Χρη δε μηδ' εκεινό αγνειν, ὅτι οἱ ἱ λόγοι κεφαλαια νομων εισι, των εν είδει παρ' όλην την νομοθεσιαν εν ταις ίεραις βιβλοις αναγραφέντων. Philo de Decal.

,Cozri אמות התורה ושרשית The ten Commandments are

P. 44. See also there p. 107.


Before them all, is placed a general Preface: expreffing, firft, the Authority of him who gave them, I am the Lord thy God: fecondly, his Goodness to those whom he enjoined to obferve them; who brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, out of the House of Bondage. Now the Authority of God over us Chriftians, is as great, as it could be over the Jews. And his Goodness is much greater, in freeing us from the Bondage of Sin, and opening to us the heavenly Land of Promise, than it was in leading them, from Egyptian Slavery, to the earthly Canaan: though indeed this Deliverance, having made fo fresh and fo ftrong an Impreffion on them, was the fittest to be mentioned at that Time.

The_ten Commandments being originally written, by the Finger of God himself, on two Tables of Stone; and confifting of two Parts, our Duty to our Maker, and to our Fellow-creatures; which we can never perform as we ought, if we neglect that we owe to ourfelves; the four firft are usually called Duties of the first Table; the fix laft, of the fecond. And our Saviour, in Effect, divides them accordingly, when he reduces them to thefe: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy Heart; and thy Neighbour, as thyself.

The firft Commandment is, Thou shalt have none other Gods, but me.

The fame Reasons, which prove, that God is, prove that there is but one God. The Imagination of two or more Beings, each perfect and each infinite, is at firft Sight groundless. For one fuch Being is fufficient to produce and govern every Thing else: and therefore more than one can never be proved by Reason: and yet, if there were more, all Men would furely have had fome Way of knowing it: and till we have, we are not to believe it. Indeed we have ftrong Reafons to believe the contrary. For if there is no Difference between these feveral fuppofed Beings, they are but one and the fame. And if there is any Difference, one must be lefs

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