AN ESSAY ON CONDUCT AND EDUCATION. Recommended To the People called QUAKERS, By J. F.

1 Pet. iv. 18. And if the Righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the Ungodly and Sinner appear!

The THIRD EDITION, With an Addition of a POSTSCRIPT to People of all other Perswasions.

LONDON Printed: PHILADELPHIA: Reprinted and Sold by JAMES CHATTIN, at the PRINTING-OFFICE, next Door to the PIPE, in CHURCH-ALLEY, M,DCC,LII. [Price 6 d]



WHen first I began the following Lines, I was so far from the Lesign of publishing them, that I only intended them as a private Let­ter to my Friend J. C. containing my Sentiments relating to the SOCIETY, from an Apprehension of the Want of such Examples and Precepts in the Parents and Elders, as rise from the Experience of the Work of Regeneration, and the total subduing the natural Will of Man, and its being brought into compleat Subjection to the Will of God; by which, the Desire and Inclination being changed, and they created in Christ Jesus unto good Works might glorify God, in living new Lives; Lives of Holiness and Purity; and so might truly exhort the rising Generation, to be "Followers of them, as they follow Christ;" and, from such a Conduct in the World, as proceeds from thence, might "a­dorn the Doctrine of God, our Saviour, in all Things;" and be as "Lights in the World," and an Honour to the high Profession we make among Men; without which Experience, Endeavours, in Education, are render'd saint, and very much un­profitable.

But when I consider'd that the Publishing the en­suing Lines, could not be injurious to any; but might be of some Advantage to the Religious and [Page iv]Well-inclined (whether old or young) or at least afford them an innocent, if not commendable, A­musement, I was induced to publish them, that, as my Friend J. C. has seasonably called, more espe­cially to the Youth, I might likewise remind the El­ders of their Duty also; that all might answer their Calling, which is to Holiness, and the End thereof, Eternal Life.

Innumerable are the Advantages enjoy'd, even in this Life, by such as take the Advice of our Sa­viour, viz. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his Righteousness, and all these Things shall be added unto you;" and if Mankind were so happy, as "to remember their Creator in the Days of their Youth, while the evil Days come not," and knew their Affections limitted, and brought under proper Restrictions, by the Operation of the Spirit of God, in their own Hearts, they would, thereby, be ful­ly furnished, unto every good Word and Work. This would likewise preserve the Youth in an in­nocent Conversation, and direct them, even in the Management of the Affairs of this Life, in their first setting out in the World, particularly in that important Affair of Marriage; and, afterwards, in the Christian and prudent Education of their Chil­dren, &c. the want of which, is the Cause of many Evils and Disadvantages, under which Mankind la­bour; that this may be as much as possible avoided, and that Truth and Righteousness may be propa­gated, and continued, from one Generation to a­nother, is the Desire of a Well-wisher to all Man­kind, but, more especially, to the Houshold of Faith.

J. F.
[Page 5]


WHoe're attempts Mens Morals to reclaim,
Or shew wherein their Conduct is to blame;
Or dare remind Professors, more or less,
Wherein they err from what they do profess;
Must, previous to this kind Attempt, expect
It will not always have its wish'd Effect:
The best Advice is often most despis'd
By those who want the most to be advis'd;
The Whole, who think they no Physician need,
Will no Advice receive, nor Caution heed;
The harden'd Sinner, being stupid grown,
Will hate Reproof, and no Misconduct own,
And they, who after fading Pleasure run,
And blindly them pursue, will Counsel shun;
The Unbelieving will not always be
Prevail'd upon, their Unbelief to see;
Nor will be apt Instruction to receive,
To learn of That, in which they don't believe:
While the Upright, and those who are sincere,
Their Words and Ways review with jealous Fear;
[Page 6] Who doubt their Case, and fear it is not right,
And often bring their Deeds unto the Light;
Whose sole Dependance is upon the Lord,
And cry to Him, that He may Strength afford;
And may from Evil daily them preserve,
That, from his righteous Law, they may not swerve.
Yet for the Sake of those who are but frail,
On whom Temptations easily prevail;
Or being heedless, have no solid Thought
To judge aright of Matters as they ought;
Or being vain, and full of empty Prate,
Have no just Notions of a future State;
Or being young, not much deprav'd by Sin,
Yet not adhering to the Guide within;
Or being older, just begin to choke
Its close Reprovings, to avoid its Stroke;
Or being older still, and more to blame,
Their Duties know, and yet neglect the same:
In Love, to such, I ventur'd to disclose
My private Thoughts, and these my Lines expose:
But think it just to let my Reader know,
To what I do this Publication owe:
My first Inducement having only been
A small Performance, which I've lately seen,
Which, when I saw, I read with some Delight,
To see the Author there the Youth invite
To learn of WISDOM, that they may be wise,
And her Instructions always truly prize;
Whose Ways are Pleasure, and whose Paths are Peace,
And all that walk therein will find Increase.
O may the Youth, of this, their Choice yet make,
May they, betimes, his friendly Counsel take,
And what Advice he there does freely give,
I hope, in Love, they will of him receive;
Who having now himself to them discharg'd,
I own, I've wish'd his Heart again enlarg'd
To publish more Advice, more Counsel shew,
And tell the Elders next what they should do;
[Page 7] The Parents, how themselves they should behave
In Conversation, prudent, wise, and grave;
That they thereby may good Examples give,
And shew their Children how they ought to live;
And, by their Care, in ev'ry Word and Way,
May good Instructions to their Minds convey:
For Children, when but young, are quick of Sight
To spy their Parents wrong, or find them right;
And soon observe how well their Words agree,
With that Behaviour which they daily see.
Here then is Room the Parents to advise,
That they may learn of WISDOM to be wise;
And having learnt compleatly to deny
The Glory, Pomp, and short-liv'd Vanity
Of this low World, that lies in Wickedness,
May to their Off-spring shew the Happiness
Of Self-denial, and the inward Peace,
Which, thro' Obedience, daily doth increase:
Lest, when their childish Ways and Years decline,
With greater Follies their Affections join.
That, from Experience, Children may be taught
To set such low, uncertain Things, at nought;
And in their Minds the Principle instil
Of due Submission to the heav'nly Will;
And daily by Example clearly shew
The various Duties which to Men are due.
These needful Precepts, frequently imprest
With Warmth and Sweetness, very oft are blest
With good Success, and may in them create
A Love to Truth, and teach 'em how to wait
To know that Pow'r that would their Minds redeem
From ev'ry Sin, and gain them good Esteem.
This, to the Youth, would great Advantage prove,
And in the Parents shew the Strength of Love,
Which to their Children would more sweetly flow,
Than their endeavouring riches to bestow.
I thought, 'tis true, how much he might have said,
Had he but then a further Progress made;
[Page 8] Had he review'd the Church's present State,
So zealous once, so much deprav'd of late;
So much declined from that godly Fear,
Which in our early Worthies did appear:
Who were influenc'd by that just Regard,
That rather acts from Duty, than Reward.
These useful Hints, I thought, might aptly
Well recommended to my Friend J—C—
But when I wrote what first to me accurr'd,
(By Zeal and Love together jointly spurr'd)
The fruitful Subject much deceiv'd my Quill,
Which, more than Hints, did sundry Pages fill:
Exceeding thus the Bounds I first intended,
I've done the Work I would have recommended;
That, as the Youth by him admonish'd were,
The Elders might as justly have a Share
Not solid Elders, grounded well in Truth,
But careless Ones, unmindful of the Youth;
Old in Profession, older yet in Years,
In whom, as yet, no just Concern appears
For Zion's Welfare, or the Church's Good,
Though getting Wealth by them is understood,
Whose earthly Minds, by earthly Tho'ts employ'd,
Think all is well, if Riches are enjoy'd.
In grasping after which, th' Apostle saith
"Some (then Believers) erred from the Faith,
"And pierc'd themselves by many Sorrows," which
Men fall into by hast'ning to be rich;
Whose nat'ral Off-spring, by Example sway'd,
Are by the pleasing Baits too soon betray'd;
Their Wealth they mix, their Heaps together lay,
The Parents thus their Children oft betray
To join in Marriage, not unto the Lord,
Who sundry Causes of Complaint afford:
Thus Parents they become, before they know
The Source from whence all solid Comforts flow;
And, while they know it not, none can expect
They should their Children to the same direct.
[Page 9] Thus, Avarice and Negligence, we see,
Of lasting Hurt, and Consequence, may be.
Tho' good Advice, and Conduct too, may fail,
Yet, many Times, we see it does prevail:
But no Endeavours, can have no Success;
Where Care is not, there's none for God to bless:
Thus, Want of Zeal and Care, too often brings
An Inlet, first to small, then greater Things;
From small Beginnings great Events proceed,
And early Failings greater Evils breed:
Plainness, as Trifles, first is laid aside,
In Speech, and Cloathing, and pursuing Pride;
They next the Customs of the World admire,
Behave like others, others Ways desire;
This leads to join in Company, and then
They love to act, and do, like other Men;
Affect to look like others, high and great,
And not behold the Snare, till 'tis too late;
Profusely live, with Tables richly spread,
As free from humble Tho'ts, as full of Bread;
Grandly appear expecting to advance
Themselves thereby; and Fortunes to enhance;
Business they love, and croud themselves with Trade,
Their Rest they break, and Peace of Mind invade;
No inward Check can scarce attend to hear,
Nor too its just Reproof can lend an Ear;
Trade must be minded, Bus'ness carried on,
And new contrived Schemes be thought upon:
The Mind, thus hurried, oft is sorely vex'd,
And the Affairs of Life too much perplex'd.
The Mind ambitious, cannot stoop to see
The Danger nigh, or think 'twill ever be;
They trade, they spend, and more they spend than gain.
Till Streights attend, and striving proves in vain;
Their Pride then falls, their Substance being low,
They've not wherewith to pay those Sums they owe;
Compound, perhaps, and pay the Quarter Part,
Then strive to live by Shifts and Turns of Art:
[Page 10] Perhaps, by Breaking, some Advantage gain,
(Tho' other Man then [...] great Loss sustain)
And cause Reproach, and Scandal, to be thrown
Upon the People they pretend to own;
This evil Conduct plainly gives the Lie
To their Pretensions, tho' exceeding high:
For who, that is not moral, can pretend
To own the Truth, and call himself a Friend?
Or say the Christian Doctrine he believes,
Who thus, By Fraud, his Creditor deceives?
Our Actions always louder speak than Words,
And of our Hearts the best Ide' affords:
True saving Faith, by Works is rightly shown;
As Trees, by Fruits, are only truly known.
As ISRAEL was commanded to behold
ABR'AM and SARAH, in the Days of old,
Whose great Uprightness, and Integrity,
Was, doubtless, what the Lord would have them see;
Let us now then our Ancients Conduct view,
And to our Youth the like Advice renew,
That they may see the Zeal and Circumspection
Of our Fore-fathers, and from due Inspection
Of their good Works, may raise a just Reflection;
And see, if we their Virtues do retain,
With whom the same Profession doth remain.
Our Friends, at first, no such Examples gave,
But with the utmost Caution did behave;
And being then with Godly Fear endu'd,
Such Cause of Scandal purposely eschew'd,
And yet with proper Care their Trades pursu'd;
And as [...] Zeal was great, their Suff'rings large,
And Labour much, their Duty to discharge
With Faithfulness; so were they diligent
All just Reproach entirely to prevent,
Had what was meet, and with it were content.
No great Expences did their Lives attend,
Nor living great and high, their Substance spend.
[Page 11] No needless Dishes did they then provide
Nor no Utensils, meerly bought for Pride.
No Promise broke, nor shuffling Contract made,
Were strictly just in every Branch of Trade;
Sincere their Words, as plain their Hearts as Dress,
Which well agreed with what they did profess;
And as the Laws, and Fines, were then severe,
Their Minds were full of Honesty and Care;
Quick Payments made, that what they lost might be
Their own, and not anothers, Property;
Thus they preserv'd, with Godliness and Fear,
The Testimony which they had to bear.
I hope 'twill be with very great Regret,
That I shall once be tempted to forget,
That my own Father once a Pris'ner was,
With many others, for God's right'ous Cause,
And, tho' but young in Years, was greatly blest
With Favours, which his Children since possest;
Shall we, his Issue, who are left behind,
Those Things enjoy, and yet not call to mind
His early Zeal, on which the Blessing came,
Or should not rather imitate the same?
Shall we, or others, from the Truth decline,
Which, in its Lustre, made our Ancients shine?
And shall we not upon that Arm depend,
That gave 'em Strength and Courage to the End:
Preserv'd 'em truly faithful all their Days,
And made 'em thus a People to His Praise?
Shall Ease and Fullness lead our Minds astray
To take our Flight, as on the Sabbath Day?
And shall we from that Principle depart,
Which only can inform the darkest Heart;
Subdue our Wills, our Passions regulate,
And bring the Soul to a redeemed State?
When Men neglect this true, this inward Guide,
They have no safe nor certain Rule beside:
Their Darling Reason can no Standard be,
Since its Admirers never all agree,
[Page 12] One Set of Men, by Reason, will pretend
Their own peculiar Notions to defend;
While others, having Reason still in view,
As strongly urge its Opposite for true:
But Grace from God, which truly is divine,
Doth still the same in ev'ry Conscience shine;
Leads all from Sin, and gives them to possess
The Peace of God, the Fruit of Righteousness,
As 'tis obey'd, and brings them to agree
By joint Experience, forms such Unity
In Faith and Doctrine, as the Learn'd and Wise
By Forms and Creeds could never yet devise,
And proves more lasting than their strongest Ties.
Tho' this be still the happy Case of some,
Who to this blessed Fellowship are come;
It must be own'd 'twould be a copious Theme,
Was I at large to say to what Extreme
Of Liberty, Professors have run on,
What Lengths advanc'd, into what Evils gone;
Nay, some, of late, professing Truth, appear
More swift than others, more exempt from Fear,
To run, with Pleasure, into each Excess,
Of varying Fashions and of modish Dress;
Nor can they bear found Language to retain,
Or wear Apparel decent, neat and plain:
Unmindful where they step, or where they tread,
They, by Example, thus their Children lead
Into the Ways of Vanity and Sin,
Which, by Degrees, they're six'd and settled in,
Their tender Minds thus being drawn aside,
Become in Love with Gaity and Pride,
And with the vicious Habits, Ways and Words,
Which this licentious wicked Age affords.
Thus worldly Glory now doth captivate,
And Folly rules the Small as well as Great.
Much Need there is, their Danger to lament,
And call upon them timely to repent;
[Page 13] And to convince them that it is in vain,
That they a Form of Godliness retain
(If that they have) while Strangers to the Pow'r,
Which can preserve them in a trying Hour:
For, as by Satan many Snares are laid,
So are the Careless easily betray'd.
As Fruit, unripe, when gather'd from the Tree,
Will soon its Relish loose, and wither'd be;
And as the Building that's upon the Sand,
Can bear no Storm, nor in a Tempest stand,
So when such Men to Trial are expos'd,
And their Profession is thereby disclos'd,
The Linsey-woolsey Garment will appear,
Which God forbad his People once to wear;
And mingled Seed, which in their Fields is sown,
Whose hated Crop no Sort of Grain will own;
Such BABEL Builders with Confusion shew
Their Faith as lasting as the Morning Dew.
Let these consider, if they blindly run
As swiftly forward as they have begun,
Thus to decline from Truth in the Possession,
They, by Degrees, will wholly leave Profession;
And this, I am afraid, will surely be
Too plainly seen in their Posterity;
Who have, of late, so swiftly swerv'd aside
Into Excess of Liberty, and Pride,
And, more than this, have not refrain'd the Crimes,
Nor shunn'd the vainest Follies of the Times,
Sports, Plays and Games, yea, Things too gross to mention,
Are now become the Proofs of their Declension,
But yet we see, the Lord will still delight
To have a People, and will Sons invite
To come from far, and Daughters who shall be
Servants to Him, and shall His Kingdom see;
For greater the Convincement now appears,
Than hath been seen before for divers Years,
[Page 14] As the Declension has come faster on,
And divers are from our Profession gone:
This plainly shews that God is still the same,
And always will the Hearts of some inflame
With holy Zeal, to propagate his Truth;
And such there are among the rising Youth,
Who will withstand the Breaking of his Laws,
And say, with DAVID, "Is there not a Cause?"
While those unfaithful Sons He will reject,
Nor can the Parents Righteousness protect;
Tho' NOAH, ABR'AM, DAN'EL, stand before
The Presence of the Lord, and Him implore;
Yet can they not by their own Righteousness,
Save neither Son nor Daughter in Distress.
Tho' Unbelief may Giant-like arise,
And, like GOLIAH, ISRAEL's God despise,
And Human Nature glory in its Might,
And in its Parts and Faculties delight;
Boast of its Knowledge, its Attainments prize,
And to itself ascribe its being wise,
And what it cannot in its Wisdom see,
It will not own; pretend it cannot be.
Hence all Religion's fully laid aside,
And Scripture Evidence by some deny'd;
So is the Loose to their Affections given,
And Men, by Satan, to Excesses driven;
Yet Truth is Truth, as such it will abide
When Unbelief and Error must subside;
For as its Evidence can never fail,
It always must, and ever will prevail.
When to the Mind this Evidence is clear,
Then Unbelief at once will disappear;
Like as the Sun, when first it doth arise,
Doth fill with glorious Light the Earth and Skies,
Driving the Darkness, Mists and Fogs away,
And, by its Lustre, cause the cheerful Day,
Diffusing Light and Warmth to the Creation,
And, to the Living, yielding Preservation;
[Page 15] Both Plants, and Herbs, and [...] Creatures, are
Partakers of its Warmth, its Succour share:
So when the Truth arises in the Soul,
Nor Death, nor Darkness, can its Force controul:
The Mind must then unto its Light give way
And Error yield to its superior Ray:
For he that on the Son of God believes,
An inward Witness hath, that ne'er deceives,
Nor never can—Yea, scarce admits a Donbt,
Which he that don't believe must be without:
For who can have a certain Evidence
Of what he only holdeth in Suspence?
Faith comes from God, which he that don't receive,
Cannot in God, nor in His Son, believe:
He may, 'tis true, pretend an outward Faith
In what of God, or Christ, the Scripture saith,
And yet to saving Faith a Stranger be,
Nor know the Truth, nor find the Mystery,
Which, having been for Ages past conceal'd,
Is, by the Gospel Light, again reveal'd;
Chirst, by his Spirit, in the inward Part,
Subduing Sin, and cleansing of the Heart.
Tho' Men, by searching curious Things may find,
Yet earnal Men, as such, are always blind;
Since Man, by Wisdom, cannot know the Lord,
Nor his Acquirements Certainty afford:
Tho' this, from such, hath ever been conceal'd,
And been unto them as a Book that's seal'd,
Yet this, to Babes in Christ, is now reveal'd.
I own, with Grief, our Youth I often view,
As oft believe this Observation true,
As what must always be the Consequence
That ever did, and will proceed from thence,
Where Education don't the Judgment reach,
Nor true Conviction thus our Children teach;
These live at large, these no Religion know,
From bare Tradition their Pre [...]casions flow:
[Page 16] From hence arise the Reproach, that we,
For want of Conduct, now too frequent see.
Men, truly wise, will these Distinctions make,
Nor call them Friends, nor such for Members take,
And not, through them, our Principles despise,
For want of which alone these Things arise.
And if our Youth thus to persist resolve,
They must, of Course, in to the World revolve,
And fall into the same depraved State
Our Friends were in, while unregenerate;
Before they heard the high and holy Call,
Or knew the Pow'r that brought them from the Fall;
Or felt the Quick'nings of the heav'nly Word,
Which rais'd them up from Death to serve the Lord.
And being thus redeem'd, they knew their Love
Wean'd from this World, and fix'd on that above.
O blessed Change! O joyful, happy State!
The Foolish being wise, the Humble great.
O that Professors would be truly wise,
And ev'ry fading, trifling Thing despise,
That would their Minds ensnare and captivate,
And give them Rest in a polluted State.
And tho', in Things essential, most mistake,
And Forms, and Shews, for true Religion take,
Not apprehend its Work, nor clearly see
What its Design and only End should be;
(Which is our Lusts and Passions to controul,
And work compleat Conversion in the Soul)
Supposing Christ has full Attonement made,
And for our past and future Sins has paid:
Thus sinning at his Cost, with full Career,
They see no Danger, entertain no Fear,
But hereby vainly think Salvation sure,
Or early to be made, with Ease, secure,
By some Device of Man, some low Attempt,
By which the Careless think themselves exempt
From anxious Care, to know the Work within,
Of being saved, and redeem'd from Sin,
By which, too vainly, they expect to gain
A Membership with Christ, and with Him reign,
While Self remains alive, unmortifi'd,
The Will, and vile Affections, not deny'd.
Although too many thus are much deceiv'd
To [...] what they have not scarce believ'd,
[Page 17] And call that Faith where Judgment cannot be;
And practise Things whose Use they never see.
Thus Faith and Judgment to their Wills comply
Implicitly to yield, they know not why;
Like Men blind-folded, dare not peep to see
The sad and wretched State in which they be,
Lest when they look about with open Eyes,
They should behold their Case in their Surprise.
Thus they remain in Darkness, and suppose
Their Ignorance a Kind of safe Repose,
And full Exeuse, for what they do not see;
They therefore shut their Eyes, and hope to be
Secure in Danger, easy in a State
Not chang'd, nor sav'd, nor yet regenerate:
Thus, through Unsoundness in the Christian Faith,
And not regarding what our Saviour saith,
They grosly err, and run so great a Length,
As mostly to bestow their Time and Strength
Themselves to please—Yet these can clearly see
When Conduct and Profession don't agree:
They know that we do higher Things profess,
And therefore they expect of us no less,
Than that we should accordingly behave,
Tho' they themselves are not so strict and grave;
Nor yet pretend to wait for Pow'r divine
Their Hearts to cleanse, and Consc'ences refine.
But if we act against what we profess,
And run, with them, into the same Excess,
And with them vie, their Customs imitate,
And from our known Opinions deviate;
This mean Compliance they with Scorn [...]ise,
And call that foolish, which we think is wise:
As Hypocrites, and vain Professors, then
We shall be thought, as such, despis'd of Men.
Did we like Friends, in all Respects, behave,
Then Men would soon [...] Reflections leave;
Did good Behaviour thus deserve Regard,
Our Virtue then would have its own Reward;
And still this Cause would have this good Effect,
Strangers would more our Principles inspect;
Which when they come with Seriousness to see,
And find our Conduct thereunto agree,
They would be just, and from [...] View,
Declare our Conduct good, our [...] true:
So would our Credit and Esteem abound,
The [...] of which, is, by Experience, found.
[Page 18] Where 'tis not so, we may confess, with Shame,
Our Doctrine true, and we ourselves to blame.
What Conduct doth from Principle arise,
Most prudent Men have ceased to despise;
And others will, from long Experience, know
Our Scruples do from true Conviction flow;
A Favour, which, by Sufferings great, was gain'd,
And, by continued Faithfulness, obtain'd.
Though some upon our Conduct still reflect,
From whom we may no better Things expect:
Because these Men for Gain are always bent,
And aiming still their Wages to augment
By fresh Demands, which as we do deny,
And still against their Practice testify,
And, when requir'd, assign our Reasons why—
These mostly will our Principles oppose,
And think us too their most avowed Foes;
Whose Frowns and Slights, as they alone proceed
From Int'rest, not from Judgment, none will heed,
But such whom they deceive, or who have been
Strangers to us, have not our Writings seen.
For though the Strength of Prejudice is great,
We may, with thankful Hearts, observe of late,
They're few that do the Truth, or us, despise,
But such as mostly do from hence arise.
When I upon these serious Things reflect,
I freely own they do my Heart affect,
Lest He, who to our Fathers did appear,
Taught them his Mind, and led them in his Fear,
The Gospel Tidings in his Name to spread,
And to proclaim them in His holy Dread;
Whose faithful Labours He was pleas'd to bless
With great Convincement and admir'd Success,
Should their Descendants utterly forsake,
And from their Off-spring His Regard should take,
And call in others, who shall freely share
The Favours which He did for them prepare;
[Page 19] Because His Table will be fill'd with Guest,
And he that comes, when call'd, is surely blest.
The good Advice which DAVID gave his Son,
Is truly worthy to be look'd upon;
"If thou, my Son, wilt seek the Lord (said he)
"Then will the Lord thy God be found of thee:
"But if thou seek Him not, but Him forsake,
"He will His Blessing ever from thee take."
As this, to him, was well observed then,
So is it true to all Degrees of Men;
And for a lasting Truth it will remain,
Nor was it then on him bestow'd in vain;
He Wisdom ask'd of God, he Wisdom found,
With what he asked not, he did abound;
And yet, altho' he was with Wisdom bless'd,
And, in Abundance, earthly Things possess'd,
We see how unbelieving Wives bewitch,
And certain Snares too oft attend the Rich:
His Wives, his Wealth, his Pleasure, and his Pride,
Debas'd his Wisdom, made his Zeal subside,
And made him from his own Experience know
The bitter End of all the Sweets below:
But yet, 'tis my Belief, he did repent
The Loss of Time by him so vainly spent.
Let all consider this, who would from hence
Urge his Excesses as a vain Pretence
For such Extreams—Let these consider then
That he a Preacher did become to Men,
That he might amply shew and represent
The small Degree of Pleasure and Content,
That earthly Things to Men afford, which he
Declares to be entirely Vanity:
What could he more have done, than to relent,
And write, that he Examples might prevent
From his Misconduct, that his Sins might be
A lasting Caution to Posterity?
These Things, kind Reader, being wrote in Love,
Will not, I hope, to thee unfruitful prove;
[Page 20] Wherein I've labour'd all I could to be
From needless Words, or Flights of Fancy, free;
And purposer; endeavour'd to express,
The Things intended, in the plainest Dress.
Art thou a YOUTH? The best Companions chuse;
The Loose and Airy, with Contempt, refuse:
Believe the Sacred Writings to be true;
Give just Obedience, where the same is due;
Be modest, prudent, careful, wise and just,
In all Things true, and faithful to thy Trust.
Art thou advanced somewhat more in Years?
Reject the pois'nous Notion that appears
In such of late, whom Satan does deceive,
Nor question Truths in which thou should'st believe;
On which no Good, but Evil may attend,
Witness a late and certain Author's End,
Who did such Notions far too much defend.
Art thou a PARENT? Be concern'd to live
So circumspect, that thou Advice may'st give
To Children, and to Servants, that they may
With due Regard, thy just Commands obey.
Art thou an ELDER? So thyself Conduct,
That thou thereby the Younger may'st instruct.
Art thou a TEACHER? Let thy Works agree
With thy Advice, do thou a Pattern be.
Art thou a MERCHANT? Venture but thine own;
And if thou loosest, Pity will be shown;
Thy honest Prudence, and industr'ous Care,
Will plead thy Cause, when thou art not aware;
Raise many Friends for thee to interceed,
And help thee also in the Time of Need,
Art thou a TRADER? Act with Caution still,
Let Judgment rule thy Actions and thy Will;
Daily observe thy Profit and Expence,
And thou may soon a Judgment form from thence
What will in Time become the Consequence.
[Page 21] Spend less than what thou get'st, and this will be
A lasting Rule of Safety unto thee:
And then, if unexpected Loss attends,
Thy Case will also raise thee many Friends.
If thou art RICH, trust not at all therein a
Because it is Idolatry and Sin.
Many are guilty of Idolatry,
Who never bow to Images the Knee.
Love first the Living God, and him adore,
Prize all His Gifts, but love the Giver more.
If Wealth increase, help those that are in Need,
Their Burdens ease with Pleasure and with Speed;
Conclude thy self in Debt to Him that gave it,
And always think how quickly thou may'st leave it,
That He that gave thee this, may also bless
Thy Labour with the Comfort of Success,
And tho' thou giv'st, thou may not have the less.
If thou art POOR, be honest, just and wise,
And thou shalt know thy Friends from hence arise.
Thy Toil and Labour will be also blest
With Peace of Mind, and, in thy Cottage, Rest.
Much might be said, but Hints may now suffice;
A Word may prove sufficient to the Wise;
Whate'er thy Station, or Condition be,
Trust thou in God, and He'll provide for thee;
Serve Him in Truth, be mindful still of this,
Regard what shews thee when thou dost amiss;
This gives true Peace and Happiness at last,
When all these low and fading Things are past.
Did we not on a future State depend;
Did with our Lives our Joys and Sorrows end;
The Man that doth his Course with Virtue steer,
Has still the most and truest Comfort here:
Because the Conflicts which the Righteous find,
Are not like Horror to a guilty Mind;
Nor can Afflictions here be well too great,
That tend to Glory in a future State.
[Page 22]


THus having, Reader, in this short Essay,
Endeavour'd here (tho' briefly) to display,
How far a certain Sect of Christians are
Become too much unlike what first they were
In Life, and Conduct, though rais'd up of late,
And their Beginning of no longer Date
Than yet scarce Ninety Years; if in that Space
Some have declin'd their Zeal and Love apace,
Yet, to be just, I must the Truth declare,
No other Sect may with them yet compare,
All Things consider'd, take them every Way;
Their Doctrine and OEconomy survey:
The prudent Care they generally observe
O'er such as from their wonted Practice swerve:
The due Relief they yield unto the Poor:
And Way of Marri'ge, never us'd before,
Incapable of Stealth (were Men so bent)
Nor to be done without compleat Consent:
The great Advances by their Teachers made
In true Religion, though employ'd in Trade;
Though not in Learning, nor in Science skill'd,
Yet with the Knowledge of Salvation fill'd,
Untainted yet by Lucre; fill'd with Zeal,
These to the Consciences of Men appeal,
[Page 23] And boldly lash the Vices of Mankind,
Not bound by Hire, from Wages unconfin'd;
So that from hence true Knowledge doth increase,
And oft produce the Fruits of Joy and Peace;
Whil'st others love the World, and lose their Ground,
And in the Steps of Libertines are found:
If these deserve such just and equal [...],
How much more they, from whom th'Example came;
Who having been Professors long before,
And long declining, are declined more:
Was I to say how far such deviate
And leave their pure, their once reformed State,
It would become too great a Work for me,
A Volume fill, which they'd not like to see.
If I have spar'd not those whom most I love,
And cannot Things unjust in them approve;
Nor like to see them vain, like other Men,
Without Rebuke or Caution from my Pen;
Let not the Careless loose Professors be
Puff'd vainly up, with these Reproofs from me
On our Professors, but let each Profession
See they be clear of every such Transgression;
And that they also may, in Truth, possess
The Practice of those Tenets they profess:
Preserve the Kernal also with the Shell,
And, in the Temple, at the Altar, dwell;
Not pleas'd with Forms, and so in Forms resort
To worship God, but in the outward Court,
Whil'st they in all the Fopperies engage,
And hug the Vices of a sinful Age;
Lest they be also weigh'd, and wanting found,
And greater Faults in them than us abound.

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