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laws, and transgressing the divine precepts, as often as they stand in the way of his pleasure or interest.
He who worships Satan in his heart for the sake of worldly advancement, will practice lying, robbery, treason, murders, and all other evil arts which may conduce to the transferring of power and property from other hands to his own. What fightings and perjuries have arisen from a lust of power! What persecution and cruelty hath been practised by idolaters against the servants of the true God! Spiritual pride and self-elevation amongst Christians will be followed by the same fatal effects. Let a man think himself a saint of an higher class, and separate himself with a pharisaical spirit, and then he will assume a right to bind kings in chains, and nobles with links of iron : he will snatch
property from the hands of those, who in his opinion are less worthy of it than himself, and will attempt to do God service by oppressing and destroying those who are displeased with his innovations.
When these things are considered, it will seem neither strange nor improper, that no one of the sins to which Christ was tempted by the Devil, were sins against society. We . hear nothing about murder, alultery, theft, VOL. III.
false witness, or any other sin against our neighbour; the temptation being conversant about such sins only as pass between God'and a man's own heart. The first of them is a want of faith in God, as the preserver of men; the second is spiritual pride; the third idolatry. How few are there now, who make a proper account of them! A man may distrust the providence of God, despise his church, confound Jupiter with Jehovah, sell his conscience in a reputable way to the Devil; and yet find those who shall think him a very rational, decent, good sort of a Christian. When the Serpent explained to Eve the grounds of the divine prohibition, he said, God doth know, &c. and we may say on the other hand, with all that truth which his explanation wanted, -" The Devil doth
know, that in the day when he can per« suade us to commit these sins we shall “ make no scruple about the rest :” for these are mother-sins, big with the whole race of offences against civil society. By these therefore all the purposes of his temptations are more cheaply and effectually answered. He succeeds better by sapping the foundation of forality, than by making a partial breach in the walls : and many who are armed
against against the open assaults of
wickedness, may be ruined by that which is more refined, and of which they do not as yet foresee the natural consequences : but, according to the proverb of the ancients, wickedness proceedeth from the wicked“; wickedness of the manners from the wickedness of the mind; so that if the enemy can debauch the mind, his temptation is accomplished; because such a mind will never fail to corrupt the manners.
1 Sam. xxiv. 13.
LIFE AND DEATH.
I, A Survey of the BREVITY and VANITY of Human
Life; with the Consolation administered by the
II. CONSIDERATIONs on St Paul's Wish, to depart and
be with CHRIST.
With an APPENDIX on the INTERMEDIATE STATE.
III. A COMMENTARY on Rev. xiv. 13. in which the
NATURE of Death is farther considered.