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own breast will more corrode him, than the sharpa eft humours that can infest the body.
It lies upon every one, to study. himself, to rectify his own temper; and where, by constitution, we are inclined to that which reason, or religion cannot approve ; there, care is to be taken, to.ainend such in clination, and to govern it by rules of virtue : as one replied, when a phyfiognomer reported him vicious in several instances : “ Thus (said he) I am, by bo“ dily constitution : but, by the power of my mind, " these things are subject to my reason.” 'Twere a reproach to a man, if a physiognomer, by viewing his countenance, or an astrologer, by casting his nativity, fhould tell what he is, in respect of the principles of his mind; or what he will do, upon a moral aço count. If so, what effect is there of principles of reason? of grounds of religion and conscience ? of measures of virtue, and rules of prudence ?
If by study, exercise, and good use of himself, man be not better than when he came at first into the world; if there bę neither improvement, nor refinement i what effect is there of christianity ?
Now, I do purposely challenge, as enemies to christianity, peevishness, frowardness, mal-contentedness, which are the more dangerous evils, because men warrant themselves in them ; supposing there is cause for their discontent, and that they are justifiable in it. So Jonah, (chap. iv, ver. 9.). I do well to be angry, : This is the case of ungoverned minds, and cholerick conftitutions.
Those who tranfgress in their rage and fury : when they return to them elves, and to the use of so
ber reason, either find cause to be ashamed, and to
By discomposure of mind, a person is unfit to attend
And, as we are not fit to attend upon God, nor to enjoy him ; fo likewise, not to enjoy ourselves. In such a temper, we have not the free use of our reason, nor any true content. For, what is all the world to a troubled and discomposed mind? Therefore, give me ferenity of mind, calmness of thought : for, these are better enjoyments than any thing without us. Therefore, for these things, will I daily praise God :
for upholding the foundation of reason and understanding, which are so much in danger, by the distemper of the mind : for continuing me in the privilege of liberty and freedom (for, hereby I can present God with a free-will-offering, and bring unto him the consent of my mind :) and, for giving me power of self-enjoyment, and of taking content in myself. One may have much in the world as to right and title ; and yet, have nothing as to power of selfenjoyment. For, in the case of misgovernment, by lust, passion, and self-will; we dispossess ourselves of ourselves, and all that we may call ours.
'Tis a sinful temper, to be hard to please ; and ready to take offence. It is grievous to those about us : and we shall soon suffer for it : for, men will soon withdraw from unquiet and turbulent spirits. Solomon hath observed that he that would have a friend, must behave himself friendly, Prov xviii. 24. But, these men are unacceptable every where ; especially to those that are under them (for, as for equals, and superiors, they will soon withdraw :) but every good man will take care of those that are under him. And, upon this head, I shall observe three or four things.
First, That we ought to make the lives of all those that live with us, as happy, and comfortable as we can, and their burdens as easy as may be. Let our advantages be never so much above, theirs, and our power over them never so great ; yet, we bould equally consider things, and do as we would be done unto, if in their circumstances.
Consider also, that things may as well be done with gentleness, and by fair means, as otherwise : and, that things that are so done, are done with pleasure and satisfaction, and will better hold : For things that are done by force, and with offence, will no longer last than ihat force continues. There is more care to please ; when me
not captious, peevish, froward, or easy to take offence. Men that are often angry, and for every trifle, in a little time, will be little regarded ; and fo lose the advantage of giving grave reproof. They will say, 'tis the manner of the perfon ; and, no one can help it : and so these persons will be less confidered, when they reprove with reason. Displeasure (when there is weighty reason for it) may prove to the offender a principle of reformation and amendment: but, hasty and passionate men, are not considered. Their fury is looked upon as a clap of thunder : and no one will much regard it.
Take notice what care God hath taken, for the welfare and happiness of those that are inferiors, and under the power of others. The parent must not provoke his children to wrath, Eph. vi. 4. Parents that have all authority over their children, must take care how they use it. The husband must not be bit
ter against his wife. He must give her no harsh language ; but give honour to her as the weaker vessel, 1 Pet. iii. 7. Masters must render to their servants that which is just and equal : forbearing threatnings ; knowing that they have a master in heaven, Eph. vi. 9. Then for those that labour for us, that are but for a day, and are gone again; God hath required, that their wages be paid them : otherwise their cry will come up, into the ears of the Lord of Sabbacth, James v. 4. Then, for strangers, that are without friends, relations, or acquaintance; what care doth God take for them? Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, Heb. xiii. 2. Then for the widow, and the fatherless persons, that are most helpless ; what care hath God taken for them? So great, that he will be revenged on those that wrong them, Exod. xxii. 22, 23, 24. and, on the contrary, will reckon those to have pure religion and undefiled, that shall visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction, James i. 27.
This is the rule. The lower any one's condition is, in the world ; by so much the more he is pitiable ; and fo much the greater care pould we take, to ease him : he having burden enough upon him, without any other addition to his misery. • I will conclude this discourse with threerules. Whosoever will do his work, with fair words; I would not have him chid into it. I would never blame any one, for common incidencies, such as might befal myself, or any one else : nor ever blame any one, for not doing that, wherein he had not particular direction. You will say, these are low things, to be fpoken in a pulpit. But, let them be as low as they