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jealousy and dislike toward those, that may otherwise continue (qr. contineant) and keep you in the truth: as, to raise dislike in you against your minister; nay, rather than fail, to raise dissension among relations ; yea, to cast jealousies and surmises among them, if it may be instrumental to corrupt them.
* 3. They will endeavour to withdraw people from the public ministry of God's word, encourage men to slight and neglect it, and when they have once effected this, they have a fair opportunity to infuse their own corrupt principles.
• 4. They will engage you by some means or other to them, either by some real, but most ordinarily by some pretended kindness or familiarity, that in a little time you shall not dare to displease them: you must do and speak what they will have you, because some way or other you are entangled with them, or engaged to them; and then they become your governors, and you will not dare to contradictor disobey them.
6 These are some of those artifices, whereby crafty and subtile seducers gain proselytes, and bring men under captivity.
Seventhly. Be very careful to moderate your passions, especially of choler and anger. It inflames the blood, disorders the brain, and for the time exterminates not only religion, but common reason : it puts the mind into confusion, and throws wild-fire into the tongue, whereby men give others advantage against them: it renders a man incapable of doing his duty to God, and puts a man upon acts of violence, unrighteousness, and injustice to men. Therefore keep your passions under discipline, and under as
strict a chain, as you would keep an unruly curst mastiff. Look to it, that you give it not too much line at first ; but if it hath gotten any fire within you, quench it frequently with consideration, and let it not break out into passionate or unruly words or actions : but, whatever you do, let it not gangrene into malice, envy, or spite.
Eighthly. Send your children early to learn their Catechism, that they may take in the true principles of religion betimes, which may grow up with them, and habituate them both to the knowledge and practice of it; that they may escape the danger of corruption by error or vice, being antecedently seasoned with better principles.
Ninthly. Receive the blessings of God with very much thankfulness to him ; for he is the root and fountain of all the good you do, or can, receive.
• Tenthly. Bear all afflictions and crosses patiently: it is your duty; for afflictions come not from the dust. The great God of heaven and earth is he, that sends these messengers to you, though possibly evil occurrences may be the immediate instruments of them. You owe to Almighty God an infinite subjection and obedience, and to expostulate with him is rebellion. And, as it is your duty, so it is your wisdom and your prudence: impatience will not discharge your yoke, but it will make it gall the worse, and sit the harder.
* Eleventhly. Learn not only patience under your afflictions, but also profitably to improve them to your souls good; learn by them, how vain and unprofitable things the world and the pleasures thereof are, that a sharp or a lingering sickness renders utterly
tasteless. Learn how vain and weak a thing human nature is, which is pulled down to the gates of death, and clothed with rottenness and corruption, by a little disorder in the blood, in a nerve, in a vein, in an artery. And since we have so little hold of a temporal life, which is shaken and shattered by any small occurrence, accident, or distemper; learn to lay hold of eternal life, and of that covenant of peace and salvation, which Christ hath brought for all that believe and obey the Gospel of peace and salvation : there shall be no death, no sickness, no pain, no weakness; but a state of unchangeable and everlasting happiness. And, if you thus improve affliction, you are gainers by it; and most certain it is, that there is no more probable way, under heaven, to be delivered from affliction (if the wise God see it fit) than thus to improve it. For affliction is a messenger: and the rod hath a voice; and that is, to require mankind to be the more patient and the more humble, and more to acknowledge Almighty God in all our ways. And if men listen to this voice of the rod, and conform to it, the rod hath done his errand; and either will leave a man, or at least give a man singular comfort even under the sharpest affliction. And this affliction, which is but for a moment, thus improved, will work for us an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
• Twelfthly. Reverence your minister; he is a wise and a good man, and one that loves you, and hath a tender care and respect for you. Do not grieve him, either by neglect or disrespect. Assure yourselves, if there be any person that sets any of you against him, or provokes or encourageth any of you to despise or neglect him, that person, whoever
he be, loves not you nor the office he bears. And therefore, as the laws of the land and the Divine Providence hath placed him at Alderly to have a care of your souls, so I must tell you I do expect you should reverence and honour him for his own, for your, and for his office sake.
• And now I have written this long epistle to you, to perform that office for me that I should have done in person, if I could have taken this journey. The epistle is long, but it had been longer, if I had had more time. And though, perchance, some there may be in the world, that when they hear of it will interpret it to be but the excursions and morose rules of old age, unnecessary, and such as might have been spared; yet, I am persuaded, it will find better acceptation thereof from you that are my children. I am now on the shady side of threescore years. I write to you, what you have often heard me in substance speak. And possibly, when I shall leave this world, you will want such a remembrancer as I have
The words that I now, and at former times have written to you, are words of truth and soberness; and words and advices, that proceed from a heart full of love and affection to you all. If I should see you do amiss in any thing, and should not reprove you; or if I should find you want counsel or direction, and should not give it, I should not perform the trust of a father : and, if you should not thankfully receive it, you would be somewhat defective in the duty you owe to God and me, as chil. dren. As. I have never spared my purse to supply you, according to my abilities and the reasonableness of occasions, so I have never been wanting to you in good and prudent counsels. And the God of heaven
been to you.
give you wisdom, constancy, and fidelity, in the
• MATTHEW HALE.' • May 20.
In his account of the Good Steward, which forms part of his valuable Tract entitled The Great Audit,' he represents himself as rendering an account, generally, as to all the blessings and talents entrusted to him; and more particularly, as to his senses, his reason and understanding, his memory, his conscience, the great works of Creation and Providence, more special providences, his speech, his time of life, his use and dominion over the creatures, his learning of natural causes and effects and of arts and sciences, his prudence and understanding in affairs and dexterity in the managing of them, his elocution, his body and bodily endowments of health, strength, and beauty, his wealth and temporal subsistence, his eminence of place and power, and his reputation and credit. Of this, two sections are inserted, as a specimen of his pious and simple state of mind.
* Touching my Time of Life.' • First, I have duly considered what it is, and for what end thou gavest it me: that it is but a short time, and the minutes that are past and the opportunities in them are irrevocably and irrecoverably lost; that all the wealth of the world cannot redeem it; that the time, that is before me, is uncertain. When I look
upon an hour-glass, or the shadow of a dial, I can guess