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CH A P. V. Of the various Mischiefs arising from neglect of

Consideration. The want of it proved to be the Cause of most Sins. Some Instances are given in Atheism, Vnbelief, Swearing, Pride, Carelesness in God's Service, Lukewarmness, Covetousness, &c.

ROM what has been said, we may safely draw this Conclusion, That want of Consideration is the unhappy

Spring, from which most of the Miseries and Calamities of Mankind flow. There may be inferior and subordinate causes, as the barrenness of a Field may proceed from the Thorns which overspread it, from the Stones which lie scattered upon it, from want of Dunging, from the Rushes that grow in it, &c. but the principal cause is the Sluggard's idleness and laziness; so here the Miferies of Mankind may owe their existence to various accidents and occurrences, but the Master-cause is want of Consideration. Indeed, God, Ifa.5. 12, 13. makes this the great reason why his People were gone into Captivity; why their honourable Men were famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst; why Hell had enlarged her self, and opened her mouth without measure, and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, deJoended into it. It's the want of it which in all Ages hath procured God's Judgments, which by

Consideration might have been stopt and prevented. Had Adamimproved his Solitariness in the Garden of Eden, into serious Consideration of the nature of the Precept his Master gave him, and reflected on the Wisdom of the Supreme Law-giver that made it; on the immense Bounty his great Benefactor had crowned him withal ; on the abominable Ingratitude he would make himself guilty of by breaking so reasonable an Injunction; had he but recollected himself, (when tempted to eat of the dangerous Fruit, under a pretence that it would open his Eyes, and make him as wise as God) and thought that the Creator of Heaven and Earth knew best what degree of wisdom and knowledge became a Creature of his quality and condition ; and he that was all Love, and Beauty, and Kindness, would not have interdicted him that Fruit if the Food might have any way advanced his Happiness, and that therefore there must be some cheat in the Temptation ; That the Angels, which were lately thrown down from their Glory, could not but envy the Felicity he enjoyed, and for that reason would appear in all manner of shapes, and try a thousand ways to weaken the favour of God towards him; and that it was, without all peradventure, the safest way to prefer an express Command before an uncertain Suggestion : That it was below the Almighty to say and unfay; to forbid, and yet permit; to caution, and yet to connive; to declare his will to day, and countermand it to morrow; and that such Weaknesses are scarce reconcilable to the Temper of a wise Man on

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Earth,

Earth, much less to the Rules of Infinite Wir. dom: Had his Mind taken a view of such Arguments as these, and of the uninterrupted Proiperity and Immortality he was promised upon his Obedience; it's not the Charms, or Rhetorick, or soft Language of a Wife, nor the subtilty of a Serpent, nor the pretended Omniscience the Devil flatter'd him withal, would have made him leave that happy state which the infinice Goodness of Heaven had placed him in. But while he suffers the Pleafure of a Garden to transport bis Soul, and to blind it, fears no ill, no mischief, no danger among the Roses and Flowers of Paradise, embraces the deceitful Suggestion, without examining the cause, the manner, or the end of it; swallows the fatal Bait without chewing; believes a Wife, and a Beast, without considering the consequence of the Fact, and inquires not how God may resept his curiosity; he falls into Death and Misery, and drags all his Posterity after him.

Had the Inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah reflected, like rational Men, on the Reproofs and Admonitions of righteous Lot,ruminated on his passionate Expressions, taken notice of the Motives he used, of the Incouragements he alledged, of the Commission he produced, of the Authority by which he acted, considered the kindness of the Almighty in sending them such a Preacher, and thought with themselves, That fure it could not be the Preacher's Interest to set himself against their Vices: That except Confci. ence and a Divine Commission had prompted him to attempt their Reformation, it was not

probable

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probable he would enrage a debauched City against himself, and make himself obnoxious to the fury of the People; that the righteous Man {pake nothing but Reason, and fought nothing but their Good; that God's Patience would certainly be tired e'er long, and his Long-suffering turn into Vengeance; that the Fire of their Lust would shortly pull down other Fire, and the heat of their unclean desires break into more consuming Flames: That Sins against Nature made Men worse than Beasts; and for God not to revenge such Crimes, would certainly give the World occasion to believe there was no Governor that took care of Sublunary Objects, or be a means to destroy Human Society: That God would not always put up Affronts, nor suffer his Methods to reclaim them, to be baffled everlastingly: That they could not hope to escape God's Indignation, no more than ihe Men of the first World, and when their Sins were equal, God's Judgments would overtake them,as well as they did their Brethren:That God could intend them no harm, by calling them to repentance, and being the great preserver of Men, could not but design their Well-being and Felicity:Had they suffered their Thoughts to dwell on such Truths as these,made suchConsiderations familiar to their Souls, they would have melted and humbled themselves, and kept back that Fire and Brimstone, which afterwards consumed them. Want of Consideration made them secure in Sin, and that Security prepared them for their Devastation.

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· Indeed, there is no Sin almost but is com mitted for want of Consideration. Men consider not what Sinis, nor how loathsome it is to that God, who carries them on his wings as the Eagle doch her young, nor what Injury they do to their own Souls, nor what the dreadful effets and consequences of it are, and that makes them supine and negligent of their Duty.

To give a few instances: Did the Atheist but look up to Heaven ; did his swinish and brutish Appetite but give him leave to contemplate that glorious Fabrick, the orderly position of the Stars, the regular motion of those Celeftial Lamps, and the Mathematical contrivance of that curious Globe; how is it possible he could dream of a casual concurrence of Atoms, or forbear to acknowledge a most wise, most per; fedt, and most powerful Architect,even that God who commanded them into Being, and still preferves them from Decay and Ruin?

Would he but consider, how things that have a beginning could not make themselves,unless they were before theywere(which impliesa contradi&ion) and therefore must certainly be made, and produced at first by some supreme Cause that is Eternal and Omnipotent. Would he but reflect on the universal consent of Mankind, how not only the civilized but the most barbarous Nations in all Ages have had a sense of a Deity; and how this sense never changes, altho' Kingdomsand Republicks, their Government, Laws, Constitutions,Inhabitants, and Customs change; and how improbable it is that all Mankind fhould conspire into such a Cheat, if there were

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