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in them, or be unwilling to part with them, even when they are called for by God himself.
The fecond fort of alluring Baits, with which the World enticeth Men, are its Pleafures. And none certainly are in greater Danger of being enfnared, and ruined by Pleasures, than those who have both the abundance of Wealth to procure them, and the Vigour of Youth to enjoy them. 'Tis no eafy thing for fuch to fupprefs the Tranfports of the Voluptuous Appetite, who are continually furnished with all variety of delicate Provifions for its Gratification; and carry aabout them fuch plenty of Blood and Spirits, as naturally produces the ftrongeft inclination towards, and the moft quick and lively Relifhes of all corporeal and fenfitive Delights. Young Perfons of Quality have their Lot and Station in a very charming and bewitching World, where they meet with all that their Hearts can defire for the entertainment of the Animal Life. They are furrounded with a thoufand Objects, that awaken corrupt Imaginations, foment impetuous Lufts, and fill them with intoxicating Joys. There are fuitable Allurements daily prefented to every one of their Senfes. For the Tafte they have the most delicious Fruits, the most palatableMeats,and the richest Wines. For theSmell they have all the fragrant Herbs and Flowers, and all the odoriferous Perfumes that either Art or Nature can produce. Their Eyes are fed with diverting Profpects, with all manner of Ornaments and Beauties,not only in their Houses, Gardens, Furniture and Apparel, but alfo for the most part in the Perfons, that either dwell with, or vifit, or attend them. Their Ears are Ravish'd with harmonious and mufical Sounds. And 'tis feldom but they have at command whatever Pleasure can affect any other Senfe. Now, though a prudent and moderate Gratification of all thefe inferior Faculties, within the Rules and Measures prefcribed by Reafon and Re ligion, may be allow'd them; yet how hard is it for
fach Darlings and Favourites of the World, not to de-vote themselves to Earthly Enjoyments, and fenfitive Delights, not to immerse themselves in Matter, and become intirely in the Interefts of Corporeal and Car nal Things? How difficult is it for fuch Perfons to entertain in their Minds any juft Esteem, or fiacere Love, of thofe Pure and Spiritual, Divine and Heavenly Joys, which the piops Exercifes of Religion do ade minifter to holy Souls ?!
Neither in the third Place are the Honours of the World, fuch as Nobility, Preheminence, Dignity, Fame, Reputation, Applaufe, without their Temptations. Thofe Titles and honourary Badges that diftinguish the Gentleman from the Crowd, and the outward Refpects given him upon the account of thofe Advantages, do too often lift him up beyond Meafure, filling him with a wonderful Opinion of himfelf, and a haughty and difdainful Contempt of others. The Height of his Place or Rank makes him fometimes adventure to speak, and act, as if he were above the Laws of God and Man, and beyond Reproof or Punishment from either. The pretence of Quality has emboldned fome to affume fuch Liberty, as have rendred them at length the very Scan dal of Christianity, and the Reproach of Human Nature. The fplendor of their Dignity has caft fuch a glaring Light about them, that in the midft of the Glo ry and Gaieties of the World, and the Applauses of the admiring Multitude, they have not been able to know themselves; but imagining they were fomething more than Men, first they have learned to defpife all their Fellow-Creatures, and from thence their Ambition ta king a higher flight, has taught them to defie their God." There have been thofe who have efteem'd it a part of their Earthly Grandeur, to value themfelves upon their rejecting and contemning the Laws of Heaven; as if the greatness of their Impiety made them fo much the Greater Men. Such are thofe Heroes of Venus, who taking their Shame for their Glory, feek to Debauch themselves
themselves into Reputation, to derive Honour from their Lewdnefs, and fhew their Magnificence in the Pomp and Riches with which they maintain their impudent Proftitutes. Such are thofe brave and valiant Sons of Bacchus, who boaft of mighty Conquefts at the Bottle and the Glafs; firft in drinking down the Company, and then in triumphing over their own Reafon. To name no more, fuch are thofe Men of Honour, who adore their Maker with Oaths and Blafphemies, but think it beneath them to bow their Knees in devout Prayers; who give ftrange Proofs of a prodigious Courage in fighting againft invincible Power, infallible Wisdom, and inflexible Juftice. These are they who bless themselves in the bold attempts and high purfuits of their Pride and Luxury, and Irreligion; who having got above the pufilanimity of Confcience, deride the fear of an Invisible Judge; and being brim-full of their prefent Enjoyments, have no room left for any thoughts of their future State, whether it fhall be in Heaven or Hell. By fuch Inftances as thefe we may perceive, how great Temptations they are concerned to watch againft, whofe Birth and Fortunes have advanced them above the ordinary Ranks of People, and how difficult it is for them to perform fincerely that neceffary part of their Baptifmal Vow, the Renouncing the Pomps and Vanities of this wicked' World.
4. But 'tis alfo to be remembred in the last Place, that amidst all the Snares of the World, with which the Young People of Quality are furrounded, our Adverfary the Devil,is very Bufie and Active,to reprefent to them those various Allurements with the greatest Advantage, flattering them in all the ways of their Hearts, and endeavouring by the moft fubtile Arti fices, to draw them on void of Fear in the Paths that lead to everlasting Mifery. His implacable Malice against Mankind, makes him perpetually exercifed in his Machinations, Wiles and Devices, for our Ru
ine and Perdition. And his moft ufual Method is to tempt by Objects without, and the corrupt Affections within, calling to his Aid our other two Spiritual Enemies, the World and the Flesh, which are in Combination with him. He is ftiled the God of this World, and he works powerfully on the Men of the World, the Children of Disobedience, by employing and managing the Things of the World as his Baits, and Engines, to take them Captive at his Will, 2 Cor. 4. Eph. 2. 2. 2 Tim 2. 26. Hence it comes to pass, that where there is an affluence of Wealth and earthly Profperity he is furnished with great variety of Materials, out of which he may form his fatal Snares: For his Strenghth and Art to tempt and Deftroy, principally lies in fpecious Reprefentations, and fallacious Promifes much of Happinefs in the enjoyment of Worldly Things.So that if Men have in their Poffeffion, or at their Command, a vaft plenty of inviting Objects near at Hand, and almoft continually in their View, Satan easily conveys. to their Fancies the most lively Images of them, together with all that Sweetnefs which he perfwades them to expect, from indulging themfelves in the free and unlimited Enjoyment of them, without being tied up to Laws and Rules. He dreffes the World's Temptations in all their Pomp and Luftre, and fets them off with fo many feeming Beauties and Delights, that their falfe Colours cannot be difcerned,without a careful and impartial Confideration, nor their Charms refifted without a mighty Refolution, accompanied with continual Watchfulness, and fervent Prayers to God for the Grace, and Affiftance of his Holy Spirit.
Our fubtile Adverfary makes alfo great Use of that variety of Allurements, which Wealth affords, to prevent the fatiety and diflike, the fame repeated Temptations would caufe. For in the midst of such Abundance, where he can entice Men to divers Lufts and Pleafures, as foon as they are weary and cloy'd with one, he is prefently ready to to offer them another.
And he may well be fuppos'd to be the more diligent and reftlefs in his Endeavours to tempt the Great and Potent, the Rich and Noble, becaufe if he prevails with them to efpoufe the Interest of his Kingdom, they may be much more ferviceable to him in the promoting thereof, than meaner Perfons can. He knows that by gaining one of thefe, he fhall quickly have many other Profelytes. For if thefe walk in the Paths of Sin, there are great Numbers that will follow them. Their very Immoralities and Vices receive a kind of Reputation from the Honour that is given to their Perfons; and their Impiety is the fooner imitated, because of their Wealth and Power. Thus we have feen how the Affluence of Wealth, the Variety of Sen fual Pleafures, and the long Train of Earthly Pomp, make the narrow Way and the ftreight Gate which leads to Life, narrower and ftreighter to the Rich and Great, than they would otherwife be, and how the Subtile Adversary of Mankind makes ufe of all thefe, to obftruct their Paffage to Heaven, or to render it more difficult.
CHA P. II.
The Poffibility of overcoming the greatest Difficulties and Temptations, to which any Young Perfons of better Rank may be exposed.
N reprefenting the various and difficult Tempta tions, which thofe that are born to Wealth and Honour do generally meet with, in a higher degree than others; my only Defign has been to excite their greater Care and Diligence, and their ftronger Courage and Refolution to encounter and refift them. I fhall therefore in the next Place, evince and prove