Annesley - Houston-Packer Collection BX9327 .M6 1664

Serm. 7. partake of other mens fins ? z 37 which shade .Auftin, though a very holy man, fo exceeding jealous of himfelf in this cafe, that that was his con(lant prayer , Liberame Do- wine a peccatis wets alìenis, Lord, faith he , deliver me frommine other wens fns ; thole fins that others havecommitted through my careler nefs and incogitancy. And indeed Examples are more cogent and influential a great deal than precepts. TheAdulteries of 3.upiter, and other Pagan Gods did mightily draw the people to imitate their wantonnefs ; and Augts- ftine gives the reafon , Magis ineuebantur quid fecerat Jupiter gleam quid docuit Plato; They more minded what 7upitcrdid, thenwhat Plato taught. yeroboa,s the fonof Nebat is laid to make lfrael to finne, that's his brand. How did he make Ifrael to fin ? why by his Law he com- manded them to fin , but by his pra6ice and Example he made them to fin ; He fet up Calves in Dan and Bethel, and wholeherds of people ran a lowing aftea them. So it is faid of St. Peter, that he compelled the Gentiles to 7udaiz,e, Gal. 1.14. VVhy compellef thou the Gentiles to live asdo the Sews? How did St. Peter compel the Gentiles to Judaize ? Not by any thing he preacht to them , faith Hierome , but by his ex- ample, non docentisimperio, fed converfatatis exempla. A (lone you know thrown into thewater, makes it fell but one circle, aye bur that one perhaps begets a fcore, or an hundred : So it is here , he that fets an evil Example, fins not alone, he draws hundreds it may be into fin after him. He is like a man that fits his own houle on fire, it burns many of his neighbours, and he is tobe anfwerable for all the ruines. 6. By inferencefrom a bad Example, or by imitation, fo a man is guilty of another mans fin, not onely by pattern, in letting bad Ex- amples, but altoby praElife, in following bad Examples ; and thus,that man that will be drunk, becaufe another was drunk, or that breaks the Sabbath , becaufe others do the like, he is not onely guilty of his own particular fin , but he is guilty alloof their fins whom he imi- tates and follows, and the reafon is , becaufe bad Examples are not Land-marks for us to goo by , but they are fea-marks for to to avoid. Hence you (hall finde in Scripture mention made of Children by imi- tation as well as by nature, and people by imitation , as well as by nnatiin, and Kings by imitation, as well as by fucceflion. Ile give you an infante of all thee. Look into that judges 18. 3o. The children ofDin fet tip the graven image, and 3onathan the fon of Ger(hom , the fon of ,l'ianaf- feh, he and his fonswere priefis to the Tribe of Dan. Here 3onathan Epiliola Hicre- rtymi iara opc- ra Auguftin.i, Eptft. 11. s