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feel and know, is nothing to us except others be acquainted with it alfo.

3147 Good Nature is the very Air of a good Mind, the Sign of a large and a generous Soul, and the peculiar Soil on which Virtue profpers. But the World having a Notion of it that is very Wrong, and of mischievous Confequences, I defire to fet them right, and let them know, that that is not to be called good Nature by which Men become impotent and uncapable of withstanding any Importunities, be they never fo unreasonable, be they never so dangerous, er refufing any Temptations; but as if they were crippled in their Powers, or crazed in their Minds, are wholly governed by Example, and sneakingly conform themfelves to other Mens Humours and Vices; and in a Word, become every Man's Fool that hath the Confidence to impofe upon them. Now this is fo far from that lovely mafculine Temper of true Complaifance, that it is indeed no better than a childish Bashfulness, a feeble Pufilanimity, a filly Softnefs of Mind, which makes a Man first the Slave and Property, and then at laft the Scorn of his Company.

3148 Thou haft no Reafon to ceafe thy Study and Enquiry into the Word and Will of God, as if thou knoweft already what is neceffary to be known. I have heard some excuse themselves from fuch Studies by a Wifh, that they could practife what they already know, and then they should not doubt but to do well enough. Such Backwardness and Excuses argue only that their Confcience is already troublefome to them for their Breach and Neglect of Duty; and they are afraid if it fhould be further



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informed, it would give them greater Difquiet, or they should be constrained to that Strictness of Life, that would be very uneafy to them, fo that tho' they wish they could practise what they know; yet indeed, the Reason why they defre not to increase in Knowledge is, because they have no real Mind to mend their Practice, nor be bound up to that Exactness of holy walking, that the Word requires.


3149 Thou may'ft poffibly meet fometime or other with a certain grave fupercilious Sort of a Gentleman, who pretending great Goodnefs to thee, but really intending great Glory to himself, will be continually haunting and perfecuting thee with his Wifdom, and Advice. I fuppofe I need not forewarn thee to keep out of his Walk, for thy own Uneafinefs will do it enough; he is a dreadful Friend; he'll take the Advantage of his own Experience; he'll propose all his Counfels as Laws, and with the Air of a Master, that takes away the Privilege of examining what he fays, will endeavour to force thy Mind by Authority, rather than win it by Reason; he'll never fail to give himself for an Example, and apply to all his Purposes his Obfervations of former Times, when he was a flourishing young Man; he'll bring his own Adventures for Proofs. He has feen all that he advances; every Thing that he fays is extraordinary, and worthy to be laid up. And the fear of not faying enough to perfuade, makes him always fay too much to be believed or regarded.

3150 Lay afide Constraint (in Company) and Subtilty, it's enough in common Conversation, L


to preferve Decency and Order; as to the reft, thou may'ft flag as low as the Earth, if they 'feem to defire it, or do fo themfelves. The Learned often stumble at this Stone, they will i be always fhewing their utmoft Skill, and how much they excel the reft; and fo they ftrew their Difcourfes all over with Flowers of their Eloquence, and quote Plato and Aquinas in Things, that the first Man they meet could determine as well; the Learning that cannot penetrate their Sculls, hangs ftill upon their Tongues.


3151 When thou wouldeft make a Jeft to excite Laughter, 'twill be beft to fpeak in a cold and ferious Manner, that the Company may be pleasingly furprized in feeing thee Serious in the Midft of Perfons who rend the Air with Laughter. Yet I have obferv'd fome who laugh'd fo heartily all the Way they were uttering of witty Things, that they made the Company the best Divertisement in the World; but then their Way and Manner became only themfelves, and was not to be imitated by others. As I conceived the Thing which took fo much, was, that they fhewed nothing of Pride and Conceitednefs, or any Thing of hidden Preference of themselves before the reft (which would have given Difguft) but fhewed all along a wonderful Sweetness of Nature, and Gaiety of Temper; which joining with the Sentiments of the Company, and caufing them to laugh together with them, rendered all of a Piece, and prov'd exceedingly endearing, obliging, pleasant, and merry.

3152 Upon a Journey Men ufe to put on all the Pleafantnefs they can, and to make Sport of all


all the Inconveniencies of the Ways and Weather, and little crofs Accidents that befall them. And thus, if thou shalt but the Art and Wisdom to do it, many of the leffer Inconveniencies of Life might well enough be played off, and made Matters rather of Mirth and Diverfion, than of Melancholy, and ferious Trouble. But there are fome Evils and Calamities of humane Life that are too heavy and serious to be jefted withal, and require the greatest Confideration, and a very great Degree of Patience to fupport us under them, and enable us to bear them decently; as the Lofs of Friends and deareft Relations; as the Lofs of an only Son grown up to be well fix'd and fettled in a virtuous Course, and promifing all the Comfort to his Parents that they themselves could wish; these certainly are fome of the greatest Evils of this World, and hardeft to be born. For Men may pretend to what they will, to Philofophy and Contempt of the World, and of the perifhing Comforts and Enjoyments of it, to the great Extirpation of their Paffions, and an Infenfibility of thefe Things, which the weaker and undifciplin❜d of Mankind keep fuch a Wailing and Lamentation about. But when all is done, Nature hath framed us as we are, and hath planted in our Conftitution ftrong Inclinations and Affections to our Friends and Relations; and thofe Affections are as naturally moved, upon fuch Occafions, and pluck every String of our Hearts as violently, as extreme Hunger and Thirft do gnaw upon our Stomacks. Whatever we mightily love, doth in fome Sort become a Part of L 2 ourselves,

ourfelves, and cannot hang fo loose upon us as to be feparated from us without Trouble, any more than a Limb, that is vitally, and by strong Ligaments united to the Body, can be dropped off when we pleafe, or rent from the Body without Pain.

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