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have not the promise of inheriting the earth, Matth.5.5. If you honour not your parents or fuperiours, you have not the promise that your daies Mall be long in the Land. And your evil speaking will make men conclude, that you would do evil if you could and durft. As its said to be Zoilus answer when he was askt, why he spoke evil of Plato and fuch worthy men [Quoniam malum facere cnm velim non poffum] Because I would do them huke and cannot] Give not occasion for such a charge.
[Finally, be ye all of oxe mind, having compaffion one of another love as brethren : be pittiful : be courteous : not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing ; but contrariwise blessing, kxowing that ye are thereunto called, that we should inherit a blessing ; for be that will Love Life and see good daies, let him
refrais refrain bis tongue from evil, 1 Pet. 3. 8, 9, 10, 11. But if ye Suffer for righteousness faks, happy are ye : And be not afraid of their terrour, nor be troubled, ver. 14.
But I suppose you will here say, - Is it not lawful to call a spade a Spade ? Is net n wo against them that call evil good? may not a man speak of the hurtful crimes of others ? I answer. 1. Yes, when as a Magistrate, a Minister, or a brother, you have a just call to tell them of it lovingly,though plainly, to their faces, in order to their recovery. 2. And when you have a just call to speak of it to others, either in seeking justice, or in charity and mercy, for the preservation of those that else will be more hurt by the filencing of mens faults, then you do hurt by mentioning them.
But, 1. You may not slander mén as guilty of what indeed chey are not.
2. You may not make mens faulcs seem worse then they are.
3. You must endeavour the good of the person as much as you can, while you blame the fin.
4. You must not mention mens faults without a call: unless the good of himself or others do requireit.
5. You must not do it with a revengeful mind, for personal in. juries.
6. You must manifest love and compassion in all.
7. You must difference between reigningsins,and humane frailties : and between a course of Gin,and an unusual fall; and between a sin re, pented of, and not repented of: and must censure but as you find God censure in his Word.
8. You must be more ready to speak of the good that is in the fame men as you have a call, then
of the evil : and not maliciously stick only in the galled place.
9. Let it be as far as may be to his face
10. Let it be according to the common rule of equity. [De as you would be done by.] Not mea. furing out duty to others, by a corrupt impatience of bearing such yourselves: but speaking nothing for matter or manner to another, which you would think unmeet to be spoken to you, if you were in his cafe.
11. And especially be tender of the honour of superiours, yea though they were evil, and do you wrong.
12. And foresee the consequents, whether your words are not like to do more hurt then good.
And if still you think rhat suffer-, ings will justifie reviling, contume lious complaints, consider chese. two causes of your mistake.
MS, I. You
1. You make a Great matter of a Little one. As there is not so great good in the prosperity of the flesh, as worldlings think; fo neither is there so great evil in the loss of it : what great harm is poverty, imprisonment, reproach or death? Nay, you have a promise that all shall work together for your good, Rom. 8. 28.
2. You make a strange matter of that which is the ordinary condition of believers : To be hated of all men; to have all manner of evil spoken falfly of you : to be pere secured from one City to another : to be killed all the day long, and counted as sheep to the slaughter. Do these seem Arange matters to you? did you never read or hear the Gospel? nor know the terms of Christ till now? did you never read of forfaking all for (hritt, if indeed you would be his Disciples? did you never counç. what it must