Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Thing he loved as well as himself, he would measure the Worth of it according to the Esteem of him who biddeth most for it, rather than of him who biddeth less.

Therefore, the most infallible Way to disentangle a Man from the Snares of Flattery, is 'to consult and study his own Heart; for whoever does that well, will hardly be so absurd, as to take another Man's Word before his own Sense and Experience.

Thirdly, Another Advantage from this kind of Study, is this, that it teacheth a Man, how to behave himself patiently, when he has the ill Fortune to be censured and abused by other People. For a Man, who is thoroughly acquainted with his own Heart, doth already know much more Evil of himself, than any Body else can tell him; and when any one {peaketh ill of him, he rather thanketh God, that he can say no worse. For, could his Enemy but look into the dark and hidden Recesses of the Heart, he confidereth what a Number of impure Thoughts he might there fee brooding and hovering like a dark Cloud upon

the Face of the Soul; that there he might take a Prospect of the Fancy, and view it acting over the several Scenes of Pride, of Ambition, of Envy, of Lust, and Revenge; that there he might tell how often a vicious Inclination hath been restrained, for no other Reafon, but just to save the Man's Credit or Interest in the World ; and how many unbecome

Z 2

រំ ing

ز

ing Ingredients have entered into the Composition of his beft Actions. And now, what Man in the whole world would be able to bear so severe a Test, to have every Thought and inward Motion of the Heart, laid open and exposed to the Views of his Enemies ? But,

Fourthly, and Lastly, Another Advantage of this kind is, that it maketh Men less severe upon other People's Faults, and less busy and industrious in spreading them. For a Man, employed at Home, inspecting into his own Failings, hath not Leisure enough to take Notice of every little Spot and Blemish that lieth scattered upon others : Or, if he cannot escape the Sight of them, he always passes the most easy and favourable Construction upon them. Thus, for Instance : Does the Ill he knoweth of a Man proceed from an unhappy Temper and Constitution of Body? He then confidereth with himself, how hard a Thing it is, not to be borne down with the Current of the Blood and Spirits, and accordingly layeth some Part of the Blame upon the Weakness of human Nature, for he hath felt the Force and Rapidity of it within his own Breast ; although perhaps, in another Instance, he remembereth how it rageth and swelleth by Opposition ; and although it may be restrained, or diverted, for a while, yet it can hardly ever be totally fubdued.

Or,

[ocr errors]

Or, has the Man finned out of Custom? He then, from his own Experience, traceth an Habit into the very first Rise and imperfect Beginnings of it; and can tell by how slow and insensible Advances it creepeth upon the Heart ; how it worketh itself by Degrees into the very

Frame and Texture of it, and so paffeth into a second Nature; and consequently he hath a just Sense of the great Difficulty for him to learn to do Good, who hath been long accustomed to do Evil.

Or, lastly, Hath a false Opinion betrayed him into a Sin? He then calleth to Mind what wrong Apprehenfions he hath had of some Things himself; how many Opinions, that he once made no Doubt of, he hath, upon a stricter Examination, found to be doubtful and uncertain ; how many more to be unreasonable and abfurd. He knoweth further, that there are a great many more Opinions that he hath. never yet examined into at all, and which, however, he still believeth, for no other Reason, but because he hath believed them so long already without a Reason. Thus, upon every Occasion, a Man, intimately acquainted with himself, consulteth his own Heart, and maketh every Man's Case to be his own (and so

puts the most favourable interpretation upon it.); Let every Man therefore look into his own Heart, before he beginneth to abuse the Reputation of another, and then he will hardly be so absurd, as to throw a Dart that will fo cer

tainly

Z 3

tainly rebound and wound himself. And thus, through the whole Courfe of his Conversation, let him keep an Eye upon that one great and comprehensive Rule of Christian Duty, on which hangeth not only the Law and the Prophets, but the very Life and Spirit of the Gofpel too; Whatsoever ye would that Men fhould do unto you, do ye even fo unto them. Which Rule, that we may all duly observe, by throwing aside all Scandal and Detraction, all Spite and Rancour, all Rudeness and Contempt, all Rage and Violence, and whatever tendeth to make Converfation and Commerce either uneafy, or troublesome, may the God of Peace grant for Jesus CHRIST his Sake, &c.

Consider what hath been faid, and the Lord give you a right Understanding in all Things. To whom, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, be all Honour and Glory, now and for ever.

THE

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

E mounted before your Master. When

you see him mounted, ride out before him. When he baiteth at Noon, enter the Inn Gate before him, and call the Oftler to hold your Master's Horse while he alightet. Leave your Master to the Servants of the Inn; go you with the Horfes into the Stable; chufe a Place farthest from the Stable-Door ; see the Standing be dry ; send immediately for fresh Straw; see all the old Hay out of the Rack, and get fresh put in ;. see your Horses Girths be loosed and stuffed ; take not off the Bridle until they are cool, nor Saddles in an Hour; fee their Hoofs be well picked; try if the Heads of the Nails be fast, and whether they be well clinched, if not, send presently for a Smith ; always stand by while the Smith is employed. Give the Oats the last Thing. Water your Horses when you are within a Mile or more of the Inn. Never keep above forty Yards before or behind your Master, unless' he commandeth you. Try the Oats by

[ocr errors]

smelling

« ПредишнаНапред »