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Son, and Holy Ghost to be your God; give up yourselves to him ; say, I am the Lord's, thy servant, O Lord, thy servant am I.* This is the best bargain you can make, this consecrates all other bargains ; yea, makes all comforts and crosses to become to you great blessings.

4. Get a good stock for commencement: he that begins the world with a small stock is always under his business: a lawyer must be long a student in the theory, before he be a practitioner; so a physician or a divine: it is true, practice will improve men's skill, but that is a pitiful, jejune person, who hath not laid in something preparatory to practice; as a Christian, you must lay in a good stock of truths and graces, in op position to the ignorance and corruption which you brought into the world ; without knowledge, your hearts are not good, and you will get no good by any thing you see, read, or hear; for all things should be reduced to the analogy of faith. + 0 therefore run to and fro to increase knowledge, read the scriptures, procure the best commentaries on them, write sermons, meditate on them, ask questions, get resolution of them, learn catechisms, study the fundamentals of Christianity. As old a doctor as Luther was, he confesses, that when he looked not over catechetical points, he was the worse for it; these are as bread and salt, always to be set before you, as the alphabet or grammar, still to be used; only be sincere in all ; let integrity be at the bottom, and proficiency will advance.

5. Husband well; I mean not so directly, money and goods, (though if you waste not, you will not want,) but principally your time and talents; twice was this counsel written from the metropolis of the Roman empire-redeeming the time. Waste no time in the beginning of your lives, lest you want it in the end: amongst all those twenty-eight times, mentioned by Solomon, Eccles. iii. there is no mention of a time to cast away time; no, it is too precious a commodity to be undervalued. God forbid, you should throw it at your heels; this is the golden chain on which hangs a massy eternity; the loss of time is unsufferable, because irrecoverable. Heaven and hell depend on the improvement or non-improvement of a short time in this world; God forbid, you should say of your day of life, as Titus, of a natural day, O my friends, I have lost a day; || but fill up the vacancies of each day with some business for earth or heayen ; spend no day without drawing some line for eternity, You need no pastimes to hasten time away, it posts fast enough;


• Matt. xxviii, 19. Isa. xliv. 5.
of Prov. xix. 2. Rom. xii. 6.
li Amici, diem perdidi.

Psalm cxvi. 16.

# Ephes. v. 16.

Col. ir. 5.

you cannot call back an hour, and if you be fishes taken in an evil net, your misery will be great upon you.* Remember, timo is a precious liquid in a brittle glass ; O spill it not, look well


to it.


6. Observe exchange-time, look to your markets; there are some special seasons, that will favour you in expediting your business with facility and success; there are nicks of tine, in which, if your actions fall, they may set you forward apace : seasons of doing or receiving good last not always; the fair continues not all the year; as you have opportunity, do good ; walk on the royal exchange of ordinances; frequent means of grace ; it may be a greater loss than you think of, to be absent but once.

l'homas was not with the disciples when Jesus came, and you know what a prejudice it was to him. The wind bloweth where it listeth. The angel comes down into the pool at a certain season, and troubles the waters ; t step in upon that, give not “ latitude for a day, God gives none ; now or never ; to-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts;” now is the accepted time, now the sun shines, now the gale blows, to waft over the ship to Jesus Christ ; strike while the iron is hot, miss this hour, and you may come too late, as Esau and the foolish virgins ; adjourn the court to-day, as Felix did, and there may never be another session ; God may strive no more with you; quench not the Spirit,/ it may never kindle such a flame in thy heart again.

7. Spend not because you indulge hope. Some youngsters in prospect of an estate at age or in reversion, anticipate their income, and by lavish expences run themselves behind so far, that they never recover it, and are oft finally disappointed. Solomon a king, adviseth his son to know the state of his flocks and look well to his herds, for, saith he,“ riches endure not for ever, or the crown to all generations,” Prov. xxvii. 23—27; this is good counsel in morals; but it is desperate folly in spiritual things, to sin in hopes of repenting hereafter, or to run into arrears in hopes of being able to discharge them, this is to sin that grace may abound; but who gave you order to cut such large thongs out of God's leather ? have you either time or God's grace at command? will you give him the other blow and then be friendly with him ? but what if he reject you? and as he called and you would not answer, so you may call, and he will not regard you in your distress. What you do, do quickly; boast not thyself of to-morrow : || presume not to omit


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v. 4.

• Eccles. ix. 12. + Gal. vi. 10. John xx. 24. iii. 8.

Heb. xii. 17. Matt. xxv. 12. Acts xxiv. 25. Gen. vi. 3. 1 Thess. v. 19. #Rom. vi. 1. Prov. i. 24-28. xxvii, 1.

grow harder,

harder, you

duty, or commit sin in hopes of being good, when thou hast sown thy wild oats; for multitudes have gone down to hell with such self-deluding expectations. God's patience hath bounds, your hearts

have further to go back; there is danger relative to reception; therefore, whatsoever thy hand finds to do, do it with all thy might. *

8. Endeavour to have your minds disentangled. Be not bird-limed with the world ; ingulph not yourselves in too much business; you have enlisted yourselves soldiers under Christ's banner, and no man that warreth entangleth himself in the affairs of this life: if you will be rich, you fall into temptation and a snare, and into many hurtful and foolish lusts which drown men in destruction.f God forbid you should be of the mind of Nevison, the lawyer, who said, he that will not venture his body will never be valiant, he that will not venture his soul will never be rich. An aspiring mind sets the wits to work, and Satan furnishes occasions, but the higher you rise, the greater will be your fall; sit low and you sit safely. ( what a remora are riches to religion ; when the young man in the gospel promised fair, this shut up his passage to Christ; this opened Demas's passage from Christ. Seek not great things for thyself; this was old Jeremiah's counsel to young Baruch, content yourselves with ordinary things; let not your sails be too high or too expansive; let your moderation be known to all men ; mind not high things ; live not above your rank, for that will make you beggars or tempt you to be covetous ; study the vanity of the world, and set not your eyes upon that which is not; labour not to be rich ; yea, if riches increase, set not

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your hearts

hearts upon

them. ||

9. Know your places. Consider in what relation you stand as children to parents, guardians, tutors; as servants to masters; as young men to grave seniors or superiors in office, age, or gifts; honour thy father and mother ; children obey your parents in the Lord, mind that; let all have their due; learn to distinguish God's commands from men's; obey men's commands for God's sake, but disobey not God's commands for man's sake;8 learn to be very humble and honour the aged; beware of being out of your place, for such as are so, violate every law. Be not without natural affection, esteem others better than yourselves, shew pity or charity at home; duty to parents, is service to God." Servants be subject to your masters with all fear,

. to churls as well as the kind, rise up before the hoary head and

• Eccles. ix. 10.

f 2 Tim. ii. 4. 1 Tim. vi. 9. * Matt. xix. 16_22. 2 Tim. iv. 10. Jer. xlv. 5. Phil. iv. 5. Rom. xii. 16. li Prov. xxiii. 4, 5. Psalm lxii. 10. § Eph. vi. 1, 2. Rom. xiii. 7.

When you

honour the face of the old man, in so doing you fear God ; * be helpful to old persons; what a good office did that young man, Paul's sister's son, do his uncle in speaking to the chief captain ? Acts xxiii

. 16–22. God makes them old, and you young for this end.

10. Be careful in the relations you may form. When marry, marry in the Lord; choose such to lead your lives with here, as you desire to live with hereafter; join not yourselves with an untamed heifer, that bears not Christ's yoke, for such are sons and daughters of Belial. Act deliberately in so great a vicissitude of life; this is the axle-tree on which runs the comfort or sorrow of your future days; a good wife is God's donation in a peculiar manner, house and riches are the inheritance of fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord; search her character in the scripture, ask the mercy of God by prayer, take advice of christian friends, but be sure you have the consent of parents, propound right ends, act according to rule, and then trust God for success. O what influence have mothers on children; mothers of the kings of Israel are mentioned in the scripture; though Jehoram had a good father, namely Jehoshaphat, yet he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, why so ? for the daughter of Ahab was his wife ;t such are the sad consequences of forming improper alliances.

11. Associate with fit and profitable companions. Company is of an assimilating nature: the fly that feeds on dung, is coloured thereby : a man either is, or will be what his company is, if it be select and constant: a man is known by his associates. Solomon saith, “ In the multitude of counsellors there is safety,” yet oft perplexity ; but I advise you, to prefer their quality before their number. Good counsellors are better than many; some young men are ruined by flattering parasites. Rehoboam's green heads were his ruin : Hushai's politic contrivances were applauded by vain-glorious Absalom, to his destruction: | how many thuosands have been undone by sinful company! Solomon begins his preparatory advice to the young man in this manner: My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not ;" and how often doth he repeat and reinforce this exhortation ? he urgeth the young to walk in the way of good men, and not to go in the way of evil men ; for a companion of fools shall be destroyed. || If you would not have the plague, come not into infectious air; bad men's breath is poison, and hath malignant influence on others; such eastwinds blast hopeful

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1 Thess. ii. 6. 2 Tim. iii. 3. Phil. ii. 3. 1 Tim. v. 4. 1 Pet. ii. 18. Lev.xix. 32. + 2 Chron. xxi. 6.

# 1 Kings xii. 8. 2 Sam. xvii. 7-14. li Prov. i. 10. ii. 20.

blossoms; the devil's factors juggle good natures into hell. Nebuchadnezzar became like a beast, by being among beasts : look to your company:

12. Be not too confident, but listen to counsel. Take advice of wise and experienced Christians : be not wise in your own eyes: if any one among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise. * Quintillian saith of some, that they might have become scholars, but that they conceited themselves to be scholars good enough already: so it is with many young men.

To be self-sufficient is to be altogether deficient; none err more dangerously than those who think they cannot err. Let no man think more highly of himself than he ought to think: they have been the wisest that have esteemed themselves brutish, as David and Agur.+ Be nothing and you will be prepared for any thing: be humble and modest, and you are ready for divine and human counsels: whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge, but he that hateth reproof is brutish: the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth to counsel is wise : many more documents doth the wise man furnish of this sort; and withal he tells us, that a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. It well becomes all men, especially the

I. young, to suspect their own judgments, and not to say, as one in the comedy, I have counsel enough within myself.!!

13. Keep straight reckonings. Be sure you learn spiritual arithmetic; take an account of your words and actions, see whether they be good or bad ; if bad, confess them to the Lord, bewail them, obtain a pardon for them under seal before you sleep_if good, give God glory, yet lament the imperfections that adhere to them, which will prevent confidence in your best duites. Search and try your ways, commune with your own hearts ;8 sleep not till your accounts be well stated'; huddle not things up

in haste, live not at uncertainties, as we say of tradesmen, if they cast not up their books, their books will cast up them : the longer you defer, the more loth you will be to reckon ; keep petty sessions to prepare for the great assizes ; make all as ready as you can against the general audit; try yourselves by scripture marks, both as to sincerity of grace and proficiency in grace : take a true measure of your increase and decays in religion. By all means 'use sometimes to be alone.

14. Remember, God's eye is upon you: give God the glory of his omniscience and omnipresence; study Psal. cxxxix, “ let

* Prov. iii. 7. 1 Cor. iii. 18. * Prov. xii. I, 15.' x. 17.

xiii. 1. li Consilii satis est in me mihi.

* Psalm lxxiii. 22. Prov. xxx. 2.

xxix. 3, 15. & Lam. iii. 40. Psalm iv. 4.

xv. 5.

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