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ment; I now come to my Second Point, that is,
to treat of the Art of governing them, or to lay i down the necessary Rules and Directions, which Or are to be observed in order thereunto.
3And we shall not need to go far for these Hi Rules, for they will all naturally flow from the
Principles I have already laid down. And I think, they may conveniently enough be re
duced likewise to these Five following. : Pi : First, From what hath been said, it appears,
that the Firf- and great Point to be done by us,
if we would keep our Hearts in a good Frame; on and order our Thoughts to good Purposes, is,
that we rightly pitch our main Designs; that i we chute that for the great Bulinels of our Lives, that really ought to be fo..
Now what that is, can bear no Dispute with any Man that will fairly use his Reason. For certainly, that which is our greatest Concernment in the World, ought to be our greateft Business and Design in the World. com
And it is evident to every one, that believes 1) he hath a Soul to save, that his greatest Con
černment of all, is to approve himself to that God who made him, and disposes of all his Affairs; and who accordingly as we sincerely
endeavour, or not endeavour to serve him, it will niake us either very Happy, or very Mi
serable, both in this Life and the other. So that there can, as I said, be no Difpute about what ought to be the greatest Business and De
sign of our whole Lives, and to which all other A Businesses must yield. :
Now if we be so wise, as really to propose this as our main End, and resolye to mind it,
and follow it as such; I say, if we be so wise") as to do this, we have made a very great Step. I towards the obtaining a Security to ourselves, IF that the greatest Part of our Thoughts and Dena fires, and Affections, will be such as they should bę; such as will be acceptable to God, and satisfactory to ourselves
For, as I told you before, whatever is our main Bulinets, be it what it will, it will, in a great measure, draw all our Thoughts to it. Our Natures are fo contrived that we must always be thinking of something or other. But then they are so contrived likewise, that we think most of that, which is most in our Eye, most in our Esteem, most in our Pursuit. And this is that which our Saviour tells us ; Where your Treasure is, there will your Heart be allo. Whatever it be that you place your Happinels in, upon that will your Thoughts fun; upon that will your Desires, your Inclinations, your Affections, be fixed.
We have a World of Instances of the Truth of this every Day before our Eyes. If a Man hath set his Heart on Money, and proposeth it to himself, as the Business of his Life, to be Rich; why, I dare say, such an one will own to you, that most of his Thoughts are upon that Project; and that he finds it so far from being difficult to keep his Mind close and steady to his main Interest, as he calls it; that it is rather difficult to him to think of any other Matters.
If a Man be given up to Pleasure, and thinks nothing worthy his living for, but Wine and Women, and good Eating, and good Company;
T'Is it not natural to such an one to bend all his & Thoughts that way? Or doth he put any
Force or Violence upon himself, in thinking ) and contriving all the Day long, how to bring na to pass the Gratification of his Lufts or his | Appetites ? ites ? .
L i ri.. : : Why, my Brethren, if we did all of us in Es good Earnest make the Service of God, and
the purchasing Heaven and Happiness to our
selves, as much our Business, our End, our - Design, as thefe Men make Wealth or Pleasure
to be theirs, we should certainly be thus affect-
Constraint, run upon those Objects : And we À should take as great Delight in Thinking of our
Treasure, and Contriving for the obtaining of
I say, Thus it would be with us. For I cannot for my Life apprehend, what Charms there I can be in Worldly or Sensual Things, to at
tract a Man's Mind; what Fetters there can be te in them, to bind his Thoughts, and tye them
to themselves: But that there are the same, i or greater, in Vertue and Goodness; in the
Love and Favour of God; in a Pure Conscience here, and Eternal Glory hereafterAlways' provided, that they are as much made the Objects of our Choice and Pursuit, as the other.
And therefore I cannot but , fufpect, where we fee Men fo very cold and backward to Spithe ritual Things; and fo apt to spend all their
Thoughts upon trifling, vain, or worldly * Matters, that it is with a great deal of Pains
and Reluctancy, that they can bring them. ot selves to think of their Everlasting Concern I ments: I say, I cannot but suspect that these Persons have not yet laid up their · Treasure in fi Heaven, as our Saviour expresseth it; they have not yet so wholly devoted themselves to : the Service of God, as to make it their Main it Business. When once they have done that, I dare assure them, they will find it fo far from being a Force upon them, to think of good Things, that it will be very natural to them; and they will find the greatest Pleasure in the World in so doing... · Secondly, Whoever would keep his Heart al-M ways in a good Frame, and be able to give Pa a good Account of his Thoughts to God, muft an have an especial Care to avoid Two Things, viz. Idleness, and louse Company: For both of in these do strangely unhinge a Man's Mind; a and disarm it of that Severity, which is its beft Guard and Defence against evil Thoughts ; and make it become an easie Prey to every Temptation that will attack it. " - A wise Man should never be at fych a pass, as to say, I have nothing to do, I do not know how to spend my next Hour: Bút should foorder the Courfe of his Life, that all the Portions of his Time, as much as is possible, may be filled with some useful, or at least some innocent Employment.
It is Idleness, and having nothing to do, that is the Mother of moft of thofe vain, and unprofitable, and sinful Fancies, in which some Men spend their Days. And whereas Temp. tations do now and then come in the way of
have done: not me
y natural na
can bring to other Men; the Idle Man is forc'd to seck out welling in Temptations for the Shipwreck of his Vertue. forang bayi And therefore no wonder, if he that seeks them, og finds abundance of them. (prelet it;
And truly, loose and impertinent Conversation, the which was the other Thing I named, though when it looks something with a better Grace, yet is
not much better than Idleness. For where
ever it is much used, it will fo emasculate a The Man's Mind, and take off the Edge and Vigour to think i
of it, as to serious Things, that he cannot easi
ly get it into a good Frame again. Evil Comiteft Pleafur munication (faith St. Paul) doth corrupt good
rs. And therefore those People, a great d keep his part of whose Life is taken up in gadding up ld be 20 and down; in Play; in merry Meetings; in tel. vuights to L ling or hearing idle Stories, and the like: it is avoid 7 impossible but their Thoughts and Inclinations, aupary: to and the whole Frame of their Hearts will be
ge a Mat suitable; that is to say, very frothy; very light City, whics and foolish; not to say, profane, and wicked,
evil 7 ho and Atheistical too, if the Company they much Prey to eres converse with, be of that strain.
Thirdly, Another Thing of great Moment, er be at it for the keeping our Hearts, is, to be as attentive to do, 1.as is possible to the first Motions of our Minds; r: But he and whenever we find that they tend toward - that al er something that is forbidden, to stop them, as s is polit Toon as we can. or at leal. We cannot, as I told you before, often pre
vent irregular Desires, or Passions, or Incliaving nations, from arising in our Minds, upon sunft of this dry Occasions. But this we can do: As soon ancies, iv as we are aware of them, we can refuse our ConAnd when tent to them; (and in that Cafe, I hope, they
en come idete