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atise what the Gofpel of Chrift requires of you, which is that good, and acceptable, and perfect Law by which God would have you to frame your Lives.

This Point of not conforming to the World is fo effential to Chriftianity, that it is one of thofe Things which we all vow in our Baptism for as we then promise to renounce the Devil and all his Works, fo do we also promise to renounce the Pomps and Vanities of this World; and therefore, as there is the greatest Obligation that is poffible laid upon us to practise this Duty, fo it is of mighty Concernment to us that we do well understand it, otherwise we shall bring endless Scruples and Difficulties upon ourfelves. For to think of living in this World, and not in many Things conforming to it, or complying with the Cuftoms of it, will feem even to the best of Men an hard, if not impoffible, Task; and confequently, if the Bounds and Limits of this Precept be not well understood, we muft unavoidably be entangled in many Perplexities.

To fix thefe Bounds therefore shall be my Endeavour in the enfuing Difcourfe. And in order hereunto I fhall do thefe four Things.

I. First of all I fhall fhew what kind of Conformity to the World is allowable to Chriftians.

II. What

II. What kind of Conformity to the World is here forbidden.

III. I fhall name fome particular Inftances in which this Precept of not conforming to the World doth more especially seem to concern us at this Day.

IV. I fhall give account by what Rules and Measures we are to guide ourselves in this Point of Conformity to the World, that what is lawful in itself may not be unlawful or finful in us.

I. I begin with the first of these Points, that is, To fhew what kind of Conformity to this World is allowable to Chriftians. And what I have to say upon this Head I fhall comprize in two Propofitions.

ift. First of all; No Man is bound to differ from the World merely for Difference fake.

2dly. That it is not only lawful, but expedient, that in Things which are not by the Law of God forbidden, we should frame our Converfation according to the Course of the World.

Ift. No Man is bound to differ from the World in his Way of Living merely for Difference fake.

My Meaning is this: No Man is oblig'd to forbear or abftain from the Practice or Ufe of any Thing merely upon this Account, that it is a Thing that the World, or, if you will, the wicked Men of the World, do practise or use.

This Propofition I lay down to obviate the Pretences of fome Enthufiaftical Men among us, a main Article of whofe Religion is, to be at as wide a Distance from the World in their Way of Living as poffibly they can be; for fay they, the whole World lieth in Wickedness, and all the People of God are to come out of it; no further to comply with the Manners and Customs of it than what abfolute Neceffity doth require, for all further Compliances favour of the Wisdom of this World, which is carnal, and fenfual, and devilish: And fo far have they run this Point, that it is accounted unlawful to ufe the fame Language or Speech that is commonly used in the World, but every Thing is to be spoken, fo far as may be, in the Scripture Language. And as much do they declaim against the common Ways of Behaviour and Deportment that are practifed among Men. All that Expreflion of Duty to our Superiors, and of Civility and Refpect to others, which is according to the Mode of the Country, whether it be by uncovering the Head, or bowing the Knee, or by giving them their juft and usual Titles, or by faluting them

in the common Form of Ceremony and Addrefs; all this is exploded as an unchristian Thing. And the fame War do they declare against the Habits and Garments of the World that they do against its Language and Behaviour. Whofoever gives up his Name to the Profeffion of Religion, must mortify himself as to all Gaiety of Attire, and even Decency too; he must strip himself of every Thing that is rich or ornamental about him, and must wear nothing that is fuperfluous, nothing by which his Rank and Quality may be distinguished

from that of others.

This is the Principle which one whole Sect has espoused, and which a great many who have not wholly given up themselves to that Sect, are yet unfatisfied about. But to fhew the extreme Abfurdity of it, there needs nothing more to be done, than only to name these following Things: for to infift largely on them in fo plain a Cafe, would be only to mifpend Time.

(1.) First of all, if this Principle be admitted, we fhall never be able to fix any certain Boundaries or Measures of what is lawful to Christians, and what is finful in them; and confequently every Man will be eternally entangled in Scruples and Perplexities, and there will be no Cure for them. If a Conformity to the Modes and Customs of the World be unlawful in all Cafes, fave only where that Conformity is abfolutely $ 4 necef

neceffary to our living in the World, then we cannot be certain but that every Day we do that which is unlawful; for we are not fure but that every Day we have complied more with the Cuftoms of the World than was barely neceffary. There are a hundred Things which every Man daily doth in Compliance with the common Ufages of Mankind, which are no ways needful to be done, and may, without any Detriment to his Life and Fortunes, be as well done another way, but only that Cuftom prevails. Now, according to the aforefaid Principle, every fuch Action that a Man doth, must be a Sin. But,

(2.) This is a Principle which none of those who stand up for it, no not the stricteft of the Quakers themselves do live up to. (Of if they did, they would be much more uncouth and ridiculous than they are.) They fay we must not be conformable to the Mode of the World, as to Matter of Apparel, for Inftance: But if this be a true Rule, why do not they wear different fort of Cloaths from what they do? And fince they will take their Pattern from Scripture, why do not they go in Sandals instead of Shoes? why do they not wear long loofe Veftments, after the Manner of the Eaftern Nations. Both thefe are undoubtedly more agreeable to the Practice of the Saints, not only of the Old, but of the New Testament too. Again, if it be unlawful to comply

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