« PreviousContinue »
: Vouchsafe, I beseech thee, to replenisk my Mind more and more, with Abundance of Christian Wifdom. Fill me with Holy Thoughts. Make them familiar and natural to me; that they may be ready.at Hand, on all Occasións, to present themselves, and to quell all those unquiet Thoughts or Desires, that are apt at any time to rise in my Heart. Settle
my Faith and Hope in thee; and make them more firong and vigorous. Raise that Love, which I acknowledge is due unto thee, to a greater Height; that I may feel the Power of it composing my Spirit, and making me well pleafed in what pleaseth thee, and satisfying me fully with a constant Belief of thy Love and Kindness towards me. Raise me, O God, to that noble Pitch of Faith in thee, that I may be able to embrace my present Condition, whatsoever it be, as best for me : And accept of all Crosses from thee with an equal and thankful Mind; and wait on thee with a patient and resigned Will, for what Thou seest Good for me; and not be too basty, in my Defires of Deliverance from the greatest Burthens that may lie upon me.
Preserve that Divine Reason which thou hast inspired me withal, by thy Holy Gospel, in such Clearness, Force, and Activity ; that it may perfe&tly subdue and govern all my Passions, and be ever
. at Hand to assist me against all Temptations to discontented Thoughts and Fretfulness of Spirit. Pollefs my Heart, O my God, so entirely There with, that I may be of good Comfort, yea Rejoice, in every Estate, and still say, Tbanks be to God, thanks be to God : Until I am set free
from all the Troubles of this Life, and from the Straitness and Burthen of this Body too ģ
that I may give thee Thanks, with more enlarged Thoughts and Affections in the happy Company of the Blessed. Unto which I bope thou wilt conduét me hy all that befalls me, according to thy wise Love manifested in Christ Jefus ; by whom all Honour, Glory, and Praise, all bearty Love and chearful Obedience be rendred to thee Eternally. Amen.
HEB. XIII. 5.
have : Have finished the great and princi
pal Rules for the leading a conten-
ted Life, which are contained in
thing to trouble and molest us, as hath been often said, we inust always expect, and not imagine that we can find &va Biov žreTy, fome one Sort of Life, void of all Grievances and Vexations. We do but lose our Time and Labour, if we go in the fearch of iny such State; whether we fancy it to be in the Country private Life, or in the Unmarried, or even in that of great Princes and Kings: For as Plutarch (whose Words these are) hath observed out of Menander,----ësi az yerés 72 nem is BiQ., there is a certain Kindred between Life
and Trouble. You cannot divide it from the delicate Life; the Honourable hath its Company;
and it grows old with Men of meaner Condition.
But God hath not left us without a Remedy: That's our Comfort. And it chiefly lies in divine Faith ; and a heavenly Hope which springs from thence ; and in a great Love :and Gratitude to God, and an hearty Affection for all Mankind.
But besides those general Rules which have been mentioned, there are certain particular Advices, that are not unworthy the Consideration of those who would live quietly in this World and will tend very inuch to make their Passage thorough it more easy ; less offensive to others, and consequently less troublesome to themselves. I will briefly propound them to you at this time ; and conclude thein, as I did the former, with a Direction or two'which are of the largest Use.
The first is, To have something still to do. For though Idleness feem easy, and to have nothing to trouble it; it lays upon us a great Burthen of unquiet Thoughts, and breeds a Number of vexatious Desires, If our Condition therefore leads us neither to publick nor private Business, let us employ our time in honest Studies. That is Seneca's Rule, I remeinber, to a Man who affects not publick Employment, or cannot have it, nor finds inuch to do in domefick Affairs ; In ftudia conferas, quod subduxeris Officiis; bestow that on Study, which thou takeit away from Business. By this means a Man shall be, Nec fibi gravis, nec aliis supervacuus, neither burthensome to himself, nor impertinent to others. He will invite many to his Friendship : The best Persons will love his Company. For even an obscure Vertue cannot always lie hid : It gives some Signs of it felf, which '
will make it honoured and courted. And here it will not be amiss to fubjoin, that the very fame Rule is to be observed which was given before concerning the Desire of Riches; not to affect too much of them.' Give me neither Poverty nor Riches, but feed me with Food convenient for me; is the Prayer of Agur, Prov. xxx, 8. Which the Gentile Wisdom conspires
with in these Words, The best Meas Seneca, cap. Sure of Money is that, which neither
falls so low as Poverty, nor is very far removed from it. And by the fame Measure we should govern our selves, say they, in our Studies. Many Books are a Trouble. Like Variety of Meats they burthen the Stomach or breed Diseases, but do not give much Nourishment. Or like a Man that is always in Travel
froin Place to Place; he hath many 1d . Epift. Inns, but no Friends, and few Ac
quaintance. Multitude of Books diftract Meri's Minds, and therefore when thou canst not read all that thou hast, it is enough to have all that thou readest. It is a sign of a