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SERM.III. will render his soul as dark as that Hell,
'into which they will at last, irrecoverably
Life. The Scholar defpifės the Man OfSerm. III. Business, and the Man of Business the Scho lar: Now, what estranges Men from each other, should, in the Reason of the Thing, mutually endear them: Because the general Good of the whole arises from the different Pursuits of the several Individuals : And if all Men were to go the same way, and follow the same Track of Employment; it would cause a strange Embarraffment: The Road would be so much croud. ed, that none could get forward. Honour then alt Men, even those of the meanest Occupations : Take in, with a comprehensive View, the whole Chain of the rational World, where, though the Links may be disproportioned in their Size, yet the least serves to strengthen and support the greatest, and both, by depending upon, and aiding each other, keep the whole Contexture from falling asunder.
2dly, As you ought not to conceive a Distaste for any Man, or Body of Men, upon the Account of a different Profession; so neither thould you, because they are of a different Persuasion, Sect, or Party.
Supposing yourself in the Right ; you pity corporeal Blindness; why should you
Serm.III, not likewise compassionate, instead of being
angry with, the Blindness of the Understanding, when it cannot discern certain religious Truths ? I know no, Reason, bụt this, which resolves itself into Pride; that the corporeally blind own themselves to be lo; but the blind in Understanding maintain, that we labour under that Diftemper, and not they. Now we are not so thofoughly convinced that our Understanding and Way of Thinking is perfectly right in all Points, as that we have the full Enjoyment of our Eye-sight : And this makes us so angry with the one, while we pity the other. Ensure your own Salvation as much as you can, but do not think hardly of those, who differ from you even in fundamental Points, much less consign them over to Damnation. Our blessed Saviour, who disapproved the Worship of the Samaritans, as appears from his Conversation with the Samaritan Woman at the Well, yet fingles out, in his beautiful Parable, one of that Nation to do a generous Action to the wounded Traveller, on Purpose, one would think, to obviate this contracted Turn of Mind, and to recommend those to our Love, whose religious Notions we
dislike. Whether a good Man, who is a Serm.III. Misbeliever in fome Points, without any Faultiness or Irregularity of Will, will be damned for his erroneous Way of Thinking, may be a Question among fome People ; but I think it admits of none, that a Man will be damned for an uncharitable Way of thinking and acting.
ždly, You must not pass a hard precipitate Censure upon a whole Nation or Country. Can any Thing good come out of Nazareth ? was a low, confined, ungenerous Thought : Goodness is not limited to, or excluded from, any Place : The Good are diffused throughout all Nations, all Sects, all Persuasions, all Ranks and Orders of Men. True Charity ever dwells with a Largeness of Soul, which takes in all Mankind, sincerely wilhing, that all, who are in any material Error, may embrace the Truth ; and all, that embrace' it, may hold a pure Faith in a pure Conscience. And I question whether a generous spirited Way of Thinking, a noble and exalted Ardor of Soul, with strong Passions, which sometimes transport a Man into Exorbitances, be not, upon the whole, much more commendable ; than an insipid Regularity, and VOL. II,
Serm.III, a flat Correctness of Life, which creeps on in
one dull Tenor, without ever éverflowing: with too little Spirit to reach any Heights in Virtue ; too languid Passions to be guilty of any flagrant Vice : Just as the Critics have preferred the Sublime in Writing, with a great many Inaccuracies and Inequalities, to a Middling Stile, though very faultless.
In short, true Charity is to deteft nothing but Vice; and to despise nothing but contracted, illiberal Notions, which would confine God's Favour, and most certainly limit our Affections, within a narrow Circle. * Form as amiable Sentiments as you can, of Nations, Communities of Men, and Individuals. If they are true, you do them only Justice ; if false, though your Opinion does not alter their Nature, and make them lovely ; you yourself are more lovely, for entertaining such Sentiments. When you feel the bright Warmth of a Temper thoroughly good in your own Breaft, you will see something good in every one about you. It is a Mark of a Littleness of Spirit, to confine yourself to fome minute Part of a Man's Character ; a Man of generous, open, extended Views; will grasp the whole of it; without which he cannot