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for at their Hands.. But now, how this should be done any otherwise, than by being fruly Juf, and Honest, by abstaining from Violence and Injury, by being true to our Trust, and faithful in performing our Contracts; and in a Word, by doing all those good Offices to others, which we expect they should do unto us, which, as our Saviour tells us, is the Sum of Religion; is a very hard Thing to conceive.
... The Usefulness, or rather the Necessity of such a Behaviour as this, in order to the gáining the good Opinion of others, and so serving qur own Ends by them, is so universally ac knowledged, that even those that make no real Conscience of these Things, are yet nevertheless, in all their. Dealings, forced to pre- . tend to them. Open and barefaced Knavery, ef rarely serves a Man's Turn in this World; F but it is under the Mask of Virtue and Honesty, that it usually performs those Feats it doth which is no less than a Demonstration of the Conduciveness of those Things to promote our temporal Interests : for if the mere Pretence to them, be a great Advantage to us for this purpose, it cannot be imagined, but that the Reality of them will be a greater. Certainly the Power of Gadliness will be able to do more than the Form alone; and thåt if it wąs upon no other account than this, that no Man that is but a 'mere Pretender to Honesty, can long hope to keep his Credit among Men. It is impossible to act a Part for any long Timė; let him carry it never fo cunning, his Vizor
will some time or other be thrown off, and he will appear in his true . Colours, and to what a World of Mischiefs and Inconveniencies he will then be exposed, - every one that knows how hated, how detefted, how abandon'd by every one a Knave and a Villain is, may easily determine, I hope I need say no more to convince you that Religion is the best Policy; and that the more hearty and conscientious any Man is in the Practice of it, the more likely he is to Thrive and improve in the World. Fins i
So that I may now proceed to the Second
general Point to be spoken to, which is, The - Profitableness of Religion for the attaining a good
Name and Reputation. How very much it conduceth to this Purpose, will appear from thefe. Two Confiderations."
: First, it lays the furest Gounds and Foundations for a good Name and Reputation... . Secondly, Men are generally fo just to it, that it rarely, miffes of a good Name and Reputation: The First is an Argument from Reason; the Second, from Experience. ...
First of all, Godliness layerh the 'truest Foundation, for a fair Reputation in the World. There are but Two Things that can give a Man a Title to the good Opinion and Respects of Men; the inward Worth and Dignity of his Person, and his Usefulness and Serviceable
nels to others. The First of thefe challengeth * Mens Efteem, the other their Love. Now lo? both these. Qualities Religion and Virtue do i eminently possess us of.. ::
For, Fór, Firft, The Religious Man is certainly :: the most Worthy and Excellent Person; for he : of all others, lives moft up to the great End for which he was designed, which is the nas in tural Measure of the Goodness and Worth of 1 Things. ,
7) in 0: Whatever 'external Advantages a Man may have, yet if he be not endow'd with virtuous Qualities, he is far from having any true Wörth or Excellence, and consequently cans not be a fit Object of our Praise and Efteem; because he wants that which should make him verfeet and good in his Kind. For it is not a comely Personage, or a long Race of famous Ancestors, or a large Revenue, or a multitude of Servants, or many swelling Titles, or any ; other Thing without à Man, that speaks him d a compleat Man, or makes him to be what he e should be : But the right Use of his Reason, in the employing his. Liberty and Choice to the best Purposes, the exercising his Powers and Faculties about the fittelt Objects, and in the most due Measures; these are the Things that make him Excellent. Now none can be said to do this, but only he that is virtuous....
Secondly, Religion also is that which makes a Man most Useful and Profitable to others; for it effectually secures his Performance of all those Duties whereby both the Security and Welfare of the Publick, and also the Good and Advantage of particular Perfons, is most attained. ... ...
} f in...,' It makes Men Lovers of their Country, loyal to their Prince, obedient to Laws : It
aic is the fureft Bond and Preservative of Society Dit in the World : It obliges us to live peaceably, El and to submit ourselves to our Rulers, not - only for Wrath, but also for Conscience fake : Eb It renders us modeft and governable in Prospe.
rity, and resolute and courageous to suffer marbrávely in a good Cause, in the "worst of 10 Times: It teacheth us to endeavour, as much trul as in us lies, to promote the Good of every care particular Member of the Community, to be een inflexibly upright, to do hurt to none; but hick good Offices to all ; to be charitable to the no: 1 Bodies and Souls of Men, to do all manner of mos Kindnesses that lie within our Power : It takes ciud off the Sowrness and Moroseness of our Spirits,
and makes us affable and courteous, gentle and obliging, and willing to embrace with open Arms, and an hearty Love, all Sorts and Conditions of Men. :
In every Relation wherein we can stand to one another, it influenceth upon us, in order to the making us more useful : It makes Parents kind and indulgent, and careful of the Education of their Children; and Children loving and obedient to their Parents: It
makes Servants diligent to please their Masters, her and to do their Work in Singleness of Heart, not oli with Eye-service, as Men-pleafers, but as into
God; and it makes Maffers gentle and for26 bearing, and careful to make Provision for
their Family; as those that know they have a
Master in Heaven, that is no Respecter of Peren fons, - In a Word, there is no Condition or Capacity, in which Religion will not be
signally an Instrument of making us more ferat viceable to others, and of doing more good in the World. And if such be the Spirit and Temper of it, how, is it possible, but it must needs, acquire a great deal of Respect and Love, from all Sorts of Men? If Obligingness and doing good in one's Generation do not endear a Man to those that know him, do not entitle him to their Love and Affections, what thing in the World is there that is likely to do it?
Bin , ...', · But Secondly, Triie and unaffected Goodness feldom misses of a good Reputation in the World. How unjust to Virtue foever Men are in other respects, yet in this they generally give it its it due; where-ever it appears, it generally meets with Esteem and Approbation ;-nay, it has in the good Word of many that otherwise are not over-fond of Religion : Though they have not the Grace to be good themselves, yet they : rarely have the Confidence not to commend Goodness in others.... : + Add to this, that no Man ever raised to himself a good Name in the World, but it was upon the score of his Virtues, either real or pretended. Viçe hath fometimes got Riches, and advanced itself into Preferments; but it never was accounted honourable in any Nation. .
It must be acknowledged, indeed, that it may and doth sometimes happen that vicious Men may be had in Esteem, but then it is to be considered, that it is not for their Vices that they are esteemed, but for some good Quality or other they are eminent in. And