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nour, and the Common Welfare, nay the Common Salvation are so nearly concerned, should be broken and neglected without a proper Animadversion.
We all conclude that he wants Compassion, and sins against the Law of Hu. manity, who will suffer the Poor to perish for want of Relieving; But if the perish. ing of Souls be of greater Moment than the perishing of Bodies, I am sure he has less Compassion, and sins more against the Law of Humanity, who will luffer Good Manners to be run down for want of Alserting. I do not say that every Good Christian should rise up like Phineas, and execute the Judgment of Zeal ( as the Rabbins call it ;) but this I say, that every Good Christian ought to have a constant Regard to the Ends of Publick Justice, which are the Restraint of Vice, and the Maintenance of Good Manners ; and to these Ends he ought never to be wanting in any sort of Prudential Affift.
And in this Point I humbly will that the Gentlemen would be pleased to hear me as their Particular Remembran.
Whether they are Magistrates or no, let them always bear in mind, that an Aweful Example carries Magistracy in it self; and he chat lives Christianly is the Best Justiciary ; he gives the Best Allistance to publick Justice, and cures most Crimes among the people.
God has given this Precept among other Judicial Laws, Lev. 19. as that which has a most direct Influence upon the Affairs of publick Justice, viz. Thou Shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. The Charge is given to All, but it obliges the Gentleman most, whose Fortunes give him the Advantage of Executing it with the hap. piest success : For in Matters of Duty, Our Power is always the Measure of our Obligation.
It is an ill Crisis, when mens Religion comes to be so Modest, that they will not Rebuke Sin, or keep Vertue in Countenance, for fear of invading the Preachers Office; as if it were pure Officiousness in others, and exceeding the Measures of their Obligation. But tell me, ye men of Quality and Power, superior to those that are about you! Tell me how God who is the Equal Father of All, came to distinguish You from the Croud of In. digents, and to prefer You to such an Unequal Distribution. Can you say it is for Services already done ? I must say it is for Services to be Done ; It is not for Nought : God has put your Fortunes as a Tryal and Opportunity into your hands : Your Fortunes are the Means of your Influence upon men; and your Influence upon men is your Power of doing Good: and
your Power of doing Good is your Debt to do it; And if you do it not,
; you run into Debt even for that which
Is your Own.
It would trouble me to doubt of any of your Zeal for that Religion, which You and the Laws profess: Look where you will, you will never find fticuted of a more saving Wisdom than that is: But be pleased to bear in mind, That to appear for Religion, and not to appear against Vice, is in effect a Con. tradiction; and he that will not aflere his Religion better than so, is in the nearest hazard of losing it.
III. The third Position was this, That the issue of Judgment is Gods End. And this Consideration does most Effectually discover the Great Iniquity of PerVerting Judgment. We know that Chriftianity permirs no Evil to be done, though softned wich the issue of never so Good a Consequence : But much more inexcusable is the Evil, whose Produ&t iz likewise evil; this is a Double Sin : And so is every Iniquity interposed in the Adminstration of Justice; it is a solemn E. vil in the Act, and yet a Worse in the Ef.
feet it produces. Ex. Gr. All Corruption Or Failhood in Evidence is a Solemn E. vil; it is a great Affront to the God of Truth ; especially considering that God himself is called in to be Witness to the Affront: All Partiality of Verdicts is a So. lemn Evil; it is a breach both of Truth and Trust
, and an implicit Defiance of the Christian Faith,which is there plighted and pawn'd as a Pledge of Integrity: All Prevarication in Pleadings is a Solemn Evil; wherein Parts and Learning are imployed to elude Right, and Colour Frauds ; which is no oiher than a Pro. fane prostituting the Talents of God to the service of Mammon : Torturing the Laws to make them speak Contrary to the Intention of the Makers, is a Solemn Evil ; It is the Extremest Violation and Contempt of the Governing and Legi. Native Power, which if not held Sacred in one Point, it has no security of being so in Any: All these are Solemn Delibe. rate Iniquity in the Act ; And