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table tho' true Censure, every Omission of vindicating injured Characters, every industrious With-holding of due Commendation, will add to the Foulness of their own Demerits ; when they shall be judged, even as they have judged; when they shall be condemned, even as they have condemn'd, without Mercy.
EPHES. iv. 29. Let no corrupt Communication proceed out
of your Mouth, but that which is good for the Use of Edifying, that it may minister Grace unto the Hearers.
AVING already consider
ed common Conversation, H as it relates more immedi
ately to God and our Neigh.
bour, under the Two Heads of Religious and Charitable Discourse, proceed we now, according to our proposed Division, in the Third Place, to consider such Matter of Conversation as
doth more immediately concern Our. felves. In the former Respects, Duty is more apparently concern’d, because Prophaneness and Obscenity, which are opposed to Religious ; Flattery, Rude. ness and Defamation, whether true or false, which are opposed to Charitable Discourse, are all of them Circumstances confessedly and and directly sinful ; but this last Branch of Conversation, which includes all other Subjects of Discourse whatever, may seem at first View, to be of too indifferent a Nature to fall under Precept, especially in this Place, where it is generally expected that Articles of ftri& Divinity should be treated of rather than the Affairs of common Life, where Instructions of Piety ought rather to be inculcated, than those Directions which it is the proper Business of Reason and Prudence to suggest. But there is nothing so indifferent, as not to be capable both of a good and bad Turn; nothing so minute in the most remote Instances of Duty, which the Gospel may not improve into a Virtue, and consequently which may not fall under useful Conside- .
ration in a Christian Way, tho' such Points as these need not be so frequently and largely insisted on, as those of greater Importance.
OUR Blessed Saviour compares the Kingdom of Heaven, i. e. the Kingdom of God's Grace or the Gospel, unto Leaven, which a Woman took and bid in three Measures of Meal’till the Whole was leavened; which Similitude well expresses how wonderfully the Gospel insinuates itself into every Part of our Life ; what an useful Ferment it makes with respect to our whole Behaviour
j ful Tincture it gives to every one of our Actions. No Circumstance therefore of Life is below a Christian Regard, since there is no Circumftance of it, which may not fall under Chriftian Improvement.
But this Topick is of itself far from being of a trifling Nature ; our Blessed Saviour assures us, that we shall give an Account of every idle Word: Where the Term idle does not only signify blasphemous,
but that likewise which has no good Tendency, that which doth not answer any of the Ends of Discourse, either
what a grate