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MORE Fruits of Solitude: BEING The Second PART OF REFLECTIONS AND MAXIMS, Relating to the CONDUCT OF Human Life.

NEWPORT, Rhode Island:

Printed by James Franklin, at the Town-School-House, 1749.

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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 Labours of Indiffer­ent [Page] Authors are under, at a Time when hardly any Thing passes for Currant, 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 tolerably 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.

[Page]Next, Though some Men should not find it relish'd High Enough for their finer Wits, or warmer Pallats, it may not perhaps be Useless to those of lower Flights, and who are Less Engaged in publick Heats.

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.

[Page] Let not Envy mis-interpret his Intention, and he will be accountable for all other Faults.

Vale.

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More Fruits of Solitude: BEING The SECOND PART OF REFLECTIONS AND MAXIMS.

The RIGHT MORALIST.

1. A Right Moralist, is a Great and Good Man, but for that Reason he is rarely to be found.

[Page 2]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 Neigh­bour of his Credit, or that [Page 3] craftily undermines him of his Trade or Office.

5. If a Man pays his Tay­lor, but Debauches his Wife; Is he a currant Moralist?

6. But what shall we say of the Man that Rebels against his Father, is an ill Husband, or an Abusive Neighbour; 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 [Page 4] Himself too, though he should not defraud his Neighbour, be the Moral Man?

8. Do I owe myself No­thing? And do I not owe All to God? And if pay­ing what we owe makes the Moral Man, Is it not sit 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 [Page 5] 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 mis­imploy another's Goods.

11. But can there be no Debt, but to a fellow Crea­ture? Or, will our Exact­ness in paying those [...] once, while we neglect our weightier Obligations, Cancel the Bonds we lie un­der, and render us right and thorough Moralists?

[Page 6]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 Extents 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 Neighbour as him­self, which fulfils both Tables at once.

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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, 'tis better; but if by Disguises, 'tis 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 preferr'd, es­pecially when Sense is at Helm.

[Page 8]18. The Glorying of the other Humour is in a Vice: For it is not Humane to be Cold, Dark, and Uncon­versable. I was 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 [...], where they say, Witches, tho' not many Cunjurors, dwell.

20. Like Highway-Men, that rarely rob without Vi­zards, [Page 9] or in the same Wigs and Cloaths, but have a Dress for every Enterprize.

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, tho' it should neither please God nor himself at bottom.

[Page 10]24. He is for every Cause that brings him Gain, but Implacable if disappointed of Success.

25. And what he cannot hinder, he will be sure to spoil, by over-doing it.

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 wont do, [Page 11] with as good a Grace as the Right.

29. Nay, he commonly chuses 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 every-where a very Bird of Prey.

32. True to nothing but himself, and false to all Per­sons and Parties, to serve his own Turn.

[Page 12]33. Talk with him as often as you please, he will never pay you in good Coin; for 'tis 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 Honour.

[Page 13]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, 'tis 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 Honour, 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, [Page 14] 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 [...] first, (viz. to believe any Thing t'other says) is look'd upon to be Trick'd.

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 [Page 15] 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 be­ lieved by them, I hath 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.

[Page 16]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.

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 hightens the Wise Man's Won­der and Aversion: Perhaps it is to betray a Father, a Brother, a Master, a Friend, a Neighbour, or ones own Party.

[Page 17]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 grosly 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.

[Page 18]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: [Page 19] For sometimes such may be sound, 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 Honour will not lead them on; and that had rather bear the Disgrace of not being thorough [...] Men, than forfeit their Peace and Reputation by a base Compliance.

The WISE MAN.

52. The Wise Man Go­verns himself by the Reason [Page 20] 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. Tho' you cannot al­ways penetrate his Design, or 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 Honour, as often as they are tryed.

55. He scorns to serve himself by Indirect Means, [Page 21] or be an Interloper in Go­vernment, since Just Enter­prizes 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.

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.

[Page 22]59. The Wise Man is equal, ready, but not offici­ous; has in every Thing an Eye to Sare 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.

[Page 23]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 Neighbour as him­self.

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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 thro' too great a Mixture and Confusion of [Page 25] Thoughts, have been hardly able to make a Right or Mature Judgment of Things.

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.

[Page 26]67. In fine, 'tis to this that we ought to ascribe, if not all, at least most of the Infelicities we Labour under.

68. Clear therefore thy Head, and Rall [...], 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.

69. Always remember to bound thy Thoughts to the present Occasion.

70. If it be thy Religi­ous Duty, suffer nothing else [Page 27] 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-la­bours 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, and renders them Illegible.

72. They that are least [...] in their Care, always [Page 28] 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.

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; [Page 29] and rather lessen than aug­ment Work for thyself.

76. Nor yet be over­eager 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 Sow'd.

78. 'Tis the Advantage that slower Tempets have upon the Men of lively Parts, [Page 30] that tho' they don't lead, they will Follow well, and Glean Clean.

79. Upon the whole Mat­ter, Employ thy Thoughts as thy Business requires, and let that have 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.

Of ENVY.

80. It is the Mark of an ill Nature, to lessen good Actions, and aggravate ill Ones.

[Page 31]81. Some Men do as much begrudge 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: [Page 32] 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.

85. It is as Envious as Un­just, to under-rate another's Actions where their intrin­sick Worth recommends them to disengaged Minds.

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 [Page 33] End of Pilfering to raise their own Credit.

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, Vertue 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!

[Page 34]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.

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, [Page 35] 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.

Of AMBITION.

96. They that soar too high, often fall hard; which [Page 36] makes a low and level Dwel­ling preferable.

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 Builders had need of a good Foundation, that lie so much exposed to Weather.

100. Good Works are a Rock that will support their Credit; but ill Ones a Sandy [Page 37] Foundation that Yields to Calamities.

101. And truly [...] 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.

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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.

[Page 39]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, 'tis 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.

[Page 40]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 Complements of Men.

[Page 41]111. Make ever therefore Allowances for what is said on such Occasions, or thou Exposest, as well as Deceivest thyself.

112. For an over-value of ourselves, gives us but a dan­gerous Security in many Re­spects.

113. We expect more than belongs to us; take all that's given us, tho' never meant us; and fall out with those that are not as full of us, as we are of our selves.

114. In short, 'tis a Pas­sion that abuses our Judg­ment, [Page 42] 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 [Page 43] his Opinion, has nothing to answer for.

119. Vanity or Resent­ment often engage us, and 'tis two to one but welcome off Losses; 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, 'tis in Throngs or ill Company.

121. Beware also of Af­fectation in Speech; it often [Page 44] 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.

[Page 45]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 Labouring 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, 'tis but Taudry Talk, and next to very Trash.

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UNION of FRIENDS.

127. They that love be­yond the World, cannot be se­perated by it.

128. Death cannot kill, what never dies.

129. Nor can Spirits ever be divided, that love and live in the same Divine Prin­ciple; the Root and Record of their Friendship.

130. If Absence be not Death, neither is theirs.

131. Death is but Crossing the World, as Friends do the [Page 47] Seas: They live in one an­other still.

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 tho' they may be said to Die, yet their Friendship and So­ciety are, in the best Sense, ever present, because Immor­tal.

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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.

[Page 49]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 lest 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, 'tis certain, that the Liberty of the Mind is mightily preserved by it: [Page 50] For so 'tis 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 Antients is hardly in any Thing more to be celebrated, than in a Strict and Youthful Institution of Youth.

145. By Labour they pre­vented Luxury in their young People, till Wisdom and Phi­losophy had taught them to Resist and Despise it.

[Page 51]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 observa­able, 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.

[Page 52]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, [Page 53] 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 it.

153. And thus Men im­prove their own Miseries, for want of an Equal and [Page 54] Just Estimate of what they Enjoy or Lose.

154. There lies a Proviso upon every Thing in this World, and we [...] observe it at our own Peril, viz. To love God above all, and Act for Judgment, the Last I mean.

Of the RULE of JUDGING.

155. In all Things, Rea­son should prevail: 'Tis quite another Thing to be stiff than steady in an Opi­nion.

[Page 55]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 Hu­mour more than Truth, and prefer a sullen Pride to a rea­sonable Submission.

159. 'Tis the Glory of a Man to vail to Truth; as it is the Mark of a good Nature to be Easily entreat­ed.

[Page 56]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 of­sensive.

161. A reasonable Opinion must ever be in Danger, where Reason is not Judge.

162. Tho' there is a Re­gard due to Education, and the Tradition of our Fa­thers, Truth will ever de­serve as well as claim the Preference.

[Page 57]163. If like Theophilus and Timothy, we have been brought up in the Know­ledge of the best Things, 'tis 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, [Page 58] 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 it self; tho' of that let every Man be Judge for himself.

169. Reason, like the Sun, is Common to All; And 'tis for want of exa­mining all by the same Light and Measure, that we are not all of the same Mind: [Page 59] For all have it to that End, though all do not use it So.

Of FORMALITY.

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.

[Page 60]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 [Page 61] 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, [Page 62] 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.

[Page 63]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 an 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 [Page 64] have it, if it be to be had.

183. Many are so, meer­ly 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.

185. And indeed there are few Dealers, but what are Faulty; which makes Trade Difficult, and a great Temptation to Men of Vir­tue.

[Page 65]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.

[Page 66]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.

Of JEALOUSY,

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.

[Page 67]192. This Civil Dissen­tion 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.

194. It Violates Contracts, Dissolves Society, Breaks Wed­lock, Betrays Friends and Neighbours. No Body is Good, and every one is either do­ing or designing them a Mis­chief.

195. It has a Venom that more or less rankles where­ever [Page 68] it Bites: And as it re­ports Fancies for Facts, so it disturbs its own House as often as other Folks.

196. It's Rise is Guilt or Ill Nature, and by Reflec­tion, thinks it's own Faults to be other Men's; as he that's over-run 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.

[Page 69]

Of STATE.

198. I love Service, but not State: One is Useful, the other 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 ourselves, and Augments our Temptation to Disorder.

201. The Least Thing out of Joint, or omitted, makes us uneasy, and we are ready to think our [Page 70] selves ill served, about that which is of no real Service at all: Or so much better then other Men, as we have the Means of greater State.

202. Put this is all for want of Wisdom, which car­ries the truest and most force­able State along with it.

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.

[Page 71]

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 [Page 72] 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 Loiterings, Wastings, or dis­honourable Reflections.

211. So that a true Ser­vant is Diligent, Secret, and Respectful: More Tender of [Page 73] his Master's Honour 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.

214. Some are as eager to be Rich, as ever they were to Live: For Superfluity, as for Subsistance.

[Page 74]215. But that Plenty should augment Covetousness, is a Perversion of Providence; and yet the Generality are the worse for their Riches.

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.

217. So that instead of learning to leave their great Wealth easily, they hold the [Page 75] Faster, because they must leave it: So Sordid is the Temper of some Men.

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 Neighbours.

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.

220. This is the worst sort of Idolatry, because there can be no Religion in it, nor Ig­norance pleaded in Excuse of [Page 76] 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 our selves, is great Injustice, as well as Ingratitude.

222. If all Men were so far Tenants to the Publick, that the Supersluities of Gain [Page 77] and Expence were apply­ed 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 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 [Page 78] Lawful and Useful Things are Excised by Laws, and Pride lest 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 [Page 79] Pride of the People; which because the Execution of them would be our Interest and Honour, 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 is such Trade in Consequence ru­ins the Kingdom, is it not Time to ruin that Trade? Is Moderation no Part of [Page 80] our Duty, and Temperance an Enemy to Government?

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.

232. Is there no better Employment for the Poor than Luxury? Miserable Na­tion!

[Page 81]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?

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 not Cure the People, it will help to Keep the Kingdom.

[Page 82]

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.

[Page 83]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 People's.

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.

[Page 84]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 its 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.

[Page 85]245. For tho' they stand on higher Ground, and so see further than their Neigh­bours, 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.

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.

248. May we have more of them, or less Need of them.

[Page 86]

The CONFORMIST.

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.

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 [Page 87] 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 Septicism in Judgment, and much less so in Practice.

[Page 88]

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.

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.

[Page 89]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 itself, from the King to the Scavenger.

[Page 90]158. 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 Honour 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 [Page 91] 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 Favours.

260. But it is but too near a-kin to us, to think no farther 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.

261. 'Tis a dangerous Perversion of the End of Providence, to Consume the Time, Power, and Wealth [Page 92] he has given us above o­ther Men, to gratify our Sordid Passions, instead of playing the good Stewards, to the Honour of our great Benefactor, and the Good of our fellow-Crea­tures.

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.

263. For tho' God has dignified some Men above their Brethren, it never was to serve their Pleasures, but [Page 93] 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 'tis 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, [Page 94] 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 al­l wable Services, it has an humbling Consideration, and what should raise the [Page 95] 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 Hight, and narrow our State and Attendance.

[Page 96]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 Preserr'd them, and the Be­nefit of their fellow Crea­tures.

[Page 97]

Of REFINING upon other Men's ACTIONS or INTERESTS.

271. This seems to be the Master-Piece of our Politi­cians: But no Body 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 [Page 98] 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.

[Page 99]275. 'Tis in short, a Wood, a Maze; and of nothing are we more uncertain, nor in any thing do we oftner be­fool ourselves.

276. The Mischiefs are many that follow this Hu­mour, and dangerous: For Men Misguide themselves, act upon false Measures, and meet frequently with mis­chievous Disappointments.

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 [Page 100] 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.

279. 'Tis hard to express it's 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.

[Page 101]

Of CHARITY.

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 Helping­Hand 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.

[Page 102]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 [...] 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.

[Page 103]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.

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.

[Page 104]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, labours 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.

[Page 105]291. As it acts Freely, so Zealously too; but 'tis always to do Good, for it hurts no Body.

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 'tis Heaven in the Fulness of it hereafter, to the truly Cha­ritable here.

[Page 106]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 preferr'd Charity as the best Part, because it would out-last the rest, and abide for ever.

296. Wherefore a Man can never be a true and good Christian without Charity, even in the lowest Sense of [Page 107] 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.

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) [Page 108] Unum Necessarium, or the One Thing Needful, which our Saviour attributed to Mary in Preferrence 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.

FINIS.
[Page]

THE INDEX.

  • THE Right Moralist, Pag. 1
  • The World's Able Man, P. 7.
  • The Wise Man, P. 19.
  • Of the Government of Thoughts, P. 24.
  • Of Envy, P. 30.
  • Of Man's Life, P. 34.
  • Of Ambition, P. 35.
  • Of Praise or Applause, P. 38.
  • Of Conduct in Speech, P. 42.
  • Union of Friends, P. 46.
  • Of being Easy in Living, P. 48.
  • Of Man's Inconsiderateness and Partiality, P. 51.
  • Of the Rule of Judging, P. 54.
  • [Page] Of Formality, P. 59.
  • Of the mean Notion we have of God, P. 60.
  • Of the Benefit of Justice, P. 63.
  • Of Jealousy, P. 66.
  • Of State, P. 69.
  • Of a good Servant, P. 71.
  • Of an Immoderate Pursuit of the World, P. 73.
  • Of the Interest of the Publick in our Estates, P. 76.
  • The Vain Man, P. 82.
  • The Conformist, P. 86.
  • The Obligations of Great Men to Almighty God, P. 88.
  • Of Refining upon other Men's Actions or Interests, P. 27.
  • Of Charity, P. 101.

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