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government and direction of them. Our bodies are so made, that they cannot be supported without constant nourishment : hunger and thirst therefore are natural appetites given us to be constant calls to us to administer to the body the necessary supports of the animal life. Ask any man of common sense now, how far these appetites ought to be indulged ; he cannot help seeing that nature calls for no more than is proper for the health and preservation of the body, and that reason prescribes the same bounds; and that when these appetites are made occasions of intemperance, an offence is committed against as well the order of nature, as the rule of reason. The excess therefore of these appetites is not natural but vicious: the intemperate man is not called upon by his natural appetites, but he does, in truth, call upon them to assist his sensuality, and often loads them so hard that they recoil, and nauseate what is obtruded upon them. An habitual drunkard may have, and has, I suppose, an uncommon craving upon him ; but the excess of his craving is not natural: it is not of God's making, but of his own, the effect of a long practised intemperance : and such an appetite will be so far from being an excuse, that it is itself a crime. - In other instances of a like nature, they who have inflamed desires, commonly owe the excess of them to their own misconduct. There is a great deal of difference between men of the same temper, where one Thuns, and where the other seeks the temptation; where one employs his wit to minister to his appetite, and the other uses his reason to subdue it: the passions of one, by being used to subjection, are
taught to obey; the appetites of the other, knowing no restraint, take fire upon every occafion; and the corrupted mind, instead of opposing, endeavours to heighten as well the temptation as the fin : and often it is seen, that the relish for the fin outlasts the temptation : a plain evidence that there is a greater corruption in sensual men than can be charged upon natural inclination.
Since therefore the desires of nature are in them. selves innocent, and ordained to serve good ends ; fince God has given us reason and understanding to moderate and direct our passions; it is in vain to plead our passion in defence or excuse of sensuality, unless at the faine time we could plead that we were void of reason, and had no higher principle than passion to influence our actions: for if it be the work of reason to keep the passions within their proper bounds, the reasonable creature must be accountable for the work of his passion. And so the case is in human judicatures : anger and revenge, pride and ambition, are very headstrong passions, and the cause of great mischief in the world; but they cannot be alleged in excuse of the iniquity they produce, because the reason of the offender makes him liable to answer for the extravagance of his passion. Take away reason, and bring a madman or an ideot into judgment, and the magistrate has nothing to say to him, whatever his passions, or the effects of them, may be.
It is the work of reason then to preside over the passions: and seeing it is so, let us consider what great motives we have to guard against the irregularities of them. St. Peter is very earneft in the
exhortation of the text, Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lufts, which war against the soul. Here are two things offered to our confideration as motives:
First, That we are strangers and pilgrims, and ought therefore to abstain from fleshly lusts.
Secondly, That fleshly lufts war against the foul, and therefore we ought to abstain from them. I shall consider them in their order.
Firít, We are Arangers and pilgrims, and ought therefore to abstain from fleshly lusts.
St. Peter directs this Epistle to the strangers feattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; which has led some to think that he applies to them in the text under the same notion, and calls them ftrangers and pilgrims upon account of their dispersion upon the earth. But I see no force in the exhortation upon this view. With respect to religion and morality, there is no more reason to abstain from vice in a foreign country than in your own. There may possibly be sometimes prudential reasons for so doing: but this is too narrow, and too mean a confideration, for an Apostle of Christ to build so weighty an exhortation on it, as that of the text. We must look out therefore for a more proper meaning of these words, and more suitable to the occasion. And we need not look far for it: in the first chapter of this Epistle, verse 17, St. Peter thus exhorts, If you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here with fear. It is plain that St. Peter here calls the time of life the time of our sojourning here ; and consequently
reckons us to be strangers and pilgrims as long as we are in this world. In the same sense the author to the Hebrews speaks of the saints of old, Theje. all died in faith, not having received the promijes, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, Heb. xi. 13. This notion extends to all mankind, and shews that the Apostle looked upon them all as strangers and pilgrims on the earth : consequently the exhortation founded upon this notion extends to all alike, and reaches as far as the obligations of morality reach. And this consideration, placed in this view, has great weight in it, with respect to all who have faith enough to dehre a better, that is, an heavenly country, and to know themselves to be but only passengers through this world, and on their way to a city prepared for them. This is putting all our hopes and fears, with respect to futurity, in balance against the solicitations of sensual pleasure : this is appealing to our reason, to Thew us how absurd it is to give ourselves up to momentary enjoyments, in a place where we have no certain abode, at the hazard of forfeiting our right to that country where we have an inheritance which shall endure for ever. Wife travellers do not use so to entangle themselves in the affairs of foreign countries, as to cut off all hopes of a return to their own home: such especially as belong to a country in no respect to be rivalled by any other place, and are entitled to a large share of the wealth and honour of it; such, I fay, will not suffer their thoughts and cares to be so engaged abroad as to forget their own inheritance, which waits to be enjoyed, and which, once enjoyed,
will recompense all the fatigues and hazards of the journey. But this comparison conveys to our minds but a faint image of the case before us : one country may differ from another, but no one differs so much from another as to represent to us the difference between heaven and earth. Many are entitled to great degrees of honour and riches in their own countries ; but no man is entitled to so much on earth as every man is entitled to in heaven, if he forfeits not his hopes by sacrificing them to the mean and low enjoyments of the world. Put the case, that a man was so framed by nature as to hold out a thousand years in his native air, and to be hourly in danger of death in foreign parts, and at beft able to hold out but to lixty or eighty years at moft: how eagerly would such a man press homewards, if ever he found himself in another country! How would he despise the strongest temptations of pleasure that should pretend to stay him but a day! How contemptible would all the honours and glories and riches of foreign kingdoms appear to him, when put in the balance against the secure and long life to be enjoyed at home ! Add to this supposition one circumstance more, that the man is by nature made for the enjoyments which his own country only can afford, that all the pleasures elsewhere to be found are attended with pain and uneasiness in the pursuit, liable to many vexations and disappointments; the enjoyment of them turbulent and transient, the remembrance of them irksome and oftentimes tormenting : in this case what would a wise man do? Would he not reject with disdain such enjoyments as these, and call up all the strength of his mind, summon all the powers of reason to