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but ftill in its nature and tendency, this circumfpection in things, which concern a Chriftian's Soul, is able to fhed wisdom and difcretion into his carriage and behaviour, in things which appertain to this prefent life; hence, from a Man who seriously confiders he hath a Soul to be faved, you may expect great order in his Family, a prudent forefight of dangers, and a moderate care to fhun them, great temper in dif course, and exact Juftice in his dealings, and rendring to all their dues, Tribute to whom Tribute is due; Custom to whom Custom, Fear to whom Fear, Honour to whom Honour; As the Apostles phrafe is, Rom. 13. 7.
In all probability it was the attentive confideration of his Spiritual concerns, that made David both valiant and prudent in matters; as he is called, 1 Sam. 16. 18. and, to what can we afcribe Jofeph's and Daniel's difcreet Government of themselves, and their fecular affairs, but to that Piety and Goodness, which, by long and ferious Confideration, they had fettled in their Breafts? When a Man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his very Enemies to be at peace with him, i. e. He doth not only, by an extraordinary providence, turn their hearts towards him, but infufes wisdom and difcretion into his Soul, fo to behave himself towards his Enemies, that they cannot but bury their hatred, and return to their former friendship, and civility, Prov. 16. 7. He that confiders his ways, with reverence to his Eternal state and condition, his ways cannot but please the Lord, and fuch Wisdom, if he Bb 2 ftand
fland not in his own light, will furely fall to his fhare, and hereof we need no other proof, but common experience.
The Man, who truly minds his everlasting intereft, and fo confiders the account he must give 10 God, when this life is ended, as to provide for that great and dreadful Audit, thinks himself obliged to ufe what cautioufnefs he can, that he may not wrong his God, his Soul,and his Neighbour; and this cautiouínefs cannot but make him prudent in his Secular Vocation; hence fuch a Man hath commonly his Wife, Children, and Servants, in better order than other Men, and mingles that fweetness and kindness with his gravity or feverity, that they may have encouragement to love him,and dread offending a far greater Mafter in Heaven; there is not that difcontent, that emulation, that ill language, that backbiting, that luxury, that extravagance, that tumult in fuch a Man's Family, as is to be observed in Houfes, where little of God and Eternity is regarded. Such a perfon fpends in his houfe no more but what is decent and convenient, and fo provides for thofe of his own Houfhold, as not to forget doing good to the Levite, and to the Widow, and to the Fatherless, Deut. 14. 28, 29. His Speech is commonly with grace, feafoned with Salt, full of meekness and gravity, and therefore lefs offenfive, and he takes heed that it may not be laid to his charge, that he hath beflowed more to feed his pride and luxury, than Chriff's diftreffed Members; and, in publick affairs, or places of great Truft, fuch a Man
as minds, firft Heaven, and then Earth, ufually difcovers far greater wisdom in management of State affairs, than those who first mind Earth, and Heaven, when they have nothing elfe to do; fot his Principles lead him fo to carry himself to Man, as not to affront his God,and to advife his King to nothing but what is truly great and glorious, and beneficial for the Realm he governs: And, as a Prince may confide in fuch a Perfon, more than in a fenfual Man, fo he hath reafon to believe, that all things will profper better in his hand, than in the others, because he first feeks the Honour of God, and then the happiness of his King, and the Honour of that Nation he is a Member of; which is a thing fo pleafing to God, that there is nothing more frequent with him, than to blefs fuch honeft endeavours, and to crown them with fuccefs and profperity.
And certainly, he that can confider, how to keep himself from the everlasting evil, may, with greater eafe, prevent temporal mifchief and danger, which depend upon the imprudence of his actions; he that can row against the Stream, may with great facility, row with it; he that can chearfully go up the Hill, will find no great difficulty in going down; he that can do that which his Nature hath more than ordinary averfion from, may more eafily do that which his nature hath a strong byafs and inclination to: And he, whofe Mind will ferve him to turn away the ever burning Wrath of Almighty God, cannot want judgment and prudence to prevent the Wrath and Anger of thofe Men he converfes
withal: And he that can, by ferious Confideration, make sure of a feat in Heaven, cannot want power to confider, how to manage the Estate God hath given him in this World, to God's Glory and his Neighbours good: And though Men, that are very confiderate in their Soul-concerns, do not always ufe that prudence we have mentioned in the concerns of this prefent World; yet it is fufficient, that if they will make use of that light, and thofe arguments, which their Reafon, thus improved by Confideration, doth furnish them withal, they may most certainly arrive to this Wisdom and difcretion, in fecular concerns and bufineffes, which we have been fpeaking of. Indeed, it's very rational, that he that exercises his reafon much, and examines the na ture, ends, caufes, circumftances and confequences of things, as he must do, that seriously confiders the things that belong unto his everlasting peace, would arrive to more than ordinary wildom in other things; and that he that's prudent in the greater, fhould be able to proceed prudently in Teffer matters; that he who is faithful in much, Should be faithful in a little alfo ; and that he who is juft in the true Riches, should be very just in the Mammon of unrighteoufnefs too, as we read,Luke 16.10.
A pathetical Exhortation to Men,who are yet ftrangers to a ferious, religious life, to confider their ways; the wilfulness of their neglect, how dangerous it is; how inexcufable they are, how inhuman to God, and their own Souls; how reafonable God's requests are, and how justly God may turn that power of Confideration he hath given them, into blindness and hardness of heart, fince they make so illa use of it, &c.
ND now, Reader, whoever thou art, that doeft yet wallow, or allow thy felf in any 1 known fin, and art not fincerely refolved to close with the terms of Chrift's Eternal Gofpel, let me adjure thee, by the mercies of God, not to reject, or fuperciliously to defpife, what here we have propofed. As thou art a Man, and owe civility to all Creatures, that have the fignature of Man upon them, be but fo kind and civil to this Difcourfe,as to allow it fome ferious thoughts. Either thou haft a rational Soul, or thou haft not; if thou haft, let me entreat thee, by the Bowels of Jefus, to confider, whether this prefent World be all the Sphere that God intended it fhould move in; if it be not, and if how to fecure the happiness of the World to come, be the chief thing this thy Soul is defigned for? Why wilt thou fruftrate God in his expectation? Why wilt thou go contrary to all Creatures,and wilt not profecute the end for which thy Soul was made, and fhed into thy Body? That