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execrable places of the cities. But I must reduce the duty to particulars, and discover the contrary vice by the several parts of its proportion.
1. The first office of a Christian simplicity consists in our religion and manners; that they be open and honest, public and justifiable, the same at home and abroad ; for, besides the ingenuity and honesty of this, there is an indispensable and infinite necessity it should be so; because whoever is a hypocrite in his religion, mocks God, presenting to him the outside, and reserving the inward for his enemy; which is either a denying God to be the searcher of our hearts, or else an open defiance of his omniscience and of his justice. To provoke God, that we may deceive men; to defy his almightiness, that we may abuse our brother; is, to destroy all that is sacred, all that is prudent; it is an open hostility to all things human and divine, a breaking from all the bands of all relations; and uses God so cheaply, as if he were to be treated or could be cozened like a weak man, and an undiscerning and easy merchant. But so is the life of many men:
O vita fallax ! abditos sensus geris,
Bimulantque molles durad. It is a crafty life that men live, carrying designs, and living upon secret purposes. Men pretend modesty, and under that red veil are bold against superiors ; saucy to their betters upon pretences of religion ; invaders of others' rights by false propositions in theology; pretending humility, they challenge superiority above all orders of men; and for being thought more holy, think that they have title to govern the world : they bear upon their face great religion, and are impious in their relations, false to their trust, unfaithful to their friend, unkind to their dependents; οφρύς επηρκότες, και το φρόνιμον ζητούντες εν τοις περιπάτοις, « turning up the white of their eye, and seeking for reputation in the streets :" so did some of the old hypocrites, the Gentile Pharisees; Asperum cultum, et intonsum caput, negligentiorem barbam, et nitidum argento odium, et cubile humi
• Scnec. Hippol. Schroder. p. 285.
positum, et quicquid aliud ambitionem via perversa sequitur;" being the softest persons under an austere habit, the loosest livers under a contracted brow, under a pale face having the reddest and most sprightly livers. This kind of men have abused all ages of the world, and all religions; it being so easy in nature, so prepared and ready for mischiefs, that men should creep into opportunities of devouring the flock upon pretence of defending them, and to raise their estates upon colour of saying their souls.
Introrsum turpes, speciosi pelle decora.
Men that are like painted sepulchres, entertainment for the eye, but images of death, chambers of rottenness, and repositories of dead men's bones. It may, sometimes, concern a man to seem religious; God's glory may be shown by fair appearances, or the edification of our brother, or the reputation of a cause; but this is but sometimes : but it always concerns us, that we be religious; and we may reasonably think, that, if the colours of religion so well do advantage to us, the substance and reality would do it much
For no man can have a good by seeming religious, and another by not being so, the power of godliness never destroys any well-built fabric, that was raised upon the reputation of religion and its pretences. “ Nunquam est peccare utile, quia semper est turpe,” said Cicero: “ It is never profitable to sin, because it is always base and dishonest.” And if the face of religion could do a good turn, which the heart and substance does destroy, then religion itself were the greatest hypocrite in the world, and promises a blessing which it never can perform, but must be beholden to its enemy to verify its promises. No: we shall be sure to feel the blessings of both the worlds, if we serve in the offices of religion, devoutly and charitably, before men and before God: if we ask of God things honest in the sight of men, metà corns eixóuevoi, (as Pythagoras gave in precept) ' praying to God with a free heart and a public prayer,' and doing before men things that are truly pleasing to God, turning our heart outward and our face inwards, that is, conversing with men as in the presence of God; and in our private towards God,
being as holy and devout as if we prayed in public, and in the corners of the streets. Pliny, praising Ariston, gave him the title of an honest and hearty religion : “Ornat hæc magnitudo animi, quæ nihil ad ostentationem, omnia ad conscientiam refert; recteque facti, non ex populi sermone, mercedem, sed ex facto petit.” And this does well state the question of a sincere religion, and an ingenuous goodness: it requires that we do nothing for ostentation, but every thing for conscience; and we may be obliged in conscience to publish our manner of lives; but then it must be, not that we may have a popular noise for a reward, but that God may be glorified by our public worshippings, and others edified by our good examples.
Neither doth the sincerity of our religion require, that we should not conceal our sins; for he that sins, and dares to own them publicly, may become impudent: and, so long as in modesty we desire our shame should be hid, and men to think better of us than we deserve, I say, for no other reason but either because we would not derive the ill examples to others, or the shame to ourselves; we are within the protection of one of virtue's sisters, and we are not far from the gates of the kingdom of heaven; easy and apt to be invited in, and not very unworthy to enter.
But if any other principle draws the veil, if we conceal our vices because we would be honoured for sanctity, or because we would not be hindered in our designs, we serve the interest of pride and ambition, covetousness or vanity. If an innocent purpose hides the ulcer, it does half heal it; but if it retires into the secrecy of sin and darkness, it turns into a plague, and infects the heart, and it dies infallibly of a double exulceration. The Macedonian boy,—that kept the coal in his flesh, and would not shake his arm, lest he should disturb the sacrifice, or discompose the ministry before Alexander the Great,-concealed his pain to the honour of patience and religion : but the Spartan boy, who suffered the little fox to eat his bowels, rather than confess his theft, when he was in danger of discovery, paid the price of a bold hypocrisy; that is the dissimulation reprovable in matter of manners, which conceals one sin to make way for another. Oι και μάλα σεμνοί και σκυθρωποι τα έξω και τα δημοσία φαινόμενοι, εί παιδός ωραία και
I Lib. i. ep. 22. Gierig. p. 93.
γυναικός λάβωνται, όσα ποιούσιν; Lucian notes it of his philosophical hypocrites, dissemblers in matter of deportment and religion ; they seem severe abroad, but they enter into the vaults of harlots, and are not ashamed to see a naked sin in the midst of its ugliness and undressed circumstances. A mighty wrestler, that had won a crown at Olympia for contending prosperously, was observed to turn his head and go forward with his face upon his shoulder, to behold a fair woman that was present; and he lost the glory of his strength, when he became so weak, that a woman could turn his head about, which his adversary could not. These are the follies and weaknesses of man, and dishonours to religion, when a man shall contend nobly, and do handsomely, and then be taken in a base or dishonourable action, and mingle venom with his delicious ointment.
Quid? qnod olet graviùs mistum dia pasmate virus,
Atque duplex animæ longius exit odor 8 ?
When Fescennià perfumed her breath, that she might not smell of wine, she condemned the crime of drunkenness; but grew ridiculous, when the wine broke through the cloud of a tender perfume, and the breath of a lozenge. And that, indeed, is the reward of an hypocrite ; his laborious arts of concealment furnish all the world with declamation and severity against the crime, which himself condemns with his caution. But when his own sentence too is prepared against the day of his discovery,
Notas ergo nimis fraudes deprensaque furta
Jam tollas, et sis ebria simpliciter h.
A simple drunkard hath but one fault: but they that avoid discovery, that they may drink on without shame or restraint, add hypocrisy to their vicious fulness; and for all the amazements of their consequent discovery have no other recompense, but that they pleased themselves in the security of their crime, and their undeserved reputation.
Sic, quæ nigrior est cadente moro,
Cerussata sibi placet Lycorisi: For so the most easy and deformed woman, whose girdle
& Martial. i. 88.
i Martial, i. 75.
no foolish young man will unloose, because “ she is blacker than the falling mulberry, may please herself under a skin of ceruse," and call herself fairer than Pharaoh's daughter, or the hinds living upon the snowy mountains.
One thing more there is to be added as an instance to the simplicity of religion, and that is, that we never deny our religion, or lie concerning our faith, nor tell our propositions and articles deceitfully, nor instruct novices or catechumens with fraud; but that when we teach them, we do it honestly, justly, and severely; not always to speak all, but never to speak otherwise than it is, nor to hide a truth from them, whose souls are concerned in it that it be known. “Neque enim id est celare, quidquid reticeas; sed cùm, quod tu scias, id ignorare emolumenti tui causa velis eos, quorum intersit id scire :” so Cicero k determines the case of prudence and simplicity. The discovery of pious frauds, and the disclaiming of false, but profitable and rich propositions; the quitting honours fraudulently gotten, and unjustly detained; the reducing every man to the perfect understanding of his own religion, so far as can concern his duty; the disallowing false miracles, legends, and fabulous stories, to cozen the people into awfulness, fear, and superstition; these are parts of Christian simplicity which do integrate this duty. For religion hath strengths enough of its own to support itself; it needs not a devil for its advocate; it is the breath of God; and, as it is purer than the beams of the morning, so it is stronger than a tempest, or the combination of all the winds, though united by the prince that ruleth in the air. And we find that the Nicene faith prevailed upon all the world, though some Arian bishops went from Ariminum to Nice, and there decreed their own articles, and called it the faith read at Nice, and used all arts, and all violence, and all lying, and diligence, to discountenance it; yet it could not be; it was the truth of God; and, therefore, it was stronger than all the gates of hell, than all the powers of darkness. And he that tells a lie for his religion, or goes about by fraud and imposture to gain proselytes, either dares not trust his cause, or dares not trust God. True religion is open in its articles, honest in its prosecutions, just in its conduct, innocent when it is accused,
k Offic. ii, 13. Heusinger. p. 665.