nions and Parties in Religion, and one is fa voured by the publick Laws, and countenan ced by the Government, all those who are of no Religion will be fure to be of, that Side which is uppermoft, which the King and Court is of, which is freeft from Danger. So that all the profane, wicked, diffolute Livers will be of our Church, as long as the Doctrine of it is the Eftablished owned Religion of the Nation: but if ever the Tide fhould turn, and another Party get the upper-hand, they should have the Company of thofe Men alfo, unless fome Worldly Intereft did interfere and hinder them. Such Men of fuch loofe Principles and feared Confciences matter not what Religion they profefs, or whether any at all. But do these receive any Encouragement or Countenance amongst us? Do we boaft of their Godlinefs? Do we account thefe to live anfwera bly to their Profeffion? Do not we complain of them as well as our Adverfaries? And would to God all fuch as hate to be reformed, would even leave our Church! 'Twould be a happy Day if all fuch ungodly wicked Wretches, who will not be won over by the excellent Means and Arguments of our Religion, would alfo forfake that Profeffion which in Practice they disown, nay, blemish and difcredit; that they would be of any Party, run over to our Enemies, rather than continue to difhonour the best-fettled and purest Church in the World. Ye now who, by your Prefence at these her folemn Devotions, feem concern'd

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for the Glory, Preservation and Security of our Church, it is much in your power to wipe off fuch Blots and Afperfions, to anfwer fuch Reflections, and to ftop the Mouths of all Oppofers, by a due care and government of all your Words and Actions; and by the Innocency and Unblamablenefs of your Lives, your unfeigned Piety and Reverence towards God, your invincible Truth and Faithfulness, and other remarkable Virtues, to recommend our Church even to those who are without : efpecially be perfuaded to join all your Endeavours against this Vice, keeping a strict Guard against it in your felves, by keeping from all appearance of it; by not fuffering it in your Inferiours, or those that have any dependence upon you; by mildly and feafonably warning and reproving thofe of your Neighbours and Acquaintance that are guilty of this Folly. In a word, let us all observe such exact Truth in all our Chat and Difcourfe, be fo conftant to our Promises, that at any time our Word may pass without any farther Engagement, that we may never think it neceffary to affure our Credit or Faith by an Oath.

Among the Romans, the Prieft of Jupiter was in no cafe permitted to fwear, because it was not handfom, that he who was fo nearly related to their great God, and charged with fuch Divine Matters as the Care of Religion, fhould be diftrusted about small things. And we know among our felves, folemn formal Oaths are not in many Cafes required from


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Perfons of Honour; their Word
their Word upon their
Honour hath equal Credit with the express
Oath of inferior Perfons. Now fuch would
our blessed Saviour have all his Disciples to be,
fo true and faithful, that there fhould be no
need of Oaths to confirm their Speeches, but
that the Holiness and Strictness of their Lives
fhould give fuch undoubted Testimony to, and
command fo firm a Belief of all they say, that
no farther Affeveration fhould be able to vouch
it more. I conclude all with those sayings of
the wife Son of Syrach, Ecclus. 23. 9, 10,
11, 12, 13. Accuftom not thy Mouth to Swear-
ing, neither use thy felf to the naming of the
Holy one. For as a Servant that is continually
beaten fhall not be without a blue Mark, fo he
that fweareth and nameth God continually
fhall not be faultless. A Man that useth
much Swearing fhall be filled with Iniquity,
and the Plague shall never depart from his
Houfe. If he fall offend, his Sin shall be
upon him; and if he acknowledg not his Sin,
be maketh a double Offence. And if he fwear
in vain, he shall not be innocent, but his
Houfe fhall be full of Calamities. There is
a Word that is clothed about with Death,
God grant that it be not found in the Heritage
of Jacob: for all fuch things fhall be far from
the Godly, and they shall not wallow in their
Sins. Vfe not thy Mouth to intemperate
fwearing, for therein is the Word of fin.
But I fay unto you, Swear not at all.




Preach'd at



St. MATTHEW I. 21.

-And thou shalt call his Name Jefus, for he fhall fave his People from their Sins.


HAT the Appearance of the Everbleffed Son of God in our mortal Nature was upon fome very great and most important Defign, not otherwife at all, or at leaft not fo happily by any other means to be accomplished; every one must needs grant at first hearing. It could not be any indifferent trivial Errand or Business that a Perfon of fuch infinite Honour and Dignity was employ'd about, which brought down God himself from the Regions of Glory and Light

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inacceffible to dwell in an earthly Tabernacle, and to veil the Splendor of his Majefty with a Body of Flesh. This was fuch a furprizing Condefcenfion of him that had lived from all Eternity in the Bofom of his Almighty Father; this fignified fuch wonderful Love and Regard to that Humane Nature he affumed, that all Men cannot but reasonably promise themselves the greatest Advantages imaginable from fuch a gracious Undertaking. That our forlorn Nature fhould be thus highly honoured and exalted, as to be after fuch an unspeakable manner united to the Divine, doth evidently affure us of God's Good-will towards finful Men, that he yet entertained thoughts of Mercy towards us, and was loth that the Folly of his Creatures fhould prove their irrecoverable Ruin.

Had God sent a Meffage to us by the meanest Servant in his Heavenly Court, it had been a Favour too great for us to have expected, and for which we could never have been enough thankful. Had he commanded a Hoft of illuftrious Angels to have flown all over the Earth, and loudly to have proclaim'd God's willingness to have been reconciled to Men, fhould we not all with mighty Joy and Wonder have regarded and adored fuch ftupendous Grace and Goodnefs, crying out, Lord, what is Man that thou art thus mindful of him! or the Son of Man, that thou thus vifiteft him!

But that God himself fhould defcend from his Heavenly Habitation, to be clothed with


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