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the same Laws and Rules of Life, the same Terms and Conditions of obtaining his Love and Favour here, and Eternal Salvation hereafter from the Performance of which there can be no Exemption or Dispensation for any one of us. The Sons and Daughters of Nobles, and the Children of Mechanicks and Peasants, are under the same Obligation to consecrate the Prime of their Days to the Author of their Being. If there be any Dif- . ference, those that are born to Wealth and Honour are upon that very Account so much the more obliged to be mindful of God, and their Duty to Him, by how much a larger Share of the Divine Beneficence has been im. parted to them. The Arguments therefore which are used in the forementioned Book to persuade Young People, without Delay, to apply themselves in their tender Years to the Remembrance of their Creator, and the Care of their Souls, may be as needful to be considered by the noble and honourable as by the meanest Readers. And the Counsels, Cautions, Exhortations and Directions there given, being useful and pertinent to be laid before them, as well as any that are of an inferior Rank, some of them I know have afforded them their serious Perusal. But yet for the further and more particular Instruction of those among them who shall be pleafed to read what is here offered I purpose, with God's Help, to consider,
1. The Difficulties and Temptations to
which in their State and Condition of Life they are usually exposed more than others. II. The Possibility of overcoming those Dif
ficulties, and obtaining a glorious Victory over all those Temptations.
III. The Means by which (if rightly used)
they may be, not only possibly or probably but most certainly overcome.
IV. The Advantages which those that are in
the upper part of the World enjoy above others, and the way to make an early and
happy Improvement of them. My attempting to give Advice to Persons whose Birth or Fortunes have placed them above the rest of Mankind, may perhaps be look'd upon by some as a confident Undertak. ing. But I have not adventured upon it without imploring his Leave and Assistance who is infinitely higher than the highest upon Earth, by whose Blessing, if these my well meant En- . deavours shall do any good, (as I hope they will) tho’ it be but to a few, í shall not be much concern'd for the Censure of others.
Gratitude also, as well as Hope of Success, has excited me to make this Elay. For having in my younger Time been Domestick Chaplain firft to a Knight, then to a Baronet, who was
the only Son of a Peer and Privy.Counsellor, and afterwards for several Years to another Baronet, all which were of considerable Eminency for their Piety and Virtue as well as their Honour and Estates, and having by this means had the Opportunity of receiving many
Fa. vours, both from themselves and from their noble and honourable Relations, this lias made me desirous to do some Service, if I can, to the Pofterity of those by whom I have been so much obliged.
I have no more to add by way of Preface, but only to let the Reader understand, that when I had almost finished what I have here written I met with that pleasant and pious Book, A Gentleman instructed in the Conduct of a virtuous and happy Life, at the first Sight of which I had some Thoughts of not suffering my own to appear in publick. But after I had observed how much they differed from each other in Matter, Method, and Stile, I was of Opinion that mine also might be of use towards promoting the same good Design which that aims at.
God grant that by his benign Influence the one as well as the other may be attended with the most desirable Effect.
ERRATA. PAge 9. Line 14. read Specious. p. 16, l. 15, t. of much.
p. 21. 1. 10. blot out that. p. 22. l. 29. blot out of p. 25. 1. 29. r: Ill.nurture. p. 40. 1. 27. r. as well as biso p. 43. 1. 22. r. will be a lasting. p. 98. l. 6. r. those. p. 104. 1. 32. 1. in my former
. Book. p. 114. l. 12.f. faltering. p. 115. 1. 35. r, my former Book. p. 124. 1. 4. 8. Exinaniti. on. p. 129. 1. 35: 8. different.
C'H A P. I. Of she Difficulties and Temptations to which the
Toxing Gentry may be expos'd more than others.
Ealth and Honour are great Theatres for the Exercise and Tryal of Human Life, to thew what Teniper a Person
is of: And tho they are earnestly defir'd, and vehemently, pursu'd, and may with good Conduct be excellently employd, yet the early porfellion of them in the rawness of younger Years, generally proves an impediment to early Piety, where due Precautions are not observed. 'Tis no easy thing to command and manage a high rising and flowing Fortune. The fuller our Sails are, and the wider they spread, the more hazardous will our Voyage be, through the blustering Winds and Scorns, and all the variable Weather of an uncertain World.
The Splendor of Dignity, and the Affluence of Profperity, do indeed Smile upon us, and seem to look very pleasantly; but alas, their glittering Allurements, intoxicating Delicacies, and treacherous lochantments, are very apt to dazle the Eyes of the Mind ; corrupt the Judgment; captivate the Affe&ions, effeminate the Spirit, and weaken good Resolution. I bus they draw Men aside from the regular and steady course of Wif. dom and Vircue, unless there be a diligent Circunspection to avoid their Şnares.
This is a Matter which ought to be truly and faith. fully represented to Young Persons of Quality and Estate, not to discourage and dishhearten them from attempting that which is of absolute Necellity towards their present and eternal Happiness; but by thewing them the Difficulties which those of their Raok may meet with in a Holy and Religious Life, to arm them against the Assaults of strong Temptations, to prepare them for the nobleft Confias, and to animate them against all their Spiritual Enemies : Over whom by the Divine Grace and Afiftance, they fall certainly obtain a glorious Victory, if they: Strive Sincerely, Fight Manfully, and persevere in this Christian Warfare ; as I shall afterwards more fully shew.
It has been an old Question, Whether a Rich, Honourable, and Prosperous, or a Poor and Mean Condition, be most exposed to Dangers and Temptations And cera tain it is, that both the one, and the other, have Perils and Difficulties enough. Upon which account, a middle State between the two Extreams, seems most desirable ; according to the Prayer of Agur, who begged that he might have no more than a competent Lively hood, lest Superfluity should tempt him to Carnal Confidence, Profanegefs, and Irreligion ; or Penury and Want, draw him to Theft and Perjury. Give me, says he, neither Poverty nor Riches; feed me with Food convenient for me ; left 1 be full and deny thee, and fay Who is the Lord; Or left I be poor and Steal, and take she Name of my God in vain, Prov. 30. 8,9. The Poor