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impatience wear pride under their robes, aud immodefty above.


8. Hither alfo is to be reduced fingular and effected walking, proud, nice and ridiculous geftures of body, painting and lafcivious dreffings: all which together God reproves by the Prophet, The Lord Jaith, Be-Ifa. 3. 16. caufe the daughters of Sion are haughty, and walk with 17. ftretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and make a tinkling with their feet. Therefore the Lord will fmite her with a fcab of the crown of the head, and will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments. And this duty of Modefty in this inftance is exprefly enjoyned to all Chriftian women by S. Paul, That women adorn themselves in modest apparel 1 Tim. 2, 9. with fhamefac'dness and fobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearl, or coftly array, but (which becometh women profeffing godliness) mith good works.

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9. As thofe meats are to be avoided which tempt our ftomach, beyond our hunger; fo alfo fhould prudent perfons decline all fuch fpectacles, relations, theatres, loud noifes and out-cries which concern us not, and are befides our natural or moral intereft. Our fenfes fhould not, like petulant and wanton Oedipum girls, wander into markets and theatres without just curiofias in employment; but when they are fent abroad by Reafon, return quickly with their errand, and remain hamitates, modeftly at home under their guide, till they be sent Plus. again.

10. Let all perfons be curious in obferving Modefty towards themselves in the handsome treating their own body, and such as are in their Power, whether living or dead. Against this Rule they offend who expofe to others their own, or pry into others nakednefs beyond the limits of neceffity, or where a leave is not made holy by a permiffion from God. It is alfo faid that God was pleased to work a miracle about the body of Epiphanius, to reprove the immodeft curiofity of an unconcerned perfon who pried too near when charitable people were compofiug it to the grave. In all thefe cafes and particulars, although they feem little, yet our duty and concern

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conjecit ca.

ment is not. little. Concerning which I ufe the words of the Son of Sirach, He that defpifeth little things, fhall perish by little and little.


Of Contentedness in all Eftates and Accidents.

Vertues and Difcourfes are like Friends neceffary in

all Fortunes; but thofe are the beft which are Friends in our fadneffes, and fupport us in our forrows and fad accidents: and in this fence no man that is vertuous can be friendlefs; nor hath any man reason to complain of the Divine Providence, or accufe the publick diforder of things, or his own infelicity, fince God hath appointed one remedy for all the Evils in the World, and that is a contented Spirit. For this alone makes a man pass through fire, and not be scorched ; through feas, and not be drowned; through hunger and nakedness, and want nothing. For fince all the evil in the world confifts in the difagreeing between the object and the appetite, as when a man hath what he defires not, or defires what he hath not, or defires amifs; he that compofes his Spirit to the prefent accident hath variety of inftances for his Vertue, but none to trouble him, because his defires enlarge not beyond his prefent fortune and a wife man is placed in the variety of chances, like the nave or centre of a wheel in the midst of all the curcumvolutions and changes of posture, without violence or change, fave that it turns gently in compliance with its changed parts, and is in different which part is up, and which is down; for there is fome Vertue or other to be exercised what, ever happens, either Patience or Thanksgiving,Love or Fear, Moderation or Humility, Charity or Contentednefs, and they are every one of them equally in order to his great end and immortal felicity; and beauty is not made by white or red, by black eyes, and a round face, by a ftraight body, and a fmooth skin; but by a proportion to the fancy. No rules can make amability, our Minds and apprehenfions make that; and fo is our felicity: and we may be reconciled to poverty

tibi eft, fi

Sect. 6. IOS poverty and a low fortune, if we fuffer Contentednefs, Non facta and the Grace of Gad to make the proportion. For diffimules, no man is poor that doth not think himfelf fo. But if injuria. in a full fortune with impatience he defires more, he proclaims his wants and his beggarly condition. But because this Grace of Contentednefs was the fum of all the old moral Philofophy, and a great Duty in Chriftianity, and of moft univerfal ufe in the whole course of our lives, and the only inftrument to ease the burthens of the world, and the enmities of fad chances, it will not be amifs to prefs it by the proper argu ments by which God hath bound it upon our fpirits, it being faftned by Reafon and Religion, by Duty and Intereft, by Neceffity and Conveniency, by Example, and by the propofition of excellent Rewards, no less than Peace and Felicity.

1. Contentedness in all Eftates, is a duty of Religion; it it is the great reasonableness of complying with the Divine Providence which governs all the world, and hath fo ordered us in the adminiftration of his great family. He were a ftrange fool that fhould be angry becaufe dogs and fheep need no fhooes,and yet himself is full of care to get fome. God hath fupplied thofe needs to them by natural provifions, and to thee by an artificial: for he hath given thee reafon to learn a trade, or fome means to make or buy them, fo that it only differs in the manner of our provifion: and which had you rather want, Shooes or Reafon? And my Patron that hath given me a Farm is freer to me than if he gives a Loaf ready baked. But however all thefe gifts come from him, and therefore it is fit he fhould difpenfe them as he pleases; and if we murmur here, we may at the next melancholy be troubled that God did not make us to be Angels or Stars. For if that which we are or have do not content us, we may be troubled for every thing in the world, which is befides our being or our poffeffions.

Εἰ τότο το

Θεῷ φίλων,

God is the Mafter of the Scenes, we must not chufe which part we shall act; it concerns us only to be To Yucareful that we do it well, always faying, If this please God, let it be as it is and we who pray that God's

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Sect. 6will may be done in Earth as it is in Heaven, must remember that the Angels do whatsoever is commanded them, and go where-ever they are fent, and refuse no circumstances; and if their employment be crossed by a higher degree, they fit down in peace, and rejoyce Dan. 10. 13. in the event: and when the Angel of Judea could not prevail in behalf of the people committed to his charge; because the Angel of Perfia oppofed it, he only told the ftory at the command of God, and was as content, and worshipped with as great an ecstafie in his proportion, as the prevailing Spirit. Do thou fo likewife: keep the station where God hath placed you and you shall uever long for things without, but fit at home feafting upon the Divine Providence and thy own Reafon, by which we are taught that it is neceffary and reasonable to submit to God.

For, is not all the world God's Family? Are not we his Creatures? Are we not as clay in the hand of the Potter? Do we not live upon his meat, and move by his ftrength, and do our work by his light? Are we any thing but what we are from him? And fhall there be a mutiny among the flocks and herds, because their Lord or the Shepherd chufes their paftures, and fuffers them not to wander into defarts and unknown ways? If we chufe we do it fo foolishly that we cannot like it long, and moft commonly not at all: but God, who can do what he pleases, is wife to chufe fafely for us, affectionate to comply with our needs, and powerful to execute all his wife decrees. Here therefore is the wisdom of the contented man, to let God chufe for him: for when we have given up our wills to him, and stand in that ftation of the battel, where our great General hath placed us, our fpirits must needs reft, while our conditions have for their fecurity the power, the wisdom, and the charity of God.

2. Contentedness in all accidents brings great peace of spirit, and is the great and only inftrument of temporal felicity. It removes the fting from the accident, and makes a man not to depend upon chance and the uncertain difpofitions of men for his well-being, but


σιν. εἴ τι ρά.

σεαυτό λάβε.

Arrian, Ep.

only on God and his own Spirit. We our felves O SID'S TO make our fortunes good or bad, and when God x, xal lets loose a Tyrant upon us, or a fickness, or fcorn, y or a leffened fortune, if we fear to die, or know us, Tap not to be patient, or are proud, or covetous, then the calamity fits heavy on us. But if we know how to manage a noble principle, and fear not death fo much as a dishoneft action, and think Impatience a worse evil than a Fever, and Pride to be the biggest difgrace, and Poverty to be infinitely defirable before the torments of Covetoufnefs; then we who now think vice to be fo eafie, and make it fo familiar, and think the cure fo impoffible, fhall quickly be of another mind, and reckon thefe accidents amongst things eligible.

But no man can be happy that hath great hopes and great fears of things without, and events depending upon other men, or upon the chances of fortune. The rewards of vertue are certain, and our provifions for our natural fupport are certain, or if we want meat till we die, then to die of that disease, and there are many worse than to die with an Atrophy or Confumption, or unapt and coarfer nourishment. But he that fuffers a transporting paffion concerning things within the power of others, is free from forrow and amazement no longer than his enemy fhall give him leave; and it is ten to one but he fhall be fmitten then and there where it fhall moft trouble him: for fo the Adder teaches us where to ftrike, by her curious and fearful defending of her head. The old Stoicks when you told them of a fad ftory, would ftill anfwer Ti Tejs ui; What is that to me? Yes, for the Tyrant hath fentenced you alfo unto prifon. Well, what is that? He will put a chain upon my leg, but he cannot bind my foul. No: But he will kill No: But he will kill you. Then I'll die. If presently, let me go, that I may presently be freer than himself: but if not till anon or to morrow, I will dine firft, or fleep, or do what reafon and nature calls for, as at other times. This in Gentile Phi- Phil. 4. lofophy is the fame with the difcourfe of S. Paul, I 1 Tim. 6: 6: bave learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be Heb. 3.1, s.

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