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Quality foever it be ; for it is capable of SERM,
ruining his Circumstances, and poysoning XVII.
his Temper ; so that there shall not be a
Thing fo foolish or base, nor fo pernicious
to himself and Country, but he will at last
be hurried into.

Thus I have laid before you the natural
Arguments against all inordinate Lufts of
the Flesh, without taking in the Affift-
ance of Faith and Religion. And even
so they have been found, t.king Men
fingly, the greatest Enemies to their In-
terests of Safety, Peace, and Pleasure it-
felf, both in the Body and the Soul ; and
destructive of all the same Advantages,
as they arise from Society, whether in Fa-
milies and Neighbourhoods, or States and
Kingdoms.

But if we look upon Men in their better Capacity, as consisting of a Soul immortal, and a Body that shall revive and live together ; if we look upon them as Pilgrims and Strangers here, but Subs jects, Citizens and Heirs of a Kingdom eternal in the Heavens ; the Obligation to abstain from these Lusts of momentary

Pleasure

Serm. Pleasure will appear infinitely more strong, XVII. and in some cases more extended. And

to that I should now come ; but it must be at some other Opportunity.

SERM. XVIII,

SERMON XVIII.

The Reasonableness of curbing

Fleshly Appetite.

PART II.

B

1 Pet, II. II.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as

Strangers and Pilgrims, abstain
from fleshly Lufts

, which war
against the Soul.

EFORE Mankind was Serm.
enlightened by the Gof- XVIII.
pel of our Saviour, their
Reason for the Guidance
of Life and Manners

was not so clear, as to leave them free from Difficulties and Error. Even those few, that spent their Time in the Confideration of these

Things,

Serm. Things and set up for Teachers, were diXVIII. vided extremely about the chief End of

Man, and governing Principle of all his Actions. And yet till this be settled, all must remain loose and uncertain. Some of them, in particular, placed this End and Good of Man, in Virtue ; others joined with that a Competence of bodily and external Blessings ; and others (who had the most numerous Followers) would have it to be found in the Enjoyment of Pleafures. The first and second, though their Doctrine were creditable and splendid, and adapted to the public Good, yet labour'd under this Difficulty ; that they wanted Motives powerful enough to determine many Persons to the Self-denial which Virtue often requires, and to make them easy under it. And the third, not infifting sufficiently on this Self-denial, opened a wide Gap to Selfilhness and fleshly Lufts; and left Men to be useless or pernicious Members both in private and publick Societies, Besides, all these, and whatever other Philosophies there were, remain'd incapable of persuading, effectually, any great ; Numbers, because the Happiness

they

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they severally proposed, was (for the most Serm.
part of Men) overthrown by Experience. XVIII,
For how should they be govern'd by the
View of a Good proposed, which generally
proved impossible to be attained, but was
still disappointed in the Effect with Emp-
tiness and Misery. The Reason of all this
Weakness, if we trace it, will be found
here ; that they confined their Confide-
rations to this Life, having no clear Ac-
count, or well-established Tradition, of the
Happiness, or the Misery, that awaits us
in another. They generally despised the
Tradition they had to that Purpose ; and
so made their Judgment of Mankind,
whose Nature they were ignorant of. Ac-
cordingly their Conclusions were wide and
defective ; as they must be, while they
reasoned

upon that as perishing in a few
Years, which indeed was to revive and
be of immortal Duration, and that in a
State exceedingly different from the prea
sent, which fell under their Considera-
tion.

But now, that the Revelation of our
God and Saviour hath given all Men clear
Evidence of theit being Strangers and Pila

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