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Mal. 3.8, 9. Will a m.inrob Gobi yer ye bave robbeid Mc; but yo say, scherein buus wc robbed I bee! in Iitbes 8 Offerings; ge are curled with a wife, jorge bave rotbed Me, even this webole Nation, I say, thea beware of spoiling God beware of spoiling the men of God, beware of spoiling the things of God; what is once devoted for a pious use thould be pioudly pre ferved, and rather augmented by generous Beneta: ders, than diminished or embazzled by avaricious Harpyes, I offer some Confiderations with respect to this bainous yet common lin, and liccle repenced off.
1, Confia. le is a shame that fuch an impiely should be among Chriftians, when very Heathens abborred this kind of Villanie, ana eberefore they bad Aria Laws, and those severelic executed agaiof the Robbers of their Charcbes, and the Blaspbemers of their gods. You may fee Ads 29. what a fir and kickle the Ephesians were in about their gods, verfe 26, 27, 29. So that I lay verie Pagans have lewed more respe&t to their Idols,than manie Cbrilians do co the Trae God, and more diflike of Sacriledge, chan maDie w bo pretend to be sacred Seekers of God, Sas crilegi dont pænas, saith Sence a de benef: lib. s, and Plato de legib. dial.9. fets down bis Sacrilegij fupplis ciun, and that a veric fevere one toe; vide Alex, ab Alex. gen. dier, lib, s. cap. 3, Cicer. 1. de leg. Plinij Hift. lib. 24. cap. 16 where ye will God the several kinds of mof fearfull punishments that were in ose in different Nations, and particularlie ho grievouslie Sacriledge was punished.
1. Confid, The sacrilegious diminishment cleGaftical emoluments &encouragement:
ble marrs the proficiencie of learning,obftra&s the Plantation of Churches with pious and able men, & binders those wbo are employed& engaged in fas cred Functions from che cheerful & conltant porluis of their Studies&Miniftrial labours, Virtutibus abxat res angufta domi. And also the Povertie of Minifters is an occafionof their Contempt and confequentlie of despiting the Sacrifices and Ordioances of the Lord under their Adminiftration,
3. Confid, God Himfelf will be avenged on facris legious Persons, & bath often manifefted His fignal displeasure by strange Judgements opon tome fucb, Jofnuo 6. 1944-1, 24, 25. Alls 1,2,3,4,5. Hag. 1.6. 9. To this purpose cake a passage or two ob Mri Walders Sermon again ft facrileige, at Londong Nov, 1. 16. 28. pag. 44. Remember Gods Judgements poured down upon fuch as have been branded with Sacriledge, as Pompey the great that never profpered afcer bis Sacriledge at Jerusalem, Crafus the rich, Julian che apopate, and his Uncle Tulon, and Felix bis treaforer, chink of Ananias, Sapphira, Achan, Bealfsazzer, Antiocbus ; there never was nor never thall be apie, that did take frota Gods Church any eyeshur, or Donary dedicated to the Choreh, but he or bis became dva curso; or a Corfe; Church goods are like the gold of Tholoufe, which brought a Curle upon cbofe ; pofleffed it ; fear says he, lealt Gads Thunderbolts firict you down into Hell among thoseSouls that ye have been the means to damd, by depriving them of the means that migho ave saved them. I say then, touch noc, take not,
le not Churcb goods in a Sacrilegious way, for
male porta, male dilabuntur, soch parchases will soon perish,
SECTION VI. 4. Caution, O Chriftian Mercbant, beware of Pircannot Trade or Travel eitber by Sea or Land, but ye will run Hazards this way. And to use the Apo. ttles words, ye may be in perils of Waters, in ferils of Robbers, in perils by your own Countrymen, in perils by the Heatben, in perils in the City, in perils in tbe Wilderness, &c 2 Cor. II 26. I will cell you Sacs.com.and fro, compassing Sea and Land to spoil Cbrifiaos of their trealures, and binder their trading with Chrilt, Luke 23. 31. Zech, 3. 1. 1 Pet. 5.8.
2. Robber. False Teachers wbo improve all their art and sopbifrie to rob us of the Truth, which is a Pearl that we should carefullie preserve and secure, And therefore Paul Col. 2. 8. calls the falle Teach ersonegazol, i, e. Spoilers, or Robbers. Leigh. Crit. Sacra, in vocibe fpeech is taken from Theeves, who come secretlie to carrie a sheep out of the fold. So we may say falle Teachers labour to fteal away the sheep of Chrif out of His Pafture where they feed on che Truch.
3 Robber. Is this present World in the allurements, (nares and templations chereof, which manietimes Real away ear Hearts from God, and rob.us of our spiritual riches.
4. Rebber, or rather troup of them, is debaur
ill companie, it is incredible what influence Bretbrea: of iniquicie bave upon one another, co marr & spoil good beginnings, & serious like inclinations to vers cue, & to engage unto villainous practices, but alas herein lyes che unbappiness of our cörrapé Dataral conftitution, cbat as Juuenas says, Satyr. 14.
esis dociles imitandu Turpibus ac pravis omnes fumus, Owbac gracelets work is among some profligate Debauchecs when they are caballed cogerber for their frolick rants : how manie (cornfull tales & oppro. brious reports do they raise and pass upon Rcligion, they have their Topicks of reproaches agaiolt the true feekers of God, and make them the subject of their drunken sonnets, wbich does mach to scar those who are not well acquainted with the ways of Gedi velides wbat a bewitching influence their example bath to induce to a good liking oftbe Devils wares, and fighting of Chrifts, therefore fays the wifeman, Enter nat into the patb of the wicked, and go not in tl way of evilmon, avoid it, puso not by it, turn from it; and passeway, for they seep nar except they bave done mischief, and their n-ep is taken away, unless they cause fome to fall
, for they eat the breed of wickedness, and drink i be wine of violence, Prov.4. 14, 15, 16. and says Paul, 1 Cor.15: 13. Evil communications cors rupt good manners, as mismie have found in ebeir fad experience, for the words and ways of evil men are ready to work more upon geed men, than open the contrare che manners of the vertuous on tbem thal are addicted to vice. Ye know Diwal was defour, robbed of ber Virgioitie when visiting.ebe
Daughters of the Land, Gn, 3 4.1, 2. Jolepblearned to swear by the life of Pharaob, when bis ordinary companions were Pberarbs Courtiers, Gin, 42. 15.
From all obese it is evident that we are encompaifed about with dangers and difficulties, & lo bave need cautiously co fence against them: And seeing we are upon the perillous circumitances of a Chri. Aian, and speakiog all chis time in Allegories & Sis militudes, luffer me to launcb førch & digress a little in setting forth the Scheme of a Christians Course of Life in this World, under the Similitude of a Voyage at Sca, likewise alluding to the Naval appartenances thereof, and we shall endeavour to be succinct in this Digression, wbich is boped will be found not alcogether alien from the Porpose in band.
!: THis World into which Man is launched forth, ,
is bazard of being telied with Tempelts and Storms; wbicb may arise either from the temptations of Sa tan, croel perfecutions, bodily pains and lieknesses, injurious talle calumnies, and many o her tribulatis ons from withoui, or Herms may also arise from in. eidipat, violent pallions from within, Pfal.42.7. Deep callerb unto deep at the noise of thy watersports, altby waves and oby billows are goxe over me. lla. 54. 11. Ob rbou ofthided, solled with tempefts, and not come forted. See allo Jonab 2. 3.
2. Man, as to bis Body (a crafie Lockig 77 deed) is the ship, wbicb is often fore beat