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if he were fed with a limb from a sacrifice, it would in that capacity be nothing to him: he would upon it, as upon any common thing *. Give a pearl to a swine, and it becomes a thing of no value. It is the same with men. To
many of them the Gospel sig. nifies no more, than if you were to give a sacrifice to a dog: and its value is no more seen or understood, than when pearls are cast before the filthiest beasts in nature; who tread them under foot as they would the mire of the streets. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews bids us think of what sore punishment they must be worthy, who have trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the covenant wherewith they were sanctified, an unholy thing ; regarding these sacred and precious things as dogs and swine would regard and treat the greatest treasures of the world. But of that sore punishment such persons do not think, because they are insensible of their own unworthiness. From the animals by which they are denoted, we may learn what temper they are of, and what is the true reason of their contempt and insensibility. The chief qualities by which dogs and swine are distinguished, are greediness, impudence, and uncleanness. These qualities are odious in the worst of beasts ; but how much more so, when they are found in men : worst of all, when they are found in Chistians; I mean in those who are so called. And first, for their greediness.
To a bad man this world is the great object. He thinks he never can have enough of it; and he is resolved to get it by any manner of means. As one dog
* The ancient Greeks liad holy or sacred places; they had even sacred islands; but into such places it was not lawful to transport a dog. See Xeroph. Cyneg, cap. v. 9 23.
will snatch the meat from the mouth of another, so will he take to himself the property, the prospects, the character, of another man. The dog is all for the present time; so is he. The deg sees nothing beyond it; no more doth he: if the appetite is supplied, it is all be looks for. When the dog is hunting, he thinks of nothing but his prey; and the man of the world, in all his pursuits, thinks only of what he shall catch. The prophet complains of bad watchmen under the · name of greedy dog's, which can never have enough; looking every one for his own gain from his quarter.- Isa. lvi. 11. Such men think only how they may get, and have and enjoy; as the dog when he is hunting thinks only how he shall overtake and devour. How incessant are the labours of some men in this chace hunting the world ; hunting -one another; and snatching whatever they can from those who are upon the same hunt with tbemselves! These are the men who are so fond of the doctrine of equality; they admire it of all things : but this shows their true character; for a pack of dog's are all equal ; all have the same rights; all are born to hunt and devour. No dog gives any thing to another dog : his rule is, to have it all to himself: and so little justice or mercy is there among these animals, when the devouring principle takes place, that it is not an uncommon accident for one poor beast to be marked out for a victim; in which case the rest fall upon him, and tear hiin to pieces.
That fatal distemper of madness, communicable to men and all four-footed beasts, and so dreadful in its effects, begins wholly (to the best of our knowledge) in the species of dogs ; and is therefore distinguished by the name of canine madness. Distempers of the same quality are bred in the minds of greedy men: distempers as unaccountable, as infectious, and as deadly as that which is bred in dogs. When they lose their religion, and all sense of another world, they are often given up to this malady; and when one man path it, he is as eager as a raving dog to communicate the same to others. The doctrine of equality ; 'what is it, but the bite of a mad dog? The "rights of man" is another bite : The doctrine of election, as the fanatics understand it, is another; and as the dog under his distemper leaves his home, and runs wild into the fields, aud woods; so do men with this notion in their heads, leave the church and go off into schism. In all these cases, we see how fast the infection spreads; and how often it is incurable : reason and argument cannot reach it. What can the event be, but that men shall worry and devour one another to the end of the world, unless God of his infinite mercy shall find some remedy ? And what does all this arise from but a dog-like greediness after this world ? This it is which makes men the enemies of God, the enemies of truth, and the enemies of one another.
A second quality of the dog is impudence; the most antient of heathen poets compares a man to a dog on account of his impudence-he calls one a shameless dog. With the greediness of the dog, there commonly goes the impudence of the dog. There is scarcely any property which distinguishes a bad man from a good one more than his impudence: therefore impudent men are great favourites with the author of evil. Blessed are the meek, says the Saviour: blessed are the impudent, says the destroyer : and if there be any sort of grace, which it is in the power of Satan to bestow, it is certainly this of impudence : ye may call it the devil's blessing. If he employs any person about his own works and designs, he seems commonly to provide in the first place, that he be impudent. A love of truth, an honest heart, and a good intention, will make a man bold: piety and trust in God will make him patient : but a bad heart and a mischievous intention will make him impudent; and unless he is so, he will have but little chance of succeeding in his undertakings. If an honest man is met by any one in the road to evil, he is easily abashed, and his modesty saves him : but an evil man, if confronted and disappointed, begins again : his conscience feels no more than his flesh would do, if it had been seared with a hot iron: if confuted and exposed, he feels no shame; nothing hurts him, unless it be the loss of some worldly object, or a miscarriage in some base design: and even then he is not discouraged, but still perseveres; repeats his old lies, renews his old attempts, and as he begins, so he goes on, stedfast and unmoveable. These are the men in whom Satan delights, and whom he employs upon the best of his enterprizes. Look at some of the principal of those persons, who at this time are leaders in public mischief: see if there is a modest man amongst them : it cannot be: such a map would be of no worth in that party. And indeed you will generally find, that the man whose face can oppose every thing, goes naturally into opposition : that is the stage on which his talents are displayed : the face of an hog can make its way through an hedge of thorns.
But there is another quality remaining; which is that of uncleanness. For this the two animals of our text are brought together by St. Peter. Christians are called away that they may escape the pollutions of the world : but many return to them again, and become as they were before. This is illustrated in the
following words.-It happened unto them according to the true proverb: the dog is turned to his own vomit again ; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. These practices are loathsome; but they are no more than a sign of the more loathsome ways of those people, who forsake the grace of God for the pollutions of the world. Nothing is really unclean in the sight of God, but sin, which defileth the soul and spirit. Devils are called unclean spirits from their wickedness; though in them there can be no such thing as bodily impurity. A soul defiled with sin is as contrary to the nature of God, as a beast wallowing in the mire is hateful and adverse to man; and a soul returning to the sin it had forsaken, falls into as loathsome an habit as that of the dog; who never can be raised above his nature, and cured of his odious manners ; education will never mend him; he will be a dog still as he was before.
When we meet with men of these ill qualities, of sạch men we, as Christians, are to beware; for we shall do them no good, and if they can they will do us harm : therefore, says the apostle, bewure of dogs; for there were persons, particularly the unbelieving Jews at that time, who beset the preachers of the Gospel, as dogs fall upon a stranger. Ill men arm themselves against those who reprove them; and if a man is given up to this world, nothing provokes him more, than when he is told of another world. It was declared, in the language of prophecy, that Christ should be persecuted by evil men, in that passage of the twenty-second Psalm" inany dogs are come about me, the council of the wicked Jayeth siege against
It is the same with the followers of Christ at this day: they who do not receive the truth, will al. ways hate, and despise, and contradics, and persecute,