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William Penn (1644-1718):
Some Fruits of Solitude In Reflections And Maxims, 1682

Introductory Note

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was the son of Sir William Penn, a distinguished English Admiral. He was born in 1644. His boyhood was marked by a combination of pietism with a strong interest in athletics, and he was expelled from Oxford for nonconformity. After leaving the University he traveled on the Continent, served in the navy, and studied law. In 1667 he became a Quaker, and in the next year he was committed to the Tower for an attack on the orthodoxy of the day. During his imprisonment he wrote his well-known treatise on self-sacrifice, "No Cross, No Crown"; and after his release he suffered from time to time renewed imprisonments, until he finally turned his attention to America as a possible refuge for the persecuted Friends. In 1682 he obtained a charter creating him proprietor and governor of East New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and, after drawing up a constitution for the colony on the basis of religious toleration, he sailed for his new province. After two years, during which the population of the colony grew rapidly through emigration from Germany, Holland, and Scandinavia, as well as Great Britain, he returned to England, where his consultations with James II, whom he believed to be sincere in his professions of toleration, led to much misunderstanding of his motives and character. At the Revolution of 1688 he was treated as a Jacobite, but finally obtained the good - will of William III, and resumed his preaching and writing. In 1699 he again came to America, this time with the intention of remaining; but two years later he went home to oppose the proposal to convert his province into a crown colony. Queen Anne received him favorably, and he remained in England till his death in 1718.

Penn's voluminous writings are largely controversial, and often concerned with issues no longer vital. But his interpretation and defense of Quaker doctrine remain important; and the "Fruits of Solitude," here printed, is a mine of pithy comment upon human life, which combines with the acute common sense of Franklin the spiritual elevation of Woolman.

The Preface

Reader, - This Enchiridion, I present thee with, is the Fruit of Solitude: A School few care to learn in, tho' None Instructs us better. Some Parts of it are the Result of serious Reflection: Others the Flashings of Lucid Intervals: Writ for private Satisfaction, and now publish'd for an Help to Human Conduct.

The Author blesseth God for his Retirement, and kisses that Gentle Hand which led him into it: For though it should prove Barren to the World, it can never do so to him.

He has now had some Time he could call his own; a Property he was never so much Master of before: In which he has taken a View of himself and the World; and observed wherein he hath hit and mist the Mark; What might have been done, what mended, and what avoided in his Human Conduct: Together with the Omissions and Excesses of others, as well Societies and Governments, as private Families, and Persons. And he verily thinks, were he to live over his Life again, he could not only, with God's Grace, serve Him, but his Neighbor and himself, better than he hath done, and have Seven Years of his Time to spare. And yet perhaps he hath not been the Worst or the Idlest Man in the World; nor is he the Oldest. And this is the rather said, that it might quicken, Thee, Reader, to lose none of the Time that is yet thine.

There is nothing of which we are apt to be so lavish as of Time, and about which we ought to be more solicitous; since without it we can do nothing in this World. Time is what we want most, but what, alas! we use worst; and for which God will certainly most strictly reckon with us, when Time shall be no more.

It is of that Moment to us in Reference to both Worlds, that I can hardly wish any Man better, than that he would seriously consider what he does with his Time: How and to What Ends he Employs it; and what Returns he makes to God, his Neighbor and Himself for it. Will he ne'er have a Leidger for this? This, the greatest Wisdom and Work of Life.

To come but once into the World, and Trifle away our true Enjoyment of it, and of our selves in it, is lamentable indeed. This one Reflection would yield a thinking Person great Instruction. And since nothing below Man can so Think; Man, in being Thoughtless, must needs fall below himself. And that, to be sure, such do, as are unconcern'd in the Use of their most Precious Time.

This is but too evident, if we will allow our selves to consider, that there's hardly any Thing we take by the Right End, or improve to its just Advantage.

We understand little of the Works of God, either in Nature or Grace. We pursue False Knowledge, and Mistake Education extremely. We are violent in our Affections, Confused and Immethodical in our whole Life; making That a Burthen, which was given for a Blessing; and so of little Comfort to our selves or others; Misapprehending the true Notion of Happiness, and so missing of the Right Use of Life, and Way of happy Living.

And till we are persuaded to stop, and step a little aside, out of the noisy Crowd and Incumbering Hurry of the World, and Calmly take a Prospect of Things, it will be impossible we should be able to make a right Judgment of our Selves or know our own Misery. But after we have made the just Reckonings which Retirement will help us to, we shall begin to think the World in great measure Mad, and that we have been in a sort of Bedlam all this while.

Reader, whether Young or Old, think it not too soon or too late to turn over the Leaves of thy past Life: And be sure to fold down where any Passage of it may affect thee; And bestow thy Remainder of Time, to correct those Faults in thy future Conduct; Be it in Relation to this or the next life. What thou wouldst do, if what thou hast done were to do again, be sure to do as long as thou livest, upon the like Occasions.

Our Resolutions seem to be Vigorous, as often as we reflect upon our past Errors; But, Alas! they are apt to flat again upon fresh Temptations to the same Things.

The Author does not pretend to deliver thee an Exact Piece; his Business not being Ostentation, but Charity. 'T is Miscellaneous in the Matter of it, and by no means Artificial in the Composure. But it contains Hints, that it may serve thee for Texts to Preach to thy Self upon, and which comprehend Much of the Course of Human Life: Since whether thou art Parent or Child, Prince or Subject, Master or Servant, Single or Married, Public or Private, Mean or Honorable, Rich or Poor, Prosperous or Improsperous, in Peace or Controversy, in Business or Solitude; Whatever be thy Inclination or Aversion, Practice or Duty, thou wilt find something not unsuitably said for thy Direction and Advantage. Accept and Improve what deserves thy Notice; The rest excuse, and place to account of good Will to Thee and the whole Creation of God.

Part I


It is admirable to consider how many Millions of People come into, and go out of the World, Ignorant of themselves, and of the World they have lived in.

2. If one went to see Windsor - Castle, or Hampton - Court, it would be strange not to observe and remember the Situation, the Building, the Gardens, Fountains, &c. that make up the Beauty and Pleasure of such a Seat? And yet few People know themselves; No, not their own Bodies, the Houses of their Minds, the most curious Structure of the World; a living walking Tabernacle: Nor the World of which it was made, and out of which it is fed; which would be so much our Benefit, as well as our Pleasure, to know. We cannot doubt of this when we are told that the Invisible Things of God are brought to light by the Things that are seen; and consequently we read our Duty in them as often as we look upon them, to him that is the Great and Wise Author of them, if we look as we should do.

3. The World is certainly a great and stately Volume of natural Things; and may be not improperly styled the Hieroglyphicks of a better: But, alas! how very few Leaves of it do we seriously turn over! This ought to be the Subject of the Education of our Youth, who, at Twenty, when they should be fit for Business, know little or nothing of it.


4. We are in Pain to make them Scholars, but not Men! To talk, rather than to know, which is true Canting.

5. The first Thing obvious to Children is what is sensible; and that we make no Part of their rudiments.

6. We press their Memory too soon, and puzzle, strain, and load them with Words and Rules; to know Grammer and Rhetorick, and a strange Tongue or two, that it is ten to one may never be useful to them; Leaving their natural Genius to Mechanical and Physical, or natural Knowledge uncultivated and neglected; which would be of exceeding Use and Pleasure to them through the whole Course of their Life.

7. To be sure, Languages are not to be despised or neglected. But Things are still to be preferred.

8. Children had rather be making of Tools and Instruments of Play; Shaping, Drawing, Framing, and Building, &c. than getting some Rules of Propriety of Speech by Heart: And those also would follow with more Judgment, and less Trouble and Time.

9. It were Happy if we studied Nature more in natural Things; and acted according to Nature; whose rules are few, plain and most reasonable.

10. Let us begin where she begins, go her Pace, and close always where she ends, and we cannot miss of being good Naturalists.

11. The Creation would not be longer a Riddle to us: The Heavens, Earth, and Waters, with their respective, various and numerous Inhabitants: Their Productions, Natures, Seasons, Sympathies and Antipathies; their Use, Benefit and Pleasure, would be better understood by us: And an eternal Wisdom, Power, Majesty, and Goodness, very conspicuous to us, thro' those sensible and passing Forms: The World wearing the Mark of its Maker, whose Stamp is everywhere visible, and the Characters very legible to the Children of Wisdom.

12. And it would go a great way to caution and direct People in their Use of the World, that they were better studied and known in the Creation of it.

13. For how could Man find the Confidence to abuse it, while they should see the Great Creator stare them in the Face, in all and every part thereof?

14. Their Ignorance makes them insensible, and that Insensibility hardy in misusing this noble Creation, that has the Stamp and Voice of a Deity every where, and in every Thing to the Observing.

15. It is pity therefore that Books have not been composed for Youth, by some curious and careful Naturalists, and also Mechanicks, in the Latin Tongue, to be used in Schools, that they might learn Things with Words: Things obvious and familiar to them, and which would make the Tongue easier to be obtained by them.

16. Many able Gardiners and Husbandmen are yet Ignorant of the Reason of their Calling; as most Artificers are of the Reason of their own Rules that govern their excellent Workmanship. But a Naturalist and Mechanick of this sort is Master of the Reason of both, and might be of the Practice too, if his Industry kept pace with his Speculation; which were every commendable; and without which he cannot be said to be a complete Naturalist or Mechanick.

17. Finally, if Man be the Index or Epitomy of the World, as Philosophers tell us, we have only to read our selves well to be learned in it. But because there is nothing we less regard than the Characters of the Power that made us, which are so clearly written upon us and the World he has given us, and can best tell us what we are and should be, we are even Strangers to our own Genius: The Glass in which we should see that true instructing and agreeable Variety, which is to be observed in Nature, to the Admiration of that Wisdom and Adoration of that Power which made us all.


18. And yet we are very apt to be full of our selves, instead of Him that made what we so much value; and, but for whom we can have no Reason to value our selves. For we have nothing that we can call our own; no, not our selves: For we are all but Tenants, and at Will too, of the great Lord of our selves, and the rest of this great Farm, the World that we live upon.

19. But methinks we cannot answer it to our Selves as well as our Maker, that we should live and die ignorant of our Selves, and thereby of Him and the Obligations we are under to Him for our Selves.

20. If the worth of a Gift sets the Obligation, and directs the return of the Party that receives it; he that is ignorant of it, will be at a loss to value it and the Giver, for it.

21. Here is Man in his Ignorance of himself. He knows not how to estimate his Creator, because he knows not how to value his Creation. If we consider his Make, and lovely Compositure; the several Stories of his lovely Structure. His divers Members, their Order, Function and Dependency: The Instruments of Food, the Vessels of Digestion, the several Transmutations it passes. And how Nourishment is carried and diffused throughout the whole Body, by most innate and imperceptible Passages. How the Animal Spirit is thereby refreshed, and with an unspeakable Dexterity and Motion sets all Parts at work to feed themselves. And last of all, how the Rational Soul is seated in the Animal, as its proper House, as is the Animal in the Body: I say if this rare Fabrick alone were but considered by us, with all the rest by which it is fed and comforted, surely Man would have a more reverent Sense of the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, and of that Duty he owes to Him for it. But if he would be acquainted with his own Soul, its noble Faculties, its Union with the Body, its Nature and End, and the Providences by which the whole Frame of Humanity is preserved, he would Admire and Adore his Good and Great God. But Man is become a strange Contradiction to himself; but it is of himself; Not being by Constitution, but Corruption, such.

22. He would have others obey him, even his own kind; but he will not obey God, that is so much above him, and who made him.

23. He will lose none of his Authority; no, not bate an Ace of it: He is humorous1 to his Wife, he beats his Children, is angry with his Servants, strict with his Neighbors, revenges all Affronts to Extremity; but, alas, forgets all the while that he is the Man; and is more in Arrear to God, that is so very patient with him, than they are to him with whom he is so strict and impatient.

[Footnote 1: Capricious.]

24. He is curious to wash, dress, and perfume his Body, but careless of his Soul. The one shall have many Hours, the other not so many Minutes. This shall have three or four new Suits in a Year, but that must wear its old Cloaths still.

25. If he be to receive or see a great Man, how nice and anxious is he that all things be in order? And with what Respect and Address does he approach and make his Court? But to God, how dry and formal and constrained in his Devotion?

26. In his Prayers he says, Thy Will be done: But means his own: At least acts so.

27. It is too frequent to begin with God and end with the World. But He is the good Man's Beginning and End; his Alpha and Omega.


28. Such is now become our Delicacy, that we will not eat ordinary Meat, nor drink small, pall'd2 Liquor; we must have the best, and the best cook'd for our Bodies, while our Souls feed on empty or corrupted Things.

[Footnote 2: Stale.]

29. In short, Man is spending all upon a bare House, and hath little or no Furniture within to recommend it; which is preferring the Cabinet before the Jewel, a Lease of seven Years before an inheritance. So absurd a thing is Man, after all his proud Pretences to Wit and Understanding.


30. The want of due Consideration is the Cause of all the Unhappiness Man brings upon himself. For his second Thoughts rarely agree with his first, which pass not without a considerable Retrenchment or Correction. And yet that sensible Warning is, too frequently, not Precaution enough for his future Conduct.

31. Well may we say our Infelicity is of our selves; since there is nothing we do that we should not do, but we know it, and yet do it.

Disappointment And Resignation

32. For Disappointments, that come not by our own Folly, they are the Tryals or Corrections of Heaven: And it is our own Fault, if they prove not our Advantage.

33. To repine at them does not mend the Matter: It is only to grumble at our Creator. But to see the Hand of God in them, with an humble submission to his Will, is the Way to turn our Water into Wine, and engage the greatest Love and Mercy on our side.

34. We must needs disorder our selves, if we only look at our Losses. But if we consider how little we deserve what is left, our Passion will cool, and our Murmurs will turn into Thankfulness.

35. If our Hairs fall not to the Ground, less do we or our Substance without God's Providence.

36. Nor can we fall below the Arms of God, how low soever it be we fall.

37. For though our Saviour's Passion is over, his Compassion is not. That never fails his humble, sincere Disciples: In him, they find more than all that they lose in the World.


38. Is it reasonable to take it ill, that any Body desires of us that which is their own? All we have is the Almighty's: And shall not God have his own when he calls for it?

39. Discontentedness is not only in such a Case Ingratitude, but Injustice. For we are both unthankful for the time we had it, and not honest enough to restore it, if we could keep it.

40. But it is hard for us to look on things in such a Glass, and at such a Distance from this low World; and yet it is our Duty, and would be our Wisdom and our Glory to do so.


41. We are apt to be very pert at censuring others, where we will not endure advice our selves. And nothing shews our Weakness more than to be so sharp - sighted at spying other Men's Faults; and so purblind about our own.

42. When the Actions of a Neighbor are upon the Stage, we can have all our Wits about us, are so quick and critical we can split an Hair, and find out ever Failure and Infirmity: But are without feeling, or have but very little Sense of our own.

43. Much of this comes from Ill Nature, as well as from an inordinate Value of our selves: For we love Rambling better than home, and blaming the unhappy, rather than covering and relieving them.

44. In such Occasions some shew their Malice, and are witty upon Misfortunes; others their Justice, they can reflect a pace: But few or none their Charity; especially if it be about Money Matters.

45. You shall see an old Miser come forth with a set Gravity, and so much Severity against the distressed, to excuse his Purse, that he will, e'er he has done, put it out of all Question, That Riches is Righteousness with him. This, says he, is the Fruit of your Prodigality (as if, poor Man, Covetousness were no Fault) Or, of your Projects, or grasping after a great Trade; While he himself would have done the same thing, but that he had not the Courage to venture so much ready Money out of his own trusty Hands, though it had been to have brought him back the Indies in return. But the Proverb is just, Vice should not correct Sin.

46. They have a Right to censure, that have a Heart to help: The rest is Cruelty, not Justice.

Bounds Of Charity

47. Lend not beyond thy Ability, nor refuse to lend out of thy Ability; especially when it will help others more than it can hurt thee.

48. If thy Debtor be honest and capable, thou hast thy Mony again, if not with Encrease, with Praise: If he prove insolvent, don't ruin him to get that, which it will not ruin thee to lose: For thou art but a Steward, and another is thy Owner, Master and Judge.

49. The more merciful Acts thou dost, the more Mercy thou wilt receive; and if with a charitable Imployment of thy Temporal Riches, thou gainest eternal Treasure, thy Purchase is infinite: Thou wilt have found the Art of Multiplying3 indeed.

[Footnote 3: The term used by the alchemists for increasing the precious metals.]

Frugality Or Bounty

50. Frugality is good if Liberality be join'd with it. The first is leaving off superfluous Expences; the last bestowing them to the Benefit of others that need. The first without the last begins Covetousness; the last without the first begins Prodigality: Both together make an excellent Temper. Happy the Place where ever that is found.

51. Were it universal, we should be Cur'd of two Extreams, Want and Excess: and the one would supply the other, and so bring both nearer to a Mean; the just Degree of earthly Happiness.

52. It is Reproach to Religion and Government to suffer so much Poverty and Excess.

53. Were the Superfluities of a Nation valued, and made a perpetual Tax or Benevolence, there would be more Almshouses than Poor; Schools than Scholars; and enough to spare for Government besides.

54. Hospitality is good, if the poorer sort are the subjects of our Bounty; else too near a Superfluity.


55. If thou wouldst be happy and easie in thy Family, above all things observe Discipline.

56. Every one in it should know their Duty; and there should be a Time and Place for every thing; and whatever else is done or omitted, be sure to begin and end with God.


57. Love Labor: For if thou dost not want it for Food, thou mayest for Physick. It is wholesome for thy Body, and good for thy Mind. It prevents the Fruits of Idleness, which many times comes of nothing to do, and leads too many to do what is worse than nothing.

58. A Garden, an Elaboratory, a Work - house, Improvements and Breeding, are pleasant and Profitable Diversions to the Idle and Ingenious: For here they miss Ill Company, and converse with Nature and Art; whose Variety are equally grateful and instructing; and preserve a good Constitution of Body and Mind.


59. To this a spare Diet contributes much. Eat therefore to live, and do not live to eat. That's like a Man, but this below a Beast.

60. Have wholesome, but not costly Food, and be rather cleanly than dainty in ordering it.

61. The Receipts of Cookery are swell'd to a Volume, but a good Stomach excels them all; to which nothing contributes more than Industry and Temperance.

62. It is a cruel Folly to offer up to Ostentation so many Lives of Creatures, as make up the State of our Treats; as it is a prodigal one to spend more in Sawce than in Meat.

63. The Proverb says, That enough is as good as a Feast: But it is certainly better, if Superfluity be a Fault, which never fails to be at Festivals.

64. If thou rise with an Appetite, thou art sure never to sit down without one.

65. Rarely drink but when thou art dry; nor then, between Meals, if it can be avoided.

66. The smaller4 the Drink, the clearer the Head, and the cooler the Blood; which are great Benefits in Temper and Business.

[Footnote 4: Weaker.]

67. Strong Liquors are good at some Times, and in small Proportions; being better for Physick than Food, for Cordials than common Use.

68. The most common things are the most useful; which shews both the Wisdom and Goodness of the great Lord of the Family of the World.

69. What therefore he has made rare, don't thou use too commonly; Lest thou shouldest invert the Use and Order of things; become Wanton and Voluptuous; and thy Blessings prove a Curse.

70. Let nothing be lost, said our Saviour. But that is lost that is misused.

71. Neither urge another to that thou wouldst be unwilling to do thy self, nor do thy self what looks to thee unseemly, and intemperate in another.

72. All Excess is ill: But Drunkenness is of the worst Sort. It spoils Health, dismounts the Mind, and unmans Men: It reveals Secrets, is Quarrelsome, Lascivious, Impudent, Dangerous and Mad. In fine, he that is drunk is not a Man: Because he is so long void of Reason, that distinguishes a Man from a Beast.


73. Excess in Apparel is another costly Folly. The very Trimming of the vain World would cloath all the naked one.

74. Chuse thy Cloaths by thine own Eyes, not another's. The more plain and simple they are, the better. Neither unshapely, nor fantastical; and for Use and Decency, and not for Pride.

75. If thou art clean and warm, it is sufficient; for more doth but rob the Poor, and please the Wanton.

76. It is said of the true Church, the King's Daughter is all glorious within. Let our Care therefore be of our Minds more than of our Bodies, if we would be of her Communion.

77. We are told with Truth, that Meekness and Modesty are the Rich and Charming Attire of the Soul: And the plainer the Dress, the more Distinctly, and with greater Lustre, their Beauty shines.

78. It is great Pity such Beauties are so rare, and those of Jezebel's Forehead are so common: Whose Dresses are Incentives to Lust; but Bars instead of Motives, to Love or Vertue.

Right Marriage

79. Never Marry but for Love; but see that thou lov'st what is lovely.

80. If Love be not thy chiefest Motive, thou wilt soon grow weary of a Married State, and stray from thy Promise, to search out thy Pleasures in forbidden Places.

81. Let not Enjoyment lessen, but augment Affection; it being the basest of Passions to like when we have not, what we slight when we possess.

82. It is the difference betwixt Lust and Love, that this is fixt, that volatile. Love grows, Lust wastes by Enjoyment: And the Reason is, that one springs from an Union of Souls, and the other from an Union of Sense.

83. They have Divers Originals, and so are of different Families: That inward and deep, this superficial; this transient, and that permanent.

84. They that Marry for Money cannot have the true Satisfaction of Marriage; the requisite Means being wanting.

85. Men are generally more careful of the Breed of their Horses and Dogs than of their Children.

86. Those must be of the best Sort, for Shape, Strength, Courage and good Conditions: But as for these, their own Posterity, Money shall answer all Things. With such, it makes the Crooked Streight, sets Squint - Eyes Right, cures Madness, covers Folly, changes ill Conditions, mends the Skin, gives a sweet Breath, repairs Honors, makes Young, works Wonders.

87. O how sordid is Man grown! Man, the noblest Creature in the World, as a God on Earth, and the Image of him that made it; thus to mistake Earth for Heaven, and worship Gold for God!

Part II


88. Covetousness is the greatest of Monsters, as well as the Root of all Evil. I have once seen the Man that dyed to save Charges. What! Give Ten Shillings to a Doctor, and have an Apothecary's Bill besides, that may come to I know not what! No, not he: Valuing Life less than Twenty Shillings. But indeed such a Man could not well set too low a Price upon himself; who, though he liv'd up to the Chin in Bags, had rather die than find in his Heart to open one of them, to help to save his Life.

89. Such a Man is felo de se,5 and deserves not Christian Burial.

[Footnote 5: A suicide.]

90. He is a common Nusance, a Weyer6 cross the Stream, that stops the Current: An Obstruction, to be remov'd by a Purge of the Law. The only Gratification he gives his Neighbors, is to let them see that he himself is as little the better for what he has, as they are. For he always looks like Lent: a Sort of Lay Minim.7 In some Sense he may be compar'd to Pharoah's lean Kine, for all that he has does him no good. He commonly wears his Cloaths till they leave him, or that no Body else can wear them. He affects to be thought poor, to escape Robbery and Taxes: And by looking as if he wanted an Alms, excusing himself from giving any. He ever goes late to Markets, to cover buying the worst: But does it because that is cheapest. He lives of the Offal. His Life were an insupportable Punishment to any Temper but his own: And no greater Torment to him on Earth, than to live as other Men do. But the Misery of his Pleasure is, that he is never satisfied with getting, and always in Fear of losing what he cannot use.

[Footnote 6: Dam.]

[Footnote 7: One of an order of monks pledged to the observance of perpetual Lent.]

91. How vilely has he lost himself, that becomes a Slave to his Servant, and exalts him to the Dignity of his Maker! Gold is the God, the Wife, the Friend of the Money - Monger of the World.

92. But in Marriage do thou be wise; prefer the Person before Money; Vertue before Beauty, the Mind before the Body: Then thou hast a Wife, a Friend, a Companion, a Second Self; one that bears an equal Share with thee in all thy Toyls and Troubles.

93. Chuse one that Measures her satisfaction, Safety and Danger, by thine; and of whom thou art sure, as of thy secretest Thoughts: A Friend as well as a Wife, which indeed a Wife implies: For she is but half a Wife that is not, or is not capable of being such a Friend.

94. Sexes make no Difference; since in Souls there is none: And they are the Subjects of Friendship.

95. He that minds a Body and not a Soul, has not the better Part of that Relation; and will consequently want the Noblest Comfort of a Married Life.

96. The Satisfaction of our Senses is low, short, and transient: But the Mind gives a more raised and extended Pleasure, and is capable of an Happiness founded upon Reason; not bounded and limited by the Circumstances that Bodies are confin'd to.

97. Here it is we ought to search out our Pleasure, where the Field is large and full of Variety, and of an induring Nature: Sickness, Poverty, or Disgrace, being not able to shake it, because it is not under the moving Influences of Worldly Contingencies.

98. The Satisfaction of those that do so is in well - doing, and in the Assurance they have of a future Reward: That they are best loved of those they love most, and that they enjoy and value the Liberty of their Minds above that of their Bodies; having the whole Creation for their Prospect, the most Noble and Wonderful Works and Providences of God, the Histories of the Antients, and in them the Actions and Examples of the Vertuous; and lastly, themselves, their Affairs and Family, to exercise their Minds and Friendship upon.

99. Nothing can be more entire and without Reserve; nothing more zealous, affectionate and sincere; nothing more contented and constant than such a Couple; nor no greater temporal Felicity than to be one of them.

100. Between a Man and his Wife nothing ought to rule but Love. Authority is for Children and Servants; yet not without Sweetness.

101. As Love ought to bring them together, so it is the best Way to keep them well together.

102. Wherefore use her not as a Servant, whom thou would'st, perhaps, have serv'd Seven Years to have obtained.

103. An Husband and Wife that love and value one another, shew their Children and Servants, That they should do so too. Others visibly lose their Authority in their Families by their Contempt of one another; and teach their Children to be unnatural by their own Example.

104. It is a general Fault, not to be more careful to preserve Nature in Children; who, at least in the second Descent, hardly have the Feeling of their Relation; which must be an unpleasant Reflection to affectionate Parents.

105. Frequent Visits, Presents, intimate Correspondence and Intermarriages within allowed Bounds, are Means of keeping up the Concern and Affection that Nature requires from Relations.


106. Friendship is the next Pleasure we may hope for: And where we find it not at home, or have no home to find it in, we may seek it abroad. It is an Union of Spirits, a Marriage of Hearts, and the Bond thereof Vertue.

107. There can be no Friendship where there is no Freedom. Friendship loves a free Air, and will not be penned up in streight and narrow Enclosures. It will speak freely, and act so too; and take nothing ill where no ill is meant; nay, where it is, 'twill easily forgive, and forget too, upon small Acknowledgments.

108. Friends are true Twins in Soul; they Sympathize in every thing, and have the Love and Aversion.

109. One is not happy without the other, nor can either of them be miserable alone. As if they could change Bodies, they take their turns in Pain as well as in Pleasure; relieving one another in their most adverse Conditions.

110. What one enjoys, the other cannot Want. Like the Primitive Christians, they have all things in common, and no Property but in one another.

Qualities Of A Friend

111. A true Friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a Friend unchangeably.

112. These being the Qualities of a Friend, we are to find them before we chuse one.

113. The Covetous, the Angry, the Proud, the Jealous, the Talkative, cannot but make ill Friends, as well as the False.

114. In short, chuse a Friend as thou dost a Wife, till Death separate you.

115. Yet be not a Friend beyond the Altar: but let Virtue bound thy Friendship: Else it is not Friendship, but an Evil Confederacy.

116. If my Brother or Kinsman will be my Friend, I ought to prefer him before a Stranger, or I shew little Duty or Nature to my Parents.

117. And as we ought to prefer our Kindred in Point of Affection, so too in Point of Charity, if equally needing and deserving.

Caution And Conduct

118. Be not easily acquainted, lest finding Reason to cool, thou makest an Enemy instead of a good Neighbor.

119. Be Reserved, but not Sour; Grave, but not Formal; Bold, but not Rash; Humble, but not Servile; Patient, not Insensible; Constant, not Obstinate; Chearful, not Light; Rather Sweet than Familiar; Familiar, than Intimate; and Intimate with very few, and upon very good Grounds.

120. Return the Civilities thou receivest, and be grateful for Favors.


121. If thou hast done an Injury to another, rather own it than defend it. One way thou gainest Forgiveness, the other, thou doubl'st the Wrong and Reckoning.

122. Some oppose Honor to Submission: But it can be no Honor to maintain, what it is dishonorable to do.

123. To confess a Fault, that is none, out of Fear, is indeed mean: But not to be afraid of standing in one, is Brutish.

124. We should make more Haste to Right our Neighbor, than we do to wrong him, and instead of being Vindicative, we should leave him to be Judge of his own Satisfaction.

125. True Honor will pay treble Damages, rather than justifie one wrong with another.

126. In such Controversies, it is but too common for some to say, Both are to blame, to excuse their own Unconcernedness, which is a base Neutrality. Others will cry, They are both alike; thereby involving the Injured with the Guilty, to mince the Matter for the Faulty, or cover their own Injustice to the wronged Party.

127. Fear and Gain are great Perverters of Mankind, and where either prevail, the Judgment is violated.

Rules Of Conversation

128. Avoid Company where it is not profitable or necessary; and in those Occasions speak little, and last.

129. Silence is Wisdom, where Speaking is Folly; and always safe.

130. Some are so Foolish as to interrupt and anticipate those that speak, instead of hearing and thinking before they answer; which is uncivil as well as silly.

131. If thou thinkest twice, before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it.

132. Better say nothing than not to the Purpose. And to speak pertinently, consider both what is fit, and when it is fit to speak.

133. In all Debates, let Truth by thy Aim, not Victory, or an unjust Interest: And endeavor to gain, rather than to expose thy Antagonist.

134. Give no Advantage in Argument, nor lose any that is offered. This is a Benefit which arises from Temper.

135. Don't use thy self to dispute against thine own Judgment, to shew Wit, lest it prepare thee to be too indifferent about what is Right: Nor against another Man, to vex him, or for mere Trial of Skill; since to inform, or to be informed, ought to be the End of all Conferences.

136. Men are too apt to be concerned for their Credit, more than for the Cause.


137. There is a Truth and Beauty in Rhetorick; but it oftener serves ill Turns than good ones.

138. Elegancy is a good Meen and Address given to Matter, be it by proper or figurative Speech: Where the Words are apt, and allusions very natural, Certainly it has a moving Grace: But it is too artificial for Simplicity, and oftentimes for Truth. The Danger is, lest it delude the Weak, who in such Cases may mistake the Handmaid for the Mistress, if not Error for Truth.

139. 'T is certain Truth is least indebted to it, because she has least need of it, and least uses it.

140. But it is a reprovable Delicacy in them, that despise Truth in plain Cloths.

141. Such Luxuriants have but false Appetites; like those Gluttons, that by Sawces force them, where they have no Stomach, and Sacrifice to their Pallate, not their Health: Which cannot be without great Vanity, nor That without some Sin.


142. Nothing does Reason more Right, than the Coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the Heat of its Defenders, than from the Arguments of its Opposers.

143. Zeal ever follows an Appearance of Truth, and the Assured are too apt to be warm; but 't is their side in Argument; Zeal being better shewn against Sin, than Persons of their Mistakes.


144. Where thou art Obliged to speak, be sure speak the Truth: For Equivocation is half way to Lying, as Lying, the whole way to Hell.


145. Believe nothing against another but upon good Authority: Nor report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to others to conceal it.


146. It is wise not to seek a Secret, and honest not to reveal one.

147. Only trust thy self, and another shall not betray thee.

148. Openness has the Mischief, though not the Malice of Treachery.


149. Never assent merely to please others. For that is, besides Flattery, oftentimes Untruth; and discovers a Mind liable to be servile and base: Nor contradict to vex others, for that shows an ill Temper, and provokes, but profits no Body.


150. Do not accuse others to excuse thy self; for that is neither Generous nor Just. But let Sincerity and Ingenuity be thy Refuge, rather than Craft and Falsehood: for Cunning borders very near upon Knavery.

151. Wisdom never uses nor wants it. Cunning to Wise, is as an Ape to a Man.


152. Interest has the Security, tho' not the Virtue of a Principle. As the World goes 't is the surer side; For Men daily leave both Relations and Religion to follow it.

153. 'T is an odd Sight, but very evident, That Families and Nations, of cross Religions and Humors unite against those of their own, where they find an Interest to do it.

154. We are tied down by our Senses to this World; and where that is in Question, it can be none with Worldly Men, whether they should not forsake all other Considerations for it.


155. Have a care of Vulgar Errors. Dislike, as well as Allow Reasonably.

156. Inquiry is Human; Blind Obedience Brutal. Truth never loses by the one, but often suffers by the other.

157. The usefulest Truths are plainest: And while we keep to them, our Differences cannot rise high.

158. There may be a Wantonness in Search, as well as a Stupidity in Trusting. It is great Wisdom equally to avoid the Extreams.

Right - Timing

159. Do nothing improperly. Some are Witty, Kind, Cold, Angry, Easie, Stiff, Jealous, Careless, Cautious, Confident, Close, Open, but all in the wrong Place.

160. It is all mistaking where the Matter is of Importance.

161. It is not enough that a thing be Right, if it be not fit to be done. If not Imprudent, tho' Just, it is not advisable. He that loses by getting, had better lose than get.


162. Knowledge is the Treasure, but Judgment the Treasurer of a Wise Man.

163. He that has more Knowledge than Judgment, is made for another Man's use more than his own.

164. It cannot be a good Constitution, where the Appetite is great and the Digestion is weak.

165. There are some Men like Dictionaries; to be lookt into upon occasions, but have no Connection, and are little entertaining.

166. Less Knowledge than Judgment will always have the advantage upon the Injudicious knowing Man.

167. A Wise Man makes what he learns his own, 'tother shows he's but a Copy, or a Collection at most.


168. Wit is an happy and striking way of expressing a Thought.

169. 'Tis not often tho' it be lively and mantling, that it carries a great Body with it.

170. Wit therefore is fitter for Diversion than Business, being more grateful to Fancy than Judgment.

171. Less Judgment than Wit, is more Sale than Ballast.

172. Yet it must be confessed, that Wit gives an Edge to Sense, and recommends it extreamly.

173. Where Judgment has Wit to express it, there's the best Orator.

Obedience To Parents

174. If thou wouldest be obeyed, being a Father; being a Son, be Obedient.

175. He that begets thee, owes thee; and has a natural Right over thee.

176. Next to God, thy Parents; next them, the Magistrate.

177. Remember that thou are not more indebted to thy Parents for thy Nature, than for thy Love and Care.

178. Rebellion therefore in Children, was made Death by God's Law, and the next Sin to Idolatry, in the People; which is renouncing of God, the Parent of all.

179. Obedience to Parents is not only our Duty, but our Interest. If we received our Life from them, We prolong it by obeying them: For Obedience is the first Commandment with Promise.

180. The Obligation is as indissolvable as the Relation.

181. If we must not disobey God to obey them; at least we must let them see, that there is nothing else in our refusal. For some unjust Commands cannot excuse the general Neglect of our Duty. They will be our Parents and we must be their Children still: And if we cannot act for them against God, neither can we act against them for ourselves or anything else.


182. A Man in Business must put up many Affronts, if he loves his own Quiet.

183. We must not pretend to see all that we see, if we would be easie.

184. It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.

185. A vindictive Temper is not only uneasie to others, but to them that have it.


186. Rarely Promise: But, if Lawful, constantly perform.

187. Hasty Resolutions are of the Nature of Vows; and to be equally avoided.

188. I will never do this, says one, yet does it: I am resolved to do this, says another; but flags upon second Thoughts: Or does it, tho' awkwardly, for his Word's sake: As if it were worse to break his Word, than to do amiss in keeping it.

189. Wear none of thine own Chains; but keep free, whilst thou art free.

190. It is an Effect of Passion that Wisdom corrects, to lay thy self under Resolutions that cannot be well made, and must be worse performed.

Part III


191. Avoid all thou canst to be Entrusted: But do thy utmost to discharge the Trust thou undertakest: For Carelessness is Injurious, if not Unjust.

192. The Glory of a Servant is Fidelity; which cannot be without Diligence, as well as Truth.

193. Fidelity has Enfranchised Slaves, and Adopted Servants to be Sons.

194. Reward a good Servant well: And rather quit than Disquiet thy self with an ill one.


195. Mix Kindness with Authority; and rule more by Discretion than Rigor.

196. If thy Servant be faulty, strive rather to convince him of his Error, than discover thy Passion: And when he is sensible, forgive him.

197. Remember he is thy Fellow - Creature, and that God's Goodness, not thy Merit, has made the Difference betwixt Thee and Him.

198. Let not thy Children Domineer over thy Servants: Nor suffer them to slight thy Children.

199. Suppress Tales in the general: But where a Matter requires notice, encourage the Complaint, and right the Aggrieved.

200. If a Child, he ought to Entreat, and not to Command; and if a Servant, to comply where he does not obey.

201. Tho' there should be but one Master and Mistress in a Family, yet Servants should know that Children have the Reversion.


202. Indulge not unseemly Things in thy Master's Children, nor refuse them what is fitting: For one is the highest Unfaithfulness, and the other, Indiscretion as well as Disrespect.

203. Do thine own Work honestly and chearfully: And when that is done, help thy Fellow; that so another time he may help thee.

204. If thou wilt be a Good Servant, thou must be True; and thou canst not be True if thou Defraud'st thy Master.

205. A Master may be Defrauded many ways by a servant: As in Time, Care, Pains, Money, Trust.

206. But, a True Servant is the Contrary: He's Diligent, Careful, Trusty. He Tells no Tales, Reveals no Secrets, Refuses no Pains: Not to be Tempted by Gain, nor aw'd by Fear, to Unfaithfulness.

207. Such a Servant, serves God in serving his Master; and has double Wages for his Work, to wit, Here and Hereafter.


208. Be not fancifully Jealous: For that is Foolish; as, to be reasonably so, is Wise.

209. He that superfines up another Man's Actions, cozens himself, as well as injures them.

210. To be very subtil and scrupulous in Business, is as hurtful, as being over - confident and secure.

211. In difficult Cases, such a Temper is Timorous; and in dispatch Irresolute.

212. Experience is a safe Guide: And a Practical Head, is a great Happiness in Business.


213. We are too careless of Posterity; not considering that as they are, so the next Generation will be.

214. If we would amend the World, we should mend Our selves; and teach our Children to be, not what we are, but what they should be.

215. We are too apt to awaken and turn up their Passions by the Examples of our own; and to teach them to be pleased, not with what is best, but with what pleases best.

216. It is our Duty, and ought to be our Care, to ward against that Passion in them, which is more especially our Own Weakness and Affliction: For we are in great measure accountable for them, as well as for our selves.

217. We are in this also true Turners of the World upside down; For Money is first, and Virtue last, and least in our care.

218. It is not How we leave our Children, but What we leave them.

219. To be sure Virtue is but a Supplement, and not a Principal in their Portion and Character: And therefore we see so little Wisdom or Goodness among the Rich, in proportion to their Wealth.

A Country Life

220. The Country Life is to be preferr'd; for there we see the Works of God; but in Cities little else but the Works of Men: And the one makes a better Subject for our Contemplation than the other.

221. As Puppets are to Men, and Babies8 to Children, so is Man's Workmanship to God's: We are the Picture, he the Reality.

[Footnote 8: Dolls.]

222. God's Works declare his Power, Wisdom and Goodness; but Man's Works, for the most part, his Pride, Folly and Excess. The one is for use, the other, chiefly, for Ostentation and Lust.

223. The Country is both the Philosopher's Garden and his Library, in which he Reads and Contemplates the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God.

224. It is his Food as well as Study; and gives him Life, as well as Learning.

225. A Sweet and Natural Retreat from Noise and Talk, and allows opportunity for Reflection, and gives the best Subjects for it.

226. In short, 't is an Original, and the Knowledge and Improvement of it, Man's oldest Business and Trade, and the best he can be of.

Art and Project

227. Art, is Good, where it is beneficial. Socrates wisely bounded his Knowledge and Instruction by Practice.

228. Have a care therefore of Projects: And yet despise nothing rashly, or in the Lump.

229. Ingenuity, as well as Religion, sometimes suffers between two Thieves; Pretenders and Despisers.

230. Though injudicious and dishonest Projectors often discredit Art, yet the most useful and extraordinary Inventions have not, at first, escap'd the Scorn of Ignorance; as their Authors, rarely, have cracking of their Heads, or breaking their backs.

231. Undertake no Experiment, in Speculation, that appears not true in Art; nor then, at thine own Cost, if costly or hazardous in making.

232. As many Hands make light Work, so several Purses make cheap Experiments.


233. Industry, is certainly very commendable, and supplies the want of Parts.

234. Patience and Diligence, like Faith, remove Mountains.

235. Never give out while there is Hope; but hope not beyond Reason, for that shews more Desire than Judgment.

236. It is a profitable Wisdom to know when we have done enough: Much Time and Pains are spared, in not flattering our selves against Probabilities.

Temporal Happiness

237. Do Good with what thou hast, or it will do thee no good.

238. Seek not to be Rich, but Happy. The one lies in Bags, the other in Content: which Wealth can never give.

239. We are apt to call things by wrong Names. We will have Prosperity to be Happiness, and Adversity to be Misery; though that is the School of Wisdom, and oftentimes the way to Eternal Happiness.

240. If thou wouldest be Happy, bring thy Mind to thy Condition, and have an Indifferency for more than what is sufficient.

241. Have but little to do, and do it thy self: And do to others as thou wouldest have them do to thee: So, thou canst not fail of Temporal Felicity.

242. The generality are the worse for their Plenty: The Voluptuous consumes it, the Miser hides it: 'T is the good Man that uses it, and to good Purposes. But such are hardly found among the Prosperous.

243. Be rather Bountiful, than Expensive.

244. Neither make nor go to Feasts, but let the laborious Poor bless thee at Home in their Solitary Cottages.

245. Never voluntarily want what thou hast in Possession; nor so spend it as to involve thyself in want unavoidable.

246. Be not tempted to presume by Success: For many that have got largely, have lost all, by coveting to get more.

247. To hazard much to get much, has more of Avarice than Wisdom.

248. It is great Prudence both to Bound and Use Prosperity.

249. Too few know when they have Enough; and fewer know how to employ it.

250. It is equally adviseable not to part lightly with what is hardly gotten, and not to shut up closely what flows in freely.

251. Act not the Shark upon thy Neighbors; nor take Advantage of the Ignorance, Prodigality or Necessity of any one: For that is next door to Fraud, and, at best, makes but an Unblest Gain.

252. It is oftentimes the Judgment of God upon Greedy Rich Men, that he suffers them to push on their Desires of Wealth to the Excess of over reaching, grinding or oppression, which poisons all the rest they have gotten: So that it commonly runs away as fast, and by as bad ways as it was heap'd up together.


253. Never esteem any Man, or thy self, the more for Money; nor think the meaner of thy self or another for want of it: Vertue being the just Reason of respecting, and the want of it, of slighting any one.

254. A Man like a Watch, is to be valued for his Goings.

255. He that prefers him upon other accounts, bows to an Idol.

256. Unless Virtue guide us, our Choice must be wrong.

257. An able bad Man, is an ill Instrument, and to be shunned as the Plague.

258. Be not deceived with the first appearances of things, but give thy self Time to be in the right.

259. Show, is not Substance: Realities Govern Wise Men.

260. Have a Care therefore where there is more Sail than Ballast.


261. In all Business it is best to put nothing to hazard: But where it is unavoidable, be not rash, but firm and resign'd.

262. We should not be troubled for what we cannot help: But if it was our Fault, let it be so no more. Amendment is Repentance, if not Reparation.

263. As a Desperate Game needs an able Gamester, so Consideration often would prevent, what the best skill in the World Cannot Recover.

264. Where the Probability of Advantage exceeds not that of Loss, Wisdom never Adventures.

265. To Shoot well Flying is well; but to Chose it, has more of Vanity than Judgment.

266. To be Dextrous in Danger is a Virtue; but to Court Danger to show it, is Weakness.


267. Have a care of that base Evil Detraction. It is the Fruit of Envy, as that is of Pride; the immediate Offspring of the Devil: Who, of an Angel, a Lucifer, a Son of the Morning, made himself a Serpent, a Devil, a Beelzebub, and all that is obnoxious to the Eternal Goodness.

268. Vertue is not secure against Envy. Men will Lessen what they won't Imitate.

269. Dislike what deserves it, but never Hate: For that is of the Nature of Malice; which is almost ever to Persons, not Things, and is one of the blackest Qualities Sin begets in the Soul.


270. It were an happy Day if Men could bound and qualifie their Resentments with Charity to the Offender: For then our Anger would be without Sin, and better convict and edifie the Guilty; which alone can make it lawful.

271. Not to be provok'd is best: But if mov'd, never correct till the Fume is spent; For every Stroke our Fury strikes, is sure to hit our selves at last.

272. If we did but observe the Allowances our Reason makes upon Reflection, when our Passion is over, we could not want a Rule how to behave our selves again in the like Occasions.

273. We are more prone to Complain than Redress, and to Censure than Excuse.

274. It is next to unpardonable, that we can so often Blame what we will not once mend. It shews, we know, but will not do our Master's Will.

275. They that censure, should Practice: Or else let them have the first stone, and the last too.


276. Nothing needs a Trick but a Trick; Sincerity loathes one.

277. We must take care to do Right Things Rightly: For a just Sentence may be unjustly executed.

278. Circumstances give great Light to true Judgment, if well weigh'd.


279. Passion is a sort of Fever in the Mind, which ever leaves us weaker than it found us.

280. But being, intermitting to be sure, 't is curable with care.

281. It more than any thing deprives us of the use of our Judgment; for it raises a Dust very hard to see through.

282. Like Wine, whose Lees fly by being jogg'd, it is too muddy to Drink.

283. It may not unfitly be termed, the Mob of the Man, that commits a Riot upon his Reason.

284. I have sometimes thought, that a Passionate Man is like a weak Spring that cannot stand long lock'd.

285. And as true, that those things are unfit for use, that can't bear small Knocks, without breaking.

286. He that won't hear can't Judge, and he that can't bear Contradiction, may, with all his Wit, miss the Mark.

287. Objection and Debate Sift out Truth, which needs Temper as well as Judgment.

288. But above all, observe it in Resentments, for their Passion is most Extravagant.

289. Never chide for Anger, but Instruction.

290. He that corrects out of Passion, raises Revenge sooner than Repentance.

291. It has more of Wantonness than Wisdom, and resembles those that Eat to please their Pallate, rather than their Appetite.

292. It is the difference between a Wise and a Weak Man; This Judges by the Lump, that by Parts and their Connection.

293. The Greeks use to say, all Cases are governed by their Circumstances. The same thing may be well and ill as they change or vary the Matter.

294. A Man's Strength is shewn by his Bearing. Bonum Agere, & Male Pati, Regis est.9

[Footnote 9: To do good and ill to endure is the part of a king.]

Personal Cautions

295. Reflect without Malice but never without Need.

296. Despise no Body, nor no Condition; lest it come to be thine own.

297. Never Rail nor Taunt. The one is Rude, the other Scornful, and both Evil.

298. Be not provoked by Injuries, to commit them.

299. Upbraid only Ingratitude.

300. Haste makes Work which Caution prevents.

301. Tempt no Man; lest thou fall for it.

302. Have a care of presuming upon After - Games:10 For if that miss, all is gone.

[Footnote 10: A second game played to reverse the issue of the first.]

303. Opportunities should never be lost, because they can hardly be regained.

304. It is well to cure, but better to prevent a Distemper. The first shows more Skill, but the last more Wisdom.

305. Never make a Tryal of Skill in difficult or hazardous Cases.

306. Refuse not to be informed: For that shews Pride or Stupidity.

307. Humility and Knowledge in poor Cloaths, excel Pride and Ignorance in costly attire.

308. Neither despise, nor oppose, what thou dost not understand.


309. We must not be concern'd above the Value of the thing that engages us; nor raised above Reason, in maintaining what we think reasonable.

310. It is too common an Error, to invert the Order of Things; by making an End of that which is a Means, and a Means of that which is an End.

311. Religion and Government escape not this Mischief: The first is too often made a Means instead of an End; the other an End instead of a Means.

312. Thus Men seek Wealth rather than Subsistence; and the End of Cloaths is the least Reason of their Use. Nor is the satisfying of our Appetite our End in Eating, so much as the pleasing of our Pallate. The like may also be said of Building, Furniture, &c. where the Man rules not the Beast, and Appetite submits not to Reason.

313. It is great Wisdom to proportion our Esteem to the Nature of the Thing: For as that way things will not be undervalued, so neither will they engage as above their intrinsick worth.

314. If we suffer little Things to have great hold upon us, we shall be as much transported for them, as if they deserv'd it.

315. It is an old Proverb, Maxima bella ex levissimis causis: The greatest Feuds have had the smallest Beginnings.

316. No matter what the Subject of the Dispute be, but what place we give it in our Minds: For that governs our Concern and Resentment.

317. It is one of the fatalest Errors of our Lives, when we spoil a good Cause by an ill Management: And it is not impossible but we may mean well in an ill Business; but that will not defend it.

318. If we are but sure the End is Right, we are too apt to gallop over all Bounds to compass it; not considering that lawful Ends may be very unlawfully attained.

319. Let us be careful to take just ways to compass just Things; that they may last in their Benefits to us.

320. There is a troublesome Humor some Men have, that if they may not lead, they will not follow; but had rather a thing were never done, than not done their own way, tho' other ways very desirable.

321. This comes of an over - fulness of our selves; and shows we are more concern'd for Praise, than the Success of what we think a good Thing.


322. Affect not to be seen, and Men will less see thy Weakness.

323. They that shew more than they are, raise an Expectation they cannot answer; and so lose their Credit, as soon as they are found out.

324. Avoid Popularity. It has many Snares, and no real Benefit to thy self; and Uncertainty to others.


325. Remember the Proverb, Bene qui latuit, bene vixit. They are happy that live Retiredly.

326. If this be true, Princes and their Grandees, of all Men, are the unhappiest: For they live least alone: And they that must be enjoyed by every Body, can never enjoy themselves as they should.

327. Is is the Advantage little Men have upon them; they can be Private, and have leisure for Family Comforts, which are the greatest worldly Contents Men can enjoy.

328. But they that place Pleasure in Greediness, seek it there: And we see Rule is as much the Ambition of some Natures, as Privacy is the Choice of others.

Part IV


329. Government has many Shapes: But 't is Sovereignty, tho' not Freedom, in all of them.

330. Rex & Tyrannus are very different Characters: One Rules his People by Laws, to which they consent; the other by his absolute Will and Power. That is call'd Freedom, This Tyranny.

331. The first is endanger'd by the Ambition of the Popular, which shakes the Constitution: The other by an ill Administration, which hazards the Tyrant and his Family.

332. It is great Wisdom in Princes of both sorts, not to strain Points too high with their People: For whether the People have a Right to oppose them or not, they are ever sure to attempt it, when things are carried too far; though the Remedy oftentimes proves worse than the Disease.

333. Happy that King who is great by Justice, and that People who are free by Obedience.

334. Where the Ruler is Just, he may be strict; else it is two to one it turns upon him: And tho' he should prevail, he can be no Gainer, where his People are the Losers.

335. Princes must not have Passions in Government, nor Resent beyond Interest and Religion.

336. Where Example keeps pace with Authority, Power hardly fails to be obey'd, and Magistrates to be honor'd.

337. Let the People think they Govern and they will be Govern'd.

338. This cannot fail, if Those they Trust, are Trusted.

339. That Prince that is Just to them in great things, and Humors them sometimes in small ones, is sure to have and keep them from all the World.

340. For the People is the Politick Wife of the Prince, that may be better managed by Wisdom, than ruled by Force.

341. But where the Magistrate is partial and serves ill turns, he loses his Authority with the People; and gives the Populace opportunity to gratifie their Ambition: And to lay a Stumbling - block for his People to fall.

342. It is true, that where a Subject is more Popular than the Prince, the Prince is in Danger: But it is as true, that it is his own Fault: For no Body has the like Means, Interest or Reason, to be popular as He.

343. It is an unaccountable thing, that some Princes incline rather to be fear'd than lov'd; when they see, that Fear does not oftener secure a Prince against the Dissatisfaction of his People, than Love makes a Subject too many for such a Prince.

344. Certainly Service upon Inclination is like to go farther than Obedience upon Compulsion.

345. The Romans had a just Sense of this, when they plac'd Optimus before Maximus, to their most Illustrious Captains and Cesars.

346. Besides, Experience tells us, That Goodness raises a nobler Passion in the Soul, and gives a better Sense of Duty than Severity.

347. What did Pharaoh get by increasing the Israelites Task? Ruine to himself in the End.

348. Kings, chiefly in this, should imitate God: Their Mercy should be above all their Works.

349. The Difference between the Prince and the Peasant, is in this World: But a Temper ought to be observ'd by him that has the Advantage here, because of the Judgment in the next.

350. The End of every thing should direct the Means: Now that of Government being the Good of the whole, nothing less should be the Aim of the Prince.

351. As often as Rulers endeavor to attain just Ends by just Mediums, they are sure of a quiet and easy Government; and as sure of Convulsions, where the Nature of things are violated, and their Order overrul'd.

352. It is certain, Princes ought to have great Allowances made them for Faults in Government; since they see by other People's Eyes, and hear by their Ears. But Ministers of State, their immediate Confidents and Instruments, have much to answer for, if to gratifie private Passions, they misguide the Prince to do publick Injury.

353. Ministers of State should undertake their Posts at their Peril. If Princes overrule them, let them shew the Law, and humbly resign: If Fear, Gain or Flattery prevail, let them answer it to the Law.

354. The Prince cannot be preserv'd, but where the Minister is punishable: For People, as well as Princes, will not endure Imperium in Imperio.11

[Footnote 11: An Empire within an empire.]

355. If Ministers are weak or ill Men, and so spoil their Places, it is the Prince's Fault that chose them: But if their Places spoil them, it is their own Fault to be made worse by them.

356. It is but just that those that reign by their Princes, should suffer for their Princes: For it is a safe and necessary Maxim, not to shift Heads in Government, while the Hands are in being that should answer for them.

357. And yet it were intolerable to be a Minister of State, if every Body may be Accuser and Judge.

358. Let therefore the false Accuser no more escape an exemplary Punishment, than the Guilty Minister.

359. For it profanes Government to have the Credit of the leading Men in it, subject to vulgar Censure; which is often ill grounded.

360. The Safety of a Prince, therefore consists in a well - chosen Council: And that only can be said to be so, where the Persons that compose it are qualified for the Business that comes before them.

361. Who would send to a Taylor to make a Lock, or to a Smith to make a Suit of Cloaths?

362. Let there be Merchants for Trade, Seamen for the Admiralty, Travellers for Foreign Affairs, some of the Leading Men of the Country for Home - Business, and Common and Civil Lawyers to advise of Legality and Right: Who should always keep to the strict Rules of Law.

363. Three Things contribute much to ruin Governments; Looseness, Oppression and Envy.

364. Where the Reins of Government are too slack, there the Manners of the People are corrupted: And that destroys Industry, begets Effeminacy, and provokes Heaven against it.

365. Oppression makes a Poor Country, and a Desperate People, who always wait an Opportunity to change.

366. He that ruleth over Men, must be just, ruling in the Fear of God, said an old and a wise King.

367. Envy disturbs and distracts Government, clogs the Wheels, and perplexes the Administration: And nothing contributes more to the Disorder, than a partial distribution of Rewards, and Punishments in the Sovereign.

368. As it is not reasonable that Men should be compell'd to serve; so those that have Employments should not be endured to leave them humorously.

369. Where the State intends a Man no Affront, he should not Affront the State.

A Private Life

370. Private Life is to be preferr'd; the Honor and Gain of publick Posts, bearing no proportion with the Comfort of it. The one is free and quiet, the other servile and noisy.

371. It was a great Answer of the Shunamite Woman, I dwell among my own People.

372. They that live of their own, neither need, nor often list to wear the Livery of the Publick.

373. Their Subsistance is not during Pleasure; nor have they patrons to please or present.

374. If they are not advanced, neither can they be disgraced. And as they know not the Smiles of Majesty, so they feel not the Frowns of Greatness; or the Effects of Envy.

375. If they want the Pleasures of a Court, they also escape the Temptations of it.

376. Private Men, in fine, are so much their own, that paying common Dues, they are Sovereigns of all the rest.

A Publick Life

377. Yet the publick must and will be served; and they that do it well, deserve publick Marks of Honor and Profit.

378. To do so, Men must have publick Minds, as well as Salaries; or they will serve private Ends at the Publick Cost.

379. Governments can never be well administered, but where those entrusted make Conscience of well discharging their Place.


380. Five Things are requisite to a good Officer; Ability, Clean Hands, Dispatch, Patience and Impartiality.


381. He that understands not his Employment, whatever else he knows, must be unfit for it, and the Publick suffers by his Inexpertness.

382. They that are able, should be just too; or the Government may be the worse for their Capacity.

Clean Hands

383. Covetousness in such Men prompts them to prostitute the Publick for Gain.

384. The taking of a Bribe or Gratuity, should be punished with as severe Penalties, as the defrauding of the State.

385. Let Men have sufficient Salaries, and exceed them at their Peril.

386. It is a Dishonor to Government, that its Officers should live of Benevolence; as it ought to be Infamous for Officers to dishonor the Publick, by being twice paid for the same Business.

387. But to be paid, and not to do Business, is rank Oppression.


388. Dispatch is a great and good Quality in an Officer; where Duty, not Gain, excites it. But of this, too many make their private Market and Over plus to their Wages. Thus the Salary is for doing, and the Bribe, for dispatching the Business: As if Business could be done before it were dispatched: Or what ought to be done, ought not to be dispatch'd: Or they were to be paid apart, one by the Government, t'other by the Party.

389. Dispatch is as much the Duty of an Officer, as doing; and very much the Honor of the Government he serves.

390. Delays have been more injurious than direct Injustice.

391. They too often starve those they dare not deny.

392. The very Winner is made a Loser, because he pays twice for his own; like those that purchase Estates Mortgaged before to the full Value.

393. Our Law says well, to delay Justice is Injustice.

394. Not to have a Right, and not to come at it, differs little.

395. Refuse or Dispatch is the Duty and Wisdom of a good Officer.


396. Patience is a Virtue every where; but it shines with great Lustre in the Men of Government.

397. Some are so Proud or Testy, they won't hear what they should redress.

398. Others so weak, they sink or burst under the weight of their Office, though they can lightly run away with the Salary of it.

399. Business can never be well done, that is not well understood: Which cannot be without Patience.

400. It is Cruelty indeed not to give the Unhappy an Hearing, whom we ought to help: But it is the top of Oppression to Browbeat the humble and modest Miserable, when they seek Relief.

401. Some, it is true, are unreasonable in their Desires and Hopes: But then we should inform, not rail at and reject them.

402. It is therefore as great an Instance of Wisdom as a Man in Business can give, to be Patient under the Impertinencies and Contradictions that attend it.

403. Method goes far to prevent Trouble in Business: For it makes the Task easy, hinders Confusion, saves abundance of Time, and instructs those that have Business depending, both what to do and what to hope.


404. Impartiality, though it be the last, is not the least Part of the Character of a good Magistrate.

405. It is noted as a Fault, in Holy Writ, even to regard the Poor: How much more the Rich in Judgment?

406. If our Compassions must not sway us; less should our Fears, Profits or Prejudices.

407. Justice is justly represented Blind, because she sees no Difference in the Parties concerned.

408. She has but one Scale and Weight, for Rich and Poor, Great and Small.

409. Her Sentence is not guided by the Person, but the Cause.

410. The Impartial Judge in Judgment, knows nothing but the Law: The Prince no more than the Peasant, his Kindred than a Stranger. Nay, his Enemy is sure to be upon equal Terms with his Friend, when he is upon the Bench.

411. Impartiality is the Life of Justice, as that is of Government.

412. Nor is it only a Benefit to the State, for private Families cannot subsist comfortably without it.

413. Parents that are partial, are ill obeyed by their Children; and partial Masters not better served by their Servants.

414. Partiality is always Indirect, if not Dishonest: For it shews a Byass where Reason would have none; if not an Injury, which Justice every where forbids.

415. As it makes Favorites without Reason, so it uses no Reason in judging of Actions: Confirming the Proverb, The Crow thinks her own Bird the fairest.

416. What some see to be no Fault in one, they will have Criminal in another.

417. Nay, how ugly do our own Failings look to us in the Persons of others, which yet we see not in our selves.

418. And but too common it is for some People, not to know their own Maxims and Principles in the Mouths of other Men, when they give occasion to use them.

419. Partiality corrupts our Judgment of Persons and Things, of our selves and others.

420. It contributes more than any thing to Factions in Government, and Fewds in Families.

421. It is prodigal Passion, that seldom returns 'till it is Hungerbit, and Disappointments bring it within bounds.

422. And yet we may be indifferent, to a Fault.


423. Indifference is good in Judgment, but bad in Relation, and stark nought in Religion.

424. And even in Judgment, our Indifferency must be to the Persons, not Causes: For one, to be sure, is right.


425. Neutrality is something else than Indifferency; and yet of kin to it too.

426. A Judge ought to be Indifferent, and yet he cannot be said to be Neutral.

427. The one being to be Even in Judgment, and the other not to meddle at all.

428. And where it is Lawful, to be sure, it is best to be Neutral.

429. He that espouses Parties, can hardly divorce himself from their Fate; and more fall with their Party than rise with it.

430. A wise Neuter joins with neither; but uses both, as his honest Interest leads him.

431. A Neuter only has room to be a Peace - maker: For being of neither side, he has the Means of mediating a Reconciliation of both.

A Party

432. And yet, where Right or Religion gives a Call, a Neuter must be a Coward or an Hypocrite.

433. In such Cases we should never be backward: nor yet mistaken.

434. When our Right or Religion is in question, then is the fittest time to assert it.

435. Nor must we always be Neutral where our Neighbors are concerned: For tho' Medling is a Fault, Helping is a Duty.

436. We have a Call to do good, as often as we have the Power and Occasion.

437. If Heathens could say, We are not born for our selves; surely Christians should practise it.

438. They are taught so by his Example, as well as Doctrine, from whom they have borrowed their Name.


439. Do what good thou canst unknown; and be not vain of what ought rather to be felt, than seen.

440. The Humble, in the Parable of the Day of Judgment, forgot their good Works; Lord, when did we do so and so?

441. He that does Good, for Good's sake, seeks neither Praise nor Reward; tho' sure of both at last.

Compleat Virtue

442. Content not thy self that thou art Virtuous in the general: For one Link being wanting, the Chain is defective.

443. Perhaps thou art rather Innocent than Virtuous, and owest more to thy Constitution, than thy Religion.

444. Innocent, is not to be Guilty: But Virtuous is to overcome our evil Inclinations.

445. If thou hast not conquer'd thy self in that which is thy own particular Weakness, thou hast no Title to Virtue, tho' thou art free of other Men's.

446. For a Covetous Man to inveigh against Prodigality, an Atheist against Idolatry, a Tyrant against Rebellion, or a Lyer against Forgery, and a Drunkard against Intemperance, is for the Pot to call the Kettle black.

447. Such Reproof would have but little Success; because if would carry but little Authority with it.

448. If thou wouldest conquer thy Weakness, thou must never gratify it.

449. No Man is compelled to Evil; his Consent only makes it his.

450. 'T is no Sin to be tempted, but to be overcome.

451. What Man in his right Mind, would conspire his own hurt? Men are beside themselves, when they transgress their Convictions.

452. If thou would'st not Sin, don't Desire; and if thou would'st not Lust, don't Embrace the Temptation: No, not look at it, nor think of it.

453. Thou would'st take much Pains to save thy Body: Take some, prithee, to save thy Soul.


454. Religion is the Fear of God, and its Demonstration on good Works; and Faith is the Root of both; For without Faith we cannot please God, nor can we fear what we do not believe.

455. The Devils also believe and know abundance: But in this is the Difference, their Faith works not by Love, nor their Knowledge by Obedience; and therefore they are never the better for them. And if ours be such, we shall be of their Church, not of Christ's: For as the Head is, so must the Body be.

456. He was Holy, Humble, Harmless, Meek, Merciful, &c. when among us; to teach us what we should be, when he was gone. And yet he is among us still, and in us too, a living and perpetual Preacher of the same Grace, by his Spirit in our Consciences.

457. A Minister of the Gospel ought to be one of Christ's making, if he would pass for one of Christ's Ministers.

458. And if he be one of his making, he Knows and Does as well as Believes.

459. That Minister whose Life is not the Model of his Doctrine, is a Babler rather than a Preacher; a Quack rather than a Physician of Value.

460. Of old Time they were made Ministers by the Holy Ghost: And the more that is an Ingredient now, the fitter they are for that Work.

461. Running Streams are not so apt to corrupt; nor Itinerant, as settled Preachers: But they are not to run before they are sent.

462. As they freely receive from Christ, so they give.

463. They will not make that a Trade, which they know ought not, in Conscience, to be one.

464. Yet there is no fear of their Living that design not to live by it.

465. The humble and true Teacher meets with more than he expects.

466. He accounts Content with Godliness great Gain, and therefore seeks not to make a Gain of Godliness.

467. As the Ministers of Christ are made by him, and are like him, so they beget People into the same Likeness.

468. To be like Christ then, is to be a Christian. And Regeneration is the only way to the Kingdom of God, which we pray for.

469. Let us to Day, therefore, hear his Voice, and not harden our Hearts; who speaks to us many ways. In the Scriptures, in our Hearts, by his Servants and his Providences: And the Sum of all is Holiness and Charity.

470. St. James gives a short Draught of this Matter, but very full and reaching, Pure Religion and undefiled before God the Father, is this, to visit the Fatherless and the Widows in their Affliction, and to keep our selves unspotted from the World. Which is compriz'd in these Two Words, Charity and Piety.

471. They that truly make these their Aim, will find them their Attainment; and with them, the Peace that follows so excellent a Condition.

472. Amuse not thy self therefore with the numerous Opinions of the World, nor value thy self upon verbal Orthodoxy, Philosophy, or thy Skill in Tongues, or Knowledge of the Fathers: (too much the Business and Vanity of the World). But in this rejoyce, That thou knowest God, that is the Lord, who exerciseth loving Kindness, and Judgment, and Righteousness in the Earth.

473. Public Worship is very commendable, if well performed. We owe it to God and good Example. But we must know, that God is not tyed to Time or Place, who is every where at the same Time: And this we shall know, as far as we are capable, if where ever we are, our Desires are to be with him.

474. Serving God, People generally confine to the Acts of Public and Private Worship: And those, the more zealous do oftener repeat, in hopes of Acceptance.

475. But if we consider that God is an Infinite Spirit, and, as such, every where; and that our Saviour has taught us, That he will be worshipped in Spirit and in Truth; we shall see the shortness of such a Notion.

476. For serving God concerns the Frame of our Spirits, in the whole Course of our Lives; in every Occasion we have, in which we may shew our Love to his Law.

477. For as Men in Battle are continually in the way of shot, so we, in this World, are ever within the Reach of Temptation. And herein do we serve God, if we avoid what we are forbid, as well as do what he commands.

478. God is better served in resisting a Temptation to Evil, than in many formal Prayers.

479. This is but Twice or Thrice a Day; but That every Hour and Moment of the Day. So much more is our continual Watch, than our Evening and Morning Devotion.

480. Wouldst thou then serve God? Do not that alone, which thou wouldest not that another should see thee do.

481. Don't take God's Name in vain, or disobey thy Parents, or wrong thy Neighbor, or commit Adultery even in thine Heart.

482. Neither be vain, Lascivious, Proud, Drunken, Revengeful or Angry: Nor Lye, Detract, Backbite, Overreach, Oppress, Deceive or Betray; But watch vigorously against all Temptations to these Things; as knowing that God is present, the Overseer of all thy Ways and most inward Thoughts, and the Avenger of his own Law upon the Disobedient, and thou wilt acceptably serve God.

483. Is it not reason, if we expect the Acknowledgments of those to whom we are bountiful, that we should reverently pay ours to God, our most magnificent and constant Benefactor?

484. The World represents a Rare and Sumptuous Palace, Mankind the great Family in it, and God the mighty Lord and Master of it.

485. We are all sensible what a stately Seat it is: The Heavens adorned with so many glorious Luminaries; and the Earth with Groves, Plains, Valleys, Hills, Fountains, Ponds, Lakes and Rivers; and Variety of Fruits, and Creatures for Food, Pleasure and Profit. In short, how Noble an House he keeps, and the Plenty and Variety and Excellency of his Table; his Orders, Seasons and Suitableness of every Time and Thing. But we must be as sensible, or at least ought to be, what Careless and Idle Servants we are, and how short and disproportionable our Behavior is to his Bounty and Goodness: How long he bears, and often he reprieves and forgives us: Who, notwithstanding our Breach of promises, and repeated Neglects, has not yet been provok'd to break up House, and send us to shift for our selves. Should not this great Goodness raise a due Sense in us of our Undutifulness, and a Resolution to alter our Course and mend our Manners; that we may be for the future more worthy Communicants at our Master's good and great Table? Especially since it is not more certain that we deserve his Displeasure than that we should feel it, if we continue to be unprofitable Servants.

486. But tho' God has replenish this World with abundance of good Things for Man's Life and Comfort, yet they are all but Imperfect Goods. He only is the Perfect Good to whom they point. But alas! Men cannot see him for them; tho' they should always see him In them.

487. I have often wondered at the unaccountableness of Man in this, among other things; that tho' he loves Changes so well, he should care so little to hear or think of his last, great, and best Change too, if he pleases.

488. Being, as to our Bodies, composed of changeable Elements, we with the World, are made up of, and subsist by Revolution: But our Souls being of another and nobler Nature, we should seek our Rest in a more enduring Habitation.

489. The truest end of Life, is, to know the Life that never ends.

490. He that makes this his Care, will find it his Crown at last.

491. Life else, were a Misery rather than a Pleasure, a Judgment, not a Blessing.

492. For to Know, Regret and Resent; to Desire, Hope and Fear, more than a Beast, and not live beyond him, is to make a Man less than a Beast.

493. It is the Amends of a short and troublesome Life, that Doing well, and Suffering ill, Entitles Man to One Longer and Better.

494. This ever raises the Good Man's Hope, and gives him Tastes beyond the other World.

495. As 't is his Aim, so none else can hit the Mark.

496. Many make it their Speculation, but 't is the Good Man's Practice.

497. His Work keeps Pace with His Life, and so leaves nothing to be done when he Dies.

498. And he that lives to live ever, never fears dying.

499. Nor can the Means be terrible to him that heartily believes the End.

500. For tho' Death be a Dark Passage, it leads to Immortality, and that's Recompense enough for Suffering of it.

501. And yet Faith Lights us, even through the Grave, being the Evidence of Things not seen.

502. And this is the Comfort of the Good, that the Grave cannot hold them, and that they live as soon as they die.

503. For Death is no more than a Turning of us over from Time to Eternity.

504. Nor can there be a Revolution without it; for it supposes the Dissolution of one form, in order to the Succession of another.

505. Death then, being the Way and Condition of Life, we cannot love to live, if we cannot bear to die.

506. Let us then not cozen our selves with the Shells and Husks of things; nor prefer Form to Power, nor Shadows to Substance: Pictures of Bread will not satisfie Hunger, nor those of Devotion please God.

507. This World is a Form; our Bodies are Forms; and no visible Acts of Devotion can be without Forms. But yet the less Form in Religion the better, since God is a Spirit: For the more mental our Worship, the more adequate to the Nature of God; the more silent, the more suitable to the Language of a Spirit.

508. Words are for others, not for our selves: Nor for God, who hears not as Bodies do; but as Spirits should.

509. If we would know this Dialect; we must learn of the Divine Principle in us. As we hear the Dictates of that, so God hears us.

510. There we may see him too in all his Attributes; Tho' but in little, yet as much as we can apprehend or bear; for as he is in himself, he is incomprehensible, and dwelleth in that Light which no Eye can approach. But in his Image we may behold his Glory; enough to exalt our Apprehensions of God, and to instruct us in that Worship which pleaseth him.

511. Men may Tire themselves in a Labyrinth of Search, and talk of God: But if we would know him indeed, it must be from the Impressions we receive of him; and the softer our Hearts are, the deeper and livelier those will be upon us.

512. If he has made us sensible of his Justice, by his Reproof; of his Patience, by his Forbearance; of his Mercy, by his Forgiveness; of his Holiness, by the Sanctification of our Hearts through his Spirit; we have a grounded Knowledge of God. This is Experience, that Speculation; This Enjoyment, that Report. In short, this is undeniable Evidence, with the realities of Religion, and will stand all Winds and Weathers.

513. As our Faith, so our Devotion should be lively. Cold Meat won't serve at those Repasts.

514. It's a Coal from God's Altar must kindle our Fire: And without Fire, true Fire, no acceptable Sacrifice.

515. Open thou my Lips, and then, said the Royal Prophet, My Mouth shall praise God. But not 'till then.

516. The Preparation of the Heart, as well as Answer of the Tongue, is of the Lord: And to have it, our Prayers must be powerful, and our Worship grateful.

517. Let us chuse, therefore, to commune where there is the warmest Sense of Religion; where Devotion exceeds Formality, and Practice most corresponds with Profession; and where there is at least as much Charity as Zeal: For where this Society is to be found, there shall we find the Church of God.

518. As Good, so Ill Men are all of a Church; and every Body knows who must be Head of it.

519. The Humble, Meek, Merciful, Just Pious and Devout Souls, are everywhere of one Religion; and when Death has taken off the Mask, they will know one another, tho' the divers Liveries they wear here make them Strangers.

520. Great Allowances are to be made of Education, and personal Weaknesses: But 't is a Rule with me, that Man is truly Religious, that loves the Persuasion he is of, for the Piety rather than Ceremony of it.

521. They that have one End, can hardly disagree when they meet. At least their concern is in the Greater, moderates the value and difference about the lesser things.

522. It is a sad Reflection, that many Men hardly have any Religion at all; and most Men have none of their own: For that which is the Religion of their Education, and not of their Judgment, is the Religion of Another, and not Theirs.

523. To have Religion upon Authority, and not upon Conviction, is like a Finger Watch, to be set forwards or backwards, as he pleases that has it in keeping.

524. It is a Preposterous thing, that Men can venture their Souls where they will not venture their Money: For they will take their Religion upon trust, but not trust a Synod about the Goodness of Half a Crown.

525. They will follow their own Judgment when their Money is concerned, whatever they do for their Souls.

526. But to be sure, that Religion cannot be right, that a Man is the worse for having.

527. No Religion is better than an Unnatural One.

528. Grace perfects, but never sours or spoils Nature.

529. To be Unnatural in Defence of Grace, is a Contradiction.

530. Hardly any thing looks worse, than to defend Religion by ways that shew it has no Credit with us.

531. A Devout Man is one thing, a Stickler is quite another.

532. When our Minds exceed their just Bounds, we must needs discredit what we would recommend.

533. To be Furious in Religion, is to be Irreligiously Religious.

534. If he that is without Bowels, is not a Man; How then can he be a Christian?

535. It were better to be of no Church, than to be bitter for any.

536. Bitterness comes very near to Enmity, and that is Beelzebub; because the Perfection of Wickedness.

537. A good End cannot sanctifie evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it.

538. Some Folks think they may Scold, Rail, Hate, Rob and Kill too; so it be but for God's sake.

539. But nothing in us unlike him, can please him.

540. It is as great Presumption to send our Passions upon God's Errands, as it is to palliate them with God's Name.

541. Zeal dropped in Charity, is good, without it good for nothing: For it devours all it comes near.

542. They must first judge themselves, that presume to censure others: And such will not be apt to overshoot the Mark.

543. We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive, or gain by Love and Information.

544. And yet we could hurt no Man that we believe loves us.

545. Let us then try what Love will do: For if Men did once see we Love them, we should soon find they would not harm us.

546. Force may subdue, but Love gains: And he that forgives first, wins the Lawrel.

547. If I am even with my Enemy, the Debt is paid; but if I forgive it, I oblige him for ever.

548. Love is the hardest Lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it. Difficilia quae Pulchra.12

[Footnote 12: Those things are difficult which are beautiful.]

549. It is a severe Rebuke upon us, that God makes us so many Allowances, and we make so few to our Neighbor: As if Charity had nothing to do with Religion; Or Love with Faith, that ought to work by it.

550. I find all sorts of People agree, whatsoever were their Animosities, when humbled by the Approaches of Death: Then they forgive, then they pray for, and love one another: Which shews us, that it is not our Reason, but our Passion, that makes and holds up the Feuds that reign among men in their Health and Fulness. They, therefore, that live nearest to that which they should die, must certainly live best.

551. Did we believe a final Reckoning and Judgment; or did we think enough of what we do believe, we would allow more Love in Religion than we do; since Religion it self is nothing else but Love to God and Man.

552. He that lives in Love lives in God, says the Beloved Disciple: And to be sure a Man can live no where better.

553. It is most reasonable Men should value that Benefit, which is most durable. Now Tongues shall cease, and Prophecy fail, and Faith shall be consummated in Sight, and Hope in Enjoyment; but Love remains.

554. Love is indeed Heaven upon Earth; since Heaven above would not be Heaven without it: For where there is not Love; there is Fear: But perfect Love casts out Fear. And yet we naturally fear most to offend what we most Love.

555. What we Love, we'll Hear; what we Love, we'll Trust; and what we Love, we'll serve, ay, and suffer for too. If you love me (says our Blessed Redeemer) keep my Commandments. Why? Why then he'll Love us; then we shall be his Friends; then he'll send us the Comforter; then whatsover we ask, we shall receive; and then where he is we shall be also, and that for ever. Behold the Fruits of Love; the Power, Vertue, Benefit and Beauty of Love!

556. Love is above all; and when it prevails in us all, we shall all be Lovely, and in Love with God and one with another.


The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The journal of John Woolman. Fruits of solitude / William Penn ; with introductions and notes. New York : P.F. Collier, c1909. The Harvard classics,  1.

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