Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

and their peculiar long Continuance in the Country of Judea, it seems not directly to concern us upon the present Occasion.

Sixth and Eighth Commands.[Exod. xx. 13, 15. Dout. v. 17, 19.] Thou shalt not kill : Thou salt not steal. These are two of the principal Injunctions given by God Almighty, the original Donor and Proprietor of our Lives and Eftates; while yet it is the Business, the main Business of most of our Wars to break them, by killing as many of our Enemies as we can; and by plundering those Enemies as much as we can; without any Regard to the Justice or Injustice of those Wars. I doubt the Guilt of such Murders and Plunderings in our late Wars has been very great, and lies very heavy upon all Sides at this Day. It is true, that God himself made the Ifraelites the Executioners of his Vengeance against the Amorites or Canaanites ; but this not till their Iniquities were full ; [Gen. xv. 16.) and when it appears their Idolatry had induced them to offer their own Children to be burnt to Moloch, E3C. (Wisd. xii. 5, 6.] So that these Wars were certainly lawful, as designed by God to be for the Excision of Nations not fit to live upon God's Earth any longer. King Saul was also enjoined by God utcerly to destroy the Amalekites; but it was only the Sinners the Amalekites ; [1 Sam. xv. 18.] and because he had God's Warrant for their Destruction. King David also, and the other religious Kings of Judab, constantly fought with, and endeavoured to destroy the Philiftines, and other their Enemies ; but it was as

directed

[ocr errors]

directed by the Prophets of God, or by his Oracle the Urim ; and only to conquer those who would not suffer God's People to enjoy what God had reserved in a peculiar Manner for them ; and what he had folemnly bequeathed to them, while they were obedient to his Laws, for all Generations ; whom no other people had any Right to dispossess ; while yet he did not give those his own People Leave to hurt either the Moabites, or Ammonites, or Edomites, while they lived peaceably at Home ; and whose Countries he had assigned to those Nacions, as he had reserved Palestine for the Children of Israel. Neither do I know whether the Christians were at first allowed to take the Sacramental Oath to any Parthian, or other Potentate, to fight against the Roman Empire, which God had chosen for his peculiar People, upon his Rejection of the Jews ; and within whose Dominions his own Church was almost wholly confined for several Ages. But that our late terrible Wars, , which have shed such a Quantity of Blood, and plundered so many People in almost all Quarters of the World, have had any Permission from God for all the Blood shed, and Goods plundered, 1. do not know ; I rather think such publick Murders and Plunders, together with those many private Murders and Robberies, of late so very common among us, are fatal Additions to our other manifold and heinous Sins; for which the Hand of God is now stretched out against us; and whose Punishments, sore Punishments, I am perfuaded, nothing but our most fincere Repentance and Amendment can prevent,

Seventh

[ocr errors]

Seventh Command. (Ex. xx, 14. Deut. v. 18.] ] Thou shalt not commit Adultery. To say nothing here of Rapes, of Buggery, or Bestiality; which are the horrideft of Crimes under this Head, and are too well known to have been practifed among us. I shall chiefly confine myself to another of the groffest of the Crimes, intended under this Prohibition, of which Bishop Sherlock speaks in a most affecting Manner, as already set down, Pag. 96, 97, priùs, Sodomy. And, since we have lately had three eminent and publick Instances of this horrible Crime, the Reader must give me Leave by them to confirm what the Bishop fays relating thereto. ?Tis not very many Years ago, that an Head of Wadham College in Oxford was forced to leave his College and Nation, for this most infamous Vice. Nor is it very many Years ago, that our then first Minister, the Lord Sunderland, was, in Effect, tried at Kingston Aflizes for the same Crime. And tho' our Courts of Justice are not able of late to convict first Ministers, in such Cases; yet do I well remember, that every Body that heard the Trial were privately satisfied he was guilty. And when a Saying of the same first Minister at Court, which I had from an Ear-witness, comes hereafter to be related; the religious Reader will not great. ly wonder that such a Scorner of Religion was also a Sodomite. However, a third Example shall be of one of the principal Surgeons in London, whom I once knew, and esteemed among the best Chriftians of that Profession, Mr. Shipton. Yet did the Suspicions of his Practice of Sodomy, and ac

com.

companying with a Club of Sodomites, grew ac last so very strong, that he could not stand it in the City ; but was forced to retire to an obscure Place in the Country. All which Instances do but too fully corroborate the strong Suspicion mentioned by Bishop Sherlock, of great Nefts of sodomites now in the City of London.

Tenth Command. [Ex. xx. 17. Deut. v. 21.] Thou shalt not covet thy Neighbour's House, thou shalt not covet thy Neigbbour's Wife, nor his Man Servant, nor bis Maid Servant, nor his Ox, nor his Afs, nor any Thing that is tby Neighbour's. Although the Crime here forbidden, Covetousness, be of a very different Nature from the foregoing, and not easily chargeable on particular Persons, at least not easily proved against them; yet fince St. Paul to the Corinthians enumerates this Vice, among the other heinous Crimes, whose Authors shall not inberit the Kingdom of God: [1 Cor. vi. 9, 10.] Fornicators, Idolaters, Adulterers, Effeminate, Abusers of themselves with Mankind, (or Sodomites) Thieves, Covetou!, Drunkards, Revilers, and Extortioners : Nay, since the fame Apostle affures us, in the same Epistle, that he had, in a former Epistle, now loft, written to the fame Corinthians, (v. 9, 10, 11.] Not to company with Fornicators of this World, nor with the Covetous, nor Extortioners, nor with Idolaters; which they mistaking, as if he would oblige Christians almost to leave off all Intercourse with their heathen Neighbours, to their greatest Inconvenience in common Life ;- he still affures them, they were obliged, not to keep ComN

pany,

[ocr errors]

pany, if any Man that is called a Brother, (or Fel. low-Christian) be either a Fornicator, or. Covetous, or an Idolater, or a Railer, or a Drunkard, not to eat with him. Now there is one flagrant Instance of this Vice however, in the Bishops and the fuperior Clergy, which is open and publick ; I mean, when they waste those Ecclesiastical Revenues that are intrusted with them, for the Use of the Poor and the lower Orders, and raise their Families to great Riches and Dignities by this Abuse of them : This Practice is absolutely forbidden in the Canons of the Apostles, where this Christian Law is deliver'd in the following Words: (Can. xxxix.] . Let the Bishop have the Care of Ecclefiaftical Revenues, and administer them as in the Presence of God. But 'tis not lawful for him to appropriate any part of them to bimfelf, or to give the Things of God to bis own Kindred. But if they be poor, let them support them as poor. But let him not, under such Pretences, alienate the Revenues of the Church.-(Can, xl.] Let the proper Goods of the Bishop, if be bas any, and those belonging to the Lord, be openly distinguished, that he may have Power, when be dies, to leave his own Goods as be pleases, and to whom he pleases; that under Pretence of the Eccleßaftical Revenues the Bishop's own may not come short, &c. Now this being certainly the Case, and these Canons, at least the first fifty, of which these are two, being Part of the Ecclefiaftical Laws of Christendom, and even of this Nation at this Day, I should think it a Duty plainly incumbent on our present Bithops, and superior Clergy, in this Time of Di

stress,

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »