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OF

THE

of EMPTINESS and VANITY

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A LI F E
Spent in the Pursuit of WoRdLY PROFIT,

Ease or PLEASURE,

COMPARED WITH

A, L I F E
Wholly employed in endeavouring to Glo-
RIFY GOD, and DO GOOD to MANKIND;

ILLUSTRATED

IN

Α Ν Ε Χ Τ R Α C T

Ο F

Τ Η Ε

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LIFE AND DEATH

Of the pious LADY
ELIZABETH HASTINGS.

W IT H

Some REMARKS on the UNIVERSALITY
of the LOVE of GOD to MANKIND.

P H I L A D E L P H I A:
Printed by HENRY MILLER, in Second Street,

M DCC LXVII,
Illa

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$ 52

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T is a very remarkable saving of our Lord and Saviour to his disciples: Blessed are your eyes, for they

see; and your ears, for they hear. It teaches us, that the dulness and heaviness of men's minds, with regard to spiritual matters, is so great, that it may juftly be compared to the want of eyes and ears, and that God has so filled every thing, and every place, with motives and arguments for a godly life, that they who are but fo blefsed, so happy, as to use their eyes and their ears, must needs be affected with them.

Now, tho’this was in a more special manner the case of those, whose senses were witnesses of the life, miracles and doctrines of our blessed Lord; yet is it as truly the case of all Christians at this time: for the reasons of religion, and the calls to piety, are so written and engraved upon every thing, and present themselves so strongly and so constantly to all our senses, in every thing that we meet, that they can only be disregarded by eyes that see not, and ears that hear not. What greater motive to a religious life, than the vanity and poorness of all worldly enjoyments ? And yet who can help seeing and feeling this every day of his life. What greater call to look towards God, than the pains, the sickness, the crosses and vexations of this life ! And yet whose eyes and ears are not daily witnesses of them? What miracles could more strongly appeal to our senses, or what message from heaven speak louder to us, than the daily dying and departure of our fellow-creatures does. Let us but intend to see and hear, and then the whole world becomes a book of wisdom and instruction to us. All the mistakes and disappointments that happen to ourselves, all the miseries and errors that we see in other people, become so many plain lessons of advice to us, teaching us with as much assurance as an angel from heaven, that we can no ways raise ourselves to any true happiness, but by turning all our thoughts, our wishes and endeavours after the happiness of another life. OEtavius is a learned, ingenious man,well versed in most parts of learn

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ing, and no stranger to any knigdom in Europe. The ciher day, being just recovered from a lingering fever, he took upon him to speak thus to his friends: My glass,

fays he, is almost run out; and your eyes see, how many marks of age and death I bear about me: But I plainly feel myself finking away faster than any itandersby imagine. I fully believe, that one year more will

conclude my reckoning. The attention of his friends were much raised by such a declaration, expecting to hear something truly excellent from fo learned a man, who had but a year longer to live; when Octavius proceeded in this manner: For these reasons, says he, my

friends! I have left off all taverns, the wine of those

places is not good enough for me in this decay of naI ture. I must now be nice in what I drink; I can't

pretend to do, as I have done; and therefore am resolved to furnish my own cellar with a little of the very beft, tho'it cost me ever so much, I must also tell you, my friends, that age forces a man to be wise in many other respects, and makes us change many of our opinions and practices. You know how much I

have liked a large acquaintance; I now condemn it as 6 an error. Three or four chearful diverting companions, " is all that I now desire; because I find that in my pre

fent infirmities, if I am left alone, or to grave company,

I am not so easy to myself.' A few days after Ofiavius had made this declaration to his friends, he relap.ed into his former illness, was committed to a nurse, who closed his eyes, before his fresh parcel of wine came in. Young Eugenius, who was present at this discourse, went home a new man, with full resolutions of devoting himself wholly unto God. • I never, fays Eugenius, was ' so deeply affected with the wisdom and importance of • religion, as when I saw, how poorly and meanly the « learned Oflavius was to leave the world, thro' the want s of it. How often had I envied his great learning, his

skill in languages, his knowledge of antiquity, his ad.

dress and fine manner of expressing himself upon all • subjects ! But when I saw, how poorly it all ended, whac was to be the last year of such a life, and how foolishly

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the master of all these accomplishments was then <forced to talk, for want of being acquainted with the

joys and expectations of piety; I was thoroughly con

vinced, that there was nothing to be envied or desired, - but a life of true piety; nor any thing to poor and com<fortless, as a death without it. Now as the young Eugenius was thus edified and instructed, so, if you are so happy as to have any thing of his thoughtful temper, you will find, that all the world preaches to an attentive mind; and that, if you have but ears to hear, almost every thing you meet, teaches you some leflon of wisdom. But now, if to these admonitions and instructions, which wereceive from an experience of the state of human life; if to the se we add the lights of religion, those great truths which the Son of God has taught us ; it will be then as much past all doubt, that there is but one happiness for man, as that there is but one God. Was all to die with our bodies, there might be some pretence for those different forts of happiness that are now so much talked of : But since our all begins at the death of our bodies; since all men are to be immortal, either in misery or happiness, in a world entirely different from this ; since they are all hastening hence at all uncertainties, as fast as death can cut them down; some in sickness, foine in health, some feeping, some waking, some at midnight, others at cockcrowing, and all at hours that they know not of; is it not certain, that no man can exceed another in joy and happiness, but so far as he exceeds in those virtues, which fit him for a happy death. Negotius is a temperate honest man. He served his time under a matter of great trade, but has by his own management made it a more considerable bufiness than ever it was before. For thirty years last past, he has wrote fifty or fixty letters in a week, and is busy in correlponding with all parts of Europe. The general good of trade seems to Negotius to be the general good of life. As money is continually pouring in upon him, to he often lets it go in various kinds of expence

and

generosity, and sometimes in ways of charity. If you ask, what it is, that has secured Negotius from all fcandalous vices; it is the same thing toat hath kept him from all

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