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covetous, and loose not the glory of the Mite. If Riches encrease, let thy mind hold pace with them, and think it not enough to be Liberal, but Munificent. Though a Cup of cold water from some hand may not be without it's reward, yet stick not thou for Wine and Oyl for the Wounds of the Distressed; and treat the poor, as our Saviour did the Multitude, to the reliques of some baskets. Diffuse thy beneficence early, and while thy Treasures call thee Master : there may be an Atropos of thy Fortunes before that of thy Life, and thy wealth cut off before that hour, when all Men shall be poor; for the Justice of Death looks equally upon the dead, and Charon expects no more from Alexander than from Irus.
Sect. VI.–Give not only unto seven, but also unto eight, that is unto more than many. Though to give unto every one that asketh may seem severe advice, yet give thou also before asking, that is, where want is silently clamorous, and mens Necessities not their Tongues do loudly call for thy Mercies. For though sometimes necessitousness be dumb, or misery speak not out, yet true Charity is sagacious, and will find out hints for beneficence. Acquaint thyself with the Physiognomy of Want, and let the Dead colours and first lines of necessity suffise to tell thee there is an object for thy bounty. Spare not where thou canst not easily be prodigal, and fear not to be undone by mercy. For since he who hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Almighty Rewarder, who observes no Ides but every day for his payments; Charity becomes pious Usury, Christian Liberality the most thriving industry, and what we adventure in a Cockboat may return in a Carrack unto us. He who thus casts his bread upon the Water shall surely find it again; for though it falleth to the bottom, it sinks but like the Ax of the Prophet, to arise again unto him.
Sect. VII.-If Avarice be thy Vice, yet make it not thy Punishment. Miserable men commiserate not themselves, bowelless unto others, and merciless unto 1 Ecclesiasticus.
their own bowels. Let the fruition of things bless the possession of them, and think it more satisfaction to live richly than dye rich. For since thy good works, not thy goods, will follow thee; since wealth is an appertinance of life, and no dead Man is Rich; to famish in Plenty, and live poorly to dye Rich, were a multiplying improvement in Madness, and use upon use in Folly.
SECT. VIII.-Trust not to the Omnipotency of Gold, and say not unto it Thou art my Confidence. Kiss not thy hand to that Terrestrial Sun, nor bore thy ear unto its servitude. A Slave unto Mammon makes no servant unto God. Covetousness cracks the sinews of Faith; nummes the apprehension of anything above sense, and only affected with the certainty of things present makes a peradventure of things to come ; lives but unto one World, nor hopes but fears another ; makes their own death sweet unto others, bitter unto themselves; brings formal sadness, scenical mourning, and no wet eyes at the grave.
Sect. IX.-Persons lightly dipt, not grain'd in generous Honesty, are but pale in Goodness, and faint hued in Integrity. But be thou what thou vertuously art, and let not the Ocean wash away thy Tincture. Stand magnetically upon that Axis, when prudent simplicity hath fixt there ; and let no attraction invert the Poles of thy Honesty. That Vice may be uneasy and even monstrous unto thee, let iterated good Acts and long-confirmed habits make Virtue almost natural, or a second nature in thee. Since virtuous superstructions have commonly generous foundations, dive into thy inclinations, and early discover what nature bids thee to be, or tells thee thou may'st be. They who thus timely descend into themselves, and cultivate the good seeds which nature hath set in them, prove not shrubs but Cedars in their generation. And to be in the form of the best of the Badi or the worst of the Good, will be no satisfaction unto them. Sect. X.—Make not the consequence of Virtue the
1 Optimi malorum pessimi bonorum,
ends thereof. Be not beneficent for a name or Cymbal of applause, nor exact and just in Commerce for the advantages of Trust and Credit, which attend the reputation of true and punctual dealing. For these Rewards, though unsought for, plain Virtue will bring with her. To have other by-ends in good actions sowers Laudable performances, which must have deeper roots, motives, and instigations, to give them the stamp of Virtues.
Sect. XI.—Let not the Law of thy Country be the non ultra of thy Honesty ; nor think that always good enough which the Law will make good. Narrow not the Law of Charity, Equity, Mercy. Joyn Gospel Righteousness with Legal Right. Be not a mere Gamaliel in the Faith, but let the Sermon in the Mount be thy Targum unto the Law of Sinah.
Sect. XII.—Live by old Ethicks and the classical Rules of Honesty. Put no new names or notions upon Authentic Virtues and Vices. Think not that Morality is Ambulatory; that Vices in one age are not Vices in another; or that Virtues, which are under the everlasting Seal of right Reason, may be Stamped by Opinion. And therefore, though vicious times invert the opinions of things, and set up new Ethicks against Virtue, yet hold thou unto old Morality; and rather than follow a multitude to do evil, stand like Pompey's Pillar conspicuous by thyself, and single in Integrity. And since the worst of times afford imitable Examples of Virtue; since no Deluge of Vice is like to be so general, but more than eight will escape ; Eye well those Heroes who have held their Heads above Water, who have touched Pitch, and not been defiled, and in the common Contagion have remained uncorrupted.
SECT. XIII.-Let Age not Envy draw wrinkles on thy cheeks, be content to be envy'd, but envy not. Emulation may be plausible and Indignation allowable, but admit no treaty with that passion which no circumstance can make good. A displacency at the good of others because they enjoy it, though not unworthy of it, is an absurd depravity, sticking fast unto corrupted nature,
and often too hard for Humility and Charity, the great Suppressors of Envy. This surely is a lyon not to be strangled but by Hercules himself, or the highest stress of our minds, and an Atom of that power which subdueth all things unto itself.
Sect. XIV.-Owe not thy Humility unto humiliation from adversity, but look humbly down in that State when others look upwards upon thee. Think not thy own shadow longer than that of others, nor delight to take the Altitude of thyself. Be patient in the age of Pride, when Men live by short intervals of Reason under the dominion of Humour and Passion, when it's in the Power of every one to transform thee out of thyself, and run thee into the short madness. If you cannot imitate Job, yet come not short of Socrates, and those patient Pagans who tired the Tongues of their Enemies, while they perceived they spit their malice at brazen Walls and Statues.
Sect. XV.—Let not the sun in Capricorn go down upon thy wrath, but write thy wrongs in Ashes. Draw the curtain of Night upon injuries, shut them up in the Tower of Oblivion,and let them be as though they had not been. To forgive our Enemies, yet hope that God will punish them, is not to forgive enough. To forgive them ourselves, and not to pray God to forgive them, is a partial piece of Charity. Forgive thine enemies totally, and without any reserve, that however God will revenge thee.
Sect. XVI.—While thou so hotly disclaimest the Devil, be not guilty of Diabolism. Fall not into one name with that unclean Spirit, nor act his nature whom thou so much abhorrest; that is, to Accuse, Calumniate, Backbite, Whisper, Detract, or sinistrously interpret others. Degenerous depravities, and narrow-minded vices! not only below St. Paul's noble
1 Even when the days are shortest.
2 Alluding unto the tower of oblivion mentioned by Procopios, which was the name of a Tower of Imprisonment among the Persians; whoever was put therein was as it were buried alive, and it was death for any but to name him.
Christian but Aristotle's true Gentleman. Trust not with some that the Epistle of St. James is Apocryphal, and so read with less fear than Stabbing Truth, that in company with this vice thy Religion is in vain. Moses broke the Tables without breaking of the Law; but where Charity is broke, the Law itself is shattered, which cannot be whole without Love, which is the fulfilling of it. Look humbly upon thy Virtues, and though thou art Rich in some, yet think thyself Poor and Naked without that Crowning Grace, which thinketh no evil, which envieth not, which beareth, hopeth, believeth, endureth all things. With these sure Graces, while busy Tongues are crying out for a drop of cold Water, mutes may be in happiness, and sing the Trisagiona in Heaven.
Šect. xvii. - However thy understanding may waver in the Theories of True and False, yet fasten the Rudder of thy Will, steer strait unto good and fall not foul on evil. Imagination is apt to rove, and conjecture to keep no bounds. Some have run out so far, as to fancy the Stars might be but the light of the Crystalline Heaven shot through perforations on the bodies of the Orbs. Others more Ingeniously doubt whether there hath not been a vast tract of Land in the Atlantick Ocean, which Earthquakes and violent causes have long ago devoured. Speculative Misapprehensions may be innocuous, but immorality pernicious; Theoretical mistakes and Physical Deviations, may condemn our Judgments, not lead us into Judgment. But perversity of Will, immoral and sinfull enormities walk with Adraste and Nemesis at their Backs, pursue us into Judgment, and leave us viciously miserable.
Sect. XVIII.—Bid early defiance unto those Vices which are of thine inward Family, and having a root in thy Temper plead a right and propriety in thee. Raise timely batteries against those strongholds built upon the Rock of Nature, and make this a great part
i See Aristotle's Ethics, chapter of Magnanimity.