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would rather continue as we are, than make a thorough exchange. Generally speaking, whatever seeming inequalities there may be, yet they are adjusted either by the real satisfaction which virtue gives, or by the false pleasures, which conceitedness and vanity afford its votaries. Variety of worldly goods will not produce contentment; a small uneasiness, appetite or passion not gratified, will take away the relish of what is agreeable in life, if headstrong: and no condition can make us happy, unless a foundation be laid for it in the due regulation of our own tempers. There is no state of life, even the most desirable, but is attended with many peculiar disadvantages of its own. We find several, who have no considerable advantages, either of fortune, or honour, or power,contented and easy; and several, who possess them all, yet extremely discontented and miserable. We even often think we fee others that are happier than we, and with whom, as to many things, we would willingly change conditions. Arewe engaged in a life of action and business? How do we applaud the happiness of those that live in ease and privacy, and can command their own time! Do we, on the contrary, live in retirement, and have but few affairs to mind? Well, then our time lies upon our hands, and we complain for want of employment, and call only those happy that are men of bufiness. Are we in great and splendid circumstances, above the rank of common men? Then we feel the cares and burthens that this brings upon us, and only cry up the secure quiet state of those that live in a lower sphere. But are we, on the contrary, in a low condition ? Who then with us, but the great men that carry the world before them! Thus are we generally unsatisfied with the present condition in which we -are, and apt to like any other better than our own. Such is the nature of mankind, or the nature of things themselves, that no earthly delight or comfort can please us long. A rational way of thinking is therefore an essential ingredient of .happiness. We must possess ourselves with just apprehensions of things: we wind up our imaginations too high; and things, as theyare in nature, will never answer to the gayfloșid ideas, which a luxuriant fancy forms of them. Anundisciplined imagination may suggest, 'O how happy should I

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• be, if I could compass such a situation in life!" But if calm reason might be suffered to put in its plea, it would answer, • Why, just as happy as those that are already in possession of • it, and that is, perhaps, not at all. If we place our happiness in moderating our desires, we may be happy even now: but, if we place it in enlarging our poffeffions, we shall not be happy even then. These imaginary wants are often more vexatious to the opulent, than real wants are to the poor. If they are supplied, it is but vanity, and contributes very little to their real enjoyments: as soon as the gloss of novelty is worn off, they become tasteless and insipid. If they are not supplied, it is a vexation of spirit, and a perpetual source of uneasiness. They cannot retrench their pomp and equipage, even when their fortune is considerably impaired. They must, through an ambitious poverty, maintain the shew, when the substance is gone. Their joys are pompous and visible, but false and fantastick: their cares secret and concealed, but real and solid. Riches, by making pleasures familiar to them, flatten their relish for them, but give a keener edge to every pain which they must feel as well as other men: they dull their enjoyments, but point and qnick. en the sense of anguish and affronts. Therefore let us labour to have our minds content in any state, and endeavour to suit ourselves to any condition, which will not furnish occasions for discontentand uneasiness; * andabove all, pursue religious courses; for it is written, Seek ye first the kingdom of God, viz, not so as wholly to exclude the care of other things; for that is impossible in this present life, and to pretend to it is but enthusiasm, and hinders the spreading of true religion : But seek this chiefly, and in the first place ; make this your principal and inain care ; luffer nothing to interfere or come in competition with it: do this above and before all other things; and yet other things need not be left undone. Yet,

We must never expect to be religious without diligence in the pursuit of virtue. There are in the course of a christian life many duties to be performed, which

ñ Diligence. require pains and care; temptations to be resisted, which will keep us continually upon our guard : and the scripture fre

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Ser Christian Fortitude and Patience, in Sund. 16. Sect. V..


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hood, that as his labour is really the most difficult, so it is most useful and profitable to all; as may evidently appear from this reasoning on the contrary part. For

Whence proceeds so great an increase of the poor of this Talenele kingdom? To what are their miseries owing, but brings po- to soth and idleness? To the neglect of parents, verty, &c. who took no care to educate them, when they were young, in learning or labour, in some honest way of trade or business, in which they might employ themselves, when they are grown up, and be able to provide an honest maintenance. So that, being grown up, they become, what they really are, the very bane and pest of society, wasting and devouring the fruits of the diligent man's labours ; robbing those who are poor indeed, of the charity which is their due, * and which would otherwise be afforded them; and all the while doing no sort of service to God, their prince, or their country, but, what is still worse, spending the time which lies upon their hands in the most profligate courses of lying, swearing, and drinking; in committing sometimes the most detestable crimes of theft, whoredom, and murder. This should be a warning to all parents, and to such as are intrusted with the care and government of youth, that they improve their minds with found principles of religion and good morality, and bring them up to learning, or in some honest trade and employment, of that when they are grown up, they may be able by their own skill and industry to provide a competent maintenance for themselves, and to afford some supply and relief to the real wants and unavoidable neceffities of their neighbours. And now suppose a man were born to, or has by his industry obtained so plentiful an estate, Is the root that if he should take his ease, or indulge himself of all evil. in Noth and luxury, there would be no danger of his falling into poverty; yet in all probability he would thereby render his condition as unhappy as that of the meanest beggar; he would lose even the taste and pleasure of worldly things by a too frequent use of them, and would most certainly endanger his health by an idle way of living; for it


* See the duty of charity to the poor, Sunday 12. + See the duty of parents, Sunday 8, Seal. VII,

is known by experience, that ease and sleep and want of exercise are the chief causes of most bodily distempers.*

Yet of all sorts of idleness that of artificers or labourers is surely the most blameable, who loiter away that,

Its danger time for which they receive wages; this is a to all lera downright cheat upon those whose business they vants and have undertaken ; it is robbing them of their mo- tradesmen. ney, and may prove more injurious than common robbery, if the affairs they are intrusted with should miscarry thro their carelessness. God, who will not suffer the labouring man to be defrauded of his hire, but declares that the cry of such injustice ascends up to him for vengeance, does as much abhor any fraud that is committed on the labourer's part: the apostle therefore commands christians, that no man go beyond or defraud his brother in any matter : and surely all eye-servants, all who receive wages for their time, if they squander it away in idleness, areguilty of the greatest fraud: But let them consider what the apostle there adds, The Lord is their avenger. What shall we say then of those a

- An arguenthusiasts, who neglect and quite lay aside their ment of endomestick concerns, their families, their children thusiasm. or servants, or the employments by which they should get their livelihood, under a pretence of a purer religion? Such men certainly do not consider the nature of the christian religion, which is to make men holy in their persons and in their lives, but not in the least to take them off from their worldly callings, or from using those talents, which God hath given them for the benefit of the country where they live: nor do they consider the obligation they have to the publick society whereof they are members ; for hereby they are not only rendered useless to the commonwealth, but they do oftentimes a great deal of mischief to it, by unsettling and subvertingother men, and filling their heads with abundance of foolish notions and scruples in religion, which arena

1310n, Wien And opposite are dangerous to government, and the publick to religion peace and happiness. And as for the better serving and jociety. God, by thus leaving their callings, it is a mere pretence: for

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He has no power over our persons, or our wills. He can The power

only set before us baits and allurements; but we canibe devil not be hurt by them, except we yield to them bas to tempi and chuse them. The treachery and corruptness man.

of our own hearts within is much more dangerous than all the assaults of the enemy from without. Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; that is, let no man plead, as an excuse for his sin, that God permitted the devil to tempt him into it. For God, as he cannot himself be tempted with evil, so neither tempteth he any man; neither doth he permit the devil to tempt any one farther, than by laying before him such allurements, as 'tis in the person's power, and it is his duty, and it is the proper trial and exercise of his virtue, to resist. But every man is then, and then only, tempted; then only effectually and finfully tempted; when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. The enemy of man's falvation can do nothing more, but only entice the covetous with hopes of gain; puff up the ambitious with expectation of honour ; allure the voluptuous with prospects of pleasure. And, where the mind is not under the power of any of these corrupt affections, the tempter finding nothing in it, his temptations can take no hold, and his power is at an end. Resist the devil, says the apostle, and he will flee from you. The apprehension therefore that many melancholy pious persons have sometimes entertained of the great power of the devil is very erroneous and groundless. But it is a much greater fault in bad men to magnify the devil's power, as they are very apt to do, in order to excuse theirown crimes: as if, because the devil tempted them to do ill things, therefore the doing those ill things was a less fault in themselves. Which is an error arising froin a very false notion of the devil's power of tempting men; it being nothing more, but like that of wicked men's tempting one another. Yet,

We must not rely too much upon ourselves; we must in How to

cases of conscience apply to those who watch over prarda our souls, the minister and steward of the mystegainfi temp- ries of God. · We are all apt to be too partial to ourselves, and are too presumptuous when we lean



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