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unlawful Amours, and paffionate Importunities of one fo much his Superior, when there was not only his Youth, but many other Circumftances, that might have strongly inclined him to confent and yield? How gallantly did he defpife all the Rewards and high Preferments he might have attained, by a crimi nal Obfequioufnefs to a Lady of fuch Quality; and all the Dangers he incurr'd by denying her inflamed Defires, and expofing himself to her cruel Revenge? With what a refolute as well as modeft Abhorrence did he pronounce that deliberate and peremptory Refufal of her Adulterous Motion? How can I do this great Wickedness and fin against God? And afterwards, when the Divine Providence had advanced him to be Ruler over all the Land of Egypt, next to the King himself; in that high Dignity he ufed his Power, Riches and Honour, with great Prudence, Juftice, Moderation, and Clemency. He did not give up himself to a vain, pompous, and voluptuous Life, but diligently travelled through the Land, to appoint Officers every where and convenient Granaries, for laying up Corn in the Years of Plenty. And when the following Famine brought his inhumane Brethren into Egypt to feek Food, inftead of being Revenged upon them, he liberally fuftained and nourished both them and their Children.
My next Example fhall be that of Mofes, who being faved from Drowning by Pharaoh's Daughter, and adopted for her Son, spent all his younger Years in the Court of Egypt, where he had it in his Power to enjoy the greatest Riches, Pleafures, and Honours, that whole Kingdom could afford, and was furrounded, no doubt, with the various Temptations arifing from them. But coming at length to a more mature Age, he began to think of abandoning all his Advantages in the Royal Palace; and after a folid, rational Deliberation, together with a lively Exercise of Divine Faith, he lays down all his Titles and HoC 4
nours, and renounces his Relation to this Auguft
I might next Inftance in Ahijah, a pious young Prince, tho', the Son of the Wicked and Idolatrous Je roboam, whofe Goodness was the more remarkable, because he not only, conquer'd the Temptations arising from Riches and Honour, but thofe alfo to which he was doubtless not a little expofed, by the mifchievous Influence of his Father's bad Morals, when all the reft of his Family were misled by them.
I might further illuftrate what I have been now proving, from the Example of Obadiah, one of the Chief Ministers of State to Ahab, Who did evil in the fight of the Lord more than all the Kings before him. For even in Ahab's Court, than which none was more Corrupt, Obadiah, who had feared the Lord from his yourb, remain'd a holy and excellent Perfon, not com> plying with the Idolatry of thofe Times. And when Jezabel was for facrificing all the true Prophets to her bloody Rage, he hid an Hundred of them in a Cave, and fed them there..
The Lives and Actions of feveral great and good Kings of Ifrael and Judaby might alfo be here reprefented. But I will only mention fome Paffages in the pious Reign of Jofiahs the Beft as well as the Youngest of all thofe that ever fat upon the Throne of Judah; of whom it is faid, That like unto him there was no King before him, that turned unto the Lord with all. bis Heart, and with all bis Soul, and with all his Mighty according to all the Law of Mofes ; neither after him arofe there any like him. He had not only thofe ordinary Temptations to contend against, which every young Prince meets with, when in the Greenness of his Years, being put in poffeffion of vast Treasures, Royal Dignity, and Supream Power, he is continually Carefs'd, and almoft Ador'd by flattering Courtiers: Befides thefe, he met with other confiderable Difficulties and Difadvantages from the Ill-nature of his Father Ammon, and the great Cor nur ruption of the Age. For at that time the Ten Tribes being carry'd Captive, Judah and Benjamin, who were only left in the Land, had made a general De fection into all manner of falfe Worship: And yet even in this dark Midnight of Apoftacy, when the true Church had hardly a visible Being upon Earth, the bright and fhining Zeal of this young King dif cover'd itfelf very early, in oppofing all that strong and prevalent Faction of Idolatry, with which the
whole Jewish Court and Nation was overrun. By that time he was but Sixteen Years of Age, tho' there was scarce any true Worfhip or Worshipers to be found, he appear'd' in the Caufe of God with fuch Courage and Refolution, that he carry'd all before him, and turn'd the whole Nation from their Idols to the true Religion, not fuffering any Reliques of Idolatry to remain among them. In the 22d. and 23d. Chapters of the fecond Book of Kings, and in the 34th and 35th of the fecond of Chronicles, we have a large Hiftory, of his eminent Piety expreffing itself, in his affectionate Tendernefs at the reading the Law, his engaging most inviolably both in his own Name, and the Name of his People, to obferve the Words thereof, his folemn keeping the Paffover in fuch a manner as had not been known from the Days of the Judges; together with his holy Zeal in burning the Veffels of Baal, flaying, or putting down the Idolatrous Priefts, demolishing and defiling the High Places, taking away the Horfes of the Sun, burning the Chariots, defacing with Indignation whatever Monuments could be found of wicked Paganism; and, in fine, omitting nothing that might reconcile God, purge Judah and Jerufalem from their falfe Worship, and avert the Divine Judgments, by making a perfect Reformation among them, fo far as all his Power and Authority could effect it
To the Examples I have produc'd, feveral more of the Worthies recorded in the Old Teftament might be added. But for Brevity fake, I fhall pass over all the reft, except Daniel and the three other young. Noblemen of Judea, his Excellent Companions, who were carry'd Captives to Babylon, and educated in the Court of King Nebuchadnezzar. Thefe are fuch illuftrious Inftances of a glorious Victory over the Temptations arifing from the Riches, Honours and Pleasures of the World, that it may be thought a great Omiffion, if I should fay, nothing of them, Nebuchad
Nebuchadnezzar had commanded the Mafter of his Eunuchs or Pages, to feek out among the Jewish Cap tives fome of the choiceft Youth, both for Beauty and Wit, of the Royal Blood, or Nobleft Families, who might be train'd up in the Learning of the Caldeans, and fitted for the King's Service. Among o thers he pitch'd upon Daniel, Hananiah, Mishal and Azariah, giving them the Names of Beltefhazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. And that their Minds might be the more easily alienated from the Religion of their Country, the King order'd them to be bred up in Delicacy and Voluptuoufnefs, having appointed them a daily Portion of fuch Meat as he had at his own Table, and fuch Wine as himself drank of. But they knowing many of those Meats to be forbidden the Fems by their Laws, and feating left they should be too much pamper'd with fuch delicious Fare, deny'd themselves all the rich and palatable Gratifications of the Court Diet, and prevail'd with their Governor to fuffer them to live upon Pulfe and Water. Afterwards, when at the Time appointed, they were brought to attend the King, they not only look'd fairer and fatter than the other Youths, but by the Divine Gift, and for a Reward of their Religious Mortification, they appear'd in all Matters of Wisdom and Sciences to excel all the Aftronomers and Philofophers in the Kingdom. Daniel being skilful in all Vifions, and having interpreted the King's Dream, was rais'd by him to great Honour, and made Governor over all the Province of Babylon, in which his three Friends alfo, Shadrach, Mejhach and Abednego, were at his Request made principal Officers. But when Nebuchadnezzar erected his Golden Image, commanding all to fall down and Worship it, and threatning that whofoever refus'd fhould be the very fame Hour caft into the burning Fiery Furnace: What a fharp Trial was this of the fincere Piety of thele three noble Youths? They muft