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of the Publick, I direct chiefly to thofe that are in Office and Authority; for really their Carriage and Conduct hath a more than ordinary Stroak, in the good or bad Success of the common Affairs. And, therefore, it concerns them, especially to look to themselves, that they be Men of Integrity, and keep a good Conscience in the Discharge of their Trust. Upon their upright walking, the Safety and Preservation of the Publick doth more depend, than upon the Endeavours of a Thousand Private Men. Though they are but particular Persons, yet being vefted with Authority, their Conduct and Management hath as great an Influence upon the common Good, or the common Ruin, as if they were a Multitude; and, single as they are, they do in a great Meafure carry the Ballance of the publick Fortune in their Hands.
But Secondly, The Conduciveness of every Man’s Uprightness to the Publick Good, is not the only Consideration, upon which it is recommendable, as a Means for obtaining Safety and Security in evil Times. For let the Publick go as it will, in the worst of Times, if any. Man can in probability be thought able to shift for himself; if any Man can in reason hope to escape the Vida lence and Iniquity of the Times; the Upright Man, the Man, of Honesty and Integrity, is likeliest to be the Man: I say, in reafon he is likeliest, and as Things comnronly go: 2 7 .
For he, of all others, takes the sureft Course to preserve himself; and is least obnoxious, Eeither to the Malice or the Envy, the Un
dermining or the Rapine, of open Enemies or pretended Friends. . s
All Knaýery and dishonest Dealings set a é Man up for a Mark to be shot at; but Up
rightness and Integrity, is a Shield and a Prote&tion.
The Upright Man doth so order the Course of his Life, that he usually avoids all those Rocks that other Men split upon, and which usually prove their Ruin. The Undoing of most Men even in evil Times, lies commonly at their own Door, and they may thank themielves for it. If they had been sufficiently careful of themselves, the Malignity of the Times would scarce have touch'd them. It is generally either very great Carelesness, and gross Neglect of their own Affairs; or the Lavishness or Intemperance of their Tongues ; or an ill-gotten Eftate; or private Injuries they have done, and private Grudges they have contracted; or Pragmaticalness in other Mens Matters; or factious Adherence to a Party; or Breach of Trust; or Treachery to the Publick, or the like; I say, it is there Things, that do most commonly draw Mischief upon Mens Heads, and lay the Foundations of all those Straits and Difficulties, in which they are intangled, even in the worst of Times. But now the Upright Man doth, in a great measure, avoid all these Occasions ; for his Principles do oblige him to walk in
a Way, that is diametrically opposite to the Things I have mentioned.'.
The Upright Man treads upon such sure Foundations, and his Ways are fo universally approved by Mankind ; that, as Things usually go, nó Man will easily offer him Injury, but it will be to his own Detriment. · The Rule he walks by is such, as doth effectually procure him the most Friends, and the fewest Enemies, for he takes the course to oblige all sorts of Men; and consequently he cannot easily fail of finding those who will use their utmost Endeavour to assist and rescue him, when he lights into any difficult Circumstances. · His righteous Conversation is so unexceptionable, and so prudent he is in the Management of his Affairs, that those that love him not, will not easily find an Occasion to do him much Mischief.
Even those that have no Acquaintance with him, yet have so much Concernment for Honesty and Uprightness in general, that they will study to give him what Aslistance and Defence they can, out of a natural Sense, that it is fit a good Man should be protected ; and that, for any thing they know, his Cafe and Circumstances may come to be theirs.
And those that have lost all Sense of Good and Evil, yet out of Care to preserve their Credit amongst Men (amongst the generality of whom, to be an honest Man will always signify a great deal; for when all is done, it is impossible to extirpate the Notions of
Virtise and Honesty, out of the Minds of the
careful how they oppress such a Man.
how ineffectual soever all Human Means may be for the securing and preserving an Upright Man in evil Times; yet in the Second Place, he has another Anchor to stay himself upon, which is more firm and stable, and which will not fail him; and that is, the Protection of God Almighty; the Care of his particular Providence, to which he is intitled. . '
Men may slot and design; may model and contrive ; may order and manage Things as they please : but when all is done, it is God that governeth the World; and either blasts their most fair and hopeful Projects; or, if he suffers them to succeed, turns them to what Use and Purposes he pleases : Now this God that rules and disposeth all Things (even the most particular; For not a Sparrow doth fall to the Ground without his Will; and by him the very Hairs of our Head are numbred.) This God hath engaged himself, to take care, in an especial manner, of those that fear him, and
walk uprightly before him. : He hath passed his Promise, over and over
again, that he will make their Righteousness as Pfal. 37. clear as the Light, and their juft Dealing, as the 6; 19; 24, Noon-Day. They shall not be confounded in the 44 perilous Times, and in the Days of Dearth, they Jhall have enough. Though they fall, they shall
not be cast down, for the Lord upboldeth them with his Hand. In a Word, that he will be their Strength in the Time of Trouble;, he will Aand by them, and save them, be will deliver them from the Ungodly; be will save them, because they put their Trust in him.
It would be endless to quote all the Passages in the Book of God that speak to this purpose. And, therefore, I Thall dismiss this
Point, with that remarkable one, which we Chap. 15. find in the Prophecy of Ifaiab, wherein we V. 16.
may fee, both the Upright Man, and his Security in evil Times, described in very lively Colours. He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; He that despilęth the Gain of Oppressions ; that Maketh his Hands from holding of Bribes; that stoppet b bis Ears from hearing of Blood and Mutteth bis Eyes from seeing Evil : He shall dwell on High; bis Place of Defence shall be the Munitions of the Rocks; his Bread Mall be given him, bis Water
Mall be sure. The Sense of which'in short is . 'this, That whoever walks Uprightly, and
makes a Conscience of his Ways; such a Man shall be always under the watchful Care and Protection of the Divine Providence. And never will God suffer him to fall into any grieyous Distress; but he shall always have such a Portion of the good Things of this World afforded to him, as will be sufficient, not only to make his Life supportable, but easy.
And, in Truth, the Experience of the World geneșally makes this good : Honelt