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was truly his. Blesed is the Man that walketh not in the Councel of the Ungodly, nor fandeth in the way of finners, nor fitteth in the seat of the Scornful, But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in his Law doth be meditate Day and Night, Pfalm. 1. 1, 2. He was a man that did abominate all Company wherein any thing was either faid or done to the disparagement of Vertue, or difhonour of Religion : He was so far from pertaking in the guilt of any such thing, that he never wanted the courage to reprove and rebuke it: And as all filthy and Sinful Communication was an Abomina. tion, so all trifling and unprofitable Communication was a burden to his Soul: And therefore it was that his Conversation was reduc'd within fo narrow a compass, that he had very few Confidents and Intimates, and very little Company besides that of his near Relations and the Poor; this he was with regard to Negative Righteousness. As to positive Righteousness, it may be truly faid of him, that his delight was in the Law of the Lord, whether this be to be inferred from meditation or practice, this could not but appear to every one that convers’d with him, for he was richly.
furnisht with Scripture Knowledge, he had treasured up the richest Portions of Divine Writ, he had digested them into nourishment and strength, and he was grown so familiarly acquainted withthem, that there was no Doctrine of Faith or Duty of Practice, for which he could not readily urge several the most pertinent Texts of Scripture and not only cite the words, the Chapter, the verse, but give a very rational account of the Spirit and design of them, and of their coherence with the Context. But his Religion, though it was, as it ought, begun and founded in Knowledge, yet it did not, like that of many men, terminate and end in it too, but was perfected and finished in Practice. He was wont to place all Religion in three things, Contemplation, Adoration and Imitation.
As to the first, that of Contemplation, which is to the other two, like Oyl to Flame that nourishes and supports it : You may guess by his Knowledge in Divine things, that he was no stranger to it. However one thing there is which deserves to be recommended to your lmitation, which is this ; after long experience his Soul was grown weary of fruitless Speculations, and Barren Con
troversies, and his Meditations were of late wisely confin'd to these Excellent Subjects, the purity and holiness of God, the riches of his Love and goodness to mankind manifested in Jesus, and the blessedness of a future state, into which last he was very lately more particularly and Industriously inquisitive beginning several discourses with me on that Subject, and carrying 'em on with no little Pleasure and Satisfaction.
As to Adoration, he complained, I confess to me, that of late, he could not put up his Petitions with that Vi. gour and importunity, with that close Application and Intention of Spirit which he had formerly done; but withall he added, that as to one part of Ado:ration that of Praise and Thanksgiving, his Soul did abound in that, and he ever found himself exalted and lifted
up in that Exercise. This part of Adoration he has wont to account as a maintaining Communion with the Heavenly Inhabi. tants, and a joyning with the Church triumphant in their Hallelujahs. Upon which ground, as also because the purpofe and devoting of bis heart towards God in respect of his Faith, Love, and Obedience continued stedfast and unmo
veable I was inclin'd to impute the Alteration he complain'd of, not to any abatement of his fincerity or zeal, but to the heaviness of his Age, and the Decay of his Spirits.
As to Imitationof God, he conceived that to consist mainly in doing good, of which I shall say something prelently under the head of Charity, having first, according to the Order I propos’d, taken notice of his zeal in propagating the fear of God amongst others, which was no less eminent in him than the Piety of his own Demeanour towards God. He never let slip any opportunity either of reproving and discountenancing vice, or of preaching up and recommending vertue, and this he did with that gravity and authority, and with that Goodness and Charity, with that Evidence of Scripture back’t with strength of Reason and Experience, that he seldom missed of doing some good by it. He was extreamly Solicitous to instruct Youth in the Principles of our Religion, for which purpose he had a Catechism of his
own composing containing the grounds of our Christian Faith, which he did industriously imprint not only on the memories, but judgments and hearts
of young people ; he did often inculcate the necessity and usefuloçss of Writing Sermons, and repeating them at home; he did often bewail the Corruption of Conversation, and recommend the advantage of gracious and good Discourses in our daily and familiar Entercourse with one another : he was zealous for the observation of Family-Duties, and in all this was eminently exemplary himself: His Resolution was that of Joshua Chap: 24. 15. As for me, I and my House we will serve the Lord. Nor can it be unknown to many here how successful he was in this, what a Spirit of Religion and Goodness Reigned in his Family, and what lasting impressions of both, his endeavours made in his Children; and were it not that I should oppress their Modesty, and incur (it may be) an imputasion of Aattery which I detest and icorn, I would insikt more largely upon this Topick, as a Noble encouragement to the watchfulness and Industry of Fathers and Masters over their Children and Families: From this his Charity to the Soul, I proceed.
ziy. To that which relates to the External state of man; this was the sea cond thing proposed to be spoken to,