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Aristotle : "The wicked man allows to himself too large a portion of sweet things." Liquorishness is the common word to express this vice in the matter of eating and drinking.

Busy Bodies.


18. That is, such who invade the offices, or impertinently obtrude their advice and help, when there is no need, and when it is not liked, nor out of charity, but of curiosity, or of a trifling spirit: and this produces talking of others,' and makes their conversation a scene of censure and satire against others; never speaking of their own duty, but often to the reproach of their neighbours, something that may lessen or disparage him.

The Fearful, and the Unbelievers.

19. That is, they that fear man more than God, that will do any thing, but suffer nothing, that fall away in persecution; such who dare not trust the promises, but fear want, and fear death, and trust not God with cheerfulness, and joy, and confidence.

Συνευδοκοῦντες τοῖς πράσσουσι.

They that take pleasure in those that do these things.

20. That is, they who in any sense encourage, or promote, or love the sin of another, are guilty themselves; not of the other's sin, but of their own. He that commands a man to swear, is not guilty of that swearing, but of that commanding him. It is a sin to do so; but that sin to which the man is encouraged, or tempted, or assisted, is his own sin, and for it he is to repent; every man for his own. For it is inartificially said by the masters of moral theology, that by many ways we are guilty of the sins of others: by many ways indeed we can procure them to sin; and every such action of ours is a sin, against charity and the matter of that commandment in which the temptation was instanced: but their sin is not ours; their sin does not properly load us, neither does our being author of it, excuse them. It was the case of Adam and Eve, and the serpent, who yet did every one bear their own burden. Aristotle, Zeno, and Chrysippus, were notorious in this kind. "Non est enim immunis à scelere, qui ut fieret imperavit, nec est alienus a crimine, cujus consensu licèt a se non admissum crimen, tamen pub

lice legitur," said St. Cyprian'. He that commands, and he that consents, and he that delights, and he that commends, and he that maintains, and he that counsels, and he that tempts, or conceals, or is silent in another's danger, when his speaking will prevent it, is guilty before God. "Corrumpere, et corrumpi sæculum vocatur." This evil is of a great extent, but receives its degrees according to the influence or causality it hath in the sins of others. 21. These I have noted and explicated, because they are not so notorious as others, which have a public name, and filthy character, and easy definition: such as, adulteries, fornication, drunkenness, idolatry, hating of God and good men, perjury, malicious lies, kaì và Tolavra, as St. Paul adds, “and such-like," these and those and all that are like these, exclude us from the kingdom of heaven. They are "the works of the flesh;" but these which are last reckoned are such which all the world condemns, and they are easily discerned, as smoke, or a cloud upon the face of the sun: but the other are sometimes esteemed innocent, often excused, commonly neglected, always undervalued. But concerning all these, the sentence is sad and decretory. "They that are such, shall not inherit the kingdom of heavent:" but "they shall have their part in the lake, which burneth with fire and brimstone"." Now if we list to observe it, many of these are such which occur so frequently in our daily conversation, are so little noted and so confidently practised, that to try men concerning their hopes of heaven by such measures, would seem strange, and hard: but it is our faults that it is so; these are the measures of the sanctuary, and not to be prejudged by later and looser customs.


Whether every single Act of these Sins puts a Man out of God's Favour.

22. In this question, by a single act, I mean, a deliberate act, a wilful, observed, known act; for concerning acts by surprise, by incogitancy, by imperfection, I shall give a spe

Epist. 21.

Gal. v. 21.

t1 Cor. vi. 10.

u Rev. xxi. 8.

cial account in a chapter on purpose. To this therefore I answer by several propositions.

23. I. There are some acts of sin so vile, and mischievous, that they cannot be acted but by a great malice or depravation of the will; and do suppose a man to be gone a great way from God before he can presumptuously or wilfully commit any of them; such as are idolatry, wilful murder, adultery, witchcraft, perjury, sacrilege, and the like: such which by reason of their evil effect are called "peccata clamantia ad Dominum," "crying sins;" as, oppressing widows, -entering into the fields of the fatherless,-killing a man by false accusation,-grinding the face of the poor,-some sort of unnatural lusts: or such which by reason of their scandal, and severe prohibitions of them, and their proper baseness and unholiness, are "peccata vastantia conscientiam," "they lay a man's conscience waste;" such are all these that I have now reckoned. Now concerning every one of these there is amongst wise and good men no question, but every act of them is exclusive of a man from all his hopes of heaven, unless he repent timely and effectually. For every act of these is such as a man cannot be surprised in the commission of it; he can have no ignorance, no necessity, no infirmity, to lessen or excuse his fault; which, because it is very mischievous in the event, expressly and severely, and by name forbidden, is also against holiness, and against charity, against God, and against the commandment, so apparently, that there is nothing to lessen them into the neighbourhood of an excuse, if he that commits them, have a clear use of reason. Some acts of other sins are such, which as as they are innocent of doing mischief to our neighbour, so they are forbidden only in general; but concerning the particular there is not any express certainty, as in drunkenness; which though every Christian knows to be forbidden, yet concerning every particular act, it is not always so certain that it is drunkenness, because the acts partake of more and less; which is not true in murder, in adultery, apostasy, witchcraft, and the like: besides which, in some of the for. bidden instances there are some degrees of surprise, even when there are some degrees of presumption and deliberation, which in others there cannot be. Upon which considerations it is apparent, that the single acts of these greater

sins are equal to a habit in others, and are, for the present, destructive of the state of God's favour, a man that does them, is in the state of damnation, till he hath repented; that is, no good man can do one of these acts, and be a good man still; he is a wicked person, and an enemy of God, if he does.

24. II. This is apparent in those acts which can be done but once; as in parricide, or murdering our,father or mother, and in the wilful murder of ourself. There can be no habit of these sins; all their malignity is spent in one act: and the event is best declared by one of them; the man dies in his sin, in that sin which excludes him from heaven. Every act of these sins is like the stinging of bees;

animamque in vulnere ponunt;

He cannot strike again, he can sin that sin over no more; and therefore it is a single act that damns in that case. Now though it is by accident that these sins can be but once acted, yet it is not by accident that these single acts destroy the soul, but by their malice and evil effect, their mischief or uncharitableness: it follows therefore, that it is so in all the single acts of these great crimes; for since they that cannot be habitual, yet are highly damnable; the evil sentence is upon every act of these greater crimes.

25. III. Concerning the single acts of other sins which are not so highly criminal, yet have a name in the catalogues of condemned sins, the sentence in Scripture is the same; the penalty extreme, the fine is the whole interest: St. Paul in his Epistle to the Corinthians seems only to condemn the habit, "Thieves, drunkards, covetous, railers, &c. shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven."-Now one act does not make them properly such; a habit, not an act, denomi nates. But lest this be expounded to be a permission to commit single acts, St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians, affixes the same penalty to the actions as to the habits; TоLαUTа πρáσσоVTEC, "they that do such things;" that is, the actions of those sins are damnable, and exclusive from heaven as verily as the habits. And however in moral accounts, or in Aristotle's Ethics, a man is not called by the name of a single action, yet in all laws both of God and man he is.

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He that steals once is a thief, in the courts of God and the king; and one act of adultery makes a man an adulterer; so that by this measure, they that are such,' and they that do such' things, mean the same; and the effect of both is exclusion from the kingdom of heaven.

26. IV. Single actions in Scripture are called, 'works of darkness,' 'deeds of the body,' 'works of the flesh';' and though they do not reign, yet if they enter, they disturb the rest and possession of the Spirit of grace: and therefore are in their several measures against the holiness of the Gospel of Christ. All sins are single in their acting; and a sinful habit differs from a sinful act, but as many differ from one, or as a year from an hour: a vicious habit is but one sin continued or repeated; for as a sin grows from little to great, so it passes from act to habit: a sin is greater, because it is complicated externally or internally, no other way in the world; it is made up of more kinds, or more degrees of choice; and when two or three crimes are mixed in one action, then the sin is loud and clamorous; and if these still grow more numerous, and not interrupted and disjoined by a speedy repentance, then it becomes a habit. As the continuation of an instant or its perpetual flux makes time and proper succession, so does the reacting or the continuing in any one or more sins make an habitual sinner. So that in this question, the answer for one will serve for the other: wherever the habit is forbidden, there also the act is criminal and against God, damnable by the laws of God, and actually damning without repentance. Between sins great and little, actual and habitual, there is no difference of nature or formality, but only of degrees.

27. V. And therefore the words that represent the state of sin, are used indifferently both for acts and habits. Пov signifies to do single acts, and by aggravation only can signify an habitual sinner: Ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν, “He that commits sin, is of the devil;" so St. John: by which although he means especially him that commits sin frequently or habitually;-for where there is greater reason, there is the stronger affirmative :-yet that he must also mean it of single sins is evident, not only by the nature of the thing, some single acts in some instances being as mischievous Ephes. viii. Rom. viii. 13.

1 John, iii. 8.

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