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their Ability; and they who are not, speak well of it, and pray for it: that we of the Society should be vigilant and active, prudent and impartial in our Administration : that Perfons in Authority abroad should countenance and protect the Work ; for in their Power it is, to forward or obstruct it very greatly : that the People in general there, should not only be willing to let all under them and around them partake of the Grace of Life*, but earnestly invite them to it, with Meekness of Wisdom, and by the most prevalent of Arguments, a good Conversation t.. But beyond the rest it is necessary for every one concerned in the immediate Execution of the Design, always to remember, that bad as it is in other Teachers of the Gospel to behave in a manner unworthy of their Profession, it will be yet worse in Them, if they take an uncommon Character upon themselves, only to dishonour it; and compass Sea and Land I, with no other Effect, than to make God's Name be blasphemed amongst the Gentiles ll: that They ought with peculiar Diligence to follow Righteousness, Faith, Charity, Peaces; bolding fast the faithful Word, as tbey have been taught, that they may be able, by found Doctrine, both to exhort and convince the Gainsayers **; that they ought to be instant, in Season, out of Season ; to watch, endure Afflictions, and make full Proof of their Ministry *, Jewing themselves in all Things Patterns of good Works of
* 1 Pet, iii. 7. + James iii. 13. I Matth. xxiii. 15. | Rom. ii. 24. § 2 Tim. ii. 22. ** Tit. i. 9.
These then are our several Duties; and great will be our Reward for performing them. Let us therefore, each in his Station, arife and be doing : and the Lord be with us I.
* 2 Tim. iv. 2,5. + Tit. ii. 7. I 1 Chrono xxii. 16.
Preached in the Parish - Church of
Christ - Church, London, on Thurfday, May 5, 1743, being the Time of the Yearly Meeting of the Children educated in the Charity-Schools, in and about the Cities of London and Westminster.
ROMANS xiv. 16. Let not then your Good be evil Spoken of. AMONGST many Excellencies, which A unite to recommend our holy Religion, there are few that shew its benevolent Spirit in a stronger Light, than its requiring us, not only to abstain from every Thing linful ourselves, but carefully to avoid giving any Occasion of Sin to others *. If the most innocent Action, that we do, will be thought a wrong one by any of our Brethren ; we are strictly bound, either to cmit itt, if we can: without considerable Inconvenience; or at least to guard and explain it, as well as the Nature of the Case will permit: that so we may • • * Rom. xiv.
& 1 Cor. viii.
neither tempt him to cenfute us uncharitably, nor to imitate us against his Conscience. The former of these is the Danger, which the Words the Text most naturally express : and to keep clear of it, is a Matter of great Importance:
Attention to obviate Censures may often prevent Us from acting, as well as Others from judging, amiss. And where we act ever so rightly, yet if we are suspected of erring, though in Ćircumstances only, and feem negligent of that Suspicion; it may grieve good Perfons, and perhaps weaken their Union with us; it may entirely separate from us the inconsiderate and wavering; it may give a handle to the Bad for great Triumph and Mifren presentation ; and both incline them to grow still worse, and enable them to do still more Harm. Whereas prudent Care, first not to deferve Reproach, and then not to lie under it, may procure us Regard from Mankind, by thewing Regard to them; may secure the welldisposed on our Side, and furnish them with the Means of defending us ; may convince even the Prejudiced of some of their Mistakes, and moderate their Vehemence in the rest. At least, we shall thus exercise a true Christian Temper, improve ourselves, and be exemplary to athers.
But though we are concerned to vindicate all our Actions from injurious Charges, yet our
virtuous Actions especially. When Things merely lawful are condemned, the. Damage may be small : but if worthy Deeds are vilified, Religion suffers deeply. And therefore, as we are now assembled to patronize a Design, which we apprehend to be a very valuable one, but which some have opposed and decried, the Erecting of Schools for the Children of the Poor, I Thall endeavour to Thew,
1. That this is a good Work.
II. What are the right Methods, to prevent its being evil spoken of.
III. What Course we are to take, if that cannot be prevented entirely,
Little remains to be faid indeed upon any of these Points, which hath not been said oftèn already. But if Persons will repeat Objections, the Answers must be repeated too, And the plainest Truths, as they cannot influence at all, if they are forgotten, ought to in: fluence us the more, not the less, for being frequently inculcated,
I. First then it must be shewn, that this Method of giving the Children of the Poor a Christian Education, is a good Work.
Now if, we believe Christianity true, we inust believe it is the way to eternal Happi