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auditors, oudypoipáxydon. The stiff neck, the uncircumcised ear, the fat heart, the blinded eye, the obdurate soul (quæ nec movetur precibus, nec cedit minis, as Bernard) are wont to be the expressions of this untowardness.

If these Jews then, after so clear predictions of the prophets; after so miraculous demonstrations of the divine power of Christ after so many graves ransacked, dead raised, devils ejected, limbs and eyes new-created; after such testimonies of the Star, Sages, Angels,. God himself; after such triumphs over death and hell; do yet detrect to believe in him, and to receive him for their Messiah, most justly are they, in this first kind, cuoc yeved, a froward generation. And so is any nation under heaven, that follows them in the steps of their peevish incredulity;

more or less shutting their eyes upon the glorious light of Saving Truth: like that sullen tree in the Indies, which, they say, closes itself against the beams of the rising sun, and opens only to the dampish shades of the night. Where we must take this růle with us, a rule of most just proportion, That the means of light to any nation aggravate the heinousness and damnableness of their unbelief. The time of that ignorance God regarded not, but now ; saith St. Paul to the Athenians; Acts xvii. 30. If I had not come and spoken to them, they should have had no sin; saith our Saviour, John xv. 22. Those, that walk in Cimmerian, in Egyptian darkness, it is neither shame nor wonder, if they either err or stumble; but, for a man to stumble the sun in the face, or to grope by the walls at noon in the midst of Goshen, is so much more hateful, as the occasion is more willing.

(2.) The latter, which is the negative untowardness in Action, is, when any nation fails palpably in those holy duties of piety, justice, charity, which the Royal Law of their God requireth. Of this kind, are those usual complaints; The fear of God is not before their eyes. God looked to see if there were any that looked after God, and behold there was none. The righteous is perished from the children of men. Behold the tears of the oppressed, and none comforted them. The prophets are full of these querulous notes: there is not a page of them free; yea, hardly shall ye meet with one line of theirs, which doth not brand their Israel with this defect of holiness.

2. From the Negative, cast your eyes upon the POSITIVE CROOKEDNESS or UNTOWARDNESS. That is, in matter of Faith; the maintenance of impiety, misbelief, heresy, superstition, atheism, and whatever other intellectual wickedness : in matter of Fact; idolatries, profane carriage, violation of God's days and ordinances, disobediences, murders, adulteries, thefts, drunkenness, lies, detractions, or any other actual rebellion against God. Behold, I have drawn forth before you a hellish rabble of sins, enough to mar a world. Whatever nation now, or succession of men, abounds, either in these sinful omissions or these heinous commissions, whether in matter of judgment or manners, is chored yeveà, an untoward generation. That, which makes a man crooked or untoward, makes a generation so; for what is a generation, but a resultance of men? their number doth not. vary their condition. But let not our zeal,

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as it oft doth, make us - uncharitable. When a whole generation is taxed for untowardness, think not that none are free. No, not one; saith the Psalmist, by way of fervent aggravation. All seek their own, saith the Apostle; all, in comparison. But, never times were so overgrown with iniquity, as that God hath not left himself some gracious remainders: when the thievish Chaldæans and Sabxans have done their worst, there shall be a messenger, to say, I am escaped. Never was harvest or vintage so curiously inned, that some gleanings were not left in the field; some clusters the leaves. But these few, if they may give a blessing to the times, yet they cannot give a style: the denomination still follows the greater, though the worse, part: let these be never so good, the Generation is, and is noted for evil.

Let me, therefore, here commend to your better thoughts these three emergent considerations. (1.) The irreparable Wrong and Reproach, that lewd men bring upon the very ages and nations where they live. (2.) The Difference of Times and Ages, in re. spect of the degrees of evil. (3.) The Warrant of the Free Censure of ill-deserving times or nations.

(1.) It were happy, if the injury of a wicked man could be confined to his own bosom; that he only should fare the worse for his sins: ci máso1, &c. as the Greek rule runs; if it were but “ selfdo, self-have,” as the old word is. But, as his lewdness is, like some odious scent, diffused through the whole room where he is : so it reacheth to earth and heaven; yea, to the very times and generations, upon which he is unhappily fallen. .

Doubtless, there were many worthy saints in these very times of St. Peter. There was the Blessed Mother of Christ, the paragon of Sanctity: there was a bevy of those devout and holy dames, that attended the doctrine, bewailed the death, and would have embalmed the corpse of our Blessed Saviour: there were the twelve Apostles; the seventy Disciples; the hundred and twenty names, that were met in one room at Jerusalem, Acts i. 15; the five hundred brethren, that saw Christ after his glorious and victorious Resurrection; besides those many thousands, that believed through their word in all the parts of Judea and Galilee: yet, for all that, the Apostle brands this with cuonid yevɛà, an untoward generation. It is not in the virtue of a few, to drown the wickedness of the

If we come into a field, that hath some good plenty of corn, and some store of weeds, though it be red with poppy, or yellow with carlock, or blue with wild-bottles or scabious; we still call it a corn-field: but, if we come into a barn-floor, and see some few grains scattered amongst a heap of chaff; we do not call it a corn-heap; the quantity of the offal devours the mention of those insensible grains. Thus it is with times and nations: A little good is not seen amongst much ill: a righteous Lot cannot make his city to be no Sodoin. Wickedness, as it helps to corrupt, so to shame a very age.

The orator Tertullus, when he would plead against Paul, says, We have found this man doór, a pestilence; Acts xxiv. 5. Foolish

more.

Tertullus! that mistook the antidote for the poison, the remedy for the disease. But, had St. Paul been such as thy misprision supposed him, he had been such as thy unjust crimination now makes thyself, nosuds, the plague of thy people.

A wicked man is a perfect contagion: he infects the world with sin, the very age with infamy. Malus vir, malum publicum, is not a more old than true word. Are there then, in any nation under heaven, lewd miscreants, whose hearts are atheists, whose tongues are blasphemers, whose bodies are stews, whose lips are nothing but a factory of close villiany? let them please themselves, and let others, if ye will, applaud them for their beneficial contributions to the public affairs, in the style of bonus civis, “ a good patriot,” as men whose parts may be useful to the weal-public; yet, I say, such men are no better than the bane of their country, the stain of their age. Turpis est pars, que suo toti non convenit

, as Gerson well: it is an ill member, for which all the body fares the worse.

Hear this then, ye Glorious Sinners, that brag of your good affections and faithful services to your dear country: your hearts, your heads, your purses, your hands, ye say, are pressed for the . public good; yea, but are your hearts godless ? are your lives filthy ? let me tell you, your sins do more disservice to your nation, than yourselves are worth. All your valour, wisdom, subsidiary helps cannot counterpoise one dram of your wickedness. Talk what ye will: Sin is a shume to any people, saith wise Solomon: ye bring both a curse and a dishonour upon your nation. It may thank you, for the hateful style of cuorià yeved, a froward generation. This for our First observation.

(2.) Never generation was so straight, as not to be distorted with some powerful sins: but there are differences and degrees in this distortion.

· Even in the very first world were giants, as Moses tells us; Gen. vi. 4: which, as our mythologists add, did geoparkiv, “bid battie to heaven." In the next, there were mighty hunters, proud Babelbuilders: after them, followed beastly Sodomites. It were easy to draw down the pedigree of evils through all times, till we come to these last, which the Holy Ghost marks out for perilous.

Yet some generation is more eminently sinful than other: as the sea is in perpetual agitation, yet the spring-tides rise higher than their fellows.

Hence St. Peter notes this his generation with an emphasis of miscnief, týs yeveãs TKÚTUS: here is a transcendency of evil. What age may compare with that, which hath embrued their cruel hands in the blood of the Son of God?

That Roaring Lion is never still; but there are times, wherein he rageth more: as he did and doth, in the first, in the last days of the Gospel. The first, that he might block up the way of saving truth; the last, for that he knows his time is short. There are times, that are poisoned with more contagious heresies, with more remarkable villainies.

It is not my meaning to spend time in abridging the sacred

Chronologies of the Church; and to deduce along the cursed successions of damnable errors from their hellish original: only let me touch at the notable difference, betwixt the first and the last world. In the first, as Epiphanius observes, TW ÈTEPOdočíu, štu δνομα αιρέσεως, εδέ ειδωλολατρεία; there was « neither diversity of opinion, nor mention of heresy, nor act of idolatry:" jóvou dcéberce nad łucéBerce; "only piety and impiety" divided the world: whereas now, in the last, which is the wrangling and techy dotage of the decrepit world, here is nothing, but unquiet clashings of opinion; nothing, but foul heresy, either maintained by the guilty, or imputed to the innocent; nothing, but gross idolatry, in paganism, in misbelieving Christianity; and, woe is me that I must say it! a coloured impiety shares too much of the rest.

(3.) My speech is glided, ere I was aware, into the Third head of our discourse; and is suddenly fallen upon the practice of that, which St. Peter's example here warrants, the censure of ill-deserying times : which I must crave leave of your Honourable and Christian patience, with a holy and just freedom to prosecute.

It is the peevish humour of a factious eloquence, to aggravate the evils of the times: which, were they better than they are, would be therefore cried down in the ordinary language of malecontented spirits, because present. But, it is the warrantable and necessary duty of St. Peter and all his true Evangelical successors, when they meet with a froward generation, to call

it so. How cominonly do we cry out of those querulous Micaiahs, that are still prophesying evil to us, and not good! No theme, but sins; no sauce, but vinegar.

Might not one of these galled Jews of St. Peter's auditory have started

up, and have thus challenged him for this tartness ; " What means this hard censure? why do you slander the time? Solomon was a wise man, and he says, Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this: this is but a needless rigour: this is but an envious calumny: the generation were not untoward, if your tongue were not uncharitable.”

The Apostle fears none of these currish oblatrations; but, contemning all impotent misacceptions, calls them what he finds them, A froward generation.

And well might he do so: his Great Master did it before him, an evil and adulterous generation; and the Harbinger of that Great Master fore-ran him in that censure, O generation of vipers; Matt. ii. 7: and the prophets led the same way to him, in every page.

And why do not we follow Peter in the same steps, wherein Peter followed Christ, and Christ his fore-runner, and his forerunner the prophets? Who should tell the times of their sins, if we be silent Pardon me, I beseech you, most Noble, Reverend, and Beloved Hearers: necessity is laid upon me. In this day of our public mourning, I may not be as a man in whose mouth are no reproofs. Oh, let us be thankful for our blessings, wherein

VOL. V.

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through the mercy of God, we outstrip all the nations under heaven; but, withal, let us bewail our sins, which are so much more grievous, because ours. Would to God, it were no less unjust than unpleasing, to complain of this as an untoward generation.

There be four things, that are wont both to make up and evince the pravity of any generation: woe is me that they are too apparently met in this! Multitude of sins, Magnitude of sin, Boldness of sin, Impunity of sinning. Take a short view of them all. You shall see, that the Multitude is such, as that it hath covered the earth; the Magnitude such, as hath reached to heaven; the Boldness such, as out-faceth the Gospel; the Impunity such, as frustrates the wholesome laws under which we live.

For the Multitude, where is the man, that makes true conscience of any the laws of his God? And, if every man violate all the laws of God, what do all put together?

Our forefathers' sins were but as drops: ours, are as torrents. Instance in some few. Cannot we ourselves remember, since a debauched drunkard was an owl among birds, a beast of men, a monster of beasts, abhorred of men, shouted at by children? Is this sight now any news to us? Is not every tavern a sty of such swine ? Is not every street indented with their shameful staggerings? Is there not now as much spent in wanton smoke, as our honest forefathers spent in substantial hospitality! Cannot we remember, since oaths were so geason and uncouth, that their sound startled the hearer; as amazed at the strange language of treason against the God of Heaven? Now, they fill every mouth; and beat every ear, in a neglected familiarity. What should I tell you of the overgrown frequence of oppressions, extortions, injurious and fraudulent transactions, malicious suits? The neighbour walls of this famous adjoining palace can too amply witness this truth; whose roof, if, as they say, it will admit of no spiders, I am sure the floor of it yields venom enough to poison a kingdom. What should I tell you of the sensible declination to our once-loathed superstitions; of the common trade of contemptuous disobediences to lawful authority; the scornful undervaluing of God's messengers; the ordinary neglect of his sacred ordinances? What speak I of these and thousands more? There are arithmeticians, that have taken upon them to count how many corns of sand would make up the bulk of heaven and earth; but no art can reckon up the multitude of our provoking sins.

Neither do they more exceed in number than Magnitude. Can there be a greater sin than idolatry? Is not this, besides all the rest, the sin of the present Romish generation? One of their own confesses, as he well may, that were not the bread transubstantiate, their idolatry were more gross than the heathenish. Lo, nothing excuses them, but an impossible figment. Know, O ye poor ignorant seduced Souls, that the bread can be no more turned into God, than God can be turned into bread, into nothing. The very Omnipotent Power of God bars these impious contradictions. My heart trembles, therefore, and bleeds to think of your highest,

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