Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

ii. r . z. I. An Expofition upon the .~hus I have fhewn Y?U what Prophanenefs iS? ~t is a fiighting and dcfpifing of fp~ntual and facred Thmgs, fuch as :u~ h~ly ongt!lally, as God, his Name and At~ tnbntes; and fuch as are holy by lnfbtuuon, as Jus Sabbaths and Ordinances. By what we have thus fpo}\en concerning Prophanenefs, we maythceafier difp:~tch the fecond General propounded, which was, To give you fume particular CharaCters of a prophane Perfon; that we may be the better able to look into our own Hearts and Lives, and both obferve and correCt that Prophanenefs that n~fidcs there. F(rft, There~o~c, h~ is a pt:ophane Perfo~ that thinks and fpcaks but nightly of Rehgwn. Rehgton IS the htgheft PerfeCtion of Hnm:me Nature; by it he differs more from brute Beafts, than he doth by his Reafon; for brmc Creatures have fome ll?table refemblances and hints of Reafon, but none at all of Religion. They Glo~ nfie God as all the Works of the Creation do, by fhcwing forth his infinite Attributes in their fr.tmc and produCtion; bn t they cannot Adore nor \Vorfhip him: This is a Pre-eminence peculiar to the moft pcrfe(): Pieces of the Creation, Men and An. gels. For as it is a Perfc8:ion of the Deity to be the Obje8: of Worfhip, to whom all Ado~tion both in Heaven ~nd Earth ought to be dirctl:ed,. fo it is the Perfe8:ion of rattona l Creatures toa fcnbe Honour, and Glory, and Pra1fe, and Worfhip to him who fittcth upon the Throne, and the Lamb for ever and ever. And therefore they who dcfpife Re1igion, defpife that which is their own chicfeft Excel1ency, and pro· phane that which is the very Crown of their Natures and Beings. But, al:ls! have we not many fuch prophane Perfons among us, who deride Piety; and make a fcofFofRcli gion, that look upon it only as a Politick Invention to keep the rude and ignoran t Vulgar in awe? Yea, and thofe who take up their Religion, not by choice, but rneerly by chance, either as a Patrimony left them by their Fathers, or as a received Cuftom of the Country wherein they were Born, never troubling th~mfelves to examine the rcafo~ nablcncfS and certainty of it; thefe likewifc are prophane fp irited Men, who do not believe Religion to be a matter of that concernment as to require tbeir exaCklt Jl:udy and induftry in [carch ing into its Grounds and Principles, but think that any may fuffice, wh:ttfoever it be. Again , thofe who do fecretly defpife the holinefs and ftrictnefs of others, and t.hink they are too precife, and make more adoe to get to Heaven than needs. But i:1deed, they are not too prccife, but thefc are tOo prophane, who thus contemn Religion as unnccc!Tary and fuperflu~ms . ~ Stcondly, He is a prophanc Perfon who ncgletl::s the publick Wor!hip and Service of God, when he hath opportunity and ability to frequent it. And, alas! how m.1ny fnch are there, who yet think it foul fcorn to. have this black Name fix'd upon them; yea, and arc the readieft in the World to brand others with it, that are J10t of their Way and Sentiments? But let them be who they will th:lt defpifc and forflkc the folcmn AflCmblies, they do intcrpretatively defpife and fo_rfake God, whofe efpeci:!l Prefence is only in two places, Heaven and the Church, ID the one by his Glory, in the other by his Prefence. Now thcfc are of two forts; fame that abfent themfelvesollt of awretched Sloth, and Contempt of the \\ford and Ordinances of Jefits Chrifi:; others that withdraw themfclves out of a pretended Di!Tatisfaetion and Scruple ofConfcience. Both are Prophane; bnt the one for t ftrangely mingles Prophanen~fs and Hypocrifie toge~ ther ; and the other is. Prophane out of Ignorance or Atheifm. .. FirJ'f, Some arc negl1gently Prophane, and ab(ent themfelvcs from the Ordmances of Tdits Chrift, and the folemn Worfhip ofGod, upon mcer Sloth and Reac!1leJi1efs. A1ld how many fuch carelefly prophane are in thefe Parts, the T hinnefs of ou~ Congregations cloth too ev idently declare. If we fhou ld now go from Houfe to Houfc, fhould we not find the far greater part of the Inhabitants idly lolling at Home? who after they had fnorted out the Forenoon in their Beds,, and ~hereby perhapsdi~efted their laft Night's Dnmkcnncfs, fpcnd the Afternoon. m t hetr qhapel, the ~htmny, either with va in Chat, or intemperate Cups, and facnfice to their God , t~en· Belly, while they fhould be woFfuipping the great: God of Heaven : Poffibly a fa1r Day, or want of other Diverli.on, may fomctimes bring thefe Droans to Church, yet this is fo feldom, thlt we may well fufpc8: they come, not indeed for Cufi:o_m-fake, but ra~ ther out ofNovelty, than Devotion: BUt if it prove a wet or lounng Day, thcfe tender People, whom neither Rain nor Cold Can prejud ice at a. Fair or Market,dare not fi:ir out of their Doors, nor ftcp over their own Threfltold mto God's, left they ' lhould