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of Warfare; and accordingly has fur- Serm,
If the World was to be governed
I suppose he would not be thought to [ make a better Christian for being a bad
Heathen. Having thus thewn the Falofity of the Insinuation, that the former Days were better than these, and also the G g
SERM. Sin and Folly of murmuring and comto plaining, even upon Supposition that it was true, I come now in the .:
Third and last Places To lay down some Rules, by which we may acquire a happier Farme and Temper of Mind. Since the Happiness of a Man depends upon the Mind, and not upon the Things without him, it the more concerns us to keep our Minds in a true, sedate, and easy. Posture: And in order to it, let us,
First, Endeavour to regulate our Pastions; for we are reduc'd, to the necessity of governing them, or of suffering them to govern us. Indeed this is a more difficult Talk to fome People than to others, according to the Nature of the Constitution, and therefore the greater Pains are requir’d; and when we have done this, but not till then, we shall be able to consider things to be what they are, and not what they are not; and look upon the World to be, not what it ought to be, but what he finds it to be. ". We found it to be as it is, when we .camo into it, and we shall hardly leave it better
or worse, when we go out of it. If we SERM. would have every thing fitted to our Humour, that would be again altogether as displeasing to another, and so the fame discontented Spirit would Atill be kept up. If we would shew that we consider things wisely, we should fit ourselves to our Condition." Whoever expects Happiness in this World is mistaken ; he does not consider the thing wisely, it is not possible in the Nature of things that it should be fo: But then we may be much happier than we are, if we will put things upon a right Footing. No Man has a greater Enemy to fear than himself, nor is any thing truly and properly good but Virtue, or truly and properly evil but Vice.
Secondly, Another Rule in order to acquire a happier Temper of Mind is this, before we complain of other People, to mend those Faults in ourselves'; for it is unjust to complain of others, while we are guilty of the fame Things; we should at least take Care to give others no Reason to complain of us ; for
G g 2
Serm. if we do, we shall expose ourselves X. , to the Contempt of all Wise Men, who
will fay, It is Time enough for us to complain of others, when we afe without Fault ourselves ; and that we should not pretend to pull the Mote out of our Brother's Eye, till we have taken the Beam out of our own Eye. · 'Tis an easy thing to say that no Times were ever so bad as the present, but then it is not so easy to prove it: Fact and Experience are against it: But allowing it to be true, would not it prove too much? Would not it prove that we are bad too? But the Infatuation lies here. Every one makes this Complaint more or less: I would fain know then, who these people are that we all complain of? Are they not our own selves? If the Times are bad, why do we not rather help to make them better? But it is a popular Subject: The Wickedness of the Age is a Topic that will be sure to please, because People are glad to have others thought worse than themselves. Some talk of it out of Heedlessness of Temper,
to Thew how little they think, and how Serm.
Others exclaim against the Times out
Thirdly, Another Rule, whereby we may acquire a happy Frame and Tema per of Mind, is to leave the Management of the World, where it ought to be left, in the Hands of God. Suppose the for