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The first Phyficians by Debauch were made,
Convince the World that you are just and true,
Ill Cuftoms by Degrees to Habits rise,
As Brooks make Rivers, Rivers fwell to Seas.
10. S WEARING.
Of all the naufeous complicated Crimes,
Tell me ye knowing and difcerning Few,
Nor trivial Lofs, nor trivial Gain despise,
All Cheats at Games, keep gaping for their Prey,
Of all the Caufes which confpire to blind
Man's erring Judgment, and mifguide the Mind :
Whatever Nature has in Work deny'd,
A Collection of alphabetical Sentences, moral and inftructive
CTION keeps both Soul and Body in Health, but Idlenefs corrupts and rufts the Mind and the Underftanding: Thus a Man of good natural Parts and great Abilities, may, by Sloth and Idleness, become fo mean and despicable, as to be an Incumberance to Society, and even a Burthen to himself.
Aurelius often used to say, that he would not part with that little he had learnt for all the Gold in the World; and that he had more Satisfaction from what he had read and written, then from all the Victories that he had won, and all the Realms he had conquered.
B. Be always cautious of that Man's Company, who has no Regard to his own Reputation; for it is evident, if he values not his own, he will never mind yours.
Be always ready to communicate any Thing to your Friend, that may improve his Mind or his Morals. Knowledge, like Wealth, is a Talent given us of GOD; and as we have Nothing but what we receive of him, we should imitate his Love to us, by being always ready and willing to communicate his Gifts to others.
C. Be very cautious in believing every little Tale, or ill Report of others; but be yet far more cautious of your re porting it also; left upon a ftrict Enquiry it should prove falfe, and then Shame will attend thee for thy Folly, and thy Conscience will accufe thee for an Act of Injustice.
C. Children, like young Twigs, may be bent any Way : Therefore all fuch as have the Care of them fhould inftill into them early Notions of Piety and Vertue, as they naturally will grow as they are fashioned: For what we learn in Nature, we are (by a Sort of Second-Nature) prone to in old Age.
Compare the Miferies on Earth with the Joys of Heaven, and the Length of one with the Eternity of the other: Then will the Journey feem fhort, and your Trouble little.
D. Difcretion does not fhew itself in Words only, but in all the Circumstances of Action: In short, it is the HandMaid of Providence, to guide and direct us in all the common Concerns of Life.
Do as much Good as you can to all Mankind in general; as well to your Enemies as your Friends; and what is not in your Power, pray to GOD to do for them.
E. Education, grounded on good Principles, teach us, not to be over-joyed in Profperity, nor too much dejected in Adverfity. It will not fuffer us to be diffolute in our Pleasure; and will keep us in our Anger from being transported to a Fury that is brutal.
Every Man is fond of Happiness; and yet how few are there that confider, their eternal Welfare? This plainly fhews how our corrupt Nature is at Variance with itself.
F. Friendship may very properly be called the Child of Love and Esteem: For it is a strong Tie, and a habitual Inclination between two Perfons, to promote the real Good and Happiness of each other.
Few take Care to live well, but many to live long; though it is in a Man's Power (in all moral Duties) to do the Former, but in none to do the Latter.
G. Good-Nature is Beneficence accompanied with good Senfe: It is the Product of right Reason, which always gives Allowance for the common Failings of others, by confidering that there is Nothing perfect in Mankind.
GOD gives us the greatest Encouragement to be good, by promifing us more Happiness than we can exprefs, or all the World can afford; and he also declares, that if we continue in Sin, and difobey him, he will punish us for ever and ever : If then, neither thefe Promifes, nor Threatnings will do, we are unavoidably loft.
H. Humility is the grand Vertue that leads to Contentment; for it cuts off both the Envy and Malice of Inferiors and Equals, and makes us patiently bear the unjust Insults of Superiors.
He is not like to pass his Life with much Eafe, that gives ear to every Thing he hears: For as it raises an unjust Jealoufy in our Mind, and at the fame Time answers no End, except it be to promote the Sin of Lying, every wife Man will take Care that fuch diffonant Sounds fhall go no further than in at one Ear, and out at the other.
I. Idlenefs and Sloth, like Vultures, eat up our Health: For if we look back upon the Lives of our Fore-fathers, we shall find that their Vigour was owing to their Exercise, Sprightlinefs, Induftry, and Activity: It was Luxury and Idlenefs firft dibilitated and impaired the Strength of Na
Ingratitude must be a very great Sin, as it is quite contrary to the Nature of that Divine Being, who always delights in Mercy, and whofe Vengeance always follows fuch as repay Evil for Good.
K. Knowledge fills the Mind with entertaining Views, and adminifters to it a perpetual Series of Gratifications. It gives Eafe to Solitude, fills a public Station with fuitable Abilities, and when it is mixed with Complacency, it adds a Lufter to fuch as are poffeffed of it.
Keep fuch Company as you may improve, or that may improve you; and if you or your Companions cannot make one another better, rather leave than grow worse by them.
L. Lying may be thought convenient and profitable, because not foon discovered; but, pray remember the Evil of it is perpetual: For it brings a Perfon under everlasting Jealoufy and Sufpicion; fo that they are not believed when they fpeak the Truth, nor trufted, when perhaps, they mean honestly.
Labour not only to know what you ought, but to practife it; and be always ready to make others better by your good Advice; at least be very careful not to make them worfe by your bad Examples.
M. Make the Study of the facred Scriptures your daily Practice, and principal Concern; and embrace the Doctrines contained in them, as the real Oracles of GOD, and the Dictates of that Spirit which cannot lie.
Moral Virtues themselves, without Religion, are cold, lifelefs and infipid, and it is very evident that the latter far furpaffes the former: For a Man may be moral and not religious; but no Man' can be truly religious without being moral.
N. Never try to be diverting without being useful; fay Nothing that may offend a chafte Ear, nor suffer a rude Jeft to intrude upon good Manners; for the Practice of Indecency not only discovers thy Wickedness, but also the very Want of common Senfe.
Never try to make Confufion by telling Tales, nor be an officious Witness between Parties; 'tis Time enough when you are asked; and if they both defire you to fpeak, remember always to speak the real Truth, and let not Power or Fear, or any Thing, bias you to tell a known and wilful Lie to please either.
O. Of all the foolish Sins that infect and poifon Youth, none is fo abfurd as common Swearing; because Vice and Folly are mixed together, without any apparent Advantage.
Opportunity loft cannot be recalled; therefore, 'tis the highest Wisdom in Youth, to make all the fenfible Improvements they can in their early Days; for a young overgrown Dunce feldom makes a Figure in any Branch of Learning in his old Days.
P. Pleasure and Recreation are really neceffary to relax our Minds and Bodies from too much Labour and conftant Attention; but then they fhould be fuch as are inno. cent as well as diverting.
Pitch upon fuch a Course of Life as is excellent and praife-worthy, and Custom will foon make it both easy and delightful.
Q. Quiet-minded Men have always Peace within; for though the natural Paffions of human Nature do accompany them, yet they are always calm and eafy, because they are ever content with the Difpenfations of Divine Providence.
Quarrelfome People are always at War, and they are often captious and contentious, even in the most inoffenfive Company; fo that it is a great Mark of Wisdom (for once) to let them have their own Way; but yet it will be a greater Mark of Wisdom, fo to mark them, as not to be abused a fecond Time.
R. Religion of itself never hinders us from any Duty; for it actually makes Men in public Affairs more ferviceable; Governors apter to rule with a good Conscence, and Inferiors, for Confcience Sake, more willing to obey.
Riches, State, and Supremacy can procure us only a cuftomary Refpect, and make us the Idols of an unthinking Croud, while Knowledge and Learning will always recommend us to the Love of such as are in a fuperior Clafs, who