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be moved; the Eternal Weight of Glary; the fulness of Joy in the presence of God, and the pleasures for ever-mare at his right Hand. Your frequent and attentive Meditation on these Things, will effectually engage you in the constant Exercise of serious Consideration, Circumspection and Watchfulness; that you may not suffer your selves to be Betray'd into eternal Ruine by any or all the deceitful Allurements, that Earthly Riches, or Secular Glory can present you with.
VI. In the Sixth Place, let me earnestly besecch you'. to arm your selves with a stedfast and inviolable Resolution, not only to be Watchful, Circumspect, and Considerate, but at all times to chuse and act according to that true Judgment of Things, which is the result of such vigilant Circumspection, and serious Consideration. The greater the Difficulties and Temptations are that may obstruct your Religion and Virtue, the stronger should your Resolutions be to resist and conquer them. 'Tis Resolution that prompts Men to, and carries them thorow all the noble and dificult Enterprizes they undertake. It makes a Man intent upon the Thing he would do; inquisitive after the best Means to effect it ; unwearied in the removing of Obstacles and Impediments; jealous and cautious in avoiding all Baits and Snares ; bold and couragious in withstanding all Opposition. It has a mighty force either to excite to any Action, or to restrain us from it, as there may be occasion; and in the Business of Religion, there is the more Reason to hope that it will be successful, because God will bless it. By a brave and manly Resolution, Scifio, tho' a Heathen, chose rather to Govern himself amidst the many Temptations and Opportunities of sensual Pleasure, which bis Power and Victories presented to him, than to wallow in all the Deligheş of Sense. And it was the stedfastness of their Pious Resolutions, that kept those Cliristian Heroes, whose
Examples I before proposed, from being ensaared and captivated by any of those rich, pompous, or' delectable Enjoyments, with which they were so plentifully furnished. In resisting and opposing all your Spiritual Enemies, your Work is half done, when you are fully resolved upon it ; and if your Resolution fail not, I dare promise and assure you, that you shall have as good Success as can be wished : For while you stedfastly resolve upon it, you will fincerely endeavour it, and God will allist your Endeavours and make them Victorious. No Difficulties or Temptations that lie in the way of your Obedience can be insuperable, if upon mature Consideration, and full weighing all the material Circumstances that relate to your Condition, you form in your Minds a steady, fixed, and unalterable Purpose to adhere to your Duty. There are indeed a fort of Resolutions, which like the Vapour's St. James speaks of, appear for a little time, and then vanish away; because they were rashly and hastily made in a sudden Passion, without that cool, and calm, and rational Choice, which is the Effect of serious and deliberate Advice. But if you have well considered the Rules before given, and suffer'd them to make a lasting Impresion upon your Minds; you may now be the better able, by God's Grace and Alistance, to make such a Resolution as will stand out against all the powerful Arguments, and bewitching Charins of the World, that may tempt you to forego it. And that you may both confider Things with the greater seriousness of Deliberation, and the more strongly confirm your selves in your good Resolutions, I would beg of you to allow your felves fome Intervals of Retirement ; that you now and then fep aside out of the Road, and beaten Track of Life, and exchange the tedious Circle of Pomp and Show, Noise, and Business, Sport and Play, in a World of mix'd and undistinguish'd Company, for the free Enjoyment of God and your selves, in a Religious and
ụndisturbed Solitude; where you may have the better Oppportunity for the more folemn Exercise of pious Devotion, Self-Reflection, and Self-Examination ; where you may enquire, What Temptations you have to refift? What Resolutions you have made against them? How you have kept those Resolutions ? How you may further corroborate them, by turning them into Sacred Vows, and Inviolable Promises to Almighty God? As that Great and Good Prince did, for the better fortifying himself against Temptations, when he was surrounded with all the Afluence of Earthly Riches, Pleasures, and Honours, which his Royal Dignity and High Station could afford him. Pfal. 119. 106. I have Sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep tby righteous Judgment s.
VII. Seventhly. It is moreover advisable, That you furnish your felves with particular Arguments against the particular Sins, to which your Rank and Quality, and Condition in the World, may occasionally expose you. Some of this Nature, among many others that might be produced, I shall here briefly remind you -ot.
1. To prevent, or cure that Pride, whereby any may be apt to value themselves too highly upon the Distinctions of Birth or Fortune, and to fet some Bounds to their towring Thoughts; (besides what has been said against Pride in general, in my former Book callid Touths Grand Concern, ch. 1.) it may be an humbling and levelling Consideration to remember, That we are all descended from Adam, the same common Parent of every one. And (to borrow fome improvement of this Argument from the Pious and Learned Mr. John Norris) it may yet further humble those that “ Boast of their Families and Pedigrees, ta
look back to their first Origen from whence they " took their Rife, that being Creatures, they were produced out of Nothing. Let a Man be never fo
High and Great in the World, it must be a sinking mortifying Thought, to reflect with himself, That whatever he now is, or however he appears at
present, he once was not, and that there was a of Time when he had not so much as a Being in the “ World, but was made out of Nothing. The Noble and the Honourable, may be lifted up with the Opinion of their High Descent, and the Antiquity of their Lineage, but they would find little Reason to be proud thereof, if they would trace it back far enough: For then they would find nothing at the End thereof; and that there are but a few Years past since they had no Being at all.
Those also that live in great Glory and Prosperity, will cot be over much elevated with the Sense thereof, if they call to mind that they must shortly Die, and leave all their Earthly. Pomp. The Meditation of Death, may be a good Remedy against the Pride of Man in every Condition of Life,or Distin&ion of Quality. Death is the common and inevitable Humiliation of our Nature. 'Tis a State of Abasement and Dishonour to the Noblest of us, as 'tis a Punishment of our Sin; and 'tis a State that makes all Equal ; mixes the High and Low, the Rich and Poor together, and lays the Distresled Prisoners in the same common b¢d of Rest with the Kings and Counsellors of the Earth. Death destroys and defaces all Earthly Glory, disperses and scatters Wealth, and confounds all Titles and Distinctions, and draws a black Veil over all Humanę Greatness. Consider then, how Vain it is to be proud of any Worldly Dignity, or to boast of those Escocheons, and Enligns of Honour, which when they follow Men to the Grave, do there take a final Leave of them.
And lince a Man's Riches also, can neither be carried with him into another World, nor add any real Worth or Perfection to him, while he is here, 'tis no less unreasonable to be proud of them. There is no
just Cause indeed for any one to boast even of his Wirdom, or Knowledge, or Virtue ic self, those truly vac luable Perfections of our Nature, hecause they are all receiv'd from another, and all the Glory of them ought to be given to him from whom they are receiv’d; but the Man that is only and barely richer than others hath least reason of all to be proud, for his Estate is no part of himself, oor is he really the wiser or the better for it ; meerly to be rich neither supposes nor confers any true Worth or Excellency; and tho' Riches may enable the owner of them to do more good, yet it is not the Ability for it, but the actual doing it thač makes him deserve Commendation.
A noble Birth indeed upon a Civil Account may be of some Value, and a Title of Honour is not only deriv'd from the Civil Fountain of it, but is suppos’d to be founded in some Merit, but no Man's Merit can be measur'd by the Bulk of his Eltate, neither can his having more money than ochers justly set him above on thers even in a Civil Respect ; 'tis not an ample For'tune, but a noble and generous Mind, that makes a Man truly great and noble, and gives him a real intrigfick Worth; and tho' we are oblig'd to pay a greater Respect to those that are honourable on a Civil ACcount than to those that are only richer than others, yet such honourable Persons should do well to remember that they receive no real Excellency from the Civil Honour they have deriv'd from their Ancestors, unless the Virtue of their Lives, and the Goodness of their Actions be the happy Products of their noble Birth.
2. To preserve you from an haughty and arrogant Contempt of meaner People, you may consider what a useful part of Maokind the poorer and meaner fort are, and how much all your Splendor, Affluence and Plenty, are owing to their Labour and Industry, without which none of your stately Houses could be built, nor your full Tables furnish’d, nor your glicering Pomps maintain'd. “For (as an excellent Author doth remiod