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Good abominate their Sin, and the Ill triumph over their Folly ; and yet, after all, that it is so far from gaining Credit to their present Affirmations, that it destroys it for the future: For he that fees a Man make no Difference in the Confidence of his afferting Realities and Fiftions can never take his Measures by any Thing he avers, but, according to the common Proverb, will be in Danger of disbelieving him, even when he speaks Truth.
In the mean Time, what is there, that he proposes to himself by his Positiveness, that may not be obtained more effectually by a modest and unconcerned Relation ? He that barely relates what he has heard, or proposes modestly what his Opinion is, leaving the Hearer to judge of its Probability, does, doubtless, as civilly entertain the Company, as he that throws down his Gauntlet in Attestation of what he affirms. He as much, nay, much more, persuades his Hearers, because violent Affeverations serve only to give Men an untoward Umbrage, that the Speaker is conscious of his own Falseness; and all the While he has his Retreat fecure, and stands not responsible for the Truth and Certainty of what he affirms or relates. So that, upon the whole, though the Things which Men advance be never fo certain and infallible, yet it seems much more decent and adviseable not to press them with too much Importunity; because Boldness, as we hinted before, is so known a Pander to Lying, that Truth cannot but come in Danger of being defamed by its Attendance and Proximity.
To conclude, Modesty is so amiable, so infinuating, that all the Rules of Oratory cannot help Men to a more agreeable Ornament in Discourse : And, if they would but try it in the two foregoing Instances, they will undoubtedly find it to be Fact
that a modest Proposal will sooner captivate Mens Reason, and a modest Relation their Belief.
These are some of the Duties and Enormities of Speech, in the Pursuit or ́Avoidance of which the good or ill Government of our Tongue will consist: And therefore, to heighten our Care in this Respect, let it be remembered, that the Use of Speech is a peculiar Prerogative of Man above other Creatures, and bestowed upon us for most excellent Purposes ; which we fadly pervert when we make it an Instrument, either of reviling. God, or injuring our Brother, or exposing ourselves : That our Breath, as well as other Faculties, is the pure Gift of God, which he may withdraw when he pleases; and, in so doing, surprise us, perhaps, with an Oath, a Blasphemy, or a Detraction in our Mouths : That, if this he should not do, our Transgressions, however, of this Kind, do not fly off into empty Air, but are recorded in the Volume of his all-containing Mind, to be produced against us at the great Day of Judgment : And that, in the great and terrible Day of the Lord, every idle Word (as we are told) and much more then every wicked and prophane, every hurtful and abusive Word, that Men fall speak, they Mall give an Account thereof. Since Death and Life, then, are in the Tongue ; since by our Words we shall be justified, and by our Words we shall be condemned ; since so great a Stress is laid upon this, that, if any Man seemeth to be religious and bridleth not bis Tongue, that Man's Religion is vain ; how earnest should the Consideration of these Things make us in our daily Supplications to God, that, in Conjunction with our own Endeavours, he would be pleased to set a Watch before our Mouths, and keep the Door of our Lips, that no corrupt Communication, of any Kind, may proceed from thence, but that which is good to the Use of edifying, that it may minister Glory
to God, Grace to the Hearers, and Salvation to our own Souls.
Of the Government of the whole Man.
HE two great Virtues relating to the Go
vernment of the rest of the Body, are Chaftity and Temperance : But of these we shall have less Reason to treat with any great Prolixity, because they are Things obvious to every one's Conception.
1. Now Chafiity, as it relates to a single State, confifts in a total Abstinence from all Manner of Uncleanness; not only that of Adultery and Fornication, but from all other more unnatural Sorts, whether committed upon ourselves, or in Commerce with any other : And, even in a conjugal Eftate, it requires such Temper and Moderation, as may preserve the Ends of Matrimony, and continue it (what it was intended to be) a Remedy, and not an Incentive to Lasciviousness. Nor does this Virtue restrain us from the groffer Acts only, but sets a Guard likewise upon our Eyes, upon our Hands, upon our Tongues, and upon our very Thoughts and Imaginations ; for it accounts all Jascivious Looks, obscene Language, impure Thoughts, and immodeft Behaviour ; all
pampering and luxurious Diet to inflame ourselves; all industrious Endeavours to kindle those Flames, and attract, first the Eyes, and then the Desires of others. But of these Things we have to say, that as of all Vices, to which Mankind are subject, there is none of greater Danger and worse Confequence to us, than those, which the Lusts of our Flesh tempt us to; none, to which Nature is more
prone ; none, by which it is more vilely debased, more shamefully exposed, and more mortally wounded ; that Person we cannot but pronounce very happy, who, in Strength of this Virtue, keeps under his Body, and brings it into Subjection ; since by it he is Conqueror of the strongest and subtlest Enemy, and has learnt to be deaf to the busiest and most importunate Sollicitations of a Szren, that labours perpetually to ruin him by her treacherous Incantations ; since by it he secures his native Freedom and Greatness of Spirit, preserves his Faculties from those thick Mifts, by which Sense and Appetites ungoverned darken their Sight; secures Order and Peace within, by subduing all rebellious Passions, and keeping Reason and Religion constantly supreme ; fixing the Affections upon such Objects, as deserve their Care and Affiduity, and exercising the Mind in the sweet Raptures of Meditations and Prayers, the Thirst of spiritual Comforts, and the unspeakable Delights, which result from an holy Conversation, and fervent Love of God. And so we proceed to
II. The other Virtue, which concerns our Bodies, and that is Temperance, which seems to be of different Şorts, according to the Objects about which it is exercised. For there is, 1. Temperance in Eating and Drinking, which is not only a necessary Duty in Christianity, but a very ornamental Virtue likewise. It renders lovely and beautiful the Person that is endued with it : It makes him respected and reverenced by all, that know him. For a Man, that eats and drinks only for Neceffity, to repair the daily Decays of his Body, and not to please his Palate, or satisfy the Cravings of a luxurious and extravagant Appetite, lives as becomes a Man; upholds the Dignity of his Nature, and maintains that Dominion, which the rational Part of him, his Soul, ought to have over the
brutish brutis Part of him, his Body : Whereas he, who is a Slave to his Palate, or drinks away his Reafon, turns a wise Man into a Fool, and a Man into a Beast ; and is therefore more vile and despicable than other Fools, or other Beasts; because his Folly, or his Want of Reason, is the Effect of his own vicious Ghoice, whereas theirs was the Lot of their Creation : Take heed therefore to yourselves, says our Saviour, left, at any Time, your Hearts be overcharged with Surfeiting and Drunkenness ; for Wine is a Mocker ; strong Drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
2. There is Temperance in Apparel, which confists in our using such Habits and Dresses, as fuit with the Custom of the Country, where we live, and that Station and Quality of Life, whereunto we are appointed. Gorgeous Apparel, as our Saviour observes, is fit for the Courts of Kings: Nor is it any Oftentation of Pride, but rather a Matter of good Order and Decency, that Persons, invested with high Power and Authority, should, in their very Garb and Appearance, distinguish themselves from others : But then there are these Restrictions, which this Virtue of Temperance lays upon Men of all Conditions. 1. That the Costliness of Apparel exceed not the Quality and Ability of the Wearer. For besides the Debts, and other consequential Mischiefs, unavoidably incurred by such Extravagance; this certainly is an Offence against the Decency we just now mentioned, against that natural and becoming Order, which the Wisdom of all Ages has agreed upon, as most convenient to discriminate People one from another, and, in the Matter of Quality, to prevent Disrespect and Confusion. 2. That the Coftliness of our Apparel obstruct not our doing the Good, we might otherwise do, in several Acts of Charity : For, since Charity and doing Good