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Extra resources for A serious call to a devout and holy life : adapted to the state and condition of all orders of Christians

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What a poor thing is it to have lived only free from murder, theft, and adultery, which is all that I can say of myself. You know, indeed, that I have never been reckoned a sot, but you are, at the same time, witnesses, and have been frequent companions of my intemperance, sensuality, and great indulgence. And if I am now going to a judgement, where nothing will be rewarded but good works, I may well be concerned, that though I am no sot, yet I have no Christian sobriety to plead for me. It is true, I have lived in the communion of the Church, and generally frequented its worship and service on Sundays, when I was neither too idle, or not otherwise disposed of by my business and pleasures.

He does not ask what is allowable and pardonable, but what is commendable and praiseworthy. He does not ask whether God will forgive the folly of our lives, the madness of our pleasures, the vanity of our expenses, the richness of our equipage, and the careless consumption of our time; but he asks, whether God is pleased with these things, or whether these are the appointed ways of gaining His favour? He does not inquire, whether it be pardonable to hoard up money, to adorn ourselves with diamonds, and gild our chariots, whilst the widow and the orphan, the sick and the prisoner, want to be relieved; but he asks, whether God has required these things at our hands, whether we shall be called to account at the last day for the neglect of them; because it is not his intent to live in such ways as, for ought we know, God may perhaps pardon; but to be diligent in such ways, as we know that God will infallibly reward.

Clergymen must live wholly unto God in one particular way, that is, in the exercise of holy offices, in the ministration of prayers and Sacraments, and a zealous distribution of spiritual goods. But men of other employments are, in their particular ways, as much obliged to act as the servants of God, and live wholly unto Him in their several callings. This is the only difference between clergymen and people of other callings. When it can be shown, that men might be vain, covetous, sensual, worldlyminded, or proud in the exercise of their worldly business, then it will be allowable for clergymen to indulge the same tempers in their sacred profession.

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