by Rowland Stedman
Or, An Antidote against Infection by the Example of a Multitude, Being Practical Meditations, On Exod. 23. 2.
This text has been initially updated from EEBO-TCP by Project Puritas (Logan West, with David Jonescue and Alex Sarrouf.) www.puritansearch.org. Further revision and editing done by Monergism. Copyright Monergism via universal text usage permission from the above.
Wherein is opened, the Influence of the practice of a Multitude, to draw men to Sin; the special cases, wherein it concerns us to be most cautious; Reasons why we must not follow them; together with the Application of the whole.
And therein, Besides the General improvement of the point, an Instance given of Nineteen practices of the Multitude to be avoided, Seven of their Grand Principles to be rejected: Sundry Particulars concerning Peace, and Unity, and the Sanctification of the Lord’s Day, useful for these times.
1 Tim. 5.22. Be not Partaker of other men's sins. Keep thyself pure.
The great Intendments of the Gospel, to the propagation and furtherance whereof all particular attempts should be subordinated, are mostly reducible to three heads. The illustration and magnifying of the Grace of God, in the salvation of lost sinners. The Exaltation and advancement of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator of the Covenant of Grace. The vindication and promoting of real holiness and purity, amongst the children of men. And the drift and purport of the Tract ensuing more directly relates to the last of these: To minister help in the following after Godliness, and to remove out of the way the main impediments, that hinder from a hearty closure therewith.
It is a point as clear as the Noon-day, and cannot be denied by such as own the Scriptures, that a vigorous and cordial prosecution of holiness in the greatest strictness and height of it, is of indispensable necessity to the Beatifical vision, and enjoyment of God. Without which, all professions of faith and love to God are but empty names, and counterfeits; indeed, a mere mockery of the Most High. How shall any be induced to believe, that a man doth unfeignedly embrace and love the principles, by which he refuseth to steer his course? Or that such divine truths have a real seat in his affections, which are openly disavowed and contradicted in his conversation. He that will give a solid testimony of his sincere respects to the doctrine of Christianity, must do it by a demeanor answerable thereunto. It is by upright and humble walking as in the sight of God, that Religion must be adorned, that it may attract the hearts of them that are without: Hereby our profession must be justified, both in the sight of men and to the approbation of our own consciences: And in this way alone, we can comfortably expect to be conducted with safety to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Table of Contents
A PREFACE TO THE READER
SECT. I. sects and parties
SECT. II. What are we to understand by the doing of evil?
SECT. III. What usual influence hath the example of a multitude?
SECT. IV. Be not drawn to evil by the practice of a multitude.
SECT. V. What reasons we may press upon our hearts, in order to abate the edge of that inclination?
SECT. VI. Application of the Doctrine.
SECT. VII. For Exhortation.
SECT. VIII. What course we must take to prevent seduction
SECT. IX. To provoke and stir you up, to be watchful over yourselves