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of man more by its own authority, evidence and excellency, than by any ornaments of wit and eloquence in which it may be drest." And such ornaments are in this case the less needful, as the subjects are chiefly addressed to persons of plain sense and understanding; if the God of the spirits of all flesh, is pleased to smile upon it so far as to render it effectual' to reform the practices, and improve the tempers of those that read it, the Publisher will have the full reward he hopes for, from this essay of benevolence to his fellow beings; and a thousand encomiums on the elegance of the composition, without these effects would afford him little satisfaction. If ever the blessed God is pleased to reform a sinful world, He will honour His own word as the instrument of producing such an happy event.

THE

PLAIN TEACHER.

CHAP. I.

THE NATURE OF A LIFE OF BUSINESS,

· AND OBLIGATIONS TO IT.

THE supreme felicity, and great end of man, is to know, love, and glorify God his Creator, Redeemer and Benefactor. John xvii. 3. But as we are beings endowed with powers and faculties of body and mind, fitted and designed for actions relative to our present state of being; and are placed by Divine Providence in mutual dependence upon each other, by the perpetual return of wants, which of ourselves we are incapable of relieving or supplying; both reason and religion require, that all, as they are able, should be employed in such a manner as may be beneficial to themselves, and the society to which they

relate ;* and a very considerable part of the beauty and excellence of the Christian life, consists in due affections and conduct with respect to the persons and things of the present state, and in acting upon principles of wisdom, goodness, justice and integrity to one another.

The real and imaginary wants of mankind have created great diversity in their employments. Some are chiefly labouring to support the life, or restore the health of the body. Others to defend men's persons or estates, and secure or promote the private or public peace and prosperity. Some to improve the mind in useful and entertaining knowledge: or, in the more important concerns of religion and virtue, which, though not always

the most advantageous, yet are certainly not the least no. ble employaments. While others, in vast variety, are contributing to the convenience and delight of their brethren of mankind.

* Heaven formed each on other tr depend,
As master, or as servant, or as friend ;
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all;
And builds on wants, and on defects of mind,
The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind.

And, surely, the wisdom and goodness of Gop deserve our reflection here in fitting and disposing men to those various services, which are suited to the necessities and comforts of human life; each conducing to the public good; and qualified for discharging the respective offices in which they are engaged. The rich ought to remember that their comforts as much depend on the service of the poor, as the support of the poor does on their afflu. ence or bounty; so that "the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee; nor the head to the feet, I have no need of you;?! 1 Cor. xii. 21. this should induce them to treat the poor with tenderness, and reward them with liberality.

That every one who is capable of it, should be constantly employed in some useful station of life, appears a truth so evident that little need be said to support it. Few indeed are so worthless as to be always idle, but that we busy ourselves only now and then, as humour and fancy incline us, can never be sufficient to answer the end of our creation ; for this it is necessa. ry we should exert ourselves in some busi. ness that may fully employ our time; and that it should be our own proper business ; for divine wisdom censures those as disor

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