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be possessed of what is their neighbour's. 3. They that with greediness pursue riches, honours, pleasures, and curiosities. 4. They that are too careful, troubled, distracted, or amazed, affrighted and afflicted with being solicitous in the conduct of temporal blessings.
These are the general lines of duty, by which we may discover our failings, and be humbled, and confess accordingly only the penitent person is to remember, that although these are the kinds of sins described after the sense of the Jewish church, which consisted principally in the external action or the deed done, and had no restraints upon the thoughts of men, save only in the tenth commandment, which was mixed, and did relate as much to action as to thought (as appears in the instances ;) yet upon us Christians there are many circumstances and degrees of obligation, which endear our duty with greater severity and observation: and the penitent is to account of himself and enumerate his sins, not only by external actions or the deed done, but by words and by thoughts; and so to reckon, if he have done it directly or indirectly, if he have caused others to do it, by tempting or encouraging, by assisting or counselling, by not dissuading when he could and ought, by fortifying their hands or hearts, or not weakening their evil purposes; if he have designed or contrived its action, desired it or loved it, delighted in the thought, remembered the past sin with pleasure or without sorrow: these are the by-ways of sin, and the crooked lanes, in which a man may wander and be lost, as certainly as in the broad highways of iniquity.
But besides this, our blessed Lord and his apostles have added divers other precepts; some of which have been with some violence reduced to the decalogue, and others have not been noted at all in the catalogues of confession. I shall therefore describe them entirely, that the sick man may discover his failings, that, by the mercies of God in Jesus Christ, and by the instrument of repentance, he may be presented pure and spotless, before the throne of God.
The special Precepts of the Gospel.
1. Prayer, frequent, fervent, holy, and persevering h.
h1 Thess. v, 17. Luke, xviii. 1.
2. Faith. 3. Repentance. 4. Poverty of spirit, as opposed to ambition and high designs'. 5. And in it is humility, or sitting down in the lowest place, and in giving honour to go before anotherm. 6. Meekness, as it is opposed to waywardness, fretfulness, immoderate grieving, disdain and scorn". 7. Contempt of the world. 8. Prudence, or the advantageous conduct of religion. 9. Simplicity, or sincerity in words and actions, pretences and substances. 10. Hope". 11. Hearing the words. 12. Reading'. 13. Assembling together. 14 Obeying them that have the rule over us in spiritual affairs. 15. Refusing to communicate with persons excommunicate": whither also may be reduced, to reject heretics". 16. Charity : viz. Love to God above all things; brotherly kindness, or profitable love to our neighbours as ourselves, to be expressed in alms*, forgiveness, and to die for our brethren. 17. To pluck out the right eye, or violently to rescind all occasions of sins, though dear to us as an eye". 18. To reprove our erring brother. 19. To be patient in afflictions and longanimity is referred hither, or long-sufferance; which is the perfection and perseverance of patience, and is opposed to hastiness and weariness of spirit. 20. To be thankful to our benefactors; but above all, in all things, to give thanks to God. 21. To rejoice in the Lord always. 22. Not to quench, not to grieve", not to resist the Spirit. 23. To love our wives as Christ loved his church, and to reverence our husbands*. 24. To provide for our families'. 25. Not to be bitter to our children ". 27. To bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord". 26. Not. to despise prophesying°. 28. To be gentle, and easy to be entreated. 29. To give no scandal or offence. 30. To follow: after peace with all men, and to make peace'.. 31. Not to go
w Coloss. iii. 14. 1 Tim. i. v.
Tim. ii. 22.
1 John, iii. 16. a Matt. xviii. 9. b Matt. xviii. 15.
d Heb. xii. S. Gal. vi. 9. e Eph. v. 20. 2 Thess.
f 1 Thess. v. 16.
Philip. iii. 1. and vi. 4.
Mark, xii. 30. y Matt. vi. 14.
© James, i. 4.
1 1 Tim. v. 8.
Luke, xxi. 19. 2 Tim. iii. 2. Eph. iv. 30. " Ephes. vi. 4. r Heb. xii. 14.
to law before the unbelievers. 32. To do all things that are of good report, or the actions of public honesty t; abstaining from all appearances of evil". 33. To convert souls, or turn sinners from the error of their ways". 34. To confess Christ before all the world. 35. To resist unto blood, if God calls us to it*. 36. To rejoice in tribulation for Christ's sake. 37. To remember and shew forth the Lord's death till his second coming, by celebrating the Lord's supper. 38. To believe all the New Testament. 39. To add nothing to St. John's last book, that is, to pretend to no new revelations . 40. To keep the customs of the church, her festivals and solemnities; lest we be reproved, as the Corinthians were by St. Paul, "We have no such customs, nor the churches of God." 41. To contend earnestly for the faith. Not to be contentious in matters not concerning the eternal interest of our souls: but in matters indifferent to have faith to ourselves. 42. Not to make schisms or divisions in the body of the church. 43. To call no man master upon earth, but to acknowledge Christ our master and lawgiver". 44. Not to domineer over the Lord's heritage. 45. To try all things, and keep that which is best. 46. To be temperate in all things'. 47. To deny ourselves". 48. To mortify our lusts and their instruments". 49. To lend, looking for nothing again, nothing by way of increase, nothing by way of recompence. 50. To watch and stand in readiness against the coming of the Lord P. 51. Not to be angry without cause. 52. Not at all to revile'. 53. Not to swears. 54. Not to respect persons1. 55. To lay hands suddenly on no man". [This especially pertains to bishops; to whom also, and to all the ecclesiastical order, it is enjoined, that they preach the word", that they be instant in season and out of season, that they rebuke, reprove, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.] 56. To keep the Lord's day, (derived into an obligation from a practice apostolical.) 57. To do all things to the
u 1 Thess. v. 22.
1 Cor. vi. 1.
g Rom. xvi. 17. h Matt. xxiii. 8-10. 1 Pet. v. 3.
Lake, vi. 35.
1 John, iv. 1. 1 Thess. v. 21. Col. iii. 5. Rom. viii. 15. Matt. v. 22. r 1 Cor. vi. 10. " 1 Tim. v. 22. Y 2 Tim. iv. 2. 2 K
Matt. v. 34.
glory of God". 58. To hunger and thirst after righteousness and its rewards*. 59. To avoid foolish questions. 60. To pray for persecutors, and to do good to them that persecute us, and despitefully use us". 61. To pray for all men. 62. To maintain good works for necessary uses. 63. To work with our own hands, that we be not burdensome to others, avoiding idleness. 64. To be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. 65. To be liberal and frugal: for he that will call us to account for our time, will also for the spending our money. 66. Not to use uncomely jestings: 67. Modesty; as opposed to boldness, to curiosity, to indecency. 68. To be swift to hear, slow to speak". 69. To worship the holy Jesus at the mention of his holy name; as of old God was, at the mention of Jehovah'.
These are the straight lines of Scripture by which we may also measure our obliquities, and discover crooked walking. If the sick man hath not done these things, or if he have done contrary to any of them in any particular, he hath cause enough for his sorrow, and matter for his confession; of which he needs no other forms, but that he heartily deplore and plainly enumerate his follies, as a man tells the sad stories of his own calamity.
Of the Sick Man's Practice of Charity and Justice,
1. Let the sick man set his house in order, before he die; state his cases of conscience, reconcile the fractures of his family, reunite brethren, cause right understandings, and remove jealousies; give good counsels for the future conduct of their persons and estates, charm them into religion by the authority and advantages of a dying person; because the last words of a dying man are like the tooth of a wounded lion,
x Matt. v. 6.
W 1 Cor. x. S1. a1 im. ii. 1.
1 Pet. iii. 8. 2 Pet. i. 6, 7.
1 Tim. ii. 9.
Matt. v. 44. Rom. xii. 14.
d Matt. v. 48. f Ephes. v. 4. Phil. ii. 10.
making a deeper impression in the agony, than in the most vigorous strength*.
2. Let the sick man discover every secret of art, or profit, physic, or advantage to mankind, if he may do it without the prejudice of a third person'. Some persons are so uncharitably envious, that they are willing, that a secret receipt should die with them, and be buried in their grave, like treasure in the sepulchre of David. But this, which is a design of charity, must therefore not be done to any man's prejudice; and the mason of Herodotus the king of Egypt, who kept secret his notice of the king's treasure, and when he was a dying, told his son, betrayed his trust then, when he should have kept it most sacredly for his own interest. In all other cases let thy charity outlive thee, that thou mayest rejoice in the mansion of rest, because, by thy means, many living persons are eased or advantaged.
3. Let him make his will with great justice and piety, that is, that the right heirs be not defrauded for collateral respects, fancies, or indirect fondnesses; but the inheritances descend in their legal and due channel: and in those things, where we have a liberty, that we take the opportunity of doing virtuously, that is, of considering how God may be best served by our donatives, or how the interest of any virtue may be promoted; in which we are principally to regard the necessities of our nearest kindred and relatives, servants and friends.
4. Let the will or testament be made with ingenuity, openness, and plain expression", that he may not entail a lawsuit upon his posterity and 'relatives, and make them lose their charity, or entangle their estates, or make them poorer by the gift. He hath done me no charity, but dies in my debt, that makes me sue for a legacy.
5. It is proper for the state of sickness, and an excellent annealing us to burial, that we give alms in this state, so burying treasure in our graves, that will not perish, but rise again in the resurrection of the just. Let the dispensation of our alms be as little intrusted to our executors as may be,
k Magnifica verba mors propè admota excutit,
Nam veræ voces tum demum pectore ab imo Ejiciuntar-—Lucret. iii. 57. m Δεῖ δὲ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν μὲ ἤδη σαφηνίσαντα καταλιπεῖν, ὡς ἂν μὴ ἀμφίλογος γενομένη, πράγματα ὑμῖν παράσχη.-Cyrus apud Χenoph. 1. viii. institut.