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Part Two

I will begin here also with the beginning of time-- the morning. So soon as you wake, retire your mind into a pure silence from all thoughts and ideas of worldly things, and in that frame wait upon GOD, to feel His good presence, to lift up your hearts to Him, and commit your whole self into his blessed care and protection. Then rise, if well, immediately; being dressed, read a chapter or more in the Scriptures, and afterwards dispose yourselves for the business of the day, ever remembering that God is present the overseer of all your thoughts, words, and actions, and demean yourselves, my dear children, accordingly, and do not you dare to do that in his holy, all-seeing presence, which you would be ashamed a man, yea, a child, should see you do. And as you have intervals from your lawful occasions, delight to step home (within yourselves, I mean), commune with your own hearts and be still; and, as Nebuchadnezzar said on another occasion, One like the Son of God you shall find and enjoy with you and in you: a treasure the world knows not of, but is the aim, end, and diadem of the children of God. This will bear you up against all temptations, and carry you sweetly and evenly - through your day's business, supporting you under disappointments, and moderating your satisfaction in success and prosperity. The evening come, read again the Holy Scripture, and have your times of retirement, before you close your eyes, as in the morning; that so the Lord may be the Alpha and Omega of every day of your lives. And if God bless you with Families, remember good Joshua's resolution (Josh. 24:15). But as for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.

Fear God; show it in desire, refraining and doing; keep the inward watch, keep a clear soul and a light heart. Mind an inward sense upon doing any thing. When you read the Scripture, remark the notablest places, as your spirits are most touched and affected, in a common-place book, with that sense or opening which you receive; for they come not by study or in the will of man, no more than the Scripture did; and they may be lost by carelessness and overgrowing thoughts, and businesses of this life; so in perusing any other good or profitable book, yet rather meditate than read much. For the spirit of a man knows the things of a man, and with that spirit, by observation of the tempers and, actions of men you see in the world, and looking into your own spirits, and meditating thereupon, you will have a deep and strong judgment of men and things. For from what may be, what should be, and what is most probable or likely to be, you can hardly miss in your judgment of human affairs; and you have a better spirit than your own in reserve for a time of need, to pass the final judgment in important matters.

In conversation, mark well what others say or do, and hide your own mind, at least till last, and then open it as sparingly as the matter will let you. A just observance and reflection upon men and things give wisdom; those are the great books of learning seldom read. The laborious bee draws honey from every flower. Be always on your watch, but chiefly in company; then be sure to leave your wits about you, and your armor on; speak last and little, but to the point; interrupt none; anticipate none. Read Prov.10: 8, 13. Be quick to hear, slow to speak: (Prov. 17: 27). It gives time to understand and ripens an answer. Affect not words, but matter, and chiefly to be pertinent and plain. ruest eloquence is plainest, and brief speaking (I mean brevity and clearness to make yourselves easily understood by everybody, and in as few words as the matter will admit of) is the best.

Prefer the aged, the virtuous, and the knowing, and choose those that excel for your company and friendship, but despise not others.

Return no answer to anger, unless with much meekness, which often turns it away; but rarely make replies, less rejoinders, For that adds fuel to the fire. It is a wrong time to vindicate yourselves, - the true ear being then never open to hear it. Men are not themselves, and know not well what spirits they are of. Silence to passion, prejudice, and mockery, is the best an answer, and often conquers what resistance inflames.

Learn and teach your children fair writing, and the most useful parts of mathematics, and some business when young, whatever else they are taught.

Cast up your incomes and live on half - if you can, one-third - reserving the rest for casualties, charities, portions.

Be plain in clothes, furniture, and food, but clean, and then the coarser the better; the rest is folly and a snare. Therefore next to sin, avoid daintiness and choiceness about your persons and houses; for if it be not an evil in itself, it is a temptation to it, and may be accounted a nest for sin

Avoid differences what are not avoidable refer, and keep awards strictly and without grudgings. Read Prov. 18:17, 18, 25: 8; Matt. 5: 38-41; 1 Cor. 1: 10-13. It is good counsel.

Be sure to draw your affairs into as narrow a compass as you can, and in method and proportion, time and other requisites proper for them.

Have very few acquaintances, and fewer intimates, but of the best in their kind.

Keep your own secrets, and do not covet others; but if trusted, never reveal them unless mischievous to somebody; nor then, before warning to the party- to desist and repent. Prov. 11: 13, 25: 9, 10.

Trust no man with the main chance, and avoid to be trusted.

Make few resolutions, but keep them strictly.

Prefer elders and strangers on all occasions; be rather last than first in conveniency and respect, but first in all virtues.

Have a care of trusting to after games, For then there is but one throw for all; and precipices are ill places to build upon. Wisdom gains time, is beforehand, and teaches to choose seasonably and pertinently; therefore ever strike while the iron is hot. But if you lose an opportunity, it differs in this from a relapse. Less caution and more resolution and industry must recover it.

Above all, remember your Creator; remember yourselves and your families, when you have them, in the youthful time and forepart of your life; for good methods and habits obtained then will make you easy and happy the rest of your day's. Every estate has its snare: Youth, and middle age, pleasure and ambition; old age, avarice; remember, I tell you, that man is a slave where either prevails. Beware of the pernicious, lusts of the eye, and the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15, 16, 17), which are not of the Father, but of the world. Get higher and nobler objects for your immortal part, oh, my dear children! and be not tied to things without you; for then you can never have the true and free enjoyment of yourselves to better things; no more than a slave in Algiers has of his house or family in London. Be free; live at home in yourselves, I mean where lie greater treasures hid than in the Indies. The pomp, honor, and luxury of the world are the cheats, and the unthinking and inconsiderate are taken by them. But the retired man is upon higher ground, he sees and is aware of the trick, condemns the folly, and bemoans the deluded.

Choose God's trades before men's; Adam was a gardener, Cain a ploughman, and Abel a grazier or shepherd. These began with the world, and have least of snare, and most of use. When Cain became murderer, as a witty man said, {Cowley, in his works on Agriculture} he turned a builder of cities, and quitted his husbandry. Mechanics, as handicrafts, are also commendable, but they are but a second brood, and younger brothers. If grace employ you not, let nature and useful arts; but avoid curiosity there also, for it devours much time to no profit. I have seen a ceiling of a room that cost half as much as the house: a folly and a sin, too.

Have but few books, but let them be well chosen and well read, whether of religious or civil subjects. Shun fantastic opinions; measure both religion and learning by practice; reduce all to that, for that brings a real benefit to you; the rest is a thief and a snare. And indeed, reading many books is but a taking off the mind too much from meditation. Reading yourselves and nature, in the dealings and conduct of men, is the truest human wisdom. The spirit of a man knows the things of man, and more true knowledge comes by meditation and just reflection than by reading; for much reading is an oppression of the mind, and extinguishes the natural candle, which is the reason of so many senseless scholars in the world.

Do not that which you blame in another. Do not that to another which you would not another should do to you; but above all, do not that in God's sight you would not man should see you do.

And that you may order all things profitably, divide your day: such a share of time for your retirement and worship of God; such a proportion for your business, in which remember to ply that first which is first to be done; so much time for yourselves, be it for study walking, visit, etc.; in this, be first, and let your friends know it, and you will cut off many impertinences and interruptions, and save a treasure of time to yourselves, which people most unaccountably lavish away. And to be more exact (for much lies in this); keep a short journal of your time, though a day require but a line; many advantages flow from it.

Keep close to the meetings of God's people; wait diligently at them, to feel the heavenly life in your hearts. Look for that more than words in ministry and you will profit most. Above all, look to the Lord, but despise not instruments, man or woman, young or old, rich or poor, learned or unlearned.

Avoid discontented persons, unless to inform or reprove them. Abhor detraction, the sin of fallen angels and the worst of fallen men.

Excuse faults in others, own them in yourselves, and forgive them against you yourselves, as you would have your heavenly Father and Judge forgive you. Read Prov. 17: 9, and Matt. 6:14,15. Christ returns and dwells upon that passage of his prayer above all the rest forgiveness the hardest lesson to man, that of all other creatures most needs it.

Be natural; love one another; and remember, that to be