READER, — This Enchiridion, I present thee with, is the Fruit of Solitude: A School few care to learn in, tho’ None instructs us better. Some Parts of it are the Result of serious Reflection: Others the Fleshings of Lucid Intervals: Writ for private Satisfaction, and now publish’d for an Help to Human Conduct.
The Author blesseth God for his Retirement, and kisses that Gentle Hand which led him into it: For though it should prove Barren to the World, it can never do so to him.
He has now had some Time he could call his own; a Property he was never so much Master of before: In which he has taken a View of himself and the World; and observed wherein he hath hit and mist the Mark; What might have been done, what mended, and what avoided in his Human Conduct: Together with the Omissions and Excesses of others, as well Societies and Governments, as private Families, and Persons. And he verily thinks, were he to live over his Life again, he could not only, with God’s Grace, serve Him, but his Neighbor and himself, better than he hath done, and have Seven Years of his Time to spare. And yet perhaps he hath not been the Worst or the Idlest Man in the World; nor is he the Oldest. And this is the rather said, that it might quicken, Thee, Reader, to lose none of the Time that is yet thine.
There is nothing of which we are apt to be so lavish as of Time, and about which we ought to be more solicitous; since without it we can do nothing in this World. Time is what we want most, but what, alas! we use worst; and for which God will certainly most strictly reckon with us, when Time shall be no more.
It is of that Moment to us in Reference to both Worlds, that I can hardly wish any Man better, than that he would seriously consider what he does with his Time: How and to What Ends he Employs it; and what Returns he makes to God, his Neighbor and Himself for it. Will he ne’er have a Leidger for this? This, the greatest Wisdom and Work of Life.
To come but once into the World, and Trifle away our true Enjoyment of it, and of our selves in it, is lamentable indeed. This one Reflection would yield a thinking Person great Instruction.
And since nothing below Man can so Think; Man, In being Thoughtless, must needs fall below himself. And that, to be sure, such do, as are unconcern’d in the Use of their most Precious Time. 7.
This is but too evident, if we will allow our selves to consider, that there ‘s hardly any Thing we take by the Right End, or improve to its just Advantage.
We understand little of the Works of God, either In Nature or Grace. We pursue False Knowledge, and Mistake Education extreamly. We are violent in our Affections, Confused and Immethodical in our whole Life; making That a Burthen, which was given for a Blessing; and so of little Comfort to our selves or others; Misapprehending the true Notion of Happiness, and so missing of the Right Use of Life, and Way of happy Living.
And till we are perswaded to stop, and step a little aside, out of the noisy Crowd and Incumbering Hurry of the World, and Calmly take a Prospect of Thins, it will be impossible we should be able to make a right judgment of our Selves or know our own Misery. But after we have made the just Reckonings which Retirement will help us to, we shall begin to think the World in great measure Mad, and that we have been in a sort of Bedlam all this while.
Reader, whether Young or Old, think it not too soon or too late to turn over the Leaves of thy past Life: And be sure to fold down where any Passage of it may affect thee; And bestow thy Remainder of Time, to correct those Faults in thy future Conduct; Be it in Relation to this or the next life. What thou wouldst do, if what thou hast done were to do again, be sure to do as long as thou livest, upon the like Occasions.
Our Resolutions seem to be Vigorous, as often as we reflect upon our past Errors; But, Alas! they are apt to flat again upon fresh Temptations to the same Things.
The Author does not pretend to deliver thee an Exact Place; his Business not being Ostentation, but Charity. ‘Tis Miscellaneous in the Matter of it, and by no means Artificial in the Composure. But it contains Hints, that it may serve thee for Texts to Preach to thy Self upon, and which comprehend Much of the Course of Human Life: Since whether thou art Parent or Child, Prince or Subject, Master or Servant, Single or Married,
Publick or Private, Mean or Honorable, Rich or Poor, Prosperous or Improsperous, in Peace or Controversy, in Business or Solitude; Whatever be thy Inclination or Aversion, Practice or Duty, thou wilt find something not unsuitably said for thy Direction and Advantage. Accept and Improve what deserves thy Notice; The rest excuse, and place to account of good Will to Thee and the whole Creation of God. 13.
SOME FRUITS OF SOLITUDE IN REFLECTIONS AND MAXIMS
IT IS admirable to consider how many Millions of People come into, and go out of the World, Ignorant of themselves, and of the World they have lived in.
2. If one went to see Windsor-Castle, or Hampton-Court, it would be strange not to observe and remember the Situation, the Building, the Gardens, Fountains, &c.; that make up the Beauty and Pleasure of such a Seat? And yet few People know themselves; No, not their own Bodies, the Houses of their Minds, the most curious Structure of the World; a living walking Tabernacle: Nor the World of which it was made, and out of which it is fed; which would be so much our Benefit, as well as our Pleasure, to know. We cannot doubt of this when we are told that the Invisible Things of God are brought to light by the Things that are seen; and consequently we read our Duty in them as often as we look upon them, to him that is the Great and Wise Author of them, if we look as we should do.
3. The World is certainly a great and stately Volume of natural Things; and may be not improperly styled the Hieroglyphicks of a better: But, alas! how very few Leaves of it do we seriously turn over! This ought to be the Subject of the Education of our Youth, who, at Twenty, when they should be fit for Business, know little or nothing of it.
4. We are in Pain to make them Scholars, but not Men! To talk, rather than to know, which is true Canting.
5. The first Thing obvious to Children is what is sensible; and that we make no Part of their rudiments.
6. We press their Memory too soon, and puzzle, strain, and load them with Words and Rules; to know Grammer and Rhetorick, and a strange Tongue or two, that it is ten to one may never be useful to them; Leaving their natural Genius to Mechanical and Physical, or natural Knowledge uncultivated and neglected; which would be of exceeding Use and Pleasure to them through the whole Course of their Life.
7. To be sure, Languages are not to be despised or neglected. But Things are still to be preferred.
8. Children had rather be making of Tools and Instruments of Play; Shaping, Drawing, Framing, and Building, &c.; than getting some Rules of Propriety of Speech by Heart: And those also would follow with more judgment, and less Trouble and Time.
9. It were Happy if we studied Nature more in natural Things; and acted according to Nature; whose rules are few, plain and most reasonable.
10. Let us begin where she begins, go her Pace, and close always where she ends, and we cannot miss of being good Naturalists.
11. The Creation would not be longer a Riddle to us: The Heavens, Earth, and Waters, with their respective, various and numerous Inhabitants: Their Productions, Natures, Seasons, Sympathies and Antipathies; their Use, Benefit and Pleasure, would be better understood by us: And an eternal Wisdom, Power, Majesty, and Goodness, very conspicuous to us, thro’ those sensible and passing Forms: The World wearing the Mark of its Maker, whose Stamp is everywhere visible, and the Characters very legible to the Children of Wisdom.
12. And it would go a great way to caution and direct People in their Use of the World, that they were better studied and known in the Creation of it.
13. For how could Man find the Confidence to abuse it, while they should see the Great Creator stare them in the Face, in all and every part thereof?
14. Their Ignorance makes them insensible, and that
Insensibility hardy in misusing this noble Creation, that has the Stamp and Voice of a Deity every where, and in every Thing to the Observing. 27.
15. It is pity therefore that Books have not been composed for Youth, by some curious and careful Naturalists, and also Mechanicks, in the Latin Tongue, to be used in Schools, that they might learn Things with Words: Things obvious and familiar to them, and which would make the Tongue easier to be obtained by them.
16. Many able Gardiners and Husbandmen are yet Ignorant of the Reason of their Calling as most Artificers are of the Reason of their own Rules that govern their excellent Workmanship. But a Naturalist and Mechanick of this sort is Master of the Reason of both, and might be of the Practice too, if his Industry kept pace with his Speculation; which were very commendable; and without which he cannot be said to be a complete Naturalist or Mechanick.
17. Finally, if Man be the Index or Epitomy of the World, as Philosophers tell us, we have only to read our selves well to be learned in it. But because there is nothing we less regard than the Characters of the Power that made us, which are so clearly written upon us and the World he has given us, and can best tell us what we are and should be, we are even Strangers to our own Genius: The Glass in which we should see that true instructing and agreeable Variety, which is to be observed in Nature, to the Admiration of that Wisdom and Adoration of that Power which made us all.
18. And yet we are very apt to be full of our selves, instead of Him that made what we so much value; and, but for whom we can have no Reason to value our selves. For we have nothing that we can call our own; no, not our selves: For we are all but Tenants, and at Will too, of the great Lord of our selves, and the rest of this great Farm, the World that we live upon.
19. But methinks we cannot answer it to our Selves as well as our Maker, that we should live and die ignorant of our
Selves, and thereby of Him and the Obligations we are under to Him for our Selves. 32.
20. If the worth of a Gift sets the Obligation, and directs the return of the Party that receives it; he that is ignorant of it, will be at a loss to value it and the Giver, for it.
21. Here is Man in his Ignorance of himself. He knows not how to estimate his Creator, because he knows not how to value his Creation. If we consider his Make, and lovely Compositure; the several Stories of his lovely Structure. His divers Members, their Order, Function and Dependency: The Instruments of Food, the Vessels of Digestion, the several Transmutations it passes. And how Nourishment is carried and diffused throughout the whole Body, by most innate and imperceptible Passages. How the Animal Spirit is thereby refreshed, and with an unspeakable Dexterity and Motion sets all Parts at work to feed themselves. And last of all, how the Rational Soul is seated in the Animal, as its proper House, as is the Animal in the Body: I say if this rare Fabrick alone were but considered by us, with all the rest by which it is fed and comforted, surely Man would have a more reverent Sense of the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, and of that Duty he owes to Him for it. But if he would be acquainted with his own Soul, its noble Faculties, its Union with the Body, its Nature and End, and the Providences by which the whole Frame of Humanity is preserved, he would Admire and Adore his Good and Great God. But Man is become a strange Contradiction to himself; but it is of himself; Not being by Constitution, but Corruption, such.
22. He would have others obey him, even his own kind; but he will not obey God, that is so much above him, and who made him.
23. He will lose none of his Authority; no, not bate an Ace of it: He is humorous to his Wife, he beats his Children, is angry with his Servants, strict with his Neighbors, revenges all Affronts to Extremity; but, alas, forgets all the while that he is the Man; and is more in Arrear to God, that is so very patient with him, than they are to him with whom he is so strict and impatient.
24. He is curious to wash, dress, and perfume his Body, but careless of his Soul. The one shall have many Hours, the other not so many Minutes. This shall have three or four new Suits in a Year, but that must wear its old Cloaths still.
25. If he be to receive or see a great Man, how nice and anxious is he that all things be in order? And with what Respect and Address does he approach and make his Court? But to God, how dry and formal and constrained in his Devotion?
26. In his Prayers he says, Thy Will be done: But means his own: At least acts so.
27. It is too frequent to begin with God and end with the World. But He is the good Man’s Beginning and End; his Alpha and Omega.
28. Such is now become our Delicacy, that we will not eat ordinary Meat, nor drink small, pall’d Liquor; we must have the best, and the best cook’d for our Bodies, while our Souls feed on empty or corrupted Things.
29. In short, Man is spending all upon a bare House, and hath little or no Furniture within to recommend it; which is preferring the Cabinet before the jewel, a Lease of seven Years before an Inheritance. So absurd a thing is Man, after all his proud Pretences to Wit and Understanding.
30. The want of due Consideration is the Cause of all the Unhappiness Man brings upon himself. For his second Thoughts rarely agree with his first, which pass not without a considerable Retrenchment or Correction. And yet that sensible Warning is, too frequently, not Precaution enough for his future Conduct.
31. Well may we say our Infelicity is of our selves; since there is nothing we do that we should not do, but we know it, and yet do it.44.
DISAPPOINTMENT AND RESIGNATION
32. For Disappointments, that come not by our own Folly, they are the Tryals or Corrections of Heaven: And it is our own Fault, if they prove not our Advantage.
33. To repine at them does not mend the Matter: It is only to grumble at our Creator. But to see the Hand of God in them, with an humble submission to his Will, is the Way to turn our Water into Wine, and engage the greatest Love and Mercy on our side.
34. We must needs disorder our selves, if we only look at our Losses. But if we consider how little we deserve what is left, our Passion will cool, and our Murmurs will turn into Thankfulness.
35. If our Hairs fall not to the Ground, less do we or our Substance without God’s Providence.
36. Nor can we fall below the Arms of God, how low soever it be we fall.
37. For though our Saviour’s Passion is over, his Compassion is not. That never fails his humble, sincere Disciples: In him, they find more than all that they lose in the World.
38. Is it reasonable to take it ill, that any Body desires of us that which is their own? All we have is the Almighty’s: And shall not God have his own when he calls for it?
39. Discontentedness is not only in such a Case Ingratitude, but Injustice. For we are both unthankful for the time we had it, and not honest enough to restore it, if we could keep it.52.
40. But it is hard for us to look on things in such a Glass, and at such a Distance from this low World; and yet it is our Duty, and would be our Wisdom and our Glory to do so.
41. We are apt to be very pert at censuring others, where we will not endure advice our selves. And nothing shews our Weakness more than to be so sharp-sighted at spying other Men’s Faults, and so purblind about our own.
42. When the Actions of a Neighbor are upon the Stage, we can have all our Wits about us, are so quick and critical we can split an Hair, and find out ever Failure and Infirmity: But are without feeling, or have but very little Sense of our own.
43. Much of this comes from Ill Nature, as well as from an inordinate Value of our selves: For we love Rambling better than home, and blaming the unhappy, rather than covering and relieving them.
44. In such Occasions some shew their Malice, and are witty upon Misfortunes; others their Justice, they can reflect a pace: But few or none their Charity; especially if it be about Money Matters.
45. You shall see an old Miser come forth with a set Gravity, and so much Severity against the distressed, to excuse his Purse, that he will, e’er he has done, put it out of all Question, That Riches is Righteousness with him. This, says he, is the Fruit of your Prodigality (as if, poor Man, Covetousness were no Fault) Or, of your Projects, or grasping after a great Trade: While he himself would have done the same thing, but that he had not the Courage to venture so much ready Money out of his own trusty Hands, though it had been to have brought him back the Indies in return. But the Proverb is just, Vice should not correct Sin.
46. They have a Right to censure, that have a Heart to help: The rest is Cruelty, not Justice.
BOUNDS OF CHARITY
47. Lend not beyond thy Ability, nor refuse to lend out of thy Ability; especially when it will help others more than it can hurt thee.
48. If thy Debtor be honest and capable, thou hast thy Mony again, if not with Encrease, with Praise. If he prove insolvent, don’t ruin him to get that, which it will not ruin thee to lose: For thou art but a Steward, and another is thy Owner, Master and judge.
49. The more merciful Acts thou dost, the more Mercy thou wilt receive; and if with a charitable Imployment of thy Temporal Riches, thou gainest eternal Treasure, thy Purchase
is infinite: Thou wilt have found the Art of Multiplying indeed.62.
FRUGALITY OR BOUNTY
50. Frugality is good if Liberality be join’d with it. The first is leaving off superfluous Expences; the last bestowing them to the Benefit of others that need. The first without the last begins Covetousness; the last without the first begins Prodigality: Both together make an excellent Temper. Happy the Place where ever that is found.
51. Were it universal, we should be Cur’d of two Extreams, Want and Excess: and the one would supply the other, and so bring both nearer to a Mean; the just Degree of earthly Happiness.
52. It is a Reproach to Religion and Government to suffer so much Poverty and Excess.
53. Were the Superfluities of a Nation valued, and made a perpetual Tax or Benevolence, there would be more Alms- houses than Poor; Schools than Scholars; and enough to spare for Government besides.
54. Hospitality is good, if the poorer sort are the subjects of our Bounty; else too near a Superfluity.
55. If thou wouldst he happy and easie in thy Family, above all things observe Discipline.
56. Every one in it should know their Duty; and there should be a Time and Place for every thing; and whatever else is done or omitted, be sure to begin and end with God.
57. Love Labor: For if thou dost not want it for Food, thou mayest for Physick. It is wholesom for thy Body, and good for thy Mind. It prevents the Fruits of Idleness, which many times comes of nothing to do, and leads too many to do what is worse than nothing.
58. A Garden, an Elaboratory, a Work-house, Improvements
and Breeding, are pleasant and Profitable Diversions to the Idle and Ingenious: For here they miss Ill Company, and converse with Nature and Art; whose Variety are equally grateful and instructing; and preserve a good Constitution of Body and Mind.71.
59. To this a spare Diet contributes much. Eat therefore to live, and do not live to eat. That’s like a Man, but this below a Beast.
60. Have wholesome, but not costly Food, and be rather cleanly than dainty in ordering it.
61. The Receipts of Cookery are swell’d to a Volume, but a good Stomach excels them all; to which nothing contributes more than Industry and Temperance.
62. It is a cruel Folly to offer up to Ostentation so many Lives of Creatures, as make up the State of our Treats; as it is a prodigal one to spend more in Sawce than in Meat.
63. The Proverb says, That enough is as good as a Feast: But it is certainly better, if Superfluity be a Fault, which never fails to be at Festivals.
64. If thou rise with an Appetite, thou art sure never to sit down without one.
65. Rarely drink but when thou art dry; nor then, between Meals, if it can be avoided.
66. The smaller4 the Drink, the clearer the Head, and the cooler the Blood; which are great Benefits in Temper and Business.
67. Strong Liquors are good at some Times, and in small Proportions; being better for Physick than Food, for Cordials than common Use.
68. The most common things are the most useful; which shews both the Wisdom and Goodness of the great Lord of the Family of the World.
69. What therefore he has made rare, don’t thou use too commonly: Lest thou shouldest invert the Use and Order of things; become Wanton and Voluptuous; and thy Blessings prove a Curse.
70. Let nothing be lost, said our saviour. But that is lost that is misused.
71. Neither urge another to that thou wouldst be unwilling to do thy self, nor do thy self what looks to thee unseemly, and intemperate in another.
72. All Excess is ill: But Drunkenness is of the worst Sort. It spoils Health, dismounts the Mind, and unmans Men: It reveals Secrets, is Quarrelsome, Lascivious, Impudent, Dangerous and Mad. In fine, he that is drunk is not a Man: Because he is so long void of Reason, that distinguishes a Man from a Beast.
73. Excess in Apparel is another costly Folly. The very Trimming of the vain World would cloath all the naked one.
74. Chuse thy Cloaths by thine own Eyes, not another’s. The more plain and simple they are, the better. Neither unshapely, nor fantastical; and for Use and decency, and not for Pride.
75. If thou art clean and warm, it is sufficient; for more doth but rob the Poor, and please the Wanton.
76. It is said of the true Church, the King’s Daughter is all glorious within. Let our Care therefore be of our Minds more than of our Bodies, if we would be of her Communion.
77. We are told with Truth, that Meekness and Modesty are the Rich and Charming Attire of the Soul: And the plainer the Dress, the more Distinctly, and with greater Lustre, their Beauty shines.
78. It is great Pity such Beauties are so rare, and those of Jezebel’s Forehead are so common: Whose Dresses are Incentives to Lust; but Bars instead of Motives, to Love or Vertue.
79. Never Marry but for Love; but see that thou lov’st what is lovely.
80. If Love be not thy chiefest Motive, thou wilt soon grow weary of a Married State, and stray from thy Promise, to search out thy Pleasures in forbidden Places.
81. Let not Enjoyment lessen, but augment Affection; it being the basest of Passions to like when we have not, what we slight when we possess.
82. It is the difference betwixt Lust and Love, that this is fixt, that volatile. Love grows, Lust wastes by Enjoyment: And the Reason is, that one springs from an union of Souls, and the other from an Union of Sense.
83. They have Divers Originals, and so are of different Families: That inward and deep, this superficial, this transient, and that parmanent.
84. They that Marry for Money cannot have the true Satisfaction of Marriage; the requisite Means being wanting.
85. Men are generally more careful of the Breed of their Horses and Dogs than of their Children.
86. Those must be of the best Sort, for Shape, Strength, Courage and good Conditions: But as for these, their own Posterity, Money shall answer all Things. With such, it makes the Crooked Straight, sets Squint-Eyes Right, cures Madness, covers Folly, changes ill Conditions, mends the Skin, gives a sweet Breath, repairs Honors, makes Young, works Wonders.
87. O how sordid is Man grown! Man, the noblest Creature in the World, as a God on Earth, and the Image of him that made it; thus to mistake Earth for Heaven, and worship Gold for God!100.
88. Covetousness is the greatest of Monsters, as well as the Root of all Evil. I have once seen the Man that dyed to save Charges. What! Give Ten Shillings to a Doctor, and have an Apothecary’s Bill besides, that may come to I know not what! No, not he: Valuing Life less than Twenty Shillings. But indeed such a Man could not well set too low a Price upon himself; who, though he liv’d up to the Chin in Bags, had rather die than find in his Heart to open one of them, to help to save his Life.
89. Such a Man is felo de se, and deserves not Christian Burial.
90. He is a common Nusance, a Weyer across the Stream
that stops the Current: An Obstruction, to be remov’d by a Purge of the Law. The only Gratification he gives his Neighbors, is to let them see that he himself is as little the better for what he has, as they are. For he always looks like Lent; a Sort of Lay Minim.7 In some Sense he may be compar’d to Pharoah’s lean Kine, for all that he has does him no good. He commonly wears his Cloaths till they leave him, or that no Body else can wear them. He affects to be thought poor, to escape Robbery and Taxes: And by looking as if he wanted an Alms, excusing himself from giving any. He ever goes late to Markets, to cover buying the worst: But does it because that is cheapest. He lives of the Offal. His Life were an insupportable Punishment to any Temper but his own: And no greater Torment to him on Earth, than to live as other Men do. But the Misery of his Pleasure is, that he is never satisfied with getting, and always in Fear of losing what he cannot use.
91. How vilely has he lost himself, that becomes a Slave to his Servant, and exalts him to the Dignity of his Maker! Gold is the God, the Wife, the Friend of the Money-Monger of the World.
92. But in Marriage do thou be wise; prefer the Person before Money; Vertue before Beauty, the Mind before the Body: Then thou hast a Wife, a Friend, a Companion, a Second Self; one that bears an equal Share with thee in all thy Toyls and Troubles.
93. Chuse one that Measures her satisfaction, Safety and Danger, by thine; and of whom thou art sure, as of thy secretest Thoughts: A Friend as well as a Wife, which indeed a Wife implies: For she is but half a Wife that is not, or is not capable of being such a Friend.
94. Sexes make no Difference; since in Souls there is none: And they are the Subjects of Friendship.
95. He that minds a Body and not a Soul, has not the better Part of that Relation; and will consequently want the Noblest Comfort of a Married Life.
96. The Satisfaction of our Senses is low, short, and transient: But the Mind gives a more raised and extended Pleasure, and is capable of an Happiness founded upon Reason; not bounded and limited by the Circumstances that Bodies are confin’d to.
97. Here it is we ought to search out our Pleasure, where the Field is large and full of Variety, and of an induring Nature: Sickness, Poverty, or Disgrace, being not able to shake it, because it is not under the moving Influences of Worldly Contingencies.
98. The Satisfaction of those that do so is in well-doing, and in the Assurance they have of a future Reward: That they are best loved of those they love most, and that they enjoy and value the Liberty of their Minds above that of their Bodies; having the whole Creation for their Prospect, the most Noble and Wonderful Works and Providences of God, the Histories of the Antients, and in them the Actions and Examples of the Vertuous; and lastly, themselves, their Affairs and Family, to exercise their Minds and Friendship upon.
99. Nothing can be more entire and without Reserve; nothing more zealous, affectionate and sincere; nothing more contented and constant than such a Couple; nor no greater temporal Felicity than to be one of them.
100. Between a Man and his Wife nothing ought to rule but Love. Authority is for Children and Servants; yet not without Sweetness.113.
101. As Love ought to bring them together, so it is the best Way to keep them well together.
102. Wherefore use her not as a Servant, whom thou would’st, perhaps, have serv’d Seven Years to have obtained.
103. An Husband and Wife that love and value one another, shew their Children and Servants, That they should do so too. Others visibly lose their Authority in their Families by their Contempt of one another; and teach their Children to be unnatural by their own Example.116.
104. It is a general Fault, not to be more careful to preserve Nature in Children; who, at least in the second Descent, hardly have the Feeling of their Relation; which must be an unpleasant Reflection to affectionate Parents.
105. Frequent Visits, Presents, intimate Correspondence and Intermarriages within allowed Bounds, are Means of
keeping up the Concern and Affection that Nature requires from Relations. 118.
106. Friendship is the next Pleasure we may hope for: And where we find it not at home, or have no home to find it in, we may seek it abroad. It is an Union of Spirits, a Marriage of Hearts, and the Bond thereof Vertue.
107. There can be no Friendship where there is no Freedom. Friendship loves a free Air, and will not be penned up in streight and narrow Enclosures. It will speak freely, and act so too; and take nothing ill where no ill is meant; nay, where it is, ’twill easily forgive, and forget too, upon small Acknowledgments.
108. Friends are true Twins in Soul; they Sympathize in every thing, and have the Love and Aversion.
109. One is not happy without the other, nor can either of them be miserable alone. As if they could change Bodies, they take their turns in Pain as well as in Pleasure; relieving one another in their most adverse Conditions.
110. What one enjoys, the other cannot Want. Like the Primitive Christians, they have all things in common, and no Property but in one another.
QUALITIES OF A FRIEND
111. A true Friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a Friend unchangeably.
112. These being the Qualities of a Friend, we are to find them before we chuse one.
113. The Covetous, the Angry, the Proud, the Jealous, the Talkative, cannot but make ill Friends, as well as the False.
114. In short, chuse a Friend as thou dost a Wife, till Death separate you.
115. Yet be not a Friend beyond the Altar: but let Virtue bound thy Friendship: Else it is not Friendship, but an Evil Confederacy. 128.
116. If my Brother or Kinsman will be my Friend, I ought
to prefer him before a Stranger, or I shew little Duty or Nature to my Parents.
117. And as we ought to prefer our Kindred in Point of Affection, so too in Point of Charity, if equally needing and deserving.
CAUTION AND CONDUCT
118. Be not easily acquainted, lest finding Reason to cool, thou makest an Enemy instead of a good Neighbor.131.
119. Be Reserved, but not Sour; Grave, but not Formal; Bold, but not Rash; Humble, but not Servile; Patient, not Insensible; Constant, not Obstinate; Chearful, not Light; Rather Sweet than Familiar; Familiar, than Intimate; and Intimate with very few, and upon very good Grounds.
120. Return the Civilities thou receivest, and be grateful for Favors.
121. If thou hast done an Injury to another, rather own it than defend it. One way thou gainest Forgiveness, the other, thou doubl’st the Wrong and Reckoning.
122. Some oppose Honor to Submission: But it can be no Honor to maintain, what it is dishonorable to do.135.
123. To confess a Fault, that is none, out of Fear, is indeed mean: But not to be afraid of standing in one, is Brutish.
124. We should make more Haste to Right our Neighbor, than we do to wrong him, and instead of being Vindicative, we should leave him to be judge of his own Satisfaction.
125. True Honor will pay treble Damages, rather than justifie one wrong with another.
126. In such Controversies, it is but too common for some to say, Both are to blame, to excuse their own Unconcernedness, which is a base Neutrality. Others will cry, They are both alike; thereby involving the Injured with the Guilty, to mince the Matter for the Faulty, or cover their own Injustice to the wronged Party.
127. Fear and Gain are great Perverters of Mankind, and where either prevail, the judgment is violated.
128. Avoid Company where it is not profitable or necessary; and in those Occasions speak little, and last.
129. Silence is Wisdom, where Speaking is Folly; and always safe.
130. Some are so Foolish as to interrupt and anticipate those that speak, instead of hearing and thinking before they answer; which is uncivil as well as silly.
131. If thou thinkest twice, before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it.
132. Better say nothing than not to the Purpose. And to speak pertinently, consider both what is fit, and when it is fit to speak.
133. In all Debates, let Truth be thy Aim, not Victory, or an unjust Interest: And endeavor to gain, rather than to expose thy Antagonist.
134. Give no Advantage in Argument, nor lose any that is offered. This is a Benefit which arises from Temper.147.
135. Don’t use thy self to dispute against thine own judgment, to shew Wit, lest it prepare thee to be too indifferent about what is Right: Nor against another Man, to vex him, or for mere Trial of Skill; since to inform, or to be informed, ought to be the End of all Conferences.
136. Men are too apt to be concerned for their Credit, more than for the Cause.
137. There is a Truth and Beauty in Rhetorick; but it oftener serves ill Turns than good ones.
138. Elegancy, is a good Meen and Address given to Matter, be it by proper or figurative Speech: Where the Words are apt, and allusions very natural, Certainly it has a moving Grace: But it is too artificial for Simplicity, and oftentimes for Truth. The Danger is, lest it delude the Weak, who in such Cases may mistake the Handmaid for the Mistress, if not Error for Truth.
139. ‘Tis certain Truth is least indebted to it, because she has least need of it, and least uses it.
140. But it is a reprovable Delicacy in them, that despise Truth in plain Cloths.
141. Such Luxuriants have but false Appetites; like those Gluttons, that by Sawces force them, where they have no Stomach, and Sacrifice to their Pallate, not their Health: Which cannot be without great Vanity, nor That without some Sin.
142. Nothing does Reason more Right, than the Coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the Heat of its Defenders, than from the Arguments of its Opposers.
143. Zeal ever follows an Appearance of Truth, and the Assured are too apt to be warm; but ‘t is their weak side in Argument; Zeal being better shewn against Sin, than Persons or their Mistakes.
144. Where thou art Obliged to speak, be sure speak the Truth: For Equivocation is half way to Lying, as Lying, the whole way to Hell.
145. Believe nothing against another but upon good Authority: Nor report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to others to conceal it.
146. It is wise not to seek a Secret, and honest not to reveal one.
147. Only trust thy self, and another shall not betray thee.
148. Openness has the Mischief, though not the Malice of Treachery.
149. Never assent merely to please others. For that is, besides Flattery, oftentimes Untruth; and discovers a Mind liable to be servile and base: Nor contradict to vex others,
for that shows an ill Temper, and provokes, but profits no Body. 161.
150. Do not accuse others to excuse thy self; for that is neither Generous nor Just. But let Sincerity and Ingenuity be thy Refuge, rather than Craft and Falsehood: for Cunning borders very near upon Knavery.162.
151. Wisdom never uses nor wants it. Cunning to Wise, is as an Ape to a Man.
152. Interest has the Security, tho’ not the Virtue of a Principle. As the World goes ‘t is the surer side; For Men daily leave both Relations and Religion to follow it.
153. ‘Tis an odd Sight, but very evident, That Families and Nations, of cross Religions and Humors unite against those of their own, where they find an Interest to do it.
154. We are tied down by our Senses to this World; and where that is in Question, it can be none with Worldly Men, whether they should not forsake all other Considerations for it.
155. Have a care of Vulgar Errors. Dislike, as well as Allow Reasonably.
156. Inquiry is Human; Blind Obedience Brutal. Truth never loses by the one, but often suffers by the other.168.
157. The usefulest Truths are plainest: And while we keep to them, our Differences cannot rise high.
158. There may be a Wantonness in Search, as well as a Stupidity in Trusting. It is great Wisdom equally to avoid the Extreams.
159. Do nothing improperly. Some are Witty, Kind, Cold, Angry, Easie, Stiff, Jealous, Careless, Cautious, Confident, Close, Open, but all in the wrong Place.
160. It is all mistaking where the Matter is of Importance.
161. It is not enough that a thing be Right, if it be not fit to be done. If not Imprudent, tho’ just, it is not advisable. He that loses by getting, had better lose than get
162. Knowledge is the Treasure, but Judgment the Treasurer of a Wise Man.
163. He that has more Knowledge than Judgment, is made for another Man’s use more than his own.
164. It cannot be a good Constitution, where the Appetite is great and the Digestion is weak.
165. There are some Men like Dictionaries; to be lookt into upon occasions, but have no Connection, and are little entertaining.
166. Less Knowledge than Judgment will always have the advantage upon the Injudicious knowing Man.
167. A Wise Man makes what he learns his own, ‘tother shows he’s but a Copy, or a Collection at most.
168. Wit is an happy and striking way of expressing a Thought.
169. ‘Tis not often tho’ it be lively and mantling, that it carries a great Body with it.
170. Wit therefore is fitter for Diversion than Business, being more grateful to Fancy than judgment.182.
171. Less Judgment than Wit, is more Sale than Ballast.
172. Yet it must be confessed, that Wit gives an Edge to Sense, and recommends it extreamly.
173. Where Judgment has Wit to express it, there’s the best Orator.
OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS
174. If thou wouldest be obeyed, being a Father; being a Son, be Obedient.
175. He that begets thee, owes thee; and has a natural Right over thee.
176. Next to God, thy Parents; next them, the Magistrate.
177. Remember that thou are not more indebted to thy Parents for thy Nature, than for thy Love and Care.
178. Rebellion therefore in Children, was made Death by God’s Law, and the next Sin to Idolatry, in the People; which is renouncing of God, the Parent of all.
179. Obedience to Parents is not only our Duty, but our Interest. If we received our Life from them, We prolong it by obeying them: For Obedience is the first Commandment with Promise.
180. The Obligation is as indissolvable as the Relation.
181. If we must not disobey God to obey them; at least we must let them see, that there is nothing else in our refusal. For some unjust Commands cannot excuse the general Neglect of our Duty. They will be our Parents and we must be their Children still: And if we cannot act for them against God, neither can we act against them for ourselves or anything else.
182. A Man in Business must put up many Affronts, if he loves his own Quiet.
183. We must not pretend to see all that we see, if we would be easie.
184. It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
185. A vindictive Temper is not only uneasie to others, but to them that have it.
186. Rarely Promise: But, if Lawful, constantly perform.
187. Hasty Resolutions are of the Nature of Vows; and to be equally avoided.199.
188. I will never do this, says one, yet does it: I am resolved to do this, says another; but flags upon second Thoughts: Or does it, tho’ awkwardly, for his Word’s sake: As if it were worse to break his Word, than to do amiss in keeping it.
189. Wear none of thine own Chains; but keep free, whilst thou art free.
190. It is an Effect of Passion that Wisdom corrects, to
lay thy self under Resolutions that cannot be well made, and must be worse performed.
191. Avoid all thou canst to be Entrusted: But do thy utmost to discharge the Trust thou undertakest: For Carelessness is Injurious, if not Unjust.
192. The Glory of a Servant is Fidelity; which cannot be without Diligence, as well as Truth.
193. Fidelity has Enfranchised Slaves, and Adopted Servants to be Sons.
194. Reward a good Servant well: And rather quit than Disquiet thy self with an ill one.
195. Mix Kindness with Authority; and rule more by Discretion than Rigor.
196. If thy Servant be faulty, strive rather to convince him of his Error, than discover thy Passion: And when he is sensible, forgive him.
197. Remember he is thy Fellow-Creature, and that God’s Goodness, not thy Merit, has made the Difference betwixt Thee and Him.
198. Let not thy Children Domineer over thy Servants: Nor suffer them to slight thy Children.
199. Suppress Tales in the general: But where a Matter requires notice, encourage the Complaint, and right the Aggrieved.211.
200. If a Child, he ought to Entreat, and not to Command; and if a Servant, to comply where he does not obey.
201. Tho’ there should be but one Master and Mistress in a Family, yet Servants should know that Children have the Reversion.
202. Indulge not unseemly Things in thy Master’s Children, nor refuse them what is fitting: For one is the highest
Unfaithfulness, and the other, Indiscretion as well as Disrespect.214.
203. Do thine own Work honestly and chearfully: And when that is done, help thy Fellow; that so another time he may help thee.
204. If thou wilt be a Good Servant, thou must be True; and thou canst not be True if thou Defraud’st thy Master.216.
205. A Master may be Defrauded many ways by a servant: As in Time, Care, Pains, Money, Trust.
206. But, a True Servant is the Contrary: He’s Diligent, Careful, Trusty. He Tells no Tales, Reveals no Secrets, Refuses no Pains: Not to be Tempted by Gain, nor aw’d by Fear, to Unfaithfulness.
207. Such a Servant, serves God in serving his Master; and has double Wages for his Work, to wit, Here and Hereafter.
208. Be not fancifully jealous: For that is Foolish; as, to be reasonably so, is Wise.
209. He that superfines up another Man’s Actions, cozens himself, as well as injures them.
210. To be very subtil and scrupulous in Business, is as hurtful, as being over-confident and secure.
211. In difficult Cases, such a Temper is Timorous; and in dispatch Irresolute.
212. Experience is a safe Guide: And a Practical Head, is a great Happiness in Business.
213. We are too careless of Posterity; not considering that as they are, so the next Generation will be.
214. If we would amend the World, we should mend Our selves; and teach our Children to be, not what we are, but what they should be.
215. We are too apt to awaken and turn up their Passions by the Examples of our own; and to teach them to be pleased, not with what is best, but with what pleases best.
216. It is our Duty, and ought to be our Care, to ward against that Passion in them, which is more especially our Own Weakness and Affliction: For we are in great measure accountable for them, as well as for our selves.
217. We are in this also true Turners of the World upside down; For Money is first, and Virtue last, and least in our care.
218. It is not How we leave our Children, but What we leave them.230.
219. To be sure Virtue is but a Supplement, and not a Principal in their Portion and Character: And therefore we see so little Wisdom or Goodness among the Rich, in proportion to their Wealth.
A COUNTRY LIFE
220. The Country Life is to be preferr’d; for there we see the Works of God; but in Cities little else but the Works of Men: And the one makes a better Subject for our Contemplation than the other.
221. As Puppets are to Men, and Babies to Children, so is Man’s Workmanship to God’s: We are the Picture, he the Reality.
222. God’s Works declare his Power, Wisdom and Goodness; but Man’s Works, for the most part, his Pride, Folly and Excess. The one is for use, the other, chiefly, for Ostentation and Lust.
223. The Country is both the Philosopher’s Garden and his Library, in which he Reads and Contemplates the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God.235.
224. It is his Food as well as Study; and gives him Life, as well as Learning.236.
225. A Sweet and Natural Retreat from Noise and Talk, and allows opportunity for Reflection, and gives the best Subjects for it.
226. In short, ‘t is an Original, and the Knowledge and Improvement of it, Man’s oldest Business and Trade, and the best he can be of.
ART AND PROJECT
227. Art, is Good, where it is beneficial. Socrates wisely bounded his Knowledge and Instruction by Practice.
228. Have a care therefore of Projects: And yet despise nothing rashly, or in the Lump.
229. Ingenuity, as well as Religion, sometimes suffers between two Thieves; Pretenders and Despisers.
230. Though injudicious and dishonest Projectors often discredit Art, yet the most useful and extraordinary Inventions have not, at first, escap’d the Scorn of Ignorance; as their Authors, rarely, have cracking of their Heads, or breaking their backs.242.
231. Undertake no Experiment, in Speculation, that appears not true in Art; nor then, at thine own Cost, if costly or hazardous in making.
232. As many Hands make light Work, so several Purses make cheap Experiments.
233. Industry, is certainly very commendable, and supplies the want of Parts.245.
234. Patience and Diligence, like Faith, remove Mountains.
235. Never give out while there is Hope; but hope not beyond Reason, for that shews more Desire than Judgment.
236. It is a profitable Wisdom to know when we have done enough: Much Time and Pains are spared, in not flattering our selves against Probabilities.
237. Do Good with what thou hast, or it will do thee no good.
238. Seek not to be Rich, but Happy. The one lies in Bags, the other in Content: which Wealth can never give.
239. We are apt to call things by wrong Names. We will have Prosperity to be Happiness, and Adversity to be Misery; though that is the School of Wisdom, and oftentimes the way to Eternal Happiness.
240. If thou wouldest be Happy, bring thy Mind to thy Condition, and have an Indifferency for more than what is sufficient.
241. Have but little to do, and do it thy self: And do to others as thou wouldest have them do to thee: So, thou canst not fail of Temporal Felicity.
242. The generality are the worse for their Plenty: The Voluptuous consumes it, the Miser hides it: ‘Tis the good Man that uses it, and to good Purposes. But such are hardly found among the Prosperous.
243. Be rather Bountiful, than Expensive.
244. Neither make nor go to Feasts, but let the laborious Poor bless thee at Home in their Solitary Cottages.
245. Never voluntarily want what thou hast in Possession; nor sospend it as to involve thyself in want unavoidable.
246. Be not tempted to presume by Success: For many that have got largely, have lost all, by coveting to get more.
247. To hazard much to get much, has more of Avarice than Wisdom.
248. It is great Prudence both to Bound and Use Prosperity.
249. Too few know when they have Enough; and fewer know how to employ it.
250. It is equally adviseable not to part lightly with what is hardly gotten, and not to shut up closely what flows in freely.
251. Act not the Shark upon thy Neighbors; nor take Advantage of the Ignorance, Prodigality or Necessity of any one: For that is next door to Fraud, and, at best, makes but an Unblest Gain.263.
252. It is oftentimes the judgment of God upon Greedy Rich Men, that he suffers them to push on their Desires of Wealth to the Excess of over-reaching, grinding or oppression, which poisons all the rest they have gotten: So that it commonly runs away as fast, and by as bad ways as it was heap’d up together.
253. Never esteem any Man, or thy self, the more for Money; nor think the meaner of thy self or another for want of it: Vertue being the just Reason of respecting, and the want of it, of slighting any one.
255. He that prefers him upon other accounts, bows to an Idol.
256. Unless Virtue guide us, our Choice must be wrong.267.
257. An able bad Man, is an ill Instrument, and to be shunned as the Plague.268.
258. Be not deceived with the first appearances of things, but give thy self Time to be in the right.
259. Show, is not Substance: Realities Govern Wise Men.
260. Have a Care therefore where there is more Sail than Ballast.
261. In all Business it Is best to put nothing to hazard: But where it is unavoidable, be not rash, but firm and resign’d.
262. We should not be troubled for what we cannot help: But if it was our Fault, let it be so no more. Amendment is Repentance, if not Reparation.
263. As a Desperate Game needs an able Gamester, so Consideration often would prevent, what the best skill in the World Cannot Recover.274.
264. Where the Probability of Advantage exceeds not that of Loss, Wisdom never Adventures.275.
265. To Shoot well Flying is well; but to Chose it, has more of Vanity than judgment.276.
266. To be Dextrous in Danger is a Virtue; but to Court Danger to show it, is Weakness.
267. Have a care of that base Evil Detraction. It is the Fruit of Envy, as that is of Pride; the immediate Offspring of the Devil: Who, of an Angel, a Lucifer, a Son of the Morning, made himself a Serpent, a Devil, a Beelzebub, and all that is obnoxious to the Eternal Goodness.
268. Vertue is not secure against Envy. Men will Lessen what they won’t Imitate.
269. Dislike what deserves it, but never Hate: For that is of the Nature of Malice; which is almost ever to Persons, not Things, and is one of the blackest Qualities Sin begets in the Soul.
270. It were an happy Day if Men could bound and qualifie their Resentments with Charity to the Offender: For then our Anger would be without Sin, and better convict and edifie the Guilty; which alone can make it lawful.
271. Not to be provok’d is best: But if mov’d, never correct till the Fume is spent; For every Stroke our Fury strikes, is sure to hit our selves at last.282.
272. If we did but observe the Allowances our Reason makes upon Reflection, when our Passion is over, we could not want a Rule how to behave our selves again in the like Occasions.
273. We are more prone to Complain than Redress, and to Censure than Excuse.284.
274. It is next to unpardonable, that we can so often Blame what we will not once mend. It shews, we know, but will not do our Master’s Will.
275. They, that censure, should Practice: Or else let them have the first stone, and the last too.
276. Nothing needs a Trick but a Trick; Sincerity loathes one.
277. We must take care to do Right Things Rightly: For a just Sentence may be unjustly executed.
278. Circumstances give great Light to true Judgment, if well weigh’d.
279. Passion is a sort of Fever in the Mind, which ever leaves us weaker than it found us.
280. But being, intermitting to be sure, ‘t is curable with care.
281. It more than any thing deprives us of the use of our Judgment; for it raises a Dust very hard to see through.
282. Like Wine, whose Lees fly by being jogg’d, it is too muddy to Drink.
283. It may not unfitly be termed, the Mob of the Man, that commits a Riot upon his Reason.
284. I have sometimes thought, that a Passionate Man is like a weak Spring that cannot stand long lock’d.
285. And as true, that those things are unfit for use, that can’t bear small Knocks, without breaking.
286. He that won’t hear can’t Judge, and he that can’t bear Contradiction, may, with all his Wit, miss the Mark.
287. Objection and Debate Sift out Truth, which needs Temper as well as Judgment.
288. But above all, observe it in Resentments, for their Passion is most Extravagant.
289. Never chide for Anger, but Instruction.
290. He that corrects out of Passion, raises Revenge sooner than Repentance.
291. It has more of Wantonness than Wisdom, and resembles those that Eat to please their Pallate, rather than their Appetite.
292. It is the difference between a Wise and a Weak Man; This judges by the Lump, that by Parts and their Connection.
293. The Greeks use to say, all Cases are governed by their Circumstances. The same thing may be well and ill as they change or vary the Matter.304.
294. A Man’s Strength is shewn by his Bearing. Bonum Agere, & Male Pati, Regis est.305.
295. Reflect without Malice but never without Need306.
296. Despise no Body, nor no Condition; lest it come to be thine own.
297. Never Rail nor Taunt. The one is Rude, the other Scornful, and both Evil.
298. Be not provoked by Injuries, to commit them.
299. Upbraid only Ingratitude.
300. Haste makes Work which Caution prevents.311.
301. Tempt no Man; lest thou fall for it.312.
302. Have a care of presuming upon After-Games: For if that miss, all is gone.
303. Opportunities should never be lost, because they can hardly be regained.
304. It is well to cure, but better to prevent a Distemper. The first shows more Skill, but the last more Wisdom.
305. Never make a Tryal of Skill in difficult or hazardous Cases.
306. Refuse not to be informed: For that shews Pride or Stupidity.
307. Humility and Knowledge in poor Cloaths, excel Pride and Ignorance in costly attire.
308. Neither despise, nor oppose, what thou dost not understand.
309. We must not be concern’d above the Value of the thing that engages us; nor raised above Reason, in maintaining what we think reasonable.
310.It is too common an Error, to invert the Order of Things; by making an End of that which is a Means, and a Means of that which is an End.
311. Religion and Government escape not this Mischief: The first is too often made a Means instead of an End; the other an End instead of a Means.
312. Thus Men seek Wealth rather than Subsistence; and the End of Cloaths is the least Reason of their Use. Nor is the satisfying of our Appetite our End in Eating, so much as the pleasing of our Pallate. The like may also be said of Building, Furniture, &c.; where the Man rules not the Beast, and Appetite submits not to Reason.
313. It is great Wisdom to proportion our Esteem to the Nature of the Thing: For as that way things will not he undervalued, so neither will they engage as above their intrinsick worth.
314. If we suffer little Things to have great hold upon us,
we shall be as much transported for them, as if they deserv’d it.
315. It is an old Proverb, Maxima bella ex levissimus causis: The greatest Feuds have had the smallest Beginnings.
316. No matter what the Subject of the Dispute be, but what place we give it in our Minds: For that governs our Concern and Resentment.
317. It is one of the fatalest Errors of our Lives, when we spoil a good Cause by an ill Management: And it is not impossible but we may mean well in an ill Business; but that will not defend it.
318. If we are but sure the End is Right, we are too apt to gallop over all Bounds to compass it; not considering that lawful Ends may be very unlawfully attained.
319. Let us be careful to take just ways to compass just Things; that they may last in their Benefits to us.
320. There is a troublesome Humor some Men have, that if they may not lead, they will not follow; but had rather a thing were never done, than not done their own way, tho’ other ways very desirable.
321. This comes of an over-fulness of our selves; and shows we are more concern’d for Praise, than the Success of what we think a good Thing.
322. Affect not to be seen, and Men will less see thy Weakness.
323. They that shew more than they are, raise an Expectation they cannot answer; and so lose their Credit, as soon as they are found out.
324. Avoid Popularity. It has many Snares, and no real Benefit to thy self; and Uncertainty to others.
325. Remember the Proverb, Bene qui latuit, bent vixit. They are happy that live Retiredly.
326. If this be true, Princes and their Grandees, of all Men, are the unhappiest: For they live least alone: And
they that must be enjoyed by every Body, can never enjoy themselves as they should.
327. It is the Advantage little Men have upon them; they can be Private, and have leisure for Family Comforts, which are the greatest worldly Contents Men can enjoy.
328. But they that place Pleasure in Greediness, seek it there: And we see Rule is as much the Ambition of some Natures, as Privacy is the Choice of others.
329. Government has many Shapes: But ‘t is Sovereignty, tho’ not Freedom, in all of them.
330. Rex & Tyrannus are very different Characters: One Rules his People by Laws, to which they consent; the other by his absolute Will and Power. That is call’d Freedom, This Tyranny.
331. The first is endanger’d by the Ambition of the Popular, which shakes the Constitution: The other by an ill Administration, which hazards the Tyrant and his Family.
332. It is great Wisdom in Princes of both sorts, not to strain Points too high with their People: For whether the People have a Right to oppose them or not, they are ever sure to attempt it, when things are carried too far; though the Remedy oftentimes proves worse than the Disease.
333. Happy that King who is great by Justice, and that People who are free by Obedience.
334. Where the Ruler is Just, he may be strict; else it is two to one it turns upon him: And tho’ he should prevail, he can be no Gainer, where his People are the Losers.
335. Princes must not have Passions in Government, nor Resent beyond Interest and Religion.
336. Where Example keeps pace with Authority, Power hardly fails to be obey’d, and Magistrates to be honored.
337. Let the People think they Govern and they will be Govern’d.
338. This cannot fail, if Those they Trust, are Trusted.
339. That Prince that is Just to them in great things, and Humors them sometimes in small ones, is sure to have and keep them from all the World.
340. For the People is the Politick Wife of the Prince, that may be better managed by Wisdom, than ruled by Force.
341. But where the Magistrate is partial and serves ill turns, he loses his Authority with the People; and gives the Populace opportunity to gratifie their Ambition: And to lay a Stumbling-block for his People to fall.
342. It is true, that where a Subject is more Popular than the Prince, the Prince is in Danger: But it is as true, that it is his own Fault: For no Body has the like Means, Interest or Reason, to be popular as He.352.
343. It is an unaccountable thing, that some Princes incline rather to be fear’d than lov’d; when they see, that Fear does not oftener secure a Prince against the Dissatisfaction of his People, than Love makes a Subject too many for such a Prince.
344. Certainly Service upon Inclination is like to go farther than Obedience upon Compulsion.
345. The Romans had a just Sense of this, when they plac’d Optimus before Maximus, to their most Illustrious Captains and Cesars.
346. Besides, Experience tells us, That Goodness raises a nobler Passion in the Soul, and gives a better Sense of Duty than Severity.
347. What did Pharaoh get by increasing the Israelites Task? Ruine to himself in the End.
348. Kings, chiefly in this, should imitate God: Their Mercy should be above all their Works.
349. The Difference between the Prince and the Peasant, is in this World: But a Temper ought to be observ’d by him that has the Advantage here, because of the Judgment in the next.
350. The End of every thing should direct the Means: Now that of Government being the Good of the whole, nothing less should be the Aim of the Prince.
351. As often as Rulers endeavor to attain just Ends by just Mediums, they are sure of a quiet and easy Government; and as sure of Convulsions, where the Nature of things are violated, and their Order overrul’d.361.
352. It is certain, Princes ought to have great Allowances made them for Faults in Government; since they see by other People’s Eyes, and hear by their Ears. But Ministers of State, their immediate Confidants and Instruments, have much to answer for, if to gratifie private Passions, they misguide the Prince to do publick Injury.
353. Ministers of State should undertake their Posts at their Peril. If Princes overrule them, let them shew the Law, and humbly resign: If Fear, Gain or Flattery prevail, let them answer it to the Law.
354. The Prince cannot be preserv’d, but where the Minister is punishable: For People, as well as Princes, will not endure Imperium in Imperio.364.
355. If Ministers are weak or ill Men, and so spoil their Places, it is the Prince’s Fault that chose them: But if their Places spoil them, it is their own Fault to be made worse by them.
356. It is but just that those that reign by their Princes, should suffer for their Princes: For it is a safe and necessary Maxim, not to shift Heads in Government, while the Hands are in being that should answer for them.
357. And yet it were intolerable to be a Minister of State, if every Body may be Accuser and judge.
358. Let therefore the false Accuser no more escape an exemplary Punishment, than the Guilty Minister.
359. For it profanes Government to have the Credit of the leading Men in it, subject to vulgar Censure; which is often ill grounded.
360. The Safety of a Prince, therefore consists in a well- chosen Council: And that only can be said to be so, where the Persons that compose it are qualified for the Business that comes before them.
361. Who would send to a Taylor to make a Lock, or to a Smith to make a Suit of Cloaths?
362. Let there be Merchants for Trade, Seamen for the Admiralty, Travellers for Foreign Affairs, some of the Leading Men of the Country for Home-Business, and Common and Civil Lawyers to advise of Legality and Right: Who should always keep to the strict Rules of Law.
363. Three Things contribute much to ruin Governments; Looseness, Oppression and Envy.
364. Where the Reins of Government are too slack, there the Manners of the People are corrupted: And that destroys Industry, begets Effeminacy, and provokes Heaven against it.
365. Oppression makes a Poor Country, and a Desperate People, who always wait an Opportunity to change.
366. He that ruleth over Men, must be just, ruling in the Fear of God, said an old and a wise King.
367. Envy disturbs and distracts Government, clogs the Wheels, and perplexes the Administration: And nothing contributes more to the Disorder, than a partial distribution of Rewards, and Punishments in the Sovereign.
368. As it is not reasonable that Men should he compell’d to serve; so those that have Employments should not be endured to leave them humorously.
369. Where the State intends a Man no Affront, he should not Affront the State.
A PRIVATE LIFE
370. Private Life is to be preferr’d; the Honor and Gain of publick Posts, bearing no proportion with the Comfort of it. The one is free and quiet, the other servile and noisy.
371. It was a great Answer of the Shunamite Woman, I dwell among my own People.
372. They that live of their own, neither need, nor often list to wear the Livery of the Publick.
373. Their Subsistance is not during Pleasure; nor have they patrons to please or present.
374. If they are not advanced, neither can they be, disgraced. And as they know not the Smiles of Majesty, so they feel not the Frowns of Greatness; or th Effects of Envy.
375. If they want the Pleasures of a Court, they also escape the Temptations of it.
376. Private Men, in fine, are so much their own, that paying common Dues, they are Sovereigns of all the rest.
A PUBLICK LIFE
377. Yet the Publick must and will be served; and they that do it well, deserve publick Marks of honor and Profit.
378. To do so, Men must have publick Minds, as well as Salaries; or they will serve private Ends at the Publick Cost.
379. Governments can never be well administered, but where those entrusted make Conscience of well discharging their Place.
380. Five Things are requisite to a good Officer; Ability, Clean Hands, Dispatch, Patience and Impartiality.
381. He that understands not his Employment, whatever else he knows, must be unfit for it, and the Publick suffers by his Inexpertness.
382. They that are able, should be just too; or the Government may be the worse for their Capacity.
383. Covetousness in such Men prompts them to prostitute the Publick for Gain.
384. The taking of a Bribe or Gratuity, should be punished with as severe Penalties, as the defrauding of the State.
385. Let Men have sufficient Salaries, and exceed them at their Peril.
386. It is a Dishonor to Government, that its Officers should live of Benevolence; as it ought to be Infamous for Officers to dishonor the Publick, by being twice paid for the same Business.
387. But to be paid, and not to do Business, is rank Oppression.
388. Dispatch is a great and good Quality in an Officer where Duty, not Gain, excites it. But of this, too many make their private Market and Over-plus to their Wages Thus the Salary is for doing, and the Bribe, for dispatching
the Business: As if Business could be done before it were dispatched: Or what ought to be done, ought not to be dispatch’d: Or they were to be paid apart, one by the Government, t’other by the Party.
389. Dispatch is as much the Duty of an Officer, as doing; and very much the Honor of the Government he serves.
390. Delays have been more injurious than direct Injustice.
391. They too often starve those they dare not deny.
392. The very Winner is made a Loser, because he pays twice for his own; like those that purchase Estates Mortgaged before to the full Value.
393. Our Law says well, to delay Justice is Injustice.
394. Not to have a Right, and not to come at it, differs little.
395. Refuse or Dispatch is the Duty and Wisdom of a good Officer.
396. Patience is a Virtue every where; but it shines with great Lustre in the Men of Government.
397. Some are so Proud or Testy, they won’t hear what they should redress.
398. Others so weak, they sink or burst under the weight of their Office, though they can lightly run away with the Salary of it.
399. Business can never be well done, that is not well understood: Which cannot be without Patience.
400. It is Cruelty indeed not to give the Unhappy an Hearing, whom we ought to help: But it is the top of Oppression to Browbeat the humble and modest Miserable, when they seek Relief.
401. Some, it is true, are unreasonable in their Desires and Hopes: But then we should inform, not rail at and reject them.410.
402. It is therefore as great an Instance of Wisdom as a Man in Business can give, to be Patient under the Impertinencies and Contradictions that attend it.
403. Method goes far to prevent Trouble in Business: For
it makes the Task easy, hinders Confusion, saves abundance of Time, and instructs those that have Business depending, both what to do and what to hope.412.
404. Impartiality, though it be the last, is not the least Part of the Character of a good Magistrate.
405. It is noted as a Fault, in Holy Writ, even to regard the Poor: How much more the Rich in judgment?
406. If our Compassions must not sway us; less should our Fears, Profits or Prejudices.
407. Justice is justly represented Blind, because she sees no Difference in the Parties concerned.
408. She has but one Scale and Weight, for Rich and Poor, Great and Small.
409. Her Sentence is not guided by the Person, but the Cause.
410. The Impartial Judge in Judgment, knows nothing but the Law: The Prince no more than the Peasant, his Kindred than a Stranger. Nay, his Enemy is sure to be upon equal Terms with his Friend, when he is upon the Bench.
411. Impartiality is the Life of Justice, as that is of Government.
412. Nor is it only a Benefit to the State, for private Families cannot subsist comfortably without it.
413. Parents that are partial, are ill obeyed by their Children; and partial Masters not better served by their Servants.
414. Partiality is always Indirect, if not Dishonest: For it shews a Byass where Reason would have none; if not an Injury, which Justice every where forbids.
415. As it makes Favorites without Reason, so it uses no Reason in judging of Actions: Confirming the Proverb, The Crow thinks her own Bird the fairest.
416. What some see to be no Fault in one, they will have Criminal in another.
417. Nay, how ugly do our own Failings look to us in the Persons of others, which yet we see not in our selves.
418. And but too common it is for some People, not to know their own Maxims and Principles in the Mouths of other Men, when they give occasion to use them.
419. Partiality corrupts our judgment of Persons and Things, of our selves and others.428.
420. It contributes more than any thing to Factions in Government, and Fewds in Families.
421. It is prodigal Passion, that seldom returns ’till it is Hunger-bit, and Disappointments bring it within bounds.
422. And yet we may be indifferent, to a Fault.
423. Indifference is good in Judgment, but bad in Relation, and stark nought in Religion.
424. And even in judgment, our Indifferency must be to the Persons, not Causes: For one, to be sure, is right
425. Neutrality is something else than Indifferency; and yet of kin to it too.
426. A judge ought to be Indifferent, and yet he cannot be said to be Neutral.
427. The one being to be Even in judgment, and the other not to meddle at all.
428. And where it is Lawful, to be sure, it is best to be Neutral.
429. He that espouses Parties, can hardly divorce himself from their Fate; and more fall with their Party than rise with it.
430. A wise Neuter joins with neither; but uses both, as his honest Interest leads him.
431. A Neuter only has room to be a Peace-maker: For being of neither side, he has the Means of mediating a Reconciliation of both.
432. And yet, where Right or Religion gives a Call, a Neuter must be a Coward or an Hypocrite.
433. In such Cases we should never be backward: nor yet mistaken.
434. When our Right or Religion is in question, then is the fittest time to assert it.443.
435. Nor must we always be Neutral where our Neighbors are concerned: For tho’ Medling is a Fault, Helping is a Duty.
436. We have a Call to do good, as often as we have the Power and Occasion.
437. If Heathens could say, We are not born for our selves; surely Christians should practise it.
438. They are taught so by his Example, as well as Doctrine, from whom they have borrowed their Name.
439. Do what good thou canst unknown; and be not vain of what ought rather to be felt, than seen.
440. The Humble, in the Parable of the Day of Judgment, forgot their good Works; Lord, when did we do so and so?
441. He that does Good, for Good’s sake, seeks neither Praise nor Reward; tho’ sure of both at last.
442. Content not thy self that thou art Virtuous in the general: For one Link being wanting, the Chain is defective.
443. Perhaps thou art rather Innocent than Virtuous, and owest more to thy Constitution, than thy Religion.
444. Innocent, is not to be Guilty: But Virtuous is to overcome our evil Inclinations.
445. If thou hast not conquerd thy self in that which is thy own particular Weakness, thou hast no Title to Virtue, tho’ thou art free of other Men’s.
446. For a Covetous Man to inveigh against Prodigality, an Atheist against Idolatry, a Tyrant against Rebellion, or a Lyer against Forgery, and a Drunkard against Intemperance, is for the Pot to call the Kettle black.
447. Such Reproof would have but little Success; because it would carry but little Authority with it.
448. If thou wouldest conquer thy Weakness, thou must never gratify it.
449. No Man is compelled to Evil; his Consent only makes it his.
450. ‘Tis no Sin to be tempted, but to be overcome.
451. What Man in his right Mind, would conspire his own hurt? Men are beside themselves, when they transgress their Convictions.
452. If thou would’st not Sin, don’t Desire; and if thou would’st not Lust, don’t Embrace the Temptation: No, not look at it, nor think of it.
453. Thou would’st take much Pains to save thy Body: Take some, prithee, to save thy Soul.
454. Religion is the Fear of God, and its Demonstration on good Works; and Faith is the Root of both: For without Faith we cannot please God, nor can we fear what we do not believe.
455. The Devils also believe and know abundance: But in this is the Difference, their Faith works not by Love, nor their Knowledge by Obedience; and therefore they are never the better for them. And if ours be such, we shall be of their Church, not of Christ’s: For as the Head is, so must the Body be.464.
456. He was Holy, Humble, Harmless, Meek, Merciful, &c.; when among us; to teach us what we should be, when he was gone. And yet he is among us still, and in us too, a living and perpetual Preacher of the same Grace, by his Spirit in our Consciences.
457. A Minister of the Gospel ought to be one of Christ’s making, if he would pass for one of Christ’s Ministers.
458. And if he be one of his making, he Knows and Does as well as Believes.
459. That Minister whose Life is not the Model of his Doctrine, is a Babler rather than a Preacher; a Quack rather than a Physician of Value.
460. Of old Time they were made Ministers by the Holy Ghost: And the more that is an Ingredient now, the fitter they are for that Work.
461. Running Streams are not so apt to corrupt; nor Itinerant, as settled Preachers: But they are not to run before they are sent.
462. As they freely receive from Christ, so they give.
463. They will not make that a Trade, which they know ought not, in Conscience, to be one.
464. Yet there is no fear of their Living that design not to live by it.
465. The humble and true Teacher meets with more than he expects.
466. He accounts Content with Godliness great Gain, and therefore seeks not to make a Gain of Godliness.
467. As the Ministers of Christ are made by him, and are like him, so they beget People into the same Likeness.
468. To be like Christ then, is to be a Christian. And Regeneration is the only way to the Kingdom of God, which we pray for.
469. Let us to Day, therefore, hear his Voice, and not harden our Hearts; who speaks to us many ways. In the Scriptures, in our Hearts, by his Servants and his Providences: And the Sum of all is HOLINESS and CHARITY.
470. St. James gives a short Draught of this Matter, but very full and reaching, Pure Religion and undefiled before God the Father, is this, to visit the Fatherless and the Widows in their Affliction, and to keep our selves unspotted from the World. Which is compriz’d in these Two Words, CHARITY and PIETY.
471. They that truly make these their Aim, will find them their Attainment; and with them, the Peace that follows so excellent a Condition.
472. Amuse not thy self therefore with the numerous Opinions of the World, nor value thy self upon verbal Orthodoxy, Philosophy, or thy Skill in Tongues, or Knowledge of the Fathers: (too much the Business and Vanity of the World). But in this rejoyce, That thou knowest God, that is the Lord, who exerciseth loving Kindness, and Judgment, and Righteousness in the Earth.
473. Publick Worship is very commendable, if well performed. We owe it to God and good Example. But we must know, that God is not tyed to Time or Place, who is
every where at the same Time: And this we shall know, as far as we are capable, if where ever we are, our Desires are to be with him.
474. Serving God, People generally confine to the Acts of Publick and Private Worship: And those, the more zealous do oftener repeat, in hopes of Acceptance.
475. But if we consider that God is an Infinite Spirit, and, as such, every where; and that our Saviour has taught us, That he will be worshipped in Spirit and in Truth; we shall see the shortness of such a Notion.
476. For serving God concerns the Frame of our Spirits, in the whole Course of our Lives; in every Occasion we have, in which we may shew our Love to his Law.
477. For as Men in Battle are continually in the way of shot, so we, in this World, are ever within the Reach of Temptation. And herein do we serve God, if we avoid what we are forbid, as well as do what he commands.
478. God is better served in resisting a Temptation to Evil, than in many formal Prayers.
479. This is but Twice or Thrice a Day; but That every Hour and Moment of the Day. So much more is our continual Watch, than our Evening and Morning Devotion.
480. Wouldst thou then serve God? Do not that alone, which thou wouldest not that another should see thee do.
481. Don’t take God’s Name in vain, or disobey thy Parents, or wrong thy Neighbor, or commit Adultery even in thine Heart.
482. Neither be vain, Lascivious, Proud, Drunken, Revengeful or Angry: Nor Lye, Detract, Backbite, Overreach, Oppress, Deceive or Betray: But watch vigorously against all Temptations to these Things; as knowing that God is present, the Overseer of all thy Ways and most inward Thoughts, and the Avenger of his own Law upon the Disobedient, and thou wilt acceptably serve God.
483. Is it not reason, if we expect the Acknowledgments of those to whom we are bountiful, that we should reverently pay ours to God, our most magnificent and constant Benefactor?
484. The World represents a Rare and Sumptuous Palace,
Mankind the great Family in it, and God the mighty Lord and Master of it.
485. We are all sensible what a stately Seat it is: The Heavens adorned with so many glorious Luminaries; and the Earth with Groves, Plains, Valleys, Hills, Fountains, Ponds, Lakes and Rivers; and Variety of Fruits, and Creatures for Food, Pleasure and Profit. In short, how Noble an House he keeps, and the Plenty and Variety and Excellency of his Table; his Orders, Seasons and Suitableness of every Time and Thing. But we must be as sensible, or at least ought to be, what Careless and Idle Servants we are, and how short and disproportionable our Behavior is to his Bounty and Goodness: How long he bears, and often he reprieves and forgives us: Who, notwithstanding our Breach of Promises, and repeated Neglects, has not yet been provok’d to break up House, and send us to shift for our selves. Should not this great Goodness raise a due Sense in us of our Undutifulness, and a Resolution to alter our Course and mend our Manners; that we may be for the future more worthy Communicants at our Master’s good and great Table? Especially since it is not more certain that we deserve his Displeasure than that we should feel it, if we continue to be unprofitable Servants.
486. But tho’ God has replenisht this World with abundance of good Things for Man’s Life and Comfort, yet they are all but Imperfect Goods. He only is the Perfect Good to whom they point. But alas! Men cannot see him for them; tho’ they should always see him In them.
487. I have often wondered at the unaccountableness of Man in this, among other things; that tho’ he loves Changes so well, he should care so little to hear or think of his last, great, and best Change too, if he pleases.
488. Being, as to our Bodies, composed of changeable Elements, we with the World, are made up of, and subsist by Revolution: But our Souls being of another and nobler Nature, we should seek our Rest in a more induring Habitation.
489. The truest end of Life, is, to know the Life that never ends.
490. He that makes this his Care, will find it his Crown at last.
491. Life else, were a Misery rather than a Pleasure, a Judgment, not a Blessing.
492. For to Know, Regret and Resent; to Desire, Hope and Fear, more than a Beast, and not live beyond him, is to make a Man less than a Beast.
493. It is the Amends of a short and troublesome Life, that Doing well, and Suffering ill, Entitles Man to One Longer and Better.
494. This ever raises the Good Man’s Hope, and gives him Tastes beyond the other World.
495. As ‘t is his Aim, so none else can hit the Mark.503.
496. Many make it their Speculation, but ‘t is the Good Man’s Practice.
497. His Work keeps Pace with his Life, and so leaves nothing to be done when he Dies.
498. And he that lives to live ever, never fears dying.
499. Nor can the Means be terrible to him that heartily believes the End.
500. For tho’ Death be a Dark Passage, it leads to Immortality, and that ‘s Recompence enough for Suffering of it.
50l.And yet Faith Lights us, even through the Grave, being the Evidence of Things not seen.
502. And this is the Comfort of the Good, that the Grave cannot hold them, and that they live as soon as they die.
503. For Death is no more than a Turning of us over from Time to Eternity.
504. Nor can there be a Revolution without it; for it supposes the Dissolution of one form, in order to the Succession of another.
505. Death then, being the Way and Condition of Life, we cannot love to live, if we cannot bear to die.
506. Let us then not cozen our selves with the Shells and Husks of things; nor prefer Form to Power, nor Shadows to Substance: Pictures of Bread will not satisfie Hunger, nor those of Devotion please God.
507. This World is a Form; our Bodies are Forms; and no visible Acts of Devotion can be without Forms. But yet the less Form in Religion the better, since God is a Spirit: For the more mental our Worship, the more adequate to the
Nature of God; the more silent, the more suitable to the Language of a Spirit.
508. Words are for others, not for our selves: Nor for God, who hears not as Bodies do; but as Spirits should.
509. If we would know this Dialect; we must learn of the Divine Principle in us. As we hear the Dictates of that, so God hears us.
510. There we may see him too in all his Attributes; Tho’ but in little, yet as much as we can apprehend or bear: for as he is in himself, he is incomprehensible, and dwelleth in that Light which no Eye can approach. But in his Image we may behold his Glory; enough to exalt our Apprehensions of God, and to instruct us in that Worship which pleaseth him.
511. Men may Tire themselves in a Labyrinth of Search, and talk of God: But if we would know him indeed, it must be from the Impressions we receive of him; and the softer our Hearts are, the deeper and livelier those will be upon us.
512. If he has made us sensible of his Justice, by his Reproof; of his Patience, by his Forbearance; of his Mercy, by his Forgiveness; of his Holiness, by the Sanctification of our Hearts through his Spirit; we have a grounded Knowledge of God. This is Experience, that Speculation; This Enjoyment, that Report. In short, this is undeniable Evidence, with the realities of Religion, and will stand all Winds and Weathers.
513. As our Faith, so our Devotion should be lively. Cold Meat won’t serve at those Repasts.
514. It ‘s a Coal from God’s Altar must kindle our Fire: And without Fire, true Fire, no acceptable Sacrifice.
515. Open thou my Lips, and then, said the Royal Prophet, My Mouth shall praise God. But not ’till then.
516. The Preparation of the Heart, as well as Answer of the Tongue, is of the Lord: And to have it, our Prayers must be powerful, and our Worship grateful.
517. Let us chuse, therefore, to commune where there is the warmest Sense of Religion; where Devotion exceeds Formality, and Practice most corresponds with Profession;
and where there is at least as much Charity as Zeal: For where this Society is to be found, there shall we find the Church of God.
518. As Good, so Ill Men are all of a Church; and every Body knows who must be Head of it.
519. The Humble, Meek, Merciful, Just, Pious and Devout Souls, are everywhere of one Religion; and when Death has taken off the Mask, they will know one another, tho’ the divers Liveries they wear here make them Strangers.
520. Great Allowances are to be made of Education, and personal Weaknesses: But ‘t is a Rule with me, that Man is truly Religious, that loves the Persuasion he is of, for the Piety rather than Ceremony of it.
521. They that have one End, can hardly disagree when they meet. At least their concern is in the Greater, moderates the value and difference about the lesser things.
522. It is a sad Reflection, that many Men hardly have any Religion at all; and most Men have none of their own: For that which is the Religion of their Education, and not of their Judgment, is the Religion of Another, and not Theirs.
523. To have Religion upon Authority, and not upon Conviction, is like a Finger Watch, to be set forwards or backwards, as he pleases that has it in keeping.
524. It is a Preposterous thing, that Men can venture their Souls where they will not venture their Money: For they will take their Religion upon trust, but not trust a Synod about the Goodness of Half a Crown.
525. They will follow their own Judgment when their Money is concerned, whatever they do for their Souls.
526. But to be sure, that Religion cannot be right, that a Man is the worse for having.
527. No Religion is better than an Unnatural One.
528. Grace perfects, but never sours or spoils Nature.
529. To be Unnatural in Defence of Grace, is a Contradiction.
530. Hardly any thing looks worse, than to defend Religion by ways that shew it has no Credit with us.
531. A Devout Man is one thing, a Stickler is quite another.
532. When our Maids exceed their just Bounds, we must needs discredit what we would recommend.
533. To be Furious in Religion, is to be Irreligiously Religious.
534. If he that is without Bowels, is not a Man; How then can he be a Christian?
535. It were better to be of no Church, than to be bitter for any.
536. Bitterness comes very near to Enmity, and that is Beelzebub; because the Perfection of Wickedness.
537. A good End cannot sanctifie evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it.
538. Some Folks think they may Scold, Rail, Hate, Rob and Kill too; so it be but for God’s sake.
539. But nothing in us unlike him, can please him.547.
540. It is as great Presumption to send our Passions upon God’s Errands, as it is to palliate them with God’s Name.
541. Zeal dropped in Charity, is good, without it good for nothing: For it devours all it comes near.
542. They must first judge themselves, that presume to censure others: And such will not be apt to overshoot the Mark.
543. We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive, or gain by Love and Information.
544. And yet we could hurt no Man that we believe loves us.
545. Let us then try what Love will do: For if Men did once see we Love them, we should soon find they would not harm us.
546. Force may subdue, but Love gains: And he that forgives first, wins the Lawrel,
547. If I am even with my Enemy, the Debt is paid; but if I forgive it, I oblige him for ever.
548. Love is the hardest Lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it. Difficilia quae Pulchra.12
549. It is a severe Rebuke upon us, that God makes us so many Allowances, and we make so few to our Neighbor: As
if Charity had nothing to do with Religion; Or Love with Faith, that ought to work by it.
550. I find all sorts of People agree, whatsoever were their Animosities, when humbled by the Approaches of Death: Then they forgive, then they pray for, and love one another: Which shews us, that it is not our Reason, but our Passion, that makes and holds up the Feuds that reign among men in their Health and Fulness. They, therefore, that live nearest to that which they should die, must certainly live best.
551. Did we believe a final Reckoning and Judgment; or did we think enough of what we do believe, we would allow more Love in Religion than we do; since Religion it self is nothing else but Love to God and Man.
552. He that lives in Love lives in God, says the Beloved Disciple: And to be sure a Man can live no where better.
553. It is most reasonable Men should value that Benefit, which is most durable. Now Tongues shall cease, and Prophecy fail, and Faith shall be consummated in Sight, and Hope in Enjoyment; but Love remains.
554. Love is indeed Heaven upon Earth; since Heaven above would not be Heaven without it: For where there is not Love; there is Fear: But perfect Love casts out Fear. And yet we naturally fear most to offend what we most Love.
555. What we Love, we ‘ll Hear; what we Love, we ‘ll Trust; and what we Love, we ‘ll serve, ay, and suffer for too. If you love me (says our Blessed Redeemer) keep my Commandments. Why? Why then he ‘ll Love us; then we shall be his Friends; then he ‘ll send us the Comforter; then whatsoever we ask, we shall receive; and then where he is we shall be also, and that for ever. Behold the Fruits of Love; the Power, Vertue, Benefit and Beauty of Love!
556. Love is above all; and when it prevails in us all, we shall all be Lovely, and in Love with God and one with another.
END OF PART I
MORE FRUITS OF SOLITUDE
BEING THE SECOND PART OF REFLECTIONS & MAXIMS
THE INTRODUCTION TO THE READER
THE Title of this Treatise shows, there was a former of the same Nature; and the Author hopes he runs no Hazard in recommending both to his Reader’s Perusal. He is well aware of the low Reckoning the Labors of indifferent Authors are under, at a Time when hardly any Thing passes for current, that is not calculated to flatter the Sharpness of contending Parties. He is also sensible, that Books grow a very Drug, where they cannot raise and support their Credit, by their own Usefulness; and how far this will be able to do it, he knows not; yet he thinks himself tollerably safe in making it publick, in three Respects.
First, That the Purchase is small, and the Time but little, that is requisite to read it.
Next, Though some Men should not find it relish’d high enough for their finer Wits, or warmer Pallats, it will not perhaps be useless to those of lower Flights, and who are less engaged in publick Heats.567.
Lastly, The Author honestly aims at as general a Benefit as the Thing will bear; to Youth especially, whether he hits the Mark or not: And that without the least Ostentation, or any private Regards.
Let not Envy misinterpret his Intention, and he will be accountable for all other Faults.
THE RIGHT MORALIST
A RIGHT Moralist, is a Great and Good Man, but for that Reason he is rarely to be found.
2. There are a Sort of People, that are fond of the Character, who, in my Opinion, have but little Title to it.
3. They think it enough, not to defraud a Man of his Pay, or betray his Friend; but never consider, That the Law forbids the one at his Peril, and that Virtue is seldom the Reason of the other.
4. But certainly he that Covets, can no more be a Moral Man, than he that Steals; since he does so in his Mind. Nor can he be one that Robs his Neighbor of his Credit, or that craftily undermines him of his Trade or Office.
5. If a Man pays his Taylor, but Debauches his Wife; Is he a current Moralist?
6. But what shall we say of the Man that Rebels against his Father, is an Ill Husband, or an Abusive Neighbor; one that ‘s Lavish of his Time, of his Health, and of his Estate, in which his Family is so nearly concerned? Must he go for a Right Moralist, because he pays his Rent well?
7. I would ask some of those Men of Morals, Whether he that Robs God and Himself too, tho’ he should not defraud his Neighbor, be the Moral Man?
8. Do I owe my self Nothing? And do I not owe All to God? And if paying what we owe, makes the Moral Man, is it not fit we should begin to render our Dues, where we owe our very Beginning; ay, our All?
9. The Compleat Moralist begins with God; he gives him his Due, his Heart, his Love, his Service; the Bountiful Giver of his Well-Being, as well as Being.
10. He that lives without a Sense of this Dependency and Obligation, cannot be a Moral Man, because he does not make his Returns of Love and Obedience; as becomes an honest and a sensible Creature: Which very Term Implies he is not his own; and it cannot be very honest to mis- imploy another’s Goods.
11. But can there be no Debt, but to a fellow Creature? Or, will our Exactness in paying those Dribling ones, while we neglect our weightier Obligations, Cancel the Bonds we lie under, and render us right and thorough Moralists?
12. As Judgments are paid before Bonds, and Bonds before Bills or Book-Debts, so the Moralist considers his Obligations according to their several Dignities.
In the first Place, Him to whom he owes himself. Next, himself, in his Health and Livelihood. Lastly, His other Obligations, whether Rational or Pecuniary; doing to others, to the Extent of his Ability, as he would have them do unto him.
13. In short, The Moral Man is he that Loves God above All, and his Neighbor as himself, which fulfils both Tables at once.
THE WORLD’S ABLE MAN
14. It is by some thought, the Character of an Able Man, to be Dark and not Understood. But I am sure that is not fair Play.
15. If he be so by Silence, ‘t is better; but if by Disguises, ‘t is insincere and hateful.
16. Secrecy is one Thing, false Lights is another.
17. The honest Man, that is rather free, than open, is ever to be preferrd; especially when Sense is at Helm.
18. The Glorying of the other Humor is in a Vice: For it is not Humane to be Cold, Dark, and Unconversable. I was a going to say, they are like Pick-Pockets in a Crowd, where a Man must ever have his Hand on his Purse; or as Spies in a Garrison, that if not prevented betrays it.
19. They are the Reverse of Human Nature, and yet this is the present World’s Wise Man and Politician: Excellent
Qualities for Lapland, where, they say, Witches, though not many Conjurors, dwell.
20. Like Highway-Men, that rarely Rob without Vizards, or in the same Wigs and Cloaths, but have a Dress for every Enterprize.588.
21. At best, he may be a Cunning Man, which is a sort of Lurcher in the Politicks.
22. He is never too hard for the Wise Man upon the Square, for that is out of his Element, and puts him quite by his Skill.
Nor are Wise Men ever catch’d by him, but when they trust him.
23. But as Cold and Close as he seems, he can and will please all, if he gets by it, though it should neither please God nor himself at bottom.591.
24. He is for every Cause that brings him Gain, but Implacable if disappointed of Success.592.
25. And what he cannot hinder, he will be sure to Spoil, by over-doing it.593.
26. None so Zealous then as he, for that which he cannot abide.
27. What is it he will not, or cannot do, to hide his true Sentiments.
28. For his Interest, he refuses no Side or Party; and will take the Wrong by the Hand, when t’other won’t do, with as good a Grace as the Right.
29. Nay, he commonly chooses the Worst, because that brings the best Bribe: His Cause being ever Money.
30. He Sails with all Winds, and is never out of his Way, where any Thing is to be had.
31. A Privateer indeed, and everywhere a very Bird of Prey.
32. True to nothing but himself, and false to all Persons and Parties, to serve his own Turn.
33. Talk with him as often as you please, he will never pay you in good Coin; for ‘t is either False or Clipt.
34. But to give a False Reason for any Thing, let my Reader never learn of him, no more than to give a Brass Half-Crown for a good one: Not only because it is not true, but because it Deceives the Person to whom it is given; which I take to be an Immorality.
35. Silence Is much more preferable, for it saves the Secret, as well as the Person’s Honor.
36. Such as give themselves the Latitude of saying what they do not mean, come to be errant Jockeys at more Things than one; but in Religion and Politicks, ‘t is most pernicious.
37. To hear two Men talk the Reverse of their own Sentiments, with all the good Breeding and Appearance of Friendship imaginable, on purpose to Cozen or Pump each other, is to a Man of Virtue and Honor, one of the Melancholiest, as well as most Nauseous Thing in the World.
38. But that it should be the Character of an Able Man, is to Disinherit Wisdom, and Paint out our Degeneracy to the Life, by setting up Fraud, an errant Impostor, in her Room.
39. The Tryal of Skill between these two is, who shall believe least of what t’other says; and he that has the Weakness, or good Nature to give out first, (viz. to believe any Thing t’other says) is lookd upon to be Trickd.
40. I cannot see the Policy, any more than the Necessity, of a Man’s Mind always giving the Lye to his Mouth, or his Mouth ever giving the false Alarms of his Mind: For no Man can be long believed, that teaches all Men to distrust him; and since the Ablest have sometimes need of Credit, where lies the Advantage of their Politick Cant or Banter upon Mankind?
41. I remember a Passage of one of Queen Elizabeth’s Great Men, as Advice to his Friend; The Advantage, says he, I had upon others at Court, was, that I always spoke as I thought, which being not believed by them, I both preserv’d a good Conscience, and suffered no Damage from that Freedom: Which, as it shows the Vice to be Older than our Times, so that Gallant Man’s Integrity, to be the best Way of avoiding it.
42. To be sure it is wise as well as Honest, neither to flatter other Men’s Sentiments, nor Dissemble and less Contradict our own.610.
43. To hold ones Tongue, or speak Truth, or talk only of indifferent Things, is the Fairest Conversation.
44. Women that rarely go Abroad without Vizard-Masks, have none of the best Reputation. But when we consider
what all this Art and Disguise are for, it equally heightens the Wise Man’s Wonder and Aversion: Perhaps it is to betray a Father, a Brother, a Master, a Friend, a Neighbor, or ones own Party.
45. A fine Conquest! what Noble Grecians and Romans abhorr’d: As if Government could not subsist without Knavery, and that Knaves were the Usefullest Props to it; tho’ the basest, as well as greatest, Perversion of the Ends of it.
46. But that it should become a Maxim, shows but too grossly the Corruption of the Times.
47. I confess I have heard the Stile of a Useful Knave, but ever took it to be a silly or a knavish Saying; at least an Excuse for Knavery.615.
48. It is as reasonable to think a Whore makes the best Wife, as a Knave the best Officer.
49. Besides, Employing Knaves, Encourages Knavery instead of punishing it; and Alienates the Reward of Virtue. Or, at least, must make the World believe, the Country yields not honest Men enough, able to serve her.
50. Art thou a Magistrate? Prefer such as have clean Characters where they live, and of Estates to secure a just Discharge of their Trusts; that are under no Temptation to strain Points for a Fortune: For sometimes such may be found, sooner than they are Employed.
51. Art thou a Private Man? Contract thy Acquaintance in a narrow Compass, and chuse Those for the Subjects of it, that are Men of Principles; such as will make full Stops, where Honor will not lead them on; and that had rather bear the disgrace of not being thorow Paced Men, than forfeit their Peace and Reputation by a base Compliance. THE WISE MAN
52. The Wise Man Governs himself by the Reason of his Case, and because what he does is Best: Best, in a Moral and Prudent, not a Sinister Sense.
53. He proposes just Ends, and employs the fairest and Probablest Means and Methods to attain them.
54. Though you cannot always penetrate his Design, on
his Reasons for it, yet you shall ever see his Actions of a Piece , and his Performances like a Workman: They will bear the Touch of Wisdom and Honor, as often as they are tryed.
55. He scorns to serve himself by Indirect Means, or be an Interloper in Government, since just Enterprises never want any just Ways to succeed them.
56. To do Evil, that Good may come of it, is for Bunglers in Politicks, as well as Morals.
57. Like those Surgeons, that will cut off an Arm they can’t cure, to hide their Ignorance and save their Credit.625.
58. The Wise Man is Cautious, but not cunning; Judicious, but not Crafty; making Virtue the Measure of using his Excellent Understanding in the Conduct of his Life.
59. The Wise Man is equal, ready, but not officious; has in every Thing an Eye to Sure Footing: He offends no Body, nor easily is offended, and always willing to Compound for Wrongs, if not forgive them.
60. He is never Captious, nor Critical; hates Banter and Jests: He may be Pleasant, but not Light; he never deals but in Substantial Ware, and leaves the rest for the Toy Pates (or Shops) of the World; which are so far from being his Business, that they are not so much as his Diversion.
61. He is always for some solid Good, Civil or Moral; as, to make his Country more Virtuous, Preserve her Peace and Liberty, Imploy her Poor, Improve Land, Advance Trade, Suppress Vice, Incourage Industry, and all Mechanick Knowledge; and that they should be the Care of the Government, and the Blessing and Praise of the People.
62. To conclude: He is Just, and fears God, hates Covetousness, and eschews Evil, and loves his Neighbor as himself. 630.
OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THOUGHTS
63. Man being made a Reasonable, and so a Thinking Creature, there is nothing more Worthy of his Being, than the Right Direction and Employment of his Thoughts; since upon This, depends both his Usefulness to the Publick, and his own present and future Benefit in all Respects.
64. The Consideration of this, has often obliged me to Lament the Unhappiness of Mankind, that through too great a Mixture and Confusion of Thoughts, have been hardly able to make a Right or Mature Judgment of Things.632.
65. To this is owing the various Uncertainty and Confusion we see in the World, and the Intemperate Zeal that occasions them.
66. To this also is to be attributed the imperfect Knowledge we have of Things, and the slow Progress we make in attaining to a Better; like the Children of Israel that were forty Years upon their Journey, from Egypt to Canaan, which might have been performed in Less than One.634.
67. In fine, ‘t is to this that we ought to ascribe, if not all, at least most of the Infelicities we Labor under.
68. Clear therefore thy Head, and Rally and Manage thy Thoughts Rightly, and thou wilt Save Time, and See and Do thy Business Well; for thy Judgment will be Distinct, thy Mind Free, and the Faculties Strong and Regular.636.
69. Always remember to bound thy Thoughts to the present Occasion.
70. If it be thy Religious Duty, suffer nothing else to Share in them. And if any Civil or Temporal Affair, observe the same Caution, and thou wilt be a whole Man to every Thing, and do twice the Business in the same Time.
71. If any Point over-Labors thy Mind, divert and relieve it, by some other Subject, of a more Sensible, or Manual Nature, rather than what may affect the Understanding; for this were to write one Thing upon another, which blots out our former Impressions, or renders them illegible.
72. They that are least divided in their Care, always give the best Account of their Business.
73. As therefore thou art always to pursue the present Subject, till thou hast master’d it, so if it fall out that thou hast more Affairs than one upon thy Hand, be sure to prefer that which is of most Moment, and will least wait thy Leisure.641.
74. He that judges not well of the Importance of his Affairs, though he may be always Busy, he must make but a small Progress.
75. But make not more Business necessary than is so; and rather lessen than augment Work for thy self.
76. Nor yet be over-eager in pursuit of any Thing; for the Mercurial too often happen to leave Judgment behind them, and sometimes make Work for Repentance.
77. He that over-runs his Business, leaves it for him that follows more leisurely to take it up; which has often proved a profitable Harvest to them that never Sowd.
78. ‘Tis the Advantage that slower Tempers have upon the Men of lively Parts, that tho’ they don’t lead, they will Follow well, and Glean Clean.646.
79. Upon the whole Matter, Employ thy Thoughts as thy Business requires, and let that have a Place according to Merit and Urgency; giving every Thing a Review and due Digestion, and thou wilt prevent many Errors and Vexations, as well as save much Time to thy self in the Course of thy Life. 647.
80. It is the Mark of an ill Nature, to lessen good Actions, and aggravate ill Ones.
81. Some men do as much begrutch others a good Name, as they want one themselves; and perhaps that is the Reason of it.
82. But certainly they are in the Wrong, that can think they are lessened, because others have their Due.
83. Such People generally have less Merit than Ambition, that Covet the Reward of other Men’s; and to be sure a very ill Nature, that will rather Rob others of their Due, than allow them their Praise.
84. It is more an Error of our Will, than our Judgment: For we know it to be an Effect of our Passion, not our Reason; and therefore we are the more culpable in our Partial Estimates.652.
85. It is as Envious as Unjust, to underrate another’s Actions where their intrinsick Worth recommends them to disengaged Minds.653.
86. Nothing shews more the Folly, as well as Fraud of Man, than Clipping of Merit and Reputation.
87. And as some Men think it an Allay to themselves,
that others have their Right; so they know no End of Pilfering to raise their own Credit.655.
88. This Envy is the Child of Pride and Misgives, rather than Mistakes.
89. It will have Charity, to be Ostentation; Sobriety, Covetousness; Humility, Craft; Bounty, Popularity: In short, Virtue must be Design, and Religion, only Interest. Nay, the best of Qualities must not pass without a BUT to allay their Merit and abate their Praise. Basest of Tempers! and they that have them, the Worst of Men!
90. But Just and Noble Minds Rejoice in other Men’s Success, and help to augment their Praise.
91. And indeed they are not without a Love to Virtue, that take a Satisfaction in seeing her Rewarded, and such deserve to share her Character that do abhor to lessen it. 659.
OF MAN’S LIFE
92. Why is Man less durable than the Works of his Hands, but because This is not the Place of his Rest?
93. And it is a Great and Just Reproach upon him, that he should fix his Mind where he cannot stay himself.
94. Were it not more his Wisdom to be concerned about those Works that will go with him, and erect a Mansion for him where Time has Power neither over him nor it?
95. ‘Tis a sad Thing for Man so often to miss his Way to his Best, as well as most Lasting Home. 663.
96. They that soar too high, often fall hard; which makes a low and level Dwelling preferrable.
97. The tallest Trees are most in the Power of the Winds, and Ambitious Men of the Blasts of Fortune.
98. They are most seen and observed, and most envyed: Least Quiet, but most talk’d of, and not often to their Advantage.
99. Those Buildings had need of a good Foundation, that lie so much exposed to Weather.667.
100. Good Works are a Rock, that will support their
Credit; but Ill Ones a Sandy Foundation that Yields to Calamities.
101. And truly they ought to expect no Pity in their Fall, that when in Power had no Bowels for the Unhappy.
102. The worst of Distempers; always Craving and Thirsty, Restless and Hated: A perfect Delirium in the Mind: Insufferable in Success, and in Disappointments most Revengeful.
OF PRAISE OR APPLAUSE
103. We are too apt to love Praise, but not to Deserve it.
104. But if we would Deserve it, we must love Virtue more than That.
105. As there is no Passion in us sooner moved, or more deceivable, so for that Reason there is none over which we ought to be more Watchful, whether we give or receive it: For if we give it, we must be sure to mean it, and measure it too.
106. If we are Penurious, it shows Emulation; if we exceed, Flattery.
107. Good Measure belongs to Good Actions; more looks Nauseous, as well as Insincere; besides, ‘t is a Persecuting of the Meritorious, who are out of Countenance to hear, what they deserve.
108. It is much easier for him to merit Applause, than hear of it: And he never doubts himself more, or the Person that gives it, than when he hears so much of it.676.
109. But to say true, there needs not many Cautions on this Hand, since the World is rarely just enough to the Deserving.
110. However, we cannot be too Circumspect how we receive Praise: For if we contemplate our selves in a false Glass, we are sure to be mistaken about our Dues; and because we are too apt to believe what is Pleasing, rather than what is True, we may be too easily swell’d, beyond our just Proportion, by the Windy Compliments of Men.
111. Make ever therefore Allowances for what is said on such Occasions, or thou Exposest, as well as Deceivest thy self.
112. For an Over-value of our selves, gives us but a dangerous Security in many Respects.
113. We expect more than belongs to us; take all that ‘s given us though never meant us; and fall out with those that are not as full of us as we are of our selves.
114. In short, ‘t is a Passion that abuses our Judgment, and makes us both Unsafe and Ridiculous.
115. Be not fond therefore of Praise, but seek Virtue that leads to it.
116. And yet no more lessen or dissemble thy Merit, than over-rate it: For tho’ Humility be a Virtue, an affected one is none.
OF CONDUCT IN SPEECH
117. Enquire often, but Judge rarely, and thou wilt not often be mistaken.
118. It is safer to Learn, than teach; and who conceals his Opinion, has nothing to Answer for.
119. Vanity or Resentment often engage us, and ‘t is two to one but we come off Losers; for one shews a Want of Judgment and Humility, as the other does of Temper and Discretion.
120. Not that I admire the Reserved; for they are next to Unnatural that are not Communicable. But if Reservedness be at any Time a Virtue, ‘t is in Throngs or ill Company.
121. Beware also of Affectation in Speech; it often wrongs Matter, and ever shows a blind Side.
122. Speak properly, and in as few Words as you can, but always plainly; for the End of Speech is not Ostentation, but to be understood.
123. They that affect Words more than Matter, will dry up that little they have.
124. Sense never fails to give them that have it, Words enough to make them understood.
125. But it too often happens in some Conversations, as in Apothecary-Shops, that those Pots that are Empty, or have things of Small Value in them, are as gaudily Dress’d and Flourish’d, as those that are full of precious Drugs.
126. This Laboring of slight Matter with flourish’d Turns
of Expression, is fulsome, and worse than the Modern Imitation of Tapestry, and East-India Goods, in Stuffs and Linnens. In short, ‘t is but Taudry Talk, and next to very Trash.
UNION OF FRIENDS
127. They that love beyond the World, cannot be separated by it.
128. Death cannot kill, what never dies.696.
129. Nor can Spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their Friendship.697.
130. If Absence be not death, neither is theirs.
131. Death is but Crossing the World, as Friends do the Seas; They live in one another still.699.
132. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is Omnipresent.
133. In this Divine Glass, they see Face to Face; and their Converse is Free, as well as Pure.
134. This is the Comfort of Friends, that though they may be said to Die, yet their Friendship and Society are, in the best Sense, ever present, because Immortal.702.
OF BEING EASY IN LIVING
135. ‘Tis a Happiness to be delivered from a Curious Mind, as well as from a Dainty Palate.
136. For it is not only a Troublesome but Slavish Thing to be Nice.
137. They narrow their own Freedom and Comforts, that make so much requisite to enjoy them.
138. To be Easy in Living, is much of the Pleasure of Life: But Difficult Tempers will always want it.706.
139. A Careless and Homely Breeding is therefore preferable to one Nice and Delicate.
140. And he that is taught to live upon a little, owes more to his Father’s Wisdom, than he that has a great deal left him, does to his Father’s Care.
141. Children can’t well be too hardly Bred: For besides that it fits them to bear the Roughest Providences, it is more Masculine, Active and Healthy.
142. Nay, ‘t is certain, that Liberty of the Mind is mightily preserved by it: For so ‘t is served, instead of being a Servant, indeed a Slave to sensual Delicacies.
143. As Nature is soon answered, so are such satisfied.
144. The Memory of the Ancients is hardly in any Thing more to be celebrated, than in a Strict and Useful Institution of Youth.
145. By Labor they prevented Luxury in their young People, till Wisdom and Philosophy had taught them to Resist and Despise it.
146. It must be therefore a gross Fault to strive so hard for the Pleasure of our Bodies, and be so insensible and careless of the Freedom of our Souls.
OF MAN’S INCONSIDERATENESS AND PARTIALITY
147. ‘Tis very observable, if our Civil Rights are invaded or incroach’d upon, we are mightily touch’d, and fill every Place with our Resentment and Complaint; while we suffer our selves, our Better and Nobler Selves, to be the Property and Vassals of Sin, the worst of Invaders.
148. In vain do we expect to be delivered from such Troubles, till we are delivered from the Cause of them, our Disobedience to God.
149. When he has his Dues from us, it will be time enough for Him to give us ours out of one another.
150. ‘Tis our great Happiness, if we could understand it, that we meet with such Checks in the Career of our worldly Enjoyments, lest we should Forget the Giver, adore the Gift, and terminate our Felicity here, which is not Man’s ultimate Bliss.
151. Our Losses are often made Judgments by our Guilt, and Mercies by our Repentance.
152. Besides, it argues great Folly in Men to let their Satisfaction exceed the true Value of any Temporal Matter: For Disappointments are not always to be measured by the Loss of the Thing, but the Over-value we put upon lt.720.
153. And thus Men improve their own Miseries, for want of an Equal and Just Estimate of what they Enjoy or Lose.
154. There lies a Proviso upon every Thing in this World, and we must observe it at our own Peril, viz. To love God above all, and Act for Judgment, the Last I mean.722.
OF THE RULE OF JUDGING
155. In all Things Reason should prevail: ‘Tis quite another Thing to be stiff than steady in an Opinion.723.
156. This May be Reasonable, but that is ever Wilful.
157. In such Cases it always happens, that the clearer the Argument, the greater the Obstinacy, where the Design is not to be convinced.
158. This is to value Humor more than Truth, and prefer a sullen Pride to a reasonable Submission.726.
159. ‘Tis the Glory of a Man to vail to Truth; as it is the Mark of a good Nature to be Easily entreated.
160. Beasts Act by Sense, Man should by Reason; else he is a greater Beast than ever God made: And the Proverb is verified, The Corruption of the best Things is the worst and most offensive.
161. A reasonable Opinion must ever be in Danger, where Reason is not Judge.
162. Though there is a Regard due to Education, and the Tradition of our Fathers, Truth will ever deserve, as well as claim the Preference.
163. If like Theophilus and Timothy, we have been brought up in the Knowledge of the best Things, ‘t is our Advantage: But neither they nor we lose by trying their Truth; for so we learn their, as well as its intrinsick Worth.
164. Truth never lost Ground by Enquiry, because she is most of all Reasonable.
165. Nor can that need another Authority, that is Self- evident.
166. If my own Reason be on the Side of a Principle, with what can I Dispute or withstand it?
167. And if Men would once consider one another reasonably, they would either reconcile their Differences, or more Amicably maintain them.
168. Let That therefore be the Standard, that has most to say for itself. Tho’ of that let every Man he Judge for himself.
169. Reason, like the Sun, is Common to All; And ‘t is for want of examining all by the same Light and Measure, that we are not all of the same Mind: For all have it to that End, though all do not use it So.737.
170. Form is Good, but not Formality.
171. In the Use of the best of Forms there is too much of that I fear.
172. ‘Tis absolutely necessary, that this Distinction should go along with People in their Devotion; for too many are apter to rest upon What they do, than How they do their Duty.
173. If it were considered, that it is the Frame of the Mind that gives our Performances Acceptance, we would lay more Stress on our Inward Preparation than our Outward Action.
OF THE MEAN NOTION WE HAVE OF GOD
174. Nothing more shews the low Condition Man is fallen into, than the unsuitable Notion we must have of God, by the Ways we take to please him.
175. As if it availed any Thing to him that we performed so many Ceremonies and external Forms of Devotion, who never meant more by them, than to try our Obedience, and, through them, to shew us something more Excellent and Durable beyond them.
176. Doing, while we are Undoing, is good for nothing.
177. Of what Benefit is it to say our Prayers regularly, go to Church, receive the Sacraments, and may be go to Confessions too; ay, Feast the Priest, and give Alms to the Poor, and yet Lye, Swear, Curse, be Drunk, Covetous, Unclean, Proud, Revengeful, Vain and Idle at the same Time?
178. Can one excuse or ballance the other? Or will God think himself well served, where his Law is Violated? Or well used, where there is so much more Shew than Substance?
179. ‘Tis a most dangerous Error for a Man to think to excuse himself in the Breach of a Moral Duty, by a Formal Performance of Positive Worship; and less when of Human Invention.
180. Our Blessed Saviour most rightly and clearly distinguished and determined this Case, when he told the Jews, that they were his Mother, his Brethren and Sisters, who did the Will of his Father.
OF THE BENEFIT OF JUSTICE
181. Justice is a great Support of Society, because in Insurance to all Men of their Property: This violated, there ‘s no Security, which throws all into Confusion to recover it.
182. An Honest Man is a fast Pledge in Dealing. A Man is Sure to have it if it be to be had.
183. Many are so, merely of Necessity: Others not so only for the same Reason: But such an honest Man is not to be thanked, and such a dishonest Man is to be pity’d.
184. But he that is dishonest for Gain, is next to a Robber, and to be punish’d for Example.752.
185. And indeed there are few Dealers, but what are Faulty, which makes Trade Difficult, and a great Temptation to Men of Virtue.
186. ‘Tis not what they should, but what they can get: Faults or Decays must be concealed: Big Words given, where they are not deserved, and the Ignorance or Necessity of the Buyer imposed upon for unjust Profit.
187. These are the Men that keep their Words for their own Ends, and are only Just for Fear of the Magistrate.
188. A Politick rather than a Moral Honesty; a constrained, not a chosen Justice: According to the Proverb, Patience per Force, and thank you for nothing.756.
189. But of all Justice, that is the greatest, that passes under the Name of Law. A Cut-Purse in Westminster-Hall exceeds; for that advances Injustice to Oppression, where Law is alledged for that which it should punish.
190. The Jealous are Troublesome to others, but a Torment to themselves.
191. Jealousy is a kind of Civil War in the Soul, where Judgment and Imagination are at perpetual Jars.
192. This Civil Dissension in the Mind, like that of the Body Politick, commits great Disorders, and lays all waste.
193. Nothing stands safe in its Way: Nature, Interest, Religion, must Yield to its Fury.761.
194. It violates Contracts, Dissolves Society, Breaks Wedlock, Betrays Friends and Neighbors. No Body is Good, and every one is either doing or designing them a Mischief.
195. It has a Venome that more or less rankles wherever it bites: And as it reports Fancies for Facts, so it disturbs its own House as often as other Folks.
196. Its Rise is Guilt or Ill Nature, and by Reflection thinks its own Faults to be other Men’s; as he that ‘s overrun with the Jaundice takes others to be Yellow.
197. A Jealous Man only sees his own Spectrum, when he looks upon other Men, and gives his Character in theirs.765.
198. I love Service, but not State; One is Useful, the other is Superfluous.
199. The Trouble of this, as well as Charge, Is Real; but the Advantage only Imaginary.
200. Besides, it helps to set us up above our selves, and Augments our Temptation to Disorder.768.
201. The Least Thing out of Joint, or omitted, make us uneasy: and we are ready to think our selves ill served, about that which is of no real Service at all: Or so much better than other Men, as we have the Means of greater State.
202. But this is all for want of Wisdom, which carries the truest and most forceable State along with it.770.
203. He that makes not himself Cheap by indiscreet Conversation, puts Value enough upon himself every where.
204. The other is rather Pageantry than State.
OF A GOOD SERVANT
205. A True, and a Good Servant, are the same Thing.
206. But no Servant is True to his Master, that Defrauds him.
207. Now there are many Ways of Defrauding a Master, as, of Time, Care, Pains, Respect, and Reputation, as well as Money.
208. He that Neglects his Work, Robs his Master, since he is Fed and Paid as if he did his Best; and he that is not as Diligent in the Absence, as in the Presence of his Master, cannot be a true Servant.
209. Nor is he a true Servant, that buys dear to share in the Profit with the Seller.
210. Nor yet he that tells Tales without Doors; or deals basely in his Master’s Name with other People; or Connives at others Loyterings, Wasteings, or dishonorable Reflections.778.
211. So that a true Servant is Diligent, Secret, and Respectful: More Tender of his Master’s Honor and Interest, than of his own Profit.
212. Such a Servant deserves well, and if Modest under his Merit, should liberally feel it at his Master’s Hand.
OF AN IMMEDIATE PURSUIT OF THE WORLD
213. It shews a Depraved State of Mind, to Cark and Care for that which one does not need.781.
214. Some are as eager to be Rich, as ever they were to Live: For Superfluity, as for Subsistance.
215. But that Plenty should augment Covetousness, is a Perversion of Providence; and yet the Generality are the worse for their Riches.783.
216. But it is strange, that Old Men should excel: For generally Money lies nearest them that are nearest their Graves; As if they would augment their Love in Proportion to the little Time they have left to enjoy it: And yet their Pleasure is without Enjoyment, since none enjoy what they do not use.784.
217. So that instead of learning to leave their greath Wealth easily, they hold the Faster, because they must leave it: So Sordid is the Temper of some Men.785.
218. Where Charity keeps Pace with Gain, Industry is
blessed: But to slave to get, and keep it Sordidly, is a Sin against Providence, a Vice in Government, and an Injury to their Neighbors.
219. Such are they as spend not one Fifth of their Income, and, it may be, give not one Tenth of what they spend to the Needy.787.
220. This is the worst Sort of Idolatry, because there can be no Religion in it, nor Ignorance pleaded in Excuse of it; and that it wrongs other Folks that ought to have a Share therein.
OF THE INTEREST OF THE PUBLICK IN OUR ESTATES
221. Hardly any Thing is given us for our Selves, but the Publick may claim a Share with us. But of all we call ours, we are most accountable to God and the Publick for our Estates: In this we are but Stewards, and to Hord up all to ourselves is great Injustice as well as Ingratitude.
222. If all Men were so far Tenants to the Publick, that the Superfluities of Gain and Expence were applied to the Exigencies thereof, it would put an End to Taxes, leave never a Beggar, and make the greatest Bank for National Trade in Europe.
223. It is a Judgment upon us, as well as Weakness, tho’ we wont’t see it, to begin at the wrong End.
224. If the Taxes we give are not to maintain Pride, I am sure there would be less, if Pride were made a Tax to the Government.
225. I confess I have wondered that so many Lawful and Useful Things are excised by Laws, and Pride left to Reign Free over them and the Publick.
226. But since People are more afraid of the Laws of Man than of God, because their Punishment seems to be nearest: I know not how magistrates can be excused in their suffering such Excess with Impunity.
227. Our Noble English Patriarchs as well as Patriots, were so sensible of this Evil, that they made several excellent Laws, commonly called Sumptuary, to Forbid, at least Limit the Pride of the People; which because the Execution of them would be our Interest and Honor, their Neglect must be our just Reproach and Loss.
228. ‘Tis but Reasonable that the Punishment of Pride and Excess should help to support the Government, since it must otherwise inevitably be ruined by them,
229. But some say, It ruins Trade, and will make the Poor Burthensome to the Publick; But if such Trade in Consequence ruins the Kingdom, is it not Time to ruin that Trade? Is Moderation no Part of our Duty, and Temperance an Enemy to Government?797.
230. He is a Judas that will get Money by any Thing.
231. To wink at a Trade that effeminates the People, and invades the Ancient Discipline of the Kingdom, is a Crime Capital, and to be severely punish’d instead of being excused by the Magistrate.799.
232. Is there no better Employment for the Poor than Luxury? Miserable Nation!
233. What did they before they fell into these forbidden Methods? Is there not Land enough in England to Cultivate, and more and better Manufactures to be Made?801.
234. Have we no Room for them in our Plantations, about Things that may augment Trade, without Luxury?
235. In short, let Pride pay, and Excess be well Excised: And if that will Cure the People, it will help to Keep the Kingdom.
THE VAIN MAN
236. But a Vain Man is a Nauseous Creature: He is so full of himself that he has no Room for any Thing else, be it never so Good or Deserving.
237. ‘Tis I at every turn that does this, or can do that. And as he abounds in his Comparisons, so he is sure to give himself the better of every Body else; according to the Proverb, All his Geese are Swans.
238. They are certainly to be pity’d that can be so much mistaken at Home.806.
239. And yet I have sometimes thought that such People are in a sort Happy, that nothing can put out of Countenance with themselves, though they neither have nor merit other Peoples.807.
240. But at the same Time one would wonder they should not feel the Blows they give themselves, or get from others, for this intolerable and ridiculous Temper; nor shew any
Concern at that which makes others blush for, as well as at them, (viz.) their unreasonable Assurance.
241. To be a Man’s own Fool is bad enough, but the Vain Man is Every Body’s.
242. This silly Disposition comes of a Mixture of Ignorance, Confidence, and Pride; and as there is more or less of the last, so it is more or less offensive or Entertaining.
243. And yet perhaps the worst Part of this Vanity is it’s Unteachableness. Tell it any Thing, and it has known it long ago; and out-runs Information and Instruction, or else proudly puffs at it.
244. Whereas the greatest Understandings doubt most, are readiest to learn, and least pleas’d with themselves; this, with no Body else.
245. For tho’ they stand on higher Ground, and so see farther than their Neighbors, they are yet humbled by their Prospect, since it shews them something, so much higher and above their Reach.
246. And truly then it is, that Sense shines with the greatest Beauty when it is set in Humility.814.
247. An humble able Man is a Jewel worth a Kingdom: It is often saved by him, as Solomon’s Poor Wise Man did the City.815.
248. May we have more of them, or less Need of them.
249. It is reasonable to concur where Conscience does not forbid a Compliance; for Conformity is at least a Civil Virtue.
250. But we should only press it in Necessaries, the rest may prove a Snare and Temptation to break Society.818.
251. But above all, it is a Weakness in Religion and Government, where it is carried to Things of an Indifferent Nature, since besides that it makes Way for Scruples, Liberty is always the Price of it.
252. Such Conformists have little to boast of, and therefore the less Reason to Reproach others that have more Latitude.
253. And yet the Latitudinarian that I love, is one that is only so in Charity; for the Freedom I recommend is no Scepticism in Judgment, and much less so in Practice.
THE OBLIGATIONS OF GREAT MEN TO ALMIGHTY GOD
254. It seems but reasonable, that those whom God has Distinguish’d from others; by his Goodness, should distinguish themselves to him by their Gratitude.822.
255. For tho’ he has made of One Blood all Nations, he has not rang’d or dignified them upon the Level, but in a sort of Subordination and Dependency.823.
256. If we look upwards, we find it in the Heavens, where the Planets have their several Degrees of Glory, and so the other Stars of Magnitude and Lustre.
257. If we look upon the Earth, we see it among the Trees of the Wood, from the Cedar to the Bramble; in the Waters among the Fish, from the Leviathan to the Sprat; in the Air among the Birds, from the Eagle to the Sparrow; among the Beasts, from the Lyon to the Cat; and among Mankind it self, from the King to the Scavenger.825.
258. Our Great Men, doubtless, were designed by the Wise Framer of the World for our Religious, Moral and Politick Planets; for Lights and Directions to the lower Ranks of the numerous Company of their own Kind, both in Precepts and Examples; and they are well paid for their Pains too, who have the Honor and Service of their fellow Creatures, and the Marrow and Fat of the Earth for their Share.
259. But is it not a most unaccountable Folly, that Men should be Proud of the Providences that should Humble them? Or think the Better of themselves, instead of Him that raised them so much above the Level; or in being so in their Lives, in Return of his Extraordinary Favors.
260. But it is but too near a-kin to us, to think no further than our selves, either in the Acquisition, or Use of our Wealth and Greatness; when, alas, they are the Preferments of Heaven, to try our Wisdom, Bounty and Gratitude.828.
261. ‘Tis a dangerous Perversion of the End of Providence to Consume the Time, Power and Wealth he has given us above other Men, to gratify our Sordid Passions,
instead of playing the good Stewards, to the Honor of our great Benefactor, and the Good of our Fellow-Creatures.829.
262. But it is an Injustice too; since those Higher Ranks of Men are but the Trustees of Heaven for the Benefit of lesser Mortals, who, as Minors, are intituled to all their Care and Provision.830.
263. For though God has dignified some Men above their Brethren, it never was to serve their Pleasures, but that they might take Pleasure to serve the Publick.
264. For this Cause doubtless it was, that they were raised above Necessity or any Trouble to Live, that they might have more Time and Ability to Care for Others: And ‘t is certain, where that Use is not made of the Bounties of Providence, they are Imbezzell’d and Wasted.
265. It has often struck me with a serious Reflection, when I have observed the great Inequality of the World; that one Man should have such Numbers of his fellow Creatures to Wait upon him, who have Souls to be saved as well as he; and this not for Business, but State. Certainly a poor Employment of his Money, and a worse of their Time.
266. But that any one Man should make Work for so many; or rather keep them from Work, to make up a Train, has a Levity and Luxury in it very reprovable, both in Religion and Government.
267. But even in allowable Services it has an humbling Consideration, and what should raise the Thankfulness of the Great Men to him that has so much better’d their Circumstances, and Moderated the Use of their Dominion over those of their own Kind.
268. When the poor Indians hear us call any of our Family by the Name of Servants, they cry out, What, call Brethren Servants! We call our Dogs Servants, but never Men. The Moral certainly can do us no Harm, but may Instruct us to abate our Height, and narrow our State and Attendance.836.
269. And what has been said of their Excess, may in some measure be apply’d to other Branches of Luxury, that set ill Examples to the lesser World, and Rob the Needy of their Pensions.
270. GOD Almighty Touch the Hearts of our Grandees with a Sense of his Distinguish’d Goodness, and that true
End of it; that they may better distinguish themselves in their Conduct, to the Glory of Him that has thus liberally Preferr’d them, and the Benefit of their fellow Creatures. 837.
OF REFINING UPON 0THER MEN’S ACTIONS OR INTERESTS
271. This seems to be the Master-Piece of our Politicians; But nobody shoots more at Random, than those Refiners.
272. A perfect Lottery, and meer Hap-Hazard. Since the true Spring of the Actions of Men is as Invisible as their Hearts; and so are their Thoughts too of their several Interests.
273. He that judges of other Men by himself, does not always hit the Mark, because all Men have not the same Capacity, nor Passions in Interest.
274. If an able Man refines upon the Proceedings of an ordinary Capacity, according to his own, he must ever miss it: But much more the ordinary Man, when he shall pretend to speculate the Motives to the able Man’s Actions: For the Able Man deceives himself by making t’other wiser than he is in the Reason of his Conduct; and the ordinary Man makes himself so, in presuming to judge of the Reasons of the Abler Man’s Actions.841.
275. ‘Tis in short a Wood, a Maze, and of nothing are we more uncertain, nor in anything do we oftener befool ourselves.
276. The Mischiefs are many that follow this Humor, and dangerous: For Men Misguide themselves, act upon false Measures, and meet frequently with mischievous Disappointments.843.
277. It excludes all Confidence in Commerce; allows of no such Thing as a Principle in Practice; supposes every Man to act upon other Reasons than what appears, and that there is no such Thing as a Straightness or Sincerity among Mankind: A Trick instead of Truth.
278. Neither, allowing Nature or Religion; but some Worldly Fetch or Advantage: The true, the hidden Motive to all Men to act or do.845.
279. ‘Tis hard to express its Uncharitableness, as well as Uncertainty; and has more of Vanity than Benefit in it.
280. This Foolish Quality gives a large Field, but let what I have said serve for this Time.
281. Charity has various Senses, but is Excellent in all of them.
282. It imports; first, the Commiseration of the Poor, and Unhappy of Mankind, and extends an Helping-Hand to mend their Condition.
283. They that feel nothing of this, are at best not above half of Kin to Human Race; since they must have no Bowels, which makes such an Essential Part thereof, who have no more Nature.
284. A Man, and yet not have the Feeling of the Wants or Needs of his own Flesh and Blood! A Monster rather! And may he never be suffer’d to propagate such an unnatural Stock in the World.
285. Such an Uncharitableness spoils the best Gains, and two to one but it entails a Curse upon the Possessors.
286. Nor can we expect to be heard of God in our Prayers, that turn the deaf Ear to the Petitions of the Distressed amongst our fellow Creatures.
287. God sends the Poor to try us, as well as he tries them by being such: And he that refuses them a little out of the great deal that God has given him, Lays up Poverty in Store for his own Posterity.853.
288. I will not say these Works are Meritorious, but dare say they are Acceptable, and go not without their Reward: Tho’ to Humble us in our Fulness and Liberality too, we only Give but what is given us to Give as well as use; for if we are not our own, less is that so which God has intrusted us with.
289. Next, CHARITY makes the best Construction of Things and Persons, and is so far from being an evil Spy, a Back- biter, or a Detractor, that it excuses Weakness, extenuates Miscarriages, makes the best of every Thing; forgives every Body, serves All, and hopes to the End.
290. It moderates Extreams, is always for Expediences, labors to accommodate Differences, and had rather suffer than Revenge: And so far from Exacting the utmost Farthing, that it had rather lose than seek her Own Violently.
291. As it acts Freely, so, Zealously too; but ‘t is always to do Good, for it hurts no Body.857.
292. An Universal Remedy against Discord, and an Holy Cement for Mankind.
293. And lastly, ‘Tis Love to God and the Brethren, which raises the Soul above all worldly Considerations; and, as it gives a Taste of Heaven upon Earth, so ‘t is Heaven in the Fulness of it hereafter to the truly Charitable here.859.
294. This is the Noblest Sense Charity has, after which all should press, as that more Excellent Way.
295. Nay, most Excellent; for as Faith, Hope and Charity were the more Excellent Way that Great Apostle discovered to the Christians, (too apt to stick in Outward Gifts and Church Performances) so of that better Way he preferred Charity as the best Part, because it would out-last the rest, and abide for ever.861.
296. Wherefore a Man can never be a true and good Christian without Charity, even in the lowest Sense of it: And yet he may have that Part thereof, and still be none of the Apostle’s true Christian, since he tells us, That tho’ we should give all our Goods to the Poor, and want Charity (in her other and higher Senses) it would profit us nothing.862.
297. Nay, tho’ we had All Tongues, All Knowledge, and even Gifts of Prophesy, and were Preachers to others; ay, and had Zeal enough to give our Bodies to be burned, yet if we wanted Charity, it would not avail us for Salvation.
298. It seems it was his (and indeed ought to be our) Unum Necessarium, or the One Thing Needful, which our Saviour attributed to Mary in Preference to her Sister Martha, that seems not to have wanted the lesser Parts of Charity.
299. Would God this Divine Virtue were more implanted and diffused among Mankind, the Pretenders to Christianity especially, and we should certainly mind Piety more than Controversy, and Exercise Love and Compassion instead of Censuring and Persecuting one another in any Manner whatsoever.865.
END OF PART II