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ture, as well as to Religion. 'Tis high SERM. Time now to exert the Dominion of

X. Reason over Fancy and Opinion. However it goes with the World without us, let us remember that we are Men and Christians. Let us not be such Cheats to ourselves to make · imaginary Evils real ones, but consider that we have a Mind to look after, which will determine our Happiness or Misery, according as we accustom it to a right or a wrong way of thinking. In a word, As long as we live in this World, let us endeavour to make ourselves and others as happy as we can. We have

many

Vices and Infirmities, as well as other People, and therefore we ought to bear with one another, and not conclude a Peace with our own Follies, and at the same time proclaim War against those of other People. In short, let us furnish our Minds with true Religion, which will give us fuch a chearful and eafy Deportment in every Condition of Life, as will make us truly happy; for ber Ways are Ways of Pleasantness, and all ber Paths aré Peace,

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And He said, What haft thou

done? The Voice of thy Brother's Blood

crieth unto from the Ground.

me

I

SERM.

N this Chapter we have a XI.

short Account of Cain and Abel, and the first propaga

ting the World after Adam and Eve were driven out of Paradice: It is very concise indeed, tho' it is as long as the Nature of the Thing would admit of: For it cannot reasonably be expected, that the Scripture should give, a particular Account of every thing; that would have been neither necessary nor useful: Not necessary, because the Intent and Design of it was not to teach

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Men Systems of History and Chrono- SERM:
logy, but just so much, as may help XI.
to promote and recommend a good m
Life : Not useful, because it would
have swoln the Sacred Volume to too
great a Bulk for the Generality of Man-
kind to receive much Benefit from ;
especially, fince for some of whom, it
is to be fear’d, it would be still too large,
were it less than it is.

Hence appears the Folly of those,
who require a particular Account of
every minute Circumstance of things in
Scripture; as where Cain could take a
Wife, when as yet the Scripture had
made Mention of no other Woman in
the World but Eve : Since an Account
of these things is neither necessary nor
useful, especially, if we consider, that
a little common Sense will naturally lead
a Man to fill up the Charm; for as to
this particular Case, the World being,
according to Chronologers, a hundred
and twenty eight, or a hundred and
thirty Years Old, when Cain flew Abel,
it must be fuppos’d, that there were
People enough in it by that Time for
fuch a Purpose.

The Truth of it is, such Questions as these are as useless as they are foolish . and insignificant, and argue a little Mind, and a trifling Understanding.

Hh

But

SERM.

XI.

on But this only by the Way. Now as to the Persons here concern'd in the Text, all that we need know is, that one was a Keeper of Sheep, and the other ä Tiller of the Ground; and that, they offer'd each an Offering to the Lord; Abel of the Firstlings of his Flock, and Cain of the Fruit of the Ground; but we find both were not equally accepted, for the Lord had Respect unto Abel, and his Offering; but unto Cain and his Offering, for want of a right Qualification, he had not Respect; upon which Account Cain was very wrath, and his Countenance fell, i.e. he did not only look dejected, and full of Sorrow, but full of Revenge too; though there

manner of Reason or Ground for this Wrath or Sullenness; for it was not his God, nor his Brother, that was the Cause of his Offering's not being accepted, but himself; For, says the Lord to him, if thou dost well, Thalt thou not be accepted? And if thou dost not well, Sin lieth at the Door. And this is the Way of most wicked Men, who, like Cain, when they feel a necessary Remorse attending their evil Actions, discharge their Wrath upon any one rather than themselves, who are the Delinquents, and the Persons to whom the Wrath

belongs ;

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belongs; and not only but have Afsu- SERM.
rance enough to expect, notwithstand- XI.
ing their wicked Lives and Actions,
which cut off all Ground of Expecta-
tion of any thing that is good, the
fame Favour of God, as those who are
never so righteous. Thus Balaam,
who had liv'd the Life of the Wicked,
had Confidence enough, notwithstand-
ing that, to say, Let me die the Death
of the Righteous, and let my last End
be like his. However, Cain was so
incensed at this, that his Offering was
not accepted as well as his Brother's,
that he took an Opportunity to llay
him, thinking perhaps to ease his
troubled Mind, by venting his Wrath
upon a Person, whom his Envy had
mark'd out, as a proper Object of it:
But, alas!

the dreadful Experiment
would by no means answer the End
propos'd: It was so far from remov-
ing one Evil, that it created a thou-
fand more, which now began to sprout
from it, and spread abroad thier fatal
Influences. The Blood which he
thought was spilt upon the Ground,
and which the Earth had opened her
Mouth to receive,

receive, and would soon disappear for ever, now began to live, and call to Heaven for Vengeance, . And he said, What bast thou done ? H h 2

The

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