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Sloth, your Luxury, your Pride, and your Irrelit gion. Then above all Times, beware left thou forget the Lord; left thou be unmindful of the Rock that begat thee, and forgetteft the God that formed thee, Deut. xxxii. 18.

In these Words therefore we may observe how much Almighty God expects from those who are plentifully provided for by his Providence; and particularly from those who are taken care of by fuch Means as themselves, could not have any Hand in, but accrue to them from the Labours and Wealth of others, without any Pains and Toil of their own in the Acquifition; which by the Bleffing of God, and the Liberality of thofe our pious and generous Founders and Benefactors, whom we are now met thankfully to commemorate, is our Cafe at prefent; and will therefore be a Subject very fuitable for our Meditations at this Time. The Obfervation therefore which the Words of the Text afford us, if we confider them with a peculiar Regard to our own Circumftances, and as appropriated to our present Business is this: That [the plentiful Provision which is in this Place made for us, and] the great Advantages we reap by the Liberality of our Benefactors to us, lays a mighty Obligation upon us to Obedience to that God whofe Providence by fuch Methods takes Care of us; and to a careful anfwering the pious Intentions of those who aimed at the Glory of God, and the Good of Men, and not our bare private Maintenance in those Endowments they have fettled




In difcourfing upon which I fhall (1.) enquire whence, and from what Heads this Obligation arifes, (2.) What our principal Obligations themselves are, or to what Duties and Offices we are in particular obliged by the Enjoyment of thefe Advantages. (1.) I am to enquire whence, or from what Heads our Obligation in the prefent Cafe does arife. And I think I need not go farther in Search after thefe Points, than those three obvious Particulars which immediately prefent themselves to our Confideration. (1.) This Obligation arifes from strict and abfolute Juftice. (2.) From that Branch of Juftice which ties us to Veracity, and the Performance of our Promises. (3.) From Gratitude, and the Senfe of Favours beftowed upon us.

I. This Obligation arifes from ftrict and abfolute Juftice. For we ought not to think that the great Advantages we here enjoy belong to us as an Estate of Inheritance belongs to the immediate Heir: So that without any more ado, we may esteem them our own, and behave ourselves under them as we pleafe. But we are to look upon them as bestowed upon us conditionally, and with at leaft a tacit Agreement and Covenant that our true Right and Propriety fhall depend on our good Behaviour, and on our faithful Performance of thofe Duties and Offices, whether of Piety or Charity, which fuch generous Endowments were defigned to promote. As it is in all our worldly Poffeffions with regard to Almighty God, fo is it, in fome Measure, in our collegiate Enjoyments with regard to our Foun


ders and Benefactors. For as our Title to this World's Goods, when confidered with refpect to other Men, is by no Means founded on our Goodnefs and Virtue; and fo is intirely valid in human Judicatures, be our Morals never fo bad, and our Lives never fo fcandalous; tho' at the fame time we are but Stewards under the great Poffeffor of Heaven and Earth, and must be accountable to him for the Abuse of all those Things whofe abfolute Title and Propriety he ever referved to himfelf. So in the Cafe before us, we may have so just and legal a Right to the Advantages belonging to a collegiate Society, that none can or ought to difpoffefs us; while at the fame Time we may be fo little careful of our Duties here, and fo little anfwer the main Ends and Intentions of our Foundation, (in View of fecuring which thefe Endowments were made, and which are a tacit Condition implied in the very Nature of the Donation itfelf) that we may justly be called to Account hereafter for our unjust Intrusion; or at leaft unworthy Mifmanagement and Abuse of so great, and fo well-defigned Benefactions. If we be willing to enjoy the Benefits, we ought never to think ourselves excufed from the Duties of a College. And I cannot tell whether we ought in Juftice, and with a fafe Confcience to reap the Advantages, if we be not careful to discharge the Offices, and perform the Truft belonging to thofe, by the express Will of the Donors, who are intitled to them. I am fure it will deferve every one of our fober Confiderations, how hard it will lie upon us at the last Day, if we have, for a long


Time, ventured to live upon the Profits of a learned and religious Foundation, and all the while have had no Regard to thofe great Ends and Conditions annexed to them; and what we fhall be able to plead in our own Behalf, if inftead of pursuing with all Sincerity the Glory of God, the Advancement of Learning and Religion, the difpofing ourselves for the Service of Chrift's Church, and the doing Good to the Souls of Men (which our very Acceptance of these Benefits implies our Obligation to) we make no other Ufe of them than to live an easy and pleasurable Life; and to privilege ourselves from the Business and Offices whether of Piety or Humanity, which otherwife in the World we should be unable fo readily to avoid. And if the mere Omiffion of our Duty, and the fingle Unprofitablenefs of our Lives here be fo criminal, and fo perilous, how much more fo must be the pofitive Abuse of our Plenty and Leifure; the actual discouraging of Virtue or Learning; the affording real Examples of Intemperance, Profanenefs, Lewdnefs or Debauchery; and thereby doing all we can to hinder and prevent thofe pious Intentions of our religious Founders and Benefactors which we ought with all our Might to promote in the World? Such as thefe are fo far from having a proper Right and Title to what they have from thefe charitable Foundations, that if those who settled them could be fuppofed capable of reviewing the fad Mif-employment of their Donations, they would be under a Temptation of repenting of the whole Benefaction upon the Account of thofe Abufes in fome Parts


thereof; and would be ready to use the most violent Means to free their Endowments from fuch un→ grateful and unjuft Ufurpers, who should fo wretchedly pervert their pious Defign, as to lead Men down to the Chambers of Sin and Death, by those very Means which were fitted and intended for the promoting of Men's Holiness here, and Happiness hereafter.

II. This Obligation is alfo founded on that Part of Juftice which requires Veracity, and the Performance of our Promifes. All we who, in the most peculiar Senfe, are Members of this collegiate Society, have folemnly engaged ourselves at our Admiffion thereinto, to obferve the pious Rules and Statutes of our Foundations; and do our utmost also to induce all others of our Body to obferve the fame. And tho' the Change of Times and Circumftances may fometimes make it lefs neceffary to urge the actual Obfervance of the Letter of every ancient Constitution, yet the main Design of the Foundation itself, and all thofe Rules and Statutes which really tend to promote the fame, I mean all which are neceffary or useful for the Peace, the Discipline, the Sobriety, and Diligence of the Members of the Society; or in fhort are proper to encourage the Good, and difcourage the Bad; to advance true Religion, and discountenance Ungodlinefs and Impiety amongst us: All these Rules and Statutes, I fay, we are to obferve inviolably; or elfe we must needs incur the heinous Sin of Perjury: And be not only unjuft Intruders into others Poffeffions,

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