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are uncharitable or unjust to my brother, but are permitted
when they are otherwise.

3. (2.) But the intention of the rule is more ; for it means,
that all the addresses and preparations to criminal and for-
bidden actions are also forbidden. Thus because Christ
gave a law against fornication, he hath also forbidden us to
tempt any one to it by words, or by wanton gestures, or
lascivious dressings ; and she fornicates that paints her face
with idle purposes.

4. (3.) It is also meant concerning temptations to a
forbidden instance ; for they also are forbidden in the pro-
hibition of the crime ; which is to be understood with these
cautions :

5. (1.) If the temptation be in a natural and direct order
to the sin, it is forbidden where the sin is. Thus, because
lusts of the flesh are prohibited, it is also our duty that we
do * not make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts of it.'
Eating high and drinking deep are actions of uncleanness,
as well as of intemperance : and in the same proportion also
is every thing that ministers directly to the lusts of the
lower belly, though in a less degree ; as lying soft, studying
the palate, arts of pleasure and provocation, enticing ges-
tures : with this caution,

6. (2.) If the effect be observed in these less and lower
instances, then they are directly criminal : for whatsoever did
bring a sin, and is still entertained knowingly and choosingly,
is, at least by interpretation, chosen for the sin's sake : but
first, and before the observation, it may enter upon another
account ; which, if it be criminal, to that these instances are
to be reckoned, and not to that sin to which they minister

7. (3.) Every temptation is then certainly to be reckoned
as a sin, when it is procured by our own act ; whether the
temptation ministers to the sin directly or accidentally : for
if we can choose it, it can have no excuse : " tute hoc intristi,
tibi omne exedendum est : " b and unless the man be sur-
prised, his choosing of an instrument to sin withal is not for
the sake of the instrument, but for its relation; and this is
true, although the usual effect does not follow the instru-
ment. For there is sometimes a fantastic pleasure in the

b Terent. Phorm. act. ii. 1, 4. Schmieder, p. 334.


remembrances of sin, in the approaches of it, in our addresses
to it : and there are some men who dare not act the foul
crime, who yet love to look upon its fair face ; and they drive
out sin as Abraham did Ishmael, with an unwilling willing-
ness (God knows), and therefore give it bread and water
abroad, though no entertainment at home, and they look after
it, and are pleased with the stories of it, and love to see the
place of its acting :

Hie locus, baec eadem, sub qua requiescimus, arbor,
Scit quibus ingemui curis, quibus ignibus arsi ;

and they roll it in their minds : now they that go but thus
far, and love to tempt themselves by walking upon the brink
of the river, and delight themselves in viewing the instru-
ment of their sin, though they use it no further, they have
given demonstration of their love of sin when they make so
much of its proxy.

8. But there are others who have great experience of
the vanity of all sin, and the emptiness and dissatisfaction
that is in its fruition, and know as soon as ever they have
enjoyed it, it is gone, and that there is more pleasure in the
expectation than in the possession ; and therefore they had
rather go towards it than arrive thither ; and love the tempt-
ation better than the sin : these men sin with an excellent
philosophy and wittiness of sinning ; they love to woo always
and not to enjoy, ever to be hungry and sitting down to
dinner, but are afraid to have their desires filled : but if we
consider what the secret of it is, and that there is in these
men an immense love to sin, and a perfect adhesion to the
pleasure of it, and that they refuse to enter lest they should
quickly pass through, and they are unwilling to taste it,
lest they should eat no more, and would not enjoy, be-
cause they will not be weary of it ; and will deny any thing
to themselves, even that which they most love, lest for a
while they should loathe their beloved sin ; we shall see rea-
son enough to affirm these men to be the greatest breakers
of the laws of Jesus Christ; though they only tempt them-
selves and handle the instruments of sin ; and although these
instruments serve nothing but the temptation, and the tempt-
ation does not serve the sin, whither in its own nature it is


9. (4.) If the temptation be involuntary, then it is not
imputed ; and yet this is to be understood with this provi-
sion, that it be neither chosen directly nor by interpretation ;
that is, that it be not entered into by carelessness, or confi-
dence, or choice. If it be by choice, then it is directly
against that law of Christ which forbids that sin whither the
temptation leads ; but if it enter by carelessness or confi-
dence, it belongs not to this rule ; for although every tempt-
ation is against the laws of Christ, yet they are not under
the same law, by which the effect is prohibited, but unlaw-
ful, because they are against Christian prudence and Christ-
ian charity.


The suppositive Propositions with the supervening Advices of
our blessed Saviour, are always equivalent to Matter of
Duty, and are, by Interpretation, a Commandment.

1. THIS rule is intended as an explication of the precepts
of prayer, alms, and fasting ; all which our blessed Saviour,
in his sermon upon the mount, expressed by way of suppo-
sition ; which way of expression, although it be not a positive
and legal expression of a commandment, yet it either sup-
poses a preceding law, or a confirmed practice ; or, at least,
that those to whom such words are directed, are willing, and
loving, and obedient people, understanding the intimations
and secret significations of the Divine pleasure. " When ye
give alms, do not blow a trumpet," said our blessed Saviour :
" When ye pray, stand not in the corners of the streets ; when
you fast, do not disfigure your faces." Now, concerning
prayer and alms there is no difficulty, because our blessed
Lord and his apostles have often repeated the will of God in
express commandments concerning them ; but because of
fasting he hath said much less, and nothing at all but these
suppositive words, and a prophecy that his disciples should
fast in the days of the bridegroom's absence, and a declaration
of the blessed effects of fasting ; this hath a proper inquiry
and a special difficulty, whether or no these words have the
force of a commandment.


2. Concerning which we may take an estimate by those
other expressions of our lawgiver concerning alms, which
we, without further scrutiny, know to be commandments,
because in other places they are positively expressed : and
therefore, if we can find it so concerning fasting, this inquiry
will be at an end. Now, concerning this I will not only ob-
serve, that the three great heads and representatives of the
law, the prophets, and the Gospel, Christ, Moses, and Elias,
who were concentrated and enwrapped in one glory upon
Mount Tabor, were an equal example of fasting, which,
in their own persons, by a miracle, was consigned to be an
example and an exhortation to fasting to all ages of religion ;
and each of them, fasting forty days upon great occasions,
told to them who have ears to hear, what their duty is in all
the great accidents of their life ; but that which is very ma-
terial to the present inquiry is, that this supposition of our
blessed Lord, " When ye fast," was spoken to a people who
made it a great part of their religion to fast, who placed
some portions of holiness in it, who had received the in-
fluence of their greatest, their best, their most imitable
examples for religious fasting ; and the impression of many
commandments, not only relative to themselves, as bound by
such a law, but as being under the conduct of religion in
general. Such was the precept of the prophet Joel; "Thus
saith the Lord, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, with
fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning."* Now,
whatever the prophets said that related to religion abstract-
edly or morally, all that is evangelical (as I proved b formerly
in this book) : besides, there was a universal solemn practice
of this exercise under Joshua, at Ai ; under the Judges, at
Gibeah ; under Samuel, at Mizpah ; under David, at Hebron :
fasts frequently proclaimed, frequently instituted : at the
preaching of Jeremy and David, of Joel and Zachary ; be-
fore the captivity, under it, and after it: in the days of
sorrow and in the days of danger ; in their religion solemn
and unsoleinn ; after they had sinned and when they were
punished ; at Jerusalem among the Jews, and at Nineveh
among the Gentiles : now, because it is certain that all this
could not be confined to the special religion of the Jews,
but was an expression and apt signification and instrument

Joel, ii. 12. > Chap. ii. rule 5.


of a natural religion, our blessed Saviour needed not renew
this and efforin it over again into the same shape, but had
reason to suppose the world would proceed in an instance
whose nature could not receive a new reason and consequent
change in the whole.

3. This heap of considerations relates to that state of
things in which our blessed Saviour found this religious
exercise at his coming. Now if we consider what our
blessed Saviour did to it in the Gospel, we shall perceive
he intended to leave it no less than he found it ; for, (1 .) He
liked it and approved it, he allowed a time to it, a por-
tion of that by which God will be served ; and he that
gave us time only to serve him, and in that to serve ourselves,
would not allow any time to that by which he was no way
served. (2.) We cannot tell why Christ should presuppose
that a thing was to be done, which God did not require to be
done : such things Christ used to reprove, not to recom-
mend, to destroy, not to adorn by the superfetation of a new
commandment. (3.) These words he speaks to his disciples
in the promulgation of his own doctrine, in his sermon upon
the mount, which is the great institution and sanction of the
evangelical doctrine, and therefore left it recommended and
bound upon them by a new ligature, even by an adoption
into the everlasting covenant. (4.) He represents it equally
with those other of prayer and alms, which, in this excellent
digest of laws, he no otherwise recommends, but as sup-
posing men sufficiently engaged to the practice of these
duties: "When ye pray, enter into your chamber;" and
" When ye pray, say, Our Father ;" and " When ye fast," be
sincere and humble. (5.) He that presupposes, does also
establish ; because then one part of the duty is a postulate,
and a ground for the superstructure of another ; and is suffi-
ciently declared by its parallels in the usual style of Scrip-
ture. " My son, when thou servest the Lord, prepare thy soul
for temptation ;" so the son of Sirach : and again : " When
thou hearest, forgive ;" c and again : "When thou art afflicted,
call upon him :" which forms of expression suppose a perfect
persuasion and accepted practice of the duty ; and is more
than a conditional hypothetic; 'si jejunatis' hath in it
more contingency, but ' cum jejunatis' is an expression of
c 1 Kings, viii. 30.


confidence, and is gone beyond a doubt. (6.) That exercise
which Christ orders and disposes, which he reforms and
purges from all evil superinduced appendage, is certainly
dressed for the temple and for the service of God ; now this
of fasting Christ reforms from its being abused, as he did
prayer and alms ; and therefore left it in the first intention of
God, and of a natural religion, to be a service of God, like
that of bowing the head, or going to worship in the houses
of prayer. (7.) To this duty he promises a reward : our
heavenly Father that seeth thy fasting in secret shall reward
thee openly : that is, its being private shall not hinder it
from being rewarded ; for God sees it, and likes it, and loves
it, and will reward it.

4. Now for confirmation of all this, and that this was
to this purpose so understood by the disciples and followers
of our Lord : St. Paul was " in fastings often ;" d and this was
a characteristic note of the ministers of the Gospel, " in
all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in
much patience in watchings, in fastings:" 6 and when Paul
and Barnabas were ordained apostles of the uncircumcision,
they " fasted/ and prayed," and laid their hands on them,
and so sent them away ; and esteemed this duty so sacred,
that St. Paul permitted married persons, ff^oXd^siv, ' to
appoint vacant times,' from their endearments, that they
may "give themselves to fasting 8 and prayer:" and the
primitive Christians were generally such ascetics in this
instance of fasting, that the ecclesiastical story is full of
strange narratives of their prodigious fastings.

5. Lastly, fasting is an act of many virtues ; it is an
elicit and proper act of temperance, and of repentance, and
of humiliation, and of mortification of the flesh, with its
affections and lusts ; it is an imperate and instrumental act
ministering to prayer, and is called a service of God : so the
good old prophetess ll served God day and night in fasting
and prayer ; and that which serves God, and ministers so
much to religion, and exercises so many graces, and was
practised by the faithful in both Testaments, and was part of
the religion of both Jews and Gentiles, and was the great
solemnity and publication of repentance, and part of a natural

d 'J Cor. xi. 27. ' 2 Cor. vi. 5. f Acts, xiii. 3, 4.

8 1 Cor. vii. 5. h Luke, ii.


religion, and an endearment of the Divine mercy and pity ;
that which was always accounted an instrument of impetra-
tion or a prevailing prayer ; which Christ recommended, and
presupposed, and adorned with a cautionary precept, and
taught the manner of its observation, and to which he made
promises, and told the world that his heavenly Father will
reward it ; certainly this can be no less than a duty of the
evangelical or Christian religion.

6. But, although it be a duty, yet it is of a nature
and obligation different from other instances. When it re-
lates to repentance, it is just a duty, as redeeming captives
is commanded under the precept of mercy : that is, it is the
specification or positive exercise and act of an affirmative
duty : it is a duty in itself, that is, an act whereby God can
be served : but it becomes obligatory to the man by other
measures, by accidental necessities and personal capacities,
in time and place, by public authority and private resolution.
Not that a man cannot be said to be a true penitent unless
he be a faster ; but that fasting is a proper, apt, natural, usual,
approved expression, and an exercise of repentance : it is
more fitted to the capacities of men, and usages of religion,
than any other outward act ; it hath some natural and many
collateral advantages more than other significations of it ;
and it is like bowing the head or knee in prayer, and is to re-
pentance the same outwardly as sorrow is inwardly ; and it
is properly the penance or repentance of the body, which be-
cause it hath sinned must also be afflicted, according to that
of St. James, " Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your
laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness :
humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord :" that is, ' repent
ye of your sins :' for all these expressions signify but this one
duty, and this great exercise and signification of it are so much
a duty in the general, that it cannot be omitted without good
reason, nor then neither unless it be supplied by something
else in its just time and circumstances.

7. In order to other ends fasting is to be chosen and pre-
ferred before instruments less apt, less useful, less religious,
that is, before the imperate and ministering acts of any
kind whatsoever; for it is the best in many respects, and
remains such, unless it be altered by the inconveniences or
healthlessness of the person.



The Institution of a Rite or Sacrament by our blessed Saviour
is a direct Law, and passes a proper Obligation in its whole

1. THIS rule can relate but to one instance, that of the holy
sacrament of Christ's body and blood ; for although Christ
did institute two sacraments, yet that of baptism was under
the form of an express commandment, and therefore for its
observation needs not the auxiliaries of this rule. But, in the
other sacrament, the institution was by actions and intima-
tions of duty, .and relative precepts, and suppositions of ac-
tion ; as ' quoties feceritis,' and the like. Now whether this
do amount to a commandment or no, is the inquiry ; and
though the question about the half-communion be otherwise
determinable, yet by no instrument so certain and immediate
as this.

2. In order, therefore, to the rule of conscience in this in-
stance I consider, that an institution of a thing or state of
life by God, and by his Christ, is to be distinguished from
the manner of thai thing so instituted. When a thing is
instituted by God, it does not equal a universal command-
ment ; but obtains the force of a precept according to the
subject-matter and to its appendant relations. Thus when
God instituted marriage, he did not, by that institution, oblige
every single person to marry : for some were eunuchs from
their mothers' wombs, and some were made eunuchs by men ;
and some made themselves eunuchs for religious and severe
ends, or advantages of retirement and an untroubled life. But
* by this institution,' say the doctors of the Jews, * every man
was at first obliged ;' and so they are still, if they have na-
tural needs or natural temptations ; but because the institu-
tion was relative to the public necessities of mankind, and
the personal needs of man, therefore it was not a universal
or unlimited commandment ; but only so far as it did minis-
ter to the necessary end, so far it was a necessary command-
ment. It was not instituted for eunuchs ; but for whom it
was instituted, to them it was a remedy against sin, and the
support of the world, and the original of families, and the
seminary of the Church, and the endearment of friendships,


and the parent of societies : and until the necessities of the
world were abated, and the needs of single persons were
diverted or broken in pieces, by the discipline of a new insti-
tution, it was esteemed infamous, and it was punishable
not to marry.

3. But then if we consider the manner of this thins: so


instituted, it is certainly a perfect, unalterable, and universal
commandment. For although every man in every circum-
stance be not, by virtue of the institution, obliged to marry ;
yet if he does marry, by the institution he is tied up strictly,
that at no hand he must prevaricate the measures and limits
of the institution. He that marries must marry by that rule
and by no other. He must marry one woman only while she
is alive : he must leave father and mother and adhere to her ;
he must treat her with charity and honour ; he must use her
by the limits of nature and sobriety ; he must make her the
mother of his family ; he must make her serve no desire but
what is natural ; and so in every thing is he limited to the
first institution.

4. The reason is, because a Divine institution is the whole
cause, and the entire beginning, and the only warranty and
legitimation of the state or of the action : and therefore what-
soever is otherwise than the institution is not from God, but
from ourselves; so that although the institution does not
oblige us in all cases to do the thing at all, yet in all cases
it obliges us to do it in the manner it is appointed : and in this
sense the word is used in good authors. " Nam is, quamvis
nutricibus triennium dederit, tamen ab illis quoque jam in-
formandam quam optimis institutis mentem infantium judi-
cat," said Quintilian; 3 " The understanding even of infants
is, from the very beginning, to be formed with the best institu-
tions :" that is, with the best laws and precepts of manners,
" Institutiones sunt praeceptiones, quibusinstituunturetdocen-
tur homines," said Laurentius Valla: "The precepts by which
men are taught what to do, are called institutions :" so
Quintilian inscribed his books, ' de Institutione Oratoria,' and
Lactantius wrote ' Institutions ;' that is, 'commentaries' on the
precepts and laws of Christianity. But it hath in it this
peculiarity of signification, that the word ' institution' does
signify properly rules and precepts of manners ; properly the

Lib. i. 1. 16. Spalding, vol. i, p. V7.


measures of practice, or rules teaching us what we are obliged
to do. So that institution does not directly signify a com-
mandment, but it supposes the persons obliged, only it su-
peradds the manner and measures of obedience. " Cum ad
literas non pertineat aetas, quae ad mores jam pertinet," &c.,
says Quintilian ; b " since that age is not capable of letters, but
is capable of manners," they are to be efformed by the best
and noblest institutions.

5. And thus it is in the matter of the sacrament, as it is
in the matter of marriage. All men are not ahvays obliged
to receive the sacrament: for the institution of it being in
order to certain ends, and in the recipients certain capacities
and conditions required by way of disposition, there can be
but a relative, and therefore a limited commandment of its
reception : but to them who do receive it, the institution is
a perfect indispensable commandment for the manner in all
the essential parts, that is, in all which were intended in the
institution. Now whence I argue,

Whatsoever is a part of Christ's institution of the sacra-
ment, is for ever obligatory to all that receive it :

But the sacrament in both kinds is a part of the institu-
tion of the sacrament : therefore,

It must for ever oblige all that communicate or receive it.
The first proposition relies upon the nature of Divine institu-
tions, which, giving all the authority and warranty to the
whole action, all its moral being and legitimation, must be
the measure of all the natural being, or else it is not of God,
but of man. " Indignum dicit esse Domino, qui aliter mys-
terium celebrat, quam ab eo traditum est : nou enim potest
devotusesse, qui aliter praesumit quam datum est ab auctore,"
saith St. Ambrose; ' St. Paul saith, He is unworthy of the
Lord who celebrates the mystery otherwise than it was deli-
vered by him : he cannot be devout who presumes otherwise
than it was given by the author :' and to this purpose are those
severe words of the apostle ; " Si quis evangelizaverit praeter
quod accepistis, If any man preach any other gospel than
what he have received, let him be anathema ;" d that is, from

b iVot capable] Bp. Taylor, quoting, perhaps, from memory, has misunderstood
Quintilian, who expressly affirms, that 'that age is capable of letters:' "Cur
autem non pertineat ad literas Ktas, qua ad mores jam perthiet?" See Spalding's
Quintilian, vol. i. p. 27. (J.R. P.;

<= In 1 Cor. xi. <J Gal. i.



Christ we have received it ; and so as we received it, so we
deliver it ; and so it must descend upon you without the
superfetation of any new doctrine.

6. And indeed how is it possible to pretend a tradition
from Christ by the hands of his apostles, and the ministry of
the Church, if we celebrate it otherwise than Christ delivered
it ? " Religioni nostrae congruit, et timori, et ipsi loco, et
officio sacerdotii nostri custodire tradition is Dominicae veri-
tatem. Et quod prius videtur apud quosdam erratum, Do-
mino monente corrigere, ut cum in claritate sua et majestate
coelesti venire coeperit, inveniat nos tenere quod monuit, ob-
servare quod docuit, facere quod fecit;" they are the excel-
lent words of St. Cyprian, 6 and perfectly conclusive in this
article. For there were some, who, out of an impertinent
pretension of sobriety, would not use wine, but water, in the
sacrament ; the instrument by which St. Cyprian confutes

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