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of this does he want to be solicited, but his generous Heart is always ready, and strongly disposed for beneficent Designs and Actions. You cannot lay a greater Obligation upon him, than by proposing Ways in which he may be useful, or enlarge his Sphere of Usefulness; for this is the point in which all his Views; all his Satisfactions center.
Add to this, that he is inclin'd to abate of his Right, when insisting too strictly upon it may have the Appearance of Harthness and Severity; and has such a strong Sense of Benevolence, such an exalted Spirit of Humanity and Compassion, that no Considerations of private Interest, no Difference of Nation or religious Profession, can restrain; and which the greatest Injuries cannot bear down and extinguish. He aims that his Goodness may be as diffusive as possible, and as much like that of the universal Parent, the eternal Fountain of Good, who fupports, enlivens, and recreates the whole Creation; and therefore, as he is generous in all his Designs, he is very fearful of disobliging any, either by Word or Action; and endeavours in his whole Conduct, to be agreeable as well as useful to all: Being candid in his Censures, practising to his Inferiors the most endearing Condescension, and carefully avoiding Moroseness, and every thing that has the Appearance of Infolence or Contempt. Finally, to conclude the Sketch of this most beautiful and honourable Character, the good Man is unwearied in his Endeavours to promote the Happiness of others; the Ardor of his Benevolence is not cool'd, tho' he meets with ungrateful Returns; the Trouble and Expence of the Service do not discourage him; nay, he is ready to give up all private Confiderations for the sake of the public Welfare, and even to facrifice Life itself, when the Good of the World requires it..
LESS O'N VIII. The Duty of endeavouring to obtain Wisdom, and the
Use and Importance of it.
W I SDOM is of itself delectable and satisfactory. It
is like Light, pleasant to behold, casting a sprightly Lustre, and diffusing a benign Influence all about ; difplaying Objects in their due Shapes, Postures, Magnitudes and Colours ; dispelling the Darkness of Ignorance, scattering the Mists of Doubt, and driving away the Spectres of delusive Fancy; discovering Obstacles, securing the Progress, and making the Passages of Life clear, open and pleasant. Wisdom begets in us a Hope of Success in our Actions, and is usually attended therewith. Now what is more delicious than Hope? What more satisfactory than Success ? And he that aims at a good End, and knows he uses proper Means to attain it, why should he despair of Succeis, since Effects naturally follow their Causes, and the Din vine Providence is wont to afford its Concurrence to such Proceedings ? Wisdom makes all the Troubles, Griefs, and Pains incident to Life, whether casual Adversities, or natural Afflictions, easy and supportable ; by rightly valuing the Importance, and moderating the Influences of them. Ic suffers not busy Fancy to alter the Nature, amplify the Degree, or extend the Duration of them, by representing them more fad, heavy, and remediless than they truly are. Befides that it confers a Facility and Dexterity in Action, which is a very pleasant and commodious Quality. To do things with Difficulty and Struggling, disheartens a Man, quells his Courage, blunts the Edge of his Resolution, renders him fluggish and averse from Business, tho' apprehended never fo necessary and of great Moment. These Obstructions Wisdom removes, facilitating Operations, by directing the Intention to Ends possible and attainable, by suggesting fit Means and Instruments to work by, by contriving right Methods and Courses of Process; the Mind by it being stor's with Variety of good Principles, fure Rules, and happy Expedients, reposed in the Memory, and ready upon all Occafions to be produced and employed in Practice. Wisdom begets a sound, healthful and harmonious Complexion of the Soul, dispofing us with Judgment to diftinguish, and with
our, which Health. Wisdimation, our Proning not only
Soments furp Miltake mor and hu
omompliant antiderate Motienteem and Afifth and Demeanetual Dealinn, naturally whereas Foliy.constant aroublend punct wise Mene them: Wtreperous, ifequently helpedt.
Pleasure to relish favory and wholsome things, but to naufeate and reject such as are ungrateful and noxious to us; whence to the Soul proceeds all that Comfort, Joy and Vigour, which results to the Body from a good Constitution and perfect Health. Wisdom acquaints us with ourselves, our own Temper and Constitution, our Propensions and Pasfions, our Habitudes and Capacities; a thing not only of mighty Advantage, but of infinite Pleasure and Content to us. No Man in the World less knows a Fool than himself. He hath wonderful Conceits of his own Qualities and Faculties; he affects Commendations incompetent to him, and soars at Employments surpassing his Ability to manage. No Comedy can represent a Mistake more odd and ridiculous than his; for what he wanders, stares and hunts after, but never can find or discern, is himself. Wisdom procures and preserves a constant Favour and fair Respectjof Men, purchases a good Name, and upholds Reputation in the World: which things are naturally desireable, and commodious in Life. The composed Frame of Mind, uniform and comely Demeanour, compliant and inoffensive Conversation, fair and punctual Dealing, considerate Motions and dextrous Addresses of wise Men, naturally beget Esteem and Affection in those that observe them: Whereas Folly is freakish and humorous, impertinent and obftreperous, inconstant and inconsistent, peevish and exceptious, and consequently troublefome to Society, and productive of Aversion and Disrespect. Wisdom instructs us to examine, compare, and rightly to value the Objects that court our Affections, and challenge our Care ; and thereby regulates our Passions, and moderates our Endeavours, which begets a pleasant Serenity, and peaceful Tranquility of Mind. For when, being deluded with false Shews, and relying upon ill-grounded Presumptions, we highly esteem and eagerly pursue things of little Worth in themselves, as we prostitute our Affections, mif-spend our
Time, and lose oor Labour; fo the Event not answering our Expectation, our Minds thereby are confounded, disturbed and distempered. Wisdom discovers our Relations, Duties, and Concernments, in respect of others with whom we converse; distinguishes the Circumstances, limits the Measures, determines the Modes, appoints the fit Season of Action; thus preserving Decorum and Order, the Parents of Peace; and preventing Confusion, the Mother of Iniquity, Strife and Disquiet. In fine, Wisdom acquaints us with the Nature and Reason of true Religion, and persuades us to the Practice of it; teaches us wherein it consults, and
5, Peevithinent and obety hereas Follim and Affectind
Expectatione red. Wisdomefpect of others. limits the Melof
what it requires, the Mistake of which produceth daily fo * many Mischiefs in the World. It shews that it consisteth not
in fair Profeffions, but in real Practice; not in a pertinacious Adherence to any Sect or Party, but in a sincere Love of Goodness, and Dislike of Naughtiness, wherever discovering itself; not in harsh Censuring and virulently Inveighing against others, but in carefully Amending our own Ways; not in a vain Oftentation of outward Performances, but in an inward Goodness of Mind, exerting itself in Works of true Devotion and Charity; not in a nice Orthodoxy, or politic Subjection of our Judgments to the peremptory Dictates of Men, but in a sincere Love of Truth, in a hearty Approbation of Compliance with Doctrines fundamentally good, and necessary to be believed.
TTOW oblique and faintly looks the Sun on yonder
| Climates, far removed from him! How tedious are the Winters there! How deep the Horrors of the Night, and how uncomfortable even the Light of the Day! The freezing Winds employ their fiercest Breath, yet are not spent with blowing. The Sea, which elsewhere is scarce confined within its Limits, lies here immur'd in Walls of Crystal. The Snow covers the Hills, and almost fills the lowest Vallies. How wide and deep it lies, incumbent over the Plains, hiding the sluggish Rivers, the Shrubs and Trees, the Dens of Beasts, and Mansions of distress'd and feeble Men !-See! where they lie confined, hardly secure against the raging Cold, of the Attacks of the wild Beasts, now Masters of the wasted Field, and forc'd by Hunger out of the naked Woods.—Yet not dishearten'd (such is the Force of human Breasts) but thus provided for by Art and Prudence, the kind compensating Gifts of Heaven, Men and their Herds may wait for a Release. For at length the Sun approaching, melts the Snow, sets longing Men at Liberty, and affords them Means and Time to make Provision against the next Return of Cold. It breaks the icy Fetters of the Main, where the vast Sea-Monsters pierce thro' floating Islands,
with Arms which can withstand the crystal Rock: whilft others, who of themselves seem great as Islands, are by their Bulk alone arm'd against all but Man, whose Superiority over Creatures of such stupendous Size and Force, should make him mindful of his Privilege of Reason, and force him humbly to adore the great Composer of these wonderous Frames, and Author of his own superior Wisdom.
But leaving these dull Climates, so little favoured by the Sun, for those happier Regions, on which he looks most kindly, making perpetual Summer ; how great an Alteration do we find! His purer Light confounds weak-fighted Mortals ; pierced by his scorching Beams, scarce can they tread the glowing Ground. The Air they breathe cannot enough abate the Fire which burns within their panting Breasts. Their Bodies melt; overcome and fainting, they seek the Shade, and wait the cool Refreshments of the Night. Yet oft the bounteous Creator bestows other Refreshments; he casts a Veil of Clouds before them, and raises gentle Gales; favoured by which, the Men and Beasts pursue their Labours; and Plants refreshed by Dews and Showers, can gladly bear the warmest Sun-beams.
And here the varying Scene opens to new Wonders. We see a Country rich with Gems, but richer with the fragrant Spices it affords. How gravely move the largest of LandCreatures on the Banks of this fair River! How ponderous are their Arms, and vast their Strength, with Courage, and a Sense superior to the other Beasts ! yet are they tamed by Mankind, and brought even to fight their Batties, rather as Allies and Confederates, than as Slaves. But let us turn' our Eyes towards these smaller and more curious Objects, the numerous and devouring Insects on the Trees in these wide Plains : How shining, strong and lasting are the subtle Threads spun from their artful Mouths! Who beside the All-wise has taught them to compose the beautiful soft Shells, in which recluse and buried, yet still alive, they undergo such a furprising Change, when not destroyed by Men, who cloath and adorn themselves with the Labours and Lives of these weak Creatures, and are proud of wearing such inglorious Spoils? How fumptuously apparelled, gay, and splendid, are all the various Insects which feed on the other Plants of this warm Region! How beautiful the Plants themselves in all their various Growths,, from the triumphant Palm, down to the humble Moss!
Now may we see that happy Country where precious Gems and Balsams flow from Trees, and Nature yields her