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To clo good, and to communicate, forget not. J£e6. xui. 16. 



^Boston : 


M. 53, CornhilL 








THE Editor's Preface^ with a Sket^j^f the 

Author*B Life : v— x 

Preface xi 

Much occadon for doing good . 25 

The excellence of nvell-doing 26 

The reward of well-doing 27 

The diligence of wicked men in doing evil .... 3 ! 

The true nature of good works 34 

On seeking o/ifiortu7iities to do good 58 

On internal fiiety and self examination 41 

On doing good to our relations^ childreny &c. ... 45 

, to our servants 58 

to our neighbours 61 

Private meetings for religion , 67 

Proposals to the ministers of the gos/iel 72 

Directions for fiastoral visits 78 

The duties of schoolmasters 85 

Profiosals to churches^ for doing good 89 

magistrates 91 

, iihysicians ^^ 

rich men 106 

ladies 112 

Miscellaneous profiosals to gentlemen 113 

Profiosals to churchy civil and military officers . 118 

lawyers 120 

Societies for the reformation of manners 129 

ji catalogue of desirable things 143 

Concluiion , , . , . 138 


THE following Essays were first published by Dr. 
Cotton Mather, at Boston in New England^i the year 
1710. The design of the author is thus ej^BRscd in his 
title-page, " Bonifacius. An Essay upon the Good that 
is to be devised and designed, by thos-e who desire to an- 
swer the Great End of Life, and to Do Good while they 
live. A Book offered, first, in general, unto all Chris- 
tians, in a Personal Capacity, or in a Relative : Then more 
particularly unto Magistrates, Ministers, Physicians, 
Lawyers, Schoolmasters, Gentlemen, Officers, Churches, 
and unto all Societies of a religious character and inten- 
tion : with humble Proposals of unexceptionable meth- 
ods to Do Goc'f/inihe world." 

In the present Edition, this title is abridged, and the 
Running Title, used by the author in the original work, is 
substituted, Essays to do Good, which the reader may 
understand to signify, " Attempts to do good :" which 
was probably the author's intention in the use of that 
phrase ; or, he may consider this little "^"^lume as com- 
posed of a set of Essays, on the noble subject of doing 
good in this present evil world. 

The various methods of doing good, here proposed to the 
public, derive no small recommendation from the example 
of the excellent author, whose whole life was a practical 
comment on the subject, and who might have said to 
the readers of his own days, "Be ye followers of me." 
To those who may not have had an opportunity to peruse 
his life, the following slight sketch of it may be accepta- 

Dr. Cotton Mather, who was born, February 12, 1663, 
at Boston, in New England, v/as honourably descended 
from families whose eminent piety, and sufferings for 
righteousness' sake, rendered them " the excellent of the 
eartli." Dr. Increase Mather, his father, was pdstcr of 
the North Church, in Boston, and President of Harvard 
College ; his mother was tlie daughter of the renowned 
Mr. John Cotton, a minister of exalted religion and un- 
common learning. 

At twelve years of age, our autliorhad attained a con- 
siderable knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrev/ ; he 
was admitted into the college at sixteen ; at eighteen, 


took his first degree ; and before he was nineteen, pro- 
ceeded Master of Arts. 

From his earliest years, he discovered a love to relig- 
ion ; he prayed much in private, and constantly read 
liftcen chapters of the Bible in a day. At fourteen, he 
kept days o^rivatc fasting and prayer; devoted a tenth 
of his little jJpDme to pious uses ; and at sixteen, became 
a member of the church. 

At this early period of life, he adopted it as a maxim, 
"that a power and an opportunity to do good, not only 
gives a right to the doing of it, bui makes the doing of it a 
duty." On this maxim he determined to act, and contin- 
ued to do so throughout his whole life. 

In the execution of this noble design, he began in his 
father's family, to do all the good in his power to his 
brothers, his sisters, and the servants. He imposed on 
himself a rule, never to enter any company, where it 
was proper for him to speak, without endeavouring to be 
useful in it ; and in doing this, he found that promise ful- 
filled, " to him tliat hath shall be given ;" for on the faith- 
ful improvement of his talents, his opportunities of useful- 
ness were gradually increased, till he became a blessing 
to whole churches, towns, and countries. 

In the management of his very numerous affairs, he 
was a man of uncommon dispatch and activity ; but he 
Avas obliged to improve every moment of his time ; and 
that he might not suffer by impertinent and tedious visi- 
tors, he wrote over his study-door in large letters, Bk 

The writer of his life, Mr. Samuel Mather, his son, 
gives us the following specimen of his surprising activity, 
in the review of a single year ; in the course of which, he 
preached seventy-two public sermons, and about half 
that number h» private. Not a day passed without some 
contrivance to do good, which he registered ; beside ma- 
nv, probal)ly, not noticed in his diary. Not a day passed, 
without his being a!)le to say at the close of it, that some 
part of ids income had been distributed for pious purpo- 
ses. He i)repared and published, in this year, about 
fourteen books ; and ke|:t sixty-two fasts, and twenty- 
two vigils. 

When he was about nineteen, he was chosen co-pas- 
tnr with his father ; from which time, till his death, he 
continued a laborious, zealous, and useful minister of the 
glorious gospel. He continued also a close and diligent 



Student, acquiring a prodigious fund of the most valuable 
knowledge : and that his usefulness might extend be- 
yond the limits of his own country, he learned the French 
and Spanish languages, and in his forty-fifth year took 
the pains to acquire a knowledge of the Indian (Iroquois) 
tongue, in each of which he published useful treatises. 

The greatest genius in the world would have found it' 
impossible to effect so much, without a saored regard to 
method ; in this Dr. Mather was studiously exact. That 
all his pursuits might have their proper places, he used to 
propose to himself a certain question in the morning of 
every day, in the following order : 

Sabbath morning. What shall I do, as a pastor of a 
church, for the good of the flock under my charge ? 

Monday. What shall I do in my family, and for the 
good of it .<* 

Tuesday. What shall I do for my relations abroad ? 

Wednesday. What shall I do for the churches of the 
Lord, and the more general interest of religion in the 
world ^ 

Thursday. What good may I do in the several socie- 
ties to which I belong ? 

Friday. What special subjects of affliction, and ob- 
jects of compassion, may I take under my particular 
care, and what shall I do for them ? 

Saturday. What more have I to do for the interest of 
God, in my own heart and life ? 

By this careful observation of method, by the readiness 
of his invention, and his peculiar celerity in the dispatch of 
business, he was enabled not only to perform all the du- 
ties of the pastoral office, and to assist in the formation 
and support of numerous societies, but also to compose - 
an uncommon number of books. His biographer gives us 
a catalogue of no less than three hundred and eighty- 
tivo. Some of these were indeed small, but others were 
considerable in size, and some voluminous, particularly 
his famous work, " Magnalia Christi Americana," or 
" The Ecclesiastical History of New England ;" beside 
which, and other large treatises which he published, he 
made very copious preparations for his "American Bi- 
ble :" in this great labour he was engaged for fifty years ; 
but we apprehend that it was never published.* 

* Tlie Publishers of this Edition have ascertaiii^d, tliat 
" Ths Biblia Americana'^ was never published. It was too 


In addition to his other engagements, he kept up a lit- 
fravy correspondence with eminent men in various coun- 
tries, among whom were Mr. Waller, Dr. Chamberlain, 
Dr. Woodward, Dr. Jurin, Professor Frank, Lord Chan- 
cellor King, Dr. Whi&ton, Dr. Desaguliers, Sir Richard 
Blakcnioi%, Dr. Watts, and many others. 

After a life^f singular piety and activity, he was taken 
ill at the clo^ of December, 1727 ; when he felt a strong 
per. jasion that his sickness would be unto death, and 
Told his physician so. The grand desire of his heart was, 
tliat *' his own will might be entirely swallowed up in the 
will of God." At that time he had some things in hand, 
which he would gladly have lived to finish ; but, said he, 
" 1 c.csii e to have no will of my own." When the physlr 
cian intimated his apprehensions of the fatal issue of his 
diLorder, he immediately said, lifting up his hands and 
eyes, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven !'* 
and, a few hours before his departure, said, " Now I 
have nothing more to do here ; my will is entirely swal- 
lov/edup in tlie will of God." He frequently expressed 
the good hope he enjoyed ; " that he was going to eat the 
bread and drink the water of life freely ; that all tears 
would soon be wiped from his eyes ; that it was impossi- 
ble he should be lost ; and that his views of the heavenly 
v/orld were glorious." He had a hard cough, an asthma, 
and fever ; yet he felt but little pain ; was favoured 
with sweet composure of mind ; and obtained an easy 
dismission from the body : blessings which hc*had often 
prayed for with great fervency, lie died Feb. 13, 1728, 
havingjust completed his sixty-fifth year. 

Such a life, and such a death, will afford to the serious 
reader a powerful recommendation of the following 
pages. The proposals for doing good, which they pres- 
ent, are not the idle speculaticms of an ingenious theorist, 
but the faithful transcript of a lioly life. The author, by 
reducing them to practice, has demonstrated their prac- 
ticability to others j and encourages every individual 
reader, whatever be his share of capacity, oi* the sphere 
in wliich he moves, to believe that he may do some good 
in the world, if lie be so dis]3oscd. 

large a work to print, at tliat time, in New England. The 
dliiscMiting ministers of London, wl»o cori-csi)onclc(l w llh Dr. 
Mather, were desirous to have it published on that side of the 
Atlantir, but did not succeed ing-ainin^^ a subscription. 

Tl:e .nanuscript, written in a'fair, legible Uand, is deposit- 
ed in the Massachusetts Historical Library. 


Tlie late cele'^rated Dr. Franklin, who, when a youth, 
had the privilege of being acquainted with Dr. Mather, 
considered himself under the greatest obligations to his 
instruction and example ; and though we cannot con- 
clude that Dr. Franklin concurred with him in his evan- 
gelical views, yet he was certainly a philanthijDpist and a 
philosopher. The testimony, wiiich he bore to the ex- 
cellence of this little volume, will enhance its value in the 
estimation of many of its readers. That renowned 
statesman informs us, that all the good he ever did to his 
country, or to mankind, he ov/ed to a small book which 
he accidently met with, entitled "Essays to do Good.'* 
This little book, he studied with care and attention, laid 
up the sentiments in his memory, and resolved, from 
that time, which was in his early youth, that he would 
make doing good the great purpose and business of his 

Those who are acquainted with the style of Dr. Math- 
er will readily allow that some alterations were necessa- 
ry to reiider it agreeable to a modern reader. The Edi- 
tor was obliged to change many quaint and obsolete 
words and phrases, for others more intelligible and 
pleasant : the Latin sentences vvere translated by a learn- 

* In a letter from Dr. Franklin to Dr. Mather, son of the 
Autiiur, dated pKSsy, (in Fnince) Nov. iO, 1779, we Lave the 
folio w h'.g paragraph . 

Referring to a paper of advice to the people of t]ie United 
Slates, just'published by Dr. M. he .sa}s, 

•* Such w ritings, though they may be lightly passed over by 
many readers, yet, if they make a deep impression en one ac- 
tive mind in a hundred, the ejects may be considerable. 

" Permit me to mention one little instance, Vvhich, though it 
relates to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you. 
When 1 was a boy, I met wiJi a bock, entitled " Essays to do 
Good," which 1 think was written by your father. It had been 
so little regarded by its former possessor, that several leaves 
of it were t^orn out ; but the remainder gave me such a turn of 
til inking, as to have an influence on my conduct tlirough life ; 
for I have always set a greater value on the character of a do- 
er of good, than any other kind of reputation ; and if I liave 
been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public owes 
tiie advantage of it to that book." 

Dr. Franklin's Woiks, vol. iii. page 478. 


editor's preface, 

cd friend,* and the Nvholc adapted to more general use- 

T4ie Editor only adds, that it will afford peculiar de- 
light to the benevolent reader to find, as he peruses the- 
following ^ages, that many of those public schemes of 
usefulness, which were projected by the author a centu- 
ry ago, have, withhi these few years, been recommended, 
adopted, and carried into effect in this free and happy 
country ; and every year gladdens our hearts with the 
establishment of some new Institution ; some new " Es- 
say to do Good." May the God of all goodness smile on 
every attempt to promote his glory, by promoting the 
happiness of his creatures ! Much yet remains to be done ; 
and should the perusal of this volume tend to raise the 
holy flame of benevolent zeal in the hearts of sincere 
Christians, or wisely direct its operations, it will afford a 
Tich recompense for the labour of 

London^ Jpril27j 1807. 


• Note. In the present Boston Edition the transla- 
tions are generally inserted in the text, and the Latin pre- 
served in the marginal notes. 


AMONG the many customs of the world, with 
which it is almost necessary to comply, this is one, 
That a book must not appear without a Preface : and 
this little book willingly submits to the customary cere- 
mony. It comes with a Preface ; however, it shall 
not be one like the gates of Mindus. But there is a 
greater difficulty in complying with another usage, 
that of " An Epistle Dedicatory." Dedications are 
become such foolish and fulsome adulations, that 
they are almost useless : Frequently they answer no 
other purpose than to furnish the critics on " The 
Manners of the Age" with matter of ridicule. The 
excellent Mr. Boyle employed but a just expression 
in saying, "It is almost as much out of fashion in 
such addresses to omit giving praises, (I may say, 
unjust .ones) as it is to believe the praises given on 
such occasions.'* Sometimes the authors themselves 
live to see their own mistakes, and acknowledge them. 
Austin makes the flourishes which he had once 
used in a " Dedication," an article of his " Retracta- 
tions :" and Calvin revokes a dedication, because he 
finds he had made it to an unworthy person. I may 
add, that at other times, every one perceives what the 
authors aim at, and that, in fact, they write for them- 
selves while they flatter other men. Another course 
must now be steered. 

If a book of Essays to do Good were to be dedica- 
ted to a person of quality, it should seek a patron who 
is a true man of honour, and of uncommon goodness. 
Thy patron, O Book of Benefits to the World, should 
be a general and generous benefactor to mankind, one 
who never accounts himself so well advanced,\^as in 
stooping to do good, one whose highest ambition is to 
ai)ound in serviceable condescensions ; a stranger to 
the gain of oppression, the common refuge of the op- 
pressed and the distressed j one who will know notli- 


ing lliat is base, a lover of all good men, in all per- 
suasions ; able to distinguish ihem, and loving them 
^vithout any distinction. Let him also be one whoT^as 
nobly stripped himself of emolum^ents and advantages, 
-when they v/ould have encumbered his opportunities 
to serve his country. Yea, presume upon one who 
has governed and adorned the greatest city on the 
face of the earth, and so much " the delight" of that 
city, as well as of the rest of mankind, tliat she shall 
never account her honour or welfare better consulted, 
than when he appears for -her as a representative in 
the most illustrious assembly in the world. 

In one word, a public spirit. Let him there- 
fore, and on more than all these accounts, be 


For as of old the poet observed on mentioning the 
name of" Plutarch," that the echo answered " Philos- 
ophy :" So now, a public spirit will immediately be 
the echo in the sense of all men, and with a repetition 
more frequent than that at Pont-Chareton, if the name 
of Sir William Ashhuust once be mentioned. He 
it is v/hom the confession of all men brings into the- 
catalogue with Abraham and Joseph, and those otlier 
ancient blessings, who are ihus excellently described 
by Grotius : " IVIen born to serve mankind, who 
reckon it their greatest gain to have it in their power 
to do good."* America afar off, also knows him ; the 
American colonies have their eye on the efforts of his 
goodneids for them. Nations of christianised Indians 
likewisL' pray for him, as their governor. To him, 
the design of such a book will be acceptable, whatever 
may be the defective manner of treating its noble sub- 
ject. To him it wishes that all the blessings of those 
Tvho device good, may be forever multiplied. 

I will presume to do something that will carry a 
sweet harmony with one of the chief methods to be 
observed in prosecuting the design of this book ; 
which is, for " brethren to dwell together in unity," 

• Homines demcrendls lujminibus nati, qui omnem benc- 
-ficii collocaiidi occasionem pcncbaiu in lucro. 


and cany on every good design with united endeav- 

'They will pardon me, if I take leave to join with 
him, in the testimonies of our great esteem, for an 
honourable disposition to love good men, and to do 
good in the world, his excellent brother-in-law, the 
well-known name of a 

who has long been valued, and shall always be remeiu- 
bered, in the country where this book is published. 
God will be glorified for the piety which adorns him, 
and the " pure religion," which, in the midst of the 
world and of temptatiork^ ffom it, keeps him so " un- 
spotted from the world." It was the maxim of a Pa- 
gan Asdrubal in Livy, " Men distinguished by their 
prosperity are seldom distinguished for virtue."* Chris- 
tianity will in this gentleman give to the world an happy 
experiment, that the maxim is capable of a confutation. 
Because a book of " Essays to do Good" will doubt- 
less be acceptable to one of so good a mind ; and the 
treasurer of a corporation formed on the intention to 
do in America that good which is of all the greatest, 
of which Sir William Ashhurst is the governor, he al- 
so has a part in the humble tender of it ; and it must 
wish unto him "all the blesshigs of goodness." 

The book now requires that some account be given 
of it. It was a passage in the speech of an envoy 
from his Britannic, majesty to the duke of Branden- 
burgh, some years ago : "A capacity to do good, not 
only gives a title to it, but also makes the doing of it 
a duty." Ink were too vile a liquor to write that 
passage. Letters of gold were to mean to be the 
preservers of it. Paper of Amyanthus t would not 
be precious and perennous enough to perpetuate it.. 

* Raro simul hominib^s, bona fortuna, bonaque mens datur. 

t Amyanthus or Asbestos, a sort of native fossil stone 
which may be split into threads, and made into cloth or paper. 
It is not injured by the fire. Pliny says he has seen napkins 
made of it tlirown into the fire after a feast, and by that means 
better scoured tliaa if they had been washed in water. 

See Encj/clop. Brit, 


To be brief, Reader, the book now in thy hands, is 
nothing but an illustration of that memorable sen- 
tence. As gold is capable of a wonderful dilatation ; 
(experiment has told us it may be so dilated, that the 
hundred thousandth part of a grain may be visible 
-without a microscope) this " golden sentence" may 
be as much extended : no man can say how much. 
This book is but a beating upon it. And at the same 
time it is a commentary on that inspired maxim, " As 
•we have opportunity, let us do good unlo all men.'* 
Gal. vi. 10. Every proposal here made upon it 
hopes to be able to say, " When I am tried, I shall 
come forth as gold." 

I am well aware that all the rules of discretion and 
behaviour are included in that one word, modesty. 
But it will be no breach of modesty to be very posi- 
tive in asserting, That the only wisdom of man lies 
in conversing with the great God, and his glorious 
Christ ; and in engaging as many others as we can to 
join with us in this our blessedness ; thereby promot- 
ing his kingdom among the children of men ; and in 
studying to do good to all about us ; to be blessings 
in our several relations ; to heal the disorders, and 
help the distresses of a miserable world, as far as ever 
We can extend our influence. It will be no trespass 
upon the rules of modesty, with all possible assurance 
to assert, that no man begins to be wise till he come 
to make this the main purpose and pleasure of his 
life : yea, that every man w ill at some time or other 
be so wise as to own, that every thing without this is 
but folly ; though, alas ! most men come to that con- 
clusion too late. 

Millions of men, in every rank, besides those whose 
dyhig thoughts are collected in " The Fair ^Varnings 
to a careless World," have at length declared their 
conviction of it. It will be no immodesty in me to 
say, tliat the man who is not satisfied of the wisdom of 
making it the work of his life to do good, is always to 
be noticed with the pity due to an ideot. No first 
principles are more peremptorily to be adhered unto. 
Or, do but grant '' A judgment to come," and ray as- 
sertion is presently victorious. 


I will not be immodest, and yet I will boldly say, 
The man is worse than a Pagan, who will not come 
into this notion of things, " Vir bonus est commune 
bonum ;"* and " Vivit is qui multis est usui ;" and 
" Utilitate hominum,nil debet esse homini antiquius." 
" None but a good man is really a living man ; and 
the more good any man does, the more he really 
lives." All the rest is death ; or belongs to it. Yea, 
you must excuse me if 1 say, the Mahometan, also, 
shall condemn the man who comes not into the princi- 
ples of this book ; for I think it occurs no less than 
three times in the Koran ; " God luves those that are 
inclined to do good,'* 

For this way of living, if we are fallen into a genera- 
tion, wherein men will cry, (Sotah !) " He is a fool," 
that practises it, as the Rabbins foretel it will be in 
the generation wherein the Messiah comes ; yet there 
\vill be a wiser generation, and " wisdom v/ill be 
justified of her children." Among the Jews there has 
been an Ezra, whose head they called " The throne 
of wisdom." Among the Greeks there has been a 
Democritus, who was called Sophia in the abstract. 
The later ages knew a Gildas, who wore the surname 
of Sa/iiens : but it is the man whose temper and in- 
tent it is " to do good," that is the wise man after all. 
And indeed, had a man the hands of a Briareus, they 
would all be too few to do good ; he might find occa- 
sions to call for more than all of them. The English 
nation had once a sect of men called " Bons hommes,"* 
or " Good men." The ambition of this book is to re- 
vive and enlarge a sect that may claim that name ; 
yea, to solicit that it may extend beyond the bounds 
of a sect, by the coming of all men into it. 

Of all the " trees in the garden of God," which is 
there that envies not the Palm-tree, out of which 
alone, as Plutarch informs us, the Babylonians derived 
more than three hundred commodities ? Or the Cocoa- 
tree, ^o beneficial to man, that a vessel may be built, 
and rigged, and freighted, and victualled from that 

* A ^ood ffian is a common good. 

3tVl rilEFACE. 

alone ? To plant such " trees of righteousness," and 
prune them, is the object of the book now before us. 

The men who devise good, will now give me leave 
to remind them of few thing-s, by which they may be 
a little fortified for their grand intention ; for. Sirs, 
you are to pass between "Bozez" (or dirty,) and 
" Seneh," (or thorny) and encounter an host of things 
■worse than Philistines, in your undertaking. 

Misconstruction is one thing against which you 
will do well to furnish yourselves with the armour 
both of prudence and of patience ; prudence to pre- 
vent it, patience to endure it. You will unavoidably 
be put upon doing many good things, which other 
people will see but at a distance, and be unacquainted 
with the motives and methods of your doing them ; 
yea, they may imagine their own purposes crossed in 
M'hat you do ; and this will expose you to their cen- 
sures. Yet more particularly. In your essays to do 
good, you may happen to be concerned with persons 
whose power is greater than their virtue. It may be 
needful as well as lawful, for you to mollify them with 
acknowledgments of those things in them, which may 
render them honourable or considerable ; and forbear 
to take notice, at present, of what may be culpable. 
In this you may aim at nothing, but merely to be 
more able to do them good ; or, by their means, to do 
good to others : and yet, if you are not very cautious, 
this your civility may be construed to your disadvaH'- 
tage : especially if you find yourselves ol>liged either 
to change your opinion of the persons, or to tax any 
miscarriage in them. The injustice of the censures 
upon you, may be much as if Paul, rebuking Felix for 
his unrighteousness and unchasti^v, should have been 
reproached with his inconsistency in having so lately 
complimented him on his accomplishments and ac- 
quaintance with the affairs of his nation. But you 
must not be uneasy if you sliould be thus unjustly 
treated. Jerom had written highly of Origep, as a 
man of bright endowments ; at atiothertime he wrote 
as severely against some things tljat he was (perhaps 
unjustly) accused of. They churged Jerom with levi- 
ty, yea, with falsehood : but he despised the calumny, 

PHErACl. 3svli 

arid replied, " I did commend what I thought was 
great in him ; and now I condemn what I find to be 
evil in him." Where is the contradiction ? I say, be 
cautious ; but I say again, be not uneasy. 

What I add, is, that you must be above all discour- 
agements. Look for them, and with a magnanimous 
courage overlook them. 

Some have observed, that the most concealed, and 
yet the most violent, of all our passions, is, usually, 
that of idleness. It lays adamantine chains of death 
and of darkness upon us. It holds in chains, that can- 
not be shaken off, all our other inclinations, however 
impetuous. That no more mischief is done in the 
world is owing in great measure to a spontaneous 
lassitude on the minds of men, as well as that no more 
good is elFected by them. A Pharaoh will do us no 
wrong if he tell us, "Ye are idle, ye are idle 1'* We 
have usually more strength to do good, than wc have 
inclination to employ it. Sirs, " Be up and be do- 
ing 1" It is, surely, too soon for an " Hie situs est."* 

If you meet with vile ingratitude from those whom 
you have laid under the most weighty obligations ; do 
not wonder at it. Into such a state of turpitude is 
man fallen, that he M'ould bear any weight rather than 
that of obligation. Men will acknowledge small obli- 
gations ; but return wonderful malice for such as are 
extraordinary. They will render it a dangerous thing 
to be very charitable and beneficent. Communities 
will do it as well as individuals. Excess of desert 
turns at length into a kind of demerit. Men will 
sooner forgive great injuries than great services. He 
that built a matchless castle for the Poles, for his re- 
ward, had his eyes put out, that he might not build 
such anotiier. Such things are enough to make one 
sick of the world ; but, my friend, they should not 
make thee sick of essays to do good in the world. A 
conformity to thy Saviour, and a communion with 
him, will be sufficient to carry through all I 

It will be imposs'!;le to avoid envy, " For a right 
work," and for a good one, and especially if a man do 


* Here lies interred. 

XVlll niEFACE. 

-many such, " he shalL be envied of his neighbour.** 
It is ahnost incredible "vvhat power there is in the pride 
of men to produce detraction ! pride, working in a 
sort of impatience, that any man should be, or do 
more than themselves. " The minds of men,** as one 
says, " have got the vapours ; a sweet report of any 
one throws them into convulsions ; a foul one re- 
freshes them." You must bear all the outrage of it ; 
and there is but one sort of revenge to be allowed you. 
" There is not any revenge more heroical, than that 
"which torments envy, by doing good.** 

It is a surprising passage, which a late French au- 
thor has given us ; " That a man of great merit is a 
kind of public enemy. And that by engrossing a 
multitude of applauses, which would serve to gratify a 
great many others, he cannot but be envied ; and that 
men naturally hate, what they highly esteem, yet can- 
not love.** But, my readers, let us not be surprised 
at it. You have read, who suffered the ostracism at 
Athens ; and what a pretty reason the country fellow 
offered why he gave his voice for the banishment of 
Aristides : " Because he was every where always 
called The Just :'* and for what reason the Ephori 
laid a fine on Agesilaus : " Because he possessed, 
above allotiier men, the hearts of the Lacedxmonians." 
You have read the reason why the Ephesians expelled 
the best of their citizens ; "If any are determined to excel 
their neighbours, let them find another place to do it.*** 
You have read that he, who conquered Hannibal, saw 
it necessary to retire from Rome, that the merit of 
others might be more noticed. My authors tell me, 
that, " At all times nothing has been more dangerous 
among men than too illustrious a degree of merit.** 
But, my readers, the terror of this envy must not in- 
timidate you. 1 must press you to do good, and be so 
far from afiVighted at it, you shall ratht-r be generous- 
ly delighted with the most envious dcplumations. 

I wish I may prove a false prophet when I foretel 
one discouragement more wliich you will have to 

♦ Nemode nobis umis cxccllut ; 8cd si quis exlltcrlt, alia 
iu Iccu. et apud ;iligs sit 


eontend with ; I mean — derision. And pray let not 
my prediction be derided. It was long since noted, 

For ridicule shall frequently prevail, 

And cut the knot when graver reasons fail*. Francis. 

It is a thing of late started, that the way of banter and 
ridicule, or, the " BarthoIomew-Fair-method," as they 
Call it, is a more effectual way to discourage all good- 
ness, and put it out of countenance, than fire and fag- 
got. No cruelties are so insupportable to humanity 
as " cruel mockings." It is extremely probable that 
the devil being somewhat chained up, in several 
places, from other ways of persecution, will more than 
ever apply himself to this. Essays to do good shall 
be derided with all the art and wit that he can inspire 
into his Janizaries : (a yani-cheer, or, a new order, 
the grand seignior of hell has instituted.) Exquisite 
profaneness and buffooneiy shall try their skill to 
laugh people out of them. The men who abound in 
them shall be exposed on the stage ; libels, and lam- 
poons, and satires, the most poignant that ever were 
invented, shall be darted at them ; and pamphlets full 
of lying stories be scattered, with a design to make 
them ridiculous. " In this the devil may be discovered 
at work."t The devil will try whether the fear of be- 
ing laughed at will not scare a zeal to do good out 
of the world. " But let this rather increase your bold- 
ness and zeal.":^ Sirs, " Despise the shame,'* whatever 
" contradiction of sinners" you meet with ; you know 
what example did so before you. " Quit you like 
men, be strong :" you know who gives you the di- 
rection. Say with resolution, " The proud have had 
me greatly in derision, yet have not I declined to do 
as much good as I could !'* If you should arrive to a 
share in such sufferings, Twill humbly " shew you 
mine opinion" about the best conduct under them; it 
is, neglect and contempt. I have a whole university 
on my side ; the university of Helmstadt, upon a late 

• Ridiculum acri fortius et melius magnas plerumque* 
secat res. 

t Hie se aperit diabolus ! 
I Sedtu contra audentiorito. 


abuse offered to it, had this noble passage in a declara- 
tion ; " Resolved, that we use no other remedy in this 
affair, than a generous silence and a holy contempt."* 
Go on to do good ; and " Go well, comely in your go- 
ing," like the noble creature, which " tu-rneth not 
away for any." A life spent in industrious essays to 
do good will be your powerful and perpetual vindica- 
tion. It will give you such a well-established interest 
in the minds where conscience is consulted, that a few 
squibbing, silly, impotent accusations, will never be 
able to extinguish it. If they ridicule you in their 
printed excursions, your name will be so oiled that 
ink will not adhere to it. I remember that Valerian- 
us Magnus being abused by a Jesuit, who had laboured 
(by a " modest inquiry," you may be sure !) to make 
him ridiculous, made no other defence, but only on 
every stroke adjoined, " Mentiris impudentissime 1" 
*' It is a most impudent lie I" And such an answer 
might very truly be given ta every line of some stories, 
that I have seen elsewhere brewed by another, who is 
no Jesuit. But even so much answer to their folly is 
too much notice of it. It is well observed that " The 
contempt of such discourses discredits, tbem, and takes 
away the pleasure from tho&e that make them." And 
it is another observation, " That when they of whora 
•W'c have heard very ill, are yet found upon trial to be 
very good, we naturally conclude that they have a 
merit which is troublesome to some other people." 
The rule then is, be very good ; yea, do very much 
good ; and cast a generous disdain upon contumelies ^ 
the great remedy against them. If you want a pat- 
tern, I can give you an iniperial one ; it was Vespa* 
sian, who, when a person s4)ake evil of him, said, 
" While I do nothing that merits reproach, these lies, 
give me no uneasiness."! And I am deceived if it be 
not an easy thing to be as honest a man as a Vcspa* 
sian 1 

• Visum fuit, non alio remcdio, quam gencroso silcntio, et 
plo coiUcniplu, vitciuluiu nohLs esse. 

f E^^jo, cum nihil ficiam (lignum propter qjiod coniuraella. 
afliciar, mcndaciiv nihil euro. 


Sirs ! An un fainting resolution to do good, and an 
unwearied well-doing, is that which is now urged 
upon you. And may this little book be so happy, as 
herein to perform the office of a monitor to the 

I do not find that I have spent so many weeks in 
composing the book, as Descartes, though a profound 
geometrician, spent in studying the solution of one 
geometrical question ; yet the composure has exceed- 
ed the limits which I intended ; and there is not a 
single proposal in it, which would not, if well pursued, 
afford a more solid and durable satisfaction to the 
mind, than tne solution of all the problems in Euclid, 
or in Pappus. It is a vanity in writers to compliment 
the readers with, " I am sorry it is no better." In- 
stead of which, I freely tell my readers, " I have 
written what is not unworthy of their perusal." If I 
did not think so, truly, I would not publish it : for no 
man living has demanded it of me ; it is not publish- 
ed " to gratify the importunity of friends," as your 
authors are used to say ; but it is to use importunity 
with others, in a point, on which I thought they needed 
it. And I will venture to say, there is not one whim- 
sey in all my proposals. I propose no object con* 
cerning which the conscience of every good man will 
not say, " It were well if it could be accomplished." 
That writer was in the right who said, " I cannot 
understand how- any honest man can print a book, 
and yet profess that he thinks none will be the wiser 
or better for the reading it." Indeed I own that my 
subject is worthy. to be much better treated ; and my 
manner of treating it is not such as to embolden me 
to affix my name to it, as the famous painter Titian 
did to his pieces, with a dowhltjcczt.jtcii ; as much 
as to say, " Very well done 1" and I must have utterly 
suppressed it, had I been of the same humour with 
Cimabus, another famous painter, who, if himself or 
any other detected the least fault in his pieces, would 
utterly destroy them, though he had bestowed a 
twelvt-months pains upon them. Yet I will venture 
to say, the book is full of reasonable and serviceable 


things ; and it would be well for us if such things were 
regarded ; and I have done well to propose them. 

Who the author is, there is no need of inquiring. 
This will be unavoidably known in the vicinity : but 
his writing without a name (as well as not for one,) 
will conceal it from most of those to Avhom the book 
may come. And the concealment of his name, he 
apprehends, may be of some use to the book ; for 
now, not ivho, but ivhat, is the only thing to be con- 

It was a vanity in one author, and there may be too 
many guilty of the like, to demand, *' Ubi mea legis, 
me agnosce.'* In plain, unblushing English, " Rea- 
der, whatever you do, account the author somebody." 
But, I pray. Sir, who are z/ow, that mankind should be 
at all concerned about you ? He was almost as great a 
man as any ecclesiastical preferments could make him, 
■who yet would not have so much as his name in his 
epitaph ; he would only have, " Here lies a shadow- 
ashes— nothing :"t There shall be no other name on 
this composure, " Here is a book written, or rather at- 
tempted, by one who is a shadow — ashes-— nobody. *':|: 
However, he is very strongly persuaded, that there 
is a day very near at hand, when books, of such a 
tendency as this, will be the most welcome things 
imaginable to many thousands of readers,§ and have 
more than one edition. Yea, great will be the army 
of them that publish them ! M.DCC.XVI. is coming. 
A vast variety of new ways to do good will be in- 
vented ; " Paths'* which no fowl of the best flight at 
noble designs has yet known ; and which the vulture's 

• This treatise was originally published without the name 
of the author. 

•f Hie jacet, umbra, cinis, nihil. 

+ Hie scribit (vel scripturire studet et audet) umbra, cinis, 

§ The day is come. We have the happiness to live in an 
age and in a country, wherein schemes of usefulness are not 
only proposed and accepted, but executed. What the author's 
expectations were of Uie year 1716 are not known to the 

PR£FAC£. XXlll 

most piercing eye has not yet seen ; and where the 
lions of the strongest resolution have never passed. 

In the mean time, North Britain will be distin- 
guished (pardon me, if I use the term, Goshenized,) 
by irradiations from heaven upon it^of such a tenden- 
cy. There will be found a set of excellent men in 
that reformed and renowned church of Scotland, with 
whom the most refined and extensive essays to do 
good will become so natural, that the v/hole world will 
fare the better for them. To these, this book is hum- 
bly presented by a great admirer of the good things 
daily doing among them ; as knowing, that if no 
where else, yet among them, it will find some recep- 
tion ; they will " not be forgetful to- entertain such a 
stranger !" 

The censure of " writing too much," (though he 
should go as far as Terentianus Carthaginensis tells 
us Varro did,) he accounts not worth answering. 
And pray, why not also "preaching too much ?'* But 
Erasmus, who wrote more, has furnished him with an 
answer, whicli is all that he ever intends to give ; 
" Accusant quod ni'mium fecerim ; conscientia mea 
me accusat, quod minus fecerim, quodque lentior fue- 
rim." In plain English, The censure of others up- 
braids me that I have done so much ; my own con- 
science condemns me that I have done so little : the 
good God forgive my slothfulness I 



SUCH glorious things are spoken in the oracles of 
Cod, concerning them who devise good, that a book 
OF good devices may reasonably demand attention 
and acceptance from those who have any impressions 
of the most reasonable religion upon them. I am 
devising such a book ; but at the same time offering 
a sorrowful demonstration, that if men would set 
themselves to devise good, a world of good might be 
done more than is now done, in this " present evil 
world." Much is requisite to be done that the great 
God and his Christ may be more knov/n and served 
in the world ; and that the errors which prevent men 
from glorifying their Creator and Redeemer may be 
rectified. Much is neeessaiy to be done that the evil 
maimers of the world, by which men are drowned in 
perdition, may be reformed ; and mankind rescued 
from the epidemical corruption which has overwhelm- 
ed it. ]\luch must be done that the miseries of the 
world may have suitable remedies provided for them;, 
and that the wretched may be relieved and comforted. 
The vforld contains, it is supposed, about a thousand 
millions of inhabitants. What an ample field do 
these afford, for doing good 1 In a word, the king- 
dom of God in the world calls for innun;erable ser- 
vices from us,. To do such things is to do good. 
Those men devise good, wlio form plans which have 
such a tendency, v.hether the objects be of a temporal 
or spiritual nature. You see the general matter, ap- 


pearing as yet but a chaos, which is to be wrought 
upon. O 1 that the good Spirit of God may now fall 
upon us, and carry on the glorious work which lies 
before us I 


It may be presumed that my readers will readily ad- 
mit, that it is an excellent thing to be full of devices to 
bring about such noble designs. For any man to deride 
or despise my proposal, " That we resolve and study 
to do as much good in the world as we can,*' would be 
the mark of so black a character, that I am almost un- 
willing to suppose its existence. Let no man pre* 
tend to the name of a Christian, who does not approve 
the proposal of a perpetual endeavour to do good in 
the world. What pretension can such a man have 
to be a follower of the Good One ? The primitive 
Christians gladly accepted and improved the name, 
when the Pagans, by a mistake, styled them ChreS' 
tians ; because it signified, useful oties. The Chris- 
tians, wl,o have no ambition to be such, shall be con-- 
demned by the Piigans ; among whom it was a title 
of the highest honour to be termed, " a Benefactor :'* 
To have done good, was accounted honourable. The 
philosopher being asked, Why every one desired to 
gaze on a fair object, answered, that it was the ques- 
tion of a blind man; If any man ask. Why it is so 
necessary to do good? I must say, it sounds not 
like the question of a good man. The " spiritual 
taste" of every good man will give him an unspeak- 
able relish for it. Yea, unworthy to be deemed a 
man, is he, who is not for doing good among men. 
An enemy to the proposal, '' that mankind may be 
the better for us," deserves to be reckoned little bet- 
ter than a common enemy of mankind. How co- 
gcnliy do I bespeak a good reception of what is now 
designed ! I produce not only religion, but even hu- 
manity itself, as full of a " fiery indignation against 
the adversaries" of the design. Excuse me, Sirs ; I 
declare, that if I could have my choice, I would never 


eat, or drink, or walk, with such a one, as long as I 
live ; or look on him as any other than one by whom 
humanity itself is debased and blemished. A very 
wicked writer has yet found himself compelled, by 
the force of reason, to publish this confession : " To 
love the public ; to study the universal good ; and to 
promote the interest of the whole world, as far as it 
is in our power, is surely the highest goodness, 
and constitutes that temper, which we call divine.*' 
And he proceeds — " Is doing good for the sake of 
glory so divine .?" (alas ! too much human !) " or, is 
it not more divine to do good, even where it may be 
thought inglorious ; even to the ungratefal, and to 
those who are wholly insensible of the good they re- 
ceive ?" A must be far gone in wickedness, 
who will open his mouth against such maxims and 
actions ! A better pen has remarked it ; yea, the 
man must be much a stranger to history, v/ho has not 
made the remark : " To speak truth, and to do good, 
were, in the esteem even of the heathen world, most 
God-like qualities/* God forbid, that there should 
be any abatement of esteem for those qualities in the 
sChristian world I 


I WILL not vet propose the Reward of well do- 
ing, and the glorious things v/hich the mercy and 
•truth of God will perform for those who devise good ; 
because I would have to do with such as esteem it 
a sufficient reward to itself. I will suppose my read- 
^ers to be possessed of that ingemious temper, which 
will induce them to account themselves well reward- 
ed in the thing itself, if God will permit them to do 
good in the world. ft is an invaluable honour to do 
good ; it is an incomparable pleasure. A man must 
look upon himself as dignified and gratified by God, 
when an opportunity to do good is put into his hands. 
He must embrace it with rapture, as enabling him to 
answer the great end of ins being. He must manage 
it with rapturous delight, as a moi»t suitable business, 


as a most precious privilege. He must " sing in 
those "vvays of the Lord," wherein he cannot but find 
himself v.iulc he is doing good. As the saint of old 
sweetly sung, " I was glad when they said unto me, 
let us go into the house of the Lord ;" so ought we 
to be glad when any opportunity of doing good is pre- 
sented to us. We should need no argunjents to in- 
cline us to entertain the offer ; but should naturally 
fly into the matter, as most agreeable to that *' divine 
nature" of which we are made partakers. It should 
gratify us vi^onderfully ; as much as if an ingot of 
gold Avere presented to us I Wc should rejoice as 
liaving obtained the utmost of our wishes. Some 
servants of God have been so intent on this object, 
that they have cheerfully proposed to make any re- 
compense that could be desired, to a friend wlra 
would supply the barrenness of their own thoughts, 
and suggest any special methods by which they 
miglit be useful. Certainly, to do good, is a thing 
that brings its own recompense, in the opinion of those 
Avho deem information on this head worthy of a re- 
compense. I will only say, that if any of my readei*s 
are strangers to such a disposition as this, and do not 
consider themselves enriched and favoured of God 
v»hcn he employs them in doing good — with such 
persons I have done, and would beg them to lay the 
bock aside : it will be irksome to carry on any further 
conversation with, them : it is a subject en which the 
house of Caleb will not be conversed with. I will be 
content with one of Dr. Stoughton's introductions ; 
*" It is enough for me that I speak to vhsc^ wh-ose 
i-eason shall be my rhetoric ; to C/irimiaJiN, whos^e 
conscience shall be my eloquence.'* 

Though the assertion may fly like a chain-shot 
amongst us, and rake down all before it, I will again 
and again asser?:, that every one of us might do more 
good than he does ; and therefore this is the first pro- 
posal 1 wov!ld make. To be exceedingly humbk^I 
tliat we have <lone so little good in the world. 1 am 
net uncharitdl)le in saying, that I know not one assem- 
bly of Christians on earth, which ought not to Ik; a 
Uochim, on this consideraliou. O 1 tell me m what 


XJtopia I shall find it. Sirs ! let us begin to be fruit- 
ful, by lamenting our past unlVuitfulness. Verily, 
sins of omission must be confessed and lamented, or 
else we add to tlieir number. The most useful men 
in the world have gone out of it, crying, " Lord, for- 
give our sins of omission 1" Many a good man, who 
has been peculiarly conscientious about the profitable 
employment of his time, has had his death bed ren- 
dered uneasy by this reflection, " The loss of time 
now lies heavy upon me T* Certain it is, that all un- 
regenerate persons are unprofitable persons ; and 
they are properly compared to " thorns and bri- 
ers," to teach us what they are. An unrenewed sin- 
ner I alas, he never performed one good work in all 
his life ! In all his life, did I say ? I recal that word. 
He is " dead while he liveth"- — he is " de-^d in sin ;" 
he has not yet begun to " live unto God ;" and as he 
is himself dead, so are all his works ; they are " dead 
works." O, wretched, useless being ! Wonder, won- 
der, at the patience of Heaven, which yet forbears to 
cut down such " a cumberer of the ground!" O that 
such persons may immediately acknowledge the ne- 
*:essity of turning to God ; and how unable they are 
to do it ; and how unworthy they are that God should 
make tliern able ! O that they may cry to God for 
his sovereign grace to Cjuicken them ; and let them 
plead the sacrifice of Christ for their reconciliation to 
Cod ; seriously resolve on a life of obedience to God, 
and resign themselves up to the Holy Spirit, that he 
may lead them in the paths of holiness I No good 
will be done, till this be done. The Jirst-born of all 
devices to do good, is in being born again. 

But as for you, who have been brought home to 
God ; you have great cause not only to lament the 
-dark days of your unregeneracy, in which you produ- 
ced only " the unfruitful works of darkness ;" but al- 
so that you have done so little, since God has quicken- 
ed you, and enabled you to do better. How little 
have you lived up to those strains of gratitude which 
might justly have been expected from you, since God 
brought vou into his " marvellous light 


of US may mourn m his complaints, and say, " O Lord, 
how little good have I done, compared with what I 
might have done I" Let the sense of this cause us to 
loathe and judge ourselves before the Lord ; let it fill 
us with shame, and abase us wonderfully. Let us, 
like David, " water our couch with tears," when we 
consider how little good we have done. " O that our 
heads were waters," because they have been so dry of 
all thoughts to do good. " C) that our eyes were a 
fountain of tears," because they have looked out so lit- 
tle for occasions to do good. For the pardon of this 
evil-doing, let us fly to the great Sacrifice, and plead 
the blood of that "Lamb of God," whose universal 
usefuhicss is one of those admirable properties, on ac- 
count of which he is styled " a Lamb." The pardon 
of our barrenness of good works being thus obtained, 
we shall be rescued from condemnation to perpetual 
barrenness : the dreadful sentence, " Let no fruit 
grow on thee for ever," will thus be prevented. A 
true, evangelical procedure to do good, must have this 
repentance laid in the foundation of it. We do not 
" handle the matter wisely" if a foundation be not laid 
thus low, and in the deepest self-abasement. 

How full of devices are we for our own secular ad- 
vantage ! and, how expert in devising many little 
things to be done for ourselves 1 We apply our 
thoughts with mighty assiduity to the old question, 
^* What shall we eat and drink, and Mherewithal shall 
we be clothed ?" With strong application of mind we 
inquire. What shall we do for ourselves, in our mar- 
riages, in our voyages, in our bargains? We anxiously 
contrive to accomplish our plans, and avoid numeror •■. 
inconveniences, to which, without some contrivance, 
we should be obnoxious. We carry on the business 
of our personal callings, with numberless thoughts 
how to perform them well ; and to effect our tempo- 
ral affairs we " find out witty inventions." But, O 
rational, immortal, heaven-born soul, are thy won- 
drous faculties capable of no greater improvements, no 
better employments ? Why should a soul of such high 
capacities, a soul tliat may be clothed in the " scarlet" 
of angels, yet " embrace a dunghill 1" O let a blush, 


deeper than scarlet, be Ihy clothing-, for being found 
so meanly occupied. Alas, in the multitude of thy 
thoui^^hts within thee, hast thou no disposition to raise 
thy soul to some such thoughts as these. What may be 
done for God, for Christ, for my own soul, and for the 
most important interests of mankind ? How many 
hundreds of thoughts have we for ourselves, to one 
for God, his cause, and his people in the world i 
How then can we pretend that we love him, or prove 
that a carnal, a criminal self-love has not the domin- 
ion over us ? I again come to a soul of heavenly ex- 
tract, and smite it, as the angel smote the sleeping 
prisoner, and cry, " Awake ! shake off thy chains. 
Lie no longer fettered in a base confinement 1 Assert 
the liberty of thinking on the noblest question in the 
world, " What good may I do in the world ?'* There 
was a time when it w^as lamented by no less a man 
than Gregory the Great, the Bishop of Rome, " I am 
sunk into the world !'* This may be the complaint of 
a soul that minds every thing else, and rarely recol- 
lects that noblest question. Ah 1 " star fallen from 
heaven," and choked in dust, rise and soar up to 
something answerable to thy origin. Begin a course 
of thoughts, which will be like a resurrection from the 
dead ; and pursue the grand inquiry, " How may I 
become a blessing to the world r" and, " What may 
I do, that righteousness may dwell on the earth ?" 


How much mischief may be done by one wicked 
man ! Yea, sometimes, one wicked man, of slender 
abilities, becoming an indefatigable tool of the devil, 
may effect incredible mischief in the world. We have 
seen some wretched instruments, of cursed memory, 
ply the intention of doing mischief at a strange rate, 
till they have ruined a whole country. It is a melan- 
choly consideration, and I may say, an astonishing 
one : you will hardly find one of a thousand who does 
half so much to serve God and his own soul, as you 


may see done by thousands to serve the devil. A 
horrible thing ! 

" O my soul, thy Maker, and thy Saviour, so wor- 
thy of thy love, a Lord, whose infinite goodness will 
follow all thou dost for him, with remunerations, be- 
yond all conception glorious ; how little, how little is 
it that thou dost for him I At the same time, look in- 
to thy neighbourhood. See there, a monster of wick- 
edness, who, to his uttermost, will serve a master that 
will prove a destroyer to him, and whose wages will 
be death : he studies how to serve the devil ; he is 
never weary of his drudgery; he racks his invention 
to go through with it. Ah I he shames me ; he 
sirames me wonderfully ! " O my God, I am asham- 
ed, and blush to lift up my face unto thee.'* 

We read of a man 'Mvho deviseth mischief upoa 
his bed ; who setteth him.self in a way that is not 
good." Now, wjiy should not we be as active, as 
iVequent, as forward in devising good ? Why should 
not we be as wise to do good, as he is to do evil ? 
I am sure that we have a better cause, and better rea- 
sons for it. Reader, though, perhaps, thou art one 
v/ho makest but a little figure in the world, " a broth- 
er of low degree," yet, behold a vast encouragement I 
a little man may do a great deal of harm ; and pray, 
why may not a little man do a great deal of good ? 
It is possible that " the wisdom of a poor man" may 
start a proposal which may " save a city," serve a na- 
tion ! A single hair, applied to a flyer that has other 
vheels depending on it, may pull up an oak, or pull 
clown a house. 

It is very observable, that when our Lord Jesus 
Christ would recommend zeal for the kingdom of 
heaven, he did not propose for our imitation, the ex- 
ample of honest wisdom : no, but that of an unrigh- 
teous and scandalous dishonesty) that of the unjust 
steward. The wisdom of our Lord herein is much to 
be observed. His design is not only to represent the 
prudence, but the industry, the ingenuity, the resolu- 
tion, the heroic eflbrtsofthe soul, Jiecessary in those 
w!io would seek and serve the kingdom of God. 
Wc seldom, if, perceive amon^- men that vivuci- 


ty of spirit in lawful actions, which we observe in un- 
lawful ones. The ways of honesty are plain, and re- 
quire not so much pains in pursuing them ; but your 
thiefs and cheats follow courses that are full of diffi- 
culties ; the turns and tricks which they require are 
innumerable : hence you find among such people the 
exercise of extraordinary subtiily : you find no such 
cunning and application any where else. Hoav em- 
phatical then is it, to borrow from these, the colours 
of heavenly wisdom ! What I aim at is this, Let us try 
to do good with as much application of mind, as wick- 
ed men employ in doing evil. When " wickedness 
proceeds from the wicked," it is done " with both 
hands, and greedily." Why then may not we pro- 
ceed in our useful engagements " with both hands," 
and *' greedily" watching for opportunities ? We 
have no occasion for any sinister arts in effecting our 
designs ; God forbid that we should ever attempt the 
union of such inconsistences. But v/hy cannot we 
prosecute our designs with as much deep and copi- 
ous thought, as the men of evil arts ? And why may 
■we not engage our minds with as tranrporting a vig- 
our to do what is acceptable to God and profitable to 
men, as those wretches manifest, when they " weary 
themselves to commit iniquity r" To reprove certain 
ecclesiastical drones, who had little inclination to do 
good. Father Latimer used a coarse expression to this 
effect : "If you will not learn of good men, for 
shame, learn of the devil ; he is never idle." Indeed, 
the indefatigable prosecution of their designs, who are 
styled '^ the children of the devil," may put us to' the 
blush. Our obligations to do good are infinite : they 
do evil against all obligations. The compensation 
which will be made to them who do good is encour- 
aging beyond calculation : they who do evil will get 
nothing to boast of ; but " evil pursueth the sinners." 
If the devil '* go about," and the people inspired by 
him " go about," seeking what harm they may do ;: 
v/Uy may not we go about, and think, and seek where 
and how we may do good ? Verily, it were worthy of: 
a good angel so to do 1 O thou child of God, and iov- 
D 2 

34 Assays to do oood. 

er of all righteousness, how canst thou find in thv 
heart, at ar.y time,, to cease from doinij; all the good 
that can be done, in " the right ways of the Lord ?** 
Methinks, that word of the Lord may be a burden to 
us, and if we have a sense of honour in us, will be 
so. " The children of this world are in, (and for) their 
generation, wiser than the children of light ;" yea, 
they pursue " the works of darkness" more vigorous- 
ly than any of us " walk in that light" with which 
our great Saviour hath favoured us. 


To the title of Good Works belong those Essays 
to do Good, which we are now urging. To produce 
them, the Jirnt thing, and indeed the one thing need- 
ful, is — A glorious work of grace on the soul, renew- 
ing and quickening it, purifying the sinner, and ren- 
dering him " zealous of good works ;" " a workman- 
ship of God" upon us, '' creating us anew, by Jesus 
Christ, for good works :" and then, there is needful, 
what will necessarily follow such a work, — a dispo- 
sition to perform good works, on true, genuine, gen- 
erous, and evangelical principles. These principles 
must be stated before we proceed. 

In the first place, it must be taken for granted, 
that the end for which we perform good works is not 
to provide the matter of our justification before God : 
indeed, no good works can be done till we are justifi» 
ed ; before a man is united to Christ, who is our life, 
he is a dead man, and what good works can be ex- 
pected from him ? " Severed from me," saith our 
Lord, '• ye can do nothing." The justification of a 
sinner by faith, before good works^ and in order to 
t/iem^ is one of those doctrines which may say to the 
Popish innovations, " With us are the grey-headed, 
and very aged men much elder than thy father." 
It was an old maxim of the faithful, " Good works 
follow justification ; they do not precede it."* It is 

• Bona opera sequualur jiulificatum, non prsecedunt jus- 



the righteousness of the good M'orks clone by our Sa- 
viour and surety, not our own, that justifies us before 
God, and answers the demands of his holy law upon 
us. By faith we lay hold on those good works for 
our justifying righteousness, before we are able to 
perform our own. It is not our faith itself, either 
as producing good works, or being itself one of them, 
"which entitles us to the justifying righteousness of 
our Saviour : but it is faith, only as renouncing our 
own righteousness, and relying on that of Christ, pro- 
vided for the chief of sinners, by v/hich w^e are jus- 
tified. All our attempts at good works will come to 
nothing, till a justifying faith in the Saviour shall 
carry us forth unto them. This was the divinity of 
the ancients. Jerom has well expressed it : " With- 
out Christ all virtue is but vice."* 

Nevertheless, first, you are to look upon it as a 
glorious truth of the gospel, that the moral law (v/hich 
prescribes good works) must, by every Christian 
alive, be the ritlc of his life. " Do we make void the 
law through faith ? God forbid : yea, we establish 
the lav/." The rule by which we are to glorify God 
is given us in that law of good v/orks v/hich we enjoy 
(I will so express it) in the ten commandments. It 
is impossible for us to be released from all obligations 
to glorify God, by a conformity to this rule : sooner 
shall we cease to be creatures. The conformity to 
that rule, in the, righteousness, which our Saviour by 
his obedience to it has brought in to justify us, has 
for ever " magnified the law and made it honourable." 
Though our Saviour has furnished us with a perfect 
and spotless righteousness, when his obedience to the 
law is placed to our account ; yet it is sinful in us to 
fall short in our personal obedience to the law. We 
must always judge and loathe ourselves for the sin. 
We are not under the law as a covenant of roorka : 
our own exactness in performing good works is not 
now tiic condition of entering into life ; (wo be to us 
if it were) but still, the covenani of grace holds us to 
it as our duly : and if we are in the covenant of grace. 

• Sine Cliristo omnia vUtus est in viUo. 


"we shall make it our study to perfona those good 
•works which were once the condition of entering in- 
to life. " Every law of religion still remains.*" That 
was the divinity of Tertullian's days I Such must be 
the esteem for the law of good works forever re- 
tained in justified persons ; a law never to be abro- 
fjated or aboHshed. 

And then, secondly, though we are justified by 
*' precious faith in the righteousness of God our Sa- 
viour," yet good works are required of us to justify 
our faith ; to demonstrate that it is indeed " precious 
faith." A justifying faith is a jcM^el which may be 
counterfeited : but th.e m.arks of a faith, which is not a 
counterfeit, are to be found in tiiose good works to 
which a servant of God is, by his faith, inclined and 
assisted. It is by the regenerating power of the Holy 
Spirit, that faith is wrought in the hearts .of the cho- 
sen people : now the same grace whicii in regenera- 
tion disposes a person to ily by faith to the right- 
eousness of Christ, will dispose him also to the good 
works of a Christian life : and the same faith which 
applies to the Saviour for an interest in his righteous- 
ness, will also apply to him for strength to perform 
the good works which are " ordained that we should 
walk in them." If our faith be not of this kind, it is 
a lifeless faith, and such as will not bring to life. A 
workless faith is a worthless faith. 

Header, suppose thyself standing before the judg- 
ment seat of Christ ! a necessary, a prudent suppo- 
sition ; it oiiglit to be a very frequent one. The 
Judge demands, " What hast thou to plead for a 
portion in the blessedness of the righteous ?" The 
plea must be, " O my glorious Judge, tliou hast been 
my sacrifice. O il;ou Judge of all the earth, permit 
dust and ashes to say, my righteousness is on the 
bench. Surely, in the Lord have I righteousness. 
O my Saviour, I have received it, 1 have secured i^ 
on thy own gracious offer of it." The Judge pro- 
ceeds ; " But what hist thou to plead that thy laith 
should not be rejected us the faith of the hypocrite ?" 

• Manet lex totu pictatis. 


flfere the plea must be, " O Lord, my faith was thy 
work. It was a faith which disposed me to all the 
good works of thy holy religion. It sanctified me. 
It brought me to thee, my Saviour, for grace to per- 
form the works of righteousness : it embraced thee 
for my Lord as well as Saviour : it caused me, with 
sincerity, to love and keep thy commandments, and 
with assiduity to serve the interests of thy kingdom 
in the world.'* 

Thus you have Paul and James reconciled. Thus 
you have good works provided for. The aphorism 
of the physicians, is, " By a man*s outward acts of vig- 
our, you judge of his internal health.'** The actions 
of men are more certain indications of what is within, 
than all their sayings. 

But there is yet another consideration upon which 
you must be zealously affected to good works. You 
must consider them as a Jiart of the great salvation 
which is purchased for you by Jesus Christ. With-' 
out a holy heart you cannot be fit for a holy heaven, 
" meet for the inheritance of the saints in that light,'* 
which admits no works of darkness, where none but 
good works are done for eternal ages : But a holy 
heart will induce a man to do good with all his heart. 
The motto on the gates of the holy city is, " None 
but the lovers of good works to enter here ;" it is im- 
plied in what we read, " without holiness no man 
shall see the Lord :'' yea, to be saved without good 
works, were to be saved without salvation. Much of 
our salvaiion consists in doing good works. Heaven 
is begun upon earth when we are so engaged ; and 
doubtless, no man will get to heaven who is not so 

I shall mention but one more of those principles 
from which good works proceed : it is that noble one 
of Gratifude. The believer cannot but inquire, 
*' What shall I render to my Saviour ?" — .the result of 
the inquiry will be, " with good works to glorify 
him.*' We read, that " faith worketh by love." Our 
faith will discover the matchless and marvellous lovoi 

* Per bracliium fit judicium de cordcu. 


of God in saving us ! and the faith of this lore will 
■work on our hearts, till it hath raised in us an un- 
quenchable flame of love to him who hath so loved 
and saved us. These, these are to be our disposi- 
tions : *' O my Saviour ! hast thou done so much for 
me ! now will I do all I can for thy kingdom and 
people in the world. O I what service is there that 
I mav now perform for my Saviour and his people in 
the world ?" 

These are the principles to be proceeded on : and 
it is worthy of special observation, that there are no 
jnen in the world who so much abound in good works, 
as those, who, above all others, have abandoned every 
pretension to the merit of their works. There are 
Protestants who have exceeded Papists in our days, as 
well as in those of Dr. Willet. No merit-mongers 
have exceeded some holy Christians, who have per- 
formed good V. brks on the assurance of being already- 
justified, and entitled to eternal life. 

I observe, that our apostle, tli rowing a just con- 
tempt on the endless genealogies, and long, intricate 
pedigrees, which the Jews of his time dwelt so much 
upon, proposes in their stead '* Charity, out of a pure 
heart, and a good conscienje, and faith unfeigned :'* 
as if he had said, " I will give you a genealogy worth 
ten thousand of theirs" — first, from faith unfeigned 
proceeds a good conscience ; from a good conscience 
a pure heart ; and from a pure heart, charity to all 
around us. It is admirably stated ! 

I r may justly be feared that we too rarely inquire 


Our Opportunities to do good are our talents. An 
nwful account must be rendered to the great God 
concerning the use of the talents with wliich he has 
intrusted us in these precious opportunities. Fre- 
quently we do not use our opportunities, because we 
cio not consid(.r thcui : they lie by unnoticed and un- 
improved. We read of a thing which we deride as 


©ften as v/e behold it. " There is that iii:\keth him- 
self poor, and yet hath great riches." This is too 
frequently exemplified in our opportunities to do good, 
Avhich are some of our most valuable riches. Many 
a man seems to reckon himself destitute of these tal- 
ents, as if there were nothing for him to do ; he pre- 
tends that he is not in a condition to do any good. 
Alas I poor man, what can he do ? My friend, 
think again ; think frequently : inquire what your 
opportunities are : you will certainly find them to be 
more than you were aware of. " Plain men dwell- 
ing in tents," persons of a very ordinary rank in life, 
may, by their eminent piety, prove persons of extra- 
ordinary usefulness. A poor John Urich may make 
a Grotius the better for him. I have read of a pious 
weaver, of whom some eminent persons v/ould say, 
" Christ walked, as it were, alive on the earth in that 
man.'* A mean mechanic — Who can tell what an en- 
gine of good he may become, if humbly and wisely 
applied to it ? 

This, then, is the next Proposal. Without 
abridging yourselves of your occasional thoughts on 
the question, " What good may I do to day r" fix a 
time, now and then, for more deliberate thoughts 
upon it. Cannot you find time (say, once a-week, 
and how suitably on the Lord's day) to take this ques- 
tion into consideration : 

What is there that I may do for the service of thr 
i^lorioiis Lord, and for the welfare of those for vjhom I 
ought to be concerned ? 

Having implored the direction of God, " the Fath- 
er of lights," consider the matter, in the various as- 
pects of it. Consider it, till you have resolved on 
something. Write down your resolutions. Exam- 
ine what precept and what promise you can find^ in 
the word of God to countenance your resolutions. 
Review these memorials at proper seasons, and see 
how far you have proceeded in tiie execution of them. 
The advantages of these preserved and revised me- 
morials, no rhetoric will be sufficient to commend, no 
arithmetic to calculate. There are some animals of 


•which we say, *' They know not their own strength ;' 
Christians, why should you l)e like them ? 

Let us now descend to Particulars ; but let it 
not be supposed that I pretend to an enumeration of 
all the i^ood devices that may be conceived. Not a 
tiiousandth part of tliem can now be enumerated. 
The essay I am making is only to dig open the sev- 
eral springs of usefulness, which, having once begun 
to flow, will spread into streams, that no human fore- 
sight can comprehend. " Spring up, O v/ell 1" will 
every true Israelite sing, upon every proposal here 
exhibited ; and '* the nobles of Israel" can do iK>thing 
more agreeaijle to their own character, than to fall to 
work upon it. Perhaps every proposal that may be 
made will be like a stone falling into a pool — One 
circle and service will produce another, till they ex- 
tend — vvho can tell how far? Those who devote 
themselves to good devices, and who duly observe 
their opportunities to do good, usually find a wonder- 
ful increase of their opportunities. The gracious 
providence of God affords this recompense to his 
diligent servants, that he will multiply tl^.eir oppor- 
tunities of being serviceable : and w'len ingenious 
men have used themselves to a little contrivance, in 
])arsuing the best intentions, their ingenuity will 
sensibly improve, and tliere will be more expansion 
in their diftusive applications. Among all the dis- 
pensations of a special providence in the government 
of tile world, none is less interrupted than the ac- 
coinplisinvient of ti)at word, '' Unto him that hath 
shrill be given." I will say this, " O useful man ! for thy motto, Ilabenti dabitur" — " To him that 
hiith shall be given ;" and, in a lively use of thy op- 
]H>nunilics to do good, see how remarkably it will be 
accomplished ; see what accomplishment of that 
word will at last surprise thee, " Though tijy begin- 
ning be small, yet thy latter end shall greatly in- 



Why should not the charity of which we arc 
treating, " begin at home :" It observes not a due 
decorum if it doth not ; and it will be liable to 
great exceptions in its pretensions and proceedings. 
" Call not that man wise whose wisdom begins not at 
home."* This then, is to be made an early Proposal. 

First, Let every man devise what good may be 
done for the correction of what is yet amiss, In his 
OWN HEART AND LIFE. It is a good remark of the 
witty Fuller ; "He need not complain of too little 
work, who hath a little world in himself to mend.'* 
It was of old complained, " No man repented him, 
saying, What have I done ?'* Every man upon earth 
may find in himself something that wants correcting ; 
and the work of repentance is to inquire, not only, 
" what we have done," but also, " what we have to 
do." Frequent self-examination is the duty of all who 
would know themselves, or would not lose themselves. 
The great intention of self-examination is to find out 
the points wherein we are to " amend our ways." 
A christian that would thrive in Christianity must be 
no stranger to a course of meditation. This is one 
of the masters which are requisite to make a " man 
of God." One article and exercise in our meditation 
should be to find out the things wherein a greater 
conformity to the truths upon which we have been 
meditating, may be attempted. If we would be good 
men, we must often devise how we may grov»' in 
knowledge and in all goodness. Such an inquiry as 
this should often be made : " What shall I do, that 
what is yet lacking in the image of God upon me, 
may be perfected ? What shall I do, that I may live 
more perfectly, more watchfully, more fruitfully be- 
fore my glorious Lord ?'* 

And why should not our meditation, when we re- 
tire to that profitable engagement, conclude with 
some resolution ? Devise now, and resolve something 
to strengthen your walk with God. 
* Odi sapientem qui sibi non sapit. 


With some devout hearers of the ■word, it is a 
practice, ^vhen they have heard a sermon, to think, 
" What i^ood thing have I now to ask of God with a 
pecuHar importunity ?" They are also accustomed to 
call upon their children, and make them answer this 
f]uestion : '■^ Child, what blessing will you now ask of 
the glorious God ?'* After which, they charge them 
to go and do accordingly. 

In pursuance of this piety, why may not this be 
one of the exercises which shall conspire to form a 
good evening for the best of days ? Let it be a part of 
our work on the Lord's-day evening, seriously to ask 
ourselves the following question : " If I should die 
this week, what have I left undone, which I should 
then wish I had been more diligent in performing r" 
My friend, place thyself in dying circumstances ; 
apprehend and realize thy approaching dissolution. 
Suppose thy last, solemn hour arrived : thy breath 
failing, thy throat rattling, thy hands with a cold 
sweat upon them — only the turn of the tide expected 
for thy expiration. In this condition, " ^V'^hat wouldst 
thou wish to have done more than thou hast already 
done, for thy omu soul, for thy family, or for the peo- 
ple of God '." Think upon this question, and do not 
forget the result of thy thoughts ; do not delay to 
perform what thou hast resolved upon. How much 
more agreeable and profitable would such an exercise 
be on the Lord's-day evening than those vanities to 
M'hich that evening is too commonly prostituted, and 
by which all the good of the past day is defeated ! 
And if such an exercise were often performed, O ! 
liow much would it regulate our lives ; how watchful- 
ly, how fruitfully would it cause us to live ; what an 
incredible number of good works would it produce in 
the world ! 

Will you remember, Sirs, that every christian is « 
" temple of God !" it would be of great service to 
Christianity, if this notion of its true nature were 
more frequently and clearly cultivated. But cer- 
tainly there yet remains very much for every one of 
us to do, that the temple may be carried on to per- 
fection J tliat it may be repaired, finished, purified, 


and the topstone of it hid, with shoutings oi " grace, 
grace T' unto it. 

As a branch of this piety, I will recommend a seri- 
ous and fruitful improvement of the various dispen- 
sations of Divine Providence which we have occasion 
to notice. More particularly : Have you received 
any special blessings and mercies from the hand of 
God ? You do not suitably express your thankfulness ; 
you do not render again according to the benefit that 
is done unto you, unless you set yourself to consider, 
" What shall I I'ender unto the Lord V You should 
contrive some signal thing to be done on this occa- 
sion ; some service to the kingdom of God, either 
within yourself, or araong others, v/hich may be a just 
confession and memorial of what a gracious God has 
done for you. This is an action, to which the " good- 
ness of God leadeth you." And I would ask. How 
can a good voyaf]^e, or a good bargain be made with - 
out some special returns of gratitude to God ? I 
would have a portion of your property made a thank- 
offering, by being set apart for pious uses. 

Whole days of thanksgiving are to be kept, v/hen 
the favours of God rise to a more observable height. 
Christians of the finer mould keep their private ones, 
as well as bear part in the public services. One ex- 
ercise for such a day is, to take a list of the more re- 
markable succours and bounties with which our God 
has comforted us ; and then, to contrive some suita- 
ble acknowledgments of him, in endeavours to serve 
him ; and this by way of gratitude for these unde- 
served comforts. 

On the other hand ; you meet with heavy and 
grievous alllictions. Truly, it is a pity to be at the 
trouble of suffering afflictions, and not get good by 
them. We get good by them, when they awaken us 
" to do good ;" and I may say, never till then I When 
God is distributing sorrows to you, the sorrows still 
come upon some errands ; therefore, the best way for 
you to find that they do not come in his anger, is to 
consider what the errands may be. The advice is, 
that when any afHiction comes upon you, you imme- 
diately reflect, " to what special act of repentance docs 


this affliction call me ? What miscarriage does this 
aiHiction find in me, to be repented of?" And then, 
while the sense of the aiHiction is yet upon you, seri- 
ously inquire, " to what improvement in holiness and 
usefulness does this affliction call me ?" Be more 
solicitous to ^ain this point than to escape from your 
affliction. O I the peace that will compose, possess, 
and ravish your minds, when your afflictions shall be 
found yielding these " fruits of righteousness !'* 

Luther did well to call afflictions, " theologiam 
chiistianorum" — " the theology of christians." This 
may be a proper place to introduce one direction 
more. We are travelling through a malicious, a ca- 
lumnious, and abusive world. Why should not mal- 
ice be a " good informer ?" We muy be unjustly de- 
famed ; it will be strange if we are not frequently so. 
A defamation is commonly resented as a provocation. 
My friend, make it only a provocation to do good 
works I The thing to be now directed is this : Upon 
any reproach being offered, instead of being transport- 
ed into a rage at S/runei, retire and patiently inquire, 
^^ Has not God bidden such a reproach to awaken me 
to some duty ? To what special service of piety 
should I be an'akened, by the reproach which is cast 
upon me :" One thus expresses it : " Tlie backbiter's 
tongue, like a mill-clack, will be still in motion, that 
he may grind thy good name to powder. Learn, 
therefore, to make such use of his clack as to make 
thy bread by it ; I mean, so to live, that no credit 
shall be given to slander." Thus all the abuses you 
Tiicct v;ii!i v.vd.y prove to you, in the hand of a faith- 
ful Ciod, no other than the strokes wliich a statuary 
employs on his ill-shaped marble ; ottly to form you 
into a more beautiful shape, and make you fitter to 
adorn the heavenly temple. Thus you are informed 
of a way to "sliake oflf a viper" most advantageously ! 
Yea, 1 am going to inform you, how you may fetch 
sweetness out of a viper, .dusdn would have our 
very sii»s numbered amongst the " all things" that 
are to " work together for good." Therefore, first, I 
propose, that our former barrenness may now be 
looked upon as an obligation and incitement to greater 


fruitfulness. But this motion is too general ; I must 
be more particular. I would look back on my past 
life, and call to mind what singular acts of sin have 
blemished it, and been the reproach of my youth. 
Now, by way of thankfulness for that grace of God 
and that blood of his Christ, through which my 
crimes have been pardoned, I would set myself to 
think, " What virtues, what actions, and what achieve 
ments for the kingdom of God, will be the most con* 
trary to my former blemishes I And what efforts of 
goodness will be the noblest and most palpable con- 
tradiction to the miscarriages M^ith which I have been 
chargeable ?" Yet more particularly, " What signal 
thing shall I do, to save others from dishonouring the 
great God by such miscarriages as those into which I 
myself once fell ?" I will study such things ; and 
perhaps the sincerity and consolation of repentance 
cannot be better studied than by such a conduct. 

Give me leave to press this one more point of pru- 
dence upon you. There are not a few persons who 
have many hours of leisure in the way of their person- 
al callings. When the weather takes them off from 
their business, or when their shops are not full of 
customers, they have little or nothing to do. Now, 
Sirs, the pro/iosal is, " Be not fools,*' but redeem this 
time to your own advantage, to the best advantage. 
To the man of leisure as well as to the minister, it is 
an advice of wisdom, " Give thyself unto reading.'* 
Good books of all sorts may employ your leisure, and 
enrich you Avith treasures more valuable than those 
which you might have procured in your usual avoca- 
tions. Let the baneful thoughts of idleness be chased 
out of our minds. But then also, let some thoughts 
on that subject, " What good may I do ?" succeed 
them. When you have leisure to think on that sub- 
ject, you can have no excuse for neglecting so to do. 


The useful man may now with much propriety ex- 
lend' and enlarge the sphere of his exertion. My 


next proposal therefore shall be : let every man con- 
sider the iiKLATioN, in which God, the sovcreii^n Ru- 
ler, has placed him ; and let him devise what t^ood he 
may do, that may render his rclativL-a the better for him. 
One great way to prove ourselves really good, is to be 
relatively good. It is by this, more than by any thing; 
else, that we "' adorn the doctrine of God our Sa- 
viour." It would be a piece of excellent wisdom in a 
man, to make the interest which he has in the good 
opinion and ati'jclion of any individu;ils, an advan- 
tage for doing good to them, lit; that has a friend 
will shew hin\self friendly indeed, if he think " Such 
a one loves me, and will hcarkeu to me ; to what 
good shall 1 take advantage from hence to persuade 
him ?" 

This will take place more particularly where the en- 
dearing ties of natural uft'ection give us an interest. 
Let us call over our several relations, and let us devise 
something that may be called heroical goodness, in 
our discharging them. Why should we not, at least 
once or twice a week, make this relative ifoodntss the 
subject of our inquiries and of our purposes ? Es- 
pecially, let us begin with domestic relations^ and 
" provide for those of our own house," lest we deny 
some glorious rvdes and hopes of the christian faith, 
by our negligence. 

First. In the conjugal relation, how agreeably 
may they, who are thus united, think on these words ; 
"* What knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt 
save thy husband ? or, how knowest thou, O mail) 
\vhether thou shalt save thy wile ?" 

The HUSBAND will do well to think ; " What shall 
I do that my wife may have cause for ever to bless 
God for having brought her to me ?" And, " What 
shall I do, that in my deportment towards my wife, 
the kindness of the blessed Jesus towards his church, 
may be exemplified r" That this (pieslion may be 
the more perfectly answered. Sir, ask her to assist you 
in the answer ; ask her to tell you what she would 
have you to do. 

But then the wife also will do well to inquire ; 
*' WlitTtjin may I be to my husband a wife of that 


character — She will do him good and not evil all the 
days of her life ?" 

With my- married friends I will leave an excellent 
remark, which I find in the Memorials of Gcrvase 
Disney, Esq. — " Family passions cloud faith, disturb 
duty, darken comfort." You will do the more good 
to one another, the more this sentence is considered. 
When the husband and the wife are always contriving 
to be blessings to each other, I will say with Tertullicn^ 
" Where shall I find words to describe the happiness 
of that state 1"* O happy marriage 1 

Pahents ! How much ought you to be devising 
for the good of your children. Often consider, how 
to make them ^' wise children ;" how to carry on a 
desirable education for them, an education that may 
render them desirable ; how to render them lovely 
and polite, and serviceable to their generation. Often 
consider how to enrich their minds v/ith valuable 
knowledge ; how to instil into their minds generous, 
gracious, and heavenly principles ; how to restrain 
and rescue them from the " paths of the destroyer,'* 
and fortify them against their peculiar temptations. 
There is a world of good that you have to do for them. 
You are without the natural feelings of humanity if 
you are not in a continual agony to do for them all the 
good that lies in your power. It was no mistake of 
Packatas Drcpaniua^ in his panegyric to Theodosius ; 
" Nature teaches us to love our children as ourselves. "f 

i will prosecute the subject, by transcribing a copy 
of PARENTAL RESOLUTIONS, which I have somewhere 
met with 4 

I. At tlie birth of my children, I would use all due 
solemnity in the baptismal dedication and consecration 
of tliem to the Lord. I v/ould present them to the 
baptism of the Lord, not as a mere formality ; but, 
wondering at the grace of the infinite God, who will 

* Unde sufficiam ad enarrandam faellcitatem ejus matrimo- 
nii ! 

t Instituerite natura plus fere filios quam nosmetipaos dilL- 

\ Probably composed by the author himself, though ex- 
pressed in this modest manner, 


accept my children as his, I would resolve to do all- 
that I can that they m:iy be his. I would now actual- 
ly give them up to God, entreating that the child may 
be a child of God the Father, a subject of God the Son, 
and a temple of God the Spirit ; that it may be re- 
scued from the condition of a child of wrath, and be 
possessed and employed by the Lord, as an everlast- 
ing instrument of his glory. 

II. As soon as my children, become capable of 
attending to my instructions, I would frequently 
admonish them to be sensible of their baptismal en- 
gagements to the Lord : often remind them of their 
baptism, and of the duties to which it binds them. 

I would often SAy to each of them, Child, you have 
been baptised ; you were washed in the name of the 
great God ; now you must not sin against him ; to 
sin is to do a very filthy thing. You must every day 
cry to God that he would be your Father, your Sa- 
viour, your Leader ; in your baptism he promised 
that he would be so, if you prayed to him. Ciuld, 
you must renounce the service of Satan ; you must 
not follow the vanities of this world ; you must lead a 
life of serious religion ; in your baptism you w<ire 
bound to the service of your only Saviour. What is 
your name i* You must sooner forget this name that 
was given you in your baptism, than forget that you 
are a servant of Jesus Christ, whose name was then 
put upon you. 

III. Let me daily pray for my children with the 
greatest constancy and fervency ; yea, let me daily 
mention each of them by name before the Lord. I 
would importunately beg for all suitable blessings to 
be bestowed upon them ; that God would give them 
grace, and give tliem glory, and withhold no good 
thing from them ; that God would smile on their ed- 
ucatiow, and give his good angels charge over them, 
and keep them from evil, that it may not grieve them ; 
that when their father and mother shall forsake them, 
the Lord may take them up. Most earnestly would 
I plead that promise in their behalf; " The heavenly 
Father will give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him." 


O happy children, if by asking, I may obtain the Ho- 
ly Spirit for them ! 

IV. I would early entertain the children with de- 
lightful stories out of the Bible. In familiar conver- 
sation I would go through the Bible, when the 
" olive-plants about my table" are capable of being so 
watered. But 1 would always conclude the history by 
some lessons of piety, to be inferred from them. 

V. I would single out some scriptural sentences 
of the greatest importance ; and some also that con- 
tain special antidotes to the common errors and vices 
of children. They shall quickly get these golden 
sayings by heart, and be rewarded with silver or 
gold, or some good thing, when they do so. Such 
sentences as the following. 

Psalm cxi. 10. 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. 

Matthew xvi, 26. 
What is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, 
and lose his own soul ? 

1 Timothy i. 15. 
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, 
of whom I am chief. 

Matthew vi. 6. 
Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy 
door, pray to thy Father, which is in secret. 
Eccles. xii. 14. 
God shall bring every work into judgment, with 
every secret thing. 

Ephesians v. 25. 
Put away lying, speak every one the truth. 

Psalm cxxxviii. 6. 
The Lord hath respect unto the lowly, but the 
proud he knoweth afar off. 

Romans xii- 17. 19. 
Recompense to no one evil for evil. Dearly be- 
loved avenge not yourselves. 

Nehemiah xlii. TB. 
They bring wrath upon Israel, by prophaning the 

A Jewish treatise, quoted by JVagenaeil, tells us, 
that among the Jews, when a child began to speak, 


the father was bound to teach him that verse, Deut. 
xxxiii. 4. " Moses commanded us a law, even the 
inheritance of the congregation of Jacob." O, let me 
betimes make my children acquainted with the law 
which our blessed Jesus has commanded us I It is the 
best inheritance I can give them. 

VI. I would cause my children to learn the cate- 
chism. In catechising them, I would break the an- 
swer into many smaller and appropriate questions ; 
and by their answer to them observe and quicken 
their understandings.* I would connect with every 
truth, some duty and practice; and expect them to 
confess it, consent to it, and resolve upon it. As we 
go on in our catechising, they shall, when they are 
able, turn to the proofs, read them, and int'orm me 
'What they prove, and in what manner. Then I will 
watch an opportunity to put more nice and difficult 
questions to them and improve the times of conversa- 
tion with my family, for conferences on religious, 

VII. I would be anxious, till I may be able to say 
of my children, Behold, they pray! I would there- 
fore teach them to pray. But after they have learned 
a form of prayer, I will press them to proceed to 
points which are not in their form. I will shew them 
the state of their own souls ; and on every discovery 
will inquire of them, what they think ought now to 
be their prayer. I will direct them every morning 
to take one or two texts out of the sacred scriptures, 
and thence to form a desire, which they shall add to 
their usual prayer. When they have heard a ser- 
mon, I will repeat to them tlic main subject of it, and 
ask them thereupon, what thoy have now to pray for* 
1 will charge them, with all possible coc;ency,to pray 
in secret, and often say to each of them. Child, I hope 
you do not forget my charge to you about secret 
prayer ; your crime is very great, if you do. 

• The AsscniMy*s Catechism, broken into short questions 
in this manner, w .is lately re pulilishrfl by the Editor, and en- 
titled " The AssemWy's Catechism Dissected." 


VIII. I "would betimes do what I can to produce a 
temper of benignity in my children, both towards one 
another and towards all other persons. I will instruct 
them how ready they should be to communicate to 
others a part of what they have ; and they shall not 
Want for encouragement when they discover a loving, 
courteous, and benevolent disposition. I will give 
them now and then a piece of money, that with their 
own little hands, they may dispense something to the 
poor. Yea, if any one has hurt or vexed them, I will 
not only forbid all revenge, but Aviil also oblige them 
to do a kindness, as soon as possible, to the vexatious 
person. All coarseness of language or behaviour in 
them, I will discountenance. 

IX. I would be solicitous to have my children ex- 
pert, not only at reading with propriety, but also at 
writing a fair hand. I will then assign them such 
books to read, as I may judge most agreeable and 
profitable : obliging them to give me some account 
of what they read ; but will keep a strict eye on what 
they read, lest they should stumble on the devil's 
library, and poison themselves with foolish romances, 
novels, plays, songs, or jests, " that are not con- 
venient." I will direct them also, to write out such 
things as may be of the greatest benefit to them ; and 
they shall have their blank books neatly kept, on pur- 
pose to enter such passages as 1 recommend to them. 
I will particularly require them now and then to com- 
pose a Prayer, and bring it to me, that so I may dis- 
cern what sense they have of their own everlasting 

X. I wish that my children may, at a very early 
period, feel the principles oi reason and honour work- 
ing in them ; and that I may proceed in their educa- 
tion, chiefly on those principles. Therefore I will 
wholly avoid that fierce, harsh, crabbed usage of the 
children, that would make them dislike and tremble to 
come into my presence. 1 would treat them so, that 
they shall fear to offend me, and yet heartily love to 
see me, and be glad of my returning home when I 
have been abroad. I would have it considered as a 
severe and awful punishment for a crime in the family, 


to be foi-biddcn for a while to come into my presence. 
I would excite in them a hii^h opinion of their father's 
love to them, and of his being better able to judge 
what is good for them, than they are for themselves. 
I would brmg them to believe that it is best for them 
to be and to do as I would have them. Hence I would 
continually insist upon it, what a charming thing it is, 
tok7i02vthG things that are excellent, and how much 
better still to do the things that are virtuous. I wish 
them to propose it to themselves as a reward of good 
behaviour ; " I will now go to my father, and he will 
teach me something that 1 never knew before." I 
would have them afraid of doing any base thing, from 
a horror of the baseness there is in it. My first 
animadversion on a smaller fault shall be, an exclama- 
tion of surprise and wonder, vehemently expressed 
before them, that ever they should be guilty of doing 
so foolishly, with an earnest expectation that they will 
never do the like again. I will also endeavour to ex- 
cite in them a weeping resolution to this tflect. I 
will never use corporeal punishment, except it be for 
an atrocious crime, or for a smaller fault obstinately 
persisted in. I would ever proportion chastisements 
to iaults ; not punish severely for a very small in- 
stance of chilciislness ; and only frown a little for 
some real wickedness. Nor siiall ray chastisements 
ever be dispensed in passion imd fury ; but I will first 
>.hew them the comn)and oi" God, by transgressing 
which, they have displeased me. Tl e slavish, boister- 
ous manner of education too commonly used, I con- 
sider as no small article in the wrath and curse of 
God upon a miserable world. 

XI. As soon as wc can, \\e will advance to still 
higher principles. I will often tell the children what 
cause thty have to love a glorious Christ who has 
died for them ; how much he will be pleased with 
their well-doing ; and what a noble tiling it is to 
follow his example, which exami)le I will describe to 
thcra. I will often tell them that the eye of God is 
upon them ; that he knows all they do, and hears all 
they speak. I will frequently remind them that there 
viJlbe a time, when they must apjjcar before the holy 

Es.SA\b lO BO GOCIJ. iJfS 

Lord ; and that they must yiow do notMnc^ "which niay^ 
then be a source cf grief and shame to thtm. I \\\\[ 
set before them the delip;!jts of that heaven which is 
prepared for pious children ; and the torments of that 
hell which is prepared for wicked ones. I will in- 
form them of the kind offices which the good angels 
perform for children who fear God, and are afraid of 
sin ; how the devils tempt them to do bad things ; 
how they hearken to the devils, and are like them 
wiien they do such things ; what mischiefs these evil 
spirits may obtain permission to do in the world, and 
how avviiil it would be to dv.'ell among the devils, in 
the " place of dra.t^ons." I will cry to God, fhat he 
may make them feel tlie power of these principles. 

XII. When the children are of a proper age for 
it, I will sometimes have them with me alone, and 
converse Avith th.em c-.bouC the state of their souls ; 
their experiences, their proficiency, their temptations ; 
obtain their declared consent to every article in the 
covenant of grace ; and then pray with them, earn- 
estly entreating, that the Lord would bestow his 
iirace upon them, and thus make them Avitnesses of 
the agony with which I am travailing to see the image 
of Clirist formed in them. Certainly they will never 
forget such exercises as these ! 

XIII. I Mould be very watchful and cautious about 
the companions of my children. I would be very in- 
cjuisilive to learn what company they keep. If they 
are in danger of being ensnared by vicious company, I 
will earnestly pull them out of it, as " brands out of 
the burning ;" and will try to procure for them fit and 
useful associates. 

XIV. As in catechising the children, so in the 
repetition of the public seimons, I would use this 
method : I would put every truth into the form of a 
question, to be answered with yes, or no. By tliis 
method I hope to awaken their attention, as v»'ell as 
enlighten their understandmgs. And thus I shall 
have an opportunity to ask, Do you desire such and 
such a grace ? with other similar questions. Yea, I 
may by this means have an op'>orlunity to demand, 


5l IISSA'.S TO DO GO01>. 

ynd perhaps to cl)tain, their early, frequent, and,^I 
Avould hope, sincere coniicnt to the glorious nrticles of 
the new covenant. The Spirit of grace may fall up- 
on them in this action, and they may be seized by 
him, and possessed by him as his temples, through 
eternal ages. 

XV. When a day of humiliation arrives, I Mill 
make them know the meaning- of the day ; and after 
some time given them to consider of it, I will require 
them to tell me, what special afflictions tliey have 
met with, and what good they hope to get by those 
afflictions. On a day of thanksgiving, they shall also 
be made to know the intent of the day -, and after con- 
sideration, they shall inform me, what mercies of God 
to them they take special notice of, and what duties to 
God, they confess and resolve to perform under such 
obligations. Indeed, for of this import- 
ance, to be pursued in my conversation with them, I 
•would not confine myself to the solemn days, which 
may occur too seldom for it ; but, particularly, when 

-the birth-days of any of the children arrive, I would 
take them aside, and remind them of the age, which, 
having obtained help cl God, they have attained ; and 
tell them how thankful they should be for the mercies 

•of God, upon which tley have hitherto lived ; and 
liow fruitful they should be in all goodness, that so 
they may still enjoy their mercies. And I would 
inquire of them, whether they have ever yet begun to 
mind tlie work wliich Gotl sent them into the world 
txj perform ; wliat attempts t!iey have made towards 
it; and how they design to spend the rest of their 
time, if God contmue tliem in the w<yrld. 

XVI. "\Vhen the children are in any trouble, wheth- 
er sickness or oiherv.ibe, 1 will take advantage of the 
occasion, to set belore t' em the evil ot sin, the cause 
of all our trouble; and will represent to tiiem, how 
fearful a thing it will be, to be cast among the damned, 
"wlio are in unceasing and endless trouble. I will set 
before them the benefit of an interest in Christ, by 
which their trouble will be sar.ctified to them, and 
they w5n be prepared for death, and for fulness of joy 
ill a happy eternity after death. 

ESSAYS TO DO cooh. . 55 

XVII. I wish, that amon^ all the branches of <i 
polite education, ^vhich I would endeavour lo give my 
Ci'nklren, each of them, the daui^hters as well as tht^ 
sons, may have so much acfjuaintancc with some 
proHtable avocation (whether it be paintin^j, or tie 
law, or medicine, or any other employment to whic'i 
their own inclination may the most lead them,) tliat 
they may be able to obtain for themselves a comforta- 
ble subsistence, if by the providence of God, they 
should ever be brought into destitute circumstances. 
"Why should not they be thus instructed as well as 
Paul, tlie tent-maker ! Children of the highest rank 
may have occasion to bless their parents , who made 
such a provision for them. The Jews have a saying 
on this subject, which is worthy to be mentioned : 
*' Whoever teaches not his son some trade or busi- 
ness does in reality teach him to be a thief."* 

XVIII. As early as possible, I would make my 
children acquainted with the chief end for which ther 
are to live ; that so their youth may not be altogether 
vanity. I would shew them that their chief end m.urit 
be to acknowledge the great God, and to bring others 
lo acknowledge him ; and that they are never act- 
ing wisely nor well, but when they arc so doing. I 
would shew them, what these acknowledgments are, 
and how they are to be made. I would make them 
able to answer the question, " For what pur- 
pose do you live ; and wl-at is the end of the actions 
that employ your lives :" I would teach tlicm .how 
their Creator and Redeemer is to be obeyt:d in every 
thing, and how every thing is to be done in obedience 
to him ; I would instruct them in what manner even 
their diversions, their ornaments, and the tasks of 
their education, must all be managed to fit them for 
the further service of Him to whom I have devoted 
them, and how, in these also, his commandmerjts 
must be the rule of all they do. I would therefore 
sometimes surprise them with an inquiry, " Child, 
what is this for ? Give me a good accoinil why you. 
doit." How coml'ortably shall I see ihem "walking 

* Q-iIciinqTie f'liuTn suum nun docct nplficium, perlnde esc 
ac fci «um docet Utrociniuni. 


in the liglU," if I mny bring them -wisely to answer 
this question ; and what " children of the iiglu*' they 
will be ! 

XIX. I would sometimes oblige the children to 
retire, and ponder on that question ', " What slujiild I 
v.'hh to have done, if I were now dying ?" After they 
shall have reported to rnc their own answer to the 
question, I v/iil take occasion from it, to inculcate 
upon them the lessons of godliness. I would aisa 
direct and oblige them, at a proper time, seriously ta 
realize their own ap[)earance before-the awful judg-» 
ment-seat of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to consider, 
Avhat they have to plead that they may not be sent 
away into everlasting punishment ; what they have to 
plead, that they may be admitted into the holy city. 
1 would instruct them what plea to prepare : first, 
shew them how to get a piu-t in the righteousness of 
him who is to be their Judge, by receiving it with a 
thankful faith, as the gift of infinite grace to the dis- 
tressed and unworthy sinner ; then shew them how 
to prove that their faith is genuine by their continual 
endeavour in all things to please him who is to be 
their Judge, and to serve his kingdom and interest ia 
the world. And I vvouid charge them to make this 

XX. If I live to see the children arrive at a mar- 
riageable age, I would, before 1 consult with heaven 
or earth for their best accommodation in the married 
state, aim at the espousal of their aouls to their only 
Saviour. 1 would, as plaii^ly and as fully as I can, 
propose to them the terms on which the glorious 
Kedeen^er will expoiise them to himself, i'l rig!n- 
eousncss and jvulgment, favour and mercies forever ; 
and solicit tlieir ^:onsent to his proposal and over- 
tures : then I would proceed to do what may be ex<« 
pected from a tender parent fur tnem, in thc'r tenipo- 
ral circu'nsumces. 

From these parental resoluiiotis, hew rear,onably> 
how nat'ur.dly, may we pass on to say, 

CminuKN, the fiftii commandment confirms all 
your ot'her uumberless and poweJful obligations often 
to incpiire, *^* Wiierein r-ny l be a blessing to n.y par* 


ents ?" Ingenuousness of disposition would make this 
the very summit of your ambition, to be a credit and a 
comfoit to your parents ; to sweeten, and it may be, 
to lengthen the lives of those, from whom, under God, 
you have received your own. And God, tiie Reward- 
er, usually gives to such a conduct, even in this life, a 
nrost observable recompense. But it is ppssible, you 
may be the happy instruments of more than a little 
good to the souls of your parents. Yea, though they 
should be pious pia-ents, you may, by some delicate 
methods, he the instr.uments of their growth in piety 
and preparation for the . heavenly world. Happy, 
thrice happy children, who are thus favoured ! Among 
the Arabians, a father sometimes takes his name from 
an eminent son, as well as a son from his reputable 
father. Truiy^ a son may be such a blessing to 
his father,, that the best sirname for the glad father 
would be, * ' the father of such a one." 

Masters, yea, and MisTREi^sEs too, must hav-e 
their devices, how to do good to their servants ; how to 
make them the servants of Ciirist, and the children of 
Ciod. God, whom you must remember to be " your 
Master \w heaven," has brought them to you, and pla- 
ced them under your care. Vv ho can tell for what 
good he has brought them? What if they shouldbe the. 
elect of God, fetched from different parts, and brought • 
into your fam.ilies, on purpose, that by means of their 
situation, they may be brought home to the Shepherd 
of souls I O that the souls of our servants were more 
regarded by us ! that. we might give a better demon- 
stration tlvat we despise not our own souls) by doing 
what we can for the souls of our servants ! How can 
we pretend to Christianity, when we do no more to 
christianise cur servants ! Verily, you must give an 
account to God concerning them. If they should be 
lost llirough your negligence, what answer can you 
make to " God, the Judge of all :*' Methlnks, com- 
mon principles of gratitude should incline you to study 
the he ppiness of those, by whose labours your lives arc 
so TTiucii accommodated. Certainly, they wculdbethc 
better servants to you, more faithiul, industil- 
I 2 


ons, and submissive, for your bringing; tliem into the 
service of vour common Lord.* 


I HAVE somewhere met with a paper under this title, 
tlie RESOLUTION OF A MASTER ; which mav be proper- 
ly inserted in this place. f 

I. 1 would always remember, that my servants 
are, in some sense, my children ; and by taking- care 
that they want nothinijj v/hich may be good for them, 
I would make them as my children ; and, as far as 
the methods of instiHin;^ piety into tlie mind, which 
I use with my children, may be properly and pru^ 
dently used with my servants, they shall be partakers 
in them. Nor ^vill I leave them ig-norant of any 
thing, v.herein I may instruct them to be useful to 
their generation. 

II. I will see that my servants be furnished with 
Bibles, and be able and careful to read the lively ora- 
cles. I will put Bibles and other good and proper 
books into their hands ; will allow them time to read, 
and assure myself that they do not mispend this time, 
[f I can discern any wicked books in their hands, I 
%vill tuke away from them those pestilential instru- 
ments of wickedness. They shall also write as well 
as read, if I may be able to bring them to it. . And I 
will appoint them, now and then, such things to write, 
as may be for their greatest advantage. 

III. I will have my servants present at the re- 
ligious exercises of my family ; and will drop, either 
in the exhortations, in ihe prayers, or in the daily 
sacrifices of the family, such passages as may have a 
tendency to quicken a sense of religion in them. 

• In the orig-in.ll work, some observations are made in this 
place with respect to the usage of slaves ; but as the subject 
has happily uo connexion with our country, the passage ia 
here omitted. 

t The modesty of the author tbu8 exprcssei, probably, hi» 
own proJuctiotv. 


TV. The article of catechisini^, as far as the as^e 
or slate of the servants will permit it to be clone with 
decency, shall extend to them also. And they shall 
he concerned in the conferences in which I may be 
enp:aged with my family, in the repetition of the pub- 
lic sermons. If any of them, when they come to me> 
shall not have learned tlie catechism, I will take care 
that they do it, and will give them a reward when lliey 
have accomplished it. 

V. I will be very inquisitive and solicitous about 
the company chosen by my servants ; and with all 
possible earnestness will rescue them from the snares 
of ^vil company, and forbid their being the " compan- 
ions of fools." 

VI. Such of my servants as m.ay be capable of the 
task, I will employ to teach lessons of piety to my 
children, and will recompense them for so doing. 
But I would, by a particular artifice, contrive them 
to be such lessons as may be for their own edification 

VII. I will sometimes call my servants alone ; 
talk to them about the state oi' their souls ; tell them 
how to close with their only Saviour ; charge them to 
do well, and "lay hold on eternal life ;" and shew 
them very particularly hov/ they may render all they 
do for me, a service to the glorious Lord ; how they 
may do all from a principle of obedience to him, and 
become entitled to the " revv^ard of the iieavenly in- 

To these resolutions I add the following passages 
as an Appendix. 

Age is nearly sufFicient, with some masters, to 
obliterate every letter and action in the history of a 
meritorious life ; and old services are generally 
buried under the ruins of an old carcase. It is a bar- 
barous inhumanity in men towards their servants, to 
account their small failings as crimes, without al- 
lowing their past services to have been virtues. Gra- 
cious God, keep thy servant from such base ingrati- 
tude 1 

But then, O servants, if you would obtain " the 
reward of th^ inheritance," each of you should set 


yoiii'self to inquire — " How shuU I approve myself 
such a servant that tlie Lord in:\y bicss the house of 
my m-dstei* the more for my being in it t" Certainly, 
there are ujany ways in which servants may become 
blessings. Let your studies, with your coiuinual 
prayers for the wellare of the families to wliich you 
belong, and tlie example of your sober carriage, ren*" 
der you such. If you will but remember four words:» 
and attempt all that is comprised in them, 


you will be the l)/es,nT:(fs and the Jos e/ihs of the fami- 
lies in which you live. Let these four words be dis- 
tinctly and frcqiV-Mitly recollected; and cheerfully 
perform all your business, on this consideration — that 
it is an obedience to Heaven, and from thence will 
have a recompense. It was the observation even of a 
Pagan, " that a master may receive a benefit from a 
servant ;" and, " What is done with the affection of 
a friend,, ceases to be the act of a mere servant."* 
Even the m.\id seuvants of the house may render a 
great service to it, by instructing the infants, and in- 
stilling into their minds, tne lessons of goodness. 
Thus, by IVilhah and Zilpah, may children be born 
again ; thus the mistresses, by the travail of their 
handmaids, may have children brought into the king- 
dom of God. 

1 proceed — Humanity ler.ches us to take notice of 
all our kindred. Nature bespeaks what we call a 
" natural affection" to all who are a-kin to us : to be 
destitute of it fs a very bad character; it is a brand 
on the worst of men^ on such as forfeit the name of 
man. But Christianity is intended to improve it. 
Our natural affection is to be improved into a relig- 
ious intention. Reader, make a catalogue of all your 
more diaianl relalivea. Consider tl'.em one by one ; 
and nud^e each of them the subject of your " good 
devices." Ask this question : '* How may 1 pursue 
the good of such a relative : liy what means may I 
render such a relative the better for me ?" It is possJ- 

* Qjiod fit affcctu amici, desinit esse ininistcrium. 


hie that you may do sonietliing for your relatives 
v'iicli may afford them cause to bless God for your 
relation to them. Have they no calamity under 
v/hich you may give them relief? Is there no tempta- 
tion ag-ainst whicii you may give them some caution ? 
Is there no article of their prosperity to which you 
may be subservient ? At least, with your affectionate 
prayers, you may go over your catalogue ; you may 
pray for each of them successively by name ; and v/hy 
may you not put proper books of piety into their 
hands, to be durable memorials of their duties to God> 
and of your des-ires for their good ? 


This exceilent zeal should be extended to the 
NEiGiiiiouRUOOD. Neighbours 1 you stand related 
to edcn Gtiier ; and you should contrive how others 
should have reason to rejoice in your neighbourhood. 
** The righteous is more excellent than his neigh- 
bour ;" but we sliall scarcely allow him to be so, un- 
less he be more excellent as a neighljour : he must 
excel in the duties of good neighbourhood. Let that 
man be better than his neighbour, v/ho labours most 
to be a better neiglibour — to do most good to his 

And here, first, the poor people that lie wounded 
must have oil and wine poured into their wounds, 
^t was a charming trait in the character of a modern 
prince — ." To be in distress is to deserve his favour." 
O good neighbour ! put on tnat princely, that more 
tiian royal quality. See who in the neighbourhood 
may thus deserve thy flavour. We are told that 
'' pure religion and undeBled (a jewel npt counterfeit- 
ed, and without a flaw,) is to visit the fatherless and 
widows in their aflliction." The orphans and the wid- 
ows, and all the cirddren of arlliciion in the neigh- 
bourhood, muat be visited and relieved witii all suita- 
ble kindness. 

Neighbours ! be concerned that the orphans and 
the V. idows may be well provided for. They meet 


with grievous cUffiCuUies, with unknown temptations. 
When tlieir nearest reliitives were livini;, they were, 
perhaps, but meanly providcu for : what then must be 
lueir present solitary condition ? That condition 
should be weli considered ; and the result of the con- 
sideration should be, " I delivered the orphan who iuid 
no helper, and 1 caused the widow's heart to sing for 


By the same rule, all the afflicted ia the neigbbour- 
hood are to be considered. Would it be too much 
for you once in a week, at least, to think," What 
neighbour is reduced to pinching and painful poverty, 
or impoverished with heavy losses ? What neighbour 
is languishing with sickness, especially with severe 
disease, and of long continuance ? What neighbour is 
broken-hearted with the loss of a dear and desirable 
relative ? What neighbour has a soul violently assault- 
ed by the enemy of souls V and then consider, 
" What can be done for such neighbours V* 

In the first place, you will /liry them. The evangeli- 
cal precept is, " Have compassion one of another — - 
be pityful." It wsls oI old and ever v/iil. be a just ex- 
pectation, " To him that is afllicted,. pity r>iiauld be 
shewn ;'* and let our pityto the distressed be express- 
ed by our prayer for them. It would be a very love- 
ly practice for you in the. daily prayer of your closet 
every evening to think, " Whit miserable object have 
I seen lo-day, for v/hom I muydo v/ell now to entreat 
the mercies of the Lord i" But is not all ; it is 
possible, nay probable, that you may do well to Visit 
them ; and when you visit tl-cm, comfort llicm ; 
carry them some good word, which may raise glad- 
ness in a lieart stoo'j)ing with heaviness. 

And, lastly : Render them all tl^e assistance wldch 
their necessities may. require. Assist them by your 
advice; assist them by oi^taii^ing the helj). (if other 
persons on their behalf; and, if it be needlul, bestow 
your ALMS upon tl;cm ; " Deal tliy bread to the 
hungry ; bring to th-y house the poor that are cast 
out ; when thou secst the raked cover him :" at least, 
exercise A''azian2 en' n charity ; " Si nihil habes, da 
lacrymuUm;" "If you have nothinir else to le:/woH 


upon tht miserable, bestow a tear or t^vo npcm their 
miseritjs." Tliiji little is better than ncthin,:?;. 

^V^ou^d it be a'Tiiss for you, lihvayj to havo lyini^' by 
you, a list of the poor in your neij^libor.rhood, or of 
those whose calamities may call for the assistance of 
the neicj;hl)ourhood ? Such a list would often furnish 
you with matter for useful conversation, when you are 
conversing with your friends, whom y oil may hereby 
'' provoke to love and to good Works.'' 

I will go on to say. Be glad of opportunities to do 
good in your neighbourlmod : yea, look out for them ; 
lay hold on them with a rapturous assiduity. Be sor- 
ry for all the sad circumstances of your neighbour 
which render your exertions necessary ; yet, be glad, 
if any one tell )''ou of them. Thank him who gives 
you the information, as having therein done you a 
very great kindness. Let him know that he could 
not, by any means, have obliged you more. Cheer- 
fully embrace every opportunity of shewing civility to 
your neighlxnirs, whelhsr by lendin.^, by watching, or 
by any other metliod in your power. And let the 
pleasantness of ytiur countenarice prove that you do 
this willingly : '' Cum munere vultum." '* Let your 
wisdom cause your face to shine." Look upon your 
neighbours, not with a clovidy, but with a serene and 
shining face; and sh.ed the rays of your kindness 
upon them, with sueh nffabiiity, that they may see they 
are welcome to all yov. can do for them. Yea, stay 
not until you are told of opportunities to do good, but 
inquire after them, and let the inquiry be soli(fitous 
and \mwearied. The incomparable pleasure which 
attends the performance of acts of benevolence is 
worth a diligent inquiry. 

There was a generous Pagan, who counted a day- 
lost, in which he had not obliged some one. " Friends, 
I have lost a day !'** O Christian, let us try whether we 
cannot contrive to do something for one or other ot 
our neighbours, every day that passes over our heads. 
Some do so ; and with a better spirit than ever actuated 
Titus Vespasian. 'Hirice, in the scriptures, we find 

* Amici, diem perdidi. 


the good aDgels rejoicing ; it is always at the fijood of 
others. To rejoice in the i^ood of others, and especial- 
ly in doing good to them, is angelical goothiess. 

In promoting the good ot" ihe neighbourhood, I 
wish above all, that you will consult their spiritual 
good. Be concerned lest " the deceitlulness of sin" 
should destroy any of your neighbours. If tliere be 
any idle people among them, take pains to cure them 
of their idleness : do not uourish and harden them in 
it, but find employment for them ; set them to work, 
and keep them to Avork ; arid then be as bountiful to 
ihem as you please. 

If any poor children in tlie neigM/Ourl.ood are to- 
tally destitute of education, do not suiTer then; to re- 
main in that state. Let care be taken Uiat they may 
be taught to read, to ler.rn their catechism, and the 
truths and ways of their only Saviour. 

Once more. If any persons in the neighbourhood 
are taking to bad courses, afiectionaiely and faithfully 
admonisli them : if any act as enemies to their own 
Aveltare, or that of their families, prudently dispense 
your admonitions to them : if there be any prayerless 
faniilies, cease not to entreat and exhort them, till you 
have persuaded them to commence domestic worship. 
If there l>e any service of God or his people, to which 
any one is backward, tenderly excite him to it. What- 
ever snare you perceive a neighbour exposed to, be so 
kind as to warn Idm it. By furnishing your 
neighbours with good books or tracts? and obtaining- 
theu'Y'i'oinise to read liiem, who'can tell how much 
good nu\y lie done ! It is possible, tlrat in this way, 
you may administer with ingenuity jfnd efficacy, such 
reproofs as your neighbours may need, and without 
hindering your personal conversation ^vlth them on 
llie same subjects, if litey need your particular i.dvice. 

finally, if there be any bad houses, which threaten 
to debauch and poison yc ur neighbours ; let your 
charity induce you to exert yourself as much as pos- 
sible for their su])pression. 

That my proposal '' to do gojJ in the neighljour- 
hood, and ub a neighbour," maybe more fully formed 
and followed, I will condude by reminding you that 


much a elf -denial will be requisite in the execution of 
it ; you must be armed against all selfish intentions 
in these generous attempts. You must not employ 
your good actions as persons use water, which they 
pour into a pump, to draw up something for your- 
selves. Our Lord's direction is, " Lend, hoping for 
nothing again,"* and do good to such as you are nev- 
er likely to be the better for. 

But then, there is 5;omething still higher to be re- 
rjuired ; that i^, " Do good to those neighbours who 
have done you harm ;" so saith our Saviour, " Love 
your enemies ; bless them that curse you ; do good 
to them that hate you, and pray for them that despite- 
fully use you, and persecute you.'* Yea, if an injury 
have been done you by any one, consider it as a prov- 
ocation to confer a benefit on him. This is noble ! It 
will afford much consolation. Some other method 
might make you even with your froward neighbours ; 
but this will place you above tiiem all. It were nobly 
■done, if in your etening retirement you offer a pe- 
tition to God for the pardon and prosperity of any 
person who has injured you in the course of the day ; 
and it would be excellent If, in looking over the cata- 
logue of such as have injured you, you should be able 
to say, (the only intention that can justify your keep- 
ing such a catalogue,) There is not one of these, to 
whom I have not done, or attem.pted to do, a kind- 
ness. Among the Jews themselves, the Hasideans 
offered this daily petition to God, *' Forgive all who 
trouble and harass us."t Christians, exceed them : 

* To lend a thing, is, propeiiy, to hope that we shall receive 
it again ; and this probably refers to tlie etiantsmos, or Col- 
lation, usual among the ancienis, of wliich ve find frequent 
mention in history. If any nian by a fire, shipwreck, or 
other disaster, had lost his estate, his friends used to lend 
biin a considerable sum to be repaid, not at a certain day, but 
when he should find himself able, with convenience to repay 
it. Now persons would rareh lend on such occasions, unless 
they had some reason to liope they should again receive tlicir 
money, and that the person to whom it was lent, should also 
requite their kindness, if they should cvtT need it. 

t Remitte et condona omnibus qui vexaut ros. 


Justin IVIartyr tells us they did so in primitive limes 
— " they prayed for their enemies." 

But I must not stop here ; something higher still 
is requisite. Do good to those neighbours uho v,\\l 
speak evil of you for doing so : " Thus," saith our 
Saviour, "ye shall be the children of the Highest, 
%vho is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil." You 
Avill constantly meet Avith Monsters of Ingratitude ; 
and if you distinguish a person, by doing far more for 
him than for others, that very person perhaps \\\\\ do 
you an injury. O the wisdom of Divine Providence, 
by which this is permitted, that you may learn to do 
good on a divine principle — good, merely for the sake 
of good 1 *' Lord, increase our faith 1" 

There is a memorable passage in the Jewish re- 
cords. A certain gentleman was remarkably gener- 
ous, and many persons were constantly relieved by 
his bounty. One day he asked the following ques- 
tion : " Well, what do our people say to day ?" The 
answer was, " Sir, the peoi)le partook of your favours, 
and blessed you very fervently." " Did they so ?" 
said he, " Then I shall have no great reward ior this 
day." At another time, he asked the same question — 
" Well, and what say our people now r" Tiiey replied, 
" Alas ! good Sir, the people enjoyed your favours to- 
day, and after all, they did nothing but rail at you." "In- 
deed !" said he, " then for this day 1 am sure that God 
will give me a good and a great reward." Thus then, 
though vile constructions and harsh invectives should 
be the present reward of your best offices for the neigh- 
bourhood ; yet be not discouraged : " Thy work shall 
be rewarded," saith the Lord. U your opportunities to 
do good extend no further, yet I will otter you a con- 
solation, which a certain writer has thus elegantly ex- 
pressed : " He who praises God only on a ten string- 
ed instrument ; whose authority cxtcrids no further 
than his own family, nor his example beyond his own 
jieighbourhood, may have as thankful a heart here, 
and as high a place in the celestial choir hereafter, as 
tlie greatest monarch, who praises God upon an in- 


stpument of ten thousand strings, and upon the loud 
sounding organ, having as many millions of pipes as 
there are subjects in his empire.'* 


We cannot dismiss this part of the subject, with- 
out offerings a Proposal to, animate and regulate 
Private Meetings of religious persons, for the 
exercises of religion. It is very certain that "when 
such private meetings have been maintained, and 
well conducted, the Christians who have composed 
them have, like so many " coals of the altar," kept 
one another alive, and been the means of maintaining 
a lively Christianity in the neighbourhood. Such 
societies have been strong and approved instruments, 
to uphold the power of godliness. The disuse of 
such societies has been accompanied with a visible 
decay of religion : in proportion as they have been 
discontinued or disregarded in any place, the less has 
godliness flourished. 

The rules observed by some Associated Fa- 
milies may be offei'td with advantage, on this occa- 
sion. They will shew us what good may be done in 
a neighbourhood, by the establishment of such so- 

1. It is proposed. That a select number of families, 
perhaps about twelve, agree to meet, (the men and 
their wives) at each other's houses alternately, once 
in a fortnight or a month, or otherwise, as shall be 
thought most proper, and spend a suitable time to- 
gether, in religious exercises. 

2. The exercises of religion proper for such a 
meeting are ; for the brethren in rotatiou to com- 
mence and conclude with prayer ; for psalms to be 
sung ; and for sermons to be repeated. 

3. It were desirable, for the ministers, now and 
then, to be present at the meeting, and pray with 
them, instruct and exhort them, as they may see 


4. Candidates for the ministry may do well to per- 
form their first offices here, and thereby prepare 
themselves for further services. 

5. One special design of the meeting should be 
w'lih united prayers to ask the blessing of Heaven on 
the family where they are assembled, as well as on 
the rest : that with the wondrous force of united 
prayers, " two or three may agree on earth, to ask 
such things" as are to be done for the families, by 
*' our Father v/hich is in heaven." 

6. The members of such a society should consider 
themselves, as bound up in one " bundle of love ;'* 
and count themselves obliged, by very close and 
strong bonds, to be serviceable to one another. If any 
one in the society should ftill into affliction, all the rest 
should presently study to relieve and support the 
afHicted person in every possible way. If any one 
should fall into temptation, the rest should watch over 
liim, and with the " spirit of meekness," with " meek- 
ness of Avisdom,** endeavour to recover him. It 
should be like a law of the Medes and Persians to the 
whole society,— that they will, upon all just occasions, 
affectionately give and receive mutual admonitions of 
any thing that they may see amiss in each other. 

7. It is not easy to calculate the good offices which 
such a society may do to many other persons, besides 
its own members. The prayers of such well-disposed 
societies may fetch dov/n marvellous favours from 
heaven on their pastors ; their lives may be prolong- 
ed, tlieir gifts augmented, their graces brightened, 
and their labours prospered, in answer to the suppli^ 
cations of such associated families. The interests of 
religion may be also greatly promoted in the wliole 
flock, by ihtir fervent supplications ; and the Spirit 
of grace mightily poured out upon the rising genera- 
tion ; yea, the country at large may be the better for 

8. The society may, on peculiar occasions, 3et 
apart whole days for fasting and prayer. The suc- 
cess of such days has been sometimes very remark- 
able, and the savour which thev have left on the 


rainds of those who have engaged in them, has been 
such, as greatly to prepare them to " show forth the 
death of the Lord,'* at his holy table ; yea, to meet 
their own death, when God has been pleased to ap- 
point it. 

9. It is very certain, that the devotions and 
conferences carried on in such a society, will not only 
have a wonderful tendency to produce the " comfort 
of love" in the hearts of good men towards one 
another ; but that their ability to serve many valua- 
ble interests will also thereby be much increased. 

10. Unexpected opportunities to do good will 
arise to such a society ; and especially if such a plan 
as the following were adopted : That the men, who 
compose the society, would now and then spend half 
an hour by themselves, in considering that question, 
What good is there to be done ? More particularly, 

Who are to be called upon to do their duty, in 
coming to special ordinances ? 

Who are in any peculiar adversity ; and v;hat may- 
be done to comfort them I 

What contentioii or variance may there be among 
any of our neighbours ; and what may be done for 
healing it ? 

What open transgressions do-any live in ; and;"who 
shall be desired to carry faithful admonitions to tjiem ? 

Finally : What is there to be done for the/dvan- 
tage and advancement of our holy rehgion ?. 

In the primitive times of Christianity, much isse 
was made of a saying, which was ascribed to Matthias 
the apostle : " If the neighbour of an elect, or godly 
man sin, the godly man himself has also sinned." 
The intention of that saying was, to point out the 
obligation of neighbours watchfully to admonish one 
another. O how much may Christians, associated in 
religious societies, effect by watchful and faithful ad- 
monitions, to prevent their being " partakers in other 
men's sins I" The man, who shall produce and pro- 
mote such societies, will do an incalculable service to 
ihfi neighbourhood. 
G 2 


I proceed to mention another sort of society ; 
namely, that of young mkn associatp^d. 

Societies of this description, duly managed, and 
countenanced by the pastor, have been incomparable 
nurseries to the churches. Young men are hereby 
preserved from very many temptations, rescued from 
the ••' paths of the destroyer," confirmed in the " right 
ways of the Lord," and much prepared for such re- 
ligious exercises as will be expected from them, when 
they shall themselves become householders. 

1 will here lay before the reader, some orders 
which have been observed in some societies of this 

1. Let there be two hours at a time set apart for 
the purpose ; in which, let two prayers be oft'ered by 
the members in rotation ; and between the prayers let 
there be singing, and the repetition of a sermon. 

2. Let all the members of tlie society resolve to be 
charitably watchful over one another; never to divulge 
each other's infirmities ; always to give information 
of every thing which may appear to call for admoni- 
tion, and to take it kindly whenever it is given. 

3. Let all, wlio are to he admitted as members of 
the society, be accompanied, by two or three of the 
rest,, to the minister of the place, that they may re- 
ceive his holy counsel and directions, and that every 
thing \iiay be done with his approbation ; after which, 
let their be added to the roll. 

4. If any person thus enrolled among them, fall in- 
to a scandalous iniquity, let the rebukes of the society 
Jje dispensed to him ; and let them forbid him to come 
among them any more, until he give suitable evidence 
of repentance. 

5. Let the list be once a quarter called over ; and 
then, if it appear that any of the society have much 
absented themselves, let some of the members be 
sent to inquire the reason of their absence ; and if no 
reason be given, but such as intimates an apostasy 
from good beginnings, and if they remain obstinate, 
let them be dismissed, with kind and faithful 



6. Once in three months, let there be a collection, 
if necessary? out of which the unavoidable expenses of 
the society shall be defrayed, and the rest be employed 
for such pious purposes, as may be agreed on. 

7. Once in two months, let the whole time be de- 
voted to supplications for the conversion and salvation 
of the rising generation ; and particularly for the suc- 
cess of the gospel, in that congregation to which the 
society belongs. 

8. Let the whole society be exceedingly careful that 
their conversatiop, while they are together, after the 
other services of religion are over, have nothing in it, 
that may have any taint of backbiting or vanity, or the 
least relation to the affairs of government, or to things 
which do not concern them, and are not likely to pro- 
mote their advantage. But let their conversation be 
wholly on matters of religion, and those also, not dis- 
putable and controversial subjects, but points of prac- 
tical piety. For this purpose, questions may be pro- 
posed, on which every one, in order, may deliver his 
sentiments : or, they may go through a catechism ; 
and every one, in rotation, may hear all the rest recite 
the answers ; or they may be directed by their pas- 
tor, to spend their time profitably in some other 

9. Let every person in the society consider^it as a 
special task incumbent on him, to look out for some 
other hopeful young man, and to use all proper means 
to engage him in the resolutions of godliness, until 
he also shall be united to the society. And when a 
society shall in this manner be increased to a fit num- 
ber, let it use its influence to form other similar soci- 
eties, who may hold a useful correspondence with 
each other. 

The man who shall be the instrument of establish- 
ing such a society in a place, cannot comprehend 
what a long and rich train of good consequences may 
result from his labours. And they who shall in such 
a society carry on the duties of religion, and sing the 
praises of a glorious Christ, will have in themselves 
a bUssed earnest that they shall be associated togeth- 


er in the heavenly city, and in the blessedness that 
shall never have an end. 


Hitherto my discourse has been a more general- 
address to persons of all conditions and capacities. I 
have proposed a few devices, but those which are 
equally applicable to private persons, as to others. 
We will now proceed to address those who are in a 
more public situation. And because no men in the 
world are under such obligations to do good as the 
ministers of the GOSPEL, "it is necessary that 
the word of God should be first spoken unto them.'*' 
I trust, therefore, my fathers and brethren in the 
ministry will '^ suffer the word of exhortation.'* 

It must be admitted, that they who are " men of 
God" should be alivays at ivork for God. Certainly, 
they who are dedicated to the special service of the; 
Lord, should never be satisfied, but when they are iiv 
the most sensible manner serving him. Certainly, 
they whom the great King has brought nearer to- 
himself than other men, should be more unwearied 
than others, in endeavouring to advance his kingdom* 
They, whom the word of God calls angels, ought cer- 
tainly to be of an angelical disposition ; always dispos-^ 
ed to do good, like the good angels ; — ministers ever 
on the wing to " do his pleasure.** It is no improper 
proposal, that they would seriously set themselves to 
think, " What are the points wherein I should be wise 
and do good, like an angel of God ? Or, if an angel 
were in the flesh, as I am, and in such a post as 
mine, what methods may I justly imagine that he 
■would use to glorify God :'* What wonderful offices 
of kindness would the good angels cheerfully perform 
for such their " fellow servants !'* 

We must call upon our people, " to be ready to ev- 
ery good work." We must go before them in it, and 
by our own readiness at every good work, show them 
the manner of performing it. ** Timothy,** said Uifr 


apostle, " Be thou an example of the believers."^ It 
is a true maxim, and you cannot think of it too fre- 
quently ; " The life of a minister is the life of his 
ministry." There is also another maxim of the same 
kind ; " The sins of teachers are the teachers of 

Allow me, Sirs, to say, that your opportunities to 
do good are singular. Your want of worldly riches, 
and generally of any means of obtaining them, is 
compensated by those opportunities to do good, with 
which you are enriched. The true spirit of a minis- 
ter will cause you to coJisider yourselves enriched^ 
when those precious things are conferred upon you, 
and to prize them above lands, or money, or any tem- 
poral possessions whatever. " Let me abound in 
good works, and I care not who aboimds in riches,"* 
Well said, brave Melancthon ! 

It is to be hoped, that the main principle which ac- 
tuated you, when you first entered upon the evangel- 
ical ministry, was a desire to do good in the world. 
If that principle was then too feeble in its operation, 
it is time that it should now act more vigorously, and 
that a zeal for doing good should now " eat up" your 
time, your thoughts, your a!!. 

That you may be good men, and be mightily in-, 
spired and assisted from Heaven to do good, it is need- 
ful that you should be men of firayer. This, my first 
request, I suppose to be fully admitted. In pursu- 
ance of this intention, it appears very necessary that 
you should occasionally set apart whole days for se- 
cret prayer and fasting, and thus perfume your stu- 
dies with extraordinary devotions : such exercises 
may be also properly accompanied with the giving of 
alms, to go up as a memorial before the Lord. By these 
means, you may obtain, together with the pardon of 
your unfruitfulness, (for which, alas 1 we have such 
frequent occasion to apply to the great Sacrifice) a 
wonderful improvement in piety and sanctity ; th^ 

* l\ openbus sit abundar^tia mea : divitiis per me licit* 
fchiiudct, (juiscjuis voluerit. 


vast importance of which, to form a useful minister? 
none can describe I " Sanctify them in (or for) thy 
truth,'* said our Saviour. They should be sanctified <,, 
who would become instruments for the propagation 
of the truth. You may obtain, by prayer, such an- 
influence from heaven upon your minds, and such an 
indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as will render you 
grave, discreet, humble, generous, and worthy to be 
" greatly beloved." You may obtain those influences 
from above that will dispel the enchantments, and 
conquer the temptations which might otherwise do 
much mischief in your neighbourhood. You may 
obtain direction and assistance for the many services 
requisite to be performed, in the discharge of your 
ministry. Finally, you may fetch down unknown 
blessings on your flocks, atid on the people at large, 
for whom you are to be the Lord's remembrancers. 

Your public prayers, if suitably composed, will be 
excellent engines to " do good." Th e more judicious, 
the more affectionate, the more argumentative you are 
in them, the more you will teach your people to 
pray. And I would ask, how can you prosecute any 
intention of piety among your people more effectual- 
ly, than by letting them see you praying, weeping, 
striving, and in an importunate agony before the 
Lord, in order to obtain the blessing for them ? The 
more appropriately you represent the various cases 
of your people in your public prayers, the more de- 
voutly sensible you will make them of their own 
cases ; and by this means they will obtain much con- 
solation. The prayers you oRer at baptisms may 
be so managed as greatly to awaken in the minds of 
all present, a sense of their baptismal obligations. 
What ellusions of the Holy Spirit may your people 
experience, if your prayers at the table of the Lord, 
should be such as Nazianzen describes his father's ta 
have been ;— " Made by the Holy Spirit of Ciod." 

Your sermons, if they be well studied, as they ought 
to be, from the consideration of their being offerings 
to God, as well as to his people, will *' do good" be- 
yond all expression. The manner of your studying 


tUeni may very much comribute to their usefulness. 
It is necessary that you carefully consider the state 
, of your flocks ; and bring them such truths, as will 
best suit their present circumstances. In order to 
this, you will observe their condition, their faults, 
their snares, and their griefs ; that you may " speak 
a word in season ;" and that, if any remarkable prov- 
idence occur among your people, you m.iy make a 
suitable improvement of it. It will be useful to con- 
sider the different ages and circumstances of your 
people, and what lessons of piety may be inculcated 
©n each ; what exliortations should be given to the 
communicants, to those who are under the bonds of 
the covenant ; what advice should be addressed to the 
aged ; what admonitions to the poor, to the rich, to 
the worldly, and to those who are in public situa- 
tions ; what consolations should be afforded to the af- 
flicted ; and what instruction may be necessary, 
with respect to the personal callings of your hearers. 
Above all, the young must not be forgotten : you 
will employ all possible means to cultivate early piety. 
Yea, you may do well to make it understood, that 
you would willingly be informed, by any persons or 
societies in your flocks, what subjects tliey may wish 
to hear explained. By giving them sermons on such 
subjects, you will at least very much edify those who 
requested them j and it is probable, many other per- 
sons besides. 

In studying your sermons, it might be profitable at 
the close of every paragraph, to pause, and endeav- 
our, with ejaculations to Heaven and self-examination, 
to feel some impression of the truths contained in 
that paragraph on your own mind, before you pro- 
ceed any farther, liy such a practice, the hours 
which you spend in composing a sermon, will prove 
to you so many hours of devotion ; the day in which 
you have made a sermon, w^ill even leave upon your 
mind such a savour as a day of prayer commonly 
does. When you come to preach the sermon, you 
will do it with great liberty and assurance ; and the 
truths thus prepared will be likely to come with more 


sensible watmth and life upon tlie auditory ; — fi-om 
the heart, and to the heart 1 A famous preacher used 
to say, " I never dare to preach a sermon to others> 
till I have first got some good by it myself" And I 
will add, that such a method is most likely to render 
it useful to others. Let the saying of the ancients be 
remembered : " He that trifles in the pulpit shall 
weep in hell ;"* and the modern saying, " Cold 
preachers make bold sinners." 

How much good may be done, Sirs, by your visits! 
It woukl be well for you to impose it as a law upon 
yourselves , *' Never to make an unprofitable visit.** 
Even when you pay a visit merely for the sake of 
<:ivility or entertainment, it would be easy ior you to 
observe this law ; " That you will drop some sentence 
x>v other, which may be good for the use of edifying, 
before you leave the company.'* There have been 
pastors who have been able to say, that th.ey scarce 
ever went into a house among their people, without 
some essay or purpose to do good in the house before 
they left it. 

The same rule might properly be observed with 
such as come to us, as well as with those whom we 
visit. Why should any of our people ever come 
near us, without our cont living to speak something to 
them that may be for their advantage ? Peter Martyr 
having spent many days in liucer's house, jDUijlished 
this report of his visit ; " I can truly affirm, that I 
never left his table, without some addition to my 
knowledge l"t I n^nkt- no doubt tiiat the observation of 
this rule may be very consistent with an affable, and, 
as far as is suitable, a facetious conversation, llui let 
it be remembered, that, " ^Vhat are but jests in the 
mouth of the people, are blasjjhemies in tiie mouth 
of the priest.''! 

* (h\\ ludit in cixtliedra, liijjel^it in gehenna. 

f AiK^im afnrmaic, mc r»b illius mciisa, semper disccssisse 

f Q«ix sunt In 01C p()i>uli nugiX, »\v\t in ore sacerdoti) 


But, J^irs, in your visits you Avill take a pai-ticulaf 
notice of the widow, the or])han, and the afflicted, and- 
afford them all possible relief. The bills put up in 
your cont^regation will, in some measure, assist you 
to find out who need your visits. 

When any peculiar calamity hath befallen any one, 
it is a suitable time to visit such a person, to direct 
and persuade him to hear the voice of God in the 
calamity, and to comply with the intent and errand 
upon which it comes. Another very proper time for 
a visit is, v/hen any special deliverance has been re* 
ceived. Those who have been thus favoured should 
be admonished to contrive some remarkable manner 
in which they may express their thankfulness for the 
deliverance : nor should you leave them, until such a 
determination be made. The handmaids of the Lord, 
who are near the hour of difficulty and danger, may 
on this account be very proper objects for your visits. 
At such a time they are in much distress ; the ap- 
proaching hour of trouble threatens to be their dying 
hour. The counsels that shall exactly instruct them 
how to prepare for a dying hour will nov,*, if ever, be 
attentively heard : and there are precious promises of 
God, upon which they should also now be taught to 
live. To bring them these promises will be the 
work of a " good angel," and M^ill cause you to be wel- 
comed by them as such. 

Catechising is a noble exercise ; it will insensibly 
bring you into a way to " do good," that surpasses all 
expression. Your sermons will be very much lost 
upon an uncatechised people. Nor will your people 
mind so much what you address to them from the 
pulpit, as what you speak to them in the more con- 
descending and familiar way of applying the answers 
of the catechism. Never did any minister repent of 
his labour in catechising ; thousands have blessed 
God for the wonderful success >vhich has attended it. 
The most honourable man of God should consider it 
no abasement or abatement of his honour, to stoop to 
this way of teaching. Yea, some eminent pastors in 
their old age, when otUer labours have been too hard 


for them, have, like the famous old Gerson, wholly 
given themselves up to catechising ; though there 
have been others, of whom that rcnoAvned chancellor 
of -Paris, in his treatise, "Of bringing children to 
Christ,"* makes a sad complaint ; " In the opinion of 
iTiany, it would be degrading for our divines, or 
literary characters, or dignitaries in the church, to ap- 
ply themselves to this kind of work."t 

Those pastors who so love a glorious Christ as to 
regard his word, " Feed my lambs," will vary their 
methods of carrying on this exercise, according to 
particular circumstances. Some have chosen the way 
of pastoral visits ; and from the memorials of one 
who long since did so, and afterwards left his advice 
to his son upon this subject. I will transcribe the 
following passages : 


You may resolve to visit all the families belonging 
to your congregation ; taking one afternoon in a week 
for that purpose : and it may be proper to give pre- 
vious notice to each family, that you Intend at such a 
time to visit them. On visiting a family, you may 
endeavour, with addresses as forcible and respectful as 
possible, to treat with every person particularly about 
their everlasting interests. 

First, you may discourse with the elder people 
upon such points as you think most proper with them. 
Especially charge them to maintain family-prayer ; 
and obtain their promise of esta\)lishing it, if it has 
been hitherto neglected ; yea, pray witli them, that 
you may shew them how to pray, as well as obtain 
their purposes for it. You may likewise press upon 
them the care of instructing their children and ser- 
vants in the holy religion of our Saviour, to bring 
them up for Jiim. 

* Do pueils ad Christum tralicndis. 

t Adco jam iiidig-num videtur apud multos, si quis ex 
theolog-is, aut famatus in literis, vcl ccclcsiasUca dignitate 
prxditus, ad hoc opus se inclinaverit. 


If any with -whom you should have spoken are ab- 
sent, you may frequently leave one or two solemn 
texts of the sacred scripture, Avhich you may think, 
most suitable for them ; desiring some one present 
affectionately to remember you to them, and from you 
to recommend to them that oracle of God. 

You may then call for the children and servants ; 
and putting to them such questions of the catechism 
as you think fit, you may, from the answers, make 
lively applications to them, for engaging them to the 
fear of God. You may frequently obtain from them 
promises relating to secret prayer, reading of ihe 
scriptures, and obedience to their parents and masters. 
You may also frequently set before them the proposals 
of the new covenant, after you have laboured for their 
conviction and awakening ; till with floods of tears, 
they expressly declare their consent to it, and their 
acceptance of it. 

Some of the younger people you may order to 
bring their Bibles, and read to you from thence two 
or three verses, to which you may direct them : this 
will try, whether or not they can read well. You 
may then encourage them to think on such things as 
you remark from the passage, and never to forget 
those " faithful sayings" of God. You may some- 
times leave with them some serious question, which 
you may tell them they shall not answer to you, but 
to themselves ; such as the follow ing : " What have 
I been doing ever since I came into the world, about 
the great errand upon which God sent me into the 
world r" " If God should now call me out of the 
work!, wiiafwould become of me throughout eternal 
ages ?" " Have I ever yet by faith carried a perishing 
soul to my only Saviour, both fur righteousness and 
Balvation '■" 

You will enjoy a most wonderful presence of God 
with you, in this undertaking ; and will seldom leave 
a family without having observed many tears of devo- 
tion shed by all sorts of persons in it. As you can 
seldom visit more than four or five families in an after- 
iioon, the work may be as laborious t'.s any part of 
vour ministrv. 


My son, I advise you to set a special value on that 
part of your ministry, which is to be discharged in 
pastoral visits. You will not only do good, but also 
^et good, by your conversation with all sorts of 
persons, in thus visiting them ''from house to house.'* 
And you will never more " walk in the Spirit," than 
when you thus Avalk among your flock, to do what 
good yon can amongst them. 

In your visits an incredible deal of good may be, by distributing little books of piety. You may, 
without much expense, be furnished with such books 
to suit all persons and circumstances : books for the 
old and for the young — for persons under afflictions 
or desertions-— for persons v/ho are under the power 
of particular vices-— for those who neglect domestic 
religion — for sea-faring persons — for the erroneous*^ — . 
lor iliose whom you would quicken and prepare to ap- 
proach the table of the Lord — for those who are about 
to have their children baptised ; and catechisms for 
the ignorant. You may remarkably enforce your 
admonitions, by leaving suitable books in the hands of 
those with whom you have conversed ; you n)ay give 
them to understand, that you would be still considered 
as conversing vvith them by these books, after yoii 
have left them. And in this way you may speak 
more than you have time to do in any personal inter- 
view ; yea, sometimes, more than you would wish to 
do. By good booko a salt of piety is scattered about 
(t neighbourhood.* 

Pastors, upliold and chevisli good schools in your 
towns ! AikI be prevniicd upon occasionally to visit 
the schools. Tliai holy man, Mr. Th.omas White, 
expressed a desire, " That able and zealous ministers 
nould sometinies preach at the schools ; because 
preaching is the converting ordinance ; and the chil- 
dren will be obliged to liear with more attention in 
the sci^iOol tlian in the pubdic congregation ; and the 

* A few yepivs ag-o a society w :>s establislied in London^ 
entitled, <iThc R(.li,;-ious Tract Socieiy,'* by wliom a great 
lutiriL:;!' and v. »,'ety of tracts have been puMishcd, and at a 
Ki-yy riteap rate. IMicse proc'iictifjns are vci-y happily adat;t- 
L'[ ti-. ti.c pioua; proposed bvouv avi'.hor. 


ministers might here condescend to such expressions 
as might work most upon them, and yet not be so fit 
for a pubHc congregation." 1 have read the following 
account of one, who was awakened by this advice to 
act accordingly : " At certain times he successively 
visited the schools. When he went to a school, he 
first offered a prayer for the children, as much adapt- 
ed to their condition, as he could make it. Then he 
went through the catechism, or as much of it as he 
thought necessary ; making the several children re- 
peat the several answers : but he divided the ques- 
tions, that every article in the answers might be un- 
derstood by them ; expecting them to answer. Yes, 
or No, to each of these divisions. He also put to 
them such questions, as would make them see and 
own their duties, and often express a resolution to 
perform them. Then he preached a short sermon to 
them, exceedingly plain, on some suitable scripture, 
with all possible ingeiuiity and earnestness, in order 
to excite their attentive regard. After this, he sin- 
gled out a number of scholars, perhaps eight or ten, 
and bid each of them turn to a certain scripture, which 
he made them read to the whole school ; giving them 
to see, by his brief remarks upon it, that it contained 
something which it particularly concerned children to 
take notice of. Then he concluded with a short 
prayer, for a blessing on the school and on the tutors." 

V/hile we are upon the subject of visiting, I would 
observe that you will not fail to visit the fioov as well 
as the rich ; and often mention the condition of the 
poor, in your conversation with the rich. Keep, Sir, 
a list of them. Recollect that although the wind does 
not feed any one, yet that it turns the mill which 
grinds the corn, the food of the poor. When con- 
versing with the rich, you may do this for the poor 
who are on your list. 

In visiting the poor, you will take occasion to dis- 
pense your alms among them. These alms, you 
will, with as much contrivance as possible, ifse as ve- 
hicles for conveying to them the admonitions of pie- 
ty J yea, means and instruments of obtaining from 
H 2 


them some engagements to pevlbrm certain exercises 
of piety. All ministers are not alike rurnished for 
alms, but all should be disposed for them. They 
that have small families, or large interests, ought to 
be shining examples of liberality to the poor, and 
pour down their alms upon them, like the showers 
of heaven. All should endeavour to do what they 
can in this way. What says Nazianzen of his rever- 
end father's alms-deeds ? They will find that the 
more they do (provided itbe done with discretion) the 
iTJore they are able to do : the loaves will multiply in 
the distribution. Sirs, this bounty of yours to the 
poor will procure a w^onderful esteem and success to 
your ministry. '' Suadet lingua, jubet vita." It will 
be an irrefragable demonstration that you believe 
what you speak concerning all the duties of Christian- 
ity, but particularly th(.se of liberality, a faithful dis- 
charge of our stewardship, and a mind weaned from 
the love oi' this world ; it will demonsirate your belief 
of a future state ; it will vindicate you from tl;e impu- 
tation of a worldly man ; it will embolden and fortify 
you, wlien you call upon others to do good, and to 
abound in those sacrifices with which" God is well- 
pleased. Et sic exempla parantur 1 

You will do well to keep a watchful eye on the 
disorders which may arise and increase in your neigh- 
bourhood. Among other ways of 
things, you may form societies for this purpose : 
obtain a fit number of prudent, pious, well-disposed 
men, to associate with this intention, and employ their 
discretion and activity, for your assistance in these 
holy purposes. 

One of the rules given for tb.e minister is, " Give 
thyself to reading.'^ Sirs, let Gregory's Pastoral, 
and Bowles' Pastor Evangelicus, form part of your 
reading. Also if you read Church History much, 
particularly the Prudentia Vtteris Ecclesiff, written 
by Vedelius, together with the lives of both ancient 
and modern divines, you will frequently find " meth- 
ods to do good" exemplified. You will then consider 
how far you may '' go and do likewise.'* 


How serviceable may ministers be to one another, 
and to all the churches, in their several associations. 
Indeed, it is a pity that there should ever be the least 
occasional " meeting . of ministers," without some 
useful thing proposed in it. 

Neix) took it very ill, that Vespasian slept at his 
music : It is very much to be wished that the sin of 
sleeping at sermons were more guarded against and 
reproved in your sleepy hearers ; if indeed it is prop- 
er to call those hearers who miserably lose the good 
of your ministry, and perhaps the good which you 
might have particularly designed for them. Will no 
vinegar help against the narcotics that Satan has giv- 
en to your poor Eulychuses ? or cannot you bring 
that civility into fashion among your hearers, to wake 
one another ? 

Finally, After all the generous essays and labours 
to do good that may fill your lives, your people will 
probably treat you with ingratitude. Your salaries 
•will be meaner than those at Geneva. They will 
neglect you ; they will oppress you ; they will M'ith" 
hold from you what tliey have engaged, and you have 
expected. You have now one more opportunity to 
do good, and so to glorify your Saviour. Your pa- 
tience, O ye tried servants of God, your patience will 
do it wonderfully ! To " bear evil" is to " do good." 
The more patient you are under ill usage, the more 
you exliibit a glorious Clirist to your people, in your 
conformity to your adorable Saviour. The more con- 
formed you are to him, the more prepared you arC; 
perhaps, for some amendment of your condition in 
this world, most certainly for the rewards of the hea- 
venly world, when you shall appear before the Lord, 
who says, '' I know thy works and charity, and ser- 
vice, and faith, and thy patience.'* 

It v/as said of Ignatius, "that he carried Christ 
about with him in his heart :" and this I will say, if 
to represent a glorious Christ to the view ; the love 
and the admiration of all people be the grand inten- 
tion of your life ; if you are desirous to be a star to lead 
men to Christ ; if you are exquisitely studious, that 


the holiness and yet the gentleness of a g;lori:ous 
Christ may shine in your conversation ; it" in your 
public discourses you do with rapture bring in the 
mention of a glorious Christ in, every paragraph, and 
on every occasion where he is to be spoken of ; and if 
in your private conversation you contrive to insinuate 
something of his glories and praises, wherever it may 
be decently introduced ; finally, if when you find that 
a glorious Christ is the more considered and acknowl- 
edged by your means, it fills you with " joy unspeak- 
able and full of glory," and you exclaim, " Lord, this 
is my desired happiness !" Truly, you then live to 
good purpose, you " do good" emphatically ! 

There was a worthy minister,whom the great Cran- 
mer designed for preferment, and he gave this reaaonof 
his design-" He seeks nothing, he longs for nothing, he 
dreams abo\it nothing, but Jesus Christ."* Verily, such 
*»men of Christ" are "men of God ;" they are the favour- 
ites of Heaven, and shall be favoured with opportunities 
to do good above any men in the world : they are the 
men whom the Kivig of Jieaven will delight to honour, 
and they are the Gaons of Christianity. 

If 1 reserve one thing to be mentioned ^KhcrJinaUyy 
it is because I doubt whether it ought to be mentioned 
at all. In some Reformed Churches they do not per- 
mit a minister of the gospel to practise as a physi- 
cian, because either of these callings is generally suf- 
ficient to employ him who faithfully follows it : but, 
the priests of old, who preserved in the archives of 
their temples the records of the cures which had been 
thankfully acknowledged there, comunmicated from 
thence directions for cores in similar cases among 
their neighbours. Nor has it been uncommon in lat- 
er ages for clerjj,ymen to be physicians. Not only 
such monks as Aegidius Atheniensis and Constantiua 
Afcr, but bishops, as Bochclt and Albicus, have ap- 
peared in that cliaracter. Thus Mr. Herbert advises 
that his " country minister," (or at least his wife) 
should be a kind of physician to the flock ; and we 

* NiliU appctit, nihil ardct, nihil somniat, nisi Jcsum Chris- 


have known many a country minister prove a great 
blessing to his flock by being such. If a minister at- 
tempt this, let him always make it a means of doing 
spiritual good to his people. It is an angelical con- 
junction, when the ministers of Christ, who do his 
pleasure, become also physicians and Raphaels to 
their people. In a more populous town, however, 
you will probably choose rather to procure some re- 
ligious and accomplished physician to settle in your 
neighbourhood, and make medical studies only your 
recreation ; yet with a design to communicate to 
your Luke whatever you meet with worth his notice, 
and at times unite your counsels with him for the 
good of his patients. Thus you may save the lives of 
many persons, who themselves may know notliing of. 
your care for them. 


Prom the tribe of Levi, let us proceed with cup 
proposals to the tribe of Simeon ; from which there 
has been a frequent ascent to the former. The 
Schoolmaster has many opportunities of doing 
good. God make him sensible of his obligations ! 
We read, that "the little ones have their angels.'* 
It is hard work to keep a school ; but it is God's 
work, and it may be so managed as to be like the 
work of angels : the tutors of the children maybe 
like their '* tutelar angels." Melchior Adams proper- 
ly styled it " An office most Ic,boriou3, yet to God most 

Tutors ! will you not regard the children under 
your wing, as committed to you by the glorious Lord 
with such a charge as this r '' Take them, and bring 
them up for me, and I will pay you your wages I." 
Whenever a new scholar comes under your care, you 
may say, " Here, my Lord sends me another object, 
for whom I may do something that he may be ^.iseful 
in the world.*' Suffer little childicn to cOme unto 

Molcstlssimaro, scd Deo lonj^e j^ratissiniam funttioncm 


you, and consider what you may do, instrumentally, 
that of such may be the kingdom of heaven. 

Sirs, let it be ycur grand design, to instil into their 
minds the documents of piety. Consider it as their 
chief interest, and yours also, that they may so knew 
the lioly scriptures as to become wise to salvation. 
Embrace every opportunity of dropping some honey 
from the rock upon them. Happy the children, and 
as iiappy the master, where they who relate the history 
cf tlieir conversion may say, " There was a school- 
master who brought us to Christ.'* You have been 
told, " Certainly, it is a nobler work to make the little 
ones know their Saviour, than know their letters. 
The lessons of Jesus are nobler things than the lessons 
of Cato. The sanctifying transformation of their 
souls would be infinitely preferable to any thing in 
Ovid's Metamorphoses." 

Catechising should ho. di frequent^ at least a ivcekhj 
exercise in the school ; and it should be conducted in 
the most edifying, applicatory, and admonitory man- 
ner. In some places the magistrate permits no per- 
son to keep a school, unless he produces a testimonial 
of his ability and disposition to perform the work of 
rcligioun catechising * 

Dr. Reynolds, in a funeral sermon for an eminent 
schoolmaster, has the following passage, worthy to be 
"written in letters of gold : " If grammar schools have 
holy and learned men set over them, not only the 
brains, but also the souls of the children might there 
bq enriclied, and the work both of learning and of 
grace be early commenced in them." In order to this, 
let it be proposed, that you not only pray with your 
scholars daily, but also take occasion, from the public 
sermons, and from- remarkable occurrences in your 
neighbourhood, frequently to inculcate the les5;.ons of 
piety on the children. 

Tutors in tlie colleges may do well to converse 
with each of their pupils alone, Mith all possible 
solemnity and affection, concerning their internal 

• Aptitiuljnls rid inunus illud imprimis pucrorum catvclil- 


State, concerning repentance for sin, and faith in Je- 
sus Christ, and to bring them to express resolutions 
of serious piety. You may do a thousand things 
to render your pupils orthodox in sentiment, regular 
in practice, and qualified for public service. 

I liave read of a tutor, who made it his constant 
practice in every recitation, to take occasion, from 
something or other that occurred, to drop at least one 
sentence that had a tendency to promote the fear of 
God in their hearts. This method sometimes cost 
him a good deal of study, but the good effect sufficient- 
ly recompensed him for it. 

I should be glad to see certain authors received 
into the grammar schools as classical, which are not 
generally admitted there, such as Castallo in the Latin 
tongue, and Posselius in the Greek ; and I could 
wish, with some modern writers, that " a north-west 
passage" for the attainment of Latin might be dis- 
covered ; that instead of a journey which might be 
dispatched in a few days, they might not be obliged 
to wander, like the children of Israel, many years in 
the wilderness. I might recite the complaint of 
Austin, " that little boys are ta'j^ht in the schools the 
filthy actions of the Pagan gods, for reciting which,'* 
said he,." I was called a boy of promise;"* or the 
complaint of Luther, " that our schools are Pagan 
rather than Christian." I might mention what a late 
author says, " I knew an aged and eminent school 
master, who, after keeping a school about fifty years, 
said with a sad countenance, that it was a great trouble 
to him that he had spent so much time in rwding 
Pagan authors to his scholars ; and wished it were 
customary to read such a book as Duport's versus on 
Job, rather than Homer, £cc. ; I pray God, to put it 
into the hearts of a wise parliament to purge our 
schools ; that instead of learning vain fictions, and 
filthy stories, they may become acquainted with the 
word of God, and with books containing grave sayings, 
and tilings which may make them truly wise and use- 
ful in tiie world." But I presume little notice will 

• Ab hoc bonjc spei pucr appcUabar. 


be taken of such wishes as these. It is Avith despair 
that 1 mention them. 

Among the occasions for promoting religion in the 
scholars, one in the nvriling schools deserves peculiar 
notice. I have read of an atrocious sinner who was 
converted to God, by accidentally reading the follow- 
ing sentence of Austin written in a window : "He, 
who has promised pardon to the penitent sinner, has 
not promised repentance to the presumptuous one." 
Who can tell Avhat good may be done to the young 
scholar by a sentence in his copy-book ? Let their 
copies be composed of sentences worthy to be had in 
everlasting remembrance- — of sentences which shall 
contain the brightest maxims of wisdom, worthy to be 
written on the fleshly tables of their hearts, to be gra- 
ven with the point of a diamond there. God has 
blessed such sentences to many scholars ; they have 
been useful to them all their days. 

In the grammar school, also, the scholars inay be 
directed, for their exercises, to turn into Latin such 
passages as may be useful for their instruction in the 
principles of Christianity, and furnish them with sup- 
plies from " the tower of David.'* Their letters also 
may be on subjects which may be friendly to the in- 
terests of virtue. 

I will add, it is very desirable to manage the dis' 
ci/ili7ie of the school by means of rewards, rather 
than of punishments. Many methods of rewarding 
the diligent and deserving may be invented ; and a 
boy of an ingenious temper, by the expectation of re- 
ward,'^(ad palmx cursurus honores) will do his 
best. Vou esteem Quintillian. Hear him : " Use 
stripes sparingly ; rather, let the yoUth be stim- 
ulated by praise, and by the distinctions confer- 
red on his classmates."* If a fault must be punished, 
let instruction, both to the delinquent and to the 
spectator, accompany the correction. Let the odi- 
ous name of the sin which enforced the correction be 

* Cavcndum a pbigis, scd potius laude, aut aliorum prae 
latiop.c, urg-endus est pucr. 


declared ; and let nothing- be done in anger, but with 
every mark of tenderness and concern. 

Ajax Flajjeilifer may be read in the school ; he is 
not fit to be tiie master of it. Let it not be said of the 
boys, they were broiig-ht up in " the school of Tyran- 
nus." Pliny says, that bears are the better for beat- 
in,^ : More fit to have the management of bears than 
of ingenuous boys, are those masters who cannot give 
a bit of learning without giving a blow with it. Send 
them to the tutors of the famous Lithuanian school at 
Samourgan. The harsh Orbi!ian way of treating 
children, too commonly used in the schools, is a 
dreadful curse of God on our miserable offspring, who 
are born "children of wrath." It is boa^jted sometimes 
of a schoolmaster, that such a brave man had iiis edu- 
cation under him ; but it is never said, how many, 
who might have been brave men, have been ruined 
by him ; how many brave wits have been dispirited, 
confounded, murdered by his barbarous w^ay of man- 
aging them. 


V/e have already proposed to the Pastors of 
Churches various ways of doini^ good ; we shall now 
lay before the Churches themselves some proposals 
of objects, in which they may do well to join their 

Days OF Prayer, occasionaJIy observed, for the 
express purpose of obtaining the sanctifying influ- 
ences of the Spirit of God on the rising generation, 
have had a marvellous elr.cacy in producing a religious 
posterity in the land, and " a seed accounted to the 
Lord for a generation.'* Such an acknowledgment 
of the necessity and excellency of supernatural grace 
would be a very probable preparative and introduction 
to the communication of it. And when the children 
see their parents thus earnestly seeking the grace of 
God for them, it would have a natural teiadency to 
awaken them to an earnest seeking of it for them- 
selves. The sermons also preached by the minis- 


tcrs on such solemn occasions, would, probably, lift 
very awakening ones. That this Proposal has been* 
so little attended to, is lamentable and remarkable : 
but, " They all slumbered and slept." 

There is another Proposal v, hich has been ten- 
dered to all our churches, and regarded by some of 
them : 

That the several churches, having in sn instrument 
proper for the purpose, made a catalogue of such 
things as have indisputably been found amiss among 
them, do with all seriousness and solemnity pa^s their 
votes. That they account such things to be very offen- 
sive evils, and that renouncing all dependence on their 
own strength, to avoid such evils, they humbly im- 
plore the help of divine grace, to assist them in 
watching against the said evils both in themselves and 
in one another : And that the communicants resolve, 
frequently to reflect upon these their acknowledg- 
ments and protestations, as perpetual monitors to 
them, to prevent the miscarriages by which too ma- 
ny professors are so easily overtaken. 

It has been considered, that such humble recogni- 
tions of duty will not only be accepted by our God, 
as declarations for him, upon which he will declare for 
us ; but also, that they are the way of the new cove- 
nant, for obtaining assistance to perform our duty. 

A particular church may be an illustrious pillar of 
the truth, by considering what important truths may 
call for special, signal, open testimonies ; and they 
may excite their pastors to the composing of such 
testimonies, and likewise assist them in the publica- 
tion of them. It is probable that God would accom- 
pany such testimonies with a marvellaus efficacy to 
suppress growing errors and evils. A proposal of 
this nature may be worthy of some consideration. 

1. It were desirable that every particular church 
should be furnished with a stock, that may be a con- 
stant and ready fund for the propagation of religion ; 
and that every minister would use his best endeav- 
ours, both by his own contribution, according to his 
ability, and by applying to well-disposed persons un- 
der his i)iflueucC|^ to increase the stock, either in the 


way of public collections made at certain periods, or in 
that of more private and occasional communications. 

2. This evangelical treasury may be lodged in the 
hands of the deacons of the respective churches in 
which it is collected ; who are to keep exact accounts 
of the receipts and disbursements ; and let nothing 
be drawn from it, without the knowledge and consent 
of the churcli to which it belong?. 

3. The first and main intention of this evan- 
gelical treasury is to be, the propagation of religion ; 
and therefore, Avhen any attempts of usefulness are to 
be made on unevangelised places, the neighbouring 
ministers may consult each of the churches, what pro- 
portion they may allow out of their evangelical treasu- 
ry, towards the support of so noble an undertaking. 

4. This evangelical treasury may be applied to oth- 
er pious uses, and especially to such as any particular 
church may think fit, for the service of religion in 
their own vicinity : Such as the sending of Bibles and 
catechisms to be dispersed among the poor, where it 
may be thought necessary. Likewise, giving assist- 
ance to new congregations, in their first attempts to 
build meeting-houses for the public worship of God 
with scriptural purity. 

Query — Our churches have their sacramental col- 
lections, and it is not fit indeed that they should be 
without them. The primitive Christians did the 
same : Justin Martyr informs us of the " collections," 
and Tertullian of the " gifts of piety,'* which were 
made on such occasions. But would notour churches 
do well to augment their liberality in their grateful 
and joyful collections at the table of the Lord, and to 
resolve that what is naw collected shall be. part of 
their evangelical treasury ; not only for the supply of 
the table and the relief of the poor, bui also for such 
other services to the kingdom of God as they may, 
from time to time, find occasion to countenance ? 


From ecclesiastical civcumstances, which, in such 
a subject as the present, may with the utmost propri- 


cty claim the precedency, we will make a transition to 
POLITICAL. Now — " Touch the mountains, and they 
Avill smoke 1'* O when shall wisdom visit princes 
and nohles, and all the judp;es of the earth, and in- 
spire them to preserve the due lustre of their charac- 
ter, by a desire to do good on the earth, and a study 
to glorify the God of heaven ! The opportunities to 
do good, which rulers possess, are so evident, so nu- 
merous, and so extensive, that the person who ad- 
dresses them, cannot but be overwhelmed with some 
confusion of thought, scarcely knowing where to be- 
gin, when to conclude, or how to assign a fit order to 
his addresses. Indeed, the very definition of govern- 
ment is, " A care for the safety of others.*' Sirs, 
from whom have you received this power ? " You 
could have no power at all, except it were given you 
from above." Certainly what is thus received from 
God should be employed for God. " Be wise now, 
tlierefore, O ye kings ; be instructed, ye judges of 
the earth : serve the Lord with fear," lest you forget 
and offend him who has made you what you are. Kiss 
the feet of the Son of God, lest he be displeased at the 
neglect of your duty. Do not kindle the wrath of 
him, who is " the blessed and only Potentate, the King 
of Kings, and Lord of Lords." What is the name of 
a magistrate ? The name which he that made him 
has given him is, " tl»e minister of God for good." 
His empty nan^e will produce a sad crime, if he do 
not set liiniself to " do good," as far as ever he can 
extend his influence. Is he a vicegerent for Ciod, 
and shall he do nothing for God ? Gross absurdity ! 
black ingratitude 1 Is he one of those whom tiie 
word of God has called gods ? Gods who do no good, 
are not worthy of that honouralile appellation, but 
ar.other name, too horrible to be mentioned, belongs 
to them : such rulers we may call gods " that have 
mouth's, but they speak not ; eyes, but they see not ; 
noses, but they smell not ; and hands, but they handle 
not 1" Government is called, " The ordinance of 
God ;" and as the administi'ation of it is to avoid 
those illegalities which would render it no other than 
a violation of tl:e ordinance ; so it should vigorously 


pursue that noble and blessed end for which it is de- 
signed — the good ot" mank" nd. Unworthy of all their 
other flourishing titles are those rulers who are not 
chiefly ambitious to be entitled benefactors. The 
greatest monarch in Christendom, one who by com- 
putation has fourscore millions of subjects, and whom 
the scripture styles, " The head over many coun- 
tries," is in the sacred prophecies called " A vile per- 
son :" and such indeed is the character of every 
magistrate who does not aim to do good in the world. 
Rulers who m.ake no other use of their superior 
station than to swagger over their neighbours, com- 
mand their obsequious flatteries, enrich themselves 
with their spoils, and then wallow in sensual and bru-. 
tal pleasures, are the basest of men. From a sense 
of this, the Venetians, th.ough they allow concubines, 
yet never employ a tradesman whom they observe to, 
be excessively addicted to sensual gratifications ; es- 
teeming such a character a mere cypher. Because a- 
wretched world will continue averse to the kingdom 
of the glorious and only Saviour, and say of our Im- 
manuel, " We will not have this man to reign, over 
us ;" it is therefore very much put into the. hands o£ 
such selfish, sensual, and wicked rulers. While the 
deserved curse of God remains, upon an impious and 
infatuated world, but few rulers will be found who 
will seriously and strenously devise its good, and seek 
to be blessings to it. Many, alas ! there are, whose 
lives are not worthy of a prayer, nor their deaths of a 
.tear. Athanasius has well answered the question, 
Whence is it that such worthless and wicked men 
get- into authority ? "It is," says he, "because the 
people are wicked, and must be punished with, men 
after their own hearts." Thus, when a Phocas was 
made emperor, a religious man complaining to 
Heaven, " Why hast thou made this man emperor ?" 
was answered, " I could not find a worse." Evil 
rulers are well reckoned by the historian, among the 
effects " of divine vengeance :" they may go into the 
catalogue with the sword, the pestilence, and fire. 
One man may be worse than all three. Such bring 
I 2 


Up the rear in the train of tiie " pale horst" — " the 
beasts of the earth." 

" O our God, our God, when will thy compassions 
to a miserable world appear in bestowing upon it good 
rulers, able men, men of truth, fearing God, and hat- 
ing covetousness ! O that the time were come, when 
there shall be a ruler over men, the Just One, thy Je- 
sus, ruling in the fear of God ; he shall be as the light 
of the morning, when the sun riseth ; under him the 
mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the lit- 
tle hills by righteousness. Hasten it in thy good time, 
O Lord 1 How long, O Lord, lioly and true, dost thou 
not judge, and make the kingdoms of this world, thy 
own, and remove them that corrupt the earth, and in 
a great chain bind up him who pretends that the king- 
doms of the world are his, and those who are the rulers 
of the darkness of this world 1" 

All you that love God, add your amen, to hasten 
the coming of this day of God. 

In the meantime it cannot be expressed how much 
good may be done by the chief magistrate of a country 
who will make the '^ doing of good" his chief inten- 
tion : witness a Constanline, a Theodosius, or a 
Gratian. The first of these, notwithstanding the vast 
cares of the empire to engage his time, yet would 
every day, at stated hours, retire to his closet, and on 
his knees offer up his prayers to the God of glory. 
And that he might recommend this duty to the 
world, this admirable emperor caused his image on all 
his gold coins, and his pictures and statues, to be made 
in a praying posture, with his hands extended, and his 
^yes lifted up to heaven. O imperial piety ! to be- 
hold such a prince thus publicly espousing the cause 
cf religion, one would think >vere enough to convert 
a world ! It would be so, if it were not for the dread- 
ful energies of one, who is become by the wrath of 
God, '• The prince of this world 1" The virtuous ex- 
ample of such a monarch as we have just described 
is almost enough to reform whole nations : it carries 
with it irresistible charms, by which the whole world 
is attracted and won upon. A prince exemplary for 
pif;iy, like the sun shining in his meridian strength, 


sheds the rays of heaven with a most penetrating force 
upon the people, " rejoicing under his wings.'* Such 
an instance is now uncommon ; but it will not be so in 
the approaching age, when the " kings of the earth 
shall bring their glory and honour" into the holy city, 
A little piety in princes makes a glaring show ; the 
eyes of their subjects are dazzled, and their minds 
ravished with it. What then would be done by a de- 
gree of piety in them, that should bear a proportion to 
the degree of their dignity, and if their piety were as 
much above that of other men as their station ? Roll 
on, ye ages, to bring about such admirable spectacles ! 

What a vast influence migl.t such princes have on 
the reformation of the world, and consequently on its 
felicity, by dispensing preferments and employmentsto 
none but such as were recommended to them by their 
virtue I If good men generally were put into com- 
missions, and none but such made commanders at sea, 
or on shore, what a great change for the better would 
the world immediately be blessed with ! I will beg 
leave to say that it would be a most comprehensive 
service to a nation to get them unfettered from any 
test that may render honest and faithful men incapable 
of serving them. And I will take the liberty of say- 
ing, that displacing a few officers^ on account of their 
vicious character, M'ould do far more to improve the 
state of a depraved and afflicted nation, than a thou- 
sand firoclamations against vice, not followed with such 

Good laws are important engines to prevent much 
evil ; indeed, they reach none without doing some 
good to them : all, therefore, who have any concern 
in the legislation, should be active in promotir\g such 
laws as may prove of permanent advantage. The 
representatives of a people will do well to inquire, 
" Wliat is there still defective in our laws, leaving the 
iniquities or the necessities of men unprovided 
against ?" and " What further laws may be proposed, 
to advance the reign of righteousness and holiness ?'* 
There have been lav/s, (and sometimes none of the 
best) which have rendered tlie names of their authors 
immortal : but the remembrance of '' the man, who 
first proposed a good laii'j" is far more honourable than 


a statue erected to his memory. But, Sirs, if your 
fellow men forget such an action, it will not fail of a 
recompense in God's remembrance, or your own. 
You know whose prayer it M'as — " Think upon me, 
my God, for good, according to all that I. have done 
for this people." 

Magistrates'- may do incredible good by countenanc- 
ing worthy ministers. To settle and support such 
'^ men of God" in a place, is to become, 1 may say, 
the grandfathers of all the good which those men do- 
in the place. Their consultations and combinations- 
with able, faithful, zealous ministers, may produce- 
better effects than any astrologer ever foretold of the 
iTiost happy conjunction. When Moses and Aaron- 
unite to do good, what cannot they effect ? Queen 
Elizabeth admired the happiness of Suffolk, in her 
progress through the country, where she observed a 
remarkably good understanding to subsist between 
virtuous magistrates and faithful ministers. 

Briefly : We will observe a decorum in our pro- 
posals, and not suppose inattention or incapacity in the 
persons to whom we offer them. It shall only be 
proposed, that, since magistrates are usually men of. 
abilities, they would sometimes retire to a serious con- 
templation on that generous question, " What good 
inay I do in the world :" and to observe what they 
are themselves able to invent, (assisted by the implored 
^race of Heaven) as part of that good which they are^ 
to perform in " serving their generation." 

1 mistake if old Theognis* had not a maxim, which 
ought never to be forgotten, "when the administra- 
tion of affairs is placed in the hands of men, proud of 
command, and devoted to their own private emolu- 
ment, depend upon it the people will soon become a 
miserable people." I propose that this maxim bc: 
carefully remembered, and this mischief avoided. 

I add one thing more — '* Thinkest thou this, O 
man that judgest, that thou shalt escape the judgment 

• An ancient Greek poet of Megara in Achaia. lie 
flourished about 144 years B. C. A moral work of his is ex- 
tant, contuining a summary of precepts, &.c. 


of God ?" Let the judges of the people remember that 
God will one day bring them into judgment.* O that 
rulers would realize this to themselves — that they 
must give an account to God of the administration of 
their government. Sirs, the great God, before whom 
the greatest .of you all is but a worm, will demand of 
you, " Whether you were faithful in the discharge of 
your ofllce ? What you did for his kingdom in your 
office? Whether you did what you was able that the 
v.'orld might be the better for you r" If you would 
frequently take this subject into your consideration, 
it could not but stimulate you to the performance of 
many actions, which would be " no grief of heart" to 
you, another day. He was one of the best rulers in 
the world, who thus expressed himself, " What shall 
I do when God riseth up ; and when he shall visit, 
what shall I answer him r" Even Abubeker, the 
successor of Mahomet, when his people expostulated, 
with him for walking on foot, when he reviewed his 
army, said, " I shall find my account with God for 
these steps." He has less Christianity than a Ma- 
hometan, who is utterly unmindful of the account he 
must give to God for the steps v;hich he takes. 

Kow prosperously did the affairs of Neo-Cresaria 
proceed, when Basil, who resided there, could give 
this account of the governor, " He was a most exact 
observer of jfistice ; yet very courteous, obliging, 
and easy of access to the oppresr.ed. He was equally 
at leisure to receive the rich and the poor ; but all 
wicked men were afraid of him. He utterly abhorred 
the taking of a bribe ; and his design was, in brief, to 
raise Christianity to its primitive dignity." A Ma- 
hometan captain-general, whose name was Caled, 
once said to a Christian, " It does not at all become 
men in eminent stations, to deal deceitfully, and 
descend to tricks." It is a miserable thing, indeed, 
when Christians, in eminent stations, will do such 
things I 

* Jiulex nuper eram ; jam judicor. I was but lately a 
jud^'-e ; now i am ut the hxr. 



The Physician enjoys many opportunities of do- 
ing good, and so rendering himself, *' a beloved phy- 
sician ;" ibr this purpose we shall offer our advice. 

Zaccuth, the Portuguese, 'a ho, amopg many other 
works, composed "A history of the iiaost eminent 
physicians," after he was settled m Amsterdam, sub- 
mitted to circumcision, and thereby evinced, that for 
the thirty preceding years of his life, he had only dis- 
sembled Christianity at Lisbon ; yct» because he was 
very charitable to poor patients, he was highly es- 
teemed : we now apply ourselves to those whose 
love to Christianity is, we hope, " without dissimula- 
tion." From them may be expected a charity and a 
usefulness, which may entitle them to a remembrance 
in a better history than that of Zccutus Luaitanus ; in 
that " book of life," in which a name will be deemed 
far more valuable than any which are recorded in the 
'' Vitx Illustrium Medicorum"-— The lives of il- 
Justrious. physicians. *- 

By serious cind shining piety in your own example, 
you will bear a glorious testimony to the cause of God 
and religion. You will glorify the God of nature, and 
the only Saviour. Your acqiuuntance with nature 
will indeed be your condemnation, if you do it not. 
Nothing is so uymatiiral as to be irreligious. " Religio 
INIedici," (the religion of the physician) has the least 
reason of any under heaven to be an " irreligion." 
They have acted the most unreasonable part, who 
have given occasion for that complaint of phristians, 
^^Vy'here there arc three physicians, there aro- three 
ath\iists."t it is sad to reflect, that when we read 
about the state oi' the Nc/i/iaim in the other world, the 
jfhysicians are, by so uifiiy translators, carried into it. 
It is sad to refi^ct, that the Jews should imagine they 
have reason to say, "The best of the physicians go to 
IjcU."^ For this severe sentence, they assign the fol- 

* By Peter CastelUnus. 

•}■ Ubi tres mcdici, tres atliei. 

\ Optimus inter medicos nd gchcnnam. 


lowing cause, — *"' for he is not warned by diseases ; he 
■fares sumptuously, and humbles not his heart before 
God. Sometimes he is even accessary to the death of 
men, when he neglects the poor, whom he might 
c\ire."* A sad story, if it be true ! 

Gentlemen, you will never account yourselves such 
adepts as to be at a stand in your studies, and make no 
further progress in your inquiries into the nature of 
diseases and their remedies. *' A physician arrived 
at his full growth" looks dangerously and ominously. 
Had the world gone on v/ith merely an Jiscula/iins; 
furnished only with a goat whose milk wvis phannacij^ 
and a dog, whose tongue was surgery^ we had been in 
a miserable state. You will be diligent, studious, in- 
quisitive ; and continue to read much, to think more, 
and to pray most of all : and be solicitous to invent 
and dispense something very considerable for the good 
of mankind, which none before you had discovered : 
be solicitous to make some addition to the treasures of 
your noble profession. To obtain the honour of being 
a Sydenhain may not be in your power ;t yet " to do 
something" is a laudable ambition. 

By the benefit they expect from you, and by the 
charms of your polite education and manners, you are 
sometimes introduced into the familiar acquaintance 
of great men ; persons of the first quality entertain 
you with freedom and friendship : probably you be** 
come, under the oath af Hippocrates, a kind of con- 
fessors to them, (indeed for several ages, the confessors 
were usually the physicians of the people.) What an 
advantage does this furnish you with for doing good ! 
The poor Jews, both in the east and west parts of the 
world, have procured many advantages by means of 
their countrymen, who have risen to be physicians to 
the princes of the countries in which they resided* 
Sirs, your permission " to feel the pulse" of eminent 

• Non enim rnctuit a morbis ; vescltiir lautc, nee confrln- 
git cor suum Deo ; aliquando etirim interficit homines, q\ian« 
do paupercs quos posset, non sanat. 

\ Non cuivis homin? conting-it. 


persons may enable you to promote many a good 
■vvork : you need not be told ^vllat : >ou Avill soon per- 
ceive excellent methods, if you will only deliberate 
upon it : *' What proposals may I make to my patient, 
by attending to which, he may do t^ood in the world ?'* 
If you read what Gregory Nazianzcn writes of his 
brother Cxsarius, a famous and respectable physician, 
you will doubtless find your desires excited to act in 
tins manner. You know how ready the sick are to 
hear of good proposals ; and how seasonable it is to 
urge such upon them, when the commencement of 
recovery from sickness calls for their gratitude to the 
God of their health. And for persons also who are 
in health, you may find, " Seasonable times to drop a 

Physicians are frequently men of universal learn- 
ing : they have sufficient ability, and sometimes op- 
portunity to write books on a vast variety of subjects, 
whereby knowledge and virtue m.ay be greatly ad- 
vanced in the world. The late Epic poems of a 
Blackmore, and Cosmologia Sacra of a Grew, are re- 
cent examples : mankind is much indebted to those 
learned physicians ; their names are imm.ortalised ; 
they need no statues, nor need they mind the envy of 
a modern Theophrastus. A catalogue of books writ- 
ten by learned physicians, on various subjects, besides 
those of their own profession, would in itself almost 
make a volume. In the great army of learned physi- 
cians who have published their labours on the *' word 
which the Lord lias given," and for the s^rvice of his 
church, and of the world, I humbly move, that the in- 
couiparabie Zuinger and Ge: rcr may ippet^r as ficld- 
officers. A city Tuuris were too mean a presjut for 
physicians of such distinguished merit. 1 propose 
them to imitation, that many may follow such exam- 
ples. You know that Treher has brought on his thea- 
tre, nearly five hundred famous physicians, with some 
account of their lives and works ; there are vciy few 
Britons among them, and none at all that lived to the 
end of the former century. What a vast addition 

• Mollisslroji tempore fandl. 


liilglU there be since made to that '• list of honour," 
from the British nations I I^.lay an cxcelknt ambi- 
tion to be enrolled in it, excite those who have ability, 
to '' c]o worthily I" 

Physicians have innumerable opportunities to assist 
the poor, and to give them advice gratis. It was a 
noble saying' of Cicero, " A man cannot have better 
fortune than to be able, nor a belter temper than to be 
Avilling, to save many."* But I will set before you a 
higher consideration than that, with which a pagan 
Kirker was ever acquainted. Sirs, the more charity, 
compassion, and condescension with which you treat 
the poor, the nearer will you approach to the greatest 
and highest of all glories ; — an imitation of your ador- 
able Saviour. You will readily say, " Why should I 
esteem that mean, which reflected honour on Christ ?"t 
In comparison oi this consolation, it will be a small 
thing to say to you, that your coming among the 
poor, will be to them like the descent of the Angel of 
Bethesda. We will not presume to prescribe to you 
what good you shall do to the poor ; but beg leave to 
enter an objection against your taking any fees on the 
Lord's day ; because the time is not yours, but the 

When we consider how much the lives of men 
are in the hands of God ; what a dependence we Lave 
on the God of our health, for our cure when we have 
lost it ; what strong and remarkable proofs we have 
had of angels, by their communications cr operations, 
contributing to the cure of the diseases with which 
mortals have been oppressed ; and tiie marvellous ef- 
ficacy of prayer for the recovery of a sick brother who 
has not sinned a " sin unto death :'^— what better tiling 
can be recommended to a physician, who desires to 
*' do good," than this — to be a man of prayer. In 
your daily and secret prayer, carry every one of 
your patients as you would your own children 
to the glorious Lord our healer, for his healing 

* Nil habet fortuna melias, quam ut possls, ncqiie natura 
prjest.intius, quam ut vclis, ser^•a^e plures. 

\ Qjiod decuit Christum, cur mihi turpe putcm ? 


mercies : place them, as far as your prayers v.lll 
do it, under the beams of the ^* Sun of Kighteoiis- 
ncssV And as any new case of your patients may 
occur, especially if there be any difficulty in it, why 
should you not make your particular and solicitous 
application to Heaven for direction ? — " O Lord, I 
know that the way of man is not in himself, nor is it in 
man that walketh to direct his steps ; nor in man that 
hcaleth to perform his cures,'* Hippocrates advised 
physicians, when they visited their patients, to consid- 
er whether there might not be something- supernatural 
in the disease : " Divinum C|uiddam in morbo." Tru- 
ly, in some sense, this is always the case, and 
should be so considered. What a heavenly life might 
you lead, if your profession were carried on with as 
many visits to Heaven, as you pay to your patients ! 
One Jacob Tzaphalon, a famous Jew of the former 
century, published at Venice, a book entitled, " Pre- 
cious stones.'* There are several prayers in the 
book, and among them a pretty long or.e, " For phy- 
sicians when they go to visit their patvents.'* Tha't 
expression of the Psalmist, " Thou hast made me 
wiser than mine enemies," may be read, '* Thou hast 
made me wise from mine enemies.'* " We ought to 
learn, even from an enemy ; Fas est, et ab hoste.*' 
Surely Christianity will not, in her devotions, fall short 
of Judaism i 

We read that " Heaviners in tlie heart of man 
makelh it stoop ; but a good word maketh it glad. A 
cheerful heart doeth good like a medicine ; but a 
broken spirit drieth up the bones." Baglivi is not the 
only physician who has made the observation, " That 
a great many of our diseases, either arise from a 
weight of cares lying on the minds of men, or are 
thereliy increased. Some diseases that seem incura- 
ble arc easily cured by agreeable conversation. Dis- 
orders of the mind first bring disei£ses on the stom- 
ach ; and so the whole mass of blood gradually be- 
comes infected : and as long as the mental cause con- 
tinues, the diseases may indeed change their forms, 
but they rarely quit the patients." Tranquillity of 
mind will do wonderful things towards the relief of 


bodily maLidies. It is not without reason that lios- 
iiian, in his dissertation, " D^s Moyens de Vivre 
Long'-temps," insists on tranquillity of mind as the 
chief among the "" means to promote lonii^evity ;" and 
Jiaysj that this is the meaning of that passage ; '' The 
fear of the Lord tendeth to life." They who have 
practised the " art of curing by expectation" have 
made experiments of Avhat the mind will do towards 
the cure of the body: this maybe also known by 
practising the "art of consolation." I propose then, 
that the physician endeavour to find out, by all possi- 
ble ingenuity of conversation, what matter of anxiety 
there may have been upon the mind of th.e patient, 
that has rendered his life burdensome. Having dis- 
covered the burden, use all possible ways to take it 
oft*. Offer him such thoughts as may. be the best 
anodynes for his distressed mind ; especially the 
" right thoughts of the righteous," and the means of 
obtaining composure of mind upon religious princi- 
ples. Give him a prospect, if you can, of some de- 
liverance from his distresses, or some abatement of 
them. Excite in him as pleasing thoughts as possi- 
ble : scatter the clouds, and remove the loads with 
which his mind is perplexed: especially by repre- 
senting and magnifying the mercy of God in Christ 
to him. It is possible, Sir, that in this way also, you 
may find abundant opportunities of usefulness, by do- 
ing yourself, or by bringing others to do kindness to 
the miserable. 

What should hinder you from considering the snuh 
of your patients ; th^r spiritual health ; what they 
have done, and vv^hat they have to do, that they may 
be on good terms with Heaven ! You may take occa- 
sion, from their natural disorders, to affect your own 
mind and theirs also, with a sense of cur correspond- 
ing moral ones. You may mske your conversation 
with them, a vehicle for conveying such admonitions of 
piety, as may be most needful for them : that they may 
be found neither unprepared for death, nor untiiank- 
ful and unfruitful, if their lives should be prolonged. 
This you may do, without any intrusion on the office 
of the minister : on the conirarvj you may at the 


same time do a very good office for tlie minister, as 
well as for the patient ; and may inform the minis- 
ter, when, where, and how he may be very servicea- 
ble amoni^ the miserable, with whose cases he might 
otherwise remain unacquainted. The " art of heal- 
ing" was, you know, first brought into a system, by 
men who had the '* care of souls :'* and I know not 
•why they who profess that noble " art" should wholly 
cast off that " care.'* Perhaps you remember to 
have read of a king who was also a physician, (for 
other crowned heads, besides Mithridates, Hadrianus, 
and ConstantiiHis Pogonatus have been so,) and who 
gave this reason why the Greeks had diseases among 
them which remained so much uncured ; " Because 
they neglected their souls, the chief thing of all»" 
For my part, I know not why the physician should 
wholly neglect the souls of his patients. 

I will not detain you much longer. You are not 
ignorant, that medicine once was, and in many une- 
vangelised parts of the world is still esteemed a thing 
horribly jnagical. Celsus relates, as a part of the 
Egyptian philosophy current in his time, that the 
body of man was divided into thirty -six parts, each of 
which v/as the peculiar cdlotment and possession of a 
djmon ; and this demon was invoked by the Magi to 
cure diseases of the part that belonged to him. Even 
in Galen*s time we find Egyptian Lcgerdemuiin * 
practised : he himself writes of it. From Egypt 
other countries became acquainted with this art : 
hence medicines were called /iharmaca.\ The Ori- 
ental nations had their Terapliim for the cure of dis- 
eases : hence the same Greek word signifies both to 
"Vv'orsliip and to cure ; and tiie " cure of diseases" is 
reckoned by Eusebius as one main article ol the Pagan 
theology. God used all proper means to prevent his^ 
people froin having any thing to do with such sort of 
men or of means. He recommended to them the 
study of nature, and of natural remedies. Thus, after 
the example of Solomon, they studied botaiiy, and haU 

* Presligiatiiras .Cgyptias. 

\ PaaruKicosi, In Greek, !)uirig^ a sorcerer. 


their apotliecaries, who were to furnish them with 
materials for medicines. The princes of Judea had, 
us Pliny informs us, their medicinal gardens. Proba- 
bly Naboth's vineyard might have such a one in it ; 
and this might be the reason why Ahab so coveted it. 
Joram, the son of Ahab, repaired thither to be cured 
of his wounds. An excellent Physician, in a late 
composition with which he has favoured the public, 
supposes that the sin of Asa, when he " sought not 
unto the Lord, but unto the physicians," was both 
occasioned and aggravated by this circumstance, that 
there were at that time none but magical physicians. 
But others have thought that some of Asa's ancestors 
had been medically disposed, and were students in the 
art of healing. Trom hence might come the name of 
Asa, which in Clialdee, means physician. On this 
account the king might have the greater esteem for 
those who were skilled in medicine, and might put 
such a confidence in them as to neglect the glorious 
God, the only author and giver of health. What I 
aim at in this paragraph i^, to encourage a conduct 
the reverse of all tliis ; that my honourable Asa, 
(such the son of Sirach iias taught me to call him) 
would himself continually go to God our Saviour, and 
as far as possible bring all his patients to him also. 

Finally — An industrious and ingenious gentleman of 
your profession has a passage in his Pharmacopceia 
Buteana, which I will here insert, because very many 
of you can speak the same language ; and by insert- 
ing it, I hope to increase the number. 

*' I know no poor creature that ever came to me, in 
the whole course of my practice, that once went from 
me, without my desired help, gratis. And 1 have 
accounted the restoration of such a poor and wretch- 
ed creature, a greater blessing to me, than if I had ' 
procured the wealth of both the Indies. 1 cannot so 
well express myself concerning this matter, as 1 can 
conceive it ; but I am sure 1 should have been more 
pleased, and had a greater satisfaction in seeing such 
a helpless creature restored to his desired health, than * 
if I had found a very valuable treasure. As Lean 
K 2 


never repent of the good v/hich I have done this waj', 
so I resolve to continue the same practice, for I cer- 
tainly know that I have had the signal blessing of God 
attending my endeavours." 


" I WILL get me unto the rich mp:n, and will speak 
unto them," for they will know the ways to " do 
good," and will think what they shall be able to say 
when they come into the judgment of their God. A 
person of quality, quoting that passage, " The desire 
of a man is his kindness," invited me so to read it, 
" The only desirable thing in a man is his goodness." 
How happy would the world be, if every person of 
quality were to become of this persuasion^! It is an 
article in my conmiission, " Charge them that are 
rich in this world, that they do good, that they be rich 
in good works, ready to distribute, willing to conimvi- 
nicate." In pursuance thereof, I will remind rich 
men of the opportunities to " do good," with which 
God, who gives power to get wealth, has favoured and 
enriched them. It is a very good account that has 
been sometimes given of a good man ; ''As to the 
wealth of this v/orld, he knew no good in it, but the 
doing of good with it." Yea, those men who have 
had very little goodness in them, yet in describing 
"the manners of the age," in which perhaps they 
themselves have had too deep a shai'e, have seen oc- 
casion to subscribe and publish this prime dictate of 
reason ; " We are none the better for any thing, bare- 
ly for the propriety's sake ; but it is the application of 
it that gives every thing its value. Whoever buries 
his talent, betrays a sacred trust, and defrauds those 
"who stand in need of it." Sirs, you cannot but ac- 
knowledge that it is the sovereign God who has be- 
stowed upon you the riches which distinguish you. 
A devil himself, when he saw a rich man, could not but 
make this acknowledgment to the God of heaven ; 
** Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his 
substance is increased in the land." It is also to be 
hgped, that you are not unmindful that the riches in 
your possession are some of the taknts of which you 


lYiust give an account to the glorious I^ord who has 
entrusted you with them ; and that you will give 
your account with grief, and not with joy, if it should 
be fovmd that all your property has been laid out to 
gratify the appetites of the flesh, and little or nothing 
of it consecrated to the service of God, and of his 
kingdom in the world. It was said to the priests of 
old, when the servants were assigned them ; " Unto 
you they are given as a gift for the Lord.'* This 
may be said of all our estates : what God gives us is 
not given us for ourselves, but " for the Lord." 
*' When God's gifts to us are multiplied, our obliga- 
tions to give are multiplied."* Indeed there is hardly 
any professor of Christianity so vicious that he will not 
confess that all his property is to be used for honest 
purposes, and part of it for pious ones. If any plead 
their poverty to excuse and exempt them from doing 
any thing this way : O thou poor widow with thy 
two mites, eternised in the history of the gospel, 
thou shalt " rise up in the judgment with this gener- 
ation, and shall condemn it ;" and let them also know, 
that they take a course to condemn and confin& them- 
selves to eternal fioverty. 

But the main question isi what proportion of a 
man's income is to be devoted to pious uses ? And 
now, let it not seem a " hard saying," if I tell you 
that a tenth pari is the least that you can bring under 
a more solemn dedication to the Lord ; for whom, in 
one sense, we are to lay out our all. A farthing less 
would make an enlightened and considerate chris- 
tian suspicious of his incurring the danger of sacri- 
lege. But tlie pious uses for which your tenths are 
thus challenged, I do not intend only the mainte- 
nance of the evangelical ministry, but also the relief 
of the miserable, whom our merciful Saviour has 
made the receivers of his rents ; together with all 
that is to be more directly done for the preserving and 
promoting of piety in the world. Since there is a 
part of every man's revenues due to the glorioua 
Lord, and to purposes of piety, it is not fit that the dc- 

* Cum crescunt dona, crescunt etiam rationes dononim. 


termination of r.^hat part it must be, should be left to 
such hearts as ours. My friend, thou hast, it may be, 
too high an opinion of thy own wisdom and goodness, 
if nothing but thy own carnal heart is to determine 
■what proportion of thy revenues are to be laid out for 
Him, whom thou art so ready to forget when he has 
filled thee. But if the Lord himself, to whom thou 
art but a steward, has fixed on a)»y part of our usual 
Jncome for himself, as it is most reasonable that he 
should have the fixing of it, certainly a tenth will be 
found the least that he has c.dled for, A tenth is the 
least part in the first division of numbers, which is 
that of units. Grotius remarks it, as the founda- 
tion of the laws of tithes : " Almost all nations 
reckon by tens."* It is but reasonable, and the 
very light of nature will declare for it, that the great 
God, Avho with a seventh day is ov.ned as the Creator, 
should with a tenth part be acknowledged as the pos- 
sessor of all things. We do not allow hiin so much 
as the ha^t^ if we w ithhold a tenth from him : less 
than that, is less than what all nations make the hast. 
Certainly to withhold this, is to withhold more than 
is proper. Sirs, you know the tendency of tins. 
Long before the Mosaic dispensation of the law^, w'e 
iind that this was Jacob's vow : " The Lord shall be 
my God, and of all that thou shalt give me, I will 
surely give the tenth unto thee." It seems we do 
not sufficiently declare that "the Lord is our God," 
if we do not give a tenth to him. And how can we 
approve ourselves "Israelites indeed,** if we slight 
Euch an example as that of our father Jacob. 1 will 
tiscend a little higher. In one text we read that our 
fatlier Abraham, " gave Melchisedek the tenth of. 
nil." In another text we read of our Saviour Jesus, 
*' Thou art a priest forever after the order of Mel-. 
chisedek." From hence I form this conclusion : 
the rights of Melchisedek belong to our Jesus, the 
royal high priest now officiating for us in the heavens. 
The tenths were the rights of Melchisedek'; there- 

* Numerus denarius g-cntibus ferme cunctis numerandi fi^ 
nis est. 


fore the tenths belong to our Jesus. I do in my con- 
science believe that this ari^umcnt cannot be answer- 
etl ; and the man who attempts it seems to darken 
the evidence of his being one of the true children of 

I now renew my appeal to the lii^-ht of nature : to 
nature thou shalt go I It is very certain that the Pa- 
gans used to d^ci}nate for sacred uses. Pliny tells us, 
that the Arabians did so. Xenophon informs us, that 
the Grecians had the same practice. You find the 
custom to be as ancient as the pen of Herodotus can 
make it. It is confirmed by Pausanias and Diodo- 
rus Siculus, and a whole army of authors besides 
Doughty, have related and asserted it. I will only 
introduce Festus, to speak for them all : " The an- 
cients offered to their gods the tenth of every thing."* 
Christian, wilt thou do less for thy God than the 
poor perishing pagans did for theirs ? " O, tell it 
not" — but this I will tell ; that they who have con- 
scientiously employed their tenths in pious uses, 
have usually been remarkably blessed in their estates, 
by the providence of God. The blessing has been 
sometimes delayed, with some trial of their patience : 
Not for any injustice in their hands ; their prayer 
has been '' pure." And their belief of the future 
stale has been sometimes tried, by their meeting with 
losses and disappointments. But then, their litth 
has been so blessed as to be still a comfietcncy ; and 
God has so favoured them with contentment, that it 
has yielded more than the abundance of many others. 
Very frequently too, they have been rewarded with 
remarkable success in their affairs, and increase of 
their property ; and even in this world have seen the 
fulfilment of those promises ; " Cast tl.y grain into 
the moist ground, and thou shalt find it after many 
days." " Honour the Lord with tliy substance ; so 
shall thy barns be filled with plenty." History has 
giren us may delightful examples of those who have 
had their drchnatiojis followed and rewarded by a sur- 
prising prosperity of their affairs. Obscure mechan- 

* Declma qnxque vcteres Diis suis offerbant. 


ics and l.usbandmcn have risen to estates, of wliich 
once they had not the most distant expectation. The 
txcc'Ilcin Gouge, in hisjreatise, eniitled, " The surest 
jind safest way of thriving," has collected some such 
examples. The Jewish proverb, ^' Decima, ut dives 
fias — Tithe, and be rich,*' would be oftener verified, 
if more frequently practised. '' Prove me now here- 
"with, saith the Lord of J^.osts, if 1 will not pour out a 
blessing upon you.'* 

But let the demand of " liberal things" gro\v 
upon you : a tenth 1 have called the icast ; for some it 
is much too little. Men of large incomes, who would 
not " sow to their flesh, and of the flesh reap cor- 
ruption," may and will often go beyond this propor- 
tion. Some rise to 2^ fifth ; and the religious countess 
of Warwick would not stop at any thing short of a 
tkinL Gentlemen of fortune, who arc my readers, 
"would perhaps excuse me if I were to carry them uo 
liigher than this, and to say nothing to them of a Jo- 
hannes Eleemosynarius, who annually made a dis- 
tribution of all to j)icus uses ; and having settled his 
affairs, said, " I bless God that I have now nothing left 
but my Lordand Master,Christ, whom 1 longtobe with, 
smd to whom 1 can now fly with unentangled wings.'* 
Yet I will mention to them the example of some 
eminent merchants, who having obtained moderate and 
competent estates, have resolved never to be richer. 
Tlity have carried on brisk and extensive trades, but 
whatever profits raised their incomes above the fixed 
sum, they have entirely dc: ,'oteci to pious uses. Were 
any of theni losers by this conduct ? Not one. 

The Christian emperor Tiberius II. was famous for 
bis religious bounties : his empre^is thought him even 
profuse in them. But he told that he should never 
Vant money so long as, in obedience to a glorious 
Christ, he should supply the necessities of tl.e poor, 
and abound in religious benevolence. Once, imme- 
diately alter he had made a liberal distribution, he 
unexpectedly found a mighty treasure, and at the 
Kame time tidings were brought to him of the death 
of a very rich man who had bequeathed to him all his 
weuhh. And men in tar humbler stations can relate 


very many and intercstinrj anecdotes of this nature, 
even from their own happy experience. I cannot 
forbear transcribin;^ some lines of my honoured 
Gouge on this occasion : 

" I am verily persuaded that there is scarcely any 
man who jjives to the poor proportionably to what 
God has bestowed on him ; but, if he observe the 
dealings of God's providence towards him, will iind the 
same doubled and redoubled upon him in temporal 
blessings. I dare challenge all the world to produce 
one instance, (or at least any considerable number of 
instances,) of a merciful man, whose charity has un- 
done him. On the contrary, as the more living vvdls 
are exhausted, tl'.e more freely they spring and How ; 
so the substance of charitable men frequently multi- 
plies in the very distribution : even as the live loaves 
and few iishes multiplied, while btir.g broken and dis- 
tributed, and as the widow's oil increased by being 
poured out^' 

I v/ill add a consideration v;hich, methinks, will act 
as a powerful motive upon the common feelings of 
human nature. Let rich men, who are not " rich 
towards God," especially s\ich as have no children of 
their own to make their heirs, consider the vile ingrat- 
itude with which their successors will treat them. 
Sirs, they will hardly allow you a tombstone ; but, wal- 
lowing in the wealth you have left them, and complain- 
ing that you left it no sooner, they will insult your 
memory and ridicule your economy and parsimony. 
How much wiser would it be for you to do good with 
your estates while you live, and at your death to dis- 
pose of them in a manner which may embalm your 
names to posterity, and be for your advantage in the 
world to which you arc going : That your souls may 
enjoy the ^ood of paradisaical reflections, at the same 
time that others are inheriting what you have left to 

I will only annex the compliment of a certain per- 
son to his friend, upon his accession to an estate : 
" Much good may it do you ; that is, much good 
may you do with it." 


I hope we are now ready for Frojicsah ; and that 
\ve shall set ourselves to " devise liberal tliin^^s." 

Gcndcwcn I To relieve tiie necessities of the poor is 
a thing acceptable to the compassionate God, who has 
Gjiven to you what he might hare given to thcni, and 
has given it to you that you might have the honour and 
pleasure of imparting it to them ; and who has said, 
*' He that hath pity uf/on tlie poor, lendeth unto the 
Lord," The more you regard the command and 
example of a glorious Christ in what you do this way, 
the more assurance you have that in the day of God 
you sh.ull joyfully hear him saying, *• You have done 
it unto me." And the more humble, silent, reserved 
modesty you express, concealing even from the left 
hand what is done with the right, the more you are 
assured of a gieat reward in the heavenly world. 
Such liberal men, it is observed, are generally long- 
lived men ; (" Gathering the fruit relieves the 
tree"*) and at last they pass from this into everlasting 


The true J.ady is one who feeds the poor, and re* 
lieves their indigence.! In the days of primitive 
Christianity, ladies of the first quality would seek out 
the sick, visit hospitals, see what help they wanted, 
and assist them with an admirable ah^crity. AVhat a 
" good report" have the mother and sister of Nazianzen 
obtained from his pen, for tlieir unwearied bounty to 
the poor ! Empresses themselves have stooped to re- 
lieve the miserable, and never appeared so truly great 
as when they thus stooped. 

A very proper season for your alms is, when you 
keep your days of prayer ; that your printers and 
your alms may go up together as a memorial be- 

* Fructiis llbcrat arborcm. 

I The following' is stipposedto be the ctymolog-y of the word 
Lady. It wris at first Lcafdian, from Leaf or Laf, which signi- 
fies a loaf of bread, and D'lan to serve. It was afterwards 
corrupted to Lafdy, and at leng-th to Lady. So that it appears, 
the original nicaiujjg" of the term implies one ivJio distributes 


fore the Lord. Verily, there are firayers in aims .* 
and, ^' Is not this the fast that I have chosen, saith 
the Lord." The expression of the beggar among 
the Jews was ; " Deserve something by me :'* among 
us it might be ; " Obtain something by me.'* 


There is a certain city, in which every house 
feas a box hanging by a chain, on which is written, 
" Remember the poor ;" and they seldom conclude 
a bargain without putting something into the box. 
The deacons have the key, and once a quarter go 
round the city, and take out the money. When that 
city was in imminent danger, a man of moderate 
character was heard to say, " That he was of opinion, 
God would preserve that city from being destroyed, 
if it were only for the great charity which its inhabi- 
tants express to the poor." It is the richest city 
of the richest country, for its size, that ever existed '. 
a city which is thought to spend, annually, in i^hari- 
tabie uses, more than all the revenues which the fine 
country of the grand duke of Tuscany brings into 
its arbitrary master. " The hands of the poor are 
the treasury-box of Christ."* 

When you dispense your alms to the poor, who 
know what it is to pray, you may oblige them to pray 
for you by name every day. It is an excellent tliirjg 
to have the blessing of those who have been ready to 
perish, thus coniing upon you. Observe here a sur- 
prising sense, in which you may be " praying always." 
You are so, even while you are sleeping, if those 
whom you have tiius obliged are praying for you. 
And now look for tlie accomplishment of that word : 
" lilessed is he that considereth the poor : the Lord 
will preserve him, and keep him alive, and he shall be 
blessed upon the earth." 

Very frequently your alms are dispersed among 
such persons as very much need admonitions of piety. 
Cannot you contrive to mingle a spiritual charity with 
your temporal bounty ? Perhaps you may discourse 
with them about the state of their souls, and may ob- 
* Manus pauperum est Christi gazoph; latiuna. 


tain from thein, (for which you have now a singular 
advantage) bonie tleclared resolutions to do what they 
ought to do. Or else you may convey to them little 
books, or tracts, which they will certainly promise to 
read, when you thus desire them. 

Charity to the souls of men is undoubtedly the 
highest, the noblest, and the most important charity. 
To furnish the poor with catechisms and Bibles, is to 
do for them an incalculable service. No one knows 
how much he may do by dispersing books of pi- 
ety, and by putting into the hands of mankind such 
treatises of divinity as may have a tendency to make 
them wiser or better. It was a noble action 
of some good men, who, a little while ago, were 
at the charge of printing thirty thousand of the 
** Alarm to the Unconverted," written by Joseph Ai- 
lein, to be given away to such as would promise to 
read it. A man of no great fortune Jias been known 
to give away without much trouble nearly a thousand 
books of piety, every year for many years togetlier. 
Who can tell, but that with the expense of less than a 
shilling, you may " convert a sinner from the error of 
his ways, and save a soul from death." A worse 
doom than to be " condemned to the mines" rests up- 
on that soul who liad rather hoard up his money than 
employ it on such a charity. 

He who supports the ofiice of the evangelical min- 
istry supports a good work, and performs one ; yea, 
in a secondary way, performs what is done by the skil- 
ful, faithful, and laborious minister. The servant of 
the Lord, who is encouraged by you, will do the more 
good for your assistance : and what you have done for 
liim, and in consideration of the glorious gospel 
preached by him, yoti have done for a glorious Christ ; 
and you shall " receive a prophet's reward." Luther 
said ; " What you give to scholars, you give to God 
himself."* This is still more true, when the schol- 
ars are become godly and useful preachers. 

I have somewhere met with the following passage : 
^' It was for several years the practice of a worthy 
gentleman, in renewing his leases, instead of making 

• Si quid scholasticis confers, Deo Ipsi contulisti. 


it a condiiion tliat lus tenants should keep a hawk or 
a dog for him, to oblit^e them to keep a Bible in their 
houses, and to bring up their children to read and i:o be 
catechised.'* Landlords ! It is worth your consider- 
ation whether you may not in your leases insert 
some clauses that may-^erve the kingdom of God. 
You are his tenants in those very freeholds in which 
you are landlords to other men. Oblige your tenants 
to worship God in their families. 

To take a poor child, especially an orphan, left in 
poverty, and to bestow a liberal education upon it, is 
an admirable charity ; yea, it may draw after it a long 
train of good, and may interest you in all the good 
that shall be done by him whom you have educated. 

Hence also, wiiat is done for schools, for colleges, 
and for hospitals, is done for the general good. The 
endowment or maintenance of these is at once to do 
good to many. 

But, alas 1 how much of the silver and gold of the 
world is buried in hands, where it is little better than 
conveyed back to the mines from whence it came ! 
How much of it is employed to as little purpose as 
what arrives at Hindoostan, where a great part of it is, 
after some circulation, carried as to a fatal centre, and 
by the Moguls lodged in subterraneous caves, never to 
Bee the light again I " The Christian, whose faith and 
hope are genuine, acts not thus."* 

Sometimes elaborate compositions may be prepar- 
ed for the press, works of great bulk, and of still 
greater worth, by which the best interests of knowl- 
edge and virtue may be considerably promoted ; but 
they lie, like the impotent man at the pool of Bethse- 
da, in silent neglect ; and are likely to continue in 
that state, till God inspire some wealthy persons no- 
bly to subscribe to their publication, and by this gen- 
erous application of their property, to bring them a- 
broad. The names of such noble benefactors to 
mankind ought to live as long as the works them- 
selves ; and where the works do any good, what these 
have done towards the publisliing of them, ought to 
be " told for a memorial" of them. 

• TuUa n'jn facit bona: fidei & spei Christianus. 


1 \rill pursue this subject still farther. It has been 
said that " idle genilemen, and idle begj^ars, are the 
pests of the commonwealth.'* The saying may seem 
affronting, but they who are offended at it must quar- 
rel with the ashes of a bishop, for it was Dr. Sander- 
son's. Will you then think, Sirs, of some honourable 
and agreeable employments ? I will mention one : 
The Pythagoreans forbade men's " eating their own 
brains," or, " keeping their good thoughts to them- 
selves." The incomparable Boyle observes, that " as 
to religious books, in general, tliose which have been 
written by laymen, and especially by gentlemen, 
have (ceteris paribus) been better received, and more 
effectual, than those published by clergymen.'* Mr. 
Boyle's were certainly so. Men of quality have fre- 
quently attained such accomplishments in languages 
and science, that they have become prodigies of litera- 
ture. Their libraries also have seen stupendous col- 
lections, approaching towards Vatican or Bodleian 
dimensions. An English gentleman hais been some- 
times the most *' accomplished person in the world." 
How many of these (besides a Leigh, a Wolsely, or a 
Polhill) have been benefactors to mankind by their 
admirable writings ! It were much to be wished that 
persons of wealth and elevation would qualify them- 
selves for the use of the pen as well as of t'ne sword, 
and deserve this eulogium, " They have written ex- 
cellent things." An English person of quality, in 
his treatise, entitled, " A View of the Soul," has the 
following passage : '• It is certainly the highest digni- 
ty, if not the greatest happiness, of which human na- 
ture is capable in the vale below, to have the soul so 
far enlightened, as to become the mirror, or conduit, 
or conveyor of God's truth to others." It is a bad 
motto for a man of capacity, " My understanding is 
unfruitful." Gentlemen, consider what subjects may 
most properly and usefully fall under your cultiva- 
tion. Your pens will stab atheism and vice more ef- 
fectually than other men's. If out of your ''Tribe" 
there come forth *' those who handle the pen of the 
writer," they will do uncommon execution. One of 
them has ingenuously said,, '* Though I know some 


functions^ yet I know no truih^ of reliction, which» 
like the showbread, are only for the piicbts."* 

I will present to you but one proposal more, and it 
is this, That you would wisely choose a friend of good 
abilities, of warm affections, and of excellent piety, (a 
minister of such a character if you can) and entreat 
him, yea, oblige him to sludy for you, and to suggest 
to you opportunities to do good. Make him, as ^w- 
brosiiis did his Ori^ai, your Monitor. Let him ad- 
vice you, from time to time, what good you may do. 
Let him see that he never gratifies you more than by 
his advice on this head. If a David have a Seei- lo 
perform such an office for him, one who may search 
for occasions of doing good, what extensive services 
may be done for the temple cfGod in the world ! 

Let me only add, that when gentlemen occasional- 
ly meet together, v.'hy should not their conversation 
correspond with their superior station ? They should 
deem it beneath them to employ the conversation on 
trifling subjects, or in such a way that, if it were se- 
cretly taken in short hand, they would biush to hear 
it repeated.! Sirs, it becomes a gentleman to enter- 
tain his company with the finest thoughts on the 
finest themes ; and certainly there cannot be a subject 
so Avorthy of a gentleman as this, What good is there 
to be done in the world ? Were this noble subject 
more frequently started in the conversation of gen- 
tlemen, incredible good might be achieved. 

I will conclude by saying. You must accept of any 
public service, of which you are capable, when you are 
culled to it. Honest Jeaus has this pungent pas- 
sage ; " The world applauds the prudent retirement 
of those who bury their parts and gifts in an obscure 
privacy, though they have u fair call, both from God 
and man, to public engagements : but the terrible 
censure of these men by Jesus Christ at the last day, 

* Matt. xii. 4. 
I "Nihil sed nugce, et risus, et verba proferuntur in vent- 
nm"— Nothing but jesting, and laughing, and words scattered 
by the wind. 

L 2 


will prove them to have been the most arrant fools 
that ever lived on the face of the earth." The fault 
of not employing our talent for the public good is 
justly styled, " A great sacrilege in the temple of the 
God of Nature." It was a sad age of which Tacitus 
said, " Indolent retirement was wisdom."* 


It will be recollected, that one of our first propo- 
sals was, tl»At every one should consider, " What can 
I do for the service of God, and the welfare of man ?" 
It may be hoped that all officers, as such, will con- 
form to what has been proposed. It should be the 
concern of all officers, from the emperor to the eno- 
motarch, to do all the good they can ; there is, 
therefore, the less occasion to make a more particu- 
lar application to inferior officers of various kinds, all 
of whom have opportunities to do good, more or less, 
in their hands. However, they shall not all have rea- 
son to complain of being neglected. 

In some churches there are elders,! ^vho " rule 
well," though they do not " labour in the word and 
doctrine." It becomes such persons often to inquire, 
*' What shall I do to prevent strife, or any other sin, 
that may become a root of bitterness in the church ; 
and that Christ and holiness may reign in it ; and 
that the ministry of the pastor may be countenanc- 
ed, encouraged, and prospered?" Their x'mV* of the 
flock, and tlieir endeavours to prepare the people for 
special ordinances, may be of great advantage to the 
state of religion. 

There are Deacons also, with whom the temfiorat 
affaira of the church are entrusted. It would be well, 
if they would frequently inquire: " What may I do 
that the treasury of Christ may be increased ? What 
may 1 do that the life of my faithful pastor may be 

* Inertia fuit sapientia. 

+ III primitive times, Ecclesia seniorea habuit— the church 
kad its elders. 


rendered more comfortable? What members of the 
flock do I think deficient in their contributions to 
support the interests of the gospel, and what shall I 
say '' with great boldness in the faith" to them, on 
this subject ?" 

In the State there are many officers, to whom the 
most significant and comprehensive proposal that can 
be made would be, To consider their oaths. If they 
would seriously reflect on the duties to which their 
oaths oblige them, and would carefully perform those 
duties, a great deal of good would be done. But we 
must a little particularize : 

As the REPRESENTATIVES of any place have oppor- 
tunities to do good to the people at large, so they 
should be particularly solicitous for the good of that 
place which has elected them. Their inquiry should>^ 
be, " What motions may I bring forward which will 
be for the public good, or for the advantage of my 
constituents ?" 

Those, whom we call the " select men" of a 
town, will disappoint the expectations which are just- 
ly formed of them, if they do not diligently consider, 
*^ What siiall I do that I may be a blessing to the 
town which I am now to serve ?" 

Grand-jurymen may very profitably inquire, 
" What growing evils or nuisances do I discover, 
"Which I shall do well to make public ?'* They should 
hold their consultations upon these matters, as men 
in earnest for the good of the country. Indeed all 
jurymen should be good men. Our old compellation 
of a neighbour by the title of goodman has this ori- 
gin ; it was as much as to say, one qualified to serve 
on a jury. Let such therefore answer their original 
designation, by doing good, and by contriving how 
they may do it. 

Why should Constables be excused from these 
obligations ? Their name (Constabularius) was first 
derived from the care of" making unruly horses stand 
■well together in the stable." Sirs, you have it in 
your power to do much good by being " Masters of 
restraints," in your walks and otherwise, to unruly 
cattle. What are vicious persons, though perhaps ia 


honourable stations, but like the beasts ! Well-dispos- 
ed constables have done wonderful thinj^s in a town, 
to proaioLe good order. I must therefore beg them 
to put to themselves the same question ; " What 
good may I do ?" 

Where Tithing-men are chosen and sworn, they 
h:ive an opportunity of doing more than a little good, 
if they will conscientiously perform their duty. Let 
them well study the laws which lay down their duty, 
and let them also make the same incjuiry : *' What 
good may I do r" Let them consult with one another 
at certain times, in order to find out wiiat they have 
it in their power to do, and to assist and strengthen 
one another in doing it. I have now done with the 
civil list. 

Military Commanders have their opportunities 
to " do good.'* They do this in an eminent degree 
when they support exercises of piety in their several 
companies and regiments, and when they rebuke the 
vices of the camp with due severity. Might not so- 
cieties to suppress these vices be formed in the camp, 
to very good purpose, under their inspection ? If the 
soldiers ask, " What shall we do ?" all my answer at 
present is, Sirs, consider what you have to do. 

Commanders at sea have their opportunities also. 
The m.ore absolute they are in their command, the 
greater are their opportunities. The worship of God 
seriously and constantly maintained aboard, will have 
a very happy effect. A body of good orders hung up 
in the steerage may produce consequences for which 
all the people in the vessel may at last have reason 
to be tliankful. Books of piety should also be taken 
aboard, and the men should be desired to retire for 
the perusal of them, and for other pious exercises. 


But whilst our book seems to have so far discharg- 
ed its office and intention of a coiuiscllor^ as to leave no 
further expectations, a considerable number of per- 
sons present themselves to our notice, who would have 


just cause for complaint, if among proposals to- do 
good, they should remain unnoticed. Some whom 
we do not find among those who addressed the bless- 
ed -morning-star of our Saviour for his direction, yet 
are now found araont^ those who inquire, " And what 
shall we do ?'* I refer to the gentlemen of the 
LAW, who, have thftt in their hands, the end of which 
is, " To do good ;" and tlie perversion of which from 
its professed end is one of the worst of evils. 

Gentlemen, your opportunities to do good are 
such, that proposals of what you are able to do, can- 
not but promise themselves an obliging reception 
with you. You have considerable advantages for this 
purpose, arising from your liberal and gentlemanly 
education : for with respect even to the common 
pleaders at the bar, I hope that maxim of the law 
will not be forgotten : " The situation of a lawyer is so 
dignified, that none should be raised to it from a mean 
condition in life."* Things are not come to so bad a 
state that an honest lawyer should require a statue, as 
the honest flub li can of old did, merely on the score of 
rarity. You may, if you aim at it, be entitled to one 
on the score of universal and meritonous usefulness. 

In order to your being useful, Sirs, it is necessary 
that you should be skilful ; and that you may arrive 
at an excellent skill in the law, you will be well ad- 
vised what authors to study : on this point, it may be 
of the utmost consequence to be well advised. The 
knowledge of your own statute law is incontestibly 
needful. The same may be said of the comynon Lawy 
which must continually accompany the execution of 
it. Here, besides useful dictionaries, you have your 
Cook, Vaughan, Windgate, See. £cc. with whom you 
may converse. I am sorry to find a gentleman, about 
the middle of the former century, complaining of the 
English law," that the books of it cannot be perused, 
with any deliberation, under three or four years, and 
that the expense of them is enormous." I do not 
propose so tedious a task ; for the civil law must also 

* DiR-nltas advocatorum non patitur ut in earn reciplatur, 
qui antea fuerat vilioris conditionis. 


be known by those who would be fully acquainted 
with legal firoceedingH. Huge volumes, and loads of 
them, luive been Avritten upon it ; but among these, 
two small ones, at least, should be consulted, and di- 
gested by every one who would not be an ig?iora?nus.-^ 
1 mean the Enchiridion of Corvinus^ and Arthur 
JJuck*6' Treatise JJe ^lau et autlioritate juris civilia* 
I will be still more free in declaring my opinion. 
Had I learning enouc^h to manage a cause of that na- 
ture, 1 should be ready to maintain it at any bar in the 
world, that there never was, under the cope of heaven, 
a more learned man, than the incomparable Alste- 
pius. He has written on every subject in the whole- 
circle of learning, as accurately and as exquisitely as 
those who have devoted their whole lives to the culti-» 
vation of any one particular subject. The only 
reason M'hy his compositions are not more esteemed 
is, Xht pleonasm of his worth, and their desert of so 
much esteem. To hear some silly men ridicule his 
labours by a foolish pun on his name — 4Ws tedious^ 
is to see the ungrateful folly of the world ; for con* 
cisencsa is one of his peculiar excellencies. They 
might more justly charge him with any thing, than 
V'ith tediousness. This digression only serves to in- 
troduce a recommendati(m of his " Jurisprudentia," as 
one ot tile best books in the world for a lawyer. I 
shall wrong it if I say " It is much in a little ;'* 1 
would rather say '' It is all in one." 

A lav/yer should be a scholar. It is vexatious that 
the emperor Juntinian^ whose name is now on the 
laws of the Roman empire,! iS) by Suidas, called 
" Analphabetos — one who scarcely knew his alpha- 
bet." It is vexatious to find Accursius^ one of the 
first commentators on the laws, fall into so many 

• Concerning' tlie use and authority of the common lav,- [A. 
century has cerluiMly produced other books of great value to 
the gentlemen of the law, but it w as thought proper to retain 
the autlior's advice on this subject, as well as on otliers.] 

t Tliey bear his name, because it vvus by his order tliat 
Tribonia}} made his hasty, und some say fallacious, collection 
of them, from the two thousand volumes, into which they had 
been growing" for a thousand years. 


gross mistakes, through his ignorance.* But, ^vhen 
you are called upon to be wise, the design is, that you 
may be wise to do good. Without this disposition, 
*' Doth not their excellency which is in them go 
away ? They die even without wisdom." A founda- 
tion of piety must first be laid ; an inviolable respect 
to the holy and just and good law of God. This must 
be the rule of all your actions ; and it must particu- 
larly regulate your practice of the law. You are 
sensible that it was always the custom of the civil law 
to begin with," To the most high and gracious God :"t 
nor was it unusual for the instruments of the law to 
begin with the first two letters of the name of Christ, 
in Greek characters. The life of the lawyer should 
have its beginning there, and be carried on with a con- 
stant regard to it. The old iSaxon laws had the Ten 
Commandments prefixed to them — Ten Words of infi- 
nitely greater value than the famous Tnvelve Tables so 
much admired by 2«//2/and other ancient writers ; in 
the fragments of which, collected by Baldwin^ there 
are some things horribly unrighteous and barbarous. 
These are to be the Jirst laivs with you : and, as all 
the laws that are contrary to these are ijisofacto^ null 
and void, so, in the practice of the law, every thing 
disallowed by these must be avoided. The man 
whom the scripture calls a lav/yer was a Karaiu-^ or 
one who strictly adhered to the written law of God, in 
opposition to the Pharisee and the Truditionist, I 
know not why every lawyer should not still be, in the 
best sense, a Karaite. By manifesting a reverence for 
the divine law, both that of reason and that of super- 
added gospel, you will do good in the world beyond 
what you can imagine. You will redeem your 
honourable profession from the injury which bad 
men have done to its reputation ; and you will obtain 
a patronage for it very different from that which the 

• When a sentence of Greek occurred in the text, he wa« 
able to afJtiid no better gloss than this, " Hxc Graica sunt, 
quae nee legi, nee intellig-i possunt— This is Grt.:ck, which can 
ucithcrbe read nor exphuned." 

\ A Deo Optimo maximo. 


Satyr in the idle story of your Saint Evona has 
assigned to it. 

Your celebrated Ulpian wrote seven books, to shew 
the several punishments which ought to be inflicted on 
Christians. It is to be hoped that you will invent 
as many services to be done to the cause of Chris- 
tianity, services to be performed for the kingdom of 
your Saviour, and methods by which to demonstrate 
that yau yourselves are among the best of Christians. 

I am not sure that our Tertullian was the gentle- 
man of that name, who hath some Consulta in the 
Roman Digesta ; whicli Grotius and others will not 
admit : yet Eusebius tells us that he was well skilled 
in the Roman laws : and in his writings you find 
many law terms, particularly *' Prescriptions against 
Heretics," which were, as we learn from Quintillian 
and others, the replies of defendants to the actions of 
the plaintiffs. I propose that others of the faculty 
study all possible " Prescriptions" against those who 
would injure the cause of Christianity, and "apolo- 
gies" for the church and cause of our Saviour. But, 
Sirs, it must first of all be done in your own virtuous, 
exact, upright conduct, under all temptations. The 
miscarriages of some individuals must not bring a 
blemish on a noble and useful profession. 

But althougi) the profession in general must not be 
blamed for the faults of a few, yet many will allow 
the justness oi the following remark, which occurs in 
a late publication, entitled, "Examen Miscellaneum:** 
" A lawyer wlio is a knave deserves death more than 
tlie man that robs on the highway ; for he piofanes 
the sanctuary of the distressed, and betrays the 
liberties of the people.'* To avoid such a censure, a 
lawyer must sliun ail those indirect ways of " making 
haste to be rich," in which a man cannot be innocent : 
such ways as provoked the father of Sir Matthew 
Hale to abandon the practice of the law, on account of 
tlie extreme dimculty of preserving a good conscience 
in it. Sir, be prevailed upon constantly to keep a 
court of c/ianccry in your own breast : and scorn and 
fear to do any thing but that which your conscience 
will pronounce consistent with, and conducing to 


•' Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and 
good-will towards men." I'he very nature of youf 
profession leads you to meditate on " a judgment to 
come." O th:.t you would s6 realize and antedate 
that judgment, as to do nothing but what you verily 
believe will be approved in it ! 

This piety must operate, very particularly, in the 
pleading of causes. You will abhor, Sir, to appear in 
a dirty cause. If you discover that your client has an 
unjust cause, you will faithfully advise him of it. 
The question is, " Whether it be lawful to use false- 
hood and deceit in contending v/ith an adversary ?"* It 
is to be hoped that you have determined this question 
like an honest man. You w-ill be sincerely desirous 
that truth and justice should take place. You will 
speak nothing w'hich shall be to the prejudice of eith- 
er. You will detest tl.e use of all unfair arts to con- 
found evidences, to brow-beat vritnesses, or to su])- 
press what may give light in th.e case. You have 
nothing to object to tliat old rule of pleading 
a cause : — " When tlie guilt of the party is 
clearly proved, the coiuisel ought to v.'ithdraw his 
support."! I remember that Schusterus, a famous 
lawyer and counsellor, who died at Heidelberg in the 
year 16r2, has an admirable .passage in his epitaph ; 

" MiVt; pro Aiivius vocem cir.isjt ; 
Nihil se unquaiii siKi?isse qonsHio, 
Cujusjam jam Kioritiu'um peniteret.*' 

— " Wiien at the point of death he could ftay, I never 
in the whole course of my practice gave an oi)inion of 
^vhich I now repent." A lawyer, who can leave the 
world with such language as this, proves a greater 
blessing to the world than can be expressed. 

1 cannot encourage any gentleman to spend much 
time in the study of the canon /a?;; ; w inch Jia/uista a 

* Utrum fallaciis et cleceplionlbus ad convincendum advcr- 
-sarium uti lice at ? 

j Cognita iniqnitatc, a STisccpto ejus patrocinio advocatuf 
dcsisteit debet. 



Sane to Blasio has found lo contradict the civil law In 
two hundred instances. The " decrees," the " decre- 
tals," the " Clementines," and " extravagants," which 
compose the hideous volumes of that law, would com- 
pel any v/ise man to make tiie same apology for his 
aversion to it which such a one once made^ "I cannot, 
Sir, feed on that which is vile."* Agrippa, who was 
ti doctor of that law, said of it, " It is neither o/'God 
noY for him : nothing but corruption invented it ; 
nothing but avarice has practised it." Luther began 
the reformation with burning it. Nevertheless there 
is one point much insisted on in the canon law, which 
well deserves your serious consideration ; that is,— 
RESTITUTION. When men have obtained riches 
without right, or have heaped up wealth in any dis- 
honest and criminal ways, a restitution will be a nec- 
essary and essential part of that repentance which 
alone will find acceptance with Heaven. The solem- 
nity of this thought may stand like an " angel with a 
drawn sword" in your way, when you may be under a 
temptation to leave the path of duty, to go after the 
" wages of unrighteousness." Our hw was once 
given to us in French. Many of you, gentlemen, 
know the modern French as well as the ancient. 
Mons. 7^/acf//r has given you a valuable treatise of 
Restitution, in which there is a chapter, " Des cas>ou 
les Avocats sont obliges a restituer — Of the cases in 
which counsellors are obliged to make restitution." 
In that chapter some persons will find a sad i^/// o/" 
Costs taxed for them ; and among other assertions, 
this is one : " Excessive fees must be di^sgorged by 
restitution."! This should be considered. 

It is an old complaint " that a good lawyer is sel- 
dom a good neighbour." You know how to con- 
fute it, gentlemen, by making your skill in the law a 
blessing to the neighbourhood. It was affirmed as 
Jong ago, as in the time of Sallust, " Towns were 

* Non possum, domine, vesci stcrcore Immano. 

"I" S'il exij^-e une recompense exce>;.sive et dispropor- 
tionce a ce qu'il fait, ii est obhg« a restituer co qu'il preiid 
dc tfop. 


happy formerly, when there were no lawyers ; and 
they will be so again when the race is extinct ;"* but 
you may, if you please, be a vast accession to the 
happiness of the places where you reside. 

You shall have some of my proposals for it, in a 
historical exhibition. In the life of Mr. John Cotton, 
the author relates the following-, concerning his fath- 
er, who was a lawyer. " That worthy man was very 
rem»arkable in two mos-t admirable practices. One 
was, that when any one of his neighbours wishing to 
sue another, applied to him for advice, it was his cus- 
tom, in the most persuasive and affectionate manner 
imaginable, to attempt a reconciliation between both 
parties ; preferring tiie consolation of being a peace- 
maker, to all the fees which he might have obtained 
by blowing up the differences. Another was, he was 
accustomed, every night, to examine himself, with 
reflections on the transactions of the past day ; and if 
he found that he had neither done good to others, nor 
got good to his own soul, he was as much grieved as 
Titus was, when he complained in the evening — " My 
friends ! 1 have lost a day."t 

What a noble thing would it be for you to find out 
oppressed widows and orphans ; and as such can ap- 
pear only " in forma pauperis ;'* and are objects, in 
whose oppression " might overcomes right," gen€r- 
ously plead their cause ! " Deliver the poor and 
needy, and rid them out of the hand of the wicked'* 
—It will be a glorious and a Godlike action I 

Affluent persons, about to make their wills, may 
frequently ask your advice. You may embrace the 
opportunity of advising them to such liberality in be- 
half of pious purposes, as may greatly advance the 
kingdom of God in the world. And, when you have 
opportunity, by lav/, to rescue *' the things that are 
God*s from the sacrilegious hands that would " rob 
God," it may be hoped that you will do it with all pos- 
sible generosity and alacrity. O excellent imitation of 
our glorious Advocate in the heavens ! 

* Sine Causidicis satis faehces oiim fucrCj futuraeque sunt 

I Amicl, diem perdidi. 

128 1!SSAY3 TO DO ClOOD. 

Is there nothlnt; to be amended in the laws ? Per- 
haps you may discover nmny things yet waniin;^ in the 
laus ; or mischiefs in the execution or application of 
them, which ought to be provided against ; or mis- 
chiefs which annoy mankind, against which no laws 
are yet provided. The reformation of the laws, and 
more laws for the reformation of the v.'orld, are loud- 
ly called for. I do not affirm that our laws could be 
so reduced, that, like those of Geneva, they might be 
contained in five sheets of paper ; but certainly the 
laws may be so corrected, that the world may more 
sensibly and generally enjoy the benefit of them. If 
some lawyers, '* rnen of an excellent spirit," would di- 
rect their attention this way, and call the attention of 
ihe legislature to them, all the world might feel the 
benefit of it. A worthy man, more than fifty years 
ago, wrote an " Examcn Legum Anglix — An Exam- 
ination of the English Laws," which deserves consid- 
eration in the present day. 

Your learning often qualifies you to " write excel- 
lent things," not only in your own profession, but also 
un many other entertaining and edifying themes. 
The books which have been written by learned law- 
yers v.'ould, in number, almost equal an Alexandrian 
library. Judge by a Freherus' catalogue, or by a 
Pryn's performances. What valuable works have 
been produced by a Gro//w.9, a //aA', a Sclden ! Gentle- 
men, you may plead the cause of religion and of the 
reformation, by your well directed pens ; and perform 
innumerable services to ihe iniblic. There is one, at 
this day, who, in liis'* History of the Apostles* Creed," 
has obliged us to say, '* he has offered like a king to 
the temple of the King of heaven." May th-j Lord 
liis God accept hini ! 

Should you be called, Sir, to the administration of 
justice, iuthe quality of a judgf, you v. ill prescribe 
to youriielf rules like those winch the renowned 
Lord Chief Justice Hale so religiously observed, as 
to become a bright example for ail who occupy 
the seat of judicature. The sum of those rules is aa 
follows : 


" That justice be administered upriglitly, deliber- 
ately, resolutely. 

" That I rest not on my own understanding, but 
implore the direction of God. 

" That in the execution of justice, I carefully lay 
aside my own passions, and not give way to them, 
however provoked. 

" That I be wholly intent on the business I am 

" That I suffer not myself to be prepossessed with 
any judgment at all, till all the business, and both 
parties are heard.*' 

In the pursuance of such methods to do good, to 
serve the cause of righteousness, and introduce the 
promised age, in which " the people shall all be right- 
eous,*' the least of those glorious recon;penses you 
may expect will be the establishment of your pro- 
fession, in such a reputation, that the most prejudic- 
ed persons in the world, when seeking to find blem- 
ishes in it, will be obliged to bring in an Ignoramus. 

Societies for the reformation- of man- 
ners, and for the Suppression of Vice, have begun to 
grow into esteem, and it is one of the best ornens that 
appear in the world. " Behold, how great a matter a 
little (of this heavenly) fire kindleth I" Five or six 
gentlemen in London, associated, with a heroic res- 
olution, to oppose that torrent of wickedness which 
was carrying all before it. More were soon added to 
their number ; and though they met with great op- 
position from " wicked spirits,'* incarnate, as well as 
invisible ones, and some in " high places" too, yet 
they proceeded with a most honourable and invinci- 
ble courage. Their success, if not proportioned to 
their courage, was yet far from contemptible. In the 
punishments inflicted on those who transgressed the 
laws of morality, many thousands of sacrifices were 
offered to the holiness of God. Hundreds of houses, 
which were the porches of hell, and the scandal of the 
M 2 


earth, were soon sliUt up. A remarkable check was 
given to the ratting profanation oi" the Lord's name ; 
iinJ the Lord's day was not so openly and 1 orridly 
abused as before. Ap..onj; other essays to do good, 
th.ey scattered many thousands of good books amoni^ 
the people, which had a tendency to reform their 
manners. It was not long be To re this excellent exam- 
ple was followed in other parts of the British empire. 
\'irluous men of various rariks and persuasions, be- 
came members of the societies. Persons high and 
low, churchmen and dissenters, muted ; and tlie 
union became formidable to the powers of darkness. 
The report of the societies flew over the seas, and the 
pattern was imitated in other countries. \\ ise men, 
m remote parts of Europe, made this joyful remark, 
upon them, " that they occasion unspeakable good, 
and announce a more illustrious state of the cl,\n*cli of 
God, vvijich is to be expected in the conversion of 
Jews and Gentiles.'* America, too, begins to be irra- 
diated with til em. 

i shall her<; recite an account, formerly presented to 
the public, of what may be etlected by such societies. 
*' What incredible benefits will accrue to religion 
fiom reforming societies, if the disposition to promote 
them should not unhappily languish. A sm:dl socie- 
vy nray prove an invaluable bless^ng to a town, whose 
welfare should become the object of their watchful at- 
leiition : they may be as a garrison to defend it from 
the worst of its enemies : they may soon render it "a 
mountam of holiness, and a dwelling of righteous- 
ness.'* The society may assist in promoting the ex- 
ecution of those wholesome laws, by which vice is 
discouraged. Offenders against the law may be kept 
under such vigihuit inspection, that they shall not 
escape punishment ; and censured sinners will be 
reclaimed from their sins ; or, at least, the judgments 
pf God, which n\ay be expected where such sins are 
indulged, will be diverted. *' When we judge our- 
selves, the judgments of God will be aveited." 
Swc.iring and cursing will not infect the air. Men 
will not reel along the streets, transformed into swine 
by drui.kenness. The cages of unclean birds will be 


dissipated. They whom idleness rendered dead 
while they lived, will have an honest eniploymeiit 
provided for them. And the Lord's day will be visi- 
bly kept holy to the Lord. 

'' Vice is a cowardly thing- ; it w-ill soon shrink be- 
fore those who boldly oppose it. If any laws necessary 
to remedy what is amiss, be yet wanting, the society 
may apply to the legislative power (o procure them. 
What is defective in the bye-laws of the to^'n may 
soon be supplied. The election of such officers as 
may be faithful and useful to the public may be in- 
fluenced by the society. If any persons be notoriously 
defective in their duty, the society may, by suitable 
admonitions and remonstrances, cause those defects 
to be amended. If any families live without family 
v/orship, the pastor may be informed, who will visit 
them, and exhort them no longer to remam in their 
atheism. If any are in danger of being led a\\ay by 
seducers, or other temptatioris, care may be taken to 
warn them. Schools of various kinds iTiay derive ad- 
vantage from such a society. Charity schools maybe 
erected, inspected, and supported. Bocks and tracts^ 
containing the salt of lieaven,*may be sprinkled all over 
the land, and the " savour of truth" be diffused about 
the country. Finally, the society may find out v^ho 
are in extreme necessity, and by their own liberality, 
or that of others, may procure assisteuice for them. 

" We know that a small society m.ay effect these 
things, because we know that they have been done, 
and yet the persons who did them have been concealed 
from the world. To minds elevated above the dregs 
of mankind, and endued with any generosity, no other 
argument to form such a society will be needful, than 
the prospect of so much usefulness. This will strong- 
ly recommend the design to well-disposed persons, 
and they will think it an honour to belong to such a 

The recilrl of these passages may bsi sufficient to 
introduce the following proposal. 

That a proper numiber of persons in a neighbour- 
hood, whose hearts God hat!i inclined to do good, 
should form themselves into a society, to meet wlicn 


and where they shall agree, and to consider — ^^ What 
are the disorders that we may observe rising- among 
us ; and what may be done, either by ourselves imme- 
diately, or by others through our advice, to suppress 
those disorders ?" That they would procure, if they 
can, the presence of a minister with tliem ; and every 
time they meet, present a prayer to the Lord to bless^ 
direct, and prosper the design. That they would also 
procure, if possible, a justice of the peace, to be a 
member of the society^ That half-yearly they choose 
two stewards, to dispatch the business and messages 
of the society, and manage the votes in it, who shalL 
ccminate their successors when their term is expired. 
That they would have a faithful treasurer, in whose 
bands their stock of charity may be deposited ; and a 
clerk to keep a suitable record of their transactions 
?ind pLvrposes ; and, finally, that they carry on their 
Mhole desiga with as much modesty and silence as 

In a town furnished with several such societies, it 
has been usual for them all to meet together once a 
year, and keep a day of prayer ; in which they have 
bumbled themselves for doing so little good, and en- 
treated the pardon of their unfruitfulness, through 
the blood of the great Sacrifice ; and implored the 
blessing of Heaven on those essays to do good which 
they have made, the counsel and conduct of Heavea 
for their further attempts, and such influences of 
Heaven as may accomplish that reformation which it 
was not in their power to effect. 

I will conclude tliis proposal by reciting those 
ficints of cont>idcration^ which may be read to the 
societies, at their meetings from time to time, with a 
proper pause after each of them, that any m-enibel' 
may offer what he pleases upon it. 

1. Is there any remarkable disorder in the place, 
which requires our endeavours for the suppression of 
it ? and. In what good, fair, likely way may we at- 
tempt it ? 

2. Is there any particular person, whose disorderly 
behaviour may be so scandalous, that it may be pro- 
per to send him our charitable admonition ? or, Are 


there any contending persons whom \ve shoulJ ex- 
hort to quench their contentions ? 

3. Is there any particular service to the interests 
of religion, which we may conveniently request our 
ministers to take notice of ? 

4. Is there any thin;]; v/hich we may do well to 
mention and recommend to the magistrates, for the 
further promotion of i^ood order ? 

5. Is tliere my sort of ofncers among us who are so 
unmindful of their duty, that we may properly remind 
them of it ? 

6. Can any further methods be devised that igno- 
rance and wickedness may be chased from our people 
in general ; and that domestic piety, in particular, 
may flourish among them ? 

7. Is there any instance of cppressioo or fraudii'-* 
lence, in the dealings of any sort of people, which may 
call for our efforts to prevent it in future ? 

8. Is there any matter to be humbly recommended 
to the legislative powei', to be enacted ipto a law for 
the public benefit ? 

9. Do we know of any person languishing under 
heavy affliction, and what can we do for the succour 
of that afBicted neighbour ? 

10. Has any person a proposal to make, for the 
further advantage, assistance, and usefulness of this 
society ? 

Reader-—" Look now towards heaven, and tell the 
stars, if thou be able to number them ;" yea, tell first 
the leaves of a Ilercynian forest, and the drops of the 
Atlantic ocean — then tell how many good things may 
be done by societies of good men, having such points 
of consideration before them. 

And yet, after all, when such societies have done all 
the good thty cari, and nothing but good, and walk on 
in a more unspotted brightness than that of the moon 
in heaven, let them expect to be maligned and libelled 
as "a set of scoundrels who are maintained by lying, 
serve God for unrighteous gain, ferret whores for 
subsistence, and are not more zealous against im- 
morality in their informations, than for it in their own 
practice j avoiding no sin in tbemselveS) and suffering 


none in other people." I suppose that they ^Tho pub- 
lish their censures on " The manners of the age" 
ivill thus express their malignity, because they have 
done so. Sirs ! *' add to your iaith, courage," and be 
sirmed for such a trial of it. 


We will not propose that our essays to do good 
should ever come to a close ; but we will now put a 
close to our tender of /iro/wsals for them ; I shall 
therefore conclude with a Catalogits Deaideratorum^ 
or a mention of some obvious and general services for 
the kingdom of God among men, to which it is desira* 
ble that religious persons should be awakened.* 

I. The propagation of the holy and glorious re- 
ligion of Christ J a religion which emancipates man- 
kind from the worst kind of slavery and misery, and 
wonderfully ennobles it ; and which alone prepares 
men for the blessedness of another world. Why is 
this no mo»'e attempted by its professors? Protestants, 
"will you be out-done by Popish idolaters ? O the vast 
pains which those bigots have token to carry on the 
Romish merclianciize and idolatry ! No less than six 
hundred clergymen, in the order of the Jesuits alone, 
have, within a few years, embarked for China, to wia 
over that mighty nation to their bastard Christianity. 
No less than five hundred of them lost their lives ia 
the difficulties of their enterprize, and yet the surviv- 
ors go on with it, expressing a sort of regret that it 
fell not to their share to make a sacrifice of their lives 
in attempting tiic propagation of their religion. *' O 
my God; I am ashamed, and blush to lift up my face 
to thee^ my God I" Who can tell wiiat great things, 
might be done if our trading companies and factories 
would set apart a more considerable part of their 
gains foi* this work, and would prosecute it more 

* DiiHcilem rem optas, generis humani innoGentiam : If 
you long" for tlie reformation of mankind, you are long-ing ftr 
tliat which it is difficult to uccomplisli. 


vigorously. The proposal which Gorclon has made at 
tiie end of his " Geography," that all persons of 
property would appropriate a small part of their 
wealth to this pur^wse, should be more attentively con- 
sidered. What has already been done by the Dutch 
missionaries at Ceylon, and the Danish missionaries 
at Malabar, one would inaagine sufficient to excite us 
io imitate them. 

If men of zeal for evangelising and illuminating a 
miserable world would learn the languages of some 
nations which are yet unevangelised, and wait on the 
providence of Heaven to direct them to some apostoli- 
cal undertakings, and to bless them therein, who can 
tell what might be done I We know what Ruffinus 
i^lates concerning the conversion of the Iberians, 
and what Socrates mentions concerning the things 
done by Frumentius and Aedesius in the inner India. 
In this subject there are two things worthy of re- 
mark : 

First, it is the opinion of some Seers, that until the 
temple be cleansed, there will be no general appear- 
ance of the nations to worship in it. And the truth 
is, there will be danger until then, that many persons, 
active in societies for the propagation of religion, 
may be more intent on propagating their own little 
forms, fancies, and interests, than the more weighty 
matters of the gospel. Yea, it will be well if they be 
not, unawares, imposed upon, to injure the cause of 
Christianity where it is well established, while places 
in the neigboTirhood, wholly unevangelised, may lie 
neglected. Let us therefore do what we can towards 
the re/ormatim of the church, in order to its enlarge- 
ment . 

Secondly, it is probable that the Holy Spirit will be 
again bestowed on the church for its enlargement, in 
operations similar to those which, in the first ages of 
Christianity, were granted for its plantation. The 
Holy Spirit, who has withdrawn from the apostate 
church, will come and abide with us, and render this 
world like a " watered garden." His irresistible in- 
fluences will cause whole " nations to be born in a 
day." He will not only convert, but unite his people, 

136 ESSAYS TO t>0 GO01>. 

By him, God \-ill " dwell with nicn." Would not 
our heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit if he were 
more earnestly entreated of him ! 

II. It is lamentable to observe the ij^norance and 
•wickedness yet remaining, even in many parts of the 
British dominions : in Wales, in the Hii^Iilands of 
Scotland, and in Ireland. Are the Gouges ail dead ? 
There are pretended shepherds in the world, who 
will never be able to answer before the Son of God, 
for iheir laying so little to heart the deplorable cir- 
cumstances of so many persons wliom they nnght, 
if they were not scandalously negligent, bring to be 
more acquainted with the only Saviour. 

III. Why is nothing more effected for the poor 
Greeks, Armenians, Muscovites, and other Chris- 
tians, who have little preaching, and no printing 
among them ? If we were to send them Bibles, PsaU 
ters, and other Books of Piety in their own language, 
they would be noble presents, and God only knows 
how useful. 

IV. Poor sailors and poor soldiers call for our' 
pity. They meet with great troubles, and yet their 
manners seldom discover any good effects of their 
trials. What sliall be done to make them a better set 
of men ? Besides mere books of piety distributed 
umon^- them, otlicr methods nmst be devised. " An 
ass falls, and the first who comes lifts him up : a 
.soul is on the brii.k of ruin, and not a hand is slretcir- 
cd out."* I^et Austin av/a^en us. 

v. The 'IrucUi^man''-^ library should he more en* 
iiche4. Wc l)aye &ecn " husbaitdry si)iritualized ;'' 
the en^ployment of the " shephei'd spiritualized ;*' 
" )UAvigati(.n spiritualized ;" and the '' weaver," also, 
furnished with agreeable meditations. To spread 
the nets of salvation for men in tlie way of their per- 
sonal callings, and to convey pious thoughts in the 
ternis and branches of their personal callings, is a 
real service to the interests of piety. A book also 
Ihat shall be an '' Onomatologia Monitoria,*' a " lie- 

• Cadi^ asimis, &. est qui .sublevat : pcj it aiiijna, et nnn est 
qui niaiuim apponat. 


membrancer from names," and shall advise persons 
how to make their names the monitors of their duty, 
might be of much use to the diristened world. And 
a book which shaM be " The Angel of Bethesda," giv- 
ing instructions in what manner to improve in piet> , 
by the several maladies with which any may be af- 
flicted ; and at the same time informing tliem of the 
most experimental, natural, and specific remedies for 
their disorders, might be very useful to mankind. 

VI. Universities which shall have more Collegia 
Piciatis in them, like those of the excellent Franc- 
kius in the Lower Saxony. O that such institutions 
were more numerous I Seminaries in which the 
scholars may have a most polite education, but not be 
sent forth with recommendations for the evangelical 
ministry, till, upon a strict examination, it be found 
that their souls are fired with the fear of God, the love 
of Christ, a zeal to do good, and a resolution to bear 
poverty, reproach, and all sorts of temptations, in the 
service of our holy religion. Such characters would 
be the wonders of the world ; and what wonders 
niight they do in the world ! 

Let clia)-ity-fichGols also " increase and multiply :" 
Charity-schools which may provide subjects for the 
great Saviour, blessings for the next generation : 
Charity-schools, not perverted to the ill purpose of 
introducing a defective cliristianity. 

\\\. It is the part of wisdom to observe and pur- 
sue those things which, so far as we understand by 
the books of the sacred prophecy, are to be the works 
of our day. When tiie time had arrived that Anti- 
chiist should enter his last " half-time," one poor 
monk proved a main instrument of wresting from him 
half his empire. Thus to fall in with the designs of 
Divine Providence, is the way to be wonderfully pros- 
pered and honoured. The works of our day I tal:e to 
be as follows : 

1. The Revival of Primitive Christianity : to en- 
deavour to restore every thing of the primitive char- 
acter. The apostacy is going off. The time for 
cleansing the temple comes on. More Edwards 


"ivould be vast blessings, when the primitive doctrines 
of Christianity are corrupted. 

2. The persuading of the European powers to 
shake off the chains of popery. Let this argument be 
used : there is no popish nation but would, by em- 
bracing the protestant religion, not only introduce it- 
self into a glorious liberty, but also would double its 
■wealth immediately. It is strange that this has not 
been more attended to. Let it be prosecuted with 
more demonstration. A certain writer has shown, 
that the abolition of popery in England is worth at 
least eight millions sterling to the nation, annually. 
Let this argument, arising from interest, be tried with 
other nations. 

3. The formation and quickening of the people 
"who are to be " The stone cut out of the mountain." 
In this thing, as in some others, " None of the wicked 
shall understand ; but the wise shall understand." 
God will do his own work in his own time and man- 
ner ; and Austin says, " It is advisable to withhold 
part of what I meant to say, because of men's inca- 
.pacity to receive it."* 

* U'lIIc est lit taccatur aliquod verb'jm, propter incapaces. 


" The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform these 
thino^s :" a zeal inspired and produced by tlie Lord 
of Hosts in his faithful servants will put them upon 
the performance of such things. Nothing has yet 
been proposed that is impracticable : " I mention 
not things of great difficulty, but such as are within 
our power."* But Eusebius has taught mc, " It is 
truly noble to do great things, and yet to esteem 
yourself as nothing. "f Sirs, while pursuing such a 
course of actions as has been described above ; actions, 
which are far more glorious than all the achievements 
of v/hich those bloody plunderers whom we call con- 
querors have made a wretched ostentation ; — still hu- 
mility must crown the whole. Without this they 
are all nothing : nothing, without a sense that you 
are nothing, and a willingness to be so esteemed. 
Ycu must first, most humbly acknowledge to the 
great God, " that after you have done all, you are un- 
profitable servants ;" that you have not only done 
that '' which v/as your duty to do," but also, that you 
have fallen exceeding short of your " duty." If God 
should abase you with very dark dispensations of his 
providence, after all your indefatigaljle and disinterest- 
ed " essays" to glorify him, luimble yourselves before 
him ; yet abate nothing of your exertiors. Perse- 
vere, saying, my God will humble mc, yet v/ill I glo- 
rify him. Lord, thou art righteous. Still will I do 
all I can to promote thy glorious kingdom. This act 
of humiliation is indeed comparatively easy. There 
is one to be demanded of you, of much greater diiii- 
culty ; tliat is, that you humbly submit to all the dis- 
credit whichGod may appoint for you among men. Ycur 
adorable Saviour was one who always " v.ent about 
doing good." Mankind was never visited by a bene- 
factor like him ; and yet never was any one so vilified. 

* Non fortia loquor, sed possibilia. 
■j- Verc TTiMj^mini est magna faccrc, &. tcipsv;m putare r.iliil. 


Had he been the worst malefactor in the world, he 
could not have been treated \i\ a worse manner. He 
expostulated with them, and inquired, " For which 
of my good works do you thus treat me." Yet they 
contiiuied the same conduct : they hated him, they 
nproached him, they murdered him. Austin very 
truly said, *' A sight of our Lord's cross is a certain 
cure for pride."* It will also be a remedy for dis- 
couragement ; it will keep you from sinking, as well 
as from being lifted up. You are conformed to your 
Saviour in your watchful endeavours to " do good,'* 
and to be " fruitful in every good work." But your 
conformity to him yet wants one point more to ren- 
der it complete ; that is, to be " despised and reject- 
ed of men ;" and patiently to bear the contempt, the 
malice, and the abuse of a " perverse generation.'* 
One of the fathers, who sometimes wanted a little of 
this grace, cojld say, " Nothing makes us so agreea- 
ble in the sight of God and man, as to rise high by 
our good actions, and yet sink low in huraility."t 

It is an excellent thing to come to nothing- in your 
own esteem. If you hear the hopes of unfriendly 
men, that you will come to nothing ; hear it with as 
much satisfaction as they can hope for it. In this 
sense embrace exinanition and annihilation. A per- 
son who had been a famous *' doer of good" was 
much affected with the picture of a devout man, to 
whom a voice came down from heaven, " What 
wouldst thou have me do for thee ?" To w hich he re* 
plied, " Nothint^, Lord, but that I may be permitted 
to suft'er contempt for tliy sake.''t Sirs, let it be seen 
somewhere else t!)an in picture ; be yourselves the 
reaiftij : and thus " let patience have its perfect 

I hope yr.u are too wise to imagine that because 
you are never weary of well-doing, you will therefor© 
be universally well spoken of. No ; it will be just 

* Remedium elationis est contuitus Doniinicae crucis, 

t Nilill est 1 o. ita ct hominibus et Deo ^ralos facit, quara 

S)i vita; merito mug"ni, et luiniilita'.e iu/iini simus. 

\ " Qjiid vis fieri pro Ic ?" •' Nihil, Domine, iui.i pati ct 

contemui pro te .'" 


the contrary. To do toell^ and to bear evil^ is the 
common experience, and should be our constant ex- • 
pectation. And for this unreaaonable thing, many 
reasons may be given. It will be impossible to do 
much good without some persons accounting them- 
selves injured by what you do. You will unavoidably 
serve some interests to which others are inimical- It 
is also the nature of mad men to take \ip strange prej- 
udices against their best frien-cls ; and to be averse to 
none so much as to them. Now we may every 
where see tliose concerning wMiom we are told, 
" Madness is in their hearts.'*" This will appear in 
their unaccountable prejudices against those wdio 
most of all seek their good. Then " he teareth me 
in his wrath who hateth me : he gnasheth upon me 
with his teeth : mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes up- 
on me." A benefactor will perhaps be honoured as 
the Lindians worshipped Hercules, by cursing and 
throwing stones. The wrath of God against a sinful 
etnd miserable world is likewise discovered in this 
matter. If men, who are always intent on doing 
good, were so generally beloved and esteemed as they 
ought to be, they would become instruments of doing 
more good than the justice of heaven can yet allow to 
be done for a sinful world. The world i'i neither 
worthy of them, nor of the good which they endeav- 
our to perform. To deprive the world of that good, 
mankind must be permitted to entertain a strange 
aversion to those persons who would fain perform it. 
This cramps and fetters them, and defeats their ex-' 
cellent purposes. 

Nor is the great adversary idle on this occasion. 
The m^n, who shall do much good, will thereby do 
much harm to his empire. It would be surprising if 
the devil should not ^^ seek to devour," or take an ex- 
quisite revenge upon such men of God. And unless 
God should lay an uncommon restraint upon that 
" wicked one," such is " the power of the adversary,'* 
and so great an influence has he over the minds of 
multitudes, that he will bitterly revenge himself up- 
on any remarkable " doer of good :" he will procure 
N 2 


him a troop of enemies, and whole vollles of re- 
proaches. But, O thou servant of God, hy him thou 
shait " run ihroujjh a troop ;" by tliy God thou shalt 
" leap over a wall.'* We should be so far from won- 
dering that wicked men are enraged at the man who 
does much good ; that they spread so many false re- 
ports, and write so many libels on his character, that 
we ought rather lo wo:uler the devil does not make 
this world hotter than a Babylonish furnace for him ; 
too hot for his continuing in it. Sirs, if you will do 
much, it is very likely that the devil may sometimes 
raise upon your opportunities to do good, such a hor- 
rible tempest as may tlireaten their utter ruin. You 
may fear to have your serviceableness — the " appk of 
your eye" struck out : you may be driven to prayers, 
to tears, and to frequent fasting in secret, on this 
account. Prostrate in the dust, you must offer up 
your supplications with strong crying and tears, to 
him that is able to save your " opportunities of use- 
fulness from death ;'* you mu&t cry out, " O deliver 
my soul," my serviceableness, " from the sword, my 
darling from the power of the dog !'* The words of 
the great Baxter are to the purpose, and worthy to 
be introduced on this occasion : 

" The temptations and suggestions of Satan, yea, 
and often his external and contrived snares, are such 
as frequently to give men a palpable discovery of his 
agency. Whence is it that such wonclerlul successive 
trains of impediments are set in the way of almost 
every man that intends any great and good work in 
the world ? 1 have, among men of my awn acquaint- 
ance, observed such wonderful frustrations of many 
designed excellent works, by such strange, unexpect- 
ed nieans, such a variety of them, and so powerfully 
carried on, that I have been convinceil there is a most 
vehement, invisible malice permitted by God to resist 
mankind, and to militate against all good in the world. 
Let a man have any work of the greatest, natural im- 
portance, which tenils to no great benefit to mankind, 
and he may proceed without any extraordinary im- 
pediment. But let him have any great design for the 
common good, in things that tend to destroy sin, to 


heal divisions, to revive charity, to increase virtue, 
and to save men's souls, yea, or to the public common 
felicity ; and his impediments shall be so multifa- 
rious, so far-fetched, so subtle, so incessant, and in 
spite of all his care and resolution, usually so success- 
ful, that he shall seem to himself like a man that is 
held fast, hand and foot, while he sees no one touch 
him ; or that sees a hundred blocks brought and cast 
before him in his way, while he sees no one do it." 

I have transcribed this passage that such opposi- 
tion may not come upon any one unexpectedly. O 
thou doer of good, expect a conflict with wicked 
spirits in high places, to clog all the good thou dost 
propose to do. Expect that they will make ceaseless 
endeavours to overwhelm thee, by instilling into the 
minds of men, vile ideas concerning thee, and by put- 
ting into their mouths calumnies against thee. These 
will be some of their devices to defeat all thy propo- 
sals : " Be not ignorant of Satan's devices." 

Yea, and if the devil were asleep, there is malignity 
enough in the hearts of wicked men themselves, to 
render a man, who wishes to do good, very offensive 
and troublesome to them. They are the offspring of 
him who " slew his brother because his works were 
righteous ;" and they will malign a man because he 
is useful to other men. Indeed, " to be spoken ill of 
by the wicked is to be praised.*'* Wicked men will 
curse a man because he is a blessing. Base and 
wicked disposition ! 

I happened once to be present in the room where 
a dying man could not \{id\e the world until he had 
lamented to a minister, whom he had sent for on this 
account, the uujust calumnies and injuries which he 
had often cast upon him. The minister asked the 
poor penitent wliat was the occasion of his abusive 
conduct ; whether he had been imposed upon by any 
false reports. The man made this horrible answer : 
" No, Sir ; it was merely this ; I thought you were a 
good man, and that you did much good in the world, 
and therefore 1 hated you. Is it possible, is it possi- 

♦ Malis displlcere est laudari. 


ble," said- the poor sinner, " for such a wretch to find 
pardon ?" Truly, though other causes may be assign- 
ed for the spite and rage of wicked men against a 
person of active benevolence, yet I shall not be de- 
ceived if I fear that a secret antipathy to the kingdom 
of God lies at the bottom of it. Or, in, proud men it 
may frequently be pale envy, enraged that other men 
are more useful in the world than tbey, • and vexing 
themselves with more than Sicilian torments, at "the 
sight of what God and man unite to perform. '' They 
see it and are grieved." ^' He is not a good man who 
I)as not goodness enough to call forth envy, and ha- 
tred."* But you must not " think strange of the 
trial," if men " speak evil of you," after you have 
done good to many, yea, to those very persons who 
thus sp;;ak. It will not be strange if you should 
" hear the defaming of many ;" if the men who do 
not love the holy ways of the Lord in his churches, 
should have no love lo you.; if javelins should be 
thrown at, you with the jnost impetuous rage ; and if 
pamphlets .fiilod v/itl? falsehood and slander should be 
published againtit you. God may wisely and in much 
faithfulness permit these things " to hide pride fronx 
you." "O, how much of. that deadly poison, pride> 
Svili remains v/iiliin us ; for which nothing short of 
poison- is an antidote T'f Alas 1 while we still carry 
about us the grave-clothes of pride, these, rough 
hands are the best titat can be employed to pull them, 
off. If you shouM m^et with such things, you must 
bear them with much meekness, much silence, great 
stlf-abasement, and a disposition to forgive the worst 
of all your persecutors. " Being defamed, you irmst 
entreat." Be well pleased if you can redeem.any op- 
portunities to do good. Be ready to do good even to- 
those from whom you su.fl*er evii. And when you 
have done all the good in your power, account your- 
self well paid if you escape as well as the crane did 
fi'om tlie wolf; if you are not Jiunis/ied for. what you. 

* Non l)onu3 est qui non ad invidiam usque bonus. est. 

f O quantum est vcnenum supcrbijc, quod non potest nisi 
veneno curaii. 


fllo. In short, be insensible of any merit in your per- 
formances. Lie in the dust, and be willing that both 
God and man should lay you there. Endeavour to 
reconcile your mind to indignities. Entertain them 
with all the calmness and temper imaginable. Be 
content that three hundred in S/iarta should be pre- 
ferred before you. When envious men can fix upon 
you no other blemish, they will say of you, as they 
said of Cyprian, that you are a proud man, because you 
do not jog on in their heavy road of slothfulness. 
Bear this also, with a still more profound humility. 
It is the last effort usually made by the dying " pride 
of life," to bear the charge of pride with impatience. 
Ye useful men, your acceptance with your Saviour, 
and with God through him, and your recompense in 
the world to come, are to carry you cheerfully through 
all your " essays" at usefulness. To he " reprobate 
for every good work" is a character from which it will 
be the wisdom of all men to fly, with the greatest 
dread imaginable. And to be " always abounding in 
the work of the Lord" is the truest and highest 
wisdom. It is the " wisdom v/hich is from above, 
full of mercy and good fruits.'* The sluggards who 
do no good in the world are " wise in their own con- 
ceit ;" but the men who are diligent in doing good 
can give such a reason for what they do, as proves 
them to be really ivise. Men " leave off to be wise," 
when they leave off to " do good." The wisdom of 
it appears in this : it is the best way of spending cur 
time ; that time is well spent which is employed in 
doing good. It is also a sure and pleasant way ef- 
fectually to bespeak the blessings of God on ourselves. 
Who so likely to Jiud bletisings as the men that are 
blessbiga I It has been said, " He, wlio lives v/ell, al- 
ways prays."* And I will add, " He, who acts well, 
prays vvcll."t Every action we perform for the king- 
dom of God, is, m effect, a prayer for the blessing of 
God. While we are at work for God, certainly he 
will be at work for us and ours. He wiU do for us 

* Q^ii bci^e vivlt, semper orat. 
f (^ui bene ag'it, bene orat.'* 

146 coNCLUSior*. 

far more than we have clone for him ; " more tha» we 
can ask or think." There is a voice in every good 
action : it is this ; " O do good unto those that are 
good." Thus my Bonifacius again sustains the name 
of Benedictus also : Yea, and there may l>e this more 
particular effect of what we do ; while we employ our 
invention for the interests of God, it is very probable 
that we shall sharpen it for our own. We shall be- 
come the more wise for ourselves, because we have 
been " wise to do good." And of the man who is 
compared to a " tree that brings forth fruit," we read, 
*' Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Nor can a 
man take a readier way to " live joyfully all the days 
of the life of his vanity, which God hath given him 
under the sun :" For, in this case, our life will not be 
thrown away in " vanity," nor shall we live " in vain." 
My friend, *' Go thy way," and be joyful, " for God 
acceptetii thy works." Our " few and evil" days are 
rendtred mucli less so, by our doing good in every 
one of them, as it rolls over our heads : Yea, the holy 
Spirit of God, who is the quickener of those who " do 
good without ceasing," will also be their comforter. 
Every day in which we are active for the kingdom of 
God, will be in some measure a day of Pentecost to 
us ; a day of the Holy Spirit's coming upon u$. The. 
*' consolations of God" will not be " small" with the, 
man wlio is full of contrivances for God, and for hia 
kingdom. In short, we read, " the vallies are covered 
over with corn ; they shoirt for joy, they also sing." 
We may be in low circumstances, in the valley of 
humiliation, but if we abound in the fruits of well-do- 
ing, v/e shall find this valley " covered over with 
corn." ^^'hen this is the case, we shall " shout for 
joy, and also sing." The consciousness of what we 
do, and of what we aim to do, will be a " continual 
feast" to us, " Our rejoicing is this, the testimony 
of our conscience." " A good action is its own re- 
ward."* Indeed the pleasure thatjs experienced in 
the performance of good actions is inexpressible, i^ 
unparalleled, is angelical : it is a most refined 

* Recte fecissc merces est. 


pleasure, more to be envied than any sensual gratifi- 
cation. Pleasure was long- since defined, " The re- 
sult of some excellent action.'* This pleasure is a 
sort of holy luxury. Most pitiable are they who will 
continue strangers to it ! 

When the useful man comes to his J\'unc dimittis, 
then he, who lived beloved, shall die lamented. It 
shall be witnessed and remembered of him, " That he 
was one who did good in Israel :" — An epitaph, the 
glory of which is h\r beyond that of the most stately 
pyramid. Then the calumniators, who once en- 
deavoured to destroy his reputation, shall have nothing 
to reflect upon but the impotence of their own de- 
feated malice. A Thersites will not have a more dis- 
advantageous article in his character than this, That 
he was an enemy to such a Ulysses. 

But what shall be done for this good man in the 
heavenly world ? Kis part and his work in the city of 
God are at present incomprehensible to us : but the 
" kindness," which his God will shew to him in the 
" strong city," will be truly " marvellous." A^ustin, 
writing on this subject, exclaimed, " How great will 
be the felicity of that city, where no evil will be seen, 
no good concealed."* The attempts which the Chris- 
tian has made to fill this world with " righteous 
things" are so many tokens for good to him, that he 
shall have a portion in that world ^vherein shall dwell 
nothing but " righteousness." He will be introduced 
into that world, with a sentence from the mouth of 
the glorious Jesus, which will be worth ten thousand 
worlds : — " Well done, good and faithful servant 1" 
And, O ! what shall be done for him ! He has done 
what he could for the honour of the King of heaven ; 
and every thing shall be done for him that can be done 
for one whom the King of heaven " delighteth to 

I will give you the whole summed up in one word : 
" Mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good." 
Ye children of God, there is a character of " mercy 

* Quanta erit ilia felicitas, ubi nullum erit malum, nullum 
-iatebit bonum * 


and truth" in all the good that you devise. You devise 
how to deal mercifully and truly v.iih every one, and to 
induce every one to do so too. And the mercy and 
truth of Godj which are forever engaged on your be- 
half, -will suffer you in this life to " lack no good 
thing," and will hereafter do you good beyond what 
the heart of man can yet conceive. A faithful God 
has promised it — " The mouth of the Lord hath spok- 
en it." 

I rememl^er what Calvin said when the order for 
his banishment from ungrateful Cieneva was brought 
to him : " I'vlost assuredly, if I had merely served 
man, this would have been a poor recompense : but 
it is my happiness that I have served Him who never 
fails to reward his servants to the full extent of his 

I will conclude with a declaration which I will bold- 
ly maintain : It is this ; Were a man able to write 
in seven languas^es ; could he daily converse with 
the sweets of all the liberal sciences to which the most 
accomplished men make pretensions ; were he to 
entertain himself with all ancient and modern history ; 
and could he feast continually on the curiosities which 
the different branches of learning may discover to 
liini : — all this would not afford the ravishing satis- 
faction which he might find in relieving the distresses 
of a poor, njiserable neighbour ; nor would it bear any 
comparison with the heartfelt delight which he might 
obtain by doing an extensive service to the kingdom 
of our great Saviour in the world, or by exerting his 
efforts to redress the miseries under which mankind 
is generally languishing. 

• Cei-tc si hnmiuibus sorvivisscm, mala mllii merccs per- 
solverctiir : sod bone est, quod ei insenivi, quinunquam non 
servis suis lependit, quod scmel promisit. 



This book is under no circumstar 
taken from the Buildin 


f..ini ilM