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nounces eternal Vengeance against all Ungodliness and Unrighteousness of Men.
The Reasoning upon Righteousness and Judgments to come, by a Prisoner at the Bar, threw once a Roman Governor into a Fit of Trembling; it is from these Pangs that Men of vicious Lives are endeavouring to slereen themselves by Infidelity, and the Hopes that their Souls and Bodies will expire together •, and this is the Opiate, upon which their fancy'd Happiness depends.
It is too apparent, that Infidelity is become the fashionable Vice of this Age; but I am persuaded nothing can more effectually tend to the putting a Stop to it, than the pious Care which you take of the Charity-Schools, where Children are taught both to believe, and do as the Gospel requires.
If the Harmony of the Holy Scriptures which I have attempted to make, and am very sensible is here imperfectly performs, (for I do not pretend to Criticism;) shall by the Blessing of the Almighty be of the least Use, either in giving Encouragement to any to read the Scriptures with Attention, or shall afford them any Assistance in the right Understanding of them, so that they may take Delight in the Law of God, and meditate therein Day and Night, my Labour will be fully recompensed; for the very Searchies into these Treasures of Divine Wisdom and Knowledge, afford such Delights as are not easily to be express'd. ,
If it shall please the Almighty to prolong my Life, I will endeavour to pursue the same Method in Relation to the Psalms and the New Testament, in which I have made some Progress.
The Translation of the Letter from the Earl of Mirandola to his Nephew, contains so much true Piety, and such strong Reasons for the Practice of it, and so fully recommends the reading of the Holy
Scriptures Scriptures with Diligence and Attention, that I have added it to this Essay. Gentlemen, That the Almighty may bless and succeed your pious Endeavours in encouraging, instructing, and maintaining the Children educated in the CharitySchools, and that you may reap the Fruits of your Labours here, by seeing these Children become useful, honest, and religious *, and that you may receive the Reward of your pious Charity hereaftert is the hearty Prayer of
The Translation of a Letter from the Earl
o/MlRANDOLA and CONCORDIA,
to his Nephew, then an Officer in the Armjy of the Emperor Charles the Fifth.
This Earl was esteemed the most beautiful Person of that Age, and a Man of the most exalted Genius.
"e quitted all his great Employments in the Imperial Court. He died in the Flower of his Age, about the Year 1494.
THAT you are surrounded with 'Temptations to do Evil, and to violate the Rules of Piety you have laid down for the Conduct of your Life, ought neither to be the Subject of your Wonder, your Grief, or you Fear: For how much greater would the Wonder be, if to you the Way to Heaven was broad and easy, when all Mankind have found ic narrow, and a Passage, not to be gained without much Labour and Difficulty? Can you imagine that there are now no more Allurements in the World, no, spiritual Enemies to encounter, or no carnal Affections to be overcome?
But St. James fays, Rejoice, when you fall into divers Temptations, and very justly too; for where is the Hope of Glory, if there is none of Viftory? Or how can there be a Victory, when there is nothing to conquer? Tell me, my dear Nephew, if any of the Things of this World are to be obtained without first undergoing much Labour, and many Difficulties.
The Merchant, if he after a ten Years Voyage can tncrease his Estate, repines at none of the many Difficulties and Dangers he has passed through.
I shall not mention to you the Perils of a Soldier's Life, Experience has sufficiently instructed you in them.
How great is the Trouble, how many the Anxieties which surround the Way to the Favour of Princes, in the gaining Friends, and acquiring Honours?
These I can better learn of you, than tell you; for I am content with my Books, and I have endeavoured to retire within my self, and farther than this, I do ndt aim or aspire.
Shall we then labour with so much Eagerness after the uncertain fading Things of this Life, which are common both to us and Brutes?
And shall we take so little Pains to obtain an eternal Inheritance, infinitely above all that Eye ever saw, or Ear heard, or ever entred into the Heart of Man to conceive?
Why are we thus unwillingly drawn to the Love and Service of the Æmighty; as if God needed us, or that the Inhabitants of the Heavenly Mansions could not be happy without us?
Indeed, if earthly Happiness could be obtained without any Pains of ours, would any chuse this ra* ther than the Favour and Blessings of the Almighty?
But if the way of the Ungodly is not less, nay more uneasy than the Paths of Righteousness -, is it not the height of Madness not to follow that which leads to the Rewards of our Labours, rather than that wherein only the Punishment of them is to be found?
I omit the Peace, and Felicity of a Conscience void of Offence towards God and Man, which is certainly
b the the greatest Pleasure we are capable of enjoying in this Life.
What can there be desirable in the Pleasures of the World, which tire us in their Pursuit, infatuate us in their Enjoyment, and torment us by their Loss?
Can you doubt that the Minds of the Wicked are agitated with perpetual Disquietudes, when the Word of God, and the Experience of all Ages assure us, that the Wicked are like the troubled Sea, never ax Rest?
Are these then the Persons we are to envy? Are these they we are to emulate? And being forgetful of our Immortal Souls, and our Duty to our Heavenly Father, shall we chuse to live with them wickedly, to die miserably, and to be tormented hereafter in unquenchable Flames?
You meet, no doubt, continually with innumerable Impediments, in running that Race which leads to the Prize of Eternal Bliss; and which without great Care .will hardly be surmounted.
But amongst all these the most destructive Pest is the Lives and Conversations of those who, undef the Prince of Darkness their Ruler, are wholly employed in ridiculing and destroying all Principles of Religion and Virtue, fighting under the Banner of Death and Hell, against God and his Christ.
But do you cry out with the Prophet, let us break their Bonds asunder, and cast their Cords from us; for these are those whom God hath given up to Ignominy and a reprobate Life, that they may do those Things which are not convenient, full of all Iniquity, full of Envy, Adulteries, Uncleanness, Deceit, Haters of God, Proud, without natural Affection, Friendship, or Piety, who though they see the Justice of God daily, yet consider not that they who do such Things are worthy of Death, and not only they, but such as consent to those that do them.