A REPLY TO THE Observator; TOGETHER With a SERMON Preached on the 24th of August last past, on Gal. 6.2. at St. Giles in the Fields, (most unjustly reflected upon by him.)

By WILLIAM SMYTHIES, Curate at St. Giles Cripplegate.

LONDON, Printed for John Southby at the Plough in Cornhil, 1684.

TO THE READER.

READER,

AS I hope you will be more ingenuous towards me than the Observator hath been, and pass a favourable Construction upon a very plain Sermon, which was far from being intended for the Press; so I will deal as fairly in giving you an account of some Passages which occasion'd his virulent Reflections upon me. I had formerly preached upon the Verse immediately foregoing the Subject of this Sermon, If a Man be overtaken in a Fault, &c. Which I made choice of on purpose to per­suade my Auditors so to behave themselves towards Dis­senters, that they might be encouraged to a sincere and exact Compliance with our Church: Upon which account there were such Reproaches cast upon me, that I was for­ced to Publish it in my own Vindication. Having finish­ed what I intended from that Verse, I resolved to proceed to this, which I saw would give me opportunity for season­able Discourses relating to other Matters. I live in a Parish where the Burden of Poverty is very heavy, and yet some have been offended at me for concerning my self for the Poor as I have done; pretending that it encreased [Page]the number of them: I thought therefore I should do well to give a Reproof to these Persons. There hath been likewise very vexatious Contests at Law, and great Com­plaints that the Innocent w [...]re slandered by secret Back­biters. These I considered did likewise deserve a sharp Reprehension. But that which the Observator charges me with, of suggesting that Dissenters lay under the Bur­den of Oppression and Persecution, and that the Govern­ment ought to ease them, or any thing to that Purpose, never entred into my Thoughts, nor can I believe that he really thought I intended any such thing: If he did, I challenge him to name another Person in the Congregation that was of his Mind. But want of Stuff for his Papers, and not Ill will against any that are of a contrary Tem­per to himself, provoked him to accost me after this rude manner. If I had been of such Principles, as he would persuade the World I am, certainly I should not have been so unworthy as to have vented them in the Pulpit of that great and good Man, the D. of N. to whom he shewed but little respect, in that he knew that so far as he could be believed to speak Truth, the D. must be very ill thought of in desiring such a factious Preacher to supply his Ab­sence. I have transcribed part of his Observator, that you may see how unlike a Christian, or a Gentleman, he is pleased to treat me.

At the end of his first Column he is reviling a Ma­gistrate, and a Constable, by charging them with being Favourers of Conventicles, and from thence takes occasion to ridicule my Sermon as followeth:

What is This, but Making Friends of the Ʋn­righteous Mammon, and Providing before-hand against a Rainy Day? He that Shuffles, and Cuts thus, betwixt God, and his Own Soul; and Crys, Let the King, and the Church take their Fortune, I'le Shift for my self; That Man, I say, has already Abandon'd his Post, and Enter'd into a Treaty with the Faction. He does as good as say, Look ye Gentlemen; We are Christians; and it is Our Duty to Help one Another; and to bear one Anothers Burdens. If the King gets the Better on't, Let Me alone to do Your Bus'ness: And in case of a Turn T'other way, You shall do as much for Me. What's All This, I say, but a Tacit Composition with a Publique Enemy; where a man delivers-up his Honour, and his Conscience for the Saving of his Skin, and Int'rest? And the Devil Him­self, with his Cloven-Foot, Attests the Contract. Why This Man would have been Safe, in the Coach it self; Nay, in the very Arms of the King and the Duke at the Rye-House, unless a Chance-Shot should have happen'd to take-him-off: And he would have pleaded the very Merit of his Services to the Party. You are Wonderfully Tender too, on the behalf of your Dispensing Ministers; Their Good Name is Wounded it seems, for bearing with the Infirmities of their Weak Brethren. What's their Discretion, I prethee, to the Authority of a Law? Do they make more Scruple of Gratifying their Weak Bre­thren in their Peevish Mistakes, than they do of Keeping [Page]their Own Oaths? I have heart of One of Your Godly Ministers that was willing to do a Good Office for a Man of Power, and Reputation, with the Dissenters, by put­ting out an In Verbo Sacerdotis to Interest; for the Ʋse, and Behoof of the Good Old Cause: He was Judicially Interrogated about somebodies coming to Church; and their Conformity to the Rites, Ceremonies, and Methods of the Publick Worship, as by Law Appointed: Particu­larly, about coming to Church, [Yes] and then about Receiving the Sacrament. [Yes too.] Ay but How? (says the Question) [Very Decently truly] (Crys the An­swer.) Well! But what do you Call, Decently? (says the Question again) Is it Sitting, or Standing, or How? Come; was it Kneeling, or not? [No Truly, it was Sitting, but very Decently.]

And in another place he proceeds thus,

—Trim. Prethee say Nobs. If This Furious Zeal of Thine; This Inexorable Cruelty, and Rigour, be of Heaven, or Hell? Is This according to the Apostles Ad­vice, [The Bearing of one anothers Burdens; And in so doing, the Fulfilling of the Law of Christ?] Do you not know that [Loving One Another, is the Great Lesson of Christianity? It was the very Precept Inculcated to the Disciples, upon the Treason, and Apostacy of Judas: How are Poor People Griev'd under Pressures, and who Heeds it? Nay we have a Generation of Men that take Offence at Those that Help 'em: Ay, and they are e'en Glad of seeing Mischief; And so far from Relieving their Brethren, that they make Themselves, their Burdens. They Seek Occasion against them; And when they have Slander'd the Innocent without Cause, They Hide Themselves. [Page] Their Tongues are Set on fire, with the Fire of Hell; And instead of Bearing their Fellows Burdens, They Break their Backs. But who are they that do All This? They are the Sons of the Devil; And are come to do the Work of their Father, which is the Devil. Oh the Base­ness of These Devillish Natures, that will not be Con­tent with Conformity! It is the Due Execution of the Law, that is the Way to Convince Dissenters: And when they come once to Answer the Law—Well! The Law of Christ is above All Laws; And Christ is a Great Prince: But there is Another Prince, which is the Prince of This World, That's the Prince they Serve.

Obs. Hold thy Hand; as thou lov'st me Trimmer; and tell me betwixt Friends now, Which thou Mean'st, by That Other Prince; whether the Prince of the Air, or the King of Great Brittain? Why thou hast Trimm'd-it away here, as if thou wert putting in for a Living of six or sevenscore pound a year. Here's first the Common Topique of All Trimmers: Bearing of Burdens: which Implys Oppression, and Persecution. The Dissenters lye under Those Burdens; And the Govern­ment is to Ease them. Love One Another, is a Christian Lesson; but are we to love Mens Iniquities; or was it the Apostles Meaning, we should bear the Burdens of One anothers Sins, and Transgressions? Are we to love Hypocrites, in the very Hardness of their Impenitent Hearts? Nay, the Hypocrisy it self; after so many Judg­ments Denounc'd against Them, and It, by our Blessed Saviour? Are we to bear the Burdens of Men, Swelling, and Triumphing in the Sins of Schism, Contumacy and Se­dition? Mercenary Wretches, that to serve a Present Turn, Cast themselves at the Feet, and Lick-up the very Spittle, of a Tony, or an Oliver? Will you call [Page]it a Slander, to tell the Naked Fact of a Practical Ʋsurpation? Or the Hiding of a Mans Self, to do it in the Open Sight both of God, and Man? What would some body give now, that I could Name, for a Stand in some Parish-Pulpit to get a Shoot at the Observator! In fine; Every Son of the Charch is made a Child of the Devil; and upon the Whole Matter, here's [The Conformists Plea for the Non-Conformists.] The Law of Christ, you say, is above All Laws. What's That to say, in this place; but that the Law of the Land, and the Law of Christ are at Odds? But the Men of Forty One, are the Best Expositors of the Duty of Bearing one Anothers Burdens, according to the very Letter. They bore the Kings, and the Churches Burdens, (Poor Wretches) Baggs, Parchments, Estates, and Li­vings; and the Devil of any Other way they Practic'd of Bearing one Anothers Burdens.

Thus you see what the Visit was, which in his fore­going Paper he gave notice that he would return to Cripplegate.

You may take notice of the Passages which he cavels at in my Sermon, by some of the Words being printed in Black Letters.

A REPLY TO THE OBSERVATOR.

SIR,

I Was informed by your Paper on Wednesday last, that you were in haste to return a Visit as far as Cripple­gate; and perceiving the day following what the Vi­sit was, and how early you performed it that Morn­ing, I could not but think you to be one of that number of whom the wise Man observes, that, They sleep not ex­cept they have done Mischief.

The Visit was a most unaccountable Descant upon my Text and Sermon at St. Giles in the Fields the last Sun­day: which I here faithfully publish, that the World may judg whether there were the least cause for such Oppro­brious Reflections; and pity the case of an antient Gen­tleman, who makes it his Calling and Employment to re­proach and villify whom he pleases.

The Sermon shall speak for it self; and I doubt not but all sober Men will say, that it is not more plain than honest.

You suggest, Sir, That I am a Mercenary Wretch, who, to serve the present Turn, do cast my self at the feet, and lick up the Spittle of a Tony or an Oliver. But there is no Man living whom you might not with as much appea­rance of Truth, have thus reproached! 'Tis very likely that I should pay such a mighty Reverence to the rotten Bones of the great Usurper under Tyburn, who detested and despised him when in the height of his Glory. Such was my Behaviour then, that his Tryers would not permit me a Stand in a Parish-Pulpit of my own, to get a Shoot at any body. And when I had hid my self in a private place in the Essex-Hundreds, I was routed thence by one of Oliver's Agents, because my Name was then Ma­lignant, as it is now Trimmer, and forc'd to make my escape after twenty weeks preaching there, carrying no other Reward for my pains away with me, but a Quartan Ague. In such Circumstances was I at that time, when SOME­BODY kept his Coach and six Horses. So far was I from being a SPY or OBSEVATOR in those days. And if you will play the Man, and charge me point blank with being, or having ever been an Admirer of your Tony, or having a kindness for any Rebellious, Factious, or Associating Principles; I will produce more Loyal Persons, and better Protestants for my Compurga­tors than One that I know of was able to produce when he was accus'd for being a Papist. I thank God, I have been so far from acting any thing against the Government or Interest of our Church, that I have been beyond Ex­pectation, successful in serving both. The worst Enemy I have must acknowledg that by contending for Confor­mity, both from the Pulpit and Press, I have brought great numbers to the Sacrament, and an exact Confor­mity to the Orders of the Church. And I believe my [Page 3]Lord Bishop will be ready to attest, that I have waited upon him about baptizing of converted Quakers and Anabaptists, and their Children, as often as any one of the Clergy hath done. But if I had been of such a Spirit, as I perceive would please You, I had never brought any Dissenter into the Church, nor convinced any one Person of his Errours.

I know, Sir, it is objected against me (and it lately came to the Ear of his Majesty himself, by the means of some spiteful People) that I have been an Associate with Dissenters: But the only Truth in that Suggestion is, That I love all Men, and according to my Power, do good to all. I do not think that Religion teaches Men to be ill natur'd, nor can any prove me a greater Friend to Phanaticks, than my great Master was to Publicans and Sinners.

The greatest Kindness I ever did for any Dissenters from our Church, was for a Family of Papists; Persons of Quality, whose whole Estate was unjustly kept from them by a Protestant Dissenter; and yet I think I could as soon be a Jew as a Popish Christian.

I have likewise suffered in my Reputation by being kind in the Distribution of other Mens Charity, (where I was not limited by the Donor) to all that were in ex­cessive want, without respect to their Opinions: but as the Church hath lost nothing by it, so I cannot but see enough in all Men to provoke me to Kindness and Pity to the Persons, even of those whose Principles and Practices I heartily abhor. I may very well be content to suffer in my good Name, in so notorious a manner, since this hath been of late the lot of divers who are a thousand times more deserving than my self. Some of the most eminent Divines of the Church of England have been most falsely [Page 4]accus'd: And there is a certain Magistrate on whom some think you have been throwing your Dirt, in the same Paper in which you Visit me, who is a most devout Con­formist to the Church (and was so, long before he was in Commission), and a very vigorous Prosecutor of Conven­ticles; however he may have been represented by some, whose Loyalty and Conformity to the Laws of God, the King, and the Church, lye far more in their Talk than Practice.

And now, Sir, (not to pay you in your own Coin, I mean in returning reviling for reviling) give me leave se­dately to ask you a few Questions.

1. If Mens calmly treating Protestant Dissenters, speaks them Trimmers, what doth your wonderful mildness and gentleness towards Popish Dissenters speak your self to be? Or, rather what does the mighty Kindness you are ever expressing towards them, speak you to be, whilst in the mean time you profess your self a Son of the Church of England? Why should not your so vigorous pleading the Cause of the Papists, make You as justly liable to the charge of Trimming? And, to speak to but one instance of your kindness to them: If I had been at a quarter of that pains for the lessening of the Phanatique Plot,See Observ. Aug. 30. that you have taken to sham and redicule the Popish One, I would not complain that you abus'd me in calling me Trimmer, or by a worse Name, if there be any worse. May I not speak to you in your own Dialect, and in most of your own Words to me, as followeth? Why this is right Trim­ming, &c. You do as good as say, Look ye Gentlemen; We are Christians, and it is Our Duty to Help one Ano­ther, and to bear one Anothers Burdens. If the King [Page 5] gets the Better on't, Let Me alone to do Your Bus'ness: And in case of a Turn to the Church of Rome, You shall do as much for Me. What's All This, I say, but a Tacit Composition with a Publique Enemy; where a Man delivers-up his Honour, and Conscience for the Saving of his Skin, and Int'rest? And the Devil Himself, with his Cloven-Foot, Attests the Contract. Why This Man would have been Safe in the Arms of Sir Edmond Bury-Godfrey had the Papists kill'd him, when, three days af­ter his Death, he thrust himself through with his own Sword.

2. I demand of you, Whether you did more foolishly or spitefully, in asking, Whether by the Prince of this World. I meant the King of Great Britain, or the Prince of the Air? Pray, who ever call'd the King of Great Britain the Prince of this World?

3. I ask you, Whether you do like a Son of the Church of England? or, on the contrary, vilely disparage her Cause, in supposing, as you often do, that Men who have once imbibed Phanatique Principles, can never become sincere Conformists? Is not this to suggest, that the Argu­ments to Conformity to our Church are of but little or no force? or that the Clergy are too weak to justify it?

4. I ask again, Whether he that undertakes to pass publick Censures at the rate that You do, upon the Di­vines of our Church, and their Pulpit-Discourses, assumes not to himself the Office of a Bishop? And whether in so doing you do not plainly charge their Diocesans with not keeping a vigilant Eye upon the behaviour of their Cler­gy? And whether it would not have become you much [Page 6]better to inform their Lordships of those Offences you can make good proof of, than thus to blacken them to the World, and that, for the most part, upon no other Evidence than the Tales of Gossipping Busy-bodies, or Malitious People; not to add that of your own In­vention?

5. I demand,See Observ. Numb. 120. Whether you did not cast an unmannerly Reflection upon his Majesty himself, for making your Tony his Lord Chancellor, when you reproached some Doctors of our Church for then dedicating Books to him?

6. I ask, Who that Trimmer was who being judicially interrogated about somebodies receiving the Sacrament, and answered Yes, and being asked How? replied very Decently. And being asked again, was it Sitting or Standing, or How? replied again, It was Sitting, but very Decently. If this strikes at me, as some think it does, it is either a Fi­ction of your own Brain, or a base Calumny brought to you by one of your Factors.

7. Since no good Man will think that Rebels, or Di­sturbers of the Government, can be lash'd by your Pen too severely; were it not more advisable that for the fu­ture you should suffer those to live in quiet who are no less Loyal, but far more peaceable than your self?

I will conclude with serious advice to you, although 'tis too probable that you will burlesque it as you did my Sermon; That since you have been so exceedingly ob­noxious, by reason of certain foul Misdemeanours which you have been publiquely accused of, and from some of which you have not yet vindicated your Reputation; [Page 7]you would no longer blemish the Church by pretending to be her Advocate, by which the Mouths of Phana­tiques are opened against her: And that since you have lived so long in Contention and gratifying a very exaspe­rated Spirit, you would now think it high time to be­take your self to the great concern of another State, that you may die in Peace, and in the favour of Almighty God; which is heartily prayed for by him, who desires the Eter­nal Happiness of his worst Enemies; and who is,

Your Well-wishing Friend and Servant, W. S.
Gal. 6. Ver. 2.

Bear ye one anothers Burdens, and so ful­fil the Law of Christ.

THE great Design of the Apostle in this Epistle, is to rectify the Errors and Mistakes which were amongst the Galatians, and to allay those Unchristian heats, which are the certain consequent of them.

There was such a contest amongst them about Christian Liberty, that some were ready to take a Liberty, which, to be sure, is most Unchristi­an: A Liberty to bite and devour one another, Chap. 5.15.

That Christian Liberty which they contended about, was a Liberty from observing any lon­ger the positive Institutions of Moses, i. e. Those Institutions which were no part of the Moral Law, but only performed in obedience to Di­vine Authority. The Galatians had been told by false Teachers, that they must observe the [Page 2]one as well as the other. The Apostle deter­mines the Controversie, by telling them plainly, That if they did any longer observe those legal In­stitutions, they should lose the Benefit of the Gospel-Dispensation. I Paul say unto you, If ye be Circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. But though the Apostle had done this, yet it was no easy matter for him to perswade them to maintain Christian Love and Unity amongst them; and therefore in this Chapter, he prescribes some Rules which Christians ought to observe in or­der to it. The first is in case of Offences, v. 1. If a man be overtaken in a Fault, ye that are Spiritual, restore such an one in the Spirit of Meekness. The se­cond is more general in the words of my Text, because it relates to all the grievances, and un­happinesses that attend men in this Life. Bear ye one anothers Burthens, and so fullfil the Law of Christ. The Galatians were greatly concern'd about fulfilling the Law of Moses in observing the abolished Rites: The Apostle requires them to observe the Law of Love, to bear one ano­thers Burdens, and so fullfil the Law of Christ, which should never be abolished.

In the words, there are these two things:

  • 1. A very great Duty, Bear ye one anothers Burdens.
  • 2. A very great and cogent Argument to the [Page 3]Performance of it, And so fulfil the Law of Christ.

You may take these three Observations from them: two are supposed, and the other exprest.

1. Every man hath his Burden. The Apostle in the former verse saith, If a man be overtaken in a Fault, &c. but he doth not say, if a man hath a burden let him have help to bear it. 'Tis possible that a man may live so as to be inoffensive to others, or at least so as not to be Obnoxious to Censure, which I conceive is the meaning of the Apostle: But it is not possible for men to live in this World, and to be freed from burdens. Every Man hath his burden.

2. Every mans burden either is or may be too heavy for him. This is supposed in that the Law of Christ requires that he should have help to bear it.

3. It is the great Duty of every Christian to bear his Brothers Burden. I intend that my discourse shall be from the last of these, and I shall endeavour to do these four things. 1. To shew what mens Burdens are. 2. What is im­plied in the Duty of bearing one anothers Bur­dens. 3. To consider the force of the Argument. And so fulfil the Law of Christ. 4. To make some inferences by way of Application. I shall speak briefly of these: especially of the two first, which I have elsewhere enlarged upon.

I begin with the first, namely, What are mens Burdens. You will say, that I have undertaken a very hard task. I may as well undertake to tell all the Thorns in a Wilderness, or all the Waves upon a Tempestuous Ocean, as to count the Evils of this Life, which are Mens Bur­dens.

There is no State or Condition of man, but hath burdens which belong to it, and are inse­parable from it. From the King upon the Throne, to the Beggar upon the Dunghil Every one hath his Burden. The Evils of this Life are like Pharaohs Froggs, that will be croaking in Kings Chambers. When Moses was the Supream Magistrate over the People of Israel, his Father­in-Law told him, that his Burden was too great for him, Exod. 18. v. 18. Thou wilt surely wear a­way—this thing is too heavy for thee; Thou art not able to perform it thy self alone. And we find him groaning under this Burden of Govern­ment, Numb. 11.14. I am not able to bear this People, it is too heavy for me. If it were pro­per for me to enlarge upon this head from this Subject, I would shew what a great Argument this should be to Subjects to obey their KING, that they might not add to His Burden: And how necessary it is that we should pray for Kings, [Page 5]that God would enable them to bear their great Burdens; and likewise shew the Folly, as well as base Disloyalty of those, who desire the Life of their Prince, and yet load him with their dis­obedience to his Laws.

I might also shew in the next place, that Ministers have their Burdens, and that they are very great likewise; and every one almost adds to the weight of them. The Doubts and Scru­ples of those that are Good, and the Debauche­ries, on one hand, and the Errors and Divisions on the other hand of those that are Bad, do make our Burdens to be very Heavy. But this I must not enlarge upon, for fear of a mis-applica­tion.

If Kings, who are Gods-Vicegerents, to whom God requires such a peculiar regard, that they are called Gods in the Scripture. And if Ministers, for whom God hath declared a peculiar regard in the next place (however contemn'd in the World) Touch not mine Anointed, and do my Prophets no harm; If these must have Burdens, others have no reason to expect that they should go free.

More particularly, The Burdens of men in this life, may come under these three Heads: 1. Such as relate to Bad Men: 2. Such as relate [Page 6]to Good men: And 3. Such as relate to both Good and Bad.

1. Such as belong to Bad man. The impeni­tent Sinner hath his Burden, and it is such a Burden, as he that is once rid of, would not, for all the world, be loaded with it again. The wicked man travelleth in pain all his dayes, Job 15.20. If his Conscience be awakned, he is allways loaded with Guilt and Fear. His secret Com­plaints are very grievous, and are somtimes a ve­ry great interruption to his Mirth: In laughter his Heart is sorrowful, and the end of his Mirth is Heaviness. If any man shall ask the impenitent sinner the Apostles Question, Rom. 6.21. What fruit had you? He can give no answer. But if it be asked, What Burthen had you? he must an­swer, That it was a very heavy one: That he had no rest or quiet in his mind by reason of it. I know very well, that this doth not appear whilst sinners are in Health; but when they are bound in Cords of Affliction, and God shewes them their Trans­gression, they then acknowledg, that they never en­joy'd so much pleasure as countervail'd the terrors of their Consciences, which were the immediate consequence of them. And if the sinner doth not feel the Burden of Guilt and Fear, his condition is the worse; because, the less he feels his Bur­den, [Page 7]the more he adds to the weight of it, which he will certainly feel in another State. There is another Burden likewise which belongs to im­penitent sinners, which I may call an accidental Burden, and that is Religion. The worship and service of God is a very great Burden to them: They are such as the Prophet Amos speaks of. c. 8. v. 5. who think long for the Sabbath to be gone, that they may sell Corn, and set forth Wheat. They have ordered their business so, for want of beginning right at first, and by contracting evil Habits, that they are as well burdened when they do that which they should, as when they do that which they should not. The service of God, and the service of the Devil, are both Burdens to them. But I will not enlarge farther upon this head because, I do not think it so proper from this Subject.

2. The good man hath his Burdens too, Ma­ny are the Afflictions of the Righteous, and many are their failings and infirmities, which are the oc­casion of their grief and trouble. The Burdens of good men are either, 1. Real Evils: or, 2. Such as I may call Imaginary.

1. Such as are Real Burdens to them. When a good man hath done that which is dishonou­rable to God, a scandal to Religion, or an oc­casion [Page 8]of Offence, by which others are encoura­ged in that which is evil, it is a very grievous burden to him. This was Davids Burden, that he had caused the Enemies of God to Blaspheme; and it was that which caused the continuance of his grief and sorrow, after that his Pardon was Sea­led, and sent to him. This made him complain, That his Iniquities were a Burden too heavy for him.

2. There are likewise burdens which I may call Imaginary, because they proceed from false Conceptions and Imaginations of the mind: When a Good man mistakes his condition, and thinks himself to be in the case of the Impenitent Sin­ner; and this is caused either, 1. By some grie­vous Affliction that befals him; or 2. By the pre­valency of a melancholly constitution.

1. By some great Affliction. When a good Man is assaulted by a sharp Sickness of Body, or by some great loss in his Estate or Family, it makes him think that God is offended at him in a greater Degree than he is at them that truly Fear and Serve him. This was the Argu­ment that Jobs friends used against him, and it was an Argument which he used against himself. Al­though God had declared, That he was a perfect and an upright Man, and that there was none like him in all his Country; yet when he came to [Page 9]endure great Afflictions, they caused him to cry out, I have sinned, What shall I do? And why dost thou not pardon my Transgression, and take away mine Iniquity, &c. The great Afflictions of his Body made him suspect, that his Soul was in dan­ger.

2. These Imaginary burdens are caused by a Melancholy Constitution, by which the fancy and imagination is disturb'd; and those that are really Religious, think they are in an Evil Condition. They do not make any Determinations concern­ing themselves from the Rule of Gods Word, but from their own dark Conceptions; and to be sure, those that give way to them, shall not want the help of the Tempter to make their burden heavy. The case of such is commonly misrepresented, they call themselves troubled in Mind, when it were more proper to say, that they are disturb'd in their Fancies.

3. There are burdens which belong both to good and bad men.

  • 1. The burden of Sickness, Poverty, loss of Relations, and such like common Afflictions.
  • 2. The burden of natural defects, as Blindness, Deafness, Lameness, &c.
  • 3. Spiritual burdens, such as relate to the Soul, and to the faculties of it. These we call infir­mities; [Page 10]a weakness of Mind which came by the Fall of Man, and from which he can never have a perfect recovery whilst he is in this State.

1. A weakness of Judgment. The Under­standings of Men are exceeding liable to mistakes. Men of the most Sagacious Parts, and such as have been most eminent in their Generation, for Piety and Holiness, have been in very great Er­rors. Some of the Antient Fathers of the Church were of such Erroneous Opinions, as the Church hath in all Ages exploded.

2. Weakness in reference to the affections and passions of the mind, which are apt to be pre­dominant, and to be as unruly Servants which do­mineer over Reason, which should be their Master by which they should be governed, and over Religion too, which should be their Prince and Soveraign, whose Authority must not be dispu­ted. Sometimes the Passion of Love prevailes as in David for his Rebellious Absolom, sometimes the Passion of Fear, as there was in the Disciples, when they thought the Saviour of the World could not keep them from drowning. Sometimes a grie­vous mistrust of Gods Mercy, as there was in the Psalmist, Psal. 77. when he cried, Hath God forgot­ten to be gracious, hath he in Anger shut up his tender Mercies; concerning which he recollects himself, [Page 11]and saith, ver. 10. This is my infirmity. Sometimes the Passion of Anger gets the upper hand, as it did in Jonah for the loss of his Gourd. Some­times a furious Zeal Occasions discord, as it did between the two Apostles, Paul and Barnabas, Acts 15.39. when they were in such a heat, that they could not endure each others company, but departed asunder one from the other. These are the burdens of men whilst they are in this Life.

2. The second thing I propounded, is to consi­der what is implied in this duty of bearing one anothers burdens, or what is necessary to the performance of it.

1. There must be a sympathizing heart. What­ever burdens we see others loaded with, we must presently put our selves into the same condition, and consider what we would expect in the like case. We must consider their condition as if it were our own. We should have such a Spirit as brave Uriah had, who wanted no courage to encounter with his enemies, nor pitty to sympa­thize with his Friends. He knew not how to take his necessary repose, he was so uneasy to think that the Ark and Israel were in distress, and his Lord Joab and his Servants were encamped in the open Fields, 2 Sam. 11.11. Or like Queen Esther who said, How can I endure to see the Evil that shall come [Page 12]upon my people: and how can I endure to see the de­struction of my kindred: Or, like the Apostle, 2 Cor. 11.29. Who is weak, and I am not weak.

2. There must be a helping hand. This is a natural consequent of the former. He that sym­pathizeth is in pain for his Brother; and by easing him, he easeth himself.

3. There must be a continuance of both. We are all Travellers that are going on with our bur­dens, and must not leave one another in distress. The Apostle tells us, we must bear one anothers burdens; but he doth not tell us when we must lay them down.

I proceed now to the two last things which I chiefly desigh to discourse of at this time. There­fore

3. I shall consider the force of the Argument. And so fulfil the Law of Christ. It is an Argument of very great force, to him that rightly considers it; and so it had need to be, considering our ill natures and dispositions. We are very apt to be weary of, and impatient under our own burdens, and therefore it is no easy matter to perswade us to bear other mens. The Apostle therefore ur­ges the strongest Argument that can be offered to Christians: It is a fulfilling of the Law of Christ. [...] Complete: Compleat the Law of [Page 13]Christ. We are not to understand it, as if he that bare his Brothers Burdens had done all that the Law of Christ requires of him, but that he had done that which is very greatly required of him, Complendi verbum non significat perfecte prestare sed re ipsa exequi: He that bears his Brothers Burden, hath really performed the great Law of his Savi­our. More particularly,

1. It is his Law, who insisted more upon it than upon any other. It is endless to mention all the Parables and plain Expressions which re­quires, that men should forbear one another, for­give one another, and do good one to another. A Christian should be so full of Love, that it should be as a sweet Perfume to all that come near to him. His very Enemies must partake of it. There is one consideration which one would think should be of mighty force to perswade men to this Christian Duty: It was the last thing which our Saviour insisted upon, when he was leaving the World. We read in Jo. 13. that the Devil had no sooner put it into the heart ofReader, I pray observe, That this pas­sage is cavel'd at, and Judge what the Ob­servator in­tends; for I know not. Iudas to betray him, but he made it his business to put it into the hearts of his Disciples to love one another. He made it His Commandment. This is my Commandment, that ye love one another: By which we may understand, that the Observance of it would [Page 14]exceedingly Oblige him. He calls it a New Com­mandment, although it was as old as any other, both Imprinted in the Nature of Man, and re­vealed in the Word of God. He makes it the Characteristical Note of a Disciple, By this shall all men know, that ye are my Disciples, if ye Love one another. Not but that all men of all Religions acknowledge it to be their Duty to Love one a­nother, but the meaning of our Saviour, is: That there should be such a Degree of Love amongst his Disciples, as should exceed men of other Re­ligions; as it was in the first Ages of Christianity, when the Pagans said, See how these Christians Love one another. All these Expressions of our Saviour, which may seem difficult to be under­stood, are used by way of Motive and Argument, to perswade and quicken men to Christian Love and Unity.

2. It is his Law, who hath annexed the grea­test Rewards to the Performance of it, and the greatest Punishments to the Neglect of it; by which we may understand that it is an indispensa­ble Duty, and must not be omitted by us. I need not mention any more than that known place, Mat. 25. There's Come ye Blessed, to them that bare one anothers burdens: And depart ye Cursed, to them that did not. Our Saviour only speaks [Page 15]concerning the duty of the second Table, pro­bably for this reason; Because there is not such an impression of it upon the minds of Men, as there is of the duty which relates to the first. Men think they may Love God, though they do not love their Neighbours. They think that they are good Christians, and that they pay to God the honour that is due to him, although they shew no regard to their Brother and Fellow Christian. Men know that to love God, is the Great Commandment; but they do not consider that the second is like, namely, that they must Love their Neighbours as Themselves. Many who call them­selves Christians do not consider the Mystical Union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; that every good Christian is a Member of that Body whereof Christ is the Head; and that it is as Un­christian for one Man not to bear anothers bur­den, as it is unnatural for the Hand not to help the Foot, or any other Member of the body that is greived, according to that of the Apostle, Rom. 12.5. We being many are one Body in Christ, and every one Members one of another. They do not con­sider that the Church is Gods Building, and that, as in a Building, that Stone which is so rugged that another Stone cannot be laid upon it, is on­ly fit to be thrown into the Street; so that Man [Page 16]who is so rugged, that he will not bear his Bro­thers burden, is not fit to be part of Gods Buil­ding. For this reason our Saviour insisted more upon this Duty than upon the other. And for this reason he only mentions everlasting punish­ment to those that did not help and succour their Brother, because men are not sensible of the ne­cessity of this Duty, and the Danger of neglect­ing it.

3. It was the Law of Christ, who was an Ex­ample of it to others. He came into the World to bear our burdens, and to shew us how to bear our Brothers: as I may shew in the several in­stances which I have already named.

1. He bare the burden of Impenitent Sinners. He considered their deplorable condition. He was grieved for the hardness of their hearts, and used all means to recalim them. He was willing to bear the burden of reproach, that he might ease them of the burden of guilt and fear. The Pha­risees said, that he was a Friend of Publicans and Sinners, and they said true, tho he was not so in their sense. He was a Friend to them, in that he called them to Repentance, and made a Publick Declaration, that all that were weary and heavy laden, should come to him to be eased of their burdens, Mat. 11.28.

[Page 17] 2. He bare the burdens of Good Men. He ful­filled the Prophesie that was spoken of him, That he should Bind up the broken hearted. Be of good cheer, was an expression which he exceedingly delighted in. When he was going out of the World, he was mightily concern'd for the grief and trouble which his Disciples should then endure. He said, Let not your hearts be troubled, I go to Prepare a place for you, &c. And when he arose from the Dead, he was in hast to ease them of that Burden of Grief, which he knew was very heavy upon them. The Ser­vant knew his Masters mind, when he said to them that came to the Sepulchre, Go quickly, and tell his Disciples, that he is risen from the Dead.

3. He bare the burdens which are common to men. The Blind, and the Deaf, and the Lame were those upon whom he bestowed his Mira­cles. He made all his retinue stand still till he cured the Poor blind Beggar.

He bare the burden of Infirmities, rather Pity­ing than taking Offence at them; knowing what the Frail State and Condition of Man is. He did not cast off his Disciples for shewing a furious Spirit, in calling for Heaven to consume them that were not civil to him, but only rebuked them, say­ing, Ye know not what Spirit ye are of, Mat. 9.55. Nor did he reject his Disciples because of their weak [Page 18]Faith when they cryed, Master, save us, we Perish. One would think it should have been a great Provocation to him, that his Disciples were asleep when he was in his agony, and that it should have been an unpardonable offence; but we find that he only blam'd them for it: He said, Could not ye watch with me one hour? But he did not say, From this hour I will be as regardless of you, as you have been of me. There are some who complain of bad Me­mories, but certainly there never were any more forgetful than the Disciples were. They had for­gotten almost every thing which our Saviour had said to them; Nay, they had forgotten that which was of the greatest moment to be remembred, namely his Resurrection from the Dead. His Enemies remembred it, and therefore made his Sepulchre sure; but his Friends had forgotten it; and yet our Saviour continued his Love towards them. All these instances are left to us for our ex­ample and imitation, that we should bear the in­firmities of our Brethren, and not make them the occasion of, so much as, lessening our Love to them.

4. It is the Law of Christ, who still bears our burdens now that he is in Heaven. He pities us, and he prayes to God for us, and sends his Holy Spirit into our hearts to comfort us, because he [Page 19]knows by his own experience that our burdens are heavy. The Author of the Hebrews tells us, that he took our Natures upon the Earth, that he might bear our Burdens in Heaven. Heb. 2.17, 18. In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his Brethren, that he might be a Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining unto God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the People; for in that he himself hath suffered being Tempted, he is able to Succour them that are tempted.

5. And lastly. It is his Law who hath put it into the power and capacity of every man in the World to fulfil it. It were a very hard case, if there were a work required which should have a glo­rious reward annexed to it, and yet there should be some Christians who should be utterly uncapa­ble of doing it. He that hath not a hand to help his Brother, may have a heart to Sympathize with him: and he that can neither afford help himself, nor pro­cure it from others, may pity and pray to God for him; and if he does so, the will is accepted for the deed, and he hath so born his Brothers burden, as to Fulfil the Law of Christ.

That which remains, is to make some Inferences by way of Application.

I. I infer the excellency of our Religion, and what a great obligation there lies upon us to ob­serve the Precepts of our Blessed Lord. How dear [Page 20]should he be to us, in that he hath given us such a Law. We have no burdens to bear, but what our sins have laid upon us, and yet our Saviour is not willing they should be too heavy for us, but re­quires that we should have help to bear them. The Law of Moses required Statutes that were not good, Ezek. 20.25. Commands which, as I shewed, were only to be observed in obedience to Divine Au­thority: No man was the better for them any o­therwise; than as he was satisfied that he had done that which he was commanded. There was no in­trinsick good or excellency in them. But the com­mands of our Blessed Lord, are such as in their own nature tend to the good of Mankind: They tend to the easing of our grievances, and to the making of our lives comfortable to us in this World, before we come to the happiness of the World to come.

II. From what I have said on this Subject, I would infer somewhat concerning the three States. This World, Heaven, and Hell.

I. Concerning this World, I would infer these four things.

1. They are exceedingly to blame, who place any Happiness or Contentment in it. It is not a place of pleasure, but of pain: not of ease, but of toil and weariness. A place in which men, have [Page 21]burdens to bear of their own, and of other mens too. A place in which men are so loaded, that they are in continual want of help to bear their burdens. We are weary Travellers that are al­ways going on with our burdens, The rest remain­eth, for another State. Every day hath its evils, and new dayes produce new burdens. He that is weary to day, knows not but he may have a heavier load to morrow. If a man expects rest or quiet, he is often disappointed, and hath cause to complain as Job did, When I looked for Good, then Evil came unto me; and when I waited for Light; there came Darkness. There is nothing more dangerous than for a man to think himself secure from danger. There are blessings for them that bear burdens, and a wo to them that are at ease. Nay, the lighter that a mans burden is, the greater is his danger. Those that are not in trouble as other men, nor plagued as others, are the men that are brought into desolation as in a moment. A man in this World, is like a Ship upon the Ocean; If it hath no burden, it is in danger of being lost: There must be ballast if there be no goods. The nature of man is such, that if his mind be not ballasted by some affliction or other, he is in the greatest danger of miscarrying, & being cast away. He that at any time hath no burden of his own had need to bear his Brothers burden, [Page 22]that he may not be of too light a mind. We have little reason to set our minds upon this World where it is necessary we should bear burdens.

2. It bespeaks our patience, and that we do not fret and vex our selves at every cross that befals us. Some men are apt to be in a rage upon every little occasion, as if the world were appointed to be a place of ease and pleasure; whereas they are much mistaken; it is a place in which we must bear heavy burdens, both of our own and other mens.

3. Since the World is such a place for burdens, it concerns men to live so that they may be al­ways willing to leave it, that they may be unload­ed. Whilst we are in this World, we are both a trouble to our selves, and to others likewise that help us to bear our burdens. We are often tired our selves, and we are oft-times very tyresom to others; it concerns us therefore to order our busi­ness, so that we may go cheerfully to that place where Job saith, The weary are at rest, ch. 3. v. 17.

4. Since the world is such a place for burdens, how foolish are they that live wicked and ungod­ly lives in it? They have no ease here, and they live as if they were resolved to have none hereaf­ter; as if outward burdens, the crosses and troubles of this life were not enough; they load their souls with inward burdens, which are continually [Page 23]gauling and tormenting of them. That which is most common amongst Sinners, is most unaccount­able; they take pleasure in nothing but that which brings Pain, nothing pleaseth them but that which proves an intollerable burden to them. They of­ten make grievous complaints of the burdens of this life, and yet they prepare worse burdens to themselves against they go out of it.

II. From what I have said, we may infer some­what of the Happiness of Heaven, and that to a double purpose.

1. To quicken our diligence for the obtaining of it. There are no Burdens, but everlasting Rest and Pleasure. All Grief and Sorrow is done away. In thy presence there is fulness of Joy, and at thy right hand are Pleasures for evermore. No man hath a burden of his own or of anothers, to bear in that State. There is Rejoycing with them that Rejoyce; but as for Weep­ing with them that Weep, there is no occasion for it. Heaven doth not know what it is, for all Tears are wiped away before the entrance into it. Instead of bearing one anothers burdens, there is joyning with one another in eternal Praises and Hallelujahs: To God the Father who appointed us burdens in this World in order to our happiness in the next. Afflictions work for us an exceeding weight of Glory. We should very hardly find the way to [Page 24]Heaven if we were not loaded. They that are light and at ease, for the most part, go another way: To God the Son who himself bear our burdens, and commands us to bear one anothers, till we come to that Mansion which he hath taken up for us in Heaven. To God the Holy Ghost who suppor­ted us under our burdens, or else all the help from men had been too little. It is God that Comforts those that are cast down, although he employes men as his Instruments, by whom he conveighs com­forts. There are no burdens in Heaven, unless a Man could be weary of Perfection and Happiness. The Pleasures there, are not like the Pleasures on Earth, wearisome and tiresome to them that are Lovers of them. God intended these only, that man should use them for his Recreation, and then go on with his Burden. If men exceed in them they are very wearisome, and it is necessary they should be so, because they are very unsuitable to the Na­ture of Man, and to the best and most noble part of him. If man had been all Body and no Soul, sen­sual Pleasures could not have been tiresome to him; but in regard he hath a Spiritual part, there must be Spiritual Pleasures to refresh his mind. On the o­ther hand, because man is Flesh as well as Spirit, he is therefore apt to be weary of the long conti­nuance of that which is pleasant to the mind: [Page 25]Religious Services. But in Heaven Pleasures can be no burden, because the Soul is separated from this vile Body, and hath nothing to clog it. Cor­ruptible doth then put on Incorruption, and Mor­tal puts on Immortality, that there may be all pleasure and no pain. I will not farther enlarge upon this. We are all bunglers when we come to give any account of that with our Lips, of which it hath not entred into our hearts to conceive. When we speak of Heaven, it is not so necessary to give an account of the glory of it, as of the certainty of it, for whosoever believes such a State, believes the Glo­rious Things that are spoken of it. I might therefore make use of one Argument from the Text, to prove, that there is a future State of Happiness; for if Good Men must bear burdens of their own and of other Mens, certainly there is another State in which they shall be freed from them. We can not think, that the Children of God who are born again, and made like unto their Heavenly Father, are only born to bear burdens.

2. It may make us patient in the bearing both our own and other Mens burdens whilst we are on this side Heaven. Our lives are very short and inconsiderable, and at the end of them we lay down our burdens, and enter into the joy of our Lord, who appointed us to bear them. In the mean [Page 26]while if God sends us help from Heaven to bear them, and requires we should have help on earth, and will shortly wholly ease us of them; we may well bear them with constant Patience.

III. I may infer somewhat concerning the Hel­lish State, the place of Torments, where the Scrip­ture tells us, there is Weeping, and Wailing, and gnashing of Teeth; and likewise, that there are many that enter in there. If Good Men must expect to bear burdens in this World, and they are sometimes very grie­vous to be born, what must bad men expect in that State? There the burden is intollerable: Those that are forced to bear it, or I may more properly say, have brought it upon themselves, would fain exchange it for that which is far lighter: The Rocks and Hills. Their burdens is the wrath of the Lamb, which is far more intollerable, Rev. 6.16. Their burden is the guilt of a gnawing Conscience, which is as a thousand Tormentors, as well as a Thousand Witnesses: A heavy load which lies upon the naked soul stripped of all those coverings, those vain con­ceits with which Sinners get some little ease to their guilty minds.

And as their burdens are intollerable, so there is no help to bear them, (For every Man must bear his own burden, v. 5.) but every one rather adds to the weight of them. There is no Solamen Miseris by [Page 27]the number of those that are in that State. The Glutton in the Parable desired, that his Brethren might not come into the place of Torments, he had burden enough already. The more there are to weep and waile, the more doleful is that State. But I will not enlarge any further upon this un­pleasant head, but only desire that Sinners would seriously and timely consider of it, and that it may make them so serious, as not to despise those re­prooss which I am to give from what I have said on this Argument. There are three sorts of Persons which I can not but reflect upon.

I. If every Christian must bear his Brothers burden, they are very much to blame, who take no notice of what others bear. There are a great many in the World, who are so far from bearing their Brothers burthens, that they will not so much as see them or endure to hear of them. They do no more concern themselves for the afflictions, and miseries of others, than if they were alone in the World. They are like the Priest and Levite riding by, and taking no notice of him that lies in misery. Men are such lovers of themselves, that if any complain of their burdens, they ease them as the Chief Priests and Elders eas'd Judas of his burden: What's that to us, see thou to that. There are many in the World loaded with Sorrows, who may com­plain [Page 28]with the Psalmist, Psal. 142.4. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no Man that would know me, refuge failed me: no Man cared for my Soul. We may sometimes see that sorrowful sight which Solomon saw, Eccle. 4.1. I beheld the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no Comforter. The World is full of those who are so far from weeping with them that weep, that if they can be merry themselves they care not who is sad, like those whom we read of in the Prophesie of Amos 6.6. who were for Feasting, and Drinking, and Musick, but not for bearing other mens burdens. They were not grieved for the Affliction of Joseph. If it be the Law of Christ, that men should bear one anothers burdens, what will become of those that take no notice of this Law, but only fulfil the Law of Co­vetousness? When men are required to relieve the necessitous, their Language commonly is, I know not what I may come to before I die. I wish they would as well consider what they must come to after they die, when they shall appear before him who hath declared, that those that do not feed the Hungry, and Cloath the Naked, shall go into everlasting Punishment. Those that would not bear their Brothers burden in this World, shall have one of their own to bear in the World to come.

[Page 29] II. They are more to blame who are so far from bearing one anothers burden, that they are offended at them that do. There are such Monsters in the World to whom it is a burden to see other men at ease. Nothing is so sweet to them as to see others in bitterness. Solomon saith, Pro. 17.5. He that mocketh the Poor, reproacheth his Maker; and he that is glad at Calamities shall not be unpunished: where note, there are some men who mock at the Misery, and are glad at the Calamities of other men. They are not so ready to rejoyce with them that rejoyce, as they are to rejoyce when they hear what cause o­thers have to weep. There were such in old time, and will be to the end of the World. When Ne­hemiah was to repair the Breaches, and make up the Walls of Jerusalem, There were two base men, San­ballat and Tobiah, who were not able to endure the good he did. Neh. 4.10. It grieved them exceed­ly, that there was come a man to seek the wellfare of the Children of Israel. The man came not to do them any hurt at all; but if he had, it may be they would not have been more grieved than they were at the good which was done for others. The Psalmist likewise gives us an account of such men (of which we have too many in the World) who cannot en­dure to do good themselves, or that others should, Psal. 112. v. 9. He speaks of the Liberal Soul of [Page 30]a Good Man: He hath dispersed, he hath given to the Poor. And at the next verse, he tells us how wicked men are affected at it. The Wicked shall sce it and be grieved, he shall gnash with his Teeth and pine away. It kills some men to see others kept alive, and nothing angers them more, than to see others solicitous for their welfare and Subsistence. But

III. And Lastly, They are most of all to be reproved, I wish I could do it sharply enough, who are so far from bearing other Mens burdens, that they are other Mens Burdens. They live in the World, as if they came into it for no other purpose, but to send others grieved out of it.

Sometimes men are loaded with the Burden of Calumnies, and Reproach, to their vast prejudice. One of the Blessings which Jobs Friends Promi­sed to him, ch. 5. v. 21. was, that he should be hid from the Scourge of the Tongue, which is indeed a fearful Scourge. There are a great many in the World, who if they can but Slander the In­nocent, and obtain Concealment, it doth exceedingly please that of the Devil which doth mightily prevail in them. They have sent their Brother a burden to make his Heart ake, and he must not know from whence it comes. We know that slanderers have a great advantage in that their reports run like wild-fire. There are two [Page 31]Scriptures, which if joyned together, give an ac­count of it, Their Tongues are set on fire of Hell, There are likewise some men whose Pens are set on fire of Hell. and they go through the Earth.

There are others who seek to ruine their Neigh­bours by contests at Law, forcing them thereby to spend their Substance. The Childrens bread is ta­ken away, and a bone of Contention sent in the room of it, only to gratify implacable malice. These Cases are very hard, but it is not hard to give a Reason of such Actions. We must know, that there is another Law besides the Law of Christ. There is a Prince of this World, as well as a Prince of Peace. The Scripture tells us, that the Devil hath Children as well as God, 1 Jo. 3.10. And as Gods Children are like their Father in being Merciful and Kind, so the Devils Children are like their Father in being Malitious and Cruel. But what will become of these Men? The Mans condition who is ruin'd by another is very sad. But how dismal is his case who hath ruin'd him? Methinks I hear God say to him, as he did to Cain, What hast thou done? the voice of thy Brother, and of his whole Family crieth unto me. Thou shouldest have been his Comforter, and thou hast been his Tormentor. Thou should'st have support­ed him, and thou hast ruin'd him. Thou should'st have born his burden, and thou hast Broke his [Page 32]Back. I may say to this Man, as 'tis said in Job: What wilt thou do, when God riseth up? and when he vi­siteth, what wilt thou answer him?

I might, if time had permitted, have proceeded to Exhort, and perswade to the practice of this Christian duty, & to have urg'd many Motives, & Arguments for it. I will mention but one, & it is for Svms sake, and for Jerusalems, that I cannot be silent, concerning it.I have ve­ry exactly co­pied this Pa­ragraph, (as I hope, the Au­ditors will be ready to at­test) which I verily think contains all that provok­ed the furious man. Let us bear the burdens of those that have Dis­sented from us, but are returned to our Congregations. I do not mean, that we should do any thing to prostitute the Churches cause, nor that we should debauch our Consciences, by giving the least encouragement to pernitious Errors, but that we should pity their Infirmities, and endcavour to rectify their Mistakes; that they may no more provoke Authority, disparage Christi­anity, and occasion thousands to be Prophane and Atheistical, whilest an exact compliance with the Churches Orders, and an encouragement of the due execution of Her Censures, is cer­tainly the fittest way to restrain that ungodliness which hath a­bounded as our divisions have abounded. If, when Authority drives by a due execution of Laws, we shall draw and en­courage by expressions of Brotherly Love and Kindness, we shall convince those that have dissented from us, that we are not of such Spirits as they suspected, nor so unfit for Christian Com­munion; but will acknowledge, as some have done, that they were greatly mistaken both concerning the Ministers and Peo­ple of our Church. I thought fit to conclude with this, not only because it is seasonable at this time, when men of Good Principles have done hurt to the Church by an intemperate Zeal; but because it was the very occasion of the words. The heat that was about Christian liberty had almost consumed Christian Love, and therefore the Apostle, for the reviving of it, and that there might be no disturbance in the Church of Galatia, doth here require, that the People should Bear one ano­thers Burdens.

FINIS.

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