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well as another. Therefore one should be admoo nib'd as well as another : Great men should be
admonish'd, because their temptations are great ; and because they may do great good or hurt by their example. And the meanest should be admonish'dalfo,because their souls are as precious as the others,
and (poor creatures ) they are ('many of them) I very insensible of their fin and danger.
X. Do not strive to make any inan more guilty chan he is. If he denies the charge, and pleads his innocency, fairly and friendly láy open che grounds upon which thou speakest; but at no hand stand much upon doubtful proofs; nor wrest things to the worst sense; but accept of the most favourable conftruction of words and actions ; remembring that Charity thinketh no cvil, but believeth all things, hopeth all things, &c. I Cor. 13.7. Yet labcur from falfe rumours, and ana certain scandals to raise Arguments for greater circumspection for time to come. Seeing men are fo apt to wait for our haltings, we ought to be very careful how we walk.
XI. By all means forbear bitter and reproachful Language: Many reproofs are quite lojt, be'cause there is more of paßion in them, chan compaßion. Though there must be (many times ) fome warmth in a reproof, yee it must not be Scalding het. Such is the pature of most men, that they are apt to be won with love and mild: neffe, buc angry and vilifying terms do make
you fhould be
them more stubborn and obstinate. Therefore the Apoftle faith, the servant of the Lord must nu strive, bạt be gentle unto all men, patient, in meeknes instructing them i bat oppose themselves
, 3 Tim.2.25. Abundance of meeknesse and gentle resse, and especially patience is needful for those chat have to do with fioners in this kind. 'Tis ordinary for them to grow testy and angry, and fall foul with the reprover. And if angrytoo, then all hope of doing good is lost; the business will end in an uncivil storm and tempeft
. Come therefore resolv'd beforehand to bear al things, and endure all things. If the party repro. ved storm ac you, let tears of compassion rather drop from your eies, than words of anger and reproach come forth of your mouth.
XII. When thou hast discharged thy duty, go to God, and pray earneftly to him for successe. Pa the Throne of Grace, in secret by fervent prayer
, that God would properthy endeavours, tor the Glory of his Name, and the recovery, exceni ment, and salvation of the party reproved. To begin, and end this duty, with prayer, is ite way to engage God in it.
Í come now in the last place, 10 give some Reasons why this excellent and most charitable da ty oughe to be exceeding kindly taken by them to whom it is performed.
1. Consider, Faithful admonition is the mon precious part of friendship, the realleft and king
ef good turn one man can do for another. David cal's reproof a precious oyl, Pfal.141.5. Solomon,
an ear-ring of gold, an ornament of fine gold, Prov. » 25.12. Our blessed Saviour, a pearl, Mat.7.6.
But notwithstanding all this, how few are there
that can or will bear it patiently? Go about to į admonish a man of a fault, and tell him of an
erront, he presenily looks on you as his enemy: You are ds Paul cels the Galatians, chap. 4. 16. become his enemy, because you tell him the truth. Such a pride there is ordinarily in mens hearts, they must not be told of any thing that is amiffe,
though it be with no other intent, but that they i may, amendit
, A strange madness I confesse this is, and the same thac would be in a fick man, to fly in the face of him that comes to cure him, on a phansie that he disparag'd him by supposing him sick. Certainly he were not your friend, that should see your house on fire, and would not call to you and tell you of it for fear of disturb. ing you out of your peep. None' hate you worse then they that suffer fin upor you. This is the true and great use of friendship, to admonish one another, and to endeavour the bettering one of another; ele, ( as one well observes ) 'cis but an empty, formal, juicelesse thing. Dives in hell was more charitable to his wild brethren on earch, then some people will allow us to be to them; for he would have had a messenger dispacch'd ip them, to admonish and warn them th.se
they come not to that place of torments, Luke 16. 27, 28. But some people will not indure we should admonish them, though we put our felves upon a very uneasie and unpleasing task for their good.
2. Rejection of reproof is a great aggravation of sin, and commonly a forerunner of judgement. 'Tis a despising not of men only, but of God: It fortifies a man in his fins, ic raises such inounts and bulworks about them, that no man can come to assault them. And if we may believe Solomon, destruction will not fail to accend it. Prov.29.1. He that being often reproved hardes eth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and the without remedy. Refractorinese to faichfull reproof can look for nothing buc ruine : 'Tis as if a man should be riding post to hell, and will ia. dure no stop. Thac people was in a desperate ftate, Hosea 4.4. when God gave forth tha: prohibition, Let no man reprove another, for this people are as they that strive with the Priest. And Eli's fons were in a sad case, when they refused to hearken to the voice of their father: The text saies, I SAM.2. 25. They hearkened not sento the voice of their father, because the Lord world Nay them. "'Tis a shrewd sign God bath left men to themselves, when they reje&t reproof.
3. And lastly, 'Tis a good fig* (in conjunction with others) of a gracious heart, for a man si take reproof and admonition well, and to mas
his errours and failings thereupon. Prov 15.5.
He that regardeth reproof is prudent. In Pfal.141. 15. You may find how wel holy David rook re#proofLet the righteous smite me, and it shall be
a kindnesle, and let hims reprove me, and it shall be an excellent oyl, which shall not break
head. : You may read in the Life of that good man Gera ,
fon, that he rejoyced in nothing more iban to be lovingly and brotherly reprov'd by any. I shall conclude this with chac excellent saying of the wise man, Prov. 27.6. Faithful are the wounds of a Friend, but the kiffes of an Enemy are deceitfull. Lev.19.17. Thou shalt net hate thy brother in thine
heart, thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neigh
bour, and not suffer fin spon him. Prov.25.12. As an ear.ring of Gold, and an Ór
nament of fine. Gold, fo is a wise reprover upor
an obedient ear. Ecclef.7.5. It is better to hear the rebuke of the
wise, than for a man to hear the song of
Fools. Prov.9.7. He that reproverb a fcorder, getteth to
himself shame, and he that rebuketh a wicked man getierb himself ablos. V.8. Reprove net a (corner, lest he hate thee,
rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Prov.15.12. A scorner loveth not one that repro. veth him, neizber will be go unto the wise.