THE WAY TO Peace and Happiness: Proposed in some INSTRUCTIONS, Given formerly by a PARENT to his CHILDREN.

Which being of Concern to all, (thô of riper Years) are recommended to the Perusal of All Sorts of People, without respect of Persons or Parties, Age or Sex.

The Sixth Edition.

Ye shall Teach them your Children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine House, and when thou walkest by the Way, and when thou liest Down, and when thou risest Ʋp.

Deut. 11.19.

LONDON, Printed 1690. by John Darby, for the Author; and are to be freely given away.

CHAP. I Dear Children, Hearken diligently to the Counsel and Advice of your Parents, for they watch over you for your good.

IN the First place, let the Fear of the LORD, who is the Searcher of your Hearts, be al­ways in your Minds, that in awe of Him, you may for ever stand; not daring to bring the least Reproach upon His Holy Name, by any Mis­carriages of yours; so shall you be CHILDREN to His Praise, and a Comfort and Blessing to your Parents.

2ly. See that none of you render Evil for Evil unto any one; but do you ever follow that which is Good, both amongst your selves, and towards all Men.

3ly. Take heed of letting out your Minds and Affections to visible things; for they perish in the using, and bring trouble and sorrow to all whose Hearts are set thereon; but let your Minds al­ways be retired inwards, that you may wait to feel That, which is not of this World, nor e­steemed by it; but only esteemed by Those who know the Virtue and Ex­cellency of it, and who have been willing to part with all to purchase it; It is theOr WHITE­STONE and NEW NAME, Rev. 2.17. which no Man knows, nor can know, but he that hath it. PEARL of greatest price; happy are they that have found, or that yet shall find it.

4ly. Take heed of entring into many words, when you are bid to do any Business, either by your Parents, Masters, or other Superiors; but with all readiness of Mind, see you obey all their lawful Commands with diligence and chearful­ness.

5ly. Beware of mentioning the Name of the LORD in any case, but with Fear and Reve­rence; for His Name is hallowed by them that fear Him, but taken in vain by those that fear Him not. And thô they seem to praise or pray unto Him, yet such Services, without His Fear, are an Abomination: Wherefore take heed you be not deceived by Those, who are only in the good Words, and fair Speeches; but let your Minds be kept single to the LORD, and He will shew you, who They are, that draw nigh to Him with their Lips, when their Hearts are far from Him; and from Such you are to turn away.

6ly. Let your Words be few; and be always more ready to hear than speak, especially when the Question is not asked you: but when 'tis your place to speak, be sure it be in Mildness, Love, and Gentleness; lest through your Provo­cation you cause others to sin, and then you will not be guiltless, for their Sin will be charged up­on you: wherefore let this be always in your re­membrance, and for ever observ'd by you, (as it hath been the Practice and Experience of your Parents) to give mild and soft Answers, for they do often turn away Wrath.

7ly. Whatever you see Vertuous in any, be sure to follow That; and what you see amiss in [Page 5]others, diligently search your own Hearts, lest your selves be found guilty thereof; for 'tis an easy matter to see and find fault with Another, (most can do that) but few love to examine Themselves: be you (my dear CHILDREN) of that number, lest you perish with the Multi­tude; for the Way is broad that leads to De­strustion, and many walk therein: Therefore whilst you are young, seek after true Wisdom, and it will guide and lead you in that narrow Way, which all the Holy Men walked in, and in which All must walk, before they can enter into Eternal Rest.

8ly. Beware of reading foolish and vain Books, which tend only to the corrupting of Youth, and dishonouring the LORD: Wherefore heed you only Those that tend to Holiness and Vertue.

9ly. Consider, how the LORD hath blessed and prosper'd your Parents, notwithstanding the Fury and Rage of our Enemies, who have ac­counted us as the greatest Trans­gressorsThis was the Lot of the Ʋpright in all Ages., and judged us as the vilest of Sinners; and all this for no other cause, but only for the discharge of our Consciences in the Matters of our GOD.

10ly. I warn you; as I did the first, so I do again charge you, that you walk in Fear and in Humility all the days of your being upon the Earth; then shall you know, that the LORD hath not only blessed and prosper'd your Pa­rents, but will also bless and prosper You: but if you depart from His Fear, and cast these my [Page 6]Instructions behind your Backs; then know, that you shall perish in your own Iniquities, and I shall (thus far) be clear in my Conscience con­cerning you.

CHAP II.

1. DEar Children; Beware of a lying, flat­tering, deceitful Tongue, both in your selves and others: also beware of Pride, High­mindedness, and an exalted Spirit; for such the Righteous GOD will judge.

2. But be you adorn'd with Faithfulness, Meekness, and Patience; and let your Behaviour be Modest, Courteous, and Gentle towards all: and what-ever you would have Others do unto you, be sure you do that unto Them; and heed not so much their Duties, as your Own.

3. Busy not your Minds with Others concerns, but be you careful and diligent in the discharge of your Own; and then you need not be trou­bled, what Reproach you bear for them.

4. Be sure you waste not the Substance com­mitted to your Trust: yet, let not That be a Cloak for Covetousness, (that Grand Iniquity, of many Pretenders to Religion) but when there's, cause for it, part with it freely; lest through your unfaithfulness therein, you be rejected both of GOD and Good Men; for know, you are but Stewards of what you possess, and for which you must be accountable.

5. Be cautious how you enter into a Married Condition; but when in that State (whatever [Page 7]disappointment you meet withal) see that you faithfully perform your Relation therein; for anothers Iniquity and Vnkindness to you, will not justify nor excuse your Iniquity or Unkind­ness to them.

6. Bear patiently Afflictions, for they are good for you; therefore hasten not to be deli­ver'd from them; but, in the Retiredness of your Minds, consider the Cause, and being bet­ter'd thereby, bless the LORD for His Mercies; for whom He loves, He chastises,

7. Be careful with whom you associate; and chuse none to be your Intimates, but Such who are exemplary in Vertue and Goodness: so will you avoid much Contention and Trouble.

8. Be ready to do Good unto All, as Oppor­tunity is offer'd: and take heed of wasting any of the good Creatures; for if you be unfaithful in those Things that are Earthly, who shall com­mit to you Those that are Heavenly?

9. Be not desirous of Riches or Honour; nei­ther covet That which is anothers; but be con­tent with your present Conditions, and learn to be as well satisfied with Want, as Abundance; then will you follow the Steps of your Parents, who have learn'd Contentment, whatever befalls them.

10. Beware of Jeering, or Scoffing at any; neither give abusive or scurrilous Language, (ei­ther by Tongue or Pen) for Than will pro­voke the LORD's Anger against you, and bring Reproach and Trouble upon your Parents, who always disliked, yea abhorred, such Things.

11. Be careful your Hearts and Minds be kept clean within, and then you need not be advised to have your Words and Actions clean without, for that will unavoidably follow.

12. Be not hasty in Reproving or Correcting of any; but if call'd thereto, let it be in Love, and in Wisdom and if the Offence be Great, let it be with Severity, yet not in Anger or Pas­sion; for That will harden them against you; and so instead of bettering them, you will there­by become Transgressors your selves.

13. Beware that your Wills bear not rule in any case, but let Truth and Righteousness always be the Sway of your Judgments; then will you be deliver'd from that great Iniquity, which hath so deeply corrupted many.

14. Be sure you have regard to the Oppressed, and take heed how you make Advantage of ano­thers Necessity, but rather consider how you may be helpful unto them; always remembring the Parable of the good Samaritan, Luk. 10.33.

15. Be Cautious for Whom you are engag'd, or unto Whom you are oblig'd; for such things do often prove Snares: but be more ready to Give, than to Receive, and yet be sure to acknow­ledg the least Kindness; for Ingratitude is hateful.

16. Be not self-ended; neither spend too much upon your own Particulars, either in Meats, Drinks, Clothing, or any thing else, for That may be a hindrance to the Good you should do; but rather be sparing in That which relates to your selve, that you may be in the better capacity to do the Good you ought to perform to Others.

17. Be not found in many Needless words; neither contend with such as are in them, for That begets strife: but as They (out of the evil that is in their Hearts) bring forth Evil things; so do You (out of the Good that is in yours) bring forth Good things.

18. Be not grasping after Earthly Concerns; for They bring Trouble and Sorrow; and yet, how many, through their eager desires after such things, have choaked that Good, which once stirred in them: wherefore, take warning, and learn this as a Truth experienc'd by Me, that a Little will satisfy a contented Mind.

CHAP. III.

1. BE not desirous after that Knowledg, which will lift and puff up your Minds; neither be too prying into those Mysteries, that are hid; but if the LORD should reveal any thing unto you, be sure of leave, When, and to Whom to im­part it, not daring, either to add, or diminish; for That has been (and is, this Day) a great and sore Evil.

2. Beware of taking up your Rest in any outward Form of Worship, but keep in subjection to the Fear of the LORD, who may lead into, or out of such Things, as He pleaseth, so, let Him be your Guide all your days, thô you should be hated of All for His sake; for our Eyes have seen the sad Fruits and Effects of Those, that have gone about to set Limits and Bounds to His Leadings.

3. Beware of Imitating other Mens Words, Gestures, or Actions, that relate to Religious Performances; for Imitators, as well as Image­makers, in Worship, are an Abomination; and yet Thousands do err, and have erred herein: Neither be Followers of the vain Fashions and Customs of this World; but whatsoever is ver­tuous, and of good report, That you may, and ought to follow.

4. Be not hasty in judging other Mens Acti­ons, wherein you have neither Command nor Certainty; it being not barely the Action, but the Spirit from whence it proceeds, that makes it either Accepted, or Rejected: therefore take heed, lest you condemn That, which GOD justi­fies; for many are guilty herein, notwithstanding it is written, Judg not according to outward ap­pearance; but if you do, You must, as well as They, witness Sorrow.

5. But lest, through many Words, your Minds should be drawn forth, and (as but too too many have been) hurt thereby, it's with me, to conclude with those Two great and weighty Commandments, viz. the First is, You shall love the LORD with all your Hearts, with all your Souls, and with all your Strength. And the Second is like unto it, You shall love your Neighbours as your Selves: For upon these Two Commandments, depends All that can be Written, or Spoken, con­cerning your Duties either to GOD or Men.

6. My Love is sincere to All, that in upright­ness of Heart serve the LORD, in what Profes­sion, [Page 11]or Persuasion of Religion soever; well knowing, that 'tis Those, and only Those, that Love, Fear, and Obey HIM, and do the Things that are Just and Right amongst Men, that are accepted of HIM at this Day.

7. For, What doth the LORD require of Thee, O Man, but to do Justly, to love Mercy, and to walk Humbly before HIM?

CHAP. IV. Hear Me your Father, O Children, and do there­after, that you may be safe. Eccles. 3.1.

1. IF you come to serve the LORD, prepare your Souls for Temptation. Set your Hearts aright, and Constantly endure, and make not haste in time of Trouble.

2. Whatsoever is brought upon you, take chearfully: For, as Gold is tried in the Fire, so are Acceptable Men in the Furnace of Adversity.

3. So incline your Ears unto Wisdom, and ap­ply your Hearts to Understanding, and seek Her as Silver, and search for Her as for hid Trea­sures: then shall you understand the Fear of the LORD, and find the Knowledg of GOD.

4. Happy is the Man that findeth Wisdom, and the Man that getteth Understanding: But where is Wisdom to be found? and where is the Place of Understanding? The Fear of the LORD, that is Wisdom and to depart from Evil, that is Ʋnderstanding.

5. Wisdom exalteth Her Children, and layeth hold of them that seek Her; they that love Her, love Life; and they that seek Her early, shall be [Page 12]filled with Joy; and wheresoever She entereth, the LORD will bless; and if you commit your selves unto Her, you shall inherit Her.

6. But at the first, She will walk with you by Crooked Ways, and bring Fear and Dread upon you, and torment you with Her Discipline, until She can trust your Souls, and try you by her Laws.

7. Then will She return the streight way unto you, and comfort you, and shew you of Her Secrets.

8. But if you go wrong, She will forsake you, and give you over to your own Ruin.

CHAP. V. POSTSCRIPT.

1. MY dear Children, had you well Heeded, and faithfully Obeyed my former In­structions, you had not needed any further Ad­vice or Counsel from Me, touching the Way to Rest, Peace, and endless Happiness.

2. Let a diligent Search be made in each of your Hearts, and there you may see [by that Heavenly and Divine Principle which GOD hath given You to be your JUDGE, and LAW­GIVER] whether you have not been more Re­miss, Disregardful, and Negligent therein, than you might or ought to have been: How­ever, whilst my Life is spared amongst you, I cannot but have a true Love, Care, and Concern for you All, that you may not so much seek your Selves, your own Honour, Pleasure, or Preferment, or whatsoever this Life can afford, [Page 13]as that you may be Patterns of Vertue, exem­plary in Goodness, and Preachers of Righteous­ness, in all your Lives and Conversations.

3. This, This, is That will make you hap­py in all Conditions; This is That will give you true Peace, Quietness, and Contentedness, in the midst of all the Hurries, Heats, Disor­ders, Distractions, and Confusions, that are at this Day. I say, who are come hither, to this Holy, Heavenly, and Divine Life, and feel it powerfully reigning in them, Such cannot be afraid of any evil Tidings; and thô they may be made to oppose and reprove Others, and suf­fer much Abuse and Reproach for so doing, yet they cannot but love, and have compassion on their worst and greatest Enemies, but may not love, nor join to Iniquity in their Nearest and Dearest Friends: Such cannot but prize, and highly esteem true Nobility, Vertue, and Good­ness in whomsoever, without respect of Persons or Parties.

4. Now, my dear Children, the occasion of my Writing at this time is, not only and alone for Your sakes, but for the sake of Many OTHERS, who, I believe, are hungring and thirsting after Righteousness, and who in secret are crying, and saying in their Hearts, Who will shew us any Good? And seeing the LORD hath put it into my Heart, to write both to You and Them these few Lines, and to reprint my former INSTRUCTI­ONS; I hope They will be well weighed, and deeply considered of by you All, for they are of Moment, being not writ from the wise prying, [Page 14]fathoming, comprehending Part in Man, but from the same Good Spirit, that the Holy Men of Old writ and spake by.

5. Wherefore, upon Your and their receiving, or rejecting the Counsel herein given you, de­pends your Blessing, or your Curse; your Weal, or Wo; your Happiness, or Vnhappiness; your Peace and Quietness, or your Trouble and Dis­content; for such as you sow, such will you reap.

6. So that it is with Me to let You and Them know, (as the Servant of the LORD once said to the Israelites) that LIFE and Death, Good and Evil is here set before You: And thô the Way that leads to Life be strait and narrow, yet know, and that for a Truth, that 'tis both easy, plain, pleasant, and exceeding (yea, beyond all utterance) delightful to those Sincere Souls, who are resigned, and resolved to walk in it: Such who know the Virtue and Excellency thereof, have been willing to part with All that hath been near or dear unto them, that they might be preserved Faithful therein; neither can They leave it, nor forsake it, for all the Treasures, Pleasures, and Advantages that this World can give.

7. For this Path was the Path of the Just in all Ages, and which all the Holy Men did chear­fully embrace, and walk in; and that You and I may be Followers of their Steps, is the hearty desire of,

Your well-wishing, and truly loving Father, J.P.
Dec. 14. 1683.

CHAP. VI. This following is here inserted, for the sake of some People, whom it nearly concerns.

1. WHen They cast up the Accounts of their Sins, they shall come with Fear: and their own Iniquities shall convince them to their Face.

2. Then shall the Righteous Man stand in great Boldness before the Face of such as af­flicted him, and made no account of his Labours.

3. When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible Fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his Salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for.

4. And They, Repenting and Groaning for anguish of Spirit, shall say within themselves, This was He, whom we had sometime in Derision, and a Proverb of Reproach.

5. We Fools counted his Life Madness, and his End to be without Honour. How is he numbred a­mong the Children of GOD, and his Let among the Saints?

6. If a Man say, I love GOD, and hateth his Brother, he is a Liar; for he who loveth not his Brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love GOD whom he hath not seen?

7. And this Commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth GOD, love his Brother also.

CHAP. VII

THere is a Spirit, which I feel, and am a Witness of, that cannot delight in doing any Evil, nor in revenging any Wrong; but delights in the Will of its Hea­venly Father: It willingly endures all things, in hopes to meet with its own in the End; its hope is, to outlive all Strife and Conten­tion, and to weary out all Exaltation and Cruelty, or whatsoever is of a Nature con­trary to it self: It is conceived in Sorrow, and brought forth through Suffering; for with the World's Joy it is murdered. I found It, being Alone, and have Fellow­ship therein, with Those, who lived in Dens, and Desolate Places of the Earth, of whom this World was not worthy; who through Faith, Vertue, and a good Life, obtained this BLESSED and HAPPY STATE.

SHine forth, Great GLORY, shine, that I may see,
Both how to loath my Self, and honour THEE.
O give me Grace, to mind, and use Time so,
That I may do THY Work before I go:
And help, and pardon me, when I transgress,
Through Humane Frailty, or Forgetfulness.

Mark the Perfect Man, and behold the Ʋpright; for the End of that Man is Peace.

THE END.

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