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fidereft how closely the Generality of Men are wedded to their own Conceptions, and how fondly they doat upon the Brats of their own Fancy, and how unwilling they are to be accounted ignorant; and withal, how uncomely a Thing it is to contend about a Goat's Beard, or a Lock of Wool (and truly moft vehement Altercations are commonly of no higher Concernment) and what a Disturbance all this is to the Company; thou wilt (I doubt not) be extremely cautious how thou engagest in a verbal Combat.

3139 Many bear patiently imaginary Crosses which never happen ; they fansy to themselves great Evils to come, and they go thro' them

great Courage, and upon this Account reckon themselves patient: Yet in the mean while the little Vexations that occur daily diffolve them into Peevishness, and fretful Anger, and they cannot bear the least Cross or Contradiction when it is present. But thou must beware of this Illufion, and consider that great Occafions Patience happen but seldom, whereas the leffer are very frequent: Almost every Hour thou wilt have Opportunities of exercising this Virtue, either by bearing with others, or by checking and correcting thyself. And thou shouldest alway bear more chearfully that Cross which is of God's sending, than that which is thy own Choice; for that which God appoints is always beft, whereas thou art ignorant, and often deceived.

3140 None can be said to die suddenly, but he that hath not thought of it enough. Thoni haft carried Death about thee ever since thou walt born. Thou hast been entertained with dai



ly Spectacles of Carcasses and Funerals. Thou haft heard and read so much of the Frailty of Life, and Certainty of Death ; dost thou not know, that every Moment thou livest brings to thee nearer thy End? Thy Cloaths wear out, thy Houses decay, and all Things perish, and doft ta thou look that thy Body should be immortal ?" What are the common Accidents and Diseases of Life, but so many Warnings to thee to prepare for a Remove? Thou hast Death at thy Table, in thy daily Food and Nourishment; for thy Life is maintained by the. Death of other Creatures, and thou hast the lively Picture of it every Night for thy Bedfeitow in Sleep: With. what Face then canst thou charge thy Misfortunes with sudden Death, that hast spent thy whole Life both at Bed and Board among fo many Remembrances of thy Mortality ?

3141 It will not suffice that thou in general endeavourest to keep under thy Appetites, and unruly Passions ; for corrupt Nature is well enough pleased with all the Apparel of Formalities of More tification, Self-denial, and Victory over Passions ; and Philosophers grow in Love with the fair Ideas of Virtue in this pompous Attire ; and many in this have deceived themselves, and boasted of Conquest over their evil Inclinations, because they find not in themselves an Averfion to Virtue and good Desires : But when it comes to Trial indeed, and they are no longer to fight with a Notion of Sin in general, but with a present urging Luft, with a present Uneafiness and Neceflity, with fome Provocations to Anger, or to Impatience; then it appears how

vain, how weak and insignificant were their great Thoughts and fine Resolutions.

3142 What wonder if Men are surprized with Death's sudden Call, when they have to deal with a painful Disease, that will suffer nothing else to be tended? With Heirs, with Legatees, or Expectants, with Creditors, or Debtors, with Wife and Children, with Kinsfolks and Servants, with Friends or Enemies, and moreover with the World; which because he hath loved too much, lie leaves fore against his Will. Besides, he hath to deal with the Death of the Body, for which he is not duly prepared; and last of all with Satan, who then attacks him with all his Forces, with Hell, which then appears in the most dismal Shape, and in all its Terror. But know thou, that Moment of Time will not be sufficient for such a Mul-. titude of Business, therefore thou oughtest to be in earnest and diligent, to take great Care before-hand, that thou comest well provided to the last and sharpeft.Combat.

3143 Break not off Friendship for a single Heat, nor continue it against Reason. Paffion, Anger and Unkindness, may give a Wound that shall bleed and smart, but it is Treachery only that makes it rankle and mortify. The Reason of the Difference is manifeft; for hafty Words or Blows, either may be only an Effect of a fudden Passion, during which a Man is not perfectly himself; but no Man goes about to deceive and ensnare another in a Pallion, nor to lay Trains, and set Traps, and give secret Blows in a present Huff:. No, this is always done with Forecast and Design, with a steddy Aiming, and

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a long projecting Malice, affifted with all the Skill and Art of a managed Hypocrisy; and perhaps, not without the Pharifaical feigned Guise of Self-denial, and Mortification, which are Things in which the whole Man, and the whole Devil too are employed, and all the Powers and Faculties of the Mind are exerted and made use of.

3144 Love not Virtue more for its Glory than its Goodnefs fake. Some aspire after Good, because it is a Thing high and transcendent: They live a strict and fevere Life, because it denotes a brave Spirit : They preserve inward Peace, beo cause it is pleasant: They enquire after the Way to Heaven, and to that Purpose confult many Books, that they may enlarge their knowledge, and fatisfy their Curiosity; and they walk in the narrow Way to Perfection, that they may Delight in themselves, and admire their own Éxcellencies; all this these Men do for to pleafe and magnify themselves. When they think most to serve God, they only serve their own Pride ; and when at last they fhall expect great Rewards, they fhall find their Hands empty of good Works, and their Hearts full of nothing but Self-love. Therefore thou oughteft to seek God with Humility, with Singleness of Heart, and a fincere Spirit, to love him above all Things, and for his own fake.

3145 Cave illos quos notavit Deus. Beware of those whom God has marked. He that hath any Thing fixed in his Perfon that doth induce Contempt, hath also an ardent Desire to rescue and deliver himfelf from Scorn. Upon this he becometh envious and malicious, as defiring others

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may be brought to the same Level in fome Kind or other with him. Hence alfo he grows bold and infolent, as standing up sturdily in his own Defence; vigilant alfo and watchful to catch all Opportunities of doing shrewd Turns. But it must be confeffed and allowed, that all deformed Perfons are not thus; for some, that they may throw off the Unkindnefs of Nature, take a quite contrary Course, and walking in the Ways of Virtue, Humility, and perfect good Nature, merit the Esteem, and Love of all they live and converfe with. Thus crooked Men are observed to be, either notoriously Bad, or moft excellently Good.

3146 Look not about thee to ask another what Sort of Man thou art, and whether thou actest well or ill; but look inward, examine thy own Thoughts and Inclination; know for thyself and itapd by that. Opinion makes us judge and e. steem ourselves, not according to our own Sense and Consciousnefs, but according to the vain Thoughts and Talk of other Men. We defer fo much to others Opinions, that except they will please to count us happy, we cannot be fo. We are not contented to live to ourselves, but we must also entertain a troublesome, imaginary Life, to please we know not whom, People that perhaps know us not, and to be sure care not for us ; whose Judgment we flight in other Things, thus neglecting that true and real Life which we ourselves enjoy, we make it our Care and Endeavour to preserve and adorn that Life which depends on others, and hath no Sublic stence but in another's Fancy : And fo far doth. this Delusion prevail, that what we ourselves


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