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THE CRYING SIN OF ENGLAND, Of not Caring for the POOR.

WHEREIN Incloſure, viz. ſuch as doth un­people Townes, and uncorn Fields, is Arraigned, Convicted, and Condemned by the Word of God.

Being the chief Heads of two SERMONS, Preached at the Lecture at Lutterworth in Lei­ceſter-Shire in May laſt, and now publiſh­ed in love to CHRIST, his Coun­try, and the POOR.

By JOHN MOORE, Miniſter of Knaptoft in Lieceſter-Shire.

Luke 16. 14.

And the Phariſees alſo who were covetous, heard all theſe things, and they derided him.

London, Printed by T. M. for Antony Williamſon, at the Queens Arms in Pauls Church Yard, 1653.

To the Supreme Authority of this Na­tion, the PARLIAMENT of the Common-wealth of ENGLAND.

MAy it pleaſe your Honors, to pardon my boldneſſe in preſenting theſe lines unto your Honorable Aſſem­bly: Becauſe the love to our Lord and Maſter Jeſus Chriſt, and to his poor Members hath ſet it upon my ſpirit to make my addreſſe unto your Honors. For who knoweth (Eſter 4. 14.) Whether ye are come to the rule of this Nation for ſuch a time as this: even to caſt out that-Judas-like ſpirit amongſt us; Of not caring for the Poor? I durſt hold my peace no longer; becauſe I found none to plead the Cauſe of the Poor and Needy, againſt theſe Oppreſſors, ſet forth to the life in theſe Papers. I may be blamed by your Honors, I have done it ſo bunglingly; but ſhamed I ought not to be, becauſe I have done my beſt in a good cauſe, even Chriſts cauſe and his poore's, when abler men would not meddle. True is that of Solomon, Prov. 14-20. The poor is hated e­ven of his own neighbour (hath hardly one good man or neighbour to ſpeak or plead for him) but the rich hath many freinds. I am perſwaded Chriſt ſtands and looks on your Honorable Aſſembly what you wil do for him and his poor Members; and I hope it's none of your leaſt deſign, To take care of the poor, to looſe the bands of wickedneſſe, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppreſſed go free. Iſa. 58.6. I beſeech your Honors ever to remember that divine truth, Prov 29.7. The righteous conſidereth the cauſe of the poor, but the wicked regardeth not to know it. I bow my knee to the Father of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, that ye in every thing may ſhew your ſelves to be the freinds of the Bridegroome and Bride Chamber too, and that this Honorable Aſſembly may be ſtiled the poor mans Freind; ſo ſhall the bleſſing of the poor, who are ready to periſh come upon you, Job. 29.12.13. And Chriſt wil take it kindly as done unto himſelf, Matth. 25.40. In as much as ye have done it unto one of the leaſt of theſe my brethren, ye have done it unto me. I ſtrive to God for your Honors in my pray­ers, that he would make you ſerviceable to God, his Church, the Publick, and the Poor, in your generations, and am

Your Honors Humble Servant, and the Churches in Chriſt Jeſus, JOHN MOORE, Miniſter of the Church of Knaptoft.
JOHN Chap. 12. ver. 6.

This he ſaid, not that he cared for the Poor.

WE have here to do with Judas, an Hypocrite, a Traitor, a Devil, both to his Maſter Christ and his Poor members. An Hypo­crite to his Maſter, he kiſſed him, when he would have kil­led him, Matth. 26.49. To his Poor members, he pretends here giving to the poor, when he cared not for the poor. A Traitor to both; he betraies one, Luke 22.48. and is a thief to the other, John 12.6. and no leſs then a Devil to either. To his Maſter, Joh. 6.70. Have I not choſen twelve, and one of you is a De­vil? to his poor members a child of the Devil, 1 Joh. 3. 10. becauſe he loves not his poor brother. We have nothing to do here with Judas as he was all theſe to his Maſter Chriſt, though my ſoul be like Ezekiels roll of a book, full of lamenta­tion, mourning, and woe, to ſee every where ſuchEzech. 2. 10. a brood of Judaſſes, Hypocrites, Traitors, Devils to Jeſus Chriſt the Lord of Glory.

This he ſaid, not that he cared for the poor, &c. Here you ſee Judas hath the poor in his mouth, but2 not in his heart. Its the Character of a Judas then to love a little in word and tongue, but not in truth and indeed, 1 Joh. 3.18. would you have a Judas ſtigmatized burn the Hypocrite in his forehead with this inſcription in Capital letters, He cares not for the poor. Take notice, this is the brand, that is ſet upon the ſtinking goats, by which Chriſt will diſcover them at the great day; They care not for the poor. Matth. 25. 35, 36, 37, &c. This is the mark ſet upon Judas the Son of perdition: He cared not for the poor. What I intend, and this Scripture plainly ſpeakes, and this hard hearted Nation, and age hath need of, is this Doctrine.

That they are not ordinary ſinners, but Judas like ſinners, that care not for the poor. It is no little ſin, but a wrath provoking ſin, not to care for the poor; yea, God, and Chriſt care not for thoſe Nations, thoſe places, thoſe perſons that care not for the poor. And therefore it muſt be the care of the Miniſters of Je­ſus Chriſt to preach and pray more againſt this ſin, of not caring for the poor, then ever they have done. We ſhall open the text, and ſo the do­ctrine. Judas is not here taxed for doing injurie, or wrong to the poor, for oppreſſing, or vexing them, for taking away their means of ſubſiſtence, or turning them out of their houſes, or taking away their Tradings, and treading them under foot: he is worſe then a Judas that is ſo barbarous, Judas is barely taxed for not caring for the poor.

But I know it will be queſtioned, what poor? who are thoſe poor we muſt care for? like him in the Goſpel, Luke 10.29. that was loath to love his3 neighbour as himſelf, who preſently falls a que­ſtioning Jeſus, and who is my neighbour? and ſo, who are theſe poor? A mercieleſs miſer hath ſo ma­ny tricks, evaſions, diſtinctions, put offs to keep his purſe ſtrings tyed, his cubbord ſhut, his garments to himſelf, and his charity at home, that he would make you beleive that there is hardly ſuch a poor man living in the World, that he is bound to take care of. What poor is meant then? Jeſus Chriſt gave an anſwer to him that could not find out a poor neighbour to love as himſelf, in the parable Luke 10. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, &c. The drift of which parable being this, that we muſt take care of every poor neighbour that ſtands in need of our help. Jeſus Chriſt tels us what poor we muſt care for, upon pain of proceeding in Judgement againſt us at the great day, where we ſhall be arraigned, con­victed, ſentenced, and execution done upon us too, meerly for not caring for the poor, Matth. 25. ver. 35. to the end of the Chapt. The poor he there names, are the hungry, thirſty, ſtranger, naked, ſick, impriſoned, &c. the poor are ſuch as are deſti­tue of ſubſtance, of friends, of health, of help, of limbs, of houſe, of harbour; the widow, and fa­therleſs, &c. I, but there are ſo many wicked poor! Its true, there are good poor, and wicked poor: Gods poor, and the Divels poor: the Divels poor are thoſe whom their own idleneſs, ill huſbandry, lewdneſs, or looſeneſs of life hath made poor; or ſuch as are as poor in goodneſs, as in goods; in grace, as in purſe. Gods poor are thoſe whom Divine providence hath made poor, both for the tryal of4 their patience, and our charity. Theſe though they are poor in this World, yet they are rich in faith. For anſwer then: the Spirt of God teacheth us to diſtinguiſh of poor, but to leave no poor out of our care, Galat. 6. 10. Let us do good unto all men, eſpecially unto them who are of the houſhold of Faith. We muſt take care of all, but eſpecially before all others, and above al others, of thoſe who are of the houſhold of Faith. So then, we muſt take care of the wicked poor as they are our own fleſh: Iſaiah 58.7. To deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor, that are cast out, to thy houſe; when thou ſeeſt the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thy ſelf from thy own fleſh. We muſt take care for them, then as they are our naturall kindred, as they are men, and women, and not be cruel to our own fleſh, but nouriſh it, and che­riſh it, Epheſ. 5.26. There is nothing of humani­ty, nothing of man in that perſon, that hath not bowels to preſerve mankind from periſhing. So­lomon tels us, Proverbs 22. 2 : The rich and the poor meet together, the Lord is maker of them all: the Lord made them both, and the Lord made them both to live together, Matth. 26. 11. and therefore to live together, that the rich might help the poor, Deut. 15. 11. and the Lord did not only make them as men, but as rich men and poor men; and he that made thee rich, and him poor, might have made thee poor, and him rich. And therefore we muſt do good unto all, &c. eſpecial­ly to the faithful. The faithful are of our ſpi­ritual kindred, born of the ſame ſpirit. The near­neſs,5 and dearneſs of the Saints one to another will appear in their oneneſs. For as there is oneneſs betwixt Chriſt and Chriſtians, ſo be­twixt Chriſtians and Chriſtians, Epheſ. There is one body, and one ſpirit, even as we are called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptiſme, one God, and Father of all, &c. All the houſehold of the faithful are all one. One body, even fellow members of that myſtical body, whereof Jeſus Chriſt is the head: one Spirit, all of them enlivened, and enlightned by the ſame Spirit. One hope of the common Salvation of Jeſus, Jude 3. One Lord in the head, one Faith in the heart: one Baptiſme in the face, and profeſſion. One God, and Father of all; even the God, and Father of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the reſurrection of Jeſus Chriſt from the dead, 1 Peter 1.1.3. The faithful are all children of the ſame Father, and every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him that is begotten, 1 John 5.1. We are called to an eſpecial care of the faithful, becauſe children of our Heavenly Father, becauſe fellow-members of our Lord Je­ſus, becauſe we are all one in Chriſt Jeſus, Galat. 3. 28. As we muſt provide for our own, eſpecially thoſe of our own houſe, 1 Tim. 5. 8. So muſt we do good unto all, eſpecially them that are of the houſhold of Faith. Oh let us put theſe poor in­to our boſomes, let theſe poor lie next to God our Father in our hearts, and next to Jeſus Chriſt in our neereſt, and deareſt affections: becauſe6 they are Gods, and becauſe they are Chriſts. Here be that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none, and he that hath meat let him do likewiſe, Luke 3. 11. Woe be to him that hath ſuch good poor neighbours, and can eat his morſels alone, and ſhall not warm them with the fleece of his Sheep, Job 31. ver. 17, to the 24. A Chriſtian indeed cannot but take care of Gods familie, as well as of his own family; of Gods children, as well of his own children; of Gods ſervants, as well as his own ſervants; here is the difference indeed Cha­rity begins at home, but it doth not tarry at home.

But muſt we give to Beggers?

Queſtionleſſe we muſt. 1 Its Chriſts precept, Matth. 5.24. Give to him that asketh thee, &c. Se­condly, Chriſt heals a Begger, and never reproves him for begging, Joh. 9.8. Thirdly, good Laza­rus was a Begger at the rich mans gate, and he is in hell that denyed him the crumbs, or ſcraps that fell from his Table, that was left after meals. But David ſpeaks Pſal. 37.25. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have never ſeen the righteous forſaken, nor his ſeed begging bread; as though there were no good Beggers. David here ſpeaks out of his own experience A good King he was in Iſrael, to ſee put in execution Gods commands for the care of the poor, and to keep them himſelf. Deut. that there might be no Begger in Iſrael. A true hearted Iſraelite is merciful as his Father in Heaven is merciful, and is ready to give where he knows there is need, before they ask, eſpe­cially to the Saints, and the ſeed of the Saints. 7Oh theſe melt them all into bowels. I do not here plead for Beggers. For it is the ſhame of a well governed Common Wealth, to ſuffer ſo many idle Beggers, and Rogues, and Vagrants to wander up and down out of a calling. It is a greater ſhame for any Chriſtian Society, City, or Town then, to take no more care for the poor, then that they be forced to begge. But how great a ſhame is it for a Goſpel Magiſtracie not to ſuppreſſe Make-beggers, which make ſuch ſwarms of Beggers in Countries, Cities, and Towns? And here I cannot but cry aloud, and ſpare not, and lift up my voice like a Trumpet, and tell theſe Make-beggers their ſins, and theſe greedy Gripes their tranſ­gresſions, that care not how many Beggers they make, ſo themſelves may be Gentlemen; nor how many poor they make, ſo themſelves may be rich. I mean the unſociable, covetous, cruel broode of thoſe wretches, that by their Incloſure do unpeople Towns, and uncorn fields: who fall under the Pro­phets woe, Iſaiah 5.8. that joyn houſe to houſe, and field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midſt of the earth, and be rid of all the poor; Although Jeſus Chriſt ſaith, Joh. 12. 8. The poor you have alwayes with you: I wiſh I could cry ſo loud in their ears, that I could awake their conſciences to repentance, and reſtitution, and that they might do ſo no more: or that I might cry ſo loud in the ears of the Supreame Magiſtrate, that they may looſe the bands of wic­kedneſs, and undo the heavy burdens, and let the op­preſſed go free, and break every yoke, that bread may8 be dealt to the hungry, and that they bring the poor, into houſes, that are caſt out; and that the naked may be covered, Iſai 58.6, 7. I ſhall (God willing) hold out theſe to the World to be notorious Make-Beggers, as woful experience, and my whole Coun­try of Leiceſter-ſhire, with moſt of the Inland Counties can witneſs with me. Queſtion many of our Beggers, that go from dore to dore, with wife and children after them, Where they dwell, and why they go a begging. Alas maſter, (ſay they) we were forced out of ſuch a Town when it was incloſed, and ſince we have continued a gene­ration of Beggers. When we take a view of the multitude of poor in Market Towns, and fielden Towns, we ſee how theſe poor wretches were dri­ven out of their hive, their hony taken away. I meane their trade of plowing by ſuch incloſure, and glad were they to find an old houſe any where to put their heads in, where they might have any imployment to keep themſelves, and family alive. But to deal punctually with them (for they are aſhamed of their make-beggers trade) I muſt charge them home. They make four ſorts of people Beggers: firſt the Tennant. Secondly the Cottier. Thirdly, the children of both. Fourth­ly, all thoſe that ſhall ſtand in their way to hinder their uncharitable, yea unjuſt deſignes. But they will plead, its beſides their intention to make beggers. Anſwer, It may be, it is not the end of the workman, but ſure I am, it's the end of the work of ſuch incloſure. I ſhall now proceed to my charge. For the three firſt ſort they make9 Beggers. I ſhall begin with them firſt, and ſo come to the fourth. And here for a ground work we muſt lay this undeniable truth: viz. that the great Manufacture and Trade of Leiceſter-Shire, and many (if not moſt) of the Inland Counties, is tillage. Its the plow whereby Tennants, Cottyers, and their children were ſet a work, & lived very happily, and comfortably, before there was ſo much of ſuch Incloſure: Other Countyes have other Manifactures and trading for the com­monalty, we tillage, and the plow, whereby we breed multitudes of hard men, and Horſes for the ſervice of the Common Wealth, if need be; whereby we alſo ſend forth abundance of all man­ner of corn, and grain, and peaſe-fed cattle to the City to victual our Shipping at Sea, and to Coun­tryes round about us: all fed with the Plow in the common Fields. Firſt, they make Beggers of Tennants upon ſuch Incloſure, for the Tennant forthwith is diſcharged of tillage, and farm, to ſeek a living he knows not where. Truely it would make a charitable heart bleed to come now into our Markets, where we are now ſo buſie upon ſuch Incloſures, in Leiceſter-Shire; where the Mar­ket is full of inquirie, and complaint of ſuch Ten­nants to all they meet, Can you help me to a farm, or a little land to imploy my team? I am diſ­charged, and if I ſell my Horſes, and Cattel, I ſhall never get a team again, or ſo many Milk-cowes to maintain my families. Alas, all my money will be ſpent, that I ſhall ſell them for, ere I ſhall hear of any land to be ſet. And in ſome Towns there11 is fourteen, ſixteen, or twenty Tennants diſcharged of plowing, all in this ſad condition, beſides many other teams, and farms of free-holders laid down in the ſame Towns. And herein is the miſerie of the Tennant the greater, Thoſe that have thus uncorned the ſaid Towns, and turned all into paſture, and diſcharged their Tennants, theſe thus incloſed wretches become Tennants themſelves, and rent land in the open fields round about them, or neer unto them, to maintain their own fa­milies with corn, and their horſes with feeding, for which lnd they give (being able to pay it out of their incloſed grounds) exceſſive rates, which if the poor Tennant ſhould give, heand his muſt forthwith come to beggery. So that they do not only turn theſe poor Tennants out of incloſed Towns, but alſo rent thoſe farms and that land in the common fields, which the poor Tennants elſe might have rented at an eaſier rate; ſo that in the concluſion moſt of theſe Tennants be­come Cottiers. And now in the ſecond place, we ſhall truely ſhew you how they make Cottiers Beggers.

In theſe incloſed Towns in laying down the plow, and taking away the crop of corn, how ma­ny crops do they rob the poor Cottier of? This poor man had a crop and income in every tilth of the plow, in the following tilth, in the ſtirring tilth, in the airing up tilth, in the ſowing tilth; he had his income in the manuring, weeding, mowing, inning, gleaning, and threſhing of the corn. And now alas, ſaith the poor Cottier, there is no work11 for me; I need not be thruſt out of the Town, I muſt be gone where I may get my living, and if I can get no houſe elſe where, I, and mine muſt ſtarve. And hence it comes to paſs, that the open fielden Towns have above dou­ble the Number of Cottiers they had wont to have, ſo that they cannot live one by ano­ther, and ſo put the fielden Towns to vaſt ex­pences in caring for thoſe poor, that theſe In­cloſures have made: and what enquiring every where is there of theſe poor Cottiers (after the Town is incloſed) to get an houſe in any place, where they may have work? Thirdly, ſuch in­cloſure make Beggers of the children both of Ten­nants, and Cottiers; the children of both uſually become ſervants to the husbandman, and brought up at the plow, &c. But now in ſuch incloſed Towns, where there were kept 30, 40, 50. ſervants, there is not above three, or four. Hence the droves of poor children, when they are reproved for beg­ging, are complaining, we would willingly work, if any would ſet us on work. In brief, is it not palpable, that the main inducement to ſuch inclo­ſure is filthy lucre, and to be rid of Tennants, Poor, and Servants? ſo far are they from caring for the poor, and in ſtead of bringing them into their houſes, to rid them of their houſes. As for exam­ple, they being hot upon ſuch incloſure in a Town I am well acquainted with, One of the inhabitants gave this reaſon why they muſt do it, in theſe words viz. The poor increaſe like fleas, and lice, and theſe vermine will eat us up unleſs we incloſe: And12 ſurely it was plain dealing, for without queſtion he ſpake the ſenſe of moſt of the reſt. But they will plead, when we in cloſe, we give ſomewhat to the poor. Anſwer. Juſt Judas like, the poot was as much reſpected by Judas as any of them. This they ſay, not that they care for the poor. It is as unſeemly for theſe to take the Name of the poor in their mouths, as it was for Judas. They talke much of the poor, but they do nothing to the purpoſe in reſpect of that they rob them of: and uſually they give to the poor with one hand, and take it away with the other, and their gratuity uſually, as it reacheth but a few, and in ſome ſmal trifle; ſo it laſteth but for a while. For depopulation comes by degrees, and the next generation uſually knowes neither Tennant, nor Cottier in ſuch incloſed places, for Towns we muſt call them no longer.

I, but they plead further, we get a great deal of corn in paſture grounds. I grant they may get five, or ſix crops, once in thirty, or fourty yeares: but where are thoſe every years crops, and all thoſe Tennants, Cottiers, and ſervants that were wont to be kept there? let them anſwer this que­ſtion.

I, but yet they have another Plea, Albeit this incloſure, there is now abundance of Corn, and that very cheap too.

Anſw. Bleſſed be the God of the Poor that hath of his goodneſs prepared for them, Pſal. 68.10. and that the valleys (theſe two yeers) have been co­vered with corn, they ſhout for joy, they alſo ſing, Pſal. 65.13. Its no thanks to them that we have13 plenty; Oh that this abundance of all manner of proviſions might make poor and rich abound in thankfulneſs, duty, obedience to the Father of all our Mercies, from whom we have every good thing. But if the Lord ſhould ſlack his hand but a little, and with-hold this more then uſual increaſe of Corn from us; it is ſuch incloſure would make it a flat famine; as within theſe few years, what crying for bread, and complaining in our ſtreets of ſuch incloſure? if then, what will become of us now? ſince when there hath been ſo much inclo­ſed, and even at this preſent they are ſo mad upon it, as though it was their very project one time or other to famiſh the poor.

But I proceed to the fourth ſort, which they make beggers, and they are thoſe honeſt hearts, who out of a tender conſcience take ſo much care for the poor, as they dare not comply with them in their uncharitable Deſigns, nor conſent to ſuch in­cloſure: Againſt theſe they fret and ſtorm, and tell them in plain termes, they will undo them, and make them beggers; and ſo they do indeed, in bringing multiplicity of Law Suites, Actions of Treſpaſs, for nothing, or at leaſt for trifles, as for coming over their ground, &c. and vex them all with long tedious Suites in Chancery, to force them to do againſt their conſciences; which they have brought to paſs too often times: upon which ſome Parties have growne diſtracted, and others forced thus to conſent, have never lived a com­fortable hour after all the dayes of their lives. Oh this is a cruel Oppreſſion, and not to be ſuffered14 in a Land of Uprightneſs, and yet is done in the face of the Sun. Alas, how many amongſt us are now perſecuted in this manner, becauſe they would keep Faith and a good Conſcience pure, and unſpotted, both before God and man? and are threatned to be undone utterly, except the Lord raiſe them up Deliverers; for which I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt. But the Lord ſpeaks to theſe by the Prophet Micah, chap. 2. ver. 1, 2, 3. Wo to them that deviſe iniquity, and work evil upon their beds: When the morning is light they practiſe it, becauſe it is in the power of their hand; and they covet fields, and take them by violence, and houſes, and take them away: So they oppreſs a man and his houſe, even a man and his he­ritage. Therefore thus ſaith the Lord, Behold a­gainſt this Family do I deviſe an evil, from which ye ſhall not remove your necks. Let them read their dolful Lamentation, as it is called in the ſubſequent verſe. I muſt tell theſe Make-beggers, that have ſuch a ſpirit as is ſpoken, Amos 2.6, 7. That ſell the Righteous for Silver, and the poor for a pair of ſhooes, that pant after the duſt of the earth upon the head of the poor; that is, would be rid of all poor, good poor, and bad poor too, for profit and a little gain; and that do ſo pant, thirſt, and are inflamed with Covetouſneſs, that filthy Lucre muſt be had up­on the head of the poor, though they break the head, yea the very heart of the poor; they uſually upon ſuch incloſure treble the price of their Land; and this they get by flaying the skin off the poor. They get it (they ſhall one day give an account15 how) out of the hide of the poor Tenant, Cottier, and poor ſervant. Yea, I muſt tell theſe, that thus ſell the poor for trifles, That I am ſuſpicious they wil ſell their God for Gold, and Judas like, their Chriſt to fill the bag; their profeſſion is no­thing, if they care not for the poor: A Goſpel ſpi­rit is a giving ſpirit, &c.

Thus having ſhewed what poor we muſt care for; as that alſo, thoſe that do unpeople Towns, and uncorn Fields, are ſo far from caring for the poor, that they make beggers of the poor. I will briefly hold out what is meant by caring for the poor.

Chriſt ſhewes us what it is to care for the poor, in that Parable Luke 10. from ver. 30 to the end of ver. 37. where he tells us, of a man in miſery, that had fallen amongſt Thieves, which ſtripped him of his rayment, and wounded him, leaving him half dead: The Prieſt and Levite they ſaw him, and paſſed by him, as though it nothing concern­ned them, and had no bowels towards him; he might have been ſtarved there, and might have periſhed of his wounds: but the good Samaritane is ſaid, ver. 34 to take care of him: Why? becauſe ver. 33, 34, 35 When he ſaw him he had compaſsion on him, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring in Oyl and Wine, and ſet him on his own beaſt, and brought him to an Inn, and took care of him; And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence and gave to the Hoſt, and ſaid un­to him, Take care of him, and whatſoever thou ſpen­deſt more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 16You ſee here what it is to take care of the poor, viz. to have ſuch compaſsion on them, as to provide for them in their miſeries, to relieve their wants, to make a ſupply of what they ſtand in need of, &c. but Judas, nor the former Make-beggers, which I eſpecially aim at in this Diſcourſe, are not of this Spirit.

This he ſaid, not that he cared for the poor.

We ſhall now lay downe ſome Arguments to ſhew you the greatneſs of this evil, of not caring for the poor. I will but name what was delivered at large.

Arg. 1Firſt, Its a ſhrewd Argument that ſuch belong not unto God: For love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God, 1 John 4.7. A churle and a Miſers name, will hardly be found in the Book of Life. This is a ſweet evi­dence of ſuch as have a true Call into the ſtate of Grace; 1 John 3.14. We know we have paſſed from death to life, becauſe we love the brethren. This is not the cauſe of our paſſing from death to life, but the cauſe of our knowledg thereof, and a true mark wherby we know it; and he that loveth not his brother abideth in death; that is, hath no evi­dence that he hath the life of the Spirit, and the life of Chriſt in him.

Arg. 2Secondly, Such have nothing of a Goſpel ſpi­rit in them, for a Goſpel ſpirit is a giving and for­givingMatth. 5. 42. 19.21 5.44, 45 ſpirit; giving to the poor, forgiving our enemies. A Goſpel ſpirit is a ſelf-denying ſpirit, Matth. 16.24. They look not every man at his own17 things, but every man alſo at the things of others, Phil. 2.4 The care of their own Family, doth not ſhoulder out Gods Family. A Goſpel ſpirit will be as careful for to put ſomewhat into Chriſts Treaſu­ry, as into his own Treaſury; ſo far is he from rob­bing Chriſts Treaſury (the poor) to fill his own. Al thngs that the Saints have, are communicative, both Spirituals and Temporals; and they know that their Heavenly Father hath made them Stew­ards, and hath not given them all their good things for themſelves alone, but for others alſo; ſo they are exhorted, Heb. 13.16. To do good and to com­municate forget not, for with ſuch ſacrifice God is well pleaſed. That ſpeech ſavours of Heatheniſm, and not of a Goſpel ſpirit, We may do what we liſt with our own. Art thou Rich? hear thy charge from Heaven, what thou muſt do with thy Riches, 1 Tim 6.17, 18, 19. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to diſtribute, willing to communicate, laying up unto themſelves a ſure foundation againſt the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

There is a twofold uſe of our Eſtates: Firſt, A Natural uſe, as to provide for our ſelves, wives, children, families: this uſe every worldly man, and that churliſh Nabal (for fo he is ſtiled 1 Sam. 25.3) knew well enough: for ſaith he, ver. 11 Shall I take my bread, and my water, and my fleſh (he is all in the Poſitive, my, my, my) that I have killed for my Sheerers, and give it unto men? &c. He was all ſelfiſh. This is ſowing to the fleſh, and he that18 ſowes to the fleſh, ſhall of the fleſh reap corruption: Such mens Charity begins at home, and keeps at home too. 2 There is a Spiritual uſe of our Eſtates; to relieve Chriſts Members (if good poor,) and our own fleſh (if evil poor) which ſtand in need of our help; and this is a ſowing to the Spirit, and they that ſow to the Spirit, ſhall of the Spirit reap life everlaſting.

Thirdly, They that care not for the poor, are full of diſtruſt that God wil not make his word good, when as God hath ſaid, Prov. 28.27. He that giveth to the poor ſhall not lack: And Luke 6. 38. Give, and it ſhall be given unto you, good mea­ſure, preſſed down, and ſhaken together, and running over. They will not take Gods word; you can never make a worldly man believe, but that he ſhall lack what he gives to the poor. Never tell an earth­ly minded man of full meaſure, and running over, he believes he ſhall have the leſs for what he gives away; the reaſon is, he lives by ſenſe, and not by faith, and he cannot truſt God over all.

Fourthly, They may call God Father, but they are never a whit like unto their Heavenly Father, who is the Father of mercies, and God of all Conſo­lation, 2 Cor. 1.3. They are not merciful, as their Father in Heaven is merciful, Luke 6. 36. They are the Divels children, and none of Gods, that care not for the poor. 1 Joh. 3.10. In this the chil­dren of God are manifeſt, and the children of the di­vel; whoſoever doth not righteouſneſs is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Fifthly, Such as care not for the poor are world­lings,19 covetous perſons, if a man may be juſtly called a Covetous, a worldly man, he is of the worſt of men; ſuch are Spiritual Idolaters, Epheſ. 5.5. Adulterers, Jam. 4.4. God abhors them, Pſal. 10.3. and they ſhall never go to Heaven, 1 Cor. 6. 10. Theſe Worldlings are the unprofitable bur­dens of the earth, in whom there is no Charity, Liberality, Hoſpitality, nor Humanity; ſuch are greedy gripes, which by their incloſure, would have no poor to live with them, nor by them, but delight to converſe with Beaſts; and to this pur­poſe turne Corne into Graſſe, and men into Beaſts.

Sixthly, Not to care for the poor, argues not love to God, nor love to Chriſt, 1 Joh. 3. 17. He that hath the worlds good, and ſeeth his brother hath need, and ſhutteth up his bowels of compaſsion, how dwells the love of God in him? The queſtion is put here, to put it out of Queſtion, that ſuch do not love God. Its no great matter what ſuch profeſs, and talk of the love of God; truth is, that they of all the reſt in the world have no love to God; For he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath ſeen, how can he love God whom he hath not ſeen? 1 John 4.20. They have no love to Chriſt, for Chriſt will cenſure of our love to him at the day of Judgment, by that love we ſhew unto his Members (the poor) upon the earth, Matth. 25. And there all fleſh ſhall be proceeded againſt, Se­cundum probata & alligata; and this ſhall be juſt and good proof. In as much as you did it not to one of the leaſt of theſe, ye ddt not to me; by theſe20 little ones, is not meant little in ſtatute, like Za­cheus: but little in eſtate, little in eſteem: As Chriſt ſaid, Matth. 18.10. Deſpiſe not one of theſe little ones, for in heaven their Angels do alwayes behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven: ſo take care of one of theſe little ones, for their Angels, &c.

Arg. 77. Such as care not for the poor, have no hopes that God will hear their prayers, and grant their requeſts. In prayer we expect our wants to be ſupplyed from free grace, and rich mercy. Now Chriſt tells us who they are that ſhall get mercy, Matth. 5.7. Bleſſed are the merciful, for they ſhall obtain mercy. The merciful are ſuch who are ſo inwardly moved with the miſeries of others, that they do outwardly receive them according to their abilites, Luke 6.36, 38. Such ſhall obtain mercy in their miſeries ſometimes with men, but alwayes with God. Sweet is that of the Prophet, Iſaiah 58. read the 7, 9, and 10. verſes, which are to this ſenſe: if thou feed the hungry, harbour the houſeleſs, cloth the naked, and ſatisfie the afflicted ſoul, ver. 9. Then ſhalt thou call, and the Lord ſhall anſwer, thou ſhalt cry, and he ſhall ſay, here I am. As if the Father of mercyes ſhould ſay, What aileth my child ſo to call, and cry? be ſure of this, here I am, a preſent help in time of trouble: here I am, my preſence is the abſence of all my­ſerie: thou art in my heart, and I will help thee, for my poor were in thine heart, and thou diſt help them; when they cryed, thou didſt refreſh them; and now thou cryeſt, I will wipe all tears from thine eyes; thou gaveſt what they asked in their21 need, and now whatſoever thou ſtandeſt in need of, ask, and it ſhall be given thee: thou tookeſt care of them, and didſt not turn away thine ear from their complaints; and I now take care of thee, Call upon me in time of trouble, and I will deliver thee. On the contrary, Prov. 21.13. Whoſoever ſtopeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he alſo ſhall crie himſelf, and not be heard: ſuch an one ere he dieth, may fall into ſuch cruel enemies hands, or other great ſtreights, and extream myſerie, that he may cry, and howl for vexation of ſpirit, and never be heard, nor pityed, neither by God or men: for with the ſame meaſure they mere withall, it ſhall be meaſured to them again, Luke 6.38.

Arg. 88 They that care not for the poor, procure to themſelves, yea, and upon their Eſtates, (eitheir un­conſcionably gotton, or uncharitably kept) ma­ny a Curſe: Prov. 28.7. He that hideth his eys from the poor, ſhall have many a Curſe; the poor will curſe them. But is it lawful for them to curſe? Shimei we know curſed David wrongfully, and yet ſaith David, 2 Sam. 26. 10. The Lord hath ſaid unto him, Curſe David. So when the poor curſe theſe hard hearted wretches, that hide their eyes from them, though it be ſin in them, yet there is ſomewhat of God in it, to ſuffer them thus Mi­niſterially to curſe, to make way for the judgments of God, that this Scripture might be fulfilled up­on mercileſs men. But if the poor do not curſe them, ſhall they avoid a curſe? No, Chriſt him­ſelf will curſe them, Matth. 25.41. Depart from me, ye curſed; for I was hungry, &c. Yea, the curſe of God was upon them before the poor curſed22 them. Prov. 3.33. The curſe of the Lord is in the houſe of the wicked. And here I take leave to apply this Argument a little to ſuch who by in­cloſure do uncorn fields. Another Scripture muſt be fulfilled upon them, viz. Prov. 11. 26. He that with-holdeth corne, the people ſhall curſe him: but bleſsing ſhall be upon the head of him (what an incouragement is here for Tillage?) that ſelleth corn. He doth not ſay, He that ſelleth Oxen, or Sheep, &c. the meaning is, that a great bleſ­ſing ſhall be upon them that provide bread for the poor; bread is the ſtaffe of life, and indeed fleſh is but ſawce as it were, to make our bread relliſh better, and to go down the glibber. Bread is the ſtaple commodity. But to open our Scripture a little: He that with-holdeth Corn: that is, doth en­haunce Corn, and hoard it up to raiſe the rates of the poor that buy, is nigh to a curſe; yet Corne may be had here, though at exceſſive rates. How nigh then are they to a curſe, that uſe ſuch means, that there may be no Corn, nor ſeed-time, nor Harveſt in the places where they inhabite? Theſe break our ſtaffe of Bread. This Argument pre­vailes much with a carnal mind, and the natural conſcience doth mightily perplex theſe Oppreſ­ſors; Oh (ſay they) though we have a good mind to this buſineſs, yet the Curſe that follows ſuch Incloſure! And none of us here can be ig­norant how viſibly God hath purſued ſuch in­cloſure with his ſeveral Judgements, having writ­en this very ſin in the Judgement. I ſhall be ſparing of the particular vengances that have followed this23 ſin; only thus much I ſhal ſay, that that propheſie of Iſaiah 5. 9. is fulfilled on them; Many houſes are deſolate, even great and fair, without inhabitants: ſo that we may ſay uſually of them, as the Pſalmiſt ſpeaks of ſuch, Pſal. 37.35, 36. I have ſeen him in great power, and ſpreading himſelf like a green bay tree, yet he paſſed away, and〈◊〉he was not; yea I ſought him, but he could not be found. His houſe and land hath vomited him out, and his poſterity. Seldom the third generation can call thoſe in­cloſed grounds his own. This natural conſcience doth ſo terrifie them, when they are upon ſuch cur­ſed deſignes, that they can go on with no compla­cencie of ſpirit in it. When they are agreed up­on Articles of ſuch incloſure, how every one trem­bles to ſet his hand firſt to them, or to ſet the firſt ſpade in the ground of ſuch incloſure; becauſe God many times ſo viſibly meets with the ringleaders. In one Town, being upon ſuch incloſure, and to ſet their hands to the Articles, ſo terrible was the buſineſs, that no body would begin; at laſt one ſnatched the pen, ſubſcribed his Name, and bid them follow him all in the Devils name. When they have thus incloſed, you ſhall hardly find who was the Author of it, every one putting it off themſelves, and no body owning of it, none will acknowledge themſelves to be principal Agents in it, though they have all don it. I have this one Word from God to ſpeak to theſe Mammoniſts, that thus dare to ſtifle conſcience: 1 John 3.20. If thy heart condemn thee, God is greater then thy heart, and knoweth all things.

This evil of covetouſneſs, & of not caring for the24 poor, will bring the fury and wrath of God upon the moſt flouriſhing Kingdomes, Cities, &c. as you ſhall find Jer. 6.11, 12, 13. upon Gods own people I am full of the fury of the Lord, I am weary with holding in, I will pour it upon the children that are abroad, and upon the aſſembly of young men together: For even the huſband with the wife ſhall be taken, the aged with him that is full of dayes, and their houſes ſhall be turned unto others, with their fields, and wives together: for I will ſtretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the Land, ſaith the Lord; for from the leaſt of them even unto the greateſt of them, every one is given to covetouſneſs. Thus may we ſee what covetouſneſs will do to the moſt flouriſhing nations; and that thoſe that care not for the poor are the worſt enemies to a Common Wealth. This is one of thoſe crying ſins that overthrew So­dome, and Gomorrah, Ezek. 16.49. For ſhe did not ſtrengthen the hand of the poor, and needy. On the contrary, if God have pronounced wrath againſt perſons, and places, you may ſee upon what terms God would bee pleaſed to ſuſpend the judgment, Dan. 4.27. Where Daniel adviſeth Nebuchadnez­zar (when he had his dome to conſort with beaſts, and to eat graſs with oxen) wherefore, O King (ſaith he) let my councel be acceptable to thee, and break off thy ſins by righteouſneſs, and thine iniquity by ſhew­ing mercy to the poor, if it may be a lengthning of thy tranquillity, &c.

Ʋſe 1Seeing then the evils of not caring for the poor are ſo many, and ſo great, the firſt Uſe may be an uſe of terrour, which (through the grace of God to us given) may break our hard hearts into ſhivers. Is the25 to make us open hearted, and open handed to the poor, &c.

Here let us take Notice, that it was a re­probate Judas, that cared not for the poor, who is gone to his own place, Acts 1.25. which is the place to which all miſers, and churles muſt go, Mat. 25.41, 42, 43. Depart from me, ye curſed, into everlaſting fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels. For I was an hungred, and you gave me〈◊〉meat, &c. Obſerve here, Fire prepared, It is the proper peculiar place of ſuch as care not for the poor. For James 2.13. He ſhall have judgment without mercy, that hath ſhewed no mercy. Chriſt hath prepared another place for a charitable heart. Matth. 25.34. Come, ye bleſſed of my Father, in­herit the Kingdome prepared for you, before the foundation of the World. For I was a hungred, and you gave me meat, &c. For bleſſed are the merci­ciful, for they ſhall obtain mercy, Matth. 5.7. Far be it from men to think that charity merits a place in heaven: But we muſt walk in love, Epheſians 5.2 Which is the Goſpel way to Heaven. Chriſt gives them a giving, and forgiving ſpirit, whom he will forgive, and to whom he will give the Kingdome of Heaven. When once we are born again, and are the children of the Moſt High by grace, and adopti­on, we grow like unto our Heavenly Father in every holy quality, though not in equality; eſpecially in this, We are merciful, as our Father in Heaven is merciful; and when we are once called into the State of grace, we have this evidence of our election, Col. 3.12. We put on (as the elect of God, holy and beloved)26 bowels of mercy, kindneſs, &c. and verſ. 14. above all things we put on charity, which is the bond of prefect­neſs. They love much who have had many ſins forgiven them, Luke 7.47, &c. Here remember we again, that it is a damned Dives that cared not for a poor Lazarus, and that it was one of thoſe cry­ings ſins that brought fire and brimſtone upon So­dom and Gomorrha, even this, the not ſtrengthen­ing of the hands of the poor, and needy. If it be ſo then, that ſo great terrours, and torments re­main for them, that relieve not the poor, what will become of them then that oppreſs the poor, and the needy, and take away that little that they have? what will be the end of all thoſe former re­cited Make-beggers? if they be a curſed people, if fire, prepared fire, everlaſting fire with the Devil and his Angels, be their portion that do not give bread, drink, clothing to the hungry, thirſty, na­ked: into what fire ſhall they be caſt? what tor­ments ſhall they have? what great condemna­tion remains for them, that rob the poor of all theſe? that generation I have named ſo often, takes away all from them who have the leaſt, Mich. 3.2. They pull off their skin from off them, and their fleſh from off their bones. To rob a man of his clothes, & leave him naked, is cruelty; to pul off a mans skin, is more then inhumanity; and yet there is a de­gree further: they take not only skin, but fleſh too. Theſe who are very poor, may be ſaid to have nothing but skin upon them, yet theſe cruel op­preſſours will have that too. I will ſpeak one word to them, that will by Law ſuits undoe their27 honeſt neighbours, that will not conſent to ſuch unjuſt Incloſures. Me thinks the controverſie betwixt them and their neighbours, is juſt like that betwixt the Wolf, and the Sheep. The Sheep tels the Wolf, he hath no juſt reaſon to contend with them, for they have the juſter cauſe; Its true, ſaith the Wolf, but I have the longer teeth. But let ſuch hear their doom, Prov 22.22, 23. Rob not the poor, becauſe they are poor: nei­ther oppreſs the afflicted in judgment. For the Lord will plead their cauſe, and ſpoil the ſoul of thoſe that ſpoiled them.

Uſe 2The ſecond Uſe ſhall be of counſel: 1 to Mini­ſters. 2 to Magiſtrates.

1. To Miniſters, what to preach, what to pra­ctice. They muſt preach up this duty of caring for the poor. So Timothy is adviſed by the A­poſtle, and in him all other Miniſters, in that of 1 Timothy 6.17, 18, 19. We muſt charge them that are rich in the world, that they be not high minded, nor truſt in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to diſtri­bute, willing to communicate, laying up unto them­ſelves a ſure foundation againſt the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. Miniſters muſt not only preach, but alſo practiſe this duty of Charity. How doth Jeſus Chriſt admoniſh his Diſciples to beware of cove­touſneſs, and to bee of a giving ſpirit? &c. The Apoſtle, 1 Tim. 2. 2, 3. tells us, a Miniſter muſt be given to hoſpitality. Although he muſt not28 live of Almes, yet he muſt give Almes of what he hath, Luke 12.33. Miniſters without this gift of Charity, are but as ſounding braſs, and tink­ling Cymbals, 1 Cor. 13.1. Even like the Bels in the Steeple, that call others to Church, but never come themſelves; theſe may call others to heaven, but ſhall never enter in themſelves.

2 My conſel to Magiſtrates ſhall be that of the Lord to his own people, Zech. 7.9.10. Thus ſpeak­eth the Lord, ſaying, Execute true Judgment, and ſhew Mercies and compaſsions every man to his neigh­bor, and oppreſs not the widow, nor the fatherleſs, the ſtranger, nor the poor, &c. Such a good Ma­giſtrate was Joſiah, and ſo it was well with him, and his people too. Jerem. 22.15, 16. Did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and juſtice, and then it was well with him? He judged the cauſe of the poor and needy, and then it was well with him: Was not this to know me, ſaith the Lord? &c. I ſhall propoſe Gods ſervant Job a pattern for Magiſtrates, Job 29.12, 13, 14, 15. I delivered the poor that cryed, the fatherleſs, and him that had none to help him. The bleſsing of him that was rea­dy to periſh came upon me, and I cauſed the widows heart to ſing for joy. I put on Righteouſneſs, and it cloathed me; my judgment was a Robe and a Diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cauſe which I knew not, I ſearched out, and I brake the jawes of the wic­ked, and plucked the ſpoil out of his teeth. Thus it is at once, the Honour and Duty of thoſe who are in Power to relieve the poor and needy, and to rid29 them out of the hands of the Oppreſſours. The not hearing of the poor, the not relieving and hel­ping them, the not ſupplying their wants, the not redreſſing their injuries by thoſe who have power to do all theſe for them, is their renewing and per­petuating their miſery upon them: and therefore, that Magiſtrates, Miniſters, and every one ac­cording to their ſeveral places and abilities, in love to Chriſt Jeſus, and in tenderneſs of bowels to the M••••ers of Chriſt, and their own fleſh, may per­form this duty of caring for the poor, I ſhall con­clude all with an Uſe of Exhortation.

Uſe 3The Exhortation ſhall be that of the Apoſtle, Heb. 13.16. To do good and to communicate forget••t, for with ſuch Sacrifice God is well pleaſed. Forget not, that is, remember to do good and to communicate; yea, ſo remember it, as thou would­eſt have Chriſt remember thee to do thee good, and communicate unto thee the Treaſures of his free Grace, and riches of his mercies in the day of Tryal, trouble, and diſtreſs, in the hour of death, and in the day of Judgement: For (ſaith he) theſe are Sacrifices, which do not only pleaſe, but well pleaſe God and Chriſt. The Fathers called that which we give to the poor Pecunia trajectitia, that is, money returned by Bill of Exchange. As they that travel into other Countries do not take their money with them, for fear of robbing, or other miſcarriage, but they pay it here, and have a Bill of Exchange to receive it beyond the Seas, in the Country to which they intend their journey: So, whatſoever we give to the poor, we give to men,30 but Chriſt repayes it. We give it away in earth, but we meet it in Heaven: we caſt it a way in this world, but find it in the world to come. To this purpoſe Solomon ſpeaks, Prov. 11.24, 25. There is that ſcattereth, and yet increaſeth; and there is that with-holdeth more then is meet, but it tendeth to po­verty. The liberal ſoul ſhall be made fat, and he that watereth, ſhall alſo be watered himſelf. The Apo­ſtle compares Charity to ſeed ſown: now no ſeed no crop; and the more ſeed the better crop; for ſaith he, 2 Cor. 2.6. He that ſoweth ſparingly, ſhall reap ſparingly; and he that ſoweth bountifully, ſhal reap bountifully. And take we all the Apoſtles advice concerning charitie, as it follows in the next verſe, Every man according as he purpoſeth in his heart, ſo let him give, not grudgingly, or of neceſsity, for God loveth a cheerful giver. Now he that adminiſters ſeed to the Sower, and ſoweth the ſeed of all Grace in your hearts, make you to abound in this Grace al­ſo, 2 Cor. 8. 7. And my prayer ſhall be for you, 1 Theſ. 3. 12. The Lord make you to increaſe and a­bound in love one towards another, and towards all men.


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TextThe crying sin of England, of not caring for the poor. Wherein inclosure, viz. such as doth unpeople townes, and uncorn fields, is arraigned, convicted, and condemned by the Word of God. Being the chief heads of two sermons, preached at the lecture at Lutterworth in Leicester-shire in May last, and now published in love to Christ, his country, and the poor. By John Moore, minister of Knaptoft in Liecester-shire.
AuthorMoore, John, 1595?-1657..
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SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A89257)

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Bibliographic informationThe crying sin of England, of not caring for the poor. Wherein inclosure, viz. such as doth unpeople townes, and uncorn fields, is arraigned, convicted, and condemned by the Word of God. Being the chief heads of two sermons, preached at the lecture at Lutterworth in Leicester-shire in May last, and now published in love to Christ, his country, and the poor. By John Moore, minister of Knaptoft in Liecester-shire. Moore, John, 1595?-1657.. [4], 30, [2] p. printed by T.M. for Antony Williamson, at the Queens Arms in Pauls Church Yard,London, :1653.. (The last leaf is blank.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "Sept: 16".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Poor -- England -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A89257
  • STC Wing M2558
  • STC Thomason E713_7
  • STC ESTC R207160
  • EEBO-CITATION 99866230
  • PROQUEST 99866230
  • VID 118495

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