Sayfadaki görseller

till that interferes, the social compact is a state of war and violence, in which every man's hand is against every man.

But it may be imagined, that though single men have no rights, many men, whom we call the people, may have some right. I think not: for if one waye of the sea has no right; add all the other waves of the ocean, and you make the case worse. All the right they have is to ride over one another's heads, and dash one another to pieces. And this never fails to be the case when the experiment is tried among mankind : and therefore the Scripture puts together the noise of the waves, and the madness of the people. The winds and tempests drive the waves; and the winds of concupiscence, which will never be at rest, so long as man is man, drive the people.

But our dreamers say further, that all men are by nature equal : whence the practical inference follows, that as they are now in fact unequal, one half may rob the other half, till they are all reduced to the same level. This is the doctrine of those who are called Levellers. But call it what you will, any man may see, that the whole is a scheme of plunder; and that the reason given for it is no reason, because it has no foundation in nature. For, are all men born equal ? No: not in any one respect whatever. Some are born wise, some foolish : and if we are to have a iaw that all men shall be equal, we may as well have a law that all shall be wise; all shall be tall; all shall be strong. Consider all men as members of a body. Is this body all head? Are all men heads.? all made to direct--are all men eyes? all made to see for others? Are all hands, to work for others ? all feet, to walk ? all made for messengers ? have all tongues to speak and teach? What absurdity is here! Change the or

[ocr errors]

der of the body in any one respect, and it is no longer a body, but a 'monster *. Are they men that can reason thus in a dream, or are they not? The man that is awake will know : but he who is himself dreaming will not But if men were all born equal, like the blades of wheat in a field of corn ; or if it were in the power of man to make them equal, nothing could keep them so. If all the lands of a country were equally divided, the share of a single man would be small; and how is a poor man to occupy it? To furnish himself with stock and implements of husbandry, he must part with some of his land, which immediately makes him unequal; and so the plan miscarries at the first step. They who have of late invented or revived this equality, are themselves a proof of its absurdity: has equality set them at ease ? has it indeed ever taken place amongst them? By no means : they are ravaging and destroying the countries on three sides of thein, and they would ravage this country if they could. It is with them as naturalists tell us it is with the kingdom of bees : if their chief be lost, the rest turn thieves, and plunder their neighbours as far as they can. This is exactly verified in the nation who of late destroyed their king; and it is a fact which ought to open the eyes of this whole nation : but when men are under the power of visions in a drcain, realities have no effect.

* When the first republic of these last days was begotten by rebellion, (as all republics are) they were going to make a law that all men should be equal : " but hold,” says one wiser than the rest,

you must make a law first, that none shall be indus“ trious : for the industrious will soon be above the idle, do what. ever you

will : and certain it is, equality can never be restored “ again till the idle robs the industrious, and seizes the fruit of « another's labour.”


But your enemies, knowing the wildness and weakness of their arguments, and not daring to trust their cause to them, have another deep device to practise upon you ; in which, I must no longer say they dream, but shew how nearly they are related to the grand author of mischief, who never sleeps. If they cannot make you foolish all at once, they are persuaded they shall do it at last, if they begin with making you wicked. Therefore every art is tried to spread wickedness among you. You believe the word of God: that keeps you in the fear of God: and that fear will never suffer you to turn robbers and republicans. Therefore the bible, which stands in the way, must first be taken out of the way: Christianity must be ridiculed: argument, mockery, and blasphemy, rise all at once, to perplex you and corrupt you. To overturn the world, by first overturning Christianity, has been the work of the party from the beginning. This was their employment at home till they had ruined their own monarchy: and no sooner did they get footing in Germany, than, in a military fortress, they began to print the works of that infidel, who drew people on with his wit, till he ruined their hearts, and made each of his disciples as much the child of hell as he was himself. All the world knows that the first Republicans were heathens: therefore if the foundation of heathenism can be laid, a broad and easy way is open to a Republic. See who they are that incline to this party : they are either persons of a false religion, or of no religion at all: the avaricious, whom nothing will satisfy; the prodigal, whom nothing will maintain; the ambitious, who have no other way of distinguishing themselves ; the vicious, who can bear with no regular authority. The eyes of such persons the God of this world hath blinded, that

he may lead them blindfold to their own destruction, and that of their country.

My brethren, you see who they are that despise dominion, and how they argue. When you consider that they are in a dream, be thankful to God who hath called you to awake out of sleep, and be of the number of those who are not of the night nor of darkness, but are children of light and truth. If you wish to have the advantage against them, be CHRISTIANS: they will hate you the more, but they will prevail the less; for God, we hope, will be on our side. Let us, in one word, escape their sin, and we shall have no reason to be afraid of their power.




ALL impenitent sinners will be punished ; but not immediately. Some are distinguished, for an example to others : and if those others do not take warning, they will then be doubly guilty, and deserve a double punishment.

Some people of Judea had been killed at Siloam by the falling of a tower upon their heads; and others of Galilee had been cruelly slaughtered by Pilate. In such cases, it was the manner of the Jews to argue, that if any suffered punishment, it was a sure sign they were sinners; and if their punishment was great, that their sin must have been great also. But with this they had another dangerous opinion; viz. that if a man were not punished, then it would follow, that he was not a sinner; at any rate, not so great a sinner as those that were punished. This was one way they had of justitying themselves, by comparing themselves with other men.

When they told our Saviour how the Galileans had suffered ; partly with design to affront him as a supposed Galilean, and partly out of curio

« ÖncekiDevam »